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Hanumar is a city in Nemedia and the home of Kalanthes, a priest of Ibis who considers himself the mortal enemy of Thoth-Amon. For those who travel up the caravan road from the southern nations, through Nemedia and into Aquilonia, Hanumar is considered an out of the way city.[1]

Located in the north central portion of the kingdom, Hanumar does not benefit from a close proximity to the Road of Kings, but it does benefit greatly in being the largest city in the territory with a standing mercenary force. Built on the ruins of an older site than the ones found in Belverus and Numalia, these structures and crypts hearken back to a time when Stygia controlled most of the known lands. Hanumar was thought to be an outpost for the then-vast kingdom.

It’s because of these incongruities that Hanumar is populated largely with Nemedians for whom the vast bureaucracy of the state and the overarching religion of Mitra is a poor fit. These rule-breakers and iconoclasts are not so great in number that the culture of Nemedia is swept aside, but the city itself and its inhabitants are much more colorful, more varied in nationalities, and the strictures of government are somewhat more relaxed. Belverus continues to try and exert its influence on the politicians in Hanumar, but these dissidents keep the capital at arm’s length.

Hanumar is considered a major city (albeit the smallest of the three cities in Nemedia), but unlike its cousins in the south, has no walls around it. There are mounted patrols in all four cardinal directions, mostly from the Harrowers and the city guard takes over the watch within the city limits.

The Arena[]

The centerpiece of the city is the Arena, a massive coliseum built to hold gladiatorial games. It is the largest such place in all of Nemedia, and it flourishes because the location of the city is so remote compared to the more pious Numalia and the disapproving Belverus. But it draws contestants, willing and otherwise, from as far away as Ophir and Zingara. The matches are held every fortnight, and there is no shortage of fighters to wager upon.

This is the largest active arena hosting blood sports in the Western kingdoms. As such, many visitors from as far west as Zingara and as far east as Zamora have made the trek to watch or to participate in the arena matches.

There are a multitude of lodgings as well as taverns to eat and drink in and to place a friendly wager. These businesses exist to service the crowds during the sports. They are quite jaded when it comes to strangers, and the thieves don’t rob from anyone that looks like they can handle themselves.

The Temple of Ibis[]

This pyramid-shaped building is the dominant structure in the west quadrant of the city, a stunning example of ancient architecture. The top of the building is flat across, only accessible from within. The chambers under the church are rumored to contain the lost wealth of Stygia, but are also rumored to be heavily booby-trapped against intruders. No one has ever braved the catacombs, despite the local toughs always bragging in the local grog-shops.

Ibis is the celestial enemy of Set, and these churches oppose one another to this day. Ibis is the god of knowledge, and it is thought that the earliest attempts to study the ancients’ culture came from these initial worshipers of Ibis. The temple has not halted its investigations, and actively competes with the Temple of Mitra in this endeavor. Very recently, Ibis decided to conscript its own relic hunters to compete against the rogues in Mitra’s retinue to the prize. This program is too new to determine if it’s a success or not.

The Temple of Ibis actively recruits relic hunters, and the process for joining this faction is similar to the Temple of Mitra. The high priest, Kalanthes, is old and wise and crafty, as well. He’s fighting a spiritual war on several fronts: a hearts and minds campaign among the people of Hanumar, a race to grab resources from the Church of Mitra, and he must fend off the occasional attempt on his life from Stygian followers of Set. It is rumored that Kalanthes set up the church in Hanumar with a selection of texts and artifacts he borrowed from another priest long ago.

The Royal Vineyards[]

One of the most significant features is located in the south quadrant of town, visible from the road. Its walls are low, and are the only walls around Hanumar, but inside the cordon are rows upon rows of small green grapes that are tended to year-round. These are the Royal Vineyards, and the king visits the farm annually to pronounce them ready to pick. This event has become a minor festival, and the wine flows freely during his visit.

A division of the King’s Guard is stationed at the farm and also serves as his eyes and ears in the city.

The Nemedian Crypts[]

The ground at Hanumar is excellent for growing grapes, and also for carving tombs into the earth. There is, in the east quadrant, a large field of burial sites, all from wealthy Nemedians who fell out of favor with the Church of Mitra, some going back several hundred years. There are many sinners, evil men, corrupt merchants, and feckless politicians buried in these august fields.

Some of the tombs and plots have been cleaned out and sit vacant, having been sold to wealthy Nemedian rogues wishing to be interred with the Acheronians. Other tombs have been marked as unsuitable for re-interment or dangerous. No one from Hanumar comes here after dark.

The Site of the Battle of Hanumar[]

In the north quadrant, on the outskirts of town, lays the remnant of a standing wall, and on the other side of the wall is a vast killing field. This was the site of the Battle of Hanumar, believed to be the first campaign the Hybori waged against the ancient Stygians. The site has been mostly excavated and has little to no artifacts of any kind, but it does serve as a meeting place for severe conversations, business negotiations, and political dealings. It’s not uncommon to see mortal enemies seated upon the various cairns and markers, nose to nose, arguing to high heaven.

There is, however, an unspoken rule here: the site is neutral ground. The citizens of Hanumar agree that enough blood was spilled there already. Anyone fighting or attacking another physically in the boundaries of the site is arrested, fined, and shunned. It’s considered bad luck to even draw a weapon on the battle site.

References[]

  1. Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The God in the Bowl"), Del Rey (2003).
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