Conan Wiki
Advertisement

Khorala rests in the meadows of southern Ophir, a seemingly tranquil, pastoral setting. The area is prone to infrequent, but devastating, earthquakes, however, and Khorala has been leveled at least twice in its history. Originally, the city began as a fortification guarding one of the few passes through the mountains leading to Koth. Over the ages, the fortification became a town, and then a city. It sits along a major trade route in Ophir itself, and sees much traffic because of the pass. Merchants of all sorts travel in caravans, offloading a portion of their goods in Khorala. Shemite traders long ago established a presence in Khorala, and the city holds an entire neighborhood where Ishtar, not Mitra, is revered. Tension between the Shemites and local Ophireans is present, but rarely boils over into violence.

The current ruler of Khorala is the Baroness Helena. She is in league with Queen Yrrane and, when the time comes, is set to control the pass as the Queen sees fit. Such a strategic location could turn the tide of any internecine war, particularly if Baroness Helena were to close off the pass and cut off trade. That would carry some leverage with nobles throughout the land.

There are, perhaps, half a dozen people in the city who know something the rest of the world does not — the earthquakes which have razed the city in the past are anything but natural. Something sleeps, or is perhaps imprisoned, beneath Khorala. One of the squares in the city is strata upon strata of paving covering an ancient, inhuman seal. Before men were a flicker in the eyes of those gods they would later give name to, the Elder Things bound a god of their own under the earth here.

The god’s presence is rarely felt, but the citizenry of Khorala is known to have troubled dreams and a melancholic nature unlike most Ophireans. Something perturbs them, though they would never be able to name what it might be. Those people privy to this secret are all irrevocably mad, though only one openly so. The rest are part of a cult whose tendrils reach into dim pre-history. Their goal is simple — to free the Great Old One below. May Mitra, Ishtar, and any other human god man calls on see to it they never succeed.

Advertisement