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The Robert E. Howard Conan Lore Project

Purpose and scope: To create a repository of information on the religious and cultural aspects, as well as descriptions of the people and lands themselves, of the races created by Robert E. Howard for his fictional world of the Hyborian Age, the setting of his Conan the Barbarian stories. The works of other authors and sources will not be included. This collection is meant to catalog only what Howard himself wrote about his world and is focused primarily on quotes that give some information as to the physical and cultural aspects of the various races, including their religions and gods.

I had originally hoped there was somewhere a searchable wiki on just the original works of Howard so that I could put in a search for, say, Cimmeria, and find every instance of its mention that I might be able to verify various information regarding it. Sadly, no such wiki or archive exists that is available to the public. And so, in frustration, I have taken my cue from the online entries of games set in Howard’s Hyboria and compiled all of the information I can find in an exhaustive re-reading of Howard’s Conan stories in order to share with other roleplayers and storytellers the actual lore or Hyboria as written by its original author. The real lore, untainted by pastiche authors, comics, movies, or the whole cloth fanciful inventions of games.

I have not cataloged every instance of a word such as Cimmerian or Stygian or Turan or Aquilonia but have confined myself to only those instances that give at least some snippet of information regarding race, appearance of people, culture, religion or gods and demons. It is well to keep in mind that these things are often from the viewpoint of Conan himself and, to a lesser degree, a host of other characters, in making observations about races or cultures they themselves are not a part of and may actually know next to nothing about. It is beyond the scope of this project to include commentary discussing how “accurate” any of the information may be. Nevertheless, patterns certainly do emerge. I would, however, encourage any serious student of the literature to pick up the books themselves and do the reading necessary to draw informed conclusions.

To assemble this archive I have used the Del Rey paperback publications of :

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

ISBN: 0-345-46151-7

The Bloody Crown of Conan

ISBN 0-345-46152-5

The Conquering Sword of Conan

ISBN 0-345-46153-3

Edited by Patrice Louinet and illustrated by Mark Schultz

I chose these editions because they are in their original versions and in the order Howard wrote them. These are not rewrites by other authors. If you are looking to read the stories, especially if this is your first time, I highly recommend these editions.

All page numbers of citations refer to these books. I am adding here the tables of contents of all three volumes so that readers can refer back to know which volume the stories quoted are in.

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

Conan contents1


The Bloody Crown of Conan

Conan Contents2

The Conquering Sword of Conan

Conan Contents 3

Entries are repeated as appropriate where they give information on more than one culture, religion, etc.

Why this project? There are, after all, innumerable “lore sources” online to choose from. Most come from the various RPGs that are based on Conan. And therein lies the problem. These are derivative works that add or alter a great deal to Howard’s world that was never included by him. The many comics and stories by other writers set in his world likewise take many liberties and introduce new characters and even entirely new races, such as the Yamatai, and new religions such as the Harlots of Idris, that were never written of by Howard. This is not a terrible thing. After all, there are many gaps and unanswered questions regarding the many races and cultures he did write about. And for those who wish to do so, filling them with the works of others is a reasonable choice to make.

However, there has been, as of this writing, no reasonably searchable resource that covers only what Howard himself wrote regarding the details of his various races and cultures and lands. Ergo, there has been nothing to compare the works of others against in order to make decisions as to whether or not those changes and additions make sense or are in keeping with the lore as established by Howard himself.

This is what this project seeks to change. It is my love letter to the roleplaying communities of Conan Exiles and Age of Conan and to all players who wish to craft characters and stories in keeping with Howard’s actual lore. I hope you enjoy it.

Acheron: “… In the jade sarcophagus lay a living man: a tall, lusty man, naked, white of skin, and dark of hair and beard. ...” From The Hour of the Dragon pg. 84

“I am Xaltotun, who was high priest of Set in Python, which was in Acheron. ...” From The Hour of the Dragon pg. '86

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir,Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” From The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

“Acheron,” he repeated. “Xaltotun of Acheron- man, are you mad? Acheron has been a myth for more centuries than I can remember. I’ve often wondered if it ever existed at all.”

“It was a black reality,” answered Hadrathus, “an empire of black magicians, steeped in evil now long forgotten. It was finally overthrown by the Hyborian tribes of the west. The wizards of Acheron practiced foul necromancy, thaumaturgy of the most evil kind, grisly magic taught them by the devils. And of all the sorcerers of that accursed kingdom, none was so great as Xaltotun of Python.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'g. '158

Afghulistan: “No. But I was a war-chief of the Afghulis who live in the Himelian mountains above the borders of Vendhya. ...” from Red Nails, pg. 2'31

Aquilonia: “...Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7

“That was true; the Bossonian marches. With their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians. ...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. 49

“The rangy figures of Aquilonian pikemen and forest runners mingled with the shorter, stockier forms of Bossonian archers.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '55

“… Aquilonia lies beyond the lands of the Stygians and the Shemites, beyond Argos ans Zingara; and Cimmeria lies beyond Aquilonia.” from Red Nails, pg. 2'45

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir,Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” From The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

“… We cannot set Valerius on the Aquilonian throne without a war, and that kingdom is a formidable foe. Its people are a hardy, war-like race, toughened by continual wars with the Picts, Zingarans, and Cimmerians. For five hundred years Aquilonia and Nemedia have intermittently waged war, and the ultimate advantage has always lain with the Aquilonians.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'8'9

“The Aquilonian host was drawn up, long serried lines of pikemen and horsemen in gleaming steel, when a giant figure in black armor emerged from the royal pavilion, and as he swung up into the saddle of the black stallion held by four squires, a roar the shook the mountains went up from the host. They shook their blades and thindered forth their acclaim of their warrior king-knight in gold-chased armor, pikemen in mail coats and basinets, archers in their leather jerkins, with their longbows in their left hand.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '98

“The Aquilonian host has assumed the customary formation; the strongest part was the center, composed entirely of heavily armed knights; the wings were made up of smaller bodies of horsemen, mounted men-at-arms, mostly, supported by pikemen and archers. The latter were Bossonians from the western marches, strongly built men of medium stature, in leathern jackets and iron head-pieces.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '9'9

“...her golden hair fell in lustrous ripples about her white shoulders...” (Note: description of an Aquilonian Countess.) f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.' '150

Bossonian Marches: “That was true; the Bossonian marches. With their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians. ...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. 49

“The rangy figures of Aquilonian pikemen and forest runners mingled with the shorter, stockier forms of Bossonian archers.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '55

“That was true; the Bossonian marches. With their fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians. ...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. 49

“The rangy figures of Aquilonian pikemen and forest runners mingled with the shorter, stockier forms of Bossonian archers.” ' from Beyond the Black River, pg. '55

“Faintly in the ears of the king, above the din of trumpets and clanging steel, came the deep fierce shout of the Bossonians as they drew and loosed in perfect unison.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '9'9

“… The latter were Bossonians from the western marches, strongly built men of medium stature, in leathern jackets and iron head-pieces.” 'f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '9'9

P'oitain:

“Poitain had not formally declared her separation from Aquilonia, but she was now, to all intents, a self-contained kingdom, ruled by her hereditary count, Trocero. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'166

“Before they reached it, a band of knights in burnished armor rode from among the trees, and their leader sternly ordered the travelers to halt. They were tall men, with the dark eyes and raven locks of the south.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '166

“The mountains were uninhabited save by outlaws and garrisons of soldiers who guarded the passes. The pleasure-loving Poitanians had no need nor desire to wrest a hard and scanty living from their stern breasts. South of the ranges the rich and beautiful plains of Poitain stretched to the river Alimane; but beyond the river lay the land of Zingara.

“Even now, when winter was crisping the leaves beyond the mountains, the tall rich grass waved upon the plains where grazed the horses and the cattle for which Poitain was famed. Palm trees and orange groves smiled in the sun, and the gorgeous purple and gold and crimson towers of castles and cities reflected the golden light. It was a land of warmth and plenty, of beautiful women and ferocious warriors. It is not only the hard lands that breed hard men. Poitain was surrounded by covetous neighbors and her sons learned hardihood in incessant wars. To the north the land was guarded by the mountains, but to the south only the Alimane separated the plains of Poitain from the plains of Zingara, and not once but a thousand times had that river run red. To the east lay Argos and beyond that Ophir, proud kingdoms and avaricious. The knights of Poitain held their lands by the weight and edge of their swords, and little of ease or idleness they knew.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'gs. 167, 168



“But Conan shook his head. “There is no nobler land on earth than Poitain. But it cannot stand alone, bold as are its sons.”

“It did stand alone for generations,” retorted Trocero, with the quick jealous pride of his breed. “We were not always a part of Aquilonia.”

“… Trocero sat his horse silently at the head of his steel-cald knights, with the crimson leopard of Poitain floating in its long folds over him in the morning breeze. ...” 'f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '171



Argos: “They were characteristic Argosean Sailors, short and stockily built. ...” from Q'u'een of the Black Coast pg. 124



“… He was well aware of the enmity which existed between the pirates and the Zingaran buccaneers. The pirates were mostly Argossean sailors, turned outlaw; to the ancient feud between Argo and Zingara was added, in the case of the freebooters, the rivalry of opposing interests. Both breeds preyed on the shipping and the coastal towns; and they preyed upon one another with equal rapacity.” from The Black Stranger pg. '119

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir,Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88



“Argos was at peace; laden ox-wains rumbled along the road, and men with bare, brown, brawny arms toiled in orchards and fields that smiled away under the branches of the roadside trees. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'g. 183

“From the men that worked the fields, from the garrulous old men in the inns where he slaked his thirst with great leathern jacks of foaming ale, from the sharp-eyed silk-clad merchants he met upon the road, Conan sought for news of Beloso.

Stories were conflicting, but this much Conan learned; that a lean, wiry Zingaran with the dangerous black eyes and mustaches of the western fold was somewhere on the road ahead of him, and apparently making for Messantia. It was a logical destination; all the sea-ports of Argos were cosmopolitan, in strong contrast with the inland provinces, and Messantia was the most polyglot of all. Craft of all the maritime nations rode in its harbor, and refugees and fugitives from many lands gathered there. Laws were lax; for Messantia thrived on the trade of the sea, and her citizens found it profitable to be somewhat blind in their dealings with seamen. It was not only legitimate trade that flowed into Messantia; smugglers and buccaneers played their part. All this Conan knew well, for had he not, in the days of old when he was a Barachan pirate, sailed by night into the harbor of Messiantia to discharge strange cargoes? Most of the pirates of the Barachan Isles- small islands off the southwestern coast of Zingara- were Argossean sailors, and as long as they confined their attentions to the shipping of other nation, the authorities of Argos were not too strict in their interpretation of sea-laws.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'gs. 183, 184

“He entered the city unquestioned, merging himself with the throngs that poured continually in and out of this great commercial center. No walls surrounded Messantia. The sea and the ships of the sea guarded the great southern trading city.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '184

“Publio sat at a carved teakwood desk writing on rich parchment with a golden quill. He was a short man, with a massive head and quick dark eyes. His blue robe was of the finest watered silk, trimmed with cloth-of-gold, and from his thick white throat hung a heavy chain of gold.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '185

“It was long and narrow, a typical trading-ship of the southern coasts, high of poop and stern, with cabins st either extremity. Conan looked down into the open waist, whence wafted that sickening abominable odor. He knew it of old. It was the body-scent of the oarsmen, chained to their benches. They were all negroes, forty men to each side, each confined by a chain locked about his waist, with the other end welded to a heavy ring set deep in the solid runway beam that ran between the benches from stem to stern. The life of a slave aboard an Argossean galley was a hell unfathomable. Most of these were Kushites, but some thirty of the blacks who now rested on their idle oars and stared up at the stranger with dull curiosity were from the far southern isles, the homelands of the corsairs. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg's. 197, 198

“What ship is this?” Conan demanded.

“The Venturer, out of Messantia, with a cargo of mirrors, scarlet silk cloaks, shields, gilded helmets and swords to trade to the Shemites for copper and gold ore. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '198

“… The Argosseans were strong, sturdy, fearless like all their race, trained in the brutal school of the sea. ...” “What ship is this?” Conan demanded.

“The Venturer, out of Messantia, with a cargo of mirrors, scarlet silk cloaks, shields, gilded helmets and swords to trade to the Shemites for copper and gold ore. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '200






Asgard: “Asgard lies to the north and Vanaheim to the northwest of Cimmeria, and there is continual war along the borders.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. '12

Barachan Islands: “… I’ve sailed along it when I was with the pirates of the Barachan Isles, which lie southwest of Zingara.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '78

“… The pirates of the Barachan Isles, a tiny archipelago off the southwestern coast of Zingara, had preyed upon the people of the mainland for more than a century.” from The Black Stranger pg.'112



The Black Kingdoms/Black Countries: “The people of the Black Countries are generally hostile to strangers. ...” from Red Nails, pg. 220

Brythunia: “...blond Brythunians...” from The Devil in Iron pg. 324

Cimmeria: “Asgard lies to the north and Vanaheim to the northwest of Cimmeria, and there is continual war along the borders.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. '12



“Then I think you are like them,” laughed Prospero. “You laugh greatly, drink deep and bellow good songs; though I never saw another Cimmerian who drank but water, or who ever laughed, or ever sang save to chant dismal dirges.”

“Perhaps its the land they live in,” answered the king. “A gloomier land never was- all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys.”

“They have no hope here or hereafter,” answered Conan. “Their gods are Crom and his dark race, who rule over a sunless place of everlasting mist, which is the world of the dead. ...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg's'. '12, '13

“The women of the Hyborians do not fight like your Cimmerian women, Conan...” “Whence came Natohk?” rose the Shemite’s vibrant whisper. “Out of the desert on a night whe nthe world was blind and wild with mad clouds driven in frenzied flight across shuddering stars, and the howling of the wind was mingled with the shrieking of the spirits of the wastes. Vampires were abroadthat night, witches rode naked on the wind, and werewolves howled across the wilderness. ...” from Black Colossus pg. 1'70

Her lips twisted in a bitter smile. “Aye, civilized men sell their children as slaves to savages, sometimes. They call your race barbaric, Conan of Cimmeria.”

“We do not sell our children,” he growled, his chin jutting truculently. f'rom Iron Shadows in the Moon, pg. 190

“Even a Zingaran ought to know there’s never been peace between Picts and Cimmerians, and never will be,” he retorted with an oath. “Our feud with them is older than the world. ...” from The Black Stranger pg. '143



Corinthia: “The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir, Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

Darfar: “It was a gigantic black man, naked but for a loincloth. One hand still grasped a knotty-headed bludgeon. The fellow’s kinky wool was built up into horn-like spindles with twigs and dried mud. This barbaric coiffure had given the head its misshapen appearance in the starlight. Provided with no clue to the riddle, Conan pushed back the thick red lips, and grunted, as he stared down at teeth filed to points.

He understood now they mystery of the strangers who had disappeared from the house of Aram Baksh; the riddle of the black drum thrumming out there beyond the palm groves, and of that pit of charred bones- that pit where strange meat might be roasted under the stars, while black beasts squatted about to glut a hideous hunger. The man on the floor was a cannibal slave from Darfar.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 1'84

“… Cannibalism was more than a perverted appetite with the black men of Darfar; it was an integral element of their ghastly cult. ...” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9



Gunderland: “… tawny-haired Gunderman- ...” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. 61

“… tawny-haired Gundermen from the hills of the northwest...” from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'9



“… No infantry was a match for the wild Gundermen, whose homeland, the northern-most province of Aquilonia, was but a day’s ride across the Bossonian marches from the borders of Cimmeria, and who, born and bred to battle, were the purest blood of all the Hyborian peoples. ...” from The Scarlet Citadel pg. 1'14

Hyperborea: “… There was a giant Hyperborean renegade, taciturn, dangerous, with a broadsword strapped to his great gaunt frame- ...” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. 61

“… There were tall Hyperboreans, gaunt, big-bones, of slow speech and violent natures...” from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'9



“… the snowy lands of the Hyperboreans in the north.” from The Devil in Iron pg. 324

Hyrkania: “...Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7

You’re as bad as a Hyrcanian woman, with your damnable veil. ...” 'from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'3

“… He was naked except for his silken breeks, for, like the Hyrkanians, even the commoners and slaves of Stygia wore silk; ...” 'f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '204

Khauran: “… But you must realize the vast difference that exists between west and east, especially this part of the east. In the first place, Khauran is a kingdom of no great size, one of the many principalities which at one time formed the eastern part of the empire of Koth, and which later regained the independence which was theirs at a still earlier age. This part of he world is made up of these tiny realms, diminutive in comparison with the great kingdoms of the west, or the great sultanates of the farther east, but important in their control of the caravan routes, and in the wealth concentrated in them.

“Khauran is the most southeasterly of these principalities, bordering on the very deserts of eastern Shem. The city of Khauran is the only city of any magnitude in the realm, and stand within sight of the river which separates the grasslands from the sandy desert, like a watch-tower to guard the fertile meadows behind it. The land is so rich that it yields three and four crops ina year, and the plains north and west of the city are dotted with villages. To one accustomed to the great plantations and stock-farms of the west, is it strange t osee these tiny fields and vineyards; yet wealth in grain and fruit pours from them as from a horn of plenty. The villagers are agriculturists-nothing else. Of a mixed, aboriginal race, they are unwarlike, unable to protect themselves, and forbidden the possession of arms. Dependent wholly on the soldiers of the city for protection, they are helpless under the present conditions. So the savage revolt of the rural sections which would be a certainty in any western nation, is here impossible.” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 27'4



“They toil supinely under the iron hand of Constantius, and his black-bearded Shemites ride incessantly through the fields, with whips in their hands, like the slave-drivers of the black serfs who toil in the plantations of southern Zingara.” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 27'4



“… The people of the city are Khauran’s ruling caste, predominantly Hyborian, and valorous and warlike. ...” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 27'4



“At present there is some possibility of invasion from the desert, which is inhabitated by tribes of Shemitish nomads. The mercenaries of Constantius are men from the Shemitish cities of the west, Pelishtime, Anakim, Akkharim, and are ardently hated by the Zuagirs and other wandering tribes. As you know, good Alcemides, the countries of these barbarians are divided into the western meadowlands which stretch to the distant ocean, and in which rise the cities of the town-dwellers, and the eastern deserts, where the lean nomads hold sway; there is incessant warfare between the dwellers of the cities and the dwellers of the desert.

“The Zuagirs have fought with and raided Khauran for centuries, without success, but they resent its conquest by their western kin. ...” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg's'. 27'4, '275



Khitai: “It was made from the black lotus, whose blossoms wave in the lost jungles of Khitai, where only the yellow-skulled priests of Yun dwell. Those blossoms strike dead any who smell them.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. '69

“Returning to his palace chamber, Valerius summoned before him four men of curious and alien aspect. They were tall, gaunt, of yellowish skin, and immobile countenances. They were very similar in appearance, clad alike in long black robes beneath which their sandaled feet were just visible. There features were shadowed by their hoods. They stood before Valerius with their hands in their wide sleeves, their arms folded. Valerius looked at them without pleasure. In his far journeyings he had encountered many strange races.”

“The four Khitans bowed together, and still unspeaking, turned and padded noiselessly from the chamber.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'g.'163

“He was a magician from far Khitai, returning to his native kingdom after a journey to Stygia. He took me with him to purple-towered Paikang, its minarets rising amid the vine-festooned jungles of bamboo...” from A withc Shall Be Born, pg. 260

Khoraja: “...Khoraja, carved out of Shemite lands by the swords of Kothic adventurers...” from Black Colossus pg. 158

“...There were the knights, gleaming in richly wrought plate armor, colored plumes waving above their burnished sallets. Their steeds, caparisoned with silk, lacquered leather and gold buckles, caracoled and curvetted as their riders put them through their paces. The early light struck glints from lance-points that rose like a forest above the array, their pennone flowing in the breeze. Each knight wore a lady’s token, a glove, a scarf or rose, bound to his helmet or fastened to his sword-belt. They were the chivalry of Khoraja… from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'9



“They were followed by the light cavalry on rangy steeds. The riders were typical hillmen, lean and hawk-faced; peaked steel caps were on their heads and chain-mail glinted under flowing kaftans. Their main weapon was the terrible Shemitish bow...” 'from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'9



Koth: “...dark-faced Kothian knights...” from the Scarlet Citadel pg. 86

“… the fertile uplands of Koth, the southernmost realm of the Hyborian races.” from Black Colossus pg. 154

“… gray-eyed, tawny-haired barbarians in wolfskins and scale-mail had ridden from the north into the rich uplands to carve out the kingdom of Koth with their iron swords.” from Black Colossus pg. 15'5

“Kothian culture and religion had suffered from a subtle admixture of Shemite and Stygian strains. The simple ways of the Hyborians had become modified to a large extent by the sensual, luxurious yet despotic habits of the East.” from Black Colossus pg. 1'60

“...He was typical of the race evolved along Koth’s southern borders – tall and gaunt, with features leaner and more hawk-like than his purer-blooded desert kin.” from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'7

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir, Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

“Constantius, whom men called the Falcon, was tall, broad-shouldered, slim-waisted, lithe and strong as pliant steel. He was handsome in an aquiline, ruthless sort of way. His face was burnt dark by the sun and his hair, which grew far back from his high, narrow forehead, was black as a raven. His dark eyes were penetrating and alert, the hardness of his thin lips not softened by his thin black moustache. His boots were of Kordavan leather, his hose and doublet of plain, dark silk, tarnished with the wear of he camps and the strains of armor rust.” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 261



Kush: :Behind these came the motley array of wild men on half-wild horses – the warriors of Kush, the first of the great black kingdoms of the grasslands south of Stygia. They were shining ebony, supple and lithe, riding stark naked and without saddle or bridle. f'rom Black Colossus pg. 1'76



“...ebon Kushites...” from The Devil in Iron pg. 324



“Keshan was a barbaric kingdom lying in the eastern hinterlands of Kush where the broad grass lands merge with the forests that roll up from the south. The people were a mixed race, a dusky nobility ruling a population that was largely pure negro. The rulers-princes and high priests-claimed descent from a white race which, in a mythical age, had ruled a kingdom whose capital city was Alkmeenon. Conflicting legends sought to explain the reason for that race’s eventual downfall, and the abandonment of the city by the survivors. ...” from The Servants of Bit-Yakin, pgs. 4, 5

“...Was it because you did a big busines in ivory and ostrich feathers, copper and skins and pearls and hammered gold ornaments, and other things from the coast of Kush? ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '186



Nemedia: :He was a Nemedian, a large man with a lion-like yellow mane.” from Black Colossus pg. 167



“...leading by the wrist a tall handsome girl, whose yellow hair, clear eyes and fair skin identified her as a pure-blooded member of her race.”

“I am the daughter of a Nemedian lord-” from The Devil in Iron pgs. 325, 326 '(Note: 'regarding Octavia')

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir, Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

“… here is Belverus, the capital of Nemedia, in which we now are. Here run the boundaries of the land of Nemedia. To the south and southeast are Ophir and Corinthis, to the east Brythunia, to the west Aquilonia.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88

“The king and his allies moved westward at the head of fifty thousand men-knights in shining armor with their pennons streaming above their helmets, pikemen in steel caps and brigandines, crossbowmen in leather jerkins. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.' '92

“I am only Zenobia,” she murmured, with a catch of breathlessness, as if in fright; “only a girl of the king’s seraglio.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'115

“A dully glinting, mail-clad figure moved out of the shadows into the starlight. This was no plumed and burnished palace guardsman. It was a tall man in morion and gray chain-mail- one of the Adventurers, a class of warriors peculiar to Nemedia; men who had not attained to the wealth and position of knighthood, or had fallen from that estate; hard-bitten fighters, dedicating their lives to war and adventure. They constituted a class of their own, sometimes commanding troops, but themselves accountable to no man but the king. Conan knew that he could have been discovered by no more dangerous a foeman.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.' '130

“The Adventurers lived by their swords.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.' '130

Ophir: “I am a daughter of the king of Ophir,” she said. “My father sold me to a Shemite chief, because I would not marry a prince of Koth.”

The Cimmeran grunted in surprise.

Her lips twisted in a bitter smile. “Aye, civilized men sell their children as slaves to savages, sometimes. They call your race barbaric, Conan of Cimmeria.”

“We do not sell our children,” he growled, his chin jutting truculently. From Iron Shadows in the Moon, pg. 190

“The barbarians who overthrew Acheron set up new kingdoms,” quoth Orastes. “Where the empire had stretched now rose realms called Aquilonia, and Nemedia, and Argos, from the tribes that founded them. The older kingdoms of Ophir, Corinthia and western Koth, which had been subject to the kings of Acheron, regained their independence with the fall of the empire.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'88



Pictish Wilderness: “… A man lay there, a short, dark, thickly muscled man, naked except for a loin cloth, and one hand still gripped a heavy black bow. The man had long black hair...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. 46

“But the Picts are divided into small clans,” persisted Balthus, “They’ll never unite. We can whip any single clan.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. 48

“The Picts were a white race, though swarthy, but the border men never spoke of them as such.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '51

“Short men, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, lean-hipped. They were naked except for scanty loin clouts. The firelight brought out the play of their swelling muscles in bold relief. Their dark faces were immobile, but their narrow eyes glittered with the fire that burns in the eyes of a stalking tiger.Their tangled manes were bound back with bands of copper. Swords and axes were in their hands. ...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '64

“Those were ostrich plumes Zogar Sag wore,” he said. “I’ve seen them on the helmets of the knights who rode from the East to visit the barons of the marches. There are no ostriches in this forest, are there?”

“They came from Kush,” answered Conan. “West of here, many marches, lies the sea-shore. Ships from Zingara occasionally come and trade weapons and ornaments and wine to the coastal tribes for skins and copper ore and gold dust. Sometimes they trade ostrich plumes they got from the Stygians, who in turn got them from the black tribes of Kush, which lies south of Stygia. The Pictish shamans place great store by them. But there’s much risk in such trade. The Picts are too likely to try to seize the ship. And the coast is dangerous to ships. ...” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '78



“A Pict with a shattered skull lay face-down on the ground,his fingers spasmodically clawing at the grass.Half a dozen others were swarming around Conan, swords and axes lifted. They had cast away their bows, useless at such deadly close quarters. Their lower jaws were painted white contrasting vividly with their dark faces, and the designs on their muscular breasts differed from any Balthus had ever seen.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '80

“He was a strongly built Pict with a white heron feather thrust in a copper band that confined his square-cut mane.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '84

“They were dark-skinned men of short stature, with thickly-muscled chests and arms. They wore beaded buckskin loin-cloths, and an eagle’s feather was thrust into each black mane. They were painted in hideous designs, and heavily armed. from Beyond the Black River, pg. '104

“… He knew there were sacred places, spots set aside as sanctuaries by the various clans, and that a fugitive, taking refuge in one of these sanctuaries, was safe from the clan which raised it. But the different tribes seldom respected the sanctuaries of other tribes; and the ned who had pursued him certainly had no sacred spots of their own in this region. They were the med of the Eagle, whose villages lay far to the east, adjoining the country of the Wolf-Picts.” from Beyond the Black River, pg. '107

“Even a Zingaran ought to know there’s never been peace between Picts and Cimmerians, and never will be,” he retorted with an oath. “Our feud with them is older than the world. ...” 'from The Black Stranger pg. '143

“A feathered chief wheeled from the door, lifting a war-axe, and behind the racing Cimmerian lines of fleet-footed braves were converging upon him.” from The Black Stranger pg. 168



Shem: “...the pastoral lands of Shem...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7

“...but all men knew what liars were the men of Shem.” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. '65



“… There was a Shemitish counterfeiter, with his hooked nose and curled blue-black beard. ...” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. 61

“...These were Shemites, born with bows in their hands...” from The Scarlet Citadel pg. 1'11

“They sighted the coast of Shem- long rolling meadowlands with the white crowns of the towers of the cities in the distance, and the horsemen with their blue-black beards and hooked noses, who sat their steeds along the shore and eyed the galley with suspicion. She did not put in; there was scant profit in trade with the sons of Shem.” from Queen of the Black Coast, pg. 124

“But the gods are real,” she said, pursuing her own line of though. “And above all are the gods of the Shemites- Ishtar and Ashtoreth and Derketo and Adonis. Bel, too is Shemitish, for he was born in ancient Shumir, long, long ago and went forth laughing, with curled beard and laughing wise eyes, to steal the gems of the kings of old times.” from Queen of the Black Coast, pg. 133

“… the meadowlands of Shem, which stretched away to the ocean.” from Black Colossus pg. 154



“After these rolled a horde that seemed to encompass all the desert. Thousands on thousands of the warlike Sons of Shem: ranks of horsemen in scale-mail corselets and cylindrical helmets – the asshuri of Nippr, Shumir, and Eruk and their sister-cities; wild white-robed hordes – the nomad clans.”f'rom Black Colossus pg's'. 1'76', 177



“The girl was a Brythunian, whom Conan had found in the slave-market of a stormed Shemite city, and appropriated. She had had nothing to say in the matter, but her new position was so far superior to the lots of any Hyborian woman in a Shemitish seraglio, that she accepted it thankfully. ...” from Xuthal of the Dusk pg. 221



“… olive-skinned Shemites.” from The Devil in Iron pg. 324

“… jostling blue-bearded wanderers from the Shemitish cities...” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 179

“… a Shemite, of medium height and mightily muscled build, his curled blue-black beard bristling, and a short leaf-shaped sword in his hand.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '194

“...a Shemite, a heavily muscled man of medium height with a short, curled, blue-black beard.” from The Devil in Iron, pg. 326



“What ship is this?” Conan demanded.

“The Venturer, out of Messantia, with a cargo of mirrors, scarlet silk cloaks, shields, gilded helmets and swords to trade to the Shemites for copper and gold ore. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '198

“… Now the shore was the edge of broad meadowlands which barely rose above the waer’s edge and swpt away and away into the hazy distance. Here were few harbors and fewer ports, but the grreen plain was dotted with the cities if the Shemites; green sea, lapping the rim of the green plains, and the zikkurats of the cities gleaming whitely in he sun, some small in the distance.

Through the grazing-lands moved the herds of cattle, and squat, broad riders with cylindrical helmets and curled blue-black beards, with bows in their hands. The was the shore of the lands of Shem, where there was no law save as each city-state could enforce their own. Far to the eastwardm Canoan knew, the meadowlands gave way to desert, where there were no cities and the nomadic tribes roamed unhindered.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '203

“At present there is some possibility of invasion from the desert, which is inhabitated by tribes of Shemitish nomads. The mercenaries of Constantius are men from the Shemitish cities of the west, Pelishtime, Anakim, Akkharim, and are ardently hated by the Zuagirs and other wandering tribes. As you know, good Alcemides, the countries of these barbarians are divided into the western meadowlands which stretch to the distant ocean, and in which rise the cities of the town-dwellers, and the eastern deserts, where the lean nomads hold sway; there is incessant warfare between the dwellers of the cities and the dwellers of the desert.

“The Zuagirs have fought with and raided Khauran for centuries, without success, but they resent its conquest by their western kin. ...” 'from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg's'. 27'4, '275

Stygia:

“He was a somber giant, whose dusky skin revealed his Stygian blood.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7



“...Kallian Publico believed that it contained the diadem of the giant-kings, of the people who dwelt in that dark land before the ancestors of the Stygians came there. ...” from The God in the Bowl, pg. 50



“Nor did Master Tito pull into the broad bay where the Styx river emptied its gigantic flood into the ocean,and the massive black castles of Khemi loomed over the blue waters. Ships did not put unasked into this port, where dusky sorcerers wove awful spells in the murk of sacrifical smoke mounting eternally from blood-stained altars where naked women screamed, and where Set, the Old Serpent, arch-demon of the Hyborians but god of the Stygians, was said to writhe his shining coils among his worshippers.” from Queen of the Black Coast, pg. 124



“… the great river Styx at the point where it turned at right angles with its former course, and flowed westward to empty at last into the distant sea. At the point of its bens began the land of Stygia, the dark-bosomed mistress of the south, whose domains, watered by the great river, rose sheer out of the surrounding desert.” from Black Colossus pg. 154

“First was a long line of chariots, drawn by the great fierce horses of Stygia, with plumes on their heads – snorting and rearing as each naked driver leaned back, bracing his powerful legs, his dusky arms knotted with muscles.. The fighting men in the chariots were tall figures, their hawk-like faces set off by bronze helmets crested with a crescent supporting a golden ball. Heavy bows were in their hands. No common archers, these, but nobles of the South, bred to war and the hunt, who were accustomed to bringing down lions with their arrows.” from Black Colossus pg. 1'76



“It was a woman who stood there staring at them in wonder. She was tall, lithe, shaped like a goddess; clad in a narrow girdle crusted with jewels. A burnished mass of night-black hair set off the whiteness of her ivory body. Her dark eyes, shaded by long dusky lashes, were deep with sensuous mystery. ...”
“… The Cimmerian had never seen such a woman; her facial outline was Stygian, but she was not dusky-skinned like the Stygian women he had known; her limbs were like alabaster.”

“I am Thalis the Stygian,” she replied.

From Xuthal of the Dusk pg. 228

“A god must have his sacrifices. When I was a child in Stygia the people lived under the shadow of the priests. None ever knew when he or she would be seized and dragged to the altar. ...” from Xuthal of the Dusk pg. 231

“I am the daughter of a king, no common woman, as you can see by my skin, which is as white as that of your little blond there. ...” from Xuthal of the Dusk pg. 23'2

“I am a daughter of Luxur, and before I had known fifteen summers I had been led through the temples of Derketo, the dusky goddess, and had been initiated into the mysteries. “ from Xuthal of the Dusk pg's'. 23'2, 233

“...tall, somber Stygians...” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9

“The arts studied by a Stygian scholar are not calculated to make him share the feelings of a normal human being.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 1'81

“… She had come far-from the camp of the mercenaries by the border town of Sukhmet amidst the level grasslands, where desperate adventurers of many races guard the Stygian frontier against the raids that come up like a red wave from Dafar. ...” from Red Nails, pg. 213

“No! The black plague’s no common pestilence. It lurks in Stygian tombs, and is called forth into being only by wizards. I was a swordsman in Prince Almuric’s army that invaded Stygia, and of his thirty thousand, fifteend thousand perished by Stygian arrowa, and the rest by the black plague that rolled on us like a wind out of the south. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.' '94

“The Black Ring was a fable and a lie to most folk of the western world, but Conan knew of its ghastly reality; and its grim votaries who practice their abominable sorceries amid the black vaults of Stygia and the nighted domes of accursed Sabatea.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'111

“The dragon’s fang!” shrieked Zorathus. “Steeped in the venom of the black Stygian scorpion! Fool, fool to ope nthe box of Zorathus with your naked hand! Death! You are a dead man now!”

Valbroso staggered, crying out, “Ah, Mitra, I burn!” she shrieked. “My veins race with liquid fire! My joints are bursting asunder! Death! Death!” And he reeled and crashed headlong. There was an instant of awful convulsions, in which the limbs were twisted into hideous and unnatural positions, and then in that posture the man froze, his glassy eyes staring sightlessly upward, his lips drawn back from blackened gums.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg.'176

“There’s a Stygian galley, if I’m not blind,” he remarked, pointing to a long, low, slim black ship lying apart from the others, anchored off he low broad sandy beach that curved round to the distant headland. “Is there peace, then, between Stygia and Argo?”

“The same sore that has existed before,” answered Publio, setting the platter on the table with a sigh of relief, for it was heavily laden; he knew his guest of old. “Stygian ports are temporarily opoen to our ships, as ours to theirs. But may no craft of mine meet their cursed galleys out of he sight of land! That galley crept into the bay last night. What its masters wish I do not know. So far they have neither bought nor sold. I distrust those dark-skinned devils. Treachery had its birth in that dusky land.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '189

“The stranger was a Stygian. There was no mistaking that hawk-faced, shaven head, even in the starlight, nor the mantle over the broad shoulders. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '191

“… And on the hard-beaten dirt floor lay Beloso. On his back he lay, with his head drawn back between his shoulders so that he seemed to stare with his wide glassy eyes at the sooty beams of the cobwebbed ceiling. His lips were drawn back from his teeth in a frozen grin of agony. His sword lay near him, still in its scabbard. His shirt was torn open, and on his brown, muscular breast was the print of a black hand, thumb and four fingers plainly distinct.

Conan glared in silence, feeling the short hairs bristle at the back of his neck.

“Crom!” he muttered. “The black hand of Set!”

He had seen that mark of old, the death mark of the black priests of Se, the grim cult that ruled in dark Stygia. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '192

“So at last they passed the mouth of the broad river that mingled its flow with the ocean, and saw the great black walls and towers of Khemi rise against the southern horizon.

The river was the Styx, the real border of Stygia. Khemi was Stygia’s greatest port, and at that time her most important city. The king dwelt at more ancient Luxur, but in Khemi reigned the priest-craft; though men said the center of their dark religion lay far inland, in a mysterious deserted city near the bank of the Styx. This river, springing from some nameless source far in the unknown lands south of Stygia, ran northward for a thousand miles before it turned and flowed westward for some hundreds of miles, to empty at last into the ocean.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '203

“As they slid silently past the city of whose great black bastions rosr on the jutting prongs of land which locked the harbor, torches gleamed and smoldered luridly, and to their ears came the low thunder of drums. The port was not crowded with ships, as were the harbors of Argos. The Stygians did not base their glory and power upon ships and fleets. Trading-vessels and war-galleys, indeed, they had, but not to proportion to their inland strength. Many of their craft plied up and down the great river, rather than along the sea-coasts.

The Stygians were an ancient race, a dark, inscrutable people, powerful and merciless. Long ago their rule had stretched far north of the Styx, beyond the meadowlands of Shem, and into the fertile uplands now inhabitated by the peoples of Koth and Ophir and Argos. Their borders had marched with those of ancient Acheron. But Acheron had fallen, and the barbaric ancestors of the Hyborians had swept southward in wolfskins and horned helmets, driving the ancient rulers of the land before them. The Stygians had not forgotten.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg's. 203, 204

“… He was naked except for his silken breeks, for, like the Hyrkanians, even the commoners and slaves of Stygia wore silk; and in his boat was a wide mantle such as these fishermen flung around their shoulders against the chill of the night.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '204

“The harbor of Khemi lay between two great jutting points of land that ran into the ocean. He rounded the southern point, where the great black castles rose like a man-made hill...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '20'6

“In build he was not unlike the warrior castes of the Stygians, who were a tall, muscular race. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '20'6

“… Khemi was not like the sea-ports of the Hyborians, where types pf every race swarmed. The only aliens here were negro and Shemite slaves; and he resembled neither even as much as he resemblend the Stygians themselves. Strangers were not welcome I nthe cities of Stygia; tolerated only when they came as ambassadors or licensed traders. But even the latter were not allowed ashore after dark. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '207

“If he were discovered his fate would be ghastly. The would slay him merely for being a stranger...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '207

“...There was a grim massiveness about Stygian architecture that was overpowering and oppressive.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '207

“… But this was a black land of sorcery and nameless horror. Set the old Serpent, men said, banished long ago from the Hyborian races, yet lurked I nthe shadows of the cryptic temples, and awful and mysterious were the deeds done in the nighted shrines.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '207

“Few lights showed anywhere except in the upper parts of buildings. Conan knew that most people lay on the flat roofs, among the palms of artifical gardens under the stars. There was a murmur of weird music from somewhere. Occasionally a bronze chariot rumbled along the flags, and there was a brief glimpse of a tall, hawk-faced noble, with a silk cloak wrapped about him, and a gold band with a rearing serpent-head emblem confining his black mane; of the ebon, naked charioteer bracing his knotty legs against the straining of the fierce Stygian horses.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'.'207

“But the people who yet traversed the streets on foot were commoners, slaves, tradesmen, harlots, toilers, and they became fewer as he progressed. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '207

“… Only occultists high in the mazes of the hideous Black Ring possessed the power of the black hand that dealt death by its touch; and only such a man would dare defy Thoth-Amon, who the western world knew only as a figure of terror and myth.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '208

“… a naked courtezan wearing the tall plumed head-dress of her class. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'.'208

“… They might have been ghosts, moving towards that colossal pyramid that rose out of the murk of the desert. There was no sound over all the sleeping land.

Conan’s heart beat quicker as he gazed at the grim black wedge that stood etched against the stars, and his impatience to close with Thutothmes in whatever conflict the meeting might mean was not unmixed with a fear of the unknown. No man could approach one of those somber piles of black stone without apprehension. The very name was a symbol of repellent horror among the northern nations, and legends hinted that the Stygians did not build them; that they were in the land at whatever immeasurably ancient date the dark-skinned people came into the land of the great river.

As they approached the pyramid he glimpsed a dim glow near the base which presently resolved itself into a doorway, on either side of which brooded stone lions with the heads of women, cryptic, inscrutable, nightmares crystallized in stone. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '2'12

“This was an ancient, ancient land. No man knew how many ages the black temples of Stygia had looked against the stars.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '2'13

“A girl stood at the mouth of a smaller tunnel, staring fixedly at him. Her ivory skin showed her to be Stygian of some ancient noble family, and like all such women she was tall, lithe, voluptuously figured, her hair a great pile of black foam, among which gleamed a sparkling ruby. But for her velvet sandals and broad jewel-crusted girdle about her supple waist she was quite nude.” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg'. '2'14

“He was standing on a shadowy gallery from which he looked down into a broad dim-lit hall of colossal proportions. It was a hall of the dead, which few ever see but the silent priests of Stygia. Along the black walls rose tier above tier of carven, painted sarcophati. Each stood on a niche in the dusky stone, and the tiers mounted up and up to be lost I nthe gloom above. Thousands of carven masks stared impassively down upon the group in the midst of the hall, rendered futile and insignificant by that vast array of the dead.” from The Hour of the Dragon, pg. 220

Turan: “Eastward, Shevatas knew, the desert shaded into steppes stretching to the Hyrcanian kingdom of Turan, rising in barbaric splendor on the shores of the great inlet sea.” from Black Colossus pg. 154

“...the tall, supple warriors of Turan, with dark hawk-faces, clinking metal and curved swords.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9

“Why don’t we come to a street?” grumbled Valeria. “This place or whatever we’re in must be as big as the king of Turan’s seraglio.” from Red Nails, pg. 2'30

“… This man was clad in a brown camel-hair robe and sandals, and a green turban was on his head. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '4

“… King Yezdigerd desires to add her kingdom to his empire, and herself to his seraglio. ...” “… I’ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and their victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations, and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.

“And then I saw what the fellow had in his hand, which Yar Afzal picked up. It was like a big black jade bead, such as the temple girls of Yezud where when they dance before the black stone spider that is their god. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '51

“… Kerim Shah had unslung the powerful Turanian bow that killed at five hundred paces...” “… I’ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and their victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations, and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.



“… Yezdigerd, king of Turan, was the mightiest monarch in the world. In his palace in the great port city of Aghrapur was heaped the plunder of empires. His fleets of purple-sailed war galleys had made Vilayet an Hyrkanian lake. The dark-skinned people of Zamora paid him tribute, as did the eastern provinces of Koth. The Shemites bowed to his rule as far west as Shushan. His armies ravaged the borders of Stygia in the south and the snowy lands of the Hyperboreans in the north. His riders bore torch and sword westward into Brythunia and Ophir and Corinthia, even to the borders of Nemedia. His gilt-helmeted swordsmen had trampled hosts under their horses’ hoofs, and walled cities went up in flames at his command. In the glutted slave markets of Aghrapur, Sultanapur, Khawarizm, Shahpur, and Khorusun, women were sold for three smal silver coins – blond Brythunians, tawny Stygians, dark-haired Zamorians, ebon Kushites, olive skinned Shemites.” from The Devil in Iron, pgs. 323, 324



“Only a Turanian could have made that shot. ...” “… I’ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and their victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations, and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered. from The People of the Black Circle pg. '60

“… and the riders in their spired helmets...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '78



Z'amboula '(an outpost of Turan)': “… They stood in a corner of the Sword-Makers’ Bazaar, and on either side of them flowed past the many-tongued, many-colored stream of the Zamboula streets, which is exotic, hybrid, flamboyant and clamorous.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 177

“… Nay, in this accursed city which Stygians built and which Hyrkanians rule-where white, brown and black mingle together to produce hybrids of all unholy hues and breeds- who can tell who is a man, and who a demon is disguise?” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'8

“They were Pelishtim, squat, hook-nosed, with blue-black beards sweeping their mailed breasts- mercenaries hired for work the ruling Turanians considered beneath themselves, and no less hated by the mongrel population for that reason. from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9

“With a hillman’s stride he moved through the ever-sifting colors of the streets, where the ragged tunics of whining beggars brushed againsr the ermin-trimmed khalatsof lordly merchants, and the perarl-sewn satin of rich courtesans. Giant black slaves slouched along, jostling blue-bearded wanderers from the Shemitish cities, ragged nomads from the surrounding deserts, traders and adventurers from all the lads of the East.

The native population was no less heterogeneous. Here, centuries ago, the armies of Stygia had come, carving an empire out of the eastern desert. Zamboula was but a small trading town then, lying amind a ring of oases, and inhabited by descendants of nomads. The Stygians built it into a city and settled it with their own people, and with Shemite and Kushite slaves. The ceaseless caravans, threading the desert from east to west and back again, brought riches and more mingling of races. Then came the conquering Turanians, riding out of the East to thrust back the boundaries of Stygia, and now for a generation Zamboula had been Turan’s western-most out-post, ruled by a Turanian satrap.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9

“… Jungir Khan ruled Zamboula, and men whispered that Nefertari, the satrap’s mistress, ruled Jungir Khan; but the people went their way, flaunting their myriad colors in the streets, bargaining, disputing, gambling, swilling, loving, as the people of Zamboula have done for all the centuries its towers and minarets have lifted over the sands of the Kharamun.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula pg. 17'9



Vanaheim: “Asgard lies to the north and Vanaheim to the northwest of Cimmeria, and there is continual war along the borders.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. '12

“What manner of men are these northern folk?” asked Prosperos.
“Tall and fair and blue-eyed. Their god is Ymir, the frost giant, and each tribe has its own king. They are wayward and fierce. They fight all day and drink ale and roar their wild songs all night.” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. '12

Vendhya: “The king of Vendhya was dying. Through the hot, stifling night the temple gongs boomed and the conchs roared. Their clamor was a faint echo in the gold domed chamber...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. 3



“With her was the wazam, a noble grown old in the royal court.” from The People of the Black Circle pg. 3

“Since his birth he has been guarded so closely that the cleverest poisoners of the East could not reach him. Five skulls bleaching in the Tower of the Kites can testify to attempts which were made-and which failed. As you well know, there are ten men and ten women whose sole duty is to taste his food and wine, and fifty armed warriorsguard his chamber as they guard it now. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pgs. 3,4

“… Danger breeds caution, and only a wary man lives long in that wild country where the hot Vendhyan plains meet the crags of the Himelians. An hour’s ride westward or northward and one crossed the border and was among the hills where men lived by the law of the knife.” from The People of the Black Circle pg '7

“It was a woman who had entered unannounced,a woman whose gossamar robes did not conceal the rich garments beneath any more than they concealed the suppleness and beauty of her tall, slender figure. A filmy veil fell below her breasts, supported by a flowing head-dress bound about with a triple gold braid and adorned with a golden crescent. Her dark eyes regarded the astonished governor over the veil, and then with an imperious gesture of her white hand, she uncovered her face.” (Note: Yasmina, Devi (Queen) of Vendhya.) 'from The People of the Black Circle pg '8

“Devi! You do not understadn the peril. An hour’s ride from this spot the hills swarm with barbarians who make a profession of murder and rapine. Women have been stolen and men stabbed between the fort and the city. Peshkhauri is not like your southern provinces-” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '8

“… The rulers of the golden kingdoms south of the Himelians were considered little short of divine; ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '21

“The response was instant. The girl smiled broadly with surprize and delight, and, with the disdain of a hill woman for prudish conventions, promptly yanked off her sleeveless embroidered vest, slipped down her wide trousers and stepped out of them, twitched off her wide-sleeved shirt, and kicked off her sandals. ...” “… I’ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and their victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations, and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.

“And then I saw what the fellow had in his hand, which Yar Afzal picked up. It was like a big black jade bead, such as the temple girls of Yezud where when they dance before the black stone spider that is their god. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '40



Wadai (tribe): “… A giant black man stood framed against the soft glow of a copper lamp. A quick glance showed Conan the man was not from Dafar. His teeth were unfiled and his kinky hair was cropped close to his skull. He was from the Wadai.” from The Man-Eaters of Zamboula, pg. 191


Wazuli (tribe): “In the hut of Yar Afzal, the chief of the Khurum Wazulis,” he answered. “Afghulistan lies a good many miles further to the west. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '28

“… This one was addressing his chief in the harsh accents of the Wazuli...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '30

Zamora: “...Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider haunted mystery...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7

“...-dark-skinned, dark-eyed Zamorians, with daggers at their girdles and guile in their hearts. ...” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. 61



“He had entered the part of the city reserved for temples. On all sides of him they glittered white in the starlight- snowy marble pillars and golden domes and silver arches, shrines to Zamora’s myriad strange gods. He did not trouble his head about them; he knew that Zamora’s religion, like all things of a civilized, long-settle people, was intricate and complex, and had lost most of the pristine essence in a maze of formulas and rituals.” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. '64

“The people of Zamora were very ancient and, from what he had seen of them, very evil.” from The Tower of the Elephant, pg. '65

“Shevatas was wiry and lithe, as became a master-thief of Zamora. His small round head was shaven,his only garment was a loin-cloth of scarlet silk. Like all his races, he was very dark, his narrow vulture-like face set off by his keen black eyes. His long, slender, tapering fingers were quick and nervous as the wings of a moth. ...” from Black Colossus pg. 154

“The dark skinned people of Zamora...” from The Devil in Iron pg. 324

“… I’ve seen the priests of Zamora perform their abominable rituals in their forbidden temples, and their victims had a stare like that man. The priests looked into their eyes and muttered incantations, and then the people became like walking dead men, with glassy eyes, doing as they were ordered.

“And then I saw what the fellow had in his hand, which Yar Afzal picked up. It was like a big black jade bead, such as the temple girls of Yezud where when they dance before the black stone spider that is their god. ...” from The People of the Black Circle pg. '39



Zingara: ...”Zingara with its chilvary...” from The Phoenix on the Sword, pg. 7

“… fiend-haunted swamps of Zingara...” from Black Colossus pg. 15'6

“...swarthy Zingarians, with bristling black mustaches and fiery tempers...” from Black Colossus pg. 1'6'9

“… The Count was a lean, wiry man of medium height and late middle age. He was dark, somber of expression. Trunk-hose and doublet were of black silk, the only color about his costume the jewels that twinkled on his sword hilt, and the wine-colored cloak thrown carelessly over his shoulder. He twisted his thin black mustache nervously, and turned his gloomy eyes on his seneschal- a leather-featured man in steel and satin. “ from The Black Stranger pg. 111

“… He was well aware of the enmity which existed between the pirates and the Zingaran buccaneers. The pirates were mostly Argossean sailors, turned outlaw; to the ancient feud between Argo and Zingara was added, in the case of the freebooters, the rivalry of opposing interests. Both breeds preyed on the shipping and the coastal towns; and they preyed upon one another with equal rapacity.” 'from The Black Stranger pg. '119

“Then let us unite Zingara with Poitain,” argued Trocero. “Half a dozen princes strive against each other, and the country is torn asunder by civil wars. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '168

“Valbroso rode down with his men-at-arms, a lean, dark man with glittering eyes and a predatory beak of a nose. He wore black plate-armor and was followed by thirty spearmen, black-mustached hawks of the border wars, as acaricious and ruthless as himself. ...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon p'gs. 172, 173

“… I want to know if a Zingaran named Beloso, or he might call himself anything, is in this city. He’s tall and lean and dark like all his race...” f'rom The Hour of the Dragon pg. '186



“They toil supinely under the iron hand of Constantius, and his black-bearded Shemites ride incessantly through the fields, with whips in their hands, like the slave-drivers of the black serfs who toil in the plantations of southern Zingara.” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 27'4



Zuagir: “… Conan saw four horsemen sitting their steeds in the twilight and staring up at him. Three were lean, white-robed hawks, Zuagir tribesmen without a doubt, nomads from beyond the river. The other was dressed like them in white, girdled khalat and a flowing head-dress which, banded about the temples with a triple circlet of braided camel-hair, fell to his shoulders. But he was not a Shemite. The dusk was not so thick, nor Conan’s hawk-like sight so clouded that he could not perceive the man’s facial characteristics.

He was as tasll as Conan, though not so heavy-limbed. His shoulders were broad and his supple figure was hard as steel and whalebone. A short black beard did not altogether mask the aggressive just of his lean jaw, and grey eyes cold and piercing as a sword gleamed from the shadow of the kafieb. ...” from A Witch Shall Be Born, pg. 270

The territory of the Zuagirs is undefined, but seems to encompass the inland borderlands southwest of the Vilayet Sea, between the borders of Turan, Khauran, and the edges of the Hyborian kingdoms. In contrast, the Kozaks appear to be coastal and inland sea pirates, operating on both shores of the southern Vilayet sea.


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(Coming soon: The Gods)

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