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Located on the Eastern flank of Great Western Powers, Zamora serves as a gateway into the East and also as a barrier, due to the mountain ranges surrounding the west, north, and east with keep this ancient civilization shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Zamora shares a border with Brythunia in the north, Corinthia to the west, and Koth in the south. To the east, held in check more by a fear of Zamora’s sorcerers than the nearby mountain range, are the Turanian steppes.

Despite the fearsome climate — dry and arid, rimmed with foreboding mountains and cliffs — this kingdom is moderately populated, with most of the people in or around two major cities. These are Arejun the Accursed and Shadizar the Wicked. A third city, Yezud, is much smaller in comparison but steeped in mystery and rumor. Between these cities are a number of villages or farms serving as rest stops for the travelers, pilgrims, and merchants who crisscross Zamora on their way to better fortunes and nicer climes.

Geography[]

Zamora lies at the edge of the western Hyborian world, with Corinthia on its western fringe and wealthy Turan in the east. It also shares borders with Brythunia in the north and Koth to the south.

Major Cities[]

At one point in the development of Zamora, this was considered a sacred land, and the city of Shadizar was founded as a gathering place for the various temples and their followers. During the two occupations of Zamora, as prayers for deliverance went unanswered, many turned away from the old gods and embraced a more licentious lifestyle which ensured their survival.

Arejun the Accursed and Shadizar the Wicked benefit from their close proximity with the Road of Kings. Because of this, these are major centers of commerce and recreation, respectively. Yezud is far enough away from the Road of Kings that getting there requires intention on the part of the traveler. Thanks to the Spider-God cult, there is no shortage of pilgrims making their regular journey. Yezud also serves as an out-of-the-way meeting place for people who prefer to do their business away from prying eyes.

Villages or trading posts dot the rugged trails leading off and away from the Road of Kings and the ancient roads, now all-but-obliterated by the desert winds. Many of the farms nestle between the hills, or among the mountains and cliffs, have a better chance to catch the rare rainfall.

L. Sprague de Camp, in his re-written Conan story "The Hall of the Dead", adapted from an unfinished draft by Howard, introduced a fourth Zamorian city: Larsha. For many years, Larsha (which is in the southeast of the country) was synonymous with the City of Thieves. However, Dale Rippke, using evidence from The Tower of the Elephant, argues convincingly that Howard's City of Thieves resides near the western border of Zamora where the Road of Kings enters Corinthia, placing the city all the way across Zamora from Arenjun.

History and politics[]

Zamorians can trace their lineage back to the Thurian Age as descendants of the Zhemri people, about which nothing is known except for what may be mirrored in Zamorian culture. Zamora has twice been under the control of foreign invaders, and as a people, they vowed there would never be a third instance. To this end, Zamora developed a number of covert and overt countermeasures against foreign occupants. Some think this is the beginning of Zamora’s culture of vice, in particular that of thieves in Zamora the Accursed and the assassins in Shadizar the Wicked.

Zamora is politically neutral to Brythunia, and friendlier with Corinthia and Nemedia, thanks to the Road of Kings, a major trade route that runs through those countries. Publicly, Zamora is cordial to Koth, but secretly they are close allies. Koth has designs on the southern portion of Zamora, and Zamora relies on a close relationship with Koth to better know when Koth intends to disregard their alliance and attack.

To this day, Zamorians despise their previous conquerors: the Hyrkanians and, more recently, the Turanians.

Zamorians are dark-complexioned with dark brown or black hair. The men are barrel-chested and the women voluptuous. They are physically similar to Zingarans, with whom they may share their lineage. Despite their turbulent history, Zamorians are happy and positive as a rule, to the point of being over-confident and boastful.

It seems like, for a couple of centuries, much of the fate of Zamora was dominated by the evil sorcerer Yara. Even the King of Zamora reportedly kept himself silent at all times, because of his fear towards Yara.[1]

During the rise of Aquilonia, Zamora entered an alliance (along with Brythunia and Koth) led by Nemedia, aiming to crush the greedy Aquilonia. However, this alliance coincided with a Hyrkanian invasion. Riders from Turan swept over Zamora. Aquilonia reconquered Zamora and placed soldiers to anticipate more invasions, while also keeping the Zamorians subjected. This made no difference to the Zamorians, as Aquilonian or Hyrkanian mastery was the same for them. The borders of Zamora saw three more invasion attempts.

When the Picts invaded Aquilonia, legions stationed in Zamora were recalled to fight the invaders. This was what the Hyrkanians waited for. After a few thrusts, Zamora fell easy prey and its largest city became the capital for the Hyrkanian kings. Fleeing Zingarans were settled in Zamora as subjects.

When the Hyrkanian empire was destroyed by the Nordic drift, they took along Zingarans and Zamorians to the east with them, where they were settled together forming a mixed race. Millennia later they would become the Romani people.[2]

During the time of Conan, Zamora is ruled by King Hadranor.

Population and culture[]

Robert E. Howard used the adjective Zamorian instead of Zamoran for anything related to Zamora.

Zamorians are dark-skinned, being from a race more ancient than the Hyborians. Zamorian women had been captured by Hyperborea as slaves, contributing to their mixed blood of the Hyperboreans. Zamorians have been intermarried with eastern Brythunians.[3]

The strange and mysterious Zamorians have a reputation for deviousness and thievery.[1] Although Zamora has a rich culture and centres of higher learning, it is the dark alleys and seedy taverns that give it such a reputation.

It's possible they are based on Tamil people or Moors. They seem more akin to darker South Asians than Africans and have a clearly Dravidian culture. What is known is that they are strangely out of place in the West and possibly a migrant of Eastern origins. They may also be an older people who simply predates the emergence of Hyborian and other migrations into the high West. Zamorians might be the last of a truly ancient race or an early offshoot of Stygian-like people.

Sample Names[]

Male[]

Abdullah, Ashari, Darvish, Dharsin, Fatari, Hamal, Hamid, Hazir, Hoonam, Ibrahim, Kameen, Malir, Maraphis, Pelagon, Razavi, Rubihir, Sakara, Salabus, Sargis, Sorna Khan, Tolmos, Xanthes, Zafar, Zakosa Jagar, Zamehr

Female[]

Adula, Amestris, Banu, Behram, Cawasi, Cyra, Fakkia, Farim, Govadia, Izdihar, Javadi, Kabellah, Kadin Boman Ravak, Lissa, Namerian, Natara, Nuriya, Rahna, Sadiya, Shapurana, Shendi, Tanit, Veena Commis, Yamina

Stories set in Zamora[]

Characters from Zamora[]

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References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tower of the Elephant
  2. Template:THA
  3. Template:THA
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