The Thurian Age is a specific epoch in the fictional timeline used by Robert E. Howard in his Kull stories. It predates the Hyborian Age of the Conan the Barbarian stories and is known to them as the Pre-Cataclysmic Age.The main continent is called Thuria, although smaller continents such as Atlantis and an unnamed eastern continent exist, as do several island chains. Most of the world is unexplored wilderness inhabited by "scattered clans and tribes of primitive savages." The boundary between the two ages is marked by the "Great Cataclysm," which might have taken place as early as ca. 35,000 to 40,000 B.C, or as recently as 18,000 B.C. depending on the sources considered. When Robert E. Howard began to chronicle the adventures of Conan the Cimmerian, in the early 1930s, he prepared a fictional history of the Hyborian Age which he had created. That "history" dealt not only with the period during and after Conan's life, but also with events some eight thousand years earlier, during the Thurian civilization which produced King Kull, an exiled warrior from Atlantis, in the days before his continent sank into the surging seas.
A great cataclysm ends the Thurian Age some time after the Kull stories. Several countries sink into the sea, others rise from it, and the rest is devastated by earthquakes or volcanoes. Civilization is destroyed and the survivors attempt to build a new culture but warfare and a lesser cataclysm occur, creating the Vilayet Sea while destroying any last remnants of Thurian society.
Six kingdoms dominate the main continent of Thuria: Valusia, Kamelia, Commoria, Grondar, Thule, and Verulia. All share a common language and possibly a common origin. East of these kingdoms is a vast desert. The six kingdoms are all part of the "Seven Empires", although the seventh member is never named.
Following the Cataclysm, one of the kingdoms (not Valusia), become the Zhemri people who eventually form the land of Zamora (the people of which, in turn, eventually become the Romani people).
This section needs expansionwith: a description of Commoria. You can help by adding to it.(July 2007)
They are described as having wars with Valusia,but this kingdom doesn't appear in the Kull stories.
Note that "Fars" is the Persian name of Persia proper. This is arguably a precursor to Iranistan in Conan's days.
An ancient kingdom further east of the Thurian continent, bordering a vast desert. Its people are less cultured than those of the other kingdoms.
In an untitled draft in Kull: Exile of Atlantis, Grondar is described as being east of Zarfhaana, having a wasteland, and occasionally sending out raiders into the savannah which separates it from its western neighbors. Thurania is a named target of these raids. The ancestors of the Grondarans arivedr from somewhere unknown and defeated an ancient civilization who inhabited the land now known as Grondar (the remains of the original inhabitants' cities lie in a savannah between Grondar and the western kingdoms). It's hinted that Grondar had no cities similar to those of the west.
This section needs expansionwith: a description of Kamelia. You can help by adding to it.(July 2007)
This section needs expansionwith: a description of Thule. You can help by adding to it.(July 2007)
The name Thule comes from Classical mythology (or pseudo-geography). First described by Greek explorer Pytheas, it's a mysterious land to the north. It has been associated with Scandinavia and Iceland.
The kingdom furthest to the west of the Thurian continent.This kingdom was created and initially ruled by the Serpent Men, until they were overthrown by their human slaves. They attempted to control the new human kingdom of Valusia from behind the scenes, using illusion-based magic, when mankind's memories of their past encounters faded. However, the Serpent Men were again defeated in a secret war. Finally, they created a religion, the Snake Cult, to continue their work and almost succeeded. Their power was, however, eventually destroyed by Kull, an Atlantean barbarian who had gained the crown of Valusia by force.
Kull notes, in The Shadow Kingdom , how the Valusia of his time is a fading and degenerate country, "living mostly in dreams of bygone glory, but still a mighty land and the greatest of the Seven Empires". The kingdom is already ancient by his standards: "The hills of Atlantis and Mu were isles of the sea when Valusia was young."
There are three main barbarian societies in the Thurian Age.
A small continent to the west of Thuria and east of the Pictish Islands. They have colonies on Thuria itself.
Atlantis is an old enemy of the "Seven Empires" (see Dominant Kingdoms) of Thuria and has an even more ingrained enmity of the Picts.
Following a cataclysm which destroyed the Thurian Age, Atlantis sinks beneath the sea. The survivors on the Thurian continent are forced back into the Stone Age by lack of resources, but become skilled in this medium and develop an artistic culture. They soon enter a war with the surviving Picts and lost to their superior numbers or Stone Age military technology. The survivors of the war devolve back into apes. They eventually re-evolve into humans and became the Cimmerians of the Hyborian Age. In turn, the Cimmerians become the Celts, Gaels, and Scythians of modern history.
Lemuria is a chain of large islands east of Thuria.
Following the cataclysm which ended the Thurian age, these islands sank into the sea. The surviving Lemurians escaped into the east coast of the Thurian continent and were enslaved by an unnamed white-skinned human race coming from a mysterious continent in the eastern ocean (Mu?). After enduring more than a thousand years of brutal slavery, the Lemurians were reduced to a state of savagery. The Lemurians eventually rose up and destroyed their masters, the survivors of whom escaped to the south of Thuria and created the kingdom of Stygia.
The Lemurians eventually became the Hyrkanians of the Hyborian Age and formed the country of Turan on the edge of the Vilayet Sea. The Hyrkanians played a part in destroying a Hyborian civilization during an unspecified era after the Conan stories. The stories assert they eventually became the Tatars, Huns, Mongols, and Turks of the modern age.
A chain of islands in the far west of Thuria and Atlantis. Due to raiding expeditions, they have colonies on Thuria itself. The Picts have an ancient feud with the Atlanteans.
After the cataclysm, the Pictish Islands rose to form the mountains of what would be the Americas. The Picts of the islands would become the Native Americans. The Picts of Thuria fell further into barbarism but remained stable, neither evolving or devolving as other societies had. At first their society held, despite reverting to the stone age, but a war with the surviving Atlanteans halted any advancement they would have made. They would become the savage Picts of the Pictish Wilderness on the west coast of the Hyborian kingdoms in the Conan the Barbarian storiesand the more degenerate Picts of Britain in the Bran Mak Morn stories and real history. The Picts of Howard resemble the Native Americans of B-Films and books.
Another mysterious kingdom lies on the east coast of the Thurian continent. They have some contact with Lemuria but come from another continent entirely to the east of the Lemurian islands.
The Kull novel The Shadow Kingdom refers in passing to two other countries, Mu and Kaa-u.Mu sinks during a cataclysm and its mountains become the islands of the South Seas.
An untitled draft in the "Kull of Atlantis" stories mentions three other nations: Farsun (an enemy of Thurania, located west of Valusia), Zarfhaana (east of Valusia, the Camoonian Desert separates the two and there is a sea to the north of Zarfhaana), and Thurania (south of Zarfhaana, enemy of Farsun)."Fars" is the Persian name of Persia proper, meaning much the same as "Iran". Arguably, Farsun is a precursor to Iranistan in Conan's days.
There are other "equally civilized" but non-human kingdoms. The citizens were of one or more older, pre-human races. One such mysterious pre-human civilization exists at the south of Thuria, this country is, at first, untouched by the Cataclysm. When the oppressors of the Lemurians are overthrown, however, the survivors escape to this region and destroy it in turn, creating the new country of Stygia.
Conan the Barbarian is a fictional sword and sorcery hero who originated in pulp magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films, television programs, video games, role-playing games, and other media. The character was created by writer Robert E. Howard in 1932 for a series of fantasy stories published in Weird Tales magazine.
The Hyborian Age is a fictional period of Earth's history within the artificial mythology created by Robert E. Howard, serving as the setting for the sword and sorcery tales of Conan the Barbarian.
Kull of Atlantis or Kull the Conqueror is a fictional character created by writer Robert E. Howard. The character was more introspective than Howard's subsequent creation, Conan the Barbarian, whose first appearance was in a re-write of a rejected Kull story.
Cimmeria is a fictional land of barbarians in the Hyborian Age, and the homeland of Conan the Barbarian in the works of Robert E. Howard. Howard originally described Cimmeria in a poem by that name and went on later to expand the idea into book form. Although the rest is Howard's creation, the original name and description of Cimmeria are from Homer's Odyssey, Book 11, lines 12-18.
Kull the Conqueror is a 1997 fantasy film about the Robert E. Howard character Kull starring Kevin Sorbo. It is a film adaptation of Howard's Conan novel The Hour of the Dragon, with the protagonist changed to the author's other barbarian hero Kull. The storyline also bears similarities to two other Howard stories, the Kull story "By This Axe I Rule!" and the Conan story "The Phoenix on the Sword", which was actually a rewrite of the Kull story.
Bran Mak Morn is a hero of five pulp fiction short stories by Robert E. Howard. In the stories, most of which were first published in Weird Tales, Bran is the last king of Howard's romanticized version of the tribal race of Picts.
"The Black Stranger" is a fantasy short story by American writer Robert E. Howard, one of his works featuring the sword & sorcery hero Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in the 1930s, but not published in his lifetime. When the original Conan version of his story failed to find a publisher, Howard rewrote "The Black Stranger" into a piratical Terence Vulmea story entitled "Swords of the Red Brotherhood".
"The Hyborian Age" is an essay by Robert E. Howard pertaining to the Hyborian Age, the fictional setting of his stories about Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in the 1930s but not published during Howard's lifetime. Its purpose was to maintain consistency within his fictional setting.
Thulsa Doom is a fictional character first appearing in the Kull short story "Delcardes' Cat" by Robert E. Howard. He has since appeared in comic books and film as the nemesis of Kull and, later, one of Howard's other creations, Conan the Barbarian. Thulsa Doom is the prototype for many of the future undead evil wizards, such as Tsotha-Lanti and Kathulos ; other living or revenant Howardian practitioners of magic such as Thoth Amon, Thugra Khotan, Kathulos, and Xaltotun bear some psychological similarities to Thulsa Doom even if their actual appearance is vastly different.
Aquilonia is a fictional country created by Robert E. Howard for the fictional character Conan the Barbarian, who eventually becomes its king. The mythical country existed during the Hyborian Age. Howard was precise concerning the geographic relationships between his fictional world and the real world, placing it in modern France and southern Britain, but left the origins of Aquilonia vague. In the real world, it was an ancient battle, and a Roman city. See Aquilonia. Stygia (Egypt) was far to the south in the Hyborian age.
Many writers have been drawn to the idea of the Picts and created fictional stories and mythology about them in the absence of much real data. This romanticised view tends to portray them as sometimes wearing the modern Kilt or as noble savages, much as the view of Europeans on Native Americans in the 18th century.
The Coming of Conan is a collection of eight fantasy short stories by American writer Robert E. Howard, featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Kull and Conan the Barbarian, together with the first part of his pseudo-history of the "Hyborian Age" in which the Conan tales were set. It was first published in hardcover in the United States by Gnome Press in 1953 and by Boardman Books in the United Kingdom in 1954. The stories originally appeared in the 1930s in the fantasy magazine Weird Tales. The collection never saw publication in paperback; instead, its component stories were split up and distributed among other "Kull" and "Conan" collections.
"The Shadow Kingdom" is a fantasy short story by American writer Robert E. Howard, the first of his Kull stories, set in his fictional Thurian Age. It was first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in August 1929.
A list of prose works by Robert E. Howard. The works are sorted by genre, by series and then alphabetically. Untitled works and fragments are listed separately by their opening line.
"Exile of Atlantis" is a short story by Robert E. Howard and is the first story written by Howard to feature his creation Kull, set in his fictional Thurian Age.
Serpent Men are a fictional race created by Robert E. Howard for his King Kull tales. They first appeared in "The Shadow Kingdom", published in Weird Tales in August 1929.
Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical "lost land" variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is said in Tamil legend to have been civilised for over 20,000 years, with its population speaking Tamil. The concept of Lemuria has been rendered obsolete by modern understanding of plate tectonics. However, it has still been used as a location and inspiration in a wide range of novels, television shows, films and music.
The Acheron Empire is a fictional kingdom found within the world of Robert E. Howard's Hyborian Age. It was first mentioned in the Conan the Barbarian novel The Hour of the Dragon, as an ancient realm ruled by sorcerers which collapsed before the timespan of the Conan stories. The name comes from Acheron, a river of the underworld in Greek mythology.
Robert E. Howard's Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, or simply Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, is a sword and sorcery British pen-and-paper role-playing game set in the world of Conan the Barbarian, the fictional Hyborian Age. Both the character and the setting were first imagined by American author Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) as of 1932 and until his suicide in 1936. Howard's original literary work has since spawned a vast franchise of novels, comic books, films, video games, board games, role-playing games, etc. Following this tradition, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of is the third officially licensed Conan role-playing game. The two precedent games were Conan Role-Playing Game (1985-1988) and Conan: The Roleplaying Game (2004-2010), although there also had been supplements for independent generic systems, like GURPS Conan (1988-1989).
Thongor at the End of Time is a fantasy novel by American writer Lin Carter, the fifth book of his Thongor series set on the mythical continent of Lemuria. It was first published in paperback by Paperback Library in October 1968, and reissued by Warner Books in December 1978. The first British edition was published in paperback by Tandem in July 1970, and reprinted in March 1973. The book has been translated into Japanese and French.