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Is Kane In Conan's Universe?


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#1 korak

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 04:01 AM

Finally I am reading straight through the Solomon Kane book for the first time ever, and loving it tremendously! :lol:

One weird thing that I noticed when reading Moon of Skulls- -the lost city of Negari was an ancient colony of Atlantis when the cataclysm came and Atlantis sank. In the information that the story gives about it, this Atlantis was in the typical "advanced philosopher-kings" style of civilization, and not the Atlantis of King Kull. The history in this story contradicts with the history in the Hyborian Age essay, which is used as the continuity for the Kull, Conan and Bran Mak Morn series.

This seems to indicate in my mind at least that Howard deliberately intended for Kane to be in an alternate continuity from his other series. Why, I wonder?

Do we EVER see any Picts in a Kane story?? I have not yet finished this book but hope to by this weekend. B)

#2 kansasbarbarian

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 05:28 AM

Hey Korak,
I am at work right now and don't have access to my books but I am fairly certain that Solomon Kane doesn't encounter any Picts. This brings to mind that Cormac Mac Art was in 2 "historical eras" also. In one he was friends with Bran Mak Morn and in the other Picts were hereditary enemies. So maybe he (REH) had different continuities. This is an interesting idea.

#3 Almuric

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 06:59 AM

I seem to recall that in that particular story Valusia is mentioned. Since Valusia and the Pre-Cataclysmic Age are background to the Hyborian Age, then Solomon Kane must also be part of the same universe. Maybe the later Atlanteans became more civilized in their later, post-Kull history, only to have their civilization cut short by the Cataclysm.

Something like:

"Hooray, we're civilized!" :D

"Oh, crap, that's an awfully big wave headed this way . . . " :blink:

Edited by Almuric, 02 December 2005 - 07:03 AM.

"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#4 korak

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 07:20 AM

almuric writes-I seem to recall that in that particular story Valusia is mentioned. Since Valusia and the Pre-Cataclysmic Age are background to the Hyborian Age, then Solomon Kane must also be part of the same universe. Maybe the later Atlanteans became more civilized in their later, post-Kull history, only to have their civilization cut short by the Cataclysm.


Yeah, no, I don't see how you could fit this together. In MOON OF SKULLS, Atlantis had an empire that conquered the entire world in its day, from sea to shining sea and from pole to pole. In HYBORIAN AGE, the Atlanteans barely found a small kingdom of their own on the mainland before the big wave hits. Howard still refers to them as barbarians, along with the Picts, in the next paragraph after the cataclysm.

So it doesn't fit at all, even if some names are the same, such as the gods Valka and Hotath. It would be like trying to fit Prince Namor's Atlantis with Kull's.... although that is exactly what Marvel tried to do back in the day. :unsure:

#5 Valin

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 07:13 PM

It would be like trying to fit Prince Namor's Atlantis with Kull's.... although that is exactly what Marvel tried to do back in the day.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



They did? Their theory seems all wet to me.
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#6 Almuric

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 06:39 AM

Reconciling Namor and Kull is pretty hard. Negari and Kull might be easier.

To begin with established facts, the Atlanteans did conquer part of the mainland, as outlined by Howard:

"Of of the bickerings of the kingdoms, and the wars between Valusia and Commoria, as well as the conquests by which the Atlanteans founded a kingdom on the mainland, there are more legends than accurate history."

Those last seven words leave a great deal of leeway. We just don't know exactly what happens in this timeframe. Howard later elaborates:

"The Continental kingdom of the Atlanteans likewise escaped the common ruin and to it came thousands of tribesmen in ships from their sinking land."

We don't know the level of Atlantean development at the time of their conquests, but even Stone Age peoples could build cities of some sophistication (see Catal Huyuk) and they were somewhat more advanced than that (a state of "highly advanced barbarism". Of course, Negari could have simply been a Thurian city conquered and occupied by the Atlanteans. It is possible that the conquering Atlanteans "went native" in some of their subject realms, gradually assimilating some of the civilized ways. The Mongols started out as nomadic warriors, and eventually became similar to the peoples they ruled over. Though the Atlanteans made it through the Cataclysm relatively unscathed, this would not last. In the clashes with beasts, Picts, and apemen that soon came, they lost their metalworking.

"Robbed of metals, they became workers in stone like their distant ancestors."

What might have been a rebirth of civilization was instead stillborn The people of Negari, however, stubbornly held onto their advanced ways, isolated from the worst terrors of the Post-Cataclysmic era. At no time did the Atlantean Continental Kingdom span the globe. This was simply distorted history and propaganda spread by the rulers of Negari as the millennia passed. Remember, the Pre-Cataclysmic Age was some 20,000 years (according to most sources) before Solomon Kane came to Negari. What history they had bore only a vague resemblance to what originally happened.

There could be some problems with my logic, but I think this goes a long ways towards reconciling the competing versions of Atlantis.

Thoughts?

Edited by Almuric, 04 December 2005 - 07:11 AM.

"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#7 Taranaich

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:22 PM

It's always possible a measure of historical revisionism played a part, and the "real" Atlantis has been superceded by a mythical one.

Solomon was a Puritan, right? Atlantis at the time of Kull was about 20,000 years ago. A lot of myths and legends about the Atlanteans could have evolved by that time.

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#8 Almuric

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:31 PM

Heck, I could even point out that Plato's account of Atlantis as a confederacy of ten Poseidon-worshipping kings who were fond of bulls and horses, bears no resemblance to Kull's Atlantis. The real flaw in my essay might be the fact that the semi-barbarous Atlanteans founded a kingdom that endured for long.
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#9 korak

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:07 PM

No, in order to make it work you have to write off the detailed account given by the ancient priest in MOON OF SKULLS, and I do not believe that Howard intended that at all. The account is very long, several pages in fact. Very detailed. Go reread it-- don't make me have to type it!!! please...

And here is why I think that Howard put Kane in a different universe from Conan... because of the fact that Kane IS a Sir Galahad, literally. Conan is the kind of man that Kane habitually tracks down and kills. They could not exist together in the same universe. Conan's universe is the world of brutal natural selection and Cthulhu monsters... in Kane's world, God is always in complete control of him and everything else.

#10 Almuric

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 11:11 PM

No need to type out the whole speech. But its hard to say ultimately what he intended. He contraidicted the Hyborian Age essay in "Moon of Skulls", but he also name-dropped Valusia, linking it to his pseudo-history. Perhaps he wrote in haste, going against what he previously established. Or maybe he changed his mind and decided Atlantis really was a major empire. He did plop Acheron into Hyborian history when he wrote Hour of the Dragon, so he wasn't adverse to changing his own continuity when it suited him.

But ultimately, the fans decide. I accept it as part of the overall "Howardverse", inconsistencies and all. You may choose to take it as part of an divergent reality. And that's fine.
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#11 korak

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 12:05 AM

almuric writes- He contraidicted the Hyborian Age essay in "Moon of Skulls", but he also name-dropped Valusia, linking it to his pseudo-history.


I have heard this reference to Valusia two or three times now, and I just read this tale and did not notice it. Are you sure you are not thinking of the name of the god Valka? If not, please give me the Del Rey page number if you get a moment's chance. thanks,

#12 daknight

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 01:22 AM

No, in order to make it work you have to write off the detailed account given  by the ancient priest in MOON OF SKULLS, and I do not believe that Howard intended that at all. The account is very long, several pages in fact. Very detailed. Go reread it-- don't make me have to type it!!! please...

And here is why I think that Howard put Kane in a different universe from Conan... because of the fact that Kane IS a Sir Galahad, literally. Conan is the kind of man that Kane habitually tracks down and kills. They could not exist together in the same universe. Conan's universe is the world of brutal natural selection and Cthulhu monsters... in Kane's world, God is always in complete control of him and everything else.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey Korak, with the account being given by "the ancient priest" doesn't that mean that the veracity of the statement is reliant on the speaker being correct, and/or the information that the speaker was provided with in his development/indoctrination being correct? This could be a way of reconciling such differences. Did Howard contradict himself, or did Howard's characters do so?
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#13 Almuric

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 03:47 AM

I confess, I read my library's copy of the Kane collection a while back, but haven't yet found a copy to buy so I don't have it at my fingertips. I do remember clearly being surprised by a reference to something from the Kull stories. It could have been Valka instead of Valusia, with the similar names confusing me. Sorry.
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard

#14 korak

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 12:32 AM

daknight writes- Hey Korak, with the account being given by "the ancient priest" doesn't that mean that the veracity of the statement is reliant on the speaker being correct, and/or the information that the speaker was provided with in his development/indoctrination being correct?


That is about like questioning the reliability of Yag-Kosha's story in Tower of the Elephant. In fact, it is almost the exact same situation-- Kane comes upon a pitiful creature imprisoned and tortured for a long period of time, lying on a rack, and he tells Kane the whole story like Yag-Kosha told Conan, before he dies.

I don't think Howard intended the background story to be suspect. Reread it and see what you think then. I see no textual evidence that the tale is not true-- Kane considers it true for the rest of the story, and even the omniscient narrator, REH, treats the account as true throughout the tale. If you could find even one reference in any Kane story to any unique character in the Kull, Conan, or Bran series you would have a leg to stand on. Or if you could find any reference to Kane in the Conan, Kull or Bran series.

It seems obvious that Howard simply put Kane into his own separate continuity. All the Kane monsters are traditional, not Cthulhoid-- ghosts, warlocks, vampires, zombies, harpies.

Edited by korak_the_killer, 06 December 2005 - 12:40 AM.


#15 daknight

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 01:12 AM

daknight writes- Hey Korak, with the account being given by "the ancient priest" doesn't that mean that the veracity of the statement is reliant on the speaker being correct, and/or the information that the speaker was provided with in his development/indoctrination being correct?


That is about like questioning the reliability of Yag-Kosha's story in Tower of the Elephant. In fact, it is almost the exact same situation-- Kane comes upon a pitiful creature imprisoned and tortured for a long period of time, lying on a rack, and he tells Kane the whole story like Yag-Kosha told Conan, before he dies.

I don't think Howard intended the background story to be suspect. Reread it and see what you think then. I see no textual evidence that the tale is not true-- Kane considers it true for the rest of the story, and even the omniscient narrator, REH, treats the account as true throughout the tale. If you could find even one reference in any Kane story to any unique character in the Kull, Conan, or Bran series you would have a leg to stand on. Or if you could find any reference to Kane in the Conan, Kull or Bran series.

It seems obvious that Howard simply put Kane into his own separate continuity. All the Kane monsters are traditional, not Cthulhoid-- ghosts, warlocks, vampires, zombies, harpies.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Good points I admit. It also occurs to me that while Kane had traditional monsters as foes, some stories didn't even have that -- there was one that was a straight pirate adventure I recall -- whereas there was ALWAYS some horrific element to Conan stories, and they usually were more ctholoid than not in comparison. The only Kane story that comes close is one of the Kane stories in Africa, where the origin of Kane's staff is discussed, it has some serious dark atmosphere that comes close to Lovecraftian. The difference in the kind of supernatural adversaries is perhaps your strongest point. That is more empirical, while there is at least some sliver of doubt that could be applied to personal recollections and/or interpretations of accounts. Generally, I suppose it could have been error on Howard's part -- he did re-use names of people and places that didn't mean the same from story to story. Perhaps it would be easier to imagine Kull and Conan, and perhaps Bran in one universe, while Kane, Costigan, and Borak are in another? Seperate universes that intersect and overlap at times at the whim of the writer?
Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and origin of marvels. -- Goya

#16 grim cimmerian

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 01:52 AM

I seem to recall that in that particular story Valusia is mentioned. Since Valusia and the Pre-Cataclysmic Age are background to the Hyborian Age, then Solomon Kane must also be part of the same universe. Maybe the later Atlanteans became more civilized in their later, post-Kull history, only to have their civilization cut short by the Cataclysm.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

In the thing in the Crypt by Le Sprague Decamp
it mentions kull of atlantis, king of valusia (ok not a Howard story but it is a Conan story in print) maybe this is the reference that you are seeking?

also Yag-kosha or Yogah of Yag mentions valusia, kamelia, commoria in the Tower of the Elephant by Howard

Edited by grim cimmerian, 06 December 2005 - 02:12 AM.

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#17 korak

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 04:32 AM

There is no question that the Kull stories are in the same continuity as the Conan stories... that is what the Hyborian Age is all about! :rolleyes:

#18 Darkstorm Dale

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 04:09 PM

There is no question that the Kull stories are in the same continuity as the Conan stories... that is what the Hyborian Age is all about! :rolleyes:


I'll add my two cents, for what it's worth.

THE MEN OF THE SHADOWS, a Bran Mak Morn story gives a history of the Pictish people from the Sunset Isles to Bran's time. This history talks about the Pictish wars with Lemuria prior to the great cataclysm that raised the Sunset Isles up to become the Rocky Mountains of the new Northern Continent. Interestingly enough, it says nothing of the Pict's interactions with either Valusia or the small continent of Atlantis that existed in Kull's day just prior to the cataclysm. This was almost certainly because Howard hadn't written the Kull stories at the time he wrote TMOTS.

Howard then writes the Kull stories and ties Valusia and Atlantis into his pre-cataclsmic history. Atlantis and Lemuria are submerged and become little more than small mountainous island chains. Atlantean civilization is completely destroyed and disappears, while the surviving Lemurian society struggles for a time, sending refugees to the Eastern and Western continents.

THE MEN IN THE SHADOWS then relates that the surviving Pictish race attempts to populate North America and for some reason drives a race of ape-men out of the north into South America and finally off the continent entirely. The Pictish race then settles in swampy, serpent-infested South America. While this is going on a new race of artistic giants has evolved on the remnant isles of Atlantis. This is what is occuring in the Western hemisphere during the Hyborian Age.

Eventually (during the height of the Ice Age), the Picts migrate out to the paradisical isles of Atlantis, displacing the aboriginal Atlanteans and driving them onto Europe (the Cro-magnon invasion). The Picts settle on Atlantis for a long time until religious ideology fractures Pictish society and a section of the race migrates eastward, island hopping over to north Africa, before heading north and becoming the Picts of Bran Mak Morn's age.

Now my belief is that the section of Pictish socity that stayed behind on Atlantis took that name for their own and became the far-flung Atlantean empire mentioned in THE MOON OF SKULLS and SKULLFACE. That empire was destroyed by submergence at the close of the Ice Age.

That's my take on it, anyway...
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#19 PainBrush

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 10:42 PM

What ?!? - Howard had picts in North America ? - That's just preposterous , next thing you know people'll be talking about the similarities between his picts & american indians !!! hahaha

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#20 Darkstorm Dale

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 11:31 PM

What ?!? - Howard had picts in North America ? - That's just preposterous , next thing you know people'll be talking about the similarities between his picts & american indians !!! hahaha


Read THE MEN IN THE SHADOWS. Howard had his Picts (the Roman era ones, not the Hyborian ones) in North America for a spell before migrating to Europe by way of South America and Atlantis.

Although I'm not sure how physically similar the Picts were to American Indians, since Howard stated that his Picts were a white race, albeit dark complected. Culturally could be another story I suppose... B)
"Details are all that matters; God dwells there, and you never get to see Him if you don't struggle to get them right." - Stephen Jay Gould

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The phenomenon or fact that cannot in any wise be linked with the rest of what he has observed, he does not observe.
" - Henry D. Thoreau


"There never was an explanation which didn't itself need to be explained" - Charles Fort

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you." - Oscar Wilde