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Cimmeria: Its People and Culture


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#221 docpod

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 12:57 PM

That was due to Genghis Khan's tactics. The Mongols were on multiple horses instead of chariots. They fought as units, also used things like feigned retreats, allowing a small area of escape for enemy armies to encourage panic etc. The Russians started beating the Mongols after a time. The Poles also supposedly inflicted some defeats. I wonder if the crossbow played a part?

Morgan



I was recently rereading Robert Drews THE END OF THE BRONZE AGE. He makes a good case that new weapons such as slashing-stabbing swords, round shields, and new armor took down the chariot empires. Drews mentions the Gauls being so good with hand thrown missiles and javelins that they were taking out birds in flight. The Cimmerians were probably using javelin/throwing spear type weapons instead of archery. The javelin defeated the composite bow around 1,200 B.C.
Morgan

And yet the compound bow defeated everything else around 1200 AD.


Compound bow??? that's modern with demultiplying pulleys and such!! eheh typo?
I'm sure you meant the -composite- sinew,horn 'n wood mongol bow used by Genghis' troops and his successors in the 13th century bc.


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#222 deuce

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 04:34 PM

That was due to Genghis Khan's tactics. The Mongols were on multiple horses instead of chariots. They fought as units, also used things like feigned retreats, allowing a small area of escape for enemy armies to encourage panic etc. The Russians started beating the Mongols after a time. The Poles also supposedly inflicted some defeats. I wonder if the crossbow played a part?

Morgan



The javelin defeated the composite bow around 1,200 B.C.
Morgan

And yet the compound bow defeated everything else around 1200 AD.

Howard had the Cimmerians trouncing the VERY "Mongolesque" Hyrkanians at the end of the Hyborian Age. Composite bows and steppe ponies don't work that well in heavily forested hills, especially against Cimmerians on their own ground.

Edited by deuce, 13 October 2010 - 04:34 PM.

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#223 Kortoso

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:31 PM

Drews mentions the Gauls being so good with hand thrown missiles and javelins that they were taking out birds in flight.


People have been using javelins/throwing spears since the dawn of prehistory. Does this Drews say that a sudden improvement in spear-throwing ended the age of chariots?

BTW, we're still discussing the Cimmerian People and Culture, right? ;)

#224 Taranaich

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:04 PM

Conan grinned fiercely and involuntarily touched the various scars on his clean shaven face.
- "The Phoenix on the Sword" Draft a, p9 (The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian)

Just thought I'd pop that in here. B)

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#225 docpod

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:10 AM

Drews makes the case that the barbarians or hill billies in the chariot empire armies discovered their own worth. Spear throwing hadn't changed but improvements in shields, infantry armor, and swords made the javelin runners much more dangerous. They swarmed the chariots killing the horses with javelins and then dispatched the chariot crew with new type swords.

Morgan

People have been using javelins/throwing spears since the dawn of prehistory. Does this Drews say that a sudden improvement in spear-throwing ended the age of chariots?

BTW, we're still discussing the Cimmerian People and Culture, right? ;)


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#226 Kortoso

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 05:28 PM

Thanks, Docpod!

#227 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:29 PM

ok so today at work i was listening to the bloody crown of conan , and at the end of the audio books it gives some info about REH and his life and writing of Conan, as well as some did bits into the stories before they were edited or changed to he could get them in print and get a check. one that caught me good was the early draft of the phoenix on the sword,it says the Nemmedian chronicles were made in order to shorten up the first two original chapters of that story, then it reads the chapters , and in them we really see Conans melancholy , once he started talking of cimmeria and his friend leaves the room leaving conan alone with his map, conan can not shake the grim mood that thinking of cimmeria has put him in then he see,s wine and drinks and drinks and drinks several glasses till the thoughts and mood pass.
witch has me thinking that REH may have meant for cimmeria to be a darker drearier place than we have thought.it goes on to suggest that that is why conan has such a love for life and a not stop life style,in order to keep his mind from being gloomy and sullen, and keep cimmeria from creeping back in.
in another story it gives reference to conan hiding in the woods as a child from the "beasts" that stalk the wilds.i can't recall witch story that one is from , sorry. i wonder what kind of beasts would make a cimmerian hide?
i love the idea that conan became board and decided to wonder into the world, but after learning some of these things I'm thinking if REH had ever wrote a childhood of conan we might have found out that something very dark drove conan to want to leave cimmeria or at least drive it from his mind. nothing like you killed my paw kinda thing but something that makes home a place that he never wants to go back to.
the audio goes on to say that there is a valley near were REH grew i think called dark valley, with high walls and tower trees were even in the mid day it was all shadow and that this could be in part inspiration for cimmeria. and said REH returned there for a visit before writing the poem Cimmeria.
it was a very interesting bit of learning for me as i have only read the stories as they are now, i have not been lucky enough to read his letters and notes, the the audio talks about them and give references i enjoyed.

#228 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:49 PM

ok so today at work i was listening to the bloody crown of conan , and at the end of the audio books it gives some info about REH and his life and writing of Conan, as well as some did bits into the stories before they were edited or changed to he could get them in print and get a check. one that caught me good was the early draft of the phoenix on the sword,it says the Nemmedian chronicles were made in order to shorten up the first two original chapters of that story, then it reads the chapters , and in them we really see Conans melancholy , once he started talking of cimmeria and his friend leaves the room leaving conan alone with his map, conan can not shake the grim mood that thinking of cimmeria has put him in then he see,s wine and drinks and drinks and drinks several glasses till the thoughts and mood pass.
witch has me thinking that REH may have meant for cimmeria to be a darker drearier place than we have thought.it goes on to suggest that that is why conan has such a love for life and a not stop life style,in order to keep his mind from being gloomy and sullen, and keep cimmeria from creeping back in.
in another story it gives reference to conan hiding in the woods as a child from the "beasts" that stalk the wilds.i can't recall witch story that one is from , sorry. i wonder what kind of beasts would make a cimmerian hide?
i love the idea that conan became board and decided to wonder into the world, but after learning some of these things I'm thinking if REH had ever wrote a childhood of conan we might have found out that something very dark drove conan to want to leave cimmeria or at least drive it from his mind. nothing like you killed my paw kinda thing but something that makes home a place that he never wants to go back to.
the audio goes on to say that there is a valley near were REH grew i think called dark valley, with high walls and tower trees were even in the mid day it was all shadow and that this could be in part inspiration for cimmeria. and said REH returned there for a visit before writing the poem Cimmeria.
it was a very interesting bit of learning for me as i have only read the stories as they are now, i have not been lucky enough to read his letters and notes, the the audio talks about them and give references i enjoyed.


I think this is what you were referring to, however he definitely is not hiding:

"I saw myself in a pantherskin loin-clout, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts." - The Hour of the Dragon

Life in Cimmeria is dangerous but probably mostly from the incessant waring, besides the beasts and crags.

“He knew, if the others were too stupid to know, the steel-trap muscles and blinding quickness of men raised beyond civilization’s frontiers where life was a continual battle for existence, and he had no desire to loose the barbaric frenzy of the Cimmerian if it could be avoided.” –The God in the Bowl

"In the north there was incessant bickering along the Cimmerian borders between the black-haired warriors and the Nordheimr; and the Æsir, between wars with the Vanir, assailed Hyperborea and pushed back the frontier, destroying city after city. The Cimmerians also fought the Picts and Bossonians impartially, and several times raided into Aquilonia itself, but their wars were less invasions than mere plundering forays." -REH in The Hyborian Age

For those who want to see what Gin-Wulf is talking about here are some of the versions of the descriptions of Cimmeria:

“A gloomier land never existed on earth. It is all of hills, heavily wooded, and the trees are strangely dusky, so that even by day all the land looks dark and menacing. As far as a man may see his eye rests on the endless vista of hills beyond hills, growing darker and darker in the distance. Clouds hang always among those hills; the skies are nearly always grey and over-cast. Winds blow sharp and cold, driving rain of sleet or snow, and moan drearily among the passes and down the valleys. There is little mirth in that land, and men grow moody and strange.”–Conan describes his homeland in The Phoenix on the Sword Unpublished draft

“A gloomier land never existed on earth. It is all of hills, heavily wooded, and the trees are strangely dusky, so that even by day all the land looks dark and menacing. As far as a man may see his eye rests on the endless vistas of hills beyond hills, growing darker and darker in the distance. Clouds hang always among those hills; the skies are nearly always gray. Winds blow sharp and cold, driving rain or sleet or snow before them, and moan drearily among the passes and down the valleys. There is little mirth in that land.” – The Phoenix on the Sword First Submitted Draft

"A gloomier land never was – all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys.” - The Phoenix on the Sword

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#229 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 10:22 PM

no there is one passage in either beyond the black river, or another one, I'm trying to find the line, were he says he laid still on the ground and sometimes men passed right in from of him , as he laid still .then gives mention of how thats was same as when he use to do it to the wild beasts in cimmeria.
it was one were he was on the run , and some one asked him how they didn't find him.
i shall keep looking tho :)

#230 Taranaich

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:21 AM

witch has me thinking that REH may have meant for cimmeria to be a darker drearier place than we have thought.it goes on to suggest that that is why conan has such a love for life and a not stop life style,in order to keep his mind from being gloomy and sullen, and keep cimmeria from creeping back in.


Reading the draft of "The Phoenix on the Sword," I get that distinct impression too.

in another story it gives reference to conan hiding in the woods as a child from the "beasts" that stalk the wilds.i can't recall witch story that one is from , sorry. i wonder what kind of beasts would make a cimmerian hide?


Sounds like you might be referring to these parts:

“… there is something hidden, some undercurrent of which we are not aware. I sense it as in my youth I sensed the tiger hidden in the tall grass.”
– “The Phoenix on the Sword”

But the instincts of the wild were there, that had caused him in his childhood to lie hidden and silent while wild beasts prowled about his covert.
The Hour of the Dragon

The "tiger hidden in the tall grass" is obviously a carry-over from "By This Axe I Rule," but tigers are by no means restricted to warmer climates.

I'm still wondering what Howard meant by "mountain-beasts." Howard wasn't shy of using more descriptive terms for the fauna of Cimmeria - wolves, tigers, panthers, hawks - but "mountain-beasts" seems strangely vague. Either he's merely referring to the mountain fauna as a whole, akin to saying "jungle-beasts" or "forest-beasts," or something more sinister.

Edited by Taranaich, 15 September 2011 - 07:27 AM.

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#231 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 11:42 AM

witch has me thinking that REH may have meant for cimmeria to be a darker drearier place than we have thought.it goes on to suggest that that is why conan has such a love for life and a not stop life style,in order to keep his mind from being gloomy and sullen, and keep cimmeria from creeping back in.


Reading the draft of "The Phoenix on the Sword," I get that distinct impression too.

in another story it gives reference to conan hiding in the woods as a child from the "beasts" that stalk the wilds.i can't recall witch story that one is from , sorry. i wonder what kind of beasts would make a cimmerian hide?


Sounds like you might be referring to these parts:

“… there is something hidden, some undercurrent of which we are not aware. I sense it as in my youth I sensed the tiger hidden in the tall grass.”
– “The Phoenix on the Sword”

But the instincts of the wild were there, that had caused him in his childhood to lie hidden and silent while wild beasts prowled about his covert.
The Hour of the Dragon

The "tiger hidden in the tall grass" is obviously a carry-over from "By This Axe I Rule," but tigers are by no means restricted to warmer climates.

I'm still wondering what Howard meant by "mountain-beasts." Howard wasn't shy of using more descriptive terms for the fauna of Cimmeria - wolves, tigers, panthers, hawks - but "mountain-beasts" seems strangely vague. Either he's merely referring to the mountain fauna as a whole, akin to saying "jungle-beasts" or "forest-beasts," or something more sinister.

yes that is the line i was looking for. i had the thoughts to that maybe it was just general reference to wild mountain animals, but , also in the back of my mind the darker pre history kinda of wild beasts come to popping up into imagination. but that draft does make me wonder or question why conan left home to begin with. i am filled with wonder at to what REH would have wrote of conans childhood .

#232 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 04:10 PM


witch has me thinking that REH may have meant for cimmeria to be a darker drearier place than we have thought.it goes on to suggest that that is why conan has such a love for life and a not stop life style,in order to keep his mind from being gloomy and sullen, and keep cimmeria from creeping back in.


Reading the draft of "The Phoenix on the Sword," I get that distinct impression too.

in another story it gives reference to conan hiding in the woods as a child from the "beasts" that stalk the wilds.i can't recall witch story that one is from , sorry. i wonder what kind of beasts would make a cimmerian hide?


Sounds like you might be referring to these parts:

“… there is something hidden, some undercurrent of which we are not aware. I sense it as in my youth I sensed the tiger hidden in the tall grass.”
– “The Phoenix on the Sword”

But the instincts of the wild were there, that had caused him in his childhood to lie hidden and silent while wild beasts prowled about his covert.
The Hour of the Dragon

The "tiger hidden in the tall grass" is obviously a carry-over from "By This Axe I Rule," but tigers are by no means restricted to warmer climates.

I'm still wondering what Howard meant by "mountain-beasts." Howard wasn't shy of using more descriptive terms for the fauna of Cimmeria - wolves, tigers, panthers, hawks - but "mountain-beasts" seems strangely vague. Either he's merely referring to the mountain fauna as a whole, akin to saying "jungle-beasts" or "forest-beasts," or something more sinister.

yes that is the line i was looking for. i had the thoughts to that maybe it was just general reference to wild mountain animals, but , also in the back of my mind the darker pre history kinda of wild beasts come to popping up into imagination. but that draft does make me wonder or question why conan left home to begin with. i am filled with wonder at to what REH would have wrote of conans childhood .


Thanks Taranaich for bailing me out with the proper quotes.

Gin-Wulf I think the reason Conan left home to begin with was wander-lust inspired by his grandfather's stories.

"The country claimed by and roved over by his clan lay in the northwest of Cimmeria, but Conan was of mixed blood, although a purebred Cimmerian. His grandfather was a member of a southern tribe who had fled from his own people because of a blood-feud and after long wanderings, eventually taken refuge with the people of the north." - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

“He had taken part in many raids into the Hyborian nations in his youth, before his flight, and perhaps it was the tales he told of those softer countries which roused in Conan, as a child, a desire to see them.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#233 Kortoso

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:58 PM

"Roved over" - something I had overlooked, and of course, an example of how we squeeze the most minute drops of juice from these few words. :)

And how could they be "mountain beasts" if Cimmeria was all hills? ;)

#234 Taranaich

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 06:12 PM

There are references to Cimmerian mountains elsewhere, but it doesn't necessarily make Cimmeria into Afghanistan. B)

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#235 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:34 PM

"Roved over" - something I had overlooked, and of course, an example of how we squeeze the most minute drops of juice from these few words. :)

And how could they be "mountain beasts" if Cimmeria was all hills? ;)


Even though Howard used the word "hills" predominately in describing Cimmeria, he also mentions mountains.

"The ocean flowed around the mountains of western Cimmeria to form the North Sea; these mountains became the islands later known as England, Scotland and Ireland, and the waves rolled over what had been the Pictish wilderness and the Bossonian marches." - REH in The Hyborian Age

"Oh, tiger of the North, you are cold as the snowy mountains which bred you."
-Bêlit to Conan in Queen of the Black Coast

Conan recounting a dream where he saw all the paths he had followed to become a king including his birth on a battlefield and his youth killing beasts of the Cimmerian mountains.

"I saw myself in a pantherskin loin-clout, throwing my spear at the mountain beasts." - The Hour of the Dragon


The Cimmerian deity Crom lives on a mountain, presumably in Cimmeria.

Crom was their chief, and he lived on a great mountain, whence he sent forth dooms and death.
- The Tower of the Elephant

Their chief is Crom. He dwells on a great mountain.
- Queen of the Black Coast


To me Howard's use of "hills" is synonymous with "mountains" as in his descriptions of the Himelian mountains in The People of the Black Circle .

"But I was a war-chief of the Afghulis who live in the Himelian mountains above the borders of Vendhya.”
– Red Nails

"A BARBARIAN FROM THE HILLS" - Chapter heading in The People of the Black Circle

"He was dressed like a Hillman, but his dark features and blazing blue eyes did not match his garb. Chunder Shan had never seen a man like him; he was not an Easterner, but some barbarian from the West. But his aspect was as untamed and formidable as any of the hairy tribesman who haunt the hills of Ghulistan.” – People of the Black Circle

"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." – People of the Black Circle

She glanced at the stark outlines of the mountains all about them and shuddered. – People of the Black Circle

Far below them the mountain slopes fell away into a purple haze of distance. The sun glittered on snow-clad peaks on either hand. - People of the Black Circle

Chunder Shan describing the Black Seers of Mount Yimsha in the Himelians.

"They are black devils, haunting the uninhabited hills beyond the Zhaibar." – People of the Black Circle

In the distant east, cut off from the rest of the world by the heaving up of gigantic mountains and the forming of a chain of vast lakes, the Lemurians are toiling as slaves of their ancient masters. - REH in The Hyborian Age


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 15 September 2011 - 07:34 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#236 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:12 PM

oh i agree that in canon now conan just left home from wonder lust , but from the PotS early draft , the way conan had to keep drinking , to get cimmeria and it gloom out of his mind, i think the original idea of why he left home may be more in-depth , even tho we will never know, and i am happy with him just deciding to adventure .
it just seems like conan was portrayed as some one who needs to forget something that is haunting him from his homeland. it does seem all that was dropped after the rewrite but it is still intriguing to me.

#237 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

oh i agree that in canon now conan just left home from wonder lust , but from the PotS early draft , the way conan had to keep drinking , to get cimmeria and it gloom out of his mind, i think the original idea of why he left home may be more in-depth , even tho we will never know, and i am happy with him just deciding to adventure .
it just seems like conan was portrayed as some one who needs to forget something that is haunting him from his homeland. it does seem all that was dropped after the rewrite but it is still intriguing to me.


Indeed intriguing, perhaps like his grandfather he had a blood-feud too that alienated him from his people. If you would like the pastiche version of why he left check out John Maddox Roberts' Conan the Valorous one of the better pastiches out there. Shocking, me recommending a pastiche?! I have to go lay down.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#238 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:24 PM

lol thank you , ill look into that story

#239 Kortoso

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:15 AM

As I recall, Amra, there are a couple of camps regarding the Cimmerian landscape: the "rolling hills, as in West Texas" people and the "hills are shorthand for mountains" people.

I see that you and I are of the second camp, but there are plenty who belong to the first camp, and we may have to agree to disagree. (Although you and I know that we're right.) ;)



#240 Gin-Wulf

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 01:11 AM

Cimmeria was big, could it not have hills and mountains both with thick forests ? having a little bit of both across the landscape .