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The Scarlet Citadel (SotM for January)


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#61 VoragoExcarnator

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:53 AM


Which,echo's Orastes from HotD,...

Tu

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THotD, Chapter 20: Out of the Dust Shall Acheron Arise
"When we employed the Heart of Ahriman to bring a dead man back to life," Orastes said abruptly, "we did not weigh the consequences of tampering in the black dust of the past. The fault is mine, and the sin. We thought only of our four ambitions, forgetting what ambitions this man might himself have. And we have loosed a demon upon the earth, a fiend inexplicable to common humanity. I have plumbed deep in evil, but there is a limit to which I, or any man of my race and age, can go. My ancestors were clean men, without any demoniacal taint; it is only I who have sunk into the pits, and I can sin only to the extent of my personal individuality. Out behind Xaltotun lie a thousand centuries of black magic and diabolism, an ancient tradition of evil. He is beyond our conception not only because he is a wizard himself, but also because he is the son of a race of wizards".

We have a bit of a contradiction here. which makes for the greater sorceror: a pure man or someone with demonic ancestry?
http://www.conan.com...400

It may actually be that pure-blooded men are the best genetic sorcerors as both Khemsa and the Master of Yimsha are human:

"You are a devil," she sobbed.

"Not I!" he laughed. "I was born on this planet, long ago. Once I was a common man, nor have I lost all human attributes in the numberless eons of my adept-ship. A human steeped in the black arts is greater than a devil. I am of human origin, but I rule demons."

from The Bloody Crown of Conan the Cimmerian, "The People of the Black Circle" pg 56



#62 Taranaich

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 08:08 PM

Not necessarily, Vorago. Xaltotun was no mere devil: he was a wizard of a race of wizards. In other words, a human steeped in the black arts, of a race steeped in the black arts. The Master of Yimsha was a man, but he clearly wasn't a "clean" man. B)

Edited by Taranaich, 12 August 2010 - 08:08 PM.

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#63 Vilalt

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:29 AM

I agree with Taranaich. I think the 'demoniacal taint' Orastes mentions is dark wizardry, not actual demon ancestry, and that Xaltotun was human, though of an ancient tradition of dark wizardry which made his power and evil beyond that attainable by non-Acheronian humanity. The taint on Acheron needn't be actual inhuman ancestry.

#64 guilalah

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:24 PM

Has anyone noticed that, when Pelias and Conan leave the citadel's dungeon, there is no mention of either of them shutting the grill behind them?

Now THERE'S grist for a pastiche!

#65 Kortoso

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:47 PM

You mean that the denizens escaped?

#66 deuce

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:52 PM

You mean that the denizens escaped?


I'd reckon Pelias took things well in hand. ;)

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#67 theagenes

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

You mean that the denizens escaped?



Like Satha? B)

(That was a poke at Deuce. :P )
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#68 guilalah

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 03:13 PM

Well, I re-read the passage.

It's ambiguous as to whether the grill was closed.

Shukeli is slumping against the open grate, holding it open. After Conan and Pelias are through, Conan here's a "sodden thud", and turns to see Shukeli laying at the foot of the grill.

Did the grill shut? We heard Shukeli's "sodden" fall, but we don't hear any 'clang', as one might expect if a steel grill had closed. The grill may be closed; or it may be that Shukeli's corpse is preventing it from closing.

#69 Kortoso

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:11 PM

Ask Schrodinger's cat. ;)

#70 Taranaich

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 05:10 AM

Has anyone noticed that, when Pelias and Conan leave the citadel's dungeon, there is no mention of either of them shutting the grill behind them?

Now THERE'S grist for a pastiche!


I think the fact that Pelias is still running around is grist for a pastiche in itself. B)

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#71 Fernando

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:40 PM

In TSC, Conan's harem is depicted as having "dark-eyed damsels of Poitain, slim black-haired wenches from Zamora, Zingara and Hyrkania, Brythunian girls with tousled yellow heads"..

Sometimes I wonder why didn't he choose women from other places and kingdoms for his pleasure-palace - Ophir, Koth, Nemedia (Conan fell in love - and probably had sex - with at least two Nemedian girls: Diana and Octavia) among other countries...

May I assume the Cimmerian king choose Poitainian, Zamoran, Zingaran, Hyrkanian and Brythunian women, not only because they were beautiful, but maybe because they might do a "good job" on the bed as well? ;)

Edited by Fernando, 28 October 2010 - 02:41 PM.


#72 Roquefort Raider

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:35 PM

In TSC, Conan's harem is depicted as having "dark-eyed damsels of Poitain, slim black-haired wenches from Zamora, Zingara and Hyrkania, Brythunian girls with tousled yellow heads"..

Sometimes I wonder why didn't he choose women from other places and kingdoms for his pleasure-palace - Ophir, Koth, Nemedia (Conan fell in love - and probably had sex - with at least two Nemedian girls: Diana and Octavia) among other countries...

May I assume the Cimmerian king choose Poitainian, Zamoran, Zingaran, Hyrkanian and Brythunian women, not only because they were beautiful, but maybe because they might do a "good job" on the bed as well? ;)


My guess, given Conan's vitality and wide-ranging interests, is that the list is simply not exhaustive. (Although he may get exhausted eventually!)

Edited by Roquefort Raider, 28 October 2010 - 04:35 PM.


#73 Taranaich

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:46 PM

In TSC, Conan's harem is depicted as having "dark-eyed damsels of Poitain, slim black-haired wenches from Zamora, Zingara and Hyrkania, Brythunian girls with tousled yellow heads"..

Sometimes I wonder why didn't he choose women from other places and kingdoms for his pleasure-palace - Ophir, Koth, Nemedia (Conan fell in love - and probably had sex - with at least two Nemedian girls: Diana and Octavia) among other countries...

May I assume the Cimmerian king choose Poitainian, Zamoran, Zingaran, Hyrkanian and Brythunian women, not only because they were beautiful, but maybe because they might do a "good job" on the bed as well? ;)


Poitanian girls are hard to get a fix on. If they're anything like Poitanian men, then they're spirited, hardy and passionate: I'd guess that exhuberence makes them appealing.

Zamorian girls, on the other hand, seem to be more famed for their earthly delights. The first thing we ever learn of Zamora are of its "dark-haired women" (in TPotS). Apparently the women of Shadizar the Wicked are infamous for their "perverse secretes" and "degeneracy." The Zamorian tarantella was described as "obscene." In that respect, Zamorian girls seem to be the best "workers" of the Hyborian Age, or at least the nastiest.

At least two of the Zingaran girls, Belesa and Sancha, are very beautiful, suggesting that Zingaran girls might be lovely too. The Zingarans are a mixed race: some of Howard's greatest beauties are of mixed heritage. "Farewell, and adieu, to you sweet Zingaran ladies..."

Hyrkanian girls appear to be the most exotic, but are they true Hyrkanian girls, or Turanian? Since it's narrative voice, I suppose the former: as far as I can tell, Howard never refers to the Turanians as Hyrkanians, only characters do, though I migh be mistaken. I'd guess Hyrkanian girls are prized for their exotic appeal.

As far as I can tell, Brythunian girls are highly prized for their beauty in the Hyborian Age: An Ophirean count spent three hundred silver pieces on one of the "better class". Then again, they're sold for only three small silver coins in Turan, alongside "tawny Stygians, dark-haired Zamorians, ebon Kushites," and "olive-skinned Shemites."

Diana's an interesting case, since it isn't clear whether Conan fell in love with her: Howard merely says that Conan "became vastly interested in her." Sure, that does sound like it could be love, but it could equally be that Conan's thinking of using her to barter her back to her kingdom for ransom. I'm ok with either (or both), though.

I can't actually recall a Kothian girl in the Conan stories, aside from the Gazalan Lissa. Hmm.

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#74 Fernando

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:09 PM

Thank you very much for your answer, Taranaich :) - and sorry for my delay... :(

However, about part of your reply...

As far as I can tell, Brythunian girls are highly prized for their beauty in the Hyborian Age: An Ophirean count spent three hundred silver pieces on one of the "better class". Then again, they're sold for only three small silver coins in Turan, alongside "tawny Stygians, dark-haired Zamorians, ebon Kushites," and "olive-skinned Shemites.


... in TSC, it's said the women of Conan's harem are "unused to brutality". I don't imagine she-slaves in Turan being well-treated - Olivia is a good example of it. Thus, I wonder how King Conan got part of his seraglio's women. As for "dark-eyed damsels of Poitain", the answer is pretty obvious, because Poitain was part of Aquilonia. But, what about the "slim black-haired wenches from Zamora, Zingara and Hyrkania" and the "Brythunian girls with tousled yellow heads". If Conan didn't buy them as she-slaves, how did they entered in the Cimmerian's harem? :unsure:

#75 Taranaich

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:12 AM

... in TSC, it's said the women of Conan's harem are "unused to brutality". I don't imagine she-slaves in Turan being well-treated - Olivia is a good example of it.


Excellent point!

Thus, I wonder how King Conan got part of his seraglio's women. As for "dark-eyed damsels of Poitain", the answer is pretty obvious, because Poitain was part of Aquilonia. But, what about the "slim black-haired wenches from Zamora, Zingara and Hyrkania" and the "Brythunian girls with tousled yellow heads". If Conan didn't buy them as she-slaves, how did they entered in the Cimmerian's harem? :unsure:


Quite a puzzler, isn't it? It could be that Conan "rescued" them before they came of age. Or perhaps they were just unused to cruelty simply because they'd been treated well by Conan, and they forgot about their past torment in the years of luxury as part of Conan's seraglio.

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#76 deuce

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:24 AM

Yothga: the "devil-flower whose seeds drifted down through the black cosmos from Yag the Accursed"(pp.101-102).


I was sorting through old DVDs and came upon Marihuana, the exploitation flick from 1936. Right below the title it reads "Weed With Roots In Hell". Almost the exact words Pelias used to describe Yothga.

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#77 theagenes

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 01:41 PM

Yothga: the "devil-flower whose seeds drifted down through the black cosmos from Yag the Accursed"(pp.101-102).


I was sorting through old DVDs and came upon Marihuana, the exploitation flick from 1936. Right below the title it reads "Weed With Roots In Hell". Almost the exact words Pelias used to describe Yothga.



:lol: That's pretty funny. I wonder if one of the writers for the film was a WT fan. Probably a coincidence but maybe not. Maybe there is a common source they were both drawing on like Yggdrasil, which also had it's roots in Hell.

Edited by theagenes, 30 January 2011 - 01:47 PM.

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#78 matsellah

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 04:40 AM

Quick help on this one; I"m confused.

Why would Trocero hang the mercenary leaders?
"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'

#79 matsellah

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:19 AM

LOL... he said 'quick.'
"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'

#80 Kortoso

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:11 AM

Good question. When they're not paid, they leave, don't they? That's why you keep them.