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"The Moon of Skulls":REH "Story of the Month"


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#1 deuce

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 02:40 AM

In the middle of a ERB/JRRT bash here at the bungalow. Just gonna say that this "SotM" is one of Howard's best from the 20s. More comments as time becomes available. Feel free to post your own thoughts on this REH classic. :)


NOTE: SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW

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#2 Sermon Bath

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 01:21 AM

the last few pages were incredible
I don't worry...I have to much on my mind

#3 nabonidus11

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 03:29 PM

This is one has it all. Solomon Kane is the Paladin, the white knight, rescuing the damsel. All the lost city adventure elements are there; the forgotten city, battles with the natives and a scary animal, similar to ERB and others. But with flair REH turns many of the elements into some thing more than a standard tale. Legends of Atlantis, the Vampire Queen and final collapse scenes are incredible.

The Solomon Kane stories were the first stories by REH I read and they will always be my favorites.
'Men are fools, as always," grunted Conan. "If the plague struck all who sinned, then by Crom, there wouldn't be enough left to count the living!..."

#4 deuce

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 05:11 AM

Hey Nabonidus! Good to see you around! I should've gotten back to this topic earlier. Let's get some musings out of the way before I (hopefully) do my interminable post of annotations... ;)

This was the second SK yarn I ever read. The first one was The Footfalls Within, from The Second Book of Robert E. Howard (Zebra). Fritz Leiber's essay (reprinted in The Dark Barbarian), that talked about how REH painted the hero (SK) ice-blue, the villains black and a broad swath of bloody red in between? THAT set me up for Moon of Skulls.

Edgar Rice Burroughs did, too. I was eight years old when I read Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. I LOVED it. The story involved a tall, black-haired, grey-eyed hero of English descent. The hero was a wanderer, with (it turned out) a natural affinity for swordplay and an attraction to the "Dark Continent". The hero comes upon an Atlantean outpost in a hidden corner of Africa. He stumbles into tunnels unbeknownst to the inhabitants of the city. The priestess-queen of the city finds him irresistibly attractive. The hero spurns her love. Her degenerate warrior-priests want to kill him. The hero must save a fellow "outsider" from Atlantean human sacrifice.

Sound familiar? Sure it does. :) REH had read "Jewels" just as sure as ERB had read Haggard's She. "La" (the name of the queen in "Jewels"), in Spanish, means "she", BTW. ERB had worked his own magic and rung his own changes on the idea of a lost city/beautiful queen. REH did the same. Burroughs' tale was sadly tragic (though still a rip-roarin' adventure). Howard's yarn was bloody insanity. Personally, I think it was his first treatment of the theme that saw full fruition in Red Nails. You have the sadistic "Vampire Queen" (though Nakari doesn't seem very vampiric). You have the blonde beauty from the North to be sacrificed by said queen on the altar. You have the old lurker who sends doom upon his tormentors. You have the degenerates in a city that they didn't build who go totally ape$h!t at the finale of the story. You've got the shattering of a "magical" skull in both yarns. Hell, Negari even appears to be located within a few hundred miles of Xuchotl (who WERE the "legendary brown people" referred to in Red Nails?).

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#5 deuce

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 07:33 AM

As I promised Fernando, here are the belated annotations for The Moon of Skulls from The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane (Del Rey) Posted Image

Chapter I

"the great crag": It was "the first outpost of the grim foothills" toward which Solomon Kane ("SK" henceforth) was making his way. There's a problem, however. There was a "great black shadow" that "loomed" before SK, cast by "the red flame of the sunset". (p.99) Edit: Not real sure what problem I saw there. A serious misreading. There are "fingerholds drilled into the solid rock" of the crag. (p.100)

Solomon Kane: had journeyed "a thousand miles" to reach the foothills of Negari. (p.100) Evidently, "the bones on many a battlefield could testify" to the bravery of SK. (p.101)
Negari: Its foothills lay in a "tropical" latitude and "jungle" lapped about them. (p.101) The plateau that fronted Negari was swathed in "tall upland grass". (p.102)
"a thousand miles": This distance is further defined as a "thousand miles of land and sea - ocean travel and jungle travel". (p.103)

the Negari chief: was "an ebony giant" with a "headpiece of ostrich plumes". He "spoke in the dialect of the river-tribes". (p.104)
Negari: is called "the Land of Skulls". (p.104)
Solomon Kane: says he seeks "the vampire queen of Negari". (p.104) Awesome quote:"I carry the lives of many warriors in my hand." (p.104)
Nakari: Her titles are "the Terrible One, the Mistress of Doom, the Red Woman". (p.105)
Negari warriors: wielded "long cruel spear blades". (p.105)
Negari: Its "true borders" begin at the edge of a forty foot-wide "abyss", spanned by a natural stone bridge. (p.105-106)

Chapter II: The People of the Stalking Death

the serpent: SK encounters it in the caves/tunnels below Negari. Like most Howardian snakes, it is "huge" and "slimy". (p.111) Reared up, its head was above Kane's. That would make it at least a 20' python.

Negari: Its masonry consisted of "regular blocks of stone joined together with mortar". (p.112) The hidden tunnels which riddle the city cast light from their ceilings "of a peculiar phosphorescent quality". (p.113)
Solomon Kane:"had landed on the dank West Coast (of Africa) some months before". (p.112) The implication of this is that Negari lay, at the very least, five hundred miles inland. SK "had set his back to the Slave Coast and ventured into the hinterlands alone". (p.113)
Negari: was called "a ju-ju city", "set high amid the grim black crags of the fetish hills". (p.113)
the throne-chjamber of Negari: Its "mighty roof was upheld by gigantic stone columns, strangely carved". The throne was "set between two stone dragons which were larger than elephants". The throne itself was "great" and "grotesquely ornamented" and adorned with "silken cushions". (p.114) The gigantic pillars had "carven serpents twined about" their bases and "the shadowy ceiling" had dragons engraved upon it. All of this was "fashioned on a gigantic scale"..."awesome - elephantine - inhumanly oversized". The throne-chamber "alone would dwarf most castles" of Europe. (p.115) There were some pretty big castles in 16th century Europe. Posted Image
Negari: The "common language" of the city is, apparently, "very similar to that of the river tribes". (p.116)

Solomon Kane: "had come thousands of miles in search of (Marilyn Taferal)". (p.121)

Thus ends Chapter II Posted Image

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#6 budgie

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 07:43 AM

having just read this for the first time I must say I liked it myself, there I loved how there was a distinct sense of unrgency on Kanes part to get to the tower before the rite was performed

A real page turner..

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#7 Azathoth

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 10:16 PM

Just finished this story. I must say it's my favourite so far.

I really like the way it links what is going on in the story to the whole Atlantis side of things, which in a way links SK's tales in with the world of Conan and Kull. It's nice to think either of those two could have visited such a place in their time periods.

Also this story has everything really, lost city, evil queen, secret passages, traps, Kane fighting natives on a narrow bridge (and surviving the fall off it!), a terrific escape at the last minute, natural disaters!!

#8 Fernando

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:14 AM

It's nice to think either of those two could have visited such a place in their time periods.


So (and if you understand Brazilian Portuguese), take a look at the tale "Negari - A Ilha da Morte" ("Negari - The Isle of the Death"), written by Osvaldo Magalh?es and me, in the site http://cronicasdacim...a-da-morte.html

I hope you enjoy it. :)

#9 deuce

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 05:25 AM

More annotations... :)

Chapter III: Lilith

Marilyn Taferal: possessed very white skin, "reddish gold hair" and "fine gray eyes". (p.121)
Solomon Kane: was addressed as "Captain Kane" by Marilyn. (p.122)
Sir John Taveral: was the scapegrace nephew of Lord Hildred Taveral. Lord Taveral had no children and felt great affection for his cousin, Marilyn Taveral. Sir John feared that Taveral would leave his great estates to Marilyn. He kidnapped the young girl and then sold her to the Barbary pirate, El Gar. Sir John then put it about that he had seen Marilyn drown. Later, he slandered SK and was challenged to a duel. Dying, pierced by the Puritan's rapier, Sir John confessed to selling Marilyn into slavery. Solomon Kane set out to rescue her. (p.122-123) REH liked the name "Taferal" (or variants like "Taverel") and used it for characters in several yarns.

Solomon Kane's journey: SK found El Gar somewhere on "the seas" and killed him, but not before the corsair revealed that he had sold Marilyn to "a merchant out of Stamboul" (Istambul). Kane sailed "to the Levant" (the eastern Med) and stumbled upon a crucified Greek pirate. The renegade related a tale in which he and Marilyn had been captured by "a Portuguese slaver", which then cruised "south for black ivory". The slavers were "ambushed in a small bay on the African West Coast", the Greek escaping and later rescued "by a ship of Genoese freebooters". Of Marilyn's fate, the Greek renegade knew nothing. SK went to the Slave Coast and heard rumors of a white child being sold to a tribe farther inland. Eventually, he found his way to Negari. The Puritan spent "years" in pursuit of his quest. (p.123-124)

the Portuguese slaver: According to Marilyn, the ship was out of Cadiz, which is a Spanish port. The slavers intercepted the ship of the Stamboul merchants "in the Gates of Hercules" (ie, Gibraltar). (p.125)
Marilyn's brothers: According to SK, they would have accompanied him, but he forbade them. (p.126)

Solomon Kane: "He was a man born out of his time - a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan, though the last assertion would have shocked him unspeakably." The Puritan compared Marilyn's beauty to that of "the nymphs of the heathen books", implying that he had perused such tomes somewhere. (p.127) When Marylin spoke of the nameless evil hidden in Negari's past, the Puritan felt "fear at the back of his brain, as if dim racial memories stirred in the eon-deep gulfs". (p.128)

Nakari:"(I)n spite of himself (Solomon Kane) was struck with admiration for her lithe beauty". (p.128) Then he thought, "She is beautiful and terrible as Purgatory. She is Lilith - that foul, lovely woman of ancient legend." (p.129) It's strange that SK should reference Purgatory, since Puritans generally didn't have any use for the concept. Perhaps REH was using the term as a poetic synonym for "Hell". As for Lilith, Howard used her (actually Lilitu) in his yarn, The House of Arabu. Here's the wiki "Lilith" link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith
Gianni's illo: (p.129) I'm sorry, I had to comment. I don't see how Nakari, in this drawing, could be described as "lithe". :lol: SERIOUS hips and thighs.

Nakari: While attempting to seduce the shackled Puritan, she claims her "nation is still lord of central Africa" and recalls "the days when the realm of ancient Negari spanned the land from sea to sea!" She also mentions "the tribes of the river". (p.135) The "river-tribes" are mentioned several times. IMO, "the river" has to be the Congo. If this is the case, then Negari probably lies in the foothills of the Mitumba Mountains, west of Lake Tanganyika.

Chapter V: "For a Thousand Years -"

Negari: As Kane wandered the secret corridors that honeycombed the city, he discovered "a narrow stairway" leading to "a sort of minaret" built into the palace wall. Through "a tiny window" he was able to look down on the "winding and narrow streets" of Negari. "East, north and south, the cliffs formed a natural bulwark; only to the west was a built wall". (p.141)

the Negari priest: SK found him in a cell, "shackled wrist and ankle". Initially, "Kane thought him to be a negro", but the "hair was too straight, the features too regular. Negroid, yes, but some alien blood in his veins had sharpened those features and given the man that high magnificent forehead, and those hard vibrant eyes... The skin was dark, but not black." (p.142) The priest said to Kane, "who are you? You are no black man - at first I thought you one of the Old Race, but now I see you are not as they." The priest then asked SK if he had seen "the golden spires of Atlantis and the crimson walls of Mu". (p.143)
Solomon Kane: replied that he had "sailed the seas, even to Hindostan and Cathay". (p.143)
the Negari priest: He said, "I dream - I dream. Already the shadow of the great night falls across my brain and my words wander." (p.143)
Solomon Kane: felt that surely the priest was insane. (p.143)

the priest's tale: "Long eons ago -- ages, ages ago" the empire of which Negari was a remnant arose "in a great land to the west". Their "purple-prowed galleys" sailed over the earth and "none could stand before" their legions. They subdued "all savages, red, white or black" and enslaved them. "All over the world the brown people of Atlantis reigned supreme." (p.144) "Sons of the sea", the Atlanteans "exalted him above all others". They "worshipped Valka and Hotah, Honen and Golgor". Many sacrifices "died on their (the gods') altars and the smoke of the shrines blotted out the sun." "Then the sea rose and shook himself. (...) New lands rose from the deep and Atlantis and Mu were swallowed up by the gulf." The "colony cities in barbaric lands, cut off from their mother kingdom, perished. The black savages and the white savages rose and burned and destroyed until in all the world only the colony city of Negari remained..." (p.145)
Anyone who thinks that the "Valka and Hota(t)h, Honen and Golgor" referred to aren't the same deities worshipped by the Thurians and the ancestors of the folk of Bal-Sagoth better start deciding that the mentions of "Commoria" and "Kamelia" in "TTotE" are "part of a parallel universe" separate from the continuum of Kull of Atlantis. :rolleyes:

"Years passed, stretching into centuries. The empire of Negari dwindled. Tribe after tribe rose and flung off the chains..." Retreating into the city, the sons of Atlantis "held those tribes at bay for a thousand years." (p.145) That would place the retreat into Negari around the same time as the rise of the Greeks and Persians. Within the city, the population of black slaves "increased while the brown people dwindled". They mixed with each other more and more until at last only the priestcraft was free of "black blood" and even the kings were "nearly pure negro".
"Then came a day when" the slaves revolted and "slew all who bore a trace of brown blood, except the priests..." For a thousand years, black kings ruled in Negari, guided by the brown Atlantean priests. That would place the fall of the "Atlantean" dynasty around the time of the fall of Rome. One of the "black kings", "a tiger" (?!?) conquered an empire from "sea to sea", but it fell apart. (p.146)
Finally, "in the last century" before the coming of Kane, the Atlantean priests "mixed with their rulers and slaves". The last brown priest (the narrator), was imprisoned by Nakari when she usurped the throne from the old dynasty. (p.148)

Nakari: According to the priest, "she was the daughter of a Satellite - one of the lesser priests, black men who did the menial work of the brown masters..." "As a child she danced in the March of the New Moon, and as a young girl she was one of the Star-maidens. "Alone of all the black Negari", Nakari did not fear the brown priests. When she overthrew the royal family, she had all the priests of the Old Race put to death or torture, until only one remained. (p.148-149) Howard also mentioned the "Star-maidens" in his unfinished story, "The Isle of the Eons" (which refers back to the Thurian Age, mentioning Valusia, etc... and implying that Atlantis became civilized).

the brown priests: "secretly kept alive the old worships of Valka and Hotah, Honen and Golgor" with "hidden rituals that were old when the earth was young". (p.149)
the last priest's curse: "- for I am the last Atlantean high priest. Black be their doom, and red their ruin! Valka and Golgor, gods lost and forgotten, whose memory shall die with me, strike down their walls and humble them unto the dust!" (p.149) And it was so.

Nakura: according to the high priest, "was the last great wizard of Atlantean Negari." He was a "brown renegade" who "conspired against his own people and aided the revolt" of the black Negari. "In life they followed him and in death they deified him. High in the Tower of Death his fleshless skull is set, and on that skull hinge the brains of all the people of Negari." (p.151)
the Atlanteans: according to the priest, "worshipped Death, but we likewise worshipped Life." (p.151)
The Skull of Nakura: to the blacks of Negari, had been a symbol of their greatness and power for a thousand years. (p.151)

the Moon of Skulls: Every full moon in the city of Negari, after the black Negari rose to power, a virgin was sacrificed on the Black Altar before the Tower of Death to the Skull of Nakura. In the days of the Atlantean kings, virgins were sacrificed there to Golgor, god of Atlantis. The black Negari believed that the spirit of Nakura still guided the fate of their city. So, when the full moon gleamed over the rim of the Tower and the chanting priests fell silent, a great voice would thunder forth an ancient Atlantean chant and the Negari would fall down before it in adoration. Unbeknownst to them, it was a priest, speaking as Nakura from a hidden niche. (p.152)

the high priest: calls SK "a white savage, as Nakari's race are black savages - eons ago when your ancestors were defending their caves against the tiger and the mammoth, with crude spears of flint, the gold spires of my people split the stars!" (p.153)

Chapter VI: The Shattering of the Skull

the Tower of Death: Its spire "rose above the crags behind it.". It was "gigantically tall, black and horrific. No door or window opened in its face, but high on the wall in a sort of ornamented frame there leered a grim symbol of death and decay. The skull of Nakura! A faint eery glow surrounded it, lit somehow from within the tower." (p.157)

Solomon Kane: "knew that these black people aped the rituals of their former masters in their crude way, and even in his despair he found time to shudder at the thought of what those original rites must have been. Now a fearful shape rose up beside the altar where lay the silent girl. A tall black man, entirely naked save for a hideous painted mask on his face and a great head-dress of waving plumes." (p.158) The masked priest recalls masked Stygian ( and "real" Egyptian) priests.

the Skull of Nakura: Kane had retrieved his pistol and blasted apart the Skull. Immediately after, the Negari had gone insane. "For centuries only their faith in the dead Nakura had held together the blood-drenched brains of the black Negari. (...) All the red visions which lurked in the backs of their corroded brains leaped into fearful life, all the latent insanity which was their heritage rose to claim its own, and Kane looked upon a whole nation turned to bellowing maniacs." (p.161-162)

"Earthquake!": Was the Skull of Nakura the only thing protecting Negari? Did the high priest's curse bring it down? (p.164)

Chapter VII: The Faith of Solomon

Nakari and her Star-maidens: prepared Marilyn to be the "Bride-of-the-Master" (Nakura). They clothed her "in the white robe of sacrifice" and carried her "into a great black chamber filled with horrid statues" where they "performed various strange and shameful rites according to their grim religion". (p.166) Since the Star-maidens definitely date back to the Thurian Age, might these rites echo those to Golgor, since Nakura supplanted his worship?

Solomon Kane: "England! I find it hard to remain in the land of my birth for more than a month at a time; yet though I am cursed with the wanderlust, 'tis a name which ever rouses a glow in my bosom." (p.167)

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#10 deuce

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:25 AM

"The last lost giant, even God,
Is risen against the world."


~ G.K. Chesterton ~

It's interesting that REH used poetic epigrams from Chesterton as headings for every chapter of "TMoS". Chesterton was definitely the most prominent Catholic author and poet in England during the early 20th century. Solomon Kane is, without a doubt, Howard's premier Puritan hero. One wouldn't think the two would go together. However, REH really liked GKC, especially his The Ballad of the White Horse. Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia....._K._Chesterton

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#11 Axerules

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:42 PM

REH used The Ballad of the White Horse as a heading for a lot of tales. The Moon of Skulls as well as Skull-Face, Iron Men, Kings of the Night, The Dark Man and The Grey God Passes.

Another link with excerpts from letters to T.C. Smith about G.K. Chesterton: Rusty Burke's REH bookshelf, C. He was very fond of the "Ballad".

Edited by Axerules, 14 November 2007 - 04:00 AM.

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#12 Axerules

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:45 PM

Also this story has everything really, lost city, evil queen, secret passages, traps, Kane fighting natives on a narrow bridge (and surviving the fall off it!), a terrific escape at the last minute, natural disaters!!

You're so right, Azathoth !
Take arrows in your forehead, but never in your back

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#13 Fernando

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:48 AM

Interesting excerpts... :D

I hope someday I have time enough to translate this whole tale into Brazilian Portuguese :) ... One of the most interesting parts was when the dying priest said that "eons ago when your ancestors were defending their caves against the tiger and the mammoth, with crude spears of flint, the gold spires of my people split the stars!".

Edited by Fernando, 01 June 2008 - 09:30 PM.


#14 Axerules

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:43 AM

Hello Deuce.
A few comments on some of your annotations:

[quote]"the great crag": It was "the first outpost of the grim foothills" toward which Solomon Kane ("SK" henceforth) was making his way. There's a problem, however. There was a "great black shadow" that "loomed" before SK, cast by "the red flame of the sunset". (p.99) Supposedly (as will be shown), Kane had journeyed from the west coast to reach his destination. How then, can the sunset cast a shadow in front of him?[/quote]I had never noticed that.
Beware with such a kind of annotation. A little bit "Spragueish".
"Lord Deuce the Necromancer" ;) , you take the risk of summoning his ghost, who would scream: "I told you SOOOOOO ! I have to correct inconstenciiiies !". He would rewrite this yarn by adding several magical powers to the evil queen, renaming the city with an "X", expurgating the "annoying" background stuff about Atlantis, renaming the hero Conan and writing his name under the title. :P

More seriously:

[quote]Negari: is called "the Land of Skulls". (p.104)

the Tower of Death: Its spire "rose above the crags behind it.". It was "gigantically tall, black and horrific. No door or window opened in its face, but high on the wall in a sort of ornamented frame there leered a grim symbol of death and decay. The skull of Nakura! A faint eery glow surrounded it, lit somehow from within the tower." (p.157)[/quote]

Didn't someone write something about skulls somewhere ?
I know this last sentence is poorly written, but I'm sure I've read (an essay, a post ?) about REH's use of them. Can't remember where and when I did.


[quote]Solomon Kane: says he seeks "the vampire queen of Negari". (p.104) Awesome quote:"I carry the lives of many warriors in my hand." (p.104)[/quote]
Don't mess with THE MAN.


[quote]Nakari: Her titles are "the Terrible One, the Mistress of Doom, the Red Woman". (p.105)[/quote]Shouldn't she have "true" powers ? (Spraguey, get OUT of this body !)


[quote]the serpent: SK encounters it in the caves/tunnels below Negari. Like most Howardian snakes, it is "huge" and "slimy". (p.111) Reared up, its head was above Kane's. That would make it at least a 20' python.[/quote]Another monstrous oversized ophidian. Classic.


[quote]All of this was "fashioned on a gigantic scale"..."awesome - elephantine - inhumanly oversized". The throne-chamber "alone would dwarf most castles" of Europe. (p.115) There were some pretty big castles in 16th century Europe. :)[/quote]A VERY big place. Malbork, seat of the Teutonic order, occupies (despite WW2 damages) still 210,000 m? (don't ask me how much acres, metric system rocks).

[quote]Solomon Kane: "had come thousands of miles in search of (Marilyn Taferal)". (p.121)[/quote]SK's grim resolve, REH will write even more about it later, with the "years" spend on quest. Could someone imagine Conan running after a girl for YEARS ?


[quote]Marilyn Taferal: possessed very white skin, "reddish gold hair" and "fine gray eyes". (p.121)
Solomon Kane: was addressed as "Captain Kane" by Marilyn. (p.122)
Sir John Taveral: was the scapegrace nephew of Lord Hildred Taveral. Lord Taveral had no children and felt great affection for his cousin, Marilyn Taveral. Sir John feared that Taveral would leave his great estates to Marilyn. He kidnapped the young girl and then sold her to the Barbary pirate, El Gar. Sir John then put it about that he had seen Marilyn drown. Later, he slandered SK and was challenged to a duel. Dying, pierced by the Puritan's rapier, Sir John confessed to selling Marilyn into slavery.
Solomon Kane set out to rescue her. (p.122-123)[/quote]
It's interesting to notice that in this story, which has racist overtones (not as much as Vale of Lost Women), the pale chick was sold by a WHITE guy belonging to her OWN FAMILY, her very flesh and blood. Like other "damsels in distress" who also belong to very "nasty" families (one was sold by her FATHER, the king of Ophir...). Nobody is really "good".

[quote]REH liked the name "Taferal" (or variants like "Taverel") and used it for characters in several yarns.[/quote]Little test: who could name those stories without searching through his books ? Right now, I recall one: The Children of the Night.
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#15 Axerules

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 06:44 AM

(suite)

the Portuguese slaver: According to Marilyn, the ship was out of Cadiz, which is a Spanish port.

C?diz was raided several times in the 16th century, even suffering one attack from Sir Francis Drake.

When Marylin spoke of the nameless evil hidden in Negari's past, the Puritan felt "fear at the back of his brain, as if dim racial memories stirred in the eon-deep gulfs". (p.128)

REH's obsession with "racial memory", lingering in a lot of yarns outside the JA stuff.

the high priest: calls SK "a white savage, as Nakari's race are black savages - eons ago when your ancestors were defending their caves against the tiger and the mammoth, with crude spears of flint, the gold spires of my people split the stars!" (p.153)

but all over stands the Aryan barbarian, white-skinned, cold-eyed, dominant, the supreme fighting man of the earth, whether he be clad in wolf - hide and horned helmet, or boots and doublet - whether he bears in his hand battle-axe or rapier - whether he be called Dorian, Saxon or Englishman -whether his name be Jason, Hengist or Solomon Kane. From Wings of the Night. REH intended SK to be a kind of modern "barbarian". His "rages" during combat are very "barbaric".

Edited by Axerules, 18 November 2007 - 01:25 AM.

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#16 Fernando

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 01:06 AM

She also mentions "the tribes of the river". (p.135) The "river-tribes" are mentioned several times. IMO, "the river" has to be the Congo. If this is the case, then Negari probably lies in the foothills of the Mitumba Mountains, west of Lake Tanganyika.



In his essay "To the Styx and Beyond", Dale Rippke states that Negari was an insular kingdom close to the Black Coast, not in the Eastern Africa... :unsure:

#17 deuce

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:15 PM

She also mentions "the tribes of the river". (p.135) The "river-tribes" are mentioned several times. IMO, "the river" has to be the Congo. If this is the case, then Negari probably lies in the foothills of the Mitumba Mountains, west of Lake Tanganyika.



In his essay "To the Styx and Beyond", Dale Rippke states that Negari was an insular kingdom close to the Black Coast, not in the Eastern Africa... :unsure:


Hey Fernando! In that same quote, Nakari says that Negari was in "central Africa". As far as I can tell, the closest mountains to the Slave Coast are the Mitumbas. Another question is, how would Negari get established there by the maritime Atlanteans in the first place? Navigation up the "Congo" seems out of the question. What if the rift of which Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are a result was actually connected to the "Southern Sea" during the Thurian Age, forming a long narrow "gulf" into the interior? This is exactly what I depict on my (provisional) Thurian Age world map (which you can find at David Drage's www.dialpforpulp.com).

Back to Dale and Negari... Dale does very good work, but he isn't always right (neither am I :P ). Interestingly, Dale places "Atlai" exactly where I would, despite the fact that we totally disagree as to what it is. I've always felt that "Atlai" had to be connected to "Atlantis" (in the same sense as Negari being "Atlantean" not from "Atlas"), ever since I read (and reread and reread) The Hyborian Age in junior high. IMO, Atlai has to be a "breakaway/successor" state of Negari. Dale links the name to a word in Portuguese :blink: (no offense intended to Portuguese, whatsoever, BTW). There are ancient/legendary "brown folk" mentioned (or seen) in both "Vale" and "Nails" (there are also the original inhabitants of Alkmeenon, possibly). Conan mentions adventuring in the lands south of the black kingdoms in "BtBR". The description of the corsairs in "Dragon" recalls that of the mulatto priest in The Moon of Skulls. I believe they were also Negari "breakaways". The "(brown) high priest" was more than half crazy AND a racist, nostalgic patriot. His account (obviously meant to impress SK) doesn't have to match, point for point, what other, later yarns by REH state as fact.
Like I said, I think the fact that Dale and I put Xuchotl, Alkmeenon and Atlai in the same places tends to argue that they might be where REH wanted them to be. I happen to think that those placements also tend to argue for Negari being there in the Hyborian (and Thurian) Age. :)

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#18 Fernando

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 01:46 AM

Hey Fernando! In that same quote, Nakari says that Negari was in "central Africa". As far as I can tell, the closest mountains to the Slave Coast are the Mitumbas.


In Central Africa?! :o I'm afraid I and Osvaldo Magalh?es shall have to rewrite our tale "Negari - A Ilha da Morte" ("Negari - The Isle of the Death")... :(

Another question is, how would Negari get established there by the maritime Atlanteans in the first place? Navigation up the "Congo" seems out of the question. What if the rift of which Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi are a result was actually connected to the "Southern Sea" during the Thurian Age, forming a long narrow "gulf" into the interior? This is exactly what I depict on my (provisional) Thurian Age world map (which you can find at David Drage's www.dialpforpulp.com).


I've just saw your map, and my only doubt is if the "narrow gulf" is that one at southeastern proto-Africa.

Back to Dale and Negari... Dale does very good work, but he isn't always right. Check out my comments on the placement of Bakalah in The Vale of Lost Women thread. Interestingly, Dale places "Atlai" exactly where I would, despite the fact that we totally disagree as to what it is. I've always felt that "Atlai" had to be connected to "Atlantis" (in the same sense as Negari being "Atlantean" not from "Atlas"), ever since I read (and reread and reread) The Hyborian Age in junior high. IMO, Atlai has to be a "breakaway/successor" state of Negari. Dale links the name to a word in Portuguese (no offense intended to Portuguese, whatsoever, BTW). There are ancient/legendary "brown folk" mentioned (or seen) in both "Vale" and "Nails" (there are also the original inhabitants of Alkmeenon, possibly). Conan mentions adventuring in the lands south of the black kingdoms in "BtBR". The description of the corsairs in "Dragon" recalls that of the mulatto priest in The Moon of Skulls. I believe they were also Negari "breakaways".


Interesting observations! :) I always imagined, for instance, the Black Corsairs' features like a variation of the black people, but your comments are very interestings and plausibles! I think they can be either what I believe as what you said!! Like you, I also agree with some Rippke's points of view, and disagree of other ones. Your comments above and below are an example of this.

Like I said, I think the fact that Dale and I put Xuchotl, Alkmeenon and Atlai in the same places tends to argue that they might be where REH wanted them to be. I happen to think that those placements also tend to argue for Negari being there in the Hyborian (and Thurian) Age.


I always thought Negari was founded in Thurian Age, and not after Conan's Era. :)

Thank you, and regards! :D

Edited by Fernando, 09 January 2008 - 01:53 AM.


#19 deuce

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:49 PM

I've just saw your map, and my only doubt is if the "narrow gulf" is that one at southeastern proto-Africa.


Hey Fernando! Yes, it's there in the south-east corner. The map has latitude/longitude lines that correspond to our present day. I basically drew a line from the mouth of the Zambi River and extended it north-by-northwest up through Lake Tanganyika.

Interesting observations! :) I always imagined, for instance, the Black Corsairs' features like a variation of the black people, but your comments are very interestings and plausibles! I think they can be either what I believe as what you said!! Like you, I also agree with some Rippke's points of view, and disagree of other ones. Your comments above and below are an example of this.


As I said, the "brown priest" was a mulatto. REH describes him as being "straighter featured" than the black Negari. He describes the corsairs in "Dragon" as being "straighter featured" than the Ku$hites. In neither case is he saying they don't look similar to sub-Saharan black Africans, just that there is a difference. In the case of the priest, it's admitted that he is of "Caucasoid" descent, but that he has "black blood in his veins". IMO, we have the opposite case with the corsairs. I believe that they might have been Negari slaves who managed to flee to the Southern Isles and then maintained their freedom. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't have intermarried with actual Atlantean Negari slave captives. Another, equally likely, scenario, would be that (as seems to be the case in Stygia) some Negari nobles revolted and fled westward/southward with their slaves to the Isles. They eventually intermarried/were overthrown (as we see in Kush). Trying to look at it from a "Howard viewpoint", I think I have to go with the second option.

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#20 Fernando

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:21 AM

As I said, the "brown priest" was a mulatto. REH describes him as being "straighter featured" than the black Negari. He describes the corsairs in "Dragon" as being "straighter featured" than the Ku$hites. In neither case is he saying they don't look similar to sub-Saharan black Africans, just that there is a difference. In the case of the priest, it's admitted that he is of "Caucasoid" descent, but that he has "black blood in his veins". IMO, we have the opposite case with the corsairs. I believe that they might have been Negari slaves who managed to flee to the Southern Isles and then maintained their freedom. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't have intermarried with actual Atlantean Negari slave captives. Another, equally likely, scenario, would be that (as seems to be the case in Stygia) some Negari nobles revolted and fled westward/southward with their slaves to the Isles. They eventually intermarried/were overthrown (as we see in Kush). Trying to look at it from a "Howard viewpoint", I think I have to go with the second option.


As the saying says: "living and learning"... :) Thank you for the good informations above! :D