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(Amra's) The Chronicles Of Conan The Cimmerian


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#21 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:39 AM

Fantastic stuff, Amra! Can't wait to see how this progresses. B)

I don't think that's necessarily the case: isn't it possible that "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" could've taken place shortly before "Queen of the Black Coast," and therefore long after the Hyperborean episode? Say, after Conan's adventures in the east, he takes a brief sojourn home to Cimmeria (Howard said Conan occassionally revisited his homeland); he goes north and joins up with the Aesir again. If there's a brief space between TFGD and QotBC, I could possibly see the helm at least being the same one.


Well there is always that possibility, but based on Howard's letter it sounds like Conan's captivity takes place shortly after his time with the Æsir fighting the Vanir and the Hyperboreans and being captured during a battle with the later. There are several inherent periods with obvious lengths of time unaccounted for between tales and where The Frost-Giant's Daughter could fit. It may have been during one of his home-farings but just because he is returning home to Cimmeria does not mean he is also traveling to Nordheim after the first time mentioned to join up again with the Æsir of Asgard for further raids against the Vanir of Vanaheim and into Hyperborea to fight the Hyperboreans. Howard says after his time with the Æsir and captivity with the Hyperboreans; he escapes southward and ends up in Zamora for his debut in print (Actually his debut chronologically of the stories then printed). So The Frost-Giant's Daughter must come prior to The Tower of the Elephant.

To me it seems like Howard in his March 10,1936 letter mentioned the forays with the Æsir knowing that Frost-Giant's Daughter had already been written possibly in “early March 1932” but knowing his fans Miller and Clark had not included it as a Conan tale even though an altered version as The Frost-King’s Daughter was published in The Fantasy Fan in March 1934 with the title "Gods of the North" with Conan alias Amra as the lead character by the time they had written to him.

"Shortly after this he returned for a brief period to Cimmeria, and there were other returns to his native land from time to time." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

“There was the space of about a year between Vanarium and his entrance into the thief-city of Zamora. During this time he returned to the northern territories of his tribe, and made his first journey beyond the boundaries of Cimmeria. This, strange to say, was north instead of south. Why or how, I am not certain, but he spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans, and developing a hate for the latter which lasted all his life and later affected his policies as king of Aquilonia. Captured by them, he escaped southward and came into Zamora in time to make his debut in print.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

I also think that the descriptions of the helmets themselves precludes the possibility of them being the same as one is battered and dented and the other is not mentioned as showing fierce marks and at least the horns jutting from it are highly polished. Not to say the helmet couldn't have been repaired and horns polished, but it does not sound like the same to me. I believe he lost all armor and arms of Frost-Giant's Daughter during captivity with the Hyperboreans.

“Both were tall men, built like tigers. Their shields were gone, their corselets battered and dinted. Blood dried on their mail; their swords were stained red. Their horned helmets showed the marks of fierce strokes. One was beardless and black-maned.” – The Frost-Giant’s Daughter

“He saw a tall powerfully built figure in a black scale-mail hauberk, burnished greaves and a blue-steel helmet from which jutted bull’s horns highly polished. From the mailed shoulders fell the scarlet cloak, blowing in the sea-wind. A broad shagreen belt with a golden buckle held the scabbard of the broadsword he bore. Under the horned helmet a square cut black mane contrasted with smoldering blue eyes.” -Queen of the Black Coast

Thanks again Taranaich for your fragment/synopsis/draft titles and for the encouragement, and thanks also to johnnypt and Richard for the kind words.

For those who have a keen eye for detail I am aware of several misspellings and mistakes etc and am in the process of fixing them including the title which should read The Chronicles of Conan the Cimmeria determining the order chronologically of Howard's Conan Tales. Goes to show I had been studying too hard and my weary eyes did not catch it before posting so much at once. The rest of the tales are to follow.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 13 December 2010 - 06:43 AM.

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


#22 Axerules

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:30 AM

Nice effort, Amra.

By the way, you can't edit a title (it's a moderator prerogative), so I fixed it.
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#23 Axerules

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:48 AM

Thank you I had PMed Crom about it and was crossing my fingers but you beat him to the punch. Thanks for the kind words.

You're very welcome! B)

Doh but wait the Chronicles part needs and "R" still.

Fixed.
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#24 elegos7

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:14 AM

This is fantastic stuff, I can hardly wait to read the whole chronicle.
I cannot comment in detail, as I had only a brief look at it before going to work.

But I would like to add a short excerpt from the introduction to Conan the Conqueror (the first volume of Gnome Press series), written by John D. Clark (1950).

"It was almost seventeen years ago when I collided with the Hyborian Age. It was a notable collision, occurring when I was caught by the somewhat juicy cover on the September 1933 Weird Tales, read "The Slithering Shadow," and met Conan for the first time. It was an introduction that stuck, and from then on I followed the adventures of that slightly unconventional character with more than casual interest. A little later (1935 or so) Schuyler Miller and I decided to make a try at plotting out Conan's world. It turned out to be ridiculously easy. The countries flopped out on the paper, squirmed about a bit, and clicked together into an indubitable and obviously authentic map. We wrote to Howard then and found that his own map was practically identical with ours; his biography of Conan was also identical in all important respects with the one Miller and I had concocted from the internal evidence in the stories. As I remember, the most important point of disagreement was a two years' difference in Conan's age at one point in the stories.
We knew then that we had a story-teller on our hands who knew his business. And when we read the manuscript of "The Hyborian Age," some time before it was first published, we were sure of it."

As far as I know, we do not have the original letter by Clark to Howard. We have Howard's answer, and it seems the most important difference according to Clark was "a two years' difference in Conan's age at one point in the stories".

I think you should take this into account before drastically changing the Miller-Clark outline.

#25 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:16 AM

As far as I know, we do not have the original letter by Clark to Howard. We have Howard's answer, and it seems the most important difference according to Clark was "a two years' difference in Conan's age at one point in the stories".


Interesting quote. I don't have the Gnome editions so I had not read it before unless it was reprinted in The Blade of Conan or The Spell of Conan and I have forgotten about it.

I think you should take this into account before drastically changing the Miller-Clark outline.


I agree which is why I went back to the Miller outline using the original version. I have tried not to stray drastically and have moved only four tales which I believe have internal problems because of things said in the stories themselves if they remain in that order.

We wrote to Howard then and found that his own map was practically identical with ours; his biography of Conan was also identical in all important respects with the one Miller and I had concocted from the internal evidence in the stories. As I remember, the most important point of disagreement was a two years' difference in Conan's age at one point in the stories.


Let us compare Clark's memory and obvious pride at his work being recognized by Howard (and rightfully so!) with what Howard actually says. Clark says that the map was practically identical to the one they sent and the biography was also identical in all important respects. I am aware that Howard sent them a map which he looks to have updated from some of his original ones but not that he sent them any "biography", if there is one I sure would like to see it! So Miller and Clark's outline cannot be identical to a non-existent biography that was not sent by Howard. Therefore he is obviously referring to Howard's letter which while it does offer some insight on Conan's fictional history it is far from a biography and very far from being identical to the outline they probably sent him. It also is not a mirror image of their revised outline printed in in the Robert E. Howard fanzine, The Hyborian Age, published in 1938. Howard does say that the ideas they presented for Conan's career and their map were "surprisingly accurate, considering the vagueness of the data you had to work with". This to me implies that with what they had to work from they did one heck of a job but that it was not accurate because they were not aware of all the unpublished and unfinished tales that Howard was already including in his own ideas of what the character's life should be.

"I feel indeed honored that you and Dr. Clark should be so interested in Conan as to work out an outline of his career and a map of his environs. Both are surprisingly accurate, considering the vagueness of the data you had to work with." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller dated March 10, 1936

Howard points out that there are differences but they are minor but does not say what the differences are.

“Your outline follows his career as I have visualized it pretty closely. The differences are minor.” -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller dated March 10, 1936

Howard says that the order is "about", not exactly, as they figured it adding that there was also more time involved during the tales and they probably (judging by the printed outline) included ages for each of the Conan stories that they speculated he should be. He is still vague about what the order should be.

"The chronological order of his adventures is about as you have worked it out, except that they covered a little more time." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller dated March 10, 1936

Clearly Clark and Miller have little from the letter to go on by way of correcting any differences because Howard doesn't list any except some ages that Howard gives them.

Obviously they got the first one right or close to it.

"As you deduct, Conan was about seventeen" -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller dated March 10, 1936

But they were off a little on the age of Conan as king and were corrected by Howard.

"Conan was about forty when he seized the crown of Aquilonia, and was about forty-four or forty-five at the time of "The Hour of the Dragon." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller dated March 10, 1936

Which is what Clark is referring to when he says this:

"As I remember, the most important point of disagreement was a two years' difference in Conan's age at one point in the stories."
John D. Clark in 1950

Clark remembers the most important point but in reality it is the only point that was actually corrected by Howard besides that Rogues in the House did not occur in Zamora, and there were probably others he did not mention. Then Howard goes on to give the lucky fans some tidbits of information that were not in print and elusive references to stories he had already typed which they quickly assimilate into the revised outline. With all due credit they did an amazing job and were recognized for their efforts by the creator of the character himself, but I think it is far from conclusive from Howard's reply that they were exactly right with the time-line even with the corrected age.

We may never know what exactly Howard is referring to in his reply as Miller's letter to Howard to the best of my knowledge was not found among Howard's papers after his death and subsequent searches by various parties. Howard's letter of reply is found here:


Letter from Robert E. Howard to P.S. Miller dated March 10, 1936



1. The Tower of the Elephant
2. Rogues in the House
4. Black Colossus
6. A Witch Shall be Born
7. The Man-Eaters of Zamboula
3. Queen of the Black Coast
10. Xuthal of the Dusk
5. Iron Shadows in the Moon
8. The Devil in Iron
9. People of the Black Circle
13. The Servants of Bit-Yakin
11. The Pool of the Black One
12. Red Nails
14. Beyond the Black River
15. The Phoenix on the Sword
16. The Scarlet Citadel
17. The Hour of the Dragon



I first moved Queen of the Black Coast down because the story mentions that he "took command in a characteristic fashion" and Conan states that he has been among civilized people for some time and is hardened by warfare and wandering, having sojourned to many lands. All of the equipment he carries in the story can be placed at least how he could have come by it or recognized its worth by moving Queen down. He also mentions learning archery among the Hyrkanians and was in a Hyrkanian city seeing an ape, by moving the story down in placement satisfies those statements. I must concede he could have learned and done all of those things including learning languages in the interim between Rogues in the House and Queen of the Black Coast and Howard never prepared any stories to tell about it. However with the finished stories he does have it can also fit and seems most probable, and I think there is evidence that Black Colossus precedes Queen because it is his first time commanding men. I chose to leave A Witch Shall Be Born and The Man-Eaters of Zamboula together as the Miller outline suggests because I did not want to deviate too much from it and because I find the mention of him and the Zuagir traveling to Turan and then him being in Turan fit nicely.

I next moved Iron Shadows in the Moon down as well because as I have stated in the Queen of the Black Coast post it is apparent (at least to me) for numerous reasons that Conan's first contact with the mysteries of the sea and pirates was in Queen so Iron Shadows could not precede it. Also in Iron Shadows I believe it is apparent that he has not yet been a Kozak in A Witch Shall Be Born or else he would have mentioned it to the former Kozaki hetman Olgerd as being where he knew him from instead of deducing it and knowing of him by reputation.

I then placed Xuthal of the Dusk prior to The Devil in Iron for the same reason that Marek and Rippke did, that in Devil Conan decides that the Dagonian people of Dagonia which ruins are presently found on the island of Xapur, are addicted to a drug, perhaps the black lotus like the people of Xuthal. Conan would not be able to decide that there were any similarities unless he remembered seeing the same drug induced slumber as he did at Xuthal, making Xuthal of the Dusk a prior story. It is not a reference from the author in the vein of scene setting as in The Frost-Giant's Daughter but a remembrance that Conan decides is similar based on experience.

“In spite of the fire in his veins, the cold bit through the warrior’s mail and fur-lined tunic; but the girl in her gossamer veil ran as lightly and as gaily as if she danced through the palm and rose gardens of Poitain."– The Frost-Giant’s Daughter

"He decided that she must be an addict of some drug, perhaps like the black lotus of Xuthal." -The Devil in Iron

I moved the The Servants of Bit-Yakin prior to Red Nails because in Red Nails Conan mentions some beliefs concerning Golden Serpents and fire-stones of the people of Punt. He also states, "that is what the People of Punt call them" indicating that he may have spoken directly to them (the people of Punt) or at any rate has heard what they call them. At the end of The Servants of Bit-Yakin he clearly states he has every intention of traveling to Punt and I believe he is a hard man to persuade to change his mind once he has made it up to do something so likely followed through with it. His traveling to Punt and then his apparent knowledge after makes Servants prior to Red Nails.

"'I can use an actress like you. There's no use going back to Keshia. There's nothing in Keshan now that I want. We'll go to Punt. The people of Punt worship an ivory woman, and they wash gold out of the rivers in wicker baskets." - The Servants of Bit-Yakin

"The vaulted ceiling was of lapis lazuli, adorned with clusters of great green stones that gleamed with a poisonous radiance. 'Green fire-stones,' growled Conan. 'That's what the people of Punt call them. they're supposed to be the petrified eyes of those prehistoric snakes the ancients called Golden Serpents. They glow like a cat's eyes in the dark At night this hall would be lighted by them, but it would be hellishly weird illumination. Let's look around. We might find a cache of jewels.'" -Red Nails

As to placement of the tales that were not included in Miller's letter to Howard because they were not printed yet or were never finished; I liked Miller's placement of Red Nails and Hour of the Dragon and see no problems with that, for the rest I surprisingly followed Rippke very closely when I was finished and compared the two. Like him I used tidbits from the stories to place them and they worked out in the same order that he placed them based on that. They are together by groups or follow the same stories that he suggests. Reasons for the placements and more clues are coming up soon!

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 19 January 2011 - 05:37 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


#26 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:18 AM

This is fantastic stuff, I can hardly wait to read the whole chronicle.


Oh and thanks for the complement!

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


#27 elegos7

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

Now that I had time to read through your reasons I would like to congratulate you once more.

The best thing I like is your connecting of "The Man-Eaters of Zamboula" with "Queen of the Black Coast" through the selling of the Star of Khorala in Ophir.
You seem to group together practically all the stories that take place in a certain part of the Hyborian continent, which also make sense.

I also like your reasons (mention of Punt) for the placement of "The Servants of Bit-Yakin" prior to "Red Nails". However, Dale Rippke has a very strong argument for the reverse order:
"In Red Nails Conan states he had never been farther east in the Black Kingdoms than Xuchotl, when every Hyborian Age map shows Keshan lying to the east of Xuchotl. Either he is lying or he hasn't been to Keshan yet. A placement of THE SERVANTS OF BIT YAKIN after RED NAILS resolves these problems".

Do you plan to specify the age of Conan as well in each story? It would be the 4th attempt after the incomplete Miller/Clark outline, and the recent and complete Rippke and Sanahujas chronologies (the latter was published in a French book in 2008, it also has several insightful arguments).

#28 Taranaich

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 05:16 AM

Well there is always that possibility, but based on Howard's letter it sounds like Conan's captivity takes place shortly after his time with the ?sir fighting the Vanir and the Hyperboreans and being captured during a battle with the later.

I also think that the descriptions of the helmets themselves precludes the possibility of them being the same as one is battered and dented and the other is not mentioned as showing fierce marks and at least the horns jutting from it are highly polished. Not to say the helmet couldn't have been repaired and horns polished, but it does not sound like the same to me.


A very good point: however, is it not also possible that after his helmet got "marked with fierce strokes" he got another, more polished one before he went south? After all, he's already among the Aesir, and I don't really know where else one would get horned helms.

I do think your conjecture is equally possible, though. The placement of "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is such a bugbear. On the one hand, you have the hints from Howard himself in the Miller letter: on the other, there's that pesky "far have I wandered" remark. Hmmm.

Thanks again Taranaich for your fragment/synopsis/draft titles and for the encouragement, and thanks also to johnnypt and Richard for the kind words.


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#29 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:09 AM

I also like your reasons (mention of Punt) for the placement of "The Servants of Bit-Yakin" prior to "Red Nails". However, Dale Rippke has a very strong argument for the reverse order


Elegos I promise I will address the issue of "having been this far south but not this far east" and Hyborian maps etc. but you will have to wait until I post Servants. It shouldn't be long.

Do you plan to specify the age of Conan as well in each story? It would be the 4th attempt after the incomplete Miller/Clark outline, and the recent and complete Rippke and Sanahujas chronologies (the latter was published in a French book in 2008, it also has several insightful arguments).


I do not plan on attempting to work out ages for Conan in each tale but will list the specific ones Howard has mentioned. The whole matter of placement of Conan tales is speculative enough already. I think Conan has suffered enough conjecture and am loathe to add any of my own fictionalization to what is already there which I view as a pastiche/De Campian approach. I try not to interpret anything that cannot be backed up with something in the stories themselves. I am trying to use at least very strong indicators of possible occurrences as indicated by stories about what happens between tales but do not want to add my own interpretations, myths, or misguided prejudices to the already complicated problem there is in sorting out the facts from the stories. That in itself is an impossible endeavor as it is not possible to evaluate something without seeing it through your own personal bias and reasoning but I am at least trying to limit wholesale making up of facts.

I suppose various things like the sale of the jewel the Star of Khorala, learning archery fighting the Hyrkanians as opposed to from them, or what language, or which Kingdom he is headed to etc. but feel there are strong indicators in the story to support them or that Conan was going to do those things if not distracted and dissuaded by forces more powerful than his own temperament and personality. This will always be a game of could have, would have, maybe did, when considering facts from the stories; ages or any other made up facts like: service in the Turanian Army, Cimmerians feeling that armor is effeminate, or such filler fiction to bridge the gaps such as:

"I believe that either another caravan guard or merchant from the semi-mythical land of Punt befriends and regales Conan with stories of his nation's history, culture, and customs" -Rippke

"Conan appeals to Aquilonian tradition by holding court in the old capital of Tamar, residing in the palace of the popular King Vilerus" -Rippke

"In the wake of the abortive insurrection that accompanied the war with Koth and Ophir, King Conan moves his royal court from Tamar eastward to the city of Tarantia, taking up residence in the opulent palace of the late Namedides" -Rippke

"He wins the war and the queen, but his pride refuses to let him be "Mister Queen" to any woman, and he drops out of sight again, to return for a short time to Cimmeria and possible skirmishes with the northern tribes, including his old enemies the Hyperboreans" -Miller
or many, other examples, no matter how plausible are fiction not written by Howard about Conan.

Whether it is a one line blurb or an entire novel it is pastiche. There are many other examples (De Camp, Milius, Marvel, Tor, etc.) of other authors trying to insert their own idealizations on the tales and making up fiction to support placement, or just add their own stamp on Conan, whether it be Miller, Rippke, De Camp, or any other pastiche writer. Conan's relative ages in the stories I suppose would be the least intrusive to try and interpret, but a non-supportable fiction just the same.

I feel that there are substantial periods of time not accounted for between several stories and that the stories do not follow immediately after one another in most cases. These time frames that are not accounted for are partially explained as just being every day normal experience but not exciting enough in itself for the teller Conan to have remembered and reminisced to someone about it or for his royal chroniclers to have noted it down, and not legendary enough to have survived long enough to be included in the Nemedian Chronicles. Mostly it would consist of travel times between adventures, living in an area long enough to understand a smattering of the language spoken there, working up to positions in armies, carousing in taverns (swilling and wenching all night), training and drilling in various armies, etc.

I tried to read up on all the Conan chronologies that I could before starting to get an idea of where they were coming from and some have very convincing reasoning. I had not heard of the Sanahujas chronologies but would have liked to see them I am sure.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 19 September 2011 - 07:46 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


#30 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:12 AM

A very good point: however, is it not also possible that after his helmet got "marked with fierce strokes" he got another, more polished one before he went south? After all, he's already among the Aesir, and I don't really know where else one would get horned helms.


He certainly could have gotten a new helmet after being rescued by Niord and his fighting men of the Æsir at the end of The Frost-Giant's Daughter, and before joining them in more battles and before fighting the Hyperboreans. But that is not the only place to get one. You would still have to account for how he escaped captivity among the Hyperboreans without his arms and armor being taken from him. While I am not saying that while escaping he was able to recover his arms isn't a possibility, it probably isn't likely.

Who is to say that many northern barbarians don't all use horned helms? I am positive that they are not only available from the Æsir.

“Both were tall men, built like tigers. Their shields were gone, their corselets battered and dinted. Blood dried on their mail; their swords were stained red. Their horned helmets showed the marks of fierce strokes. One was beardless and black-maned. The locks of the other were red as the blood on the sunlit snow.” – The Frost-Giant’s Daughter

In addition to the Æsir of Asgard it is obvious that a Vanir of Vanaheim one Heimdul in The Frost-Giant's Daughter is wearing a horned helmet; presumably of Vanir make as the Vanir hatred of the Æsir probably would not let him go so far as to taking a helmet as a spoil of war, and he certainly would not want to be confused as an Æsir his enemy.

Who knows maybe the Cimmerians make and use horned helmets as well and he could have acquired another on any of his journeys home.

In Queen of the Black Coast the Argossean Tito notes that Conan's "horned helmet was such as was worn by the golden-haired Æsir of Nordheim". That is not an all inclusive statement meaning that only the Æsir wear them, only that the observer Tito in his experience has noted that the people of Asgard in Nordheim wear similar ones.

Remember that most Hyborians and others from the nations of the south consider all northern barbarians the same, making no distinction between the Cimmerian, Vanir, or Æsir peoples.

"'A map,' Conan answered with pride. 'The maps of the court show well the countries of south, east and west, but in the north they are vague and faulty. I am adding the northern lands myself. Here is Cimmeria, where I was born. And-' 'Asgard and Vanaheim,' Prospero scanned the map. 'By Mitra, I had almost believed those countries to have been fabulous.'" -The Phoenix on the Sword

"'I suppose you are some sort of a northern barbarian-' 'I am a Cimmerian,' the outlander answered, in no friendly tone. The reply and the manner of it meant little to the Kothian; of a kingdom that lay far to the south, on the borders of Shem, he knew only vaguely of the northern races." -The Tower of the Elephant

"'I was born in Cimmeria.' The name meant little to her. She only knew vaguely that it was a wild grim hill-country which lay far to the north, beyond the last outposts of the Hyborian nations, and was peopled by a fierce moody race. She had never before seen one of them." -The Black Colossus

"To the people of exotic climes, the north was a mazy half-mythical realm, peopled with ferocious blue-eyed giants who occasionally descended from their icy fastnesses with torch and sword. Their raids had never taken them as far south as Shem, and this daughter of Shem made no distinction between Æsir, Vanir, or Cimmerian." -The Queen of the Black Coast

There are many other examples of people meeting Conan having no idea where Cimmeria is other than in the north or who would even recognize a Cimmerian by sight. Who would ever expect them to unless they bordered Cimmeria as very few (Conan, his grandfather, possible a few others) travel out of that gloomy land save for raids on their neighbors from time to time. If they make arms or armor it is completely understandable that even an accomplished weapon-smith, armorer, or blacksmith may not recognize anything of Cimmerian make if the Cimmerians make anything in that fashion, as they probably would never have seen one or if they had not lived long enough to tell the tale of it.

There is only one example of a person recognizing Conan as a Cimmerian that I am aware of, although several recognize that he is a ferocious barbarian not to be trifled with.

Of all people a Kosalan, Baal-pteor in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula immediately addresses Conan as a barbarian upon his entrance to the chamber and after an exchange of pleasantries and insults says: "Your head, Cimmerian!' taunted Baal-pteor." without Conan having introduced himself or Baal-pteor being told who he was. Where a Kosalan of the Himalean region would have seen a Cimmerian or how he would recognize one on sight is its own mystery.

Conan obviously disagrees or maybe didn't catch that Baal-pteor called him a Cimmerian.

“I think you never saw a man from the West before. Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian Bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man – like this!” – The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

Whoa! I was off on a tangent back to helmets!

"That helmet held the other's gaze; it was without a crest, but adorned by short bull's horns." No civilized hand ever forged that head-piece." -Beyond the Black River

Just because a helmet has bull's horns does not make it the same helmet. I think the descriptive words used marks each helmet as a separate one i.e. the dented and battered helm showing the marks of fierce strokes, the blue-steel helmet with highly polished horns, and the head-piece that no civilized hand made with short bull's horns. I think if they were all blue-steel that it would have been noticed by all who saw it and described it, if they were all showing the marks of fierce strokes again it would be consistently noted, and if the horns were highly polished in all it would likely draw attention if not comment.

I think trying to place The Frost-Giant's Daughter based on a helmet is unwise when there are many more important things to consider.

I do think your conjecture is equally possible, though. The placement of "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is such a bugbear. On the one hand, you have the hints from Howard himself in the Miller letter: on the other, there's that pesky "far have I wandered" remark. Hmmm.


Conan in The Frost-Giant's Daughter is never mentioned as young as he is in all of the other tales set early in his career.

“Arus saw a tall powerfully built youth..."
-The God in the Bowl

"He saw a tall, strongly made youth standing beside him." - The Tower of the Elephant

"Young in years he was hardened in warfare and wandering, and his sojourns in many lands were evident in his apparel." -Queen of the Black Coast

That in itself causes much thought on where to place The Frost-Giant's Daughter as well as Queen of the Black Coast.

Further in The Frost-Giant's Daughter he is described having a dark scarred face, as he is in many later tales.

“With an oath the Cimmerian heaved himself up on his feet, his blue eyes blazing, his dark scarred face contorted.” – The Frost-Giant’s Daughter

That in itself does not necessarily mean much as we know he has led a life "no-ways tame" and even as a youth has participated in clan disputes, blood-feuds, tribal wars, and probably raids on the Picts, Vanir, Æsir, Aquilonians, etc with his people and his participation at the destruction of Vanarium was talked about the council fires of the Cimmerians. He has been in plenty of battles to have gained scars at an early age. As is told while he is still a youth in The God in the Bowl.

“I’ve killed better men than you for less than this.”
– The God in the Bowl

“Conan had seen and heard men die by the scores, and never had he heard a human being make such sounds in the death-throes.” – The God in the Bowl

Then there is that pesky quote you mention.

"Far have I wandered, but a woman like you I have never seen."
-The Frost-Giant's Daughter

Assuming that The Frost-Giant's Daughter is early in his career what experience in roaming could he already have?

"I had thought there was no village within many leagues of this spot, for the war carried us far, but you can not have come a great distance over these snows, naked as you are. Lead me to your tribe, is you are of Asgard, for I am faint with blows and the weariness of strife." - The Frost-Giant's Daughter

We learn that prior to him meeting Atali and making the pesky comment he considers that he has already traveled far with the Æsir, over many leagues, and great distance, as Howard notes for some months.

If you add that to any possible raids into kingdoms bordering Cimmeria and peaceable visits to some of the same, he may have already traveled far at least in the perspective of a youth if not compared to all his eventual wanderings during his lifetime.

"It might have been at Vanarium, or he might have made a peaceable visit to some frontier town before that." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

I think the key to placing The Frost-Giant's Daughter and the trump card if you will is Howard himself saying that his first foray after Venarium and outside of the boundaries of Cimmeria (reversing his previous supposition above) was north with the Æsir for months fighting the Vanir and the Hyperboreans and in the same paragraph stating he was captured by the Hyperboreans escaping southward into Zamora (eventually) to make his appearance in The Tower of the Elephant, his chronological debut of the stories that were already printed when the letter was written and the remark made. Even if his capture did not occur directly after his time with the Æsir it has to come prior to the tales set in Zamora specifically The Tower of the Elephant because the only other tale in Zamora (The Nestor Synopsis) was never finished and that is the only Zamorian tale in print.

“There was the space of about a year between Vanarium and his entrance into the thief-city of Zamora. During this time he returned to the northern territories of his tribe, and made his first journey beyond the boundaries of Cimmeria. This, strange to say, was north instead of south. Why or how, I am not certain, but he spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans, and developing a hate for the latter which lasted all his life and later affected his policies as king of Aquilonia. Captured by them, he escaped southward and came into Zamora in time to make his debut in print.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 15 December 2010 - 03:56 PM.

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


#31 elegos7

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:25 AM

Concerning the "The Frost-Giant's Daughter":

About a year ago I started a topic about "Placing "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" In Conan'S Career"
http://www.conan.com...23

Here are a couple of thougts:

- in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH?s rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

?Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen.?
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan?s life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.

- it is also possible that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan.

- he could not have used the names Vilayet and Kush in the original COnan version, as he made them up after September 1932

So, there are good arguments for placing the story later in Conan's career

#32 johnnypt

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:43 PM

Concerning the "The Frost-Giant's Daughter":

About a year ago I started a topic about "Placing "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" In Conan'S Career"
http://www.conan.com...23

Here are a couple of thougts:

- in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH?s rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

?Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen.?
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan?s life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.

- it is also possible that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan.

- he could not have used the names Vilayet and Kush in the original COnan version, as he made them up after September 1932

So, there are good arguments for placing the story later in Conan's career


This is sort of the inverse of the burning of Valeledad from the draft of Red Nails, where something that didn't make the published version might be considered since it is not contradicted by anything in said published version. In this case, we have something that was added later, doesn't necessarily contradict the first version and actually IS the published version. But unfortunately one of the things added later changes the name of the character! You could say The Frost Giant's Daughter could be placed where it is, but the Frost King's Daughter (aka Gods of the North) would have to be placed I'd say as late as right before Beyond The Black River. I think in this case, you have to leave out the paragraph with the specific names and just go with the original. It's pretty far from the border of Aquilonia to Northern Vanaheim :)

Oh and on the attire: it's three different helmets, at least two different scarlet cloaks and before Conan left Khoraja, it's possible he got his pick of the armor to continue his mercenary ways heading off to Argos. My own story on the end of Black Colossus is a slightly more positive version of Roy Thomas's and Tim Truman's: For his freedom, King Khossus has to agree to marry his sister to some Ophirian noble but sends off Conan with a fortune...that he quickly blows along the way! Hey, it's as good as any other.

#33 grim cimmerian

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:39 PM

Concerning the "The Frost-Giant's Daughter":

About a year ago I started a topic about "Placing "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" In Conan'S Career"
http://www.conan.com...23

Here are a couple of thougts:

- in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH?s rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

?Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen.?
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan?s life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.

- it is also possible that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan.

- he could not have used the names Vilayet and Kush in the original COnan version, as he made them up after September 1932

So, there are good arguments for placing the story later in Conan's career

This is sort of the inverse of the burning of Valeledad from the draft of Red Nails, where something that didn't make the published version might be considered since it is not contradicted by anything in said published version. In this case, we have something that was added later, doesn't necessarily contradict the first version and actually IS the published version. But unfortunately one of the things added later changes the name of the character! You could say The Frost Giant's Daughter could be placed where it is, but the Frost King's Daughter (aka Gods of the North) would have to be placed I'd say as late as right before Beyond The Black River. I think in this case, you have to leave out the paragraph with the specific names and just go with the original. It's pretty far from the border of Aquilonia to Northern Vanaheim :)

Oh and on the attire: it's three different helmets, at least two different scarlet cloaks and before Conan left Khoraja, it's possible he got his pick of the armor to continue his mercenary ways heading off to Argos. My own story on the end of Black Colossus is a slightly more positive version of Roy Thomas's and Tim Truman's: For his freedom, King Khossus has to agree to marry his sister to some Ophirian noble but sends off Conan with a fortune...that he quickly blows along the way! Hey, it's as good as any other.

I think it likely that he was trying to distance Amra from Conan because he likely felt snubbed by the editors rejection. the miller letter response seems like a mini timeline of events in that paragraph; Conan warred with the Aesir against the Vanir and Hyperborians and was captured by the latter, is as close as Howard ever came to giving us a timeline of any sort
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#34 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:16 PM

- in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH’s rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

“Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen.”
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

- it is also possible that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan.

- he could not have used the names Vilayet and Kush in the original COnan version, as he made them up after September 1932


The Frost King’s Daughter published in The Fantasy Fan in March 1934 as "Gods of the North" is an altered version and no longer is a Conan tale having been rewritten and as you say (and I agree) Howard is trying to distance and differentiate Amra from Conan who he replaced. Howard was trying to salvage his pride and story which he considered good even if Farnsworth Wright didn't. So he sold it to another magazine if Weird Tales didn't want it someone else would and he could still make a buck from it.

I think if you take any "facts" from Gods of the North aka The Frost King's Daughter such as the possibility of Conan having been to Zingara, the Sea of Vilayet, Stygia, Kush, and some Hyrkanian country, you have to take them all and cannot be choosy on which "facts" to take including that Amra is now of Akbitana a probable Shemitish city not Cimmeria.

"She was no longer a mystical figure of antiquity, but a terrified and humiliated dancing girl, such as can be bought at almost any Shemitish market-place." -The Servants of Bît-Yakin

"A year ago I saw you in Akbitana with that swine, Zargheba, and I don't forget faces - or women's figures." -The Servants of Bît-Yakin

"The Cimmerian made no attempt to match wits and intrigue with Thutmekri and his Shemitish partner, Zargheba." -The Servants of Bît-Yakin

Even if you don't think Akbitana is a Shemite city it still drastically changes Amra and where he is from excluding the possibility of being a Cimmerian.

- he could not have used the names Vilayet and Kush in the original COnan version, as he made them up after September 1932


As you point out none of those places Amra has been could have been in the original version as a Conan tale as some of the names had not yet been invented.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 14 December 2010 - 06:23 PM.

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


#35 Taranaich

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:16 PM

He certainly could have gotten a new helmet after being rescued by Niord and his fighting men of the ?sir at the end of The Frost-Giant's Daughter, and before joining them in more battles and before fighting the Hyperboreans. But that is not the only place to get one. You would still have to account for how he escaped captivity among the Hyperboreans without his arms and armor being taken from him. While I am not saying that while escaping he was able to recover his arms isn't a possibility, it probably isn't likely.


Well, my timeline idea would go something like this:

- Conan joins the Aesir, fights Hyperboreans, escapes
- Conan becomes a thief, then mercenary
- Conan goes back home to Cimmeria
- Conan joins up with his old Aesir comrades in a blood feud between Bragi and Wulfhere
- "The Frost-Giant's Daughter"
- After TFGD, Conan gets a new helm to replace the one battered about in the battle and earthquake.
- Conan leaves Cimmeria, goes south
- Conan hears of a possible war in Argos
- "Queen of the Black Coast"

That's my general idea: "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" takes place long after the Hyperborean captivity episode.

Of all people a Kosalan, Baal-pteor in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula immediately addresses Conan as a barbarian upon his entrance to the chamber and after an exchange of pleasantries and insults says: "Your head, Cimmerian!' taunted Baal-pteor." without Conan having introduced himself or Baal-pteor being told who he was. Where a Kosalan of the Himalean region would have seen a Cimmerian or how he would recognize one on sight is its own mystery.


Of course, it's equally likely that Baal-pteor knew of Conan by his reputation as a Kozak, and that his ethnicity was thus known. That said, Baal-pteor displays some impressive mesmerism and psychic abilities: perhaps he somehow divined Conan's origin?

I think trying to place The Frost-Giant's Daughter based on a helmet is unwise when there are many more important things to consider.


I agree, but it isn't the helmet which concerns me so much as the elements you mention: the helmet is just another possible clue.

I think the key to placing The Frost-Giant's Daughter and the trump card if you will is Howard himself saying that his first foray after Venarium and outside of the boundaries of Cimmeria (reversing his previous supposition above) was north with the ?sir for months fighting the Vanir and the Hyperboreans and in the same paragraph stating he was captured by the Hyperboreans escaping southward into Zamora (eventually) to make his appearance in The Tower of the Elephant, his chronological debut of the stories that were already printed when the letter was written and the remark made. Even if his capture did not occur directly after his time with the ?sir it has to come prior to the tales set in Zamora specifically The Tower of the Elephant because the only other tale in Zamora (The Nestor Synopsis) was never finished and that is the only Zamorian tale in print.


That's probably the most convincing argument for an earlier placement.

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#36 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:24 PM

That's probably the most convincing argument for an earlier placement.


In all honesty Al I believe The Frost-Giant's Daughter would come later in Conan's career and would have placed it that way if I could get around what Howard said, but I can't.

“There was the space of about a year between Vanarium and his entrance into the thief-city of Zamora. During this time he returned to the northern territories of his tribe, and made his first journey beyond the boundaries of Cimmeria. This, strange to say, was north instead of south. Why or how, I am not certain, but he spent some months among a tribe of the Æsir, fighting with the Vanir and the Hyperboreans, and developing a hate for the latter which lasted all his life and later affected his policies as king of Aquilonia. Captured by them, he escaped southward and came into Zamora in time to make his debut in print.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

The way I view the above paragraph is thus:

There was the space of about a year between Venarium and his entrance into the thief-city of Zamora.

1. During this time (referring to the previous sentence and space of about a year):

2. He returned from Venarium home to the northern territories of his tribe

3. Left Cimmeria northward to travel for months with the Æsir

4. With the Æsir, he fights the Vanir and Hyperboreans

5. Becomes captured by the Hyperboreans and escapes southward

6. Eventually makes it to Zamora finishing the space of about a year since he left Venarium


I can't say for a certainty that it couldn't have happened the way you suppose,

That's my general idea: "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" takes place long after the Hyperborean captivity episode.


but I think that since we have a tale that fits the details of what happened during the space of about a year since Conan left Venarium describing him with the Æsir fighting the Vanir, it would be hard for me to believe that Howard was referencing an untold and unwritten tale he was imagining that occurred prior to his captivity with the Hyperboreans only to have him back with the Æsir in The Frost-Giant's Daughter later on. Howard knew that The Frost-Giant's Daughter had already been written at the time of his letter to Miller even if Miller didn't and I think he had to have been referencing his Conan story that he didn't want to give up on as part of the character's saga.

I'll feed you more ammunition to use against an earlier placement:

"Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet" -The Nemedian Chronicles from The Phoenix on the Sword

If that statement is at all chronologically ordered it has Conan first as a thief, followed by a reaver (in The Frost-Giant's Daughter as a member of an Æsir war band, Wulfhere’s Reavers), then as a slayer (assassin in Rogues in the House? Mercenary?), to finally trample on the thrones of the earth (fighting against kings in various tales, restoring kingdoms to toppled rulers, and finally usurping the rule of the king and becoming a king himself).

After everything is said and done I am sticking by my placement of The Frost-Giant's Daughter as the first tale even though it pains me to do it.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 03 January 2011 - 10:11 AM.

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


#37 elegos7

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:43 PM

Hi Amra,

I notice you always call the Aquilonian fortress Vanarium (as in the REH latter), but in 'Beyond the Black River' it was called Venarium.
The latter is a professionally published story, while the former is only a letter to a fan. So I think we should stick to the spelling with an 'e'.

Edited by elegos7, 15 December 2010 - 06:44 PM.


#38 Kortoso

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:15 PM

This is one example that makes me think that Nemedian (the language of the Chronicles?) and Aquilonian have shared vocabulary, or pronounce the same word in different manners.

#39 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:41 AM

Hi Amra,

I notice you always call the Aquilonian fortress Vanarium (as in the REH latter), but in 'Beyond the Black River' it was called Venarium.
The latter is a professionally published story, while the former is only a letter to a fan. So I think we should stick to the spelling with an 'e'.


Hmmm never even noticed it. Excellent observation and duly noted.

This is one example that makes me think that Nemedian (the language of the Chronicles?) and Aquilonian have shared vocabulary, or pronounce the same word in different manners.


I would think being neighbors they more than likely shared some words that were adopted from both tongues.

However, The Nemedian Chronicles are written by the Nemedian Æsir.

"Nemedia had already become a Nordic Kingdom, ruled by descendants of the Æsir mercenaries." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"The Æsir who dominated Nemedia were called Nemedians and later figured in Irish history, and the Nordics who settled in Brythunia were known as Brythunians, Brythons, or Britons." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 13 September 2011 - 09:22 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


#40 Ironhand

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 09:58 AM

This is one example that makes me think that Nemedian (the language of the Chronicles?) and Aquilonian have shared vocabulary, or pronounce the same word in different manners.

I imagine that Aquilonian and Nemedian are related like German and Dutch, or like Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

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