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(Amra's) The Chronicles Of Conan The Cimmerian


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#61 Taranaich

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:42 PM

For that matter, he could have looted Norse horned helmets from slain Vanir raiders during any of his trips to Cimmeria without necessarily having had to venture into Nordheim. So horned helms do not necessarily correspond to an equal number of trips to Nordheim.


This is probably the best explanation, all things considered.

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#62 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 07:51 PM

And the only time the style of Conan's horned helm was mentioned, it was as being "such as was worn by the golden-haired Æsir of Nordheim." Not Cimmerian, not Hyperborean, not Border kingdomer, Æsir.

How about the fact that the only people of Conan's time to wear horned helmets are the Æsir and Vanir, and that they are so rarely seen that they are considered "almost fabulous" by a seasoned adventurer like Prospero, and nothing more than myth by the average person?


Remember you are basing the only time the style(nationality, origin) of Conan's helmet was mentioned on an Argossean sailor's perception and experience. He also didn't say it was an Æsir helmet just that it was like one they wear.

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.


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 05:22 AM.

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


#63 grim cimmerian

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 12:05 AM

We know Conan went back home to Cimmeria a few times over the course of his life. We also know Conan lived in the north-west of Cimmeria. Asgard is right next door to Cimmeria. Is it really that "ridiculously preposterous" that Conan travelled what can't amount to more than a few hundred miles to rejoin his old Aesir allies? Especially knowing that Conan preferred the ways of the Aesir to his countrymen?

Where would Conan receive a polished horned helm, then, but from the Nordheimr themselves? Now, this doesn't necessitate a trip to Nordheim in itself - I just presented it as a possible opportunity for Conan to get a shiny new helm. He could've picked it up from a Cimmerian trader for all I know: the important thing is that the ?sir are so far north that they're considered figures of myth by most Hyborians, that Conan happened to live next door to them, and that Conan happened to return to his homeland.

The only reason I suggest a later placement could even be possible is that Conan is already in the area. I simply cannot understand your vehement refusal to even consider the possibility that Conan took a second trip north when he's basically right next door. That "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" may have taken place on the second, rather than the first, trip is almost incidental.

As for the whole "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" being the story Howard refers to: by your own standards, this is circumstantial. Just because Howard wrote a story with Conan among the ?sir doesn't necessarily mean that the tale he relates in the letter is TFGD. Howard wrote "The God in the Bowl" before the Miller letter, but he makes zero mention of it: does this mean we have to presume it takes place after "The Tower of the Elephant"? Even though we know Conan had been to Nemedia prior to "The Tower of the Elephant," providing a reasonable placement? Because if we use the Miller letter to trump the stories themselves, we would have to place "The God in the Bowl" after "The Tower of the Elephant" due to Howard not mentioning Conan taking a trip through Nemedia in the letter.

Except it is pretty obvious that 29 trips couldn't have happened because there is no opportunity. It simply contradicts with too many stories. In contrast, there is opportunity for at least a second trip.


Ah my dear Taranaich no vehemence here, nor refusals of second trips even,just friendly debate. Now some interesting thoughts on distance and travel: most Americans live a few hundred miles (as you put it) from either Mexico or Canada but few (relatively speaking) visit their "close" neighbors regularly or at all. I myself live a scant couple o' hundred miles from fabled California, the land of milk and honey in plenty and it could be said that I enjoy their ways (again, as you put it), but that certainly doesn't mean I go there often. How often do you visit neighboring countries? All of this with consideration for modern transportation. Distance severely limits travel no matter what time period. Now let's add warring cultures, travel by horseback or on foot, foraging or stockpiling supplies for months long journeys, and daunting geography. Suddenly a few hundred miles jaunt up to see the neighbors becomes a major ordeal not a whim or hopping on a flight for a sunny holiday. That said I never said there couldn't be a second trip but rather there is no concrete evidence to support the notion. However, we do have an Aesir tale and a timeframe where Conan went to visit the Aesir. How convenient. "If the shoe fits..."

Now as far as the helmet issue: where could one obtain a nifty horned helm? Archaeology has shown trade networks are a reality even in "primitive" cultures. Viking relics were found in native burial sites as far West as Minnesota even though we only have evidence for them at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. Seashells and abalone were found among the Plains Indians deep in the interior of America. Cherts, Flints and agates have been found thousands of miles from the host rock outcrop source and likely were not carried by one individual rather a network of trading peoples. Steel goods especially related to warfare would have traveled far as useful/valuable goods or as trophies/spoils of war. He could have gotten a horned helmet anywhere really. A great many people have African art or decorations and some might have obtained them there as souvenirs, but many buy the items in a local shop. How many people have seen leopard skin or crocodile skin but have never been to where they naturally occur? Even our sailor friend who mentions that the helmet looks like the ones the Aesir have might have never even seen an As or been to his country.

As far as God in the Bowl or Tower of the Elephant placement goes, it could be argued either way logically and we are left with only supposition as you correctly point out. On one hand the Miller letter response from Howard makes no mention of that unpublished tale but places Tower as first "debut," on the other internal clues such as the Nemedia thing and Conan's general demeanor suggest GitB is the earlier tale, but ultimately it is supposition albeit supposition supported with at least some persuading evidence.
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#64 deuce

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:25 AM

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

??to Conan, whose homeland was among the high hills of the northern uplands.? -Queen of the Black Coast

"Men said he was no civilized man at all, but a Cimmerian, one of those barbaric tribesmen who dwelt in the gray hills of the far North, and whose raids struck terror in their southron neighbors. At least, she knew that there was something about him, some super-vitality or barbarism that set him apart from his wild mates.? ? The Pool of the Black One

Comes from northwestern Cimmeria

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

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

??his thews had been steeled in boyhood on the sheer cliffs of his native hills.? ? The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

?He came from a race of hillmen, accustomed to scaling forbidding crags, and he was a man of unusual strength and agility.? - The Servants of Bit-Yakin


Hills, hills and more hills. No mountains.

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#65 deuce

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

??You grow sober with authority,? quoth Almaric. ?Such madness as that was always your particular joy.? ?Aye, when I had only my own life to consider,? answered Conan.? ?Black Colossus

From Khoraja south to Kuthchemes


REH using a "medieval" archaism.

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#66 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:03 PM



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

"...to Conan, whose homeland was among the high hills of the northern uplands." -Queen of the Black Coast

"Men said he was no civilized man at all, but a Cimmerian, one of those barbaric tribesmen who dwelt in the gray hills of the far North, and whose raids struck terror in their southron neighbors. At least, she knew that there was something about him, some super-vitality or barbarism that set him apart from his wild mates." -The Pool of the Black One

Comes from northwestern Cimmeria

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

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

"...his thews had been steeled in boyhood on the sheer cliffs of his native hills." - The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

"He came from a race of hillmen, accustomed to scaling forbidding crags, and he was a man of unusual strength and agility." - The Servants of Bit-Yakin


Hills, hills and more hills. No mountains.


To be fair Howard also calls the Himelians "Hills" and the people who dwell there hillmen. You are right though, hills, hills, and more gray wooded hills when Cimmeria is mentioned. Although Howard also mentions crags. So I imagine it much like the Scottish Highlands of today but far more densely wooded.

"...to Conan, whose homeland was among the high hills of the northern uplands." -Queen of the Black Coast

"...his thews had been steeled in boyhood on the sheer cliffs of his native hills." - The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

"He came from a race of hillmen, accustomed to scaling forbidding crags, and he was a man of unusual strength and agility." - The Servants of Bit-Yakin


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 05:26 AM.

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


#67 Ironhand

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:54 AM

I'm sure I remember reading one story where REH referred to Conan as a "mountain man", but I can't remember what story.
"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
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#68 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:41 AM

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Danger breeds caution, and only a wary man lives long in that wild country where the hot Vendhyan plains meet the crags of the Himelians. An hour's ride westward or northward and one crossed the border and was among the hills where men lived by the law of the knife." – People of the Black Circle

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

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

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

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

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

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 28 December 2010 - 05:16 PM.

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


#69 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:42 AM

I'm sure I remember reading one story where REH referred to Conan as a "mountain man", but I can't remember what story.


I haven't come across one yet and I am nearly through but I will let you know if I do.

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


#70 deuce

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:48 PM



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

"?to Conan, whose homeland was among the high hills of the northern uplands." -Queen of the Black Coast

"Men said he was no civilized man at all, but a Cimmerian, one of those barbaric tribesmen who dwelt in the gray hills of the far North, and whose raids struck terror in their southron neighbors. At least, she knew that there was something about him, some super-vitality or barbarism that set him apart from his wild mates." ? The Pool of the Black One

Comes from northwestern Cimmeria

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

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

"?his thews had been steeled in boyhood on the sheer cliffs of his native hills." ? The Man-Eaters of Zamboula

"He came from a race of hillmen, accustomed to scaling forbidding crags, and he was a man of unusual strength and agility." - The Servants of Bit-Yakin


Hills, hills and more hills. No mountains.


To be fair Howard also calls the Himelians "Hills" and the people who dwell there hillmen. You are right though, hills, hills, and more gray wooded hills when Cimmeria is mentioned. Although Howard also mentions crags. So I imagine it much like the Scottish Highlands of today but far more densely wooded.


That's about how I see it. In no way am I saying that there weren't mountains in Cimmeria; just that hills predominated and most of the mountains were located in the n-w corner, where Conan was born.

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#71 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:28 PM

Red Nails

Enamored for a lethal female pirate, Conan follows her on a trek through the wild lands where they confront a monstrous beast from a forgotten age. Seeking refuge they encounter the madness of two degenerate societies locked in battle in a cursed city.

Red Nails was first published in Weird Tales in parts during July, August, September, and October of 1936.

Red Nails had not been published yet in original form at the time of Howard's letter to miller written on March 10,1936 and would not have been included in the outline of Conan's Career that P. Schuyler Miller and Dr. John D. Clark had sent him prior prompting his response.

Language:

Stygian, Darfari, Aquilonian

Conan speaks to Valeria who is Aquilonian in her native tongue.

"Conan asked in the Aquilonian tongue: 'Who is this madman?' Valeria shrugged her shoulders." -Red Nails

Conan and Valeria speak to the inhabitants of Xuchotl in Stygian.

"He was gibbering in the Stygian tongue, though in a dialect unfamiliar to her." -Red Nails

Conan might have spoken Darfari with the women of Darfar that came to camp. Darfari is never mentioned by Howard, it is named after the people, or the country or region it is spoken in.

"But I saw I'd been stung when we marched to the Darfar border. The pay was poor and the wine was sour, and I don't like black women. And that's the only kind that came to our camp at Sukhmet, rings in their noses and their teeth filed , bah!" - Red Nails

Profession:

Mercenary

Conan described in the story:


"He was almost a giant in stature, muscles rippling smoothly under his skin which the sun had burned brown. His garb was similar to hers, except that he wore a broad leather belt instead of a girdle. Broadsword and poniard hung from this belt." - Red Nails

"Instead of a skirt she wore short, wide-legged silk breeches, which ceased a hand's breadth short of her knees, and were upheld by a wide silken sash worn as a girdle. Flaring-topped boots of soft leather came almost to her knees, and a low-necked, wide-collard, wide-sleeved silk shirt completed her costume. On one hip she wore a straight double-edged sword, and on the other a long dirk. Her unruly golden hair, cut square at her shoulders, was confined by a band of crimson satin." - Red Nails

Clues to placement:


"'You know I've commanded bigger ships and more men than you ever did in your life. As for being penniless, what rover isn't most of the time? I've squandered enough gold in the sea-ports of the world to fill a galleon. You know that, too.'
'Where are the fine ships and the bold lads you commanded, now?' she sneered.
'At the bottom of the sea, mostly,' he replied cheerfully. 'The Zingarans sank my last ship off the Shemite shore, that's why I joined Zarallo's Free Companions. But I saw I'd been stung when we marched to the Darfar border. The pay was poor and the wine was sour, and I don't like black women. And that's the only kind that came to our camp as Sukhmet, rings in their noses and their teeth filed, bah! Why did you join Zarallo? Sukhment's a long way from salt water.'"
- Red Nails

Conan was probably a pirate for some time as a Barachan Pirate before and after The Servants of Bit-Yakin, and as a Zingaran Buccaneer during and after The Pool of the Black One. The reference to Free Companions does not have anything to do with The Free Companions that were completely routed in Iron Shadows in the Moon and is apparently an appellation for any company of mercenaries not working for a kingdom and seeking employment.

"I've been rich a thousand times in my life, and I'll roll in plunder again." - Red Nails Draft edited out of the last quote above

"The Zingaran royal squadron sank my last ship off Toragis, I burned the town of Valadelad, but they caught me before I could reach the Barachas. I was the only man on board who escaped with his life." - Red Nails Draft also edited out of the last quote above

"'Turn west,' he answered. 'I've been this far south, but not this far east. Many days traveling to the west will bring us to the open savannas, where the black tribes graze their cattle. I have friends among them. We'll get to the coast and find a ship. I'm sick of the jungle.'" - Red Nails

Conan had been that far and further south in The Servants of Bit-Yakin, The Tombalku Typescripts, and Xuthal of the Dusk; and in fact had been further east in Zamboula in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula not to mention his time as a Afghuli chieftain in the Himelias and Vendhya in People of the Black Circle that he mentions when looking at the friezes in Xuchotl. He was probably referring only to the Black Kingdoms however.

He had spent some time with Valeria as a mercenary with Zarallo's Free Companions.

"He had seen Valeria kill too many men in border forays and tavern brawls to have any illusions about her. He knew she was as quick and ferocious as a tigress." - Red Nails

"'Lions nothing!' snorted Conan, his eyes blazing. 'Did you hear a lion roar? Neither did I! listen at those bones snap, not even a lion could make that much noise killing a horse.'" - Red Nails

"'Lions wouldn't make that noise,' whispered Conan. 'Something's eating our horses, but it's not a lion, Crom!'" - Red Nails

Conan had encountered lions in The Tower of the Elephant but those were strangely silent. He is probably familiar with them from his time in Kush.

"Ignorant of jungle-lore, she yet knew that no animal she had ever seen could have shaken the tall brush like that.
'It must be as big as an elephant,' muttered Conan, echoing her thought."
- Red Nails

Conan may not have seen an elephant yet by the time of The Tower of the Elephant but he is definitely familiar with them now, again from his time in Kush in Queen of the Black Coast, The Shumballa Typescripts, Xuthal of the Dusk, The Tombalku Typescripts, The Vale of Lost Women, etc.

Conan is also familiar with local legends.

"That thing must be a dragon, such as the black people speak of in their legends." - Red Nails

Conan again mentions his experience among the Kushites.

"'If we ate that we wouldn't need the bite of a dragon,' he grunted. 'That's what the black people of Kush call the Apples of Derketa. Derketa is the Queen of the Dead. Drink a little of the juice, or spill it on your flesh, and you'd be dead before you could tumble to the foot of this crag.'" - Red Nails

"There's enough poison there to kill an elephant, but, well, we'll see." -Red Nails

"The poison makes him thirsty. Come on! He'll be blind in a few moments, but he can smell his way back to the foot of the crag, and if our scent's here still, he'll sit there until he dies. And others of his kind may come at his cries. Let's go!" -Red Nails

"The people of the Black Countries are generally hostile to strangers. Probably stick us full of spears..." - Red Nails

As he experienced and escaped from in The Shumballa Typescripts, The Tombalku Synopsis, and the reluctance to foreign visitors in Keshan in The Servants of Bit-Yakin.

"...but there's strength in union, that's what the Aquilonian renegades used to tell us Cimmerians when they came into the hills to raise an army to invade their own country. But we fight by clans and tribes."
-Red Nails

Conan compares the dragon to a war-galley, a comparison made possible from his time as a pirate on the Vilayet Sea, as well as a Barachan Pirate and Zingaran Buccaneer.

"...a quick glance over his shoulder showed Conan that the monster was almost upon them, coming like a war-galley in front of a hurricane." -Red Nails

"'Your posterior must have been sore, too, after that long ride. You pirates aren't used to horseback.'
'What about yourself?' she retorted.
'I was a Kozak before I was a pirate,' he answered. 'They live in the saddle. I sn atch naps like a panther watching beside the trail for a deer to come by. My ears keep watch while my eyes sleep.'"
- Red Nails

Conan is referring to his time both as a pirate of The Red Brotherhood of the Vilayet Sea and prior to that as a member of the Free Companions that were called wastrel or Kozaki by the Hyrkanians of Turan in Iron Shadows in the Moon.

"Having removed the thorns, and peeled off the tough skin, he handed the girl a thick, juicy cactus leaf.
'Skin your teeth in that pear. It's food and drink to a desert man. I was chief of the Zuagirs once- desert men who live by plundering the caravans.' 'Is there anything you haven't been?' inquired the girl, half in derision and half in fascination. 'I've never been king of an Hyborian kingdom,' he grinned, taking an enormous mouthful of cactus. 'But I've dreamed of being even that, I may be too, some day. Why shouldn't I?'"
-Red Nails

Conan is referring to his time among the Zuagirs after A Witch Shall Be Born.

Conan comparing Valeria's stride to his, being from the grey hills of Cimmeria and as a Afghuli hillman chief to his having seen sailors during his period of piracy.

"'You walk more like a Hillman than a sailor,' he said. 'You must be an Aquilonian. The suns of Darfar never burnt your white skin brown. Many a princess would envy you.'" -Red Nails

"It doesn't look like stygian architecture." -Red Nails

Conan had been in Stygia multiple times prior in Queen, Xuthal, Tombalku, etc.

"'Jade, or I'm a Shemite!' swore Conan. 'Not in such quantity!' Protested Valeria. 'I've looted enough from the Khitan caravans to know what I'm talking about,' he asserted. 'That's jade!'" - Red Nails

Conan probably looted the Khitan caravans while among the Afghulis and Kozaks during The People of the Black Circle and prior in Iron Shadows in the Moon.

"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

Conan recognizes the stones and remembers what they were called from when he was in Punt in and after The Servants of Bit-Yakin and heard them refer to them as Green fire-stones.

"'Why don't we come to a street?' grumbled Valeria. 'This place or whatever we're in must be as big as the king of Turan's seraglio.'" - Red Nails

Conan mentions his adventures in The People of the Black Circle.

"'I never saw people exactly like them. But there's the smack of the East about them, Vendhya, maybe, or Kosala.'
'Were you a king in kosala?' she asked, masking her keen curiosity with derision.
'No. But I was a war-chief of the Afghulis who live in the Himelian mountains above the borders of Vendhya. These people favor the Kosalans. But why should Kosalans be building a city this far to west?'"
- Red Nails

Conan had in fact seen a Kosalan, Baal-pteor in The Man-Eaters of Zamboula but perhaps the friezes didn't look exactly like Kosalans just similar. He also says that the Afghulis favor the Kosalans in his opinion. The inhabitants of Xuchotl believe that the original Xuchotlans at least came through Kosala bringing wealth with them if not being from there directly.

"We have wealth in abundance, precious jewels are as common in Xuchotl as cobblestones are in the cities of the world. Some the Xuchotlans brought with them from Kosala. Some, like the firestones, they found in the hills to the east." - Red Nails

Conan and Valeria speak to the inhabitants of Xuchotl in Stygian.

"She was amazed to realize that she understood him. He was gibbering in the Stygian tongue, though in a dialect unfamiliar to her." -Red Nails

Conan speaks to Valeria who is Aquilonian in her native tongue.

"Conan asked in the Aquilonian tongue: 'Who is this madman?' Valeria shrugged her shoulders." -Red Nails

"I've seen his kind before, though. They live on the shores of Lake Zuad, near the border of Kush. They're sort of mongrel Stygians, mixed with another race that wandered into Stygia from the east some centuries ago and were absorbed by them. They're called Tlazitlans. I'm willing to bet it wasn't they who built this city, though."- Red Nails

Conan had been on the borders of Stygia and Kush during The Tombalku Typescripts and Xuthal of the Dusk.

"'We encountered a bench-legged monstrosity about the size of a mastodon,' said Conan casually, holding out his wine goblet which Techotl filled with evident pleasure. 'But when we'd killed it we had no further trouble.'" - Red Nails

Somewhere Conan has encountered a mastodon and compares the size of the dragon to one; maybe he saw one in Nordheim.

"A monstrous head protruded from behind the divan, a reptilian head, broad as the head of a crocodile, with down-curving fangs that projected over the lower jaw. But there was an unnatural limpness about the thing, and the hideous eyes were glazed.
Conan peered behind the couch. It was a great serpent which lay there limp in death, but such a serpent as he had never seen in his wanderings. The reek and chill of the deep black earth were about it, and its color was an indeterminable hue which changed with each new angle from which he surveyed it."
- Red Nails

Conan says he has never seen such a serpent in his wanderings after having slain serpents in Stygia with the Corsairs, in Kush with the Corsairs, and in Xapur in The Devil in Iron. He must be getting some experience in identifying them. Perhaps this one differed from the others in appearance.

How surprised must Conan have been to compare himself thusly:

"'WELL, I'm a Kushite!' Conan glared down at the man on the iron rack. 'What the devil are you doing on that thing?'" - Red Nails

Conan plans to return to piracy with Valeria.

"'It's a long way to the coast,' she said presently, withdrawing her lips from his. 'What matter?' he laughed. 'There's nothing we can't conquer. We'll have our feet on a ship's deck before the Stygians open their ports for the trading season. And then we'll show the world what plundering means!'" - Red Nails

From Shem to Stygia south through Darfar to Xuchotl then west to the coasts through Kush.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 05:45 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


#72 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:36 PM

Beyond the Black River

Civilization is attempting to thrust itself into the wilderness, only a barbarian can protect the settlers from the barbarians ready to push back the frontiers of Aquilonia. Battling an evil shaman, a forest demon, painted warriors, and beasts from the elder days, Conan rushes to warn of impending doom as the wilderness is reclaimed and civilization fails to barbarism.

Beyond the Black River was first published in Weird Tales in May and June of 1935.

Language:

Aquilonian, Bossonian, Pictish

Conan is presumably speaking Aquilonian with the Gundermen and Aquilonians of the fort.

"'Come on out!' he called, in an accent unfamiliar to the wayfarer" - Beyond the Black River

Conan is presumably speaking Bossonian with the Bossonians of the fort.

"'But the Bossonians have sheltered you Aquilonians form the outer wildernesses for too many centuries. You need hardening.' That was true; the Bossonian marches, with thier fortified villages filled with determined bowmen, had long served Aquilonia as a buffer against the outlying barbarians." - Beyond the Black River

"The rangy figures of Aquilonian pikemen and forest runners mingled with the shorter, stockier forms of Bossonian archers." - Beyond the Black River

"The Westermarck: located between the Bossonian marches and the Pictish wilderness. Provinces: Thandara, Conawaga, Oriskonie, Schohira...Thandara was the southernmost province...Their governor was merely a military commander, elected from among themselves, their choice being always submitted to and approved by the king of Aquilonia as a matter of form. No troops were ever sent to Thandara...When the word came that Aquilonia was being torn by civil war, and that the Cimmerian Conan was striking for the crown, Thandara instantly declared for Conan, renounced their allegiance to King Namedes and sent word asking Conan to endorse their elected governor, which the Cimmerian instantly did." -REH in untitled notes of the Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts.

"Baron Thasperas (Thespius) sent us word that we could do as we chose - he has declared for Conan and joined the rebel army." Gault speaking of one of the Bossonian barons -Wolves Beyond the Border Drafts A and B

It stands to reason that Conan can speak to the Bossonians in the Marches and the Westermarck and it is evidenced that he definitely can by the time he is King of Aquilonia and commanding the Bossonian archers as part of his armies.

"'No, Prospero,' the king continued...'I tell you it's not by chance that the Picts have of late so fiercely assailed the frontiers, so that the Bossonians have called for aid to beat them back.'" -The Phoenix on the Sword.

"In a sort of bastard-Bossonian, the priest made the chief understand his purpose, and the though extremely puzzled, Gorm gave him permission to remain among his tribe unbutchered- a case unique in the history of the race." REH speaking of Picts in The Hyborian Age.

Conan speaks Pictish.

"At his very ear had sounded the harsh gutturals of a Pict. Then he realized that Conan had called to the paddler in his own tongue."
- Beyond the Black River

Conan scrawls the symbol of Jhebbal Sag.

"Conan turned, squatted and with his knife began scratching a curious symbol in the mold..." - Beyond the Black River

"'I saw it carved in the rock of a cave no human had visited for a million years,' muttered Conan. 'In the uninhabited mountains beyond the Sea of Vilayet, half a world away from this spot. Later I saw a black witch-finder of Kush scratch it in the sand of a nameless river. He told me part of its meaning- it's sacred to Jhebbal Sag and the creatures which worship him.'" - Beyond the Black River

"Once all living things worshipped him. That was long ago, when beasts and men spoke one language. Men have forgotten him; even the beasts forget. Only a few remember. The men who remember Jhebbal Sag and the beasts who remember are brothers and speak the same tongue." - Beyond the Black River

Profession:

Mercenary

Conan described in the story:


"Crouching behind a thick stem, his sword quivering in his fingers, he saw the bushes part, and a tall figure stepped leisurely into the trail. The traveler stared in surprize. The stranger was clad like himself in regard to boots and breeks, though the latter were of silk instead of leather. But he wore a sleeveless hauberk of dark mesh-mail in place of a tunic, and a helmet perched on his black mane. 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. Nor was the face below it that of a civilized man: dark, scarred, with smoldering blue eyes, it was a face as untamed as the primordial forest which formed its background. The man held a broadsword in his right hand, and the edge was smeared with crimson.
'Come on out!' he called, in an accent unfamiliar to the wayfarer. 'All's safe now. There was only one of the dogs. Come on out.'
The other emerged dubiously and stared at the stranger. He felt curiously helpless and futile as he gazed on the proportions of the forest man, the massive iron-clad breast, and the arm that bore the reddened sword, burned dark by the sun and ridged and corded with muscles. He moved with the dangerous ease of a panther; he was too fiercely supple to be a product of civilization, even of that fringe of civilization which composed the outer frontiers."
- Beyond the Black River

He is still wearing silk breeks from his time with Valeria as a pirate .

Clues to placement:

Considerable time has passed since we last saw Conan leaving Xuchotl headed west to the black coasts of Kush to resume piracy with Valeria.

Conan is now a Mercenary employed as a scout and forest runner in the Westermarck region of the Bossonian Marches of Aquilonia. He makes a foray into the Pictish Wilderness during a border war with the Picts.

"I'm a mercenary. I sell my sword to the highest bidder. I never planted wheat and never will, so long as there are other harvests to be reaped with the sword." - Beyond the Black River

Conan referring to the destruction of Venarium that he participated in as a youth.

"'But some day a man with rise and unite thirty or forty clans, just as was done among the Cimmerians, when the Gundermen tried to push the border northward, years ago. They tried to colonize the southern marches of Cimmeria: destroyed a few small clans, built a fort-town, Venarium, - you've heard the tale.'
'So I have indeed,' replied Balthus, wincing. The memory of that red disaster was a black blot in the chronicles of a proud and warlike people. 'My uncle was at Venarium when the Cimmerians swarmed over the walls. He was one of the few who escaped that slaughter. I've heard him tell the tale, many a time. The barbarians swept out of the hills in a ravening horde, without warning, and stormed Venarium with such fury none could stand before them. Men, women and children were butchered. Venarium was reduced to a mass of charred ruins, as it is to this day. The Aquilonians were driven back across the marches, and have never since tried to colonize the Cimmerian country. But you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?'
'I was,' grunted the other. 'I was one of the horde that swarmed over the walls. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires.'"
- Beyond the Black River

At this point in his career he has had more adventures among civilized nations than his own. Although impossible to tell how much time he spent in Cimmeria during his different homefarings, it is probable that he has spent the majority of his life outside it. Nevertheless, he is barbarian to the core and his instincts are undiminished.

"The Cimmerians were barbarians as ferocious as the Picts, and much more intelligent. Evidently Conan had spent much time among civilized men, though that contact had obviously no softened him, nor weakened any of his primitive instincts." - Beyond the Black River

Conan having been part of and a leader to many armies still dislikes the rank and file discipline of the common soldier; which is why he is employed currently with more freedom outside the fort. He has probably always disliked it which reminds me of him being called one of the most turbulent rogues among the mercenaries in Black Colossus.

"Military discipline put his teeth on edge."
- Beyond the Black River

"I'm no soldier. I draw the pay and rations of an officer of the line, but I do my work in the woods. Valannus knows I'm of more use ranging along the river than cooped up in the fort." - Beyond the Black River

"'Mitra protect us!' exploded Amalric. 'That's Conan the northron, the most turbulent of all my rogues! I'd have hanged him long ago, were he not the best swordsman that ever donned hauberk-'" -Black Colossus

Conan has been in the area for some time to gain an intimate knowledge of the river and surrounding forests.

"Conan was feeling his way by instinct and an intensive familiarity with the river." - Beyond the Black River

Conan uses the symbol of Jhebbal Sag that he had seen previously either as a Kozak or Afghuli chieftain and that was later partially explained to him during his time in Kush.

"Conan turned, squatted and with his knife began scratching a curious symbol in the mold..."
- Beyond the Black River

"'I saw it carved in the rock of a cave no human had visited for a million years,' muttered Conan. 'In the uninhabited mountains beyond the Sea of Vilayet, half a world away from this spot. Later I saw a black witch-finder of Kush scratch it in the sand of a nameless river. He told me part of its meaning- it's sacred to Jhebbal Sag and the creatures which worship him.'" - Beyond the Black River

It seems that this ape is not the same as a grey ape from the eastern shores of the Vilayet or Thak?s people from Rogues in the House, but merely a common ape like the one he had seen caged in a Hyrkanian city long ago.

"A bull ape. The Picts think they're sacred to the Hairy One who lives on the moon, the gorilla-god of Gullah." - Beyond the Black River

Conan is mentioning his experience in Kush and as a Barachan Pirate.

"'Those were ostrich plumes Zogar Sag wore,' he said. 'I've seen them on the helmets of knights who rode from the East to visit the barons of the marches. There are no ostriches in this forest, are there?'
'They came from Kush,' answered Conan. 'West of here, many marches, lies the sea-shore. Ships from Zingara occasionally come and trade weapons and ornaments and wine to the coastal tribes for skins and copper ore and gold dust. Sometimes they trade ostrich plumes they got from the Stygians, who in turn got them from the black tribes of Kush, which lies south of Stygia. The Pictish shamans place great store by them. But there's much risk in such trade. The Picts are too likely to try to seize the ship. And the coast is dangerous to ships. I've sailed along it when I was with the pirates of the Barachan Isles, which lie southwest of Zingara.'"
- Beyond the Black River

"'I knew you hadn't spent your life on this frontier. You've mentioned several far places. You've traveled widely?'
'I've roamed far; farther than any other man of my race ever wandered. I've seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet. I've been a mercenary captain, a corsair, a kozak, a penniless vagabond, a general; hell, I've been everything except a king, and I may be that, before I die.' The fancy pleased him, and he grinned hardly. Then he shrugged his shoulders and stretched his mighty figure on the rocks. 'This is as good life as any. I don't know how long I'll stay on the frontier; a week, a month, a year. I have a roving foot. But it's as well on the border as anywhere.'"
- Beyond the Black River

Conan is stating that he has been in all the great cities of the Hyborians. It would be interesting to know what is considered a great city and if some Hyborian nations like The Border Kingdom have any. By this time in his life he has been to Hyperborea, Brythunia, Nemedia, Zamora, Corinthia, Ophir, Aquilonia, Zingara, Argos, Koth, Khoraja, and Khauran of the Hyborian kingdoms. He has been in the land of Shem, and also among the Stygians in the ancient realm of Stygia. By this statement it seems he has also been in Hyrkania possibly as a Kozak, but had definitely seen some of the Hyrkanian's great cities in the empire of Turan in addition to those he might have seen east of the Sea of Vilayet. Conan states he has been in the unknown countries south of Kush, possibly meaning unknown to Hyborians, having traveled to Keshan and Punt. He has been in the Himelias and Vendhya.

"The Cimmerian might have spent years among the great cities of the world; he might have walked with the rulers of civilization; he might even achieve his wild whim some day and rule as king of a civilized nation; stranger things had happened. But he was no less a barbarian. He was concerned only with the naked fundamentals of life. The warm intimacies of small, kindly things, the sentiments and delicious trivialities that make up so much of civilized men's lives were meaningless to him. A wolf was no less a wolf because a whim of chance caused him to run with the watch-dogs. Bloodshed and violence and savagery were the natural elements of the life Conan knew; he could not, and would never understand the little things that are so dear to the souls of civilized men and women." - Beyond the Black River

Conan can recognize the different tribes of Picts and knows their language and habits indicating an intimate knowledge of Picts that the Cimmerians have been fighting as long as they can remember.

"'That's a Gwawela man,' muttered Conan. 'Emissary from Zogar. White plume shows that. He's carried a peace talk to the tribes down the river and now he's trying to get back and take a hand in the slaughter.'" - Beyond the Black River

"'Even a Zingaran ought to know there's never been peace between Picts and Cimmerians, and never will be,' he retorted with an oath. 'Our feud with them is older than the world. If you'd said that to one of my wilder brothers, you'd have found yourself with a split head. But I've lived among you civilized men long enough to understand your ignorance and lack of common courtesy - the churlishness that demands his business of a man who appears at your door out of a thousand-mile wilderness. Never mind that.'" -The Black Stranger

"'Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,' the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. 'Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.'" - Beyond the Black River

From the western Sea possibly through Zingara to Aquilonia and Bossonian Marches and into Pictish Wilderness

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 03:27 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


#73 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:44 PM

The Black Stranger

Turning at bay to die, to sell his life at high price among the blood-mad savages that hunt him across the trackless wilderness; Conan stumbles upon a refuge that the savages fear and uncovers a mysterious treasure guarded by an unknown entity. Others have come for the treasure as well and Conan disrupts their plans of intrigue with a plan of his own.

The original version of The Black Stranger remained unpublished in Howard's lifetime.

The Black Stranger had not been published yet in original form at the time of Howard's letter to miller in 1936 and would not have been included in the outline of Conan's Career that P. Schuyler Miller and Dr. John D. Clark had sent him prompting his response.

Language:

Pictish, Zingaran

"The man crouching on the ledge above them understood the Pictish tongue, but he was too far away to catch the significance of the staccato phrases snapped at the warriors by the crimson-feathered chief." - The Black Stranger

Conan speaks Zingaran throughout the tale to The Count of Zingara and his retainers, Strom and his Barachan Pirates, and Black Zarono with his Zingaran buccaneers.

Profession:

Mercenary, Pirate

Conan described in the story:

"Then he stalked across the glade placing his feet with care. For all his massive, muscular build he moved with the supple certitude of a panther. He was naked except for a rag twisted about his loins, and his limbs were criss-crossed with scratches from briars, and caked with dried mud. A brown-crusted bandage was knotted about his thickly-muscled left arm. Under his matted black mane his face was drawn and gaunt, and his eyes burned like the eyes of a wounded panther. He limped slightly as he followed the dim path that led across the open space." - The Black Stranger

"They had just passed the spot where the thicket crowded closest to the ancient trail when the Cimmerian bounded into the path behind them and plunged the knife between the shoulders of the last man. The attack was so quick and unexpected the Pict had no chance to save himself. The blade was in his heart before he knew he was in peril. The other two whirled with the instant, steel-trap quickness of savages, but even as his knife sank home, the Cimmerian struck a tremendous blow with the war-axe in his right hand. The second Pict was in the act of turning as the axe fell. It split his skull to the teeth." - The Black Stranger

"A man as big as himself was striding toward him over the sands, making no attempt at stealth, and the pirate's eyes widened as he stared at the close-fitting silk breeches, high flaring-topped boots, wide-skirted coat and head-gear of a hundred years ago. There was a broad cutlass in the stranger's hand and unmistakable purpose in his approach." - The Black Stranger

"The stranger was as tall as either of the freebooters, and more powerfully built than either, yet for all his size he moved with pantherish suppleness in his high, flaring-topped boots. His thighs were cased in close-fitting breeches of white silk, his wide-skirted sky-blue coat open to reveal an open-necked white silken shirt beneath, and the scarlet sash that girdled his waist. There were silver acorn-shaped buttons on the coat, and it was adorned with gilt-worked cuffs and pocket-flaps, and a satin collar. A lacquered hat completed a costume obsolete by nearly a hundred years. A heavy cutlass hung at the wearer's hip." -The Black Stranger

Clues to placement:

Through the Pictish Wilderness to the western coast, Conan is a Mercenary employed as a scout and forest runner in the Westermark region of the Bossonian Marches of Aquilonia who is captured by Picts and escapes.

"It was the Wolves who had captured him, in a foray against the Aquilonian settlements along Thunder River, and they had given him to the Eagles in return for a captured Wolf chief. The Eagle-men had a red score against the giant Cimmerian, and now it was redder still, for his escape had cost the life of a noted war-chief. That was why they had followed him so relentlessly, over broad rivers and hills and through long leagues of gloomy forest, the hunting grounds of hostile tribes." - The Black Stranger

"'You said you came from the woods, yet you say you haven't been living with the Picts. All men know this country is a wilderness, inhabited only by savages. The nearest outposts of civilization are the Aquilonian settlements on Thunder River, hundreds of miles to eastward.'
'That's where I came from,' replied Conan imperturbably. 'I believe I'm the first white man to cross the Pictish Wilderness. I crossed Thunder River to follow a raiding party that had been harrying the frontier. I followed them deep into the wilderness, and killed their chief, but was knocked senseless by a stone from a sling during the melee, and the dogs captured me alive. They were Wolfmen, but they traded me to the Eagle clan in return for a chief of theirs the Eagles had captured. The Eagles carried me nearly a hundred miles westward to burn me in their chief village, but I killed their war-chief and three or four others one night, and broke away.
I couldn't turn back. They were behind me, and kept herding me westward. A few days ago I shook them off, and by Crom, the place where I took refuge turned out to be the treasure trove of old Tranicos!'"
- The Black Stranger

Conan recognizes the scent of sea air from his time on the western ocean as a corsair, Barachan Pirate, and Zingaran Buccaneer.

"A wind out of the west blew against his face, laden with a salty dampness he recognized. Dully he was amazed. If he was that close to the sea the long chase had been even longer than he had realized." - The Black Stranger

Conan is familiar with the coastline of the Pictish Wilderness having sailed it in his days of piracy.

"This country was howling wilderness. The Cimmerian knew that for a thousand miles this western coast ran bare and uninhabited except by the villages of the ferocious sea-land tribes, who were even less civilized than their forest-dwelling brothers." - The Black Stranger

"West of here, many marches, lies the sea-shore. Ships from Zingara occasionally come and trade weapons and ornaments and wine to the coastal tribes for skins and copper ore and gold dust. Sometimes they trade ostrich plumes they got from the Stygians, who in turn got them from the black tribes of Kush, which lies south of Stygia. The Pictish shamans place great store by them. But there's much risk in such trade. The Picts are too likely to try to seize the ship. And the coast is dangerous to ships. I've sailed along it when I was with the pirates of the Barachan Isles, which lie southwest of Zingara." - Beyond the Black River

"I've sailed these coasts enough to know something about the sea-land tribes." - The Black Stranger

Conan recognizes sea chests from his days of piracy.

"He noticed something else, thick iron-bound chests ranged along the walls. A blaze of comprehension came into his eyes." - The Black Stranger

Conan was formerly a Barachan pirate and a member of their Red Brotherhood.

"By Crom, you show damned poor courtesy to a man who's been one of your own brotherhood." - The Black Stranger

"The pirate went pale, as recognition blazed in his eyes.
'You!' he ejaculated unbelievingly, 'By Mitra! You!'"
- The Black Stranger

"Then I climbed a tree to look for Picts, and from it I saw your carack at anchor, Strom, and your men coming in to shore. I was making my way toward your camp on the beach wehen I met Galacus. I shoved a sword through him because there was an old feud between us. I wouldn't have known he had a map, if he hadn't tried to eat it before he died.
I recognized it for what it was, of course, and was considering what use I could make of it, when the rest of you dogs came up and found the body. I was lying in a thicket not a dozen yards from you while you were arguing with your men over the matter. I judged the time wasn't ripe for me to show myself then!"
- The Black Stranger

Conan knew and was known by the Barachan pirate Galacus and had a feud of old between them, possibly the reason he left the Barachans from Tortage?

"'Conan!' ejaculated both freebooters together, and Valenso and Galbro caught their breath at that name.
'Who else?' The giant strode up to the table, laughing sardonically at their amazement."
- The Black Stranger

Both Strom the Barachan Pirate and Black Zarono a Zingaran buccaneer recognize Conan on sight from his time as both a Barachan pirate and Zingaran buccaneer.

Conan had made for the black coasts of Kush with Valeria at the end of Red Nails with every intention of resuming piracy. It appears that for some time he was a pirate and that ended when his ship was sunk and being the sole survivor he swam ashore. He then became a mercenary for the Aquilonians possibly reaching the Westermark through Zingara to help guard the border from the Picts and was there for some time.

"'I thought you were dead,' said Zarono slowly. 'Three years ago the shattered hull of your ship was sighted off a reefy coast, and you were heard of on the Main no more.' 'I didn't drown with my crew,' answered Conan. 'It'll take a bigger ocean than that one to drown me.'"- The Black Stranger

Conan had made a name for himself as a Barachan pirate with Valeria with wide recognition that he did not have during The Pool of the Black One when he was not immediately recognized by the Zingaran buccaneer Zaporavo, captain of the Wastrel.

"Who of all the sea-folk had not heard the wild, bloody tales told of Conan, the wild rover who had once been a captain of the Barachan pirates, and one of the greatest scourges of the sea? A score of ballads celebrated his ferocious and audacious exploits."- The Black Stranger

Conan recognizes and names a Barachan pirate carack in the bay.

"Strom and I will sail away with our shares aboard The Red Hand." - The Black Stranger

"You'd turn my own men against me, Conan, and cut my throat before I raised the Barachans." - The Black Stranger

Strom is hesitant to ship with Conan knowing the nature of the man and possibly having heard about his takeover in similar fashion of the Wastrel in The Pool of the Black One.

Again Conan shows his familiarity with pirates.

"I know you sea-faring men. You're helpless in the deep woods." - The Black Stranger

Conan recognizes plunder from the southern seas having pillaged there.

"'A rich cargo there,' he said carelessly. 'Silks, laces, garments, ornaments, weapons, the loot of the southern seas.'"
- The Black Stranger

Having tired of life on the border guarding against the Picts Conan has thought of returning to the sea.

"Aye! And the pick of each crew! I've been wanting to get back on the Main for months, and this was a good opportunity!" - The Black Stranger

"'It's no empty boast,' muttered Strom. 'He can move and strike in the dark as subtly and silently as a ghost.'" - The Black Stranger

Strom may have seen Conan do just such a thing when Conan was with the Barachan pirates.

Conan recognizes a seal of a Zingaran family indicating his familiarity with Zingaran nobility. Possibly from raiding their coasts as a freebooter or from passing through Zingara to get to Aquilonia to become a mercenary.

"'I recognized the Korzetta seal,' said Conan." - The Black Stranger

Conan is recognized by Valenso a Zingaran Count in exile.

"He knew Conan was a Cimmerian, born and bred in the wastes of the far north, and therefore not amenable to the physical limitations which controlled civilized men." - The Black Stranger

Conan can recognize the different tribes of Picts and knows their language and habits indicating an intimate knowledge of Picts that the Cimmerians have been fighting as long as they can remember.

"'Even a Zingaran ought to know there's never been peace between Picts and Cimmerians, and never will be,' he retorted with an oath. 'Our feud with them is older than the world. If you'd said that to one of my wilder brothers, you'd have found yourself with a split head. But I've lived among you civilized men long enough to understand your ignorance and lack of common courtesy - the churlishness that demands his business of a man who appears at your door out of a thousand-mile wilderness. Never mind that.'" -The Black Stranger

"He knew the Pictish nature too well not to recognize the finality expressed in the departure." - The Black Stranger

Conan is able to read and distinguish the prints of moccasins from various Pict tribes.

"'The Picts whose tracks are about this tree weren't Toucans,' he growled, returning through the thicket. 'I've sailed these coasts enough to know something about the sea-land tribes. If I read the prints of their moccasins right, they were Cormorants.'" - The Black Stranger

Conan is able to read the Barachan treasure map.

"I wouldn't have known he had a map, if he hadn't tried to eat it before he died. I recognized it for what it was, of course..." - The Black Stranger

Conan uses smoke signals.

"Conan the Cimmerian held a ragged cloak over a fire of green wood. As he manipulated the cloak, puffs of smoke rose upward, quivered against the dawn and vanished.
...'They'll understand my signals; it's the pirate code.'"
- The Black Stranger

Conan tells of his penniless youth after his captivity in Hyperborea.

"I know what it is to be penniless in a Hyborian land. Now in my country sometimes there are famines; but people are hungry only when there's no food in the land at all. But in civilized countries I've seen people sick of gluttony while others are starving. Aye, I've seen men fall and die of hunger against the walls of shops and storehouses crammed with food.
Sometimes I was hungry, too, but then I took what I wanted at sword's point."
-The Black Stranger

Conan returns to the life of a Barachan Pirate as captain of The Red Hand at the end of The Black Stranger.

"Conan grinned and indicated The Red Hand drawing swiftly inshore.
'A ship and a crew are all I want. As soon as I set foot on that deck, I'll have a ship, and as soon as I can raise the Barachans I'll have a crew. The lads of the Red Brotherhood are eager to ship with me, because I always lead them to rare loot. And as soon as I've set you and the girl ashore on the Zingaran coast, I'll show the dogs some looting! Nay, nay, no thanks! What are a handful of gems to me, when all the loot of the southern seas will be mine for the grasping?'"
- The Black Stranger

"The pirate and the buccaneer were killed in the red massacre; and Conan, with the girls, got away and fled in the pirate ship anchored in a bay on the coast." - The Black Stranger Synopsis A

Bossonian Marches, Pictish Wilderness, Western Sea, Zingara

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 September 2011 - 03:37 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


#74 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:50 PM

Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts

Wolves Beyond the Border are two unfinished story drafts abandoned by Howard and some untitled notes about the Westermarck region between the Bossonian Marches and the Pictish Wilderness; they were not published in his lifetime.

Language:

Aquilonian, Bossonian

"The Westermarck: located between the Bossonian marches and the Pictish wilderness. Provinces: Thandara, Conawaga, Oriskonie, Schohira...Thandara was the southernmost province...Their governor was merely a military commander, elected from among themselves, their choice being always submitted to and approved by the king of Aquilonia as a matter of form. No troops were ever sent to Thandara...When the word came that Aquilonia was being torn by civil war, and that the Cimmerian Conan was striking for the crown, Thandara instantly declared for Conan, renounced their allegiance to King Namedes and sent word asking Conan to endorse their elected governor, which the Cimmerian instantly did." -REH in untitled notes of The Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts.

"Baron Thasperas (Thespius) sent us word that we could do as we chose - he has declared for Conan and joined the rebel army." Gault speaking of one of the Bossonian barons-Wolves Beyond the Border Drafts A and B

It stands to reason that Conan can speak to the Bossonians in the Marches and the Westermarck and it is evidenced that he definitely can by the time he is King of Aquilonia and commanding the Bossonian archers as part of his armies. He speaks Aquilonian as a mercenary for the Aquilonian armies.

Profession:

Mercenary General, King

Clues to placement:


Conan having heard of strife in Aquilonia returns from the sea and quickly assumes leadership as a Mercenary General. Making a name for himself and gaining loyalty from troops he led and provinces he saved even in the face of questionable orders from the King.

Later when civil war breaks out because of the tyrannical rule of King Namedides troops and provinces support Conan in a bid to rule the kingdom.

“Word came of civil war, and a fighting man risen to wrest the throne from the ancient dynasty.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

“When the word came that Aquilonia was being torn by civil war, and that the Cimmerian Conan was striking for the crown, Thandara instantly declared for Conan, renounced their allegiance to King Namedes and sent word asking Conan to endorse their elected governor, which the Cimmerian instantly did.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Unfinished Notes

“The baron of Schohira declared for Conan, and marched to join his army, but asked no levies of Schohira where indeed every man was needed to guard the frontier.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Unfinished Notes

“’I hope Thandara declares for Conan,’ said he with an oath, ‘for I tell you plainly it is our political complection. Even now our army lies beyond Schondara, waiting the onslaught of Baron Brocas of Torh, and but for the necessity of watching the cursed Picts we would all be there.’” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

“’I hope Thandara declares for Conan,’ said he with an oath, ‘for I tell you plainly it is our political complection. And it is my cursed luck which keeps me here with the handful of rangers who watch the border for raiding Picts. I would give my bow and hunting shirt to be with our army which lies even now at Thenitea on Ogaha Creek waiting the onslaught of Brocas of Torh with his damned renegades.’” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B

“This is the word I bring you from Brant Drago’s son, governor of Thandara, and the council of captains: Thandara has declared for Conan, and stands ready to aid his friends and defy his allies.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

Gault refers to the events of Beyond the Black River when Conan and Balthus were able to hinder the Picts and warn of the invading savages in time to save the inhabitants of Conajohara if not the settlements themselves. Gault says he was a child five years old.

“I was born in the province of Conajohara But when I was five years of age, the Picts broke over the Black River and stormed Fort Tuscelan and slew all within save one man, and drove all the settlers of the province east of Thunder River. Conajohara was never reqonquered, but became again part of the Wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts and wild men. The people of Conajohara scattered throughout the Westermarck, in Schohira, Conawaga, or Oriskonie, but many of them went southward and settled near Fort Thandara, an isolated outpost on the Warhorse River, my family among them.”
- Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

Gault’s history is revised in the second draft and he was now ten years old during Beyond the Black River, he is intimated to be a man in Wolves Beyond the Border so it has been at least approximately 6 to 8 years since Conan saved the Conajoharans. Conan then resumed his forest-runner services and was captured by the Picts and escaped across the Pictish Wilderness in The Black Stranger before becoming a pirate again for some time. Conan then returns to Aquilonia and rises to the rank of general in the mercenary army before the civil war breaks out.

“I was born in the province of Conajohara But when I was ten years of age, the Picts broke over the Black River and stormed Fort Tuscelan and slew all within save one man, and drove all the settlers of the province east of Thunder River. Conajohara became again part of the Wilderness, haunted only by wild beasts and wild men. The people of Conajohara scattered throughout the Westermarck, in Schohira, Conawaga, or Oriskawny, but many of them went southward and settled near Fort Thandara, an isolated outpost on the Warhorse River, my family among them.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B

“’What man of Thandara could forget Conan?’ said I. ‘Nay, I was but a child in Conajohara, but I remember him when he was a forest-runner and a scout there. When his rider came into Thandara telling us that Conan had struck for the throne, and asking our support – he asked no volunteer, saying he knew all our men were needed to guard our frontier – we sent him one phrase : ‘Tell Conan we have not forgotten Conajohara.’” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

“’What man of Thandara could forget Conan?’ said I. ‘Nay, I was but a child in Conajohara, but I remember him when he was a forest-runner and a scout there. When his rider came into Thandara telling us that Poitain was in revolt, with Conan striking for the throne, and asking our support – he asked no volunteers for his army, merely our loyalty – we sent him one word : ‘We have not forgotten Conajohara.’” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft A

Gault references the standard used by the regiment when Conan was a mercenary for the armies of Aquilonia.

“And I wondered why, if Schohira were for Conan, they did not fly the banner he had chosen – the golden lion on a black field, the standard of the regiment he commanded as a mercenary general of Aquilonia." - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B

“In Conawaga the land-owners and Brocas are for Namedides, and we have heard pitiful tales of their treatment of the common people who favor Conan.” - Wolves Beyond the Border Draft B

“Conan was about forty when he seized the crown of Aquilonia…” -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Bossonian Marches, Aquilonia

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 03 January 2011 - 04:53 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


#75 elegos7

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:34 PM

Hello Amra,

So you acknowledge based on Gault's age that approximately 6 or 8 years has passed between "Beyond the Black River" and "Wolves beyond the Border", with "Black Stranger" being the only story taking place between them.

As Conan was about 40 when he seized the crown of Aquilonia (based on REH's letter), it means all the previous stories must have taken place before he was around 30. Do you think it is possible to squeeze in so many stories in so few years?
I think it was because of this that Rippke and Sanahujas placed at least "Red Nails" or even "Servents" after "Beyond".
Conan's statement in "Beyond" that "I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush" does not necessarily mean he was in Keshan or Punt before that story. He obviously sailed south to Kush during his time with Belit.

Edited by elegos7, 29 December 2010 - 11:12 PM.


#76 deuce

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:16 PM

Hello Amra,

So you acknowledge based on Gault's age that approximately 6 or 8 years has passed between "Beyond the Black River" and "Wolves beyond the Border", with "Black Stranger" being the only story taking place between them.

As Conan was about 40 when he seized the crown of Aquilonia (based on REH's letter), it means all the previous stories must have taken place before he was around 30. Do you think it is possible to squeeze in so many stories in so few years?
I think it was because of this that Rippke and Sanahujas placed at least "Red Nails" or even "Servents" after "Beyond".


Interesting points, Elegos. I wonder if Conan's hypothetical "second Corsair" period might have occurred during that gap?


Conan's statment in "Beyond" that "I've roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush" dos not necessarily mean he was in Keshan or Punt before that story. He obviously sailed south to Kush during his time with Belit.


Not only that, but I don't really see how the sentence in question can be construed as being about black countries of any kind, let alone Keshan or Punt. If Conan was referring to unknown black kingdoms, he could've said, "the unknown black countries south of Kush".

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#77 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:15 PM

Conan's statment in "Beyond" that "I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush" dos not necessarily mean he was in Keshan or Punt before that story. He obviously sailed south to Kush during his time with Belit.


I disagree I think it does. Conan obviously was in Kush and sailed the Black Coasts in Queen of the Black Coast.

Concerning Kush, however, it is one of the black kingdoms south of Stygia, the northern-most, in fact, and has given its name to the whole southern coast. - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet. ” – Beyond the Black River

Conan specifically says he has been in unknown countries south of meaning other than the black kingdoms of Kush. He could not be referring to Kush in this quote if the countries he is referring to are south of Kush. What countries do we know are south of Kush?

Keshan, Punt, Zimbabwe, Amazons, Atlaia, and other unnamed Black Kingdoms

We know he has been to Keshan, and I surmise he has been to Punt based on circumstantial evidence during the border skirmishes in the story and knowledge of Punt and that he had intended on traveling there after the events in The Servants of Bit-Yakin. There is also the intimation that he had spoken to the people of Punt with further knowledge gained at the beginning of Red Nails.

Skirmishes along the borders were incessant, affording the Cimmerian plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his ability at hand-to-hand fighting.- The Servants of Bit-Yakin

Who were the Keshans fighting with in these border skirmishes? We know that they border Kush to the west and Punt to the east we do not know about their northern or southern borders. Keshan is in the hinterlands of Kush meaning claimed by that coastal kingdom and supplying goods to them. Seeing as how the Keshans already have an enmity towards the Puntans and that Conan is offering his service to invade them, and the Zimbabwans also are up in arms against them it seems Punt is likely where these border skirmishes took place.

For a price he would train the armies of Keshan and lead them against Punt, their hereditary enemy, whose recent successes in the field had roused the fury of Keshan’s irascible king. - The Servants of Bit-Yakin

"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.” – Beyond the Black River

If Conan is not talking about Keshan or Punt when he says he was in countries south of Kush, which countries do you surmise he is talking about?

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


My time-line agrees with the Miller-Clark outline from Beyond the Black River, through the Hour of the Dragon.

So you acknowledge based on Gault's age that approximately 6 or 8 years has passed between "Beyond the Black River" and "Wolves beyond the Border", with "Black Stranger" being the only story taking place between them.


Yes and in that 6-8 year approximated gap Conan continued to be a forest-runner for an unknown period of time, crossed hundreds of miles of Pictish Wilderness, became a pirate again for an unknown period of time, became a mercenary for Aquilonia again and rose to the rank of General before the Aquilonian civil war and fought for an unknown period of time during that civil war before finally seizing the crown at about forty years old.

As Conan was about 40 when he seized the crown of Aquilonia (based on REH's letter), it means all the previous stories must have taken place before he was around 30. Do you think it is possible to squeeze in so many stories in so few years?
I think it was because of this that Rippke and Sanahujas placed at least "Red Nails" or even "Servents" after "Beyond".



Yes, I am only 33 years old and have had many adventures with stories to relate to them. Conan albeit having a life more exciting than mine could have had plenty of time to have 19 recorded adventures since age about 17 in Tower of the Elephant to age about 40 (23 years) when he becomes King during the period directly after Wolves Beyond the Border. Even if each story lasted the entire year (which most don't) that would still leave 4 years. If you discounted the 6-8 years between Beyond the Black River and Wolves Beyond the Border and taking account for the one story during that time The Black Stranger you still have at least 15 years to have the 18 adventures recorded in the stories.

Some of the stories take place over a matter of days, some over a few weeks, some over the period of several months, and some approximating a year or more. We have to take into account time for travel overland on foot or by horse, as well as sea travel by ship and boat or even swimming. We have to take into account rough terrain like jungles, deserts, mountains, rivers, etc to be crossed. We have to take into account time to make friends, learn customs, pick up some of the local languages passably or fluently. We have to take into account time to train with, fight with, and rise in position in any army that Conan has served for or led before being a king. Even with all of that it seems likely to me that all 19 of the tales could easily be compiled into the 23 years between age about 17 inThe Tower of the Elephant and about 40 when Conan becomes king shortly after Wolves Beyond the Border.

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).


No I don't as I previously mentioned but you seem adamant that some reckoning of years take place before you will consider any time-line. So I will give you an estimation of Conan's ages based entirely on conjecture and supposition and not on facts from the stories themselves because there are none except a very few previously mentioned.

Birth Age 0

Born on a Battlefield

Youth Age 14

Venarium

Conan says he had not yet seen fifteen snows making him 14 years old.

"'But you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?’
‘I was,’ grunted the other. ‘I was one of the horde that swarmed over the walls. I hadn’t yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires.’”
– Beyond the Black River

Howard contradicts this by saying he was fifteen in his letter.

"At Vanarium he was already a formidable antagonist, though only fifteen.” - Robert E. Howard Letter to P. Schuyler Miller

Young Man Ages 15-16 years old

The Frost-Giant's Daughter Months with the Æsir
Captivity among the Hyperboreans unknown time in captivity learning some of the Hyperborean language, and time enough crossing Brythunia to learn some of the Brythunian language
The God in the Bowl Months in Nemedia learning some of the Nemedian language

“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

Young Man Age about 17 years old

The Tower of the Elephant Months prior to the story learning some of the Zamorian language and listening to scholars, also learning part of the Shemitish language

“As you deduct, Conan was about seventeen when he was introduced to the public in "The Tower of the Elephant." While not fully matured, he was riper than the average civilized youth at that age.” -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Young Man unknown ages, surmised ages between 17 and 25 years old

The Nestor Synopsis months to become a notorious thief
Rogues in the House months to travel to Corinthia and learn some of the Corinthian language as well as time for a return trip home to Cimmeria
The Yaralet Fragment months to years as a mercenary, time to learn some of the Kothic and Hyrkanian languages
Black Colossus months to become captain of the mercenary spearmen, promoted to General in the story instantly
A Witch Shall be Born months to become captain of the guard, months to years among the Zuagirs becoming a chief and further learning Shemitish while raiding Turan
The Man-Eaters of Zamboula days for the story, time to travel to Ophir afterwards and learn part of the Ophirean language
Queen of the Black Coast months spent in Argos learning some of the Argossean language, years spent with the corsairs raiding Stygia and the Black Coasts learning part of the Stygian and Kushite languages
The Shumballa Typescripts days to weeks as a general

Adult unknown ages, surmised ages between 25 and 31 years old

Xuthal of the Dusk weeks spent in Koth, Shem, Stygia, Kush, and the deserts south of Kush
Iron Shadows in the Moon months spent as a mercenary in Koth, Zamora, and Turan and months to years as a Kozak and pirate on the Vilayet Sea, time to learn part of the Yuetshi language
The Devil in Iron months to years as a kozak chieftain
People of the Black Circle months to years to become an Afghuli chieftain, with time learning part of the Vendhyan, Zhaibari, Afghulistani languages

These next stories possibly take place within a years time as Conan was in Shem in prior to The Tombalku Typescripts and says it was a year later in The Servants of Bit-Yakin:

The Tombalku Typescripts weeks as a mercenary defeating the Stygian fleet, invading Stygia by land through Kush, pursued through Kush to the deserts south of Kush, months with the Tombalkans he becomes a general
The Vale of Lost Women months to become a Bamula war-chief, travels back to Stygia then to the coasts
Barachan Pirate weeks among the Barachan pirates, possibility of visiting Shem as a pirate
The Servants of Bit-Yakin one year since Shem prior to The Tombalku Typescripts months among the Keshans learning their Keshani language and participating in border skirmishes becoming a general, also time learning the language of Punt

"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 Bit-Yakin

One year prior to this adventure he had been in the Shemitish city of Akbitana. This could have been if he traveled across Shem visiting Pelishtim and Akbitana on his way to Argos (months) prior to The Tombalku Typescripts because of rumors of wars to join up as a mercenary after leaving the Kozaki if he rejoined them after being a Afghuli Chief. In the course of that year he would have left Shem for Argos, with the mercenary army he traveled south by ship to Kush after defeating the Stygian fleet off of Stygia, attacked Stygia by land along its southern border (several weeks at least), fled south to Tombalku for his adventures there during the month that Amalric was with the Ghanatas, and for however long they remained in Tombalku. Conan then became a War-Chief among the Bamulas (several months) during The Vale of Lost Women when things went sour in Tombalku and Amalric took Lissa away after not wanting to go to Tombalku in the first place. Taking Livia to the Stygian Coast and being tired of black women he travels to the coast then northward possibly on a trading ship. He spends some time as a Barachan Pirate (months). Traveling back to the Black Coasts of Kush after hearing the legends he heads for Keshia where he becomes a general while seeking the hiding place of the jewels (months) prior to finding Muriela in Alkmeenon and making the comment.

Barachan Pirate months as a Barachan pirate, also time learning the Zingaran language
The Pool of the Black One months as a Zingaran Buccaneer
Red Nails weeks as a mercenary in Shem and Stygia, time to pick up some Darfari language, weeks traveling to Xuchotl, days for the story, weeks traveling to the coasts, months to years as a pirate with Valeria

Adult surmised ages between 29-31 years old

Conan's ship is sunk off a reefy shore three years prior to the events of The Black Stranger.

“’I thought you were dead,’ said Zarono slowly. ‘Three years ago the shattered hull of your ship was sighted off a reefy coast, and you were heard of on the Main no more.’ ‘I didn’t drown with my crew,’ answered Conan. ‘It’ll take a bigger ocean than that one to drown me.’”- The Black Stranger

Adult surmised ages between 32-34 years old

Beyond the Black River weeks traveling from Zingara to Aquilonia, months to years as a mercenary there, Gault is ten years old

Adult unknown ages, surmised ages between 32-40 years old

The Black Stranger months spent as a mercenary on the borders in Aquilonia, weeks spent crossing the Pictish Wilderness of several hundred miles, months to years as a pirate, months to years as a mercenary for Aquilonia becoming a general, months to years as a general during the civil war before becoming king
Wolves Beyond the Border Typescripts months to years of civil war, Gault is presumably a young man

Adult about 40 years old

Conan becomes king

"Conan was about forty when he seized the crown of Aquilonia..." -Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Middle Aged Adult surmised ages between 40 and 44 years old

King Years as king

The Phoenix on the Sword days for the story
The Scarlet Citadel weeks for the story

Middle Aged Adult about 44-45 years old

"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

The Hour of the Dragon months to a year or more for the story

Fights wars of defense and later aggression and travels many years

"He was, I think, king of Aquilonia for many years, in a turbulent and unquiet reign, when the Hyborian civilization had reached its most magnificent high-tide, and every king had imperial ambitions. At first he fought on the defensive, but I am of the opinion that at last he was forced into wars of aggression as a matter of self-preservation. Whether he succeeded in conquering a world-wide empire, or perished in the attempt, I do not know.

He travelled widely, not only before his kingship, but after he was king. He travelled to Khitai and Hyrkania, and to the even less known regions north of the latter and south of the former. He even visited a nameless continent in the western hemisphere, and roamed among the islands adjacent to it."
-Robert E. Howard Letter to P.Schuyler Miller

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 03 January 2011 - 04:59 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


#78 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:34 PM

Not only that, but I don't really see how the sentence in question can be construed as being about black countries of any kind, let alone Keshan or Punt.


I am not sure how you can not see how the sentence in question is about the countries south of Kush when that is the exact language.

"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.” – Beyond the Black River

Are you saying that there are other countries south of Kush that are not black kingdoms that Conan says he has visited, Antartica perhaps?

If Conan was referring to unknown black kingdoms, he could've said, "the unknown black countries south of Kush".


Yes he did not say "the unknown black countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush", however "the unknown countries south of Kush" part is exact. So what countries south of Kush do you surmise he visited, whether inhabited by blacks or not?

"I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.” – Beyond the Black River

Are you supposing that the kingdoms he is referring to are south of Kush and east of the Sea of Vilayet like Vendhya?

"I’ve seen all the great cities of the Hyborians, the Shemites, the Stygians and the Hyrkanians. I’ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet." – Beyond the Black River

Taken in context he is saying he has traveled widely in the Hyborian nations, in Shem, in Stygia, in Turan and possibly Hyrkania, in the black kingdoms, in Afghulistan, and in Vendhya. Like a laundry list of places he has visited, not compiling groups of them together in the comment but after the comma; which is used to separate items in lists, and used to separate parts of geographical references.

How often would one say, "I've been to Africa and parts south of it in India", even if some part of India that the person making the statement had visited was geographically further south than the part of Africa that he had traveled to?

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 29 December 2010 - 11:34 PM.

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


#79 Taranaich

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:55 PM

I am not sure how you can not see how the sentence in question is about the countries south of Kush when that is the exact language.

"I?ve roamed in the unknown countries south of the black kingdoms of Kush, and east of the Sea of Vilayet.? ? Beyond the Black River

Are you saying that there are other countries south of Kush that are not black kingdoms that Conan says he has visited, Antartica perhaps?


Deuce is saying that south of the black kingdoms are other kingdoms not of black origin on the main continent. If you imagine the landmass as resembling Africa, Deuce is suggesting that the black kingdoms only extend to, purely as an example, the Tropic of Capricorn; south of the tropic are "countries south of the black kingdoms."

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#80 Amra_the_Lion

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:11 AM

Deuce is saying that south of the black kingdoms are other kingdoms not of black origin on the main continent. If you imagine the landmass as resembling Africa, Deuce is suggesting that the black kingdoms only extend to, purely as an example, the Tropic of Capricorn; south of the tropic are "countries south of the black kingdoms."


Why? Is there some reference to a kingdom south of Stygia and Kush on the pre-historical (hyborian age) continent of Africa that I am missing or unaware of that is inhabited by a race not considered black? I haven't found any in the Conan stories, but admit that while having read Bran Mak Morn, Kull, and Solomon Kane but not very much else of Howard's writing (some horror stories) I cannot say if the reference would be in those stories like the Negari that I was unaware of.

Is he referring to the Tibu or the Chagas? The Tibu have black blood and Chagas of Shumballa rule the capital of Kush.

"The subject tribes included the Tibu, a desert race, of mixed ne gro and Stygian blood" -The Tombalku Typescripts

"they were ruled by a caste of dusky aristocrats, known as Chagas, who claimed descent from a band of Stygians who long ago wandered southward and set up a kingdom..." -The Shumballa Typescripts

The Ghanata have black blood and Conan didn't visit the city of Gazal, Amalric did, and they are also mixed with black.

"descendents of the Aphaki, a Shemitish tribe which pushed into the desert several hundred years before, and mixed with the ne gro races."-The Tombalku Typescripts

"members of the bandit tribe of Ghanata, a ne gro race mixed with Shemitish blood." -The Tombalku Typescripts

If he is talking about Xuthal or Xuchotl whether they are inhabited by easterners, Kosalans, Khitans, descended from Stygians, or from Lemurians those are cities and not countries.

Maybe he is referring to the Atlaians as descendants of Atlantis? Although in the Hyborian age Atlantis sank and those that escaped to the Atlantean Continent became Hyborians and Northerners.

"Atlantis and Lemuria sank, and the Pictish Islands were heaved up to form the mountain peaks of a new continent." - The Hyborian Age

"The Continental Kingdom of the Atlanteans likewise escaped the common ruin, and to it came thousands of their tribesmen in ships from the sinking land." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"the outnumbered Atlanteans were hurled back into a state of savagery..." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Some savages went north to eventually founded Nordheim and Cimmeria, others eventually formed the Hyborian nations.

"At the time of the Cataclysm, a band of savages, whose development was not much above that of the Neanderthal, fled to the north to escape destruction." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"Among the forest-covered hills of the northwest exist wandering bands of ape-men, without human speech, or the knowledge of fire or the use of implements. They are the descendants of the Atlanteans, sunk back into the squalling chaos of jungle-bestiality from which ages ago their ancestors so laboriously crawled." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"But in the north, the tribes are growing. These people are called Hyborians..." -REH in The Hyborian Age

"North of Aquilonia, the westernmost Hyborian kingdom, are the Cimmerians, ferocious savages, untamed by the invaders, but advancing rapidly because of contact with them; they are the descendants of the Atlanteans..." -REH in The Hyborian Age

There is no mention at all of where the Atlaians came from or if they are descended from the Atlantians or just have a similar name. But they are listed as among the vast black kingdoms.

"South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians, and the hybrid empire of Zimbabwe." -REH in The Hyborian Age

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 30 December 2010 - 01:06 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