Hyborian Timeline / rise and fall (and rise)



Hello Folks,

I just got my rpg book, so I haven't read through everyhing (figures). I have to say I have never read a Conan novel nor comic, just seen those movies (which I liked).
So it came as a bit of suprise to me that there are in fact civilizations as modern as "medieval", i.e. Aquilonia and the like.

In fact, I want to set up a campaign/story in a much less civilized environment. The high cultures shall have fallen, and only a few cities remain as enclaves of civilization in the wilderness. However, the relics can still be found by daring adventurers...

So I wonder: is this essay - http://hyboria.xoth.net/history/hyborian_age.htm - canonical?
According to this, the civilized lands were destroyed by Picts and Hyrkanians about 500 years after King Conan.
There's also talk about an ice age forcing the northern races to move south, initiating a migration ending up (preliminarily) with the Cimmerians removing Turan from the map and settling the inland sea.

So, I might either take this situation, and enter the storyline a couple of hundred years after the migration (about 800 past Conan).
Or I might skip the "ice age" part, and the migration caused by it, and play on the default map - just with the civilized countries removed or reduced to a handful of cities.
I tend to prefer whatever's canon, so if someone could fill me in? Thanks in advance.
That essay is based upon Robert E. Howard's original essay "The Hyborian Age", which can be found on P238-247 of the Conan RPG rulebook :) (Might be different if you got the Atlantean Edition, I dunno if page numbers have changed)

Therefore if you're looking to stick to canon compare the two and see if they made any major changes. At first glance it appears to be the same thing with section heading and year references added, and major lumps of text missed out.

Your idea of a later setting sounds great, you can even have your group find older "advanced" ruins, giving a nice spooky feel to the game sorta like discovering the subway system in Planet of the Apes :D)

(P.S. Nice to see someone else reads Discworld here :D)
You don't have to limit yourself to Conan either. There are other series of stories written by other authors with a similar feel and are even very tenuously ties to the Conan universe, albeit in different eras, by making references to the Lovecraftian mythos.

Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborea is my favorite choice.
Kay, I figure it may be rewarding to stick around here for a while, so I registered. :)

Okay, so the full cant is in the book... thanks for pointing me to it. Pity there isn't a timeline... but I guess I'll manage.

And yes, what I'm seeking to do is create a total "Dark Ages" environment - general tech level dropping back to early iron age. So any loot from those "advanced ruins" will be superior to most contemporary stuff.

Actually I had started designing a game world and rule modifications a good while back, but it was all a bit coarse, and then I heard about the Conan RPG. After flipping through the book in the game store, I decided it was pretty much just what I needed, and would save me a lot of time. The rule changes (to D20) are also very well made, as far as I can tell now.

So just some minor fiddlings with the setting/timeline, and that's that. ;)
The link you found is based off an essay written by Howard to which a cople of writers added their conjuctures concerning the dates of the events described. Howard's complete essay is in your book, the chapter titled The Hyborian Age. Howard left us very few notes concerning the larger world of Conan, indeed he often claimed that when he wrote a yarn is was as if Conan himself were there recounting the tale to him so he really only knew what Conan choose to tell him.

In a nutshell the timeline goes something like this. There was Atlantis and the lands of the Acheroneans and much stuff that happened in the time of Kull. Then there was a catacylism and Atlantis sank and men were thrown back into savagery and some actually regressed (these are two common themes in Howard's work: that evolutioun works both foward and backwards and that barbarism is the natural state of mankind). A long time passed while savage half-men split each other's skulls with bone clubs then we started to pull ourselves together again. The Hyborian age comes and goes as you will read about in the essay and at the end there is another great catacylism and some lands sink beneath the waves and others rise above them and civilization is destroyed again. Take a good look at the map in your book and try to imagine the outline of modern Eurasia and Africa superimposed over it. See where India will be (hint: find Vendhya), how about Norway and Sweenden (look for Vanaheim and Asgard), can you find where Grece will be after the lands flood and the Mediteranean Sea forms (look at all those mountains in Corinthia and Zamora). After the Hyborian Age and the earth reforms itself you get about 5.000 odd years of ice age and savagery then comes Mesopotamia and Egypt and the start of our own recorded history. According to Howard the Pyramids are much older than anyone thought they were!

So yes, setting a game a couple thousand years before or after the time of Conan would be a great way to deprive your players of the luxury of civilization.

Of course there is also another option. Howard was a great pulp writer and his tactic was that when he wanted to work in a different genre he would have Conan visit a different location in his world. Want a tale of 1001 Arabian Nights? Conan is in Ghulistan. Want a yarn about cowboys and indians? Conan is in the Pictish wilderness. You can do the same. There are plenty of places where civilization's grip is weak, where savage tribes torment anyone who wanders into their territory and ancient lost cities abound.

Hope that helps.
If your looking for good material to use in the establishing of timelines for both the pre and post Hyborian Age, you may want to get the following;


This contains excellent essays on the development of the Hyborian culture, the defeat of the Acheron Empire, and the final days of the Hyborian Age. All the material largely is based on the original material written by Howard.
Yeah, I've always been fascinated by the idea of Conan's world being our world, what with "panta rei" and all. However, I'm not a friend of mingling too many cultures and time periods in one setting. So that was also why I was so surprised at "finding" late medieval cultures in the Hyborian setting.

So to play devoid of civilization, the setting could be a) before or b) after the Hybrian age. At any rate, the heroes should be able to stumble over great fallen cultures and all.

Here I've adapted a map to show the peoples after the downfall of Hyboria, but before the (preliminarily) final cataclysm:


I'm assuming the Shemites would move eastward sooner or later, being flanked by Aesir and Vanir north and south. But that's only a minor detail really.
I'd say that after a couple of hundred years, all in all maybe 800 to 1000 after King Conan, the climate might become more friendly again, permitting the various tribes to expand again and rediscover some of the former glory (the final cataclysm would be put off for another 1000 years or so).

So what do you say - could that work as a setting? Or did I make some major blunders? :)
Here's some notes from just such a campaign I was working on... haven't had a chance to run it though. It does mix in some D&D elements...

“Know, O Prince, that between the years when the Sons of Arius extirpated Aquilonia beneath their savage blades, and the years when the Great Ice rolled down from the misty north, there was an age undreamed of, when a shattered people without hope sought to rebuild their lost glories in the fading light – Gunderland with its Phoenix Knights dressed in shining silver and silk and steel, Holy Poitain defended by Mitraic Crusaders zealous and grim, the enchanted Fair Kingdom of the inhuman Alfar, Messantia the City of Merchant Kings, Kordava the City of Pirate Lords, and Ianthe the City of Wizardry. But greatest of all was the Kingdom of Nemedia, shining in the night like a torch of pure gold, her borders unscathed, ranking supreme among the last embers of dying civilization. Their enemies were terrible and legion – the savage Picts and foul Orcs, the eldritch Witch King of the North with his Goblin armies, the barbaric Vanir, Aesir and Cimmerians, nameless monsters out of darkest nightmare, and the Great Khan of the Hyrkanians and his numberless hordes. Hither came adventurers great and small, to seek their fortunes, build their kingdoms, or restore peace, order, and justice to a tortured land.”
-- The Skaghane Chronicles

Three generations ago the Aquilonian Empire fell to invading Picts and Hyrkanians. Three thousand years of Hyborian supremacy were snuffed out in a decade, due to the hubris and overweening pride of the Aquilonian nobility. In his madness, the Aquilonian Emperor sought to use ancient Acheronian magic to undo the damage wrought by the invaders, with disastrous results. The gates to the lands of Goblin and Faerie were cast wide open, bringing wrack and ruin beyond imagining. Today only a small vestige of the once-great Aquilonian civilization remains.
The Picts and Orcs squabble over the remnants of the western kingdoms, while the Hyrkanians rule with an iron fist over the eastern realms. Caught between are Gunderland, Poitain, and ancient Nemedia, now ruled by semi-civilized Nordic princes. Here and there other remnants of civilization hold. Kordava, last redoubt of the Zingarans, a pirate hold and raider base. Messantia, the lost capital of the Argoseans, resettled by colonists from afar and slowly rebuilding trade along the dilapidated Road of Kings. And Ianthe, last citadel of Ophir, now the final bastion of wizardry in the west, combining the traditions of Nemedia, Ophir, Aquilonia, and Corinthia in an effort to find a solution to the terrible Final Spell of the Magister of the Mad Emperor of Aquilonia.
787 AA
The Gundermen voluntarily become vassals of Aquilonia, believing it to be far simpler than a protracted battle which they know they will lose. For their part, the Aquilonians know to keep their “vassals” at arms length and not treat them with undue hostility. For the most part, the relationship works for the better part of a thousand years.

800 AA (0 TR)
Founding of the Hyrkanian kingdom of Turan. The Hyrkanians of the Empire use the Turanian calendar.

1288 AA
Conan the Barbarian conquers Aquilonia.

1310 AA
Conan the Great abdicates his throne.

1710 AA
Aquilonia conquers Zingara. Many Zingarans flee by sea to Nuevo Zingara, far to the south along the Black Coast.

1720 AA
Aquilonia conquers Argos. Many Argoseans flee by sea to Kehnooryos Argos, far to the south along the Black Coast

1725 AA
Arius, Priest of Mitra, enters the Pictish Forest to convert the savages and is captured by Gorm, a young chieftain. Gorm spares Arius, and thus begins the long march of Pictish conquest.

1730 AA
Aquilonia conquers Ophir.

1735 AA
The first Pictish mercenaries enter Aquilonian service, much to the disgust of the Bossonians.

1740 AA
Aquilonia conquers western Shem, which was held by Koth. Koth and Corinthia pay tribute to Aquilonia, though Koth begins working with other nations secretly against Aquilonia.
Nemedia makes an alliance with Brythunia and Zamora, and secretly Koth, against Aquilonia. This alliance is first tested against an invading horde of Turanians and Hyrkanians, who sweep over Zamora, ravage Corinthia, and invade Brythunia. The alliance, led by the Nemedians, extirpate the invading force on the Lema Plains south of the capital of Kelbaza. The force, and most subsequent forces, include many mercenary Cimmerians, Zingarans, and Shemites. The Nemedians occupy Zamora, and keep garrisons in Brythunia and Corinthia.

1741 AA
Turanians again invade Zamora, and the Zamorans, Nemedians, and Brythunians push them back, aided secretly by Koth.

1742 AA
The Stygians are defeated at a great battle by the Aquilonians, but rather than try to occupy the vast kingdom, the Aquilonians satisfy themselves with tribute.

1743 AA
Turanians invade Zamora a third time, losing to an alliance of Zamora, Nemedia, Brythunia, and Hyperborea aided (yet again) secretly by Koth.

1745 AA
Great battle between Aquilonia and Hyperborea in the Border Kingdom. Hyperborea loses, but Aquilonia does not push its advantage.

1746 AA
An Aquilonian army under the leadership of a rogue general invades Asgard from the Border Kingdom. The army is slaughtered in the lands of the Wolfraven Kings. It is said the Aesir had assistance from “rogue” Hyperborean wizards.

1747 AA
Fourth and final invasion of the Turanians, repulsed by the Zamorans, Nemedians, and Brythunians, aided (as usual) secretly by Koth.

1750 AA
The Aquilonians, with Zingaran, Ophirean, Argosean, Shemite, and even Stygian and Pictish auxiliaries and mercenaries, invade Nemedia, which is backed by Brythunians, Hyperboreans, and Zamorans, plus a dash of Cimmerian, Aesir, and Kothite mercenaries. The final battles go to the Nemedians, and thus goes the war, as the Aquilonians lose their Bossonian longbowmen, who retreat to save their own homes, currently being invaded by the Picts.
Gorm begins his invasion of Aquilonia by ravaging the Bossonian countryside. The Bossonians, upon hearing of this, return from their service to their Aquilonian masters and retreat to defend their homes, costing the Aquilonians their war against the Nemedians.

1752 AA
The Picts are thrust out of the Bossonian Marches by the Bossonians.

1754 AA
The Bossonians are slaughtered by the treacherous Aquilonians, in vengeance for their abandoning the field in Nemedia.

1755 AA
The Aquilonians (strangely sans Pictish mercenaries) again invade Nemedia. The Picts, under Gorm (now 55 years old and an old man) invade Southern Bossonia in force, with his hordes led by generals trained by the Aquilonians! Bossonia falls, and the last remnants of the Southern Bossonian people are extirpated. The Imperialists in Tarantia take little heed, pressing the battle in Nemedia.

1756 AA
The Picts move out of Southern Bossonia and into the Tauran, burning and pillaging as they go. The Aquilonians finally notice, and withdraw a few troops from the Nemedian invasion. The army sent to stop the Picts is extirpated. The Tauran is overrun by the end of the campaign season.

1757 AA
The Gundermen of the Aquil0nian army, hearing of the Pictish invasion, abandon their posts and return to Gunderland at the end of winter. Zingara, Argos, and Shem explode in rebellion against the Aquilonians. The Aquilonians retreat from the field in Nemedia, and are routed as they flee.
At the beginning of spring two Pictish armies leave the ravaged lands of the Tauran. One army invades the Central Provinces, the other invades Gunderland. The southern force sweeps over the land and razes several Aquilonian cities, while the northern force is thrust back by the Gundermen pike. The tattered Aquilonian army meets the southern force at Pellia, and is about to destroy it when the northern Pictish army joins the fray and extirpates the Aquilonian force. The Picts winter in the Central Provinces, while the tattered remnants of the Aquilonian army retreats to Tarantia. The “provincial” forces in Zingara, Argos, and Shem are never heard from again.

1758 AA
The Aquilonians find, much to their chagrin, that mercenaries cannot be had for any price, as the normal companies of Free Companions are all busy employed by the Kothites (now invading Shem) or building their own kingdoms in Zingara, Argos, and Shem. Only the Ophireans answer their call, and there are few enough of them left after the debacles at Belverus and Pellia. The rag-tag remnants of the Imperial Army, plus a few Ophireans and such militia as could be rounded up or shanghaied, meet at Tarantia and await the invasion… which never comes. For the Picts, reinforced from the motherland by thousands of new recruits, invade Tanasul and Shamar, where the Aquilonian forces are thin. Foolishly, the Aquilonian Emperor splits his forces and has them march out to meet the Picts. Both forces are slaughtered, but only by the end of the season. By the end of the year more than half of Aquilonia is in Pictish hands, leaving only Tarantia, Poitain, and Gunderland free of the savage flood.
Note that Gunderland has absorbed most of Northern Bossonia, those bits that were not taken by the Picts or the Cimmerians. Thus, the Gundermen have the last remaining contingents of Bossonian archers of all the Aquilonian forces.
Meanwhile, the Nemedians foolishly decide to take advantage of the Aquilonian troubles and withdraw their forces from Zamora, Corinthia, and Brythunia in order to attack Tarantia. Before the last soldiers march from Arenjun rumblings could be heard from Turan…
Zingara, Argos, and Shem are caught up in internecine wars, while Koth is busy invading northwestern Shem and absorbing Khoraja and Khauran.

1759 AA
The Aquilonians of Tarantia are able to breath a sigh of relief, though only barely, as the Pictish forces, again reinforced from the homeland by thousands of warriors, are temporarily set back by attacks from Gunderland and Poitain. These two forces tie the Picts down for the entire campaign season, though it ends up being a one-time event, as both are subsequently attacked from behind, the Gundermen by invading Cimmerians and the Poitainians by rogue Zingaran forces.
The Nemedians are also unable to take advantage of the Aquilonian situation as they are simultaneously invaded from both the north and the east. The Cimmerians boil out of their misty hills, extirpate the petty princelings of the Border Kingdom, and invade Tor and the Northern March. Meanwhile, the Turanians and Hyrkanians invade on two fronts. The Turanians invade Zamora and quickly overrun the weakened cities, slaughtering thousands and pillaging wherever they go. At the same time a horde of Hyrkanians, led by the Kuigar tribe (whose leaders were known as the “Blue-Eyes” for their ancient line of great warrior-khans with glittering blue eyes) cross the icy deserts and tundras north of the Vilayet and invade Brythunia. By the end of summer small skirmishes between east and west have occurred on the Nemedian borders.
Zingara dissolves even further into pocket princedoms, while Argos settles down, each city becoming a state unto itself with a nominal alliance formed at Messantia, the ancient capital. Western Shem is united under the King of Asgalun, save for Eruk, which is occupied by the Kothites, and Shushan, which has been taken by a mercenary Stygian and his army.

1760 AA (960 TR)
The Picts, even further reinforced, to numbers which defy all sense and reason, are unified into one army again under Gorm and pointed directly at Tarantia. With the Gundermen and Poitainians occupied by their own problems, and the Nemedians troubled on their northern and eastern border, the Tarantians stand alone. Even the remnants of the Ophireans have abandoned them, as advance Hyrkanian forces are invading the eastern reaches from Corinthia. It is then, with a terrible horde of Picts covering the earth around the city of Tarantia for as far as the eye could see, that the Emperor descends into madness, and calls upon his Magister to cast a great spell “to rid Us once and for all of these beasts.”
Pelianthes the Mighty, Magister of the Aquilonian Emperor, attempts to destroy the Picts using the Acheronian Spell of Eldritch Alteration, which should turn all the Picts within a hundred miles “into the simple beasts they are.” It backfires, miserably, as the spell transforms most of the Picts (more than a hundred thousand) into half-men, half-beasts… beastmen, including orcs and ogres. Gorm himself is transformed into an ogre of most potent form. The spell also shatters the seals placed long ages ago on the gates to Goblin, and weakens those placed on the gates to Faerie. Many Acheronian mummies chuckle in their sepulchers. While their transformation confuses the Picts for a time, it slows them not at all, and the raging horde turns on the city tooth and claw (literally). Tarantia falls, the walls and buildings are razed to the ground, and all occupants are slaughtered without mercy. The last remnant of the Aquilonian Empire dies in a single day in fire and blood and slaughter. The Picts thereafter settle down for a while and consolidate their position in Aquilonia, satisfying themselves with small raids against Gunderland, Poitain, and Nemedia. Most see their transformation as an improvement, a blessing of their patron god, Jhebbal Sag.
The Hyrkanians who invaded Brythunia the prior year, the Kuigar, seem satisfied to simply skirmish with the Nemedians as they pillage, rape, and plunder their way across the land. Similarly, the more civilized Turanians are pleased to consolidate their holdings in Zamora and take Corinthia city by city (with small raids far and wide). This leaves the Nemedians time to repel the Cimmerian invasion, which they do (at great cost) by the end of the season. The Nemedians begin to employ whole tribes of Aesir in their battles against the Cimmerians and Hyrkanians.

1761 AA
The Kuigar continue to pillage Brythunia and skirmish with the Nemedians, Hyperboreans, and even the Turanians. The Turanians continue to slowly absorb Corinthia, even though the Nemedians are providing the city states with as much assistance as possible.

1762 AA
The King of Shem takes Shushan.

1763 AA
The Kuigar Great Khan attempts an invasion of Cimmeria after a young Cimmerian warrior slays his elder son in drunken combat. The Kuigar are initially successful, but the Cimmerians take the fore when the horde reaches the high hills, and the Great Khan is slain. The Kuigar retreat to Brythunia where the Khan’s younger son, Tanaka (age 18), is elected Great Khan. He marries his brother’s widow, the daughter of his father’s greatest enemy (now deceased). Her three-year old son by the elder brother is packed away and never heard from again.

1764 AA
The King of Shem takes Eruk.
Tanaka Khan cements his control of the Kuigar Khans and roots out all dissent. He also approaches the Turanians, seeking to build an alliance. Kuigar assistance at several battles in Corinthia ends up being central to Turanian success.

1765 AA
The Picts boil out of Aquilonia and Pictland and invade Zingara in great numbers. The pocket princelings fall in quick succession until thousands of Zingarans flee their nation on foot or by sea. Many flee to Argos.
Tanaka Khan, the Great Khan of the Kuigar, cements the union between the Hyrkanians and the Turanians by marrying the only daughter of King Yaraghan VII (his second wife). Yaraghan dies the next day, apparently drowning in his own seraglio while in a drunken stupor. Tanaka Khan takes the next five years to meld his Turanian and Hyrkanian forces into a single, unstoppable horde.
Duke Garman of Gunderland dies in battle with Goblins. His 25-year old son, Gerald, ascends the throne, but refuses to take the title of King… as yet.

1766 AA
Koth dissolves into civil war, with factions spurred on by both Tanaka Khan and the King of Shem. Shem invades southwestern Koth.

1768 AA
Shem conquers western Koth, while the King of eastern Koth applies to Tanaka Khan for “assistance.” His kingdom is quietly absorbed.

1770 AA (970 TR)
The hordes of Tanaka Khan invade Shem. The battle is fast and fierce, and the eastern reached of the kingdom quickly fall to the unstoppable hordes.
The Picts and beastmen invade Argos and Ophir. Both nations, bankrupted and on the verge of collapse already, fall quickly, and savages rule both lands before the year is out. Only Ianthe is spared their depredations (at this time) as a force of Nemedians, backed by their Aesir federates and a motley crew of wizards from various Hyborian nations, holds the city to keep the Great Bridge from falling into Pictish hands.

1773 AA (973 TR)
The bestial Picts and the Hyrkanians first encounter each other in full force in the ruined city of Khorshemish. The battle goes to the Picts this time.

1774 AA (974 TR)
The Hyrkanians take Eastern Ophir from the Picts.

1775 AA (975 TR)
Asgalun, the last city held by the King of Shem, falls to the Hyrkanians, and Shem is no more.

1780 AA (980 TR)
Tanaka Khan beings the reduction of Stygia.
By this time Nemedia is the only remaining major Hyborian kingdom, and has maintained a level of civilization only through sacrificing much of its “Hyborian” character. The army is led and mostly composed of Aesir, who have adopted many Nemedian ways. Many Aesir have married into the noble families and been granted lands within Nemedia to defend. The Belveran Guard is composed entirely of Aesir/Nemedian warriors of the second generation. Though many Aesir have adopted worship of Mitra, most maintain their pagan ways or combine the beliefs.
Duke Gerald of Gunderland proclaims the official death of the Aquilonian Empire and takes the title King of Gunderland.

1785 AA (985 TR)
Tanaka Khan conquers Stygia, continues on through to conquer Keshan and most of Kush.
Meanwhile, Gorm, now 80 years old and still feeling sprightly, spurs his people on to conquer western Shem and Koth while Tanaka Khan is otherwise occupied.
Avernus, the only son of the king of Nemedia, disappears after being accused of sorcery and attempted regicide/patricide.

1790 AA (990 TR)
Tanaka Khan is poised to invade Amazonia, Nuevo Zingara, and finish off Kush when he realizes that the Picts mean business, and returns to push the Picts back from Shem and Koth. He returns to the north and begins reducing the Pictish tribes in his former lands.

1795 AA (995 TR)
Tanaka Khan re-conquers the northern lands lost to the Picts. Unfortunately, rebellion rises in the Black Kingdoms and Stygia, and he is forced to return south.
Gorm, now 90-years old, leads an invasion of Nemedia. He comes face to face with Hialmar, the Great Chief of the Nemedian Aesir and the General of Nemedian forces, and is slain in hand to hand combat. The Picts fall into utter chaos and each tribe (human and beastmen) begins carving its own territory out of the empire.
The Witch King appears among the White Claw Goblins, blasts their leader with his potent magics, and immediately begins consolidating his power in the former Duchy of Tanasul. Her immediately has his forces begin building a magnificent tower and dungeon complex in the heights of the Border Range between Tanasul and Tor.

1800 AA (1000 TR)
The Pictish tribes rule the west, including their ancient homelands, Aquilonia (minus Gunderland and Poitain), Zingara, and are in the process of re-conquering parts of Argos, Ophir, western Koth, and western Shem from the Hyrkanians. The sons of the Hyborians are slaughtered, while their daughters are reduced to concubinage. Save in Poitain and Gunderland, Aquilonian culture has been extirpated.
The Ligurians, the ancient allies of the Picts, are allowed freedom and life; they occupy the lands once held by the Southern Bossonians and the Tauran, in an uneasy peace with the Gundermen. The Great Druid, worried about the imbalance created when the eastern Picts were mostly transformed into orcs and ogres, and the gates to Goblin were swung wide open, casts a great spell which sweeps away the final seals and opens wide the gates to Faerie. Elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes come through and settle in the shattered and emptied lands between the human Picts and the bestial Picts, carving out a small kingdom in the Central Provinces, between the Ligurians and the Orcs of the Red Claw.
The Hyrkanians rule Turan, Brythunia, Zamora, Corinthia, western Koth, and western Shem, plus most of Argos and Ophir. Tanaka Khan, absorbed in putting down rebellion in the Black Kingdoms and in Stygia, fails to hold onto his westernmost territories, which are being invaded by the Picts yet again. He abandons his southern efforts, slaughtering and enslaving tens of thousands in the process, and returns north to put paid to the Picts once and for all.
Only the small kingdoms of Gunderland, in northern Aquilonia, and Poitain, in southern Aquilonia, remain of the once great empire. Gunderland attempts to re-colonize Tanasul, but is thrown back by the Witch King. Both sons of King Gerald are slain this year, though his line continues in his grandson Garrick, born on a battlefield in Tanasul. This year, also, the King of Poitain is slain in battle with Picts, and the Seven Bishops take over the kingdom in the name of Mitra.
The Witch King conquers the Red Claw Orcs, and begins to assimilate them into his kingdom.
The northlands are still held by the Aesir, Vanir, and Cimmerians, as well as the much-reduced Hyperboreans.
By the end of the year the south is held by a weakened and de-populated Stygia, which is being hard pressed by the more numerous and vigorous Kushites and Keshites to the south, as well as by the remnants of the Hyrkanians who did not return to the north with Tanaka Khan.

1805 AA (1005 TR)
Tanaka Khan has, by this time, cleared Shem of all Pictish tribes and bands. He installs his son Jamuqua as Khan of the Land of the White Sheep, to oversee the management of the lands and their defense against the Picts.
Magnus, son of the Nemedian Aesir Great Chief and General Hialmar, marries Amalia, the daughter and last living child of the elderly King of Nemedia. Both are young, him 20, she 15 years of age, the youngest allowed by Nemedian law.
The Witch King has, by this time, consolidated the entire lands of the former Duchies of Tanasul and Tarantia under his leadership. He invades the Nemedian Duchy of Tor with his White Claw Goblins and Red Claw Orcs. He has great success in the first year of the invasion.

1806 AA
The Witch King’s invasion fails when his Red Claw Orcs rebel and his lands to the west are invaded by forces from the Fair Kingdom. The Witch King seems to fall in battle against Prince Magnus of Nemedia, with whom he sought hand-to-hand combat, but the body is never found.

1810 AA
Tanaka Khan has, by this time, cleared Koth of all Pictish tribes and bands. He installs his son Jangahir as Khan of the Land of the Golden Serpent, to oversee the management of the lands and their defense against the Picts.
The Witch King reappears in Tanasul, seemingly alive and whole, though more corrupted by wizardry than before, and reclaims his throne. It takes him five years to consolidate his hold on his now fractious Goblin followers. He never is able to regain the allegiance of the Red Claw Orcs.

1812 AA
Jangahir Khan re-conquers the Ophir Meadowlands and extirpates the Pictish Black Horse Tribe which formerly possessed that land.

1813 AA
The Witch King invades the Fair Kingdom, but his forces are repulsed.

1815 AA (1015 TR)
Tanaka Khan returns to Turan to put down a rebellion by his son, Yezandir, and the old Turanian nobility.
Jangahir Khan attempts an invasion of Ianthe, but is repulsed by the native forces working in combination with an army from Nemedia.
The King of Nemedia dies, and Magnus is crowned king.
King Gerald of Gunderland dies in battle against the Cimmerians. Princess Albiona becomes regent for her 15-year old son, Prince Garrick.

1816 AA
The entire population of the city of Tor in Nemedia dies in a single day. Within a week the Witch King and his Goblin army cross the mountains and invade.

1818 AA
The Turanian Rebellion is crushed and most of the old Turanian nobility is slaughtered or enslaved and sold to kingdoms in the far east. Tanaka Khan kills his son, Yezandir, with his own hands by garroting.
The White Sheep Khanate conquers the Plain of Shamu of Ophir, formerly held by the White Wolf Goblins, who are extirpated.

1819 AA
Jangahir Khan attempts a second invasion of Ianthe, and again fails, though his own wizardry helps tilt the balance at times.

1820 AA
Tanaka Khan further organizes his empire by placing his son Subotai in charge of the Land of the White Tiger.
After a hard-fought four year war the forces of the Witch King are repulsed from the Duchy of Tor.

1821 AA
The Witch King captures the northern terminus of the Goblin Ford and builds a citadel on the northern bank of the river.
Prince Garrick of Gunderland ascends to his throne as the second King of Gunderland. Princess Regent Albiona is proclaimed Queen Mother of Gunderland.
The White Sheep Khanate conquers the former Duchy of Shamar of Aquilonia, displacing the Black Claw Orcs, who are routed and destroyed as a tribe.

1822 AA
Tanaka Khan grants the city of Zamboula to his daughter, Itugen, as the Black Bull Khanate. He also puts the day to day running of the Khanate of Turan in the hands of his son, Mongke, and turns to the semi-retirement of hunting and traveling between the capitals of his sons. Tanaka Khan winters at Seven Stone with his son Subotai. He denies Subotai the right to invade and conquer Nemedia… for the moment.

1823 AA
The citadel at Goblin Ford complete, the Witch King begins sending his forces sporadically across the Goblin Ford. Those who survive the onslaught of the Treants and other forest creatures begin raiding western Gunderland.
Tanaka Khan winters at Asgalun with his son Jamuqua. He orders him to leave off from the northern conquests and concentrate on retaking Stygia and the southern kingdoms. He suggests his son Temujin should administrate the newly conquered northern territories as a separate Khanate.

1824 AA
In early spring of this year the Black Sheep Khanate is sliced away from the White Sheep Khanate, and young Temujin Khan wends his way north to claim his new domain. His advance guard pushes the Red Claw Orcs back, north of the Road of Kings, as per orders. In midsummer he arrives at the ruins of Tarantia and sets up camp. His servants discover the Hidden Treasury of the Canacarius Dynasty and he becomes intrigued by the tale of King Conan the Great. His wazir, Imhotep, begins collecting myths, legends, and tales for his master’s amusement and pleasure.

1825 AA (1025 TR)
Beginning of the Darkest Age campaign.

2000 AA
Beginning of the mini-glacial period known as the Wurm Glaciation.

2050 AA
Cimmerians invade the southern lands in force, with the Nordics (Aesir and Vanir) close behind. Aesir tribes overrun Hyperborea. The Aesir-ruled kingdom of Nemedia is shattered; the survivors flee to the south and settle in the central lands of what used to be Koth. A large band of Aesir settle in ancient Brythunia, and adopt the name for their own. The western lands become a patchwork of Pictish, Nordic and Cimmerian barbarian clans. The Hyrkanians are cast back into their ancient homeland of Turan.

2100 AA
Cimmerians destroy the Hyrkanian Kingdom of Turan. The Hyrkanians flee to the east, dragging thousands of Zingaran and Zamoran slaves with them. Vanir invade and conquer much of Stygia. Most of the Khari descendant Stygians flee far to the west, to an island in the Western Ocean.

2300 AA
The Thurian Cataclysm destroys the Thurian Continent.
Empire of the Great Khan
80-year old Tanaka Khan still rules over his empire with an iron fist, though his remaining sons (and daughter) have begin solidifying their own kingdoms within the empire. The khanates are:

The Khanate of Turan is held by Tanaka Khan and his second-eldest living son, Mongke. It includes all of old Turan, plus the plains and deserts between Turan and Zamboula and Zamora, and is ruled from ancient Aghrapur;

The Golden Serpent Khanate is held by Takana’s oldest living son, Jangahir, and consists of Koth, Zamora, Corinthia, Khauran, and most of Ophir, with the capital at Khrosha;

The White Sheep Khanate is held by Tanaka’s third eldest living son, Jamuqua, and consists of western Shem, Shumir, Sabatea, Nippr, Akbitana, and Khoraja, with the capital at Asgalun;

The Snow Tiger Khanate is held by Takana’s fourth eldest living son, Subotai, and consists of Brythunia and the Border Kingdom, with the capital at Seven stone (Kelbaza);

The Black Sheep Khanate is a recently formed khanate on the far western border of the Empire. It consists of three small domains: the former Ophirean Duchy of Shamu, the former Aquilonian Duchy of Shamar, and a portion of the ancient Aquilonian heartland of Tarantia. Jamuqua’s youngest son, Temujin, has only just been granted this domain in the last six months, and is currently camped at the ruined and moss-covered former capital of Aquilonia; and

The Black Bull Khanate is held by Tanaka’s only living daughter and youngest child, Itugen, a point of contention with her half-brothers. Her khanate consists of the city of Zamboula and the desert roads between Turan and Stygia.

The Khanate of Tombalku is only nominally a vassal of the Great Khan. It is ruled by his bastard son Mengchu (born of a Stygian concubine), whom he left behind when he retreated from the Black Kingdoms to put paid to the invading Picts in 1790 AA.
This was all written using standard D&D, before the Conan system was released...

Gunderland, Kingdom of

Area: 110,000 square miles. Only 20% of the land in Gunderland is used agriculturally. Another 10% is used for herds (mostly the hilly lands around Mount Golamira and Gundeborg), while 60% of the land is given to forests and glades, settled only sparsely by peasants and yeomen. The remaining 10% is heath, moor, and waste, found mostly in the northern lands, near Cimmeria.

Population: 825,000, including 165,000 in the Duchy of Bossonia, 47% Gunderman, 27% Bossonian, 18% Gunderman/Aquilonian, 5% Aquilonian, 3% Other (including Ligurians, Cimmerians, Picts, other humans, halflings, gnomes, dwarves, and elves, in order of commonality). There are three cities: Gundeborg (the capital, Large City, 13,600), Meckleborg (capital of the Duchy of Bossonia, Small City, 6,800), and Golamborg (home of the Grand Abbot of Golamira, Small City, 5,400). There are seven towns (each the seat of a count) with a total population of 15,450. All the cities and towns are heavily walled. The rest of the population is divided into approximately 1,200 small villages (average population 700), mostly in the southeastern third of the country. There are 16 non-town based major fortifications (twelve in the hands of the barons, four owned by the king) and nine major ruined castles.

Languages: The natives speak Gunderman, a dialect of Aquilonian that is closer to ancient Hyborian than Aquilonian. Bossonian, a related dialect, is spoken in the Duchy of Bossonia. Aquilonian is spoken by the few remaining families of pure Aquilonians, by all nobles, most merchants, and is used as a liturgical tongue in the Temple of Mitra. Gunderman and Bossonian are written in the antiquated Gunder script, while Aquilonian uses the Aquilonian alphabet. Automatic Languages: Gunderman and Bossonian. Bonus Languages: Aquilonian, Bossonian, Cimmerian, Ligurian, Orcish, and Pict.

Coinage: Gunderland maintains the ancient coinage of Aquilonia, though gold is far rarer than in earlier times (and not used to produce new coins) while platinum is unheard of, save from ancient troves. Thus, Gunderland is on the Silver Standard. Copper is minted as Pennies (1 CP), and silver is minted in three forms, Commons (1 SP), Gunders (a 10 SP silver bar, at 5 per pound), and the very rare Royal Trade Bars (a 10-pound bar of silver, valued at 500 SP). Gold coins, when found, are actually worth three to five times their base value (30 to 50 SP each), while platinum is worth two to five times its ancient value (200 to 500 SP each). Values fluctuate based on whether old treasure troves have been recently discovered. Gems are worth their standard value, as though they are very rare, they are also far less in demand than in olden days. Barter is more commonly used in the rural and border regions, as few folk there have any use for silver.

Government Type: Hereditary monarchy. The king rules advised in part by his seven counts, twelve barons, the Duke of Bossonia, and the Grand Abbot of Golamira. This Royal Council meets twice yearly to advise the king and make new policy. The people of Gunderland are Lawful Good/Lawful Neutral, while the people of Bossonia are Neutral Good, leaning toward Chaotic Good.

Industries & Resources: Gunderland has been on a continual war footing for more than 50 years, since even before the initial invasion of the Picts. Being the last remaining vestige of civilization in the north, and trade being sporadic at best, luxuries are at an absolute premium, both imports and exports. Weapons and armor are the major crafts of the city and towns of the realm, though the best armors are extremely rare due to the lack of labor and the loss of skilled craftsmen during the early invasions. Thus, splint mail costs 5,000 sp, banded mail costs 7,500 sp, half-plate costs 25,000 sp, and full plate, if it can be had, costs 100,000 sp! Similarly, greatswords cost 1,000 sp and bastard swords cost 750 sp. Note that the bastard sword, net, and whip are the only exotic weapons available in Gunderland. The base cost of anything that could be considered a “luxury item” is doubled at least, ranging up to five times normal cost for items requiring importation, lots of time, or unusual materials (such as most class-based tools and related items). Times required to make items are also increased due to the greater cost (represents less skilled craftsmen and less time to work on unusual projects). Alchemical items and special substances are not available at any price (though might be had from the King for his special agents).

Gunderland is, for the most part, self sufficient. It has enough resources to produce the weapons it needs and the food the people need. It has mines of silver and iron, and most other base metals needed for industry, including coal to produce steel. It has hard and soft woods aplenty, plus sheep for wool and meat, cattle for hides, ivory, and meat, fowl, grains, roots, and so forth. It does not, however, have any gold or gem mines, or the ability to produce silk or the more colorful dyes, all of which must be had at great cost from the few traders that make their way to Nemedia or the Hyrkanian Empire. Gold and gems could be had from Poitain, were the two nations on amicable footing.

Religions: The Gundermen revere Mitra, but hold a special place in their hearts for their old god, Bori. This has caused no end of trouble with the theocratic rulers of Poitain, who consider the Gundermen to be “heretics and barbarians, and thus part of the reason for the Fall.” Some Bossonians have taken to revering the nature spirits of the Ligurians or the gods of the Faeries (notably Orald and Yavanna). There are also a few wandering druids of the Ligurian type.

Description: Gunderland is ruled by King Garrick, the grandson of King Gerald, who was the first post-Fall king of Gunderland. Though he is relatively young he has lived his entire life in battle. He was born on a battlefield in Tanasul, when his father and mother tried to reclaim part of that land from the Witch-King in 1800 AA. His father was slain by the goblins of the Witch-King as he was born. His mother and her followers returned to Gundeborg after their failed attempt, only to discover that Garrick’s uncle, the heir apparent, had died in a battle against Picts the same day as his brother. Thus did Garrick become the last scion of his line. Fortunately, his grandfather, King Gerald “The Great,” lived to the ripe old age of 75, and trained him in the ways of statecraft and battle. King Gerald died when Garrick was 15, in a battle with Cimmerian raiders. Garrick’s mother ruled in his stead as regent until he was 21, whereupon he became king. That was 4 years ago. Today Garrick maintains the defenses his grandfather built and continues his policies. For all that he is a paladin dedicated to the service of Mitra, he is tolerant of the followers of Bori, which has earned him the wrath of his “co-religionists” in Poitain. He is supported in his heresy by the Grand Abbot of Golamira, who has been excommunicated by the Seven Bishops no less than three times. The king has recently begun the founding of an order of knighthood, in the old Aquilonian tradition, to help preserve civilization and set forth for the people a standard of excellence as well as provide them with a wellspring of hope (and to present a theological foil against the Holy Swords of Poitain). This order, the Order of the Phoenix, is based on the old tale of the blade wielded by King Conan the Great against the demons of Stygia. There are currently only a half-dozen Phoenix Knights, who follow the traditions of the chivalric wandering knight.

Notable Sites: Mount Golamira, the “Black-Hearted” Eternal Mountain, site of the Sepulcher of the Sage Epimetreus, is found in southern Gunderland. There can be found the Last Abbey, home of the Grand Abbot of Golamira and his monks. Since just after the Fall the monks of the Last Abbey abandoned their pacifistic vows and took up the way of the Open Hand, which was taught to them by the last remaining Asura cultists in the kingdom (to whom, through ancient agreements dating to the time of King Conan the Great, the priests had given sanctuary after the purges of the early 18th century).

History: See elsewhere.

Important Figures: King Garrick (LG 25-year old male Gunderman/Aquilonian Pal7 (Mitra)/Nob2, no children), Grand Abbot Dominico (LG 65-year old male Aquilonian Mnk10/Clr10 (Mitra)), Queen Mother Albiona (NG 45-year old female Aquilonian Ftr2/Nob9, one son, one daughter), Royal Magister Grindorf the Gray of the Circle of Sequestered Magicks (NG ?-year old male Gunderman Wiz13/Arc5), Princess Ariana (CG 18-year old female Aquilonian Rog2/Nob2, no children), Duke Hueil ApCaw (CG 32-year old male Bossonian Rgr7/Nob3), Bishop Raibert the Obese (N 52-year old Gunderman Clr14 (Bori)), Sir Tormod the Mighty, Phoenix Knight (LG 29-year old male Gunderman Pal5), Captain Conner MacCanach (CN 22-year old male Cimmerian Bar1/Rog3/Ftr4), Llangwellan the Blue (NG 56-year old male Bossonian/Ligurian Wiz7/Drd7 (Ligurian)), Chiangwu (CG 65-year old male Hyrkanian Ftr7/Rog6/Wiz7, many bastard sons and daughters, Chiangwu is the only nephew of Tanaka Khan via the Khan’s deceased older brother, half-brother to the three full-blooded Hyrkanian sons of Tanaka via their mother, and thus the true heir to the Hyrkanian Empire).

Flora and Fauna: Even at Aquilonia’s height, much of Gunderland was left over to wild forest and glade as a hunting reserve for the wealthiest nobles. Since the Fall, this well-tended “wild” has truly returned to wilderness, and now teems with wildlife, including panthers, apes, lions, aurochs, bears, wolves, sabertooth tigers, and, with the gates to Goblin and Faerie now open, even more unusual creatures, such as dire animals, faerie dragons, chimeras, manticores, and far stranger things. Civilized areas are still fairly clear of these odd beasts, and are the home to thousands of domesticated beasts, including horses, cattle, chickens, dogs, and cats. Dire crows are known to inhabit the Bossonian forests near Pictish territory, and sprites command many glades in central Bossonia, while a green dragon is rumored to lair in the forested triangle between Bossonia, Pictland, and the Ligurian territories. The mountains northeast of the territory claimed by the king and the duke are said to be inhabited by countless undead, brought there by some unknown force from the battlefields of the Border Kingdom. Goblins and other unsavory creatures from the Witch Kingdom cross the Shirki River all too regularly. Treants, werebears, and dryads are found in some numbers in the northeastern forest, engaged in guerilla warfare against invading goblins, undead, and Cimmerians alike. Demons and devils are, according to legend, all too common in the catacombs beneath the Last Abbey.
Yup,there sure is a lot of reading there. Some of it is pretty good reading though. Some of the ideas are good and some not so. I can see some homage in there to David Gemmel and some to Tolkien. The idea of the Phoenix knights is pretty good as is the little nod to City of Skulls with the blue eyed royalty of the Kuigar nomads.
The Witch King and his Orc and Goblin hordes I am not so fond of. I just dont see massive forces of non humans/humanoids in a Conan style setting. I am sure that someone out there could probably prove me wrong though as I havent really bothered reading much of the pastiche material and even the Carter/de camp material is now considered to be expendable by me if it suits my campaign for it to be so.
One question though JamesMishler. This was done some time ago and you are quite open about it being a little bit Dn'D in places. iF you were redoing it now what would you change?
I always think of Middle Earth being before the Hyborian Age.

Is Tanaka Khan from a major published story. You typo it to Takana, which I like better, since Tanaka is such a transparently Japanese name.... :)
Very impressive James. Though I have to say I don't know why you felt the need to introduce orcs, goblins, elfs, et all into the mix. Generally speaking the point of most fantasy races is to have an easy to use sterotype of humanity. But the point of the Hyborian Age is that humanity is already reduced to its (ugly) sterotypes. The Picts are already wild, bloodthirsty savages, why do they have to be orcs?

Otherwise thats some prety good work. I like the way you have brought all the threads to a head by about 1825 AA, the shit is about to hit the fan right there (as though it hasn't already :wink: ) and that is always a perfect situation to introduce PC's into.

Good luck.
tarkhan bey said:
Yup,there sure is a lot of reading there. Some of it is pretty good reading though. Some of the ideas are good and some not so. I can see some homage in there to David Gemmel and some to Tolkien.

Too each their own, I say. But, yes, there is influence in there from David Gemmell and Tolkien.

The idea of the Phoenix knights is pretty good as is the little nod to City of Skulls with the blue eyed royalty of the Kuigar nomads.
The Witch King and his Orc and Goblin hordes I am not so fond of. I just dont see massive forces of non humans/humanoids in a Conan style setting.

I developed this setting period, with the invilvement of orcs and elves and so forth, for two reasons:

1) As a bridge between the sword & sorcery style of Conan and the standard style of fantasy of D&D. This, so that I could eventually lure people who had never read Howard into a semi-Howardian world.

2) As a point in my great macro-timeline of an alternate Earth. That Earth includes the following, in this general chronological order: Middle Earth => Hyborian Age => Epic of Aerth (from Gary Gygax's Dengerous Journeys: Mythus) => Drenai novels by David Gemmell.

I am sure that someone out there could probably prove me wrong though as I havent really bothered reading much of the pastiche material and even the Carter/de camp material is now considered to be expendable by me if it suits my campaign for it to be so.

AFAIK you are indeed right; Howard never had any major non-human humanoid races, nor did Carter/De Camp/Nyberg. As for the rest of the non-Howard Conan stuff, I have not read any of it, finding most of it diverges even further than De Camp's stuff, and if I wanted that, I could make it up myself. The closest you'd get, I think, would be the grey apes, which, though semi-intelligent and seemingly ubiquitous, never worked together as a society.

One question though JamesMishler. This was done some time ago and you are quite open about it being a little bit Dn'D in places. iF you were redoing it now what would you change?

Probably nothing. Were I to return to that setting, I'd leave it much as it was, and probably run it using D&D rather than Conan. Its purpose as a medium between different styles, with enough to entice the standard D&D player yet enough difference to intrigue him, still is valid. Unfortunately, the swords & sorcery style doesn't really come off well in a simple timeline and a few boring lines of a gazetteer entry; I wrote all this for my reference, after all. The style would be interjected in the gameplay...
Anonymous said:
That's incredible. Does AA mean "After Apocalypse"?

AA means "Age of Aquilonia" and TR means "Turanian Reckoning."

AA measures from the point at which Aquilonia becomes a major kingdom.
Orkin said:
I always think of Middle Earth being before the Hyborian Age.

That's exactly how this works in my timeline for this cvampaign setting... see more below.

Is Tanaka Khan from a major published story. You typo it to Takana, which I like better, since Tanaka is such a transparently Japanese name.... :)

Yes, Tanaka Khan is from David Gemmel's Drenai series. He is the "easterner" who eventually conquers the world, effectively that era's Genghis Khan. IMC, the Drenai Age follows many, many centuries after the Hyborian Age, but I nicked the name because I thought it was cool.

And yes, it is definitely more Japanese in nature -- the Nadir peoples, the "easterners" of the Drenai Age, arose from a mix of Mongolians, Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese after the Age of Fire and Ice.

Here's that macro-timeline I mentioned... a work in progress, and not complete, but it gives you the general idea of how things work in that campaign setting. In this case, "AA" refers to "Age of Atlantl," the "Atlantean Empire" of the time period in which most of the campaigns would take place. "Modern" refers to that time period, equal (in most cases, as the campaigns tend to jump around in time) to the Middle Ages (ca. 13th to 15th centuries).

Aeon of Hyperborea the Eldest [1,000,000 through 750,000 PA]: Time of the wizard Eibon and the proto-human Elder Hyperboreans.

Aeon of the Dragon Kings [750,000 through 500,000 PA]: Serpent Men rule in Lemuria, keeping proto-humans as slaves, pets, and livestock.

Aeon of Lemuria the Eldest [500,000 through 300,000 PA]: The first modern humans, the Brown race of Man, arises on Lemuria ca. 500,000 PA. The time of Thongor of Lemuria. The Red race of Man arises near the end of this epoch, ca. 300,000 PA, in the lands now known as Amazonia (southern Mayapan of the Hyborian Age, modern South America).

Aeon of the Titans [300,000 through 70,000 PA]: Rise of the Titan race, a magically hyper-evolved super-intelligent branch of humans. Many wars to establish dominance. Eventually a group known as the Valar conquer over all and cast their overthrown foes beyond the “Walls of Night,” though their brother, Melkor, who turned against their rule in the end, was able to return.

Age of the Lamps [70,000 to 60,000 PA]: The Valar rule the continent, until the lamps and their power are cast down by Melkor, who returns from beyond the “Walls of Night.” The Valar retreat to an island continent west of Endor and east of the modern continent of Antillia, where they form the realm of Valinor. This land is, in fact, the bulk of the remnant of continent of Eldest Hyperborea. Note that for most of this epoch true humans were confined to the Lemurian Islands far to the east and the lands now known as Amazonia, though pre-human tribes were found throughout the continents and islands of the world. The first humans from the Lemurian Islands colonize the continent of Endor (a.k.a. Thuria, modern Aeropa, Azir, and Afrik) in the eastern land of Hildórien ca. 60,000 PA, shortly after the retreat of the Valar, and moved from there into the Hither Lands of Harad shortly thereafter. They tended to avoid the north, where Morgoth held sway, until shortly after the return of the elves from the West in 40,000 PA.

Age of the Trees [60,000 to 40,000 PA]: The Golden Age of Valinor. Aulë the Smith creates the dwarves from seven tribes of proto-humans (infusing them with the magical strength of stone) ca. 50,000 PA, and orders them to build their numbers and their civilization in hiding, underground, in order to later do battle against Morgoth. In 47,700 PA Oromë discovers three kingdoms of civilized pre-humans in Cuiviénen, the lands of the far east of Endor. These kingdoms were founded long ages ago by fleeing Hyperboreans who, through the application of their science and magic long ages ago, have acquired great power and advanced civilization. Impressed by their civilization, the Valar invite them to settle in Valinor far to the west. Most go willingly, though some remain, or wander from the path during the 200 year trek. The Hyperboreans that make it to Valinor are infused with the power of the Valar and become the High Elves, including the Vanyar (Fair Elves), Noldor (Deep Elves), and Falmari (Sea Elves). Those who made the journey yet remained in Endor were granted some of the “grace” of the Valar (Immortality plus some other bennies), but only a little, and become the Úmanyar (“Not of Valinor”) or Moriquendi (Dark Elves), divided into the Sindar (Grey Elves) Nandor (Green Elves), and Silvan (Wood Elves). The Hyperboreans that remained behind in Cuiviénen remained divided into the three kingdoms. One of these was destroyed by Morgoth, and the peoples thereof enslaved and bred with captured elves to create the orcs. The peoples of the second kingdom fled, later allied with far-wandering Laiquendi, intermarried, and became elves known as the Avari (Wild Elves). The peoples of the third kingdom moved into the ruins of the other two (re-founded the kingdoms) and in time intermarried with wandering Lemurian colonists, forming the core of the Three Houses of the Edain. By the end of this age the Yellow race of Man arises in Far Harad, a mix of native proto-humans and Lemurian colonists. Haradrim described during the tales of the Third Age as “black skinned” are actually mercenaries and/or colonists from Mu, the “Dark Land” or “South Land” southern continent of Middle-earth.
Morgoth creates orcs from captured proto-humans and elves, and trolls from captured giants (devolved Titans), proto-humans, and dwarves (used in an attempt to capture the strength of stone, which backfires on him in a most spectacular manner, as he does not fully understand the magic used by Aulë).

First Age of the Sun [40,000 to 39,410 PA]: The time of Beleriand, Morgoth, and the height of the power of the elves. The age ends with the destruction of Beleriand and the casting of Morgoth out of the World, once again beyond the Walls of Night.

Second Age of the Sun [39,410 to 35,969 PA]: The time of Nûmenor, the First Empire of Atlantis. Nûmenor falls and the Isle of Atlantis sinks, destroyed by the wrath of the Valar. The Valar remove the continent of Valinor entirely from Aerth and create the world of Faerie elsewhere in time and space, accessible only by the Straight Road.

Third Age of the Sun [35,969 to 32,948 PA]: The time of Sauron, Frodo, and company.

Fourth Age of the Sun [32,948 to 30,000 PA]: Elves retreat to Faerie or are assimilated by humans. At the end of the age the last remnants of the Dúnedain are overthrown by the serpent-worshiping Easterlings and Haradrim. The final remnants of the Dúnedain flee to islands in the far north of Belegaer. The Valar abandon Aerth entirely as they have other concerns, as the world of Faerie is invaded by sorcerers, orcs, and trolls; they bring the remaining dwarves and halflings to Faerie to help fight the invaders. The mixing of the proto-human peoples of Mu with the Haradrim and undifferentiated local Brown peoples give rise to the Black race of Man in Far Harad at the close of this age, ca. 30,000 PA.

Age of Serpents [30,000 to 25,000 PA]: The Serpent Men rule in western Thuria until they are overthrown by Giant Kings (non-Valar Titans) and their non-human (demonic and otherwise) allies, who have returned from beyond the Walls of Night.

Age of the Giant Kings [25,000 to 21,000 PA]: The Giant Kings rule from the City of Golden Gates on the island of Atlantis. The Second Kingdom of Atlantis falls much as the first did, when humans rebel against their Titan overlords, however the island does not sink. Shortly thereafter, the northern barbarians, descendants of the Dúnedain, return to the isle of their ancestors, scour it clear of the foulness of the Giant Kings and the demons, and become the new Atlanteans, the ancestors of the people of Kull, the Cimmerians, Kelts, and Drenai.

Valusian Age [21,000 to 15,000 PA]: After a thousand years of chaos, during which the resurgent Serpent Men rear their heads again, the Valusian Kingdoms of Commoria, Grondor, Kamelia, Thule, and Verulia arise. The Serpent Kingdom of Valusia is cast down, and becomes a human realm. At the end of the age the kingdoms all fall into decadence and foreigners run their armies and rule their kingdoms, while the people of Atlantis again rise to great cultural heights then fall into darkness (the Third Atlantean Empire). This age also witnesses the height of the civilization of the Black race of Man in the lands south of Valusia, a land known as Nyumbani. The age ends in the Great Cataclysm, believed to be caused by a meteor strike.

Stygian Age [15,000 to 10,000 PA]: Last Hurrah of the Giant Kings, with the founding (and eventual loss) of the Empires of Acheron and Stygia (to the Khari, humans of the Red race of Man, who are fleeing from a Lemurian slave revolt far to the east).

Hyborian Age [10,000 to 6550 PA]: Rise of the Hyborian kingdoms. Emergence of the White race of Man ca. 10,000 PA in the land of Nordheim (Hyborians are, however, a Brown race people, not White, though by the time of Conan the Hyperboreans had become a mix of White Aesir and Brown Hyborian bloodlines). Time of Conan the Barbarian. Rise and fall of the Aquilonian, Turanian, and Pictish empires. Return of Faerie at the end of this age.

Age of Chaos [6550 PA through 1 PA]
Age of Atlantl [1 AA through 5015 AA] (5015 AA being equal to 2015 CE)
Age of Fire and Ice [5015 to 10,015 AA]
Age of the Drenai [10,015 to 15,385 AA]
argo said:
Very impressive James.


Though I have to say I don't know why you felt the need to introduce orcs, goblins, elfs, et all into the mix. Generally speaking the point of most fantasy races is to have an easy to use sterotype of humanity. But the point of the Hyborian Age is that humanity is already reduced to its (ugly) sterotypes. The Picts are already wild, bloodthirsty savages, why do they have to be orcs?

Again, it's to help ease standard D&D players into a different element. Magice is much rarer and more mysterious; most of the neighboring human kingdoms and tribes are as bad as the orcs and goblins they encounter; many of their political battles will be against human realms. And so forth. Having tried to run D&D Conan before there ever was the Conan RPG, I can tell you, most players stop dead at "Wait, you mean I can't be an elf? And you call this fantasy?" So, I gave them something in between to wean them off the elves...

Otherwise thats some prety good work. I like the way you have brought all the threads to a head by about 1825 AA, the shit is about to hit the fan right there (as though it hasn't already :wink: ) and that is always a perfect situation to introduce PC's into.

My philosophy has always been to drop the player characters into situations where they could become movers and shakers in the world. What use is fantasy gaming otherwise? I remember, once upon a time, long ago, I ran an RPGA adventure where the goal of the "heroes" was to... join the Living City Fire Department! Woo-hoo! Now that's high fantasy! NOT...

Good luck.

Thanks, though I am not running this campaign right now. Just thought I'd present some ideas I had for a "post-Fall" style campaign.

It can all be adapted quite readily to Conan... just take out the elements of Faerie and Goblin, add more Pictish held lands instead (meaning Gunderland and Poitain are well and truly alone), and you have the standard Conan setting...