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The Thurian Age a specific epoch in the fictional timeline used by Robert E. Howard in his Kull stories. It predates the Hyborian Age of the Conan the Barbarian stories and is known to them as the Pre-Cataclysmic Age[1].

When Robert E. Howard began to chronicle the adventures of Conan the Cimmerian, more than ninety years ago, he prepared a fictional history of the so-called Hyborian Age which he had created. That "history" dealt not only with the period during and after Conan's life, but also with events some eight thousand years earlier, during the Thurian civilization which produced King Kull, exiled warrior of Atlantis in the days before that continent sank into the surging seas.

The main continent is called Thuria, although smaller continents such as Atlantis and an unnamed Eastern continent exist, as do several island chains. Most of the planet is unexplored wilderness inhabited by "scattered clans and tribes of primitive savages."[1]

Thurian Age[]

The Thurian Age is a fictional period within the artificial mythology created by Robert E. Howard, in which the sword and sorcery tales of Kull of Atlantis are set. It is within the same shared universe as the Hyborian Age of Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories, but at an earlier period. The boundary between the two ages is marked by the "Great Cataclysm," which took place ca. 35,000-40,000 B.C.

The Pre-Cataclysmic Age (circa 20,000 BC)Edit[]

Of that epoch known by the Nemedian Chronicles as the Pre-Cataclysmic Age, little is known except the latter part, and that is veiled in the mists of legend.

Known history begins with the waning of the civilization of the main, or Thurian continent... a civilization dominated by the kingdoms of Ramelia, Valusia, Verulia, Grondar, Thule and Commoria. These people spoke a similar language, suggesting a common origin. Though they don't seem to be in agreement. The barbarians of the age were the Picts, who lived on islands far out on the Western Ocean, the Atlanteans, who dwelt on a small continent between the Pictish islands and the Thurian continent, and the Lemurians, who inhabited a chain of large islands in the Eastern Hemisphere. There were vast regions of unexplored land, the civilized kingdoms, though enormous, occupied a relatively small portion of the whole planet. Valusia was the westernmost kingdom of the Thurian continent: her capital, the City of Wonders, was the marvel of her age. Grondar, whose people were less highly cultured than those of the other kingdoms, was the easternmost land. Among the less arid stretches of desert East of Grondar, in the serpent-infested jungles and among the snow-perched mountains, there lived scattered clans and tribes of primitive savages.

On the Far Eastern shores of the Thurian continent lived another race... human, but mysterious and non-Thurian, with which the Lemurians from time to time came in contact. They apparently came from a shadowy and nameless continent lying somewhere east of the Lemurian islands. Far to the South, there was a second mysterious civilization, unconnected with the Thurian culture and apparently pre-human in its nature.

The Thurian civilization was crumbling, their armies were composed largely of barbarian mercenaries. Picts, Atlanteans and Lemurians were their generals, their statesmen and often, their kings. Of the bickering of the kingdoms and wars between Valusia and Commoria, as well as the conquests by which the Atlanteans founded a kingdom on the mainland... there are more legends than accurate history.

Then the cataclysm rocked the world. Atlantis and Lemuria sank, the Pictish islands were heaved up to form the mountain peaks of a new continent, while sections of the Thurian continent vanished under the waves or sinking, forming great inland lakes and seas. Volcanoes broke forth and terrific earthquakes shook down the shining cities of the empires. Whole nations were blotted out and the face of the world was forever changed.

A great cataclysm ends the Thurian Age some time after the Kull stories. Several countries sink into the sea, others rise from it, and the rest is devastated by earthquakes and volcanoes. Civilization is destroyed and the survivors attempt to build a new culture but warfare and a Lesser Cataclysm strike, creating the Hyborian Vilayet Sea and destroying any last remnants of Thurian society.[1]

Dominant kingdoms[]

Six kingdoms dominate the main continent of Thuria. All share a common language and possibly a common origin. East of these kingdoms is a vast desert. The six kingdoms are all part of the "Seven Empires" although the seventh member is never named.

Following the Cataclysm, one of the kingdoms (not Valusia), become the Zhemri people who eventually form the land of Zamora (the people of which in turn eventually become the Romani people).


Template:Expand-section They are described as having wars with Valusia[1] but it does not appear in the Kull stories.


The kingdom furthest to the east of the Thurian continent, bordering the eastern desert. Its people are less cultured than those of the other kingdoms.[1]

In an untitled draft in Kull- Exile of Atlantis, Grondar is 1) described as being east of Zarfhaana and having a wasteland, 2) occasionally sending out raiders into the grass savannah that separates it from its western neighbors, 3) Thurania is a named target of these raids, 4) the ancestors of the Grondarans came from somewhere unknown and defeated an older people who inhabited the land now known as Grondar (the remains of the original inhabitants' cities lie in the grass savanah between Grondar and the western kingdoms), and 5) hinted that Grondar didn't have cities similar to those of the west.[2]





The name Thule comes from Classical mythology (or pseudo-geography). First described by Greek explorer Pytheas, it is a mysterious land to the north. It has been associated with Scandinavia and Iceland.


The kingdom furthest to the west of the Thurian continent.[1] It was created and initially ruled by Serpent Men until they were overthrown by their human slaves. They attempted to control new human kingdom of Valusia from behind the scenes, using illusionary magic, when mankind's memories of the past wars faded but they were again defeated in a secret war. Finally they created a religion, the Snake Cult, to do the same thing again and almost succeeded. Their power was, however, eventually destroyed by Kull, an Atlantean barbarian who had gained the crown of Valusia by force.[3]

Kull notes, in The Shadow Kingdom that the Valusia of his time is a "fading, degenerate" country, "living mostly in dreams of bygone glory, but still a mighty land and the greatest of the Seven Empires". The kingdom is already ancient by his standards: "The hills of Atlantis and Mu were isles of the sea when Valusia was young."[3]



Barbarian societies[]

There are three main barbarian societies in the Thurian Age.[1]


A small continent to the west of Thuria and east of the Pictish Islands. They have colonies on Thuria itself.

Atlantis is an old enemy of the "Seven Empires" (see Dominant Kingdoms) of Thuria and has an even more ingrained enmity of the Picts.[3]

Following the cataclysm that destroys the Thurian Age, Atlantis sinks beneath the sea. The survivors on the Thurian continent are forced back into the stone age by lack of resources but become skilled in this medium and develop an artistic culture. They soon enter a war with the surviving Picts and lose to their superior numbers and stone-age military technology. The survivors of the war devolve back into apes. They eventually re-evolve into humans to become the Cimmerians of the Hyborian Age. In turn the Cimmerians become the Celts, Gaels and Scythians of modern, real world, history.


Lemuria is a chain of large islands east of Thuria.

Following the cataclysm that ended the Thurian age, these islands sank into the sea. The surviving Lemurians escaped to the east coast of the Thurian continent but were enslaved by an unnamed pre-human race. After enduring more than a thousand years of brutal slavery, the Lemurians were reduced to a state of savagery. They eventually rose up and destroyed their masters, the survivors of whom escaped to the south of Thuria to form the nation of Stygia).

The Lemurians eventually became the Hyrkanians of the Hyborian Age and formed the country of Turan on the edge of the Vilayet Sea. The Hyrkanians played a part in destroying the Hyborian civilisations some unspecified time after the Conan stories. The stories assert they eventually became the Tatars, Huns, Mongols, Pashtuns and Turks of the modern age.[1]

Pictish Islands[]

A chain islands far to the west of Thuria and Atlantis. Due to raiding expeditions, they have colonies on Thuria itself. They have an ancient feud with the Atlanteans.

After the cataclysm, the Pictish Islands rose to form the mountains of what would be the Americas. The Picts of the islands would become the Native Americans. The Picts of Thuria fell further into barbarism but remained stable, neither evolving or devolving as other societies had. At first their society held, despite reverting to the stone age, but a war with the surviving Atlanteans halted any advances they would have made. They would become the savage Picts of the Pictish Wilderness on the west coast of the Hyborian realms in the Conan the Barbarian stories[1] and the more degenerate Picts of Britain in the Bran Mak Morn stories[4] and real history.Obviously,the producers of the current King Kull comics by Dark Horse Comics seem to missed that fact and drew Brule as black,when Howard made several reference to his version of the Picts being Native American like and not black or whatever their trying present as their version of Brule.

In literature[]

Pulp fiction author Robert E. Howard wrote extensively about his romanticized version of the Picts, especially in his short stories revolving around the fictitious character Bran Mak Morn, but also in many other of his stories. Howard's contemporary and friend, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft references Bran Mak Morn in his short story "The Whisperer in Darkness". Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book devotes several chapters to the Picts in his book, Puck of Pook's Hill. Historical fantasy author Juliet Marillier's series, The Bridei Chronicles, tells of the Picts and Gaels in the sixth century A.D.[5]. Nancy Farmer's book The Sea of Trolls, depicts fictional Picts. Anne Rice also wrote of fictional Picts, crafting them into the Taltos for her book series The Lives of the Mayfair Witches. The 2004 film King Arthur depicts the Picts (called "Woads" in the film) as tattooed and painted savage forest people, led by the dark magician Merlin. Originally enemies to Arthur and his knights, they later unite to defeat the Saxons at Badon Hill. Neil Marshall's 2010 film Centurion features a conflict between a band of Picts and the Roman Ninth Legion

Other kingdoms[]

Another mysterious kingdom lies on the east coast of the Thurian continent. They have some contact with Lemuria but come from another continent entirely to the east of the Lemurian islands.[1]

The Kull story The Shadow Kingdom refers in passing to two other countries, Mu and Kaa-u.[3] Mu sinks during Cataclysm and its mountains become the islands of the South Seas.[6]

An untitled draft in the "Kull of Atlantis" stories mentions 3 other nations: Farsun (enemy of Thurania, described as west of Valusia), Zarfhaana (east of Valusia, the Camoonian Desert separates the two and there is a sea to the north of Zarfhaana), and Thurania (south of Zarfhaana, enemy of Farsun).[7]

Pre-human societies[]

There are other "equally civilized" but non-human kingdoms. The citizens were of one or more older, pre-human races. One such mysterious pre-human civilization exists at the south of Thuria, this country is, at first, untouched by the Cataclysm. When the oppressors of the Lemurians are overthrown, however, the survivors escape to this region and destroy it in turn, creating the new country of Stygia.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 The Hyborian Age by Robert E. Howard (1936)
  2. Kull of Atlantis by Robert E. Howard (2006)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Shadow Kingdom by Robert E. Howard (1929)
  4. Kings of the Night by Robert E. Howard
  6. The Isle of the Eons by Robert E. Howard (unfinished fragment)
  7. Kull of Atlantis by Robert E. Howard (2006)

External links[]


ru:Турийская эра