Age of Basic Fantasy
- Cimmerian – Cimmerians were tall and powerfully built, with black hair and blue eyes. They appear to have been late Iron Age or possibly Dark Age in cultural development, or possibly even a hunting and gathering culture. They dress in skins and pelts, and do their own weaving in a rough, practical style. Cimmerians have little use for philosophy, science, or art, but seem to value entertainment, especially in the form of storytelling. Cimmerian culture does not value materialism for avarices’ sake. Although warriors such as Conan are encouraged to gather wealth and glory to themselves, Cimmerians value courage, honour, respect, and pride more than treasure. It is said that none starve in Cimmeria unless all starve, for any family would care for any who need it. The Cimmerians’ chief deity was Crom and others in their pantheon.
- Nordheim (Vanaheim, Asgard) – This snow country with the flaring rays of the borealis shining above the mountains belongs to the Nordics. These people are tall and fair and blue-eyed, and of like blood and language, save that the Æsir of Asgard have yellow hair and the Vanir of Vanaheim, red hair. They are great ale drinkers and fighters; they fight all day and drink ale and roar their wild songs all night. They are wild and wayward and fierce. They wear horned helmets and use shields. Their chief god is Ymir, the frost-giant. His daughter Atali plays tricks on dying men, luring them into the wastelands to be slain by her brothers, the ice-giants, who lay men’s red hearts smoking on Ymir’s board. Afterlife is in vaulted halls of the Valhalla.
- Brythunians – primarily of Hyborian stock. It is known that they tend to have blue eyes and blond hair. Their women are often of surpassing beauty, and are often favoured of slavers in foreign nations. Being so close to Cimmeria and especially Hyperborea, the people must be constantly ready to fight raiders. Brythunians usually worship Mitra, although it seems possible that small cults might still worship Bori, the founder of the Hyborian people.
- Hyrkanians – The Hyrkanians are dark and generally tall and slender, though a squat slant-eyed type is more and more common among them, resulting from mixture with a curious race of intelligent, though stunted, aborigines, conquered by them among the mountains east of Vilayet, on their westward drift. They practice archery. Riders wear steel, silk and gold. Hyrkanian women wear veils. Even commoners and slaves wear silk.
- Kush – The ruling caste, the Chagas, are descendants of those Stygians who centuries ago had come southward to hack out a black empire. The population is composed of black people, brutal and warlike, nown as Gallahs. They have been murmuring that a pure black king should rule Kush. The warriors of Kush are a motley array of stark naked wild men using bows, iron hammers, stones and spears. They use half-wild horses without saddle or bridle — shining ebony, lean, wiry steeds that get frantic with the fire and the scent of blood.
- Shem – the people of Shem, often known as the Sons of Shem, are usually tribal in nature. Appearance: hook nose and curled blue-black beard. They are primarily nomadic, and travel in groups rather than constructing cities. In the deserts and plains of Shem, oases tend to be just as important as towns. However, as a major crossroads of landward trade, Shem does have a number of population centres to cater to merchants and caravans.
- Stygia – The Stygian culture is inspired by the ancient Egypt. Stygia is ruled by a theocracy of sorcerer-kings. Slavery is very common in Stygia. The people are dark skinned. Most of the common people are descendants of the various races across the world, including men of Shem, Koth, the Black Kingdoms, and the Hyborian kingdoms.
- Zamorians – The capital city of Zamora is known as the City of Thieves. Conan first arrives here in his quest to find the most vile cesspit of cities, in order to learn the ways of civilization. The Zamorans he encounters here are mostly from the Maul, a region of the city where the thieves and rogues gather. Although Zamora has a rich culture and centres of higher learning, it is the dark alleys and seedy taverns that give it its reputation. Zamorans are a seperate race from Hyborians. They tend to be darker skinned, but not as dark as the people of the far south. Zamorans have a reputation for deviousness and theivery.
- Zingara – Dark skinned people of Zingara are proud. Mustaches are common. They are known for chivalry and exotic habits. Counts and barons live in castles. Nobles include the slave-drivers of the black serfs who toil in the plantations of southern Zingara. The Zingarans are by nature neither explorers nor colonists. Ships from Zingara trade wine and ornaments with coastal tribes of Kush. Zingarans wield swords with power and effect, swearing prodigiously, and are quite oblivious to all wounds except those instantly fatal. Armor and garments are rich and ornate, after the fashion of a Zingaran grandee.
- Æsir – Dwarves. People of Asgard are called Æsir. They have golden hair and beards. Otherwise they are usual Nordics.
- Atlanteans – Elves.
- Pictish – Orcs and Half Orcs. An extremely primitive and barbaric people who livie in clans, and are known to reproduce quickly. Extremely hostile to outside contact, they seem to be frozen in time, with no technological or cultural advancements.
- Lumerians – Ancient and perverted Elves (essential dark elves).