Hyperboreans discussion

I’m trying to flesh out the Hyperboreans to my games and I’m not really saticefied whit how they look in the conan comics and Conan computer games. I think in general there culture and the land where they live is described well enuf but it’s how they look I’m more intressed in.

They are described as being over 2 m tall if they are pureblood, and hawing deep woices but that’s basically it.

How do you think thay look?

Here’s som pictures


Page 210 of the Core book has this to say:

Due to the foreign strains brought through slavery, the
Hyperborean bloodline has become impure, but they are still
a distinct people, the tallest by far in the northern portion
of the continent. Gigantic and blonde are Hyperboreans,
prone to gauntness and light eyes, and there is a crude-
ness to their appearance, a big-boned, rough-hewn sort of
mien that is disquieting, as if they are a cruder version of humankind.

Ah forgot that part!

I’m thinking that they look different in their faces to compared to other races, almost like they are a different kind of human lineage.

As I understand the Gundermen are the closest to the original Hyborian people but the Hyperborians came from the north and conquered Hyperborea and took the name to them self. That’s why I’m thinking they could be almost alian in appearance :alien:

Don’t want to make you go out and buy a whole new game system (though it is good), but there are extensive descriptions of Hyperboreans in the game Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea, which is produced by North Wind Games, written by Jeffrey Talanian. He essentially creates an entire world of Hyperborea as a dying ancient realm near the North Pole, drawing extensively from Howard, Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, etc.

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Ah interesting! I will have a look in to that. The idea of a dying civilisation close to the north pole triggered my imagination!

I wasn’t that happy with the description with Hyperborea as they borrowed too clearly out of Russian folklore. It didn’t strike me as having a very Howardian feel.
A dying civilization near the North Pole sounds better…

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Using a pre-existing civilization to add flavor to a region in Howard’s Hyborian Age? Sounds totally Howardian to me.

Vanir, Asgaard, Turan, Vendyha, Afghulistan, Khitai, Stygia, Shem, Black Kingdoms, Pictland…


That is true but Howard did not use the inspirations so blatantly and he created his mythology, inspired by others. Taking something from the real world as such is not the same as using something as an inspiration. His Mitra is not the same as the historical Mithras. YMMV.

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Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is good but it’s not entirely lost country near North Pole. Hyperborea was located there but through some magical cataclysm it’s not part of Old Earth anymore. In fact Hyperborea is flat hexagonal land orbiting around dying Sun, it’s waters flowing straight into the void between the stars. It has something to do with black monoliths around the land, and nobody really knows why Underborea (dungeons and caverns below Hyperborea) seemed to be bottomless - you can go down and down without end. The deeper you go, the stranger things happen around you.

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But, thats how REH envisioned them… very baltic/russian.

Really? I can’t remember anything like that.

You can start by where in the Thurian continent map Hyperborea is, related to a real world Atlas.


REH wanted to very much write “historical fiction” like Harold Lamb, but was quite aware of his weak spots, up to the point of neurosis… thats one of the main reasons for the whole saga.

Lovecraft often chided him on this.


Agree to disagree then.

Howard wrote plenty of Historical Fiction. He wrote Conan and such because they sold to Weird Tales.

There is an entire book in the Del Rey collection dedicated to Historical Fiction.

Yet, the original plan was to write the Conan saga as historical too.

In the book Conan the barbarian in the section that describes Hyperboria in the far east thers a big crater called Evyenki. In my game I’m going to make it so that the an advanced alien race similar to humans crashlanded there whit a gigantic space ship and a small part of the aliens survived but where trapt under ground for generations and eventually lost there knowledge of technology. War broke out and the survivors eventually fund a way out and then mixed whit humans and became the Hyperborians.

Thinking of having an adventure in the crater that hase the vibe of the book Road side picnic or the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The players need to go in to the “zone” fore som reason and natural laws ar broken in the crater and mutate monsters are every where :japanese_ogre:

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