Are Hyborian Picts based on the Picts of Scotland or Astecs?
If Picts are Aztecs, who are the Legurians based on if not Aztecs?
Do you mean the Lemurians?
In his essay “The Hyborian Age” Robert E. Howard wrote:
The barbarians of that 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 main, or
Thurian Continent; and the Lemurians, who
inhabited a chain of large islands in the eastern
The Lemurians seem to be more like far eastern people.
And there are even people from farther east mentioned:
On the far-eastern shores of the
Continent there 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
And after Lemuria sank and the Lemurians got enslaved and devolved into degeneration, they later reappeared:
Now the Lemurians enter history again as Hyrkanians.
The Socandaga, also known as Ligureans, are a remnant of
a much older race than even the Picts, and dwell in their
midst but in their own villages and smaller tribes. They
war against the Picts intermittently, but occasionally ally
with them when fighting the Bossonians or folk of the
Westermarck. Ligureans are taller and paler-skinned than
Picts, superficially similar in appearance to Hyborians but
distinct enough that differences are apparent. Though
they are as white-skinned as Hyborians, they do not
think of themselves as being kin to the descendants of
Bori and see them as upstarts and invaders.
The great expanse of Pictland is home to another race, the
Ligureans, called the Socandanga in their own and the
Pictish tongues. They are the remnants of a more prominent
and powerful race that survived the Cataclysm, a far
older people than even the Picts. These folk, known simply
as the Elder Race in prior epochs of human history, are
powerful sorcerers, their empire once rivalling that of the
serpent-men of ancient Valusia. Once they were many, but
now their numbers have dwindled greatly. White-skinned
as any Hyborian, Ligurians differ from Picts in many ways,
despite existing alongside them and adopting many of
their cultural traits.
They exist primarily in small and remote villages and
are usually at war with the Picts, but sometimes at peace.
Some Ligureans, however, have been adopted by the Picts
and exist within their tribes, usually in outsider roles such
as shamans, witches, or wizards. There are many ancient
Ligurean ruins within Pictland, and some are still in use,
holy fanes and temples dedicated to their darkling gods,
forgotten by the oldest tribes of humankind. One of their
primary deities is the Great Old One called Tsathoggua,
whom they know under a variety of names.
Ultimately, despite their coloration, the Ligureans are
enemies of the white Hyborians and are united with the
Picts against them, drawn together as they each face the
loss of their ancestral land and territory to the influx of
settlers and Aquilonian expansion.
As with Picts, rules for Ligureans and characters of
Ligurean descent will be provided in Spear & Fang.
From Scout p.83:
KWARADA, THE WITCH OF
This dark, wildly beautiful girl has been sighted by settlers
among the Pictish scouts. She runs along with the warriors
in beaded moccasins, dressed in a loin cloth of doe-skin,
her blackly burnished hair held back by a curious gold
braid. She is half Hawk tribe and half Ligurean by blood,
Only the Socandanga (see “Ligurians”, page 39) retain
their own language, derived from the ancient Ligurean
tongue. They speak it amongst themselves and guard against
outsiders learning it, even when those outsiders are Picts.
Whether Picts, Ligureans, or the feared man-eaters from Zamboula
Ancient and long-dead languages include Acheronian,
Ancient Stygian, and even the tongues of the long-vanished
Thurian Age: Atlantean, Ligurean, Lemurian,
Valusian, and others.
Hyboria is under attack! Dune is invading!
oh, wait, that’s Hyrkanian, not Harkanian.
Are there any peoples in Hyboria / hyperboria(?) based on Samurai?
Ah, those are not even mentioned in The Hyborian Age by REH. So they must be something new.
interesting. good to know.
a lot of the scout stuff is found in this story: Wolves beyond the Border pdf version.
" Wolves Beyond the Border " is one of the original stories by American writer Robert E. Howard featuring Conan the Cimmerian, a fragment begun in the 1930s but not finished or published in Howard’s lifetime. It is a peripheral story in the canon in that while it takes place in Conan’s “Hyborian Age” and during Conan’s lifetime, Conan does not actually appear, but is merely mentioned. The story was completed by L. Sprague de Camp
So, then, are Hyborian Picts based on historical Picts or Aztecs?
Or are a they Picts of history in Aztec landscape/architecture?
If you read REH’s description and the Hyborian Age text, they are more like North American Indians, not so much like Aztecs, and certainly not at the Hyborian Age, the age of Conan, like the historical Picts.
They come from some islands in the far West. Some of them settled on the Thurian continent (the main landmass of the map of the Hyborian Age). When the islands sank, the remaining Picts on the Thurian continent degenerated to savages (a trope that REH uses often).
In the stories about the Pictlands during Conan’s adventures they come across as North American Indians, not some prairie tribes, more the woodland or swampland tribes.
So, Sprague invented the Legurians, then. Howardian enemy is the Picts.
Although I wonder if Howard came up with the half-ligurean / -pict aspect found in story above and never took it anywhere. Like his thought of how a half-race would be treated in Pict society vs Western society.
I find the Ligurians especially weird and not at all fitting to the Picts as described by REH, because the Ligurians are a northern Italian people who lived in what is today still called the province of Liguria at the Ligurian Sea. This is probably another one of de Camp’s not so great additions to Conan.
Have you read Wolves Beyond the Border?
Do you think Picts would ever sire a half-bred offspring? and let it survive?
I ask because i am trying to see if it is plausible to replace the Witch of Socanda (half-ligurean/pict) with a half-pict/aquilonian?
How do you think a half-breed would survive in Aquilonia, or would it even happen? Or are the Howardian Picts strictly as they seem in Beyond the Black River?
Also in the story is an Aqilonian noble(?) who has relations with that witch of socanda and hangs out at Pict rituals.
What are your thoughts? Howardian?
There were plenty of Aquilonians “hanging around at Pict rituals” - literally hanging around to be tortured and gutted.
So that is how Picts will deal with every non-Pict at their rituals.
So then that whole half-breed plot doesn’t fit Howardian Conan.
That’s what i thought. Picts will eventually overrun the continent and raze it, as i understand it.
Yes, in the West, the Picts will overrun most of the nations of Conan’s era, and in the East it will be the Turanian Empire expanding.
i like Turan and the Vilayet sea, too.
what about the few and far between Mitran-converted Picts?
Would any Aquilonian save/raise a Pict baby? I’m thinking Frontier persons who can’t have children of their own…
How would they get hold of a Pict baby? Killed their parents while they were slaughtering the Aquilonian kids, elderly, farm animals, everyone else?
Frontier folks who cannot have children of their own can easily become foster parents of children whose parents got murdered by the Picts. Not shortage in that.