The Thurian Age a specific epoch in the fictional timeline used by
Robert E. Howardin his Kull stories. It predates the Hyborian Ageof the Conan the Barbarianstories and is known to them as the "Pre-Cataclysmic Age"" The Hyborian Age" by Robert E. Howard(1936)] .
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."
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.
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
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 Scandinaviaand Iceland.
The kingdom furthest to the west of the Thurian continent. It was created and initially ruled by
Serpent Menuntil 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." The Shadow Kingdom" by Robert E. Howard(1929)]
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."
A small continent to the west of Thuria and east of the Pictish Islands. They have colonies on Thuria itself.
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, Gaelsand Scythiansof modern, real world, history. Lemuria
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 are reduced to a state of savagery but they eventually rise up and destroys their masters (the survivors of whom escape to the south of Thuria to form the nation of Stygia).
The Lemurians eventually become the Hyrkanians of the Hyborian Age and form the country of Turan on the edge of the Vilayet Sea. The Hyrkanians play a part in destroying the Hyborian civilisations some unspecified time after the Conan stories. They eventually became the
Tatars, Huns, Mongolsand Turks of the modern age.
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 Barbarianstories and the more degenerate Pictsof Britain in the Bran Mak Mornstories [" Kings of the Night" by Robert E. Howard] and real history.
The Kull story "The Shadow Kingdom" refers in passing to two other countries, Mu and Kaa-u. Mu sinks during Cataclysm and its mountains become the islands of the
South Seas." The Isle of the Eons" by Robert E. Howard(unfinished fragment)]
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.
* [http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/Katl.htm An Atlas of Valusia]
* [http://www.rehupa.com/rippke_precataclysmic.htm Mysteries of the Pre-Cataclysmic Age]
* [http://www.dodgenet.com/~moonblossom/Kgaze.htm Visions of the Pre-Cataclysmic Age] - glossary of places in the Kull stories
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