The REH Lore Project

CE RP website

For those of you who roleplay, the question of lore is both important and rather daunting. There are a LOT of “Conan sources” to choose from. There are several pen and paper RPGs, plenty of stories by authors other that Robert E. Howard, comics, movies, and apparently even an upcoming TV show in development. So how do you choose? Is there a right or wrong way to go about it? That’s a subject we can debate all day. But in all my searching the one thing I did NOT find was a resource that focused specifically and only on the lore as written by REH himself.

So… I made one.

The Robert E. Howard Conan Lore Project

Purpose and scope: To create a repository of information on the religious and cultural aspects, as well as descriptions of the people and lands themselves, of the races created by Robert E. Howard for his fictional world of the Hyborian Age, the setting of his Conan the Barbarian stories. The works of other authors and sources will not be included. This collection is meant to catalog only what Howard himself wrote about his world and is focused primarily on quotes that give some information as to the physical and cultural aspects of the various races, including their religions and gods.

I had originally hoped there was somewhere a searchable wiki on just the original works of Howard so that I could put in a search for, say, Cimmeria, and find every instance of its mention that I might be able to verify various information regarding it. Sadly, no such wiki or archive exists that is available to the public. And so, in frustration, I have taken my cue from the online entries of games set in Howard’s Hyborian Age and compiled all of the information I can find in an exhaustive re-reading of Howard’s Conan stories in order to share with other roleplayers and storytellers the actual lore of the Hyborian Age as written by its original author. The real lore, untainted by pastiche authors, comics, movies, or the whole cloth fanciful inventions of games.

I have not cataloged every instance of a word such as Cimmerian or Stygian or Turan or Aquilonia but have confined myself to only those instances that give at least some snippet of information regarding race, appearance of people, culture, religion or gods and demons. It is well to keep in mind that these things are often from the viewpoint of Conan himself and, to a lesser degree, a host of other characters, in making observations about races or cultures they themselves are not a part of and may actually know next to nothing about. It is beyond the scope of this project to include commentary discussing how “accurate” any of the information may be. Nevertheless, patterns certainly do emerge. I would, however, encourage any serious student of the literature to pick up the books themselves and do the reading necessary to draw informed conclusions.

To assemble this archive I have used the Del Rey paperback publications of :

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian

ISBN: 0-345-46151-7

The Bloody Crown of Conan

ISBN 0-345-46152-5

The Conquering Sword of Conan

ISBN 0-345-46153-3

Edited by Patrice Louinet and illustrated by Mark Schultz

I chose these editions because they are in their original versions and in the order Howard wrote them. These are not rewrites by other authors. If you are looking to read the stories, especially if this is your first time, I highly recommend these editions.

All page numbers of citations refer to these books.

Entries are repeated as appropriate where they give information on more than one culture, religion, etc.

Why this project? There are, after all, innumerable “lore sources” online to choose from. Most come from the various RPGs that are based on Conan. And therein lies the problem. These are derivative works that add or alter a great deal to Howard’s world that was never included by him. The many comics and stories by other writers set in his world likewise take many liberties and introduce new characters and even entirely new races, such as the Yamatai, and new religions such as the Harlots of Idris, that were never written of by Howard. This is not a terrible thing. After all, there are many gaps and unanswered questions regarding the many races and cultures he did write about. And for those who wish to do so, filling them with the works of others is a reasonable choice to make.

However, there has been, as of this writing, no reasonably searchable resource that covers only what Howard himself wrote regarding the details of his various races and cultures and lands. Ergo, there has been nothing to compare the works of others against in order to make decisions as to whether or not those changes and additions make sense or are in keeping with the lore as established by Howard himself.

This is what this project seeks to change. It is my love letter to the roleplaying communities of Conan Exiles and Age of Conan and to all players who wish to craft characters and stories in keeping with Howard’s actual lore. I hope you enjoy it.


Seems like a great project. One thing you should start with though is to get rid of all instances called Hyboria. There is no such thing as Hyboria in any of Robert E. Howards works. It’s not the world of Hyboria, it is the Hyborian Age.


You’re not wrong! Thanks for the reminder! And now fixed!

I would strongly recommend for anyone who wants to experience everything, and I mean everything, that Howard ever wrote about Conan, to get their hands on The Complete Chronicles of Conan Centenary Edition. You will not find a more thorough source for Howard’s work on the character.

The book starts with The Hyborian Age – it’s basically an alternate history that he used to keep his stories accurate along with Notes on Various Peoples of the Hyborian Age. This edition contains all of Howard’s finished stories as well as drafts, synopsis’, and a fragment that were found following Howard’s untimely death. Believe me, it’s all there.

To answer the question that you posed early in your post, if I go outside of Howard’s writings whether it be movies, books, comics, or games, my favorite work is always the work that keeps faithful to the tone and feeling Howard set. I also have a deep appreciation for historic accuracy even though Howard’s world is fictitious. As an example, you brought up Yamatai. In my opinion, it doesn’t belong because it doesn’t chronologically show up in history until centuries after Conan’s time.

But I digress. Check out The Complete Chronicles of Conan Centenary Edition. It should be in the collection of any fan of the character. You will not be sorry. :wink:000


Wait you mean this one BigDave…?


That’d be the one. :joy:

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I chose the editions I did (which include the Hyborian Essay) because they were recommended by one of the primary staffmembers of the Robert E. Howard Foundation ( ) as being the definitive version of the works untouched by the heavy handed editing of other authors like LSDC. And they are really good. As an added bonus, their price point makes them much more accessible for a lot of people.

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@Alexandria Thanks for making this topic!

My and Dad’s (@krix_ost) donation/addition/info! :heart_eyes: :smiley:

For what it is worth. This is a really good read since Tolkien and Howard are closely tied together. It is very interesting to tie these fictions to our own earth as well to set our imaginations running wild. My dad is a Hyborian Age junkie as well as a M.E.R.P. and Forgotten Realms. He and friends taught me by playing M.E.R.P. and then more Free-Form adventures in Hyborian Age. Dad has me convinced that this is another Earth-Like-World in the galaxy.

From the First to the Hyborian Age: A combined Tolkien/Robert E. Howard timeline

Also…this map is the best map I have ever seen of Hyborian Age (Thurian Continent). Easy to print as 24x36 as well for a good table top or wall mount (dad has this mounted next to the Forgotten Realms pastel version like this one).

And lastly. Dad and I made this up in GIMP. It is our ancient world (we have really ancient versions too) but more importantly it shows what influenced the shape of the Thurian Continent. Tolkien’s Middle Earth by contrast actually looks more like Angel Wings :wink: :grinning:

Last thing Dad and I can recommend for all you Hyborian Age Savages…Adventurers! Hyborian Age Xoth.Net ::
It is the D20 campaign for table top and has a lot of great information! He prefers this over the old 1985 Box Set which is D100 rules. Dad still has the box! Dad says he preferred MERP/ICE to AD&D/TSR since it did not get bogged down into so many details…smoother gameplay. I played in MERP and D20 and both seemed fine…we had a lot of fun adventurers!

  • Conan: The Roleplaying Game, 2nd Edition Hardcover – October 9, 2007 (on Amazon ~$120)



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