Acheron was a country that existed in the earlier stages of the Hyborian Age, thousands of years before Conan's time.


Foundation and early years

Circa 15,500 BC, Stygians from Khemi established an outpost at the embouchure of the Tybor and expanded up-river, while enslaving or destroying the small unclassified tribes it encountered.

It soon broke off Stygian control, though it remained Stygian in culture.[2]


Acheron was more advanced than its neighbor nations, which they raided for slaves or for sacrifices, as the wizards of Acheron practiced dark magic and worshiped such elder gods as Set.[citation needed] Acheron ravaged the Shemites, then the Hybori tribes that drifted south, using them both a slaves and human sacrifices.[3] Acheron was never able to conquer the Cimmerians of the north,[4] however, and while their people were looked down upon in Acheron, some Cimmerians sought employment as mercenaries and guardsmen of Acheronian royalty.[citation needed]

King Bel-Hissar's rule

In then-mighty Acheron, Naka, a diver for pearls recovered a great ruby from an undersea city and passed it to King Bel-Hissar, who was then slain in his very palace by an unnamed thief: the ruby became then known as the Blood of Bel-Hissar.[5]

Queen Xaltan's rule


The wizard Kheperu convinced many lesser mages that Queen Xaltana was possessed, leading to her being entombed alive.[3]

King Bafomai's rule

Queen Xaltana's removal made way for Bafomai's ascension. Bafomai and Kheperu also wished to slay Xaltana's brother and high priest of Set Xaltotun, but Xaltotun was himself leading a powerful faction. Thugra Khotan, the other arch-mage of Acheron, preferred to retreat in the Stygian city of Kuthchemes to avoid being forced to choose sides in the matter. To prevent civil war within Pyton, entertainment were set in the arena where many captives and slaves were sacrificed every day.[3]


Fall of Acheron

For a full presentation of the event,
please consult the Fall of Acheron page.

The empire was destroyed by the uprising of Hyborian barbarians, who had suffered under Acheron.[4]

Due to an encounter with the mirrors of Tuzun Thune, Conan and Red Sonja briefly found themselves taking part in this fabled rebellion.[8]

In the aftermaths, Ophir, Corinthia and Koth regained their independence, while new kingdoms such as Argos, Aquilonia and Nemedia rose on the ashes of Acheron.[4]

Points of Interest



  • Robert E. Howard named this fictional country after the real-life river Acheron,[citation needed] located in Epirus, in the northwest regions of modern Greece, and flowing into the Ionian Sea.
    • In Greek and Roman mythology, the river was to be an entrance to the underworld and to continue to flow through its regions, as one of the underworld's five rivers.

See Also

Links and References


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+