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The Black Kingdoms is the collective name used by Hyborians for all realms to the south of Stygia, a subcontinent of Hyboria that would eventually become the continent of Africa. Naturally, the kingdoms include many nations and tribes with substantially different cultures. The term merely accurately describes the dark skin color of the vast majority of the local population.

The northern kingdom of Kush is the one better known to the Hyborians, so Hyborians tend to assume that all people in the area are Kushites. The wealthy kingdoms of Keshan and Punt also have considerable reputations. Their gold and their mixed-breed aristocracies are the key elements of their fame. By contrast, nearby Darfar is a primitive land where most tribes practice cannibalism and have filled

To the south of these kingdoms, exists only one organized kingdom, the famed nation of Zembabwei. Otherwise this sub-region is home to various tribal kingdoms and confederacies. The tribes of the savannas are nomadic hunters, while those of the rain forest are sedentary. The fierce competition for land has resulted in regional wars, with tribes such as the Bamula maintaining notable warrior cultures. Just off the Black Coast of this subregion are the Southern Isles. Under the leadership of Bêlit, these Isles organized the Black Pirates. This southern pirate organization led raids north towards the coasts of Kush and Stygia. While Bêlit and her original crew were eventually killed, the Pirates survived them and were still active decades later.

To the south of this area is a sub-region of vast jungles. They are inhabited but little known to the rest of the world. A kingdom of Amazons has been depicted as occupying part of the area. The women are fierce warriors, the men serve as their slaves. Further to the south the jungles give way to an uninhabited desert and areas with high volcanic activity. The southernmost tip of the continent is occupied by the Land of No Return and the isolated city of Yanoga. It serves as the last stronghold for Serpent-Men, who were forced to retreat there following millennia-old conflicts.[8]


There was a tongue understood throughout the Black Kingdoms (with "Amra" being one of its word, meaning "Lion").[7] The word "Amra" has been shown to be known in Kush and Keshan at least.[9]

Many other languages also exist within the various kingdoms.

Points of Interest



Some of the kingdoms had names inspired by ancient places, Kush was inspired by the Kingdom of Kush,[15] an ancient kingdom in Nubia, centered along the Nile Valley in what is now northern Sudan and southern Egypt. Punt comes from the Land of Punt, also close to Egypt.[15] Darfar, was inspired by Darfur, a region of Sudan.[15] Keshan was inspired by Kesh, an ancient Egyptian name for Nubia,[15] Nubia harbored the Kingdom of Kush.[16] In the Hiboryan Age, Stygia is a kingdom that predates Egypt and is also close to Kush, Keshan and Punt.[17]

See Also

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