History

The Border Kingdom served as a buffer zone between the "civilized" kingdoms of Brythunia and Nemedia, and the "barbarian" realms of Cimmeria, Aesgaard, and Hyperborea.[3]

It has been described as "a desolate wasteland of vaporous bog,"[3] though its plains had been depicted as home to several city-states.

The region has attracted rebel nobles fleeing the authorities of the southern kingdoms, and traders wishing to avoid the toll taxes of the Nemedian highways. Along these more-or-less civilized people reside the so-called "beast-men". They are primitive hunter-gatherers who wield clubs, and dress in loin-cloths. They may be native in the area and simply failed to adapt to the times. Rumors of the Hyborian world suggest that they descent from fugitive criminals and runaway slaves. Others consider them degenerated humans or results of extensive inbreeding.[3]

During a stormy night, Conan took refuge in the manor of Count Tarcas Melphorr, despite being warned to leave by his wife Melanie. Later that night, the Cimmerian's booby-trapped bed sent him in the catacomb where Rastor, the monstrous cannibal brother of Count Tarcas, was dwelling, feeding upon weary travelers like Conan. The barbarian then killed the cursed abomination and his maddened brother, leaving behind his wife to mourn and bury them.[4]

Some time later, Conan and Fafnir save a young girl named Krylxxa from being burned at the stake by the townsfolk, who were accusing her of murder and witchcraft. After being brought back to her home, Krylxxa turned out to be a member of the Phytons, and had taken human form by draining the life from an innocent woman. Nonetheless, Krylxxa still loved Fafnir, and she pleaded with the leader of her people, Vyllm Pt'aar, to spare her two new allies. However, Vyllm eventually decided that he could not risk allowing the two to live, and possibly tell others of their existence. Krylxxa warned Fafnir and Conan, and fled the caverns with them, knowing she could not survive in the outside world without draining the life from others, but preferring death to living apart from Fafnir. After three days, Krylxxa's life energy was spent, and though Fafnir offered to give up his own life force for her, she chose not to ever take another life. Though Krylxxa then died, Fafnir took some comfort in seeing her in any of the wildflowers and meadows they passed.[5]

After he and Fafnir looted the Temple of the Dragon, Conan gave to Nadine a beautiful mirror as a present. After the girl gazed into her new mirror while brushing her hair, Nadine was possessed by the spirit of Thazarra, who went immediately in search of a thief to help her obtain the jewel and her everlasting freedom from the mirror. She then returned with Fafnir to the Temple of the Dragon, while Conan and Marta's thieves gang set off to the temple, too, to steal the jewel of Thazarra. Conan, Fafnir and Nadine eventually managed to escape the temple, wandering off to the sounds of the thieves being slaughtered above.[6]

Points of Interest

Residents

Former Residents

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

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