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Stygia

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Stygia is a country of the Hyborian Age.

Geography Edit

Stygia is located south of Shem and north of the Black Kingdoms. Much of its borders are defined by the river Styx. Stygia's terrain is a mix of mountains, desert, plains, and marshes.

South of Stygia are the vast black kingdoms of the Amazons, the Kushites, the Atlaians and the Zembabwei empire.

CitiesEdit

  • Khemi, Stygia's priestly capital, if not the royal one, is located at the northeastern tip of the country where the bordering Styx river empties into the Western Sea.
  • Luxur, the royal capital of Styiga, lies a hundred miles south of the Styx on the tributary Bakhr River, almost exactly halfway between the east and west borders. The City of Kings was built around and eventually engulfed an oasis in the desert. Foreign traders find it easier to sell their wares here rather than the much more regulated Khemi.
  • Pteion is an abandoned, cursed city in eastern Stygia, rumored to have been built by the serpent men of Valusia. It was a home to the black wizards before the deserts encroached upon it and the wizards fled to Khemi during the Seventh Dynasty.
  • Independent Harakht, the City of the Hawk God, is located along the river Styx. Its independence is only barely tolerated being used a buffer between Stygia and Shem. The city is defended by giant hawks and their riders, grown to enormous size by a mysterious green star-rock discovered by a former ruler.
  • Kheshatta, City of Magicians, is a walled city located in the southern mountains. Was ruled by the sorcerer Thugra Khotan in ancient times who expanded Stygia to its territorial height. His forces were later defeated by the Kothian incursion, and Kheshatta left in ruins, but he managed to survive.

History and politics Edit

Stygia has existed as a pre-human kingdom south of Thuria, since before the Cataclysm, which left her untouched. After the Cataclysm however, a civilization who had oppressed the Lemurians far in the east of Thuria were overthrown, and its survivors came and conquered Stygia.

In the first centuries of the Hyborian Age, the ancient and mysterous kingdom of Stygia was "sleeping". For centuries the Stygians ravaged the pastoral Lands of Shem on its eastern borders.[1]

Stygia is an intensely insular country. Though in ancient times its borders have extended very far, encompassing Shem and the fertile uplands of Koth, Ophir, and Argos. Their empire was defeated, about three thousand years before the time of Conan, and driven back below the Styx by the Kothian barbarians that raised Kheshatta to the ground. Now Stygias external power has diminished, and its rulers hold the borders very strictly.

Stygia is technically a monarchy, with a ruling family and line of noble succession. The most recent monarchs have been Thugra Mentuphera (killed during a Taian rebellion), succeeeded by his son Ctesphon II (slain by Belit), Ctesphon III (the sister of Ctesphon II and one of the few women to rule as monarch), and during the reign of Conan in Aquilonia, Ctsephon IV. However, sorcerors such as Hath-Horeb and Thoth-Amon have long held great power in the affairs of the nation.

One of the most notable features of Stygia's ancient history is the former kingdom of Acheron. Though in the time of the Nemedian Chronicles, Acheron is long forgotten by most, in its day it was a truly powerful and terrifying land ruled by black sorcery. The northeastern province Taia is ruled by Governor Wenamon, and its militia commanded by Shuat. Its ancient (now abandoned) capital was Thuran, conquered by Stygians 500 years ago.

Aquilonia's conquests were pushed to the Nilus, where their armies slaughtered the Stygian army. The king of Stygia sent tribute to divert invasion of his kingdom.

Stygia overthrew an attempt by the Kingdoms of Shem to conquer Stygia. But a Stygian army was defeated by the Hyrkanians at Nilus and the country was over-run by the invaders until the Amazon. It was because of the Pictish thrusts on their western conquests that they couldn't afford conquering all Stygia. However Stygia was shaken by the war and was afterwards encroached by the black kingdoms, while oppressed by the cruel aristocratic reigning class.

During the Nordic drift, red-haired Vanir migrated southwards from Zingara. These found the slaves and led them to a general revolt and overthrew the ruling class. After setting themselves up as a caste of conquerors, the ancestors of the Pharaohs, they subjugated the northern-most black kingdoms, and Stygia became a vast empire, which they called Egypt.

In later times the Nilus formed a cleavage separating Stygia from the northern continent. A landmass arose west of Stygia, forming West Africa.[2]

Population and culture Edit

The ruling classes of Stygians are tall and well made, dusky and straight-featured. The lower classes are a down-trodden, mongrel horde, a mixture of negroid, Stygian, Shemitish, even Hyborian bloods.

Stygian strain can be found in Koth and Argos.[3]

Stygia is ruled by a theocracy of sorcerer-kings. Magic, human sacrifices, and slavery are common in Stygia.

The people are typically tan skinned with black hair. Many of the common people are descendants of various races across the world, including men of Shem, the Black Kingdoms, and the Hyborian kingdoms. Taians from the northeast province are taller, more slender, and darker of skin than the average Stygian, wearing dyed kilts to show clan allegiance.

Since ancient times Stygians worshipped the chaos serpent god Set. His cult was always strong in Stygia although worship of the noble and peaceful heron god Ibis took root in the Hyborian age. However Thoth-Amon banned the worship of Ibis and instituted the worship Set by force once more.

Stories set in Stygia Edit

Characters from Stygia Edit

  • Thoth-Amon- High priest of Set at Luxur, and a very powerful sorcerer.
  • Kalanthes- A high ranking priest of Ibis.
  • Thugra Khotan- Ancient ruler of Kuthchemes and powerful sorcerer of Set.
  • Prince Kutamun- A rebel prince that joined forces with Natohk (Thugra Khotan).
  • Lord Thotothmes- A high priest of Set.
  • Hath-Horeb- A Stygian wizard.
  • Princess Akivasha- A princess who became a vampire some ten thousand years ago.
  • Thothmekri- Ancient high priest of Set, revived by the Heart of Ahriman improperly and became an animate mummy.
  • Thalis- A beautiful Stygian princess who sought refuge in Xuthal.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Template:THA
  2. Template:THA
  3. Template:THA

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