The Gods of the Hyborian Age
"Conan, do you fear the gods?"
"I would not tread on their shadow," answered the barbarian.
~Robert E. Howard, "Queen of the Black Coast"
Ymir the Frost Giant - The supreme god of both the Aesir and the Vanir. Individual trips have their own individual deities as well. Ymir dwelled in Valhalla, a snowy, shadowy place that was home to warriors fallen in battle. Battle is religious to the Aesir and Vanir and Ymir is pre-eminently a god of storm and war. Ymir's daughter, Atali, was said to have appeared to dying warriors as harbringer of their journey to her father's realm. The domains associated with Ymir are Chaos, Strength, and War.
Crom - Cimmeria had many gods, including Lir (Poetry), Mannanan (god of horses and is the son of Lir), Morrigan (War goddess), Badb (battle fury), Macha, and Nemain (the venomous), but Crom was their chief. Crom, the grim Lord of the Mound, lives atop a great mountain, sending forth dooms and death, caring little for mankind save to breathe into man's soul the power to strive and slay. The Cimmerians believed in a gloomy afterlife in which the souls of the dead would wander Crom's grey realm aimlessly. It is useless to call upon Crom for aid "because he was a gloomy, savage god, and he hated weaklings." These are the gods of a totally self reliant race, the gods of a people without many long-term ambitions - except the conflicting goals of saying alive as long as possible and engaging in a maximum amount of close combat. There are no spell casting priests of these gods, so no domains are available. Crom and his brood do not care to share their divine power with mortals. It is enough they give mortals life.
Cimmerian religious ceremonies were minimal at best (prayers and supplications are useless, for it is better not to disturb these gods lest they be resentful). Certainly ritual human sacrifice was not practiced - for no Cimmerian would passively allow himself to be served up on an altar.Mitra - Worship of Mitra was almost universal (at least among the middle and upper classes and in the cities) in Aquilonia, Argos, Ophir, Nemedia and Zingara. Unlike the battle-minded gods of the north, Mitra was a gentle god who ruled a heavenly host of angels and saints (celestials) and who preached mercy above vengeance. Mitra was mankind's eternal judge, granting final reward in heaven or punishment in hell to each soul as merited by its deeds in life. Blood sacrifice is expressly forbidden in the Mitran religion, the rituals of which are marked by simplicity, dignity, and beauty. Unlike pagan idols, the statues of Mitra were mere emblems meant to represent the god in idealized form and not to be worshipped themselves. Domains associated with Mitra are Good, Healing, Strength, and Protection.Ishtar - A more sensual deity than Mitra, Ishtar held sway in Koth, Shem, and Stygia. (At one time Koth was Mitraic, but abandoned it for Ishtar). She is the only Shemitish deity to be accepted by the Hyborians in any significant numbers, and even then, only among the Kothians and their satellites. Her ceremonies include the blood sacrifice of animals (not humans). Her Domains are Chaos, Good, Protection, and War.Set, the Old Serpent - At one time almost half the known world was dominated by Set, "god of darkness". But those were the days when Acheron still stood and Stygia was master of Shem. By Conan's period, the worship of Set was for all practical purposes confined to Stygia and the areas under her direct influence - bits of southern Shem, perhaps, and portions of Kush. The cult is outlawed by the Hyborians, who regard Set as the arch-demon. The rituals of Set worship are gruesome and mysterious - sinister processions of masked priests, wholesale human sacrifice, unspeakable rites in murky subterranean temples by the greenish glimmer of flickering black candles.
Many, perhaps all, priests of Set are wizards or sorcerers. Domains belonging to Set are: Air, Destruction, Evil, Trickery, Darkness, Fear, Murder, and Undeath. (Some of those domains can be found on my Divine Magic page.)More to come, so stay tuned.... Gullah, the Gorilla God of the Picts, Asura, Hanuman, Pteor, and many other deities worshiped during the Hyborian Age.Main Index | email | recent updates | Conan main PageTrademarks and copyrights are cited on this page without permission. This usage is not meant in any way to challenge the rightful ownership of said trademarks/copyrights. D&D is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.©. All copyrights are acknowledged and remain the property of the owners. "Conan" and related terms and characters are trademarks/copyrights of Conan Properties, Inc. The text on this page borrows heavily from Robert L. Yaple's "Gods of the Hyborian Age" and Marvel Comic's "The Official Handbook of Conan the Barbarian." "Inzeladun" and related characters © 1984, 2000 Vincent N. Darlage. All rights reserved by their respective owners. This page is for entertainment only.