Location » Shem appears in 72 issues.

    Country of the Hyborian Age between the nations of Koth and Stygia.

    Short summary describing this location.

    Shem last edited by fesak on 12/16/19 11:22PM View full history


    A southern kingdom bounded on the west by the Western Ocean, on the east by the Eastern Desert, on the south by Stygia, and on the north by Argos, Koth and Khoraja. Anciently the lands of Shem were part of the Old Stygian Empire. Nomadic savages of the eastern borders of Shem-Stygia, called the Sons of Shem, slowly attained a higher level of culture through contact with the Stygians. The genes of Hybori and Stygians combined with those of west-drifting Shemites to produce a fierce, hybrid people who established the city-states of western Shem after casting off the yoke of Koth.

    Some of the Shemite gods include Ishtar, Anu, and Bel, god of thieves. The people of Shem seem to believe in the concept of genius loci, that is, the incarnation of a god in an object that bears their mark or resemblance. Many Shemites own or carry small statues of their gods with them.

    The desert nomads of Shem have a very distinct notoriety among other peoples. They are known for their covetuousness and duplicity and being skilled liars and merciless killers. Shemites are highly skilled with bows, especially their composite Shemite bows with range of five hundred yards.

    Some notable cities and locations of Shem include:

    Abbaddrah: A Shemitish city-state that lies in the eastern meadowlands along the banks of the River Styx east of Luxor.

    Akbitana: Also spelled Akbatana, a desert city of Shem situated south of Khoraja. It was a center of trading and steel making. (Black Colossus,Jewels of Gwahlur)

    Akkharia: One of the southernmost city-states of Shem. (Hawks over Shem, Witch Shall Be Born, Black Tears, Conan and the Emerald Lotus)

    Asgalun: Or Askalon, the most important coastal city of Shem, situated on the Asgalun River. Asgalun was the capital of the region of Pelishtia, a degenerate metropolis that was "a contrast of splendor and decay". The royal palace was in a walled inner city. Bêlit's people were once "kings in Asgalun". (Queen of the Black Coast, Hawks over Shem, Jewels of Gwahlur, Lord of the Black River)

    Asshuri: A group, possibly a clan, of Shemitic mercenaries having origins in the city-states of Nippr, Shumir, and Eruk, among others. Nippr and Shumir developed warriors during Shem's breakaway from Stygia. Eruk's fighters arose in response to Kothian invasions. (Black Colossus, Road of Eagles, Witch Shall Be Born, Conan and the Grim Grey God)

    Booty Island: The island where Conan buries his treasure as a pirate of the Barachans, off the coast of Shem. (Savage Sword #190-193, "Skull on the Sea", by Roy Thomas)

    Buryat: A city of dwarf-men located south of Akkharia, in southwestern Shem. The "Sea of Buryat", a rank ocean of plumed and waving grass surrounds the city to such a height that the city cannot be discerned from a distance. (Conan the Barbarian #104, "Sons of the Bear-God", by Roy Thomas)

    Eastern Desert: Name given to the entire vast arid region east of the Hyborian kingdoms, Shem and Stygia, lying between their eastern borders and the mountains along the Vilayet Sea. (Hawks Over Shem, et al.)

    Kuthchemes: A ruined city with an ivory dome, situated in the desert southeast of Shem, to the southwest was the Big Bend of the Styx. The city flourished 3000 years before Conan's time, contemporaneous with Acheron and Old Stygia. The ancient god Zug lives at the bottom of a pit beneath the ruins, next to the subterranean "River of Darkness". (Black Colossus, Flame Knife, Conan the Barbarian #250, "Chaos Beneath Kuthchemes", by Roy Thomas)

    Nippr: A city-state of Shem, on the caravan route. (Black Colossus)

    Pyrrhenian Mountains: A lofty range in northwestern Shem, beneath them are some of the best and most fertile croplands in the country. (Lord of the Black River)

    Sabatea: Shemitish city of evil repute, on the Stygian border near the Taian Mountains, just west of the Shan-e-Sorkh. The city's people worshiped a golden peacock by means of abominable rites. The Wizards of the Black Ring had their headquarters here. (Hawks Over Shem, Flame Knife, Hour of the Dragon, Conan the Hunter)

    Shushan: An ancient city of Shem, called "imperial". (The empire would have to be that of Old Stygia.) Its women dressed in barbaric splendor. (Queen of the Black Coast, Witch Shall Be Born, Devil in Iron)

    Waste, The: A barren, desolate desert in eastern Shem, the dusty red valley appears to be the bed of an ancient dead sea. It stretches dead flat from the near vertical base of the Desperation Mountains, to the scarified jaws that sustain Zhafur's Fangs, to the crumbling Blood of Attlos peaks. Across the waste, shards and monoliths lie scattered like toy idols. At the base of the Desperation chain is an oasis called Tal'ib, the "City in the Waste". (Conan the Outcast)

    Yamman: A small Shemitish city-state lying southwest of Khoraja. (Conan the Barbarian #247, "The Sword That Conquers All", by Roy Thomas)

    Zuagir: A numerous and aggressive Shemitic nomad tribe of the Eastern Desert. They were accustomed to raid the caravans moving from Hyborian lands to the south and east, and even penetrated into Khauran. Conan led a band of them when he was about 30. Among the bands mentioned are the Dniri, Duali, Kharoya, and Qirlata. (Bloodstained God, Hawks Over Shem,Witch Shall Be Born, Flame Knife, Red Nails, Shadows in Zamboula,Return of Conan, Conan the Marauder, et al.)

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