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Hyboria as termed by Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, is the land settled by the Hyborian tribes, people sharing common ancestry and speaking closely related languages. In a wider context, the Hyborian world may mean the entire region of the Hyborians, including areas settled by unrelated people, or the planet during the era of their prime.

The Hyborian Kingdoms in Howard's definition include Aquilonia, Argos, the Border Kingdoms, Brythunia, Corinthia, Hyperborea, Koth, Nemedia and Ophir. Zingara is a result of mixed racial heritage, Hyborians merging with an older local tribe. Zingarans are thus darker skinned than their Hyborian cousins and have exotic habits.

To the North exist the regions of Aesgaard and Vanaheim, termed together as Nordheim. Their respective people, the Aesir and Vanir, are closely related though often hostile to each other. Also north of Hyboria exists the region of Cimmeria. The Cimmerians claim descent from Pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis and are not related to their neighbors. The western parts of the region are known as the Pictish Wilderness. The Picts are a relatively isolated hunter-gatherer society, termed "savages" by their neighbors.

The Near East from a Hyborian perspective includes the realms of Zamora, Khauran and Khoraja. Zamora was established by the ancient Zhemri, though their descendants call themselves Zamorans. The people bear some resemblance to the Zingarans though not considered related. The major cities of Shadizar, Arenjun and Yezud are crossroads for traders, mercenaries and thieves. Khauran and Khoraja were founded by adventurers from Koth. Each has its own Hyborian ruling caste, governing a largely Shemitish population.

The Middle East would be the regions of the Hyrkanians. Besides the city-states and nomads of Hyrkania proper, these people include the Turanians. The difference is that the latter created an Empire of Turan, a leading state at the time of Conan. South of Turan exists its main rival, Iranistan. To the East of both kingdoms exist other realms: Kosala, Vendhya (India), Kusan, Uttara Kuru, Khitai (China), Kambuja and the areas of numerous nomadic tribes.

The Southern borders of Hyboria are with the region known as Shem, the area of the Shemites. The people may have common ancestry but are far from politically or culturally unified. Western Shem is largely urbanized with various city-states rivaling each other. The trade of the area attracts the expansionist efforts of Stygia and Koth. The long presence of Stygians and Hyborian traders and mercenaries have resulted in some of the population having mixed descent. Eastern Shem is a realm of shepherds and nomads, culturally backwards.

South of Shem survives the ancient Kingdom of Stygia (Egypt). Once ruling much of the Hyborian world, by the time of Conan the Stygians rule a rump state. The ruling elite are tall, dusky and hawk-nosed. Lower-class Stygians often have Kushite (African), Shemite and Hyborian features due to mixed ancestry. The Priests of Set and other sorcerers are feared throughout the Hyborian world. The royal capital of Luxor is rivaled in influence by Kheshatta, city of the magicians. The Black Ring, a group of the most powerful, affluent and politically influential sorcerers in Stygia have their headquarters in Kheshatta.

South of Stygia are the Black Kingdoms (African). The best known are Kush, Darfar, Keshan, Punt and Zembambwei, all to the north of the region. The southern areas are inhabited by various tribes but are largely undefined. Kush seems to be a southern offshoot of Stygia. The capital Meroe houses the ruling class, brown-skinned people of partial Stygian heritage. The lower classes are darker-skinned. Aside from Meroe the kingdom mostly includes villages. Kushites are heavily involved in the trade of their era. Kushites sailors and mercenaries seem to be spread around the Hyborian world. Kushites are far better known that their eastern neighbours to Hyborians and other northern people. To the point that any "Black" person is assumed to be a Kushite, often causing confusion.

Darfar is inhabited by primitive tribes. People of Darfar are hunters and have no knowledge of agriculture or animal husbandry. Cannibalism is wide spread, if not universal. Bands of cannibals will generally seek human prey among the traders passing through their territory or to the borders of nearby realms. Darfari themselves are subject to the raids of slave traders from the north. As indicated in the story "Shadows in Zamboula", Darfari slave communities continue their cannibalistic practices even when located far from their native land.

Keshan is a "barbarian kingdom". The ruling elite are a mix of Shemite and African population with "dusky" skin. They have borrowed some military and administrative tactics from the Stygians and Shemites, but otherwise maintain customs and religious practices unique to them. The kingdom is involved in the trade of gems and luxury items. Punt is famed for its resources in gold and precious gems. The rulers have an ongoing rivalry with their counterparts in Keshan. Zembambwei is a leading military and trading force in its region, result of empire building efforts through generations. The throne is held by two co-rulers at all times. They worship Damballah, a deity related to Set.

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