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Ultima Thule ?

“Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the Sons of Aryas…”

– Robert E. Howard

A geoethnological map of blondness, courtesy of Strange Maps.

4 Responses to “Ultima Thule ?”

  1. Lexington Green Says:

    Howard, thou shouldst be with us at this hour! 

    Howard’s poetry is so great.   This bit I know by heart:

    "When I was a soldier, the kettle-drums they beat
    The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet
    Now I am a great king, the people hound my track
    With poison in my wine-cup and daggers at my back."

    And I have many times muttered this one to myself:

    "For I have fought the deathless ape that guards the doors of Doom."

    And who can forget the final (and I hope accurate) passage of his masterful "The Sowers of the Thunder":

    "Lord of the East!" his voice rang like a trumpet-call, "welcome
    to the fellowship of kings! To the glory and the witch-fire, the gold
    and the moonmist, the splendor and the death! Baibars, a king hails
    thee!"

    And he leaped and struck as a tiger leaps. Not Baibars’ stallion
    that screamed and reared, not his trained swordsmen, not his own
    quickness could have saved the memluk then. Death alone saved him–
    death that took the Gael in the midst of his leap. Red Cahal died in
    midair and it was a corpse that crashed against Baibars’ saddle–a
    falling sword in a dead hand, that, the momentum of the blow
    completing its arc, scarred Baibar’s forehead and split his eyeball.

    His warriors shouted and reined forward. Baibars slumped in the
    saddle, sick with agony, blood gushing from between the fingers that
    gripped his wound. As his chiefs cried out and sought to aid him, he
    lifted his head and saw, with his single, pain-dimmed eye, Red Cahal
    lying dead at his horse’s feet. A smile was on the Gael’s lips, and
    the gray sword lay in shards beside him, shattered, by some freak of
    chance, on the stones as it fell beside the wielder.

    "A hakim, in the name of Allah," groaned Baibars. "I am a dead
    man."

    "Nay, you are not dead, my lord," said one of his memluk chiefs.
    "It is the wound from the dead man’s sword and it is grievous enough,
    but bethink you: here has the host of the Franks ceased to be. The
    barons are all taken or slain and the Cross of the patriarch has
    fallen. Such of the Kharesmians as live are ready to serve you as
    their new lord–since Kizil Malik slew their khan. The Arabs have fled
    and Damascus lies helpless before you–and Jerusalem is ours! You will
    yet be sultan of Egypt."

    "I have conquered," answered Baibars, shaken for the first time in
    his wild life, "but I am half-blind–and of what avail to slay men of
    that breed? They will come again and again and again, riding to death
    like a feast because of the restlessness of their souls, through all
    the centuries. What though we prevail this little Now? They are a race
    unconquerable, and at last, in a year or a thousand years, they will
    trample Islam under their feet and ride again through the streets of
    Jerusalem."

    And over the red field of battle night fell shuddering.

  2. zen Says:

    Lex is bursting with literary teutonic zeal !

  3. Lex Says:

    Any excuse to put a big slab of REH’s crazed and glorious prose in your comments, baby!

  4. Barnabus Says:

    Spain? Portugal?  the Vikings???


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