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Thread: "By Crom and Ymir"!

  1. #1

    Default "By Crom and Ymir"!

    I always found it odd that this phrase is so commonly heard in the game, especially by Cimmerians (given that we don't speak to many Nordheimers). Conan himself says it a few times, and you hear it very early in the game when you speak to Tuireach (sp) the blacksmith and Captain Redrik. Incidentally, these are quite a pair. All the Cimmerian zones are basically about the conflict between Cimmerians and northerners, Vanir in particular, yet these two have apparently been "battle-brothers" despite their people's conflict. At first, I dismissed it as simple inspiration from history - after all, the vikings (the inspiration behind the Nordheimers) settled/conquered much of the British Isles, not in the least in Ireland and Scotland whose Celtish culture is the inspiration for Cimmerians. There was even mixing of the cultures/ethnicity as Norse-Gaels/Hiberno-Norse are examples of.

    This isn't really reflected in the game at all though. Kern Wolfeye has Nordheimer-features, and he's an outcast in Cimmeria who dismisses his origins. There's not a single instance of peace between the Vanir and Cimmerians that I can think of, though things get a bit murkier when you progress through the zones and see that the Aesir are merely mistrusted rather than hated, and it's a bit unclear if Aelfrit's clan are Cimmerians or not, if Atzel's bandits are Cimmerians or all Southern mercenaries etc... I haven't read most of the books yet, but it doesn't really seem to be supported there either. Crom and Ymir are gods from different pantheons, and in "The Frost Giant's Daughter", Conan is repeatedly told that he's a southerner who doesn't belong in Nordheim.

    So, is "Crom and Ymir" just a weird choice for a Cimmerian oath by Funcom, or is there any support for Cimmerians giving a damn about Nordheimer gods or vice versa in the greater Conan lore?

  2. #2


    Conan swears by different gods in all the stories. Ymir comes up many times:

    "By Ymir!" thundered the king. "This night I talked with Epemitreus! He called to me in my dreams, and I walked down a black stone corridor carved with old gods, to a stone stair on the steps of which were the outlines of Set, until I came to a crypt, and a tomb with a phoenix carved on it— The Phoenix on the Sword

    Oh Crom, Ymir, and Set! If I but had wings to fly like lightning to Tamar!" - The Scarlet Citadel

    "Crom, Ymir, and Mitra!" raged Conan. "Gods and devils, could I but
    reach the fighting, if but to die at the first blow!" - The Hour of the Dragon

    Just because Conan might not worship particular god it doesn't mean he doesn't believe in him.

    Conan explains this in Queen Of The Black Coast:

    "I am not afraid either," she said meditatively. "I was never afraid.
    I have looked into the naked fangs of Death too often. Conan, do you
    fear the gods?"

    "I would not tread on their shadow," answered the barbarian
    conservatively. "Some gods are strong to harm, others, to aid; at
    least so say their priests. Mitra of the Hyborians must be a strong
    god, because his people have builded their cities over the world. But
    even the Hyborians fear Set. And Bel, god of thieves, is a good god.
    When I was a thief in Zamora, I learned of him." - Queen Of The Black Coast

    So for Conan there are no pantheons, every god exists in Hyboria (and it might be true as there are some evidences of divine intervention in REH stories, The Frost Giant's Daughter has this).

    People in Hyboria will pray to whatever god that will aid them in their hour of need.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the great reply Slith. I was hoping there might be more to it than that, but I guess at least REH was more interested in telling a story than extensive world building, unlike many fantasy authors

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Greyloins View Post
    Thanks for the great reply Slith. I was hoping there might be more to it than that, but I guess at least REH was more interested in telling a story than extensive world building, unlike many fantasy authors
    Hyboria is it's own thing and we are learning about it from Conan which is a truely unique individual so learning about the world through him might not give the best picture.

    I love that REH gave out just HINTS about the Hyboria in general and let you build that world in your own mind. I mean REH wrote that Aquilonia had Supreme Court which suggests very highly advanced legal culture.
    In "queen of the black coast" Conan is brought before judge and the proceedings were quite modern and civilised (until Conan kills the judge, ooooooops SPOILERS).

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