Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Episode 02 - The Scarlet Citadel (Or, Pelias Likes to Party!)

We're back! It's episode two of The Mighty Cromcast! (Download mp3 here!) This episode, we're discussing Robert E. Howard's story The Scarlet Citadel. The story was published in the January 1933 issue of Weird Tales, and takes the excitement found in the previous story The Phoenix on the Sword to new heights!

In two weeks we'll return with a thrilling tale from Conan's early days as a thief, it's The Tower of the Elephant! (Read it on WikiSource!)

Hear The Phoenix on The Sword at Podcastle!

"Sudden Defeat" and "Five Armies" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email us! (thecromcast at gmail dot com)

Follow us on Twitter!

Subscribe to our RSS feed on FeedBurner!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, guys.
    Regarding REH's approach to writing battle scenes: A pulp writer/historian named Harold Lamb was a huge influence on Howard in that regard and others.
    Also: you may find these two sites handy, if you don't already know of them:


  2. Enjoyable podcast!

    The Hyborian Age essay explains a lot about all these peoples.

    The dominant and most prevalent people of The Hyborian Age are ... the Hyborians. A tribe / people of northern origin which throughout centuries has spread to cover a lot of the western part of the continent. The Conan stories take place when their civilization is at its high point.

    Hyperboreans, Aquilonians, Nemedians, Brythunians, Gundermen, Ophireans and Kothians and many others are all Hyborian in the same sense that German, English, Dutch.. etc. are considered Germanic peoples.

    The Gundermen and maybe Hyperboreans too represent most closely what their Hyborian ancestors were (more crude and barbaric) and the others are slightly different in culture, language and "in blood" but share often the same religion and many customs. The Kothians are somewhat more Eastern in their flavor than Aquilonians, both in blood and culture. Basically the Hyborians are your "standard medieval European"-like people. (Btw, Pure-bloodedness does not necessary equal superior. )

    Some common analogues are that Aquilonia is in some ways like medieval France and Koth would be like late Byzantine Empire.

    The Stygians and Shemites are the "North African" and "Middle-Eastern" like people. The Stygia -Egypt analogy is very good. The Kushites, like the guy in the jail, are "black Africans" from either the kingdom of Kush or from other black kingdoms. Then there are the eastern nomadic peoples, "Persians" and "Indians" etc.

    The northernmost people Aesir and Vanir mentioned in the first story are called the Nordheimr and are their own people. The Cimmerians are of course descendants of Atlanteans (unaware of this) and Picts are Picts as always in REH's fiction. There are lots of other folk also. :)

    These are all more or less just some analogues. A big appeal behind The Hyborian Age for Howard was that he could write pseudo-"historical fiction" without being restrained by actual history or details.


    I loved how you noticed how different Tsotha-lanti is from Thoth-amon as a wizard. I personally don't think he is really much of a wizard despite his demon heritage. His magic is just tricks: poison ring, tomb dust, crystal ball and some sort of fire bombs.

    I liked your panther and lion discussion.

    Keep your podcasts coming. I certainly enjoy listening. And sorry for the long comment.

  3. I know this is many months past date but I just started listening to the Cromcast after starting to plow through all the REH Conan stories chronologically. (I'm stalled for a couple days at Shadows in the Moonlight.) It's really nice listening to such enthusiastic description and insight into the original Conans. =) I'm sure you've found out more about L. Sprague de Camp and probably don't need to tell you he's a bit of a douchenozzle.

    Keep up the good work, can't wait to get through the rest of these and catch up!

  4. ditto here, just discovered you guys and am only up to Episode 2 :-) A big REH fan, plus HPL of course, also love the HP Podcraft. Looking forward to working through all the episodes RobP