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Literature: Kull

Kull is a character appearing in a series of short stories by Robert E. Howard, the few of which published during his lifetime appeared in Weird Tales. Kull is a barbarian hailing from Atlantis, but was exiled from his homeland. After some years as an adventurer, Kull made himself king of Valusia in a bloody coup. He lived approximately 100,000 years ago (according to Kings of the Night).

Howard's more famous Conan the Barbarian inhabits the same continuity as Kull, but lives many thousand years later. Kull is a precursor of sorts of Conan; indeed, the first Conan story was a rewrite of a Kull story Howard had not sold. Both are fierce barbarian warriors, but Kull is a more thoughtful, philosophical character.

The Kull stories are a peripheral part of the Cthulhu Mythos. Perhaps most notably, Cthulhu fans will recognize the Serpent People who appear in The Shadow Kingdom.

    Kull stories written by Robert E. Howard 
Few Kull stories were actually published in the lifetime of Howard, as the character was not particularly popular.
  • The Shadow Kingdom. First published in August, 1929. First Kull story.
  • The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune. First published in September, 1929.
  • Kings of the Night. First published in November, 1930. Features a crossover with Bran Mak Morn.
  • The King and the Oak, a poem. First published in February, 1939.
  • The Altar and the Scorpion. First published in 1967.
  • Black Abyss, also known as The Black City. First published in 1967. Howard actually left the story unfinished. Lin Carter added further chapters and a conclusion to the story.
  • By This Axe I Rule. First published in 1967. Famed because Howard revised the story to The Phoenix on the Sword (1932), the first Conan story.
  • The Curse of the Golden Skull. First published in 1967.
  • Delcarde's Cat, also known as The Cat and the Skull. First published in 1967.
  • Exile of Atlantis. First published in 1967. Howard finished the story, but never gave it a title.
  • The Skull of Silence, also known as The Screaming Skull of Silence. First published in 1967.
  • Swords of the Purple Kingdom. First published in 1967.
  • The Striking of the Gong. There are two version of this tale. The original Howard version was first published in 1976, and a version revised by Lin Carter in 1967.
  • Riders Beyond the Sunrise. There are two version of this tale. The original Howard version was first published in 1976, and a version revised by Lin Carter in 1967.
  • Wizard and Warrior. There are two version of this tale. The original story draft by Howard was published in 1978, an expanded tale by Lin Carter appeared in 1967.

Some Kull stories here.

See also: Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian, Bran Mak Morn.

Not to be confused with the big Urgals from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle (though Kull probably inspired their name) or with the movie Krull although there was a 1997 movie Kull with Kevin Sorbo in the title role.

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