Ophir

“A strange peace had settled over the Western lands. The petty warlords were temporarily drained of cash and energy, hence of ferocity. The lands which were traditional enemies, which was to say all of them, were war-weary and had turned to settling internal problems and reestablishing disrupted trade. (…) Even the chronic civil war in Ophir had shuddered to a halt from sheer exhaustion.” — John Maddox Roberts: “The Treasure of Python”

One of the Hyborian kingdoms, situated south of Aquilonia, Nemedia, and Corinthia, and north of Argos and Koth.

Near the Aquilonian border, which was delineated by the Tybor River, Ophir had meadowlands and a few mountains near Poitain. Farmlands, forests, and fortresses covered the north between the Tybor and the capital city, Ianthe. Its royal court was called the Ianthium.

Southern Ophir had craggy borderlands, lone and deserted, save for the ramshackle huts of peasants. Hills and a small river lay between Koth and Ophir. The impassable Karpash Mountains lay on the Nemedian frontier and produced the gold and precious stones, which have been linked to the destiny of Ophir down through the ages. The mountains were quite high, with very few mountain passes, and considered to be haunted by vampires, ghost mists, and terrible lightning storms.

In Scarlet Citadel, the Ophirean knights wear gilded armor — an extravagance that hints at the prosperity of the kingdom. A glance at the map reveals that Ophir was really very small. Why did it exist at all? Gold and gemstone mines are the likely answer.

Some exegetes have suggested that Ophir was one of the earliest Hyborian kingdoms. Its location far from the Northland home of the original Hybori seems to mitigate against this. Nevertheless, it is a snug little enclave, easily defensible on all borders except that of Koth, where guardian castles were erected at the passes. The penurious rulers of the latter kingdom seem to have troubles enough of their own without taking on an Ophirian army equipped with the best money could buy.

Hour of the Dragon states that Ophir was an independent state contemporaneous with Acheron and dominated by it. When the Hyborians overwhelmed Acheron, Ophir “regained its independence”. We may presume that this freedom lasted only until the Hyborians were secure enough in Nemedia and Aquilonia to essay the conquest of the wealthy little nation. At any rate, it became a Hyborian kingdom at a very early date.

Early in the reign of Conan, Ophir had an alliance with Aquilonia. This broke down just before the great battle on the Plains of Shamu, where Conan and his army found Ophir arrayed against them together with Koth. The Aquilonian army was destroyed and Conan taken prisoner.

Years later, after an abortive invasion, Aquilonia annexed northern Ophir. After the Age of Conan, the Pictish Empire absorbed Ophir. And by modern times, its fabled treasure mines had long since been swallowed by the Adriatic Sea.

  • Asmark Castle: Ancestral castle that serves as the seat of the Ophirean county of Asmark. It is located halfway between Ianthe and the Aquilonian border. (Conan the Triumphant)
  • Carnolla: A city-state of Ophir, lying south of the Plain of Shamu. (Conan the Barbarian #53, “Brothers of the Blade”, by Roy Thomas)
  • Frasol: A county in Ophir. (Star of Khorala)
  • Fury border-fort: A former Ophirean garrison that lies low on a bend of the River Fury south of Sicas. It is a relic from the time when Ophir’s border lie further north then at the present time. (Conan the Rogue)
  • Fury River: A southwest flowing tributary that joins the Khorotas River a hundred leagues from Sicas. (Conan the Rogue)
  • Ianthe: The Royal Capital of Ophir is a city of domes, towers, and red tiled roofs. It is located in the north of the country, built around a high, stone outcrop along the Red River. The river winds around this black shale cliff, cutting the city in half. There are only two bridges, one a floating bridge, spanning the river here. The “Citadel”, lies in the midst of the city, atop the outcrop. It has high, crenellated granite walls, and is the where the Ianthium holds court. The bulk of the city lies north and west of the river. (Shadows in the Dark, Star of Khorala, Conan the Triumphant, Conan the Great)
  • Khalkat: An Ophirean barony. (Conan the Bold)
  • Kirjahan: A barony in western Ophir, near the Aquilonian border. (Conan the Rebel)
  • Leucta: A remote, western Ophirean walled town that lies on the junction of three roads. (Conan the Bold)
  • Lodier: A barony in Ophir. (Star of Khorala)
  • Mecanta: A county of Ophir. (Star of Khorala)
  • Moon-God, Mountain of the: A peak in Ophir. (Savage Sword #3, “At the Mountain of the Moon-God”, by Roy Thomas)
  • Ophir Pass: A high mountain road between Zamora and Ophir, in the Karpash Mountain range. The pass is thick with bandits that prey upon unwary travelers. (Conan the Formidable)
  • Pergona: A city-state of Ophir. (Conan the Barbarian #53, “Brothers of the Blade”, by Roy Thomas)
  • Red River: A broad, swift river in northern Ophir, it is a tributary of the Khoratas river. The river’s source is in the Karpash Mountains and it winds through meadows and forests before reaching Ianthe. The river south of Ianthe is navagatable. (Shadows in the Dark, Star of Khorala, Conan the Great)
  • Ronnoco: A city-state of Ophir, near the plain of Shamu. (Conan the Barbarian #52, “Altar and the Scorpion”, by Roy Thomas)
  • Sarelian Forest: Located one hours hard ride north of Ianthe in Ophir. The tangled, overgrown forest contains the ruins of an old keep. (Conan the Triumphant)
  • Scilda: A rich, arrogant town that was leveled by Captain Brago and his men. It is assumed to be in eastern Ophir. (Conan the Renegade)
  • Shamu, Plain of: A region in Ophir, just south of the Tybor River. It was the site of a battle Conan lost, only to return for a later victory. (Scarlet Citadel)
  • Terson: A barony in Ophir. (Star of Khorala)
  • Theringo: A county of Ophir. There are ruins of the ancient castle of Theringo in the county. The Battle of the Hundred and One Swords took place here. It is southwest of Ianthe, near the Aquilonian border. (Star of Khorala)
  • Tor Al’Kiir: A great granite mountain located several leagues north of Ianthe in Ophir. The demon-god Al’Kiir was entombed here by Avanrakash of the Right Hand Path shortly before the crowning of the first king of Ophir. The tomb’s mound is next to the crossroads leading from Ianthe to Aquilonia and to Nemedia. (Conan the Triumphant)
  • Tybor Gap: A level, emerald plain, broken by knee-high grass, flowering thickets and lone trees, set amid the kingdoms of Aquilonia, Nemedia, and Ophir. It is the floodplain of the mighty Tybor River, and makes for an easy, dangerous route between the three mighty nations. (Conan the Great)
  • Tybor River: A tributary of the Khorotas which had its sources in the southwestern Border Range in Nemedia, and in the Karpash Mountains of north-central Ophir and northwestern Corinthia. It flowed westward along the southern border of Aquilonia with Ophir and joined the Khorotas across from southern Poitain. It was navigable past the city of Shamar. The river was not very swift in its lower reaches, where the terrain was fairly flat. An important ferry crossing must have existed where the Khorotas River meets the Tybor at the border between Poitain and Argos. This is also presumed to be a junction with the caravan route from Ophir. Much of the goods westbound to Messantia must have been transferred to boats at this point. (Scarlet Citadel, Conan and the Death-Lord of Thanza, Conan the Great)
  • Vendishan: A province and/or city of Ophir. (Conan the Rebel)
  • Western Pass: A low, direct, and virtually unused pass through the Karpash Mountains, from Corinthia to Ophir. It is considered by superstitious locals to be haunted and generally unhealthy. There are the remnants of an ancient temple belonging to the demon-god Kthantos located on the south side of the pass. (Conan the Great)
  • Population: 1,100,000
  • Capital: Ianthe (pop. 140,000)
  • Ruler: King Amalrus
  • Major cities: Carnolla, Leucta, Pergona, Ronnoco, Vendishan
  • Resources: Gold, precious gems, steel
  • Imports:
  • Allies: Aquilonia, Koth
  • Enemies: Khoraja
  • Tech level: Roman
  • Religion: Anu, Ishtar, Bel

Ophir

Hyboria JamesPozenel