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Robert E. Howard's Kull

Legends tell of two great cataclysms that ravaged and re-shaped the world. The age that existed before the first of these cataclysms, the Pre-cataclysmic Age, was the time of King Kull. Kull was born a barbarian from the hills of the ancient continent of Atlantis. Fleeing from his tribe because of a blood-fued, Kull was captured and made a slave at the oars of a galley. Escaping, he made his way to Valusia, the greatest kingdom in the land and became an outlaw in the hills. Captured once again, this time by the law, he was made to fight as a gladiator in the arena, and having much success, he became a soldier in the armies of Valusia. Quickly rising up in the ranks to Commander, Kull then led a civil war against the despotic ruler of Valusia, King Borna. Slaying the King on the steps of the palace, Kull placed the bloody crown on his own head. But all this is only prelude.

All but one of Kull's chronicled adventures are as King of Valusia. As a foreigner and a barbarian, Kull faces both the predjudice of his civilized subjects and the chains of an ancient land's traditions. Kull has many adventures as king, including a run-in with the skull-faced, undying wizard, Thulsa Doom.

King Kull's early history sounds very much like the career of Robert E. Howard's other character, Conan; the main difference being that King Kull is much more introspective than Conan. He constantly questions the traditions and customs of his adopted land, and he allows himself to become interested, sometimes even bewitched, by philosophical contemplation.

Another major difference is in Howard's writing style. "Kull was Howard