Exile of Atlantis

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"Exile of Atlantis"
Author Robert E. Howard
Original title "Untitled"
Country United States
Language English
Series Kull
Genre(s) Sword and sorcery
Published in King Kull
Publisher Lancer Books
Publication date 1967

"Exile of Atlantis" is a short story by Robert E. Howard and is the first story written by Howard to feature his creation Kull, set in his fictional Thurian Age.

It details the events that lead Kull to be exiled by his tribe, as well as foreshadows Kull's future as a great king through the use of a prophetic dream. This story would not be published until 1967, in the Lancer book, King Kull.

Plot[edit]

Long before it became a great empire, the continent of Atlantis was populated by a various tribes of barbarians. Three barbarians of the Sea-mountain tribe — Kull, Am-ra and Gor-na — camp for the night. Gor-na, the oldest, tells an ancient story of a tiger who prayed to the moon to for deliverance from pursuing hunters and was granted sanctuary, causing all tigers to worship the moon. Kull finds fault with this story, pointing out that tigers wouldn't worship the moon for aiding some tiger who lived centuries ago. Gor-na rebukes Kull for his ridicule of old myths and traditions, insisting that what has always been will always be. Kull believes this to be false, saying that not even mountains last forever. Gor-na reminds Kull that he was rescued by the Sea-mountain tribe from a feral existence after his people died in a great flood, and that Kull must learn to accept the ways of his adopted people. Am-ra, the youngest of the group, comes to Kull's defense, saying that while Kull may be an outsider, he is clearly the strongest member of their tribe. Gor-na has to agree.

The conversation turns to the outside world. The neighboring islands of Lemuria are currently at war against the great kingdom of Valusia of the mainland. Kull gets excited, and says that he wishes to someday see Valusia, the City of Wonder. Gor-na says that if he ever does, it will be in chains.

As the men lay down to sleep, Kull has a strange dream. In it, he hears the sound of war and trumpets. He sees glorious vistas opening up before him. He sees himself wearing a golden crown, and hears people shouting "King Kull! King Kull!" Kull awakens to find himself haunted and enthralled by the vision.

The next morning, the men return to their village. They see that a young girl named Ala is about to be burned at the stake. Ala dared to marry a Lemurian pirate, and was exiled for breaking the age-old feud. When the lovers' ship crashed and she washed ashore, her people found her, and now intend to execute her. Kull finds himself bewildered and disgusted by the laws that insist a person must be put to death for marrying an enemy of their race. His eyes meet Ala's and they reach a silent understanding. Kull takes out his hunting knife and throws it at the girl's chest, killing her in an instant and sparing her the torture of being burned to death.

While the villagers are still too shocked to act, Kull turns and flees. Am-ra saves Kull's life by causing an archer to miss his shot. Kull climbs up the side of the cliff, and escapes by jumping into the sea.

Trivia[edit]

Marvel used this story as a part of their adaption of A King Comes Riding.

External links[edit]