The Savage Cannibals
Some scholars believe there were other ages before the Hyborian Age, and that if one travels far and looks hard, there is the chance one might discover echoes of these lost ages when men walked the world, yet were not as they are now. To those who know of these primitives, they are considered beast-men, savage cannibals capable of little in the way of reason and lacking all higher intelligence. They are incapable of anything but the most basic, simple culture, and communicate in a language little more than the first grunts and growls mankind made when the world was young and humanity was new.
There were about a dozen of the mountain men, armed with crude wooden clubs and stone-headed spears and axes. They were short-limbed, thick-bodied creatures, wrapped in tattered, mangy furs. Small, bloodshot eyes glared out from under beetling brows and sloping foreheads; thick lips drew back to reveal large yellow teeth. They were like leftovers from some earlier stage of evolution, about which Conan had heard once heard philosophers argue in the courtyards of Nemedian temples. Just now, however, he was too fully occupied with guiding his horse and aiming his lance to spare such matters more than the barest fleeting thought. Then he crashed among them like a thunderbolt.
–Conan of Cimmeria
The Cimmerian clans of the Eiglophian Mountains know that these beast-men still exist, though they care nothing for whether these primitives are echoes of humanity’s past or degenerate monsters that take a form close to that of humans. What concerns these clans most is the merciless raiding carried out by the savages, who attack Cimmerian villages and outposts in order to capture weapons of better quality and drag villagers screaming back to their filthy, squalid little caves, where the Cimmerian captives are devoured by the savage cannibals.
These flesh-eaters are a source of great terror for the scattered clans of Cimmeria’s northern mountains. Tribal tales tell of even darker fates than as the raw meal of a cannibal family; be it as the living sacrifice to the great ice worm Yakhmar, or worse—offered up to the snow dragon Coltranach, whom these ugly, misshapen half-men worship as a god.