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Kothian

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Koth is one of the oldest countries of the West, pre-dating the Hyborian invasions. Despite its landlocked status, Koth is among the greatest commercial nations of the age, dominating much of the overland trade routes.

The land of Koth includes meadows in the west and farms to the east, and at least one thousand miles of hills seperating the Kothian Uplands from the pastoral lands of Shem. The Flaming Mountains, an impenetrable volcanic range, lie in these hills. Shamla Pass to the east is the most important break in the extensive Kothian Hills and Escarpment, though a second pass is thought to exist near Eruk in Shem.

Capital of Koth is Khorshemish, a walled city of spires, minareted mosques, markets and broad white streets. It is dubbed "The Queen of the South".

The Kothians are a mixed people of Hyborian and Shemitish strains, with a touch of Stygian blood. They are of medium height and build, although they tend to be overweight. Their people are much like those in other Hyborian nations, albeit more heavily taxed.

Kothian law is like that of most other Hyborian lands. There is a system of justices and courts and a fair number of professional lawyers, particularly in Khorshemish. The primary distinction is the tax laws, which have increased taxes almost to the point of causing armed insurrection.

The current King of Koth, Strabonus, is notable for several reasons. He has repeatedly broken treaties with Ophir, Shem, Corinthia and Nemedia; he has invaded Argos twice, and Shem and Ophir once each. Most serious, however, is his association with the sorcerer Tsotha-Lanthi. This secretive being inhabits the Scarlet Citadel, which adjoins Strabonus' palace in Khorshemish. Tsotha-lanthi's citadel contains horrors that those few who have entered and returned only hint at.

Kothians worship the gods of Shem, and chiefly the cult of Ishtar. This worship, however, is still tainted with the beliefs of the ancient kingdom of Acheron, giving Kothian religion a Stygian cast. Mitra is not popular in Koth.

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