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Shumballa, also known as Meroe, the capital of Kush, stands in the midst of a great plain of rolling savannas which stretch towards the horizon, broken only by occasional low hills. A narrow deep river, meandering across the savanna, touches the straggling edges of the city. A vast flat grassland stretches across Kush to the east, hosting grazing herds of zebra, antelope, buffalo, and lions where an occasional dwarf tree rises above the plains.

Northernmost and best known of the black kingdoms, the nation of Kush has given its name to the entire southern portion of the continent, most likely because the Kushites were the first black men with whom the Hyborians made contact when the Barachan pirates began to raid and trade along the Black Coast in the Western Ocean. This trade soon grew into a major source of materials for the Kushites who eagerly exchanged gold, silver, ivory, silks, sugar, and much more.

Kush is ruled by an aristocratic class who descended from Stygian adventurers who once pushed southward to establish the city of Meroe, the now capital of the kingdom. These nobles live behind thick walls where they dwell in lavish palaces of teakwood and mahogany worshipping Set. In the outer city, the native casts despised being subjugated by the aristocracy. They have grown even more restless with the yoke of servitude and the threat of major uprising may yet spell doom for the ruling caste. The brawny men and statuesque women of Kush live in thatched mud huts and their economy is mostly supported by trade.

To the east, nomadic hunters and herders drift through the thick grass of the savanna. To the west, along the ocean shore, dwell several slaver tribes that raid inland to sell their native captives to offshore merchant ships. Much of this land, though, is dotted with green stone ruins of ancient cities of a precursor race, not human as we would know them, and all Kushites — nomads and city dwellers alike — know to stay away from them, for some of these places are yet still inhabited by these strange people and their gods, or were settled later by others who fell to madness and depravity.

Lands of the Hyborian Age

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