LAIR of the LIONSlair_of_the_lions-ctb62-main

Official Name: Lair of the Lions

Continent: The main continent of the Hyborian era (largely Europe-Asia-Africa); the Lair of the Lions was south of Kush in the Dark Continent

Population: None;
    formerly Amra, numerous (perhaps dozens) of lions, and an unspecified number of brides and slaves of Amra;
    formerly an unidentified tribe of lion-worshippers;

Government: Ruled as a totalitarian dictatorship by Amra

Major Languages: Unspecified dialect of the lion-worshipper tribe circa the Hyborian era.

Monetary Unit: Money had no value in the Lair of Lions

Major Resources: Amra and his lions

National Defense: Amra and his lions

International Relations: None

Extraterrestrial Relations: None

Places of Interest: Chamber of treasures, Lion-Altar, subterranean chamber of the Dwellers in Darkness, tomb-wall

Non-Human Population: The Dwellers in Darkness lived for perhaps 90 millennia in a subterranean realm below what would become the Lair of the Lions;

Prominent Citizens: Formerly Amra, Sholo and a pride of unidentified lions, as well as Makeda and a number of other unidentified slaves and brides of Amra;
   
briefly visited by Belit, Conan the Cimmerian;
    formerly a
tribe of lion-worshippers

First Appearance: Conan the Barbarian I#62 (May, 1976)

History:
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) <100,000 BC> - The apparent Elderspawn known as the Dwellers in Darkness were imprisoned in the subterranean realm beneath what would later become known as the Lair of the Lions; mystically bound there, they awaited their freedom in darkness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A group of tribesmen in the southern jungles of Dark Continent worshipped the veldt-dwelling lion. They further believed that slaying a lion -- even a cub -- would allow the slayer to gain a lion's courage.

    They used the word/name "Amra," which meant "First among Lions!"

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - In the forgotten past, the lion-worshippers apparently built and lived within an ancient city atop the realm containing the Dwellers in Darkness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Great volumes of treasure -- gold and jewelry -- were acquired and stored within the city's lower levels.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A great tomb-like wall, adorned with cryptic symbols (containing the means to release (and presumably to imprison)) the Dwellers, was placed just above the chamber holding the Dwellers.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - For reasons unrevealed, the lion-worshippers abandoned the city and apparently forgot about it.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A pride of lions dwelled within the southern jungle forests (as opposed to the veldt, like most lions) of the Dark Continent

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - As a young boy, the red-haired child who would become Amra was carried by his father from a sinking ship into the jungle, where the father was slain by black tribesmen. While carrying off the youth, they encountered and slew a young lion cub, after which the tribesmen were slaughtered by the male lions of the jungle pride, while the lioness mother of the slain club defended the young boy, taking him back and raising him alongside her surviving black lion cub, Sholo.amra-hyborian-redhead-ctb62-servants

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb)) - As the youth grew into a man, he ran with the pride, with Sholo's son (also named Sholo), as his closest companion. The youth and the pride prowled the jungle, exploring farther inland than ever lions had gone, and they found a city built by the lion-worshippers in days they themselves had forgotten. There Amra and his pride brought those of the lion-worshipping tribe they could carry away alive to be his servants, or, if they refused, to be the pride's next meal. The tribesmen called the red-haired man "Amra," and he adopted the name for himself. He either named the city the "Lair of Lions," or the lion-worshippers had already called it that.

    Amra explored this Lair of Lions, finding a wealth of long-neglected treasure, the value of which he recognized from his youth, although to him, it meant nothing. He also found a great tomb-like wall on which were symbols he could not read (and he believed no man now living could read); Amra felt the symbols carried the secrets of some unknown mystery.

(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - The Riders of the River-Dragons (a tribe who rode crocodiles) and others regularly sent women to become Amra's brides as tributes so that he did not send Sholo and the pride against them.

    While all of the men eventually fled or died, but the women lived for as long as they amused Amra and served him well., which was generally not long.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra believed the "god of the maned ones," who had preserved him when men and beast alike would have slain him as a child.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra had an immense stone lion carved by a skilled tribesman in the image of his "god of the maned ones" in exchange for a few more weeks of life.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra tortured and slew some of those captured to serve as his slaves, and he left their remains to ensure the others feared him sufficiently.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sholo and other lions serving Amra attacked and slew members of the Riders of the River-Dragons.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 (fb) - BTS) - Sentries of the Dragon-Riders were often choked to death or stabbed in the gullet by a man or shredded by the claws of silent lions.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - After Makeda, former princess of the Moonhawk tribe, became one of Amra's mates, she eventually rose to the role of mistress of the Lair of the Lions. Makeda's fierceness pleased Amra more than most of his mates, and she dissuaded or slew other women seeking his affections. Additionally, Makeda learned how to read the symbols on the tomb-like wall.

(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - When Belit and her crew, the Black Corsairs, including her mate Conan, visited the Watambi tribe, south of Kush, the Riders of the River-Dragons captured some of the Watambi and also abducted Belit, who had passed out from wine consumption.

(Conan the Barbarian I#61 - BTS) - Belit escaped the Dragon-Riders but was captured by Amra.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62) - Amra told Belit his history before taking her back to the Lair of the Lions. When they arrived, Amra's roar cowered lions distrustful of the woman by his side. Within the city, a jealous Makeda attempted to kill Belit, but Amra stopped her, instructing her to leave quickly and never return or he would release her from his protection, and she would become a meal for his lion pride.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - The vengeful Makeda rushed to the tomb-wall. Having learned how to read the symbols on its walls, she performed a spell to awaken and release the monstrous beings imprisoned below the city.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 - BTS) - Having followed Belit's trail toward the Lair of the Lions, Conan encountered Makeda, who confirmed the presence of Belit within the city before informing him how she had released creatures that would kill everyone within the city.lair_of_the_lions-ctb63-collapse

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - As Amra lead Belit to the top of the lion altar where the great cats would be the only witnesses of the wedding rites, Conan urged Makeda to show them the fastest path to the altar, while both the Watambis and Conan wondered how he (Conan) would fair against Amra.

    Standing below the giant lion statue, Amra implored the lion-god to look down with favor as he took a new bride. Belit, however, denounced Amra as a wild animal for failing to heed her when she said she already had a mate, one she warned would cut him to ribbons. As Amra angrily grabbed her by the hair, Belit called him a filthy jackal, and he retorted that he should feed her to his lions for calling him that.

    While Amra insisted that she was his and that her mate would die if tried to reclaim her, Belit's efforts to free herself from her wrist-bonds unleashed a trickle of blood that caused a younger lion to leap at her. Roaring more loudly and leaping more swiftly, Amra landed atop the lion and stabbed it repeatedly in the neck until it fell dead. Silently, Belit feared whether Conan stand against such a being.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - Conan slew the lion guarding the entrance and then led the Watambis into the Lair, after which Makeda noted that while Amra could have slain the lion with but a knife, she hoped Conan could kill slay Amra to win her revenge for her.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Apparently sensing the intruder, Amra was surprised when the stone below Belit fell away and she dropped into the hands of a monstrous horde. Amra immediately engaged the six-limbed spidery gnomes, and he snarled with pleasure to learn, at least, that they were flesh and blood. They creatures swarmed out and even over the lions, who fought back until Amra jumped down through the portal and urged Sholo and the others to follow him to recover his chosen mate.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - The lions apparently could not (or refused to) fit through the passageway to follow their master.

    A group of "unbound ones" swarmed over Conan, Makeda, and the Watambis, who fought back fiercely and slew them, although at least one of the Watambi perished in the struggle.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Drawn by Belit's cries, Conan led the Watambi to her, make their way to her just as Amra arrived as well. Both Conan and Amra slew the creatures in great numbers, eventually fighting back-to-back; Belit soon freed herself and joined the struggle, and the Earthspawn eventually conceded defeat and fled back to their uncharted depths, leaving Makeda and others dead.

    Though Conan offered to depart with Belit peaceably, Amra insisted Belit remain his and challenged Conan to fight to the death for her. Conan passed off his sword and received a knife from Anaki of the Watambi to make it a fair match.

    Conan and Amra fought fiercely, matched in size, strength, and ferocity, eventually locking themselves into a prolonged, rigid struggle, until Amra leapt forward and knocked Conan to his back. After another extended period of struggling, Conan finally buried his knife in Amra's chest, and Amra fell, dead.

    As Belit and the Watambi cheered, Conan silenced them, noting he had just slain a brave man and that if they had met another day they might have been friends.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - As the Lair of the Lions began to collapse around them, Conan, Belit, and the Watambi fled.

    The lions fled the lair separately.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - In the jungles, Sholo approached Conan and the others, ultimately lowering its head as if to acknowledge Conan as the new lord of lions. Sholo then shook his mane, roared his newfound allegiance to the night, and then turned away and vanished into the jungle without looking back at Conan or his knife.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - The Watambis told Conan that it was said that there must always be an Amra, first among lions, and that Conan had now claimed that title.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Steve Gan.

It is unrevealed whether the lion-worshippers were the ones who imprisoned the Dwellers. The ninety millennia span of time makes it seem very unlikely, as it was largely elder races around before 30,000 BC.

How long were the Dwellers in Darkness imprisoned under what would become the Lair of the Lions?

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Lair of the Lions has no known connections to:


lion-worshippers

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) <100,000 BC> - The apparent Elderspawn known as the Dwellers in Darkness were imprisoned in the subterranean realm beneath what would later become known as the Lair of the Lions; mystically bound there, they awaited their freedom in darkness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A group of tribesmen in the southern jungles of Dark Continent worshipped the veldt-dwelling lion. They further believed that slaying a lion -- even a cub -- would allow the slayer to gain a lion's courage.

    They used the word/name "Amra," which meant "First among Lions!"

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - In the forgotten past, the lion-worshippers apparently built and lived within an ancient city atop the realm containing the Dwellers in Darkness. 

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Great volumes of treasure -- gold and jewelry -- were acquired and stored within the city's lower levels.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A great tomb-like wall, adorned with cryptic symbols (containing the means to release (and presumably to imprison)) the Dwellers was built above chamber/realm imprisoning the Dwellers.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - For reasons unrevealed, the lion-worshippers abandoned the city and apparently forgot about it.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A pride of lions dwelled within the southern jungle forests (as opposed to the veldt, like most lions) of the Dark Continentlair_of_the_lions-ctb62-lion-worshippers

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - As a young boy, the red-haired child who would become Amra was carried by his father from a sinking ship into the jungle, where the father was slain by black tribesmen. While carrying off the youth, they encountered and slew a young lion cub, after which the tribesmen were slaughtered by the male lions of the jungle pride, while the lioness mother of the slain club defended the young boy, taking him back and raising him alongside her surviving black lion cub, Sholo.lair_of_the_lions-ctb62-lion-worshippers-captured

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb)) - As the youth grew into a man, he ran with the pride, with Sholo's son (also named Sholo), as his closest companion. The youth and the pride prowled the jungle, exploring farther inland than ever lions had gone, and they found a city built by the lion-worshippers in days they themselves had forgotten. There Amra and his pride brought those of the lion-worshipping tribe they could carry away alive to be his servants, or, if they refused, to be the pride's next meal. The tribesmen called the red-haired man "Amra," and he adopted the name for himself. He either named the city the "Lair of Lions," or the lion-worshippers had already called it that.

    Amra explored this Lair of Lions, finding a wealth of long-neglected treasure, the value of which he recognized from his youth, although to him, it meant nothing. He also found a great tomb-like wall on which were symbols he could not read (and he believed no man now living could read); Amra felt the symbols carried the secrets of some unknown mystery.

(Conan the Barbarian I#60 - BTS) - The Riders of the River-Dragons (a tribe who rode crocodiles) and others regularly sent women to become Amra's brides as tributes so that he did not send Sholo and the pride against them.

     All of the men eventually fled or died.

Note: The tribe is also pictured as slaying the litter mate of Sholo the Elder in the sub-profile for that slain cub in Sholo the younger's profile.
     They are also pictured in the jungle/Lair of the Lions pride sub-profile in Sholo the younger's profile.
     The tribe will also be pictured in Amra's profile's sub-profile on his father, showing his death at the tribe's hands...around September, 2021.

     It is unrevealed whether the lion-worshippers were the ones who imprisoned the Dwellers. The ninety millennia span of time makes it seem very unlikely, as it was largely elder races around before 30,000 BC. But, that's what the story seems to imply, and there's nothing to contradict it.






chamber of treasures

lair_of_the_lions-ctb62-treasure-chamber




(
Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Great volumes of treasure -- gold and jewelry -- were acquired and stored within the lower levels of the ancient city that would eventually become known as the Lair of the Lion. 

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb)) - After discovering the ancient city, Amra found a wealth of long-neglected treasure, the value of which he recognized from his youth, although to him, it meant nothing.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63 - BTS) - The chamber of treasures was buried when the Lair of the Lions collapsed.

--Conan the Barbarian I#62

Note: Where did it come from and where did it go?
Maybe Cotton-Eyed Joe knows...but probably not....




lion altar



lair_of_the_lions-ctb63-lion-altar
(Conan the Barbarian I#63 (fb) - BTS) - Amra had an immense stone lion carved by a skilled tribesman in the image of his "god of the maned ones" in exchange for a few more weeks of life.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - As Amra led Belit to the top of the lion altar along with Sholo and a few of the other lions to serve as wedding witnesses, Conan urged Makeda to show them the fastest path to the altar, while both the Watambis and Conan wondered how he (Conan) would fair against Amra.

    Standing below the giant lion statue, Amra implored the lion-god to look down with favor as he took a new bride. Belit,

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - Apparently sensing the intruder, Conan, below, Amra was surprised when the stone below Belit fell away and she dropped into the hands of a monstrous horde of the Dwellers in Darkness.

    The creatures swarmed out and even over the lions, who fought back until Amra jumped down through the portal and urged Sholo and the others to follow him to recover his chosen mate.

(Conan the Barbarian I#63) - The Dwellers in Darkness were driven off, after which Amra provoked a fight with and was slain by Conan

     Thereafter, as the Lair of the Lions began to collapse around them, Conan, Belit, the Watambi, Sholo and the lions fled.



--
Conan the Barbarian I#62

lair_of_the_lions-ctb63-lion-altar-marriage




tomb-wall

lair_of_the_lions-ctb62-tomb-wall
(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) <100,000 BC> - The apparent Elderspawn known as the Dwellers in Darkness were imprisoned in the subterranean realm beneath what would later become known as the Lair of the Lions.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - In the forgotten past, the lion-worshippers apparently built and lived within an ancient city atop the realm containing the Dwellers in Darkness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - Great volumes of treasure -- gold and jewelry -- were acquired and stored within the city's lower levels.

(Conan the Barbarian I#62 (fb) - BTS) - A great tomb-like wall, adorned with cryptic symbols (containing the means to release (and presumably to imprison)) the Dwellers, was placed just above the chamber holding the Dwellers.

--Conan the Barbarian I#62

Note: Additional images for the tomb-wall are shown in the Ritual of Unbinding sub-profile for the Dwellers in Darkness.


images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#62, pg. 10, panel 4 (lion-worshippers carrying away youthful "Amra");
       pg. 11, panel 4 (Amra and lions bringing lion-worshippers to lair);
          panel 5 (treasure chamber);
          panel 6 (tomb-wall);
       pg. 12, panel 1 (Amra & Sholo with Amra's female slaves/brides);
       pg. 14, panel 1 (main);
    #63, pg. 2, panel 3 (lion-altar);
       pg. 3, panel 4 (Amra conducting wedding at lion-altar)
      


Appearances:
Conan the Barbarian I#60-63 (March-June, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Steve Gan (inker)


First posted: 03/01/2021
Last updated: 03/01/2021


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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