A loosely-knit kingdom comprised of city-states, lying east of Nemedia, south of Hyperborea and the Border Kingdom, and north of Corinthia and Zamora. Its Nemedian frontier is the north-flowing Yellow River. Another river, the Frozen, flowed eastward along the Brythunian side of the Graaskal Mountains and marked the northern border.
The highlands in the northeast were cleft by numerous passes, through which Hyrkanian invaders poured during the years following the Age of Conan. Interior Brythunia was a land of fertile, subhumid prairies interspersed with very thick, wolf-haunted coniferous forests.
Brythunia was probably primarily agricultural, with its aristocracy based upon land-owning boyars who made their headquarters in the fortified cities. The most fertile soils were probably to be found in the alluvial deposits of the interior river valleys and in the southern piedmont.
The ethnogeny of the Brythunians was complex. The people were said to be an admixture of refugees from Hyperborea the Elder and ancient Acheron, together with later Hyborian invaders and Zamorans. The absence of aboriginal genes leads to the inference that Brythunia was virtually uninhabited at the time of the first Hyborian drift to the south, which apparently thrust southwestward at the tempting target of Acheronian Nemedia, rather than cross the rugged Graaskals.
After the Hyborian conquest of Acheron, refugees from there and from Hyperborea the Elder (subjugated by Aesir) established city-states in Brythunia. As the Brythunians flourished and moved southward, they mingled with the more ancient Zamorans.
It is of note that the country appears to have two different royal capital cities, Sargossa and Pirogia. Sargossa is the original, traditional capital, but by Conan’s first visit to Brythunia, the capital had moved to Pirogia. By his second visit, the capital had moved back to Sargossa, probably due to a war with Corinthia having erupted.
The lords of Brythunia were probably as thornily independent of their nominal king as were the Polish aristocrats who dwelled in the same land millennia later. According to the Saga, the women of Brythunia were mostly blonde, spirited, and beautiful, much sought by slave traders.
Brythunia is abundant with all sorts of “grains and meats and honeys and fish”. The chronicler Gallus suggests that the basic foodstuffs are easily-available and that “although the country is forested, it also abounds in bread and meat and fish and honey”. Honey is used both as a sweetener and for conservation of meat.
The cuisine of Brythunia is very heavy and spicy. Two main ingredients were meat (both game and beef) and cereal. The latter consisted initially of proso millet, but other types of cereal became widely used. Average commoners did not use bread and instead consumed cereals in the forms of kasza or various types of flatbread. Apart from cereals, a large portion of a daily diet of Brythunians consisted of beans, mostly broad beans and peas.
As the territory of Brythunia is densely forested, usage of mushrooms, forest fruits, nuts and honey was also widespread.
Thanks to close trade relations with the East, the price of spices (such as juniper, pepper and nutmeg) was much lower than in Hyborian lands farther to the West, and spicy sauces became popular. One purpose was to neutralize the odour of imperfectly-preserved meat.
The daily beverages were water, milk, whey, buttermilk and various herb infusions. Most popular alcoholic beverages were beer and mead.
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