Ah, mythical Hyberborea! From the Greek, meaning beyond the north wind. What a beautiful word, and what a concept, it stirs my imagination. I did not know the meaning of this word when I first came across it as a child, reading the Conan the Barbarian books. Back then, it was another mythical land in a mythical world.
I loved to read, and the sword and sorcery genre caught me like no other. Conan was easily my favorite back in those days. His indomitable will, his fearlessness, his thirst for adventure, all of these appealed to me. But there was more to those stories for me. Conan was chivalrous and fair, always leaning toward the nobler side of man’s nature. (granted, as an adult I can look back and see the rampant sexism, but there was still some respect for women in his actions). He kept his word, he was loyal to his friends, he stood up to evil and bullies, always. Something more subtle, but which I still appreciated, was that while he was a man of science (believing what he could see and touch), he maintained a healthy spiritual respect for the gods of his day.
Everything about those stories called to me, and the mythical lands were part of that. Koth, Cimmeria, Aquilonia, Kush, Darfar…..mystical-sounding names that grounded the tales in a sense of far-off adventure. And Hyperborea was one of those, a land of legend far to the north where few ventured….Hyperborea…wait a minute! What was that prompt again?! Dang….