“Exile of Atlantis” is an untitled story by Robert E. Howard, featuring Kull, a character who later becomes the King of Valusia. This story delves into Kull’s early life, providing insight into his personality, values, and the world he inhabits. Set against the backdrop of the rugged and wild Atlantis, the narrative explores themes of tradition, freedom, and the clash of civilizations.

Originally an untitled story, starting with (“The sun was setting. A last crimson . . .”). Later titled EXILE OF ATLANTIS by Glenn Lord.


The story begins with a vivid description of the sunset over the snow-capped peaks as three men – Kull, Am-ra, and Gor-na – prepare a meal of venison. The young, graceful Am-ra is cooking, while Kull, slightly older and larger, and the massive, aggressive Gor-na converse. Their dialogue reveals their camaraderie and different perspectives on life and tradition.

As night falls, they discuss the worship of the moon by tigers, a legend explained by Gor-na but doubted by the skeptical Kull. This conversation highlights the tension between Kull’s pragmatic outlook and Gor-na’s reverence for tradition. Kull’s disdain for traditional beliefs and his mysterious background as an orphan raised by the Sea-mountain tribe are underscored.

Their talk shifts to war and the Valusian Empire. Kull expresses a desire to see Valusia, despite Gor-na’s vehement hatred for the empire. Kull’s dream during the night reveals his ambition and foreshadows his future as a king, though he awakens to his current reality as a barbarian.

The following morning, they return to their tribe’s caves and discover a girl being burned at the stake for marrying a Lemurian pirate. Despite her calm acceptance of her fate, Kull, moved by her plight, kills her swiftly with a dagger to spare her from the flames. This act of mercy, however, turns his own people against him.

Kull escapes up a cliff, evading capture thanks to Am-ra’s subtle intervention. The story concludes with Kull fleeing his tribe, marked by his own people’s wrath for defying their brutal customs, highlighting his internal conflict with the harsh traditions of Atlantis.


  • Kull: The main protagonist, a young warrior from the Sea-mountain tribe. Known for his strength, speed, and skepticism towards tradition. He is compassionate and merciful, as shown by his actions towards the doomed girl.
  • Am-ra: A young, graceful warrior and Kull’s friend. He shows compassion and subtly aids Kull in his escape.
  • Gor-na: An older, massively built warrior who values tradition and the tribe’s customs. He serves as a foil to Kull’s rebellious nature.
  • Ala: The young girl condemned for marrying a Lemurian pirate. Her stoic acceptance of her fate contrasts with Kull’s compassionate rebellion.
  • Unnamed Old Woman: Ala’s mother, who disowns her daughter for bringing shame to Atlantis.
  • Priest: The religious figure conducting the execution, representing the strict adherence to tradition within the tribe.
  • Ascalante: Mentioned as a man who was once a slave in Valusia and provides information about the city to Kull and his companions.
  • Unnamed Bowmen: The man who attempts to shoot Kull as he escapes up the cliff.
  • Unnamed Man Cooking Venison: The speaker who calls for Kull and Gor-na to eat at the beginning of the story.

Alternate title:

UNTITLED STORY (“The sun was setting. A last crimson…”).

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