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Origins of Darkovan names

Chambers' influence

For many readers of Darkover, several important names sounded familiar before their discovery of the series. This is the case for instance of Hastur, Hali, Carcosa, etc. References to such names can be found in Lovecraft's and Bierce's works.

In fact these authors (and Marion Zimmer Bradley herself) have borrowed the names from Chambers' most famous work: The King in Yellow.

This book consists in several short stories. Many of them make reference to a play entitled "The King in Yellow" itself. This legendary play has two acts and only the first one is ever evocated: it is said that reading the second act can drive one mad. The quotations included in short stories make reference to a strange being named Hastur which is sometimes a town and sometimes a person (or a god). The city of Carcosa is also evocated. The most interesting evocation is the one of the lake of Hali, which does not seem to contain water, exactly as in Darkover novels.

Links about Chambers

If you are interested in Chambers' work, you can try these links:

copyright 96-99 Fabrice Rossi (

source file (Last modification: Wed Apr 21 17:21:45 1999)