When you first start your journey through the lands of Hyboria in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, you start off as a slave onboard a Stygian galley. The ship is somewhere in the treacherous waters of the Barachan seas, off the coast of Zingara. This is where you create your character’s visual appearance and make the decisions that will help shape your destiny in the years to come. But then, suddenly, the ship sinks.
Tortage Beach Acheronian Gate
You wake up on the beaches of Tortage Island. They call it the jewel of the Barachan Isles, but this is certainly a jewel with so many sharp edges that you can hurt yourself easily on it if you are not careful. It sure helps to know your surroundings better, and this guide was created so you know where to go – and what to stay far, far away from!
Tortage BeachSun, sex, sin, death and destruction. Tortage Beach is as beautiful as it is deadly, and while the crystal blue waters and the sandy beaches will make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise, the savage picts and the ruthless pirates living in this area will be sure to make you snap out of it pretty fast. This is where you first end up after having survived the sinking of the Stygian slave galley that you were being transported in.
Acheronian GateAfter fighting your way through the jungle running up from Tortage Beach towards the center of the island, you will soon find yourself surrounded by ancient Acheronian ruins. Violent volcanic activities on Tortage Island are causing architecture thousands of years old to shoot up from the ground and mix with the ramshackle housing of the local picts that now have set up base in the old ruins. The gate may be closed for you and the key might be hidden away in dark places you do not even want to think about.
Should you against all odds survive the harrowing journey through the jungle; the mighty gates of Tortage City will soon be visible in the distance. The gates will be locked to you, though, and you will need to find a way to get in. The Red Hand controls the city, ruled by the vicious Strom, and if you’re not busy getting wasted at the Thirsty Dog Inn you will most likely find yourself entangled in some deep political intrigue. A hive of scum and villainy, Tortage City is a place where you either kill – or get killed! The Stone Quarry
The Stone QuarryJust outside Tortage City is the stone quarry, now infested by all sorts of shady characters. Besides the regular assortment of bandits and pirates who have set up camp here, there are also rumors of demons having found refuge among the broken rocks. Turach, a Tortage City local, is working hard on making a nearby dam to keep the lava from reaching the city, and he is known to send adventurers to the quarry for stone.
Beneath Tortage City lies a complex system of underground passageways. Carved out from the very rock that the city stands on, the passageways are a mix of people’s own cellars and an ancient Acheronian city that used to stand here thousands of years ago. With time the city crumbled, the volcano did its work, and in recent years the city of Tortage has been erected on top of the ruins. Entrances to the Underhalls are many, from the cellar of Thirsty Dog Inn to hidden caves spread across the island. Today the Underhalls are a place of great evil and danger, and only a fool would enter its depths.
The city of Tortage is one of the most known ports in the Barachan Isles, and it sports a deep harbor capable of accepting even the biggest ships braving these treacherous waters. But Strom and his minions have the harbor in a tight grip, keeping a very close look on who enters and who leaves the city by the waterway. A lighthouse has been erected here, but today it is mostly used to quarantine the less desirable who comes to Tortage City. It is from this harbor you will leave once you are ready to journey to the mainland.
This area of the island is tainted by incredible evil and the air is suffocating. Mithrelle, a local sorceress, have allowed her dark magic to influence this environment in ways that is far from natural, and the effects can be seen everywhere. They say that Mithrelle is experimenting on living beings and when she is done with them she dumps their bodies into the swamp. Here they rest eternally, but their rest is anything but peaceful.
The Swamp of the Dead
The skyline of Tortage Island is dominated by the towering volcano that has given life – and death – to the land. It is still very much active, spewing out lava and hot ashes. The lava flows in thick rivers down the side of the volcano, and the citizens of Tortage City are building dams to keep it at bay. Even though it is the single most hostile environment on Tortage Island, several camps of bandits can be found on all sides of the volcano.
On one side of Tortage Island rests the gigantic ruins of an ancient Acheronian temple. Its towering size makes it visible from many parts of the island, and the vantage point on the top is nothing short of breathtaking. Getting to that vantage point will prove difficult, though, as the area surrounding the temple ruins is littered with Pict encampments. Even the temple itself is infested by the savages, making it almost possible to explore.
White Sands Isle
Separate from Tortage Island, but quite close in proximity, is White Sands Isle. Reachable by boat, this island is quite less civilized than Tortage and is mostly infested with roaming wild creatures and various Pict tribes. Here too you will find ancient ruins, some are quite more alien than what is found on Tortage Island, and whispers can be heard in the taverns of Tortage City about ruins here containing treasures unheard of.
Below, please find images from each of the locations, in order: