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Map drawn by Jim Cawthorn to illustrate the stories by Fritz Leiber

Nehwon is the fictional world created by Fritz Leiber in which his heroes, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, live. It's notable for the city of Lankhmar.

"Nehwon", the reverse spelling of "No When", alludes to Erewhon.

Sundered from us by gulfs of time and stranger dimensions dreams the ancient world of Nehwon with its towers and skulls and jewels, its swords and sorceries. Nehwon's known realms crowd about the Inner Sea: northward the green-forested fierce Land of the Eight Cities, eastward the steppe-dwelling Mingol horsemen and the desert where caravans creep from the rich Eastern Lands and the River Tilth. But southward, linked to the desert only by the Sinking Land and further warded by the Great Dike and the Mountains of Hunger, are the rich grain fields and walled cities of Lankhmar, eldest and chiefest of Nehwon's lands. Dominating the Land of Lankhmar and crouching at the silty mouth of the River Hlal in a secure corner between the grain fields, the Great Salt Marsh, and the Inner Sea is the massive-walled and mazy-alleyed metropolis of Lankhmar, thick with thieves and shaven priests, lean-framed magicians and fat-bellied merchants—Lankhmar the Imperishable, the City of the Black Toga.

—From "Induction" by Fritz Leiber

Technology in Nehwon varies between the Iron Age and medieval. Leiber wrote of Lankhmarts: "They may be likened to the Romans or be thought of as, if I may use such a term, southern medievals." On the topic of his Eastern Lands, he wrote "think of Saracens, Arabs, Parthians, Assyrians even. They ride the camel and elephant, and use the bow extensively."[1]

The Great CitiesEdit


Ilthmar is a rival city to Lankhmar, located across the Great Salt Marsh and the Sinking Land from Lankhmar, on the edge of a desert. Its citizens, the Ilthmarts, are known for their gambling, heartlessness, and worship of rat or shark gods. The harbor of Ilthmar is kept full of sharks for getting rid of criminals and undesirables.


Lankhmar may be the capital of Nehwon, and many of the adventures in these stories hold some connection to this place. It's a vast and decadent city, ruled by an overlord named Karstak Ovartamortes (at least in theory). Actual rule has been contested by invaders, the Thieves Guild, wizards, strange cults, and even ultra-intelligent rats.

Lankhmar also hosts many religions, which can be divided into the gods in Lankhmar and the gods of Lankhmar.

Amongst the streets/alleys of Lankhmar are Cheap Street (where the Thieves' Guild has its headquarters, Thieves' House), Whore Street, Gold Street, Cash Street, Plague Court, Bones Alley, the Street of the Silk Merchants, the Street of the Gods, and the Street of the Thinkers (called Atheist's Avenue by the Theologians).

Other places of noteEdit

  • The Cold Waste: Separated from the Land of the Eight Cities by the Trollstep Mountains, this vast plateau is the region where Fafhrd hailed from when he was a singing Skald in his tribe, the Snow Clan. It's a cold land of warm-blooded snakes, snow leopards, woolly mammoths, ice-cats, and other beasts.
  • Horborixen: The city of the King of Kings and second only to Lankhmar in size, antiquity, or baroque splendor.
  • The decadent, shrunken, and subtle Empire of 'Eevamarensee with its hairless inhabitants.
  • The Great Steppes: Home of the squat, stolid, black-haired Mingols
  • The City of Ool Hrusp
  • The Inner Sea
  • The Outer Sea
  • The Bleak Shore: A bizarre region located far away from any civilization, which seems to have a connection to death itself.
  • The Sea of the East: Linked with the Inner Sea by the narrow Sinking Lands.
  • The Frozen Sea
  • Quarmall: A secret and shadowy kingdom ruled by powerful sorcerers. Once a vest empire, their cruelty and strange habits prompted a push back that drove them all the way back to their small home territory. Now located almost entirely underground, they enslave travelers who pass by their keep and force them to operate the fans which circulate their air supply.
  • The beggar-city of Tovilyis
  • The Mountains of the Elder Ones
  • The Trollstep Mountains or the Mountains of the Giants

peaks include:

    • The Ripsaw
    • The Tusk
    • Mt. White Fang (the mountain that killed Fafhrd's father)
    • The Stardock: According to legend, this mythical peak is where the Gods launched the stars into the night sky, and populated by a race of invisible beings.
    • Obelisk Polaris: A mountain which Fafhrd often climbed in his youth.
    • Gran Hanack
    • The Hint
  • Forbidden City of the Black Idols: Capital of the Mingol Empire.
  • Simorgya: Bearing more than a passing resemblance to R'lyeh (Fritz Leiber was a contributor to the Cthulhu Mythos), Simorgya occasionally surfaces from beneath the sea before enthralling or entrapping those who enter this ancient city in search of its rumored treasure.
  • The Bones of the Old Ones: A mountain range
  • The Tropical Land of Klesh
  • The Shadowlands
  • The Poisoned Desert
  • Kvarch Nar
  • The Village of Earth's End
  • The Parched Mountains
  • The City of Ghouls
  • Illik-Ving: The eighth and smallest metropolis in the Land of the Eight Cities.
  • Rime Isle: The current home of both Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.


  1. ^ Leiber, Fritz, "Fafhrd and the Mouser Say Their Say," The Dragon #1, 1976.

External linksEdit