Barsoom is an ancient and dying world. Endless acres of yellowish moss were once the beds of Barsoom’s five mighty oceans and numerous seas that vanished 500,000 years ago. While there are some natural marshes left, the primary source of water comes from the canal system that relies on the seasonal melting of the polar ice caps to provide irrigation for precious strips of farmland.
The Solar System
Mars. The word for eight, bar [bâr], is synonymous with magic or wonder.
Deimos, a moon of Mars. Also known as the further moon or the lesser moon. In poetry, referred to as the cold husband of Thuria. It is 5,000 miles away and revolves Barsoom every 30.25 hours.
Earth. The home world of John Carter and Ulysses Paxton (aka Vad Varo).
Jupiter. World of the Morgors and Savators.
Phobos, a moon of Mars. Also known as the nearer moon or the greater moon. In poetry, referred to as the mad, passionate lover of Cluros. It is 5,000 miles away and revolves Barsoom every 7.5 hours. Before John Carter proved otherwise, the First Born were thought to live here. Its actual inhabitants call it Ladan [Lâ-dan] and once believed themselves to be the sixth planet of the solar system.
Places and Natural Features
A treacherous network of narrow, steep canyons that snake across the plateau that separates Belphor and Sarakaas. Known for its plentiful game, especially wild banths.
An extensive range of hills near Duhor. Some of its peaks are snow-covered.
Land of the kaldanes. A series of fertile valleys, low hills and small streams.
A tropical and fertile valley at the south pole. The First Born call the area the Holy Land or Turtoom [Tür-tüm]. Escapees and lost pilgrims have formed ragtag settlements called the Villages of Lost Souls. Outside of the valley are snow and ice field inhabited by fierce creatures, which are hunted for their furs.
Ee-ay Dor [Ē-é Dōr]
Valley of the First Born, where Kamtol is located.
Gorrax [Gōr Rax]
The infamous Carrion Caves of Okar. A series of twenty-seven connecting caverns which form the only passage beneath the ice barrier connecting the outside world to the arctic land of Okar. A former riverbed, it serves as a charnel-house for the Okarians and a lair for apts.
A tropical and fertile valley near Tjanath formed by the river Syl. Hemmed in by mighty cliffs, this remnant of ancient Barsoom is a haven of trees, flowers, birds and insects of a prehistoric world. In its center is the gloomy castle of Ghasta.
The great river of pilgrimage; also known as the River of Death or Goris [Gōr-is] and the River of Mystery or Eis [Ī-is].
One of the lost seas of Barsoom, now a dry ocean bottom.
Last of the Barsoomian seas. Often referred to as the Lost Sea of Korus.
Lan Bal [Lan Bal]
The Golden Cliffs that surround the Valley Dor. They are 5,000 foot high promontories that form the inner border of the Otz Mountains, which ring the south pole. The perpendicular face of the cliffs is shot with veins and patches of solid gold as well as outcroppings of precious gems. The cliffs are honeycombed with caves that stretch deep into the mountains.
An underground ocean of Barsoom. Shador [Ša-dōr] is an island prison in the middle of this sea.
An island in the Toonolian marshes. Its capital is Gooli.
The mountains circling the Valley Dor and Korus. Deep within its bowels is the Chamber of Mystery or Irax [Ī Rax] and the Chamber of Reptiles or Silrax [Sil Rax].
The Forbidden Land. Name used when speaking of the arctic region beyond the barrier of ice cliffs in the north polar area.
An underground river.
Mightiest of the five ancient oceans.
Toonol Phund [Tün-ōl Füń]
The Toonolian Marshes. The last great remnant of the mighty oceans that covered the surface of Barsoom.
Vak Zovmad [Vak Zâv-mad]
The Forest of Lost Men. One of the rare wooded areas of Mars. It contains, among other things, skeel, sorapus and sompus trees. It shelters two cities, Invak and Onvak.
Zov Morstoom [Zâv Mōr-is-tüm]
The Land of Lost Souls; a limbo near the Valley Dor.
Nations and City-States
While some nations can only boast one city, others have a main capital with other minor cities. Helium is referred to as an empire since it controls dozens of cities, including the major metropolises of Hastor and Zodanga. However, the Barsoomian word angtos [aŋ-tōs] more accurately translates to “city alliance”.
Most Barsoomian cities follow an established pattern. Each is strongly walled, with a main gate and several lesser ones. From these gates, streets lead to a central square in the heart of which is located a great temple. The jeddak’s palace, lesser palaces, the embassies and public buildings such as museums and libraries surround the great plaza. Shops and stores occupy certain districts stretching away from the square, while other districts are strictly residential. One street runs completely around the city just inside the walls and it is here that the public inns for tradesmen and travelers are found.
The skylines of Barsoomian cities are marked by towers, domes and minarets. But in recent ages, buildings have been converted to accommodating the flat landing stages of an aerial world, both private and public. Private residences are raised high upon slender metal columns at nighttime as a preventative measure against assassination. They drop gently in the morning.
Amhor [Am-ōr] (Phundahl)
Jed: Dur Ajmad
A red city-state whose chief business is the raising of thoats and zitidars as mounts and livestock. Amhor exports preserved meats, hides and other by-products to other red nations. It has a renowned zoological garden, which at one time placed humans on exhibition.
Belphor [Bel-fōr] (Toonol)
Jed: Thul Gavrin (giant)
A red city-state whose main rival is Sarakaas. It is known for its many spires.
Djol [Ĵōl] (Toonol)
A red city-state that is secretly run by a cabal of Orovar scientists who call themselves the Mad Testers.
Jeddak: Kor San
A red city-state in the hills of Artol.
Jeddak: Nutus, Padjed: Astok
A red city-state noted for its fine honey.
Jed: Gahan, Jeda: Tara, Padjeda: Llana
Notables: Kor-An, Gan Hor
A red city-state built upon a mountain known for its diamond mines. Proud of its free city status. Thought to be the oldest inhabited city on Barsoom. Surrounded by a great salt marsh, Gathol was formerly an island in the Throxus Ocean. Great herds of thoats and zitidars are raised on the fertile plain beyond the marsh. The warrior-herdsmen or amthan [am-ŧan] of Gathol are like the desert nomads of Jasoom, roaming the countryside seeking water and grazing moss for the animals in their care. They are very proficient in roping.
Gosaj [Gōs-aĵ] (Dusar)
A red city-state.
Hastor [As-tōr] (Helium)
Jed: Soran Olvis, Jeda: Marthia, Padjeda: Olvia Marthis, Padjed: Djor Kantos (of Helium)
A red city-state known for its flier-building.
Jeddak: Tardos Mors, Jeddara: Tharia (deceased)
A red city-state consisting of two immense circular walled cities, connected by a pneumatic tunnel. Helium features multiple domes, towers and lofty landing platforms for airships. The greatest power on Mars, Helium controls a vast empire of land and other vassal nations. Also known as the Twin Cities or Koang [Kō-aŋ]. Greater Helium has a scarlet tower called Aysis Zor [É-sis Zōr] and Lesser Helium or Padang [Pad-aŋ], a bright yellow one called Illis Zor [Il-is Zōr]. Notable locations in Greater Helium:
• Aisle of Hope or Padin Val [Pad-in Val], a broad aisle up the center of the great hall in the Temple of Reward leading to the Throne of Righteousness.
• Avenue of Ancestors or Kis In [Kis In], a main thoroughfare that runs for 14 haads from the Gate of Jeddaks to the Temple of Reward.
• Gate of Jeddaks or Jeddak Mas [Ĵed-ak Mas], the main entrance which opens onto the Avenue of Ancestors, leading to the Temple of Reward.
• Pedestal of Truth or Ur Padzor [Ür Pad-zōr]. Within the courtroom of Helium.
• Temple of Knowledge or Toon Shang [Tün Šaŋ] that serves as a library and museum
• Temple of Reward or Gos Shang [Gōs Šaŋ]. In Helium.
• Throne of Righteousness or Djor Ahk [Ĵōr Âk]. In the court-room of Helium
• John Carter’s marble palace is on the outskirts of Helium near the Gate of Jeddaks
Counting the troops from its subject cities, Helium can field the following armed forces:
Twenty units (20 umaks)
• Hastor: 7th, 8th
• Kobol: 9th
• Zor: 19th
• Zodanga: 27th, 28th, 37th, 38th
• Tjanath: 29th
• Padang: 17th, 18th, 67th, 68th, 69th
• Helium: 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 75th, 76th, 77th
Note that Helium relies on its Thark allies to supply the bulk of its land forces during warfare.
Six battle fleets (30 umaks), commanded by Kantos Kan, jedwar:
• First Ray (Red): Hastor, Kobol; 1st – 6th Umaks
• Second Ray (Orange): Padang, Zor; 11th – 16th Umaks
• Third Ray (Yellow): Zodanga, Tjanath; 21st – 26th Umaks
• Fifth Ray (Blue): Zodanga, 31st – 36th Umaks
• Sixth Ray (Indigo): Helium, 51st – 56th Umaks
• Eighth Ray: Helium, 81st – 86th Umaks
Two dreadnought fleets (10 umaks):
• Seventh Ray (Violet): Padang, 61st – 66th Umaks
• Ninth Ray: Helium, 91st – 96th Umaks
The 91st Umak is commanded by Tor Hatan; its senior teedwar (of the 11th Udar) is Sil Vagis.
Hor [Ōr] (Tjanath)
Jed: ???, Padjed: Tantos
A red city-state in the mouth of extinct volcano surrounded by spider-infested forests. The small, walled city is on the banks of the Syl. Formerly known as Ghasta [Gas-tâ] when it was ruled by Ghron, a cruel jed, who mutilated slaves and forced them to perform the Dance of Cripples.
Jeddak: Ptantus, Padjed: Pnoxus
A red city-state in the Forest of Lost Men.
Jahar [Ĵâ-âr] (Helium)
A red city-state west of Torquas. Tradition dictates that its elite guard be comprised of eunuchs and women. Its southern province, U-Gor [Ü Gōr], once a thriving agricultural region, is denuded and overpopulated due to the policies of its former jeddak, Tul Axtar the “Old Zitidar”. Its inhabitants have resorted to cannibalism.
Jangor [Ĵan-gōr] (Toonol)
A red city-state.
Jeddak: Kulan Tith
A red city-state near equator; heavily forested.
Karro [Kâr-rō] (???)
A red city-state.
Kobol [Kō-bōl] (Helium)
A red city-state.
Manataj [Man-â-taĵ] (Manator)
A red city-state.
A red city-state nation where jetan is played with living pieces. Every ten years, the city holds a great competition inviting players from all nearby cities. Its main entrance is the Gate of Enemies or Gel Mas [Gel Mas], where the mummified corpses of notable enemies are displayed to honor them. The street that circles the walls is called the Avenue of Gates or Mas In [Mas In].
Manatos [Man-â-tōs] (Manator)
Jed: U-Thor, Jeda: Haja
A red city-state.
Maran [Mâ-ran] (Helium)
A red city-state centered around a mining facility.
A city in the Forest of Lost Men.
Padang [Pad-aŋ] (Helium)
Jed: Mors Kajak, Jeda: Tara (deceased), Padjeda: Dejah Thoris
A red city-state better known as Lesser Helium.
The capital of the empire Panar [Pan-âr]; a domed city. After the fall of Hin Abtol, one million frozen men were released and migrated south.
Jeddak: Dar Tarus, Jeddara: Kara Vasa
A red city-state on the edge of the Toonolian Marshes. Its jedwar, Gor Hajus, was a famous Toonolian assassin.
Jeddak: Thuvan Dihn, Jeddara: Sovia, Padjed: Sovan, Padjeda: Thuvia
A red city-state known for its fine wines. burnished domes and graceful minarets, down into court and park and garden ; the gold-shot scarlet dome of the jeddak’s palace. the massive marble pile that housed the ruler of Ptarth and his glittering court The Palace of Peace, in which houses the embassies of foreign powers, rises spire-like toward the heavens, its outer walls elaborately wrought with delicate carvings and intricate mosaics.
Raxar [Rax-âr] (Toonol)
A small red city-state subject to Toonol. Its name, which means “Cave Jewel”, refers to the mining facilities in the surrounding hills that supply precious gems. Raxar is well-known for its museums and Academy of Science. It was sacked by Hin Abtol two years ago and is still rebuilding.
Noble 80K*; Warrior 40K; Merchant 20K; Worker 35K; Farmer 50K; Slave 25K
- Note that half of the nobility are part of the military
Ruling Family: House of Nar
Jed: Daris Nar, Jeda: Vobia (of Toonol; sister of Vobis Kan, jeddak of Toonol), Padjed: Nar Vobis (deceased), Padjed: Nar Rilan (deceased), Padjeda: Daria, Padjeda: Phainara (missing), Padjeda: Teeza
Jedwar: Barad Mors (cousin of Tardos Mors)
One half battle fleet and two infantry units:
1st “Iridescent [Seenar]”; Odwar: Tas Tanbur
2nd “Diamond [Gath]”; Odwar: Polzar Ves
3rd “Bloodstone [Palthon]”; Odwar: Thurkel Nal
5th “Emerald [Taj]”; Odwar: Emana Zia
6th “Ruby [Lay]”; Odwar: Kel Rekiv
7th “Lion [Banth]”; Odwar: Gar Nesul
8th “Dog [Calot]”; Odwar: Darang Nozar
9th “Rat [Ulsio]”; Odwar: Djoral Pel
Sarakaas [Sa-rak-â-as] (Toonol)
Jed: Baral Tavas
A red city-state.
Tjanath [Ĵan-iŧ] (Helium)
Jed: Haj Osis
A red city-state in the southwest. Infamous for its assassins and kidnappers. The pits of Tjanath are gloomy, but they are not enveloped in impenetrable darkness as are the pits beneath most Barsoomian cities. Its most infamous method of execution was simply known as the Death or Gor [Gōr], where victims were lowered into an abyss and never heard of again.
Jeddak: Vobis Kan, Padjed: Mu Tel
Notables: Bal Zak, Ras Thavas, Gor Hajus
Population: 3.3 million
A red city-state famous for its very scientific and rational citizenry and atheism. Toonolians believe that all good deeds are for selfish reasons. The skyline of Toonol features lofty towers, domes and minarets, all plated with precious metals and gems. Its broad well-lighted avenues have special lamps that cast no shadows. Though the nobility tires of Vobis Kan’s tyranny (Mu Tel has been secretly plotting his downfall, but things have changed somewhat since Telis Kan’s return from captivity in Pankor), they support him to preserve their aristocratic traditions. Toonolian script is very efficient, compressing many symbols into complicated ideograms to express words and ideas. Toonol is not a flying nation, and has only a modest navy (2 battle fleets) when compared to Ptarth and Helium.
Zodanga [Zōd-aŋ-â] (Helium)
Jed: Ur Jan
A red city-state; the traditional enemy of Helium, but now a vassal state. The personal protectors of the jeddak are simply known as The Guard or O Kadar [Ō Ka-dâr]. The walls of Zodanga are 75 ft. high and 50 ft. thick, built of enormous blocks of forthur. The throne is gold encrusted with diamonds. Infantry is close to a million men. Navy is multiple fleets of 100 or so ships. The Avenue of the Green Thoat or Toris Thoat In [Tōr-is-ŧōt In] is infamous street for its murders. The Avenue of Warriors or Than In [Ŧan In] has popular restaurants.
Zor [Zōr] (Helium)
A red city-state; part of Heliumatic Empire.
Jeddak: Xodar, Dators: Torith
Notables: Issus (deceased), Zithad (deceased), Thabis, Yersted
Dators: Xaxak, Nolat
Notables: Myr-lo (deceased), Ban-Tor, Nastor (deceased), Van-tija, Ptang, Man-lat
Population: 200,000 (195,000 black men; 5,000 red men slaves)
A black city-state in a great rift valley. It is known for its elaborately carved white walls. The Great Plaza or Aaas [Â-as] is situated in front of the jeddak’s palace. The Kamtolians still follow the Rites of Issus where sins can be washed away by killing captives. This has evolved into an annual gladiatorial game or Dal [Dal]. Additional lesser games or Padal [Pad-dal] are staged for pure entertainment. The games are preceded by pageants featuring a parade of slaves, thoats, trumpeters, banners and pennons. Its jeddak once had access to a psionic device called a nerve index machine, which cataloged every individual’s brain makeup via a lengthy examination to map pain and pleasure stimuli. Doxus would use the machine to torture, paralyze or kill (by stroke) criminals and fugitives. John Carter destroyed the machine, claiming that it would be impossible to fix. Myr-lo, the dead scientist once tasked to maintain the machine, did not design it. The whereabouts of its designer, a female thern morvar named Zallia, are unknown. The military is comprised of 65,000 warriors, with four raiding fleets and two infantry umaks. There are no workers; all manual labor is performed by red men slaves.
A yellow city-state of Okar. Domed and the most remote from the capital of Kadabra.
A yellow city-state and capital of Okar; a domed city at the north pole. It is also called the “Great Power” or Aahis [Â-is]. The Garden of Jeddaks or Jeddak Day [Ĵed-ak Dé] is an enclosed area of trees, shrubbery and flowers within the palace of the jeddak.
Okar [Ō Kâr]
Nation of the yellow men. One of its principalities is Marentina [Mâ-en-tē-nâ], a self-supporting region isolated by mountain ranges.
Notables: Matai Shang (deceased), Phaidor (deceased), Sator Throg (deceased)
Ribbon-like domain, millions of warriors, Golden Temple
A walled city; home of Lotharians, named after the dead city that once stood on the shores of Throxus.
Jeddak: Tars Tarkas
The Thark tribe rules an enormous tract of arid and semi-arid land bounded on the east and west by two large fertile tracts. Their territory lies well to the southeast of Helium. Its population is around 100,000 divided into 25 communities each of them ruled by a chief or jed [ĵed], five of which dwell in the dead city of Thark; the remainder are scattered among the other deserted cities within their domain, such as Korad.
The Thurd tribe is unique in that its name does not come from a dead city – it means “White Champions” – commemorating their ancient victory over the white men millennia ago. Their territory spreads over the eastern hemisphere south of Helium near the southern polar regions. They number around 60,000. They are the hereditary enemies of the Torquasians.
Jeddak: Hortan Gur
The 55,000 green men of the Torquas hordes control a vast area in the southern hemisphere stretching from Xanator and Torquas in the north to Aaanthor and the Thurds in the south.
Jeddak: Gar Kofan (North), Dak Kova (South), Jed: Kab Kadja (South)
Hereditary enemies of the Tharks, the Warhoons are divided into two hordes: the Warhoons of the North or Du Warhoon [Dü-wr-ün] and the Warhoons of the South or So Warhoon [Sō-wr-ün]. The Warhoons wear skulls and dried hands as decorations. The South has 20,000 men (ten thousand warriors) in their horde. The North has over 40,000 men.
“In three days we were on the march toward Zodanga, one hundred thousand strong, as Tars Tarkas had been able to enlist the services of three smaller hordes on the promise of the great loot of Zodanga.” PM/24
The larger hordes often recruit “wild allies” to swell their ranks when embarking on military campaigns or hunting expeditions. There are hundreds of these minor hordes, such as the Zarquad [Zâr-kwd] near Toonol, representing around 95% of the population of green men.
An ancient seaport now inhabited by green men and white apes. The great street that stretches from the former waterfront to the central square is still known as the Avenue of the Quays or Ptomin [Ţâm In] which is lined by glistening domes, empty palaces and monoliths.
The “Greenwich” of Mars, located at the intersection of the prime meridian and equator or polodona [pō-lō-dō-nâ]. It is marked by a single building containing basic scientific equipment.
Ancient capital city of the Orovars of a million years ago. It was the seat of learning and culture. The Avenue of Jeddaks or Jeddak In [Ĵed-ak In] is a broad street that runs from the jeddak’s palace to the waterfront, where it crosses the Avenue of Quays or Ptomin [Ţâm In], which runs along the waterfront connecting the wharves.
An ancient, isolated fortress used by Phor Tak as a laboratory.
An ancient dead seaport. It had been built upon a beautiful, natural harbor, landlocked by magnificent hills. The little valley on the west front of the city is all that remains of the harbor, while the pass through the hills to the old sea bottom had been the channel which the shipping passed to the city’s gates.
An ancient dead seaport.
A great seaport of ancient Barsoom.
An ancient city on island on the northern edge of the Toonolian Marshes. It was totally destroyed by firebombs (radium bombs?) from the Heliumatic fleet.
The very last of the port cities abandoned when the seas disappeared.
A dead city knoted for its azure spiral towers and ivory domes; great port on the Southern Ocean
An ancient seaport. Large plaza and monumental buildings. Has an arena.
An ancient seaport; one of the most magnificent and powerful of ancient Barsoom. Though it has been deserted for ages by all but roaming tribes of green men, it is still marked upon every map.
An ancient seaport.
An ancient seaport.
Other dead cities:
Zarquad [Zâr-kwd] “Fish Inlet”
Polistor [Pō-lis-tōr] “Final Imaginary Perfection”
Kalvor [Kal-vōr] “Infinite Beasts”
Padzok [Pad-zâk] “Small Volcano”
Orim [Ōr-im] “Newly Captured”
Kaday [Ka-dé] “Defending Gardens”
Kiptang [Kē-ţaŋ] “Battlements”
Modjel [Mō-ĵel] “Scavenger Bird”
Nosaar [Nō-zâr] “Smart Fish”