Hanuman, the Lord of the Black Throne
One “civilized” animal cult was that of Hanuman the ape-god, worshipped in the Turanian city of Zamboula, who was actually an aspect of the god Erlik worshipped by the Turanians. Hanuman’s priests were feared rather than loved, but worship of the ape-god was still supreme in Zamboula (much to the chagrin of the rival priests of Set and Erlik. Erlik’s priests in particular are aghast at the heresy of Hanuman’s worshipers, who do not recognize that their god is just one of Erlik’s many aspects).
Hanuman’s temple stands alone in the midst of a broad, marble-paved square in Zamboula, surrounded by a marble wall. The great bronze doors of the temple have stood open for centuries. In the day men and women come timidly into the shrine and place offerings to the ape-god on the black altar, but at night the people shun the temple of Hanuman as hares shun the lair of a serpent.
Hanuman worship was thought to have come from Vendhya. The dark ape-god is probably worshiped in Kosala and other remote parts of the East as well.
Hanuman is not known to manifest, but his idol is regularly appeased with human sacrifice. Although the statue of the ape-god is made from black marble, those who touch it quickly recoil from it, for the stone has the cold and sleek feel of a reptile.
Hanuman has few, but powerful priests, who practice human sacrifice. One unusual ritual of the cult is the Dance of the Cobras, in which a young girl is made to dance between four live cobras, dodging their venomous fangs until, inevitably, she tires and falls to her death.
The most famed high priest of Hanuman in Zamboula was Totrasmek, who was reputedly a mongrel—probably part Hyborian and part Shemite. He played a very active part in the politics of Zamboula, having spun his slimy webs of power throughout the city for years.