“On To Yimsha”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “The People of the Black Circle” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala
Conan has the Devi Yasmina his prisoner in the village of his friend Yar Afzal. Khemsa the mystic hypnotizes one of Afzal’s men to deliver a black pearl to him. The pearl turns into a spider that kills Yar Afzal instantly. A mysterious voice then urges the tribesmen to kill the outlander. Now Conan has to fight his way out of the village with Yasmina. Fortunately Khemsa conjures a dragon to stop any pursuit.
Conan and Yasmina continue on to Afgulistan and pass the sinister mount Yimsa the home of the Black Seers. Here Conan is confronted by Khemsa and his lover Gitana. Khemsa uses his magic to subdue Conan. Before he can do anything a whirlwind comes from the mountain and four of the Black Seers are there. They use their hypnotism to make Gitana jump off a cliff then create a fissure that has Khemsa join her. They then fly away in the whirling wind with Yasmina captive.
“Of Buccaneers and Barachan Pirates”
By Fred Blosser
A review of “Black Vulmea’s Vengeance”. Three stories about a pirate in the seventeenth century. The first story was originally a Conan called “The Black Stranger” that was rejected so Howard wrote it as a pirate story.
“The Hyborian Age Chapter 6 The Darkness…and the Dawn”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from essay by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Walt Simonson
As the Picts conquer Aquilonia they basically slaughter everyone. The Hyrkanians and Turanians join forces and start to conquer from the east. Nemedia hires Aesir mercenaries to save them. Soon glaciers drive the northern Vanir and Aesir south. This also drives the Cimmerians and they eventually settle around Turan. Another cataclysm strikes the world and forms in into what we know today.
“Curse of the Black Stone”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “Worms of the Earth” by Robert E. Howard
Artist: Tim Conrad
Bran Mak Morn goes to the werewoman witch Atla. He seeks the location of the Black Stone of the ancient race that lives underground. He gets it and goes and steals the stone then throws it in a lake. He then has Atla take him to the sub-human race and demand that they bring him the Roman Governor Titus Sulla who is in the Tower of Trajan. They agree and so Brak goes and retrieves the stone after a brush with what might be the Lock Ness Monster. On the way to the meeting he comes on the ruins of the Tower of Trajan. A Roman survivor tells how it collapsed. Later he delivers the stone and is given Titus. Only the Roman governor has been driven insane and Bran puts him out of his misery. He leaves wishing he listened to his shaman not to make a deal with the Worms of the Earth.
Well this was another excellent issue. We first get another installment of “The People of the Black Circle.” This novella has a lot of eastern mysticism and hypnotism. Conan seems immune and it is stated because his culture has no tradition of hypnotism so he was never conditioned to accept it like the Vendyans. This adventure in the India of Conan’s time is well done with its fierce tribesman and mysterious wizards.
The book review was OK. The final installment of the Hyborian age was excellent. Howard gave a very detailed history of the rise and fall of his pseudo-history. A very plausible yarn.
Finally we get the conclusion to “Worms of the Earth”. This was a story about the Picts which Howard had an obsession with. A very dark and creepy tale of this mysterious race that was once human but degenerated into an underground dwelling serpent people. A very poignant ending with Bran not getting the justice he wanted against Titus Sulla. A lesson in dealing with forces that he didn’t understand.