“A Sword Called Stormbringer!”
Writers: Roy Thomas, Michael Moorcock and James Cawthorn
Artist: Barry Smith
Conan comes on some cloaked riders chasing down a woman. He decides to intervene and finds that the riders are not human. They are faceless, ride beaked horses and bleed black. One the the riders swords just touches Conan and knocks him out. Giant white eagles come and chase the riders away. He wakes up and finds that the woman is Zephra and Zukala was the one who saved them. So he takes Zephra to her father Zukala who is now a broken old man. Still he has some powers and recruits Conan to help him defeat Xiomberg.
So he tells the story of Empress Terhali a green-skinned woman who was defeated and sealed in a tomb. Then the whole city that was her capital was transported from Melniborne to Hyborea and put under a lake. The towers are gold so Conan agrees to help for the gold. Along the way an albino warrior comes through a portal. It is Elric of Melniborne a sorcerer-king. With his magical blade Stormbringer the two fight but later come to the realization they are not the enemy. Then the portal opens and Prince Gaynor the Damned leads an army of demons. The two fight and it is Zephra who calls on her father to bring a rain storm to drive off the demons. Then Elric and Conan agree to continue on the quest.
So this issue is a crossover with Michael Moorcock’s hero Elric. Kind of a fascinating idea. I never read any Elric but it does sound interesting. A somewhat convoluted plot and I am must have missed why Conan needs to go to the sunken city. But the fate of the world depends on it. Also this is the first introduction of Kulan Gath. He is mentioned but so far I have no idea what his part is in the story. I know Gath goes on to be a famous villain that takes on the modern superheroes. Not to mention the bane of Red Sonja. Also Thomas brings back Zephra and her father Zukala. I admit this doesn’t feel like a normal Conan story but I still find it interesting.