“The Ballad of Belit!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema
The Tigress is raiding a Stygian ship. Belit seems to have a special hatred of Stygians. Conan after the battle asks old N’yaga about that so he tells Belit’s story. She was the daughter of the king of Asgalun. Until her uncle Nim-Karrak conspired with Stygians to overthrow her father. In a bloody palace coup her father is killed and N’yaga who was Belit’s tutor manages to escape with her. On her father’s ship The Tigress they escape to N’yaga’s home of the Southern Islands. He convinces his tribesmen that Belit is the daughter of Derkata the Goddess of Death. So Belit grows to womanhood learning to fight and hunt.
On the day that warriors are inducted Belit demands to be one. The chief Uzumi sets a task to recover the Eye of Dagon a silver eye from their statue. It was stolen by the Mound Dwellers a race of worm people. So Belit accepts and manages to take the eye. She comes back during an eclipse and Uzumi blames her for the eclipse but Belit manages to capture him. The Mound Dwellers tunnel to the village and Belit pours liquid silver down the chief’s throat. This attracts the Mound Dwellers who take the chief. N’yaga then gets the people to acknowledge Belit as the daughter of Derkata and made chief of the tribe. She then embarks on piracy which is where Conan found her.
So the origin of Belit was very vague in the story by Howard. So Roy took what little their was and crafted a very engaging origin. I am reading the new origin that Marvel just put out and it doesn’t hold a candle to Roy’s version. Explains clearly how a white woman became the leader of a black pirate crew and viewed as a goddess. Definitely a classic.