Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from story by L. Sprague deCamp & Lin Carter
Artist: Ernie Chan
At the edge of the Red Waste the Turanians waits in ambush for the Zuagirs. A traitor has sold them out. The traitor Vardanes leads his fellow Zuagirs into the canyon and the Turanians spring the trap. Only Conan manages to rally his men and defeat the Turanians. The commander is captured but let go by Conan because he was a comrade during his days as a mercenary for Turan. So Conan with his Zuagirs goes after the traitor into the Red Waste. Yet his Zuagirs are superstitious of this desert and desert Conan. Conan finds himself left with two goatskins of water in the morning. So he heads out alone in the direction the traitor Vardanes went.
Vardanes comes on a small walled city and is taken captive. He is fed well than lead to a building and locked in. Inside are statues and in the center is a mummified woman with a mask of gold and a black sapphire. He takes off the gold mask and the woman opens her third eye in her head and he starts to scream.
Conan collapses and wakes to find himself rescued by Enosh. Enosh is from Akhlat the Cursed. He explains that the city overthrew its king by the urging of a sorcerer. This sorcerer than took over and summoned a demon. This demon a beautiful woman enforced his rule. Eventually she killed the sorcerer and took over. The woman drains the life force from living things so the city has been dying. Enosh had a prophecy that Conan would free them. Also Conan is trapped because of mystical barriers so agrees to help. He enters the temple and kills the demon woman who can turn people to stone.
“A Gazetteer of the Hyborian World of Conan Part IV”
By Lee Falconer
A glossary of place names in Conan and Kull’s world. This entry covers I to K.
“The Poems of Robert E. Howard”
Writer: Robert E. Howard
Artists: John Buscema and Michael Moyle
Three poems of Howard’s with illustrations to go with them. They were “The Singer in the Myst”, “A Song of the Race” and “The Ghost Kings”.
Well the main story was another adaptation of deCamp and Carter. An OK story but nothing that really stood out. Lifted from the Medusa mythology. Yet the Ernie Chan art did bring it up to an enjoyable story. Otherwise another entry of the gazetteer which is interesting and informative. I’m not really into poems so the third feature didn’t really do much for me. A sort of ho-hum issue.