“Trial By Combat!”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “The Valley of Iskander” by Robert E. Howard
Artists: Howard Chaykin & Ernie Chan

Conan is in Attalus to deliver the Eye of Set to it’s king Ptolemy. First Conan takes up the offer of an evening dinner and rest at Bardylis’s fathers house. He hides the gem before going to sleep. This proves to be a good idea for a Stygian merchant hired some thugs and kidnapped Conan while he slept. The merchant Ablah is hired by Hun-ya-di to steal the Eye of Set. Conan manages to break free of his bonds and kill the thugs but Ablah escapes. Later Conan goes back to Bardylis and finds that they were drugged by wine from Ablah. Just then soldiers for the king command Conan to appear before Ptolemy. When he arrives he finds that Ablah has told lies that Conan tried to murder him. In the accusations Conan manages to insult Ptolemy who gets angry and attacks Conan. Conan manages to give him a good beating. A soldier than arrives with news that Stygians are attacking the valley. Since Conan defeated Ptolemy that makes him the king.

I am enjoying this Howard story of a lost valley of misplaced Greeks from Alexander the Great’s army. Roy manages to adapt it quite well into a Conan story. A cast of colorful characters and plenty of action. Conan manages to beat up a whole bunch of people including the arrogant king. Now Conan is the reluctant ruler of this city under attack. Looks like an exciting conclusion to this adaptation next issue.

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