SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #48

“A Wind Blows from Stygia”
Writer: Roy Thomas adapted from “The Treasure of Tranicos” by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague De Camp
Artists: John Buscema & Klaus Janson

Conan leads the pirates Zarono and Strombanni to the cave where the treasure of Tranicos is stored. They arrive and Conan convinces the two pirates to accompany him with only one of their men. He tries to lock them in but they are too quick and escape. Only now the Picts have found them and attack. So once again Conan forms an alliance with the two pirates and they manage to drive them off.

Meanwhile back at the fort Count Valenso tells his niece Belesa the story behind his exile. Years ago he hired an exiled Stygian wizard Thoth-Amon to kill a rival with sorcery. Then he betrayed him. Thoth-Amon made it back to Stygia and regained his power. So he now seeks revenge on Valenso. Later the pirates come back with a horde of Picts chasing them. They manage to fight them off after getting into the fort.

Sometime later one of Strombanni’s men is found killed and Strombanni blames Zarono. The two start to fight and their men join in. Only they abandoned the wall and the Picts are now over it. Soon the Picts manage to slaughter all the men of both parties. Conan escapes to the main castle and finds that Thoth-Amon has freed the demon that was captive at the treasure. It killed Valenso and now threatens Lady Belasa her ward Tina and Conan. Conan manages to kill it with a silver candelabra and fire. He escapes with the two girls. Later the next morning a ship comes. Only it is his old friends from Aquilonia the counts Prospero and Trocero. They used a wizard to locate where Conan was. They ask him to lead their army of revolt. Conan also has the treasure of Tranicos now that the demon is dead. After giving the Lady Belasa some jewels he comments how King Conan sounds.

“The Barbarian in Babylon Conan’s Greatest Challenge”
Bu Kenneth Turan

A reprint of an article that appeared in the “New West” magazine. It had a very good telling of the background of Robert E. Howard. How the Conan stories became popular. Also the movie that was in production. Some interesting tidbits are that Milnius envisioned Raquel Welch in the romantic lead and Sean Connery as the main villain. Also Lou Ferrigno was to be the villain’s henchman. Some interesting casting choices to envision how the movie could have been different. Of course Schwartzenegger was always planned for the title role.

So the final installment of “The Treasure of Tranicos” comes to an end and what an end. This was an incredible story filled with plenty of action. There was treacherous double dealing with the various parties and alliances reformed after the double dealing failed. The big fight scenes are drawn on an epic scale. DeCamp did alter this story to have Thoth-Amon as the wizard and at the end have the Aquilonians find Conan. It was meant to tie in to DeCamp’s novel of how Conan became king. The ending was a bit too convenient but still plausible. Also made sense on how Conan managed to get all this gold to buy a mercenary army to overthrow the king of Aquilonia. This was definitely one of the better of the Savage Sword adaptations.

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