“The Queen and the Corsairs!”
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artists: John Buscema & Ernie Chan
Conan and Zula are reunited with Belit after saving her from the Devourer of the Dead. Belit tells the story of how she was captured while guiding them through a secret passage to the palace. How after being turned to snakes they were inside the palace. Neftha guides Belit to the chambers of the Stygian king Ctesphon II. Only they find out its a trap. The king with his wizard advisor Hath-Horeb are waiting with guards. We find out that Neftha is the sister of the king and the true heir. Belit tries to fight her way out and takes the king as hostage. Only the king is revealed to be Hath-Horeb using his sorcery to impersonate the king. He knocks Belit out and that is how she wound up floating in a sarcophagus.
So they reach the palace and Belit finds her old clothes and sword. They come on the main chamber and Neftha is about to be executed. The three attack and Belit corners the king on a balcony. She finds out from him that he killed her father so she kicks him off the balcony to his death. Now Neftha with the help of Hath-Horeb is made the new king. Her first order is to command that Conan and Zula be imprisoned while Belit is killed. Belit manages to kill Hath-Horeb and thanks to Zula’s wizard skills are able to escape.
Well finally the conclusion to the Stygian quest. It took a lot of twists and turns along the way. Now the stories told were excellent but finally good to reach a conclusion. What a conclusion. Belit finds out her father’s fate. The weak and cowardly Ctesphon II is killed while begging for his life. Neftha the mysterious slave girl how is king. Apparently the Stygians were ahead of their time. Only men can be kings and a woman can become a man by just saying so. There was always something about Neftha and Roy didn’t let us down. Zula is shown to have some skills as a wizard from his days as a slave to one. A really exciting issue that I enjoyed greatly. Now they have to escape Stygia.