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The city of Aghrapur was visited by Conan in time to see the delivery of the statue of Tarim from Prince Yezdigerd. After mocking the procession, the Cimmerian was quickly overwhelmed by the religious zealots of the city. Rescued by a stranger named Ormraxes, they were then both chased by the guards, who managed to knock Conan unconscious. The Cimmerian was soon revived by a masked man, who informed him where Ormraxes was being held.

Conan, determined to repay his debt to Ormraxes, snuck into the dungeon and freed him, only to discover that Ormraxes (an archaic Turanian term for "ghost") was just a spiritual projection Eithriall was using as a spy. The man and spirit used a crystal to reunite themselves, but a startled Conan interrupted the ceremony with his sword and Eithriall/Ormraxes perished in flames. The Turanian guards appeared at that point and revealed they knew what has happened. They offered Conan a choice - enlistment in the Turanian army, or imprisonment. Conan opted for enlistment.[2]

Returning to the capital from his service in the Turanian army, Conan was asked by garrison commander Narim-Bey to go to the western Khitai city of Wan Tengri and find out what was going on there since a coterie of wizards took it over.[3]

Back from Khitai, Conan's sense of duty impressed King Yildiz, who made the Cimmerian part of his personal guard. After spending some time to relax and to train his horsemanship and archery skills, Conan rescued King Yildiz from the attack of a living statue sent to his court as a war bounty by Prince Yezdigerd, eventually killing the Hyrkanian eunuch priest who was secretly controlling it. The king, shaken, realized that he had been set up by his son, and Narim-Bey (possibly acting upon his suspicions) took the opportunity of the king's newfound decision to become a recluse in his castle to send Conan on a mission to the north.[4]

When the Cimmerian returned, a party was held by Narim-Bey in his honor for rescuing Princess Yolinda, but Conan swiftly turned the crowd against him with his barbarian manners. Strange voices and shadows stalked him on the way home, and he nearly attacked Amytis, who had made her way to his quarters. She revealed that Lilitu, a were-woman, had marked Conan as her own and was behind the supernatural attacks. The only one who could lift the curse was the high priest Gimil-Ishbi, who was dwelling in the Mound of the Moon west of the city. After being taught by the high priest, Conan followed his instructions of the priest and he managed to capture Ardat Lili, the inhuman mate of Lilitu. In return for sparing Ardat Lili's life, Conan made Lilitu lift her curse and let the wolfman go, but the two creatures quickly turned and attacked him anew. As Conan was running away, he came across the source of his troubles, Narim-Bey, who had known for some time of his wife's betrayal. Conan easily beat the lacking swordsman, and left him for the were-creatures while stealing Narim-Bey's horse. Conan eventually decided he had enough of Aghrapur and rode west towards Hyrkania.[5]

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