During the Hyborian Age, the Black Monoliths of Xuthltan were two antique ebon pillars tied to a religious tradition tracing back at least to the Lemurians, and set near Xuthltan, a village in Hyrkania and the setting of .
During the Age of Conan, Justin the Blind Hermit lived in a house next to the Monoliths, while his daughter lived in the village. The Black Monoliths were visited by a party of Hyrkanians from Makkalet, composed of Conan the Cimmerian, Yaar Ali and Akhaan, and led by Khurusan who had secret orders to solicit the help of ancient foul deities, in order to save the city, besieged by the Turanians. Khurusan slew Justin and his own men to suppress any witness, and sacrificed Justin's daughter, causing the summoning of a "toad-thing" that tried to kill Conan. It finally slaughtered Khurusan before vanishing.
19th and 20th centuries
The locals were afraid of the Black Stone, with rumors mentioning people losing their minds when approaching it on mid-summer night, witnessing obscene visions. The German eccentric Von Junzt described the Stone, stated to be an object of worship of an ancient fertility cult, in his "Black Book", also known as Unausprechlichen Kulten ("Nameless Cults").
Ten years later, Mr. Costigan, following Geoffrey's footsteps and having read of the Stone in Von Junzt's Black Book, came to Stregoicavar. Though warned by a local carriage-driver about it, he did visit the Stone, and witnessed horrific visions. Despite being proven that his visions held some truth when he found a medallion in the grass, he did not fell into madness himself, though he fled the place screaming in terror.
Points of Interest
- The Black Stone near Stregoicavar was created in the story "The Black Stone" (November, 1931) by Robert E. Howard, which inspired "The Monster of the Monoliths!" (Conan the Barbarian #21, December, 1972), in which the Black Stone is known as the Black Monoliths of Xuthltan. That story was also adapted in Savage Sword of Conan #74 (March, 1982).