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Appearing in "The Blood of Bel-Hissar!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Suwaan (First and only known appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

  • Aspers (Mentioned)
  • Blood of Bel-Hissar (First appearance)

Events:

Synopsis for "The Blood of Bel-Hissar!"

On his journey away from Makkalet Conan crossed the Zaporoska river southeast of the Vilayet sea. He comes across a khitai woman that is being attacked by a khitai man. Conan leaps to her rescue, but the battle is interrupted by Yezdigerd's men, who after the tarim war now try to conquer all of Hyrkania. Conan grabs the girl and escapes on his horse, with the desert man riding behind him. They come across the fortress Bab-El-Shaithan, and a gate opens to let them in, slamming shut on the Turanian riders. A horde of armed men greet Conan, who wisely decides surrender is the best option. Conan, the mute khitai Turghol and the khitai woman Suwaan, who says she is Turghol's slave, are taken to a feast hall where they discover all the men here are outcasts and bandits under the rule of the outlaw Skol Abdhur, who turned this fortress in a haven for bandits. They are divided in two factions, the hyrkanian bandits under Khai Shaah and the non-hyrkanian under Kadhra Mahmed. The mere fact a woman is in the area ignites passions, and a fight breaks out that is fatally ended by Abdhur, who tolerates no disrespect. Abdhur is friendly with Conan and explains he keeps the men in check with a ruby, the Blood of Bel-Hissar. Should another man slay him and take it, that man would become a target, so the outlaws are content to let Abdhur play them against each other. That night, Conan hopes to spend the evening with Suwaan, but she drugs him, and when he awakens, he finds Abdhur and his men dead and the ruby missing. Conan leads a group of outlaws deep into the fortress, where they find the girl; to Conan's surprise, she fingers him as the thief. Conan fights his way through the crowd, and is pulled through a secret passage by Turgohl. The mute leads Conan outside the fortress and they make their escape. Conan is confused until Turghol pulls the Blood of Bel-Hissar from his pocket. Conan realizes that Suwaan, who turns out to be Turghols wife, had intended to betray them both, but Turghol had managed to snatch the ruby for himself. Suwaan is killed by the outlaws and the both factions engage in battle against each other. Conan contemplates fighting Turghol for the ruby, but decides it's not worth the trouble and takes his leave, again with the intent to travel west to reach the coastal nation of Argos.

Notes

Trivia

  • The name of the fortress Bab-El-Shaithan is translated by one of his inhabitants as "Gate of the Devil" (p. 8). It is also an allusion to the Sumerian city of Babylon who the Hebrew described as multilingual and called Babel. Shaithan is an Arabic word meaning "Devil", so the author names the fortress a "devilish Babel" and describes it explicitly as a "wild and wolfish Babel" (p. 20).

See Also

Links and References

References

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