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Quote1.png Not so brave, eh, Kushite -- when it's your own dark unknown stares you in the face? Quote2.png

Appearing in "The Curse of the Golden Skull!"

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  • Apples of Derketa (Invoked)


Synopsis for "The Curse of the Golden Skull!"

Eons in the past, the lemurian sorcerer Rotath falls at the hands of the warrior Kull of Atlantis, the later king of Valusia. Dying, Rotath places a curse upon his own bloodline and invokes the name of an unspeakable deity. Thousands of years later, one of the hillmen discovers Rotath's solid gold skeleton. Upon making contact with it, the man's body is taken over by the spirit of Rotath. He reorganises the hillmen rebellion under his rule.

Months later, Conan and his Turanian confederate Captain Kiribor are escorting Princess Yolinda, the daughter of Prince Yezdigerd, back to Aghrapur. As they cross the the northern hills of Turan, well organised hillmen with modernised gear attack the turanian escort. The Turanians are defeated, but Conan and a Kushite comrade named Juma are captured. The raiders bring them back to their base in the Valley of the Sun. Princess Yolinda is handed over to Rotath - who has since been reborn in a body of solid gold. Conan and Juma are enslaved and sent to mine for gold in the valley's deep caverns. After mining for gold for several days, Conan and Juma decide to escape. A gigantic slug monster raids the cavern and begins attacking the guards. Conan and Juma grab two bags of gold and run down the mine shaft. They reach the surface, but the slug continues to chase them. Conan begins to realize that it is the gold that the creature requires and throws his weighted sacks. Rotath appears in the central square, and the slug is distracted by the sorcerer's golden flesh. While the slug eats Rotath, Conan rescues Princess Yolinda and rides off with Juma.


  • The Curse of the Golden Skull is inspired by the Kull of Atlantis short story of Robert E. Howard, published in 1967, and reproduce its beginning, before turning into a Conan the Barbarian story.
  • It covers the same period/episode (in a far different form after the first few pages) that the later-published The City of Skulls (Savage Sword of Conan #59), based on the story by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.
    • As Marvel Comics had originally obtained the rights only to the Robert E. Howard material, the established policy was that when they had produced an episode of Conan's life which had also been covered by other authors, such as de Camp or Carter, the non-comics version were ignored.
    • All Conan material became later available for adaptation. On Mike Vosburg's desire, Roy Thomas let him adapt a Conan adventure, and City of Skulls was the only story available at the time.
    • The two versions are mutually exclusive, Golden Skull being the "authentic" story in Marvel's Conan,[1] while The City of Skulls occurs in another reality, Earth-80179".[2]
  • Juma the Black is the creation of L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, and was used by their permission.

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