Appearing in "Red Stones"
- Conan (Main story and flashback)
- Lorando (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Siddhara (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Palus (First appearance) (Main story and flashback) (Leaves Siddhara's service)
- Siddhara' guards (Only appearance)
- Jewel serpent (First appearance)
- Ramtha Karn (Only appearance; dies) (Main story and flashback)
- Two-headed Wolves (Only appearance; all die)
- "Cracius" (Mentioned as a lie)
- Renegade soldiers of Aquilonia (Corpses)
- Great lizard / Dragon (Corpse)
- Taurus, the Prince of Thieves (Mentioned)
- Palus' master (Only appearance; dies) (Only in flashback)
- Turanian Army (Only in flashback)
- Unnamed Kothian wench-stealer (Voice only) (First appearance chronologically)
Deities and Invocations:
Races and Species:
- Zamora (Main story and flashback)
- Cimmeria (Referenced)
- Vendhya (Mentioned)
- Swamps of Kush (Only in flashback)
- Aquilonia (Mentioned)
- Hills of Corinthia
- Forthold of Ramtha Karn (First appearance)
- Hyperborean Steppes (Referenced)
- Turan (Only in flashback)
- Akif (Only in flashback)
- Shem (Mentioned)
- Hell (Invoked)
- Turanian Steel (Mentioned)
- Red Stones of Ramtha Karn (Only appearance; all die) (Main story and flashback)
Events and Eras:
Synopsis for "Red Stones"
Conan, recently arrived in Arenjun, is manipulated by the merchant Lorando into attempting to rob the merchant Cracius, a job that will be Conan's first as a thief. The treasure, however, is guarded by a giant, magical glass snake, which Conan manages to defeat. His escape is hindered, however, by guards under the command of Palus, who imprison Conan. Conan is visited in his cell by Siddhara, who reveals the whole exercise was a test, and Conan was the first to survive. After seducing the young barbarian, she reveals that she wants Conan to steal the Red Stones of Ramtha Karn, legendary objects of healing power ripped from the gullet of a giant lizard-beast and in possession of Ramtha Karn. Siddhara already has one, and uses it to cure her maladies. Palus and a handful of men accompany Conan to Ramtha Karn's keep, which is surrounded by a giant stone maze. The maze is trapped, however, and designed to grind the blood from bodies and drain it to the keep. Conan and Palus escape to the top of the walls, and leap their way to the center of the maze. The fifty-year-old Palus reveals that decades ago he was Siddhara's lover and he had stolen the first stone from his master, killing him in the process. The two men encounter two-headed wolves, and Palus saves Conan from death as they find their way into an abattoir, where the secrets of the stones are revealed - their healing power comes from human blood, but after a time, the power fades away. There are only two stones left, and Ramtha Karn, now an invulnerable giant from centuries of direct exposure, wears one around his neck. He easily captures Conan and Palus and drains Palus to near death and explains to the men that Siddhara has sent others over the years, all failing to take the stones. Conan manages to escape his bonds and throw Karn in the fire, but it does not hurt him. Palus reminds Conan about the power of the stones, and Conan shatters the stone Karn wears around his neck. The giant quickly turns to dust as Conan holds the final stone out of his reach. With his dying breath, Palus asks Conan to take the stone back to Siddhara. Conan does, and sees that Siddhara is also rapidly aging; she has been using the stones powers to stay young, and she admits to Conan that Palus was getting to old for her. Conan gives her the final stone, but she discovers its powers have burned out; Conan instead healed Palus with it. Conan leaves and meets with Palus, who, overhearing what Siddhara said about him, is now over her. Palus asks Conan to come with him to Turan to be a soldier, but Conan decides to stay in Arenjun as a thief for the time being. As he walks toward a tavern, he overhears a conversation about an Elephant Tower.
- Synopsis by YardIHS.
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