When Shamash-Shum-Ukin came to the throne of Babylon the Great, he heard tales of great powers possessed by certain men learned in sorcery. Powers that were capable of bending and warping the fabric of reality, of tearing open the barriers of time and space, and allowing a person to see things long gone and yet to come. Shamash-Shum-Ukin decided to acquire these abilities, one way or another.

Then one day the cruel and despotic King Shamash-Shum-Ukin looked on his city under siege from the forces of Assyria led by Ashurbanipal. He fled to his citadel and, utilizing his skills in wizardry, sent himself and his ziggurat many thousands of years in the past, to a city called Akbitana. He had been a feared ruler of men in his own age, and was a dreaded sorcerer in this one. The populace of Akbitana looked on his citadel with terror, and he liked it this way, as he continued in his weird experiments in the exploration of time itself. His new reign ended with the arrival in his home of a barbarian bandit from the far north. His minion Alhambra captured for him Conan of Cimmeria.

When Conan balked at his stories of time travel, he then used Conan and Alhambra as items to pass through the Well at the Center of Time in order to pull items of use from different eras. Conan eventually freed himself and Alhambra. Then, with his edifice crashing down into ruin around him, Shamash-Shum-Ukin saw his wondrous well of time, from which he had drawn many strange things, as his one remaining route of escape, and dived down, smiling, into its star-speckled depths.[1]

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