During the Hyborian Age, Xuthltan was a village in Hyrkania, and the site of the Black Monoliths of Xuthltan, two antique ebon pillars tied to a religious tradition tracing back at least to the Lemurians.
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.
The village became Stregoicavar (which could be translated as "Witch Town"), an unknown village in the mountains of Hungary.
Near the stone was built a castle, still there in ruins in more recent days, and which was seemingly involved when the Turks, under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, swept over Eastern Europe. (see notes)
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 visited 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
- Daughter of Justin the Blind Hermit
- Stregoicavar/Xuthltan is a fictional town created by Robert E. Howard in his story "The Black Stone" (Weird Tales; November 1931), adapted in Marvel Comics in the eponymous story in Savage Sword of Conan #74 (March, 1982).
- It is mentioned that the castle near the Black Stone is itself "a souvenir of the days when the Turks swept over Eastern Europe under Suleiman the Magnificent", though it is unclear whether or not Stregoicavar was under Ottoman rulership.