Appearing in "The Darksome Demon of Raba-Than"Edit
Synopsis for "The Darksome Demon of Raba-Than"Edit
Conan's plundering of an Arenjun councilman's house is interrupted by the shriek of a woman who has discovered him. Conan is attacked by the house guards, but is surprised to find himself assisted in his battle by the woman who found him, who, as it turns out, is the wife of the councilman and desperately wishes to leave him. The barbarian, it seems, is the best solution to her predicament. They flee to the Maul as the councilman, G'szarrh rants at his men and demands his wife's return. At the Maul, Conan puts the move on the woman, Kahlili, but is disturbed to hear that a young man had been discovered with a piece of the loot that Conan carelessly dropped and is to be hanged. Conan decides to rescue the man, Rala-Zalon, and the two fight their way out of town, much to G'szarrh's chagrin. He decides to hire the Brotherhood of the Falcon, deadly and notorious bounty hunters, to track those who humiliated him. Meanwhile, Conan and Kahlili follow Rala-Zalon to his village in the Kenzankian Mountains. The young man explains how a monster is threatening his village and he is returning, on the eve of his 18th birthday, to slay the beast. That night, their camp is invaded by ape-like creatures with octopus tentacles for arms. The two men fight them off but Kahlil is taken to an altar for sacrifice. A giant, moss encrusted version of the creatures emerges from a cave. A fight ensues, but Conan only succeeds by pouring the contents of a flaming brazier onto the creature. Kahlili reveals her love for Rala-Zalon, and Conan, though a little upset, takes it in stride. The trio soon reaches the town of Naka-Dharti, where Rala-Zalon encounters others from his home village of Raba Than. They fear that Rala-Zalon's quest will only bring more death to the village, and a fight breaks out. Conan and his companions leave the town victoriously, but Kahlili falls ill, and a local midwife discovers she is pregnant. The two men continue the journey, and after several more days' ride reach the home of the Shiremi mountain men. They arrive on the night of a Death-Feast in honor of the chief's deceased son. During the funeral, two women are chosen to compete in a fight to the death on a rope bridge and the shaman of the village is put to death for his inability to heal the chief's son. The next morning the two men and a trio of guards prepares to leave, but are surprised by Kahlili, who followed the men. After several days of mountain travel in increasingly blinding snowstorms, the scouts turn back. Soon, a horse panics and runs into the storm. Conan follows it but finds the horse's corpse torn limb from limb, and nearby, the giant monster of Raba Than. The shaggy, yeti-like creature defeats Conan, but before the beast can end the barbarian's life, Rala-Zalon stabs it through the throat. All are surprised when Rala-Zalon's mother emerges from a nearby cave and reveals the beast was, in fact, Rala-Zalon's father! Ages ago, a sorcerer cursed the village so that a demon would terrorize the village and ravish a woman so the demon line would continue. Kahlili realizes that her child would be born a demon, so she plunges a dagger into her chest and dies. Rala-Zalon's grief is ended as he is transformed by the curse into the demon-beast himself. His new form is short-lived, though, as the Brotherhood of the Falcon has caught up to Conan and throws a blade into the demon's chest. Conan makes short work of two assassins, but the last is killed by Rala-Zalon, in a last lucid moment of humanity before he plunges to the ground, dead. Conan honors his friend, then takes his leave.
- synopsis by YardIHS
- No trivia.
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