Conan and Khassek are plodding towards their terminus, the kingdom of Iranistan. The same place which Ahjhinder, stricken with venom tried to recruit Conan to venture too some time ago. Conan relates the full tale of that fateful night to Khassek, who is aghast at the wake of Conan's tales, truly a bloody path. Truly the Bane of wizards.. Conan wisely omits that after he pursued Isparanna of Zamboula and retrieved the Eye of Erlik.. that he kept it.. Or that he had used it to further his ruse in the court of Queen Ialamus of Khauron.
We are next re-acquainted with Captain Arsil and the Samara guard. Who are rightly less than amused by the sudden desertion of one of their own. He has vanished along with Isparanna and headed north, presumably to find the accursed Cimmerian who foisted her off on the soldiers in the first place. At the same time the Satrap of Zhamboula and his sorcerer are scheming. They know that the Eye is once again headed southwards and aim to acquire it themselves.
It is only a short time later, upon emerging from the Canyon of the Former Sand Lich that Conan and Khassek are beset by two robed persons. Khassek is unfortunately slain, and so is one of the bandits, the second is revealed to be none other than Isparanna herself, come hunting Conan.
The two remaining people now set off south, to Zamboula, were even now more foul plots are being hatched by Zafra the Satrap's Wizard and one of the Satrap's Harem. To what purpose we are not yet to know, but it surely cannot be good.