|From Hyborean Apocrypha|
King Anaximander of the city state of Sark is bored, bored of his concubines and of the simple things.. he wants to look out upon his people.. Opening a window he does so, is greeted by a bright and dry land, Exactly as he expected. But then less expected he sees a vision of how the land once looked, in times past, before his people were abandoned by their god Votantha. He feels that this vision is a sign, of what his god requires to regain favor, the sacrifice of the neighboring city state of Qraja. And demands of his high priest, Khumanos to see to this, through use of ancient sorcery.
This is unfortunate, not only for poor hapless Qraja but for the large blue eyed troll who is fishing beside the river bank. Well, he isn't really a troll. But the two boys plotting to steal his food think he is. He is Conan, of Cimmeria. Not a troll. The boys however are dubious of this claim. But in an mood of some mirth at them he decides to share what he has with them.. and perhaps educate them in regards to other edibles in the river so they might later feed themselves. They ask why he is there, the great northern troll, and he explains that he is traveling a great distance in order to get back to Shadizar.
Wandering the burning desert, the high priest Khumanos is seeking Solon the wise. The only one who is old enough to remember what he needs to know. Finding the toothless and decrepit hermit and learning that which he set out to know, to better serve Vortantha, The Tree of Mouths.
Conan is in the company of a dancer from one of the Caravans which pass through Qraja, Things are going well until a merchant sets his sight on Conan's doxy. After a while and a few more drinks of Arrak a fight inevitably breaks out, which is going in Conan's favor until the Qjara'n Temple Guard arrive to quell the problems. Fights are bad business for a caravan post. The Guard's Leader Zaius quickly puts an end to the fighting. They however weren't there only to stop the fight, but were on the hunt for the missing Princess Afriandra and have searched in vain.