While Amanar's minions are attacking the humans above ground. He is luxuriating over dinner and his slave girls, Things are going well for Amanar today. Things however have a way of not always staying the way you want them, and it isn't long before one of Amanar's servants comes bearing bad news. That Conan and the Red Hawk have fended off his serpent men and are coming looking for the pendants and the girl.
The Zamoran army is still plodding along, stepping over hillmen and reptoids of all shapes and sized, and is far more confused than they perhaps is healthy in the Hyborian world.
After several more days, Conan and Karela's bandit company approach Amanar's dark keep. He taunts them psychically, but Conan has no time for such mummery and brushes it off. He feels they are being followed, Karela instructs her men and has them camp around the foot of the fortress. Then Thief and Bandit venture into the keep, and are welcomed by Amanar. What manner of Trick this is, they don't know, but Conan trusts it not.
Over drinks, which Conan dosen't touch, Amanar lays bare the whole plot. He claims it was not him who stole the girl, not him who took the pendants, It was the hillmen he says. Questioned about the tooling on the boots used in the castle, since they are the same as are worn by his reptoids he brushes this off as simply thieving hillmen again. He then offers them each the ability of hiring on, doing jobs for him on commission, and he of course wouldn't dream of interfering with their 'professions'. After their drink, he has them shown out of the keep.
Karela seems rather taken with the idea, but Conan has a loathing for sorcerers, and for good reason at this point. So when the night descends fully Conan scales the walls of the keep, and after several hours of searching finds the girl he came looking for. His attempted rescue however dosen't go well, as she is enchanted and cannot be removed from the keep. He has no choice but to leave and try again later.
The following day, the storm that is gathering prepares to lash out with its full fury, The Zamoran army is near enough to be seen now from the Bandit Camp, and will be at grips with them soon. All they can do is prepare, and Karela begins to exhort her men to great feats by fostering their greedy impulses.