Wednesday, July 28, 2010

10. Ace Illustrated Conan #2: Conan the Mercenary by Andrew J. Offutt, part 3

Soul Returned, Employed as a bodyguard to an attractive "Older woman" (of about 25) what will Conan do? Why, go and buy some new clothes of course. Two new tunics courtesy of the royal family of Khaurun. While he and Shubal are in the tailors, the seamstress extorts a pledge from Conan not to lay a hand on her teenage daughter.. he had no plans to but goes on to swear by every god he can think of.. showing total disregard for them the whole while. He doesn't get on well with the rest of the staff his first night on the job, but the following day inquires as to the provenance of Sergiadus being at the royal court and Arkhaurus is patient enough to indulge him. The conversation leaves Conan with more questions, and more misgivings than he had before. Since as Conan explains to Arkharus, the man that everyone else saw as Sergiadus.. to Conan appeared as a decrepit older man.. who when he provides a description of what he saw.. it is the spitting image of the Baron Sabinus.

A right mystery to be sure, but a man can't think straight when his baser impulses are hammering away at his brain.. so him and shubal head out to the tavern. They've only been their for a short while before they are lured into going outside by a commotion, and are embroiled in an assassination of a local leather worker. Days later Conan is himself nearly used as a pawn in another attempt on Khashtris, the plot is wearing thin now and Conan has started to unravel it further. He conspires with Kashtris to rid the royal family of its unwanted guest and then goes to plan his future.

Conan and Shubal bring to the attention of some loyal members of the royal household their misgivings and lay all their evidence out plain. And formulate one of their own... A mysterious Illusionist from Far Kandala, by the name of Crispis, is newly arrived in Khauran and has been invited to the palaces festivities for the night. He bears the mighty amulet the Eye of Erlik which allows him to see strange and wondrous things. Crispis proceeds to reveal all the details of the sordid intrigue in the form of prophecy... mumbling and pointing and shouting down to the various players. The ploy revealed, and the conspirators slain, the Kingdom rejoices only briefly before learning that since the Queen had found her favored Sergiadus to be a lie, she had done herself her death. And with that, Conan makes to leave Khauran, but promises one day to return and look in on the new Queen, Queen Taramis of Khauran.

Review -

Here in the first chapter we gain a tiny inkling of information which we could use to fill in the gap between Conan's initial arrival in Shadizar at the end of Conan the Formidable and his Re-Appearance farther south east in the city of Arenjun for "Tower of the Elephant". The Prices in Shadizar too High and too much sorcery for Conan's taste and his youthful optimistic streak had suffered a blow or two in Shadizar as well. One can conjecture then that nothing terribly interesting happened upon Conan's first arrival in Shadizar except things didn't work out quite as well as he had hoped. But having heard of the reputation of Arenjun, decided to try his luck their instead. The Book is also clear on a few other points, that Conan is 17 still, and that Taramis is a girl " Of about six" so that means between this story and " A Witch Shall be Born" about 13 years will pass before Conan returns to Khauran of the unhappy queens.

In the third chapter we are privy to a conversation which is very interesting, and will eventually help us date some future stories in the context of a unified chronology. For any of my readers who have already read all the Robert E. Howard stories, you know that " A witch Shall be Born " features Queen Taramis of Khaurun and the fallout of this fateful choice on the part of her mother. We also find that Conan can write Turanian, and speak Kothic which is the language of Khauran. Which I'm willing to conjecture seeing as Conan has recently spent most of his time in Arenjun which is near the Turanian border of Zamora that they speak Turanian there. Shadizar probably has such a confusing babel of tongues one could give them any.. but more than likely it's a Turanian or Kothic variant itself.. dosen't seem like it would be Corinthian/Brythonic. I'm sure this will help tremendously when it comes time to build a new chronology.

Offutt so far out of the four pasticher's I've read is my favorite by far. And while none of this is backed up in REH's own stories, I'm going to use it since at the moment thats all we have to go on, it will have to suffice.

Next is " Conan: The Sword of Skelos " by Andrew J. Offutt.

Places: Zamora, Koth, Khauran
Towns: Shadizar
People: Conan, Lord Sabininus Baron of Korveka, Khi Zhang, The Lady Khashtris of Khauran, Queen Ialamis, Princess Taramis, Shubal of Shem, City Governer Acralidus, Kraladese son of Acralidus, Sergiadus son of Tor duke of Nemedia, Arkhaurus Adviser to Queen Ialamis
Languages Spoken: Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamorian, Kothic, Turanian.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

10. Ace Illustrated Conan #2: Conan the Mercenary by Andrew J. Offutt, part 2

Making towards Khaurun, Conan is conversing with Khashtris who is explaining the reason which Khaurun is known as the land of the unhappy queens. Ages ago she explains, a Queen Ialamis of Khauron bedded a demon and every so often one of her descendants will bring forth a child bearing the mark of this demon. An event which has just happened, the queen gave birth to twin girls and had the one bearing the mark taken to the desert to die of exposure.. ensuring the throne for the unmarked child, the princess Taramis, who will be informed of the fate of her sister in five or so years. He confers to her the tale of his recent exploits in the "employ" of Hissar Zhul, and that if he is able to get a crowned person to break the mirror then his soul will be returned to him..and she assures him that her cousin Ialamis will do this.

During this night their camp is beset upon by the brigands who followed them from Shadizar, Shubal and Conan soundly defeat them saving Khashtris any further problems. With bloody swords the three troupe into Khaurun, and into the presence of the queen and her court. Her Daughter Taramis, court adviser Arkhaus, City governor Acralides and his son Kraladese, Sergiadus son of the duke of Tor in Nemedia. Khashtris regales the court with her adventures, and explains Conan's mission to reclaim his soul. Acralides expresses concern that it could be a trick, but the queen has faith in her cousin and shatters the mirror, Returning Conan's soul to his body with a shock like lightning.

After this, Conan and Shubal are dismissed to do their worst upon the city of Khauran and they head straight for a tavern of ill repute to do it in. During their repast of fiery sausages and alfalfa beer Conan continues to gather small bits of information, he and Shubal felt intently uneasy about the Nemedian duke's son in the royal court and wishes to know more about him. Not much is gathered except to confirm Conan's suspicions that he isn't all he makes himself out to be. On their way out of the Tavarn Shubal stops to converse with a girlfriend of sorts and one thing and another eventually leads to a minor revelation, something to do with a place known as Korveka, a breakaway barony of Khauran who's ruler wears a talisman exactly the same as the one which the noble Sergiadus is sporting in the royal court. But time enough for that another day they decide and off to find their beds for the night.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

10. Ace Illustrated Conan #2: Conan the Mercenary by Andrew J. Offutt, part 1

The Lord Baron of Korveka is an aged man with failing sight, but he is a man of unfulfilled ambition. It is perhaps fortuitous that a visitor from far Khitai should have sought him out and made him an offer, an offer to return an appearance of youth to him so that he might fulfill his desires. The desire to become king of Koth, and the annexation the micro state of Khauran which lay to Koth's eastern border. The reasons for this man of Khitai, this Khi Zhang having made the many thousand mile journey to an upland farm-lord in northern Koth are less opaque. He had no interest in gold, but he does have interest in favors, favors dealing with the future of Khauran. While the politics of this are less straight forward, the actual return requires but a single sacrifice of course, a slave girl will do and such a small price to pay. The ritual is over quickly, the slave girl forgotten with the return of a youthful appearance. The baron opts to assume the role of his own " Nephew" for his coming tasks and sets out to put them in motion.

Much farther north, Conan has just arrived in Shadizar. Though his soul is back in his possession, it is still trapped in Hissar Zhul's mirror, He hopes to locate some one who can put it back where it belongs. He turns down the advances of many a lady of the night in pursuit of his main goal. He reflects on the two months he wasted in Arenjun to little profit and on the location of Shadizar, Along the Road of Kings, and that the prices are high and perhaps too much emphasis is placed on Esoterica, little did he know that Arenjun was no better or perhaps less straightforward in its sorceries and vices. Conan, now matured a bit after his dealings with the undercurrent of Arenjun.. has grown to appreciate Shadizar's honesty.

He hasn't been in town long however before he observes and then intercedes in an attempted robbery of a lady of some apparent wealth. This after having only just made up his mind not to further involve himself in anyone else's problems.. so much for that. The robbery is quickly halted, and the sword laid to the would be thieves. Conan then discovers the lady for whom he has again gotten himself involved. The lady Khashtris of Khauran, traveling under the escort of her main bodyguard Shubal. After this, Lady Khashtris contracts Conan to hire some extra guards and to accompany her to her home in Khauran, thus having once again only just arrived in Shadizar he is again departing for points elsewhere. They leave the next afternoon, unbeknown to them however they do not leave unnoticed or unaccompanied.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

9. Ace illustrated Conan #1: Conan and the Sorcerer, part 3

Reaching the second Oasis on his trip ahead of his schedule due to the shortcut through the sand lich's canyon. Conan is invited to share food with a peasant and his son who are watering their camels. The Man also informs Conan that a routine slave caravan is setting out from Turan on it's way to trade in Zamora and Khauran and that he should be wary as they are none too particular about where their wares come from. Having been a slave once already, he thanks the man for his knowledge, and gives the son a dagger in payment.

It's not long before the weary Isparana appears at the oasis, Conan has been laying in wait for her. He patiently hides himself until she is settled, a fine bit of lechery follows as he watches her bath away the dirt of the road. Once refreshed she lays down for a bit of sleep, and this is when he makes his move. First by cutting away the bells of the harnesses on the camels, and then every so slowly sneaking up on her and substituting the Eye of Erlik for another pendant. Only once this is done and he is nearly safely away do her camels stir and wake her. Kicking his mount off into the night leaving Isparana with nothing but the reverberating echoes of her cries of Thief!

She cries that he means to leave her there with no supplies to die, and his conscience gets the better of him and by the end of a scuffle both are without mounts or camels. A fine mess they are in now, but it will only get worse. The next day after both parties are refreshed enough to begin the previous nights arguments again, they notice in the distance a dust cloud. A cloud which soon materializes into a caravan, a slavers caravan, the very one which the man warned Conan to avoid. Conan and Isparana attempt to bluff the slavers, but to no avail, they are captured and enslaved but not without dire loss to the slavers guards. However they are soon observed by the same soldiers of Turan whom Conan encountered earlier before entering the sand lich canyon.

Their freedom restored at the point of Arsil of Turan's sword, Conan begins his preparations to return north to Arenjun. He arranges for Isparanna to be escorted safely to Zamboula by Arsil and re-affirms that he will not forget the offer of employment in Turan. He returns to Arenjun and takes the eye to Hissar Zhul, who dithers in his promise to return Conan's soul to him. Conan then expresses his regret that he has none of the means which the sand lich had told him to dispatch the sorcerer. This puts Hissar zhul on edge, though he does return to Conan his soul, and the mirror which it was trapped within. He continues to talk, offering Conan a parchment which will clear him of his crimes in Arenjun, inviting the Cimmerian to lean close to read it he attempts to double cross Conan by using a tube filled with the dread yellow lotus. However Conan is far more resourceful than Zhul gave him credit and instead blows down the other end of the tube filling Zhul's lungs with the deadly powder.

Conan rummages through Zhul's considerable stockpile and picks a new sword to replace his broken one, along with several other good blades. Carefully wrapping his mirror in many layers of cloth he sets off West, away from Arenjun and his potential legal problems, off West to Shadizar.
Review -

Places: Zamora, Khauran, Turanian Marches,
Towns: Arenjun,
People: Conan, Karamek, Isparana of Zamboula, Kobad Shah of Iranistan, Hissar Zhul, Arsil the Turanian, The Sand Lich
Languages Spoken: Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamoran

A few interesting tidbits are that Conan still has his Sandals and Sword from the previous stories, and that he is now about 17. Meaning that the Period of his being a slave in Hyperborea and his journey south has taken him nearly two years... The story itself follows on just a few weeks after Tower of the Elephant, as it is referenced. The story also sets up nicely Conan's future as a mercenary in Turan. However, if one takes the book for what it was, when it was written and it's place in the original LSdC Chronology, then it's a very good Pastiche and fits well. It's certainly the most "Howard like" of the Pastiches I've read so far. But after having half a dozen different magic users already in the first 10 stories.. It's just gotten to be monotonous. It is more proof of how little the pastiche writers really got, despite Andrew Offutt's best intentions I'm sure.. he would have been better served not to have had a sorcerer as the villain in a story which was to follow an REH story with a sorceress villain. I didn't include Turanian in the list of Conan's languages spoken as it makes more sense that due to the trading nature of Zamora that he communicated with Arsil in Zamoran.

This story also marks the end of Conan's blade which he found in the tomb in " The thing in the Crypt ", it will not be the first sword he loses but I'm glad that Offutt dealt that one it's death. As Mr. Perry had obviously put more than a passing interest in it as some sort of potentially magical sword ala Excalibur. A trait which it was given in the live action TV series, Conan the Adventurer. Which coincidentally is heavily based on both "The Tower of the Elephant" and " Conan and the Sorcerer" Though Hissar Zhul is presented as an aged and bitter King, and Yara as his priestly servant. That's a review for a different day, as I simply haven't the strength for it right now.

Next is, "Conan the Mercenary" by Andrew J. Offutt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

9. Ace illustrated Conan #1: Conan and the Sorcerer, part 2

Racing the clock, the prize his very soul, Conan sets forth south on the trail of the Eye of Erlik. An unwilling errand if ever there was, but one of the greatest import. Two days south of Arenjun, he reaches an oasis. These two days have given him time to think, that perhaps thievery is rather too perilous a past time for one such as he. During the evening at this Oasis Conan is beset upon by several northward bound persons of Zamboulan persuasion. He fends them off, all the while ruing his entrapment which cost him not only his immortal soul but also the stabbing point of his sword which he broke in Hissar Zhul's house. This attempt at brigandage nets the Zamboulans a dire toll, their lives.

The next morning, Conan, broken sword and all set off south again. Now however he has the spoils gained from the nights encounter. Among the spoils are several obstinate camels, which he vows to reclaim on his return north. Encountering a patrol of Turanian soldiers he describes his battle at the oasis, They are sympathetic towards his plight with the camels and also have recently encountered Conan's quarry. They lastly offer him a job as a soldier in Turan, this is something Conan will need to ponder however.

Unfortunate customs duties require the soldiers to waylay Conan some what, they offer him the route of a shortcut to make up for the delay, but this way is fraught with peril. Conan not being a cowardly sort, opts to take his chances anyway. Not long on this road however Conan encounters the source of the Turanians hesitance. A Sand-Lich who we learn is the cursed brother of Hissar Zul. This being explains the history of what brought him to his sorry state.. but Conan quickly realizes he is no innocent. He agrees to slay Hissar Zhul(as if he weren't going to all ready) and the Lich lets him pass through.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

9. Ace illustrated Conan #1: Conan and the Sorcerer, part 1

From Hyborean Apocrypha

Still in Arenjun we find Conan, experiencing further successes as a Thief. He has bedecked himself in some new raiment, dispatching the remnants of clothing he has had through all his previous ventures.. all but the Sword he found.. And also rather ostentatiously buying himself a fancy Dagger.. He has decided to use some of his ill gotten gain to have a night out, out of the Maul and it's stinking cesspits that is.

He begins his festivities with a woman named Kiliya, He chats politely and tries not to let slip how accurate her guesses are about his real age (now 17) or when she infers he might have had something to do with the Collapse of the Elephant Tower. This conversation dosen't get to last long though as Kiliya's Boyfriend shows up.. who happens to be a captain of the City Watch.

This understandably causes a fracas, He's aided by a leather trouser'd easterner, makes good his escape and while it ruins his new tunic some good does come from it. For Conan overhears a pair of thieves discussing their plans to rob a sorcerer, one Hissar Zul. Their goal is the legendary Eye of Erlik, which they plan to return to their master in Zamboula.

Conan rightly assumes that this master will pay handsomely for the return of this gem.. all that he has to do is cut out the two errand runners and claim the reward for himself. He still has a few valuable tools left to him from his short collaboration with Tarsus too.. most important, more caution.

He slips into the compound of Hissar Zhul, quietly finding entrance into the building itself. He has only been inside for a short while before he encounters a pair of guards.. who shamble as if asleep... or are Zombies. They are pursuing a 3rd thief, the same one who had assisted him in the bar the night before. Conan feeling an obligation to return the favor opts to help him. Ajhindar of Iranistan, who is here to retrieve the Eye for his own King.

The two scrap a bit over who is going to acquire the Eye, but Ajhindar trips a boobytrap and is dispatched by an Asp, but tells Conan who to take the gem too, Kobad Shah. Conan free to claim his prize, or so he thinks, continues his search. He encounters the two thieves from earlier Isparana and Karamek. Conan dispatches Karamek and then falls prey to a second trap, while Isparana makes good her escape with the eye. Hissar Zhul later finds Conan still trapped, and making him a deal he cannot refuse.. the return of his Soul in exchange for returning the Eye of Erlik to him.. Conan sets off southwards on the trail of Isparana

Monday, July 5, 2010

8. Ace Conan #1.2, Conan: The Tower of the Elephant

Alright Folks, after months of cracking open nuts to find only wasp larvae inside.. we finally get to a good one..

This is of course the Edited version of REH's story, the one present in the first volume of the Ace series. I'm not really sure what DeCamp edited from it but that also isn't really important for the purposes of this. Lets get on with the story.

We Find Conan in Arenjun, The So called City of Thieves, in the run down quarter of the city, The Maul. Here people would as soon slip a knife into you as look at you. Conan is in a drinking hall, listening to a bellicose kidnapper relate for an audience just how skilled he is. The kidnapper chances to reference the famed Elephant Tower, it's sorceress master Yara and his prized possession, the so called Heart of the Elephant Gem.

Intrigued, Conan approaches him and asks him some small few questions in regards it. He remark's that he has heard of this tower and would know more of it, especially why with it being so easy looking no one has yet pilfered it's coffers before? His sincere boasting is taken as the trait of an idiot, and the Kidnapper wants no more from him. Before this conversation is finished the kidnapper lays dead and Conan is on his way to make his fortunes by trying his hand at the Elephant Tower.

The climb itself is simple for one raised in the craggy peaks of Cimmeria, he adroitly scales the wall and finds himself in a Garden. He also finds himself in the presence of one whom he has already heard some what of, Tarsus the Nemedian, so called prince of Thieves. Tarsus explains a few finer points of thieving to the young Cimmerian, and the two agree to work together to scale the tower. The two thieves have a run in with a giant spider, one which Tarsus does not survive. Conan opts to continue on without him.

He Makes his way into the tower, eventually entering a large throne room. Seated on this throne is a large being. Conan is at first repulsed, but then the creature speaks, and despite its outward appearance we recognize it's inward humanity, It's name is Yag Kosha, one of a race of interstellar beings who has been enslaved, tortured, blinded and held captive by Yara.

This being, rueful of his circumstances beseeches Conan to end it's life of torments. But in an act of revenge against yara, also explains to Conan what he must do.. He must soak the Gemstone with the blood of the Yog Kosha, and then deliver the gem to Yara telling him that "Yag Kosha gives a last and mighty gift!".. Yara recoils as the magic takes hold of him, Shrinking him, and ultimately absorbing him into the jewel. A terrible rumble begins and Conan makes his way out of Yara's tower just before the whole building collapses around him.

Locations - Zamora
Towns/Cities - Arenjun
Characters - Conan The Cimmerian, Tarsus: Prince of thieves
Languages Spoken - Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamoran

Observations -

Instead of reviewing this tale which I couldn't give justice too, I shall simply make a few observations about this immovable way point along Conan's road. The Pastiches swirl and eddy around the REH tales like water into rocks. They are movable and mailable, REH's tales are not. I firmly believe it is not the place of the Robert E. Howard stories to change to suit the overall continuity, it is the job of the artificially constructed Continuity to find ways to fill gaps, without causing to many headaches for the reader.

So why is Conan now in Arenjun instead of Shadizar?

Regardless that when we last saw Conan he was outside of Shadizar, and he is now In Arenjun, a considerable distance further east. All of the Pastiche-Inclusive continuities agree that TOE follows the Steve Perry books. So we will try and find things that connect them to it.

He has in this story the "Battered scabbard" and "High strapped sandals" which he was given in "Conan the Defiant".. So even if Perry gets his Geography wrong, he manages to keep Conan's costume much the same through all his books in order so that it won't conflict with REH. So thats one thing, a second is that we can conjecture from this tale that, at some point in the recent past Conan has been in some place to have heard of both the Elephant Tower, and Tarsus, prince of Thieves. From which one could infer that he has been to Shadizar and some eventuality has caused him to leave it after having only arrived and continued east, should one be so inclined.

This is the best supposition I can come up with, and I think it is probably best, seeing as the alternative would have been more Steve Perry books.. that those so inclined simply use their imaginations to fill in the gaps which still linger. While the DeCamp helmed the pastiches, he took the view that, he could force REH's tales to conform to his ideas and especially to his new stories. This was revisionist and totally unacceptable, especially because it was done in order to make Him money, and not to promote Robert E. Howard's Creation. However, the Tor guidelines seemed to be more Laissez-faire even than that, Minimum outlay, maximum return.. without even as much effort put into some of them as your average Dragonlance novel would have had at the same time.

Next up is the first part of a Conan Trilogy written by Andrew J. Offutt.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

7. Tor Conan #22 - Conan the Formidable by Steve Perry. Part 4

Ok, lets get this out of the way.. I'm sick of dealing with it..

Chapters 16-25

After the fight with the villager, Dake is counting his money in his and reflecting on various conundrums. A big one is headed his way in the form of Raseri... Bruised and battered, Conan is resting and thinking of how to escape. He has been frequently informed that such an attempt is futile due to Dake's Magic. But he persists, the last time they attempted to flee there were but three, now their are eight.

Unfortunately the other captives prove to be correct, as their attempt is halted after only a few feet. Patience was not Conan's strength, but a consensus among the others was that a second attempt not be made. Dake's small caravan buy's its way into the midst of a larger Ophiric caravan headed to Shadizar, owned by a Lord Capaya.

Raseri the Giant, and Fosull the Dwarf, meet upon the road. At first they come near to blows but then reason out that it would be best to forge a temporary alliance. They have come to this decision in the nick of time to prevent the depravities that Capeya and Dake have planned for the captives.

Dake, distracted by one of Capeya's slaves momentarily looses control of his magic and the whole collection manages to escape.. Capeya, Kreg and Dake and a large number of caravan guards set out to retrieve them. They are outwitted time and again by Conan and the others. Steadily losing numbers, they opt for a head on confrontation. This does not go well for them as Dake is slain by Conan and the rest are dispatched in other ways.

Conan says his goodbyes and continues on his way to Shadizar.


Locations - Zamora
Towns/Cities -
Characters - Conan The Cimmerian, Jatte: Theyle, Oren, Morja, Raseri. Corinthian Wagoneers, Dake, Kreg, Penz the wolfman, Tro the Catgirl. Vargs: Vilken, Fossul, Brack
Languages Spoken - Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamoran

Review -

ok, so finally.. after kicking my feet and screaming I've finally made it through the Steve Perry cycle... I don't really even know what to say about this one.. I've already said it all about the last three.. reading this much Steve perry in one lump is hazardous to your health.. You make wonder why I've got 10 chapters covered in the space I normally only cover five in.. well the simple answer is that nothing happened in most of those 10 chapters.. all of Steve Perry's books read as the first part of a trilogy.. which was fine back in Defiant or even Indomitable.. but the fact it continued in Free-lance and Formidable.. It's a standard formula... introduce Conan to some assorted odd creatures, bed at least one of the strange creature's females.. have him go on a long quest, and at the end be a few hundred miles closer to Shadizar.

This started out perfectly reasonable, a travel tale. But I knew already from the cover that wasn't to be. You see the cover's of the Tor books really don't leave much to the imgination, this one features Conan fighting a large four armed Giant.. and so of course he encounters a large four armed giant... in addition to a Cat Girl, a Wolfman, and dwarfish cannibales with mottled green skin known as Vargs. The Giant's and Vargs were created by a wizard (of course) in order that he might more quickly build his castle. This creating creatures to do your bidding thing is a halmark of most of Steve Perry's villians.

So now we are in Shadizar, but what sucks is.. according to Robert Jordan's Timeline (the editor of the Tor Pastiches).. These Steve Perry books would lead into Robert E. Howard's Tower of the Elephant.. But astute readers will remember that Tower of the Elephant .. DOESN'T TAKE PLACE IN SHADIZAR! So .. Steve has just spent about 1200 pages getting Conan to the wrong City.

So needless to say, the way the Chronology is laid out at the moment.. no one has really ever put much thought into it... least of all the Pastiche Writers.