Conan has journeyed from Sultanapoor to Agraphur, The Smuggling business isn't what it used to be. He's got a purse full of gold, reward for help rendered to King Yildiz's Caravan. But he's tired of the overtures from Sgts. hoping to get him to hire on with the Turanian army, so he headed south. All roads lead to Agraphur, or so they say in Agraphur.
It dosen't take long before his Sgt. problem follows him. No more has he than asked the direction of a certain tavern than he is approached by yet another man attempting to sign him up for 'wealth, wenches and great adventure'. Conan chuckles, if the man only knew. He interrupts a kidnapping on his way to the bar, no way to make friends in this town of cut throats, but some one must stand up for fool girls. He aims to return the girl to her father, but she runs off back into the crowd before he can do so. Maybe some fool girls just aren't worth helping.
He finally makes it to his tavern, it's run by a man he knew in Shadizar some time back. It's in reality something of a Shadizar ex-pat bar. Conan reunites with a few old friends, or people who were more competition than friends back during his thieving days. He relates the story of the kidnapping, and is casually informed the men who were after the girl were Cultists of Doom. They have a strange temple some where on the banks of the Vilayet and a penchant for absconding with virgins. Everyone is pretty much in agreement that Conan would be best advised to stay away from them.
He Agrees, and goes about trying to start some sort of a life in Agraphur. Perhaps paying a visit to a fortune teller he was acquainted with in Shadizar might help to shed some light. So off he trots, to find the man who can tell him his future. A grim future it is too according to the man. The prophecies say that in order to go forward, he must go back, or he will never leave Agraphur alive. Apparently his action of saving the girl, is going to turn out to be way more trouble than it was worth.