Monday, July 11, 2011
25. Bantam Conan #1.2, "The People of the Summit" by Bjorn Nyberg and L. Sprague Decamp
As this story Opens we find Conan a newly appointed Sargent in the Turanian Army. He has been tasked with leading a troop of Turanians in raids against a group of rebellious tribesmen in the Khozghari Hills. For several weeks this goes well, the troop makes good progress. One day however, the routine is broken when the troop is ambushed by hill-men. Conan avoids death or capture and sets out to get back to Samara where he is stationed. He comes across a girl, and on talking to her finds out she is the daughter of one of the hill tribes. Conan decides to take her hostage, a daughter of a hill chief will be a great bargaining chip against the tribes.
Soon they are on their way to Samara. Conan figures the quickest way will be to head through the Bhamar pass in the Misty Mountains, but the girl warns they are full of demons. Not afraid of such superstition, Conan presses on. No doubt he will soon regret his headstrong cavalier approach. Before they get very far through the pass they are beset by some of the people the girl referred to as Demons.
They are taken captive, and the girl it is revealed is destined to be sacrificed to these peoples god. Conan however has other ideas in mind and soon escapes, intent on rescuing the girl he got into this mess. After hacking his way through many of the mountain people, he succeeds in finding the girl and the two make their way out of the mountains as fast as possible.
In return for his rescue of her, she promises him safe passage through the hills, it's a longer route, but now safer. He figures he will be back at his post in Samara in a few days.
At the beginning of this tale we are informed that, Following the events of the "City of Skulls", Conan has been made a Sergeant. That is all well and good, but for sake of Chronology, Geography, Coherency and flow, I feel "The People of the Summit" Takes place before "The City of Skulls". My Reasoning is this. Conan's rank is mentioned in "People of the Summit" as that of a Sargent. But in Conan the Hero, he goes from being a Sargent to Captain. In the next story 'Curse of the monolith' he is still a Captain. It worked fine in the old Pre-Tor format. Where it didn't have to make allowances for Conan the Hero and Conan the Valiant. But it does now, and I feel that since it's only an L. Sprague Decamp edited tale, it can be moved to any place I really choose it fits best. Since no mention is made of Juma at all, I feel it happens before Conan meets Him, and therefore happens before "City of Skulls".