Tuesday, August 23, 2011

30. Tor Conan #8, Conan the Valorous by John Maddox Roberts, part 4

Some what surprisingly, during their first day out, Conan meets a familiar face. The Khitain fortune teller. This is some what unexpected since the last time we saw him was way back in Koth. He has journeyed the whole way alone, come to give aid to Conan against the ancient evil which he now knows wants to be unleashed. He knows that what lies beneath Ben Morgh is an Old One, ancient before the Earth was born.

The men approach the mountain, but are wary of getting to close until nightfall. Caution is the order of the day, The Vendhyans and their tame Vanir have gotten there first. Many score of the fierce northern warriors now guard the mountain of Ben Morgh. The Khitain is incredulous that Conan and his friend Chulcain still mean to go through with their plans. Conan to take the vial into the heart of the mountain, and Chulcain to find the missing villagers. If he knew the barbarians were this exciting, he would have come here a long time ago.

The three set off at night fall, making their way through the precipitous rocks to the base of the mountain. They wander for a while inside the caverns, but eventually come to where the captive villagers are being held. They hear tales from the villagers of the demons who kidnapped them, descriptions that Conan recognizes, Lizardmen. They free the villagers and send them back out of the caves with Conan and the others standing behind to fend off the lizards.

They make their escape fighting the lizards the whole way, and on their emergence from the caverns find several a vanir dead. The villagers had killed him and gone to warn the other tribes. Soon many score of Cimmerians, from most of the tribes begin to gather. Vanir on Ben Morgh is a travesty against their god, and must be dealt with. All inter-tribal enmity is buried for the moment until this new threat is dealt with. Conan begins to lay out the details of what he knows and how to deal with the problems and soon the Cimmerians are ready to move.

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