So here we go.
|From Hyborean Apocrypha|
Conan and the crew are riding through a vaguely jungle-like swath of land, they find a ruby lodged in the hoof of Bayu's horse. A brief argument ensues as to the ownership of said gem. Conan simply chucks it into the river to settle the spat. Upon crossing the river however they come upon a man who was killed by a booby trap. They decide to head back, but Otli is knocked from the back of Zzebens horse necessitating an unsuccessful rescue by the Cimmerian. The three remaining companions set off to follow the river looking for Otli.
They soon realize that Otli is still alive, but has been taken by some unknown party of individuals. They also find traces of Hissar Zhul's soldiery. Soon finding themselves in the midst of a battle between the soldiers and the forests native inhabitants. The soldiers are defeated but the natives shoot the three companions with poisoned darts, as they drift off to sleep they finally see the elusive foe.
Sporting face paint and jungle headdresses, these natives survive by their cunning in laying traps and outwitting Hissar Zhul's soldiers. They also have Otli, who they consider the representation of their God, Mordan. Otli revels in his new position of power, but soon has the three companions freed. He goes onto explain that the Rubies that are so plentiful in the forest, contain a special power for summoning spells. Hissar Zhul has a great and insatiable lust for the gems, and sends his soldiers to raid the villages and secure all they can find.
Bayu also has a lust for the rubies, not for their magical properties but for their value on the open market. He convinces one of the forest children to show him where they come from. Otli is also having conflicting opinions as to what he should do, he feels obligated to stay with these simple people and help them in their fight against Hissar Zhul. But he also feels that would be letting down Conan and the others in their own quest to fight Hissar Zhul.
Orders have been sent through magical means to Hissar Zhul's general in the area. He is to raid the villages, leaving none of the forest people alive and collect every gem he can find. Bayu has gone to the source of the rubies, while he attempts to explain to the child why he wants them, the child also explains to him why he dosen't. They aren't there long before the soldiers appear, they threaten the boy and Bayu springs into action to protect him.
The boy escapes but Bayu is captured and tortured for the location of the rubies. Having been taught something important about life by the simple words of the forest child, Bayu would rather endure the torture than help the soldiers. The boy soon returns to lead Conan and Zzeben to where the soldiers have Bayu. They arrive in the nick of time to save him from death, and prevent the soldiers from getting the magical rubies.
Upon their return to the village, Otli decides he cannot continue to lie to the forest people and so decides to continue with Conan on his quest to destroy Hissar Zhul.