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Conan the Barbarian #148
Conan the Barbarian Vol 1 148
Date: July, 1983
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Bruce Jones
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Ernie Chan
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Editor: Louise Jones
Title: "The Plague of Forlek"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Previous appearance in CB-147; next appearance in CB-149).

Minor Characters[]

  • Kalefan (First and only appearance to date). Rutonian Prime Minister
  • King Lamerak (First and only appearance to date)
  • Forleck (First and only appearance to date); dies in this issue. Wizard


  • Border Kingdoms
    • Rutonian border

Time Frame[]

  • Two days


Conan rides through a forest in the rain until he comes across an abandoned camp. Moments later he is attacked by plague infested soldiers of Rutonian king Selt who believe Conan to be sent from rival king Lamerak. Conan easily drives the sickly men off, but grabs one, Prime Minister Kalefan, who explains that Selt's son Pelen fell in love with Lamerak's daughter Alitari, and though Selt acknowledged the romance, Lamerak would not and had Pelen killed. When Selt retaliated, Lamerak's wizard Forleck cursed Selt's troops with a plague that slowly turns the men's limbs rigid. Not wanting to spread the plague back to civilized lands, they have subsisted on the fruits of local trees. Kalefan begs Conan to go to Lamerak and surrender in Selt's name to remove the curse. Conan agrees, taking with him a monkey that has taken a shine to Kalefan. Unfortunately, when he arrives at Lamerak's castle, he is taken prisoner and finds Lamerak's men suffering from the same plague, and is accused of killing the princess Alitari! Believing only the wizard Forleck has the answers, Conan breaks free and confronts the wizard, who suffers from the plague as well. Even worse, Conan notices that he is starting to show symptoms. The monkey attempts to attack Forleck, but the wizard traps him in a small box. Although Forleck claims he doesn't know anything about the plague, once Conan leaves he turns his attentions to the monkey, believing it has the answers. Conan returns to Kalefan, who has turned almost entirely into a tree, but with his final human facial features tells Conan it's the fruit that cause the change. Conan quickly returns to Lamerak to tell him of his discovery but finds the entire population turned into trees. He races to Forleck's chambers but finds the wizard and monkey gone. He uses Forleck's crystal ball to find out what happened, and sees that Forleck caught Pelen and Alitari running off together and cast a spell to turn Alitari into a tree and Pelen into the monkey, hoping to convince Lamark to attack Ruton. He had not counted on the fruit from the tree spreading the plague though, and is using the monkey to lead him to original tree which he intends to destroy. Conan goes to the forest and finds Forleck, who summons a small horde of demons to attack Conan. But he turns into a tree and loses control of the spell. Thinking Forleck's destruction will end the original curse, Conan tries to burn the tree down, but he finds he is rooted to the earth as he begins to make his final transformation. He calls to Pelen the monkey and manages to get the monkey to toss the torch on Forleck, which burns the tree and returns everyone to normal.


  • The Chronicles of Conan 19 - Deathmark and Other Stories
Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #147
Conan the Barbarian #148 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #149
Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #147
Conan the Barbarian #148 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #149