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Conan the Barbarian #156
Conan the Barbarian Vol 1 156
Date: Mar, 1984
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Ernie Chan
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Editor: Larry Hama
Title: "The Curse!"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Previous appearance in CB-155; next appearance in CB-157).

Minor Characters[]

  • Count Tarcas Melphorr (First and only appearance to date); dies in this issue.
  • Melanie (First and only appearance to date).
  • Rastor (First and only appearance to date); dies in this issue.


  • The Border Kingdoms

Time Frame[]

  • One day


Conan is caught in a raging storm, but spies a castle and goes to it for shelter. After banging fruitlessly at the gate, a dagger with a note attached that simply reads "Leave," is thrown from a window. Conan is about to do so when the door opens and Count Tarcas Melphorr invites him in. Conan meets the count's wife Melanie, who he suspects threw the dagger, but the woman is silenced by her husband when she tries to talk to Conan. Conan is fed and given a bed as the storm rages outside, much to the count's glee. That night, Conan's bed opens into a trap door and dumps Conan in the caverns beneath the castle. He follows the sound of a howling wail until he finds a chained monstrosity - a toad-like humanoid - that immediately attacks. After a prolonged battle, Conan kills the beast but finds his way blocked by iron gates, with a door just on the other side. Conan sits and waits by the gates and eventually falls asleep, and soon the Count opens the gate looking for "Rastor." When he finds the creature's body he begins to cry and when Conan wakes and reveals himself, the count attacks, though Conan immediately kills him, causing Melanie to enter, relieved. She tells Conan her story, how her husband's brother Rastor was cursed by a shaman to turn into a monstrous creature that subsides on human flesh, and Tarcas built the castle with the trap doors to lure travelers to feed to his brother. She tried in her own way to stop it, but never could. Conan leaves her to bury and mourn her husband and brother-in-law.


  • The Chronicles of Conan 20 - Night of the Wolf and Other Stories
Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #155
Conan the Barbarian #156 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #157
Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #155
Conan the Barbarian #156 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #157