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Conan the Barbarian #177
Conan the Barbarian Vol 1 177
Date: Dec, 1985
Cover: Ernie Chan
Writer: Jim Owsley
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Pablo Marcos
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Janice Chiang
Editor: Larry Hama
Title: "Well of Souls!"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Previous appearance in CB-176; next appearance in CB-178).

Minor Characters[]

  • Tetra (Previous appearance in CB-176; next appearance in CB-178).
  • Delmurio (Previous appearance in CB-176; next appearance in CB-178).
  • Keiv (Previous appearance in CB-176; next appearance in CB-178).
  • Nostume ((Previous appearance in CB-173; dies in this issue).


  • The Western Ocean, ten days sail from the port of Messentia

Time Frame[]

  • One day
    • It has been at least ten days since the previous issue


After ten days on the ocean fruitlessly following Conan's map, the captain of the ship Conan has hired decides to turn back. While Delmurio and Tetra watch Conan "convince" the captain, Keiv swims to the ship and boards, pulling Delmurio over the side. The sailors attack Keiv, but Delumrio, soaking wet and furious, claims the monster for himself. The fight is interrupted by the appearance of a sea serpent, controlled by the spirit Nostume. The serpent destroys the ship, with Tetra, Keiv, and Delmurio thrown aside and clinging to flotsam. Keiv reveals that he has actually come to warn Conan of Nostume, as he has come to resent his transformation into a monster and wishes to make amends. Conan manages to gathers the surviving crew and directs them to a nearby island, while he stays behind to fight off a shark. Because he has fallen behind, he is not captured by an army of undead ghouls who dwell on the island, who kill the sailors and take Tetra, Delmurio, and Keiv captive. Keiv reveals that the treasure map the group has been following leads to this island, but instead of treasure, it is Nostume's home, inscribed on a map in case the spirit lost his memory with age. Nostume's castle contains the Well of Souls, a source of great power, which, if a being of purity leaps into the well, they will be corrupted with evil but gain great power. A furious Keiv breaks free of his bonds and attempts to attack a noticeably older Nostume, but he is forced back into the bottomless well by Nostume's ghouls. Delmurio is tossed after him, and although Nostume offers to spare Tetra in return for certain "favors", she refuses and is thrown in to the well also. However, after a short fall, she lands alongside Delmurio on the stomach of Keiv, who lodged his massive body against the sides of the well stopping his fall. Conan bursts into the chamber, attacking and wounding Nostume before the spirit has a chance to disappear. Tetra, Delmurio, and Keiv climb out of the well, and Tetra declares her love for Conan, who coldly dismisses her advances. Suddenly, an ancient Nostume appears - Delmurio surmises he is traveling back and forth through time and has been gone for centuries and only now has returned to the moment he left, which explains his aging - and Tetra, stung by Conan's rejection, stumbles and falls into the well unnoticed. Nostume summons all his power to destroy Conan but the power suddenly leaves him, and he collapses to the floor begging Conan for mercy. Conan offers none, to Delmurio's approval, but the castle begins to collapse and the two men and Kiev flee, wondering what happened to the power contained in the Well of Souls that Nostume was tapping. They burst out as the entire structure collapses only to find a floating Tetra, bursting with magical energy, begging for help as the power consumes her...


  • The Chronicles of Conan 23 - Well of Souls and Other Stories
Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #176
Conan the Barbarian #177 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #178
Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #176
Conan the Barbarian #177 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian #178