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Conan the Barbarian #83
Conan the Barbarian Vol 1 83
Date: Feb, 1978
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Howard Chaykin
Inker: Ernie Chan
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Roy Thomas
Title: "The Dance of the Skull!"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Last appearance in CB-82; next appearance in the first story of SSOC-97).

Minor Characters[]

  • Sabia (Last appearance in CB-82). Dies in this issue.
  • Neth-At (Last appearance in CB-82). Dies in this issue.
  • Toroa (First full appearance; mentioned in CB-82). Dies in this issue.


  • The swamps off the Viper River, south of Harakht in Stygia

Time Frame[]

  • One night


Still reeling from his encounter with Sabia, Conan stumbles through the jungle and is found by Neth-At and his men. Neth-At tells Conan that the prisoner escaped in the confusion, and Conan suspects that he has found his doom for betraying Toroa. The two men come across an abandoned Stygian village, and Conan realizes that they have deserted their homes to go to the House of Damballah, a holy site nearby. Suddenly, Neth-At sees a man in the jungle and gives chase. When they attempt to cross a stream, Neth-At shoots an arrow at the form, and Conan glimpses a woman struck through the heart with an arrow. Without warning, Neth-At is dragged underneath and killed by some vicious creature as Conan can only watch. He then hears shouts and follows the sounds, only to magically freeze again, hidden from sight, where he sees a crowd with a Stygian performing magical rituals and dances that transforms his men in the river into monsters. It is Toroa, and he commands Sabia to perform the Dance of the Skulls. As she begins, her movements are halting, and she finally pitches over dead before she can complete the spell, Neth-At's arrow in her chest. Conan finds he can move again as Toroa's army, realizing that the magic is lost, flee. Toroa drags Sabia's body to the river and commands his denizens of the deep to rise. At this, Conan confronts him, and Toroa realizes he faces Amra. The battle is short, and Conan is victorious, but almost immediately he is attacked by the river monsters and pulled into the river. A frenzied battle breaks out and Conan escapes, pausing only to burn the small encampment to the ground as he continues his journey to Harakht.


Adapted from the story "Black Canaan" by Robert E. Howard.


  • Conan Saga #91
  • Chronicles of Conan Volume 11: The Dance of the Skull and Other Stories

Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:Conan the Barbarian #82 Conan the Barbarian #83 Next Appearance:Savage Sword of Conan #97
Conan the Barbarian
Previous Issue:Conan the Barbarian #82 Conan the Barbarian #83 Next Issue:Conan the Barbarian #84