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Khossus V was a king of Koth who founded the capital city of Khorshemish 3,000 years before the time of Conan on the ruins of an earlier city. Long before the wizard Tsotha-lanti built the Scarlet Citadel on the great hill that dominates Khorshemish, Khossus built his royal palace there. While constructing cellars in the hill beneath the palace, Khossus came upon a door that had been walled up. He broke through it and discovered the system of tunnels that would later become known as the Halls of Horror during the time of Tsotha-lanti.[1]

The grand vizier under Khossus died when he fell down a mysterious well in the tunnels, causing the king to wall up the entrance again. He later built a new palace for himself in the suburbs of Khorshemish as far away from the hill as possible. When Khossus discovered a strange black mold on the marble floor of his new palace one morning, he became frightened and abandoned Khorshemish altogether, departing along with his entire court to the eastern corner of Koth where he built a new city. The palace on the hill fell into ruin until Tsotha-lanti built his citadel in its place and opened the way into the pits again.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The Scarlet Citadel"), Del Rey (2003).