Conan Wiki
Savage Sword of Conan #174
Ssoc 174
Date: June, 1990
Cover: Earl Norem
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciller: Mike Clark
Brad Vancata
Joe Rosas
Mickey Ritter
Inker: Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: {{{colorist}}}
Letterer: Mike Heisler
Diana Albers
Editor: Craig Anderson
Title: "Red Stones"

Major Characters[]

  • Conan (Previous chronological appearance CA-14; next chronological appearance CB-4).

Minor Characters[]

  • Palus (First and only appearance to date). Guard Captain.
  • Siddhara (First appearance; dies in this issue). Arenjun noble.
  • Ramtha Karn (First appearance; dies in this issue). Former Aquiilonian soldier; now giant immortal.
  • Taurus (Name mentioned only; first appears in CB-4). Nemedian thief
  • Lorando (First and only appearance to date). Supposed Nemedian merchant, in employ of Siddhara.


  • Arenjun, the City of Thieves (capital of Zamora).

Time Frame[]

  • A week.


Conan, recently arrived in Arenjun, is manipulated by the merchant Lorando into attempting to rob the merchant Cracius, a job that will be Conan's first as a thief. The treasure, however, is guarded by a giant, magical glass snake, which Conan manages to defeat. His escape is hindered, however, by guards under the command of Palus, who imprison Conan. Conan is visited in his cell by Siddhara, who reveals the whole exercise was a test, and Conan was the first to survive. After seducing the young barbarian, she reveals that she wants Conan to steal the Red Stones of Ramtha Karn, legendary objects of healing power ripped from the gullet of a giant lizard-beast and in possession of Ramtha Karn. Siddhara already has one, and uses it to cure her maladies. Palus and a handful of men accompany Conan to Ramtha Karn's keep, which is surrounded by a giant stone maze. The maze is trapped, however, and designed to grind the blood from bodies and drain it to the keep. Conan and Palus escape to the top of the walls, and leap their way to the center of the maze. The fifty-year-old Palus reveals that decades ago he was Siddhara's lover and he had stolen the first stone from his master, killing him in the process. The two men encounter two-headed wolves, and Palus saves Conan from death as they find their way into an abattoir, where the secrets of the stones are revealed - their healing power comes from human blood, but after a time, the power fades away. There are only two stones left, and Ramtha Karn, now an invulnerable giant from centuries of direct exposure, wears one around his neck. He easily captures Conan and Palus and drains Palus to near death and explains to the men that Siddhara has sent others over the years, all failing to take the stones. Conan manages to escape his bonds and throw Karn in the fire, but it does not hurt him. Palus reminds Conan about the power of the stones, and Conan shatters the stone Karn wears around his neck. The giant quickly turns to dust as Conan holds the final stone out of his reach. With his dying breath, Palus asks Conan to take the stone back to Siddhara. Conan does, and sees that Siddhara is also rapidly aging; she has been using the stones powers to stay young, and she admits to Conan that Palus was getting to old for her. Conan gives her the final stone, but she discovers its powers have burned out; Conan instead healed Palus with it. Conan leaves and meets with Palus, who, overhearing what Siddhara said about him, is now over her. Palus asks Conan to come with him to Turan to be a soldier, but Conan decides to stay in Arenjun as a thief for the time being. As he walks toward a tavern, he overhears a conversation about an Elephant Tower...


  • Conan has only been in Arenjun for two days.
  • Conan was chased by wolves a few weeks ago (although that is at odds with the nearly six weeks of CA-6).

Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Adventurer 14
Savage Sword of Conan #174 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian 4

Savage Sword of Conan
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Savage Sword of Conan #173 Next Issue:
Savage Sword of Conan #175