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The Serpent Ring of Set is a mystical ring owned by the Stygian wizard Thoth-Amon. It's the source for much of his magical power, or perhaps serves as a focus for it.[1]


The Serpent Ring is made of a coppery metal in the form of a scaled serpent, coiled three times with its tail in its mouth, and baleful eyes that are glittering yellow gems.[1]


Thoth-Amon obtained the ring in a tomb deep beneath the earth, "forgotten before the first man crawled out of the slimy sea". At some point, it was stolen from him by a Shemite thief and the wizard's power was broken. In his vulnerable state, Thoth-Amon fled before the rival wizards now trying to kill him.[1]

Disguised as a camel driver, he was traveling in a caravan through Koth when the caravan was attacked by Ascalante and his desert bandits. Everyone in the caravan was killed, except for Thoth-Amon, whose life was spared when he revealed his identity to Ascalante and swore allegiance to him.[1]

Returning to Aquilonia with Ascalante, Thoth-Amon discovered that his ring was in the possession of Baron Dion, after he bought it from the thief who had stolen it. Dion was unaware of the nature of the ring, believing that it was nothing more than a good luck charm. Thoth-Amon killed Dion to get it back, plunging a dagger into his chest and reclaiming his lost Serpent Ring.[1]

Having vowed to take revenge on Ascalante for his constant mistreatment, Thoth-Amon used the Serpent Ring to summon a demon from the Outer Voids to hunt Ascalante down and destroy him. This demon is described as a cross between a gigantic baboon and a Stygian mummy.[1]


Although Thoth-Amon frequently uses the Serpent Ring to summon demons to kill his enemies, it's uncertain whether or not this represents the true extent of the ring's capabilities.[1]

In order to reactivate the power of the Serpent Ring after recovering it from Dion, Thoth-Amon held it in his hands and projected his mind into the dark abyss where he consumed the evil aura of the ring into his soul. He smeared some of Dion's freshly-spilled blood into the yellow eyes of the serpent, until they turned crimson. As he did this, Thoth spoke an invocation.[1]

“Blind your eyes, mystic serpent. Blind your eyes to the moonlight and open them on darker gulfs. What do you see, oh serpent of Set? Whom do you call from the gulfs of the Night? Whose shadow falls on the waning Light? Call him to me, oh serpent of Set.” [1]

Stroking the scales with a circular motion of his fingers, a motion which carried the fingers back to their starting place, "he whispered dark names and grisly incantations forgotten the world over, save in the grim hinterlands of dark Stygia, where monstrous shapes move in the dusk of the tombs." [1]

The Haunter of the Ring[]

In the Robert E. Howard story "The Haunter of the Ring", set in the 20th century, the Serpent Ring has descended through the ages to the modern period, "handed down by foul cults of sorcerers since the days of forgotten Stygia". An occultist of the dark arts named Joseph Roelocke discovered the ring in Hungary and sent it to his former lover, Evelyn Gordon, on the pretext of a peace offering after she spurned him, but his true purpose was revenge.[2]

Roelocke summoned a demon or "black elemental spirit" tied to the ring itself. When Evelyn put on the ring, she found herself unable to remove it. This allowed the demon to take over her body and force Evelyn to try to murder her husband James. Each time she attempted to murder him under the demon's control she failed, and had no memory of it after the fact.[2]

Roelocke was finally confronted by his old enemy John Kirowan, who made Roelocke lose control over the demon. When the demon killed Roelocke while claiming his soul, James and Evelyn were set free from the evil power of the ring.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The Phoenix on the Sword"), Del Rey (2003).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Robert E. Howard, The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard ("The Haunter of the Ring"), Del Rey (2008).