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Thanks to the plague caused by his powerful sorcerer ally, Xaltotun, Tarascus managed to gain the throne of Nemedia, after the death of his royal brother.[1] Later Xaltotun's magic helped Tarascus to win the battle of Valkia. However, he mistrusted Xaltotun and feared his power, so he decided to steal the Heart of Ahriman (thinking it's the souce of magician's power; In fact, it was the magician's weakness and Xaltotun kept it to prevent other's from using it against him) and bid his servant to throw the gem into the sea. Conan overhears this conversation, and goes on an errand to retrieve the gem itself, after he learns the true meaning of the gem.[2]


  1. '1. O Sleeper, Awake!', 'Hour of the Dragon'
  2. '6. The Thrust of a Knife', 'Hour of the Dragon'