Yara was a sorcerer-priest who lived in the city of Zamora in his tower known as the Tower of the Elephant. When the elephant-headed transcosmic being Yag-kosha came to Earth from his home planet Yag, Yara became his apprentice and priest in his search for magical knowledge.
Yag-kosha taught him white magic, but refused to teach him the forbidden secrets of black magic, so Yara kept Yag-kosha prisoner in the Elephant Tower that Yara had commanded him to build in a single night. There Yara forced Yag-kosha through centuries of torture to work magic for him, and to teach Yara the dark knowledge that he desired to learn.
When Conan broke into the tower and encountered Yag-kosha, he asked Conan to help him take vengeance on the sorcerer. Following his instructions, Conan put Yag-kosha out of his misery and used his heart's blood to empower the jewel known as the Heart of the Elephant, which he presented to Yara. Yara became trapped inside the jewel where he was destroyed by the renewed spirit of Yag-kosha.
Yara was greatly feared throughout the kingdom of Zamora, even by the king, who feared Yara more than death itself and "kept himself drunk all the time because that fear was more than he could endure sober". According to one tale, Yara transformed a hostile prince into a black spider with the power of his jewel, the Elephant's Heart, and crushed him beneath his heel.