Synopsis for “Zukala’s Daughter”
Traveling through a remote Zamorian village while returning to Shadizar, Conan ends up in the middle of a sorcerer’s tax collecting scam. The village has not paid its 40 pieces of gold, so the sorcerer sends a demon-tiger to collect. Conan battles, and loses against, the tiger, but it decides not to kill the barbarian and slinks off, changing into its true shape, a beautiful woman. The townsfolk tell Conan that she is the daughter of the sorcerer, Zukala. The girl, Zephra, returns to her father but for some reason is so pale and sickly that she falls into her father’s arms. Meanwhile, Conan agress to slay the sorcerer in return for a sword that had caught his eye. Conan sneaks into Zukala’s fortress and watches as the sorcerer summons a demon, Jagta-Noga, to punish the villagers. Conan is discovered by Zephra, and explains her odd behavior — she saw a vision of her fated to love Conan, and Conan standing over her dead body. The two are interrupted by Zukala, who runs off when Conan shatters his mask, the source of his power. Enough of the mask remains for a few magical tricks, however, and commands his daughter to turn into the tigress and slay the Cimmerian. She refuses, however, but Jaggta-Noga returns to defend the wizard. Zephra leaps between demon and barbarian. Zephra is dealt a near-killing blow, and, horrified, Zukala sends the demon away. Zukala vanishes with his daughter, who, while still alive, is no longer as loyal to her father as she had been, and this saddens the sorcerer more than anything else. Conan takes the gold left behind, decides it’s payment enough, and continues to Shadizar.