Synopsis for “The Monster of the Monoliths!”
Conan washes up on the docks of Makkalet and, in hopes of extracting information, is brought by the soldier Khurusan before the king. Conan explains his situation, and King Eannatum, amused, decides to let Conan work for him. Conan is sent to recruit the help of the queen’s father, and, after Melissandra gives him a rune-carved armlet, Conan, Khurusan, and several other soldiers ride from town. They encounter Turnaina troops attempting to blockade the roads leading from town, but break free. They come to an altar made of towering obelisks and, to Conan’s surprise, kill its caretaker, a blind hermit. The soldiers then beat Conan into unconsciousness and tie him and the hermit’s daughter to the altar, intending to sacrifice him, which has been their intention all along. Khurusan then kills the other soldiers to leave no witnesses. He starts the ritual and kills the girl, and a humanoid toad-like monster materializes on top of an obelisk. Conan manages to break his bonds and scrambles away, but the toad-creature follows. Conan realizes that the armlet is calling to the creature and tosses it to a surprised Khurusan. The creature pounces on and devours the solider, then vanishes. Conan decides, since he gave his word, to continue his journey to recruit soldiers for Makkalet’s cause.