"(S)urvivors of butchered Stygian ships named Belit with curses, and a white warrior with fierce blue eyes; so the Stygian princes remembered this man long and long, and their memory was a bitter tree which bore crimson fruit in the years to come."
This is one of the unfulfilled promises of Howard's writings. I wonder if -- leading a western coalition to meet Yezdigerd -- Conan might have been ambushed mid-battle by Stygians? Perhaps Conan might have taken mortal blows in a heroic action which turned the tide of battle, snatching triumph from the brink of anihilation?
Oh, there's several "untold tales" like that. I'm not sure if there's a thread on 'em. I definitely think Conan would've been more likely to make a strike against expansionist and vigorous Turan (thereby staving off a "Shadow of the Vulture"-type situation) than moving against sleepy Stygia like we see in so many pastiches.
A (victorious) variant of the English defense of 1066 might be a fitting way for Conan to meet his end.
- Marching east, he defeats a strong allied invasion led by Turan. An epic fight, possibly and ironically saving Nemedia from destruction (ha!). ** Note how the bits of the Nemedian Chronicle revealed do NOT picture him as a villain **
- His army bled white defeating the Turanians, Conan recieves word that a strong, and appropriately creepy/sorcerous Stygian invasion is driving north in Hyborean lands, and that the Stygians have been able to organize major Pictish raids.
- Conan rushes west with what mounted troops he can take with him. He is able to organize a worthy defense quicker than ol' Set expected, drives off the Picts and then squares off with the Stygians as they cross into Aquilonia...
- Conan's army is small but iron-willed in the defense. The tide turns though, in favor of the invaders and whatever monsterous allies march with them. Seeing a brief chance to stab at the heart of the attackers, the King charges forward, and in a combat worthy of the ages, strikes down the leader or monstrous champion of the Stygian host. Mortally wounded, but hanging on, Conan stands his ground while the legions of Set waver and flee the field.
- Conan holds on to life for another day or two, giving orders to his nobles and captains... News of the Stygia defeat hits first and spreads fast, "the page turns" before news of the King's death leaks out. By then, the southern Hyborian realms, seeing the Stygians repelled, and Aquilonia standing firm, fall upon the invaders in mixed measures of opportunism and vengence for their plundering on the recent march north... The armies of Ophir, Argos, Koth and Zingara harry the demoralized army of Set, until only a handful of desperate survivors finally cross over the Styx...
- Conan's heirs hold sway, and though his body is escorted in honor back to Tarantia, he is not entombed in a crypt alongside previous kings of the realm. On a hill outside the capitol, a great mound was added to the summit, covering over the slain king. As the way of dour Cimmerians, he was buried without riches.
Edited by thatericn, 28 June 2012 - 05:55 PM.