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Conan the Barbarian Annual #8
Conan the Barbarian Annual Vol 1 8
Date: 1984
Cover: Val Mayerik
Writer: Jim Owsley
Penciller: Val Mayerik
Inker: Val Mayerik
Colorist: Steven Mellor
Letterer: Rick Parker
Editor: Larry Hama
Title: Dark Night of the White Queen

Major CharactersEdit

  • Conan (Previous appearance in CB-154; next appearance in CB-155).
  • Kull

Minor CharactersEdit

  • Tu (First and only appearance to date). Kull's Councillor.
  • Castrica (First and only appearance to date; dies in this issue).
  • Narcia (First and only appearance to date).
  • Alexus (First and only appearance to date).
  • Asaad (First and only appearance to date).

LocationsEdit

  • Border Kingdoms
    • The city-state Tarsus

Time FrameEdit

  • Two days

SynopsisEdit

Prologue: In the past, Kull and his Red Slayers track down a few members of the snake cult who are awaiting the birth of their dark god's child. The woman, impregnated only days before, births twins, a male and a female, much to the cultists' chagrin. They are interrupted in their ritual, though, when they are attacked and slain by Kull. The king gives the babies to his Councillor, Tu, who, rather than drowning them as Kull commands (even though he has not the heart to do it himself), Tu gives them to a shepherd who has lost his only son. In the present, Conan has found himself employment in the royal castle at Tarsus, and is fighting a rebellion against the royal family of Castrica, princess and dabbler in dark arts who will be coronated queen tomorrow, Narcia, the gentle white-magic step-princess beloved and preferred by the people, and Alexus, the cowardly sorcerer step-prince. When the soldier Asaad comes to inform Conan the rebels are storming the gates, Conan goes to fight them, but Alexus coldly conjures a pit to swallow friend and foe alike, killing many. That night, Narcia accompanies Conan in secret to feed the sick and homeless, but on returning to the castle find that Alexus has summoned a creeping hellspawn which Conan dispatches. Believing himself to be an emissary of Set, and with the support of Castrica, he teleports away to retrieve some books from his castle. To Conan's shock, Narcia wants to go after him and insists Conan and his men accompany her to confront her brother. They make their way at dawn, and upon approaching the castle see it change from white to black, which Narcia says mimic's Alexus's soul. Alexus's face appears in the clouds above the party and, when Conan disrespects him, hurls flames at the group, following that with a swarm of bat demons. Narcia's white magic sends the creatures away, though she becomes testy and uncharacteristically snaps at her men, who wish to proceed no further against powers they are helpless against. Conan continues with Narcia as Asaad and the other men return to Taurus. Conan and Narcia enter the seemingly deserted castle, and Narcia explains that the more she uses her magic, the more it taints her, as it has Alexus. They find a bat-demon corpse, and Narcia realizes Alexus has transformed her castle guard into monsters, and she was tricked into killing them. They are attacked by Alexus himself, now turned into a wolf-man, and despite Narcia's protests Conan kills him...or so he thinks as Alexus, unkillable, arises while Castrica goads him from nearby. Narcia transports Conan to a pocket dimension she and her brother used to play in, and grants him silver armor and weaponry to equal the odds. Alexus soon appears and attacks again, easily besting Conan and telling Alexus the only way to stop him and save Conan is for her to kill him, darkly hinting at the consequences if she does. Castrica appears and repeats Alexus's words, and Narcia finally fires a magical bolt into her brother killing him, but that was all part of the prophecy - Alexus's death by his sister completes his transformation into a near god-like creature, and he destroys the castle and a shocked Castrica with it. Alexus, now a giant sky being, turns his attention to conquering the world, but Narcia begs Conan to kill her with the sword she created, and Conan grants her wish, which causes her evolution into a goddess and she becomes locked in eternal battle with her brother. Meanwhile, the soldiers have returned and Conan tells Asaad that Tarsus has no rulers - which means it is ripe for looting.

ReprintedEdit

  • The Chronicles of Conan 22 - Reavers in the Borderland and Other Stories
Conan Chronology
Previous Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #154
Conan the Barbarian Annual #8 Next Appearance:
Conan the Barbarian #155
Conan the Barbarian Annual
Previous Issue:
Conan the Barbarian Annual #7
Conan the Barbarian Annual #8 Next Issue:
Conan the Barbarian Annual #9

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