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This is the very first Conan story, a reworking of Howard's own Kull story, "By This Axe I Rule!", which had been rejected for publication.
Conan battles a group of treasonous nobles who seek to overthrow him and install one of their own upon the throne of Aquilonia.
Conan, now king of Aquilonia, is struggling with a series of political problems related to his violent takeover of the kingdom. Some of his subjects resent his rule; these treasonous nobles wish to gain power for themselves by dethroning the tyrant. The people even make a statue of the old king in the temple of Mitra. Four nobles get together and hire an assassin.This assassin has an unusual slave is Thoth-Amon, the legendary Sorceror of the Black Ring. Having lost his Black Ring of Set, he has no sorcerous powers. During the story, he regains it by a strange coincidence, and sets a terrible beast on the man who owned him. At the same time, Conan is visited by the spirit of Epimetrius the Sage, who claims to offer him a weapon to defend himself from the minions of Set. His mind foggy from slumber, Conan is still pondering this vision when he is attacked. Traitorous assassins charge into his bedchamber, thinking to kill him while he is unprepared. He is able to slay many before a huge and terrible nightmare beast attacks, killing the remaining assassins and setting on Conan. The story ends with Conan slaying the monster, and being comforted by loyal subjects. One of them comments that there is the mark of a Phoenix on the sword he used to slay the monster, a sure sign of the blessing of Epimetrius.
- Ascalante: "servant" of the Rebel Four
- Dion: fat baron of Attalus
- Epemitreus: a sage, dead for 1500 years
- Gromel: giant commander of the Black Legion
- Numedides (mentioned only): king who Conan killed and replaced
- Pallantides: commander of the Black Dragons
- Prospero: King Conan's right hand man
- Publius: Conan's high coucillor
- Rinaldo: hare-brained minstrel
- Thoth-amon: Ascalante's slave, once a powerful sorcerer, had the Serpent Ring of Set
- Volmana: dwarfish count of Karaban
- Set: Stygian serpent god
- Believed complete --Ant 17:56, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
- "The Phoenix on the Sword" (novelette) • Robert E. Howard • Weird Tales 20 6 (December 1932)
- Skull-Face and Others (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Arkham House 1946
- Skull-Face Omnibus (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Neville Spearman 1974
- Skull-Face Omnibus: Volume 3: The Shadow Kingdom (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Panther 1976
- The Conan Chronicles: Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Millennium February 2001
- Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Wandering Star 2003
- The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Del Rey December 2003 pb
- The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (collection) • Robert E. Howard • SFBC December 2003
- The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Del Rey November 2005 hc
- Wings in the Night (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Wildside Press November 2005
- The Complete Chronicles of Conan (collection) • Robert E. Howard • Gollancz January 2006
- Miskatonic University Library Periodical Reading Room - Weird Tales • anon.
- The Locus Index to Science Fiction (1984-1998) • Charles N. Brown & William G. Contento
- The Encyclopedia of Fantasy • edited by John Clute and John Grant • Orbit 1997 ISBN 1857233689
- Robert E. Howard :Short Story Bibliography • Robert E. Howard : UK Publications • Ian Davy
- Howard Works: Robert E. Howard Bibliography • Paul Herman and Todd A. Woods • winner of The 2004 Stygian Award for best REH-related website
- A Complete Conan Bibliography • Bruce L. Precourt
- A Complete Conan Bibliography • Expanded, edited, and reformatted by William Galen Gray et al.
- The Hyborian Age of Conan the Barbarian • Dale Rippke
- Robert E. Howard – Bibliography (Alphabetical) • Al von Ruff (isfdb)
- The Barbarian Keep • Edward A. Waterman
- International Superheroes: Conan • "Loki"