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Wolves Beyond the Border

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"Wolves Beyond the Border" is a fragment of a non-Conan story set in the Hyborian Age by Robert E. Howard.

It was re-written and completed as a Conan story by L. Sprague de Camp.

Synopsis Edit

Gault Hager's Son wakes from his hiding place in the forest to the sounds of drums beating. He creeps towards the sounds and sees a war party of fifty Picts of the Hawk Tribe and one light-skinned man assumed to be a Ligurean surrounding a fire and war shaman. A captive Raven Tribe Pict is brought forward and tied to an altar. Presently, a monstrous serpent slinks down from the trees and hovers above the captive. The shaman's dancing reaches a crescendo, and in the smoke of the fire, the captive and snake seem to merge...and suddenly it is over, both creatures lie still. The man is cut free and he awakens, trying to slither away on his belly, and the snake attempts to stand up...their souls have traded places, Gault realizes to his horror. Both are beheaded to the delight and cries of the Picts, and the shaman takes his mask off, revealing himself to be Tenayoga, who had burned alive a friend of the skulking witness. Feeling a wave of vengeance, he shoots an arrow directly into Tenayoga's chest, and the light-skinned man turns revealing himself to be a Hyborian. The Picts race into the forest and Gault flees, trying to understand how a Hyborian could become a welcome guest of the Picts and view their most sacred rituals. One Pict manages to catch him, but a lucky thrust from Gault's knife kills the Pict. Gault races towards Fort Kwanyara.
Reaching the fort's domain, Gault encounters the guard Otho Gorm's Son, and learns that the Baron of Torh, head of the Conawaga province is taking advantage of the civil war to expand into Schohira. Gault heads into the village of Schondara, looking for the commander of the fort, and when he finds Haken Strom's Son he tells him he bears a message from Brant Drago's Son, governor of Thandara - the province stands with Conan, and has repulsed the Numedides-aligned Baron Attelius. Haken is worried that the loyalist Lord Brocas of Conawaga will march on Schohira, and in fact the Lord is only ten miles away across Ogha Creek. Gault informs Haken that 150 rangers from Thandara stand ready to assist Fort Kwanyara and the two, after a quick drink, head to the fort itself to inform Haken's brother, Dirk, the commander of the forces. Gault wonders why the Picts seem to be of no concern, and is told Lord Valerian has managed to force a truce with the local tribes. When they enter the taproom, Haken points out Valerian, and to Gault's astonishment it is the white man from the night before. When Gault accuses Valerian of consorting with Picts, Valerian draws his sword but is tackled by Gault. The villagers pull them apart and see the remnants of Pict war paint on Valerian's chest. Uncertain of all the implications, Hakon has Valerian taken to the gaol and locked up as Gault is taken to Dirk Strom's Son. The situation is explained to the commander, who grimly takes in the news about Valerian but is pleased of the offer of troops from Thandara. Gault returns to the tavern for a well-deserved rest.

Characters Edit

  • Gault Hager's Son
  • Tenayoga, Pictish shaman of the Hawk Tribe
  • Otho Gorm's Son
  • Hakon Strom's son
  • Lord Valerian

Kwarada, The witch of Skandaga


  • Aquilonia
    • Province of Schohira
      • Fort Kwanyara
      • Village of Schondara

Continuity NotesEdit

The revolution progresses with hurricane speed. While knights and sergeants in gleaming mail clash in charge and counter-charge on the Aquilonian plains, civil war rages along the Pictish frontier between the partisans of Conan and those of Numedides. The Picts, naturally, see their opportunity. Here is a tale of some of the events of that strife-torn land, as told by one of the survivors of the conflict; for the Hyborian Age was a time of stirring events in many times and places, not merely those in which Conan was present. - Conan the Usurper

  • This story takes place two years after the destruction of Fort Tuscelan.

Publication historyEdit

  •  ???


References Edit

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