|Publisher||Rural Publishing Corporation|
|Publication date||July 1933|
"Black Colossus" is one of the original
This story formed part of the basis for the later Conan novel,
An ancient wizard named Thugra Khotan is awoken from his 3,000 year slumber by Shevatas, a Zamoran thief (he doesn't survive the experience). Soon, Thugra remembers his dream of world domination. He assumes the alias of Natohk (The "Veiled One"), assembles an army of desert nomads, and begins his strategy on conquering the Hyborian nations. However, the tiny kingdom of Khoraja - with a mixed Hyborian/Shemite population, culture, and religion - stands in his way. Khoraja is presently ruled by the beautiful Yasmela, sister of the king, who is now a prisoner in neighboring Ophir. In fear of Natohk's potential invasion, Yasmela seeks advice from the long-forgotten god of her ancestors,
Fortunately, the first man she encounters is Conan the Cimmerian. Conan already has a position in Yasmela's army. Now, he's given full command over Khoraja's royal military, much to the confusion of his more cultured comrades. Soon, Conan demonstrates his knowledge in military tactics by defeating an entire caravan of bandits. However, Conan's efforts are ridiculed by the arrogant officers below him who fall victim to Natohk's magic. Meanwhile, Natohk has made it clear conquering the world isn't the only goal on his agenda: He also desires Queen Yasmela for himself.
The story climaxes with an epic battle. Conan defeats Natohk's army and the wizard devises a final attempt in capturing Yasmela. Conan goes after Natohk and confronts him near the ruins of a Stygian temple.