Wolves Beyond the Border
|"Wolves Beyond the Border"|
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"Wolves Beyond the Border" is one of the original stories by American writer
Set during the time of Conan's conquest of Aquilonia, the foreword and story refer to ongoing battles between the armies of Conan and King Numedides. The Picts see an opportunity, however. Narrated by the son of a border ranger named Gault Hagar, his father witnesses a secret Pictish ceremony conducted by Tenayoga, a Ligurean shaman, and Lord Valerian, an Aquilonian nobleman. Gault travels to Fort Kwanyara, near the village of Schondara, where he meets an old friend, exchanges news on Conan's forces, and discover Lord Valerian's treachery. Valerian avoids his imprisonment by fleeing into the Pictish Wilderness.
Gault escapes his encounter with a giant ape and follows Valerian to a nearby cabin, where he spies on Valerian's meeting with Tenayoga and his band of Gunderman guards. The leaders of four Pictish tribes plan on joining forces and consult a wizard in their swamp. Gault, Hakon, and their rangers attack the cabin, setting it alight. The two rangers track those who escaped the carnage into a swamp and are captured. The tribes agree on raiding Schondara first and quickly depart, leaving their captives bound to stakes. Gault escapes his bonds, slays the wizard, and the pair are just in time to sabotage the Pictish assault while being declared as heroes.
The atmosphere of the story is reminiscent of the