Black Colossus

Just finished this brilliant Howard story for the first time. I love it! I do.

Fantastic story.


I love how it's the bad guy who is weakened by the woman at the end. That was a nice twist. And, so subtle, too. Not a big thing in the story. It's just "there" for you to appreciate or not.

And, Howard's, I love the way the man writes. In three sentences, he can put me "there". I'm acutally walking on those streets, smelling the smells, breathing the air, hearing the clap of my sandals on the cobblestone street--the weight of heavy steel tugging on my waist.

I was thinking how this would make for an excellent PC adventure (if you're lucky enough to have players who haven't read the story). Kuthchemes is written up in one of the S&P's. I don't recall, but I think Thugra Khotan is written up in that story as well.

The way Howard wrote the story just lends itself to a PC or three playing Conan's part. Even the great battle focusses on Conan behind the lines, and when he does enter the fray, it's a one-on-one duel with the renegade Stygian prince. Can't you just see using the Narration Battle System from Free Companies while running this fight, focusing on the PC's?

And, there's so much to expand upon, too. What about the other locations in Kuthchemes? What lurks there? How about fleshing out the renegade Stygian prince? The hillmen that show up to help Conan...I could go on and on.

A GM could start the game from Conan's entrance into the story, having one of the PCs the first man the princess sees. Or, the GM could include the first part of the story, too, with Shevatas, but, instead, it's the PCs who awaken Thugra.

Lots of possiblities. It'd be a good adventure.

And, the follow on, too, could be a sequel: the story by Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp, Shadows in the Dark, that picks up right where Howard's story ends.
Oh...and what about all that wealth that is collected in Thugra's temple? This the state of Khoraja get it? To help pay for their war spending, maybe?

Dispute over that coin may be the crux for an add-on adventure. Kuthchemes is in Shem. Maybe a Shemmitish City-State, devestated by Thugra's host, lays claim to the gold, too, against Khoraja.

And now, we've got something more for the PC's to do...diplomacy...theivery...another war. Lots of possibilities.