[CONAN] Shadow Lord

In the recent not-so-good-but-I-still-watch-it-and-leave-it-on-in-the-background-as-I-fold-clothes Conan The Barbarian reboot, the bad guy is one called Khalar Zym.


We know little about this powerful warlord other than his wife and daughter are witches of a powerful sorcerous cult and that he is known to be a Shadow Lord.

I've read the novel adaptation of the film (which, I've got to say, is better than the movie, spending the first third of the book focussing on Young Conan and a lot of detail not seen in the film), and there really isn't any more illumination on witch cult or the Shadow Lords than what we get in the film.


That leaves a lot of room for us fans to just, well, make it up.

What do you think? What's your educated guess or speculation on the details of Zym's title as Shadow Lord and Marique's strange cult?

I thought it might be fun for us Conan fans to put some meat on these ideas.
Here's a thought: I've noticed that Zym doesn't seem to have any special powers other than being a consumate warrior. He does kick Conan's behonkus at the Shaipur Outpost. Conan has to create a distraction and run from him, jumping off over the wall and into the ocean.

I was thinking: Maybe the Shadow Lord serves a function in the hierarchy of Marique's (and Khalar's wife's) witch cult.

What if the order is male dominated, politically, but there is a separation of power in only the women can wield sorcerery?

Thus, the powerful witch is held in check by her Shadow Lord.

That would bring up a question, though. Why would a powerful witch bow down to a man with no sorcerous power of his own?
And then there's the monks of the Order of Shaipur. They seem to have controlled a pretty large area that has fallen into decay. There's the Shaipur Monastery, where Tamara and the monks reside. There's the Shaipur Ravine, where Conan used the old catapult to vault Remo into Zym's lines. And, the region sports the Shaipur Outpost, on the coast, where Conan meets Zym and Marique, fights the sandmen, and jumps into the Shaipur Bay.

The monk order--in the book charged with protecting the ancient Archeron bloodlines--seems to me to have more of a purpose than just the bloodline guardianship.

The Outpost seems recently deserted. Is this because Zym's soldiers have scared all the monks off? Yet, the Monastery seems to have been falling into decay for centuries. With all those monks to take care of the place...why?

From the film, there seems to be two different types of monks. There's the brown-robed ones who seem to be the soldiers. They have pikes, spears, dual-wielded swords, and bows. And, they can do neat things like flip backwards while riding a horse and loose an arrow, straight and true, at their enemy. The other monks are white-robed, like Tamara and her master, Fassir. These seem to look into the future while tugging on an opium pipe (Fassir) and know how to fight in close hand-to-hand and dirk engagements.

My take is that the Order of the Shaipur is an aging, almost extinct, organization that remains the blood enemies of whatever cult Zym's wife and Marique belong to.


As a fan, I'm trying to ignore that it ever existed at all.

Seriously, why spend effort on adapting something that paid only lip service to fitting into the Hyborean world and that you don't really care for?
Adapt the material you do like (sadly, no live action Conan fits the bill for me), twisting it to fit your needs. Find non-Conan stories that -could- be Conan stories, and adapt those for your gaming needs (That's how Roy Thomas gave us Red Sonja).
But I also totally get it if you are playing the "I can do better" game, and re-writing bad fiction to make it usable (I've done that more times than I care to admit)

Mach5RR said:
Seriously, why spend effort on adapting something that paid only lip service to fitting into the Hyborean world and that you don't really care for?

It's a good point. To explain: I like the Conan movie...sorta. I think it was a missed opportunity. I give it three out of five stars. I liked it better than Clash of the Titans and about the same as Wrath of the Titans. I think the Conan reboot is tons better than, say, The Scorpion King.

But, yeah, the movie feels like a cheap, Saturday afternoon action serial.

So, I don't hate the movie--I just wish I had gotten what the LotR fans got when that trilogy came out. I wanted epic and good. I got crappy and barely servicable.

I liked it better than the Kull movie...better than the first Dungeon Siege movie (haven't seen the second)....much better than the two D&D films...better than Conan The Destroyer. The new reboot is better than all of those. I like it about the same as the Arnold version.

But, I don't think it's a great movie by any stretch. And, I understand why so many hate it.
Spectator said:
S4 can you do a character write up and statting of Marique?

Not one that I'd show anybody. Confession: Eventhough I've GMed my campaign now for going on two years, we haven't had a lot of sorcery in our game--that is, sorcery that goes by the rules of the game.

I've not even read the Sorcery chapter in the game yet, besides browsing through it.

My game, as you know, is set in Cimmeria, so I've had little cause to learn those rules. None of the PCs use sorcery.

I plan on learning it one day--I just haven't needed to, yet.

Therefore, statting up Marique would be a real challenge in order to get her "right".

Judge Shaw

I am only a novice fan, having read only a couple of the stories...probably why I am a little more forgiving of the new film. But, to throw my two cents in I would say that Zym was a Kothian (Soldier) , and Maliva a Stygian (Scholar) with probably more then a little Acheronian blood.