THE HYBOREAN AGE…
The scene is a recently blood-stained bridge of rock spanning a massive chasm…Here, three warriors stand, weary yet determined in the cold night air. There had been five warriors-but the giant barbarian with the wild mane of black hair has dispatched two of his would-be ambushers with brutal thrusts of his broadsword, and now only two of his attackers remain.
As the three men move deliberately around the rock, seeking advantage in the treacherous topography, the pebbles and dirt that they dislodge with their boots drops four hundred feet onto the jagged stones below…
STYGIAN ONE: You’ve slain our brothers, Cimmerian— Our honor demands your blood tonight.
CONAN: Is it honor that forces you to attack a pair of warriors in the night, like craven curs? If you choose to live like dogs, then you will surely die like dogs.
STYGIAN ONE: A “pair” of warriors? Aside from YOU, barbarian, I see naught but the night sky.
STYGIAN TWO: The barbarian is mad, brother.
CONAN: Speak plain, Stygian. Or does your courage run from you now that the odds are even, two warriors to two?
STYGIAN ONE: Who is this unseen other warrior, barbarian? Show him to us so that you may go to Hell with a companion to make the journey more pleasant.
CONAN: Do not jest with me, Stygian…You MUST see my friend. His fearsome claws, his bone-crushing fangs?
STYGIAN TWO: You’re deranged. It almost pains me to kill a man whose reason has left him.
CONAN: Can you not see the lust for blood that is in his eyes?
STYGIAN ONE: Brother, I believe he speaks of the cloth totem he carries!
STYGIAN TWO: Surely NOT, brother! The cloth totem? The barbarian believes that it is a real…?
CONAN: A curse on you both. Prepare yourself, for tonight you go to meet Crom!
Then, a brief clanging of metal, followed by the screams of two dying Stygians filling the desert night…
CONAN: That was a fierce battle, Hobbes. Only the strength of my swordarm and your feral rage prevented our demise…
HOBBES: Bleah. You’d think these Stygians could BATHE once in a while! Now I have this awful taste in my mouth.
CONAN: Come, friend. Let us ride into the city in the valley where a flagon of ale will be sure to wash the taste of their cowardice from your tongue.
HOBBES: Do you think they have antelope there? In those little cans?
CONAN: HOLD, Hobbes! A RIDER approaches! It appears to be a Kothian, far from his homeland… Steel yourself for BATTLE!
HOBBES: But I just ate!
A blood-red moon hangs full in the night sky as the lone rider overtakes the wary travelers…
RIDER: HOLD! Art thou the Cimmerian that is known as CONAN THE BARBARIAN?
Conan tenses…he does not ask for battle, but neither will he shirk from it…
CONAN: I am.
RIDER: Then I bear a message for thee. ‘Tis from the fair maiden, Red Sonja. She bade me to deliver it unto you, and none other. ‘Twas a task gladly accepted, for the name CONAN is well-remembered amongst my people.
The rider hands Conan a scroll…
CONAN: My thanks, Kothian. May Crom watch over you.
RIDER: And you as well, Cimmerian. Peace be with you in your travels. Heeeyah!
The rider thunders away on his coal-black steed.
CONAN: A message from Sonja Derkins. I wonder, what is it that the wench desires, that should send a messenger in the thick of night?
HOBBES: Oooooh! A SECRET MESSAGE! From SONJA! Oooooo!
CONAN: Cease your prattle, jungle cat…
HOBBES: Is it a looOOOooooOOOve note?
CONAN: …I said CEASE!
HOBBES: Maybe she wants to give you MUCHAS SMOOCHES!
CONAN: Aaaagh! Hold your tongue! I warn you!
HOBBES: Conan and Sonja sittin’ in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.—first comes mating, bang bang crash, then you got chain-mail diaper rash!
CONAN: STUPID TIGER!
A fierce scuffle ensues…
After the battle, the two friends make their way to a small, dank inn, where Red Sonja Derkins sits alone at a table, waiting…
RED SONJA: Greetings, Conan. I see you brought your tiger plaything. Isn’t he a cutsie-wootsie? Mr. Fuzzy-wuzzy adorablekins?
CONAN: Have a care, wench! He’ll tear your arms out! He’ll rip your heart from your breast!
RED SONJA: Nonsense. Now heed my words well, Conan. Less than a day’s ride from here is the castle of the Serpent Mistress, Mulath Kabran Wormwood. I know that inside her hold is the richest treasure horde in the Southern lands, but I need your help to get it.
A serving wench brings two steaming plates of food, setting one before Red Sonja and one before the barbarian.
RED SONJA: I thought you might be hungry, so I ordered for both of us.
CONAN: Huh. Odd.
RED SONJA: What is it?
CONAN: Well, it’s just that I’ve never had quail’s anus before.
RED SONJA: That’s not quail’s anus! It’s stewed mutton!
CONAN: Oh, no. It’s definitely quail’s anus. Huh. They’re slipperier than I’d imagined. And this one seems to have been ill when it was slaughtered. Look how SWOLLEN it is, and discolored as well…
RED SONJA: Arrrgh! You DISGUST me. I’m no longer hungry. If you wish to join me on this adventure, meet me in one hour at the city gates.
CONAN: Ick. Now why would an eyeball be in the middle of a plate of quail’s anus stew? That is just strange.
RED SONJA: PIG! I HATE you!
Sonja leaves in a furious state, knocking to the floor two men twice her size, who wisely choose not to complain…
HOBBES: Wow! Did you see the way she was looking at me? I think she really LIKED me! Woowoo, chain mail babes! She could have ordered some mutton for ME, though. Hmmph! Those aren’t really anuses, are they? Are you going to eat all that?
Later, at the outer wall of the Castle of the Serpent Mistress, a wounded Conan yells to Hobbes, who is atop the fortress ramparts. Conan, who is below, on the ground outside the castle, is surrounded by axe-wielding lizard men…
CONAN: HOBBES! LOWER THE ROPE! The enemy surrounds me down here!
HOBBES: Not til you recite the poem!
CONAN: CROM! I’m BLEEDING to DEATH! LOWER THE ROPE!
HOBBES: I can’t HEAR yoooooou!
LIZARD MAN: tonight issss the night you die, human…our misssstresssss demandssssss it….
The lizard man slices a deep gash across Conan’s stomach, and is in turn dispatched by the Cimmerean’s broadsword…
SECOND LIZARD MAN: he issss wounded, brotherssss! …let ussssss desssstroy him!
CONAN: ARRGHH! CURSE you, tiger! Very well, though it means my life, you will have your poem!
“TIGERS ARE SMART…NO MAN CAN COMPARE,
I WANT A TIGER FOR MY CHARGE D’AFFAIRES
MY TIGER’S THE BEST-THE E-PITOME
IT’S AMAZING HE HANGS-WITH A DOOFUS LIKE ME.
PLEASE LOWER THE ROPE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
THIS ONE WANTS MY KIDNEYS FOR HIS DINNER PLATE!
I’VE BEEN PIERCED IN MY VITALS, BUT TIGERS ARE TOPS
I FEAR IT’S TOO LATE FOR THE LADDER TO…urgghghghg!
HOBBES (Yelling to his now dead friend): YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO THE LITTLE DANCE!!!