I briefly skimmed through this 1978 released DeCamp book online last week. It takes place in and around Zamora, Turan, Khauran, Korsala and the Vilayet Sea area in the East with Conan in search of adventure and gold etc one which happens to be the Star of Korsala. Its set shorty after "A Witch Shall Be Born" with Taramis and Solome and the "Black Colossus" with Thugra Khotan and Yasmina.
In one of the stories in this particular book, one of the thieves uses some kinda device to scale the wall, somewhat similar to Subotai does in the movie. In "People of the Summit" story, Conan also comes across hairless man apes whom are clad in Turanian style garb and weaponry serving a master. Conan followers one of the apes through some ancient graveyard complete with mounds, pyramids and spherical stones, its supposed to be a very ancient place of the dead chiefs of the early Turanian tribes. It has Conan stepping carefully around each grave to not only avoid possible ambush but also to show reverence to those that rested there. This was used in the movie.
Thulsa Doom may of also been partly based on Aram Baksh & Totrasmek from "Shadows of Zamboula". Aram who had Darfur cannibals as servants/slaves whom he fed humans to whether they were enemies or just some poor unsuspecting vagabond, like Conan . They had the filed teeth seen on the Black Gladiator Conan fights in CTB. Well at night these black cannibals stalk the streets unchecked at night and the people live in terror. Kinda brings to mind Stone's script and descriptions of Taramis' Shadizar.
Its Totrasmek whom led the cult of Hanuman, who's statue was made of black marble complete with ruby red eyes sitting cross legged and holding a lyre. It had a insidious degenerate cult following complete with murderous human sacrifices, which everyone feared to even Hyrkania. After Conan rescues this girl from the cannibal negroes, she entices him to sneak into the temple of Hanuman and kill Totrasmek. She gets captured by the wizard who fancies her and later on he has her perform "The Dance of the Cobra's". It turns out she was Nafetari priestess of Set and there was some war between the cults in this city over this ring, the Star of Korsala. She uses Conan's sword arm and there is a price Conan set, but turns out he knew who she was from the start. At the end he refuses her offer to make him a general in her Mongol lover's army and he leaves with the money and somehow witha slight of hand trick took the Star of Korsala as well and rode off, but not before tricking the cannibals into eating their master, Aram.
Conan also fights Totrasmek's henchman by the name of Baal-Pteor, who is a huge arab wrestler of enormous size and he uses many illusions to battle Conan and later they wrestle. This seems to have been used as some basis of Brak and Thoth-Ape as the Reptile Ape-Demon in CTD.
- Quote :
- The evil high priest "sacrifices to Hanuman the accursed!" Hanuman is a deity in the real-world Hindu religion. An idol to the fictionalized version is described as:
Bestial in the uncertain light, Hanuman leered with his carven mask. He sat, not as an ape would crouch, but cross-legged as a man would sit, but his aspect was no less simian for that reason. He was carved from black marble, but his eyes were rubies, which glowed red and lustful as the coals of hell's deepest pits. His great hands lay upon his lap, palms upward, taloned fingers spread and grasping. In the gross emphasis of his attributes, in the leer of his satyr-countenance, was reflected the abominable cynicism of the degenerate cult which deified him.
^Sounds pretty much like a description for the movie version of Thulsa Doom.
Change Zamboula to Zamora, and you have again a CTB setting.
*Howard's original story of "Shadow of Zamboula" is very racial, lots of allusions of the city's inhabitants being mongrels and a mix of every color of man and then some. It even has a detailed description of Conan becoming enraged that the Black Cannibals are touching Nafetari's naked white flesh and plan on doing unspeakable things and all of that kinda thing.