Black Sphinx of Nebthu
|"Black Sphinx of Nebthu"|
|Author||L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter|
|Series||Conan the Barbarian|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy short story|
|Published in||Conan of Aquilonia|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
"Black Sphinx of Nebthu" is a short story by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter featuring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in the July 1973 issue of the magazine Fantastic, and was first appeared in book form by Ace Books in the paperback collection Conan of Aquilonia in May 1977, which was reprinted several timesthrough 1994. The first British edition was published by Sphere Books in October 1978.
In the wake of the events of "The Witch of the Mists," King Conan of Aquilonia leads a military expedition overland through Zingara, Argos and Shem to Stygia to confront his arch-enemy, the sorceror Thoth-Amon. Accompanying him are his son Prince Conn, his right-hand men Trocero and Pallantides, and Diviatix, a White Druid from Pictland, who promises divine support for Conan.
The goal of the expedition is the ancient ruin of Nebthu, site of the massive sphinx depicting the hyena god of Chaos and reputed haunt of the sorcerors of the Black Ring. Forcing an entrance into the sphinx, Conan descends into the earth, reaching a vast chamber where he confronts the massed assembly of wizards.
Thoth-Amon and his fellows initially bring all their power to bear and prove too powerful for Conan. But his Pictish ally throws him a powerful jewel, the Heart of Ahriman, one of Aquilonia's magical treasures, which the king has taken the precaution of bringing.
Many of the wizards are killed or driven mad by the Heart's powers, but Thoth-Amon is still able to unleash the monstrous hyena of Chaos against Conan's host. Unfortunately for him, the hell-hound is incapable of fine discrimination. The first army it encounters, and therefore destroys, is that of Stygia. His sanctum in ruins and now persona non grata in his own country, Thoth-Amon is forced to flee.
- Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. pp. 130–131.
- Black Sphinx of Nebthu title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
"The Witch of the Mists"
|Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
"Red Moon of Zembabwei"