The Blood-Stained God

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"The Blood-Stained God"
Author Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp
Country United States
Language English
Series Conan the Barbarian
Genre(s) Fantasy
Published in Tales of Conan
Publication type Collection
Publisher Gnome Press
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Publication date 1955

The Blood-Stained God is a 1955 fantasy novella by American writer Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp, featuring Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. It was revised by de Camp from Howard's original story, a then-unpublished non-fantasy Oriental tale that featured Kirby O'Donnell titled "The Curse of the Crimson God" (vt "Trail of the Blood-Stained God"). De Camp changed the names of the characters, added the fantastic element, and recast the setting into Howard's Hyborian Age. The story was first published in the hardbound collection Tales of Conan (Gnome Press, 1955), and subsequently appeared in the paperback collection Conan of Cimmeria (Lancer Books, 1969), as part of which it has been translated into German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch and Italian.

The Curse of the Crimson God[edit]

The third O'Donnell story, originally titled The Trail of the Bloodstained God, was not published within Howard's lifetime. The writer L. Sprague de Camp found it amongst Howard's papers and edited it into the Conan story The Blood-Stained God, which was first published in Tales of Conan in 1955. The O'Donnell version of the story first saw print much later in the paperback Swords of Shahrazar in 1976.[1]

The story was returned by Thrilling Adventures on 8 October 1935. Howard sent a rewritten version to Kline on 31 January 1936. Kline sent this to several pulp magazines but all returned it - Dime Adventure (sent 4 February 1936, returned 2 March), Short Stories (3 March, returned 18 March), Adventure (19 March, returned 8 April) and Argosy (9 April, returned 22 April).[2]

In this story, O'Donnell is in pursuit of thieves who have stolen from him a treasure map that points the way to the precious idol called The Bloodstained God.NOTES: The Bloodstained God is housed in the temple in the Kezankian Mountains between the borders of Koth and Zamora. The idol is kept next to a large chasm into which it throws its sacrifices once animated. Conan destroyed it by knocking it into the chasm.

Preceded by
Conan and the Spider God
Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Succeeded by
Conan the Valorous


  1. ^ "Publication history for The Curse of the Crimson God". Howard Works. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ Burke, Rusty. "Robert E. Howard Fiction and Verse Timeline". The Robert E. Howard United Press Association. Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2008-01-21.