The Treasure of Tranicos (collection)

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The Treasure of Tranicos
The Treasure of Tranicos.jpg
The Treasure of Tranicos by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp, Ace Books, 1980
Author Robert E. Howard
L. Sprague de Camp
Illustrator Esteban Maroto
Cover artist Sanjulián
Country United States
Language English
Series Conan the Barbarian
Genre Sword and sorcery Fantasy short stories
Publisher Ace Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 191 pp
ISBN 0-441-82245-2
OCLC 7467063

The Treasure of Tranicos is a 1980 collection of one fantasy short story written by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp featuring Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian, together with essays by de Camp on the title story and on Howard. The book is profusely illustrated by Esteban Maroto.

The title story was revised by de Camp from the original version by Howard and was first published as "The Black Stranger" in Fantasy Magazine for February, 1953. It subsequently appeared in the collections King Conan (Gnome Press, 1953) and Conan the Usurper (Lancer Books, 1967).


Plot summary[edit]

"The Treasure of Tranicos"[edit]

Main article: The Black Stranger

The title story finds Conan in the Pictish Wilderness fleeing native warriors who are hunting him. Finally he turns at bay before a hill, whereupon he sees them inexplicably abandon the chase and turn back. He realizes the spot must be a taboo place to the Picts. The hill turns out to hold a treasure cave, along with the preserved bodies of the pirate Tranicos and his men. Moreover, the treasure draws others to the forbidden cave in quest for it — one Count Valenso, and both Zingaran and Barachan sea reavers. But the bane of Tranicos is quite ready to take new victims, and Conan must outmaneuver all of them if he is to claim the riches.

Howard's original story pointed toward a new piratical career for Conan; one of de Camp's major changes was to make it lead instead into the revolution that would bring the Cimmerian to the throne of Aquilonia.

"The Trail of Tranicos"[edit]

The essay following the story relates the circumstances of de Camp's discovery of Howard's manuscript and his revision and publication of it.

"Scald in the Post Oaks"[edit]

The remaining essay is about Howard himself.


  • Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. p. 97.