"The Hour of the Griffin!"
Conan has defeated the sorcerer Kharam-Akkhad. Chumballa Bey lays wounded on the temple floor, while Prince Yezdigerd of Aghrapur storms the City of Makkalet in a bid to recover the Living Tarim. Yezdigerd has also sent a ship to Makkalet's northern side, on the Vilayet Sea, to comb the sea cliffs where there is rumored to be a secret tunnel, leading to the inner city.
The raiders find it and flood into the city. Her defenses breached, King Eannatum urges Queen Melissandra to flee. Reluctantly she leaves, with palace guards escorting her to safety. It seems too late for Makkalet, as the city is now aflame and overrun with enemy forces.
Meanwhile, Conan and an injured Chumballa Bey decide to leave as well, and Conan leads them to the secret tunnel. They must battle their way through raiders, but the Cimmerian makes quick work of all-comers. Along the way they discover that Melissandra has been taken captive by the raiders. Conan and Chumballa Bey rescue her and escort her from the fallen city.
Unbeknown to Yezdigerd, the Living Tarim perishes in the flames from the battle. Once clear of Makkelet, Conan sends Melissandra and the former Captain of the Guard to her father's city, while he takes his black steed and heads for Hyborian lands, which he knows far better. The ways of men there are simpler, and not as shrouded in sorcery and deception, as they are in the opulent East.