It’s an intriguing, fantasy-based political allegory, wherein the character of Conan, who was initially respected and held in high regard by the Aquilonian people, has watched his popularity decline sharply over the years due to the public’s mounting distrust over his Cimmerian ancestry.
A band of Conan’s adversaries assemble with the intention of attacking Conan while his defenses are down.
At the beginning, Bunda Chand, the king of Vendhya, has been killed, and it is believed that he was murdered by a band of sorcerers: The Black Seers of Yimsha. Chand’s sister Devi Yasmina swears vengeance, and it is decided that Conan, who, at this time, is the leader of a hill tribe, is needed. Devi and the rest of the royal court of Vendhya orchestrate the capture of seven hill-men from Conan’s tribe with the intention of ransoming Conan into their bidding.
After a stand-off with a dinosaur, they find what at first appears to be an old, abandoned city. They learn that there is a hermetically-sealed world within this old city, known as Xuchotl. There, the political rulers who built the city were overthrown long ago by a tribe overseen by brothers Xotalanc and Techulti, who had led their people peacefully. That is, until the brothers began feuding after Techulti had an affair with Xotalanc’s wife.
Ultimately, Conan breaks out on his own but decides nevertheless to honor his word to Murilo.