At this stage in Conan's career, he is king of Aquilonia, having overthrown and killed the previous king.
Although the previous ruler was not well loved in his lifetime, and at first the people welcomed Conan, now many of them resent Conan, and there is a plot to assassinate him. A strange dream awakens him, and he finds that his life is in danger. He meets the assassins well armed but alone. The troops who were supposed to protect him have been led away as part of the plot. Dark magic, ancient wisdom, a magic ring, an evil beast called from beyond, and a fight for his life leave listeners wondering how Conan can possibly survive.