Conan stands in front of the the mirror of Tuzun Thune that shows him killing Kharam-Akad as the forces of Yezdigerd raid the city of Makkalet. The prince and his advisor, Sulimar, discover a cave that directly leads into the Temple of Tarim. They send a ship to seek the cave, while inside the city King Eannatum tries to comfort his wife Melissandra. The king decides that only Kharam-Akad can save his wife, and sends her to the wizard-priest. Conan, however, stands over Kharam's body and smashes the mirrors. He helps Chumballa Bey, who had been stabbed by Kharam, and then tries to decide how to flee the city. Meanwhile, the Turanians have come through the caves and descended through a trap door in the griffin statue in the courtyard, and quickly slaughter the defending soldiers of Makkalet, capturing Melissandra. Conan manages to fight off a number of Turanians, and escapes with the queen and Chumballa deeper into the castle. Conan finds himself in the room with the Living Tarim and discovers the god incarnate that all have been fighting for is in fact a diseased, inbred imbecile. The soldiers of Turan accidentally kill the Tarim with arrows, and Conan flees the chamber. The king is finally tracked down and killed, and, after a battle with a giant rat and occasional run-ins with the Turanians, Conan, Melissandra, and Chumballa reach the coast. The Cimmerian heads south while the others sail towards Melissandra's father. Yezdigerd celebrates his victory with a parade, marching the robed figure of the Tarim through the city, while only he and Sulimar know underneath the robes a skeleton is all that remains.