A story of Kull, first published in Weird Tales, August 1929.
"The night can hear," answered Ka-nu obliquely. "There are worlds within worlds. But you may trust me and you may trust Brule, the Spear-slayer. Look!" He drew from his robes a bracelet of gold representing a winged dragon coiled thrice, with three horns of ruby on the head.
"Examine it closely. Brule will wear it on his arm when he comes to you tomorrow night so that you may know him. Trust Brule as you trust yourself, and do what he tells you to. And in proof of trust, look ye!"
And with the speed of a striking hawk, the ancient snatched something from his robes, something that flung a weird green light over them, and which he replaced in an instant.
"The stolen gem!" exclaimed Kull recoiling. "The green jewel from the Temple of the Serpent! Valka! You! And why do you show it to me?"
"To save your life. To prove my trust. If I betray your trust, deal with me likewise. You hold my life in your hand. Now I could not be false to you if I would, for a word from you would b
Kull was a barbarian king thousands of years before Conan--back when Atlantis still existed. He is surrounded by enemies, but his greatest danger comes from the priests of the snake god, who are able to appear in the form of anyone. He has allies he can't trust, and friends with their own motives.
Action, magic, and an absorbing plot kept me interested. Good writing, characterizations, and description, as usual for Howard.
This is one of the first classic tales of Sword and Sorcery. Howard's splendid hero King Kull gets unexpected help to battle a secretive cult of shape changing serpent men. Truly a wonderful story by one of the greatest of the pulp writers. A GREAT read for adventure fans!