->''"Barbarism is the natural state of mankind," the borderer said, still staring somberly at the Cimmerian. "Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph."''
"[[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Beyond_the_Black_River Beyond the Black River]]" is a Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian story by Creator/RobertEHoward. Published in 2 parts, from May to June, 1935.
Balthus is a man living in a frontier fort while the Picts are restless. He is captured in the forest and intended for sacrifice while Conan rescues him. They return with the news, and Conan giving Balthus many long lectures on things.
* ABoyAndHisDog: Balthus and Slasher.
* AloneInACrowd: Balthus feels alone in Conan's presence.
* AuthorAvatar: Balthus, according to Howard himself.
* BringNewsBack: What Conan and Balthus try
* DeusExitMachina: Conan and Balthus separate.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Conan vows it
* DistressedDude: Balthus
* FriendOrFoe: Conan deludes a Pict
* HalfHumanHybrid: [[spoiler: Zothar Sag is half swamp demon]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Balthus and the dog]].
* HumanSacrifice: Part of the RitualMagic
* JungleDrums: The Picts use them.
* LibationForTheDead: Conan at the end
* TheLostWoods: The setting
* TheNativesAreRestless: Picts
* PantheraAwesome: A saber-toothed tiger
* PowerGlows: The fire demon
* RitualMagic: The Picts practice it
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: The Picts
* ToAbsentFriends: The dead are discussed at the end.
* WouldNotShootACivilian: Dead civilians enrage Balthus