"[[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Citadel The Scarlet Citadel]]" is a Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story written by Creator/RobertEHoward. First published in January, 1933.

King Conan is captured in a deadly trap by King Strabonus of Koth, his former ally King Amalrus of Ophir, and their evil sorcerous advisor (and true power behind the throne) Tsotha-Lanti. They want him to abdicate his throne in exchange for a pile of gold so that they can annex Aquilonia as part of their growing empire. Conan, being Conan, isn't having this one bit, and tells them all to go to hell. Tsotha pens him in the dungeons of the Scarlet Citadel, intending to feed him to his gigantic snake known as Satha.

Meanwhile, Conan's kingdom is in a bad way, and the people suffer under the rule of Arpello, the puppet king installed by Strabonus and Tsotha. Conan escapes his bonds when a slave's attempt to avenge his brother upon him gets him killed by Satha. After braving the Citadel's many horrors, Conan finds and frees Pelias, a sorcerer and rival of Tsotha, who summons a giant flying beast to take him to Shamar, the capital of Aquilonia, and take it back from Arpello. Having taken back the capital, Conan rides with his army to take down Tsotha's imperial forces, and in a furious battle, Strabonus, Amalrus and Tsotha are all slain.

This story has been adapted in comic form by both Creator/MarvelComics and Creator/DarkhorseComics.
!!Tropes featured in this story
* AbdicateTheThrone: Conan is offered bribes to do this. Conan, being Conan, tells the bribers to go to hell.
* AlwaysABiggerFish:
** A man comes to murder Conan, and finds himself feeding the giant snake meant to kill Conan.
** The snake in question finds itself on the receiving end upon seeing [[TheArchmage Pelias]], and promptly [[ScrewThisImOutOfHere bugs out and doesn't come back]].
* AnimateDead: To get out of the prison, Pelias uses his sorcery to reanimate their jailer and use him to open the door. This ''creeps Conan the fuck out.''
* BuyThemOff: Offered to Conan. He does not take it.
* CavalryBetrayal: Inverted.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Conan reflects how he learned this on the throne.
* ChildByRape: Tsotha-Lanti's purported BackStory. Demonic rape at that.
* CrystalBall: Tsotha-Lanti has one. Pelias says it's a toy, but one which is useful when you have no time for something serious.
* {{Deathtrap}}: Tsotha's dungeons
* DistressedDude: Conan.
** Also Pelias, until Conan saves him.
* TheEmpire: Trying to capture his kingdom.
* EvilDetectingDog: When Satha flees before the sight of Pelias, Conan is notably unsettled by his assertion that the snake "saw his naked soul."
* EvilLaugh: Pelias. Even though he's on Conan's side.
* EvilSorcerer: Tsotha-Lanti.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: Tsotha's citadel.
* FeatheredFiend: One attacks Tsotha's horse.
* FedToTheBeast: Tsotha pens Conan in the dungeon of the Scarlet Citadel with the intent of feeding him to his gigantic snake, Satha, and is revealed to have done this to all of Pelias's apprentices while [[ForcedToWatch making him watch]].
* GiantFlyer: Pelias uses one to get Conan to his kingdom.
* TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil: Sort of. [[AmbiguouslyEvil Pelias isn't outright bad but as a sorceror he still gives Conan the creeps]]. Tsotha-Lanti however is definitely evil.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Conan at the end.
* LeonineContract: While Conan is prisoner, one of Tsotha's slaves tries to wheedle promises from him for his freedom, before then revealing that he was the brother of a chief that Conan killed back in his pirate days, and that he will settle for nothing less than Conan's blood.
* MadeASlave: Conan remembers the markets.
* ManEatingPlant: Conan encounters one of these by the name of Yothga in the dungeons. Conan, rather wisely, decides not to pull it up by its roots but to kill it with his sword instead. Pelias, who he rescued by doing this, tells him that if he had been able to pull it up by its roots, he would have found things clinging to the roots against which not even Conan's sword would prevail.
* NoblewomansLaugh: An EldritchAbomination produces this.
* OfferedTheCrown: Arpello claims this.
* OneHandedZweihander: Conan wields a broadsword thus.
* PowderKegCrowd: Started by rumors of Conan's death.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Tsotha-Lanti can do this.
* PuppetKing: The villains intend to install one.
* ReligionOfEvil: The worship of Set.
* {{Revenge}}: The slave that tries to kill Conan wants him dead because he killed his brother back during his pirate days, when he was known as Amra the Lion. Pelias himself isn't too fond of Tsotha either, especially after he [[ForcedToWatch forced him to watch his apprentices get fed to Satha]].
* TheRival: Pelias and Tsotha have a big-time case of this.
* SelfMadeMan: Conan.
* SnakesAreSinister: Satha, the giant [[LightIsNotGood white]] snake and chief among Tsotha-Lanti "pets". Ironically though, Conan admits he actually ''likes'' Satha the most, as of the [[EldritchAbomination monstrosities]] in Tsotha's dungeons at least Satha offers only a swift physical death.
* SoleSurvivor: After the treachery.
* SuccessionCrisis: Triggered by Conan's disappearance.
* SwampsAreEvil: Where you get your EyeOfNewt.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: Develops because of the new king.
* TurnCoat: Amalrus
* VirginSacrifice: When Tsotha learns that Conan has returned and has freed his old rival Pelias, in a VillainousBreakdown moment, he promises Set the sacrifice of five hundred virgins of Shamar if he will grant them victory over Conan's forces. Even Strabonus, Tsotha's ally, is horrified.
* WeMeetAgain: Conan uses it at the end.
* WhatYearIsThis: Pelias asks Conan this.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Lampshaded by Tsotha when he realizes an imprisoned rival sorcerer has aided Conan.