Literature: Iron Shadows in the Moon
aka: Shadows In The Moonlight
Olivia dreamed, and through her dreams crawled a suggestion of lurking evil, like a black serpent writhing through flower gardens. Her dreams were fragmentary and colorful, exotic shards of a broken, unknown pattern, until they crystalized into a scene of horror and madness, etched against a background of cyclopean stones and pillars."Iron Shadows in the Moon" (a.k.a. "Shadows in the Moonlight") is a Conan the Barbarian story by Robert E. Howard. First published in April, 1934.The story begins with Olivia, a beautiful slave girl, being chased down by her cruel master, Shah Amurath, who traps her at the edge of the water, where she can not even drown, but Conan appears, the only survivor of a band of kozaks massacred by the Shah's men and intent upon revenge, who savagely kills him. At Olivia's plea, Conan takes her in a boat, and they escape to an isle, where they find a parrot screeching mysterious words and a hall of mysterious statues, depicting men who are black but not Negroes. When they sleep there, Olivia dreams of these men torturing a demigod, who finally summons his father and is murdered before the god arrives. The god appears and turns to them to stone, and — from his gestures at the moon — declares they shall wake only under moonlight. Olivia wakes, panicked, and convinces Conan to leave.They find pirates arriving, and Conan kills the captain, an old enemy, making himself their captain by the laws of the Red Brotherhood. They capture him and dispute the matter in the hall. Olivia sneaks in and rescues Conan, who then has to kill a prowling ape-man who had earlier thrown boulders at them. They hear a slaughter behind them, and the survivors of the band return to the ship to beg Conan to take them on. Conan sets sail, promising Olivia that she will be the 'Queen of the Blue Sea'.
- Arranged Marriage: Olivia was enslaved for refusing this
- Badass in Distress: Conan
- The Beautiful Elite: the demigod and god
- Beautiful Slave Girl: Olivia
- Call On Me: In Olivia's dream
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In Olivia's dream
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Olivia complains about the dangers on Conan's proposed route. When he points out that he's doing her a favor, she apologizes.
- Cowardly Lion: Olivia. From beginning to end, she's afraid for her life, but she was able to successfully rescue Conan when push came to shove.
- Curse Escape Clause: Moonlight
- Death of the Old Gods: Presumably what happened to the Physical God"What gods?" he muttered.
"The nameless, forgotten ones. Who knows? They have gone back into the still waters of the lakes, the quiet hearts of the hills, the gulfs beyond the stars. Gods are no more stable than men."
- Distressed Damsel: Olivia
- Distressed Dude: Conan
- Divine Parentage: The demigod
- Dramatic Thunder: When the god arrives
- Dreaming of Times Gone By: Olivia does this
- Driven to Suicide: Olivia threatens this when she's cornered by Shah Amurath.
- Due to the Dead: the god retrieves his son's body
- Enemy Civil War: the pirates
- Even Evil Has Standards: Pirates have to honor their code
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: laughing at torture
- Former Regime Personnel: Conan became a bandit when he was this.
- Frazetta Man: an ape man menaces Olivia
- Gold and White Are Divine: the Half-Human Hybrid
- Half-Human Hybrid: the demigod
- Klingon Promotion: Conan kills the pirate chief and is entitled to lead them
- Language of Magic: Used by a Physical God. Repeated by a parrot
- Living Shadow: One of the island's menaces
- Lonely Together: Olivia argues for this with Conan.
- Lunacy: It can restore the statues
- Made a Slave: Olivia's Backstory
- Physical God: In the dream
- Plot Hole: Why did the god let them come back to life?
- Precursors: the god must be long gone"The nameless, forgotten ones. Who knows? They have gone back into the still waters of the lakes, the quiet hearts of the hills, the gulfs beyond the stars. Gods are no more stable than men."
- Random Events Plot: Three unrelated perils.
- Rape as Drama: Olivia, as a sex slave, obviously went through this repeatedly with Amurath, and he intends to drag her back to it. Also, it's possible that the demigod was raped by the black warriors. The descriptive language Howard uses toward him is similar to the way he describes beautiful women, and there are lines like this:"The lithe naked form writhed beneath their cruel hands. Blood trickled down the ivory thighs to spatter on the polished floor."
- Revenge: Conan is the only survivor of a band of kozaks massacred by Shah Amurath and his men, and as one can probably guess, he's quite pissed about it. His vengeance upon the Shah is anything but pretty.
- Run or Die: From the statues. Yes, even Conan.
- Sex Slave: Olivia
- Talking Animal: The parrot appears unintelligent but repeats the magical curse.
- Taken for Granite: The statues
- Villain Opening Scene: It opens with Olivia's pursuit
- You Are Too Late: The god can't save his son, only punish his torturers