Literature: Rogues in the House
"Rogues in the House
" is a Conan the Barbarian
story by Robert E. Howard
. First published in January, 1934.
- Angry Guard Dog: Nabonidus has one
- Big Fancy House: Nabonidus has one, but it has no servants
- The Berserker: The effect of a powder on men
- The Dandy: Murillo
- Deadly Decadent Court
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Implied. In the chronologically-earlier story "The Hall of the Dead," which Robert E. Howard began and L. Sprague DeCamp later finished, Conan meets a Gunderman mercenary named Nestor, and they become Fire-Forged Friends over the course of looting an ancient cursed citadel and fighting the demons and monsters they find there. At the beginning of this story, passing mention is made of Conan's accomplice, an unnamed Gunderman who was captured and executed well before the events of the main narrative. Ohhhh...
- Enemy Mine: with Nabonidus
- Evil Chancellor: Nabonidus is this to the king.
- Exact Words: Nabonidus promises not to have the king kill Murillo.
- The Exile: Murillo is not sure whether he's been warned to opt for this.
- Finger in the Mail: An ear is sent to Murillo
- Frazetta Man: Thak, however see It Can Think.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Nabonidus who uses a lot of Clock Punk tech to safeguard his house.
- Gambit Pileup: A fairly good description of the plot. Murillo arranges Conan's escape from prison to have him kill Nabonidus, but then ends up going to Nabonidus's mansion to do the job himself when he hears that the escape was botched. Conan, meanwhile, manages to break out of prison on his own, and decides that he could probably use the sack of gold and the fast horse that Murillo promised him once the job was done, so he heads to the mansion as well. Unfortunately, this is the exact night that Nabonidus's pet Ape-Man Thak decides to rebel against his master. AND THEN, partway through the story, a band of political rebels breaks in with the intent of assassinating Nabonidus (they do about as well as you'd expect). Everyone wants to kill Nabonidus, and they all want to do it right now, and nothing goes according to plan for any of them.
- Gas Chamber: Used to disburse the dust of the gray lotus
- Great Escape: Arranged fro Conan
- Gray and Grey Morality: As per the norm for the Conan universe, the unnamed city where this story takes place is astoundingly corrupt and decadent. Even the guard that Murillo bribes to get Conan out of jail is into a bunch of unscrupulous things, which is what gets him caught and the escape stopped. Murillo is a courtier selling state secrets to rival kings. Nabonidus is a Mad Scientist/Dark Wizard type with all kinds of vaguely evil plots in motion. And between them is Conan, amoral sword-for-hire. Everyone pretty much agrees that of the three of them, Conan is the least corrupt, because at least he's not pretending to be anything but a thief and mercenary.
- Hidden Depths: Murillo is a dandy and a traitor, but he's no coward. Once he hears that his assassination plot has been thwarted, he straps on a sword and heads off to do the job himself. Granted, he's acting out of desperation and he doesn't really think he'll pull it off, but he's clearly not going down without a fight.
- It Can Think: Thak is not just inhumanely strong, he is also much more intelligent than he looks.
- The Mole: Murillo sells secrets to foreigners
- Noble Fugitive: Murillo thinks of this but it might not be allowed.
- The Rat: the priest who betrayed Conan
- Turn Coat
- Villain Opening Scene
- Was Once a Man: The ape-man
- Worthy Opponent: At the end Conan acknowledges Thak as this.