"[[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Devil_in_Iron The Devil in Iron]]" is a Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story by Creator/RobertEHoward. First published in August, 1934.

[[ColdOpen A fisherman lands on a deserted island]], where he finds a dagger resting on top of a statue as hard as iron. He takes the dagger for himself, [[JumpScare only for the statue to open its eyes...]]

[[InMediasRes Conan has been leading a band of kozaks for some time]], and it's causing no end of problems for the local Turanian governor Agha. Noting Conan's [[GenreSavvy predilection]] towards DamselsInDistress, he decides to use his most beautiful slave, Octavia, as bait to lure Conan into a trap. Octavia, looking to escape her enslavement, warns Conan of the attack, and the two flee to a deserted island in the middle of a lake. Unfortunately, this was the governor's plan all along, and with his best men he follows them.

On the island, Conan and Octavia are shocked to find a city that wasn't there the day before, full of hanging tapestries, golden banquet halls, and beautiful sleeping people. Heading for the center of the city, they find it's keeper, Khostral Khel, a millennia old HumanoidAbomination who has just awoken from his long slumber, who has [[MindOverMatter brought the]] [[RealityWarper city back]] to it's former glory.

Trapped and with nowhere to run, Conan and Octavia must contend with a giant serpent, Agha's forces, and the living horror that is [[TitleDrop the devil in iron]].

Has been adapted into comic form by Creator/MarvelComics in ''The Savage Sword of Conan'', and most recently by Creator/DarkhorseComics in their book ''Conan the Savage''.

!!Tropes included
* ActionPrologue: The fisherman breaking into the temple.
* TheBait: Octavia.
* BarbarianTribe: Conan is leading them.
* BlueBlood: Octavia.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Octavia is threatened with this to make her act as the bait.
* CuriosityIsACrapshoot: The fisherman rouses the evil by his curiosity.
* DamselInDistress: Octavia.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The city that appears; what Octavia fled.
* EldritchAbomination: Khosatral Khel, first appearing as an EvilSorcerer and a {{Necromancer}}, turns out to be this when Conan kills him, reverting to a form so ghastly that it causes Conan to flee in fear. In fact, he's stated to be this, as he came from the primordial chaos. The name of the country he's ruled? Dagon.
** HumanoidAbomination: Khosatral Khel, again, as he has taken a human form. His description is a quote for this very trope!
* FauxDeath: Conan finds people rousing from it.
* FemmeFatale: Octavia was ordered into it.
* HumanSacrifice: In the back story.
* IntroOnlyPointOfView: The fisherman dies and so exits the story.
* LotusEaterMachine: Conan at first assumes the city is this, due to the drugged, sleepy behaviour of the inhabitants. [[spoiler:Subverted: the townspeople act that way because they are brought back after centuries of death, and Khosatral Khel expends immense amounts of power keeping their mental faculties working.]]
* MadeASlave: Octavia's {{Backstory}}.
* MadeOfIron: The villain, literally, making him nearly invulnerable, to everything except the dagger.
* MercyKill: Octavia begs for this when she and Conan are cornered by the apparently invulnerable Khosatral Khel (apparently Khosatral has threatened her with a FateWorseThanDeath). Conan instead tells her that he will hold off Khosatral for as long as possible to give her a chance to escape the island.
* {{Necromancer}}: Who roused the city.
* NeutralFemale: Octavia doesn't even try to help out while Conan is fighting [[spoiler:the giant snake.]]
* RescueSex: Conan is surprised that Octavia rejects this and has to seduce her.
* SealedEvilInACan: The {{Necromancer}}, until awakened by a fisherman stealing the dagger that was keeping him inert.
* SelfPlagiarism: One of the common complaints against the story, as it blatantly recycles elements from previous stories, ''Iron Shadows in the Moon'' and ''Xuthal of the Dusk'' being the most obvious. Lampshaded with Conan himself comparing the city to Xuthal.
* SnakesAreSinister: A forty-foot snake is one of the creatures doing Khosatral Khel's bidding.
* TempleOfDoom: Where the trouble was unleashed.
* ThisWasHisTrueForm: Whatever it was, it's so ghastly that it sends Conan fleeing in fear.
* ThunderboltIron: Enabled a slave revolt.
* WaitHere: Conan tries this on Octavia.