Literature: The Tower of the Elephant

"The Tower of the Elephant" is a Conan the Barbarian story by Robert E. Howard. First published in March, 1933. It is generally considered one of the best of the Conan yarns and often recommended as a starting point for new readers.

A very young Conan hears of a mysterious tower and goes to steal from it. He meets up with Taurus of Nemedia, one of the undisputed masters of thievery, and together they tackle the tower and brave its various hazards. After losing Taurus to a Giant Spider and killing it, Conan meets up with the Tower's most unusual occupant, a being from beyond the stars enslaved by the Evil Sorcerer who calls the tower home, who reveals to him much about the ancient history of his world before charging Conan with carrying out his vengeance against the sorcerer after three hundred long years.

Yag-Kosha, the elephant-like creature of the title is notable for being the inspiration for the "Space Jockey" (later revealed to be called Engineers) of the Alien series.

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