The Path of Kane
The Inspiration--Solomon Kane Stories
You may also want to read the short stories by Robert E. Howard that inspired the Path of Solomon Kane.
First published in Weird Tales, August 1928, alternatively titled “Solomon Kane”. This was the first Solomon Kane story ever published. In France, Kane finds a girl attacked by a gang of brigands led by a villain known as Le Loup. As she dies in his arms, Kane determines to avenge her death, and the trail leads from France to Africa, ending with Kane’s first meeting with N’Longa.
“Skulls in the Stars”
First published in Weird Tales, January 1929. In England, Kane is on his way to the hamlet of Torkertown, and must choose one of two paths, a route that leads through a moor or one that leads through a swamp. He is warned that the moor route is haunted and all travelers who take that road die, so he decides to investigate.
“Rattle of Bones”
First published in Weird Tales, June 1929. In Germany Kane meets a traveler named Gaston L’Armon, who seems familiar to Kane, and together they take rooms in the Cleft Skull Tavern.
“The Moon of Skulls”
First published in Weird Tales, Part 1, June 1930; Part 2, July 1930. Kane goes to Africa on the trail of an English girl named Marylin Taferal, kidnapped from her home and sold to Barbary pirates by her cousin. When he finds the hidden city of Negari, he encounters Nakari, “the vampire queen of Negari”.
“Hills of the Dead”
First published in Weird Tales, August 1930. In Africa again, Kane’s old friend N’Longa (the witch doctor from “Red Shadows”) gives the Puritan a magic wooden staff, the Staff of Solomon, which will protect him in his travels. Kane enters the jungle and finds a city of vampires.
“The Footfalls Within”
First published in Weird Tales, September 1931. In Africa again, Kane encounters Arab slave traders busily engaged driving slaves to market. He rushes to save a girl whom the slavers are mistreating but is himself overwhelmed and taken prisoner.
“Wings in the Night”
First published in Weird Tales, July 1932. In Africa again, Kane comes across an entire village wiped out, and all of the roofs have been ripped off, as if by something attempting to get inside from above.
“Blades of the Brotherhood” (copyrighted)
First published in Red Shadows, Grant, 1968. Also known as “The Blue Flame of Vengeance”. On the English coast, Kane battles The Fishhawk and his fellow pirates in a historical action tale with no fantasy elements. Writer John Pocsik was commissioned by Arkham House founder August Derleth to “edit” Howard’s prose and to add a weird element for his 1964 anniversary anthology Over the Edge. REH scholar L. Sprague de Camp and author Fritz Leiber are both reported to have thought highly of the “new” version. Pocsik went on to pen several other Kane pastiches, only one of which, “The Fiend Within”, saw print in Ariel (with “Solomon Kane” changed to “Jonathan Flint”).
“The Right Hand of Doom” (Copyrighted)
First published in Red Shadows. Kane plays a minimal role in this story. A condemned wizard seeks revenge on the man who betrayed him.
“Death’s Black Riders”
First published in The Howard Collector #10, Spring 1968. Just a few lines completed. Kane meets a shadowy ghost rider on the road.
“The Castle of the Devil”
First published in Red Shadows, Grant, 1967. In the Black Forest Kane tells John Silent, an English mercenary, that he cut down a boy from the local Baron’s gibbet. Both men head to the Baron’s castle for a reckoning.
“The Children of Asshur”
First published in Red Shadows. Kane comes across a lost city of Assyrians.
“Hawk of Basti”
First published in Red Shadows. Kane’s old acquaintance, Jeremy Hawk, was once the king of an African lost civilization, and wants to resume that role.
Ramsey Campbell has completed Howard’s three sizable fragments, and several compilations contain some of these collaborations.
“The One Black Stain”
Wherein Solomon Kane speaks out to Sir Francis Drake, objecting to his execution of Sir Thomas Doughty in 1578 Patagonia, South America (actual historical people and events)
“The Return of Sir Richard Grenville”
Kane fights side-by-side with the ghost of Sir Richard Grenville, at whose 1591 death Kane had been present.
“Solomon Kane’s Homecoming”
After years of wandering, Kane comes back to England “to live forever in my place.” Then he hears “the howling of the ocean pack” and leaves again. This work contains a dialog exchange between Kane and a local man: “Where is Bess? Woe that I caused her tears.”/“In the quiet churchyard by the sea she has slept these seven years.”