150 Hyborian Potentials

Thursday, February 6, 2014 , , , 0 Comments

The winnowing continues. I've taken the list from 707 potentials to 150. Even so, there are a number of dupes/similar variants (e.g., faded like phantoms, moved like a cat) to be dealt with, and a number of potentials referencing an "It" that will need to be clarified for maximum effect. I like where it's going and if you'd like to dive below the break, you can read all 150 for yourself.

This may not be as vapory as I initially thought it would be.

Al Harron - Slave of the Ring

I was going to post this as a table with the story the simile is pulled from, but it didn't look good, so for now... it's a bulleted list.
  • Oh, fools, your doom hounds your heels like a blind dog, and you know it not.
  • Dion's high thin squeal broke in a strangled gurgle and his whole flabby frame collapsed like melted butter.
  • Etched on the moonlit wall Thoth saw the horror lower its misshapen head and take the scent like some hideous hound.
  • Then the grisly head was thrown back and the thing wheeled and was gone like a wind through the trees.
  • As a pebble cast into a dark lake sends ripples to the further shores, happenings in the Unseen world have broken like waves on my slumber.
  • Wondering, Conan did so, and on the great blade, close to the heavy silver guard, the ancient traced with a bony finger a strange symbol that glowed like white fire in the shadows.
  • He came like a charging bull, head down, sword low for the disembowelling thrust.
  • Ascalante leaped like a wolf, halted almost in midair with incredible quickness and fell prostrate to avoid the death which was hissing toward him.
  • But on that night her pride was dropped from her like a cloak.
  • drugged brain, but for the points of blazing yellow fire that glimmered like two eyes from the blackness.
  • A vague shadow crossed his mind like a prophecy.
  • What had seemed clouds was a thick mist moving northward like a great unstable ocean, rapidly hiding the desert from view.
  • Across the whole front of the desert horde the chariot swept, and behind its thundering wheels was left, like the wake behind a ship, a long thin powdery line that glittered in the sands like the phosphorescent track of a serpent.
  • Conan's fierce personality was like a dash of ice water in their whirling blaze of terror.
  • But even as his sword went up, the forefeet of the black beast smote him like a thunderbolt and sent him hurtling a score feet away, dazed and bruised.
  • Over all a dreamy silence lay like an enchantment.
  • They turned to their own amusement, and did not notice Conan when he glided like a stalking panther after the chieftain.
  • That stroke was instantly followed by a thrust with such terrible drive behind it that the sharp point ripped through chain mail and ribs like paper, to transfix the heart beneath.
  • It was like watching a soul stripped naked, and all its dark and unmentionable secrets laid bare.
  • The nails of the fingers provided further weapons, for they were grown like the talons of a wild beast.
  • And Conan glided from his archway, and raced like a wind of death across the sward.
  • It was like a nightmare; I couldn't run.
  • He hit on his back, which for all its springy sinews would have broken but for the cushioning of the sward, and rebounding like a great cat, he faced his foes.
  • The green pool was like a geyser now, the noise rising to deafening volume as the great column of water reared and reared, blossoming at the crest with a great crown of foam.
  • He pressed his fingers together and on the inner side of the ring a tiny steel fang darted out like a snake's tongue.
  • The darkness pressed in on the guardsmen's torches like a sentient, animate thing.
  • The fat eunuch bent at the middle, as if bowing to his killer, and crumpled like tallow, his pudgy hands clutching vainly at his spilling entrails.
  • Dark and meditative, they were alive with intelligence, and the expression of imbecility had dropped from the face like a mask.
  • With a swirling rush like the sweep of a strong wind, the great snake was gone.
  • Fear shook the people like an earthquake, and they did not even pause to wonder at the witchcraft by which the news had been so swiftly transmitted.
  • he roared, and like a sack of salt, he hurled the prince of Pellia far out, to fall through empty space for a hundred and fifty feet.
  • Wheeling like a cat, Conan caught a descending wrist on his edge, and the hand gripping the short sword flew into the air scattering a shower of red drops.
  • There was a frenzied instant when the blades flamed like summer lightning; then the group fell apart and Conan sprang up the stair.
  • He felt fangs and talons rend his flesh; flabby cables that were yet hard as iron encircled his limbs and body, and worse than all, something like a whip of scorpions fell again and again across his shoulders, back and breast, tearing the skin and filling his veins with a poison that was like liquid fire.
  • Conan went with it, bruised, battered, invincible, hanging on like a bulldog to the hilt of his saber, which he could not withdraw, tearing and ripping at the shuddering bulk with the poniard in his left hand, goring it to ribbons.
  • It cut like wire and burned like poison.
  • In their flight they knocked over the single candle and the den was plunged in darkness, broken by the crash of upset benches, drum of flying feet, shouts, oaths of people tumbling over one another, and a single strident yell of agony that cut the din like a knife.
  • A good thief should have eyes like a cat.
  • '  The Nemedian gripped the rope and, crooking a knee about it, began the ascent; he went up like a cat, belying the apparent clumsiness of his bulk.
  • He had a flashing glimpse of a hairy black horror that swung past him with a clashing of frothing fangs, and something splashed on his bare shoulder that burned like drops of liquid hellfire.
  • This time he evaded its rush with a sidewise leap, and struck back like a cat.
  • like, and then, wrapped like a cocoon, he would lie at the monster's mercy.
  • with a quick wheel the fiend ran up the wall, and the strand, leaping off the floor like a live thing, whipped about the Cimmerian's ankle.
  • On the shimmering threshold Conan stared like a wolf in strange surroundings, ready to fight or flee on the instant.
  • haunted slumber to a silence that seemed more like the stillness of nighted catacombs than the normal quiet of a sleeping place.
  • Light ran suddenly along the hangings like flaming serpents, and incredibly the candles in the golden sticks flared up again.
  • The hours passed, and the sun slashed down like the molten flames of hell, but I did not die aye, something of that torment I remember, faintly and far away, as one remembers a dim, formless dream.
  • His great muscles quivered, knotting like iron cables.
  • His fingers felt like misshapen thumbs, and closing his hands was an agony that brought blood streaming from under his grinding teeth.
  • In normal times folk shunned the grim temple which rose on the opposite side of that square, but now the town looked like a dead city.
  • Valerius lifted her like a child, and with the torchbearer hurrying before them, they left the dungeon and went up a slimy stone stair.
  • Under his feet the snowy hills heaved up like a wave, and the Cimmerian crumpled into the snows to lie motionless.
  • The galley wallowed out into clear water, the oars began to clack rhythmically; then a puff of wind filled the shimmering sail, the light ship heeled to the gust, then took her course like a swan, gathering headway as she skimmed along.
  • Rising above the black denseness of the trees and above the waving fronds, the moon silvered the river, and their wake became a rippling scintillation of phosphorescent bubbles that widened like a shining road of bursting jewels.
  • The warriors fell into single file, creeping through the primordial twilights like black phantoms following a white ghost.
  • But even as his heels hit the earth, with a shattering crash like a breaking mountain the pyramid crumpled, the column came thundering down in bursting fragments.
  • The Cimmerian, born in a hill country, could have run up it like a cat, but Olivia found the going difficult.
  • Through the shadows he raced like a phantom, while somewhere above and behind them sounded a curious rushing among the leaves, that implacably drew closer and closer.
  • The swords flashed like white fire in the early sun, wheeling and circling.
  • Then we broke away and left them tearing at the corpses like jackals.
  • heavy blocks like so much glass, reduced others to green dust, and ripped away the whole arch of the dome.
  • The muscular, dark hands knotted convulsively, the lids flared open, revealing great, dark, magnetic eyes, whose stare struck the startled fisherman like a physical blow.
  • The blade splintered against the stranger's corded belly as against a steel column, and then the fisherman's thick neck broke like a rotten twig in the giant hands.
  • He went up a great tree like a cat, and reaching a point above the parapet, he gripped a thick limb with both hands, swung back and forth at arm's length until he had gained momentum, and then let go and catapulted through the air, landing catlike on the battlements.
  • Fantastic columns marched about the mottled walls, upholding a ceiling, which, at once translucent and dusky, seemed like a cloudy midnight sky, giving an illusion of impossible height.
  • While carnage and slaughter bellowed through the red smoke that choked the streets, the grimmest act of that grim drama was played in the cryptic dome behind the great daised chamber with its copper throne and its walls mottled like the skin of serpents.
  • But the glassy blankness passed from his eyes like smoke blown from a fire, and he looked up at his sister with recognition.
  • It was like an explosive echo from the hillman's lips.
  • He moved like a man in a daze, until they had descended a ladder and she paused in the chamber below.
  • It twisted and writhed like a great shadowy serpent, then broadened and billowed out in shining folds and whirls.
  • She retained a more vivid memory of him running fleetly into the shadows of the trees, carrying her like a child, and vaulting into the saddle of a fierce Bhalkhana stallion which reared and snorted.
  • His arms felt like iron about her slender limbs.
  • But Conan sat easily, almost carelessly, in the saddle, riding like a centaur.
  • He lit on his feet like a cat, thrust her into a cleft of rock, and wheeled toward the outer darkness, drawing his knife.
  • Instantly there was movement; the torch was dashed out and the ragged shapes melted like phantoms into the darkness.
  • Carry this to Yar Afzal," he said, and the Wazuli turned like an automaton and went back along the path, holding the black jade ball in his outstretched hand.
  • Conan, looking over Yar Afzal's shoulder, murmured something and reached to touch the chief's arm, but as he did so, Yar Afzal, in a paroxysm of anger, struck the man with his clenched fist and felled him like an ox.
  • His spine cracked in three places like a rotten branch and he was hurled headlong against the Cimmerian, bearing him backward so that they both crashed to the beaten floor.
  • Behind them the great door groaned like a living thing and crashed in, and a yell rang to the roof as the entrance was instantly flooded with hairy faces and knives in hairy fists.
  • And those eyes held his like a magnet.
  • Conan was rising slowly, shaken and dazed by the cruel craft of that blow which, delivered with an art forgotten of men before Atlantis sank, would have broken like a rotten twig the neck of a lesser man.
  • Silence hung like a stifling pall.
  • The girl shrank and wilted like a leaf in the drought.
  • The Devi was torn from his arm, and as he lashed out with his knife blindly, a terrific blow like a gust of storm wind knocked him sprawling against a rock.
  • The howl was like a dash of ice water in his face.
  • Many of my men were slain, and the rest of us harried through the hills like jackals.
  • They moved like phantom riders through an enchanted realm of shadows.
  • With a fierce cry Yasmina sprang like a jungle cat, stabbing murderously.
  • The dragons on the tapestries glowed like blue fire, and then faded out.
  • But now the muscular arm was brushed aside like straw and the Irakzai moved toward the stair, treading jerkily and mechanically.
  • His voice was like the chime of a temple bell, but a note of cruel mirth ran through it.
  • Conan waded through the mist as through a surf, and his knife lunged upward like a live thing.
  • Instantly the monster whirled and was upon him like the rush of wind through tall grass.
  • He picked up the girl and carrying her in his arms like a child, he strode out into the gleaming jade corridor and down the stairs, nerves tautly alert for any sign or sound.
  • My idiotic followers think I had something to do with it, and unless I am able to convince them otherwise, they'll hunt me like a wounded jackal.
  • Down the rugged wall he scrambled like an ape, clinging to projections and crevices, to fall at last, feet first, into the melee that raged in the mouth of the gorge.
  • something that neither walked nor flew, but seemed to glide like a serpent.
  • The creature that stood in the gate was like the embodiment of nightmare legend.
  • On noiseless padded feet it approached like a phantom out of the past.
  • Stout rawhide thongs had given way like paper; where the thongs had held, flesh and bones had not.
  • Its furiously lashing tail mowed down a dozen men and its jaws snapped convulsively, splashing others with venom that burned like liquid fire.
  • The Pict was like a wild beast, his muscles hard as steel strings.
  • The knife broke on the Cimmerian's mail, and the ax checked in midair as Conan's fingers locked like iron on the descending arm.
  • Balthus realized this fact more by feel than sight, though Conan seemed to see like a cat in the dark.
  • I'd like to see what you look like," muttered Conan, working his ax free, "you who leave a track like a bird, who burn like a flame and yet speak with a human voice.
  • He labored like one driven by the necessity of haste; yet he was forced to move at a snail's pace, clinging like a fly on a wall.
  • He wheeled, crouching like a great cat, sword in hand, glaring down the narrow corridor from which the sound had seemed to come.
  • His patience exhausted at last, he glided around the curve of the court, peering into the arches, ready to leap either way like a flash of light, or to strike right or left as a cobra strikes.
  • Conan strode like a silent phantom through the great halls, with a sensation of being stared at from the shadowed recesses by invisible ghosts of the past.
  • He glided down the marble steps like a slinking panther, sword in hand.
  • He halted suddenly, posed like a statue at the foot of the stair, staring at the paintings which frescoed the walls, half visible in the dim light which filtered down from above.
  • He glided along the shadows like a creature of the night, and the black priests were completely engrossed in their ceremonial mummery.
  • He whirled like a cat and dodged the blow aimed murderously at his back.
  • Yakin were like tempered steel.
  • They raced up the stair that wound up from tier to tier, roaring vengefully; but he slung the girl unceremoniously over his shoulder, dashed through the tunnel and went down the cliffs like an ape himself, dropping and springing from hold to hold with breakneck recklessness.
  • Among the silent streets they moved like phantoms of antiquity.
  • The whirling, titanic sphere vanished like a bursting bubble.
  • Her convulsive movement to evade it brought her within reach of the one on the other side and again she had to shift like lightning to avoid the flash of its hideous head.
  • Down on the ground the monster was wallowing like a dog with pepper in its eyes.
  • The aimless snapping and crackling of the bushes changed to a sustained crashing as the dragon came like a hurricane straight toward the spot from which the scent of his enemies was wafted.
  • fire glow the intruders moved like specters.
  • It hung there like a disembodied head, conjured out of night and the shadows, growing more and more distinct; human, and yet not human as she knew humanity.
  • and then a giant form loomed behind the Xotalanc and steel flashed like a jet of blue lightning.
  • Something touched his foot that chilled like the touch of frost, and then the darkness beneath him was disturbed by a frightful thrashing and lashing, and a man cried out in agony.
  • Somewhere among the dark towers, a night wind moaned like a restless spirit.
  • He felt the weird strains plucking like unseen fingers at the tissues of his brain, filling him with alien emotions and impulses of madness.
  • Xatmec screamed in sudden agony, and all the sanity went out of his face like a flame blown out in a wind.
  • Her sword was like a living thing in her hand.
  • You remember the night beneath the black lotus that waved above us, stirred by no worldly breeze; you scent again the unearthly perfumes that stole and rose like a cloud about you to enslave you.
  • a huddled, withered, wizened shape, with dried brown limbs like dead wood showing through moldering bandages.
  • He caught my wrist as I staggered off balance, and his fingers burned like hot iron.
  • All the strength went out of me, and the floor rose and struck me like a club.
  • Presently, grunting in their apelike speech, they lifted the senseless black and bore him out like a sack of wheat, arms and legs dangling.
  • It was uncanny, in its stealthy advance, appearing and disappearing like a blur of the vision.
  • He hit the ground running and melted like a shadow into the maze of towering rosebushes and spreading trees.
  • Once past the walls it will be like hunting a wolf through the hills.
  • Dawn ran like a prairie fire across the grasslands, and high overhead sounded a weird crying as a straggling wedge of wild geese winged swiftly southward.
  • She called to the wolf and it trotted to her side like a great dog and rubbed its giant shoulder against her knee, while it gazed at Conan with great green lambent eyes.
  • The eagle flew to the pinnacle of this cliff, and perched there like a motionless sentinel.
  • Its colossal pylons and purple minarets lifted toward the stars, and over it, floating like a giant mirage, hovered the bearded countenance of the man Xaltotun.
  • Hadrathus was also on his feet, his calm dropped from him like a garment.
  • But with a lionlike bound Conan left the bridge and hit like a cat on his feet on the runway between the benches.
  • chain, severing it like matchwood.
  • The silence was like a tangible thing, and yet he had a feeling that he was not alone.
  • The staff licked out like the dart of a viper, but the slash of Conan's knife was quicker.
  • It came like a murmurous wind drifting up from the south, waking men sunk in the apathy of despair.
  • The smoke was like a blue rope about his neck; then it faded and was gone, and Orastes slumped to the floor a dead man.
  • clad riders faded away and away like phantoms into the mist.
  • His hand came from under his robe holding something that flamed and burned in the sun, changing the light to a pulsing golden glow in which the flesh of Xaltotun looked like the flesh of a corpse.
  • The countryside was up behind them; the people hunted them like wolves.

0 comments: