From the unauthorized biography of King Conan I:
After a stint as a mercenary quelling a revolt in Nemedia, Conan loses everything but his sword gambling with cronies. A man follows him from the tavern and hires the Cimmerian to obtain a mysterious but valuable item. Outfitting himself with the initial payment, Conan proceeds to the city of Sicas in Aquilonia. Once renowned for its silver mines but now a den of iniquity, more people are said to leave Sicas ‘by the river, floating’, than through the gates. On the way he rescues a woman in quest of her missing sister, said to have gone to the same place. Sicas turns out to be in the midst of a conflict between numerous contenders for control and loot, most notably the king’s corrupt reeve, five different gangs and a religious cult. Conan feels right at home, and plunges into the struggle. Various intrigues and betrayals follow in rapid succession, centering on the object he has been commissioned to recover, which is revealed as a potent magical artifact. The rising tension in Sicas results in an all out major brawl in the middle of town between the gangs and various power players. In contrast to most of the players, Conan emerges from Sicas ahead of the game, passing by royal forces en route to the town to restore order. Questioned as to how he did it, he responds “That was a town of rogues, my friend, and I am the greatest rogue of all.” At the end, with some new comrades, Conan heads toward Tarantia as he hears news of civil war brewing in Aquilonia.