Probably one of Howard’s better short stories. Admittedly, he has his own stock plot but he makes new developments. He goes into greater detail in “how” the bad guy magic works. Here is where it gets unnerving. The story is set in the “Humelians” just north of “Vendhya.” In other words, the Himalayas just north of India. This is where Tibetan Buddhism is. Tibetan Buddhism is more occultic than other variants of Buddhism.
Howard is writing in 1920s West Texas. How did he describe the magical arts of Tibetan Buddhism so accurately?
But on to the story. It is more of a novella than a short story. While Howard never writes openly about sex, much is implied. But not so much in this story.
The bad guys are on different levels and some still have human qualities.