Beyond The Black River is one of those Conan stories that really stands out. I love the "Western" feel that the story has, and the clear clash of barbarism vs. civilization! And in true REH fashion, the barbarians triumph!
Here's an excerpt:
A man lay there, a short, dark, thickly-muscled man, naked except for a loin-cloth, a necklace of human teeth and a brass armlet. A short sword was thrust into the girdle of the loin-cloth, and one hand still gripped a heavy black bow. The man had long black hair; that was about all the wayfarer could tell about his head, for his features were a mask of blood and brains. His skull had been split to the teeth.
Short men, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, lean-hipped, they were naked except for scanty loin-clouts. The firelight brought out the play of their swelling muscles in bold relief. Their dark faces were immobile, but their narrow eyes glittered with the fire that burns in the eyes of a stalking tiger. Their tangled manes were bound back with bands of copper.
-Beyond the Black River
I plan on using Khurasan Miniatures' Chichimecs for Picts. I'll probably give some of them neclaces, armbands, some swords and loincloths (I don't really want to paint 15mm wieners)
The Forest devils are a little harder to define, but I guess I could just use a random demon figure:
Looking over his shoulder, Balthus felt his hair stand up stiffly. Something was moving
through the deep bushes that fringed the trail— something that neither walked nor flew,
but seemed to glide like a serpent. But it was not a serpent. Its outlines were indistinct, but
it was taller than a man, and not very bulky. It gave off a glimmer of weird light, like a
faint blue flame. Indeed, the eery fire was the only tangible thing about it. It might have
been an embodied flame moving with reason and purpose through the blackening woods.
Conan snarled a savage curse and hurled his ax with ferocious will. But the thing glided
on without altering its course. Indeed it was only a few instants’ fleeting glimpse they had
of it—a tall, shadowy thing of misty flame floating through the thickets. Then it was gone,
and the forest crouched in breathless stillness.
I think maybe one of these Fire Demons from Lone Gunman Games might work.