If I didn’t already know the title I’d have sworn this is an illustration from any sword and sorcery tale. A dark haired warrior looking up steps at shadowed men of ill-intent. Clutching him is a beautiful woman in harem like dress. The shadowed figures appear to be wearing hangman’s hoods and bear a vicious looking sword and axe. Aside the warrior is a priest or perhaps a mage brandishing a relic of some kind.
There are a few hints this isn’t a strictly fantasy story. The warrior, although wearing a scale armor shirt, is armed with a pistol and no sword. His priest companion has what looks like a US Air Force star on his chest. While that eliminates Conan it could easily from a John Carter novel or one of the many successors to that valiant Virginian.
In fact, this is one of the famed pieces of concept art Frazetta did for the original Battlestar Galatica. I think it’s a grand illustration of how in the seventies as our hobby was being born and I was discovering both it and science fiction how little artificial divisions had taken over fantastic stories.
As many people have pointed out a common trend in the OSR is science fantasy as opposed to modern fantasy. Today, most gamers wouldn’t think to use Battlestar Galatica as inspiration for D&D except in the loosest way.
Inspirational Challenge:If you are familiar with the original BSG you’ll conclude this was concept art for Lost Planet of the Gods. If you know the episode or can find the video watch it with a notepad and pen. See how many elements you can borrow for your existing or planned fantasy campaign. Not just the awesome tomb but artifacts, weapons, and even monsters.