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The epic tale begins in springtime in Ma'atenra; the massive capital city of Nebuet, country of the Lionfolk.
A backdrop of endless desert in all directions beyond its walls.

Maakhet, Lionfolk paladin of the Golden Orb and protector of the Pharaoh, and his faithful companion Grautus; an exiled Wolfolk wizard, are asked by Captain Temetankh (a leader of the Golden Orb), to investigate why the major Nebu river that runs through Ma'atenra is receding.

Leaving the Grand Solarium, he heads to the great library about information on the river and maps of the countryside for their journey and meets Nicodemus; a Ratfolk wizard, and his Boarfolk mercenary bodyguard Thorne.

While his master goes to the library, Grautus eavesdrops on an important conversation between a Leopardfolk and Hyenafolk about a profitable shipment.

He follows the two suspicious characters as they leave the east gate, then returns to inform Maakhet.

Meanwhile, a deal is struck and Nicodemus will come with the Lion on his quest.

The Rat, interested in the lost city of Nebnu located somewhere on the southeast border of Nebuet, and the Lion using Nicodemus as a guide to the lands outside the city.

Nicodemus hopes to find the lost city and locate a magical dagger that belonged to the crocodile sorcerer Khemba that once reigned there that he learned about in tomes from the library.

Following the river out of the great city southeast towards Kasubanko, borderland of the Leopards, they camp and are accosted by Chameleon thieves attempting to rob them.

Dealing with the threat, the travelers take from them vials of blue whinnis poison along with antidote.

Two weeks of travel later they find the cause of the river receding: Crocodiles have built a dam as part of an excavation site to uncover the lost village of Nebnu and find the tomb of Khemba.

Attempting to negotiate with them and find out information, Nicodemus learns that the crocodiles are mostly slaves working the excavation led by a few guards and Hamilcar, the pit boss.

Maakhet states that Crocodiles are banished on Nebuet land, and without permits they are stealing from the Pharaoh.

So they take matters into their own hands and decide to attack the Crocodiles in an ambush, free the slave laborers, and restore the river's flow by breaking the dam.

The guards are more prepared and tougher than expected and the adventurers flee, but not before Grautus was captured.

Interrogated by the crocodiles and eavesdropping on their conversations, the Wolf learned they were after an important scroll case buried with Khemba in his tomb somewhere in the recently uncovered village.

Hamilcar was then to bring it back to general Haman in the land of Chentesh.

The entrance to the tomb was soon found: a large hole in the floor of one of the stone buildings.

Desperate to retrieve the item quickly after having been discovered, Hamilcar had been sending slaves down the pit for hours with nothing but screams echoing back up the hole in response.

The adventurers then returned to finish the job they had started and attacked Hamilcar at the tomb entrance catching him off guard, Grautus escaping and joining in the fray.

Hamilcar was slain along with the other Crocodiles, but not before Maakhet was struck unconscious and his body kicked into the hole.

The fleeing Crocodile slaves are seen making their way back towards Chentesh, crossing the borders of Kasubanko but stopped by nomadic Cheetah rangers of the Shivani tribe that patrol the outermost borders of Nebuet for the Pharaoh.

Interrogated by the tribesman and learning of the crocodiles plan, the chieftain, Djibou, sends Valin Shivani his fastest scout and cleric of Chitraka, to investigate and help if needed.

With Maakhet possibly dead and Grautus ready to flee back to Ma'atenra, Nicodemus takes charge and with the help of the Cheetah cleric just arriving, braves the tomb of Khemba.

The terrible fate of Maakhet is revealed when they are attacked by ravenous Baboon ghouls deep at the bottom of the dark pit and the entrance to Khemba's burial place.

With the clerics help, they are able to destroy the undead and break into the tomb.

The adventurers encountered within a magical fountain, a statue with treasures to Messeh the Crocodile god of hate, and skeletal guardians of small tombs erected around the ancient sorcerer's great hall.

To progress further they would have to pass over a great seal on the floor that led to the final resting place of Khemba.

Crossing over it activates a curse, and Khemba and all his guardians awake in undeath to destroy the grave robbers.

Overcoming the undead skeletal creatures became a fight for survival, but in the end the four defeated the eternal guards and took the treasures from the tomb.

Nicodemus takes Khemba's magic dagger for his own and examines the scroll.

It appears to be an ancient papyrus written in an unknown language.

The Rat has very little time to examine the document before General Haman of Chentesh himself enters the tomb with his army.

He takes them into custody saying little of his intentions and forcibly takes the scroll case.

Nicodemus learns only that they are documents written by a powerful magistrate.

Leaving them in the tomb at the bottom of the pit, his men seal the hole above and break the dam leaving the adventurers to their doom.

Fortunately the Cheetah rangers were not far behind looking for Valin and saw Haman's army and followed them.

Finding the hole and breaking through, they helped the adventurers escape just as the dam burst; flooding the village of Nebnu once again.

Able to retrieve items of Maakhet's earlier, Grautus and the others take them back to Captain Temmetankh in Ma'atenra to relay the grim news of his death.

As the returning explorers enter the great city a mysterious Jackal watches them. They head to the Inn of the Radiant Sun to discuss how to tell the Lions, but are attacked.

Golden Orb hired Catfolk sorcerer bounty hunters to bring in the mangy Wolf and his cohorts when Maakhet was not seen with him.

Battle in town square of Nebuet by the Inn of the Radiant Sun, a Jackal leader of the bounty hunters rescues them by leading them away from town square.

Valin refuses to follow, believing they have nothing to run from and nothing to hide.

Jackal leads party into trap and they are captured by Order of the Golden Orb and thrown in jail.

Valin is taken in for questioning by the captain of the guard, a Ratel (aka Honey Badger).

Lions find Maakhet's belongings and poison on Grautus and he is to go on trial for murder of Maakhet as accused by Neferi sister of Maakhet along with his accomplices.

Valin is cleared of guilt by captain of guard and chooses to speak at the trial.

Not understanding the ways and customs of the Lions makes Valin's words fall on deaf ears, if it were not for the wisdom and prophetic powers of an old robed Hound.

The verdict is not guilty of murder, but found guilty of negligent Beastslaughter that they did not follow Captain Temmetankh's orders and come back first and report which contributed to Maakhet's death.

Ordered to banishment exile from Ma'atenra by nightfall.

Grautus visits Neferi sister and gives her much of his money in compensation. Visited the Temple of Mau where Catfolk priests sold party magic items like alchemical fire.

Told by the mysterious Jackal that a caravan to Kevehstan is leaving shortly.

They join Hakim the Camel's entourage and quickly leave the massive walls behind them. Hakim also has his son and daughter guarding the caravan along side.

Fatima, his daughter is a paladin of Al-Jamal, god of law and Sayid, her ugly brother a shady loner who keeps to himself.

Though Valin is not ordered by the Lions to leave, she wishes to return to her tribe and her betrothed, the chieftain Djibou, on the borderlands of Kasubanko.

Caravan master Hakim pays party as mercenary bodyguards for caravan.

Caravan reaches the famed Nebu Gorge in the middle of Nebuet, home of the monastery of Tet-Mun-Ptah, built of towering stone upon the opposite cliff.

They are cornered by Hyena archers on both sides of the gorge.

Starting an avalanche, which splits the caravan with Hakim in the lead cut off from the attack.

Party kills Hyenas with help from two pilgrims: a Lynx cleric of Acertija named Felix and a Tiger monk called Sengal both on a pilgrimage from Xiong Mao to the monastery seeking knowledge.

Seeing the path cut off to her father, Fatima, the camel paladin, decides to investigate the monastery across the gorge looking for more Hyena raiders.

The pilgrims Sengal and Felix, along with Fatima's brother and the party, follow her.

Descending the gorge they find makeshift boats along the shore hidden by the Hyenas, using them to reach the monastery on the other side.

Hyenas worship the evil goddess Fissii.

Monastery teaches discipline of Tet-Mun-Ptah, involving the learning of body and arcane curiosity and friendship motto for the monks.

Searching through the monastery room by room the adventurers find it deserted and deathly quiet except for a few Hyena stragglers and their vicious dire hyena mounts.

Cutting them down one after the other they find the inner courtyard garden filled with the piled bodies of Chimpanzee and Cat monks, all that remains of the disciples of Tet-Mun-Ptah.

Sengal and Felix do not find the headmaster among the dead and the search continues leading them to his chambers.

A secret hallway leading upstairs and into the bell tower is found but not before the party is confronted by two hulking Hyenas guarding the passage, they are called Shabakka and Silko.

Tried diplomacy and bodyguards called down Shyanai, the leader of the Hyenas, has taken prisoner the Chimpanzee headmaster.

She recognizes Sayid, the paladin's brother.

He has item she wants, so she wants to trade headmaster for item.

Sayid runs away to escape Shyanai.

The Hyena then runs to the roof with Thorne following after.

She threaten to push headmaster off roof and Thorne attacks.

So she pushes the headmaster off the roof to his death and jumps after showing her magical flying cloak.

She pursues Sayid and attacks him, taking his mysterious pouch and nearly killing him. She then flies off.

Not far behind, Fatima and the others find Sayid outside the monastery and heal him.

Questioning him about the Hyena, he is very secretive and will not say what she stole, only that he has been working for a Hippo Shah from Kevehstan named Munoru to deliver the item to him.

Returning to the monastery they find a hidden entrance that leads to a massive door beneath and must solve a magical riddle to enter.

Between Felix, who worships a goddess of riddles, and the intellect of Nicodemus, they easily find the answer.

It contains a library behind it containing valuable books of knowledge on various subjects, the true wealth of the monastery.

Sengal, overwhelmed, pours over the tomes and finds the works of the discipline of Tet-Mun-Ptah.

He studies obsessively to become one of the enlightened.

Returning to the attacked caravan across the gorge they gather what they can salvage and take an alternate route around the gorge to Kasubanko to catch up with Hakim.

Before Nebuet is done with them though they stumble into a massive sandstorm that buries and destroys many of their carts and mounts and, sensing easy prey they are attacked by huge desert insects called ankhegs.

Destroying and eating what was left of the caravan only the adventurers, Fatima, her brother Sayid and a caravan guard named Akbar remains when the border of Nebuet is reached leading into the tall grassland of Kasubanko.

Soon after they find themselves in an ancient elephant graveyard where Valin encounters the leader of her Cheetah tribe, her betrothed Djibou.

To her surprise and terror she sees that he and her tribe have been turned into undead ghoul like monsters and they attack her.

Surrounded and outnumbered Valin's death is certain if not for quick actions of the paladin Fatima and the rest of the group.

Though Djibou escapes with some of the tribesman, the travelers stay behind and lick their wounds.

Inspecting the fallen corpses on the battlefield they learn that each tribesman has a gash on their head much like a scorpion sting.

As the party rests they notice to their horror silent shadows all around them of animated corpses, once Zebra plainsmen staggering around the bones of the graveyard tirelessly searching for ivory and then carrying their precious cargo east.

Following the repulsive rotting creatures deep in the heart of the graveyard they discover a stone building rising from the plains.

Upon closer inspection it turns out to be a crumbling mausoleum.

Searching the crypt they find the giant sarcophagus of an ancient Elephant emperor who once reigned over Bagharajati, the land of the Tigers.

Upon attempting to open the massive stone coffin they encounter the ancient Elephant's ghost.

He warns of a dark plague upon the land of Kasubanko in the form of a Leopard warlord called Svengali. They learn that Svengali controls the undead Zebras that collect ivory for him.

If Svengali is destroyed the ghost will give up his powerful relic, a legendary magical mace.

He tells them to find and ally with the Zebra plainsmen against the Leopard warlord.

So they continue to travel east looking for the Zebras and are then ambushed by them.

A standoff ensues with Sengal attempting diplomacy but things get quickly out of hand when Thorne, tired of feeling threatened, acts.

The fight with the Zebra plainsmen is short lived before Warthog barbarians working with Svengali to destroy the Zebras show up and attack.

The Zebras flee and leave the party at the mercy of the evil savages.

The brutal, bloody melee ends with Valin slain by the axe of the Warthog chieftain, Thorne standing over the corpses of his kinsman, and the dry savannah in flames from Grautus and his lack of caution with his alchemical fire.

Despite Thorne's best effort to avenge Valin's death, the Warthog chieftain escapes.

Leaving the stench of burning bodies behind them, the companions find a clearing to recover their strength and say goodbye to Valin Shivani, cleric of Chitraka.

Continuing east looking for the Zebras once again they travel to the heart of Kasubanko into the high grasslands.

Without warning they are attacked by a pack of raptor lizards, which rip the last caravan guard, Akbar, off his camel before the party knows what is happening.

Using hit and run tactics, the reptiles turn the battle into a fight for survival.

Shortly thereafter they find the Zebra tribe's camp and attempt to try diplomacy once again.

Talking with the Zebra tribe's chieftain Zebulon they explain that the Boars are dead and they are no allies of Svengali.

The Zebra's are planning an assault on Svengali's encampment and could use the adventurer's help.

Shortly before the party arrived, a mysterious Bear ranger calling himself Dharrgat tracked down the Zebras to question them about an over abundance of ivory shipments through Kevehstan for his Shah, an Elephant named Cyrus.

Dharrgat decides to come along, learning Svengali may be the one he is looking for.

Zebulon's plan is simple: the Zebra warriors will attack the main encampment distracting Svengali's soldiers while the adventurers and Dharrgat make their way through a secret underground giant termite tunnel that runs through the compound, coming up behind the enemy and attacking Svengali directly.
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Game Master:
Homebrew (3.5)
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