Part 5 - Across the Mountains
An Egyptian merchant appeared before the Priest-King of Urik. It was quickly clear, however, that he was there to see the Nephilim. His name was Sehreset, and his master was also a Nephilim named Besini. Besini had learned about the existence of the PCs through his spies in the Pharonic Brotherhood.
Besini wanted them to lead an expedition across the Zagros Mountains to a desert known as the Red Waste. Within that region was a fables city called Ibnath. What Besini was looking for was a collection of 13 tablets known collectively as the Book of Eons. The PCs agreed to undertake the journey. They would be accompanied by a small entourage including Sehreset.
They took several days to prepare and then made their way East across the fertile crescent and across the mountains. As they traveled, Sehreset told them everything he knew about the region. Ibnath was lead by a group of men known as Hierophants. While it was believed that these men were Nephilim, some speculated that they may have been demons instead. The city was believed to have been consumed by the desert but could be found by those who knew where to look. However, legends said that anyone who entered the city would die instantly. Ibnath once had a sister city named Yakoth that was destroyed in a war with Ibnath.
Currently two tribes lived in the Red Wastes: The Sons of Samure and the Kalebites. The Red Wastes was also supposedly home to giants, sand worms and a mysterious Oasis called the Oasis of Purple Dreams.
All of these things seemed unlikely, but the rumors of giants was quickly proven true. They were still in the mountains when attacked by men 10 – 12 feet tall. They explorers won the day, but it cost them a couple of their men.
A day later, while still in the mountains, they came across a tower sculpted out of the rock. Climbing the tower they found a grate made of a strange metal blocking a tunnel descending into darkness. They were able to move the grate and climb down to a network of tunnels below. They then happened upon a man who covered his appearance in a tattered old cloak. He claimed to be several centuries old. Examining him using Ka-Vision revealed he possessed only Solar Ka, meaning he was not a Nephilim.
They asked him if he had heard of Ibnath. He had, and was certain it existed. He had never been there, although he once visited the ruins of Yakoth. He said the Ibnath was a damned placed that had been betrayed twice, first by the scheming of its Priest-King, and then by the arrogance of the Heirophants. When pressed to explain what he meant by that, he said that the Heirophants had summoned something they could not control. He would say nothing more on the subject, and they left him in peace.
Eventually, they made it out of the mountains and headed into the desert. They spotted more giants, but were able to avoid them. One evening as they slept, they came under attack by what appeared to be crazed cannibals. They were able to dispatch the creatures but Jehoram noticed that one of the creatures bore a striking resemblance to one of the PC’s guards that the creature had bitten. They did not know what to make of this.
Over the next several days they were plagued by giants, bandits, and more of the cannibal creatures. Jehoram began to train the non-combatant members of the entourage in fighting techniques to help defend themselves. Their cook seemed to possess a natural aptitude for knife fighting.
Finally, after nearly 90 days of travel, they found themselves before a desert expanse of red sand. They had found the Red Wastes.