Factions and Forces

The Desert Goblins and Denia: The most obvious threat, and the one that draws all the characters into the adventure, is the activities of the desert goblins in and around the Valley of Kings. They are purchasing slaves from sbekki and other bandit raiders around Egypt and bringing the slaves down to the Valley of Kings to work. The impetus for this activity is actually a human mage named Denia, who has been transformed into (or disguised as) a desert goblin.

    Goal (Desert Goblins): Spread chaos and destruction for the glory of Set!

    Goal (Denia): Gain personal power by employing the Scrolls of Thoth to awaken the dead pharaohs.

    Activity: The desert goblins are putting the captured slaves to work in the ancient tombs, clearing passages to grant access to the sarcophagi and treasures of the dead pharaohs. The goblins are using the treasures to finance the purchase of slaves.

Khamiz: An advisor to the client ruler of Khamiz has been in negotiations with the desert goblins, forging an alliance against their shared enemy, the dwarven kingdom of Gorril. The Romans support this alliance, because they would like to install a client king on the throne of Gorril as well.

    Goal: Conquer Gorril. The advisor who is planning the alliance (Thodzen) hopes to be rewarded by becoming Rome’s new client king—of either Khamiz or Gorril.

    Activity: The dwarves are just talking to the desert goblins at this stage.

The Romans: Although initially it might seem that the desert goblins are striking against the evil institutions of Rome and therefore perhaps worth cooperating with, one of the big reveals of the adventure is that the Romans are actually supporting the desert goblin activity.

    Goal: Harness the power of the Egyptian pharaohs to solidify their rule over Egypt and expand farther south into Africa.

    Activity: A Roman agent incited Denia to steal the Scrolls of Thoth. The Roman magistrate in Diospolis Magna is supplying arms to the goblins as well. His agent in the Valley of Kings is a ratlike Roman named Marcus Viriens, an expert in archeology who is helping to direct the excavations of the tombs and coordinating delivery of weapons and other goods.

The Undead: One of my big regrets about the original tomb adventure was that I never made the mummy of At-ka-beset particularly relevant to the adventure. I should change that this time, and make the mummies and spirits of the Valley of Kings a potent force to be reckoned with. Maybe they have to be awakened first, though...

OK, part of the Valley of Kings is inhabited by a small group of about five royal mummies, who were reawakened by an Egyptian necromancer some years ago. They mostly keep to themselves in their dead-end wadi, and the desert goblins avoid them, but they are keeping an eye on what Denia and the goblins are doing and what it will mean for them long-term. Part of the reason they keep to themselves is that each mummy thinks of him- or herself as the rightful Pharaoh of Egypt, so they’re practically incapable of cooperating toward any mutual goal.

The Jackalweres: Jackalweres have been watching the PCs’ activities in the Valley with great interest all along. Why?

I think they're servitors of Anubis, whose primary interest is in making sure that the Valley's sanctity is restored.

James Wyatt,
Nov 24, 2018, 7:52 PM
James Wyatt,
Nov 24, 2018, 7:53 PM