Five hundred years ago Sarapur was the jewel of the the Araby Princedoms. Founded three hundred years earlier by Prince Azikh of Taimah it was initially established as a trading outpost on the shores of Lake Kunga. From here traders from Araby and the Old World were able to sail far up the Kunga river to trade with the powerful Shakasu Empire, caravans crossed the desert to the lords of Great Aegyptus and explorers delved deep into the jungle making valuable contacts with the mysterious Lizard Lords. Bilaal Nasr, the Emir of Sarapur ruled over a city of dreams – golden spires, caravans loaded with jewels and spices, thronging bazaars, powerful magii, knights of the Old World, legendary warriors, flying carpets, Djinns, elementals, thieves of reknown, wise men and fools filled its teeming streets and it is said that the gold in the city’s vaults weighed enough to sink a whole continent.
It was only gradually that people began to realise that the jungle of Kunga, some leagues to the South had started to creep forward. Slowly at first but then each year it progressed some more miles Northward. Freebooter explorers who entered the jungle started to report a strange change in its nature. What had once been lush and verdant forest now had a lurking atmosphere of feral malice, its roots snarling the feet of intruders and its dark canopy cloaking everything in a terrifying darkness. As the jungle crept inexorably closer to Sarapur the Emir called on his wisest advisors, engineers and sorcerors to find ways to halt its spread. Nothing worked, not the ditches, not the burning, not the magical wards. A gloom settled over the population of the city and rumours of doom began to circulate.
Then one day, from the depths of the jungle stepped a wizened old man. Covered in strange tattoos and wearing a blue cloak of tanned lizard hide he walked towards the city. Through the gates and down the street of golden palaces to the Royal Alacazar he stepped. Strangely he was challenged by no guard or denied access by any locked door so it was a shock to the Emir when he strode into the throne room. The old man spoke softly, partly in riddles but promised the Emir that he had the knowledge and the power to push back the jungle. The only price he demanded was the hand of the Emir’s only daughter, Princess Qisma. The Emir was enraged and ordered that the man be sent to his darkest dungeon. As he was being manhandled from the room the man spat on the floor and ranted in a strange guttural tongue.
Later that evening the Emir noticed a small purple flower growing from a crack in the floor where the old man had spat, it emitted a strange, powerful exotic scent and he felt an irresistable urge to inhale its fragrance more deeply. Having done so his head felt light and his legs began to weaken and he staggered back to his throne supported by his courtiers. He felt a strange itching inside his head which soon grew to an agonising pain behind his eyes. Worse and worse became the pain and as the green tendril pushed its way through his eye socket the whole palace and then the whole city heard his desperate screams. Within minutes the virulent plant had filled the throne room with vines and branches, the body of the now dead Emir twitching at its centre. But still it did not stop and the green horror began to overrun the whole city. By morning the Sarapur was still. A jungle graveyard, its citizens choked, its streets overgrown, its treasures buried in vegetation. Over the next few days Lake Kunga itself became choked with weed preventing any from navigating through or beyond it while the green plains of the Vale withered and died as the forest seemingly engorged itself on their life force. Within a week The Emirate of Sarapur was no more.
Five hundred years passed. But now in recent years, for reasons unknown, the jungle has begun to retreat. Firstly, waters started to flow again through Lake Kunga. Intrepid boatmen exploring further noticed the golden spires of Sarapur starting to emerge again from the forest canopy. As more months passed the dense vegetation began to thin and the city became accessible again as the sands of the Vale of Dust started to blow through its empty streets. The golden city has arisen from its grave and many now lust after the treasures that beckon from its abandoned vaults………..