ADAD GUPPI is perhaps the most interesting and enigmatic woman in all history.  As a High Priestess to the Moon God Nanna-Suen she was a close confident and advisor to ten kings spanning two of Ancient History’s greatest empires and two separate dynasties spanning nearly a century during several of the world’s most turbulent times.

Born in Babylon in 651 B.C., the blood of Amorite Babylonian, Khaldean, and Assyrian kings all flowed through her veins.  The daughter of the Assyrian-appointed king of Babylon, she was born under unusual circumstances.  Her mother went into labor just as the Assyrian army under her “dear” uncle, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, was storming the walls of Babylon in a brother-against-brother war.  In the turmoil, her mother died giving her birth, and then her father perished in the flames consuming the palace rather than be taken prisoner by his cruel brother.

Adad Guppi and her wet nurse were taken to Babylon where she was raised in the Assyrian palace motherless and fatherless.  Later in her childhood and adolescence she became a tutor and governess for the younger children of her uncle, the king of Assyria.  Showing an affinity for the moon god and an aptitude for religion at an early age, she became an acolyte in Nineweh’s Nanna-Suen temple.  She quickly rose through the ranks and before the age of thirty was appointed as High Priestess of the moon god’s most sacred temple in the entire empire located in Harran in northern Syria.

However, before reaching that destination, in this novel she had to endure many hardships and dangers not the least of which was being kidnapped by a Scythian band and held for sacrifice to a bull god.
NABU BALASSU YIQBI is another historical character, however very little is known about him except that he fathered a child with Adad Guppi around 620 B.C. and was governor of Harran during the time that she was there, and when the city fell in 610 B.C.  For the purposes of this novel, his story begins as a young soldier when he first meets Adad Guppi in Nineweh, the capital of Assyria.  His main goal becomes to somehow marry Adad Guppi, though his initial station in life makes that impossible.  As he rises through the ranks of the military other obstacles appear to make a marriage to her seem ever more impossible.

MAKRUBA SIRRUSHU is a fictional character who plays the primary antagonist in this novel.  The daughter of the Assyrian king by a concubine, she feels neglected by her father and becomes extremely jealous of Adad Guppi’s increasing favor in the eyes of the king.  As the novel progresses, her juvenile taunts become attempted murders, and then plots to place her aunt’s husband on the throne in place of her father.  She is married to a far-off Scythian warlord when her father, the king, learns of her erratic behavior.  After learning Scythian ways, she plots to bump off all rivals to her husband so he can become absolute leader of all Scythians.  She then leverages her influence with her husband to wreck havoc across the Ancient World and bring all the great nations of the era together in a final war to destroy Assyria and capture Adad Guppi, the object of her hate.

ASHURBANIPAL was the historical king of Assyria from 668 B.C. to 627 B.C.  He plays a minor role in this novel, beginning as a cruel tyrant (as he is known in history) and then morphing into an aging scholar interested mostly in his library (which also appears to be historically correct).

SUEN-SHUMA-LISHIR is an historical personage.  All we know about him is that he seems to have declared himself a king of Babylon after the death of Ashurbanipal in 627 B.C.  However, the throne of Babylon was quickly ripped from him by the Khaldean chieftain Nabopolassar in 626 B.C.  Scholars assume that he was probably an Assyrian general and probably had been appointed by Ashurbanipal as his governor in Babylon.  For the purposes of this novel I have made him a life-long friend of the above-mentioned Nabu Balassu Yiqbi.  The two men room together, fight together, and rise through the ranks of the military together until they are both appointed as governors.  He is portrayed as a rakish, live-for-today, sort of guy to serve as a counterpoint to the more serious Nabu Balassu Yiqbi.

ISHTAR LUBIYA is a fictional character who begins as a young acolyte and room mate for Adad Guppi in Nineweh.  Later, she too is transferred to Harran and becomes a love interest for Suen-Shuma-Lishir.

DAGAN ILI ELLIL is a fictional character who serves as a priest in the temple of the fertility fish god Yuhan.  He becomes a temporary love interest for Makruba Sirrushu and aids her in her plots.

ATWAL HOSHIRAT is a fictional character who earns his living in a seedy part of Nineweh by selling potions and pronouncing curses against the enemies of his clients.  In this capacity he is able to aid Makruba Sirrushu and her boyfriend Dagan ili Ellil with their various plots.