ADAD GUPPI is born in the midst of a civil war between her father, king of Babylon, and his brother, ASHURPANIPAL, king of Assyria.  Orphaned at birth, she is raised in the palace of the man responsible for her parent’s deaths and the complete destruction of her native city, Babylon—her cruel uncle Ashurpanipal.  As an adolescent she rises in the favor of the king to become the governess and tutor of the king’s youngest children, and after receiving visions from her God, Nanna-Suen, she becomes a close advisor to the king.  She warns him of the Mede threat to come out of the east, “but in order to meet that threat, you have to win the gods over to your side.”

    “And how do I do that?” Ashurbanipal says.

    “You must rebuild the city of Babylon, bab ilii, the gateway of the gods.” 

    Adad Guppi’s rise in stature incurs the envy and hatred of her rival cousin, MAKRUBA SIRRUSHU, a daughter of the king by a concubine.  After twice attempting to kill Adad Guppi twice, and performing obscene and blasphemous rituals in the Holy of Holies of the Moon God Nanna-Suen’s temple, Makruba Sirrushu is married to a Scythian chieftain named PALAK—partly as a punishment by exile for her sins and partly to cement an alliance between the Scythians and the Assyrians.  Makruba Sirrushu assumes that Adad Guppi is responsible for her exile and vows revenge. 

    Makruba Sirrushu learns Scythian ways, becomes a ferocious warrior, then leads a raiding party into Assyrian territory to kidnap Adad Guppi who was traveling to the city of Harran to assume her duties of High Priestess in the Moon God’s most sacred temple on the face of the earth.  Makruba Sirrushu intends to sacrifice Adad Guppi to the Scythian sky god by sewing her up inside the carcass of a giant bull while still alive and then immolating the victim and the bull together on the altar.

    However, while awaiting her fate, Adad Guppi escapes with the help of the Scythian holy man ABARIS, and the giant bull she had been imprisoned with—an animal identified with her god Nanna-Suen because of his crescent-shaped horns.  After escaping, Adad Guppi reunites with her romantic interest NABU BALASSU YIQBI, a successful army general and the governor of Harran, who after learning of her capture had spent several weeks trying to track her down. 

    With the Scythians hot on their tail, the two lovers endure many travails and harrowing escapes but eventually make it safely to Harran where Adad Guppi is finally installed as High Priestess.  During this period of peace Adad Guppi and Nabu Balassu Yiqbi marry and have a son.

    Meanwhile, Makruba Sirrushu conspires to have all the Scythian chieftains except her husband killed by CYAXARES, the king of the Medes, so that her husband, Palak, can become over-king of all the Scythians—with herself as his queen.  At the same time she enlists her mother and her aunt in Nineweh in a conspiracy to have her father, the king of Assyria, killed so that her aunt’s husband, ASHUR-ETIL-ILANI can become king rather than his younger brother, SUEN-SHAR-ISHKUN, whom King Ashurbanipal favors to succeed him.  Upon the death of King Ashurbanipal, Makruba Sirrushu leads a large force of Scythians into Assyria to aid her uncle’s cause. 

    When her uncle is killed and replaced on the throne by Suen-Shar-Ishkun, Makruba Sirrushu leads her Scythians in alliance with the Medes and newly-independent upstart Babylonians to eliminate the Assyrian Empire once and for all.  After destroying Assyria’s capital of Nineweh, the combined armies converge on Harran, the last outpost of the once-proud Assyrian Empire.  Through the efforts of Babylonian engineers, the allied forces are able to breach the walls of Harran, and tens of thousands of soldiers flood into the city killing everyone in sight.  Makruba Sirrushu leads a battalion of her Scythian troops into the Nanna-Suen temple looking to settle her score with Adad Guppi.

    The two women face off in a final battle of life and death where the more agile Adad Guppi kills the larger, stronger woman.  With the city in flames, and entirely in the hands of the enemy, her husband dead, all of her priestesses dead, and her temple desecrated by the bloodshed, Adad Guppi can think only of comforting her son who lies hurt and unconscious beside her after having tried to help her in her battles. 

    The Crown Prince of Babylon, and commander of the Babylonian forces,
NEBUCHADNEZZAR, finds Adad Guppi hugging her son in the Holy of Holies of the Nanna-Suen temple.  He places her and her son under his protection and tells her he is a  relative.  “The people of Babylon remember and honor you as the one who convinced Ashurbanipal to rebuild Babylon after he had destroyed it.”  He holds his hand out to her and says, “It is time for you to come home, come home to Babylon.”