Also known as the Lost City of Bells, the legendary civilization called Tinabula was once one of the desert's most powerful ancient kingdoms. Three thousand years ago, Tinabula was inhabited by a mysterious and warlike people, who used a strange weapon to conquer the desert as far as the eye could see. At the height of Tinabula's glory, however, the entire city vanished without a trace — leaving behind merely the legends of a great civilization.
Golden Tinabula was the wonder of the ancient world. Constructed by unknown desert dwellers, the whole city of Tinabula was based entirely on sounds and harmonics. Devices such as doors and gates were built to respond to different musical tones, triggered only when the correct note was sounded. Bell designs were incorporated into the city's architecture as well, including wind chimes and gongs that quietly rang throughout the city. According to legend, Tinabula itself seemed to pulsate with an ethereal, musical atmosphere.
The people of Tinabula were equally mysterious, worshipping strange and hideous insects — giant scarabs — which they portrayed in countless works of art and architecture. Cunning warriors, the ancient Tinabulans constructed a terrible weapon in the center of the city, which they used to conquer the surrounding desert. No one could withstand the might of Tinabula's evil weapon, a machine that could generate sound waves capable of destroying anything.
Just as quickly as Tinabula rose to power, it suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. Ancient lore spoke of the desert itself turning and swallowing up the evil kingdom, leaving nothing — no people, no city, and no weapon. Nearly 30 centuries later, few people believed that Tinabula had ever existed at all, although the lost city was supposedly located somewhere near the desert city of Ghafia.
But the ancient legends also made mention of three Golden Bells, the mere ringing of which would resurrect the lost city of Tinabula from the midst of a sandstorm. Working for five years, archeologist Katie Dodd managed to find these bells in the sands of the city site — her proof that Tinabula really did exist. However, no sooner had she found all three bells than a shadowy stranger named Thaddeus E. Klang took them from her. Accompanied by red-robed mercenaries and an army of giant scarabs, Klang was searching for the ancient weapon of Tinabula, the means by which he planned to conquer the world.
After kidnapping Ms. Dodd, Klang used the three bells to uncover the lost city of Tinabula, just as the legends had predicted. Activating the city's ancient weapon, Klang threatened to shake the city of Ghafia to dust unless they paid a one-million-guilder ransom. Fortunately, Ms. Dodd and her two friends used a secret device — the Master Bell — to cause an earthquake that completely destroyed the city, and apparently Klang too. Reduced to crumbled ruins, Tinabula will remain a lost civilization forever.