Advanced Search

I9 Day of Al'Akbar (1e)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

I9 Day of Al'Akbar (1e)

Selected Option:

"The land of Arir - a once peaceful desert country, dotted with oases, teeming with caravans - fell into the hand of infidels. The ruler, the dearly loved Sultan Amhara, was killed in the battle for the capital city of Khaibar. He left behind one of the greatest treasure stores ever amassed - jewels and coins, more than anyone had ever seen before or since - and in addition, the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar.

A deadly plague sweeps your land. The holy men say that if only they had the Talisman, they could create cures for this dread disease. Many adventurers have tries and failed to find the Cup and Talisman. Now it is your turn. Find these treasures, and save your people!

The journey is exciting, but treacherous. Do not be distracted by exotic sights and sounds, the strange foods.

You must avoid being discovered by Al'Farzikh and his brigands, as you infiltrate the palace. Be wary - what is most beautiful may be most deadly, and what seems useless may be priceless."

Product History

I9: "Day of Al'Akbar" (1986), by Allen Hammack, is the ninth Intermediate-level adventure for AD&D. It was published in August 1986.

About the Cover. The cover shows three lingerie-clad women in what might be a harem. It's not particularly titillating, but the reviews made it clear that it was a big change for TSR. Carl Sargent in White Dwarf #87 (March 1987) called it a "sexploitation cover". Tom Zunder in Adventurer #6 (January 1987) was even more explicit about the context, and why it had changed, writing, "Gary Gygax really must have left Lake Geneva at last … [for he] was really keen on the 'family' image — and these playboy lasses on the front cover would certainly not have passed in the old days".

Origins (I): The Intermediaries. I9: "Day of Al'AKbar" (1986) was another supplement in TSR's long line of "I" Intermediate-level adventures (1981-1988). After a run of four Hickman adventures (1983) the "I" line had once more settled into being a series of unconnected adventures written by a variety of authors. "Day of Al'AKbar" thus followed I8: "Ravager of Time" (1986) by the TSR UK team of Graeme Morris and Jim Bambra.

Origins (II): Pick an Artifact, Any Artifact. When Allen Hammack, now a freelancer, was contracted to write "Day of Al'Akbar", he wanted to dig up something "from the very early days of D&D". He settled on the game's artifacts, because he thought they were cool but "no DM in our group dared allow any player character near one of those things". He ended up selecting the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar as his macguffins because they were "the least likely to destroy a campaign".

Artifacts had occasionally appeared in D&D adventures prior to "Day of Al'Akbar". Some were new, like the three named weapons in S2: "White Plume Mountain" (1979) and the Ring of Eibon in X2: "Castle Amber" (1981), while the Dragonlance Chronicles adventures (1984-1986) had highlighted some classic artifacts: the Dragon Orbs. However writing a whole adventure focused on one of D&D's classic artifacts was definitely a novelty (and one that would be repeated several times in the '90s).

Origins (III): A History of the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar. The Cup and Talisman of Akbar were created by Neal Healey for The Strategic Review v2 #2 (April 1976), alongside the lesser-known "Staff of the Priest Kings" and "Brazen Bottle". In that first appearance, they were clearly artifacts of Allah.

They returned as the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar in the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide (1979). The references to Allah were removed, and the artifacts were now clearly part of the World of Greyhawk, as they were given to the Paynims (a real word, meaning non-Christians, especially Muslims!) following the Invoked Devastation, then lost to the Bandit Kingdoms.

Origins (IV): Arabic Sources. Using the artifacts of Al'Akbar required Hammack to create an Arabic-influenced adventure. Though there's a dungeon crawl that isn't as heavily Arabic-themed, the rest of the adventure, with its city, its sultan's palace, and its many colorful peoples, feels like it could have used 1001 Arabian Nights (1704) as a source.

This was a first for D&D, which wouldn't return to heavy Arabic theming until the Al-Qadim line (1992-1994). However, it wasn't a first for the "I" product line, which had featured quite varied settings, primarily thanks to Tracy Hickman's Egyptian-themed Desert of Desolation adventures (1983) and his Gothic I6: "Ravenloft" (1983).

Adventure Tropes: Dungeon Crawls. Though the first part of "Day of Al'Akbar" is a fairly traditional sewer crawl and tomb crawl, the rest of the adventure is quite open, supporting wilderness travel, urban exploration and a palace exploration. It's all keyed to numbered encounters, like any traditional crawl, but the environments allow for much more variety of action.

Adventure Tropes: Player Numbers. The old D&D modules were much looser in their player requirements. Thus, "Day of Al'Akbar" asks for 6-8 characters of levels 8-10. It's notable both because the range was very wide (possibly running as low as 48 total levels or as high as 80!) and because the expected player count was very high (6 to 8, instead of the 4 that would develop as a new standard in the 21st century).

However, "Day of Al'Akbar was troubled by even wider inconsistency. Its inside cover says 5-10 characters of levels 4-8 and its 8 pre-generated characters are levels 9-12. These wide inconsistencies suggest how much these level listings were determined by the seat of one's pants. If you want to actually play "Day of Al'Akbar", the best advice is probably in the introduction, which suggests total character level should be 70-80.

Exploring Greyhawk. Though the Dungeon Masters Guide places the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar in Greyhawk, this is a generic adventure that can't easily be placed in the World of Greyhawk setting. Nonetheless, if you want to return the artifacts to their original setting, look for Braggi's "Refitting I9 Day of Al-Akbar for Greyhawk" article on Canonfire!

Artifacts of Note. Obviously, "Day of Al'Akbar" spotlights the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar.

About the Creators. Hammack became a game editor TSR in 1978, after which he contributed to many products, including design work on C2: "The Ghost Tower of Inverness" (1980), A3: "Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords" (1981) and Monster Manual II (1983). This was a much later work, done as a freelancer after Hammack had left TSR and opened a game and book store in Birmingham, Alabama.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

Reviews (1)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Dominic L January 07, 2022 10:47 pm UTC
POD is very good, text and colour maps inside all clear and the cover has come out well.
Customer avatar
Matt B March 08, 2018 5:33 pm UTC
POD is an excellent copy.
Customer avatar
Luigi C May 02, 2019 1:11 pm UTC
Hi Matt, what about the maps? Are these included? Are the maps segmented?
Customer avatar
Matt B May 22, 2019 6:37 pm UTC
As with all PODs, maps are included bound within the book broken up into page size chunks. I would love dndclassics to sell full size fold out maps (either separately or as an option with book) but that is not something they are exploring right now.
Customer avatar
Zia M July 06, 2017 2:11 am UTC
The July 4, 2017 update has improved the scan quality nicely. Both sides of the poster map are included in a separate file with segmented and complete versions. Nice update.
Customer avatar
Jeremy R February 08, 2017 6:15 am UTC
Those comments about the cover are a little odd, given the was perfectly okay with the nudity on Eldritch Wizardry's cover. Not to mention all the drawings in the books up until MM2 where lady monsters suddenly had poses hiding their nudity
Browse Categories
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Gold seller
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9178
File Size:
28.31 MB
Scanned image Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Last Updated:
July 04, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on February 07, 2017.