The Red Cohort is currently in the employ of the Legate of Carthage, the supreme Imperial military authority in N. Africa. He initially took on the Cohort to help pursue bandits attacking trade caravans; work far too insignificant for his Imperial Legions. However, recently a civil war amongst the leonin has given him an opportunity to go to war… for the good of the Empire, of course.
During the Old Empire the leonin allowed humans to establish trading cities and ports along the northern coasts. This arrangement has worked well for generations until the current ruler of the leonin, Khemba, Kha Regent, decided to begin cutting relations with the humans. If he was not responsible for the increased bandit activity, he definitely did nothing to stop it, even allowing the bandits to hide in leonin lands.
The true hier, Raksha, the Golden Cub, feels differently and wants to return to peaceful, profitable relations with the Empire. Unfortunately, although Raksha has reached adulthood, Khemba has refused to surrender the throne. Raksha’s coziness with the humans has also turned many of the elders against him. Their conflict has finally come to a head with Raksha naming Khemba an usurper and calling upon the Legate for military assistance. For his part, Khemba has named Raksha a traitor to the rightful authority and the traditions of his people. A full scale civil war is about to rip apart N. Africa and the Red Cohort is right in the middle of it.
Worse, the bandits put up quite a fight. Combat, heat exhaustion and an untimely epidemic of malaria reduced the once robust Cohort down to just under 100. Somehow, this ragtag band of mercenaries have to find a way to survive the coming war!