Adventure 11: Prodigious Atlânaat and the Lord of the World
Having decided that finding the Master of the World and changing his dream was their best chance of stopping the Golems of Meaning the party availed itself of Clank's ability to travel through time and space to head towards Prodigious Atlânaat.
Unfortunately the only point of reference they had for that era was Princess Fetet's hat so they arrived in the Caliphate of the Eesa Khan, appearing in a crowded market square and attracting the attention of the royal guards.
Not wanting to cause a stir our heroes allowed themselves to be escorted into the Eesa Khan's presence.
Rummaging in Chester secured enough gifts for his august majesty to allow the party to stay around and explore the area.
Leaving the palace they came across a bizarre sight. A man was chained naked in a square being feasted on by toothless beggars. A local explained that this was a traveller from afar who had blasphemed against the One True God and had been condemned to die in this strange fashion by the Eesa Khan himself. The heroes recognised the poor unfortunate as a younger version of Yhtill the crazed scholar who was still accompanying them.
It was a matter of seconds to release Yhtill's chains but this prompted the appearance of an Ifrit that had been set to guard him and the heroes found themselves hard pressed to overcome this powerful demon.
Eventually the priests realised that the Ifrit was itself a prisoner of enchantments and spells that forced it to obey the Eesa Khan and so they freed it from its curse.
Immediately the Ifrit descended on the palace with an army of demonic imps and the party used the confusion and mayhem to escape from the city with their rescued scholar.
Once he had recovered the younger Yhtill led the party by owls to Prodigious Atlânaat.
Prodigious Atlânaat nestled behind its immense walls in the midst of a great jungle. Once through the gates the heroes were greeted by a bustling city that was the nexus of several caravan and trade routes. Younger Yhtill led the party to the seat of the Yellow Raja, the shrine erected to the Master of the World.
There was a statue and a strange gong and lots of offerings at the shrine but no sign of the Master of the World. Even sounding the gong, which gave off a strangely muted tone, did nothing.
The heroes were puzzled but eventually realised this was not where they needed to be.
As they set about exploring further they discovered that Prodigious Atlânaat was a stranger place than they'd originally thought. There were small gates set in the wall that led to other instances of the city. Eventually they found a small gate with a hand inscribed over its arch which recalled to them the words of Yhtill the mad.
“There is a sculptured hand on the keystone of the arch. That way is safe.”
Beyond this door they found an avenue leading to a clearing bordered by pillars with a balustraded pit at its centre.
Some of the pillars had lifelike statues of seated men at their bases and the heroes found that they could not enter the pit which had a ramp spiralling down into its depths. Once again the heroes were reminded of the words of Yhtill.
“I saw thirteen seated statues but there is always space for more.”
Yhtill himself volunteered to sit at the base of an unoccupied pillar and immediately became a statue like the others.
His sacrifice removed the magical barrier to the pit and the party descended.
As the party moved down the ramp into the pit they were surrounded by strange music and fragrances. Many of the heroes were overcome and had to be left where they fell.
Eventually the remaining few reached the bottom where they were met by a woman.
“The girl is mysterious, no doubt, but she commands the lost magic of far-off Tsang, whereby men become gods, and gods become beasts.”
The woman worked her magic and more of our heroes succumbed, turning into beasts according to their natures.
Only Joe, Hugh and young Yhtill remained.
The mists parted and the figure of an ancient sleeping man appeared- this was the Master of the World.
The woman explained that she could whisper into his dreams if his sleep was disturbed just a little but she could only whisper a very few words so the party had to choose wisely.
The party earned the right to say just seven words to the woman and they decided on:
"Protect Yarth System from Golems of Meaning."
They struck the strangely quiet gong that they'd luckily brought away with them, the Master of the World stirred just a little in his sleep and the woman bent and whispered into his ear.
Nothing seemed to happen but the woman and the Master of the World disappeared so the despondent remaining heroes made their way back up the ramp collecting their fallen comrades on the way.
Omce everyone was healed and restored Clank returned them to their own time (easier said than done) and using the wondrous telescope of Phordog Fal they scanned the sky in trepidation.
The Golems of Meaning had gone! There was not a sign of them in the heavens. Our heroes had succeeded and saved the world- a fitting end to a long and arduous struggle.
Now an easy retirement on their estates in Phalkar awaits them, unless they choose to take up their swords again...
This is the end of the Chronicles of the Latter Days of Yarth.
Our triumphant heroes at the end of their quest: