The Plateau of the Endless – Page 61


Plateau (61)

Perilous Jack returns to the point where he met Agolozzagheridolihaabilzoloakengheri, only to see the end of the Dragon’s tail just as it disappears into a GreenShaft. 

Jack draws his sword and leaps into the GreenShaft to follow, not hesitating to wonder where the shaft might take him. The Warp Portal inside the GreenShaft whisks him away and deposits him in the mouth of a RedShaft – and then it goes dark. Too late, it occurs to Jack that the Dragon might employ a one-way Portal to its lair, necessitating a password or some kind of token to return. There will be no returning, unless he can defeat the Dragon and wrestle the necessary information from him.

Even as he thinks these thoughts, he becomes aware of the intense heat crushing down upon him. He climbs from the RedShaft – and into another world. The RedShaft is cleverly built into a small alcove hidden in the side of an enormous stone pyramid. As Jack struggles from the alcove – confronting a Koopa Troopa, one of the world’s ubiquitous carnivorous turtles – he emerges into brilliant sunlight and glaring heat.

All around spread the sands of a vast desert. Another stone pyramid rises above the endless dunes some miles away, and others still dot the horizon. Against the backdrop of the angry sun, Jack can see the faint silhouette of the Dragon as he sails away from the pyramid on which Jack stands. Even as he watches, Agolozzagheridolihaabilzoloakengheri disappears into the side of the next pyramid, perhaps into a tunnel leading inside the pyramid and to the Dragon’s true lair – or perhaps into another RedShaft, leading to yet another of the Dragon’s hunting grounds. The mystery of how a desert dragon thrives upon the Plateau of the Endless has been solved – for clearly the territory it controls on the Plateau is by no means its constant home – but the solution of the riddle is cold comfort to Perilous Jack.

For he is alone, with a pouch full of treasure and hardly a drop of water, in the middle of a burning desert hundreds of miles from the goal of his quest, a locked door behind him and an infinity of pyramids, tunnels, rooms, rolling dunes, and Warp Portals before him. Doubtless, he will find his way back eventually, but for Princess Vasilisa and for the adventure he has left behind, this is . . .



Return to 1 and begin the quest again or, if Jack has a Phoenix Feather, he may continue the adventure in Perilous Jack and the Mummy King.