The Saga now moves forward to the Friend's journey
to the Plateau of Statues. Having investigated the ways up the rocky
face and finding that the top of the plateau was actually on the
Hero Plane, the Friends went to the tent of Thordah Spawn-Slayer
to seek aid.
Thordah Spawn-Slayer, High Storm Khan of Only-Safe,
had been a Rhino rider before taking up permanent residence here.
He towered over all of the Friends except Argrath carried an axe
that was larger than Bronwyn. Thordah's warband of 80 Storm Bull
berserkers was second only to the Block.
Thordah readily agreed to aid the Companions in
their journey if the Companions agreed to aid the Storm Bulls in
their renewed crusade against Than Ulbar . Argrath agreed.
In the morn, five-score nomads rode with the Friends
to the Plateau of Statues; they were to help the Friends' ritual
to cross over to the Hero Plane and then to guard the Companions'
mounts while they were on the Otherside.
As Gudny drew his ritual Storm Rune in the dirt,
Bronwyn went among the group placing them properly along the rune
or around it. Gudny led the band in the ritual, dancing along the
rune and singing the songs of crossing; the Friends spake their
parts and the Storm Bull warband poured their support into the Rune.
The winds howled, clouds rushed in, thunder stuck the rune and when
the Friends blinked the after-flash out of their eyes they were
standing on the top of the plateau in the Hero Plane.
The top of the Plateau sloped gently towards the
centre. The weather was different from the surrounding wasteland,
gentle breeze, comfortable heat, and clear skies with a large sun
gazing down on them. Trees and shrubs dotted the land while running
water could be heard chuckling from a nearby copse. Massive buildings
thrust into the sky with huge statues and ziggurats scattered amongst
them; some of the buildings were floating off of the ground. Roads
led hither and tither through the land, some brick, some glinted
like metal, all were around 100 ells wide.
A closer look showed that many of the buildings
were showing signs of extreme age, worn down, cracked and sagging.
Began Ok led the way deeper onto the plateau. She
that them that she did not know where the statue of Gurgak Gianttroll
was but that she could feel in which direction it lay.
The road she led them down was one solid strip
of iron; Began stayed at the edge of the road when she could to
avoid the deadly metal. The group came upon a park full of fountains
and Garthael sampled the water, it was sweet and refreshing. The
Friends filled their water skins and continued on. The road stretched
on into the distance as far as they could see.
They passed a grove of apple trees that stood 200
A four-foot tall purple being raced into their
path and ordered them to stop. "Who dares enter my kingdom?" it
demanded. Argrath who it was and it replied that it was "King Boggle!"
Began ignored it and continued on. The boggle  stuck his thumb
into his mouth and started to blow himself up. He stopped when he
reached 40 feet in height, shouted, "BOO!" and ran off into a nearby
At a crossroad the Companions heard the sounds
of construction echoing through the air. Investigating, Argrath
found a dwarvish work-crew constructing a brick building. He tried
to address several workers but they ignored him. A larger dwarf
with a white helmet stepped out of a small shack at the side of
the work-area and shouted at Argrath making shooing gestures. When
he got no response he adjusted a device on his lapel and spoke again,
slower. "Get off of the site!" the device said. "Site 8129C" the
dwarf replied when Argrath asked what site. The foreman asked if
the Friends had seen their relief crew, they were late. When Argrath
asked how late the foreman told them the crew was supposed to have
arrived in the Golden Age with more supplies from the Spike .
With that the Companions left and continued on their way.
Further on a giant iron throne floated down the
road at them. Seated on the throne was a giant with the head of
a lion. "I am the King of Gernatela. Why do you not kneel before
me?" "I am a king myself," spake Argrath, "and kneel to no other."
The lion-man nodded sagely, "Do you come seeking an audience with
me?" Argrath replied that they did and the lion-man asked "Where
are my gifts then?" Argrath gifted the giant with a Dragon-Torque
and it cooed over the trinket while it floated off down the road.
The Friends thought that this may have been an incarnation of Basmol
who's people had conquered wide swaths of Gernatela.
As they fared deeper into the plateau the very
ground beneath their feet began to shake and shudder. So bad was
the shaking that the Companions were thrown to the ground. Began
managed to get off of the iron road before she was felled. A giant
head thrust its way out of the ground and then a great finger a
ways further down the road. As they watched, a statue 100 feet tall
rose from the subterranean depths and stood before them pointing
into the distance. The ground began to tremble again and two giants,
150 feet in height strode around a building. The Friends scattered
from their path and watched as the giants busked the new statue
off into the distance.
The Friends continued along the road and were enveloped
in a rampaging mob of people. The Friends were enjoined to sack
a nearby temple with the mob; they refused. Garthael and Varax started
to leave with the mob but Argrath called them back by reminding
them off their oaths to him. As they passed further down the road
the Friends studied the mob and saw that it was made of many different
peoples; they hypothesised that they were failed hero-questers who
were stuck here pillaging the plateau but unable to escape.
Began now led them onto a new road, paved in gold.
A large golden tower blazed golden in the sunlight with spars reaching
out from the sides. A gigantic golden cylinder, 300 ells long, swam
through the sky towards the tower. As the friends watched the cylinder
touched one of the spars and stopped. A door opened above the spar
and a torrent of golden people issued from the door. They passed
along the spar and down a spiral staircase in the side of the building
spilling into the street. The Friends could see that they were all
angelic in bearing and pleasing in appearance. They wore garishly
coloured shirts and carried black boxes that flashed annoying light
when they pointed them at things. They attempted to speak to the
Friends but none could comprehend their words. At this the tourists
tried to speak slower and louder but still failed to communicate
As night fell and Yelm passed through the Western
Gates the Quest camped in a park on the side of the golden avenue.
In the depths of the night Began awoke the Friends; she had espied
a small giant sauntering through the park in their direction. The
giant was indeed small, only 50 feet in height, and it wielded what
looked like a boar-spear with a disk instead of the bar that most
had. As the giant made its way across the park it was stabbing objects
on the ground with the spear and depositing them in a large sack
it carried on its belt. The Companions fled from the giant and sought
a more secure campsite.
A light shower awoke the Friends in time to greet
Theya as she spread her arms over the world. After a brief meal
they fared further down the road towards a large plaza that was
now visible; Began grew excited and broke into a run. In the plaza
they saw a 200-foot statue of a giant troll-like creature. The statue
stood on the tips of its toes and was arched back until its hands
almost touched the ground behind it, a 300-foot golden spear pinioned
the statue in place. Around the neck of the statue was the amulet
Argrath flew up to the giant's neck and released
the clasp on the chain and they all scattered as the great wheel
crashed to the ground.
Kamoar cried out in alarm and pointed at the spear.
The surface of the spear shaft roiled and shifted in the early-morning
light and a great golden warrior sprang from the weapon. Ten feet
further up the shaft another roiling produced another warrior, and
another, and another. The golden warriors strode directly towards
the amulet with grim intent.
Argrath used his mastery of the magic of movement
to lift the slab of stone into the air. The first two warriors stopped
and stared at him. They brought their spears down to point at him
and both fired streams of fire at him. Von dove in front of a blast
and fell moaning to the ground while Argrath shrugged off the other,
though the effort to defend himself caused him to drop the amulet.
Five warriors now advanced on the medallion while
more formed on the spear.
Garthael drew his flashing-blade and hewed one
with a mighty two-handed blow. His blow fell on the warrior's shield
and through into a golden hip passing upwards and coming out through
the other shoulder. As the glow left the split warrior and his pieces
fell to the ground Garthael turned to meet the next ten-foot fighter.
Gudny leapt into the air and smote at the next
warrior with Orlanth's javelin; the blast melted the man into slag.
Sigmund spun around to face the warriors and hurled
Little Weighty at one with a shout; the golden body splashed and
bent around the stone. The warrior fell the ground with a screech
of pain and lay still.
Argrath levitated the great medallion while Bronwyn
strained his draconic thews to move it from the plaza; when they
stepped beyond the tiled flooring of the plaza the warriors turned
and returned to the spear.
The Companions fared back to the entrance they
forced onto the plateau with the amulet and returned to the mundane
plane. Though three days has passed for them, ten had passed in
the mortal world and the Storm Bulls were anxious to get on with
their crusade, "You owe us," said one khan, "We go into really deep
 Than Ulbar is an underground chaos city
east of the Tunnelled Hills. Rumour says that the High Temple of Thanatar
is located in the city.
 Boggles are creatures of disorder created in the God's Age; they
are the ultimate tricksters.
 The Spike was the central world-mountain where all the gods lived.
Its destruction ended the Golden Age.
 Yes, this is a cruise ship from the Sky world. :-)
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