Fate of Yaramuke

This performance was staged by the King’s Order of Storytelling on 25 Scorch, in the Urikite town of Makla.

The curtain rises, revealing a stage-table sloped toward the audience. Stage right and far upstage is a beautiful representation of Urik, its yellow walls (painted with red words and a red lion-that-walks-like-a-man) and buildings carved of wood and bone carefully painted and rising from the stage-table. Several slender obsidian urikets poke up from the city, and the King’s Palace lords over the city from the Destiny’s Kingdom compound.

Stage left and far downstage is the city-state of Yaramuke. The buildings bear an archaic design unfamiliar to natives of the other city-states of Athas. A pearlescent palace rises out of the table and, from above, a regal marionette drops down to perch on the palace. This is Queen Sielba, the sorcerer-queen of Yaramuke.

A clanking, clattering noises sounds from below the stage-table, and small puppet mining carts begin to enter Urik from offstage, bringing loads of shiny obsidian. As more and more obsidian wealth comes to the city, more and more obsidian urikets rise from the city.

Oddly, one of the buildings in Yaramuke is a rainbow ziggurat—not a building seen anywhere on Athas except recently in Tyr.

Queen Sielba is having some kind of little fit. Waving her puppet arms, she directs armies of clattering bone soldiers to march towards the Urikite wagon trains. But the yellow walls of Urik open and yellow-painted soldiers march out, quickly repelling the Yaramite troops and forcing them back into their city-state. The Urikite soldiers surround Yaramuke.

Sielba and her advisors run about in a panic, eliciting laughter from the audience. The laughter stops suddenly when the King’s Palace in Urik opens with a great cranking noise, revealing a gigantic noble upright lion marionette. A hush falls over the crowd as it slowly marches over to Yaramuke. Queen Sielba and her advisors fall to their knees and grovel. Then the lion raises its paws, one of which holds a staff topped with an obsidian orb.

A sudden gasp comes from the audience as loud explosions come from the stage, flashes of light and acrid smoke terrifying the assembled crowd. When it is done, the buildings of Yaramuke have been cleverly changed through clockwork action—they are ruined, in pieces, crumbled. Small flames burn throughout the city. Queen Sielba is in pieces. The Urikite soldiers pour into the city and cheery horn music plays.

The cheery music continues as Sielba’s advisors are rounded up and put on a platform that rises from the ruins of Yaramuke. One by one, they are beheaded, their little puppet heads cleverly popping off and bouncing across the stage-table. One of the advisors wears a purple robe and a grey crown; another appears to be a burly mul.

Then, the cheery music abruptly stops. Rising from the back of the stage is the largest puppet yet—a multi-piece Dragon. It waves its clawed hands and its long neck winds back and forth across the stage.

Puppets representing citizens of Yaramuke are marched over to the Dragon, which grasps them and then disappears back through the gauzy film at the rear of the stage. Two glowing orbs representing Ral and Guthay twirl across the stage—a common stage representation of a year passing. The obsidian wagons continue to flow into Urik and the urikets increase.

More citizens of Yaramuke are marched to the back of the stage; the Dragon appears and seizes them. The moons twirl, citizens are marched, the Dragon seizes them. This repeats several times; as it does, buildings in Yaramuke are slowly disappearing and sliding below the stage. The light on Yaramuke is dimming, while the light on Urik is brightening.

Finally, Yaramuke is gone. The cheery horn music begins again as the lion King emerges from his palace and raises his paws. The crowd begins to cheer, and the curtain closes to great patriotic applause.

Fate of Yaramuke

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