Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Perfect Staff - Pirates of the Caribbean Edition

More than a year ago I posted The Perfect Staff - Haunted Mansion Edition. I took the Haunted Mansion cast list position by position and chose a mythological god or hero appropriate to each particular role. It has since become a very popular read. Recently I crossed lands and began work at another attraction within the Magic Kingdom; Pirates of the Caribbean. I took the same concept I did with the Haunted Mansion and chose a set of heroes and gods from various pantheons to fill the positions needed to operate the attraction. Some of these gods and heroes are less well known than others so in an effort to inform as well as entertain I have linked the caption in the picture of each mythological figure to its respective Wikipedia page. Feel free to click and learn more. On to Pirates!!

Stroller Parking - The Fir Bolg

Having just enjoyed a legendary Dole Whip you and the rest of your intrepid party agree to continue on through Adventureland to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. As you near the entrance of the attraction you clearly see a large mast somehow impossibly buried in the ground without the rest of the ship nearby. Atop the crow’s nest is a skeleton of a sailor far more unfortunate than you. So you think.

As you wonder at this marvel and the fate that befell that now eternal lookout you are momentarily distracted by a small group of rugged-looking individuals. They are wearing old tattered clothing with their eyes down cast moving constantly between that mast and a place across the street. Strollers! That is what they are moving; a constant, never-ending stream of strollers is being moved from the chaotic cluster around the mast to a slightly less chaotic cluster across the street. Not one directs a word at you leaving you with the distinct impression that they do not even see you there. You shrug it off and head to the entrance.

Mast - Jason
Mast - Sinbad the Sailor

The mast stands outside a wide plaza sheltering those inside from the heat of the Florida sun. And outside that plaza, standing near to each other are two massive men who seem quite at ease in the heat. While one speaks the other listens intently with the occasional disbelieving shake of the head or hearty laugh and slap on the back. They go back and forth for a bit as you stand rooted to your spot until one calls out, “khosh amadid!” He waves you over and repeats “khosh amadid!” He is wearing a long loose white tunic cinched with a belt of red cloth from which hangs a menacing scimitar. He introduces himself as Sinbad the Sailor and motions to his friend, introducing him as the Greek Jason, captain of the Argo. Jason is wearing a white robe in the Greek style, somewhat shorter than Sinbad’s. On his back, like a gaudy trophy he wears, like a cape, a golden fleece. Sinbad explains he was simply saying “welcome!” and to come in and enjoy a nautical adventure, but to be careful as it is often said and always believed that dead men tell no tales.

Photocells - Nuada Airgetlam

You move deeper into the plaza and finally reach two huge wooden doors. They are open as you approach but standing before them is a figure no less imposing than the two outside. He seems calm and at ease but he is armored in a hauberk of chain mail and a winged helm. He is carrying a massive greatsword that seems to emit its own dull light in the shadows of the plaza. It is an item of unmistakable power that you are content to stay well clear of. He has only one natural arm; the right one. His left arm he moves just as naturally yet is made entirely of silver. As you stare in stunned amazement he speaks. “I am Nuada Airgetlam, King of the Tuatha De Danann. I hope you have been properly welcomed by my companions outside. If you had any strollers my once-foes, the noble Firbolg, I trust have moved them to a proper place. Use either entrance ahead, but use caution always. Travel well friends.”

Port - The Ashvins, Nasatya and Dasra

You make a quick decision and enter the left doorway. Going down into the depths of a long-abandoned fort you pass abandoned weapons, casks of rum, cannon, and more than one skeleton among other even less desirable things. Eventually the passages open up to a small dock where boats seem to be coming and going. At this dock stand two identical twins who radiate a beautiful feeling of calm. Though they carry large whips at their sides and they move about comfortably with them you sense compassion and calm. They ask how many in your party and one prepares the boat as the other directs you to your seat. Across the dock and up ahead is another dock, but the figure manning that one is a dour-looking man. In a moment of bravery you ask one of the golden twins who that figure is across the dock and who they are as well.

“I am Nasatya and this is my twin Dasra. We are known as the Ashvin. Across the water is Charon. He loads his boats alone where we work together.” Just then another person dashes in and grabs a couple of wheelchairs you had not noticed until then, he winks at you and in an instant is gone.

Starboard - Charon

Dasra anticipates your question, “That was Hermes. He helps take the wheelchairs to the other side. Sit. Enjoy.” With that he cracks his whip and the boat moves into the inky darkness of the watery cave.

Wheelchair - Hermes

An eight-minute ride through a mermaid-filled grotto, down into a fierce naval battle and the subsequent ransacking, pillaging of a town ends as you pass a treasure room and find yourself in the bowels of the fort. The boat stops and you look to your side and there is Hermes leaving two wheelchairs in the far corner only to dash out and up moments later. At the other corner is a tall muscular being with the head of a crocodile that you are able to somehow understand perfectly. Sobek tells you to gather your belongings and exit the boat, which you promptly do. Up the ramp you go out and into a gift shop. This is the end of the tour at Pirates, yet you it will be a long time before you can shake the wonder you now feel at having experienced the ride and all those illuminating (sometimes literally) and astounding figures you met along the way.

Unload - Sobek

However what you did not see might be even more impressive. Manning an array of cameras and controls to keep everyone safe and accounted for is Argus Panoptes, the all-seeing. With his hundred eyes nothing escapes his view. He is ever vigilant for everything to run smoothly and for everyone to remain safe.

Tower - Argus Panoptes

Those who coordinate and lead the area are figures of heroic stature even among the rest of the cast. Rostam is an Iranian hero to whom no task is impossible; neither too small nor too large. He coordinates the everyday activities and is friend to the rest of the cast. Leading him and all others is Lao Tzu. This wise teacher guides the operation as only someone of his knowledge, forbearance, and patience could.

Coordinator - Rostam
Leader - Lao Tzu

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