Alley of Baba
The flying carpet stopped and landed on the desert sand smoothly and calmly. As Barry emerged from the underground pathway she blinked in the bright sunlight! She stepped off the carpet and looked about, shading her eyes with her hand. In the distance, she could see a desert marketplace with tents and flags fluttering. Checking her map, she could see the sign pointing to the Alley of Baba and moved quickly towards the marketplace.
“How will I know who these Guardians are?” she said to no one. She held on tightly to her iPad and map as she walked across the hot burning sands. She saw many colorful stalls, selling many strange objects and unusual food.
“Where can I find the Alley of Baba?” she said to a woman who was selling strange little lamps. The woman was dressed in long flowing multi-colored robes and wore a sheer veil over her wizened face.
“Who is asking?” said the old woman.
“I am Barry and I am looking for the Guardians”, said Barry respectfully. She thought this person looked a little familiar and was a bit gruff.
“Guardians?”, whispered the old woman in a dry crackly voice, drawing in her breath, and looking sharply left and right to see who was listening.
“What do you know about the Guardians?”
Barry told her how she had found her way to the portal, to the cave, and to the market and that she was in search of the Ring of Destiny in the Alley of Baba.
The old woman listened intently and then reached under the table and handed a special gold lamp to Barry and told her to:
“Rub the lamp three times and call for the Guardians three times”.
“Be sure to tell the truth and answer their questions carefully”.
Barry’s eyes widened and she felt a tingling in her fingers as she took the lamp and moved into the shade of a tall palm tree. It was already very hot and it was still morning in this strange land. She carefully set the lamp down and kneeling down beside it she began to rub the lamp three times, calling softly
“Bring me the Guardians!
Bring me the Guardians!
Bring me the Guardians!”.
Suddenly three short puffs of smoke emerged from the spout of the lamp and began to grow and change shape. One smoky shape emerged after the other in three different colours, blue, purple, and indigo. The wisps of coloured smoke gradually formed three Genies, two male and one female, each tethered to the lamp by their feet. All of them were wearing glittering Arabian costumes and their skin had a strange translucent glow. Silently and gracefully they each swirled and turned and looked at Barry. Barry looked at them with her mouth wide open in surprise.
“Close your mouth dear. You might swallow a fly”, said the female Genie. She smiled at Barry.
“What do you want?” said the two male genies in unison. They were not smiling.
“I, I, I’m looking for the Alley of Baba”, said Barry nervously.
“Aha”, said all three Genies together.
“You must answer our questions truthfully if you want to get to the Alley of Baba”.
“You will only have three minutes to answer all questions. So, think carefully before you answer”.
Barry gathered up her map, her iPad, and her courage and said: “I am ready”.
The Genies then asked one question each, puffing themselves up even larger as they spoke!
“Question 1: Which one of us will always tell the truth? Said Blue Genie
Question 2: Which one of us is the liar? Said Purple Genie
Question 3: Which one of us will lead you to the Alley of Baba?” Said Indigo Genie
“I know this story”, said Barry, “I’m sure I’ve heard those questions before. Something to do with Doors? I must ask the same question of each Guardian and then what? I need some help! I’m going to do some fancy Googling to find the right question. I think it was in the film called Labyrinth, the one where the Goblin King stole the baby and the girl had to solve the riddle of the Labyrinth to find him.
Within a couple of minutes, Barry had located the website about Labyrinth and proceeded to the FAQ section for questions about the Doors. This is what she found.
Many mistakenly believe Sarah went through the wrong door during this scene, and many mistakenly think the riddle requires knowing which door tells the truth and which door is lying. This is not required. Here’s the logic for you. The trick is not to find out which one is lying and which one is telling the truth but to find out how to get them both to give the same sort of answer. You ask one guard whether this door leads to the castle. Whatever answer they give, is the opposite of the truth. You’re either asking a truthful person what a liar would say or you ask a liar what the truthful person would say (so get the lie answer because that’s who you’re talking to, lie by default). Remember what Hoggle said, you must ask the right questions.
Barry realized that she too must ask the right questions to get the right answers. But this time the puzzle was made more complex because there were three of them. She was beginning to get a headache with all this thinking and the heat of the desert sand was burning her feet.
Eventually, the answer came to her in a rush! She answered each question with her own questions.
“Which way to the Alley of Baba? The truth is in asking the right question to the right person. Blue and Purple Genies each of you could be telling the truth or a lie. Therefore, I must ask my question of Indigo Genie because she will lead me to my quest.” She felt really pleased with herself and waited while the three Genies whispered among themselves in a smoky huddle.
Gradually each Genie turned and nodded knowingly at each other; then Blue and Purple Genies dissolved and disappeared back into the magic lamp. Indigo Genie remained and smiled at Barry.
“You are wise beyond your year young traveller. I can show you the way!
You will find the Alley of Baba beyond the Market
Between the Houses of the Moon
Look for the symbol of the Truth upon one door
Guiding you to the Tomb of Sargerus”
As the last words were spoken the Indigo Genie also disappeared back into the magic lamp.
Barry was excited now, knowing that she was getting closer to finding the Ring of Destiny. But she was still a little puzzled about the symbol of Truth – what did that mean?
She now moved quickly through the Market place to find the Houses of the Moon on the other side. Many storekeepers called out to her on her way, tempting her with unusual food to eat and drink to quench her thirst. She chose some round fruit that looked familiar and water in a glass flask covered in red leather. These items she bundled into her shirt pockets along with the map and the iPad and set off towards the houses clustered among the vast sand dunes beyond the market.
She wandered aimlessly at first thinking that she would see a signpost.
“Well it won’t be that simple”, she said to herself. “What should I be looking for? How will I know the Houses of the Moon? As she walked she looked up above the doorways for any telltale signs. She had almost reached the end of the rows of houses when she spotted a crescent shape carved into the wall of one house and there, across the small alleyway was another crescent shape carved into the wall of the house opposite. She had found the Houses of the Moon. “This must be the Alley of Baba”!
She stopped and peered down the dark alley. She took out her iPad and used the light of her screen to highlight each door as she passed by. All the doors and gateways were ordinary and bore no signs at all. She walked all the way to the end of the alley and stopped again, she was faced with a brick wall. Nowhere to go! No symbol of truth! Or was there?
On the bricks, she could several different symbols, some she had never seen before and some that looked familiar. She remembered her grandmother telling her about the ancient runes and symbols of the Druids from Wales. “Perhaps one of these symbols is displayed here. I will need to google it.” She noticed that she still had battery power and an internet connection on her iPad, despite being many miles from home in this strange desert world. The Google search for the ‘symbol of truth’ for Druids gave many options, and she then used Pinterest to fine-tune the search for the symbol itself. This one kept recurring! It also had a name, AWEN.
Three rings, three dots, and three rays of light represent past, present, future; love, wisdom, truth; and male, female, and balance – three separate parts that all work together. The three foundations of Awen: To understand Truth, to love Truth, and to maintain Truth.
Looking back at the wall Barry could see three of these symbols each in a row at just about the midpoint of the wall, at eye level. Each symbol looked slightly raised from the brick and as she felt each one they moved slightly. Intuitively she grabbed both the left and right-hand symbols and turned them inwards towards the middle symbol. A low rumbling noise sounded within the wall and a doorway appeared to her right. As she stepped across the threshold of this doorway she felt a rush of cool air and the floor beneath her opened to reveal a stone staircase.