Long ago, Shambala was populated by peaceful monks who practiced an unknown religion that may have originally been Zoroastrianism, though later evidenced to have also incorporated extreme mysticism and the magic learnings of the Babylonian priest Urgon; it is unknown if the monks had already some understanding of magic or if Urgon enlightened them himself.
Urgon had arrived at the monastery after fleeing his homeland and while carrying his part of the Infernal Machine. The monks who already lived there granted Urgon shelter, but he soon established himself as a ruler and enslaved the monks. Urgon carved out a chamber in an adjacent mountain where he hid the Machine part from the rest of the world. He then magically created small monsters from the ice that he would use in his effort to massacre the monks (whom he presumably did not trust enough to keep his secret quiet) along with an enormous ice monster to guard his Machine part. Not all of the monks were killed, however. One holy woman (who presumably outlived Urgon), using magic, sealed herself inside the sanctuary bell, adapted the sanctuary into a huge mechanical puzzle that, if completed, would ring the bell and release the holy woman from her own enchantment. On the bell reads the inscription, "Ring for the Master."
Several centuries later, in 1947, archaeologist Indiana Jones arrived at the desolate, run-down monastery in search of Urgon's Part of the Machine. He encountered the ice minions who had been kept magically sustained all these centuries and eventually rang the huge bell which released the holy woman. Now old and frail (having apparently aged the entire time but not died), the woman decided to help Indy on his search, but needed something to give her strength. She asked the archaeologist to find a certain golden treasure. Jones found it, discovering that it was nothing more than a yellowish flower. He watered it and gave it sunlight, making it grow. Unfortunately, the Russians also arrived in search of Urgon's Part, causing Jones to engage in several firefights with them, though he effectively defeated them.
Jones gave the woman the flower, causing her to become young again with amazing new abilities. With superhuman strength, she was able to throw open an enormous door beyond which lay the ice monster's lair. Jones acquired Urgon's Part and defeated the ice monster; he found the Part on a desk by which sat the skeletal remains, presumably, of Urgon himself. Jones then returned to holy woman who opened up yet another secret door; inexplicably, on the other side of the door was the tropical terrain of the Philippine island of Palawan, where he was to seek out the second Part of the Machine.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
A copy of the second book of Aristotle's Poetics (a lost book) can be found on the upper floor. Indy will refuse to take it believing it to be dangerous, and indeed, the book is covered in poison, damaging Indy if he persists to pick it up.
This is a reference to Umberto Eco's book Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), in which a series of murders are caused by the poisoning pages of Poetics, because at that time the book was prohibited by the church.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (First appearance)