Category Archives: Play

Ludo, ludare, ludology.

Bureau of the Elements

Don’t underestimate the Bureau

Have you a question or complaint? Are you overtaken by a sudden administrative confidence that you should be making the decisions for oncve? (Specifically, decisions about whatever it is you want to see the Management about)

We have ways of dealing with those who wish to see the Management, Supervisor, Empress, Chairperson or Tzar… if you are one of those, you must go to the Bureau of the Elements


(Those are, of course, the four elements, represented by the hands reaching into the air from the roof of the Great White Tower. Discerning guests can see a fifth as well, ever toward us, as if each one of us were a drawer in which it would seek its valuables, and store its treasures…)

The Great White Tower has been the headquarters of the Bureau since Time Atlas obtained the premises, having been one of the only edifices that came with the original land parcel. When you get there, you will be sent into a gauntlet of tests, meant to measure your worthiness in certain qualities. We have no idea what those challenges will be (and almost none of us have had an office in that building for years).

Before you’re halfway through the challenges, you will be asked to agree to be the New Head of the Bureau after you’ve passed all the tests. In fact, that’s how you get your answer (or whatever it is you came for). Once you have the power, you simply direct that the question be answered, or, if you have a complaint, you simply order changes made which address that complaint. Wish granted, problem solved. No one will question you, no one will bother you with the details of how your directives should be followed or your wishes fulfilled. Of course, it may take some time… and you will have to remain the Administrator throughout that time. But it will be worth it. Because your concerns were so very, very valid.

And/or because you’ll have your own office. The Chief Administrator’s office is spacious and well organized.

If you like, you may stay on as Administrator after you get your Whatever worked out. Some people do. No one will want you to leave, or try to get you to leave, or even think that you ought to leave. You will be very good at your job (as Administrator. You won’t have time to devote to any other work. It will be treated like a secret job, and you can’t, of course, reveal any details of your usual life to anyone at the Bureau. That would compromise you. But don’t worry, you won’t do that. It’s not something the Chief Administrator of the Bureau would do.)

Magic in the Small Hours

Learn magic from a witch!

Ever wonder what would happen if you demanded a trick rather than a treat?

Well, there was a time when you could find out, by meeting the Birthday WItch on Halloween in Darkheart Forest at a certain time of the morning (not sure when it was, exactly).

The witch would teach a magic spell that every child (and every parent!) could hardly wait to go home and cast! You’ll feel the same.

Here is a recording of that magic lesson from the rare and collectable Darkheart Forest Halloween Vinyl LP or 8-Track Tape

Note: We apologize for the assumption (conventional when this album was released) that custodial staff are typically any particular gender; the witch was not trying to perpetuate a stereotype, she was trying to distract you from the man with an axe in your house, and she did this by pretending it was actually a woman with a sponge, and that she wasn’t even there yet. Misdirection, misdirection, misdirection. We hope this assuaged any concerns.

People in Boxes in a Box

This  human recharging station offers convenient oblong napping-chambers, which tuck discreetly under the set dressing of a  graveyard elevated six feet above ground.

Welcome to the People-in-Boxes-in-a-Box Mini-Area (or “People Box” for short). Don’t be afraid to write your name on one of our dry-erase tombstones and stay awhile. (If you add a rhyming epitaph, people will know you intend to stay overnight.)

This has been described as “an ingenious and fearsome alternative to the nurse’s station” — it is also (informally) where parents go if they become lost. Rather than run around screaming (which can make parents difficult to find because of their constant relocation and because they’re embarrassing when they do that) parents are advised to hover near the People Box when they become separated from their children. If you are a parent and this applies to you, wait here until your children get tired of what they’re doing and notice you’re gone. They will join you here.

Cyclops Hall

The Cyclops of Stasis comes out of Cyclops Hall every day at a randomized hour. He looks at the clock, and, presumably reacting to the time displayed, grabs both sides of his head and moans loudly for a full minute, during which the Great Clock next to the hall will stop. The Cyclopean Moan will consist of one sustained vowel sound, and the Three-Eyed Bookie (can you find him hiding in the picture?) scurries about beforehand, taking bets on which of the nine vowel-sounds will be bellowed (the long-shot is almost always the schwa “e” — and while the original formula for which vowel is moaned on which days of the year may exist in one of the employee manuals, it is currently unknown.)

After the Cyclops completes his agonized howling, he will stand up and, humming to himself, dust himself off, wave to his audience, and go back inside the hall. There were two actors who played the Cyclops who were considered to be the most respected and beloved, but at this writing, we remember neither their names, the years during which they held the role, or when they stepped out of the role or why.

We’re also unsure who the current one is, we keep forgetting to ask. After he is done, of course, the main clock is exactly one minute off until closing, which is awkward as the park almost never closes, so as of now, it’s just “completely wrong”

Random Chants Pavillion





Wanna see a nift-orrific trick? Which of the circles looks bigger to you…


If you said the one on the left… you were wrong! It sure does look that way, though, doesn’t it?

Actually, the circle on the RIGHT is more than four times the size of the one on the left!

Come into my pavilli-astle, and I, King Violet, will make you dizzy with chance-o-mathics and a-random-atic!  You’ll never see the world of math the same, or differently, again! Come in, come in! And learn of the FAN-SPAZZLING WONDER-BULATIONS that came about by random chants!


(NOTE FROM PARK MGMT: Do not spend time here.)

Treasure Boat Song Ride

Pirates had many ways of disguising the locations of their treasure (like invisible ink in the margins of their documents and treasure maps!) but few of them were known for their poetry. The Fiberglass Pirate of Time Atlas Park, however, knew that the real treasure was found, not in chests of gems and golden baubles, but elsewhere.

Persistent rumors of a secret entrance to the thieves guild from the ride led to disruptive exploration attempts, which forced the park to close it down many years ago, but crowds have become (so we’ve heard) reasonable and un-superstitious… therefore Time Atlas has re-opened its Treasure Song Boat Ride. We are also making available (free below) the famous “treasure map”, which, rumor had it, could lead you to the Fiberglass Pirate’s lost treasure but which actually, in a not at all trite coup-de-plot, turned out to be a ballad of lost love.






Or as a .PDF

Eily, Queen of Autumn

We are still looking through the Time Atlas Costume Archive for clothing samples from this character. We know she appeared many times in the park, from the published memoirs of some of the guests who remembered meeting her as children. One of the more popular characters, park wisdom suggested to parents that they bring their children to her greeting place if they were overwhelmed, frustrated, or upset, and she was known to have a calming effect on her young visitors. Whether this was due to the character, her perfume (for which we almost have the complete formula), or the actress who played her, if anybody’s guess. Neither is it absolutely clear how her full name (Eialiaiaeah) was pronounced, though the nickname “Eily” (EYE-lee) was in common use among staff members and fans.

Prince December

A look back at one of the most beloved (and enigmatic) characters ever to greet children at Time Atlas Park, the character in the portrait was once called Prince December. While no child seemed afraid of him, it was not uncommon to hear them ask of their caretakers, “Mommy, is he a good guy or a bad guy?”

Prince December would respond by lifting a finger  to his lips, and offering a gentle “Shhhhh.”



His entry in the Character Greetings manual sheds only a little light on Prince December’s biography.

Character designed and attire created by Paul Nowak.