THE FLYING PALACES OF ANGKOR by Shaun MacLoughlin

   The Building of the Royal Palace and Seduction by the Naga Princess

   Continued from the Early History of Angkor

An extra enters dressed as Yashavarman

MAHA EYSEI: Indravarman's son Yashovarman, protected by glory, was the first to establish the empire at Angkor by the Siem Reap, a river, as holy to the Khmer as the Ganges is to the Indians.  He constructed a state temple, a new Mount Meru on the artificially flattened off summit of Phnom Bakheng that many of you climb to admire the sunrise or sunset.
BRAHMIN PRIEST: He was a cosmopolitan King, aware of the grandeur of Indian civilization and tolerant of different religious beliefs.  He built a hundred hermitages.

Yashovarman leaves the stage.  The actor who played Kambu and Jayavarman enters now as Suryavarman.

MAHA EYSEI: The next truly memorable Emperor Suryavarman I, protected by the sun, gained the Empire through conquest.  He made his 4000 officials swear an oath of allegiance, sealed with blood.
SURYAVARMAN I: If you break this oath, you will be reborn in the 32nd hell, as long as the sun and the moon shall last.
MAHA EYSEI: He reigned from 1011 to 1049 and was one of Angkor's greatest builders.  He built the West Baray, the great artificial lake 5 miles long and one and a half wide.  He also built the vast Royal Palace at Angkor Thom.  The Empire was administered from here for centuries to come.
Zhou Daguan, the Chinese Chronicler
Picture 14: Zhou Daguan

Zhou Daguan, the Chronicler in traditional Chinese dress, walks onto the stage for the first time.  He will look completely different from the other characters.

He bows.

MAHA EYSEI: Within its walls he built the Phimeneakas, the state temple, whose topmost chamber only he could enter.  According to Zhou Daguan, the 13th Century chronicler and Chinese ambassador to Angkor:
ZHOU DA GUAN: A nine headed Naga snake-woman dwells in its golden tower.  Every night the King mounts there to sleep with her.











He bows again and leaves.

Music 10.  Eerie Seduction Music.

The Dragon Princess enters and confronts Suryavarman.  She is wearing a nine headed snake head dress and a dragon cloak, which she removes during the following speeches to reveal the beauty of her womanhood.

DRAGON PRINCESS: Do you wish your kingdom to thrive?
SURYAVARMAN I: I do.
DRAGON PRINCESS: Do you wish for a long reign?
SURYAVARMAN I: I do.
DRAGON PRINCESS: Do you wish to stay alive tonight?
SURYAVARMAN I: I do.  Why do you ask?
DRAGON PRINCESS: I am the Naga, the serpent princess.  I am also the energy contained in water.  Without me your holy lake will turn to desert.  Your rice will shrivel.  Your people will perish.
SURYAVARMAN: (Wishing to escape) I must go to my wife.   It is time to visit my concubines
DRAGON PRINCESS: Stay!  Only I can give you the water of life.  Without me you too will shrivel and die.

By now she has revealed that she is a startlingly beautiful woman.

DRAGON PRINCESS: Every night of your reign you must sleep with me - before you can go to your wife or to your concubines.  Come now - to the Golden Tower.  Together we shall replenish the earth.

She takes him by the hand.  The screen is drawn back to reveal some steps upstage, which they mount and disappear as the screen returns.

The play continues with:

The Boy Who Would Be King

© 2013 Shaun MacLoughlin

If you are interested in this project, please contact Shaun MacLoughlin 
at shaunmacl@yahoo.com

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