It's that time again - welcome to the 4th part of our draw.io adventure about an agile group of four disparate heroes who have been magically catapulted from their game development company in Austin, Texas, to a foreign kingdom! After accepting their problematic situation, Caroline, Pauline, Angie, and Marcus discovered in part 3 that each possesses new, previously undreamed-of, and unusual abilities.
Through their initially hesitant but courageous intervention, the group saved Father App, who had given shelter to many of the king's subjects in his chapel. And in the end, they agreed that they could, at the very least, try to help the king. Their first port of call is the legendary fortress of Cloud, home to a silver dragon named Atlas, a being of legendary wisdom who may have information about where the inhabitants of Connectalot have disappeared. So they set off, only to be faced with another mystery ...
When one takes a journey
Caroline, Marcus, Pauline, and Angie have been traveling on horseback for several days when they finally arrive where King Gaudenz says the "Cloud" should be found: Namely, at the junction of Cannon-Brook and the Far-Quar River. As Marcus walks from the back of his horse to the ground, he voices what everyone is thinking: "Um, shouldn't a fortress be EASY to find? So why don't we see it anywhere?"
Pauline scans the horizon with her sharp elf eyes. Then she shakes her head, "Guys, you might not believe this, but I think I know where we need to go and who to talk to. Keep quiet; he probably reacts to movements."
The four adventurers tie up their horses and then, stooping low, creep slowly through the surrounding vegetation, with Pauline leading the way. Angie suddenly has an itchy feeling in her nose. Whispering, she asks, "Hey, don't you think it smells like chicken?"
Security first - the guardian of the Cloud
Carefully, Pauline pushes aside some branches in front of them, and the source of the strange smell comes into view: in front of them, in a clearing, a gigantic Tyrannosaurus Rex is snoozing. Everyone gulps. Caroline, the product marketing manager, courageously takes a few steps toward the beast. She briefly clears her throat and calls, "Excuse me, Mr... um... Rex?" The dinosaur opens its eyes and sits up. The ground trembles as the massive beast rises and walks toward the team. Like a deep rumble, a voice sounds from within the creature, "Oh, hello! I didn't see you there at all. I suppose you're going to Cloud, the famous fortress?"
The rest of the team dared to come out of the bushes. Pauline interjects: "If it's the one with two legs, four legs, and three legs - we've seen that before!" The Securi-T-Rex raises an eyebrow. "I don't know it. But my riddle is actually very simple. I want to hear a story that will change my world in as few words as possible."
This calls for a communications professional - it sounds like a case for Caroline! She steps forward and is about to answer when Pauline stops her. "Wait, Caro! I could be wrong, but I think this is a trick question." The elf steps in front of the dinosaur and starts moving her hands rhythmically. Not long before her new magical powers become evident: light streams from her fingertips, forming an image that seems to float in the air. The drawing slowly rotates, and after a few moments, it becomes clear what the magic has created - a spectral, heliocentric model of the earthly solar system.
The T-Rex begins to smile - at least as far as its huge mouth will allow. "Wow," it booms, "this is what other universes look like. Quite amazing; I always thought there were only turtles everywhere! Well, allow me to keep my end of the bargain." Slowly, the animal puts its big head back and lets out such a mighty roar that the group has to cover its ears.
After Caroline, Pauline, Marcus, and Angie recovered from the prehistoric scream, their eyes grow wide: a staircase floats down from the sky as if by magic. The team waves to the T-Rext once more before carefully stepping onto the staircase. The staircase rises with them into the air, and it is not long before King Gaudenz's kingdom disappears from their sight, and more and more clouds pile below and surround them. Two heartbeats later, they leave their cloud coverage and finally see the huge castle belonging to the dragon, Atlas, in the clearing of the vast blue sky.
Into the dragon's lair
The magical staircase drops them in front of the opening of a large entrance portal - inviting them in. "Oh, my God," Marcus whispers as his eyes gradually adjust to the darkness and dimensions of the room before him.
They are standing in a gigantic hall about the size of Frankfurt Airport but without the planes, the display boards, or the advertising messages on the walls. With the help of magical candles illuminating a pleasant orange light, our heroes realize every visible spot, from floor to ceiling, is plastered with bookshelves. Each shelf contains thousands of books, scrolls, and bundles of paper. Some spines are inscribed in German; others have a strange, completely unfamiliar script.
The books are piled on each other in the middle of the room, making it appear as if this is a hoarder's den rather than a proper library. On top of the pile sits an almost 50-meter-long dragon, in front of him a reading desk, on top of which is an open book (although a thick ham would look tiny in front of this dragon). With a clawed finger, the mythical creature taps its lips as it flips through the pages, its massive wings occasionally unfurling like fans on its body.
As they desperately try to hide their shaking knees and trembling hands, Pauline, Caroline, and Marcus walk towards the dragon, Angie keeping to her slipstream, doing her best to become virtually invisible. As the team approaches, the dragon lazily raises its huge head to look at them. "Ah," the monster's voice booms across the stone floor, "travelers. Welcome to my cloud fortress. Tell me, what brings you to the Cloud?"
The Cloud of Atlas' - a place of knowledge
"This place is sheer madness," says Marcus, his eyes wide as he tries to take in all the knowledge in front of him. "I've never seen so many books in one place." "Thank you," Atlas smiles, "I love knowledge. That's why I acquired this castle from its previous owner, a giant with no sense of its potential as a storehouse of books and a hoard of knowledge." The dragon wistfully lets his gaze wander over the long rows of shelves. "I wish my oldest friend was here to see all this ..."
At that moment, Angie peeks out from behind Caroline and throws herself flat on the floor directly in front of the dragon. "Oh, great and mighty Atlas! We beseech you, will you help us save the kingdom of Connectalot? Will you grant us the favor of sharing your immense wisdom with us, unworthy mortals?"
Atlas squirms a little, obviously embarrassed, and grins sheepishly. "Oh please, please, there is no need to grovel. I know who you are and why you are here. And I want to help you, but unfortunately, I don't have the answers you seek. I don't know where the townspeople have disappeared to." Elf, dwarf, fighter, and cat lower their heads in shock. "But," Atlas continues, probably hoping to cheer them up, "I believe our problems are related, and perhaps I have some information that might help you in your investigation."
With a single flap of his wings, Atlas takes to the skies and floats over to a large painting of a curious-looking animal: part pig, part sheep, part chicken, and part cow. "This is my oldest friend, the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau. My old friend once called this castle home and helped visitors like you quickly understand all the information they can find here. Eierlegende Wollmilchsau gave people a different perspective on things and ensured that all the stored knowledge here was better connected. Sometimes it seemed like my friend really could do anything - or that everyone could do anything. Eierlegende Wollmilchsau was unique."
The eyes of the huge creature become sad at the sight of its friend. "A few weeks ago, Eierlegende Wollmilchsau disappeared without a trace. I'm sure it wasn't a kidnapping - no one I didn't invite can enter my fortress. No, my friend left our refuge free willingly, but I don't understand why. I have lived for centuries and have seen many friends come and go in that time, but Eierlegende Wollmilchsau was special. I hope my friend finishes whatever they needed to do soon and returns here. Life in my Cloud is not the same without them."
A new goal, a new quest
With a stern look, Atlas turns back to the group. "If there is anyone at all who can find the inhabitants of your kingdom, then it is the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau. Find them; they can surely give you the answers I can't. So I advise you to search where they grew up during their youth - in a little place called Wiesgooden. I can show you the way there."
The silver dragon escorts our friends to the entrance portal and hands them a simple map showing the way to Wiesgooden. They enter the magical staircase and slowly float towards the earth when a disturbing thought strikes Marcus. "Atlas," he exclaims, "what if the Wooly has disappeared just like the people from Connectalot? What if your friend has met the same fate as them?"
The great mythical creature waves once more, and the drone of its voice only reaches its ears like a whisper. "Then you should return home as soon as you can. Something that has devoured all the villages and towns, AND the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau is far too powerful for this world."
The diagram inspiration of the week (and for your next quest)
What do the Eierlegende Wollmilchsau and draw.io have in common? As exaggerated as it may sound, they can do pretty much everything! Have you ever thought about creating a site plan with draw.io? Just like Pauline created a solar system model, you can use draw.io to create a map of your office, campus, or organizational structure.
Inspired by our story, we created a map of Grand Central Station in New York instead of the airport. Everything on it was assembled in Confluence with the help of draw.io and is almost to scale.
Want to start making your own maps or floor plans? Here are a few videos to get you started quickly:
- How to create floor plans in Confluence with draw.io (blog)
- How to use the background page feature to create floor plans (video tutorial)
- How to create interactive diagrams (including maps and floor plans) in Confluence with draw.io (video tutorial)
Are you ready to try out the powers of Eierlegende Wollmilchsau (or draw.io, as the case may be)? Then head over to the Atlassian Marketplace and get your free 30-day trial. Want to know how you can use draw.io for your own tabletop RPG adventure or just get some inspiration on how to use it in your daily work life with entertaining use cases? Then head on over to the draw.io blog, where you can find extra articles with practical examples!
- All published articles in the "An Unexpected Journey" series
- All articles in the “I 🧡draw.io” series
- draw.io – What Does the Chevrolet Corvette Have to Do with Diagramming?
- Using the draw.io Board Macro during Agile and Scrum Meetings
- Collaborative document editing with Google Workspace
- Hybrid Work with Google Workspace – Part 2: How Collaboration Tools Boost Your Productivity – and That of Your Team!