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Amber Room

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The Amber Room is a treasure sought after by both private collectors as well as the Russian and German Governments. Lost since the Second World War, it is the object of Nathan Drake's search in the Uncharted comic miniseries, in which it lies within the fabled underground city Agartha. Despite its name, the Amber Room is not a true room - rather it is a large number of polished amber panels that are attached the to the walls of the room in which it is being displayed.

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A reconstruction of the Amber Room.

HistoryEdit

Real-WorldEdit

The Amber Room was commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia (a region of modern Germany and Poland), who ordered his court architects to construct panels of amber for a study at his Charlottenburg palace. By 1712 the Room was partially complete - jewel-grade amber had been harvested from the Baltic coast and sliced to no more than five millimetres thick, polished and heated before being fitted, jigsaw-style, onto a mosaic panels of floral scrollwork, busts and herladic symbols. Each panel included the Prussian coat of arms - a crowned eagle in profile, and was backed in silver to enhance its brilliance. Later that year, Peter the Great of Russia visited and admired the workmanship.

In 1713, Frederick died and was succeeded by his son, Frederick William I, who lacked his father's interest in the Room and ordered the Amber panels dismantled and stored away until 1716, when he signed an alliance with Peter the Great against Sweden. To commemorate the Treaty, the panels were presented to Peter and transported to St Petersburg in Russia the following January. Like Frederick William, Peter had the panels stored away.

Thirty years later, in 1747, Peter's daughter the Empress Elizabeth ordered the panels placed on display in a study at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. In 1755 she had them moved to the Summer Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, thirty miles south. However, the room in the Summer Palace was much larger than the rooms the Amber had been displayed in before, which necessitated extensions. Over the next twenty years, more panels were added to the original number with even more exquisite detail. The then king of Prussia also sent one panel engraved with the Romanov crest - a double-headed eagle.

The Room was declared finished in 1770, and the Empress Elizabeth was so delighted she regularly used it as a receiving room for foreign ambassadors. It also served as a cabinet of curiosities for her and later tsars, and many other amber objects were put on display within it.

The Room survived 170 years and the Russian Revolution intact, but nonetheless required extensive restoration work. Restorations were carried out in 1760, 1810, 1830, 1870, 1918, 1935 and 1938. A more extensive restoration was planned for the 1940s, but was interrupted in 1941 when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. By September, the Nazis had taken Tsarskoe Selo and the Amber Room, which had been on display as part of a state museum.

The Nazis returned the Room's panels to Prussia, where Hitler believed it rightly belonged, and reinstalled it there. In August 1944, the Allies began bombing the area where the Amber Room was being kept, causing minor damage. As the Soviet Army advanced on the town in 1945, the Amber Room had been crated up and was last seen departing the town in trucks on April 6, 1945. The current mainstream theory is that the Amber Room was destroyed when the castle it was being stored in burnt down during the Soviet takeover of the town.

In the Uncharted ComicEdit

After the Soviets took Konigsburg Castle, they hired American aviator Richard Evelyn Byrd to hide it somewhere secure until the war was over, when it would be retrieved and returned to a museum in Russia. However, the Room was never retrieved, and the only remnant of it was the Amber Seal - one of the panels that Byrd kept back as proof that he had briefly had the Room in his possession. Unfortunately, the Seal itself was also lost during the war.

In the early twenty-first century, fortune hunter Victor Sullivan was hired by Michael and Rose Doughty to retrieve Byrd's journal, a task for which he enlisted the aid of Nathan Drake. However, Nate discovered a code in the journal, and upon cracking it learned of Byrd's role in concealing the Amber Room, and how to discover its location - from a set of coordinates stamped onto the Amber Seal. Using Sully's connections in the underworld, they discover the Seal is in the possession of Russian gangster Mykola Rusnak, who was planning to auction it to the highest bidder.

Their plan to steal the Seal is derailed when another player - Chloe Frazer - reveals herself on Nate's reconnaissance mission, and accidentally trips an alarm after he gets the coordinates of the Room's hiding place, which results in his and Sully's capture by the Doughtys, who force Nate to give them the location. Rescued by Chloe, the group heads to the Arctic, where Nate reveals the coordinates he gave the Doughtys are a few degrees off. Unfortunately, they are again captured by the Doughtys, and forced to take them to the location of the Amber Room - also the location of the entrance to Agartha, the city Byrd claimed to have found on one of his expeditions.

Landing in a cavern outside the Gates of Agartha, they discover the remains of Richard Byrd's camp, as well as those of the Amber Room - the panels were ruined, smashed to pieces by an unknown force.

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