Zenith – Prolouge

Zephyr climbed the last step and reached out to the door. He was finally here. Twelve years of searching had finally led him to this point. But before he could take hold of the door handle it turned and opened in front of him.

“Come on in!” said the woman cheerfully as she turned and walked back to her kitchen table. “I just pulled the cookies out of the oven.” She pointed at a cooling rack on the table as she quickly peeked over her shoulder. “Oh come on, you didn’t think someone called ‘The Knower’ wouldn’t have known you were going to be here did you?”

Zephyr, still a little shocked, walked slowly in. “It’s um…” he trailed off as he took in the sight of the room he entered. Compared to the dungeon feel of the rest of the tower this room felt out of place. The walls were painted a delightful pastel yellow. The windows pointed out to the ocean on one side and a beautiful city skyline on the other. The smell of fresh baked cookies mixed pleasantly with drying lavender hanging by the window. “It’s just it’s…”

“Not what you expected? Trust me, just because I have isolated myself doesn’t mean I don’t want to have a nice place to live. And if you’re here now it’s because I’ve decided it’s OK, so no need to make any more traps or hazards.”

She has a point, Zephyr thought as he nervously walked towards the table. The Knower took her seat and motioned to the chair across from her. “The stories don’t do you justice,” he said as he took a seat.

The Knower laughed, “You’ll find most stories don’t. There is always more to anything than what someone tells you, that’s why you have to see it for yourself.” She let her eyes wander the air lost in some recollection of a time long past, then as if it was never there she locked her eyes on Zephyr. “Maybe that’s why you’re here…” she trailed off.

Zephyr opened his mouth to reply but never got the chance.

“I’m going to tell you a secret, Zephyr,” The knower’s excitement was palpable. “I can see across space and time. I can follow the strands of Fate and I can analyze minds and matter in a heartbeat. But your question that you have worked this hard to ask of me has never been revealed to me. I don’t know what that means. For the first time since I built this domain I am at a complete loss. You remind me of my early days when there was so much to see and do. So tell me, what would you know?”

There was a pause as Zephyr took in what the knower just said. He never felt special. He wasn’t particularly skilled in magic and before his awakening he was about as average as someone could be. The idea that he made someone as great as the Knower excited was disconcerting.

“Well,” he bit his lip passively as he thought about how to ask his question, then looked up at the woman across from him, “I guess I just wanted to know you.”

The moment of silence was the most uncomfortable that Zephyr had ever been. He felt like he could watch a universe be created and die as the Knower processed his request. She stood up without moving anything around her, even the air. It felt as if her mind had stopped willing the world to work around her as she thought about what he had said. then as suddenly as it started the universe took a breath and resumed.

“You searched for my tower for twelve years, you learned to beat my minotaur, you even lost friends and family, just to get to know me?” she asked still looking out the window away from him. “You could have asked about the winning numbers for the lottery. You could have asked how to obtain fame or power. But instead you asked… That.”

“I’m s-sorry,” Zephyr stuttered shocked at the tone in her voice.
“Well, at least now I understand why I couldn’t tell what you ask,” she turned around, her eyes wet with fresh tears, “I didn’t want to see it.” She took a deep breath and sat back down. “I guess there is a time for everything, even fate points to this point now.” she wiped her tears from her face and looked deep into Zephyr’s eyes. “I hope you are ready to see it.”

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