Into the company of the crowded hall entered an Erela: a warrior, seemingly sculpted of diamonds--the many facets of his form catching the light and releasing it in dazzling patterns. He paused for a moment, facing the King and Queen of Novus who were seated on the raised dais at the far end of the room. Then, he began to move slowly and purposefully toward them. His dark eyes pierced deeply into their souls.
Once he arrived at the foot of the thrones, he spoke. It was a strong and powerful voice--a voice not easily ignored.
"I, Zohar, Chief Commander of the High King, have come to you on his behalf. He knows of your worries and has sent me to ease your concerns." His tone became soothing, melodic.
"The High King is concerned that this task He assigned you is simply too much for you to bear. I have requested, on your behalf, to be allowed to relieve you of some of that burden, so that your lives might be easier. In time, you will be better equipped for your new responsibilities. Until then, I have been tasked to share with you my wisdom and strength until you are ready to rule on your own. The High King did not mean to leave you so unprepared."
Reaching into unseen folds of iridescent cloth, Zohar withdrew a small object. "As a token of my solidarity, I bring you this, the Gem of all Knowledge. With this in your possession, you will be able to serve and protect your people, especially, your daughter--"
The Queen let out a sharp breath and her eyes widened with longing.
Zohar gave her a kind, understanding smile, and focused the full force of his spirit on her alone. Very slowly, he held up his hand. The jewel sparkled, taunting her with its untapped beauty and power. Colors soared through the room in a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of light and shadow. "Come now," he whispered, offering the Gem up to her.
Malka, Queen of Novus, rose carefully and took a small step forward, scarcely aware of her action. The beauty of the Gem was hypnotizing and she found that she could not look away. Wisdom, he had promised. She would be able to better know how to serve those around her. Queen Malka moved to the end of the dias, stopping within reach of the gift. A hint of doubt crept in and she tore her gaze away long enough to look back for her husband's approval.
King Lev sat frozen, as though in a trance. Something did not ring true. He had heard of this--the Gem of all Knowledge--there was something he should know ... no. He fought to remember. What was it about this Gem? The High King had said to ... or not to ... not to what? King Lev shook his head. Something did not ring true--and yet his wife looked so hopeful. He should do something. He should--
Zohar's hand shot out and seized Malka's outstretched palm. The queen's eyes snapped back to connect with His. She was almost completely in his power, and yet, the choice had to be hers. Ever so slowly, he moved the Gem closer. Glancing back once more, Queen Malka beheld no movement from her husband, no indication that he was even aware of the situation. Very carefully, very consciously, she reached out with her free hand, and took hold of the Gem of All Knowledge.