If you ever happen to take a stroll down the small stream that winds its way past No Man's Landing, eventually emptying itself into the great sea beyond, you might find yourself wondering about the stream's source or perhaps pondering the heavy white mist that cloaks the land in a mystery that would deter even the most curious of souls.
Should you be of an adventurous inclination, you might decide to explore the dense foliage that lines the shore.
After a diligent and very intuitive search, you would perhaps stumble upon a set of shrubbery that can be easily moved, revealing a small cove in the bank.
Upon further investigation, you would find a small but sturdy white rowboat with which you would launch out into the beautiful silver stained moonlit water.
You might begin to paddle the tiny boat up the stream. Soon you appear to leave the narrow channel behind as the dim outline of shore gives way to open water. Your heart might beat a little faster as the heavy white mist envelops you, blocking out the world you once knew. You have ventured into the Unknown.
At this point, it would be best to place both oars securely inside the boat. They would do you no good for you know not which way to paddle. You would go back, only you know not which way you have come.
Perhaps by pure luck or, more accurately, the divine hand of Providence, you manage to escape the deadly whirlpools that would have certainly been your end should your boat have veered off course even a hairsbreadth.
The mist, the reflection of the water, and the odd allusion that the boat is going in circles, all inflict a dizzying disorientation to the point where you would close your eyes to escape it.
A soft jolt would cause you to open them. It would seem as though your boat had struck land. If you were to follow the pathway carved into the rocky embankment you would see a soft flickering glow coming from the small opening in the stone face of the mountain.
Having come this far, you would ponder as you stepped over the threshold, why not continue?
Small lamps, mounted to the wall, light your way as you walk down the short passage, emerging into a moderate yet fairly spacious room. A white woven rug covers the smooth stone floor at your feet. To your left sits a small wooden cot and to your right a decent sized stove. Natural rock ledges serve as bookshelves and such. The only sounds to break the silence are the fire crackling in the handcrafted fireplace and the teakettle whistling on the stove.
Against the far wall sits a beautiful antique rolltop desk. Across its polished face are scattered a great many papers with many unfinished poems and verses.
A fountain pen lays to one side, having been set down only moments ago.
You might stand for a time, gazing about, before noticing the second passageway leading away from the main room.
The tunnel, you would discover, leads you only a short distance before ending in a second large cavern. You might be a little surprised to find that it appears to be a kind of workshop. Wooden tables line the walls covered with all sorts of strange and unusual devices and technology, most of which the most learned scientists in Aethasia would not recognize. Above the workspaces hang parchments with all sorts of designs and figures scrawled in every nook and cranny of the crinkled paper. Racks of tools also hang scattered around the workshop, neat yet organized in a system known only to the user himself.
Depending on your literary inclinations, your attention might be drawn to the tall bookshelves lined against the far wall. Upon closer examination, you would discover that, unlike the bookshelves in the other half of the lair which were filled with many beloved literary classics, these shelves were filled with books of physics, alchemy, and many more of the scientific arts. A smaller shelf, you would notice, holds several more aged looking books and manuscripts, some only charred pieces of paper; survivors of the malicious attempts to erase its knowledge permanently. These, you might realize with a thrill of delight, represent nearly every scrap of information concerning the elusive and breathtaking study of Aetherkythera in all of Aethasia.
"Welcome to Knowhere." A voice causes you to turn, the unannounced presence jolting you out of your trance. You pause, taking in the tall figure standing in the entrance to the passage. "Apologies for startling you," the quiet figure smiles warmly from under the brim of his top hat. He is clothed in a soft indigo vest from which protrudes an old but still mostly white collared shirt. Matching indigo britches are tucked into his knee-high polished black boots. A long white coat, coming to about four inches below his knees, completes the neat but in no wise fancy assembly. His black gloved hands are folded, resting calmly on his cane.
"I see you managed to locate my abode," he continues. "Judging by the fact that you have come this far in your effort to locate my dwelling, I must assume that you have heard of me." He pauses as you nod slowly.
"Welcome to the abode of the Unknown," he motions you to follow him back down the passage and into the main cavern where he takes a seat at his desk. Nodding to an extra chair, he welcomes you to sit as well. He removes his top hat, revealing brilliant magenta eyes and a head of neatly combed snowy white hair. His chocolate complexion and sharp cheekbones framing a single stone, pulsating with all of the glory of pure crystalized Aether, embedded in the center of his forehead.
Retrieving his lyre from its esteemed place above the mantle, the Unknown settles into his chair. You sit in silence as the beautiful and peaceful melody flows from the mysterious gentleman's fingertips, a slight smile on his stately features.
After several moments he finally speaks, "as you most likely surmise, I do not often receive visitors." His glimmering eyes casting a quizzical glance in your direction, "however, I do value the company."
He plucks skillfully at the strings of his beautiful mahogany instrument, crafted by the finest Swedish Lyre craftsman, as a quicker and lighter tune flits about the room.
"Please," Unknown smiles once more, "feel free to inquire or discuss anything you wish."