Before Zakariah could turn his head back to the Mountain of Victoires, he was already flying over an old beat up balcony and into the Great Hall. He flapped his wings, trying to land gracefully because two Elder Storks across the hall were looking at him, but he just slid across the floor all dumb until he slowed to a stop at thier old crusty feet. 

Zakariah looked up at the high ceiling and whistled, like he had never seen anything like it before… because he hadn’t. One of the Elder Storks weezed in a breath of air and asked, “Storkling, are you hurt?” One of his old feathers fell from his chest and landed on Zakariah’s head. 

“Ahhh!” Zakariah screamed, shaking that greasy feather off. The other Elder Stork said, “Well then, if you are not hurt, please be on your way.” He spread his wings proudly, “Here at The Mountain of Victories is where the good work begins.” 

Zakariah heard a familiar throat clearing across the hall say, “Elders, this is my young nephew, Zakariah, of whom I spoke.” It was his Uncle Ezekiel’s voice and he turned to see his familiar, plump old body standing beneath a stone archway. Zakariah stood up, hoping that his Uncle had not seen him slide across the room like a frog on an frozen lake. 

“Am I on time, Uncle Ezekiel?” Aghast, one of the Elders squawked, “Are you on time? Certainly not the beginnings of a true Bringer.” Uncle Ezekiel bowed to the Elders and said, “The sooner his training begins, the sooner we will have an outstanding Bringer.” Uncle Ezekiel winked at Zakariah and that made Zakariah feel better. One of the Elder Storks patted Zakariah on the head, “You will be in good wings, Storkling. Ezekiel is greatly esteemed for his years of service as a Bringer.” Ezekiel said with humbleness, “And I owe it all to your guidance, Elders.” Uncle Ezekiel put his wing over Zakariah’s shoulder and led him from the Great Hall through a crumbling corridor lined with shelves holding musty old books. 

“What’s that funny smell?” Zakariah asked. 

“You’re smelling History,” Uncle Ezekiel explained. “The Mountain of Victories is the oldest mountain on this Earth, so it tends to smell a little ripe in here. The Humans filled up these books and scrolls with ink so long ago that I think they must have just forgot about this place. Imagine that. They took the time to carve these Great Halls, the stairs and the windows, even the Cave of Treasures of Hidden Mysteries of the Life of Science mind you, and then just plumb forgot about the place? Even at my age I still don’t understand Humans... to leave all this behind like that?”