|Image Source: http://theplourde.deviantart.com/art/It-s-Presence-479914552|
Tsar Forxado gritted his teeth, keeping his emotions chained to his will. Tears welled in his wife’s eyes, but were surreptitiously wiped away before they could tumble free. Theeodee, their daughter was nearly as somber as her parents; she knew what waited below for her little brother. She held the princeling’s tiny hand tightly, and kept him from dashing ahead to explore.
It is time for the child to awaken, had come the message from the machine at the heart of the slab to the mind of the Tsar. It had woken him from sleep, early in the morning of his son’s World Day. Forxado had not allowed it to ruin the special day for his son, but both his wife and his daughter had known too that this request had been made, and needed to be honored.
The princeling Doradus, only just today five years in the world, was the only member of the family excited for this trip. These tunnels were new to him, and further they were deeper than any he had explored before. He missed the true reason for his family’s reticence, unabashedly naïve at this stage of his life, and wanted nothing more than to break his sister’s grip and charge forward eagerly into the mysterious depths of his home.
Finally after what seemed an eternity to all involved the four arrived at a pair of great doors dotted with orbs the glowed redly. Three of the family were gripped with dread, the fourth by sudden excitement. Forxado stepped forward reluctantly, fighting a desire to grab his son and flee, and pushed the doors open. He understood now what his father had told him five years earlier; this truly was his greatest test as ruler of the Slab, more so even than the same moment with his daughter.
Beyond the great doors was a large chamber. The walls were stair stepped blocks, dotted with more of the glowing red orbs, and beyond that at the end of the chamber was great machine that had the look of numenera, or age beyond knowing by mortal man. Doradus twisted his hand and broke free of his sister, delighted by this new find, and dashed forward headlong to meet the Master.
Summary - In the Beyond dwelling within and atop the Great Slab is a civilization unknown to the Steadfast and others in the Beyond. A tsardom that lives peacefully within the remains of a great relic of the prior ages. On the day of their fifth year since birth the children of the royal family are introduced to their Master, a great numenera from beyond the past.