He Who Knows

When he first stumbled into their encampment, the desert nomads had thought to kill him. He was a demon - white skinned and red haired, come straight from the underworld to steal their children.

Confused by the thoughts tumbling over his senses in a foreign tongue, Renn had latched on to one particular gesture. He did not know what it meant, only that every time he glimpsed it in the thoughts of one of the tribe, it was followed by smiles and expressions of friendship.

Renn touched his fingers to his chest, then his eyes, and then gestured away from himself, out into the air.

Later, he learned it was a greeting given to neighboring tribes, a signal that meant I offer my heart and the truth of my eyes.

And so Renn was taken in by the desert peoples, and studied under their Lore Masters, until the day came for his test of knowledge, the rite that would allow him to become a brother of the tribe.

Members of the tribe came before him, people that had become as familiar to Renn as the faces of the Sisters of the Light, and then Confessors that had raised him. Each needed his help, whether to understand themselves, or be led to understanding with another.

Renn closed his eyes and Listened. The Lore Masters called it Sooth Seeking, for he saw the truth of the mind, even that which a person might try to hide from themselves. Subconscious thought, unknowing pain, deliberate lies - all were revealed to him, for good or for ill.

That night, Renn danced under the stars, his chest painted with the blue markings of a man of the tribe. The Lore Masters approached him with a pot of the thick blue paste the tribe used to paint ceremonial markings. Renn had to bend to allow the wizened old men to reach his forehead. There the Lore Masters painted the symbol of the spirit eye.

"He Who Knows," the Masters declared in the language of the tribe, giving Renn his name.

"He Who Knows!" echoed the people.

Renn's people, now.