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Awakenings Prologue: Origins

Long ago, in old California, an Italian family owned a vineyard with grape vines from the Balkans of Europe. Carlo Gambaro was a master wine maker who also happened to be an alchemist. Now most of us think of alchemy as the magic (some would say science) of turning ordinary metals into gold, but it was a lot more than that. Carlo applied his knowledge of alchemy to create a secret way of making a fine wine that had some unusual effects on those that consumed it. One of the effects was to temporarily increase certain brainpowers by many fold. The effects were not consistent and it was difficult for Carlos to predict to what extent and for how long this would work, but work it did.

ZA in a doorIn fact Carlo used his wine to allow himself to make even greater advances in the powers of his wines. These special wines were a secret that Carlo shared only with his wife and brothers. Carlo made and kept these wines in an abandoned mine tunnel in a secret location not far from his winery. He would only travel to the tunnel in the dead of night under the light of the moon and was very clever in hiding his path.

Now many in old California were suspicious of alchemists, particularly those that had emigrated from Italy. They considered alchemy to be but one step from witchcraft. Many gold miners believed that alchemists could somehow magically guide them to riches of gold. The more unscrupulous of these were known to have forced alchemists to help them, by whatever means it took.

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