You all commandeer a long graceful river boat that rocks up against a small lonely dock along the river, and use it to make the last 1/2 mile or so down and across the river. The short boat ride, with the gentle lapping of the river’s current against the gracefully gilded bow, only serves to make this trip through dawn seem even more dream like. At last you round a sharp bend in the river and come into Oldhome, it’s distinctive pyramid like pagoda the prominent structure, rising on the opposite bank, dressed in golden morning light. It reminds you of the first time you saw it only yesterday, also awash in golden light, the only difference being the angle of the light, for now, it’s morning, and then, it was near sunset.
Immediately you notice two figures siting at the very top of the long stairs that lead up the front of the pagoda. Though far off, somehow you can make them out with unusual detail, as if they were much closer. It is the Old lord of Shen Ling, Sun Quan, and his Golden Lady Layna, their glowing spirits sitting beside each other on the steps in the golden morning light, her head leaned on his shoulder, as casual as any living lovers in the flesh might come out to sit on the steps and admire the morning view.
Daidoji Quan, the living Lord of Shen Ling, shoots up from the bench seat in the boat, nearly losing his balance and falling out. These are the spirits of his parents, who met a violent death when he was still very young…people who had such a profound effect on his life, yet were in it for such a short time. He looks down at whichever two of you are working the oars currently
“I…I have to speak with them, please, row faster!”
He drops to a knee before the bench seat and begins to feel around the boat well for an extra oar, not taking his eyes off the celestial couple on the distant steps, again, nearly knocking himself out of the boat. The normally graceful warrior Lord, whose foot work in battle you have witnessed is like that of a practiced dance, like that of a warrior poet, now loses composure, and seems more like a fumbling boy, stuck on a boat, desperate to reach his parents. His dark eyes strain to stay open, as if he fears to merely blink he might open them again to find his parents gone…they strain also to focus through a building swell of tears that are about to spill over onto his high, soot smudged cheek bones.
He glances for a moment at the river and the approaching shore, and for a moment you think he’s considering jumping into the water and making a swim for it, but one of his flailing arms finds an extra oar down below his seat, and the Lord of Shen Ling gets back to his feet and begins to briskly row, his eyes stuck on the distant couple, as one finally overflows with a rivet of tears. His eyes weep, but his mouth and jaw remain set firm with stoic determination.