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November 30, 2015 at 1:25 pm #1585

You are close to the doc now. The Spirits of the former lord and lady of Shen Ling look down from the heights of the Shrine as they rise. Holding hands, the spirits wave to you all, before taking a deep bow, like actors upon a stage. Then rising, they continue to wave, glowing looks of happiness and approval beaming on their faces, apparent and overwhelming, even from this far away. To the side, you spot Oldbow, a grounds keeper, and an old priest, who are huddled together in the village square not too far away, dropped to their knees and awestruck by the spectacle.

Daidoji finally leaps up onto the dock and starts bounding up the stairs 3 at a time. The two spirits have turned towards each other, holding both hands now, to look deeply into one another’s eyes. Daidoji reaches the first landing, and there he stops. His wild rush up the steps is replaced with an awestruck reverence, as he stops there on the landing, looking up at them a hundred steps away. The two spirits gaze down with admiration to their son one last time…there is a long silence, meaningful and unbroken by words, that would only fail it anyways.

A wash of sunlight suddenly spills through the branches of the mighty trees, as if the sun has finally fought back the morning and claimed the day. It baths the upper part of the pagoda and the spirits. Sun Quan smiles at his son, and everyone below while extending a hand, palm down, as if in reassurance that all is well, and then as the sunlight washes over his golden form, he vanishes like a ghost in a golden mist.

In the place of Layna now stands the unicorn, as if she changed from the beautiful elven priestess into the magnificent beast at just the moment you blinked, or as if there was really no transformation at all. The unicorn gives an almost courtly bow and rises to regard you all for just a moment more. With a mischievous shake of her quicksilver mane, she rears up and lets out a cry, both haunting and glorious, that seems to shake the leaves on every tree in the forest. Then, she leaps into the air and rides the rays of sun light up through the branches and into the sky, like an ascending comet. Down below, you brave heroes, the Lord of Shen Ling, Oldbow, a grounds keeper, and an old priest are left in silence, to regard the wonder you have just seen, and stand in the sun light and shadows of a new day.