Lähanläér

 

tree of life3Swirling purple, leaves dissipate revealing a vast vista. You stand on the edge of a balcony high upon a cliff. Below a deep dim gorge lined by treed mountains reaches out into the darkness of a starry sky. Millions of points of light sparkle like distant candles. Reflected on the mists rising up from the under a wood and stone balcony, a wide tall waterfall tumbles over a steep cliff. Leaves rustle in the warm ocean breeze. Surf crashes against sandy beaches far below, white waves highlighted in the odd light cast down from high above.

The sky over your head changes as you turn. Darkness becomes blue with light clouds. You face a huge tree. Leaves reflect the light of a distant yellow sun. A huge circle rises one hundred meters out of the stone and over the tree. Made from wood and engraved with the leaves of trees and unknown symbols. Living stone engulfs the curving edges of the circle creating an open ended tunnel. Stone tiles surround the base of the tree. Mirroring the patterns of the towering circle, the interlocking, oddly shaped blocks create a possibly living mosaic. Water flows from roots and under the balcony.

You fell magic all around you.

“Welcome,” a deep, low voice announced. It is the tree. “I offer you the hospitality and protection. Low and behold, the spirit of other lands will not work here. Be not afraid, this thing you call magical forces is yours still but it is merely sleep. Fear not, the blessing of Lähanläér protects you. No harm will come to you for he who protects calls you breather, friends and loved ones. I shed a single leaf for each of you. Take it and rejoice.”

A purple leaf falls. You feel an odd aura surround you.

temple-pagoda-japanese-1From behind the huge tree, a young man and woman approach. Wearing the simple, yellow robes of monks step from under the circle. Bowing together, they silently point to the path circling around the base of the tree. Beyond the tunnel high, treed mountains rising up on either side of the tree create a natural looking passage. Mosaic tiles form a path passing through a garden of bright flowers and blooming cherry trees grow among tropical trees oddly intermixed with fir and cedars. Following gentle slope tall green rustle in the wind. Some distance ahead a red pagoda up out of the thick forest.

Hints of lavender and jasmine fill the air as you approach the pagoda. The bottom floor is open, the paper walls having been pulled back. Here the tiles fade away into a lush carpet of grass. In the center of the pagoda, water falls from the leaves of a red tree centered in a lily pond. Looking up the roof disappears. What you see does not match the building you stand within. Above you, millions of stars twinkle within a great ball of darkness.
monk

The monks take you beyond the confines of the pagoda and out onto a grassy ledge overlooking a lush, virgin valley banked by high mountains. White beaches surround a large snaking lake of crystal blue water.