World of Wu-Yu
Departure of Bharata
The Departure of Bharata is the story of how the Mistress of the Dance left the world. The Elf tribes had prospered by the magic of the wu dances she had taught them, so much so that they began to settle, build cities, and amass wealth. The noise of their hustling and bustling disturbed the sleep of Maha-Meng, the Great Dreamer, whose dream is the world. So he went to them disguised as a sea otter, and asked why such a powerful people, with all their achievements, must die. The people were disturbed by the question. They blamed Bharata for their mortality, and decided to banish her. Then Bharata contrived to go to each tribe in its own land and offer a golden acorn for the repeal of her banishment. But before her went the sea otter, telling each tribe that they would be offered a treasure, and by refusing they would receive an even greater treasure. So Bharata wandered from tribe to tribe, and not one accepted her gift. Finally, the Mistress of the Dance accepted her banishment and withdrew to the moon to learn the dance of reincarnation. Before she left, she placed a curse on the tribes: they would forever wander as she had wandered. But soon they realized that the curse was also a blessing, for those who wandered in her steps would be liberated from the fear of death.