As dusk fell outside the windows, inside the castle the shadows deepened and the room slowly changed from gold, to grey, to black... all but one corner where a subtle glow held the approaching night at bay.
There in a gilded cage sat a Phoenix.. molting, aged, and sad, his shoulders haunched and mood deeply desolate. He knew and accepted his time was drawing near to a close and waited impatiently for a new beginning to start.
Suddenly a brilliant flame burst forth from his chest, burned white hot and just as quickly extinguished; leaving behind only a pile of ashes.
Millian the Wizard walked in and noticing the empty perch tsked and shook his head. "Bout time..ol' boy was really starting to drag my spirits down!"
As he stood waiting, slowly a soft haze began to emit from the ash, gaining brightness and energy with each passing minute. Suddenly a small head burst forth and a new baby was born.
"There now! Isn't that much better?," Millian cooed. With wide eyes the baby looked back and thus began a new life....