This is post #12 in Crossing the Threshold series.
Act Three: Return
The Road Back
The hero is not safe yet nor is the journey over by any means. The enemy usually comes back with great vengeance. Commodus unleashes his fury after his humiliation in the arena and all of Rome feels the brunt of it. The Road Back is leading in one direction; to the final and ultimate confrontation.
If the Ordeal is the crisis of the story then the Resurrection is the climax. This is the final clash between life and death and usually includes a sacrifice. Something must be given up, surrendered in order to “sanctify” the story. This is Harry Potter’s walk ‘Into the Forest Again,’ it is Chuck Noland’s loss of Wilson the volleyball, and it is Jack and Rose’s final descent into the waters in Titanic. From this last most dangerous meeting with death the hero will emerge transformed.
Return with the Elixir
The journey is now over and the hero returns to the Ordinary World having been transformed by the experience and brings with him the elixir. The elixir can be a treasure, a lesson learned, love, and friendship. Whatever it is the hero will be forever different and will enter into a new life.
Not only does change come to the hero but the elixir he returns with can change the Ordinary World. “The whole world is altered and the consequences spread far. There is a beautiful image for this in Excalibur. When Percival brings the grail back to the ailing Arthur, the King revives and rides out with his knights again. They are so filled with new life that the flowers burst into bloom at their passing. They are a living elixir, whose mere presence renews nature.”(The Writer’s Journey)