My theory just went into air after hearing you guys discuss actually what happens, I did not consider that sandwalker started contributing to the ideas which wise one discusses after the deaths of two shadow children, that's why basically the wise one not only increases in size, but also starts discussing ideas like At the top of my head this has been roller coaster of section, just when I thought I had figured out what actually the shadow children were, Wolfe throws a big spanner in the jigsaw puzzle, and I am left starting from the start. My few observations after the end of story were 1. The wise one thinks that the Marsh men are making things up about surfing the stars, because he mentions things about starcrosser, when Sandwalker talks to him about Marsh men surfing the stars. 2. The biggest question I have after reading this section is What are shadow children ? Are they our ancestral species who come from Atlantis,Mu,Gonwanaland, Poictesme which are by the way all fictional cities or continents which are exiting in myths of our civilization. Did humans from these cities land on Saint Anne and as told by Last voice come across these shape shifting species ? Also did they get so intoxicated by the herb on this planet that they severed all the human ties with their species ? Or are the shadow children actually spirits of this land who took form from the thoughts of humans once they landed on Saint Anne ? Because we come to know that the wise one, that they did not have names before the men from stars came, so basically humans not only shaped the physical world in terms of Abos on Saint Anne, but they also influenced the spirit world of this planet. 3. Why are the shadow children blocking the humans from landing on Saint Anne ? My theory here is that the spirits of this land possessed the original humans, and they also introduced the herb to the humans, this created a binding of sort on human spirit due to which the human spirit keeps floating in nothingness while the spirit which has possessed has complete control of the body. Or I may be just shooting in wind with this theory. My theory just went into air after hearing you guys discuss actually what happens, I did not consider that sandwalker started contributing to the ideas which wise one discusses after the deaths of two shadow childrean, that's why basically the wise one not only increases in size, but also starts discussing ideas like We were mostly long, and lived in holes between the roots of tree.