Jan. 12th, 2012

thulcandran: (Default)
In keeping with my resolution to add more diversity to writing style, a script. I can't write this story in prose form, it doesn't like that. So here, have a script-shaped story, or at least a piece of one. I will write more, later-- for once, I actually have a full formed plot in my head.

Dilys: a minor noble from the forests in the South, of which many tales foul and fair are spun, full of laughter and wit, and becoming a favorite of the king, to the bemusement of some and the displeasure of others.
Solon: the king of the land in question, has moods fey and terrifying, and lively joyous; favors troubadours, and has played a fair harp in his time as prince; demands complete loyalty from his guard and courtiers, and as a rule, gets it.
Darius: master of the hunt in Solon's court, a strong-minded lord from the West, and close friends with Solon's late father.
Julius: advisor to the king, after an unsuccessful attempt by his father to send him to a monastery; trusted and quite wise, though he rarely has the stomach for the more hearty pursuits of his king.
Toma: strong and lively duchess of a territory just over the border in a neighboring country, a courtier of the king in part to foster diplomacy, as opposed to warfare, and quite good at it.
Edan: resident troubadour of Solon's court, full of jests and wit, and very good at hiding the clever and thoughtful interior that his position does demand; the court has been not infrequently surprised by some of his more solemn songs.

---

A few degrees past sundown; a small hamlet on the edge of a great forest - the old sort, pre-industry, trees well into their second century, rather dark on the inside. The small cottages are one-storeyed, lights shining through cracks in the thatching, and makeshift windows where they are. From the boughs of one of the trees, a lone figure watches the nearest house with clear interest. As darkness settles, the figure drops from the tree and approaches the house, creeping towards the window. The spilling light reveals a woman [DILYS], clad in rough tunic and trousers, hair cropped and shaggy, face dirty, and features slightly uncanny - ears a bit too pointed, eyes a bit too wide, teeth a bit too long. Through the window is a man of the same relatively young age, working on something written in the light of a hung lantern. Every so often, his eyes flick to the window, towards the forest, almost reflexively. As he moves to put the book away and douse the lantern, the girl whirls, and flees back into the trees, from whence she watches the house a while longer.

---

A party of men and women riding through a forest path; present in the company is the girl from the preceeding scene, though looking much younger and cleaner-- and more human. One man [SOLON], towards the front, is clearly marked with respect from the rest of the party, as well as a coat of arms worn on his cape and saddle. All are armed with bows, laughing, talking quietly. Baying of the hounds sounds farther up, and talking in the main gives way in favor of speed.

SOLON: What odds do you give, then, Dilys?

DILYS: [laughing] I am no seer! I tell you, I give no odds, majesty, leave me be!

SOLON laughs; the party seems, for the most part, to take no notice, but JULIUS, riding nearby, casts a frown in their direction. SOLON notices, and shoots him a smile in return; DILYS rides on oblivious. The hounds are found at a stream, perplexed.

SOLON: [dismounting, to laughter] Ah! It seems the foxes are too clever for our hounds once again! The wild tricks even as it pleases.

JULIUS: I'd mind the tricks less, were they more to our liking, and less to our dismay.

DARIUS: [dismounting as well, to hand off a piece of chew to a hound] 'Twas a fine day for a hunt, in any light. Shall we ride on, sire, or make for the stables?

SOLON: [pausing, looks across the stream] Oh, I think it's time we turn back. I don't see a single track; most likely, the beasts are leagues away by now.

DARIUS: As you wish! [whistles, piercingly, for the six or seven dogs, who're still attempting to find the trail]

SOLON: [casually, to DILYS, as he remounts] And that is why you'd cast no lots with me; I see it all! You knew the hounds were lost.

EDAN: [cheerfully] Ah, Sire, would you trade your dear courtier in for an oracle? I fear you will find few on this side of the veil-- though if you will, we'll put her eyes out as the heathens do-- the hounds are beginning to hunger!

SOLON merely rolls his eyes as the company rides on, and gives EDAN a mock chastising look; behind him, DILYS pretends to faint with horror, to EDAN's amusement.

TOMA: Oh, do at least try for dignity, Edan. Dilys, don't play along, you'll only encourage the ruffian.

DARIUS: Hoi, if we don't pick up, we'll be late on their dust-- shall we ride, my lovelies?

EXEUNT, following Solon and Julius.

---

A bare and dim room in stone, with a large window and desk on one side, and a dying fireplace on the adjacent wall; an overshadowed doorway in an alcove is directly opposite the window. SOLON, looking somewhat older-- and significantly more troubled-- than in the previous scene, sits brooding at the darkened window, staring into the distant hills, and the forest beyond. His hand is on his bearded chin, and his sigh is heavy. A howl sounds distantly, and he suddenly scowls and looks in, where the fire is dying slowly. He stands, and goes to stoke it up again.

JULIUS: [from the door, where he is suddenly unshadowed by the firelight] Sire, there are servants for that, you know.

SOLON: [unstartled, continues to stoke the fire] Not in this wing, Julius, and not at this time of night. Why are you not abed?

JULIUS: [dourly] Sleep? It's half a candle past midnight, Solon.

SOLON: [half-smiles over his shoulder at him] There's tension and unrest to the Southwest, on the shores. There's drought in the South-- again-- and a fever spreading on the mountain borders. [pauses] Though I'm sure you knew all that before I did, if anything.

JULIUS: [licks his lips, says nothing for a moment] All of this will pass, you know it. It always has. You have only to contain the rebels, to show force-- the fevered plains quarantined-- as you always have. Why the unrest?

SOLON: [shrugs] The fever is a passing thing. All the physicians and wise men say it is like the Foundling Summer. The drought, too, will not last forever. But I tire of rumors, Julius. I tire of rumors from the south.

JULIUS: [lips thinned, shakes his head] Nothing good ever struck this kingdom from the South, Sire.

SOLON: [turns back to the fire, his form suddenly tight and his expression closed] As you keep reminding me.

JULIUS: Ah-- I will leave you to your thoughts, then. [EXIT]

SOLON waits until the footsteps have entirely faded, then quietly, and with enough force to be rather frightening, stabs the smouldering log all the way through. Repeatedly. Gnashes his teeth, beats the embers once more, and turns from the fire, his face still in shadow, to look back out of the window.

---

Around the same time period as the first scene. The same chamber as formerly, but with daylight in the window rather than a fire, and holding a long study table, at which SOLON is lounging, casual, leonine, and utterly relaxed. DILYS is nearly his opposite in every way-- unable to be still for more than a moment, pacing back and forth between the window and the empty fireplace, nearly glowing with happiness.

SOLON: Aha, aha, aha. And now it comes out!

DILYS: [momentarily taken off guard, turns to look at him] What comes out?

SOLON: [laughs-- a veritable roar] Oh, you are so... [gestures vaguely] You've no idea, do you? [at a blank look from her] You've been glowing like a forest fire and bouncing like an India-rubber ball for weeks now, my dear.

DILYS: Oh... that. [looks momentarily sheepish, then goes back to, as described, bouncing] You can't deny I've got cause! [pausing for only a moment] ...my liege.

SOLON: [laughs again] That's cause indeed. Why are you only telling me now?

DILYS: Well, I wanted to wait until things were a bit more settled; and I've only had an idea of this all for a little while, yet. Just, chaos in every particular.

SOLON: [grins at her for a moment] Ah, young love-- chaos in every particular sounds about right. So, was I correct, then? Or do I owe young Edan a drinking song?

DILYS: [stops suddenly] What?

SOLON: [raising a single eyebrow at her] Who is he?

DILYS: --Oh! Dagr!

SOLON: Hah! I shall enjoy Edan's performance tonight, then.

DILYS: [looking at him a bit curiously] Majesty-- how did you know?

SOLON: You've all the concealing power of an empty gust of wind, Dilys. If you weren't carefully pretending to avoid him - quite transparently - then you were either following him at what you considered a subtle distance, or leading him at what he considered a subtle distance.

DILYS: [groaning a bit] I'm not sure whether to be amused that you know me so well, or frightened that you know my movements so well.

SOLON: And what manner of liege pays no attention to the trivial and lesser emotional winds of those beneath his -- [glances up] Ah, hello, Julius. We were just talking about you.

JULIUS: [finishes pushing the door ajar, steps in] So I see. The reports from your province, Dilys?

DILYS: All is well in the sultry South, dearest Julius. [performs a deep and dignified bow, at which SOLON cannot help but smile]

JULIUS: [dryly] For once. My lord, if all is well in the South, I believe Toma has some pressing matters to discuss as well.

SOLON: [suddenly, very much all business] Ah, yes. Of course. Show her in, then, Julius.

[Exit JULIUS]

DILYS: And that, I believe, is a dismissal.

SOLON: [rising] As friendly a one as you'll get, so don't push for a second.

DILYS: [bows once more, more seriously and less facetiously, despite the words] But of course, Sire.

SOLON: [reaches forward and embraces her, briefly] Run along then, girl; I believe you've an anxious architect in the wings, somewhere.

[Exit DILYS]

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