thulcandran: (Default)
Additional Characters:
PIETR: Son of Solon, and heir to the throne of Dochren; tall, comely, and rather hotheaded, if not what you'd call thick.
DAAN: An architect; on the royal purse, and has designed many of the newer roads and cathedrals. Cheerful, clever, and betrothed to Dilys.
WULFRIC: A minor noble of the Islands in the north - come to court to ask for counsel on a curse that has befallen his lands, involving the slow transformation of every firstborn child into a unicorn. Stop laughing!
BJORN: A guard; often present for courtly doings, as he's quite good at intimidation. Stolid, friendly, and quiet.
TORIN: A guard, and a knight; privvy to much that happens at the court, and has the ear of both Julius and Solon, many times.


Scene: A garden path, winding between trellises and ponds and a few small trees. Edan, his hands gesturing gracefully as he speaks, is wandering alongside Dilys, who seems less restless than in other scenes, listening mainly.

EDAN: We just know so little about them! It’s good for the bard in some ways, but for me, I’d rather have something to sing about, instead of simply drawing my songs from the air!

DILYS: Ah, an honest troubadour - will wonders never cease?

EDAN: [rolling his eyes at her] Tact, child! Even southern barbarians should learn things, every other moon.

DILYS: Ah ha, indeed. Will you next teach me the ways of the warriors, o poet mine?

EDAN: Speaking of Southern Barbiarans, in fact, I had a question for you.

DILYS: [suddenly just a tad wary] Ah, did you?

EDAN: I did indeed. It is said, in the songs of Pwyll, of Westron, that the fair Southlands are so fruitful by way of a devil’s bargain - that on your royalty, and some of those common, there is a grave curse.

DILYS: Sounds rather like folly, from here, Edan. And if ‘twere true, I would not be here, would I? The drought is beginning to pass, but it stands as evidence nonetheless.

EDAN: H’m. [thoughtfully] I suppose you are right; a shame.

DILYS: [laughing] A shame indeed?

EDAN: ‘Twould make a lovely epic, m’dear. The fair Southern Lands, under an evil curse, and the tragedy of those caught ‘twixt fate and desire.

DILYS: Hah, trust you to make a curse sound romantic, fop.

[Enter DAAN, from a fork in the path, hidden by dense thickets of holly]

DAAN: Ah, discussing fops, are we? I nominate myself, by dint of debauchery and tomfoolery!

EDAN: Debauchery! You? I think Fool would serve you more as a title.

DAAN: Debauchery! [pulling DILYS towards him by one hand]

DILYS: [pretending to beat him off] Alas! Alack! I am ravished!

EDAN: [cough] Ah, the gardens are so diverting this season. I could spend... hours, staring at these holly bushes. Simply divine.

DAAN: [grinning at him] Ah, poor foppish Edan. Will you come along? The day is fine for riding.

EDAN: I suppose so, if only to keep you two from mischief. The court entire knows you cannot be trusted.


Scene: The forest, in early afternoon. A very small clearing by a brook-side; a deer is dead, wounded bloodily by the water’s edge, and the foliage much disturbed and broken. The company rides up, hard and fast - consists, this time, of DARIUS, with a lot more gray in his hair than the last time we saw him, SOLON, as in the scene with Julius and fire-stoking, PIETR, looking exhausted but triumphant, and EDAN, sporting a beard and a semi-fresh scar across his left cheek.

DARIUS: Wait, Sire! Something is not right. [dismounts, beckoning the company wait, and goes to the deer]

DARIUS kneels by the dead deer and surveys it for a moment, before turning to where it looks like the underbrush has been crushed away. He pushes his way through, following the trail, and is not entirely surprised to find an enormous bear lying dead in the midst of the trail, gaunt, bleeding, with reddened eyes and foam around its jaws. Approaching with some caution, he is rather more surprised to note that its throat appears to have been cut-- the blood is still warm, and has not yet dried. He looks around, sees nothing, and after a moment’s quiet thought, returns to the company.

DARIUS: Sire, we should not touch this animal - ‘twas killed by a mad bear in her death throes; that body lies in the bushes beside. We may come upon better game in the course of the hunt.

PIETR: A shame we arrived no sooner! I had looked forward to the kill, and would have welcomed the challenge of a mad bear!

DARIUS: [hiding his expression, one of perplexity and some annoyance] Begging your pardon, Prince, that is spoken folly. Even if we could have taken the bear down - doubtful, as they are hardy fighters at their worst, one wounding blow from its claws would infect you with the madness as well. It is... providential, in fact, that we did not follow the deer into a death trap.

SOLON: Aye. What he says is wisdom, son; you would do well to listen. Let us ride on, then!

DARIUS: I will catch up, Sire - the deer as it lies may leak the bear’s poison into our water.

SOLON: Ride quickly, then! We may all be outstripped by this young devil of speed, but you should not be last among us!

The company kicks their spurs and rides off, at the same hard pace, clearly set by Pietr. Darius lays a hand on his mount’s neck and speaks softly to it before turning to the scene once more, setting carefully to the deer, avoiding any open wounds.

DARIUS: I will not fault you for hiding your face, for we’d both be in danger to meet - but that was a neat piece of work. [carefully pulling the deer - he is much, much stronger than he looks]

DILYS appears on a limb above him, watching silently. As in the first scene, she is gaunt and ragged, holding a wild sort of air.

DARIUS: I cannot help but wonder how long you’ve been shadowing this forest, against all counsel and decree. But today, and ever after, I am glad of the fact. [mounts, having removed the corpse from the stream’s radius, and exits]

DILYS: [drops to the ground] Since the day he had me exiled, of course. The mad bear, perhaps, was a coincidence. But you are no fool, Darius, and I don’t doubt you know, somewhere, why my shadow lies across the land. Would that we could speak! I shall depend on your loyalty, when this reaches its peak, as we both know it will. [reaches down, closes the deer’s eyes, and exits as well]


Scene: SOLON’s court. He sits, at attention, on a spare and simple throne, with three wide steps leading up, and Julius and Edan on either side. A guard, TORIN, enters with DILYS, who he escorts up to the foot of the stairs.

TORIN: Dilys, of the Southron Forests, the court of Dion and Edgar, and the line of Cania, for an audience with His Majesty, King Solon, of the throne of Dochren! [having said his piece, takes a step back and stands at attention]

SOLON: [gesturing] Speak, Dilys, of Cania. I will hear.

DILYS: Your Majesty, I come with the message of Dion and Edgar - a plea. Our lands have been seized with great drought, and as we speak, our people dwindle away into nothing. The people of the Lands Cania beg you remember that we have never been slow to join your armies in battle; that we have always been forthright in fealty, and in tribute; that when the need was great, we have never been lax in answering. If it please your majesty, we would have some assistance - any aid that can be sent will be a boon in keeping our people alive. [bows deeply, and kneels at the steps]

SOLON: You were sent by Dion and Edgar, personally?

DILYS: Aye, Sire.

SOLON: I sent them a courier some months ago, inquiring after their lands. I had long required that some representative of the Canian territories be present in court; had I known your peril was so dire, I might have been more quick. Tell me, Dilys of Cania, why have they sent no word until now?

DILYS: The people of Cania are proud, Sire. We had no reason to suspect the drought would continue for as long as it has, and had hoped to stave off famine ourselves - we have always set great stores, remembering the droughts that have come and gone.

SOLON: Aha, their pride. Foolish, Dion! I could have done much to spare this. Dilys, what position of Cania are you?

DILYS: Cousin to Dion, Sire. The second daughter of her aunt, the Duchess Serai.

SOLON: That is well. Aid shall be sent, and quickly - Julius, arrange for stores to begin transport as soon as it can be managed. Dilys-- you shall stay, and hold a place for Dion and Edgar in my court. All is settled; Torin will take you back to your quarters. You are dismissed!

DILYS: [clearly startled] Th-- thank you, Sire. [stands, follows Torin from the room]

EDAN: Interesting - you have heard what they say of the Southern royalty?

JULIUS: Edan, as nothing of import is forthcoming from your mouth, you may as well store your lute there.

[Second guard, BJORN, enters with a tall, gangly man, who seems to have a small, curling horn sprouting from his forehead]

BJORN: Wulfric, of the Island Territories, to seek audience with His Majesty, King Solon, of the throne of Dochren! [as before, takes a step back]

WULFRIC: Your Majesty, I come with news of a curse that has befallen our firstborn...

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] 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.


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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May 2013



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