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Tales of Empire: Remembrances
by Kevyn Dietz (diego_swift@hotmail.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy   User Review: ***
A stereotypical 'unlikely heroes out for adventure' fantasy story seen from the other side.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



It is around mid-afternoon in a nondescript tavern. The
walls are of white brick and the floor is made of long
planks. A disinterested barkeep is behind the counter,
cleaning glasses while an attractive young woman is cleaning
the tables. An elderly man, SARAM al'Dahara, is sitting at
the bar, grumbling.
Bloody young bastards, making me
waste me drinking time...
Two men enter the tavern. The OLDER MAN glances around,
notices Saram and walks over to him with the YOUNGER MAN in
                       OLDER MAN
Mr. al'Dahara, I thank you for
joining use here. I am aware that
you are a very busy -
Enough with the bleeding
formalities. Whatdaya want?
                       OLDER MAN
Your reputation is not unfounded,
I see. Mr. al'Dahara, We wish to
know about the Malcoyan Campaign.
Saram looks surprised briefly, and then smiles.
So this is about ol' Adri is it?
Well, this old war dog might have
a story or two tucked away, but I
could do with a drink first.
                       OLDER MAN
Barkeep! Mr. al'Dahara will have
his usual, on me.
Saram grins and leans back as the barkeep brings him his


That's the way, lad. Now, it may
be a cliché, but this story
really did start on a dark an'
stormy night...
Drover's Rest is a small timber village in the middle of a
forest. The drab atmosphere of the village is accentuated by
a violent thunder storm.
The village ELDER and the local PRIESTESS, as well as a
messenger stand in the village green, waiting.
They start as a mud-splattered VILLAGER breaks the tree-line
he skids to a halt in front of the Elder.
They're coming!
As the villager runs off, the sound of marching feet becomes
audible. All turn, startled, to look up the main road into
town, where a detachment of Imperial halberdiers approach,
headed by a mounted knight, Sir IRVING DeMorith. As they
turn to flee, Imperial skirmishers emerge from the woods.
Two of them seize the villager. They turn around to face the
Lieutenant Blackwind, you will set
up a defensive perimeter. Find
al’Dahara and coordinate with him.
The mud spattered villager stands up and salutes. Under the
mud, distinctly Middle Eastern features are evident.
However, Saram speaks with a lower-class Aldrish accent.
Right 'ere, Sir.
Ah. And you are out of uniform...
We caught a few sentries out in
the woods. Thought they might get
suspicious if some of ‘em didn’t
report back.


How... innovative, lieutenant. You
will set up a perimeter with
lieutenant Blackwind’s men.
Right away sir!
BLACKWIND and Saram retreat to the edge of the green and
begin deploying their troops in defensive positions.
      (Turning to the
We are pursuing an enemy spy. It
seems that he has gone to ground
in this village. This man is
responsible for the theft of
important documents of a military
nature. Naturally, we want them
back. You will either allow us to
search for them unimpeded or we
will burn this village down and
search for his corpse.
      (steps back,
You wouldn't!
We would. We have done so before.
Additionally, Any who are found to
have aided this fugitive will be
put to death save, of course, for
children. After all, we are not
monsters. As well, a levy of two
in ten of every able boded man or
woman will be enforced. We are
being more than lenient. What is
your choice?
The elder looks around the village, now effectively boxed in
by Imperial troops. All eyes are on him. He starts to talk
and then stops, looks around once more and closes his eyes.
Rayalis, gather everyone on the
green. Let the soldiers search.


Irving smiles grimly as the Priestess starts nocking on
doors around the green. He turns to the Elder.
You have made the prudent choice.
      (mounting up)
Lieutenants, split your men up and
begin the search. Start earmarking
likely candidates for the levy as
well. I will send additional men
as necessary.
Irving rides off up the road. Saram surveys the villagers
assembling in the rain, the children huddling close to their
parents and everyone eyeing the soldiers with fear.
Ya know Adri, these people'd be a
'ell of a lot happier if they just
kept their heads down.
Yes, well, I suppose people can't
be relied upon to think of their
own best interests.
Yeah, you're prolly right.
      (turning to the
You heard the commander! Spread
out and search every building. A
weeks leave to the first to find
And fer the love of the Divine,
try ta take this one alive.
Most of the villagers are now assembled in the town square.
The storm has started to clear up, but it is still raining
heavily. Blackwind and Saram are examining the villagers for
likely conscripts. Soldiers occasionally pass from one house
to another.
Sorry lot.


Agreed. 'prolly one worth while
conscript in the load of 'em.
Blackwind walks off, continuing his inspection of the
villagers in the manner of a man inspecting cattle.
      (turing to
Oi! Hayseed! This everyone?
I-I think so... n-no wait. Thiras
and his family arn't here. B-but
they out in the woods, they...
they might not have heard...
      (walking up)
You don't say. Is it your turn or
mine Saram?
It's your's Adri. You still owe me
for that mess back east-
      (cutting Saram off)
Of which we shall never speak.
Blackwind flags up two halberdiers from the guards around
the green.
      (to one of the
You, go get Sir Irving. Tell him
we may have found Felix.
      (to the villager
       and other
You two with me. We'll meet up
with the commander on the main
One of the troopers heads back up the road while Blackwind,
the other trooper and the villager head into the woods.


There are four people in the cabin: THIRAS Tamsil, his wife
SALRA, their daughter RYN and a MAN dressed for tarveling.
Thiras, Salra and the man are huddled together while Ryn
looks out a window as if searching for something.
I think we're safe Thiras. I don't
think the Imperials know were
      (shaking his head)
Hrmph. I'll believe it when
they're gone and I'm on my way
back to Malcoya.
Don't worry. Why are those
documents so blasted important?
      (gesturing to the
These aren’t just marching orders
and stuff like that. These here
are a full list of all the
Empire's spies and informers in
The hell you say? No wonder they
have so many men after you. How
did yo-
There is a loud snap outside. The adults freeze and then
turn to Ryn, who roles her eyes and shakes her head.
It was just a deer. Dad, this is
stupid. We could make a fortune if
we turned him in!
The man, unnoticed by Thiras and Salra, shifts as if
reaching for a concealed knife. Salra glares at her daughter
and begins to berate Ryn. The man shrugs and moves over to
the window.


Quiet Ryn! I won't have that kind
of talk from my-
      (cutting her off)
There's some one out there.
Thiras rushes to join the man at the window. Ryn and Salra
look out the other one.
It's just Mr. Calrus. I wonder why
he's here? Have the troops left?
No. They wouldn't have given up
Ryn crys out and falls to the floor, clutching her head.
Everyone else turns away from the windows, and Thiras
hurries to her side.
What is it?
      (cradleing Ryn)
She's been getting these head
aches lately. They keep getting
worse, and the Elder... the
Elder's never seen the like.
      (through clenched
Some-someone's coming.
There is a loud thump at the door. Someone is trying to
elbow the door in.
Oh gods...
      (to Thiras)
Is there anyway out of here other
than this door? Quickly man!


No! Other than the chimney
There is another loud thud from the door.
Damn! Quickly you must burn-
The door crashes open and a HALBERDIER stumbles through. He
if followed by Blackwind and the other HALBERDIER. All have
their side-swords out and look ready for a fight.
      (smileing evily)
Felix. What a... pleasent
surprise. Sir Irving would like to
have a word with you. He would
like to have a word with all of
You son-of-a-whore! You'll die
We shall see.
The man pulls out a long dagger and parries the first
Halberdier's slash. He ducks under the second Halberdier's
thrust and slashes the soldier's hamstring. He thrusts at
Blackwind who smartly side steps, causing the man to charge
out through the door. Blackwind follows him and the fight
begins in earnest. It is back and forth until Blackwind
slips on a cluster of leaves. As he scrabbles for his
weapon, the man raises his dagger for a killing blow. Just
as he starts the downward stab, his hand is engulfed in a
sphere of white-hot energy. As the man falls to the ground
clutching at his stump, Irving emerges from the forest his
sword glowing amber and his eyes glowing red.
Ah, Felix. You have caused the
empire a great deal of trouble
lately. I'm sure the Questors will
be delighted to talk with you.
You, peasant, take him back to the
The Villager starts and dashes to the fallen man. He pulls
him to his feet and leads him off. Irving turns to the
Tamsils, who have gathered at the door. Ryn is standing


fairly steadily but still has a hand pressed to her temple.
He sheathes his sword and starts to walk toward them.
I would ask that you come quietly.
Killing you wouldn't be worth the
Irving stops as the comes within about fifteen feet of Ryn.
He stares at her for several seconds. Ryn stands
stock-still, terrified. Irving eventually turns to
      (icely calm)
Blackwind, you will escort this
girl's *Errant* parents to the
command camp where they will await
my pleasure. I do trust that you
understand the sitation.
Her Erran- Right. Soldier, how
will he be?
The uninjured halberdier is binding the other's wounds.
He'll be fine once the healers get
at him.
Help him back to camp. I will
handle these... people.
The uninjured Halberdier nods and helps the other to his to
his good leg. The pair move slowly off.
      (to Thiras)
I'd advise you to accept what ever
Sir Irving proposes. It may just
save your worthless lives.
What do you want with my Ryn?
It is none of your consern, dog!


Blackwind marches Thiras and Salra off to the camp. Irving
strides into the house and jestures for Ryn to sit down. He
turns to face her.
W-What... are you going to do?
Do? What I am going to do,
T-Tamsil. Ryn Tamsil.
What I am going to do, Miss
Tamsil, is... tell you a little
It is now getting closer to evening. The tavern is starting
to fill up and the taps to flow. Saram and the men have
retired to a booth at the back of the common room. There are
a good half-dozen empty pints in front of Saram, but he
seems quite sober.
Adri filled me in on the details
over some brandy 'confiscated'
from one of the villagers. 'course
we didn't know how important the
girl is 'till later.
                       YOUNGER MAN
I don't get it. What's so
important about some village girl?
You got wax in your ears boy? She
was a bloody Errant!
                       YOUNGER MAN
What's an errant?
Saram chokes on his ale, spraying it over the table. He
stares at the young man, astonished, for a few seconds.
What's an Errant? The lad doesn’t
know what an Errant is! Blood and
An Errant, boy, is a sorcerer


                       SARAM (cont'd)
who's started to use their power,
or's about to, and ain't been
marked by the empire.
Saram shakes his head and knocks back the last of his pint.
Hrumph, kids.
      (waves at a
Keep 'em coming Tara.
                       OLDER MAN
I think you've had enough Mr. al'
I've drank more than you've ever
seen, boy'o. Another pint won't
kill me. Now do you want to hear
about Malcoya or not?
The older man sighs and hands a gold coin to the newly
arrived barmaid.
That's a good man. Now, me and old
Adri, we didn't think much about
the whole thing 'til a few years
later when we were attached to
Unspecified Services.
The sun streams through the tall windows of the manor that
now serves as the headquarters of the Eastern Guard.
Blackwind strolls across the floor. He is wearing the
red-trimmed black uniform of the Eastern Guard, freshly
affixed with a pair of captain’s pips. He is humming a tango
and has sheaf of papers tucked under his arm. About halfway
across the floor, Saram espies him from the hall's
      (waveing to
Oi! Adri!


Saram runs to one of the grand stairways and slides down the
banister. He sprints up to Blackwind and pauses to catch his
breath holding up a finger to forstall anything Blackwind
may say.
      (out of breath)
I've been looking for ya, ya-
(noticeing Blackwind's pips)
Ooh, so they finally promoted ya.
'bout bloody time Adri. Or should
I say sir?
But for you, old friend, I'll make
an exception. Acctually, I was
looking for you as well.
Something tells me this ain't an
invitation to go out on the piss.
Unfortunatly not. Walk with me.
Blackwind walks out of the hall followed by Saram.
Blackwind and Saram are walking through the halls of the
You are familiar with the
Damn right! Buggers damn near cost
me me arm.
      (smiling, eyes
Succinctly put. High Command seems
to have received some information
about them that has put them in a
furor. I have been assigned to...
deal with whatever the problem is.
They didn't tell ye?


Do they ever? Sealed orders to be
opened when we enter Malcoya.
Yes. You've been assigned to me
for this mission, as well as a
When do we leave?
Tonight. I would get packing, if I
were you. We leave for Fort Dia at
the border.
Fort Dia is a rough fort built recently. It lies just
outside of a small town and is built primarily out of rough
timber. Currently a stone blockhouse is under construction.
Two cloaked figures, Saram and Blackwind, walk up to the
Who goes there?
Blackwind pulls back his cowl and steps into the circle of
torch light.
Captain Blackwind, Unspecified
Services. I am here to resupply
and pick up personnel.
There is some muffled conversation inside the gate house
before the guard returns.
You may pass Captain.
For the Empire.
      (walking through
       the gates)
For the Empire.


There are few people in the fort's courtyard. The blockhouse
construction site is abandoned for the night. Blackwind,
followed by Saram, approches the guards at the current,
wooden, blockhouse.
Is the commander available?
Yer Captain Blackwind?
Then she's in 'er office, sah. End
o' tha hall. Step careful sah,
she's in a bit o' a mood.
      (nodding sagely)
Dually noted. Saram, would you
secure quarters for us? If our
mage is on patrol we may be here
some time. You have leave for the
Roight. 'Til morning then.
Blackwind nods and enter the blockhouse, and Saram heads to
the barracks.
The barracks at Fort Dia are essentially just a long hall
full of bunks and foot lockers. Saram has just finished
negotiating with the officer in charge of the barracks. he
nods his thanks to the officer and starts to leave, walking
directly into a tall woman in the robes of a battlemage.
Unbeknownst to Saram, this is actually Ryn Tamsil.
Gah, bugger! Sorry about that
Divines, you're a tall one ain't


Gee, I hadn't noticed, Thanks for
pointing that out.
      (shakes head)
Are you all right, lieutenant...?
Al' Dahara. And I'm fine, miss.
Er, you alright miss? Something I
Al' Dahara? I thought I recognized
      (suddenly wary)
Recognize me? You're not going ta
say something loik 'Let me
introduce your daughter', are you?
What? No!
You were there when I was brought
Brought in...?
Ryn laughs and gestures at her robes.
For Talent testing. Your commander
found me just before my Talent
started to manifest.
You mean *you* were that Errant
Sir Irving found? Ryn... Talstill?
Ryn sits down on the nearest bunk.
Ryn Tamsil. What are *you* doing
at this dead end post?
      (waving hand
Oh, I'm 'ere on assignment.
Security of the Empire 'n all


                       SARAM (cont'd)
that. But I got a pass tonight. I
was going to ta hit the town when
I, er... ran into ye.
      (standing up)
A night on the town, eh? I'll show
you around.
      (taken aback)
I still owe you of all that brandy
two years ago. Besides, I was
heading out anyway.
Um... Ye do know why I gave ye all
that brandy, right?
Of course! It was sweet of you to
try, but I still owe you those
drinks. Lets go!
Ryn strides out of the barracks. Saram hesistates and then
shrugs and follows her out.
Saram is just coming to from the night's festivities. He is
still wearing (most) of his uniform and currently has a wet
cloth draped over his eyes. Blackwind is sitting on the next
bunk down the row, and apparently has been for some time.
Finally. Did you enjoy yourself?
Not so loud! Ah, Divines, me head.
What did I do last night?
I do not know. Apparently you and
a female Battlemage arrived at the
gates, messily drunk, singing, I
am given to understand, a naughty


                       BLACKWIND (cont'd)
song about cabbages.
I did that?
That's the story going around the
fort. Now let's go. We have a
briefing to attend.
You are an evil, evil man Adri.
Saram staggers up and follows Blackwind out of the barracks.
The Commander's office is barely more than a glorified
storage room located in the center of the blockhouse. It is
lit by a single lantern hung from the ceiling. The Commander
is sitting behind a well worn desk, shuffling through some
papers. She is an impressive woman of indeterminate years,
dressed in the uniform of the Eastern Guard with an eye
patch over her right eye. Seated in one of the three chairs
in front of the desk is a disheveled but uniformed Ryn,
looking no better than Saram for the previous night's
festivities. Ryn turns toward the door as Blackwind and
Saram enter.
      (very hungover)
What, you again!
Ah, me/my head.
Ryn and Saram settle into their seats, nursing their
respective headaches, Saram saluting before doing so.
Blackwind salutes the Commander and remains standing.
The Commander acknowledges the salute with a wave of her
At ease, Captain. We have less
emphasis on formalities out here
where we might actually get
      (glances at Saram)
It looks like Unspecified Services


                       COMMANDER (cont'd)
has a similar policy.
I have found over the years that
Lieutenant al' Dahara is generally
the exception to any given rule.
Love ye too Adri.
      (putting aside the
Apparently, you two are on a
security of the Empire mission,
and I've been asked to provide
support. Well, right now we have
to honor the Armistice, at least
until the Ninth and Tenth Legions
arrive. That means I can’t give
you any troops outside the
Occupied Territories. Which is
just as well, because I wouldn’t
Blackwind's reaction is somewhere between disbelief and
condemnation. It's inconceivable to him that an Imperial
officer would disobey orders, especially ones under the seal
of Unspecified Services.
Don't give me that look Captain.
The damned Resistance is operating
in force here, and I need all the
troops I’ve got to keep the peace.
I'm hesitent to second Mage Tamsil
to you, but that's right there in
the orders.
Very well. I don't suppose that
headquarters has any new
information for us.
Wait, there was something in one
of the morning dispatches.


                       COMMANDER (cont'd)
      (leafing through
       the papers)
Here it is! It's not positive, but
it seems that your target is
heading toward one of the Seal
Shrines... Domar, it says here.
That's in the Territories, isn't
Really? In that case, Commander, I
think I may have a plan. What is
the most likely route for a
fugitive to take through the
Two people are walking along the main trade road through the
forest. The young man, JERRO Cal, cannot be older than
nineteen but he wears a sword on his hip with confidence.
The girl, ESASE, seems almost preternaturally calm and is
dressed as a cleric of Salim.
They are talking quietly to each other when Jerro notices
the absolute quiet of the forest. He draws his sword and
motions for Esase to stop.
      (leaping from the
At 'em, boys!
Around a dozen Imperial soldiers jump out of the woods and
attack Jerro and Esase. Esase casts a divine shield to
protect herself and sets into a defensive stance with her
quarterstaff. Jerro lunges at the nearest soldier, expertly
disarming him and throwing him to the ground. Jerro manages
to disable three more soldiers before he is knocked down by
a low sweep from a halberd.
Jerro watches, dazed, as the soldier raises his halberd for
a killing blow. Just before the downstroke begins, the
soldier's hand is blown apart by a large grain lead slug.
As Jerro staggers to his feet he sees that the soldiers are
all dead or wounded. Standing at the edge of the road is
Blackwind, a smoking pistol in one hand and a bloody


side-sword in the other. He is flanked by Saram, armed with
a pair of pistols, and Ryn, whose eyes are glowing and arms
are sheathed in ethereal fire.
You looked like you needed a hand.
I am Adrian Nor. We have a camp
not for from here. Hurry, the
Imperials have stepped up their
Blackwind, Ryn, Jerro and Easae are sitting around the
campfire while Saram is on watch. Ryn is just finishing
explaining their intervention to Jerro and Easae while
Blackwind sits to the side, cleaning his weapons.
... and there you have it. We were
trying to reach you before the
patrol heard you, but well...
      (looks at Esase)
Well, your story sounds true, and
another sword is always welcome.
      (to Blackwind)
You and the other man have Aldrish
accents. Why are you helping us?
Blackwind pauses breifly in scrubbing out the barrel of his
pistol and starts again.
      (walking out of
       the treeline)
Not all 'o the Aldrish are
Imperials, girl. Me an' Adri got
our own reasons ta hate the
Blackwind nods and stands up, holstering his pistol. He
turns on his heel and strides into the trees. Easae shakes
her head as he goes.


Adrian is a very angry man.
      (Looking at Saram)
Saram shrugs uncomfortably and glances where Blackwind
walked off.
      (shakes head)
That ain't for me to say.
You two get some sleep. Saram,
Adrian and I'll take turns on the
Dawn is breaking over the camp. Jerro and Easae are just
waking up, while Ryn is fast asleep, snoring loudly. Saram
is tending to a bubbling pot of vaguely identifiable
Jerro and Easae sit down on a log just as Saram straightens
up, banging a wooden ladle on the side of the pot. This does
not loosen any of the material adhering to it.
'morning. Food's on, if yer
Both Jerro and Easae look vaguely apprehensive, looking from
the pot to the ladle Saram is holding, which is slowly
shedding it's coating of stew. As time goes on it becomes
more and more obvious that the 'ladle' is actually just a
That's food?
What is it?
      (brandishing stick)
Stuff stew! Learnt ta make it when
I was conscripted. This'll keep ye
going fer days.


What's... in it?
It generally tastes better if you
don't know. I still don't
understand how Saram can stomach
that stuff when he makes it...
Blackwind strolls into the camp, wearing the uniform of one
of the halberdiers, discreetly patched where blades or
bullets had pierced it. He is carrying one of the halberds
at shoulder arms.
What's with the uniform?
Insurance. With this, some luck
and a smooth tongue, me should be
able to talk our way past any
other patrols we may happen to
come across.
Saram is scooping out three bowls of stew. He hands one to
Blackwind and plunks one in front of Ryn's sleeping face.
Just what are ye two doing this
far inta the Occupied Territories
anyway? Tain’t exactly good fer
yer health, if ye follow me.
We're supposted to recover a-
Easae elbows Jerro sharply in the ribs.
Jerro, we don't know if we can
trust them...
Saram cocks an eyebrow at Blackwind, smirking. Blackwind
merely shakes his head. As Blackwind opens his mouth to
speak, Ryn starts, yawns, opens her eyes and recoils with a
yelp from the bowl of stuff stew mere inches from her face.
What the hells Saram!
Saram remains cheerfully oblivious to Ryn's apparent anger.


Food's on. Dig in 'fore it's even
less edible.
Oh, for feck's...
Pass me a damn spoon.
Saram tosses Ryn the stick and turns to Jerro.
Damnit Saram.
So, since ya ain't going ta tell
us what we have ta get, can ya at
least tell us where we have ta
take ya?
Well, we were headed for the Domar
Shrine when you helped us with
those soldiers.
      (around mouthfuls
       of stew)
So you're looking for one of the
Scepters then? That could be an
interesting search. Count me out
Easae and Jerro turn to Ryn with looks of astonishment.
Saram is observing with ill concealed amusement while
Blackwind is actively looking scrupulously neutral.
How did you know?
      (still eating)
Oh, come on. What else would you
be looking for there in the middle
of a war? Spiritual peace? Ha. I
was thinking of trying to get it
myself, but between the
eviscerations, incineration and
the crushing, I decided to pass.


Easae is a priestess.
You don't say. Are you not
somewhat... young for the clergy?
      (experiencing a
       painful memory)
The rest of my order were killed.
I'm the only one left.
An awkward silence descends over the camp. Ryn hurriedly
finishes her meal while Saram busies himself with the
rapidly congealing stew. The moment lasts a few seconds,
until Blackwind clears his throat.
Well, regardless we should leave
for Domar. Some of the local fauna
have proven... difficult to
This otherwise unexceptional section of path is distiquished
by a large troll head that has been nailed to a tree.
      (inspecting the
What's this all about?
I did say that some of the local
fauna were difficult to dissuade.
I was wondering what that noise
was last night.
The seal shrine at Domar is an impressive edifice. The
fasade of the shrine is carved into a cliff face made of
near flawless marble. The wide road leading the the shrine's
massive doors is made of well set flagstone and is lined by


a connonade of pillars carved from the same marble as the
shrine itself.
The protagonists are sprinting up to the entrance of the
shrine. Jerro and Easae lead the way, followed by Ryn with
Saram and Blackwind bring up the rear. They are pursued by a
large group of goblins brandishing weapons and screaming
what sound like vulgar epithets.
Ye can speak goblin, can ye!?!
Shut up and run Saram.
The two of them reach the shire's doors just as Jerro and
Easae manage to get them open, and the five dash inside.
The interior of the shrine is just as impressive as the
exterior. Carved from the living stone, the massive vaulting
chamber has not one crack or seam in the stonework. The
walls are decorated in intricate bas-relief scenes of the
Breaking. The central chamber is devoid of furnishings,
merely a broad expanse of mirror smooth marble. At the far
end of the hall is another set of broad doors, similar to
the entrance doors but built on a smaller scale and flanked
by two sculptures of angels, seeming to flow out of the
Saram, Blackwind and Ryn are braceing the doors while Jerro
and Easae collect the crossbar, which is for some reason
kept some distance from the door itself. They eventually
mannage to get the crossbar into place.
That won't hold them for long.
No, it won't. What is the plan
now, Mr. Cal?
Jerro and Easae glance at each other.
Well, Easae and I need to go into
the shrine proper...
I'll accompany you.


I'm not sure... I'm not even
suppose to let Jerro come with me.
There's safety in numbers,
especially if what I've read about
this place is true.
Aye. Ryn an' I can hold off the
gobbos now that we have a choke
point. Adri knows a thing or two.
He'll be a help down there.
Well, if you think it will come to
Then let us go. The sooner we
recover this 'scepter' the better.
      (stage whisper)
Best not to leave these two alone
for long. They get to the drink
you see.
Saram and Ryn are too busy making a great show about
gathering materials for a barricade to notice Blackwind's
quip. The pair are darting in and out of rooms looking for
pews, tables, sculpture and anything else moveable, to a
notable lack of success. They continue on this vane for
about a minute after Jerro and the others leave.
Right. That should be long enough.
Saram walks over to the shrine's doors and removes the
crossbar. The doors swing open, revealing a trio of goblins
who have been beating on the door with great enthusiasm but
deliberately limited success. The middle goblin promptly
salutes Saram.
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
Did it work, Sir?
Like a charm. Is the Major busy?


As part of Blackwind's elaborate deception, the 'goblin
horde' chasing the protagonists is actually the 6th Imperial
Goblin Sappers, a unit of combat engineers from Miacori.
Aside from the ‘distraction detail’ the goblins are setting
up camp not far from the entrance to the Shrine.
Weaving through the lines of small tents and cannon,
occasionally shouting orders, is a short (by goblin
standards) goblin, GLEO Cimino. He is wearing a large many
pocketed apron over his uniform jacket and a multi lensed
assembly on a band around his head. Just visible on his
uniform collar are a pair Major's swords. The goblin sapper
leads Ryn and Saram to him.
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
Excuse me sir. Lieutenant
al'Dahara and Mage Tamsil to see
Hmm? Oh! Yes yes yes. Right. The
Lieutenant. Did the plan work? I
must say, it was rather simple...
Worked like a charm, sir. Couldn't
have gone better if they were in
on it.
Wonderful! That Blackwind did
strike me as-
      (to a gun crew)
No, not like that! You'll crack
the carrage if you don- Oh dear.
Sergeant Coia! Over here please...
As Gleo and several other goblins rush off to deal with the
disabled cannon, Saram and Ryn begin to wander around their
immediate area. Most of the camp is not even chest height to
Tha 'lins are an odd lot, ain't
They're definitely... different.
It's funny that you don't really
see them outside of roles like


Ye don't, do ye? Wonder w-
There is a small but loud explosion near the edge of the
camp. It causes both Ryn and Saram to jump, but barely
merits a glance up from the goblins.
What the hell was that!
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
      (passing by)
An explosion.
And it doen't strike you as a
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
No. Should it?
A soldier could've been killed!
The goblin cranes his head to look at the site of the
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
No, they're fine.
Both Saram and Ryn are poleaxed by this.
                       GOBLIN SAPPER
Permission to leave ma'am?
Wha- Yes, yes.
The goblin sapper walks off as Gleo finishes with the cannon
limber and returns to Ryn and Saram.
Well then, where were we?
Just reporting that the plan was a
sucess sir. We should return to
our post sir.


Yes, very well. Carry on.
      (to a sapper)
Oh, be careful with that powder!
Gleo runs off to prevent the latest near-diaster. Ryn and
Saram make their way back to the Shrine.
Ye know, tha superior officer is
suppose ta do tha reporting.
Oh, like you really care.
Ryn and Saram are sitting on a small pile of furniture and
other nicknacks that have been placed against the main door.
They are currently halfway through a bottle of brandy, which
they are drinking out of a pair of gilded cups.
Ryn and Saram are sitting on a small pile of furniture and
other nicknacks that have been placed against the main door.
They are currently halfway through a bottle of brandy, which
they are drinking out of a pair of gilded cups.
      (finishing a story)
... so there was Professor Tokau
right in the middle of the Hex,
stark naked! And if that wasn't
bad enough, around the courner
comes the director, giving a tour
to a bunch of high noses from the
City! Tokau was stuck teaching
cantrips for months!
      (cracking up)
I take it all back. Those City
mages ain't just stuck-up quill
Oh, most of them are, but some of
them have their moments.
It's good to see that you two are
having a good time.


Blackwind, Jerro and Easae emerge from the back of the
shrine, all looking worse for wear, though Blackwind is
signifigantly less so. Jerro has a long object wraped in his
cloak strapped to his back.
Oh! You got the Scepter?
Well, it's really more of a staff,
but yeah.
Can I see it! It's got to be the
most important peice of
magi-archaeology, well, ever.
No time for that. We must leave,
there is an exit to the top of the
ridge just down a level.
Ryn seems slightly disappointed, but shrugs and finshes her
Well, let's leave the 'lins
something ta remember us by 'fore
we leave, yeah?
That sounds like a good idea
Saram. I believe it is your...
particular idiom.
Saram grins and begins to root through his pack, producing a
powder horn, some shot, a steel can and some fuse. He begins
to make a black powder bomb, occasionally taking a swig of
brandy. He finishes just as everyone is ready to go. Pausing
to fight the fuse, Saram sprints across the shrine, closing
the far doors behind him.
Roight. Let's get going.
The group heads down the stairs, toward the exit. Once they
reach the foot of the stairs, a muffled but loud explosion
is heard. Easae stops dead and wheels to face Saram.


You just set off a *bomb* inside
the Shrine?
Relax. The walls here are Talent
reinforced. You could fire off an
Imperial Godhammer cannon in here,
and you'd only chip some of the
stone work.
Still, you actually would dare to-
      (cutting her off)
We don't have time for this. We
take the Secpter to the resistance
first. Then we can argue about
Easae opens her mouth to speak, then wheels and continues
walking. The rest of the group follow suit, Jerro catching
up with Easae to talk with her.
The party arrives at the current headquarters of the
Malcoyan resistance, located in a large cave in the
wilderness just inside the Occupied Areas. After showing the
guards, an ill equipped rabble, the Scepter they are rushed
to the LEADER of the resistance cell. The main chamber is
bustling with activity, some of the resistants maintaining
firearms and even a few light cannon, but the majority
practicing with a wide variety of melee weapons. They are
brought to the leader's office, a small chamber with a paper
strewn desk separated from the rest of the cave by a
Jerro! You've found it?
       Blackwind and co.)
Who are these?
They’re loyalists. They helped-
      (cutting Jerro off)
You are the leader of this cell?


Yes, yes. Now excuse me. It is
very important I talk with Jerro.
I am sorry, but I have a very
important message.
The cave shakes slightly and a little trickle of dust falls
from the ceiling.
A panicked RESISTANCE SOLDIER runs into the room.
                       RESISTANCE SOLDIER
The Imperials have found us!
Start the evacuation!
The soldier runs out, raising the alarm.
Now what is your message?
Blackwind steps forward, draws his pistol and shoots the
leader through the head. Saram grabs Esase and draws one of
his own pistols. Jerro starts to charge Blackwind, but
freezes in mid draw.
Thank you Ryn. Oh dear, it appears
that young Jerro is really quite
enraged. I believe we can let him
Ryn nods and makes a small hand gesture.
You bastard!
Language, Mr. Cal, language.
Blackwind walks over to the desk and idlely kicks the
leaders body out of the chair. He sits down and starts
leafing through the papers.


You've been working for the
Imperials all the time!
Yer grasp o' the obvious is sharp
as ever.
      (to Ryn)
Let me go witch!
      (to Blackwind)
I'll feed you your own throat,
Physically impossible, Mr. Cal,
but you are welcome to try.
Incedentally, my last name is
Blackwind, not Nor.
      (turning a page)
Your empty threats are of no
interest to me. Saram?
Sorry 'bout this, lass.
Saram cocks his pistol and holds it to Esase's head. Jerro
visibly deflates.
Er... Adri? I think the commander
out there is just trying ta
collapse the cave.
Blackwind brushes a trickle of dust off the page he is
Tch. Sloppy.
Amazing. You actually have writen
records of where your cells are
located. It boggles my mind that
this filth has lasted this long.
      (shakes his head)
Let's go. Ryn, take the Scepter.
Saram, bring the girl.
Saram leaves first, holstering his pistol but still
restraining Easae. Ryn follows shortly after with the wraped
Scepter. Blackwind brings up the rear carrying with him a
few sheets of paper.


Goodbye, Mr. Cal. It was... an
experience working with you.
The tavern is now in full swing. The drink is flowing freely
and everyone is having a good time. Saram is the center of
attention, most of the bar listening to his story. It is
event that Saram al'Dahara's war stories are a rare treat.
Saram himself is now framed by dozens of pints and is just
winding down.
... I've always asked meself if
bringing tha girl really was a
good idea. Things would've gone up
like one o' Gleo's contraptions
without 'er in the end, but I
could never make up me mind if she
was worth all that trouble. Ah,
but that's fer another day.
This elicits a sigh of disappointment from the crowd. Saram
stands up somewhat unsteadily.
Now I gotta head home 'fore the
missus has me head.
      (to the two men)
If yer willing ta keep picking up
tha tab, I'm willing ta tell ye
more some other day.


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From Derek Hatfield Date 1/25/2009 ***1/2
good story, great dialog. It's kin of short if you were going for a movie, and some of the parentheticals are unneeded but other than that I loved it.

From Jennifer Goss Date 12/7/2006 ***
Well written, good diolgoue (Though Saram's accent does not always flow naturally) The setting is rich and intriguing The flashbacks upon flashbacks get confusing, also having the first portion all told from Saram's view and memory is a bit distancing from the story, there is no real build up of suspense. Perhaps Ryn's viewpoint would be more involving. However, and enjoyable read, and a solid basis for furthur work

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