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The Land of Kardis

By , Paola, KS
Scene I

*place: Castle throne room.
Enter: Queen Maura, Prince Taro, Guard 1, Guard 2, Guard 3, Squire, Councilmen, and Jester.

JESTER
“Oh what a fine pickle the Kingdom is in, your majesties. Whatever did you do to anger the Gods that they should deny us good fortune?”

QUEEN MAURA
“Jester! As if I have any idea! I have been ruling this country as our past monarchs have done, and how my late husband would have. A crisis like this has never happened before!”

*Councilman Tark kneels before Queen Maura*

COUNCILMAN TARK

“My lady, if I may speak?”

QUEEN MAURA

“Speak.”

COUNCILMAN TARK
“As you well know, I am practiced in the arts of magic. I have been speaking to the land, your majesty-”

COUNCILMAN DERRAN

“-‘Speaking to the land’? That’s outrageous and downright foolish!”

QUEEN MAURA

“Hold your tongue Derran! Councilman Tark would not be one of my most trusted advisers, and the mage teacher to my son, if his gift was not genuine. Tark, please continue.”

COUNCILMAN TARK

“I have spoken to the spirits of the sky, and asked them why they refuse to give us rain. I have spoken to the winds, asking them why they have not brought the warm winds. And I have asked the earth spirits why they will not let the soil loosen underneath our plows.”

QUEEN MAURA

“And what are their answers?”

*Dramatic pause*

COUNCILMAN TARK

“One of the same. We have hurt them, your majesty.”

*Councilmen and servants mumble*

COUNCILMAN DERRAN

“ ‘Hurt them’? Hurt them how?”

COUNCILMAN TARK

“They say that we are releasing foul things into the sky, into the ground, and into the water. They have stopped growing our crops because we aren’t caring for the land.”

QUEEN MAURA

“What do you suppose we should do?”

COUNCILMAN DERRAN

“Isn’t it obvious? We need to make amends with the spirits of the land! Propose a treaty, apologize, anything!”

COUNCILMAN TARK

“I’m afraid it won’t be that simple…”

PRINCE TARO

“What do you mean, councilman?”

COUNCILMAN TARK

“The spirits have become hostile. They intend to punish us severely. It won’t be possible to make amends now.”

QUEEN MAURA

“They have told you this?”

COUNCILMAN TARK

“Indeed.”

*servants and councilmen mumble*

COUNCILMAN DERRAN

“You Majesty, what do you suppose is the best course of action, then?”

*Queen Maura thinks for a moment*

QUEEN MAURA

“We need, it seems, to conquer the spirits then.”

*silence*

QUEEN MAURA

“We need a hero.”

*End of scene I*






*Lights dim, exit all*


Scene II

*Place: Farm on the edge of the Kingdom, sun-up.
Enter: Farmer, Nara

FARMER

“Nara, go harness the horses. We’ll try to plow the land again.”

NARA

“Yes father.”

*Exit Nara*

*Knock on the door*

FARMER

“Hm? Who’s there?”

*Enter Queen Maura, Prince Taro, Guard 1, Guard 2, and Guard 3.*

QUEEN MAURA

“Good morning, Warrior Serran.”

FARMER

“Good morning, your majesties. I have not gone by that name in years. What business has brought you here that requires my retired title?”

*Nara pauses outside the door, and listens.*

QUEEN MAURA

“As you are a farmer now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the crops have not been growing and the air has remained stale.”

FARMER

“Indeed. Nara and I have barely managed to grow a few heads of lettuce, let alone entire fields of corn and wheat. If that is why you are here, then I’m afraid I have no answers for you. I don’t know what is happening.”

QUEEN MAURA

“That’s not what I came here for, warrior. We have already identified the cause.”

FARMER

“Oh? What is it?”

QUEEN MAURA

“The spirits of the earth and sky are not happy with us humans. They are refusing us our crops, and recent cases of sickness have become apparent in the past 12 hours. According to our mages, the air spirits have begun poisoning the air, and the earth spirits have begun poisoning the soil. Any food that grows in the ground from this point on may not be safe to eat.”

FARMER

“And what do you plan to do, your majesties?”

PRINCE TARO

“Mother- erm, the Queen- and I have been holding council with all of the Kingdom’s advisors. It has been decided that these spirits are too hostile to sign any treaty, which leaves one immediate course of action: force.”

QUEEN MAURA

“We need a seasoned warrior to journey to the lands of the air and earth spirits to conquer their realms. We were hoping that you, Serran, would slay their monarchs and become Kardis’ savior once again.”

*Farmer thinks for a moment*

FARMER
(thoughtfully/regretfully) “I am not as young as I used to be. I have not fought a real enemy for 25 years now. And I have a daughter to care for now.”

QUEEN MAURA

“How old is the girl, Serran?” stopped recording here

FARMER

“She is 18 years old now, your majesty.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Have you not taught her how to care for the house and farm?”

FARMER
“Of course I have, but that is not why I fear for her safety. You see, she is her mother, the late Lady Zeria.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Ah yes, Lady Zeria. She was quite the beauty, and gentle-hearted at that.

FARMER
“Aye. I worry that if I am away, the young men of the village will converge on her like a pack of wolves.”

QUEEN MAURA
“Mm. That is a problem, but one that can be easily solved. I will put my son and 5 of his best guards in charge of watching over her while you are away. And if you…ehm…have an extended journey, I shall put her on my staff at the palace. She will be well cared for, I assure you.”

FARMER
“My Queen, I mean you no disrespect, but there must be someone else who can go on this conquest, with nothing to lose. I…I cannot leave my daughter. She’s all I have left.”

QUEEN
“I understand Serran. But I am the ruler of this country. As much as I despise this logic, I cannot hold the life of your daughter above the whole of Kardis. You are the only one with enough experience to handle this conquest.”

FARMER
(firmly) “Your Highness, I cannot be asked to hold Kardis over the life of my daughter. She’s my flesh and blood…I cannot leave on this journey.”

QUEEN MAURA
“I was afraid of that. I now have no other choice, for you have forced me into this. Warrior Serran, as your Queen and ruling monarch, I command you to serve your Kingdom once again!”

FARMER

(Sad reluctance) “When…when shall I leave, your highness?”

PRINCE TARO
“In three days’ time. Armor and other supplies are being prepared for you under my instruction. You are to report to the stables for a secret departure.”

QUEEN MAURA
“It must not be known that the very air may not be safe. Only a few cases have occurred, but if we don’t take care of the problem soon, the whole Kingdom may suffer. The fewer who know, the better.”

FARMER

“Indeed. By your order, I will become Warrior Serran once again.”

QUEEN MAURA
“Good. We shall be off now. Rest assured that your daughter is in very safe hands.”

FARMER

“Yes….Good day, your majesties.”

PRINCE TARO

“Luck be with you, Warrior Serran.”

*Exit Queen Maura, Prince Taro, Guard 1, Guard 2, Guard 3.*

*Nara hides behind the door as they walk out. Once they are gone, she enters the house.*

FARMER

“Nara, how much did you hear?”

NARA
“When were you going to tell me that you were the finest warrior in all of Kardis? What else are you keeping from me father?”

FARMER

“I never intended to tell you, and I never intended to keep it from you either. It just never occurred to me that I would need to tell you.”

NARA

“But why?”

FARMER

“Nara, it was a part of my past, one that I don’t really wish to remember. There was no glory in killing creatures, evil or not. Only grief and blood shed. You don’t understand what it felt like to take a life until you end it with your own hands. I didn’t feel a need to share that with you, and frankly I had been very successful about forgetting about it.”

*Pause.*

NARA

“Father, do you have to go?”

FARMER

“I do. The Queen commands it.”

NARA

“But-father-”

FARMER

(firmly) “Nara, stop. I don’t like it either. But it must be done. Now come, we must try the plow once more. Maybe we’ll get lucky and something will grow after we turn the soil.”

*End of scene II*




*Lights dim, exit Farmer and Nara*

Scene III

*Place: The Kingdom’s tavern.
Enter: Nara, Rouka, Kieran, and townspeople*

KIERAN

“So your father was the legendary Warrior Serran? How did we not know that?”

NARA

“I don’t know. He must have kept it a secret from everybody somehow.”

ROUKA

“And the Queen wants him to conquer the spirits that help us grow our crops? Who knew they even exist!”

NARA

“Rouka! Quiet! The Queen said no one is supposed to know!”

ROUKA

“Nara, we’re in a tavern. No one is paying attention to us. Kieran and I can barely understand you as it is.”

KIERAN

“And anyway, if no one is supposed to know, how did you find out about it?”

NARA

“I was outside the door. Father sent me out to harness the horses right before the majesties arrived.”

ROUKA

“And what will happen to you when your father leaves? No offense to you sugar, but you aren’t exactly a threat to Ruzan and his cronies. Kieran and I can’t keep an eye on you all the time you know.”

NARA

“I’ll be alright. The Queen is placing me in the care of the Prince and her personal guard.”

ROUKA

“Ohh, you get to spend time with the Prince! Lucky you, to be sure!”

KIERAN

“Rouka! How could you say that? Her father is being sent away on a perilous journey, and all you can say is “you’re lucky to be with the Prince!”?”

ROUKA

“Alright alright! Goodness, I was just trying to be optimistic…”

NARA

“I know Rouka, and I appreciate it. But Kieran is right. This is a rather serious matter. It’s not like I can stop him from leaving.”

KIERAN

“Indeed not. To do so would violate a few laws and land yourself a hanging.”

*silent moment as they drink water*

NARA

“Well, I have better be on my way home now. Father leaves tomorrow morning. I should spend some time with him.”

KIERAN

“We understand. If you need me, I’ll be here. My apprenticeship with the bar keep starts tomorrow.”

ROUKA

“And I’ll be with the herbalist, now that my God-awful seam-stress job has been destroyed. We’ll be sure to check in on you Nara.”

NARA

“I couldn’t ask for two better friends. Good bye Kieran, Rouka.” Stands up to leave.

*Enter: Ruzan, Crony 1, Crony 2, and Crony 3.

RUZAN

“Ah, there’s our little lamb. What has this little lamb been doing all day?”

NARA

“G-good evening, Ruzan. I-I was just leaving.” Moves toward the door, but is blocked by Ruzan.

RUZAN

“Were you? I must be mistaken then. I thought you were going to sit down and drink some ale with me.”

*Kieran slips away to the bar*

ROUKA

“You know she’s too young to drink ale, cockroach. She’s also too sensible to fall into your trap!”

RUZAN

Slaps Rouka. “Quiet, you!”

ROUKA

Gets up, tackles Ruzan, and punches him in the face.

KIERAN

Comes back with a club and beats Ruzan and Cronies out of the tavern. “Are you alright Rouka?”

ROUKA

“Are you kidding? I’ve never felt better! I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”

NARA

“Th-thank you both. If it weren’t for you-”

ROUKA

“Don’t even say it. He had it coming anyway.”

KIERAN

“Come Nara, we’ll walk you home.”

*Lights dim, exit Nara, Kieran, and Rouka*


Scene IV

*Place: Farmer’s home, early morning of departure.
Enter: Farmer and Nara*

NARA

“Father-”

FARMER

“Nara, there’s something I need you to understand.”

NARA

“Yes?”

FARMER

“It is likely that I will not return-”

NARA

“-father!”

FARMER

“-But know that I am and always will be proud of the person you have become. You are like your mother, in more ways than one. If I do not return, the farm will be your responsibility. If you have need of food or money, you must report to the Queen and become part of her staff. Am I understood?”

NARA

“Y-yes, father.”

FARMER

Kisses her forehead lightly. “I must be going now. May the angels watch over you.”

NARA

Hugs farmer, holding back tears. “Good-bye father…come home swiftly and safely.”

*Exit Farmer*

*Enter Prince Taro, Guard 1, Guard 2, Guard 3, Guard 4, and Guard 5*

PRINCE TARO

“Good morning Nara. I am Prince Taro, and these are the guards that I have chosen to safeguard you. As I’m sure you’re aware of, we are here to keep you safe until your father returns.”

NARA

“…good morning, your majesty.”

PRINCE TARO

“Uh, in light of the circumstances, I mean that we are going to be living under the same roof for some time, you might as well get used to calling me Taro. We aren’t in court, anyways.”

NARA

“Alright…Taro…Am I to assume that I am to provide food and sleeping arrangements for all of you?”

TARO

“No, thank you. We have supplies from the palace. The Queen only wants you to continue running the farm to donate any food to the villagers. Not all the crops may be poisoned, so there is a slight chance that any food you produce will be safe enough to eat.”

NARA

“The crops are being poisoned?!”

TARO

“Don’t play coy with me Nara. I know you were eavesdropping on our conversation. To the trained ear, you weren’t all that quiet.”

NARA

“…Oh…”

TARO

“Anyway, we will supply the food As for the sleeping arrangements, I was hoping you would allow me to sleep in your fathers’ room while the guards rest in the front and dining rooms. Is that alright?”

NARA

“Yes…at least that way there will be guards in the front and the back.”

TARO

“That’s what I was planning. You are a rather quick one aren’t you?”

NARA

“Father always taught me to see the larger scheme of things.”

TARO

“He was right to have taught you that. Were you aware that he was Warrior Serran?”

NARA

“No. I had never even heard his name before. He always went into town alone, and then when I became of age I was the one making the runs to town. No one ever mentioned his name around me.”

TARO

“He had a hard past. I imagine that he didn’t want you to know what we went through.”

NARA

“Mm.”

TARO

“Well, the day’s just beginning. Do you need help with the farm?”

NARA

“I imagine that there’s something you can do. Follow me, all of you.”

*Lights dim, exit all*

ACT II

Scene I

*Place: Farmer’s house, 1 month later.
Enter: Nara and Taro.

TARO

Sits in Farmer’s room, murmuring to something.

NARA

“Taro?” pauses outside the door.

TARO

Unaware of Nara outside of the door. “-are you sure mother?”

NARA

Listens to conversation.

QUEEN MAURA’S VOICE

“Yes Taro. Only one of his escort returned to report the tragedy.”

TARO

“But I thought he went alone?”

QUEEN MAURA

“I sent four soldiers with him, just to be safe. The one who returned told us the news, and died shortly after due to his wounds.”

TARO

“So…what do we do now?”

QUEEN MAURA

“I’m not sure. I don’t want to send anyone else on this journey, but Kardis is in danger. There’s no point in evacuating to the neighboring lands, I’m sure the spirits would follow us.”

TARO

“Should I tell Nara?”

QUEEN MAURA

“Absolutely not. She’s a delicate creature, that one. To hear that her father was captured in the air realm would break her in two. We must keep her in the dark.”

TARO

“Understood.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Good. Report to me in one week. Good-bye.”

TARO

“Good-bye mother.”

*Nara storms in*

TARO

“Nara!”

NARA

“Where is he?!”

TARO

“Nara, what are you talking about? Why are you here?”

NARA

“I heard everything Taro! Your mother didn’t want me to know about father because I’m “delicate”! Where is the air realm?!”

TARO

“Well, here’s the thing, no one really knows. That kind of information doesn’t just float around Nara. And even if I did know, I’m not sure that I would tell you.”

NARA

“Why not?”

TARO

“Because I would do the same thing that you are thinking about doing. I would travel to the air realm and rescue him, which is a fool thing to do!”

NARA

“Well what do you suppose I should do? Sit here and pretending my father hasn’t been captured?”

TARO

“That is exactly what the Queen wishes.”

NARA

“Well, Queen or not, she can’t stop me. He is my father, and I need to go to him!”

TARO

“Nara, I cannot disobey my mother this way. I am under orders to keep you safe.”

NARA

“ “Under orders”. Pft.”

*Lights dim, exit Nara.*


Scene II

*Place: tavern. Nara left the cottage and met up with Kieran and Rouka, unaware that Taro was following her in disguise.
Enter: Nara, Kieran, Rouka, and Taro in disguise.

NARA

“I have terrible news.”

ROUKA

“…about…?”

NARA

“Father. He’s been taken hostage by the air spirits.”

KIERAN

“Are you sure? How did you learn of this?”

NARA

“Taro- erm, Prince Taro- was speaking to the Queen in father’s room, through some sort of enchanted mirror. I went to ask him something, but his door was cracked open. I could see the Queen in the mirror, and hear every word.”

ROUKA

“ “Magic mirror”? Nara, don’t take this the wrong way, but are you sure this wasn’t a dream? You’ve been stressed out, so your mind could be playing games on you.”

NARA

“No Rouka, I’m sure it wasn’t a dream.”

ROUKA

“But…magic mirrors are only things of fairytales!”

KIERAN

“But so were air and earth spirits, and now look at what’s happened Rouka. If Nara says it wasn’t a dream, then it wasn’t a dream.”

ROUKA

“I’m just trying to think from a bigger perspective like she does. If it were me in her place, she’d be saying the same thing.”

NARA

“She’s right. I would.”

ROUKA

“But then you would ask “what will you do?” So, what will you do Nara?”

NARA

“I was hoping you would ask. But first, I need to be sure that you two will help me with this.”

KIERAN

“Nara, our families have been loyal to each other for generations. Why would Rouka and I turn our back on you now?”

NARA

“Because what I’m about to propose is life threatening in more ways than one.”

ROUKA

“…Nara…? Are you actually planning on doing something drastic?”

NARA

“If going to rescue my father falls under that category, then, yes, I am.”

*Dramatic pause*

KIERAN

“Nara, are you sure this is the wisest thing to do?”

NARA

“Wise? Definitely not. But it’s the only thing I can do.”

ROUKA

“It sounds foolish and dangerous….it sounds like fun! I’m in.”

NARA

“Kieran? Will you help me with this?”

KIERAN

“Of course I’ll help! What’s your plan?”

NARA

“Alright, the first thing is that I need to break away from the Prince and his guards. He will not let me go of his own free will.”

ROUKA

“Are you planning to sneak away then?

*Taro sits up a little straighter*

NARA

“Yes. I will need you and Kieran to make a distraction at around midnight, so I can get away from the farm.”

KIERAN

“Wait, wait. Am I to understand that we are not accompanying you?”

ROUKA

“I believe that is unacceptable!”

NARA

“I wasn’t finished talking! Once you have the guards’ attention, lead them on a goose chase into the woods. Once they are gone, I will escape and take the Northern Road to Erashire. I expect you two to meet me as erashire Inn before the last midnight bell toll ends.”

KIERAN

“And then what?”

NARA

“We’ll figure that out when we get there. We’ll be lucky is this works. Pack some clothes, and as much food and water as your horses can carry. Before you create your diversion, tether your horses on the Northern Road just out of sight of the road.”

ROUKA

“Alright. Anything else we should do?”

NARA

“Any money you have would be useful.”

KIERAN

“Nara, if this plan doesn’t work, what will you do?”

NARA

“I’ll keep trying to get my father back. Now, I best be off before the Prince gets nervous. Good luck.

KIERAN

“Good luck Nara.”

ROUKA

“ ‘Luck.”

*Taro covers face as Nara walks by.*



*Lights dim, exit all*


Scene III

*Place: Farmer’s house, almost midnight.
Enter: Kieran and Rouka.

KIERAN

“On my count of 3, start banging on this wall. Once the guards start coming out of that door, you and I will run down the Southern Road and lead them into the woods. Then we go to Erashire. Understood?”

ROUKA

“Wait, we need a bigger diversion. Banging on the walls isn’t going to cut it.”

KIERAN

“What do you have in mind then?”

ROUKA

“The stalls are right over there. We can get the animals stirred up, and then follow the rest of your plan.”

KIERAN

“Clever.”

ROUKA

“Of course. I’m a girl, what do you expect? On your count now.”

KIERAN

“One…two…three!”

Kieran and Rouka run to the stables and disturb the animals. The guards emerge and give chase to ROuka and Kieran…but Prince Taro stays behind. Nara escapes, unaware that she is being followed by the Prince.


Scene IV

*Place: Erashire Inn.
Enter: Nara, Kieran, Rouka, and Prince Taro in disguise.

NARA

(To the Inn keeper) “Bread please.”

INN-KEEPER

“6 corpels. Anything else?”

NARA

“No thank you.”

Inn-keeper walks away. Prince Taro finds a table in the distance as Nara, Kieran, and Rouka take a seat.

NARA

“Are you sure you lost all the guards?”

KIERAN

“Absolutely. No one knows the woods as well as the three of us. Those guards will be wondering around the woods for days.”

NARA

“Good. At least, for us it is. I hope the Prince will forgive us one day for losing his best soldiers.”

ROUKA

“It doesn’t matter now does it?”

NARA

“No, but I still feel slightly guilty. Anyways, what all have you packed?”

KIERAN

“Clothes, 40 corpels, and enough food and water to last us a few days, if we’re careful. I also brought some knives for defense and hunting.”

NARA

“Good, and you Rouka?”

ROUKA

“Clothes, 30 corpels, spare bread and water, and some healing herbs. I have enough of those and a few other ingredients to make some potions if we need to.”

NARA

“Good thinking. I brought some food and money, and a canvas that should be large enough to make a tent for the three of us.”

Prince Taro stands up and starts to walk over to their table.

ROUKA

“Now the question is, what do we do next?”

Prince Taro lowers his hood and reveals his identity as he nears the table.

TARO

“I think I can answer that.”

NARA

“Taro!”

KIERAN and ROUKA

“Your majesty!”

NARA

“What are you doing here?!”

TARO

“Well, I suppose I should take you back to the farm-”

NARA

“I’m not going!”

TARO

“-but really, my orders were to watch over you, not keep you trapped there. In any case, I was going to try and rescue your father anyway.”

NARA

“You- you were-”

TARO

“I was going to try to figure out a way to leave my post secretly after I was done talking to the Queen, but then you stormed into my room and I couldn’t think. Then you left the house, and I figured that running after you with an explanation wouldn’t be the best idea. So I followed you. I heard your plan (which was rather simple yet effective) and I figured I would just have to wait for the right moment to reveal myself. I only wanted to help you from the start.”

NARA

“And how and I supposed to know that this isn’t some sort of ploy to get me to go back home?”

TARO

“Because Kardis’ finest hero is in trouble. My mother is a wise queen, but her plan now is to lie low and wait for the spirits to stop their assault. She thinks they will tire of this game. I, for one, don’t believe that. Warrior Serran is our only hope, and he’s been captured. I am next in line for the throne, so in a way I am just as responsible for the Kingdom’s safety as the queen is. If setting Serran free is the only way to help protect the Kingdom, then I’ll do it.”

*Dramatic pause*

ROUKA

“Has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?”

NARA

“Rouka, watch yourself. He may be as rash as we are, but he is still royalty.”

TARO

“On the contrary, we are no tin the palace courts. For once, I’d like to be talked to like a normal 18 year old instead of some one in a high position. Now that any advice that I give should be ignored, but remember I am the same age as you.”

NARA

“…Are saying that you don’t want to lead this unorthodox team?”

TARO

“Technically, this adventure was your idea. If it makes you feel better, we can share the responsibilities of leadership.”

NARA

“It’s alright with me, but do my friends agree?”

KIERAN

“I agree. Not to offend your leadership skills Nara, but Prince Taro-”

TARO

“Just Taro.”

KIERAN

“-Taro, then, has had more experience with ventures like this. His advice is definitely going to be crucial.”

ROUKA

“Not to mention, rumor has it that he’s also a very good swordsman.”

NARA

“Is that true Taro?”

TARO:

“Well, yes, I suppose…I don’t brag about it.”

NARA

“Good. It’s nice to know we have someone experienced with a sword with us. So, what do we do next?”

TARO

“Well, as you know, I don’t know exactly where the air realm is. Not even the Queen knows. But I have a good idea of where we can start looking.”

KIERAN

“Where?”

TARO

“To The Library of The All-Seeing. The creatures that guard that library are rumored to see everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen in all parts of the world.”

ROUKA

“So, we’re going to try and find these legendary creatures who might know a thing or two about Nara’s father, right?”

TARO

“Yes. All I know is where the library is supposed to be, I don’t know if it actually exists though.”

NARA

“Well, it’s the only lead we have. How do we get there?”

TARO

“We have to travel to the Land of the In-Between.”

NARA

“The land of souls not alive, but not yet dead, correct?”

TARO

“Yes. Getting there, however, is tricky. We have to wait until dusk. As soon as the son touches the horizon is the only time one can enter the land of the In-Between. We have to travel to the Tree of Beginning, and enter it’s hollow center right at the right moment.”

ROUKA

“How long will it take to reach the tree from here?”

TARO

“If we hurry, we could reach the Tree in time to enter the Land of the In-Between tomorrow. We’ll have to be riding out by sup-up though.”

NARA

“Easily done. I say we all turn in for the night though. We need to get an early start.”

TARO, KIERAN, and ROUKA

“Aye.”

*Lights dim, exit all*



Scene V

*Place: Trail to the tree.
Enter: Prince Taro, Nara, Kieran, and Rouka*

TARO

“Do any of you have any fighting experience?”

ROUKA

“I have 6 brothers. Of course I do.”

KIERAN

“The bar keeper has taught me basic hand to hand combat to break up tavern brawls.”

NARA

“I don’t really have any experience…I’m just a farm girl.”

TARO

“Hm…we might have to fix that then…”

NARA

“You can’t possibly teach me sword fighting before we reach the air kingdom…can you?”

TARO

“Well, we have to get to the library first, and who knows how long that will take? And then we have the journey to the Air realm as well. We may have enough time to teach you the basics of sword fighting. It’s better than nothing.”

NARA

“Alright, when do we begin?”

TARO

“After we reach the land of the In-Between. For now, let’s just ride in quiet peace. Heaven knows when we’ll get another chance.”

*Exit all.*


Scene VI

*Place: The Tree of Beginning, dusk.
Enter: Nara, Taro, Kieran, and Rouka.*

TARO

“Here we are.”

NARA

Walks around the tree. “What do we do now? I don’t see the hollow base anywhere!”

TARO

“As I recall from the books, we have to walk around the tree and chant
Upon this ground,
Where life began,
I walk around
Into unknown lands.

ROUKA

“And you learned this all from books? I’m really starting to doubt your plan, Prince.”

TARO

“The information was gathered by mages over centuries past. I don’t doubt their information, they haven’t proven wrong yet. Now come, we need to hurry!”

*All four chant and walk around the tree in a slow circle. When they stop, the hollowed base appears, and they walk into it. There, they enter a meadow in the Land of the In-between.*

ROUKA

“These flowers…they’re the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!” Walks over to smell them.

TARO

“No! Do not smell the flowers!”

ROUKA

“But…why not? They’re soo pretty….”

NARA

“Surely no harm can come from smelling flowers…”

TARO

“They will put you to sleep forever. You won’t age, you won’t return to the troubled world, but you won’t ever wake.”

KIERAN

“Those first two things don’t sound so bad, actually.”

NARA

“Kieran!”

KIERAN

“Not that I would ever do such a thing of course!”

TARO

“Good. Now we need to find a safe place, and start Nara’s training. Let’s continue.”

*All walk off stage. Lights dim as backdrop changes, all walk back on stage.*

TARO

“This looks like a good spot to practice. Here Nara, take this branch. I’m going to find another one suitable for this exercise.”

*Exit Prince Taro.*


KIERAN

“He certainly seems to know what he’s doing.”

NARA

“Of course. He’s probably been on enough adventures like this to write a whole guide book.”

KIERAN

“That is true. We’re lucky that he decided to help us.”

ROUKA

“And I imagine that he’s thankful to have us. His mother wouldn’t allow him to do this in the first place, and I’m sure he would rather have three friends to guard his back than empty air.”

*Enter Prince Taro.*

TARO

“Alright, I’m ready to begin. Rouka, Kieran, please go gather some firewood and long grass while we are practicing.”

KIERAN

“Long grass? Why do we need long grass?”

TARO

“When you get back, I will show you how to make protective charms. That way you’ll have something to do while we are training. Go on now.”

*Exit Rouka and Kieran.*

TARO

“Let’s begin.” Walks Nara through basic stances and techniques.

*Enter Rouka and Kieran, holding firewood and long grass. Taro shows them how to make charms.

ROUKA

“Who knew making charms was so easy?”

TARO

“It’s only easy because you are using a part of a land that is made purely of magic energy. If we were in our world, you wouldn’t be able to make these charms.”

ROUKA

“Oh really? How do you know?”

TARO

“If you had any magic ability, I’d have seen it. Magic energy would float around you like a silhouette. You and Kieran do not have that around you.”

NARA

“So…does that mean that I…?”

TARO

“…have magic ability? Yes, loads of it. Any other practitioner would be able to spot you from a mile away…Did you not know?”

NARA

“No…I didn’t.”

ROUKA

“So…you and Nara are wizard and witch. That’s…good, right?”

NARA

“I assume so…we’re not evil.”

TARO

“We wouldn’t be on this adventure if we were otherwise. But now we just have more to do. You have to be trained in both the basics of sword fighting and magic now.”

NARA

“…joy…”

TARO

“Oh don’t be so apprehensive. It’s not as hard as you think. Anyway, it’s getting dark. We need to get our things from the creek, and then turn in for the night.”

*Exit all, lights dim.*


Scene VII

*Place: Clear water creek, 1 week later
Enter: Rouka and Nara, washing clothes

ROUKA

“Your lessons are coming along really well aren’t they?”

NARA

-Silence-

ROUKA

“Nara?”

NARA

Startles “Oh? Sorry, I was just thinking of…something…”

ROUKA

“ ‘Something’?”

NARA

“Uh-huh, something.”

ROUKA

“Are you sure that ‘something’ isn’t ‘someone’?”

NARA

“What?! No! What makes you say that? Who would I be talking about anyway?”

ROUKA

“C’mon Nara, you know exactly what I’m talking about.”

*Enter Taro and Kieran. Nara jumps at their appearance.*

TARO

“We have camp set up, and a meal is ready.”

NARA

“Alright, we’ll leave these here to dry, and then come back after supper.”

*All walk to the camp site and start to sit down.*

NARA

“Move over Kieran, Rouka and Taro can sit on that log.”

ROUKA

“Oh no Nara, it’s perfectly alright, I’ll take that seat next to Kieran. You can have this spot.”

NARA

Blushes and mumbles “Thank you Rouka, that was very kind of you.”

ROUKA

“You’re welcome!”

KIERAN

“So Taro, how close are we to the Library of The All-Seeing?”

TARO

“From the map in the book of the Land of the In-Between, I’d say that we’ll reach the library in the morning. Which is why I feel I should give these to you now.” Hands out sharpened wood swords about a foot and a half long.

NARA

“Did- did you carve these?”

TARO

“By hand? No. That would have taken too long. There’s enough magic here to make hundreds of those without batting an eyelash.”

NARA

“Ah…so, do they have special powers or are they just sharpened sticks?”

TARO

“Just sharpened sticks, I’m afraid. I don’t have the time to lace them with magic spells.”

NARA

“Oh, well…thank you. Now that I know how to use one of these, I’m sure it’ll save my life.”

TARO

“I hope it does. Who else would have the guts to challenge me in a duel of magic?”

ROUKA

“Whoever taught you, of course.”

TARO

“Councilman Tark? Nah, he wouldn’t hurt a fly. Nara’s a good practice partner.”

NARA

“So, I just serve as someone to practice with? Well it’s nice to know where I stand.”

TARO

“Oh no, I didn’t mean it like that-”

NARA

“Taro, I was just messing with you.”

TARO

“Oh…well, still. You’re one of my best friends, and now that you’ve grown out of your shell you’re more than just a farm girl.”

NARA

“Grown?”

TARO

“You have more confidence.”

ROUKA

“Yeah Nara. When you first practiced, you shied away like a skittish horse. Now, you don’t even blink before lunging into a duel.”

KIERAN

“Plus, your voice is stronger, and you now have a sense of humor. You’ve definitely changed in this past week.”

TARO

“And just in time too. From my studies, the All-Seeing creatures are going to be tough to intimidate, if it comes to that to get the answers that we need. We’re gonna need to muster up as much confidence as we can.”

KIERAN

“If you say so. It’s getting late. We should gather our clothes and then turn in for the night. I’ll take first watch.”

*Exit all, lights dim.*


Scene VIII

*Place: The Library of the All-Seeing.
Enter: Nara, Prince Taro, Rouka, and Kieran.*

NARA

“So, do we walk in or knock?”

TARO

“We knock. Offending the All-Seeings is the last thing that we want to do right now.”

NARA

Knocks on the doors.

*They swing open eerily. All four of them walk into the dimly lit hall.*

ROUKA

“Hello? Is anyone there?”

*2 tall cloaked figures appear out of the air, wearing white masks with slits for eyes. All four of them jump in surprise.*

ALL-SEEING #1

“We have been expecting your arrival, young humans.”

ALL-SEEING #2
“Now we expect you to leave.”

NARA

“No. I did not come this far to be sent away. You have answers, and you will give them to me!”

ALL-SEEING #1

“Oh? And what makes you say that?”

NARA

“My father has been kidnapped-”

ALL-SEEING #2

“Yes, we are aware-”

NARA

“Let me finish! He has been kidnapped, and we have traveled here to find him. I will not leave until I know where the air realm is. If I have to, I will haunt you until you tell me what you know!”

ALL-SEEING #1

“Bold words for such a dainty little creature. If we gave you your answers, what would we get in return?”

NARA

Walks over to nearest bookcase, starts a magic fire in her hands, and holds it close to the books. “You’re precious library!”

TARO

Whispers to Kieran and Rouka “That fire can’t be extinguished by anything except for her. I taught her that!”

ALL-SEEING #1 and #2

“NO! Take the fire away! Put it out!”

NARA

“Give me answers!”

ALL-SEEING #1

“Alright! We will give you what you want, just take that fire away!”

NARA

“Answers first! Where is my father?”

ALL-SEEING #1

“He-he is being held captive...by Tark Auroran of Kardis! I watched Tark Auroran as he poisoned the air and earth-”

ALL-SEEING #2

“-as an excuse to blame the spirits of the land. He wanted to lure Warrior Serran and Prince Taro away from Kardis-”

ALL-SEEING #1

“-away from the Queen, leaving her unprotected. He will strike her down, soon. Soon!”

TARO

“NO! You lie! He can’t-he wouldn’t-”

ALL-SEEING #2

“Fool! We cannot lie about what we have seen!”

NARA

“Taro, if they aren’t lying, then we need to go now!”

TARO

“But it took us a full week to get here! There’s no faster way to get back other than by horse!”

ROUKA

“I-I think I can help with that. Taro, Nara, I may need your assistance. We have to get back to the campsite first.”

KIERAN

“Wait, maybe these creatures know a faster way!”

NARA

“Well, do you? You better answer before the fire starts to burn my hands!”

ALL-SEEING #1

“Rouka has a clever plan. We suggest her way over ours, it will be easier for all of us that way. Go! Leave, and never return!”

*Nara snuffs the fire, and they all run out the doors.*
*Exit all, dim lights for backdrop change.*

*Nara, Kieran, Taro, and Rouka enter the campsite.*

ROUKA:

“Kieran, get my saddlebags. Nara, Taro, come with me. We are going to make the first transportation potion that ever existed!”

*Exit Kieran.*

NARA

“Uhm Rouka? Are you sure this is safe?”

TARO

“I was beginning to wonder about your sanity…”

ROUKA

“My sanity is just fine, thank you very much. The All-Seeings said my way was clever, so obviously it works.”

NARA

“Yeah but I don’t trust them…”

ROUKA

“Hush up Nara. We’re doing this. Taro, where is Tark most likely to be at this very moment?”

TARO

“In his study.”

ROUKA

“Focus on that. Focus on every detail of his study. Can you do that?”

TARO

“Well, since you command it, I suppose I can.”

ROUKA

“Nara, when I say “now”, you are going to channel yours and Taro’s magic into the potion a potion of luck that I created before this venture. We’re going to combine luck with transportation.”

*Enter Kieran with saddlebags. Rouka rummages through them and finds potion. Sets is on the ground.*

ROUKA

“I need everyone to form a circle and join hands. Kieran, you and I are going to think of travel-related words when I say now. Taro, Nara, you know what to do. Ready? ….NOW!”

*Everyone focuses on Rouka’s instructions. Potion boils, turns blue. After a few minutes, it turns purple.

ROUKA

“Stop! Everyone, take a drink!”

*They all disappear upon drinking the potion.*

Scene IV

*Place: Councilman Tark’s study.
Enter: Nara, Taro, Kieran, Rouka, Tark.*

TARK

“Prince Taro! What are you doing here? And are your friends?”

TARO

“As if you don’t know!”

TARK

“I don’t have any idea who they are or why you’re all here.”

NARA

“Where is my father?”

TARK

“Young lady, if you have a sample of his hair, I could perform a scrying spell-”

TARO

“Stop it Tark! Release Warrior Serran!”

TARK

“I don’t have any idea of what you’re talking about!”

ROUKA

“Give it up, old man! The All-Seeings of the Land of the In-Between told us everything!”

TARK

“Ah. Well, now of the rules of the game have shifted, haven’t they? Taro, do you honestly believe that you and your rag-tag group of teenagers can defeat me? You all are rather naïve-”

NARA

“Shut your trap and tell me where my father is!”

TARK

“As if I would tell you, you foolish girl!” flicks hand, Nara flies back into the wall. “You would be wise not to interrupt me again!”

TARO

Lunges at Tark, pinning him against the wall with his sword as Kieran and Rouka run to Nara. “Tell, or it’s off with your head!”

TARK

“When you put it that way, I’m much more willing…to kill you!” flicks hand again. All the skeletons and statues in the study come to life, and begin attacking Nara, Kieran, Rouka, and Taro. Escapes into the hall.

ROUKA

“Taro! Nara! Go ahead, we’ll distract these…things!”

KIERAN

“HERE! Here you vile things HERE!”

Rouka and Kieran lead the skeletons and statues off stage and Nara and Taro head out into the hallway. They run off stage in pursuit of Tark. The lights dim, foot steps can be heard in the dark, dim light comes back on. They have chased Tark into the dungeons. He turns to face them.

TARK

“Fools! You cannot defeat me!”

TARO

“It’s two against one, traitor! You’re outmatched!” lunges at Tark.

NARA

Raises her hand and uses magic to bind Tark’s legs together to stop him from running.

TARO

Tackles Tark to the ground. “Nara! Get over here!”

NARA

“What is it?”

TARO

“He’s squirming too much! Bind the rest of him!”

TARK

“You…can’t…control me!”

NARA

Stares at him coldly. “Yes…I can!”

TARO

“Where is Warrior Serran? And why were you trying to kill my mother?”

TARK

“You can’t make me talk!”

NARA

Turns head slightly, causing Tark’s arm to jerk up painfully behind his back. “Talk! Before you lose your arm!”

TARK

“Alright, I’ll talk, I’LL TALK!”

NARA

Moves head back, lowering Tark’s arm.

TARK

“I wanted to rule! You’re mother is just a mere woman. Women are not fit to rule a country! I lead you away, knowing that the air spirits would kill you once you entered their realm!”

TARO

Punches Tark, who doubles over in pain. “Your jealousy of a woman is you undoing, Tark! Tell us where Serran is, and I will only exile you to a life in the dessert!”

TARK

“I’ll take death!”

TARO

“If you don’t answer, I’ll leave you at the mercy of his daughter here.”

NARA

Smiles evilly, and twists his arm again.

TARK

“Argh! He’s in a cell in the royal catacombs! The keys, they’re on my belt. Take them, TAKE THEM AND GET HER AWAY FROM ME!”

NARA

Knocks him out with her mind.

TARO

Grabs the keys.

*Exit Nara and Taro.*


Scene X

*Place: farmer’s house, 1 month later.
Enter: Queen Maura and guard #1.

FARMER

“And that is all that has happened?”

QUEEN MAURA

“Yes. And may I just say, you’re looking well Serran.”

FARMER

“I feel better. Tark and his soldiers really took us by surprise…I am sorry that I couldn’t save your soldiers, your majesty.”

QUEEN MAURA

“You did what you could. I’m glad you’re safe, and that Kardis will know prosperity once again.”

FARMER

“Indeed it will.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Now you must excuse me. The Prince and your Daughter are wanting to talk to you, now that you’re awake. Come in!”

*enter Nara and Prince Taro.*

NARA

“Father! It’s good to see you again!”

FARMER

“Aye, Nara, I thought I would never see you again either. You have grown child. I don’t see a fragile little girl, but a knight and mighty witch of Kardis!”

TARO

“Aye, sir. She is going to be the greatest witch Kardis has ever known. Were you aware of her magical abilities?”

FARMER

“Yes. I have always known. Her mother was a gifted witch. Nara, I never told you this, but when you were little, you used to put sleep spells on me and use my inks to draw on my face.”

NARA

“I did?!”

FARMER

“Mhm. Then, one day, you set yourself on fire. After I put you out, I asked Mage Marin to suppress your gifts. He did, but then he gave me a warning. He said that when you turned 18, I would be forced to leave on a quest, and you would be put in danger. That is why I denied going on the journey, your majesties.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Ah…I wondered why you were so persistent…With her being 18 and all, you should have been relatively sure that she would have been alright on her own.”

FARMER

“I really did not mean you any disrespect-”

QUEEN MAURA

“No no, Serran, don’t worry about it anymore. Now, I do believe that the Prince has something important to ask you.”

TARO

“Warrior Serran, I humbly ask for your blessing for your daughter to-”

FARMER

“Now wait just a minute young man! Just because you helped her rescue me does not mean I think that you should marry my daughter! You have to earn that right first!”

TARO

“erm… I was going to ask if you’ll allow her to take an apprenticeship at the castle as my trainee…since I’ve mastered magic and all…”

FARMER

“…Oh…well, if that’s the case, then yes, you have my blessing.”

QUEEN MAURA

“Good! My son will coach her at the palace. She will be treated like royalty there, and she will be allowed to visit you whenever she wishes, and vice verse. After that, she will be free to come back here.”

NARA

“But, I can’t leave father, I just got him back!”

QUEEN MAURA

“Then I think he shall move into the castle as well! His health needs to be monitored anyways.”

NARA

“And what of Rouka and Kieran? They are heroes just as much as we are.”

TARO

“I have already seen to that. As of this moment, they are being taken to the palace to be inducted into the Knights’ Guild of Kardis. They are going to live on the land near the castle to they can begin their training as soon as possible.”

NARA

“And what of me? Will I always be just a great witch?”

QUEEN MAURA

“No. You will also replace Councilman Tark’s position on my staff of advisors.” Whispers so no Farmer and Taro can’t hear. “And I also believe that maybe someday, you will become Queen in your own right.”

TARO

“What did you say mother?”

QUEEN MAURA

“Only that she will do better than Councilman Tark will, dear.”

TARO

“Indeed she will. After all, she’s not evil.”

FARMER

“Where is Councilman Tark anyway?”

QUEEN MAURA

Smiles sweetly. “Somewhere far away, and very, very dry.”

Lights dim. Exit all.

THE END



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