First Blood

From AchaeaWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

By: Sauti Posted on: October 22, 2006


This is a one act play set in the times of the War of Succession for the Seleucarian Empire.


Davis, a guardsman in the armies of Mycale.
Lucaine Pyramides, trusted swordhand of Catarin DeSangre.
Catarin DeSangre, a contender for the throne and future Queen of Seleucar.
Various sentries guarding King's Tomb.

[The northern battlements of Seleucar. A wall runs from one end of the stage to another. Thin vertical embrasures can be seen alternating along its length along with merlons dotting the top of the wall. A section of the battlements near the center has disappeared and a flismy wooden palisade had been set up in its place. It's drizzling. He can be seen on the parapet, between two merlons, looking over his crossbow. The average height of the battlements is up to his waist. The merlons rise up to his neck.]

Guardsman : "Looks fine to me. Just needs some greasing. Lock's a little rusty. Should get it changed soon." [ Looks meaningfully at the audience.] "Can't have it jamming at odd times, now can we?"

Guardsman : [removes his helmet and the hood under it. He wrings the hood dry and quickly replaces it.] "Lousy rain. Only rains at night during my shift." [Sighs.]

Guardsman : [Looks around in confusion.] "Now where's that damn chair?" [Reaches out with his crossbow. Mutters under his breath and leans, dropping out of view.]

[A creaking sound is heard. The Guardsman straightens. He stretches his back and groans. He sits down and is now visible from the chest up.]

Guardsman : [angrily mutters] "It's all that Errikale's fault, I tell ya. We got the whole city under control. From the ampitheatre to the Lycaeum. We coulda starved those bastards out. But no, little princess Lucy wants it all in one day."

Guardsman : [Snarls] "Prissy little fag. Go take the library, he says. They'll never expect you to come through the river, he says. Standing there telling us to go die, with a straight face like a snake."

[An authoritative voice is heard from below from the right corner of the wall, "Midnight. All sentries report."]

Guardsman : [quiets down] "Lost my brother in that charge. Lieutenant in the 13th Infantry. Among the first to hit the water. We were all so keyed up." [chuckles] "Said he was going to bring that fancy outlander..what's his name..Luca..yea Luca's hands as a trophy for Lady Castomira."

[An gruff voise is heard from below the wall near the center, "The park is clean."]

Guardsman : "Burnt to death right before my eyes. The heat and...that smell of burnt flesh." [restless, stands and limps over to lean against a merlon.] "I was on sentry duty; been fit for nothing else...The horror...the whole river just went up in flames. Woulda been beautiful if it hadn't been for the screams."

[A strident female voice resounds from the lower left corner of the wall, "No activity at the gates, sir, the parapet's a little slippery from the rain. "]

Guardsman : [sneers] "Bet that witch Catarin loved that, watching the poorfolk burn while she's mooning over her precious Luca."

[A tiny, feeble voice is heard from bottom right corner of the stage, "Ah, north bank of Mnemosyne secure, commander sir."]

Guardsman : [paces back and forth along the parapet for a while before walking over to the palisade. Slips along the way and clutches the palisade for support.] "Damned rain." [Regains his breath] "They've always stiffed us, them rich folk." [Removes a canvas backpack and props it up on the wall.]

[An authoritative voice is heard from below the right corner of the wall, "Take care Celia, don't want to lose a good soldier for nothing. Wall, report."]

Guardsman : [gets a small pinewood vial from a canvas backpack] "One half-empty health vial." [Rummages around in the pack and gets something wrapped in a leaf.] "Waybread." [Checks his quiver.] "Ten arrows." [Raises his hands with the palms up and moves his left hand in front of the right, making a snatching motion. He holds up his left hand to disclose a dirk.] "One rusty dirk."

[An unwavering male voice is heard from the bottom of the wall, left of center, "Better lay off the weed, Davis. Not a soul in sight on Bastion road."]

Guardsman : [oblivious, points to himself] "One set of used scalemail armour." [Fumbles around in his trouser pockets and gets a pipe and a tinderbox.] "One pipe and one wet tinderbox." [Leans against the merlon.] "With this, I'm supposed to face off against a guy with 100 of every possible elixir, a full rift and runed up from head to toe."

[An authoritative voice is heard from below the right corner of the wall, "Goddammit Davis, what's your status?"]

Guardsman : [reminiscing] "Always been that way. Not enough mending to go around that night when my brother died. We pulled as many people as we could from that Phlegethon. Waited and waited for a priest, a runner any one." [pauses] "For three hours while the officers were being treated. A full third of our forces died there, most of them on the banks waiting for treatment. I was ordered to join a search party for Trenton Deis. Told the CO to heal my brother first." [chuckles] "So they docked my wages and put me on the graveyard shift. "

[A female voice of awe-inspiring voice bellows from the distance, "Palace is secure."]

Guardsman : [scratches the stubble on his chin.]"Lost my leg the same way. In defence of the Serpentlords. One of them angels got me. Smashed my left leg. A serpent pulled me through that hole in time before they could finish me off. I was the last one out." [nods proudly.] "Not that it made any difference. No restoration for a simple foot-soldier. One of the men was a carpenter, put together this wooden leg." [Taps his leg with his fist]

[An authoritative voice is heard from below the right corner of the wall, "By Aegis, Davis, I swear, come dawn, I'll put you to cleaning chamberpots if you don't answer me now."]

Guardsman : [grits his teeth and fumes. Yells] "I got nothing. If I had something to report, I woulda yelled."

[An authoritative voice is heard from below the right corner of the wall, "Thank you. The Tomb is safe. Remember to eat your skullcap flowers and stay alert. Davis, I'll talk to you come dawn. Stay alert. For the true King."]

[A series of yells are heard from the sentries overlapping one another, "For King Mycale."]

Guardsman : [spits at the ground in disgust.] "To the abyss with Mycale. We fight for the Duchess Castomira, everyone knows that. She's the only one with a pure, decent heart among all them vultures at the top. Not a man in the army who won't gladly walk to certain death for her." [Nods empathically.]

[The skies begin to thunder heavily, and the rain becomes a downpour, a sign of Lord Vastar's wrath or joy.]

Guardsman : [pulls his cloak closer] "Bad time to be out and about." [Leans over the palisade and squints down] "Can't see a damn thing." [Pulls himself straight]Not that I'm worried.[Taps his nose meaningfully] "See, I have a plan." [Reaches into his armour and pulls out a little packet. He opens the packet and gets a skullcap flower.]

Guardsman : [sniffs a skullcap flower] "Overheard a conversation between knights the other day. "[grins] "Chamber pot duty pays off some times. Seems this little flower here is real useful when you smoke it. Puts up some kind of a shield that stays as long as you don't move. To hell with deathsight, I'm sure someone'll yell out a warning."

Guardsman : [sounds of him pulling his chair near the palisade. He sits down and wipes his pipe dry before carefully filling it with a skullcap flower.]"Now, how the hell do I light it?[Leans over to shelter the tinderbox from the rain. He's visible through the gaps in the wall, trying to strike the flints together. He leans over a little too much and drops the tinderbox.]

[A few indistinct cries of alarm are heard from the rightmost corner of the wall.]

Guardsman : [mutters under his breath. He picks up the tinderbox and limps close to the palisade. ] "Darn kids, probably saw a black rat." [Places the tinderbox on the palisade wall and tries to light it.] "Light, damn you." [Strikes the flints so hard a little piece chips off one of them.]"I need that aura up. Heh, bet I could have a shot at Luca too with it. He swings at me, rebounds, and I put a hole in his heart with my bow. First blood. [Pats his crossbow and grimaces.]"If only I can get it to light."

Lucaine Pyramides : [appears at the far left corner of the wall. Catarin DeSangre riding piggy-back ]"We must move fast, m'lady. Think they saw me down there. "

Catarin : [nods affirmatively.] "Do be careful, Lucaine."

[Lucaine Pyramides starts running along the wall, his feet barely making any noise and he is upon the Guardsman in a second. He tries to sidestep around the Guardsman, but fails to do so and only succeeds in pushing him.]

[Guardsman turns and slips on the parapet. His eyes meet that of Lucaine's and go wide with amazement. He tries to get a handhold on the wall, but the palisade collapses under the pressure. The Guardsman's mouth is open forming a silent O as he falls over the side with the splintered remains of the wall. He falls to the ground with a sickening 'THUNK' and lies there, a bloody mess.]

Catarin : [winces and whispers with eyes closed, her head resting against Lucaine's back] "The Goddess is taking you back now, the Great Mother. Her womb is the Earth that will receive your body. Your body is a seed now, a seed of other lives."

Lucaine : [suppresses a smile and mutters] "We all come from the Goddess and to Her we shall return, life a drop of rain falling to the ocean."[He coughs softly], "We must be quick. The officers are bound to have deathsight."[He sprints away to the right and exits the stage.]

[An authoritative voice resounds from the bottom right corner of the wall, "Davis down to Lucaine. Alarm, alarm. Target Lucaine."]

References :
Leona Fontaine, Sentinel : The Murder of Lucaine Pyramides
Meleus Travner, Urban Tactical Confrontation Throughout History : Case Studies, vol. 2: Seleucar