Estangua



By:
Joel 'Cop' Furches




ACT I
Scene 1


City Street. Hartfurt King of Estangua is walking with advisor Blaisson. They pass a small boy playing in the street. The king stops to talk to the boy.
Hartfurt: Boy, look upon me.
(Child shyly diverts his eyes.)
Blaisson:(grabbing the child) Do what he says, Pup!
Hartfurt: Nay but let him be, Blaisson.(Blaisson coldly withdraws) Child, know you who I am?
Chairrion: You seem to me to be an unhappy man.
Hartfurt: Why say you that?
Chairrion: Because you are covered from head to toe with hot clothing, and wear many heavy stones and metals.
Blaisson: You, boy, are nothing. You will always be nothing.
Hartfurt: Come, Blaisson, torment the street dweller no longer.
(The two walk a little further to where they find a man in a commoner's robe, his head covered by a hood.)
Hartfurt: You there, come, take my pack from my advisor, and walk with us a while.
Blaisson: Sir, I would not trouble that man.
Hartfurt: Peace, Blaisson, he's just a man.
(Without a word the man rises, takes the pack and begins walking with them)
Hartfurt: Blaisson, my own people know me not. This must be dealt with.
Blaisson:(constant nervous glances at the man) He was just a child, lord. Pay it no mind.
Hartfurt: A child today, a man tomorrow. Men are dangerous, Blaisson, children are more so. We must train them young or tomorrow I've a knife in my back. That's enough man.
Temmenent: I would walk with you a moment longer.
Hartfurt: I say you've born enough for us.
Temmenent: Nay, but much more I will bear for you. What a man bears, he cannot dismiss lightly. Therefore, choose your burdens wisely... king. I take leave. (The man puts the pack down and disappears)
Blaisson: Know you who that was?
Hartfurt: I know not.
Blaisson: That man was the prophet.
Hartfurt: There are many prophets. They all speak different words in the name of God, they are all fools.
Blaisson: Aye, fools they be, but some I fear more than others. This man comes up out of the country and speaks with authority. The people listen to him.
Hartfurt: People are blown by all manners of winds. Too long has this nation languished without direction. It is time we made ourselves the defining force. My gale shall sweep the inferior breezes out of this land.
Blaisson: Aye, but my lord? Beware this man!
(Exit Hartfurt and Blaisson. Temmenent walks back on SL and sits down. Charrion wanders in SR)
Charrion: I am more than nothing. Why do they hurt me? I did nothing to them. Why are they so unhappy? I sat here yesterday, and I will sit here tomorrow. Sometimes people come by and give me food or a little money. They all want me to look at them, but no one looks at me. They don't look at me! Look! Look all of Estangua, it is me, I am here! My name is Charrion! Does anybody care?
Temmenent: There is one who cares.
Charrion: Who are you?
Temmenent: I am a nobody, like you.
Charrion: And you care about me?
Temmenent: I cannot say that I do, for I know you not. The one that I serve both knows you and cares for you.
Charrion: The one who you serve? Is it the king?
Temmenent: Indeed it IS the king. But not the king of Estangua. He is just a man. The king I serve rules over everything that is.
Charrion: He's the king of EVERYTHING.
Temmenent: Of everything, and He cares for everyone.
Charrion: Even a nobody like me?
Temmenent: If he did not care for you, I would not be speaking to you. He told me to find you and give you this message.
Charrion: If this is true, than I wish to serve him as well!
Temmenent: You can, boy, you can.
Charrion: And will you show me how.
Temmenent: I will.




Scene 2



(The King's court. Hartfurt sits on the throne speaking with Blaisson.)
Hartfurt: Note, friend, how the people's whimsy is controlled by their gods? If the land is plagued, they sacrifice to the goddess of the earth, if the sailing is not good, the god of the sea, if the children are sick, the god of the sun, and if Estangua falls prey to another nation, they fall to worshiping the old God.
Blaisson: I have noted this, oh king.
Hartfurt: I subscribe to no gods, myself, but it has struck me that in order to control this people, we must control the gods.
Blaisson: You mean to have them worship you?
Hartfurt: Nay, I know my limits. I am just a man, and if I so much as lose my health, my deity comes in doubt.
Blaisson: Then we create a god for them to worship.
Hartfurt: Yes, but how to compel them to worship?
Blaisson:If I might be allowed to give my thoughts, oh king?
Hartfurt: Speak.
Blaisson: Tonight I will send a messenger to the neighboring kingdom of Tanute. We will hire ourselves a band of their soldiers. Dressed as bandits they will come and burn the outlying villages, destroy the crops, and leave the people in panic. From the midst of the chaos you step forward and offer them salvation from your god. When all the people have come to worship our god, the bandits disappear.
Hartfurt: But the loss of the crops?
Blaisson: Small price to pay for total control of your people, my lord.
Hartfurt: Then we shall do it.
Blaisson: One small thing, lord. What of the other gods? Will they not return to them when the danger is past?
Hartfurt: I fear only one God, and that is the old God. We must blot him out from the minds of the people, else they turn to Him, and He will destroy us.



Scene 3



(Rein walks into his house. His wife, Emilia and daughter Tiffan are preparing a meal.)
Tiffan: How was work in the fields today, father.
Rein: A lion attacked me, but I wrestled it to the ground.
Emilia: Cease your tales, Rein. The meal is nearly done.
Rein: And a beauty it is, Emilia. Who will bless it?
(Temmenent appears in the door)
Temmenent: I would be honored if you would let me bless the meal.
Rein: Temmenent! What brings you back to the village of your birth?
Temmenent: The Lord hath need of your sword, Rein.
Rein: I am not a fighting man! The crops are nearly in, and you wish me to take up my weapon and leave?
Temmenent: It is not I that wish it. It is the will of the Lord.
Tiffan: Father?
Rein: What the Lord wishes of me, I cannot deny. Yet I do wish it were otherwise.
Emilia: My husband receives the Lord's word from the reluctant prophet, and becomes the reluctant warrior. When you and I were wed, did we not swear always to be true to the will of the Lord?
Rein: We did.
Emilia: Go, then, and God be with you. If you are in the Lord's will, do you really fear failure?
Rein: I do not. I thank you for strengthening me to do what is right wife. Temmenent, will you not join us in a meal?
Temmenent: I will.



Scene 4



(In the middle of the Library sits the scribe, Borto. Blaisson enters SR)
Blaisson: I bring the kings word to you, scribe.
Borto: What is it that my lord wishes?
Blaisson: You are to find and bring all the scrolls of holy writ to his highness at once. Not one is to be left behind, else you will die.
Borto: You may consider it done.
(Blaisson exits SR, after which Temmenent appears.)
Temmenent: He means to destroy them.
Borto: I know.
Temmenent: And you are going to allow him to do so?
Borto: Do I have a choice in this matter.
Temmenent: Every man, save one, has a choice.
Borto: At times I wonder why the Lord chose you, reluctant one. I have yet to hear you deliver the Lord's message with enthusiasm.
Temmenent: This people has wholly blocked its ears to the message of the Lord. Am I to be merry? Every word I say is mocked and jeered, should I be encouraged. The message of the Lord smolders and burns within me, and I am compelled to speak it. Yet I have been assured from the beginning that my audience will not receive.
Borto: Peace, my friend, your cause is not wholly lost. Within the back, you will find seventy jars of clay. For years I have worked to transcribe the words of the holy writ. Within those jars are exact copies of the word of God. I trust Rein has amassed a following?
Temmenent: Forty men of valor are at his side.
Borto: Tell him, then, to bring his men tonight. At about the fourth watch we will spirit away these jars, and preserve the words of the Lord.
Temmenent: You, and all our men, will die if you are found.
Borto: You are a prophet, and yet you have no faith in God? He will preserve his words.
Temmenent: Whilst we brush the subject, I have a few words that the Lord has asked me to preserve, if thou will assist me.
Borto: Of course, my quill is always yours.
Temmenent: Very well, Borto, write these words: "The word of the Lord, which he did speak through his servant, Temmenent, son of Welsing, in the year of king Hartfurt..."




Act II


Scene 1




(Kings court. Hartfurt sits on the throne, is speaking to Blassion. Heremog stands to one side.)
Hartfurt: What is your report, Blassion?
Blassion: Our plan is in the working, but is encountering unforeseen problems. A band of vigilantes has risen up in the south. They are repelling some of the attacks, and comforting the people in the name of the Ancient One. Some are even turning to the old God. I suggest that if you wish to have success, you must bring forth your new religion now.
Hartfurt: I agree. Who is this man you bring before me?
Blassion: This, sire, is Heremog. He is the one I have chosen to be our high priest. He is a professed sorcerer from the schools of ancient Babylon.
Hartfurt: A sorcerer? I need not their tricks.
Heremog: If I may be allowed to speak, sire?
Hartfurt: Come forth.
Heremog: Thank you, gracious lord. I am not merely a trickster. I have been a governing lord for twelve years. I am son of a king. I can create your religion for you, and I have the power to maintain it. Together we can remake God. The first thing we need to do is create a school for the children. We will begin raising our priests from the roots. In twenty years this country is totally ours.
Hartfurt: I will give you a chance to prove yourself.
Heremog: I thank you my lord. You WON'T be disappointed.


Scene 2



(Temmenent is walking with Charrion down the street. As they walk behind a group of three people, they hear them speaking.)
Person 1: Have you, also, been going to the temple of the king?
Person 2: No, what is there to be seen?
Person 3: Don't you know? The great mystery of life has been revealed to the high priest Heremog. The god of Estangua, who has brought us out of nothing is calling for us to worship Him! I have seen it! He has the power to destroy these foreigners who pollute our soil.
Person 2: And what name is given this god?
Person 1: Why, He is called by the name of his land, of his people. He is the great God, Estangua. I, myself, have dedicated my children to be priests for him. Already my crops have flourished, and my house remains untouched by bandits.
(Temmenent stops beside Person 2.)
Person 2: There is a group of people who has found refuge in the worship of the Old God, the Ancient One.
Person 3: They say that Estangua IS the old God, who has just revealed himself through his servant, Heremog.
Person 1: Yes. Heremog says that before we worshiped what we did not know. Now God has revealed himself to us.
(Temmenent places his hand on the shoulder of Person 2)
Person 2: What of the Holy writ? Did not the Ancient one use that, along with his prophets, to reveal himself to us?
Person 3: The Holy writ is a fable. It was created by men who where fools, and as far as anyone can tell, it no longer exists.
Person 1: Come with us this night, and you will see wonders to alter your mind.
(Person 1 and Person 3 leave. Person 2 and Charrion stand frozen while Temmenent looks heavenward and prays)
Temmenent: Lord, my God, if it be your will, spare this one from the clutches of Heremog. Give your servant victory. Amen.
(The two others unfreeze and Person 2 leaves)
Charrion: Is the god they speak of really the ancient one?
Temmenent: No, child.
Charrion: Then why did you not speak out in His name.
Temmenent: The Lord was working through another.
(Temmenent and Charrion walk on until they meet Rein and his men.)
Temmenent: I have a charge for you, Rein. Find this child lodging and training in the Lord.
Rein: Can the Lord really desire one so small?
Temmenent: When the children fall, all is lost.
Rein: As you have spoken, then.



Scene 3



(Temple of the high priest, Heremog. Heremog faces the audience as if talking to a group of worshipers. Hartfurt and Blaission stand to one side.)
Heremog: Children of Estangua fear not, for your great father has spoken to me, and revealed many wonderful things. You are to serve him all of your days, and he will send you peace and good crops. He will increase and multiply, turns the water of your springs to wine in your mouths. (With a flourish, Heremog pours water from one pitcher into another then pours it back again. When he pours it back it has changed to wine.)
Heremog: Oh, children fall down and worship to your god, Estangua!
Hartfurt:(aside to Blaission) This is a feeble trick, Blaission
Blaission: But it impresses the people, my king.
<>(Hartfurt shrugs. Suddenly a man in a robe with a knife rushes in.)
Man: I am a priest of the great mother earth! You have stolen her followers! Death to all who oppose mother earth!
(Man charges Heremog wheedling the knife. Heremog gestures with his hand and the man stops in his tracks. Tossing himself violently about, he grabs at his chest or throat. At last he falls convulsing on the floor, spasms, twitches, then lies still.)
Heremog: Look well, my people! Thus is the fate of all that are the enemies of Estangua!
(With a flourish, Heremog exits.)
Hartfurt: This is a sight most astonishing, that a man should die without a hand laid on him!
Blaission: Indeed, my lord, indeed. How does he impress you now?
Hartfurt: He frightens me, Blaission.
Blaission: But he is on our side, sire.
Hartfurt: See that it stays that way.
(Hartfurt and Blaission exit)



Scene 4



(Blaission and Hartfurt enter the throne-room, talking.)
Blaission: Sire, I tell you there is nothing to be worried about. Heremog is completely under our control.
Hartfurt: Enough of this talk, what are we doing about these vigilantes who have risen up? Who is leading them?
Blaission: There is very little we CAN do about them, without loosing the people's support. We can't allow our armed forces to destroy them, or people will become suspicious and begin questioning why we do not destroy the bandits ourselves. We could always pay the armies of Tanute more in order to destroy them. As to who is leading them, it is a man named Rein.
Hartfurt: Why do you frown when you say his name? Do you know him?
Blaission: Aye. We were friends once. Grew up together. We fought together in the war of the great divide. After that I went on to seek more power, rising in the military. He dropped out and became a farmer.
Hartfurt: Was he a good fighter?
Blaission: Aye, the best. I could never match him in a fight with steel or hands. Of course, that was many years ago, and I have fought far longer than he. I'm sure I could best him in a battle now.
(Brief pause.)
Hartfurt: There's something more isn't there?
Blaission: There...there was a woman. Very beautiful. Emilia was her name. Rein and I...we were both in love with her, but I was arranged to be married with her. I gave that up when I sought power. Rein and Emilia were married. (Waving his hand dismissively) But that was in the far past. Rein probably does not know that I am at the right hand of the king.
Hartfurt: A little matter has occurred to me. Rein has a wife and presumably children. He is therefore weak when it comes to them. Seek out his wife and children and bring them to the palace. We will offer this as an exchange to him that he stop battling.
Blaission: My lord, this is a difficult thing you ask.
Hartfurt: Do it, for the good of Estangua!
(Temmenent steps out of the shadows)
Temmenent: And what know you of the good of Estangua?
Hartfurt: Seize that man.
Blaission: (looking frantically around) The guards are frozen in their places, sire!
Temmenent: Your men cannot act against the servant of the Lord. I would have a word with you king. You are new to this station and already you vex the nation of Estangua. Therefor, thus saith the Lord God, the ancient one: As you rose by a mighty force, by a child you shall fall. For it is not by might, and not by power that men rule, but by the spirit of the living God.
Blaission: (pulling out a sword) I will kill you myself!
(Temmenent disappears.)
Blaission: Did I not tell you, sire, to beware this man?
Hartfurt: Yes, and indeed, 'tis true. This man has shown us strange works this day. And yet he does not frighten me so much as Heremog. Now there would be a match! Yes, Blaission, I would much desire to see Heremog and this man strive together, to see whose power is greater.
Blaission: 'Tis a dangerous thing you wish, my lord. For in the day that these two meet, your kingdom shall be forfeit.
Hartfurt: He is a prophet, you are not. I do not believe him, why should I believe you?



Scene 5



(The home of Rein. Emilia sits at the table mending something, Tiffan is offstage, SL. A knocking comes at the door.)
Emilia: Tiffan, would you please see to the door?
Tiffan: Yes, mother. (Enters, crosses to SL, opens- imaginary -door. Blaission enters.)
Tiffan: Sir, my father is not at home.
Blaission: Your father is not the object of my visit, child.
Emilia: Blaission? Could it be?
Blaission: (shyly) It is I, Emilia. Are you in health?
Emilia: (In emotional turmoil) You... you disappeared after the war of the great division. We were sure you were dead, or captured. I... I wed Rein.
Blaission: (softly) I know.
Emilia: Are you returned from captivity after all these years?
Blaission: No, dear Emilia. Fate found me well after the battle. I rose in the ranks of the land's army. Now I am in authority second only to the king. It was my choice, Emilia, do not weep.
Emilia: What brings you back, then, after all these years?
Blaission: I come to bring you to safety in the king's courts. As you know, there are bandits plaguing our land, and your husband battles them. This is not a safe place for you.
Emilia: (smiling) Dear Blaission, you where never able to understand that God protects his children from all harm. My duty is to remain here and support my husband. I thank you for your concerns, but they are without warrant. Instead, come and sit, and tell me of life in the court of the king.
Blaission: Emilia, I would pursue the subject of your safety a moment longer. Can you be sure that I am NOT the Lord's way of protecting you? Rein can care for himself, but he would be crushed where any harm to befall you. I must insist that you come to the palace with me.
Emilia: Blaission, I am quite sure of the Lord's will for me. He would have me do my duty to my husband first. Pursue this a moment further, and I would think that you came to compel me to live with you out of jealousy for Rein.
Blaission: Do not place words in my mouth, Emilia. I chose my station knowing full well that it meant I would give up marriage to you. (Blaission rises and crosses to the door) It pains me that you do persist in staying here. But as you have cited your duty to your husband, I must do my duty to my king. (Signaling out of the door. Two soldiers come in)
Tiffan: MOTHER!
Emilia: Blaission, what is the meaning of this?
Blaission: Men compel these two to come to the palace with us. Be gentle as you can. I am sorry, my dear Emilia. Pray to your God if it comforts you.
(Blaission exits. The men grab Tiffan and Emilia and begin dragging them out. Tiffan screams and struggles)
Emilia: Do not fight them, Tiffan. Pray.



Scene 6



(Encampment of Rein's men. A watchman stands on stage. A messenger enters SL)
Messenger: Is this the camp of the men of Rein?
Watchman: Aye, that it is. What is your business that you be askin'?
Messenger: I come here with a message for Rein himself.
Watchman: And who be sendin' this message?
Messenger: The message is from the king, himself.
Watchman: Oh, it's from the king, is it? And you must be the king's own messenger, eh?
Messenger: I am the king's messenger, yes.
Watchman: And the king dresses all of his messengers in rags, does he?
Messenger: If you wear fanciful clothes in these parts, you get your throat slit.
Watchman: (laughing) This is true, and if you mention the kings name in this camp, you get your tongue pulled out.
Rein: (off-stage) Stand down there, man. (Entering) What goes on here?
Watchman: Why this man claims to be the king's own messenger!
Rein: And are you?
Messenger: Yes!
Rein: And what is your message?
Messenger: My message is only to be given to Rein.
Rein: I am he, let's have the message.
(While the messenger and Rein continue to talk, the watchman is approached by one of Reins soldiers. The two talk together during the further dialogue.)
Messenger: Thus saith king Hartfurt: Cease your fighting and go back to your homes.
Rein: And he thinks that I will listen to these words?
Messenger: The king insists that you do so, saying that your wife and child, which he now has in his keeping, will perish.
Rein: (angered) And how am I to know that the king really has my wife and child.
Messenger: I am to give you this locket that was your wife's (The messenger hands Rein a locket. Rein looks at it in dawning realization, shock showing on his face.)
Messenger: What answer give you the king?
Rein: (in fury) You may tell the king that he shall have my answer in two days. Now flee whilst you still live, or as God guides my sword, I shall slay the man who gave me these evil words.
(The messenger hastily departs the stage. The soldier talking to the watchman leaves and the watchman approaches Rein.)
Rein: They have stolen my family to use against me! Tell me, man, can God still guide my steps?
Messenger: There is more bad news, my captain.
Rein: Any news that you can tell me will seem good compared to that which I have just received.
Messenger: It seems that during the night a group of bandits raided one of our villages, slaying the women and capturing the children.
Rein: Why does my God lead me to battle only to suffer defeat? (Falling to his knees and praying in agony) Why, my Lord, why? I am just a man. I cannot oversee all of your children. Why do you punish me for doing your will?
(Temmenent appears and places his hand on Rein's shoulder.)
Temmenent: Be not so downcast, my friend. The Lord is still with us.
Rein: Why, Temmenent, my brother? My wife and only daughter are used against me! What am I to do?
Temmenent: Wait upon the Lord, brother. You shall reply to the king and tell him that you will not cease to do what God has commanded you. By this time tomorrow this kingdom will once more be in the hands of God.




Act III


Scene 1



(The temple of Heremog. Heremog sits on a mock throne. A guard enters.)
Guard: The children from the village raid are ready for your inspection, oh priest.
Heremog: Very good, guard. Issue them in one at a time. I wish to have a few words with each before they are sent to their quarters.
Guard: Very well, great Heremog.
(The guard exits and re-enters leading Charrion.)
Heremog: Come here child
(Charrion approaches the guard exits.)
Heremog: You are to be trained to be a priest to the great god, Estangua. This is a great privilege, child. You will be rising out of the ashes of your pitiful existence, and bring reverence to the one true god. Perhaps you will gain his notice, and he will raise you to high positions.
Charrion: There isn't any god, Estangua.
Heremog: But there is child, he is the great god of our people. He is the ancient one.
Charrion: The Ancient God is not the god you serve. The ancient God notices all his children. I already know God, and he loves me.
Heremog: Stop your babbling, foolish child. If the one you served is the true God, why did you live in misery? Why did he let you be captured, and your village destroyed? Your God must not be very powerful.
Charrion: I do not live in misery, for my God cares for me. He gives me peace in all situations. God brought me here because he wants me to do something. He always shows me the way.
Heremog: Then I will tell you God's will child. He wishes you to live here with us. He want's you to learn His ways and become his priest. I am God's servant and hear all his words. Now leave.
(Charrion exits.)
Heremog: (To himself) this one is given over strongly to the Ancient One. But I will have him yet. No child is unbreakable.



Scene 2



(Kings courtroom. Hartfurt sits on the throne. The messenger enters.)
Hartfurt: Ho, what news?
Messenger: Rein gives you his reply, my lord.
Hartfurt: And what is his reply?
Messenger: Rein says that he must do the Lord's will. He will continue to fight.
Hartfurt: (coldly) So be it. Bring me Blaission.
Messenger: Very well, sir. (Exits)
Hartfurt: (To himself) how do they yet defy me? Am I not king, and ruler of their god? Or have I chosen to do battle with the Ancient One? What horror is this? Can any man hope to prevail against God? And yet, if the Ancient One cares for the people of Estangua, why has he given them over to all manner of evil?
(Blaission enters)
Blaission: Sire?
Hartfurt: Rein has defied my order. Have his wife and child executed immediately!
Blaission: This is a difficult thing you ask of me, sire. I was once like a brother to Rein, and I love Emilia greatly.
Hartfurt: And do you tell me you gave up everything to gain power? Why do you grasp at that which you have given up? It is time for you to choose Blaission. If you decide to defy my orders, you will suffer the same fate as the family of Rein.
Blaission: (quietly) My...my loyalty is to you always, sire.
Hartfurt: Then do as I have commanded!
Blaission: Aye, my lord. (Exits)
Hartfurt: (raising his fist to the sky) I will yet prevail against you, Ancient One! A god is only as powerful as those who follow him!



Scene 3



(The tent of Rein. Rein is kneeling in prayer. Temmenent enters.)
Temmenent: Peace, my friend, God hears your prayers.
Rein: (looking up) What is the word of the Lord?
Temmenent: Tonight you are to take your band and approach the palace from the south side. The gate will be unlocked and unguarded, for the Lord has prepared the way. You are to slay the king and take his place.
Rein: (rising) I am to be king of Estangua?
Temmenent: So the Lord has declared it.
Rein: What of my wife and daughter?
Temmenent: The Lord will protect them, and bring them to be at your side when you reign.
Rein: I hear that the king has a powerful sorcerer on his side.
Temmenent: My God is greater than all his magiks. Now kneel, oh son of Tayu.
(Rein kneels and Temmenent pulls out a vile, and proceeds to pour from it onto Rein's head.)
Temmenent: By this oil I anoint you God's chosen king of Estangua.
Rein: May my service be ever in his will.
Temmenent: Amen.
Rein: This is beyond my dreams. I do not feel ready to lead a great people like Estangua
Temmenent: Indeed you are not. As long as you lead them, they shall always go astray. Therefor, when you are king, let God do the leading, and when you follow, take your people with you.
Rein: I am always in my Lord's service.



Scene 4



(Charrion stands to one side of the stage and narrates to the audience. A guard lies asleep on a chair center stage.)
Charrion: Last night God came to me in a dream, as I lay in my temple chambers. He told me that Heremog was evil, and that I was not to listen to him. I asked Him what his will was, and he told me that I was to be his servant. I was very happy that my Lord had chosen me. He told me that I was to awake and go to the South Gate (Walks toward the guard). There I would find a guard asleep. I was to take his keys and open the gate. Then I was to go back to bed. (As he is speaking, Charrion takes the keys from the guard. When his narration concludes, he goes over to SR and pretends to unlock a gate. That done, he hurries off stage SL. There is a brief pause, then Rein, leading a group of men burst on the scene. The guard rises in panic, and is immediately stabbed by Rein. Heremog appears in front of the men, and cackles.)
Heremog: A valiant try, Rein, but you will need more than mere swords to combat MY powers.
(Temmenent steps out from among the men, and faces Heremog)
Temmenent: Fear not, men. Spread out and do your business, it is my station to see to the sorcerer.
(The men hurry off in various directions as Heremog and Temmenent glare at each other. When the stage is clear, Heremog speaks.)
Heremog: So this is the famous Temmenent, the reluctant prophet. What does a prophet know of magic?
Temmenent: What does a sorcerer know of the source of all power?
Heremog: Stay your riddles, mouth of a forgotten God. You do your last work tonight.
Temmenent: Truly it is spoken. After tonight, I give up my station forever.
Heremog: After tonight, you will be dead! (Heremog swings his rod around chanting) Voma Yetu Trappa! (Temmenent stands his ground.) How... how did you escape the power of my spell?
Temmenent: (holding his hand out toward Heremog) Your power is gone. (Heremog clutches at his face.)
Heremog: My eyes! I'm blind!
Temmenent: You were always blind, only now do you see. (Heremog stumbles toward Temmenent, feeling about. Finding Temmenent, he falls at his feet.)
Heremog: Pray for me, prophet. Pray to your God that he restore my sight, and stay his wrath towards me.
(Temmenent places his hand on Heremog's head.)
Temmenent: My God, truly you have given us the victory this night. Now I pray that you restore this mans sight, as he has begged, that his faith in you might be complete.
Heremog: I... I can see!
Temmenent: Now flee this country, and never return.
(Heremog runs off stage, as Temmenent watches him go.)



Scene 5



(Blaission runs panting on SL, his sword drawn, looking back over his shoulder in controlled panic. He drops to one knee, and tries to catch his breath. Rein comes strolling on SR. Blaission sees him, jumps to his feet, and proceeds to attack him. The two start dueling. After several strokes they lock swords.)
Rein: When last we met we fought at each other's side (he pushes Blaission away, and they start circling one another.) Then you fought for God. (Blaission lunges at him and they duel some more. At one point they back away and begin circling again)
Blaission: I serve another master now.
Rein: Blaission, Blaission, many years I had wondered what became of you. Never did I dream we would meet again like this. (Rein faints at Blaission and they begin dueling again. They lock swords.)
Blaission: Believe me, Rein, I did not wish it this way. I captured Emilia by order of the king.
Rein: It was YOU! (Rein throws Blaission off and attacks him with renewed vigor.)
Rein: (slashing at him the entire time) Where are they? What did you do with them?
Blaission: The...king...ordered...me...to...kill them!
Rein: AAAAAHH!!! (With a final lunge, he thrusts the sword through Blaission, killing him. Rein falls to his knees and cries) Why God! Why?



Scene 6



(Kings court, Rein sits on the throne. Borto, Temmenent, Charrion, and a Soldier stand at his feet.) Soldier: Hartfurt's forces are all defeated or fled, sir. The king of Tanute sends his greetings. It seems that his soldiers where the bandits, hired by Hartfurt to plague our land into submission to his false god.
Rein: Thank Almighty God that his reign has ended.
Borto: The scrolls of the Holy Writ are safely back into my possession.
Rein: Good. Tomorrow we will assemble all the people and read the writings of God to them. (Turning to Temmenent) Have you nothing to say, reluctant one?
Temmenent: I have one thing to say, sire. I shall no longer serve you as a prophet. God has taken me out of that position.
Rein: (Sadly) I see. Who, then, am I to look to for guidance?
Temmenent: God has set the boy Charrion in my place. He is to be the next prophet of Estangua. As for guidance, you need not look to prophets. Rather, look to the Holy Writings, they contain all the promises and laws of God.
Rein: I would speak with you alone, Temmenent.
(Borto takes Charrion by the hand, and the Soldier, Charrion, and Borto exit.)
Temmenent: What is it, Rein?
Rein: Temmenent, I have learned never to question the Lord, only to follow. But when you said that the Lord would protect my family, I took it to mean that he would keep them alive. How is it that he let them parish by the hands of Blaission?
Temmenent: They did not. Did no one tell you? They were discovered alive, not two miles from here. Blaission defied the king's order to kill them, and let them escape. They come even now.
Rein: (shocked) Then...then I killed him for nothing? God forgive me, he was my friend!
Temmenent: Weep not, my friend, it was the Lord's will that he should die. He caused much evil in the land.
Rein: I cannot forgive myself, he was my friend.
(Tiffan and Emilia enter the room.)
Tiffan: Father, you are king! Why are you sad?
Rein: Emilia, my wife, I have slain Blaission for that which he did not.
Emilia: Rein, do not be sad, for God gives each man judgement according to his works. Look not to those things which are past. Rather live for the dawning of the future, and live for God in the present.
(Emilia, and Rein join hands and they walk off stage along with Tiffan. Temmenent is left standing alone. He turns to the audience as he dictates)
Temmenent:
When God set forth a plan to make himself a man,
On a planet formed so beautiful with light.
Our Creator knew that darkness would ensue
Enduring in a time consuming fight.
But still our God did speak, and formed both proud and meek
To carry out the fullness of his plan
So that in that final fight, when darkness battles lights
The dark would fall; the light would proudly stand
So fear not lowly mortal, for darkness is our portal,
But light the life that he has come to show
For now we must but serve, from His ways never swerve,
And on that day His plan we'll finally know
(Lights Dim)
The End.
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