14: EXT. TRAVEL MONTAGE
Days pass as the locomator makes its way North. We SEE the environment change to more hilly terrain and rough mountains. The weather grows decidedly colder. A week has passed.
15. EXT. CORDOBA WAY-STATION. THORENSAE. EARLY EVENING
SNOW is falling as the locomator comes to a stop outside the Way-Station. There are no horses tethered and the place seems decidedly quiet. In the distance we can SEE the COROLAN MOUNTAINS. The group climb out of the locomator’s cabin. They have all changed their clothes and are now wearing gear fit for the colder climate – cloaks, furs, and leathers. Aran, in particular, seems to be suffering the most from the cold. Despite his winter clothing he is still shivering.
ARAN - Let us pray they have a fire going, lest my bones forget what it is to be warm again!
MONIKA - (smirk) I’m sure Sarah could give you some tips about staying warm…
SARAH - Monika!
MONIKA - What? I’m just saying…
There is general shaking of heads and muttering as they open the door and step inside.
16: INT. CORDOBA WAY-STATION. THORENSAE. EARLY EVENING
The group enters the Way-Station with the Pilot closing the door as she is the last to enter. This Way-Station is a stark contrast to the one we saw before. Rather than a hive of merriment, this one is utterly deserted. Not a single patron sits at a table. No troubadour sings or plays, and no fire burns in the hearth. The place is grey and grim.
SARAH - Hello?
Her voice ECHOES in the empty hall, and a large BALDING MAN pulls back a curtain covering an arched doorway behind the bar. He speaks with a thick Thorensae accent (like a Scandinavian accent).
BALDING MAN - Ho travellers! Come in, welcome !(looks behind him) Ingrid! We have guests, light the fire!
ARAN - No need, my friend, it will take too long! Max, if you please?
Max raises a hand towards the fireplace and the wood stacked in it. He makes a gesture and the wood spontaneously bursts into flame.
ARAN - Just so!
BALDING MAN - (surprised) Ho! A Majeer?
Max nods to the balding man as Aran hurries over to the flames and lifts his chilled fingers to it. The others take a seat at a table by the fireplace and Ingrid appears beside her husband. The balding man hurries her back into the backroom then walks around the bar and over to their table.
BALDING MAN - Forgive me travellers, but may I ask to see some coin?
PILOT - (indignant) How dare you?
Sarah dismisses the Pilot’s comments with a hand then produces a pouch of coins.
SARAH - (to balding man) Enough?
BALDING MAN - Ja, plenty. Though I fear our stocks are low…
ARAN - Just bring five of the best meals you have, my friend.
MONIKA - And drinks!
The balding man bows slightly and hurries back through the curtain behind the bar. We HEAR CLATTERING of PANS.
PILOT - How insulting! Demanding to see our money before serving us!
SARAH - Take a look around you. This place isn’t exactly busy.
MAX - And doesn’t look like it has been in some time…
MONIKA - The man was just making sure that we weren’t coinless wanderers.
PILOT - Hmph. Well we hardly look like vagabonds!
(she glances at Max) Well, most of us, that is.
MAX - Hey!
SARAH - Stop it! I’m too tired, cold, and hungry for this!
ARAN - Indeed.
Silence descends with the CRACKLING of the FIRE providing the only NOISE. Eventually, the group warms a bit and the cloaks and furs are removed. The balding man appears with his wife, Ingrid – a short, round woman with long, blonde hair in two braids. They carry platters of food and trays of drinks which they place down on the table where the group is sitting. Ingrid gives Max a wary look and scuttles back into the kitchen. The Majeer noticed the look.
MAX - (eating) You can tell your wife that I won’t bite.
BALDING MAN - Your pardon? Oh! My apologies, we have not often seen Majeer this far North. You are a long way from the Academy.
PILOT - (under her breath) Peasants…
BALDING MAN - May I ask where you are heading? Will you be needing rooms?
SARAH - Yes, we need rooms for the night. We’re heading up towards the town at the foot of the mountains.
BALDING MAN - (wary) You’re travelling to Vargen?
All but the Pilot pick up on the man’s tone.
SARAH - Yes… why?
BALDING MAN - I should go and get your rooms warmed. They will be cold from being empty for so long.
Before he can leave, Aran puts a hand on the balding man’s arm.
ARAN - A moment, friend. Might I ask you a question?
The balding man looks at the restraining hand and then at the sword at Aran’s side.
BALDING MAN - (smiling) Ja, of course traveller.
ARAN - I could not help but notice that you have little custom. We have stayed in many Cordoba Stations on our journey here and none have been as quiet as this. How so?
The balding man looks at the group then seems to reach a decision.
BALDING MAN - I will not subject such good people to simple peasant tales about spirits. When you get to Vargen you will perhaps find your answers. Now, if you please, I will go and prepare your rooms.
Aran removes his hand and the balding man hurries off. The group all look at each other, their food and drink momentarily forgotten.
ARAN - (uneasy) Spirits…?
SARAH - Like the Caladon Sourland…
There is a heavy pause as they all think about the cursed land across the sea where the dead come to life. Then:
MONIKA - (loudly) BOO!
Everyone JUMPS and Monika laughs, the tension of the moment broken.
MAX - Gods, Monika!
MONIKA - Come on! You should have seen your faces! Like a Fell Beast was going leap out the fire and fuck you up the ass!
ARAN - (frowning) Monika…
The others all chuckle as they begin to eat their food again. All except Sarah. The Ranger stares at Monika.
SARAH - Tell me, Monika. Have you ever stood atop the Caladon Sciath and looked down on the Sourland?
MONIKA - (mouth full of food) Nope.
SARAH - So you’ve never seen a Fell Beast? Never stood and watched as your friends are torn apart by one? Never had to then go and cut the heads from the bodies of your friends to stop them rising from the dead and turning on you?
All laughter has stopped and Monika looks into Sarah’s grim face.
MONIKA - No, I haven’t.
SARAH - Then perhaps you shouldn’t make jokes about it.
Sarah stands up and picks up her plate of food and her mug of drink. She then heads towards the stairs where the balding man went to prepare the rooms. Max stands to follow her but Aran stops him.
ARAN - No, my friend, let her alone. I would not disturb her again until morning.
They continue eating in silence.
END OF PART THREE
Okay, so back to the story. Hopefully a bit truer to script format this time (thanks for the pointers Auntiek).
Those that have read may notice this is considerably shorter than the last two installments. Reason being that it is as much as I have written!
You see, the reason it is in script format is beacuse this was orignally intended to be a collaboration with an artist to produce a comic. The artist has since bailed on the project and I've found it hard to continue.
1. If there is anyone reading this that GENUINELY wants me to carry it on then I will do so.
2. If there is anyone reading this that would like to talk about turning this into a comic then let me know!!
Apologies for the "stock" image of Monika.
Hope you enjoy none-the-less.
Thank you for reading, and thank you all for your comments and observations.
Sep 17, 2012 1:43:44 pmby auntietk Homepage »
I do hope you'll continue! While your artwork has been very good, I'm more interested in the story. Your characters continue to take on depth and personality, and you seem to have a good plot arc in place. As long as you're enjoying writing this, I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes!
(Glad to be of help, btw.) :)
Sep 17, 2012 2:02:43 pmby SidheRoseGraphics Homepage »
I'm with everyone else here Alex - LOVE these characters and the story-line is quite gripping. You've opened up a new world and situation full of intrigue and mystery, esp. in this installment. We get a sense that things are pretty bleak and dangerous where they're headed. Love this image of Monika! No apologies necessary.
Sep 18, 2012 5:46:36 pmby RodS Homepage »
Yeah, Alex - I'd definitely love to see you continue this story - you really have me hooked, my friend! I like the script style - it seems to flow very smoothly. One get the 'feel' of the story, characters and environments very quickly. I like it!
I use an outline format as a kind of a 'textual storyboard' for my TNA series - just a quick paragraph for each panel, describing what I want to illustrate. I may have to give this style a try :-D
You writing and art combine to make this a winner, mate!