Torus Helmawr, Nobleman from Loures.
Iseulte Helmawr, Wife of Torus
Milenar, Bodyguard and friend of Torus
Iodia, servant to Iseulte
Lucia, servant to Iseulte
Mordacia, servant to Iseulte
Inoxus Travestous, Priest of Sgrios
XFoolx, resident Mundaneling
Gruk Boarblade, Goblin Chieftain
Blag, Goblin Warrior
Mag, Goblin Warrior
SCENE .- Starts in the Helmawr house, afterwards in the Eastern Woodlands
SCENE I. Lord Helmawr’s Dining Hall.
Enter Torus and Milenar.
Torus. Ah, Milenar, a fine morning to you, friend. Did you see the strange lights to the north last night?
Mil. A fine morning to you too, Sire. Lights? Nay, I fear I saw no lights last night, my Lord. Perhaps you were dreaming yet again?
Torus. Perhaps…. But it was so real, and as I stared out into the night, the blazing horizon warmed my skin, as though the entire Eastern Woodlands had become a thousand, thousand fiery torches. And yet today, as I gazed from my balcony, not a speck of green had blackened, and not a whiff of ash in the air as well. Ah. Indeed it could have been the wine that gave me such an incredible vision.
Mil. Milord, then perhaps you should refrain from such revelling?
Torus. Perhaps. [Aside] Alas, I drink not the wine to be merry and to celebrate…
but only to lose myself and contemplate.
Let not my tears of loneliness stain my collar,
For she seems so faraway, even as I am near her.
Mil. Greetings, milady. A fine morning to your radiant self.
Iseu. As to you, Milenar. Greetings, milord.
Torus. Good morning, my love. And Milenar lies not when he praises your radiance, for you are indeed enchanting, even at this early hour.
Iseu. Thank you, milord. I fear I must take my leave now.
Torus. Oh? And where indeed are you bound for?
Iseu. My study of course. I have much to do today.
Mil. She has been immersing herself in those tomes greatly these last few months, has she not?
Mil. And has she revealed anything to you of what they might contain?
Mil. And what of those rock fragments we collected… My Lord, is everything alright? You seem quiet all of a sudden.
Torus. I am fine, friend. Fret not for me, I was just thinking.
Mil. Of what, milord, pray tell?
Torus. Nothing important, old friend. [Aside] It is that I no longer know the person who is my wife,
That there is now a vow, devoid of life.
Torus. Say, I would like to make a trip out to the Woodlands shortly. Would you like to come?
Mil. It is my duty, milord.
Torus. Nonsense! I am well able to find my way there and back, and I am certainly more than capable in the aspect of swordplay. I was merely asking if you wished to follow, for if you thought it a folly to accompany a man who seeks for a phantasm, then I would surely excuse you from the journey.
Mil. And deprive me of a potential adventure, milord? I think not!
Torus. Very well! I will …
Iod. Pardon me, milord, but the cooks wish to know if milady will be missing dinner again tonight.
Mil. Miss! Why do you trouble Lord Helmawr with such petty matters? Can you not find out from milady herself?
Iod. Oh… forgive me, milords… I am new…. Forgive my lack of manners.
I am but a simple peasant’s child,
The spark of Deoch seemingly eludes me,
[Aside] but though I may seem meek.. and mild,
One day.. I will make them see…
Torus. No! It is alright… What might your name be, little one?
Iod. It is Iodia, milord, daughter of Maeus the smithy. I only arrived but yesterday…
Torus. Welcome to the Helmawr household then, Iodia. Welcome…
Iod. [blushing]. Thank you, milord. It is an honour to finally meet you. Now I must excuse myself, and look for Lady Helmawr.
Torus. A Beauty amongst Beauties… And in my very own household as well!
Mil. Yes, milord…. And I am sure Lady Helmawr thinks so too…
Torus. Ah yes. Of course she does. Ah! Sometimes I long for the days of old, Milenar. Wine, wars and wenches! Ah how the fierce have been humbled.
Mil. Heh, perhaps, milord. Anyway, shall I go make ready for our departure?
Torus. Indeed, Milenar. I will meet you at the gates, make ready! [Exeunt.
Enter Gruk, Blag and Mag
Gruk. Roight, boyz! Itz time weez go on a little big bangz upz.
Blag. Ugz boss! We gonna go get sum ooman shiny thingies?
Mag. Shiny thingies! Shiny thingies!
Gruk. Even better, Boyz! I and U’z r gonna bash sum of them oomans real goodz! And we’z getz paidz too!
Blag. Wotz a ‘paidz’, boss?
Mag. Paidz! Paidz!
Gruk. Duh. It meanz we getz shiny thingies for doing somethingz for someonez.
Blag. Oooh, U r smartz, boss!
Mag. Smartz! Smartz!
Gruk. I knowz. Thatz why I am boss and u are not.
Enter Inoxus and xFoolx
Inox. Greetingssss, foul goblin creatures!
Gruk. U have shiny thingies, ooman?? Gruk killz you if you no!
Inox. Ahhh, indeed I do, foul goblin. It disgusts me to deal with you, but the blood shall be spilt, and Sgrios cares not by whom.
Gruk. … U have shiny thingies, then we work.
Blag. [quietly]. What he sez, boss? Me no get it.
Gruk. [quietly]. Umm… he sez he thinkz we’z r strong and powerfulz. He give us shiny thingies to killz someonez.
Mag. Kill! Kill!
Xfoo. HOW R U???!?!? GIVE ME MONEY!!
Inox. Not now, xfoolx. Show some restraint.
Xfoo. MONEY!!! I WANT U GIVE ME MONEY!!
Blag. Hey boss. How comz I can understandz what dis one sez, but not dat one?
Gruk. Cos he iz smartz like uz.
Inox. Go back to the village, xfoolx, I have business to do here.
Xfoo. SUMMON!! R U GONNA SUMMON A SCUCCUBOUST? SUMMON! MONEY!!!
Inox. So… this is the plan, you stinking goblin scum.
Enter Torus and Milenar
Mil. Goblins, sire! Four of them!
Torus. To arms, Milenar old friend! We appear to have a fight on our hands! You shall taste the wrath of my sword, vile creatures of the earth!
Mil. Uhh… sire… my mistake.. three goblins and a… what wretched excuse for a man beholds me??
Inox. Oh no. Not again… My bad luck fails me not, for even as I prepare to set free the darkest powers this side of Temuair, I am unable to do so in peace. Is there no justice in this world??
Torus. A Sgriossian priest! I recognise that foul stench anywhere! Prepare to die, heathen!
Xfoo. WHAT R U DOIN?? GIVE ME MONEY!!!
Inox. Ah truly there is no justice!
Blag. Hey boss, do we’z get to killz der oomans yetz? Whyz do theyz keepz talkingz?
Mag. Talk! Talk!
Torus. What in Deoch’s name was that…?
Mil. I know not… maybe Sgrios disciples are not the most vile creatures to breathe Temuairian air.
Torus. Perhaps. But banter later! The goblins are advancing!
Mil. For Loures! Charge!!
[A fight ensues and Inoxus escapes in the ruckus.
Mil. Behold, the foul Goblins retreat! Ah, and that noxious priest is nowhere in sight!
Torus. Ah but what is this that that foul priest seems to have dropped? An icon of Sgrios? No, I think not! This is a talisman of Glioca! What in Deoch’s name would he have been doing with so holy an item?
Mil. Desecration, most certainly! I know their kind!
Torus. Perhaps… but I am getting a strange feeling just thinking about this. The Gods, they work in inexplicably inhuman ways, though some were themselves mortal once. What does one have to do to become a God, I wonder. Kill another God to make room on the pantheon?
Mil. Sire… are you alright? This is truly not like you at all. Perhaps we should return to the manor?
Torus. Ah? Oh. No, I am fine. Hm, I do believe this is the spot that I perceived to be aflame last night.
Mil. And you see, everything is as it should be. The trees are green and the air is fresh.
Torus. Perhaps… but no! Do you smell that? The bittersweet smell of almonds in the air, very faint, but yet distinct! … and look at that gnarled stump! Do you recognise that symbol, friend?
Mil. Ach…. I have seen that before…. On Lady Helmawr’s tomes! The ones we rescued from deep within the recesses of the mountain mines.
Torus. Indeed. So now do you still think me a drunk and a dreamer?
Mil. Perhaps I was too rash in dismissing your rants, milord, no disrespect meant. But what does this mean?
Torus. Perhaps Iseulte can tell us. Let us return, while the sun is still in the sky!
SCENE III. Iseulte’s study.
Iseu. What is it that you are trying to tell me… I have studied you for many months now and have come no closer to understanding your dark secrets. Oh, indeed I can sense the power you contain, and it is great. Your sigils of protection I have managed to defuse, yet you still withhold your secrets from my delving mind.
Enter Iodia in foreground, Mordacia and Lucia in background.
Iod. Milady, wilst you be dining this evening?
Iseu. Ah? Oh you startled me, young thing. Oh, no, I think I will be too busy to have dinner this evening, thank you.
Iod. Oh. Should I send something down, milady?
Iseu. Yes, Iodia, that would be nice. Surprise me.
Iod. As you wish, milady. And what about the Lord of the House?
Iseu. Torus… perhaps you should ask him in person, Iodia. I know not what his plans are.
Iod. Yes, milady. [Aside] And lo! Is that a chance I see?
To prey upon his misery?
Her ladyship gives but a cold embrace,
Perhaps… if he saw more than just my face…
Luc. Do you see it in her eyes, Mordacia? That girl is evil, I swear!
Mor. You imagine too much, Lucia. She is sweet! And she but barely arrived this week, how can you judge her so soon?
Luc. Have you seen how she looks at his Lordship?
Mor. No, truthfully, I have not, for unlike others, I have been busy working rather than picking on newcomers.
Luc. Bah! Well I recognise that look in her eye. She is a predator, mark my words, and if our ladyship is not careful…
Mor. Whatever, Lucia. I happen to like the girl, so leave me out of your schemes and plots.
Iseu. They think I do not hear the whispers that go on behind my back. They think I only have these ears to hear them with. Oh sweet Iodia, I had wished you would comfort my husband in my long absences, and yet you grow greedy and wish only to use him. Please… do not force my hand into matters that I would very much rather leave alone. Tread lightly, sweet Iodia, for this is dangerous ground you walk on.
END OF ACT I