This is the second play I wrote. I don’t think I’ve done any revisions, unlike the first (which had 3 entire re-writes.) I put this down a good two or three years ago, but it’s still pretty good in my books today. This is only the intro, and that’s all I had finished. This is the first time Hannah and the Djeb ever appeared.
Scene one – The Ritual
Long ago, a nomad tribe of the god of Birth paused.
Compelled to rest, unsure the caused.
As days turned to months, one tribe became many.
And a single traveler camp became a city.
The city grew, and not before long,
Other people came, to see what was going on.
“They say our city is the largest around.
I do not doubt the bards’ information; sound.
Sometimes I wish that we could walk back to the nomadic days
Although the Emperor tells me, “isn’t being a priest of Birth just okay?”
I just don’t know…
Lights on Hannah drawing a symbol on the ground with her feet. Rektis, Thug, Salt and Serra watch, facing away from the audience.
Salt enters stage left and talks to Rektis.
Salt – Can you tell me the location of the temple?
Rektis – Of Birth? Yeah, it’s right behind her. She’s doing one of the rituals right now, so you should, ya know.
They look on as Hannah finishes her ritual. At the end, the small crowd disperses except for Serra, who walks up to Hannah, making sure to step on the lines of the symbol only.
Serra – Have you applied yet?
Hannah – …You know I cannot do so and still make time for my duties.
Serra – Aww come on, just take a hiatus or something!
Hannah – Your ignorance will not solve my problems. As a priest of the god of Birth, I have no days off. If he calls me to do a ritual, I must comply. I know that the city guard would not appreciate my chronic absence.
Serra – Okay well can’t you just, I don’t know, ask for a break? Get someone to cover for you?
Hannah – One does not simply commune with the gods. In fact, only Gwenhime of the Solune has ever had direct contact with the god of Birth.
Serra – Of all the gods, we in the Djeb had to choose the anti-social one, huh. Anyway, all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t pass up this opportunity.
Hannah – Do you not know that the opportunity has not been available to me for some time now?
Serra – What?
Hannah – I tried to join many years ago. The captain of our district, Sesta, told me that she would get me in if I could defeat her in a duel.
Serra – Isn’t Sesta a master with the sword?
Hannah – She told me that it would be an unarmed duel. To be fair…
Sesta – Okay, I’ll be fair. We will duel… unarmed. If you are victorious, I’ll apprentice you myself. If not, well, I will not let you sign up for the guard ever again.
Hannah – I accept.
Sesta – Alright, we need a non-partisan.
(Salt enters SL)
Hannah – What?
Sesta – A witness. (To Salt) Hey, you!
Salt – I’m in a hurry.
Sesta – Excuse me?
Salt – Pardon me! Sir, I would be honored to aid the guard!
Sesta – Good. Be a witness for this duel. Be ready to testify, I think that our little priest might deny her loss. Standard rules. (As Salt takes his line, Sesta takes off her weapons and armor and puts them to the side)
Salt – Okay, standard duel rules. You can’t exit this square, weapons and armor aren’t allowed, and if no victor is declared by nightfall I have to end the duel and pick up the next day. If someone breaks a rule, I declare them the loser.
Hannah – Umm… that is fine.
Salt – Right. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!
(So, there’s a fight here. A very quiet fight. Sesta lets Hannah think she’s winning but then she defeats her in one punch, defeating all of Hannah’s hope in the process and knocking her to the ground.)
Salt – Alright, Captain Sesta is the winner. Now, I really must leave. (Exit SR)
Sesta – Now, leave me alone. The guard has no place for priests!
Hannah – (Still on the ground) I… I can never sign up to join the guard… Maybe this is a sign from Birth?
Serra – Man, I heard Sesta was strict but I didn’t know she hated priests!
Hannah – Hmm… Should not you know? You work for her.
Serra – Yeah, but, ah, you never really know your boss, ya know?
Hannah – …Mmm. Possibly.
Scene two – Recruitment
The Opportunist –
|This priest, |she has |per-formed |the rit-|u-al|
|Her opp-|or-tu-|-ni-ties |op-en. |her soul|
|A-waits |a push |from me, |of this |I know|
|I feel |the time |to make |my move |is now…|
Lights on Hannah in her simple home. I don’t know what it looks like, put a bed in or something. Scene requires 3 chairs and a (preferably) wooden table. Maybe she’s doing a menial task too.
Hannah – No, there is no chance of me being a knight. Oh, my brother… if I was in the guard that day, would you be alive with me now? Would it be enough to stop that zealot Wake from taking you…
There is a knock at her door, SR
Hannah – Ah, likely the head priest. Or possibly the young emperor, she might be wondering how to finish the third loop… (She goes SR and answers the door) I hark, who is this stranger?
The Opportunist enters. There is someone else behind the door, but he does not enter.
Opportunist – |I have |come to |help you |push your |fears aside.|
Hannah – You have an unusual way of speaking.
Opportunist – |Could not |the same |be said| of your| very| self?|
Hannah – A priest of birth is taught the dialect of nomads past. It is all I have spoken for many years, and I doubt I would be able to revert.
Salt – (Entering, finally) I noticed that. This man once spoke the way you presently do, but he picked up a more scholarly tone. It can be unsettling at times.
Hannah – Would either of you strangers like tea then?
|No, I |have come |for some-|thing that |you said|
|Al-low |me to |speak un-|in-ter-|up-ted.|
Hannah – Do so, but first take a seat.
Salt – Thank you. Ah, I would however, would take you up on that offer.
Hannah – I have no tea.
|Here is |a pos-|ter from |the cen-|ter of|
He places a poster with a drawn image of Hanna’s brother on the table. It is a missing poster (signed by Captain Sesta herself!)
Hannah – Would you provoke some sort of grievance?
|No, I |have come |to force |op-en | a path|
|From here |to your |bett-er |fut-ure | of wrath|
|I am |here to |en-able |you to | forge your|
Hannah – Why must you speak such foreign words in such a strange a manner!
Opportunist – |The same |rea-son |you speak |like a |no-mad.|
Hannah – Hey! Don’t down my heritage!
Salt – And now it is my turn to speak.
The Opportunist takes his leave and walks out the still open door.
Hannah – Where is he going, leaving his devious cohort?
Salt – Devious? We are members of the god of Tendrils’ cult.
Hannah – I have learned not to trust the cults.
Salt – Hah, not all are bad. We are guided by the god of Tendrils, Pentazin himself. We perform his will. The questing my boss was asking is this: Will you perform his, or more accurately, your own will? Will you Rise Against your brother’s enslavers?
Hannah – My brother was killed.
Salt – I have witnessed the man on this poster living, chained to the ball, slaving at the palace of Birth.
Hannah – Do not relate that hǣthen structure to my sacred god!
Salt – Well, that’s where he is. We have plans to raid that slave house in eighteen days. With the aid of the guard, who finds the acts committed within as despicable as us, we will perform a standard raid. All capable of fighting will do so; meaning that liberating the slaves is task with no one to perform. Will you?
Hannah – You walk into my house, tell me of my long dead brother, insult my God, and ask me to free prisoners in a raid?! (She plans to turn the ridiculous offer down)
Salt – One last thing. You will receive a standard fourteen days training in preparation for unexpected opposition in your mission.
Hannah – Combat training? Knight training?
Salt – Well, similar to knight or guard training but more offensive. More for KOing an opponent then simply subduing them.
Hannah – I could use it against the captain?!
Salt – Possibly. After the raid, of course. We actually need her command for the guard’s assault.
Hannah – I will consider your offer.
Salt – Eighteen days, minus fourteen days training, minus two days rest. You have two days to make up your mind. My boss will be at the Stranger tea house After Dark tonight, tomorrow night and the night after should you decide to join our ranks, if only for this raid.
Hannah – Ah…