Some In-Depth Q and A

By eugena On July 5th, 2011

Currently watching SKU…I am one happy otaku.

Hello loyal fans and readers. Today’s been dramatic in the USA…after all, it has been the Anthony verdict. I’m going to refrain from making comments. I am sure I will be having lots of chats about it when I return to law school this fall.

The Age of Merrik, it its initial form was a book I had in my mind many years ago. In one sense, I feel like it has been my entire writing life. When I was still a kid, I wrote that book. In my mind anyway and kept notes on it. Years had passed and I morphed it into its second form, one featuring the Swordmasters, then later into the final form which was edited and published.

The Merrik of long ago focused on a trio — Zira, Zsastar, and Zaedrif. Yes, they are all “Z” for a reason. They were the reason for those three crystals. There was in fact another story entirely for them. That story passed into legend and two of the names were reused as new characters. Zsastar, still The General, now had a father, Malik, and the backstory of Sethane took roots. Zsastar now fought the Swordmasters — save Eleya — whom he still desires to dominate. No, Zsastar does not love. He is not capable. He is immature, but dangerous. He won’t falter to slay anyone — except Eleya. Zaedrif was no longer the teenage child. He became a cunning traitor — though most of his treachery was in fact a motivation I would have for Dark Desires.

Dark Desires and Rise of the New Masters will depart their predecessor and feature many changes, one of which is last names.

Some of the questions I have received:

  • What about John and Miriam?
  • What about Cle’an
  • What’s the deal with the crystals?

I’ve gotten the crystals question quite a lot. So, I’ll give you all a little hint: very important to mind/power transference. Yeah, not really too much of an answer. Eleya did not seem to have much effect with the blue one, but her memory and power had been sealed away by the end of Dark Desires which effects the influence of the crystal. Why did Zaedrif have them at first? Okay, I’ve already spoiled it a bit. He’s really a bad guy, but a bad guy at the end of his life, seeking to earn his redemption. Is he the same person as the Dark Desires baddie? You will all have to wait for that.

John and Miriam will have some sort of reunion. Cle’an will face his past and show his true loyalties. Will those crystals be important again. Yes, you all can bet on that.

I will need to flesh out the past a bit more (Dark Desires). For now, I’m focusing on Megami Pandora and Shinigami Saga.

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New Masters and Dark Desires Simultaneous Development

By eugena On March 26th, 2011

I am writing more of Dark Desires than Rise of the New Masters, but New Masters will be a “bookend” to may of the events of Dark Desires. It will provide closure and return The Age of Merrik series to a more lineal development.

I originally planned 6-8 novels but right now here are the definites in reading order:

Dark Desires
The Age of Merrik: The Anointing
The Age of Merrik: Rise of the New Masters

It will probably be a very short “Rise” and although I will try to have it stand on its own, reading Dark Desires will give the reader a better understanding of the small details.

Killing off the Cast

For Dark Desires, I will have to create a lot of swordmasters. And most of them will die off. They are having a massive war, after all. So here is a list of known masters.

**Spoiler Warning**

Anara, Elenas, and Children — Historical figures, featured in DD, TA, ROTNM
Areya – TA, ROTNM
Eleya, Regina – DD, TA, ROTNM
Merrik – TA, ROTNM
Nathan – DD, TA, ROTNM
Zaedrif – DD, TA, ROTNM
Zibiah – DD, TA

And for the “floater” awards: Skye, Zaelen, Nemara

The characters get last names in DD and ROTNM.

I suppose King Malik has to get defeated in one of these books, but I might give him a long reign for now.

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The Story of The Age of Merrik: The Anointing

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This is my first book in The Age of Merrik series. I am currently working on a sequel.

The first chapter is a brief backstory of the General Zsastar/Swordmasters Eleya and Zaedrif conlfict in the city of Rikan.

The story continues to reveal Merrik, the beloved ruler of the neighboring city of Tyera, betrayed by none other than his future wife and many of his followers. Merrik must confront the same General who murdered his father and permanently disfigured his mother. He must align himself with the dying group of warriors, the Swordmasters, in order to save Tyera and Rikan from The General’s plotting and prevent The General from creating a god.

(my goodreads)

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AOM Memories

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

May not be appropriate for young readers.

In the midst of writing the second book, I think back to the many memories of the first.

The first is the vow: I’m sure some of you think “what’s the big deal on this kiss” sorry got to say that was when I decided “I should not do any more flashbacks or lessons on history.” It really is a plot device and is somewhat important but it only affects some characters. It will be explained in AOM 2. I think I did a zine article on that one.

I also wrote a great scene with Eleya (taking place before AOM: TA) where she is pregnant (or at least she thinks so — could be a nasty spell) and married to Zaedrif. Now with the ending I think, “Crap! Can’t use that now.” But maybe I can use that as a “prophetic dream” instead. It’s such a great scene that I love, I will be fitting it in somewhere.

Perhaps the most disturbing memory comes actually from a reader. He read parts of the first version of the story, which featured a different herione and a different Zaedrif (though the name remained the same). Although I am very familiar on how to use incest in literature (I read japanese manga and light novels and watch anime — it’s full of incest in the weirdest places. Not to meantion that incest itself is absolutely disgusting.), I never once used that in AOM. Not even for the baddies. But he said something like, “Oh, I get it. Zsastar and Kerris (the protagonist) are brother and sister and Zaedrif is their secret child.”

NO. No way. I realize later — I’m not a doctor but it became obvious — that he had a secret desire of incest. No, I could not pass off this reference to Japanese manga/anime/novels, as he was not into them.

WOW amazing what you learn about people even when you’re not trying to learn about them.

Trivia: I finished the first full version of this novel before I was 18 — wow that’s a long time ago. (And it’s really amusing that at law school and during my externship so many people think I’m really young and I’m older than they think. I won’t say how old I am on the ‘net.)

Merrik’s hair: why did I do it that way? I just felt like it. Why black? Black in literature = death. Also, I think Malik meant “dark king” or something like that though in the first version I did not introduce Malik (King of Sethane).

Sex: One reader complained there was no sex. But he was wrong. It’s like violence in a Greek play — it happens off-stage. Miriam gets pregnant (by John) and obviously sex had to be involved. Use your imagination.

Sexism and women hatred: At one point Eleya might have been a widow — then found out her husband was alive when she married Merrik (I have not decided when/if she and Merrik get married now). This reader called Eleya a WHORE. But cheered on Zaedrif who is definitely a whore.

THE SEXIST MALE POINT OF VIEW: MEN SHOULD SCREW AROUND WITH EVERYBODY AND THEY ARE A HERO. WOMEN SHOULD ALWAYS BE A VIRGIN WHEN MARRIED AND ONLY “HAVE” ONE MALE.

I’m glad I have gotten a lot of feedback on this. Prepare to have butt kicking. If you are the sexist view of above, your butt is thoroughly kicked in advance.

And why hasn’t anyone figured out WHY all the swordmaster true leaders are FEMALE? It’s my version of kicking the pathetic butt of you sexist people. ESPECIALLY YOU RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS THAT ENCOURAGE RAPE, ABUSE, AND MURDER OF FEMALES FOR AN EXCUSE BACKED UP BY YOUR SO-CALLED “RELIGION.”

If you really enjoy reading about females being abused, I recommend The Sword of Truth seies. I expected it to be great after watching the tv show, but it really is a playground for those who fantasize about the abuse, rape, etc of women and minor (though the focus is on the women).

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AOM 2 Ending Written

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

I’m beginning to think I should start writing the ending first always. Well, it was easier to do since this was a sequel. Sequels are really HARD to write in my opinion. But at last, I have written (detailed outline) the ending of this book (Rise of the New Masters), now to write my way there from the beginning. Another great adventure in writing continues.

As a side note, I am considering not including Jonas in this one as he was greatly in love with Brianna who does not appear in this novel. Although he gets somewhat close to Eleya and decides what Brianna has done to her is wrong in the screenplay adaption, this does not show in the first novel. Although, I could just write in a few references or flashback scenes.

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The Age of Merrik: The Screenplay Adaptation (Excerpt)

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

Based on the first book, The Anointing. Note that due to WordPress limitations, there are formatting issues.

The Age of Merrik: The Screenplay Adaptation (Excerpt) By Eugena Moulton

FADE IN:

EXT. TYERAN VILLAGE DAY

FOLK MUSIC plays while a GROUP OF VILLAGERS dances. They raise and stomp their feet in perfect rhythm to a DRUM BEAT.

Falling leaves frame the faces of the main couple, MERRIK, 27, and BRIANNA, 25, as they dance together.

Off to the side of Merrik, a tall man, CLE’AN, 29, watches them. He plays a fife. Beside Cle’an, JIERIN, 23, raises his drum stick as the villagers raise their feet.

Merrik leans in to kiss Brianna, and she giggles.

At the end of their song, Cle’an stops playing his fife and puts his hand on Merrik’s shoulder.

CLE’AN
I never thought I would see the day you would settle down.

MERRIK
A man has to settle down some time, old friend.

CLE’AN
I am glad to see this day with you.

Jierin puts down his drum sticks and walks over to Merrik and Brianna.

JIERIN
May you find perfect happiness.

CLE’AN
May the Serafin grant you wisdom in your life’s journey.

Cle’an raises his hand to the group of villagers.

CLE’AN
So let the one hundred days of betrothal begin.

EXT. TYERAN COURTYARD – DAY

As the betrothal party continues in the distance, Brianna walks onto the courtyard of Merrik’s castle. Her scarlet dress and blonde hair contrast against the grey of the castle walls. She stops at a vine that has grown up the castle wall. She plays with it between her fingers.

JONAS, 26, steps around the castle wall. He runs his hand through his dirty blonde hair. He holds a red rose in his other hand.

JONAS
Isn’t a little rude, my lady, to leave one’s betrothal party?

BRIANNA
There will be others, I’m sure.

JONAS
Not all given by the great Cle’an. An honor not to be missed.

He holds the rose out to her.

JONAS
Even if you do not want that honor.

BRIANNA
(takes the rose)
And what would you know of my desires?

JONAS
More than you would dare to know.

He grabs her in his arms and kisses her passionately. She breaks it quickly and looks around.

JONAS
We’re alone.

BRIANNA
You should have waited for me.

JONAS
Where? In your quarters? We’d never find privacy there.

BRIANNA
(smiling)
We always have.

JONAS
Not today. Your mentor has come back from his travels.

BRIANNA
He’s here?

JONAS
Don’t worry. I made certain he stayed out of sight.

Brianna turns and walks away. Jonas pursues her.

JONAS
So soon?

He places his arm around her.

JONAS
We’ve only started.

BRIANNA
I must go meet him, Jonas.

JONAS
Whenever he returns, our meetings get less and less. Don’t tell me you’re with him.

BRIANNA
Do you think I’d forget you?

Brianna places her hand to his face.

BRIANNA
We have so many things to do.

Brianna lightly kisses him on his lips.

BRIANNA
And he is a busy man.

INT. BRIANNA’S QUARTERS – DAY

THE GENERAL ZSASTAR, 34, looks into a crude mirror. He dips his hands into a washbasin and splashes water on his face.

He picks up a small knife and begins to shave his red beard. He finishes shaving off one side and places the knife on the other. He shaves downward and nicks his skin. His eyes flash golden yellow in the mirror.

He rubs his cut and his eyes return to green. He continues to shave.

With a SQUEAK, Brianna opens the door from the hallway. She comes in and closes the door. Zsastar turns to her and eyes her up and down.

ZSASTAR
You look the part.

BRIANNA
And you shaved. You look younger. I like you better this way.

Brianna places her head on his chest.

BRIANNA
I am ready for this to be over.

ZSASTAR
All in due time.

Brianna looks up at him. She begins to kiss him, but he turns away.

ZSASTAR
Due time, Brianna. Now get back to Merrik. He will start to wonder where you have been.

EXT. TYERAN COURTYARD – NIGHT

MERRIK holds Brianna in his arms as they look up at the stars. Brianna looks back to where she met Jonas earlier.

MERRIK
It was a good day, my love.

BRIANNA hesitantly looks back at him.

MERRIK
What’s wrong? You seemed upset earlier.

BRIANNA
It’s just overwhelming, Merrik. The betrothal, everything.

MERRIK
I know you don’t agree, but I must honor the memory of my father. We have to wait one hundred days before marriage.

BRIANNA breaks their embrace and stands beside him.

BRIANNA
You are the leader now. You can break that tradition.

MERRIK
It’s all I ask.

BRIANNA
Then tell Cle’an and Jierin no more parties. I can’t take this, Merrik.

MERRIK
You should be happy. Everyone just wants to tell us how happy they are for us.

BRIANNA
They’re only doing this for you. They didn’t ask my opinion.

Merrik touches her face with his hand. He looks into her eyes.

MERRIK
Then I’ll tell them. I want you to be happy.

BRIANNA
Thank you.

Brianna kisses him briefly, turns her head from him, and then grimaces. She smiles and looks back at the stars.

INT. CLE’AN’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Cle’an kneels on the stone floor of his room at the foot of his bed.

He holds his cutlass in one hand in front of him. He lowers its tip to the floor. Cle’an closes his eyes.

CLE’AN
Great Serafin, may I honor you as my parents did before me. Give me strength, courage, and mastery of the blade.

A faint HUM fills the room. Cle’an opens his eyes and sees a mist surround his blade.

In the mist he sees THE SWORD MASTER ELEYA, 26, riding a grey horse. She looks behind her, and nudges the horse to ride faster. Her SHARP BREATHS echo in a panic.

CLE’AN
(falters)
It cannot be.

Cle’an reaches forward and touches the mist. The mist condenses into a blue liquid on his fingers. He rubs his fingers together and stares back at his vision. It begins to fade.

INT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Merrik tosses and turns on his bed while he sleeps.

EXT. WINTER FIELD – NIGHT (DREAM SEQUENCE)

Merrik opens his eyes as he stands boot-deep in snow. He holds his sword in his right hand, and the blade points towards the ground.

He lifts his sword and rests the other end of his sword on his left palm. Snow slides off the end of the blade and to the ground.

ELEYA (O.S.)
(weak)
Merrik? I am sorry, Merrik.

Merrik looks around in search of the speaker. On a small hill in the distance, he sees a sword planted in the ground. The hilt shines in a silver light. Merrik races towards the sword.

He slips in the snow, drops his sword, and falls next to Eleya. Her eyes are halfway closed and her struggles to inhale shallow breaths.

The hue of her blue eyes begins to fade. He reaches out to touch her. She slowly turns her head to him.

In her still gaze, blood trickles down the side of her mouth onto the snow.

Merrik snaps his hand back.

ELEYA
I could not stop him this time.

Merrik lifts her head a bit. Her breathing eases.

ELEYA
My time is done.

Eleya GASPS then SHARPLY EXHALES.

Merrik lowers her head to the snow and closes her eyelids. Merrik rests a hand to her cheek.

A tall figure cloaked in a yellow robe walks up behind him.

FEMALE VOICE
Why do you begrudge the living for a memory?

Merrik turns around and sees the figure. He can see only its piercing blue eyes from beneath its hood. Merrik jumps to his feet and eyes his sword on the snow.

As he leans down and picks up his sword, Eleya fades, and the landscape transforms.

EXT RIKAN VILLAGE – DAY (DREAM SEQUENCE)

Merrik raises his sword and looks at where the figure was standing. It is gone. He sees a dwelling in front of him. He kicks dirt beneath his feet.

MERRIK
Not this place, please.

Merrik watches his a tall blonde man leave the building. As the man turns to talk to the person beside him, Merrik realizes he is his father.

MERRIK’S FATHER
I had hoped things would go better today, but you know how people are. Little differences.

Merrik’s father continues talking to his side, but Merrik notices there is no one there.

MERRIK’S FATHER
You’ll understand when you rule in my place.

His father stops walking.

MERRIK’S FATHER

Merrik?

The man turns around to see Merrik watching him.

MERRIK’S FATHER
My, you’re fast.

His father studies his face.

MERRIK’S FATHER
You’ve grown, but how can that be?

MERRIK
(uncertain)

Father?

MERRIK’S FATHER
Yes?

MERRIK
There hasn’t been a battle today?

MERRIK’S FATHER
Of course not. Don’t be over dramatic. We’re in the middle of negotiations.

He places a hand on Merrik’s shoulder.

MERRIK’S FATHER
Sometimes I think it would be easier if your mother and I just handled things. You know, no councils. They always disagree.

MERRIK
It’s never been easy.
(pauses)
I’ve missed you, father.

MERRIK’S FATHER
I’ll always be here for you, Merrik.

JIERIN (O.S.)
Merrik?

Merrik takes his father’s hand as it begins to fade.

END DREAM SEQUENCE.

INT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Merrik still tosses in bed as Jierin shakes him.

JIERIN
Merrik, wake up.

Merrik slowly and reluctantly opens his eyes.

MERRIK
Jierin? What’s the matter?

JIERIN
You must hurry. Lady Casseya has arrived here from Rikan.

Merrik bolts up in bed.

MERRIK
Take me to her.

INT. CLE’AN’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Merrik and Jierin rush in on CASSEYA, 24, Cle’an, and a HEALER. Casseya lies on Cle’an’s bed, barely conscious. Her matted, long black hair blankets the pillow. Her lips are wind burned.

The healer feeds her from a bowl of herbs. Cle’an sits on a chair beside her and holds her hand.

CLE’AN
Does she live?

Merrik rushes to Casseya’s side.

MERRIK
(to Cle’an)
What happened?

CLE’AN
She got here as soon as she could. There is a -.

He looks up briefly to Jierin.

CLE’AN
Her Ladyship is missing.

Merrik’s lips falter in silence.

CLE’AN
(hushed)
Some of the villagers there found a woman.

Merrik takes Casseya’s hand from Cle’an.

MERRIK
(urgent)
It’s me, Merrik. Please, Cass, you must tell me about the woman.

Casseya’s lips begin to move. Merrik leans in to listen.

CASSEYA
Hurt. Bloody. Liana took her. I couldn’t talk to her. She kept calling your name. I came here as soon as I could.

Merrik squeezes her hand.

MERRIK
Thank you, Casseya.
(to Cle’an)
Take care of her.

Merrik begins to leave. Cle’an stops him.

CLE’AN
Where are you going?

MERRIK
I must go to Rikan. They’ll need me if Her Ladyship is gone.

CLE’AN
Your place is here. I will go.

MERRIK
They may still respect me there. I don’t trust Liana.

CLE’AN
The woman – she may not be any ordinary woman. I believe she may be -.

MERRIK
(interrupts)
I know who she is.

CLE’AN
What she is, Merrik. That will always come first.

MERRIK
How could I forget?

He turns again to the door.

MERRIK
Take care of things.

CLE’AN
You should not go alone.

JIERIN
Then I’ll go.

CLE’AN
(protests)
You are no second-in-command. One day you may be, but not today.

JIERIN
I know. I’m not trying to take your place.
(glances at Merrik)
But if Merrik goes, he’ll need you here. The people will need you here. Wise one, please give me a chance.

Jierin looks to Cle’an. Cle’an nods to Merrik.

MERRIK
Saddle your horse, Jierin.

INT. ANCESTRAL SHRINE – DAY

The wind HOWLS through an open door to the shrine. A mural of a battle scene dominates the left wall of the shrine. A mural of a peaceful forest scene dominates the right wall.

Cle’an traces his finger over inscribed text on the forest mural. He mouths the words. Merrik stands behind him and observes him for a few moments.

MERRIK
When I have lost my way, or think too much of myself, let me always remember my shortcomings to humble me into a leader.

CLE’AN
Your father was always wise, Merrik.
(turns to him)
Your people miss him, but they accept you more and more every day.

MERRIK
How could they not, after the battle that claimed his life?

CLE’AN
You are right to wait for the right time. Soon we can reunite the two kingdoms. But your betrothal sets me at unrest.

MERRIK
I will be a good husband to Brianna.

CLE’AN
But will she make a good wife for you? I know where your heart lies. You were never the only one who was in love with her.

MERRIK
What she is comes first, you said it yourself.

CLE’AN
You accept that now? So you came here for your father’s guidance? To assure you of that?

MERRIK
He came to me in a dream, Cle’an. It was a memory, but not a memory. I spoke to him. Before he was killed. I saw her, too.

CLE’AN
Visions, Merrik. Finally our sight is returning.

MERRIK
But I am not comforted. She died in front of me. Why didn’t I stop it?

CLE’AN
It was a vision, Merrik. Not a dream that you could control.

MERRIK
You’re a better seer than I. What does it all mean?

CLE’AN
Perhaps it is a warning. A time coming of great turmoil. Perhaps it is time to call upon the refugees.

MERRIK
Tessa would not like -.

CLE’AN
She is Her Ladyship’s daughter. If her mother is gone, it is time for her to take her place.
(pause)
Please trust my wisdom, as your father did before you.

INT. BRIANNA’S QUARTERS – DAY

Brianna sits on her bed and scowls at Merrik. He stands before her with his back to her.

BRIANNA
I tell you what I don’t understand. I don’t understand why, during our betrothal, that you are going to Rikan.

Brianna crosses her arms in front of her chest.

BRIANNA
What do you want there? They’re nothing compared to us. Why do you care?

MERRIK
They’re a lot like us, Brianna. They’re not so different.

BRIANNA
Look at me when you say that. Tell me you really believe it.

Merrik sits beside her. He puts his arms around her shoulder. His arm catches a lock of her long blonde hair. She pulls her hair free and pushes his arm away.

MERRIK
Let’s not talk about politics. It always makes you so unhappy.

BRIANNA
Only when you don’t listen to me. This always takes you away from me.

MERRIK
Oh, my love, despite what you feel, I still love you even when we disagree.

Merrik holds her again.

MERRIK
I’m not going there on a matter of politics. I’m going there to pay my respects.

BRIANNA
(cold)
Your respects? Has their leader died?

Merrik takes his arm off her. He looks away.

MERRIK
(somber)
No, but someone you should pay your respects to. If not for her -.

BRIANNA
Her? I see what this is all about now.

MERRIK
Don’t be rash. I only love you. I just need to pay my respects. It’s only right.

Merrik briefly kisses her. She says nothing.

MERRIK
I’ll see you soon. I won’t take long.

Not taking his eyes off her, he opens her door and leaves.

Brianna gets up and closes the door. With an eerie yellow light, Zsastar materializes next to her bed.

ZSASTAR
I suppose that went well.

Brianna turns around, surprised to see him.

BRIANNA

(hesitant)
I didn’t think you were here. I thought you were busy.

ZSASTAR
Never too busy for you. What did he want?

BRIANNA
Nothing. Just to tell me he’s going to Rikan. He wants to pay his respects.

Brianna inches closer.

ZSASTAR
Respects?

BRIANNA
Yeah. To some woman.

Zsastar touches her face.

ZSASTAR
I must arrive before him, then.

BRIANNA
But what about me?

ZSASTAR
You will have your time in the sun, Brianna. Our plan is almost at hand.

INT. LIANA’S dwelling DAY

LIANA, 23, opens the small wooden window shutters. She breathes in deeply. She returns to her bedside and leans her thin frame over Eleya, who lies on the bed.

She reaches her hand down to Eleya’s nostrils. She watches the shallow rise and fall of Eleya’s chest.

GRACE, 20, rushes in. She throws her long, red hair over her shoulder and looks quickly to Liana. Her brown eyes narrow on Eleya, and she turns away.

GRACE
Sorry, mistress.

LIANA
What is it?

GRACE
(babbling)
I just thought you might want to know. I didn’t know you were with the sick. I suppose this could wait but -.

LIANA
(impatient)
What?

GRACE
(quiet)
There’s a man in the village.

LIANA
A who?

GRACE
A strange man. He keeps looking in all the huts. And he scares me, Liana. His eyes, oh his eyes. I’m afraid he’ll see me.

LIANA
Calm down. Now, where is he?

Zsastar steps through the doorway.

ZSASTAR
Right here.
(to Grace)
Thank you for the entrance, miss.

LIANA
You’re not welcome here, Tyeran scum.

ZSASTAR
I should be. You should welcome me with open arms.

LIANA
Get out.

ZSASTAR
Or what could you do to me?

Zsastar reaches his hand towards Grace and zaps her with a yellow energy bolt. Liana stumbles forward to examine Grace, and Zsastar moves his open hand towards her. She slinks back.

ZSASTAR
Now that our witness is out of the way.

He walks forward. She steps back a few paces until the back of her legs hit the bed. Zsastar shoves her away to look at Eleya. He places his hand carefully on her chest. Her chest rises and falls.

ZSASTAR
(smiles)
Barely alive.

He turns back to Liana.

ZSASTAR
How many others know about her?

LIANA
No one.

ZSASTAR
We will see.

Zsastar returns to Eleya and brushes her dark brown hair with the back of his hand. He crouches down to her bedside. He forces one of her eyelids oven with his fingers. Her grey iris stares blankly at him.

He looks at Liana who approaches the doorway.

ZSASTAR
How long has she been like this?

LIANA
A few days.

He reaches inside of his brown cloak and pulls out a small vial of orange liquid.

ZSASTAR
Give her this.

LIANA
Why should I? She’s almost dead already.

ZSASTAR
Fool! I do not want her dead.

LIANA
You give it to her yourself.

ZSASTAR
Brave words, foolish brave words. Give it to her now or end up
(indicates Grace)
like your friend here.

Liana timidly takes the vial walks over to Eleya. She removes its small cork. She takes Eleya’s bottom lip between her fingers and pulls it down, and as her hand shakes, empties the vial’s contents into Eleya’s mouth.

A drop spills on her hand. She brushes it off. Zsastar grabs her hand with his right hand. Liana looks at his hand and notices a deep scar that wraps from around halfway down his forearm to his wrist.

ZSASTAR
Now you will listen to me.

EXT. RIKAN VILLAGE – DAY

Merrik dismounts his horse, and Jierin follows suit. As the sunlight shines down, Merrik squints. He holds his hand up to shield his eyes.

A few RIKAN VILLAGERS hold woven baskets of fruit and walk towards a farmer’s market. They stop, turn to him, and put down their baskets.

Merrik sees them and looks towards the market, noticing a red head woman in a green cloak, KATHERINE, 27, holding up a fish on a line.

MERRIK
You, there, fisherman – woman. May I have a word with you?

KATHERINE
Certainly, sir.

Katherine stares at the villagers neglecting their baskets.

KATHERINE
As long as you do not mind we continue our daily routine?

MERRIK
I didn’t come to interrupt. I had hoped to catch up on old times with your worthy leader.

An OUTSPOKEN VILLAGER scowls at him as she leans on her fruit basket.

OUTSPOKEN VILLAGER
Who are you to speak of Her Ladyship? Do you dare say you are her confidant?

Katherine leaves her fish on a market counter. She steadies the outspoken villager with a hand on her shoulder.

KATHERINE
He’s traveled far. Let him say his peace.

MERRIK
I had heard that perhaps I should speak to Liana first.

KATHERINE
She’s not here, so you will have to speak to me.

MERRIK
Fine.
He bows slightly to Katherine.

MERRIK
I am Merrik of Tyera.

Katherine quickly bows to him. She takes his hand and tugs him past the small crowd. Merrik pulls his hand back.

KATHERINE
We’ve no time.

Merrik looks back to Jierin. He follows them while leading their horses by their reigns.

KATHERINE
(to the outspoken villager)
Take care of their horses.

OUTSPOKEN VILLAGER
(slightly reluctant)
Yes, lady.

KATHERINE
(to Merrik)
Your friend can come with us. Hurry.

Merrik waves at Jierin. He relinquishes the reigns to the outspoken villager and follows Katherine’s lead.

MERRIK
(to Katherine)
You seem well-respected here.

KATHERINE
Most will not be rude to a warrior.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Katherine leads him into Liana’s dwelling. Eleya lies on the bed. A pale sheet covers her up to her neck. Sunlight from the window shines on her face, but she does not stir.

Merrik timidly walks to the bedside. He checks for her pulse at her neck. He throws the covers back on the bed, and holds his ear to her chest.

He looks back to Katherine. Jierin stands beside her.

JIERIN
Is she -?

MERRIK
(interrupting)
Shh. Don’t say anything. She can still hear you. Katherine, did she have any weapons with her?

KATHERINE
Not that I found.

MERRIK
Maybe this will still work.

Merrik unsheathes his sword. He takes Eleya’s right hand in his and closes her hand around the handle of the blade.

MERRIK
Come on.

He squeezes tighter.

MERRIK
Wake, master, please. We need you. This is Merrik. I know you remember me. You saved me.

A faint blue light surrounds the hilt. Eleya slightly stirs.

KATHERINE
I found my sister right by her. Perhaps you would know how to wake her as well?

Merrik looks back at Jierin.

MERRIK
Jierin, do you remember we revived Cle’an with the Krishant root?

JIERIN
Yes.

MERRIK
Do you know how to make it?

Jierin nods.

MERRIK
Show it to her.

Merrik returns to Eleya and sheaths his sword. He takes her hand and bows to her. He stands.

MERRIK
I must go see Her Ladyship.

KATHERINE
She’s gone missing.

MERRIK
I know. But perhaps she left a clue.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Katherine places her hand on Merrik’s shoulder. He turns to her.

KATHERINE
He’ll ask how you knew that would work.

MERRIK
Of course he will. Wait, you knew that would work, too?

KATHERINE
This isn’t the first time I’ve met a weapons master, and I’m sorry to say it may not be the last.

MERRIK
What do you mean?

KATHERINE
Who else could kill a weapons master? Only another weapons master or the Serafin.

MERRIK
She’s not dead, yet.

KATHERINE
But she should be, and that’s what worries me.

INT. CASTLE CORRIDOR – DAY

Cle’an walks down the stone corridor past torch lights mounted on the walls to either side of him. He walks past Brianna’s door, which is cracked opened.

BRIANNA (O.S.)
You expect me to agree to this?

Cle’an returns to Brianna’s door and peeks in. He sees Brianna holding a glass of wine. She tilts her head slightly up to talk to someone he cannot see.

INT. BRIANNA’S QUARTERS – DAY

Brianna’s green eyes glare at Zsastar who stands across from her.

BRIANNA
To work with someone from Rikan?

ZSASTAR
Liana will not give you any trouble. I have made sure of that.

Brianna takes a large gulp of wine. She smooths a wrinkle in her black dress.

BRIANNA
She’s dead, I hope.

ZSASTAR
You think too small, Brianna. Do not worry about her. It is your Cle’an we must deal with now.

INT. CASTLE CORRIDOR – DAY

CLE’AN backs away from the door and hurries down the corridor.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Jierin leans over a small wooden table. Katherine looks over his shoulder as he mashes the small brown Krishant root in a red clay bowl. Katherine pours water from a jug into the bowl.

Another similar bowl sits beside it. It contains the already mixed light brown Krishant broth.

INT. HER LADYSHIP’S DWELLING – DAY

Merrik sulks in a corner of the dwelling with his back to the wall. He holds a parchment loosely in his hand. It falls.

MERRIK
Come back. Please, come back.

FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
Get up. It may become too late. Get up.

MERRIK
You’ve already left. It doesn’t matter.

FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
I am not who you seek. Get up, Merrik.

Merrik springs to his feet. He looks around for the voice.

FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
Your heart is too clouded to see me.

Merrik begins searching through loose parchment and books on one of Her Ladyship’s tables. He picks up one and looks at the title on the cover.

MERRIK
Servants of the Serafin sword masters.

Merrik runs his hand along the side of the book to find thin ribbon book marking a page. He opens the book to that page.

MERRIK
Ce’stan of Nemea, Te’a of Nemea, Cle’an of Nemea. Cle’an?

Merrik looks around for the voice, clutches the book, and then runs out the door.

INT. CLE’AN’S QUARTERS – DAY

Cle’an bends overs Casseya and shakes her. He clasps his hand over her mouth as she wakes.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Katherine steadily pours broth between Eleya’s lips. She stops and rubs her hand on Eleya’s throat. She puts the bowl up to Eleya’s lips again.

Merrik runs in with a book in his arms. He stops in front of Katherine.

MERRIK
How is she?

Katherine looks up at him.

KATHERINE
She’s getting better. Are you leaving?

Merrik nods and his gaze lingers on Eleya. Katherine steps aside. Merrik takes Eleya’s hand.

MERRIK
Where’s Jierin?

KATHERINE
Tending my sister.

Merrik slowly releases Eleya’s hand. He walks away, but turns to look at Eleya again.

INT. KATHERINE’S DWELLING – DAY

Jierin kneels at Grace’s bedside. His back rests against a second bed.

JIERIN
How are you feeling?

GRACE
Better. But I’m afraid he’ll come back.

JIERIN
Don’t worry. I’m here for you.

MERRIK (O.S.)
Jierin, we have to go.

Merrik steps in the doorway.

Jierin quickly stands and takes Grace’s hand.

JIERIN
I’ll come back.

EXT. RIKAN VILLAGE – dAY

Merrik mounts on his horse and holds the reigns of Jierin’s horse. Jierin stands beside his horse with his hand on the saddle.

JIERIN
What’s happened?

Jierin mounts his horse.

MERRIK
Let’s just say I have a feeling.

EXT. FOREST – DAY

Merrik and Jierin on their horses race through the trees of the forest.

EXT. MERRIK’S CASTLE – NIGHT

Hoof beats SLOSH in mud as Merrik dares to look upon his castle. He pulls back on his reigns, and his slides slightly to a stop. Jierin follows suit on his horse.

MERRIK
Go around a different way. Find Cle’an and meet me.

Jierin nods and leaves on his horse to another side of the castle.

INT. DINING HALL – NIGHT

Dishes spattered with bits of food litter the numerous wooden tables. Wine DRIPS from overturned glasses. Raindrops from Merrik’s clothes fall in time with the wine.

Zsastar and Brianna kiss at the far end of the hall. Zsastar’s back faces Merrik.

MERRIK
Brianna!

Merrik struggles to pull Zsastar off Brianna. Zsastar punches him across his jaw, and Merrik falls to the ground. Merrik clutches his jaw and slowly rises.

MERRIK
What do you want with her?

ZSASTAR
I have embraced her, old leader. Brianna is mine.

MERRIK
(to Brianna)
Did he force himself on you?

BRIANNA
Merrik, I -.

ZSASTAR
Careful, Brianna. Lie to him now, and you will not get what I promised you.

MERRIK
Lie to me?

BRIANNA
I’m with him now.

MERRIK
Why?

BRIANNA
He’s more powerful than you, Merrik.

MERRIK
You’re afraid to turn him down?

Brianna looks away from him.

MERRIK
I love you, Brianna. And I know you love me. Forget whatever he’s promised you. You can’t love him.

Brianna returns her gaze to Merrik.

BRIANNA
You’re right. But I love his power. And your power will be gone.

ZSASTAR
Do not chastise him too much, love. Leave that to me.

MERRIK
(rising anger)
How could you do this to me?

Merrik lunges towards her, but Zsastar steps between them. Brianna runs out of the hall as she begins to cry.

MERRIK
You, get out.

ZSASTAR
Your people would disagree. They are rather fond of me.

Merrik places his hand on the hilt of his sword.

ZSASTAR
You are nothing to me, Merrik. I have no equal.

ZSASTAR’s eyes flare yellow, and he zaps Merrik with a yellow energy ball.

INT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Merrik lies unconscious on his bed. The healer applies a moist cloth to his face. Jierin stands beside the healer

HEALER
When I returned to the lady of Rikan, she was gone. Cle’an was gone, too.

JIERIN
The intruder’s doing, I’m sure of it. He dares to call assembly in the Hall of Relics.

HEALER
I wish our Great Healer would return.

INT. HALL OF RELICS – DAY

Elaborate tapestries drape an elevated stage. Three chairs sit on top of the stage face outward to a CROWD OF TYERANS.

Merrik sits in the middle chair and rubs his swollen lip. Jierin sits in the chair on his right. Zsastar stands in front of them.

ZSASTAR
I hope you have prepared a nice farewell speech.

MERRIK
I have been the leader before you, and so I will remain.

Zsastar turns to the crowd as Jierin leans over to Merrik.

JIERIN
I don’t recognize everyone in the crowd.

MERRIK
Neither do I. It must be one of his tricks.

ZSASTAR
Most esteemed fellow adepts and seers, many of you have awaited the day that the power of foresight would return. Today, I bring you a promise of this future.

MERRIK
How would you bring such a future? Only the Serafn grants such power.

Liana, under the guise of a man, “Lianis”, steps out of the crowd. She wears a white tunic and tan breeches. A black ribbon ties her braided long blonde hair.

ZSASTAR
Your long-standing enemy, Rikan, holds prisoner a woman of such power. It is time to take back that give once denied to us.

Zsastar flashes a wicked grin to Liana.

ZSASTAR
Rikan is rich with such talent, and their women are plenty. Take back what is ours. And take brides for yourself.

The crowd AD-LIBS agreement.

ZSASTAR
Something I imagine your current leader would not understand. He has been engaged. He does not suffer the loneliness that you do.
(gestures to Liana)
Allow my loyal friend to tell you what he has witnessed.

Liana turns to face the crowd.

LIANA
I have been to Rikan, and I have seen this woman. They hold her prisoner. They will force her to swear her allegiance to Rikan.

ZSASTAR
Let us make a deal, Merrik. I challenge you to bring her here. Can you persuade her?

Jierin stands and faces Zsastar.

JIERIN
Merrik is our leader. We will not abandon him.

ZSASTAR
See for yourself how many are here that support me.

MERRIK
They are not all my men.

ZSASTAR
It does not matter.

Merrik faces the crowd.

MERRIK
If these men will not follow me for who I am, may they follow you to their own destruction.

EXT. RIKAN OUTPOST – DAY

Cle’an and Casseya lead their horses past several small huts. A YOUNG BOY, 7, watches them as they pass. The boy grabs the hand of his MOTHER, 35, who stops arranging her pile of wood.

CASSEYA
They’ve built a whole world here. We still believed we had people looking for them, but you knew where they were.

The mother takes the boy by the hand and disappears into a hut.

CLE’AN
I have always known.

CASSEYA
Why didn’t you tell us? Reunite all of Rikan?

The mother and the boy return to watch the two. Behind them is TESSA, 28, a tall and robust red head woman.

CLE’AN
It was safer that way. This was my choice to make.

Cle’an stops and stares out into the distance.

CLE’AN
Merrik’s father trusted me with their welfare. If I had not fled with them, he might still be alive today.

CASSEYA
Surely Her Ladyship would have known about them. She would have told us.

TESSA
It was her wish that you did not know.

Cle’an and Casseya turn to face Tessa.

CLE’AN
May I present -.

He stops as Casseya quickly bows to Tessa.

CASSEYA
I still recognize you, my lady.

TESSA
You may rise.

Casseya stands. Cle’an rests his gaze uneasily upon Tessa. Her green eyes return his gaze.

TESSA
I doubt it was my mother’s wish to bring someone from the village here.

CLE’AN
Forgive me. I brought her here for her safety. There are dark times ahead.

CASSEYA
My lady, is your mother – I mean Her Ladyship here?

TESSA
No.

CLE’AN
If you are feeling better, Casseya, you should return to Rikan.

CASSEYA
Surely you will come, my lady?

TESSA
My place is here. Please, you are weary. Rest. Return tomorrow.

Tessa looks to the mother. The mother approaches Casseya and takes the reigns of the two horses.

INT. BRIANNA’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

The door to Brianna’s is open. Brianna lounges on her bed with her eyes closed. Jonas stands at the foot of her bed and holds a red rose.

BRIANNA
People will call me Empress…

Jonas sits on the foot of her bed.

JONAS
You’ve always been my empress.

Brianna sits up and looks at him.

BRIANNA
Jonas. I didn’t know you were here.

JONAS
You’ve forgotten I even exist. Ever since that mentor of yours came.
(leans closer)
I had thought since Merrik is gone, we could spend some time together.

He offers her the rose, but she does not take it.

JONAS
I suppose I was wrong.

He drops the rose.

Brianna picks it up and smells it. The bud brushes against her lips, and she smiles. She drops it on the bed beside her.

BRIANNA
Maybe we can spend time together, if you prove your love to me.

JONAS
Anything.

INT. TESSA’S HUT – NIGHT

Tessa sits in the center of her hut and stirs a small fire with a stick of wood. Cle’an sits quietly across from her.

TESSA
I barely remember my life before the invasion. I tell myself it doesn’t matter anymore, that I have my responsibilities now.

Tessa prods the fire and looks up at Cle’an.

TESSA
But I want to remember.

INT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

Zsastar flips through several of Merrik’s books. He picks up a book that is tattered and is burned around its edges. He opens the book and reads a few lines to himself. He smiles.

A HAWK flies in through the window. It lands on his shoulder as he pets it on the head. He withdraws his hand and traces his scar.

ELEYA (V.O.)
There is still one master of the blade who will defy you. For as long as I draw breath.

Zsastar tilts his head to look at the hawk.

ZSASTAR
Send my sonnet to my most loved.

The hawk’s eyes flash yellow. The hawk COOS briefly and flies out the window.

Zsastar flicks his wrist, and a faint yellow fog appears in front of him. A BURLY SOLDIER stands within the fog. A scar decorates his right cheek. He wears brown leather armor.

BURLY SOLDIER
Reinforcements are ready, General. Do you wish us to send them?

ZSASTAR
Not just yet. A larger attack would put them out of their misery quickly. I would rather my enemy bleed slowly.

BURLY SOLDIER
Understood, General. We will await your orders, then.

ZSASTAR
Hold a moment. Have your scouts discovered any other weapons masters?

BURLY SOLDIER
Negative, General. The Sword Master of Nemea would not cooperate. He prefers to die.

ZSASTAR
Do not allow it. I want names.
(under his breath)
I must be sure that he and Eleya are the last ones.

BURLY SOLDIER
As you wish, General.

Zsastar flicks his wrist again, and the burly soldier and the fog disappears.

ZSASTAR
Soon, the last of the sword masters will be mine to command.

EXT. RIKAN OUTPOST – DAY

Cle’an stands and watches the sun rise above the tree line. Tessa stands beside him and holds his hand. He smooths a lock of her red hair behind her ear with his free hand.

CLE’AN
Merrik’s vision is returning.

TESSA
And yours?

CLE’AN
I have never lost mine. Just ignored it for a while.

TESSA
What do they tell you?

CLE’AN
They remind me of my sworn duty and my family’s duty to the Sword Master of Nemea.

TESSA looks at him and furrows her brow.

CLE’AN
I see another sword master, a woman, fleeing.

TESSA
The warlord’s returned?

CLE’AN
I cannot be certain. I do not know who I overheard talking to Brianna. I did not stay long enough to find out.

TESSA
I must return to Tyera and make my stand with Merrik.

CLE’AN
Merrik did not wish the refugees -.

TESSA
Then you will tell him the Great Healer has returned.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Eleya sleeps on the bed. The hawk stands beside her ear and COOS a hypnotic tune.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY (DREAM SEQUENCE)

Eleya sits on the bed beside her sleeping self. Started, she jumps up and looks at her sleeping self. She hears Zsastar HUM the hypnotic tune.

She kneels down to her sleeping self and touches the sleeping self’s face. She touches her own face.

ZSASTAR
Do not try to make sense of it.

She turns to him. Her lips tremble. He holds his right hand out to her.

ZSASTAR
You will understand in time.

She reaches out for his hand. Her fingers hover above his scar. She stares into his yellow eyes.

END DREAM SEQUENCE.

INT. LIANA’S DWELLING – DAY

Eleya wakes and her blue eyes stare into Merrik’s dark brown eyes. As she scrambles out of the bed, Merrik stands and places his hands firmly on her shoulders. The hawk looks up at them from the bed. Katherine stands across from them.

MERRIK
Good to see you awake, master.

ELEYA
Master?

Eleya looks at him curiously as Katherine watches their exchange.

MERRIK
I mean, my lady. You have been in a deep sleep for quite some time. How are you feeling.

ELEYA
Confused. Do I know you?
(looks to Katherine)
Or you?

MERRIK
We met several years ago.
(gestures to Katherine)
Katherine here has been taking care of you.

ELEYA
Many thanks.

MERRIK
Are you rested?

She nods.

MERRIK
Good. We have much to talk about. Perhaps you’d rather get changed into day clothes? A walk will do you good.

EXT. RIKAN VILLAGE MARKET – DAY

Several wooden market stalls display different goods. Some are laden with fruits, others with pastries, and some with fresh catches of fish. A FARMER offers an small basket of corn to a FISHMONGER.

Grace holds Jierin’s arm as they examine the fruit in one stall. He selects a peach and offers it to her. The SHORT FRUIT SELLER smiles at them as they pass.

Katherine walks slowly through the market. She looks back to see Eleya leaning on Merrik as they walk. The fishmonger sees Katherine from several stalls away.

FISHMONGER
Any great catches today?

KATHERINE
No. Maybe tomorrow.

Eleya stumbles forward and Merrik catches her. A KIND BAKER offers them a loaf of bread. Merrik nods to the baker as he takes the bread, tears off a piece, and gives it to Eleya. She takes it and eats it.

Katherine reaches beneath her green cloak and pulls out a water flask. She gives it to Eleya. Eleya opens the top to the flask and holds it to her lips. She stares at Merrik for a few moments. She throws head back and gulps the water.

ELEYA
Someone is coming.

An arrow WHIZZES through the air and strikes the fishmonger’s left shoulder. He CRIES OUT and falls backwards to the ground.

The people of the market AD-LIB panic and some run off while others duck behind market stalls.

Jierin stands in front of Grace and unsheathes his sword.

GRACE
Where did that come from?

JIERIN
I don’t know.

EXT. RIKAN VILLAGE MARKET – DAY (FANTASY SEQUENCE)
Eleya turns around and sees Zsastar standing in front of a tree. He holds a bloody arrow in his right hand. He HUMS the hypnotic tune.

END FANTASY SEQUENCE.

EXT. RIKAN VILLAGE MARKET – dAY

Eleya slowly walk towards the hawk who sits in a tree. The hawk COOS the hypnotic tune. Merrik unsheathes his sword and walks beside her.

Katherine runs to the fishmonger and grabs the shaft of the arrow. It disintegrates in a faint yellow mist. The fishmonger covers his wound with his right hand. Blood oozes through his fingers.

Katherine unhooks the brass clasp of her green cloak, removes her cloak, and places it over the fishmonger. He holds it close to his body. Katherine draws a dagger from her belt.

With an eerie yellow light, the burly soldier and an ARCHER materialize beside the tree. The burly soldier brandishes his sword. The archer readies another arrow.

Merrik shoves Eleya behind him. Jierin runs toward them. Grace ducks behind the fruit seller’s stall. The archer fires at Jierin. He dodges. The archer advances toward Jierin.

Merrik slashes at the burly soldier’s midsection and the soldier blocks him. They lock weapons.

BURLY SOLDIER
That was just a warning.

MERRIK
What do you want?

BURLY SOLDIER
To make you bleed.

The burly soldier knees him in the stomach. Merrik stumbles backwards a few steps. He regains his composure and thrusts at the soldier. The burly soldier blocks again.

Merrik strikes him with the pommel of his sword. The burly soldier falls against the tree.

MERRIK
Not so strong against the blade?

Katherine throws her dagger at the archer. It slices the outside of his arm, and his arm bleeds. The dagger lands in the grass behind him.

TWO MUSCULAR SOLDIERS materialize in the same eerie yellow light behind Eleya.

Katherine reaches beneath the fishmonger’s counter and withdraws a crossbow.

Katherine fires an arrow at the archer. It strikes his side, but he does not bleed. He fires at Katherine. She ducks behind the stall.

The muscular soldiers grab at Eleya. She dodges them and grabs the dagger from the ground in her right hand. One of them grabs her around her waist. With his free hand, he grabs her right wrist. Eleya struggles.

Katherine looks out upon Eleya and the two muscular soldiers.

Eleya’s eyes glow deep blue. The other soldier lunges at her. She twists in the soldier’s grasp and stabs him in the stomach. He GROANS and bleeds as he fades away in a blue haze.

The remaining muscular soldier grabs her shoulders. She slashes him across his chest. He falls back with a CRY OF AGONY and vanishes in the same blue haze.

The burly soldier flashes a confident grin at Merrik.

BURLY SOLDIER
There will be other times to settle this.

The burly soldier and the archer simultaneously disappear in a yellow light.

Eleya’s irises fade to their normal blue hue. She drops the dagger. Jierin eyes her suspiciously.

JIERIN
This was no ordinary fight.

He picks up the dagger and examines it.

JIERIN
No ordinary weapons.

Katherine helps Grace out from behind the fruit seller’s stall.

KATHERINE
Not the weapons, but no ordinary fighters.

EXT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – DAY

The burly soldier stands before Zsastar in a faint yellow fog.

ZSASTAR
You barely scratched him.

BURLY SOLDIER
My lord, I thought you would want to know that we found her.

ZSASTAR
You thought wrong. I knew she was there all along. How dare you abandon your fight.

BURLY SOLDIER
How could we face her? There would have been no one to report back to you.

ZSASTAR
I would have rather heard that Merrik’s young second-in-command was dead. I would have taken that as a report.

He stares at the burly soldier as his eyes glow yellow. He reaches out at the burly soldier’s neck. He grasps it and the burly soldier completely materializes in front of him.

ZSASTAR
Next time, you will incapacitate Merrik, then pick off his allies. Leave him to me, and stay clear of the girl.

The burly soldier fades away in a faint yellow light.

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I Forgot How Shippy The Screenplay Is

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

Been working on converting my screenplay excerpt to html format. I forgot how shippy (relationshippy) it is. First is JonasXBrianna then major back story of MerrikXEleya:

Parts below:

INT. MERRIK’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

MERRIK tosses and turns on his bed while he sleeps.

EXT. WINTER FIELD – NIGHT (DREAM SEQUENCE)

MERRIK opens his eyes as he stands boot-deep in snow. He holds his sword in his right hand, and the blade points towards the ground.

He lifts his sword and rests the other end of his sword on his left palm. Snow slides off the end of the blade and to the ground.

ELEYA (O.S.)
(weak)
Merrik? I am sorry, Merrik.

MERRIK looks around in search of the speaker. On a small hill in the distance, he sees a sword planted in the ground. The hilt shines in a silver light. Merrik races towards the sword.

He slips in the snow, drops his sword, and falls next to Eleya. Her eyes are halfway closed and her struggles to inhale shallow breaths.

The hue of her blue eyes begins to fade. He reaches out to touch her. She slowly turns her head to him.

In her still gaze, blood trickles down the side of her mouth onto the snow.

MERRIK snaps his hand back.

ELEYA
I could not stop him this time.

MERRIK lifts her head a bit. Her breathing eases.

ELEYA
My time is done.

ELEYA GASPS then SHARPLY EXHALES.

MERRIK lowers her head to the snow and closes her eyelids. Merrik rests a hand to her cheek.

[later]

INT. CLE’AN’S QUARTERS – NIGHT

MERRIK and Jierin rush in on CASSEYA, 24, Cle’an, and a HEALER. Casseya lies on Cle’an’s bed, barely conscious. Her matted, long black hair blankets the pillow. Her lips are wind burned.

The healer feeds her from a bowl of herbs. Cle’an sits on a chair beside her and holds her hand.

CLE’AN
Does she live?

[omitted]

CLE’AN
(hushed, to MERRIK)
Some of the villagers there found a woman.

[omitted]

The woman – she may not be any ordinary woman. I believe she may be -.

MERRIK
(interrupts)
I know who she is.

CLE’AN
What she is, Merrik. That will always come first.

MERRIK
How could I forget?

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Writing and Frustration

By eugena On February 12th, 2011

So this semester it’s “nose to the grindstone even more.” I find myself dissatisfied on my direction for the AOM sequel. Okay, so I’ll just go out and say it. I like Zae’s (Zaedrif’s) character and in some ways I’m not in the mood to kill him off.

Alas, what do you do when you have a large character cast. In all the AOM: TA versions, I had Cle’an as a central character for a small portion of the beginning of the novel, then as per Merrik’s orders he leaves. In comes Jierin (I love this name. I’m the one who made it up and I love it–and my screen writing class loved it when I worked on AOM screenplay.). The only difference between the versions is that in the third version, Cle’an plays a minor role in bringing back Elisha to Tyera. I also use him to explain more of the Rikan-Tyera backstory and to expand on Nathan and the Fall of Nemea. Though I really don’t go into the Fall too much. I figure it is quite a large backstory, one more suited for other novels. It’s directly addressed in Dark Desires (yes, doesn’t this title sound like a romance novel?) and will be addressed more in The Age of Merrik: Rise of the New Masters.

And I had to use Cle’an to bring up Nathan yet again. Nathan is beyond a minor character. He’s like a legendary hero who is losing the retelling of his heroics. He’s a character mentioned in passing, but I certainly do it on purpose. I mention him in the first chapter then later when Cle’an is in Reyenas.

Speaking of Reyenas, I just found a file I had worked on for my reference library (a precursor to the wiki), where I have a partial outline of the events of The Age of Merrik: The Anointing. I’ll have to post it to the wiki.

Oh well, I’ll just have to flush out the Dark Desires and Rise of the New Masters plots some more and let go of Zaedrif. I think I am so fond of him because of my plans for the original Zaedrif character in version one of the novel. The official spelling for his name is with a joined “ae” but for ease of use in making a searchable blog and wiki, I will write names without the joined “ae” and without the accented “i” in Serafin. Otherwise, if you conduct a laymen search without the joined letters or accented “i,” the results will not come up.

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Zine Article: Eleya, Zaedrif, and The Fall of Nemea

By eugena On February 11th, 2011

Eleya has suffered much sorrow in her life. After surviving the destruction of Antham, her home country, she seeks refuge with the Sword Masters and the Wizards of the North. After revealed as the prophesized Regina, Eleya loses all opportunity of a life just for herself. She takes on the mantle of ruler and becomes a powerful figure with the Sword Masters, second only to The Serafin.

Because of Skye’s prophecy regarding Zaedrif and Eleya, she stays in Nemea with Zaedrif and Zibiah. Zaedrif and Eleya grow closer together and eventually become engaged. Zaedrif’s childhood friend, Oroco, is in love with him. Zaedrif cannot let go of his unresolved feelings for Oroco, and this becomes a rift between Zaedrif and Eleya.

Zaedrif abandoned Nemea shortly before its fall, presumably due to his involvement with Oroco. He left Eleya alone to defend it. Nathan of Anthama (who renamed his country in honor of Eleya’s home country) came to Eleya’s rescue and sacrificed himself to save her.

Many Nemeans died in the battle and more became slaves of Malik’s generals.

In The Anointing, both Areya and Cle’an become the voices of the victims of The Fall of Nemea. They both lost loved ones. Edric, Areya’s husband, was the brother of Valerie, Cle’an’s fiancée.

Although Zaedrif dies at the end of The Anointing, his memory lives on in Rise of the New Masters. Eleya must confront her past, including her relationship with Zaedrif.

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I Think For Myself

By eugena On February 11th, 2011

Also known as “My Views Are Different — I Am A Writer, That Means I Think For Myself”

Some people may find themselves asking “why is it worse that some one is in a coma or paralyzed than being dead”? Well, it is if that person is in a coma they cannot wake from. And STOP with the religious references on the sanctity of life, etc. I don’t care to hear them. Has anyone who starts saying those things stopped to consider the amount of SUFFERING the person who is in a permanent coma or paralyzed must endure? An aside, only a religious view says that suicide is wrong. (NOTE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE–WHY IS SUICIDE CONSIDERED A CRIME?)

This is why I did not have Liana kill herself when she was under Merrik’s spell to look like Eleya. I really wanted to. But then I had to think all these religious (nuts, perhaps?) may not like this. Also, people are not honest with children about things**, so the kids may ask what happened. Well, she can still be suicidal in ROTNM more so.

Also, this is why I still consider Skye of Rikan to be dead and NOT still alive. Stop obsessing, Malik!

** A wide variety of things. Sailor Moon’s USA adaptation comes to mind. The first season’s two part finale was meshed into one episode and the senshi didn’t die, they just faded away.

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