Since Mary, Queen of Scotland, was a child, the English wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France to wed the next king; to save herself and her people — a bond that should protect her, but there are forces that conspire… forces of darkness, forces of the heart. Long may she reign.
Previously on Reign
Nostradamus (To Bash): He heard them talk of a creature that resides in the woods. They give it blood, and you have interrupted their sacrifice which they will not take kindly to.
Bash (To Mary): That’s Olivia D’Amencourt she left a few months before you arrived.
Bash: Yes she was.
(Queen Catherine’s Chambers)
Olivia: You want me to marry Francis? You don’t even like me.
Queen Catherine: I like you more than a Queen I can’t control.
Olivia (To Mary): You know much less about Francis’ desirers than I do.
Mary (To Francis): Has something happened between you two?
Francis: I stopped it.
Mary: I want her gone…
Francis: I’m working on it…
Mary (Cutting him off): Now! I want her gone Now!
Francis: Mary she’s staying and that’s final.
(By the lake)
Bash: Francis has you why would he look elsewhere? (Mary leans in and kisses Bash they quickly pull away from each other, but Francis has seen them.)
Act 1 Edit
(The scene comes up on Bash he is in his chamber sleeping, and he has a nightmare about the night's previous events)
Bash: You're one of them.. you're a monster, you know.
Pagan: You owe a debt
(Bash sees an unusual necklace hanging around his neck)
Pagan: And you will pay. Choose someone to sacrifice
Bash: And what if I refuse?
Pagan: Then we will choose for you.
(The stranger disappears in his recollection. He then wakes up from his dream. Elsewhere in Mary’s Chambers she wakes up to find the same necklace lying on her pillow. She picks it up, not realizing she has been targeted. Elsewhere in the castle Francis speaks with a group of the King's men. Olivia, his ex-lover, comes searching for him)
Francis (to his men): Excuse me.
(Francis catches up with Olivia and they stroll through the castle's corridor privately)
Olivia: I've been looking everywhere for you. Where were you hurrying to?
Francis: My father's returning from Paris. His carriage is arriving.
Olivia: May I join you?
Olivia: How are you? I've barely seen you lately.
Francis: Whenever my father's away, courtiers swarm me...seeking approval of the next King, in case the current one doesn't return.
Olivia: And that awful business with the butcher boy.
Francis: Yes, yes. We're trying to find his family, to return his effects.
Olivia: That's not why I’ve barely seen you. Are you feeling bad about the moments we shared? I felt I had to be honest with you about my feelings.
Francis: I appreciated your honesty. I could use more of the same from others in my life.
Olivia: If she's to be your wife, you need to trust her.
Francis: I hope that I can. Right now the burden is on Mary, not me.
Olivia: That sounds complicated. If you're ever yearning for someone you can be sure of Someone who wants only you, you know where to find me.
(Outside the castle, the people at court are all heading off to meet the King's brigade. The Queen finds Olivia and discretely tries to discuss her progress with Francis)
Queen Catherine: Well?
Olivia: I'm doing my best.
Queen Catherine: How difficult can it be for a girl like you to get a man into bed?
Olivia: His feelings are for Mary.
Queen Catherine: Do you want your reputation cleaned up? Do you want a big wedding and children to silence forever those who call you "whore" behind your back? Then make yourself the next Queen of France. (Disgusted) Feelings? Honestly.
(The Queen storms off. While Mary and her ladies join the rest of the people at court)
Mary: Join us, Kenna. We're going to greet the King.
Greer (Noticing Kenna to see that she is unusually decorated): You look especially lovely, Kenna. Who are you dressed to impress?
Kenna: No one. I'm just...
Mary: Can't Kenna be lovely simply because she is lovely? And you are lovely. (Kenna walks with Mary a little bit ahead of the other girls. They chat privately)
Kenna: That was kind of you. I plan to tell them about the King and me.
Mary: But you want to wait? You haven't seen him in a while I understand.
Kenna: He was saying goodbye to Diane. He ended things with her for me.
Mary: I only ask that you be careful. The King's heart seems mercurial and you still have the Queen to contend with.
Kenna: And I only ask that you not assume I'm a fool.
(Kenna slows her pace and resumes her position with the other ladies. Meanwhile, Mary spots Bash from across the walkway. He sees her catching his gaze and he smiles)
Mary: I was hoping we needn't discuss this, but clearly we do That kiss...
Bash: I remember it.
Mary: I was a bit drunk, and you were, too, weren't you?
Bash: Would you like me to share in your remorse? Would that make you feel better?
Mary: Yes, it would.
Bash: I regret that you are engaged to my brother; a brother I consider my friend. And who, thankfully, doesn't know what happened.
Mary: Still, he's been distant since we argued and I want to make things up with him. I have to. You understand, don't you?
Bash: Of course. What I don't understand is why we're still talking about this.
Mary: Because of your gift. (Bash looks confused)
Mary: The necklace.
Bash: What necklace?
Mary: I assumed, I thought, it was in my rooms this morning.
Bash: You think I snuck into your room?
Mary: Well, I didn't know what to think. After the kiss and my argument with your brother. (Mary pulls out the necklace and shows it to Bash. His worry is written all over his face)
MARY (Picking up on it): What? What is it?
Bash: I've, uh, seen this necklace before. (Mary doesn't give him the chance to explain. She sees Francis, who stands next to his mother)
MARY: Excuse me. (She rushes over to speak with him, leaving Bash alone)
Mary: Francis. Are you well?
Francis: I'm fine. Thank you. (Bash starts walking over to speak with them about the necklace)
Mary: I'm not. I've been feeling awful. I feel like you're still angry at me about our argument about Olivia. I'm sorry!
Francis (Alluding to the kiss that she doesn't know he knows about the kiss between her and Bash): Is that what you're sorry about?
(Before they can discuss the matter further, the King arrives. They all, including Kenna, watch silently as he exits his carriage. Kenna smiles and goes to greet him. Then she sees Diane step out of the carriage as well. Diane eyes her the whole time.)
Kenna (Mary grabs her by the hand to keep her from doing something foolish, like confronting Diane or the King): He said he was leaving her. I don't understand. Why is she back here? (Diane and the Queen walk off together, while Bash rushes over to Francis and Mary)
Bash: Francis, Mary, we need to talk. It's important. Follow me. (The trio goes inside the castle to talk privately.)
Bash: The people of this faith, they claim that I owe them a debt. More than once, in their minds, I've interrupted their blood sacrifice. The butcher boy said, if I didn't choose someone else to sacrifice, they'd choose for me.
Mary: So that's what's been going on in the woods pagan sacrifice?
Bash: Among other dangers, yes.
Mary: And now they've chosen me?
Francis: Because somehow they've got the idea that threatening you is a good way to get to my brother. But that doesn't matter now, does it? What matters is finding out who left this marker in Mary's chambers. What matters is her safety. I'll make sure that there's a guard outside your room at all times. You need to find out exactly how serious this threat is. Ask the hunters that you know in the woods. Talk to the guards, Nostradamus... anyone.
Mary: Maybe the servants saw how the necklace got into my rooms. I'll question them. (Mary heads off to speak with the servants, leaving Bash and Francis alone)
Bash: Mary. I'm sorry. (She nods and continues on her way)
Bash (To Francis): I'd never have cut those bodies down if I'd known it would lead to Mary.
Francis: I don't blame you for cutting the bodies down. I'd have done the same thing.
Bash: Then what are you so angry about?
Francis: There are too many secrets between us, brother far too many.
(In the castle hall Mary questions her servant Sarah about the necklace)
Sarah: I'm sorry, Your Grace, I've never seen it before.
MARY: You're certain? And nobody unfamiliar has entered my chambers?
Sarah: No, Your Grace.
Mary: Ask the household servants if they've seen any strangers about. It's important.
Sarah: Yes, Your Grace. (Sarah leaves down the hall.)
(Kenna is heading for King Henry’s chambers to confront him about Diane being back at court. She is met at the door by a guard who tries to stop her)
Guard: I'm sorry, Lady Kenna (She keeps walking anyway)
Kenna: Stop! (Kenna bursts into Henry’s chambers)
Kenna: You said you would break things off with Diane. I trusted you and I took you at your word.
Guard: Lady Kenna, Your Majesty.
King Henry: Oh, yes, I know. I did exactly as I promised.
Kenna: How can you say that? You brought her back from Paris and she stood at your side as she always has.
King Henry: Come, stand at my side please. (Kenna looks at him with disgust and she doesn't move)
King Henry: It's been a long time since I used that word. (Kenna's expression softens and she goes and stands with the King, who is preparing for a bath)
King Henry: It's true; it's an honor to stand beside a King…it implies something I understand that, but to have a King behind you. (The King comes behind Kenna and kisses her neck)… and on his knees. (He bends down and wrestle's with her dress. She gets back in control by grabbing his face and once again asking about Diane)
Kenna: Why is she back here?
King Henry: Diane's being moved to the cottage. You are my mistress, Lady Kenna. She is my friend and the mother of my son.
Kenna: The cottage? Here on the grounds?
King Henry: Well the grounds are quite expansive.
King Henry: I don't know shortly. There's an architect she employs in Paris. Some renovations are required.
King Henry: Yes.
Kenna: Well, how long will that take?
King Henry: Kenna. I don't know, and I don't care. And neither should you. It's over with her. I'm with you now. So…be with me? (Kenna finally backs down. They kiss and undress each other as they get into the bath)
(Elsewhere in the chambers of Diane de Poitiers she is talking with her son Bash about the pagan sacrifice he’s been told to get.)
Bash: Do they really think I could drag some innocent into the woods and slaughter them?
Diane: Could you? To save yourself?
Diane: But to save Mary?
Bash: I don't understand how you ever worshipped alongside these savages.
Diane: I was young, it was a different faith. We worshipped the natural world. A sacrifice was only a very small part of it. It was not human.
Bash: Do they count me as one of them because of you?
Diane: I don't know. The larger question is what people here in the castle would consider you, if they knew
Bash: I'm Catholic. I practice my father's religion as do you.
Diane: Have no illusions. If they learned about my past, we would both burn as heretics. We're outsiders. You live here at your father's will. And someday, your brother's do not covet his future wife. Even the laws of your chosen faith are clear on that.
Bash: Mary is in danger because of me.
Diane: And Francis knows that.
Bash: If anything happened to her...
Diane: He will blame you.
Bash: So there's my choice? Choose someone to kill or let them kill Mary?
Diane: It's only a matter of time now that they've marked her. Pay the debt. And then harden your heart against her.
(Mary’s Chambers: she lies asleep in her bed, but is awakened when blood drips from the ceiling on to her hand. She wakes up and discovers a large stag’s head hanging over the bed. It startles her as she screams loudly)
(End of Act 1)
Act 2 Edit
(In Mary's chambers the servants are cleaning up, and taking down the stag’s head from her bed.)
Francis: We need to get you out of here.
Mary: They must have drugged me. There's no other way I-I would sleep through this. My head feels as heavy as that stag's.
Francis: Please sit down, then. (Francis helps Mary sit down in a chair)
Mary: Look at my hand. It looks as though I've been burned. (In Mary's palm, the outline of the pendant can be seen in full)
Francis: Where you touched the pendant. Perhaps it was dipped in some sort of poisonous oil? Sumac or ivy
Mary: How much danger am I in?
Francis: I don't know, but I'm going to find out. (After hearing of the incident, Bash comes to check in on Mary)
Bash: Mary, are you all right?
Francis: Stay here. I'll be right back. (Francis forcefully pulls Bash out of the room and scolds him in the hall, away from prying eyes and ears, while Mary sits confused, and the servants are still trying to take down the head.)
Francis: I don't know you at all.
Bash: Yes, you do. This was meant to terrorize us.
Francis: And motivate you. That's why they chose Mary.
Bash: This horror was not my doing.
Francis: You need to remedy this. I'd do it myself, but it's you that they want something from.
Bash: You do realize what you're asking me to do?
Francis: I don't blame you for their actions, but it's you who brought this on Mary.
Bash: They're asking me to take a life. A life... ‘‘A person to hang them from a tree, slit their throat, and bleed them out you do know that?
Francis: Did you consult your experts? Whoever it is that you know in secret? Or, whatever it is that you know in secret? Is there really no other way? (Queen Catherine enters Mary's wing and sees the servants carrying out the stag’s head)
Queen Catherine: Good Lord, what is that? (She goes into Mary's room and Francis follows) how could this have happened?
Mary: You've had someone break into my room before. Why don't you tell us how it's done?
Queen Catherine (Defensively): Are you accusing me of this?
Francis: We're not accusing you of any involvement, Mother. (Mary rolls her eyes)
Queen Catherine: Does that mean you know who's done this?
Francis: Right now, we're less worried about who then how.
Queen Catherine: They'd have to have drugged her. (The Queen picks up Mary's chalice and smells it) this is poppy. I suspect your guard was given the same thing. Where is he?
Francis: Infirmary. Severe stomach pains.
Queen Catherine: That means he drank too much of it. (The Queen looks dumbfounded, trying to rationalize the situation. She looks up and sees the remnants of the head left over Mary's bed) a stag's head. What message is that meant to convey?
Mary: It's a symbol of the pagans.
Queen Catherine (Surprised): What do either of you know about pagans?
Francis: Only what everyone knows; that they're becoming bolder, more ruthless, and thirsty for blood. And it seems the more fear they spread the more power they gain.
Queen Catherine: These devils have come inside our walls, inside my home.
Mary: These heretics worked together to threaten us. Now, we must work together to stop them. (The Queen leaves in a hurry, without uttering another word)
(In King Henry’s chambers Kenna leads Lola, Greer and Aylee inside where servants are setting up refreshments)
Greer: What an inviting little party. Has Diane finally deigned to acknowledge that we exist?
Kenna: It's not Diane's gathering, it's mine. (The ladies look confused)
Aylee: But these are the King's chambers.
Kenna: Yes, well now they're my chambers too, because we're in love. (Each of them avoids eye contact with Kenna) you were bound to find out soon enough. I just wanted to tell you myself.
Lola: You and the King?
Aylee: In love?
Kenna: I'm the King's official mistress. It's shocking, I know and amazing. (All 3 look shocked & confused)
Lola (Nervous): Kenna, it is, it's amazing.
Kenna: You all probably think it's a horrid idea Just like Mary.
Lola: Mary thinks it's a bad idea? Why?
Kenna: You know Mary. Always so worried…so cautious. I suppose it's her job to worry. It's not mine.
Greer: I should say not.
Kenna: What's that mean?
Greer: Nothing. If you're happy, we're happy aren't we? (They all fake a smile and try to look happy for her)
Aylee: So, give us the details. How did it happen? When were you first alone with him? Has he been courting you for a long time?
Kenna: It was fast, um...unexpected. (Kenna recalls the first time they were intimate…in the stairwell when she was masturbating)
Greer: But you knew him well before things went too far? (She recalls him offering to help her pleasure herself)
Kenna: Very well.
Aylee: Can you tell us anything?
Greer: Does Catherine know? What does Diane say?
Kenna: Oh who cares what Diane says? I'm the King's mistress now.
Lola: Diane's the mother of the King's favorite son. She's a fixture at court. She's been here.
Kenna (Annoyed and cutting Lola off): For decades; yes, I know too long, some might say and now, it's my turn. The King can move on.
Greer: Kenna that might not be so easy.
Kenna: It's been easy enough for him so far.
Lola: Well, yes, I'm sure, but look at those tiles (The tiles that lie near the bathtub are inscribed with an interconnecting symbol) "H" and "D" for "Henry and Diane." Their love is literally written in stone. (Kenna looks over at the tiles and just stares)
(Meanwhile in the throne room Queen Catherine sits on her throne with a crown in her hair. Mary is standing in front of the throne, and a guard named Robert brings Catherine a glass to drink from)
Queen Catherine: What is this, water? I asked for mint sprigs. (The Queen hands the glass back to Robert)
Robert: Most of the castle servants are gathered to hear from you. Shall I send a few back to the kitchen?
Queen Catherine: Your uniform, Robert. It's a disgrace! Fix it!
MARY (To Robert): You may let them in now.
Queen Catherine (To Robert who hasn't moved to obey her order): What are you waiting for? (Robert bows and heads back to the kitchen, while a dozen or more servants come into the throne room. They gather in front of the Queen’s throne)
Mary: By now, you've all heard what has happened. Someone, who is no friend of France, has invaded the castle and threatened us all of us. This was done in the name of a faith that some of you may feel sympathy for. Please know that we do not judge this faith today, only the actions that someone has wrongly taken in its name. Queen Catherine and I cannot promise that the guilty parties will not suffer only that they will suffer more intensely if someone does not come forward. For the sake of France, for your King, and for peace, if you know anything… please step forward. You will have our protection and our thanks. (The group remains silent and still)
Queen Catherine: None of you have stepped forward that must mean that none of you knows anything. Except that isn't possible, is it? (The Queen gets up from her throne and comes down to face the servants) let me explain why we will have an answer. People are questioning whether they're safe in this castle; my home. That means they're questioning me and everyone in this room. One of you knows who did this. And they will come forward… By midnight If not, I will send my guards to your villages and burn each of your homes to the ground.
(End of Act 2)
Act 3 Edit
(Bash goes down to the dungeon to find an appropriately horrendous person to sacrifice, and pay the debt with)
Guard: No killers on hand, my Lord, if that's what you're looking for. A baker who tried to sleep with a nobleman's serving maid, two drunks, and a thief from Alsace.
Bash: Bring me the thief.
Guard: Release Samson.
Bash: Don't tell anyone I was here.
Guard: Yes, my Lord.
Bash: Don't call me “my Lord.”
(In King Henry’s chambers Kenna resolves to have the tiles on the floors replaced after Lola pointed out Henry & Diane’s monogram)
Kenna: They pain me. Doesn't that matter to you?
King Henry: Yes, but this is my bedroom. I don't want to vacate it for repairs, which don't need to be made. The tiles stay.
Kenna: Well, I can't bear to look at them.
King Henry: Then don't. I'll have them covered with any tapestry you like.
Kenna: Tapestries Diane's chosen. She decorated this room, didn't she?
King Henry: Oh, Kenna. I'm weary of this. I'm beginning to find affairs of state more appealing.
Kenna: Yes, I can't take my mind off them.
King Henry: You're being ridiculous.
Kenna: Diane's having a 15-bedroom cottage redone. And you won't even replace some tiles for me? Do you stop to think what this must be like for me? I risked everything for you!
King Henry: Kenna...They're just tiles.
Kenna: And how many believed you when you told them that? Where are they now? I won't be one of them.
King Henry: You have me. You have nothing to fear.
Kenna: You say that.
King Henry: Yes, and if you can't trust my word, how can changing some tiles be enough to persuade you?
Kenna: I don't know. But if it matters enough, you'll find the answer.
(Meanwhile Bash and Samson, the thief he took from the jail ride off into the woods on horseback)
Samson: If you don't mind my asking, my Lord, where are we going?
Bash: I told you. You're being conscripted for a military mission.
Samson: Where will we meet these other soldiers? I've fought for the King before. Usually we gathered up in the Bailey.
Bash: This way.
Samson: The Blood Wood? Is that where we're going?
Bash: Would you rather go to jail?
Samson: I might. What do you want from me? What's going on? We're not going to meet up with other soldiers, are we?
Bash (Pointing a crossbow at Samson): Keep moving. Stop talking. We're almost there.
Samson (Turning the reins of his horse): Come on.
(Meanwhile back at French court, Lola, Greer, and Aylee are gathered at a balcony to watch the evening’s fireworks.)
Aylee: Where's Mary?
Lola: I don't know. The last I saw her, she was questioning the staff with the Queen. I'm sure she'll be here soon. Who'd want to miss this?
Aylee: I suppose the King wants our minds off our troubles.
Kenna: I wish I could get my mind off him. (The ladies all turn to look at Kenna) Did I go too far? Demanding that he tear out a handful of tiles?
Lola: Where is the King now?
Kenna: He said I mustn't miss the fireworks. Of course he wouldn't say why he couldn't join me. Was he trying to get rid of me so he could have a moment alone with Diane? Is there some other mistress that he's courting? God knows I've been trying his patience lately.
Lola: Kenna, shut up!
Kenna: I'm sorry! God, no wonder he can't stand me anymore.
Lola: No, shut up and look. (Kenna gets up and joins her fellow ladies at the balcony and to her great surprise she sees her name spelled out in candles on the castle lawn, Kenna is so happy, and then she is seen running for Henry’s chambers where she jumps in his arms and they kiss.)
(A guard opens a door and out walks Francis as he is joined by Mary and they walk down a hall together)
Mary: You're missing the fireworks.
Francis: So are you.
Mary: Most of the household staff has been interviewed. We caught a groom in a lie, but it led nowhere. Has Bash learned anything? He said he was going to question the seriousness of the threat.
Francis: He knows how serious it is. I've been doing some questioning of my own, and do you know what I've learned?
Mary: No, tell me.
Francis: That Bash used his position, and money to take a prisoner from the castle jails: A prisoner he warned would not be returning a thief. And I can guarantee you that that thief does not deserve to be strung up in the woods and slaughtered like an animal. And Bash does not deserve to be the one to do it.
Mary: Is that what it means to pay the debt, Human sacrifice? Bash wouldn't do it.
Francis: I think he would, for you. And I can't say that I don't want him to, because I care for you as well. I knew that my brother had feelings for you, I just had no idea how deep they ran.
Mary: You needn't worry about that, but there is something I should tell you.
Francis: If you mean to tell me that you've been in his arms, you needn't bother. I saw you. I saw you both.
Mary: It was a mistake, I wasn't thinking, and he.
Francis (Angrily): He what? Forgot that he was my brother? Forgot that you were my fiancée? I know that I've made mistakes with Olivia seems like the biggest mistake that I made was being completely honest with you. I've been nothing but since you returned, and each time I've paid the price. Well, tonight, Bash is paying the price as well.
Mary: I didn't realize…
Francis: I've warned you of the stakes of life at court. I told you that we can't act on whim, on feeling. You didn't listen.
Mary: I did!
Francis: Then why are we here now? And who will my brother be when he returns?
(End of Act 3)
Act 4 Edit
(The scene comes up on Queen Catherine’s chambers she is standing by her window watching the fireworks, and surely she has seen the light display with Kenna’s name.)
Queen Catherine: I wonder if Henry’s cheap display of affection works, if the melted candles please his young mistress (She turns away from the window) maybe the fireworks had the unintended benefits of frightening the heathens in the woods. (She turns to her guard Robert who has been standing in the room by the door) Do you think they fear fire, those pagans?
Robert: I couldn’t say Your Majesty.
Queen Catherine: They should. (There is knocking at the door as Catherine sighs and walks away, and there is a servant at the door.)
Servant: May I have a word with Her Majesty? (The Queen turns around quickly when she hears the servant.)
Robert: This one claims she has information.
Queen Catherine: Hmm. (Catherine bids the servant to come in and she curtsies to the Queen.)
Servant: Your Highness I know it’s late…
Queen Catherine (Cutting her off): You realized the time and that your house was about to burn down, I understand why you’re here. (The Queen takes the servant to a chair by the fire and sits her down right in front of her.)
Servant: Yes, Your Grace. (She remains silent as the Queen stares at her.)
Queen Catherine (Irritated): Well out with it then! Contrary to public opinion I do not relish destroying people’s homes. (The servant is still silent, and looks nervously at Robert; the Queen follows her gaze and takes the hint.) (To Robert): I do believe the girl was hoping for some confidentiality, uh wait just outside if you please…I’ll call if I need anything. (Robert leaves as the Queen is back standing in front of the servant looking more than annoyed as she speaks to the servant.): You better have more than mere gossip, you already have my suspicion for waiting so long.
Servant: My father told me that to stick your neck in was to see your neck cut. And though I saw one of your guards take that stag’s head (While she is talking the Queen’s face is clearly changing to disbelief.) I didn’t see his face.
Queen Catherine (Cutting her off): Was it one of my guards?
Servant: Yes, I could tell by his uniform, he came in for scraps as they often do, he didn’t think anyone saw him, and he was a guard I wasn’t about to stop him. You stick your neck in…
Queen Catherine (Cutting her off): Yes we’ve already covered that (A bit exasperated) I have nearly a hundred guards. Did you notice anything about him anything at all?
Servant: He was covered in blood once he had that thing in his grasp, I can tell you that, you didn’t see no blood on anyone?
Queen Catherine: No I didn’t see a guard drenched in blood. If he had a brain he would’ve changed…(She stops talking as if she remembers something) he would’ve changed, but a guard has only one uniform others, and would be ill fitting unkempt. (She suddenly runs for the door and swings it open looking around, only to find a guard walking up to her who’s not Robert.) (To Guard): My guard Robert where did he go?
Guard: He left Your Highness, he said you dismissed him. (The Queen starts walking as more guards join her)
Queen Catherine: Well I didn’t! He’s responsible for the stag’s head place in the Queen of Scotland’s room he’s a heretic! find him! NOW! (The guards follow the Queen out to hunt for Robert)
(In the woods Bash and Samson have stopped and Bash is still holding him hostage.)
Samson: What are you going to do to me? (Bash tosses a rope to Samson a length of which is hanging from a large tree.)
Bash: Tie this around your feet.
Samson: My feet? Are you one of those devils of the woods? The ones who spill blood?
Bash (Turns and points his crossbow right at Samson’s face): I said tie your feet, and stop talking! (Samson begins to obey and starts tying his feet) stop thinking, say your prayers, you have time.
Samson (Frightened): Time? Time for what?
Bash (Still holding the crossbow): I need an audience or all this will be for naught.
Samson (Pleading): I only stole the money to feed my family, now maybe I deserve to lose a hand but now this. My little girl, she’s only 3 and she needs her father to look after her.
Bash: We all have people to look after. (Suddenly there is a sound in the woods.)
Samson (Crying and begging): Please don’t do this! (Bash in a panic drops the crossbow, and starts pulling it raising Samson off the ground as he screams and struggles.) Please release me!
Bash: Silence! Or I will peel you before I slice you! (While Samson continues to struggle, a dark figure is seen standing behind Bash who turns around to face this mysterious person.) You’ve threatened someone very close to me, now I need to know; if I kill someone, someone as wretched as this, my debt will be paid?
Dark Figure: The conditions are simple: make the choice, your offering any human offering, and your debt is paid.
Bash (Drawing his sword): Then I choose you! (The figure also draws his sword and prepares to do battle with Bash.)
(END OF ACT 4)
Act 5 Edit
(Still in the woods Bash and this mysterious figure both have their swords drawn ready to do battle.)
Dark Figure: Don’t pretend this faith is so strange to you. You’re betraying your family, bastard born or not.
Bash (Defensively): Shut up! (The two men engage in battle with their swords)
Dark Figure: It’s not just the King’s blood in your veins. Your mother’s blood is our blood. (The fighting continues as the figure knocks Bash to the ground and almost buries an axe in his head, and tries to hack him as he tries to get up off the ground. Then Bash gets the upper hand as he stabs the figure that promptly falls to the ground in pain as Bash stands over him.)
Bash (Pinning the figure down with his foot.): I think you’re ignorant, I think the blood lust is in you. (Bash then pushes his sword through his opponent’s abdomen as he cries out.)
Dark Figure: Ah! Now it’s in you. (Bash takes out his sword, and looks around him as his opponent dies.) (Meanwhile back at the castle, Kenna enters the King’s chambers and to her pleasant surprise she finds men hard at work removing the tiles that are embellished with Henry & Diane’s initials)
Kenna (Moving so a worker carrying new tiles can get past her): Oh, please
(In Diane’s chambers she is sitting by her window when King Henry enters the room with a frown on his face.)
Diane (Looking at his face): I know that frown
King Henry: I see the same on you. Are you not happy to see me?
Diane: Yes, of course. (She gets up and walks towards Henry) I was thinking about our son.
King Henry: I’m sure it’s not easy on him to see you displaced.
Diane: It’s not the first time.
King Henry: I feel displaced as well. (Diane looks at him in surprise as he rants about Kenna.) She wants to… change things. There are workers in by bedroom, dust, and noise. How long will the work take on the cottage?
Diane (Reassuringly): You don’t need to worry about it. I’ll take care of it all.
King Henry (Flopping himself on Diane’s bed): Why can’t she do that? Fix things without bothering me?
Diane: She’s young, perhaps she’ll learn.
King Henry: When will I learn?
Diane: I don’t care what you learn. (She climbs into bed with Henry, climbs on top of him and begins untying his shirt.) as long as you don’t forget.
King Henry: Mm. Not with you to remind me. (The two kiss and begin making love.) (Elsewhere in the castle, in Mary’s chambers, she is poking at the fireplace as she sits down holding the fire poker and speaks to Sarah who is in her room.)
Mary: Has Sebastian returned?
Sarah: Not yet.
Mary: And you told his servant to bring word immediately?
Sarah: I did. My Lady, you need to rest.
Mary: Yes. Fear is exhausting. (She traces the burn on her hand and stares into the fire deep in thought.) That guard will be caught before dawn…but I wish I knew if Bash had returned without harm to himself or… (She turns to Sarah) come and sit with me, Sarah. Tell me something about yourself I don’t know.
Sarah (Walking towards Mary): There must be some story you’d find more diverting than mine, some fairytale maybe?
Mary: One with a happy ending.
Sarah (Reaching for the fire poker): Shall I return that for you? (Mary turns and looks at Sarah’s hand and she is stunned to see the imprint of the pendant which is also burned into her hand.)
Mary (Jumps up with the fire poker, as she watches Sarah’s face change.): You lied. (Sarah advances towards Mary) you said you had never seen the necklace, but you’re the one who out it on my pillow. (Sarah pulls a dagger from under her dress and points it at Mary) GUARDS!
Sarah (Menacing): Don’t bother. If the King’s bastard fails again to pay his debt, he’ll need to learn.
Mary (Shocked): How many of you are there?
Mary: Sarah, you’ll burn for this! All of you, GUARDS! (Sarah lungs for Mary as two guards burst into the room and grab her, as Sarah struggles unsuccessfully.)
Sarah: Jackal let me go! (Mary watches as her guards drag Sarah out of the room, and she goes back to her chair by the fireplace and sits down clearly afraid and stunned.)
End of Act 5
ACT 6 Edit
(Early the next morning in the woods, Bash and Samson are riding together after Bash killed the Pagan to pay his debt.)
Samson: In the end you did nothing wrong, though I wish I’d known what you were planning.
Bash: Better that you didn’t.
Samson: More convincing, I suppose. Lord knows you convinced me. I’d have done the same in your position. Anything it takes to protect someone I love. But now you don’t need to do a thing more.
Bash (Curious): What else would I do, exactly? After my debt was paid? (They stop moving)
Samson (Nervous): Nothing.
Bash (Defensive): You still think I mean you harm? Why would that be? (They continue riding)
Samson (Stumbling to find words): All I meant was…You don’t pick your family or their faith, and it doesn’t matter whose blood flows through your veins. You choose your own path, or your king will. I come from a town where it’s better to be Protestant, but now being so close to the King, I’m Catholic declared, devout even.
Bash: How close do you think I am to the King? Do you know who I am?
Bash: You think I once shared the faith of those savages, that it was mine?
Bash (Getting angrier): Mine and my family? The family I couldn’t pick.
Samson (Clearly nervous): I don’t want anything, I swear. You’re the king’s bastard.
Bash: And my mother is?
Samson: Diane de Poitiers. (Bash suddenly pushes Samson off his horse, and over the edge of a very high cliff to his death; Bash then takes the horse and continues his ride back to the castle.)
(Back at French Court, Mary is walking through the hall when she is encountered by Francis who is coming through the throne room.)
Francis: Are you all right? Were you hurt?
Mary: I’m fine. (She walks up to Francis.) Did they catch your mother’s guard?
Francis (Nodding): Robert was caught fleeing through the Blood Wood. Now he’s down in the jails with your maid. They’ll be questioned until they are burned. (Bash comes into the room as Mary turns around and Francis looks up at him.)
Bash: It’s done. The debt’s been paid. You’re safe now.
Mary (Walking up to Bash): Bash what did you do? Tell me.
Francis. I’m sure it was more than you thought you were capable of. (Mary turns and looks at Francis.)
Bash: If we’re done here.
Francis: We’re not. You both were in terrible danger because of what you mean to each other…and what that meant to me. (Mary and Bash both have guilty looks on their faces.) For a moment, more than one I thought you deserved to die for what you did. Not by my, hand but in the wood, that if it happened, you’d have brought it on yourself.
Mary (Surprised): Francis…
Francis: But it could be at my hand, we both know it. I’m going to be King someday. Mary is already a Queen, we are rulers. We need to lead with a clear head and compassion, we’ve too much power to let anger and jealously cloud our judgment. And our situation… well it lets others get between us.
Mary (Walking up to Francis): Not if we swear to be true to one another. Not if we promise…
Francis (Cutting her off): What is our engagement but a promise? And it means nothing, because unless it makes sense for France, I can’t marry you. And if a better option arises for Scotland, you need to take it. It is your duty.
Mary (Worried and confused): What are you saying?
Francis: We have positioned ourselves for the worst sort of pain. When it is right for France, should you agree, I will be by your side, fully committed. Until then… (Francis turns to walk away.) You can spend your time with others. I have to accept that.
Mary (Shocked): You mean I do. (Francis turns to look at her.) Is this really about Olivia?
Francis: Someone needs to take control of things between us. (Mary scoffs) I can do it. I can keep my distance, even if it means releasing you to another. (Francis starts walking past Mary & Bash.) Anyone…but not my brother
Bash: Is that a warning little brother?
Francis (Getting into his brother’s face.): Yes, it is. (Francis walks away leaving Mary & Bash alone in the throne room. The two look at the direction in which Francis walked off, then they slowly looked at each other.) (Elsewhere in the castle, Francis knocks on a door, and Olivia opens it; Francis then pounces and begins kissing her.)
Francis: I can’t promise you anything. (They continue kissing with increasing passion, and then Francis closes the door behind them as they begin undressing each other to make love.) (The scene immediately comes up on a torch being lit, in a yard, Catherine’s guard Robert is tied to a pyre as guards prepare to burn him alive for heresy.)
Robert (Shouting): You can’t burn the truth, or him! He is sent by the true Gods! Defy him and he will come for you! For your last drop of blood! (The guards come closer with their torches.) Your sons and daughters too! (The guards bring Sarah who is sobbing as she too is tied to the other pyre and prepares to meet the same fate as Robert. There are hideous screams heard as they are burned alive.) (In the Castle, in Mary’s Chambers she and her ladies can hear the chilling screams coming from the yard.)
Aylee: Mary, you can’t watch this. (Lola joins Mary & Aylee by the window.)
Mary: I begged them to offer her the mercy of a quick death, before they put her on the pyre. (A very loud piercing scream is heard which make the three women shudder.)
Lola: They put an arrow in her, then. (Greer joins them and puts her hand on Aylee’s shoulder.)
Greer: They’re not who we thought they were. (The women all watch out of the window where they have a very clear view of the pyres now completely engulfed in flames.)
(In Diane’s chambers she is watching this same scene with her son Bash.)
Bash: He threatened my life tonight.
Diane: The Blood Priest?
Bash: I was speaking of Francis. (Diane looks a bit fearful.) Trying to rule his heart by ruling mine, we’re not safe here.
Diane (Concerned): You need to heed your brother’s warning about Mary.
Bash: The real warning is there are people who matter more, and people who matter less; those who will be remembered, and those who will be forgotten. (Bash joins his mother at the window and they watch the burning continue.)
Diane: I’ll make sure you’re remembered. (Diane and Bash look at each other with worry and concern.)
End of the Episode.