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The Death of Vanserie Vlaardoen IXby anonymous
outside Linden, late 1009 AC
characters: 2 gentlemen
enters two gentlemen
1st GENT: Oh dear, nice to meet you, how do you do?
2nd GENT: good days and bad days, more bad than good in fact, and you?
1st GENT: more or less like you. Of course with this war knocking ever and ever menacing to our doors...
2nd GENT: and our young men dying in the battlefields always more numerous...
1st GENT: and while our field of grain are abandoned, without a guide...
2nd GENT: and our lives themselves menaced by this terrible plague...
1st GENT: and our towns, become nearly ghost-towns...
2nd GENT: and our good old days of glory trembling like a candle at the end of his life...
1st GENT: and our beloved prince, acting always more like a fool...
2nd GENT: and...(shocked)wait a minute! you said Vanserie became fool? So his voices about his new mad manners are true...
1st GENT(lowering his voice): There's nothing confirmed but someone whispers he was cursed by the plague. As you know he refuses any clerical cure. And he works hard recluse in his laboratory to find another cure, but the failure of his trying and those numberless hours spent in that dark rooms are leading him towards madness...
2 GENT: and his relatives? Aren't they able to convince him to take clerical cures?
1st GENT: his wife(note of Author: I don't remember her name) is also ill, very ill, she will die until few days...Juliana and Sir Anton are desperate. They tried a lot of times but always failed. They watch our Prince every day going deeper in his madness and towards the death and they seem unable to front these problems.
(rumours and chants outside the scene)
2nd GENT: What are those rumours?
1st GENT: Probably another fool cleric hoping Vanserie will let him cure him, you know if someone could manage in this, his church will become very important in Bergdhoven...well my friend let's go too watch this show! perhaps miracles can happen also in this land abandoned by Immortals...
(enter a priest, I cannot decide of what Immortal, Greg do you have any idea?, with his assistant, followed by a crowd of commoners, many of them ill)
PRIEST (loudly): Follow me my dear friends, follow my teachings, and you will be saved... and freed from this plague and this war!
CROWD (also loudly): save us, saver of the world, put your bless over us, kiss our forehead and when it will be showed your power we will serve you for the eternity
1st GENT (in low voice to 2nd GENT):look my dear friend, look upon these weak-spirited men. Until yesterday they at best laughed of priests and their ridiculous theories, at worst they were the first to hunt and burn those poor fools...
2nd GENT: I remembered very well that period. Even two months ago a man, only suspected of being a follower of something like Ixon...Oxin, was hanged in the main place of Kopstar, and his house was burned...
1st GENT: yes...only two months ago...and now...now this!!! some beaten dogs licking the hands of their previous enemy, this they are!!! Oh, where is this damned war going to lead us?
(a man exit from the crowd and goes in front of the priest and the assistant)
MAN (crying): Oh mighty, Oh only light existing in this shadowy age, heal me from this terrible plague!!!
PRIEST (putting an hand on the head of the man): you mustn't pray me, you must believe in Powers that are kindly with you and that want only to lead us towards a destiny of glory...do you believe in this?
MAN (exiting): uh well, let me think...
PRIEST( with higher voice): there's nothing to think of...DO YOU BELIEVE?
PRIEST (his voce very HIGH): your cry must reach the heaven!! DO YOU BELIEVE?
MAN (LOUDLY):YES; I BELIEVE!
PRIEST(calmly):...so you will be saved...(heals the man)
CROWD: a miracle! a miracle!
ASSISTANT: hail for the glory of our power!
1st GENT (whispering to 2nd gent):what a disgusting show...
PRIEST(calming the crowd): no, it isn't a miracle, only the will of the Powers, but today could happen a sort of miracle...I have a dream sent by the Powers themselves...I'm here not only to heal you, I'm here to heal your mad prince Vanserie and to convert real to the only true faith. I know many had already tried but failed, but this time is different...you have seen this, I have the powers, powers gifted to me by real Powers...I believe... and I cannot fail.
(all of the character start towards Linden that is in the opposite area of the stage)
(the crowd, lead by the priest and followed by the two gentlemen, approaches the gates of Linden, warded by two guards)
CROWD: we want to see Vanserie!!!
1st GUARD: who dares to approach this manor? Don't you know that crowds are prohibited by laws and that our Prince doesn't receive anyone, unless is arriving a strict relatives or one of his ministers?
ASSISTANT (pointing to the priest): this is an holy man, ready to heal your prince and to bring him on the true way.
1st GUARD (incredulous): er...an HOLY man? What does this mean, maybe a priest?
CROWD: yes, it's a priest, and his gods are powerful, we have seen it!!!
2nd GUARD (to the priest): Ah, you must drop all of your hopes, fool. The Prince will never allow you to meet him. You were mad to come here. If the Prince will see you, you will be crushed by him. Go home and thanks your god if tonight you'll be still alive.
PRIEST: but I'm his only chance to recover from his disease. I came here with good intentions, I'm not going to harm him...(and begins walking towards the gate)
1st and 2nd GUARD (pointing their swords against the priest): stop! you cannot enter
CROWD (beginning to going upset): don't even touch him, stupid beasts, don't touch him!!!
1st GENT (to 2nd GENT): Things are becoming interesting, my dear
2nd GENT: In my humble opinion the priest his on march straight to a tragic end...
PRIEST (calming the crowd with some gestures, crowd suddenly becomes silent): there's no need of arms reach a result, dear brothers, it's only a matter of faith...(and suddenly his body is surrounded by a white aura and he starts walking again)
1st GUARD: I had warned you, stupid man (and hits the priest with his sword, but the sword breaks against priest's body)...(astonished)but it's impossible...I can't believe this.
2nd GUARD: you were only lucky...(and tries to hit, but again the same happened) (astonished)...it's unbelievable...that strike was fatal...I can't believe you survived that blow...
PRIEST: woe upon the unbelievers for they are like pale monkeys that try to imitate the real man graced by the kiss of the Powers, recognise your sins and submit yourselves to the mighty Powers and there could be still a chance for yours.
1st and 2nd GUARDS: (they fall to the ground crying) we beg your pardon almighty man, we realise you are right, enter and heal Vanserie
(but suddenly arises a female voice outside the stage) Wait, what is happening here? (and enters on the stage Juliana Vlaardoen)
Author's note: I realised, surfing in the GPD website, that Vanserie is not IX of his line but XI. I apologise for my previous mistake
just outside Linden
JULIANA: maybe you didn't understand me, guards. What's happening here? Why these men are so near to the tower? Do you remember my father want to not be disturbed by anyone?
1st GUARD: but Milady, there's this man...a priest...not like those previous false ones...this has real powers and can use them. Twice we tried to hit him and twice our swords were broken by his body...
2nd GUARD: it's true Milady, it's true. Perhaps this can be the man who will save Your great father.
JULIANA(telling to the priest): My father doesn't believe in your religion...Magic is the religion of my father...no the magic gifted to you at some other's will but that magic a wizard can find and master by himself and with this to achieve knowledge, honour, power and glory...
PRIEST: even if your words sound heretically for me, I know your heart is kind and also I know you don't want your father will die, for this will happen soon...your father is going to die...knowledge, honour, power and glory cannot save him...I can...let me try Juliana...
JULIANA: My father...he works tirelessly in his laboratories trying to find a solution, every day more reclusive while his body more rotted...his illness is eating him...and uncle Anton and I must watch him...
PRIEST: let me try Juliana and a new life will begin four him and for you...
JULIANA: a lot of times uncle Anton and I tried to persuade him to meet a priest but he always laughed saying: "Powers do not exist, power of magic exists and it's inside me. I'm the only one who can save myself". But perhaps there's a real Power behind you, even if I doubt this...try...even if I don't believe in you...for my blood can't believe...hundreds of years of traditions tie my feelings like a steel chain ties the lowest thief...I'm compelled here in this decaying tower with a decaying father...it's my legacy...try and may Lady Luck be with you
1st GENT (to 2nd GENT): this fool has entered also in the heart of Juliana.
2nd GENT (going upset): no! you are the fool. Your ears need a cleaning!!!
PRIEST (entering Linden): Have faith Juliana, have faith...(but watching outside the stage suddenly stops) ( horrified) but THIS what is it?
(a voice outside the stage, awful): why don't you watch me more...you have FAITH, don't you? or your faith isn't enough to suffer such a view...
JULIANA: Father, what are You doing?
just outside Linden
Vanserie Vlaardoen XI(outside the scene)
VOICE OF VANSERIE(always awful): stay silent, daughter. I want to enjoy myself...it's not common for me in this period...I want to speak with this 'mighty' and 'holy' man. Tell me, brave man, what are you doing? Why you are the only one my guards didn't keep far from this tower?
PRIEST: I'm here Vanserie to heal you and open your eyes in front of the true power of my Gods, this power led me here...
VOICE OF VANSERIE: Power could be the best and the worst reward on Mystara. I always looked for power, since I, for the first time many years ago, cast a minor spell. I always go ahead. looking for more power and now I'm near to control a new power, one which could free me from this decaying body that too much scares you...
PRIEST: but this power cannot save you, it's an empty power Vanserie...only kindness of Powers can bring you new life...
VOICE(always awful but with a bit of enjoying): Powers' kindness...child, you're like a child during the night when they are told him nice tales by his parents to put him in bed and force him to sleep...SLEEP IGNORANT!...SLEEP CHILD!...SLEEP for you can't keep your eyes open, so sleep...weak minds always prefer not to have difficult thoughts, it's better for them to easy answers even if they often embrace fake truths. Powers aren't kind. aren't better than us, they are false, evil, selfish exactly like us. We must thank them if now a war has erupted, if the meteor fell down...if I'm deadly ill...
PRIEST: I can't believe in your words. They are full of heresy and blasphemy...I must stop it. I'll lay my hands on you and everything will be in order.
VOICE: yes, come my dear, touch me if you dare. But don't trust your Power, trust in your spirit's power, if it's enough strong you, maybe, success.
PRIEST: Stay silent, font of evil(and walk with his hands raised and his assistant next to him but suddenly they crumble to dust)
the crowd flees crying
1st GENT: what a demonstration of magical skill.
JULIANA: FATHER! NO! what you have done?
VOICE: They needn't live, daughter. They were both dead long time ago when they chose a false way of life and now it's the turn of the 2 guards.
1st GUARD (crying): save us beloved Prince
2nd GUARD (also crying): we always served you well
VOICE: you also chose the wrong way, the way of the weak, the way of the half-men. Death is probably too honourable for you...die
also the 2 guards are disintegrated
JULIANA: Father, you are changed, you weren't never so evil and without feelings. You never killed an innocent. Your new studies are bringing you towards madness, stop them...I ask you this...maybe there's still a hope for you...
VOICE: I left every hope when I began these studies. Now my hope is to make you a good ruler, for I'm going to die, as your mother. At the beginning is hard daughter, but you must prevail over your feelings... I must return into my laboratory...farewell...
Juliana alone in the centre of the stage, the two gentlemen in front of Linden
Juliana in the centre of the stage
Near Linden's gates stay the two gentlemen
1st GENT (to 2nd) : look! she begins crying
2nd GENT: I understand her, her world is crumbling upon her
JULIANA (with is voice broken for the tears): Does it worthwhile all my years of intense studying? All those days spent close in a dark room with my father, for at first he didn't want to send me at the Great School, he kept me with himself for "a Flaem must learn only from another Flaem, and for you, daughter, as you will became the better mage in the future, is better to learn the basics of the Art from the best mage of the present"...all those days we were very closed he was a strict teacher, even hard-hearted when my exercises weren't perfect but how can I forget his smile when I cast my first spell or when I had learnt to master very difficult spells. Not only his face smiled, with his eyes, his teeth, his mouth, even his hair seemed to gain life, but I know his entire body enjoyed...his body...his body's decaying mirrors his heart's decaying...always more cynical, narrow-minded, and evil...but I know he's not the real Vanserie... but how could I find the real Vanserie, his smile, between that bulk of rotting flesh? all those years studying...and I can do nothing...my father is wrong...even with the best powers some problems cannot be solved... (from linden come a lot of mourning)
What's that? probably my mother has died...her end was near...my father's madness has done another victim...All those years studying...and I must see every day a bit of my family dying like fire that slowly fades away... I remember my father's voice when I was younger "one day you shall be the ruler, the best ruler Bergdhoven had never had..." how was proud his voice...now this time is coming but it's not the moment yet... simply I'm not ready...I have still a lot of questions for my father, I need a lot of answers...All those years studying...
exits entering Linden followed by the two gentlemen
enters the chorus (singing in Caurenzian)
Tu gracile bellezza
abbandonata e sola
nessuno ti consola
? grande il tuo patir
Il padre tuo ammalato
non vuol esser curato
e per questa fierezza
destinato ? a morir
You weak beauty
abandoned and alone
nobody consoles you
big are your sufferings
Your ill father
doesn't want to be cured
and for this fiery act
he's bound to die
Exit the chorus