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Alanna Script
I have written a screen play for Alanna that I am going to film this summer. If anyone else out there would want to do something like that you can use this script, just don't you dare say you wrote it.
I had to change alot of things in the story to make it easyer to film. One of the main things is that I changed Duke Roger into Lady Cassandra. I did this because very few of my guy friends were willing to commit time to this movie. The script spans the first and second Alanna books, and I omitted pretty much all the romance because my sister, who is Alanna, is only in 6th grade and refused to do any kissing sceans.


Alanna Script

Scene One: Play music, Film

Alanna- (taking while film what she's saying without noise.) My father never cared what we thought.  Thom was to become a knight and I was to become a lady, and that was final.  But Thom and I knew that we were destined for more.  That I would not be Lady Alanna, but a great knight. That he would not be Sir Thom, but a legendary sorcerer. We knew that our dreams would never be reality if we did not take matters into our own hands. So we did.
Thom and I switched places. He went to the convent, the place I was supposed to go. There, the Daughters of the Goddess trained sorcerers as well as ladies. But for me it was more difficult. In Tortall, women weren't allowed to become knights. I cut my hair, put on boy's clothes and became Alan. For I had to keep my true gender a secret if I was to become a knight.

Scene Two: On road

Coram- C'mon Thom, let's keep riding, we've three days ahead of us `for we reach the capital.

Alanna- (takes off hood) All right.

Coram- (startled) But-but Alanna! Where's Thom. What `re ye doin' here?

Alanna- Coram, calm down.

Coram- How can I calm down? We're goin' back this instant, an' I'm tannin' yer hide for ye when we get home!

Alanna- Thom is already on his way to the convent.

Coram- And what does yer father say?

Alanna- Why should he ever know? Coram, you know Thom doesn't want to be a knight. I do.

Coram- I don't care if the two of you want to be dancing bears. Ye're a girl.

Alanna- Who's to know? From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight; Thom'll be a sorcerer. It can happen.

Coram- It'll never work, besides, yer father will have my hide!

Alanna- Father doesn't care about anything but his scrolls.

Coram- He could still find out.

Alanna- Thom can't shoot for anything, and I can. You'd be the laughing stock of the Palace as Thom's man-at-arms. You said yourself that I have a feel for the fighting arts. Please Coram?

Coram- Finish cleaning up our lunch.  I take it I'm to call ye `Alan' now?

Scene Three- (In Corus, Film different people doing things in a Marketplace.)

Alanna- This place is huge; Trebond could fit into this marketplace!

Coram- Aye, it's the capital l-lad. Keep an eye to yer saddlebags. (Nods to George) There are some here that would steal their own mother's teeth.

George- (Smile) Who me?

Coram- (Snort) C'mon Alan.

(George winks at Alanna and fades into the crowd.)
  
(Coram and Alanna walk up to castle.)

Coram- I'm Coram Smythesson of Trebond. I've come with Master Alan of Trebond to begin his service at court.

Servant- Come, I'll take you to see Duke Gareth.

Scene Four- In hallway

Alanna- Well I'm glad that's over with. At least Duke Gareth didn't find out.

Coram- Aye, go (points) meet your fellow pages.

Alanna enters room filled with boys. Ralon comes up behind her.

Ralon- I wonder who this is. Probably some backcountry boy who thinks he's a noble.

Alanna- I was told pages were supposed to learn manners. Whoever told me that must've been mistaken.

Ralon- (grabs Alanna's shirt)- You'll do what you're told, till you earn the right to call yourself a page. If I say you're a goatherds son, you say, `Yes Lord Ralon.'

Alanna- I'd sooner kiss a pig!  Is that what you've been doing- kissing pigs?  Or being kissed?

(Ralon and Alanna fight)

(Jon and Gary enter)

Jon- What is this?

Ralon- Highness, this boy is acting as if he owned the palace.  He insulted me like no gentlemen insults another-

Jon- I don't think I spoke to you, Ralon.

Ralon- But highness, he-

Gary- Shut up, Ralon!  You've got your orders.

Douglas- It was Ralon, Jon!  He insulted the new boy and they got into a fight.

Jon- I'll speak with you later, Ralon.  You've been dismissed.

(Exit Ralon)

Jon- You've good taste in enemies, even if you do make them your first day here.  

Gary- This is Price Jonathan, lad.  

(Alanna bows)

Alanna- You're royal highness, I'm sorry about the- the misunderstanding.

Jon- You didn't misunderstand.  Ralon is no gentleman.  What's your name?

Alanna- Alan of Trebond, your highness.

Jon- This is Gary and this is Douglass. I think Gary should be your sponsor.  He will help you keep from getting lost.

Gary- A pleasure.

(Bell rings)

Jon- We'd better go.

(Exit everyone)

(Film with music Alanna at the palace. Fighting, studying, etc.)

Scene Five (Alanna is in the hallway.)

Servant (to Alanna)- Duke Gareth wants to see you.

(Alanna knocks on door)

Duke Gareth- Alan, come in.  I'm writing to your father reporting on your progress.  Do you have any messages for me to send to him?

Alanna: Please say that I send my regards sir.

Duke Gareth: My report is satisfactory.  You learn well and quickly.   We are glad to have you among us.

Alanna: Thank you Your Grace.

Duke Gareth: You may go to the city tomorrow morning as a reward.  You may have one of the older boys accompany you.

Alanna: Thank you sir!  

(Marketplace)

Gary- Close your mouth country boy, most of this is overpriced.

Alanna- But there's so much of everything!"

Gary laughs

George- Why! It's the young sprout I saw here a few months ago. I was wonderin' if you'd fallen into a well.

Alanna- I've been at the palace.

Gary- Who's your friend?

George- Allow me to introduce myself young masters. I'm George Cooper of the lower city. Will you take a cool drink with me? As my guests of course.

Alanna- Thank you, we accept.

(In tavern)

George- You shouldn't be surprised at my lookin' you up. I thought you'd like to be knowin' someone in the city.

Gary- Do you always make friends on such short notice?

George- I trust my instincts, young master. In my line of work, you learn quick to trust your instincts.

Alanna- What is it you do, George?

George- I- buy, and I sell.

Gary- You're a thief.

George- Thief is a harsh word, Master Gareth, but it's true. I'm what they call the King of Thieves, the Master of the Court of Rogue. (to Alanna) The Court of Rogue, is all of us who make a livin' by our wits. It's ruled by a king, me right now. But mastery doesn't last very long here. Who knows what some young buck will do for me what I did for the King before me just six months back? I'll need friends what that happens. Still, it won't happen soon. I can be a good friend to those who keep faith with me.

Gary- I like you- for all you're a thief.

George- And I like you- for all you're a noble. Friends then?

Gary- Friends. (Shake hands)

George- And you Alan?

Alanna- I'd like some more lemonade.

Scene Six (In library) (Alanna is working and Ralon walks in)

Ralon- Write this essay for me.

Alanna- You're joking.

Ralon- (Shoves Alanna) I said do it.

(Ralon leaves)

(Alanna glares after him and clenches her fists)

Scene Seven

Gary- Did you hear? Ralon has to do two extra English essays tonight. He never did his homework.

Jon- Serves him right.

Gary- I wonder how he thought he could get away with it?

Jon- He probably tried to make some little guy do it.

(Alanna looks down and fidgets.)

Gary- Alan do you know about this? Did you see Ralon do anything strange?

Alanna- Umm… no.

(Bell rings, they get up.)

Scene Eight (Alanna is serving Sir Myles)

Ralon- (pinches Alanna) Part payment, snot.

(Alanna drops tray)

(Alanna cleans up mess)

Myles- Everybody slips. Young Ralon is picking on you, isn't he?

Alanna- I don't know what you're talking about, sir.

Myles- Don't try to hide something we're both aware of. I see Ralon bulling you when you're alone or with the younger boys.

Alanna- I'm not a crybaby or a tattletale.

Myles- Do you think you will lose the other boys respect if you say anything?  Prince Jonathan would be the first to take you're side.

Alanna- I have handle this myself.

Myles- What are you trying to prove? You'll have to fight him in the end.

Alanna- I know sir.

Myles- Alan, he's taller and heavier than you! He'll kill you.  

Alanna- Then I'll fight him till he lets me alone, or till I get big enough to beat him. I can't let him walk all over me. I have to stick it out.

Scene Eight (Alanna enters her room, her uniform is torn and bloody and her eye is all black.)

Coram- Mother of darkness, what happened?

Alanna- Uh… I fell down.

Coram- Yer lyin'. Ye were in a fight.

Alanna- I said I fell down.

Coram- Ah. The ground bloodied yer nose, split yer lip, and punched ye in th' eye, all at once. Would ye prefer to say `twas yer pony? Th' others didn't say ye were hurt, so ye must've `fallen' in th' stables.

Alanna- I don't want to talk about it.

Coram- I'm off t' fetch some raw meat for yer eye. I'll tell th' lads ye're ill. Ye're a plucky lass. I'm proud of ye.

(Coram leaves)

(Some one knocks on the door.)

Jon- How do you feel?

Alanna- Miserable, Highness.

Jon- Poor little man, he really whipped you, didn't he?

Alanna- Nobody whipped me. I fell.

Jon- Deny it all you want. We both know you had a fight with Ralon and you lost.

Alanna- I fell. Your Highness.

Jon- Get some sleep, young Trebond.

Scene Nine
(Dark Street) (Alanna is walking down the street, to The Dancing Dove, inside there is bright lights, and people talking and laughing.)

Rispah- A bit young for this place, aren't you sonny?

Alanna- I'm looking for George, he said I could find him here.

Rispah- He did? That sounds like him, tellin' a bit of a boy t' come t' this place at night. Wait here. (Rispah leaves, then comes back) Come on then. Here ya be.

George- Alan this is Rispah, my cousin, and the Queen of the Ladies of Rogue. Alan's a friend of mine, from the country. Sit down, lad.

Alanna- Actually- can we talk alone? I- I need a favor.

George- Follow me.

(George and Alanna enter George's chambers.)

George- So, it's a favor you need? Anything to do with Ralon?

Alanna- Yes, Coram's been teaching me boxing and wrestling, but Ralon already knows those things. He's a squire. I hoped you might know some hand fighting they don't teach us at the palace.

George- Why d'you think I can teach you better than a man who cut his teeth on a sword?

Alanna- But that's it. Coram is a swordsman. I bet you win your fights barehanded.

George- You're right at that, take of your cloak then. Your first lesson starts now.

Scene Ten (Show Alanna and George working at fighting.)

Scene Eleven (Ralon is punching a dummy in the corner of the room. Gary and Jon are there too)

Alanna- (Walks in and takes a deep breath.) Ralon of Malven has beggars and thieves for ancestors. He's the son of a lizard and a demon. He has all the honor of a weasel. He can't even fight in the open like a man and a noble. He picks his fights in back halls- so no one can see him cheat.

Gary- (to Jon) I knew it!

Ralon- What did you say?

Alanna- Liar. Sneak. Coward. Bully. You disgrace your name. D'you want me to write it down for you? Oh- I forgot. You can't read either.

Ralon- Shut up! You pig! You wouldn't be so brave if your friends weren't here to do your fighting for-

Alanna- I fight my own battles! I want satisfaction for all I've taken from you. They're my witnesses.

Ralon- They won't step in, no matter what?

Alanna- They won't. I swear on my honor as a gentleman. You'd better swear by something else, though. You don't have any honor.

(Ralon and Alanna fight. Alanna wins.)

Alanna- Never touch me again. If you do, I swear by Mithros and the Goddess- I'll kill you. (Gets up. To Gary and Jon.) C'mon, lets go wash.

Ralon- Alan of Trebond! I'll make you pay for this! Just wait- I'll make you sorry!

(In Alanna's room.)

Myles- You weren't at dinner tonight. Ralon of Malven left court. Your servant, Coram, is bragging to his fellow Guardsmen that he knew you could do it all along. The other boys want to celebrate- they think you're a hero. Isn't that what you wanted?

Alanna- Is it? I don't know.

Myles- Alan, there will come a time when you, a knight, will have to fight someone less well trained that you. It can't be helped, and it doesn't make you a bully. It just means you learn to use your sills wisely. So now you've proved you're a warrior to the whole palace. Surely you want to celebrate.

Jon- (enters) Sir Myles. You beat me here. How's Alan?

Myles- I think he's tired. Alan, I'm going, but I wish you'd think about what I said.

Jon- What was that about?

Alanna- I think we were talking about what makes a bully.

Jon- A bully fights people littler and weaker than he is because he thinks it's fun. You won't find anyone smaller than you are, so you can't beat on them, and after today we're all going to think twice about whether you're the weakest. Look, young Trebond, what did you think studying to be a knight was all about?

Alanna- Thanks Highness, thanks a lot.

Jon- You may have noticed my friends call me Jonathan, or Jon.

Alanna- And am I your friend, Highness?

Jon- I do believe you are, I'd like you to be.

Alanna- Then I am, Jonathan.

Scene Twelve (Alanna talking, film different scenes)

Alanna- The Sweating Sickness struck in March without warning. It spared no one: people in the city, palace servants, priests, even the Queen. Duke Gareth was next, and the Lord Provost. I was fine, and working harder than I ever had in my life. Each time a servant got sick my chores increased. The healers were drained of their magic when they tried to heal the sick. Then the Dark God came to take his pick of the fever victims. In the city, the dead had to be taken away in cartloads. But then the unthinkable happened.

Scene Thirteen (Alanna is washing dishes.)

Coram- Alan, th' prince took sick last night, he's callin' for ye.

Alanna- How is he?

Coram- Bad.

(Alanna, Coram, and Myles enter Jon's room, where Duke Baird is.)

Alanna- Coram, open the windows. Let's get some clean air here.

Duke Baird- What goes on here?

Myles- Alan, you owe Duke Baird an explanation.

Alanna- I have the magic Gift, and I'm trained to heal. I may be only thirteen, but my magic hasn't been drained like all the healers. Jonathan's been calling for me, I think he can sense I can help.

Duke Baird- That may not be enough. As a healer you know normal healing takes only a little of the healer's strength. This fever doesn't. It will take all your strength. It call kill you; three of my healers are already dead. Can you risk your life against this sorcery?

Myles- So you also believe this sickness is caused by magic?

Duke Baird- Of course; no natural fever would slay a healer. The only sorcerer that could fight this fever is King Roland's nephew Duke Roger, but he is on the other side of the continent and can't be here for another month.

Alanna- I'll try anyway, with your permission.

Duke Baird- Let me feel your power. (Duke touches Alanna's hand.) (Gasp) Mithros guide you, I think the prince actually has a chance.

(Duke leaves.)

Alanna- (To Myles and Coram.) You'll stay?

Myles- You may count on us.

Jon- (weakly) Alan?

Alanna- I'm here Highness, it's Alan.

Jon- I knew you wouldn't let me die.

Myles- You're not going to die, don't even think about it.

Alanna- Come Jon, you've got to sleep. (Rubs Jon's temples) Sleep now, Jon, sleep.

Alanna- (film what she's saying) For the rest of the day I stayed with Jon. His cough got worse and he was plagued with nightmares. Nothing I did seemed to help.

Myles- Alan, this can't continue, he's going to die. Your Gift, use it.

Alanna- I've been using it! I haven't the training-

Myles- You can still save him. You know the spell.

(Alanna nods and goes to the fire.)(Throws packet of glitter on fire.)

Alanna- Dark Goddess, Great Mother, show me the way. Open the gates to me. Guide me Mother of mountains and mares. (Loud crashes and other sounds.)

Goddess- Call him back, I am here. Call him back.

(Alanna to the bed. Looks possessed.)

Goddess- He has traveled a long way, take his hands. Call him back.

Alanna- Thank you.

(All noise stops. Alanna, Jon, and the Dark God are in a black empty expanse.)

Alanna- It's time to come home now, Jon. (Dark God blocks Alanna's view of Jon.) You can't have him. Not yet. He's going to come back with me. You can't have him. (Dark God disappears.) Come back, this place isn't for us. Come home.

Jon- I'm coming. I'm with you, my friend. Time to leave.

(Scene fades)(Back in Jon's room.)

Jon- Thank you. It's good to be back. (Goes to sleep.)

Scene Fourteen

(Gary, Jon and Alanna enter room)

Jon: Looks like we have an important guest.  Let's nip by the entry hall and see who's here.  Cassandra!

Alanna- So she arrived at last.

Gary- I happened to overhear she's to teach the gifted ones sorcery.

(Lady Cassandra and Jon walk over to them)

Lady Cassandra (to Jon): So you're going to train your Gift?  I'll enjoy teaching you, cousin.  Young Gareth of Naxen, isn't it?  You've grown since I saw you last.  And this young one?

Jon- Lady Cassandra of Conte, may I present Alan of Trebond.  How long are you here, cousin?

Cassandra- My uncle says he wants me to stay here for awhile.  I think my wandering days are over.

Jon- I can't see why you've been avoiding us anyway.

Cassandra- Not avoiding you, educating myself.  Now, would you be so kind as to take me to their majesties?  I think it's time I greeted them.

Scene Fifteen (In Alanna's room.)
(Alanna is reading note from George)
George's Voice- You've been looking for a horse- I have one.  Come to the city first chance you get.  -George

Scene Sixteen (Alanna and Jon are walking in the city)
Jon- I'm glad to help pick your horse, but why all the secrecy?  You never told me you had relatives in the city.

Alanna- I had to tell Duke Gareth something!  You see the man we're meeting- he's not a relative.  He's a friend.   Thanks for coming with me Jonathan.

Jon- I'd do anything to get out of Reports in Council.  It's the spring planting today- that always puts me to sleep.

(Jon and Alanna enter the Dancing Dove.  Solem is sleeping with head resting on table.)

Alanna- Wake up you old drunk.  Is George around?

Solem- Why it's Master Alan.  But no Master Gary?

Alanna- Master Gary won't be around till Midwinter Festival.

Solem- At his tricks again, eh?  He be a lively one!  I'll get His Majesty.

Jon- `His Majesty?'  And how does this man know Gary?

Alanna- Oh, Gary comes with me all the time.

George (bows): Solem, go back to sleep.

(Solem leaves)

George: Your Highness.  I'm honored.

Alanna- I just brought him along for fun.

Jon- What's going on?

George- You didn't tell him?

Alanna (shakes head)- Prince Jonathan, this is my friend, George.

George- What Alan's not tellin' you that my work doesn't always mean stayin' right with the law.  But lads, you'll be wantin' to see the beast.  So Gary kissed Lady Roxanne?  I'd've kissed a sweeter armful myself.

Alanna- It was a bet.

George- For 10 gold pieces, I'd still've kissed someone prettier.

Jon- How'd you know about that bet?  It was a secret!

George- I've friends at the palace.  There isn't much you can keep from your servants.

Jon- hmm…

George- Well, here she is.

(Horse nickering.)

Alanna- Oh George, she's perfect.

Jon- She's stolen.

Alanna- I hope you didn't steal her, George.

George- No, I don't balk at stealin' a proper horse, young sprout, but I knew you would.

Alanna- Hey girl, hey. (Moves into stall.) I'll call you Moonlight. Yeah, do you like that girl?

Jon- I suppose I should trust the King of Thieve's word?

George- If the lad didn't tell you who I was, how'd you guess?

Jon- I sit at my father's council, remember.

George- You're quick, Highness.

Jon- I'm Jonathan- to my friends. Kings and princes should be friends don't you think? (Offers hand.)

George- (Shakes hand.) I agree- Jonathan.

Scene Seventeen (In Alanna's room, it's dark and Alanna is studying with a candle.) (Some one comes up behind her with a knife and stabs her in the arm.  Alanna screams grabs the knife and slashes the person across the face. The person runs away. Alanna runs from the room cradling her arm.)

Scene Eighteen (Alanna opens George's window and slides inside.)

George- Didn't your mother ever teach you to enter by way of the door? (Has knife against her throat.)

Alanna- George- it's me, Alan.

George- So it is. And what makes a noble sprout break into the Rogue's bedroom?

Alanna- I need your help. I've got to see a healing woman right away.

George- A healin' woman, is it? You'll have to give me more than that, lad. Why a woman? And why a city healer? The best are at the palace.

Alanna- I'm not a boy. I'm a girl.

George- You're a- you're a what?

Alanna- Hush! D'you want everyone to hear?

George- Why d'you need a healer?

Alanna- Light a brighter lamp. (Lights.) See, I'm hurt.

George- Mithros! C'mon, we've got to get you to a healer right away. I know just the lady. She's my own mother. She wouldn't talk if you pried her jaws apart.

Scene Eighteen. (George and Alanna are entering Eleni's house.)

George- I've a patient for you, Mother.

Eleni- Goddess, lad, what happened?

George- This is my friend, Mother. She's-

Eleni- She?

George- I didn't know until a few minutes ago, either.  Alan or-

Alanna- It's Alanna.

George- Alanna is actin' like a lad so she can be a knight.

Eleni- Ah… Well, I suggest I hear the rest later, if I don't use my healing gift right now, Alanna's arm may be useless for life.

Scene Twenty (Eleni's house.)

Eleni- There, Alanna, your arm's as good as new. You can use it today, but it may be a little stiff. Now, tell us how you came to have such an accident.

Alanna- I was in my room, and a man attacked me. I couldn't tell who he was. I slashed him across the face, and ran away.

Eleni- Then there is no way we can identify this man. Tea?

George- Is it that calming tea of yours? Gods know I need it. (Eleni exit.)

Alanna- I can't stop now, I didn't ask to be born a girl. It's not fair.

George- Hush your nonsense; bein' a girl hasn't slowed you down yet. And surely you don't plan to stay a pretty young man all your life?

Alanna- No, of course not. I'll tell them the truth when I'm eighteen and have my shield. If they hate me- well- I'll have proved I can be a knight, won't I? I'll go into the world and have adventures. They needn't ever see me again.

George- I haven't heard such foolishness in all my life. Are you tellin' me Jon will hate you? Gary? Or Sir Myles? My ears are deceivin' me.

Alanna- But I'm a girl, I'm lying to them. I'm doing men's things-

George- And you do them better then most young men. Hush yourself, and don't you worry. Your secrets safe with me.

Alanna- Thank you, George.

George- I'm callin' you Alanna when we're alone. I think you should be reminded of who you are.

Alanna- I suppose you insist-

George- I do.

Alanna- Just don't let it slip, I've come too far now.

Eleni- (Comes back with tea.) He doesn't forget details, he must get it from his father, for he never had it from me.

George- I'll enjoy watchin' you grow up, lass. Count on me to help.

Alanna- I never thought for a second that I couldn't.

Eleni- You're probably the only person in the city, besides me, who can say that. He's a good boy, even if he is crooked. Let George's people bring you to me, from now on, I doubt you'll need me much, though. Give me your hand. (Eleni takes hand, then pulls away, as if shocked.)

Alanna- Now what?

Eleni- Poor lass. The Goddess has Her hand on you. You've been given a hard path to walk. Luck to you, Alanna of Trebond, you'll need it.

Scene Twenty-one (In room, Alanna and Myles are playing chess.)

Myles- Have you ever seen my estates? They lie just off the Great North Road, between here and Trebond.

Alanna- I've never been anywhere but the capital and Trebond.

Myles- You should see more of Tortall. Do you know I have ruins up at my estate dating back to the Old Ones?

Alanna- Are they good, your ruins? Have you found anything there?

Myles- They're large, and I found a number of things there. Would you like to ride up with me and take a look?

Alanna- I'd love to go.

Scene Twenty-two (At Myles estate, Barony Olau.) (Alanna and Myles are walking.)

Alanna- Barony Olau is a lot different than Trebond. Why did your servants act afraid of the ruins?

Myles- My people claim they're haunted, but I doubt it. I've explored them for years without seeing a single ghost.

Alanna- Why bring me here?

Myles- I was compelled.

Alanna- You were what??

Myles- I was compelled. For seven nights in a row I had the same dream. You and I were exploring the ruins, dressed exactly as we are now. When I asked Duke Gareth to let you accompany me, the dreams stopped.

Alanna- Oh.

Myles- Oh indeed, shall we go in?

(Look around the ruins for a minute. Alanna enters the armory.)

Alanna- Myles, I think I found the armory! (shows Myles arrow head.)

Myles- I agree. And you may have made another find. You're a sharp fellow, Alan.

Alanna- What makes you say that?

Myles- How many fourteen year old boys could come to a place like this and find the armory?

Alanna- (Trying to move stone in corner of room.) Myles, you seem to think I'm special. I'm not, really.

Myles- It won't move, Mithros knows I've tried enough. I think it's just the armory door.

Alanna- Maybe if you give me a hand- (Stone moves, revealing stairs going down into blackness. Myles looks at Alanna oddly.) Drat it, Myles! I just put my back into it! Any other boy could've done it.

Myles- I was sixteen when I last tried to move that rock. And I had a friend with me. We couldn't budge it.

Alanna- Well- maybe there was dirt in the gears, and a rain washed it away, or something. Aren't you coming?

Myles- Don't be foolish, we don't know where it could lead.

Alanna- We should at least look, C'mon.

Myles- Alan, I order you to come back here!

Alanna- I'll be right back.

(Film Alanna, in dark cave with strange light. There is a sword that is lit up in the cave. Alanna takes it.)

Alanna- Myles, guess what I found.

Myles- Get back here. A storms coming up- and if it's natural, I'm a priest!

(Alanna runs up with the sword. They run off while lightning flashes, etc.)

Scene Twenty-three (In Myles' house. Alanna and Myles are wet.)

Alanna- Here, I found this in the cave.

Myles- What will you call her?

Alanna- But, it belongs to you!

Myles- You haven't been paying attention. I was compelled to bring you here. You opened the passage when I tried to do it for years, and failed. And don't forget the storm, Alan, I can take a hint.

Alanna- Alright. (Draw sword.)

Scene Twenty-four (Gary, Jon, and Alanna are eating lunch.)

Gary- Two children from the city disappeared into the Great Southern Forest, yesterday. And their bodies were discovered yesterday, dead, but with no markings on them.

Alanna- That is the third time this month, isn't it? I wonder what's happening to them.

Jon- I heard it's the Ysandir.

Gary- The Ysandir are just a myth, they're not real. Who told you it was them?

Jon- That's what Lady Cassandra thinks, I am her cousin you know, she wouldn't lie to me.

Alanna- Aren't the Ysandir immortals that were supposed to eat the souls of children?

Gary- Yup, but that's ridiculous, Jon. Those children probably just ate some poisoned berries or something.

(Bell rings, they get up.)

Scene Twenty-five (Lady Cassandra's classroom.)

Lady Cassandra- I'm sure all of you have heard about the two children who were found dead this morning. As well as the five other children that were found dead earlier this month. I think it is the Ysandir. They are supposedly myths, but the way the children have died is the same way the Ysandir usually kill their prey. But regardless of the reason, the Great Southern Forest is very dangerous, none of you are allowed to enter it. (Cassandra looks at Jon and twists diamond in front of him.) I would not be so foolhardy as to think myself strong enough to fight the Ysandir. If I dare not risk it, then none of you, - untrained and untried- would stand a chance. Don't venture near the Great Southern Forest on pain of death, and perhaps on pain of loosing your souls. I know when a sword is too heavy for me to lift.

Scene Twenty-six (In hallway, Alanna enters and then Jon.)

Alanna- (whispering) You must be crazy.

Jon- Are you coming? I'm going, with or without you.

Alanna- I'm coming.

Scene Twenty-seven (In forest Alanna and Jon are walking. There is a strange building in the distance.)

Alanna- (points) What's that?

Jon- I'm not sure, but I feel like we should go in it.

Alanna- So do I.  Which is why we shouldn't.

Jon- You can go back if you want, I'm looking inside it.

(Alanna sighs and they both enter the building.)

(On the inside there is strange pictures and symbols. There is a strange altar.)

Jon- Look at the altar.

(Suddenly two women appear in front of them.)

Ylanda- Look, its two more.

Ylon- They will feed us so that we can leave this place.

Alanna- This was your idea. (to Jon)

Jon- Who are you?

Ylanda- They speak, and look at the little one. It will hit us with its sword.

Ylon- You're mortal weapons will not hurt us. We are the Ysandir, we are immortal. Our flesh is not like yours.

Jon- You can not keep us here.

Ylon- He thinks his father, the king, will hunt for them, and destroy us.

Ylanda- Let your father bring his armies. We will feed on their souls and be strong. Then we can take over the world.

Jon- I don't need my father's soldiers. I am going to leave here, and you are not going to keep me.

Ylanda- Listen to the princeling! How you roar, young lion!

Alanna- Don't you dare speak so to him! (Draws lightning.)

Ylanda- So you come armed with the Old Ones' weapons. But can you use them?

Ylon- Ylanda, I cannot see into this one's mind. It is hiding something. Where did you get that sword?   

Alanna- None of your business!

Ylon- (laughing) But what is this? In all my centuries, I have not known such a jest. Young lion- see your companion for who SHE really is.

Jon- She?

Ylanda- A girl! His boy companion was a girl!

Ylon- A girl who hopes to protect her prince? A jest indeed.

Alanna- I may be a girl, but I can defend, or attack, as well as any boy. Highness, I-

Jon- Later. Just, who are you.

Alanna- Alanna of Trebond, Highness.

(Ylanda and Alanna have a sword fight. Alanna kills Ylanda.)

Alanna- So you can die, you can feel pain!

Ylon- (to Jon.) How long do you think she will last? Another few moments? Not even that? She is a girl. She is weak. She will give way, and where will you be?

Jon- We need fire, Alanna.

Alanna- Of course.

Both- Bright flame, light fire-
      Around Ysandir burn higher.
      Light the fire, bright the flame-
      Burn Ysandir in Mithros's name.

(Ylon screams, falls to the ground, and disappears.)

Jon- Are you alright?

Alanna- I'm shaken up. How bout you?

Jon- I'll be fine. C'mon lets get out of here.

Alanna- Think there are any more of them?

Jon- I say we've seen the last of the Ysandir.

(They leave the building.)

Scene Twenty-eight (Jon and Alanna are walking in the forest.)

Jon- How do you plan to be a warrior maiden if no one knows you're a girl?

Alanna- I'm going to tell everyone, on my eighteenth birthday.

Jon- And what will you do after that? Mithros, Duke Gareth will have fits.

Alanna- I'm going to travel and do great deeds.

Jon- I believe you, don't forget your friends when you're a legend.

Alanna- You'll be more famous than me! You'll be king one day!

Jon- And I'll need all my friends. Will you still serve me when you're doing great deeds?

Alanna- Of course.

Jon- Excellent. Now, Alan. Alanna. Perhaps you'll help me with a decision I have to make.

Alanna- I can try.

Jon- What with Gary and I becoming knights at the same time, competition for the squire's pretty fierce.

Alanna- So I've noticed.

Jon- Who do you think I should pick?

Alanna- Me, you should pick me.

Jon- But you're a girl.

Alanna- So? Even Duke Gareth says I can become a great swordsman. I'm as good an archer as Douglas, and he's a boy, and a squire. I'm a better tracker than Gary. And have I ever failed you? Back there, or when you had the Sweating Sickness-

Jon- I'm glad you agree with my reasons, I told father you'd probably accept.

(Alanna grins.)

Jon- You know, I'd almost rather face the Ysandir back there then Duke Gareth in a temper.

Alanna- I'll blame it all on you, see if I don't.

Twenty-nine (Show sign that saws two years later.)

(Alanna is setting up a fire, and a camp. She is alone.)

Alanna- It does figure, that I would be caught in rain, and have to spend the night outside! I hope Myles won't be angry that his documents are a day late.

(Keeps setting up camp.) (Hooded person enters camp.)

Alanna- (Stands up quickly) May I be of service?

Goddess- I saw your fire through the trees. Would you permit me to warm myself?

(Alanna hesitates, then nods.)

Goddess- It is odd to see a youngling alone in this place.

Alanna- I was caught by the storm. This was the first shelter I found.

Goddess- And so, my daughter, now you are a squire, and within four years you will be a knight. That doesn't seem so far away now, does it?

(Alanna looks shocked and opens and closes her mouth several times.)

Alanna- That's impossible, you- you can't be-

Goddess- Yes, I am the Great Mother Goddess. It is time we talked. Surely you know you are one of my Chosen? Is it so strange that I have come to you for a time, my daughter?

Alanna- I never asked to have conversations with the gods.

Goddess- Indeed you ask very little, you prefer to do all you can by yourself. But events for you in the next few years will determine your life's course, and you have no living mother to advise you.

Alanna- Yes.

(Goddess picks up a coal from the fire)

Goddess- Take this coal from my hand.

(Alanna looks shocked.  She slowly reaches out to the Goddess with a trembling hand.  When she takes it, she gasps and drops it.)

Alanna- It's cold!

Goddess- See the hole at the top, for a chain?  Wear it always, as a token of my will. It may help guard against you're enemies.

Alanna- My enemies?

Goddess- Yes, such as Lady Cassandra.

Alanna- I have no reason to fear Cassandra. None at all. I don't have any reason to fear Lady Cassandra, but I do. I hate her. You know what I think? The Sweating Sickness. It drained every healer who tried to cure it. It struck only in the capital, nowhere else, and Jon was the last to get it. They knew it had to be sorcerer's work. They sent for Lady Cassandra to help, but none of them thought Lady Cassandra might have created it! Thom says Cassandra is powerful enough to've sent from across the continent, and Thom ought to know. I was almost murdered after Cassandra came, she was probably behind that too. And two summers ago, I don't think Jon would have gone near the Great Southern Forest if Cassandra hadn't gathered us all to warn us about how dangerous it was. It seemed to me Cassandra was daring Jon to go to a place where Cassandra knew Jon could be killed.
   But everyone loves Cassandra. No one stops to think that if something was to happen to Jon, Cassandra would be the heir.

Goddess- And what will you do about this fear?

Alanna- Watch, wait mostly. But if Cassandra is what I suspect, I won't stop till I've destroyed her.

Goddess- Lady Cassandra is only one person, for all she wields sorcery, she can be defeated. My, daughter, you have been given a hard road to walk.  Much depends on you.  Do not fail me.  My time with you has now come to an end.  Fare well my daughter!

Alanna- Fare well, my Mother.

(The Goddess leaves.)

Chapter Thirty (Alanna enters Dancing Dove.)

Lightfingers- Alan, come join me for a drink.

Alanna- Thanks, but I'm here on an errand.

Lightfingers- Are ye ever here t' drink? What a sober youngling! Ye an' yer friend, Jonny. Ye never have a drop! `Tis unnatural.

George- Alan, come upstairs, lad.

Alanna- Goddess, I'm tired. Up before dawn everyday! Maybe I should change my mind and become a stable hand or something.

George- Anyone who wishes to become a knight is mad, in my way of thinkin'. Lass I've some bad news for ye. Remember the messenger ye asked me t' send to Lord Thom last month?

Alanna- The one was supposed to tell Thom to come to the palace?

George- Aye, my messenger was slain. Five arrows in his back, all poisoned. Someone was takin' no chances.

Alanna- Then I'll have to go see Thom, myself.

George- If you're plannin' any ride to the City of the Gods, I'm goin' with you. Didn't you hear me before? Five poisoned tipped arrows in my man, and it's as well for you he carried a message, rather than a letter. He was searched, his things were spread out on the ground. So, miss, like it or no, I go with you when you visit your brother.    

Scene Thirty-one (In the City of the Gods.)

Master Si-cham- We are honored to have you among us, Squire Alan, Freeman Cooper. I am Si-cham, Chief of the Masters here.  We would be pleased if you joined us for the evening meal. We get little news of the world.

George- We would be honored to come.

Si-cham- Excellent, excellent. Follow me please. I do not believe Adept Thom is expecting you?

Alanna- I wanted to surprise him.

(Thom opens door.)

Thom- Brother dear! Not- George Cooper?

George- The same, I've heard a thing or two about you myself.   

Thom- Surely some of it was good.

Si-cham- (Acting suddenly very cold and mean.) Their things have been taken to the guest wing. And they have accepted an invitation to take the evening meal with us.

Thom- Oh, then I will have to join you- won't I?

Si-cham- It will be a change. I will leave you to talk now.

Alanna- I don't get it. He was very friendly a moment ago.

Thom- They've been angry with me ever since I stopped playing the idiot and passed the written examinations for mastery.

Alanna- You passed the written examinations for mastery. But you're only seventeen! Most don't try till they are thirty.

Thom- Two weeks ago. It was easier than you think. All that's left is the spoken examinations, and the Ordeal of Sorcery.

Alanna- You call that all?

Thom- I was ready more than a year ago. And now they can't wait for me to finish and get out of here. I make them nervous. Now what brings you two here? Or rather sister, what brings you? I guess correctly when I say George came to protect you.

George- Truth to tell, I came for the ride. Surely you know Alanna can take care of herself.

Thom- You came to protect her from a certain sorcerer duke. Or did you think I had forgotten him? He hasn't forgotten me. There are two people watching me here.

Alanna- It's just as well you're getting you're Mastery then, isn't it? I need you at the palace.

Thom- Do you indeed?

Alanna- When I become a knight next year I'm going to travel for a while. I want you at the palace to protect Jon, if Roger tried anything.

Thom- Alright, I want to live at court for a while.

Alanna- So how are you brother?

Thom- Well, it's rather boring here… (scene fades)

Scene Thirty-two (Alanna is sleeping in her room when Jon walks in.)

Jon- Rise and shine! It's the Summer Solstice! And do you know what else happens today?

Alanna- (Sits up quickly) My knighting. Today I become a knight.

Scene Thirty-three (The Summer Solstice party is in full swing. Alanna, Jon, Gary, Thom, Coram, King Roland, Queen Liane, Lady Cassandra, Duke Gareth and lots of other people are there.)

Gary- (To Alanna and Thom) Look at the queen, she's coughing again. She's never fully recovered from the Sweating Sickness.

Alanna- Thom, distract Lady Cassandra, if he is trying to kill the Queen their should be some evidence of it somewhere, and I'm going to find it.  

Scene Thirty-four (Alanna is outside Lady Cassandra chambers, picking the lock.)

Alanna- C'mon, open. (swings open) There! (enters Lady Cassandra's rooms. There is another door in the first room, Alanna tries to open it, but fails.) Hmm… there is a spell on this door. (takes out Goddess's charm) Goddess, could you open this door for me? (door swings open) Thank you Great Lady.
    (enters second room. This room has magic stuff all over it. There is a water fall in the room.) Do I hear splashing? (Goes by the waterfall, and picks up doll that looks like the queen.) (gasp) It's an Image doll! Of the Queen. (Find a basket with images of Alanna, Jon, the King, Duke Gareth, and Myles.) She's going to use these dolls to kill us!

Scene Thirty-five (Back at the party.)

Jon- Alan! Where have you been? The king is planning to knight you!

Alanna- Sorry, I'm coming.

(Alanna steps up in front of the King.)

Alanna- Your Majesty, I swear to defend you, and the rest of Tortall, I will uphold the codes of chivalry, and serve the gods, and the crown, all my life.

King Roland- I dub thee Sir Alan, knight of the Realm of Tortall. Serve honorably and well.

(Crowed cheers)

King- Sir Alan, it is the custom to tell the court of any falsehoods, or crimes you have committed before you became a knight, so you can be forgiven, and start your new life as a knight, fresh.

Alanna- Your Majesty, I would like to tell the court two things. I have lied about something ever since I came here to become a knight. I am not Alan of Trebond. (Court buzzes) I am Alanna, a girl. I have lied about my true gender for seven years so I could become a knight.

King- What??

Alanna- I'm sorry, Your Majesty, I hated lying to all of you, but it was necessary. Would you have let me win my shield if I had told the truth? I've tried to be honest about everything else. And I can't regret what I did.

King- Well, you have certainly proven yourself worthy of your shield. What was the other thing you said you would tell the court?

Alanna- I have done a dishonorable thing. I broke into someone's chambers tonight. I knew this was dishonorable, and did it anyway. What I did was wrong. What I thought to find- what I did find- was far worse. (shows them the Image dolls. Alanna looks at Lady Cassandra.) Shall I tell them where I found these, Your Grace? Shall I tell them about the little fountain in your private workroom where the Queens image lay under running water, wasting away little by little? Shall I-

Lady Cassandra - Liar! Majesty Sir Alanna has long been jealous of my influence with you and my cousin Jonathan. She now seeks to dishonor me in your eyes by showing you these dolls she created and accuse me a casting such spells.

Alanna- For what reason? Why would I wish the Queen harm? She is the mother of my prince and my friend. She has been kind to me. I do not gain from harming her, just as I do not gain from harming others who could stop me from stealing a throne that isn't mine!

Lady Cassandra - Liar! Do you deny you have the skill to create such a spell? Do you deny that you have the knowledge, when I taught image-magic to you myself? You planned to kill their Majesties so that when Jonathan became king you would be the most powerful knight in the realm.

Myles- This is very interesting. Carry that thinking a step further and suppose the death of Prince Jonathan. Who would gain? I presume, Cassandra, that you would gain as the next king of Tortall.

Lady Cassandra - It's a plot against me! Myles tries to turn you all against me, while this knight gives false evidence! I demand my rights. I demand a trial by combat, myself against my accuser. If I lie, Sir Alanna will win by the will of the gods. But I say I will win, because I am innocent!

King- You may have the combat.

Lady Cassandra - As the accused, I may choose the time. Let it be now, before these lies spread and poisons people's minds against me.  

Alanna- This time or any other is of no matter to me. I believe Lady Cassandra to be plotting against the lives of my Prince and my friends. The sooner this is resolved, the sooner they will be safe.

King- We meet in the Great Throne Room.

Scene Thirty-six (Large hall with people in a ring in it. Alanna is stretching and so is Lady Cassandra.)(Alanna hugs her friends.)

King- Let the combat begin.

(Alanna and Lady Cassandra fight. Should take a few minutes. At the end, Alanna kills Lady Cassandra.)

Scene Thirty-seven (Outside palace.)

Jon- Are you sure you won't change your mind? I really feel that I don't know Sir Alanna at all.

Alanna- I need to be alone; well, not exactly alone. But I need to get away from court for awhile and just think.

Gary- If you're still feeling bad about Roger, you shouldn't. You did what had to be done.

Alanna- I know. But I've been planning this trip for a long time, and now I have more of a reason than ever for taking it. I'll sort out Roger, and being a lady knight and what I want to do with my life, and then I'll come back. Truly I will, I couldn't stay away long.

Gary- If you stay away to long we'll come looking for you. Safe journey, Alanna.

Alanna- (to George) I'm going to miss you, old friend.

George- So much more reason to return to me, after you've thought all that needs thinkin'. Go with my love, Alanna.

Jon- When you come home, all this will have blown over, and no one will be happier to see you than I.

Alanna- Goodbye, Jon, goodbye everyone. (Alanna walks away.)  
Alanna Script

Scene One: Play music, Film

Alanna- (taking while film what she's saying without noise.) My father never cared what we thought.  Thom was to become a knight and I was to become a lady, and that was final.  But Thom and I knew that we were destined for more.  That I would not be Lady Alanna, but a great knight. That he would not be Sir Thom, but a legendary sorcerer. We knew that our dreams would never be reality if we did not take matters into our own hands. So we did.
Thom and I switched places. He went to the convent, the place I was supposed to go. There, the Daughters of the Goddess trained sorcerers as well as ladies. But for me it was more difficult. In Tortall, women weren't allowed to become knights. I cut my hair, put on boy's clothes and became Alan. For I had to keep my true gender a secret if I was to become a knight.

Scene Two: On road

Coram- C'mon Thom, let's keep riding, we've three days ahead of us `for we reach the capital.

Alanna- (takes off hood) All right.

Coram- (startled) But-but Alanna! Where's Thom. What `re ye doin' here?

Alanna- Coram, calm down.

Coram- How can I calm down? We're goin' back this instant, an' I'm tannin' yer hide for ye when we get home!

Alanna- Thom is already on his way to the convent.

Coram- And what does yer father say?

Alanna- Why should he ever know? Coram, you know Thom doesn't want to be a knight. I do.

Coram- I don't care if the two of you want to be dancing bears. Ye're a girl.

Alanna- Who's to know? From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight; Thom'll be a sorcerer. It can happen.

Coram- It'll never work, besides, yer father will have my hide!

Alanna- Father doesn't care about anything but his scrolls.

Coram- He could still find out.

Alanna- Thom can't shoot for anything, and I can. You'd be the laughing stock of the Palace as Thom's man-at-arms. You said yourself that I have a feel for the fighting arts. Please Coram?

Coram- Finish cleaning up our lunch.  I take it I'm to call ye `Alan' now?

Scene Three- (In Corus, Film different people doing things in a Marketplace.)

Alanna- This place is huge; Trebond could fit into this marketplace!

Coram- Aye, it's the capital l-lad. Keep an eye to yer saddlebags. (Nods to George) There are some here that would steal their own mother's teeth.

George- (Smile) Who me?

Coram- (Snort) C'mon Alan.

(George winks at Alanna and fades into the crowd.)
  
(Coram and Alanna walk up to castle.)

Coram- I'm Coram Smythesson of Trebond. I've come with Master Alan of Trebond to begin his service at court.

Servant- Come, I'll take you to see Duke Gareth.

Scene Four- In hallway

Alanna- Well I'm glad that's over with. At least Duke Gareth didn't find out.

Coram- Aye, go (points) meet your fellow pages.

Alanna enters room filled with boys. Ralon comes up behind her.

Ralon- I wonder who this is. Probably some backcountry boy who thinks he's a noble.

Alanna- I was told pages were supposed to learn manners. Whoever told me that must've been mistaken.

Ralon- (grabs Alanna's shirt)- You'll do what you're told, till you earn the right to call yourself a page. If I say you're a goatherds son, you say, `Yes Lord Ralon.'

Alanna- I'd sooner kiss a pig!  Is that what you've been doing- kissing pigs?  Or being kissed?

(Ralon and Alanna fight)

(Jon and Gary enter)

Jon- What is this?

Ralon- Highness, this boy is acting as if he owned the palace.  He insulted me like no gentlemen insults another-

Jon- I don't think I spoke to you, Ralon.

Ralon- But highness, he-

Gary- Shut up, Ralon!  You've got your orders.

Douglas- It was Ralon, Jon!  He insulted the new boy and they got into a fight.

Jon- I'll speak with you later, Ralon.  You've been dismissed.

(Exit Ralon)

Jon- You've good taste in enemies, even if you do make them your first day here.  

Gary- This is Price Jonathan, lad.  

(Alanna bows)

Alanna- You're royal highness, I'm sorry about the- the misunderstanding.

Jon- You didn't misunderstand.  Ralon is no gentleman.  What's your name?

Alanna- Alan of Trebond, your highness.

Jon- This is Gary and this is Douglass. I think Gary should be your sponsor.  He will help you keep from getting lost.

Gary- A pleasure.

(Bell rings)

Jon- We'd better go.

(Exit everyone)

(Film with music Alanna at the palace. Fighting, studying, etc.)

Scene Five (Alanna is in the hallway.)

Servant (to Alanna)- Duke Gareth wants to see you.

(Alanna knocks on door)

Duke Gareth- Alan, come in.  I'm writing to your father reporting on your progress.  Do you have any messages for me to send to him?

Alanna: Please say that I send my regards sir.

Duke Gareth: My report is satisfactory.  You learn well and quickly.   We are glad to have you among us.

Alanna: Thank you Your Grace.

Duke Gareth: You may go to the city tomorrow morning as a reward.  You may have one of the older boys accompany you.

Alanna: Thank you sir!  

(Marketplace)

Gary- Close your mouth country boy, most of this is overpriced.

Alanna- But there's so much of everything!"

Gary laughs

George- Why! It's the young sprout I saw here a few months ago. I was wonderin' if you'd fallen into a well.

Alanna- I've been at the palace.

Gary- Who's your friend?

George- Allow me to introduce myself young masters. I'm George Cooper of the lower city. Will you take a cool drink with me? As my guests of course.

Alanna- Thank you, we accept.

(In tavern)

George- You shouldn't be surprised at my lookin' you up. I thought you'd like to be knowin' someone in the city.

Gary- Do you always make friends on such short notice?

George- I trust my instincts, young master. In my line of work, you learn quick to trust your instincts.

Alanna- What is it you do, George?

George- I- buy, and I sell.

Gary- You're a thief.

George- Thief is a harsh word, Master Gareth, but it's true. I'm what they call the King of Thieves, the Master of the Court of Rogue. (to Alanna) The Court of Rogue, is all of us who make a livin' by our wits. It's ruled by a king, me right now. But mastery doesn't last very long here. Who knows what some young buck will do for me what I did for the King before me just six months back? I'll need friends what that happens. Still, it won't happen soon. I can be a good friend to those who keep faith with me.

Gary- I like you- for all you're a thief.

George- And I like you- for all you're a noble. Friends then?

Gary- Friends. (Shake hands)

George- And you Alan?

Alanna- I'd like some more lemonade.

Scene Six (In library) (Alanna is working and Ralon walks in)

Ralon- Write this essay for me.

Alanna- You're joking.

Ralon- (Shoves Alanna) I said do it.

(Ralon leaves)

(Alanna glares after him and clenches her fists)

Scene Seven

Gary- Did you hear? Ralon has to do two extra English essays tonight. He never did his homework.

Jon- Serves him right.

Gary- I wonder how he thought he could get away with it?

Jon- He probably tried to make some little guy do it.

(Alanna looks down and fidgets.)

Gary- Alan do you know about this? Did you see Ralon do anything strange?

Alanna- Umm… no.

(Bell rings, they get up.)

Scene Eight (Alanna is serving Sir Myles)

Ralon- (pinches Alanna) Part payment, snot.

(Alanna drops tray)

(Alanna cleans up mess)

Myles- Everybody slips. Young Ralon is picking on you, isn't he?

Alanna- I don't know what you're talking about, sir.

Myles- Don't try to hide something we're both aware of. I see Ralon bulling you when you're alone or with the younger boys.

Alanna- I'm not a crybaby or a tattletale.

Myles- Do you think you will lose the other boys respect if you say anything?  Prince Jonathan would be the first to take you're side.

Alanna- I have handle this myself.

Myles- What are you trying to prove? You'll have to fight him in the end.

Alanna- I know sir.

Myles- Alan, he's taller and heavier than you! He'll kill you.  

Alanna- Then I'll fight him till he lets me alone, or till I get big enough to beat him. I can't let him walk all over me. I have to stick it out.

Scene Eight (Alanna enters her room, her uniform is torn and bloody and her eye is all black.)

Coram- Mother of darkness, what happened?

Alanna- Uh… I fell down.

Coram- Yer lyin'. Ye were in a fight.

Alanna- I said I fell down.

Coram- Ah. The ground bloodied yer nose, split yer lip, and punched ye in th' eye, all at once. Would ye prefer to say `twas yer pony? Th' others didn't say ye were hurt, so ye must've `fallen' in th' stables.

Alanna- I don't want to talk about it.

Coram- I'm off t' fetch some raw meat for yer eye. I'll tell th' lads ye're ill. Ye're a plucky lass. I'm proud of ye.

(Coram leaves)

(Some one knocks on the door.)

Jon- How do you feel?

Alanna- Miserable, Highness.

Jon- Poor little man, he really whipped you, didn't he?

Alanna- Nobody whipped me. I fell.

Jon- Deny it all you want. We both know you had a fight with Ralon and you lost.

Alanna- I fell. Your Highness.

Jon- Get some sleep, young Trebond.

Scene Nine
(Dark Street) (Alanna is walking down the street, to The Dancing Dove, inside there is bright lights, and people talking and laughing.)

Rispah- A bit young for this place, aren't you sonny?

Alanna- I'm looking for George, he said I could find him here.

Rispah- He did? That sounds like him, tellin' a bit of a boy t' come t' this place at night. Wait here. (Rispah leaves, then comes back) Come on then. Here ya be.

George- Alan this is Rispah, my cousin, and the Queen of the Ladies of Rogue. Alan's a friend of mine, from the country. Sit down, lad.

Alanna- Actually- can we talk alone? I- I need a favor.

George- Follow me.

(George and Alanna enter George's chambers.)

George- So, it's a favor you need? Anything to do with Ralon?

Alanna- Yes, Coram's been teaching me boxing and wrestling, but Ralon already knows those things. He's a squire. I hoped you might know some hand fighting they don't teach us at the palace.

George- Why d'you think I can teach you better than a man who cut his teeth on a sword?

Alanna- But that's it. Coram is a swordsman. I bet you win your fights barehanded.

George- You're right at that, take of your cloak then. Your first lesson starts now.

Scene Ten (Show Alanna and George working at fighting.)

Scene Eleven (Ralon is punching a dummy in the corner of the room. Gary and Jon are there too)

Alanna- (Walks in and takes a deep breath.) Ralon of Malven has beggars and thieves for ancestors. He's the son of a lizard and a demon. He has all the honor of a weasel. He can't even fight in the open like a man and a noble. He picks his fights in back halls- so no one can see him cheat.

Gary- (to Jon) I knew it!

Ralon- What did you say?

Alanna- Liar. Sneak. Coward. Bully. You disgrace your name. D'you want me to write it down for you? Oh- I forgot. You can't read either.

Ralon- Shut up! You pig! You wouldn't be so brave if your friends weren't here to do your fighting for-

Alanna- I fight my own battles! I want satisfaction for all I've taken from you. They're my witnesses.

Ralon- They won't step in, no matter what?

Alanna- They won't. I swear on my honor as a gentleman. You'd better swear by something else, though. You don't have any honor.

(Ralon and Alanna fight. Alanna wins.)

Alanna- Never touch me again. If you do, I swear by Mithros and the Goddess- I'll kill you. (Gets up. To Gary and Jon.) C'mon, lets go wash.

Ralon- Alan of Trebond! I'll make you pay for this! Just wait- I'll make you sorry!

(In Alanna's room.)

Myles- You weren't at dinner tonight. Ralon of Malven left court. Your servant, Coram, is bragging to his fellow Guardsmen that he knew you could do it all along. The other boys want to celebrate- they think you're a hero. Isn't that what you wanted?

Alanna- Is it? I don't know.

Myles- Alan, there will come a time when you, a knight, will have to fight someone less well trained that you. It can't be helped, and it doesn't make you a bully. It just means you learn to use your sills wisely. So now you've proved you're a warrior to the whole palace. Surely you want to celebrate.

Jon- (enters) Sir Myles. You beat me here. How's Alan?

Myles- I think he's tired. Alan, I'm going, but I wish you'd think about what I said.

Jon- What was that about?

Alanna- I think we were talking about what makes a bully.

Jon- A bully fights people littler and weaker than he is because he thinks it's fun. You won't find anyone smaller than you are, so you can't beat on them, and after today we're all going to think twice about whether you're the weakest. Look, young Trebond, what did you think studying to be a knight was all about?

Alanna- Thanks Highness, thanks a lot.

Jon- You may have noticed my friends call me Jonathan, or Jon.

Alanna- And am I your friend, Highness?

Jon- I do believe you are, I'd like you to be.

Alanna- Then I am, Jonathan.

Scene Twelve (Alanna talking, film different scenes)

Alanna- The Sweating Sickness struck in March without warning. It spared no one: people in the city, palace servants, priests, even the Queen. Duke Gareth was next, and the Lord Provost. I was fine, and working harder than I ever had in my life. Each time a servant got sick my chores increased. The healers were drained of their magic when they tried to heal the sick. Then the Dark God came to take his pick of the fever victims. In the city, the dead had to be taken away in cartloads. But then the unthinkable happened.

Scene Thirteen (Alanna is washing dishes.)

Coram- Alan, th' prince took sick last night, he's callin' for ye.

Alanna- How is he?

Coram- Bad.

(Alanna, Coram, and Myles enter Jon's room, where Duke Baird is.)

Alanna- Coram, open the windows. Let's get some clean air here.

Duke Baird- What goes on here?

Myles- Alan, you owe Duke Baird an explanation.

Alanna- I have the magic Gift, and I'm trained to heal. I may be only thirteen, but my magic hasn't been drained like all the healers. Jonathan's been calling for me, I think he can sense I can help.

Duke Baird- That may not be enough. As a healer you know normal healing takes only a little of the healer's strength. This fever doesn't. It will take all your strength. It call kill you; three of my healers are already dead. Can you risk your life against this sorcery?

Myles- So you also believe this sickness is caused by magic?

Duke Baird- Of course; no natural fever would slay a healer. The only sorcerer that could fight this fever is King Roland's nephew Duke Roger, but he is on the other side of the continent and can't be here for another month.

Alanna- I'll try anyway, with your permission.

Duke Baird- Let me feel your power. (Duke touches Alanna's hand.) (Gasp) Mithros guide you, I think the prince actually has a chance.

(Duke leaves.)

Alanna- (To Myles and Coram.) You'll stay?

Myles- You may count on us.

Jon- (weakly) Alan?

Alanna- I'm here Highness, it's Alan.

Jon- I knew you wouldn't let me die.

Myles- You're not going to die, don't even think about it.

Alanna- Come Jon, you've got to sleep. (Rubs Jon's temples) Sleep now, Jon, sleep.

Alanna- (film what she's saying) For the rest of the day I stayed with Jon. His cough got worse and he was plagued with nightmares. Nothing I did seemed to help.

Myles- Alan, this can't continue, he's going to die. Your Gift, use it.

Alanna- I've been using it! I haven't the training-

Myles- You can still save him. You know the spell.

(Alanna nods and goes to the fire.)(Throws packet of glitter on fire.)

Alanna- Dark Goddess, Great Mother, show me the way. Open the gates to me. Guide me Mother of mountains and mares. (Loud crashes and other sounds.)

Goddess- Call him back, I am here. Call him back.

(Alanna to the bed. Looks possessed.)

Goddess- He has traveled a long way, take his hands. Call him back.

Alanna- Thank you.

(All noise stops. Alanna, Jon, and the Dark God are in a black empty expanse.)

Alanna- It's time to come home now, Jon. (Dark God blocks Alanna's view of Jon.) You can't have him. Not yet. He's going to come back with me. You can't have him. (Dark God disappears.) Come back, this place isn't for us. Come home.

Jon- I'm coming. I'm with you, my friend. Time to leave.

(Scene fades)(Back in Jon's room.)

Jon- Thank you. It's good to be back. (Goes to sleep.)

Scene Fourteen

(Gary, Jon and Alanna enter room)

Jon: Looks like we have an important guest.  Let's nip by the entry hall and see who's here.  Cassandra!

Alanna- So she arrived at last.

Gary- I happened to overhear she's to teach the gifted ones sorcery.

(Lady Cassandra and Jon walk over to them)

Lady Cassandra (to Jon): So you're going to train your Gift?  I'll enjoy teaching you, cousin.  Young Gareth of Naxen, isn't it?  You've grown since I saw you last.  And this young one?

Jon- Lady Cassandra of Conte, may I present Alan of Trebond.  How long are you here, cousin?

Cassandra- My uncle says he wants me to stay here for awhile.  I think my wandering days are over.

Jon- I can't see why you've been avoiding us anyway.

Cassandra- Not avoiding you, educating myself.  Now, would you be so kind as to take me to their majesties?  I think it's time I greeted them.

Scene Fifteen (In Alanna's room.)
(Alanna is reading note from George)
George's Voice- You've been looking for a horse- I have one.  Come to the city first chance you get.  -George

Scene Sixteen (Alanna and Jon are walking in the city)
Jon- I'm glad to help pick your horse, but why all the secrecy?  You never told me you had relatives in the city.

Alanna- I had to tell Duke Gareth something!  You see the man we're meeting- he's not a relative.  He's a friend.   Thanks for coming with me Jonathan.

Jon- I'd do anything to get out of Reports in Council.  It's the spring planting today- that always puts me to sleep.

(Jon and Alanna enter the Dancing Dove.  Solem is sleeping with head resting on table.)

Alanna- Wake up you old drunk.  Is George around?

Solem- Why it's Master Alan.  But no Master Gary?

Alanna- Master Gary won't be around till Midwinter Festival.

Solem- At his tricks again, eh?  He be a lively one!  I'll get His Majesty.

Jon- `His Majesty?'  And how does this man know Gary?

Alanna- Oh, Gary comes with me all the time.

George (bows): Solem, go back to sleep.

(Solem leaves)

George: Your Highness.  I'm honored.

Alanna- I just brought him along for fun.

Jon- What's going on?

George- You didn't tell him?

Alanna (shakes head)- Prince Jonathan, this is my friend, George.

George- What Alan's not tellin' you that my work doesn't always mean stayin' right with the law.  But lads, you'll be wantin' to see the beast.  So Gary kissed Lady Roxanne?  I'd've kissed a sweeter armful myself.

Alanna- It was a bet.

George- For 10 gold pieces, I'd still've kissed someone prettier.

Jon- How'd you know about that bet?  It was a secret!

George- I've friends at the palace.  There isn't much you can keep from your servants.

Jon- hmm…

George- Well, here she is.

(Horse nickering.)

Alanna- Oh George, she's perfect.

Jon- She's stolen.

Alanna- I hope you didn't steal her, George.

George- No, I don't balk at stealin' a proper horse, young sprout, but I knew you would.

Alanna- Hey girl, hey. (Moves into stall.) I'll call you Moonlight. Yeah, do you like that girl?

Jon- I suppose I should trust the King of Thieve's word?

George- If the lad didn't tell you who I was, how'd you guess?

Jon- I sit at my father's council, remember.

George- You're quick, Highness.

Jon- I'm Jonathan- to my friends. Kings and princes should be friends don't you think? (Offers hand.)

George- (Shakes hand.) I agree- Jonathan.

Scene Seventeen (In Alanna's room, it's dark and Alanna is studying with a candle.) (Some one comes up behind her with a knife and stabs her in the arm.  Alanna screams grabs the knife and slashes the person across the face. The person runs away. Alanna runs from the room cradling her arm.)

Scene Eighteen (Alanna opens George's window and slides inside.)

George- Didn't your mother ever teach you to enter by way of the door? (Has knife against her throat.)

Alanna- George- it's me, Alan.

George- So it is. And what makes a noble sprout break into the Rogue's bedroom?

Alanna- I need your help. I've got to see a healing woman right away.

George- A healin' woman, is it? You'll have to give me more than that, lad. Why a woman? And why a city healer? The best are at the palace.

Alanna- I'm not a boy. I'm a girl.

George- You're a- you're a what?

Alanna- Hush! D'you want everyone to hear?

George- Why d'you need a healer?

Alanna- Light a brighter lamp. (Lights.) See, I'm hurt.

George- Mithros! C'mon, we've got to get you to a healer right away. I know just the lady. She's my own mother. She wouldn't talk if you pried her jaws apart.

Scene Eighteen. (George and Alanna are entering Eleni's house.)

George- I've a patient for you, Mother.

Eleni- Goddess, lad, what happened?

George- This is my friend, Mother. She's-

Eleni- She?

George- I didn't know until a few minutes ago, either.  Alan or-

Alanna- It's Alanna.

George- Alanna is actin' like a lad so she can be a knight.

Eleni- Ah… Well, I suggest I hear the rest later, if I don't use my healing gift right now, Alanna's arm may be useless for life.

Scene Twenty (Eleni's house.)

Eleni- There, Alanna, your arm's as good as new. You can use it today, but it may be a little stiff. Now, tell us how you came to have such an accident.

Alanna- I was in my room, and a man attacked me. I couldn't tell who he was. I slashed him across the face, and ran away.

Eleni- Then there is no way we can identify this man. Tea?

George- Is it that calming tea of yours? Gods know I need it. (Eleni exit.)

Alanna- I can't stop now, I didn't ask to be born a girl. It's not fair.

George- Hush your nonsense; bein' a girl hasn't slowed you down yet. And surely you don't plan to stay a pretty young man all your life?

Alanna- No, of course not. I'll tell them the truth when I'm eighteen and have my shield. If they hate me- well- I'll have proved I can be a knight, won't I? I'll go into the world and have adventures. They needn't ever see me again.

George- I haven't heard such foolishness in all my life. Are you tellin' me Jon will hate you? Gary? Or Sir Myles? My ears are deceivin' me.

Alanna- But I'm a girl, I'm lying to them. I'm doing men's things-

George- And you do them better then most young men. Hush yourself, and don't you worry. Your secrets safe with me.

Alanna- Thank you, George.

George- I'm callin' you Alanna when we're alone. I think you should be reminded of who you are.

Alanna- I suppose you insist-

George- I do.

Alanna- Just don't let it slip, I've come too far now.

Eleni- (Comes back with tea.) He doesn't forget details, he must get it from his father, for he never had it from me.

George- I'll enjoy watchin' you grow up, lass. Count on me to help.

Alanna- I never thought for a second that I couldn't.

Eleni- You're probably the only person in the city, besides me, who can say that. He's a good boy, even if he is crooked. Let George's people bring you to me, from now on, I doubt you'll need me much, though. Give me your hand. (Eleni takes hand, then pulls away, as if shocked.)

Alanna- Now what?

Eleni- Poor lass. The Goddess has Her hand on you. You've been given a hard path to walk. Luck to you, Alanna of Trebond, you'll need it.

Scene Twenty-one (In room, Alanna and Myles are playing chess.)

Myles- Have you ever seen my estates? They lie just off the Great North Road, between here and Trebond.

Alanna- I've never been anywhere but the capital and Trebond.

Myles- You should see more of Tortall. Do you know I have ruins up at my estate dating back to the Old Ones?

Alanna- Are they good, your ruins? Have you found anything there?

Myles- They're large, and I found a number of things there. Would you like to ride up with me and take a look?

Alanna- I'd love to go.

Scene Twenty-two (At Myles estate, Barony Olau.) (Alanna and Myles are walking.)

Alanna- Barony Olau is a lot different than Trebond. Why did your servants act afraid of the ruins?

Myles- My people claim they're haunted, but I doubt it. I've explored them for years without seeing a single ghost.

Alanna- Why bring me here?

Myles- I was compelled.

Alanna- You were what??

Myles- I was compelled. For seven nights in a row I had the same dream. You and I were exploring the ruins, dressed exactly as we are now. When I asked Duke Gareth to let you accompany me, the dreams stopped.

Alanna- Oh.

Myles- Oh indeed, shall we go in?

(Look around the ruins for a minute. Alanna enters the armory.)

Alanna- Myles, I think I found the armory! (shows Myles arrow head.)

Myles- I agree. And you may have made another find. You're a sharp fellow, Alan.

Alanna- What makes you say that?

Myles- How many fourteen year old boys could come to a place like this and find the armory?

Alanna- (Trying to move stone in corner of room.) Myles, you seem to think I'm special. I'm not, really.

Myles- It won't move, Mithros knows I've tried enough. I think it's just the armory door.

Alanna- Maybe if you give me a hand- (Stone moves, revealing stairs going down into blackness. Myles looks at Alanna oddly.) Drat it, Myles! I just put my back into it! Any other boy could've done it.

Myles- I was sixteen when I last tried to move that rock. And I had a friend with me. We couldn't budge it.

Alanna- Well- maybe there was dirt in the gears, and a rain washed it away, or something. Aren't you coming?

Myles- Don't be foolish, we don't know where it could lead.

Alanna- We should at least look, C'mon.

Myles- Alan, I order you to come back here!

Alanna- I'll be right back.

(Film Alanna, in dark cave with strange light. There is a sword that is lit up in the cave. Alanna takes it.)

Alanna- Myles, guess what I found.

Myles- Get back here. A storms coming up- and if it's natural, I'm a priest!

(Alanna runs up with the sword. They run off while lightning flashes, etc.)

Scene Twenty-three (In Myles' house. Alanna and Myles are wet.)

Alanna- Here, I found this in the cave.

Myles- What will you call her?

Alanna- But, it belongs to you!

Myles- You haven't been paying attention. I was compelled to bring you here. You opened the passage when I tried to do it for years, and failed. And don't forget the storm, Alan, I can take a hint.

Alanna- Alright. (Draw sword.)

Scene Twenty-four (Gary, Jon, and Alanna are eating lunch.)

Gary- Two children from the city disappeared into the Great Southern Forest, yesterday. And their bodies were discovered yesterday, dead, but with no markings on them.

Alanna- That is the third time this month, isn't it? I wonder what's happening to them.

Jon- I heard it's the Ysandir.

Gary- The Ysandir are just a myth, they're not real. Who told you it was them?

Jon- That's what Lady Cassandra thinks, I am her cousin you know, she wouldn't lie to me.

Alanna- Aren't the Ysandir immortals that were supposed to eat the souls of children?

Gary- Yup, but that's ridiculous, Jon. Those children probably just ate some poisoned berries or something.

(Bell rings, they get up.)

Scene Twenty-five (Lady Cassandra's classroom.)

Lady Cassandra- I'm sure all of you have heard about the two children who were found dead this morning. As well as the five other children that were found dead earlier this month. I think it is the Ysandir. They are supposedly myths, but the way the children have died is the same way the Ysandir usually kill their prey. But regardless of the reason, the Great Southern Forest is very dangerous, none of you are allowed to enter it. (Cassandra looks at Jon and twists diamond in front of him.) I would not be so foolhardy as to think myself strong enough to fight the Ysandir. If I dare not risk it, then none of you, - untrained and untried- would stand a chance. Don't venture near the Great Southern Forest on pain of death, and perhaps on pain of loosing your souls. I know when a sword is too heavy for me to lift.

Scene Twenty-six (In hallway, Alanna enters and then Jon.)

Alanna- (whispering) You must be crazy.

Jon- Are you coming? I'm going, with or without you.

Alanna- I'm coming.

Scene Twenty-seven (In forest Alanna and Jon are walking. There is a strange building in the distance.)

Alanna- (points) What's that?

Jon- I'm not sure, but I feel like we should go in it.

Alanna- So do I.  Which is why we shouldn't.

Jon- You can go back if you want, I'm looking inside it.

(Alanna sighs and they both enter the building.)

(On the inside there is strange pictures and symbols. There is a strange altar.)

Jon- Look at the altar.

(Suddenly two women appear in front of them.)

Ylanda- Look, its two more.

Ylon- They will feed us so that we can leave this place.

Alanna- This was your idea. (to Jon)

Jon- Who are you?

Ylanda- They speak, and look at the little one. It will hit us with its sword.

Ylon- You're mortal weapons will not hurt us. We are the Ysandir, we are immortal. Our flesh is not like yours.

Jon- You can not keep us here.

Ylon- He thinks his father, the king, will hunt for them, and destroy us.

Ylanda- Let your father bring his armies. We will feed on their souls and be strong. Then we can take over the world.

Jon- I don't need my father's soldiers. I am going to leave here, and you are not going to keep me.

Ylanda- Listen to the princeling! How you roar, young lion!

Alanna- Don't you dare speak so to him! (Draws lightning.)

Ylanda- So you come armed with the Old Ones' weapons. But can you use them?

Ylon- Ylanda, I cannot see into this one's mind. It is hiding something. Where did you get that sword?   

Alanna- None of your business!

Ylon- (laughing) But what is this? In all my centuries, I have not known such a jest. Young lion- see your companion for who SHE really is.

Jon- She?

Ylanda- A girl! His boy companion was a girl!

Ylon- A girl who hopes to protect her prince? A jest indeed.

Alanna- I may be a girl, but I can defend, or attack, as well as any boy. Highness, I-

Jon- Later. Just, who are you.

Alanna- Alanna of Trebond, Highness.

(Ylanda and Alanna have a sword fight. Alanna kills Ylanda.)

Alanna- So you can die, you can feel pain!

Ylon- (to Jon.) How long do you think she will last? Another few moments? Not even that? She is a girl. She is weak. She will give way, and where will you be?

Jon- We need fire, Alanna.

Alanna- Of course.

Both- Bright flame, light fire-
      Around Ysandir burn higher.
      Light the fire, bright the flame-
      Burn Ysandir in Mithros's name.

(Ylon screams, falls to the ground, and disappears.)

Jon- Are you alright?

Alanna- I'm shaken up. How bout you?

Jon- I'll be fine. C'mon lets get out of here.

Alanna- Think there are any more of them?

Jon- I say we've seen the last of the Ysandir.

(They leave the building.)

Scene Twenty-eight (Jon and Alanna are walking in the forest.)

Jon- How do you plan to be a warrior maiden if no one knows you're a girl?

Alanna- I'm going to tell everyone, on my eighteenth birthday.

Jon- And what will you do after that? Mithros, Duke Gareth will have fits.

Alanna- I'm going to travel and do great deeds.

Jon- I believe you, don't forget your friends when you're a legend.

Alanna- You'll be more famous than me! You'll be king one day!

Jon- And I'll need all my friends. Will you still serve me when you're doing great deeds?

Alanna- Of course.

Jon- Excellent. Now, Alan. Alanna. Perhaps you'll help me with a decision I have to make.

Alanna- I can try.

Jon- What with Gary and I becoming knights at the same time, competition for the squire's pretty fierce.

Alanna- So I've noticed.

Jon- Who do you think I should pick?

Alanna- Me, you should pick me.

Jon- But you're a girl.

Alanna- So? Even Duke Gareth says I can become a great swordsman. I'm as good an archer as Douglas, and he's a boy, and a squire. I'm a better tracker than Gary. And have I ever failed you? Back there, or when you had the Sweating Sickness-

Jon- I'm glad you agree with my reasons, I told father you'd probably accept.

(Alanna grins.)

Jon- You know, I'd almost rather face the Ysandir back there then Duke Gareth in a temper.

Alanna- I'll blame it all on you, see if I don't.

Twenty-nine (Show sign that saws two years later.)

(Alanna is setting up a fire, and a camp. She is alone.)

Alanna- It does figure, that I would be caught in rain, and have to spend the night outside! I hope Myles won't be angry that his documents are a day late.

(Keeps setting up camp.) (Hooded person enters camp.)

Alanna- (Stands up quickly) May I be of service?

Goddess- I saw your fire through the trees. Would you permit me to warm myself?

(Alanna hesitates, then nods.)

Goddess- It is odd to see a youngling alone in this place.

Alanna- I was caught by the storm. This was the first shelter I found.

Goddess- And so, my daughter, now you are a squire, and within four years you will be a knight. That doesn't seem so far away now, does it?

(Alanna looks shocked and opens and closes her mouth several times.)

Alanna- That's impossible, you- you can't be-

Goddess- Yes, I am the Great Mother Goddess. It is time we talked. Surely you know you are one of my Chosen? Is it so strange that I have come to you for a time, my daughter?

Alanna- I never asked to have conversations with the gods.

Goddess- Indeed you ask very little, you prefer to do all you can by yourself. But events for you in the next few years will determine your life's course, and you have no living mother to advise you.

Alanna- Yes.

(Goddess picks up a coal from the fire)

Goddess- Take this coal from my hand.

(Alanna looks shocked.  She slowly reaches out to the Goddess with a trembling hand.  When she takes it, she gasps and drops it.)

Alanna- It's cold!

Goddess- See the hole at the top, for a chain?  Wear it always, as a token of my will. It may help guard against you're enemies.

Alanna- My enemies?

Goddess- Yes, such as Lady Cassandra.

Alanna- I have no reason to fear Cassandra. None at all. I don't have any reason to fear Lady Cassandra, but I do. I hate her. You know what I think? The Sweating Sickness. It drained every healer who tried to cure it. It struck only in the capital, nowhere else, and Jon was the last to get it. They knew it had to be sorcerer's work. They sent for Lady Cassandra to help, but none of them thought Lady Cassandra might have created it! Thom says Cassandra is powerful enough to've sent from across the continent, and Thom ought to know. I was almost murdered after Cassandra came, she was probably behind that too. And two summers ago, I don't think Jon would have gone near the Great Southern Forest if Cassandra hadn't gathered us all to warn us about how dangerous it was. It seemed to me Cassandra was daring Jon to go to a place where Cassandra knew Jon could be killed.
   But everyone loves Cassandra. No one stops to think that if something was to happen to Jon, Cassandra would be the heir.

Goddess- And what will you do about this fear?

Alanna- Watch, wait mostly. But if Cassandra is what I suspect, I won't stop till I've destroyed her.

Goddess- Lady Cassandra is only one person, for all she wields sorcery, she can be defeated. My, daughter, you have been given a hard road to walk.  Much depends on you.  Do not fail me.  My time with you has now come to an end.  Fare well my daughter!

Alanna- Fare well, my Mother.

(The Goddess leaves.)

Chapter Thirty (Alanna enters Dancing Dove.)

Lightfingers- Alan, come join me for a drink.

Alanna- Thanks, but I'm here on an errand.

Lightfingers- Are ye ever here t' drink? What a sober youngling! Ye an' yer friend, Jonny. Ye never have a drop! `Tis unnatural.

George- Alan, come upstairs, lad.

Alanna- Goddess, I'm tired. Up before dawn everyday! Maybe I should change my mind and become a stable hand or something.

George- Anyone who wishes to become a knight is mad, in my way of thinkin'. Lass I've some bad news for ye. Remember the messenger ye asked me t' send to Lord Thom last month?

Alanna- The one was supposed to tell Thom to come to the palace?

George- Aye, my messenger was slain. Five arrows in his back, all poisoned. Someone was takin' no chances.

Alanna- Then I'll have to go see Thom, myself.

George- If you're plannin' any ride to the City of the Gods, I'm goin' with you. Didn't you hear me before? Five poisoned tipped arrows in my man, and it's as well for you he carried a message, rather than a letter. He was searched, his things were spread out on the ground. So, miss, like it or no, I go with you when you visit your brother.    

Scene Thirty-one (In the City of the Gods.)

Master Si-cham- We are honored to have you among us, Squire Alan, Freeman Cooper. I am Si-cham, Chief of the Masters here.  We would be pleased if you joined us for the evening meal. We get little news of the world.

George- We would be honored to come.

Si-cham- Excellent, excellent. Follow me please. I do not believe Adept Thom is expecting you?

Alanna- I wanted to surprise him.

(Thom opens door.)

Thom- Brother dear! Not- George Cooper?

George- The same, I've heard a thing or two about you myself.   

Thom- Surely some of it was good.

Si-cham- (Acting suddenly very cold and mean.) Their things have been taken to the guest wing. And they have accepted an invitation to take the evening meal with us.

Thom- Oh, then I will have to join you- won't I?

Si-cham- It will be a change. I will leave you to talk now.

Alanna- I don't get it. He was very friendly a moment ago.

Thom- They've been angry with me ever since I stopped playing the idiot and passed the written examinations for mastery.

Alanna- You passed the written examinations for mastery. But you're only seventeen! Most don't try till they are thirty.

Thom- Two weeks ago. It was easier than you think. All that's left is the spoken examinations, and the Ordeal of Sorcery.

Alanna- You call that all?

Thom- I was ready more than a year ago. And now they can't wait for me to finish and get out of here. I make them nervous. Now what brings you two here? Or rather sister, what brings you? I guess correctly when I say George came to protect you.

George- Truth to tell, I came for the ride. Surely you know Alanna can take care of herself.

Thom- You came to protect her from a certain sorcerer duke. Or did you think I had forgotten him? He hasn't forgotten me. There are two people watching me here.

Alanna- It's just as well you're getting you're Mastery then, isn't it? I need you at the palace.

Thom- Do you indeed?

Alanna- When I become a knight next year I'm going to travel for a while. I want you at the palace to protect Jon, if Roger tried anything.

Thom- Alright, I want to live at court for a while.

Alanna- So how are you brother?

Thom- Well, it's rather boring here… (scene fades)

Scene Thirty-two (Alanna is sleeping in her room when Jon walks in.)

Jon- Rise and shine! It's the Summer Solstice! And do you know what else happens today?

Alanna- (Sits up quickly) My knighting. Today I become a knight.

Scene Thirty-three (The Summer Solstice party is in full swing. Alanna, Jon, Gary, Thom, Coram, King Roland, Queen Liane, Lady Cassandra, Duke Gareth and lots of other people are there.)

Gary- (To Alanna and Thom) Look at the queen, she's coughing again. She's never fully recovered from the Sweating Sickness.

Alanna- Thom, distract Lady Cassandra, if he is trying to kill the Queen their should be some evidence of it somewhere, and I'm going to find it.  

Scene Thirty-four (Alanna is outside Lady Cassandra chambers, picking the lock.)

Alanna- C'mon, open. (swings open) There! (enters Lady Cassandra's rooms. There is another door in the first room, Alanna tries to open it, but fails.) Hmm… there is a spell on this door. (takes out Goddess's charm) Goddess, could you open this door for me? (door swings open) Thank you Great Lady.
    (enters second room. This room has magic stuff all over it. There is a water fall in the room.) Do I hear splashing? (Goes by the waterfall, and picks up doll that looks like the queen.) (gasp) It's an Image doll! Of the Queen. (Find a basket with images of Alanna, Jon, the King, Duke Gareth, and Myles.) She's going to use these dolls to kill us!

Scene Thirty-five (Back at the party.)

Jon- Alan! Where have you been? The king is planning to knight you!

Alanna- Sorry, I'm coming.

(Alanna steps up in front of the King.)

Alanna- Your Majesty, I swear to defend you, and the rest of Tortall, I will uphold the codes of chivalry, and serve the gods, and the crown, all my life.

King Roland- I dub thee Sir Alan, knight of the Realm of Tortall. Serve honorably and well.

(Crowed cheers)

King- Sir Alan, it is the custom to tell the court of any falsehoods, or crimes you have committed before you became a knight, so you can be forgiven, and start your new life as a knight, fresh.

Alanna- Your Majesty, I would like to tell the court two things. I have lied about something ever since I came here to become a knight. I am not Alan of Trebond. (Court buzzes) I am Alanna, a girl. I have lied about my true gender for seven years so I could become a knight.

King- What??

Alanna- I'm sorry, Your Majesty, I hated lying to all of you, but it was necessary. Would you have let me win my shield if I had told the truth? I've tried to be honest about everything else. And I can't regret what I did.

King- Well, you have certainly proven yourself worthy of your shield. What was the other thing you said you would tell the court?

Alanna- I have done a dishonorable thing. I broke into someone's chambers tonight. I knew this was dishonorable, and did it anyway. What I did was wrong. What I thought to find- what I did find- was far worse. (shows them the Image dolls. Alanna looks at Lady Cassandra.) Shall I tell them where I found these, Your Grace? Shall I tell them about the little fountain in your private workroom where the Queens image lay under running water, wasting away little by little? Shall I-

Lady Cassandra - Liar! Majesty Sir Alanna has long been jealous of my influence with you and my cousin Jonathan. She now seeks to dishonor me in your eyes by showing you these dolls she created and accuse me a casting such spells.

Alanna- For what reason? Why would I wish the Queen harm? She is the mother of my prince and my friend. She has been kind to me. I do not gain from harming her, just as I do not gain from harming others who could stop me from stealing a throne that isn't mine!

Lady Cassandra - Liar! Do you deny you have the skill to create such a spell? Do you deny that you have the knowledge, when I taught image-magic to you myself? You planned to kill their Majesties so that when Jonathan became king you would be the most powerful knight in the realm.

Myles- This is very interesting. Carry that thinking a step further and suppose the death of Prince Jonathan. Who would gain? I presume, Cassandra, that you would gain as the next king of Tortall.

Lady Cassandra - It's a plot against me! Myles tries to turn you all against me, while this knight gives false evidence! I demand my rights. I demand a trial by combat, myself against my accuser. If I lie, Sir Alanna will win by the will of the gods. But I say I will win, because I am innocent!

King- You may have the combat.

Lady Cassandra - As the accused, I may choose the time. Let it be now, before these lies spread and poisons people's minds against me.  

Alanna- This time or any other is of no matter to me. I believe Lady Cassandra to be plotting against the lives of my Prince and my friends. The sooner this is resolved, the sooner they will be safe.

King- We meet in the Great Throne Room.

Scene Thirty-six (Large hall with people in a ring in it. Alanna is stretching and so is Lady Cassandra.)(Alanna hugs her friends.)

King- Let the combat begin.

(Alanna and Lady Cassandra fight. Should take a few minutes. At the end, Alanna kills Lady Cassandra.)

Scene Thirty-seven (Outside palace.)

Jon- Are you sure you won't change your mind? I really feel that I don't know Sir Alanna at all.

Alanna- I need to be alone; well, not exactly alone. But I need to get away from court for awhile and just think.

Gary- If you're still feeling bad about Roger, you shouldn't. You did what had to be done.

Alanna- I know. But I've been planning this trip for a long time, and now I have more of a reason than ever for taking it. I'll sort out Roger, and being a lady knight and what I want to do with my life, and then I'll come back. Truly I will, I couldn't stay away long.

Gary- If you stay away to long we'll come looking for you. Safe journey, Alanna.

Alanna- (to George) I'm going to miss you, old friend.

George- So much more reason to return to me, after you've thought all that needs thinkin'. Go with my love, Alanna.

Jon- When you come home, all this will have blown over, and no one will be happier to see you than I.

Alanna- Goodbye, Jon, goodbye everyone. (Alanna walks away.)