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                                      Screenplay by

                             Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins

                                      SHOOTING DRAFT


               FADE IN:

               CASTLE - NIGHT

               Now comes the moon riding over the horizon. Upon a hill at 
               the edge of the wood squats a castle, its crude stonework 
               bathed in cold silvery light. Queer carvings and runes 
               decorate the ponderous gate. Heavy vines are climbing up the 
               walls. The castle is old, its unfamiliar form testament to 
               an ancient mind and an ancient craft. Flickering candle light 
               dances on a leaded windowpane.

               Inside, the corridors are dark and silent. Under low arched 
               ceilings the uneven floors are paved with stone blocks. 
               Perched over lintels and crouched in niches are icons with 
               strange animal heads.


               A sleep on a straw palette in a room strewn with vegetables 
               and crockery is Hodge, a wrinkled old retainer. A flickering 
               candle and empty jug are beside the bed. He is snoring gently.

               CONJURING ROOM

               This circular chamber at the heart of the castle is stuffed 
               with parchments, scrolls, dusty books, bronze braziers, glass 
               retorts, chemical salts, birds both stuffed and caged. An 
               iron candelabra stands on a work table, tapers burning. In 
               the soft glow it seems that the room is unoccupied, but no, 
               moving in the background is a shadowy figure, preparing for 
               a magical deed. Feet are positioned carefully within a 
               pentagram chiseled into the floor. A scroll is consulted; up 
               comes an arm and a voice blurts out:

                         Omnia in duos: Duo in Unum: Unus in 
                         Nihil: Haec nec Quattuor nec Omnia 
                         nec Duo nec Unus nec Nihil Sunt.

               Nothing happens.

                         Come on, candles, out!

               But the little flames stand at attention without so much as 
               a tremble.

                         In Volunta Divina et Verbum Magi: 
                         Lux! Exstinguat!

               It's no use. There is a sigh and the figure moves forward 
               into the light. Revealed in the glow is the discouraged face 
               of Galen Bradwardyn, sorcerer's apprentice.


               Carrying the candelabra, the youth trudges up a circular 


               The highest point of the castle is a turret, open to the 
               stars and the night air. Here, more magic is afoot. An old 
               enchanter, Ulrich, Magister Ipsissimus, pours water from a 
               silver ewer into a stone bowl. As the surface ripples 
               disappear he leans forward and gazes into the pool. All at 
               once his face hardens as the distant sounds of screams and 
               thunder reach his ears. Lights and shadows, reflected from 
               within the basin, play across his face. His frown deepens as 
               the sound of his own voice comes to him from the vision in 
               the water -- Draco draconis -- suddenly squelched by the 
               roar of flame and an ugly snarl.

               At that moment Galen reaches the top of the steps and holds 
               up the candelabra.

                         Vide, Magister. There's something 

               Ulrich, startled from his trance, slaps the water out of the 
               basin and turns to confront his student. Galen is taken aback 
               by the old man's grim countenance.

                         What's the matter? What's happened?

                         I've just seen something. Something 
                         of consequence to you.

                         To me?

                         Yes. My own death.

               With a distracted gesture he causes the flames to extinguish 

                         Perhaps we had better hasten your 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BARNYARD - DAY

               Outside the castle wall Hodge is feeding the chickens and 
               ducks. He straightens up and squints through the early morning 
               mists. On a distant hillock two figures are moving toward 
               the woods.

               ULRICH AND GALEN

               Hobbling slowly with the aid of a pair of canes, Ulrich guides 
               his pupil across a wooden bridge and along a stream into the 

                              (stern and troubled)
                         This wood, these leaves, the birds, 
                         the very dome of heaven, once they 
                         all rang with one great chord: and 
                         philosophers like me kept it all in 
                         tune. Now, new voices are singing 
                         new songs.
                         Have you mastered the threefold 

                         Of course.

                         You have?

                         Well, almost.

                         It's very difficult. Have you 
                         committed to memory undying the Codex 
                         de Profundis?

                              (a shrug)
                         The first two chapters.

                         It's long. And what about the Ritual 
                         of Banishment as prescribed by my 
                         late master Balisarius?

                         To tell the truth, I haven't dared 
                         try it. What's the point, anyway?

                         The point? The point is you don't 
                         know it, and you're no magician 
                         without it. It was my hope to school 
                         you, to mold your faculties and 
                         wits... I still believe you have 
                         some talent. Somewhere.

                         I hate books. I hate drill. I want a 
                         real task.

                         There's no time now. When I'm gone, 
                         half the powers in the universe will 
                         vanish with me. And what's the use 
                         of a few lingering skills if they're 
                         left in the hands of a child?

                         I don't hear anything.

               Ulrich gauges the young man standing before him and makes a 
               decision. Reaching under his cloak he lifts off a fine silver 
               chain with an amulet dangling from it. He drapes it around 
               Galen's neck.

                         Here, wear this.

               Galen instinctively wraps his hand around the jewel. He cocks 
               an ear.

                         Voices, singing on the road.

               He hastens forward to a promontory, eager to have a look. 
               Ulrich does not follow. Instead, doffing his cloak, he whirls 
               it before him, where it magically floats a few feet off the 
               ground. Awkwardly, the old man clambers aboard.

                         I don't see anything.

               He turns back, but the wizard is gone. A shadow falls over 
               him. He looks up. There, two hundred feet above the tree 
               tops his master is soaring on the wind.


               The old conjurer squints into the distance. Miles away and 
               far below a company of drab walkers winds along the margins 
               of the forest. They are singing a mournful round.


               He gawks skyward. Suddenly, the old man leans down and 
               addresses him.

                              (a shout)
                         We have visitors!

                                                                    CUT TO:

               ROTUNDA - NIGHT

               Clustering together in the center of a wide reception hall 
               is a contingent of weary peasants, awkward amidst the dusty 
               rugs, drapes and heavy furniture. Their leader is a fineboned 
               youth, not yet twenty. Like the others, he is uneasy; his 
               name is Valerian. Hodge enters and sets a tray of mead before 
               them. He leaves without a word. The visitors stare glumly at 
               the refreshment, but are too timorous to go near it.

               CONJURING ROOM

               Galen helps Ulrich prepare for the audience. The sorcerer 
               peers at himself in a full-length mirror, adjusting the hem 
               of a black robe.

                         Looks forbidding enough, don't you 

                         Here are your sticks.

                         No -- they'll think me infirm. You 
                         know, Balisarius wore this whenever 
                         he changed lead into gold. He could 
                         really do that, you know. I never 
                         could. Too bad -- you'd stand to 
                         inherit some real wealth.

                         You're in a morbid frame of mind. 
                         What's all this about dying? You 
                         don't even look sick.

                              (tying on a sash)
                         You still wearing that amulet?
                              (Galen nods)
                         Good. Don't lose it. It still belongs 
                         to me.

               He backs away from the mirror and fits a silver coronet onto 
               his head.

                         Now, adeptus minor, get yourself a 
                         handful of that sulphurous ash over 

               The sorcerer starts down a circular stone staircase.

               THE ROTUNDA

               The visitors watch warily as a door swings open and Galen 
               makes his entrance, his face expressionless and hands pressed 
               together. He looks rather young to be the famous Ulrich.

               Galen allows a moment to go by, then throws his arms wide. 
               Ka-whump! and Ulrich appears in the doorway in a smoky 
               fireball. Alarmed, the visitors retreat.

                         Nunc habeus lux!

               Pffst! around the room candles flare in their niches.

                         Et calor!

               In the fireplace, the birch logs are suddenly ablaze. Ulrich 
               totters to the hearth and extends long bony fingers toward 
               the warmth.

                         Welcome to Cragganmore. I am Ulrich. 
                         Which one of you calls himself 

               The travelers are suitably dazzled by the magician's 
               performance. The young leader of the party screws up his 
               courage and speaks.

                         That would be me. We are here on 

                         I know why you're here. You're a 
                         delegation from Urland, from beyond 
                         Dalvatia. Let's see the artifacts.

               The travelers exchange nervous glances. Valerian motions to 
               one of his companions. The man steps forward and hands over 
               a leather pouch. One by one, Valerian places the contents on 
               the table for Ulrich's inspection.

                         A bone. Scorched. A rock, fire-

               At this, Ulrich advances and closely examines three shimmering 
               irridescent disks as big as saucers.

                         All right. How did you come by these?

                         I found them. At the mouth of the 

                         What else?

               Valerian reaches under his jerkin and withdraws what appears 
               to be a curved sword. He jabs it into the table.

                         A claw.

                         That's no claw. It's a tooth. By the 

               He runs a finger along a serrated edge and gazes bleakly at 
               his visitors.

                         And you want me to do battle with 

               Valerian has lost all trace of timidity.

                         Who else can we turn to? We all know 
                         what we're dealing with here. This 
                         is a basilicok.
                              (he takes a step 
                         A cockatrice.
                              (another step, bolder)
                         A dragon.
                              (he leans close to 
                         This is no stag, no bear, no natural 
                         creature. This is one of your kind. 
                         And only a necromancer such as 
                         yourself can rid us of it.

                         Did you try the Meredydd sisters? 
                         What about Rinbod? I've heard it 
                         said he killed a dragon once.

                         They're all dead. You're the only 
                         one left.

               With a sigh, Ulrich lowers himself into a chair. He rubs his 
               withered legs and shakes his head.

                         It's a long way to Urland.

                         Every quarter, upon the solstices 
                         and the equinoxes there's a new 

               Greil, a grizzled peasant, speaks up.

                         My daughter, for one.

                                     OTHER TRAVELERS
                         My sister... cousins...

                         All women?

                         Girls. Virgins, to be exact, chosen 
                         by lot.

               Galen edges over to the table and inspects the scales and 

                         Master, don't you think --


               He broods for a long time.

                         Are you afraid of dragons?

                         No. Sorcerers and dragons go back a 
                         long long time together. If it weren't 
                         for sorcerers, there wouldn't be any 
                         All right. I'll go.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               COURTYARD - DAY

               The travelers are making ready for departure in the grey 
               light of dawn. As Hodge stuffs provisions into a wicker box, 
               Ulrich wraps padding on a newly fashioned pair of crutches.

                         I know of this dragon. Vermithrax 
                         Pejorative: she's four hundred years 
                         old. As far as I can tell she's the 
                         last of her kind. Very appropriate 
                         that I'm the one to finish her off, 
                         don't you think?
                              (he tries out the 
                         There. Flatten the highest mountain. 
                         What say you, Galen?
                              (no answer)
                         Speak up.
                              (still no answer)
                         You, Hodge.

               Hodge mutters something inaudible and grimly keeps packing.

                              (to Galen)
                         While I'm gone see you keep your 
                         nose in your books and your hands 
                         out of my reagents. Leave my 
                         instruments alone too.

               Galen crouches against the castle wall; he regards his master 

                         Look at yourself. How far will you 
                         get like that? A league, two leagues?

                         I'm not worried about the road.

                         Why don't you wave your hands around 
                         and summon up a coach-and-four?

                         Don't mock me.

               Galen gets up and calls out to the Urlanders.

                         You pilgrims: You're used to 
                         lotteries. Why not draw straws to 
                         see who'll be first to carry 
                         ironshanks here.

               This is too much for Hodge.

                         Hold your tongue. If the master's 
                         got a mind to go, he'll go.

               Galen approaches the old sorcerer.

                         Send me. You're always saying I need 
                         seasoning. I need a test. Let me go.

                         You're not ready.

                         I'm ready for anything.

                              (wan smile)
                         Don't be so hasty. Your time will 

               The walkers are ready to set forth. Hodge picks up his pack, 
               steps forward and pulls open the great gate.


               Three mounted men are outside the gate, helmets on their 
               heads, swords on the belts and longbows across their 
               shoulders. They look formidable. The Urlanders take a step 


               Tyrian is a lean, heavily bearded nobleman. There is a coat 
               of arms on the shield strapped to the pommel of his saddle.

                         Good morning, all.

                         We're not afraid of you. Give us the 

                         Why, the road is yours. All the way 
                         to Urland. It's a long journey, isn't 
                         it? But when you're in search of a 
                         sorcerer, I suppose no distance is 
                         too great.

               Sensing trouble, Galen moves forward. Ulrich touches his 

                              (under his breath)
                         Say nothing.

               Galen hears the urgency in the old man's voice and obeys. 
               Hodge takes it upon himself to deal with the strangers.

                         What do you want with us?

                         Well, like my good friends here, 
                         I've come for a bit of black magic. 
                         No doubt you've heard of our troubles 
                         at home. This is Cragganmore, is it 

                         Aye, this be the place of Ulrich.

               Tyrian dismounts and saunters up to the old magician.

                         And here we have the mystical presence 
                         himself, no?

                         You'd best keep your distance -- and 
                         your manners.

                         If he's ready to lay a dragon in its 
                         grave, he's got nothing to fear from 
                              (turns to the Urlanders)
                         I've no more love for that creature 
                         than you lot. Nor has the King. But, 
                         before you stir things up, don't you 
                         think it a good idea to see you've 
                         got the right man for the job?

                         Aha -- it's a test you're looking 
                         for. We don't do tests.

                         I'm sure you don't. They never do 
                         tests -- and not many real deeds 
                         either. Oh, conversation with your 
                         grandmother's shade in a darkened 
                         room, the odd love potion or two... 
                         but comes a doubter, well then, it's 
                         the wrong day, the planets are not 
                         aligned, the entrails aren't 
                         favorable, we don't do tests.

                         We've got no doubts. We require no 

                         And you're not going to get one.

               When Ulrich finally speaks, his voice is low and 

                              (to Galen)
                         Go to the conjuring room. The iron 
                         box. Fetch me the dagger within.

               Galen's eyes widen with alarm.

                         The dagger. Be quick.

               Galen dashes into the castle. Ulrich gazes almost shyly at 

                         You shall have your test.

               CONJURING ROOM

               Galen comes puffing up the steps, locates the iron box, and 
               flings it open. Amidst the tawdry paraphernalia of a 
               professional magician is an ivory-handled dagger covered 
               with runic inscriptions. Galen eagerly examines it to see 
               how the blade might twist aside or collapse into the handle, 
               but it is all too genuine. A murder weapon.

                                     ULRICH'S VOICE
                         Where are you, boy? I'm waiting.

               Galen throws open a window and looks down into the courtyard. 
               He displays the dagger.

                         Not this one, was it?

                         The very one. Let it fall.

               Galen hesitates, then tosses it. Tumbling end over end, it 
               arcs downward. The old conjurer calmly stretches out a hand 
               and plucks it neatly out of the air. Galen watches as Ulrich 
               passes the weapon to Tyrian and strips back his robe exposing 
               a bony chest. Galen knows what's coming. He rushes for the 
               door. He's only a step away when it bangs shut of its own 
               accord. He sprints for a second exit. Whack! This door slams 
               shut too. Locked in. Quick, back to the window and climb 
               down the vine... Smack! the heavy shutters seal him in.

               ULRICH AND TYRIAN

               Ulrich takes Tyrian's arm and guides the point of the dagger 
               to his breastbone.

                         Vita regula, vita hieratica!

               Everyone is filled with dread. Hodge is shaking. From the 
               castle come the rattling of shutters and Galen's muffled 
               cries. A sick sarcastic smile has crept over Tyrian's lips. 
               He tenses himself to thrust.

                         Go on. Don't worry, you can't hurt 

               CONJURING ROOM

               Galen stops hammering and presses his face to a crack in the 
               shutter. Below he can see the participants in this grisly 
               drama. He holds his breath. Tyrian makes a sudden movement 
               and buries the blade in Ulrich's chest. But the sorcerer 
               stands unbent, seemingly unhurt. Then, after a long moment, 
               he slowly sags forward over the dagger and the hand that 
               holds it. Tyrian shrinks back and allows the body to fall in 
               a heap. Very quickly he remounts. In another moment he and 
               his companions are gone. The others are riveted in horror. 
               Hodge sinks to his knees and wails his grief.

               Galen turns away from the window and gazes blankly into the 
               gloomy conjuring room. Click! The doors unlatch themselves 
               and swing open.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               FUNERAL PYRE - DAY

               Ulrich, principal magician and sorcerer of the western world, 
               reposes on a hardwood pyre. His hands are folded on his chest. 
               His face is peaceful. While the visitors wordlessly look on, 
               Galen touches a burning brand to the kindling. At first the 
               fire catches normally enough, but when the flames start to 
               envelop the body they suddenly turn pale green, producing an 
               unearthly roar. The onlookers back away from the intense 


               The erstwhile apprentice stands his ground, blinking back 
               tears, his face weirdly illuminated by the fire.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               CONJURING ROOM - DAY

               Galen sits alone amidst the museum-like collection of magical 
               apparatus. He stares at the amulet, considering its 
               significance. His reverie is interrupted by the murmur of 
               voices below. At the window he looks down to see Hodge bidding 
               farewell to the delegation from Urland. Valerian is the last 
               to leave. He pauses at the gate and glances up at Galen. 
               Then he moves on. The young student of magic sets his jaw, 
               suddenly filled with resolve.

               Moving through the room, he busies himself with the old man's 
               effects. He scoops up the loose books and parchments and 
               locks them into trunks. He drapes muslin cloths over the 
               alchemical devices. He sows a handful of salt over the 
               pentagram inscribed in the floor. Finally, he opens the cages 
               and releases the crow, the falcon, and the great horned owl.


               Hodge is up on the burned out funeral pyre, anxiously scraping 
               ashes and small bones into a leather pouch -- the remains of 
               Ulrich. Up behind him comes Galen, now clad in a traveler's 
               cloak, with a pack on his back and a staff in his hand.

                         Hodge -- what are you doing?

               Hodge quickly conceals the pouch.

                         Just making my farewell, thank you 
                         very much.

               He quickly climbs down, picks up his pack and follows Galen 
               out through the gate. As the door is pushed shut a huge oaken 
               timber falls into place, barring the castle against the 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               HILLTOP - DAY

               Galen and Hodge labor to the crest of a grassy hill and turn 
               to look back across a wide valley. There on another hilltop 
               on the far side sits Cragganmore, lit by the red rays of the 
               setting sun. Galen removes the amulet from his neck and 
               clutches it in his fist. Hodge is bug-eyed to see it.

                         Be careful with that! You don't know 
                         what you're doing.

                         Stand back!

               He raises his hands toward the castle and calls out:

                         Cragganmore! Domus non i am! Silva 


               The vines on the castle walls begin to twitch and stretch, 
               magically brought to animate life. They flow upward over the 
               masonry, branching out and covering every surface, then up 
               onto the roof. Finally only the tops of the chimneys and the 
               highest turrets stand above the green carpet. A century's 
               growth in a matter of seconds.

               GALEN & HODGE

               On their hilltop the old retainer gives the youth a fearful 
               look. Galen is too flushed with excitement over what he has 
               done to notice.


               FOREST PATH - DAY

               Galen and Hodge trudge along an overgrown cart-track under 
               an arch of trees.

                         Oh, it's a vale of tears in which we 
                         dwell. It doesn't matter who you 
                         are, a king in his robes, a peasant 
                         in his rags, when your time comes, 
                         no magic can save you...

                         I guess...

               The apprentice's mind is elsewhere: he's got a coin hovering 
               in mid-air above his palm, bobbing gently as he walks.

                         ...the kindest lord a man could ask 
                         for... now he's gone. Ye gods he was 
                         fussy about his bath. And you'd think 
                         he could boil his own eggs with the 
                         snap of a finger, but no, he had old 
                         Hodge do it, of course.
                         Up before five I was, mucking out 
                         the cages, slopping the pigs, and 
                         never once got so much as a thankyou 
                         or a pat on the back...
                              (through tears)
                         I'm going to miss him.

                         Me too...

               He plucks a low-hanging leaf, waves a hand over it, and 
               watches it turn into a spray of daffodils.

                         No you don't. All you care about is 
                         the tricks and knavery. Well, you 
                         don't pull any wool over these old 
                         eyes. It'll be a mighty long walk 
                         before you fill his shoes, you mark 
                         my word.

                         What's the matter, Hodge, pack too 
                         heavy? Here.

               He gives the pack a slap. It flies out of its harness and 
               floats alongside them. Hodge snatches it back and clutches 
               it tightly.

                         Careful with that!

                         Too cold, is it?

               A great coat drapes itself over Hodge's shoulders.

                         Stop it!

                         Too warm?

               The greatcoat disappears, as do the rest of his garments, 
               leaving him in his smalls.

                         Stop it, I say! Out of respect for 
                         the master!

               Suppressing a grin, Galen mercifully waves his hand and 
               restores Hodge to his usual costume.

                         I've got as much respect for the 
                         master as anyone, old man. But -- 
                         then again, I'm master now.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               TRAVELERS' CAMP - NIGHT

               The Urlanders are gathered around a fire, sharing a meager 
               supper. The man named Greil pokes at the stew-pot.

                         I left my farm with seeds unplanted, 
                         calves unborn, nothing but a wife to 
                         chase down the strays, and for what? 
                         A funeral, that's what.

               He walks up and down behind Valerian.

                         Because some people said, find a 
                         magician. Not just a local fellow, 
                         an import, a good forty leagues from 
                         home. An all-powerful necromancer. 
                         Ha -- some necromancer!

               Malkin, an older man, speaks up.

                         Hold your tongue, Greil. Sit. Eat.

                         I'll not sit. I'll not eat. See you 
                         the Great Bear. His tail points east. 
                         It's the equinox. Have you forgotten? 
                         Or rather not think about it?

                         He's right. I brought us here for 
                         nothing. May the gods help whoever's 
                         daughter it is tonight.

               There is a noise from the darkness beyond the campfire. Two 
               of the men get to their feet and listen. At first silence, 
               then more rustling. Without a word the two men dart into the 
               bushes and haul two interlopers before the company: Galen 
               and Hodge.

                         Good morrow, good morrow. Peace be 
                         with you.

                         Easy now. We mean no harm. We've 
                         been looking for you.

                         Well, you've found us.

                              (brushing himself off)
                         More the other way around, I'd say.

                         What do you want?

                         A few words, that's all. You were 
                         looking for a conjurer.

                         He's dead.

                         Right. Requiscat in pace.
                              (he takes a deep breath)
                         Ecce: magister novus!

                         How say you?

               Galen surveys the puzzled faces. He draws himself up and 
               plunges in:

                         My lord Ulrich is no longer. All 
                         that you asked of him, you may now 
                         expect of me. The dangers he would 
                         face, I will now conquer. The task 
                         he would undertake I will now fulfill. 
                         I am Galen Bradwardyn, inheritor of 
                         Ulrich's craft and knowledge, and I 
                         am the Sorcerer you seek.

               There is a moment of depressed silence. Hodge rolls his eyes. 
               Greil starts to chuckle, then to laugh. Soon the others are 
               laughing too.

                         Well, that's a handsome thought, O 
                         wizard of wizards. But if there's 
                         one thing our friend Tyrian has shown 
                         us, it's to beware the pig in the 
                         poke. Who's got a dagger?

                         No tests!!

                         Call it proof, then.

               Someone brings out a dagger and hands it to Greil. Valerian 
               pushes it away.

                         We've seen enough tests.

               But Greil persists, waving the knife at the group.

                         Well I haven't. All I've seen is 
                         death. Death in our families, death 
                         on the road, and tonight, death at 

               He lashes out with the knife. Galen jumps back, but Valerian 
               steps in, delivering a quick kick to Greil's gut, followed 
               by a right to the jaw that sends the bigger man sprawling. 
               He takes the knife.

                         What's come over you, anyway? Have 
                         you lost your wits?

               He propels Galen out of harm's way and sits him down on the 
               other side of the fire. Greil nurses his jaw.

                         I don't like it. Young snot-nose 
                         comes in here for sport at our 
                         expense. We're on a fool's errand, 
                         but we don't have to listen to this. 
                         I don't want to hear any more about 
                         sorcery. I don't want to hear any 
                         more about spells.

               Valerian hands Galen a plate of food.

                         You must be hungry.

                         What's the matter with him?

                         It's not just him. It's all of us. 
                         It's the equinox.

               They both look up at the moon.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - NIGHT

               The moon shines down on the far reaches of the Kingdom of 
               Urland, coldly lighting a barren landscape filled with the 
               skeletons of dead trees, blackened rock and bare ground. 
               Advancing across this mournful terrain is a troop of armed 
               men leading a blindfolded horse and tumbril. The horse is 
               skittish. Finally, in spite of shouts and lashings, it refuses 
               to go further. The leader, Horsrik, barks out an order:

                         Close enough! Bring her out!

               A young woman, no more than seventeen, is brought forth from 
               the cart. Long black hair falls down over a white tunic. Her 
               dark eyes dart fearfully around in her pale face. She is 
               half-carried, half dragged to the edge of a steaming crack 
               in the ground where she is manacled to a wooden post. By 
               lantern-light, Horsrik reads from a parchment scroll.

                         Now be it known throughout the 
                         kingdom, that this maiden, having 
                         lawfully been chosen by a deed of 
                         fortune and destiny, shall hereby 
                         give up her life for the greater 
                         good of Urland.

               There is a low rumble; the earth shakes. Horsrik glances 
               nervously around. He carries on by rote.

                         By this act shall be satisfied the 
                         powers that dwell underground and 
                         the spirits that attend thereto. In 
                         gratitude for this sacrifice His 
                         Majesty has declared the family -- 
                         what's the name? --

               He prods the girl, but she is too terrified to speak. Beneath 
               them, the earth seems to groan. Smoke issues from the mouth 
               of the pit. One of the nervous witnesses leans forward.

                         Plowman! The family Plowman!

                              (rushing it)
                         -- the family Plowman to be free of 
                         obligations, taxations, levys and 
                         imposts for a period not to exceed 
                         five years...

               The horse suddenly rears, and blindfold notwithstanding, 
               gallops off, dragging the tumbril over the rocks. The men 
               behind Horsrik break ranks and scatter.

                         -- ordained and signed this day, 
                         etc., Casiodorus, in his glory the 
                         reigning king of this our realm... 
                         his seal, his mark, duly read by 
                         Chancellor Horsrik in his holy name.

               Now Horsrik joins the flight, chasing his men back over the 
               murky horizon.

               THE GIRL

               She strains against her manacles, cocking her head to listen 
               as the rumblings below subside. Presently the steam and smoke 
               blow away and she can see the horse pawing and stamping a 
               hundred yards distant, the wheel of the cart jammed between 
               rocks. Summoning up a wild will to live, she squeezes her 
               hands against the cold iron rings. No use. She spits on her 
               wrists and twists desperately. Blood starts. One hand slips 
               free. She looks at the horse. The animal tosses off its 
               blindfold and looks back at her. Now she strains again and 
               pulls her other hand free. She wipes the blood on her frock 
               and sprints toward the horse. But she doesn't get there. The 
               earth abruptly shifts from under her feet, tumbling her among 
               cracked and steaming rocks. When she raises her head a huge 
               shadow has fallen over the horse. There is a piteous whinny, 
               then a roar. The girl's face is suddenly lit by flames. She 
               scrambles to her feet and rushes back the other way.

               THE CHASE

               The girl hasn't taken a dozen steps when something huge 
               hurtles forward and blocks her way. Something scaly and 
               glittering. She whirls and stumbles off in a new direction. 
               This time she's cut off by a monstrous claw tipped with rapier-
               like talons. She screams and crawls away. Another claw 
               prevents her escape.

               THE CREATURE

               Membranous wings fold down against the night sky. Up comes 
               the silhouette of a reptilian head swaying on a serpentine 
               neck. There's an angry hiss. A sheet of flame envelops 

                                                                  FADE OUT:

               FADE IN:

               FOREST - DAY

               Tyrian kneels beside a mountain waterfall, having a drink 
               while his men hover in the background. One of them points 
               down the slope.

                         There. I see them.

               Tyrian wipes his mouth unhurriedly and strolls over to look. 
               Far below, half hidden by trees, the little company of 
               Urlanders winds its way through the forest.

               A frown creeps over Tyrian's face.

                         Who's that old man?

                         Where? Which one?

                         That one. That's the man from 
                         Cragganmore. Now what's he doing 

                         Filling in for the chief, I reckon.

                         What a pity.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               Hodge marches along with the rest. When he's sure no one 
               else is looking he burrows into his garments and brings out 
               the leather pouch containing Ulrich's ashes. Reassured that 
               it's still with him, he tucks it away again. Galen falls 
               into step.

                         What have you got there?

                         None of your business.

                         A little gold, eh? What do you say I 
                         change it into lead?

                         Save your jokes for someone else. 
                         Me, I don't care for braggarts.

               They pass Valerian, who has dropped out of line.

                         And I don't care for frauds.

                         I'm no fraud.

                         Call it fool then. Upstart. Whatever 
                         pleases you.

                         Hodge, nobody forced you to come 

                         Oh, I'm here of my own free will, 
                         all right. We each do the master's 
                         bidding in our own way.

                         Well, if he told you I needed 
                         wetnursing, why don't you just turn 
                         yourself around and go back home.

               Hodge snorts and fusses with his pack.

                         Home, is it? You've seen to that, 
                         haven't you? Gone to seed, I'd say...

               He glances over and discovers Galen missing.


               He walks back along the trail, looking for Valerian. Pretty 
               soon the rest of the travelers are out of sight. He hears 
               the sound of a splash. He turns off the trail and pushes 
               through some shrubbery.

               FOREST POOL

               Under the oaks and hickory, a forest stream has widened into 
               a quiet pool. A pile of clothes lies on a rock at the edge. 
               Out in the middle, Valerian is treading water.

                         You're too far behind us. Come on 

                         You go ahead, I'll catch up.

                         Not a good idea to get separated. 
                         Let's go.

                         Right. I'll be along.

               Galen leans over and splashes some water on his face. Feels 
               good. He shucks his pack and starts to throw off his clothes. 
               Valerian doesn't like it.

                         That's all right. Don't come in.

               But Galen is now naked and walking into the water. He swims 
               out toward Valerian.

                         You better get back to the group, 
                         they're probably worried.

               Galen keeps swimming.

                         I prefer to swim alone, if you don't 

               But Galen has slipped beneath the surface; he doesn't hear.


               Galen works his way through the murky green underwater world. 
               Suddenly, he stops short and stares. He's only a few feet 
               from Valerian's dangling legs. He gasps in surprise. Valerian 
               is no boy.

               ON THE SURFACE

               Galen comes shooting to the surface, coughing and sputtering.

                         By the gods!

               Valerian is pale and frightened.

                         Stay away.

               She propels herself backward, then turns and swims for shore.

               ON THE SHORE

               Galen and Valerian have taken refuge behind separate bushes. 
               Briskly they pull on their clothes.

                         I suppose you'll tell everyone. Go 
                         ahead, I don't care. It's a relief.

                         I'm not going to say anything.

                         I don't blame you. I was stupid. 
                         Careless. A silly woman!

                              (feeble bluff)
                         Take it easy. I knew the moment I 
                         saw you. I've known the whole time.

                         You never knew a thing. No one knew. 
                         Not since I was born. Go on, run off 
                         and tell them. It'll make a great 

                         Don't worry. No one's going to find 
                         out. Just tell me: why?

                         Ask my father.

               They finish dressing in silence. Finally:

                         The lottery! Daughters are chosen, 
                         but sons are not!

                         That's right. Unless you have plenty 
                         of gold or property.

                         What do you mean?

                         If you're rich enough, your name 
                         never goes in.
                         My father is poor. So are a lot of 

               He studies her. She jams a hat down over her head and, once 
               more the young man, stalks off.

               THE VISION

               Galen walks down to the edge of the pool to retrieve his 
               pack. As he leans over he catches sight of what appears to 
               be a reflection in the water: Tyrian on horseback. He whips 
               around, but no one is behind him. Riveted by the vision, he 
               hurries along the bank to follow it. After a few paces the 
               blurry figure dismounts, unslings a longbow, nocks an arrow 
               and draws the string taut.



               Galen sprints through the trees. Up ahead is Valerian, walking 


               She glances back at him and grimly keeps on walking. Galen 
               shoots past her and on into the forest.



               Galen races up the trail rounds a bend and sees the Urlanders 
               coming toward him. Hodge precedes the group with an unsteady 
               gait. He sees Galen, raises up his arms and flops face down 
               on the trail. A long arrow protrudes from his back. Galen 
               kneels beside him. The uneasy company keeps its distance. 
               Hodge struggles to speak.

                         Galen? Can you hear me?

                         I hear you.

                         You know, somebody shot me, but I 
                         can still talk. There's something 
                         that has to be done.

                         I know.

                         Not that cockatrice. Ulrich's ashes. 

               Hodge's hand comes out from under his coat gripping the 
               leather pouch. Galen tugs at it, but Hodge can't let go.

                         Take it. Sorry, you'll have to peel 
                         it loose.

               Galen pries the sack out of Hodge's clenched fingers. Suddenly 
               the hand comes up, grabs Galen by the hair, and pulls him 

                              (a croak)
                         ...burning water... find the lake, 
                         throw it in...

                              (holding up the pouch)
                         What are you doing with this, Hodge?

                         ...burning water...

               He dies. Galen frees himself from his grasp.

                         Hodge, don't die. Listen to me. You're 
                         not going to die.

               Galen is frantic. He pulls out the amulet and wraps his hand 
               around it.

                         Excede, mortem! Revoca, vitam!
                              (he shakes the body)
                         Excede, mortem! Revoca, vitam!

               But Hodge has passed on, and Galen's magic has no way to 
               reach him. Suddenly the youth cries out in pain. He drops 
               the amulet and looks at his palm. The device has burned his 
               flesh. Now he becomes aware of troubled Urlanders looking 
               over his shoulder, witness to his failure.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               LAKE - DAY

               Wind whips the leaden wave tops on a vast rainy lake. The 
               travelers are rowing across in an open longboat, aided by a 
               tattered lateen sail. Valerian mans the steering oar at the 
               stern while Galen broods in the bow. He feels like an imposter 
               in their eyes.


               The boat pulls into a long narrow waterway with granite cliffs 
               on either side. Moving through swirls of fog, they beach the 
               boat and step out onto a craggy shore. Greil leans over and 
               kisses a rock.


                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               The travelers descend a mountain pass and emerge through a 
               wrack of cloud into a gray and cheerless region. Fire-
               blackened trees dot the barren landscape. As they reach the 
               flatlands, the Urlanders instinctively pick up the pace. 
               Galen slows to inspect the weird surroundings. Valerian trots 
               past him.

                         Come on. Don't dawdle here.

               Galen falls into step with her.

                         The whole kingdom like this?

                         No. We're near the lair. Keep moving.

               Galen looks around with new interest.


                         Over there. Doesn't matter. We're in 
                         no danger if we just pass through 

               Galen stops. High on the slope beside them is a gaping 

                         I see it. Let's have a look.


               But Galen is already toiling up the incline.

                         Greil! Malkin! Help!

               The travelers turn to see what's the matter.

               THE LAIR

               Galen approaches the lair, pausing beside a wooden post with 
               iron manacles dangling from it. He fingers them thoughtfully. 
               Malkin, Greil and Valerian rush up behind him, their faces 
               drawn with worry.

                         Look, you don't have to do this. We 
                         know you're a fine young magician. 
                         None better. There's no need to prove 
                         it to us.

                         Are there other entrances?

                         No. One's enough.

                         Come on. The road's this way. We'll 
                         tell everybody how close you got.

                         No smoke. How do you know it's in 

                         Don't be a fool. Come away now and 
                         live to tell about it.

               Instead, Galen starts into the crack. Greil and Malkin hasten 
               away, but Valerian lingers, watching in mounting frustration 
               as Galen probes further and further into the lair. She picks 
               up a fistful of stones and throws them at him.

                         Go ahead! You're going to die! What 
                         a fine trick that will be!

               But Galen is lost in the gloom. She flees.


               Galen puts his hand on the rugged wall: the rocks are hot to 
               the touch. Something glinting on the floor catches Galen's 
               eye: an irridescent disk, a dragon scale. It flashes the 
               colors of the rainbow as Galen examines it. All at once the 
               ground shudders; chunks of rock fall from the ceiling. A 
               pall of smoke billows up from the depths.


               Galen staggers out of the fissure coughing and gagging in a 
               swirl of smoke. There is no sign of the Urlanders. He throws 
               down his pack, climbs onto a huge boulder and surveys the 
               massive cliffs rising behind the lair. He grasps the amulet 
               and closes his eyes.

                         Now, great mountain, hear my command: 
                         Terrae lapsus consignet latibulum 
                         draconis! Evanescat latibulum 


               With a thunderous splitting sound, the entire top of the 
               cliff pitches forward and topples onto the lower half of the 
               mountain, sweeping tons of debris into the air. Boulders the 
               size of houses bound down the mountain toward the magician. 
               Eyes wide with awe, he turns and runs for his life. Even as 
               he careens down the slope, chunks of rock rumble past. One 
               catches him at the knee and sends him flying.

               He covers his head and joins the landslide. Finally the dust 
               lifts and he finds himself in a gully face to face with the 
               cowering Urlanders. They look with real fear at the man who 
               just conjured up the Apocalypse. Tattered and torn, covered 
               with dirt, Galen climbs up out of the shelter for a look at 
               his handiwork.


               The territory has been drastically transformed: the dragon's 
               lair is now buried beneath hundreds of tons of broken granite. 
               The Urlanders look upon the new landscape with stupefaction. 
               Galen grins a triumphant split-lip grin that fails to win 
               them over. Presently they back away and run off down the 
               trail, Valerian in their midst. Galen's grin fades.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VILLAGE - DAY

               The Village of Swanscombe is little more than a rough and 
               ready collection of thatched huts and mud-daubed outbuildings 
               surrounded by cultivated fields. Dogs sleep in open door-
               ways; chickens peck around the communal well -- but there 
               are no people in evidence as Valerian and her company troop 
               into town.


               She trots across the square and enters a deserted blacksmith 

                         Father? Hello?

               She goes over to the forge. Hot coals are burning. She becomes 
               aware of a sound -- voices -- chanting.


               She walks across the square toward the voices. She is joined 
               by Greil, Malkin and the other travelers, all of them puzzled 
               by the desolation. As they approach the grange hall the voices 
               grow louder. They seem to be singing. The main doors open 
               briefly and three villagers scamper out, dripping wet and 
               wrapped in white muslin. Valerian and her companions look at 
               each other in astonishment.

               IN THE GRANGE HALL

               In a wooden cistern in the middle of the hall a woman is 
               being held under water. After a few moments she is pulled to 
               the surface by a tall red-haired man with long bony fingers: 
               Brother Jacopus Januensis, a Carthusian monk. There's a wooden 
               cross on his chest and a mad look in his eye. Gathered around 
               him are the missing villagers, every man woman and child, 
               here to be baptised and sing a few newly-learned hymns in 
               praise of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Now are you cleansed of your sins! 
                         Now are you born again, purified in 
                         spirit, into the fellowship of Jesus 

               The travelers enter and mingle with the congregation. Valerian 
               scans the crowd until she locates her father, Simon, a balding 
               sturdy journeyman. He's overjoyed at her return and gives 
               her a hearty embrace.

                         Welcome back, my son.

                         Father, what are you doing? Have you 
                         all lost your minds?

                         Some have.

               He points to the monk, who is dunking a screaming infant and 
               carrying on about the Bishop of Rome.

                         It's this monk. He can read and write, 
                         and talk too, I'm afraid.

                         And they listen?

                         Shh! They think this a holy place, a 

                         This is the granary. What kind of 
                         welcome is this? I've got news of 
                         the sorcerer and news of the dragon.

                         You were brave to go, you and your 
                         friends. But nobody cares. Listen -- 
                         he knows what they want to hear.


               Brother Jacopus strides back and forth before the assembly 
               in an inspired state.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         The man who walks with Christ is not 
                         a man to fear a dragon: Yea, though 
                         I walk through the valley of the 
                         shadow of death I will fear no evil! 
                         You say you are preyed upon by a 
                         foul beast. Yes, but what is the 
                         nature of this beast? It comes to 
                         you on bat's wings and clawed feet, 
                         does it not? It breathes fire, does 
                         it not? And it lives under ground. 
                         This is no dragon. This is Lucifer!

                         Whoever it is, he's dead.

               This is Galen, who has just stepped into the hall, tattered, 
               bedraggled and triumphant.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Nay, brother! It is not as easy as 
                         that. Allegiance to Christ, to be 
                         sure, but also prayer and confession. 
                         These are the arms by which Satan 
                         may be put down.

                         You're talking about superstition, 
                         friend. None of that has anything to 
                         do with what I, Galen, have already 

               He marches to the center of the gathering.

                              (to Valerian)
                         You brought this stranger?

                         Ulrich's apprentice. He's a braggart, 
                         but it doesn't matter.

                         People of Urland! Send a messenger 
                         to the king. Vermithrax is dead. 
                         Crushed by the power of the moon and 
                         the stars! Laid low by ancient wisdom. 
                         Dropped into the Abyss by mystical 

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Spoken like a pagan. Every word as 
                         reprobate as it is false!
                              (holding up his cross)
                         Solum in hoc signo vinces!

                         Nihil plus mysterium!

               He gestures boldly and a fireball crackles at the monk's 
               feet. The holy man scurries back. A hush falls upon the 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               A procession of curious villagers winds its way into the 
               badlands. They gather on a promontory overlooking the dragon's 
               lair. They stand there for a long time, a chill wind whipping 
               their garments, trying to understand what's happened. The 
               monk is mightily displeased.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Praise God! Blessed is he that is 
                         humble before the Lord!

                         Your god had nothing to do with it.

               Indeed, Galen's act is already the stuff of legend:

                         We saw it with our own eyes. He flew 
                         to the mountain top. He was a bird. 
                         He brought forth lightning. I saw 

               Some of the younger villagers scamper forward to the spot 
               where the cave had its opening. With yells and whoops they 
               beat the ground with clubs. In the crowd Simon begins to 
               smile, then to laugh. Soon he leads the villagers in a 
               tumultuous cheer. Brother Jacopus and some of his converts 
               drop to their knees and pray.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               The inhabitants of Swanscombe have decked out the town square 
               and are making a night of it. By torchlight they dance merrily 
               to jigs and reels provided by the local fiddlers. Ale flows 
               freely from oak casks.

               VALERIAN'S HOUSE

               Valerian is kneeling before a trunk full of women's clothing. 
               She pulls out a long simple frock, goes to a crude mirror, 
               and holds it up against her body to gauge the effect. Her 
               father comes up behind her. He is angry and frightened.

                         Put that away. What if you were seen?

                         I'm going to be seen. I want to be 
                         seen. Tonight the world finds out 
                         that you never had a son.

                         No, you mustn't do that. It's too 
                         soon. We've got to think about this, 
                         we've got to make a plan.

                         Father: the danger is over.

               He sits on the bed and puts his head in his hands.

                         I know. What am I going to say to my 
                         friends who still mourn for their 
                         lost girls.

                         You'll say you did what you had to. 
                         This is a time for celebration -- 
                         and forgiveness.

               He looks up at her, trying to imagine what it's going to be 
               like having a daughter.


               Galen is surrounded by a crowd of wide-eyed kids and not a 
               few adults, entertaining them by pulling duck's eggs out of 
               their ears and causing coins to disappear. Presently he feels 
               the attention of his audience shift away to someone standing 
               behind him. He turns to find a shy but determined Valerian 
               sweetly decked out in her blue frock. A buzz goes through 
               the crowd. Valerian blushes and wavers: she seems ready to 
               bolt for home. But Galen takes her by the hand, and with 
               conspicuous politesse leads her to the dance.


               It's forward, back and around sixth-century style: the young 
               sorcerer can't take his eyes off his partner. But she's too 
               shy to return his gaze.

                         Looks like you've been up to a little 
                         sorcery yourself.

               Valerian doesn't know what to say.

                         Or is it witchcraft?

               She still doesn't reply. It's all she can do to keep on 

                         What's the matter? A real woman never 
                         stops talking.

                         I think it was much easier being a 

               SIMON & GREIL

               They stand on the sidelines, watching the young couple step 
               to the music.

                         The damnedest thing is, she was twice 
                         the man of anyone else in the village. 
                         Now she's twice the woman.

                         Would that I had been as clever as 
                         her father.

                         Come now, Greil. Don't begrudge a 
                         life spared.

                         I begrudge nothing. But I wonder at 
                         what we have seen and how it was 

                         You were there.

                         I saw what I saw. But this jack-anapes 
                         was barely ready to carry his master's 
                         chamberpot. Isn't it strange that at 
                         the very moment the beast is put 
                         down we should have a holy man here 
                         in the village?

                         You don't believe that superstitious 
                         Christian rot, do you?

                         It is said God works his wonders in 
                         mysterious ways.


               While the proud Simon dances in the background with his 
               daughter, a group of tipsy villagers clusters around Galen, 
               belching forth a drinking song. The young magician raises 
               his own mug and joins in on the chorus. Abruptly the music 
               stops. The singing dies away. The ensuing silence is broken 
               by the sound of galloping hooves. Presently three horsemen 
               appear at the end of town: Tyrian and his henchmen. They 
               guide their horses forward into the midst of the merry-makers. 
               Tyrian dismounts and looks around in his usual friendly way.

                         A celebration! Don't stop on my 
                         account. You -- musicians, more music!

               The musicians leave their instruments in their laps. Tyrian 
               draws himself a measure of ale and raises it above his head.

                         A toast! To the deed of the day! You 
                         see, good news travels fast. The 
                         King himself has already heard it. 
                         And like yourselves, tonight he's 
                         overcome with joy.

                         What would you have of us then?

                         Not a thing. It's this one.
                              (he gestures toward 
                         The King would meet our new benefactor 
                         and offer his gratitude to the man 
                         who succeeded where so many have 

                              (sobering up)
                         What sort of gratitude? A knife in 
                         the belly? An arrow in the back?

               Tyrian's smile freezes on his face. He steps in front of 
               Galen, towering over him.

                         My young friend, I'd as soon dispatch 
                         you as I did the others, and for the 
                         same reason. But his Majesty would 
                         like a cozy chat, and commands 

                         Don't go, Galen. Cast a spell and 
                         turn them into toads. It should be 
                         easy; that's what they are.

               Tyrian regards her coolly, taking in her change of costume 
               and its meaning.

                         Well, well: still plenty of cheek 
                         under those skirts, it seems.

               Having buried the dragon under a mountain, Galen decides 
               he's not worried about an appearance at court. He smiles at 

                         Don't worry. I'll be back.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               Three horses gallop through the moors and fens of central 
               Urland. Galen is tucked up behind Tyrian. On the distant 
               horizon, the battlements of the King's castle glow in the 
               slanting light of a new day.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THRONE ROOM - DAY

               Within the castle is a great hall with shafts of daylight 
               poking in through narrow windows set high in the walls. In 
               the middle of the room stands a carved oak throne. There is 
               Casiodorus Rex, King of Urland, a bearded man in his fifties, 
               as spare and somber as the room in which he sits. He is 
               flanked by a few servants, assorted courtiers and Tyrian. 
               Standing before them all is Galen, looking unhappy. He pours 
               a pitcher full of water into a small glazed goblet.

                         One of the best things about the 
                         water here in Urland is that there's 
                         so much of it -- look at that!

               Water continues to pour into the goblet without overflowing. 
               Galen takes a sip.

                         Mmm. Good. But not cold enough. 
                         Perhaps I could borrow a scarf from 
                         his Majesty.

               The King makes no sign. Galen approaches stiffly, takes a 
               scarf and retreats.

                         I cover the goblet, so... remove, 
                         so... and behold: winter in a mug!

               And he's done it: he turns the goblet over and a small chunk 
               of ice hits the floor. The royal reaction is equally frosty. 
               Galen is bombing, and he knows it.

                         All right. How many of you have ever 
                         seen a table fly?

               He mutters an incantation. In the audience, Tyrian notes 
               that Galen has his hand wrapped around the amulet. There is 
               a loud clatter as the heavy oak table before the throne begins 
               to jitter and buck. As the wine spills and plates go flying, 
               the King wearily raises a hand.

                         Enough! That's fine.

                         Wait, it'll rise now.

                         Don't bother. Not necessary.

               The table cracks in half and dumps a mess of fruit and 
               crockery at the onlookers' feet.

                         Tell me: the landslide -- it was 
                         accomplished this same way?


                         I see. And having rendered such unique 
                         service to our kingdom, what would 
                         you claim as a reward?

                         Please -- no payment. I have always 
                         found magical practice to be its own 
                         reward. I seek only some yet greater 

               This handsome sentiment doesn't go over any better than his 

                         Did you ever hear of King Gaiseric? 
                         Of course not, you weren't even born. 
                         He was my brother, a great King and 
                         a valiant man-at-arms. When he 
                         ascended to the throne, the dragon 
                         was unbridled. No one knew where it 
                         might strike next. So he brought 
                         forth his broadsword and his spear, 
                         assembled a company of his best 
                         fighters and went out to do battle.
                         He was never seen again. But his 
                         attack provoked the most terrible 
                         reprisals: whole villages incinerated, 
                         entire crops burned. Death, famine, 

               The King grimaces as the memories come flooding back.

                         How did you arrogate to yourself the 
                         role of savior?

                         I was invited.

                         Not by me. Did you ever consider the 
                         consequences of failure?

                         What failure? What's the matter with 
                         you people? You want the dragon back?

                         Then the beast is dead?

                         Yes, of course. Dead.

                         We shall see.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               Two guards thrust Galen into a narrow cell and slam the barred 
               door shut. The young sorcerer waits until they're safely out 
               of sight, then takes out his amulet. He ponders it for a 
               doubtful moment. Suddenly a gloved hand darts in and whips 
               it off his neck and out through the bars.

                         Thank you.

               He makes an ironic salute and leaves. Galen sits down heavily 
               and stares at the stone walls.


               Unseen by Galen, a figure clad in silk and lace skitters 
               down a murky dungeon hallway and peers around a corner. 
               Stealing a look at Galen is the Princess Elspeth, a fey beauty 
               in her early twenties. After a moment, spooked by some 
               imagined noise, she flits away.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               Dark clouds slide across a pale sun, throwing the ruined 
               land below into shadow. Soon fat droplets of rain are 
               splattering on the rocks above the dragon's lair. With each 
               tiny splash there is a sizzle and a puff of steam. These 
               rocks are hot!

                                                                    CUT TO:


               Outside the barred window, a steady rain is falling. Inside, 
               Galen uses a chunk of limestone to inscribe a pentagram on 
               the floor of his cell. He marks runic signs on the window 
               sill and lintel. Then, positioning himself in the center of 
               the mystic symbol, he raises his hands and spreads his 

                         Cubiculum gravis aperat!

               There's a long moment when nothing happens. A very long 
               moment. Finally, a thoroughly frustrated Galen leaps to the 
               window and rattles the bars.

                         Open up, dammit! Fenestra gravis 
                         aperat! Asser gravis aperat! 

                         Salve, magistrum iuvenilum.

               Startled, Galen whirls around to find Elspeth standing outside 
               his cell. She hands some food and blankets through the bars.

                         I've studied Latin. Greek, too. Me 
                         appelo Elspeth, filia regis.

               Galen looks her over. He's never seen anyone so angelic.

                         How do you do.

                         Please don't think ill of us. My 
                         father is a wonderful man, a wise 
                         man. The lottery was his idea.

                         I see.

                         You don't understand. From the moment 
                         it began, the dragon was tame. The 
                         kingdom prospered.

                         And only a few had to be sacrificed.

                         Yes, that's true. Isn't it better 
                         that a few should die that many might 

                         Depends on who does the dying.

                         Oh, but we all take our chances. My 
                         father is a just man. My name is 
                         entered on the lists, along with 
                         every other young --



                         If you say so.

                         What do you mean?


                         I've participated in every drawing 
                         since I came of age.


                         It's true. You don't believe me. You 
                         think I'm lying. Well I'm not.

                         I'm sorry. I heard a rumor. Families 
                         with money, that sort of thing.

                         Don't listen to rumors. They're lies. 
                         I have to go now.

                         Wait -- how long do I have to stay 
                         in here?

                         Until we know. Not long. Goodbye. 
                         Vale. Dormi bene.

               She slips away down the corridor.


               King Casiodorus and Tyrian are huddled over a table piled 
               high with manuscripts and papers. Tyrian clears a spot and 
               sets out a stack of lead bars.

                         That's enough. Let's not be greedy 

               The King picks up Galen's amulet, and holds it over the bars 
               in his clenched fist.

                         Now then: I, Casiodorus Rex do hereby 
                         command thou base metal to change 
                         thy essence and become gold.

               There is a rustle of skirts and Elspeth appears behind him.


                         Not now. Tyrian, remove all but one 
                         bar. We'll try it one at a time.

                         Father: did you know that some 
                         families have paid bribes to stay 
                         out of the lottery?

               The King and Tyrian glance up at her.

                         Nonsense. By the power of this amulet, 
                         justly wielded by my hand in 
                         accordance with the laws of Urland, 
                         now lead be thou gold.

               The lead remains unchanged, but the King gives out a cry and 
               drops the amulet.

                         I'm burned! What devilish thing is 

                         Have you ever kept my name off the 
                         lottery list?

                         That'll be all, Tyrian. You may 

               Tyrian bows and exits. The King uses his sceptre to pick up 
               the amulet and chain. He conceals it in a hollowed-out book 
               and places the volume on a shelf among many others.

                         Now, my dear, what's troubling you?

                         Answer my question: am I not exposed 
                         to the same risk as every other man's 

               The King paces over to the window and stares out. The rain 
               has stopped.


                         Your father loves you very much.

               Elspeth sways in dismay.

                              (a wail)
                         It's true! What have you done to 

                         Who fills your head with such ideas?

               At that moment a tremor passes through the room. King and 
               daughter look at each other in alarm.


               The same tremor shakes the bars in Galen's cell. Puzzled, he 
               rolls off his straw palette and gets to his feet. The tremor 
               dies away. Suddenly a violent shaking hits the cell, bouncing 
               Galen off the walls.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VILLAGE SQUARE

               Swanscombe is gripped by the same earthquake. Dodging panicky 
               barnyard animals, Valerian and her father join other 
               frightened villagers in the center of town.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY

               Above the dragon's lair, boulders are shifting and grinding 
               together. Massive chunks of stone break loose and tumble 
               down the incline.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               The shaking has stopped. Rock dust filters down from the 
               ceiling. Galen picks himself up and stares: the door to his 
               cell is off its hinges and is sagging open. He darts out.


               Galen dashes along the hallway, rounds a corner and stops. 
               At the other end of the passage is Tyrian.

                         You little meddler! It's alive!

               He draws his sword and advances. Galen warily retreats. Tyrian 
               breaks into a run. Galen turns and sprints away.


               Unruly horses, terrified by the quake, rush blindly around 
               the courtyard. Hostlers try vainly to catch them. Tyrian 
               leans down from an upstairs window.

                         Close the main gate! Quick!

               The men below scramble for the gates. Galen bursts out of 
               hiding, sees the untended horses, and swings aboard as one 
               goes past. A cry goes up from the guards.

                         There! Stop him!

               Galen rides like mad for the exit, but he's a half-second 
               late: the doors boom shut in his face. He wheels the horse 
               around. The King's men are coming toward him with pikes. 
               Digging his heels into the horse's sides, he urges the animal 
               back across the courtyard, up the steps and right into the 

               THRONE ROOM

               Galen gallops into the empty chamber, knocking over the throne 
               and vaulting a table. Hot on his heels are armed soldiers. 
               He kicks the horse again and shoots under an archway.


               The kitchen is already in chaos from the earthquake when 
               Galen charges in on his wild steed. Food, utensils and cooks 
               go flying. He reins in, ducks his head, and squeezes the 
               horse out into a narrow hallway.


               He clatters down the passageway. But here comes a contingent 
               of footmen from the opposite direction. Galen rides them 
               into the walls!


               The horse scrabbles up the stairs, Galen tucked low against 
               its neck. On the upper landing he comes face to face with 
               Tyrian and more soldiers.

                         Get him! Stab the horse!

               Galen jerks the animal around and plunges back down the 


               Whinnying and blowing the horse bursts in, a wild-eyed Galen 
               still in the saddle. He finds himself confronting the King 
               and his daughter.

               Casiodorus grabs Elspeth and retreats into a corner.

                         Tyrian! Tyrian!

               Tyrian sweeps in with his men. The doors slam shut.

                         So much for your magic! So much for 
                         your sorcery!

               Galen is trapped. Just as Tyrian reaches for the horse's 
               reins, the animal rears up, rolling its eyes. At that moment 
               the floor heaves and cracks in a new series of shocks. The 
               men at arms go down like ten pins. Tyrian reels back, dodging 
               stone blocks loosened from the ceiling. As the shaking 
               continues, a weakened section of wall gives way. Galen sees 
               daylight! Without even waiting for the quake to cease, he 
               prods the horse across the room and through the wall to 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               The unnerved citizens of Swanscombe gather on the promontory 
               overlooking Galen's landslide. Every few seconds there is a 
               new shudder and more rocks pour down the long slope. Valerian 
               stands trembling with her father. Presently Brother Jacopus 
               elbows his way forward.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Listen to me, my brethren. The moment 
                         of our fear is the moment of our 
                         triumph. This is a sign from God. 
                         Follow me, and our faith will send 
                         this creature straight to hell.

               Holding a cross before him, he starts up the slope. No one 
               follows. They haven't been Christians all that long. One or 
               two near Valerian get down on their knees and pray silently. 
               Greil looks things over.

                         You call yourselves Christians?

               He strides after the monk. But he's the only one.

               NEAR THE LAIR

               The determined monk has arrived at the epicenter. His sandals 
               are smoking on the hot gravel. Sweat shines on his face and 

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not 
                         want. Thou makest me to lie down in 
                         green pastures. Thy rod and staff 
                         they comfort me...

               Greil toils up the slope a hundred yards back. He's crossing 
               himself, but he's carrying a sickle.


               There is a thunderous noise. Part of the mountain is tossed 
               into the air. Up from the depths comes a huge shining wing. 
               Then a neck uncoils and a head appears. It tips down toward 
               the tiny human.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         ...for Thine is the kingdom and the 
                         power and the glory forever -- amen.

               At the base of the slope the villagers scatter. Greil wavers.

                                     BROTHER JACOPUS
                         Unclean beast, get thee down! Be 
                         thou consumed by the fires that made 

               The dragon's head sways back and forth, then belches out a 
               waterfall of flame. It engulfs Jacopus and sends him to a 
               better world, if there is one.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               HILL ROAD - NIGHT

               Horse and rider race across a night landscape under brooding 
               clouds. Up ahead, the sky glows with an angry red light. At 
               the crest of a hill Galen reins in and looks down across a 
               long valley. There, miles away, is the village of Swanscombe. 
               Many buildings are ablaze. As he watches in horror, fires 
               spring up in the fields and trees. Intermittently he can see 
               the silhouette of the dragon as it spreads destruction. 
               Finally the creature swoops up and away. Galen stares skyward, 
               losing sight of it in the clouds. For a moment, silence. 
               Then, with a thunderous rush of air that almost blows him 
               from the saddle, the dragon reappears and hurtles a few feet 
               over his head! It is gone in an instant.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VILLAGE - NIGHT

               Half the buildings in the town are on fire. Desperate 
               villagers dash here and there, herding children and animals 
               to safety, trying to save their household goods. Galen walks 
               woodenly into the confusion, leading his horse, taking in 
               the scope of the disaster. He comes upon a line of men who 
               have formed a bucket brigade. He attempts to join up. As 
               soon as he is recognized, he is shouldered roughly aside.

                         Get away, you little bastard. We've 
                         had enough help from you.

               Galen staggers back, reaching for his horse. The animal shies 
               and trots off. A middle-aged woman appears in front of him, 
               her face contorted with rage. She swings a flaming broom and 
               catches him on the back of the head. Galen reels away.

                         This is your doing!

               Galen looks up and sees a couple of burlies moving his way 
               with boards in their hands.

                         Get him! He's back!

               Before they can get too close, Galen runs down an alley and 
               bumps smack into a glassy-eyed, haunted man. It is Greil.

                         Greil -- help!

                         May the Lord forgive you for what 
                         you have done.

               He pushes past. Galen ducks behind a smoldering building.

               VALERIAN'S HOUSE

               The roof has burned off, but at least the walls are standing. 
               Valerian is wrestling charred timbers out of the center of 
               the room. She is covered with soot. There is a hammering on 
               the door and Galen barges in. He slams the door behind him 
               and puts his back against it.

                         It's me. Are you hurt?

                         Where have you been? Doesn't matter -- 
                         listen: Quick! Make it rain. That'll 
                         put the fire out.

                         I can't.

                         Then get the animals back. They're 
                         all running loose. There's people 
                         been hurt. Stop their pain. You can 
                         cure them. And we'll need food...

                         I can't do it.

                              (this stops her)
                         What? Why not?

               Galen's hand moves up to where the amulet used to hang.

                         I just can't.

                         But you're a sorcerer.

                         I'm no sorcerer. Whatever power I 
                         might have had, it's gone.

                         It can't be!

                         I know: I'm an imposter. A fraud. A 
                         fake. I'm sorry...

               For a moment, Valerian is too stunned to speak. Then her 
               face colors.

                         You're sorry?! Listen to that! The 
                         damn thing is loose, we're all on 
                         fire and you're sorry!

               Galen sinks to the floor and sits in the ashes.

                         You didn't have the faintest idea 
                         what you were doing, did you? You're 
                         a fool -- and I'm a bigger one for 
                         bringing you here.

               She snatches up a pitchfork and glowers at him.

                         I don't want you in this house. Get 

               But Galen still sits there like a puppet with its strings 
               cut, every dream of glory utterly crushed. This piteous sight 
               touches Valerian's heart. Her gaze softens. She slowly lowers 
               the pitchfork.

                                                                  FADE OUT:

               FADE IN:

               TOWN SQUARE - DAY

               A knot of villagers lead Tyrian and his henchmen across the 
               square directly to the blacksmith's shop. The King's men 
               dismount and pound on the door. It swings open. Valerian is 
               standing there.

                         Where is he?

                         Not here. I can't help you.

               A cry goes up from the villagers. They know damn well he's 
               in there.

               VALERIAN'S HOUSE

               Tyrian pushes Valerian aside and steps into the room. Aided 
               by some townfolk, his men proceed to ransack the premises, 
               overturning barrels, sticking their swords through flour 
               sacks, poking through the tumbledown thatch. Valerian's eye 
               falls on Malkin, who has involved himself in the search.

                         You too?

                              (returning her look)
                         Damn right.

               Finding nothing, the group pushes into the metal shop, where 
               Simon is hammering an iron wheel rim back into shape on an 
               enormous anvil. He lays down his tools and grimly watches 
               the men go through, overturning benches and tables. Tyrian 
               props a leg up on the anvil and addresses himself to Simon.

                         As the proud new father of an eligible 
                         daughter who was some-how overlooked 
                         all these years, it may interest you 
                         to know that the King has called for 
                         a new lottery.

                         But it's months til the solstice.

                         In view of what's happened, we all 
                         know what's required.

                         I've never taken part in your cursed 
                         lottery, and I'll have nothing to do 
                         with it now.

                         You were very clever. But she'll 
                         take part, like all the rest. No 

               The search party has exhausted the room's hiding places.

                         Nothing. If he was here, he's gone 

               Tyrian nods and leads the way out. Simon catches up and pulls 
               Tyrian aside at the door.

                         All right. I know what you want. How 

                         Are you offering me a bribe?


                         Don't waste your time.
                         You could never afford it.

               He spins on his heel and joins his men as they ride out of 
               town. Valerian and Simon watch them go. When the riders are 
               out of sight, they return to the shop. With a couple of stout 
               poles, they strain to lift the anvil off its base. Finally 
               it topples over. Valerian slides the base aside, revealing a 
               trap door. She raises it and a cramped Galen unfolds himself 
               from the space below. On his face is a curious look of 

                         Smith -- have you ever forged a 


               Simon is going through a cabinet, tossing out hoes, rakes, 
               sickles, scythes, plow blades, and a knife or two. Galen 
               examines them doubtfully. Now Simon produces an armload of 
               swords. Galen is impressed; he looks them over carefully, 
               testing and rejecting them in turn.

                         These are your sharpest?

               Simon plucks up one of the swords, carries it to the center 
               of the room. He lays a horseshoe on the anvil. He brings the 
               sword down -- whack! -- and cuts the horseshoe in half.

                         Even Tyrian carries one of these.

               Galen hefts it dubiously.

                         It's sharp -- but it's not sharp 

               Valerian has been watching all this with growing concern.

                         Not sharp enough for what?

                         For what I'm going to do with it.

                         Nothing's that sharp.

               Simon gnaws his lip. Reluctantly, he brings a long box from 
               the bottom of the cabinet. He opens it. Lying on a bed of 
               silk is an exquisite two-handed broadsword. The flat blade 
               gleams like a mirror. Galen reaches in and lifts it out.

                         The best I ever made.

               Valerian is as awed as Galen.

                         It's beautiful.

               Galen brings up a finger to test the edge. Simon grabs his 
               hand away.

                         Don't do that!
                              (he looks at Valerian)
                         Girl-child, when you were born I 
                         knew I had to do something, so I set 
                         about the task of fashioning an 
                         extraordinary weapon: I had the skill 
                         to make it --
                              (bleak pause)
                         -- but not the nerve to use it.

               She looks at him with affection. Leaning forward, she plants 
               a kiss on his bald pate.

                         I'm thankful for that.
                              (to Galen)
                         No man should choose a senseless 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               STREAM - DAY

               Galen, Valerian and Simon tramp through a glade to a mossy 
               bank. There a wide stream flows lazily under a canopy of 

                         If it's me you're worried about, 
                         don't. So my name has been entered, 
                         what of it? There are hundreds of 
                         girls. My name just won't be drawn. 
                         I know it won't.

               Galen walks out into the shallows and pushes the sword-tip 
               into the sandy bottom, angled so that the edge splits the 

                         Valerian, this isn't just for your 

               He walks back to shore. All three watch the sword to see 
               what will happen.


               Big flat oak leaves are gliding along the current. Very 
               slowly, they go by the sword, some of them very close. 
               Finally, one of them floats against the leading edge of the 
               blade and without a ripple is cleft in two. Simon gives Galen 
               a significant look.

                         I don't care. It doesn't matter. 
                         What you want to kill isn't flesh 
                         and blood.

                         Oh, it'll bleed, all right.

                         How do you know? No one's so much as 
                         even scratched it.

               They look to Galen. The apprentice's face is full of doubt.

                         I'll need the amulet.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               KING'S CASTLE - NIGHT

               Carrying torches to light their way, families -- some with 
               maiden daughters -- gather from all over the country in the 
               courtyard of the King's castle. Simon is there with Valerian, 
               and so is Galen, disguised in rough farm clothes and a wide-
               brimmed hat. Like many others, he carries a stick topped 
               with a bleached skull -- to all appearances, just another 
               participant in this weird pagan ritual. A barrel decorated 
               with flames and dragon's wings sits on a raised dais in front 
               of the main entrance. Horsrik, the King's herald, supervises 
               preparations for the lottery. Armed guards appear carrying a 
               sealed chest. Horsrik breaks the seal and the guards pour 
               the contents -- hundreds of wooden tiles, each bearing the 
               name of a potential sacrifice -- into the barrel. Trumpets 
               blare and drums roll and the royal party strolls onstage: 
               the King, his daughter, courtiers and Tyrian. Valerian nudges 

                         Look at her. The Princess.

                         I know. We've met.

               Valerian gives Galen a sharp look. Horsrik unrolls a 

                         People of Urland: whereas the peace 
                         of the kingdom has been disrupted by 
                         the mischief of an interloper; and 
                         whereas this interloper being fled; 
                         now therefore, his majesty the King 
                         hereby proclaims the sum of thirty 
                         ducats to be paid to anyone producing 
                         the miscreant Galen Bradwardyn, fraud 
                         enchanter, to our satisfaction.

               Galen pulls his hat low over his eyes. As the moment for the 
               drawing approaches, Valerian becomes more and more uneasy. 
               She pushes forward through the crowd until she's just below 
               the barrel. She eyes the people around her. Some of them 
               seem equally worried, others -- the better dressed and better 
               fed -- are smug and complacent. The King and his retinue are 
               serene. A chant goes up from the crowd:

                         Stir the tiles! Stir the tiles!

               Horsrik picks up a wooden staff surmounted by a carved 
               dragon's head and stirs up the names. This done, a new chant 
               goes up:

                         Bare the arm! Bare the arm!

               At a signal, a guard comes forward and cuts the sleeve from 
               Horsrik's right arm. He holds it high. The crowd surges 
               forward. The atmosphere is full of dread and excitement. 
               Valerian looking pale and determined, is jostled and pushed 
               to the edge of the platform.

                         Draw the name! Draw the name!

               The moment has come. Down goes Horsrik's arm and up it comes, 
               holding one little wooden square, one young woman's fate. An 
               expectant hush falls over the mob. The virgins of Urland 
               tremble and wait.

                         Now, my countrymen, hear me: behold, 
                         for I am chosen. I shall die that 
                         many may live. I shall lay down my 
                         life for family and fellows. I shall 
                         go to my grave for the love of our 
                         King and his wise policy. And my 
                         name is --

               He looks down at the tile to read the name, but no sound 
               comes to his lips. He looks back at the crowd, a cold sweat 
               breaking over his face. He swallows, but still can't bring 
               himself to speak. At his feet, Valerian is holding her breath. 
               A new chant goes up.

                         The name! The name!

               By now Horsrik is trembling. He stares down at the tile, his 
               mouth set in a grim line. The King is getting annoyed. He 
               gestures and the crowd falls silent.

                         Read the name.

                              (mastering himself)
                         The name is: Princess Elspeth Ulfilas, 
                         filia regis.

               There is a moment of profound shock. Then a low murmur of 
               wonder moves through the crowd. Galen looks at Valerian; she 
               sags with relief. The King turns to his daughter. She shows 
               nothing. He rises from his chair, comes forward and snatches 
               the tile from Horsrik.

                         That's not the name. It's been 

               Valerian will not stand for such hypocrisy.

                         There's no mistake! The name's been 
                         chosen -- let it stand!

                         No, the good Horsrik has misspoke 
                              (he looks at the tile)
                         In fairness to this individual, whose 
                         name I can't make out, we'll destroy 
                         this tile.

               He quickly tosses the wood chip into a brazier at his elbow. 
               Led by Valerian, the crowd cries out in protest.

                         No! What better name than your own 
                         kin? At last we see justice done!

                         Silence! We will have a new choosing. 
                         I will draw the name myself.

               He reaches into the barrel and extracts another tile. He 
               looks at it and his eyes widen. Betrayed, he swivels to face 
               his daughter. The din of the crowd reaches a crescendo.

                         Let it stand! Let it stand!

               Elspeth takes the tile from her father's nerveless fingers, 
               looks at it with satisfaction and holds it aloft.

                         The name is as you heard it and as 
                         Horsrik read it: Elspeth.

               The King moils through the tiles, finding his daughter's 
               name again and again.

                         The lottery is invalid. Another and 
                         another. What treachery is this?

               Valerian, chanting with the rest, falls silent. She looks at 
               Elspeth with sudden interest and respect, then awe.

                         Hear me, good people! It is true, 
                         that my name appears on many of the 
                         lots. This does not falsify the 
                         drawing, it certifies it! I have 
                         learned that my name has been kept 
                         from jeopardy in all the drawings in 
                         the past. So I have put my name among 
                         the rest many times -- once for each 
                         risk that, over the years, you took 
                         and I did not.

               The crowd is dumbfounded. Gradually voices erupt in a 
               cacophony of shouts, whistles and excited conversation. Galen 
               sees his chance: there's an unguarded door near the stable. 
               He drifts toward it and slips inside.

               THRONE ROOM

               Galen pokes his head in: the room is empty. He scurries over 
               to a chest, flings it open and starts rummaging. Finding 
               nothing he moves on to a cabinet. He breaks the lock and 
               pries it open. Again, nothing.

               CASTLE CORRIDOR

               Galen can hear the voices in the courtyard as he rushes down 
               a hall. Suddenly he stops short. There in front of him is a 
               guard leaning out a window to watch the proceedings. Galen 
               hovers on the verge of panic as the guard abruptly moves. 
               But the man is only headed for another window and a better 
               view. Galen manages to fall into step an arm's length behind 
               him and slip by without a sound.


               Galen enters the library, his enormous shadow dancing crazily 
               on the torchlit walls. Hurrying through, his attention is 
               drawn to some open books on a table. Closer inspection reveals 
               magical writings and symbols. Galen paws over everything, 
               suddenly aware that he must be close to the amulet. But where 
               is it?


               As the crowd disperses Valerian watches Elspeth walk back in 
               the castle, lofty and composed. She looks for Galen and 
               discovers he has gone.


               By now, the room is in total disarray. Galen has opened all 
               the chests and trunks and knocked half the books from the 
               shelves. No amulet. He's feverishly working on a locked drawer 
               when a voice interrupts him.

                         Don't go to all that trouble.

               Galen whirls around to find the King standing in the doorway. 
               The monarch looks shattered. Galen edges toward the split in 
               the wall and finds that it has been shored up with timbers. 
               At that moment Tyrian comes through the door, sizes up the 
               situation and draws his sword.

                         I'm unarmed. If you want a fight, at 
                         least give me a weapon.

                              (pushing by the King)
                         I think not!

                         Stop! Don't harm him.
                              (to Galen)
                         And you -- don't run away... please...

               The King's voice is cracking. Galen and Tyrian are equally 
               taken aback. The King searches through the books remaining 
               on the library shelves.

                         I've always had the greatest 
                         admiration for the black arts. You 
                         chaps with your mysterious spells... 
                         I didn't think it would be necessary, 
                         you see. Vermithrax is an old dragon. 
                         And that, I thought, was the beauty 
                         of my plan -- buying time. We'd wait 
                         her out. I'd live to see the end of 
                         That's still going to happen.

               The King finds the book and takes the amulet out. With 
               trembling hands, he passes it to Galen.


                         He shall have it.
                         It's my daughter. Save her, I beg 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VILLAGE - DAY

               The people of Swanscombe are clearing up the rubble and 
               beginning repairs on their dwellings. Standing in their midst, 
               lecturing every passerby, is Greil. He holds up the charred 
               remains of Brother Jacopus' wooden cross.

                         Holy of holies -- he did not die in 
                         vain. Can you hear me, brothers?

               Some workmen go by lugging new thatch. Malkin is with them.

                         We hear you, Greil.

                         Well and good, but I'm Greil no 
                         longer. Call me Gregorius, after the 
                         Bishop of Rome.

               Malkin and the others stop to listen.

                         I saw him die. Like Our Lord Jesus 
                         on the cross he was, scourged by 
                         evil. But he showed no fear. Such is 
                         the power of the Holy Ghost.

               BLACKSMITH SHOP

               Galen lurks in the shadows of Simon's metal shop looking out 
               on the square where Greil is holding forth.

                         Of what avail is magic? The old gods 
                         died with our daughters. From whence 
                         comest my help? My help comest from 
                         the Lord!

               Galen quietly shuts and bars the door. He moves deeper into 
               the gloomy workroom where Simon is pumping a bellows to heat 
               up the forge. Galen looks at the coals.

                         Good and hot.

                         Don't bother. That's not the kind of 
                         fire we need.

               Valerian is staring at the sword, sitting on the anvil in 
               its silk wrapping. Galen uncovers it, holds it high, and 
               puts his hand on the amulet.

                         Nunc, per Potestatem Hermeticum -- 
                         ex flammis, ferrum sangrinarium!

               The sword starts to hum and to heat up. From the hilt outward 
               the blade glows brighter and brighter: red, orange, white. 
               It lights up the room, throwing long shadows into the corners. 
               Galen lays the white hot steel on the anvil. Simon takes up 
               his hammer and begins the reforging. Valerian sees their 
               resolve. After watching for several moments she slips out 
               the side door, looking sad.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               Clouds scud low over the lifeless region. The dragon's lair 
               now has a newer, bigger entrance. Vapors drift upward from 
               it. Down the slope a lonely figure works its way from rock 
               to rock: it's Valerian with a wicker basket on her arm, 
               searching for dragon scales. The basket is already more than 
               half full when she finds herself ominously near the mouth of 
               the cavern. She's about to turn back when she spies a 
               particularly large and beautiful scale just a few yards 
               further on. As she reaches for it, there is a sudden hiss! 
               She jerks her hand back and freezes. There in the shadows is 
               a baby dragon, a basilisk, all coppery bronze with stubby 
               winglets. As she backs away, she sees two more come up to 
               join the first. They watch her retreat through wicked little 
               green eyes.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               STREAM - DAY

               On the mossy bank Galen and Simon unwrap the reforged sword. 
               Now the blade carries a faint blue halation. Galen walks to 
               the middle of the current and once again stabs the tip down 
               into the sand. Then he rejoins Simon onshore to await results. 
               This time, as the oak leaves approach the sharp edge, they 
               gently but definitely veer sideways to avoid contact. Such 
               is the power of the sword that even after many leaves, not a 
               single one has come close enough to be sliced. Simon is agog 
               and even Galen seems satisfied. They clasp hands.

                         An edge like no other on this earth.

                         Well done, Simon. Thank you.

               Simon hands him a bundle of fighting equipment.

                         I'll say goodbye to Valerian for 
                         you. I'm sorry she's not here, but 
                         you know how she is.

                         I understand.

               They look at each other for what could be the last time.

                         Fare thee well.

               The old man departs. Galen unfolds the bundle and brings out 
               its contents: mail hauberk with coif, studded leather gloves, 
               padded jerkin, a scabbard and a small wooden shield. He lays 
               them out on the stream bank, then strips off his tunic and 
               kneels down to splash some water in his face. As the cups 
               the water between his hands, an image comes alive and shimmers 
               on the surface: Valerian, stripping off her own clothes, 
               shyly turning toward him, solemn and romantic.


               It's as if the vision is speaking to him, but it's not. He 
               spins around and sees her standing there, fully clothed, and 
               possessed of a brisk and businesslike air.


               She throws down a shield. It's remarkable in its construction -- 
               overlapping layers of iridescent dragon scales have been 
               ingeniously fastened to a leather-clad frame.

                         It's a shield. I made it. Might keep 
                         the fire off you. Might not. You 
                         know, you're an idiot. You're going 
                         to die tonight. You'll be ripped 
                         limb from limb. This is the last 
                         time I'll ever speak to you.

               Galen turns the shield over and over, marveling at it. He 
               fixes her with a piercing look.

                         Thank you.

                         Another thing. That thing isn't alone 
                         up there. There's little ones. Young, 
                         I think. I don't know how many.

               She shudders. Galen's eyes are still fastened on her. She's 
               fighting to retain her hard manner, but the agitation and 
               dread are plain.

                         Hatchlings. They'll have to be killed 
                         too. Anything else?

               Valerian wants to be bold, but on this final point, can't 
               muster the courage.

                              (tiny voice)
                         You're in love, aren't you?

                              (slowly nodding)

                         That's all right. I understand. She's 
                         very beautiful, very brave.

                         Who is? What do you mean?

                         Your Princess. But I don't care. It 
                         doesn't change the way I feel.
                         Listen to me, Galen Bradwardyn, 
                         sorcerer's apprentice; you're going 
                         to be dead, the dragon will be worse 
                         than ever, there will be more 
                         lotteries, and I'm not a boy any 

                         And you'll be eligible because --

                         Because I'm still a virgin, and I 
                         want you to do something about it.

               Galen takes her in his arms; she is trembling. He tilts her 
               face up toward his and kisses her.

                         I am in love. But not with the 

               Their image is reflected in the waters. Through the ripples 
               she is visible pulling briefly away to remove her clothes.

               From afar, they are two tiny figures under the overarching 
               oaks and willows. They embrace and sink down into the deep 
               grass beside the water. The leaves continue their unhurried 
               course downstream.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - NIGHT

               A cold wind whistles through the rocks near the dragon's 
               lair. By the light of a flickering torch two workmen finish 
               driving a heavy post into the ground. As they affix a pair 
               of iron manacles they see the torches of a procession coming 
               up the slope. They hurry down to meet it. Horsrik is in the 
               lead, followed by soldiers and royal attendants. Elspeth 
               rides in the tumbril behind a blindfolded horse. Bringing up 
               the rear is Tyrian. At last the cart can go no further. 
               Elspeth alights and leads the rest of the troop to the post. 
               As the soldiers put the irons around her wrists, Horsrik 
               unrolls a parchment, turns his back on the wind and begins 
               to read:

                         Now be it known throughout the 
                         kingdom, that the Princess, having 
                         been chosen by a deed of fortune and 
                         destiny --

               Horsrik blinks. There's a black stain growing in the middle 
               of the parchment; all at once it bursts into flames. He cries 
               out and flings the document away. There follows a flash of 
               light and a puff of smoke and Galen is standing there, as if 
               he had materialized out of thin air. Horsrik and his startled 
               men backpedal down the slope.

                         No fire, I beg you.

               Galen raises his hands in a menacing gesture.

                         Be gone!

               That's enough for Horsrik and company: he and the soldiers 

                              (over his shoulder)
                         I declare these proceedings duly 

               Only one man remains behind the challenge the young sorcerer: 
               Tyrian. He draws his sword.

                         I knew I'd find you here. Well, I'm 
                         not as sentimental as some. The 
                         kingdom, every one of us, need this 
                         sacrifice. If you intend to interfere, 
                         you'll have to kill me.

                         I've got plenty of reasons to kill 
                         you that have nothing to do with 
                         this sacrifice.

               Galen draws his own sword. As it emerges into the night air 
               it seems imbued with a blue phosphorescence.

                         Most impressive. Can you use it?

               Elspeth twists around in her chains.

                         Let it be! Please! Tyrian is right -- 
                         it's our only hope!

               Galen starts to reply, but as soon as his attention wavers, 
               Tyrian is lunging toward him, sword point directed at his 
               neck. Galen barely manages to parry the thrust before Tyrian 
               is at him again, blade swinging toward his knees. Galen drops 
               the tip of his sword to catch the blow. When the two steel 
               edges connect, sparks fly. In a series of thrusts and counter-
               thrusts, each accompanied by a shower of sparks, Tyrian backs 
               Galen up the mountain.

                         Tyrian -- both of you -- run! Flee! 
                         It's coming!

               Sure enough, at that moment the earth gives out a low moan 
               and undulates in a sickening movement. Vapors begin rising 
               from the lair.

                         In a trice! This is no swords-man.

               He might be right, for Galen turns and bolts across the slope. 
               When he reaches the post with Tyrian two steps behind, he 
               whirls and brings his blade down on Princess Elspeth's chains. 
               The chains part in an explosion of sparks.

                         Run! Get out of here!

               The Princess darts from the piling as Tyrian swoops down to 
               continue the attack. Galen dodges and the stake catches 
               Tyrian's blow. The earth shakes again. Galen glances at the 

                         No! Stop! What are you doing?

               Elspeth is not running away down the mountain. Instead she 
               is walking, slowly and deliberately, right into the smoking 
               cave. Swoosh! Tyrian's sword comes down again. The dismayed 
               sorcerer ducks back and Tyrian's blade again bites deep into 
               the wood.

                         You've failed, my friend, and I thank 
                         the gods for it. Come out from behind 
                         that post.

               It's now or never. Elspeth is no longer in sight. Galen grits 
               his teeth, grasps the sword with two hands and swings it as 
               hard as he can in a wide arc. The blade never even slows 
               down as it sails right through the post, lopping it clean 
               off. The glowing sword flashes above Galen's head and eagerly 
               buries itself in Tyrian's chest. The King's man is as startled 
               by the amputated piling as he is by his own death. His eyes 
               roll up in his head, his knees buckle and he topples backward -- 
               the blade sliding free.

               DRAGON'S LAIR

               Smoke swirls at the mouth of the cave as Galen enters, holding 
               his sword before him, lighting his way with its faint blue 


               The floor of the cave as it winds down into the mountain is 
               paved first with rock, then with dragon scales, then with 
               bones. With each footfall, clusters of mysterious insects 
               scuttle away. Galen pauses to mop his brow; it's getting 
               hot. A sound echoes up from the depths, a grinding sound 
               like the gnashing of teeth, followed by hissing and squealing. 
               Galen grips his sword tighter and pushes on. Suddenly he 
               stoops and picks up an embroidered slipper: Elspeth's. The 
               grinding sounds are louder. He hurries forward and rounds a 
               corner. He stops and gags.


               Two disgusting little reptiles -- like scaly raccoons -- are 
               perched on the corpse of Princess Elspeth Ulfilas, feeding 
               contentiously on choice bits of the royal flesh. Galen groans: 
               he lashes out and his sword beheads one of the tiny monsters.

               The other one buzzes its half-formed winglets and hisses a 
               hot stream of air. Galen brings down the sword and slices it 
               in half. Eyes riveted on Elspeth's remains, he edges around 
               the carnage and backs away. Hissss! -- there's a third one, 
               lurking in the shadows, munching on something; it might be a 
               hand. Galen shrieks and jumps away. The little creature comes 
               at him and clamps its jaws on his leg. Galen stabs at it 
               repeatedly. Finally it lets go, and flails and flops across 
               the bloody floor, ululating its death agony. As the creature's 
               last mewlings echo down through the cavern, the ground 
               quivers. Bits of stone fall from the ceiling.

               LAKE OF FIRE

               Galen works his way down a narrow passage whose walls are 
               alive with insects and beads of sulphurous water. As before, 
               he holds the sword in front of him; he marvels at its 
               increasing brightness. The heat is increasing too; sweat 
               mats his hair and runs down his face. A few yards further on 
               the sword starts pulsating. Now the walls take on a flickering 
               rosy sheen and the passage widens into an underground vista 
               of staggering immensity: an underground lake, its surface 
               bubbling and torn with sheets of flame. Arching over it is a 
               vault of stone, penetrated here and there by natural chimneys. 
               The dimensions of this internal world are unknown -- the 
               fiery lake disappears into half a dozen side chambers. The 
               one clear path is accessible only by a series of flat stones 
               leading across the hot liquid. Galen grips his sword and 
               resolutely hops from rock to rock.


               He's halfway across when the earth rumbles and the stepping 
               stones teeter beneath his feet. A fiery wave washes over his 
               legs, leaving his boots smoking. Another tremor knocks Galen 
               to his knees. As he scrabbles to pick up his sword and shield, 
               the great head of Vermithrax rises up out of the depths on 
               its long neck. It gazes at him through huge pale eyes under 
               armored lids. A tongue flicks out and runs around its lipless 
               mouth. The head sways from side to side. The mouth hinges 
               open, the nostril-like igniters come on and touch off the 
               jet of gas squeezed up out of its innards. A roaring tube of 
               flame engulfs Galen. He crouches behind his dragon scale 
               shield which deflects the fire just enough to save his life. 
               The dragon pauses to take a breath. Galen springs to his 
               feet, and bounds back the way he came, his skin and clothing 
               singed. Flames lick at his back as the dragon lets fly with 
               a second burst.


               Coughing and weeping, Galen staggers up through the tunnel, 
               nearly tripping over the body of one of the baby dragons. A 
               few seconds later, Vermithrax follows, squirming and clawing 
               its way upward. When it reaches its dead offspring it surveys 
               the scene with expressionless eyes. Bringing its head low, 
               it sniffs and nudges at the lifeless little ones.


               At that moment Galen leaps out from behind a niche in the 
               tunnel wall and lunges forward. Striking sparks, the point 
               of his sword slides across the dragon's plated cheek and 
               stabs deep between the scales of its heavy neck. There is an 
               unearthly shriek and the creature flicks its head back and 
               upward. Galen goes sprawling and finds himself holding half 
               a sword. The rest is buried in the beast's neck, and 
               Vermithrax doesn't like it. It flings its head this way and 
               that, knocking rocks loose from the ceiling. Its movements 
               cause the ground to quake. As boulders tumble around him, 
               Galen drops to the floor under his shield. Dragon flame 
               reaches through the cascading debris and washes over him.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               Valerian roams the rock-strewn slope not far from the dragon's 
               lair. Presently she comes upon a once-familiar object -- the 
               fire shield. Half the scales are gone, the rest are charred 
               and curling. Grimly, she moves on. A few paces away she picks 
               up the blunted sword. She scans the rocks and finally sees 
               what she's looking for.


               He's lying face down behind a boulder, his clothes charred, 
               patches of skin scorched. He looks dead. Valerian rolls him 
               onto his back. She gasps: the eyes are open, regarding her.

                         Still alive.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               BLACKSMITH SHOP - DAY

               Simon is standing by the anvil with the broken sword in his 
               hand, lost in thought.


               In the adjoining house Valerian tends Galen's wounds. He's 
               propped up on a palette enduring the application of poultices.

                         You know what we have to do.
                              (he looks at her with 
                              dull eyes)
                         We have to leave Urland.

               He winces in pain.

                         Not because of what happened. I 
                         brought you here -- it didn't work -- 
                         now I'm taking you away. Do you 
                              (Galen does not react)
                         You said you loved me. Is it true? 
                         If it is, it's the only good we've 
                         done. Let's not lose that too.

               He seems miles away. She turns aside, on the verge of tears. 
               Simon is standing there, still holding the sword hilt.

                         She's right. What kind of a life 
                         could you have here? It's too late 
                         for me, but you're young enough.
                              (he shows them the 
                         You know what I think? Magic is dying 
                         out, fading from the world. But that 
                         makes me happy. That means the dragon 
                         will be dying too.

               Galen looks at him; he has heard everything. He sits up and 
               fondly regards Valerian.


               Valerian packs her belongings into a rucksack. The last item 
               in is her blue frock, carefully rolled. Beside her, Galen 
               dons clean traveling clothes. He stiffly crosses the room 
               and drags his pack out of the corner. He sorts through the 
               effects, and amidst the clothing and supplies discovers the 
               leather pouch containing Ulrich's remains. He contemplates 

                         What's that?

                         Nothing. I was just thinking -- poor 

               He tucks the pouch away, throws some clothes on top and ties 
               the satchel shut.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               STREAM - DAY

               Beside the quiet stream Simon bids farewell to the young 
               couple, embracing each in turn. They slosh across the shallow 
               water and follow a path into the woods.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               VILLAGE SQUARE - DAY

               Greil is standing outside the half-burned grange hall, 
               summoning the Christian faithful. He proclaims the call to 
               worship by hammering on a small bell. One by one the townsfolk 
               arrive. Among them is Simon, looking bereft.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               FOREST PATH - DAY

               Valerian and Galen trudge along side by side.

                         How's your leg?

                         Hurts. That thing was small, but its 
                         teeth were sharp.

                         At least you killed it. You got all 
                         the young.

               This is small consolation, and Galen sighs.

                         But the big one's alive. Somewhere 
                         down in that burning lake.

                         Don't think about it. You had your 
                         fight, and you're still here. That's 
                         more than anyone else can say. Let's 
                         think about what lies ahead.

               She reaches out to take his hand. But Galen is no longer at 
               her side. She stops and looks back.


               Galen has come to a halt in the middle of the path. He's 
               staring into the middle distance with a sudden inspiration 
               bubbling in his brain. He flings off his sack, drops to his 
               knees and tears through the contents. Valerian comes back, 
               baffled. Galen's gear is strewn all over the trail.

                         What are you doing?

               Galen comes up with what he's looking for -- the leather 
               sack. When he replies, it is not to her, but to Ulrich:

                         You old trickster! The burning water! 
                         The lake of fire!

                         Galen, what are you saying?

               He regards her with astonishment.

                         He had it planned. He knew this was 
                         going to happen.

                         Who did? What happened?

                         We've got to go back, I want to talk 
                         to him!

               He heads back down the trail, leaving his belongings on the 

                         Where are you going?

               She hurries after him.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               GRANGE HALL - DAY

               Greil, a.k.a. Gregorious, stands in the center of the burned-
               out granary, delivering a sermon. Behind him, men are filling 
               the baptismal cistern.

                         The Church is mother to us all. Not 
                         just one lonely orphan who has lost 
                         his way, not just a few, but all of 
                         us that believeth in Him. When enough 
                         voices come together in prayer, He 
                         shall hear, we shall live and the 
                         beast shall die.

               In the gathering Simon ponders the hilt of his once fabulous 
               sword. With its blade shortened, it looks a lot like a 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               DRAGON COUNTRY - DAY

               Galen bounds up the rocky slope as fast as he can manage, 
               trailed by a desperate Valerian.

                         Galen, stop! Please, I beg you!

               But Galen pays no attention. In a burst of speed and fury, 
               Valerian comes up behind and tackles him.

                         Stop! I won't let you kill yourself.

               Galen waves the leather pouch in Valerian's face.

                         He couldn't walk -- he knew he 
                         couldn't make the journey. So he had 
                         us make the journey for him! Don't 
                         you see?

               He jumps up and runs to the mouth of the lair.


               She tackles him again.

                         All right, all right. You're going 
                         in there, I'm going too.

                              (brought up short)
                         What? Why? No you're not, this is my 
                         job. Absolutely not.

               But Valerian springs to her feet and starts into the lair.

                         I'm not afraid. And you're not going 
                         to stop me. After all -- I've been a 
                         man longer than you have.

               Galen pauses long enough to snatch up a discarded torch near 
               the remains of the wooden stake, then charges after her.


               Running footsteps resound in the steamy passageway and Galen 
               comes around the corner holding his torch high to light the 
               way. Valerian stumbles after him. He grabs her hand.

                         Stay close.

               Down and down they go. Soon they reach Elspeth's body.

                         What's that?

                         Never mind. Come on.

               But she pulls the torch from his hand and goes over to see.

                         All right. Wait here.

               He darts off. In the flickering torchlight Valerian can see 
               the Princess' remains all too clearly. She suppresses a 

                         Galen? Galen? Where are you?

               No answer. The torch reveals several passages. She doesn't 
               know which one to take.

               LAKE OF FIRE

               The passage widens out and once again Galen is standing on 
               the shores of the lake of fire. He looks around. The water 
               is rolling with bubbles of gas, and flames run hither and 
               yon across the surface, but there is no sign of the dragon. 
               Gathering his courage, he hops across the stepping stones to 
               the middle of the lake. There he hurriedly opens the pouch.

                         Ex favilla, vita nova!

               Gripping the amulet with his free hand, he scatters Ulrich's 
               ashes in a wide arc over the burning water. Instantly, there 
               is an ominous rumble and the earth gives a shrug. But no 
               wizard appears. No dragon, either. There follows another and 
               stronger quake. Galen crouches to keep his balance. Still no 


               Thoroughly bewildered, Valerian stumbles out into daylight. 
               She wanders a few yards down the slope and collapses against 
               the stake. Something is strange: it's getting dark. Squinting 
               up at the sun, she frowns in puzzlement, then gapes at what 
               is happening.


               Slowly and ponderously the black disk of the moon slides 
               over the face of the sun, plunging the world into crepuscular 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               GRANGE HALL - DAY

               The congregation is confused and frightened by the sudden 

                         Be calm. He watcheth over us! And 
                         this is His sign! Let us pray! Our 
                         Father who art in heaven...

               The faithful bow their heads and join in. Simon as well.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               LAKE OF FIRE

               The earthquakes have subsided; the water is calm. Galen stares 
               bleakly into the flames. As he watches, they gather themselves 
               into a lazy spiral. Gradually the spiral speeds up and becomes 
               a vortex. Now the flames become tinged with green, and as 
               the cavern moans with the sound of rushing air, a form takes 
               shape at the crest of a jet of flame. It is Ulrich, supine 
               as upon his pyre, reforming before Galen's eyes.

                         Ulrich! Magister! Over here! I can 
                         see you! Over here!

                              (looks at him)
                         Not so loud. I'm not deaf, you know.

               He slowly raises himself into an upright posture and strides 
               through the flames.

                         Sic redit magus ex terra mortis.

               The apprentice throws himself at his master's feet.

                         Wonder of wonders -- you're back! I 
                         thank the powers that made me!

                         Glad to see you, too. You didn't 
                         bring along anything to eat, by any 


                         No? Oh well, no time anyway.


               Valerian is standing in the unearthly twilight, anxiously 
               peering into the mouth of the lair. Suddenly she is hit from 
               behind by a gust of wind. She does not turn to see the 
               enormous Vermithrax alighting silently behind her.

               GALEN & ULRICH

               Ulrich raises Galen to his feet.

                         Come along. There's much to be done.

                         Wait, I have something to tell you.

                         It can wait.

                         No it can't. Listen: I thought I was 
                         a sorcerer -- but I wasn't. I thought 
                         I had power -- but I didn't. I thought 
                         I was you -- but I'm not.

               He hangs his head. Ulrich regards him steadily.

                         Well said. Now hurry.

               He leads the way across the rocks to the shore and into the 


               Time seems to have come to a stop. Overhead, the moon is 
               locked in front of the sun. At the lair, Valerian stands 
               frozen as the dragon leans over her. The great head sways 
               from side to side. The jaws hinge open. Suddenly, Valerian 
               recovers herself and makes a run for it, leaping and 
               scrabbling over the rocks. A plume of flame licks at her 
               heels. She sees a protective crevice and heads for it, but a 
               winged claw drops to block her way. She changes direction 
               and is cut off again. Cat and mouse.


               The pale yellow eyes stare implacably down at the hopeless 
               victim. The igniter jets come on, then off, as the beast 
               suddenly stiffens. The head rotates, almost as if catching a 
               new scent. Finally the eyes focus on the entrance to the 


               There is the sorcerer, leaning on Galen, coolly regarding 
               the creature. The old man's expression hardens.

                         Draco draconis...

               The dragon lifts its wings as if to menace them, then flaps 
               twice and is airborne. The thing shoots overhead and, with a 
               rush of wind, flies off into the gloom.

               IN THE ROCKS

               Valerian struggles out of her hiding place.


               Galen runs to her. They embrace. When they look up, Ulrich 
               is at their side.

                         Where's my amulet? Give it to me, 

               Galen's hand locates the jewel under his shirt. He finds 
               himself reluctant to part with it.

               With a hurricane howl, a column of flame touches down nearby 
               and rushes toward them. They stagger back as the dragon sweeps 

                         Be quick!

               Galen hands his treasure over. Ulrich closes his hand around 

                         Come close to me.

               Galen and Valerian approach. The old man's hand is suffused 
               with an internal glow. Behind them, the dragon is turning 
               for another pass.


               All at once the glow brightens, and in another instant the 
               world spins off into a blur, setting all three afloat in a 
               timeless netherworld. Valerian and Galen cling to each other 
               in terror.

                         Don't be afraid. You have served me 
                         with great courage. Now you must 
                         show me you have even more.


               The voices seem to be coming from a huge distance. Starlike 
               gleams whiz by, and fleeting glimpses of half-recognizable 
               faces and forms. The wizard's eyes are like glittering 
               crystals. Tiny motes and planetoids dance in the hairs of 
               his beard. He seems wreathed in luminescence.

                         You must destroy the amulet, and me 
                         along with it.


                         You brought me from the flames, you 
                         must send me back.

                         I can't.

                         When the time comes, you'll 
                         understand. Here.

               He dangles the amulet in front of Galen. Even more reluctantly 
               than he let it go, he takes it back.

               MOUNTAIN TOP

               Abruptly, the vortex is gone and they find themselves atop a 
               rocky crag overlooking the eclipse-darkened fields and farms 
               of Urland. Galen glances at his surroundings and stares at 
               the amulet, full of awe.

                         I know what you're thinking. You 
                         have learned much and done well. 
                         Don't worry, you won't need it any 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               GRANGE HALL - DAY

               Greil is urging Simon, the last of the converts, into the 

                         Make haste, brother.

               He dips Simon's head under water.

                         Now be thou baptized in the name of 
                         the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. May 
                         the Lord our God light our way.

               In the background, half the congregation is staring through 
               the burned-out walls, fervently praying and crossing 
               themselves, wondering if they'll ever see the sun again. A 
               cry goes up: a shape crosses the solar corona, wheels over 
               the village and streaks away toward the mountains -- the 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               MOUNTAIN TOP

               Galen and Valerian peer out from behind a boulder and watch 
               Ulrich hobble perilously close to the edge of the cliff. The 
               old man spreads wide his arms and tilts his head back.

                         Nimbus! Tempestas! Fulmen!

               From over the horizon roiling inky-black clouds churn down 
               upon them. Thunder booms and echoes. A bitter wind whips 
               their clothing. As the storm gathers fury, the dragon 
               reappears, circling in the distance. Finally it homes in on 
               the mountain crag and dives at Ulrich. The conjurer makes a 
               gesture and strokes of lightning explode against the beast's 
               scaly flanks. It emits a high thin scream and rockets past.

               GALEN & VALERIAN

               Valerian crawls away and comes back with a hefty chunk of 

                         Here. Do as he said. Smash it.

                         Not if it means killing him.


               He resolutely waits as the dragon banks against the clouds 
               and starts another pass. Again, the sorcerer summons lightning 
               bolts. But the dragon keeps coming; this time a talon splits 
               the old man's cape.

               GALEN & VALERIAN

               Valerian wrestles the amulet away from Galen. It falls to 
               the ground.

                         You heard what he said.

               She lifts the chunk of stone. Galen grabs for it.

                         No! You can't!

               THE LAST ATTACK

               Vermithrax spirals up into the storm, then drops earthward. 
               Ulrich watches as the beast comes straight at him. He folds 
               his arms and bows his head. Leathery wings humming, the 
               creature levels out, swoops up past the crag and lifts the 
               master magician away in its huge hind claw.


               Galen and Valerian are horrified to see the dragon circling 
               upward with the sorcerer writhing in agony in its grip. As 
               the monstrous thing flies high over them, they can hear 
               Ulrich's faint screams.


               Now Galen understands. He seizes the granite block from 
               Valerian and raises it with both hands over his head. He 
               takes a final look at the amulet, glowing at his feet, then 
               brings the rock down with all his might. There is a blinding 
               flash as it shatters into a million fragments.

               Far above there is another blinding flash as Ulrich's earthly 
               body explodes against the belly of the beast. The darkened 
               sky lights up as huge gouts of flame spew forth from the 
               dragon's gut. Wings fluttering uselessly, this reptilian 
               torch plummets to the ground.


               Below, a stock pond nestled in the foothill pastures. Trailing 
               a wake of flame, Vermithrax plunges like a comet into the 
               water. There is a stupendous splash and eruption of steam.

               GALEN & VALERIAN

               They stare down from their lofty perch, watching as further 
               explosions boil the water from the pond.


               Behind a tattered wrack of cloud, the moon slowly uncovers a 
               pale sun.


               THE CARCASS - DAY

               Grey misty light reveals the beast's mangled remains. Galen 
               and Valerian emerge from the fog, walk under a blackened 
               wing and make their way through the mud and loose scales to 
               the huge charred head. The death agony has twisted it upside 
               down. The mouth is frozen in a grotesque look of surprise. 
               The eyes are glazed. Now the sound of voices floats toward 
               them, chanting an ancient hymn. A moment later a mob of 
               Christians, led by Greil, crests a hill and moves toward the 
               hulk. The song ends.

                         Let us pray.

               The members of the congregation fall to their knees.

                         We thank thee, Lord, for this divine 
                         deliverance. Verily is thy presence 
                         amongst us, fully manifest in this, 
                         thy great work.

               Galen and Valerian look at each other. She takes his hand.

                         Arise, children of the Lord and 
                         forsake evermore the pagan mysteries. 
                         Rejoice in the true power of the 
                         Christian God!

               Galen turns and leads Valerian away. They disappear into the 


               FLENSING - DAY

               In the clear light of a new day, ladders have been tipped up 
               against the creature's back. Teams of men swarm over the 
               crusted flesh, slicing off long strips for piecemeal burial. 
               Below, yoked oxen drag the heavy carrion away on sledges. In 
               the background other workmen dump the remains into an open 

               THE KING

               With the crack of a whip and the clatter of hooves, the royal 
               coach pulls up to the shore of the lake. A door creaks open 
               and King Casiodorus totters out. His face is puffy, his eyes 
               are red. He slogs through the mud to the head of the dragon 
               and commences hacking at it with a ceremonial sword. Horsrik 
               steps out of the coach and draws himself up.

                         All hail Casiodorus Rex -- Dragon 

               The workers pause long enough to listen to this pronouncement 
               and cast a glance at the sorry spectacle. Wordlessly they 
               resume their labors.

                         Hail and praise be!


               ON THE ROAD - DAY

               The trail leads through copses and open meadows. Side by 
               side, Galen and Valerian march up a long slope under a hot 
               sun. He limps a bit; she finds a staff and hands it to him.

                         You want to rest?

                         No. I'm fine.

                         You miss Ulricn.


                         And the amulet.

                         That too.

                         Not me. I'm glad it's gone. I'm glad 
                         you did what you did.
                              (he doesn't reply)
                         You may not be a sorcerer, Galen, 
                         but I love you anyway. I don't regret 
                         anything that happened. I just wish --


                         -- that we had a horse.

               Galen falls a step behind. He briefly closes his eyes and 
               mutters something. They walk on a few paces. Then there is a 
               whinny from the nearby woods and a white stallion canters 
               forth. It crosses a meadow, comes right up to Valerian and 
               nuzzles her.

                         What is this?

                         A horse.

                         Did you...!?

                         No. It must have been wandering loose. 
                         Or wild.

               Galen climbs aboard. He reaches out to help her up.

                         Wait a minute. I just wished for a 
                         horse and here it is.

                         You don't want to wish it gone, do 

               She thinks for a moment, then lets him help her up. Galen 
               touches the horse's flanks with his heels and they ride off.

                                                                  FADE OUT:

                                         THE END


Writers :   Hal Barwood  Matthew Robbins
Genres :   Action  Adventure  Fantasy

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