Wizards and Warriors
Home Page

Site Map
Site Updates
The Fans
The Show

About the Site
Awards and Accolades
Captioning Contest
Joining the Fun
Member Profiles
Original Art



Birthday Greetings
Fractured Tales
Kartian Carol

Fanfiction by Authors
Fanfiction Policy


A Falcon's Tale
A Visit from the Past
Aperanian Talk Show
Aperanian Talk Show Revisited
Kartian Carol
Of Things Forgotten
The Crying Blade
The Prize
Torn Heartstrings
Traitor's Pass

Traitor's Pass

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Traitor's Pass

Part 2

The W&W Episode That Never Was
(probably for very good reasons)


[Establishing shot of Castle Blackpool.  Cut to interior shot of the WIZARD VECTOR's chambers.  VECTOR is hovering off to one side, silently observing DIRK prowl back and forth in the throes of a massive snit.]

DIRK:  So what do we have to show for our efforts?  One dead master assassin and Ariel's servant.  Her *servant*! 

VECTOR:  You would do well to dispatch that contingent of Death Troopers to Clorrin Ridge.  Condemning those bumbling fools to the fate of cannon fodder sets an excellent example of the consequence of failure --

DIRK:  I've already had them executed.  [His irritation melts into a breathy sigh.  His pupils darken and dilate; his nostrils flare; his lips moisten and quiver ever so slightly.  VECTOR squirms uncomfortably, acutely aware that his prince is savoring the sort of moment generally shared with a loved one, or at least a dirty magazine.]  Gored to death by a herd of unicorns.  I thought it had a certain . . . poetic flair.

VECTOR [disgustedly, rubbing his hand over his eyes]:  . . . Or you could simply choose to waste valuable manpower at a time of crisis just to soothe your temper. There is that option, yes.

DIRK:  You forget yourself, wizard.  Do you need me to remind you of your place? [He fondles the monocle threateningly.  VECTOR cringes at the subsonic hum.]   On the floor, writhing in pain, perhaps?  An excellent place, to be sure.

VECTOR [hastily]:  Not necessary, my lord, I assure you. 

DIRK [resuming his pacing]:  This is inexcusable, Vector -- unbelievable.  It was a perfect plan.  There was no possible way that it could fail.

VECTOR [sotto voce, with snide amusement]:  And yet, somehow, your plans so often do.

DIRK:  What was that?

VECTOR:  Merely commiserating on your unfortunate turn of events.  And observing that you missed a bit of powder, there.  [He points helpfully to what appears to be a patch of terminal dandruff on DIRK's shoulder. DIRK brushes it off with a savage intensity.]

DIRK:  Will you by any chance be contributing anything useful to this discussion, or may I safely continue to ignore you?

VECTOR [inclining his head in a mock-deferential bow of apology]:  You must forgive me, my lord.  The recent level of ambient noise has not been conducive to clarity of thought.  [Pauses a beat.]  So how *did* you persuade the servant girl to stop screaming?

DIRK:  I merely explained that if she uttered one more sound, I'd slice out her tongue and use it as a party favor.

VECTOR:  That would do it, yes.  So what do you plan to do with her?

DIRK:  I'm still considering all the . . . possibilities. [The gleam in his eye clearly indicates that all the possibilities are extravagantly sadistic.]  She's of no real use to us.  Greystone hardly cares enough about the fate of a servant to trade Shriker for her safe return.  [He ponders for a moment, toying with an evil-looking bit of alchemical equipment on one of the tables.]  I suppose I should simply send her back.

VECTOR [nonplussed]:  Really?

DIRK  [deliberately crushing a fragile glass bulb between thumb and forefinger]:  In eight or nine *extremely* small boxes.


DIRK [dusting bits of glass from his hands]:  No, ten.  One for that hideous hat. [Smiles beatifically.]  Perhaps with a card addressed to Ariel.

VECTOR [moving forward, his fingers steepled into a contemplative pose]:  That would indeed be . . . [gropes for an appropriate word to encapsulate the sheer perversion of the idea, then gives up] . . . amusing.  However, if I may be permitted to offer my own humble insight into an aspect of this situation that you may not have fully considered, given how much you've had to occupy your mind of late?

DIRK [entertained by the wizard's sycophantic approach]:  And this insight would be . . .?

VECTOR:  So long as she is alive, Greystone just might attempt to rescue her -- which would, of course, divert valuable resources from Clorrin Ridge, and delay a detailed interrogation of the former General Shriker.

DIRK  [with a short, sharp laugh]:  Oh, come now, Vector.  Greystone's not stupid.  [Reconsiders this remark.]  Well, not *that* stupid.

VECTOR:  He came for his vassal.

DIRK:  Yes, but that great lump is useful to him.  Not to mention how he had information the South could not afford to watch me extract from him.  [He pronounces the word "extract" in such a way as to leave no doubt he means it literally, in a process ideally involving red-hot tongs.]

VECTOR:  Perhaps.  Or perhaps it was his weakness for friendship.

DIRK:  Not likely.  I know my enemy.  I've always lived according to my father's philosophy:  Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. [Smirks slightly.]  Why do you think I gave you quarters in my castle?

VECTOR [wryly]:  A weakness for friendship?

DIRK:  But of course.  [He places one arm around the wizard in a fraternal gesture spoilt only by the obvious look of pain in VECTOR's eyes as DIRK's fingers clench just a bit too tightly.]  Trust me, Vector.  I know Greystone from the inside out.  Heaven knows there's little enough going on inside that blond head of his.  He's an
idealistic fool, I'd never deny that, but not so idealistic as to trouble himself over a servant's fate.

VECTOR [playing it elaborately cool]:  Would you care to place a friendly wager on that?

DIRK [tightening his grip a bit more]:  You're not getting the monocle, Vector.

VECTOR [feigning indignation]:  Furthest thing from my mind!

DIRK:  I'm sure.  Not that it matters; you'd lose this bet.  Not that I'm betting, mind you.

VECTOR:  I'm certain you're correct, my lord.  Still, perhaps a bit of eavesdropping might be in order.  [With great delicacy and a sharp creak of leather, VECTOR extracts himself from DIRK's grip and moves to face his vision scope.]  Traitor's Pass is well outside the range of Traquill's blocking spells.  If I adjust for the lapse of time, the angle of the earth's rotation . . . divide by six, and carry the two . . . [Dirk exhibits a supreme ennui, since the only mathematics which impress him are body counts.]  Ah, there we have it.

DIRK:  Have what? 

VECTOR:  Whatever conversation Greystone and his companions may have had, salvaged from the slipstream of time.  [He considers his achievement with no small measure of satisfaction.]  By the gods, I'm good.  [Confronted with DIRK's dubious expression, he leaves off patting himself on the back and continues in a more subdued manner.]  If you would be so kind as to observe the vision scope, sire?

[Stepping up to the magic device, Vector closes his eyes and extends his hands in silent concentration.  Gradually, the misty swirl resolves into the figures of ERIK, JUSTIN, and MARKO.  Arriving from just offscreen, ARIEL reins in from her getaway gallop.  Their relieved voices echo soft and thin from the confines of the tiny screen.  After this initial establishing shot, the camera cuts to filming them directly.]

ARIEL [half-falling off her unicorn in her haste]:  Oh, Erik!  I thought I was done for!

[ERIK dismounts and extends his arms to welcome her, wincing as ARIEL rushes forward and hurls herself against his chest, squeezing him tightly enough to halt all lower-body circulation.]

ERIK [in a strangled voice]: There, there, it's all right.  Everything's all right now.  [Pauses a beat.]  Except for my ribs, which are cracking.

ARIEL [pulling back quickly]:  Oh!  Sorry.  [Offers up a rueful smile.] I really messed up this time, didn't I?  Daddy'd be *so* mad if he knew.  [Suddenly coy, she chews on one index finger, fluttering her eyelashes.]  You won't *tell* on me, will you?

MARKO:  Oh, brother.

ERIK [sighing]:  Well, since no harm's been done, I suppose we could just make this our little secret.

ARIEL [clasping her hands and bouncing happily]:  Oh, goody!  I love secrets!  Just between you and me?

ERIK:  Just you and me . . . and Justin, and Marko, and an entire battalion of your father's guards.

ARIEL [disappointed]:  Oh.

ERIK [steering her back toward Pumpkin, and speaking as if to a very small, brain-damaged child]:  I don't mean to rush you, Ariel, I know you've just had a very traumatic experience, but we really do need to get back right away.  These guards are needed at the castle.

MARKO:  Hey, wait a minute.  Where's Cassandra?  Wasn't she with you?

ARIEL:  Huh.  [Cups her hands around her mouth and bellows like a longshoreman.]  CASSANDRA!  Hey!  Get a move on!  We don't have all day!  [There is no response save an eerie echo of ARIEL's words.  The men begin to look a bit uneasy.]  That's so weird.  She was right behind me when she jumped Geoffrey.

MARKO:  She did WHAT?

ARIEL:  To shake him loose, you know, 'cause he was grabbing my arm.  So she jumped on his horse . . . [The realization of precisely what happened finally casts a pall upon her ditzy cheerfulness.  She presses her palm to her open mouth, squeaking in dismay.]  Oh no!  They've got Cassandra!

[ERIK and JUSTIN both appear grim at this revelation, but MARKO's expression is utterly unreadable, almost frighteningly blank.  As if to punctuate the moment, CASSANDRA's riderless pony appears in the distance, galloping toward them.]

JUSTIN:  This ain't good.

ERIK [embracing ARIEL soothingly and patting her on the back]:  There, there.  It'll be okay.  We just have to get back to the castle, and then we'll talk about it --

ARIEL [yanking away from him and stamping her foot]:  No!  What about Cassandra?  You have to rescue her!  We've got to get her back right now!

ERIK [surprised by the usually selfish ARIEL's vehement concern for her handmaiden's welfare]:  Ariel, I know how you feel.  But we--

ARIEL:  You're not *listening* to me!  She's been my servant since she was eight years old!  She knows all the things I like, and don't like, and just the way I want my hair done, and makeup, and just how much starch to use before the veils get all prickly -- Do you have any idea what an enormous *pain* it'd be to hire a new one?  She'd take forever to train!  You have to get her back!

JUSTIN [very low, to Marko]:  She's a real humanitarian.

ERIK [exasperated]:  Ariel, we don't have time for this right now.  I should be at Morris Field, but instead I'm here trying to pry information out of Shriker, and keep you from getting yourself killed --

ARIEL:  Oh, like it's *my* fault!  You should've been here to protect me.  You'll do as I say, or I'll tell Daddy!  Marko's a servant, and you rescued *him*!

JUSTIN:  Which was only fair, seein' how Marko rescued *his* shiny gold behind more times than I can count. [This earns him a positively poisonous glare from ERIK.]

MARKO [very quietly]:  No, Ariel, he's got a point. He needs to be concentrating on the war right now.  He can't lose more time than he already has.  Especially not to rescue your servant -- it's not like your hair rinse formula is a state secret, you know? [He takes a very deep breath, as if about to say something he really, *really* doesn't want to say.]  It's a shame about Cassandra, but he's got to get you back to the castle, and get back to working on Shriker.

[Cut to DIRK and VECTOR, watching in the vision scope.  DIRK's sneer redefines the word "gloat."]

DIRK:  It is fortunate for you, wizard, that I am not the sort of man to say "I told you so."

VECTOR [with a quiet bitterness]:  Your graciousness and forbearance in victory are among your most endearing qualities, my lord.

[Cut back to the scene in the vision scope.  ERIK has been silent for a few seconds, somewhat taken aback by the callousness of MARKO's remark.]

ERIK:   Well . . . yes, but that's not really what I --

MARKO:  We understand.  Gotta do what you gotta do.

ERIK [increasingly uncomfortable]:  Look, Marko, I --

MARKO:  But if that's the way it's gonna be, then I should tell you right now that you'll be fighting this war without me for awhile.

ERIK:  Now, wait just a --

MARKO [with a curt nod to ARIEL and ERIK]:  Your highnesses.  If you'll excuse me, I have some rescuing to do. [He prepares to ride off.]

ARIEL [to Erik]:  But he's your vassal. He can't just leave, can he?

MARKO [sullenly angry]:  Watch me.

ERIK:  Just hold your horses, Marko, you can't go charging off to fight Blackpool all by yourself --

JUSTIN:  He won't be by himself.  I'll go with him.

ERIK [utterly blown away]:  Since when did *you* decide to play the hero?

JUSTIN:  Since you started fallin' down on the job, little brother.

ERIK [clearly feeling attacked on all sides]:  Please, can we just go back to the castle first, and then discuss this rationally--

MARKO:  Nope.  Sorry.  Don't have time.

ERIK:  Now, come on, I care about Cassandra as much as anyone --

MARKO:  That sure isn't what it's looking like from over here.

ERIK:  All right.  Fine.  [Heavy sigh]  The truth is . . . I really didn't want to bring this up right now, in front of Ariel. [He strokes a lock of her hair with great gentleness.] This is not something your tender ears should have to hear.

ARIEL [bravely]:  I can take it.

ERIK:  If you're sure.  [She nods vigorously, her hat threatening to fall off under the strain.  He continues with great reluctance.] Okay. Marko, this is Dirk we're talking about.  He's just lost his chance at Ariel because Cassandra interfered, right?

ARIEL [proudly]:  She threw my box of face powder at him.  He looked *really* stupid.

ERIK [wincing]:  He's bound to be furious.  He's also not likely to view a servant as anything he can use to negotiate for Shriker.  [As his tone grows increasingly funereal, the others begin to grasp what he's assuming.]  Marko, I'm sorry, but .  . . it's probably too late already.

[ARIEL's breath catches in a genuine sob.  JUSTIN swallows hard. CASSANDRA's pony whinnies urgently, causing MARKO to listen intently.]

MARKO  [to the pony]:  It's okay, Gracie.  We know you did everything you could.  [To Erik]  Gracie here says Cassandra was still okay when she galloped away.  Dirk was making her get on a horse with one of the Death Troopers.  He said he'd make her pay for what she did.  [ARIEL sobs again, then stops when she realizes no one is paying any attention to her, or attempting to soothe her threatened hysterics.]  Erik, I've been in this guy's dungeons.  I learned three things there.  One -- Karteian prison guards can't cook.  Two -- Blackpool would never get rid of someone quickly when he could make 'em suffer instead.  The madder he is, the more you suffer.  And three -- that I'd never let anybody I cared about end up in there.  Ariel's here, safe and sound, all because of Cassandra.  She's a good person -- a good friend.  If there's a chance she's still alive, then I'm taking it, war or no war. 

ERIK [both impressed and ashamed]:  I really have been fighting Dirk for way too long, haven't I?  I'm starting to think like the man.  [He speaks with great moral fervor.] Forgetting that in the big picture, people come first, no matter what -- because without people, there is no big picture.  [Here JUSTIN shakes his head.  He's obviously heard it all before.]  I owe you an apology, Marko -- and Cassandra, too. 

ARIEL:  And me!

ERIK [amused]:  Yes, you too.

JUSTIN:  So long as you're apologizin' to everyone, I wouldn't mind--

ERIK:  Forget it, Justin.  [To Marko].  You have my word, as a Prince, and as your friend.  I'll do everything I can.

ARIEL [clapping excitedly]:  Yay!  That's more like it!

ERIK:  Ariel, I need you to go back to the castle. These soldiers will make sure nothing happens to you.

ARIEL:  Wait!  Here.  Take this with you.  [She quickly removes her elaborate pearl, ruby, diamond, and emerald necklace and tosses it to ERIK with an awkward, hopelessly "girlish" throw.]

ERIK:  A token of your favor? I'll treasure it more than --

ARIEL:  No, no, stupid, use it if you have to bribe a guard or something.

MARKO:  That's real nice of you to give up your jewelry to help Cassandra, Princess. [sotto voce, to JUSTIN]  Maybe there's hope for her yet.

ARIEL:  Well, she did sort of save me, and she didn't want to go to the fair in the first place, so it is sort of my fault she got captured. [Pauses a beat, basking in the warmth of their approval.]  Besides, I never liked that necklace anyway.

JUSTIN:  [sotto voce, to MARKO]  You were saying?

MARKO [with a shrug]:  Or maybe not.

ERIK:  Justin, will you escort the Princess back?

JUSTIN:  Seems to me she's got a whole batallion to escort her.  Hardly needs me.

ERIK:  I'd feel better if you went with her.

MARKO [to himself]:  I'd feel better if he came with *us.*

ERIK [continuing in the face of JUSTIN's dubious expression]:  I only want to leave her with someone I know I can trust.

JUSTIN [looking around with exaggerated perplexity]:  Who, me?

ERIK:  Yes, you.  When the chips are down, I know you always come through for me.

JUSTIN:  Now, that's just slander.  When the chips are down, I'm off playin' poker, winnin' those chips.  Don't you go ruinin' my reputation like that. 

ERIK [resigned to the inevitable]:  Wouldn't dream of it.  You plan to catch the afternoon poker game at Dunfirm, then?

JUSTIN:  Now, *there's* a fine idea.  Just outta curiosity, do you two even have a plan?

ERIK [with a bravado he doesn't quite feel]:  We'll wing it.

JUSTIN:  You'll wing it.  So, lemme get this straight.  It's gonna be the massed forces of Castle Blackpool, versus a lightly armed prince and his vassal.  With no plan.

ERIK:  No plan, two guys.

JUSTIN:  Dirk must be shakin' in his spiked boots.  Good luck.  [Pause] You'll need it.

MARKO:  Thanks.  I think.

[Cut back to DIRK and VECTOR and the rapidly dissipating image in the vision scope.  The two men's expressions are now diametrically reversed.]

VECTOR:  Eating our words, are we, my lord?

DIRK:  Keep it up, and you'll be eating that hat.

VECTOR:  But I don't --

DIRK:  Save it.  [He resumes pacing, raking his fingers through his hair in utter disbelief.]  So he proves himself even stupider than I ever thought possible.  I actually gave Erik excessive credit.  I feel vaguely ill.

VECTOR:  On the positive side, it will buy us time with Shriker.

DIRK [brightening]:  Yes, there is that.  How best to exploit it?

VECTOR [eyes narrowing into a look of pure evil]:  Or perhaps . . . exploit *her.*  [A vision of a trembling CASSANDRA, huddled in the dungeon, fills the vision scope.  Suddenly, a rat the size of a Scottie dog scurries across her lap.  Stifling a shriek, her eyes rolling back in her head, she faints.]

DIRK [intrigued]:  What's going on in that devious little mind of yours? You look as if you've thought of something that I should enjoy immensely.

VECTOR:  Oh, you'll find it great sport indeed, my lord.  If you would be so good as to have her brought from the dungeon into the main guest bedroom, I'll explain on the way.

[They exit, appearing almost friendly in their mutual love of cruelty.]

[Cut to a shot of ERIK and MARKO, riding through an idyllic, sun-dappled forest.]

MARKO:  Nice day.  Real quiet.

ERIK:  I know.  *Too* quiet.

MARKO [annoyed]:  There you go again.  You *always* do that.

ERIK:  Do what?

MARKO:  Borrow trouble.  With you, the glass isn't even half-empty. It's probably poisoned.

ERIK:  If Dirk's the one serving drinks, then yeah, it probably is.

MARKO:  Okay, but things are bad enough.  Could you at least try to be a little more upbeat?

ERIK [amused]:  I'll do my best.  [The ensuing dip in conversation implies that upbeat chatter is not ERIK's forté.  Finally, he speaks.] Actually, there's something I've wanted to ask you for quite awhile.

MARKO:   What is it?

ERIK:  About Cassandra.  Are you two . . . maybe . . .

MARKO:  Are we what?

ERIK:  Do you like her?

MARKO:  Of course I like her. She's a nice person.  Makes a mean tadmon soup.

ERIK [raising his eyebrows significantly]:  No, I mean, do you *like* her? 

MARKO [suddenly understanding]:  Good grief, you sound like Justin.  No, she's just a good friend.

ERIK:  Ah. 

[They ride along in silence for a stretch.  MARKO keeps shooting perplexed glances at ERIK.]

MARKO:  What made you ask that, anyway?

ERIK:  Nothing, really.  Just wondered.  I mean, since it's pretty obvious she likes you.

MARKO:  Get outta here.

ERIK:  No, really.  I've seen the way she looks at you.  Well, Justin's the one who pointed it out, but it's there.

MARKO:  You're crazy.  [BEN nickers softly, prompting MARKO to address him.]  Oh yeah?  Then you're crazy too.  You should know better than to listen to Gracie, she's a big gossip.  Spent too much time with goats as
a foal.  Goats gossip like nobody's business.  Well, like *everybody else's* business, since that's all they talk about all day. [BEN snorts.]  You don't know what you're talkin' about, pal.  Cassandra's about as likely to have a thing for me as . . . as it is for a giant cow to fall from the sky.

[With perfect comedic timing, and a strangled moo, a gigantic cow crash-lands into the path directly in front of them, creating an enormous crater.  Their horses rear in fright.]

MARKO:  Holy cow.

ERIK [drawing his sword reflexively]:  I think somebody up there might be trying to tell you something.  Either that, or this is one weird attack.

[With a puff of smoke and a burst of purple light, the giant cow disappears, leaving the enormous crater behind.  As a second blast of purple light explodes in the midst of a small stand of trees, it bursts into a flock of butterflies on contact.  Looking in the direction of the light, ERIK and MARKO see an anthropoid, feline beast with luminous violet eyes.  With sophisticated CGI, it could be a very cool effect. However, this being W&W, it's just a guy in a silly rubber cat mask with cheap purple light bulbs for eyes.]

ERIK:  A wildmage!  Get down!

[Both leap into the underbrush just as a wave of purple passes overhead, missing the horses by mere centimeters.]

MARKO:  Run for it, Ben!  Get outta here, Southwind!  Don't be an idiot, *I'll* take care of Erik!

[The horses safely gallop away up the path.  Breathing heavily, ERIK and MARKO confer in hoarse whispers.]

ERIK:  I can't *believe* we had to run into a wildmage.  They almost never come down from the mountains.

MARKO:  It was a cold winter.  Maybe it came to warm up. You know, catch some rays, see the sights.

ERIK:  Kill unwary travelers with uncontrolled bursts of magic radiation.

MARKO:  Just your typical monster vacation.  [sighing]  Boy, I never thought it'd end like this.  Killed by a wildmage.  I never even go to the mountains. I get altitude sickness.

ERIK:  We need to stay calm.  We can kill it with our swords.

MARKO:  Are you kidding?  Get too close to that purple light, and suddenly you could be a giant tadmon.

ERIK [hopefully, giving them both a pep-talk]:  But wildmage magic isn't real magic, like with wizards and witches.  It's just erratic, uncontrolled, temporary enchantments.  Most of it only lasts a couple minutes -- a couple days at most.

MARKO:  Yeah, I bet that's real comforting when you've already been crushed by a falling cow.

ERIK:  Now who's the one borrowing trouble?

MARKO:  That's not borrowing trouble. That's having trouble dumped on you, interest-free.

ERIK:  Let's just think about this logically.  [Another purple explosion appears close behind them.]  And quickly.  What do we know about wildmages?

MARKO:  They're attracted to bright, shiny objects.

[Immediately, both men's eyes are drawn to ERIK's sparkly gold lamé tunic.]

ERIK:  Great.  Just great.  [Cautiously, he rises to a half-crouch.] I'll draw his fire.  You get behind him and go for the throat.

MARKO:  You got it.  And if he turns you into a tadmon, I'll make sure I find you a good vegetarian home.

[After treating MARKO to one of his patented Dirty Looks, ERIK charges out across the path.  Roaring fearsomely, the wildmage responds with a barrage of purple beams that produce a pot of geraniums, a large sofa,
and one very astonished peacock.  The beams are landing closer and closer to ERIK.  As MARKO nears the beast's back, it whirls around and blasts at the vassal.  Rolling hard to the side, MARKO barely avoids being hit, but looks to be a sure target for the next time -- when, with no warning, the wildmage explodes.]

MARKO [cautiously opening one eye]:  What the heck?

[Out of the underbrush, JUSTIN and COLTER saunter out onto the path, COLTER depositing a spare bomb in his bag.]

JUSTIN:  Knew you wouldn't last five minutes before you got your sorry selves in trouble. 

MARKO:  Boy, am I glad to see you.  Who's that guy?

JUSTIN:  Ran into this old friend at the tavern.  He's just dyin' to see Erik again.

ERIK:  Colter!

MARKO [confused]:  The guy who got blown into a pit by his own explosives?

[Taking his own sweet time to answer, COLTER blows a perfect smoke ring from the small cigar clenched between his teeth.]

COLTER:  Climbed out.

ERIK:  That's terrific news!  It's great to see you again, especially now.  We could use you on this mission.

COLTER [pointing his cigar at ERIK]:  You owe me.  Pay up.

ERIK:  What, right now?  You're joking, right?  [COLTER's stoic countenance betrays no discernable change.]  Come on, Colter, it's not like I tried to cheat you.  I thought you were dead.  I'm good for the money!  I just don't just carry ten thousand kolnas around with me all the time. . . [COLTER just continues to stand there, redefining the extremes of the strong and silent type.  ERIK pats his pockets in panic.  Suddenly, inspiration strikes, and he tosses COLTER the necklace donated by ARIEL.]  There.  That's gotta be worth at least fifteen thousand kolnas.  The ten thousand we owe you for last time, plus five for helping us now.

COLTER [giving the necklace a cursory examination]:  Worth half that much.

ERIK:  Afraid it's all we've got right now.  Take it or leave it.  While we're standing here playing Let's Make a Deal, Dirk could be doing to Cassandra what he can't do to Shriker, just for spite.

COLTER:  Shriker?

ERIK [hesitantly, not sure where this is going]:  Yeah.  Shriker defected to our side yesterday, and Dirk's out to kill him.  Managed to capture one of our people instead.

[Pocketing the necklace, COLTER shrugs almost imperceptibly.]

COLTER:  I'm in.

JUSTIN [surprised]:  Why?

COLTER:  Shriker's a friend.

ERIK, JUSTIN, and MARKO [in perfect, incredulous unison]:  *Why?*

COLTER:  Makes great paprika sauce.

JUSTIN [shrugging]:  Okay, then.  Guess we're all set.  Marko, wanna call the horses, so we can get a move on?

ERIK:  Wait a minute.  You're coming?  It could be dangerous.

JUSTIN:  With you, it's always dangerous.  But I'm coming.  [Stares long and hard at COLTER.]  I wanna see for myself how this guy always manages to beat the odds.

[Cut to an establishing shot of Castle Blackpool.  Cut to CASSANDRA, seated bolt upright on the very edge of an ornate, blood-red armchair in the midst of an equally ornate, blood-red bedroom. The overall effect is that of an expensive abattoir, or a brothel in the ninth circle of hell.  CASSANDRA is literally vibrating with terror, and the repressed urge to run.  At the click of a lock, her eyes dart to the heavy oaken door.  When it swings open, revealing DIRK and VECTOR, she shrinks back into the armchair as if attempting to emerge out the other side via upholstery osmosis.]

DIRK [with a winning smile]:  Hi. 

[CASSANDRA whimpers.  DIRK proceeds as if this is a perfectly normal reaction -- which, for him, it probably is.  As he steps in front of her, CASSANDRA cringes even further, seemingly about to implode in her desperate desire to disappear.  She does not relax to any significant degree when DIRK drapes himself into the facing armchair, long legs crossed at the ankles.  VECTOR, still standing, hovers discreetly behind.] 

DIRK:  I trust these accommodations are more to your liking?

[He is obviously waiting for her response.  CASSANDRA stares at him in panic, uncertain what answer will help keep her alive.]

CASSANDRA:  It's . . . very . . . nice? 

[DIRK leans forward as if genuinely interested.  CASSANDRA attempts to shrink back a bit more, although it would violate the laws of both anatomy and physics to do so.  She is clearly floundering now.]

CASSANDRA:  Um . . . it's very. . . red? [She gulps.]  Fewer rats . . .

DIRK [winking conspiratorially]:  Until I brought in Vector, that is. [He settles back and smiles broadly.  VECTOR laughs the tight, forced, humorless laugh of a tight, forced, humorless man.  CASSANDRA, confused, looks from one to the other, frantic to know what the heck is going on, and when the torture will begin.]  You know Vector, of course?

[VECTOR nods graciously.  CASSANDRA smiles hesitantly, trying to seize upon a positive memory.]

CASSANDRA:  You cured Marko back when Vulkar --

VECTOR [coughing uncomfortably]:  Yes, well, we don't want to become distracted from the topic at hand by past history.

DIRK [menacingly]:  Quite.  We've already discussed Vulkar in *great* detail.  I'm sure you recall the conversation, don't you, Vector?

VECTOR [swallowing hard]:  Vividly.  I still have scars.

[CASSANDRA whimpers a bit more as their façade of nice-nice begins to crack.  Amused, DIRK leans forward again.]

DIRK:  So, Cassandra.  [He draws out the name into something sibilant and sensual.]  You were quite brave this afternoon, defending the Princess as you did.


DIRK:  She should be very grateful.

CASSANDRA:  She should?

DIRK:  Do stop that.

CASSANDRA:  Stop what?

DIRK [icily]:  Repeating what I say as a question.

CASSANDRA [gulping]:  Sorry.

DIRK [with exaggerated kindness]:  Quite all right.  You see, Cassandra, I believe that your devotion is commendable.  You are to be congratulated.  One rarely sees such loyalty these days.

VECTOR:  A certain general leaps to mind . . .

[Without even blinking, DIRK gives the monocle a vicious yank. CASSANDRA eeps in shock and fear as VECTOR twitches like a man who's just been dealt 5,000 volts, collapsing behind the chair.  DIRK resumes talking as if nothing has happened, while slowly, with great effort, VECTOR uses the back of the chair to pull himself upright.]

DIRK:  I really am amazed.  You willingly sacrificed yourself to save your mistress, without a second thought of what I could do to you -- the thumbscrews, the rack, the iron maiden . . .

[CASSANDRA whimpers again, more loudly this time.]

DIRK:  . . . the red-hot branding irons, the death of a thousand knives, the nasty pointy little gadget we haven't even named yet . . .

[CASSANDRA shows every sign of being about to pass out.]

DIRK:  . . . although I'm beginning to lean towards "Pyramid of Pain" for its official title.  It has a nice alliteration to it, don't you agree?  [He shifts comfortably in his chair, drinking her terror like wine.]  But I digress.  The point is, none of it deterred your loyalty. [He sighs deeply.]  If only those for whom you threw away your life would properly appreciate the gesture.

CASSANDRA [uncertainly]:  Wh-what do you mean?

DIRK:  Merely observing how disgraceful it is.  Here you are, my prisoner, entirely at my mercy, while your so-called friends in the South do nothing to help you.

CASSANDRA [mustering up a pathetic spark of mousy defiance]:  I'm sure they're trying . . .

[DIRK and VECTOR exchange calculated looks of condescending pity.]

DIRK:  Should we show her, Vector?

VECTOR:  It seems almost too cruel, my lord.

DIRK: Almost.  Yet wouldn't allowing her to nurture a spark of false hope be a far crueler thing?  It's better that she knows the truth.

CASSANDRA [equally afraid of knowing, and not knowing]:  What truth?

DIRK [ominously]:  You're doing it again.

CASSANDRA:  Doing what?

DIRK:  Turning everything I say into a question.

[CASSANDRA claps both hands over her mouth, too afraid to continue speaking in light of his earlier threat to slice out her tongue.]

VECTOR [gesturing towards an ornate gilt mirror]:  My lord, if you would simply touch the monocle to this mirror . . . or perhaps I could do it? You look so comfortable, I hate to disturb you.

DIRK [hugely amused by his transparent ploy]:  Oh, it's no trouble at all, Vector.

[Rising from his chair, DIRK grasps the monocle and presses it against the silvered surface of the mirror.  Instantly, the mirror glows with a throbbing, luminous blue energy.  Nodding to VECTOR, he returns to his seat.]

VECTOR:  Observe, Cassandra, a magic window upon the events of the afternoon.

[A highly selective excerpt from the scene between ERIK, ARIEL, JUSTIN, and MARKO appears in the vision scope, beginning with their realization of her disappearance.  It is filmed in such a way that we see CASSANDRA watching the scope, with occasional close-ups of her reaction.]

ERIK: I don't mean to rush you, Ariel, I know you've just had a very traumatic experience, but we really do need to get back right away. These guards are needed at the castle.

MARKO:  Hey, wait a minute.  Where's Cassandra?  Wasn't she with you?

[Cut to CASSANDRA, smiling wistfully.]

CASSANDRA:  He noticed.

[Cut to a shot of VECTOR observing her reaction, filing it away carefully in his mental rolodex to use against her later.  Cut back to the vision scope.]

ARIEL:  Huh.  CASSANDRA!  Hey!  Get a move on!  We don't have all day! That's so weird.  She was right behind me when she jumped Geoffrey.

MARKO:  She did WHAT?

ARIEL:  To shake him loose, you know, 'cause he was grabbing my arm.  So she jumped on his horse . . . Oh no!  They've got Cassandra!

JUSTIN:  This ain't good.

ERIK:  There, there.  It'll be okay.  We just have to get back to the castle, and then we'll talk about it --

ARIEL:  No!  What about Cassandra?  You have to rescue her!  We've got to get her back right now!

[Cut to CASSANDRA, who is smiling with a lot more self-assurance.]

ERIK:  Ariel, I know how you feel.  But we--

ARIEL:  You're not *listening* to me!  She's been my servant since she was eight years old!  She knows all the things I like, and don't like, and just the way I want my hair done, and makeup, and just how much starch to use before the veils get all prickly -- Do you have any idea what an enormous *pain* it'd be to hire a new one?  She'd take forever to train!  You have to get her back!

[Cut to CASSANDRA, whose smile is disappearing faster than a Winslow sister's undergarments.]

JUSTIN:  She's a real humanitarian.

ERIK:  Ariel, we don't have time for this right now.  I should be at Morris Field, but instead I'm here trying to pry information out of Shriker, and keep you from getting yourself killed --

ARIEL:  Oh, like it's *my* fault!  You should've been here to protect me.  You'll do as I say, or I'll tell Daddy!  Marko's a servant, and you rescued *him*!

JUSTIN:  Which was only fair, seein' how Marko rescued *his* shiny gold behind more times than I can count.

MARKO:  No, Ariel, he's got a point. He needs to be concentrating on the war right now.  He can't lose more time than he already has.  Especially not to rescue your servant -- it's not like your hair rinse formula is a state secret, you know?  It's a shame about Cassandra, but he's got to get you back to the castle, and get back to working on Shriker.

[The mirror fades back to an ordinary silver, clearly reflecting CASSANDRA's lips atremble, and her eyes brimming over with the tears of abandonment she's trying to hold back in front of DIRK.  Rising from his chair, he looms over her, stroking her cheek in mock-sympathy.]

DIRK:  Looks as if you'll be a permanent guest.  [As several tears begin a slow trickle down CASSANDRA's face, he leans forward until they're almost nose-to-nose.]  I do hate to see you so distressed.  I'll tell you what:  tomorrow, in the dungeon, I'll let you choose whatever implement of torture you prefer.  Perhaps we could even name one in your honor.

[The rate of CASSANDRA's tears increases threefold.  Smirking with satisfaction, Dirk withdraws, exiting the room with VECTOR close behind.  After they close and lock the door, both men press their ears against it.  They don't have to wait long, as a heartbroken wail echoes from within.]

DIRK:  Now, *that* was fun.

VECTOR:  It was indeed, my lord.  Her loyalty to the South has been completely undermined.  She is at her most vulnerable, utterly open to manipulation by a kind word or a scrap of affection.  [He smiles, a strangely slow, reptilian movement.]  She will be the ideal tool to destroy Shriker, once Geoffrey has finished charming her. 

DIRK:  Excellent.  [He pauses, doubt seeping in.]  Are you certain Geoffrey will be adequate for the task?

[A second wail, more heartrending than the first, echoes through the hall.  DIRK and VECTOR exchange looks of triumph and begin to walk down the hallway.]

VECTOR:  At this point, my lord, I believe even a grox might suffice. She is emotionally shattered.

DIRK [cheerfully]:  You know, Vector, this day is looking up.

[Cut to an establishing shot of Castle Baaldorf.  Cut to SHRIKER and KING BAALDORF.  BAALDORF appears preoccupied with examining the crossbolt damage to his portrait, while SHRIKER paces the room, caged-tiger-style.]

SHRIKER:  You know as well as I do you *have* to get me out of here, right now.  I need to go someplace far, far away.  Preferably someplace with nubile women and good chefs.

BAALDORF:  Relax. You're in good hands.

SHRIKER:  Considering the fact that those are usually Dirk's opening words in his torture chamber, I feel remarkably tense. 

BAALDORF [losing interest in the painting]:  Shriker, I don't like you being here any more than you do.  My daughter was almost *kidnapped* today because of you.

SHRIKER:  *Again*?  What, is that some quaint folk custom over here? Kidnap a girl twelve times, win her hand in marriage, sort of thing?

BAALDORF [to himself]:  I *wish.*

SHRIKER:  As much as I'd love to hang around and learn the intricacies of your sordid social structure, I'm afraid I have more important things to do . . . like staying alive!  I'm a sitting duck, Baaldorf.  I need for you to arrange one very impressive disappearing act for me, or my days are numbered low enough for Geoffrey to count without taking off his shoes.

BAALDORF:  You know I'm not going to make a decision like that without talking to Erik first.  And since he's not available, I'd suggest you just sit down and enjoy your paprika sauce.  Unless, of course, you're in the mood for conversation.  [His voice loses its easygoing tone.] About Blackpool's armaments.

SHRIKER:  For a sauce *this* substandard?  I don't think so.  [Suddenly, his eyes gleam with devilment.]  You know, Baaldorf, maybe I made a mistake here.  I'd heard you were henpecked as hell, but I was under the impression that you were still the king.  Now you're telling me you can't even move a prisoner without asking some paltry prince for permission?  Why am I even bothering to talk to you?

BAALDORF:  Attacking my ego isn't going to work, Shriker.  [To himself] If it did, Lattinia would've broken me years ago.

SHRIKER [shoulders sagging]:  What was I thinking?  I fought you fools for years -- I should've known better than to hope you might be competent to keep me in one piece.

BAALDORF:  It would've helped if you'd given us a little time to prepare.  You could've sent a message, laid some groundwork.  We could've had a safehouse all ready for you.

SHRIKER [dismissively]:  Yes, well, it wasn't exactly a planned thing. More of a spur-of-the-moment decision.

[His sudden caginess sets off BAALDORF's internal alarms.]

BAALDORF:  Why *did* you defect, Shriker? Somehow I don't think you woke up yesterday morning with your conscience bothering you.

SHRIKER [chuckling]:  Not really.  I already told your precious prince. Doesn't he even bother to keep you informed?

BAALDORF:  He said you wanted money.

SHRIKER:  Bingo.  Pots of it would be lovely. 

BAALDORF:  I don't buy it.

SHRIKER:  You doubt my mercenary motives?  How naïve are you?

BAALDORF:  Not as naïve as Erik, which is why I don't buy it.  [He circles Shriker, eyeing him appraisingly.]  Oh, you're in it for the money, all right, but I just can't see you putting yourself in a position where you have to trust your life to us.  Not without some reason you're not sharing.

SHRIKER:  I'm not the sharing type.  [Grinning]  That's been the root of most of our issues, hasn't it?  [He sighs when he notes BAALDORF isn't grinning back.]  Look, Blackpool and I just had . . . creative differences, all right?  Clashing managerial styles.  I realized yesterday morning that it wasn't working out, and decided that forging an alliance with the South would be a more profitable option.

BAALDORF [deadpan]:  Translate that for me.

SHRIKER:  Eight months ago, I asked him for a raise.  He turned me down.

BAALDORF [incredulous]:  So that's when you decided to defect to the South?

SHRIKER:  Don't be ridiculous.  No, that was when I decided to embezzle from him.

BAALDORF:  You *stole* from *Blackpool*?

SHRIKER:  Half the profits of each raid, on average.  Then idiot Geoffrey found out yesterday, ratted on me, and a reassessment of my career seemed in order.

BAALDORF [smiling broadly]:  Maybe Geoffrey's not as much of an idiot as you thought he was.  Sounds to me like you underestimated his intelligence -- or overestimated your own.

SHRIKER [snorting with laughter]:  Underestimated Geoffrey?  The only thing I underestimated is how much he hates me.  Jealous of how I'd won Dirk's favor, I suppose, and stupid enough to think Dirk would appreciate knowing he'd been conned.  No, Geoffrey can't even *spell* embezzling.  He'd never have had a clue if Bethel hadn't sent him that anonymous note.  What a witch.

BAALDORF [getting lost]:   Bethel?  What'd she have to do with any of this?

SHRIKER:  I admit I did make a bit of a miscalculation there.  I never thought she seemed the jealous type.  Learned the error of my ways in a hurry when she found out about that night with Margaret and Lucille.

BAALDORF:  The Winslows!?

SHRIKER:  The one and only.  Well, the two and only. 

BAALDORF [stunned]:  They get around.

SHRIKER [reverently]:  You have no idea.

BAALDORF [more than a little shell-shocked]:  Just to recap:  you stole from Blackpool, slept with his witch girlfriend, *cheated* on that witch girlfriend, and then defected to our side?

SHRIKER:  In a nutshell, yes.

BAALDORF:  You're suicidal.

SHRIKER:  I prefer to think of it as "an opportunist."  [He fidgets restlessly in his chair like a petulant two-year-old]:  Gods, this is boring.  You could at least entertain a guest, Baaldorf.  Perhaps introduce me to your lovely daughter.  I hear she does a mean tap-dance.

BAALDORF:  You *are* suicidal.  [Shaking himself out of his stunned state, he regards SHRIKER in a new light.]  You want to tell me why we should go to so much trouble for you?  You haven't been too helpful yet, and you sound like you could be a real liability.

SHRIKER:  Bull.  I heard that messenger talking to Greystone.  You're wiping Dirk out at Clorrin Ridge, thanks to me.  I'd imagine it's all over but the vultures by this point.

BAALDORF:  Clorrin Ridge is one battle. Morris Field's another.

SHRIKER:  Now, don't get greedy, Baaldorf.

BAALDORF:  Why, do you have a monopoly on greed?

SHRIKER [chuckling]:  Good comeback.  I like that.  That deserves a bit of information.  [He glances both ways for eavesdroppers with exaggerated caution, then crooks his finger at BAALDORF.  When he speaks, it is in a conspiratorial whisper.]  Blackpool's castle . . .

BAALDORF [Drawing close with barely repressed excitement]:  Yes?

SHRIKER:  . . . is north of here.  [Grinning wickedly, he leans back in his chair, crossing his arms defiantly.]  And until you move me someplace that is else, that's all you get.

[As he realizes he's been duped, BAALDORF straightens up and, with all the dignity he can muster, marches out the door, slamming it shut behind him.  Still grinning, SHRIKER dips a carpacca ball into the gravy boat of paprika sauce sitting on the small table beside him.  Abruptly, the door re-opens, BAALDORF marches back in, lifts the gravy boat, and dumps its reddish contents all over SHRIKER's head.  Replacing the gravy boat, he stomps back out again and re-slams the door, leaving a SHRIKER who is very patently not grinning anymore.]

SHRIKER [wiping paprika sauce out of his eyes]:  Buck up, Shriker.  It could be worse.  You could be dead.  You could be maimed.  [His grin creeps back.]  Or, gods help you, you could be in Geoffrey's shoes.

[Cut to a shot of GEOFFREY, one cheek blue with bruising, seated on a sofa.  A kneeling servant girl is tending to the nasty scrape on his shoulder produced by his tumble from horseback.  It is ostensibly for this reason that he is shirtless, his muscular body clad only in boots and skin-tight leather pants.  In reality, this is to pander to the Geoffrey fans out there whom I'm offending with my constant stream of Geoffrey-is-an-idiot jokes.]

GEOFFREY:  You want me to do *what*?

[Cut to a shot of DIRK and VECTOR looming over him as only they can loom.  DIRK, par for the course, is looking annoyed.]

DIRK:  It's quite simple, Geoffrey, even for you. Haven't you been listening?

GEOFFREY:  Nuh-uh.  No way.  I won't!  I mean, what would Ariel say if I romanced her servant?

DIRK:  In light of the fact that Ariel barely realizes you exist, I imagine she'd forgive you.

VECTOR [hastily attempting to smooth things over]: Actually, it could do much to make her jealous, possibly raising you in her esteem.  Women are strange that way.

GEOFFREY:  I just don't know . . .

DIRK:  There's a surprise.

VECTOR  [employing some reverse psychology]:  Of course, if you don't feel you can do it, Geoffrey, we understand.

[He attempts to wink significantly at DIRK.  DIRK just stares at him as if the wizard has just announced his intent to join the Bolshoi ballet.]

DIRK:  What, are you mad?  We most certainly do not understand.  Do you have something in your eye, Vector?

VECTOR [still blinking out a veritable Morse code of signals]:  I'm perfectly serious, sire.  After all, judging by her reaction to the scene in the vision scope, the girl is in love with Greystone's vassal. Even after his apparent betrayal, I find it difficult to believe she would transfer her affections to his mortal enemy.  I can't imagine Geoffrey would have the skill necessary to persuade her in such a delicate matter.

GEOFFREY  [rising in indignation]:  Are you kidding me?  A servant girl?  Prefer *Marko* to *me*?  Why, she'd be putty in my hands.

VECTOR:  Excellent! Then perhaps you would care to go perform some . . . sculpting, so to speak?

GEOFFREY [the little light bulb going on over his head almost visibly]: Heeeeyyy, wait a minute, I see what you're up to.  You're trying to convince me to do it by saying I can't.  How stupid do you think I am?

DIRK:  Don't say it, Vector.  It's just too easy.

GEOFFREY:  Why can't you just put a whammy on her, like Bethel did to Justin?

DIRK [through clenched teeth]:  That was an unsubstantiated rumor.

VECTOR:  Of course, my lord. However, the concept itself is unsound. The victim would always be obviously under thrall.  Sending the Princess Ariel's servant back as a dead-eyed zombie who is only capable of saying "Must kill Shriker" would almost certainly arouse suspicion, as it did with Justi -- [He stops short at the sight of DIRK unsheathing a knife and examining the edge in a speculative fashion.] -- I mean, as it would have if the Justin scenario had ever taken place. Which it didn't. Ever.

GEOFFREY [sneering]:  You know, none of this would've been necessary if you'd just listened to me when I told you I didn't like Shriker.

DIRK [warningly]:  Geoffrey . . .

GEOFFREY: For once in your life, you could've listened to me, you could've given me the benefit of the doubt!  But noooooo, what does Geoffrey know?  We'll just make Shriker our top general, then expect Geoff to help clean up the mess after he steals you bli --

[The monocle's light lashes out, serpent-swift, pinning GEOFFREY to the wall.  Instantly, DIRK follows, one hand clasped around GEOFFREY's throat, his face mere centimeters from GEOFFREY's.  His knife gleams in the foreground of the shot; he is deliberately holding the blade right where GEOFFREY can see it.  His younger brother is clearly terrified, eyes focused on the knife, cheeks hollow with the gasping struggle for air.]

DIRK [with exquisite politeness]:  Now.  Let's try this conversation again, shall we?

[GEOFFREY nods frantically.]

[Cut to ERIK, JUSTIN, MARKO, and COLTER crouched behind a large rock near CASTLE BLACKPOOL.  An overhead shot reveals a large group of raptors perched on the turret walls.  The camera then pans down to reveal the heavily scorched earth beneath.]

JUSTIN:  Looks like Vector's stocked up on lightning hawks since last time.

MARKO:  Woulda been nice if Shriker'd got around to mentioning *that* little detail.

ERIK:  Let's just think about this logically.  What do we know about lightning hawks?

JUSTIN:  They're attracted to bright, shiny objects?

[The eyes of everyone present are inexorably drawn to ERIK's gold lamé.]

ERIK:  Oh, no.  Not this time.

COLTER:  Stand back.

[Everyone retreats as the taciturn commando withdraws a veritable arsenal out of his pack.  In a strange explosive version of balloon-animal formation, COLTER ties various cylinders of gunpowder together until he has something vaguely bird-shaped, then hands the concoction to the very reluctant MARKO.  Pointing with his cigar, he indicates a spot directly beneath the hawks.]

COLTER:  Throw it.

[MARKO happily obliges, his strength powering a very impressive long-distance toss.  The hawks swoop down to investigate, circling the object warily.  Slowly, first one, then two, then the entire group lands, cocking their heads with curiosity, pecking and smelling the newcomer.  Bizarrely, they begin moving in a bobbing, stalking, spinning fashion.]

JUSTIN:  What are they *doin'*?

COLTER [allowing himself the luxury of a tiny smile]:  Mating dance.

[As the competition for the coveted "lady bird" grows hot and heavy, fights break out between the lightning hawks.  Amidst much screeching, one bird finally blasts another.  Ignited by the sparks, the "lady bird" explodes.  As the smoke clears, only a few scorched feathers settling back to earth are left to prove that the lightning hawks ever existed. Returning his cigar to his mouth, COLTER emerges out from behind the rock and blows a smoke ring of triumph.]

COLTER:  Love hurts.

[Immediately following his words, a beam of blue light sears in from offscreen and bathes COLTER in its lurid glow.  At its touch, he is immediately turned to stone.]

ERIK:  What the --

[Cut to a shot of another wildmage, this one with blue eyes.  Howling savagely, it is quite overtly pissed.]

MARKO:  Oh, no, it's the mate of the one we killed!

JUSTIN:  Proving love *does* hurt, if we don't get outta here fast.

ERIK:  You two, try to get behind it!  I'll draw its fire!

MARKO:  Yeah, since that plan worked so well *last* time.  Not.

ERIK:  You got a better idea?

MARKO:  I gotta start practicing to be the brains of this group, as well as the brawn.

JUSTIN: Look out!

[The three of them dive forward as the blue radiation hits the large rock behind which they are hiding, transforming it into a giant squirrel.  Looking about uncertainly, it scampers away, leaving our heroes utterly exposed.  As the wildmage's eyes glow in preparation for another blast, things look grim . . .

. . . and the screen fades into a graphic-novel-style closeup of the wildmage, as we break for a commercial.]


Part 3


For questions, comments or to send submission for the website, contact the webmaster at webmaster@wizardsandwarriors.org

For questions or comments about the Wizards and Warriors Mailing List, contact the list administrator at listadmin@wizardsandwarriors.org

This site contains copyright material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. This is a fan site only and is not affiliated with any motion picture studios, Warner Brothers, CBS, Don Reo Productions, Randi Brooks, Jeff Conaway, Julia Duffy, Tim Dunigan, Thomas Hill, Jay Kerr, Julie Payne, Duncan Regehr, Don Reo, Clive Revill, Ian Wolfe or any of the additional cast or crew of Wizards and Warriors.