- A mountain clearing on a warm spring day. We see the clearing from far away, and can tell it is a warm spring day even though there are still small evidences of winter. Standing in the clearing is a ring of men, indistinct because of the bird’s eye view. In the distance you can just make out the Dragon Mountain, ever present in their lives.
Today you have chosen to enter into a covenant
Transition: “Chosen? Riiiight. I haven’t chosen a damn thing for myself since I was four years old.”
with the land itself.
Transition: “It isn’t the land that trained me though, was it? It was you, Krige, and the other elders of the village. And it isn’t the land we answer to, it’s you.”
- A closer view of the clearing. We now see the men are old warriors, dressed in their finest armor, a mix of plate and leather pieces. The man speaking is white haired, with a long beard intricately braided. His armor is white, gleaming in the spring sun. His face is grave. Standing at his left side is Makhaira, looking solemn, only her eyes betray an inner mischief.
Today you say your vows before the council,
Transition: “Aren’t I too young for vows? I just turned eighteen today.”
bind your life
Transition: “Well, binding to Makhaira won’t be so bad, I guess.”
and pledge your being
Transition: “Pledge to do our duty.”
- From over the Elder’s shoulder, we see Balfour, standing in the center of the circle of elders. He is dressed in ceremonial armor, unique from those around him. He is young but strong, tall, with long brown hair waving in the breeze and his eyes respectfully downcast. His arms are outstretched, palms up. Behind him we can see other elders, completing the ring of men in the clearing.
For each shall protect the other, each shall serve the other, and each shall die only by the other’s hand.
- Elder Krige steps forward and hands Makhaira over to Balfour, placing her hand in his. Balfour does not move his hands, but raises his eyes to meet hers.
Here is your bride. Take her, and never set her down again.
- A close up of the couple’s hands. The elder ties Mahaira’s right hand to Balfour’s left.
- Balfour leans over to kiss Makhaira, careful to not move his hands.
Swordbound and Swordwife. Saviors of us all.
COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Swordbound and Swordwife. Saviors of us all.
- It is nighttime now, and the mountain clearing is vacant, except for the pair of newlyweds. They stand facing each other as the moon shines down on them. Stars are visible in the sky, and the Dragon Mountain looms overhead.
- A close up of Makhaira, with the back of Balfour’s head visible. She is smiling.
It has been quite a busy day, hasn’t it? You turned eighteen, got married, became the savior of our people. You must be quite exhausted.
- A close up on Balfour. He gives Makhaira an irritated look but says nothing.
- A side view of the both of them, standing facing one another. Makhaira is smirking.
Oh, still going to play along with this little ritual, eh? If it’s going to be the silent treatment, then I’m going to have to entertain myself.
- Makhaira throws her head back, closing her eyes as she sings.
Oh! The maid she went a ramb-a-ling, and came across the Fey! She caught the King o’ fair-a-ries, and brought him home to stay!
The king did love her very well, and minded not at all! Until the day she took a nail and pinned him to the wall!
- Balfour, speaks through clenched teeth, only opening his lips enough to talk, but still keeping his head still.
- Makhaira leans forward, as if trying to hear him.
What’s that you say? You want another verse? It’s hard to hear you through all that not talking.
- Balfour rolls his eyes, exasperated. Behind him clouds are rolling in to almost cover the moon.
I can see why they made me marry you before you opened your mouth.
- Off in the distance, from the direction of Dragon Mountain, a massive roar is heard. Makhaira and Balfour look up, surprised.
- A great black shape blots out the sky, so large the stars and moon disappear, the Dragon Mountain is gone. The only color in the sky is a pair of glowing golden eyes.
- A massive dragon, its golden scales glinting mostly silver in the starlight, swoops over the couple and down towards the village below. We can see now that the clearing is located above a village built into the side of the mountains.
It’s our chance!
- In the shadow of the dragon, Balfour and Makhaira stand, Balfour looking grimly concerned, Makhaira excited.
Our chance for what?
You can’t really be that thick headed, can you? Our chance to save our people, Balfour! We can go down there right now and cut him down before he even knows we’re there.
- Makhaira makes to pull apart the ties that bind their hands together.
If we go now we can have the dragon slain before sun up. We’ll be heroes by dawn.
- A close up of their hands. Balfour has gripped Makhaira’s fingers in a crushing grip, with no way of her squeezing out.
Oof! Let go!
- Balfour looks at her with grim determination in the set of his jaw.
We’re not going anywhere. Swordbound and Swordwife, we are called to make our vows. We pledge our lives to save our people, and we stand sentinel all night to bind our hearts together. All night Makhaira, until the sun rises.
- The village below is being set upon by the dragon, who grips the side of the mountain and breathes fire into the buildings.
- Makhaira tosses her silver hair in irritation, gesturing with her head at the village under attack below them.
We can’t just stand here while our world burns!
That’s exactly what we’re going to do.
- The pair is silhouetted on the mountainside, past them we can see the dragon attacking the village below.
But I was made for this!
You were made for the Vow, as we both were. And the vow says we stay until dawn.
- As the sun rises over the mountain clearing, the pair are still standing bound together. Makhaira stares angrily down at the village, as it smolders below them. Balfour’s eyes are downcast and solemn.
Balfour, I think I hate you.