OK, SO HERE’S ANOTHER STORY, FIRST DRAFT THEREOF. I’VE TRIED TO GO FOR A CELTIC FEEL HERE AND AN UPDATE OF THE “KID SUCKED INTO THE FANTASY WORLD” THEME. I HAVE BEEN A FAN OF WRITERS LIKE ALAN GARNER, SUSAN COOPER(BUT NOT THAT HORRIFIC FILM BASED ON “THE DARK IS RISING”), C.S.LEWIS AND THE LIKE, AND IN MY DAY SHOWS LIKE DOCTOR WHO, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE AND THE WONDERFUL BBC ADAPTION OF “TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN” WAY BACK IN THE 70s. THIS IS A KIND OF HOMAGE TO THEM…WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU WILL ENCOUNTER, THROUGH THE ALWAYS LOCKED DOOR, THE OLD BOMB SITE OR THE BACK OF A WARDROBE.
WAR OF THE THARIAN
6 PANELS: here we have the set up, for this to be a 6 page self-contained story I’m going to have to get in a lot of crap on captions. The set up is a suburban bedroom in a quiet suburban estate somewhere in the home counties. It’s a boys bedroom. The boy is sat playing on a Y-BOX ( copyright and all that you know) some kind of RPG, let’s make it a medieval one. The boy’s about 14, he’s dressed in jeans and a t-shirt(how do 14-year old boys dress in the UK today?), his bedroom is typically tidy as boy’s bedrooms generally are (that’s irony you know…ain’t I clever? He’s sat in his swivel type executive chair, lounging back his leg flopped over the chair arm. The door to his room is slightly ajar and to his right, our left. Bed, bookshelves and posters.
P1: SEE ABOVE
CAPTION: TODAY’S THE DAY THAT MICHAEL BARRETT’S LIFE CHANGES FOR EVER!
MUM(OP): MICHAEL, I’M OFF TO WORK. THERE’S SANDWICHES BY THE BREAD BIN AND POP IN THE FRIDGE.
MICHAEL: OK MUM, MIND HOW YOU GO AND I’LL SEE YOU IN THE MORNING’.
P2:The same but we are looking from behind MICHAEL so we can see the screen of the monitor and what he’s playing. It is a fantasy RPG, based around celtic legends. His character is in a castle hall and we can see it fighting with a load of other “knights” on the dais is a Princess (RHONWEN)
SFX: clash! swish! bloop! bleep!
P3: A front on close up of MICHAEL, his face illuminated by the lights from the monitor, we can see that his eyelids are getting heavier.
RHONWEN(FROM THE MONITOR SCREEN): WAKE UP SIR MICHAEL! WE HAVE NEED OF THEE!
P4: A SIDE SHOT so that we can see MICHAEL´S reaction and RHONWEN on the screen.
MICHAEL: WHAT? EH? WHASSAT?
RHONWEN: LOOK SHARP SIR MICHAEL. PRESS X,O,Y
P5: MICHAEL looks down at his game console and presses the three buttons, we see his body begin to dissipate and a long line of sparkly, swirly stars starts pouring into the games console. He is being transported to the world of the THARIAN.
P6: MICHAEL has landed with a bump on the floor of the castle hall that he recently was playing outside in the real world.
5 PANELS: We’ve dropped into the action so it has to reAlly flow, I’ve said 5 panels but whatever makes it easier for the artist to get that fluidity the better. But we’re in the throne room. Michael has been thrust in mid-fight. He’s in his own clothes but there are some slight differences. The “Knights” that had appeared as yer basic medieval knights on the game screen are now a little rougher around the edges; their armour almost appearing to be made up of found material. RHONWEN is standing on the throne with her sword upraised in the air. She is wearing a jerkin and leggings and her long red hair is tied back in a braid that hangs down her back. she also has a shield on her arm. The whole seen is lighted by torches in sconces on the wall and the big roaring fire in a fireplace off to the side. There are many tapestries and wall coverings and their are rushes on the floor.
P1: This is a wide shot of RHONWEN on the throne slicing and dicing the foolish knoghts who have come to abduct her. MICHAEL is kneeling on the floor picking up a fallen sword and shield and he is rising.
RHONWEN: C’MON SIR MICHAEL. HAVE AT THE SIR KNIGHT AND LET’S PUT THESE BEGGARS TO THE ROUT!
MICHAEL: IF I KNEW WHAT I HAD TO DO THEN I WOULD BE DOING IT…ER…YOUR HIGHNESS.
P2: A close up on RHONWEN her teeth are gritted but she seems to be having a good time of it as she is swinging the bloody sword to and fro. We can see that she is a handsome lass, very milky skin with a dusting of freckles over her nose and cheeks, she can’t be more than 16-years old (I’m thinking of a younfer JUDY TROTT who played Marian in the good Robin of Sherwood series), that lithe celtic princess type young woman.
CAPTION: “AND SO PRINCESS RHONWEN BATTLED TO PUSH BACK THE COWARDLY KNIGHTS OF THE WIZARD ACCALON. HER KNIGHT – BRAVE SIR MICHAEL – AT HER SIDE CLEAVING THE CRAVEN DOGS ASSUNDER”
RHONWEN: HA! TAKE THAT YOU SWINE. YOU COME INTO MY FATHER’S HALL AND TRY TO ABDUCT ME, PRINCESS RHONWEN-DAUGHTER OF PRINCE CADFAL?!
P3: Michael has now joined her at the throne, she is swinging her sword to and fro and he has put his shield up to deflect a blow whilst plunging his sword into the leg of his attacker, RHONWEN”s attackers are flung back in sprays of blood by her sword.No shrinking violet this one.Michael seems stunned that he knows how to use a sword and a shield. Michael is nicked by a foes blade
CAPTION: “Bravely this young pair fought ever onward, keeping back their foes with a flurry of steel.”
RHONWEN: THERE IS A DOOR BEHIND THE THRONE THAT WILL LEAD US TO SAFETY. I FEAR THAT ACCALON HAS WON THIS ROUND–THE SWINE!
MICHAEL: BUT WHAT AM I DOING HERE? THIS HAS GOT TO BE A DREAM! ow!!
P4: Rhonwen is already leaping down from the throne and heading for the hidden door, Michael is keeping her back, there are three bad guys beating on him and he is aquitting himself quite well.
RHONWEN: LET US BE AWAY SIR KNIGHT BEFORE THEY SKEWER OUR HIDES TO THE CASTLE GATE.
MICHAEL: THEM’S THE MAGIC WORDS PRINCESS. I’M OUTTA HERE!
P6: Sees them racing through a dark doorway, a black hole that engulfs them both within its stygian depths.
6 panel page:This is running through the tunnels that will eventually lead to the outside. There is initially very little light, occasional torches in sconces, but few and far between. This could be very Bernie Wrightson/Alfredo Alcala type stuff. the suggestion of gargoyles and the old gods in relief on the walls of the tunnels intespersed with very celtic symbology as well. The walls are either rough granite or carved into these tortured shapes.
P1: We see RHONWEN and MICHAEL as they are coming through the door from the throne room into the tunnel. Rhonwen is slightly in front, she now has the shield slung on her back. Michael’s hair is blowing untidily behind him.
MICHAEL: WHERE ARE WE GOING?
RHONWEN: WE ARE HEADING TO THE SACRED GROVE THAT IS AT THE NED OF THIS TUNNEL. THERE WE AND THE THARIAN WILL BE SAFE FRON ACCALON AND HIS MISTRESS.
P2: SIDE ON LONGSHOT: Rhonwen and Michael are running down the tunnel, we can see the designs, symbols and stuff on the walls, this should have a lot of shadow.
MICHAEL: BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS THE THARIAN? I MEAN–I KNOW I SHOULD KNOW–JUST HUMOUR ME.
RHONWEN: THE THARIAN IS THIS THING ON MY BACK, THE SHIELD. ACCALON AND HIS WHORE MISTRESS-MORGANA LA FAY- WOULD DO ANYTHING TO GET IT.
P3: This is from the front: There is a massive explosion in front of the running pair they skid to a halt bringing their arms up to shield their eyes.
RHONWEN & MICHAEL: AIEEE! AAARGH!
P4: This is a pull body shot of a mysterious figure wrapped in long dark robes, we can see his dark nos peeking from out of his hood, his eyes are two red stars within the darkness of the hood. This is ACCALON the wizard.
CAPTION: ACCALON–LOVER OF MODRON AND TRAFFICKER IN THE NIGHTMARES OF DEMONS.
ACCALON: GIVE ME THE THARIAN BRYTHoNIC WITCH!
RHONWEN: NEVER! YOU WHORESON AND LOVER OF WHORES!
P5: Front on shot mid torso upwards. Rhonwen now turns to MICHAEL and he is at her side looking in stunned disbelief; his mind pretty much hasn’t caught up with him yet.
RHONWEN: THE TORC MICHAEL–USE THE TORC.
MICHAEL: EH? WHA?
RHONWEN: THE TORC YOU FOOL. IT NEGATES HIS MAGIC…AROUND YOUR NECK! GODS!
P6: SIDE ON SHOT as Michael brings the torc (which we haven’t seen but has mysteriously appeared around his neck) and throws it as ACCALON. Accalon shrinks back and tries to escape using his magic.
CAPTION: THE MAGIC TORC OF CERNUNNUS. THAT NEGATES WHATEVER VILE MAGIC IS IN ITS WAY WHEN THROWN.
ACCALON: AIEEE! NO! NO!
3 panel page: Here we can use the page to open out from the darkness of the previous pages into a light, woodland scene, after the stench of battle this should be a sunlit glade in the middle of a forest, very rustic and “greenwoodsy”.
P1: MICHAEL and RHONWEN are running through a cloud of smoke ( has Accalon been vaporized or has he merely vanished?) through the opening of the cavern onto a greensward, before them is an open glade the castle at their back is not visible because it is hidden by the forest and the mountain of granite upon which it is built.
P2: This is a long shot of them both standing in the glade, Michael is looking up and around him in wonder, (this is kind of a Disney momnet) it would be late afternoon in summer(to give you an idea of the quality of light) there could be a deer or a stag here, maybe other woodland animals that don’t seem to be upset by the vilent intrusion of the two people into their midst.
P3: Here is a mid body shot, RHONWEN has turned to MICHAEL we can see the the light streaming down through the canopy of trees(think Arthur Ransome) illuminating MICHAEL as if in a spotlight, RHONWEN is looking towards MICHAEL she has an amused look on her face.
RHONWEN: THIS IS THE HERNE’S CUP. WE COME HERE OFT TIMES DURING THE YEAR TO CELEBRATE OUR PROTECTOR AND THE MAKER OF THE THARIAN AND THE TORC.
MICHAEL: IT’S BEAUTIFUL!
5 PANEL PAGE: Taking place in the greenwood glade. I hope it’s not too talking heads. I’m trying to move it forward to page 6 and get this sucker done!
P1: FULL BODY SHOT. RHONWEN is now standing in front of MICHAEL and she is speaking to him, we can see that she is but an inch shorter than he.
CAPTION: AND SO SIR MICHAEL AND THE FAIR RHONWEN RESTED. THEIR FLIGHT PAUSED THERE IN HERNE’S CUP.
RHONWEN: YOU SEEM TO HAVE SOME SkILL WITH THE SWORD AND AT THE TOSS SIR MICHAEL.
MICHAEL: YEAH BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW. I COULDN’T THROW A WOBBLER BACK HOME–WHEREVER THAT IS.
P2: RHONWEN is now moving away from MICHAEL towards a stream theat runs through the edge of the glade.
RHONWEN: COME LET US REFRESH OURSELVES AND THEN WE MUST MOVE ON. FOR WHEREVER ACCALON APPEARS HIS WIFE–MODRON–CAN NOT BE FAR BEHIND.WE MUST AWAY AND FIND MY FATHER BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
MICHAEL: TOO LATE? TOO LATE FOR WHAT? WHAT THE HELL’S HAPPENING HERE?
P3: RHONWEN is now kneeling by the stream and she has a drinking horn in her hand which she is filling with water.
RHONWEN: DRINK–THIS IS THE WATER OF “THE MEADHON“–HERE YOU SHALL GATHER YOUR STRENGTH.
MICHAEL: WHO AM I RHONWEN? I MEAN TO YOU–HOW DO YOU KNOW ME?
P4: Now they have refreshed themselves, RHONWEN is scabbarding her sword on her back and MICHAEL is left standing without an answer.
CAPTION: THERE IS A FEELING ON THE WIND AND FAIR RHONWEN AVOIDS THE QUESTION.
MICHAEL: THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE, BUT I CAN’T PLACE MY FINGER ON IT. I’VE SEEN THIS PLACE BEFORE.
RHONWEN: WE MUST BE AWAY MODRON WILL BE LOOKING FOR US AND WE CANNOT SKULK IN THIS PLACE FOR EVER.
P5: A close up on MICHAEL,
MICHAEL: I CAN.
6 panel page. I’m going to have to cram a bit in here, but basically it’s going to segue from the greenwood back to Michael’s bedroom.
P1: RHONWEN has stopped at the edge of the glade. A look of shock on her face as she looks upwards, we can see Michael over her shoulder, he’s not really paying attention to her. A bit of a wind has whipped up and it’s making the loose hair that has escaped the braid, whip about a bit. A few stray leaves are being blown around.
CAPTION: THERE IS EVIL IN THE AIR, RHONWEN CAN SMELL THE SULPHUR.
RHONWEN: OH GODS. MICHAEL!
P2: This is from Michael’s POV. He sees RHONWEN lifted into the air by some big black swirly cloud thing(think Night of the Demon cloud thing here).
P3: MICHAEL throws himself and catches hold of her legs as she is drawn into the maelstrom.
P4: THIS PANEL IS A SWIRLING PSYCHADELIC MAELSTROM WITH THE FIGURE OF MICHAEL AND RHONWEN BEING OUTLINED IN SILHOUETTE, REACHING OUT TO EACH OTHER.
MODRON(DISEMBODIED??): I HAVE THEE AT LAST BRYTHONIAN WHELP–HAHAHAHAHA!!!
P5: We see MICHAEL landing back in his chair back in his bedroom, the clock opn the wall shows that only a few minutes have passed, his feet slightly up in the air as he bounces into his seat.
P6: He is now flying to the monitor, tears in his eyes he is gripping the monitor.