BY THE ORDER OF THE RED DRAGON

A UK Stage Play

BY THE ORDER OF THE RED DRAGON

Cast of Characters

RHYS DRAGO (Young Miner)

RHION / RHIANNON DRAGO (MINER), Rhys’ sister

LEWIS JACKSON (MINER), Rhiannon’s mate

ARON DRAGO (Miner), Rhys’s father

GAYNOR DRAGO, Rhys’ mother

SARA THOMAS, Gaynor’s friend, miner Lee’s wife

BRAN DAVIES (Miner), Rhy’s mate

EMRYS WILLIAMS (Miner), Rhy’s mate

MARC SMITH (Mine Overseer)

MERERID (DRUID SEER), Merlin’s substitute

ARTHUR (DRUID KING)

MORGAN (DRUID HIGH PRIEST)

SISTERS (DRUIDS), Morgan’s 8 sisters

KNIGHTS, Arthur’s knights of the Round Table

TARRAN (THE GREAT DRAGON), Rhiannon’s other mother

Act One - Penygraig

Act Two - Tonypandy

Act Three - Cardiff

ACT I

ACT I SCENE 1

NEW BUTE SEAM OPENED AT ELY PIT IN PENYGRAIG BY THE NAVAL COLLIERY COMPANY, PART OF THE CAMBRIAN COMBINED CARTEL. EARLY MORNING, 1909. 70 WORKERS ARE SIGNED UP FOR THE NEW SCHEME OF PIECEWORK. IN ORDER TO MAKE ENDS MEET, RHIANNON IS DRESSED AS A MAN WITH THE NAME RHI.

ARON: Look at this place! What a bloody mess!

RHI: (POINTING AT THE PIT) Da! There’s a stone band running through it. Gonna be difficult to work on this one.

ARON: (WALKING TOWARDS MARC) What did you sign me up for? What fresh new Hell is this, Marc?

MARC: Hell? No! Just the opposite, old sport! This is a manifestation of the genius that is our company director; this is the very soul and frontier of innovation; this is the apogee of Capitalism in all its glory. You lot should be honoured and grateful to be given this opportunity to be part of something new. It’s a trial period for a new working scheme. Your pay will be based on the coal you extracted per ton.

LEWIS: So more coal more pay?

MARC: Precisely! Ain’t ya a bright young ‘un. Exciting times, this is! Your performances would set an example for future workers’ wages.

LEWIS: What if anyone fails to reach a certain amount?

MARC: Then the company would give an allowance to the miner in question to make up his pay to the minimum that was required in order to live.

RHI: What if anyone falls ill?

MARC: Well, that’s on you. And there’s plenty of ye. (LOOKING DOWN AT THE MINERS IN DESPISE)

RHI: You fucking… (RAISES HAND)

ARON: (HOLDS RHI BACK) No, son! Let it go!

MARC: Listen to your old man, if you want some bread in that bag of bones.

RHI: Motherfcuker! Da, let go of me! Let me teach Porky a lesson!

MARC: Porky? Ha! Better to have plenty to eat, no? I must say, Rhion. For a man, you have got your da’s good looks, and your ma’s too. But what can good looks get a man, eh? At the end of the day, they all get smothered in black. Like your mate Sooty here. (SPITS IN FRONT OF LEWIS)

RHI: (KICKING AND STRUGGLING) Yeah? These faces of black will spill your blood of crimson!

MARC: Is that a threat?

RHI: Threat? No, I am fucking telling you in your face. You traitor of the working men, your time will come! Your time will bloody come!

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 2

THE DRAGOS ARE AT THEIR FAMILY HOME WITH LEWIS.

LEWS: Rhi, thank you for standing up for me today. You didn’t have to.

RHIANNON: I was standing up for all of us. What does colour matter when you are a freeman? All that pathetic creature could do is dishing out his bitter words.

GAYNOR: You had another run-in with that horrendous man? Jesus Christ! God bless your relentless soul lass but you are not doing anyone any favours by angering with the overseer.

RHIANNON: Ma, low in class and wages that we are but never low in dignity and spirit. And I was definitely not put on this Earth to please that nasty piece of work!

ARON: Yes, better to die on your feet than to live on your knees, I agree. But lass, I worry if it turns violent, you may get hurt, worse, if they realize you are a girl, they may punish you for what you do not deserve.

RHIANNON: Good no one grassed me up so far then. But that’s not the point! Why? Why not women?

RHYS: There are more than enough men for the job. They are just about to tolerate you because they all grew up to accept you as one of the lads. For other girls, I’m not so sure. It is, after all, a very physically demanding job.

RHIANNON: But if I can do it, surely many others can too.

RHYS: Theoretically, yes. If I was in charge, it’d already happened. But these people, the owners, are calculating devils. Are they not? If they realize there are women in the workforce, they will probably use it as an excuse for the so-called ‘low output’ and further cut our wages. Have they not made a farce about that already?

ARON: Listen to your brother, think about others. We have to see the bigger picture, my lass. Maybe sometime in the future things will change, perhaps even in your lifetime. But for now, unfortunately, it is what it is.

RHIANNON: It is what it is? Da, when did you become so dark and pessimistic?

ARON: No, not pessimistic, pragmatic.

RHIANNON: Say no more. (STANDS UP AND PICK UP SHOULDER BAG)

RHYS: Rhi, wait, it is dark already. Where are you going?

RHIANNON: You know where. And don’t follow me! (OPENS THE DOOR AND LEAVES)

GAYNOR: It’s getting cold, put your coat on. (PICKS UP A COAT AND RUNS AFTER RHIANNON, COMES BACK WITH THE COAT) There, gone already. Sharpe as a razor, stubborn as an ox, fierce as a dragon. Yet still, wouldn’t change a thing, not a thing!

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 3

IN THE HILLS AMONG THE TREES. RHIANNON IS WALKING WITH A TORCH IN ONE HAND AND CARRYING A BAG ON HER SHOULDER. SHE GATHERS SOME WILD APPLES AND WALKS PAST A ROWAN TREE, THEN STOPS, LOOKS AROUND AND WHISTLES. TWO WELSH MOUNTAIN PONIES ARE CHARGING TOWARD HER FROM DEEPER IN THE FOREST.

RHIANNON: Hey my beauties, there you are! I got you some apples. Here, enjoy! (GENTLY LAYING THE APPLES ON THE GROUND)

THE PONIES SNIFF HER AND RUB THEIR HEADS ON HER THEN DIG IN THE APPLES.

Lili, how are you, eh? And you Enid, how’s your week been? Mine was not so nice but I forget all my troubles every time I’m in your presence. You pure and fair creatures, if only our world could be like yours. (PAUSE) Who’s there! (RAISES HER TORCH AND LOOKS BACK)

MERERID: (RAISES HER HANDS) My child, I’m only an old woman. My name is Mererid, I mean you no harm. Please do not be alarmed.

RHIANNON: (BRING THE TORCH CLOSE TO ILLUMINATE THE OLD WOMAN’S FACE) Curious! What’s an old woman doing in the hills at this hour?

MERERID: I live in the hills, my dear. I followed the ponies to you. I see you are feeding them apples. Bless, what a kind soul!

RHIANNON: They are yours? I hope you don’t mind me feeding them. I thought they were wild.

MERERID: Oh no, not at all, I don’t mind, neither do I own them. They are as free as the birds and the air, and they do wherever they fancy. I just look after them, like you! They spend much of their days around my hut and sometimes when they run off to a whistle, I wanted to find out to whom they ran.

RHIANNON: Oh yes, naturally. I understand! Now you know they are safe. It’s wonderful that you keep an eye on these lovelies. They bonded with me the instant I found them.

MERERID: That’s miraculous! They are timid creatures, very rarely do they come up to strangers. You must be special, my dear.

RHIANNON: Special? Nah! I’m many things and all kinds of awkward but never special. (LAUGHS WHILE SHAKING HER HEAD)

MERERID: Come closer, my child. Come! Let me have a good look at you.

RHIANNON: (MOVES CLOSER) Ok. Can you see better now, Mererid?

MERERID: Hmm, yes, yes, I see. My instinct was right, special that you are! You breathe the fire of the Red Dragon.

RHIANNON: Whatever do you mean, Mererid?

MERERID: I meant the things that only my kind can see. Strange things, divine things, unholy things, things that lurk in the dark, things that hunt man’s dreams, things that forge destinies.

RHIANNON: You have powers? Powers of magic? You are a druid?

MERERID: Ay, and a seer no less!

RHIANNON: A seer! Most curious! I have heard of your kind but never encountered one of you in flesh.

MERERID: Well, I’m honoured to be the first, but I will almost definitely not be the last. There’s greatness in you, my fair child. In time, you will gain greater knowledge of your path, for now, trust in all that you do! (TURNS AND WALKS OFF WITH THE PONIES)

RHIANNON: Are you leaving?

MERERID: Ay, you should too. It’s getting darker. But worry not, we shall meet again. Until then, take care!

RHIANNON: You too, Mererid! (WAVES GOODBYE)

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 4

AT Bute Seam, ELY PIT, PENYGRAIG. LATE AFTERNOON. SEVERAL MONTHS INTO THE TEST PERIOD OF THE NEW SEAM.

MARC: This isn’t going to work out for you lot. You are working too slowly.

ARON: But we are working at a normal pace, Marc. Can’t you see?

MARC: Yeah, I see. What I see is, this isn’t normal. It is far too slow.

ARON: But we’ve tried our best. There’s a stone band running through the middle of the seam and there are abnormal places that are very difficult to work with.

MARC: Well, that’s your problem, isn’t it? Solve it or live with it. Anyway, your low productivity will be reflected in your wages.

RHI: Says who?

MARC: The owners. (POINTING HIS FINGER UP)

RHI: To who no doubt you shall poison their thoughts with your verminous tongue and sell us short as usual!

MARC: Oh trust me, they are quite capable of dipping you deep in misery. They don’t need my help with that. I’m merely here to observe and report.

RHI: Is that so?

MARC: That is so. (NODS)

RHI: Then you are not reporting truthfully.

MARC: The truth? Ha! What is the price of truth per ton these days?

RHI: God bears my witness, I will get you, one of those days!

MARC: Yeah, yeah, whatever, get back to work, ya dirty piece of shit! (SPIT)

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 5

NAVAL COLLIERY COMPANY HEADQUARTERS, MINERS GATHERED OUTSIDE DEMANDING ANSWERS TO THE LOW WAGE RATE. MARC IS STANDING OUTSIDE.

RHYS: Marc, fancy seeing you here!

MARC: Ha! I’ve been expecting you lot!

RHYS: Is the wage rate a joke? How the hell did you get such a low number?

MARC: You should know, don’t you?

RHYS: But we don’t. Why don’t you enlighten us? Hmm?

MARC: The owners are unhappy with the Bute Seam lot deliberately slacking off in order to stretch the working hours longer. If you want anyone to blame, blame them.

RHI: Don’t you dare play the blame game! We are not falling for your divide and conquer horseshit! And nobody at the Bute Seam is slacking off.

MARC: No?

RHI: No!

MARC: Still, I’m not surprised by a sissy of a man like you in the workforce.

RHI: Yeah? So? I still beat your arse, you dimwit! Don’t you realize, the accusation is just nonsensical.

MARC: Nonsensical?

RHI: Ay! Under the new scheme, we are paid per ton of coal extracted, yes?

MARC: Yes.

RHI: Then the hours are futile in the calculation of wages, aren’t they?

MARC: Well, I’m not an accountant. But one thing I do know is your output is not measuring up to the expected rate.

ARON: But we have families to feed, Marc. Can you please talk to the owner?

MARC: I’m not in a position to do that, Aron, it’s out of my hands. (RAISING HIS HANDS)

ARON: Can you please try?

RHYS: Da, don’t beg him. (REACHES OUT AN ARM, HOLDING ARON BACK)

MARC: That’s right, don’t beg me. Listen to your lad. So go home, all of you.

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 6

OUTSIDE ELY PIT OWNED BY NAVAL COLLIERY COMPANY IN PENYGRAIG, PART OF THE CAMBRIAN COMBINED CARTEL, RHONDDA, SOUTH WALES. SEPTEMBER 01, 1910. EARLY MORNING. A LOCK-OUT NOTICE ON THE GATE AND ALL 950 MINERS ARE LOCKED OUT.

BRAN: Heavy chains and padlocks. The gates are shut dead and we are locked out cold. I’ve walked around and checked, there is no other way in. What kind of new shenanigan is this? I’m bent to know!

EMRYS: Those bastards must have locked it last night after we left! But still, they let us take all the trouble to get up betimes ere the cockerels crow, tooled up under the candlelight and walked all the way from home on the long muddy road. Not a word, not even a damn word!

BRAN: So this is it, they have decided that they are not going to increase the wages to meet our demands.

EMRYS: But the wages based on the new scheme is a joke! It’s much lower than a living wage.

RHYS: We are all in this together now.

EMRYS: Seems like so. Anyway, none of us has any choice.

RHYS: Unbelievable! Another day’s pay is gone and who knows how many more! Have we not explained our troubles? Are our wages not low enough? Are we not made of flesh and bones? Damn cowards! Deaf ears! Poisonous minds! Year after year, one trick after another, they take food out of our children’s mouths, trying to drain the last drop of blood from our veins. Have they no hearts or balls to tell us face to face! Man to man! And now what? I have had enough of this!

CROWD CLAMOURING, TOOLS CLANKING IN MIDAIR AMONG THE DOTTED BURNING TORCHES.

ALL MINERS: Yeah! Enough is enough! We want an answer! Let’s take this to the boss!

RHYS: Brothers! Let’s strike! Let’s march! Let’s do our might! Together, we demand justice! Justice that will not be dictated by their flights of fancy, justice that will be on our terms, justice that shall redeem our toils and sacrifices!

ARON: Son, are you sure this is wise?

RHYS: Wise? Perhaps not so much, but old man, will your wisdom save us? If not, then silence!

ALL MINERS: We are with Rhys! Let’s strike! Let’s march!

EMRYS: Yes, lead us, Rhys! There’s no going back. Our trust is in your hands!

BRAN: Lead us, Rhys! We are great in numbers. Let’s rock the boat! Let’s bring them to the ground! Let’s strike wooden stakes through those bloodsuckers’ stone-cold hearts.

RHYS: (FIST IN THE AIR, SHOUTING OUT LOUDLY) Up to you now, lads. Yea or nay? Yea or nay?

ALL MINERS: (FISTS RISING IN THE AIR) Yea! Yea! Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

RHYS: Then no time to lose, we have mouths to feed! Let’s do this!

All MINERS: Huzzah!

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 7

MINERS STRIKE AT THE ELY PIT WITH A PICKETING LINE AT THE FRONT. STRIKEBREAKERS FROM OUTSIDE THE AREA ORDERED BY THE CAMBRIAN COMBINED ARE COMING IN.

MARC: (ARRIVEs FOR WORK WITH THE STRIKEBREAKERS, UNABLE TO GET IN) What the hell is this?

RHYS: What is this? What is this? Well, guess what, Marc? We are back! And this, is karma!

MARC: You don’t want to feed your families, fine. These men do.

RHYS: Don’t you guilt trip me, you bastard. Nobody is going in. Not today. (SHAKES HEAD)

MARC: Look, I have no quarrel with you, Rhys. Let me clock in, will you?

RHYS: You want to clock in?

MARC: Yes.

RHYS: Yes, what? (RAISES HAND BEHIND HIS EAR)

MARC: Please.

RHYS: Tell you what, why don’t we put this to a vote. What do you say, boys?

MINERS: No!

RHYS: Ain’t democracy grand. You heard that, Marc. It’s out of my hands, so why don’t you get the fuck out of here? And take your little band of traitors with ya.

MARC: Your behaviour will be reported.

RHYS: Yeah? Fuck off to write up your petty little report then. Come on, what are you waiting for? Get on with it. Off you go!

MARC: You are finished.

RHYS: Yeah? We will see, won’t we?

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 8

NOVEMBER 01, 1910. LATE EVENING. SOUTH WALES MINERS FEDERATION, 12,000 COLLIERS HOLDING TORCHES AND WAITING FOR THE STRIKE BALLOT RESULT.

RHYS: (HOLDS UP A PIECE OF PAPER) Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment you all have been waiting for. The people of South Wales Coalfield have spoken, and the ballot result is…

CACOPHONY DIES DOWN IN THE CROWD FOLLOWED BY DEAFENING SILENCE.

Yes! We shall go on strike!

FISTS IN THE AIR EVERYWHERE IN A SEA OF LOUD CHEERING AND TORCH FLAMES.

Cambrian Combine’s offers were not acceptable. Whatever they are throwing at us, we are ready! We are shutting down all the mines, forming picketing lines and we are asking all our brothers and sisters to put your short term personal gains aside and join our struggle for survival for all. Together, we outnumber them; together, we shall triumph; together, we are one! And We will not stop until we reach our goals. You have my word!

BLACK-OUT

ACT I SCENE 9

AT THE MINERS’ HEADQUARTERS

BRAN: (POINTING AT A MAP ON THE TABLE) There’s another month old strike at Aberdare in Cynon Valley involving 11,000 miners. The Glamorgan Constabulary’s resources are overstretched and their chief is getting desperate.

RHYS: Yeah? That’s good, right?

BRAN: Yes and no. If they don’t get reinforcement from out of the area then they are of no match to us in numbers.

RHYS: And if they do?

BRAN: We may have a handful but nothing that we can’t handle.

ARON: What if they use weapons on us?

BRAN: There’s always a chance that things will go ugly. We need to be prepared for that but I reckon it is very unlikely. They don’t want workers’ blood on their hands, otherwise, it will be a whole other kind of monster they will be dealing with.

ARON: But we are just miners and we are unarmed. How are we going to… God, a bloodbath on domestic soil? O, the horror! I can not imagine.

RHYS: Let’s hope not, eh da? We will just have to prepare, evolve and adapt as it goes, yeah?

BRAN: Yeah. Prepare, evolve and adapt.

RHYS: Emrys, I heard the mine in Llwynypia is still open?

EMRYS: Yeah. Since the strike began, it’s manager has transformed it into a fucking fortress with all the coppers he’s got from the Chief Constable of Glamorgan. They are going to send in more strikebreakers to keep the pump and ventilation going.

RHYS: Bastards! Same old, same old. But they need electricity to keep generators working.

EMRYS: Yes, they are relying on the coppers guarding the power station building at the site. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

RHYS: Well, gentlemen. (LOOKS UP WITH A WRY SMILE) Let’s better do something about that, shall we?

BLACK-OUT

ACT II

ACT II SCENE 1

THOUSANDS OF STRIKERS ENCIRCLED AND PICKETED THE PIT OF GLAMORGAN COLLIERY IN LLWYNYPIA. 200 METROPOLITAN POLICE ORDERED BY WINSTON CHURCHILL ARE PRESENT INSIDE THE SITE. 10:30 PM, NOVEMBER 7, 1910.

RHYS: (HANDS IN THE AIR TOWARD THE STRIKEBREAKERS)No one is going in. Why don’t you do all of us a favour, turn around and march back to wherever you came from.

SB: This is not your property, you don’t own this place.

RHYS: No, so?

SB: The owners are willing to pay and we are willing to work so it’s not your business.

RHYS: And still, you are standing there all talk.

SB: Because you are blocking the way! But it’s not up to you, is it? Nothing here is up to you. We are legally entering the workplace.

RHYS: Nor can do! Sorry for the inconvenience, but this, is an ongoing struggle of the working class. You either join us, or get lost.

SB: Look, we came all the way and we really need the money, brother, we have families to feed.

RHYS: Don’t we all, brother! And you are taking that away from all of us by doing what you are doing. Have you no self-respect? The wage they pay you couldn’t even fill the gut of half a dog, and you, you toil yourself to live life a half-dead.

SB: Still, half dead and undignified is better than proud and dead. You, all of you, are dead men walking, and particularly you, a martyr of a lost cause, a king without a crown.

RHYS: And you are to follow as soon as we are gone. You and us, are not so different, brother. Matter of fact, I think I will remember to take you with me should things go south.

POLICE: Let them in, Rhys.

RHYS: Look who’s talking. Hired guns, badges with hats, uniforms with batons. Over my dead body, coppers!

POLICE: Maybe them lot will do just that.

RHYS: Yeah? Not if I walk over yours first! Ye pieces of shit. Shame on you, traitors of the working men, Judases who sell themselves out like whores.

POLICE: At least we get paid more than you. What have you got in your coffers? Oh right, nothing!

RHYS: Damn fools! Your time will come, sooner than your hubris soars. They pay you to do their dirty deed today, tomorrow the same deed will be done to you.

POLICE: I don’t think so somehow.

RHYS: You place your trust in somehow? Your ignorance is dumbfounding! Don’t you know, after all, we are all disposable?

POLICE: We will dispose of you in a minute.

RHYS: Yeah? How about now? Bring it on, motherfuckers.

POLICE: Come on in, you chicken shit.

RHYS: No, you come out. Hiding behind the gate, who’s the real chicken? Hmm? Come out and I will bash your face so deep in cow dung you will choke on shit.

EMRYS: (SQUEEZE THROUGH THE CROWD TO THE FRONT GATE) Rhys, something’s up. The guys couldn’t get into the mine to shut it down so they went to the powerhouse as we planned.

RHYS: Yes, either way, we have got to shut this place down. This is their last defence.

EMRYS: But the coppers are guarding the place tight. There was no way to get in there either. The fellas started throwing stones at them, the coppers fought back and the situation is getting ugly fast.

RHYS: Fuck! Stay here Em, I’m going to the powerhouse.

EMRYS: Ay. No problem, I’ll keep them in check.

BLACK-OUT

ACT II SCENE 2

AT THE POWERHOUSE. A PORTION OF THE WOODEN FENCE SURROUNDING THE SITE IS TORN DOWN AND BEING USED AS WEAPONS BY THE MINERS TO BATTLE THE POLICE WITH BATONS

RHYS: Rhi! What the fuck! Rhi! (TRYING TO SQUEEZE THROUGH THE CROWD TO GET TO RHIANNON)

RHI: Rhys? Rhys! I’m here. (RAISES HER HANDS, WAVING IN THE AIR, SIGNALLING HER POSITION)

RHYS: I see you! Coming! (PUSHES HARDER)

POLICE BATONS CHARGE AT RHI AS SHE WAVES AND SHE FALLS DOWN WITH BLOOD ON HER HEAD.

RHYS: No!!!!! No, you fucking don’t! (SCREAMS AND MANAGES TO PUSH THROUGH TO THE FRONT)

ARON AND BRAN PICK UP RHI.

Da, take Rhi home. Bran, come with me!

BRAN: Ay! (MOVES TOWARD RHYS AND HANDS HIM A WOODEN STICK THAT WAS PART OF THE FENCE) Here ya! Hold this! We improvised! (LAUGHS IN MANIA)

RHYS: Nice! That’s handy! (GRABS ON TO THE STICK TIGHTLY) Now, let’s make them bastards fucking pay!

BRAN: Yeah!!!! Yeah!!!!!

MOUNTED BATONS ARE RAINING DOWN ON THE MINERS. AN INTENSE HAND TO HAND BATTLE ENSUES AND ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.

RHI: (STILL WAVING A PIECE OF WOOD IN HER HAND, STRUGGLING TO GET BACK IN THE FIGHT) Da, I’m not going home. There’s no way I’m leaving. I am a miner too, I am a fighter! Da! Let go of me!

ARON: No, you are going home alright. Your mother will bloody kill me if anything happens to you.

RHI: Ma’s not here, you fucking let go of me!

ARON: N O spells no! (PULLING RHI BACK HARDER FROM THE CROWD) If you really want to help, I tell you what you can do. Your ma and the other women have been making rolls all day. The hours are getting late, go get some food and drinks, the strikers are getting hungry and tired.

RHI: Ok, you come with me da. I won’t be able to carry everything.

ARON: Nah, your ma and the others will help you. Give us the stick. I still got some fight in me!

RHI: Then be careful, da!

ARON: Always, you know me!

RHI: Ok, be back in a jiffy!

ARON: Go!

RHIANNON RUNS BACK HOME. BLACK-OUT.

ACT II SCENE 3

GAYNOR AND OTHER WOMEN ARE STILL BUSY MAKING FOOD.

RHI: (OPENS THE DOOR AND CHARGES IN) Ma!

GAYNOR: Oh my God! Look at you! What the hell happened to you! (WALKS UP TO INSPECT RHIANNON’S HEAD WOUND)

RHI: It’s nothing! Ma, I need to bring food and drink, and I…

GAYNOR: I know, they are hungry. We will bring everything soon enough. Sit! (GAYNOR WENT TO THE CUPBOARD AND DIGS OUT A FIRST AID KIT)

RHI: Ma, it’s chaos out there. They called in the coppers from London, on foot and mounted ones, with batons!

GAYNOR: Oh God! Where are your dad and brother? (ATTENDING RHI’S WOUNDS)

RHI: (TOUCHES HER HEAD) Ah!!! It hurts!

GAYNOR: Of course it hurts! Your head is bleeding, lass!

SARA: Tea, Rhi. And a roll. You must be hungry yourself.

RHI: Thanks, Sara! Hmmm, yum, still warm! Lee was ok when I left. He was somewhere in the back.

SARA: Thank God! (SIGHS) What have we got ourselves into? (SITS DOWN NEXT TO RHI)

GAYNOR: But there’s no turning back now.

SARA: No, I know. (SHAKES HER HEAD) It’s just…

RHI: What are you trying to say?

SARA: It’s not fair, our men went on foot but they have mounted coppers, beating us down.

RHI: You just gave me an idea!

GAYNOR: You are thinking what I’m thinking, aren’t you?

RHI: You are my ma, what can I say? (SMILES)

SARA: What are you two talking about?

RHI: We are going to bring horses and things that can be used as weapons.

SARA: Weapons? Oh, Jesus Christ! Are we breaking the law?

RHI: Too late for contemplations now. (PUTS HER TEA DOWN) I’m finished. First, we will gather the horses, then we will strap them up with food, drinks and tools. Then we will join our men! And you lot are coming with us! (EYEING ALL THE WOMEN IN THE ROOM)

WOMEN: Ok. Yeah.

RHI: Change into trousers, something you can move around in more comfortably. Wear your man’s if you haven’t got any. Now go home, get changed and we will meet up with you guys here.

WOMEN: (START TO LEAVE) We will be back with tools.

RHI: Yeah, good idea. And it’s getting dark, light the torches and bring them with you!

WOMEN NOD AND LEAVE. BLACK-OUT.

ACT II SCENE 4

A PORTION OF THE STRIKERS HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE STRIKERS AT THE LLWYNYPIA SITE AND DRIVEN TO TONYPANDY SQUARE. THE WOMEN ARE RIDING HORSES AND JOINING THE FIGHT.

RHI: (RIDING A HUGE WHITE HORSE WHILE HOLDING A TORCH IN ONE HAND AND A WHIP IN ANOTHER) Ma! I see Rhys and dad!

GAYNOR: Where?

RHI: There! (POINTING HER WHIP TOWARDS THE CROWD)

GAYNOR: (POINT HER TORCH AT THE DIRECTION WHERE RHIANNON IS POINTING) Oh yes! I see them!

HORSES ARE RUNNING CLOSER TO THE CROWD AND HEADS START TO TURN.

RHYS: (WAVING IN THE CROWD) Rhi!

RHI: (THROWS A METAL POLE TO RHYS) Catch!

ALL THE WOMEN ARRIVE, START UNPACKING THE FOOD AND DRINKS, HANDING OUT TOOLS AND JOINING THE FIGHT. MINERS AT THE BACK START TO EAT AND DRINK AND THEN MAKE THEIR WAY TO THE FRONT WHILE THE ONES IN THE FRONT MAKE THE WAY TO THE BACK.

GAYNOR: (HANDING FOOD TO ARON AND RHYS) What happened? Where are the others?

ARON: The mounted police separated us and we got pushed to town.

SARA: Lee’s still at the pit?

RHYS: Yeah.

SARA: Ok, I will try to get to him and bring the rest of them here.

RHYS: Yeah, we need to stay together. Otherwise, they will take us out in small groups.

SARA: Understood. It’s not going to happen. Wait for me! (RIDES OFF WITH SOME OF THE OTHER WOMEN)

LOUD NOISE AND BANGS, SOUNDS OF GLASS BREAKING.

GAYNOR: What’s happening? What’s that loud sound!

ARON: Sounds like windows are being smashed.

BRAN: (RUNNING TOWARDS THEM) Rhys! They are smashing all the shops and looting everything as they go!

RHYS: No! Imbeciles! Now those bastards are going to paint us into villains and give us a bad name.

BRAN: What do we do?

RHYS: I’m going to stop them! Ma, give Bran something to eat and drink. (POINTS AT BRAN) You can join me after you finish your food.

BRAN: Ay. (GRABS A ROLL AND WOLVES IT DOWN)

GAYNOR: And water. (HANDS BRAN A CUP AND FILL IT UP WITH WATER)

BRAN: Thanks, Gaynor! That’s enough. (TAKING BIG GULPS AND WIPES HIS MOUTH WITH HIS SLEEVE) Gotta go!

BLACK-OUT

ACT II SCENE 5

BOTH SIDES HAVE MEMBERS ON HORSES WITH WEAPONS AND THE FIGHTING AND LOOTING LASTED ALL NIGHT TILL THE NEXT DAY. lOCAL POLICE REQUESTED MILITARY SUPPORT FROM THE WAR OFFICE AND CAVALRY TROOPS WERE CALLED IN FROM CARDIFF. NOVEMBER 8, 1910.

BRAN: Look! (POINTING OUT)

RHYS: Bloody hell! They really did it. They called the fucking troops in.

ARON: Churchill held them in Cardiff in case things got ugly but for God sake, is this really happening? Troops on domestic soil? On horses, with rifles, bayonets and all.

GAYNOR: What are they gonna do? Shoot us? Are we the enemy of the state now?

ARON: This is not on. This is just not on!

SARA: We will see! Wait for me! (RIDES OFF)

BATTLE RESUMED AND WOMEN STARTED POURING HOT WATER AND THROWING HEAVY OBJECTS DOWN THEIR BEDROOM WINDOWS ONTO THE COPPERS’ HEADS BENEATH.

RHI: Ma, look! It’s Sara! Oh my God, she is leading all the kids in.

GAYNOR: Sara, are you out of your mind? They are going to get hurt!

SARA: A miner’s child is as brave as a miner. Besides, monsters as they are, they wouldn’t want to have the blood of the children on their hands.

GAYNOR: True and true. Good thinking, still, let’s hope no harm will come to them. Let them join their mothers.

SARA: Ay. Kids, follow me! (JUMPS OFF THE HORSE AND STARTS LEADING THE KIDS TO THEIR MOTHERS)

MULTIPLE GUNSHOTS ARE FIRED, CROWD STARTS TO PANIC AND DISPERSE

ARON: Oh no! They opened fire! No! No! No!

EMRYS: Rhi! Rhi!

RHI: Emrys! Here! (WAVES HER HAND)

EMRYS: Rhi, Aron, Gaynor! Rhys, he’s been shot!

GAYNOR: No! Where is he?

RHI: Is he still alive?

EMRYS: Yeah, but it’s bad!

ARON: (STANDS UP IMMEDIATELY) Take us!

EMRYS: Yeah, come, this way!

THEY ARRIVE AT THE SPOT WHERE RHY LIES IN A POOL OF BLOOD. WHILE THE CROWD WHILE ARE STILL IN SHOCK THEY PUSH BACK TO GIVE THE DRAGOS SOME SPACE. RHYS HAS BEEN SHOT IN THE CHEST AND IS DRIFTING IN AND OUT OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

GAYNOR: Son! My son! Oh no! Oh no! (HOLDS RHYS IN HER ARMS AND CRIES)

ARON: Son! Da’s here! I’m here, my son. Son! Can you hear me? (LOOKS UP) How can they do such a thing?!

RHI: (KNEELING NEXT TO RHYS) Rhys, stay with us! We are gonna get you home and fix you. You will be ok. Rhys. (GRABS RHYS’ HAND)

RHYS: (SMILES) It’s too late. (COUGHS BLOOD) Fight… on… (HIS HANDS DROP)

A LOUD SHRIEK ESCAPED GAYNOR’S CHEST AND SHE COLLAPSED. SUDDENLY, RHIANNON STARTS TO SEE RED MIST RISING IN HER EYES AND SHE FEELS HER BODY IS ERUPTING FROM UNDER HER SKIN. SHE LOOKS DOWN AND REALIZES SHE WAS RIGHT. SHE TRANSFORMED INTO A COLOSSAL RED DRAGON.

CROWD: (EVERYONE STOPS FIGHTING AND LOOKS UP) Look! What is that!

MINER #1: A giant!

POLICEMAN #1: A monster!

CHILD #1: A red dragon!

THE RED DRAGON STANDS UP AND RISES ABOVE THE TREES AND BUILDINGS. SHE EXTENDS HER MONSTROUS WINGS KNOCKING THE ROOFS OF NEARBY BUILDINGS OFF AND BLOCKING THE SUN. SHE THUMPS ON THE GROUND LIKE AN VIOLENT EARTHQUAKE BREAKING THE EARTH UNDERNEATH HER AND IN ONE POWERFUL PUSH, SHE TOOK OFF INTO THE AIR. SHE ROARS WITH DEAFENING SOUND AND BREATHES FIRE ONTO THE POLICE. THEY DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE TIME TO SCREAM AND INSTANTLY TURN INTO SOOT.

ARON: (HOLDS GAYNOR’S HAND) My dear, am I hallucinating? Are you seeing this?

GAYNOR: Yes. Our daughter is a red dragon. (SHE PUTS HER HAND IN HER POCKET AND TAKE OUT A SMALL RED SHELL-LIKE OBJECT)

ARON: What is that?

GAYNOR: A dragon scale, dear, a red dragon scale.

ARON: You knew?

GAYNOR: Yes. She transmuted right after birth. Scared the midwife shitless. She had to take some tonic to calm herself down. But she convinced herself she was hallucinating anyway.

ARON: And it never occurred to you to tell me?

GAYNOR: I thought I was hallucinating too. I never expected she would transmute once again. I have always had this feeling that neither I or the midwife was hallucinating that day but I didn’t want to sound crazy. Now, we know for sure.

ARON: But how?

GAYNOR: I think I know. I ate an ostrich omelette 9 months before giving birth to Rhi. I always wondered if ostriches lay their eggs in caves, now I think it was a dragon egg.

ARON: Oh yeah, the egg. (NODS) So, what is Rhi?

GAYNOR: Magic, dear. Rhi is magic! (TUGS HIS HAND)

THE RED DRAGON CIRCLES IN THE AIR FOR A LITTLE WHILE THEN FLIES OFF AND DISAPPEARS ON THE HORIZON.

ARON: (LOOKS UP) Where is she going? Should I go find her?

GAYNOR: She will be alright. Besides, you wouldn’t know where to look. Let’s get our boy home. (BENDS DOWN AND TRYING TO LIFE RHYS’ BODY UP)

ARON: (BENDS DOWN AND HELPS GAYNOR TO LIFT RHYS’ BODY UP ONTO A HORSE) Let’s go home.

BLACK-OUT

ACT II SCENE 6

MERERID WALKS IN A DARK CAVE WITH A TORCH IN HER HAND. SHE SEES RHIANNON IN HUMAN FORM LYING UNDER THE WING OF TARRAN THE MOTHER DRAGON.

MERERID: Tarran, you called.

TARRAN: Mererid, this is my daughter. I saw her cross over and led her here. She is as beautiful as you described.

MERERID: Ay, she is as pure as beautiful.

TARRAN: Her human clothes were torn when she transmuted.

MERERID: I brought some clothes you asked for Rhiannon. Arthur gave me these.

TARRAN: Are they?

MERERID: Yes, they are. Oh and let me make a fire to warm her up.

TARRAN: Look after her. I’m going to forge a new set of clothes for her.

MERERID: Of course. And I will enchant the clothes to make them always fit.

TARRAN FLYS OFF. MERERID GATHERS SOME TWIGS AND WOOD AND STARTS A FIRE NEXT TO RHIANNON TRYING TO WARM HER UP. RHIANNON IS SLOWLY WAKING UP.

RHIANNON: Where is this? Mererid? Is that you?

MERERID: (TURNS AROUND) Rhiannon, you are awake. Welcome to Avalon! I told you we would meet again.

RHIANNON: Avalon? The island that Morgan brought Arthur after the battle of Camlann?

MERERID: Ay, one and the same. Are you warming up, my dear?

RHIANNON: (LOOKS DOWN AND SEES STEAM RISING FROM HER BODY) I’m naked! How on earth? (LOOKS SHOCKED AND COVERS HERSELF WITH HER ARMS) But yeah, I’m feeling warmer, thanks for the fire.

MERERID: It’s no trouble. If I put clothes on you when you were still wet, you’d get a lot colder a lot faster. Now you are dry, here, put these nice dry clothes on. The air is cold, they should keep you warm in this weather. Do you remember how you got here?

RHIANNON: (PUTS THE CLOTHES ON AND TOUCHES HER HEAD) A bit fuzzy, but, I, uh, I’m not sure. It doesn’t make any sense.

MERERID: (ADDING MORE WOOD TO THE PILE) No, but do go on anyway.

RHIANNON: Was it a dream? Or was it real? I couldn’t tell anymore. My senses dumbfound me. If it was a dream, it was so vivid. I dreamt I was flying in midair while the earth burned beneath me. It felt so real it was palpable.

MERERID: It wasn’t a dream. You were flying. That’s how you got here. No one ordinary can cross over Morgan’s mist. You are the red dragon.

RHIANNON: The red dragon? You mean literally that I’m a dragon? Oh no! That can’t be true.

MERERID: (LIGHTS UP A TORCH FROM THE FIRE AND POINTS IT AT THE BACK OF THE CAVE) Look behind you.

RHIANNON: (WALKS TO THE BACK OF THE CAVE, COVERS HER MOUTH WITH HER HANDS IN ASTONISHMENT) Are these?

MERERID: Ay, animal carcasses, mostly sheep and cattle. All that flying takes a lot of energy, you were hungry.

RHIANNON: It starts to come back to me, yes, I think I remember some parts of what happened. They are, um, quite fragmented. But if it was true then did I kill people? Coppers? I did, didn’t I?

MERERID: Indeed. But those murderous bastards killed your brother. I heard it on the radio. That’s probably what provoked you to change.

RHIANNON: You knew I could change form?

MERERID: I saw it when I first met you. You and the red dragon, you are one.

RHIANNON: (SHAKES HER HEAD IN DISBELIEF) No, no, no. Tell me this is all just a nightmare. It’s not supposed to happen like this.

MERERID: Supposed to?

RHIANNON: It was just a miners’ strike, that’s all. People might have gotten hurt but nobody was supposed to die, not like that. Not the coppers, not Rhys. O, Rhys, my poor brother! (BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS)

MERERID: My condolences. What happened to your brother was truly tragic and I understand it is a woeful time for you but you need to forgive yourself for it was not your fault. One way or another, everyone eventually dies. If it’s of any consolation, your brother did not die in vain. His death has woken the red dragon.

RHIANNON: But Mererid, I took those coppers’ lives. I burnt them alive right to the ground, untied their unfortunate souls and scattered them into the violent winds in all directions.

MERERID: So I heard, and both sides suffered great injuries. But child, life is but a fleeting dream. And their dreams ended when a bigger dream manifested itself into reality. It could not be helped. You had to burn the old down in order to make way for the new.

RHIANNON: What bigger dream?

MERERID: The foretold tale of the red dragon that will one day return and breathe life back to this land. My child, you are the bringer of new life, the harbinger of a new dawn. Turn your sorrows into strength, brace what’s yet to come, we still have much to do.

RHIANNON: To do what, Mererid?

MERERID: What were your brother’s last words?

RHIANNON: (PUTS HER HAND ON HER FOREHEAD) I remember he said, fight on.

MERERID: And that’s what we shall do.

RHIANNON: Fight with what? They have guns and cannons and what not!

MERERID: You. You are a dragon, remember? You will be the instrument of the creator, the voice of the people, and the guardian of millenniums to come.

RHIANNON: But I’m back in human form and I’m not sure I can do it again.

MERERID: You can and you will. In time, you will get better at it, but you need practice. I imagine a new body that size must be quite disorientating to control and get used to.

RHIANNON: But how do you know?

MERERID: I’ve done it before. Once, a long time ago.

RHIANNON: Wait, you mean this has happened before?

MERERID: Ay, I trained the dragon named Tarran that laid the egg which became of you.

RHIANNON: I was hatched from an egg?

MERERID: Not quite, you were born to your mother after she consumed the egg. It was not her fault, she was foraging and came upon it. I guess it was fate. She must have thought it was a large bird egg of some sort.

RHIANNON: What happened to the other dragon Tarran? The one to whom I relate in blood?

MERERID: She’s here. She saw you flew in and brought me here.

RHIANNON: (EYES WIDE OPEN IN EXCITEMENT) She did?

MERERID: Ay, and she will help you learn the skills you need to manoeuvre your winged body. But before that, we need to see the King.

RHIANNON: The King? Do you mean THE King? Arthur Pendragon?

MERERID: (NODS) Ay, that Arthur it is.

RHIANNON: So Arthur lived?

MERERID: Arthur never died.

RHIANNON: Really? All this time! How?

MERERID: After Arthur was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann, Morgan took him here and healed him using the Holy Grail.

RHIANNON: The one he retrieved from Annwn.

MERERID: Ay, the fountain of youth, happiness and eternal abundance.

RHIANNON: So he looks…

MERERID: Ay, handsome as a man can be. A crown of golden, two pools of blue and a body chiselled out of the purest diamond.

RHIANNON: Can’t wait to see him!

MERERID: He can’t wait to see you either. Didn’t want to intrude while you slept so he told me to inform him as soon as you are awake.

RHIANNON: That’s great! I’m ready!

MERERID: Grand! Shall we go now?

RHIANNON: Lead the way!

BLACK-OUT

ACT III

ACT III SCENE 1

RHIANNON FOLLOWS MERERID OUT OF THE CAVE. IT’S DARK OUTSIDE BUT IT’S BRIGHTLY LIT BY A MYRIAD OF BIOLUMINESCENT FLORA AND FAUNA EMITTING A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOURS. RHIANNON HAS NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE SO AND LOOKS AT EVERYTHING WITH GREAT FASCINATION.

RHIANNON: Cor blimey! This must be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. I have a great imagination but this place, oh my, I would never even dream of such a miraculous place even if I wanted to.

MERERID: Ay! This is truly a beautiful place. Look up, see the undulating mist in the sky? You may be able to see it better during the day. That is the mist separates this world from outside.

RHIANNON: Yes, I can see the mist. Like a floating liquid opal against the velvet dark blue sky, absolutely breathtaking! This is indeed otherworldly!

MERERID: Ay, everything’s appreciated, looked after and well preserved. The island is self-sufficient, the land produces all things of itself. No deforestation, no industrial farming, no factories. But one thing very special is forged here. Can you guess?

RHIANNON: Forged, eh? Could it be the Excalibur?

MERERID: Clever girl! Yes, it was forged here, with ‘take me up’ and ‘cast me away’ on either side of the blade.

RHIANNON: Fascinating! I heard it cuts through iron like wood.

MERERID: Ay. And whoever wears the scabbard shall not bleed…

RHIANNON: Mererid, look! Are they?

MERERID: Winged unicorns.

RHIANNON: They are glowing in some kind of pearl dust, how beautiful!

THE UNICORNS SEEM TO RECOGNIZE RHIANNON AND RUN STRAIGHT TOWARD HER.

Hello, you beauties. Hang on…

MERERID: They look familiar?

RHIANNON: Yes, they do. They remind me of… No! Are they?

MERERID: Ay, they are. They are in their true form here but they change when they cross over so they appear more… (TWIRLING HER FINGER IN THE AIR)

RHIANNON: Ordinary?

MERERID: That’s the word. (NODS)

RHIANNON: So it’s like camouflage in the natural world, a self-preservation mechanism from the predators.

MERERID: Ay, the world is cruel out there.

RHIANNON: I understand. But you can still see their true form when you cross over, like you can see mine, right?

MERERID: Ay. Why don’t you pick some apples and feed them? We have plenty of apple trees here. Look! (POINTS UP)

RHIANNON: Oh wow! These apples are all glowing and they all look different, in one tree alone!

MERERID: Ay, try one, they all taste great! The pink ones are my favourite!

RHIANNON: (PICKS A FEW APPLES OFF THE TREE BRANCH AND LITTLE SPARKLES LIGHT UP WHERE THE APPLES BREAK OFF THE TREE) Magical! Here girls, one for you each and one for me. (HANDS APPLES TO THE UNICORNS AND CHEWS ON A PINK ONE HERSELF) Oh my, these are exceptional! Sweet, crisp and juicy!

MERERID: Good yes? You will never go hungry here, there’re plenty more. (POINTS FORWARD) We are almost there!

RHIANNON: I think I see it! There! (POINTS AT AN GLOWING STRICTURE AMIDST THE FOREST) Is that the place?

MERERID: Ay! Sharp eyesight you have. The Golden Pavilion, looks artificial but it is entirely a wonder of nature, made of thirteen species of trees: birch, rowan, ash, alder, willow, hawthorn, oak, holly, hazel, vine, ivy, reed, and elder.

RHIANNON: The sacred Celtic trees? Where fairies and spirits abide.

MERERID: Ay! You know much for your age, lass. The thirteen trees are linked with the Celtic thirteen lunar months, hence the tree calendar.

RHIANNON: I’m an ivy, my brother was a birch.

MERERID: Makes sense! Your brother was driven to achieve and you are able to survive in almost any situation. You are the toughest of them all. (SMILES AND GESTURES) We are here!

RHIANNON: Amazing!

MERERID: Yes, the ivy, see them wrapping around the tree trunks? They are golden.

RHIANNON: On yeah! Like veins with liquid gold flowing inside!

MERERID: (BOWS IN FRONT OF A GROUP OF WOMEN) Sisters, I bring you the red dragon, Rhiannon. (LOOKS AT RHIANNON) Rhiannon, these are the nine sisters, rulers of Avalon, Morgan, Moronoe, Mazoe, Gliten, Glitonea, Gliton, Tyronoe, Thiten and Thiton.

MORGAN: (OPEN HER ARMS) Welcome to Avalon, Rhiannon! It’s wonderful to finally you. Mererid and the unicorns spoke highly of you. (SMILES)

RHIANNON: Very nice to meet you too! The unicorns? They speak?

MORGAN: To me, yes.

RHIANNON: We fed them on our way here. They look stunning here.

MORGAN: Yes, indeed. Life thrives on this island, and you shall too! Before we take you to see Arthur, we would like you to drink this wine, made from grape harvest on this very island. (HANDS RHIANNON WINE IN THE HOLY GRAIL).

RHIANNON: But I’m not worthy. (SHAKES HER HEAD)

MORGAN: Don’t hesitate, chosen one. Let us be the judge of your worthiness. What do you say, sisters?

ALL SISTERS: Rhiannon is worth every drop.

MORGAN: There, drink it.

RHIANNON: (LOOKS AT MERERID) Should I?

MERERID: Yes. It will help you overcome grief and get on with your tasks. You will feel better and stronger, trust me!

RHIANNON: Ok. (DRINKS THE WINE FROM THE HOLY GRAIL AND FEELS INSTANTLY ENERGIZED) The dark clouds of grief scattered as soon as this magic liquid went down my throat.

MORGAN: Come, Rhiannon. Come with us!

RHIANNON FOLLOWS MORGAN TO THE BACK OF THE CIRCULAR PAVILION. ARTHUR AND MANY LUMINATIOUS KNIGHT LIKE APPARITIONS ARE SITTING AT THE TABLE TALKING. THEY SEE MORGAN AND RHIANNON ARRIVE, ALL TURN TOWARD THEM.

Arthur, this is Rhiannon, the red dragon.

KNIGHTS: Oooo, look, the girl! She’s Tarran’s daughter.

ARTHUR: Welcome! Rhiannon Drago, daughter of Tarran. You are awake!

KNIGHTS: Welcome! Rhiannon! She is beautiful! She is divine! She is perfect!

RHIANNON: (CURTSY AND LOOKS UP IN ADMIRATION) Thank you! It’s an honour to meet you, Your Highness. You are just like Mererid described.

ARTHUR: Oh? Mererid. What were her words?

RHIANNON: A crown of golden, two pools of blue and a body chiselled out of the purest diamond.

ARTHUR: That was kind of her, flattering too. I am grateful. I see the dress fits you well.

RHIANNON: Yes, Your Highness. Mererid gave me the dress and shawl, they keep me warm.

ARTHUR: Call me Arthur. The pleasure is all mine. The clothes were my mother’s, they were kept in perfect condition.

RHIANNON: Oh gosh, I wouldn’t want to damage them. (TRIES TO TAKE THEM OFF)

ARTHUR: No, keep them on. (RAISES HIS HAND AND TOUCHES RHIANNON’S, TAKES IT OFF) They couldn’t look better on another soul. Besides, no one here needs them so they are yours now. Mother would have agreed with me.

RHIANNON: Thank you, Arthur. I appreciate it.

ARTHUR: You are most welcome! You are the first mortal to cross over the mist.

KNIGHTS: That’s not entirely true, she’s the daughter of a dragon.

ARTHUR: Yes indeed, she’s a demigod, half beast, half human, all fair, absolutely magical, utterly enthralling.

RHIANNON: (BLUSHES AND LOOKS DOWN) Oh, I’m not that special.

KNIGHTS: Everyone is special but she is the fairest of them all.

ARTHUR: She is, she undoubtedly is. Too fair for words.

RHIANNON: Arthur, what are the talking phantoms? Are they ghosts of the knights?

ARTHUR: (SMILES) Them? Yes, they are Knights of the Round Table, spirits from the Otherworld. They come and go freely. Don’t mind them, they haven’t seen a mortal for a very long time and are naturally curious.

RHIANNON: Of course, I’ve heard of the Otherworld and I am curious in equal measures.

KNIGHTS: Come, Rhiannon, come with us. We will entertain you with otherworldly delights.

ARTHUR: Begone! Tempting her no more. The hour is late and we have much to talk about, alone!

EVERYONE: Yes sire. (LEAVE ORDERLY AND QUIETLY)

ARTHUR: Now, it’s only you and I. Sit. (POINTING AT THE SEAT NEXT TO HIS AT THE ROUND TABLE)

RHIANNON: But Arthur, I’m not a knight.

ARTHUR: The table is round and the title is immaterial. Sit.

RHIANNON: (SITS) Thank you.

ARTHUR: Mererid told me you had a head wound. Let me see. (REACHES OUT HIS HAND AND STROKE RHIANNON’S HAIR)

RHIANNON: (TOUCHES WHERE THE WOUND WAS) Here.

ARTHUR: (TOUCHES WHERE HER HAND IS AND INSPECTS) It’s gone. You are good as new. The Holy Grail worked.

RHIANNON: (TOUCHES THE SPOT OF THE WOUND AND SMILES) Yes, I think so.

ARTHUR: Perfect. (NODS) The world out there is unpredictable and cruel, but now, you will be ok.

RHIANNON: Will I be seeing Tarran soon?

ARTHUR: Yes! You will be pleased when you see her. She has a surprise for you.

ARTHUR: Mmm, come. (STANDS UP, GESTURES RHIANNON TO FOLLOW AND LEADS HER TO HER BED CHAMBER) The sisters prepared it for you. I hope it’s to your liking. It’s late, get some sleep and I will see you in the morning. If you need anything, ring the bell on the nightstand.

RHIANNON: Thank you, Arthur! For everything. And… (GRABS ARTHUR’S HAND AND KISSED HIM ON HIS LIPS)

ARTHUR: (KISSES HER BACK) I am spellbound.

RHIANNON: Come!

ARTHUR: Not tonight, but I will, soon.

RHIANNON: Then I shall wait while thinking of you.

ARTHUR: I will too. Night, my love! A thousand kisses until I see your beautiful face again!

ARTHUR SMILES, NODS AND WALKS OFF. BLACK-OUT.

ACT III SCENE 2

RHIANNON WAKES UP IN A SILK NIGHTDRESS IN A BED OF FLOWERS. THE SUN IS OUT AND THE AIR IS WARM. SHE IS SURROUNDED BY A CURTAIN MADE OF PEARLS. SHE HEARS A DRAGON ROAR, GENTLY OPENS THE CURTAIN AND SEES TARRAN.

TARRAN: Morning, Rhiannon. My beautiful child!

RHIANNON: Tarran? Oh wow, I can understand you! You are Tarran, the great red dragon, the one whose blood flows in my veins?

TARRAN: Yes, my child.

RHIANNON: Come closer!

TARRAN WALKS UP TO RHIANNON. RHIANNON REACHES OUT HER HANDS AND TOUCHES TARRAN.

Mother! (EMBRACES TARRAN)

TARRAN: Daughter! I’ve waited forever for this moment!

RHIANNON: I never knew about you. I know I already have a human mother but I wish I had known of you earlier.

TARRAN: Me too! I asked Mererid to watch over you since you were born.

RHIANNON: Thank you, ma! A lot of things start to make sense now. (NODS)

TARRAN: I brought you something.

RHIANNON: Yes? What is it?

TARRAN: A suit that you can wear when you are in human form. I forged it in dragon fire and no mortal weapon can pierce it. Mererid enchanted it so they won’t tear like normal clothes. Look! (MOVES HER WING A LITTLE AND REVEALS A SUIT UNDERNEATH THAT IS MADE OF DRAGON SCALES IN A LUMINATIOUS SPECTRUM OF COLOURS)

RHIANNON: Wow, this looks amazing, ma! Thank you so much!

ARTHUR: And this goes perfectly with your new attire! (WALKS UP TO RHIANNON HOLDING EXCALIBUR IN ITS SCABBARD)

RHIANNON: Arthur! Morning!

THEY EMBRACE EACH OTHER

ARTHUR: Morning, my love! You look divine under the gentle sunlight! (LOOKS UP AT TARRAN) Morning, Tarran! Glad to see you finally met your gorgeous daughter.

TARRAN: Morning, Arthur! Yes, this is the happiest day of my life.

ARTHUR: (LOOKS AT RHIANNON) And trust me, Tarran has an exceptionally long life. Come on, put your new clothes on and strap on the Excalibur! Let’s have a look!

RHIANNON: But Arthur, the Excalibur is yours. I couldn’t possibly…

ARTHUR: Yes, you can. (NODS) And I will teach you how to wield it. Put them on and we will wait for you in the grand hall.

RHIANNON: Ok.

RHIANNON WALKS BEHIND A GIANT MOTHER OF PEARL SCREEN, PUTS THE DRAGON SUIT ON, STRAPS ON THE EXCALIBUR AND WALKS TO THE GRAND HALL.

ARTHUR: Look at you! Wow. I am lost for words!

TARRAN: My daughter, my flesh and blood, beauty wrapped in an armour of fire.

ARTHUR: The red dragon scales of the suit and the red leather of the scabbard go together flawlessly.

MORGAN: And each of our sisters would like to adorn your suit with a gift of ours.

RHIANNON: Morgan, and everyone! Thank you so much! I don’t know what to say!

SISTERS: Say nothing! No words are needed! You are made of magic, and nothing less shall befit. Here, we present chest and back armours, arm and shin guards, a pair of boots and a helmet to match. Nine pieces in total, each an enchanted marvel, made of the toughest elements from distant stars.

KNIGHTS: Look! The beautiful Rhiannon! Charming! Graceful! Mezmomesing! Poetry in flesh, divinity in motion!

ARTHUR: And a whole universe in her eyes!

KNIGHTS: Sire, the suit is majestic and the armours spectacular! Striking! Dazzling! Stunning! Most befitting, for a warrior queen!

ARTHUR: Warrior queen indeed! (NODS) Tarran, may I ask for your daughter’s hand?

TARRAN: With my blessings!

ARTHUR: Come, Rhiannon, my love! (OPENS HIS ARMS TO RHIANNON)

RHIANNON WALKS UP TO ARTHUR AND THEY EMBRACE.

ACT III SCENE 3

DEEP IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST, AT THE ALTAR OF THE CRYSTAL TEMPLE, THE HANDFASTING CEREMONY COMMENCES. IN A CIRCLE CREATED WITH FLOWERS, BOUGHS OF WOOD, HOPS AND SHEAVES OF CORN, RHIANNON IS DAZZLING IN A RED DRESS WITH A GOLDEN CROWN STANDING NEXT TO TARRAN. ARTHUR IN A GOLDEN ROBE AND MATCHING CROWN STANDING OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE BY THE GATEWAY WITH THE SISTERS AND KNIGHTS BEHIND THEM.

MORGAN: (TURNS TO FOUR DIRECTIONS AND MAKE THE CALL FOR PEACE)Let there be peace in the East, so let it be. Let there be peace in the South, so let it be. Let there be peace in the West, so let it be. Let there be peace in the North, so let it be. Let there be peace through all the Worlds. So let it be. We gather here in peace for this sacred occasion that is the first Rite of Marriage between Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon. As our Circle is woven and consecrated, this moment in time and this place become blessed. Let each soul truly be here that the spirits of those gathered may be blended in one sacred space, with one purpose and one voice.

SISTERS: (CONSECRATE AND BLESS THE WOVEN CIRCLE WITH INCENSE AND WATER. HONOUR THE SPIRITS OF FOUR DIRECTIONS) Let us call to the spirits of the four quarters of our world, that this rite be blessed by the powers of all Creation. Spirits of the North, powers of winter, guardians of earth and stone, strength of badger, who you teach us of love and loyalty, great bear of the starry skies, my Lady of the sacred womb, the rich soil of creation, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour thee. Witness and bless this rite. Hail and welcome! Spirits of the East, powers of spring, of conception, regeneration, vision of falcon and blackbird’s song, swallows’ freedom flight, sylphs of the wind, breath of life, my Lord of the rising sun and all new life, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour thee. Witness and bless this rite. Hail and welcome! Spirits of the South, powers of summer, pride of stag and fire wit of fox, dragons of the land, sprites of the dancing flame, you who teach us of courage and the power of truth, my Lord of the wild Greenwood, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour thee. Witness and bless this rite. Hail and welcome! Spirits of the West, powers of autumn, cat who stretches to hunt at dusk, wisdom of salmon and otter’s play, undines of chuckling brook, devas that dance our love and emotion, my Lady of the Seas, tides of being, I ask that you honour this our Circle as we honour thee. Witness and bless this rite. Hail and welcome! Hail spirits, you of beauty, power and inspiration, of the high skies that guide us to stretch and grow; you of the dark earth that holds and feeds us; you of the open seas that wash the shores of our sacred lands; you who offer us freedom, nourishment and rebirth. As our ancestors knew and honoured your power, so do we now.

RHIANNON AND TARRAN APPROACH

MORGAN: Who is it brings this fair maid to be wed this day?

TARRAN: I do.

MORGAN: Then let it be done.

TARRAN GUIDES RHIANNON TO HER PLACE BESIDE ARTHUR AT THE EDGE OF THE CIRCLE.

MORGAN: We gather together on this the fifteenth of December, the fourth day of the Long Night’s Moon, in the year 1910, in the eye of the Sun and upon this hallowed Earth, to witness this sacred Rite of Marriage between Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon, a rite that is a Blessing of their precious union. To know where we have come to, let us honour what and whom have brought us to this place. In the name of our gods and the gods of our ancestors, we give thanks for all those who have shared with us their lives, their wisdom and their love. On this sacred day of their wedding, we give thanks especially for the blessings bequeathed to Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon by their ancestors of blood and spirit, both those newly departed and those of old. We honour in particular the Couple’s Parents, ancestors present in this rite in body and in spirit. Acknowledging all that has been given, the sacred gift of life, the hardest lessons taught through love and tears, the bond you share and the individuals that you are, let these ancestors too be honoured at this time.

RHIANNON AND ARTHUR PRESENT GIFTS TO TARRAN

MORGAN: We call too to the spirits of the lands of their birth. (TO RHIANNON AND ARTHUR) You have brought with you this day offerings of the earth, herbs and fruits, from the landscapes of your childhood. Would you now place them upon the altar, with any other symbols and gifts you have brought, as a mark of your respect for your blood ancestors and for the spirits of those lands that nourished you and still nourish your families.

RHIANNON AND ARTHUR PLACE THE ITEMS AT THE ALTAR

MORGAN: Ancestors, know what is done. With thanks we bid you, hail and welcome! Let each person gathered here now call into this sacred rite, in this consecrated place, the powers that we know to be sources of love and inspiration. Let us take a moment to attune to this Presence that we may bring ourselves fully to the importance of this time and place. Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon, do you come to this place of your own free will?

RHIANNON: I do.

ARTHUR: I do.

MORGAN: Let us honour the four directions of our world, that their blessings may be brought to this couple.

RHIANNON AND ARTHUR ARE TAKEN AROUND THE CIRCLE TO EACH OF THE QUARTERS.

MORGAN: Spirits of the east, spirits of air, let us feel your breath! Through times of uncertainty, through winds of change, will you still love and honour each other.

RHIANNON: I will.

ARTHUR: I will.

MORGAN: Then may you be blessed by the powers of the east. May together you find the freedom of flight in the clear mountain air, may your marriage be reborn with each new dawn. Spirits of the south, spirits of fire, let us feel your power! Through the flames of passion, and when the fires burn low, will you still love and honour each other?

RHIANNON: I will.

ARTHUR: I will.

MORGAN: Then may you be blessed by the powers of the south. May together you dance the road of courage and vitality. May your home be filled with warmth. Spirits of the west, spirits of water, let us feel your flowing energy! Through the white water currents and deep still pools of emotion, will you still love and honour each other?

RHIANNON: I will.

ARTHUR: I will.

MORGAN: Then may you be blessed by the powers of the west. May together you weave and blend your desires, flowing with the beauty of the ocean tides. May your life together be filled with love. Spirits of the north, spirits of earth, let us feel your certainty! Through times of cold restriction, when problems seem immovable, will you still love and honour each other?

RHIANNON: I will.

ARTHUR: I will.

MORGAN: Then may you be blessed by the powers of the earth. May together you root in sweet fertile soil, that your union may grow strong. May your lives together be rich with that fertility and its perfect fruitfulness.

AT THE ALTAR, THE LOVERS’ HANDS ARE TIED WITH THE LENGTH OF A CLOTH MADE OF SILK.

MORGAN: At sacred times and places, our ancestors clasped hands when they would wed, and such handfastings witnessed by the gods and the community were lawful, true and binding, as love binds one heart to another. Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon, are you ready to declare your vows to each other, vows that will bind you together, soul to soul, heart to heart, joining the bloodlines of your ancestors and those of your descendants, witnessed by those who have gathered here this day, in spirit and in body, in this sacred Circle?

RHIANNON: I am.

ARTHUR: I am.

MORGAN: All things in nature are circular. Night becomes day, day leads into night which again gives way to day. Moon waxes and wanes, and waxes again. There is Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, then Spring returns again. These are the flowing rhythms of the Cycle of Existence. Yet in the Centre of the Circle is the stillness of the Source, eternal and brilliant. Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon, do you bring with you this day your symbols of these mysteries of life?

BOTH: We do.

MORGAN: Then be they blessed in the name of the old gods of our land, for they are an outward sign and a sacred reminder of your commitment witnessed here this day.

THE RINGS ARE BLESSED, CONSECRATED AND PLACED ON THE ALTAR.

MORGAN: As the sun and moon bring light to the Earth, do you, Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon, vow to bring the light of love and joy to this your union?

RHIANNON: I do.

ARTHUR: I do.

MORGAN TAKES THE WEDDING CANDLE, BLESSES AND CONSECRATES IT.

MORGAN: Do you vow to honour each other as you honour that which you hold most sacred?

RHIANNON: I do.

ARTHUR: I do.

THE LOVERS’ HANDS ARE UNTIED, THE CLOTH IS PLACED ON THE ALTAR AND THEY EXCHANGE VOWS. THE WEDDING STONE IS BLESSED AND CONSECRATED.

MORGAN: This sacred Earth is our home. It offers us the power of life, nourishing us, body and soul, holding us from birth until we let go once more into the worlds of spirit. Each rock and stone, each pebble and gem contains within it the stories of all time. You have chosen this stone together as a foundation stone of your marriage from this point on. Do you now swear upon it, as a symbol of this sacred land and our holy Mother Earth, to keep your vows?

RHIANNON AND ARTHUR PLACE THEIR HANDS ON THE STONE MORGAN HOLDS.

BOTH: We swear.

MORGAN: Then let the Earth bear witness that Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon are joined in love and joy and freedom. So let it be!

BOTH: So let it be!

MORGAN: Would you now take the gifts of your birthlands and, mixing them together, offer them to the spirits of the land upon which you make your vows, this land that is now your home.

THE LOVERS MIX THE GIFTS AND POUR ONTO THE GROUND BENEATH THEIR FEET.

MORGAN: Let your vows be sealed with a kiss.

THE LOVERS KISS AND ARE SHOWERED IN CONFETTI PETALS AND GAINS OF LOVE AND FERTILITY.

Let all bear witness that Arthur Pendragon and Rhiannon Drago are joined in love as Husband and Wife. Through their marriage, witnessed and blessed, may their love partake of the beauty, majesty and power of this sacred Earth. My own blessing, and the blessings of all those assembled here be with you. The blessings of your gods and the gods of your ancestors be with you. The blessings of the ancestors be with you. With you and with all that comes of your union. So let it be! Mother Earth, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors, we give you thanks. You nourish us body and soul with your gifts of beauty and abundance. As you honour us with precious life, so may we honour you. Father Sky, in the name of our gods, the gods of our land and of our ancestors, we give you thanks. Light of the sun and blessings of rain fall upon the body of our Mother, bring forth her gifts. As you honour us with your blessings, so may we honour you.

THE LOVERS BREAK BREAD AND POUR MEAD TO THE EARTH, THEIR ANCESTORS AND EACH OTHER. THEY TAKE THE LOAVES AND HORN AROUND THE CIRCLE AND SHARE WITH ALL PRESENT.

MORGAN: The rite of Marriage is complete.

THE LOVERS JOIN THE CIRCLE.

Before our ceremony ends and we return to the worlds beyond, let us form the Circle of all Existences, that we might share in the joy that we have witnessed. Let us lift our thoughts to the powers that offer us life and inspiration, knowing that the gifts of beauty and love received in this rite are ours to share, as blessings of healing, protection and abundance, for this sacred planet and all creatures that live upon her.

MORGAN JOINS THE CIRCLE FOR A MOMENT’S QUIET

May the world be filled with love, beauty and harmony.

ALL: So may it be.

MORGAN: The rite is complete. May our memories be rich with it. Let us thank the powers of nature for their presence. Spirits of the north, great bear, mighty badger, loyal dog, spirits of earth, we give you thanks for the gifts of strength and endurance that you have brought to our Circle. My Lady of the womb, may your gifts remain with this couple from this day forward. Hail and farewell! Spirits of the west, hunting cat, wise salmon, laughing otter and wise frog, spirits of water, we give you thanks for the gifts of deep wisdom and free flowing that you have brought to our Circle. My Lady of the Seas, may your gifts remain with this couple from this day forward. Hail and farewell! Spirits of the south, proud stag, running fox, spirits of fire, we give you thanks for the gifts of passion and energy that you have brought to our Circle. My Lord of the Greenwood, may your gifts remain with this couple from this day forward. Hail and farewell! Spirits of the east, falcon, blackbird, eagle high, spirits of air, we give you thanks for the gifts of clarity and far sight that you have brought to our Circle. My Lord of the rising sun, may your gifts remain with this couple from this day forward. Hail and farewell! I give thanks to all those, both seen and unseen, who have gathered here today. May all be blessed, returning to their realms in peace. O Spirit of this Place, we give you thanks for your blessings. Hail, O ancestors, O great Gods of old, we give you thanks for your presence, your guidance and your inspiration. May these gifts remain with us as we bid you hail and farewell! Let the Circle be opened that these blessings be shared, and the feasting may begin. Blessed be, as blessed is.

THE CIRCLE IS UNWOVEN.

This celebration ends in peace as in peace it began. May the spirit of this rite and the blessings we have received go with us all as we depart this place, to nourish, strengthen and sustain us until we meet again. May the blessings of this rite nourish, strengthen and sustain Rhiannon Drago and Arthur Pendragon throughout their lives together. So let it be!

THE COUPLE LEAD THE WAY FROM THE CIRCLE, EVERYONE FOLLOWS AND MORGAN LEAVES LAST CLOSING THE CIRCLE.

Here ends this rite. Blessed be as blessed is!

BLACK-OUT

ACT III SCENE 4

SINCE THE RIOT AND RHYS’ DEATH, COLONEL CURREY WAS ORDERED TO DISPATCH A SQUADRON OF THE 18TH HUSSARS BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF 400 METROPOLITAN POLICE AND ONE COMPANY OF LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS. 90 POLICE OFFICERS AND 500 CITIZENS WERE INJURED. 13 MINERS FROM GILFACH GOCH WERE ARRESTED AND WAITING FOR THEIR TRIAL. THE PUBLIC ARE TALKING ABOUT THE RED DRAGON AND THE AUTHORITIES ARE ON HIGH ALERT.

RHIANNON: Ma, I did it! (CHANGES INTO DRAGON AND RETURNS TO HUMAN FORM EFFORTLESSLY)

TARRAN: Well done Rhi! You have mastered the art of shapeshifting. Merlin used to be an excellent shapeshifter.

RHIANNON: You knew Merlin?

TARRAN: Yes. He was a very knowledgeable warlord.

RHIANNON: I go to Carmarthen often and visit Merlin’s Oak sometimes. What became of Merlin?

MERERID: I trapped him in the crystal cave with his own magic.

RHIANNON: Mererid! Why?

MERERID: Long story short, great men are not without faults, they are only great in the tall tales told by the people who worship them.

RHIANNON: Yes, I understand. Behind every great man is a great spin doctor huh?

MERERID: Enough about that old pervert. I heard some news on the radio I thought you might like to know. They sent more troops after you left and transformed Tonypandy into a bloody military camp. The streets are filled with policemen and troops.

RHIANNON: Sounds like fear has driven the petrified men to overreact.

MERERID: Indeed. They arrested 13 miners from the riot. The men are in jail and waiting for their trail as we speak.

RHIANNON: O, the sacrificial lamb. Not so subtle are the hands of the bloody. 13, what an ominous number.

MERERID: On the bright side, there are tens of thousands of men trying to march and protest every day. Although they are denied entry to the town, they are holding mass meetings outside town and marching through the valley.

RHIANNON: I need to go back.

MERERID: But they are still on the lookout for you.

RHIANNON: And?

MERERID: And I’m coming with you. We are the only ones that can cross the mist without losing our magic.

ARTHUR: Take the Excalibur with you. (WALKS UP TO RHIANNON AND EMBRACES HER)

RHIANNON: Arthur! Sorry I have to leave.

ARTHUR: I understand my darling, your people await you. They need you.

RHIANNON: Yes. I will do my best and I hope I won’t let them down.

ARTHUR: You won’t, my darling! We are one, you shall wield my sword and speak my will, wherever you go, whatever you do, I’m right behind you.

MORGAN: I shall enchant their dreams and instruct them to follow the red dragon.

RHIANNON: That would be very helpful. Thank you, Morgan. Ok, we will leave tomorrow. Get ready, Mererid.

MERERID: Ay.

BLACK-OUT

ACT III SCENE 5

AFTER SAYING GOODBYE TO EVERYONE IN AVALON, RHIANNON GEARS UP AND LEAVES WITH MERERID.

MERERID: There Rhi, we are almost there. See the dark dots?

RHIANNON: Yes Mererid, I can see them.

MERERID: Remember what Morgan said?

RHIANNON: Yes, she delivered the message in their dreams. They will follow the red dragon.

MERERID: That’s right. Follow the red dragon. Let’s do a flyby and see if it works.

RHIANNON: Ok. Hold on fast, Mererid! (DIVE TO LOWER ALTITUDE AND FLYS OVER THE CROWD)

MERERID: (POINTING AT THE CROWD BENEATH) lOOK! I think they definitely saw you.

RHIANNON: It’s working, Mererid. I think they are following me.

MERERID: Yes, they are running after us. There are more people coming out of their homes and joining the running crowd.

RHIANNON: Good! Let’s follow our plan, let’s fly to Cardiff!

MERERID: (POINTS FORWARD) Lookout! What are those!

RHIANNON: Aeroplanes, they are aeroplanes, Mererid. I’m not sure if they will shoot us, hold on and don’t let go!

MERERID: Oh God! I am too old to be dodging bullets!

RHIANNON: Have you dodged bullets before?

MERERID: Of course not. I bumped into knifepoint from a thug once. I turned the knife into a twig, but that was a knife.

RHIANNON: Don’t worry, Mererid. I will protect you with my wings.

MERERID: (LOOKING BACK) I don’t think they will shoot us.

RHIANNON: What can you see?

MERERID: They seem to be following us from a distance, that’s all.

RHIANNON: Good, Morgan’s spell worked well. We are almost there. Hold on steady.

THE RED DRAGON LANDS IN A LARGE OPEN FIELD. MERERID GETS OFF AND RHIANNON CHANGED INTO HER HUMAN FORM. CROWDS START TO GATHER.

RHIANNON: My fellow countrymen! My name is Rhiannon, I am the red dragon.

CROWD: The red dragon! It’s the red dragon from our dreams! He’s a she?

GAYNOR: Rhi, is that you?

ARON: Rhi! (WAVING AT RHIANNON)

RHIANNON: Ma, da!

SARAH: Rhi, you are back! We wondered where you went.

RHIANNON: Ay, Long story, but I’m back and I missed you guys!

EMRYS: We brought out all our horses and have been riding all the way, following the red dragon here.

RRAN: The coppers arrested 13 of our men. They are still in jail waiting for their trial.

RHIANNON: I know, Bran. That’s why I’m here.

SARAH: What’s that, Rhi? A sword? (POINTING AT THE EXCALIBUR)

RHIANNON: (WALKS TO A HIGHER GROUND, PULLS OUT THE SWORD AND HOLDS IT IN THE AIR) People! I brought the Excalibur, given by your gracious, just and merciful king, Arthur Pendragon.

MERERID: (ENUNCIATE) Standing before you, Rhiannon Pendragon, the red dragon, wife of Arthur Pendragon, vessel of the living prophecy, wielder of the Excalibur!

THE APPARITION OF RHYS APPEARS

MINERS: Rhys! It’s Rhys!

RHYS: My fellow hard-working men and women. I have crossed over. Be not weighed down by the sorrows of my untimely death but united under the leadership of Rhiannon, fight on and accept nothing less than what your dignity affords.

BRAN: (KNEEL) Hail, Rhiannon, the red dragon, wife of Arthur Pendragon, wielder of Excalibur, vessel of the living prophecy, queen of the people.

CROWD: (ALL KNEEL) Hail, the red dragon! Hail, wielder of Excalibur! Hail, queen of the people!

RHIANNON: All rise! Today is the day! With your pledging, together we shall bring down tyranny and bring forth concord.

CROWD: (CHEERING WITH EXCITEMENT) The legend is true! The red dragon has returned!

MEDIA START TO GATHER, JOURNALISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS HURRYING TO GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION.

BBC: Hello Rhiannon, this is BBC news correspondent. What message would you like to pass on to the current people in power?

RHIANNON: Power resides within the people. They can entrust you with the power of governing and they can take it away. Your senseless disregard of your people’s lives has betrayed their trust and deemed yourself unfit to govern. Give up when you still can before I send you all to hell with the wrath of an angry god.

BBC: Be a good ruler or let them rule themselves. Interesting comment from a female miner Rhiannon Drago, the sister of the recently deceased miners’ leader Rhys Drago who died of a fatal gunshot during the Tonypandy Riot. Would the bulldog want to fight the dragon? Our analysts suggest probably not. BBC news.

BLACK-OUT

ACT III SCENE 6

CROWD IS GETTING LARGER AND LARGER AROUND RHIANNON. NIGHT TIME ARRIVES AND TORCHES LIGHT UP EVERYWHERE.

SARAH: Rhi, look at the turnout! Everyone wants to see the red dragon! I’ve never seen so many people in my life!

RHIANNON: Ay, people are waking up. Interesting that the coppers never tried to come and get me as I’m standing right here in front of them.

EMRYS: They wouldn’t dare now, after witnessing what you did to their toasted mates.

BRAN: They are probably ordered to stand down and wait for further instructions like dogs.

GAYNOR: London’s panicking no doubt.

ARON: Lass, what shall we do? Are we gonna wait for London’s response?

RHIANNON: No, da! We were waiting for the people to gather, not London’s response.

MERERID: Remember what Arthur said, you are the queen, you make the decisions in the best interest of the people.

RHIANNON: Ay, we take what is ours and we wait for no one. It’s time!

EMRYS ACCOMPANIES A GOVERNMENT DELEGATE INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE CIRCLE.

EMRYS: Wait! Rhi, London just sent a message to us. This guy Mr Frank Davis is here to relate it to you.

DAVIS: Home Secretary Mr Churchill on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Queen would like to invite you to a meeting tomorrow at the earliest hour of your convenience.

RHIANNON: Thank you, Mr Davis. Now run back and inform your overlords that Rhiannon said she will have a sit down with whoever in charge after she’s done what needed to be done. Now get out of the way! (BRUSH THE MESSENGER ASIDE)

THE MESSENGER FALLS BACKWARDS AND TRIPS OVER HIMSELF. THE PAPERS FROM HIS FOLDER FLY EVERYWHERE. RHIANNON WALKS OVER HIM AND TREADS ON HIS PAPERS STAMPED WITH GOVERNMENT SEALS.

RHIANNON: All my people, listen up!

CROWD QUIET DOWN AND EVERYONE HAS GOT THEIR EYES ON RHIANNON.

This pathetic little man collecting his papers on the ground told me his masters would like to have a sit down with me.

CROWD: Boo!

RHIANNON: Yeah, that’s right! Where were you when we were willing? Now it’s too late! I am not going to London, or negotiate with anyone. I am right here where my people need me and we will do it our way!

CROWD: (CHEERING) Yeah!!!!!

RHIANNON: With everyone here as our witness and cameras from all corners of the world, London, are you listening? World, are you listening?

ALL THE CAMERA CREWS GET BUSY POINTING THEIR CAMERAS AT RHIANNON AND START FLASHING AWAY.

We the people, are henceforth independent and self-governing, by the order of the red dragon!

CROWD: (BOIL) Huzzah!

RHIANNON: This land belongs to who? (RAISES HER HANDS IN THE AIR)

CROWD: Us!

RHIANNON: Says who?

CROWD: By the order of the red dragon! By the order of the red dragon! By the order of the red dragon!

CURTAIN

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 Et Imperatrix Noctem
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