By the Order of the Red Dragon

ACT III

By the Order of the Red Dragon

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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