CHARACTERS IN THE SCENE:
WILSON: An Independent Investigator from France. Sent over by the King of France to investigate Medi.
LIA: From Albion, friendly but rule-breaking.
SOMMERS: The King of Albion’s Court Jester/Fool/Close Friend.
ATTENDANT 1: Attendant in Albion Castle.
ARTHUR: Wilson’s guide.
King Bors’ Castle
Wilson: An honour to serve the King’s they say; but what answer can be brought from something so small?
[Enter Lia, dressed as maid]
I see no means for my services here, but as I promised my own Royal, I suppose my job I must do to win his favour. I just wish that it could have been a different challenge. It is not going to be easy telling the result towards the end of my venture. Twill be hard work. Much hard work which I must consider gravely if I am going to make the correct choice. Ah! But how it will be done I cannot fathom.
Lia: You sound much afraid of hard work, stranger.
Wilson: Oh! You startled me so. I did not see anybody around this area.
Lia: Do not fear, I have only just entered. I happen’d to catch onto the last words you were saying, tis all. You are here for reasons I presume.
Wilson: Important reasons, tis true. I come to seek out the truth for the Albion King. Truth is a virtue.
Lia: And occasionally a curse upon our sanity.
Wilson: You do not agree with truth, young maid?
Lia: I do agree with truth, and I do agree with lies. The context has to be right in order for it to be reasonable. Why sir, have you ne’er lied before?
Wilson: I have, much to my shame.
Lia: Ah, I feel no shame when I know it has been right.
Wilson: Then it is to be taken that you have lied before?
Lia: As have we all. But occasionally, yes, I have bent the truth for the happiness of my Father. If he were to know all I do ‘gainst his wishes he would have grown old long before his time.
Wilson: Yes, well I do not know if your lies help rather than hinder his aging.
Lia: You are caught in our ancestors past stranger; I look towards future possibilities and reach for stars up above.
Wilson: My name be Wilson, young lady. Wilson of Calais.
Lia: You are of a French Descent? But you speak our verse so easily.
Wilson: My occupation means I move many a time; I speak the dialect of many tongues.
Lia: You have been to Albion before?
Wilson: Once, a long time ago. I spent many more times in the Kingdom of Medi. They are our greatest allies, you know?
Lia: So you speak of lies being a hindrance, but you do not see Medi as one? That is most interesting, Monsieur Wilson.
Wilson: You take words from my mouth and twist them into something new. A talent of yours?
Lia: I am not a minstrel, I am merely a speculator. I have not yet discovered a talent I possess.
Wilson: Have you never strove to find what you could be?
Lia: I must strive to be a wife, so says my Father. Only when I am married can an heir to his name become reality. I am his only child, much to his distress.
Wilson: Your future is to be wed?
Lia: Is that not how it works in your place of origin?
Wilson: It is. You just did not seem like the sort who would think so small as to wish to be wed just to please her Father.
Lia: Oh no! Twill not please my Father merely to be wed. It must be of his list of candidates to receive his dowry and well wishing. Until then I sit and squalor as only a woman can do.
Wilson: You make love sound so clinical.
Lia: Love? Tis not love that he seeks for me, merely good loins for his heir. I recite these words often. You see, this is when lies come in great help against wrong-doings.
Wilson: If you believe that is so then all be it for me to stop you. Oh! I forget to ask you of your name. Please, do tell me, young girl.
Sommers: Ah! You must be the man for who I am seeking. I see you have met the fair Princess of Albion.
Wilson: Princess? I fear you must be mistaken.
Sommers: A fool cannot mistake his master’s face, and my fair Princess Lia has the face of her Father.
Lia: Good morrow to you too, Sommers.
Sommers: You act the fool today Lia, you should know that your Father wishes you to wear your royal gown at all times.
Lia: Why is it that when you speak to me only serious phrases leak out?
Sommers: If I did not speak with serious lines then you would get in much trouble, milady. Be glad I have never told the Good King about some of the stories I know of his daughter.
Lia: And I thank you for that, my dear fool. However I do not wish to dress in suitable attire when I am not in presence of any royal party.
Sommers: You do not wear your suitable attire in front of another royal cockerel much either, Princess.
Lia: Sommers, you speak with forks in your tongue. Perhaps a doctor should be called to rescue it.
Sommers: Go; be on your business, milady. I knowest you are eager to do so.
Lia: Actually, I do not have anywhere to go today. I wish to know what Monsieur Wilson is here for.
Sommers: Important business within the lands of Medi and Albion; that is all I can tell.
Lia: Oh, how you spoil me with such meagre information. You travel through Medi and Albion, is that so?
Wilson: Twill be done, yes.
Lia: Canst I not come with you? I feel shackled locked up inside of these four walls all day.
Wilson: I do not know. I work for my King, and in some respects, I work for yours.
Lia: Very well. Sommers, where be my Father?
Sommers: He lies within his bed chamber, seeking for some hope to come in the darkness of his bright scarlet sheets.
Lia: I shall see him and then he shall allow me to go. [Exit Lia]
Sommers: Yes, he will allow it when fresh ham flies through air onto the dinner plates of the earth diners.
Wilson: You do not believe she can persuade him?
Sommers: I believe that she will try, but she is too young for her Father to trust her entirely with doing what is right.
Wilson: She called you Fool, yet you do not speak as the fool back home.
Sommers: Fools can be serious as well as silly. I am not superfluous no matter what position I am placed within the household. Right now, I am here to tell you your tale.
Wilson: I have a tale?
Sommers: You have one that must be writ. That is what the eagle is here for, to check on the breeding of the rabbits and the slyness of the fox.
Wilson: I already know of what I am meant to do. Have you managed to gather an escort to show me around the Kingdoms? I wish to start off quite soon.
Sommers: You are welcome to be made a chamber here.
Wilson: I thank you, but no. I wish to make my home in the Palace of Medi: the hive of the workers from where the trouble supposedly came; according to the story I have been told.
Sommers: You are a far braver man than I have been. I could not sleep within the walls of Medi for fear of my secrets being leaked.
Wilson: You believe the accusations are true then?
Sommers: I believe in many things.
I believe in cabbages and kings.
I believe in hope and love,
I believe that where is care, there’s dove.
Do not fear, I do believe in many things but I would never say them ‘less I knew they were true. All I know is my own point of view and not much more. I would never speak ‘gainst my King or his friends.
Wilson: Yes, you are most definitely a fool.
Sommers: Glad that is seen. [Enter Lia]
Lia: Monsieur Wilson, you are still here. Good. I am to come with you on your travels, so says my Father. We will have much fun together on our journey.
Wilson: You are sure that is what was said?
Lia: Yes, ‘twas. I shall collect some provisions for the journey.
Wilson: Do you believe what she says? I mean, does your view see her words as true or false?
Sommers: I could not say, but I could wonder. It takes many minutes to walk to the bed chambers from here.
[Enter Attendant 1+ Armenia in disguise]
Attendant 1: We have found somebody to escort you around. A young boy formerly of Medi, now of Albion. He knowest the way around any place within the two lands borders.
Wilson: And what be your name boy?
Armenia: I be Arthur my lord.
Sommers: And what ho, Guinevere comes hither.
Wilson: Do not listen to this fool, young man; he is of the nature that tricks and teases the weak.
Sommers: Tis not so. I also trick and tease the strong.
Wilson: What are your credentials, small squire?
Armenia: I am merely a servant of the castle of Albion, and an old squire of the Palace of Medi. I know my way round both Kingdoms as if I were born to it.
Sommers: If you were born to it you would be stuck between the rock and the hard palace. Why, look, your cheeks burn red servant.
Wilson: So would mine if you were hurling these insults at my strong mind. You speak too much. Thank you, my faithful attendant; I shall call back on you when I can.
Attendant 1: Yes, sir. There is only one thing I wish from you, sir.
Wilson: And what would that be?
Attendant 1: Bring the scoundrel to justice; judge upon him and show our king the truth of his ‘dear old friend’. Can this be done?
Wilson: I will have to see whether your accusations match up with my own personal experiences first. I must not judge afore I go into this.
Sommers: A judge is a judge both after and before. You judge the rich now, as you judge the poor.
Wilson: If you do not mind I wish to set off now, Arthur.
Armenia: Where will’t to first my lord?
Wilson: The Palace of Medi will be our first stop.
Armenia: Then we shall go immediately. T’ carriage awaits around front.
Wilson: Fast paced in this Kingdom are we not? Though to make it by nightfall I assume now would be best to go.
Lia: I hear a pony whinny on t’ front. We are away now?
Wilson: Yes, away we shall go. We will make ourselves known to the Palace of Medi as soon as possible. Come, my Princess; let me show you to the carriage.
Lia: I am not your Princess so you need not worry; my name is Lia.
Wilson: Titles are important so as to not get confused of nature’s intended hierarchy. Arthur, dost you know thine place?
Armenia: Merely a poor boy, my lord. I knowest not much but my place.
Wilson: No. Do not remember thine own place; only remember that of the royals. I consider myself equal with you, my escort; only I of course have more lines ‘cross my cheeks.
Armenia: Yes, sir.
Wilson: Now, off we go to Medi. I have much to ask the workers there.
[Exit Armenia, Wilson, Lia]
Sommers: Orevoir, bien venue; have fun in your game of detective. Intriguing, is it not? The chicken be heading to the trap now, attendant.
Attendant 1: You fear danger ahead?
Sommers: A fool does not fear, a fool forms a view. I see only as a spectator, not as an audience member. Do not forget, twill be me that tells this story in years to come; thine minstrel rights makes it so… and we minstrels add parts in that no other beast could ever dare utter.
Attendant 1: And what would you add to this section?
Sommers: I would add many things, but most certainly I would make notice of the flames dancing ‘round young Arthur’s eyes and the redness in his cheeks. Now I must go count the number of strides it takes afore I get to the castle end. Come, you can help.
Now to one of my favourite characters: Lia. She is the complete opposite of Armenia in many things (but not in others). She has a much more playful attitude but just like Armenia isn’t happy with her place in life. She also schemes behind her Father’s back but, unlike Armenia, she loves her Father and doesn’t do it out of spite but out of boredom. This is also the start of one of my favourite plot-pieces, Armenia disguised as Arthur. If she is discovered, would they believe she is working in Medi’s interests, even though we know different? We’ll just have to continue onwards to find out, won’t we? And is there more to Wilson than meets the eye? Is he truly an Independent and how will he be treated in Medi?
Thank you for reading Act 1, Part 4. I genuinely had such a joy writing this back in the day (and it really helped me think things through for my Media class). I hope you’re having a great day, wherever you are. Stay tuned for Part 5.