On the shelves of the Alizarin Academy reference library lie several thick tomes titled Like Dust in the Wind Acts I, II, III, IV, V & VI. The Magnus Opus of Vennis Haler's career as a playwright so far it is an epic and sprawling production, that is rarely put on stage due to the massive resources in casting, staging and special effects required as well as its length.
It rejects the easy moral certainties of other works, all its characters having their own flaws and virtues, and it contains an unsettling and morally ambiguous ending.
This version includes lengthy stage direction written in the margins of the script.
"Watch over these Kingdoms of Men then, those born low and high: fools they both be. See the passions and pride of mortals, once aflame, provide a pyre for all those who hold them, and all they love..."
Scene I Owais and Eldren are training in swordplay with each other. They are obviously are good friends as they trade jokes and playful banter with each sword-stroke and parry. After a while a beautiful young woman, Helena, walks over to observe them with a coy smile on her face. As they notice her the two young men retain their façade of friendly play but the jibes between them getting sharper and the physical blows stronger. Eventually they cease teasing and walk over to the young lady. She flirts with them both , lending them each a little encouragement. Owais and Eldren take it in turns to boast about their prowess. Eventually Helena makes her excuses and leaves, giving them both a lingering look.
Scene II In the meantime political events surround the characters. Owais is in discussion with some of his friends (some random extras with the odd line but not important characters) about Arabel gaining further independence. He is particularly attracted by these sentiments and speaks of a man called Gondegal preaching about uprising against Cormyrean rule (this scene may also work as Owais attending a speech by Gondegal). Eldren later joins the group, arguing against Gondegal and stressing loyalty to Cormyr. The conversation gets heated and ends in disagreement and tensions rising.
Scene III Eldren and Helena are flirting, she expertly toying with his emotions and culminating with him expressing his undying love for her. He leaves and she has a monologue saying how she quite likes him but is not quite so sure yet. Enter Owais who bows and charms her, complimenting on her beauty and presenting her with an item of jewellery. He offers his hand in marriage. She gives strong hints that she will accept the proposal but does not confirm it. Exit Owais , Helena with a coy smile on her face.
Scene I At a rally by Gondegal, Owais pledges his support to his cause saying he will fight for Arabel against the rule of Suzail. He cheers near the head of a large gathering.
Scene II Eldren steals away in the night, stopping off at Helena’s house briefly to tell her he must depart to remain loyal to the crown and leave the rebellious city. Again he tells of his love for her. After he leaves Owais arrives too telling her he shall be off to war soon to fight for Arabel against the oppression of Suzail. He reminds her of his pledge and will return to marry once the war is over. Helena responds sweetly to his affections and accepts the proposal in principle. [Monologue by Helena perhaps once they are both gone about the agonies of choices]
Scene III Montage of battles and fights as Gondegal’s armies march across Cormyr gaining victory after victory. Accompanied by narration (or possibly first person monologue by Owais). Use of Alaethyl’s illusion magic if possible and extras.
Act III Scene I The tide of battle has turned in the Crown’s favour with King Azoun beginning his march against the rebels and driving them back to Arabel. The King gives an inspiring speech to his troops , watched by Eldren. [Another montage of Eldren winning battle glories using illusions and extras. Owais is shown fighting a desperate rearguard struggle]
Scene II The loyalists forces near Arabel and Eldren sneaks through enemy lines to get to Helena’s house. He speaks with her confirming again his undying love. She tells that she is betrothed to Owais and could not marry another while he still lives. Stung, Eldren keeps his emotions under control, proposing that he will then help get his old friends out of trouble. He asks her to get word to them that he will be able to get them out safely if they meet with him in a secret place of theirs from childhood. After she leaves Eldren monologues to the audience. Filled with bitter rage he vows that this traitor who has stolen his love’s heart will not be allowed to live.
Scene III Helena meets furtively with Owais. She tells him of Eldren’s plan to get him and his friends out safely if they meet in their old childhood haunt. At first he is reluctant as he does not wish to abandon his comrades and his cause. But she persuades him that further resistance is futile as the war is almost already lost and they have their future together to think of. With a heavy but hopeful heart he agrees.
Scene IV Owais with his companions goes to the meeting place. There is Eldren but as he hails him, concealed archers unleash volley of arrows at the rebels at a signal by Eldren. Some of his companions fall there but they are then charged by Eldren’s forces hacking down the remaining survivors. In the melee Owais manages to withstand the assault and flee from the trap.
Act IV [Possible narrators voiceover about how Arabel was one by the Crown’s forces without a fight and how Gondegal mysteriously disappeared. Act IV will be kept fairly brief its purpose to tie up narrative loose ends from the previous Act and provide a link for the events of the next Act]
Scene I Owais stands on the prow of a ship as it draws close to an exotic shore – Mazteca. He monologues about how it seems Arabel was lost without a fight. He curses Eldren for his betrayal and openly ponders if Helena was a knowing party to it. He is to live life as an exile from now on it seems in a strange and foreign land.
Scene II A wedding scene for Eldren and Helena. They exchange vows and speak of their love for each other, and Eldren’s rising stock in the administration of Arabel. They also exchange items of jewellery Helena giving him, unbeknownst to Eldren, the very item of jewellery that Owais had given her in their betrothal.
Scene III [The narrator speaks of dark clouds over the horizon as the years pass as orcs and goblins begin raiding and massing in great numbers] The Great dragon Nalavarauthatoryl leads a horde of massing goblin-kin and orcs across the stage , looming menacingly. [The goblin kin can either be illusory magic again or through the use of extras]
Scene I An action scene as Eldren heroically fights in the resistance against the goblin horde, leading the rear-guard action in the retreat from Arabel as it falls to Nalavarauthatoryl’s army. He has to protect Helena too from the threatening goblin-kin. Bloody and wounded they eventually escape.
Scene II The aftermath of the defeat Eldren and the remains of Arabel’s shattered forces converge in Eveningstar. Myrmeen Lhal gives a barnstorming speech that begins the formation of the Militia of the North. Eldren joins the militia, pledging to retake Arabel.
Scene III Out at sea Owais speaks with the Captain of a passing ship and hears the news of his fallen home city. Regardless of his exile he knows he must return to protect his homeland and sets sail once more for Cormyr.
Scene I [The narrator picks up the story with the retaking of Arabel. The a pitched battle is fought, perhaps some montages of combat from various characters in the play before the following scene]
In one corner of the battle, amid a sea of orcs, King Azoun fights with Nalavarauthatoryl a mighty combat seemingly alone. However nearby [the other end of the stage] two human warriors cut a swathe through the orc hordes. They are Owais and Eldren. They come face to face eyeing each other warily, perhaps torn between past grievances and their current duty to save Arabel.
Suddenly Eldren spies the King Azoun in his combat with the Dragon, turning and shouting “to the King he needs our aid”. However at this very moment a glimmer of firelight twinkles on the very item of jewellery Eldren is wearing that Owais had given in betrothal to Helena. In a rage Owais (shouting his hatred of this traitor) strikes at Eldren, wounding him grievously and then overpowering him in the resulting combat. Simultaneously King Azoun, with no aid coming , is slain in the fight with Nalavara, though manages to kill his foe. They fall dead as Eldren is toppled also.
Scene II The aftermath of the battle. The injured, dead and the dying lie strewn across the battlefield as distressed relatives of the fallen look for their loved ones. Helena moves from corpse to corpse, until eventually coming across the body of Eldren. She bends over it weeping in anguish until a shadow falls over her.
It is Owais holding the item of jewellery Eldren had on him. “What happened? What did you do Owais?” says the grief stricken Helena Owais merely replies “Keep your blood diamonds Helena” throwing the jewellery to her feet in disgust. He turns and leaves, leaving Helena weeping over her loved one’s body.
[The curtain falls for the end of the play, raising again for the actors to take their bow.]
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2018 17:10:28 GMT -5 by lucesi