EPISODE II: HEART OF FIRE
EXT. Baljhet mountains, morning
It is a dark, cloud-covered morning, massive stony gray mountains surround us. There is little if any vegetation. A large unit of soldiers marches through a small cut through the rock. About forty strong. They are all heavily armored and holding rifles. At the front of the marching is the commanding officer, Henry Oldrey, a tall athletic man in the same armor as the others but without a helmet. He has longish blond hair, tied behind him in a short tail. He is holding a very different gun from the others as well, a very steampunk weapon that basically amounts to a shotgun flame thrower.
We hear a screech in the distance, like an eagle but lower-pitched and raspier. Henry holds up his hand in a fist, all stop marching without a word, in complete silence. After a moment we hear a much deeper lion-like roar. Henry looks behind him to his men and nods. All draw their weapons, aim them into the air, all scanning the sky, Henry included.
EXT. Baljhet mountains, morning
We see from the air, from an unknown perspective the view from up in the clouds, moving quickly downward in a slightly jerky manner, quick flaps of gray wings flash by. As we fall faster and faster we pull back revealing monstrous gargoyle-like vampires swooping down onto the soldiers.
The soldiers all begin firing their weapons into dozens of fully visible monstrous vampires, the children of Mordan. They zig-zag, readying to swoop down on the soldiers, but they've never faced forces in these numbers, nearly all the vampires are hit, several rather badly, a few fatally, dropping from the sky. We zoom onto two of the vampires swooping down very close to each other, they are both diving for Henry. He lifts his weapon and fires, red hot buck shot flies in tandem with an oozy burning napalm-like liquid. Both vampires tumble to the ground, covered in gunshots and flames.
It's not long before the vampires' numbers swell and we see several soldiers snatched up or tackled to the ground, drawing short swords and fighting in close quarters.
Another battalion of soldiers comes in from behind dragging two cannons along with them. Their soldiers provide immediate backup. It's now truly chaos, with dozens of vampires swirling around, repeater rifles firing bullets all through the sky, a battle like no other.
After a few moments, the first cannon shot goes off, smashing into the entrance of Deborah cliff, Mordan's mountain stronghold. It sits high in the Baljhet mountains, not far from the battle. While the blast is seemingly just for the purpose of attack, it is, in fact, a secret signal.
EXT. BALJHET MOUNTAINS, MORNING
We are now near the peak of another cliff, across from Debora Cliff, we see a man from behind scanning across at the battle, small binoculars up to his eyes, most of his face is obscured by a dark red scarf tied around and hanging down his back. He has short brown hair and is tall and athletic, even more so than Henry. He has a sword on his hip and several smaller weapons placed strategically on his waist. Around his neck hangs a strange talisman, just three large jewels, an emerald, a ruby, and a sapphire. On the opposite side from his sword are two strange crosses. His name is Reinhardt Morris.
We see from his perspective as the second cannon fires, smashing into the rocks just inside of Debora cliff, we follow the ball the entire way. Reinhardt stands and takes a deep breath. He puts down his head, closes his eyes, and takes his amulet in his hand. He whispers.
Reinhardt: Courage, don't leave me.
He takes a rather large iron cross from his belt and aims the top prong towards Debora Cliff. Holding the cross firmly from underneath with his right hand, he pushes down on a hidden button rather firmly with his left. The top prong fires off with a gunshot unnoticed due to the foray below, a small thin strange metal chain flying with it, streaming out of the rest of the cross, seeming to be magically endless. The prong smashes into the rocks at the entrance of the Cliff and Reinhardt quickly presses down a second hidden button just above the first. The chain begins to retract at a decently quick pace and Reighnhart leaps from the cliff, swinging briefly like Tarzan, once again unseen thanks to the battle.
Henry's perspective again, he is watching Reinhardt in his task while simultaneously dealing with the slightly slimmed onslaught, his forces more than slimmed themselves. He begins running towards a large box some of the soldiers had been carrying.
Reinhardt slamming into the cliff at quite a rate. When he hits the jewels of the amulet all flash their respective colors, and though a bit shaken, he is fine. and is quickly making his way up the mountain. He is going more for speed than finesse and his stealthy luck finally runs out. A vampire dives at him, but he kicks off a stone, and in one flash of motion, pulls his sword from its sheath and slashes the vampire's head in half with a flash of light, the sliced flesh smolders red. The vampire drops from the air like a stone. Reinhardt's sword glows bright white. Another vampire quickly slams into him, but he knocks it back, then even quicker slashes into its torso. There is the same flash, and the wound burns deeper into the vampire's flesh. It also drops.
It is not long before more are upon him. He manages to knock one back, and it is shot right in the chest. Reinhardt knocks back the second, and it too is shot and killed.
Henry is standing with a customized, slightly bigger bolt action rifle with a small telescope somewhat makeshiftedly attached to the top. His eye to the lens. He squeezes off another shot and quickly chambers the next.
Reinhardt making his way up at a quick pace, vampires being shot one by one around him. Every now and then one grabs him but is quickly thrown off. His sword is now sheathed.
By the time he makes it to the top, the vampires have eerily stopped attacking him. He pulls himself over the last edge and is standing in the mouth of the large cave entrance to Debora Cliff. He pops the tip of his cross out of the stone it had been embedded in. He is on his way to see Mordan personally. The battle was just a distraction.
INT. Debora Cliff, morning
Reinhardt is walking down a long stone cave, lit brightly by his out-held sword. We enter Mordan's throne room, where we finally see him. He's a massive, muscular gray monstrosity, large taloned hands and feet, a large bat-like snout on his face, long pointed ears, and a shark-like jaw filled with jagged teeth. Behind him hang his giant wings, long black hair tied back, a ragged hide cloth covers his nether regions, and he has an odd, scimitar-like sword at his hip. The room is dotted with the same type of vampires from the battle, as well as some taller more Mordan-like higher ranking versions gathered around his throne.
As Reinhardt approaches, the smaller vampires in the room move to attack. Two charge him, but he charges back and in rapid figure-eight motion slices both into pieces. Mordan sits and watches curiously. His higher-ups wait patiently at his side. Two more of them attack, this time from opposite directions.
He quickly tosses a test tube-like vial of holy water at one of them and begins spinning to slice the other with his sword. The holy water burns deep into the vampire's flesh and a dull blue flame rises from it. The vampire wails and writhes in pain. Another one charges while he is in mid-swing. He rolls out of the way quickly, aborting the attack.
He almost instantly pulls a small axe from the side of his vest and in a single spinning motion slams the axe into one of the vampire's necks and stabs down into the other with his sword, entering around the shoulder and going in about a foot. He moves so lithely, he could almost be dancing.
One vampire stumbles back, gargling, clawing at the axe still embedded about halfway into its neck. Reinhardt holds his sword, smoldering, burning fiercely in the other vampire's torso. After a brief moment, the whole creature ignites. He pulls the blade out and quickly tosses a small knife into the bat-likee nose of the holy-watered vampire that has just about recovered, stunning it again. As the two remaining vampires pull the weapons from their bodies Reinhardt, in another beautiful spinning motion, chops them both in half with his sword.
A few remain, but Mordan lets out a high pitched, glass shattering squeal and they back down. Reinhardt stands a bit more relaxed than would be expected. Mordan finally speaks, his voice booms and crags, as monstrous as his appearance.
Mordan: So, you've come to kill me, little hunter?
Reinhardt says nothing, only stares into Mordan's grotesque face. After a moment Mordan speaks again.
Mordan: Nothing to say? Unusual among your kind.
Reinhardt breaks in quickly, almost interrupting.
Reugnhart: You're much uglier than your siblings. Were you ever human?
Mordan exhales sharply and makes a strange clicking sound and his higher-ups instantly leap to attack. Reinhardt leaps to the side and throws his sword, blade first into one vampire's chest. It screams as the wound burns.
Mordan General 1: Ahhh! It burns like the sun!
Reinhardt tosses two small knives right into the second vampire's knee caps and it falls to the ground. And in another smooth motion, he leaps toward the third and final vampire, pulls his large iron cross from his belt and smashes the vampire in the face with it. As it stumbles back, bloodied, Reinhardt stabs with the longer bottom prong into the creature's heart. He quickly spins to grab the sword out of the now inflamed first vampire, and slices the second one's head clean off. The bodies slump to the floor, and the burned ashes kick up in the wind.
Mordan stares at Reinhardt menacingly.
Mordan: One of the old breed. Wasn't sure your type still existed.
Reinhardt holds his sword ready.
Reinhardt: They'll be saying that about you tomo-
Before he can finish he is tackled by Mordan, who leapt from his thrown with incredible speed and force. Again Reinhardt's talisman flashes and the two fly through the air, Mordan flapping his large wings furiously, ripping them through and out of the cave.
EXT. Baljhet Mountains, morning
The two are quite high up and moving higher. After a moment, at the height of about roughly 18 stories, Mordan hurls Reinhardt into a deadly free fall.
Reinhardt reacts in an instant, pulling the iron cross again from his belt and firing directly at Mordan. The pronged head enters Mordan's left thigh as he turns towards his lair, and pierces straight through his leg, stopping a little less than halfway through his other. The pain and extra weight draw Mordan into a drop with Reinhardt, who is holding on from the cross. Mordan roars angrily and in agony.
After just a moment Mordan is able to regain himself, flapping his massive bulky wings with enough force to pull the two up in small jerks. Reinhardt takes the 2nd cross from his belt, which is much different. Flat, made of silver, each prong the same length, widening and edged at each end. It's a boomerang. He hurls the boomerang cross with immense force and it flies straight through Mordan's right-wing, the wound tearing open larger as the wing rips in mid-flap. After a moment the cross comes shredding back through the left wing, and right back into Reinhardt's hand.
Mordan can no longer fly, and his furious flapping is just enough to keep them from terminal velocity, and destroying his wings even further. The two crash into the side of one of the many mountains, a decent ways from Mordan's lair. Both roll down, Reinhardt's talisman flashing at every bump. After a bit, the two end up on a relatively flat plateau in the range, both in surprisingly good shape.
Mordan rips the prong and chain from his legs, but before he can do more, Reinhardt yanks hard, pulling the prong back to him, where the chain promptly retracts into the cross. Mordan's wings have already begun to heal, his legs will soon as well. Reinhardt is already holding his sword at the ready, Mordan pulls his blade from his side. We see it well for the first time. The handle is little more than a thick wooden stick, but the blade is ancient and black, it curves back with several small points extending from the main blade, we can barely make out a dark smoke emanating from it.
The two charge and swing their swords powerfully. They hit and crash loudly, Reinhardt's flashing white as it is knocked back rather dramatically. Mordan quickly grabs him and throws him down to the floor. Reinhardt hits the ground hard, and again the talisman flashes. In a jolt, Reinhardt spins up onto his feet and quickly spin kicks Mordan in the ribs. We hear the crack of bone and Mordan stumbles back. Reinhardt quickly and fiercely slices at Mordan's face, but Mordan pulls back and the blade barely nicks his nose.
Mordan goes into a rage, chopping down at Reinhardt ferociously, roaring in anger, echoing through the mountains. As does the loud clanging as Reinhardt blocks with his sword. He is being slammed back with each hit. Suddenly, while he is the slightest bit stunned Mordan grabs the arm he has his sword in and yanks it incredibly powerfully, intending to rip it off. His talisman flashes brighter than before, and the arm stays put, but several of the bones in it are crushed or cracked, and the muscles are about severed, he drops his sword.
He screams out and Mordan slashes into his chest, the blade enters what looks like close to halfway through Reinhardt's torso, from breast to breast. Reinhardt's talisman flashes much brighter than previously, and for longer.
He should be dead, but is clearly not, though he has a nasty gash across his chest, bleeding rather steadily. It is significantly smaller than it should be. Mordan readies to swing again, but Reinhardt is able to take advantage of his surprise and pulls another small axe from his vest, and chops strongly into Mordan's left temple. He's stunned, and Reinhardt chops furiously a second time. He drops his blade, Reinhardt chops a third time, he has made it now a few inches into Mordan's head. Mordan throws him several yards back. He rolls to his sword.
Mordan, breathing heavily and angrily snarls out, pointing at Reinhardt's talisman and waving his finger about.
Mordan: You've got quite a bag of tools!
Reinhardt sheathes his sword, sticks his good hand inside his vest, taking hold of something hidden.
Reinhardt: You have no idea.
He tosses a grenade from within his vest straight for Mordan's face, Mordan is able to move but the grenade goes off mere feet from him, blasting him back, burning with flames, spraying him with shrapnel. As soon as the grenade leaves his hand Reinhardt grabs a small bottle from a pouch on his bag, it is filled with a bright blue, glowing liquid. Reinhardt splashes it on his gaping chest wound a few times and then takes a decent swig. In just a moment his wounds are healing at an incredible rate.
He charges Mordan, who is just getting back to his feet. He slashes down at Mordan, who leaps back but still takes a horrific gash through his right forearm and hand. Mordan takes a defensive stance, and Reinhardt starts to charge again. Suddenly Mordan projectile vomits over a gallon of thick chunky meaty blood and stomach acid, it covers Reinhardt's face and upper body, and burns like near-boiling waters, and singes the flesh a good bit. Reinhardt's talisman glows, and he quickly rips off and throws his scarf, greatly decreasing the damage to most of his face.
Mordan grabs him and hurls him back against the rock where he smashes hard. Though he is in serious pain, and still burning, Rignhart makes to his feet a bit weakly, but Mordans flaps his freshly healed wings and gale winds toss Reinhardt back into the rocks. Mordan, with his sword again, leaps onto Reinhardt, stomping the hand he had damaged earlier, smashing the bones to gravel. Reinhardt screams in pain.
Mordan pins his other arm to his side, and with his other hand stabs his blade into Reinhardt's ribs, just below his chest, pushing hard, but finding significantly more resistance than you'd expect. Reinhardt wales, his talisman glowing immensely, as if about to explode. The flesh just around the blade begins to slowly decay.
Reinhardt manages to reach his iron cross, presses the button and the chain shoots up smashing through a vial of holy water and up into Mordan's chest, tearing all the way out through the back of his neck igniting all flesh in route with holy water. Mordan pulls back, drops his blade again and screams out more ferociously than we've heard so far. Reinhardt grabs his sword with his good hand and stabs deep into the center of Mordan's chest. The flesh surrounding Reinhardt's blade smolders red hot, like fire embers.
Mordan falls to his knees and lets out an immensely loud squeal lower-pitched than the previous. Reinhardt holds the blade firmly in place.
Reinhardt: Who is working to resurrect the dark lord?
Mordan trembles in pain, coughing up blood and smoke.
Mordan: Ckk k ach... Th... The usual b.. bunch.
Mordan's eye bulge out, his mouth opens wide choking, screaming. He begins to convulse. Reinhardt rips the blade out and quickly slashes him across the chest, rather deep, then sheathes his sword and grabs another bottle of the strange blue healing liquid. He takes a couple of deep gulps. Then splashes it about his face and upper body, the last bit is poured onto his pulverized hand.
Mordan lies on the ground. His wounds from the sword are blackened, charred, slowing their healing significantly.
Reinhardt: I'm going to assume that means you, and your brothers and sisters. Orlok, Carmilla, the whole lot.
Amazingly Mordan manages to chuckle a bit. Reinhardt leans down closer.
Reinhardt: You're a lot tougher than I imagined. But I know you called out to your freaks, so I need you to tell me now. Why has his army returned?
Reinhardt stabs his blade into Mordan's side quickly, but not very deeply. Mordan roars out in pain. His large charred black wounds are no longer so terrible, but still present. His children can be seen now in the distance, making way for him.
Mordan: This... is not his army.
Reinhardt: Who's trying to bring him back?
Mordan: Sorcerers, vampires, dark spirits, you know the type.
By now Mordan's forces darken a portion of the sky. Reinhardt is increasingly impatient.
Reinhardt: Give me names, or I'll kill you right now.
Mordan tries to bring himself up with his right arm and Reinhardt chops it clean off. Again Mordan wales.
Mordan: Carmilla, Actrise, Death... The usual.
Reinhardt: And the sorcerer?
Screams and cries fill the air. Mordan's brood is almost upon them. Reinhardt looks out at them, and down at Mordan, who quickly flaps himself up with his completely healed wings. Reinhardt swings his sword hard, looking to lop off Mordan's head, he makes it about halfway through his neck but doesn't get the kill. Mordan's forces are too close, he must flee. Mordan gets air born, heading back towards his quickly approaching army.
As Reinhardt is running for a cave he looks back and hurls his cross boomerang, it rips through Mordan's left wing, chopping it right off, and a moment later when returning slices through the right half of his mid-back and stomach at the naval. He drops from the sky, his children quickly catch and sustain him. Reinhardt catches the cross boomerang on its return right as he enters the cave.
INT. Cave, morning
After dashing several yards Reinhardt turns momentarily grabbing another vial of holy water from a pouch, this one significantly larger, though he is low. He splashes it all around, emptying the bottle, which he tosses, and continues on again at a sprint, his wounds are all significantly healed by now.
We see the view from behind as the swarm of vampires comes crawling from all sides of the cave wall quickly when they hit the holy water the front line all around ignite into blue flame. The ones from the roof and walls tumbling down, igniting others. They writhe and scream, slowing the herd rather well.
As Reinhardt pushes forward the caves get wetter, when he finally reaches a very shallowly flooded area he pulls a strange rosary out. It has strange markings and jewels, and very archaic art. He drops it in the water and continues. Where he shortly comes to a mouth in the cave sitting about ten feet above a strong river, he leaps in.
When the vampires reach the area with the rosary, all the water flashes white so bright it's blinding. Dozens of vampires are vaporized.
EXT. Baljhet mountains, morning
Reinhardt hits the water and splashes down deep into it, clouds of dull red Mordan blood form around him. His head comes up above the water, he takes a deep breath and throws on a small pair of goggles before diving back down into the water. We see from his perspective, he swims forward, launching himself through the water even quicker than the brisk current, dodging large rock outcrops.
After a bit of swimming through the river, he flies out of a waterfall and falls into a dive down into a large lake bleeding into small rivers. He swims for the shore, but while he is en route we see from his perspective a murky shadow coming up from below. He draws his sword and we see from under the water two monstrous fishmen are swimming up towards him. They are light green with razor teeth and large webbed claws. They pull back at the brightness of his sword, which still glows, illuminating the water.
After just a moment's hesitation, one lunges at him. He quickly stabs at it, hitting it in the face. It drifts down to the bottom. He begins to swim again, harder than before but with his sword in his left hand, the second fishman is still following, and a third soon joins it. By the time he makes it to water shallow enough to stand in, they are both mere feet from him.
The one closer to him quickly jerks its head back as if regurgitating and spits out a softball-sized yellow ball of sludge. He's able to block the majority of it with his sword but small flecks stick to his armor and skin, slowly burning into them.
Not even reacting to the pain he quickly grabs another axe from his vest and hurls it into the farther fishman's face. He spins under the closer one and slices deep into its chest, it slumps over dead. Before he can dispatch the axed beast another lunges from the water and latches onto his arm with its sharp claws. It yanks him back and goes to chomp into his face.
He quickly headbutts its nose and the creature reels back. He chops a good six inches into its head. A few more fishmen have now gathered at the shore, but suddenly when feint vampire cries can be heard echoing in the mountain they rush back into the water. And Reinhardt makes a run for it.
EXT. Forest path, late afternoon
A woman is running frantically down a dirt path through a thin forest.
INT. Cabin, late afternoon
Two young girls, both seven years old, are playing inside an old wooden cabin. The cabin has many interesting things, stacks of old books, many strange and conventional plants, odd cooking ware, small gems, bones, vials of powders and liquids. The two girls are happily playing with dolls. There's a sudden banging on the door.
INT. Ecclesia, Carrie's quarters, late morning
EXTREME CLOSE UP: Carrie's eyes opening
Carrie wakes up with a deep gasp. She sits up quickly and grabs the picture of her and her mother. She looks out the window and gets up off the bed, placing the picture back where it had been.
INT. Ecclesia large open room, day
A large open room with padded floors, the walls are blue and lined with various weapons from simple to artistically ornate as well as large portraits and drawings of ancient warriors, in the far corner from the door is a small spiral staircase going up to the next level.
Abraham is standing by the door. Carrie soon walks through it. They are both wearing loose-fitting short clothes.
Abraham: Did you hear the commotion last night?
Carrie: Yes I did. Do you know anything about it?
Abraham is hushed and seems frightened.
Abraham: I don't know anything. I didn't dare leave my room until I had to report here.
Carrie: Apparently there was some sort of accident involving a couple of sorcery students and a professor. That's all I could get out of Renon last night.
Abraham is taken aback, he looks confused.
Abraham: Did Renon come to your room?
Carrie: I went out after the crashes and explosions, I thought we might have been under attack.
Abraham: Attack? From what?
Abraham seemingly dreads asking. Carrie smiles.
Carrie: There are some very big, very bad things, much worse than werewolves, harpies, and witches deeper in those woods, towards the castle.
Abraham: The castle?
Before either can say any more Cornell comes walking down the staircase. He is wearing a tight black shirt with sleeves to mid-forearm, and a small tight leather padded, fur-lined, tan vest. He comes down and quickly walks to his two new pupils. He is quick and angry with his words. It's obvious he's not in the best mood.
Cornell: Have you any training at all?
He calls out without wasting any time on pleasantries, or proper introductions.
Abraham: Training in what?
Cornell's eyes meet Abraham's and they do not approve.
Cornell: Combat training, hand to hand, weapons, anything?
Carrie: I have, sir, quite a bit actually.
Carrie has no uneasiness with the situation, but Abraham is almost in shock.
Abraham: Of course not! I'm here for medical research! I... I why would? I'm a doctor... why would have trained in combat?
Cornell steps back.
Cornell: Come here, take a fighting stance.
Abraham steps back and his mouth drops in horror.
Cornell: Do this right now.
Abraham is visibly frightened. His breathing becomes semi frantic but does what he is told. Looking like a frightened, mini, drunk boxer.
Cornell: Now attack me.
Abraham steps towards Cornell and swings to punch him. Cornell knocks the fist back with force and backhands Abraham, surprisingly hard, across the face. Abraham's head flies to the left, almost pulling him to ground. It scrunches and his eyes water, his face begins to throb and blood drips from his nose and lip.
Cornell: Do you know where you are? Most of the things you'll be researching are far worse than me, and they hit a lot harder. Attack me again.
Abraham is holding back tears. He looks like he fears for his life. But after a moment, he goes at him again. This time Cornell dashes to the side and places a very hard knee into Abraham's side, there is a faint crack, and Abraham falls to the ground, crying in pain.
Cornell: This is where they kill you. You'll have guards whenever dealing with something dangerous, but if it gets out, you'll want to be able to kick it back, give the guards a chance to kill it, before it kills you. Now... attack me again.
Carrie: I think that's enough.
Carrie interrupts, obviously bothered by what has just happened. Cornell's gaze shoots to her instantly.
Carrie: You've beaten him enough. He gets the point.
Cornell looks down at Abraham, his face flashes with an instant of shame. He pulls the boy to his feet. Abraham looks like he may vomit. He holds his ribs and lightly groans.
Cornell: I hope she's right. You're dismissed for the day.
Abraham shuffles over to the door and exits the room. Carrie doesn't waste time in voicing her disapproval.
Carrie: Was that necessary? Or do you just enjoy it?
Cornell does not acknowledge what she's said.
Cornell: So are you prepared to defend yourself? You claim to have had training.
For a moment Carrie looks as if she might say something, but then she just takes a defensive stance.
Cornell: Attack me.
Carrie wastes no time. She runs at him in two quick strides and punches hard toward his neck. Cornell catches her fist and pulls it down, but Carrie merely shifts slightly and continues forward, bending up her elbow and smashing it into Cornell's face, all her momentum behind it. He tenses at the blow as if he's been slightly electrically shocked because he has.
He quickly jabs hard with his left hand, hitting Carrie in the ribs, where the punch connects flashes blue for an instant. The jab is almost instantly followed by a hard full punch to the head that flashes in the same manner.
A few moments later Carrie wakes on the floor, Cornell is already on the stairs.
Cornell: You're dismissed as well. We'll continue tomorrow.
INT. Ecclesia hall, day
Abraham is walking down an ornate candle-lit hallway. His face is swollen badly now and starting to turn purple, with dried blood around his nostrils and mouth. He walks hunched over, holding his side. He inhales and exhales carefully, wheezing in pain at a hard breath.
As he inches down the hall, a door right in front of him swings open and Ada speeds out. Abraham gasps and cries out in pain. Ada turns and is struck silent and motionless. She stands, mouth open in shock for a moment before grabbing his arm and pulling him in the opposite direction.
Ada: What happened to you?
Abraham grunted again and forced his words out painfully.
Abraham: Training with your father.
The answer almost strikes her. She looks horribly guilt-ridden.
Ada: Come with me.
Abraham winces at the force but follows as she takes his arm.
EXT. Forest of Jigramunt, day
Reinhardt quickly but quietly moves through the forest, the majority of his wounds have healed completely, but he is dirty and wet, and sections of his clothes are tattered. The forest is thick and dark. This section of it is part of what the people call "the Forest of Silence". It's a dangerous place, filled with monsters and spirits. Reinhardt is on high alert.
There is a rustling very nearby and he instantly crouches very low and goes completely silent, scanning the area. There is a high pitched grunty scream, followed by several similar shorter grunts. This is followed by a hawk-like but slightly human shriek.
He creeps along the forest floor at a slightly slow, but silent pace, towards the disturbance. We hear a few more grunts, and the thud of a knife hitting flesh. We hear loud crunch followed by a quick squeal. Finally, Reinhardt comes to view the scene. A harpy, large, upper torso and head completely human, but instead of arms are giant feathery wings, and her legs are giant and hawk-like, with large talons. She is perched high up in a tree with a struggling goblin in her mouth. The goblin is green and dirty, a small lumpy feral man, clothed in tatters with makeshift edged weapons lining a belt looped over its shoulder. It quickly stops moving, and the harpy continues eating it.
Reinhardt moves to the side, as he reaches into his vest. He moves his hand around, searching for a knife. After a moment he pulls his clenched fist out, clenching his teeth in frustration. He quickly scans the ground, glancing back at the harpy periodically. It is quickly chomping into the dead goblin. He reaches into the dirt, grabbing a rock about half the size of a baseball.
Even though the action makes but the slightest sound imaginable, the harpy instantly jerks its head in a distinctly animalistic fashion in the direction of the still obscured Reinhardt. The harpy looks hard in his direction, suddenly leaping to a closer branch.
He's sweating, all but holding his breath, and staring fiercely at the nearby monster. He knows it will hear his movement. Finally, he starts to pull back the rock to hurl it when there is a sudden not too distant cry of one of the monstrous vampires from the mountains. The harpy recoils in terror, dropping the goblin, looking up in the direction of the cry. Seizing the opportunity he hurls the rock with full force, it smashes to pieces just above the harpy's left eye socket and it falls back.
He bursts from the brush at a sprint, pulling his sword in the rush for the kill, just as he slices down into the harpy it cries out a cry that bellows across the air. Reinhardt stands their a moment panting. He gazes down at the partially eaten goblin, an expression of pain and anguish on its face, and then over to the harpy, his brow furrows in confusion. We hear another vampire cry, closer and his gaze shoots back, quickly he begins sprinting again, into the forest.
INT. Ecclesia alchemy lab, day
A small dark lab, the walls are lined with shelves containing books, bottles, vials, boxes, containers, etc containing liquids, potions, powders, and ingredients. Ada is feverishly mashing things in a mortar and pastel, she is dropping powders, herbs, and liquids into it as she works. Abraham is sitting on a stool nearby, applying a strange clear gel to his bruised face.
We come close on his face, his eyes are so sad, red and watered. We hear Dr. Glendon's words from before.
Dr. Glendon: (voice-over)This place is truly evil, we are fighting the apocalypse here, and they won't let any of us quit.
Ada turns to Abraham and hands him a small cup filled with an orange milky liquid.
Ada: Drink this.
Abraham takes the cup and stares down into it. He does not look excited, but Ada is watching him closely, with such concern. He takes the cup to his mouth and gulps down the whole thing. Ada just stares at him, her eyes wide. She shakes her head and fights back tears.
Ada: I'm so sorry.
She exhales sharply.
Ada: I... he... he's never done anything like this before.
Her face scrunches hard trying to hold back her emotion, but she breaks down, and the tears come. Abraham is shocked, he is still in pain and can't think of a thing to say. He just stares in surprise and sorrow.
Ada: I'm sorry. He had a terrible night, he's very stressed, and angry, and sad.
Abraham: It's ok...
Abraham's swelling has already begun to go down. He seems to feel guilty for her sorrow. He reaches out a hand to hers and places it there for a moment before she regains herself.
Ada: You should try to sleep. I have to go.
She places her hand to the injured side of his head again for a moment and quickly leaves. He calls out to her.
Abraham: Ada, wait.
She turns for a moment at the door.
Ada: You should feel much better after some sleep.
Before she can turn again he offers one last consolation.
Abraham: It's ok. I don't blame you, or him. This place is crazy.
She smiles very subtly and leaves. Abraham sits alone in the room.
EXT. Alba village, day
Alba is a village deep within the heavily infested forests around the castle. It is surrounded by a large log wall dotted around the edge on both sides with ruined homes and buildings. Inside the wall, the village fights to survive. It is little more than some homes, an armory, a large farm-like garden in the town center, and a church with a small cemetery behind it. The villagers walk around in varying degrees of malnutrition, disease, and injury, some harvest crops, some tending animals, some brandishing weapons as guards, some watching from atop the wall.
We see a man standing guard on the wall, his clothes are dirty and slightly tattered, he is holding a rifle and scanning the surrounding area. He seems noticeably shaken. He jumps at the distant cry of a vampire, lifting his rifle to the ready. A moment later a stumbling Reinhardt comes shambling out of the brush, the guard instantly aims his weapon at him, almost firing but stopping himself.
Reinhardt stumbles forward a couple more steps then stops, holding up his right arm, he is panting a bit but forces out a shout.
Reinhardt: I'm human!
The guard hesitates a moment, looking carefully at Reinhardt. He turns to a group of others who have gathered after the commotion.
Guard: Open the gate. Send a unit.
EXT. Alba village, day
Reinhardt enters the large wooden gate. There are six guards in battered piece mail armor holding ever more battered weapons of various types. Along with them are two older unarmed men in slightly warn but nice clothes.
Reinhardt's exterior wounds have all healed for the most part by now, but his clothes and armor are still quite in tatters, and wet. Luckily for him, he's also stained with unnatural blood, far darker than normal. One of the unarmed men speaks.
Alba leader: You're a hunter?
Reinhardt: Good guess.
Reinhardt extends his arms eyeing his armor and weapons.
Alba leader: Were you part of the battle at Deborah Cliff?
Reinhardt: I was.
Alba leader: It didn't sound like hunters.
The other older man steps forward. Speaking quickly and loudly.
Alba leader 2: It sounded like an army.
Reinhardt: It was. But I wasn't fighting with them.
The two men seem intrigued, not trusting, but not completely hostile either. A small crowd has begun to gather loosely around.
Alba leader: So what were you doing then during the battle?
Reinhardt stands up straight, putting his arms at his sides.
Reinhardt: Almost killing Mordan.
The people all about gasp, chuckle, go wide-eyed and start murmuring like crazy to one another. The two men interject to their townsfolk.
Alba leader 2: Quiet down, quiet down.
The other continues with Reinhardt.
Alba leader: You expect us to believe that not only did you survive combat with Mordan... but that you came out virtually unscathed and almost killed him?
Reinhardt: Believe what you like.
Reinhardt points to the deep black-red bloodstains on his armor and clothes.
Reinhardt: This is his blood, with a little fishman mixed in maybe.
The expressions of those surrounding him range from humor to shock, to fear. The two leaders look at one another and whisper to each other so no one else can hear. Finally one turns back to Reinhardt.
Alba leader 2: What do you want here?
Reinhardt: Just a place to rest, just for a night.
The two leaders talk quietly to each other once again, the crowd around them is mostly silent. After a few moments, the leader speaks again.
Alba leader 2: I don't know if you really fought Mordan, but it's clear from your gear, and the unnatural blood upon it that you're a hunter, and I can tell by the way you speak that you're a local one. Those two things together are good enough for me. We'll give you a room if you can pay for it, and if you pledge to help fight off any attack while you're here.
Reinhardt reaches down to his belt and pulls off a small cloth sack.
Reinhardt: I've got money right here, and I'll fight so long as I've gotten a little rest.
INT. Ecclesia, Shanoa's quarters, late day
Shanoa is lying in a large elegant queen-sized bed, covered with thick sheets. The room is large with ornate well-crafted furniture that looks new. There are a large closet and full-length mirror close to a large window. Barlowe is holding Shanoa's left hand, sitting at the side of her bed, his eyes are closed and he is speaking just under his breath, murmuring spells, or incantations, or prayers.
We cut to the same scene from an open door, Renon is looking into the room. Cornell walks up behind him. A freshly patched up Coller stands off to the side.
Cornell: Is she still alive?
Cornell blurts out quickly, making almost no effort to mask his anger. Renon does not look pleased with his tone.
Renon: She is still with us.
Renon turns back to the view inside the room.
Renon: Master Barlowe is doing what he can to rebuild the lost and damaged parts of her spirit.
Cornell shakes his head with an expression bordering fury as he whispers the words to himself.
Cornell: Rebuild lost parts of her spirit...
He walks up close behind, staring into the room as well.
Cornell: Is there any way I can help?
Renon: Afraid not. As I told you before we're all just going to have to wait until master Barlowe informs us otherwise.
Cornell's face twists, primarily his mouth, displaying his anger. Then suddenly his lips spring open bearing his surprisingly fang-like teeth in a very canine-like manner. They dd not appear this way before. When he speaks his voice is slightly deeper, but it's barely noticeable.
Cornell: This is ridiculous. I'm going in to talk to him.
Cornell begins to move towards the doorway but Renon very quickly turns around and places himself in the way, his left hand extended up, almost touching Cornell's chest.
Renon: Master Cornell, I am afraid that Master Barlowe has specifically instructed me to let no one enter the room.
Renon speaks sternly. He is not at all intimidated by the larger man. Cornell is surprised, but not at all deterred.
Cornell: Renon I'm sorry but...
Cornell grabs Renon's wrist to try and move him out of the way but is surprised to find Renon resisting rather successfully. Before things can escalate any further Barlowe speaks.
Barlowe: Alright gentlemen.
The two men stop immediately and turn back to Barlowe.
Barlowe: I believe she will be waking at any moment now. Come on in.
The two men say nothing, only enter the room slowly. All three of them watching her, waiting. We wait for just a few moments longer than normal before her eyes open weakly about halfway. She inhales deeply but slowly. She looks around at the three men.
Barlowe: Are you alright, my dear?
She pauses, staring at Barlowe with confusion. She speaks slowly and quietly.
Shanoa: Who are you?
She looks around at the others, and the room, the furniture, window. She again speaks weakly.
Shanoa: Where am I? ...Who am I? I don't remember anything.
INT. Alba inn room, late day
Reinhardt is taking off his armor and weapons and placing them on a table in a small dirty old room with a small bed, a table, a small desk with an old brassed-over mirror, and a small stool. He gets down to his pants, his upper torso is dotted with several healed scars of various sizes. He lies on the bed and closes his eyes, seemingly very ready for sleep. We see him from above as a woman, just out of view except for the rim of the screen, crawls into bed next to him, seeming as if to have come out of thin air.
The expression on his face goes from exhaustion to pain. He doesn't move or open his eyes. The woman speaks. She sounds like she's holding back tears.
Rosa: Hello my love.
As she speaks we see her more completely. She's beautiful, blonde hair, peachy skin, in a short red dress. She embraces him. He still doesn't open his eyes.
Reinhardt: Please, not today.
She sits up, looking down at him. It is clearer now that she is crying.
Rosa: I'm sorry.
She's almost weeping, and Reinhardt opens his eyes to look at her.
Rosa: I don't control it.
He stares up at her, places his hand against her cheek.
Reinhardt: It's ok.
He speaks as if it's painful to release the words. He hardly moves, just lightly stroking her cheek, staring. Rosa looks back down at him, then pulls herself down against him, she's still crying.
Rosa: I've missed you so much.
Reinhardt: I miss you too. More than I can bear, but I'm almost done.
Rosa pulls herself against him, as she starts to calm.
Rosa: (still sniffly) You know... when it's like this... It's me. It's really me.
Reinhardt doesn't say anything for a moment, just closes his eyes hard.
Reinhardt: If it really is you, then you know I can't know that.
She starts to cry harder again, not saying anything for a few moments. Finally, she barely manages to speak, sobbing while she does.
Rosa: Can I still stay here with you awhile?
Reinhardt hugs her against him.
Reinhardt: Of course you can.
The two lie there together as Reinhardt falls asleep.
INT. Ecclesia library, sunset
The sun is mostly gone and it is rather dark outside. Inside the library is dimly lit by oil lamps that dot around, giving decent visibility to almost everywhere. Abraham, no longer bruised and swollen, sits curled up on a small sofa on the second floor just next to a three-stack collection he's gathered of scientific books, journals, and documents, most pertaining to very strange and obscure things. He looks slightly less lost, the scientific world helps him feel himself.
He is flipping through pages in some book when Carrie enters the library.
Carrie: You look better than I expected.
Abraham looks up from the paper he is reading but says nothing.
Carrie: What are you reading?
He chuckles lightly.
Abraham: Well... apparently it's an extremely credible account of an off-course voyage in 1788 landing on an island west of Sumatra with cannibal witches, living dinosaurs, and giant apes.
Carrie smiles sarcastically.
Abraham: And they all live under a mountain shaped like a skull.
Abraham sighs, long and drawn out.
Abraham: A few days ago this would have been a joke to me. But now? After what I've seen how can I question any of this?
He waves his arms out, motioning towards the books around him. Carrie is looking down shelves, at the titles, possibly searching for something in particular, possibly just skimming.
Carrie: It's good to question. But I've found that often people are unwilling to question their own opinions, especially if they've been so long untested.
Abraham looks at her, his face scrunches. As he speaks he almost pleads her.
Abraham: How can this be? How can all of this be real?
Before she can answer they are interrupted.
Hugh: Still don't believe in monsters?
Two large athletic men are walking towards Carrie and Abraham. They are Nathan Graves and Hugh Baldwin, a master vampire hunting team. Nathan has short dark blonde hair, green eyes, and wears a long tan and green coat. Hugh has long dark black hair, brown eyes, and wears a similar but gray coat.
Hugh: That's rare around these parts.
Carrie turns away from the shelves, and Abraham looks over as well.
Hugh: I guess you haven't been here long.
Hugh's tone is not inviting.
Carrie: He hasn't, but I can tell from the way you speak that I've been here a hell of a lot longer than you have. Who are you?
Nathan: Please excuse my brother. We've had a long and difficult week.
Nathan steps forward as he speaks, trying to be polite. He motions to himself.
Nathan: I'm Nathan Graves.
He motions to Hugh.
Nathan: This is Hugh Baldwin.
Carrie: I thought you said you were brothers?
Hugh: (angrily) We are.
Abraham has said nothing, just sitting quietly and awkwardly on the small sofa while Carrie does all the talking.
Carrie: Okay... so what do you do here?
Hugh folds his arms.
Hugh: You could call us professors. But we're far more involved in our field research than giving lessons.
Carrie nods. She's obviously annoyed by Hugh. She actively goes back to scanning the shelves.
Abraham: Are you scientists?
Hugh and Nathan both chuckle, but Nathan's is light-hearted while Hugh's seems ruder.
Nathan: We actually specialize in an area here to fore unacknowledged publicly by mainstream science.
Abraham: What would that be?
Abraham seems genuinely curious. Before Nathan can say anything Hugh answers sharply.
Overcome, Abraham cannot help but laugh. Hugh seems a bit surprised, maybe a little disrespected.
Hugh: Don't believe in vampires?
Abraham laughs even more.
Abraham: I do now. Which is even crazier.
Abraham: It's just too much. I've been here for two days, and I've seen werewolves, harpies, witches, plants that bleed, ointments and potions that heal in hours, and now two professors of... what? Vampirology?
Hugh is not overly amused. He responds sharply and sternly.
Hugh: That's a part of it. We're hunters, the best pair of vampire hunters on Earth.
Carrie: Here we go.
Carrie interrupts as she pulls a particularly well-worn book entitled "The Belmonts" from a rack on Wallachian families in the history section. The three men look at her.
Abraham: What were you looking for?
Carrie holds the books closer to her face to look at the cover. It's very old, dusty, and beaten up.
Carrie: Anything about the Belmonts.
Nathan smiles, but Hugh sighs in annoyance.
Hugh: Yes, you are definitely from Wallachia.
Abraham cuts in with more of his genuine curiosity.
Abraham: Who are the Belmonts?
Hugh snaps in before Carrie can answer.
Hugh: An old, long gone, family of over-rated hunters. They're a history lesson.
Carrie tries not to give in to his antagonizing, but her brow scrunches judgmentally.
Carrie: I'm just surprised that an organization supposedly tasked with stopping the dark lord has so little information on or interest in them. They've defeated him at least five times, more by some accounts.
Hugh walks toward her, leans against the bookcase and speaks sarcastically.
Hugh: Did they? Hard to see how you can defeat something six times. I mean, once it's defeated isn't it supposed to be gone? And if it is so thusly defeated, what the hell are we all doing here?
Hugh is prodding hard. Carrie loses a bit of her composure for a moment, staring at the shelf in anger, paused. She turns to Hugh somewhat changing the subject.
Carrie: You said you're hunters? Do you think you're as good as a Belmont?
Hugh: We're here now, fighting this war. So we're better than any Belmonts around today.
Carrie looks away from the book. Her face is serious. She is offended.
Carrie: I'm sure they would be here if they could be.
Hugh: You think so?
Carrie's attitude is building.
Carrie: We people of Wallachia haven't forgotten everything they've done for us.
Hugh: Hate to be the one to break it to you, but they've either quit or they're all dead. Either way, they're useless to us now.
Carrie places the book down on the mid-shelf, face-up, exhales sharply, and walks away towards the stairs. Just before she gets to them Renon steps out, seemingly appearing from just out of sight. He is holding two envelopes. He stops her.
Renon: Excuse me a moment Miss Fernandez.
He hands her one of the envelopes.
Renon: I regret to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances your syllabus has been changed quite significantly. This is your new one. It takes effect starting tomorrow.
Carrie takes it without a word and storms down the stairs. Renon continues over to the others and hands the other envelope to Abraham.
Renon: Mr. Van Helsing I regret to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances your syllabus has been changed quite significantly. This is your new one, it takes effect starting tomorrow.
Renon repeats his words almost robotically. Abraham takes the envelope sheepishly, he seems to feel uneasy around Renon.
Abraham: Thank You.
He opens the envelope and starts to read it's contents.
SUPER CLOSE UP
We see the page, where Abraham reads it, we follow the words,
Abraham: "Per recommendation of our self-defense instructor, Mr. Abraham Van Helsing must undergo eighty hours of intense one on one self-defense training with Master Cornell. These will take place in the form of four-hour sessions from 8 am until 12 pm Monday through Friday."
We come back to see Abraham in the chair reading the letter. He quickly slumps down, his arms falling to his sides, the paper with it. He whispers to himself.
Abraham: What have I fallen into? What am I going to do?
INT. Ecclesia Carrie's quarters, night
Carrie is sitting on her bed, opening the envelope given to her by Renon. She pulls out the syllabus inside and begins reading. After a few moments, she stops, looking away in frustration. She looks back and continues reading. After another moment she starts turning her head, exhaling sharply and quickly, almost laughing with anger. She then tosses the paper aside and grabs a coat.
EXT. Ruvas forest, night
It's dark, but a bright half-moon lights the forest fairly well. Thick old pines and various other trees sit quiet and peacefully, few sounds are heard but the occasional hoot of an owl or howl of a wolf. Carrie is walking down a dirt road with a large coat, holding a small pack.
She is walking for a few moments before we hear a much different howl, lower-pitched, and much closer. She stops instantly, peering into the woods listening intently, another equally eerie but different howl, lower-pitched, echoes the first. Carrie peers hard into the trees in the direction she thinks the howls came from. After a moment she bolts off the path into the forest in the opposite direction.
She is running very quickly through the woods, away from the path. We hear loud crashes and grunts, getting progressively closer. Another howl pierces the air. Carrie comes bolting out of the cluster of trees into a small open area next to a river, she stops and turns, arms out to her sides, hands open.
From out of the trees bursts two werewolves and a warg.