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KILGHARRAH
In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name, Merlin.

[EXT. FOREST – DAY]
[Merlin collecting firewood with other peasants. Merlin sits down sadly on hillside overlooking Camelot.]

MERLIN
Hors, beride þá heofonum.

[Turns smoke into a shape of a running horse, fades back to smoke. A woman runs to him and grabs him.]

CATHRYN
Did you see it? The smoke, did you see it?

MERLIN
No, I saw nothing.

CATHRYN
Are you blind? You were right here! It was magic, I tell you. There's sorcery here. We must tell the King.

[She runs off.]

MERLIN
No! Wait!

OPENING CREDITS


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM – DAY]

UTHER
It was sorcery you saw, and you're certain of it?

CATHRYN
Yes, Sire.

UTHER
And you swear this before your King?

CATHRYN
I swear it.

ARTHUR
Perhaps your eyes deceived you, a trick of the light.

CATHRYN
The smoke was alive, I tell you. I feared for my life.

UTHER
I thank you for bringing this to my attention. Your loyalty will not go unrewarded.

CATHRYN
Thank you, Sire.


[A knight escorts her out.]

UTHER
It cannot continue.

ARTHUR
I will hunt down those responsible, Father. I promise they will not escape unpunished.

UTHER
No. Stronger methods are called for. Send for the Witchfinder.


[Courtiers gasp.]

GAIUS
Sire, is it necessary to resort to such measures?

UTHER
The Witchfinder is a trusted ally, Gaius. His help will be invaluable.

GAIUS
Of course.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY]

GAIUS
How many times, Merlin?! How many times must I drive it into that thick skull of yours that your magic is a secret to be guarded with your life?! What were you thinking?!

MERLIN
I...I wasn't thinking.

GAIUS
Well think, boy, think!

MERLIN
It was just a bit of fun.

GAIUS
It was magic and it was seen.

MERLIN
You're right. I'm sorry.

GAIUS
You must hide the book. Anything that can connect you to sorcery in any way.

MERLIN
What? Now?

GAIUS
Yes, now, Merlin. The man that Uther has sent for, I know him.

MERLIN
The Witchfinder?

GAIUS
Hmm, some know him by that name. I know him as Aredian. He is a force to be reckoned with.

MERLIN
But I'm not a witch. Look. No dress or anything.


[Gaius is not amused.]

MERLIN
I'll get the book.


--
[EXT/INT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE/MORGANA’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Aredian shows up in the Square at night with a large horse-drawn cage. Guard approaches him.]

AREDIAN
I am expected.


[Morgana watches from her window.]

GWEN
Is that him?

MORGANA
Yes.

GWEN
What's that cage for?

MORGANA
It hardly bears thinking about.


[Aredian looks up at her window. Morgana gasps.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Arthur and Uther enter.]

ARTHUR
So where's he been all this time?

UTHER
In foreign lands. Wherever the pursuit of sorcery takes him.

ARTHUR
He does all this in your name?

UTHER
The Witchfinder serves no one. He's a law unto himself.

AREDIAN
Do you smell it? Do you smell it, Uther?

UTHER
Aredian.

AREDIAN
It's all around us, the foul stench of sorcery. It's infected your great city like a contagion.

UTHER
I welcome you to Camelot, Aredian. Thank you for making such haste to be here.

AREDIAN
Well, let's hope I'm not too late, hmm? For every hour counts in the war against sorcery. Unchecked, it spreads like a disease. It seeks out the young and the old, the weak and the able, the fair and the foul of heart alike. You've grown lazy, Uther. You've grown idle. Your once noble Camelot is rotten to the core. You stand on the brink of dark oblivion.

ARTHUR
I am at your disposal, Aredian. The knights will aid you in any way they can.

AREDIAN
You must be Arthur.

ARTHUR
I must be.

AREDIAN
You're a great warrior. The finest this kingdom has ever known.

ARTHUR
Thank you.

AREDIAN
So you won't be offended when I say that I shall have no need of you or your knights. The subtle craft of sorcery can only be fought by yet subtler means, methods honed over decades of study, methods known only to myself.

UTHER
We are grateful for your help.

AREDIAN
But gratitude alone can't keep a man alive. You must put food in his belly.

UTHER
I will pay your price, Aredian, whatever it may be.

AREDIAN
I will bid you goodnight.

ARTHUR
Aredian, when do you begin?

AREDIAN
I've already begun.


--
[EXT. LOWER TOWN – DAY]
[Aredian peers at Gaius and Merlin from around a corner as they walk down the street.]

AREDIAN
Gaius, isn't it? I never forget a face.

GAIUS
Nor I, Aredian.

AREDIAN
A physician now, I hear. You always did have a thirst for knowledge.

GAIUS
Scientific knowledge.

AREDIAN
Of course.

GAIUS
My assistant, Merlin.

AREDIAN
Merlin.

GAIUS
May your investigation prove fruitful, Aredian. However, you'll have to excuse us, we have work to do.

AREDIAN
Naturally. Merlin? I have a few questions I would like you to answer. Please be at my chambers in an hour.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, AREDIAN'S GUEST CHAMBERS –DAY]

AREDIAN
You are aware, then, that sorcery has been practiced in the vicinity of Camelot?

MERLIN
Yes. I mean...apparently.

AREDIAN
No, no, it cannot be denied. There was a witness.

MERLIN
Yes, I know.

AREDIAN
Do you also know that the woman has named you as a witness?

MERLIN
But...

AREDIAN
I've already spoken to her. She was quite clear on the matter.

MERLIN
But I wasn't a witness.

AREDIAN
Oh, sorry. Perhaps I misheard. Do you deny that you were present at the time of the incident?

MERLIN
No, I, I was there.

AREDIAN
Well, so you saw it, the horse conjured from the smoke?

MERLIN
I saw the smoke, but...it was only smoke. I saw nothing else.

AREDIAN
Are you saying that she lies?

MERLIN
I didn't say that. I said I didn't see what she saw.

AREDIAN

Hmm. Well, how can that be, I wonder? How can one person see something and the other not?

MERLIN
I can't explain it.

AREDIAN
I'm at a loss as to explain it myself. Unless it was you who performed the magic.

MERLIN
It wasn't.

AREDIAN
Can you prove that it wasn't?

MERLIN
No.

AREDIAN
Hmm. That'll be all.


[Merlin gets up to leave.]

AREDIAN
For now.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM – DAY]
[Aredian presents three women before the court.]

AREDIAN
Speak, do not be afraid.

BEATRICE
I...I was drawing water from the well, Sire, when I saw them: faces in the water. Terrible faces, like people who were drowned, screaming. Screaming.

MERLIN (whispers to Gaius)
I haven't done anything, I promise.

AREDIAN
Tell them what you saw.

ANNIE
A goblin dancing on the coals. it was dancing in the flames, and it spoke, Sire. My heart near stopped for fear of it.

AREDIAN
As you've heard, My Lord, the incident in the woods was only the beginning, hmm?

ROWENA
There was a sorcerer, Sire, in the square. There were creatures jumping right out of his mouth.

AREDIAN
And what manner of creature?

ROWENA
Toads, Sire. Great green, slimy things as big as your fist.

AREDIAN
The sorcerer laughs in your face. Even now magic flourishes on the streets of Camelot.

UTHER
I can scarcely believe it.

AREDIAN
Yet it is the truth, My Lord. Fortunately I've utilised every facet of my craft to bring this matter to a swift resolution.

UTHER
The sorcerer? You have a suspect?

AREDIAN
Oh, I do, My Lord. I regret to say, they stand among us in this very room. My methods are infallible, my findings incontestable! The facts point to one person and one person alone: the boy, Merlin!

ARTHUR
Merlin? You can't be serious.

GAIUS
This is outrageous! You have no evidence!

AREDIAN
The tools of magic cannot be hidden from me. I am certain that a thorough search of the boy's chamber will deliver us all we need.

UTHER
Merlin?

MERLIN
I have nothing to hide from him.

UTHER
Very well. Guards, restrain the boy. Let the search begin.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Guards smash Gaius's possessions in their search for magical objects.]

GAIUS
Careful, please! That's my life's work!

AREDIAN
Comb every inch. The sorcerer is a master of concealment.

ARTHUR
There's nothing here, Aredian!

AREDIAN
I'll be the judge of that. Over there behind this tapestry. In there, upend that stool. Be sure to check for hollow legs. In there within those powder jars.


[Leon breaks one and finds a bracelet inside.]

SIR LEON
Here!

AREDIAN
An amulet of enchantment. Were you aware, physician, that your assistant kept instruments of sorcery?

GAIUS
No.

AREDIAN
Well, our work is done. I must inform the King.

GAIUS
Aredian! I know for certain that that amulet does not belong to Merlin.

AREDIAN
Oh? Well who does it belong to, then?

GAIUS
It belongs to me.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Arthur opens Merlin's cell.]

ARTHUR
You're free to go.


[A guard escorts Merlin out, Merlin passes Gaius being escorted in.]

MERLIN
Gaius? What's going on?

GAIUS
Say nothing, Merlin. Do nothing. Promise me!


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin returns to find the place ransacked.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Uther and Arthur eat dinner with Aredian.]

UTHER
Gaius served me with unfailing dedication. Without his knowledge, his wisdom, I would not be sitting here today.

AREDIAN
You show great faith in him, Sire. Great faith, indeed, considering he was known to practice sorcery.

ARTHUR
Gaius? You are mistaken.

UTHER
No, Arthur. He speaks the truth. I'm well aware of his past, but I have every reason to believe he's turned his back on sorcery.

AREDIAN
Until now.

UTHER
We don't know that. And this amulet you found, it could just be a stupid mistake.

AREDIAN
Or maybe he's fallen back into old habits.

ARTHUR
We must give him the benefit of the doubt, surely?

AREDIAN
Why? Anyway, there's a sure way to establish his guilt.

UTHER
I know your methods are effective, Aredian, but Gaius is an old man. He could not withstand such treatment.

AREDIAN
It's the only way to rid your mind of doubt.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Aredian throws water on Gaius.]

GAIUS
What time is it?

AREDIAN
Time for you to confess.

GAIUS
The amulet was a relic from the past, a keepsake.

AREDIAN
But such artifacts are banned on pain of death. Surely, you must know this?

GAIUS
I was wrong to have kept it. I'm grievously sorry for it.

AREDIAN
Well that's a good start. It's an excellent start, but not nearly enough, I'm afraid.

GAIUS
Aredian...

AREDIAN
Guards.


[Guards throw Gaius in his cell, then repeatedly questions him.]

AREDIAN
Was your conscience clear when you practiced magic in the days of the Great Purge?

GAIUS
I have not used magic for many years.

AREDIAN
...that your assistant kept instruments of sorcery?

GAIUS
It belongs to me.

AREDIAN
So if someone else were to practice magic?

GAIUS
No.

AREDIAN
You're an enemy of this kingdom, you're an enemy of your king!

GAIUS
No. My conscience is clear. I'd like a drink of water, please.

AREDIAN
And you shall have one, when you've confessed.

GAIUS
Then I shall die of thirst, Aredian.


[Aredian shrugs.]

--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DRAGON’S CAVE – NIGHT]
[Merlin sees Gaius being dragged out of his cell. Merlin goes to the Dragon's Cave.]

KILGHARRAH
What is wrong, young warlock? You look so pale.

MERLIN
I did a stupid thing. Stupid, stupid thing. And now Gaius is going to pay for it.

KILGHARRAH
Gaius means nothing to me.

MERLIN
But he means a great deal to me!

KILGHARRAH
Very well. Tell me what has happened.

MERLIN
A witch finder has come. He's arrested Gaius for sorcery, but I am the sorcerer.

KILGHARRAH
Yes, I suppose you are.

MERLIN
Well, I'm going to confess. It's the only way to save him.

KILGHARRAH
Then your stupidity continues.

MERLIN
I won't sacrifice a friend to save myself!

KILGHARRAH
Bravely spoken, but Gaius is already doomed. If you confess, the witch finder will just burn you both.

MERLIN
But it's my fault! Don't you understand?

KILGHARRAH
All too well, young warlock. But understand this: if you were to die, you would endanger the lives of all those that rely upon you.

MERLIN
Well, there must be something I can do. There must be. Please help me.

KILGHARRAH
Merlin, I see you are distressed by this, but I cannot help you because I do not know how to.

MERLIN
I can't just stand by and watch Gaius die! I can't!

KILGHARRAH
I am sorry.

[Kilgharrah flies off.]

--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – NIGHT]
[Aredian interrogates Gaius again.]

AREDIAN
You're a traitor! You're an impostor! Sorcery is your only master.

GAIUS
I serve only my King.

AREDIAN
Ha! In what way have you served him? You've lied to him. You've broken his laws. You've betrayed his trust.

GAIUS
I've saved his life. I've treated his ward. I've protected his only son.

AREDIAN
You've treated his ward?

GAIUS
I have striven to help all those in need. It is a physician's duty to do so.

AREDIAN
The Lady Morgana??

GAIUS
Among others.

AREDIAN
For what malady does she receive this treatment?

GAIUS
She...she suffers from nightmares.

AREDIAN
I see.

GAIUS
And as I said, I feel it is my duty to attend to the needs...

AREDIAN
Yes, yes. You seem very keen to change the subject, Gaius. Perhaps I should question her myself.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Gaius sees Morgana being led into Aredian's dungeon chambers.]

AREDIAN
There's no need to be concerned, My Lady. I won't detain you long. There's just a small detail I wish to clarify. Now, it's true, is it not, that you have received treatment for nightmares?


[Morgana nods.]

AREDIAN
And it was Gaius, the court physician, who administered these treatments? These potions?

MORGANA
Yes.

AREDIAN
I'm sorry, could you speak up?

MORGANA
Yes.

AREDIAN
Thank you. Now, you may go.


[Morgana smiles in relief and gets up to leave.]

AREDIAN
You don't happen to know what was in these potions, I suppose?

MORGANA
Oh, no.

AREDIAN
No. No, of course not. You're not a physician, after all. So, for all you know, these potions could have been magical, your dreams the product of an enchanted elixir.

MORGANA
Oh, I had these dreams before Gaius started treating me.

AREDIAN
But these dreams, have they got better or worse since Gaius began treating you?

MORGANA
Worse.

AREDIAN
As I thought. Thank you. You've been most helpful.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Aredian pokes Gaius in his cell.]

AREDIAN
Gaius. Are you prepared to confess?

GAIUS
I'd rather die of thirst.

AREDIAN
Good. And die you shall. But not alone, I'm pleased to say. You shall have company.

GAIUS
What?

AREDIAN
Merlin and the Lady Morgana are to join you in the flames.

GAIUS
No. This is a trick.

AREDIAN (shakes head)
Mm-Mmm. You've corrupted them, Gaius, and they must answer to their king. Unless...

GAIUS
Unless what?


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER – DAY]
[Aredian throws Gaius to his knees before the court.]

AREDIAN
Confess! Confess!

GAIUS
I...I am a sorcerer, Sire. I am responsible for conjuring the smoke. I'm guilty of practicing magic in Camelot, the goblin, the faces in the well, I...I am the sorcerer who conjured the toad from his mouth.

UTHER
You've betrayed me, Gaius. Betrayed your friends. And above all, you've betrayed yourself. By the laws of Camelot, I must sentence you to death.

AREDIAN
The sorcerer will be purged of his magic by means of fire! He shall be burnt at the stake tomorrow at dawn! Bear witness and heed this lesson!


[Guards drag Gaius out of the room. Merlin charges at Aredian.]

MERLIN
You're a liar.


[Arthur gets up and restrains him, dragging him from the room.]

UTHER
Guards!

MERLIN
You're a liar!

ARTHUR (to guards)
I'll deal with this.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Arthur takes Merlin to the Dungeons and lets him go, Merlin takes a swing at him, but Arthur grabs his arm and twists it behind his back.]

MERLIN
Argh!

ARTHUR
I know you're upset. I know you're angry. It's alright. I'm not throwing you in jail.

MERLIN
Then what are you doing?


[Arthur lets him go.]

ARTHUR
I'm breaking the law.


[Arthur open's Gaius's cell.]

ARTHUR
I can only give you a few minutes.

MERLIN
They wouldn't let me see you, there was nothing I could do.

GAIUS
I know. I understand.

MERLIN
I can't believe it. I can't believe Uther would do this to you.

GAIUS
He had no choice. Once Aredian had found the amulet...

MERLIN
I didn't even know you had such a thing.

GAIUS
It isn't mine.

MERLIN
Why did you say it was?

GAIUS
I was trying to protect you.

MERLIN
I don't know what to say.

GAIUS
It's alright, Merlin. You don't have to say anything.

MERLIN
Yeah, I do. The amulet isn't mine either.

GAIUS
Then how did it get there?

MERLIN
Aredian.

GAIUS
Aredian?

MERLIN
There's no other explanation.

GAIUS
But why?

MERLIN
It doesn't matter why. All that matters is, if I can prove he planted it, you're saved.

GAIUS
No. You must let this go.

MERLIN
No, you're falsely accused. I have a chance to prove that. I must take that chance.

GAIUS
No, Merlin. You must not.

MERLIN
I don't understand. Do you want to die?

GAIUS
No. But neither do I want you to die. And die you surely will if you get too close to Aredian. He will trap you, Merlin. He will manipulate you, and without ever meaning to, you will incriminate yourself. You must let this go.

MERLIN
I must let you go?

GAIUS
To do otherwise would be an act of suicide.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Merlin watches out the window as the guards build a pyre in the Square.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS]
[Aredian visits Gaius in his cell.]

AREDIAN
Ah, Gaius. Well, I hope you've found some relief now that your ordeal is over.

GAIUS
Your concern is touching, Aredian. Now will you please get out of my sight.

AREDIAN
Ha! Of course. I just thought you'd want to hear the news, that's all.

GAIUS
What news?

AREDIAN
My investigations have begun.

GAIUS
Begun? But you already extracted my confession.

AREDIAN
Indeed. Which just leaves Merlin and the Lady Morgana.

GAIUS
But we struck a bargain.

AREDIAN
Oh, I don't bargain with sorcerers.


[Aredian chuckles darkly.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MORGANA’S CHAMBERS]
[Morgana watches the pyre being built in the Square from her window. Aredian appears behind her.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Gwen bursts in.]

GWEN
Merlin?! He won't let go! He won't stop!

MERLIN
What happened?

GWEN
The Witchfinder's questioning Morgana again. I'm worried, Merlin. She's close to breaking point.

MERLIN
Yeah, that's what he does. He breaks you down and in the end you confess whether you're guilty or not.

GWEN
What do you mean?

MERLIN
Gaius was set up. Aredian planted that amulet.

GWEN
But why would he do such a thing?

MERLIN
Aredian is paid to catch sorcerers. Maybe he doesn't care whether someone is guilty or not. Maybe he gets confessions by lying, by planting evidence, just as long as he gets a confession, he gets his money.

GWEN
But even if this is true, what can we do without proof?

MERLIN
Get some.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, AREDIAN’S GUEST CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Merlin snoops around.]

MERLIN
Tospringe.


[Merlin’s spell unlocks a cupboard and he finds flower petals. Merlin hears someone coming and remakes the bed with a spell.]

MERLIN
Dæfte þæt bedd.


[Aredian enters. Aredian notices something is off, but looks in the wrong hiding spot behind a curtain. Merlin is under the bed.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Gwen and Merlin flip through books.]

GWEN
This is hopeless!

MERLIN
Keep looking.

GWEN
We don't even know if this flower means anything.

MERLIN
No we don't, but it's all we've got. Here. Belladonna.

GWEN
"For the alleviation of ulcers, allergies, and muscular inflammation..." This is hopeless, Merlin.

MERLIN
No, wait. Listen, "Under certain conditions, a tincture of the flower can produce hallucinations."

GWEN
So?

MERLIN (scoff)
Aredian's witnesses. It wasn't magic they were seeing, it was visions.

GWEN
It makes sense, if he's faking the evidence. But how can we prove it?

MERLIN
No, Aredian's too clever to have given the tincture to them directly. The witnesses, they must've got it from someone else.

GWEN
They could've been getting it from anyone.

MERLIN
Is there anything, anything at all that these people had in common?

GWEN
They were all women?

MERLIN
No, that doesn't tell us anything.

GWEN
Yes, it does. What's the one thing only women would buy? Things to make them look beautiful.


--
[EXT. LOWER TOWN, APOTHECARY – NIGHT]
[Gwen and Merlin run through the Lower Town at night and knock on a door, and older man steps out.]

THE APOTHECARY
Gwen?


[They step inside.]

GWEN
Do you sell a tincture of Belladonna?

THE APOTHECARY
What's this all about?

GWEN
Please, it's important.

THE APOTHECARY
Well, I, I think I've got some somewhere, but what you'd be wanting with eye drops in the middle of the night, I really don't want to know.

GWEN
Eye drops.

THE APOTHECARY
Yes. Women use them to make their eyes more beautiful.

MERLIN
Where did you get this?

THE APOTHECARY
Well, my usual suppliers.

MERLIN
Sure you didn't get it from someone else?

THE APOTHECARY
Of course I'm sure. If it's all the same to you, I'd like to get some sleep.

GWEN
It was Aredian who gave you the Belladonna, wasn't it?

THE APOTHECARY
Don't know what you're talking about.

MERLIN
But you know that Gaius is going to be executed tomorrow, don't you?

THE APOTHECARY
That has nothing to do with me.

MERLIN
That has everything to do with you! Aredian's witnesses saw visions. Visions produced by the Belladonna in these eye drops! If we can prove this, we have a chance of saving Gaius.

THE APOTHECARY
He forced me to sell it. He, he said he'd kill me if I said anything to anyone.

GWEN
It was him? It was Aredian?

THE APOTHECARY
Yes, it was him.

GWEN
Thank you.

MERLIN
Thank you.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Merlin grabs the tincture and Belladonna petals.]

MERLIN
That's it. We've got everything we need.

GWEN
But is it enough?

MERLIN
We've got a witness as well. Surely that's enough?

GWEN
It's still just our word against Aredian's!

MERLIN
Gwen, we don't have a choice! By dawn tomorrow Gaius will be dead.

GWEN
Merlin, we've only got one chance at this. We've got to give Uther something he cannot deny. Something not even Aredian can talk his way out of.

MERLIN
I'll be as quick as I can.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, AREDIAN’S GUEST CHAMBER – NIGHT]
[Merlin sneaks into Aredian's room and raises a hand to the cupboard.]

MERLIN (whisper)
Hlyste min níehst bebod.


[Merlin approaches Aredian and reaches a hand over Aredian's throat.]

MERLIN (whisper)
Ceolwærc.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS/PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – DAWN]
[Gaius sees sunlight enter his cell. Gwen sees the sunrise from the Physician's Chambers.]

GWEN
Come on, Merlin. Come on.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, AREDIAN’S GUEST CHAMBER/DUNGEONS – DAY]
[Aredian gets ready in the morning, trying to clear his throat. He fetches Gaius from the Dungeons.]

AREDIAN
Good morning, Gaius.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Merlin runs in.]

GWEN
Merlin! Where have you been?

MERLIN
It's done. Everything's in place.

GWEN
But it's too late! Gaius has already left the dungeons!

MERLIN
Then...then we'll have to delay the execution.

GWEN
How?

MERLIN
Arthur. I'll speak to Arthur.

GWEN
No. Leave Arthur to me.


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE – DAY]
[Aredian escorts Gaius to the pyre in the square in the horse-drawn cage. Uther watches Gaius as he's brought out, but leaves before Aredian opens the cage and drags Gaius to the pyre.]

ARTHUR
Easy there! Show some respect!

GWEN
Sorry. Excuse me. Excuse me. Sorry. I must get through. Sorry. Excuse me. Arthur! Arthur! Arthur, you've got to stop this.

ARTHUR
I can't, Gwen. You know I can't.

GWEN
Merlin has proof that Gaius is innocent.

ARTHUR
My father's already past sentence. There's nothing I can do.

GWEN
You can do the right thing, Arthur Pendragon! You can show some faith in a loyal friend, or you can stand by and watch an innocent man die!

ARTHUR
Guinevere...

GWEN
You did it once before to my father; are you really willing to let it happen again? And you can stop looking at me like that, I know I'm only a servant! I thought you were a prince, so start behaving like one!


[Aredian lowers the torch to light the pyre.]

ARTHUR
Wait!


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, THRONE ROOM – DAY]

MERLIN
Sire, the witnesses saw nothing but hallucinations induced by the Belladonna in these eye drops.

UTHER
And you bought this Belladonna from this man?


[The witnesses all nod.]

UTHER
Where did you get it from? Don't be afraid, no harm will come to you here.

THE APOTHECARY
The Witchfinder. He gave them to me.

UTHER
Did he tell you what it was for?

THE APOTHECARY
No. Only that if I did not sell it, he'd have me burnt at the stake.

UTHER
How do you answer to these accusations?

AREDIAN
They're absurd. The boy has clearly concocted these lies in the hope of saving his master.

MERLIN
Then you won't mind if we search your chamber, will you?

UTHER
Silence! You have no authority here!

ARTHUR
Father...let's settle this once and for all. If what Merlin says is wrong, he must bear the consequences. But if there is some truth in what he says...

AREDIAN
I have nothing to hide.

--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, AREDIAN’S GUEST CHAMBER – DAY]
[Aredian, Merlin, Arthur, Uther, and Morgana watch the guards toss the room.]

AREDIAN
You're wasting your time.

ARTHUR
The cupboard over there.


[Dozens of amulets drop out, and a stash of Belladonna tincture is inside.]

AREDIAN
These things don't belong to me! This is a trick! *cough* That boy plots against me!


[Aredian tries to clear throat and spits out a toad.]

UTHER
Sorcerer!

[Aredian grabs a dagger and the Lady Morgana.]

UTHER
Aredian, think carefully about what you're doing. You will never escape from Camelot alive.

AREDIAN
I will if you value the life of your ward. Hmm?

MERLIN (whisper)
Forbærnan.

[The handle of the dagger heats up and Aredian drops it, freeing Morgana. Aredian trips backward over a box and falls out the window.]


--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – DAY]
[Gaius cleans the mess that the guards made. Uther enters.]

UTHER
Gaius, I'm glad I found you here.

GAIUS
As am I, My Lord. It thought I'd never see these chambers again.

UTHER
If anything was damaged in the search, I'll be only too glad to replace it.

GAIUS
You're very kind, My Lord.

UTHER
Aredian. I can still scarcely believe that he was a sorcerer.

GAIUS
Indeed. Is there some reason you wish to see me?

UTHER
Yes. I, er...I wanted to say I'm sorry if you suffered at his hands.

GAIUS
But I did not suffer at his hands, Uther. I suffered at yours. He worked for you, My Lord. He was merely following your orders.

UTHER
But I was deceived.

GAIUS
No. You were deceived long before Aredian, for you deceived yourself. You see foes where there are friends, you see sorcerers where there are but servants. I am not the first to be wrongly accused in your war against magic, and not all have been as lucky as I.

UTHER
I assure you, Gaius, every measure will be taken to ensure that nothing like this will happen again.

GAIUS
I hope that is true, for all our sakes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have work to do.

--
[INT. KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN’S CHAMBERS – NIGHT]
[Gaius serves dinner.]

GAIUS
What I don't understand is how you knew he'd concealed the evidence in his chamber.

MERLIN
Just a hunch, really.

GAIUS
I see. And the toad.

MERLIN
That I, er...ahem, I, er...can't explain.

GAIUS
I can hardly explain it myself. Unless, of course, you put it there.

MERLIN
OK, Gaius, fair enough. I promise I will never save your life again.

GAIUS
Promise?

MERLIN
Absolutely.


[Merlin and Gaius laugh.]

GAIUS
Honestly, Merlin, the toad was a step too far.

MERLIN
You should've seen the look on his face.

[They laugh.]

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