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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 man. His name: Merlin.

[NEW SCENE: GUINEVERE IS WALKING THROUGH A DARK CORRIDOR IN THE CASTLE, KEEPING TO THE SHADOWS, AND IS JUST ABOUT TO LEAVE WHEN PERCIVAL SEES HER.]

PERCIVAL: You there! Show yourself.

[GUINEVERE TURNS AROUND TO FACE HIM, TO HIS SURPRISE.]

PERCIVAL: Your Highness. Are you alright? Is something wrong?

GUINEVERE: No, no. All is well.

PERCIVAL: It's dangerous to be out at such an hour.

GUINEVERE: I am grateful you are so scrupulous in your duties.

PERCIVAL: It's not where I thought to have found you, Your Highness.

GUINEVERE: One does not always wish to be "Your Highness", Percival. I miss the old town, its streets, its people, so I go back sometimes.

PERCIVAL: Is that wise?

GUINEVERE: Well, people only see a Queen when they expect to.

PERCIVAL: All the same-

GUINEVERE: And it reminds me of Elyan... and I need that sometimes.

PERCIVAL: Of course. I understand.

GUINEVERE: I'm not sure Arthur would.

PERCIVAL: I won't mention it.

GUINEVERE: Thank you.

[NEW SCENE: GUINEVERE IS MEETING MORGANA IN THE WOODS.]

MORGANA: You're late.

GUINEVERE: I'm sorry.

MORGANA: Was there a problem?

GUINEVERE: Nothing I could not handle.

MORGANA: Did you get what I asked for?

[GUINEVERE HANDS MORGANA A SCROLL.]

GUINEVERE: It wasn't easy. It details the route the levy collection will take, the names of the knights, their arms, and the day they depart.

MORGANA: You've done well, Gwen.

GUINEVERE: How can it further our cause?

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR WATCHING GUINEVERE TALK WITH MORGANA. THEIR WORDS ARE INAUDIBLE. HE UNSHEATHES HIS SWORD BUT MERLIN STOPS HIM.]

MERLIN: No, my lord! Morgana's too powerful. Now is not the time.

ARTHUR: How could she do this?

MERLIN: She's not the Gwen you love. She has fallen pray to a dark and powerful magic.

ARTHUR: If I lose her, I lose everything.

MERLIN: We'll find a way to bring her back, Arthur. I promise.

OPENING CREDITS

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE ARE HAVING BREAKFAST IN THEIR CHAMBERS. ARTHUR IS STARING AT HER. HIS PLATE IS FULL AND HE HOLDS A PIECE OF FOOD IN ONE HAND BUT DOESN'T EAT IT.]

GUINEVERE: I thought I might ride this morning.

ARTHUR: Yes?

GUINEVERE: Would you like to join me?

ARTHUR: That won't be possible.

GUINEVERE: Oh. Perhaps this afternoon then?

ARTHUR: Perhaps.

GUINEVERE: Arthur, is everything all right?

ARTHUR: What do you mean?

GUINEVERE: You seem distracted.

ARTHUR: Not at all. Pressing matters of state, that's all. I'm sorry.

GUINEVERE: I understand. Is there anything I can help you with?

ARTHUR (shakes his head): That won't be necessary.

[ARTHUR GETS UP AND LEAVES, WITH HIS FOOD HARDLY TOUCHED.]

GUINEVERE: You've hardly eaten!

ARTHUR: I have a training session I must attend to.

GUINEVERE: Well, perhaps I will see you later?

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR WALKS INTO A SECRET ROOM WITH MORDRED AND LEON AND LOCKS THE DOOR. HE UNFURLS A SCROLL ON THE TABLE.]

ARTHUR: Gentlemen. This is the new route to collect the levy. Commit it to memory.

MORDRED: My Lord?

ARTHUR: You are to tell no one that we have changed the plans until the patrol is on its way. Is that understood?

LEON: Sire.

ARTHUR: Mordred?

MORDRED: Of course. But may I ask why we're changing the route, my lord? It's another day's ride.

ARTHUR: I can't tell you that. I just ask you trust me.

[LEON AND MORDRED NOD.]

ARTHUR: Good. You leave in three days.

[MORDRED WATCHES AS ARTHUR BURNS THE SCROLL WITH THE NEW ROUTE.]

[NEW SCENE: MERLIN IS LOOKING FOR SPELLS TO HELP GUINEVERE IN GAIUS'S CHAMBERS.]

MERLIN: Why did I promise to help Gwen? I have no idea what to do. Is there really no remedy?

GAIUS: If Gwen has suffered what I suspect then no, I fear not.

MERLIN: You know what happened to her?

GAIUS: When I was young, I heard about an ancient ritual of the Old Religion called the Teine Diaga.

MERLIN: Teine Diaga?

GAIUS: The sacred fire. The ritual used the mandrake root to bring unimaginable terror to the victim. Their screams could be heard twenty leagues away. When it was finally over, their will was no longer their own. They were slaves of the high priestesses for eternity.

MERLIN: Who performed this ritual? Where?

GAIUS: I've told you all I know. Such mysteries were revealed only to a handful of female initiates. As a boy, I was privy only to rumors.

MERLIN: There must be someone who can help.

GAIUS: I can only think of two people who truly know the Old Ways. One is Morgana Pendragon...

[NEW SCENE: MERLIN WALKS TOWARDS A CAVE. BEFORE ENTERING, HE DRINKS AN AGEING POTION, TURNING HIMSELF INTO DRAGOON THE GREAT.]

GAIUS: The other is the Dochraid. But be warned, Merlin. The Dochraid cannot be trusted. She must never know your true identity.

DOCHRAID: Who dares enter the sacred cave?

DRAGOON: I come to petition the Dochraid.

DOCHRAID: Give me your hand.

[DRAGOON APPROACHES AND GIVES HER HIS HAND. SHE SNIFFS IT AND PUSHES IT AWAY IN DISGUST.]

DOCHRAID: I smell the stench of enmity.

DRAGOON: I come in peace. In friendship.

DOCHRAID: You are no friend of the Old Religion. No friend of Morgana Pendragon.

DRAGOON: Great Dochraid-

DOCHRAID: Silence! I know you, Emrys. Your Queen will find no relief here.

DRAGOON: How do you know why I come?

DOCHRAID: I am the Dochraid. The Earth speaks to me. You are not welcome here.  Depart!

DRAGOON: Oh, I cannot do that. Not until I have what I came for.

DOCHRAID: You dare challenge me, the ancient Dochraid? You? A puny sorceror?

DRAGOON: And yet I will have what I came for.

DOCHRAID: I am a creature of the Earth. You cannot kill me.

[DRAGOON TAKES OUT EXCALIBUR AND SHOWS IT TO THE DOCHRAID, WHO RECOILS IN FEAR.]

DRAGOON: This sword was forged in a dragon's breath and it will do my bidding.

DOCHRAID: You do not have the power to wield such a weapon.

[DRAGOON SWINGS THE SWORD AND SLICES THE DOCHRAID'S ARM. SHE CRIES OUT IN PAIN AND COVERS THE WOUND WITH HER HAND.]

DRAGOON: I wish you no furthur harm, Dochraid. Tell me what I need to know.

DOCHRAID: Your Queen is doomed, Emrys. Her spirit has been consumed by the Teine Diaga. Bound by the silver wheel for all eternity. Her body is nothing but an empty vessel filled by the will of another.

DRAGOON: Morgana.

DOCHRAID: Once she has served her purpose, then that too will be cast away.

DRAGOON: How do I break this spell?

DOCHRAID: Only the greatest of sorcerers can attempt such a thing.

[DRAGOON POINTS THE SWORD AT THE DOCHRAID AGAIN. SHE RECOILS IN FEAR.]

DRAGOON: How?

DOCHRAID: You must travel to the Cauldron of Arianrhod. There you will need all of your powers, for you must summon the White Goddess herself.

[DRAGOON BRINGS THE SWORD CLOSER TO THE DOCHRAID, WHO RECOILS FROM THE THREAT.]

DRAGOON: And that is all?

DOCHRAID: No, Emrys. The Queen must enter the Cauldron. Its waters hold the Goddess' power. Only their touch can heal her. Remember, Emrys, the Queen must enter the water willingly. If she is tricked, forced or beguiled, she will fall into the abyss and be lost forever.

[DRAGOON LOWERS EXCALIBUR.]

DRAGOON: Thank you, Great Dochraid. Thank you.

[DRAGOON STARTS TO LEAVE THE CAVE BUT THE DOCHRAID USES MAGIC TO THROW A DAGGER AT HIM. DRAGOON USES MAGIC TO REPEL IT AND ATTACKS THE DOCHRAID WITH EXCALIBUR AGAIN, WOUNDING HER. SHE CRIES OUT IN AGONY, DOUBLING OVER. HE LOOKS DOWN AT HER FOR A MOMENT AND THEN LEAVES THE CAVE.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR IS LOOKING OUTSIDE THE WINDOW AND SEES MERLIN RETURN FROM HIS EXPEDITION. MORDRED APPROACHES ARTHUR.]

MORDRED: Sire? Is all well?

ARTHUR: Yes. Thank you.

MORDRED: If there's anything I can do...

ARTHUR: I'm sorry?

MORDRED: Just wanted you to know I'm always at your service.

ARTHUR: I never doubted it, Mordred.

[MORDRED NODS HIS HEAD AT ARTHUR AND LEAVES. ARTHUR GOES BACK TO STARING OUT THE WINDOW.]

[NEW SCENE: MERLIN LEADS THE WAY INTO THE PHYSICIAN'S QUARTERS, SPEAKING TO GAIUS ABOUT WHAT THE DOCHRAID TOLD HIM.]

MERLIN: There are too many things to go wrong. And summoning the White Goddess? That may be beyond me.

GAIUS: I think not. Merlin, the only person who ever doubts your power is you.

MERLIN: And even if I do manage that, we need to get Gwen to the Cauldron in the first place and she's hardly likely to go willingly.

GAIUS: I've already thought of that.

[GAIUS SHOWS MERLIN A POTION. MERLIN TAKES THE POTION BOTTLE AND INSPECTS IT.]

MERLIN: Tincture of Belladona?

GAIUS: All that studying has already paid off.

MERLIN: It's a powerful and dangerous drug, Gaius.

GAIUS: More dangerous than the traitor in the heart of Camelot?

MERLIN: Besides, Gwen needs to be conscious when she enters the Cauldron. She must do so of her own free will or the spell will not be broken.

GAIUS: That, I agree, may not be within our powers.

MERLIN: Well then, the rest is futile.

GAIUS: But there is for someone whom it is possible.

MERLIN: Arthur?

[GAIUS NODS CONFIRMATION.]

GAIUS: Only he can reach the part of Gwen that remains true.

MERLIN: It won't work.

GAIUS: You underestimate the power of love, Merlin.

MERLIN: No, not that. Me. How can I use my magic with Arthur there? He'd discover me in an instant.

GAIUS: Not if he didn't recognize you.

MERLIN: (chuckles) No. No, not again. You know how exhausting the ageing spell is, Gaius. I don't have to strength to do that and perform the ceremony.

GAIUS: Then you must find the strength.

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR, GAIUS AND MERLIN TALKING PRIVATELY IN A HIDDEN ROOM.]

ARTHUR: This tincture of Belladona, what are its effects?

GAIUS: The patient is rendered into a deep sleep.

ARTHUR: Patient?!

GAIUS: It is generally used for the badly wounded.

ARTHUR: How long does it last?

GAIUS: A few hours. It has to be administered several times a day to provide a continuous sleep.

MERLIN: But for no more than three days.

GAIUS: It is true, Sire. The tincture should not be taken for an extended period.

ARTHUR: Or?

MERLIN: The body will not tolerate it.

ARTHUR: Thank you, Merlin.

GAIUS: Three days is time enough to ride to the Cauldron of Arianrhod.

ARTHUR: You've done the journey yourself, have you?

GAIUS: I cannot claim to-

ARTHUR: Any mishap, any unexpected circumstance will-

GAIUS: There is no reason to suspect that all will not go well. My Lord, if we do nothing, Gwen is already taken from you.

ARTHUR: Merlin?

[ARTHUR AND MERLIN EXCHANGE A GLANCE AGREEING TO DO THIS.]

ARTHUR: Summoning this Goddess, will it require magic?

GAIUS: It is a ritual that can only be performed by a sorcerer. It is the only way, Sire. Sorcery has to be fought with sorcery.

ARTHUR: I'll be breaking my own decrees.

GAIUS: To save your Queen, to save your wife.

ARTHUR: Very well. It's decided. There'll be a sorcerer. Can he be trusted?

GAIUS: Upon my life.

ARTHUR: You assured me so once before, Gaius, but my father died in the hands of such a man.

GAIUS: This sorcerer will be entirely different.

ARTHUR: How can you be sure?

GAIUS: Because, Sire, this time I have chosen... a woman.

[MERLIN GIVES GAIUS A STRANGE LOOK.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR WALKS IN HIS CHAMBERS THINKING. GUINEVERE WALKS UP BEHIND HIM.]

GUINEVERE: How was the training, my Lord?

ARTHUR: Fine.

GUINEVERE: Did you win? Lose?

ARTHUR: A little of both.

GUINEVERE: You're a terrible liar, Arthur. You're wearing the same clothes you were this morning and your armor remains untouched. I'm not a fool. Wherever you've been, it wasn't the training ground.

ARTHUR: I um-

GUINEVERE: Have I done somthing wrong? Spoken out of turn? Said something I shouldn't? I'm your wife, Arthur! I wouldn't see you hurt for the world. Now tell me what's troubling you.

ARTHUR (sadly): I love you, Guinevere, more than you can imagine. There isn't anything I would not do for you.

GUINEVERE: I know, I-

[ARTHUR PULLS GUINEVERE INTO A STRONG EMBRACE. GUINEVERE IS LOOKING PUZZLED AND ARTHUR IS LOOKING OUT REALLY SADLY.]

[NEW SCENE: MERLIN IN GAIUS'S CHAMBERS TRYING ON A BLACK DRESS.]

MERLIN: What do you think?

GAIUS: Ah. Well, it quite suits you, actually.

MERLIN (laughs): Thanks.

[MERLIN STARTS HEADING TO HIS ROOM.]

GAIUS: You're forgetting one thing.

[MERLIN STOPS AND TURNS BACK TO GAIUS, LOOKING PUZZLED.]

MERLIN: I think it needs a belt.

[MERLIN STARTS HEADING BACK TO HIS ROOM WHEN GAIUS CALLS HIM BACK AGAIN HOLDING THE BELLADONA POTION.]

GAIUS: Remember, you have to administer two drops every two hours to keep Gwen asleep.

[MERLIN GOES TO HIS ROOM TO GRAB HIS THINGS FOR THE TRIP AND COMES BACK DOWN AND TAKES THE POTION FROM GAIUS.]

MERLIN: Do you really think we can succeed, Gaius?

GAIUS: We must.

[GAIUS AND MERLIN LEAVE THE ROOM]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR, GAIUS AND GUINEVERE ARE EATING IN THE ROYAL CHAMBERS.  MERLIN POURS THE BELLADONA IN THE PITCHER AND ATTEMPTS TO GIVE GUINEVERE A DRINK.]

MERLIN: Wine, my Lady?

GUINEVERE: Not tonight thanks, Merlin.

[MERLIN FAILS TO POUR THE WINE IN GUINEVERE'S GOBLET AND LOOKS AT ARTHUR AND GAIUS FOR HELP. ARTHUR RAISES HIS GLASS]

ARTHUR: A toast.

GUINEVERE: My Lord?

ARTHUR: A toast to... A toast to the Queen.

GUINEVERE: Me? What have I done?

GAIUS: Just being yourself, Your Highness.

GUINEVERE: You're very kind, Gaius, but shouldn't it rather be to Camelot?

[MERLIN POURS GUINEVERE SOME WINE]

ARTHUR, MERLIN, GAIUS: To Camelot.

ARTHUR: Yes, to Camelot.

GUINEVERE: To Camelot

[EVERYONE TAKES A DRINK FROM THEIR GOBLETS. GAIUS, ARTHUR AND MERLIN START STARING AT GUINEVERE, WAITING FOR THE BELLADONNA TO TAKE AFFECT. FOR A MOMENT, GUINEVERE SEEMS UNAFFECTED, TO THEIR CONCERN.]

GUINEVERE: You haven't eaten, my Lord.

ARTHUR: No, I hav-

[GUINEVERE PASSES OUT AND MERLIN PUSHES A PLATE OF SOFT BREAD UNDER HER HEAD SO SHE DOES NOT HIT THE TABLE. THEY ALL SPRING INTO ACTION.]

ARTHUR: You're sure this is safe, Gaius?

GAIUS: I'd stake my life on it, Sire.

ARTHUR: You may have to.

[MERLIN WHEELS IN A SMALL WHEELBARROW WITH A CLOTH FOLDED ON IT.]

ARTHUR: She's still a Queen!

MERLIN: It was the best I could do.

GAIUS: We have to hurry, Sire.

[ARTHUR AND MERLIN START TO PLACE GUINEVERE ON THE WHEELBARROW.]

ARTHUR: Careful...

[ARTHUR EASES THE REST OF GUINEVERE ON THE WHEELBARROW. MERLIN DRAPES A SHEET OVER HER BODY TO CONCEAL HER.]

MERLIN: There. No one will know.

ARTHUR: Gaius, you're sure this is going to work?

GAIUS: You'll be amazed at how much licence old age lends you, Sire. Merlin, come. We meet at the Darkling Woods.

[MERLIN STARTS TO STEER GUINEVERE OUT OF THE ROOM.]

ARTHUR: Merlin, if you drop her...

MERLIN: I know. I lose my head.

ARTHUR: Just so we're clear.

[MERLIN LEAVES THE ROOM WITH GUINEVERE. ARTHUR CLOSES THE DOOR AND PREPARES FOR THE JOURNEY.]

[NEW SCENE: GAIUS AND MERLIN ARE TAKING GUINEVERE TO THE DARKLING WOODS. THEY PASS TWO KNIGHTS.]

GAIUS: Keep up, boy! Keep up!

[THE KNIGHTS AND GAIUS LET MERLIN PASS AND GAIUS ADDRESSES THE KNIGHTS.]

GAIUS: Why I keep him is beyond me.

[THEY CONTINUE ON.]

GAIUS: Are you alright?

MERLIN: She's a lot heavier than she looks.

GAIUS: That might very well be grounds for treason.

MERLIN: Oh, dear.

[GAIUS AND MERLIN BUMP INTO GWAINE AND MORDRED.]

GWAINE: Ah! Gaius and Merlin.

MORDRED: And a barrow of linen.

GAIUS: Sir Gwaine, Sir Mordred.

GWAINE: Planning on changing a bed?

MORDRED: Or perhaps to run up some clothes?

[MORDRED REACHES FOR THE SHEET COVERING GUINEVERE AND MERLIN PULLS AWAY.]

GAIUS: Don't touch that. Not unless you want to risk an attack of Red Thrush Fever.

GWAINE: I never heard of it?

GAIUS: Ah, then you are fortunate indeed. More fortunate than the young man who just died in these very bedclothes. They have to be burned immediately. The last thing Camelot needs is an outbreak of Red Thrush Fever. Is it not?

GWAINE (looking concerned): Yes, of course. Sorry.

[MORDRED AND GWAINE ALLOW MERLIN AND GAIUS TO PASS BY AND THEY ALL HEAD ON THEIR WAY, BUT THEN GWAINE STOPS THEM.]

GWAINE: Gaius?

GAIUS: Sire?

GWAINE: What is the name of the unfortunate young man? So that I may send somthing to his family.

GAIUS: Timothy

[GAIUS AND MERLIN CONTINUE ON THEIR WAY BUT NOT BEFORE MORDRED TURNS BACK AND SEES GUINEVERE'S HAND FALL FROM UNDER THE SHEET.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR IS WAITING IN THE FOREST FOR MERLIN AND GAIUS TO BRING GUINEVERE. HE LOOKS OVER TO JUST SEE GAIUS WALKING TO HIM.]

ARTHUR: Where's Merlin?

GAIUS: It's alright, Sire. He comes.

[MERLIN COMES UP BEHIND GAIUS BRINGING GUINEVERE.]

ARTHUR: What kept you?

MERLIN: Do you have any idea how steep those slopes are?

[WHEN MERLIN GETS TO ARTHUR, ARTHUR TAKES OFF THE SHEET TO REVEAL GUINEVERE.]

ARTHUR: She looks so innocent. Perfect.

GAIUS: She still is, Sire. The only evil in her is Morgana's. Come, you must be on your way.

[ARTHUR TAKES GUINEVERE IN HIS ARMS AND BRINGS HER TO THE HORSES AND MERLIN BRIEFLY HUGS GAIUS GOODBYE.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE ARE RIDING THROUGH THE FOREST TOWARDS THE CAULDRON OF ARIANRHOD.]

[NEW SCENE: THE DOCHRAID'S SACRED CAVE.]

DOCHRAID: Gehaele thisne lichaman. Gestrangeme nu mihtig hie to forwarniene; yfel is on ofost.

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR AND MERLIN HAVE REACHED THE MOUNTAINS AND HAVE STOPPED TO PLAN THEIR NEXT MOVE.]

MERLIN: The sorceress lives at the westernmost peak.

ARTHUR: That would be the highest. It always is, isn't it? Better get started, then.

[MERLIN LOOKS BEHIND THEM AND STOPS ARTHUR BECAUSE HE SENSES SOMEONE WATCHING THEM.]

MERLIN: Wait... We're being watched.

ARTHUR: One of your funny feelings again? That's alright, then.

[ARTHUR AND MERLIN START TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE MOUNTIAN PASS.]

ARTHUR: We'll tether the horses here. It'll be quicker on foot.

[ARTHUR AND MERLIN STOP TO TIE THE HORSES AND CONTINUE ON FOOT.]

MERLIN: What about the supplies?

ARTHUR: You'll manage.

MERLIN: I can't take it all.

ARTHUR: I'll be carrying Guinevere.

MERLIN: She's half the weight of that lot.

ARTHUR: Are you suggesting that I risk the safety of the Queen and carry even more?

MERLIN: I could take her an-

ARTHUR: She's my wife.

MERLIN: I'd be careful.

ARTHUR: And you're the servant.

[NEW SCENE: THE DOCHRAID'S CAVE.]

DOCHRAID: Fleoge thu swa swa se windraesgrimsath.

[AS THE DOCHRAID CHANTS, SHE ATTACHES A MESSAGE TO A CROW'S LEG. WHEN SHE FINISHES HER CHANT, THE CROW FLIES OUT OF THE CAVE.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR AND MERLIN ARE WALKING WITH GUINEVERE ALONG THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF OF THE MOUNTAIN.]

ARTHUR: These funny feelings of yours...

MERLIN: They're not funny.

ARTHUR: Stupid, then. Where do they come from, do you think? Are you still there, Merlin? Don't tell me you've gone into a sulk.

MERLIN: I'm not sulking. I'm carrying a load even a horse would struggle under.

ARTHUR: Do you good.

MERLIN: How come it wouldn't do you good?

ARTHUR: I'm already good.

MERLIN: Well maybe I-

[MERLIN FALLS DOWN THE CLIFF WITHOUT ARTHUR NOTICING.]

ARTHUR: Merlin?

[ARTHUR TURNS AROUND AND MERLIN IS GONE.]

ARTHUR: Merlin?

[ARTHUR SETS GUINEVERE DOWN ON THE GROUND AND LOOKS OVER THE CLIFF TO FIND MERLIN UNCONSCIOUS.]

ARTHUR: Merlin?!!

[ARTHUR STARTS TO CLIMB DOWN THE CLIFF TO MERLIN BUT SLIPS AND FALLS WITH SOME ROCKS.]

[NEW SCENE: MORGANA RECIEVES THE NOTE FROM THE DOCHRAID. SHE WALKS TO WHERE AITHUSA IS HIDING AND READS THE NOTE.]

DOCHRAID'S VOICE: Emrys is working to foil your plans. He means to cleanse Guinevere at the Cauldron of Arianrhod.

MORGANA: No!

[AITHUSA GROWLS.]

MORGANA: You must help me, Aithusa. This cannot be.

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR AND MERLIN ARE UNCONSCIOUS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CLIFF.  ARTHUR WAKES UP TO FIND HIS ARM TRAPPED BETWEEN TWO BOULDERS. HE TRIES TO KICK MERLIN AWAKE, BUT CAN'T REACH HIM.]

ARTHUR: Merlin! Merlin!

[ARTHUR TRIES TO FREE HIS HAND BUT IT'S STUCK. HE PREPARES TO CUT HIS ARM OFF WHEN...]

MORDRED: ARTHUR!!!

[HE LOOKS UP TO SEE MORDRED AT THE TOP OF THE CLIFF WITH A ROPE IN HAND. A BIG WAVE OF RELIEF FLOODS THROUGH HIM.]

ARTHUR: Check on Guinevere.

MORDRED: I already have, Sire. She sleeps soundly.

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR, MERLIN AND MORDRED AROUND A CAMPFIRE IN THE MOUNTAIN PASS.  GUINEVERE SLEEPING SOUNDLY NEXT TO THEM.]

MORDRED: It does not seem possible. The Queen has the sweetest of natures.

ARTHUR: It was never her. Just Morgana. I'm sorry I didn't confide in you.

MORDRED: It's best you didn't. If I hadn't had my suspicions, I wouldn't have followed you. Merlin acting strangely...

ARTHUR: Is that so unusual?

MORDRED: And the levy route being changed.

ARTHUR: You had a funny feeling.

MORDRED: My Lord?

ARTHUR: I'm glad that you did, Mordred. Without you, I fear I would have lost my arm at the very least.

MERLIN: I would have woken.

ARTHUR: Merlin, if I had to rely on your timekeeping, I'd have lost both my arms and my legs to boot. It's good to have you with us. Three's always better than two, isn't that right, Merlin?

MERLIN: Of course. It's time.

ARTHUR: I'll do it.

MERLIN: Two drops only.

[ARTHUR GOES TO GIVE GUINEVERE THE BELLADONA LEAVING MERLIN AND MORDRED ALONE. MORDRED GOES AND CROUCHES NEXT TO MERLIN.]

MORDRED: You don't trust me, do you, Merlin?

MERLIN: I believe you to be a... fine knight.

MORDRED: But not one to be trusted. It's alright. I know you have the King's best interests at heart. I only wish you'd believe that I do too. One day, I shall prove my loyalty to you and to the King. Then I hope we may be friends.

MERLIN: I could wish for nothing more.

[NEW SCENE: MORDRED, MERLIN AND ARTHUR, WHO IS CARRYING GUINEVERE, CONTINUE THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN PASS LOOKING FOR THE CAULDRON. THEY PASS BY A BUNCH OF BANNERS.]

MORDRED: What's the meaning of these banners?

MERLIN: Marks the way for pilgrims. This is a sacred site for those who follow the Old Religion.

ARTHUR: How do you know such things?

MERLIN: Gaius told me.

[MORGANA IS WATCHING FROM A DISTANCE.]

ARTHUR: How much further?

MERLIN: Not far. This gorge leads to the Cauldron.

[AITHUSA SCREAMS.]

[AITHUSA FLIES TOWARDS THEM AND BLOWS FIRE TOWARDS THEM. ARTHUR SWINGS GUINEVERE FROM HARMS WAY AND LEADS THE OTHERS BETWEEN SOME BOULDERS.]

ARTHUR: Here!

[BEFORE HIDING MERLIN LOOKS AROUND FOR SIGNS OF MORGANA. HE THEN JOINS ARTHUR AND MORDRED BEHIND THE BOULDER.]

ARTHUR: Morgana must be close.

MERLIN: You go. I'll distract it.

ARTHUR: No.

MERLIN: You must.

ARTHUR: You're the only one who knows where the sorcerer is.

MERLIN: Arthur!!

[AITHUSA SWOOPS BY THE BOULDER.]

MORDRED: Get Gwen to safety, Sire. We'll cover you and join you beyond the gorge.

ARTHUR: Very well.

[ARTHUR LEAVES MERLIN AND MORDRED AND TAKES GUINEVERE TO SAFETY.]

MERLIN: Stay here. I'll divert the creature.

MORDRED: Merlin, you can't.

MERLIN: I know what I'm doing, Mordred.

[MERLIN RUNS OUT INTO THE OPEN WITH AITHUSA SWOOPING AROUND. AITHUSA STARTS TO ATTACK MERLIN BUT HE TELLS HER (IN DRAGON TONGUE) TO LEAVE AND STOP HER ATTACK.  SHE OBEYS AND MERLIN GOES BACK TO MORDRED. HE STARTS TO GRAB THE SUPPLIES.]

MORDRED: What happened? Merlin?

MERLIN: Come on.

MORDRED: The dragon...

MERLIN: We need to move.

[THEY START RUNNING TO WHERE ARTHUR IS BUT MORGANA IS BEHIND THEM AND INTERCEPTS THEM. SHE FLINGS THEM THROUGH THE AIR AND KNOCKS OUT MORDRED. MERLIN, STILL CONSCIOUS, GETS UP AND FLEES TO ARTHUR.]

ARTHUR: Merlin! Where's Mordred?

[MERLIN JUST SHAKES HIS HEAD. ARTHUR GETS UP AND TRIES TO GET PAST MERLIN TO HELP MORDRED BUT MERLIN STOPS HIM.]

MERLIN: No, Arthur.

ARTHUR: I won't leave a knight behind.

MERLIN: I saw Morgana. Mordred's given us a chance. We can't throw it away.

[NEW SCENE: MORDRED LAYING IN THE ROAD AND MORGANA SLOWLY STROKES HER FINGERS ACROSS HIS FACE TO WAKE HIM UP. HE STIRS AND LOOKS AT MORGANA.]

MORDRED: Why don't you kill me?

MORGANA: My argument's not with you, Mordred. How could it be? We're of a kind.

[MORDRED PULLS HIMSELF TO HIS FEET AND BACKS AWAY FROM MORGANA.]

MORDRED: Never.

MORGANA: You wear the uniform well but we both know what lies beneath. Do you think Arthur would tolerate you for one minute if he knew the truth? One of his knights, a sorcerer.

MORDRED: One day he will know. One day we will be accepted.

MORGANA: Your naïveté would be charming if it wasn't so dangerous. Where's Emrys?

MORDRED: Emrys?

MORGANA: You pretend you do not know of whom I speak?

MORDRED: It is a name I've only heard of.

MORGANA: He's not here? With you?

MORDRED: If he was, would we both not feel the presence of such a great sorcerer?

[MORGANA LOOKS FRIGHTENED AND UNCERTAIN. MORDRED WATCHES HER.]

MORGANA: Then I have no further use for you.

[MORGANA RAISES HER HAND TO CAST A SPELL.]

MORDRED: You would strike one of your own?

[MORGANA HESITATES, LOWERING HER HAND.]

MORDRED: I am not strong enough to defeat you, Morgana, but know this. Such hatred as yours can never triumph. I hope one day you will find the love and compassion which used to fill your heart.

[MORGANA IS VISIBLY MOVED TO NEAR TEARS BY HIS WORDS. MORDRED TAKES ADVANTAGE OF HER DISTRACTION AND USES HIS MAGIC TO THROW HER BACKWARDS. SHE IS RENDERED UNCONSCIOUS BY THE IMPACT OF HER FALL. MORDRED SLOWLY LOWERS HIS HAND.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR CARRIES GUINEVERE TOWARDS THE CAULDRON OF ARIANRHOD, WITH MERLIN FOLLOWING.]

MERLIN: It's as Gaius described. The Cauldron of Arianrhod.

[MERLIN SETS DOWN THE SUPPLIES, SIGHING AS HE IS RELIEVED OF HIS HEAVY BURDENS. ARTHUR SETS GUINEVERE DOWN NEAR THE EDGE OF THE WATER.]

ARTHUR: Where's the sorceress?

MERLIN: Gaius says she's a recluse. She shuns the company of men.

ARTHUR: She's going to have to make an exception. We haven't got much time. Guinevere could wake up at any moment.

MERLIN: We've got more tincture.

ARTHUR: No! No more. I won't risk it. We have to find her.

MERLIN: I'll search her out.

[MERLIN GRABS ONE OF THE BAGS TO BRING WITH HIM. A BLACK DRESS FALLS OUT OF THE BAG AND ARTHUR NOTICES IT. MERLIN PICKS THE DRESS UP AND STUFFS IT BACK INTO THE BAG.]

MERLIN: You didn't think this was going to be free, did you?

ARTHUR: What are you talking about?

MERLIN: The sorceress. She likes to be paid in clothes. She can't get to a tailor.

ARTHUR: Why would a recluse be interested in clothes?

MERLIN: I don't know, Arthur. She's a sorceress. She's not going to be normal, is she?

[NEW SCENE: MERLIN MOVES TO A CONCEALED SPOT, TAKES THE DRESS OUT OF THE BAG AND STARTS TO PUT IT ON OVER HIS CLOTHES.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR SITS NEXT TO THE UNCONSCIOUS GUINEVERE.]

ARTHUR: Not long now, my love.

[ARTHUR HEARS THE SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS AND LOOKS UP TO SEE MORDRED RUNNING TOWARDS HIM.]

ARTHUR: Mordred! I thought we'd lost you.

[ARTHUR AND MORDRED CLASP ARMS.]

MORDRED: So did I.

ARTHUR: How did you escape Morgana?

MORDRED: Even she is no match for a Knight of the Round Table.

ARTHUR: Seriously, Mordred.

[ARTHUR IS INTERRUPTED BY THE SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS AND MERLIN COMES TOWARDS THEM, DISGUISED AS AN OLD WOMAN: THE DOLMA. ARTHUR RECOGNISES HER DRESS AS THE ONE MERLIN BROUGHT.]

ARTHUR: Now it makes sense. Merlin said she had trouble getting clothes.

THE DOLMA: Who are you? What business have you in this sacred place?

ARTHUR: Are you the Dolma, ancient sorceress of the Cauldron of Arianrhod?

[THE DOLMA EXTENDS HER HANDS AND INCLINES HER HEAD.]

THE DOLMA: Who else would I be?

ARTHUR: (to Mordred) Does she look familiar to you?

MORDRED: There is something...

THE DOLMA: What say you? Why do you mutter?

ARTHUR: You look familiar, sorceress.

THE DOLMA: (raises a hand to touch her hair and head covering) Oh. Is that so?

ARTHUR: It is.

MORDRED: My lord, where's Merlin?

[ARTHUR LOOKS TO THE DOLMA WITH SUSPICION, PREPARING TO UNSHEATH HIS SWORD.]

ARTHUR: What have you done with my servant?

THE DOLMA: Oh... The gangly boy. Hmm...

[ARTHUR UNSHEATHES HIS SWORD AND MOVES TOWARDS THE DOLMA.]

THE DOLMA: If you kill me, you'll never see him again. I am an old woman. Is it not natural I seek some surety? The boy will be returned to you when we have concluded our business.

ARTHUR: You know why we're here.

THE DOLMA: Nothing is hidden from... the Dolma. Now hurry, before your Queen awakes. Set her by the pool.

[ARTHUR SHEATHES HIS SWORD AND CARRIES GUINEVERE TO THE EDGE OF THE POOL.]

THE DOLMA: Great King, the magic which has ensnared your Queen is strong indeed. It can be fought. It can be broken, but it may also prevail. Do you understand this?

ARTHUR: I do.

THE DOLMA: What we attempt will not be easy. If we fail, your Queen will be lost forever.

ARTHUR: I understand.

THE DOLMA: Very well. When I awake Guinevere from her sleep, she must walk into the Cauldron of Arianrhod of her own will. Only then will the spell be broken. But be warned, all the magic that binds her will fight against it.

ARTHUR: How then can we succeed?

THE DOLMA: You must reach her, Arthur. Reach that part of your Queen which has remained untouched by the evil of Morgana.

ARTHUR: Is there such a part?

THE DOLMA: You must believe there is. Prepare. When she wakes, you will have but a few moments.

[THE DOLMA KNEELS NEXT TO GUINEVERE, HOLDING A HAND OVER HER.]

THE DOLMA: Gielde ic thec thissa meowlessawole, gyden aeblaece.

[THE DOLMA'S EYES GLOW GOLD AND SHE RISES, WITH ARTHUR'S HELP. ARTHUR KNEELS NEXT TO GUINEVERE, WHO BEGINS TO STIR. GUINEVERE AWAKENS, STARTLED.]

GWEN: Where am I? What have you done to me?

ARTHUR: You've been asleep for a long time.

GWEN: Get away from me!

[GUINEVERE TRIES TO RUN AWAY BUT ARTHUR CATCHES HER BY THE ARM, STOPPING HER. HE HOLDS HER BY BOTH ARMS.]

ARTHUR: Guinevere. My Guinevere.

GWEN: Your Guinevere? You stupid, foolish man. I was never yours and never will be.

THE DOLMA: You must reach her, Arthur. Reach out or all is lost.

GWEN: Who's this old crone?

ARTHUR: You loved me once.

GWEN: You are easily fooled, Arthur.

ARTHUR: And still do.

GWEN: It was a trick. Nothing more. A subterfuge to pass Camelot to its rightful Queen.

ARTHUR: I don't believe that.

[GUINEVERE STRUGGLES TO FREE HERSELF FROM ARTHUR'S GRASP BUT HE WILL NOT RELEASE HER.]

GWEN: Believe what you like. The fact remains.

[ARTHUR BEGINS TO DRAG GUINEVERE TOWARDS THE POOL AS SHE STRUGGLES.]

THE DOLMA: No! It must be of her own will!

[ARTHUR PULLS GUINEVERE CLOSER TO HIM. THEY ARE FACE TO FACE.]

ARTHUR: Look at me. Tell me you don't love me.

GWEN: Let me go!

THE DOLMA: Arthur!

ARTHUR: Do you remember when I asked you to marry me? Do you remember what you said? You said, "With all my heart." That's what you said, Guinevere. That was no subterfuge. No trickery.

[GUINEVERE STOPS STRUGGLING AND LOOKS AT ARTHUR.]

ARTHUR: With all my heart.

[ARTHUR WALKS SLOWLY BACKWARDS, TOWARDS THE LAKE.]

ARTHUR: With all my heart.

[GUINEVERE'S BREATH HITCHES AS ARTHUR STEPS INTO THE LAKE.]

GUINEVERE: (softly) With all my heart...

[ARTHUR EXTENDS A HAND TO GUINEVERE AND SHE FOLLOWS HIM TOWARDS THE LAKE.]

ARTHUR: Come.

[GUINEVERE PLACES HER HAND IN ARTHUR'S AND STEPS INTO THE WATER.]

THE DOLMA: Yfel gaest, ga thu fram thisselichaman. Bith hire mod eft freo. Ar ond heofonutungol sceal thurhswithan.

[THE DOLMA'S EYES GLOW GOLD AND GUINEVERE IS SURROUNDED BY A WHITE LIGHT. WHEN THE LIGHT DISSIPATES, SHE TURNS TO SMILE AT ARTHUR, EXTENDING HER HAND TO HIM. ARTHUR WADES TOWARDS HER AND EMBRACES HER. THE DOLMA SMILES, EXHALING IN RELIEF. SHE AND MORDRED WATCH ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE HUG.]

[NEW SCENE: BY THE CAULDRON OF ARIANRHOD. ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE ARE STANDING ON THE SHORE, WITH ARTHUR'S ARM AROUND GUINEVERE'S SHOULDER.]

ARTHUR: (to The Dolma) I owe you a great debt. We both do. If there's ever anything I can do in return... Perhaps a new dress?

GUINEVERE: (outraged) Arthur!

ARTHUR: She likes clothes.

THE DOLMA: (looks down for a moment before answering) There is one thing.

ARTHUR: Name it.

THE DOLMA: Remember what saved your Queen. Magic and sorcery.

ARTHUR: It was also sorcery that bewitched her.

THE DOLMA: There is no evil in sorcery, only in the hearts of men. My request is that you remember this.

ARTHUR: You have my word.

[THE DOLMA GIVES ARTHUR A SMALL SMILE, BOWING HER HEAD SLIGHTLY. MORDRED JOINS THEM. HE, ARTHUR AND GUINEVERE TURN AND BEGIN TO WALK AWAY.]

THE DOLMA: Aren't you forgetting something?

[ARTHUR TURNS, LOOKING PUZZLED. HE CHECKS TO MAKE SURE THAT HE HAS HIS SWORD. THE DOLMA SIGHS IN EXASPERATION, HER HANDS ON HER HIPS.]

ARTHUR: I don't think so.

THE DOLMA: (irritated) The boy.

[AFTER A MOMENT, ARTHUR REALISES WHAT SHE'S TALKING ABOUT.]

ARTHUR: Ah... Ah. Of course. I thought everything had gone unusually smoothly.

THE DOLMA: That boy was your surety, great King! Without him, your Queen would still be lost.

ARTHUR: (wrinkles his nose in disbelief) I'm not sure that's quite true.

THE DOLMA: And I say it is!

[ARTHUR RAISES A SCEPTICAL EYEBROW. THE DOLMA TAKES A FEW STEPS TOWARDS HIM, LOOKING ANNOYED.]

THE DOLMA: You owe him a greater debt than you can possibly know.

[ARTHUR NODS SLIGHTLY BUT DOESN'T LOOK CONVINCED. THE DOLMA MOVES VERY CLOSE TO HIM, UNTIL THEY'RE STANDING FACE TO FACE.]

ARTHUR: Right. Erm... I'm sorry. I'll give him the afternoon off.

[THE DOLMA SIGHS, IRRITATED.]

THE DOLMA: One day, great King, you will recognise the true worth of those that surround you.

[ARTHUR LOOKS SCEPTICAL BUT SAYS NOTHING.]

THE DOLMA: (gestures for him to leave) Go.

[ARTHUR NODS AND TURNS, BEGINNING TO WALK AWAY WITH GUINEVERE AND MORDRED. THE DOLMA BEGINS TO HASTEN AWAY BUT, WHEN ARTHUR TURNS TO LOOK BACK, SHE STOPS AND WAVES TO THEM. ARTHUR RETURNS THE WAVE AND TURNS, CONTINUING TO WALK. THE DOLMA RUNS, CONCEALING HERSELF BEHIND ROCKS.]

[NEW SCENE: ARTHUR, GUINEVERE, MORDRED AND MERLIN ARE RIDING THROUGH THE FOREST. CAMELOT CAN BE SEEN AHEAD OF THEM. GUINEVERE RIDES BEHIND ARTHUR ON HIS HORSE. MORDRED AND MERLIN RIDE A FEW PACES BEHIND THEM.]

MORDRED: (to Merlin) Arthur's a lucky man.

MERLIN: Yes.

MORDRED: Not just to have Gwen. To have you.

MERLIN: He'd find someone else to do his chores soon enough.

MORDRED: It was hardly a chore. That was your magic back there, wasn't it?

[MERLIN DOESN'T REPLY.]

MORDRED: Have no fear. I will not divulge your secret. I admire you. It can't be easy to do so much for so little reward.

MERLIN: I do not seek reward.

MORDRED: Recognition, then.

MERLIN: My friends are safe and well, that's all I require.

MORDRED: You see, Merlin, we do have something in common, after all. The future of Camelot.

[MERLIN DOES NOT RESPOND. THEY CONTINUE TO RIDE BACK TO CAMELOT IN SILENCE.]


[END OF EPISODE]

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