"200 pts for 20 sec on touch","45","55","Breton battlemage's daughter gives birth","Small town in northern High Rock","Breton"
The Torment of Klausein, Act II
A Four Act Play
by Anthone Resphiel
Act II: Delivery
Klausein: A great, if aging, Breton battlemage
Mariellie: Klausein's daughter
Beliseth Narien: Mariellie's nurse
Scene: A rather isolated, undisclosed town in northern High Rock.
Afternoon. The curtains open to reveal a solitary bed, sitting lonely in the middle of the stage (through trial and error, we find it best to use no other props; though one might think the crowd more engaged if the stage is made to look like an actual room, in practice sheer starkness works much better). As in the first act, the audience is allowed a few moments to absorb the lonesome scene. Finally, there is movement under the blankets.
MARIELLIE (shouting hysterically): Nurse! Gods! Nurse, get over here!
BELISETH NARIEN rushes on stage immediately, a pot of water and some sheets in her hands.
BELISETH: What troubles you?
MARIELLIE (screaming): What do you think? My belly is fit to burst, and the child's father has fled like a coward! I am going to give birth, and the only company I shall have is that of my baby itself!
BELISETH (smiling sadly): I know, dear. It's a terrible situation, and it's not near enough solace, but I will not abandon you.
MARIELLIE (in agony): What -- what of my father?
BELISETH: Word has been sent to him, so he is surely on his way, dear. You know how he is; no fang of beast or tide of war would keep him if he knew.
MARIELLIE: It -- it is as you say. I just hope -- hope he makes it before -- before I --
BELISETH: Hush now, dear. You need your energy.
KLAUSEIN arrives from stage right, casting off pieces of armor as he nears his daughter's
KLAUSEIN: I came straight from battle, Ellie. Are you okay? (to BELISETH) Is she the same?
BELISETH: More or less the same. As difficult as the pregnancy has been, I think we are nearing the end. (to only KLAUSEIN) But I fear your daughter might lack the strength to deliver, when the time comes. And it will come soon. I don't know what else to do, sir. . .
KLAUSEIN: (to BELISETH) She and I discussed this matter before. If her will flags, I will prop her up with love and spell. It is far from ideal, but as always, we must made do with what we have.
MARIELLIE (weakly): Father. . . I -- I cannot continue much longer. Sleep calls. And I am so very, very tired. . .
BELISETH: Quickly! If you don't act now, she'll surely lose the child!
KLAUSEIN turns his back to the audience again, and casts a spell. A faint blue glow settles over MARIELLIE.
KLAUSEIN: Ellie, you must try harder than you ever have, harder than you can. You must push yourself past your limits. This child means the world to you, I know. So you must give more than is in your heart to give. Reach inside yourself, and use the strength I've given you to carry on.
MARIELLIE screams again.
BELISETH (at the foot of the bed, obscuring the audience's view): Sir, it's working! The baby is coming! Push, dear!
MARIELLIE's screams are joined by the cries of a healthy, noisy baby. BELISETH hands the child to KLAUSEIN.
KLAUSEIN: Oh, merciful gods. He's beautiful, isn't he? Look, Ellie, look at your son. He's --he's --
MARIELLIE doesn't respond.
BELISETH (quietly): Not so merciful today, it seems. She's -- she's gone.
BELISETH wheels the bed off stage left, leaving KLAUSEIN standing alone in the middle of the stage holding his grandson. He stands for several seconds as the lights dim and his head bows mournfully, leaving his lonely silhouette on stage when the curtains finally close.
The second intermission begins.