Original release date: October 8, 2021
Queen Kane’s treachery forces Maghra’s hand. Kofun gets upsetting news. Haniwa makes a final plea to Wren in a bid for peace.
* * *
Talk of peace is in the past now.
After the delegation’s failure at the peace summit, we’re left with only one path forward.
Remember this moment.
Your names will be burned into Payan history as the women and men who stood with their queen to lead Paya into a new and blessed age.
She’s lying. Someone needs to stop her.
Lord Harlan, have all the representatives signed?
The knots of all the representatives have been added.
[Queen Kane] Then, my ladies and lords, we’re now at war.
Have your captains report to my Witchfinder general for assignments immediately.
There is still another matter to be brought before this council.
Princess Maghra, there is always something with you, isn’t there? What is it now?
It’s about the Witchfinders.
What about them?
They will not fight for you.
My Witchfinders will do as I say, as they have done my entire reign.
They’re my army.
[Tamacti Jun] No.
They are my army.
I’m glad you haven’t forgotten me.
[Queen Kane] You’re alive! Thank the God Flame.
You have no idea what I went through.
If you’re gonna trade in lies, make sure the truth is buried with the dead.
It was you who destroyed Kanzua.
He is lying!
Arrest this man.
I said arrest this man!
They don’t serve you anymore.
[warriors] Tak! Tak!
Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak!
Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak!
It was you who murdered your own people… who killed their families.
It was you who tried to murder me.
These are serious allegations, General.
They’re not allegations. They’re truths.
Like you, Captain Gosset, I have been loyal to the crown my entire life.
But this queen… this woman… this thing is an abomination.
He keeps on lying!
Maghra, tell them he’s lying.
He speaks the truth.
You’ve betrayed your people for the last time.
This council has a decision to make.
War is now inevitable.
But will we be led by this lying murderer… or will we fight for the true queen…
Oh, so it’s a coup?
At our nation’s gravest hour, my sister resorts to trickery and lies to steal the throne.
But she forgets that my army is much larger than a few Witchfinders.
Captain Gosset, arrest these traitors.
The army of Pennsa stands with Queen Maghra.
She’s not your fucking queen!
Let’s agree to disagree, shall we?
I can confirm the allegations made by Tamacti Jun are true.
I have witnesses from Kanzua who will tell you the destruction of the city was her doing.
[Tamacti Jun] And queen or no, treason and murder are punishable by death.
Wait, wait, wait. Wait. I’m entitled to a trial.
You yourself just declared the war you so desperately wanted.
And by knotting the war declaration, you transferred authority from the courts… to the generals.
You thought this through.
I’ve had some time.
Thank you for your service.
She is with child.
Sibeth lost her child shortly after we arrived in Pennsa.
This is a new one.
I feel him strongly.
This child must not be killed for the sins of the mother.
Her death can wait. Toad.
That’s twice now you failed to kill me, Tamacti Jun.
Get her out of here.
The prophecy remains!
[breathes heavily] And the God Flame is still with me.
The child has arrived just in time to save his mother.
People, be true to the crown!
Do not rest until your queen is back on the throne.
And the rest of you traitors, you will be flayed alive.
Put her in her chambers under guard.
[sighs] Keeping her in the palace is unwise.
[Maghra] It is the most fortified building in all of Pennsa.
Do you hear that?
Woodvale has fallen.
[Edo Voss] We took Woodvale with zero Trivantian casualties.
Thanks to your vision, we arrived days before they were expecting us.
Still managed to get the signal out though.
Pennsa knows we’re on our way.
That won’t make them any more ready for the full might of this battalion.
And once the council hears of our fast victory… they will finally ratify my strategy.
You mean using sighted soldiers?
General, please, the council cannot know about me.
I won’t identify you until it’s safe.
Wren, you’re like a daughter to me.
I will protect you. You have my word.
The Trivantians have reached Woodvale faster than expected.
At this rate, they’ll be in Pennsa in five or six days.
How could their army be moving this fast?
They have sighted soldiers guiding their armies.
The Trivantians wouldn’t condone sight in any form.
[Haniwa] The commander general has been secretly recruiting and training them.
If the Trivantians reach Pennsa, we’re finished.
Agreed. Greenhill Gap. Is the fortress still active?
Of course. Fully fortified, 20 men.
We’ll make our stand there.
No. Greenhill Gap’s a stone’s throw from Pennsa. It’s too close.
[Tamacti Jun] It’s the only place that we can command the high ground.
Gives us a chance.
Any word on their numbers?
They’re heavily committed in the west.
Our spies estimate 250 men. A small force by Trivantian standards.
Bigger than ours.
I want every available soldier and munition in Paya
at Greenhill Gap in two days’ time.
Captain Gosset, ready your soldiers.
We march tomorrow with the rise of the God Flame.
No. Think, Maghra.
If they truly have sighted soldiers, we’re at even more of a disadvantage.
You will have sighted soldiers too.
You are not soldiers.
No, we’re the children of the queen. This is our fight too.
Your father is right. You and your sister have no training.
You cannot be expected to fight just because you can see.
I don’t wanna intrude on family matters…
Then do not.
But as you yourself have said many times, we face a far superior army.
We need every advantage we can get in this battle.
[Baba Voss] Sight offers no advantage on the killing field.
As I have learned with my own children,
more often than not, their vision betrays them.
And these sighted soldiers will give Edo’s army a false confidence.
We need not do the same with ours.
Edo has developed systems for using them.
I’ve witnessed it myself.
Papa, you are a great warrior…
but the truth is there are things we can do that you can’t.
That is the same thing that Jerlamarel said just before I took his eyes.
[Kofun] You can’t protect us from this fight.
It is not a fight.
This is a slaughter, and my children will not be a part of it!
Yes, I will.
[Baba Voss sighs]
We are not sending our children to war.
I can’t stop them.
You said you became queen to protect them. And this is what you do?
Do you think it’s any easier for me to let them go?
Believe me, I would like nothing more than just to lock them up.
Then do that. We will force them to stay.
Haniwa and Kofun are not children anymore.
They’re adults with opinions and ideas of their own.
[Baba Voss groans]
[Baba Voss sighs]
It was not so long ago
that our entire world was just the four of us.
We never needed any of this.
When we were all separated,
you must have thought you would never get your family back.
And now you have.
Let us take our children.
Let us be a family again. This is not our fight.
Please just… just stop saying that.
This is a war that was started by your sister!
No. We’ve all made choices that brought us here today.
Now war is upon us, and we must greet it head-on.
You speak of war as if you’ve been in one.
You have no idea what you are sending our children into.
I am not sending them in…
Their deaths will be on your hands!
I did everything I could to avoid this war.
But now I have no choice but to win it.
Where are you going?
I’m going to war. Along with the rest of your family.
Do you wanna count it?
You’ve never been short before.
And you’ve never failed to deliver.
Once I take payment, the contract is sealed.
Say you hear.
Must we go through this every time?
Say you hear.
The contract cannot be nullified. Say you hear.
[sighs] I hear.
Now get it done.
Instead of lurking around, why don’t you join me?
The man who just left, who was he?
Pray you never have to find out.
I know you’re there.
You’ve been inside of me, Kofun. I recognize your scent in my sleep.
Why do you seem happy?
Why wouldn’t I be?
My faith has been restored.
The prophecy remains intact.
Do you understand? You’re a sacred instrument of the God Flame.
The baby… [swallows]
…is it mine?
You know… [chuckles]
The way every father knows.
No. You used me.
[chuckles] I don’t recall you complaining.
Mmm. [inhales deeply]
What are you doing?
What is this?
Stop it right now.
If you want to.
[Queen Kane grunts]
You can put an end to your nightmare.
[Kofun breathing heavily]
[Queen Kane grunts]
Promised you I’d never lie to you, Kofun.
So I’m gonna tell you the truth.
You still see yourself as a child…
which makes you a weak man.
The time has come for you to be strong.
This child is your son, and you’ll have to claim him as such.
Regardless of whatever immature shame you might feel in doing so,
not just because he’s your son, but because he’s mine.
This child is vital to the future of Paya.
What are you talking about?
I tried to explain it to Jerlamarel,
but he thought his vision meant he didn’t need anyone else.
He could just run off, start his own world.
This world still belongs to the unsighted.
Only I, a queen ordained by God, can lift it out of darkness
toward a new future governed by light.
You’re not queen anymore.
Of course I am.
It’ll all be sorted. It’s God’s will.
Was it God’s will for you to murder the people of Kanzua?
Destroying Kanzua brought me here.
To you. To our baby.
[grunts, breathes heavily]
They are going to kill you the moment it’s born.
Your baby will be an orphan.
No. He’s the son of a prince. [chuckles]
I’m nobody’s father. [breathes heavily]
[exhales sharply, gasps]
If you abandon him, you’re no different than Jerlamarel.
Tell them the truth, Kofun.
He’s your blood.
If you die in battle, the truth will die with you.
Be a fucking man!
[Tamacti Jun] Your Majesty.
I heard a rumor that the queen herself was girding for battle.
And you think you should stop me?
Oh, I’m not thinking of you at all.
I’m thinking of the soldiers who will die trying to protect you.
Well, no one need protect me.
There’s little purpose in the queen coming if she doesn’t make it known she’s coming.
And once she makes it known, her army will be more focused
on her safety than victory.
She will be a liability.
Do you understand what you’re asking of me?
I’m not asking.
I’m not my sister.
I will not send my people, my family, into battle
while I sit at home, drinking tea.
That’s the reaction of a mother, not a queen.
Sentimental, not practical.
My job is to win this battle.
And I will not have my battle plan compromised.
Not even by you.
So what do you propose I do?
You will do…
what every great leader must do.
Bless and inspire your army.
And be there to pick up the pieces when we return.
Have you ever known me to be otherwise?
I understand you’ll be joining us.
It doesn’t sound like ordinary God bone. May I?
For a small hand, yes.
A surreal set of alliances.
You are fighting with your former enemy against your former home.
I fight for my family, not the crown.
Your wife is the crown. So is there any difference?
I once was a husband.
And a father.
Sorry for your loss.
You spent years fighting in the service of your family.
And I lost my family in the service of the fight.
I do hope yours fares better than mine.
My own brother stands between us and victory.
No matter the outcome, I will lose.
If there’s a better definition of war…
I have yet to hear it.
You know we can’t win.
They are better trained. They are better armed.
At least there’s fewer of us.
You and I are soldiers.
We fight even when we know we’re gonna lose.
That’s what makes us different than the others.
I’m not a soldier.
I come to win.
The heralds are ready to announce you.
How do I send people off to a war I didn’t start?
Are you asking my advice?
I have none to give, but thank you for asking.
Listen to me.
This is the role you were born for.
I don’t doubt for an instant you’ll find the words.
The queen is ready.
[man] Her Majesty the queen.
You didn’t think I’d let you sneak off again, did you?
I thought the Compass stayed out of war and politics.
My only charge, though, is to bring you back alive.
And if that means killing a whole mess of Trivantian soldiers, so be it.
Citizens of Paya.
My sister has put our nation in great jeopardy.
It was because of her manipulation and lies
that we now face the Trivantian army at our doorstep.
I won’t deny this.
You’ve been lied to enough.
From this queen, you will only hear the truth.
And the truth is…
we face an enemy more powerful than we are.
They have more men.
They are better armed and better trained.
So if you are afraid…
know that you are not alone.
Unlike my sister, I am a mother and wife.
And I am terrified.
For many years, I made my home in the mountains with the Alkenny,
where we cherished nothing above family and community,
and where every life was precious.
And I address you now, not as your queen,
but as a mother and a wife.
And I address you, not as warriors,
but husbands and wives, and sons and daughters.
We are all scared.
And we all have so much to lose.
So at this moment…
I offer you this comfort.
In all the generations that Paya has struggled
to survive Trivantian aggression…
we have never been conquered.
Trivantian boots have never walked on this soil, and they never will!
No amount of God bone or fire will ever be enough
to separate us from this land,
the land of our families, the land of our ancestors!
I believe in a future far better than our past.
One where we and our families will thrive and prosper
in a land safe from hate and bigotry,
and safe from invading armies.
And it is that future we fight for today.
So, my fellow Payans…
brave sons and daughters of Paya…
And let the enemy know
that their blood may fall on our land,
but it will remain, now and forever,
Here, Baba Voss, at your side.
You will face Edo again.
I cannot kill my own brother.
Then he will kill you.
And you think then you’ll be absolved?
Use your mind, lump.
Think of your children. Who will protect them from him?
Oh, don’t be daft, Baba.
I’ve never thanked you.
All of it.
You bring your children back to me safely, and it’s settled.
But I need you to do something for me.
[sighs] My children.
I wish I could convince you to stay here with me.
What kind of princess and prince would we be if we hid from the war?
I chose this. You didn’t.
We choose it now.
Take care of each other. Hmm?
Come back to me.
With our family.
[Toad] Here, Paris.
I heard they had you on home defense.
[sighs] A soldier of my rank and skill building barricades.
I should be on the front lines.
[scoffs] If I had known you’d take it so hard,
I would’ve thought twice before asking the queen to arrange it.
What are you talking about?
I have to take a trip. I thought you might want to come with me.
Where are we going?
I’ll explain on the way.
Prepare a horse for me.
A good horse. Your horse!
We leave at once.
It’s an airplane.
Must have been so terrifying, falling out of the sky in a metal tube.
Almost like they had no business being up there in the first place.
[Paris] This saddle is not soft.
Did you ever hear of oiling a saddle?
[Toad] Sometimes a simple “thank you” is all you have to say.
[Paris chuckles] You’re in a mood.
I’m used to marching toward the fight, not away from it.
This war is gonna be so much bigger than one battle.
Not if we lose this one.
This war is not about Trivantes and Paya.
The world is about to change, Toad.
Sight is returning.
That’s what this war is about,
even if those who wage it are unaware.
What I’m aware of is that
our new queen is asking us not only to forget our beliefs,
but to go to war against them.
Maghra is much more than a Kane.
She is Haniwa and Kofun’s mother. They hold the keys to our future.
[Toad] Have you dreamed that future?
I dream multiple futures. Oh, oh.
And on what do they depend?
They depend on small things like you and me making this journey safely.
None of this makes any sense.
Then why did you come?
Because you asked me to.
[Paris] We camp here for the night.
[Toad] God Flame is still strong. We should press further.
[Paris] No. I have my reasons.
This is the spot.
[Toad] You should sleep here with me.
What did you say?
We’ll be warmer if we sleep together.
[sighs] Point well taken, soldier.
[sighs] I’ll be a perfect gentleman.
If I thought that were true, I wouldn’t bother coming over here.
Someone’s out there.
What’s troubling you, Kofun?
Besides going into battle with the most powerful army on the continent?
Yes, aside from that.
Nothing. I’m fine.
Come on. You’ve barely said a word since I got back from the peace summit.
It’s been kind of a busy time.
Our mother is the queen.
You’re a prince. I’m a princess…
We’re going to war, and you have nothing to say?
What are you reading?
[sighs] It’s a book of poems. I found it in Trivantes.
There were books in Trivantes?
There were lots of surprises in Trivantes.
Will you read something to me?
Read it yourself.
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed…
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming!
Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight:
somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast,
its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
[Harlan] Maghra. Oh.
I’m so pleased I stayed to protect you.
Where are you hurt?
Pretty much everywhere.
Are there more of them?
I don’t think so.
No, stay with me.
I thought you’d never ask. [chuckles]
We made it here before the Trivantians. Make base!
We’re now at 160 fighters.
We picked up another ten recruits from towns along the way.
If the Trivantians are indeed 250 strong…
This fort was designed to eliminate any advantage of numbers.
The narrow trenches will squeeze the Trivantians
and equalize the battlefield.
Have you fought here before?
There’s too many of them.
I count close to 350, sir.
Gosset’s spies were wrong.
Earlier than we anticipated.
It won’t matter. Who do you see?
About a hundred soldiers in front of the gate.
There’ll be more inside the fort.
I did not ask what you see.
I asked, “Who do you see?”
I see Baba Voss.
[Edo Voss] Good.
[Tamacti Jun] We fight them in the trenches.
That’s where we’ll have the advantage.
Will it be enough?
[Tamacti Jun] No.
But at least we’ll kill many more of them before we’re overrun.
What are you doing?
Someone has to stop this.
What are you talking about?
I have a friend on the other side.
If I can get to them and tell them the queen has been deposed…
Haniwa, they will kill you.
You have to trust me.
Let her go.
We’re out of choices, my boy.
Let her try.
[Wren] You shouldn’t be here.
[Haniwa] None of us should be here.
What you did at the peace conference…
It was Queen Kane who attacked your people.
She would do anything for her holy war. You need to know that it wasn’t us.
Wren, I would die before I hurt you. You have to believe that.
I do believe you.
The queen is no longer in power.
My mother took the throne as soon as we got back.
Maghra’s the queen?
Yes. And she does not want this war.
You could talk to Edo.
No, he won’t listen to me.
You have to try.
Hundreds of Trivantians and Payans will die for a lie
if we don’t stop this right now.
It’s too late. You have to go back.
[man] Arrows up!