Original release date: April 23, 2021
* * *
[dramatic music playing]
[Bohdan] ♪ Mighty young captain ♪
♪ Bold on the sea ♪
♪ Soldier and sailor ♪
♪ Free of disease ♪
[Mal] Dear Alina, weeks gone and still no word from you.
This is my third letter.
My unit has been sent to Chernast where the Fjerdans keep attacking at night.
[Bohdan] The outpost isn’t far now.
[Mal] I tried bribing a Squaller to get word to you.
He laughed at me.
I petitioned the lieutenant to write to Little Palace on my behalf.
Before he dismissed me, he asked, “What is she to you, anyway?”
And I wasn’t sure how to answer.
[Mal] I can’t stop seeing your face that day on the skiff.
I’m not sure I ever will.
That’s all, folks.
I love it when she does that.
Smells like braised lamb.
You’re an idiot.
What? I love braised lamb.
[Mikhael] Shut up.
[Bohdan] Pathfinders, a new open assignment has come down from Os Alta.
Every unit north of Chernast is tasked with volunteering a tracking party.
General Kirigan is offering a visit all the way to the Little Palace for the one who can find Morozova’s Stag.
[Mal] And then there it was.
I knew the drawing was yours.
That’s right, the ancient, mythical creature.
Except in the flesh, if you please.
[Dubrov] The Black General has finally lost it.
Wasting our soldiers on Second Army nonsense.
Now they have a Sun Summoner, all the old folk tales are back on the table.
[Mal] I’ll do it.
[knocking at door]
[Alina] Come in.
Have any letters arrived?
I’m going horse riding?
With General Kirigan.
[sighs] I need to train, not be trotted around town.
The sooner I do what I need to do, the sooner I can get back to…
[Genya] Your life?
This is your life.
Yeah, my life.
Where Zoya is waiting to squall me into a wall or an open fire pit.
She’s off the palace grounds.
Didn’t you hear?
He sent her away to reassess her priorities.
Come on, you don’t want to keep him waiting.
Saints forbid. Why? Is he angry?
This might do the trick.
[Alina] Black is his color. Not mine.
You’re not wearing your kefta.
[Kirigan] Did you not like the color I chose for you?
[Alina] You’re the only one who wears it.
Tell me, are you so anxious to be like everyone else?
It would be nice to know what that feels like, someday, General.
Well, that day is not today.
Please, call me Aleksander.
[instrumental music playing]
That went well.
[Arken] The Little Palace winter fete.
There’s just no way he can find a way to the Sun Summoner without Nina.
Especially during this ridiculous party.
The place will be crawling with Second Army.
[Kaz] We’re in luck.
There’s a good chance we can crack on.
Now that we’re three days’ travel from the capital, the next play is finding a way inside the Little Palace.
It turns out the Kribirsk archives house the Little Palace blueprints.
But… they’re kept under lock and key.
Far from the prying eyes of the masses.
What does that mean?
Time for a heist.
[Jesper] I leave you a bullet, to remember me.
Let’s promise never to forget each other, Milo.
But I must go now.
I leave you in the care of this lovely barmaid, who needs your support here.
I have a job for you.
We need to hitch a ride east to the Little Palace.
[chuckles] But that’s the hardest job.
[Kaz] You managed to win us over, didn’t you?
[Kirigan] What do you see?
[Alina sighs] Someone’s version of me.
Or perhaps the real you has finally emerged.
How are you adjusting to life in the Little Palace?
Training is good.
Well, I think it’s going well.
It’s hard to tell with Baghra sometimes, isn’t it?
Is your room satisfactory?
Well, I’ve never had warming stones put in my bed before.
I’m glad to have Genya.
I’m just not sure I understand where this road leads.
I do know how you feel, Miss Starkov.
When I was a boy, I used to run away and hide here.
Once I realized that I was a descendant of the most hated Grisha in Ravka, I’d come here, throw a coin.
Make a wish in the fountain.
Same wish, over and over again.
That I could be anyone else.
This is his story, isn’t it?
You know it just from these old pictures?
Every child learns the history, not just Grisha.
Hundreds of years ago, Anastas, the King, hired a Grisha as his military adviser.
A Shadow Summoner.
You can say it. The Black Heretic.
[Alina] The Heretic grew hungry for more power, and the King, fearing a coup, put a bounty on his head, and any Grisha that stood by him.
The Heretic knew he was outnumbered, so he attempted to create an army of his own using the same forbidden science Morozova once used to create his amplifiers.
But he failed.
He created the Fold instead.
And was killed by it.
Along with countless others.
Was I properly schooled?
I have devoted my life to undoing the great sin of my forebearer, but I am never seen as the solution.
Only as a reminder of the problem.
And they always need someone to blame.
That’s why you look at me like that, isn’t it?
I’m your solution.
Only, if I fail… they’ll turn on me.
And I’ll be the brand-new Heretic.
If you believe anything… believe I will not let that happen.
I appreciate the sentiment, but… I shall be right by your side.
You and I are going to change the world, Alina.
I should get you back.
Baghra does hate tardiness.
[Mal] Dear Alina, this may be my last letter to you.
This stag has some connection to you, I don’t know how or why, but if tracking it down for your general is what will reunite us, then… I’ll see you soon.
Is that stone fruit?
You didn’t have to.
Oh, these are for me.
Please, you didn’t actually think we’d let you go on your own?
All I ask is that you track down one of those skittering billyboars for dinner.
I don’t even understand how you keep finding those little bastards, but my mouth is salivating just talking about them.
I want half your cut.
[Baghra] Okay, let’s get on with it.
Hands out. Palms face each other.
I’ll stop when you start.
You’re not sleeping enough.
Not nearly enough.
[Marie] One time, Baghra released a hive of bees on me.
Worst part is, it worked.
It really did.
I could summon at will after that.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter.
Once Mal gets here, it will be better.
He’s seen me through everything.
He’ll know the right thing to say to get me through this.
Hopefully. We’ve got lots to talk about.
Is he handsome? He is, isn’t he? I can tell by the way you said his name.
It’s not like that.
When is this strapping lad coming?
I’ve invited him, so… any day now.
Make sure he’s announced so we can be with you when he arrives.
[Kaz] All right. Royal Archives heist.
Here’s the game plan.
Watchmen are on guard around the clock.
We want to get in and get out as quietly as possible.
That means the hardware stays in the holster, Jesper.
[Jesper] Ugh, fine.
[Kaz] Inej, the dome on the roof is directly above the repository where the blueprints to the Little Palace are kept.
[Inej] Got it. That’s my way in.
[Kaz] Good day to you, sir.
My name is Ivanovski. The sculptor, yes.
I am in desperate need of your assistance.
I am working on a real showstopper for the winter fete.
I need the dimensions to the Little Palace entrances.
The grand piece may be too grand to fit through the doorframe.
The King will have my head if his statuary must be parked in the courtyard.
I have to pull the blueprints every day.
With bated breath.
I’ll set a trail of phosphorus that will lead you straight to the target.
The repository is secured at all times behind a two-part lock mechanism.
So, Inej, you have to leave the way you came in.
[archivist] Dimensions to the entrances of the Little Palace.
Ah! May the Sun Summoner bless you.
Oh, I’m not a believer.
No, truth be told, neither am I.
Two hours after sunset is when you’ll go in, Jesper.
You’ll need to blend in.
[Kaz] The lighting valves are on the second floor.
[Inej] I’ll take my cue once I see the lights go out.
And then follow your trail straight to the blueprints.
[Kaz] The archivist has to pull them a number of times a day, so we can’t steal them or they’ll know something is up.
[Inej] So? Make a copy.
[Kaz] But careful. If you’re heavy-handed, you’ll bleed the ink.
[Inej] I know what I’m doing.
[guard] Valve was turned off! I don’t know how.
Where’s Lev? Find him!
[guard 1] Anything?
[guard 2] Nothing.
[Inej] Bit slow on the draw there.
Or just in time.
You wanted to see me, sir?
Tell me, have you worked with a Heartrender by the name of Nina Zenik?
Once, yes. She’s one of the best in the Second Army.
Nina’s been on a priority mission for me and she’s not reported in.
If she’s alive, she may need our help.
Knowing Nina, sir, she’s very much alive.
I don’t need your conjecture, Fedyor.
I need you to find her for me.
[Jesper] What about…
[Inej] No, look.
[Inej] How about this hallway?
[Jesper] No go. See? Guard tower.
There’s no way in.
And no way out.
[Arken] Well, I thought this plan might not work.
Is that… [sniffs] magical deer scat?
This herd is different.
Even in the frost, they’re not going hungry.
Their alpha is exceptional.
It knows these lands incredibly well.
Let’s keep moving.
Let’s go, big guy. That’s amazing shit.
What’s that in your hand?
[Mikhael] Did you pick up the stag shit, Dubrov?
In case we don’t find the actual Stag.
[Mikhael] What? Why?
Isn’t the Stag one of these creatures that gives the Grisha more power?
[Dubrov] Reckon this will fetch a few coins.
[Dubrov] A genius?
[Mikhael] Couldn’t you have wrapped it in something? For Saints’ sa…
Calm down. It’s dry.
I want half your cut.
[Mal] I’m not even sure why I bother to write this letter.
I may never have a chance to send it.
But I will find the Stag.
It’s the one thing I can still give you.
Maybe the only thing.
[men cheering in distance]
I brought you food.
It’s likely poisoned.
I’ll keep eating it, if you prefer.
All right, so not poisoned.
But I’m no fool.
You want something from me.
Are witches so used to deceit, they can’t accept good manners?
Oh, you talk of manners when you have me in chains, starving.
I’m trying to feed you.
[cheering in distance]
[Matthias] All right… I do want something from you.
Are your parents also Grisha?
Are your parents also slavers?
Were you born a witch or was that by choice?
Were you born a prick or was it a choice?
What do they teach you?
Aside from the fact that we’re evil and should be burned at the stake?
That you kill us. Every chance you get.
Because you want all Grisha dead.
Why am I even arguing with you?
You’re not here to change your mind on anything.
Only to make yourself feel better about sending me to my death.
I feel nothing about you.
[chuckles] Well, I guess that makes you good at your job.
And also a terrible person.
Says the one who uses magic to stop a man’s heart.
Do you even know what a Heartrender does?
A witch who can boil blood.
Did you know we can also soothe tempers?
Calm someone in pain?
Ease their mind.
Relax, I can’t do anything to you as long as my hands are in these.
You said that the man you work for will hunt me down.
You mean the Darkling?
You come here with your sad little peace offering when all you want is information on him?
You want to eat.
I’d rather starve than be a traitor.
[Nina breathing heavily]
You don’t have to tell me anything.
Just take it.
That wasn’t so bad.
I will not take scraps from the likes of you.
Got any plans up your sleeve?
I mean, Kribirsk isn’t the worst.
We can open up a bar.
Brew East Ravkan beer for the Westerners?
[both] Shut up, Jesper.
I miss Milo.
What are you so cheery about?
This is Marko.
Marko is the leader of the traveling troupe known as the Pomdrakon Players.
They have been invited to perform in this year’s winter fete.
A lifelong dream.
A chance to get inside the Little Palace.
But they lost their star performer due to an unfortunate freak accident.
They are in desperate need of someone with the skills to replace their star performer, and as Ketterdam’s premier talent manager, I had an idea.
As a friend once said, “If I can’t crack this, none of us are going anywhere.”
The Saints must have sent you.
Yes. The show will go on.
Can you… fit into this?
[Jesper] Of course she can.
Those are her colors, but the thing is, Inej… comes as part of a package deal.
[Marko] No free rides.
What are your talents?
Stage is yours, sir.
I’ll make my own way.
I think I need an amplifier. Something to boost my strength.
You can’t light a doorway on your own.
What would you amplify?
When Kirigan touched me…
General Kirigan can’t be your crutch forever.
And the use of amplifiers is a barbaric, lazy practice…
You could try to be encouraging.
I’m not your mother.
But I guess you’ll always be looking for one of those.
There she is. Welcome.
That tea should be taking effect.
[Baghra] Where are you, child?
I’m at the orphanage.
You stand watch.
If you see anyone coming, give me a signal.
Once I have my sketchbook, we run.
We never look back. Right?
How many times will we be out there in that field?
If it’s not the Grisha trying to separate us, it will be the war.
We can’t hide forever, but we can run.
[Baghra] What day is this?
[Alina] The day the testers came.
[Ana Kuya] Thought you could hide?
Well, you’re wrong.
[sighs] We cannot test him like this.
His injury makes it impossible.
You stay with me then, boy.
[Grisha tester] Come.
There’s nothing to worry about.
If you’re not Grisha, your life will carry on as it always has.
But if you are, a whole new world awaits you.
And all of this will fade into the past.
This will prick.
Just breathe and relax your arms.
[Baghra] What happened on this day?
[Alina] I was tested.
I knew the testers used sudden pain to detect Grisha power.
But it wouldn’t show if I was already in pain.
So I protected myself.
[Grisha tester] She is not Grisha.
[Alina] I wasn’t aware I was Grisha.
I was just doing whatever I could to not be separated from Mal.
You protected yourself by denying yourself.
He was bullied when he was alone.
I wasn’t thinking of me, I was thinking of him.
We planned to run away together.
You had plans.
Perhaps he never did, because where is he now?
I don’t know.
Who are you holding back for, then?
Bring the light.
How many more Ravkan children need to be orphaned to this war because you are afraid to face the truth?
[Alina] Am I… disturbing you?
Not at all.
Is this map current?
[Kirigan] It is.
Our enemies are threatened by your mere existence.
But Ravka can only stand up to them if we present a united front.
And there is talk of uprising in the West, led by our… esteemed First Army General.
Our own people, turning their backs on us.
Aleksander… I have been fighting this war… alone for so long.
I have buried so many good soldiers.
The coffers are running dry, the noose tightens… and our own people are turning against Grisha, just as their kin once did.
You are not alone.
I have been waiting a long time for you.
I should go.
The storm is overtaking us.
We’ll be in it soon.
It may break the ship.
If it gets bad, kill the captives.
The last thing we want is for one of them to get loose when we’re taking on water.
But, sir, they are due to stand trial.
I think my little toe froze off in the night.
What’s worse? The frost or the Fold?
We’re crossing into Fjerdan territory.
Ash trees are sacred, they won’t mark them.
You sure the herd went that way?
Last chance to turn around.
And have you two split the prize? Keep up!
[Mal] I keep writing to you as if these words could reach you before I do.
But maybe what I’m doing is rehearsing what to say to you.
What I should have said much sooner.
[horse neighing and galloping]
[Alina] Anything for me?
[young Alina] Together.
[Mal] This is Alina.
[Mikhael] Your little friend from Keramzin?
This is her?
[Baghra] Needing anyone else is weak.
Now the work begins.
[Mal] Truth is, when you lit up Kirigan’s tent, there was a sound.
A high tone.
I knew it was you.
When we were kids, you’d hold my hand and sometimes I’d hear it in the back of my head.
It’s the middle of the night, but I’m awake.
And as is Dubrov and his tiny bladder.
Then I hear that sound again.
Softly. Calling to me.
[animal grunting softly]
[Mikhael whispers] Mal, what is it?
[Dubrov] Mal! Help!
[Mal] Is that all of them?
[machine gun fire continues]
[Sergeant Yure] Welcome, runts, to the start of your career.
You managed to survive basic.
Now the real adventure begins.
First things first.
The uniform on your back is the only uniform that will be issued to you until you become full-time soldiers.
Excuse me. I’m looking for Alina Starkov.
[Raisa] Why her?
She and I are old friends. We grew up together.
Well, you can’t see her. She got in a fight with the quartermaster.
He called her a name and she hit him.
Now she’s in the brig and he’s in the pub.
[Mal] You’re the quartermaster, aren’t you?
Mal? You’re here.
Wait, you’re here. What for?
[Genya] You wanted to see me?
I need you to do something for me.
[soldier in Fjerdan] Make sure the other one is dead.
[voice shaking] I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
[Mal] Alina, if you get this letter, know that when I told you about true north, I was talking about you.
You are my true north… and I can see my way to you now.