(Scene 2. Curtain opens, R at window lit by purple light of the Snarl, hobgoblin comes in.)
H: Supreme Leader?
(R spins round and frowns at H)
H: The prisoner isn’t eating or trancing. She says that she’s not hungry or tired.
R: I’ll handle it. How’s the search for Xykon’s phylactery?
H: The troops haven’t found it so far.
R: Wonderful. I bet Xykon’s in a great mood about that. You may leave.
The urge to rip and claw and tear,
Only anger for the elf
Rip flesh from bones and scalp from hair
Yet in it, anger for myself
Why not hurt one in recompense?
Or take out my anger on?
So much worse is their offense
So many blameless goblins gone
So hurt the elf, remind our foes, why we should be feared!
And make the scoreboard, just that bit more balanced.
(Curtain closes. Opens on elf’s room)
R: What’d I say about eating and trancing?
V: I…I am not hungry nor am I tired.
R: Save the lying for interrogation. (picks up bowl and walks to bed) Enjoy the food while you can. This is the best you’re going to get—after you’re healthy, you’ll be living off gruel.
(V shifts into the corner, wary)
V: That seems to defeat the purpose of making me healthy.
R: You’d think so. Alright, you can eat and make at least one of us happy, or you can still resist and make both of us unhappier than we already are.
(V hesitates, R picks up spoon as if to feed her. V holds out hand to stop him)
V: That is quite alright! I can feed myself.
R: Pride is all you have left, elf.
(Gives V spoon but sees her hand is shaking so steadies it with his. V eats.)
V (curious): Why would you do this personally?
R: I’m a hands-on leader, I guess. Besides, your presence is not exactly something I want every foot soldier to know about. (Removes pot and spoon) This is the part where I ‘convince’ you to trance.
V: I am not tired.
R (snarls): No, you’re exhausted! You want to see how many times you can deal with your fingers being ripped off? I may be a lowly cleric but I can regenerate lost limbs.
(V glares while squeezing further into corner)
V: I am not tired. Bring any barbaric torture you wish—I shall not trance.
R: Why not trance? I see no reason in it
This round of wills, there’s no way they can win it.
No rebel sign? An answer must be elsewhere
Refusing sleep, this elf is a nightmare!
Haunted by their past
A sign of guilt at last?
Seems anything’s better than return to memories.
Similar in our hurt
Yet too close for comfort
Both of us trying to escape from memories.
(Spoken) What’s your name?
(V looks up, surprised but wary)
Dark One above! This prisoner, this elf
Without trying reminds me of myself
Grief, remorse and anger, fear and shame
Though they don’t show I know this others pain.
R: What’s your name? Is this a difficult question?
V: I am rather surprised that you care.
R: Filing issues. I can’t exactly call you ‘the elf’ in any records when I start interrogating you. We’re inevitably going to get a few other prisoners that fit that description.
V: Perhaps the elf that helped lose your master’s phylactery?
(V squares shoulders and looks proud)
R: Just give me your name. It’s not like I can do much with it.
V: I would prefer to know who I am speaking to first.
R: Just call me Redcloak. Everyone else does.
V: My name is Vaarsuvius. (Looks away, pride drained) I am not tired.
R: Fine then.
(R settles on the end of the bed. Finds book and flicks through pages)
V: What are you doing?
R: If I’m staying here, I’m going to have something to entertain myself.
V: And why are you staying here?
R: (sighs) It turns out that torture can only do so much, and forcing someone to sleep isn’t included. So I’m staying here until you trance.
V: Excuse me?!
R: You speak Common, right? I’m not leaving until you get at least eight hours of trance. I know that my… associates don’t seem like it, but there are some people here that have more patience than that of a toddler.
- (V still looks wary)
R: Don’t flatter yourself or insult me. I’m not like Xykon. I’m not going to hurt you when you’re asleep. Especially in… (Pauses and makes sound of disgust) that way.
(Still wary V lays head on knees and falls into a trance. Curtain closes.)
(Curtain opens. V alone in room. R comes in.)
R: They tell me you’re refusing to trance again.
“Memories – Reprise”
V: This respite cannot last
But while I can I ask
For company can tide against the memories.
(R nods and settles on the end of the bed. Curtain closes, end of scene 2)