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“Since Mary, Queen of Scotland was a child, The English have wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France, to wed its next king to save herself and her people, a bond that should protect her but there are forces that conspire, forces of Darkness, forces of the heart. Long may she reign.”

Previously on Reign

(Mary's Chambers before the wedding)

Kenna: I know the chateau you claimed to stay at in Angers where you ran into Francis. I don't know what happened between the two of you, but I can guess.

(The woods)

Francis: You don't have to marry him. It's all over, Nostradamus said we can be wed. There is no prophecy keeping us apart.

(King Henry is leading Bash who is tied up)

King Henry: I do this not out of any malice, as you are my son. So that should you return, you have seared into your memory what is yours and what is not.

(Bash closes his eyes as he's forced to watch Francis and Mary consummate their marriage.)


ACT 1[]

(It's winter time in France. There are guards riding horses accompanying a carriage containing a newlywed Francis and Mary who are returning from their honeymoon. Mary is staring out of the window and is rather quiet.)

Francis: You're very quiet. Are you warm enough?

Mary (Chuckles): I just wish that we could go back to two months ago, do it all over. Me in my wedding gown, walking down the aisle to you at Notre Dame.

Francis: But instead, we have to come back to reality. That's what your thinking.

Mary (Sighs): Politics, backstabbing, murder. Just another day at French Court. Francis, can we turn around and go back to the country house at Anet? Everything we felt there alone, far away from Court. Somehow, our love seems so fragile suddenly.

Francis: Things are different now...We're married, the future King and Queen. My mother is no longer an obstacle.

Mary: Hmm

Francis: Nostradamus's prophecy no longer a threat. And Bash is far away in Spain.

Mary: I hope he's safe, and that he finds happiness.

Francis: Well, there is something that everyone will want from us that we can agree on...

Mary (smiling): A castle full of little royals? (The couple laughs as they begin to make out in the carriage.)

(Back at French Court, in the splendid throne room; King Henry and Queen Catherine sit on their thrones with the Archduke of Bohemia and his sister the Archduchess before them. There is a discussion going on about an incident involving French and Bohemian ships.)

Henry: Archduke, we thank you and your sister for coming. The last thing either of us wants is a senseless, costly war caused by a tragic mistake.

Archduke: A French ship firing upon a Bohemian vessel without provocation? Yes, that is indeed a mistake.

Henry: But not a mistake of intent. An accident.

Catherine: France is very sorry, and will do all it can to maintain its peaceful and prosperous friendship with the great nation of Bohemia. (Henry notices that the Archduke is attracted to Lady Kenna and that Cecelia is giving him a sultry look)

(After the discussion, Henry and Kenna are walking and having a discussion about finding Kenna a suitable husband.)

Henry: In keeping with our agreement that I provide a new suitor each week...

Kenna: While I provide you with an infinite amount of carnal pleasure? Who is it this time? The last one was simple-minded. The one before that smelled of vinegar and had an abundance of earwax.

Henry: Well, he also had an abundance of land. But no matter. I'm sure the Archduke of Bohemia will keep up to your high standards.

Kenna: The Archduke? What's wrong with him?

Henry: He's perfect. He's clearly attracted to you. He's a foreigner, so he doesn't know your reputation. He'll take you far, far away from me. There's only one difficulty. The Archduke is a pious man. He'll expect his new bride to be chaste.

Kenna: A virgin? Everybody knows that...

Henry (cutting her off): I'm the king; I'll make sure no one mentions your lack of virtue to him.

(Henry and Kenna begin walking towards the Archduke and his sister)

Kenna: You want me to trick a deeply religious man into marrying me?

Henry: If your conscience won't permit it...

Kenna (Interrupting him): My Lord, would you please present me to our distinguished visitor?

Henry: Archduke Ferdinand. The Lady Kenna. I'll leave you to it, then, hmm?

(Henry moves to talk with Cecelia as the Archduke and Kenna begin to get acquainted)

Archduke: I'm delighted to meet you, Lady Kenna.

Kenna Oh, the delight is all mine. You'll have to excuse my nerves, of course. I'm not used to the attentions of such a powerful man.

(The Archduke clears his throat as sounds of fanfare, cheers and applause are heard. Immediately in the castle hall a very happy Francis and Mary are seen entering as she removes her cloak, and her ladies and others come to greet them )

Mary (Happily): I missed you all! (Mary hugs Kenna and Lola as Greer steps next to Mary)

Greer: You both look happy.

Mary (As Francis gives her a kiss): We were. We are. I'm sure we'll be just as happy here as we were in Paris, and Anet, and every castle from here to the Loire Valley. Oh, which reminds me. I found a wonderful suitor for you, Greer. Oh. And there's one in Paris who is very keen to meet you, Lola.

Lola: Wonderful.

(A very happy Queen Catherine enters to bows and curtsies, as she goes to greet her son and new daughter in law)

CATHERINE: Mary! Oh, how I've missed you. (She gives Mary a hug and a kiss) (Turning to Francis): Ah (She goes to hug and kiss her son, and whispers in his ear): A word.

(She walks away to wait for Francis as the crowd clears a path and bows to her.)

Mary (Turning to Francis): And so the politics and backstabbing begin.

(Mary walks away with her ladies, as Francis goes to talk to his mother. Catherine makes sure no one can here her before she speaks)

Catherine: You must tell me all about your travels...later. First, you need to know that your bastard brother didn't make it to Spain.

Francis (Looks at his mother with a serious surprised face): What do you mean? I sent those guards with him myself. They were supposed to accompany him to a ship and see him safely on board.

Catherine (All seriousness):The bodies of those men you sent were found by the side of the road, not long after you left for your honeymoon.

Francis: But Bash's body was not found?

Catherine: Either he killed the guards himself, or the whole party was attacked, and he managed to escape.

Francis (Worried): Are they looking for him?

Catherine: Of course. Henry has his men looking everywhere. Aren't you glad you have a mother who pays attention to such things?

(Francis says nothing but looks at his mother with a concerned look on his face)


(The forests of France are covered with snow, looking like a winter wonderland. Bash is walking through the forest when he hears a sound and continues with his crossbow drawn and ready to fire. He continues walking towards what unknown to him is a boar trap...suddenly he is tackled from behind. The person groans as they tackle Bash to the ground, they roll around and Bash is on top ready to punch his attacker who has their face covered; however Bash stops when he see that his "attacker" is a beautiful huntress)

Bash (Panting): You are a... Hunter.

Rowan (Still holding her hand up to her face): Yes, you fool!

Bash (Getting up): Have I offended you?

Rowan (Standing up quickly): What kind of a fool can't recognize a boar trap?

(Rowan goes over to a large wooden lid covered by snow and leaves, and lifts it to reveal large spikes on the bottom)

Bash (Looking into the trap realizing he could've been killed): The embarrassed kind?

Rowan: If you were such a tracker, didn't you think it strange that there were leaves on a patch of snow surrounded by evergreens?

(Bash says nothing but picks up his crossbow and follows Rowan through the forest, from the looks they give each other it's clear each finds the other attractive. Eventually they emerge from the forest, and approach a humble homestead where there are various animals around and Rowan's brother sits on a stool dressed in hunters clothes.)

(chickens clucking)

Carrick (Looking at Bash): Who's this then?

Rowan: Bash, my brother Carrick. Bash tried to ruin my boar trap.

Bash: I would have seen it. She tackled me prematurely.

ROWAN (laughs): Then we competed to see who could shoot the most pheasants. (To Carrick):Be nice, Carrick. He's a guest.

Carrick: Well, guest... you're the first man my sister's ever brought home.

Bash: Don't worry. I'm not staying.

Carrick: Ah.

Bash: I'm just a hunter passing through.

Really? To where?

(leaves rustling)

CARRICK: It's the boar. (panting)

Wait! (gasping)

My God. Olivia?

It fits perfectly!

Thank you! I love mine. How utterly virginal. And utterly ironic. (laughter)

Oh, you're not wearing your gown, Lola.

Uh, it's incredibly lovely, but I'm afraid it's a bit snug.

Oh, don't worry. We'll have the seamstresses work on it.

So, Mary, tell us, are you pregnant?

Greer!

It's been almost two months.

You know everyone's wondering.

Two months isn't very long.

I thought you loved marzipan.

Lola, are you all right? Perfectly fine. Thanks.

How do you know her? Beneath the dirt, this dress is fine silk. It would take weeks to weave. Only a noble could afford to buy it.

Carrick. The girl's been fed on. She can't stay.

And what do you suggest I do? Throw her back into the woods to die? She needs help, a physician.

This is our home. You get her out of here.

No! No! (whimpers)

Olivia, it's all right.

It's all right. T... take my blood!

Olivia! (whimpering)

ROWAN: She's been chosen.

(Olivia sighs)

She's been touched by the darkness.

I've been a widower over a year. My advisers are constantly pressuring me to find a new wife.

You poor dear. How absolutely awful.

I was just wondering how you feel about an older... More experienced suitor?

Well, I must admit that the thought makes my heart beat faster.

Is that wrong to admit? Is it sinful? I just... I don't know. (laughs)

There. Why, you sweet young thing. (sighs)

Your Majesty, it pleases me that the relationship between our nations is so... congenial!

Do you worry for your reputation?

Yes, but... more than that. Uh... this... is God's vessel. I need to make sure that I'm pure for the man I choose to devote my life to.

What a relief to find a woman who understands that.

Oh, you must meet my sister... you are cut from the same cloth.

(panting) (gasps) (screams) (distant thud)

(bell tolling)

Is this all you can give me? The pain in my joints has worsened.

Laudanum is difficult to obtain, but I'll... I'll do my best.

I thought you were in Spain. And Olivia D'Amencourt, I thought, had left court.

What happened to the poor girl?

She was wandering the woods in a confused and terrified state. The slashes she did herself.

Poor child. These aren't slashes, they're bite marks.

But are they animal or human?

I don't know.

I was told she was chosen. Is it possible that she had an encounter with whatever it is the pagans are worshipping in the woods?

Whatever thing is, that creature that requires blood.

I don't believe in such beings.

Well, nor did I, and yet here she is.

I don't believe there are things that require blood.

You don't believe there's a dark, malignant power in the woods? Nature is not malignant.

Nature doesn't care.

Only humans are malignant.

There's nothing evil in the woods. Unless it comes from us.

Olivia! (spasmodic gasping)

Can you hear me?

Can you help her?

I can try. I'll tell no one she's here for now... she needs rest and gentle treatment, not a dozen questioners. You should leave. It's not safe for you here.

(The scene comes up on Queen Catherine's chambers, she is still dressed in her beautiful red gown and going through a chest full of various bottles when there is a knock at the door as Mary enters)

Mary: You asked to see me?

Catherine: Ah, Mary. Mm. My dear, now that we're fast friends, I'd like to help you with something of the utmost importance. Babies.

Mary (Confused): Excuse me?

Catherine: Your duty, in case you are unaware, is to produce an heir and ensure the future of your line.

Mary: Yes, I am well aware of that. Thank you.

Catherine: And yet you stand before me looking svelte. You aren't pregnant, are you?

Mary: We only just got back, and we haven't been married for very long.

Catherine: Rub this on your chest ten minutes before lovemaking. It may burn. Ignore it. (Mary's eyes grow wide in shock) And this on his... well, you know. When you detect interest. After... lie absolutely still for an hour, and then take two of these. (Catherine gives Mary a bottle...then takes it back) (gasps) No, not these. These were in the wrong cabinet. Never touch these.

(Suddenly King Henry bursts into the room with a serious look on his face)

Henry: Excuse me. I need to speak with my Queen. Privately.

Mary: Yes, of course.

(door closes) (sighs)

What's wrong?

I was with the duchess in my chambers. Mm-hmm.

As we were... engaged in conversation, we happened to move... close to the window and...

And what? She caught cold?

She fell. To her death.

My God. Henry! We're trying to avoid a war with these people. Does the archduke know?

Not yet.

Why are you coming to me? Shouldn't you be crafting strategy with your advisors?

I can't trust them. What if they use this against me? And this could mean war. (

laughs) Yes, it could.

And no one knows how to cover up a problem better than you. You are my... you are France's best hope.

Forget France. Oh, you just want me to have blood on my hands, too. A way to keep me silent. It's a practical solution. For you. What's in it for me? I want Chenonceau.

I gave that to Diane. You want me to take back a gift? She loves that château.

Bring your mistress back to court, then, and let her deal with your dead duchess. Let her aid in moving a body and crafting a story...

Very well. Chenonceau. But no one else can know. Only the two of us. No servants, no... trusted advisors.

Don't try to school a professional, Henry.

(exhales)

Lola, I think we need to talk about your liaison with Francis in Paris.

Kenna, I can't do this right now.

Because you're tired. You've been tired a lot. You're pale, you're not eating, your new gown doesn't fit. You acted so strangely when you were at home with Francis. You're pregnant, aren't you?

Fast work. Well done!

There is no better way for a royal mistress to secure her place.

Look at Diane. If I could have managed it, but the king is well versed in avoiding such issues.

Don't congratulate me. I'm not Francis's mistress. It was one night. A... a moment of comfort. Do you have any idea how this will shame my family in Scotland? And what will it do to Mary?

I understand that you're worried. Mary won't take it well, not at first. But think of it... in time, she'll recover, and Francis will be a loving father. He'd want the child to grow up here, and he'd probably let you raise it.

Let me? I'm the child's mother.

Yes, well, I'm sure that you would play some part. As long as you don't anger Mary and you keep Francis's interest. Regardless, Lola, your position at French court is assured for life.

For life? But as what? Kenna, I can't do this.

What are you saying?

There are people who help women who don't want babies. Everyone knows they exist. I... I just don't know any.

Did you... have you ever... Ended a pregnancy?

No. The king is well stocked to avoid such issues.

Well stocked with...? Well, he covers... it... If you don't know, you shouldn't be having s*x!

(sighs)

All right. Uh... one of the servants... a girl who washes my things... she isn't married, but she seemed to be with child a few months ago. She disappeared for a few days, and when she came back, she was thinner, less troubled.

Who is she? Tell me, please.

Bash. You're supposed to be in Spain.

I'm supposed to be dead. The night Francis's men were escorting me out of the country, they tried to kill me... on his orders, I believe.

Oh, Francis wouldn't... you know that. Really? After we put him through hell, dispossessed him of everything? After he saw our feelings for each other when he returned? After he stopped our marriage?

He still values you as his brother.

I am nothing to him. Nothing but a threat. He made that very clear.

Well, we're married now. All of that is behind us, all of that pain.

Was it only pain we left behind? There was something more between us. Francis knows that; he hates it. He's come to hate me.

He still wouldn't have you killed.

Not in a flash of anger? Of jealousy? That's all it would have taken... a wave of the future king's head, a nod to some guards, and his intent, however fleeting, would have resulted in my death. Don't you want to know the truth? No proof, one way or the other, would change anything. It might change your heart. And it would change Francis's life, because if I learn that he did try to kill me, I will take him down myself.

Bash, watch your words! This threat alone could result in your death. Francis is my husband.

For your own sake, for your own doubt, find out who you're married to. If you need me, put a light in your window, and I'll meet you in the woods... where we first kissed.

(door closes)

It's leaving a stain. Why is this so difficult? Our clothes go away dirty and they come back clean... how do they do it?

I don't know. They take them to the laundry, and... they dip them in something. Oh. Be sure to pick up all the solid bits. If we're lucky, it'll look like spilled wine. Roll it forward. The way my chefs do stuffed pastry.

Now... there. Now, all we have to do is get her back to her chambers, and... toss her out of the proper window.

Oh, this was my favorite coverlet.

Add it to the list of my debts to you.

You're mistaken, my lady, I never...

Please. My friend needs your compassion.

It's dangerous, casting off a babe.

I understand.

No. Truly dangerous. Not just to your reputation.

I was warned many girls don't survive.

You did. You look healthy.

I was lucky. I'd never have done it if I hadn't been desperate.

Tell me where you went. My friend is desperate, too.

My lady, we both know there's no friend. If I tell you, if you never come back... (

gasps) This could keep my family for months. My lady, it's wrong to tempt me to do what could harm you.

If there is harm, let it be on me.

(sighs) (voices in distance) (sighs)

I know, I know. She's... heavier than she looked.

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