The Warrior and the Forest Maiden

by Xanzie Nikatime

Cast of Characters:


The Narrator recites:
In recent history, there was a time of war. Invading forces fought fervently for the glory of their leaders, and many lives were laid to waste.

The Narrator gestures behind her as the mists rise, revealing a torn battlefield in a forest clearing. Alas, the armies have already overrun this area and have left behind only the dead and fallen.

The Narrator gazes sadly at what could have once been a beautiful scene, but was now littered with bodies and broken weapons.

Kharmad, a great warrior from the recent battle, stumbles away from the wreckage and finds a quiet spot away from the carnage where he can reflect in peace. His huge hand presses against his side, as he futilely attempts to stop the spill of his lifeblood from his wounds.

Kharmad sits back against a tree. Weary and distraught, he sighs as his last thoughts flood through his mind.

Kharmad sings:
This day has been a day for reckoning
And all around I find
The bodies of my friends and comrades
Broken, bloody and dying

We fought so hard and bravely
But in the end we knew the end
This army’s power was beyond us today
And now there’s nothing left to mend

The pain I feel inside
Tells me I shall follow too
I pray dear gods for penance
And may Eylhaar find me true.

Oh, goddess tell my brethern
I will see them very soon.

Eylhaar please find me true.

Kharmad dozes off, his hand falling away from his wound, his head resting back against the trunk of the tree.

The Narrator gazes around. The mist of the forest parts and movement begins to shake the stillness of the air.

The Forest Maiden twirls her way into the room, sadly dancing between the many corpses littering the forest floor.

The Forest Maiden smiles sadly to herself as pirouettes by the side of each body, granting them what honor she can for their brave sacrifice.

The Forest Maiden leaps and bounds over to Kharmad’s tree, twirling around mournfully she leans over and takes a peek at the great warrior.

Kharmad sighs.

The Forest Maiden gasps.

The Forest Maiden scurries quickly behind another tree and hides.

The Forest Maiden peeks timidly around the tree at the great warrior.

Kharmad doesn’t seem to notice her.

The Forest Maiden spins quietly out from behind the tree with a quiet rustle of leaves.

The Forest Maiden prances nimbly over to Kharmad and leans over him cautiously, worry evident upon her brow.

The Forest Maiden touches Kharmad.

The Forest Maiden skips away quickly and waits for the warrior to move, ready to flee if he should surge up at her.

Kharmad doesn’t move.

The Forest Maiden dances lightly over to Kharmad again, pausing to lean over his body she nibbles softly on her bottom lip.

The Forest Maiden touches Kharmad.

Kharmad looks stronger as the forest maiden looks weaker.

The Forest Maiden resumes spinning and twirling about Kharmad’s tree, drawing energy from her movements.

The Forest Maiden touches Kharmad.

Kharmad’s wounds look better.

The Forest Maiden breathes deeply as she spins around the room, letting the forest lend her its strength.

The Forest Maiden gestures.

The Forest Maiden touches Kharmad.

Kharmad groans.

Kharmad opens his eyes slowly.

The forest maiden cavorts around Kharmad’s body, before spinning a safe distance away to watch him silently.

Kharmad blinks at the forest maiden.

Kharmad wistfully recites:

The Forest Maiden giggles at Kharmad, only to turn and dance into the trees, blending in among their shadows to leave him alone.

Kharmad looks down and sees that his wound is healed.

Kharmad recites:
Am I dead?

Kharmad glances around the area and sees that he is still sitting in the war torn forest.

Kharmad recites:
If I am dead, then the Gods are cruel.

Kharmad stands up slowly and glances around the area.

Kharmad recites:
That fair creature must have saved my life.

Kharmad wanders off into the mists, in the same direction of the forest maiden.

Kharmad recites:
Please don’t leave.

Kharmad calls out, but his voice echoing back is the only response.

The Musician strums a gently melody on his mandolin as Kharmad disappears into the mists.

The Narrator ponders.

The Narrator sings:
Wanderers will find
So many strange and wondrous things
Who knows what awaits you
In the woods

You can travel for days
And never find your way through
It’s so easy to get lost
In the woods

You learn fast to respect this land
You may think it is yours, but it’s not
You may know your way through, but you don’t
The land is now the owner and you are its prize

But you can find peace if you try
In this eternal place
So give yourself a chance
In the woods.

The Musician begins to play a gentle lilt on his mandolin.

The Narrator turns and the mists swirl and clear away. Sunbeams shine down through the forest canopy. The Forest Maiden is playfully cavorting about in the woods and marveling each time the sun’s warmth hits her body.

Kharmad sneaks quietly into area and hides behind a scrub.

The Forest Maiden raises her hands joyously to the sky, dancing wildly around the area in honor to the forest gods.

Kharmad sings quietly:
She is fire and earth
Her dance is entrancing
So graceful on the wind

Do her feet touch the ground?
Does she dance on the air?
Will this angel soon ascend?

She is wind and water
Flowing and swirling
Is she sent from up above?

If she knew I was watching
Would she run from this place?
Or stay and we could speak of love

So different she is
From the rages I know
The war that I dare leave behind

Oh graceful creature
Can you heal my heart
The way you mend my hide

Kharmad stands up and allows the forest maiden to see him.

The Forest Maiden startles.

Kharmad recites:
No, no… please don’t run away!

Kharmad moves slowly into the area. The sunbeams gleam off of him as he steps forward. The Forest Maiden steps away, cautiously keeping a fair distance between them.

Kharmad sings:
I have wasted my days
Nothing important to do
My life was so meaningless
Until I saw you

So many moments have gone by
So many lives have been torn apart
You’ve healed my body
Can you heal my heart?

In this strange, new world
I feel a strange new link starting
With you my guardian angel
And this feeling is building

Each day will be a new beginning.
When you found me, I knew it was true
Oh if you would wander my paths with me
Please say I can travel with you

The Forest Maiden steps timidly up to Kharmad.

The Forest Maiden reaches out and touches Kharmad on the cheek.

Kharmad take the Forest Maiden’s hand and gently kisses the back of it.

The Forest Maiden stares deeply into Kharmad’s eyes as he gazes longingly into hers.

The Elder says harshly “What’s this?”

The Forest Maiden runs quickly away and hides behind the old man.

Kharmad bows to the Elder.

Kharmad recites:
Sir, I was offering my thanks to this marvelous girl, for saving my life.

The Elder gets a pained expression on his face.

The Elder gazes painfully at the Forest Maiden.

The Elder recites:
You wandered off to the battlefields again? Girl, what am I going to do with you?

The Forest Maiden frowns.

Kharmad recites:
She found no danger. The battle was long over.

The Elder frowns darkly at Kharmad.

The Elder recites:
She found you!

Kharmad steps forward and holds his arms out in a gesture of peace.

Kharmad recites:
You have nothing to fear from me.

The Elder recites:
We have plenty to fear. Our village was one of the first to be overrun by your armies. We barely escaped with our lives.

The Forest Maiden peeks from behind the Elder at Kharmad.

The Elder sadly recites:
She has not spoken since that day. She is too young to have to see so much.

Kharmad recites:
I don’t wish to cause you pain.

The Elder recites:
Well, maybe you should have thought of that before bringing your armies through here!

Kharmad recites:
Not all of us that fight in the army do so for our own glory. I was conscripted from my home and sent off to fight.

The Elder says:
Well, then she has truly given you a gift. Go back to your home, and leave us be.

Kharmad recites:
I have no home, Sir. I am Kaldar. The armies took my village from me, as yours was taken from you.

The Elder recites:
Well, then just go away. Forget you found us. Forget this place. We have no room for the Gorbesh here.

Kharmad gazes dejectedly at the pair. For a lost moment, his eyes meet the Forest Maiden’s and a tear falls across his cheek. He turns and slowly wanders back into the forest and gets lost in the mists.

The Elder turns and hugs the Forest Maiden.

The Elder tenderly recites:
My beautiful daughter, what would I do if I ever lost you?

The Forest Maiden gazes longingly into the elder’s eyes.

The Forest Maiden recites:
Father please…

The Elder gasps.

The Forest Maiden recites:
Please don’t make him go.

The Elder gazes happily at the Forest Maiden.

The Elder kisses the Forest Maiden’s forehead gently.

The Elder weeps.

The Elder nods to the Forest Maiden.

The Forest Maiden slips out of the Elder’s embrace and smiles softly.

The Elder quietly recites:
Be safe, my child.

The Forest Maiden runs off into the forest leaving the Elder standing alone in the forest, highlighted by a golden sunbeam.

The Narrator recites:
Kharmad wanders aimlessly in the forest. Avoiding the sounds of battle, yet not sure where else to head towards.

Kharmad leans on a tree gazes sadly back the way he traveled from.

Kharmad sings:
Apprehended and conscripted
Left for dead and abandoned
Where should do I turn now?

Is there a place I can go?
Where they don’t see the scars
Of the warrior who is down and out.

Never again can I fight
On the side of the warlords
And I dare not fight against my kin

So where can I go
When I don’t have a home
Who would take this lost warrior in?

The Forest Maiden dances to the edge of area.

Kharmad stands up straight as he sees her approach.

The Forest Maiden dances to Kharmad, he takes her hand gently in his and she pirouettes under his upturned hand.

The Forest Maiden leans forward timidly and touches Kharmad on the cheek.

Kharmad runs his hand down her delicate arm and she spins beneath their gently clasped hands once again.

Kharmad takes rests his hand on her hip and gently dips her body. They gaze deeply into each other’s eyes as he leans over her in a loose embrace.

The Forest Maiden stands up as Kharmad releases her and they sway together in a slow sensual dance.

The Forest Maiden sings:
When I first saw you there
I knew I couldn’t let you die
When I touched you I know
You were no different than I

Kharmad beams at the Forest Maiden.

The Forest Maiden sings:
So much sorrow inside of your heart
There was no way I couldn’t love you
This war is over for you and I now
I know with each other we’ll find our way through

Kharmad embraces the Forest Maiden and spins her around in a joyous dance, weaving in and out of the trees.

The Forest Maiden laughs.

Kharmad sings:
Each day is now a new beginning.
When you found me, I knew it was true
My path is now no longer lonely
Now that I travel with you

The Forest Maiden lovingly recites:
Me too!

Kharmad leans forward, embracing the Forest Maiden.

Kharmad and the Forest Maiden kiss.

The Narrator smiles as the pair wander off in search of peace and love.