Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Here's how I broke the story down before writing the script:

Negative - Dishonour Positive Alive

Act 1
  • Scene 1 Negative Fighting/Fleeing/Terrified - Resting/Safe/Relieved Positive - 2 pages A battle is taking place between the Roman army and a barbarian army on the fringes of their territory. The battle has raged all day.  A cavalry charge from the barbarians finally turns the tide and we see the Romans being cut down and eventually routed. A small group of the soldiers break off from the main routing force and head towards a nearby forest for refuge. They are pursued by barbarian infantry. Inside the forest the soldiers find themselves still pursued. Silhouettes of the enemy infantry above them against the dusk sky at the edges of the forest but strangely they don’t seem to be entering deep in pursuit.. One of the romans spots a thick mist up ahead. The lead roman, an officer named Flavius orders the men into the mist to lose their pursuing  enemies. They pass through the mist and find themselves still in the forest when they emerge from the other side. There is a moment of respite.

  • Scene 2 Negative dishonour - honour Positive 1 Page- Suddenly, Crispus, a veteran soldier of advanced years turns in rage to Blasius, our protagonist. He curses him for being a coward and claims he witnessed Blasius trying to move to the back lines rather than fight like a True Roman. He seems to blame the defeat on Blasius and soldiers like him. Flavius steps in and puts an end to the argument. Blasius “I can’t believe/At least we survived….” Crispus” Curse you and your surviving. If it weren’t for cowards like you we could have won the battle.” Blasius is stunned. Pullo “ What you on about Crispus?” “I saw this weak poor excuse for a soldier trying to work his way to the back lines any time an enemy came near. Look! Look at his blade. There’s not a drop of german blood on it. He’s a coward and we ought to finish him right here ourselves!” Flavius” That’s enough Crispus. Keep it down. The barbarian scum could still be out there. We need every man ready to fight if they are.” Flavius stares down Crispus before giving Blasius a stern look and saying “ There’s courage in all men. They just need to find it.” Vorenus alerts them that there is movement in the mist near by and that they are discovered. Blasius draws his sword ready now to redeem himself. The men ready themselves and are suddenly set upon not by their pursuing barbarian foes as expected but human like creatures with razor sharp teeth and claws.
  • Scene 3 - Inciting Incident -
  • Irony - Negative death  - Positive life Positive loyalty - Betrayal Negative - 2 pages
  • The soldiers are being slaughtered. The claws of the demons cut through flesh and armour as though they were one and the same. Blasius stands frozen with fear as his comrades are once again slaughtered all around him. Suddenly a huge demon bursts through the mist and smashes several of the soldiers into the air. He is knocked to the ground as a headless body of another soldier slams into him. He clambers into a nearby ditch and pulls some foliage over him and watches the rest of the battle play out before him. The huge demonic creature wreaks havoc and before long only a few soldiers remain standing. The beast smashes Flavius who files into a tree, his back breaking instantly on impact. As he slumps at the base of the tree his eyes lock with Blasius’. He opens his mouth to yell something to Blasius but any words that would have escaped become a bloody gargling choking sounds as several of the demons right his through and entrails out and start to devour him. He should have been filled with rage at what he was witnessing but deep down he knew what he really felt was “thank the gods it is not me”.

Act 2
  • Scene 4 Negative Cowering/Quitting - Second wind/Surviving Positive 2 pages- Dawn comes and Blasius still cowers in his ditch. Unmoving, l terrified of drawing attention to himself. All night he watched the creatures devour his comrades. All the while reliving the horrors he witnessed the night before. Pullo and Vorenus fighting back to back. Scoring several kills before finally the numbers engulfed them together. Brutus crushed by a single blow from the behemoth and worst of all Flavius seeing right into his eyes, into his soul just before he was consumed and knowing in those last moments that he was wrong. He tries to shout something but his throat is ripped open before the words can escape and Blasius can only imagine what the gargled choking sound should have been. Blasius resigns himself to his fate. He will lie here and simply die of dehydration rather than face the horrors that roam these woods. 3 days pass, with every night bringing the same horror of the creatures scouring the area for food and Blasius wondering if tonight will be the night he is discovered and devoured. He finds himself hoping that he dies of thirst before they find him. On the third morning, starving and dehydrated Blasius begins to think of his home and his life on the farm. He thinks of his childhood. Those precious moments he shared with his  father when he was allowed to return home on leave. And then he thinks what they would think of him now. If they knew the truth. He begins to cry but there is no water in his tear ducts. “I don’t want to die…”  he whimpers “Not like this.. Not like this.. I can’t live like this anymore...”.He doesn’t want to die he realises. Finally he moves. He needs water.
  • Scene 5 Negative Starving/Dying - Fed/Alive Positive 1 page - Blasius finds a watering hole that was home to all manner of strange creatures none of which seemed to care much about him if he kept his distance. If he got too close they would flee deep into the woods. He noticed they all seemed to have bulbous bellies. He had never been good with a spear so his spear hunting attempts were fruitless and starving. At his wits end and low on energy and morale as his prey once again escapes into the forest. He is suddenly aware that something is stalking him. This is it he thinks to himself. Very well, I have a chance to die on my feet like my brothers did. At least I will go into the next life knowing I died an honourable death in battle. The shadow leaps from the foliage. It’s not one of the demons but a medium sized predator. Blasius times his thrust perfectly and his spear point hits home just below the creatures rib cage. He feels the hot guts spill over him as the creatures momentum carries it into him still. He wasted no time cooking and eating the beast. His next priority was escaping but that would have to wait until the next day. Still, each night he is haunted by the sounds of the roaming demons praying that this night would not be the night he is discovered and devoured.
  • Scene 6  Negative exposed/death Hidden/life Positive
  • Act 2 climax 1 page
  • With his strength somewhat restored Blasius decides this is the time to set out and find a way out of these accursed woodlands. He sets off back the way the group came. It can’t be far to the edge of the forest as the barbarian scum only pursued them an hour into the woods. He can’t believe it that after several hours of travel the treeline is nowhere in sight. Thoughts that it must just be a little further keep him forging on until finally he has to admit it’s too late. Even if he heads back now it will be dark before he gets back. He takes refuge in a nearby cave. He should be able to hide here for the night.
Act 3
  • Scene 7 Negative Stuck/Trapped - Direction/Plan Positive- As darkness engulfs the woods he hears worrying wails and groans from deep inside the cave. No! He realises this is where the creatures come from. He must get out of here. He flees into the woods and realises now he must somehow survive the night in the open. He can hear them all around him as he hides by a tree.. He sees the shadows in the trees. He can’t stay put like this. With no cover they will eventually find him. He creeps as best he can silently through the trees past groups upon groups of bickering demons. Just as he thinks he might be free of them he rounds a large tree and finds himself face to face with one of the creatures. The jig is up. A quick thrust of his gladius dispatches the beast but not before its death cry alerts every other one in the area. Blasius hurtles through the forest as fast as he can move passing and alerting more of the creatures as he goes. Suddenly up ahead he sees the mist. That’s it! That’s got to be the way out. Only after we passed through the mist did we encounter these miserable creatures. He can hear them grouping behind him and giving chase but he has a lead and races towards the mist.
  • Scene 8 Negative Pursued/Death - Free/Life Positive -He is almost at the mist, almost free, when just ahead he hears a gut wrenching roar and his heart sinks. He knows the lumbering behemoth lies between him and the mists. Sure enough the huge hulking form races towards him from the mist. This is it he thinks to himself. He dodges blow after blow as best as he can. His only hope is that this creature too has a weak spot in its gut just as the predator he had skewered previously had. He times the perfect strike with his gladius into the gut of the beast just as he had done before. Success the behemoth lets out a spine tingling gargle of a roar and crashes to the ground. With a sigh of relief he thinks he is finally free.
  • Scene 9 Ironic - Positive life - Death Negative - Negative Dishonour - Positive Honour- As he heads into the mist he hears behind him a shout “Waiiiitttt… Don’t leave me….” He looks back and sees the Vorenus making his way towards him, fighting off the creatures as best he can. “Vorenus?” Blasius realises at this moment that he won’t escape this place after all. His decision made, he tears back towards his fellow legionnaire sword in hand. As he arrives on the scene they fight off a group of the demons. Blasius notices Vorenus leg is torn badly. They will never reach the mist like that. They share a knowing look and Vorenus tells him to leave. The rest of the creatures are moving towards them from all angles. No, it’s too late anyway. He replies. I’ve had enough of running from these wretched creatures. Let us send as many of them as we can back to the depths of hell before they take us. Together they charge into the horde and die like Romans but not before they dispatch a score of the creatures.
Positive Honour Negative Dead

From the POV of Blasius, His Honour has such value to it that he sacrificed his life to achieve it.

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