1972-10-16 08:00 am

Episode transcript: Rolf the Preacher

Episode 1.8: Rolf the Preacher

Writer: Terence Feely


In Mark’s village in Cornwall. Rolf is on his knees, in the middle of a circle of men – including Mark of Cornwall.

Rolf: Yes … The Lord showed me that he who strikes his fellow man is no better than a ravening wolf. And he who lives by violence is already dead in his heart. [He snatches someone’s sword] What did the sword ever bring you but pain and death?

He starts to chant, and everyone except Mark joins in.

Rolf and Villagers: Pain and death, pain and death, pain and death.

Rolf: And what is peace, but life and sweetness?

Villagers join in again.

Rolf and Villagers: Life and sweetness, life and sweetness.

Rolf holds up the villager’s sword.

Rolf: The day the first sword was forged on earth – that day there was weeping in heaven.

Mark looks dubious.

First villager: Shame!

Rolf: I was a killer. I raped, and I plundered. But I was not a happy man. Then the Lord opened my eyes, and took the sword from my hand, and I found peace. Has the sword given you happiness?

Villagers: No!

Rolf: Has the sword given you plenty?

Villagers: No!

Rolf: Do you want to renounce the sword?

Villagers: Yes!

Rolf: [yells] Then cast it out!

Rolf drives the villager’s sword into the ground, grabs one from another villager, and does the same with that one. All the other men, except for Mark, begin drawing their swords and throwing them to the ground, while Rolf continues his exhortations.

Rolf: Cast it out, cast it out!

Mark: Pick them up!

The few men who haven’t thrown their swords away keep hold of them. Mark grabs a villager by the scruff of the neck, and throws him to the ground in the pile of swords.

Mark: I say! What are you? [Mark grabs another man by his shirtfront and gives him a shove] Warriors or bloodless priests? This fool – he’s moonstruck! [Mark takes Rolf’s place in the centre of the circle and addresses them all] Are you going to let him talk you out of your manhood?

Rolf: Man is made strong by strong heart – not by the sword. Cast out the poisoned blade!

Some start to draw their swords, then sheath them again as Mark starts to speak.

Mark: Even now, plunderers are massing against us. And they mean to take what is yours. How are you going to defend yourselves? On your knees?

Rolf: You will conquer them with peace! And friendship! They will come in hate – but they will leave in love. It will be a victory greater than the Celts have ever known.

Rolf crosses his arms over his chest in rapture.

Mark: Yaar, this man booms like an empty wineskin. No man can return love for hate! The world is a battlefield. [to Rolf] You say that violence is wrong.

Rolf: I do.

Mark: [nodding] And you would not defend yourself against an attack.

Rolf approaches Mark, and holds up his wooden cross.

Rolf: I would not.

Mark: [grins at the onlookers] You would not. Then show me what you’d do, if someone did this.

Mark takes Rolf’s cross, drops it, hits Rolf, back-handed, on the right side of his face, knocking him to the ground, then draws his own sword. Rolf gets slowly to his feet, hands raised, then strokes his left cheek, and offers it for Mark to hit.

Rolf: Now this one.

Mark gives him a look of puzzlement and disgust. All the villagers throw down their swords again.



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1972-10-09 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Marriage Feast

Episode 2.6: The Marriage Feast

Writer: Terence Feely


Kai rides into the village.

Kai: Some news.

Kai dismounts. Arthur and Llud approach.

Kai: Rowena’s to marry Mark of Cornwall.

Arthur looks troubled.

Llud: Never! Rowena could never stomach a man like that. Besides, her father can’t stand the sight of him.

Kai: Ah, it’s true I tell you. I just heard it from one of Mark’s men.

Llud: When’s the wedding to be?

Kai: Soon.

Llud turns to Arthur.

Llud: You’d better go down there and do something about it.

Arthur: Why should I do anything about it? Nothing to do with me.

Arthur walks away.

Kai: [amused] Oh, I see.

Arthur walks towards the longhouse.

Arthur: If she can’t see what a pig the man is ...

Kai: True.

Llud turns his back to Arthur; he is laughing.

Arthur: And if her father’s willing to deliver his daughter into the hands of a man like that, that’s his business.

Kai: [innocent] Of course.

Llud smirks.

Arthur: It’s their choice.

Kai: Right.

Arthur: If she wants to ruin her life, that’s her funeral.

Arthur starts up the ramp to the longhouse.

Kai: Er … will you be going then?

Arthur turns back at the longhouse door.

Arthur: Hmm?

Kai: You’ve been invited to the marriage feast.

Arthur: [deadpan] Oh.

Arthur disappears inside the longhouse. Kai slaps Llud on the shoulder and they burst out laughing.



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1972-10-02 12:29 am

Episode transcript: Some Saxon Women

Episode 2.4: Some Saxon Women

Writer: David Osborne


Yorath the Jute’s village. Some of the villagers run to escort a wagon with a large barrel on the back, and it is dragged into Yorath’s village, amid a flurry of activity. Others assemble behind a seat that is brought for Yorath. Yorath comes out and sits down. The wagon pulls up. The Greek trader approaches Yorath.

Greek trader: Greetings, Yorat.

Yorath: [correcting the Greek trader’s pronunciation] Yorath.

The Greek trader laughs. A Jute woman brings a mug and gives it to Yorath. Yorath drinks, and hands the mug to the Greek trader, who casts his whip aside, wipes the rim of the mug, gives Yorath an ingratiating smile, then drinks. He then pretends that the drink disgusts him, but that he is trying not to let his opinion be known. He gestures towards the barrel, which clearly contains something far superior to what Yorath has given him.

Greek trader: There’s your wine – as promised.

Yorath gestures to one of the villagers, who brings a wooden stool for the Greek trader.

Yorath: Sit down.

Yorath taps the seat provided. The Greek trader snaps his fingers at one of his servants, who brings an animal hide to cover the seat. Evidently nothing in Yorath’s village is good enough for him. The Greek trader sits down, and waves the servant away, and flaps and blows at something in the air that offends his delicate sensibilities.

Yorath: Well now. How much? And I won’t pay silly money, eh? Just bronze.

Greek trader: Not money … Jute. A trade.

Rowena appears from behind a group of Jute women.

Yorath: Uh-huh? What then?

Greek trader: [lecherously] Some Saxon women. Five will do.

The Jute women, including Rowena, look perturbed.

Yorath: Ohhh.

Greek trader: A pleasant night’s outing for you. A few throats … slit? A few miles of forest walked. But they must be young.

Yorath chuckles lecherously.

Greek trader: And fair …

Yorath: I see … [chuckles] Herded down onto your boat … [sniffs, as if he smells something rotten] Sent across the sea, eh? To be sold as concubines on the slave blocks of Athens, eh? [laughs and leans over and pats the Greek trader conspiratorially on the arm] You bastard!

Yorath and the Greek trader are both laughing, like wicked children.

Rowena: Father! No!

Yorath looks ashamed, though clearly annoyed. Even the Greek trader looks a bit guilty – or perhaps just annoyed.

Rowena: But Father!

Yorath: GO!

He stands up and pushes his chair over.

Rowena: I too am a woman.

Yorath: Then you will know your place. You will know that a woman is born to be the property of a man.

Rowena looks outraged.



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1972-09-25 09:00 am

Episode transcript: Rowena

Episode 2.2: Rowena

Writer: Robert Banks Stewart


Arthur and Kai are riding through open country, ahead of two other Celts. Their horses are laden with the results of a trading expedition. They come to a halt. Kai looks disconsolately at two lovebirds in a cage, hanging from his saddle. He clicks his tongue at them, then tries whistling, but with no response.

Kai: Aah! I knew I should have made that rogue of a trader prove they were songbirds before we left the port.

Arthur: Didn’t that Greek tell you they were bred by a Delphic priestess near the Temple of Aphrodite?

Arthur leans over to look at the birds.

Arthur: Perhaps they only sing for women.

Kai: Perhaps I should have bought a woman with them.

Kai glances at Arthur, who laughs.

Decoy: Heeelp!

Arthur, Kai and the others immediately turn their horses and gallop along a woodland path towards source of the cry.

Decoy: Help! Help me!

Arthur’s group continue along the path. As they gallop past the Decoy, he pulls and tightens a rope stretched across the path, tripping each of their horses in turn, so that the riders fall or are thrown, and knocked unconscious. Someone takes the cage with the lovebirds from where it landed on top of Kai.



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1972-09-11 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Duel

Episode 1.6: The Duel

Writer: Terence Feely


A misty morning. The sounds of birds. Arthur, Kai, Llud and two other Celts ride into view, over a hill. Some other riders are seen in the distance, coming to meet them.

Arthur: Mark of Cornwall.

Kai: He won’t be pleased to see us.

Llud: He’s a Celt. And like us he cannot always have what pleases him.

Llud rubs his left shoulder.

Llud: Oh ...

Kai casts a worried glance at Llud, then looks at Arthur and shakes his head. Llud makes another sound of pain.

Arthur: Perhaps it was wrong for all of us to have come. One of us should ride back and keep command of the camp.

Llud: My place is at the battle – not at the hearth with the women and children.

Kai: It’s a long hard ride, even to reach the battle area.

Arthur and Llud turn to look at him.

Llud: I was making long, hard rides before you were born.

Kai: [as if Llud has just made his point for him] Ye-es.

Llud: It’s this weather gets into my shoulder. Well, are we going to stay here gossiping, or are we going to see Mark? Come on!

They ride forward to meet Mark and his four companions.

Arthur: This is the battle that decides.

Mark: Decides what? I’m in no trouble.

Mark and his men chuckle.

Arthur: Unless the Saxons are stopped at Modred’s Field they’ll overrun us. And then you … will be in trouble.

Mark: You asked for men, I gave you men. Now you come begging for horsemen.

Arthur: A messenger has brought word that the Saxons outnumber us, six to one. But as warriors they are raw. And they’ve never met cavalry.

Mark: Why should it be I must get you out of trouble once again?

Llud: Because you’re a Celt. And there’s such a thing as loyalty to the blood. Perhaps you haven’t heard of that in Cornwall.

Mark and Llud give each other hostile looks.

Llud: If you’ve no stomach for the fight, say so, and let those who have get on.

Mark: I’ve no cause to like you, Arthur. But I like Saxons less. I’ll help you fight your battle. But I give you fair warning. It’s a long way to Modred’s field. Keep him … [points at Llud] out of my way. [to horse] Hah!

Mark and his men turn and ride away. Llud watches them go.



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1972-09-04 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Prisoner

Episode 2.3: The Prisoner

Writer: Robert Banks Stewart


A Celtic warrior is standing watch, within view of Arthur’s village. He sees an escaping Saxon stagger from hiding, fall, and then run across an open space, back to cover.

Celt watchman: [mouths] Hey …

He blows a horn to summon help.

The Saxon, Roland, clearly wounded, leans against a fallen tree, gets his breath back, looks at his injured hand, then tries to move on.

Kai canters up to the Celt watchman.

Kai: What is it?

Celt watchman: Down there. I saw … saw a Saxon run into those trees.

Kai: Only one?

Celt watchman: Yeah.

Kai: I’ll deal with him.

Kai goes down a slope in the direction the Celt watchman indicated.

Roland continues his laboured progress through the trees.

The Celt watchman looks on as Kai dismounts at the edge of the wood. Kai takes his axe from in front of his saddle, and goes in among the trees.

Roland continues his halting progress.

Kai leans against the same fallen tree and finds Roland’s blood on his hand. He continues his pursuit up a wooded slope.

Roland runs down the other side of the hill, and comes out into the open. He reaches a small river, looks back, and sees Kai emerging from the trees.

They meet on open ground. Roland throws his axe at Kai, and misses. Roland runs; Kai follows and brings him down with a trip and a push. He is about to despatch Roland with his axe, but stops, and examines a medallion he has seen around Roland’s neck.



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1972-08-28 08:00 am

Episode transcript: Go Warily

Episode 2.5: Go Warily

Writer: Jonathen Crown


Ominous music. Llud is being chased down a hill by a huge masked warrior, carrying a spear.

Llud gets trapped against a tree. The warrior; Brosk, throws his spear, but misses Llud by inches. The chase continues. Llud stumbles down a bank into a river, and falls to his hands and knees. Brosk closes in.

We see that Llud is in his own bed, and this is a nightmare.

Llud: [shouts] No! No! No!

Arthur awakes, leaps up, rushes across to Llud, and grips him by the shoulders, trying to calm him.

Llud: Aargh! Argh!

Arthur: Wake up. What is it? Llud?

Llud continues to make sounds of panic, and throws Arthur off. He lands on the floor. Llud is still moaning and crying out, “No!” in the grip of his nightmare.

Arthur: Llud! It’s Arthur! Llud!

Llud is still dreaming. Arthur picks up a bucket of water and throws it over him. Llud suddenly comes fully awake. Arthur looks down at him anxiously. Llud closes his eyes in relief that it was just a dream.



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1972-08-21 08:00 am

Episode transcript: People of the Plough

Episode 1.5: People of the Plough

Writers: Bob Baker and Dave Martin


Kai is riding beside a river, when he sees an isolated homestead beside a partly-ploughed field. He approaches, tethers his horse, and bursts into one of the huts. A hooded figure comes up behind him, and taps him on the shoulder with an axe. Kai lowers his own weapon.

Kai: I saw your plough. I too am a Saxon.

He turns and punches the hooded figure. They briefly fight, and Kai knocks his opponent unconscious. He turns them over, and finds that he has been fighting a beautiful blonde woman.



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1972-08-14 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Slaves

Episode 1.10: The Slaves

Writer: Robert Banks Stewart


In open country. Sounds of thunder. Arthur is on horseback. Kai, who is leading his horse, stops to look at one of its hooves. Arthur rides back to him.

Arthur: I’ve got some news that’ll take the ache out of those feet of yours.

Kai: You gonna let me ride your horse for a while?

Arthur: There’s a village over that last ridge. Col, the blacksmith there’ll take care of your horse.

Arthur rides on until he is in sight of the village.

Arthur: [shouts] Col!

There is no answer; the village looks deserted. Kai catches up to Arthur, and they approach the village cautiously. Arthur dismounts and they go in on foot. One of the horses whinnies, warning of their approach, so they split up and run to scout out different areas. There’s no one around. Arthur finds a shield lying on the ground, and lifts the edge with his foot.

Arthur: Saxons.

An arrow hits Kai’s leg.

Kai: Ach!

Arthur draws his sword and ducks down. Kai pulls the arrow out.

Arthur: [whispers urgently] Kai!

Kai: I’m alright.

They run to the hut from which the arrow came, go in, Kai through the door and Arthur through the window, and find the archer: a small boy, Frith.



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1972-08-07 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Penitent Invader

Episode 1.4: The Penitent Invader

Writer: Terence Feely


Arthur and Llud are fighting the Picts; seriously out-numbered, they are losing. One of the Picts throws a knife, which hits Arthur in the back; it looks serious. Llud catches Arthur as he falls. In the nick of time, Herward the Holy and two other mounted warriors come to the rescue, putting the Picts to flight.

Arthur: Herward the Holy. To say that I am pleased to see you –

Herward: No need to put your gratitude into words. But put it into action. I have helped you. Now you must help me.



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1972-07-31 08:00 am

Episode transcript: In Common Cause

Episode 2.7: In Common Cause

Writer: Michael J. Bird


Arthur and Brother Amlodd are in a field, looking at a dead bull.

Arthur: The same?

Amlodd: No bear or wolf brought this beast down. Nor spear, neither.

Arthur: It was no hearsay, then, Brother Amlodd. The Saxon animals are dying of a pestilence.

Amlodd: They are. That pleases you?

Arthur: With cause. Our enemy’s sheep and cattle are struck down. Men with empty bellies have little heart for war.

Amlodd: Well, the pestilence does not choose between Saxon and Celt. And you also have bellies to fill.

Arthur bites his lip thoughtfully.



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1972-07-24 09:00 am

Episode transcript: Enemies and Lovers

Season 1, Episode 9: Enemies and Lovers

Writer: Scott Forbes


King Athel’s village. Arthur and Kai, their hands tied behind them, are being led by a Warrior, and followed by a number of guards, towards a longhouse.

Warrior: Stay.

They come to a halt. The Warrior approaches the longhouse, and goes in. Kai gives Arthur a worried look. Morcant and the Warrior emerge from the longhouse.

Morcant: You are Saxon scouts!

Kai: We are not! We were out hunting when your men attacked us.

Morcant: You have been sent by Cerdig to spy on our land.

Arthur: We’re friends. Come closer – you know me.

Morcant: [to the Warrior] Have them killed at once. Bury them on the far side of the hill.

The Warrior goes to do his bidding.


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1972-07-17 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Gift of Life

Season 1, Episode 2: The Gift of Life

Writer: Terence Feely


Kai and Arthur ride into the village to find it in flames. Villagers are variously fleeing, mourning their dead, and trying to douse or beat out the flames.

Arthur: Where is Llud?

Celt Villager: He was called away to see Ambrosius. The Saxons attacked us after he left.

Arthur picks up a small child from by the roadside, and returns him to his mother.

Horseman: Saxons! Saxons! They’re coming back!

Kai and Arthur run down to the lakeside to see a Saxon longboat drifting towards the jetty. Other Celts join them, crouching behind some fishing baskets.

Arthur: He’s lying low.

Kai: How many of them?

Arthur: Lying low against our spears.

Kai: Yes, but the first head to be split will be with this.

Kai brandishes his axe and leaps into the boat, ready to do battle. Two little blond-haired children, Krist and Elka, appear from the bottom of the boat.

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1972-07-10 08:00 am

Episode transcript: The Challenge

Season 1, Episode 3: The Challenge

Writer: Terence Feely


A wood. Two men fight fiercely with short swords.

Garet: God! I’ll kill you!

Gawain: As your father tried to kill mine! But you will meet with no more success than he!

They continue fighting.

Garet: Who was it who stole my father’s inheritance? His own brother, the brigand who spawned you.

Gawain: He took back what was his by right

Garet: To my father they were promised. And this quarrel is settled now.

A spear lands in the trunk of the tree that stands between the two of them. Arthur, Kai and Llud have arrived, on horseback; it is Arthur who threw the spear.

Arthur: Animals!

Arthur dismounts, and stalks towards them.

Arthur: Not even wolves in winter do this to their kin.

He begins removing the spear from the tree.

Arthur: You’re cousins. Your fathers were one flesh, one blood.

Garet and Gawain look sheepish.

Arthur: Yet you act like sworn enemies.

Arthur tosses the spear to Kai.

Arthur: Your men butcher one another.

Arthur takes Garet and Gawain’s swords from them.

Arthur: And now you look for death by your own swords.

Arthur tosses their swords to Kai.

Gawain: I don’t know how it comes to this.

Garet: It all starts from nothing.

Gawain: Then the feud that lives deep in our hearts takes us over.

Arthur: For my part you could kill each other any day you wish.

Arthur pulls them by their shirt fronts, then walks away.

Arthur: But I gave you the command of the two villages guarding me from the north. Three times now, the Saxons have swept through and been at my throat before I knew it, because you were too busy fighting each other to stop them. You’re a broken shield at my back. What I need is men at my shoulder blades, not murderous squabbling boys.

Garet: Arthur, we know we’ve put you in danger.

Arthur: You’ve put all my people in danger.

Gawain: It won’t happen again, I swear it.

Arthur: No, it won’t happen again, I’ll make sure of that. You’re banished to Gaul, both of you. Get on your horses.

With great reluctance, they obey.

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1972-07-03 08:00 am

Episode transcript: Daughter of the King

Season 2, Episode 9: Daughter of the King

Writers: David Pursall and Jack Seddon


It is winter. Arthur and Kai squelch through the flooded village to the longhouse. Arthur is carrying a sack of provisions; Kai has a dead stag slung across his shoulders. The sentry holds the door open for them.

Inside, Llud is draining some mead from the barrel, tilting it to get the last few drops. He raps on it; it sounds empty. He goes to sit down and smiles at Arthur and Kai as they come in.

Llud: The mead. You’ve forgotten the mead. The barrel’s almost empty.

Arthur and Kai put down their burdens.

Kai: Since you seem to be drinking it all, perhaps you’d like to get your feet wet, bringing it from the store hut.

Llud: A wager’s a wager.

Arthur: We gambled for one journey only. Fetching the mead is a separate wager.

Arthur swipes Llud’s goblet, takes a drink, then hands the goblet to Kai, who also drinks. Llud gets to his feet, smiling and nodding.

Llud: As you wish. Another wager! [he laughs smugly]

Kai aims at a target board on the wall, and throws a knife.

Llud: Your aim is off, Kai. I could do better with my silver hand.

Kai: We have three attempts.

Kai sits on the table as Arthur gets up to take his turn; Arthur’s knife lands a bit closer to the centre, but still in the outer ring.

Llud: Arthur’s rest did him good while you were womanising. To keep a steady hand, you need rest.

Arthur sits next to Kai. Llud prepares to throw.

Kai: Arthur grows old before his time.

Kai gives Arthur an affectionate nudge. Llud throws; his is the worst effort so far.

Llud: But his eye is keen.

Kai gets up to take another throw.

Kai: The keenest eye sent Arthur to his bed, whilst I was chosen to keep the young lady company. [Kai nudges Arthur with the handle of the knife] Leesa’s sparkling eye chose me, eh?

Arthur leans in and speaks softly.

Arthur: Which one of her three eyes did she use, eh?

Both smile. Kai nudges Arthur out of the way as he prepares to throw. His knife lands the closest yet.

Kai: Your pride was hurt more than I thought.

He goes to sit down. Llud steps up, but Arthur puts a hand out to stop him.

Arthur: It takes more than Leesa to touch my pride. The Celts get slaughtered by that murdering butcher Bavick. That’s when my pride is hurt as a leader.

Arthur aims and throws the knife with some venom; the knife hits quite near the middle of the target.

Arthur: Would the weather break, that it could have been for him.

Llud: You must hold your patience. The rains will at least keep Bavick close to his fire.

Llud throws, with a bit more accuracy than before, but still no match for Arthur’s best throw. Kai gets up to take his turn.

Kai: Until the first glimpse of sun through the storm clouds. Then he’ll rampage the country again, fighting his own kind, killing and pillaging.

Kai throws, still with not much luck. He goes to sit down and Arthur gets up.

Arthur: When he moves more than one league out of his own territory, I’ll split his head in two.

Arthur throws – this time wildly off-target. He goes to sit down again.

Llud: Your anger spoils your skill. I trust you will have better control when you come face-to-face with Bavick.

Arthur: When we ride out again, my anger will have calmed enough to come face-to-face with Bavick. In the meantime, I’m still nearest to the centre of that target.

Llud chuckles. He throws and hits the centre.

Llud: It seems the position has changed … and with Arthur in second place – [to Kai] you fetch the barrel of mead!

Llud laughs.

Kai: Mmm.

Kai heaves a sigh and gets to his feet.

Arthur: Don’t get waylaid by the fair Leesa. We’re thirsty.

Kai: Gaaah …

Kai gives Arthur a friendly shove. Llud laughs. Kai makes his way across the muddy yard to the store hut.

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1972-06-26 09:00 am

Episode transcript: Arthur is Dead

Season 1, Episode 1: Arthur is Dead

Writer: Terence Feely


Arthur, Kai, and three other Celts, all mounted, line up for a race.

Kai: Across the ledge at the back of the village.

Arthur: Then through the forest. Now. Let’s see who’ll be first man.

Kai: Everybody ready? [shakes reins] Har!

They thunder across the landscape. One by one, the other three horsemen fall – or are thrown – from their horses, leaving Arthur in the lead, with Kai close behind. Arthur looks behind him, and a low branch knocks him from his horse. He lands flat on his back, and lies motionless. Kai dismounts, kneels beside Arthur, and carefully moves his head. Two of the other Celts arrive. Kai looks up.

Kai: Go and tell the village. Tell the world. Arthur is dead.

The others gallop away.

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