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9 January 2011
30 June 2011
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“One selfless deed. Just one. The first of you to commit an utterly selfless act - and your soul is free. The one who fails is mine.”
Death is not the end for the Reverend Gregory Trask. After shooting himself to escape the torture of being walled-up alive, the priest is sent to the Dark Lord himself for Judgement.
To the holy man’s horror, he is partnered with the equally cursed witch, Angelique, and sent to a vast battlefield in 1861 to compete for the return of their mortal soul. But neither is expecting to be pitched into the aftermath of one of America’s most deadly historic battles, nor to encounter the mysteriously beautiful woman who stalks it.
- The nights are long and dark at Collinwood. But in this year of 1897, Reverend Gregory Trask has spent the longest night of his life within its cursed walls. A man with a sordid soul, his path is strewn with the victims of his twisted piety and greed. He may deny the murder of his first wife Minerva was by his own hand, or that Judith Collins, his second, was driven mad by his contrivance. But judgment day for the Reverend has finally arrived. Bricked up in a windowless room tormented by the ghosts of his past, Trask must make a decision to die a slow death of starvation and madness or to use the nickel plate revolver in his hand.
Gregory Trask wonders how long he has been trapped in the room. He thinks he hears the voice of his dead wife Minerva calling to him. He longs to see the face of his daughter Charity once more. He asks God to forgive him as uses a revolver to commit suicide. He fires the gun and slumps to the floor dead. A sinister voice welcomes Trask home, it gives a manic laugh.
In a confused state, Trask thinks the voice he hears belongs to that of Carl Collins. The room that Trask was in has gone. He mistakes a voice singing the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful for that of Charity’s. Before him is a dark road with no sky, he believes it will lead him out of hell and into hollowed ground. The taunting laugher of a female is joined by the voice of the sinister laugh heard previously. The voice reveals itself to be much more than a man; it is that of the Dark Lord himself, it says that in its kingdom a man is offered what he most deserves. A figure approaches; Trask thinks it to be an Angel offering him forgiveness. It is Angelique; Trask is disappointed. The Dark Lord tells them both that they are bound together by their multitude of sins and their utter believe in their justification. It sets them a challenge. The first of them to commit an utterly selfless act will have their mortal soul returned to them.
The Dark Lord delivers them to a battlefield in 1861. They immediately hear a voice of a man calling out in distress. It is a fatally injured soldier. Believing faith to be the ultimate act of selflessness Gregory attempts to save the soldier’s soul through religious words of wisdom. The soldier angrily retorts at Gregory that there is no faith here only futile countless death and scolds men like Gregory as cowards. The soldier expires. Gregory rebukes the soldier for blasphemy. It is Angelique turn; she attempts to use witchcraft in order to restore the soldier to life. The soldier returns to life. Angelique asks him to look upon the selfless face that raised him from the dead. However all she has managed to do is create an undead monster seeking revenge. It begins to speak with the voice of the Dark Lord, it reminds Angelique that the dark arts cause suffering to others and are hardly selfless. The Dark Lord recalls Barnabas Collins and says that to truly love means to set a man free, not to enslave him to a half life. Carrion crows begin to swarm around them and attack the undead creation. As it is destroyed, the Dark Lord cryptically warns them both to watch the birds.
A woman wails near a riverbank over a body. Gregory approaches her and observes that the body is a young boy no more than a child gasping for life. He introduces himself as a man of the cloth in the service of a higher general. Angelique joins them and cautions the woman that he is trying to seduce her. Angelique introduces herself as Gregory’s wife, much to his ire. He observes that she is attempting to give way to another woman’s superiority and selflessly accept her place in another woman’s shadow. The woman graphically tells them about the war and all the horrors she's witnessed. Carrion crows swarm around them again en masse, Angelique deduces from the woman’s black eyes and feathered cloak that the woman is controlling them. The woman reveals herself to be a manifestation, one of many who roam every battlefield. She knows all about Gregory and Angelique’s pasts. The woman’s skin starts to age and disintegrate before them but cannot die. Angelique deduces that the woman is parasite that feeds on the strength of men. Angelique offers to use her powers to give the woman the ability to feel despair and pain. Gregory declares the offer is futile, as the woman has no heart to experience those emotions. The woman confirms this and suggests that it maybe Gregory’s selfless task to save Angelique by sacrificing himself to her power. Gregory contemplates this. The woman attempts to turn Gregory and Angelique and against each other. Angelique attempts to convince Gregory join forces with her to overcome the woman. He rationalizes that this is a futile fight as war is in man’s nature and is impossible to exorcise. He declares the woman to be a phantom, merely a vision of themselves. The woman convulses in pain at this realization. Gregory states that the woman is carrion and doesn’t exist. The woman vanishes.
Gregory believes he has committed a selfless act by letting Angelique live when he had the chance to punish her. He demands deliverance of his soul, but nothing happens. Angelique thinks that the bargain with the Dark Lord never existed. That any act they performed was in the pursuit of their own mortality so it could never be selfless. And that the reason he sent them to a battle is that nobody ever wins in war. Gregory laments over what he has done and that it would be his greatest punishment to be tortured by those memories, to be returned to a living damnation. And that it is why God has never sought to redeem him before now. This is God's plan and he will obey him. He states to the Dark Lord that Angelique should be the one taken back, as the task is the Dark Lord's trickery. It is not because it cannot be won but that to win is to lose. The Dark Lord gives a sinister laugh. Gregory realizes his selfless act is to be mortal again and confront his sins. The Dark Lord takes Angelique as his servant. He proclaims that they are two damned souls, returning one to her true master and the other to the wroth of his own life, a worthless thing. Angelique screams in terror.
Gregory is mortal again, the mists are gathering. The woman from earlier speaks through the child. She commends Gregory on his performance; she is impressed that he managed to trick the Dark Lord into thinking that his mortality is a form of punishment. Gregory says that good men often do questionable things in order to lead others down the path of righteousness. He is more than ready for his next battle, to find his daughter and make her stand beside him. The woman fears they will meet again sooner than Gregory thinks. See tells him that the mists are gathering and that he is being sent from one mighty war to another in 1941. As this process starts Gregory calls out that he is coming for Charity.
A stormy night in Collinsport, 1941. Gregory sees Worthington Hall before him, his school rebuilt. He takes this as a sign that he is destined to endure. He goes inside and greets Charity, who is shocked to see her dead father before her.
Memorable quotes Edit
- Jerry Lacy as Gregory Trask
- Lara Parker as Angelique Collins
- Nigel Fairs as The Dark Lord
- Lizzie Hopley as The Woman
- Alex Mallinson as The Soldier
- Nancy Barrett as Charity Trask
Background information and notesEdit
- From Gregory Trask's perspective this story takes place after The Wicked and the Dead.
- From Angelique Collins's perspective this story takes place after Final Judgment.
- As well writing this story, Lizzie Hopley also plays title role of the Carrion Queen.
- Nancy Barrett makes a cameo appearance as Charity Trask at the end of the story. This final scene also concludes the following play The Poisoned Soul, here it is shown from Gregory Trask's perspective.
- Nigel Fairs who plays the Dark Lord, also provides the music and sound design for this story.
- Included at the end of this release are trailers for Angelique's Descent, Echoes of Insanity & The Death Mask. A scene from The Crimson Pearl is also included teasing the then upcoming story.