Why Commenting On FanFiction Is Important

angelaiswriting:

boothewriter:

Alright kids, Boo here with a hopefully non-arrogant PSA.

I’m a writer of FanFiction because I like it and it’s my preferred genre (also a great way to receive feedback on writing that I can use on originals, bref). But like with most artistic work posted online, I have very little feedback.

When I was in a slightly writing rut, I cranked one shots left and right, nothing out of the ordinary. But instead of people commenting with their thoughts and good feedback, they just gave me requests.

I don’t think I could ever put into words what that felt like, but I’ll try (the irony of being a writer). It suddenly felt tiring, being a writer, and very quickly I stopped writing altogether. I only ever showed my friend what I wrote and left it at that. I haven’t published anything for a while after. It felt like people were treating me like a mule wanting me to do work for them, and I just wasn’t up for that. I lost my will to write, and then I began to think, “If I post something else other than what was requested, will people even read it?”

Then you get the infamous comments, “You haven’t forgotten about my request right??? Here’s another.”

That just adds anxiety and guilt. I’m purposely ignoring the comments to save my own uncreative ass, at least that’s what it feels like.

After weeks of convincing myself that my stories are worth sharing no matter how many people read them, I started writing and publishing again while working on some longer pieces. Slowly it got better.

Now this week, I remembered I joined another fanfiction platform, and realized I had never published anything on it. I had an idea, and so I started writing. It didn’t come out as I imagined it would, but I was so proud? Like, I started feeling happy about what I created again. Like genuine happiness that I haven’t felt in months since my last published work.

A few hours later, I get this comment:

I cranked out three 3k stories after reading this.

In four days.

It never happened before, and I don’t know how many times it will happen again. It was one comment, but it gave me so much fighting spirit that I think I’m on my way to regaining my initial writer mindset.

Fanfiction writers depend on feedback as a validation that their stories matter to people. If you’re wondering why your favourite author hasn’t updated/posted in a while, ask yourself, “Did I do everything that would convince them to continue writing this?”

lol I have like, sod all feedback, but I still love writing what I do.

I’m extremely grateful for any and all feedback I receive when/if it arrives.

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Under Siege (pt.3)

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Nottingham Castle. Dungeons.
(Isabella leans on the door of her cell and sighs.)
Isabella: “It’s not like they died, Allan. (Allan, who has taken over guard duty, glances at her and shakes his head.) So I gave you inaccurate information, what’s the big deal?”
Allan: “You knew we’d head for the internal door first. If Maz didn’t know all the ins and outs of this place we wouldn’t have got there in time. You lied to me, Iz.”
Isabella: (Pouts:) “OK maybe a white lie. But I did it for you. (Allan turns to face her now:) With those two out of the way you could be free to be your own man.”
Allan: “I am my own man.”
Isabella: “Once, perhaps. The man I fell in love with took chances and wanted to better himself. Now since rejoining Hood’s gang you’ve been walking on eggshells. I’m right, aren’t I?”
Allan: (Looks at her a moment before responding:) “Look, I might’ve held my tongue a bit since rejoining Robin but I’m still the same man.”
Isabella: “Is that why they’ve got you on guard duty?”
Allan: “Hey I volunteered for this post. (Pointing to the window:) If anyone else were guarding you they’d have tried to slit your throat by now.”
(There is a long silence between them.)
Isabella: (In a small voice:) “So does that mean you’re here for me, protecting me?”
Allan: “The old Sheriff wants you released and Robin isn’t gonna let that happen. Between the villagers and Vaisey, this is the safest place for you.”
Isabella: (Nods:) “You have to know I had no idea Vaisey was still alive.”
Allan: “Yeah, I know, none of us knew.”
Isabella: “Although I should’ve known something was wrong when Blamire arrived without his army.”
Allan: “Yeah, I bet the guards weren’t thrilled about their new boss either.”
Isabella: “Blamire demands and receives the deepest loyalty from his men. That’s why I negotiated so hard with his brother for command of the army.”

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Allan: (Smirks:) “Negotiated. That’s what we’re calling it eh?”
Isabella: “Think
what you want of me, Allan. Despite the strides I’ve made for myself
this is still a man’s world. I will use every weapon at my disposal to
survive and I don’t apologise for it. But despite my relations with
Henry and Prince John, neither of them could hold a candle to you.”
Allan: (Rolls his eyes, gets to his feet:) “Oh come off it, Iz, you’re embarrassing yourself.”
Isabella: “Wouldn’t
be the first time. Believe what you wish but I say this from the heart. You, Allan a Dale, are the man I love. And, if this is to be my last day
on this earth, then I want you to know that.”
(Allan turns to face her again.)
Allan: (Smiles despite himself:) “You’re amazing, you know that?”


Isabella:
(Returns the smile:) “Isn’t it traditional to offer the condemned one last request? Open the door and I’ll remind you what amazing feels like.”
Allan: (Hesitates:) “Nah, I can’t do that, Iz.”
Isabella: “Allan!”
Allan: (Holds up the keys and puts them into the lock.) “I can’t let you out. (Unlocking the door and opening it wide.) But I can keep you company.”
Isabella: (Raises her eyebrows and smiles:) “Oh you can, can you? (Pulls Allan in for a long, steamy kiss. As they part.) Lock the door.”
Allan: (Grinning:) “Now we’re talking.”

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Nottingham Town. Inside the gates. Dawn.
(Robin climbs the ladder to Much on the battlements.)
Much: “Robin! We’re going to need the King’s troops fast.”
Robin: “Marian won’t let us down.”
(They
both look down at the bridge where soldiers are wheeling a battering
ram made of three thick logs towards the portal. The ram hits the gates,
which have been braced with thin tree trunks. Below, Gisborne turns
sharply at the noise.)

Gisborne: (Yelling up to Robin:) “The gates won’t hold against a battering ram and we don’t have the men to take them on!”
(The battering ram pounds the gates again and archers, behind it, shoot flaming arrows over Robin and Much’s heads.)
Much: “Run!”
Robin: (Down to the men below:) “Take cover! (Will,
Little John and Gisborne scramble to the sides as the flaming arrows
land amongst them. The battering ram pounds the gates. Robin fires an
arrow and a soldier falls. Much shoots another right in the heart.
Yelling down:)
Pull everyone back into the castle courtyard! We defend from there until the King’s troops arrive!”
(Robin tosses his bow down.)
Little John: (to peasants:) “Move! Let’s go. (Little John and the men move a cart into the gateway. Robin tosses his quiver down.) Take cover! Take cover! Take cover!”
Robin: (to Much:) “Abandon this tower. Take a company of archers, hold them as long as possible.”
(Much nods as Robin goes down the ladder. Little John, two men and Gisborne position themselves to turn the cart on its side.)
Little John: “One, two, three.”
(The men turn the cart over.)

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Much: (to men on the battlements:) “Abandon the tower! (Will runs to the castle as the men put up more barriers. Much and seven archers take up position behind the overturned cart.) Steady! (The battering ram pounds the gates.) Draw! (The battering ram pounds again and the gates burst open.) Loose! (Eight arrows fly and fell the first soldiers coming through. The battering ram is pushed in after them.) Run!”
(The eight men run for the castle. In front of the castle gate, Will stands, directing another line of archers.)
Will: “Hold! … Hold! (Much and the archers come round the corner and run past the line.) Nock! … Draw! … Loose!”
(The archers let fly their arrows and immediately retreat to the rear, exposing a line led by Little John.)
Little John: “Nock! … Draw! … Loose! Fall back!”
(Little John’s archers retreat to the rear and Much’s line steps up.)
Much: “Nock! … Draw! … Loose! Fall back!”
Will: “Fall back to the castle!”
Much/Little John: “Fall back! Fall back!”
(Will
and Little John usher the men into the courtyard. Much is overtaken by
the heat of the moment, seeing that most of their opponents are down,
and starts to celebrate, cheering and jumping up and down in front of
the gate. Little John and Will each grab an arm and pull him back
through the doors just before they close.)

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Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Robin runs into the courtyard, pulling an arrow from his quiver.)
Will: “John!”
(Little John joins Will and Much and helps them and a few men turn over a flatbed wagon in front of the gate.)
Nottingham Town.
(Blamire and the Sheriff march through the town as archers scout the streets. Spent arrows and felled bodies are everywhere.)
Sheriff: “Bring the battering ram, smash those gates! And bring me the prisoner you captured!”
Blamire: “My lord! (Blamire goes back through the town.) Battering rams, now!”
Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Little John looks through the crack in the gates, then calls out to the men above.)
Little John: “Portcullis! (He
and two men run out from the gates as the portcullis is lowered. Much,
holding his sword, directs a line of archers behind the overturned
wagon. Behind him is Little John’s line, and Gisborne leads a third.
Robin stands in the middle of Much’s line of archers. to archers:)
Get in rank with me!”
Robin: “Get ready!”
Much: (Pointing his sword at the archers:) “Hold! (The battering ram smashes open the gates and they swing back to almost closed.) Draw!”
(Blamire brings Marian forward into Robin’s line of sight between the doors.)
Robin: (Interrupting:) “Wait!”
Much: “Loo—”
Robin: “Wait!”
Marian: “I’m sorry, Robin.”
(Robin
grabs the tip of his nocked arrow and flips it forward to hold it
against the bow. The Sheriff pushes open the left door all the way,
revealing himself.)
Sheriff: “Not as sorry as she’s going to be. (Robin glances back to see where Much is.) She was on her way from Loughborough… with this. (Holds up a folded note and looks at it.) Expecting reinforcements? Not coming. (Tosses the parchment casually aside.) Don’t believe me? Tell him.”
(Blamire shakes Marian, who struggles against his grip.)
Robin: (Whispers meaningfully to Much:) “Much…”
(Robin
looks up at the battlements over the portcullis. Much looks up, too.
Robin turns away from the Sheriff to circle behind Much, feigning
exasperation to the Sheriff.)
Marian: “Troops loyal to the King at Loughborough won’t fight unless Richard leads them.”
Robin: (Whispering:) “Can you do it?”
Much: (Takes a deep breath.) “Watch me.”

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Sheriff: “So what’s it to be, Hood? Surrender or slaughter?”
(Much tosses the rope down into the courtyard.)
Robin: “Neither. (Will, Gisborne and Little John catch the rope. Striding forward, stalling for time:) You see… I don’t trust you… Vaisey. (Much takes up the slack in the rope.) You said you’d take no prisoners.”
Sheriff: (Flippantly, feigning remembering:) “Oh, yes. Yes, I did say that. Well, that was rather hasty of me. I mean, who’s going to pay tax if the villagers are all dead?”
Robin: (Scoffs.) “So… What, you’re going to release all these people now only to make slaves of them later?”
Sheriff: “Glad you’re paying attention.”
Robin: (Scoffs again, shaking his head.) “You don’t give me much of a choice, do you?”
Sheriff: (Chuckles.) “What, have you got some little trick tucked up your sleeve, have you, hm? (Much nods to the men below.) Humiliate me and rescue the girl? (Much looks down at Marian on the other side.) You’re so predictable, Hood. Bored with that game. (Robin’s eyes flicker to Marian. to Blamire:) Kill her.”
Robin: “Marian! Above you! (Running back behind the wagon, to Will:) Lower the rope!”

(Much is quickly lowered down in front of Blamire and Marian, one foot
in a loop in the rope. Blamire draws his sword and Marian elbows him in
the chest, breaking free. She throws her bound hands over Much’s head.)
Much: “Up!”
Gisborne: “Pull!”
(Gisborne,
Will and Little John pull back on the rope. Blamire tries to grab them,
but Much and Marian are quickly raised up out of his reach.)
Robin: “Fire!”
(Up
on the battlements, some villagers shoot down at the soldiers. Robin
and the archers behind the wagon shoot. Soldiers fall. A peasant man
pulls Much and Marian back over the parapet.)
Marian: “Quick! Ah!”
(An
archer leans over the battlements and shoots at the Sheriff, who ducks
and runs to the side of the gate. Blamire stands on the other side.
Marian waits for Much as he tumbles ungracefully over the edge of the
wall and giggles at him. Marian runs down the steps from the battlements.)
Marian: “Come here!”
(She throws
herself into Robin’s arms. Robin gives her a long kiss before setting
her on her feet.)
Robin: “Are you all right?”
Marian: (Nods.) “Yeah.”

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Sheriff: (From outside the portcullis:) “That is the last time you make a fool out of me, Hood!”

Robin: “Oh, I doubt it, Vaisey.”
Sheriff: “Hm, you know I was going to let this be a surprise but… (Moves back to stand against the portcullis looking directly at Robin:) I want to see the look on your face when I tell you.”
Robin: “Tell me what?”
Sheriff: “King Richard isn’t coming either. He was on his way… but he’s dead. (Robin glares at him:) Or at least he was dying when I left him.”
Robin: “You’re lying.”
Sheriff: (Speaking up so Gisborne can hear:) “I must thank you for foiling my trip to the Holy Land. (Lower, to Robin:) France was a much shorter trip.”
Robin: “Explain yourself.”
Sheriff: “Your King’s exploits in the Holy Land were a colossal failure as predicted. Of course, the blowhard couldn’t return home empty handed so when he heard word that there was potential treasure to be found in France, he jumped at the chance. The fool sent all but a few of his soldiers home to England leaving him ripe for attack. The trap set, all I had to do was wait for the King to arrive in the town square and I sank an arrow into him. Your friend Carter arrived before I could finish the job but the King took a nasty shot.”
Robin: “You’re bluffing, trying to break our spirits.”
Sheriff: “Perhaps. Though my ‘death’ did give me the ultimate opportunity to strike. Think about it.  Presumed dead, unwatched by you or the Celts. I was free to go as I please. But, you’re probably right, maybe I am bluffing.”
Robin: (Raising his bow, to villagers:) “Draw!”
(The Sheriff and Blamire run from the gate. The villagers and Robin shoot as fast as they
can.)

Sheriff: (To Blamire:) “To the tunnel!“
Blamire: “Fall back!”
(The soldiers retreat and the battering ram is pulled back to the centre of the marketplace.)
Much: “It’s working! They’re falling back!”
(One last arrow hits the shield of a retreating soldier.)
Robin: “They’re regrouping. (Calls back up the stairs:) Barricade the portcullis!”
(Robin looks behind him at the wounded being taken inside. Robin turns to them. Little John pats the shoulder of an exhausted old man, who gratefully sits down as Little John looks at the wound of his neighbour. Gisborne looks around in despair at the few men they have left.)

Midnight Missions (pt.2)

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Nottingham Town. Battlements. Night.
(Marian ties a rope around the post of the gibbet. She heads for the edge of wall as Little John approaches her.)
Little John: “What are you doing?”
Marian: “We have to get word to the King’s troops at Loughborough.”
Little John: “No, Marian. Robin—”
Marian: (Interrupting:) “Wants to protect me. But someone has to get help.”
Little John: “He can’t lose you, Marian.”
Marian: “We risk losing a lot more than each other if Vaisey isn’t stopped. Nottingham is fighting for its freedom.”
Little John: (Smiles in fatherly approval and nods.) “Hmm. Your father would be proud.” (Marian reaches up and kisses his cheek.)
Marian: “Pull the rope up after me and tell Robin… I’ll be back with an army.”
Little John: (Nods.) “Right.”
(Marian
abseils down the side as Little John watches. At the bottom, Marian
looks up and nods. Little John waves. Marian checks for soldiers, then
runs off into the night. Little John looks out at the army in wait under
an orange haze and a nearly full moon.)

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Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Gisborne comes
downstairs from the balcony entrance and sees the gang’s distressed
faces. Robin leans over the far end of the long table. Djaq sits staring
into the fireplace. Will takes off his bandage.)
Gisborne: “What’s happened?”
Robin: (Agitatedly:) It’s Marian. She’s taken it upon herself to go to Loughborough for the troops.”
Little John: (Defending her decision:) “She knows what’s she’s doing. You don’t give her abilities enough credit.”
Robin: “The Sheriff is playing with us! (Stands, exasperated.) He knows he’s got the advantage. We have to hold this castle until the troops arrive.”
Much: “Can we? I mean, how long under bombardment from Byzantine fire?”
Clarke: “We can if we fight fire with fire.”
Djaq: (Looks at her:) “Oh no.”
Clarke: “Can you make it? Do you remember the formula?”
Djaq: “Not without a sample of it. It would be like…”
Much: “But you’ve made it before.”
Djaq: (Defensively:) “That was black powder and if it was an easy thing to replicate every army would use it, Much. If I only had Lambert’s ledger with me that’d be something.”
Clarke: “Where is it?”
Djaq: (Sheepishly:) “I left it in Powis. It was too much power for one person to hold.”
Much: “Now the old Sheriff is holding his power over us!”
Djaq: “I realise that, Much!”
Will: (Cutting in:) “If the Sheriff’s army is making Byzantine fire, they’d have the formula with them, right?”
Djaq: “I suppose they would.”
Will: (Determinedly:) “Right.”
Robin: “We have to take the trebuchets. (Much looks up at him.) A small unit, tonight. You with me? (Little John and Much immediately head for the stairs.) I’ll see you all at the battlements.”
(Robin heads for the door by the fireplace and Gisborne follows him out.)

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Nottingham Town. Battlements. Night.
(Little John lays out
four coiled ropes in a line along the parapet. Much runs up to Robin to
report as the others ready their ropes for the descent.)
Much: “There’s pockets of men around the walls.”
Little John: “Regular patrols.”
Robin: (Lays down his bow.) ”You all know what we’re doing. We go up along the dry moat… (points below)… then we head for that cart and then the tent. That’ll give us cover until we make our way to the trebuchets. (Gisborne tosses his rope over the side.) Much, you’re in charge. If we don’t come back, you fight to the end.”
(Little John stops and looks at Robin.)
Much: “Well, I’m coming too, aren’t I?”
Robin: “No, you’re not. I need a cool head here. (Much
sullenly relents. Robin gently slaps his cheek. Will stands at the
edge, rope in hand. Much hands Will his bag and Will slips it over his
shoulder. Gisborne, Robin, Will and Little John stand ready with their
backs to the parapet. Robin looks at them all.)
Right, let’s do this. (Little John nods.) Ready?”
(All four abseil down the side.)

Clarke: (Watching them go:) “They’ll be fine. Come on, Much.”
(Much watches a moment longer then follows.)

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Outside town.
(The four poke their heads up over the edge
of the moat and quickly duck down again as two horsemen go by. After
they pass, the outlaws scramble out of the moat and run for the cart,
ducking down beside it. Beyond it the soldiers sit by the fire and talk,
oblivious to the intruders. Robin peers around the wheel, then looks
back and nods.)
Robin: (Whispers:) “All right?”
(Robin
crawls on his hands and feet to the tent. Will, Gisborne and Little
John follow, all unnoticed. Little John and Will go to one trebuchet,
Robin and Gisborne to the other. They unhook the chains and set them up
again shorter than before, lessening their range dramatically.)
Little John: (to Will:) “Yeah? (Will nods.) Let’s go.”
Will: “Not yet, there’s something I have to do.”
Little John: “Will!”
Will: “Head back without me, I’ll be fine.”
(They
watch as Will runs quickly into the Sheriff’s camp, disappearing into a
tent. The remaining three crawl back to the cart unobserved just as
Blamire starts striding among the soldiers, yelling orders.)
Blamire: “Come on, you lazy rabble! Move yourselves! (Blamire appears out of the haze as Robin crawls back to the wagon.) Get to your posts! Weapons ready!” (The soldiers scramble to obey.)
Robin: (to gang:) “The Sheriff had no intention of waiting till dawn.”
Blamire: “We attack immediately!”
(The Sheriff looks at Nottingham as Blamire strides to his side.)
Sheriff: “Time to wake them up, I think.”
(The soldiers load the trebuchets. Blamire lowers his hand.)
Blamire: “Loose!”
(The
soldiers trip the trebuchets. The flaming barrels are sent straight up
as the Sheriff looks out at the town expectantly. When he doesn’t see
flying, flaming barrels, he turns to Blamire.)
Sheriff: “What’s going on, Blamire?”
(Blamire
looks up as the barrels start to whistle in the air. The Sheriff looks
up, too, and sees the barrels falling down right on top of them. Blamire
grabs the Sheriff and pulls him away.)
Blamire: “Run for cover!”
(The barrels come down on top of the trebuchets and explode, destroying them. Robin takes advantage of the chaos.)
Robin: “Come on! Run!”
Sheriff: “The trebuchets! (Looks round in confusion, then sees the outlaws running.) Robin Hood! Get him!”
(The gang run into a band of soldiers who draw their swords, forcing them to stop in their tracks.)
Soldier: “Stay there!”
Little John: “Robin?!”
(Robin
looks round, but realises they are surrounded. Then he hears hoofbeats
approaching. Will is galloping towards them. He shoots a flaming arrow
at a small barrel, which explodes with a blinding light, cutting off the
gang from the Sheriff and the other soldiers. The threesome fight off
the guards in the bedlam. The Sheriff is bewildered at what’s happening
as Will rides by, holding his bow over his head, cheering at his feat.
He then shoots a flaming arrow at another barrel and it explodes.)

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Will: “Run for it, Robin!”
Robin: “Come on! Go!”
(The gang run for town as the
Sheriff watches. Blamire remains calm, shouting orders.)
Blamire: “Archers to
the left flank. Prepare to fire!”
(The archers assemble as ordered.)
Main
gate.
(Much, having watched the situation from above, descends
the battlements using the ladder by the main gate.)
Much: “Open the gates!”
(Two

men pull open a door each as Much jumps off the ladder. Robin, Gisborne
and Little John run down the bridge. Will gallops behind them,
the soldiers close at his heels. The outlaws and Will run in and the
men close the gates behind them before the soldiers can get through.
Much,
Djaq and Robin hold the doors closed while Little John and Gisborne put

in the beam to reinforce it. Robin heads for Will before turning to find
Much first instead.)
Robin: “You see? That’s why I had you here! Now you
know!”
Much: (Giddy with success:) “That was brilliant!”
(Robin goes to Will. Much
climbs up to the battlements.)
Robin: “I thought you’d run out on
us!”
Will: (Dismounts.) “Had to go back for something. (Pulls out a thick red book, walks over to Djaq.) By the way, I got you a
little present, courtesy of the Sheriff.” (Will hands the book to Djaq.)
Robin: (A bit suspiciously:) ”What’s that?”
(Djaq smiles delightedly.)
Djaq: “It’s the key to Byzantine fire! (Grabs Will and hugs him.) I
can make some more of our own!”
(Robin looks intensely at Djaq.)
Robin: “So
we can fight the Sheriff. (Djaq looks proudly into Robin’s eyes. Robin
shoves Will’s good shoulder.)
Do it!”
(Robin goes to the ladder. Djaq kisses Will and they both head off into the castle.)
Outside town.
(The Sheriff is
livid.)
Sheriff: “Destroy everything!”
Blamire: “Storm those gates!”
Sheriff: “I want
Robin Hood’s head!”
Blamire: “Attack!”

Flying Ultimatums

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Outside Nottingham Town.
(The Sheriff’s army surround the town. Blamire shouts orders.)
Blamire: “Bring forward the trebuchets. (The soldiers push one of two large contraptions of golden, new wood forward and a soldier brings over a small barrel.) Load and make ready. (The soldiers pulls on the chains to lower the arms and fasten the barrel in place.) Unfurl the flag of truce.”
(The Sheriff comes up beside Blamire.)
Sheriff: “This is my destiny, Blamire. The time is almost upon us. Welcome to hell, Robin Hood.”
Nottingham Town. Inside the main gates.
(Robin and Gisborne come round the corner from the castle on horseback. On the battlements above, Marian calls down.)
Marian: “There’s soldiers at every wall. Hundreds of them. The whole town’s surrounded.”
(Robin’s face falls. Gisborne stares, perplexed at the turn of events.)
Gisborne: “He was speared through the chest. We saw him die.”
Robin: (With stoic calm:) “Well, that ghost has raised an army.”
(Robin and Gisborne kick their horses forward.)

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Outside town.
(The gates open. Robin and Gisborne canter
across the bridge. Djaq and Will close the gates behind them. Blamire
and the Sheriff walk their horses to meet their adversaries, followed by
a man with a white banner.)
Sheriff: “Surprise. Did you
have fun in the tunnel? You thought it’d be safe because I’m supposed to
be dead. Well the Commander did her best but you didn’t check, did you? T’was a very nasty wound. Oh and Gisborne, we will have our reckoning. Right now… (holds his arm out)… I want my town back!“
Robin: (With quiet intensity:) “Never. You’re finished, Vaisey. Your weapons are no match for the hatred these men have for you.”
(The Sheriff draws his sword over his horse’s back.)
Sheriff: “You tell your peasant army anybody who resists me will die. (Robin walks his horse forward as the Sheriff inspects his blade.) Give them a demonstration, Blamire.“
(Blamire raises his hand. A soldier lights the barrel chained to the trebuchet’s arm. Blamire drops his hand.)
Blamire: “Loose.”
(Robin
and Gisborne watch the flaming barrel fly deep over the town wall. It
lands in the marketplace and explodes. Robin turns back to the Sheriff
with stoic calm, masking the fury within.)
Sheriff: “You
have until dawn. Give me Gisborne, release Isabella, and then return
Nottingham to myself and Prince John. Otherwise, you and your noisy
friends, well, they’ll be wiped off the face of the earth.”
(Robin and the Sheriff exchange glares one last time before turning their horses around.)

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Nottingham Town. Marketplace.
(Will, Marian & Djaq run in from the gates as the townsfolk scream and run away in panic.)
Will: “What the hell was that?”
(Djaq surveys the damage.)
Djaq: “My people call it Byzantine re. (Kneels over the barrel remains.) Doesn’t work like you’d expect. (Djaq hands the charred wood to Will.) See? (Rubs his fingers.) Sticky, like oil. (Will inspects the wood.) Repels water.”
Marian: (Holding her hand out to Will:) “May I? (Will puts the wood in her hand and she looks it over, frowning.) This is not good news.”
(Djaq picks up another piece of debris.)
Djaq: (Stands.) “This will spread chaos across the town… destroying everything and everyone in its way.”
(Robin and Gisborne return.)
Robin: “Put lookouts on every wall! Scour the town! (Robin stops at Will and circles his horse in front of him. Gisborne dismounts.) Will, I want every able-bodied man armed and ready. We hold Nottingham… for the King! We know the King’s coming! He has loyal troops waiting for him at Loughborough. If we can get word to them…”
Gisborne: “Robin, you could end this now by giving me up to the Sheriff. You could have done it back there. Why didn’t you?”
(Robin leans down to him from his horse.)
Robin: (Intensely:) “This is bigger than you, Gisborne. It always has been. (Gisborne’s eyes widen.) We are fighting for the future of England. You have Isabella behind bars. That’s what you wanted. This isn’t your fight unless you choose it to be.“
(Gisborne glances at Marian.)
Gisborne: “While the Sheriff lives this is all our fight. I’m with you.”
(As Allan, Much & Little John join them.)
Allan: “Yeah, and in case anyone’s still wondering, I’m with you all too.”
Much: “Allan, I -”
Allan: (Shrugging it off:) “Nah I ain’t mad at you. (Turns to Little John, punches him playfully in the arm:) Or you. Isabella’s got a lot to answer for though.”
Much: “Who’s watching her by the way?”
Marian: “Clarke. She volunteered quite eagerly.”
Gisborne: “I’ll go and relieve her. I think my sister and I need a long talk.”
Robin: (To Will:) “Get it done!”

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Marian: (Stepping forward:) "Robin, let me send word to the King’s forces. I can sneak out of the castle unseen.”
Robin: (Glances at Gisborne who shakes his head:) “No, Marian. I need you here with me.”
Marian: “Doing what?”
Robin: “Marian, you fight better than a dozen men put together. (Softer, with pleading eyes:) I can’t afford to lose you.”
(Marian realises Robin’s true meaning and nods to him. Robin returns the nod, turns his horse and heads to the stables.)
Marian: (To Gisborne:) “If we don’t get word to the King’s troops all of Nottingham will be lost.”
Gisborne: (Gruffly:) “Robin said he wants you here and I agree. He’s preparing us for war and we must be ready.”
(Marian watches as Gisborne walks away, headed for the dungeons. Not happy with Robin’s decision she nonetheless respects it. For now.)
Another Battlefield.
(Elsewhere in England, the battle between John and Joan’s forces has come to a head. Joan seemingly had every advantage going into the battle. Her army held the higher ground, had twice as many men and, unlike Prince John, she was not running out of supplies. But as Joan chose caution over annihilation, her carefulness would cost her. Essentially backed into a corner, John’s army attacked viciously, using their perceived disadvantage to their benefit. Because there was only one direction in which to attack John’s army, Joan’s number advantage was nullified. Soon after, Joan’s army collapsed.)

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Nottingham Castle. Dungeons.
(Keys jingle as Clarke and Gisborne approach Isabella’s cell. Clarke unlocks the door and Gisborne storms in.)
Gisborne: “Did you know the Sheriff was still alive?”
(Gisborne slaps Isabella’s face with rage, then grabs it and turns it to look in her eyes. She stares at him with hatred.)
Isabella: “I knew nothing of this.“
(Gisborne searches her eyes for a hint of a lie and sees none. He lets go and turns to Clarke.)
Gisborne: “Leave us.”
(Clarke hesitates then leaves. Isabella walks boldly towards Gisborne.)
Isabella: “You so want to kill me, don’t you? What’s stopping you, Guy? Not the fact that I’m a woman, surely. You’re so good at killing defenseless females.”
Gisborne: “You’re right. There is too much blood on my hands already. Isabella, you’ll find no mercy amongst the outlaws now. (Looks down to his belt.) So when the time is right… (unhooks a small corked bottle from his belt) … you might want to use this.”
(Gisborne places the red glass bottle onto Isabella’s palm. She immediately suspects what it is.)
Isabella: “Poison.”
Gisborne: “A single drop will act slowly and painfully. For it to be quick, you must take it all.”
Isabella: “This is your idea of mercy? (Looks at the bottle and scoffs.) Your last brotherly gesture. For whose sake, Guy? Mine or yours?”
(Isabella bolts for the open door but Gisborne catches her.)
Gisborne: “I do this for our mother’s sake… (Gisborne strokes her hair as he holds her against his chest.) … although there’s precious little of her goodness left in either of us.”
(He gently lets her go, holding her back as he reverses out the door, closes it, locks it and leaves.)
Isabella: “Guy…”
(Gisborne does not turn back, his deed done.)

Rescues & Returns (pt.6)

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Tunnel.
(Marian and Allan run down the tunnel to the first barrier.)
Marian: “Well this shouldn’t be here.”
Allan: (Feeling the door:) “There’s got to be a latch or pulley to open this thing.”
Marian: (Pointing:) “Up there, there’s a rope!”
Allan: “We’ve got to reach it, Marian.”
(Allan laces his hands together for Marian to step on.)
Marian: (Steps up on Allan’s hands and reaches up for the rope:) “I’ve got it I’ve got it!”
Allan: “Then pull!”
Marian: “I’m pulling!”
(Allan
lets her dangle from the rope a moment then grabs her by the waist and
pulls her down before taking the rope himself and pulling on it hand
over hand. The barrier raises and limestone pebbles spill out from
beneath. Robin falls out. Marian gasps at the sight of his body. Much
and Gisborne fall out after him. Not one of them is moving.)
Marian: “Robin! Come on, come on. (Marian
brushes the gravel from Robin’s face, pinches his nose, and breathes
into his mouth as Allan helps Gisborne sit up, patting his back. Gisborne
coughs.)
Come on! I need you! Breathe! (Allan moves quickly over to
Much. Marian breathes into Robin’s mouth again as Allan pulls Much out of
the stones. Robin opens his eyes with a gasp. Marian gives him a long
kiss.)
I thought I’d lost you.”
Robin: (Coughing:) “Not when we’ve a plan to finish.“
(Allan
pulls a small bottle out of one of his pockets, uncorks it and holds
the bottle under Much’s nose. Gisborne looks around, recovering. Much
starts coughing at the smell of the bottle’s contents. Allan returns the
bottle to his pocket as Robin coughs.)
Robin: “We need to find Isabella now!”
(Allan pulls Much up to his feet.)
Allan: “The entrance to the castle’s blocked.”
Marian: “Follow me!”
(Allan
puts Much’s arm around his neck and helps him along the tunnel. Gisborne
and Robin dig out his bow and quiver before following.)

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East exterior corridor.
(Blamire and Isabella meet at opposite ends of the corridor, Blamire by the main doors. Outside the gate, the peasants shout in rage.)
Isabella: “The peasants are trying to get into the castle. You have to protect me.“
Blamire: (Steps forward.) “Can’t help… (Isabella strides quickly towards him.) … sorry.“
Isabella: “They’re going to tear me to pieces.”
Blamire: “Not my problem. (Isabella stares at him in utter disbelief.) I’ve got to be somewhere else.“
Isabella: “I just gave you an order.”
Blamire: (Scoffs.) “You have no idea what’s happening here, do you?”
Isabella: “What? You can’t just leave me here to be massacred by this rabble. (Blamire glares at her, then turns to leave.) Please. (Isabella pulls on Blamire’s arm.) For pity’s sake, help me.”
Blamire: “If you want to save yourself, hear this. Deliver Gisborne to the tunnel.“
Isabella: “That doesn’t make any sense. My brother is dead.”
(Isabella turns towards the portcullis.)
Blamire: “Goodbye, sheriff. And good luck.”
(Blamire leaves.)
Isabella: “Blamire!”
(Realising he’s not coming back, Isabella turns round and suddenly sees Djaq, striding slowly towards her, sword drawn.)

Djaq: “You always were afraid of me. And now that you’ve shot the man I love…you should be terrified.”
Isabella: (Raising her hands placatingly:) “Djaq, I had no choice…”
Djaq: “Oh really? Well neither do I.”



(Djaq steps to her and pushes her into the wall, then pulls and
pushes her into the opposite wall. Isabella pushes Djaq away, then
punches her, grabs her and throws her into the wall. Djaq turns and
kicks Isabella twice. Isabella grabs Djaq and twists her down the
corridor, slowly making their way to the sidesteps. Djaq grabs Isabella
and throws her against the pillar at the top of the steps. Isabella
pulls a tiny knife.)
Isabella: “Don’t come any closer.”

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(Djaq
deliberately takes a step and Isabella stabs out at her. From behind, Clarke appears, grabs
Isabella’s arm and her neck and twists her into the opposite side of the
steps. Clarke holds her against the wall by her chin as Djaq looks on, impressed. Marian, Much, Allan,
Little John and Gisborne crowd behind Robin.)

Robin: (Leans into Isabella’s face.) “It’s over, Isabella.”

Isabella: (Looking to Allan:) “Allan, please…”
Allan: “You lied to me, Iz. You were willing to let them die.”
Isabella: (Panicked, to Marian:) “Marian?”
(Marian says nothing and walks away.)

Nottingham. Marketplace.
(Robin stands on boxes/barrels
outside the portcullis to address the peasants. Gisborne guards a
dishevelled Isabella. The gang stand around in support, Will with a
bandage around his shoulder.)
Robin: “In the name of King Richard, I charge Isabella of Gisborne with high treason and crimes against the people of Nottingham. (Points to the castle.) The castle and everything in it belongs to the people! (Robin
raises his arms and all the townsfolk and villagers cheer and
celebrate. Gisborne stands
solemnly behind Isabella. After several moments, Much runs in from the
main gate.)

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Much: “Robin!”
(Robin recognises the
alarm in his voice and immediately jumps off his perch. Much motions for
them all to follow. Gisborne grabs Isabella’s arm.)
Gisborne: “Move! Move!“
Back At The Cave.
(Octavia, Nyko, Abby & Marcus all wait at the mouth of the cave. Henry glances back at them with a pleading look in his eyes. Indra slowly stands and pulls her sword from the fire. Approaching the bound man with purpose she speaks these words before running him through:)
Indra: “Your fight is over.”
Outside the main gate.
(The gang hurry to the gate. Gisborne stares out at the trees beyond, alarmed.)
Gisborne: “Close the gates. (Allan looks out as Gisborne draws his sword. Robin frowns at the trees where several hundred soldiers are making their way towards the town. Blamire gallops out to join those soldiers. A man in long, black cloak rides his horse to the front to meet him.) Man the battlements!”

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(Clarke glances up at the troops. Marian turns to the peasants inside.)
Marian: (to the peasants:) “Move!”
(Gisborne pulls back Isabella as Will pulls Djaq inside. Robin stands staring, seething in anger and fitting the pieces together. He doesn’t move.)
Little John: “Come on!”
(Blamire circles behind Vaisey, the former Sheriff of Nottingham, at the front of the troops, and stops his horse beside him.)
Blamire: “My lord.”
Sheriff: “Blamire, you old tomcat. How the devil are you?”
Blamire: “The plan is in place.”
Sheriff: “Good. (The Sheriff smirks and chuckles, revealing a gold, jewelled tooth, then pulls up the hilt of his sword by his face.) Oh, this will be so much fun.”
(He kisses the cross-guard, then lets it slide back into its scabbard. Robin still hasn’t moved.)
Little John: “Come on!… Robin!”
Much: “Robin!”
(Much and Allan each have a door ready to push closed. Robin finally turns and strides in as the gates close behind him.)
To Be Continued.

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Storming The Gates (pt.5)

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Outside Nottingham. Graveyard.
(Gisborne leads Robin and Much to the tunnel entrance.)
Gisborne: “Robin… this is it.”
(Gisborne
kneels at the side of the rock-covered grave and starts moving the
stones off. Robin kneels on the other side to help. Much, scared of
disturbing the grave, stands off, distressed, until Robin glances at
him. Then he kneels by Gisborne to help.)
Much: “You shouldn’t mess with graves.”
(They
clear off all the rocks and Gisborne lifts off the cover. Robin looks
down the steps. Gisborne watches him, waiting for his approval. Robin
starts down the steps.)

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Allan sits on a windowsill on the south side. Isabella and Marian enter the room.)
Isabella: (Winks at Allan then turns to Marian:) “So, how’ve you been? How’s life in the forest?”
Marian: “Isabella, listen-”
Isabella: (Continuing over her:) “Cosy, I’d imagine. What with both Robin and Guy fighting for your affections. (Marian says nothing:) You know I never thought I’d see my brother relinquish his power and position for anyone.”
Marian: “We obviously have a lot to catch up on. Like how you went from helping us save the men of Locksley to rounding them up to fight for Prince John.”
Isabella: (Glances back at Allan:) “Oh, you two are like a broken record. I can do no more good for the people of Nottingham if I’m no longer sheriff.”
Marian: “There is always a choice. You can choose to stand with us again and refuse the Prince. The King will be here imminently and-”
Isabella: “Do you really think it’s that simple?”
Marian: “Yes! The time is now, Isabella. The Prince is clearly in trouble otherwise he wouldn’t be asking for reinforcements. This is our chance to be rid of him for good.”
Isabella: (Considers this:) “What about Robin and my brother? They won’t simply ignore my betrayal.”
Marian: “I’ll speak to them on your behalf. I’ll make sure they know you did what you had to to survive.”
Isabella: (Nods:) “The Prince left me no choice.”
Marian: (Moves closer, softly:) “I know.”
Isabella: “And I would never have let anything happen to either of you.”
Allan: (From the window sill:) “We know, Iz.”
Marian: “We believe in you. We can make this right, together.”
(Isabella nods, smiles then leans into Marian who gives her a warm embrace. The sheriff sighs against Marian’s shoulder as she and Allan look to each other, relieved.)

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
(Robin leads them with a lit torch. The tunnel turns into stone column supports. Much stops.)
Much: “Oh! We’re under the castle.”
Robin: “Much, keep moving! Come on!”
(Gisborne
steps on a trip stone and grunts in surprise. He and Robin look round,
hearing gears turning. They see a barrier come down a few paces in front
of them.)
Much: “Oh no! (They rush to the barrier, but
it’s already down. Robin and Much pound on it as Gisborne tries to lift
it. Then they see another barrier coming down back the way they came.
They rush to it and again they’re too late. Robin looks at the floor and
then the ceiling, which has a round grate in it. Much raises his sword
at Robin.)
I knew it would be a trap!”
(Robin holds his hand up to silence him.)
Robin: “Much… let me think.”

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Somewhere By A Riverbank.
(Nyko and Octavia kneel by Lincoln’s freshly dug and filled grave. The warriors place large stones atop the dirt to ensure the grave is not disturbed. Marcus stands a few feet behind them covered in soot. Allowing them some privacy, he walks over to Abby who is washing her arms and hands in the river.)
Marcus: “I moved the bodies into the barn and set it ablaze. Not what I’d call the most dignified of funeral pyres but at least their souls are at peace.”
Abby: (Shaking her head:) “This is all my fault. I should never have come here. It’s because of me that Lincoln and the others died.”
Marcus: “Abby, listen to me. None of this is your fault. The fact that those men died trying to save us means that we cannot be swayed from our mission.”
Abby: “What if she’s already been captured? What if John has already locked her away somewhere.”
Marcus: “We will find your daughter.”
Abby: (Nods:) “But what if the prince refuses to release her?”
Marcus: “We won’t leave without her. (Places his hand comfortingly on her shoulder:) I promise.”
(Abby covers Marcus’ hand with her own as the two smile at each other. The moment is shattered however by Octavia’s wails of grief for Lincoln. As the warrior woman screams to the heavens, Abby makes a move towards her but is stopped my Marcus.)
Marcus: “Let her mourn.”
(Abby nods and walks in the opposite direction, her guilt threatening to overwhelm her.)

Nottingham. Outside the main gate.
(The gate is closed. Will, Djaq and Little John walk down the bridge and stop in the middle. The only sound is the breeze blowing.)
Will: “Nearly time.”
Little John: “It’s
quiet, isn’t it? Calm. It’s like when you’re hunting. The moment you
spot your prey, your stag, there’s a…stillness. Just for a moment, you
wonder whether you can go through with it. Whether you can slaughter
this beast with… so much…”
(Shakes his head, unable to find the word he wants.)
Djaq: “Dignity?”
Little John: (Looks at Will:) “Yeah. Dignity.”
(Will puts a hand on Little John’s shoulder in agreement, then notices movement behind him.)
Will: “John…”
(Little
John turns round to see the Locksley men coming out of the forest with
torches, axes, scythes, flails, any tools or farm implements they could
muster.)
Little John: “They’re brave, but they can’t fight, Will. Look at them. It’ll be a massacre.”
Will: “They’re not going to fight, John.“

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
Much:
“So Allan’s told her! (Looks at Gisborne.) Or him. (Points at Gisborne.) I knew we shouldn’t have trusted you.”
(Gisborne grabs Much’s shoulders.)
Gisborne: “If I knew this was a trap, do you think I’d be stuck in here as well?”
(Gisborne roughly pushes Much away.)
Robin: “That’s enough! The both of you! This isn’t Allan, this is something else. (They hear a loud rumbling noise and small white pebbles start pouring down on them. Looks up.) What is that?”
(Gisborne and Much look up in a mix of disbelief and fright as the deluge continues.)
Much: (Whispers in hopelessness:) “There’s no way out.”
(Robin gives him an intense look.)
Robin: “There’s always a way out, Much.”
(Drops his bow and takes off his quiver.)
Much: (Unconvinced:) “So this is how it ends. This is how we die. Buried in limestone. (Gisborne looks at Much. Much gives a sidelong look at Robin.) Hardly fair, is it?”
Robin: “If one of us can reach the top, we can hold out longer. Much, come here. Gisborne, get on our shoulders.”
Much: (Starts to go to Robin, then stops.) “No! It’s got to be you, Robin. You’re the one who has to live. It has to be you.”
Robin: (Relenting, realising there’s no time to argue:) “All right. Come on. Let’s do this.” (Much and Gisborne grab each other’s shoulders and knock heads.)
Much: “Ow!”
Robin: “Ready?”
Gisborne: “Go!”
(Under
the relentless cascade of gravel, Robin pulls on their clothes and
climbs up on their shoulders, then pulls up Much’s hand as Much and
Gisborne grunt under the strain.)

Nottingham Castle. The Great Hall.
(Allan still sits on the windowsill talking with Isabella as Blamire approaches.)
Isabella: “Hm?”
Blamire: (Quietly:) “Hood and his men have entered the tunnel.”
Isabella: “Good. Time for you to leave I think? (Blamire nods and leaves the room. To Allan:) So predictable.”
Allan: (Eying her warily:) “What have you done, Iz?”
Isabella: “Me? Oh, just a small insurance policy. To make sure Robin and my brother don’t spoil my plans.”
Allan: “You’ve booby trapped the tunnel? What about-”
Isabella: (Leaning in and cutting him off:) “Think about it this way, Allan. With them out of the way you’ll have no one left to doubt your loyalty. No one left to take you for granted. And with Guy dead I can finally be free to bring honour back to the Gisborne name.”
Allan: “You really think I’m just gonna sit here and let you kill them? You think Marian will ever forgive you if Robin dies? Guy’s your brother and my best mate, you can’t let this happen!”
Isabella: (Her smile faltering:) “Their fate was sealed the moment they entered the tunnel. It’s out of my hands.”
(As Isabella turns away from him, Allan leaps down from the windowsill and grabs the sheriff by the arm.)
Allan: “Nothing is over till it’s over. Tell me how to stop it, tell me how to save them. (Pleading with her:) Please, Iz, I know you don’t want to do this.”
Isabella: (Stares at him a moment then relents:) “There’s a lever on the top of each door. A fail safe.”

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(Allan pulls Isabella to him and kisses her deeply.)
Allan: (As they separate:) “You won’t regret this.”
(Allan takes off running out of the Hall leaving Isabella to stare after him an evil glint in her eyes.)

Nottingham Castle. Courtyard.
(Blamire enters from the stables.)
Blamire: “Raise the portcullis! Move out! (The portcullis starts to move. Blamire leads soldiers through first. The village conscripts unwillingly line up behind.) Open the gates!”
Nottingham. Outside the main gate.

Will: “Fellas, these gates will open soon. Now, it is our
task to stop the supply train in its tracks. And that is exactly what
we’re going to do. As an army, as a militia, we would be crushed. The
sheriff’s men would hack us down like weeds. But Robin told us to stop
them by any means necessary. So, when these gates open, and the supply
train pulls
out, we are going to sit down. (Little John shoots Will an incredulous
look.)
Just sit and block their path.”
Little John: “What?! (Steps towards Will:) They will be—we will be crushed.”
Will: “Dignity,
John. Dignity! This is the only way we can stop the Sheriff and not get
everyone killed. The sheriff ’s men will have to choose: stand aside or
carry out a massacre.”
Little John: (Flustered:) “Will! (In Will’s ear:) These are the sheriff’s men. I think we know what choice they’re gonna make.”
Will: “We’ve got to try, John. (to the villagers:) If we all stand together, we have a chance!” (The villagers nod. Little John eyes Will, still unsure of the success of his plan.)

Tunnel.
(Robin stands on Much and Gisborne’s shoulders, one
hand each holding one of theirs. The rocks continue to pour down on top
of them.)
Robin: “Don’t worry! I won’t let you die!”
Gisborne: (Panicked:) “Aah! I’m sinking!”
(Gisborne
lets go of Robin’s hand. Robin reaches up and grabs the grate. After a
moment, Much’s hand slips from Robin’s grasp and Much flails his arm.)
Much: “I’m going under! Aah!”
Robin: “Give me your—” (Robin brushes Much’s fingertips.)
Much: “Aah! Robin!”
(Robin hangs from the grate by one arm and finds Much’s hand again.)
Robin: “Much!
Stay together! Much, if you stay together, you can breathe for a little
while longer! And keep your hands moving, so I know! Much! (Much’s hand slips from Robin’s.) Much! (Robin reaches for Much’s hand, but it disappears under the growing pile of gravel.) Much!”
(Robin reaches up and grabs the grate with both hands, and grimaces with grief at losing his best friend.)

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Outside the main gate.
(Little John and Will turn round as they hear noise at the gate.)
Will: (Crosses his legs and sits defiantly as the gates open.) “Here goes nothing.” (Little John and the men sit, too.)
Blamire: (Steps forward, and calls down:) “You there! Move out of the road! (Nobody moves. Forcefully:) Move out of the road, I said. Or prepare to die where you sit. (Blamire stares a moment, then moves to the side. to the soldiers:) Men, draw your swords! (The guards put a hand to their hilts, but do not draw. A restrained yell:) I said, draw your swords. Now!”
(The guards half-heartedly pull their swords free. Blamire draws, his eyes wide with anger, and steps towards Will. Blamire raises his sword with both hands, preparing to stab down. Will leans back, sticking out his chest, ready for the blow. Blamire hesitates, looking at all the faces staring at him. To Will’s relief, he slowly lowers his sword. Isabella appears on the battlements over the gate with a crossbow. She aims it at the men.)
Isabella: “Get out of the way! (Blamire turns aside and looks up at Isabella. Isabella shoots and hits Will in the shoulder. All the men groan. Little John looks up at Isabella and starts to stand, but Will grabs his arm.) Cut them down!”
(Nobody moves. Blamire frowns, then his attention is caught by Djaq running up behind the villagers with a sword.)
Djaq: ”You bitch!!! (Djaq strides through the men. She stands before the guard next to Blamire, presenting him her sword lying across both palms.) Go on, be a man! Start with me!”
Isabella: “Do it or die.”
(Djaq glances at Blamire, who is glaring at the guard. The guard yells as he raises his sword.
Djaq attacks viciously, and the guard sinks to his knees and falls back.)
Djaq: (Frenzied. to the men:) “To arms!”  

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(Will
and Little John get up. Djaq fights guards. Little John charges a
guard. Will pulls out the arrow as Blamire and the guards, retreat from
the battlements. The village men fight with their various
weapons. Little John makes it through the guards in front to the
conscripts in the town and herds them back.)
Djaq: (Makes her way to the gate.) “Will, come on!”
(Will defeats two guards.)
Will: “Let’s go!”
(Allan, Clarke and Marian appear from the dungeons.)

Allan: “She lied to me, I can’t believe it.”
Marian: “We’ve just got to hope there’s a lever on the other door, come on Allan!”
(Marian grabs Allan’s hand and pulls him out the gate and down the bridge. Meanwhile, the
villagers charge the gate as Djaq finishes another guard.
Watching from below, Clarke

sees Isabella
stare down in disbelief, then realise she needs to retreat. Determined not to let the Sheriff escape, Clarke follows.)

Plan of Attack (pt.4)

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Sherwood Forest.
(Will, stood making arrows in the camp,
looks out into the forest as Marian addresses the Locksley men while
walking among them.)
Marian: “Those of you who can fight must help us intercept the supply train. (The men start muttering many reasons why not.) Those are your crops inside that castle. Your livestock, your brothers. Damn it, men, it’s time to stand up and fight! (Marian puts her hand on a Locksley man’s shoulder. Little John strides towards her.) Take back what’s rightfully yours.”
Little John: “Marian…”
(Little John pulls Marian away from the man.)

Marian: “They’ve been trodden on, John, and they’re taking it! If they would only stand together, they could help us.”
Little John: “Defeating the sheriff is our job, Marian. Even if it is the last thing we ever do.”
Marian: “Standing together and trusting each other is also what we do, John. Somewhere along the line you’ve forgotten that. Besides, how much longer are we supposed to fight for these men if they cannot find the courage to stand up for themselves? Now if you’ll excuse me, Allan and I have to be leaving.”
(Little John watches Marian leave, opening his mouth to say something then thinks better of it and walks away.)

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The Cave.
(Inside the cave, around the fire pit, sit Octavia, Nyko, Indra, Abby & Marcus. Across the way, still restrained is Henry.)
Octavia: (Staring into the fire:) “So, who are you and why the hell should I help you?”
Marcus: (Glances at Abby then begins:) “My name is Marcus Kane. I’m… in the employ of Abigail and we’re trying to find her daughter.”
(Abby looks over at Henry as he scoffs at Marcus’ words.)
Abby: “Marcus I think we owe them the truth.”
Octavia: “Seeing as the man I love and my entire clan died trying to save you I’d say the truth is the least you owe me.”
Marcus: (To Abby:) “Are you sure? (She nods:) Very well. Abby and I are searching for her daughter, Princess Eleanor. We’d heard she was last seen near this area.”
(Octavia and Indra exchange looks.)
Octavia: (To Abby:) “Clarke is your daughter?”
Abby: “Clarke?”
Octavia: “That’s what she calls herself, her alias.”
Abby: (Nods:) “That was the name of her cat.”
Octavia: “My men would have told her to use a pseudonym when they were traveling.”
Abby: “Of course. (To Octavia:) You know my daughter?”
Octavia: (Dryly:) “We’ve met. She’s had a rough few years.”
Henry: “Being abandoned will have that affect on a person.”
Abby: (Defiantly:) “I didn’t abandon my daughter. (to Octavia:) When my brother in law came to power in the King’s absence I knew it was only a matter of time before he came after Eleanor.”
Indra: “Clarke.”
Abby: (Looks to the warrior woman:) “Yes, alright, Clarke. (Continues:) I knew if John captured her she’d spend the rest of her life locked away. Her claim to England’s throne is much stronger than John’s.”
Marcus: “I sent the Princess away with eight of my finest trained guards. We both felt it was her best chance at survival.”
Henry: (Laughs:) “You were wrong.”
Abby: “When John’s men came for her, Clarke had already gone. I spent a year under house arrest before Marcus and I managed to escape to Aquitaine.”
Henry: “Where you’ve been hiding ever since. (As Abby turns to him:) Well it’s true isn’t it? You’ve been hiding behind the Queen Mother until the King’s return.”
Marcus: “Actually, I’m the one who prevented Abby from returning sooner. It just wasn’t safe, it still isn’t.”
Abby: “But, with news of the King’s imminent return and Joan’s war with John, I couldn’t be separated from Clarke a moment longer. I need to find my daughter and make sure she’s safe.”
Indra: “The Princess is under the Commander’s protection. (Looks to Abby:) She’s the safest she’s ever been.”
Marcus: “Clarke is in Powis, your Capitol?”
Henry: (As Indra is about to respond:) “No, she isn’t.”
Indra: “Quiet, pig!”
Abby: (To Henry:) “What do you mean?”
Henry: (Spits blood disdainfully from his mouth:) “I mean that your daughter is no longer in Powis under the Commander’s protection. She was last seen in Nottingham, foiling Prince John’s coronation.”
Octavia: (Shakes her head:) “Nottingham. Of course.”
Abby: “The Queen spoke of Clarke’s exploits in Nottingham with Robin Hood’s gang. I’d hoped she would’ve left that behind her by now.”
Octavia: “Lady, your daughter isn’t one to take the easy way out of things.”
Marcus: “Can you take us there? After we were captured we sort of got turned around and-”
Octavia: (Cutting her off:) “We’ll take you there. I have a feeling Nottingham is exactly where we need to be. (Looks over at Henry:) I’m right, aren’t I?”
(Henry looks at her but says nothing. Octavia smirks, suspecting she knows just where Blamire’s army is headed.)

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Outlaws’ camp. Thunderstorm.
(Robin leans on the rope ladder, his knife in his hand. He relates his plan for dealing with Isabella and Prince John to the gang.)
Robin: “We take the castle. (Stands and walks round the ladder.) We claim it under King Richard. We put Isabella under house arrest. We release the supplies. We release the men. (Looks round at gang for reaction.) And we hold that castle till King Richard returns.”
Gisborne: (Steps forward:) “The tunnel starts here in a derelict churchyard outside the west gate [draws a long line in the dirt.] and it leads directly into the heart of the castle. (Stabs the sword into the dirt.) We go down the tunnel, we seize Isabella, and we force her to dismiss her guards. If we take Isabella, we take the castle.“
Robin: “If we time the break-in to coincide with the supply train leaving, most of the guards’ll be busy with the convoy anyway.”
Little John: “How do we know that this isn’t a trap?”
(Gisborne pulls his sword from the dirt and puts the point in his scabbard.)
Gisborne: “Because we want the same thing.” (Slides the sword home.)
Robin: “Marian may want to believe she can get through to Isabella but I say it’s too late for that. The six of us have to be ready to do what’s necessary to save those men.”

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The Approach To Nottingham Castle.
(Allan & Marian walk side by side headed toward the castle. Allan is still more than a little hurt by the earlier events.)
Allan: “I put my neck on the block time and time again and for what? Nothing.”
Marian: “Everybody’s on edge, Allan. Isabella’s playing every card she has available to her.”
Allan: (Not listening:) “You give ’em the best years of your life… and for what?!”
Marian: “Allan, stop feeling sorry for yourself and listen to me. We both care about Isabella and right now we’re her last chance at redemption. If there’s a chance we can convince her to release the villagers without bloodshed then we have to take it.”
Allan: “Yeah, alright but how come you’re not coming with me?”
Marian: “I have to find Clarke and make sure she’s ok. If things go wrong then I have to get her out of the castle.”
(They come to a stop just outside the castle gates where dozens of women and children flock the square.)
Allan: “This is insane.”
Marian: (Tucking her hair back into a loose bun to keep it out of her face:) “You’re a free man, Allan a Dale, use it to our advantage.”
(Allan nods and the pair make their way through the crowds. Allan headed for the main steps as Marian heads toward the dungeons.)

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Nottingham Castle. Tunnel.
(Men work with hammers and anvil, pounding out thin strips of iron. Isabella comes down with a guard and Clarke.)
Isabella: (to guard:) “Secure the Princess. (Isabella makes her way to the men, smiling.) Make sure our surprise is ready before Hood arrives.”
Clarke: (As a guard shackles her to a wall.) “So you’re just going to leave me down here?”
Isabella: “I can’t very well put you in the dungeons now can I? Robin and his men would only find and release you. No, I need you here safely hidden away.”
Clarke: “Then why not lock me in a bed chamber?”
Isabella: “Because my guards are busy with the men in the courtyard. I can’t spare anyone else to go chasing after you when you eventually escape. Here is the best place for you. My workers can keep an eye on you while they finish their work.”
Clarke: (Looks back at the workers:) “What are they doing?”
Isabella: “Setting a trap for Hood. I’m counting on my brother’s underestimation of me to lead him to his death.”
Clarke: (Turns back to her:) “You won’t win, Isabella. When Richard returns you will hang for your crimes.”
Isabella: “Perhaps, but I’ll take my chances. (to Guard:) Gag her too.”
(The guard reaches into his pocket, producing a filthy looking rag. Isabella keeps a tight smile and leaves.)
The Great Hall.
(Allan sneaks into the Great Hall and hides behind the long backed chair as he hears voices approaching.)
Isabella: (Walking into the room, Blamire following:) “The Princess has been secured and won’t be an issue going forward.”
Blamire: “Are you sure it’s wise to-”
Isabella: “I felt it prudent to keep her out of your reach, Blamire. We don’t want her having any more bruises now do we? Besides, I need you focused, the time is fast approaching. Prepare your men to move the villagers out.”
(Blamire bows slightly then leaves the room.)

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Allan: “Please tell me that guy hasn’t been knocking Clarke around.”
(Isabella freezes. Allan makes a half spin round the chair and walks out.)
Isabella: “Allan, how on earth did you get in here?”
Allan: (Spreads his arms:) “I’m a free man, remember? (Sighs:) What are you playing at, Iz?”
Isabella: (Smiles at him for a moment:) “You can’t be upset with me for pardoning you.”
Allan: “You almost got me lynched by my own gang!”
Isabella: (Pouts:) “Aw, poor Allan. But don’t you see? Now you’re free. You don’t need them anymore. Join with me and we can rule Nottingham together.”
Allan: “Iz, you’re out of your mind. There won’t be a Nottingham left if you ship all the villagers off to fight for Prince John.”
Isabella: (Sighs, rises from her chair:) “So what would you have me do, Allan? Defy the Prince and join you and your friends in the forest? Perhaps snuggle between you and Guy for warmth? Be serious. The time for those games is over. The King is returning and John will not leave quietly. Come back and join the winning team.”
Allan: “You think the Prince is going to win? He’s already fighting a war against his sister. When the King and his army returns, John will be crushed.”
(Isabella says nothing, walking past Allan to think.)
Isabella: (Turning back to him:) “If your gang think you’re a traitor, how did you escape?”
Allan: “What? I don’t know, I’m me aren’t I. I talked my way out.”
Isabella:
(Smiles:) “No, Robin would’ve killed you if he thought you’d betrayed him again. You didn’t come alone, did you?”
(Allan looks at her unable to deny her suspicions.)

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Tunnel.
(Clarke sits chained against the tunnel wall, gagged. She watches as the workers file past her having completed the trap. As the last one leaves Clarke is left alone. She briefly tries pulling on her restraints before the manacle digs into her flesh drawing blood. Slumping back against the wall, Clarke hears footsteps approaching. As they reach the bottom of the steps, Clarke relaxes as she sees Marian walk into the candlelit room.)
Clarke: (Muffled with the gag:) “Marian!”
Marian: “Shh, it’s alright I’m going to get you out of here.”
(Marian looks around the room and spots one of the workers tools that has been left behind. Grabbing it, she returns to Clarke’s side and starts working on the lock.)
Clarke: (Still gagged:) “Mpghfh!”
Marian: (Shakes her head:) “Oh, sorry. (Marian reaches up and pulls down Clarke’s gag. The princess turns her head and retches at the aftertaste of the gag.) I’ll have you out in no time.”
Isabella: (Walking casually into the room:) “Oh, there’s no rush. (Marian turns toward the voice:) Why don’t you stay awhile?”
(Marian stands and faces Isabella. The sheriff folds her arms and smiles at her best friend. Marian, surprisingly not feeling threatened, returns the smile.)
Sherwood Forest.
(On their way to Nottingham, the gang stop to say goodbye before going their separate ways.)
Robin: “We get into the castle, we capture Isabella, release the villagers. But if the convoy leaves, then we’ve failed. And Will, John, Djaq, it’s up to you to stop it, no matter what. (Will and Little John nod solemnly.) This could be the last time we see each other. (Robin hugs Little John. Much extends a hand to Will and they shake warmly. Gisborne stands back, watching, when Djaq taps him on the shoulder and gives him a hug which Gisborne awkwardly returns. Then Much hugs Little John. to Will:) Best of luck. (Robin and Will shake hands and Robin winks at him. to Gisborne:) It’s time.”
(Gisborne follows Robin as Much releases Little John. Little John gets his staff from where it was leaning against a tree and they set off to put the plan into action.)