Photo from Laurie Allen. Thanks, Laurie!
Tao: Weíve been following this trail for quite a while, Dar. How can you be sure that a tiger youíve never met needs your help?
Dar: It's ignoring prey it would normally hunt. It tells me itís sick. Think about how much itíll appreciate what youíve gone through to help him.
Tao: Personally, I think tigers look down on me as meat.
Dar: Why do you think that?
Tao: Because theyíre tigers and Iím meat.
Iara: Youíre slow, too, and easy to sneak up on.
Iara: Come on, Dar. Natureís humming along smoothly. My creatures are happy. The birds are happy, and the bees... There's time to spend a little time together.
Dar: Iara, when are you going to understand that I have no place in my life for the kind of friendship you want.
Iara: You have no idea what i can do for you, to you...
Tao: Right! Well, Iím going to head off down this way.
Iara: Keep a-walking, Tao. Weíll be a while.
Dar: No, we wonít. When are you going to understand that I'm not interested? Nothing will ever happen between us because you are not a woman, no matter how much you want to believe that you are. So, please, just go and do whatever it is that you do, and just leave me alone.
Tao: Dar, a wise man once said that thereís nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned.
Dar: Tao, sheís not a woman.
Tao: No, itís something that can get even angrier.
Dar: Itís as gentle as I can be. Sheíll have to understand.
Tao: I just feel that you may have painted a target on your back.
Dar: a tiger that canít hunt becomes a man-eater because weíre easier to catch.
Hjalmar: I owe you a debt.
Dar: Repay me by not hunting in this forest. Because if his injury prevents him from catching anything else, heíll come back for you.
Hjalmar: Iíll remember that.
Iara: You saved a human form a death he deserved, denying a hungry tiger his meal.
Iara: That human you saved just killed a deer. You value humans more than me and my animals.
Iara: You were made special, but now you use your powers to put your own kind above my creatures.
Dar: Thatís not true!
Iara: From now on, I take away your gift.
Iara: Youíll no longer speak to those you love too little.
Ancient One in his aerie: You fool!
Iara: Now no beast will know your thoughts, and you will no longer hear theirs. You are no longer the Beastmaster.
Sorceress II: Whatís happening?
Ancient One: The little demon oversteps her bounds again. First she imprisons the demon Curupira, which she has no business doing.
Sorceress II: Iara?
Ancient One: Who else? Then she disrupts all things natural, and why? Because he rejected her pathetic advances and hurt her precious feelings.
Ancient One: Demons can do just about anything except possibly think what might happen when they do just about anything.
Tao: So what do we do now?
Dar: We had lives before I was granted my powers. Weíll have lives again.
Tao: Maybe Iara will have a change of heart.
Dar: I wouldnít count on it.
Tao: Do you feel any different?
Dar: No, but so much sound is gone. I never realized how much I heard before.
Tao: So thatís it. Itís the end of the Beastmaster.
Dar: No, itís not. I may not be able to speak with animals, but itís not the end of maintaining the balance of nature.
Tao: What do you mean?
Dar: My people, the Sulas, you know that they respected nature and protected animals. Iím still a Sula, so thatís not going to change.
Tao: Yeah, but they canít understand you, and you canít understand them.
Dar: But I'm still me. Iím where Iím supposed to be and Iím doing what Iím meant to do.
Voden: Talk to me.
Ivory Trader: Please. Iím telling you the truth. I found that ivory.
Voden: No, no, no. A man finds a broken shard, a tusk, two at the most, but you had enough ivory in your wagon to outfit a small herd of elephants.
Ivory Trader: Thereís no law against hunting.
Voden: And no single hunter who can bring down so many of the great beasts.
Voden: The elephant graveyard.
Hjalmar: I never believed it was real.
Voden: Thereís enough ivory to pay for a hundred campaigns.
Hjalmar: What about the stories?
Voden: They say the ground is covered in tusks.
Hjalmar: They also say you suffer the wrath of the gods if you disturb them.
[Ivory Trader screams in pain outside the tent.]
Voden: Perhaps thatís true.
Tao: Ruh, am I glad to see you.
Tao: Whatís going on?
Dar: He doesnít understand.
Tao: He looks like heís going to attack.
Dar: No, he knows itís us. He just doesnít understand why I wonít talk to him.
[Ruh walks away.]
Dar: Goodbye, my friend.
Iara: Why are you so upset? Itís my realm and I can do as i like!
Ancient One: It must be wonderful to be the only person in the world who matters.
Iara: Heís only a human.
Ancient One: When one form of magic is interfered with, all forms become unstable. For every action, thereís an equal and opposite...
[Iara sighs dramatically.]
Ancient One: Never mind.
Ancient One: Give him back the ability to speak with the animals.
Iara: You ask too much.
Ancient One: Itís the only way.
Iara: No! He has to learn that he belongs to me. He has to bend to my will.
Voden: I envy your journey and I look forward to your return.
Hjalmar: All in your name, milord.
Voden: Think of it. A hundred campaigns with enough riches to pay for so many warriors and weapons that no army in the world will dare stand against us.
Hjalmar: No one dares to stand against us now.
Voden: And letís keep it that way.
Sorceress II: I thought we were going somewhere else. Does your magic falter already?
Ancient One: No. My magic will be the last to go, but I had to see this for myself. Our situation is more desperate than I thought.
Sorceress II: More desperate than the loss of our world?
Ancient One: Worlds come and go. As long as the memory of how to make them remains, all is not lost.
Sorceress II: The memory?
Ancient One: Yes, and that, too, is in great danger.
Sorceress II: What shall we do?
Ancient One: The only thing we can do. Interfere.
Tao: Where are we going? I mean, I know itís your job as a Sula to pretect the animals, but there are animals here. Why are we going over there?
Dar: Walking helps me think.
Tao: Thinking. That I understand, but weíre walking aimlessly in pursuit of nothing.
Ancient One: Ic an only help those who help themselves.
Tao: So Dar can get his gift back.
Ancient One: yes. You can recover your powers by earning them as you did once before.
Dar: Does that mean that I have to endure Curupiraís test again?
Ancient One: No, but you must pass three very demanding tasks to show your dedication to the animals, your willingness to make great sacrifice for them, and to prove that you always keep your word to those you were chosen to protect.
Ancient One: My sorceress will observe to make sure you pass each task.
Sorceress II: Well, yours isnít the only world at stake, and your powers arenít the only ones that may disappear.
Tao: Why is Sharak staying so close when you havenít spoken to him all day?
Dar: Sometimes animals can sense when somethingís wrong. Maybe heís just sticking around to see if he can help.
Tao: You canít see what he sees anymore. What help can he be?
Dar: Sometimes, Tao, friends help by being there, you know?
Tao: Yeah, I know. I know.
Dar: This could be my first test.
Tao: Oh, Dar!
Dar: No, he said I had to test my dedication.
Tao: I have never met a man more dedicated to helping a rogue tiger that is dedicated to eating him.
Ancient One: Iím afraid the Sorceressís device is failing on her.
Iara: Thatís her problem. My magic is as strong as ever.
Ancient One: Oh really?
Iara: Look beyond the edge and watch it rain.
Ancient One: Perfect weather for a picnic.
Iara: Youíre stopping it.
Ancient One: How dies it feel to lose oneís special gift?
Iara: Nothingís happening.
Ancient One: No, it isnít, is it? Perhaps you should have done that when you had your powers. Maybe Curupira could help.
Iara: If I canít do this, then I canít release her.
Hjalmar: Let me see. You're wondering if I have a sense of fair play and honor. To tell the truth, I do.
Ancient One: It appears your magic faces more and more.
Sorceress II: But youíre not out of tricks.
Ancient One: Not yet, but I will be affected soon. The Nords are getting nearer to the elephantsí graveyard.
Sorceress II: What does that have to do with anything?
Ancient One: If they take the ivory, a lot more will be lost than my powers.
Sorceress II: You have some connection to the elephants?
Ancient One: Yes, weíre a lot alike--unflappable, timeless and with a touch of nobility.
Hjalmar: You need to eat. Weíve still got a long way to go.
Dar: I donít eat meat.
Hjalmar: You will when youíre hungry. I wonít let you starve.
Tao: And you canít steal the ivory from the elephant graveyard. The legend says that if...
Hjalmar: I know what the legend says, believe me. The doom it predicts is nothing compared to Vodenís wrath if I donít bring the ivory back.
Tao: I canít hear them behind us any more.
Dar: They must have given up. Weíre not as valuable as ivory.
Iara: They gave up because of me. I put a couple of snakes in their path. Little ones. Not even poisonous. Itís all I could do.
Tao: I think youíve already done enough.
Iara: Iíve probably still got enough magic left to deal with the likes of you!
Dar: What do you want, Iara?
Sorceress II: She wants to offer what you and I would call an apology, only itís a concept foreign to her nature.
Sorceress II: The balance has been disturbed.
Iara: Our powers are failing, Dar. If we donít do something, then weíre all lost.
Tao: And whose fault would that be?
Tao: I wish we could restore your powers and leave hers turned off.
Tao: How could you let him do this?
Ancient One: The decision was his and he made the right decision.
Tao: How can you say that? Look!
Ancient One: Be quiet. I must begin.
Tao: Is this working?
Ancient One : I will not have your human emotions intruding here.
Ancient One: Your task of sacrifice is complete. Should you pass your next test, your powers will be returned.
Dar: I donít have time, Iara.
Iara: I donít want to slow you down. I just... I just want to say Iím sorry.
Dar: Letís talk about this later.
Iara: I know I shouldnít have done what I did. I don't know why I did what I did. I donít even know why Iím doing this. I just have a feeling itís supposed to help.
Tao: If you want to help, you should think less about yourself and more about the creatures you claim to care for.
Iara: Donít you understand how I felt? I come from this world of cold blood and darkness. You, youíre the warmth and the light. How could I not be attracted?
Ancient One: Our magic canít be relied upon. It now all depends on Dar passing the last test.
Iara: And if he doesnít?
Ancient One: If he doesnít, then our final act will be to watch a world of madness and darkness take our place.
Dar: Tao... Run!
Tao: If I die, youíre in trouble!
Tao: Why do I go along with these things?
Dar: Because you trust me, thatís why.
Tao: Thatís another one of my problems.
Dar: Donít worry. He wonít take us down straight away.
Tao: How do you know?
Dar: Because heís a hunter. Heíll take his time.
Tao: Oh, good! Something else to look out for.
Hjalmar at the elephant graveyard: Weíll never be able to carry it all.
Ancient One: Madness and darkness!
Sorceress II: What is it?
Ancient One: My head. No! Iím starting to forget.
Dar: How close is the tiger?
Tao: I canít see him anymore.
Tao: Good? Itís hunting us, not them.
Dar: I wouldnít be so sure.
Hjalmar: You shouldíve kept running.
Dar: I donít run.
Hjalmar: You lied about losing your gift.
Dar: I donít lie, either.
Hjalmar: Whatís all this, then?
Dar: Itís proof Iíve gotten it back.
Ancient One: I, myself will be leaving for a time. No, donít panic, my dear. You wonít be getting rid of the old grouch that easily.
Iara: Then why leave?
Ancient One: It was your interference that convinced me to search for stronger magic. Donít consider this an opportunity, Iara, because itís not. While Iím away, there will be no more mischief.
Iara: No more. You have my word.
Tao: I guess he now knows that you were his friend all along.
Dar: Now he knows his life can go on. He can still contribute to the balance of nature.
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