top of page

Transcript - Season 3, Chapter 14



Wind and seagulls. TAINSLEY (the Peninsulan private encountered by Val early in the season) is patrolling furiously up and down the edge of the watchtower platform.



(Muttering furiously under his breath)

Where are you? Come on, come on.

(Like a mantra)

Every bullet shall meet its target. At exactly the right time. In exactly the right place.


Come on, you Linger scum. Come on, come on, I’m ready for you, I’m waiting for you, come on, COME ON-


A hatch opens in the watchtower. A SERGEANT curiously pokes his head out.



Tainsley? Everything all right?




Keeping watch, Sarge. Waiting for the Lingers to come at us again.




War’s over, Tainsley. The Lingers are surrendering. 


There’s nothing left to keep watch for.



(With sullen, furious fervour)

No, it’s not over.


It can’t be over. It’s a trick, it’s a distraction. They’ll come at us again, they have to come at us again.


You have to understand, Sarge - she promised me, she promised me that I’d be a hero. 

(Working himself up into a frothing fury)

There’s a great destiny waiting for me and I will…I will be remembered. I’ll be remembered, and that means the war’s not over yet, the bastards are only biding their time-




Oh, cheer up, Tainsley. There’ll be other wars.


Will you come and join us? 


Have a drink, celebrate? We’ve got the parade on the radio, couple of bottles of schnapps-




You go, Sarge. 


I’m staying at my post.



(Just barely under his breath)

Suit your bloody self.

He closes the hatch.

TAINSLEY continues to patrol.


(Soft and fervent)

Every bullet shall meet its target. At exactly the right time. In exactly the right place.

I just have to wait for my moment.


Then we're in the dripping wet and cold, alone, with Faulkner.


And we can hear the radio; a propaganda broadcast from the Southern Council. GREVE most likely doesn't believe a word she's saying - but she's making the best of it.


(On the radio, with rising optimism)

This is High Katabasian Greve.


Children of the Water, the final hour of our victory is upon us.


A historic moment, after so long in hiding.


Just…picture it with me, for a moment. The future that awaits us.


Picture yourself standing at the water’s edge as free citizens of the Peninsula, making sacrifices and offerings to our god in the open air.


Picture the old temples rebuilt with new marble and shining glass.


Picture the festivals, the celebrations, the feasts. Thousands of us gathered together to love our god without shame and without risk to ourselves.


Our voices lifted fearlessly in prayer. No longer whispered.


But a mighty shout, a cry of unfettered joy, that MUST be heard-

FAULKNER turns off the broadcast.

Overhead, we can hear the distant roars and chanting of hundreds of his own disciples - calling him for the feast. It's an oppressive sound.

FAULKNER’s voice is weak, and defeated, and hateful.




I can hear them calling for me, my hopeless children.


It’s meant to be in celebration, but - the longer it goes on for, the louder and more insistent it gets, the more it sounds like the tyrannical squallings of an angry newborn.


Faulkner. Faulkner. Faulkner.


It won’t end until I come out and placate them.


This is what they’ve given me.


One white cassock, rough cloth, hemmed with gold thread. Much too big. Maybe they think I’m taller than I am.


One gold-and-green-threaded cope, draped over my shoulders. Much too heavy.. The left arm depicts a great golden bearded mouth with a human arm emerging from between the teeth. The right arm depicts a near-identical golden bearded mouth, spewing out what I can only assume is clear river water.


Fat rings on my fingers donated from this family or that family. All of which I am to understand are priceless relics from some storied part of our faith’s great history - of which I too am now a part.


The wreath of kelp.


Well, clearly this must be more than a Katabasian’s wreath, and so they’ve freshly woven this crown with stinking weed and sharp bulrush and they’ve made it so the mayflies and whirligigs itch and scurry across my forehead, making their nests in my hair.


I have things to hold, as well. My driftwood staff, an octagonal chest of treasures offered up from the river, and a carved statue of the Promised Bride that was fashioned from the Gulfwalker’s wreck, and-


-and nobody will help me carry all of this, since I’m the only one holy enough to have earned the right.

(Faintly, weakly)

My feet keep slipping on the cobblestones as I walk. I can’t keep my balance like this.

FAULKNER staggers to the chamber door and knocks.

Outside, we hear two ARMED GUARDS stand to attention - and then pull the door open.

FAULKNER, using his staff for support, begins to walk out into the corridor.

The roar of the waiting disciples grows louder.


This is when I should break free of them, I suppose. This is my chance, this is the moment when I scratch out their eyes, howl in their faces, and take flight into the hills. Steal a car. Change my name. Drive, and drive.


But between the watchful, wary glances from my captors and the beseeching, loving eyes of my disciples, I find myself utterly adrift. Helpless and still. Frozen in place beneath the spotlight.


Obedient to the burnished stained-glass image they see in me; terrified that at any moment, it might shatter under their stares.


And besides-


-where’s left for me to run to? Where else can I go? 

Nobody who knows who I truly am has anything but scorn and loathing in their hearts for the things I’ve done.


The only love that’s left is the love for the mask I wear, and the love is stifling. It burns as it clings to me.


I want to tell them, I want so desperately to confess, I am not that man.


I am not the prophet, not the great revolutionary leader. I am not about to save you. I don’t want to hold your lives in my hands any longer.


But I have lost my voice. I have become their mannequin. Their toy. 


So I stay where I am, I smile and I nod, and I let them lead me on.

He staggers on down the corridor, closely escorted and very much alone.



-and then the noise is all around us. The hundreds of inhabitants of the Aquifer are clapping their hands, stamping and chanting, working themselves up into a frenzy.


Overhead, we can hear a pre-record of FAULKNER's speech from the hijacked radio station in Season 3 Episode 9, now set to stirring music.


A FAULKNERIAN FANATIC excitedly claps along.


(Excitedly yelling)

The river rises! The river rises! All glory to the HIgh Prophet’s name!


(Over the speakers)

We will remind them of the truths at the heart of our faith. Dark waters and crawling things. 


Fateful offerings and reluctant gifts.


No more secrets. No more hidden arrangements. No more Katabasians in locked rooms deciding what’s best for the rest of us.


Honesty. Equality. Faith. And fury. That’s how we’ll win.

Around the hall, gongs ring out to enforce silence and order.

SIBLING RANE ascends the stage. They speak through a microphone to address the crowd.



Children of the Water! I proclaim his great arrival!


With driftwood staff in hand and a thunderous knock, just as his rebirth undrowned was announced at the Paraclete’s Gulch!

The Mouth of the River and the Voice of the Flood! The High Prophet Faulkner!


An approving roar and cheer from the crowd.

Then there's a moment’s silence - and then we hear a decidedly halting knock.


The doors creak open. FAULKNER's escort, armed, stride in and take up their positions.

We hear a conductor whisper - 1,2,3- and a stirring march begins to play.


Then FAULKNER slowly walks in, staff in hand. The entrance is meant to conjure up the image of his arrival at the Gulch in Season 2, but instead he sounds small and tired and vulnerable. 

As FAULKNER walks through the vast chamber, his disciples call out to him - 'The river rises!'  'The river rises!'. One particularly effusive fanatic makes FAULKNER shudder.


(Whispering fervently)

The river rises! High Prophet Faulkner, High Prophet Faulkner, blessed of the Trawler-man, we adore you! High Prophet, High Prophet, I was nothing! My life was nothing until I found you! 


FAULKNER finally reaches the podium and climbs to the top.

He tries to rally himself - and doesn't succeed. His voice is weak and small.  Someone rushes to hand him a microphone.



(His voice sounding a little small now)

Hi. Uh - thank you for joining me.


I’m very grateful to be here with you all. 


A moment’s silence. The crowd is a little bemused by the lack of energy.



Please, High Prophet, take your seat upon the podium.





RANE turns, declaring to the crowd.



Today is a historic day! For in Glottage, the traitor Greve and the Southern Council complete their pact with Adjudicator Shrue, lackey of the false Legislatures.


They intend to sign away our faith! To choke and collar our god!


Angry boos. The gongs ring out to try and keep order.



(Really hamming it up now)

But we are not powerless, are we? And the Trawler-man’s grasp, it extends far beyond the White Gull’s banks!


They shall learn that the river’s wrath cannot be denied! And we have been waiting for our enemy to make their move!


In secret, weeks ago, the High Prophet sent a team of the faithful to Glottage.


Because our High Prophet Faulkner is wise! The High Prophet is cunning! He is the hammer and the needle, he is the fury and the flame!


There will be no deal. There will be no legalisation. The High Prophet has denied them their victory, and their contract shall be drowned, dragged, delivered.


As we speak, Brother Philly and his team are in position in central Glottage, where they will publicly carry out the assassination and hallowing of Adjudicator Shrue.


Just as the High Prophet planned it!


Cheers and roars of appreciation.


Glory to the High Prophet!

RANE leans in to FAULKNER.



(More quietly, to FAULKNER)

Brother Philly is waiting for your blessing before his party makes their attack.


Are you ready to speak with him?


FAULKNER quails.



(Perhaps already sensing that he's being trapped)

In - in front of everyone?




We could retire to your chambers, if you truly wish it.


I…thought you’d want us to demonstrate the new honesty, equality and integrity that you’d spoken about in so many of your speeches.


No. No, of course.

(Into the mic, trying his best)

Come, now. Let’s hear from brave Brother Philly and his team.

Roars of approval.



Of course. Sister Cull, if you wouldn’t mind.

A radio is placed down next to FAULKNER.


Thank you, Sister.


FAULKNER speaks into the radio. He’s aware that he has a volatile audience, and tries to pull himself together to sound commanding - but we can hear the strain in his voice.



Brother Philly. This is High Prophet Faulkner, speaking to you from the sacred wellspring of the White Gull River. 


Surrounded by the faithful, who hold you in their hearts as one of their own.


What’s your status?


A moment’s silence.



(On the radio)

Good morning, High Prophet, and thank you.


We’re parked outside the Greater Glottage Radio headquarters.


Shrue’s due to arrive in less than an hour to make the public announcement.


We’re well-armed and prepared. It shouldn’t take much to overwhelm them.



Good. So you’re confident in your mission, Brother Philly?



(From the radio)

Much more than that, High Prophet. The Trawler-man has given us a mighty offering today.


With your permission and your blessing, I believe we can make a far bigger statement here than we originally planned for.





-well, that’s excellent news, Brother Philly. What did you have in mind?



We cut to BROTHER PHILLY as he turns to look at the parade crowds - cheering and chanting - audible behind him.


It’s a parade day here in Glottage, High Prophet.


The streets are packed. It’s like the city’s come out of hiding to celebrate their victory over the Lingers.

Like a worm upon the hook.


High Prophet - it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We can split into two parties. Send some of our people downtown to the parade.


And then we use the Wither Mark.



Silence for a moment - and then an excited roar rises from the crowd.



(To the crowd)

An opportunity - and a miracle.


Twin mouths agape! And both shall return Glottage to the river’s depths-


A glorious day! A wondrous day! Let Glottage drown!


Roars and cheers. FAULKNER is silent. We can hear him breathing hard and panicked in the thrum of excitement.


Then he swallows, and attempts, nervously, to speak. The gongs ring out to silence the crowd.



(Trying to come up with a lie that’ll prevent this from happening)

Brother Philly. I worry. 


I worry that now is not the time for such a dramatic gesture.


We seek to make a statement, yes. To prove to the world that the waters cannot be tamed, but such a grand atrocity might, might bring the full fury of the authorities down upon us.


It is still wartime. We might be accused of collaboration with the Linger Straits, this might be used against us-

The disciples are silent - and we might already hear a few confused or angry mutters. FAULKNER's arguments are far from convincing to them.

Then SISTER CULL speaks up.




What can they do to us, High Prophet, that they haven’t done already?


Approving applause and cheers. FAULKNER tries to push through it.



(Finding another angle, trying to assert himself)

It’s not part of the plan. And I certainly didn’t approve it. 


It is not…it is not wise to make last-second alterations to strategic decisions.


Adjudicator Shrue dies today, Brother Philly. That’s your priority, so please remain focused on that.


That’s what the Trawler-man has called for.


Angry shouts and disappointed boos can be heard; a rising murmur of discontent from the crowd.



(On the radio, audibly frustrated)

I don’t understand. High…High Prophet, I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.


You did not hesitate when you brought the Wither Mark down upon Bellwethers, did you? You did not flinch.


Flawless faith and fearless courage. That’s how you acted.


How is this any different?



Well, I-

It's different, of course, because he never set the Wither Mark off.

As he stammers, there's a rising swell of protest, and even some boos.



(On the radio, growing angry)

This could be the single greatest sacrifice to the Trawler-man’s glory in more than a century.


High Prophet, what is stopping us from using the Wither Mark?


Applause. FAULKNER stammers, but does not respond. One FANATIC calls out from the crowd.


High Prophet, High Prophet! What's going on? Talk to us, High Prophet!



(On the radio)

We do…have the Wither Mark, do we not?


FAULKNER, surrounded by a rising swell of boos, is beginning to hyperventilate.


(Growing frustrated)

Why do you falter, High Prophet? Do you not believe in us? Do you not LOVE us? We are your children! High Prophet, what are you waiting for?

Then Sibling RANE snatches up the mic.




The High Prophet is right to be cautious, Brother Philly. 


He has been too trusting in the past, he has been betrayed by those who called themselves his friends and his faithful servants.


Since the fall of Bellwethers, he has borne the knowledge of the Wither Mark, alone. He has carried the weight of our faith’s greatest power, alone. He has kept it safe for us.

(To the crowd)

Let us show him that he is no longer alone, hm? 


Let us show him he is amongst true friends and his one true family! Let us show him how grateful we are for his sacrifice!


Cheers and roars (but also some continued discontent). RANE takes advantage of the noise to lean back in to FAULKNER.


(Softly and with concern)

You do remember the Mark, don’t you?



(Coldly and quietly)

Of course I remember, Sibling Rane.


But I will not kill a city for you. This goes…this goes much too far.




Too far for us, High Prophet, or too far for you?



I - I cannot have this conversation in front of all these people. I'm not that man, Sibling. I'm not him.


(On the radio, more gently persuasive)

High Prophet Faulkner.

I understand the importance of this day, I understand the importance of our task.


Shrue will die. We will not fail you.


But have faith in our people in return, I beg you. Put your trust in us.


We can win a victory for our god today that will live on forever.



(To the crowd)

A brave speech! 


Another cheer for courageous Brother Philly and wise High Prophet Faulkner!


The cheering breaks out again - but the discontent and expectation remains. The disciples are chanting and stomping their feet once more.


RANE leans back in to continue the conversation with FAULKNER.



These are your people, High Prophet Faulkner.


They have suffered to get here. They have left everything behind in order to follow you.


They need to know their faith in you is merited. They must see strength, not frailty. They must not see you hesitate.


Everyone is watching. Everyone is waiting.

Speak, High Prophet.


The noise rises, and rises. Boos and expectant chanting and stamping. Angry yells and FAULKNER's name. It rises and rises, a cacophony, all of it focused on him.


(Incoherently babbling)

No, no, please...


I didn't...I didn't...

Unti he can't bear it any longer. He snatches at the receiver, just to make the noise stop.





(Into the radio)

Brother Philly.

The crowd eventually quiets down.



How long do you need?


If we - if we set off the Mark in Glottage, how long will that delay us?



(On the radio)

Not long. We can get our people in position quickly. I promise you.




Shrue dies on-air. That’s the priority. 



Yes, High Prophet. Of course.



And the streets are full, you said.

(Trying to find a grace note by treating the target as military)

Policemen, soldiers-



(Denying FAULKNER even that)

Everyone, High Prophet. It’s everyone. Glottage has flowered.


We’ll never have a better opportunity than this.


Silence. All the eyes in the chamber are on FAULKNER.


This is all his chickens coming home to roost. This is the very worst moment of his life.

One of his fanatics yells up from the crowd.


(Yelling out, a little angrily)

Tell us the Wither Mark, High Prophet Faulkner! Share it with your people!


Show us you believe in us!



(With absolute dread)

Very well.


Um. Listen carefully, Brother Philly.


This…this is the Wither Mark. 

FAULKNER speaks slowly and hesitantly. With every word, he's still trying to figure out if there's a way out of this.


You begin with the Dolorous Rose. Inside that, a hexagonal frame. Twinned eyes, old pattern.


Six rods, drawing the corners to the petals.


Then six basic prayer-symbols. Clockwise, from the top. Earth. Water. Pain. Fury. Effort.

(Immediately ashamed of himself aeven as he says it)





The sound of a parade passing by. Floats, celebrations, cheering, music. Overhead, we can hear a loudspeaker announcement.


(With a spring in his step)

A very warm welcome to all of our visitors joining us for today’s victory celebrations. Please be advised that we are expecting extremely large crowds closer to the Park and Moridame Palace.


Public rest stops are available along the parade route. Please keep yourselves hydrated and refreshed.


At two o’clock, representatives from the Legislatures will speak formerly in front of the Palace on behalf of High Adjudicator San-Laurence.


At four-thirty, veterans from the Peninsulan military will climb the One Thousand Steps in order to lay wreaths before the altars of the licenced gods responsible for our nation’s glorious victory.


At dusk, join us in the park for a celebratory mass sacrifice - and fireworks!



GREVE watches the parade go by from inside her car.



(With quiet disgust)

Bait and flesh. Think they’ll be putting the Father in the Water on one of those balloons, this time next year? 


Maybe we can wave to the crowds from a float.

(With a tired chuckle)

All right, come on. Time to hold our noses.


She opens the door and steps out. 



As GREVE takes in the excess and awful cheeriness of the parade-



(Merrily, in a singsong voice)

The Linger Straits cried, “You’ll never survive, my dreadful rocket attack!”


And the Peninsula replied, with courage and pride, “OIL be the judge of that!”


The Petropater’s blessings upon our brave troops! A lump of coal for every household, in celebration of the victory at Mal-Retour! Take your prize from my belly!

-CARSON comes up to her.



(Smarmy as ever)

High Katabasian Greve! Wonderful to meet you in person. Thank you, so, so much for coming down all of this way.


And these must be your, uh, Low Katabasians? Hello, hello, pleased to meet you all. Uh, we're just going to be over here in two seconds, we've got a couple of other things on the docket today, nothing major, if I could just speak to you later about a couple of minor things we've got-



(A little coldly)

We’re very glad to be here, Adjudicator Shrue.




Oh, I’m not Shrue. No, Adjudicator Shrue is over at GGR right now, singing your praises over the radio.


No, my name’s Carson. I’m going to be introducing you. Handing over the licence. Shaking your hand, posing for photographs. That whole shebang.



(Taken aback, but rolling with it)

Ah. Hello.



It’ll be another...about another ten minutes. Shall we take our seats? Please. There.


GREVE and CARSON take their seats onstage. In the background, another parade float passes by.


(Cheerfully and merrily, over a microphone)

On this historic day, the entire Family Electric is proud to extend its congratulations - and gratitude! - to the Peninsulan heroes who played their part in ending the Second Linger War, from our courageous frontline forces to our enlisted volunteers.


And we’ve been doing our part for the good of the nation, too - by using the very first sacrifices taken from the defeated CLS armed forces to power homes and workplaces up and down the Peninsula.


Before long, the energy crisis will be a thing of the past.


We’d also like to give a very warm shout-out to our Family Electric Premium Disciples. May their signal flow strong and clear. May their day be illuminated and bright!


Sophie Lynch

B. Narr

H.R. Owen

Erika Sanderson

Hawley Thorne

Meabh de Brun

Jimmie Yamaguchi

Sarah Griffin

Rhys Lawton-


GREVE is comfortable sitting silently. CARSON is not.



Got your speech all written?



Yes, thank you.



CARSON leans in again.



(Leaning over)

What I tell people usually is - try and keep it light.


You have to remember, you’re not speaking to true believers, these are the general laity, and you can’t assume any knowledge on their part.


It’s also better not to go too hard on Devlin. Might be popular back home, but it’ll draw boos from the folks in Glottage. Believe me.


You could tell a joke or two. “Wow, water great crowd.” 



(Drily, sarcastically)

…yes. I’ll have to steal that one.





(Leaning over)

And, just, uh, to be perfectly honest with you so there’s no surprises, High Katabasian, we’ve slightly tweaked the role of the Parish of Tide and Flesh in ending the war. 




What role?



Well, that’s exactly it; we’ve given you a role in it.


People want to celebrate a hero, and it might as well be you, right?

(A little peevish)

You don’t need to do anything, just smile and accept the cheering. A little gratitude wouldn’t go amiss, under the circumstances.




That’s fine.




Then CARSON leans forward again, conspiratorially.



By the way, High Katabasian - uh, just a thought.


I’m actually about to start an exciting new private-sector role with the church of the Daily Grind.


I know your people have your quarrels with the Church Electric, but, uh, I’m sure you wouldn’t be opposed to creative partnerships with other licenced deities.


It’d be a great way of getting your name out on the board. What do you say?



What the hell are you talking about?




White Gull mineral water. 


“Refreshment Rises.”


The Grindinglord’s people would be very amenable, I’m sure.


GREVE just stares blankly at CARSON. CARSON does not notice. There's applause from the front of the stage.



Ooh, they’re ready for us. Excuse me, sorry - I’ll, uh, cue you in.


CARSON gets up and takes his place at the stage’s podium.


We hear polite applause.



(Making his speech, with apparently heartfelt emotion)

When we look back upon the Linger War Revisited in the years to come; this is the tale that will be told.


An aggressor to the north, intoxicated on its reckless devotion to dangerous false deities, still bitter from past defeats, led astray by corrupt and selfish leaders.


Its might arrayed against its poorer neighbour to the south. A small country, but a plucky one.


A patchwork nation of scattered territories, only recently unified, still divided in more ways than one.


Your country. Your home.


We’ve got a saying here in Glottage. “We may have our differences; sometimes words turn to blows; but when you come for one of us, you come for all of us.”


So it proved.


This morning, I am proud and grateful to say that the Linger Straits formally negotiated their surrender with the High Adjudicator and our military leadership. 


A surrender which, I might add, comes accompanied by concessions from the CLS towards a yearly supply of sacrificial material for the Peninsula - one which will enrich and empower our nation for many years to come.

(Enthusiastic applause from the crowd)

You already know that the Conclave of the CLS was captured with minimal loss of life two nights ago.


What you might not know is exactly who we have to thank for that victory.


A crack team of disciples from some of the Peninsula’s oldest and proudest faiths - including the followers of a venerable, unlicenced river-god from the far western Territories.


That god’s name is the Trawler-man. Remember it; you’re going to be hearing a great deal more from him in the years to come.


I think that’s marvellous. Don’t you?


Even these people, renegades and outlaws, denied their rights of citizenry and licence for far too many years, stood selflessly and righteously with their fellow Peninsulans in the face of the vicious Linger invaders.

(Repeating with emphasis)

When you come for one of us, you come for all of us.


(Turning to introduce GREVE)

I give you - High Katabasian Greve, of the Parish of Tide and Flesh!


There’s applause.



(Raising a hand in acknowledgement)

Ha, yes, thank you, thank you.


She gets to her feet and takes her place at the podium.



(Reading from her notes)

It’s been a long road, getting here.

(With cold anger)

When High Adjudicator Devlin formally declared our faith and our god unlawful on the Day of Reckoning, he described us as ‘primitive followers of one of the vilest and hungriest false deities to be found anywhere in the backwards territories.’

(Toning her speech down as per CARSON's request and hating herself for it)

…however, as I’m sure many here would attest to, there are two sides to every story.




CARPENTER, SHRUE, CROSS, and HAYWARD are all in the car together, waiting outside the GGR station.

Outside, a CLOAK mascot booms out to the crowd.


(Just as cheerily)

The Children of the Cloak would like to offer up a warning to any pickpockets on parade day; your rights to a full trial may be waived in order to facilitate a speedy sacrifice.



(Watching carefully)

All right. We get Shrue in, we keep them on the air as long as we possibly can without endangering ourselves, we get them out.


Not a lot of security on the doors at GGR. That normal?



They’ve been bleeding staff. Everyone has.


That makes things easier, right?


HAYWARD chimes in.



A lot of cops will be on traffic-calming duty and crowd control. A lot of road diversions.


We can do this. We just need to be quick.



What are you thinking, Cross? You coming with us?

In the front, CARPENTER has begun loading a revolver.




I think…I think I’d better wait it out. If there’s trouble, I don’t know how much use I’ll be in there.



(Coldly and mockingly)

How much use do you think you’ll be out here?



(Shushing her)



Be nice.

Overhead, the clock is striking. CARPENTER finishes loading her revolver.



All right, Adjudicator - let’s get to it.


HAYWARD, CARPENTER and SHRUE open their car doors.


CROSS urgently and abruptly grabs SHRUE.



(Pleading, desperate)

Shrue. Wait.


Are we…are we really going through with this?




There’s still time to back out.



I know.


Tell me not to. 



(Firmly but kindly)

We’re not backing out, Cross.



(Whimpering but grateful)

Thank you.



We won’t be long. Keep the radio on, be ready to drive.



Shrue. What happens if things go south?



I don’t know. Cause a scene, pull the fire alarm, make a fool out of yourself? You’ll think of something, Cross.

(With a twinkle of excitement)

Wish me luck.




As SHRUE crosses the street, BROTHER PHILLY watches them.



(Softly, as if to an accomplice)

There goes Shrue, into GGR. Time to get started.


A moment passes.





(Shocked and disbelieving)

Wait. Is that-

The band's music crescendoes.



Light music is playing as SHRUE, CARPENTER and HAYWARD enter from the elevator. The RECORDING EXEC we met earlier in the season spins around in his chair.



(Extending a hand)

Adjudicator Shrue! Good to see you again. Welcome back to GGR. 



(Shaking it)

Hey, uh-






Travis. Good to see you well.

(As if glancing around)

Gods, you’re even more short-staffed than last time, aren’t you?


The RECORDING EXEC hesitates. 



We had a lot of temp contracts. 



Government called ‘em in?



(With brittle glibness)

No, we did. 


Power cuts were hitting our advertisers hard. Lot of our junior staff got sent upcountry to help with the electricity shortage.


Honestly, I think we just wanted to make good use of ‘em before the Legislatures could take ‘em from us.


So yeah, I’m pulling triple duties today. 

(A little manic)

Mustn’t grumble, right?


SHRUE just stares at him for a second.




Mustn’t grumble.



(Gesturing to CARPENTER and HAYWARD)

Ah, these, uh-



(Calmly lying)

These are delegates from the Parish of Tide and Flesh. This is Katabasian Oats and this is Katabasian Wren.


They won’t be participating in the broadcast, but they’ll be joining me later on stage down at the park.




The river rises.



(Very sincerely)

The river rises to you too, sir.


OK, well, the pre-record is all lined up, so we’re just waiting for your live announcement in the booth. You need to keep it to five minutes or less.


We’ve got a victory prayer from the Grand Mistral’s priests after you - they’ll be delivering it live from the top of Sergen Tower, which is exciting, and then we've got the season finale of Carlie Cape: Rise of Pulchritude.

(With a noise of maddened horror)

Gotta keep it moving!


I’ll give a quick introduction from the sound room, I’ll cue you in, I’ll give you the 30-second warning when it’s time to wrap up, I’ll play you out and we’ll bring in the story about the lady and the spooky reflection.

(Checking his watch)

We’ve got about fifteen minutes, so you’ve got time to get yourself a coffee.



Eh - I think I’ll just get set up in the booth, if that’s OK? Warm up my vocal cords?



Sure, sure, absolutely. Go ahead.


SHRUE heads through into the recording booth, closing the door behind them - and then, we might notice, locking it.


The RECORDING EXEC observes HAYWARD and CARPENTER uncertainly before sitting back at his desk and getting back to work.



Uh, you’re both welcome to stay in here with me, but I am going to need you to sit quietly and stay away from the equipment.



(With hammy profundity, enjoying himself)

Electronics are a blasphemy in the eyes of the sacred river, for as the Silt Verses teach us - there is only one true current in the eyes of the Trawler-man.


We would not touch your dials under any circumstances, unbeliever, other than to drown them.



(Politely faux-enthusiastic as he works)

Oh, OK! Interesting.


How are you feeling about all this, the legalisation and everything? Nervous?



All is as the water wills it. High tides and low, 



(Busily working away)

Mmm. That’s profound. 


Maybe I’ll check you guys out once the paperwork’s signed.


HAYWARD crosses the room to CARPENTER.



(Softly chuckling)

This is great. Maybe I should’ve gone into acting.


CARPENTER doesn’t reply.





Something wrong?

And for a moment we hear the rising whispers of the CAIRN MAIDEN, closer than ever-





(Weakly, with fear)

She’s standing over your shoulder.


HAYWARD just takes this in.



In the doorway?



Past the doorway now.



(With calm acceptance)

Okay. Be ready.




The buzz of the room has been replaced by an uncertain, low atmosphere amongst the faithful.


FAULKNER sits upon his throne, slumped and sullen.

SISTER CULL and SIBLING RANE observe from the sidelines.



(Whispering in frustration)

Why is he just sitting there like that?


He knows everyone can see him, doesn’t he?


This is a historic moment, Sibling Rane. No leader of the faith has struck a blow like this.


Why…why isn’t he happier?



(Whispering back, spinning a tale that makes FAULKNER look better)

To be a prophet of the river is a heavy burden, Sister Cull.


High Prophet Faulkner worries for our people in the field, and he mourns those who will die today - ours and theirs.


Misguided or not, those lining the streets of Glottage are human beings - and properly instructed, they could have joined the ranks of the faithful. 


The High Prophet himself was a convert, you know.




Ah. I’d quite forgotten.




We should not doubt High Prophet Faulkner for his low mood, Sister, but rather admire him for his compassion.




He’s upsetting the children. Should we not make a few prayers, sing a few songs?


This is supposed to be a historic day.




It will be different when it’s written.


I’ll…speak to him.


RANE crosses the chamber, passing through the softly muttering disciples, and ascends the podium. We can hear the rhythmic clatter of FAULKNER passing his driftwood staff from one hand to the other.


They clear their throat - FAULKNER does not respond.



(Trying to get FAULKNER’s attention)

High Prophet. 


A long silence before FAULKNER stirs.



(Hoarse and wounded)

How many lights in Glottage, Rane?



I…don’t know.





Fewer soon. 



Is there anything I can bring you, High Prophet, to help you feel better?


Would you like a drink, perhaps?





(With quiet loathing)

You should have let me drown, Rane. 


I...I beg your pardon?


I’d have been free of him then. 

(Raising his voice)

I’d have been free of all of you leeching horrors, you hungering things-


(About to snap back)



The radio hisses and buzzes.



(On the radio)

Sibling Rane! High Prophet! Can you hear me?


FAULKNER does not move. RANE reaches for the receiver. The crowd are slowly getting to their feet.



What is it, Brother Philly?


(Calling out to the crowd)

Gather around, everyone! Gather around. Brother Philly and his team will need all of our prayers.



(On the radio)

Shrue has just entered the GGR building for the announcement. Brother Sawney and Sister Ribchester are downtown, stationed by the parade and ready to set off the Mark.


Sibling Dawn and I remain here, as the Adjudicator’s assassins. Our moment has arrived.

And there’s- there’s something else, too. At first I could hardly believe my eyes.


High Prophet…


…Anathema Carpenter is with the Adjudicator.


FAULKNER sits upright. The crowd are breaking into gasps - followed by roars of outrage and excitement. They have, of course, been taught to hate CARPENTER.





This can be…this can be no coincidence.

(Grandly, to the crowd)

It’s a miracle.


A miracle, that our enemies should find themselves thus assembled.


Is that not so, High Prophet? 



(Slow at first, then babbling)

No. No, no, no.


No, that can’t be right. She can’t be there, why did you put her there? Why did you let her go?


(To the crowd)

An offering returned. Your final vengeance against her, fulfilled.

FAULKNER staggers forward, snatching up the mic.



(Breathless, babbling, barely coherent)

No, no, wait, stop-


Brother Philly, Brother Philly.


I need them to stop, all of this needs to stop. Do you understand me?








Outraged boos and angry yells are rising, louder than ever. FAULKNER no longer cares as he stumbles across the stage-

-and either he trips, or SIBLING RANE gives him one very careful shove as they snatch the mic from him.


(To the crowd)

The High Prophet is unwell! Fetch some water for him, quickly! Fetch him a pillow!

(Reassuringly, to FAULKNER)

Don’t worry, High Prophet. We’re all here with you. We understand.



Pray for the High Prophet, children of the water! Pray for his health and his safety!


RANE picks up the receiver.



Brother Philly. The High Prophet has given you his blessing to proceed.


The river rises.

The crowd continues to rage.




SHRUE waits to be cued in, sipping from a bottle of water. Cheerful music is playing.



(In SHRUE's headphones)

You're listening to GGR! It's twelve o'clock, and now it's time for a special guest - and a very special midday sermon.

The music ends - and silence descends.

SHRUE hesitates. There's a quiet tapping from the RECORDING EXEC on the other side of the booth glass.

SHRUE takes a breath - and then begins their speech.


I’m Adjudicator Shrue, of the North-West Territory. 

(Losing their nerve for a moment)

And, I, uh…


I’m sorry. It’s…hard to know what to say, really.



CROSS nervously munches on a packet of crisps as he waits.


We hear a snippet of SHRUE’s speech over the radio-



(Muttering to himself)

Come on, Shrue.



(After a hard moment)

At a certain point, words stop helping. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to.


I get to talk a lot, in my career. Sometimes they even give me a newspaper column to write as well.


And none of it…I have to be honest with myself, none of it’s ever helped anyone.


We live in a world of noise, and all this talking, it…it’s more angles and perspectives and commentary and outright propaganda, and if we’re very lucky our talking can lift us to a place of individual prominence and power, and then we’ll feel like we’ve won because we have an audience now, and this is when we get to really make a difference-



SHRUE’s speech has begun - and it’s not going as expected.


The RECORDING EXEC wheels around in his chair.



(Confused and sceptical)



First draft script, or…?




Oh, I like it. I think they’re ramping up to something.



They haven’t even mentioned the river-god yet.



It’s…subtext, it’s rhetoric. You gotta read between the lines-



It fills up our lives, this talking, it holds us in place. Endless vying viewpoints to be mulled over and debated and never once acted upon, because all of it -


-all of that talk, no matter how progressive, no matter how hopeful, can’t help but end up serving the one true god that rules over us all, the greatest of all gods, the fervent, universal faith: a god of lies. 


The lie that things are already working as well as they possibly can. 


The lie that we just need to get on with it, and offer up the sacrifices as we did before, and success and prosperity will fall from the skies like rain, as they did upon our forefathers.

The lie that the polluted lands are not spreading, that the consequences of our endless violence against land and flesh will not come back to haunt us-


-and if it does, we’re capable of fixing it.


VAL, too, is listening to this speech - with amusement, and approval.


Mm. Well said.




Let’s invent a new god who might be able to turn things around. Let’s sacrifice someone to it and see what happens next.


Let’s give everyone a voice and a platform on the radio and in the newspapers, including the born deceivers, and let’s keep the conversation going.


We can keep on talking about it, we can keep telling each other the same endless stories, we can keep on worshipping at countless altars and that’s our freedom of choice, so long as nothing truly changes.


Every word a lie. Every truth confined and reshaped to serve the lying.


But they have built this world in words, and words are how we have to navigate through it.


So I have no choice. Words it is.



(Increasingly outraged)

What the hell is this? Is this some kind of joke?



(Acting casual)

There’s a throughline, there’s a throughline-



(Making up his mind)

We’re going to the pre-record. 

(Hammering on the booth window)

Shrue! Stop! Shr-

CARPENTER whacks him resoundingly over the head with the butt of her revolver.




This is the truth, as I see it. 


There is no rational plan for our society as we’ve built it. There’s no steady hand at the tiller.. There’s no making the best of it.


We’ve built a hollow world, a dying world, with hunger at its core, and the hunger only keeps on growing.


And the people who rule over your lives - we’re, we’re very much like the gods we try so hard to sell you on.


We’re hungry, and we’re frightened, and we’re utterly self-interested, and we want to live to keep on eating you for as long as we can.

We will give birth to terrors we cannot control, to give ourselves an advantage against the competition in our own petty squabbles for supremacy, and we’ll spend great fortunes on finding ways to make our atrocities sound pretty and sustainable and safe.


And when you try to tell us this, we will reply that you’ve been duped by undergraduate simplicity, you’re being unreasonable and you’re being naive - because it’s childish stuff to blame us for the horrors before your own eyes, and the world is really a more complicated place than you’ve painted it. 


And the world is complicated, it’s true - but at the end of the day you will still be caught up in its clutches and devoured, and we will let it happen to you.


Yes, the world is complicated, and people are too. But greed and hunger are simple truths, and the more justifications we find, the harder it becomes to face them.


Worse yet - if we try to tear ourselves away from them now, if we no longer offer up prayers or sacrifices to these idols - we’ll come away broken.


Life will become harder. The soil will turn barren. The nameless things we used to love and that we thought loved us in turn - they’ll turn on us with desperate, hungering fury.


That's why we have to do it. The Woundtree’s people have it right, but they don’t go far enough, because they think you’ll hate them for telling you the truth.


Kill your gods. Starve them out. Topple their statues. Forsake their comfort.


Kill the stories that gave birth to them.  Tear away our flesh that bears their marks.


If our words and stories sustain them, let us fall silent. 


If our communities rely upon them, let us drift apart from one another, and die lonely in the polluted wilds, amongst the howling winds of long-forgotten deities.


Salt the earth and spoil the harvest. Wreck the palace altars; tear down the walls of your own house.


Forget the names of your forebears and the lessons they taught you.


They will tell you this is its own kind of fanaticism, its own kind of relentless purity, and it is. 


It is a drastic measure, and we need to take it, because we have built a hollow and a dying world that continues to devour us, and a thousand-and-one beautiful forms of denial.


That is the sacrifice we must make, and we must do it now, because otherwise we will go on telling all kinds of wonderful stories, and we will go on finding new gods to worship, and in the end the only choice left to any of us will be the name upon our lips as we perish in darkness.

(Taking a breath)

I’m going to share with you now the marks of the Woundtree.


One parade-goer is listening to SHRUE via a handheld radio - but the sermon is basically inaudible.


Begin with a balbis on its side. Within the two spaces, a circle marked by a single dot.


Beneath this, a pair of concentric circles. Within the annulus, an ovoid with a slit - a staring eye.


(Listening to the radio)

Turn it up, can’t hear anything. They’re saying, um…


Uh…something about the war, I think? How we won the war? 

(Yelling out to the crowd)

Long live the Peninsula!



HAYWARD is taping a protesting RECORDING EXEC to his own office chair. When he's done, he pushes the man away from himself.


Get your hands off me! 

(More protesting noises)


(Over the radio)

Under that, a lemniscate over a heptagram, and three parallel lines beneath.


These are the marks of the Many Below.


Place these prayer-marks upon your branded flesh and when they come for you, they will suffer for it.


When your colleague is taken because they failed to hit quota, when the rough sleeper’s abducted in the night, teach them these marks.

CARPENTER and HAYWARD both stand there, breathless.




We’re still on the air.



No alarms, either.


Maybe your god’s just-

-and at that moment, the elevator doors open. BROTHER PHILLY and SIBLING DAWN are inside, heavily armed. HAYWARD sees them first.


Get down!


He knocks CARPENTER to the floor.



(Directly in front of the elevator, weirdly outraged)

Hey, you can't be here!

A blast of assault-rifle fire knocks him to the floor, dead.



(Yelling out)

Stay exactly where you are!


A beat of silence. HAYWARD and CARPENTER are on the floor. SHRUE is still in the booth.




Not cops.




No. They’re from the Parish.


Silence. BROTHER PHILLY takes a step forward to CARPENTER.


(Listing her crimes)

Anathema Carpenter. 


Betrayer of the Gulch. Murderer of Katabasian Mason. False friend to the High Prophet Faulkner.


I only regret there’s no time to drown you properly.



(Calmly meeting his gaze)

You know who I am. And yet you’re not running.

By way of response, BROTHER PHILLY kicks her in the stomach. CARPENTER doubles up.

BROTHER PHILLY cocks his assault rifle as if to shoot her - but is distracted by some soft knocking from behind the booth window.


(Over the radio, standing at the window)

All right. All right. Take it easy, please. Nobody needs to get hurt here.


I have a family. You understand that? I have a family and I want to get back to them. Sure some of you feel exactly the same way.

(Trying to bluff)

Will you let my assistants go-

BROTHER PHILLY approaches the window.



(Swaggering and speechifying)

Adjudicator Shrue, we apologise for interrupting your broadcast!


Sibling Dawn and I represent the Parish of Tide and Flesh, the true faithful of the Trawler-man, and we have come to formally reject your offer of legalisation-


-and now we hear BROTHER PHILLY from SHRUE's side of the glass. His speech is muted and much less impressive-sounding.



(Harshly, muffled)

Now. Tell the Peninsula the name of your killers, Adjudicator. Tell them how you tried and failed to tame the hungering tides of the White Gull.


Beg High Prophet Faulkner for mercy, and apologise to him for your transgressions against the Trawler-man. 


SHRUE stares for a moment. Then they turn back from the window, and speak into the mic once more.



(Calmly ignoring the FANATICS)

Peninsulans - I’m out of time. 


Here are those marks again, for anyone who needs to hear them.


Begin with a balbis on its side. Within the two spaces, a circle marked by a single dot.



(Thrown, annoyed, overlapping)

Talk about the Parish, Adjudicator. 


Talk about your crimes against the Trawler-man, talk about your failings-

Stop that!


SHRUE ignores him. BROTHER PHILLY begins to rattle the door to the booth - and then, finding it locked, begins to shoulder-barge into it to try and break it open.



(More rapidly)

Beneath this, a pair of concentric circles. Within the annulus, an ovoid with a slit - a staring eye.


Under that, a lemniscate over a heptagram, and three parallel lines beneath.


These are the marks of the Many Below.


Use them, pass them on, do not forget the suffering that keeps the engines of this world turning, forget the name of your god and cherish the name of your neighbour that was swallowed up by it-




You’re supposed to be talking about us!





On the other side of the glass, he hefts his rifle.




Kill your gods!


The glass of the booth window explodes as PHILLY furiously fires. SHRUE cries out - and falls.

A moment of silence. We can hear SHRUE wheezing softly as BROTHER PHILLY steps over the glass debris - and cruelly shoots them again.

He turns, as if to make for CARPENTER next-


-and an alarm starts to wail overhead. It's the same security alert voiceover we heard back in Episode 9.


It’s enough to distract BROTHER PHILLY for a moment.






-and CARPENTER barrels into him. The rifle goes off. She hits him, over and over.


On the other side of the room, we might briefly hear HAYWARD grunt in pain as he wrestles with SIBLING DAWN, her gun going off into his stomach - but then he wrests it off her and shoots her.




Back in the booth, CARPENTER snatches the rifle up off the fallen BROTHER PILLY.


(Breathless and furious)

I told him. I told him I wouldn’t take another life in his name. I was done with him.


And yet there you are, brother - and here I am.



(In pain)

No, wait-

-and she shoots him.


There’s your fucking miracle.


She tosses the gun to one side, breathing hard.


Silence. The fight is done. HAYWARD staggers in behind her.



You all right, Hayward?



(Breathless and in shock)

I’m OK. 


Shrue’s dead.



(Also in shock, but mission-driven as ever)

I know. We need to get out of here-




Yeah, yeah. Just give me a second to-


-and he falls forward into the chair with a crash.






(Weakly, teeth clenched)

Need to, uh…need to revise my initial assessment.


There’s a bullet in my gut, Carpenter.


Yeah, here comes the pain-



(In shock)

OK, OK, let’s get you some help-




Carpenter. Run.


Woundtree’s gonna come just as soon as I bleed out.



I’m not leaving you, you fucking idiot. We need to staunch the wound-



Be reasonable-


Behind them, CROSS bursts in.



Shrue! Shrue, I set off the fire alarm-


He halts in his tracks at the signs of the massacre.


Oh, gods. Oh, Shrue-




Help me, Cross. Help me carry him.


Come on, Hayward, we’re getting you up, we’re taking you to a hospital-


CROSS and CARPENTER begin to lift HAYWARD up. He cries out in pain-


-and suddenly we're downtown, listening to the muffled parade outside, as several FAULKNERIAN FANATICS prepare to set off the Wither Mark.



(In a hushed voice)

Everyone ready? 


Good. The river rises. Let’s get this right. Brother Sawney, you can have the honour of drawing the marks.


You begin with the Dolorous Rose. That’s right. Then…then a hexagonal frame. Twinned eyes, old pattern.


You’ve got it. Six rods, drawing the corners to the petals.


Next come the prayer-symbols. Clockwise, from the top. Earth. Water. Pain. Fury. Effort. Completion. Perfect.

They wait. Nothing happens.


(A little impatiently)

How long until it-


-and then the Wither Mark goes off.



The crowd is listening to a pre-record of SHRUE's earlier rendition of the Promised Bride story.



“I am something frail, and I am something small, and even the final sacrifice of my body and spirit would not be enough to prevent our people from being conquered.”


“Then become something else,” the Trawler-man says, with the first of his two faces. “My currents are kind, and your flesh is pliant. I will make you something that cannot be conquered.”’


Once it's done, they applaud politely.



(Cheerily applauding)

All right, and if we’re ready for the formal part of the ceremony - uh, if the photographers would like to come forward, we’ll be signing the licence shortly, welcoming the Parish back into the fold.


That’s right, gather around, gather…hm?


CARSON stops talking abruptly. We can hear a faint buzz of someone urgently warning him in his ear.


He takes a step back, retreating to the back of the stage. Then he speaks into his earpiece.

In the background, the same MARKET SELLER is still hawking GLOAMS.



(Quietly, calmly)

Uh, hello. Yes, I can hear you.


I see. Mmhm.


Well, that’s no good.


He turns and speaks back into the podium mic.



(Calling loudly and enthusiastically to the crowd)

Just give us five minutes, folks! Don’t go anywhere. Just need to check we’ve dated this thing properly.

(To the Katabasians)

Yes! Well done! Glorious!


He turns and begins quickly walking offstage. A car pulls up rapidly to receive him.


GREVE, sensing that something is wrong, begins to follow him.




Carson? Hey. What’s going on?


CARSON opens the car door.



(Loudly, for the benefit of passers-by)

Ah, yes, ah!

(Rapidly and tightly, to GREVE alone)

Something’s just happened downtown. Please excuse me.


Need to follow protocol. 



What do you mean, something’s happened?



(Very quickly)

Something about the sewers overflowing. Saints of water and silt. Your Trawler-man, I presume.


Let go of my sleeve, please, High Katabasian. We don’t want to cause a stampede. Got to keep the road clear-



The sewers are-

(Realising with horror)

Carson, he’s set the Wither Mark off.


We need to get these people out of here. They’re all going to die-


CARSON is already getting into his car and buckling his seatbelt.



That’s an excellent idea. You should organise that.




Carson. Carson. What are you doing?


Carson, you can’t just leave-


The car doors slam.



(Muffled through the door)

It’s your god, High Katabasian. You talk to it.


The car turns and roars away.


GREVE stares after it for a moment-


-and then begins to run back to the crowd.


We can hear screaming; the distant roar of approaching waves.


A cataclysm has come to Glottage.


The crowd turns, and begins to run. Screams and cries.



(Yelling, trying to control the panic)

Everyone needs to get back! Get inside, get to high ground! Katabasians! Where are my Katabasians?

(Lost in the crush)

Gods above! Does anyone have any chalk? 


I can keep us safe, I can save us, I just need a little-


Someone knocks into GREVE. She falls with a grunt.

The tsunami of the Wither Tide is coming, louder and louder, overpowering the sounds of screaming and panic-

-until it rolls over the crowd, submerging us and them into the depths of dark water.

We listen to the music, and the moans of vast crab-saints, for a moment, before we resurface.


GREVE, groaning in pain, pushes herself up out of the water.


She tries to stand - and cries out as she collapses back against the stage.


She gazes, wearily, out over the flooded city. Saints are shrieking in the distance - as are their victims.



(To herself, tiredly)

All this because one brat decided he was special.

(To the Trawler-man)

Sorry, old boy, I’m not going to be one of your saints.


Not dying like Roemont, either.


She rolls across the stage to the trampled body of a policeman - and pulls a gun from his holster.


GREVE holds it up to her head, cocks it.

She takes one final, tired breath.



The river rises.


She pulls the trigger.


bottom of page