01x03 - The Mark of Nimueh

Episode 1.03 – THE MARK OF NIMUEH

“In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name…Merlin.”

CAVE - DAY

Nimueh (spell): Berbay odothay arisan yeldo (“Command thee arise ancient”).

Nimueh places a magic egg into water. It travels through underground waterways to a manmade cavern. She watches Camelot from her water basin.

Nimueh (spell): Bebiede þe arisan ealdu (“I command you, ancient one, to come forth”).

LOWER TOWN - DAY

Gaius and Merlin look over a corpse in the street.

Merlin: Aren't you scared?

Gaius: Of what?

Merlin: That you might catch whatever it is.

Gaius: I'm the court physician, Merlin. This is part of my job. Most of the time there's nothing really to be scared of.

Gaius turns over corps to reveal white skinned, white eyed face.

Merlin: You were saying?

Gaius: People mustn't see this. They'll panic.

GWEN'S HOUSE - DAY

Gwen and her father get ready at home.

Gwen: Dad, here's your sandwich.

Tom: Ooh. Mmm, what's in it?

Gwen: It's smoked pigeon. But I'd say there's more smoke than pigeon.

Tom (laughs): You're such a good girl to me.

Gwen: And I've done you some watercress soup tonight.

Tom: Don't tell me, with more water in it than cress?

Gwen laughs and they hug.

Gwen: I'll see you later.

Tom: ‘Kay. Bye.

KING’S PALACE, DRAWBRIDGE - DAY

Merlin and Gaius wheel the body over the castle drawbridge. Gwen approaches carrying the flowers she had at home.

Gwen: What are you doing?

Merlin: Er...just moving something.

Gwen: Looks heavy.

Merlin: Er, it's nothing really. Er...someone got you flowers?

Gwen: Oh! No (giggle) Would you like one? A purple one. Purple suits you. Not that I'm saying red doesn't suit you.

Merlin: Thanks. Well, er...

Merlin sticks the flower in his scarf.

Gwen: Aww.

Merlin: Er...see you.

Gwen: Bye.

KING’S PALACE, MORGANA'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Gwen enters with flowers.

Morgana: You look happy.

Gwen: I picked these for you.

Morgana: Oh, that's so sweet.

Gwen: Something to cheer you up. I know you're not sleeping well.

Morgana: You cheer me up.

Gwen: Would you like me to put them in water for you?

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Merlin and Gaius looking at body with magnifying glass.

Gaius: I've never seen anything like this before.

Merlin: Do you think it could be some kind of plague?

Gaius: No. I fear that something like this could never come from nature. But who has this kind of power?

Merlin: You think it's caused by magic?

Arthur: Merlin!

Merlin opens door before Arthur can come in and see the body.

Merlin: Erm...I'm on my way. Sorry I'm late.

Arthur: Don't worry. I'm getting used to it.

Arthur furrows his eyebrows when he sees the flower in Merlin's scarf. Merlin looks down at it.

Merlin: Oh, er...Gwen, she gave it to me.

Arthur: Tell Gaius my father wants to see him now.

Merlin: Okay.

Merlin closes the door.

Merlin: Gaius...

Gaius: I heard.

Merlin: Wait, why couldn't he just tell you himself?

Gaius: 'Cause that's the way it is. You're a servant.

Merlin: Wha...if he knew who I was, what I've done...

Gaius: You'd be a dead servant. Right, get this covered up.

Merlin: Hey, I'm not your servant.

Gaius: No, you're my dogsbody. Come on, hurry up.

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Gaius examines a magically dead servant on the floor.

Uther: What's happened to him?

Gaius: I don't know, Sire. It's the second case I've seen today.

Uther: Why didn't you report it to me?

Gaius: I was attempting to find the cause.

Uther: What did you conclude?

Gaius: I don't think it's time to hurry to conclusions. A scientific process is a long one.

Uther: What are you concealing from me?

Gaius: Sire, I have seen nothing like it. The victims are dying in 24 hours, and it's spreading fast.

Uther: What is the cause?

Gaius: I think you should say that the cause, the most likely cause, is sorcery.

Uther pulls Arthur aside.

Uther: We must find who did this.

Arthur: I will, father.

Uther (scared whisper): Conduct door to door searches. Increase your presence in the town. Double the guards on all the gates. And lend the physician your servant.

Arthur: Merlin? But...

Uther: I'm going to need Gaius to find a cure. He needs all the help we can give him. If Gaius is right, believe me, this city will be wiped out. This is the kind of magic that undermines our authority, challenges all we've done. If we cannot control this plague, people will turn to magic for a cure. We have to find this sorcerer, and quickly.

Arthur: Yes, father.

TOWN - DAY

Arthur and guards search the city. Merlin and Gaius walk through town. Merlin sees a sick person

Merlin: Gaius? Gaius. He's still alive.

Gaius: I'm afraid there's nothing we can do for him.

Merlin: But we haven't tried.

Gaius: If we don't know what a disease is, then how can we cure him?

Merlin: With magic.

Gaius: Have a look. They're suspicious of everyone.

Merlin: This is not the time to be using magic. Science will lead us to the source of the disease.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS

Gaius heats a vial of liquid.

Merlin: What are you doing?

Gaius: I'm examining the contents of that man's stomach.

Merlin: Will that tell you who did it?

Gaius: No, but it might tell us how it's spread. One thing I do know, this is magic of the darkest kind.

Merlin: Why would someone use magic like that?

Gaius: Magic corrupts. People use it for their own ends.

Merlin: But not all magic is bad. I know it isn't.

Gaius: It's neither good nor bad. It's how you use it.

Arthur and guards burst in

Arthur (to guards): Over there (to Gaius) Sorry Gaius, we're searching every room in town.

Gaius: What for?

Arthur: A sorcerer.

Gaius: But why would he be here?

Arthur: I'm just doing my job.

Gaius: We've nothing to hide. Go on, then. Search.

Arthur: All these books and papers?

Gaius: My life's work, dedicated to the understanding of science. You are quite welcome to read through them if you wish.

Arthur: What's this room up here?

Merlin: Er…it's mine.

Gaius: And what do you expect to find in there?

Arthur: I'm looking for material or evidence suggesting the use of enchantments.

Gaius: What've you done with the magic book I gave you?

Merlin looks worried. Arthur enters his room.

Arthur: Merlin, come here. Look what I found.

Merlin runs into his messy room expecting Arthur to be talking about the magic book

Arthur: I found a place where you can put things. It's called a cupboard.

Merlin spots book on the floor and magically covers it with his bed sheet. Arthur looks under the bed, but misses the book and exits Merlin's room.

Arthur: How long do you think it may be before you find a cure?

Gaius: It depends on how many interruptions I get.

Arthur: Of course, I'm sorry (to guards) We're finished here.

They exit. Gaius closes the door.

Gaius: We have to hide that book.

Merlin: No. We must use it.

Gaius: Don't be stupid.

Merlin: If I have this legacy then what is it for? You keep telling me it's not for playing tricks.

Gaius: You want to practice magic when the King is hunting for sorcerers? Are you mad? Merlin, your life is destined for more important things.

Merlin: But if I don't practice, then how will I get to be this great warlock?!

Gaius: There will come a time when your skills will be recognised.

Merlin: When?! How long do I have to wait?

Gaius: Patience is a virtue, Merlin.

Merlin: Sitting by and doing nothing, that's a virtue?

Gaius: Your time will come.

Merlin: I could cure that man we saw.

Gaius: I know it's tempting to use the way you find easiest, Merlin...

Merlin: It is when it would save a life.

Gaius: It's no good just saving one person. We have to discover how this illness is spreading.

Merlin: Arthur is out there right now looking for the sorcerer!

Gaius: A sorcerer who's powerful enough to do this will never be found searching the town.

Merlin (sigh): So what can we do?

Gaius: Hope that science can find the answer before it kills us all.

CAVE - DAY

Nimueh watches the beast she has sent in her stone basin. A woman draws water from the spout in the Lower Town. covered bodies are lined up in the courtyard.

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Arthur enters. Uther is here.

Arthur: We searched everywhere, the entire city.

Uther: Nothing?

Arthur: I don't know where else to look.

Uther: I want you to impose a curfew. No one is to be allowed onto the streets after the great bell.

Arthur: Father?

Uther: And cordon off the lower town

Arthur: Why?

Uther: Because that's where most of the victims are. Let's isolate it, stop this disease from spreading.

Arthur: What about the people who live there?

Uther: Don't you think I haven't considered it? What else can I do? I have to protect the rest of the city.

Arthur bows and exits.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS

Gaius and Merlin examine another corpse.

Gaius: What's different about this victim?

Merlin: Er...she's a woman.

Gaius: Sometimes I do wonder whether you're a magical talents were given to the right person. Anything else?

Merlin: Erm...she's a courtier.

Gaius: Ah.

Merlin: How does that help us?

Gaius: Courtiers seldom go down to the lower town. So what does that mean?

Merlin: Erm....that, that she hasn't spoken to any townspeople.

Gaius (looks pained): Yes, it suggests that the disease is not spread by contact.

Merlin: Oh, and they probably ate different food.

Gaius: Good. Anything else?

Merlin: Erm...I doubt they breathe the same air.

Gaius: So what's the only thing they do share?

Merlin: Water. Water? You think the disease is spread through water?

Gaius: Merlin, you're a prodigy.

Gaius hands Merlin a bucket. Merlin walks to Lower Town well.

GWEN'S HOUSE - DAY

Gwen ties her cloak.

Gwen: It's time to get up, Dad…Dad?

She turns him over.

Tom: Gwen.

Tom is magically sick. Gwen panics and runs to the castle crying, passing Merlin at the well.

Merlin: Gwen? Gwen!

Merlin grabs the bucket of water and runs after her.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Gwen enters.

Gaius: Gwen!

Gwen: Gaius.

Gaius: You have the sickness?

Gwen (shakes her head): My father! Please, Gaius, he's all I have.

Gaius: Gwen, I have no cure.

Gwen: I am begging you!

Gaius: I wish there was something, anything, but so far the remedy is beyond what I can achieve (takes her hand) I'm sorry, Gwen.

She runs out of the room.

Merlin: There must be something we can do.

Gaius: My best. Let's hope that this can provide some answers.

Merlin: But that'll be too late for Gwen's father.

Gaius: I fear you may be right.

Gaius puts some of the water in a jar, and places a flower in it. Merlin goes to his room.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - NIGHT

Merlin checks on snoring Gaius, pulls out his magic book, and sneaks past the guards.

Guard 1: What about over...in there?

Guard 2: Certainly, Sir.

Guards poke spears into haystacks. A guard approaches Merlin's hiding spot.

Merlin (spell): Onstyrian, onbregdan.

The door across the street creaks open. A guard nears and the door hits him in the face. Merlin goes to Gwen's house. Gwen and Tom are sleeping. Merlin puts a poultice under Tom's pillow and performs a spell “þu fornimst adl fram guman”

He exits and watches them outside the door. Tom wakes and touches Gwen's head, which is resting on his bedside.

Gwen: Father?

Tom: Gwen.

Gwen (realizes Tom is well): What's happened? I can't believe it!

She hugs her father.

CAVE

More covered bodies are laid out in the Square. Nimueh continues watching in her stone basin

KING'S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Arthur reaches for the glass vial containing the tainted water with a flower in it.

Gaius: Don't touch it! I had this in the water for no more than a few hours.

Uther: Where's the water from?

Gaius: The pump from where the people take their daily supply.

Arthur: We have to stop the people from using it.

Gaius: The city cannot survive without water.

Uther: We have to find this sorcerer!

Arthur: I don't believe that they're inside Camelot.

Uther: Then extend the search to the villages!

Arthur: We've started, but I can't search the entire kingdom.

Uther: And I can't stand by and watch our people dying.

Arthur nods and exits

KING’S PALACE, MORGANA'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Merlin enters. Gwen hums as she gathers Morgana's clothes.

Merlin: How's your father? Is he feeling better?

Gwen: Yeah, it's incredible. It's a miracle.

Merlin: His skin's clear, back to normal?

Gwen: Yes

Merlin: Great.

He beams and turns to leave.

Gwen: You don't seem surprised.

Merlin: No, no, I am. It's a miracle.

Gwen: But how did you know he was well?

Merlin: Er...because you're smiling.

Gwen: That's really weird because I haven't told anyone, but you know. How could you know?

Merlin: Yeah. Alright. You finally found out, I'll tell you (swallows) I'm psychic.

Gwen (giggle): No you're not.

Merlin: It's true.

Gwen: Alright, what am I thinking?

Merlin: That I'm not psychic.

Gwen (giggle): You're strange. I, I don't mean that in a nasty way. You're just funny. I like that.

Merlin: Erm, er, I 'm pleased for you.

Gwen: Thank you.

Merlin: What for?

Gwen: Don't know…just for asking.

Merlin: I didn't like to see you upset. I have to...get on.

Merlin waves awkwardly. Gwen waves back. Merlin leaves. Gwen smiles.

BLACKSMITH’S - DAY

Tom works at his forge. Townspeople watch him. Arthur approaches with guards.

Arthur: The story is you were sick.

Tom: Not anymore.

Arthur: Perhaps you were suffering from some other ailment?

Tom: Oh, you're joking. I felt like death itself, not enough strength in me to stir the air.

Arthur: Then...what happened?

Tom: Oh, I don't know. Suddenly it was gone. I'm fitter than I was before.

Arthur: That's remarkable. Was anybody with you when all this happened?

Tom: Just my daughter, Gwen.

Arthur leaves and Tom goes back to work. Arthur and guards search Gwen and Tom's house. Guard finds glowing poultice.

KING’S PALACE, MORGANA'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Gwen hums as she carries away a vase full of dead flowers. Arthur and guards enter.

Arthur: Seize her!

Gwen: No!

Arthur: Guinevere, I'm arresting you for crimes and contraventions of the laws of Camelot, that you did practice enchantments.

Morgana enters.

Morgana: Gwen?

Gwen: But what have I done? I haven't done anything! Help me, please!

Morgana (to Arthur): What are you doing?

Arthur: I found a magic poultice in her house.

Morgana: Oh, that's ridiculous.

Arthur: Then how else do you explain her father's recovery?

Morgana: Well, she's innocent! I know she's innocent.

Arthur: What can I do? I can't turn a blind eye!

Arthur exits and Morgana scoffs.

KING’S PALACE, UPPER CORRIDOR - DAY

Arthur and guards drag Gwen down the corridor.

Gwen: No, please. You've got to listen to me! Please, I haven't done anything wrong! You have to listen to me, please! I am innocent, I swear! Let me go! I swear to you!

Gwen turns her head and sees Merlin approaching her.

Gwen: Merlin! Merlin, please help me! (to guards) Why won't you listen to me?!

Gaius takes Merlin's arm and escorts him out.

Gwen: Please listen to me!

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Merlin and Gaius enter and Gaius slams the door.

Gaius: What've you done?!

Merlin: What?

Gaius: I warned you! Oh, I understand. You thought you were doing good.

Merlin: I couldn't let her father die knowing I could cure him.

Gaius: Didn't you think it might look a bit suspicious, the curing of one man?

Merlin: Well then, all I have to do is...I'll cure everyone! No one will ever have to know it was magic.

Gaius: It's too late! They think Gwen's a sorceress! They think she caused the disease!

Merlin: But she didn't! (rushes to leave).

Gaius: Oh, and how are you going to prove that?!

Merlin stops to think, then leaves.

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Gwen is brought before Uther on the charge of witchcraft

Gwen: Please listen to me I have done nothing, please! I swear I haven't done anything!

Guards drop her on the floor.

Uther (to Arthur): Well done.

Gwen: Why will no one believe me?! He got better, he just recovered. I didn't do anything!

Morgana enters.

Morgana: I believe you. Perhaps this is a disease that is not always fatal. Have you thought of that? Perhaps he recovered naturally.

Uther: And what of this poultice that was found?

Gwen: What poultice? I don't know anything about a poultice!

Uther: It was found in your house. Undo this enchantment. Put an end to this contagion.

Gwen: I can't!

Uther: I will show you no mercy.

Gwen: I am not a witch. I don't know how to stop the illness!

Uther: If you will not undo your sorcery, you force my hand and I must find you guilty...

Gwen: But I told you, I...

Uther: It is therefore my duty to pronounce judgment. And under the circumstance I have no choice but to sentence you to death.

Gwen: No!

Uther: I can only hope that when you die, this evil plague dies with you.

Gwen: No! No!

Uther: Take her away.

Guards drag Gwen backwards out of the room.

Gwen: Please, no! I'm innocent! Please, please, no! Please help me! Please, I beg you! No!

The courtiers leave. Morgana watches Gwen get dragged off, then turns to Uther.

Morgana: I know Gwen. She's my maidservant, not an enchantress.

Uther: Have you ever seen an enchantress? Believe me, they bear no sign, no mark. There is no sense of evil in the eye.

Morgana: I've seen the way the girl works. Her fingers are worn, her nails are broken. If she was a sorceress, why would she do this? Why would she kneel on a cold stone floor morning after morning when she could make these things happen with a snap of her fingers? Like an idle king!

Uther: You have no right!

Morgana: You have a right to cast a judgment on that girl!

Uther: I have a responsibility to take care of this kingdom! I take no pleasure in this!

Morgana: But you're sentencing the wrong person!

Arthur: She's right, Father. You hear the word magic, you no longer listen.

Uther: You saw it for yourself. She used enchantments.

Arthur: Yes, maybe. But to save her dying father, that doesn't make her guilty of creating a plague. One's the act of, of kindness, of love, the other of evil. I don't believe evil's in this girl's heart.

Uther: I have witnessed what witchcraft can do. I have suffered at its hand. I cannot take that chance. If there is the slightest doubt about this girl, she must die or the whole kingdom may perish.

Arthur: I understand that.

Uther: One day you may become King. Then you will understand. Such decisions must be made. There are dark forces that threaten this kingdom.

Arthur: I know. witchcraft is an evil, father. So is injustice. Yes, I am yet to be King, and I don't know what kind of king I will be, but I do have a sense of the kind of Camelot I would wish to live in. It would be where the punishment fits the crime.

Uther: I fear you're right. She's played with fire, and sadly she must die by fire.

Morgana leaves. Arthur paces the Council Chamber.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS

Merlin: I thought I was doing good and that curing Gwen's father would help her. I thought I was saving a life. It seemed so simple.

Gaius: An easy solution is like a light in a storm, Merlin. Rush for it at your peril, for it may not always lead you to a safe harbour.

Merlin: I can see that now.

Gaius: How many times have I warned you about the responsibilities of being a warlock?

Merlin: I must see her.

KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS

Merlin goes down stairs to the dungeon, passes a weeping Morgana on wrought iron stairway.

Merlin: Gwen.

Gwen tries to get to the cell door, but her chains don't stretch that far. She's been crying.

Gwen: Thank you.

Merlin: What for?

Gwen: For coming to see me.

Merlin: I'm sorry.

Gwen: It's not your fault.

Merlin: Well...

Gwen: It's alright. Don't worry about me. There's no point crying about it. I mean...I mean, I'm not saying that you were going to cry about me. Obviously I don't think that.

Merlin: Oh, Gwen. I can't have this happen.

Gwen: Please. One thing. You…you don't have to, but...

Merlin: What?

Gwen: Remember me.

Merlin: You're not going to die. I'm not going to let this happen.

Merlin leaves, rushing up the wrought iron stairway.

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER

Uther is consulting his advisors.

Uther: What if burning this witch doesn't stop the poison? How do I protect my people? My men have closed down the water pumps.

Gaius: But the emergency supply won't last for much longer. We have to find a way of cleansing the water of the disease.

Uther: But how?

Gaius: Well...

The doors open and Merlin bursts in.

Merlin: It was me! It was me who used magic to cure Gwen's father!

The council stares at him.

Merlin: Gwen is not the sorcerer. I am!

Gaius stands up.

Gaius: Merlin! Are you mad?

Merlin: I cannot let her die for me (to Uther) I place myself at your mercy.

Gaius: He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Merlin: I do.

Uther: Then arrest him.

Arthur: Father, please! I can't allow this! This is madness! There's no way Merlin is a sorcerer.

Uther: Did you not hear him?

Arthur: Yes.

Uther: He admitted it.

Arthur: He saved my life, remember.

Uther: Why should he fabricate such a story?

Arthur: As Gaius said, he's got a...grave mental disease.

Uther: Really?

Arthur: He's in love.

Merlin: What?

Arthur: With Gwen.

Uther grins.

Merlin: I am not.

Arthur: Yes, you are.

Merlin: No way.

Arthur: I saw yesterday with that flower she'd given you.

Merlin: I'm not in love with her.

Arthur puts his arm around Merlin.

Arthur: It's all right. You can admit it.

Merlin: I don't even think of her like that!

Uther: Perhaps she cast a spell on you.

Arthur looks at his father worriedly. Uther snickers. Other council members snicker, and Arthur smiles in relief.

Arthur: Merlin is a wonder, but the wonder is that he's such an idiot. There's no way he's a sorcerer.

Uther: Don't waste my time again. Let him go.


KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS

Merlin: Arthur's the idiot!

Gaius: No. He was right to do what he did. And, thankfully, he saved you from your own stupidity.

Merlin: What else could I do? It's my fault Gwen's going to die.

Gaius: Yes, but you don't prove her innocence by offering to jump into the flames. You do it by finding out what's causing the disease!

Merlin: Well, whatever it is, one thing's for sure: Arthur isn't going to find it. He thinks he is so sharp! But even when I told him I was a wizard, he still couldn't see it.

Gaius: Sometimes they're pretty hard to spot.

Merlin: Well, maybe I should go around wearing a pointy hat.

Gaius: I don't think you'll find one big enough. Anyway, forget that. If we're going to save Gwen, we have to find out what's contaminating the water.

TUNNEL WATER SUPPLY

Gaius and Merlin go to the underground entrance to the water supply. Nimueh's watching in her stone basin

Gaius: The water from here supplies the whole town. Take a sample.

Merlin puts bottle in the water.

Gaius: Let's take it back and examine it.

The beast rears up out of the water.

Merlin: What the hell was that?

Gaius takes Merlin's arm and they leave.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS

Gaius and Merlin look at a book

Gaius: Here. It was an Afanc.

Merlin: An...a what?

Gaius: A beast born of clay, and conjured up only by the most powerful sorcerer. Now we have to find a way to defeat it. But where?

Gaius looks at shelves of books.

Merlin: That could take days. Gwen'll be dead by then.

Gaius: Have you got a better idea?

Merlin sees pyre being built in the square on his way to the dungeons. He sees Gwen lying on the cell floor.

Merlin: Gwen? I'm going to get you out. I will.

Merlin leaves.

KING’S PALACE, DRAGON'S CAVE

Merlin: Hello?

Kilgharrah: Hello.

The Great Dragon flies down.

Kilgharrah: The great warlock returns, as I knew he would.

Merlin: I need to know how to defeat an Afanc.

Kilgharrah: Yes, I suppose you do.

Merlin: Will you help me?

Kilgharrah: Trust the elements that are at your command.

Merlin: Elements? But what is it I have to do?

Kilgharrah: You cannot do this alone. You are but one side of a coin. Arthur is the other.

Merlin: I…I don't understand. Just tell me what it is I have to do.

Kilgharrah flies off.

Merlin: No! Please, help me!

Kilgharrah: I have.

Kilgharrah laughs.

Merlin: Oh, yeah, right. Thanks.

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Arthur enters.

Uther: Have you found anything more?

Arthur: I've tried. I can keep looking.

Uther: People are dying, we can't delay any longer. We must kill the witch. Bring her execution forward to tonight.

Arthur bows his head and exits.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Merlin frantically searches through books. Gaius enters.

Gaius: Merlin, what are you doing?

Merlin: Looking for a book.

Gaius: You going to tell me which one?

Merlin: A book on elements.

Gaius: Elements?

Merlin: Yes. Which one would I find them in?

Gaius: Well, most of them. The study of base elements is at the very heart of the scientific process.

Merlin: But how would they help me kill the Afanc?

Gaius: Well, the Afanc is a creature made from earth and water. That's two of the four base elements.

Merlin: What about the other two?

Gaius: Well, perhaps they will destroy it. You want fire. Wind and fire. How did you find this out?

Merlin: Erm...I just knew, you know? One of my powers.

Gaius: What else do your powers tell you?

Merlin: That I am only one side of a coin. The brighter side, obviously.

Gaius: And who's the other side?

Merlin: I think that might be Arthur.

Morgana: They're bringing forward the execution. We have to prove Gwen's innocence.

Gaius: We're trying.

Morgana: Please, just tell me what I can do to help.

Merlin: We need Arthur.

Morgana: Arthur?

Merlin: There's a monster, an Afanc, in the water supply. That's what's causing the plague.

Morgana: Well, we must tell Uther.

Gaius: The Afanc's a creature forged by magic. Telling Uther wouldn't save Gwen. He'd just blame her for conjuring it.

Morgana: So, what are we to do?

Merlin: We need to destroy it. Then the plague will stop and Uther may see sense.

Morgana: And that's why you need Arthur.

Merlin: He's our best chance. But he won't want to disobey the King.

Morgana: Leave that to me.

Morgana exits. Gaius gives Merlin the keys to the water supply tunnels.

KING’S PALACE, ARTHUR'S CHAMBERS - DAY

Arthur enters. Morgana is waiting for him.

Arthur: You alright? Sorry about all this (points at the mess on the table). Merlin's not been in today.

Morgana: Poor Merlin.

Arthur: Yeah.

Morgana: He offered to give up his life to save Gwen's. I certainly can't imagine any man loving me so much.

Arthur: No, I certainly can't imagine that either.

Morgana (smirks): That's because you're not like Merlin. He's a lover.

Arthur: Yeah, maybe that's because I haven't found the right person to love.

Morgana: Sadly the age of gallantry seems to be dead. You look around and all you see are small men, not big enough to fill their armour. There's not one of them that's able to stand up for what is right.

Arthur smirks at Morgana's obvious manipulative insult.

Arthur: What do you want me to do?

KING’S PALACE, MAIN SQUARE/WATER TUNNEL - DAY

Morgana and Arthur walk into the Square where Merlin meets them. Arthur draws his sword. They open tunnel door and Arthur lights a torch before they descend.

Arthur: You'd better be right about this, Merlin.

They hear low growl. Morgana gasps.

Arthur: You should stay here.

Morgana: I'm coming with you.

Arthur: No!

Morgana: Scared I'll show you up?

Arthur: Father will slam us both in chains if he knew I'd endangered you.

Morgana: Well good thing he doesn't know about it then.

Arthur: I'm telling you, Morgana, turn back. You could get hurt.

Morgana: You could you...if you don't get out of my way.

Merlin's amused. Arthur rolls his eyes.

Morgana How are we going to find it?

Merlin: I just hope we do before it finds us.

Arthur spins around.

Arthur: Stop.

Merlin: What?

Arthur: It's just a shadow.

They keep moving. the Afanc creeps out of shadows behind them. they reach the water source.

Arthur: Spread out.

They split up. Arthur hears growl and Afanc swipes at him from behind, then disappears. Morgana rushes to him.

Morgana: What is it? Are you alright?

Arthur: Yeah.

Merlin: Did you see it?

Arthur: Yes.

Merlin: What did it look like?

Arthur: It…it's quick.

The Afanc come up in front of Morgana. She screams. Arthur goes for it, but it disappears again.

Arthur: Where is it?

Merlin: I think it's gone this way!

They walk. the Afanc creeps slowly out around corner into full view. Arthur swings at it and loses his sword. it also swipes away Morgana's torch. Arthur circles it with torch.

Merlin: Arthur, use the torch!

Arthur swings the torch.

Merlin (spell): Lyfte ic þe in balwen ac forhienan.

Merlin's spell blows flames into the Afanc, incinerating it.

CAVE

Nimueh watches in her stone basin.

Nimueh (splashes the water in anger): Merlin. Mah!

KING’S PALACE, COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Uther laughs over some parchment with his advisors.

Uther: It's very good.

Gaius: Good news, Sire. There are no new deaths, and those that are sick are recovering.

Uther: Good. Strange, I've never heard of an Afanc before.

Gaius: It's conjured from clay by powerful magic. The type that can only be invoked by an ancient sorcerer. One that has the power to mirror the spirit of life. I found this at the water source (showing a piece of the Afanc's egg) It bears the mark of Nimueh. We must be vigilant, Sire.

Uther: Will I never be rid of her?

Gaius: Sire.

Uther: Leave me!

Everyone exits. Uther sits on the throne and mopes.

KING’S PALACE, DUNGEONS - DAY

Guards open Gwen's cell. Gwen's father, Merlin, and Morgana enters.

Gwen: Dad!

Tom (hugs her): Oh, my little child!

Gwen reaches to grasp Morgana's hand.

Gwen: Thank you!

Morgana: Don't thank me. It was more Merlin.

Gwen: Really?

Morgana: He's the real hero here.

Gwen: I don't know what to say.

Merlin (shrugs): I didn't do anything.

Tom: I'm…I'm grateful to you all. Come on, Gwen.

Tom and Gwen leave.

Morgana: Merlin. I wanted you to know, your secret's safe with me.

Merlin: My secret?

Morgana: Merlin, don't pretend. I know what you did.

Merlin: You do?

Morgana: I saw it with my own eyes.

Merlin: You did?

Morgana: I understand why you don't anyone to know.

Merlin: Well, obviously.

Morgana: But I won't tell anyone. You don't mind me talking to you about it?

Merlin: Er...no. I…I, it's, er...you have no idea how hard it is to keep this hidden.

Morgana: Well, you can continue to deny it, but I think Gwen's a very lucky woman.

Merlin: Gwen?

Morgana puts her finger to her lips.

Morgana: It's our secret.

Morgana smiles as she leaves. Merlin sighs.

KING’S PALACE, PHYSICIAN'S CHAMBERS - NIGHT

Merlin and Gaius eat dinner.

Merlin: This fish didn't come from the water, did it?

Gaius: Well, where else is it going to come from? The water's fine now. That's not your worry. This is the work of a very powerful sorcerer. I only hope you didn't come to her attention.

Merlin: Doubt it. Well no one else seems to appreciate my skills. I just want someone to see me for who I am.

Gaius: One day, Merlin. One day.

Merlin: One day what?

Gaius: One day people won't believe what an idiot you were.

Merlin: Thanks.

They toast. Nimueh watches them from her stone basin.

Nimueh: Merlin, you will pay for this!