Sands Of Faith

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Presentation matters. People need heroes. Immortals. People they think can hold up the sky when it falls. My business is giving them those men.

The Sands of Faith

Steele.jpg
The Sands of Faith is an In-Character holovid production by Jerusalem Steele. While it may not be shown on Akko very much, it is being shown on Leaguehiem, Byzantium Secundus and other major capitol worlds - or at least, thats what Jerusalems distributors tell him.





Questing Knights:

  • JERUSALEM STEELE - an Imperial Questing Knight and Holovid actor!
  • HARLAN STRANDLESS - A rather annoyed mechanic, cohort to Jersualem.
  • TRISJE VAN GELDER - a Questing Kight with no sense of humor but a really great ass.
  • THE IQKV NIGHTBLOOM - A Starship!
  • THE IQKV STAR OF ABRAXUS - A ship. That flies. Not a starship. A flying ship. With sails.


Dramatis Personae

The Crusaders:

  • LYSANDRA JUSTINIAN - a tragic figure of a Crusader and Baroness of Claudius' Tomb!
  • HUGH THE BASTARD - A grizzled war veteran and experienced Crusader!
  • NAIMA BINT JUSTINIAN - an innocent half kurgan healer of the Amalthean Order.
  • BROTHER MILES FORTIUS - Brother Battle apprentice.

Others on the Crusade

  • 'STUMBLIN' MIKE - the Road Warden of the Badlands.
  • SUNDIATA AL MALIK - The Investigator of the Sands.
  • SOFIA OF THE HAZAT - Another random knight. Seems to like boats.
  • ZAKARIA AL-MALIK - Pirate Prince of the Antipodes!

Recurring Antagonists

  • THE DEMON BANDITS - A motorized gang in the badlands
  • THE LANDER KING - He's going to die. He just doesn't know it.
  • THE FLYING SATHRISTS - Jerusalem stole their ship.



Episode 1: Introdiction

Episode 1 - Introdiction

FADE IN: STARSHIP COCKPIT VEIWPORT 'NIGHTBLOOM'

JERUSALEM sits in the cockpit, looking out over Yathrib as it emerges from behind Shepard's moon. To the distance, a Kurgan cruiser engages with several smaller Crusader craft, the light from meson beams and lasers brilliant in the darkness.

                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)              
                  Yathrib. A world soaked in mysticism, 
                  religion, prophecy and blood. The 
                  Kurgans have come, forcing the Empire 
                  of the Phoenix back to the shining gulf. 
 
                  Only recently have reinforcements from 
                  the Empire arrived, stabilizing the 
                  realm and ready to push forward. Crusade.                     


The Kurgan ship lists in space, its side gashed open by a strafing run by an Imperial star fighter. The fighter rotates, twin golden plumes of thrust-exhaust trailing behind it as it zooms past the NightBloom. The pilot is captured in the frame for only a moment, seen tossing a jaunty salute to the camera as he passes, Imperial Phoenix Marker's on his wings glinting in the reflected light of the sun.


                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)   
                  I am Jerusalem Steele, Knight of
                  Lamorak - and I am a crusader. 
                  Follow my journey of discovery as I 
                  plumb the depths of what it means
                  to be a Crusader. A knight. A warrior
                  for the Pancreator. Explore local 
                  cultures with me, visit exotic locales 
                  and through this holovid series, come
                  to better know what Crusade is. 

FADE IN: JERUSALEM STEELE's face.


                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)   
                  Subscribe now - 5 firebirds a month  
                  gets exclusive content. Contact your 
                  local Masque Guild Office today to buy
                  Your licence. 


ABRUPT SHIFT: Radar screen and instruments

                         COMPUTER WARNING (ALERT) 
                  WARNING: TWO ENEMY SPACECRAFT ON INTERCEPT VECTOR


JERUSALEM spins the camera to look back at him.

                             JERUSALEM
                  That is all for now, space-fans!
                  It is time to go full burn, make for
                  Atmo and scream into Akko, the seat
                  of Crusade. What wonders await me?
                  Who will greet me? Who's stories will
                  I tell? Find out next week on... 
 
                         THE SANDS OF FAITH! 

Episode 2: Hard Landing

Episode 2 - Hard Landing

WHEN we last left 'THE SANDS OF FAITH', Jerusalem Steele, Knight of the Phoenix was making his run through the dangerous no-mans land of space between the Shepard's moon and Yathrib's Atmosphere. Two Kurgan spacecraft were hot on his tail.


FADE IN: ESTABLISHING SHOT - NIGHTBLOOM dodging among the wreckage of a transport carrier as it orbits Yathrib. Two enemy fighters with red heat trails zoom in behind the NIGHTBLOOM.

SCREEN WIPE

FADE IN: INTERIOR COCKPIT - NIGHTBLOOM

JERUSALEM's hands grip the control yoke, fighting for stability. The ship rolls and pitches around, lances of tracer rounds and lasers arcing past him to strike bits of debris in space. There is the blue-flash of the ship's shields activating as debris from the front impacts and rounds from the back. Alarms sound, damage reports rattling off. The ship seems to be coming apart as he runs the blockade.

                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)              
                   I KNOW! I KNOW the port thrusters are
                   gone! Shut up! Shut up! HARLAN! Can you
                   do something about that? 
       
                             HARLAN, A MECHANIC
                   I'm already on it, boss! Try and hold her
                   Steady! 
       
                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over) 
                   Try and hold her steady, she says... 


JERUSALEM punches buttons furiously, flipping switches. Things light up and alarms go silent, but the ship shudders violently. A crack appears in his viewport as the shields fail and a bit of debris slams into the ship at high speed. JERUSALEM picks up the microphone to the radio.

                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)  
                   This is the Nightbloom, in orbit over
                   Yathrib. I am coming in hot and hard, 
                   I am going to overshoot Akko Spaceport.
       
                   I am requesting an alternate landing. 
       
                             MEEKHAM TOWER   
                   Nightbloom, this is Meekham Tower. Go 
                   ahead, relate your condition. 
       
                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)  
                   Oh. You know. Fast reentry. New Kurgan
                   Friends who'd really like to talk to me, 
                   Shot to hell and back with failing engines. 
                   Also, I am ON FUCKING FIRE LIKE A BLAZING
                   COMET SCREAMING ACROSS THE SKY AT 10,000
                   MILES A GODDAMN HOUR! 
       
                             MEEKHAM TOWER  
                   Uh... Right then. We are transmitting the
                   coordinates of our landing field and our 
                   approach paths. 

                             JERUSALEM (Voice-over)  
                   Lovely. Thanks so much. 


JERUSALEM looks down over his readouts - gravity etched in his face. The glow from the reentry heat floods the view screen, fire casting him in orange and amber. Sweat beads on his face and tension is etched in handsome features. Either he's a damn fine actor, or this is a truly harrowing situation.

SCREEN WIPE: EXTERNAL TRAILING CAM FROM NIGHTBLOOM

Two angry looking kurgan fighters - damaged but doggedly pursuing the small starship into the upper atmosphere.

Will Jerusalem Steele make his date with the people of Meekham?

Will the Nightbloom hold together long enough for him to make touch down?

Will the Infidel Kurgans break off?

FIND OUT IN THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF...


                         THE SANDS OF FAITH! 

Episode 3: Guess Who's coming to Dinner?

Episode 3 - Guess Who's coming to Dinner?

FADE IN: OPEN LANDSCAPE - CLAUDIUS TOMB AERODROME - REALLY A COW PASTURE FOR MIRACLE COWS.

The thundercrack of a sonic bomb will not be heard until the flash of light comes over the hills to the west. A burning, crackling ball of fire hurtles through the air, under bare levels of power. Inside, Jerusalem and Harlan battle for control of the stricken aircraft, while the forward swept wings of two Kurgan fighters drop out of the clouds, following the smoke trail of the NightBloom.

                             JERUSALEM  
                   Frack frack frack frack! 
       
                             HARLAN 
                   Quit sweetalking and start flying! 
                   Get us underneath their radar cover
                   and head for Meekhams' guns! 
       
                             JERUSALEM (Sarcastic)  
                   That sounds like a great idea! WHY 
                   DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT? 
               
                             HARLAN
                   Because you're too busy mugging for
                   a goddamn camera? 

SCREEN WIPE

MONTAGE: The Nightbloom's shields come back on line, the nightbloom's shields get knocked off line by laser fire from the Kurgans. The Nightbloom clips a tree. Nightbloom crashes, scarring the countryside with the skidmark of a multi-hundred-tonne spacecraft in soft soil. Pom-Pom batteries in Meekham drive off the Kurgans. A cow stands on the tail-section of the Nightbloom.

FADE IN: NIGHTBLOOM CRASH SITE - NIGHT

LYSANDRA, HUGH and NAIMA sit ahorse, staring at he wreckage before them, not sure what to make of it all. Especially the cow.

                             BARONESS LYSANDRA
                   Think anyone's alive in there?
                             CASTELLAIN HUGH 
                   I hope so. This Crusade needs all the
                   men it can get. See the Imperial Markings?
                   This ship is from the Empire, not Kurgans. 
                             NAIMA - A HALFBLOOD HEALER
                   If they are injured, I will heal them with
                   the power of the Pancreator and my love of
                   all mankind! 

Lysandra and Hugh glance at each other, then back at Naima. The top hatch of the now half-buried Nightbloom flips open. A pack flies up and out of the hatch, landing in the dirt before a group of the three stunned locals on horseback. Jerusalem and Harlan climb out of the Nightbloom.

                             JERUSALEM  
                   YATHRIB! JERUSALEM STEELE HAS ARRIVED!
       
                             HARLAN (Sarcastic) 
                   Whoo.             
       
                             LYSANDRA 
                   I am Baroness Claudius Tomb, and I bid
                   you welcome to Yathrib, Man of the Emperor! 
                   Come to my crusader camp, where I will see 
                   Your wounds tended and your ship repaired. 
                              HUGH THE BASTARD 
                   Most impressive landing, Questing Knight. I 
                   Honor your bravery in coming to this war torn
                   world, Pancreator's light upon you. Let us return
                   to the camp, and we will exchange our stories. We
                   have need of men of such bravery as your own, here
                   on the edge of all civilization, reclaiming the  
                   Glory of Revelation for the Empire. 
                            
                              NAIMA 
                   Oh my stars and garters, he's handsome! 
                              HARLAN 
                   Anyone got any spacers tape for that girls mouth?


Hugh is impressively backlit, giving him the appearance of a mythical general riding out of the night. All persons travel to the town of Meekham. Emphasis is given to showing the hungry and poor of the Crusade, and how Hugh's troops (presumably) defend them from Kurgan depredations.

FADE OUT

Will Jerusalem get the Nightbloom flying again?

Will he join up with Hugh's Crusade for Revelation?

Will Harlan find her spacers tape?

TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR..

                   THE SANDS OF FAITH!

Episode 4: The Deamons of the Waste (QK ADVENTURES)

Episode 4 - The Demons of the Wastes (QK ADVENTURES)


FADE IN: HIGHTOWN SETTLEMENT - RUINED WASTELAND - BADLANDS NORTH OF AKKO

                             JERUSALEM (Voice Over)
                   The badlands is an area outside of Akko absolutely
                   unsuited to farming. Miles and miles and miles of 
                   concrete and ferocrete, abandoned starships a thousand
                   years stripped of parts and ancient malls and suburbs 
                   all ravaged by time, weather and neglect.
       
                   It is a wasteland, ruled by the strong preying on 
                   the weak, where the unsuited and unlucky die lingering
                   deaths of exposure or the lucky swift deaths of the blade.
                   Those who have the bad fortune of being neither lucky or 
                   unlucky often find themselves stolen into a life of
                   slavery. Hightown exists as a lone outpost of what 
                   passes for civilization."

JERUSALEM STEELE rides with SOFIA, SUNDIATA and TRISJE. They meet 'STUMBLIN' MIKE at Hightown settlement. 'STUMBLIN' MIKE, the Marshal of the North Road, explains the enemy thought to be kidnapping the children is a bandit gang people think are demons, who have been preying on shipments all up and down the road.

The bandits hit fast, run fast and use bullets far more freely than anyone has a right to. Suspiciously free of attacks is Renaud of Leon, though it is supposed this is because Leon has heavy troop movements up and down the road and to attack them would draw immediate reprisal.

SCREEN WIPE

FADE IN: HILLTOP IN BADLANDS APPROACHING LIKELY BANDIT CAMP.

The group proceeds north along the main road, with JERUSALEM spotting the likely bandit base a hollowed out and half-buried starship. 'STUMBLIN MIKE' remains with the horses while the group advances. All group members engage in some scouting and finds the way up. Evidence is discovered of a highly mobile, well funded force with vehicles.

COMMERCIAL BREAK CLIFFHANGER: SOFIA slips on her way up the ancient ship and starts to dumble down the steep side. Zoom in on SOFIA's butt in fanservice.

Using his grappling gear, JERUSALEM swoops in to save her with a daring mid-air catch. They all climb to the top safely.

SCREEN WIPE

FADE IN: INTERIOR OF COMMAND DECK - BANDIT PILGRIM SHIP

Once on top, they are able to see the place is abandoned. SUNDIATA, TRISJE and JERUSALEM go inside while SOFIA remains outside on guard, covering their backs. The trio enters the command deck, using flashlights to look around the darkened hulk. Many traps are observed - the ship heavily mined and booby trapped.

COMMERCIAL BREAK CLIFFHANGER: JERUSALEM points out many traps, but steps on a pressure plate. Audible click is heard, zoom in on JERUSALEM's features.

SUNDIATA and TRISJE arrange debris on the pressure plate so JERUSALEM can get free.

They find several clues in the wreckage before they leave. SUNDIATA discovers a clue - a scrap of paper with the name of a ship perhaps. TRISJE finds meal wrappers of a design only found in the pearl cities.

DENOUEMENT Cool guys don't look at explosions. JERUSALEM STEELE and companions walk away from the fortress as it explodes behind them. Wind blows - and the dusters of the companions billow dramatically but no one turns to look. Travel montage back to Akko with backslapping, camaraderie and fun.

                             JERUSALEM (Voice Over) 
                   While the children were not found, the Imperial
                   Questing Knight have a good lead to follow and 
                   they are aggressively pursuing all those who 
                   might prey upon the empires weakest.
       
                   Kids, remember that Imperial Questing Knight 
                   'Trisje Van Gelder' Holo-foil Trading Cards are 
                   available for a limited time through this 
                   special offer. Be sure to get your parents
                   permission!

FADE OUT


Episode 5: Zakaria al-Malik vs the AeroSathriths (QK ADVENTURES)

Episode 5 - Zakaria al-Malik vs the AeroSathrists! (QK ADVENTURES)

FADE IN - EN MEDIA RES
SHINING GULF - DAY - DECK OF THE GUN BARQUE 'PEERLESS TALON'

JERUSALEM stands on the prow of the Peerless Talon, looking out over the sea. He is seen narrating into his wrist-puter, with the wind blowing his hair and trademark coat.

                           JERUSALEM (Voice Over) 
                 The gun-barque 'Peerless Talon' is a day out of Rotdam,
                 a vassal of Johburg on the holy world of Yathrib. We were
                 searching for a pirate vessel - allegiance unknown - that 
                 raided a small coastal hamlet called 'Serivon', located to
                 the south of the main port. 
                 The pirates stole the village's claim to fame, a statue of
                 St. Godfrey De Moley, which had been  carved out of the bones
                 of a whale that beached itself in a time of famine, thus feeding
                 the village through the winter with its carcass. The statue is 
                 said to give the villagers good luck on the sea, and with it stolen
                 the fisherwives have been unwilling to let their husbands
                 set out.


                            A SAILOR (Voice-over)   
                 SAIL HO! 
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK
                Ayah! Let's see who we have here. 

ZAKARIA pulls glasses to his features to examine the distance.

                            JERUSALEM STEELE 
                I played a pirate in Episode 20 of 'THE TRACKER'. 
                My second home is on the sea! 
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Contemplative)
                Hmm... Lanteen rigged single masted ship running at
                full wind... Helm! Bring us about and to speed. Gunner! 
                Ready a hello for them. Nice and polite...

TRISJE puts her binoculars down, an amused look on her face as the other ship turns to make an approach on the Peerless Talon.

                            TRISJE VAN GELDER (Sarcastic) 
                Well. That's new. I've never seen a submarine wear
                a ship suit before.
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK 
                A ram? no... Something else. But what? There is only
                one sure way to know! GUNNER! FIRE AS YOU BEAR! All 
                Others, be ready, they are coming right FOR US!
                            MILES 
                AYE CAPTAIN! Weapons free!

MONTAGE: Battle preparations aboard the Peerless Talon. Soldiers rush about, JERUSALEM draws his pistol and sword, the knights form up and appear ready for battle while MILES is seen calmly firing with his rifle, murmuring prayer with every shell.

The other ship comes closer, 50 caliber machine gun fire raking the Peerless Talon.

COMMERCIAL BREAK CLIFFHANGER: JERUSALEM and several sailors are on the prow, the gunfire raking right at them!

Dropping his weapons, JERUSALEM pulls several sailors closer to him, and with calm leadership protects them inside his own shield bubble. No casualties and a cheer goes up for the Questing Knight.

                           JERUSALEM (Calm)
                Get down boys. They ain't our friends when they
                try to redecorate our internal organs for us.
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Shouting)
                Ayah! I will teach you to fight against the 
                White Hawk of the Antipodes!

DRAMATIC CUE: Enemy ship rises up and out of the water. On a hover-matrix, the ship lifts off, crossing the T of the Peerless Talon as it flies over head. JERUSALEM STEELE uses his grapple glove to latch on. MILES, TRISJE and ZAKARIA climb the rigging, using grapnel hooks to catch purchase.

                           JERUSALEM (Excited)
                FOR THE EMPEROR! 
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Shouting)
                Sailing Master, you have the con! Ayah!

The heroes lines sail up and over the edge of the sloop as it rises, and they begin to haul up. JERUSALEM is aboard first, aided by his trusty wrist-grappler, while TRISJE - light as a gymnast - is over the rails not long after him.

ZAKARIA is not quite up yet, but close, while Miles is more hanging on to his rope, even as the sloop lifts higher, clearing the tops of the Peerless Talon's masts and leaving all dangling aboard. On the deck, men are pulling swords out of their sheathes as JERUSALEM and TRISJE hit the boards.

COMMERCIAL BREAK CLIFFHANGER: One of the men rushing TRISJE takes a knife to his throat, but another is in cutlass range with her as two close on JERUSALEM -- but worse! A man with a hatchet is heading for the two grapples that still dangle!

Silently, TRISJE dispatches men with her knives while JERUSALEM holds the line with effective swordwork. The others, MILES and ZAKARIA come up onto the deck. The ship tilts, a door smacking JERUSALEM in the face and sending him tumbling back and over the side of the deck. JERUSALEM grabs the rope ZAKARIA climbed up with though, now swinging wildly from it as the ship soars through the air.

                            MILES (Sword-fighting) 
                Where did Jerusalem go? 
                           JERUSALEM (Distant)
               ... 'dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwn heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeree....'

HEROIC SLOW-MO ACTION MOMENT: ZAKARIA AL MALIK hauls JERUSALEM back aboard while taking fire from the enemy. Wood splinter all around and bullets flash off his shield, but he gets his man back aboard. TRISJE dances forward like some kind of crazy martial arts ninja, throwing a knife that hits the machine gunner square between the eyes - the Machine Gunner falls over dead!

As TRISJE silences the rattle of the machine gun, the men on the deck are starting to climb back up to their feet - but there is a moment. Now, it seems, is the moment.

                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Shouting)
               DAME TRISJE! Cover me!
                           JERUSALEM (Determined)
               GO MY FRIENDS! I will hold them off!

ZAKARIA charges the fo-casle, with MILES and TRISJE flanking him. MILES' gun barks shots left and right, while TRISJE's blades slice deeply.

HEROIC SLOW-MO ACTION MOMENT: On the main deck, JERUSALEM charges the dozen or so pirates still standing. In the middle of the storm he plants his feet, looking each of the pirates in the eyes - and then he moves. It could not be choreographed better, the way he moves, diverting the blows into other pirates and using the pirates themselves as shields. Gunsmoke and furling black coat, JERUSALEM STEELE stands firm, shouting the Emperor's Name.

MILES and ZAKARIA attack the Captain of the flying ship, who seems to have set the auto-destruct then tried to parachute off the ship. MILES captures him, pinning him to the floor as JERUSALEM slide into the cockpit. Inside, he finds the AUTO DESTRUCT has been set.

                           JERUSALEM (Determined)
               HEY CAPTAIN! This things glowing all red and shouting 
               it's going to blow up! You want I should turn this off?
               I mean, I think it's a good idea to turn it off. What
               do you guys think?
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Shouting)
               What's red? Ayah! Blowing up is bad. Crashing from 
               however far up we are would be bad, too. We need to try
               and get down in condition to stay afloat. Make it clear 
               to our Sathrist friend there that he'll be seeing the 
               void personally and very soon if he doesn't tell us how
               to land this heap. Who would do this to a perfectly good
               ship. Bah!
                            TRISJE (Amused) 
               What is it with you and Bombs? I've been on two missions
               with you and so far you've managed a bomb in both!
                            JERUSALEM 
               Explosive good looks, baby!

The count down timer continues to tick. JERUSALEM, with cool aplomb and elegant timing, punches the command console, which pops up a secret panel. Turning off the self destruct, he then starts to wrestle with the ship to keep it airborne. The Relic is recovered by ZAKARIA while MILES holds the Sathrist prisoner. TRISJE saves Zakaria's life when a hidden crewmember leaps out to attack him.

                            ZAKARIA
               AYAH! Can you fly this thing, Knight of the Empire? 
                            JERUSALEM 
               I don't know! I've never flown something with
               sails before. But don't worry! I GOT THIS! 

COMMERCIAL BREAK CLIFFHANGER: The flying ship lists, the tell-tail sound of a crashing aircraft picking up speed heard as it plunges from the sky!

JERUSALEM works furiously, punching buttons and trying to regain control. He directs ZAKARIA to trim the actual sails of the ship, using them like a parachute, guiding the ship into a controlled crash, hitting the water with a shudder that sends up a powerful gout of water. Alarms in the cockpit blare: WATERLOGGED.

                            JERUSALEM 
               Never... EVER.. Do that again... Guys, the ships
               taking on water! We need to bail! 
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Shouting)
               I'm going below to get the pumps working! 
                            ZAKARIA AL MALIK (Voice Over)
               On the Guardian's birthday we put to sea
               Pancreator damn them all! 
               It was 91 days to Rotdam bay
               pumpin' like madmen all the way...
               I was told we'd cruise the seas
               for Kurgan gold we'd fire no guns - shed no tears!
               Now I'm a broken man on an Akko pier
               the last of Zakaria's privateers...

MONTAGE: Sailing back to Serivon. Tearful villagers, kneeling serfs praising Zakariah, Trisje and Jerusalem. Large celebration in honor of the heroes, folk dancing, JERUSALEM with a girl on each knee.


                            JERUSALEM (Voice Over) 
               Relics returned, fishermen back to sea and a 
               mysterious vessel captured... a new prisoner
               to question. All in the line of duty for the
               IMPERIAL QUESTING KNIGHTS! 
               Kids, remember that Imperial Questing Knight 
               'Jerusalem Steele' Holo-foil Trading Cards are 
               available for a limited time through this 
               special offer. Be sure to get your parents
               permission!

Episode 6 - BAD STORM RISING