EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY
The end of Winter. SNOW blankets the landscape. A SMALL
STREAM rushes through the VALLEY. A clear, blue sky hangs over
the DISTANT MOUNTAINS adding to the beauty of the setting.
SCOTTISH LOWLANDS - 1665
The CAMERA begins to PAN. The color of the SNOW begins to
change, darkening from PURE WHITE to ASH GRAY, eventually to
COAL BLACK. We continue to pan until we arrive at..
EXT. VILLAGE - DAY
Plague. Once a charming settlement it is now ravaged by
disease. Everywhere BONFIRES burn, sending plumes of BLACK
SMOKE rising into the sky -- the ash and soot drift back down,
blackening the earth. VILLAGERS scurry about in tattered
clothing, their faces soiled by soot as they throw objects of
WOOD and CLOTH into the fires.
THREE HORSEMEN ride into the village. Two of them we can see
clearly as large, powerful men with savage faces. The THIRD
MAN'S man's face is hidden from us in the shadows of a black
HOODED CAPE. He dismounts, motioning for the other two to wait
The Hooded Man walks though the village. The SOUND of
HAMMERING fills the air as several VILLAGERS finish building a
EXT. CHURCH - DAY
Built of stone it is already centuries old. A VILLAGER stands
guard at the entrance. The Hooded Man approaches and WHISPERS
something in the Villagers ear, then holds up a GOLD PIECE.
INT. CHURCH - DAY
Dark and musty, lit only by shafts of LIGHT which flow in
through the windows. The Hooded Man follows the Villager
across the stone floor until he reaches a WOODEN DOOR at the
INT. STONE ROOM - DAY
No windows. The Hooded Man enters. In the center of the room
a CIRCLE has been drawn. Bordering the circle are hundreds of
CANDLES, forming a ring of fire. A MAN stands in the center,
his head bowed -- his weight supported by thick ROPES around
his wrists that are fastened to a wooden beam which runs the
length of the room.
HOODED MAN'S VOICE
VIEIRA looks up. He is old, his hair thin and gray, but his
eyes are alive, defiant. The Hooded Man moves closer. Vieira
follows him with his eyes, trying to see the Hooded Man's face.
Vieira strains against his ropes. The Hooded Man does not
How comes it your are not afraid?
Would'st you harm one who comes to
Vieira's silence indicates he is listening.
I've come to strike a bargain with
you. I wish to learn the power of
And what would'st I gain from this
The Hooded Man slowly pulls back his hood. We see his face for
the first time. It is hard, brutal, his eyes cold and dark.
He grins -- a wicked grin.
I have a magic of my own.
The Hooded Man removes a KNIFE from under his coat. He holds
it before Vieira, then he quickly stabs it into his chest. His
face fills with pain -- blood flows from the wound -- he falls
to his knees. A beat. He slowly looks up at Vieira as he
pulls the knife from his chest, then stands unharmed. Vieira
cannot believe what he has seen.