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Alba Salix 204: Harvest Moon

The House of Healing crew visit the Harvest Moon Faire to unwind, but strange and monstrous things are afoot.


Download MP3 (47 MB)

Starring:
Barbara Clifford as Alba Salix
Julian Sark as Magnus
Olivia Jon as Holly
Elaine O’Neal as Antalia Pearcey

with Mbula Enobong as Loria Berenice
Robert Frances as Jerome
Abbas Hussein as Withrow Lee
George Bertwell as King Gunther
Marisa King as Queen Parabel

and special guests!

Written and directed by Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard
Music and sound design by Eli McIlveen
Associate Producers: Heather Collins, Julian Sark, Michael Hudson, Jack Pevyhouse, Paul Tedesco and Keiko Kanda
Supporting Producer: Kim Bellinger
Executive Producer: Dave Addison

Content warning: Danger, animal attacks, violent mobs and day drinking.

INTRODUCTION

ELI

Howdy, shwmae, konnichiwa! It’s Eli here with Episode 4 of Alba Salix, Season Two.

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that Sean and I will be in Seattle for PodCon 2 in January. It’s a weekend of live shows, panels and performances for people who love and/or make podcasts. We went to the first one last year, and let me tell you, it was an amazing time getting to meet the people who write and produce and act in our favourite shows. There’s a big audio drama and RPG presence there, and this time around we’re going to have a booth. Come and say hello, get some cool swag, meet fellow fans—it’s going to be an excellent time.

PodCon happens this January 19 and 20 in Seattle, Washington. We hope you can join us. For all the details check out podcon.com.

And now it is time for Alba Salix, Royal Physician Volume Two, Episode Four. Enjoy.

MUSIC STING

INT. PALACE CHAMBERS—NIGHT

Gunther shuffles past.

GUNTHER

Oh! Parabel, you’re still up.

PARABEL

Mm hmm.

GUNTHER

What are you reading, dear?

PARABEL

Oh… just a few books on pre‐natal care.

GUNTHER

Superfoods For Your Unborn Baby. My… Raising the Magical Child.

(chuckles)

Are we having “the magical child”?

PARABEL

Oh, they’re all magical, aren’t they?

I just want to give the baby a good head start in life.

GUNTHER

I don’t think we can afford to bring in musicians to play for you around the clock again.

PARABEL

Oh no, nothing like that this time.

(mutters)

Not after little Willemina decided to smash her violin. On her violin teacher.

GUNTHER

101 Spells For Mothers‐To‐Be. Isn’t it a bit risky to do magic while you’re expecting?

PARABEL

Oh, no, these are all minor charms. Completely harmless.

GUNTHER

Ah, I see.

PARABEL

(mutters)

And completely useless.

GUNTHER

Well, good night, dearest. Don’t stay up too late.

PARABEL

I won’t! Night, darling.

They make kissy‐kissy sounds at one another.

As Gunther shuffles to the bedroom, Parabel tosses her book aside.

PARABEL

(sighs)

Useless.

To the Library it is.

OPENING THEME

HERALD

By Appointment to the King and Queen: Alba Salix, Royal Physician—Volume Two! Episode the Fourth: Harvest Moon.

INT. HOUSE OF HEALING OFFICE—DAY

PEARCEY

For the last time, Magnus, you may not play with knives at the reception desk.

MAGNUS

I wasn’t playing with it! I was showing it to our patients. They were totally interested!

ALBA

They were being polite to the person with the knife.

PEARCEY

I think the safety risk is quite evident.

MAGNUS

What about my safety? We got held up by bandits last week!

PEARCEY

What if you turn your back and a child takes it?

MAGNUS

(scoffs)

I know three easy ways to disarm an opponent with a knife.

(beat)

Two of them are non‐lethal?

ALBA

No knives, Magnus.

Holly skips in, and begins handing out flowers.

HOLLY

Happy Harvest Moon, everyone!

PEARCEY

What are these?

HOLLY

Flower garlands! To wear to the Harvest Moon Faire tonight! You’re all going, right?

Silence.

HOLLY (CONT’D)

Aw, come on! There’s going to be drinking and dancing and music and pretty lanterns.

MAGNUS

So… can I have my knife back?

ALBA AND PEARCEY

No.

HOLLY

And costumes and cotton candy, and jugglers and plays…

PEARCEY

I’ll have to check my calendar.

ALBA

I’ve got another round of resumes to look through for the new hospital we’re setting up in Paradox.

HOLLY

Aww. You should give yourselves at least one night off! Balancing life and work is important. Right, Ms Pearcey?

PEARCEY

A night off is fine, of course. Whether or not you spend it at the Faire is up to you.

HOLLY

Alba’s going to go. Right, Alba?

ALBA

I thought you’d have some special fairy ritual to enact for the full moon.

HOLLY

That’s not happening this year. I’ve been kind of uninvited. But that means I can spend more time with all of you! What do you say?

ALBA

Oh… fine.

MAGNUS

Yeah, I guess.

HOLLY

Ms Pearcey? C’mon, it’s a perfect chance for us to bond as a team!

PEARCEY

Yes… bonding as a… team.

HOLLY

Yay! This is going to be the best Harvest Moon ever!

MUSIC STING

INT. PALACE LIBRARY

The sound of a heavy page turning.

JULIA

Ooo, jackpot.

AMANDA

So, Julia. When you have a moment…

JULIA

(still writing)

Uh huh?

AMANDA

Perhaps all these lovely, priceless tomes could find a better place to live than the checkout desk?

JULIA

In a minute. Hey Amanda. I found a chapter in Sarvik’s Historias about Balgomarian Yeti. Check this out.

Julia turns a page.

AMANDA

They’re green?

JULIA

And only three feet high.

AMANDA

Aww!

JULIA

It sounds like they’re a matriarchal society.

AMANDA

Small green ladies in charge. I’m a fan.

JULIA

The best part: The Yetani, as they call themselves, are famous for their gin, made from a rare juniper bush which only grows in the ice caves of the Frozen Sea.

AMANDA

I already want some.

JULIA

And they mix it with ice wine, birch syrup and vodka to make something called a Green Flame.

AMANDA

Wait, Green Flame—does that mean you light it on fire?

JULIA

You totally light it on fire.

AMANDA

Yes! Do you think the palace kitchens have Yetani gin?

JULIA

Not any more!

I may have already stopped by the kitchens on my way into work.

Julia pulls out a big bottle and sets it on the desk, followed by a pair of cocktail glasses.

AMANDA

Yes! I want mine with extra flame!

Julia sets to work as Parabel enters.

PARABEL

You there. Librarians.

AMANDA

Oh! Your Majesty. Hi!

JULIA

Royal Librarians at your service.

She shakes a cocktail shaker.

PARABEL

Are you drinking? On the job?!

AMANDA

Uh. Nope! Not yet.

JULIA

We are compiling the first comprehensive ethnographic study of the drinking cultures of Farloria and the neighbouring—

PARABEL

I don’t know why I asked.

I sent a page down yesterday to retrieve a book.

Amanda starts digging through papers.

AMANDA

Yes, sorry, your Majesty. So you were after… The Six Books De Rerum Spiritus of Sundvik, Tome 2?

PARABEL

That is the one.

JULIA

I think that one’s in our Rare Documents collection.

She begins hunting through drawers of index cards.

AMANDA

So. Can I get your Majesty a drink? Of water, I mean? Or coffee?

PARABEL

I am fine.

AMANDA

Cool. Cool cool.

JULIA

Okay, I show three copies. One’s at our sister branch in Fair‐Upon‐Middling. The second one… Does your Majesty read Vayaxan?

PARABEL

Excuse me?

JULIA

It’s the original edition, written in demonic script.

PARABEL

Hmph. And the third copy?

JULIA

Yeah, the third one’s a more recent translation. But it’s out on loan since… oh, wow.

AMANDA

Who loaned out a book from Rare Documents?

JULIA

It says it was checked out by Mr. Krankel.

PARABEL

Doctor Krankel.

JULIA

That’s the one.

PARABEL

He’s been banished from the kingdom.

AMANDA

Someone’s going to be owing a lot of late fees!

PARABEL

(clears her throat)

I require a copy of this book.

JULIA

Uh… Demonic script?

PARABEL

That I can read.

Jula returns to the counter.

JULIA

I’ll put in a request, but it’s going to be about a week and a half.

AMANDA

What about secondary sources, Julia?

PARABEL

Secondary sources?

Amanda and Julia begin leafing through other big books.

JULIA

Yeah, there may be some useful references to it in other books. Try Benneghi’s Compendium?

AMANDA

Yup, on it.

JULIA

I didn’t realize you were so interested in ancient magic, Your Majesty!

PARABEL

Just… curious.

AMANDA

Okay, I think I found a reference. It’s by Fractazius?

JULIA

Oh, right! Good old Fractazius the Dark.

Julia vanishes into the stacks to search.

AMANDA

See, Fractazius apparently wrote a play based on The Books De Rerum Spiritus.

PARABEL

A play? What use is that?

JULIA

The Ambassador of Doom. It’s said to actually contain key passages from the Books.

PARABEL

I see…

AMANDA

Ooo, it looks like it was even banned once, back in King Lothar’s time.

Julia returns, flipping through a small book.

JULIA

I’m guessing that was after the disaster at the Grandville Opry.

AMANDA

Oh, when it burned down?

JULIA

Well, supposedly the fire was just a cover‐up for what really happened.

AMANDA

Uh‐oh!

JULIA

On opening night, the lead actress suddenly transformed into a demonic beast of unparalleled power that killed dozens before being subdued by the town guard!

AMANDA

Whoa.

PARABEL

Unparalleled power, you say?

JULIA

She leapt into the front row and devoured the patrons’ faces.

AMANDA

Nooo!

PARABEL

I will have this play.

AMANDA

See, this is why no one likes audience participation.

JULIA

I know, right? Hmm. There’s no publishing date, but I think this might be the first printing?

PARABEL

Yes. I will have it now, please.

JULIA

Oh. Sure. Was there anything else, your Majesty…?

Parabel is already striding out in a huff.

PARABEL

Unbelievable.

AMANDA

Cranky.

JULIA

I wonder why she wanted that book, anyway?

AMANDA

Eh, royalty. Who knows why they do anything?

JULIA

So, drinks?

AMANDA

Hell yes!

Julia pours out the drinks and strikes a match. There’s a little whoomph of flame.

JULIA

Ohh, even the flames are green.

AMANDA

Nice!

They clink glasses.

AMANDA AND JULIA

Cheers!

MUSIC STING

INT. PEARCEY’S BEDROOM

LORIA

Someone’s all gwumpy pants.

PEARCEY

I am not grumpy.

LORIA

No, you’re gwumpy pants. That’s worse.

PEARCEY

We could just stay in… Have a nice dinner and a relaxing bath?

LORIA

We can do that any old night. It’s our anniversary!

PEARCEY

Which anniversary?

LORIA

Of the night we first met!

PEARCEY

We met at an office party the night of the Harvest Moon Faire.

LORIA

Exactly!

PEARCEY

The Harvest Moon is on a different date every year.

LORIA

It’s not the date. It’s the occasion, silly. Let’s go dance and watch fireworks and eat fried pumpkin on a stick. C’mon, gwumpy pants.

PEARCEY

I am not gwumpy pants.

LORIA

Can you say that again with a little bit more of a pout?

PEARCEY

I just… What if one of those miserable wizards from the OSG sees us together?

LORIA

Tally. Who cares what they think?

PEARCEY

We’re fighting to get them to abide by proper workplace guidelines… and here I am, seeing you.

LORIA

And?

PEARCEY

I’m your superior.

LORIA

(snickers)

Debatable.

PEARCEY

Rude. You know what I mean. I don’t want to set a bad example.

LORIA

You do realize this is the one night of the year you don’t have to worry about being recognized.

PEARCEY

What do you mean?

Loria opens her purse.

LORIA

There’s this little thing called a masquerade.

PEARCEY

That’s true. But where are we going to get…

She comes to a halt as Loria holds up a pair of masks.

LORIA

(proudly)

Ah?

PEARCEY

…masks. Why do you have all these masquerade masks?

LORIA

“Thank you, Loria! They’re so beautiful! You’re a genius.”

PEARCEY

They are… quite pretty.

LORIA

Yeah, they are. Here, I picked this one for you.

Pearcey tries it on.

PEARCEY

I’ve never worn one of these before.

LORIA

Oh, that looks super adorable! Yes, a thousand times yes.

PEARCEY

All right. What about you?

LORIA

Well… I like this lacey blue one but there’s also this silvery one with the little ears… What do you think?

PEARCEY

(entranced)

That one.

LORIA

The blue?

PEARCEY

I think you should definitely wear that one.

LORIA

Done.

(beat)

What?

PEARCEY

(coy)

Do we really have to go out tonight?

LORIA

Come on, you, let’s get dressed.

MUSIC STING

EXT. FAIRGROUND STALL, EARLY EVENING

A bustling crowd in high spirits. Drummers perform nearby.

WITHROW

Duviar nectar! Fresh‐squeezed duviar nectar!

FAIRE‐GOER

(quite drunk)

Say, I’ll have one of those!

Withrow pours a cupful of juice from a keg.

WITHROW

You betcha. That’ll be sixpence.

FAIRE‐GOER

Okay. Whoa, that’s a lot.

WITHROW

Fresh duviar fruit’s hard to come by in these parts, but it’s the most healthful drink you’ll drink all night, my friend.

FAIRE‐GOER

(chuckles)

Well, you’re not wrong about that.

Coins jingle.

WITHROW

Have a great Faire!

(to the next customer)

Good evening, friend. Can I get you a nice cup of duviar nectar?

MAGNUS

(disguising his voice)

What’s in it?

Withrow starts pouring another cup.

WITHROW

Only one hundred percent fresh‐squeezed duviar fruit, direct from the Pointy Lands. An excellent source of duviatic acid, which has been shown to aid in pancreatic function. And a happy pancreas makes for a happy stomach. That’ll be sixpence, my friend.

Magnus pulls back his hood.

MAGNUS

(back to his normal voice)

Oh no. You’re busted, sucker!

WITHROW

Busted—what? Why?

MAGNUS

House of Healing Hygiene Enforcement Squad! Withrow Lee, you are charged with selling drinks without a license.

WITHROW

Uh, it’s right here. Say, aren’t you that kid that works for Alba? Mathias…

MAGNUS

Magnus. And I’m eighteen, by the way, and certified by the Ministry of Magical Affairs and Health, by the way.

WITHROW

Certified to do what?

MAGNUS

Certified to take you downtown, buddy.

All right, fine, your so‐called license looks legit. But what about this health drink of yours?

WITHROW

Duviatic acid’s a real thing. Ask Alba! There’s even evidence it may boost the immune system, but I don’t tell my customers that because there’s only been the one study so far.

MAGNUS

Well, aren’t you a paragon of scientific rigour.

WITHROW

Darn tootin’. If I lie, Alba will wire my mouth shut.

MAGNUS

Hmph. Do you reuse these cups?

WITHROW

Sterilized after every use with a Purissimus spell.

MAGNUS

Dangit.

Fine. But how do we know this fruit isn’t contaminated with deadly… fig fungus?

WITHROW

(dubious)

Fig fungus?

MAGNUS

It’s spreading all over the Pointy Lands. One little spore can paralyze you from head to toe.

WITHROW

Look, can I get on with selling my wares now?

MAGNUS

Go ahead. But I’ll be watching you, buddy.

WITHROW

Knock yourself out.

(raises his voice again)

Duviar nectar! Sixpence a glass!

MUSIC STING

EXT. MARKET SQUARE STAGE

A boisterous crowd watches a player on a stage.

PLAYER

And these two souls once so in love

Do murder one another for the sake

Of money, greed and power, you shall see

Next Friday ‘pon this stage, at half past eight!

A smattering of applause. Holly flutters through the crowd.

HOLLY

Alba!

ALBA

Down here.

FAIRE‐GOER

Hey, watch the wings!

HOLLY

Sorry!

(to Alba)

Did I miss the previews?

ALBA

Yes, he just finished. Why do they always have to give away the entire story?

PLAYER

And now, my friends, be much afeared! Our main event at last is here:

The Tragic History of Baron Bolgu… brought to you by the Guild of Knife Sharpeners.

Applause. Two more actors take the stage: the gruff Cook and the young Master Martin.

COOK

Ho there, good Master Martin!

MARTIN

Ho there, cook! Have you the evening repast prepared?

COOK

‘Tis under way, ‘tis under way.

MARTIN

You must work fast! The repast is well past time.

COOK

I blame these blasted blades.

MARTIN

Ay, these are in a truly ‘trocious state, good cook. No good to chop a chop, these.

COOK

Such a dull tool could scarce split the wind from an old nun’s backside. Speaking of dull tools, how fares our lord the Count?

Laughter. The play continues under Alba and Holly’s dialogue.

ALBA

Looks like there’s going to be a murder.

HOLLY

Oh no! How can you tell?

ALBA

They’re doing an ad for the Knife‐Sharpeners’ Guild. They always sponsor the true crime ones.

HOLLY

Oh, you’re right! I’d never noticed that.

ALBA

At least it’s better than the love stories, where they’re all ads for mattresses.

HOLLY

I don’t know if I want to see a murdery play.

MARTIN

The Count is in a rare mood.

COOK

How rare? Bloody?

MARTIN

A bloody rare mood indeed! He rants on his hunger and he rails on his thirst.

JEROME

Oh! Hey! Alba, is that you?

ALBA

Dammit.

HOLLY

Hello, Jerome!

JEROME

Holly! Nice to see you too. Mind if I sit here?

ALBA

(under her breath)

Well, so much for enjoying the show.

COOK

The Count did dine but an hour ago. Let him rant and rail and perhaps he shall shout himself hoarse.

MARTIN

Or myself deaf.

COOK

And bring you peace, either way.

MARTIN

I sooner would keep my ears. The Count must have food!

COOK

Then quick, hie you to the sharpener’s shop, and he’ll shortly shave and shape these shivs sharp as shark’s teeth.

MARTIN

I surely shall!

COOK

Mind you, good Master Martin, forget not your purse, lest you return transfixed with our best blade ‘twixt your ribs, for ‘tis never sharp to short the sharpener.

Laughter and applause. In the background, another actor takes the stage: the Baron, giving his opening soliloquy.

JEROME

Did I miss anything?

HOLLY

Alba says there’s going to be a murder.

JEROME

Really? How can you tell?

ALBA

Oh, I just have this feeling.

JEROME

That reminds me. I’ve been having a feeling too, kind of an itching. I tried that salve you ladies gave me the other week, but it’s been getting worse all day.

ALBA

How about we watch the first act?

JEROME

Okay, I can wait!

HOLLY

(whispers)

Alba…!

ALBA

(whispers)

What?

HOLLY

It’s going to be dark soon. Don’t you think we should, you know, get Jerome to somewhere safer?

ALBA

We just got here.

HOLLY

The moon’s going to rise, and then… you know.

ALBA

I know.

HOLLY

Maybe we should tell him that he’s a—

ALBA

He does not need another excuse to pester me for more cures. Besides, he’s perfectly nice when he’s… affected.

HOLLY

You mean when he’s a werewolf.

ALBA

Not so loud! Just the first act, that’s all I ask. We can go at intermission.

HOLLY

But—

ALBA

Intermission. Now hush.

BARON

Ho, who’s there? My ears yet ring.

Methought I heard a voice from in the hearth.

DEMON

(hisses)

Hail and well met!

BARON

What! Who art thou, fiend?

JEROME

Oh, look! Isn’t that the guy who played Count Bozannio last spring?

HOLLY

I missed that show. Ooo, I love his outfit!

ALBA

Can you both be quiet for one single minute?

MUSIC STING

EXT. FAIRGROUNDS—DUSK

Loria and Pearcey approach a lively crowd of revelers dancing to a band of musicians.

LORIA

What about the Gryphon and Bucket?

PEARCEY

That wasn’t our first date. You tricked me.

LORIA

It still counts.

PEARCEY

You said it was a departmental planning session.

LORIA

It worked. I seem to remember it worked about five more times after that?

PEARCEY

(laughs)

Maybe.

But no. Our first official, mutually‐agreed‐upon date was May 12.

LORIA

Remind me?

PEARCEY

7pm. Closer to 7:15.

LORIA

I believe you. What happened?

PEARCEY

Dinner. Dancing. Ice cream.

LORIA

(mischievous)

Ohh, the ice cream, yes…

Wow. So that’s your idea of a first date?

PEARCEY

Well…!

LORIA

Damn, you’re pretty forward, aren’t you?

PEARCEY

Minx.

LORIA

Hussy.

They laugh. Holly flutters past overhead.

HOLLY

Oh, hi! Loria, is that you?

LORIA

Yes?

PEARCEY

(under her breath)

Oh, no.

HOLLY

Hi! It’s me! Holly? From the House of Healing?

LORIA

Of course! How are you?

HOLLY

I’m good! Gosh, what a pretty mask! I almost didn’t recognize you. Who’s your friend?

PEARCEY

(disguising her voice)

Uh… I’m Tally.

HOLLY

Hi Tally! You both look super cute.

PEARCEY

Thanks.

LORIA

So. You having a good Faire?

HOLLY

It’s so neat! All the candy and ribbons… Oh, but I almost forgot. Have you seen a dog running around?

LORIA

What kind of dog?

HOLLY

About this big, kind of unusual‐looking? He’s got a short muzzle, strangely wide at the shoulders… His name’s Toby.

LORIA

I haven’t seen anything bigger than a beagle.

PEARCEY

Yeah, me neither.

LORIA

Sorry, Holly. We’ll keep an eye out!

HOLLY

Thanks! Nice seeing you!

She takes off again.

HOLLY (CONT’D)

Toby! C’mere buddy! Toby!

PEARCEY

That was a close one. Do you think she suspected?

LORIA

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

PEARCEY

I’m serious.

LORIA

Are you going to let that ruin your night? You are, aren’t you.

PEARCEY

I knew this was a bad idea.

LORIA

Look. If it’s going to be like this every time we go out together… I think you’d better let me go.

PEARCEY

Let you…?

LORIA

You’ve basically replaced me with that talking rock.

PEARCEY

Leon isn’t a replacement. A rock can’t do filing or run errands.

LORIA

Well, I’m glad I can provide such valuable assistance.

PEARCEY

That’s not what I mean.

LORIA

This secret office romance bit has been exciting and everything, but I think we’d better call it off.

PEARCEY

(devastated)

Loria…

A moment.

LORIA

(realizes)

The office part, you goof, not the romance.

PEARCEY

Oh, thank the gods.

LORIA

I bet I can get a transfer to the Planning Office. I’d be two floors up. Keep an eye on His Majesty’s latest crazy ideas.

Tally, I’m not leaving you.

PEARCEY

Just your job?

LORIA

Just my job. Why do you think I took it in the first place?

PEARCEY

What, to be near me?

(laughs)

LORIA

What can I say? I’m very goal‐driven in my career.

Come here.

They kiss.

PEARCEY

So if we’re not working together, what are we going to do for excitement?

LORIA

Mmm. We’ll have to think of something.

PEARCEY

Well… come dance with me. Let’s see if it sparks any ideas.

EXT. FAIRGROUND STALL

It’s quieter here, though the crowd is still lively. Crickets can be heard further off.

Withrow counts out some coins for a customer.

WITHROW

And that’s seven, eight, nine is one shilling, plus five more is your change.

CUSTOMER

Thank you!

WITHROW

You have yourself a great evening, my friend.

MAGNUS

You keep giving them the right change.

WITHROW

I keep telling you, there is no scam.

MAGNUS

Yeah, right.

WITHROW

Duviar nectar! Fresh from the Pointy Lands!

MAGNUS

The way Alba tells it, you’re always up to something.

WITHROW

Get your fresh squeezed duviar nectar!

In the distance, there’s an unearthly howl, and screams of panic.

MAGNUS

So, like… What was your favourite?

WITHROW

Favourite what?

MAGNUS

Your favourite hustle. Your favourite scheme.

WITHROW

(whispers)

Will you stop it? I’m not hustling anyone!

MAGNUS

You can tell me. I used to be an outlaw myself. C’mon. Even just a straight‐up con with no magic.

WITHROW

Hey there, Miss! Would you care for a refreshing cup of…

(no luck—he sighs)

Kid, you’re scaring away my customers.

MAGNUS

Tell me about one con and I’ll leave you alone.

WITHROW

I don’t want to talk about this.

MAGNUS

(loudly)

What’s that? Duviar fruit can carry deadly fig fungus?

Gasps from the crowd.

WITHROW

(whispers)

Kid, for Kroth’s sake.

MAGNUS

I hear one bite of a contaminated fruit will stop your heart!

Howling and barking and screams of panic, growing louder and closer.

WITHROW

All right. All right.

Okay. When Alba and I were at Hazelbrooke, we used to go to this cafe near the campus called the Crotchety Crow. And every day—

Alba rushes up.

ALBA

(winded)

Magnus! There you are.

MAGNUS

No I’m not!

ALBA

What?

MAGNUS

I was just helping Withrow! Is that so wrong?

WITHROW

Hi Alba.

ALBA

Withrow.

WITHROW

It’s so good to see you.

ALBA

Yup. Magnus, I need your help. Toby’s on the loose.

MAGNUS

Whoa, really? As in Jerome Toby?

ALBA

Yes. We have to find him. Holly’s trying to spot him from the air.

WITHROW

Who’s Toby?

ALBA

He’s a… stray dog.

WITHROW

You mean a werewolf?

ALBA

What gave you that idea?

WITHROW

Oh, full moon, howling and screaming in the distance…

MAGNUS

Oh yeah, look, there’s a full moon tonight. What are the odds?

ALBA

Why do you think they’re having a festival?

Holly zooms past.

HOLLY

(shouting from the air)

I see him! Alba, he’s coming this way! I think he’s following your scent.

ALBA

Oh, let’s hope so.

The screams get closer. Then Jerome appears, panting and woofing happily.

JEROME

Woof woof rarf woof!

ALBA

Toby! Come here, boy.

Jerome launches himself at her and knocks her to the ground.

ALBA (CONT’D)

Oof! Okay, that’s enough. No kisses.

HOLLY

Yay!

MAGNUS

Does anybody have a collar?

HOLLY

We should be fine. He’ll follow Alba just about anywhere as long as he doesn’t get distracted.

ALBA

All right, Toby. Off. Cut it out.

She pushes him off.

WITHROW

Alba? Do you want a hand?

ALBA

I’m fine.

WITHROW

Come on, let me help you up.

Jerome abruptly stops panting. Deadly silence. He lets out a deep, throaty growl.

ALBA

(quietly)

Withrow, stop. Back away, please. He can be a bit jealous—

WITHROW

He’s wagging his tail!

What’s up, buddy? Why don’t you move over and let Alba…

Jerome lunges, snarling like a demon.

WITHROW

Aagh! Whoa! Buddy! Nice werewolf!

HOLLY

Toby!

Withrow scrambles back, then runs off, screaming and pursued by a werewolf. Alba and Holly give chase, their voices all fading into the crowd.

ALBA

Withrow! I told you to back away!

WITHROW

Help!

HOLLY

Toby, it’s all right!

MAGNUS

So I’ll just look after the stall, okay? Okay!

Duviar nectar! Three pennies a glass!

EXT. FAIRGROUND MUSIC STAGE

The band finishes their song, and Pearcey and Loria emerge from the dancing crowd, laughing.

PEARCEY

I think I need a drink after that!

LORIA

Glad you came to the Faire?

PEARCEY

Yes, yes.

The dancing fairgoers suddenly erupt in panic as Jerome chases Withrow through their midst. Shouts of “Look out!” and “Mad dog!”

JEROME

(barking viciously)

WITHROW

(screaming)

Help! Somebody!

PEARCEY

Loria, look out!

LORIA

Whoa!

WITHROW

Aaaaa!

Withrow and Jerome barrel past. People scatter. The band stumbles to a halt.

PEARCEY

Are you all right?

LORIA

Yeah. Looks like they found their lost dog.

The crowd is in chaos. Holly shouts from overhead.

HOLLY

It’s okay! He won’t hurt you. Toby, over here!

WITHROW

Look out, everybody! It’s a werewolf!

Gasps from the crowd.

HOLLY

Oh, thanks, Withrow, that was really helpful!

LORIA

That was a werewolf?

PEARCEY

(sighs)

I’m going to have to write this up.

LORIA

Wow.

Cut to the midst of the crowd.

JEROME

(growls)

HOLLY

Everybody stay back! Withrow, you can move away slowly.

Withrow?

SMALL CHILD

Puppy!

BUDDY (A FAIRE‐GOER)

Someone needs to deal with that dog!

HOLLY

We are dealing with him!

BIFF (ANOTHER FAIRE‐GOER)

It’s not a dog, it’s a werewolf. I got this.

Biff steps out of the crowd and draws a sword. Cheers.

BUDDY

Yeah, you get him, Biff!

HOLLY

Albaaa! Where are you?!

The crowd begins to close in, some pulling out makeshift weapons. Shouts of “Fight! Fight!”

JEROME

(growls louder)

BIFF

Everybody, keep steady. We got him cornered.

I’m gonna put this dog down.

He takes a fancy swing with his sword. Loria steps in front of him.

LORIA

Uh‐uh. No you don’t!

HOLLY

What she said!

BIFF

Get out of the way.

PEARCEY

Stop! Weapons down, all of you.

BIFF

Move it, ladies. I don’t want to have to hurt you.

LORIA

You back off, buddy!

PEARCEY

Are you threatening a Minister of the Crown, sir?

BIFF

(laughs)

What, you?

Pearcey takes off her mask.

PEARCEY

Yes. Antalia Pearcey, Minister of Magical Affairs and Health.

BIFF

Oooo!

HOLLY

Oh my gosh! Hi, Ms Pearcey!

PEARCEY

Yes, hello Holly.

BIFF

Well, la di da.

PEARCEY

Sir, put your sword away.

BIFF

If you’re Minister of Magical whatever, why aren’t you dealing with this animal?

PEARCEY

The situation is under control.

(whispers to Holly)

It is under control, isn’t it?

HOLLY

(whispers)

Totally! Alba’s on her way.

PEARCEY

She’d better be.

(aloud)

One of our specialists will be here at any moment.

BUDDY

That monster could hurt people!

HOLLY

He is people! He’s a person, like you and me. Even if he does steal the occasional sandwich and pee on things he shouldn’t. He’s never hurt anyone!

BIFF

Clear off, fairy.

He shoves her aside.

HOLLY

Ow! Hey!

BIFF

C’mon, little wolfy.

PEARCEY

Sir, I won’t ask you again. Put the sword away.

BIFF

This thing could kill everybody. It’s a monster.

HOLLY

He’s not a monster.

Holly’s wings start to buzz angrily. Wind howls. The crowd starts to back away.

BIFF

Says you.

(then)

What the hell are you?

HOLLY

I’m the Queen of the Wind, buster!

BIFF

(shaken)

Well, why don’t you blow awaaaay—aaaaaa!

Biff’s voice is distorted as he’s sucked into a whirlwind. His sword goes flying as the wind carries him off.

HOLLY

(straining)

There. Anybody else?

BUDDY

Nope, I think I’m good.

The crowd mutters uncertainly. The wind dies down and Holly’s wings buzz to a stop.

Alba runs up.

ALBA

Get out of the way.

Toby!

PEARCEY

Ms Salix. Thank heavens.

JEROME

(pants happily)

ALBA

Good boy. Come here. Is everything all right?

Holly?

HOLLY

(giddy from exhaustion)

Hi Alba! I, um… there was a guy with a sword and I… kind of stopped him.

She falls over.

ALBA

Holly?

JEROME

Woof!

PEARCEY

As you were. Thank you, everyone. Please, go back to enjoying the Faire.

LORIA

The Minister commands you to go have fun.

The crowd reluctantly disperses. The band gets back to playing.

PEARCEY

Ms Salix? Did you know about this individual’s condition? Is he a patient of yours?

ALBA

What’s that, Toby? Time for a walk?

JEROME

(excited)

Whuff!

PEARCEY

Ms Salix!

ALBA

Sorry, it’s so loud here! Let’s talk some other time! Come on, Holly.

HOLLY

(still giddy)

I’m okay!

Alba, Holly and Jerome rush off.

LORIA

Well? How’s that for excitement?

PEARCEY

His Majesty owes me a raise.

LORIA

Mmm hmm. Dinner?

PEARCEY

Yes, please.

MUSIC STING

EXT. HILLTOP, AFTER MIDNIGHT

Crickets. The party can be heard faintly in the distance. Withrow speaks in hushed whispers with a woman.

PARABEL

There you are.

WITHROW

Sorry I’m late. There was a… situation.

PARABEL

The moon is almost at its zenith. Did you bring the device?

WITHROW

Um… as I said, there was a tiny bit of an incident and… somebody stole it.

PARABEL

What?!

WITHROW

I got chased around. There was a whole thing, with a werewolf…

PARABEL

Why weren’t you keeping out of sight tonight?

WITHROW

Hey, a guy’s gotta make a living somehow.

PARABEL

Did you see who took it?

WITHROW

No. I must have dropped it when I was being chased.

PARABEL

You fool. I should have known better than to hire you.

WITHROW

Well, you wanted to summon a demon.

PARABEL

Can the ritual be done without the device?

WITHROW

It’s dangerous. I wouldn’t want to try—

MAGNUS

Why… hello.

PARABEL

(gasps)

WITHROW

(startled)

Magnus! What the…

MAGNUS

Hey, Withrow. How’s it going?

WITHROW

What are you doing here?

A rustle of grass as Magnus steps forward.

MAGNUS

Just getting some fresh air. Anyway, Withrow, dude, while you were running for your life, I noticed you dropped a little something on the ground.

WITHROW

Do you have it?

MAGNUS

Say, who’s your scary friend?

PARABEL

(disguising her voice)

None of your business, boy.

MAGNUS

Fair enough. Nice cloak.

Anyway, so here’s this little doodad…

He pulls it out of his pocket.

WITHROW

Thanks, kid. You’re saving my—

MAGNUS

Uh‐uh‐uh. Not so fast.

PARABEL

Be careful with that!

MAGNUS

Now, my best guess is, this is some kind of deflector? Like, for detecting and dispelling magical barriers? As you would if, you know, you were summoning a demon from another plane?

PARABEL

Just hand it over.

MAGNUS

I’ve been reading up, man. I know things.

PARABEL

If you two are quite finished…

MAGNUS

Do I know you from somewhere?

PARABEL

No.

She takes a step back. Magnus follows.

MAGNUS

I totally do.

PARABEL

Stay away from me.

WITHROW

C’mon, never mind her. Give me the—

MAGNUS

Ha!

Magnus lunges forward and knocks Parabel’s hood back.

WITHROW

Magnus—

MAGNUS

(in disbelief)

Whoaaaa! It’s—you’re—

PARABEL

Yes. I am.

MAGNUS

You’re the Queen. You’re the actual mothergoosing Queen! What the heck is going on?

PARABEL

You will address me properly.

MAGNUS

Right. Right. Your Majesty, whatever. Sorry. What are you two up to?

PARABEL

Right now, we are about to deal with a stupid boy who has found out too much.

Mister Lee. Kill him.

MAGNUS

Ho ho! I’d like to see you try. Ha! Hoo!

He strikes a pose, then carries out a flurry of unarmed moves.

WITHROW

Look, kid. I don’t want to do this. I really, really don’t want to do this, but…

MAGNUS

Yeah?

WITHROW

Obliviscere!

A violent surge of magic.

MAGNUS

Aw, dude, that spell was sweet! Alba never… shows me anything… cool…

(gasps)

He falls to the ground.

MUSIC STING

INT. HOUSE OF HEALING RECEPTION

Jerome wanders in from the back, barefoot.

JEROME

Ugh. Where am I?

ALBA

Good morning, Jerome.

JEROME

Oh! Morning, Alba! Hi Holly.

HOLLY

You should get some rest, Jerome. You had a busy night last night.

JEROME

I did? What was last night?

HOLLY

The Harvest Moon Faire?

JEROME

It was? How come I don’t remember it? Darn it, I was looking forward to it. I always seem to miss it for some reason…

ALBA

Jerome, we have some important news to tell you.

JEROME

Okay?

HOLLY

The first thing is, you should read this brochure I made!

JEROME

“Were It’s At”. Is that spelled right?

HOLLY

Read it! Read it!

JEROME

“Were It’s At. A guide for new and newly‐discovered—”

(gasps)

Is this for real? I’m a…?

ALBA

I’m afraid so.

JEROME

This explains so much…

The front door opens and Magnus wanders in.

MAGNUS

Hey guys.

HOLLY

Hey Magnus! Did you have fun at the Faire last night?

MAGNUS

The Faire? Like, the Harvest Moon Faire?

HOLLY

Yes!

MAGNUS

…was last night?

HOLLY

Yes!

MAGNUS

You sure?

HOLLY

Pretty sure! Jerome turned into a werewolf and everything.

MAGNUS

Aw man. That would have been cool to see.

How come I don’t remember any of it?

JEROME

I don’t remember anything either. Magnus! Are you a werewolf?

MAGNUS

Am I…?

Maybe!

JEROME

Here, read this list of symptoms.

ALBA

Magnus is not a werewolf.

MAGNUS

Yeah? You don’t know.

ALBA

Catch.

She tosses him a small bottle, which he catches.

MAGNUS

What’s this?

ALBA

A bottle made of silver.

JEROME

(growls)

ALBA

You’re not a werewolf, Magnus.

MAGNUS

Aww! But… last night—

ALBA

It was the Harvest Moon. Half the town can’t remember what they did last night.

MAGNUS

Well, I’m sure I did something awesome. Dangit. That would be so cool. Hey, Jerome, do you think you could…?

JEROME

Huh?

MAGNUS

You know, just a little bite. Here. Right on the arm.

JEROME

You want me to bite you?

ALBA

No. Jerome, no biting. Magnus, get to work.

MAGNUS

You never let me have any fun.

CREDITS

CLOSING THEME

ELI

In “Harvest Moon”, Alba Salix, Volume Two, Episode Four, you heard Barbara Clifford as Alba Salix, Julian Sark as Magnus, Olivia Jon as Holly, and Elaine O’Neal as Antalia Pearcey,

with Mbula Enobong as Loria Berenice, Robert Frances as Jerome, Abbas Hussein as Withrow Lee, George Bertwell as King Gunther and Marisa King as Queen Parabel.

and special guests:

Royal Librarians Amanda McLoughlin and Julia Schifini, hosts of of the podcast Spirits;

the prologue was read by Chris Luckhardt;

the Cook and young Master Martin were Alan Burgon and Julia C. Thorne of The Amelia Project from Imploding Fictions;

and Biff was played by James Oliva, heard on countless shows and creator of What’s The Frequency.

Written and directed by Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard.

Music and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Associate producers: Heather Collins, Julian Sark, Michael Hudson, Jack Pevyhouse, Paul Tedesco and Keiko Kanda.

Supporting Producer: Kim Bellinger.

Executive Producer: Dave Addison.

TAG: HOUSE OF HEALING RECEPTION

MAGNUS

(whispers)

Quick. Alba’s not looking.

JEROME

I dunno about this.

ALBA

Magnus.

MAGNUS

It’s for science!

OUTRO

ELI

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