Sundering the Worldgate, by Guest Blogger Don Vort

Don Vort is the founder of DV Magic Services works as a professional entertainer in many forums, including magician, stage actor, and social coordinator. Today Don is a Guest Blogger at the Driftless Area Review. Below is an excerpt of his upcoming Steampunk movie, Sundering the Worldgate, set to hit theaters in 2018. It is a retelling of the King Arthur story set in an alternate reality Victorian England.

If you think that movie idea sounds cool, you can help support it. Don’s Go Fund Me page is at: Sundering The Worldgate





The walls are covered with the implements of thaumaturgy and alchemy. Small glass bottles hold mineral samples and unidentified fluids.  Packets of herbs and other parcels of unknown provenance are stacked high.  The room shows signs of disuse, except for a corner where LADY SABRINA DE VOGE has set up a more modern, cleanly workspace, with a tidy desk, neatly organized notes, and a fresh quill.  On her desk lie numerous medical implements, including scalpels and syringes.  Though clean, they are beside a package of bloody rags and a bowl of bloodied water, suggesting recent use.

In the center of the room is the Heaven Compass, clearly out of place.  It is a device made of glass and gold, clean and shining.  It stands on an awkwardly cut-off chunk of marble, into which it is embedded, clearly the top of a column or dais that has been cut off and removed, supported by a framework made of fresh pine boards.  Superficially, it resembles an astrolabe, but gyroscopic rings rise from its perimeter, and its surface is highly mirrored, etched with unearthly constellations.

QUEEN CATHERINE, A woman in the prime of her life, beautiful and elegantly dressed in a formal gown, despite the grungy setting. Stands to one side of the pedestal.  She rolls up one sleeve, revealing several almost surgical incisions along her lower bicep.


Queen Catherine concept art by Don Vort.


We know not why, we know not how.  All these vague mutterings.  Are you certain this isn’t just a myth?

LADY SABRINA DE VOGE circles the pedestal to the QUEEN’S side.  She is a slender woman wearing expensive jewelry and fine clothes that are cut practically, but embroidered with occult symbols.

She produces a sharp knife, with which she makes a shallow cut in the QUEEN’S exposed arm.  The QUEEN reacts poorly, tensing up as blood is carefully guided into a shallow dish.  Into this, she adds a mixture of herbs, which she grinds with a pestle.

(too politely)
We are here at your insistence, your majesty.


Lady Sabrina concept art by Don Vort.

SABRINA circles around the Heaven Compass, tracing its circumference in blood.  Close up, it can be seen that the device’s outer rim is coated in dark brown and gray ash.  The device stirs, its gyroscopic rings beginning to circle.  The blood hisses and crackles, sending up a streamer of faintly luminous, blue smoke that the device seems to draw into itself, creating a swirling cloud over its surface.

This was much easier when Nadia was alive.

In the smoke, silhouettes can be seen, one bound by her hands and held upright, as another cuts a gash in her arm with a wicked blade.  A glowing white streamer of phantom blood gushes into a shadowy vessel.


Your Majesty, concentrate, please.  

The image dissipates.  Both women cling to the dais, SABRINA concentrating on keeping the spell together, CATHERINE being drained by it, a whitish, almost piercing glow around her hands bursting to life and beginning to fade.  

(Through pain, increasingly agitated)
You won’t tell me when I will bear my child.  You won’t tell me how long my dynasty will reign.  You won’t tell me what to do!
So who!?  Who denies me the empire that is MINE?!

Shadowy figures form in the smoke.  Shadows suggest a pillared hall, through which they advance, a charging horde.  A figure in a dress turns, but not in time to avoid a blade to her abdomen.  The smoke puffs out of existence as the QUEEN cries out in alarm.  Before it fades completely, a shimmering silhouette forms.  Two dragons addorsed. [A heraldic term meaning “set or turned back to back.” – Driftless Area Review]

CATHERINE and SABRINA gaze at each other across the astrolabe, both hunting for meaning in the haunting vision, a rare look of naked candor between the two.


House Lancton.

I know their heraldry, thank you very much.

The QUEEN straightens up, regaining her composure.  She winds a bandage around her wounded arm.

The Lanctons are in attendance tonight.  Dispatch the Sixty Sixth to intercept them at their manor.  I want this dealt with before they have a chance to even dream of treason.

Catherine turns and begins to exit, descending the stairs of the tower.


Your Majesty, prophecy is an imprecise-

SABRINA is cut off by a sharp look by CATHERINE as she descends the stair, her gaze intense even through the crude banister.  The two women stare each other down for a moment, but SABRINA demurs.


I shall signal them presently.

CATHERINE wordlessly descends.  A door opening can be heard, accompanied by a bright light and the distant sound of a cacophonous soiree, laughter and the clanking of plates.


Cielo concept art by Don Vort.

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