A Lion's Keep by Abdallah Saleh | Script Revolution

A Lion's Keep

Set in France during the 'Hundred Years' War', a group of maniacal Englishmen attempt the greatest heist in French history.



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A LION'S KEEP is a medieval heist/ psychological thriller series that takes place in France during the 'Hundred Years' War', where a group of maniacal Englishmen attempt the greatest heist in the Country's history. While it occurs during the war in the 1300's, the setting is merely a backdrop for the exciting and shocking detective thriller just underneath. (There are no large battles)

Our main character, the brilliant and ruthless Brandt, who deals with the unseemly stigma of being the bastard son of a Viking warlord, along with fellow Englishman and partner Charles of Mowbrey, notoriously does King Edward's dirty work, so to speak.

The story opens with an example of their practices, as they have been scouring the countryside, collecting every available man-at-arms who swore allegiance to England before the new French King, Philip of Valois (Philip VI), was crowned. They are naturally met with resistance as the landholders have no desire to give up their knights for a war and King who gives them nothing in return.

Several months pass and we meet Nicholas of Elbelin, a chivalrous knight and Captain who conducts a raid on a nearby tavern. Here he captures two former Scandinavian mercenaries, a short and excitable Spaniard, and the chilling and magnetic Nigel, who he shares a history with. He has reason to believe they were involved in more than a dozen raids on caravans within the last few days. They are members of a band of outlaws, 'The Dregs of Bratton'.

We return to Brandt and Charles, who are interrogating a French courier in the Elbelin prison. They've intercepted a letter from a higher-up in French Command, which is linked to the raids that occurred in recent days. The letter is believed to hold the secrets of a wealth transfer happening within the region. Brandt is then informed the King wishes to speak with him personally. He and Charles excitedly have hopes of a reward for their work.

They travel quite a distance for this meeting, only to have the rug ripped out from under them. They learn the war is ending, as a peace treaty was just signed. They also learn they will likely be forced to answer to a tribunal for potential war crimes. Brandt decides to keep the results of his interrogation secret.

He now has reason to go after the same gold and treasure Nigel was chasing. Brandt goes undercover, lying to Nicholas and members of the 'Dregs' in order to discover what he must. He soon learns the letter was a ruse and held the secret that one-third of France's treasury is being kept at the great mountain keep, Chateau Fort de LaRoque.

Being the genius and sociopath he is, Brandt's manipulations shock those he affects. As a Frenchman amongst the 'Dregs' asks him, "You arranged to have me killed so you could barter with my life?" There is no line he won't cross to achieve his goals. Charles makes one small mistake and ends up costing them dearly. They barely escape Castle Bratton, the 'Dreg' stronghold, with their lives. Thus the shorter first act ends.

The second act takes them undercover into Chateau LaRoque, the great French castle built in the freezing heart of the Alps. Few men have the tenacity and fortitude Brandt possesses. When two fugitives of England infiltrate the greatest French stronghold ever built, and willfully take on the challenge of overtaking two-hundred and fifty soldiers on their own... well 'fortune favors the bold', as they say.

How is this seemingly impossible task even attempted? Through lies, murder, and deceit. To a smaller degree, the whodunit aspect of the story takes over, but the question for the audience isn't exactly who did it, it's who, of the many soldiers and suspects, were given what false information, and how will they act on it.

Through planting the seeds of doubt and convincing leadership there is a greater conspiracy amongst their own men to steal the great prize being fostered and protected in the belly of LaRoque, convincing them there is an approaching army, turning one soldier on another and so on, Brandt is able to force men to unwittingly go along with his plan. At one point, he stands in a room with a dozen others, many of them former members of the French circus, knowing each individual has been given a different lie or reason to obey him. That being said, it would be impossible for a plan of this magnitude to run without a hitch.

I would loosely describe the story as a grounded version of Inception, with Brandt being something of Sherlock Holmes' evil twin (joke). The degree of deception and cruelty bring about many moral quandaries, as well as the effects elites have on wars and the ones who suffer for it. I'm very proud of my work and believe I created a story in which with each turn of the page, you have no idea what will happen next.

Submitted: July 29, 2021
Last Updated: January 3, 2022

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Abdallah Saleh's picture

The Writer: Abdallah Saleh

Aspiring filmmaker. Grew up and spent most of his life in Southern California. Optioned his first screenplay in 2021. Traveled the world but no matter how far he goes, at the end of the day he just wants to write. Go to bio

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