Season One, Episode 1: The Group

Updated: May 22



Our heroes welcome a new member… and chaos ensues.


***The Ordinary Epic contains depictions of fantasy violence, including combat, mortal harm, and bodily injury as well as some cursing and adult themes. Listener and reader discretion is advised.***



TRANSCRIPT


DOMINIC

The Ordinary Epic, season one, episode one: The Group.


SFX (cont.): Fade in background sound of a (nonrowdy) medieval tavern.


MUSIC (cont.): A lute is being played.


MERRICK

The expedition went as planned, friend, but with one happy exception—where you sent us after copper, we found gold.


BUYER

Maybe I and my men were partial to the copper.


MERRICK

Ah, but you’ll like this particular gold better. Caelus?


CAELUS

This is no trinket, as you thought, but a holy artifact from the Gods’ War days—possibly before. Its purpose is unknown, but I detect that it still holds great power within.


BUYER

So what’s your point?


MERRICK

That it is worth, well, somewhat more than the modest bounty you originally offered.


BUYER

Is that so.


THACK

(intimidating) Yeah, it is.


BUYER

Call off your troll, Merrick.


THACK

Thack half-orc. What—all not-humans look same to you?


MERRICK

No threat was implied, friend, of course. The lady has a gruff demeanor, but a heart of gold.


BUYER

“Lady”? How can you tell?


THACK

Thack dance real pretty, that how. And can crush yer fuckin’ skull with one hand.


SFX: Sounds of several blades being drawn.


MUSIC: The lute abruptly stops.


THACK

(chuckle) More skulls take two hands.


BUYER

Hmph. Stand down, boys.


SFX: Sounds of several blades being sheathed.


MUSIC: The lute player haltingly resumes.


BUYER (cont.)

It’s a curious thing, your band of misfits—orc muscle, a pointy-eared sage—


CAELUS

Actually, it’s pronounced “mage,” with an “em” sound, as in the marvelous magics that may maim or murder in a manner most metic—


BUYER

—and a half-breed face man.


MERRICK

Half-elf, if you would; race is kind of difficult for you, huh? Thank you, at least, for not calling me “thief” like everyone else...


BUYER

I don’t altogether enjoy this conversation, but we can bargain. I just need to know that your pet human won’t be trouble later.


MERRICK

Beg your pardon?


BUYER

The silent one in the raiment of a holy man.


BENEDICT

Uh... Is that me?


BUYER

See anyone else wearing bedsheets? Are you an actual priest or do you perhaps wear the robes for fun?


BENEDICT

Um...


BUYER

This trinket is sacred to your order or somesuch, isn’t it? Am I going to have cause to regret this trade later.


BENEDICT

I’m... time out?—


SFX: Pub ambiance/music abruptly ceases.


SFX: We are now in a real-life basement.


MARCUS

So I’m confused. What am I supposed to say to him?


DOMINIC

That you don’t care.


EMO

But maybe he does care.


MARCUS

Do I...?


ATHENA

Think about what your character would say, Marcus, and just say that.


MARCUS

This really isn’t like most board games...


DOMINIC

New guy isn’t even a gamer. Yet another nice find, Emo.


EMO

Shut up, Dom. Marcus, it’s a role-playing game.


MARCUS

Right.


EMO

So you’re this holy guy: Benedict.


MARCUS

Right.


EMO

And he’s just joined this adventuring party.


MARCUS

Right. (quick beat) Why?


DOMINIC

Because we needed someone to heal us and not ask questions.


EMO

Dom!


DOMINIC

What!


DANIEL

Any reason you want, Marcus. That’s the great thing about this game—you can be anyone you want. Do anything you want, for any reason, so long as it’s true to your character.


EMO

Oh my god he does speak!


DANIEL

I—what? No he doesn’t.


EMO

That is the absolute most I have ever heard Daniel say that wasn’t in character as Merrick.


DANIEL

(sound of discomfort)


MARCUS

...What is happening right now?


EMO

He doesn’t like to be the center of attention.


DANIEL

(sound of discomfort worsens)


EMO

Like this, right now. He hates this. This is his nightmare. Daniel. Daniel. Daniel.


DANIEL

(about to explode)


MARCUS

So this is like improv!


DANIEL

(exhausted) Thank you so much...


MARCUS

One guy says “I like artichokes” so the other guy says “Oh really? Well too bad I got the last one” and now you have a scene with conflict, which is good for some reason? I did an improv class through my old job one time. It was mostly about artichokes.


EMO

Sure!


MUSIC: Tense music.


MARCUS

Cool. I totally got this.


DOMINIC

Wait, but—


ATHENA

So the buyer says—


SFX: Back to the pub.


BUYER

—or am I going to have cause to regret this trade later?


BENEDICT

There’s no need for regret, brother. Because there is no trade.


BUYER

What.


CAELUS

What?!


MERRICK

Great...


BENEDICT

This artifact belongs to my church, and as such, I cannot part with it for any price.


SFX: Many people drawing weapons.


THACK

(chuckles darkly)


BENEDICT

...Uh. What did I say?


BUYER

Kill them all!


SFX: Battle sounds crash into...


MUSIC: The Ordinary Epic opening theme.


SFX: Very large sword being plunged into a man’s chest, and then that man’s body being kicked off the sword and onto the floor.


SFX: Transition to real-world basement ambiance as narration continues.


ATHENA

...The last man falls to Thack’s towering blade. You survey the aftermath: several bodies lie scattered around the now-empty tavern, though the buyer himself seems to have escaped—and with him, your chance of offloading the relic for a bounty.


DANIEL

Well, uh... glad you took my advice to heart?


DOMINIC

This is why we don’t like new guys. The group is the group! And new guy is a bad player.


EMO

Don’t call people names, douche canoe!


DOMINIC

New guy is playing this game badly.


MARCUS

We were supposed to sell the thingy to the guy, huh?


DOMINIC

YES.


EMO

No! I mean... not necessarily!


DOMINIC

We were, actually. Empirically.


DANIEL

Aaaand off they go...


EMO

If you want to destroy this man’s agency you’re going to have to get through me, Dom! I’m small but I’m scrappy—I don’t think that’s pain you can handle.


DOMINIC

I don’t even know where to start! He’s playing improv games about artichokes while we’re—...


SFX (cont.): Their argument pans to the background.


MARCUS

This a typical game night for you guys?


DANIEL

Not at all—they usually argue more.


ATHENA

Dominic likes things a certain way—


DANIEL

And Emo is an agent of chaos.


ATHENA

—so there’s bound to be a disagreement or several. And I hope you don’t take anything Dominic says personally. We like you and want you to stay.


MARCUS

Cool. (very quick beat) What’s an “Emo”?


DANIEL

Emo. Her.


MARCUS

Imogene?!


DANIEL

Her name is Imogene?!


MARCUS

Your name is Emo?


SFX: Bring EMO back to foreground:


EMO

There may or may not have been a goth phase in high school and the name stuck. Tell anyone at work and I’ll cut you, pretty boy. I’ll cut you bad. Anyway, Dom! You have got to stop scaring away new friends just because—...


SFX: Argument resumes in background.


MARCUS

Learn something new everyday.


DANIEL

So you work together, is that how—?


MARCUS

Yeah, she’s IT and I’m in sales. I’m kind of new to town and she’s one of the few people who talk to me. Yesterday I said something about Lord of the Rings, she got kind of a manic look in her eyes, and now I’m sitting in this basement surrounded by books and weird dice.


ATHENA

It is a slippery slope.


MARCUS

So what do you guys...?


DANIEL

This is my last year of premed.


MARCUS

Oh, cool!


DANIEL

Not really...


ATHENA

I work from my house.


MARCUS

Living the dream!


ATHENA

It’s a little lonely...


MARCUS

Um... I hate my job too, if that helps?


DANIEL

Thank you—it does.


SFX: Argument pans to foreground with DOMINIC’s line:


DOMINIC

Emo, you really can just sleep with a guy—you don’t have to bring all of them to game night first.


DANIEL

(a long sound of deep discomfort that leads into) ...awkward.


EMO

Benedict is not your box of band-aids or anyone else’s—he’s a real fictional person whose interests may sometimes be at cross-purposes with yours. But that’s what makes a good story! And—besides which, but relevant—look at those muscles, Dom. Look at them. He doesn’t even work out. Did you know that? He doesn’t even work out.


DANIEL

Awkwarder...


MARCUS

Oddly, I’m okay being objectified in this way.


DOMINIC

This is a highly complex game that he simply doesn’t know how to play, and that’s preventing us from playing it to the best of our considerable ability. Full stop.


EMO

It’s a story! “Full stop.”


DOMINIC

It’s a story with points! You acquire tasks, you complete those tasks, you are awarded experience points. Once you have enough points, your character becomes more powerful, can attempt more difficult tasks, is awarded even more points.


EMO

Oh, Dom. We love you and we really, truly don’t know why.