Season One, Episode 2: The Dip

Updated: May 22


Our heroes must persevere through a time of unexpected difficulty.


***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


MUSIC: Foreboding cue.


MARCUS

The Ordinary Epic, season one, episode two: The Dip.


MARCUS

Alright! Game two! I have done my reading, I know what... some of these dice are called, and I am ready to eat some junk food. Let’s do this.


ATHENA

I’m flattered that you’re so excited to come back. Also that you came back.


DOMINIC

New guy seems... chipper.


EMO

New guy’s name is Marcus?


MARCUS

It’s not a problem, Imoge— Emo. Little bit of hazing, steep learning curve—it’s all part of the Dip. I got this.


DANIEL

The what?


MARCUS

The Dip.


DANIEL

We didn’t bring any...?


MARCUS

It’s a book by this dude Seth Godin—


EMO

—ohhhh—


MARCUS

—that all of us had to read for work. What’d you think?


EMO

Yeah, I definitely did not read that.


MARCUS

Well if you had, you’d know the Dip is that time between trying something new and before you’re good at it where everything’s difficult and, you know, you suck a little bit.


DOMINIC

(“no comment”) Mm hmm...


MARCUS

Most people just give up: it’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward, it’s not always fun. But! If you commit, and power through the Dip, you come out stronger.


EMO

That awkward place you describe is my domain, and I am its ruler.


MARCUS

I can see that.


DOMINIC

Sounds like a waste of time to me. Why don’t you just be smart and master whatever you’re trying to learn in a few days?


MARCUS

And how often are you able to—


DOMINIC

Most of the time.


MARCUS

That’s cool... Daniel, you’re premed—I bet you’re all kinds of familiar with the Dip.


DANIEL

Uh. It’s fine, I guess...?


ATHENA

It’s a neat idea, Marcus. Definitely something to think about.


MARCUS

It is. And I hope you all do.


ATHENA

If we’re ready to begin...?


DOMINIC

Yes. Please. I have so many plans for this session; I won’t spoil anything except to say that—if you all cooperate—every one of us stands to benefit greatly. Even you, new guy. No “dip” required.


MUSIC: Aftermath of the last episode.


ATHENA

The unexpected lash of flame from Benedict’s artifact worked to deadly effect: the Buyer, badly burnt, again fled the scene, and you were able to make short work of the remaining archers. Though your gambit was not without its cost...


SFX (cont.): Outdoors, day


MERRICK

They killed our horse! I can’t believe it. There’s bad people—sometimes, I will admit, that’s us—and then there are monsters, you know?


BENEDICT

I’m sorry, Merrick. Everyone else okay?


THACK

Thack GREAT.


BENEDICT

You have five arrows sticking out of you.


THACK

Pretty boy have two. Thack win.


BENEDICT

Caelus! ...Caelus?


THACK

Pointy-ears...?


MERRICK

Oh no.


SFX: Merrick running a short distance (dirt road). Checking over a body.


BENEDICT

Merrick? Is...?


MERRICK

...He’s dead.


MUSIC CUE: The Ordinary Epic opening theme.


DOMINIC

I’m dead?!


EMO

Caelus is dead—you are only dying a little bit each moment of every day, your biology a closed system of diminishing returns, until one day—and you won’t know which day until it happens—


DOMINIC

Not helping!


ATHENA

Caelus took four arrows in that first volley, Dom.


EMO

Thack’s still ahead!


ATHENA

And two more arrows in the second volley.


EMO

Damn it.


DOMINIC

This is wholly and utterly new guy’s fault.


MARCUS

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to introduce you to a concept called “The Dip.”


DOMINIC

No!


MARCUS

Here’s a period of difficulty you did not expect, right?


DOMINIC

You mean death?!


MARCUS

Yeah, and so now you have to create a new character, which will be... some amount of work, right...? And then you’ll have to build him back up to where Caelus was, which might be difficult. Right?


DOMINIC

I’m back to hating you again.


EMO

Maybe I was a little too grim before—death may not be the end of us.


DOMINIC

No...?


EMO

Well, for Caelus, probably. But fortunately for us, what with the inevitable human-machine singularity, you may not ever have to worry about your own death. The concept will cease to exist—we’ll just get upgrades.


DOMINIC

The inevitable human-machine singularity.


EMO

Yeah!


DOMINIC

Aren’t you in love with Marcus? What happened to that?


EMO

No I am not! And no I wasn’t! And no I never would, as you are implying, try to distract you from my schoolgirl crush on Marcus by talking at length about one of my many interests. And oh my god, that was forever ago!


MARCUS

Wasn’t that last week…?


EMO

Can it, muscles. Dom and I are having a serious conversation about serious things.


MARCUS

Right.


DANIEL

(quietly, to Marcus) It’s not you. Emo’s a bit... mercurial.


EMO

Daniel!


DANIEL

(scared sound)


ATHENA

If everyone’s ready...?


DOMINIC

Yes! Fix this, or Caelus will spend the rest of his unlife haunting you.


EMO

That might actually be kind of interesting...


DOMINIC

Not in a fun way. Fix. This.


SFX: Transition into game world ambiance with Athena narration. A few flies are starting to buzz around.


ATHENA

Your friend, the elven mage Caelus, lies dead before you, his body riddled with arrows and still warm.


THACK

(sad) Poor mouthy twerp...


MERRICK

Brother Benedict, is there anything you can do?


BENEDICT

When it pleases him, Godwin grants me the power to mend minor wounds and ailments. To raise the dead... that is far beyond my ability, Merrick.


MERRICK

And what of your superior, Father Oren?


BENEDICT

I am... not certain. Perhaps. But from what little I know of that ritual, it must occur very soon after death, and the abbey is an hour’s ride away.


MERRICK

Half a day’s walk. Remember the horse?


BENEDICT

...Right.


SFX: Thack hefts the body onto her shoulders.


THACK

Unf. More heavy than he loo