Season One, Episode 4: Going Rogue

Updated: May 22, 2021


In disguise, our heroes reveal more than they intend.


***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

JORDAN STILLMAN

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


MUSIC: A lively selection from masquerade suite.


DANIEL

The Ordinary Epic, season one, episode four: Going Rogue.


MUSIC: Concludes.


ATHENA

So, guys...


EMO

Uh oh. This sounds ominous?


ATHENA

Nothing sinister, I promise. But I am trying something new this time.


EMO

Oooh, I love something new!


DOMINIC

“New”? Why??


ATHENA

I have a very loose idea of how this adventure might go, but I’m leaving the details entirely up to you. Go wild. And I will do my very best to keep up.


MARCUS

Improv. Nice.


EMO

You tried improv one time, right?


MARCUS

I just like the concept.


ATHENA

Anyway, it’s a bit out of my comfort zone, but I’ve learned the hard way not to overplan.


DOMINIC

Wouldn’t be a problem if you just controlled your table...


EMO

Dom! Be nice to Athena.


ATHENA

So if everyone’s ready?


DOMINIC

As long as Emo can behave herself this time...


EMO

Well that all depends—will we be murdering the marginalized creatures of this fantasy world for fun and profit tonight?


ATHENA

No, not tonight! Probably never again.


EMO

Then my work here is done.


MARCUS

Daniel, you’re quieter than usual. Everything okay?


DANIEL

Yep.


MARCUS

...You sure?


DANIEL

...Yep.


MARCUS

Nothing in particular going on?


DANIEL

Nope...?


MARCUS

Daniel, I swear, you are the original man of mystery.


DANIEL

Thank you?


MARCUS

Could you tell me just one thing about yourself? Anything.


DANIEL

(awkward sound starting to bloom)


EMO

Oh! He’s studying premed!


DOMINIC

He still lives with his parents.


EMO

He’s 22! I think.


DANIEL

...almost 22...


MARCUS

You’re 21! That’s great. Now I know something about you. Are you living at home to save money? I did that.


DANIEL

(awkward sound getting worse)


DOMINIC

That’s all you’re going to get, new guy. He’s like this with everyone.


EMO

Except when he’s Merrick.


MARCUS

Right. Merrick does talk...


ATHENA

Shall we?


EMO / DOMINIC / MARCUS / DANIEL

Yass! / Finally. / We shall... / Thank you...


MUSIC CUE: Music promising mystery, intrigue underscores Athena’s narration


SFX: The back corner of a mostly quiet tavern


ATHENA

After weeks on the run from the Buyer and his men, you finally get a lead: the Baron is throwing a lavish masquerade, and several noted antiquarians will be in attendance: the perfect opportunity to learn more about the Godstaff of Many Pieces—and, perhaps, who is after it—without risking unwanted attention. Now, to find a way in...


CAELUS

Then we are agreed?


THACK

Plan have no violence, but Thack go along. Maybe violence later?


CAELUS

Thack... violence will attract attention. Attention bad.


THACK

But violence so good...


MERRICK

If you believe your illusions will see us through—


CAELUS

Of course they will.


MERRICK

—I’ll... “aquire” our invitations tonight.


BENEDICT

“Aquire,” huh?


MERRICK

...Yes.


BENEDICT

Would that be forgery or theft?


MERRICK

We’re chasing your quest, Benedict. If you don’t like the particulars of how we do it then I suggest—


BENEDICT

Oh, no, sorry. I didn’t mean that. I’m actually curious.


MERRICK

Really.


BENEDICT

I have to find myself a new path, right? I’m just exploring my options. Maybe thieving. Why not?


MERRICK

I prefer “the larcenous arts,” thank you. We will be borrowing the invitations of lesser nobility.


BENEDICT

But what if they also show up?


MERRICK

Strangely, all four of them will suffer very bad reactions to their extravagant dinners tonight. Nothing fatal, but they won’t be straying far from their chamber pots for the next day or two.


BENEDICT

That’s smart.


MERRICK

Thank you, Benedict.


BENEDICT

Where did you learn how to do all this?


MERRICK

Um...


BENEDICT

I mean, was it something you wanted to do or were you sort of born into it?


MERRICK

I... suppose that I was “born” into a different trade and chose this one for myself.


BENEDICT

That’s really interesting. What trade was that? Medicine, maybe? That’s where you learned about poison?


MERRICK

Yes, actually...


BENEDICT

So your parents wanted you to pursue medicine, but you didn’t.


MERRICK

That’s about the shape of it...!


BENEDICT

You’re truly a man of mystery, Merrick. I’m just curious to learn more about you.


MUSIC: “Fun” beat that foreshadows masquerade theme


MERRICK

Perhaps we could get to know me later?


BENEDICT

Oh, certainly. It’s a date.


MERRICK

(hard sigh)


MUSIC: The Ordinary Epic opening theme.


SFX: Outdoors, night. In the distance: sounds of people gathering for the masquerade.


MUSIC CUE: Distant music can be heard from inside the keep


THACK

Ugh. How women fight in tiny dress??


CAELUS

Mostly they don’t. And that’s the largest dress we could find.


THACK

It like a prison for Thack glorious belly.


MERRICK

If it makes you feel any better, Thack, mine’s a little tight, too. Also I look like a peacock.


BENEDICT

Yeah. Really prefer my robes.


CAELUS

What a group of negative nixies you all are! Mine fits fine. And I rather like how it looks...


THACK

Thack change mind. This bad plan.


CAELUS

It’s a fine plan. And it isn’t yet complete. Merrick, if you are prepared?


MERRICK

To share all of my thoughts with you? This is certain to be... illuminating.


CAELUS

How to explain this to a mundane... Not every thought—only the ones you concentrate on “sending” me. And vice versa.


MERRICK

That’s a relief.


CAELUS

It’s certainly possible to read your mind or browse your memories, but of course those are different spells.


MERRICK

...And you don’t know those ones, right?


CAELUS

Yet.


MERRICK

Oh good.


CAELUS

Mentes nostras et communicare consilia!


SFX: Mental link is established


MERRICK

Ah!


CAELUS

(distorted, echoey) Can you hear me?


MERRICK

Oh!!


CAELUS

Perfect. Merrick and I will be taking point on this; the rest of you would do well to say little and follow our lead. And as for our sore thumb here... hmm...


THACK

Pointy ears not want hear Thack thoughts.


CAELUS

I imagine they’re a lot like Thack words?


THACK

Yeah, but more killin’ ‘n’ sex.


CAELUS

Wouldn’t that be a treat. No, I’m more interested in your appearance.


THACK

That sexist.


CAELUS

Unfortunately, Lady Arelia is not a half-orc noblewoman. Your present appearance will draw attention. However... Mutaverit aspectum oculorum ad mundane!


SFX: An illusion!


BENEDICT / MERRICK

Um, wow. / Very interesting...


THACK

How Thack look...?


MERRICK

Quite a lot like a fair elven maiden. I’m pretty sure that Lady Arelia isn’t that, either.


CAELUS

Well an artist must take some liberty with his work. And besides—it’s a masquerade.


MERRICK

Mmm hm.


THACK

Pointy ears make Thack look like pointy ears?


CAELUS

Whose ears are the pointiest now, fair lady? And one final detail... Mutare vocem ad aures ingerunt!


SFX: Voice transform!


THACK

(transitions from gruff orc voice to high, lilting voice midsentence) No matter how Thack look, Thack still kick shit out of pointy ears if Thack... uhh what happening?


CAELUS

Hmm... it’s something of an improvement...


THACK

Improvement? Thack sound like Thack being strangled!


MERRICK / BENEDICT

(laugh)


THACK

It not funny!


MERRICK

It is a little funny.


THACK

(growls; does not sound at all threatening)


MERRICK / BENEDICT

(laugh harder)


CAELUS

It’s probably best if you don’t speak.


THACK

That also sexist.


CAELUS

Or, if you must, keep it to “yes,” “no thank you,” “m’lord,” or an endearing giggle.


THACK

(tries out an endearing giggle)


CAELUS

Right. Let’s not do that ever again. Shall we proceed?


BENEDICT

I’m with Merrick, right?


MERRICK

Seen and not heard, Benedict.


THACK

Thack ready.


CAELUS

You’re Lady Arelia now, not Thack.


THACK

Lady Arelia ready.


MERRICK

This is going to go really well. I just have that feeling.


MUSIC CUE: Bring up distant music under Athena


SFX: Bring up crowd walla under Athena


ATHENA

After more scrutiny than you would have liked from the Baron’s greeter... and the Baron’s guards... you enter a lavishly decorated main hall, the crowd before you seeming to swim with a dazzling array of colorful costumes and masks. Traveling minstrels provide music for the evening’s festivities, while more of the Baron’s guards keep a watchful eye on proceedings.


MERRICK

More security than I’d like...


CAELUS

You don’t think...?


MERRICK

As long as we act like we belong here, it shouldn’t be a problem.


THACK

Lady Arelia a pointy-ear maiden of large society. Of course Lady Arelia belong here. Who you, peasant?


CAELUS

Say “I” instead of your name. And it’s “high” society. And you don’t need to specify that you’re an elf. And don’t call anyone here a “peasant.” And actually just don’t say anything at all, please.


THACK

“I a maiden of high society”?


CAELUS

Ugh. “Lady Arelia” and I are going to inspect the hall a bit more. Perhaps we’ll detect trouble before trouble, inevitably, detects us.


MERRICK

Right. Benedict and I—by which I mean “mostly I, as Benedict has agreed to remain silent”—


BENEDICT

Have I...?


MERRICK

—will work the room, try to find antiquarians and, maybe, some answers.


CAELUS

Good luck.


MERRICK

Don’t believe in it, but thanks! You too.


SFX: Two normal-sized people in fancy attire walk away


MERRICK (cont.)

Now... which of you unsuspecting rubes is my first mark...


BENEDICT

It’s so interesting that you were a man of medicine who turned away from it.


MERRICK

Really? I don’t think it is.


BENEDICT

It is, because healing people is a path I chose... well, it was chosen for me but I liked it, I think... Anyway, that path sort of turned away from me, you know?


MERRICK

Yes, fascinating.


BENEDICT

So we’re the same, in a way.


MERRICK

Except that I had to fight for this choice. And it cost me... much.


BENEDICT

Yeah...?


MERRICK

I know what you’re trying to do, and it’s not going to work. You can’t con a con.


BENEDICT

Am I conning you?


MERRICK

You’re trying to get me to talk about how my controlling parents chose medicine for me, how I never really had a choice in the matter, and how betrayed they were when I instead turned to a life of cr—... larcenous artistry. Gods damn it, you conned me.


BENEDICT

Not at all! I’m just trying to get to know you.


MERRICK

Yes, but you’re using devious tactics to do it. Who knew that this strident, upright exterior hid such a rogue. You just might have a future in this after all.


BENEDICT

Oh, no. I couldn’t actually—


MERRICK

That’s what I thought. “I owe them everything; I have to be what they want me to be. I couldn’t possibly...” But I could, and I did. And it hurt, but I walked away from them, from everything. I created a life defined by freedom and movement—one in which I could do literally whatever I wanted. And so can you.


BENEDICT

That’s great, Merrick. So what was it exactly about the larcenous—?


MERRICK

What does it matter? We’re here to work, not talk about the past. Ah, here we go. Follow my lead...


SFX: Fade in couple as we approach them


NOBLE WOMAN

...husband and I give them shelter, a reasonable weekly allowance—we saved them from the streets, most likely.


NOBLE MAN

Almost certainly.


NOBLE WOMAN

What is the use of a servant if she cannot serve in a reasonable—?


MERRICK

Terribly sorry to interrupt your baleful tale, m’lady. I think we all know well your pain—the serving class truly are wretched.


NOBLE MAN

And you are...?


MERRICK

Oh, forgive me again—my manners. Rowan Dain, Count of Lorham, at your service.


NOBLE MAN

Yes, the lesser Dain. We’ve not had the pleasure. Remind me—what is your business?


MERRICK

Textiles, mostly.


NOBLE WOMAN

Mm. Simply fascinating.


MERRICK

You flatter me, m’lady. My true passion, though, is the collection and preservation of antiquities. My acquaintance and I were hoping to introduce ourselves to like-minded attendees.


BENEDICT

But what was it exactly, “Rowan,” about “antiquities” that drew you away from the textiling life? I’d really like to know.


MERRICK

...The same things that draw you to this art, no doubt!


NOBLE WOMAN

It is such a vital calling. The old world has so many treasures, and if not for your efforts they would molder in the ground or go to waste in the possession of some peasant, utterly unaware of its true worth.


NOBLE MAN

Indeed.


MERRICK

Yes, precisely! So you must be acquainted with some of the experts here tonight?


NOBLE WOMAN

Of course. When we first arrived, we exchanged pleasantries with Lord Peyton Hen—


BENEDICT

But I’m sure you fine people would agree—why waste your time on textiles at all, when “antiquing” is your true passion? Perhaps there are those who expect textiling of you, maybe they’ve even expected that you’d become a textile…r since the day you were born, but if you’re more about the antiquing life, then don’t you owe it to yourself to do that?


NOBLE WOMAN

Beg... pardon?


MERRICK

(hard sigh)


MUSIC CUE: Briefly bring up music


SFX: Briefly bring up crowd walla


CAELUS

Well, it doesn’t seem that they’ve attracted unwanted attention yet. What do you see?


THACK

Dozen guards so far, not patrol. Strongest one on that door.


CAELUS

Hm. Yes, I do detect a faint abjuration protecting it. Curious. And you can tell from here which are the strongest guards? They all look like overstuffed suits of armor to me.


THACK

A lady know these thing.


CAELUS

Hmph.


THACK

What “hmph”? And why pointy ears not look at Tha— I when I speaking?


CAELUS

It—... I simply find it—... There is something profoundly unsettling about you in this disguise.


THACK

Thought pointy ears prefer mouthy she-twerp with yellow hairs and torture clothes?


CAELUS

Over your usual self? Never. Well. Almost never. You do tend to wear the same outfit for months on end, to say nothing of your distinctive—


THACK

New man come this way.


CAELUS

Towards us directly?


THACK

Yup. Stronger than other two. Look maybe like leader.


SFX: Sound of armored guard approaching


CAELUS

Vecnu’s left testicle; this is just what we need right now. Follow my lead exactly—no doubt he knows something is amiss with you, but let’s not confirm his—


THACK

Hello beautiful man!


CAELUS

—suspicions.


CHIEF GUARD

Ah, hello, m’lady. I do not mean to trouble you—


CAELUS

It is no trouble at all, good sir. My companion and I—


THACK

“Companion”? Thought I lady?


CAELUS

—the lady and I, who is also my companion, by which I mean, of course, “friend”—


THACK

Ohhh. Ha. Right.


CAELUS

—are not accustomed to attending events as lavish and formal as this, and I must apologize profusely if we have given you any cause for—


CHIEF GUARD

No, m’lord, not at all. I only wondered if I might… know your name?


CAELUS

(audible surprise)


THACK

Me name? Mine?


CHIEF GUARD

Yes. There is a way about you… I can’t quite place it, but even across the hall I could tell that there is something… exceptional about you.


THACK

Oh. My name... Th-- Lady Arelia of Osthill.


CHIEF GUARD

Lady Arelia of Osthill.


THACK

Yup. That me…


CHIEF GUARD

And the two of you are not… here? That is, together?


CAELUS

(a peal of awkward/nervous laughter) Oh, no. No! Ahem. No, good sir, we are not.


CHIEF GUARD

Then you wouldn’t mind…?


CAELUS

Well, however—


THACK

I not mind. So… you Chieftan guard?


CHIEF GUARD

“Chieftan”! How clever. I am merely a “chief” guard, I’m afraid.


THACK

Well. Gotta start somewhere.


CAELUS

Wait… I recognize that man…


CHIEF GUARD

And you, Lady Arelia —


THACK

Oh, just Arelia fine.


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) Merrick.


MUSIC CUE: Briefly bring up music


SFX: Briefly bring up crowd walla


NOBLE WOMAN

—and you must of course speak with the Countess Seraphina Ormond, though her interests tend toward the macabre—totemic jawbones and the like. She’s in the purple feathered mask and red scarf.


MERRICK

Thank you so much m’lady. We certainly shall. And please forgive us—we’ve taken up so much of your time tonight.


NOBLE MAN

Oh, not at all…!


NOBLE WOMAN

Always a pleasure to speak with a fellow connoisseur, Rowan. And please don’t fret so about your friend’s profession—textiling might be dreadful work, but I’m certain he has people to do it for him.


BENEDICT

Yes. Quite.


NOBLE MAN

Come, let us see if the Baron has a moment for us.


NOBLE WOMAN

(walking away) If I dare say so beneath his own roof, the Baron is a bit of a peculiar man…


MERRICK

It’s time you also wandered off, Benedict.


BENEDICT

Hm. I don’t remember that part of the plan...


MERRICK

I can’t work with you running your own con on me. Scram.


BENEDICT

I’m sorry. I just wanted to get to know you better.


MERRICK

Get to know yourself better. Eat some rich people food. Steal something. Just… not here.


BENEDICT

Fine, Merrick. But I want you to know—this is a terrible date.


SFX: Benedict walking away


MERRICK

(calling after him) You were raised in a church! What would you know—… about. Talking to yourself. (deep breath) Okay. Next mark… Let’s start with—


BUYER

Greetings, friend.


MERRICK

Hello, good sir. Apologies, but I was just on my way to speak with Lord Peyton Hendry, famous antiquarian. I hear he retires early in the evening, so I wanted to be sure—


BUYER

You wish to speak with an expert on old, stolen things?


SFX: Music and crowd walla fall away


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) Merrick. Merrick…!


SFX: Music and crowd walla rise back up


MERRICK

Yes, I suppose I do…


BUYER

Then I would say that your expedition was a success, friend, with one small exception…


SFX: Shink! of a long dagger being drawn and pressed to Merrick’s side


MERRICK

(reacts to the dagger) You…


BUYER

Where you were seeking gold, instead you found steel.


MUSIC: Fades out.


JORDAN STILLMAN

Hey guys, Executive Producer Jordan Stillman here with a quick question for you: Have you checked out our Patreon? If not, you totally should! It’s an easy way to show your support and get great extras in return: recording scripts, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and even the original soundtrack and ad-free high-definition versions of each episode as they’re available. And, the more listeners who join our community, the closer we’ll be to recovering our costs from season one and being able to confidently start work on a second season. Check it out at patreon.com/theordinaryepic. And now, back to the show.


MUSIC: A new movement begins—more tense.


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) Merrick…! Can you hear me? You are speaking with the Buyer. Merrick!


SFX: Bring crowd walla back up


CAELUS (cont.)

Damn it.


CHIEF GUARD

I suppose it is a good job—easier by far than killing for coin.


THACK

Bet not as fun, though?


CHIEF GUARD

It can be fun. Sometimes I meet beautiful elven women.


THACK

Bet you say that to all pointy ears.


CHIEF GUARD

Not all. Your friend, for instance. Was… that offensive m’lord? Forgive me.


CAELUS

I’m afraid we really must excuse ourselves…


THACK

No we not!


CHIEF GUARD

I have offended you. I meant only that I find the lady’s ears… wonderfully exotic. Not just her ears, of course. Her beautiful almond eyes…


CAELUS

Oh, you really don’t have to…


THACK

Please more thanks…


CHIEF GUARD

…the most slender wrists…


CAELUS

I do not mean to alarm you, but I believe there are ne’er-do-wells about!


CHIEF GUARD

Where?


CAELUS

Oh! No… particular… Only, I wonder if there might be ne’er-do-wells? About? It’s a feeling I have. Based on nothing concrete. Regardless, perhaps you should investigate?


THACK

Bet Chief Guard see all threats.


CHIEF GUARD

Indeed I do. Do not worry yourself, m’lord—the Baron has taken all precautions to ensure a smooth masquerade. You are well guarded tonight.


THACK

Even flank? That difficult to guard…


CHIEF GUARD

Especially your flank…


CAELUS

(sound of despair)


SFX: Music and crowd walla fall away


MERRICK

(distant voice effect) …Caelus…


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) Merrick! The Buyer—


MERRICK

(distant voice effect) —has a dagger pressed against my kidney.


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) You can survive with just one...


MERRICK

(distant voice effect) He’s trained, Caelus. Highly. I can’t get away.


CAELUS

(distant voice effect) I’ll be there as quickly as possible.