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The Ordinary Epic © 2019 Crose to Home Productions LLC. Original artwork by Hailey Thurrott.

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: 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 look.

 

MERRICK

Let’s get moving.

 

BENEDICT

There is... another problem.

 

MERRICK

What?

 

BENEDICT

Father Oren gave explicit instructions that I was not to return to the abbey with this artifact. That merely having it there was too great a risk for—

 

MERRICK

(angry) Then you can wait with it outside!

 

(awkward beat)

 

MUSIC: Somber music that builds to a hopeful note.

 

MERRICK (cont.)

I’m sorry, it’s just—... this is our friend. We have to do whatever we can.

 

BENEDICT

I understand. (beat) Let’s go.

 

SFX: Two normal-sized people and one giant-sized person (carrying a normal-sized person) jogging on a dirt road begin and then fade out under Athena:

 

ATHENA

Slowly—too slowly, you fear—you begin to make your way back to Musquetan Abbey.

(beat)

And I will need a few minutes to prepare the next part. Please talk amongst yourselves.

 

MARCUS

You’re very good at this.

 

ATHENA

Thanks, Marcus...

 

MARCUS

Seriously, you should think about going pro.

 

ATHENA

I don’t think there’s a professional league for game masters, but truly, I appreciate the vote of confidence.

 

MARCUS

You said you work from home—are you a writer?

 

ATHENA

Ha ha! (beat) Oh, you were serious?

 

MARCUS

I mean... yeah!

 

ATHENA

I—... I don’t know. I dabble, a little.

 

MARCUS

But you find it challenging? Sometimes, perhaps, discouraging that you’re not yet where you want to be?

 

ATHENA

Well yes, sometimes—

 

DOMINIC

Stop! Right there.

 

MARCUS

What?

 

DOMINIC

He’s dipping you! Doing the... dip thing! No more dip for you, new guy. This is a dip-free zone. Are we ready yet or what?

 

ATHENA

Sorry to take so long—I’m only building an entire world on the fly here.

 

MARCUS

You’re making all of this up as you go...?! That’s incredible!

 

ATHENA

It’s equal parts planning and improvisation; sometimes more of the latter with this grou—

 

DOMINIC

Stop distracting her!!

 

MARCUS

(quietly, to Daniel) Why are we trying to save him, again?

 

DANIEL

Eh, he has his uses.

 

MARCUS

Hey, can I ask a personal question?

 

DANIEL

Um, I... don’t know. Yes?

 

MARCUS

You’re super talkative as Merrick but barely say “boo” outside of the game. What’s going on there?

 

DANIEL

I say boo...

 

MARCUS

You should say it more often. You’re a funny guy.

 

DANIEL

Oh... well, uh, that’s... it’s nice. So are you. Funny, I mean.

 

DOMINIC

You two better not be talking about dips over there!

 

EMO

Don’t interrupt them! They were being super cute!

 

DANIEL

(uncomfortable sound)

 

ATHENA

Okay, ready when you guys are.

 

DOMINIC

Very ready.

 

MUSIC CUE: Ominous, dark music underscores Athena narration.

 

ATHENA

Exhausted, wounded, you arrive back at Benedict’s former home as the sun is setting, its brilliant light casting in stark relief the unsettling sight before you—the abbey’s large wooden door is open, several of the stained glass windows are broken, and even from here you can see that something terrible has happened within.

 

SFX: Outdoors, early evening.

 

SFX: Merrick quickly draws twin daggers.

 

MERRICK

Wait here.

 

BENEDICT

Not a chance.

 

MERRICK

We need to make sure we’re not walking into an ambush.

 

BENEDICT

Another ambush, you mean? If people are hurt in there then we don’t have any time to waste.

 

THACK

No one alive in there.

 

BENEDICT

(shouts) Father Oren!

 

SFX: Benedict dashes inside; “mic” stays with the others.

 

MERRICK

(to self) Godwin’s ball—... d head.

 

THACK

Gonna lose another healer he keep this up.

 

MERRICK

Let’s go.

 

SFX: Merrick and Thack (still carrying the body) jog inside; “mic” follows them from outdoors into abbey ambiance: echoey, feet on marble, etc.

 

BENEDICT

(short distance away) You’re right—they’re all dead.

 

SFX: Merrick moving a robed body

 

MERRICK

Arrows. Fletching is the same as the Buyer’s men.

 

THACK

But we kill Buyer’s men.

 

MERRICK

It looks like this happened hours ago, before we fought them. They must have followed us here earlier today and—...

 

BENEDICT

(realizing he’s responsible) Gods.

 

FATHER OREN

(from across the room) Unnnngh...

 

MUSIC: Somber.

 

BENEDICT

Father!

 

SFX: “Mic” follows Benedict as he runs to Father Oren and kneels to tend to him.

 

BENEDICT

Father Oren...

 

FATHER OREN

(with great effort) Brother... Benedict... (wet, rattling cough)

 

BENEDICT

I’m so sorry. This is all my fault.

 

FATHER OREN

Lad... you must... (labored gasping)

 

BENEDICT

Don’t try to speak. Merrick, there might be some... potions or—

 

SFX: Father Oren grasps Benedict’s robes to pull him close

 

FATHER OREN

(rasping, struggling to draw breath) Listen... carefully! You must... do this... the Godstaff... pieces... he... they... you must not let... (exhales one final time)

 

BENEDICT

(completely lost) ...Father Oren...?

 

JORDAN STILLMAN

Hey there, it's Jordan: Executive Producer of this show. Do you know what's awesome? Friendship! Consider reaching out to a friend who would just love this tale of ne'er-do-well adventurers and the people who play them. Word of mouth is incredibly helpful, so telling even one person would be an amazing way to support us. Thank you so much. And now, back to the show. 

 

SFX: Abbey ambiance

 

BENEDICT

(crying softly)

 

MERRICK

I’m sorry, Benedict.

 

BENEDICT

We did this. I did this.

 

MERRICK

We didn’t know—

 

BENEDICT

You didn’t care! You stole a dangerous artifact and then lead the killer looking for it straight into my home.

 

MERRICK

We did actually try to sell the—!

 

THACK

Merrick.

 

MERRICK

I’m sorry for your loss. We lost one, too.

 

THACK

And horse.

 

MERRICK

And the horse.

 

BENEDICT

I don’t know what to do.

 

MERRICK

You mentioned potions—maybe there’s something in here strong enough to—

 

BENEDICT

No... nothing like that. Maybe in the vault, but—

 

MERRICK

The vault...?

 

BENEDICT

No. No.

 

MERRICK

Wouldn’t you do anything to bring back your mentor, your fellow brothers?

 

BENEDICT

I wouldn’t betray my faith.

 

MERRICK

Really? I would. I would do anything, whatever it took, to bring back someone I cared about. And I hope they would do the same for me.

 

BENEDICT

Father Oren wouldn’t want that. None of them would.

 

MERRICK

Caelus would.

 

THACK

Thack would too. Keep in mind for future, please.

 

BENEDICT

Only Father Oren is allowed to enter the vault—the rest of us are... were... expressly forbidden from even going near it.

 

MERRICK

Look, Benedict... I’d appeal to your sense of morality, but I don’t have one of those and would probably say something grossly inappropriate. But I do know how to make a deal, and here’s the best one you’re likely to get—you help us bring back our friend, and we’ll help you with this nebulous-sounding and likely impossible task of yours.

 

THACK

Thack not really understand that, but long as Thack get to kill, Thack happy.

 

BENEDICT

Probably there will be killing, Thack. I suppose that part is unavoidable.

 

THACK

Pretty boy say sweetest things.

 

MERRICK

Do we have an accord?

MUSIC: Dark, building to hopeful by the end.

 

BENEDICT

I don’t suppose I have much of a choice. Though I doubt Father Oren would have wanted me to honor his last wish while in the company of liars and thieves, as he put it—

 

THACK

Murderers and thieves.

 

BENEDICT

...Right.

 

MERRICK

Like you said... you don’t have much of a choice.

 

BENEDICT

(hard sigh)

 

SFX: Benedict rises to his feet

 

BENEDICT (cont.)

Follow me.

 

ATHENA

Led by Brother Benedict, the remaining members of your party descend into the abbey’s depths, where you discover that you are not the first to pass this way...

 

SFX: Close stone tunnels; distant dripping.

 

BENEDICT

(hushed) The vault is already open! How—...?

 

SFX: Merrick drawing his twin daggers

 

MERRICK

(hushed) Now will you wait behind and let me do my job?

 

BENEDICT

(hushed) If we’re doing this, I should go first. It should be me.

 

MERRICK

(hushed) Hate to break it to you, but someone else was pretty obviously here before us. Damn it.

 

THACK

(hushed, sort of) Watch yer fuckin’ language. We in church.

 

BENEDICT

(hushed) Thanks... Thack... Ready?

 

MERRICK

(hushed) Ready.

 

THACK

(grunts)

 

BENEDICT

Hnf...!

 

SFX: Very large vault door swings open.

 

MUSIC: Quick suspenseful sting, then...

 

SFX: Silence.

 

BENEDICT

They’re gone.

 

MERRICK

That’s... a lot of vials.

 

BENEDICT

Thack, set Caelus on that altar. I’ll try to find... something...?

 

SFX: Benedict begins rummaging through drawers, between decanters, etc.

 

THACK

Here go, pointy ears...

 

SFX: Thack heaves the body onto a stone altar

 

SFX: Bonk! of a head against stone

 

THACK

Er. Oopsie...

 

MERRICK

Very odd. It doesn’t seem that they took anything except whatever was in this ornate case. This... very valuable-looking—

 

BENEDICT

Sticky fingers in your pockets, please.

 

MERRICK

I wasn’t going to take the whole case! Just a couple of the larger gems attached to it... maybe few of the smaller ones too...

 

SFX: Rummaging stops

 

BENEDICT

(sighs) I have some bad news.

 

MERRICK

Well, praise the gods. Today has really been nothing but good news.

 

BENEDICT

There isn’t anything here with the power to bring Caelus back.

 

MERRICK

You’re sure?

 

BENEDICT

Maybe whatever was in that case, but by the time we found the Buyer and got it back...

 

MERRICK

Oh.

 

BENEDICT

There’s another option...? But it might not work... and even trying it... Well.

 

MERRICK

I’m listening.

 

BENEDICT

Godwin does not grant me alone the power to restore life. But, using some of the objects here imbued with His holy power, I might be able to... “cheat” it.

 

MERRICK

Really...

 

BENEDICT

This is not Godwin’s will, and defying Him could have... consequences. Caelus might return to us twisted, monstrous.

 

THACK

Eh, that sound like pointy ears.

 

BENEDICT

This could provoke Godwin’s wrath, which could fall upon me, or all of us.

 

MERRICK

You’re not used to being in trouble. Am I right?

 

BENEDICT

Well, no. I mean—yes. You’re right.

 

MERRICK

The most difficult part of trying something new is how long it takes to get good at it. You just have to push through and eventually you’ll get there—I promise.

 

BENEDICT

Get where? Really good at being in trouble?

 

THACK

Or really good at killin’.

 

MERRICK

Or both! Whatever you want to be!

 

BENEDICT

I just know I’m going to regret this...

 

MUSIC: A sort-of “holy” music starts slow and then escalates to its conclusion, ending in a place of danger and uncertainty.

 

BENEDICT (cont.)

Alright... place the vial here... don’t touch that. Okay, and the book is here... ah, okay. Alright. You might want to stand over there.

(chanting repeats and continues under the rest) Great Father Godwin, by grace of your strength and the power of your gifts, restore to us this lost son. Though he was not your disciple he was in your service, and his restored life will be a testament to your work and your will.

 

SFX: Piece by piece, a big magical ritual begins to build

 

THACK

So pretty...

 

MERRICK

We should probably... stand back...

 

BENEDICT

(chanting intensifies)

 

SFX: The many glass vials begin to shake together.

 

THACK

This supposed to happen?

 

MERRICK

Benedict...?

 

SFX: The ritual crescendos with big bass.

 

BENEDICT

(begins to scream in pain)

 

MERRICK

Benedict...?!

 

SFX: We are pulled a long distance from the chaos of the vault and abruptly thrown into a place of perfect silence. FATHER OREN’s voice has a sort of celestial reverb on it.

 

MUSIC: Evoking the Gods’ War sequence from the previous episode.

 

BENEDICT

(after a beat) H—hello?

 

FATHER OREN

(he sounds vital; stronger even than we met him last episode) Brother Benedict.

 

BENEDICT

Father Oren...?

 

FATHER OREN

I appear to you in a manner you both admire and fear. But I am not he.

 

BENEDICT

Oh... gods.

 

FATHER OREN

Just so.

 

BENEDICT

I have offended thee.

 

FATHER OREN

You have acted in a reckless manner, it is true. Yet you have done so in service to me. I am vexed and pleased, in equal measure. What am I to do?

 

BENEDICT

I submit to your will.

 

FATHER OREN

Your will has proven somewhat stronger than mine of late. No. I will not punish you. But neither will you have my aid.

 

BENEDICT

Forgive me, Great Father—I don’t understand.

 

FATHER OREN

The elder god you know as Torak betrayed our trust when he broke the Godstaff into many pieces, and this act earned him his exile. However, the ages have shown that he was not wrong to do so—plans are in motion now that will be the undoing of all we have created, unless they are stopped. This is your charge.

 

BENEDICT

Thank you, Great Father. I will not disappoint you.

 

FATHER OREN

You need not call me “Father,” Benedict, for you are no longer my child. Go, and discover your own fate.

 

BENEDICT

Wait, but—

 

SFX: We are “whooshed” back into the vault.

 

BENEDICT

...He’s gone.

 

CAELUS

(deep, gasping breath)

 

MERRICK

No, it worked! Caelus!

 

CAELUS

It never once... occurred to any of you... to first... pull out the arrows?

 

THACK

Still wearing mine.

 

SFX: Thack thumps her chest proudly.

 

CAELUS

Look at me! They’ve healed over!

 

MERRICK

Good to have you back.

 

CAELUS

Brother Benedict, I presume I have you to thank for this?

 

BENEDICT

It’s just “Benedict” now. And mostly you have Merrick to thank.

 

CAELUS

You said you would run...

 

MERRICK

Well, you do still owe me that fifty gold, so...

 

CAELUS

As you well know, all debts are dissolved at death, so I’m afraid you’re quite out of—... wait, Benedict is no longer an insufferable religious zealot?

 

BENEDICT

Godwin has... forsaken me.

 

CAELUS

(somber for perhaps half a second) Oh. (upbeat) But look at all these potions, balms, and salves! Uff.

 

SFX: Caelus hops off the altar and walks over to the bottles.

 

CAELUS (cont.)

We’ll not want for healing, even with your... affliction. Not to worry!

 

BENEDICT

Yes, what a relief.

 

CAELUS

Thack, make yourself useful and help me load all of these.

 

THACK

Magic word “please.”

 

CAELUS

You wouldn’t know a magic word if it zapped you in the—

 

THACK

(growls)

 

CAELUS

...Please.

 

MUSIC: Short sequence brings us out: somber, a sense of loss.

 

MERRICK

It’s like I said, Benedict—now you can be anything you want.

 

BENEDICT

I wanted to be a priest...

 

SFX: When music finishes, we are back in the real world.

 

DOMINIC

Well that took forever, but thank you anyway.

 

MARCUS

So, maybe this is a dumb question, but how does Benedict get his powers back?

 

ATHENA

That depends, Marcus. He might never.

 

MARCUS

Wait, what??

 

ATHENA

Benedict will either have to redeem himself or find a different path.

 

DOMINIC

See, there’s this concept—I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it—I like to call it “The Dip.” Now the Dip is this period of time where things are really difficult, right? Are you with me so far?

 

MARCUS

That’s cold, man.

 

EMO

Dom, don’t be a jackass. I think what he’s trying to say is that sometimes, when you’re first trying something new—

 

MARCUS

Alright, alright. I get it! You guys really are the worst.

 

DANIEL

It is the worst, but only at first—if you just push through it...

 

MARCUS

Et tu, Daniel?

 

ATHENA

After a while, you get used to their abuse. It’s not so bad once you get through a sort-of valley area, a kind of trough, if you will—

 

MARCUS

I take back everything nice I said to you.

 

ATHENA

(chipper) See you next session?

 

MARCUS

(defeated) Uh huh...

 

MUSIC: End credits music.

 

JORDAN STILLMAN

The Ordinary Epic was created by Brandon M. Crose, and brought to life by Executive Producer Jordan Stillman, Technical Producer Brad Smith, Composer Tiven Weinstock, Graphic Designer Hailey Thurrott, and Visual Designer Sangjun Lee, with additional music and music editing by Bradley Jordan, and audio by Matthew Lightbound. Season one, episode 2: The Drip, was directed by Stephanie LeBolt, and features the voice talents of Rachel Belleman as Emo and Thack; Caitlin Gjerdrum as Athena and Father Oren; Brandon Green as Marcus and Benedict; Michael Hisamoto as Daniel and Merrick; and Elliot Purcell as Dominic and Caelus. Extra special thanks to Production Assistants Neil Johnson, Liz Schultz, and Matt Kramer. Check out theordinaryepic.com for bonus content, original artwork, and to join our listener community. Season one of The Ordinary Epic is made possible in part by a grant from Neil Marsh of Eternity Cove Productions. The Ordinary Epic is copyright 2019, Crose to Home Productions, LLC.

 

MUSIC: End credit theme concludes.

 

JORDAN (cont.)

Thank you so much for listening! If you like what you hear, leave us a review—it really does help. We’ll see you again in two weeks with Episode Three: Modern-Day Thacktivism. And always remember: the most difficult part of trying something new is how long it takes to get good at it. You just have to push through and eventually you’ll get there—I promise.