Updated: Jul 18

 

 

Hello Bradley (who goes by "Brad," but I called him Bradley for most of our time together on season one)! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello Brandon! Where to start? I’m a film, games, and television composer and music editor based in Chichester, U.K. I currently work with Guy Michelmore assisting on shows for Marvel/Disney, Netflix, ITV, and networks, but when I’m not working with Guy I like to pursue my own projects, which is where you come in!

Can you describe a little bit your process as a Music Editor? What are the sorts of things you look to enhance when you're working with someone else's compositions?

"Music editing" is such a broad, wide-reaching term that encompasses a whole load of different tasks/approaches to editing music. I actually did a blog post about this for ThinkSpace Education a little while ago that goes into a bit of depth on what I do on a day-to-day basis for Guy.

For this project it was really a case of identifying the lines that the composer had written and translating that on to instruments best suited to carry said lines. Starting there I then continued to orchestrate the cues (adding more instruments to fully realize the pieces) until we get the finished product in the show. Beyond that I always look to see how I can expand the harmonic expression of the score, without taking too much creative license over the source material.

After our original composer stepped away after episode 5, you stepped up to compose the score for episode 6, the season one finale. You did a terrific job with that score, and I know our audience is going to feel the same. How was that experience for you? 

First of all, thank you for the kind words, and secondly thank you for the opportunity to write the score! It was a huge amount of fun to be "unshackled" so to speak, and really take the score in a direction that I felt helped enhance the gravity of the episode. I generally really enjoy writing emotive music, so I was in my element a bit here!

This is the first podcast series I’ve ever written for, so not working to picture was a big adjustment for me, which is backwards to a lot of other composer’s experiences! You were very kind enough to provide such extensive notes on what needed to go where and the sorts of tones required for difference scenes in previous episodes, so that when I came to episode 6, I had a pretty firm grasp of what you’d want. There were adjustments that were needed here and there, but it was a really enlightening learning experience and it resulted in a score I’m really proud of and a fanatically climactic, emotional episode!

What's next for you? That is, what are you working on now, and what do you hope to be working on in the future?

Next for me is continuing to work with Guy on the TV shows and films that we work on, but continuing to build my career as a composer in my own right. We’re working on Robozuna at the moment, which is a lot of fun, but who knows what’s on the horizon! Writing music for season two of The Ordinary Epic would be nice… ;) 

In closing, what's a question that you wish people asked you more often?

“Would you like to do the music for my multi-million dollar feature film starring a whole host of Marvel superheroes” is up there around the top of my list I reckon. :P 

Thank you, Brad/Bradley, for taking the time to give such generous answers and for your incredible work on The Ordinary Epic's first season! (And we are absolutely on board to work with you again in future seasons, should we reach that goal!) 

 

If you're hungry for more, our Patreon supporters at the $5+ tier have access to an extended version of this interview with Bradley as well as a truly epic behind-the-scenes treat: Bradley's first passes as Music Editor on the original theme. Become a Patreon supporter today to get access to this and tons of other goodies, including high-definition ad-free versions of every episode released so far and season one's original soundtrack!

 

Bradley Jordan is a film, television, and game music composer based in Chichester, U.K. He has been writing diverse and professional scores for a wide range of applications for 6 years, working alongside award-winning composer Guy Michelmore. Through his work for Guy, Bradley has worked for companies such as Marvel, Dreamworks, DQ Entertainment, and many more. Most recently working on Robozuna, an animated children’s TV show for ITV and Netflix. In his spare time he likes to play video games, perform in his function band, and play D&D with his friends. bradleyjordancomposer.com

 

What can our heroes save before everything falls apart?

 

***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.

 

ATHENA

The Ordinary Epic, Season One, Episode 6: Amends.

 

EMO

Hey, Athena... how was your week...?

 

ATHENA

It was okay, Emo; thanks for asking.

 

MARCUS

...See any good movies... or TV—?

 

ATHENA

Not really.

 

MARCUS

That’s cool...

 

ATHENA

Is everyone ready?

 

DANIEL

Yes, but... (awkward sound)

 

EMO

We’re really sorry about last week.

 

ATHENA

Don’t worry about that now.

 

DOMINIC

Do you still want this to be our last...?

 

ATHENA

Cell phones silenced?

 

MARCUS

I left mine at home this time...

 

EMO

How can we change your—?

 

ATHENA

Emo, everyone—that’s enough. We’re just going to enjoy tonight. Okay?

 

EMO/MARCUS/DOMINIC/DANIEL

(various resigned responses)

 

ATHENA

Everyone ready now?

 

EMO

I guess...

 

ATHENA

Okay.

 

MUSIC CUE: Tense, anticipatory music that builds straight into the main theme

 

ATHENA (cont.)

The next morning, while making preparations to leave from your extended stay at the Tipsy Troglodyte, you learn that the unthinkable has occurred...

 

SFX: Ambiance of upstairs bedroom at a tavern, morning

 

SFX: Benedict runs in, door slams open

 

BENEDICT

Everyone, uh...! I have some really bad news.

 

CAELUS

Oh, no—you’re a fundamentalist zealot again.

 

MERRICK

What happened, Benedict?

 

BENEDICT

The Godstaff pieces... they’re—

 

CAELUS

You lost them?

 

MERRICK

Stolen.

 

BENEDICT

Yeah...

 

THACK

That not good.

 

CAELUS

It’s a bit worse than “not good,” I’m afraid—it’s very, very bad.

 

MERRICK

How bad?

 

CAELUS

These pieces were hidden away from each other in the far corners of the world for good reason—the Godstaff’s power, when completely assembled, would be much greater than the sum of its individual parts.

 

THACK

More bloody battle, more glory. Thack not mind.

 

CAELUS

A completed Godstaff could spell disaster on a scale we cannot fathom and could not possibly stop, Thack. If we can’t prevent the pieces from joining together... then, my friends... I fear this could be the end.

 

THACK

Pointy ears say “friend”—Thack worried now.

 

BENEDICT

But... only if they fall into the wrong hands, right?

 

MERRICK

Whose hands do you think have them now...?

 

BENEDICT

...Right. Right. What are we going to do.

 

MUSIC: The Ordinary Epic opening theme.

 

SFX: Same ambiance as before

 

MERRICK

Let’s review what we know. Benedict, you told us that story about how the original Godstaff was shattered.

 

CAELUS

I believe you’ll find that I told that story. Benedict filled in the pointless mythical bits.

 

BENEDICT

I may not have the connection to Godwin that I once did, Caelus, but I still don’t appreciate this kind of blasphemy.

 

CAELUS

Ugh.

 

MERRICK

And they did this because—...?

 

BENEDICT

Torak the Betrayer shattered it, after a great conflict that nearly destroyed this world. We’ve seen what just two of the individual pieces can do. Imagine what the entire Godstaff must be capable of.

 

THACK

Anything...

 

BENEDICT

Yeah, see, that doesn’t sound as exciting to me as it does to you.

 

THACK

Sound like very big violence, that all. Sound fun.

 

BENEDICT

Not violence in the sense you’re thinking, Thack.

 

MERRICK

More like... “kaboom” we’re all dead?

 

BENEDICT

“Kaboom” everyone and everything is dead, all at once.

 

THACK

Hmph. That less fun.

 

CAELUS

That’s a bit of an oversimplification, but yes, that is one possibility of many, few of them good.

 

MERRICK

Did your mentor say anything in that message that could help us?

 

CAELUS

She does love to speak, but what she says is rarely of use.

 

MERRICK

Anything at all.

 

CAELUS

Most of what she wrote I already knew—her specialty, I’ll add—and intimated that in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing and doesn’t care about the consequences, the individual pieces are almost as powerful, and dangerous, as the Godstaff itself.

 

BENEDICT

That’s reassuring...

 

MERRICK

But they only have two pieces, right? How are two pieces nearly as dangerous as the whole?

 

CAELUS

The Archon Maerwynn did not deign to specify.

 

MERRICK

Then we’ll have to speak with her, learn more about what we’re up against.

 

CAELUS

I’m surprised at you, Merrick. This really seems like the sort of thing you’d advocate running

from.

 

MERRICK

Yeah, well, running in this case wouldn’t be of much use, would it?

 

BENEDICT

Plus you promised to help me protect the pieces and keep them out of the wrong hands...

 

MERRICK

Right, that too. Yes, of-of course.

 

THACK

Too much talk. Time go, track Buyer, cut off head. Maybe stab few times first.

 

MERRICK

There will be time for that, Thack. But first...

 

CAELUS

Yes, well, unfortunately the Archon’s tower is a week’s journey from here. We’ll simply have to seek our privileged information elsewhere.

 

MERRICK

Did they also steal your talkstone?

 

CAELUS

...No.

 

BENEDICT

“Talk stone”?

 

MERRICK

A device that allows for quick communication between one stone and another, even miles away.

 

BENEDICT

Clearly I’m missing something, because we spent three days waiting at this dingy tavern for a messenger to arrive, when all this time Caelus could have just—

 

CAELUS

No one writes anymore! Someone has to keep these charming traditions ali—

 

MERRICK

He hates speaking with her.

 

CAELUS

I really detest it.

 

BENEDICT

For the love of—Then I’ll do it!

 

CAELUS

No! I will...

 

SFX: Reaching into a pouch and pulling out an object

 

SFX: A magical “calling” sound

 

CAELUS (cont.)

I hope you all appreciate this.

 

BENEDICT

Would have appreciated it a lot more three days ag—

 

SFX: “Calling” sound terminates

 

CAELUS

Sh!

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Why if it isn’t my wayward apprentice, returning to me yet again, but only because he needs something. You received my note, I trust?

 

CAELUS

Yes, Archon.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Oh, lovely. I’m pleasantly surprised that I won’t have to repeat myself for once.

 

BENEDICT

I can’t hear her. What’s she saying?

 

MERRICK

Only Caelus can.

 

BENEDICT

Ask her—

 

CAELUS

Silence!

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) I beg your pardon.

 

CAELUS

Not you, Archon. I’m... presently surrounded by babbling idiots.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Hm. Well you always have kept like company.

 

CAELUS

(a long sigh of frustration)

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Why have you called, apprentice?

 

CAELUS

My “like company” and I had possession of two of the Godstaff pieces—

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) “Had”?

 

CAELUS

...Yes.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) You mean that you lost them?!

 

CAELUS

They were taken from us.

 

MUSIC CUE: Light touch, underscoring the stakes and emotion

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) I was given to understand that your need of my expertise was academic in nature, though as you never were much of a student, I should have surmised that something was amiss...

 

CAELUS

We had it under control.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Yes! Clearly.

 

CAELUS

Revered Archon, we need to know about the specific dangers that just two of these Godstaff pieces could pose.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) You should have come to me the moment you acquired even one of them. In theory, just one Godstaff piece could be used in one of the thirteen named forbidden rituals to channel the power of a god. But two...

 

CAELUS

Archon...?

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Two of them might be able to summon a god itself, the consequences of which would likely spell the end of most life on this world. Tell me at least that you lost them to someone who knows not their power.

 

CAELUS

I... wish that I could.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Then the end is truly upon us. That is a great pity. I rather liked this world...

 

CAELUS

There is still a chance. We know at least where they’ve likely been taken.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Yes... I suppose we must try. I will contact the Circle to see what of this power we can prevent, if anything. Unfortunately for us, however, we are too far away and acting far too late—it falls on you to stop this.

 

CAELUS

I’ll have help.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) You’ll need it. Farewell, apprentice. I regret that I could not have taught you more, despite your many shortcomings.

 

MUSIC CUE: Music ends

 

CAELUS

I’m quite content with the small amount I was somehow able to glean, Archon, despite your great arrogance. Farewell.

 

MAERWYNN

(distorted, echoey) Wh—

 

SFX: Talkstone effect cuts out; Caelus forcefully returns the talkstone to his pouch

 

CAELUS

Pompous old lich.

 

MERRICK

Sounds like that went well...

 

BENEDICT

What did she say?

 

CAELUS

That this is potentially far worse than we thought. A completed Godstaff isn’t our only concern—the individual pieces could also be used in a dark ritual of some kind to—

 

MERRICK

—to “cheat” the power of a god?

 

CAELUS

Yes, or in this case even summon a god itself. How would you know...?

 

THACK

That how pretty boy bring pointy ears back.

 

CAELUS

(sound of surprise)

 

BENEDICT

I mean... it wasn’t exactly a “dark” ritual, and I knew better than to use a Godstaff piece, but... yeah. I sort of did do that.

 

CAELUS

You really did that for me...?

 

BENEDICT

Of course.

 

CAELUS

That was reckless! And stupid! And you should not have done it under any circumstances!

 

BENEDICT

Preaching to the choir....

 

CAELUS

But thank you.

 

BENEDICT

You’re welcome, Caelus.

 

CAELUS

But don’t do it again!

 

BENEDICT

Moot point, but noted.

 

CAELUS

Enough of this talk! We need to move.

 

THACK

Thack say so hours ago...

 

CAELUS

(to Merrick) Homnett?

 

MERRICK

Homnett.

 

BENEDICT

Homnett?!

 

THACK

(skeptical growl)

 

CAELUS

It’s on our way and we desperately need more information.

 

BENEDICT

You said yourself that we know where the pieces have been taken. We aren’t we heading straight to the Baron’s keep?

 

MERRICK

Unless we absolutely have to, it’s too risky, Benedict.

 

BENEDICT

Don’t you think now might be the time to start taking a few—

 

MERRICK

We’d be walking in completely blind to an extremely well-guarded keep that we—actually you—robbed mere weeks ago. Remember that? And we don’t know our adversary even a little. If the Baron is simply collecting these pieces with no intent or ability to use them, then we can bide our time, steal them back when we have the advantage. But to go back in now... It would be suicide.

 

BENEDICT

But they already have the pieces...

 

CAELUS

The Buyer seems to enjoy torturing the people of this world too much to desire its end. I doubt he’s our concern. The Baron, however...

 

MUSIC CUE: Transitional, tense, building stakes

 

MERRICK

His “buyer” is a highly trained assassin who seems to do more wanton killing than actual purchasing; smart coin says that the Baron is, at the very least, not a nice person. But we still need to speak with someone who really knows the man before we go charging in.

 

BENEDICT

You can’t possibly mean...

 

THACK

Little man in little wooden home. Sound like Thack get violence after all...

 

ATHENA

After a day’s hurried journey back to a town you planned never to see again, you are quite surprised to be granted an immediate audience with Homnett’s Mayor, who, by all appearances, does not appear pleased to see “Homnett’s Heroes” again...

 

MAYOR

So you’ve returned. To the scene of the crime, so to speak.

 

MERRICK

...Mayor, I’m not sure what you—?

 

MAYOR

These orcs, Merrick.

 

THACK

Choose words careful, little man.

 

MAYOR

Ohh no no. Not this again. I’m not some kind of human supremacist, Thark—

 

BENEDICT

—“Thack”—

 

MAYOR

—Thack... but I do call it like I see it. They don’t do anything, far as I can tell, just lounge about all day, barking at one another, scaring the kids. And worse, now they’re... self-righteous.

 

THACK

Almost like orc think they have right to be here...?

 

MAYOR

Yes. Precisely.

 

THACK

(low growl)

 

MAYOR

That’s not even the worst of it. Those ruins... there was barely anything in there at all!

 

CAELUS

Oh no...!

 

MERRICK

You’re quite certain, Mayor?

 

MAYOR

Yes I am quite certain. I assume that’s why you’re here—to collect your share. Hate to tell you but all we have for our troubles are some pottery shards, old cutlery, and a dozen-plus pissed-off orcs. I hired you lot to clear them out, and instead... When you make a plan, you don’t expect that it’ll turn out exactly like you want. Of course not. But when things turn out so completely the opposite of how you planned them time and time again... Well, it’s very disappointing. Very.

 

THACK

Hm. Not disappointing for all...

 

MAYOR

And just what do you—

 

MERRICK

Mayor, if you’ll allow me... I may have a solution. Well, a-a partial solution.

 

MAYOR

I’m listening.

 

MERRICK

I have... something of an eye for hidden things. If there’s anything you missed down there, I’ll be certain to see it.

 

BENEDICT

Merrick, what are you possibly going to fi—

 

MERRICK

Who knows what might appear when you look again with fresh eyes?

 

BENEDICT

...Ah.

 

MAYOR

It might be worth a try, if you can get past... them.

 

THACK

“They” not be problem. Thack ask nicely.

 

MAYOR

Uh huh. And what will this cost me?

 

MERRICK

Almost nothing at all—we’re seeking audience with the Baron about another matter, and anything... personal, anything at all, that you could tell us about him would greatly help us—

 

MAYOR

Oh, well, he’s a dark cultist bent on the resurrection of Torak the Betrayer.

 

MUSIC CUE: The worst has come to pass

 

THACK

(grunt of surprise)

 

MERRICK

Wh— what?!

 

MAYOR

(laughs) Sure! We all are.

 

CAELUS

Excuse me??

 

MAYOR

Oh, calm down. It’s really more like a social club—once a month we’ll have a wine tasting, sing the Banished Lord’s praises, sacrifice some critter, grouse about the missus. Harmless fun! If you actually wanted to pull off the resurrection, you’d need several parts of the “Godstaff of Many Pieces”—at least two—and, heh, it’s not like any of us have those lying around!

 

BENEDICT

...Godwin’s balls.

 

JORDAN STILLMAN

Hi everyone—Jordan here with a podcast recommendation. If you’re into The Ordinary Epic, you’re going to absolutely love Inn Between. The show follows a scrappy band of unlikely adventurers from quest to quest, in episodes chock full of monsters, fighting, and friendship. It’s such a sweet, funny, and beautifully sincere show—I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s the trailer:

 

TESSA

You get all sorts of folks at the Goblin’s Head. It’s adventurers, usually, off seeking fame or money or honor, what have you, finding a party, joining a quest—you know the story, I’m sure.

 

VELUNE

(soothing) Miss, please, put away your axe, and sir, your sword. There’s no reason to fight.

 

STERLING

Sir—or madame—

 

VELUNE

Oh, neither. Call me Friar, my son. What’s your name, young mage?

 

MELTYRE

Meltyre, member of the Circle of the Greenish Fire.

 

STERLING

Greenish?

 

MELTYRE

More sort of aquamarine?

 

FINA

Well I am Fina Butterbuns of the Hiltshire Butterbuns, halfling bard extraordinaire. (Plays a few cheerful notes on a guitar.) And this is my friend and associate. Betty.

 

BETTY

‘Sup.

 

FINA

And you, Paladon’t? What’s your moniker?

 

STERLING

(grudgingly) Sterling. Whitetower.

 

MELTYRE

Not Lord Sterling Whitetower?

 

VOICEOVER/TESSA:

Thrown together by circumstance, united by friendship, they’re off on their quest… And they keep coming back to my inn. For some reason.

 

FINA

Hey, Top Gun, you don’t want to push your luck with Betty. She’ll kill you.

 

MUSIC: Cuts out.

 

MELTYRE

(muttering) What’s a gun?

 

MUSIC: Comes back in.

 

STERLING

(panicked) Gods--gods, do something, someone!

 

MAN’S VOICE

Stake him! Stake him!

 

FINA

This is why we don’t split the party and leave the bard to protect the old person!

 

VELUNE

Sweet Pelor, have you been lying about who you are your entire life?

 

MELTYRE

We’re all going to die, Sterling, don’t you see that?

 

FINA

I don’t know how you roll so high.

 

VELUNE

Roll?

 

VOICEOVER/TESSA

Inn Between: a fantasy-adventure audio drama, now available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitchr, or wherever you get podcasts. We’ll see you at the inn!

 

JORDAN STILLMAN

They’ve just started releasing season two, so now is the perfect time to start listening. We hope you’ll check it out. And now, back to The Ordinary Epic.

 

MUSIC CUE: Beginning of tense, high stakes, stealthy theme

 

CAELUS

(distorted, echoey) I would like to state, yet again, that I think this is a terrible plan.

 

MERRICK

(distorted, echoey) Your objections are noted, yet again. Thack was right—this is the best plan, Caelus. Maybe the only plan.

 

CAELUS

(distorted, echoey) That’s what worries me...

 

MERRICK

(distorted, echoey) It’ll work. And if it doesn’t... it won’t matter anyway. Benedict and I are in place.

 

CAELUS

(distorted, echoey) I’m ready. (normal voice) Thack, are you prepared?

 

THACK

(back in disguise as Lady Aurelia) Lady Aurelia very ready, pointy ears. Uh, “Lord Norton.”

 

CAELUS

Terrible plan... (distorted, echoey) We’re moving; go!

 

MUSIC CUE: Music ends

 

SFX: Sound of a reinforced door opening

 

SFX: Sound of armored man rising from desk

 

CHIEF GUARD

What is the meaning of— You! Caelus.

 

CAELUS

I expect you’ll have some questions of us, good si—... Ah, apologies... how did you address me?

 

THACK

Thought your name Lord Norton? Northam?

 

CHIEF GUARD

Caelus Skyree of the High Elves, isn’t it?

 

CAELUS

(reacts; they’re busted!)

 

CHIEF GUARD

It’s one thing to boldly walk back into the Baron’s estate after having just weeks ago masterminded a robbery here... but quite another to tangle an innocent maiden into your sinister scheme.

 

THACK

(giggles with delight) Innocent maiden not think beautiful man remember I!

 

CHIEF GUARD

Forget...? I’ve thought of little else...

 

CAELUS

(reacts; they’re... half busted?)

 

MUSIC CUE: Stealthy tense transition!

 

SFX: Two people padding stealthily down a hallway; one more stealthily than the other

 

MERRICK

(whispering) Benedict, Caelus’s invisibility spell doesn’t mute sound; you have to walk quietly too.

 

BENEDICT

(regular voice) How do I—?

 

MERRICK

Roll your feet! Also, whispering helps? How in the seven hells did you steal that second piece without getting caught?

 

BENEDICT

(whispering now) All the guards were after you.

 

MERRICK

You pressed an advantage.

 

BENEDICT

I got lucky.

 

SFX: A door opens, then distant armored footsteps approach

 

MERRICK

That alcove—go!

 

SFX: They scurry to a hiding place

 

BENEDICT/MERRICK

(breathing)

 

SFX: The two guards are getting closer

 

MALE GUARD

They’re heading where?

 

FEMALE GUARD

The dungeon laboratory. Kythorn left explicit instructions that he and the Baron were not to be disturbed, under any circumstances.

 

MALE GUARD

I will never understand why the Baron tolerates that man.

 

FEMALE GUARD

Maybe they’re two horns of the same demon.

 

MALE GUARD

Feeling especially treasonous today, Thea?

 

FEMALE GUARD

No more than usual.

 

MALE GUARD

Hmph.

 

MERRICK

(holds his breath)

 

SFX: A ring of keys being lifted, softly

 

SFX: The guards have passed Merrick and Benedict and are now moving farther away

 

FEMALE GUARD

But it is strange, isn’t it?

 

MALE GUARD

We are speaking of Kythorn—what might you consider “normal”?

 

FEMALE GUARD

That’s fair...

 

MERRICK

(exhales) You see, Benedict? Luck is where preparation meets skill.

 

BENEDICT

Hm.

 

FEMALE GUARD

But, suppose there’s an emergency? What then?

 

MALE GUARD

Oh, I have the master key.

 

SFX: Pat pat. Male Guard stops walking and then Female Guard too.

 

MALE GUARD

Uhhh.

 

BENEDICT

Umm... Merrick?

 

FEMALE GUARD

Where’s the key? Did you drop it?

 

MERRICK

(hard whisper) Hells. Move. Now!

 

SFX: Merrick and Benedict pad quickly away

 

MALE GUARD

(getting farther away) Look around; it can’t have gone far...

 

MUSIC CUE: Tense stealthy theme building, brings us into next scene

 

MERRICK

(distorted, echoey) Caelus, the ritual has already started. They’re in a dungeon laboratory. We’ll have to move quickly.

 

CAELUS

(distorted, echoey) Noted. We’re a bit preoccupied at the moment, but will do our best...!

 

MUSIC CUE: Music ends

 

CHIEF GUARD

Well?? What have you to say for yourself, “Lord Norton”?

 

CAELUS

Apologies, good sir—my mind was elsewhere.

 

SFX: Shink! of a longsword being drawn

 

CAELUS

Ah!

 

CHIEF GUARD

Now do I have your full attention?

 

THACK

Beautiful man not need kill terrible pointy ears with well-oiled longsword....

 

CHIEF GUARD

You noticed?

 

THACK

Lots of killin’ rust sword, unless oil each night.

 

CHIEF GUARD

My lady... I must question this man, for your sake and mine.

 

CAELUS

Oh you really don’t—I’ll happily tell you—

 

CHIEF GUARD

Silence!

 

CAELUS

(reacts to sword on neck)

 

CHIEF GUARD

Now speak. You’re the elven sage. Mage.

 

CAELUS

(voice constricted) Whichever...

 

CHIEF GUARD

Then is the silvertongue also here? Merrick?

 

THACK

This really not needful...! Maybe beautiful man and I, uh, go to other room, and...?

 

CHIEF GUARD

M’lady, please. Your dignity. (to Caelus) Where’s the other one?

 

CAELUS

(a questioning sound)

 

THACK

What “dignity”?

 

CHIEF GUARD

“What’s dignity”...? Just—a moment, Lady.

 

THACK

Maybe show I’s “dignity” to beautiful man in other—

 

CHIEF GUARD

(to Caelus) Where’s the troll?

 

CAELUS

(a strangled sound similar to “Troll...?”)

 

CHIEF GUARD

Merrick—the half-breed who twice stole a prized possession of the Baron’s. He travels with an elf—you—and a troll berserker. Where is the troll.

 

THACK

Half-orc.

 

CHIEF GUARD

M’lady...?

 

MUSIC CUE: An emotional revelation for Thack

 

THACK

Thack half-orc. Thack mother Thacko, chief of clan. Thack father human... like you.

 

CHIEF GUARD

Well, that’s disgusting... and how do you know so much about...?

 

THACK

They very much in love until she killed by bunch of humans who thought she monster. Father take his own life. Thack not troll. Thack half-orc.

 

CHIEF GUARD

You’re… it.

 

CAELUS

Exsilium magicum.

 

SFX: The two spells on Thack are dismissed

 

THACK

(transition back to regular voice) Hello, beautiful man...

 

MUSIC CUE: Music ends

 

CHIEF GUARD

Oh, Gods!

 

THACK

Nope... just I.

 

CHIEF GUARD

I can’t believe I fell for this... base trickery. I trusted you. I let down my guard, and... Well.

 

MUSIC CUE: An emotional revelation for Caelus

 

CAELUS

The illusion wasn’t that powerful... You saw what you wished to see. If you loved this woman in one shape but not in another, then it wasn’t love. Personally, I prefer her like this, as she truly is.

 

EMO

What...?

 

CHIEF GUARD

Are you saying you’re in love with this— this—

 

CAELUS

“Love”? What?!

 

MUSIC CUE: Caelus’s theme sort of shorts out

 

CAELUS (cont.)

No! No no no no no no no. No. No! (awkward laugh) Anyway, ah, we really do have to go...

 

CHIEF GUARD

No, Caelus, “Thack.” You’re not going anywhere. Not if I have anything to say ab—

 

THACK

(grunts as she throws a big punch)

 

CHIEF GUARD

Ooo—!

 

SFX: Thack knocks him clear across the room, his armored body clattering to the floor. He doesn’t get up.

 

THACK

Thack think beautiful man say enough.

 

MERRICK

(distorted, echoey) Caelus, we’re almost in.

 

CAELUS

Thack. Let’s go. (distorted, echoey) We’re coming, but not quietly...

 

MUSIC CUE: Stealthy tense theme at its peak brings us into the final confrontation

 

SFX: A big master key being fitted into a big door. The lock turns, releases.

 

MERRICK

Ready...?

 

BENEDICT

Nope...

 

MERRICK/BENEDICT

(grunt)

 

SFX: Big door is pushed open.

 

SFX: Sound of a big dark ritual in its end stages at the far end of a long room.

 

BUYER

(near the door) Merrick. Benedict.

 

MERRICK

Uh...

 

BUYER

I learned from our last encounter to take precautions against magic. I can of course see the priest.

 

BENEDICT

I’m not a priest anymore.

 

BUYER

Then you come here as—what? A concerned citizen?

 

BENEDICT

Something like that...

 

MERRICK

That’s a really nice ring, Kythorn. Is it new?

 

BUYER

(small laugh) It’s a pity the Godstaff pieces are otherwise occupied. It would be fitting to have this end with a lash of flame and your obedience. Or perhaps obedience and then the fire would be more entertaining...

 

BENEDICT

Kythorn... the Baron’s ritual—unless we stop it, now, it’s going to destroy everyone and everything. We have to—

 

BUYER

Not necessarily everyone. And not necessarily immediately.

 

MERRICK

That’s... an odd distinction.

 

BENEDICT

And not a kind one.

 

MUSIC CUE: A light touch briefly underscoring the Buyer’s regret/Athena’s hurt

 

BUYER

“Kind”? This world is not a “kind” place. I’m surprised that even you haven’t learned that yet. Kind is weak. Kind is taken for granted, stepped on, kicked around for laughs... Kind is a liability. If you wish to survive—nevermind thrive—you must be more cruel, more merciless than the next person. Or you will die. Often terribly. I’ve seen it. Hells, I’ve done it.

 

BENEDICT

Sometimes, maybe... but it matters how you die. And for what.

 

BUYER

Indeed, wayward priest! Should I die today, it will be in direct service of a god—don’t you think I’ll be rewarded for that?

 

BENEDICT

This particular god is Torak the Betrayer...? I’m thinking probably not.

 

BUYER

Perhaps you’re right; perhaps you’re not... It doesn’t much matter either way. I’ve seen enough of this world. I’m ready for something new.

 

BENEDICT

Yeah? I’m not.

 

MUSIC CUE: Rousing speech! Their last stand!

 

BENEDICT (cont.)

Until a few months ago, I barely knew anything about this world. Even now, I’ve only just started to get to know it. And, yeah, sometimes it is ugly. You’re right—it’s not always kind. But I think it could be. I was looking forward to seeing more of it.

 

SFX: Caelus and Thack enter at a run, stop, doubled over.

 

CAELUS

Oooooooh.... hells... that... is a terrible-looking ritual.

 

THACK

What... we miss?

 

MERRICK

You two take the long way?

 

CAELUS

Well, Thack wanted violence, so...!

 

THACK

Thack not need... that much violence. Thack okay with... maybe half that.

 

BUYER

This is all very cute, but it’s time now for the four of you to leave.

 

BENEDICT

Not a chance.

 

CAELUS

Benedict, how do we disrupt the ritual?

 

BENEDICT

Somewhere in there are the Godstaff pieces. If we can get them out of the ritual circle, the whole thing should collapse in on itself. But... we may not survive that.

 

MERRICK

And... first we have to get through him.

 

BUYER

Merrick, tsk. You’re a man, or half-man, of sense. Where’s the profit in this?

 

MERRICK

Gods, I wish I knew...!

 

BUYER

You know you can’t stop this.

 

THACK

Thack never lose battle, mouthy man.

 

BUYER

The elf has. You wear your death surprisingly well. And speaking of—

 

CAELUS

—well it’s not a look I particularly cared for—

 

MUSIC CUE: A sequence underscoring the twists and turns of this final confrontation

 

BUYER

—I have a gift. The four of you seem to enjoy rare magical trinkets. Here...

 

SFX: Buyer pulls a small object out of a pouch

 

BUYER (cont.)

How about this one? Not many of these left in the world.

 

CAELUS

A Bead of Fiery Force.

 

THACK

“Kaboom”?

 

CAELUS

Big kaboom...

 

BUYER

Yes, I’m quite proud of it myself. Shall I describe to you what it feels like to be burned alive, or would you prefer to experience it for yourselves?

 

MERRICK

Caelus, he’s wearing an—!

 

CAELUS

Ego vocabo fulgur percusserit!!!

 

SFX: Caelus rips off a lightning spell that immediately fizzles against Buyer’s defenses.

 

BUYER

Excuse me! Rude.

 

MERRICK

—antimagic ring. Your spells won’t hurt him while he’s wearing it.

 

CAELUS

Well, conveniently, that was my last one.

 

THACK

Then we do this fun way.

 

SFX: Thack draws massive sword and charges!

 

THACK

Ragggggghhh—!

 

SFX: Buyer quickthrows a dagger into Thack’s neck. She stumbles, clasps hands to her throat... her giant sword clatters to the ground, and she falls to her knees.

 

THACK

(sounds of choking on her own blood)

 

CAELUS

Thack!

 

MERRICK

I’ll kill you!

 

SFX: Buyer draws his sword

 

BUYER

Unlikely.

 

BENEDICT

Merrick, no!

 

SFX: Shink! of twin daggers being drawn

 

SFX: A brief but violent sequence of swordplay: they’re both very good... but the Buyer is better. Merrick is abruptly elbowed and then sliced across the chest. He falls.

 

MERRICK

(breathing heavily, very wounded)

 

BUYER

...as I was saying... I throw this little trinket, you all burn. Limp away while you still can.

 

BENEDICT

We’re not going anywhere.

 

CAELUS

I’d listen to the good brother.

 

BUYER

Suit yourselves.

 

MERRICK

Everyone, to me—!

 

MUSIC CUE: Builds to a peak and then drops off

 

SFX: Time slows down as the bead sails through the air. The bead goes PING! against the floor and time resumes at its usual pace. Magical reactions within the bead rapidly build to a peak.

 

MERRICK

Hey Kythorn.

 

BUYER

What...?

 

MERRICK

Got your ring.

 

SFX: BIG EXPLOSION!!!

 

SFX: Debris falls. Then silence.

 

SFX: Rubble shifting.

 

BENEDICT

(draws a sharp breath, coughs painfully) Merrick...? (coughs) Thack...?

 

CAELUS

(coughs awake)

 

BENEDICT

Caelus! Gods, your legs...

 

CAELUS

Did... we stop... ritual...?

 

BENEDICT

No, the explosion didn’t— Don’t try to speak.

 

CAELUS

Then go!

 

BENEDICT

You’ll all die if I don’t—!

 

CAELUS

Leave the potions and go.

 

SFX: Potions rattle.

 

MERRICK

Benedict...

 

BENEDICT

Merrick! Are you—?

 

MERRICK

Take... the ring. For luck.

 

BENEDICT

What about Thack?

 

THACK

Only blood... pretty boy...

 

BENEDICT

But—

 

CAELUS

Now!

 

MUSIC CUE: This is it...!

 

SFX: Beneath narration, accompanying SFX (staggering sounds), Benedict gasping, etc.

 

BARON

(we begin to hear his ritualistic chanting during the following)

 

ATHENA

Wounded, near death, Benedict fits the Buyer’s antimagic ring on his hand and staggers toward the violently churning ritual. With great effort, Benedict forces his way into the circle, the ritual’s dark purple oscillations and bright flashes at first failing to penetrate the ring’s antimagic field... but not for long. As the dread magic of the ritual closes in on you, your breath grows shorter, more difficult. You feel your vision narrowing, the light growing dim. It won’t be long now. Then—in the center, you see the Baron, these dark magicks already starting to twist him into something not of this world... and a stone altar—with the two Godstaff pieces propped upon it.

 

BUYER

(struggling to breathe) Benedict... why do you bother...? You’re forsaken by your god—the same hell I am bound for also awaits you. Maybe a worse one. (coughs) There’s no reward for this.

 

BENEDICT

But there is a reward.

 

BUYER

Yeah? What...?

 

BENEDICT

It’s knowing that you did the right thing. (exerts himself as he sweeps everything off the altar)

 

SFX: Two wooden pieces clatter onto the stone floor a distance away and several glass vials shatter.

 

BARON

(ceases chanting, screams in an unholy way)

 

SFX: The ritual is disrupted and out of control. Starting to build to something awful.

 

BENEDICT

(screams from the increasing pain)

 

MUSIC CUE: Continuation of finale theme—a valley that swiftly drops down and then builds back with their final moments

 

SFX: Pan to the others

 

THACK

Pretty boy...! (choke, cough)

 

MERRICK

He did it...

 

CAELUS

Then... that’s that. You really should have run...

 

MERRICK

Yeah, maybe. One thing’s for certain... we’re never getting paid for this.

 

CAELUS

The Archon will be pleased... that’s something, I suppose.

 

MERRICK

To the Dauntless Dungeoneers.

 

THACK

Dauntless... (has to breathe instead)

 

CAELUS

The Dauntless Dungeoneers.

 

MERRICK

We never got rich... but we did all right.

 

MUSIC CUE: Music overtakes SFX, builds to a peak… then leaves us on a suspenseful note.

 

SFX: Eerie silence

 

ATHENA

You awaken in a bright hall of perfect peace. Your pain is gone. And, before you...

 

FATHER OREN

Brother Benedict...

 

BENEDICT

Great Father...!

 

FATHER OREN

Welcome home... my child.

 

MUSIC CUE: A variation on the cue from 1.02 after Benedict lost his god’s favor; he has now regained it

 

SFX: Back to real world

 

MARCUS

Wow.

 

DANIEL

Yeah.

 

DOMINIC

I’ll admit... that was some exceptionally strong game mastering. Well done.

 

MUSIC CUE: A grace note that ends in uncertainty

 

EMO

Dom’s right, for once. That was great, Athena.

 

ATHENA

You’re welcome. All of you.

 

MARCUS

This was a lot of fun.

 

ATHENA

It was...

 

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 and Music Editor Bradley Jordan, Graphic Designer Hailey Thurrott, and Visual Designer Sangjun Lee. Original theme by Tiven Weinstock. With audio by Matthew Lightbound. Season one, episode 6: Amends, was directed by Stephanie LeBolt, and features the voice talents of Rachel Belleman as Emo and Thack; Caitlin Gjerdrum as Athena, Archon Maerwynn, The Mayor, Chief Guard, Male Guard, Female Guard, The Buyer, The Baron, 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 all so much for joining us for the journey this season! Thank you for listening, for tweeting at us, and just generally being amazing. Your support truly means the world to us. I also want to take this opportunity to thank our absolutely OUTSTANDING patrons on Patreon. Thank you to:

Amy B-Z

Andrew Hughen

Ben Maloney

Biconic Ace

Calli Nelson

Chelsea Wilson

Daniel Gore

Deborah Borsuk

Ella Watts

Graham P Norton

John Tanzer

Olivia Li

Ross Wagenhofer

tieandjeans

for their generous contributions to The Ordinary Epic.

We’re also thrilled to announce that we now have a store! Visit theordinaryepic.com/shoppe (that’s s-h-o-p-p-e like in the olden times) to purchase the original soundtrack or high-definition ad-free versions of season one. We’re going to be adding more merch over time — so be sure to join our mailing list so you can make informed purchasing decisions with all your gold pieces.

Brandon and I are extremely excited about the prospect of a second season, but we need your help to do it. We’re brimming with ideas for future episodes and the more support we receive, like joining our Patreon or buying something from our store, the more a second season becomes possible.

We’ll also be back in touch soon, but until then, always remember: there is a reward—it's knowing that you did the right thing.

Thank you so much for listening.

 

Friendly gamers, or friends who also game?

 

***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.

 

ATHENA

The Ordinary—

 

EMO

“Ohhhhhrdinahry!” Like that?

 

MARCUS

EPIC! Definitely epic.

 

DANIEL

Season... one? T-two...? O-one.

 

EMO

Season the first, episode the fifth!

 

DOMINIC

...“Table Talk.”

 

MUSIC CUE: Intrigue and mystery beginning to build

 

ATHENA

During your third night’s stay at the Tipsy Troglodyte, the courier at last arrives, bearing an important message from Caelus’s mentor, the Archon Maerwynn. Reading the scroll, you learn some troubling information about the two Godstaff pieces you’ve thus far—

 

MUSIC CUE: Music abruptly ends

 

SFX: A cell phone ring tone

 

MARCUS

I’m sorry, Athena.

 

ATHENA

It’s okay.

 

MARCUS

I have to, just real quick—

 

EMO

Guys! Pay very close attention. You’re about to witness an extraordinary phenomenon heretofore only observed in the subject’s natural, cubicle-based habitat.

 

MARCUS

I hate you. (sales-y voice) Zach my man, we have to stop meeting like this! Ha ha ha! Yes, absolutamundo, you’ll have their paperwork first thing tomorrow. Pretty good applicants, right?

 

DOMINIC

What... in... the...?

 

EMO

“Ha ha, right?! Ha.”

 

MARCUS

I told you I’d find good ones for ya! And you saw their landlord references? (continues in background)

 

DOMINIC

I’m utterly horrified and yet... can’t look away...

 

EMO

All day, every day, Monday to Friday.

 

DANIEL

Weekends, too.

 

EMO

Aaand that’s why I’m IT, not salesDID YOU JUST SAY “WEEKENDS”?

 

DANIEL

Some weekends...?

 

EMO

And how exactly would you know that, Daniel...?!

 

DANIEL

Know wh-what?

 

EMO

Don’t you play coy with me, boy. Is it possible that you’ve witnessed our man Marcus taking work calls on the weekend because the two of you have been “spending time” together on those same weekends??

 

DANIEL

Uhhhh...!

 

EMO

(squeals with joy)

 

MARCUS

(conversation coming to front) All right, Zach. See you first thing. Uh huh. Ha ha ha! Yeah. Later...

 

SFX: Marcus hangs up

 

DOMINIC

What... happened... to you? What did I just see?

 

MARCUS

It, you know. Business face, man.

 

DOMINIC

No... I really don’t...

 

MARCUS

Anyway, sorry Athena.

 

ATHENA

It’s okay. So—

 

EMO

Wait wait wait wait though. But wait, because Marcus and Daniel, Daniel and Marcus... Were you not even listening??

 

DOMINIC

“Absolutamundo.”

 

EMO

No, the other thing, Dom! Stay on target! These two, behind our backs, under our very noses—

 

MARCUS

Oh, yeah, we’ve been hanging out.

 

EMO

Uh huhhhhh...?

 

MARCUS

Yeah, just, you know. Guy stuff.

 

EMO

Uh huhhhhh...!

 

MARCUS

Two dudes. Doing dude things.

 

EMO

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand...?

 

MARCUS

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s been fuuuuuuun...?

 

EMO

Haaaaaaaaaas it??

 

MARCUS

Yyyyyyesssss...?

 

DOMINIC

Yyyyyessss and perhaps we could eventually get to the game, or are we going to do whatever this is all night?

 

EMO

Uh, honestly I would much rather get to the bottom of this.

 

ATHENA

That’s fine.

 

EMO

See? Athena is also into it.

 

DOMINIC

She is not—she’s being “agreeable.”

 

ATHENA

Whatever you guys want to do, really.

 

MARCUS

Let’s just play. You can pull a Benedict and question me to death in the game.

 

EMO

I’m pleasantly surprised we’re not calling that a “Thack.”

 

DOMINIC

Well no, because a “Thack” is when you have one point to make and club everyone over the head with it. Repeatedly.

 

EMO

Heh. Yeah...

 

DOMINIC

A “Benedict” has more to do with making inane moral stands.

 

MARCUS

Come on, that was one time!

 

DANIEL

Twice. You also gave back the Mayor’s reward.

 

MARCUS

Oh yeah. Well then what’s a Caelus?

 

EMO

A “Caelus” is very similar to a “Dominic”—one has to be very well versed in both to see the difference.

 

DOMINIC

I should not have encouraged this. Let’s play?

 

EMO

Ding ding ding! That’s a Dominic. A “Caelus” is more “It would be beneficial to bow before my benevolence, you busty beautiful... alliteration alliteration alliteration.”

 

DOMINIC

What??

 

EMO

Same imperiousness, more whimsical approach?

 

DOMINIC

I’m... not going to take your bait. Let us play. Then you’ll see my “whimsy.”

 

EMO

Pfff ha ha ha. Okay...

 

ATHENA

...So we’re ready now?

 

DOMINIC / DANIEL

YES. / Yep.

 

MARCUS

Yes. Sorry again.

 

EMO

I’m ready, but I haven’t forgotten, you two...

 

DANIEL

(uncomfortable sound)

 

ATHENA

Okay. Where was I...

 

MUSIC CUE: Music resumes

 

ATHENA (cont.)

You learn some troubling information about the two Godstaff pieces you’ve thus far collected. According to the Archon, when united with the—

 

MUSIC CUE: Music abruptly ends

 

SFX: Same cell phone ring tone

 

MARCUS

(frustrated sound) I’m so sorry. I have to— (sales-y voice) Vinny, hey! You got my email, right? (fade to background)

 

ATHENA

It’s okay...

 

EMO

Alright, Daniel...!

 

DANIEL

(awkward sound that ends in a question mark)

 

DOMINIC

Emo, what a gossip you’ve become! Let the boys “hang out” or whatever in peace.

 

EMO

It’s not gossip—it’s whole-hearted unconditional support and enthusiasm, but with the one condition that they tell me everything.

 

(DOMINIC/EMO/DANIEL continue in background for a couple beats)

 

SFX: Their conversation, and Marcus’s, falls away; we are mostly on Athena now

 

ATHENA

It’s okay...

 

MUSIC: The Ordinary Epic opening theme.

 

MARCUS

—Yes, and I will— Ha ha, of course! Yes, of course. Sounds great, Vinny. Talk to you tomorrow.

 

SFX: Ending call

 

MARCUS (cont.)

(exhausted/exasperated sound)

 

EMO

So Daniel, what’s up with Marcus working weekends, huh?

 

MARCUS

Today is a Thursday...?

 

EMO

But you do work weekends.

 

MARCUS

Lately, yeah. I mean, you know how busy—

 

EMO

(“shushing” sound) I asked Daniel.

 

DANIEL

He... takes calls... some weekends...?

 

MARCUS

And a lot of evenings, as you’ve all realized by—

 

EMO

(louder “shushing” sound) Daniel.

 

DANIEL

(nervous sound?)

 

EMO

Must be kind of frustrating, huh? Kind of difficult to do “dude things” when one dude has to keep taking phone calls?

 

DOMINIC

I don’t care about this even a little. And I really don’t like all this table talk.

 

MARCUS

To answer your question... I think... work has gotten crazy. I finally figured out what I’m doing and now I don’t have time to breathe. It’s bad, folks.

 

DOMINIC

Yeah, that sounds awful...

 

ATHENA

You’ll still have time for our game nights, I hope?

 

EMO

OF COURSE HE WILL! RIGHT?!

 

MARCUS

(a Daniel-style squeak)

 

EMO

I swear to the first dark tentacled Elder One who answers my call that I’ll see you fired from this job before you start skipping game night.

 

MARCUS

Don’t go making unholy pacts just yet. I’ll make it work. I just have to—

 

SFX: Same cell phone ring tone

 

MARCUS (cont.)

...multitask. I gotta take this. Daniel, tell them your big news! (sales-y voice) Fran, hello! How are you? (continues in background)

 

ATHENA / EMO / DOMINIC

Daniel...? / Yyyyesss...? / What big news...?

 

DANIEL

It’s not big news. Well, it is big. But it isn’t news. It isn’t news yet. It’s too big to decide and that’s why it isn’t news. If I never decide then it will never be news. So, nevermind...?

 

EMO

Daniel, I know I’ve been kind of awful tonight—

 

DOMINIC

Just tonight? Really.

 

EMO

—but I get carried away when I’m this excited for my friends. And I’m so excited about this! I think it’s great! I hope you know that we love and support you unconditionally, no matter—

 

DANIEL

I’ve been accepted to a very prestigious medical school three hundred miles away.

 

EMO

Oh HELL no!!

 

ATHENA

That’s really wonderful, Daniel.

 

DOMINIC

Yeah, wonderful...

 

EMO

No it is not! I mean, yes, of course it is. But three hundred miles away?? Are you—would you Skype in to game nights, or...?

 

DANIEL

I... could try...?

 

EMO

You better try! When do you have to make a decision?

 

MARCUS

(conversation coming to front) No worries, Fran. Happy to help! Okie doke. Buh bye.

 

SFX: Marcus hangs up

 

MARCUS (cont.)

Soon! Real soon, right?

 

DANIEL

Too soon... I need to respond in two weeks and I haven’t even told my parents I’ve been accepted. They’ll die of excitement, obviously, but is it even what I want...? It’s exciting, I guess. I don’t know that I don’t want it, but it’s hard to separate my own feelings from what I know they’ve always wanted me to but oh God why is everyone staring at me?

 

EMO

All I have to do is not say anything and he’ll just keep talking! I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out months ago!

 

DANIEL

(awkward sound)

 

EMO

See? It’s me. The problem has always been me. (beat) Dom...?

 

DOMINIC

Hm?

 

EMO

“The problem has always been me”? Hello?? That was some mighty fine low-hanging fruit you missed. What’s going on in there?

 

DOMINIC

Nothing, obviously. Are we playing now?

 

DANIEL

Please, yes. Thanks for trying to help, but it’s something I have to figure out on my own.

 

MARCUS

But if you ever do want to talk about it...

 

DANIEL

Thanks, Marcus.

 

MARCUS

Of course, man.

 

EMO

Okay, well whatever is going on with you two, I just want you to know that I ship it, so hard. That’s all!

 

MARCUS

Noted...!

 

ATHENA

...Okay, so, should I...?

 

DOMINIC/EMO/MARCUS/DANIEL

(murmurs of agreement)

 

ATHENA

You’re sure this time...?

 

DOMINIC/EMO/MARCUS/DANIEL

(stronger murmurs of agreement)

 

ATHENA

Okay.

 

MUSIC CUE: Music resumes

 

ATHENA (cont.)

Having read his mentor’s missive, Caelus prepares to share with the rest of you what he’s learned, and what implications it may have for your impossible quest...

 

MUSIC CUE: Music fades out

 

SFX: A tavern at night; rowdy, but not overwhelming

 

CAELUS

(sighs) (a beat)

 

MERRICK

Go on, then...?

 

CAELUS

Yes, well. She had several things to say...

 

MERRICK

Goodness, not all at once...!

 

CAELUS

Chief among them that we’re in “great danger,” evidently. Nothing new there...

 

THACK

Uh. Pointy-ears drunk or somethin’?

 

CAELUS

Hm. Drunk. Yes, wouldn’t that be nice.

 

BENEDICT

Caelus...?

 

CAELUS

The message said that we... Well, the Godstaff pieces... we should... (sigh)

 

SFX: Return to real-world ambiance

 

DOMINIC

I... don’t know what’s wrong.

 

EMO

Is it something I said?

 

DOMINIC

No. What do you mean?

 

EMO

That upset you, or...?

 

DOMINIC

I’m not upset! I don’t get upset.

 

MARCUS

You never get upset.

 

DOMINIC

Being “upset” is a weaker mind’s response to one’s situation being, in some way, a disappointment... which simply cannot occur if one has deliberately structured one’s life in such a way... that...

 

MARCUS

It’s okay, man.

 

DOMINIC

As I was saying, I have—... “one can” simply code out the design flaws in one’s life. How can you be upset if you’re never disappointed? How can you be disappointed if you never expected the impossible...?

 

EMO

Dom...?

 

DOMINIC

I might... also... have to leave.

 

MUSIC CUE: Dramatic sting

 

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.

 

EMO

You might have to leave?? You mean, like, just tonight, or...?

 

DOMINIC

I regret this already. I don’t want to do a whole... “talking” thing.

 

EMO

Heaven forfend!

 

DOMINIC

You know what I mean. A tiresome... (unable to describe)

 

EMO

...“sharing your feelings and getting support” sort of thing?

 

DOMINIC

Yes. That.

 

EMO

Sounds awful.

 

DOMINIC

For once, it seems we agree.

 

MARCUS

You don’t have to talk about it, Dom, you don’t have to.

 

DOMINIC

Gosh, thanks, New Guy! What a relief!

 

MARCUS

“New Guy”! Bringing back the classics.

 

DOMINIC

(sighs) I’m sorry, Marcus.

 

EMO / MARCUS / DANIEL

Whaaaa...? / Wow. / Huh...

 

EMO (cont.)

Okay, something is definitely wrong. This is not the Dom we know and... know. What is going on? You don’t have to talk feelings. Just the facts, man.

 

DOMINIC

(heavy sigh)

 

EMO

Why might you have to leave?

 

DOMINIC

I’ve been sitting here... listening to your problems... and, well they’re ridiculous, frankly. Marcus is so employed that he can’t have all of the fun he wants. What a shame.

 

MARCUS

Hey, that’s not exactly—

 

EMO

Everyone, just steel yourselves against the pain. Bite on something if it helps. This is the only way...

 

DOMINIC

Nevermind. If Athena kept her table in order we wouldn’t be talking about this at all.

 

ATHENA

What do you mean by that, Dominic?

 

EMO

Athena! Steel! Pain is weakness leaving your body!

 

DOMINIC

I mean that this sort of table talk is the antithesis of good gaming. It’s termites in your floorboards. It’s corrosion. It’s rot.

 

ATHENA

And you think I should...

 

DOMINIC

Shut it down! I would. I’ve tried, but this isn’t my game. It’s yours, and you might try acting like it.

 

ATHENA

I see. Thank you, Dominic.

 

EMO

We’re so close, guys! Just hold on a little longer...!

 

DOMINIC

I’m really not trying to insult everyone, I’m just... being myself, I guess. That’s a “Dominic,” by the way. It’s when you alienate everyone because you... (sighs)

 

DANIEL

Was there something I said, Dom?

 

DOMINIC

No, it’s who you are, Daniel. You’re twenty-nothing and so talented and supported. Your parents wanted you to be a doctor? How awful. My parents hate me no matter what I do, or don’t do. They don’t want me to be a doctor—they never imagined anything in particular for me except that I would fail. And then they hate me for failing. I’m going to have to move back in with them.

 

EMO

Dom, no. Why?

 

DOMINIC

I haven’t been able to find a real job for months now... and my savings are almost gone.

 

EMO

I’m so sorry. I had no idea.

 

DOMINIC

So at least Marcus has a job, and Daniel has a bright future ahead of him away from his parents, whether or not that particular bright future is the exact one he wants; when I move back, it’ll be back to... them. That house. And it will be because I failed.

 

MARCUS

Is there anything we can do? You can crash on my couch for a little—

 

DOMINIC

No. But... thank you. I think we should... let’s just play the game while we still can.

 

EMO

You know what? Let’s not.

 

MARCUS/DANIEL/DOMINIC

(sounds of surprise)

 

EMO

I like table talk. It’s what separates friendly gamers from friends who also game. And we’re friends, right?

 

MARCUS

Yeah, I think so.

 

DANIEL

Definitely.

 

DOMINIC

Well—

 

EMO

I’m not going to give you a chance to “Dominic” that. We are friends. Sometimes we can just hang out, right? As Daniel and Marcus have already demonstrated, we don’t always need to play a game to spend time together.

 

DANIEL

So... we’re not going to play tonight...?

 

EMO

Screw it—let’s just hang out and talk! Who’s with me?

 

MARCUS

Huh. Well, I’m down!

 

DANIEL

Me, too.

 

DOMINIC

I’m about to agree with Emo for the second time tonight—I guess something really is wrong. Okay. Let’s just... talk.

 

EMO

Awesome. And Athena, I assume you’re down with this.

 

(long beat)

 

EMO (cont.)

Athena...?

 

ATHENA

Yeah. That’s okay.

 

MARCUS

You… sure?

 

(a tense beat)

 

ATHENA

...No.

 

(another tense beat)

 

MARCUS

I’m really sorry about all the—

 

ATHENA

I don’t feel that the rest of you respect me.

 

EMO

Athena, of course we—!

 

ATHENA

I’m talking now, Emo.

 

EMO

Sorry.

 

ATHENA

Sometimes I look around this table, at a group of people I invited, to an evening I planned, of an adventure I wrote... and I feel like a spectator. I feel, sometimes, like the least relevant person here. Like I finally got to sit at the popular kids’ table, but just sit. How can that be? I paid for this table; I own it. Or I thought I did. I didn’t think I also had to “control” it.

 

DOMINIC

Athena... I didn’t mean—

 

ATHENA

Yes, you did. And maybe you were right. I had... a really great game planned tonight. And—

 

SFX: Same cell phone ring tone

 

MARCUS

I’m... just going to turn this—...

 

SFX: Phone is silenced

 

MARCUS

I’m really sorry please keep talking.

 

ATHENA

It doesn’t matter. I’m really glad you were all able to share important things tonight. Marcus, this was a new job for you and now you’re thriving in it, just a few months later. That’s incredible. Daniel, whatever you choose to do, I just know you’re going to be great at it. You’ve blossomed so much, even in the short time I’ve known you. Dominic... I’m really sorry you might have to move back home. That’s terrible. But you don’t need anyone to tell you what a smart and resourceful person you are; it might be bad, but please believe that it won’t be for long. And Emo... I think I’ve seen every possible side of you except empathy for your friends, and tonight I even saw that. The four of you astound me.

 

MARCUS/DANIEL/DOMINIC/EMO

(quiet somber reactions)

 

ATHENA

But you take me for granted. Everyone always has... and for a long time, I thought I was okay with that. But I’m not. If I don’t put myself first, my needs, why should anyone else? So... I need to start learning how to do that.

 

EMO

What are you saying...?

 

ATHENA

Next week will be our last game.

 

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 5: Table Talk, was directed by Stephanie LeBolt, and features the voice talents of Rachel Belleman as Emo and Thack; Caitlin Gjerdrum as Athena; 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, so much for listening. This first season of The Ordinary Epic concludes in two weeks with episode 6: Amends. We’ll see you then.