It’s time, all-important listeners, for episode seven! It was peaceful when we last left Frank and the crew, but how long will that peace last? Alric is bothered but won’t open up about it, and a new face has introduced themselves to the group! How will Frank handle the responsibility of taking care of the party when he can barely take care of himself?!?
“Intrepid” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
All other music is from https://www.tabletopaudio.com/
Episode Seven Script
NARRATOR: Welcome back to “Let’s Be Frank”, a storytelling podcast about an ordinary man that finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. It’s also a story where you, the all important listener, get the opportunity to be one of the fates that directs Frank’s actions and decisions. When last we left, Frank was asked by Mog where he thought they should go next! An all-important listener named Cheryl M. imparted her wisdom to Frank. So, Frank opened his mouth and said…
FRANK: Now, before we take off and everything, I just got back from the healer. Did I miss anything while I was out of it?
YAWANA: Just the formal announcement that we were Heroes of the Realm. Oh, and the pay, but we split that already. Oh! The parade!! Almost forgot about it!
FRANK: Heroes? Pay? I… I missed a parade?
TALANA: You shouldn’t tease him, Yawana.
MOG: No tease Frank.
ALRIC: Exactly. There was no parade, Frank. We did split your part, though.
ALRIC: In all honesty, Frank, here’s your cut.
NARRATOR: Alric produced a rather large pouch of coins and tossed them to Frank.
YAWANA: Wow! Now you’re making Frank’s coin-
ALRIC: Finish that sentence, bard, and I’ll cut out your tongue!
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, in the darkest corner of the underworld…
SHONDOUR: Memories are delicate things, are they not? They are an anchor to our personality. We are shaped and formed as much by them as my father molds and shapes his people.
PUPPET MASTER: My lord, I had no way of knowing-
SHONDOUR: (shushing sound) Poor Puppet. Be quiet and listen. Good listening and paying attention to our surroundings is how our best memories form.
NARRATOR: Shondour leaned over and, taking the Puppet Master by the chin and jaws, lifted him upward.
SHONDOUR: You see, when I gave you this simple task, I gave a part of my power. I also told you not to underestimate him. He is connected to a divine, just as you were. Do you know the difference between you and Frank?
NARRATOR: The Puppet Master trembled, saying nothing.
SHONDOUR: I can’t just end his existence.
NARRATOR: The puppet master’s body began to shake violently as its structure began to fall apart, turning to a sandy dust beneath his grip. Shondour then turned to look across the wastelands.
SHONDOUR: No, I cannot end his existence. Yet.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, back at the Leaky Stein, everyone waited on Frank who wanted to thank the king for use of the healer before they left town.
TALANA: I’m going up to my room to get my things.
MOG: Oh, Mog need to get things at shop before we go.
NARRATOR: The two left going their separate ways, leaving Alric and Yawana alone at the table.
YAWANA: What’s bothering you, Alric?
ALRIC: Mmh? What?
YAWANA: That. Something’s been bothering you all day.
ALRIC: I haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about.
YAWANA: If you don’t talk to me about it, eventually Frank’s gonna figure it out.
ALRIC: Or maybe you will tell him?
ALRIC: It’s… It’s about the Puppet Master.
YAWANA: What about him? We defeated him.
ALRIC: No, we didn’t. We injured him.
YAWANA: I was there, Alric. He exploded.
ALRIC: You weren’t in a position to see what I saw.
YAWANA: And what did you see?
NARRATOR: Alric stopped himself, deciding not to pursue the conversation any further.
ALRIC: It doesn’t matter. I just… I feel we need to be a bit more cautious in the future.
YAWANA: But what exactly do you mean by-
ALRIC: Oh, Look! Here comes Frank!
NARRATOR: Frank entered the Leaky Stein and approached the table. Alric stood and met him halfway across the room.
ALRIC: Come on, Frank. Let’s go get the horses ready for the others.
NARRATOR: Yawana watched the pair exit the inn, deciding to talk to him about all of that later, when he was ready and she had more opportunity.
NARRATOR: When everyone was ready to go, they headed out of the city of Auvendale, happy to be back on the trail once more. After many days of travel, the group found themselves entering a small village. Dark was approaching, and as the group made their way towards the only inn, they noticed everyone else heading indoors quickly.
ALRIC: I wonder what has the local populace worried? It doesn’t look like stormy weather.
MOG: Not Mog. Mog make sure to smile more like Yawana say.
FRANK: I don’t know. What I DO know is my back is aching to sleep in a bed for a change.
NARRATOR: The group stopped at the stables.
STABLEMAN: Go on, boys, it’s nearly dark! Best not be out. (to group) Yes, you need boarding for the horses?
TALANA: Yes, please.
STABLEMAN: Two Peks each or a Noc for the group.
NARRATOR: As Talana paid the man, Frank turned to Mog.
FRANK: Pek? Noc?
MOG: Peck and noc money, Frank.
ALRIC: A Pek is a copper coin, and a Noc is a silver coin.
FRANK: So, what is a gold coin called?
ALRIC: (whisper) Rare. Announcing you have it can make honest men dishonest. They are referred to as crowns.
FRANK: Ah. Gotcha.
NARRATOR: Yawana approached and began whispering to the group.
YAWANA: (wsp)Guys, we might be on to something here! [hands rub]
YAWANA: (wsp)Better! Work!
MOG: (wsp)Is work for pay?
YAWANA: (wsp)Not sure. Probably. I was listening to the stableman talking with Talana. Seems there’s been a rash of disappearances recently. One kid out playing after dark was attacked and made it back to tell what happened.
FRANK: (wsp)So what happened?
YAWANA: (wsp)The kid said it was near the creek at the foothills of the mountain over there when he was attacked by a small pack of creatures. Smaller than coyotes but larger than chickens. Claws, fangs, the works.
ALRIC: (wsp)A town might be willing to pay the Heroes of the Realm to assist them in this endeavor.
FRANK: (wsp)You would charge these people for stopping a creature threatening their children?
MOG: (wsp)No, Frank. We stop creatures regardless. Just sometimes, people grateful, give us gifts for helping.
ALRIC: (wsp)A good job may indeed be a reward in itself, but it doesn’t replenish our supplies or repair our used equipment. That happens with money.
YAWANA: (wsp)And since Mog made me promise not to lift purses anymore, we have to come by the money honestly.
MOG: (wsp)No, Mog not say you can’t. Mog say if you do, then I can start-
YAWANA: (wsp)It doesn’t really matter! I’m not stealing and we’re all happier for it.
ALRIC: (wsp) Frank?
FRANK: (wsp) Yeah?
ALRIC: (wsp) He said if she stole purses that he would start singing.
FRANK: (wsp) Mog can sing?
ALRIC: (wsp) Gods no, man!
NARRATOR: Once Talana returned, they all headed to the traveler’s inn and made their way to a table. A young girl came from around the bar and over to the group.
SERVING GIRL: Good evening, lords and ladies. We have mead, but no wine. We have stew, break, hard cheese, and porridge.
MOG: Stew smells good.
SERVING GIRL: Oh, it is. My mother makes the best stew in town!
YAWANA: Then that’s good enough for me. Stew for us all, mead for us all, and a full loaf for the table, please. Do you have enough room for us tonight as well?
SERVING GIRL: Of course, we wouldn’t send anyone out at night with the creatures out and about.
NARRATOR: After returning with their drinks, the young serving girl lingered a moment before speaking once more.
SERVING GIRL: So, are you adventurers? Quests and saving people, things like that?
FRANK: Yeah, that’s us. Apparently we seem to like jumping headfirst into things and figuring them out afterwards.
SERVING GIRL: Well, my lord…
FRANK: You can just call me Frank. I’m not a lord.
SERVING GIRL: Very well, then might I ask your heritage name so I may address you properly?
MOG: This is Frank Punyman!
SERVING GIRL: Well, Sir Punyman, are you here to rid us of the creatures like the one that took my little sister away?
NARRATOR: The inn got quiet at the mention of her sister. Locals looked down into their cups or turned their heads away, the fresh grief still evident. Frank reached out and took the girl by the hands.
FRANK: Might I have the honor of knowing your name?
SERVING GIRL: It’s Shanna, Sir Punyman.
FRANK: Well, Shanna, I promise you that we will do everything in our power to put an end to these attacks.
NARRATOR: The girl looked ecstatic, then turned to the other patrons.
SERVING GIRL: Did you hear that? Sir Punyman said he and his friends will route the creatures!
NARRATOR: As Frank braced for laughter at the idea of Sir Punyman saving them, a roar of cheers erupted instead. Frank looked around, a little surprised.
TALANA: Well, now you’ve done it.
YAWANA: You just promised a young girl that you would avenge her sister. You may as well have sworn it on her grave.
ALRIC: That’s not even the worst of it.
FRANK: Worst of it? What do you mean?
MOG: Frank Punyman not understand how hero works in villages.
NARRATOR: Alric reached over and took Frank by the hands.
ALRIC: The moment you swore to vanquish the fiends that took her sister’s life, you will return a hero. Do you see the glimmer in that girl’s eyes there?
NARRATOR: Frank turned and looked at Shanna, who was watching him with a shy smile on her face.
ALRIC: There is absolutely no condition you could return victorious and that girl not be head over heels in love with you, Frank.
TALANA: Well, if we are going to get rid of these little beasties, we need to learn as much about them as possible.
MOG: Right. Mog no want Frank make girlfriend sad.
FRANK: (mocking)Mog no want Frank make girlfriend sad…meh meh…
NARRATOR: Alric motioned for the barkeep, who came over to their table and pulled up a chair.
BARKEEP: We’re certainly lucky your group came through when you did. There’s been talk of people leaving here for good.
YAWANA: What can you tell us about these creatures?
BARKEEP: Well, it started about two weeks ago. We’ve lost four kids because of them. The smithey’s kid escaped from it. He said it was about 2-3 feet tall, furry like a opossum, thin, pointy teeth, and hands too large for its body. Said it bit his leg, then grabbed his arm and started trying to drag him off towards the head of the creek.
FRANK: So it bites their leg to prevent them from running easily, then drags them off.
ALRIC: That’s strange. Normally, wild creatures immobilize their prey then begin consuming them on the spot.
YAWANA: Well, lucky for the kid it didn’t.
BARKEEP: Since the smithey’s kid came back, we don’t let the kids out of the houses once it gets dusky out. We’ve been hearing sounds out at night. Thinking they might be getting braver.
NARRATOR: After gleaning some geographical details from the barkeep, the group finished their meals and headed off to their rooms. Come morning, the group went downstairs to get an early start on the search. As Frank began to exit the inn, Shanna called out to him.
SERVING GIRL: Sir Punyman! Wait!
NARRATOR: Frank stopped at the door as the others went out. She offered him a small bag.
SERVING GIRL: It’s not much. It’s bread, cheese, some smoked meats. I thought you might get hungry on your adventure.
FRANK: Thank you. I’m sure it will be good.
NARRATOR: Frank then left the inn, catching up to the others.
YAWANA: Did she give you a flower or a scarf before you head off to do battle, Sir Punyman?
ALRIC: I’m certain Frank was charming the young lady a bit more before leaving.
MOG: Frank has a girlfriend! Frank has a girlfriend!
TALANA: You two would be SO cute together!
FRANK: All right, that’s enough, guys, that’s enough…
NARRATOR: As the group started to leave town, they were intercepted by a middle-aged man in adventuring garb with a sword.
LEVANANCE: Pardon the intrusion, my friends, but are you the group heading out to face off against the creatures?
FRANK: Yeah! That’s us.
LEVANANCE: I heard the story when I arrived late last night. I was hoping to catch up with you before you left.
ALRIC: Oh, you were?
LEVANANCE: Yes, I was hoping to offer my sword as assistance.
NARRATOR: Mog walked right up to the man and looked down eye to eye with him.
MOG: Mog not sure why, but Mog not certain Mog like you.
NARRATOR: The man smiled sheepishly, then reached for his hip.
LEVANANCE: Is it because of this, friend?
NARRATOR: In his hand he held a crudely made dagger in a hard leather sheath. Mog raised an eyebrow upon seeing it.
MOG: Where you get Orc blade?
LEVANANCE: It was given to me by an old friend.
NARRATOR: Mog examined the blade then offered it back to the man.
MOG: Good orc steel.
TALANA: You have a name, Sir?
LEVANANCE: I am Levanance Rothwyn, at your service.
YAWANA: Are you expecting us to pay for your blade?
LEVANANCE: No, no. I heard the people talking about a recently lost child and it just broke my heart. Then I heard of a party leaving in the morning to slay the beasts. I had planned to go alone, but the more, the merrier.
NARRATOR: The group, with their new friend, headed towards the foothills of the mountains on foot, not wanting to endanger their steeds. They made their way through to the creek, then turned north and began following heading upstream.
FRANK: Weird that we haven’t seen any creatures.
ALRIC: Lucky, I would say. Better for us to have the jump on them than they on us.
MOG: Mog don’t see bones, either. Maybe they drag all away before eating.
TALANA: We’re assuming that they’re eating them right away. Did you know that mother dragons capture prey and keep it alive for their children to eat so it’s fresh.
YAWANA: Look! Just past the boulders there!
NARRATOR: Everyone turned to see a group of about ten creatures fitting the description of the barkeep.
ALRIC: Looks like our creatures.
FRANK: I don’t see any kids around.
LEVANANCE: We can search the area before heading back once we have the beasts slain.
ALRIC: Agreed. Let’s go get them!
NARRATOR: Quickly, the group charged the unsuspecting creatures. The creatures immediately went on the attack, jumping around quickly, biting at the group’s legs.
TALANA: Watch your legs, everyone!
NARRATOR: Slowly, the creatures fell one by one. Finally the last of them, wounded and scared, made a dash for the mountain.
YAWANA: There he goes!
FRANK: Don’t let it get away!
NARRATOR: The group pursued it until they reached a steep rocky area. After a slow, rough climb, they discovered the mouth of the creek, as well saw the creature dart into a hole under some rocks.
FRANK: Looks like we lost him.
LEVANANCE: Maybe not. A hand, please?
NARRATOR: Levanance grabbed at a large boulder blocking the way, and with Mog’s and Alric’s assistance, rolled it away from the mountain, revealing a pair of ancient-looking doors. One of the doors was adorned with the carving of a face, a person long forgotten, her eyes closed.
TALANA: What is this?
YAWANA: Maybe an old dwarven dwelling?
ALRIC: In these mountains? Unlikely. Also, the doors are too large. They would have considered them ostentatious.
MOG: What ostentatious?
ALRIC: Showing off because you’re wealthy.
NARRATOR: There was a long silence as everyone stared at Alric.
ALRIC: That’s not funny.
FRANK: So, it looks like the door there has a problem.
NARRATOR: Looking down, the group could see a medium-sized chunk missing from one of the two doors, not large enough for them to get through.
TALANA: Small enough to let the creature get through.
YAWANA: Also large enough for them to drag a kid through. Look at the drag marks there. They use this area a lot.
LEVANANCE: She’s right. So, we go in and get the last creature. We also look for the kids while we’re in there.
TALANA: Let me check the area before we go in.
NARRATOR: Alric moved away from the doors as Talana cast her magic.
TALANA: These are magical doors, but I can’t tell how they are magical.
ALRIC: Any guesses? Like them bursting into flames and creating a creature intent on destroying all of us?
NARRATOR: Talana did not answer, glaring hard at Alric, who was only smirking a little. Frank, unsure of what to do, walked over and knocked three times on the door. The carving on the door opened its eyes and began speaking.
MAGICAL DOOR: I am the guardian of the gates to this lair. I only allow passage for those who know the secrets granting them access.
FRANK: I might know it. What’s it sound like?
MAGICAL DOOR: It sounds exactly like it looks.
YAWANA: That wasn’t very helpful. How many letters does it have?
MAGICAL DOOR: I am only allowed one hint, no more. The hint has been revealed.
NARRATOR: Everyone turned to look at Frank.
FRANK: Sorry, guys. I didn’t know.
MOG: It’s okay, Frank. We not know either.
LEVANANCE: So we only have that one clue. “The word sounds like it looks”.
YAWANA: Not exactly. She said she allows passage to those who know the “secrets”, which may or may not even be a word.
ALRIC: But what in the world sounds like it looks?
NARRATOR: Frank thought and thought, but couldn’t come up with a thing. Suddenly, he remembered what Ashinorundoo taught him, so he closed his eyes, and listened to his inner voice.
LEVANANCE: What is he doing? Praying?
TALANA: Not exactly. Just give him a second.
NARRATOR: Finally hearing the words of his inner voice, he sprang to his feet and exclaimed-
FRANK: I’ve got it!
NARRATOR: Moving quickly, Frank approached the door and looked it in the eye and said…
NARRATOR: The door made a clanking, metallic sound, then creaked slowly open to reveal a hand-dug cave leading into the mountain.
MAGICAL DOOR: The way in is the way out; there are no others.
ALRIC: Good job Frank!
MOG: Mog no get it.
FRANK: The letter S, no matter how you write it in common, looks like a curvy snake. And the letter S makes the Sssss sound…
YAWANA: …and a snake does too!
TALANA: Let’s make this part of the trip a little easier.
NARRATOR: Touching a finger to the top of her staff, the head began to glow brightly.
ALRIC: Anything we need to know about that magic?
TALANA: Yes. Tease me one more time and I’ll show you how this magic can make you glow like a paper lantern.
NARRATOR: Alric chuckled, then smiled and drew out his weapon.
ALRIC: Very well. Prepare yourselves, as we have no idea how many might be in here.
NARRATOR: Slowly, the group made their way into the darkness ahead. Yawana took the lead, watching for traps.
YAWANA: To be honest, this is the weirdest underground area I’ve ever been in.
LEVANANCE: Why do you say that?
YAWANA: The floor and walls. They’re different.
FRANK: Looks like the same kind of rock to me.
YAWANA: Yeah, but the weird part is that the carving on the floor is old, like super old. The carving on the walls looks relatively recent.
ALRIC: I wonder why.
MOG: All Mog know is Mog hate caves.
NARRATOR: The group turned and looked at Frank.
TALANA: Are you feeling ill, Frank?
FRANK: No, I told you guys, remember? When we first met, I have allergies to forest pollen-
ALRIC: And cave mold.
FRANK: Achoo! Sorry.
NARRATOR: As they continues deeper and deeper into the cave, they began to approach a pair of doors, one bearing to their right and one to their left.
TALANA: I should check these as well.
NARRATOR: Just as she raised her hands to cast…
NARRATOR: Talana stopped and turned to Levanance. Slowly he approached the door and began tracing the bare wood with his fingers. He then took a handful of dust from the floor edge and threw it at the door, the dust settling in the invisible lines on the door revealing a curious runic symbol. Talana gasped in surprise.
TALANA: That’s… that’s an exploding rune.
TALANA: Had I cast ANY magic on it, even simple detection, it would have exploded.
FRANK: That was close. Achoo! Thanks Levanance.
LEVANANCE: Of course. I lost a friend to one of these.
MOG: What about other door?
LEVANANCE: I don’t see any markers on it.
YAWANA: Casual inspection: Nothing. Mog, it’s all yours.
MOG: With pleasure.
FRANK: Achoo! Sorry, guys…
NARRATOR: Mog lowered a shoulder and crashed into the locked door, causing the door to come off its hinges. Muffled screams came from the room.
FRANK: What was that?
NARRATOR: As the group entered the room, they saw the four children trapped and bound to chairs, their mouths covered to prevent them from screaming.
TALANA: Easy, kids. You’re safe now.
YAWANA: We’re here to save you.
NARRATOR: As Yawana and Talana freed the children, the others watched the hall for more creatures.
LEVANANCE: Have you noticed anything odd?
ALRIC: This whole place is odd to me.
FRANK: Yeah. I noticed it, too. Achoo!
ALRIC: Noticed what, Frank?
FRANK: We chased the creature in here. We came in after it. (sniff) There’s only one hall and two doors. No one can open one of them and we’ve opened the second door.
LEVANANCE: Exactly. Where did the other creature go?
ALRIC: I see. We’ll need to check on the way out to see if there were any holes in the shadows of the cave it could be hiding inside.
NARRATOR: Once the children were free, the group began their exit from the cave.
ALRIC: Keep your eyes open for that creature. It couldn’t have gone far.
NARRATOR: As they got closer to the door, the light from the missing part of the door went dark.
FRANK: Something’s there! Achoo!
NARRATOR: As they moved closer, the light grew more faint as a multitude of the creatures made their way inside.
TALANA: Looks like it called for its friends.
YAWANA: I thought it was a private party.
LEVANANCE: We have to fall back. Put the children back in the room best as we can and protect them.
NARRATOR: The group turned and ran, making their way back to the doors. Talana propped her staff on the wall to keep it from getting too close to the explosive rune and went in with the children.
ALRIC: Mog, you too.
MOG: Mog can fight!
ALRIC: Yes, and you’re big. If you fight no one can help you until its too late. I mean, you take up the entire cave.
YAWANA: And I need room for my arrows.
FRANK: Besides, big guy, you need to be there as their last line of defense. That way, (sniff), they’ll know they’re safe.
NARRATOR: Reluctantly, Mog entered as well, closing the door and leaning against it.
MOG: Mog hold door!
YAWANA: Anyone else here carrying arrows?
LEVANANCE: I am.
YAWANA: Good, you’re back here with me. Frank, Alric, unless you want this to get messy, get on your knees!
ALRIC: Very funny, Yawana.
YAWANA: This IS what we need to be doing, right Frank? I just came up with this, I didn’t even ask.
ALRIC: He still has a minute before they get here. (to Frank) Frank, what do the voices say?
NARRATOR: Frank closed his eyes once more, listening to the voices of the fates.
LEVANANCE: Voices? Interesting.
NARRATOR: Finally, Frank heard what he needed to know. He looked to the others and said… Well, what did Frank say? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure myself. Remember when I told you that you, the all-important listener, would be the steward of poor Frank’s fate? Well, you really are! What will Frank do next? You tell us. To do that, you can visit “LetsBeFrankThePodcast.Com” and click on the “What Would Frank Do?” button and, in five hundred characters or less, tell us what you think Frank should do next. You can also join us on our Facebook page to let us know there, or leave a comment in the comments area on our YouTube channel. Remember, you are the fates controlling Frank’s fate. Let’s try not to let him down. Some of the music and sound effects in this podcast come from Tabletop Audio. If you running a game, the perfect background music and sound effects can be difficult to assemble. But, with Tabletop audio, you can play songs fitting your campaign and use sword clangs and magical bursts to set the mood for the adventure and take your game to the next level! For your next RPG game, visit tabletopaudio.com. The rest of the music comes from Kevin MacLeod’s brilliant web site incompetech.com. If you’re looking for music for your podcast, Kevin has composed more than 2,000 royalty-free songs released under the creative commons license.So, when you need music, think incompetech.com, and tell him that Frank sent you.