It’s time, all-important listeners, for episode four! When last we left off, our brave band of heroes had managed to stop a war that never should have started. What will Frank do to catch the enemies of the kingdom of Auvendale?!?
“Scheming Weasel (faster version)” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
“Giant Wyrm” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
All other music is from https://www.tabletopaudio.com/
Episode Four 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, yes 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, our group of heroes had managed to stop a war that never should have been. Now they had to decide what action to take to uncover the culprit behind everything. What will poor Frank do? An all-important listener named “Me:…no, not me the Narrator, just a listener named “Me”, advised Frank of what he needed to do next. So, after looking deep within himself and listening to his inner voice, Frank opened his mouth and said…
FRANK: You see, it all boils down to information. Now, we know there’s definitely someone going around spreading rumors and inciting fear, but we ASSUME they are being controlled by someone else. What if it really IS only one person? When we see we’re choosing between what we KNOW versus what we ASSUME, it makes the choice pretty darn clear.
NARRATOR: Alric approached Frank, moving all the way into his personal space, and looked him dead in the eyes.
ALRIC: I don’t know how the fates work within you, Frank Punyman. I don’t claim to understand any of the great mysteries in the universe. I can, however, tell you one thing with absolute certainty.
NARRATOR: Alric then placed a hand on Frank’s shoulder.
ALRIC: You have my trust. We ride for Auvendale immediately.
TALANA: All right, then. Back to the horses.
YAWANA: We have to hurry as to put as much distance between us and the army as possible.
MOG: Faster riding means more time to find shadow spy.
ALRIC: Then, let’s go. We haven’t a moment to waste!
FRANK: But… but… I… just fell off my horse… at least the teamwork is working a little better.
NARRATOR: The general, noticing they were one horse short, had one taken to Frank. The group then began the trip back to Auvendale. On the second morning, the group awoke to a thick mist in the area.
YAWANA: Well, lovely. This will slow us down when we don’t need to slow down.
ALRIC: It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, anything that slows us down a little will slow down an army a lot.
NARRATOR: Mog said nothing, but had a stone dangling from a cord in his hand, moving it about in the thick fog.
MOG: Season not right for fog like this.
NARRATOR: Talana took out her book in her left hand and, after reading it a moment, began gesturing intricately with her right. Symbols formed in the air from her fingertip and she drew with light.
TALANA: If it is magic, it is far beyond my ability to detect it.
ALRIC: It’s of little matter. The king’s southern road is well maintained and easy to follow in a blizzard.
NARRATOR: The group made their way through the fog, careful not to lose the trail. However, after passing through a narrow point in the trail, the group came upon a curious crossroad no one remembered from the trip down. There was a road sign post, but the markers had been removed and scattered around the post. A small creature was laying by the post, using one of the signs as a pillow. He seemed to be asleep.
FRANK: I don’t remember this place…
ALRIC: Dammit. We’re off the main trail.
YAWANA: So where are we then?
MOG: We in fog.
ALRIC: So spoke the wise ranger of the domain of the obvious.
MOG: Mog shaman!
ALRIC: Then maybe Mog should stick to what he knows best.
MOG: If Alric Ladyman do that, he will be bored soon.
ALRIC: And what exactly do you mean by that?
TALANA: There’s Auvendale.
NARRATOR: Talana pointed to the ground at one of the signs removed from the post.
GNOME: (yawn) You people make far too much noise!
NARRATOR: As the creature rose from it’s nap, the group could see his black hair sticking out everywhere from beneath his simple brown hat. His tan skin and pointed ears only served to amplify his emerald eyes and broad, wide smile.
YAWANA: He’s SO cute!
TALANA: You’re a gnome.
GNOME: Of course I’m a gnome! I was a sleeping gnome, but you know what happens when you cross an orc with a pompous human?
FRANK: I don’t know. What?
GNOME: You get an awake and slightly angry gnome!
ALRIC: Good sir, we would be happy to be on our way, once we know which of these paths leads to Auvendale.
GNOME: That’s what the sign is for.
MOG: Sign broken.
NARRATOR: The gnome looked back to the sign post, looked a little surprised, then seemed to remember something.
GNOME: Oh, yes, right, I had the path placards removed because they were pointing slightly in the wrong direction.
YAWANA: So, shorty, do you remember which way leads to Auvendale?
GNOME: Well, I had it memorized before someone came along and ruined my sleep.
TALANA: And now?
GATEKEEPER: You’ll have to let me think a moment.
NARRATOR: The gnome paced and wandered about the area for what seemed like hours, looking first at the splitting of the trail and then back to the sign post. Eventually, the gnome pointed.
GNOME: Auvendale is that way…
GNOME: …I think.
ALRIC: You think?
GNOME: Yes, I do. It’s a habit. You should try it.
MOG: How certain?
GNOME: As certain as a gnome in a fog can be.
ALRIC: I normally think, only right now I’m trying hard to stop myself from booting a gnome into the mist!
FRANK: Whoa, whoa there, friend! (whisper) We don’t have to resort to violence. We just have to speak his language.
ALRIC: (whisper) I don’t know gnomish.
FRANK: (whisper) That’s not what I mean.
NARRATOR: Frank then turned to the gnome, walked to the post and sat down beside it.
FRANK: I mean, if he can’t remember, he just can’t remember.
GNOME: What makes you think I can’t remember?
FRANK: Oh, no, no, no… I didn’t mean for it to sound that way. I’m not saying you can’t. No sir, I meant that it might take a little time. It must be extremely difficult to remember five sign positions-
GNOME: It’s not THAT hard! You’re making it sound like I’ve not a bit of brains!
FRANK: It’s okay! Really! We all have things that are difficult for us to do. It’s not like we should expect you to just be able to climb up the pole and smack all five of them where they belong. That’s just too hard for some people, and you know what? That’s okay.
GATEKEEPER: Too hard? TOO HARD?!?
NARRATOR: The gnome flew in Frank’s direction, scooping all of the signs up and, launching himself off of Frank’s shoulders, climbed the pole and placed all five signs back on it instantly.
GNOME: SEE?!? No problem at all.
NARRATOR: Frank turned and looked at Alric.
FRANK: See? No problem at all.
NARRATOR: Frank then turned back to the gnome.
FRANK: It seems I underestimated your skills and abilities, good sir. You have proven me wrong. I will do my best not to underestimate you in the future.
GNOME: It would be best if you did not!
NARRATOR: The group took to their steeds once more and headed into the mist.
TALANA: Frank, that was hilarious!
YAWANA: That was some shifty language there, mister. You normally seem too morally compromised to talk like that. Where did you learn?
FRANK: I’m an accountant. However, I have to deal with people in the sales department all the time. They’re a different breed.
NARRATOR: Alric just nodded as they continued into the fog, unaware of the gnome behind them making one small adjustment to the sign…In the evening of the second day, the group began to slowly exit from the fog.
ALRIC: Good. Now we can finally get our speed up about us.
MOG: Must hurry. Shadow spy will leave city once knowing armies not fighting.
TALANA: And with the fog, we’ve lost some of our time.
YAWANA: Want me to sing us a song about moving faster and faster?
FRANK: I’d love to hear it!
ALRIC: Wait a moment!
NARRATOR: Bringing the group to a halt, Alric slid from his saddle and began making his way toward a large rock next to the side of the road.
YAWANA: Don’t we need to get moving?
NARRATOR: Alric ignored the others as he examined the stone carefully. Then, without warning, he punched the stone with all of his might, his steel gauntlet clanging against the rough texture. He turned around, eyes cast downward, face filled of rage.
ALRIC: We’re nowhere near Auvendale! We’re in the wrong kingdom!!
TALANA: What kingdom are we in, then?
ALRIC: (softly) Mine.
NARRATOR: Alric raised his reddened eyes.
ALRIC: This stone. This is in my father’s kingdom. My brother and I used to go on hunts with father. I was a capable hunter, but my brother had no stomach for it. So many times I would stay behind so he wouldn’t feel alone.
NARRATOR: Alric turned and looked at the stone once more.
ALRIC: We would play “king of the mountain” here. We probably played over a hundred times. (pause) He never won. Not once. I wouldn’t let him.
MOG: So, brother is king now, yes?
NARRATOR: As he turned back, Alric’s eyes closed slowly.
ALRIC: No, Mog. He is but a pale shade of the man who ruled this great and noble kingdom. A charade, a pretender, a poor joke. He is my brother; I cannot deny it, even if I wanted. But… (pause) He. Is. No. King.
NARRATOR: The group sat quietly a moment before Mog broke the silence once more.
MOG: How far from Auvendale, then?
NARRATOR: The mention of the city seemed to bring Alric out of his mood a bit.
ALRIC: If we ride hard until dark, we can make it to the kingdom border. There, we camp and rest the horses. Barring no further fog, with a hard ride we should be in the walls of Auvendale by mid-day.
NARRATOR: Alric mounted his steed and began making his way back the direction that they came. Mog kept close to Alric, as did Talana. Yawana and Frank rode along-side one another.
FRANK: So, I take it that there’s bad blood between Alric and his brother the king?
YAWANA: You could say that. See, Frank, when they were young, they were the best of friends. They were twins, so of course they were close.
FRANK: They’re twins?
YAWANA: Yep. Like I said, two peas in a pod. But, when their dad died, it changed them both. Neither for the good.
NARRATOR: Yawana looked back at the trail that fell behind her, then looked back to the front again, wistfully.
YAWANA: Elric became the king he didn’t want to be, and Alric became the stranger he didn’t deserve to be.
FRANK: I don’t have siblings, but I had a lot of very close friends growing up. I can’t imagine brothers, much less twins, hating one another.
YAWANA: Oh, they don’t hate each other, Frank. They’re family. They just… Their disagreements have made it hard for them to speak to one another honestly.
NARRATOR: Falling into the rhythm of the horses hooves, Frank thought about everything he had learned that evening before the group stopped at the border and rested the horses. Sure to Alric’s prediction, they made it back within the walls of Auvendale by mid-day. After stabling their horses, the group formed up near the street.
TALANA: So, Alric and I will take the crest of the king and return it to him. He knows more about the etiquette than I do. Also, there’s a question I would like to ask him.
MOG: Agreed. Yawana and I will begin our search for shadow spy.
YAWANA: Yep! I’ll also talk to a few of the local brigand to see if they have heard anything.
ALRIC: What about Frank?
FRANK: Me? Oh, I’ll just wander about watching for those tell-tale signs of someone using ventriloquism.
MOG: What signs?
FRANK: A voice happening when no one’s lips are moving.
NARRATOR: Four eye rolls later, Frank made his way into the main area of the city to begin his search.
FRANK: Now, if I were some sort of shadow spy, where would I hide so a lot of people could hear me but no one see me?
NARRATOR: As Frank made his way in, he saw a small, shaggy brown puppy walking toward a fast moving wagon. Moving as quick as his sore legs would allow, he managed to scoop up the pup before it met its untimely fate.
FRANK: Whoa, there, little fellow. You know you’re supposed to look both ways before you cross the street, right?
NARRATOR: Frank held up the pup and examined it. She was almost certainly a stray, save for the worn pink ribbon tied around her neck. Frank’s eyes lit up and shone brightly.
FRANK: Ashi?! Is that you?!
NARRATOR: Receiving no response besides a lick to his nose, Frank carried the pup carefully and made his way deeper into the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, Mog and Yawana had already found themselves in quite the predicament.
YAWANA: Look, I can explain…
GUILDMASTER: Explain? Explain?! How do you plan to explain three years, three LONG years, without paying your dues? I’ve heard you have a talented tongue, but this time you’ve met your match. I cannot be swayed.
YAWANA: What makes you think that?
GUILDMASTER: I am more into… HIS type…
NARRATOR: The Guildmaster looked from Yawana to Mog and smiled widely.
MOG: Mog… uncomfortable.
YAWANA: Listen, we just came back from an errand for the king himself! When they get our pay and it’s split, you’ll get your money and then a little extra for your efforts.
MOG: Yawana, why you pay this person that did nothing for you?
GUILDMASTER: Nothing? You sexy beast, we fed her, clothed her, trained her, she’s practically what she is today because of us. I am the guild. When you go to another city, someone else will be the guild. She owes the guild, so she will pay.
MOG: Guild seem important.
GUILDMASTER: Oh, trust me, my friend. it is.
NARRATOR: Mog then reached out and took the Guildmaster by the throat, lifting her into the air.
MOG: Looks like Guild is in trouble. How much you pay me to save guild?
GUILDMASTER: But…it’s you that’s…AARGH!
MOG: How much?!
NARRATOR: Mog then dropped the blue-faced woman unceremoniously onto the floor. Yawana squatted near her.
YAWANA: I’ll still pay ya, pretty lady. Don’t worry about that. What you should be worrying about are voice throwers.
NARRATOR: The Guildmaster’s eyes darted up quickly.
YAWANA: So, you do know what I’m talking about? How’s about you tell me what you know so I can tell the king how I never would have figured it out without your help?
NARRATOR: As Alric and Talana made their way into the throne room, Talana’s eyes kept moving about the area.
ALRIC: You’ve nothing to fear, Talana. We’re doing his bidding right now. We were successful.
TALANA: I’m not afraid, Alric. It’s… something else.
NARRATOR: After bowing to the throne, Alric produced the signet he had taken from Frank at the stables and offered it to the guard.
ALRIC: The army was halted short of the border, Frank delivered your message to your general, and by your grace we shall go out and join our companions in the search for the whisperer of lies.
KING JERRIMAN: Of course, young prince.
NARRATOR: Alric flinched a bit, but held his composure.
ALRIC: My apologies, my lord, but due to circumstances, it appears my brother saw fit to remove any titles of mine once I left home.
KING JERRIMAN: I am sorry for your loss. I was rather fond of your father. When we were young, he and I would take men and hold mock wars against one another. He always won. Bastard. (laughs) I honestly thought he was good enough to cheat death. It’s a shame he was not.
NARRATOR: There was a pause before Talana spoke up.
TALANA: Your grace, if I may, might I ask you a couple of questions? Something about your home has intrigued me, and I have been wanting to ask.
KING JERRIMAN: We are talking of good things, so on with it, then.
TALANA: Your wife the queen, your grace, does she fancy flowers?
KING JERRIMAN: Of course, most women in her position do. Loves the exotic ones, she does.
TALANA: Has she ever made mention of a Blue-Stringed Pailey?
KING JERRIMAN: I do believe that she has, and not too long ago. Have you seen it?
TALANA: I haven’t, your grace, but I would truly love to!
NARRATOR: Alric started to remind her of the task at hand but resisted. Talana was a bit odd, but she wouldn’t be asking of this for nothing. The king rose and began leading them across the room to the stained glass doors. Next to them, there stood a stand and a small, blue, simple-looking plant.
TALANA: I was afraid of this.
ALRIC: Afraid of what?
TALANA: Guards, please take the king from the room immediately for his safety and return Alric’s sword to his side.
NARRATOR: The king did not hesitate, and as the men returned Alric’s sword, Talana cast forth her hands and three invisible tendrils became visible, attached to three vicious dog-like creatures. Alric drew his sword and Talana prepared another spell as the king’s guards hurried him out of the room.
ALRIC: Were you expecting this?!?
TALANA: I was hoping they would be smaller!
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Frank was making his way through a particularly dismal looking area. The few people outside stared openly at him.
FRANK: It’s okay, Ashi. When you’re in a new place, it’s considered rude to stereotype anyone based on your own personal bias of the world.
NARRATOR: As he got to the end of the street and, realizing it was a dead end, he turned to head back, only to realize there were seven men waiting for him to turn around.
THUG A: Well, well, well. What do we gots ‘ere? Looks like some puny little man is lost on our street.
FRANK: Do you know Mog?
THUG A: Who?
FRANK: Never mind. Say, I was wondering, I’m looking for someone else that doesn’t belong here. Not sure what they look like, not even sure if they’re a man or a woman.
THUG A: Whadda ya know? I’m lookin for someone too. Skinny little runt that has my coin pouch.
NARRATOR: Now, Frank was naive about some things, but he recognized a robbery when he saw one. Instinctively, he took the pup and held it out before him.
FRANK: You guys have no idea who you’re messing with. This is no ordinary pup. This pup is special. This pup is a goddess! This…pup… just wet on my boots…
NARRATOR: Frank quickly sat down the puppy and it ran down the street as quickly as it could.
FRANK: That did not turn out like I planned.
NARRATOR: Once the group stopped chuckling, they began moving closer to Frank.
FRANK: All right guys, enough!
NARRATOR: Frank’s hand had landed on his sword hilt as all of the men stopped.
FRANK: Look, there are seven of you and only one of me. I have a sword, but I’m not skilled enough to take you all. So, that leaves us with three options.
NARRATOR: The group waited and watched Frank intently. Frank, concentrating hard, was begging that inner voice which had never steered him wrong before to help him once again.
FRANK: Option one: You guys attack and I get a couple of you. That means two of you will probably go with me. Option two: You guys walk away, and we all live to see tomorrow.
NARRATOR: The group looked back and forth to one another. Their leader finally spoke.
THUG A: So, what’s option three?
NARRATOR: Frank knew it was a long shot. It may not work at all. But, it’s what the voice told him, and since option one was a bluff and they decided against option two, there was only one choice left for him.
FRANK: All right. You guys leave me with no other alternatives.
NARRATOR: Frank removed his hand from his sword hilt, marched up to the lead thug 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. Please visit “LetsBeFrankThePodcast.Com” and click on the “What Would Frank Do?” link and, in five hundred characters or less, tell us what you think Frank should do next? 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.