It’s time, all-important listeners, for episode five! When last we left off, our brave band of heroes were scattered throughout the city, and Frank was alone and surrounded by thugs that want his money pouch! What will Frank do to get out of this predicament and help his friends and the king?!?
“Giant Wyrm” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
“Send for the Horses” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
“Suonatore di Liuto” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
“Vanishing” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
“Volatile Reaction” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
All other music is from https://www.tabletopaudio.com/
Episode Five 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, Frank was surrounded by a group of thugs that wanted to take Frank’s coin purse by any means necessary! What will poor Frank do? An all-important listener named Rachel whispered the best plan she could think of to help Frank. So, after looking deep within himself and listening to his inner voice, Frank opened his mouth and said…
FRANK: Option three. I give you half the money now, and half when you finish the job.
NARRATOR: The men looked a little more than confused.
THUG LEADER: Whadaya mean, half?! What job?
FRANK: Now, calm down, calm down… You guys are wanting my money because you don’t have jobs, right? (pause) So why won’t people hire you?
THUG 1: People thinks we nothing more than a group of thieves.
FRANK: So, if you took my money from me, all of it, what would that make you?
THUG 2: Um… thieves?
FRANK: Right! But, if I gave you half my money now and the rest when you finished what I gave you to do, what would that make you?
THUG 1: Tired?
THUG 2: No, it would make us honest men, real workers.
FRANK: Precisely! No one in town wants to hire a thief, but people hire workers all the time! You work for me, then when someone asks you if you’re a good worker, you tell them to just ask Frank, the king’s friend!
NARRATOR: The mention of the king seemed to get their attention more than the gold.
THUG LEADER: All right. Half now and half when we do the job. So, what’s the job?
FRANK: I’m looking for someone that is throwing their voice, making it sound like it’s coming from somewhere other than their mouth.
THUG 1: What’s it sound like?
FRANK: (throwing) It sounds and looks like this.
NARRATOR: Frank made his voice come from the thug in the back, who immediately panicked and ran away.
FRANK: Wait! It’s just…
THUG LEADER: Hmph. Coward. One less person to split the purse with.
FRANK: Ooookay… So, gather around, men, here’s how we’re going to catch this person…
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Alric and Talana had their hands full battling creatures in the throne room.
ALRIC: Talana, watch the one on the right!
TALANA: I see him!
NARRATOR: The three creatures were spreading out slowly trying to encircle them. Talana and Alric moved back to back from one another.
ALRIC: Talana, can you cast a shield about yourself for protection?
TALANA: I can, but it would be too small for both of us.
ALRIC: Cast it. I don’t need to be under it. I need to ensure you are protected from them and me.
NARRATOR: Talana cast her magic about her, shielding her inside a blue glowing dome. Alric then smiled a bit.
ALRIC: Now that I know I can’t accidentally hurt you, I can use the “Ten Blades” style and end this quickly.
NARRATOR: Alric scanned the room and quickly began his attack. He went from point to point in the room, slashing and tearing as he went. Talana watched as he seemed to be in several places at once, his sword glimmering in multiple points, even once glancing hard against the shield. When the fight was over, the creatures melted into a green, gooey state onto the floor as the small flower on the table burst into flames.
ALRIC: It’s clear, Talana.
NARRATOR: Talana shook her head and pointed back to the burning flower, its smoke forming into a large creature.
ALRIC: So, you knew about this too?
TALANA: I knew it might happen…
ALRIC: Anything else?
ALRIC: No demons rising from the floor, or ghosts coming from the walls?
ALRIC: You’re certain?
TALANA: Yes… sorry.
ALRIC: (sighs) It’s okay. We can do this.
NARRATOR: Talana lowered her shield and took to the creature’s right side as Alric too to its left.
ALRIC: Oh, and remember, according to Frank, communication is key in team building.
NARRATOR: As the two prepared for the conclusion of their battle, Mog and Yawana were leaving the guild.
MOG: So, Yawana go to inn, find scarred man, and he hire you as voice thrower?
YAWANA: Yep, that’s right.
MOG: Then you leave and I follow him out and track to see where he goes?
YAWANA: Also yep. I’ll be nearby even if you can’t see me, so if you need help, I’ll be there.
NARRATOR: Yawana and Mog entered the smaller inn separately, Mog making his way to the bar for a drink as Yawana went over to a rather shady man in the corner.
YAWANA: I heard you’re looking to hire.
GRANTHAM: I am hiring, however, I am only hiring for a particular skill set.
NARRATOR: Yawana focused her voice on the man’s mug.
YAWANA: Drink me. You’re thirsty!
NARRATOR: The man smiled broadly. He reached and took Yawana by the hand and, turning it over spotted the sigil of the guild.
GRANTHAM: I am, indeed, thirsty.
NARRATOR: He then pulled a small pouch from his cloak as well as a small slip of paper.
GRANTHAM: Do you read?
YAWANA: Well enough.
GRANTHAM: Good. What to say, where and how to say are all on that paper. I will know if you have done your work or not. Do well and you may receive more work in the future.
NARRATOR: Yawana only smiled as she made her way out of the inn. Mog sat and watched the hooded man for a time before following him out the back door, making his way down dark paths and back alleys.
MOG: Mog like this less than caves and tunnels.
NARRATOR: Mog crouched low and peered around the next corner. He saw the man removing his hood and cloak before handing them over to a guard.
MOG: Think I found shadow spy. Mog go tell-
NARRATOR: With a heavy thud, Mog fell unconscious to the ground beneath him. Two large men took Mog under the arms and began to drag him away. Meanwhile, the fight was not going well for Talana and Alric, who were slowly being backed into a corner by the large beast.
TALANA: It’s trying to corner us so we can’t escape.
ALRIC: That’s fine!
ALRIC: If your back is in the corner, then no one can attack you there.
NARRATOR: The creature continued advancing against the two heroes.
TALANA: Be ready to swing hard, Alric!
TALANA: Remember the pond last summer?
NARRATOR: Smiling, Alric held ready his sword as Talana’s finger began spinning magic. A white mist exploded from her hands as the lower jaw of the creature froze solid.
NARRATOR: Alric raced forward and in one hard swing, shattered the entire lower jaw of the creature. Screaming and in pain, it turned and tried to run toward the stained glass doors.
ALRIC: Oh, no you don’t!
NARRATOR: Raring back, Alric hurled his blade with all of his might, spinning across the room until it’s tip met with the base of the skull of the creature, stopping it dead in its tracks. Alric walked to the creature and removed the sword from its skull before it began to liquefy.
TALANA: Are you all right?
ALRIC: Yes, I think so.
TALANA: Well, I’m not.
NARRATOR: Talana turned and marched to the doors of the throne room and banged on them loudly. When the doors opened, the king’s elite had him surrounded for protection.
KING JERRIMAN: Young wizard, I am happy to see you are unharmed.
TALANA: Your grace, meaning no disrespect, but I must insist on having a word with your wife, the queen.
NARRATOR: Meanwhile, Frank and his journeymen (as he named them) were scouring the area looking for the voice throwers.
FRANK: Remember, guys, I’ve taught you everything I know. Now it’s up to you to flush them out.
NARRATOR: The men nodded and spread out across the area, being watchful for odd voices as well as the guard. Frank then happened to look down to see the little puppy at his feet once more, tail wagging happily.
FRANK: Of course I’m not mad, little buddy. If I could have just peed on someone else’s shoes and ran away, I would have.
NARRATOR: As Frank scooped up the pup, he wandered around a bit more before coming up on a strange sight.
SHOWRUNNER: Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, bring your children to be entertained by the marionettes as the Master Puppeteer tells them a story.
FRANK: This looks very interesting, but maybe I should get back to looking for the…
NARRATOR: Frank didn’t finish his sentence, but instead took the small pup and sat with the children in front of the box which would be the stage for the puppets. As the small cloth curtains parted, the children in attendance got very quiet. A small, dark puppet in a strange cloak appeared and began talking.
PUPPET MASTER: Greetings one and all! I am the puppet master, and I will be telling you a story, with the help of a few of my friends.
FRANK: (whisper) I wonder what kind of story you’ll be telling us, Puppet Master?
NARRATOR: The story was the tale of a great and powerful king who once boasted to father time he would always be a great king. Alas, as the years went on, the young king grew old and began forgetting things, making mistakes and mismanaging the kingdom. The children laughed at the senile old king forgetting to pay to have the horses fed, which caused the horses to climb upon the roofs to eat the thatch. Why the poor old king even forgot who were his allies and who were his enemies. Frank watched and listened, becoming more and more perturbed at the unfolding story.
FRANK: I don’t like the sounds of this at all.
NARRATOR: Yawana rushed forward as quickly as possible from rooftop to rooftop. It would be her only way to get ahead of the two guards that had Mog in their possession.
YAWANA: I hate that I didn’t get there fast enough. Don’t you worry, Mog, I won’t let you down.
NARRATOR: After shimmying down the side of a warehouse, she sat next to the alleyway where she anticipated the guards to exit with Mog in tow. Sure enough the two guards walked past her without even noticing her small form next to the alley.
Yawana begins playing her lute and singing a song.
NARRATOR: Crowds were gathering to hear the funny song and the guards were beginning to look uncomfortable. Yawana knew they didn’t want to draw attention taking Mog in, and now they were getting nothing but attention.
Yawana continues her song to the dismay of the guards.
NARRATOR: One of the guards dropped Mog’s arm and made his way to Yawana, hand near his sword.
GUARD: You’ve got quite the mouth on you, bard.
YAWANA: Oh, you don’t know the half of it. However, my greatest talent is magic!
GUARD: Magic? Hmph! You don’t look smart enough to have learned magic.
NARRATOR: The guard was facing Yawana, not able to see his friend being choked by an awakened Mog. With the crowd still laughing, Mog sat the guard down quietly and headed for the guard talking with Yawana.
YAWANA: You doubt my magical prowess? Watch closely as I make this entire city vanish before your very eyes!
NARRATOR: Mog wrapped a single arm around the guards neck and, after a bit of struggling, fell limp as he passed out.
NARRATOR: The crowd cheered and began throwing them coins, apparently believing it to be a street show. Yawana began picking up the coins, while Mog pulled the cloak from the downed guard.
YAWANA: We made a killing out here without having to kill anyone!
MOG: Yawana have no idea.
NARRATOR: Yawana turned to see the two coin purses Mog held.
MOG: These hidden in hooded cloak. Smells like guard bribe money.
YAWANA: So, I guess we take these guys in and have them held. After that, we take this info to Frank.
MOG: Mog agree. Take things and men.
YAWANA: You want me to grab the big one?
NARRATOR: Back in the palace, Talana and Alric watched as Queen Auriney entered the throne room. Alric and Talana noticed her eyes move to the now bare table then back to them. She turned then smiled at the king.
QUEEN AURINEY: My love, you called for me?
KING JERRIMAN: I did indeed. These two young heroes here just saved my life. One of them requested to speak with you about your flowers.
QUEEN AURINEY: Of course, my love.
NARRATOR: The queen then turned to Alric and Talana.
QUEEN AURINEY: I do fancy myself as an expert in many different types of flora and fauna. What is it you wish to know?
TALANA: Well, first, I would like to know where you procured the blue-stringed Pailey.
QUEEN AURINEY: It was a gift from a friend. I know that they are widely sought by spell-casters for their ability to hold magic. They would cast spells to be released under various circumstances, like a gentle breeze when being watered. They can hold very beautiful things.
ALRIC: Or dark and dangerous. Your particular plant contained demons.
NARRATOR: The queen seened stunned a moment, then looked panicked to the king.
QUEEN AURINEY: My love! I thought you were jesting about being in any danger! Were you injured?!?
KING JERRIMAN: No, as I said, these two young heroes saved me.
QUEEN AURINEY: Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! We can never fully repay your courage.
ALRIC: Your grace, to be blunt, we’re not here for money. We feel that this was a deliberate attempt on your husband’s life. It is important you tell us the identity of the man who gave you your flower.
QUEEN AURINEY: It was Lord Grantham, the king’s most trusted advisor.
NARRATOR: Back at the puppet show, the curtains were drawing to a close. Frank had wanted to wait and see just who was in the box throwing their voice, but his journeymen were motioning to him from down the street.
FRANK: Okay, little guy, let’s go ahead and… aaaargh…
NARRATOR: Frank’s vision blurred a bit, and everything had a hint of blue to it. The sounds around him were muffled, like he were underwater. Though he struggled, he could not move. Eventually the area and the people within his view slowed to a stop, save for a tall, cloaked creature rising from the puppet box.
PUPPET MASTER: Struggle all you wish, Frank. I am not restraining you. Rather, I have pulled us a bit out of time for us to speak, man to man if you will.
NARRATOR: The hooded and cloaked figure in black floated completely out of the box and began moving toward Frank. The ends of the cloak were tattered and drifted beneath him like seaweed in the ocean.
PUPPET MASTER: I know why you are here, and I know who you seek. Rest assured, you will come close but you will neither catch nor stop them.
NARRATOR: As the puppet master stooped and lowered his head to be eye to eye with Frank, Frank noticed the inhuman shape and layout of his face, lines, hard joints and hinges, the same as marionettes.
PUPPET MASTER: This kingdom will fall, and in its place, a glorious testament to my genius will spring forth from its ashes. So go ahead, plan, plot, it does not matter. The kingdom’s fall is inescapable. Unavoidable. And you, Frank, will fail.
FRANK: So what makes you think I don’t already have what’s needed to stop its fall?
PUPPET MASTER: No questions. Now, off with you, back to your friends. I will see you once more when the kingdom falls, and then I will personally see to it I never have to see you again.
NARRATOR: Then, as suddenly as it started, it was over. The blue was gone. The Puppet Master was gone, as well. People started moving and the world was in motion once more. Frank looked again to his journeymen and strode off in that direction. He wanted to pay them for whatever they learned and get back to his friends.
FRANK: We have to fix this quick. I feel like we’re running out of time.
NARRATOR: The king turned and saw Yawana and Mog entering the room. Yawana was carrying something folded in her arms.
YAWANA: We just returned from investigating as well as putting on a show! Did you miss us?
MOG: Mog missed everybody. Mog hates guilds. Mog hates alleys. Mog hates bribed guards.
KING JERRIMAN: Bribed guards? You mean to tell me you know of guards taking money for favors?
YAWANA: Yep. I’ll bet you’ll never guess in a million years who it is!
ALRIC: Lord Grantham?
YAWANA: Nope! It was Lord Grantham!
ALRIC: That’s what I just said.
YAWANA: I know, but you were ruining our surprise.
MOG: Guard say they paid to protect his movements outside the palace. Also paid extra to keep mouths shut.
NARRATOR: Mog dropped the coin pouches before the king.
MOG: Apparently not paid enough. Mog make them talk easy.
QUEEN AURINEY: My love, more and more evidence is set against your childhood friend. What will you do?
ALRIC: Frank’s not back yet, your grace. I humbly request you postpone judgment until we have spoken with him first.
KING JERRIMAN: You place a lot of faith in that tiny man, Lord Alric. Might I ask why?
TALANA: If I may answer that, your grace. You see, a long time ago, we decided we didn’t want to be like other adventurers in the world seeking out gold and glory. We wanted to make positive changes in the world. We did well for a while. However, once Frank joined us, its like our footing is more solid, our resolve is stronger.
KING JERRIMAN: So he leads.
MOG: Frank Punyman is great man!
KING JERRIMAN: Poor Frank, saddled with such an unfortunate name from birth!
NARRATOR: The doorway opened and in walked Lord Grantham. Yawana knew something was off.
YAWANA: Guards, seize him!
GRANTHAM: You have no right trying to command the king’s men in his-
KING JERRIMAN: Guards, seize him.
NARRATOR: The guards quickly caught and dragged the man before the king.
YAWANA: Not so fast there!
NARRATOR: Talana approached Lord Grantham and began searching him.
GRANTHAM: What is the meaning of this, your grace? What crime am I being- WHOA! Young woman, your hand does not belong there!
YAWANA: And a bracelet doesn’t belong there, either! (snickers) Kinky!
NARRATOR: Turning, Yawana walked to Talana and offered out the bracelet.
TALANA: I don’t want to touch it. I don’t have your immunity!
YAWANA: Fine! I’ll hold it, you tell me what it is.
NARRATOR: Talana cast and stared intently at the bracelet dangling from Yawana’s outstretched pinky. The bracelet glowed slightly.
YAWANA: I’ll bet it looks about like this.
TALANA: This is a bracelet of disguises.
GRANTHAM: Of course it is! When I leave the castle for business, I have to protect myself! It is no secret I have the king’s ear and trust.
YAWANA: You may have looked different, but I remember your voice.
GRANTHAM: I don’t know who you are, woman.
NARRATOR: Mog then approached the king.
MOG: Man there gave Yawana this. This Grantham’s handwriting?
NARRATOR: The king studied it for a bit then shook his head.
KING JERRIMAN: No, this I can actually read. His handwriting is terrible for a learned man. He uses scribes, but only boys. That is a woman’s hand.
NARRATOR: At this moment, Frank entered the throne room, slightly out of breath.
FRANK: I made it back.
KING JERRIMAN: Your friends have done quite well on their endeavors.
FRANK: Okay. (deep breath) Now, I see that you already have the advisor in custody.
MOG: Caught him bribing guards.
YAWANA: And paying people like me to go voice throwing for him.
TALANA: And bringing cursed flowers into the castle.
FRANK: Pretty smart guy. Amazing that you did this all on your own. Makes things simple. Guess only one person has to be punished since only one did the crime.
NARRATOR: Lord Grantham looked expectantly to the queen, who turned her face away from him.
GRANTHAM: You’ll let me face the noose alone for what WE have done?
NARRATOR: Everyone, including the king, turned to look at the queen.
QUEEN AURINEY: What are you rambling about? You would besmirch my good name before my husband and his friends for fear of punishment? For betraying my husband?
GRANTHAM: That’s your handwriting on those instructions I gave to voice throwers! Your money that silenced your king’s guards! Your flower that was poised to kill him when he was finally alone in the throne room!
QUEEN AURINEY: Never would I do such a thing! Why would I bring a plant into my own home knowing its flames would consume the man I love?!? Are you mad?!?
KING JERRIMAN: ENOUGH!
NARRATOR: Everyone froze upon the king’s command for silence. He cradled his head in one hand before looking up a bit and motioning to Frank.
KING JERRIMAN: Your friends risk life and fortunes to follow you, Frank Punyman. They exude a devotion I only see in my most disciplined men. Tell me, Frank Punyman, what should I do? I am too close to make an unbiased decision, and I cannot ask the advisor in chains before me.
NARRATOR: Frank closed his eyes and listened for his inner voice, the fates, to speak. He was pretty certain that the evidence was damning against Lord Grantham, but what of the queen? Was this a last-ditch attempt to destabilize the throne, or was she, indeed, an accomplice to the lord advisor? Hearing what he needed to hear, Frank looked to the king 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.