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1.13: The Necromancer

Our heroes suffer incalculable loss, and a secret is revealed.

Transcript is below the cut!

HANNAH
Hello everyone, Hannah here. Without a script, so who knows how this is gonna go. (chuckle) This is the final episode of season one of Inn Between and…I think it’s amazing, because I never expected this journey to go as it has gone? And that’s due in large part to you all. This has been an amazing success. We are not done yet; we have plenty more to come, um, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. There’s gonna be something in your podcast feeds in two weeks to let you know what we’ll be up to, but now is not the time for that. Now is the time to take a beat, and to say to you, from all of us: thank you. Thank you so much.

And now, for the final time this season, let’s go to the Inn.

Pause.

 

TESSA THE INNKEEPER
Previously, on Inn Between…

 

MELTYRE
The Bone King isn’t just another monster.

 

Sterling exhales with a swing of his sword and hits—one, two, three.

 

VELUNE
This lich is neither young nor unproven. He’s famously unbeatable.

 

Fighting, magic hum, explosion.

 

VELUNE
And in addition to the lich himself, there is the matter of his minions. I would be willing to bet that his lair is not unprotected.

 

Monstrous snarling, fighting, Sterling gasps.

 

FINA
We who are about to die salute you.

 

A magic healing spell, and then a shattering crash. Betty shouts, and a blow lands. A shattering explosion, Velune grunts, and a whoosh.

 

BONE KING
(raspy, breathy, dead; each word enunciated)
You pitiful mortals. You thought mere adventurers could best me?

 

STERLING
Your reign of terror is over!

 

BONE KING
We shall see. (hissing)

 

Magic whooshes and blows landed, more hissing, Betty shouting, all layered over each other.

 

MELTYRE
We’re done for!

 

FINA
Not yet!

 

Fina’s instrument plays over the sounds of battle.

 

BETTY
Fina, look out!

 

Fina’s instrument stops with the glang of a guitar smashed. She makes one short exclamation and falls silent.

 

Betty looses a battlecry, and there is the thwack of an axe, followed by the crack of bone.

 

A pause.

 

VELUNE
(panting)
You did it! He’s dead.

 

BETTY
Fina?…Fina?

 

A long pause. Very quiet tavern sounds fade in.

 

STERLING
Ow, ow!

 

VELUNE
Stop fidgeting.

 

MELTYRE
There’s so much blood.

 

VELUNE
Head wounds always bleed a lot.

 

Sterling hisses with pain.

 

VELUNE
There. I’m sorry I can’t do more. I’ll get some rest soon, and we’ll give it another go with magic.

 

STERLING
It’s fine.

 

VELUNE
Meltyre, is that splint holding?

 

MELTYRE
It works for now.

 

VELUNE
Good. Good. Now, um. Betty.

 

Heavy loaded silence.

 

VELUNE
(deliberately gentle)
Betty, I really should look at those cuts on your belly.

 

Still silent.

 

VELUNE
So you’ll have to put her down.

 

BETTY
No.

 

VELUNE
Betty, Fina would not want you to bleed out.

 

STERLING
(sadly)
She’s gone, Betty. She’s not in there anymore.

 

BETTY
No.

 

MELTYRE
C’mon, let-let-let her grieve.

 

STERLING
Grief is well and good, but she is bleeding. Let’s be—

 

BETTY
(shouting)
No!

 

STERLING
(shaken)
Very well.

 

Silence.

 

VELUNE
Frankly, it’s…it’s a bit of a miracle we only lost one of our number.

 

STERLING
You can reclaim your sisters, Meltyre. You must be pleased.

 

MELTYRE
Not really. (pause) I mean…of course I’m glad that I’m alive and my sisters are going to be okay but…I didn’t think this would happen.

 

STERLING
No. Nor did I.

 

MELTYRE
It’s almost worse.

 

STERLING
I wish things had gone differently.

 

BETTY
(voice rough)
Oh, you think?

 

MELTYRE
Was…was that sarcasm? Were you just sarcastic?

 

BETTY
It should have been me.

 

VELUNE
You can’t let yourself think that way. We can’t hold ourselves responsible—

 

BETTY
I am responsible.

 

STERLING
No more than we all are. After all, we all bear the burden of each other’s safety.

 

BETTY
You don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

STERLING
I…perhaps I don’t. I thought…
(pause)
Forgive me if I’m wrong, Betty, but I thought orcs welcomed death in battle as an honorable thing.

 

BETTY
Fina wasn’t an orc.

 

STERLING
No. I suppose she wasn’t. But you…surely you must feel she died well.

 

BETTY
Do you?

 

STERLING
(quietly)
No. It seems…unjust.

 

VELUNE
It never seems fair to lose someone.

 

BETTY
(through gritted teeth)
It never gets easier. It just hurts. Over and over again.

 

MELTYRE
Yeah. Like a hole in your guts.

 

VELUNE
Betty, I know this is the last thing you want to do at the moment, but could I persuade you, just for a moment, to put Fina down? I only want to make sure those cuts aren’t too deep. (Waits for her to answer.) Take care of the literal hole in your guts, as it were.

 

A pause. A chair scoot.

 

VELUNE
(sighs in relief)
Good, good. Thank you. Now let’s see.

 

MELTYRE
(voice wavering)
She looks wrong. Fina.

 

STERLING
Did she have any…last wishes? Requests for burial?

 

BETTY
She said her plan was to never die.

 

STERLING
That sounds about right.

 

Betty sniffles.

 

VELUNE
Oh, very sorry. You’ve lucked out here, none of these are too bad. This should do it.

 

She sniffles again.

 

VELUNE
Ah. I see.

 

BETTY
(voice breaking)
She was the only family I had left.

 

STERLING
Oh. Oh, Betty.

 

Betty cries, quietly.

 

MELTYRE
(about to cry himself)
Wh—what—what are we going to do about her?

 

STERLING
I…don’t know.

 

For a moment, only Betty is heard.

 

STERLING
This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not like this.

 

And Betty cries.

 

After a moment, Velune heaves a sigh. Their next few lines lack their usual placating tone.

 

VELUNE
The gods strike me down.

 

STERLING
I beg your pardon?

 

VELUNE
I may regret this. I have something I’d like to tell you.

 

STERLING
Now is not a good time, Friar.

 

VELUNE
There is a point, and I promise I will get to it, if you’ll indulge me. It’s important.

 

STERLING
Go on then, I suppose.

 

VELUNE
Right.
(pause; deliberately)
When I was young, I studied fringe religious groups and their particular variations on clerical magic. I used to be quite the scholar. There are a few treatises with my name on them. But as my knowledge grew, so did my pride, and in my pride, I thought myself invincible, too important to be harmed or die. So I did something very foolish. I joined a cult of the necromantic.

 

The other three are struck silent.

 

MELTYRE
You—you—you did what?

 

VELUNE
Under the guise of serving Pelor, of course. Knowing the thoughts and ways of his enemies, or so I claimed to my order.

 

MELTYRE
But that’s—that’s—

 

VELUNE
Beyond foolish, I know.

 

MELTYRE
I was going to say evil!

 

VELUNE
You’re not far off. (collects their thoughts) I stayed with them a year, studying their magic, understanding the nuances of raising the dead, both to life and to unlife.
(hesitates)
These were…no magical hobbyists. The cultists believed in the fair exchange of blood for blood. Necromancy is costly magic, but they were more than willing to pay the price. They…sacrificed people. Often. Usually innocents.

 

MELTYRE
(horrified)
They killed people. Of course.

 

VELUNE
Yes.

 

STERLING
(outraged)
And you let them?

 

VELUNE
To my shame, yes. (voice shaking) All in the name of learning. It got out of hand, of course. After a year, they asked me to lead a ceremony and put the knife in my hand, and…And I…well, I couldn’t. I refused.

 

MELTYRE
W-what did they do?

 

VELUNE
They decided to kill me in the worst way they knew how. By burying me alive.

 

STERLING
My gods.

 

MELTYRE
So that’s why—

 

VELUNE
Yes.
(quietly)
As the…the dirt closed over me, I heard…the voice of Pelor. He told me I had been blinded by my own conceit and foolishness. That he expected better of me, and that I wouldn’t be blind ever again.

 

MELTYRE
Then what?

 

VELUNE
Well, then I passed out from lack of air. But I woke up, thanks be to Pelor, lying in the darkness beside my own grave. And I ran as fast as I could from that place.

 

STERLING
What did he mean, you would never be blind again?

 

VELUNE
Ah, that. My lord Pelor, in his wisdom, gave me some ability to see the unseen. It’s a bit intermittent, but I’ve found I always see if something’s amiss in time to do something about it.

 

MELTYRE
That’s how you knew about the vampire, and-and the dragon.

 

VELUNE
That’s right.

 

STERLING
You’ve kept these secrets from us for a long time.

 

VELUNE
Well it’s all a bit difficult to explain, don’t you agree? But the point of all this is to say—

 

BETTY
You know how to raise the dead.

 

VELUNE
That’s about the sum of it, yes. But I have a few concerns—

 

BETTY
Do it.

 

VELUNE
Now hold on—

 

BETTY
(chair scoot) Do it now, Friar.

 

VELUNE
I can’t.

 

BETTY
You said

 

VELUNE
I don’t have everything I need to do it right at the moment.

 

BETTY
You need to kill somebody?

 

STERLING
No, no, we’re not killing anyone. I don’t care how much we love Fina.

 

VELUNE
A sacrifice isn’t a requirement. But the magic is very demanding. We’ll need a fairly valuable substitute.

 

BETTY
What kind?

 

VELUNE
The most reliable is a gemstone. Please, Betty, I implore you, be seated. Necromancy is not a form of magic one should rush. The results could be disastrous.

 

MELTYRE
They’re right, Betty.

 

Tense silence, then a chair scoot.

 

BETTY
(only just controlled)
…A gemstone?

 

VELUNE
Yes. It must be a fairly expensive one, near flawless. I believe if we pooled our resources we could afford one, but I’m concerned about where to look. We’re so far from the nearest city, and…well, there is a bit of a deadline before she’ll be gone for good.

 

MELTYRE
Maybe I could transmute one.

 

VELUNE
In my experience, such gems are insufficient. Potentially dangerous for Fina.

 

MELTYRE
Oh, gods.

 

BETTY
So we take one.

 

STERLING
From whom? This isn’t an area known for its opulence.

 

BETTY
We’ll figure it out.

 

STERLING
So, what, we’ll start randomly mugging people, like common highwaymen?

 

BETTY
Would that work?

 

STERLING
No!

 

MELTYRE
What if we get some horses? Cut down travel time to the nearest city.

 

VELUNE
I’m still not certain there’s somewhere near enough for us to go. And could we afford both horses and a gem?

 

STERLING
Velune, what exactly is our deadline?

 

VELUNE
Within ten days of death. More or less.

 

MELTYRE
How much more or less?

 

VELUNE
It depends on the person. And the (clears throat)…rate of decay.

 

MELTYRE
Oh no.

 

Pause.

 

STERLING
I know a place. It’s eight days’ ride, but we wouldn’t have to pay for the gem once we got there.

 

MELTYRE
Woah, really?

 

VELUNE
What is this place?

 

STERLING
The Castle Whitetower.

 

Pause.

 

BETTY
Your…house?

 

STERLING
Yes.

 

MELTYRE
What, do you just have gemstones lying around?

 

STERLING
Don’t be absurd.

 

MELTYRE
Then how—

 

STERLING
They’re locked in a vault. Part of my inheritance.

 

VELUNE
Sterling, the spell will destroy the gem.

 

STERLING
Well, not to sound conceited, but money isn’t one of my worries. What’s a gem for a…a friend’s life?

 

BETTY
Sterling?

 

STERLING
Yes, Bett—(muffled) oof!

 

BETTY
Thank you.

 

STERLING
(strained)
Betty, you’re going to crack my ribs.

 

BETTY
Right.

 

VELUNE
(chair scoot) We’d better get going as soon as possible.

 

MELTYRE
Don’t you need some rest? Don’t-don’t we all—

 

VELUNE
No time now, is there? We can get a little sleep after we buy some horses.

 

STERLING
We’ll have to find a way to…conceal Fina.

 

MELTYRE
Miss Tessa’s throwing out an old rug. We can roll her up in that. And I have a spell that’ll-can keep her cold, maybe buy us a few hours?

 

VELUNE
Oh, that’s clever, well done!

 

STERLING
Let’s go, then.

 

More chair scoots. The next few lines begin to fade as they walk away.

 

STERLING
Can you imagine the look on her face when she hears what a big favor she owes me?

 

MELTYRE
Oh my gods, are you going to kill her twice?

 

Betty laughs, a joyous laugh. Theme song.

Credits:

Episode 13, “The Necromancer” was written by Hannah Wright and directed by William Wright.

The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers.

The voice of Sterling is Marquis Dijon Archuleta; the voice of Betty is Kaleigh Christopher; the voice of Fina is Riley Jones; the voice of Velune is Kira Mills; and the voice of Meltyre is Austin Mowat. The Bone King was Marquis Dijon Archuleta.

Fina’s guitar is played by Eli Isbell, and our theme song is by Eli McIlveen.

Want to know more about the inn, including updates on season 2? Have burning questions for Tessa the Innkeeper? Want access to special bonus content? Visit us at thegoblinshead.com, on Patreon at patreon.com/thegoblinshead, or find us on Twitter @inn_between_, and don’t forget to rate and subscribe. And hey, from all of us to you—thanks for listening.

Theme song ends. End season 1.

 

Published inEpisodes