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2.3: The Bard

Our heroes get Fina to talk.

Transcript below the cut!

TESSA
Previously, on Inn Between…

 

Theme song. 

 

FINA
(with a touch of American Southern accent)
You’ll see, I’m going places! You stick with me. I’m gonna be something big.

 

Fina cries out, and a guitar is shattered.

 

MELTYRE
Fina, you died.

 

FINA
I…whew. Um. Seriously?

 

Theme song continues. As it ends, tavern sounds fade in.

 

A twang of a guitar changing hands.

 

TESSA
Here you are, just like you left it.

 

FINA
Thanks for keeping it for me, Miss Tessa.

 

TESSA
Certainly. Not as nice as your other one, is it, dear?

 

FINA
(briskly)
Yeah, well. That one’s gone now.

 

TESSA
Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that.

 

FINA
It happens.

 

Fina starts tuning the guitar.

 

TESSA
Say, that wouldn’t have anything to do with you coming in dead a little while ago, would it?

 

FINA
(stops tuning)
You saw that, huh?

 

TESSA
I do tend to notice when people bring dead bodies into the Goblin’s Head. Especially when we were on the edge of the wasteland and they were about the only folks in here.

 

FINA
Fair enough. Yeah, the incidents were related.
(goes back to tuning)
Can I get an ale, Tessa?

 

TESSA
Of course. Shall I bring it to your table?

 

FINA
Nah, I’m gonna hang out here for a bit.

 

TESSA
All right then.

 

Fina finishes tuning her guitar and plays. She starts with a few warm-up phrases, simple things, tries some more complicated chords, but is unsatisfied.

 

FINA
Ugh.

 

She tries again, getting more frustrated. The notes are rough, not bad, but apparently not what she is looking for.

 

FINA
Ugh!

 

She plays savagely, each chord deliberate, as she speaks. At the end of the line, heavy footsteps are heard.

 

FINA
(angrily)
Why—don’t you—sound good?

 

BETTY
Sounds okay to me.

 

FINA
Augh! Jeez. Don’t do that.

 

Chair scoot.

 

BETTY
What’s wrong?

 

FINA
Nothing’s wrong.

 

BETTY
You still kinda dead?

 

FINA
What?

 

BETTY
You’re playing like you’re still kinda dead.

 

FINA
Oh. No, that’s mostly worn off. I think. I just…ugh. I don’t know.

 

BETTY
Don’t know what?

 

A mug set down on the counter.

 

TESSA
Here you are, dear.

 

FINA
Thanks, Tessa.

 

BETTY
Well?

 

FINA
(glass mug moves)
Well what? I’m great. I’m doing great.

 

BETTY
You were dead.

 

FINA
And now I’m not. And I can get on with my life.

 

BETTY
(does not believe her)
All right.

 

FINA
Yeah.

 

Silence.

 

FINA
You know, it’s just—look at it! (twang) It’s so cheap. And tacky.

 

BETTY
Yep.

 

FINA
It reeks of amateur. I look like a hick from the hills.
(cartoonishly exaggerated American Southern accent)
Look at me! I’m gonna be a star! I’m gonna take the world by storm!
(normal voice)
Ugh.

 

BETTY
Sounds like someone I used to know.

 

FINA
Yeah, well she sucked.

 

BETTY
I liked her okay.

 

FINA
Oh, you can shut up.

 

BETTY
What is your problem?

 

FINA
I don’t have a problem!

 

BETTY
Do too.

 

FINA
Leave me alone!

 

BETTY
Is it because it’s your dad’s guitar?

 

FINA
No!

 

Pause.

 

FINA
(sigh)
Like…I bought the other one so I don’t have to stare where I came from full in the face every day.

 

BETTY
You said it wasn’t so bad back there.

 

As Fina says her next line: slow footsteps.

 

FINA
It wasn’t! It just wasn’t what I ever wanted for myself! And I thought I moved past all that now.

 

MELTYRE
Moved past what?

 

FINA
W-w-Jeez, kid!

 

MELTYRE
Sorry. (pause) Are…are you okay?

 

FINA
Why is everyone so concerned about me lately?

 

MELTYRE
Sorry, you just seem upset.

 

FINA
Well I am.

 

Pause.

 

MELTYRE
Do you wanna…talk about it?

 

FINA
Gods no.

 

BETTY
She misses her guitar.

 

MELTYRE
Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

 

FINA
No that’s not—ugh. (Pause.) Meltyre, you ever feel like everything you ever worked for was just snatched out of your hot little hands?

 

MELTYRE
Uh…no, not really?

 

FINA
(flatly)
Great. Cool.

 

MELTYRE
Well, no, cuz—I don’t really feel like I’ve ever gotten anything I’ve worked for.

 

FINA
Oh. Well, then go with me on this little journey.
(plucks three sad, halfhearted notes)
Imagine you are born a nobody, and you are good at exactly one thing.

 

MELTYRE
Pff, I don’t have to imagine that.

 

FINA
Good, great. And now imagine you get out of Nowheresville, leaving the massive weight of who people think you should be far, far behind you, and get started on chasing your dreams, free of any responsibility.

 

MELTYRE
And you lost me.

 

BETTY
(chuckles)

 

FINA
Imagine you are finally starting to achieve something, something that matters, on your way to getting everything you want, and then…

 

Pause.

 

MELTYRE
And then?

 

FINA
And then it’s gone. Just like that. Taken away in a moment.
(plays a sorrowful note)
And maybe I get it all back, but it could all happen again, blink of an eye. What do I do with that?

 

MELTYRE
You’re talking about dying.

 

FINA
(plucks the same dead-sounding note four or five times)
Yeah.

 

MELTYRE
But you could die anytime.

 

BETTY
(snorts)

 

FINA
Oh thanks. Thanks a lot for that, kid.

 

MELTYRE
Sorry, but we put ourselves in danger on a daily basis. Did you never think about this?

 

FINA
I don’t usually dwell on my own death, no.

 

MELTYRE
Really? I think about it all the time. You really didn’t—

 

FINA
No!

 

MELTYRE
…Okay.

 

FINA
(sighs)
I mean sure, in theory, I knew I could die. But…
(sad little blues riff)
What’s the point of trying so hard if it’s so easy to lose just…everything?

 

Brief silence.

 

VELUNE
Art for art’s sake?

 

Both Meltyre and Fina yelp.

 

FINA
What—is it with you people today?

 

VELUNE
(amused)
I do beg your pardon.

 

FINA
Can’t a gal wallow in peace?

 

BETTY
No.

 

FINA
You’re the worst.

 

MELTYRE
What did you mean, art for art’s sake?

 

VELUNE
Well, I can’t speak for Fina, of course, but I imagine she doesn’t just tell stories for fame and fortune.

 

BETTY
Do you?

 

FINA
What is happening? Why is this an interrogation? Have you all been cops this whole time?

 

MELTYRE
Cops?

 

VELUNE
You don’t owe us an explanation, of course, but I confess I am curious.

 

FINA
Curious about what, exactly, Velune?

 

VELUNE
Do you love stories, or money?

 

FINA
Can’t it be both?

 

VELUNE
Is it both, then?

 

FINA
Why does it matter to you?

 

As Velune delivers their line: footsteps.

 

VELUNE
It doesn’t, not really. But I imagine it matters to you.

 

STERLING
Are we over here today, then?

 

FINA
Ha! I saw you coming! Try and scare me, I’ll show you.

 

STERLING
I wasn’t…trying to scare you.

 

FINA
You might be the only one.

 

STERLING
Is that your new guitar?

 

BETTY
Old guitar.

 

STERLING
It’s in good repair. How old is it?

 

FINA
(grumbling)
About fifty years.

 

STERLING
(impressed)
Extremely good repair, then.

 

FINA
Of course it is. I respect my craft.

 

MELTYRE
I’ve heard that string instruments tend to fall apart if you don’t play them regularly.

 

FINA
Mm, “fall apart” might be a little strong, but you’re not wrong.

 

BETTY
You play this guitar regularly?

 

FINA
(wary)
Yeah?

 

BETTY
Huh.

 

FINA
That’s enough from you.

 

STERLING
Do you know what they’re talking about?

 

VELUNE
(aside)
Haven’t an inkling.
(full volume)
Fina, about my question.

 

FINA
You don’t let up, do you?

 

VELUNE
I’ve always been a bit stubborn, I’m afraid.

 

MELTYRE
I kind of want to know too. Why did you become a bard?

 

STERLING
(intrigued)
Oh, is that what we’re talking about?

 

FINA
Not if I can help it!

 

BETTY
It’s a good story.

 

FINA
It’s a painfully dull story.

 

BETTY
Not how you tell it.

 

STERLING
Well go on then, Fina.

 

VELUNE
If you’re up for it, of course. I’d love to hear it.

 

A long silence.

 

FINA
You jerks are lucky I can’t resist an audience.
(twang; a false start; a sweet, homey tune under the story)
Far, far west of here there are mountains, the end of the arc of the Clagghern Range, where the slopes are a little gentler, but the goblins aren’t. On the other side of those mountains are rolling hills, all green and covered with life, especially sheep. There are…a lot of sheep.

A lot time ago, a girl lived in a hole in one of those hills, with her dad: a couple of halfling shepherds keeping their flocks and minding their own business. In those days the whole world was an adventure, and the dad told his daughter a million stories, and then a million more, showing her as much of the world as he could from the top of a hill covered in sheep. The girl was convinced that all those stories were out there, just ripe for the taking. She was the one who would take them, she decided, and then she’d be one of the stories that dads told their daughters.

 

She pauses for a moment, and so does the music. After a moment it starts again, a little more melancholy than before.

 

FINA
When the girl was still young, her dad remarried. The halfling he married was not cruel. This is not an evil step-parent situation, let’s be clear, but the girl’s dad stopped telling so many stories. And it wasn’t too long before the girl realized what was expected of her. She was not to go out into the world and collect stories and adventure. She was to stay and take care of the sheep, never leaving that hill, for the rest of her days. No one would know her name. No one would tell stories about her. Don’t be silly! Don’t get ideas above your station. It’s just your lot in life.

 

The music stops abruptly.

 

FINA
So I left.

 

STERLING
(disapprovingly)
You ran away from home? From your responsibilities?

 

FINA
Hm? Oh. No. Not really. My stepbrother’s much more of the shepherd type, so I talked my dad into leaving the flock to him. He wasn’t thrilled about it, but…you know, he knows me. I left with his blessing. (chord) And his guitar.

 

MELTYRE
Do you ever…miss him? Your dad?

 

FINA
Probably not as much as I should. But I write him letters.

 

BETTY
You gonna tell him you died?

 

FINA
Oh, he’d just worry. Not much for necromancy, my dad.

 

VELUNE
(sighs)
I don’t really blame him.

 

FINA
Anyway. To answer your question, Friar, the money was always just a way to keep score. Gold makes it a lot easier to chase dreams.
(plays a few happier chords)
And the dream is the story. I’m not gonna be lost in obscurity. Not if it kills me.

 

MELTYRE
It might kill you. A-again.

 

FINA
Always the momento mori with you.

 

MELTYRE
But—but you know, I’m never going to forget the way you played when we fought the Bone King. Completely fearless the whole time.

 

STERLING
The defeat of the Bone King itself is a feat of legendary caliber.

 

VELUNE
No matter when you leave this mortal plane, no one can take your memory from us, from all the people you’ve affected.

 

FINA
So you’re saying I can rest on my laurels? That I’ve already achieved what I want?

 

STERLING
I’d say so, if it was fame you were after.

 

FINA
I…hate that.

 

BETTY
Why?

 

FINA
This can’t be where I end. This isn’t what fame looks like.

 

MELTYRE
But—

 

FINA
This isn’t what I want!

 

Shocked silence.

 

FINA
I…um. Sorry, that was…hm. Wow. Too much. Too much sharing.

 

Short pause.

 

VELUNE
What is it you want, Fina?

 

FINA
No. I’m…done talking today.

 

STERLING
If you manage that, it would be legendary.

 

FINA
Hey, watch yourself!

 

Meltyre and Betty chuckle.

 

FINA
(softening up)
All right, well, maybe I deserve that.

 

VELUNE
Mm, we wouldn’t have you any other way, Fina.

 

FINA
Thanks. (pause) What was it you said before? Art for art’s sake?

 

VELUNE
Yes, the value of your stories in and of themselves.

 

FINA
Maybe I’ll try that for a while. (strums a chord, picks a few notes) Are we all sitting here, then?

 

MELTYRE
All my stuff is at the table.

 

STERLING
Mine as well.

 

FINA
Then let’s not hang around the bar like vultures. (chair scoot) I’ll tell you guys another story, if you want.

 

VELUNE
Oh, I’d quite like that.

 

Chair scoots, footsteps, moving away. Fina plays a few sunny chords.

 

FINA
Maybe it doesn’t sound so bad after all.

 

BETTY
Sounds good.

 

FINA
Yeah.

 

Theme song.

 

TESSA
Next time, on Inn Between…

 

STERLING
Then no one knows what happened to Meltyre’s sisters?

 

MELTYRE
So plan A is to just…ask.

 

GUARD
(sharp, low voice)
Begone, adventurers! Never heard of any wizard’s sisters.

 

LADY-IN-WAITING
Pst! Adventurers! I have a message for you.

 

Credits:

Episode 2.3, “The Bard,” was written and directed by Hannah Wright, with assistant director William Wright. The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers. Recording assistance by Brendon Bennet.

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. Additional voices by Kalen Grinnell and Hannah Wright.

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

Transcripts for this and every episode can be found on our website, thegoblinshead.com. Find and follow us on twitter, @inn_between_, or support us on patreon, at patreon.com/thegoblinshead.

If you like our show, create an intricate origami version of our logo, or leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Thanks for listening!

 

Theme song ends.

 

Tavern sounds.

 

TESSA
Bards are always welcome to play at the Goblin’s Head. Providing you don’t do that devil music. We can’t have anymore pit fiends in here, you understand, the building can’t take it.

Published inEpisodes