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5.1: The Lowlifes

The Lowlifes begin a new quest.

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Transcript provided by Ria Couoh.
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(00:00) INTRO:

HANNAH
Hi, everyone! Hannah, here!
Welcome to season 5! We have patrons to thank before we meet our new adventurers.

TESSA
You mean we have adventurers to meet before we meet the adventurers? A little pre-meeting meeting?

HANNAH
Yes? Sorry, do you have somewhere else to be?

TESSA
I’m just anxious to get started! We’ve waited so long.

HANNAH
Well, go on then!

TESSA
We would like to thank Nika for her support. Brave Nika, the courageous monk artificer fighter!

HANNAH
(dubious)
The courageous…
No. It’s fine. Sure. Thanks, Nika!

TESSA
Oh, Nika has more than that going for her!

HANNAH
I thought we were in a hurry?

TESSA
Yes, right. We must also thank Keegan, the brave wizard rogue!

HANNAH
Now, how does that work?

TESSA
I would have thought you of all people would understand multiclassing!

HANNAH
Well, yeah, but…
No, you know what? It does not matter at all. Thanks, Keegan.

TESSA
If you would like to support us, go to patreon.com/thegoblinshead.
Now, enough waiting! Let’s go to the Inn!

Inn Between theme plays in the background.
Inn Between theme fades.

(01:56) THE LOWLIFES.
Background sounds of a tavern.
Chair scrapes against wooden floors.

MAX
Innkeep Tessa! Funny running into you again!

TESSA
(unhappy)
Yes, hilarious.

MAX
(playful)
You’re not following me, are you?

TESSA
Oh, not me. It’s the Inn.

MAX
The Inn’s following me? Like it followed Rosie and them?

TESSA
Evidently it likes you.

MAX
Well, who wouldn’t?

TESSA
Who indeed? Would you like an ale?

MAX
Make it five. I’m expecting company.

TESSA
Oh, have you made peace with the other adventurers?

MAX
(quieter, losing their amusement)
No. No. I think I’m done with friends… for a while.

TESSA
Then who are we expecting?

MAX
A few… means to an end.

TESSA
Means to an end? What are you saying?

MAX
Just that I have my own ideas on how this will go.

Slow, heeled footsteps on wood.

MAX
Make one of those ales a dark lager, if you would?

TESSA
Alright.

Footsteps stop.

YAK
(in a slow, deep voice with a slight hiss to it)
I’m touched. You remembered.

MAX
Ah! Y’k’ty! You’re looking so much better than the last time I saw you.

YAK
Yes, dangling off a cliff really takes the shine out of my scales.

MAX
Glad you survived the drop.

YAK
Oh, you doubted?
(unamused)
Then why’d you let go?

MAX
It was either that or go down after you! And I’m not as sturdy as you, Yak.

YAK
You aren’t, are you?

A pause.

YAK
(laughs)

MAX
(chuckles)

Chair scrapes against wooden floor.

YAK
(pleased sigh)
Really, though, I was glad to hear from you. I wasn’t sure you were going to get out of that one.

MAX
(playful)
No walls can hold me.

YAK
(fondly)
No troubles, no fear.

MAX
Oh, Yak. You read my mind! Thank you for joining me.

YAK
Ah, you’re always a good time. Who else is coming?

MAX
I have a magic expert, an artificer and a healer.

YAK
Anyone I know? Is your… magic expert Cybilene?

MAX
N—no. I’ve actually never met any of them.
(mutters)
(bitterly)
And I’m out of Cybilene’s good graces.

YAK
Holy Molt, what did you do?

MAX
Me? Why do you assume it’s me? She’s the one who stabbed me in the back!

YAK
(flatly)
Really.
(flatter)
Cybilene.

MAX
You don’t believe me?

YAK
Cybilene’s one of the only nice people in business.

MAX
(increasingly angry, with great disdain)
Well, apparently if it comes to choosing between a lifelong friend and some unkempt hermit from Gods know where, claiming to be a long lost brother—

YAK
Ooh. She would fall for that scam.

MAX
Killiker did too!

YAK
Now that’s a mess. I’m sorry, Max. That’s got to hurt.

MAX
Easily my worst defeat. And you know I don’t admit defeat easily.

YAK
I do know this about you.

MAX
But if I’m good at one thing, it’s bouncing back! This venture I have in mind could be the last one you ever need to do.

YAK
One last score, eh?

MAX
If you were looking for one.

YAK
Not about to let you retire me that easily. I don’t buy for a second that you’re about to either.

MAX
Oh, no. This is sort of… a multipart scheme for me.

Slow, soft footsteps. Crutches against wood.

YAK
What did I say? You’re always a good time.

PHOEBE
(in a soft, nervous voice, almost frightened)
Excuse me?

YAK
(startled)
Oh! Sneaky!

PHOEBE
Oh. Sorry… Sorry.

MAX
You must be the artificer!

YAK
(reprimanding)
Just because she’s a dwarf doesn’t mean she’s an artificer, Max.

PHOEBE
I am, actually. I am an artificer.

MAX
(unkind laughter)
Now who looks stupid? I was expecting her.
Here, pull up a stool, we’ve got drinks coming.

Crutches tap. Chair scrapes against wooden floor.

PHOEBE
Thank you.
(nervously)
How long until we leave?

YAK
Eager beaver?

MAX
We’ll wait until everyone else gets here. Relax a moment.

PHOEBE
I’ll try.

YAK
How do you know the others aren’t already here?

MAX
Because I’m told at least one of them…

Door creaks open.

MAX
…Is a tiefling.

LARKIN
Excuse me, Innkeep! I’m looking for someone called… Maximilian Allerus?

MAX
You found them! Join us over here, would you?

TESSA
Here are your drinks.

Glass clinks.

YAK
Thank you, ma’am.

MAX
Everyone, this is our magic expert.

LARKIN
How do you do?

YAK
Oh, so polite.

MAX
See? Cybilene’s not the only one.

YAK
(amused)
Max, pretty manners do not kindness make.

LARKIN
I’m… I’m sorry?

YAK
(sigh)
Shaping up to be a pretty tame group between these two and the healer.

RUKES
(distantly)
Hey, hey! Innkeep!

Fingers snap.

RUKES
(annoyed)
What’s a person of god have to do to get a drink around here?

MAX
Oh, ye of little faith.
(calling out)
Hey, are you Rukes?

RUKES
Who’s asking?

MAX
Why don’t you come over here and find out?

Fast, determined footsteps.

RUKES
Livingston, I presume.

MAX
Some people spell it “Max.” Here, this is for you.

Soft thud. Thick glass slides against hard surface.

RUKES
(placated)
Oh, well, I’m definitely Rukes. Cheers.

MAX
Right, then! A round of introductions! I am Max the Brigand, the host of our little excursion.

RUKES
And our excursion is what, exactly?

MAX
Niceties first, my clerical friend. You’ve been awfully quiet, artificer. Why don’t you go next?

PHOEBE
Oh, uhm… I’m Phoebe Achnelith. I’m an artificer, like he said. I… don’t have much else to say.

MAX
That’s plenty for our purposes.

YAK
One question, those crutches of yours, do they slow you down?

MAX
So judgmental.

YAK
Merely for accommodation purposes, you understand.

PHOEBE
My… my crutches do the opposite of slow me down. That’s not really what they’re for.

YAK
Well, naturally.

RUKES
(derisive)
Naturally.

PHOEBE
I’m slower than most walking.

MAX
No trouble there. We’re in no hurry!
(pointedly)
And now that we’ve been judgy.

YAK
(defensively)
For accommodation purposes.

MAX
Why don’t you introduce yourself, tiefling?

LARKIN
Uh, sure, I suppose! Um, I’m Larkin Mallon. I was told you needed a magic expert and I’m a student and practitioner of arcana.

YAK
What kind of magic do you “practition,” exactly?

LARKIN
Uh, sorcery.

PHOEBE
(faintly)
Oh, gods.

YAK
(exaggeratingly scandalized)
Max, you said this wouldn’t be a dangerous gig.

LARKIN
Now, that’s a common misconception. With careful practice and discipline, a sorcerer need never lose control. I assure you; I am not a danger to anyone.

RUKES
Oh, yeah. That’s uh, that’s believable, for sure.

LARKIN
(nervously)
P—please, you can trust me.

MAX
You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think so. Relax. Now, our muscle.

YAK
Oh, is that all I am to you?

MAX
Not hardly.

YAK
Thought not. I’m Y’k’ty, everyone. I’m here to keep us in one piece.

RUKES
Ah, I’m…
(chuckles)
I’m sorry. Did you say Yakkety?

YAK
(annoyed)
Y’k’ty.
If your silly little ape mouth can’t pronounce that properly, you can just call me Yak.

RUKES
(subdued)
Fair enough.

MAX
And Rukes?

RUKES
Yeah, I’m Idzy Rukes. I’m here because I heard you needed a healer who doesn’t ask too many questions, and I promise not to ask more than my due.

LARKIN
Who’s your god, Rukes?

RUKES
Sune.

YAK
(dryly)
Sune. Goddess of… love and beauty.

RUKES
The very same. Is it not obvious?

YAK
Not in the least.

RUKES
Hey, you’re not so pretty yourself, lizard.

YAK
(cheeky)
No accounting for taste.

MAX
Let’s not fight yet, my friends. We’ll have time for that on the road. Unless you don’t want to hear what it is we’re doing.

RUKES
Please, tell us what is it us lowlifes are getting up to.

LARKIN
(scoffs)
Lowlifes?

RUKES
Don’t get your small clothes in a twist, devil boy. I’m including myself.
(mockingly)
Say if you, uh, if you get angry enough, does, uh, does smoke come out of your nostrils?

LARKIN
(slowly)
I suppose we’ll never know, seeing as I don’t get that angry.

YAK
Please. What is the gig?

MAX
You are all going to like this.
(dramatic pause)
Have you ever heard of Idris’ Staff of Storms?

LARKIN
There are… several staffs of storms with some prominence in lore. There’s—

PHOEBE
Not like Idris’ Staff, though. He was the sort of hero who gets a constellation.

MAX
Points for Phoebe! Your typical Staff of Storms casts some very powerful spells. Isn’t that right, Larkin?

LARKIN
Uh, yes! Definitely.

MAX
But Idris’ doesn’t stop there. His Staff controls the weather proper. Not just a spell shot off here or there, total control. No restrictions and no recharges.

LARKIN
No way.

MAX
Believe it, Mallon! That is our quest.

RUKES
And I hope you plan to elaborate on that.

MAX
I believe you and your ilk are fond of saying that patience is a virtue?
Now, the journey itself won’t be much of a struggle. We’re going through known territory with plenty of civilization.

YAK
But something tells me the Staff isn’t just in some dungeon for the taking.

MAX
Also correct! It’s currently in the possession of a dragon.

PHOEBE
Oh!

YAK
(gleeful)
A dragon.

LARKIN
Wow.

RUKES
What kind of dragon?

MAX
Chromatic. Blue. Very old. People say they’ve been there maybe a thousand years?

RUKES
Shouldn’t we have heard of them then?

MAX
(lightly)
Maybe you have! They go through cycles apparently where they go dormant for a century or two before driving everyone out of the surrounding area, usually just when people have started to doubt that there even is a dragon.

PHOEBE
I don’t understand. Why do you need an artificer?

MAX
Because this dragon’s name is Dhorighet the Trapper. They like to tinker!

PHOEBE
Oh.
(pleasantly surprised)
Really?

MAX
Now, there is one stipulation.

RUKES
What’s the catch then, oh fearless leader?

MAX
All I care about is the Staff. That’s my take.

LARKIN
But I thought that was the whole point of the quest!

MAX
For me, yes, and I can’t do it alone. But the Staff isn’t the only thing the dragon has.

RUKES
Ah, I see.

YAK
How much treasure do you think a dragon can hoard in a millennium?

LARKIN
My gods.

MAX
If I get the staff, the rest of you can split the hoard four ways.

LARKIN
You’re serious?

RUKES
(disbelieving huff)
How do you pass up on a payout like that, Max?

MAX
Money is temporary, friends! You should set your sights higher.

YAK
(unimpressed)
Higher. Than two hundred fifty years’ worth of treasure, Max? Are you out of your gourd?

MAX
I told you, this is a multipart scheme for me. But that’s not the question at hand, is it?

LARKIN
And that question is…?

MAX
Are you in?

PHOEBE
Yes.

MAX
That’s one! I like you, Phoebe.

PHOEBE
Thank you?

YAK
How can I say no?

MAX
How, indeed. And you, Larkin Mallon?

LARKIN
This isn’t the sort of opportunity you pass up.

MAX
Excellent! And now our holy Rukes?

RUKES
Oh, sure. Why not?

MAX
Then, in answer to your question, Phoebe, we can leave right now.

LARKIN
Now?

Small coins clink.

MAX
We’ve got plenty of daylight left! Might as well get a head start. See you soon, Tessa!

TESSA
(flatly)
Yes, I’m sure you will.

Chair scrapes against wooden floor.

MAX
Let’s go, lowlifes!

YAK
I think this is going to be fun!

Several pairs of footsteps.

LARKIN
Rukes, can I have a word?

RUKES
Sure.

Footsteps fade away.

RUKES
Which one would you like?

LARKIN
Why are you lying about being a healer?

RUKES
(disbelieving)
Oho. You’re going to regret that, boyo.

LARKIN
I have a vested interest in making sure we survive this.

RUKES
So, you’re going to call me… a liar.

LARKIN
I know magic. You don’t have any.

RUKES
(venomous)
Well, you know a lot less than you think, sorcerer.

LARKIN
Are you a cleric, or aren’t you?

RUKES
Why did you pull me aside, mm? You planning to blackmail me?

LARKIN
(scandalized)
No! What? No! Why would I…? I…!
(seriously)
Look, I just want to know that we’re going to make it, okay? How can I be sure?

RUKES
(pointedly)
The same way I know you’re not going to blow us all up to smithereens.

LARKIN
T… Trust you?

RUKES
Trust me.

Footsteps.

LARKIN
Not likely.

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

(15:00) OUTRO:
(15:01) NEXT TIME ON…
Inn Between theme plays in the background.

TESSA
Next time, on Inn Between…

MAX
The journey won’t be dangerous. All we have to do is get there!

YAK
Look out! Gnoll archers!

MAX
Of course, there’s bound to be hiccups!

(15:17) CREDITS:
HANNAH
This episode, “The Lowlifes”, was written and directed by Hannah Wright with assistant director William Wright. The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers.
The voice of Max is Malcolm Jay. The voice of Yak is Emma Laslett. The voice of Phoebe is Soulara Jane Joslin. The voice of Larkin is Mason Amadeus. The voice of Rukes is CJ Tanuan. The voice of Tessa is Hannah Wright.
Our theme song is by Eli Hamada McIlveen, and our artwork is by Gabrielle Buxman. Our transcriber is Ria Couoh. Sensitivity reading this episode by Soulara Jane Joslin. Special thanks to Emma Wright for foley assistance.
Transcripts for this and every episode can be found on our website, thegoblinshead.com.
If you like the show, gather the worst people you know for a long-term camping trip! Or leave us a review.
Thanks for listening!

Music ends.

HANNAH
This story was created in the traditional territory of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples, and edited in the unceded territory of the Salish, Kootenai, and Kalispel peoples.

(16:29) POST-CREDITS:
Background sounds of tavern.

TESSA
I wish you’d be more judicious about who you choose to follow. I don’t understand this one at all.

Old wood creaks loudly.

TESSA
Oh! Don’t you sass me!

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

EPISODE ENDS.

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