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5.10: The Charmer

The Lowlifes have everything they need.

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Transcript provided by Ria Couoh.
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(00:00) INTRO:
(00:00): PREVIOUSLY ON…

TESSA
Previously on Inn Between…

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

YAK
We’ll have to dip into the party fund to stock up on supplies.

RUKES
It’s not as though we’re rolling in money, is that going to be enough?

MAX
More than enough.
(cheekily)
Just leave it to me.

Inn Between theme fades.

(01:01) THE CHARMER.
Door creaks open and shut.
Background sounds of a tavern.
Various sets of footsteps coming closer, soft clack of crutches on wood.

PHOEBE
Can I carry something?

YAK
I think I’ve got it.

RUKES
How much exactly is left in the party fund after all of this?

YAK
We still have more than half!

LARKIN
Really?

Chairs drag against wooden floor. Clothes and metal shuffling quietly.

YAK
I tried to tell you. Max is good at this.

MAX
I don’t like to brag.

YAK
Oh, but you do like to lie, apparently.

MAX
(chuckles)
Alright, alright, yes. I am great at negotiating.
Tessa, could we get a round?

TESSA
(from a distance)
Yes, yes.

YAK
Maybe you’re great at negotiating because you’re great at lying.

MAX
Yak! I’m hurt! Lying is a terrible way to run a negotiation.

YAK
(laughs)
Sure, sure.

MAX
No! I’m great at negotiating because… everyone likes me.

RUKES
(disgusted)
Ugh.

MAX
(unamused)
Except for Rukes, who has no taste.

RUKES
It’s not possible for anyone to be universally liked. I’m pleased to be a case in point!

MAX
Everyone else likes me.

RUKES
Charm only goes so far.

MAX
(snappish)
It gets me where I need to be.

YAK
It got us all these supplies.

MAX
Do we need anything else? Maybe for your devices, Phoebe?

PHOEBE
No, I have everything I need.

MAX
What about left-handed shears?

PHOEBE
(considering)
Oh, well, I don’t… need them.

MAX
So, you couldn’t find a use for these?

Leather and cloth shuffling.
A sharp, metallic sound.

PHOEBE
Oh!
(touched)
You got these for me?

MAX
I’m left-handed too. Nothing worse than using the wrong shears.

PHOEBE
I’ve never had a pair of these before!

MAX
(dramatically)
An artificer without the right tools? Preposterous!

PHOEBE
Thank you.

RUKES
(unimpressed)
Oh! Is that how you get people to like you? By bribing them?

MAX
Why don’t I buy us this round and you can tell me.

RUKES
You can’t buy my loyalty. I’ll take the drink, though.

MAX
(spiteful)
Of course you will.

LARKIN
(awkwardly)
Thank you. F—for the drinks.

RUKES
There’s really no need to debase yourself, Mallon.

MAX
(increasingly irritated)
It’s not debasing to say thank you, Rukes. You would know this if you had any manners.

RUKES
Forget manners. How about sense?

MAX
That’s not how you get everyone to like you, Rukes. Take it from me! Who everyone likes.

Footsteps coming closer.

TESSA
Everyone? Bit of an exaggeration. Here are your drinks.

Heavy glasses clink together and against hard wooden surface.

TESSA
I’ll put it on your tab, Max, shall I?

Footsteps fade away.

RUKES
(gleeful laughter)
Oh, Tessa hates you.

MAX
No! She was joking!

RUKES
(disbelieving)
She hates you!

MAX
She and I have a friendly teasing rapport.

YAK
(dismayed)
Oh, gods, not this again.

MAX
(defensive)
Tessa loves me!

RUKES
Uh, she’s indifferent at best!

MAX
Simply not the case.

Chair scrapes against wooden floor.

MAX
And I will prove it and close my tab.

YAK
Max, don’t do this again.

MAX
(stiffly)
I have no idea what you’re referring to. I’m just going to the counter to have a conversation with Tessa who likes me. Just like everyone else does.

RUKES
(sing-song)
Except me.

MAX
(angrily)
Except you!

Footsteps fading away.
Chair drags against wooden floor.

YAK
I better make sure they don’t embarrass themself too badly.

Heavy, slow footsteps fade away.

RUKES
(low chuckle)
Oh, that’s so sad.

LARKIN
Why can’t you let him have this?

RUKES
Uh, besides the fact that this isn’t an issue of Max’s feelings?
(pleased with themself)
I enjoy bothering them.

PHOEBE
If it’s not about Max’s feelings, what is it about?

RUKES
His pride, which I, frankly, have no interest in perpetuating.

LARKIN
People should have some pride in themselves.

RUKES
Oh, yeah? How’s that working out for you?

LARKIN
(through a sigh)
You’re impossible to argue with.

RUKES
Oh, why’s that? Because I hold everyone to the same standard?

PHOEBE
Do you think people shouldn’t have pride in themselves?

RUKES
I think the poison is in the dose, Phoebe, and Max has more than their fair share.
(hotly)
The way they treat people—

LARKIN
But he was nice to Phoebe today! I mean, he’s even laid off my…
(losing steam)
My problem with blood.

RUKES
(disbelieving scoff)
Oh, my gods! Your standards are somewhere in the depths of the ocean!

LARKIN
(reproachful)
And you claim that you hold everyone to the same standard and yet refuse to judge them by their actions!

RUKES
Okay. Let’s talk about what action is conspicuously absent, shall we?
(seriously)
After the way he’s treated you, Larkin, what hasn’t Max done?

Beat.

PHOEBE
(somberly)
Apologized.

RUKES
Phoebe, I think you might be the smartest lowlife I’ve ever met. I’m not even being sarcastic.

PHOEBE
Uhm, thank you?

LARKIN
I mean, I guess they haven’t… apologized, no, but, to be fair, it’s—

RUKES
(incredulous, angry)
Are you about to say that you lied to them after you spent so long arguing that you didn’t? Are you going to make excuses for Max?

LARKIN
Wh— He’s acting…
(without much conviction)
Better, though.

RUKES
A—and how long is that going to last?

PHOEBE
Until he gets mad again.

RUKES
And then it’s back to holding us all under their thumb.
(seriously and with emphasis)
Don’t confuse manners for kindness, Larkin.

LARKIN
(lightly)
And that’s your, uh, professional opinion? As the priest of the goddess of love?

Silence.

RUKES
(less sharp)
Alright, that’s fair. I’m not a good person, but it takes one to know one.

LARKIN
I just… I think you’re wrong.

RUKES
Uh huh. Which bit?

LARKIN
Giving people the benefit of the doubt is just… better! I don’t know, you’re happier that way!

RUKES
Oh, so you’re happy, then?

LARKIN
Sure.

RUKES
(dubiously)
Mm, you don’t sound sure.

LARKIN
Well, you have to…
(subdued)
Keep the peace, don’t you?

RUKES
At what cost?

PHOEBE
Sometimes… sometimes, it’s the only way to survive.

RUKES
(darkly)
And that’s the thing isn’t it, Phoebe? This isn’t one of those times!

PHOEBE
(verging on upset)
How do you know that?

RUKES
I’ve been trying to show you, Phoebs! I haven’t stopped trying to show you!
What’s Max going to do to you?

LARKIN
Take away a chance at a quarter of a dragon’s hoard?

RUKES
A hypothetical. And, since you know where it is, you could just… go get it yourself if you wanted!
They can’t do anything to us.

PHOEBE
He drew a sword on you.

RUKES
He wasn’t going to use it!

LARKIN
(frustrated)
Look, what are you trying to accomplish here? I—I mean it! What are you trying to convince me of?

RUKES
I’m trying to tell you not to fall for politeness when what you deserve is an apology!

LARKIN
(disbelieving)
Deserve?

RUKES
Sune on a spit!
(increasingly upset)
Yes, Larkin, deserve! You are so far gone! Do you not think of yourself as a person?

LARKIN
That’s not—
That’s not relevant!

RUKES
Oh, your personhood isn’t relevant?
(through a disbelieving laugh)
Ye, gods!
A—are you listening to this, Phoebe?

LARKIN
No, look—! Most of the time I’m just lucky to be here, alright?
(softer)
I have to take what I can get.

RUKES
No, you idiot! You don’t have to take table scraps! You deserve better!

LARKIN
You are—!
(deep inhale)
(lowering his volume)
You don’t know what you’re talking about, okay? You have no idea. You’re delusional!

RUKES
I’m right, actually, and evidently wasting my time.
(sharply)
Forget it.

LARKIN
Fine, I will!

PHOEBE
Do you mean it?

RUKES
(levelly)
I mean everything I said. Which bit?

PHOEBE
That… That deserving apologies is part of being a person.

RUKES
When you’re wronged? Yes, absolutely.

PHOEBE
And… if they never apologize?

RUKES
(slowly)
Well, you get to decide whether to forgive them for their slight or say that enough is enough.

PHOEBE
You know this because you’re a priest.

RUKES
I know this because I’m a person.

LARKIN
(disdainful)
I don’t know how you think so highly of yourself.

RUKES
Not all of us have the benefit of a martyr complex, Larkin. I’ve had to build my own self-worth.

YAK
(from a distance)
I told you…

Footsteps approaching.

MAX
She’s joking!

YAK
(amused)
Sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Chairs drag against wooden floor.

RUKES
So, how did it go?

MAX
It’s not really important.
(brightly)
We should plan for the last leg of the trip.

YAK
(exaggerated stage whisper)
Not well.

RUKES
(delighted)
Oh, yes, let’s plan! By all means!

LARKIN
Have you been this way before, Max?

MAX
No, but Yak has.

YAK
We’ll have to bundle up. It’s about to get cold.

PHOEBE
I thought you were cold-blooded.

YAK
Oh! No, that was me weaponizing a stereotype. I’ll be alright.

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

(10:00) OUTRO:
(10:00) NEXT TIME ON…

Inn Between theme plays in the background.

TESSA
Next time, on Inn Between…

RUKES
What about money?

YAK
Dragonborn don’t use money.

PHOEBE
What about family?

YAK
Dragonborn are all family.

LARKIN
I don’t really understand.

YAK
Then let me show you.

(10:18) CREDITS:
HANNAH
This episode, “The Charmer”, was written and directed by Hannah Wright with assistant director William Wright. The show is produced and edited by Katherine Ayers.
The voice of Larkin is Mason Amadeus. The voice of Max is Malcolm Jay. The voice of Phoebe is Soulara Jane Joslin. The voice of Yak is Emma Laslett. The voice of Rukes is CJ Tanuan.
Our theme song is by Eli Hamada McIlveen, and our artwork is by Gabrielle Buxman. Our transcriber is Ria Couoh. 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, talk your way out of a speeding ticket! 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.

(11:30) POST-CREDITS:

Background sounds of tavern.

TESSA
No, I’m not an elf. I’m not immune to being Charmed, I just don’t suffer nonsense.
(beat)
(considering)
No, I don’t believe anyone has ever tried to cast a Charm spell on me.
(beat)
(unamused)
Well, you can try. Tell me, do you enjoy being beaten with a club?

Background sounds of tavern fade away.

Episode ends.

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