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THE TRIDENTEARII, Season 1, Episode 5 – transcript

[Jaunty intro music plays. Fade out into:]

CORONA: Hello!

IANTHE: Hello.

CORONA: Welcome, Ida-lators, to—

IANTHE: We agreed on Ida-lizers. Like idolize, not idolate.

CORONA: Oh, did we? I think Ida-lators has a ring to it. I like idolatry.

IANTHE: The emphasis is on the wrong syllable.

CORONA: Leave us a comment on the episode and let us know whether you’d rather be called Ida-lizers or Ida-lators. Or follow us on Instagram and comment on our latest post with your vote. We’re @thetridentearii, that’s t-h-e-t-r-i-d-e-n-t-e-a-r-i-i.

IANTHE: Welcome, Ida-lizers. I’m Ianthe Tridentarius, Princess of Ida—

CORONA: And I’m Coronabeth Tridentarius, Crown Princess of Ida. And this is—

BOTH: The Tridentearii.

[Sound effect: boiling water being poured into a cup.]

[Sound effect: somebody quietly going “mlem mlem mlem.”]

CORONA: For this episode, we find our circumstances drastically altered, and there’s been a bit of a change in plans regarding content. We were planning to give our take on Duchess Polyxena Trijada’s disastrous marriage to Diomedes Hexade and General Ruth Twain’s poetical public riposte—but it will have to wait.

IANTHE: We have some spicy takes, but you’ll get them in a later episode, dear listeners. If anyone still cares about it by then.

CORONA: Which you all will, I know, because it’s us. Our followers would listen to us read a dictionary, Ianthe. Anyway, our change in circumstances is a very good thing. We’re travelling!

IANTHE: Yes, that’s right, the Tridentarii are taking on the First House! We received a summons from the Emperor himself.

CORONA: He’s not actually even here, which is a bit sucky, but of course we are incredibly honored to be his guests here at Canaan House, on the First. We rolled up in full style, dear listeners, and let us tell you, it may not even have been worth it! The only people there to greet us when we arrived were a bunch of rickety old priests. And the place is crawling with skeletons, and they don’t even have eyes! So what did we even dress up for?

IANTHE: Splendor squandered.

CORONA: Who is here though, that’s the interesting part. House heirs and cavaliers primary from every single house—yes, even the Ninth, and we’ll get to them, stay tuned—all turned loose in Canaan House in the quest to attain Lyctorhood and become one of the Emperor’s Hands, his Fists and Gestures. [slightly muffled] Are we allowed to say this? We are, right? We didn’t sign an NDA?

IANTHE: Don’t worry about it, darling.

CORONA: And we have got a lot to tell you about. We’re going to go through every House, one by one—

IANTHE: And read them for filth.

CORONA: I wanted to say that part.

IANTHE: Too bad. Yes, all the House heirs are here and this is the first time all eight heirs—or nine, I suppose—have been in the same place for thousands of years.

CORONA: Possibly ever.

IANTHE: Possibly ever! Naturally we’re all sizing one another up, but only we two here on The Tridentearii are brave enough to say what we’re thinking. So, we’re going to go through everyone we’ve seen so far and spill this tea.

CORONA: Now, it’s only the first day, but first impressions are everything. First up: the Second.

IANTHE: Judith Deuteros and Marta Dyas, the No Fun Police. We’ve known them both for ages. Absolute sticks in the mud, both.

CORONA: Barely even said hello to us. We know they saw us. You can’t miss us. Anyway, the tea on them is that they can’t do anything without filling out a form first.

[A pause.]

IANTHE: That’s it?

CORONA: What?

IANTHE: That’s all we have for the Second?

CORONA: They’re really very hard to get a read on, and I can’t even drag their Cohort uniforms because let’s be honest, they look good.

IANTHE: The uniforms or the people in them?

CORONA: Both. Besides, we haven’t spoken to them in a decade and I would feel badly about bringing up childhood pranks. That tea is cold, and we are not in the business of heating up cold tea.

IANTHE: I have an idea, actually. Since you mentioned childhood pranks.

CORONA: Oh?

IANTHE: You know.

CORONA: Oh. Yes. Fair’s fair.

IANTHE: Next episode we’ll have some actual tea to spill on the Second. We need a day or two to gather intel.

CORONA: We’re not that good. A week, maybe.

IANTHE: Three days. Moving on to the next House—

CORONA: The Third!

IANTHE: The Third! God…what do we say about the Third?

CORONA: They’re gorgeous.

IANTHE: So talented.

CORONA: Nonpareil.

IANTHE: You really can have it all—the Third prove this unequivocally. Of course, it’s rare, and everyone else is probably gagging on their own spit for a chance to be them.

CORONA: The Third have attained perfection; that’s our tragedy.

IANTHE: No one else can ever hope to; that’s theirs. Now, the Fourth. Baron Isaac Tettares and Sir Jeannemary Chatur.

CORONA: Their tea is that they’re children. I feel a little bad saying mean things about children.

IANTHE: I don’t. I was a child once. Children are horrible creatures.

CORONA: Yes, you were proof.

IANTHE: We , darling. We . Don’t absolve children of their crimes just because of their age. I did some ghastly things before six.

CORONA: And I wish I didn’t remember what they were. These Fourth children are what, thirteen? Didn’t get to join the Cohort yet, even. And they’re so short. I feel sad for them.

IANTHE: They are in the midst of a battle with puberty, and they’re losing.

CORONA: Badly. And consoling themselves with bad piercings. So, not much to report there. Which brings us to the Fifth.

IANTHE: Oh, the Fifth. Lady Abigail Pent and Sir Magnus Quinn.

CORONA: I’ve been waiting for this. You’ll never believe it, listeners—

IANTHE: The Fifth necromancer married her own cavalier.

CORONA: Euch! It’s disgusting! It’s grotesque!

IANTHE: Could you imagine? Marrying Naberius?

[They laugh.]

CORONA: You’d have to marry Naberius.

IANTHE: No, if I do, you do too.

[A door opens.]

NABERIUS: Are you talking about me?

IANTHE: No, Babs.

CORONA: No, because why would we, ever. We’re doing the podcast.

NABERIUS: Oh.

IANTHE: Go and play with your knives.

[A door closes.]

CORONA: Anyway, I can’t imagine the Fifth would be any real sort of competition. They headed straight for the library today, and everyone knows you can’t learn Lyctorhood out of a book.

IANTHE: Sublime dunk on books out of absolutely nowhere, but you’re right. They do look like they singlehandedly invented twenty different shades of brown. The Sixth look much the same, only they specialize in gray.

CORONA: Ugh, librarians. Master Warden Palamedes Sextus, and Camilla Hect, the cavalier.

IANTHE: She probably has some title too but we didn’t bother to find out what. They’re both so skinny. Are the Sixth all right? Do they have food there?

CORONA: Has anyone told them you can’t actually eat paper?

[They laugh.]

IANTHE: You actually could stand to eat some paper once in a while, for the fiber.

CORONA: Oh, shut up. I can’t wait to get that Sixth cav in the training room.

IANTHE: We’ll have to put Babs up against her.

CORONA: Put me up against her. It’d be a waste of Babs. She’ll have no chance. And the Seventh?

IANTHE: Oh God, why did they bother to turn up at all? Dulcinea Septimus looks like she’s a single fart away from cardiac arrest at all times. That poor girl.

CORONA: And her cavalier, Pr—Pro—Prosilius—

IANTHE: Protesi—it really does not matter.

CORONA: —Ebdoma. I don’t like the look of him at all.

IANTHE: I have thoughts about him but they’re not suitable for the public. Anyway he looks suspect. Strong silent fellow.

CORONA: Muscled to the ears. Shaped like a bunch of bricks in a laundry bag.

IANTHE: Shaped like one of your poos when you don’t eat enough fiber.

CORONA: Was that really necessary.

IANTHE: It was extremely funny.

CORONA: I just think it was mean.

IANTHE: Maybe if you ever ate a stick of celery, I wouldn’t have said it.

CORONA: Do you know who eats celery, because it’s tasteless and boring? The Eighth.

IANTHE: Bad.

CORONA: Look, you can’t not cooperate and then get mad when I segue. Now we have to cut out a whole chunk.

IANTHE: Fine, fine. The Eighth. Silas Octakiseron, the something something of the White Glass, and his cavalier is—

CORONA: Colum Asht. They’re the soul siphoners. They breed their cavaliers to be batteries.

IANTHE: Gauche.

CORONA: And the two of them are nephew and uncle. Or uncle and nephew.

IANTHE: Also gauche.

CORONA: And the much younger one is the uncle and the much older one is the nephew.

IANTHE: Unbelievably gauche. I don’t want to know how the generations shook out there.

CORONA: The Eighth play at minimalist aesthetics but they aren’t fooling anyone. It’s messy, and they try so hard to pretend it’s not.

IANTHE: Waste of time. And last of all, the pair everyone is dying to know more about—

CORONA: The Ninth!

[Both make spooky ghost noises, for example “OoOoOoOoh, spooky!” and “Aaaah!”]

CORONA: No one knows anything about them. This is the first time anyone from the Ninth has even left it in what, five years?

IANTHE: Five years, forever, what’s the difference. I forget their names but they’re probably called something like Deathella Ninety and Bonehilda Ninety-nine. The necromancer is very short and the cavalier is—larger, not as tall as me but taller than Babs—

CORONA: Babs is listed as 175 centimeters in the records but he’s actually 173.

NABERIUS [from other side of door]: I am not! It depends on the gravity that day—

BOTH: Shut up, Babs!

CORONA: —and anyway the Ninth both go around with these death’s heads painted on their faces. They don’t talk much either. We wondered if they could, frankly, and then the necromancer came out with this ghastly heretical prayer, which we can’t even repeat here—

IANTHE: They’re so theatrically sepulchral you can’t believe it.

CORONA: Macabre.

IANTHE: Grotesque. You feel like dying just to get out of looking at them. But maybe it’s just a special occasion thing. Maybe we’ll see them without all that paint and regalia tomorrow.

CORONA: Probably not, they’ll waltz around in all black and this crumbly old castle does not have the best lighting.

IANTHE [mean]: Use some of that animaphilia and we won’t miss a thing. Or just leave it to me, like always.

CORONA [absolutely Done]: She’s getting hangry, so we’re out of time for today.

IANTHE: Normally we try and guess which tabloid will break the next big news for us to pick at, but, well, we don’t get any news here and we won’t for a while, so our prediction this episode will be—what’ll it be?

CORONA: How many days before the Seventh kicks it? I give it two.

IANTHE: I give it tomorrow morning.

CORONA: Don’t forget to comment on our latest post with your predictions and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe! You can also turn on post notifications so you get a notification every time we post. If you liked this episode, give us five stars, and if you didn’t—

IANTHE: If you didn’t, feel free to complain to us, but do know that we won’t care. This has been—

BOTH: The Tridentearii. See ya! Wouldn’t want tea be ya!

[Jaunty outro music.]

Chapter Text

THE TRIDENTEARII, Season 1, Episode 6 - transcript

[Jaunty intro music. Fade out into:]

CORONA: Hello!

IANTHE: Hello.

CORONA: I’m Coronabeth Tridentarius, Crown Princess of Ida.

IANTHE: And I’m Ianthe Tridentarius, Princess of Ida. And this is—

BOTH: The Tridentearii.

[sound effect: boiling water being poured into a cup.]

[sound effect: somebody quietly going “mlem mlem mlem.”]

CORONA: Before we begin this episode, a little housekeeping. No one, and I mean literally no one , commented on our Instagram post. Or the episode. It’s been putting me out all week. If you, our fans, do not vote on what you want to be called, you will wind up being called something silly, like—

IANTHE: Like “Ida-lators.”  

CORONA: Unnecessary! All I wanted was to give the people a little democracy for once—

IANTHE: Democracy is what wiped out the people before the Resurrection, darling. Also, it’s because we’re prerecording our episodes, so no one’s actually heard last week’s yet.

CORONA: Oh.

IANTHE: I’ve told you this multiple times—

CORONA: You did not—

IANTHE: And Teacher himself said on the first day that there were no comms, so how, exactly, did you even expect—

CORONA: All right , shut up , I get it—

IANTHE: Now you sound stupid. Should we start the episode over? Rhetorical question; I am not doing all that again. Welcome, Ida-lizers! It has been an exciting week here at Canaan House, us plundering the depths of this fusty old castle for necromantic secrets.

[Silence.]

IANTHE: Your turn. Say the thing. It’s boring but at least there’s a pool, et cetera.

[Silence.]

IANTHE: Do you just not want to play along, or.

[Silence. A sniffle.]

IANTHE: Darling, don’t be cross. Our listeners want the tea. Come on. You can’t do much, I know, but you can do this.

CORONA: I can do this. [An exhale.] All right. It’s really boring. We were given no instructions, nor structure, which means Babs already has seven different conspiracy theories, but this means we have a lot of free time to explore.

IANTHE: And there’s ever so much to expl—

CORONA: Do you mind? I was just getting started.

IANTHE: All right.

CORONA: We’ve seen things we can’t talk about here, dear listeners. Canaan House is huge . It must have been nice once—

IANTHE: Ten thousand years ago—

CORONA: —but now it’s in complete disrepair. And the food is bad.

IANTHE: So bad. It’s all fish and salads. Ketogenic faff. I can’t even get a decent blood soup.

[Brief pause.]

IANTHE: That was a joke.

CORONA: Listeners, Ianthe does not eat and never has eaten blood soup .

IANTHE: I eat the hearts of my lovers.

CORONA: You are in a really strange mood today. Not unwarranted, considering the week we had. We’ve been exploring, and a few days ago we found this room covered in—

IANTHE: You know I said not to say anything!

[Brief pause.]

CORONA: —I got overexcited. We haven’t found anything interesting.

IANTHE [through clenched teeth]: We had a pool party.

CORONA: We had a pool party! Great fun. There’s a swimming pool down in a basement, but it was filled with gunk when we arrived, so I asked Teacher about cleaning it out and the skeleton constructs have been doing that. It took a few days—

IANTHE: That thing was filthy.

CORONA: —but now we have a clean pool! Just like home.

IANTHE: I still wouldn’t touch it.

CORONA: No one would want you to. And once it was sparkling, we had a little shindig!

IANTHE: Cracked open the champagne we’d brought along—Triad Vineyards, look them up; this isn’t sponsored because why would we need that, I just really do enjoy their champagne—

CORONA: I forgot my unicorn floatie back home and had a trial taping kickboards together. Ianthe constructed a huge glob of fat to float on and put everyone off their champagne.

IANTHE: Fat floats marvelously, it was practical and comfortable—

CORONA: It was disgusting.

IANTHE: You’re just mad you didn’t do it too. Everyone was there, apart from the Sixth. And the Seventh. And the Eighth. And the Fifth.

CORONA: The Ninth didn’t come by either.

IANTHE: We didn’t actually invite them.

CORONA: We still haven’t seen them without that awful makeup on. Wonder if it’s waterproof.

IANTHE: Babs’ hair gel certainly isn't, we found out.

NABERIUS [from another room]: Hey! I didn’t expect there to be a swimming pool!

BOTH: Shut up, Babs!

CORONA [muttering]: It’s a fucking water planet.

IANTHE: He should’ve planet ahead of time.

CORONA: I will murder you where you sit.

IANTHE: Good luck with that, you squeamish baby. But you know who did come to the pool party…the Second. Fun fact for any aspiring [REDACTED] out there: Judith Deuteros swims like a drowning cat.

CORONA: You are not allowed to say that on this podcast. I’m bleeping it out. There are other networks for that sort of thing.

IANTHE: You put [REDACTED] on my brain in the first place. Disclaimer: I am not asking for anyone to [REDACTED] Judith Deuteros. It was a joke about how badly she swims and any reasonable person would take it as such.

CORONA: I’m surprised the Seventh didn’t show. The Duchess Septimus spends all her time lounging about reading romance novels. She could easily do that in a pool on Ianthe’s gigantic blob of fat, if she were so inclined.

IANTHE: Regarding our predictions from last week, neither of us were right, as she’s still, improbably, breathing.

CORONA: Not bothering anybody, but not doing any work either.

IANTHE: Like you, except if you never bothered anybody.

CORONA: Yes. And even though they didn't come to the pool party, we do have some fun observations about the Ninth, dear listeners. That cavalier is suspect.

IANTHE: Ninth cavaliers for all of recorded history have been glorified transport animals. The panniers, isn’t it? For carrying all those chips of bone? This cavalier doesn’t have panniers, she has knuckle knives.

CORONA: Knuckle knives! They’re a brawler’s weapon. You can’t really use them for much except punching people. One wonders what the hell they even have to brawl with on the ninth.

IANTHE: I’d suspected they got up close and personal with the skeletons, but fighting them for fun is another matter. Marta said—

CORONA: Marta said they were expecting a packhorse with panniers, and instead there’s this actual fighter with knuckle knives and biceps you just want to gnaw

IANTHE: To each their own.

CORONA: And the face paint is not just for special occasions. I think they might even wear it while sleeping, or while—well—

IANTHE: That cavalier is…toned. Not typical of the Ninth.

CORONA: So, why do you think the Ninth have suddenly changed up their cav traditions…?

IANTHE: Oh my god.

CORONA: Forget the Fifth, the Ninth is the real necro/cav drama. Actually, speaking of the Fifth, we do have a redaction to make. Last episode we stated that Abigail Pent married her own cavalier. This is not the case: she and Quinn were actually already married when he was made cavalier primary. And there’s a hell of a difference between your spouse becoming your cavalier and making someone cavalier by virtue of their biceps—

IANTHE: I didn’t think the Reverend Daughter was the type, frankly. Remember we used to think The Anchorites’ Angular Ankles was a total exaggeration, but perhaps there’s a kernel of truth in that propaganda rag after all.

CORONA: We may have to have a proper gander at them.

IANTHE: Bad.

CORONA: Tit for tat. I invited that Ninth cav to the little sparring matches I organized, and it was fascinating. She fought in robes and mirrored lenses, which must be some kind of religious mandate, and she's under a vow of silence. And if I’m not mistaken, the Reverend Daughter is also.

IANTHE: Not so; she talks to herself constantly

CORONA: I’ve never—

IANTHE: —when she thinks no one’s around.

CORONA: Have you been lurking in the shadows again for fun and profit?

IANTHE: Not all of us like sparring. If no one's going for the throat, I don’t care.

CORONA: Oh, but that Ninth cav did . On Naberius.

IANTHE: Oh?

CORONA: I don’t know what their duel practices are like on that chilly rock, but she kept going even after Babs disarmed her, when the match should have ended! She punched him in the chest! Took him to the ground, and put her sword to his neck! It was frightening.

NABERIUS [from another room]: She’s a brawler!

BOTH: Shut up, Babs!

IANTHE: Warning number two.

CORONA: Babs is fine, of course—

IANTHE: —no one was asking—

CORONA: But it sounds like she’d have a real chance if it came down to it. Push to shove, et cetera. The other cavs aren’t as interesting, I’m sorry to say. Dyas is fine, very military. Chatur is better than any infant has a right to be. Quinn…

IANTHE: Hmm.

CORONA: No one expected much. At least his knife is pretty. We still don’t know very much about the Sixth or the Eighth or the Seventh. But we hope to learn more about them very soon.

IANTHE: Anyway, that’s us out of time for this week. We’ve got a party to get ready for, don’t we? The Fifth are shoving their weird marriage in everyone’s faces by having an anniversary. The gall.

CORONA: Dinner at seven. Barbarously early. On Ida we’re lucky if dinner is served by nine thirty. I hear there’ll be food not prepared by skeletons, though. Looking forward to that.

IANTHE: What should we bet on, this week?

CORONA: Oh, here’s one—how long it’ll be until the Eighth throw a tantrum over laundry. Everyone knows you only get clothes that spotlessly white if everyone around you is absolutely pure of thought, and with us running around the place those whites are doomed. I give it a month.

IANTHE: I give it tonight, if you really do insist on chatting with the Second at dinner.

CORONA: If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to like, share, subscribe, and rate us five stars!

IANTHE: If you didn't like it, feel free to tell us, but do know that we won't care.

BOTH: This has been the Tridentearii. See ya! Wouldn’t want tea be ya!

[Jaunty outro music.]

 

Chapter Text

THE TRIDENTEARII, Season 1, Episode 7 - transcript

[Jaunty intro music plays. Fade out into:]

CORONA: Hello and welcome, Ida-lators. I’m Coronabeth Tridentarius, Crown Princess of Ida. Over there by the wardrobe being very slow at dressing herself is another Princess of Ida, though not the Crown one because I crowned first. Come on, hurry up.

IANTHE [from across the room]: Do you even need me for this bit.

CORONA: Yes, what if they’ve forgotten your name, you have to be here to remind them.

IANTHE: You know my name.

CORONA: No, sorry, I’ve forgotten it too, I’ve never seen you in all my life—

IANTHE: We really don’t have to do this right this minute.

CORONA: Oh, but we do! I won’t risk forgetting a single impression. If we do it later we’ll lose all the zhuzh. Come on, I’m dying to tell you all the jokes I heard from the Fifth. Can’t you button that peignoir any faster.

IANTHE: Thank you, it’s actually a negligee.

CORONA: Oh, is that my negligee. I shall let you wear it for the night if you finish up quickly.

IANTHE [muttered]: That’s what she said.

CORONA: Who?

IANTHE: No one. [coming closer to the microphone] All right, here I am, dressed for bed, dying to sleep, but Corona thinks we can get a full episode of content out of one dinner party—

CORONA: Have a little faith in me.

IANTHE: You’re still drunk, aren’t you?

CORONA: Why aren’t you? The wine was good.

IANTHE: The wine was cheap.

CORONA: I have a secret. Ianthe, do you know my secret?

IANTHE: Statistically, y—

CORONA: I love cheap wine. I could drink it all night.

IANTHE: That’s not as much of a secret as you think it is. Hello, listeners. I’m Ianthe Tridentarius, blah blah blah, and this is The Tridentearii.

[sound effect: boiling water being poured into a cup.]

[sound effect: somebody quietly going “mlem mlem mlem.”]

CORONA: Tonight we’re talking about the dinner party we just came from, which was put on by the Fifth to celebrate their anniversary, and it was something. You might remember the dinner party rating scale from the beginning of the season, the FACC, so called because we spit facts.

IANTHE: That never sounds right no matter how you say it.

CORONA: No one asked you. We haven’t had cause to use the scale here at Canaan House, until now! We’ll rate the party in Food, Ambiance, Company, and—what was the last one—

IANTHE: Conversation.

CORONA: Conversation! Each getting a score from zero to two, zero being abysmal and two being sufficient.

IANTHE: We are difficult to impress. No one has ever gotten a three in any category and we’ve stopped hoping. Let’s start off with Ambiance, shall we? I like to start there but AFCC makes an awful acronym.

CORONA: Ambiance! The ambiance was…well. It’s Canaan House. No inventive décor, no acrobats, no glitz. The centerpieces were a few decades out of fashion, which is on par for anything organized by the Fifth. Altogether it was an attempt, but there was a seating arrangement, so I give it a zero.

IANTHE: Agreed. To be honest the seating arrangement killed any chance it had at scoring higher. I don’t mind a seating arrangement when I am the one making them, but I never like being separated from Corona.

CORONA: I don’t like it either. Everyone on the Third learned not to separate us after that state dinner when we were twelve when the delegation from the Eighth came to pray over everyone, remember that—

IANTHE: Is that what they were doing? I thought it was a poor attempt at interactive theatre.

CORONA: At least you learned to hold a conversation by yourself at some point in our adolescence and I no longer have to worry about you. Anyway, for this dinner I was down by Sir Magnus, who told me so many jokes that I’ve never heard before. So I had a good time, even though you were so far away.

IANTHE: I at least was near Naberius. Not that his presence is ever much consolation.

[Pause, as though they are waiting for something.]

CORONA: That’s odd.

IANTHE: Where is he?

CORONA: We finally found a topic so boring even he won’t eavesdrop. What’s next? The food?

IANTHE: The food…I give the food a one.

CORONA: I give it a zero! I didn’t eat any of it!

IANTHE: The second I saw it I knew you wouldn't eat it. The raisins…

CORONA: Yes, it was the raisins! Ruining an otherwise wonderful rice dish. Same with oatmeal raisin cookies—

IANTHE: You always think they’re chocolate chip, and then they’re not—

CORONA: The worst betrayal of my entire life is oatmeal raisin cookies!

[Uneasy pause.]

CORONA: What? What are you looking at me like that for?

IANTHE: Nothing. Just felt—tired for a second.

CORONA: Well, stop it. Your “tired” look makes me unaccountably nervous.

IANTHE: I wouldn’t be tired if you’d just let me go to bed.

CORONA: No, we’re almost done, you can’t give up now.

IANTHE: You’re right. You’re more right than you know. [Brief pause.] Anyway, and then there was a dessert, which was really quite good. I love a confection of pure sugar and fruit, which is why I think the food deserves a one. But we can compromise and give it half a point.

CORONA: What’s next, Company? Company!

IANTHE: The guests were the sum total of everyone at Canaan House, so it really couldn’t be any worse.

CORONA: Or any better, really—it was what it was. I give it a one. You could only improve it by removing some parties—

IANTHE: Who would you remove, to make it better?

CORONA: The Seventh cav for sure. I can’t be bothered to wait five minutes for him to corral all his synapses into a response. And then his necromancer too, who, by the way, listeners, is somehow still alive.

IANTHE: She’s either secretly much more powerful than anyone dreamed, or incredibly, mulishly stubborn.

CORONA: I’d also kick out the Eighth. They’re no fun.

IANTHE: I sat next to Silas Octakiseron all through dinner and at one point he talked about the essential tragedy of the human condition so I will happily bar him from all dinner parties. Along with the Fourth.

CORONA: I actually like them!

IANTHE: They’re the only people here who wear more jewelry than you do.

CORONA: Exactly! No one else has style! I feel out of place.

IANTHE: Bold of you to call that “style.”

CORONA: They’re trying, and I appreciate that. The Second can stay too.

IANTHE: You still think you'll somehow convince Judith Deuteros to like you, when she’s made it very clear—

CORONA: I’m not giving up yet. The Sixth I am fine with leaving out.

IANTHE: Are we creating a small, intimate dinner party?

CORONA: Yes, and there’s no room for anyone I only feel neutral towards. So nothing against them, but I like other people better. What about the Fifth?

IANTHE: I lean toward yes, just because of the dessert.

CORONA: And the jokes are very good. We’ll keep them, I agree. The Ninth?

IANTHE: Hmm. They’re tricky. I can’t figure out if they’d be a disaster or a point of fascination at a smaller dinner party.

CORONA: Do you know who they remind me of. When we were about seventeen and Mummy’s friend the viscount with the six children—

IANTHE: Oh god.

CORONA: That middle one who you hated for a year—

IANTHE: No, we really don’t need to rehash this ancient business.

CORONA: It was just because of the clown face paint that they remind me of it. Only the Ninth are skulls.

IANTHE: There’s something very weird about the Ninth.

CORONA: Other than the fact that they’re bone cultists?

IANTHE: Yes. They give me hives. What if, instead of just a vow of silence, there’s something else going on with them?

CORONA: How do you mean?

IANTHE:  That Ninth cav hasn’t even said hello to you, and someone would have to be viciously committed to a vow of silence to avoid talking to you.

CORONA: This is true. I’ve flirted several times and she hasn’t said a word back. Bit of a blow to the confidence, honestly.

IANTHE: So I think she’s been made a Sewn Tongue.

CORONA: A what?

IANTHE: It’s a ritual from the Ninth. I read about it in this ghastly ancient encyclopedia.

CORONA: Where they what? Sew your tongue? Sew your tongue to what? How does that even work?

IANTHE: It’s for keeping secrets. If I remember correctly they make a horizontal cut in the tongue, so there’s a top part and a bottom part, and they write the secret on a piece of paper and fold it up and place it in the middle and then sew the rest of the tongue up around it. And then they keep you away from other people until the paper has dissolved, and once it’s dissolved you can’t give away the secret. You can’t use flimsy because then you’ll just have flimsy inside your tongue until you die.

CORONA: That’s awful.

IANTHE: So it might be that. Or it might be that they just cut your tongue out and leave you a stump and you can’t talk at all. Either or. I can’t remember, it was so long ago that I read it.

CORONA: So much trouble. Blackmail is easier.

IANTHE: I wonder what would happen if instead of a piece of paper, you sewed up a whole other tongue in the—

CORONA: You know how I keep telling you to stop and think about the difference between inside thoughts and outside thoughts?

IANTHE: Yes.

CORONA: That one is an inside thought. Moving on. This makes me think that there’s something else entirely going on with those two Ninth nuns.

IANTHE: So you don’t think it’s…salacious.

CORONA: Well no, not if the cavalier doesn’t have a tongue. You need a tongue to do anything vaguely salacious—

IANTHE: Do you? I suppose I’ve never thought about that.

CORONA: Do you think if your tongue is missing you still have any sense of lingual intuition?

IANTHE [disbelievingly]: Lingual intuition?

CORONA: I heard something one time about how even if you’ve never put your tongue on something, your brain somehow knows what it’s like to lick it.

IANTHE: What?

CORONA: Haven’t you ever looked at something and known what it would feel like on your—nevermind.

IANTHE: You know how you were just telling me to stop and think about the difference between inside thoughts and outside thoughts?

CORONA: Point taken. Anyway, now that you’ve been talking about tongues I have no desire to invite the Ninth to our hypothetical dinner party. So Company gets a one.

IANTHE: Onto Conversation.

CORONA [sung, trillingly]: A three!

IANTHE: Decisive. Why?

CORONA: There was this joke Sir Magnus told that really just grabbed me by the funny bone and held me hostage.

IANTHE: Oh no.

CORONA: What do Marta the Second, Naberius the Third, Jeannemary the Fourth, Magnus the Fifth, Camilla the Sixth, er, What’s-His-Name the Seventh, Colum the Eighth, and Gideon the Ninth have in common?

[Pause.]

CORONA: You’re supposed to say, “What?”

IANTHE [drearily]: What?

CORONA: The same middle—

[The door bursts open. Someone mumbles something.]

BOTH: Shut up, Babs.

NABERIUS: No really, it’s important. The Fifth—[indistinct]. They need everyone for—[indistinct].

IANTHE: Well, we should go down and—

CORONA: Babs, can you run over and shut off that microphone.

NABERIUS: How?

CORONA: It’s the spacebar—

NABERIUS: The what—

CORONA: Or the big red button on the—

NABERIUS: Oh is it this thing right h—

[Silence.]

CORONA AND IANTHE: This has been The Tridentearii. See ya! Wouldn’t want tea be ya!

[Jaunty outro music.]

Chapter Text

THE TRIDENTEARII, S̵͎̘̝͐͘͘e̵̢̻͑̔͋͜a̸͎̞̠̿͋͝s̸̠͔͓̓̓̕o̸͇͖̝͐͝n̸͎͎̟͊͘͝ 1̸͇͓͔͒̾͋,̵̙̟͔͛͑͒ E̵̦̦̺̕̕͝p̸̙͖͚͋̾ḯ̸̘͔̞̈́̓s̸̝̦̺̾ö̴̝͔̠́̈́d̴̢͚̻͒̓̔e̵̼͇͖̔͆͛ ?̴͙̦͋͐͌?̵̡͔͙͋̒͝?̸̟̝͛͜͝?̸̘͍̪̒̒ - transcript

[Jaunty intro music. Fade out into:]

IANTHE: Hello. Welcome, Ida-lizers. It’s a beautiful day at Canaan House, and I’m Ianthe Tridentarius, Princess of Ida. And with me is a very special guest, Prince Naberius Tern, also of Ida.

[She giggles.]

I won’t let him speak. Because if he speaks, he’ll have things to say. And he actually doesn’t get an opinion on anything, anymore. All his opinion are belong to me now.

[Pause. Muffled muttering and giggling. A clearing of the throat.]

Where were we? Oh, yes. I’m Ianthe Tridentarius, and Naberius Tern, and this is The Tridentearii.

[Sound effect: boiling water being poured into a cup.]

[Sound effect: somebody quietly going “mlem mlem mlem.”]

Actually, today, it’s The Tridentearius. Singular. Where did you go, my love? Where did you go?

No. Stop that. Babs.

[She giggles.]

There is no we in Tridentarius. There is an us. And an I. Two eyes. I have two, or maybe a couple more than two—stop that.

[A smacking of the lips.]

The tea we will be discussing this week is how I am better and smarter than everyone else. To avoid egoizing I had heretofore kept it as a mere needling suspicion, but let me just note how disappointed I am to have had that exact suspicion confirmed. I did not need keys to work out the ultimate end. I did not need help toward a solution. Teamwork does not make the dream work. I am the best necromancer the Third House has ever produced, and I solved it all myself.

I did say Prince Naberius Tern was with me. He is with me. He will be with me forever, now.

[Laughter. In the background, someone starts crying quietly.]

None of the others quite got it. I did. I’m very proud of myself for that. I’m not going to reveal my secrets to the masses, though. How louche would that be? Maybe someday. Maybe in ten thousand years, when I am still quite young, I will write my tell-all memoirs. You’d all better read them. They will be salacious. I can finally tell you all about the duel that happened in the Second’s rooms when Corona and I went to visit, that one time.

[She gasps.]

Corona—Corona, my angel. Shh. Darling, don’t cry, they can hear you. Do you want them to hear you? If they all hear you, then they’ll all know. And you don’t want that. I don’t want that.

[Laughter, with too many edges. The crying subsides.]

She has been crying nonstop for a few hours. As for me, I am—waiting. Just waiting. I did what had to be done but these things never work out, timing wise. In the end it was much easier than I expected. I had expected Babs to put up more of a fight. But he barely even realized what was happening. Bit of a shame. I suppose I could have stabbed him in the front. You live and learn.

I can hear the others, outside. Can you hear them?  I’ve been waiting for so long and now they’ll find me. I could have gone looking, but I planned this so nicely. Babs looks marvelous laid out on the floor like—No I—yes you do, shut up and digest already. Urgh. You’re so stringy.

[She retches, clears her throat, settles.]

I left the door unlocked. I didn’t expect them to be complete morons. Oh, there they are.

[A door creaks open.]

Hello, friends.

[Shrill electronic whine. Static. Recording cuts off.]

CORONA AND IANTHE: This has been The Tridentearii. See ya! Wouldn’t want tea be ya!

[Jaunty outro music.]

Chapter Text

STATEMENT FROM THE ROYAL HOUSE OF IDA

The House of the Third, the Jewel of the Emperor, his Gleam and Smile, is saddened and disturbed to hear that the Tridentearii podcast, meant to be an educational and uplifting glimpse into the lives of the necromantic princesses with commentary on entertainment and fashion events, has had its latest installment hacked and replaced with what is obviously a fake. We are looking into this matter very seriously and intend to mete the Emperor’s Justice upon those who would smear the good name of the Third House.

In entirely unrelated news, our beloved princesses and their cavalier have achieved the greatest honour of all. They have taken up their place as Lyctors at the side of the King Undying and must serve their holy duties there.

They send love and well wishes to the people of the Third House.

Their names are to be forgotten, effective immediately.

There will be no further episodes of the podcast.