Podcast / The Account
The Account is an adventure audio drama by podcaster "Cayenne" Chris Conroy, and part of the Tekdiff Podcast
. It tells the story of ordinary office drone Hanover Philips of the Metadyne Corporation, who one day distinguishes himself from his colleagues by subduing and investigating a portfolio of pure evil that had been sucking up the company's considerable resources and converting its offices into an "antechamber of Hell."
The titular Account represented by that portfolio is known as Ave Nova, and that name provides tenuous clues as to where else its influence might be found. Hanover, who now knows as much as anybody about the Account, is summarily knighted "Sir Hanover Phillips, Questing Knight of the Metadyne Corporation" and sent on a quest to root out Ave Nova's power wherever it lies in the Midlands.
That's another thing: The Account takes place in the Midlands, an all-inclusive modern-day fantasy setting, which was cut off from Earth some time ago and only recently re-opened. Hanover, as a native of Earth, is something of an odd man out
in the Midlands, but he quickly acquires a helpful goblin squire named Nyro Guillaume (pronounced "Gee-Yome") and makes a name for himself as a knight.
Provides Examples Of:
- Aerith and Bob: Hanover, Nyro, and Turvey are the main protagonists of the story. However, there are also people like Chandler Raeburn (Hanover's boss) and Cole Harriman (a bugbear), as well as Trevor (a conspiracy-theorist infiltration specialist), Don Trent (the Big Bad of "Relic Skies"), and Malcolm (a pretty powerful potential ally).
- Antiquated Linguistics: Croyce, to a minor degree.
Croyce: "I was going to ask if this was bad, but I think you've just rendered that query redundant."
- Barrier Maiden: Mayor Janice Portman and Tycho Eastling.
- Benevolent Boss: Mr. Raeburn actually does support Hanover, although he does go into Mean Boss territory occasionally.
- Big Bad: The angel known as Jove. Jove was summoned to the Midlands by Don Trent at the end of Relic Skies.
- Black Speech: The titular account was written in Enochian Legalese, the language of the Angels.
- Boring, but Practical: Hanover's knight attack, "Burst Punch," is a pretty generic attack, a concussive blast of energy. However, to Turvey's surprise, this seems to allow the attack to be modified to fit the situation. For example, nobody said that the resulting force blast couldn't be used as a ranged attack to take out multiple targets.
- Catch-Phrase: "Shall we rock?" "By all means."
- Calling Your Attacks: It's important for a knight to name their attacks and call them out when using them. Hanover's signature is the "Burst Punch," apparently a blast of concussive force, and other knights consider the name to be poorly thought-out. Others knights' attacks include "Red Rondo," "White Gavel," "Railgun," and "Havoc Anthem," which arguably have a better ring to them.
- Character Blog: Nyro has a Twitter account, @nyrogoblin.
- The Clan: The Guillaume family is a clan headed by a matriarch.
- Cold Iron: Hanover uses an iron crowbar to subdue the titular account; this is what gets him the knighthood.
- The Conspiracy: The Foundation is an association of sorcerors attempting to gain control of all things. Their current project, the "Five Points Project," is based on an interpretation of Aleister Crowley's "The Pentagram." This is the organization attempting to capture Malcolm in order to complete the process..
- Cool Teacher: Turvey
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: You can't get more corrupt than Donald Trent.
- Cult: The Cult of the Destroying Star. ...also known as "Ave Nova."
- Deal with the Devil: Luxor Brandt dealing with Araquiel. Of course, he was fully aware of this, but didn't mind the risk.
- Anyone dealing with the angels, really.
- Deity of Human Origin: A key step in "Harnessing the Lightning for Hire." The intended end result of combining Helen with Wurm.
- Disability Immunity / No-Sell: Hanover is immune to the angels' influence. Nobody is sure why.
- The Dragon: Luciano, called Terazzo by Jove, is the Knight Champion of the Angels. He has the knight ability of firing spirit bullets out of his finger.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: Lampshaded in Chief Kaiser Laughlin's recording in "The Snows are Eternal."
...If you are looking for a pithy final statement to put on my tombstone, you could do worse than this: (Dramatic Gun Cock)
"Come and get me." If you can figure out a way to put the gun rack sound on the tombstone, please feel free.
- Eldritch Abomination: Angels.
- Evil Sorceror: The Foundation. Also, Malcolm is the last survivor of Sodom's ruling family of sorcerors. After living many lifetimes, however, he did manage to reform.
- Fanboy: Hanover and Turvey are bronies, much to Nyro's annoyance. Of course, coming across Cole, another member of the "Equestrian Order of Bronies," didn't help her temperment much.
Nyro (to Turvey): "Let me see if I understand this dynamic correctly... when you and I want to annoy Hanover, we choose sort of experience vs. the greenhorn, and when Hanover and I want to annoy you, we choose youthful exhuberance over the crusty, fusty old cranky guy, but when you and Hanover want to annoy me, it's... ponies?"
- Fantastic Racism: The "Rest Stop" chapter introduces Alan Ruby, a trucker from Earth who suddenly finds himself in the Midlands and starts hurling the word "monster" at the goblins and gnolls around him. He gets the same kind of treatment he'd get from using analogous Earth epithets in a racially diverse environment.
- Earthlings get the short end of this stick for the very same reason, as other Midland races tend to see Earthlings as the equivalent of a Scary Black Man. It's even worse for Midlands humans, and even that is nothing compared to the absolute disgust of "expatriate Earthlings" (people who relocated to the Midlands early in life).
- Finger Gun: Terazzo's knight ability.
- Fish out of Water: Alan Ruby didn't even know the Midlands existed until he took a load leading into the Midlands.
- Genius Loci: The Road seems to be aware of the worlds it connects to; it will actually disconnect from those worlds if it thinks they will cause damage to the rest of them. The Earth was cut off from the road for a long time, and it's implied that this was because of some kind of cataclysm occurring on the world. In the story, the road will lengthen between troubled worlds and the rest of its destinations... much to the annoyance of Hanover, since this usually cuts him off from reinforcement from the rest of Metadyne's other knights.
- Golem: The cloth angeloid in Waterford.
- Haunted Technology: Hanover's Laptop.
- Heroic Willpower: Will is the source of a knight's power.
Terazzo: Anything could be a weapon. It's all about your intentions. Weapons are a privilege, and a privilege is the servant of the will, and the will is slave to intentions.
- Homing Projectile: Terazzo not only can fire spirit bullets from his finger, he also has complete control over their trajectory, even to the point where he can change their direction multiple times mid-flight. He was able to shoot Hanover, Nyro, and Croyce without killing them; he caused the projectile to zig-zag in order to avoid their vital organs.
- Honest Corporate Executive: While he can be a Jerk Ass at times, and even manipulative and underhanded with his employees, Chandler Raeburn also supports his employees and looks out for the good of the people of the Midlands.
- Humans Are Bastards: Two-thirds subverted; some unspecified number of years ago, one-third of the humans turned into psychopathic killers and were exiled to Earth. Now the road to Earth is back open and everyone's a little leery of humans who immigrated to the Midlands from there.
- Human Subspecies: Midlands humans and Earthlings are very different in nature.
- It Won't Turn Off: Occurred specifically during the "Snows are Eternal" storyline. The laptop's battery turned out to be a dummy.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Hanover, although "Shining" is a figurative term...
Professor Mccork: Well, forgive me for saying so, but when I think about the courtly servants of noble causes, I don't tend to associate them with a man wearing trainers, a denim jacket, and a T-Shirt that says "meh."
Hanover: I'm very progressive.
- Late to the Punchline: Croyce is very slow on the uptake where humor is concerned. Of course, he then proceeds to remove whatever humor was left in the joke.
- Light Is Not Good: Angels are "creatures of light," but they are not pleasant at all.
- Lineage Comes from the Father: Inverted in two ways (so far).
- Word of God states that all children of mixed-race pairings will be the race of the mother.
- The Guillaume clan is matrilineal; the head of the family is the matriarch.
- Literal Genie: Be very careful what you ask from an angel.
Jove: "Terazzo, did he survive the ascendency?"
Terazzo: "No, lord."
Jove: "Pity... he should have asked for that as well."
- Living Relic: Malcolm.
- Mean Boss: Mr. Raeburn may be willing to help Hanover, but he tends to be manipulative, ambiguous, and enjoys startling Hanover by sneaking up behind him.
Hanover: "Does anybody here know how to just walk up and say hello to me without trying to scare me to death?!"
Mr. Raeburn: "Now, I don't think you'd say that if you could see what you yourself look like when you were startled, Phillips, it's an absolute hoot!"
- Mega Corp.: Corporations are the new nobility of the realms. Since they have taken over, however, war has gone way down; it seems that they are hesitant to attack potential customer bases.
- Oh, Crap!: Nyro realizes that this is one of those moments when Jove tells Terazzo to deal with the interlopers (Hanover, Nyro, and Croyce). Considering that Terazzo's knight ability is a literal Finger Gun, and he's easily stronger than anything they've faced thus far, she isn't wrong.
- The Omnipotent: Malcolm has considerable power, although not limitless. He's a mischievous sort, although he seems to be aiming for a positive net benefit.
- Our Monsters Are Different: All of the fantasy races are more or less normal people in the midlands, even though they do have some of the racial advantages and disadvantages their races afford. A strange subversion however, is the race least-known for being monstrous, which is the Eldritch Abomination of the midlands (which is interestingly more in-line with the original accounts).
- Our Angels Are Different The titular account is angelic in origin. Angels are considered bad news, and are only able to move and act through conceptual space, meaning that things like pacts (such as contracts and accounts) allow them to travel, and give them power.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Nyro, Hanover's squire, is a goblin with impressive fighting finesse and the ability to sense magic with an impressive degree of nuance. The latter is pretty typical of Goblins in the Midlands. Additionally, in the Midlands, the Goblins and Humans have had a long and strong alliance. And then there's Dokes, the Goblin Shock Jock for Baylor One Radio.
- The Paladin: Knights in the Midlands have access to "Privileges," including magical attacks and defenses, so long as they represent their lieges. Sir Hanover Phillips is still learning, but he's getting the hang of it. However, it's been mentioned several times that he would lose those privileges if he were to ever leave Metadyne employ.
- Portal Network: Not quite using portals, but the Road is used to get from one world to the other in much less time than it would take to fly there in a spaceship.
- Postmodern Magik: The Midlands were mostly magic-based until the Road reconnected to Earth. Then, suddenly, the Earthlings brought the wonders of modern technology to the Midlands, including cellphones, the internal combustion engine, and corporations. Technology is not incompatible with magic; in fact, they are often used together, each enhancing the other.
- Predatory Business: You can't get more predatory than Ave Nova. Its accounts are eating corporate departments, and its executives are eating the souls of their acquisitions' employees.
- Professional Killer: Nyro Guillaume is a Guillaume Clan Assassin; if the family requires someone to die, she can be contracted to do the work. She's on sabbatical to complete the task with Hanover, though, following the completion of her contract to kill the sociopathic Luxor Brandt.
- Reincarnation: Malcolm... after a fashion. Malcolm can change his form, and lock away his memories, so to avert suspicion; he did so to convince people he is an ordinary mortal.
- Retired Badass: Turvey was a knight once, and now enjoys retirement as a bus driver... although he's been drafted back in to train Hanover in the use of his Knightly abilities. Of course, it's hard to tell what makes him tougher... the fact that he was a knight, or the fact that he IS a bus driver.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Our heroes seem to come across a lot of these just as they finally get out.
- Mezriel is the name of the angel in Waterford.
- In Easling, there's Araquiel.
- St. Rita's Hospital is a trap for the angel Wurm. Dr. Kasperzak keeps it there while she prepares Helen to control it.
- Shock Jock: Dokes, the goblin DJ for Baylor One.
- Talking to Himself: With only one or two isolated exceptions, Cayenne Chris Conroy voices every single character. He uses his normal voice for Sir Hanover Phillips.
- The Trickster: Malcolm. Good thing he's on our side. Maybe. I think. I hope?
- Verbal Tic: Dude, that Jenkin Lomax dude, he's such a "dude" dude!
- Urban Fantasy: When the Road reconnected to the Earth, all that wonderful technology found its way into the midlands, making the corporations rich enough to purchase entire governments. Well, at least wars are down; it's hard to justify attacking a potential customer base.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: This seems to be a recurring theme. While somewhat subverted with Mayor Portman and Tycho Eastling, whose souls continued to toil in the role of Barrier Maiden, keeping their respective evils sealed in their cans, Malcolm plays this trope completely straight. Or so he claims.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Luxor Brandt's retirement policy. He really doesn't like dead weight.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Part of the Ave Nova corporate takeover strategy. The souls of the employees are part of the sale.