A Bible and a Pilot Script

Below is the first draft of the story bible. You can also find the latest draft of the pilot episode here. Key concerns as of right now include the show title and depth of characterization.

Star Child: An Epic Radio-Drama

Story Bible

A newborn star is sent to earth disguised as a little girl in order to uncover a secret plot between the trolls and the humans. The prophecies all foretell doom for the stars, but as the day of reckoning approaches, can the fledgling star child find her place in the world and bring peace to the cosmos?

Characters

Elda (the Star Child): A rambunctious little girl with a competitive spirit and a clever mind, who was raised by a community of eagles in the sky. She's also not exactly well-versed in the ways of humans and finds their ways fascinating. Think Hermione Granger raised by Box-Trolls. She's a bit awkward, even among the eagles, never really knowing how to fit in despite her best efforts to make friends. She doesn't even know where she came from, let alone how she got there! She eventually finds a kindred spirit in the cranky old owl, Charlie, and they become very close friends. That's important, because incredible danger awaits Elda and all of the other stars…

Charlie the Owl: A cranky old codger of an owl who hates people and fun and loud noises and games and just wants to be left alone, thank you very much. With time, he learns to open himself up to others and admit that deep down, he really does care. He's a big softie, once you get to know him. He becomes the anchor to Elda's wild spirit. Where Elda is adventurous, Charlie is cautious. Where Elda is likely to shoot from the hip (so to speak), Charlie is careful and cool. 

Thiestra and Diestra: Two of the last remaining witches in this world. They're terrible at magic, often getting spells horribly wrong, but doing just well enough for themselves to become the most feared witches in the land. They're not evil, per see, but they have terrible social skills that are often confused for malicious intent. They are the ones who have uncovered the prophecies spelling doom for the stars, but they don't know how or what form it will take. They serve as occasional guides and helpers to Elda on her various adventures.

Gwendelock: Apprentice to Thiestra and Diestra. Also their great-nephew. Charming and polite, he puts up with his absent minded aunts because he wants to become a wizard just like his father, even though his mother was a human and the odds are 50/50 he won't have any powers at all. He doesn't talk about his parents much. He is haunted by their death. He holds secrets no young boy should have to keep. These secrets overlap with Elda in a surprising way, leading both to realize there's more to the other than they suspected, and they may not be able to trust each other when those secrets are revealed.

Trolls: Based on the trolls of Scandinavian folklore, they hide in caves during the day to avoid the sun and travel during the night when the gentler moon can guide their way. They can be incredibly dangerous and rarely ever helpful. Many of them eat humans. A clan of them have discovered the secrets to an ancient magic long lost to the world and they have kidnapped several of the most important alchemists to help them harness its power. When one of these alchemists manages to escape, barely even alive, he takes with him this knowledge and a single message: “Revenge!”

Queen Eva: Daughter of one of the kidnapped alchemists, she rules a kingdom that has long lived in fear of the trolls. She will do anything to protect her people. When she learns of the trolls's plan, she immediately rallies her people to beat the trolls to this incredible power. Where the trolls were motivated only by greed, she is motivated by love, which may or may not be worse.

The Stars: The gods of this universe. They created the earth long ago when they split Kel the Devourer into the sun and the moon, placing the earth between the two halve in order to keep them at bay and prevent utter destruction. The stars command the rain and the wind, the moving of the earth and the creation of all life. The most powerful of these stars, Illya the Goddess of Thunder, sacrificed herself in order to split Kel. As such only the witches remember the secrets of her lightning.

Episode Outlines

Each of the podcast episodes follow a linear story arc with a definite end in mind. Here are outlines for the first five episodes, leading up to the inciting incident.

Episode 1

Elda falls from out of the sky in a flying machine, crashing into a forest. She meets Charlie who doesn't believe that hunk-of-junk ever worked. She also meets Thiestra and Diestra who laid a trap with a hot three course meal that ensnares her. She escapes and is generally frazzled.

She finally meets Gwendelock who is kind and reveals he is the nephew of Thiestra and Diestra. She says she comes from a community of birds, but she's scared because she's not ready to live on her own, yet. Gwendelock tells her there's no shame in going back. He is also strangely touched to hear his aunts are trying to catch him with a hot meal. He decides he's no longer mad at them and they go back to meet the witches.

Gwendelock and Elda return to the witches who apologize for their insensitive behavior. They also encourage Elda to return to her home, that there's no shame in not being ready to grow up yet. They tell her The Grand Duchess can probably help her and they magic her to the back of Charlie so that he can guide her through the forest. Cue trombone whah-whah-whah.

Inside a nearby cave, trolls poke and prod at an old man in a cage. They mock him and offer him meat of unknown origin. They tell him it's time for work. He begs for no more, he's already given them enough. They laugh. Machinery is heard turning. He screams.

Episode 2

Fused together, Elda and Charlie travel through the wood to get to the home of The Grand Duchess. Neither are happy to be stuck with the other, both think the other is stuck up and whiny. Through their journey in the wood, though, they start to warm up to each other.

They reach the home of the Grand Duchess who takes pity on Elda and uses her limited magic to unstick the two and shoos Charlie off. The duchess is fascinated by Elda and invites her to her upcoming gala. Elda becomes the duchess's pygmalion project. Back in the forest, Charlie is peeved at being shooed. “What do I care? She was a stinky old human anyway. I don't care. Nope. I'm glad they sent me away like a… Like a… (frog croaks) What are you looking at?”

Dolled up and instructed in the ways of how to dance, Elda excitedly attends the gala, but has a miserable time. The people at the gala are amused by her odd behavior and terrible dancing and start laughing at her. Dejected, Elda goes outside to mope, but is surprised to discover Charlie standing near the edge of the forest. (“It's a big forest. I can stand wherever I want.”) They apologize to each other. They show each other their dance moves and jam to the music streaming outside.

Episode 3

General world building, learning about Elda's troubles fitting in with the other birds her age back with the eagles.

Episode 4

Fixing the machine, learning about how Elda came to be a valuable member of the eagle community by protecting them from other humans and helping animals escape from human traps. How she helped them as the masked spirit Cuckaroo, who the humans fear.

Back in the cave, a trolless tries to sneak some actual food to the old man. She apologizes for her family's raucous behavior. “They're not monsters,” she insists, “They're just…” And then she opens the cage and discovers the he is missing. She is terrified.

Episode 5

Elda says goodbye to her new friends and sort-of-friends. She sets out to return to the bird community. She is surprised by the sudden appearance of fog, but she is able to find the clouds where her old family lives, hovering around the peak of a mountain. She recognizes the nests and all the various mementos from the elder birds, but everyone is gone!

Scared and confused, Star child explores the mountain below and meets the old man, hiding under a rock. He is completely insane, muttering about danger and revenge. He jumps her and then runs off into the fog. Elda then meets Talya, the Trolless, who attempts to gobble her up but is too drunken to actually catch the girl, who still wears her flying machine. At a stalemate, they have a conversation. Talya says that the birds were tasty. They were all killed because the trolls thought they were hiding an escaped prisoner. “He's dangerous,” Talya says, “He must be stopped!” The other trolls are out hunting the escaped prisoner under the cover of this enchanted fog, but they could be back any minute.

Climax when the other trolls come back furious and empty handed from their hunt and Star Child has to escape before they can catch her and eat her, too. End with her returning to Charlie at the old wood. No words are exchanged. She hugs Charlie and cries into the credits.