Welcome to Season 2! This week, the Patina tries to figure out what’s next and gets approached for a mysterious job.
Welcome to Season 2! This week, the Patina tries to figure out what’s next and gets approached for a mysterious job.
We’re proud to introduce a new full-time cast member today! Please welcome Penn Van Batavia! Penn has been making and playing TTRPGs since middle school and has recently forayed into publishing her games online. Fae enjoys exploring feelings about her transness through game design and prose. Faer voice work can also be found on Terror and Hate in Mekka Strip, an audio fanfiction. Outside of games, Penn works at a local non-profit radio station and enjoys mixing drinks as a bartender. She is also an NPR nut and when she isn’t being pretentious about faer music tastes, will often be consumed by the latest prestige television show or queer cartoon. You can find Penn on Twitter at @acquiredchaste and come say hi in our Discord.
- Marathon Messenger is played by Penn Van Batavia! She's an indie TTRPG designer who just launched a new game, Wasmannian, a solo RPG about bees, wasps, and otherness in a binary world. You can find Penn on Twitter at @acquiredchaste.
- Cassidy Shard is played by Sydney Whittington. She also edits the show. Find her on Twitter at @sydney_whitt.
- Emma Blackwood is played by Cameron Robertson. Find her on Twitter at @midnightmusic13 and on Instagram at @reading_and_dreaming. Cameron is also a player on Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars Edge of the Empire actual play podcast.
- Birdie Foundling is played by Kit Adames. Find her on Twitter at @venusvultures. Kit is also a voice actor and writer on Elevator Pitch Podcast, a queer genre-hopping anthology podcast.
- Our GM and narrator is Nick Robertson. Find him on Twitter at @alias58. Nick is also the GM for Tabletop Squadron, which you can support at Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron. Nick can also be found as a player on the Orpheus Protocol.
Music & Sound Credits:
- This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at facebook.com/doraviolett. You can find Arne at atptunes.com.
- old radio Channel search sound effect by Garuda1982. Link & License.
- FORD LTL 9000_engine start and idle.wav by Broken_Head_Productions. Link & License.
- Applause » polite_applause_09.wav by joedeshon. Link & License.
- Swimming Against the Tide by Squire Tuck. Link & License.
- Declaration of My Love by Squire Tuck. Link & License.
- The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @rashedjrs.
Find Us Online:
- Our Website
- Join our Patreon
- Join our Discord
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript
Season 2 Episode 1: Message Over the Airways
Transcript by Cameron Robertson
[hurdy gurdy music begins]
Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of –
Penn: Penn Van Batavia as Marathon Messenger.
Kit: Kit Adames as Birdie Foundling.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Welcome to the Season 2 Premiere, where we’re proud to introduce our second new full-time cast member! Please give a round of virtual applause to Penn Van Batavia! You may remember that she’s already made an appearance on the show, but in case you haven’t checked out the indie TTRPGs fae designs, make sure you stay for the (new and updated!) credits to hear the details and where to find her stuff.
Our Patreon bonus content also continues to grow, as we answered our first Patron-submitted campfire conversation question this week. If you want to hear the Patina attempt to answer a topic of your choosing, any of the other bonus episodes or rewards catch your fancy, or you just feel like supporting us, check out the link in the show notes.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 1: Message Over the Airwaves. And so...
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches
To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[robotic powerup noise begins]
Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection.
[robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we finally found Wyatt and Zee-o in a field of dead Aranebis priests. We followed them back to their hideout in an old facility, where they've been scavenging for parts to put Wyatt back together… because turns out, they're not coming with us. Wyatt's going home and Zee-o's going with him. We traded Wyatt's stuff and Pallie's arm for Wyatt's big sword and some advice. Zee-o saved off Pallie's audio logs to the Knight, and we had one final campfire together… before Birdie, Emma, and I... left without them.
Nick: We open with a close up on a radio. Background doesn't matter. The location doesn't matter. What matters is the voice coming from the speaker.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Welcome back to Going the Distance on MTR 1153. I'm your favorite campfire host Marathon Messenger. I'd like to welcome to the studio.
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Natasha Cyrus.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Welcome in Natasha. I'm happy to have you. And Natasha is one of the Jean Paul Trading Posts Nightcrawlers this year, which we're excited to have Natasha in the studio. Everybody give a warm welcome.
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Very happy to be here.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Now, Natasha, I was wondering as one of the Nightcrawlers this year, what's been the biggest challenge on the course?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] You know, I'd say since um, my track record holds up pretty well. I think I'm excelling as I should be with this team. I have lots of wonderful help from my amazing teammates, of course. It's interesting being here in Tree All Mountain after being traded from Allium.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Mhm Mhm. And we're happy to have you here. Allium has, well bless their heart on their little Ice Derby league they have done there. We're thankful you have the great opportunity to come up here to Tree All Mountain to show them how it's really done.
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Very, very much. I'm very glad to be here.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Now I'd like to take a break here. Just to plug Arena Juice real quick, our sponsor again this week. Please drink Arena Juice responsibly. Now in purple. Natasha, now this might be a little more personal question. Our listeners were wondering, who do you get along with the least on the Nightcrawlers?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Well, I'd I hate to air out dirty laundry on uh, you know, something so public. But you know, it's interesting having to mesh with new teammates, and I've certainly found my chosen few. Hmm. My teammate, who was recently traded in alongside, Ezra - number 14 on the rink - interesting personality clash, I think. It's nothing personal, of course.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] And what got you into Ice Derby in the first place? If I may ask.
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Oh I played a lot of street hockey as a kid in Allium and, you know, it was a good outlet for someone who didn't really have the best grades and didn't grow up in the best place.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Did your parents have anything to do with your your rise through the ranks at all this year?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Well, this is getting really personal. Um. Nope. No, they did not.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Now, I hate to interrupt you there, but you said you had some problems with Ezra, would you mind elaborating on those just a little bit for our audience here?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Hmm. Well, I, like I said, just a clash of personalities, I think.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] is there any violence involved in this clashes?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] I might ask you the same question about something else. But [awkward laugh]
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I uh, I resent that a little bit, but no we're here to focus on you Natasha, and and your newest beef with Ezra on the Nightcrawlers. Why don't we just refocus on that, all right?
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Well, I think it's a pretty important topic of conversation, isn't it?
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I see no reason to uh continue
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Well you see
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] talking about me. This is about you.
Kit (as Natasha Cyrus): [over radio] Your audience is so important to you. It's a family sport. Many fans will be listening in and I have been very curious to hear about some of the controversies surrounding your character.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Oh um, you know, I uh. [uncomfortable laughter] We don't need to touch on any of my stuff, so uh I'm just gonna - here folks, why don't we cut this interview a little short here. I'm real sorry, Natasha. And we'll jump right into our next song. Please enjoy uh our next folksy tune and we'll be right back hopefully, with a little more civil conversation.
[radio static ends]
Nick: There's a smattering of boos and murmurs from the live studio audience, but the audio is quickly cut off as a folksy tune plays over the radio. Natasha stalks angrily out of the studio, and Marathon that interview was the last part of your shift. We see her make the climb down from the DJ booth and out of the front door of the radio station. What does the Tree All Mountain radio station and tower look like?
Penn: It's elevated, obviously, because we're climbing down a little bit. The radio station is actually halfway up the radio tower and even though it takes a lot of trouble for the audience members to get up. the main access point is a ladder, maybe a couple ladders, in order to go up and down from the radio station itself and it looks like a tree house, but if it was on a radio tower.
Nick: Management for the station has gotten estimates several times on what it would cost to either move the station or add ramps and have decided against it every time. Easier to just warn everyone to be careful on the ladders in the wind and the ice. And as you step off of this ladder and step onto the street in front of MTR 1153, we get our first real look of Marathon.
Penn: So Marathon is a tall-ish and pale woman with a muscular but sinewy in a way frame and faded scars around her face from ice skate gashes - a long time and the ice Derby leagues. One of her eyes has actually gone gray from one of these injuries. She has tired, sunken eyes, a strong jaw, a blocky nose, and she has some gold piercings around her eyebrow, her ear. She's got bright copper hair roughly cut into like an undercut mullet with a shaved gradient on each side and currently she's wearing the radio station uniform, which is a blue jacket with gold epaulets, and along with blue pants, it is a suit, but she's got a white button up under that with a turtleneck under that so it's pretty layered here in Tree All Mountain where it is cold.
Nick: We see Marathon light up a maple slim cigarette, take a deep drag and walk into the city. We cut away to the Patina in the rig, also entering the city. It's been a quiet drive, but you all have much to discuss.
Sydney: So Cassidy is sitting doing her best to lounge and not pay attention to how many cars are on the road around them because it's near that tail end of that prime time where the amount of vehicles that can be there is there and she is happy to have let Emma take the wheel for this part of the drive.
Nick: Even more stressful than what you would expect Cassidy, it's not just cars in the road. The mixture of conveyances is stunning. There is a lot of foot traffic, but weaving between all of that you see mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, some cars, both passenger and freight trucks, and also carts being pulled by a mixture of horses and moose depending on what their freight is. It looks like uncoordinated disaster, but everybody seems to know exactly where to move to avoid being hit at any given time. And Emma is very focused on the road, but you notice that she's starting to sweat a little bit.
Kit: Birdie is taking in the city. She's got her gaze centered fully out the window, she enjoys the bustle of a new place that she's never gotten the chance to go to before and I think she's not talking more counting how many new things she sees. The moose is one really big thing and she's very enchanted by the amount of moose around. [laugh]
Cameron (as Emma): [long exhale]
Sydney (as Cassidy): You doing all right over there, Emma?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You sound like it.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm. Sorry, I can't talk right now. I am focused.
Nick: And Emma at that point a motorcycle swerves right into where you were trying to merge, you're forced to slam on the brakes, and there's still slush on the road, and the truck carries a pretty heavy weight, so even slamming on the brakes doesn't do much and you almost bounce the front grille of the rig off the back tire of this motorcycle as it peels away. The driver makes a rude hand gesture at you.
Cameron (as Emma): [yelling] What the fuck! I am so much bigger than you, you moron. Oh my gosh, I've already killed people with this truck.
Kit (as Birdie): Wait you've killed people with this truck?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes. [stressed laugh] Focus. Okay.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Mercenary company.
Kit (as Birdie): You know, I guess I should have expected it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We've probably killed people with like half the things here.
Kit (as Birdie): Sweet.
Nick: We get a shot of Birdie looking around the cab of the rig. It's a lot emptier than it was before with Wyatt and Zee-o's stuff removed, but Birdie settles a suspicious eye on a romance novel still on the seat next to her.
Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.
Cameron (as Emma): How do people live here and survive and still decide it's okay to go outside and drive? [stressed noises]
Sydney (as Cassidy): I would love to be parked somewhere soon.
Cameron (as Emma): I have not yet seen a location where I can parallel park this but I am looking.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh I know we had stupid parking when we got here the first time like maybe, I don't know, do you think we can the train station [laugh] go leverage are being savior's of everything for a parking spot.
Cameron (as Emma): That is what I'm working my way towards because I at least know there's a lot of side streets over there to park on.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That's true.
Cameron (as Emma): Where the hell is the snowplow? [sigh]
Nick: While you hear a beep as Nedge the snowplow is, it's not actually plowing any snow, it's parked in a little city park off to the side, because the snow isn't that thick, the roads are pretty much clear. And you can see kids climbing all over it and it's beeping contentedly with its engine running.
Sydney (as Cassidy): If only we could use the snowplow to clear traffic.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean I'm pretty sure I could use the rig to clear traffic. But
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, that's true.
Cameron (as Emma): I just might - [frustrated and stilted] I, if I was driving, and I saw the rig come driving towards me, I would move out of the way, but apparently people don't have any sort of self preservation.
Nick: And Emma, go ahead and make me a Driving check at average difficulty to see if you're able to get to a parking place unscathed.
Cameron: I am going to flip one of the Story Points because we have several to upgrade that green to a yellow cause then I have two yellows against two purples, which I like better.
Cameron: Three successes.
Nick: Great. Emma, you start to just assume people will get out of your way. I think it's a combination of frustration and tiredness more than confidence that people are paying attention or have self preservation, but you find that wherever you drive, people make a space as long as you do it at the right speed and you begin to relax a little as you get a feel for the traffic flow in this town. It also helps that rush hour begins to end a little bit and traffic diminishes. And we see the Patina pull the rig up to the warehouse which is built into the walls of Tree Alll Mountain and where the train is kept during the offseason. It's currently vacant as the train is at Eagle Hill getting a full load for the trade that they keep between the two cities. And we see Emma speaking to somebody standing in the door who looks confused and then recognizes the Patina and nods. And the next thing that we see is Birdie and Cassidy and Emma wearing comfortable clothes bundled against the cold, now on foot. And as you stand outside of the train warehouse, you have to decide what's next.
Sydney: As soon as they get outside, Cassidy stretches and looks at the night sky and doesn't see as many stars as she's hoping and looks around and sees people on the streets and sighs, looks then at Emma and Birdie and goes
Sydney (as Cassidy): I could use a drink, I think. We probably have stuff we need to work through and I - I'm already tired of the city.
Cameron (as Emma): We just got here.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah and there's people.
Cameron (as Emma): [laughing] That tends to be what cities have.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, can we find a bar with like some music or something?
Cameron (as Emma): I am sure we can. Do you want me to go ask somebody? I'll go talk to people for you.
Sydney: Cassidy shrugs.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure. If you're sure. We can pick a direction and walk.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, but it's cold and I have no idea how long we'd have to walk. I'd rather head in the direction that there is a bar.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, go ask someone. I will wait here.
Sydney: And Cassidy crosses her arms and leans against the wall.
Cameron: Emma gives Birdie a look and then jogs off towards a person who's around probably one of the people who works at the train warehouse.
Nick: Birdie and Cassidy you can't hear what Emma asks but you see her gesture further into the city. And you do hear carried by the cold spring wind,
Nick (as train person): Oh, well hi there. Oh, you're looking for a place to relax, Huh? Well, the good news is we've got lots of places here in Tree All Mountain, don't you know. I can't believe you just came to ask me that. Can I not wait to tell you about -
Nick: And we cut away.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Birdie are you someone that feeds on social interaction?
Kit (as Birdie): It's nice. I think in big cities like this, I think it's nicer to have. I think it's more likely that you kind of feel more alone the more people there are around you.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. I'm just - I don't know. Maybe I just haven't had enough space since all the other stuff. I'm not prepared to do this yet. [sad laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): I mean, I could see why.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well hopefully the drink will, you know, take the edge off, I guess.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, that's what my family always did.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [short laugh] It's not the best coping mechanism, but you know.
Kit (as Birdie): Ehhh.
Nick: And Emma starts to trudge back to the conversation and has a pointed look in her eye. She looks determined and like she got directions that she was able to interpret.
Cameron: Emma does a spin and waves again and then spins back around and continues walking towards Cassidy and Birdie and her eyes are just huge in a like oh my gosh kind of amused but also kind of panicked helped me.
Sydney: Cassidy's eyebrows are raised in the 'this is why I didn't want to talk to anyone' face
Nick: And we cut away from the Patina's street side adventures. Marathon, where do you go to unwind after a shift?
Penn: Marathon goes to one of our favorite dive bars is called Humphrey's. It's definitely pretty rundown, I think there is a sign but it fell off and it is on the ground near the door now instead. It's a local bar not many people would go to it if they didn't live around there.
Nick: And we see you push through the battered door, your hand laying against the push bar settles into a dent where 1000s of people over years and years have pushed the door open in the exact same place.
Penn: So it's one of those local bars where it's got two sets of doors. But on the first set the left doors the one that's unlocked and on the second set the right door is the one that's unlocked, so you know who hasn't come in before when they come in.
Nick: And Marathon smoothly switches doors, enters quietly, gets a couple of looks from people seated around tables and sidles up to the bar.
Penn (as Marathon): Well Humph, I'll have my usual I guess.
Nick: Humphrey is three and a half feet tall. The bar has a set of railings underneath it so that he can stand and still reach everything. Humphrey makes the best old fashioned that you've ever tried, but he doesn't make them often, and if you order them, there's a chance he will make it bad on purpose unless he likes you. He has hair that is kind of greasy and slicked back over his head, really cauliflowered ears from fighting over the years, and yet kind eyes and he smiles at you as you walk in. What is Marathon's usual? Are you on good enough terms that you get an old fashioned or do you get something else?
Penn: I want to say it's a boulevardier that Marathon gets which is like kind of a mix on the Negroni.
Nick: Did Marathon stop to change on the way over here are she still wearing her radio uniform?
Penn: She's still wearing the radio uniform, but the jackets unbuttoned. The button is down on her inner shirt as well.
Nick: So it's about 7:30. After the shift, and the liquors already been poured into the shaker, he knew what time you would come in, a large chunk of ice chipped off of the block behind the bar is dropped in and a tall bar spoon is put into the shaker, stirred professionally, and then poured into a waiting glass. This ritual happens very regularly. You are here often and even if you don't get an old fashioned every time Humphrey likes you as he slides the glass over to you. And he has a grim face when he nods his head over towards the radio now turned off sitted at the edge of the bar.
Nick (as Humphrey): Tough interview.
Penn (as Marathon): When isn't it? I'm getting a little sick of it always feels like it's cycling back to the same stuff, Humph.
Nick (as Humphrey): Now, contrary to popular belief, not everyone almost gets in fistfights with people they interview for the radio. Some DJs actually make friends. I know that's hard to believe, but it might be something you want to try. Just a thought. Just a thought.
Penn (as Marathon): I accept your constructive criticism and moving forward I will think about it.
Nick: He snorts and then spits behind the bar.
Nick (as Humphrey): Look, there's no call for being sarcastic, Marathon. You gotta talk straight with me or don't talk.
Nick: And he hops down off of where he was standing, heads to the other side of the bar and hops back up and starts talking to someone on the other end. And Marathon gets a few quiet moments. What is one detail about the interior of this bar that is part of the reason that you always come back here?
Penn: Humphrey's is actively antagonistic to new people coming in. It feels like it's built against if you're not used to it, it feels like it's the building is against you. If you don't know where to step exactly your route to the bar, then you're very likely to trip or at least wobble.
Nick: And I think regulars develop a kind of rolling step where you keep your toes higher than you normally would that most people aren't used to. It's also the room is mostly lit by neon signs, ancient neon signs. The buzz is almost as loud as as the single guitar player playing in the back corner on an old acoustic with a blue slide on one finger, and the lights are monochrome, there's a green one and a blue one and a red one. And if you sit in the places where the lights overlap, it can make you get a headache because of how bright and strange the colors are. So there are certain tables that are left empty because locals know not to sit there.
Penn: I also think that the walls are just slanted a tiny bit so that it always feels like especially with the sliding that the bar itself is closing in on you even if they're not actually moving.
Nick: And you are looking around the bar a couple of other locals are there. Most of them are smart enough not to make eye contact with you. A couple nod grudgingly - Humphrey is the kind of bartender that can keep an eye on the entire room while talking to one person. He runs a tight ship.
Penn: Marathon as she's sipping on her boulevardier is looking up at the wall of Ice Derby stars that Humphrey has lined with pictures and signed frames and maybe a few metals people have gifted him and she's looking up a little bit longingly at her own Ice Derby portrait.
Nick: And the portrait looks pretty different from how you look now, I think it's fair to say. What is different in the Marathon we see today from the Marathon in the heyday of her Ice Derby career?
Penn: She looks a lot more fresh in her portrait. A lot more filled out rather than a sinewy muscley it's much more bodybuilder muscley and in her portrait she's also got a very youthful smile and youthful eyes as directly opposed to the very tired and sunken eyes we see on Marathon as she looks at the portrait itself.
Nick: And as you're trying to remember what it feels like to be that Marathon from back then, you feel a tap on your shoulder and you hear the squeak of someone stepping on one of the wrong floorboards.
Penn (as Marathon): How can I help you?
Nick: As you turn to see who is reaching to get your attention. You see, three townies. They are people who you've seen around the town, they're Ice Derby fans, they do work down by the train station, you don't know their name, their name doesn't matter. It's three guys, all three very similar looking wearing poofy down jackets and jeans and work boots. And the thing that stands out is that they're not usually the kind of person to come in to Humphrey's. You haven't seen them here before. Part of that is evidenced by the fact that they're trying to talk to you. This guy has unzipped his coat. You can see they're wearing a Cedars jersey, even though in the light you can't make out the number, and he is clearly a little drunk, clearly angry. His cheeks are flushed for more than one reason. And he points at you and says
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] It's been almost three years since you lost me a lot of money during the Maple Cup, Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): Now if this is about money, you can take it up with the radio station itself. Please Humphrey's is my safe place. Please give me give me a little bit of space here. I don't - if you want an autograph, I can give you that later as well.
Nick: He does a cutting gesture with his hand. It's very dramatic. He almost slaps one of his lackeys with the gesture.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] I don't give a shit about your crappy ass radio show. Talking about the only thing that matters. Talking about Ice Derby and the fact that you killed someone out on that rink and lost me a bunch of money.
Penn (as Marathon): Now I didn't - that's a danger of the sport. Okay, sir. I - That's one of the risks that you take when you go up on the course and um I apologize. I've apologized many times and I'm sorry that you personally lost some money about it.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] No wonder you're in that stupid bullshit radio job now. How many people- it's the nature of the sport. Look at you spinning words. How many people have died in Ice Derby in the last 10 years? Three. Sandra Wilcox had a heart attack. Molly's - Molly Cedar the third got hit by a rampaging bear during an outside game, no one could have predicted that.
Penn (as Marathon): Nobody could and we feel so sorry for her.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] And speaking of getting hit by a rampaging bear.
Nick: And he just looks meaningfully at you.
Penn (as Marathon): [groan/sigh] Well, what happened to Luna is not my fault. It's the sport. It's all AID's fault. The Association of Ice Derby took responsibility for all of that, and I would appreciate it if you left me and Humphrey's alone for the night. It seems like you've had a little bit too much to drink and It'd be shame if things had to get a little a little rough here.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] You hear that boys?
Nick: And he turns to the right and only sees one boy and then keeps turning to the right and spins 270 degrees to realize that's where his other lackey was standing before turning back around.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] You hear that?
Penn: Marathon is getting, her body is starting to tense up. When you see somebody that looks like they're about to fight someone, but you don't realize it until after that tension is broken. That's the kind of stance Marathon is right now.
Nick: And Marathon you're starting to tense up, this guy hasn't noticed. He takes his poofy down jacket off. And you can see that the Cedar's jersey has Luna's number on it.
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] Luna was the best roller derby jammer in the sport - in the history of the sport, and you ended a legend for stupid bullshit, and you're a cheater, and you weren't even that good. And your radio show is crap. And me and the boys -
Penn (as Marathon): Sir.
Penn: And then she's gonna finish her a boulevardier real quick, set the glass down, and she's gonna take a step forward and just sock him in the face. Straight in the nose.
Nick: Go ahead and roll me a Brawl check at average difficulty.
Penn: So I've got four Brawl and four Brawn.
Nick: So it'll be four yellows and two purple. And I will give you a blue die because this guy is absolutely not expecting it. He should, but he doesn't.
Penn: Perfect. I have got one advantage, three successes and two triumphs.
Nick: So a triumph for these guys is enough to take one of them out. With that amount of damage, you're able to take all three of them out with this quick strike. Describe how you do this, how you removed them as a threat and go back to your quiet evening.
Penn: Marathon, as she jabs out very quickly, this main dude who was antagonizing her falls down immediately clutching his nose grunting a little bit as he's beginning to bleed there and in one fluid motion, she just brings her elbow up into this second guy and he just is knocked out cold and flops over one of Humphrey's tables. And then this third guy after those fluid motion, she's has her fists up to punch the third guy and we see the door to Humphrey's is swinging already like, not like a dust cloud cartoon, this guy has run away, but very similar.
Nick: So the door to Humphrey's is swinging and then you hear a loud slam as he runs face first into the next set of doors because he tried to go through both on the right side and one of those is locked, and then he is gone and into the night.
Penn: We still hear that guy who was drunkenly chastising her before groaning as he's holding his nose on the ground. Humphrey was definitely washing some glasses or bent over or something. And by the time Humphrey pops back up to see what has happened after a noise, Marathon’s already sitting back down with her empty glass in her hand.
Nick: And Humphrey steps up to his stool to look over the bar over your shoulder, looks down at the guy clutching at his face at the other one who is very unconscious and looks around the bar and says
Nick (as Humphrey): My what an unfortunate accident. Did anybody see what happened to these two kind gentlemen in my establishment?
Nick: And it's dead silent.
Penn (as Marathon): It's a shame when you don't know the floorboards here.
Nick (as Humphrey): Yeah, a real natural hazard, wouldn't you say?
Nick: And he looks to one of the tables and points to a very large guy with a beard and his flannel is straining at the buttons to keep his mass in and just points to that guy and points to the two people on the ground and then wiggles a still capped beer bottle at him. And the guy stands up with a grown and grabs these guys by the collar and starts to drag them out of the door.
Penn: Without looking back Marathon raises her glass and says
Penn (as Marathon): You better watch your step next time.
Nick: And as the man with the now broken nose is led to the door in a muffled and gurgling voice you hear him say
Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): [slightly slurred] Cedars rule!
Nick: And this is the scene that the Patina finds as they start to enter the bar recommended by Emma's new friend. The three of you try to walk in and have to step back as a very large man wearing a flannel tosses one man with a clearly broken nose and another man who's very unconscious and already has swelling on his face into a muddy and slightly snow dusted pile of trash in the alley. It's right across from the sign that's leaning up against the ground for Humphrey's. And he nods neutrally to the three of you and heads back in.
Kit (as Birdie): I like this place already.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, this is going to be so much better than the random people always wanting to have conversations.
Cameron (as Emma): You'd rather they just punch you?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, they're not going to bother you first. Probably. We already there's three of us like we, if we need to take a fight, we can, but they should leave us alone if we're just looking to have a conversation. Just, you know, don't start a fight on purpose.
Cameron (as Emma): I think that's normally good advice for going into a bar.
Kit (as Birdie): Probably.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Thunder Bay had bars like these all over the place, didn't it?
Cameron (as Emma): Uhh.
Sydney: Cassidy looks very innocent.
Cameron (as Emma): Not quite as divey but yes. Smaller city, so
Sydney (as Cassidy): It'll be fine. This is the kind of spot that I - well, maybe not since joining the Patina so much.
Sydney: Cassidy goes and holds the first door open, the one that she saw the guy go through, and then gives the arm of welcome to Birdie and Emma.
Kit: Birdie is so happy she walks in all smiles.
Nick: Roll me a fortune die, would you Birdie?
Cameron: We've got two white pips.
Nick: Great. So Birdie, you head in and immediately getting a feel for this place, hit the door opposite of the one Cassidy hung open. You feel really confident heading in. Do you kick the door open and announce yourself? Do you walk in quietly? What is your approach here?
Kit: I don't think she necessarily kicks the door open but she definitely is very confidently walking in. She's not walking in like she's a local of course, because she doesn't know but she hasn't been to like a divey bar in a while and I think it's just, she is eager to just see a fight at some point. She's hoping for it.
Nick: And you exude that energy. You see a lot of tired people, a lot of private people look up, see both the optimistic energy that you have and the willingness for violence either to partake in or witness and everybody looks up the guitar [string twang] stops mid chord and Birdie is giving off this aura and everybody just immediately looks back down to their drinks and the guitar starts back up again as Emma and Cassidy follow her into the bar.
Kit (as Birdie): Well.
Sydney: Cassidy does her own quick survey of the place just getting a feel for the kinds of people that are here.
Nick: You get the feeling like with dangerous wildlife or wild tech, it's a very much a you don't bother them they won't bother you sort of situation. And also amusingly, everyone seems slightly intimidated by Birdie. Just someone looking like her coming in like 'who wants to go?' and that is definitely set them off.
Sydney: Cassidy just nods to herself as a this is what I expected to find here.
Nick: And you see an open table. Birdie continues to lead the way. It's nestled well within the range of the blue neon lights, nowhere headache inducing and it's near enough to the bar that you can walk over grab a drink and sit back down at the table. There's four chairs, but they all appear to be at about the same shape. The table could really use some sugar packets under one leg but there are no sugar packets available in this bar. After a few minutes of pleasantries and heading to the bar, the three of you are seated at a table with drinks of your choice.
Cameron: Emma figured out which corner she needed to be sitting at to lean on to get it to become stable and has done so.
Sydney: Cassidy's beer is just staying in her hand. Cassidy's beer is dark and malty.
Kit (as Birdie): I think Birdie would have a gin and tonic - she likes to indulge. [laugh]
Nick: Yeah - it's as flat as you can get without it just being mineral water. Like there's four bubbles in it.
Cameron: Emma's got a vodka cranberry.
Penn: Marathon is an opposite end of the bar as some of the regulars, she has her own little spot away from everyone.
Nick: And the Patina you have drinks. It's quiet here. There is the buzz of neon lights and the buzz of a single blues guitar, doesn't look like anyone's going to interrupt and it's time to plan.
Sydney: Cassidy finishes her beer and gets a second one before doing anything useful.
Cameron: When Cassidy comes back to the table, sits down, and takes her first sip of the new beer. Emma says
Cameron (as Emma): You good to talk now?
Sydney (as Cassidy): [long sigh] I guess.
Cameron (as Emma): Cause we kind of need a plan.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we yeah, we need. I mean ohhh how's the money looking?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh we're doing all right. We've got liquid funds. We've got the squares that Birdie's got, as well as a smattering of random currencies, and then we still got the fancy pistol.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, our uh Modem delivery payment kind of covered the money that we would have needed for that. So
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): There was never a pressure to move it.
Cameron (as Emma): No but we could now -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): - since we're not using it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): Just polishing it occasionally.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, it's useful to have something sitting around, but I don't know, because we kind of got dumped out of Eagle Hill, and then made our way up here. Like we've been maybe breaking even. But I don't know, I probably we want some kind of a real job. We're in a city.
Sydney: And Cassidy gestures expansively.
Cameron (as Emma): So I guess there's an important question in this,
Cameron: Emma rotates to where she's fully facing Birdie.
Cameron (as Emma): Birdie, what are your plans now that we've gotten here?
Sydney: Cassidy also rotates in her chair to look at Birdie with one foot tucked up underneath her.
Kit: Birdie has been sipping her drink in that very polite way, where she doesn't want to say that she doesn't like it because it's a drink, and she'll take it, but the tonic is just flat. And she's just been chipping away at it since the conversation started. But she just puts it down and sighs and says,
Kit (as Birdie): I don't have any other plans than to keep going with with you. I mean, if you want to drop me off, if you no longer, you know, need me, I suppose. I enjoy being around you, I guess. So I I it's not like a statement I'm just saying, I I I - You guys are my friends and I want to help you guys. So I would love to help you find another job and keep traveling with you as long as you'll have me. I also stole Wyatt's knife, so I would kind of feel bad if I like dipped as soon as you know, we
Cameron (as Emma): So he did - he was gonna gift it to you anyway.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I feel like I made the commitment stealing it though.
Cameron (as Emma): Yep.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] Yeah, I think it at this point, it probably would be good to have you around if you're willing to stick around.
Kit (as Birdie): Ah, shucks. I would be.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So that's three. We've got enough to make a crew. As Wyatt said is we've we only need two and we've got three, so we can take a mercenary job. We need food and [laugh] a job.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But we don't have to stick purely to tree cutting and you know, fixing people's tires or whatever Eagle Hill we were doing because we actually, [sigh] Emma, you know you're doing now.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I'll still fix tires if tires are broken.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure.
Cameron (as Emma): We just may also then go after the people who broke the tire.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn: Marathon has been looking forward not moving, but her eyes are on your guys's table, because you guys were new at first, but also because there's nothing else to do besides listen to your conversation. And she hops down and this just bruntley she's like
Penn (as Marathon): So y'all are mercenaries?
Cameron: Emma rotates away from Birdie and looks up at Marathon. Looks way up at Marathon if Marathon is standing and we're sitting.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes.
Sydney: Cassidy has half of a smirk on her face as she looks up and down and back at Marathon.
Penn: [laughing] I think she winks back.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes, we're mercenaries.
Penn (as Marathon): Well uh, I hate to - you know, I don't hate it. I was eavesdropping and uh I was just wondering if you could help me out with something out of town.
Cameron (as Emma): What exactly?
Penn (as Marathon): Well, I heard- I heard this message over the airwaves recently that I am trying to follow and I'm having trouble. The problem is I don't even know where it goes. But I do have a recording and well, if y'all were willing to help me out, just checking out out of town maybe following up on the signal I would be very thankful and have three Tree All squares in it for you, so... sorry, did I say three? Uh I meant two and a half Tree All squares. Uh.
Sydney: Cassidy's just looking with her eyebrows raised at this quite tall person that's still just standing in front of them.
Cameron (as Emma): So two and a half Tree All squares and you don't know where we'd be going?
Penn (as Marathon): Yep. And that's my final offer.
Kit (as Birdie): You said three first.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Generally, you're supposed to haggle the other way.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, well, I meant two and a half.
Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.
Penn (as Marathon): Y'all have any sort of experience with wild tech or anything?
Cameron (as Emma): [laugh] Yes.
Kit (as Birdie): Well -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, then great. That's perfect. You know, you know just what to do. It's just a mysterious tech thingy out there and you just got to find it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): With no direction.
Kit (as Birdie): I think we should be paid extra for not having any sort of information. We're kind of going in blind here.
Penn (as Marathon): Know what you're right. You're right. You're right. That's two squares for you uh in the mix.
Kit (as Birdie): You know, you keep lowering the price, I think that you're really doing this wrong. I think three is a fair price.
Penn (as Marathon): You think three is a fair price. It's quite a bit of Tree All squares.
Sydney: Cassidy looks at Birdie.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Do you think three is a fair price?
Kit (as Birdie): I mean, you could go higher but right now apparently we're working with two.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Three is better than two.
Kit (as Birdie): Much better. And if you keep lowering the price knowing you're gonna send us in blind, this is our insurance.
Penn (as Marathon): Now that's definitely fair. How's one and a half squares -
Kit (as Birdie): You know...
Penn (as Marathon): - to go out and hunt down this noise?
Kit (as Birdie): What's your name?
Penn (as Marathon): My name?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): That doesn't matter. What's what's y'all's name?
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, that's going to be at least three.
Cameron (as Emma): No, no, no, you first.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh - Are you - your voice?
Penn (as Marathon): Nope, not not my voice. Nope.
Kit (as Birdie): It's sounding like three.
Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well~
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): See, the thing is, we listen to a lot of radio and we've been driving into Tree All Mountain for a couple of weeks.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, that's that's really cool. That's mighty fine of you. That's very, very interesting. I have no idea what that could do with me. Anyway, that's one one Tree All square to go out and find the noise.
Kit (as Birdie): You know what? Cassidy's right. You do sound so familiar.
Cameron: Emma has leaned back in her chair. The table is now crooked again because she forgot.
Penn: [laughing] The gin and tonic slides off the table.
Kit: Birdie grabs it.
Nick: Was Marathon leaning on the table and when Emma lets go of the table she jolts a little bit?
Penn: I think so. Marathon is definitely uncollected now.
Cameron: Emma just leans back, crosses her arms across her chest and just watches Birdie and Cassidy have fun with this.
Kit (as Birdie): You know, I was gonna say Cassidy, since we aren't being given a name or any sort of information. I'd say one plus the extra insurance of we aren't being sent to do something really weird or get us killed. I think two squares.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, if only we could put a monetary value -
Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): - on the amount of extra willingness we might need.
Kit (as Birdie): It's sounding like almost two and a half squares now, just for that.
Penn (as Marathon): Now. Now. Now, obviously, my negotiation tactics need a little work. I'm having a little trouble, you know, this is spiraling a little bit out of control. I just want to say I'm willing to move back up to two and a half Tree All squares.
Sydney: Cassidy just sucks on her beer.
Penn (as Marathon): And you know what? I'll throw in a round of drinks for y'all. How about that?
Kit: Birdie looks at Cassidy.
Sydney: Cassidy puts down her empty beer on the floor next to her because the table is so crooked. She tucks it under her chair and then just looks back at Birdie.
Penn (as Marathon): Uh you know, I could um, I could I if I was you know really stretching it, I could - I could find a way to make it to three Tree All squares, I guess. Maybe but um
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, you're the host from Going the Distance!
Penn (as Marathon): No- what?
Cameron (as Emma): [sounding elated] That's what it is.
Penn: [laugh] Marathon's eyes go wide and forgets that the table is rickety again, and as she's pulling off of it trips backwards a little bit.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh um um. You caught me. Uh, eh well, no, actually, um uh that's a diff- a different Marathon Messenger. Uh that is not me. Um anyway uh um.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon Messenger you say?
Penn (as Marathon): Wait - oh.
Cameron: Emma is now smiling,
Penn (as Marathon): Shoot.
Cameron: and has leaned back forward on the table and got her arms crossed on the table now.
Penn (as Marathon): Um uh hows hows hows three Tree All squares to um, go investigate the noise? Yeah? Uh it's a good offer. Three Tree All squares. That's pretty pretty lot of money. Yep.
Cameron (as Emma): Marathon - would you like to sit down?
Penn (as Marathon): [sounding defeated] Okay.
Cameron (as Emma): You can keep standing too. That's fine. No pressure.
Penn (as Marathon): Nope, I'll sit. I'll sit. Humphrey! I'm gonna get around a Fernet Branca for for these fine folks over here.
Nick: Humphrey nods to you Marathon, ignores your order, and as you slip into the last of the four chairs around this table, he brings a tray and slides out four old fashions as you begin to discuss the details of the job.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Penn (as Marathon): Welcome back to MTR 1153, that was just the end of today’s broadcast and we’ll be right back to the music after this little break. The particulars of the subsequent can be found in the show notes.
This has been A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual play podcast using the Genesys game system from Fantasy Flight Games. The show is edited by Sydney Whittington, and features the talents of:
Kit Adames as Birdie. Kit can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ venusvultures. Kit is also a voice actor for Elevator Pitch Podcast, a queer genre-hopping anthology podcast that can be accessed on Spotify and YouTube.
Penn Van Batavia as Marathon. She can be found on Twitter @ acquiredchaste. Penn is an indie TTRPG designer whose most recent work includes Wasmannian, a prompt game about gender and wasps. Check out faer other work at pennharper.itch.io.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt. She’s also a contributing editor for the Orpheus Protocol, a cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast..
Cameron Robertson as Emma. Cameron can be found on Twitter @ midnightmusic13 and on Instagram @ reading_and_dreaming. Cameron is also a player on Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars Edge of the Empire actual play podcast.
And Nick Robertson as narrator. Nick can be found on Twitter @ alias58. Nick is also the GM for Tabletop Squadron, which you can support @ Patreon.com/TabletopSquadron. Nick can also be found as a player on the Orpheus Protocol.
This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at facebook.com/doraviolett. You can find Arne at atptunes.com.
The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @ rashedjrs.
You can follow the Patina on Twitter @ akosap_podcast or visit the website: www.akosap.com. To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at www.patreon.com/AKoSaP, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
Until next time…