The Patina arrives in Iota and takes two very different approaches to reconnaissance.
The Patina arrives in Iota and takes two very different approaches to reconnaissance.
- 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, which you can support at patreon.com/ElevatorPitchp.
- 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.
- Motorcycle ride by roman_cgr. Link & License.
- Clank 002.wav by yottasounds. Link & License.
- Desert Ghost Town (ID 1179) by Lobo Loco. Link & License.
- The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @rashedjrs.
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A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript
Season 2 Episode 11: Non-Threatening Mercenaries
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:
We won Best Ensemble Character Art (for an Actual Play Podcast or Livestream) at New Jersey Webfest! Rashed is the best, and if you haven’t already, make a trip to our website (akosap.com) and check out our individual character portraits for every member of the Patina, past and present.
Also, while you’re there, consider checking out the link to our Patreon! Backing our Patreon gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, and gives us on the crew warm, fuzzy feelings.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 11: Non-Threatening Mercenaries. 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]
Alli (as Renn): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we managed to hail ourselves quite an interesting band of mercenaries. What they had in the back of their truck I - I've never seen anything like that. I'd be lying if I said it didn't get my inventive fire going. So I'm trying to work on some stuff, fix up Servo - Servo loves meeting new people. He's so friendly, aren't you boy? Oh, that bolts still in your neck - I'll fix it up for ya. I'll get it right back where it needs to go. Where's my wrench? [yelling] Hey, Phera!
Doug (as Ciphera): [far away] I'm I'm doing my - yeah what?
Alli (as Renn): [yelling] Have you seen my wrench?
Doug (as Ciphera): [far away] Did you check the toolbox?
Alli (as Renn): [yelling] Well, yeah, it's not there.
Doug (as Ciphera): [far away] Did you check the ground next to the bench?
Alli (as Renn): [yelling] It was under the batch. Sorry! [normal volume] I think I'd lose my head if Phera wasn't around to keep track of it for me sometimes. I really hope they do well in Iota. Lot of people there that we care for and last time we didn't leave them in a very good position, but we had to find help and I think we found it.
Nick: We open on the Patina parked in the woods behind a low rise. The rest of the drive after your meeting with Renn and Ciphera was quiet and you realized you were not as far as you would have expected from this besieged town of Iota, that indirectly you were requested by Susan to rescue. You've parked beyond range of detection by any potential roving patrols. You all exit the rig and do the short hike up the rise to get your first view of the town of Iota. It's not particularly big. What stands out more than anything else is the large fortress that towers above the small village. The walls are made of some sort of prefabricated concrete and a large steel gate is firmly closed. You can see in the town that life appears to be going on mostly as normal. You see people walking around, even at this distance. I'd love for everybody to add a fact about the town of Iota from what you all see as you observe.
Cameron: Configuration wise, the town is a lowercase i, with the fortress being the dot.
Nick: Yeah, the buildings of the town, most of them appear to be homes. There are some farms that scatter the fields around this area. You realize that while you're on a wooded hill now, you're more than a mile away and there are no trees any closer from the far side of this hill down. There isn't a way to approach the town under cover, whether it was cleared that way, or it's a trick of the landscape, you wouldn't know. But the homes and some smaller specialized buildings line a gravel road that winds its way up the small hill and eventually leads its way to the Advantia fortress.
Kit: We've established that the people occupying this place have done raids on it multiple times, correct?
Nick: Yeah, they raided it for a while and then they kind of took it over two weeks ago, two and a half...
Kit: So with the raids that had happened a few weeks ago, there are still repairs being done to a lot of the farms and the homes in the area. And so I think that during the raids, there was a lot of commotion and a lot of the farm animals might have gotten loose and so while the fences are still being put back up, there are just a lot of farm animals roaming around this town.
Nick: For sure. We get a camera view of the four of you laying prone at the crown of this hill to make sure you're not silhouetted even in the trees and we see Emma laying there and Birdie observing and Marathon getting a good view and Cassidy looking through her spyglass at the town beneath and a goat standing next to Cassidy calmly chewing its cud.
Nick (as Goat): [goat bleat]
Kit (as Birdie): Can we keep him?
Penn: Does Cassidy still have flowers in her hair?
Nick: Yeah, the goat is nosing its way towards Cassidy's hairdo slowly.
Penn (as Marathon): [laughing] Cassidy look out.
Penn: [laughing] Marathon's gonna - since they're all on their belly I assume - rollover Cassidy and push this goat out of the way.
Nick (as Goat): [angry goat bleat]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [slightly squished sounding] Marathon!
Penn (as Marathon): [grunting] Ugh. Ow.
Nick: The goat gives a jump and kicks with its rear legs in the air, narrowly missing Marathon, skitters a few feet away behind the tree and then looks back around and bleats angrily at the women who have harassed it.
Kit (as Birdie): [saddened by loss of new friend] He just wanted to be our friend.
Penn (as Marathon): I-I -
Nick (as Goat): [angry goat bleat]
Penn: Marathon looks sheepishly at Cassidy.
Penn (as Marathon): Ah, it was trying to eat your flowers.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, thanks, I guess and also oof.
Penn: She gives an awkward smile.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah Marathon, let's try not to injure ourselves and our party members. Okay?
Penn (as Marathon): Can do.
Cameron (as Emma): Can you?
Penn: With a little salute.
Kit (as Birdie): You gotta have faith.
Cameron: Emma looks disbelieving.
Sydney: Cassidy raises her eyebrows and then goes back to looking through spyglass at the town.
Nick: What does Cassidy observe?
Sydney: In the middle of the town, there's a small building with a bunch of solidly metal plated sides. Cassidy can see through her spyglass that on the top, it just says 'Assistance' and from the angle that they're sitting on their hill they can't see into the hut, but it looks - in comparison to all of the normal wood and stone buildings around, this metal technological focused hut looks much more like an outcropping of the Advantia presence in the area as opposed to the city. There's a well worn path where people would approach it with potentially business, but what business is hard to tell without being closer.
Nick: And Marathon having rescued Cassidy from this wayward livestock, turning your attention back to the town, what do you notice about it?
Penn: Without binoculars, it's tough to see anything, but what's really big and obvious on the edges of this i shape and town are not super tall, but pretty tall, they look like what maybe a radio signal tower might be, but they've got enough wires draping down from them and they've got no blinking lights. And it's just unfamiliar enough that it doesn't seem, to Marathon at least, that they look like radio towers, but there's some sort of mysterious cable-y steel tower. Six of them - three on each side of this i. Outside of the height, just the sheer amount of cables leading from the towers and just throughout the town is also very obvious from afar.
Nick: And as you all are observing, you actually do see that people are coming and going from this town, not a large population, but there are people on foot, a couple of people coming in from further afield with carts being pulled by donkeys. There is enough traffic in and out that you feel like you could get closer without raising too much suspicion. And it's time for you all to plan. Are you going to do reconnaissance? Are you going to charge right in? How do you plan to tackle the town of Iota?
Penn (as Marathon): Cassidy, Emma, what - and Birdie, what's your guys's plan?
Cameron (as Emma): I don't think we have one yet.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I think that's what we're doing right now.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah, we should probably - I mean, it looks reasonably open.
Kit (as Birdie): I don't think there's any harm.
Cameron (as Emma): Like there are people leaving and going in.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So we probably could go in and scope it out and see if what intel we got from our Advantia people,
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, they were so cool.
Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]
Sydney (as Cassidy): If that Intel was any was was accurate.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, you should always start at the bar if you want to know the town. So I say that's where we start.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Do we want to walk into the town as four?
Cameron (as Emma): I was about to say, I hate to be the one to suggest splitting up the group, but
Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't want people to be by themselves.
Kit (as Birdie): [overlapping with Emma] We can do two and two.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, so I was thinking two and two because Marathon also doesn't have a radio. So
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oof. True.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): Which, it seems kind of ironic to me that, I mean, and not -
Kit (as Birdie): You got your privileges taken away.
Penn (as Marathon): No, no, and definitely I don't feel like I deserve a radio.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Why didn't you just bring your radio tower with you, Marathon?
Cameron (as Emma): You could have come more prepared.
Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]
Penn (as Marathon): [semi false laugher] You're so funny. [sigh]
Kit (as Birdie): [giggles intensify]
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'm not saying I deserve a radio, I'm just saying I thought it was ironic. It was an observational humor moment.
Sydney (as Cassidy): There is a radio in the truck if you really want to have one.
Cameron (as Emma): [laugh] It's huge though.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, you wouldn't be able to leave the truck.
Penn (as Marathon): I'm not saying I need a radio, I'm just -
Cameron (as Emma): I am I am working on a radio, it's just -
Penn (as Marathon): [touched] Wait what? You are?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. I'm missing parts. I used all the parts that I had for Birdie's, so I have like a shell and some wires but I don't - I need pieces.
Penn (as Marathon): [touched aww] Oh, that's so sweet of you. Oh my gosh, Emma. Thank you. I mean, I know it's not completed or anything but that's that's like, wow, okay, cool. Um. Well, I feel placated in this whole situation.
Kit (as Birdie): I think we should split up two and two and try and visit as many places to get as much information as possible while being low key, obviously.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Mm. Low key.
Cameron (as Emma): I'd like to try and get a better look at the Advantia compound, since that's apparently where the baddies are holed up,
Kit (as Birdie): Mhmm.
Cameron (as Emma): to maybe see - I know that the Eagle Hill compound had scanners and stuff because that's how they found out about the Knight. So I would like to get the info on if things like that are present here before we take any heavy firepower in
Sydney (as Cassidy): That seems good and also means whoever goes over there maybe don't be sporting a bunch of tech.
Cameron (as Emma): Yes.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Marathon): Is there anything in the town here we could use to like - now I'm maybe jumping to conclusions here, but I am totally down to help out with your whole attack the tower situation and yeah, but um otherwise, you know, reconnaissance is cool, too. But is there any? Do we want to check if there's anything in the town to help us out with that? Or do I just want to scan the compound?
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean I think it would do us good to understand the dynamics at play.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): If there's any help to be found, or if there's any pitfalls to avoid stepping in, maybe literally.
Kit (as Birdie): I mean, Marathon is kind of right. It would be a good idea to maybe visit the bar.
Penn (as Marathon): He he he yeah, I can have good ideas sometimes.
Kit (as Birdie): As a treat.
Penn (as Marathon): Well, who wants to go to the bar?
Penn: Marathon excitedly rubs her hands together.
Penn (as Marathon): Cause that's where I'm willing to go. It sounds like Emma going to the tower, or not the tower, the compound.
Kit (as Birdie): I could go with Marathon and make sure that she doesn't hurt herself.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, one of us is going to need to. [laugh]
Penn (as Marathon): Classic Birdie Marathon energy right here.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, as long as you guys can stay low key, and there's not any more mysterious injuries that you show up with?
Kit (as Birdie): [with the attitude of a teenager telling you they definitely won't throw a party while you're out of town] Of course. We'll be fine.
Sydney: Cassidy looks skeptical.
Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] No, no worries about us. We're an excellent team. Our teamwork is very good.
Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]
Sydney (as Cassidy): All right, well...
Cameron (as Emma): Okay. Sure.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [long sigh] Sure.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. So Patina Classic and me and Birdie.
Nick: And so with objectives set you divide up and approach from different angles to not arouse suspicion by being a larger group. And we'll start with Birdie and Marathon as they approach the town. Do you approach on foot? Do you unpack the motorcycle from the side of the rig? How how are you entering this town?
Penn (as Marathon): Birdie do you know how to drive a motorcycle?
Kit (as Birdie): Yes, I do.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, well, uh just to prove that I am still cool just as cool as, you know Ciphera did our handshake but when we do the handshake is so cool, and just to prove that, you know, we're still cool bond, I trust you to drive the motorcycle with me on it.
Cameron: Does Marathon hurt herself getting the motorcycle down off of the truck? [laugh] Because Birdie can't do it. She's little.
Kit: Birdie helps.
Penn (as Marathon): I got it.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh a, a little to the left. My left, not your left.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay.
Kit (as Birdie): Sorry.
Penn (as Marathon): Yep, yep.
Penn: I don't think Marathon at this point is hurting herself. Every great exertion definitely hurts but I don't think it's necessarily making everything worse at this point.
Nick: So at this point, Cassidy and Emma have already set off into the woods, Marathon and Birdie stayed behind. You all are able to unhook the motorcycle and get it down. Marathon, I think you feel some strain in your injuries. It's not comfortable. Your strength isn't back entirely yet, but you don't reopen stitches or anything like that. And Birdie as you swing a leg over the motorcycle to start it, you realize that the keys are in the back of the truck.
Kit (as Birdie): [majorly disappointed] Oh~.
Nick: Which is unlocked. You could go get them.
Kit: Birdie will go and grab the keys in the backseat. It's a little funny because she tries to get them just by not even trying to step up into the truck and just padding around on the seat with her hand and then she does get the keys. It's a little embarrassing. It's fine.
Penn (as Marathon): Is there helmets in there?
Nick: As you are padding around, you do put your hand on to one of the two helmets that's tucked under the driver's seat where they're kept.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, why you need one?
Penn (as Marathon): Not that I don't trust you. It's just good motorcycle etiquette, isn't it? Right?
Kit (as Birdie): Sure.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, cool. [exhale of relief]
Kit: She grabs one helmet and the keys.
Nick: The last thing that we see is one helmet sitting forlornly on the bench seat in the back of the rig, and then the rev of a motor and Birdie, hair streaming behind her, Marathon clutching tight to her waist, helmet secured tightly, as the bright red motorcycle goes tearing down the hill and towards the town. You get to the outskirts of town, you can feel eyes on you as you putter down this main gravel road. The going is pretty smooth, the road is well maintained and the fields on the approach were also very smooth except for a herd of sheep that you scared on your way in that look like someone was trying to round them up, but were really scattered by the noise of the motorcycle. Everyone outside looks at you as you idle your way up the hill through the town of Iota. You see some people looking out of windows from their homes.
Most of the homes appear to be white stucco with split wood shingles, some of them have what looks like scrap metal roofs, and you see one larger building that appears to be a blacksmith. You see from a closer look further up the road, you haven't gotten there yet, but a large hut on the final approach up to the Advantia fort that looks like it has a sliding window that has been boarded up and a small robotic arm sticking off the side of it as well as metal siding. And you cut the engine to the stop outside of a kind of building that you both know instinctively is a small inn, but mostly a bar and restaurant for the town's folk. There is a hitching post out front with a single mule tied up to it haphazardly. There is a water trough that has a duck swimming in it and you can hear gentle noise from inside like there are some people there even though it's mid afternoon.
Kit: Birdie gets off of the motorcycle and pulls her goggles that she had originally pulled down in order to drive up back onto the top of her head and goes
Kit (as Birdie): Woo. Torquey. Um. Okay!
Penn (as Marathon): [terrified breathing]
Penn: Marathon is pulling off the helmet very slowly.
Penn (as Marathon): [rattled] Good work bestie.
Kit (as Birdie): [laugh] Did you name her Bessie?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh us? [garbled stammering] I was like um, bestie? Uh. Good work. Um that yeah, that's what I called the motorcycle. Sorry not to assume - No. Yes. Sorry.
Kit (as Birdie): No, we can be besties.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, cool. Yeah. Hey, good work bestie, that was excellent driving.
Kit (as Birdie): Thank you.
Penn (as Marathon): Yep.
Kit: She's gonna tie up the motorcycle to the hitching post as if it is an animal.
Nick: The mule pulls at its reins and wraps its teeth around one of the handlebars and gives it an exploratory chew, realizes that a motorcycle does not taste good, gives her harumph and goes back to staring at the wall in front of it.
Penn (as Marathon): [pumped up breathing] What's the game plan here, Birdie? How are we walking into this bar?
Kit (as Birdie): [speaking quietly] Um, okay, we gotta be casual about it. We have to make sure we don't seem like we have any ulterior motives, we're just stopping through and we notice 'hey, there's a big compound here! What's that about?' and I think the best way to make friendly with people is to let them complain about things.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Mm.
Kit (as Birdie): [speaking quietly] So ask them, how's your day been? Oh okay you seem like something's troubling you, what's going on? And then they start talking about things and then they'll give you secrets because they'll just keep talking about things because I have a feeling that these people don't really get to complain about their situations very often.
Penn (as Marathon): [speaking normal volume] Okay, okay, so that sounds like a good plan. Do you want to split up or do you and stay together in there?
Kit (as Birdie): [speaking quietly] Maybe depending on how many people there are, maybe if we just talk to different people while staying together because I don't want us to split up.
Penn (as Marathon): Sure.
Kit (as Birdie): Even -
Penn (as Marathon): [speaking normal volume] Okay, what's our cover story?
Kit (as Birdie): Uh~.
Nick (as Bartender): Hey uh... we can hear you.
Penn (as Marathon): What? Huh?
Nick: And you see that the door to this inn has been propped open to let a breeze in and it's dark, but you hear a voice coming from the shadows and the flickering lamp light inside this inn and you hear
Nick (as Bartender): We uh, do you want to come in and get a drink? We - I just, it was getting a little awkward. We could just hear your conversation.
Penn (as Marathon): [crank the awkwardness up to 11] Yeah, we're we're passing travelers uh, um,
Kit (as Birdie): Sorry.
Penn (as Marathon): and we're looking for a drink is what we're looking in a small town that's -
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Yes, we're looking for a drink.
Penn (as Marathon): Yep. Um, I was hoping uh, yeah.
Penn: Marathon walks in.
Nick: And Birdie as you shrug and follow, the two of you enter to see what looks like a bartender polishing a glass, a couple of farmers and seven people who are completely armed to the teeth and while no weapons are drawn, they're glaring at you angrily.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Well, hi!
Nick: And we're going to cut away from that. Emma and Cassidy, you are hiking through the woods. You have stayed out of sight of the town until you can find a good angle of approach. As you break the tree line and get a good look, you realize that a lot of the farmland you saw from your original angle of approach was grain and vegetables and grazing land for livestock, but back near the Advantia, the Advantia fortification and behind the fort down the hill, there are actually large fields that are mostly filled with mud and gravel. And you can see plants nestled into various parts of the mud. The fields are surrounded by low berms that allow them to be flooded with irrigation channels at certain times - it looks like you are able to walk that way not very many of the fields are currently flooded, but walking this direction or attacking from this direction would certainly be much more difficult. You could walk on the berms and be able to go but if you just sprinted out of the woods with a group of people with guns, it would not take much defense to mow you down either slowing you down by going through the fields from that side or the fact that you could only approach in straight lines on those little narrow berms one at a time. So walking from that direction, great. But it's sort of like a moat full of food.
Cameron: Whatever path we can take that keeps us non muddy, and also has us ending up as close to the wall of the fort as we can get without it looking like we're purposefully walking to look at the wall. That's what I want to do.
Nick: Yeah, as you break the treeline and you see these fields, you realize that you would be able to walk on these low dirt walls, probably single file, but it would keep you from wading through all this muck and plant growth. And none of them get right up next to the fortification, but if you were to say, pick a certain one, you could follow that to a field and work your way into town and it would not look that suspicious and would give you a pretty good look of the base of the walls and what the fortifications at the top might look like. You're not going to get enough altitude to be able to see over the walls from anywhere over here.
Cameron (as Emma): All right, so do you just want to like snake our way through the fields? I'd like to get as close to the wall as we can without looking suspicious.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I think that makes the most sense. I kind of don't like being that exposed, but it also we're just out for a stroll.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I don't know what we're doing. Do we need to have a cover story?
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I think we're just walking into town. I don't see why we couldn't just be mercenaries who were just coming through.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That's fair. Yeah, we're here for supplies in the same way mercenaries here for supplies and every other town.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. And I - that story at least explains why we're armed.
Sydney (as Cassidy): True
Cameron (as Emma): So... but yeah, we're non threatening mercenaries. It's fine.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I did leave my radio headset in the truck because I don't want to flag them on anything.
Cameron (as Emma): Smart.
Sydney: Cassidy scratches the side of her head where her headset is not.
Cameron (as Emma): All right, well, now you don't have a radio so now you have to stick with me. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I was gonna stick with you anyway.
Nick: So you mentioned you're armed. Cassidy do you have your bow or a rifle?
Sydney: Cassidy has her bow hanging from her harness.
Nick: And Emma did you bring your massive sword or your baseball bat?
Cameron: Massive sword.
Cameron: Just so that she can look super badass with it a scabbard across her back because that's the only way she can carry it because it's so long. It's in a thing on her back. It is not something that you can draw from this thing. This is like a backpack that carries it and you take it off to remove those sword from it.
Nick: So you all make your way into town. I need both of you to make me a Perception roll please to see what you notice. It'll be average difficulty but you will each have a black die to this check, because this is a fortified location that is designed to not give things away at a glance.
Sydney: Cassidy is rolling two yellows and a green against the two purples and a black.
Cameron: Emma's got a yellow, two greens and two purples and a black.
Sydney: Two successes.
Cameron: Just one success.
Nick: Okay. So I think you each notice something about the way this place is fortified or about the people who are inside. Either you can infer something, or there are people up at the top of the walls that you can see that would be useful to you.
Sydney: I would like to notice the type of armaments that they have and whether it's traditional bows or rifles, or the weirdness that we saw at the Advantia conclave outside Eagle Hill.
Nick: You can see a couple of people on the wall. They are wearing what looks like boiled leather armor and open faced motorcycle helmets - shaped plastic with steel rivets with straps under the chins, there's only two or three people that you can see and they lean over the wall to look at you all as you pass. They don't appear particularly suspicious or threatening to you. They're just noting the traffic going by. What you can see out of the three people that you note is that they appear pretty well armored with that leather armor, it wouldn't necessarily stop a bullet, but it would definitely stop a glancing blow from a blade or an arrow. And two of them are carrying what look like heavy crossbows. They're not currently cocked, but they do have the winches attached to the back. They look like they know how to use them as well from how they're holding them. And one person appears to be holding a bolt action rifle.
Sydney: How well staffed do the walls look relative to what they seem like? Like, is this a skeleton crew? Or is this a proper there's three people up there because they need three people?
Nick: The three people that you see are spread pretty far out on the wall, and you don't see them all at once, it's as you are passing. This is not the amount of people if you were setting a defense here or expecting an attack that you would put on the wall. So whether that's because they don't want to fully man the walls, or it's because they don't have enough people to you're not sure, but this is probably about a quarter of the density of wall guards that you would put if you were in charge. So that's what Cassidy notices. Emma, what would you like to see about the fortification or the people within?
Cameron: Emma is primarily looking at this huge gate that's there, because one of the really big things we're going to have to do is get into this place. So trying to see if she can figure out what type of mechanism controls opening and closing it, if she can identify where that would be like whether it's one of the ones that is anchored up at the top, or if it's one of the ones that has a room built with in the wall that controls the gate opening and closing.
Nick: This gate looks less like a gate and more like very large metal double doors actually. So it doesn't appear to rise up like a portcullis or anything like that. There's a seam in the middle and you can see hinges on the outside that would that would indicate that it swings outward when someone pushes on it from the inside. You don't see a mechanism that would do it, so you're not sure exactly how it does, but you would assume from your knowledge that it's probably just barred with a large beam on the inside. This doesn't look nearly as fancy as the setup in Eagle Hill. It looks pretty low tech.
As you were looking at the gate, another thing that you notice is that whoever was assaulting this fort, these bandits, it must have taken them a couple of tries as there is damage on the walls in various points. The surface near the doors is not smooth anymore. There are large chunks taken out of it. The only problem that you see from there is that the chunks appear to have been done with some form of catapult maybe? It's too big for bullets, but the gashes and craters in the walls are much too far apart for a person to try to climb.
Nick: And by that point, you all have used up the amount of time that you think you could inspect the fort without being suspicious and you continue down the hill and into town. And we'll cut back to Birdie and Marathon having entered the bar that appears to be full of what you can only assume are armed bandits.
Penn (as Marathon): [clears throat] Yeah. So uh, we're just here looking for a drink.
Nick (as Bartender): All right, well uh, don't just stand there in the doorway. Why don't you pull up a stool?
Nick: And the bartender gestures magnanimously to a couple of empty seats down the bar from the farmers. We see Birdie and Marathon walking across this bar floor - total silence.
Penn: The steps being very loud. [laugh]
Nick: The eyes of the bandits and the farmers track these two newcomers as they walk through. The bartender has a wide smile. He has thick black sideburns. His hair is combed back from his head in a well polished hairdo that shows that he spent some time on it. He is wearing a tank top and canvas pants with a small apron tied around his waist. And as he smiles at you broadly, you can see that his two front teeth are badly chipped. He looks friendly as he says
Nick (as Bartender): Well uh... welcome. This is the bar. It's the only one in town - we don't have a lot of creative names for it, but uh, good to have you here. What can I get for you?
Nick: And he looks completely unaware of the tension in the room.
Penn (as Marathon): Uh. Yeah, we'll take two
Penn: And Marathon looks at Birdie.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Waters.
Penn (as Marathon): Waters.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Waters. Thank you very much.
Kit: Birdie is going to turn around in her stool and look at the entire bar with the biggest smile on her face and she's gonna go,
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Well hi there everyone! How are you all doing?
Nick: Birdie as you say hello to everyone, one of the farmers grabs a weathered straw hat off of the bar, says very loudly
Nick (as Farmer): Oh, for the love of Croos.
Nick: Slams the hat on to his head and stomps out of the room as the bandits all laugh and go turn back to the table they're sitting at. They all have large mugs of beer and appear to be loudly giving each other a hard time. You're not sure what about, but they're probably trying to decide who's going to bother you. And the bartender says,
Nick (as Bartender): Ahh don't mind him. He's just not very friendly. His crop hasn't been coming in that well this year since last couple of weeks.
Penn (as Marathon): Uh so what's bad about living in this town?
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Well, that's -
Penn (as Marathon): [intense] Wait we - Birdie we have minutes.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] I think we have, we should have a lovely and slow conversation
Penn (as Marathon): Oh god.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] with our new friend here.
Penn (as Marathon): Dirt.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] I'm sorry, what's your name?
Nick: The other farmer has grabbed her hat and she says
Nick (as Other Farmer): Croos protect us.
Nick: And runs out of the room as well as you get another loud laughter from the armed people at the table.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Tough crowd.
Nick (as Bartender): Oh, well. My name - newcomers don't usually think to ask that. That's mighty kind of you.
Penn (as Marathon): [under breath] Oh, my god.
Nick (as Bartender): I'm Johnny, Johnny Sprocket.
Nick: And he makes a weird whistling clicking noise through his two front broken teeth. He seems friendly.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] What a delightful name. It is so nice to make your acquaintance.
Penn (as Marathon): [starting to sound panicked] So what's the deal with the bandits?
Penn: Marathon is looking back and forth between the bandits and this conversation very quickly. [laughing]
Nick: [laughing] His smile freezes on his face and his eyes jerk from you to them and back to you. And you see a bead of sweat roll down his temple.
Nick (as Bartender): Oh, well, they uh, just rolled into town and uh, they're here now and they're in charge and they mostly leave us alone. Not too bad of folks.
Nick: And as he says that there is another uproarious round of laughter from the bandits. Two women who are wearing formed leather armor covered in scars and spray paint, they have knives at their belt and large clubs leaning against their chair, look like they're about to get up.
Penn: Marathon is half sitting on the stool, but has now got her feet planted on the ground again.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Well, they certainly seem to find something funny. [awkward laugh]
Penn (as Marathon): [intense under breath] Yeah us. They're gonna cut off our, our heads Birdie, okay?
Kit (as Birdie): No they wont. Don't be - they just said - Johnny Sprocket just said they're very nice people.
Penn (as Marathon): Johnny Sprocket is sweating, obviously there is some sort of threat going on here.
Cameron: One of these bandits walks over very slowly, menacingly, towards Birdie and Marathon and heads to the bar right next to Birdie and leans in elbow against it with her body facing Birdie. She's very tall, so if Birdie is sitting there is still a major height difference here. She gives you a dazzling smile and leans in a little closer to you. She smells like leather and lavender and it's lovely.
Kit (as Birdie): Wow.
Cameron: And she says,
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Well, aren't you the sweetest little thing?
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh, well. Thank you so much. I see Marathon these people
Penn (as Marathon): [chanting under breath] Dirt. Dirt.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] -are so nice.
Penn (as Marathon): [chanting under breath] Dirt. [normal volume] Yep. Hey~!
Sydney: And on the other side of Marathon, [laughing] there's a slam of an empty mug into the counter.
Nick (as Bartender): [scared] Well, hey! Hey there Jolene. Uh easy there - I'll get your refill. [stammering] Just stay calm, okay? Just stay calm.
Sydney: And she gives him a look and then looks over to Marathon.
Penn: Who has turned wide eyed. What does Jolene smell like? [laughing]
Sydney: Jolene smells like roses and gunmetal. Jolene is average height. She's got red hair pulled back and pigtails and the most striking green eyes you've ever seen. She's got a delicate pendant hanging down on a chain around her neck. She looks very unamused.
Penn (as Marathon): Eh - Hi there. [clears throat] Jo-Jolene. [whispering and nervous] Birdie? Birdie can we, can we leave?
Sydney: She scowls.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] We're making friends. We can't leave now.
Penn (as Marathon): [awkwardness intensifies] Hi. Hi Jolene. [clears throat]
Kit (as Birdie): [clears throat] Um.
Sydney: She continues to scowl and then looks over at Elvira.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Now Jolene there's no need to scare them. That was a little loud.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh, I promise we're not that easy to scare. [flirty giggle]
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] So how long are you going to be in town, sweetie?
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh, we're just passing through, you know, we're just, [breath and pause] we're on vacation. [voice goes real high on vacation making it even more convincing]
Sydney: Jolene snorts.
Nick (as Bartender): Now, now now - Elvira, Jolene, if there's any fighting you do it outside.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh we're not gonna fight are we?
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] [voice filled with laughter] Why are we fighting Johnny?
Nick (as Bartender): I'm very uncomfortable.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] It's such a shame that you're just passing through.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] I know I wish we were staying longer and maybe I'd get to to know you a little bit better, El-Elvira.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Well that'd be mighty nice.
Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]
Penn (as Marathon): [most awkward to ever awkward] So um, since we're uh, vacationing here, do you recommend any sites or activities, Jolene?
Sydney (as Jolene): [country western accent] I'd recommend leaving.
Penn (as Marathon): [said on a shuddering breath] Yep well.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Well, you found the bar. The bar is really 'the spot' in town.
Penn (as Marathon): [not at all smooth] So what's with the big compound up there? Is that - what's the deal with the compound?
Nick: So I need Birdie and Marathon to roll me Charm checks at average difficulty.
Penn: Okay. Can I make it worse for myself?
Nick: Yeah, absolutely you can. Upgrade the difficulty because you're trying to charm Jolene?
Penn: I think so. I'm just gonna throw in an extra purple dice, you know?
Nick: Yeah, that sounds good. It's hard for you, average for Birdie.
Penn: Due to our dance partners, I guess.
Kit: So I've got two yellows, one green and two purples then.
Penn: I just rolled two yellows and a green and three purples and I got a success and an advantage still.
Kit: One success, four advantages.
Nick: Okay. So between the two of you with your advantages, this is not going to end in a fight, so that's good. With your successes, you are both able to get some information out of the bandits that is helpful to you. Information you would be proud to relay to the rest of the team when you meet back up with them. We skip ahead to 20 minutes further into the conversation. Johnny Sprocket is further down the bar attempting to look busy. Where do we see Marathon and Birdie? What are they up to?
Penn: Marathon and Jolene both have seven empty shot glasses in front of them. Marathon is clumsily filling up another and it looks like they're in some sort of form of drinking contest and she's like,
Penn (as Marathon): [drunk] Yeah and then we touched hands while looking at maps, so I think things are going pretty good.
Sydney (as Jolene): [country western accent] She sounds great for you.
Penn (as Marathon): [drunk] Oh thanks. I - you know Jolene you're, you're a lot cooler than I then I then scary that I thought at first so, one more! Yeah. I'll get you.
Sydney: Jolene gestures over for another round. It's on her tab.
Nick: Johnny hurries across the bar with a clear glass bottle full of some sort of clear spirit, there's no labels on it, and pours a couple more shots and shrugs and just leaves the bottle next to the two of you and retreats back to the safer spot of the bar. Where's Birdie and Elvira?
Kit: By this point Birdie is sitting on top of the bar to be more eye level with Elvira [laughing] and she's touching her bicep. And is like,
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Well, I think that I could convince um, my dear friend over there to extend our vacation a little bit.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Well that'd be mighty fine if you could. You know, I know I just - I said the bar was the spot earlier, but you know, there's some lovely gardens in the compound that we could walk through, like we can find things to do.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] I would love to see the gardens inside the compound. That's, why I'd feel so special.
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] Well.
Kit (as Birdie): [giggle]
Cameron (as Elvira): [country western accent] I feel like this goes without saying but, obviously you are.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh, thank you, sweet pea.
Penn (as Marathon): This is so gross to watch.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] [commanding] Hush Marathon.
Sydney (as Jolene): [country western accent] She's like that for every woman.
Penn (as Marathon): I was gonna ask.
Nick: And we skip ahead to the next morning and how do Birdie and Marathon make their way back to camp?
Penn: As Birdie is coming downstairs from I assume the inn part of this building situation, Marathon wakes up from the drinking table with a dozen shot glasses in front of her and has drooled on the table and is like
Penn (as Marathon): Whu-
Penn: And Jolene is across from her also passed out on the table. That's the scene I imagine that Birdie is coming down to maybe glowing compared to Marathon being very drooly and hungover and puffy.
Kit: Birdie looks a little too pleased with herself and she just walks over to Marathon is like
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] [whispering] Okay, let's go. We gotta get back. Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): [small groan]
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] You got it?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh okay.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] You okay?
Penn (as Marathon): Yup. [yelling] Thanks Jolene!
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] [whispering] Oh no [trails off into mumbles]
Penn (as Marathon): [groan] Let me get my helmet on. Where'd I put it?
Nick: As you're looking around for your helmet, Birdie leads Marathon outside and you see that the helmet is strapped on to the mule next to the motorcycle that appears to have been left there all night. It is still chewing on some hay or grass or something in looks totally nonplussed.
Penn (as Marathon): I'm not wearing that.
Kit (as Birdie): [country western accent] Oh, don't -
Penn (as Marathon): but I can't leave it there.
Kit (as Birdie): I don't know why I'm still doing the voice - Don't be a baby. Come here.
Penn (as Marathon): [drunk sleepy groan]
Kit: She puts the helmet on to Marathon and buckles it underneath her chin.
Penn (as Marathon): [like a child who doesn't want to put on a coat over their Halloween costume] Nope. No. Stop.
Penn: [laughing] Marathon weakly tries to push the helmet off as it goes on.
Kit (as Birdie): You were the one that wanted to be safe.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, well [mumbling] Dirt.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay. Come on. If you fall off you'll thank me later for the helmet.
Penn (as Marathon): Wait you're driving? [slight panic] Oh, okay.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay, come on.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, ugh.
Kit (as Birdie): Yep.
Penn: Marathon holds on tight, pukes over the side of the motorcycle.
Kit (as Birdie): Ew~!
Nick: We jump to Emma and Cassidy. They spent the night in the camp as was the plan. You all knew that the info gathering had taken a little bit longer than originally planned for Marathon and Birdie, but are expecting them this morning as you hear the roar of the cherry red motorcycle and into camp rides Birdie looking very pleased with herself and Marathon looking extremely nauseous. Seeing that the Patina is now once again assembled, Cassidy and Emma you look down to where you have been drawing out diagrams and a plan of attack and now that you are all in the same place, you're able to finalize your plan of attack and capitalize on the intelligence you've gathered.
[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…