The Patina knocks out a few last minute tasks and has some tough conversations before the tournament.
The Patina knocks out a few last minute tasks and has some tough conversations before the tournament.
- As a moment of cross-podcast pollination, Sydney is currently making a guest appearance in a reasonably self-contained arc on the Orpheus Protocol. That’s the same cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast that Nick is a main cast member for! If you’re interested, check out the episode where Sydney shows up here: Orpheus Protocol.
- 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.
- natural area - central european - upland forest [4CH surround sound] » campfire in the woods front by craftcrest.Link & License.
- Memories in Love (ID 1144) by Lobo Loco. Link & License.
- Dusty by Crowander. Link & License.
- Dancing Sparrows B (ID 610) 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.
Find Us Online:
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A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript
Season 2 Episode 5: Real Honest Words
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:
Thanks for being a listener of the show! You’re the best, and two thumbs up to you. As a moment of cross-podcast pollination, I am currently making a guest appearance in a reasonably self-contained arc on the Orpheus Protocol. That’s the same cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast that Nick is a main cast member for! I’m playing an ex-biker gang lieutenant turned blue collar cleanup worker, just hoping to have a normal life, and definitely not subject to any of the terrible things that the genre would imply. (Note, however, I cannot guarantee this.) If you’re interested, the link can be found in the show notes.
Also found in the show notes: our Patreon, where we have bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, if you want to further support the show.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 5: Real Honest Words. 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]
Cameron (as Emma): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, Marathon taught us all what hype means, cause we’re apparently going to be participating in a fist fight tournament thing? So, Marathon also gave me some tips on how to do that effectively, which I’m sure that’ll be a blast, and while she was showing me how to not terribly injure myself, I figured out I think she likes Cassidy?
Nick: We open with an aerial view of a merchant's caravan. Tents have been set out away from the road, guards leisurely watch the darkness to ensure that everyone is safe. There are colorful lights, sporadic music. Even from this aerial view, we can see people walking in tight groups enjoying the atmosphere and the celebration of nearing a city and being safe. We swoop into this camp and come across two figures closer to the outskirts walking quickly arm in arm away from their own campfire. Emma and Birdie have left the campfire with Marathon and Cassidy behind under the pretense of going shopping.
Kit (as Birdie): So, can I ask - what happened before Cassidy and I walked up?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes. So we've been training for a while and eventually reached the point where we were pretty sure that I was just going to pass out exhausted if we kept going, so we stopped. But while she was teaching me and showing me how to not immediately get punched in the face and knocked out, Marathon was asking a lot of questions about Cassidy.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh.
Cameron (as Emma): And it took me a little bit, but I am fairly certain that Marathon is interested in Cassidy.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh~!
Cameron (as Emma): In a romantic way. And I know earlier tonight, Cassidy commented how pretty Marathon was, so having them talk just seemed like the best option.
Kit (as Birdie): No, I definitely agree. I think that this was perfect. This is an amazing plan, actually.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. And now we get to go shopping, so
Kit (as Birdie): And we get the long end of the stick? I don't quite know what to call it the long end of the stick, because that would imply that I'm not planning on their conversation going well.
Nick: As you're having this conversation walking back into the merchant camp, you are starting to see people walking around, you have to step out of the way a couple of times as some drunk people stumble past or stop to watch somebody displaying their wares. And you find yourself in an area where there are several stalls set up selling things. You see a stall that is selling assorted jerkies. You also see another tent that's set up that has the equipment for tattooing, but you see the woman who's clearly in charge sitting in her own tattoo chair flipping through a book and a couple of assistants walking around, they appear to not have any customers right now. And further back, there appears to be a wagon that has had the tailgate pulled down and some steps folded down and appears to have assorted hardware and weapons.
Cameron (as Emma): All right, Birdie - I know, I'm looking for armor. Are you looking for anything?
Kit (as Birdie): I can't think of anything that I really need. Maybe I'll get some jerky for Cassidy and I because we're going to be sitting in the stands while you guys are fighting.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh yeah, that's a good idea. Snacks are very important.
Kit (as Birdie): Also, protein for you guys after you finish fighting.
Nick: So the two of you head forward into this stand where there appear to be assorted dried meats and travel rations. A lot of it is pretty basic pre-manufactured from some of the seven cities that have large food production capabilities, but there do appear to be more interesting things on sale as well. Surprising snacks one might say.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Some beaver tail here! I have a little bit of beaver tail if anybody's interested. Chocolate dipped, fire roasted, salt spittooned. I have dried, hormone injected. I have some made with the latest wild tech innovations on the farm. I also have organic beaver tail for those out there. Vegan beaver tail if you're interested.
Kit: Birdie is going to very cautiously approach - after hearing so many different ways to cook beaver tail she can't help but be very interested.
Kit (as Birdie): Hi, so can I ask you a question?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Yes uh you - Why don't - you have a question about my beaver tail?
Penn: This person has very heavy pommade-y slicked back, dark hair and deep sunken eyes and there's a candle light that is illuminating these beaver tails and stuff at night that makes their face look very unfilled with flesh and skin.
Kit (as Birdie): So my question is, I guess I have two questions. What's the difference between organic beaver tail and inorganic beaver tail?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Organic beaver tail, just it tastes a little better, you know, it's made with a little bit of the organs. I use some of the intestines, some of the heart, some of the liver. Organ-ic. Organic beaver tail.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Regular beaver tail doesn't have all these extra things. So I think if you're looking for something that tastes a bit better, a little more higher scale, you want some of this organic beaver tail.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh...
Cameron (as Emma): Is this just jerky shaped like beaver tails?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] I do have beaver tail jerky if you're interested in this one at all.
Penn: And he slides another rack from the back that's all jerky pushed into the shapes and put with a little crosses of a beaver tail.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] I have all of the jerky flavors in the beaver tail shape if you're interested in that as well.
Kit (as Birdie): Um.
Nick: Birdie gets this look of panic as she realizes she's engaged but is no longer interested and can't leave without buying something.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] You seem like someone who likes chocolate banana fried beaver tail?
Kit (as Birdie): That sounds like a lot of conflicting flavors to go with beaver tail. Ah~
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] [short laugh] I hear it tastes great. Just like chicken.
Kit (as Birdie): Have you ever tried it?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Why of course. I try all of my products.
Cameron (as Emma): Wait chocolate banana and beaver tail tastes like chicken when you put them together. That cannot be right.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Well, I I do not make the palette. The palette is made by the beaver tail.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, I'm gonna need some of the chocolate banana beaver tail.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Mmm.
Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy loves weird flavored stuff.
Cameron: Emma says as an aside to Birdie.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, do you have regular jerky?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Of course. I have salted spittoon jerky, I have grilled jerky, I have organ-ic jerky. Basically the same types - oh, you wanted regular?
Kit (as Birdie): Just not not beaver tail?
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Yeah, of course.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Yes, sure.
Penn: And he dips under the stall real quick. And is like,
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Shoot, shoot.
Penn: And make some noise and pulls up and slams on the table.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Okay, and there is some regular jerky.
Nick: It's suspiciously beaver tail shaped.
Kit (as Birdie): Hmm.
Kit: Birdie is just at this point, rather off put by this whole interaction so she's just going to have some regular quote unquote jerky. So she just sort of steals her nerves and is like,
Kit (as Birdie): Okay, I'll just take some of some of that. Sure.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] Mm. And be sure to tell all your friends about Pepop's Jerky.
Kit (as Birdie): Pepop's Jerky. Yep. I'll remember it forever.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): [stereotypical vampire accent] As you should. Another satisfied customer. Oh, and here's a bag for your chocolate banana deep fried beaver tail.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you very much.
Nick: The shopkeeper slides the treat into a paper bag and it is almost immediately translucent with grease.
Nick: It is still hot. Which is surprising because there do not appear to be any fryers in this tent. You're not really sure where it was cooked, but it was done very recently. And Emma and Birdie toss some loose change basically over to the shopkeeper and back slowly out of the tent. And so we cut away from Emma and Birdie having just procured some snacks for the fight and after the fight and back to the campfire where Cassidy and Marathon are sitting.
Penn (as Marathon): So Cassidy, I do want to thank you again for helping me set up my tent and such.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Sure.
Penn (as Marathon): Um. Yeah, I got Emma all souped up, trained up, hyped up for our big uh fight adventure coming up here.
Sydney: Cassidy is sitting not on the immediately closest stump, she's sitting one over just kind of looking at it Marathon.
Penn: Marathon has avoided eye contact with Cassidy so far.
Penn (as Marathon): [speaking quickly due to nerves] But yeah, so if there's anything else, you know, you want me to, I don't know if there's anything you want me to cover in specific with Emma or maybe we could do something give Birdie crash course or something? Or maybe maybe I could show you a few things if you want to - obviously not if you don't want to but I was you know what, so - how - how was shopping with Birdie?
Sydney: Cassidy waits for Marathon to look over.
Penn: Yeah, Marathon finally makes eye contact after that.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It was good. We got tattoos, fresh ones.
Penn (as Marathon): Where is your tattoo?
Sydney: And Cassidy rolls down the top of her jacket to show off on her, the back of her shoulder, this fresh flower that matches the one in her hair, and is probably quite familiar to Marathon because it's one of the flowers that's pretty common around here.
Penn (as Marathon): Wow, that's that's pretty cool. Dang, I - that's pretty fresh, but there's a lot of other flowers, what what are the other, what are the other flowers for?
Sydney (as Cassidy): They mark places I've been.
Penn (as Marathon): Wow, cool. You've been a lot of places.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes. [laugh]
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. That's very cool. Um. Well, very cool tattoo. Did uh Birdie get anything out there?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, Birdie got one, too.
Penn (as Marathon): Same flower?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Nope. She got a symbolic one.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Well, looks very cool. And uh yeah. I love the idea. The sentiments very rad. Is there - say Cassidy, is there anything I can do to um, you know, kind of like, I don't know, ease things between us? I feel like there's maybe a little bit of tension or something.
Sydney: Cassidy is sitting with the halfway smile of basically I know you're uncomfortable and I'm not willing to do anything to fix it at this point and she's just watching Marathon flounder.
Penn (as Marathon): If there's not, you know, that I would... So, Cassidy -
Sydney (as Cassidy): So Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): [uncomfortable] Yes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Tell me. Why do you keep feeling like you have to lie to us about what you can do and who you are?
Penn (as Marathon): Like, well [uncomfortable laughter] What do you mean? [mumbling]
Sydney: Cassidy crosses her arms and looks levelly at Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): [obviously uncomfortable] Well I - there's a lot of stuff I haven't lied about, you know, I'm pretty good at fighting.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So you're saying yes. You know, a lot of stuff you have lied about. Why?
Penn (as Marathon): Wait. Um. Well, well, you're not gonna you're not gonna abandon me out here or anything, right?
Sydney (as Cassidy): You're paying for us to go run this mission for you.
Penn: Marathons got a cringe as she's waiting for the answer. And then with that just settles in a little bit more.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Well, I don't know. I just, I'm just kind of worried you guys weren't gonna take me with you. I was a little desperate to leave Tree All Mountain if you could tell, I'm sure.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we had a few context clues for that one.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, well, [uncomfortable laugh] I don't know I just, um. Yeah, and you guys seem cool and you guys seem capable. So I just, I just, I just, I needed to get out of there. There's a lot I can do. There's a lot I didn't lie about, a lot I can help with. I'm not a lot of a lot of stuff just kind of comes out of my mouth, Cassidy, and I apologize for any deception that has come this way. And you know what? I appreciate you calling me out on it and in the future -
Penn: Marathon raises her hand in a salute.
Penn (as Marathon): - I will no longer lie to you about my abilities.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That is a very narrow caveat.
Penn (as Marathon): Um. Or I'll try o- here I'll try it again.
Penn: And Marathon puts her hand on her heart.
Penn (as Marathon): I will not lie to you about - I will try not to lie to you about anything.
Sydney: Cassidy raises her eyebrows.
Penn (as Marathon): Hows that? Is that convincing?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Not particularly, no.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Well, I don't know. It's, um
Sydney (as Cassidy): That's that's tension. That's the tension.
Penn (as Marathon): I see that- I'm lying, yep.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, that you, you know, maybe maybe a third of the words you've said are real honest words.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Hm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We're not gonna ditch you, Marathon. You are the mission right now. It doesn't matter if you're fleeing whatever, terrible things and terrible choices that you've made or that others have made. You're here, you're with us - we're not just gonna leave you twisting out in the dirt. But it's our job to keep you safe while you're with us and if you're gonna be telling stories about oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm the best shot you've ever seen with with guns.
Penn (as Marathon): Uh yeah, that was that was an untruth. So
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, cause I know how to shoot. Like, it doesn't help us do our jobs and it definitely doesn't build trust between us. And we can cart you around without trusting you, but if we have the if you're, you know, gonna let us be competent and you're gonna share your info on where the signal that you want us to go find is you're gonna have a hard time.
Penn (as Marathon): Um. But you wouldn't, you wouldn't ditch me out here just if I - No. Yeah, you said you wouldn't. Okay. Um.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You're allowed to not know things. You don't have to be the best of everyone that's ever been.
Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] I'm close sometimes, though. Heh. Right?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well unfortunately, this isn't ice derby.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um. Cassidy, I don't think I've had anybody kind of cut to me like this before. Not in a long time.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Did you have people that talk to you like-?
Penn (as Marathon): Nobody like, nobody that's straightforward, honest and stuff. I mean, have I had friends, you know, friends, they're around and you give them stuff with your money and you keep them around and then they -
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh]
Penn (as Marathon): - they stay and then you know, you have work people and then you have the people you buy stuff from and they're your friends and -
Sydney: Cassidy uncrosses her arms and pulls a knee up and wraps her arms around her knee.
Penn (as Marathon): But um no, I can't really say have had anybody um, I don't know, I haven't had like a [laughing] I mean, our talk just now was you calling me out on my, on my BS, but I think this is probably the most genuine conversation I've had a little bit. I mean, this is emotionally a lot right now. [uncomfortable laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, you did just, I think, ditch everything about the life that you knew yesterday, this morning, including punching out probably the loan shark that you owe money to.
Penn (as Marathon): I didn't owe money to that guy. I owed money to his boss, but um - that's that's the truth.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It sounded like a truth. Are you going to be in danger of them coming after us? Because that's something that we would need to keep you safe from.
Penn (as Marathon): I don't [sigh] I don't think Union's invested in leaving Tree All Mountain.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Just don't go back anytime soon without your great bounty.
Penn (as Marathon): I guess. Um. Thank you, Cassidy. I don't really know what for right now, but I know I just feel like that's what is warranted right now.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, you know, [laugh] just don't keep lying to us, alright? Just be yourself. It's - [laugh] we're not gonna leave you.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, course. Um. Well, so you're pretty good shot, huh?
Sydney (as Cassidy): I am. That's my area of expertise: is shooting, climbing and maps.
Penn: And Marathon is going to shift a little uncomfortably on her stump and run her hand through her hair and lean forward a little bit with one arm on top of her knee.
Penn (as Marathon): So uh, how is this for a shot? Uh
Nick: And we cut away from that scene. We see Emma and Birdie walking along a busy pathway in this camp. Do either of you try any of the normal flavor jerky or the banana chocolate beaver tail that you're carrying?
Cameron: Oh, definitely not.
Kit: Birdie will try some of the regular jerky. That's definitely regular.
Nick: It's actually really good. It is clearly something that has been dried and would last a long time, but it's easy to chew, the flavor is good, the seasoning is good. The textures a little off putting - there's something about the strata of the whatever it is that you're eating that feels a little weird as you chew it, but surprisingly tasty. Based on your interaction, you would not have expected that but it's pretty good.
Kit: Birdie is holding part of the piece that she just broke off from and she offers it to Emma and she's like,
Kit (as Birdie): It's surprisingly good. The textures a little off putting, but you know. Maybe the banana chocolate abomination wouldn't be horrible.
Cameron (as Emma): Um. I mean, so it does smell like you deep fried bananas and chocolate, but I'm kind of scared to put anything else in my stomach right now after drinking Marathon's hype juice and then having an intense workout and knowing that I'm going to go do another one in a little bit.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh, that's fair. I can hold on to it for you.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, so I'll try it after. Maybe tomorrow.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): [sighing] Yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): You've never fought before?
Cameron (as Emma): So I have, but not in a fist fight.
Kit (as Birdie): Like a purposeful ring fist fight, I'm doing this in order to fight another person not to save my life?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes. I have never been like, you know what sounds fun? I think I'm gonna go try not to get punched while I punch other people.
Kit (as Birdie): Do you get to wear armor?
Cameron (as Emma): I don't know. They said no weapons.
Kit (as Birdie): Loopholes.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay. Yeah, that's true - wasn't in the rules, so maybe we'll find something to help. I have definitely been in - we'll say scuffles before, but it was always with my cousins and normally just because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time while some of them got in a fight, but was never really in a place where I could fight back being much smaller than the rest of them.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): Also, it just never sounds like fun. I don't I don't enjoy pain and getting hit. [laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): Can I ask why you said yes to fighting then?
Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] Uh. So I think partly because Marathon said she teach me some stuff and that seemed like it could be useful in the future. But I don't really know, it was kind of a spur of the moment decision that I'm questioning a bit now. But
Kit (as Birdie): You know-
Cameron (as Emma): I think it'll be fine. I think it'll be alright. It'll be fine.
Kit (as Birdie): It'll be -you're gonna be fine.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Definitely. It's all going to be so great.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah and you know what it's worth it for setting up the conversation that Cassidy and Marathon are currently dealing with. So
Kit (as Birdie): Hmm. That is fair.
Cameron (as Emma): I'm going to look at it as a good trade off. We are helping our traveling buddies get past some of the awkwardness and hopefully, I would like it if everybody was just like, friends and friendly towards everybody.
Kit (as Birdie): That does make it easier.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah and that's really the pairing I'm most concerned about not having the good, happy, friendly, fuzzy feelings. So
Nick: As the two of you are walking you come across, it's not a tent or a stall, it's almost like a maze of fences that have been set up. And on these metal fences, you can see different clothes, different weapons, no guns, but a few bladed weapons, a lot of different clubs, or cudgels. And also you see some armor, some padded clothes, various things that could protect you. And so Emma and Birdie, you get to try on some of the clothes and some of the armor. What are a few of the different things that you try on? What do we see?
Cameron: So I feel like one of them has to be a full plate mail, because it's just like completely not actually useful at all for the situation we're in.
Nick: Yep, but it's clearly made out of oil drums that have been cut up into pieces. It doesn't fit well. It's rusty. It's intimidating, but not very useful as armor.
Kit: I think that Birdie's kneepads that she constantly wears are starting to get a little tattered. It's been a while since she's replaced them. So should look around to see if there's any not necessarily grieves, but if she can just find some sturdy padding to soften a landing.
Nick: Yeah, you're able to find some gear pretty easily for that. And Birdie, you're looking through there and you find some knee pads that work really well. They're cushioned on the inside, they're molded plastic on the outside, they look really durable, and they're exactly what you're looking for. And as you grab them and turn around, you see Emma in her armor of choice. What does she look like?
Cameron: There was a slight little baby montage of Emma trying on several of the armors because, this being a an armor shop, none of these armors are custom. She's gonna have to try on several to figure out what is going to protect her but also allow her to still move like she needs to, so it needs to fit right. And Emma ends up with a mix between leather armor, and some metal and chainmail meshed into it. So she's got arm bracers that are leather on the bottom that have nifty metal tops, and a tunic type - basically a leather tank top, essentially, that has some chainmail in the more vital areas to give some extra reinforcement. And I think it has shoulder pads that come with it but she does not put them on because they are for someone with much broader shoulders than her so she had them on and it looked ridiculous so she took them off.
Kit: Emma didn't put her sweater back on.
Cameron: Nope Emma's still in her tank top. [laughing] We left that camp fire fast.
Kit: So Birdie who is eating the jerky a little faster than she should be considering that she's supposed to be sharing it with Cassidy later on. She's just holding her knee pads and she turns to look at Emma and she just holds up her free hand in a thumbs up, quickly finish what's in her mouth and she's like,
Kit (as Birdie): Mm! You know, I like the off the shoulder.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I was kind of thinking that having shoulder protection would be nice, but they're kind of flopping around, and it's not comfortable if I move my arms, which seems like that would defeat the purpose. Right?
Kit (as Birdie): I can I can, I can see where that would be a problem. Definitely. Mobility is a little important, sometimes.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, yeah, just slightly.
Cameron: I think the tunic piece has straps down either side, so it's actually one flat piece of leather that you stick your head through a head hole and then you attach the straps on the side so that you can shape it to you so that it's not bent out at weird angles. Emma's just adjusting side straps making it tighter as she's talking.
Kit: Birdie is also fidgeting around with her stuff. She's taking off her kneepads that she currently has on, possibly looking to, if she can trade those old ones for scraps so that they can get a discount on the things that they are buying.
Kit (as Birdie): Do you [clears throat squeakily] need help?
Cameron (as Emma): Um yeah, I can't actually get this top one.
Kit (as Birdie): [very high pitched] Yeah. Okay.
Cameron (as Emma): On either side.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh. Mhhm.
Kit: And Birdie is going to, she's going to put a lot of things in a lot of pockets very quickly. And then Emma is significantly taller than her, not comically, but significantly, so it is a little funny because she can't really see if it's at the right angle, but she's trying to be very respectful.
Nick: Yep. So that attempt to secure the armor goes on just a little too long for everybody involved. And the shopkeeper comes over you both bargain a little bit. Birdie, you're able to get the price down by giving your old knee pads which still have some good elastic in them and some other things that you can tell they're interested in and you are able to get the armor and the new knee pads for a price that you know is fair. The downside is with the money, Emma, that you are holding on to, you know that the total funds for the Patina are now pretty low.
Cameron: As Birdie and Emma thank the shop owner that they were working with and head out, Emma is adjusting one of her arm bracers and is like,
Cameron (as Emma): So that pretty much took care of any discretionary funds that we had. So.
Kit (as Birdie): Well. You know what we have what, what Marathon promised to us.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm. Yep, so that's good money will keep coming in.
Kit (as Birdie): Mhmm.
Cameron (as Emma): [laugh] I don't know if y'all want to do any betting on the fights tonight - it seems slightly risky with the money that we have left right now we kind of need for food. So while we could always hunt, I suppose, we need to be able to eat and we need to be able to have a full tank for the truck so that it drives so.
Kit (as Birdie): Good point. You know, maybe if you and Marathon do quite a bit of winning too that could also pad some extra funds in the -
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I don't think we're going to try to lose.
Kit (as Birdie): Well, of course. Um. And you know, I could always, you know, just everyone's gonna be distracted with the fight, [mumbling]
Cameron (as Emma): So I feel like we don't need to resort to that yet. I think it'll be okay. We've got Marathon to keep giving us money - as much as she has, anyway.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay.
Kit: She's a little disappointed.
Cameron (as Emma): Just there's a there's a lot more people here that would probably be on the other person's side is all I'm saying.
Kit (as Birdie): That's fair. I can see where -
Cameron (as Emma): And there's a lot of armed guards.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, that's a good point. I will keep the [mumbled under breath] pick pocketing to a minimum.
Cameron (as Emma): You knows that's all we can ask. [laugh]
Nick: And you have been having this conversation walking back towards your campsite. What do you Emma and Birdie see as they walk back into the firelight where Marathon and Cassidy were?
Penn (as Marathon): How's this for a shot? Um. So Cassidy you seem pretty cool. And I, you know, I think I'm pretty co- that's not and um, I was wondering if you were seeing an - and here are our friends, Hi. Hey everyone. How are you doing? [awkward soft laughter]
Cameron (as Emma): Doing well. Look, I got armor.
Cameron: Emma does a spin.
Penn (as Marathon): Wow, that looks very nice. You look very intimidating, Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you.
Kit (as Birdie): I got kneepads and jerky. Very good jerky. There's two strips left.
Penn (as Marathon): It smells wonderful. What kind of jerky did you get?
Kit (as Birdie): Regular.
Cameron (as Emma): I got the chocolate banana deep fried beaver tail jerky.
Penn (as Marathon): Hm.
Kit (as Birdie): There are a lot of options.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Welcome back and also interesting.
Sydney: Cassidy is now aware of the conversation.
Cameron (as Emma): I got it for you, Cassidy.
Cameron: Emma passes off the banana monstrosity to Cassidy.
Sydney: Cassidy opens the bag to this banana chocolate curiosity and takes a deep smell.
Nick: It smells like maple bacon - like that sweet and salty flavor, but also bananas.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah let me know how it tastes because I was kind of scared to try it before the fight and after drinking the hype juice.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, that reminds me. We have one more bottle we need to hit before we get into that whatever sort of pit or arena they have going on. Let me go grab the last arena juice.
Penn: And Marathon gets up and scampers back to her tent, wiping sweat off of her brow from the conversation that she was having.
Cameron: Emma cocked her head a bit and just looks at Cassidy as Marathon leaves and just doesn't say anything.
Sydney: Cassidy looks back at Emma with her eyebrows raised.
Cameron (as Emma): What?
Sydney: And starts trying to unwrap some of this weird something jerky, this interesting culinary discovery.
Cameron (as Emma): Did you have a good conversation?
Sydney (as Cassidy): We're working on the honesty.
Cameron (as Emma): You know, funnily enough, that was also a theme to my conversation with her.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): That's good! Honesty is good.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Sydney: And Cassidy gives a decisive nod and then takes a bite of this jerky.
Cameron: Emma for the briefest of moments looks disappointed that that's all of the information she's getting from the conversation, but then Cassidy bites into the jerky and she immediately gets excited again to see how Cassidy reacts to it. [laughing]
Sydney: Cassidy goes through like four different expressions as different flavors start hitting. This is actually a very complex cocktail. This is definitely the organic meat cocktail underneath there, so there's a lot of different earthy flavors mixed in with the chocolate and the banana and then the grease from the frying means that it immediately coats your mouth, but not in a bad way. And then as you start getting the rest of the body of that bite in, it starts evolving. So there's sweet, there's salty from the jerky part, there's a little bit of savory that goes through almost like a poultry kind of feel, but it's quickly replaced on the finish with just bananas. And Cassidy is just - she's just looking at Emma and then looks at Birdie and then looks at Emma, and then swallows.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Interesting. I don't hate it.
Cameron (as Emma): I just have one question. Does it taste like chicken?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Chicken?
Cameron (as Emma): That's what the guy said it tasted like.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I - so do you know how when you go find, like when you stop into one of those small town inns and the proprietor has been mixing their own mead in the back room?
Cameron (as Emma): You know, I don't think I do actually.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Birdie.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Do you know how everything that I just said?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So so they're mixing mead in their back room and you ask for what they've got on stock. And they come out with a bottle of this. It's unlabeled cause they just made it in their back room and they go 'Okay, so on the front of this, there's gardenias and fresh grass and wet dog in the park and then it finishes with a old rotting tree in the woods that bees have rebuilt into a hive.' Do you know, do you know when they do that?
Kit (as Birdie): Yep.
Cameron (as Emma): They say that out loud?
Kit (as Birdie): Mhmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, they're very serious.
Cameron (as Emma): And you're still gonna drink it?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Of course!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cause you have to see if that matches what they describe.
Cameron (as Emma): No~!
Sydney (as Cassidy): So when you have those ones, there's oftentimes there's enough going on that, especially if you hear them describe it before you try it, you can taste those things, but it's hard to say whether it's just the power of suggestion or it actually does taste like those things.
Kit (as Birdie): In theory, it could taste like those things.
Sydney: And Cassidy takes another bite of the jerky and looks very thoughtful as she does the solid food equivalent of swishing it around in her mouth.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You can get chicken. I think there are notes of chicken, but it's not really like the primary flavor.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But it's not bad.
Sydney: And Cassidy hands the bag with the deep fried chocolate banana beaver tail jerky out to Emma and Birdie.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma!
Cameron (as Emma): Marathon!
Penn: Marathon is across the camp. rushing over.
Penn (as Marathon): So I've got some bad news.
Cameron (as Emma): Why is everyone always yelling at me?
Kit (as Birdie): [laughing]
Penn (as Marathon): What? Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to, anyway um -
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, no, you're good. Continue. Yes?
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. So I have another arena juice. Good news.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): Bad news. It's not purple. Um
Cameron (as Emma): Does that make a difference?
Penn (as Marathon): Well [sigh], normally no, but this is ruby red arena juice. So,
Cameron (as Emma): Okay?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh have you not? You know what? [laugh] Ruby red, it's going to work just the same exact but we're going to need to drink it right before so we can feel the hype then. Um. Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): How well does it pair with deep fried chocolate banana beaver tail jerky?
Penn (as Marathon): Here well - I'll take a bite. [laughing]
Sydney: Cassidy hands the bag over to Marathon.
Penn: Marathon takes a quick bite. Just careless.
Nick: It gets all over your face. It's very sticky.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, my Oh uh um. Dirt.
Cameron (as Emma): Don't wipe your face! You're gonna mess up your face paint.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, so true. Where do I [laugh]
Penn: And Marathon just carefully puts it back in the bag and passes the bag off to Birdie. And then is just holding her hands up awkwardly now that they're covered in grease and chocolate and she's got chocolate on her face.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy goes to start looking in the cooking supplies.
Penn (as Marathon): [mouth full] Um. It kind of tastes like, you know, I can't really place any flavors. What is - what is in it?
Cameron (as Emma): Chocolate banana deep fried beaver tail jerky.
Penn (as Marathon): Mm. Okay. Tastes just like that.
Cameron (as Emma): [chuckle]
Penn (as Marathon): Anybody got like a, something I can wipe my hands on? Ahh it sticks to your mouth. Oh my gosh.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I think Cassidy is getting you something.
Nick: And as you're looking around to try and find something for Marathon to wipe herself off with, you hear the noise of the camp change. There's been a low hubbub from people celebrating and from people shopping and setting up camp up to this point. It's gotten quite late at night. But all of a sudden, the energy is more concentrated. Towards the center of the camp, you hear someone yell something that you can't quite hear and then a crowd respond with a roar and a bright light begins to reflect off of different tents and glow from the distance. You all can't help but think that there's only one thing that would gather a crowd like that and that the fights must be starting soon. And Marty told you to meet her there.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma, Emma, Emma. Okay, you ready? You feeling the hype?
Cameron (as Emma): I am ready. I am hype.
Cameron: Emma picks up her water bottle.
Cameron (as Emma): I am good to go. Let's do this.
Penn (as Marathon): Let's go. I'm feeling ready.
Sydney: Cassidy comes back over with a washcloth.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, okay, now I'm feeling ready.
Penn: After Marathon begins wiping her hands.
Nick: And you all head towards where the fight is happening. What you see as you get closer is a dirt ring that has been cleared quite recently. There are a couple of horse patties still in the dirt. But the wagons and trucks have been circled people are sitting on any surface that they can. They're up high. It's like an impromptu amphitheater as you head to the group and you see Marty standing nervously by a large board with some spray painted lines on it looking around and she smiles at you as you get close.
Nick (as Marty): Oh good. You did make it. I was really worried that I was gonna get my legs broken. That's just a joke. Not gonna break my legs. But I'm glad you're here. The providers of the stew have arrived.
Nick: Marty holds a hand up grandly. No one is paying attention to her. But she is excited to see you.
Penn (as Marathon): Nice to see you again, Marty. It's me and Emma here. We're gonna - well w-wait, [quieter] Emma. Emma. Is there another fight name you want to go by?
Cameron (as Emma): No, there's not another fight name that I want to go by.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, yeah, yeah, it's Marathon Messenger and
Penn: And Marathon gestures to Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): And Emma.
Penn (as Marathon): And Emma.
Nick: Great. Well, I needed at least two of you but the bracket is sort of fluid uh, how about you two ladies? You looking to make some money? Beat some ass?
Sydney: Cassidy smirks and then shakes her head no.
Kit: Birdie waves her hands in a no thank you gesture and just goes
Kit (as Birdie): No, not really my thing.
Nick: All right, well go find a seat because this is gonna be a show. I can already tell. I'll just get their entries in and it'll be perfect. If you want to bet there are bookies just around or whatever so go find somebody. I hope you brought snacks - it's a big bracket tonight. It's gonna be really good. The - go away. We got to strategerize.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, okay. Cassidy, before split up, um it'd be a pretty safe bet put some money on me.
Penn: And Marathon winks at Cassidy before heading off with Emma to wherever the fighters are being prepped.
Nick: So as you look around, there isn't like a fighting area where the fighters are waiting. What you see is Marty tosses a hand over your shoulder and Emma's shoulder, and this board with the line spray painted on it - the only thing that it could be, you recognize, is that it's a bracket, but it is a bracket that does not make any sense. It looks like someone threw a rock at a window. The pieces of the bracket go off in random directions, it's not even. It looks like single elimination to your practiced eye, but there are multiple seeds - people who get to skip rounds, people who get to skip rounds but only on one side of the bracket. It's very confusing. There aren't any names on it. There are just little marks in charcoal, various symbols, different shapes. And Marty points the board and says
Nick (as Marty): There's the competition, my friends. Which which of you is better at this? I would assume it's the bigger one, but looks can be deceiving.
Cameron: Emma is taking a gulp of her water and just points at Marathon while she does so.
Penn: Marathon is making intense eye contact with Marty as soon as Marty turns to look towards Marathon.
Nick: Marty nods.
Nick (as Marty): All right, I thought so. I'm a good judge of fighters. This is gonna be great. You guys are so good at fighting. I can tell. I can feel your shoulders. They're very nice.
Nick: And Marty unwraps herself from where you are standing, pulls a grease pencil out of nowhere seemingly and puts an M and M on one side and an E on the other side where there were two blank spots. So Emma and Marathon you are on opposite ends of the bracket.
Nick: And as Marty does that, she says
Nick (as Marty): All right, you get through the first few rounds and then we'll talk strategy. Where you are in the bracket like these first, these first few guys are just like mooks. This is not a big deal. I wouldn't worry about it. But look out for stinky Joe. He's kind of stinky. They'll call your name. I gotta go.
Nick: And Marty runs off and you think Marty is going to tell people that the fights are ready to start or something but she just runs behind a trailer and then you see her squat down where you can't see her and you realize she just had to go to the bathroom. And a few minutes later, a air horn sounds and somebody with a clipboard walks out, looks at the clipboard, compares it to the spray painted bracket, sees that a couple more letters have been added and changes something on the clipboard and in a voice that doesn't really make it over the hubbub of the crowd, calls out a couple of names and the fights begin.
Marathon and Emma you're not first but you are one of the first couple of fights. These fights are brutal. They are bare knuckle boxing, the men are stripped down to the waist. The women are wearing tight fitting shirts or bras. It's just all about who can hit the hardest and the fastest. And you both find yourself in the first round up against, like Marty said, it looks like some people whose jobs are to carry things around the camp, not necessarily particularly talented fighters, and I need you both to make me a roll at hard difficulty - a Brawl check to see how the first fight goes, if you are hurt at all before you go into the later rounds. Emma gets a blue dice from training and then you both get a blue die from being hype.
Cameron: Alright, so Emma's pools, three greens, two blues and three purples.
Penn: Marathon's pool is three purples, four yellows and one blue.
Cameron: I've got a success and two advantages.
Nick: Nice. Describe how you win this fight, especially in the early rounds, it's basically a fight till someone gives up or gets knocked down and takes too long to get back up. You don't necessarily have to knock your opponent unconscious and you not only beat them but you change the odds of the betting a little more in your favor because you comport yourself so well.
Cameron: I think the particular gentleman that Emma fights in the first round has been drinking to prep for this fight, even though that doesn't make sense, and is still fairly steady on his feet and gets his arms up, but as soon as the fight starts, and they start circling each other, it becomes fairly obvious to Emma that he's not quite seeing straight as she's bouncing back and forth. He's not following her movements very well with his eyes. And he takes kind of a wild swing at her that doesn't come close to hitting her because she's moving and then she just punches him in the face, and he falls down and is unconscious.
Nick: Your fist connects right at the bridge of his nose. And you know that your assessment was correct, because there is a slight delay before his head rocks back, like he didn't feel the pain at impact. And then he's down like a sack of potatoes, and the crowd goes wild.
Cameron: Emma looks rather shocked.
Nick: And your hand hurts.
Cameron (as Emma): Ow.
Cameron: She walks off of the whatever area the fighting is occurring in and she's just kind of shaking out her right hand.
Nick: As you hit the perimeter of the ring, some people pat you on the shoulder, and then give you a little space as you wait for your next fight. Marathon how did you do?
Penn: I got two successes, two threats and a triumph.
Nick: Interesting. So with those threats, this fight actually takes a little more out of you than you were expecting. You have to expend more energy than you thought you would, especially for the first round, but you do win. You don't get physically hurt and something amazing happens.
Penn: Because Marathon is like an outsider to this area. It still may be a name that some people are whispering like is that really the Marathon from the radio? But that this is an upset that this is one of the well known winners in this bracket that happens every so often and that with this person out, it really is up for grabs. And I don't think Marathon completely catches the scope of that right away.
Nick: Great. And how do you win? Do you throw them? Do you choke them out? Do you break a limb? How do you defeat them?
Penn: So right before the match Marathon takes a little drink of the ruby red arena juice. And if anyone were looking a little more closely, her eyes go just a little bloodshot. And she just consistently is able to keep hitting this person with an elbow and rolling out of the way and then just elbowing them in the head and rolling out of the way until they're on the ground and she's just elbowing them over and over until she's pulled away like lifting up her arms in an excited not yet fanatical, but fanatical triumph as people are starting to - because it's such a surprising scenario that people are not necessarily cheering yet, but as soon as the fights over and Marathon puts up her arms, there is a wild smattering of cheers, and then an awkward chattering between everyone else as she walks out.
Nick: You start to hear as you walk away, people starting to confirm that you are who your name would indicate and more people are starting to believe it with how quickly you took care of that. So as the first round of fights come to a conclusion, they're exciting, but none of them are particularly surprising. Where do we find Cassidy and Birdie? Where have you all set up to watch the fights? And what are you doing?
Sydney: So I think the first order of business was finding a bookie with the managerial reserve - it's the money that isn't already called for, so Cassidy is not spending food or gas money, but she's pretty sure of her crew member and a passenger having watched them fight for as long as she could handle it. She's pretty sure that there'll be fine for this first round. So the first order of business is going off to go find a bookie and putting down a modest sum split across the two of them.
Nick: Yeah, and in the first round, the odds are garbage. You get half your money back on return for either side that you bet on, like most people aren't even really bothering to bet.
Sydney: It's enough to pad the purse a little bit to - as the odds start drifting around, to maybe make a decent amount of money, especially hoping that they get a chance to watch the field and see what parts of the bracket that is maybe hard to follow - who looks dangerous and who didn't and bet on the two people that they've got in there strategically.
Nick: And as you put the money down the bookies says
Nick (as Bookie): Payouts are after the fight. Make sure that you keep betting because the odds get better the further in you go.
Nick: And so the two of you see Marathon and Emma win they're first fights handily. Cassidy you make extra sure to tuck the winning bet ticket into your pocket to where if you want to bet more later, you can use that as collateral. And we find you seated somewhere with a good view as the fights continue.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, so far so good. I don't know what your opinion on blood sports are, but...
Kit (as Birdie): There are plenty of them on Sasnak, and you know, everywhere else.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and I mean, we're mercenaries so getting, taking money, being rewarded with money for hurting people is kind of our thing.
Kit (as Birdie): Definitely. I will say it is reassuring to see that Marathon does really lend herself to fighting.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Pretty pretty darn well.
Sydney (as Cassidy): She looks good out there.
Kit: Birdie glances at Cassidy's face when she says that. [laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): Yep. Pretty good.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma looks uh, I mean, she's got some bulk on some of them.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I think that'll get her decently far. The question will be is the fighting mindset I think is not her native state.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I was a little worried about her because she she really seems just a little friendly.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [laugh] Normally a good personality trait.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I mean, you know, bloodsports do bring out the worst in people so.
Sydney: Cassidy takes a bite of deep fried chocolate banana beaver tail jerky, and then washes it down with a swig of a dark beer that she also had procured on the way to their spectator seats.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): Jerky. Beaver tail. Jerky and bever tail. Organ-ic, uh oregano-ic, juiced and processed. I even have for to go. Dark like your beer, but tastes even better. Get your beaver tail liquid. Get your jerky liquid.
Nick: As we see Cassidy and Birdie watch the jerky vendor walk by with a low slung box of snacks and liquids.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Is-is that the guy you bought it from?
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, it was a really interesting conversation.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Huh. He looks like the kind of guy that would make some interesting food.
Penn (as Jerky Vampire): Pepop's jerky. Pepop's beaver tail. Please come and get some for to go or for here or before your fight or for the stands. It's all for you~.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It honestly pairs pretty well with this beer. I don't know if you want to try this too, but
Kit (as Birdie): I will politely refrain from the chocolate banana because I'm worried about what all is in there. Did you know that when when he says organ-ic it means with extra organs?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh, that would explain the earthy, kinda gamey flavors.
Kit (as Birdie): [noise of shuddering revulsion]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Interesting.
Sydney: Cassidy takes another bite.
Kit: Birdie makes a face. She mimes losing her lunch and then just takes another bite of the regular jerky.
Sydney: Cassidy points at the victor of the next round of fights down in the pit.
Sydney (as Cassidy): There are some dangerous looking people in this bracket.
Kit (as Birdie): I - yeah, that's, you know? I believe in them no matter what, but I do not envy our friends.
Kit: So Cassidy and Birdie actually see down into the fighting pit as someone who looks very out of place, raises her hands up in victory. She is this tall, sort of gymnast's build woman with tan skin. She's got a mass of curly blond hair pulled back from her face and her knuckles are wrapped in well worn bandages and she's just smiling brilliantly. Doesn't look like she really even took a punch, and Birdie points to her specifically and looks to Cassidy.
Kit (as Birdie): I don't like that she's so perfect.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It does not look like she was troubled by the fact that she just won a fight.
Kit (as Birdie): Huh.
Sydney (as Cassidy): The person on the ground was definitely troubled by that.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Though, maybe not anymore.
Kit (as Birdie): They're happy. They're fine. They'll be fine. I I just know that I wouldn't want to fight her. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, well, the question is, as we start getting deeper into this tournament, who do we~ - at which point do we stop believing that our people are the ones to bet on?
Kit (as Birdie): Well, solidarity until the end right? Right?
Sydney: Cassidy shrugs with a little bit of reluctance.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We also could really use the money with how much we've spent.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, you've got a point. Uh. We'll keep with Emma and Marathon as long as we can, and past that, ehhh.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, it's our job to figure it out as long as we can then.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. [concerned laugh]
Nick: And we cut down to the crowd of people gathered around this fighting area. Emma, after your fight, you were sort of swallowed up by the crowd as people pushed to be able to see better. You're standing there realizing that you won your first fight, and maybe it's not so bad, everything's fine. And you hear the cheers and disappointed groans as another fight ends, and the crowd shifts around, the next fight is called. And walking through the crowd, you see a tall, well put together blonde woman who is being followed by a slightly shorter woman with curly brown hair carrying a water bottle that she is holding out to her trying to give to her to drink, but is otherwise being ignored. And this blonde woman makes eye contact with you and you notice that as she approaches, the crowd backs up a little to give you all some space and you find yourself able to breathe a little bit easier.
Cameron: Emma has been stretching over on the side with as much space as she could get beforehand, just keeping limber.
Kit: The woman continues to make her way through the crowd just walking as if she expects people to move for her, until she gets up to talking distance within Emma's space and just has her hands on her hips and she's just like,
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] Hi, how are you?
Cameron: Emma stands back up from where she'd been leaning down over a leg stretching.
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] I'm doing well. How are you?
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] [laugh] Oh, I'm so glad. I'm great. I just won my last fight. I think we're fighting next actually.
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] Oh, that'll be fun.
Cameron: Emma does not look like she's having fun with this conversation. This is a very forced excitedness.
Penn: The ruby red arena juice is in Marathon's hand and Marathon is stretching, not very close to Emma, but few steps away.
Kit: You see the woman's smile tighten a little when she realizes that Emma is sort of mimicking her tone. And she just continues on.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] So I'm Peregrine. I don't think we've met before. What's your name?
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] So nice to meet you, Peregrine. My name is Emma.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] Emma. Okay, so I haven't seen you around before. Where are you from?
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] Yeah, this is our first night in camp, we've been traveling down from Tree All Mountain.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone]Uh huh. You know, you you seem really new to this. Have you been doing this for a long time?
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] Like fight tournaments?
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] Just this whole thing? I mean, like, you know, just you seem a little new.
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] About a year.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] Oh~, okay. No wonder. Oh, you just, I don't know, you're just so - you're just so cute. I don't know.
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] How long have you been doing this?
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] About four or five years? You know?
Cameron (as Emma): Mmm.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] Definitely not for my whole life. Gosh, I don't even think I could do that. But you know, I've gotten my hands dirty. [fake giggle]
Nick: Your conversation is interrupted by this woman's companion who steps forward into her line of sight and says
Nick (as Felicity): Peregrine don't forget to hydrate. You got to and should we really be talking to her even? Your next fight is going to be really soon because the bracket does that reverse snake around here, remember?
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] [annoyed laugh] I'm actually talking to someone right now, if you couldn't see that, Felicity.
Nick: Felicity's eyes get real wide and she goes pale as she realizes what she just did. And she says,
Nick (as Felicity): Oh, you're right. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Nick: And she backs up and she's out of Peregrine's line of sight, but Emma you can see her put her palm to her forehead and say like
Nick (as Felicity): Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Kit: The entire time during that small interaction, Peregrine's gaze did not break from Emma. Her smile just got even tighter.
Cameron: When her companion goes and starts having a little break down behind her, Emma looks around her concerned, and then has made the determination that she does not like this person, shockingly, and thinks back to what Peregrine had just said to her, takes a moment looking her up and down with as much judgment as she can make in her face and says
Cameron (as Emma): Mm yeah, four or five years makes sense for you.
Kit (as Peregrine): [false friendly tone] [pissed laughter] Oh my God, that's you - you're so quaint. Oh my goodness. I think that I'm going to have a really really good time fighting you and I just I hope that you have the best luck in the world.
Cameron (as Emma): [mimicking tone] Oh yeah it'll be a blast.
Kit: Peregrine walks a couple of steps closer to Emma so that she's the only one in earshot when she just leans down a little to look at Emma and says under her breath,
Kit (as Peregrine): [menacing whisper] I'd watch your back if I were you, farm girl.
Kit: And sashays off with Felicity just scrambling behind her.
Cameron: We see a look on Emma's face that I don't know if we've seen before and she looks angry.
Nick: There's a long pause as we see anger on Emma's face, and then Emma, you hear your name and Peregrine's name called to go next. You're up to fight.
Cameron: When her name's called, it jolts her out of the little stewing session she'd been having. And she looks over to her right and sees Marathon there stretching and Emma walks over.
Penn (as Marathon): Hey - did you make a friend?
Cameron (as Emma): No.
Cameron: Leans down and takes the ruby red arena juice from Marathon and just chugs it.
Penn (as Marathon): Woah, woah, woah! Hey, careful - what? No -
Cameron: And then crushes the can, throws it down, and walks to the flight ring. [laugh]
Penn: Marathon is wide eyed agape at Emma as Emma walks to the fight.
Nick: And Marathon sees the telltale jitter of somebody who's taken too much arena juice too fast as she steps into the ring and the woman that she was talking to nearby, Peregrine, also slides into the ring, the crowd partying around her, and they square up to fight.
[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…