It’s time for the Patina to meet their stowaway and determine what to do with their new guest.
It’s time for the Patina to meet their stowaway and determine what to do with their new guest.
- 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. Check out her other work at pennharper.itch.io.
- Pallie Fisher is played by Rhi. Find her on Twitter at @rhiannon42 Rhi is the GM and producer of The Magpies, a Blades in the Dark actual play podcast, and the owner of Skill Check, a document accessibility service for the RPG community.
- 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.
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.
- Tools in a tool box by OpenWillem. Link & License.
- Memories in Love (ID 1144) by Lobo Loco. Link & License.
- His Last Share of The Stars by Doctor Turtle. Link & License.
- Angel Full of Bourbon by M Shanghai String Band. 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
Episode 31: The Other Wanderers
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 –
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:
Hope everyone’s having a good week, and thanks for listening! Also, we've got a guest spot this episode from 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, so stay tuned for the credits to hear more details, including where to find it and her other works. Her info can also be found in the show notes.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 31: The Other Wanderers. 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]
Kit (as Birdie): Last time on A Knight of Shreds and Patches, I found myself in a little town called Cluster, stayed there for much, much longer than I was expecting cause, you know, trouble found me as it normally does. Made a good purchase on fuel, hitched a ride with some mercenaries that came into town. You know, I hope they’re nice. Maybe sticking around for a bit wouldn’t be so bad if they let me, I mean I’m certainly curious enough about the giant robot in the back of their truck
Nick: The evening is still. There's no rustling from the trees. The only sound is a gentle crackle from a campfire. On one side we see Emma and Cassidy, their camp bowls full of dinner. On the other side, shadows flickering over her face, we see Birdie. This silence has stretched a long time. It seems like each of you are waiting for the other to begin the conversation.
Sydney: Cassidy takes a bite of food before it starts getting too cold.
Kit: Birdie is eating very casually. She's smiling.
Sydney: Cassidy is not.
Nick: What's for dinner?
Sydney: Clam chowder.
Cameron: Emma is eating around the clams.
Sydney: So yeah, it's one of the local dishes that Cassidy had tried while they were in Eagle Hill. Traditionally made with lobster, but she got a good deal on clams as they were stocking up on the way out of town because people don't like clams as much, so
Cameron: Emma is picking the potatoes out of her chowder and eating them.
Sydney: The steam is wafting off the soup in the cold air.
Nick: Piercing the darkness of this silence, we hear the howl of some woodland creature in the far distance. It sounds lonely.
Kit: Birdie finishes at a pretty, like I said, casual pace and she sets the bowl to the side. And just kind of
Kit (as Birdie): [inhale & sigh] So~. I heard your speech in town earlier um but, you know, I don't think I've properly introduced myself.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Hard to do that when you're in the back of the truck.
Kit (as Birdie): Yes. You know, I um. I was in a little bit of a pickle um and I really appreciate you guys helping me out. I'm Birdie. It's nice to meet you.
Cameron (as Emma): Hello, Birdie. I'm Emma. This is Cassidy.
Cameron: Emma is just watching Cassidy out of the side of her eye making sure Cassidy is not about to do anything impulsive.
Sydney: Cassidy is just looking levelly at Birdie weighing her appearance.
Cameron (as Emma): So what type of pickle were you in?
Kit (as Birdie): Um definitely not sweet. Sorry, I had to, um -
Cameron: Emma sighs and looks to the side and in her mind is like, Oh, no. It's just like Cassidy. [laugh]
Kit (as Birdie): So on my way into town, you know, I was just kind of like planning on stopping there for some supplies. Kind of like you guys were. Then I met this really mean guy; when he was driving past me hit me with like a ton of snow and that like muddy slush stuff that happens up here and I just really decided that I didn't like him. And a few decisions later, I really needed to get out of town because he was looking for me. And now I have his keys.
Sydney: Cassidy raises an eyebrow.
Kit (as Birdie): Um.
Sydney (as Cassidy): What chain of decisions leads to you having his keys?
Kit (as Birdie): Well, he's kind of mean, you know, like, I was talking to one of the shop owners there and she's so nice. She even said that no one in the town likes him. Oh, that's Sheffield. He's mean and stuff like that. And so for the better of my feelings and, you know, to kind of, I guess, teach him a lesson, I may or may not have stolen from him. And you know, I got a pretty good score.
Cameron (as Emma): But then you were also chased out of town and had to resort to hiding away in our truck.
Kit (as Birdie): Yes. All a part of the plan.
Cameron (as Emma): If you took his keys, why didn't you take the vehicle?
Kit (as Birdie): Ah~ -
Cameron (as Emma): Not that I'm saying you should steal more. That's just, sorry, that's the logical line I went down.
Kit (as Birdie): No, no, that's very fair. I thought it was a little funny, because he has this big snowmobile and I don't really care enough about the snowmobile to take it. So he just has to kind of figure it out now. I hope he knows how to hotwire if not, he's gonna have to figure it out real quick.
Cameron (as Emma): It should be fairly simple for a snowmobile.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. You're like a mechanic, right?
Cameron (as Emma): [surprised] Yes.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): That was in my speech. Okay. Yes. I was wondering, I was like, how did you figure that out? Nevermind. I forgot.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You've been practicing that speech a lot, Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): I know just I didn't I didn't notice Birdie when we were in town and thus forgot that she'd heard my speech.
Kit (as Birdie): So to be completely transparent with the both of you. I didn't - I just really needed to get out of town quick. And you know, I don't mean to like mooch off of your stuff. I just, I'm actually a very helpful person. Um. And I'd be willing to do some, some of that helping out, hypothetically, for you guys to kind of make up for the trouble I've caused you.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean it's a good thing Emma already checked to make sure that you didn't take anything, because you just said you were stealing stuff off people in town.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, I don't steal from everyone.
Cameron (as Emma): Well, but she's also still here. Like, I wasn't really concerned.
Kit (as Birdie): And um. I don't steal from people who are nice. I think it's kind of rude.
Nick: So, how is everyone feeling at this situation? This is got to be a new experience. Cassidy, have you ever had to deal with stowaways before? Emma how does it feel to have someone else suddenly around this campfire that's been for just two people for so long?
Sydney: I don't think Cassidy has had to deal with this. It's possible Wyatt has, but Wyatt was typically the one that handled a bunch of the 'make a decision here' type situations. And now there's a person who had snuck into their truck in a spot that had been just her's and Emma's for the last few months.
Cameron: I think everything's kind of a new experience for Emma still, but she's really just more wondering how Cassidy is going to handle it. Cause she likes people, Birdie seems nice, beyond like the petty theft, and Emma's not sure if there's a protocol for how you deal with situations like this at all.
Nick: And Birdie, have you ever been in a situation like this before of trying to convince people to take you on? And do you think it's working?
Kit: Birdie has definitely been in the situation at least once or twice before. It was a lot easier when she was younger, and thus had the more naive sort of deal going on. But she thinks that she could convince Emma, but that Cassidy is really on the fence and would need a bit more convincing than she sort of put out for the two of them. She's gonna take out the Tree All squares, and she's gonna be like,
Kit (as Birdie): So I also got this off of that Sheffield guy and I don't know where you guys are headed. But, you know, I can usually find my own way. I - If you were headed over towards Tree All, I could definitely help you guys pay for things like I don't want to take more than I'm giving you.
Sydney: Cassidy sighs and just looks pensive.
Cameron: Emma looks over at Cassidy in a way that makes it obvious to Birdie that Cassidy is the decision here.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] So before before there's any decisions that get made, like how, why are you here? Like here in the world? What brings you besides that you stumbled into a village and then stumbled out of the village with your pockets heavier?
Kit (as Birdie): That's a really existential question.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, specifically, why are you wandering around by yourself without a vehicle?
Cameron (as Emma): Emma is snorting off to the side quietly.
Kit (as Birdie): Well, specifically, I was in Eagle Hill, because I needed to use the radio tower to make some communications and I you know, but I've been alone for a pretty long time. It's just kind of a thing. I don't think I really need a vehicle. I just leave when the time is right. And
Sydney (as Cassidy): Stowing away into the backs of trucks?
Kit (as Birdie): Not all the time. Sometimes, if I can talk to people before they leave, I usually can just do some favors get a seat, possibly pay for it. But yeah, I just kind of go wherever I please. I tried to stick to the big cities, because that's where all the work is. Never been to Tree All Mountain though.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And you would just offer to join a group of mercenaries basically on a I don't kn- is it a whim?
Kit (as Birdie): Pretty much.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Are you just here till we get to the next city and then you're off again. We can take your money if you're just going to be a passenger.
Kit (as Birdie): I'm going to be completely honest, I don't really ever have any plans. I have a general idea of where I am going at one time. But if you were looking for extra work, I have no issue helping on any sort of jobs that you might have taken on or you might see in the future. It is, admittedly, not the safest to be traveling alone.
Sydney (as Cassidy): If you're concerned with safety, we're not the group to follow probably either.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, no, not that kind of safety. I mean, like I've gone a lot of places on foot alone in the wilderness, and just kind of had to sleep out there and hope that a wild animal didn't eat me. So like that kind of safety.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I know how it goes.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah. So I could be a passenger if you wanted me off. But I, if you need help, I have no issue providing that help.
Sydney (as Cassidy): What do you do besides steal?
Kit (as Birdie): I do a lot of things. Um. When you leave a place without having a general idea of a specialty, you kind of get to be good at a lot of things. So I am good at stealing. But that's not the most great skill to have um,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Less applicable to what we do.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I'm pretty good fighter. I can hold my own. I'd like to say I'm a good driver, um [nervous laughter] but I'm decent with mechanics. I grew up with people who were pretty heavy into that. I know you already have Emma so that's less of a skill that you would need. Technologies are pretty easy for me to pick up. I'm a fast learner, I can do what you need me to do. I guess that's my point.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And you're just out wandering?
Kit (as Birdie): Yep.
Sydney: Cassidy looks off into the trees waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness away from the fire and just thinks, remembering times where she left and was just a wanderer.
Cameron (as Emma): You said you tried to mostly stay around the bigger cities.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): But you haven't been to Tree All Mountain? Which ones besides Eagle Hill have you been to?
Kit (as Birdie): All of them, besides Tree All Mountain. Like I said, when you don't really have a direction or a lot of big plans, traveling's just, you know, getting from one place to another. I spent a year or two in Quirk. Spent a year in Allium. Couple months in Puerta de Perrito - that was fun. But yeah, I've - Mellow Tone's interesting. That was the one of the first big cities I went to. I'm from Sasnak Traveling, though.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You've been further south than I have. I started in Quirk and went north.
Kit (as Birdie): Well, I really recommend going farther south than Quirk. It's a very uh, eh~ interesting area. I well, I didn't live the most typical lifestyle of most of the people down in Puerta de Perrito, so I guess I can't really make a judgment on that. You're from Quirk?
Sydney: Cassidy looks back to the fire to the face across the fire and
Sydney (as Cassidy): [deep inhale and sigh] At one point, yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Hm.
Cameron: Emma is now looking back and forth between Birdie and Cassidy because a connection has been made. She has big 'I just introduced two of my friends and I want them to get along energy', even though she just met Birdie. It doesn't matter the energy is there. Emma just likes people.
Sydney: Yeah, Cassidy shrugs and looks at Emma.
Cameron: Emma's just looking back excitedly at her. [laughing]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh]
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, even if we just bring her on as a passenger initially, if we run into anything she can help out. We're just driving north. We've got space in the rig.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We've got space in the rig, that's for sure. [sigh] Do you have stuff?
Kit (as Birdie): Stuff?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Supplies, tents. Anything that?
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, I have my backpack. I have a tent, a really small one. I have most things that you might need in my backpack. But that's it.
Nick: Cassidy feeling yourself about to let this twist of fate change the path of the Patina, you can't help but think back to when you joined up with Wyatt. Wyatt had a speech that he would give to any new member that was recruited to the team. What was that speech? And now that you're the most experienced member of the Patina, do you give that speech to Birdie?
Sydney: So at the point where Cassidy joined, they had a group that had been existing for a year. Cassidy, as far as she knows, was the first fresh face, the first one that wasn't there as a founding member. So probably the original group was like people who knew each other or who joined up following the posting on the wall down at the local watering hole saying mercenaries wanted but a year into the Patina's existence, Cassidy shows up to fill a hole as a sharpshooter. And at that point, Wyatt knew what he wanted and had been pondering speeches and I think the one that Cassidy got was slightly over the top dramatic in a way is like, we're a family, we're going to remember these things, we're going to do these things, like the late night orientation ceremony of a frat house where it felt overly ritualistic but the other people who were listening, you could tell weren't taking it super seriously. And because they hadn't heard it like they were amused, Wyatt was very earnest and Cassidy listened, where she was in life was not a place to question too much. But Zee-o joined up. Zee-o didn't get a speech. Wyatt didn't really even talk to Zee-o, Pallie talked to Zee-o. Maybe Pallie gave Zee-o the speech. Cassidy was doing other things at that time, when they were in Allium. And then the Emma situation was even different than that. So Cassidy doesn't really, there's not a speech, there's not bullet points that she needs to hit. It's just well this is the Patina now. So she puts down her bowl next to the cook pot for the pile of dishes that will need to get done and takes the two steps around the fire and puts her hand out for Birdie's bowl.
Kit: Birdie looks confused for like five seconds, and then she hands the bowl to Cassidy because there was no verbal component to that. [laughing]
Sydney: Cassidy takes it, puts it in a pile, does the same thing to Emma.
Cameron: Emma's bowl is still full of clams.
Sydney: Cassidy looks in the bowl, and then grabs the fork and eats the clams that are left and then adds that to the pile. What is Birdie sitting on? Did you get out one of the chairs? Did you roll over a stump? Do you have a log that you're sitting on one side of?
Kit: She rolled over a stump.
Sydney: Cassidy takes her chair and moves it, not next to Birdie, but on her side of the fire between Emma and Birdie, where they're - rather than being an opposition, two sides of the fire, now it's just a triangle.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [sigh] We can figure out whether you're a passenger or a crew as we go. But I think Sure. [resigned laugh] Join up with the other wanderers. [sigh] We'll probably get you into a fight and put your life in danger. Not on purpose, but that's what we do.
Kit (as Birdie): You know, not to say like that I have a death wish, but I kind of look forward to it. I think you guys are [pause] interesting. In a good way.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You've seen the giant robot in the back. So.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, that's a lot of where that part of the interesting part is coming from. What is that -it's a robot?
Sydney (as Cassidy): That's the Knight.
Kit (as Birdie): Huh.
Nick: The next morning dawns cold and clear. The Patina and Birdie, whether new Patina or passenger it hasn't been decided, break camp and pile into the rig. And another day of travel starts on your way to Grapes. I would love for everybody to give me one little snapshot of this two day journey of how it goes with this new person along for the ride.
Cameron: There's a smash cut of all of the different times that we have set camp and then broken down camp of where Emma and Cassidy had their task list that they did every time they were setting up camp and breaking it down, and now there is a third person that was not worked into their task list. So where as previously they'd been moving as in a fine dance never touching, like it is now there are traffic jams and everyone is in everybody else's way as we're trying to get stuff. There isn't really that much of a change that should have happened because Birdie has her own tent, so there's no reason why this should be causing this much of a disruption, but it definitely is.
Nick: Birdie, could you tell that you're in the way in these situations? How does that feel to be the odd one out?
Kit: Yeah, Birdie ends up looking between Emma and Cassidy and she can tell that things are clunky today. When she was with her family back on Sasnak Traveling, they had a very, very refined system of like, who did what, when and how they were going to get it done every single day. She definitely ends up retreating once she puts her own things away and just trying to find the spot to stand where she will not be in anyone's way and they can just pretend that she isn't there.
Cameron: I think as soon as Birdie does that things start to move much smoother. Not in a way that like Cassidy and Emma now look more relaxed, it's like the movements are smoother.
Sydney: Yeah, the two of them have been doing stuff together for months.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, it's not a realized sense of comfort at all, but subconsciously it was throwing them off.
Sydney: Yeah, it's like a release of tension in that - it's like when you have relatives staying with you, and especially if they've got an air mattress set up in the living room or something, where you know your house. You can wander around it in the middle of the night, you'll be fine. Like you know where the stuff is, but sometimes there's stuff that's not yours, and you have to engage your vigilance in way that you don't normally, because even though it's still your spot and your place like there's new people being introduced.
Cameron (as Emma): There are new elements in the environment.
Kit: As soon as things are coming to a point where she can leave her little Birdie timeout zone, I don't necessarily know what their sort of routine is, she would probably ask if she can do anything in the future to help them out.
Sydney: Who do we think is in charge of the set up ritual?
Cameron: We probably came to the decision of who was doing what based on which task we were most comfortable with, but then also just which ones we liked doing more, and it just happened to line up that we were good splitting pretty much evenly. But I think it's probably Emma, who's done first because Cassidy is the one cooking and cooking takes longer than everything else.
Sydney: Yeah, even with the fancy wild tech.
Cameron: Yeah, it's got a longer tail end there.
Sydney: Yeah. There's some spool up and still some ingredient choosing because while it cooks, you don't throw in your entire supply of staple foods and expect something good out.
Cameron: Yup so it's probably Emma, who's done first.
Kit: Okay. Once things do come to that slowing down point, Birdie is going to approach Emma and kind of just be like,
Kit (as Birdie): You know, in the future I can I can help out with anything you guys need.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh um. Yeah uh - I mean, we've been doing this for a little bit, so we kind of, [apologetic laugh] we kind of have a routine.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): But um. I think setting up your tent, that's helpful. Um, I mean, we can-we always need more firewood and setting up the fire pit so removing all the brush around it. But yeah,
Kit (as Birdie): I can do that. I mean, I've kind of had to do all of it over the years, so you know.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, it's [soft laugh] setting up tent for yourself, while it is slightly smaller, does involve a whole lot of the same things.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, just a bit.
Sydney: Cassidy looks up from where she's prepping food and goes,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Are you okay with the small tent? Because we've got more.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, I mean, I've had this one for a long time. I'm I'm not picky at all. It's done me good. So yeah, I mean, besides, I we don't even know how long I'm staying right now. So I don't want to, like start using your guys's stuff. [uncomfortable laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, the last person that used it was an Advantia passenger, so it might - well we washed it, so it should be fine.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, we watched it and then it aired out for six months. So,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it definitely had a motor oil flavor to it.
Kit (as Birdie): What does the Advantia and motor oil have to do with one another?
Cameron (as Emma): Well, you see [sigh]-
Sydney (as Cassidy): They're both a little slippery.
Kit: Birdie doesn't get the joke.
Cameron: Emma gives Cassidy a look.
Sydney: Cassidy gives back a glowing innocent smile.
Cameron (as Emma): Anyway, yeah, we have the other tents if you would like to use them.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, you know -
Sydney (as Cassidy): Our crews been a lot bigger in the past.
Kit (as Birdie): Really? I kind of figured from the vehicle that you guys were using.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah all the extra seats.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Nick: So we see you all talking as the question about previous members of the group hits, there's an aura of sadness, and you go about your duties, but the rest of the camp setup and everything goes just a little bit smoother and you all have a little bit more of an understanding. What do we see next?
Kit: Birdie is doing like 10 different things in the back. She never sits still. She's played four different games of solitaire. I think she would have invited whoever wasn't driving to play Go Fish because she just hasn't been able to play cards with some- she's done so many rounds of solitaire by herself and it's just easy at this point. There's nothing you can really do.
Sydney: I think at first, at the point where Emma took up the driving shift, Cassidy reached down into their in progress book pile, pulls out the romance novel from the day before, finds the line on the page where the bookmark had been left strategically to mark, skims the last two sentences to make sure yeah, this sounds familiar. And begins the reading.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Gregory looks up from his easel out across the ocean waves crashing shooting sea spray up towards Sofia, where she's posed flowers in her hair, her chest wet with the sea spray and makes sure to capture the last detail before giving her a smile and then approaching.
Cameron (as Emma): Why is her chest wet too?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Author appeal?
Cameron (as Emma): I - Okay.
Cameron: Emma keeps driving.
Sydney (as Cassidy): He strides boldly over and with one motion pulls the string of her bikini top exposing - um I suppose- so Birdie. As we start to get into an explicit scene, um we normally read romance novels while we're on the road, uh what is- how? How do you - are you - is this a thing that you're willing to participate in?
Kit (as Birdie): Um, you know, I've never been a big romance novel reader, um. I'd be, yeah, I wouldn't mind joining.
Kit: She scoops up the cards from the floor just shoves them all into one big pile.
Sydney: Cassidy lifts the book in a Cheers and continues reading. The scene gets explicit in the way that like trashy romance novels do. What is Birdie's reaction as Cassidy reads it with amusement, but commitment to the storytelling?
Cameron (as Emma): Emma's confused.
Kit: Every once in a while, Birdie will just let out a little giggle if a very specific kind of word is used, like an overly descriptive word is used in the imagery. And she looks very invested in this. So she's sitting in her seat just looking at Cassidy, like she's watching a movie. [laughing]
Sydney (as Cassidy): And the ocean waves rise to a roar as the storm rolls in matching the crescendo of the couple.
Sydney: And Cassidy closes the chapter with a theatric motion, and then looks proud of herself for having delivered it with a straight face.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That was -
Cameron (as Emma): [groan]
Sydney (as Cassidy): She said, the wet chest like three more times, Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): I do not understand how anyone could think that even just laying down while wet on a beach would be comfortable and a thing that one would want to participate in.
Kit (as Birdie): Well, you know, this was not what I was expecting out of a romance novel. It's very detailed, but not about the things that I thought it would be detailed about. There are a lot of questions that could be asked, and I think is the wet chest thing like a running theme?
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh, it comes up so frequently.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It gets an author tick. I mean, we did get a synonym. [laughing] So it wasn't only wet chest, but you knew that the author just really wanted to. [sigh] It doesn't feel like it ever saw an editor.
Kit (as Birdie): Huh.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's definitely a work of passion.
Kit: Birdie giggles again.
Cameron (as Emma): [long sigh]
Kit: This time, it's louder, because they're not reading.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And I Okay, I do mean that as a pun, but also, this was a story that they really wanted to tell. And it's a good thing these were cheap.
Kit (as Birdie): So, yeah, do you guys like them?
Cameron (as Emma): Um.
Kit (as Birdie): Is that why you keep reading them?
Cameron (as Emma): They're entertaining.
Kit (as Birdie): Uh huh.
Cameron (as Emma): And we have a very large box of them.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We had one of our other crew members used to be super into them. So.
Cameron (as Emma): We have a collection.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah we've got uh quite the war chest?
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Hopefully it's not moist.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah ew. No.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh...
Cameron (as Emma): That's very bad for books. Some of them are better than others in the quality of the literature. Mhmm.
Kit (as Birdie): I think that's a good way to put that.
Sydney (as Cassidy): But it passes the time while we're driving on these roads that take forever. At least we're on a road. Sometimes the road isn't a road, it's just the path and then we have to get out and walk.
Sydney: Cassidy puts the book back down under the thing and goes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Now the thing with these is they can be, [deep breath] it can be hard to read these for a long time at once because the literature quality is so good, so we'll take a break from there. Maybe you can read the next one. But I think it might be radio time. [laugh] Save a little bit of a voice and see if we're close enough to Tree All Mountain to start getting their radio because I've heard a lot of Eagle Hill lately.
Sydney: And Cassidy reaches over and starts twiddling the knobs of the old radio in the dashboard of the truck.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Welcome back to Going The Distance on MTR 1153, I’m your favorite campfire host, Marathon Messenger. I’ll start off with my personal favorite, last night’s highlights from the Association of Ice Derby!
The Jean-Paul’s Trading Post Nightcrawlers defeated the Tree-All Advantia Elk in a narrow game of 109 to 108 with the final jam being led by former teammate of mine and AID Superstar of the Week “Rocket” Roxi LePage.
That reminds me, Today’s AID Superstar of the Week is brought to you by Arena Juice.
“Start your day off like the champions with Arena Juice! Now available in dark purple. Find it at your local rink. Please drink Arena Juice responsibly.”
We’ll have more about Rocket, including an interview with yours truly, coming up after the break, but first, we’ve got some important news here for ya.
As y’all know we just got hit with a bit of a cold snap not too far back and our cold weather warning continues throughout this week as well. Make sure to keep yourselves warm and stay together to conserve heat, especially as we anticipate some more snowfall in the next few days.
It also looks like the travel office’s Train Faire and Safety Referendum has been pushed back again to next week, but chins up everyone, discussions should continue after the snowfall.
And finally something a little more heartening, while there is still no new developments the “Aranabutcher” case, local business from all throughout Tree All Mountain are donating towards the losses suffered by the temple and to the families or descendents of those priests who were lost. I love it when we can come together as a team.
And with that, you’re listening to Going the Distance with Marathon Messenger and we’ll return to the music for a tad!
[radio static fades]
Nick: And as the rig rumbles on further north, towards the town of Grapes, we cut away to that evening, once the Patina has made camp, this time even more quickly, more comfortable than they have before. Birdie, you come across Emma in the back of the rig to the sound of clanking metal and clicking tools. Emma, what does the scene look like that birdie comes across?
Cameron: So Emma has opened up the chest panel to the control systems of the Knight, so you can see the chair and the screens and everything that you would see while piloting it. And she has a notebook in one hand that she's looking at and then is looking back to the Knight and messing with something and then looking back at the notebook. And right as Birdie climbs up into the truck, Emma shakes her head and closes the notebook and slides down from her perch on the Knight and walks towards Pallie's arm.
Kit: Birdie is still looking around in a little bit of awe. She has never seen anything like the inside, let alone the outside, specifically the outside of the Knight. She does kind of materialize over Emma's shoulder and is just like,
Kit (as Birdie): Whatcha doing?
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, hi. Um [sigh] I am trying to figure out the next piece in the bootup system for the Knight. Last time we were in a position where we needed to turn it on, it was within my first few weeks with the Patina and I got the engines running but couldn't get the basically the brain to turn on. So I've been trying to figure out how that all works so that I don't find myself in that position again. And I've made it a few steps into the process, but this particular piece is software and um, not my specialty. So I've been listening to our last mechanic and trying to understand her notes to figure out how this is working.
Kit (as Birdie): Listening to her notes?
Cameron (as Emma): Um yes. So within this -
Cameron: And Emma gestures towards Pallie's arm, which is sitting on a stand that she has crafted for it on the work table.
Cameron (as Emma): This has a recording device in it that is basically an audio journal of all of her her notes from when she was restoring the Knight, initially, after they found it. She passed away right before I joined the group, so it's a little bit of a sore topic for everybody else, but yeah, she had the journal with her all the time. And it was in her arm. So yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): You didn't know her very well?
Cameron (as Emma): I met her once uh, for like half an hour? They came through Thunder Bay, uh I don't know it's about about a year ago and they were just looking for some pieces to fix up either the rig or this really old, decrepit jeep that they had at the time. And she happened to stop by my workshop first and so in trading her the part that she needed, she gave me some pointers in breaking down the tracker I was working on and I think it was fairly obvious to her that I was self taught and didn't have any professional training. So like she just within like that half hour or so, I feel like she taught me a lot and she was really kind and I think she would have been a very good mentor. But after they left, they came back through a few months later, and she wasn't with them. But she had mentioned to Wyatt, who was her brother and is our captain, that [disbelieving laugh] I was a good mechanic, so they needed some work done on the rig. So they brought it through and then invited me to come along. So yeah.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah.
Kit: You see Birdie swallow kind of hard and she goes,
Kit (as Birdie): She seems really nice. And you know, even though you didn't know her as well as maybe the other members did, sorry for your loss.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. Thanks. I think mine, since I didn't know her as well, I think mine's really seen as a loss of the potential knowledge that she could have shared and the, like she was just a nice person, like being friends with her, I think, would have been a really good experience and I wish I'd gotten that. But also, if she hadn't died, then the Patina never would have picked me up, so I still don't think I would have ever gotten that opportunity.
Kit (as Birdie): I see.
Cameron (as Emma): But um, yeah, she has the audio journals in the arm and it's incredibly detailed. She documented everything as she was going through it. And uh it's just it's, it's a lot more difficult to comprehend some of the stuff in audio form. I think I would do better if I had it in like a diagram. So I've been trying to transfer into diagrams, but like I said, this isn't my strong suit.
Cameron: It is clear Emma is now kind of discomfort talking.
Kit: Bertie gets that this is a iffy subject to harp on. So she's gonna gesture to the arm and be like,
Kit (as Birdie): Uh if it's, you're going to turn it on and listen to it, right?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I've been, I've been listening to this part on repeat it seems like.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay, uh if you ever need, like a fresh pair of eyes or someone to just talk it out to, I know you have Cassidy and everything, and I don't want to overstep.
Cameron (as Emma): I think Cassidy be the first one to tell you that mechanics are not her thing. Yeah, but no, no, feel free to climb on up on the Knight and look at it with me while we listen.
Kit: She's gonna hoist herself up. It's a little awkward, because she's never done it before.
Cameron: Emma picks up the arm in both hands and tucks it gently under an elbow and climbs back up to her perch on the Knight. It looks like she's done this a lot. It's a very practiced, well known path up the Knight to get to the spot. And she sets the arm down in the seat and presses the play button.
Rhi (as Pallie): [over radio] We turned it on! It works, the Knight works, we powered it on and I took it out for a walk, and it’s the most amazing, incredible thing--
[sharp sigh] Okay. There was no we about it. Zee-o turned it on. I hooked everything up the way it’s supposed to go, and… nothing. Nothing happened. And then Zee did something to it, made some kind of connection. And that started it up. Unfortunately, right now, that’s the only way to get it going. Zee-o’s gotta talk to it, I guess. It goes faster each time, which is good, but… I don’t want them to get stuck as the start-up key for the damn thing. It’s not fair to them, and it might not always be practical. So I’m working on figuring out exactly what they’re doing when they tell it to fire up, so maybe I can repair something, or build something, to replicate it.
Might be harder than it sounds, though. Zee and the Knight are both from the same source, I think. Same emblem on them both. And the tech I’ve run across with that sigil on it is beyond anything I’ve been able to build. The fact that I was able to get the Knight to a place where it can be turned on is impressive. If I had to repair something with as much complexity as Zee-o… I don’t know if I could do it. They’ve got a mind, a consciousness, and I couldn’t begin to fathom how the machinery inside them makes that happen. But… they’re related, somehow. Siblings or cousins, maybe. I think with Zee helping, I can crack the code.
Hopefully it’s something I can do on the road. Wyatt’s been restless since we got here, but it’s getting to the others, too. Everyone’s been snappish, short-tempered. Bored, I think. Ready to move on. We need a job to get us back on our feet, at minimum, but with the Knight… maybe we can do better than back on our feet.
It’ll be good. Getting back on the road. Actually putting the Knight to work, not just pacing it around. It’s been a damned hard winter, but I think we’ve got a shot to get somewhere better by summer.
Nick: And as the final strains of the audio journal entry fade to static we cut away to the next day, the next leg of this journey to the rig rolling into the town of Grapes. And though the town looks peaceful, you can see the signs of damage on the streets and buildings as though some terrible conflict happened here recently.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Aly (as Zee-o): End of episode. Commencing end credits. The following information will be placed in the show notes for your added convenience.
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:
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 her other work at pennharper.itch.io.
Rhi as Pallie. Rhi is the GM and producer of The Magpies, a Blades in the Dark actual play podcast, and the owner of Skill Check, a document accessibility service for the RPG community. Rhi can be found on Twitter @ Rhiannon42.
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.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt.
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
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.
Until next time…
[hurdy gurdy fades]