Transcript: Episode 17: This is Not Efficient
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Episode 17: This Is Not Efficient Transcript by Cameron Robertson
Note: Zee-o is a synthetic humanoid being and primarily speaks in a robotic, monotone voice.
[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 –
Drew: Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt Fisher.
Aly: Aly Grauer as Zee-o.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Thanks for being a listener! If you aren’t already, think about joining the show’s discord. You can swap memes with the show cast, and lately, we’ve even been enjoying some fantastic fan art from listeners just like yourself. (And if you are one of those artists, you’re awesome.)
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 17: This Is Not Efficient. And so...
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[robotic powerup noise begins]
Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection.
[robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on A Knight of Shreds and Patches, we finished listening to the story of how we lost Pallie. We got close. It was a good plan. It's not anyone's fault. Saying those things doesn't make it any better now though.
Nick: We open on the Patina's rig, rolling through a barely lit forest on dirt roads, the cloudy sky overhead, letting little sunlight through. And we zoom in through the windshield to an awkward silence in the cab. Modem, Zee-o, Cassidy, Wyatt and Emma are all staring out the window or the windshield. And you can tell that everyone is struggling for some way to pass the time.
Drew (as Wyatt): Hey uh, Emma?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah?
Drew (as Wyatt): If you reach underneath your seat there, there's gonna be a small book. Will you get that for me, please?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh...I'm assuming it's the questions book and not one of the romance novels that's under here.
Drew (as Wyatt): No, it's one of the questions books. I'm not gonna read the romance novels out loud to us while we go.
Cameron (as Emma): I didn't know what you were in the mood for. But sure. Here we go.
Cameron: Emma passes the book forward.
Drew (as Wyatt): Thank you.
Drew: Who's sitting next to Wyatt in the passenger seat?
Sydney: Probably Modem because he's giant.
Aly: Yeah, it's totally Modem.
Nick: Even sitting at the passenger seat, his knees are shoved up by his ears.
Drew (as Wyatt): Modem - Would you mind turning to page, what is it, I think we're on page 161 and reading the question there, if you don't mind.
Cameron (as Emma): Do you not have a bookmark?
Drew (as Wyatt): No, I just remembered it.
Cameron (as Emma): How?
Drew (as Wyatt): Well I always remember this book.
Nick: Modem is paging through and there's dog ears and questions that have been circled in ink and a couple have been what looks like censored out like top secret materials so that you can't read them at all anymore.
Nick (as Modem): Hmm, interesting. What did you say? 161?
Drew (as Wyatt): 161. Just turn to that and read the question.
Nick (as Modem): PAGE 161 of Fun Activities To Do in a Car to Amuse Your Child.
Sydney: Cassidy's sighs in the backseat loudly.
Nick (as Modem): Paragraph the fifth, passage three. If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?
Nick: And he claps the book closed and says
Nick (as Modem): So sayeth the book.
Drew (as Wyatt): So say we all. Uh let me start. I think everybody thinks I'd be a bear. Or like a wolf or something like that. I used to think that while pfft a while ago, but um, I don't think I am anymore. I think I'm a river otter, the big whiskers and kind of a chubby body. But like, solid, good swimmer. And um, I mean I'm probably very serious river otter, but they got their own personalities. Yeah. Yeah, river otter. I like that. Except I-I don't eat fish. I'm just a weird river otter like that. So that's all I got.
Cameron (as Emma): Wyatt do you like shellfish?
Drew (as Wyatt): What like, like clams?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.
Drew (as Wyatt): Hmm I don't really like clams. But shrimp. I do like shrimp.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, so you're not gonna starve as a river otter at least.
Drew (as Wyatt): No no I'm going to be a river that exclusively eats like crustaceans and stuff like that. Crabs! I like crab. Yeah, I do like crab.
Nick (as Modem): That makes sense of Wyatt doesn't like fish, because crabs and shrimp are more like spiders.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's true. If you if you think about it, a lobster is nothing else but like a very large cockroach.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh gross. [laughs]
Drew (as Wyatt): And I have eaten large cockroach before.
Cameron (as Emma): Ohhh...
Nick (as Modem): It's full of protein.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah there's a, there's a species of cockroach that lives out west. It's about, I don't know, two feet by a foot. It's a very big cockroach and uh ah they're so good with some melted butter. Very very good. Although the heads do you know they move around for quite a while afterwards. You okay Emma?
Cameron (as Emma): Do-do you eat the heads?
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): Why are they moving then?
Drew (as Wyatt): Well that's half the fun. You like tried to stab it and keeps moving trying to get away from you.
Cameron (as Emma): No~. That is not fun.
Drew (as Wyatt): Look look - you make your own fun when you're out in the wilderness by yourself.
Cameron (as Emma): I don't think that's what people are normally talking about when they say that Wyatt.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay back to the question [laughs] that was given to us - if you were an animal what kind of animal would you be? Let's move on to that. Goodness. [long pause] No one? Come on! Modem. Modem - you what what animal would you be, Modem?
Nick (as Modem): I would be a slime mold.
Aly (as Zee-o): Does that count as an animal?
Nick (as Modem): One of the stages of a slime mold's life cycle is it amoeboid. Slime molds are interesting because throughout their lives they are plants, fungi, and animal. They react intelligently even though they are single cell. It is quite fascinating. They are strong and adaptable, and work almost like a simple computer. And they eat dead wood. Which is interesting to me.
Aly (as Zee-o): You have clearly put thought into this prior to the question being asked.
Nick (as Modem): Honestly, one of the questions to join with the Advantia is, if you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? And rumor has it that they prize creativity over practicality. So slime mold.
Aly (as Zee-o): You recycled your answer.
Nick (as Modem): Yes, because I have grown to believe it quite deeply. They also ask questions like if you have seven almost identical spheres and one weighs slightly less than the rest but can only use the scale two times. How do you find the lighter sphere?
Drew (as Wyatt): Who's next?
Aly (as Zee-o): If you can only use the scale twice -
Drew (as Wyatt): Oh my goodness.
Aly (as Zee-o): Can you hold them in your hands?
Nick (as Modem): You can, but part of the question is that they're physically indeterminant -
Drew (as Wyatt): We do have to finish these questions, you know. We're - look we're gonna get to Tree All Mountain very soon. All right. I don't want to continue to talk about this while we're in the truck.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well you do have to make the point that Modem looks a little reminiscent of a slime mold.
Drew (as Wyatt): [under breath] Oh my gosh.
Nick (as Modem): Thank you- Wait... which stage?
Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping with Cassidy] Plant.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping with Emma] The animal one.
Nick (as Modem): Okay, I'll take a flagellated [mumbles].
Drew (as Wyatt): Somebody needs to go. Somebody else needs to go.
Cameron (as Emma): I think I'd be something...um like a squirrel?
Drew (as Wyatt): I can see that. Yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): Curious and uh, getting into a lot of things and able to hide in a tree when I don't want to, you know, be with people anymore. Or I want to just like go work on a project by myself. They're cute. They're small. Nuts are all right, I guess. I haven't put nearly as much thought into this question as Modem did, but I like squirrels.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, fortunately, you haven't tried to join the Advantia. So -
Nick (as Modem): Yes, that question would neither subtract nor add points to your application.
Drew (as Wyatt): Someone else go, please.
Aly (as Zee-o): I am having difficulty answering the question Wyatt.
Drew (as Wyatt): Why?
Aly (as Zee-o): I do not understand how something - we are not animals.
Drew (as Wyatt): I mean we are, we're just different types of animals.
Aly (as Zee-o): You know what I mean.
Drew (as Wyatt): I-I, do I?
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes. We are not these things that we are-
Drew (as Wyatt): We are not what we would call lesser mammals or lesser animals, I guess.
Aly (as Zee-o): Correct. How is it that we are able to personify them? Give them human attributes. And yet it is subjective. It is not by definition that a squirrel is as Emma described it.
Drew (as Wyatt): Zee-o - Will you do me a favor?
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes.
Drew (as Wyatt): Will you look up the word anthropomorphizeation?
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes. Anthropomorphizeation: noun, endowing with human qualities; attributing human characteristics to something that is non human. This is what I am asking about.
Drew (as Wyatt): There's a whole word for it in our language, which means we as humans, just do it naturally. We anthropomorphize things. I mean,
Drew: And we hear Wyatt knock on the top of the truck.
Drew (as Wyatt): I give attributes to the truck all the time. It lives, it breathes, it consumes like we consume, it moves. It's not real, it's not alive. But I say it is.
Aly (as Zee-o): But it is subjective.
Drew (as Wyatt): It is subjective.
Aly (as Zee-o): Your personification of the truck is not the same
Drew (as Wyatt): [interrupting] No~.
Aly (as Zee-o): as Cassidy's personification
Drew (as Wyatt): [interrupting] And that's the
Aly (as Zee-o): of the truck.
Drew (as Wyatt): That is the point of the question. It's not to answer the question as it is, it is to learn about the person. The answer is more important than what it actually is. It says more about you.
Aly (as Zee-o): I see.
Nick (as Modem): Zee-o would be a crocodile.
Aly (as Zee-o): Why?
Nick (as Modem): Because Zee-o is often still and pleasant to look at, but sometimes they snap with a ferocity that is unbelievable.
Drew (as Wyatt): That was actually pretty good.
Aly (as Zee-o): I do have a considerable bite force.
Drew (as Wyatt): I was gonna say also maybe like a snapping turtle, but I like alligator. That's good too.
Aly (as Zee-o): Alligators are not crocodiles, Wyatt.
Drew (as Wyatt): No, they're they're not.
Nick (as Modem): One is more of a fungus and the other is more of a plant.
Cameron (as Emma): No!
Sydney (as Cassidy): They must have taught you that in Advantia school.
Aly (as Zee-o): I would not like to be a fungus.
Nick (as Modem): I'll admit my uh, education is very specialized.
Aly (as Zee-o): I do not know if I would like to be an alligator or a crocodile. I do not know what attributes I would give to an animal to make it something that I wish I could be.
Drew (as Wyatt): Well, I guess that's a question you can answer later. When you think about it.
Aly (as Zee-o): I believe I will have to.
Drew (as Wyatt): How what you Cassidy. What's your animal?
Sydney (as Cassidy): I would probably be a falcon; some type of raptor. Something that rides the thermals and gets as high up in the air as possible. Looking for prey down far below.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's good. I like it.
Cameron (as Emma): That makes sense.
Drew (as Wyatt): Makes sense.
Aly (as Zee-o): I think I understand that. You also have excellent eyesight, Cassidy.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well thank you.
Aly (as Zee-o): And raptor birds also have excellent eyesight for seeking prey. Is this correct?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes. This is this is the types of parallels that we're trying to draw.
Aly (as Zee-o): I see. Maybe... No, I cannot think of one. This is difficult. There are so many animals.
Drew (as Wyatt): There are. So think about it all you like. You can tell us later when we're on the train.
Aly (as Zee-o): I will.
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright. All right. Let's turn on the radio.
Nick: And as Modem fiddles with the radio dial, the Patina in the rig can hear the sound of dirt beneath the tires turn to the crunch of snow. And that fresh sound of packed powder blends into the static as the truck radio picks up a broadcast coming between the trees.
Aly (as radio personality): [over radio] As always, you're listening to MTR 1153 I'm Catherine McGuire, your host and cozy narrator for the afternoon. We're coming back up on an hour of non stop cozy bluegrass jazz, like you love, like you want to hear all day, every day from MTR 1153. Before we get back to it, as we've announced several times today that coldsnap is looking to be a really hard freeze out there folks. So we are encouraging everyone to seek shelter. And to get ready for that cold long winter coming up ahead. I know we were hoping to lay it off by a week or two, but folks, it's not looking good. It looks like that frost is really setting in and we may have another storm front coming through. So get cozy, stay home. If you're not at home, get home and keep each other warm while we tune into some really nice bluegrass jazz. I also want to remind you that if you are looking to get out of town for the winter, which I mean who isn't right? You can still acquire a birth on board the Rondaxe line, which leaves soon this evening departing from Tree All Mountain for Eagle Hill, and you can get those tickets at the station. Now let's get back to our cozy bluegrass jazz and I hope you all have a good blanket to cuddle up with. This is Catherine McGuire for MTR 1153.
Nick: As the transmission concludes, Wyatt guides the truck out of the trees and we get our first look at Tree All Mountain, one of the seven cities. It is surrounded by a 60 foot high wall and by a joining of lakes and rivers on all sides. But from the hill you're on, you can see small houses and structures and a tidy layout throughout the city. There are groups of ice skaters on the surrounding ice and a stair step of small dams to the north. The city seems to glow with cheer and electric light. You also see that a path to the city is currently being cleared by a truck even bigger than the rig. A gigantic snowplow pushes away the freshly drifted ice and frost. You can just make out the word Nedge on the back of the truck painted in loving red letters.
We get this view of the truck on the hill. And just in the distance you can see that on the far side of the city, there's almost a festival that's been erected on the other side of the river. There's a tent with people moving around; they just look like ants from this distance but you can tell a large amount of action. And a large gate into the city is opened on that side and the group can see what looks like the engine of a large train sticking out, like a turtle venturing from its shell. It rests gently on a river bridge and streams of people are all around it readying it for the journey that the radio mentioned.
Drew (as Wyatt): Hey Zee-o.
Aly (as Zee-o): Yes?
Drew (as Wyatt): What time you got?
Aly: Zee-o is in the middle of the backseat between Emma and Cassidy and they lean forward through the front seats between Wyatt and Modem and look out through the windshield and then they sit back.
Aly (as Zee-o): It is almost noon.
Drew (as Wyatt): Wait you don't have like an internal clock or something like that?
Aly (as Zee-o): Is that any of your business?
Drew (as Wyatt): [sputters]
Cameron (as Emma): [laughs]
Drew (as Wyatt): I apologize.
Sydney (as Cassidy): They have a point.
Drew (as Wyatt): I apologize.
Cameron: Emma is just cracking up into the corner.
Drew (as Wyatt): I won't make that assumption again, I apologize. Well it's noon, trains gonna leave about four, we're going to be cutting to kind of close. But let's get in there.
Drew: And we see Wyatt put the truck into gear and begin heading down the hill, along the path that Nedge has plowed for them.
Nick: You follow this path that this large snowplow has made for you and you're able to enter the city through an open gate. People are in the streets, they're bundled up, but you can still see kids having snowball fights. It looks like the doors of these buildings are unlocked, and people duck in and out to warm up on their way. The buildings are all very small. It looks like most of them must have been dug into the ground and a majority of the living space is underground where it can stay warmer. But Nedge, this large snowplow, turns down a side street clearing the ice, and you see that there is no driver's seat. Instead, it's just a blank steel area. And this must be some form of strange wild tech that helps the city. But the way that people react to it driving around seems very natural. They all seem very comfortable with it. People wave at it. Sometimes a kid will accidentally step in front of it and it always stops with plenty of space. It has a couple of different horn pitches and when that happens, it makes a noise that sounds disapproving. And the kids will apologize and step out of the way but it's treated almost like a celebrity.
Aly: Zee-o is particularly interested in watching the people react to the snowplow. Zee-o was definitely not expecting the snowplow to have people pay attention to it since it seems to be functional and efficient. It's not painted a fun color or wearing a hat. We've encountered wild tech that has been unique before but I don't think we've seen people interact with something like this at the scale because it's a snowplow. So I think Zee-o is pretty interested in this, looking out the window and watching people's faces change as they see Nedge come around the corner and stuff like that.
Nick: Zee-o you have your face pressed up to the window and you're watching as Nedge drives down a street in a different direction than the rig is planning to go. And people walk by the side of the rig as it stopped allowing a crowd to cross the street. And you reflexively pull away from the windows so that they can't see your inhuman face. And it just drives home how separate from these people you really are.
Cameron (as Emma): Zee-o, do you want to switch seats?
Aly (as Zee-o): No.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay.
Aly (as Zee-o): Do you?
Cameron (as Emma): No, I'm fine. You were just, you seemed really interested in looking out the window, so I was gonna swap with you.
Drew (as Wyatt): Are you sure Emma? Have you - You've never been to a big city like this before.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, it's... there's a lot of buildings. There's a lot of snow.
Aly (as Zee-o): The snow and the buildings are not mutually exclusive.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, yeah, I know. I was just listing things that I'd noticed.
Sydney (as Cassidy): There will be a train.
Cameron (as Emma): I guess this is, this is a lot of people.
Aly: I have a question. Compared to Allium, how does this feel so far?
Nick: Allium is big and industrial and terraced. But it's like a fortress city - Not necessarily in fortification but in mentality. Here you can see people stop and wave at each other, people are having conversations, the fact that every door is open with a warming kind of entryway to let people walk around safely, it has a real sense of community. It's just entirely different. And you know that if the train is your destination that you're going to have to cross through this city. The goings not particularly fast because there are a decent amount of pedestrians and there isn't a road that cuts straight through, you have to make your way.
Drew: Wyatt stops the rig for a second. He rolls down the window and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Hey! Yeah you! How do we get to the train?
Nick (as townsperson): The trains east. Go east.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, but this this road doesn't go east.
Nick (as townsperson): Well all right then.
Nick: And the guy walks over and puts his elbow on the window of the rig which involves leaning up but you do notice this guy's very tall. He says,
Nick (as townsperson): So what you're going to want to do, see, is you're going to want to head down to Mackey's. Now it used to be Donnie's but now it's Mackey's.
Drew (as Wyatt): Uh huh.
Drew: And Wyatt takes up a piece of paper and begins to write all this down.
Aly: Zee-o in the backseat turns and looks at Cassidy with a neutral face as always but with a head tilt of incredulity.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I... locals give directions. I mean as long as we're there by sundown, like the radio was saying it should be fine.
Nick (as townsperson): Now you're going to want to take your time because it's just a beautiful road down there.
Drew (as Wyatt): Uh huh.
Aly (as Zee-o): This is not efficient.
Nick (as townsperson): and there's a lot of kids, so be careful.
Sydney (as Cassidy): If we don't get there, we don't have a way to get to Eagle Hill, outside of this - not with the rig.
Nick (as townsperson): Now there used to be a windmill, but that windmills gone. So go to where you see the windmill used to be
Drew (as Wyatt): All right.
Nick (as townsperson): and then you're gonna want to take a right.
Drew (as Wyatt): Uh huh.
Cameron (as Emma): What??
Drew (as Wyatt): Uh last question for you, friend. Thank you so much. Last question.
Drew: And we see Wyatt lean out the window and lean down a bit and go,
Drew (as Wyatt): Where's the temple of Aranabis?
Nick: He makes a complicated hand gesture, where he interlocks his fingers and the tips of them twitch in a strange way. He says,
Nick (as townsperson): Oh, you'll be looking to do some remembering?
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah.
Nick (as townsperson): Yeah, that's gonna be on the east side, too. It's just next to the wall. You can't miss it. It's all underground. But you'll see the priests from a whiles away.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. Thank you, friend. What's your name?
Nick (as townsperson): Oh, uh yeah, I'm Kevin. Nice to meet you. Uh Kevin Capetin.
Drew (as Wyatt): Pleasure to meet you, Kevin. You have a good day.
Nick (as townsperson): You as well, sir. Uh remember, drive slow by the kids, eh?
Drew: There's a [large truck horn] as he pulls away.
Nick: A group of kids wave at you and then see that it's not Nedge and look really disappointed. And one makes a rude hand gesture.
Drew: Wyatt looks out the window and does it back.
Nick: The kid gasps but the rest of their friends laugh at them. And then they run off in a gaggle as kids often do.
Drew (as Wyatt): Kids.
Nick: And you go through the city, you pass Donnie's, you pass the place where there used to be a windmill, and now there isn't anymore.
Drew: Uh huh we went a right there. Yeah.
Nick: And everybody told me one thing that you see in this city, as you cross. You're going pretty much the entire length of the city. And you're on a timeframe before the train leaves, but not too much of one.
Drew: So as we're riding along, I feel like we all get hungry. And we're going to stop someplace, but right before we're going to stop, we hear a tap tap tap on the window. And Wyatt looks out at a guy who's on a moped that's almost as tall as the truck is. It's very big. And it's carrying a very big trailer behind it. He rolls on the window. They're still going and he goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Can I help you?
Drew: And the guy's like,
Drew (as vendor): Oh, yeah, hey there. I was wondering, were you uh hungry friend? Cause I can, I can give you food.
Drew: And it's a mobile restaurant that just goes up and down the roads and stops in different places. They're like mini Nedges. And so we order food. So we get a bunch of maple syrup flavored food and some snacks for the train as well.
Nick: There's a little shot of Modem grabbing this fried pastry wafer thing and tossing it from hand to hand and trying to blow on it because it's too hot. And the next shot of whatever we see, everybody is munching on snacks as you roll through the city at a safe speed.
Sydney: Yeah, so we're driving past and there's a big what looks like a power plant, except there's a bunch of transformers and stuff, but there's a big crane in the middle with some big old like two ton cement blocks. And the crane is, looks like it's currently lowering one down. I don't think Cassidy has any idea what this is. But it's a kinetic energy storage that's powering the city. Or it's supplementing the city's power at this point, because it's cold.
Nick: Yeah, and this crane looks autonomous. And as you roll by this generator facility, it sets the block all the way down to the ground. And you can see this large claw on the crane rise all the way back up to the next tallest block and move it slightly to the side and start to lower it. And it's the weight of the block is turning a turbine to make energy.
Cameron: Now Emma is pressed up against the window.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh, that's so big! Woah!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah why are they playing with giant blocks?
Cameron (as Emma): Uh well so what it, what it probably is is... there's the dam right there. I don't know much about the waterways in this area, but there's probably too much power that they're getting from the dam normally. So the giant block things, when you have more power than the city would need coming through, I think the crane would be doing the opposite of what it's doing right now or picking up the blocks and stacking them and then basically you're, that's storing energy for the future because then when you need power, like when it's really cold, like now, you can by slowly lowering the block you get that energy from that and then it's like a crane block battery.
Nick: Modem eyes Emma shrewdly.
Nick (as Modem): That is exactly correct.
Sydney: Cassidy raises an eyebrow.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That is - how come not everyone does this? If that - that seems cool.
Cameron (as Emma): Well, so you're gonna need a really powerful river for the dam, and then you're gonna need the locations power needs to be less than the power that you're getting out of it.
Nick (as Modem): Not to mention an autonomous crane and gigantic blocks.
Cameron (as Emma): That too.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well you could do it with a manned crane and making blocks doesn't seem hard.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I think you're gonna need really heavy blocks, though. So you need somewhere nearby that you could quarry them. And then like I said, you're going to need the dam. Probably the only reason they're doing this is because the city is so big, like, we had a dam in Thunder Bay, but we didn't need to store power, because we always got enough from just it functioning like a dam.
Nick (as Modem): The cold snaps in Tree All Mountain necessitate the storing of power that is not needed in most places.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah they're probably too fancy to have like hearth fires and stuff in their house. So...
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, I hear this town freezes solid in the winter, which is why we don't want to be here, when that happens.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And we need to make sure we, because this is the last train. So let's like not be sitting here hanging out.
Nick: And the truck rolls on.
Aly: There are a couple of things that catch Zee-o's attention. The architecture of the city is old, in a lot of places, like it's been either lovingly put back together by hand or preserved somehow. And it feels old and it looks old. It doesn't look or feel like Allium at all. And Zee-o is admiring this along the way. But also along the way, Zee-o notices that there are signs and posters about Nedge the snowplow. And the more friendly it looks on the posters, the more concerned Zee-o is. Do they not know that it's a snow plow? or they do know that it's a snow plow. Does it have an AI? Can I talk to it? How does it work? What's the deal with the snow plow?
But I would like to say that something that Zee-o sees as the rig continues down the road, they see it at the last second out of the corner of their eye through the window as the truck is changing direction. So there's no time to stop and go back and look at it. Zee-o catches a glimpse of an old bit of architecture that has something carved into it that looks like the tree and the snake that is the insignia on the Knight and looks similar to the insignia on them. Maybe indicating that at one time, this particular building belonged to that company, whoever they were, whatever they made, but Zee-o sees it too late and the truck is already moving on and they can't quite articulate why they would want to stop and go back. But just seeing it out of the corner of their eye is enough to set all of their internal systems pinging around and trying to find an explanation for why they suddenly feel on alert.
Nick: The feeling as you lock eyes with this symbol is like touching a live wire you can just feel the jolt of electricity go through you. The recognition. And then it's gone.
Cameron: So we've talked about how the city basically becomes a block of ice and freezes over incredibly solid. But throughout the city as we wind through all these streets trying to find a path across the city. There's still a large amount of green space that has been set aside with lots of pine trees and trees that don't care that it's snowing outside and aren't bothered by the cold so that you don't completely lose all of the nature within the city whenever you get into those winter months where it's really not safe to leave the city walls and to go out into the surrounding forest area. But there's small little pieces of natural sanctuary spattered around the city and several of them have ice skating rinks next to them with kids playing and a lot of parks basically.
Nick: Does that make Emma feel nostalgic for her home? Because her home was safe and had space for people to grow and thrive and this feels very similar in that regard, although on a bigger scale.
Cameron: I think the areas near the parks are the one place that feels familiar to Emma. Everything else even though it is super cold out already and the cold snap is coming, there's still a lot of people out, probably way more people than she's seen in one place before. And looking around the city it seems very blocky, and I'm going to say cold but not temperature wise, ambiance wise. But the little pieces of parks with the trees and a few houses and buildings near around those, she recognizes that type of location feeling, but is overwhelmed with how large this place is and is still thinking about the crane.
Nick: We see Emma just doing pure tourist eyes out of the window of the rig, as you approach the easterly wall of Tree All Mountain. You can see that not only is the gate open to allow the engine to partially cross the bridge before it has settled onto the ground. But the sides of the wall are open where the gate is, and you can see that there's a tunnel bored into it where the train has been stored until it is time for its next journey. And as the rig rolls to a stop, we get this shot of the train on one side and what would look to the audience like a subway station on the other side of the street. But with a large wrought iron arch over the stairs, and a hunched figure in a iridescent black robe standing stock-still at the edge of the stairs, being given a wide berth by everyone who is working on assembling the train and getting it ready for its journey. You recognize the spider web motif, Wyatt, as a symbol of Aranabis.
Drew: And I think we see Wyatt lock eyes with that individual as they drive past and he marks it. He's like, okay, that's where I need to go.
Nick: And as you approach the train, somebody wearing a high visibility vest and a hard hat gestures for you to stop as you're getting close. It's clearly hand stitched and assembled from shards of some bigger material. It looks like a high visibility vest mixed with scale mail, and the hard hat has little scrolls with wax seals on the side of it. This man is clearly very important.
Drew: Wyatt stops the rig and opens the door and gets out to meet this person.
Nick (as train person): No you can't stop here this zone is for loading only. If you're unloading or you're approaching you got to go to the other side. Please display your tickets immediately. Thank you so much. Please continue on you're blocking the flow. We only have till sundown my friend. Let's go.
Drew (as Wyatt): Sorry, sorry.
Drew: And we see Wyatt almost get down and then get back up and close the door again.
Drew (as Wyatt): I don't know where to go.
Drew: But we hear a [large truck honking] behind him and then he's like
Drew (as Wyatt): Oh gosh.
Drew: And like puts it into gear and moves forward.
Drew (as Wyatt): We gotta, gotta find find a good place to park. Will someone keep a lookout for someplace to park, please.
Nick: As you're rolling by the guy, he sees your confusion and he gestures for you to roll your window down.
Drew: Wyatt rolls it down.
Nick (as train person): Hey, you look confused friend. Do you have your tickets?
Drew (as Wyatt): No we don't we don't have tickets. We need to load our rig onto the train.
Nick (as train person): Whoa big spenders over here. Well, you're gonna need to go to the tent outside of the city.
Nick: He's doing knife hand out of the city. And you can see he bends one knee and leans into it.
Nick (as train person): The loading zone is going to be on the other side of the train.
Nick: He does a knife hand with two hands, these gestures look very practiced and formal.
Nick (as train person): Unloading is right here, which is why I asked you to move. You got to have tickets over there before you approach the line. You got about two hours my friend so I would hurry. The train won't be back for six months.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay. Okay, so you want us to go that way, get tickets, come back, load up. Right?
Nick (as train person): Yeah. Don't try to bring your truck across the bridge. It's mostly taken up by the train, you're gonna want to park on a side street.
Drew (as Wyatt): The whole rig?
Nick (as train person): Well you're not going to get it across the train, you can move to the loading section. But if you don't have tickets, I don't know how long they'll leave you there.
Drew (as Wyatt): Oh my gosh. All right. All right. Thank you. Thank you.
Drew: And we see Wyatt roll up the window. Take a moment. He takes off his fisherman's cap and he like wipes his brow going.
Drew (as Wyatt): [sigh] I hate big cities.
Drew: He puts his hat back on. And he puts the rig into gear and moves forward.
Aly: Zee-o quietly from the backseat.
Aly (as Zee-o): This is not efficient.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, I know. I know it's not efficient, but we're doing what the man said.
Aly (as Zee-o): Not you. Them.
Nick: The man outside the window is streaming sweat. And you can see him making frantic gestures at what looks like a team of giant moose that is pulling a sled that has runners that are too big for the amount of snow on the ground and is clearly scraping up the pavement underneath and also a group of motorcycles that are stuck at the intersection at a standoff with the moose. And he's yelling,
Nick (as train person): We're already behind schedule! That jackanape in the truck has messed everything up. Motorcycles go there. Moose is unloading over here. Let's go!
Nick: And no one's moving. But he's gesturing and yelling.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh are those moose?
Aly (as Zee-o): Moose.
Aly: Zee-o and Emma say the word moose at the same time and then press to the window.
Aly (as Zee-o): They are so big.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah-
Aly (as Zee-o): They are enormous.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh,
Aly (as Zee-o): They are tall.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh.
Nick: They stand as tall as the rig easily.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah they say that used to be smaller.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Those are giant.
Aly (as Zee-o): Look at their noses. Look at their eyes.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my,
Aly (as Zee-o): Look at their ears.
Cameron (as Emma): Gosh.
Drew (as Wyatt): What do you think?
Cameron (as Emma): Their antlers are like as wide as the rig!
Aly (as Zee-o): Their antlers could carry us.
Drew (as Wyatt): What-
Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh.
Drew (as Wyatt): What do you think, Zee-o? Do you think you'd be a moose?
Aly (as Zee-o): A moose? I do not know. I have never met a moose. I do not know what they are like.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We've got time, go meet it.
Nick: A moose makes eye contact with Zee-o through the window and you can see its nostrils flapping shut and then opening real wide like it's waving its ears if it was a cartoon elephant, but it's its nostrils.
Aly (as Zee-o): I... I... I do not think I can meet a moose.
Cameron (as Emma): Why?
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's right there.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right there's a parking spot right over there. Do you see it? Do you see it?
Drew: We see Wyatt pointing out the window.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah?
Drew (as Wyatt): All right, we're gonna go for that one. I'm going to go for that one.
Nick: There's a small kid standing in probably a 15 meter long space on the side of the road next to a curb. They are so bundled up that they look like a bowling ball made out of scarves and jackets. And you can see one eye peeking out under a hat with a pom pom and above a scarf. Everything else is completely covered. You're not sure how they got to stand there, because walking is clearly difficult for them. And this kid appears to be guarding the spot.
Drew: So I feel like we drive up, and Wyatt begins to park. He's just going to park regardless of the kid standing there.
Cameron (as Emma): Wyatt don't hit that kid!
Drew (as Wyatt): He can move.
Nick: The kid does not move. The front bumper nudges this kid. There's 14 layers of jackets at least around this kid. And you have slightly made an impression on one and the kid begins to scream bloody murder.
Drew: Okay, Wyatt stops. [laughing] Wyatt wasn't going to stop, but Wyatt stops.
Aly: I think a slightly older kid bundled similarly comes running up out of the snow and sees to their sibling and the sibling screaming points at the truck. And the older kid looks at the truck and gives the same rude hand gesture to Wyatt as the kid did earlier. And the older sibling pulls part of their scarf down and says
Aly (as child): Hey monsieur! Je avons des dibs.
Drew: Wyatt goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): I'm not fucking doing this.
Drew: And he kicks the door open and he jumps out and goes
Drew (as Wyatt): Hey!
Aly (as child): J'ai des dibs, monsieur.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, I don't care get out of our spot.
Aly (as child): No, no, that's our spot.
Drew (as Wyatt): No, no, no.
Aly (as child): C'est dibs.
Drew (as Wyatt): I have the truck you have nothing.
Aly (as child): Well, our truck is not there yet.
Drew (as Wyatt): Or your truck isn't here? I'm so sorry.
Nick (as small child): Our spot!
Aly (as child): Dibs.
Drew (as Wyatt): No. There's no dibs.
Nick (as small child): Our spot!
Drew (as Wyatt): No dibs whatsoever kid.
Drew: And he walks over to the kid.
Nick (as small child): Our spot!
Nick: They're trying to wave their arms but they barely move. So you just see their mittens wiggling at the end of their arms.
Drew (as Wyatt): Look kid, you got to the count of trois to get out of here. Okay?
Sydney: Cassidy gets in the driver's seat.
Aly: The older sibling scowls at Wyatt, looks at the truck disdainfully and then grabs their younger sibling by the mitten, and spits in the snow and says
Aly (as child): Tabarnak!
Aly: And then they scamper off.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's right, keep going. Will someone get in the truck? I'm calling dibs here.
Nick: The last thing we see is this very spherical child being tugged around the corner by their older sibling. So who's going to try and park the truck?
Sydney: Cassidy's in the front seat. Wyatt's busy dibs-ing.
Nick: Wyatt stomps his feet down in the footprints that the small french child left behind.
Drew: Oh, and he puts his hand on his pistol too, like he's not playing around now. We only got two hours.
Nick: So Cassidy if you were parking the truck in this spot, make me a hard Driving check.
Sydney: Perfect. I do actually have a rank in Driving. I'm going to be rolling a yellow and three greens, because it's Agility based.
Nick: I would like to flip a negative Story Point to upgrade the difficulty of this check by one so that'll be one red die and two purple.
Cameron: I think Cassidy should get a blue die for Wyatt assisting [Nick laughing] with being outside the car, because somebody's got to get out of the car to help you park the minivan.
Drew: Oh yeah, Wyatt definitely has his hands out. And he's like
Drew (as Wyatt): All right, back it up. Bring it in.
Drew: Like he's waving his hands.
Aly (as Zee-o): This is not efficient.
Nick: Okay, yeah, you can have a blue die for assistance.
Sydney: Alright, so final pool is a yellow, three greens, two purples, a red and a blue.
Sydney: Well, I have a failure and six advantages. So I don't park in that spot, but I line up perfectly in the spot next to it and wedge it in the alleyway.
Nick: So I was thinking since you failed to park, you can pull up along the curb, but you've knocked down a street sign and tear up the sidewalk some.
Sydney: Oh cause we're driving, it's a half track.
Nick: Yeah, it's you could do some damage if you run off the road. So yeah, you do some damage to the infrastructure as you're parking. Wyatt has to skip out of the way a little bit.
Drew (as Wyatt): Look out! Look out! Look out!
Drew: And he jumps out of the way.
Nick: But something about the way you're parking is extremely advantageous, wildly advantageous.
Drew: When they're like, Hey, we need to load up the truck. This is right next to like a crane that can pick up the truck from where it is and put it on the train.
Sydney: So it's like the truck is in position to get grabbed and loaded. It's just that as soon as they pick it up, they're [laugh] gonna see a hole in the curb that we left. Maybe it's not their problem.
Drew (as Wyatt): That was there when we got there.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Aly (as Zee-o): It was not.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It was those kids. They were roughhousing...
Aly: All I can see is Wyatt and Cassidy nodding vehemently. Emma covering her eyes and Zee-o shaking their head.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right,
Aly (as Zee-o): That is not what happened.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's the story. Quiet, quiet. Quiet Zee-o. That's the story we're gonna tell. Okay?
Sydney: Yeah, we just, I don't think we bring it up. Unless someone asks.
Drew (as Wyatt): Oh, yeah, we're not gonna bring it up. Of course not. We're not gonna bring it up. But if they do bring it up,
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean we could maybe put some snow on it to like smooth it out a little bit.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's a great idea. I like that idea.
Nick (as Modem): Potholes are incredibly common in a city like this.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right all right. All right, all right, all right.
Drew: And I think everybody comes together real quick. And Wyatt goes
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay, what time is it? Zee-o?
Aly (as Zee-o): It is noon.
Drew (as Wyatt): It was like that was two hours ago.
Aly (as Zee-o): That was two hours ago?
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah that was two - [sigh] Oh never mind. Does anybody know what time it is?
Cameron (as Emma): Probably two if it was about noon two hours ago.
Nick (as Modem): Noon plus two is two o'clock.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay! Thank you. Alright, here's what we need to do.
Nick: He swipes right.
Drew: And he just swipes his hand in that direction. He doesn't really care right now.
Sydney: Cassidy thinks about doing the rude gesture that the kids are doing and then you can see her put it back away before deploying it.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay, here's we got to do. We need to get tickets. We need to get somebody so we're going to load up the truck. And I have an errand I need to run but we need to at least get out all the trucks that we have that we packed last night that had our nice clothes in it and everything like that. We need to get changed. We have a lot to do guys in two hours. So um, Cassidy, Emma, would you mind going and getting tickets?
Drew: And we see Wyatt reach into his big coat and he pulls out the pouch of assorted money. He hands that to them.
Sydney (as Cassidy): All right, Emma, let's go buy a ticket. Hopefully we have something left. It wasn't promising the way the guy said we were rich.
Cameron (as Emma): Ehhh I'm sure it'll I'm sure it'll be fine.
Drew (as Wyatt): Well, we have to get on this train. That's all there is to it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): We have to get on this train. I do agree there.
Drew (as Wyatt): We have a lot to barter with as well. Pay what you can and then barter the rest. Make sure you get that. Modem - Do you mind going and making sure that they'll load the truck?
Nick (as Modem): Yes, I have a vested interest in preserving your transportation.
Drew (as Wyatt): Excellent. Make sure that they're ready to load the truck the moment we have our tickets. Zee-o and I will take out the trunks. And uh, hopefully we'll be on that train. Come four. All right.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Where where are you guys going?
Aly (as Zee-o): You have an errand to run?
Drew (as Wyatt): I do. I need to stop at the temple of Aranibus.
Aly (as Zee-o): Are you sure there is enough time?
Drew (as Wyatt): There's a time. I can make it. It's right there.
Drew: And we literally like he points and the camera goes behind the whole group and looks out we see the tops of the temple of Aranibus.
Aly: Zee-o pauses and then looks at Cassidy and says,
Aly (as Zee-o): I will go with in the event he is detained. I can carry him back faster if he gets distracted.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, that sounds good. Yeah, I mean,
Drew (as Wyatt): All right we're running out of time guys, let's do this.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Let me know I have my radio headset, at least for a little bit, but I can't keep it on with the fancy clothes so...
Aly (as Zee-o): We will let you know.
Nick: And the four of you split. Cassidy and Emma head towards the bridge skipping through the traffic around the train heading towards the tent that serves as a ticket office. Modem is left by the truck and he looks up at the crane that is attached to the building you parked next to and sees that they are loading heavy crates onto the train from across the street. And he starts to gesture wildly at them with his staff and says
Nick (as Modem): The Advantia must enlist your services!
Nick: And starts to climb up on the truck to try to talk to the foreman of this loading crew and Wyatt and Zee-o head towards the stairs leading down under the city. We see Wyatt make the same twitching interlocked hand gesture that the citizen of Tree All Mountain had made earlier. The statue still priest standing by the stairs extends two skeletal hands from the sleeves of the robe and does it back but otherwise doesn't move. And Wyatt and Zee-o head into the darkness.
[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:
Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt. Drew can be found on Twitter @ worldstoforge and is the showrunner for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call, an all-ages actual play podcast set in the world of Spéir, designed by James D’Amato.
Aly Grauer as Zee-o. Aly can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ dreamstobecome. Aly is also a player on and audio editor for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call. You can support both Aly and Drew by joining their Patreon @ Patreon.com/WhimsyArtifice.
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]