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Transcript: Episode 19: An Expert at Knowledge

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Episode 19: An Expert at Knowledge Transcript by Cameron Robertson

Intro: [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 –

Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.

Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.

Bee: Bee Zelda as Professor Jupiter.

Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.

Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:

As you should have just heard, we have been joined by a new voice! Bee Zelda will be guesting with us for the next few episodes, and they’re super cool, so make sure you stick around for the credits to hear and check out some of the many other things that they’re involved in.

Also, the 2021 Audio Verse Awards are open, and we’re on the ballot. If you think we’re doing a good job in any of the categories, which range from performance and storytelling to cover art and sound design, hit up the link in the show notes and give us a vote. We are a new production, which does have its own separate set of categories.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 19: An Expert at Knowledge. And so...

Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.

[hurdy gurdy music ends] [electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]

[over radio] Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on A Knight of Shreds and Patches, Emma charmed her way into buying some tickets for the train, and I was there. And Wyatt and Zee-o went off to pay a visit to the temple of Aranabis. Modem helped get the rig loaded while Emma and I got changed... and then the train, which won't be running again for six months, left - without Wyatt and Zee-o. [radio static]

Episode Start: Nick: The Rondaxe train line cuts like a knife through the snow covered landscape. The front of the train emits a gout of flame from a vortex jet engine. The force shoves the snow aside and turns it to slush, ensuring a clear path. There is no smoke and from the distance the audience can only hear a gentle crackle. The camera zooms in on to one of the rear cars. We can see the rig chained onto a flatbed. A loose bit of tarp covering the Knight has come loose in the slipstream, and we see a giant moose head reaching from the car behind nibbling on the exposed cloth. We pan up the truck and into the cab of the rig. Modem is in the driver's seat, alone. He stares into the distance idly tapping his long knobby fingers on the steering wheel. He clicks his teeth and rubs a hand over the slight stubble that is beginning to grow on his normally shaved head. The creak of the rig door is drowned out by the wind as he steps outside. Modem leans against the gentle breeze within the slipstream and walks forward to the next car. The door swooshes open and he steps inside. Inside is silent as the door slides shut; completely soundproofed. The car is decorated in elegant gold and silver. The upholstery of the compartments are a clean and comfortably worn linen. Everything is quietly elegant and expensive. Modem raps on a compartment door before entering. Inside is Cassidy and Emma.

Sydney: My first thoughts are that they're playing cards?

Cameron: I think playing cards works. Cause I think Emma's got some major nervous energy going on.

Sydney: Yeah, cause I think it's one of those they should be having fun on this train. Besides that it's transportation like it's an all-inclusive resort almost. This is the time to cut loose but they're both twitchy like they know what happened, but they're still hoping a little bit.

Cameron: As they're playing cards Emma's leg is bouncing up and down. In between every time she plays the card, looks out the window, she's not going to see anything out the window, but it is very obvious that she is thinking about the fact that Wyatt and Zee-o are not here and we don't know where they are and is minorly freaking out, still.

Sydney: Cassidy's - shuffles her hand just repeatedly. It doesn't change the organization. But this is, it's not an ideal situation for sure.

Nick: And taking this all in Modem awkwardly clears his throat and says,

Nick (as Modem): I believe that what you heard on the radio was indeed indicative of Wyatt and Zee-o missing the train. No one has come to the rig and there is only storage behind us. I fear that you are alone.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh no.

Cameron: Emma drops her head into her hands.

Sydney: Cassidy nods and looks stoic.

Nick (as Modem): On the positive side,

Nick: Modem attempts to smile.

Nick (as Modem): Emma, it looks like you've won the hand.

Cameron: Emma drops her hands from her face.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh. Cool. Yay~.

Sydney: Cassidy puts her cards down and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay look, we'll have to figure out later like what our plans are, what we're doing. I don't - if they're not on this train we're not gonna see them for like six months at least unless they manage to get here through the snow and we took the train because it's pretty impassable over the mountains otherwise

Cameron (as Emma): We also took the truck, so...

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we have all of the gear. We have Wyatt sword, we have Wyatt's combat rig, we have the Knight, we have Wyatt's rifle, we have Pallie's arm - like there's, we even have the clothes that they were going to change into because we left it on the truck waiting for them. [sigh] I don't - there's nothing - We can't do anything about it now, the train doesn't turn around. We can't go back. This is the last one of the season.

Nick (as Modem): I would not worry about those two. They are strong and capable. You will see them again. Someday.

Cameron (as Emma): [panicked laugh] Are we strong and capable though? That's more of my concern, Modem.

Nick: Modem scratches at some stubble on his sharp cheekbones and says,

Nick (as Modem): Maybe we should get some food. The train is all inclusive. We could head further up, get a look around and things normally look better once you have a full stomach.

Sydney: I was expecting you to say things normally look better when you have several drinks in you. But yeah...

Cameron (as Emma): Both of those can be true.

Sydney: Cassidy scoops the cards up into a pile and puts it on the side of the table.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Let's get into the train. Let's just forget about it for now. We, [inhale] we paid for these tickets and this is probably the like one time in our near future where we won't have people out to get us. We don't have Zee-o with us. Of course, we still have the Knight and everyone probably wants that. So... I don't know. But let's, let's just not think about it for now.

Sydney: And Cassidy stands up, puts a hand out for Emma.

Cameron (as Emma): It's much easier to not think about it after you give the speech of all the things I shouldn't be thinking about, Cassidy. Thank you.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hey last time not thinking about it was harder, so it's fine.

Cameron (as Emma): I -

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, that's the same thing.

Cameron (as Emma): Mm that's the same thing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Let's get a drink.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay~.

Nick: Modem looks kind of awkward and backs out of the doorway. And the three of you head up through the car. This one, like I said, it's pretty simply elegant. The thing about the Rondaxe line is that besides the engine, each car is privately owned, and was affixed to the line by one of the richer families in either Eagle Hill or Tree All Mountain. So each car looks very different. So as you leave this first car, where you have your seats and enter the next one, what does it look like?

Cameron: So the first car that we enter into after ours is more open. There are still several of the little compartments along some of the walls, but there's also a larger communal seating space for folks who want to mingle while they're being fancy on a train. And this one has, the windows are more circular than the standard rectangular train windows. They are much deeper than you would expect and there are fish swimming through them. And so you'll see a fish swim into one window, and then it'll disappear. And then it'll show up in the next window a little farther down, so within the walls of this train car, it's just all aquarium, and there's all sorts of fish in there. So there are a few people in seating areas that are set up facing these aquarium windows, then people are sitting, chatting, some people are just staring and watching fish. You can kind of see the snow rushing past because it is still a window to the outside, so you're getting some light coming in, but there's just pretty sparkly fish to look at. So all blue coloring everywhere as well.

Nick: The sunlight filtering through these aquarium windows does that sunlight on the bottom of a pool pattern all throughout the train car.

Cameron: Yes, because there are aquariums on the ceiling as well like on a school bus where you have the pop up windows on top.

Nick: And you take a moment to look around and then see that there's no food service in this car and you head on to the next one.

Sydney: The next car is dark. There's an airlock for the door when you walk in so that the light from the next car over doesn't bleed through. And when you open this one, it's dark and your eyes take a second to adjust and it's a starfield on the walls around. If you get close enough to the edges, you can see that it is actually natural light. The whole thing is windows, but it's patterned in a way that they're almost all blackout but it's in patterns of the stars that you would see in the sky. And then in the middle of the room, the car drops down until a little rounded pit area. Inside a big glass tube looking thing going out the top of the car, there's an open flame. It looks like they're going for like a campfire vibe, so there's wood around the outside of the tube where the people are sitting and then there's fire in the middle where you don't actually have a fire in the passenger compartment. But the fire is there the light is there, the warmth is there. And there's some light refreshments. There are drinks available. There's a couple of camping themed roasted animals and stuff. We get the feeling having been people who have been living on the road for a long time that this is like the rich tourist version of camping. There's sleeping pads on the ground. So you can sit out and lay out and look at the stars but it's perfectly comfortable and you're only a gesture away from a waiter bringing you something so it feels a little bit too close to home.

Nick: You all step carefully through that pit area not to step on anybody who's sitting on the ground or on wooden stools, and you exit back out into the light.

Bee: The first thing that comes into view is all along the wood paneling walls are picture frames with different colored socks framed inside. And they all have signatures written across each of the socks with illegible names that you can't really discern from your distance. If you were to step a little bit deeper inside the cart, it is vastly shaped with a bunch of small tables that are all on the shapes of socks. So it allows for a decent amount of people on the outside and a few on the inside. All of the tea cups and the platters are the various colors of the socks that reflect on the walls. Also dappled along that wood paneling are holographic pictures of a variety of baseball players. And it's an interesting contrast to the patrons inside of this cart because they are all dressed to the nines; top hats, monocles, the best suits, the fanciest dresses, the best combination of the two. There is some live music, and it is just a person in the corner playing a grand piano. And sitting on top of the piano are three children who are just offering screams and shouts to really punctuate part of the imagined feeling of a crowd of people. On the tables there are some appetizers, like three french fries with dots of ketchup, maybe like some green onion and a little bit of basil along the edge of the plate. There is sliced hot dogs, like thin thin thin so you can make a rose out of it with a splay of ketchup and mustard creating color and decorative relish along the edges. There are beautiful iterations of what is called Coney dogs. And all the crystal wine glasses for the folks who aren't just drinking tea contain a sparkling dark beverage that is a little bit fizzy.

Nick: So this is the scene, Modem, Cassidy and Emma see as they walk in. Interestingly, at each end of this train car, there is a podium with someone wearing what looks like the mix between a waiter’s tuxedo and an umpire uniform, and the maître d looks to Modem and says,

Nick (as Maître d): Yeah, can I help you?

Nick: And Modem says,

Nick (as Modem): Yes, we're just trying to get by to go to the dining car, we're attempting to get some dinner.

Nick: And the maître d shakes his head and says

Nick (as Maître d): You're out of here! I mean, sorry, habit uh - Dining cars currently closed. We're actually doing high tea right now though, and we've got some extra seats if yous want to join in on that.

Nick: Modem shrugs and looks at Cassidy and Emma.

Sydney: Cassidy looks at Emma.

Cameron: Emma is just, eyes as wide as saucers looking around this car and just looks fascinated. [laugh]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma, do you want to sit down? We have a while to explore if this place is catching your fancy.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh! Yeah!

Sydney (as Cassidy): I'm looking for a distraction, so

Cameron (as Emma): I like baseball.

Sydney (as Cassidy): All right.

Nick: And so the umpire nods and says

Nick (as Maître d): There's one sock still with some space, head on over there and uh we'll come by and uh start bringing you the tasting menu here in a little bit.

Nick: And as you walk in, you can see that most of the socks are full or the sock shaped tables have been hung on the wall to clear extra space. There's five or six different groups speaking calmly under the shrieking of joyful children and tasteful piano music playing cultural classics. And Bee, you're the only one sitting at your table. What does your character look like?

Bee: So sitting at one of the most distinguished looking sock tables,

Nick: It's extremely important to ask, what color is the sock table?

Bee: Yellow, like a nice bright sunflower yellow. There is a tall individual wearing a tweed jacket, a polka dot yellow bow tie. The patches on the elbow of the tweed jacket are of course yellow, as is the little pocket square. The vest underneath is a pattern of trains going back and forth. They have ginormous glasses with white frames around their face that frame their face with dark skin and dark hair. Their hair is incredibly elegant. It goes down to about the middle of their back. And it's those bubble ponytails where there's a ball and then you put an elastic in and you place another ball where you wrap your head around it, and then you place another elastic so you get this kind of bubbly effect in this ponytail that is cascading along the back of one of these chairs. And they are in the middle of gluing on some yellow nails onto their hands. While a maître d is giving them their cup of tea so they can sip it while their hands are busy.

Nick: And as you all approach the table, as if by magic, some waiters who are dressed like fields groundskeepers from a stadium, sweep chairs under you and you are all seated around this yellow sock table, as this tweed wearing stranger sips tea and finishes affixing their nails, and you find yourselves with square saucers set in front of each of you and there is a little sugar roll. So it's a little mound of really sweet white bread and small square pats of butter at each corner of this square saucer, and it looks like a baseball diamond and a pitcher's mound. And that's the first course that is served to you.

Bee: Professor Jupiter is going to look up from their nails and scan the three of you. As you are now, what do you look like to this professor?

Sydney: Cassidy's in her black floral off the shoulder dress. Her tattoos run from her shoulders to her wrist, the patterns of the flowers and vines complementing the patterns that are stitched into the dress itself. Her shoulders are definitely well muscled. She's got a scar through her right eyebrow, she looks like she's seen some fighting in her day. And she also looks, not uncomfortable, but it's like a person who hasn't been to church in a while so they remember the rituals but she's on high alert, hoping that nothing has changed, but not confident in that.

Cameron: Emma is wearing a long jacket, ending just above ankle level with what looks like a black V neck jumpsuit underneath it. The jacket is very tux adjacent, and then also adjacent to a circus ringmasters jacket. There's a fair amount of ruffles and buttons and embellishments you wouldn't find on a tuxedo on this jacket that had a bit of flair to it. She is, from the skin that you can see, fairly tanned, look like she probably does a lot of work outside. Has short brownish hair that's cut in a now long pixie cut and perched on top of her head has a sparkly barrette that has a little bird nest veil that is hovering just around her eyebrows over her face. And demeanor wise, picture a child that's just gotten let into a baseball themed candy store. And even though we're now seated at the table, has not ceased looking around at all of the details that are hidden amongst the room in awe.

Nick: And with them is Modem who is a skeletally tall and thin figure with a shaved head that's beginning to grow out a little bit, really sharp cheekbones, long, knobbly fingers and the slightly stooped back of someone who looks like they're used to carrying a heavy pack most of the time. And he's not dressed up fancy, he is wearing what look like robes. They're worn. There's diesel stains on bits and pieces of them. It's like gray undyed wool, and it's reasonably threadbare and he has leaned against the table, a long metal staff that has what kind of looks like an eight track player hanging off the end with a little LED display on it. And his demeanor seems pretty blank like he's distracted and not really thinking about what's going on around him.

Bee: The first thing Professor Jupiter is going to do is look under the table and peek and everybody socks and then pop their head back up and narrow their eyes at the three of you.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Um, can anybody tell me what team you support? What color your socks?

Sydney: Cassidy looks down, pushes her skirts out of the way a little bit and then looks at her knee high leather boots that don't show any socks. And then looks back and goes,

Sydney (as Cassidy): The local team I suppose? I admit that I'm not the most baseballiest of folk.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Do you know where you're traveling to?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes, we're going to Eagle Hill.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Eagle Hill. Eagle Hill is the city of baseball. If you don't know anything about baseball, what are you going to Eagle Hill for?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Business that doesn't have to do with baseball, unfortunately.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): [scoffing noise] That doesn't exist.

Nick (as Modem): I take umbrage with that statement. Eagle Hill is home of one of the strongest bastions of the Advantia that exists. They are accompanying me back to my home where I have broken the frontier of knowledge to further humanity.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): I mean, Advantia is cool and all but that's... not baseball. Okay, let's start let's start over what are your names? Wel-welcome to my table. I support the yellow team. They are the best right now, sometimes you have to worry that you know baseball is directly associated to the mafia leagues but hey I don't worry about that because I put my money in and my money comes back out doubled. Um my name is Professor Jupiter. Who are you again?

Sydney: Cassidy is a little bit trying to catch up with the enthusiasm.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Hi, uh I'm Cassidy.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Pleasure.

Cameron (as Emma): Hello. My name is Emma. I very much like baseball but I'm not familiar with the teams. I've ever been to Eagle Hill so I haven't actually seen a proper baseball game, but I would very much like to do so when we get there.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Ever? You've never ever seen a baseball game?

Cameron (as Emma): No, I've I mean I've played in them back in Thunder Bay. We we don't have like a league or anything. It was kind of like school yard...

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Huh...

Cameron (as Emma): Baseball with my cousins.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, that's... never been there.

Cameron (as Emma): So I've never seen anyone who's [laughing] probably good at it play before but I really enjoy watching it.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, I think you and I can get along. I have got a lot to teach you. And you there, the one that looks like - is that your assistant, Emma? Is that your assistant?

Cameron (as Emma): Ummm

Cameron: [laughing] Emma looks over at Modem.

Nick: Modem slaps a hand on the table says,

Nick (as Modem): I am Modem, Advantia of the second cycle. While I specialize in diesel engines I aspire to higher, preferably the signal within of which I have numerous new discoveries to share for the betterment of mankind as I stated earlier, and I support the Black Socks.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): [gasp] What the fuck! Get out of this table.

Nick (as Modem): The Black Socks of Sasnak Traveling are statistically the best team. They have the best on base percentage and it does not make sense to root for any team that is not statistically superior. Black Socks.

Cameron (as Emma): So if a team that you were supporting started losing you would just switch teams?

Nick (as Modem): Only if they lost so consistently that their average on base percentage were to drop below the next following.

Cameron (as Emma): Wow~.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): You know baseball has nothing to do with [muttering] - statistics!? Psha! It's all about who puts the most money in. Everybody knows that.

Nick (as Modem): I assume that you mean the fact that there's no salary cap so that players paid the most are the best. Which again, Sasnak Traveling has the most payroll of any baseball team.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): I mean, for now.

Nick (as Modem): Some of the players even play full time, which is almost unheard of.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): [clears throat] Okay, okay. I don't like you. I'm just gonna put that out there. [clears throat]

Nick (as Modem): I don't like you either.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So to answer the question, no Modem is not really of assistance to anyone,

Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm but we are traveling with him.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, well, my condolences.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we had entered into a previous business contract to take Modem to the Advantia group outside of [sigh] Eagle Hill. And we're still doing that so.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Welp. It sounds like you're about to get yourselves mixed up in some uh [clears throat] business. Do you know how to get yourself out of a sticky situation? Because those who go beyond the walls? Well, let's just say it's not a home run.

Nick (as Modem): I got that joke. It was baseball relevant. It was very funny.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Yeah, we-Okay! You know, we might be able to get along then. Something's happening here.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We're a mercenary company. So -

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Ohhh

Sydney (as Cassidy): - typically, we're the ones that get sent in to solve the sticky situations. And our mop tends to be more destructive.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, well, I'm a professor, I - actually some of my students ask me questions every now and then. [clears throat] If a student wanted to become a mercenary, is there a contract they have to sign? Is there a locked door that they have to find a secret key and then swallow it and stab a man and then throw him into the sewers before they can get the rights to become a mercenary or it's just like when you apply to a regular job and you go through an interview process?

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, wow~.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh typically an interview. [laughing]

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay!

Cameron (as Emma): I joined up a few months ago and it was mostly the group coming into town, telling me their truck was dead, and then I repaired it. And then they were like, "Do you want to come with us?" And that was the interview, I think, was fixing the truck.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, hold on. Let me get a pen and paper. Okay. [clears throat] Truck... interview... uh is it salary or kind of pay by contract?

Cameron: Emma looks to Cassidy.

Cameron (as Emma): I haven't gotten paid yet, so I'm not sure.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We kind of... it's a - the job includes room and board.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay. Okay. Any uh health benefits?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh pro- honestly, probably [together with Emma] health detriments?

Cameron (as Emma): [together with Cassidy] Health detriments? Yeah.

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's not a very safe profession. But there's technology to play with.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Okay, I um [clears throat]

Bee: And they look at their notepad and then they look back at the group,

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Um...

Bee: And they place it facedown on the table.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): I think I'm just going to avoid this question when my students ask it. Probably not a good route for them.

Cameron (as Emma): Probably not?

Sydney (as Cassidy): It's definitely a profession for people who know what they're getting into.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Mm hmm, mm hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): I've found it's mostly going somewhere and then fighting people, and then going to the next place, and maybe fighting wild tech that time, and then moving on and maybe you're fighting people again.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and it does tend to um - It leads to a little bit of heartache at times.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Understandably, I'm sure you've killed people you love.

Sydney: Cassidy's got her hand running idling over her scar.

Nick: And the waitstaff sweeps through. You all have been chewing on these little sugared rolls, and another small square plate is set down in front of each of you and sitting in the middle of the plate is what looks like a circle tin that's been roughly peeled back and the lid discarded, almost like a tuna fish can, and inside is a unappealing looking shredded brown texture. It all looks about the same, almost like chewing tobacco, but Modem makes a excited noise and grab some in a pinch and puts it in his mouth. He says,

Nick (as Modem): Oohh this one is fish and figs! My favorite.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, good. I mean, you lot just came just in time for the best meals here. I try to get a ticket, you know anyway I really can, just for the food. I mean, the entertainment is great.

Bee: And Professor Jupiter looks longingly back at the piano. More children seem to joined the crowd, and they're just banging on the walls and making a bunch of racket.

Sydney: Cassidy follows their gaze and you can see her trying to listen through the various crowd noises, seeing how good the piano player actually is. She can't quite tell.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, the sweet sounds of chaos. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Sydney (as Cassidy): This is a lot of people.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well this is one of the best carts on the train. The best of the best come here. Kind of wonder how you got here, but you know, welcome aboard.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, me too.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, okay, good. Good. Good.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Mainly we paid for our tickets.

Nick (as Modem): Emma!

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah?

Nick (as Modem): Try the shredded fish and figs. You pinch it and you put it between your teeth and gums and the flavor disperses. It's delicious.

Cameron (as Emma): You don't like just eat it?

Nick (as Modem): Well you do chew it, but first let the flavor disperse. It's part of the dish.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): It's an experience.

Nick (as Modem): Yes, exactly.

Nick: Modem does a two fingered point at Professor Jupiter.

Cameron: Emma picks up a fork and gets a little bit of it onto a fork and just sets it in her mouth and then makes the wine tasting face.

Sydney: Cassidy put some in following the technique, looking like she's totally done this before and it's unclear whether she's just good at mimicking or has actually done this before.

Nick: It's fishy and fruity and has a weird texture. It's not bad. It's just strange. Like a lot of food when you just set a chef loose on making their brainchild happen where you're like I could see what you're doing here, but enjoyable isn't the word you would pick.

Cameron: But it has been a while since we've had fish. So it's got some added novelty to it.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Wait until you can try the exploded kernels. They are my favorite.

Cameron (as Emma): How many courses is this tea?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Ah about 25.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, wow. Okay.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): It is an experience The children will run around at some point too and yell in your face. And that is probably the best part.

Cameron (as Emma): Huh...

Sydney (as Cassidy): I am not sure I'm looking forward to that.

Cameron (as Emma): Sounds exciting.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): See, that's the enthusiasm I need.

Nick: The umpire maître d on the far side of the train car yells

Nick (as Maître d): Play ball!

Nick: And throws a roll all the way across the train car to the other maître d who hits it with a baguette and it goes flying to someone's table at everyone claps politely before going back to their gentle murmurs.

Cameron (as Emma): Aw how do I get a baseball roll?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Do you want to do some quality umpire moves where you squat data, you make some really cool hand gestures between your legs.

Cameron (as Emma): Umm.

Cameron: Emma makes some hand gestures.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, not that one. That one's offensive.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, sorry. [laugh]

Cameron: Tries again.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): There you go.

Nick: The maître d has been holding a bread roll close to his chest. And at the first few hand gestures made a very solemn head shake, and then another head shake and then you make a series of head gestures and he nods. And he throws a roll and hits someone at the table next to you in the head. And gives you a thumbs up.

Cameron (as Emma): Ohhh

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well. That's one point. Nice. You doing pretty well.

Cameron (as Emma): Are you supposed to hit other people with them?

Nick: The gentleman who is at the other table turns around he goes,

Nick (as Baseball Gentleman): Oh, a bean ball eh? Starting early are we?

Nick: And makes a series of very quick hand gestures, like a ninja casting a hand spell, and then another baseball roll comes and nails Emma right in the forehead and bounces onto your plate. It's super soft, you like barely can feel it.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): That was two points for them.

Cameron (as Emma): How our points tracked?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Based on what you hit. Middle of your forehead is the best amount, everywhere else is just one point.

Sydney: Okay.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): The more points you get, you might get a free drink.

Cameron (as Emma): But everything's included on the train.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well, okay, it's a T shirt out of a cannon.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, uh what?!

Cameron: Emma starts making more hand gestures. [laughing]

Nick: The maître d looks a little concerned and holds up a breadbasket that's empty on his podium. And then with the utmost poise and refinement of the nose up maître d walk, walks over to this large gaggle of children who are dressed like 1920s paper boys and whispers that thing to them and hands them little packages and they disperse through the car like locust tornado, throwing bits of sweet candy and things to people, grabbing people, yelling at their face, it's just such a - the actions of this car are so different from the demeanor of the patrons who are all very much rich people at a fancy restaurant upright seating.

Nick (as Baseball Gentleman): Oh yes, very nice very nice.

Nick: [laughing] But getting yelled at in the face. And being like

Nick (as Baseball Gentleman): Oh yes, very good. A great year, five year old. Pleasant.

Nick: And so that's going on as you continue your conversation.

Sydney: Yeah, Cassidy watches the gestures that are happening and then does a different set because she watched the fancy guy across the room order a drink and so she does the 'I would like a drink and I would not like it thrown' gesture.

Nick: Oh waiter comes by with a box on a strap around their neck and over the sound of the children screaming you could hear him saying

Nick (as Waiter): [yelling] Al-co-hol, [normal volume] water. [yelling] Al-co-hol, [normal volume] water.

Nick: And he hands you your drink. What is your drink look like?

Sydney: So in a highball glass, it's just a solid white drink. It's probably foamed egg whites and something, but it has red lines running through it in approximately circular patterns. And it looks suspiciously like a baseball. Somehow there's even one of those round balls of ice in the middle because it's a fancy drink. But the ball of ice also enforces the curvature of the lines of the red syrup so that it just looks like a baseball and a glass that slightly melted and filled it out to become liquid. And Cassidy points to that one grabs it and takes a deep swig. She is confident this is going to be good.

Nick: It is. It's like a salted caramel, grainy beverage like grain based not like texture grainy. It has almost a cracker jack type flavor to it.

Sydney: Is there a peanut garnish on the side?

Nick: Absolutely. It's got a little notch in it.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): You know the style of this place is just elegant, so elegant.

Bee: And as Professor Jupiter is saying this, there's a seven year old who's throwing peanut shells at them and just screaming nonsense.

Nick: The table next to you, the fancy gentlemen turns to a child who is throwing all sorts things, candy and confetti and yelling. And he says,

Nick (as Baseball Gentleman): One second dear, I believe it's time for the next course. Hey, get out of here, go scram, move it.

Nick: And the kid goes,

Nick (as baseball child): Whahhhh!

Nick: And turns to run. And you can see him hand some Eagle Hill Stitch, which is their currency, to the kid as a tip as he leaves the car. And the waiters are making a circuit and serving tea in very ornate tea cups that are made out of really nice and intricate ceramic to every place. And so set down in front of you, all of the tea cups are very individual and creative, but each tea is a light green color. It looks very herbal. It smells very refreshing, almost like a summer's day. And Modem grabs a handful of peanuts that we're stuck in his robes and sets those aside and starts to sip the tea and says,

Nick (as Modem): Ohoa, most pleasant. I've missed the Eagle Hills focus on tea. Back in Wawa, all they had was coffee. [disgusted sound]

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Ughh. Oh, that sounds terrible.

Nick (as Modem): And even that was rare.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): You lot there, have you heard about the history of our tea culture?

Cameron (as Emma): I honestly didn't know that Eagle Hill had a tea culture.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): I'm sorry, what?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yee-same.

Cameron (as Emma): I've never been there before.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, and our source of knowledge on Eagle Hill is this guy.

Cameron (as Emma): And he hasn't told us even though he apparently he knows about it.

Nick (as Modem): Oh, tea is very important in Eagle Hill.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [overlapping with Emma] Oh, thank you Modem.

Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping with Cassidy] Oh thanks. No, yeah.

Nick (as Modem): You're welcome.

Sydney (as Cassidy): So Professor Jupiter, tell us about the tea culture.

Bee: They lift up their tea cup to their lips and take a long sip and then place it back down on the square saucer.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well, long ago, there used to be simply two kinds of tea, one with caffeine and one without. Now sports have always been a thing of Eagle Hill, it's been rather important, it's how a lot of the umm, how you say, mafia folk control the city is through the sports leagues. And that happened ages ago too. The origins of a lot of that started back when we had to figure out was it safe for athletes to drink caffeine? And a war broke out, a civil war, where people were splashing hot water on each other. It wasn't safe to wander the streets, you know. People were rather biased if they knew that you preferred a life of caffeine, you were considered some kind of harlot, some kind of person who uses extra substances to support your life, and that was that was an outrage at the time. So if you weren't too careful being seen entering the kind of cafes that would serve you tea with caffeine, you would end up with a hot cup of water on your legs.

It was, to my knowledge, and in the history books that nobody would be allowed to actually throw hot water on somebody's face. And that did eventually happen because people aren't kind. So the fateful day when the mayor's son was trying out for baseball, and a jerk 12 year old, name unknown, threw a pot of hot tea on the mayor's son's face. He was disfigured for the rest of his life, but he also became an icon. And for his sacrifice, the culture of tea became something where people could come together. Where folks could no longer care about caffeinated or caffeine free. Where people were just happy to sip tea together. And thus baseball flourished as the mayor's son also became the head of the baseball league, and the mafia... so a lot of power in one pocket. But we don't we don't really talk about that side of history. What matters is the great civil tea war is something we never want to repeat. We don't judge each other for drinking caffeine or caffeine free tea. What matters is that we drink it together.

Bee: And they raise their tea cup.

Cameron: Emma had been sipping tea, calmly and normally when the story started, and then froze with the tea cup halfway in between the saucer and their mouth. And just sitting open mouth listening to the rest of this story.

Sydney: Cassidy has been sipping her tea with increasing frequency. She's getting used to the flavors involved. And just is mainly nodding and making the 'not bad' face.

Nick (as Modem): Yes, we all know the his- Well, I suppose they don't know the history. Thank you for sharing.

Cameron (as Emma): We We We didn't! What??

Sydney (as Cassidy): How are we supposed to know it?

Nick (as Modem): Every school child is taught that information. It's the history of the world.

Cameron (as Emma): Maybe in Eagle Hill.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well it affected the entire culture of tea. Like hence there forth, you know?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, and not every place in the world drinks tea.

Nick (as Modem): Well, they're wrong.

Cameron (as Emma): I mean - so

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Uh huh. Uh huh.

Cameron (as Emma): Even some places do drink tea. But like I was never taught that history in school, but,

Nick (as Modem): That is an unfortunate failing of your education.

Cameron (as Emma): It It doesn't really apply if you're living in Thunder Bay. It's not really an important piece of information to know out there. With how impactful it's been to the culture of Eagle Hill, yes, I can see the schools within the area teaching that but the farther you go away from it, not everywhere is going to have a year in school where you learn Eagle Hill history. Most places don't have that.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): I mean everybody should learn the history of tea in various areas, especially when it has to do with caffeine. It's integral.

Cameron (as Emma): I mean, I'm sure if I had planned to open a tea shop or a cafe that served tea, I may have discovered this information while I was looking into things, but overall, I don't think it impacts day to day life for most people in the world.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Hmm. I disagree, but that's okay. We don't have to agree on everything.

Cameron (as Emma): Yup and that's totally fine. I've, I've now learned the history. I feel enriched by the tea.

Sydney (as Cassidy): How many places in the world have you been Professor Jupiter?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, me? Literally nowhere else.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay...

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Except for Eagle Hill and Tree All Mountain. I was there on a a, a business conference.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Okay, this makes sense.

Nick (as Modem): How did that go?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Ohh it went great. You know, we threw some balls, caught some baseball... bats, and uhhh bought some gloves.

Nick (as Modem): You... don't... For someone who is such a fan, you seem to be missing parts of the knowledge of the sport. Professor.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): What? No, no nonsense. Nonsense. I'm definitely not a fraud. I belong. I'm an expert at knowledge.

Bee: They're nervously sipping their tea now.

Cameron (as Emma): I think that's very obvious from the history lesson. Do you do you teach history of Eagle Hill?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Um, I I I I teach. Yeah, I do. Teach.

Nick (as Modem): What is your subject of specialty?

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Well subjects... in general. You know, there's a lot of subjects in the school of education and the conversations that need to be had about those topics are often long and incomprehensible. So like, what do you think subjects are?

Nick: During this frantic explanation Modem's face is just completely drooped with unamusement. He looks like a basset hound with just the skin sagging and absolutely not buying any of it at all.

Sydney: Cassidy's still just sipping her tea and nodding and watching Modem make bad faces. Her smile is creeping in a little bit.

Nick (as Modem): Emma,

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah?

Nick (as Modem): I trust your analytical mind and it has been a while since I spoke to a fellow academic. Did the professor say anything just now that actually constituted some sort of information or solid fact?

Cameron (as Emma): Were you not paying attention during the history lesson? I feel like we learned a lot.

Nick (as Modem): I assume that the professor must teach very young children because there is a kernel of truth to what they said, I didn't want to be rude, but when we asked them straight out just now, what their focus was, that was just pure dissemination. There is no information there at all. I -

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): What? Excuse me, sir. Why are you focusing on the specifics of what I said when you should focus on the surrounding words? And have you tried your tea? How is your tea?

Nick (as Modem): It's delicious. It tastes like sunlight and childish joy just like I remember.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh my gosh, it does!

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Tell me about your childish joy. Let's let's change the subject.

Nick: Another dish is whisked down in front of you all. This is course number six or seven. And what it is, it's the exploded kernels. It's one balloon sized corn kernel that's set in a tripod in the middle of the table. And each table is given one and the maître d walks by with a blowtorch and very ceremoniously washes the heat all over it. And there's a long pause. It's exactly like that awkward moment where a waiter offers you parmesan cheese on your pasta and you want more but there's just this awkward long silence and you can tell they're like please stop having cheese but you want more cheese and it's the same thing but with the fire and then all of a sudden, the kernel explodes into this white cloud of one giant, it's about the size of a bowling ball, just this large sphere of popped grain, and they grate a little bit of cheese on to it and sprinkle some salt. And they say,

Nick (as Maître d): Enjoy.

Nick: And they walk away.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, can I have some butter on the side? I need a ball size worth - 500 milliliters.

Nick (as Maître d): Yeah, sure, I'll get you your butter.

Nick: And you can tell that this accent is extremely affected because it points it's not consistent with the maître d and all. And just a little while later everybody has just a lot of butter.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): The trick is to dip your fingers in the butter first, and then grab your piece of popcorn, sprinkle some salt. And then you're good to go.

Nick: As the professor snaps off a piece and demonstrates, it tastes like if popcorn was giant. And as you all munch down on this dish, Modem looks up and says

Nick (as Modem): I was not distracted. I'm changing the subject because I'm concerned about other things and I want that to be noted by everybody here.

Nick: And he makes eye contact with the three of you.

Cameron (as Emma): Okay.

Bee (as Professor Jupiter): Oh, um yeah. All right.

Sydney: Cassidy just looks at on with her eyebrows raised, queuing,

Nick (as Modem): We spoke much earlier about the necessities of a mercenary company, and what is needed to be successful. Can the Patina still guarantee my safe passage? A majority of your combat strength appears to have been eliminated with Wyatt and Zee-o gone.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, you can always leave if you don't think we're capable.

Nick (as Modem): I mean no offense.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, I I'm not offended. I very much agree. Especially in my case. Yes.

Nick: Modem nods and says,

Nick (as Modem): Well, you have made a wonderful student in our weeks together, Emma. I would not take your lack of combat experience personally, you've absorbed information admirably and I hope that someday you will join the Advantia.

Cameron (as Emma): Well, thank you, I very much appreciated learning. However, like I've said previously, you know, it's always an option that's on the table for later on. but, you know after talking, I really think I need to take some time really focus on those interview questions. And feel like, I don't really understand why I'm a squirrel yet, and I feel like to be able to take the test to join that's kind of something I need to figure out for myself first. So you know, maybe down the road, sure, but for the moment, I'm good just freelance mechanic-ing.

Nick (as Modem): I understand. Cassidy to answer your assertion, I do not believe I will be leaving your company just yet. I've given you - Well, your funds were my entire savings and I trust myself more in your care than alone at this point.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We do intend to finish our contract. So...

Cameron (as Emma): I mean we're on the way to Eagle Hill, like what's the worst that could happen like...

Nick: And so as Emma says, 'What's the worst that can happen?' The next dish that's being carted out by the waitstaff spills to the ground, it looks to be some sort of gelatinized meat chili with little chunks of meat in it. It splats against the ground and the waitstaff look worried. You can feel that the train is still continuing a pace. It hasn't accelerated since the massive acceleration when the train first left, but you hear a slight grinding as if the mag rails have collided or something was added to the train. And one of the maître ds apologizes profusely and says,

Nick (as Maître d): Oh, sorry about that, folks. We'll be getting you some more chili dog jelly in a minute. We'll just have to clean up this mess.

Nick: And they start kicking at it to try to kick it into a pile. Someone goes to get a broom, they come out with a large broom and rake like they're doing the grounds. And there's some quiet time, they bring out some more tea while they're trying to get things back in order. And then the lights of the car flicker and standing in the doorway is a large man wearing a parka that's been unzipped. He's got a slouch hat pulled down low on his head and two revolvers in his hands, a scarf pulled up over his face. And he says,

Nick (as robber): Hey, everybody! If you could all just stay calm. This is a robbery.

[hurdy gurdy music swells]

Outro: 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:

Bee Zelda as Professor Jupiter. Bee, your non binary busy bee, can be found on twitter @bee_zelda. They are a podcaster, a member of the Broadswords, the host of Anime Attache, and a player on the Power Play podcast. They are a twitch streamer, they have co-produced their own show on Roll20 called Indie Showcase, they host Tabletop Otaku for Origins Game fair, and they are the community manager for D&D Adventurers League.

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 @

This podcast features the musical talents of Dora Violet and Arne Parrott. You can find Dora at You can find Arne at

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:

Until next time… ...Audio Offline. [hurdy gurdy fades]

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