Transcript: Episode 27: Down in the Dark
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Episode 27: Down in the Dark 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.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Thanks for listening! If you haven’t already, please consider leaving a review on iTunes, or your other platform of choice, and we’d be happy to give you a bit of recognition. Spotify has now opened up the ability to leave reviews too, so you’ve one more option to pick from.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 27: Down in the Dark. 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 and I took a rented motorcycle down The Pike and over the Eagle Hill wall looking for a mine with the ore that the Fabricators need to keep... fabricating. We ended up finding a passageway down a well, which was definitely not the intended path, with how small it got [shudder] but one quick climb later, and now we're actually in the mine. [radio static]
Nick: We open on a dark mine. Only a thin beam of light pierces the darkness showing scraps of a time gone by; rusted metal covered in dust and accumulated stone from dripping water above and we trace the thin beam back to the warm glow of a flashlight and a lantern in the bottom of an abandoned mine in the forest, outside of the coral retaining wall, down The Pike from Eagle Hill, the base of the remaining Patina, and even though you're in the dark, just the two of you, with only one other person even knowing where you went, it feels like a success. This is where you wanted to be. But now the question becomes, what do you do next?
Cameron: Emma is wandering around with her lantern looking at things. Peering into minecarts, holding it up as high as she can to look at the larger pieces of machinery and has just been wandering while she was waiting for Cassidy to repel down and has not stopped her wandering.
Sydney: Once Cassidy hits the ground, she sees Emma, nods and then starts listening and watching for any air drifts or something that there is at least one passage because it was the passage they came down, but if they're going to try to get anything out, it's not going to be in a tiny hole 100 feet up on the wall of this large cavern.
Nick: There is a slight movement of air from somewhere. You wouldn't have noticed it except for closing your eyes and feeling for it specifically. This mine, now that you've shined your light around and gotten a better view, is a lot larger than you would have originally guessed. This is a main central shaft and you can see several tunnels at various heights up and down the shaft going off into the earth presumably looking for veins of ore. Emma looking through the remains of those who came before you, looking for the same thing that you are, you see that these bits of machinery, these scraps and shards of metal are all varying ages, as though this mine had been sealed and reopened several times throughout the years. By your guess with rust, probably at least 20 or 30 years since the last time it was opened. This has been here a long time but you see things that are even older. One thing that does stand out to you, however, is that most of these tunnels appear to be branching off of the central shaft parallel, but tucked behind a niche in the rock as you explore and try to decide where to go next, you do see one tunnel that appears to be angled down even deeper.
Sydney: Cassidy having tried and failed to specifically pinpoint the location of the airflow except that knowing Okay, there is air to breathe down here, is gonna wander over to Emma just to do the standing behind of what are you looking at kind of pose.
Cameron (as Emma): Going down seems like that would be where the un-gathered stuff would be, right?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh~. Probably? If the other ones were like exploratory tunnels and that one was the one to go forward. Or maybe it was the storage tunnel and the other ones have the minerals. I'm not a miner, so... I'm too old now.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah~, very good.
Cameron: Emma does a soft clap. [clapping]
Sydney: Cassidy takes a small bow.
Cameron (as Emma): Hmm. Anyway, the other tunnels off of this room seem to all be on this level. Mines typically go deeper the older they are because you keep having to go farther to get the resource you're looking for. So my guess is this way because I'm not seeing any silica ore just like laying around.
Sydney (as Cassidy): No that makes sense. I do caves, I just don't do mines. But before we start going too much deeper because I can tell that there is airflow here, the deeper that we get and the further off of the main through ways and stuff we get, if we run into not having air or any of the fun toxic chemicals and stuff that I hear that mines are full of.
Sydney: And Cassidy digs in the bag and pulls out a small round gadget with a little speaker and a light on it. It doesn't look like it really does that much. It has no clear purpose. But Cassidy goes,
Sydney (as Cassidy): This will tell us if we stop having air to breathe. They call these canaries, I'm not sure why. I'm not going to be able to tell you 'ah, yes, it's this exact thing,' but like, this is bad, don't keep going. That being said, we did prep because you got the air compressor back working again.
Sydney: And Cassidy again digs in her bag and pulls out two small foot long metal canisters with little facemasks attached to the top and hands one to Emma.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So I know I asked you to help get these working, but these are for the potential of having an air problem. We're not immediately screwed. It's just us down here, so if that was to happen, we would need to turn around and get back away from whatever that is. But these are full of compressed air and they will give us a couple of minutes of grace time. These are not a solution to that problem. We don't have giant tanks to be able to come down here and work for hours. But we'll have a little bit if we need it. Just don't use it until we need it. Hopefully we don't.
Cameron (as Emma): All right. Hopefully there's air.
Nick: As Emma says that, the light starts to flash and the speaker starts to make a mournful beeping noise. And as you both look down at it, it shuts back off again, it looks like some sort of small short may have activated in it, but the air is still good, for now.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I find that concerning.
Cameron (as Emma): I don't like the fact that it did that right after I said that I hope there's air. It's like it's listening to us.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I guess we have two choices then. Because we're not going to be able to haul crap up that tiny hole probably. But also like this mine isn't so small that there's minecarts and stuff somehow stuff actually gets out of here.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So we can either go deeper looking for the ore that we'll eventually be digging out or we can try to figure out where we come in. Because we will need to get back out.
Cameron (as Emma): My vote would be try to find our exit first so that when we get tired, we know where to head. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes. And if, I don't know, some terrible something is like living down here and it's out of our reach to deal with, leaving as an option.
Cameron (as Emma): What - Why are you putting those thoughts out into the universe Cassidy?
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's called preparing for the worst.
Cameron (as Emma): But we are not prepared.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I mean, I've got my bow.
Cameron (as Emma): I have a pick axe.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Perfect. We'll be good for a bear.
Cameron (as Emma): Super prepared.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And anything else uh, we'll be ready to run fast. But yeah, let's find the exit first, then.
Nick: Emma as Cassidy and you come to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be to find a way out first, you start to put some things together in your head. Much like looking at the rusted out tractors and burned out motors that you had back in Thunder Bay, you start to take an inventory of what you've seen so far. And something really stands out to you. On the opposite side of this shaft near some of the more stable looking rails and wires, the floor at the bottom of this mine, part of it isn't stone, it's metal, like a platform, maybe even connected to the wall. And as you walk closer you realize that at least half of this area is maybe some sort of freight elevator? It would take some work to get it running again but you think you might be able to. You may not even have to climb out of here, the mine itself may help you to leave when it's time.
Cameron: Emma wanders around the perimeter of the elevator platform and is looking for any control panels that may be connected to it.
Nick: Tucked to the side, very quickly, you find what looks like a small podium with one large lever and two large buttons as though designed to be dealt with while wearing heavy gloves or in the dark. It seems pretty straightforward as far as operation goes.
Cameron (as Emma): Hey Cassidy. I think this is an elevator.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That seems good. Is it one that is working? Can you tell?
Cameron: Emma is looking around this podium pedestal and is looking to see if any of the wirings exposed that she can see, if there's any light on it that may be turned off at the moment but that could be a potential indicator that if she could get that light turned on that it was working, checking to make sure the wires are intact.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cassidy is over by Emma slightly offset just looking at it to provide a light with her headlamp so that it's a little bit more eliminated.
Nick: Go ahead and roll me a Mechanic's check and you can have a blue die from Cassidy helping with the spotting. This will be average difficulty with two black die, because everything is old and you don't have all of your tools with you.
Cameron: I luckily have a knack for Mechanics, so I can remove any two black die from any of my Mechanics checks, because I'm just that good. For Mechanics I'm rolling three yellows, a blue and three purples.
Cameron: A success and an advantage.
Nick: Not all of the wires still have the kind of integrity that you'd be comfortable with running a current, but you're pretty sure you could repair this and get it running again.
Cameron: Emma is kneeling down digging in the internals of this control setup. And we can see within it, she's just separating wires from each other where someone had done some wire management within here in the past, and she's ruining it trying to figure out if everything's actually working. So separating all the wires from each other. So she can trace them through to see where all they're connecting, whenever she finds a wire that she's would not be comfortable with utilizing, bends it off to the side so that she can come back and try to find a replacement for it later. And finds a few little connector pieces that are just totally fried and just kind of tosses those behind her.
Sydney: Cassidy watches with eyebrows raised at the fact that Emma is pulling parts out of this thing, but otherwise continues providing light.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh-kay, I think I can get it working. Do we want to do that before we go and try to find stuff or after because it may not have enough power to stay on for super long.
Nick: There's two things that concern you, Emma. The main guide rail for this elevator is bent pretty close to the bottom and you're worried that the platform will bind as it tries to rise up. You should be able to fix it if you hit it hard enough with something heavy, but that's going to be very loud, and you don't know what you might shake loose. The other problem is that the power source to get this thing running again appears to be a small generator stuck near the wall. That's where you've traced most of the wires back to. And like you said, you're not sure how long it will run. So you could get it operating now, but how long it will stay operating and what kind of attention you could attract getting it running, you're not sure.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I would generally lean towards testing it before we go do stuff. But if you don't think we have enough, if you don't think it's gonna stay working, then I will yield to your judgment.
Cameron (as Emma): Um~.
Cameron: Emma stands up and walks to go look over at the guardrail where it's at against the wall on one side of this platform.
Cameron (as Emma): Cassidy can you just like run your light up the length of this rail as long as you can?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep.
Sydney: And Cassidy does so.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, right there.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep.
Sydney: Cassidy stops and squints looking at what Emma’s seeing.
Cameron (as Emma): So it's bent a little bit. It's not too far up, we could hit it from down here. But that is a severe enough bend that I do also have the concern that the platform may reach that point and just get stuck. And it could potentially get stuck to where it couldn't come back down either.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, that would be bad. Um. I mean, do I -
Sydney: How far off the ground is it?
Nick: It's probably about 10 feet off the ground.
Cameron (as Emma): Getting stuck would be bad.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Can we cut it? Or do we need to bend it back? I don't know what that's made of. I can almost reach it, especially if I shimmy up that piece over there.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah I think bending it backs probably going to be the best option because I don't know what it's attached to up at the top. So if we cut it there, it may just completely fall down on us and then, broken elevator.
Cameron: Emma looks back over her shoulder to some of the larger pieces of mining equipment that she had been looking at earlier.
Cameron (as Emma): I could possibly get one of those started and whack it to get it straightened back out, but that's going to be incredibly loud. And we are in a cave underground. And one, I'm concerned that may cause cave ins, two, if there's anything down here, it knows we're here now.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah good thinking. Good conservative planning.
Cameron (as Emma): And then of course, there is still also the risk that I hit it, it doesn't do anything and it's still a problem and we've just done both of the other things and we still don't have a working elevator.
Sydney (as Cassidy): So do we want to find the ore, come back up here, get the elevator working? Do we want to bring ore back up here with us? What is the order of operations here that you trust the mechanisms will handle?
Cameron: Emma stands with her feet shoulder width apart and crosses their arms and makes a thinking face.
Cameron (as Emma): I would say best course of action would probably be to go locate the ore, try to get as much of it as we can up here to the elevator, then try to get it working again. Cause then if we can't get it working, we have it all here, we get to climb back up through our small little tunnel.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I mean, we can pulley or winch it up or something, if we know that that's the way we're leaving.
Cameron (as Emma): Yep. But yeah, I would say have it up here so that in case we cause one of the tunnels to cave in, it's not the tunnel that we once again need to go down. And then if we, if there's something down here that is alerted to our presence by the loud banging noise, we can hopefully just leave immediately on the newly working elevator.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That seems good to me. Then I guess let's journey onward.
Cameron (as Emma): All right, you want to head down?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Let's, sure.
Cameron (as Emma): Good place to start at least.
Nick: And down you go into the dark.
Cameron: So there's minecarts. Are there also the rails leading everywhere so that one could bring a minecart?
Nick: What you see is that a lot of these rails that were mentioned earlier, go towards tunnels that have collapsed or are leading specifically to the elevator to help lift things up. There is a set of rails going down towards the tunnel heading down, but there's no cart on it. You could potentially try to lift one of these heavy iron things over onto it, but it would be difficult.
Cameron (as Emma): Do we want to try to take a cart with us?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh~. There's not one on the tracks. So I would rather if there's ore down here, maybe there'll be a cart because it is the spot where the ore is and we can just bring it back up instead of having to deal with it.
Cameron (as Emma): That's very true.
Sydney (as Cassidy): And otherwise, we know where it is.
Cameron (as Emma): Works for me.
Cameron: We head off down the tunnel.
Sydney: Cassidy's footsteps are slightly echoing and little dust of this giant empty room as they cross to the tiny little tunnel continuing down.
Nick: The tunnel actually, while it was tucked into the shadows caused by the contours of the shaft, is surprisingly large and has smooth walls, as though not dug by hand. It almost looks worn by time or water or some other force. And you're able to travel pretty quickly. Unlike the tunnel that you use to enter the mine in the first place, you're both able to stand up straight, the air is more still here. There's none of the air movement that you had before. And after walking for a few minutes, going further down, you see what dug this mine in the first place, or at least this offshoot of it. There's a hulking rusted drill, it looks like it was self-propelled with large geared wheels and a massive it looks almost like a mouth of teeth to grind rock into dust and dig ever onward. But it looks like it bound up on something here and was abandoned. It's almost fused with the wall at this point, and a smaller tunnel continues on, this one with rough sides. You can see the tool marks like this one was dug by hand.
Cameron: Emma pauses at this long dead drill that's sitting here and tries to pop it open to see if it has any still functioning wiring or anything that she could potentially take to reuse for the elevator panel.
Nick: Go ahead and make me another hard Mechanics check with two black die.
Cameron: No thank you on the black die.
Cameron: May I have a blue die for my Inventor talent for modifying existing items?
Cameron: Cool. Thank you. So it's the same pool as last time, three yellow, three purple, and a blue.
Cameron: Four successes and two advantages.
Nick: This thing looks like a giant mound of rust. It almost has become fused with the wall but somehow, you're still able to pry open a panel and you find quite a treasure trove of electronics. Whatever made this thing go has turned to dust long ago but even so there are some fuses, some wires, plenty of pieces that you could use to repair the elevator if you had too.
Cameron: I take all of it.
Sydney: While Emma is disassembling it, Cassidy is looking down the tunnel, the smaller one that keeps continuing and slightly pacing restlessly, ready to continue on. But seeing that Emma is actually finding stuff goes,
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's almost in as bad of shape as our jeep was. So -
Cameron (as Emma): That is an insult to this drill.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [laughing] Well, that’s a good thing that we’re able to get some stuff out of it.
Cameron (as Emma): Looking at it, this was still working it just got stuck in this rock. And if it wasn't in this rock it would work.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Our jeep was still working.
Cameron (as Emma): Mmmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): It definitely ran as long as you didn't turn it off or stop.
Nick: You're both having this conversation while Emma is buried hip deep into this drill, digging around with clanking noises, her legs kicking occasionally to get a better angle. And Emma does pry herself loose carrying basically a softball sized clump of wires and fuses and conductors and bits and bobs. It's a good find.
Cameron: Emma puts it in her pocket.
Nick: You're able to slip the large amount of spare parts that you found into the pocket of your sweater and who's going first?
Sydney: For this because they're properly walking again, this is Cassidy up front with the wilderness instincts engaged of anything that's movement that's not them, or sounds that's not them, at least within the small echoes that are carrying down the tunnel that are hopefully the only sound or movement that has been here in a while.
Nick: You continue down this path being very careful looking for movement, and I need a Coordination check from you Cassidy, at hard difficulty, as the ground starts to give away beneath you with no warning.
Sydney: I am going to flip a story point for this because that seems sketchy. So I am rolling three yellows and a green against three purples.
Sydney: A triumph, two successes and a threat.
Nick: Well, as the ground begins to give away, you immediately realize what happened. There was a secondary shaft dug into this tunnel that had been covered with boards for safety, but over time, the boards had rotted, dust had covered it and made an impromptu trap. If you had fallen down here, you don't know how far it could have gone but it probably would have been the end for you. But with your vigilance and how tuned in you were to the environment as soon as the ground starts to give, you're able to hop off of the collapsing planks and to the other side of this shaft as it falls down. What do you want to spend that triumph on?
Sydney: I think that triumph is going to be that under the boards revealed by this collapsing that Cassidy narrowly but nimbly dodged, is some of the ore that they're down here looking for.
Nick: There's a couple of complications. One, as you stand at the side and shine your light down the ore seems to be running along a ledge about 10 feet down below the surface of the tunnel you're currently on, just far enough that getting up and down to it will be challenging. This shaft that's dug is thin enough that you could push on either side to go down or up. So you could do it without materials but it will be hard. With that threat, as you're leaning over the side, the alarm on your gadget to check air quality doesn't go off but a light does start to blink on it. The sign that there's bad air nearby.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah~. Well I - Good news is I'm not dead.
Sydney: Cassidy's standing on the far side of this hole having swept around doing the quick regaining of balance making sure the ground is steady like falling is the thing that happens fairly often to Cassidy but in the middle of of hallway was not the place for she was expecting to have that happen. So she looks rattled, but on her feet and alert not like panicked, just dealing with something unexpected.
Cameron: Emma was far enough behind Cassidy that she had no hope of grabbing onto her at all when she noticed that she was starting to rapidly get shorter, but did the kind of thing you do anywhere like you reach out to try even though you know there's no possible way you can actually make contact and reach that far, your brains like no I must still try. So she reached out and then stands frozen as she watches Cassidy twist her way out of falling down this hole and end up on the other side, slowly lowering her arm.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah~ good job finding a tunnel.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, there was one in front of us too um. Boy. [laugh]
Cameron (as Emma): Exciting.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Also, uh the, I -
Sydney: Cassidy holds up the bad air sensor that has a light of concentration starting to be concerning, and holds it up to Emma before putting it back in her front pocket where the light can still be seen.
Sydney (as Cassidy): There is a hole that appears [mumbled noises] would not have been good to fall into, but the canary is concerned. That being said, I think
Sydney: And Cassidy carefully works her way close to the ledge and looks down.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh does that look like it matches what Shawn told us to look for?
Cameron: Emma approaches the hole and squats down, leans a little bit to look at the angle that Cassidy is pointing towards.
Cameron (as Emma): Ya know unfortunately, it does.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cool. Great.
Cameron: So you said that this tunnel is small enough that you could walk yourself down on the sides, is it that way the whole length? Or does it open up at all near the ledge that has the ore at it?
Nick: You can't really see past the ledge with the ore but it does appear to go down some ways further. It's impossible to tell from where you are.
Cameron: I'm mainly asking is it wide enough that one could actually swing a pickaxe at the wall where the ore is? Or is it super cramped the whole way down?
Nick: With the size, it would be easier to swing a pickaxe than to walk your way down there. It is wide enough to swing a pickaxe and it's pretty consistent from everywhere you can see for distance.
Cameron (as Emma): So how do we want to get to that ledge?
Sydney (as Cassidy): It looks maybe close enough that you could shimmy down.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I would like to put a rope on us if we're gonna do that considering that it keeps going. But I think we could get in there with a pickaxe.
Sydney: Cassidy is now taken a couple of steps back and is leaning against the wall with her hands on her knees, slightly bent over but mostly in the catching her breath of Oh, that was a lot of adrenaline as it now it has left her coming down off of that high.
Cameron (as Emma): All right, so I agree rope good. Do we want to just have us go down one at a time so that one of us is up here to assist in pulling back up?
Sydney (as Cassidy): That seems good, especially if we're going to be hauling up ore with us, that's not on the order of pounds and the amount of weight that we would need to be climbing with it could add up and especially considering this light is on.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm. Well and I also would not want to try to swing a pickaxe with both of us standing on that ledge.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes. I don't know what kind of air is gonna be down there, like if it's hard to breathe because not oxygen because there's just not airflow or if it's like something that's gonna get in your lungs and cause issues. We've got a few minutes of oxygen. If I knew it was just hard to breathe, we could work around that and save the oxygen for if something worse happened. But ehhh - I wish I knew more.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I'd rather not get down there and then realize that there's no oxygen and I can't breathe.
Sydney: Is the hole through the middle of where the rails would have been or do we have a cart we can use?
Nick: The railing that you could roll a cart down stopped with the machinery that stopped. This tunnel seems to have been dug by people who didn't have that kind of support or the ability to make more rails, but it's not too long of a walk to get back to where the railing starts. You would just have to ferry it by hand.
Sydney: Cassidy has finished deep breathing and has stabilized her near death experience adventure the bad time near bad time experience.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, I can go first. Do you want to let me borrow the pickaxe? I guess we need to go get the cart.
Cameron (as Emma): Eh. We can just pile it in the hallway. I'd rather not tire us out going to get the cart.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes, that is true.
Cameron (as Emma): Especially if breathing is about to be an issue.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah~.
Sydney: Cassidy starts using her short rope that's still in a bag on her shoulder to rig up the few feet that they need to get safely down to that ledge from an anchor point up in the tunnel.
Nick: Yeah, you're able to make a rig that will keep you from falling dangerously. You shouldn't have any issues there. As you get closer to the hole. Your canary does beep occasionally. Not enough that you're worried about breathing up here but you're not sure how bad it'll be down there.
Sydney: Once everything set up, Cassidy ties herself in leaving her bag up on top to keep everything free but got the breathing tank prepared tucked into a front pocket and then the canary's still there and then the pickaxe is basically all she's taken down with her equipment wise.
Cameron: We also have the canvas paper boy bags that you'd have papers in on your paper bike route. A wide tote bag that hangs cross body that we can just stuff rocks in.
Sydney: Yeah, so Cassidy is going down with basically the safety equipment, the mining equipment, and the carrying equipment, but not the piles of gear that had been riding with her.
Nick: You don't need to make a check to lower yourself 10 feet on rope that you've been prepared and get to where you're going. But as you lower yourself down, the canary begins to beep louder, the light begins to flash brighter, and with every inch you go lower, you can't tell that there's anything wrong with the air, but you also know that you wouldn't be able to until it was too late. But you're about to be able to drop yourself onto this platform and the canary sounds like it's about to shake itself into pieces. It's just blaring and alert.
Sydney: Cassidy puts the breather up to her mouth and then hits the I know, I know button on the canary and the light stays on but at least isn't being loud. Give it a couple minutes and it'll kick on again, but at least she can start trying to get this stuff dug out without it blaring at her so she can hear Emma, if something else goes wrong.
Nick: You pop the valve on the can of air and immediately realize that it's difficult to take a deep breath as though your lungs had begun to fill with not oxygen. And it takes a few breaths to start to go back to normal and you realized your vision had begun to fade just a little. That was close.
Cameron (as Emma): You all right down there, Cassidy?
Sydney (as Cassidy): The air is not good. I'm going to get to work if I like fall limp, pull me up.
Cameron (as Emma): Got it.
Sydney: And Cassidy starts digging away at this exposed ore.
Nick: So I need you to make me an average Athletics check to swing this pick axe. There's not much technique to it, it's just strength. Can you keep this up without using too much air in the time that you have and you're gonna have two black die because of trying to balance this can on your face, as well as the tight quarters of swinging the pickaxe.
Sydney: Fortunately, Cassidy has a knack for Athletics. So I'm going to knock those black dice back off. Can I have a blue die for Emma helping to stabilize with a rope above me?
Sydney: And I am going to be rolling two yellows, a blue against two purples.
Sydney: Three successes.
Nick: Great. You're able to chip away at this very easily. Cassidy, you know from your climbing that this kind of silica encased in rock fractures pretty easily. It's broken away from you trying to climb before and so you know just where to hit it to knock large chunks off and fill your bag very quickly, you're able to make two trips before the air starts to run low. And you find yourself with a pile just at an eyeball of probably about 100 pounds of this ore sitting on the lip of the tunnel as you climb back up. This is enough to get a pretty solid payday from Shawn and the Fabricator. It'll keep the Fabricator running, not forever, but for a good amount of time. The question is you've gotten most of the easy stuff out of this vein, but you also have another can of air. Do you try again to get more? Or are you happy with your haul?
Sydney (as Cassidy): What do you think Emma? This is a pretty good stack. My air is low enough that I am not willing to risk it. So... we've got another can.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean I'm feeling all right. I'd rather try to get as much as we can here and then we can just head out so I think we're happy with the amount you got but if I can get a bit more than that's great.
Sydney (as Cassidy): That was a couple minutes of strenuous arm work in ways that I don't normally do it in crappy air, so I'm - if you want to take a shot.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I'll do it.
Sydney: And Cassidy redoes the rigging to put Emma as the one that's going to go drop down.
Nick: You had originally planned for this. So the way you rigged it up, it's easy to switch around. And Emma you lower yourself down, you pop your can of air, attach it to your face and you start to harvest what you can. The angles a lot harder, you're digging back into the side of the tunnel now rather than the exposed vein that Cassie was able to harvest and this time it's going to be hard difficulty with two black die, Athletics.
Cameron: Could I argue for Melee with my pickaxe to attack the wall?
Sydney: It's deeper so you're having to properly swing back in as opposed to like chiseling out the close expose stuff.
Cameron: I'm legit baseball swinging with [laughing] this pick axe out the wall.
Nick: I would say you could use Melee, but using Melee rather than Athletics you're focused more on the power of the swing than the accuracy of the swing. So you won't necessarily get as much ore per success. But if you think you can get more successes you could make up for it, if that makes sense?
Cameron: Yeah. I think I can get more successes Melee than Athletics, cause I've got an extra yellow die for Melee.
Nick: I would like to flip a story point actually. So flip one to upgrade one of those purples to a red please.
Cameron: May I have the blue die for Cassidy stabilizing?
Nick: Yes, of course you can.
Cameron: All right dice pool: two yellows, a green, a blue, two purples, a red, and two black.
Cameron: Three successes and two threats.
Nick: So with three successes on a Melee check, you're able to get another 60 pounds of ore. You probably knock 100 pounds loose, but because you're swinging as hard as you can and as fast as you can, worried about running out of air, large chunks of it are pulverized and drop into the pit behind you further into the tunnel. But you are able to fill the bag just like Cassidy did and climb back up. The downside is you're so focused on getting as much as you can that your air runs out when you're still in the hole. And you realize it quickly as you see spots, and you were about to leave anyway, but you take four strain on your way back up.
Sydney: Cassidy sees the slightly blank look and the slowing of motion and knows that Emma is done and starts tugging and,
Cameron: Guiding me back up.
Nick: And again, the good news is this is not a very long drop, you're able to pull Emma up to fresher air pretty easily. And then she's able to help climb on the rest of the way back up and you find yourself staring at 160 pounds of silica ore. In some parts of the world this is useless. Finding this tells you that you're digging in the wrong place, but the Fabricator needs it to run, so it's worth a fortune.
Sydney (as Cassidy): All right. Let's get this out. You okay?
Cameron (as Emma): Hyup. [clears throat]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Take a couple of deep breaths up here. We can go up higher. You looked like you lost it a little bit.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I held my breath pretty quick, but [long exhale]
Nick: Emma, you're reminded of the time that you got into a wrestling match with a bunch of your cousins and two or three of them dog piled on top of you. Your chest feels tight, and you're seeing spots. And while you look back on that memory with fondness because it all turned out okay and your cousins apologized, it's a lot scarier when you're down in the dark. And we get a quick shot of Emma and Cassidy riding a cart that's not too rusty. Emma has a small amount of a spray lubricant that she's able to put on the wheels to get them to turn again. And you all are carrying these chunks of ore down the short length of tunnel filling the cart and you push the cart back up, flinching a little at the loud noise that the squeaking wheels make and on to the elevator.
Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] All right, now time to get this working.
Cameron: I need to find a piece of equipment large enough that I can thwack this rail back straight. I'm hoping to find a backhoe or something that I can thwack it with, one of these large pieces of machinery. I don't think I'm bending a piece of metal this large just with my strength.
Nick: There are pieces of decaying and decrepit equipment around but you realize from looking inside of the automated mining equipment from earlier that the internals on these are actually pretty good. There is some dripping water but otherwise a cave is a great place to store electronics, there's no wind or weather. So make me a Mechanic's check to see if you're able to get something running to repair this last piece of the elevator.
Cameron: What difficulty?
Nick: Hard with two black die.
Cameron: I'm removing the black die because I have a knack for Mechanics. May I have a blue die for Inventor for modifying existing items?
Nick: You absolutely can.
Cameron: So three yellows, a blue and three purples.
Cameron: One success.
Nick: You're able to get a small but pretty sturdy piece of digging equipment running. It's got an arm that moves with some levers and an internal power source that you're able to get a little bit of life out of, it sputters the whole time, but you're able to lean this digging arm against the rail that the elevator climbs and bend the pole back into place. As you do it, the arm of this digger breaks and it collapses into dust around some of the bearings. You basically got the last gasps from this piece of equipment but the pole looks pretty straight. The elevator won't bind.
Sydney: Cassidy with this giant Clang is again on alert listening for anything else, having watched Emma get this thing back working again and basically had nothing to help.
Nick: As you're looking around Cassidy, you don't hear anything from the depths of the tunnels. The air that's stirring gently around you from some of the ventilation shafts doesn't change, but some rubble does come loose from above you pattering down, and you hear the distant rattle of one of the ventilation shafts far above you collapsing. Maybe this mine isn't quite as stable as it appeared.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I am about ready to get out of here. I am going to say that this stuff is probably worth more to us than that rope is and in case something goes terribly wrong, I don't want to take away our way out. So we can come back for that or just buy a new one cuz I ain't messing with it.
Cameron (as Emma): I'm sure Shawn would buy you a new rope. If we bring all of this to him.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah.
Cameron: Emma has climbed down from the mining equipment that she just brought to life and then quickly destroyed. And as she's climbing down, pats it like you would a horse after you get off of it, like Good job. You did a good job. And then heads over to the podium.
Sydney: Cassidy looks at the rope and then goes,
Sydney (as Cassidy): [whining] Emma we use the rope to get over the wall.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, dear.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [groan]
Cameron (as Emma): That's a very valid point.
Sydney: Cassidy looks longingly at the rope.
Cameron (as Emma): Do you want to wait to get it until I get this started so that we can prove out that we at least, this will turn on?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I think it does need to go with us and hopefully we're fine. Everything will be fine.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Cameron: Emma is down underneath the podium again, finding all of the wires she pushed off to the side because they were bad and is replacing them with the bundle of wires and other bits and pieces that she salvaged from the drill.
Sydney: Cassidy tells herself again,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Everything will be great.
Sydney: As she walks over to start getting the rope that had been set up at the top. So Cassidy having set a proper anchor at the top, while Emma's doing the final stuff, ends up actually climbing back up that sheer wall. There's a rope at the top and this is basically just a rope dissension so it can be fairly low effort, but Cassidy is waiting up at the top hanging on the wall waiting for the signal from Emma.
Cameron: Emma replaces all of the little bits that she had thrown behind her with much nicer, cleaner, fancier functioning bits from the drill and has replaced all of the wires and just clumps the wires back together, does not do proper wire management, just is pushing it all back in there, closes it back up and presses the ON button.
Nick: So you press the ON button and the generator springs to life. It has a particular coughing exhaust that you recognize as generators that run on solid fuel. You put a brick of fuel into a hopper essentially and it uses that to combust, it creates very little exhaust, good for underground. It doesn't go bad like gasoline does. It's a good choice of generator for this situation and the elevator starts to rise. It does not make a pleasant noise as it starts to grind up this rail. You're sitting next to the controls you have a minecart full of silica ore and Cassidy you see that the elevator is going up a lot faster than you would have expected originally.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Dahh shit!
Cameron (as Emma): [yelling] It's working!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh Emma, are you - can you get out at the top? Because I can not gonna be able to follow you.
Cameron (as Emma): Uh~ hopefully~!
Nick: The elevator continues to rise. And Cassidy you see the tunnel that you came out of where you had found the silica ore begin to collapse. Large boulders are starting to fall around this main shaft. The ventilation shaft that you climb through appears pretty stable right now, but you don't know for how long.
Sydney: Cassidy looks at Emma watching the lift rise out of reach of any maneuver especially considering that she's 100 feet up on the wall and climbs into the small opening at that ventilation shaft choke point pulls the anchor off and starts going up the choke to get back out the other way.
Nick: You can feel the tunnel shaking around you you can hear the squealing of the metal. It's less quiet. You have more adrenaline going, but this is still a harrowing experience and I need you to roll me another Discipline check this time at hard difficulty.
Sydney: I'm gonna flip the story point again because this is not the time to have a break down if I can avoid it. I'm rolling a yellow, a green and three Purple's.
Sydney: Uh success and two threats.
Nick: You scrape up your arms a little bit getting through this choke faster than is maybe wise. You take two strain damage, but otherwise you're able to force your way through and keep going. And we cut over to Emma riding this elevator up to the top. As you get close to the ceiling, your lantern doesn't show any opening, it's just a ceiling that the rail intersects with. And right about the point you worry that maybe you're going to be crushed against the roof of this cave, a line of light appears in a shower of dirt and a massive metal hatch opens in the center swinging wide like a missile silo and you breach the surface. The elevator completely fills the hole made by the open doorway. Below you you can hear the rattling crash as more dirt and stone fills in this mine, whoever wants to go there next is going to have a much harder time finding anything. And you also begin to smell the distinct ozone smell of an electrical fire in the panel of the elevator. But you're at the top and you have your prize. And you actually see that you're only 20 or 30 yards from the clearing where the wishing well was and you can see it through the trees and the motorcycle. And a couple of minutes later, you see Cassidy punch her way up through the small shaft that you originally descended, and you're both on the surface.
Cameron: Emma's first order of business was getting the minecart off of the elevator in case something goes wrong and the elevator falls back down into the mine. So she pushes that off to the side, smells the electrical fire and is just going to rip the wires out. So it stops.
Nick: Your hand gets burned a little with some melting rubber from a little bit of insulation,
Cameron (as Emma): Ow!
Nick: - but the electronics stopped frying themselves. That was a quick move. If somebody knew what the inside looked like or had a background in electronics, they could probably rewire it and get it working again, assuming there's more fuel left in the generator.
Cameron: Emma sets the wires that she just ripped out back into the hole in the electronics. [laughing] They are now there if anyone wants to try to fix those in the future and start pushing the cart very slowly and awkwardly through this wooded area over to the wishing well.
Sydney: At the point that Cassidy claws her way up out of the well. It was an easier climb with a rope on the way down, but she manages it. She was pretty sure she had it without too many issues and really the struggle is the nerves of having come out of a cave that was partially collapsing behind her, gets up to the top, gets over, releases her bag onto the ground next to her and slumps into a pile with her back against the well. Just in time to see Emma coming over with this cart full of materials, their prize. She waves weakly.
Cameron: Emma waves back, lifting one hand from the cart and that goes back to pushing. The weight of the cart plus all of the ore is causing Emma to do the push mostly horizontal. Her legs are way out behind her as she's trying to push this forward.
Nick: These heavy metal wheels are digging into the loamy earth of the forest. You are digging ditches right now with this cart but it is rolling. It's just very difficult.
Cameron: Was there anything around the elevator entrance that suggested that a mine was here?
Cameron: So there's no way we would have found it looking around?
Nick: Not at all. It's been covered by time. It was two feet of topsoil on top of this metal doorway that had mostly rusted shut.
Cameron (as Emma): [heavy breathing] So,
Cameron: Emma starts talking to Cassidy as she approaches with the cart.
Cameron (as Emma): [heavy breathing] I think the way we went in the only way that we were gonna be able to get in judging by the amount of dirt that fell on my head as the elevator reached the ground. Yeah, came all the way back up. We weren't we weren't gonna find that entrance.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, that makes me feel reasonably better. I am very happy to see the sky and trees. I don’t want to go down there again.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. Oh, well, the heh, the elevator kind of caught fire,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Oh~.
Cameron (as Emma): When I got up here, so it's probably fixable if you have fuel with you to actually power it to be able to go back down and you can rewire all of the wires that caught fire. Ooof!
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, we can give a brief out to Shawn and if they need to, they can come back with a bigger crew. But
Cameron (as Emma): Yep.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Let's get stuff out of the cart and into the bike and get out of here.
Cameron: At this point Emma has reached the wishing well and just collapses on to on top of the cart. [laughing]
Nick: We see Cassidy moving the contents of the cart over onto the motorcycle and Emma gathering her breath before starting to help. There's a air of success, of danger narrowly avoided, of frankly, adventure. And then further out in the distance, we see the sharp reflection of the sun off of a pair of field glasses, watching as the girls load up their prize.
[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:
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…
...Audio Offline. [hurdy gurdy fades]