Transcript: Episode 8 :We're Very Experienced
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript
Episode 8: We’re Very Experienced
Transcript by Cameron Robertson
Note: Zee-o is a synthetic humanoid being and primarily speaks in a robotic, monotone voice.
[hurdy gurdy music begins]
Nick: Welcome, listeners, to A Knight of Shreds and Patches. An immersive actual play podcast. This episode features the talents of -
Drew: Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt Fisher.
Aly: Aly Grauer as Zee-o.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Austin: Austin Whittington as Cassidy Shard.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Austin: Hello listeners, this is your editor, with today’s messages:
We actually had our zeroth iTunes review, in addition to last time’s. Turns out the Canadian reviews don’t make it to iTunes directly, so thanks MCBummy for being even earlier than first! And sorry for the delay in recognition. Also, for this episode, we’ve received another kind review from Robert Bimp. iTunes reviews are a great way for new listeners to find the show, and any good words are always appreciated.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into episode 8: We’re Very Experienced. And so...
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches
To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[robotic powerup noise begins]
Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection.
[robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
Austin (as Cassidy): Last time on Knight of Shreds and Patches, Emma made a dynamic entry with the rig into Wyatt’s fight. Wyatt then demonstrated his sword skill, Zee-o demonstrated their pursuit skill, and together we made a warm fire and said a few words for our fallen foes.
Nick: We open on the Patina rolling into the outskirts of the small town of Wawa. The sign by Main Street says population 1000, but judging by the empty houses on the borders of town, that's an optimistic estimate. Wawa is set on the edge of Wawa lake and is set a couple of miles inland from Lake Best. You can almost see it on the horizon if there weren't trees in the way. So as you're pulling into this small town, I would really love everyone to give me one detail of what's here.
Aly: What is the sign made of? Is it wood painted or is it metal painted or printed?
Nick: It's a metal sign that looks like it has rusted and lost its initial paint covering long, long ago, and they've just painted with whitewash over that. So it's a rusted metal square.
Aly: There's a vine that grows all over this sign that they continually have to push off of the part that has the name and the population on it. I think this vine is not necessarily blooming or anything like that, it feels kind of dead right now, or at least dormant but it's a very over the top vine that grows up one side of the post that holds up the sign and over the across the top and then down the other side and it's all twisted around itself and brambley and very rustic.
Nick: Does it have those little bean sprout curlicues sticking off of it?
Aly: Yeah, so many of those.
Drew: Does this vine grow all over the town?
Drew: Cool. Nick, I have a question.
Drew: What is the level of traffic in this town? How many people come in and out of this town? Like is it a crossroad? Is it a backwater place?
Nick: Oh, no, this one is about a day's travel off of the fastest way to get to Tree All Mountain because you all are staying off of the main trading routes. So they see people occasionally but visitors are not common.
Drew: My detail's gonna be there's a lighthouse that sits on the edge of the lake. And instead of getting most of their commerce from the road, and from people coming that way they get it from off the lake but it's also a lookout - it's it's just a beacon basically,
Austin: I think there's a little square that's downtown with a couple of buildings on all four sides of it that the road goes through on one edge of it. In the middle of the square. There's a fountain - it's dry. There's just piles of vine in it instead of water, but the fountain is still fairly intact. It's a marble one with the little beveling around the edge like it had been a fancy one at some point, it's just not really maintained anymore.
Cameron: In contrast to most of the other towns and cities we've seen so far where the woods pretty much fade away into a clear area where the town is located, there is no stopping of the woods. The trees become slightly farther apart and sparser so that buildings could be built, but there's still a decent tree cover everywhere and there's a lot of big old trees throughout the town.
Nick: So you drive the rig down past the perimeter of this town through the vines. You can hear the gristly crunch of these vines that have been crisscrossing the path that you're taking. They're semi dormant, not as wet as they would be during the spring, but they also seem to hold up okay under the tracks of the rig, and you drive through the trees and head into town. And as you roll by, we see someone peering from one of the seemingly abandoned houses. A frantic beeping is coming from behind them and they whip around to grab a extremely large backpack and slap on a floppy hat.
As the rig rolls by the figure hurries after them, much more slowly. And you all are able to roll right into the middle of the town. You get some friendly waves from a few scattered citizens as you pull up to the square and this empty fountain. The town seems to draw a majority of its power from several solar panels that are rigged up to the trees throughout the town. Not enough power to fully electrify everything, but there are some lights crisscrossing around the square that seemed to just run. And you can see that there are a couple of buildings that have electric light on on the inside as well.
Drew: I think there's a main building. What that building is used for right now, I don't think we know. But I think that building, it might have been a post office at one point or like a bank. It looks like it's made of stone and it's very solid. It's obviously covered in vines. But it is the main building in the town.
Nick: And it's on the far side of the square from when you pull in. You can see light reflecting off of a few intact windows hidden behind the vines and see some people going in and out. It looks reasonably busy, busier than the rest of the town.
So I think Cassidy's riding in the back of the truck sitting up on the edge of it looking at the town.
Emma's in the cab and she's reading the romance novel.
I think Zee-o is also in the cab not reading a romance novel but actively watching how Wyatt drives. [laugh]
Wyatt drives slung back in the seat a bit more. He's got one hand on the steering wheel, his foot, obviously down on the pedal, and then he has his other foot kicked up either underneath him or on the dashboard.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right - Emma?
Cameron (as Emma): Yes.
Drew (as Wyatt): This is your first time in a town with us. So uh, you want to come on out with me and we'll greet some people, let them know that we don't mean any harm?
Cameron (as Emma): Sure.
Aly (as Zee-o): Wyatt.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah?
Aly (as Zee-o): Do you want me to come with you?
Drew (as Wyatt): Do you want to come with us?
Aly (as Zee-o): Do you want me to come with you?
Drew (as Wyatt): [interrupting] Do you want to come with us?
Austin: Cassidy drops down on the ground outside the driver's window and knocks on the door and goes,
Austin (as Cassidy): You guys ready to go?
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, let's all go. Let's all go. How about that? Yeah, that's great.
Drew: And Wyatt opens the door. He gives it a kick, and jumps out.
Austin: Cassidy [laughing] dodges the door opening.
He grabs his coat and puts it on and he grabs his belt which is slung in the back of the seat that he was driving in. It's got like his knife in his pistol, but not his sword; he's gonna leave that in the truck. He grabs his fishermen cap and he puts that on. He leans in and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Come on Emma. Come with me.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay~
Cameron: Emma dog ears the book page and sets it down on Wyatt's bed and climbs out.
Drew: So I feel like the two of them get down and go around the front. And as they go around the front Wyatt goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright Emma. Now before we had Iokua, and Iokua would always be the face. Right? He'd always introduce us, always do that kind of stuff. But we don't have him anymore. He's moved on. So that's gonna be you. All right?
Cameron (as Emma): What?
Drew (as Wyatt): So we're gonna come around this corner, and I'm gonna put you up on top of the on the hood of the rig. And uh you're gonna shout and let everyone know why we're here. Cool?
Cameron (as Emma): Oh- wh- what?
Drew (as Wyatt): All right, here we go.
Cameron (as Emma): Wait no - what am I supposed to say? [panicked]
Drew: [laugh] We come around the corner.
Nick: There's five or six people who have gathered in this square kind of spread out and you can see that they're wearing worn but comfortable clothes. You see some people who look like they may be farmers or trappers and some shopkeepers, and they're all just patiently waiting and Wyatt you see a placid vision of just towns folk who don't have much to worry about curious about what this show is about. But Emma, you see a huge and critical crowd wondering if you were a threat to them and wondering why you are here.
Drew: Alright, they come around the corner, and I feel like Wyatt, he's got his arm around Emma leading her out, and it goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): [shouting] Alright, listen up. We're the Patina and this is Emma. She's gonna tell you what we're all about. Emma go ahead.
Austin: Cassidy leans, kind of relaxedly with one foot up against the truck, and just says low enough that the crowd can hear but Wyatt and Emma can here,
Austin (as Cassidy): You got this. Don't worry.
Cameron (as Emma): Ummmmm. [loudly] Hello.
Drew (as Wyatt): No, you need to get up on top of the rig. Get up, Get up on the rig.
Cameron (as Emma): [overlapping] Oh well you weren't - Okay.
Cameron: Emma climbs up on top of the rig.
Cameron (as Emma): [under her breath] I don't know how they're gonna hear me any better from up here.
Nick (as townsperson): What?
Cameron (as Emma): welpf... [shouting] Hello!
Cameron: Emma does a big hand wave to go along with her yell.
Cameron (as Emma): [shouting] We're the Patina and we're crossing through and if y'all have any jobs involving fighting, or moving things, or mechanics - let Wyatt know.
Cameron: And points down to Wyatt.
Drew: And Wyatt waves.
Cameron (as Emma): [shouting] Thank you.
Drew: Wyatt looks up at Emma and rolls his hands to indicate she needs to keep going.
Cameron (as Emma): [lowered voice] What am I supposed to say?
Drew: He rolls his hands keep going.
Cameron (as Emma): [shouting] We've been traveling a long time.... and... we're very experienced. So... please, come forward.
Nick: Nobody moves.
Aly: Zee-o sticks their head through the side of the cab and looks around at what's happening and then leans toward Cassidy and says,
Aly (as Zee-o): Did she tell them about the bandits yet?
Austin (as Cassidy): Nope. Hey, Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): Yes?
Austin (as Cassidy): Maybe you should tell them about the bandits.
Cameron (as Emma): I thought Wyatt was going to do that. We're just announcing to everybody?
Drew: There's this quiet conversation that's happening around, people are beginning to look at each other and kind of talk back and forth. And Wyatt goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): [muffled] No I'll I'll do - [shouting] Wooo! Yeah! Good. [clapping] Well done!
Nick: One person on the far side of the square starts to clap along. [slow clapping]
Drew: Wyatt moves forward and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Who's in charge? Where's your head person?
Nick: As you asked that the people all look at each other and just wander back out of the square without engaging with you.
Drew (as Wyatt): [yelling] Hey!
Drew: Wyatt turns the "Hey!" he uses his Captain voice and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): HEY! Who runs this town?
Nick: One person stands stock-still almost at attention. You recognize someone who's had similar training to you but is much younger. And she turns around, and looks kind of resentful that you use Command voice on her, and says,
Nick (as townsperson): The alderman's in the main building, you could go talk to him, although I don't think we're going to need you for anything. It's pretty quiet here.
Nick: And then stomps off without waiting to be dismissed.
Drew (as Wyatt): Thank you.
Nick (as townsperson): You're welcome.
Drew (as Wyatt): Welcome you too. Thanks for - okay.
Cameron: Emma is plopped down and is sitting on, still on the roof of the rig but has her feet hanging down and is swinging through the open driver's side window, is leaning forward slightly, is resting her forearms across her legs, and just kind of twiddling her thumbs a little bit.
Drew: Wyatt comes back and he goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah, that was great. Good job. I got a couple notes. But we'll talk about those later.
Cameron (as Emma): I would love notes. I'd love notes before I start talking, actually.
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright, I'm going to talk to the alderman. Uhhh dismissed I guess. Someone better - just stick around with the, with the Knight though. All right? Make sure we don't get robbed.
Nick: So Wyatt heads off to that large stone building covered in vines. The main door doesn't close all the way, you can see that even down the staircase that leads up to these double doors because of the vine stuck in the way, and tries to navigate inside.
Aly: Zee-o has retreated back into the cab of the truck and is reading the romance novel.
Austin: Cassidy walks around to the side of the truck that Emma's on and calls up
Austin (as Cassidy): Hey I'm gonna go look for supplies and maybe a snack or a drink. Uh you want to come join? Or you want to hang out here with Zee-o or you got something else you want to see? I know this is your - Is this your first time seeing a town that's not yours?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. It doesn't look super different besides the trees~.
Cameron: Emma looks up.
Cameron (as Emma): I think for the moment I'll stick with the rig. I don't know, I do- I wa-, what other what other things normally happen when you go into a town besides Wyatt making someone yell?
Austin (as Cassidy): Uhh. I go shopping. I go scout out where the good social sites are for if we're here longer than just passing through. Iokua does stuff except he's not here. Pallie would have done things except she's not here.
Cameron (as Emma): Wh-What tasks would they normally do?
Austin (as Cassidy)
Pallie would probably make sure we're set on mechanics things cause I am not a super expert on that, I'm more about food and water and soap and the kind of stuff to keep things working, or keep keep us working as opposed to things.
Austin: And Cassidy makes a big wide gesture at the truck.
Austin (as Cassidy): And Iokua would probably go start carousing and looking for the more colorful side of town, getting in at some trouble and seeing if there were some trouble that we could get into from less proper channels. But now it's just us. So I'm still we still got to eat. If you want to come find food, I'm gonna go find food. Otherwise, I'll be back in a little bit.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh, I will. I will mechanic.
Cameron: And Emma starts climbing down from the rig. [laughing]
Aly: Zee-o sticks their head out the window and says
Aly (as Zee-o): Cassidy - do human bodies pulsate?
Austin: Cassidy makes a confused, pinched face and goes
Austin (as Cassidy): I~ I suppose? Hearts beat. What what's, what context are you looking for?
Aly: Zee-o holds up the book and says
Aly (as Zee-o): Some of the adjectives chosen by the author seem highly irregular.
Austin: Cassidy smiles knowingly and goes,
Austin (as Cassidy): Yeah, that's um... they call that - this is this is another one of those uh idioms things that are hard to explain - they call that purple prose.
Aly (as Zee-o): Purple prose? Have you read this?
Austin (as Cassidy): No.
Aly (as Zee-o): Emma, did you read this?
Cameron (as Emma): Well where, where are you in the book? If you've gotten to my dog tag, then yes.
Cameron: Emma is now down on the ground.
Aly: I think in the span of time that Cassidy and Emma have been discussing what's going on in town, that Zee-o picked up the book, read it and is in the final love scene of the book, mere pages before the end. So when Emma gets down onto the ground again and looks into the cap Zee-o is on the final 10 pages.
Cameron (as Emma): Ah uh no haven't read that part yet.
Aly (as Zee-o): It does not get better.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I wasn't really thinking it was going to.
Austin (as Cassidy): Maybe we can look for another one somewhere while we're here. That's a little bit better.
Cameron (as Emma): There's a lot more in the back of the truck.
Austin (as Cassidy): Pallie was a connoisseur and now we're blessed with her bounty.
Aly (as Zee-o): I would like to find more books.
Austin (as Cassidy)
Well you can come with me and I'll go, we can go shopping.
Aly: Zee-o looks further out the window of the cab and their face, which has that neutral kind of mildly interested mildly surprised expression permanently affixed to it, suddenly looks a little doubtful, as they peer out the truck at this tiny town covered in dry vines, and they close the book and set it down on the seat and climb out of the cab to stand next to Cassidy.
Aly (as Zee-o): If you say so.
Austin (as Cassidy): We'll see what they have.
Austin: And Cassidy sets off towards the building that looks like a shop. I'm picturing a building on a Western street with a big sign above it that just says SHOP.
Nick: Yeah, so there's a store off of the square, Cassidy you noted it on the way in. It has just a big sign above the door that says STORE. It looks like it's hand painted on wood and has been gone over multiple times without being sanded down first. The sign manages to look fresh and peeling at the same time. Emma, you are pretty able to see that anywhere that has any kind of mechanical bent or parts. You can track where the power lines go from these solar panels that are stuck in the trees and you can see that there are several junctions and they all seem to be Lakeside. So a majority of the mechanical equipment has to do with fishing or trading on the lake or the large lighthouse slash watch tower that is on the edge of town. That seems to be your best bet.
Cameron: So I think Emma is staying with the truck, but is doing an overview of the truck - so like looking, checking out underneath the hood, seeing, make sure nothing's about to wear out or anything. Going into the back of the truck, looking through all of the stuff that's back there. If anything is about to go under the hood, if we have any extras of things already. At this point, she's very familiar with the organizational system that Pallie had going in the back of the truck, so is able to do that fairly quickly.
Nick: Emma, you decide to stay behind and you do a pretty thorough once over of the engine and the belts and coolant and just double check the truck as Cassidy and Zee-o head off towards the shop. Wyatt you were able to push open these big heavy double doors. You take one look behind you and see that Zee-o has climbed down out of the rig and is walking across the square with Cassidy. You can see that Emma has popped the hood and is already up to her waist in the engine compartment digging around, which is probably fine. That's what you brought her along for right?
And as you push open these double doors, you see what once must have been a very impressive lobby. There's a double staircase curving away on both ends going up to a second floor. But one of the staircases has fallen in with disrepair and the other one seems to be held together more with vines than with boards or stone. Most of the bottom floor is covered in boxes, like they've been using it for storage, but you can see a cleared path up to a main office on the top floor and then a hallway leading off to one of the wings that appears to be the main part of the building that's still used.
Drew: Wyatt takes a look around and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Man what a dump.
Drew: But he moves forward and he heads towards that open office.
Nick: So you head up this staircase they creak dangerously but comfortably you're not worried about getting dumped onto the ground floor. And you come to this intersection of the main hall heading off to the right. And you can see what must have once been offices or store rooms and each one has, they're mostly being used to store food actually, you see that some have been changed into smokehouses, some appear to be grain storage, but there's also people moving in and out. So it's like a marketplace slash granary. But as you head forward into this main office, it has these wide sweeping windows that overlook the lake. And you can see a, it's a large but very rough desk like it was nailed together with planks and the only sanding that happened has been by time. And sitting behind it is a large man with wide shoulders. You recognize a fisherman when you see one. And he is flipping through logbooks and what looks like some sort of Almanac and looks up as you come in and he says,
Nick (as alderman): Ummmmmm you're supposed to have an appointment. Actually, you're not supposed to just walk into the alderman's office. Sorry about that. You'll have to come back.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah. I am sorry about that.
Drew: He walks around the desk and heads towards the office.
Nick: So you walk into the office and the person who was sitting behind this desk this large man just stands up from behind the desk and says
Nick (as alderman): Uh- Well, okay, I guess I wasn't that busy. Anyway, who are you? Why are you here?
Drew: Wyatt turns around and goes
Drew (as Wyatt): Are you the alderman?
Nick (as alderman): Yeah, that's me.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay. [sigh] I'm Wyatt. I'm Captain of the Patina, it's a mercenary company who just came to town
Nick (as alderman): Oh mercenaries? No, that's okay. We don't want any.
Drew (as Wyatt): Okay. Um. Mostly, I'm just trying to make sure that we're welcome in this town at least to stay the night before we move on or if you want us out of town or whatever we need.
Nick (as alderman): As long as you've got Tree All squares that you can spend in town - that's mostly what we deal with here - if your money spends you're welcome.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. Uhh I mean, we have a couple. We have mostly Allium spheres, though.
Nick (as alderman)
Ehhh - I mean, it's up to the people of the town to decide what kind of business they do. I would encourage you to try to find someone who's willing to trade. Allium doesn't usually make it this far up.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's good.
Nick (as alderman): Why do you say that?
Drew (as Wyatt): It's just good.
Nick (as alderman): You don't like Allium?
Drew (as Wyatt): No.
Nick (as alderman): Me neither.
Nick: And he holds out a hand to shake with you.
Drew: Wyatt kinda, "oh okay" and he he shakes his hand.
Drew (as Wyatt): Now uh. Back to my other question, I just want to make sure that we're welcome in town.
Nick (as alderman): We don't actually get many visitors out here in Wawa. I know it's hard to believe, but we're off some of the main trading ways. Usually the only things we see here are bandits and the occasional wandering merchant who doesn't understand what we need to survive out here. So!
Drew (as Wyatt): You g- You got a problem with bandits?
Nick (as alderman): Look, bandits are the least of my, I mean, mercenaries are the least of my problems. I you're not saying that you're a bandit, sir.
Nick: And he looks pointedly at the gun on your belt.
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright, um, what's your name again?
Nick (as alderman): I'm - I'm Wilfred.
Drew (as Wyatt): Wilfred. Wilfred, are you? I'm just gonna go on a limb here. You're new to this.
Nick (as alderman): Yeah, I took over a couple of weeks ago after the last alderman disappeared. Well, that makes it sound really mysterious. The last aldermen moved, they moved, they moved, they went to a different town. It's nothing interesting. I just, it was really sudden, they didn't give us a lot of notice. And everybody appointed me,
Drew (as Wyatt): [interrupting] Wil-Wilfred. Wilfred. Wilfred. Sit down.
Nick (as alderman): Okay.
Nick: And he slumps down, not behind the desk but at a chair next to the desk.
Drew: Wyatt goes over and pulls up another chair and sits across from Wilfred, looks at him pointedly and goes.
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright, so you're new, obviously. And I can respect that. I respect that this is a new thing. Am I the first mercenary you have ever had a meeting with?
Nick (as alderman): As aldermen? Yeah, we've dealt with bandits attacking town but not mercenaries. Although I will say I am not 100% sure what the difference is.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's fair. That is a fair thing to say. Honestly. The difference to me is this: a bandit is gonna take your money, they'll take whatever and they won't ask you, all right? I'm a mercenary. Now mercenary doesn't necessarily just mean that I fight. I do fight. I'm a very good fighter. But I do a lot of other things. We all do. We help out. If there's hard labor to be done, we can do that hard labor. Guard duty, uh patrols. If you need to get somewhere and you need some guards to go with you, we can do that. If you need to take care of something wild tech that's out there, bandits, maybe you have something wrong in the town and you need some extra muscle, that's what we're here for. I am here Wilfred to make your life easier - for a price.
Nick: Wilfred mops at his brow with the collar of his shirt and he looks at you.
Nick (as alderman): Wow, that's that's a really good pitch.
Drew (as Wyatt): Thank you. I've had a very long time to think about it.
Nick (as alderman): Honestly, I feel more relaxed just having had that conversation.
Drew (as Wyatt): Good. By the way, Wilfred? That's a very good mustache.
Nick (as alderman): Oh, thank you. Um I like your mustache as well.
Drew (as Wyatt): Thank you. I can tell we've worked very hard on them.
Nick (as alderman): Well it you know I started with the beard and anyway no, the point is I I appreciate what you're trying to do.
Drew (as Wyatt): Good.
Nick (as alderman): I appreciate that you're coming into town and asking for work and not just running us over with that big fancy truck of yours, I'm assuming that's what I heard pulling up outside.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yes that is my truck and these are my people.
Nick (as alderman): It's kinda loud you might want to get the alternator looked at, um but anyway it we don't have - we don't have that kind of problem here. Bandits attack maybe every six months; we don't have much worth stealing.
Drew (as Wyatt): That's six months too many.
Nick (as alderman): Well probably but I can't afford to hire you to sit here for a year until they come back.
Drew (as Wyatt): Well, we are here to go out and be proactive for your town. If there are bandits we can take care of them. Now you said you had bandit problems?
Nick (as alderman): Yeah.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. What are these bandits like?
Nick (as alderman): No one ever seems to get a good look at them. They just fade into the trees like they were never there to begin with but they leave a few hurt behind them and steal food.
Drew (as Wyatt): Is it mostly just food? Do they do they also take wealth? Do they take materials? What do they take usually?
Nick (as alderman): They used to take money, just about everybody here's out at this point. We haven't gotten a contingent from Tree All Mountain.
Drew: Wyatt looks directly into Wilfred's eyes and goes
Drew (as Wyatt): These people here in this town, they're looking to you when things are going to go wrong, cause they will go wrong. You need to believe that you can do that.
Nick: Gosh, Drew I sure would like a leadership check from you.
Drew: Alright, I got two green in leadership.
Nick: This is just gonna be an average check. So it'll be two green versus two purple, but you can have a blue die for complementing his moustache.
Drew: All right, here we go.
Drew: That is a success and a disadvantage.
Nick (as alderman): You know maybe there is a job that you could do for me.
Nick: And then we're gonna cut away. And Cassidy and Zee-o you were making your way to the singular shop off of the Wawa Town Square. The wide wooden porch of the shop is choked with vines, but the stone of the building itself seems sturdy.
Aly (as Zee-o): Is this their marketplace?
Austin (as Cassidy): Uh the sign says so.
Aly (as Zee-o): It does not look like a marketplace.
Austin (as Cassidy): It's not really a marketplace as much as one really big stall.
Aly: Zee-o adjusts their body angle to surreptitiously half face Cassidy with a downward tilt of their chin almost - if they were human, they would be like putting their hand in front of their mouth to whisper sideways and they say,
Aly (as Zee-o): I do not think they have books.
Austin (as Cassidy): We'll never know till we go in. They could have like three.
Austin: Cassidy puts on a face of you know, very optimistic, so optimistic that it doesn't feel genuine.
Nick: The door to this shop is worn wood and isn't hanging straight in it's frame so as you force the door open, there's the ringing of a bell and you walk in to see a large square room. There's racks of used clothes hanging and some nicer jackets and things mixed in as well. On the back wall you can see bits of equipment and motors and a large deer trophy hanging off the wall and there's a glass case in front of the same wall that has the shopkeeper standing behind it.
Drew: So the shopkeeper is a balding man, probably in his mid 50s. He's got like a big belly, but really strong arms that, as you can see he's wearing a flannel shirt that's been buttoned up rolled up sleeves, but there's obviously tattoos underneath on his forearms. He's probably got like a short chin strap beard going on. Glasses on as well. And as you guys come in, he goes,
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, hello there. How are you doing? What can I help for you?
Austin: Cassidy gives a wave and goes,
Austin (as Cassidy): We're representing a caravan passin' through and we need some supplies.
Drew (as shopkeep): Wherever you need supplies just the right place to come to want to come on and what you're looking for my friends?
Aly (as Zee-o): Books.
Drew (as shopkeep): You're-you're looking for books?
Aly: Yes. Do you have any books?
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, uhh
Drew: And he reaches underneath the counter and he pulls out shoe box that kind of rattles and he puts it down. He takes off the lid and there's a bunch of data chips in there.
Drew (as shopkeep): I got a ton of things here, um, something you might like. I don't know.
Drew: He puts one up to the light.
Drew (as shopkeep): Uh that's a romance. That's a sssss-uhhpffffff. Goodness.
Austin: Cassidy's squints at him real sharply.
Drew (as shopkeep): That's not what you're looking for?
Austin (as Cassidy): How do you how do you know what it is by holding it up to the light?
Drew (as shopkeep): Oh,
Drew: And he gets close and he holds it up to the light. And you can see at the bottom, there's a serial number. He's like,
Drew (as shopkeep): I memorized all the serial numbers. Like I said, that one's This one's an informational one on fishing. And uh this one, ohh that's a saucy one.
Drew: And he put in his pocket.
Aly (as Zee-o): How do you read these books?
Drew (as shopkeep): Well,
Drew: And he reaches onto his belt, and he pulls out an interfacer. Now an interfacer is basically a tablet that has a cord off to the side that you can plug into not into the wall for power, but into like a machine and interface with the machine itself. And he takes out one of the chips and he places it in [plug in noise] and boots it up. And there's this boot up sound but it goes Mooooahhh.
Drew (as shopkeep): Yeah, old bovine tech.
Drew: He flips it a couple of different times. And he brings up the book and he shows you the words of the book on the interfacer.
Drew (as shopkeep): Now if you don't have your own interfacer, well you're plum out of luck now aren't ya?
Aly: Zee-o reaches into the box and pulls out one of the chips at random. There is a micro SD card slot in Zee-o's left forearm and they look at the chips in the box and then they run their right fingertips over their left forearm until they find the slot and they push on it like you would a floppy disk to reveal it. And then they pick up one of the chips and plug it in to see what it is. And I think there's probably like a fate noise Dong. And then Zee-o goes,
Aly (as Zee-o): Oh, I see. The interfacer allows you to read the data on the chip, which is a book.
Drew (as shopkeep): Oh yeah, that's what I was saying.
Drew: I feel like the shopkeep was looking away at that point, he was underneath looking for maybe another box of quote unquote books.
Austin: Cassady does the wide smile of nothing to see here and subtly steps in front of Zee-o's arm that the chip is plugged into.
Aly: Zee-o says to Cassidy,
Aly (as Zee-o): This one is not useful to us. It is the same as the one we already have.
Aly: And they unplug it and reach for a different chip.
Drew (as shopkeep): Whoa, whoa, hold on now, hold on. You can't just be picking these up and going about it. Like this isn't a library or anything like that.
Aly (as Zee-o): How do I know which one to take, then?
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, you tell me which one you want and you buy it.
Aly (as Zee-o): How much does it cost?
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, I'll take a, pfff - I'll take half a square for some of these maybe a quarter of a square for some others. But I mean, if you have anything to barter, I can also do that too.
Aly: Zee-o looks at Cassidy with their characteristic blank, slightly surprised expression. And there's a meaningful moment that Zee-o looks at Cassidy as though to remind Cassidy that Zee-o doesn't really understand money. And then they turn back to the chips and they start organizing them. They're taking them out of the box and organizing them by like, genre and length. And -
Drew (as shopkeep): What are you doing? What do you eh eh eh eh.
Drew: And the guy like takes his hand over. He pushes you back.
Aly (as Zee-o): I'm helping.
Drew (as shopkeep): You are not helping you are touching the merchandise. You either buy it or you leave.
Aly (as Zee-o): You do not wish it to be organized so that you can find it faster later.
Drew (as shopkeep): I- Yeah, I guess but I'll do it myself.
Aly (as Zee-o): You did not do it before this moment.
Drew (as shopkeep): Well I'll do it after you leave then. Is there anything else you want to buy? While you're here?
Austin (as Cassidy): Food, supplies, all the things.
Austin: And Cassidy points to hands open at the rest of the store.
Austin (as Cassidy): There's other things we're here for.
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, you may go and look around and see what you want and then come back and we'll barter or buy it.
Austin (as Cassidy): Then we'll go and look around and I'll come back.
Austin: And Cassidy walks off towards the food.
Aly: Zee-o stands there staring at the shopkeeper and looks at the chips on the counter and then looks at the shopkeeper again.
Drew: In that moment, as you are looking at the shopkeep, the shopkeep takes a look at you really for the first time and tries to look inside of your hood.
Aly: Yeah, so Zee-o's hood is up, but there is a distinctly human shape to their face in the shadow of that hood. And since their chassis is matte, it's not metallic shiny or anything like that. But there's a distinct bluish white glow to their eyes. It could be that they're wearing goggles or glasses or something. But the longer the shopkeep looks, the more obvious it becomes that Zee-o's not wearing glasses. It could be a mask, but -
Austin (as Cassidy): Zee-o come help me grab some stuff. I don't have enough hands for this.
Aly: Zee-o takes a step towards Cassidy's voice then looks back at the shopkeeper and says
Aly (as Zee-o): We could take our business elsewhere.
Drew (as shopkeep): Well, I'm sure you can. But there's not much other places in town, you could take it.
Aly (as Zee-o): Then it sounds like you need our business more than we need yours.
Drew: I think that you are going to need to eat by the end of today and from the way that most of your kind walk into this town, you don't have a whole lot of food. I have the food, and you're going to need to by uh come suppertime.
Aly: Zee-o glances around as they start to walk towards Cassidy and adds
Aly (as Zee-o): This place could use some more organization. Just saying.
Nick: And the shopkeeper feels this sense of foreboding and something being amiss, because things like Zee-o are not seen. Synthetic people are not common in this world. So he essentially was just talking to someone who seemed very eager to help organize and just didn't give off much of an aura of humanity at all. And that's a little unsettling.
Drew: So what he does then is he just goes behind the counter, and he actually starts to organize the book chips.
Aly: So Zee's gonna go to the back where Cassidy is.
Nick: And we're gonna cut away as you all begin to look at supplies. Emma, you've been camped out in the cab for a little while, you saw Wyatt head off into this main building of this town, you saw Zee-o and Cassidy take a long pause in front of the door of the shop before going in obviously having some sort of conversation that you can't help but smile at even having not heard the words because you can see the expression on Cassidy's face before they enter and you have this moment alone.
Cameron: So since Emma started out by doing a basic sweep of the mechanics of the rig, making sure everything was good. checking up on the mechanic supplies in the back. While she was in the back of the truck, she pulled out a small walkie talkie type radio that had a sticky note on it that said ‘fix later’. And so she took it with her and has been fiddling with that.
Nick: So you poke around with this radio and very obviously you can see that there's some important filler parts missing, but you may be able to bypass it. And do you stay in the truck or do you go outside or sit somewhere more comfortably?
Cameron: Emma is sitting on top of the truck. This is becoming a comfort spot.
Nick: Okay, so you climbed up on top of the truck.
Cameron: People keep sending her up there. [laughs]
Nick: Make me a mechanic's role at average difficulty.
Cameron: May I have a blue die for my Inventor talent for modifying existing items?
Nick: You absolutely can.
Cameron: Three successes and one threat.
Nick: Oh, wow. So you're entirely able to see what's missing from this and you're able to get it all entirely working, except one pieces missing that you can't work around. So the threat is it's almost entirely functional, it's just you're going to need one more part to get this to work. Maybe that's why it was still causing you issues. So do you repair things to help relax? What does this do for you?
Cameron: So it's a mixture of things there is that element of fixing things and fiddling with different mechanical things is relaxing, is that something she is very used to doing and has always enjoyed doing. So it's a way to chill and focus on things that she enjoys. But it's also, Emma's not exactly sure how she's fitting into the group yet at this point. Besides fixing the truck initially, there hasn't really been a lot of things for her to do that fell within her comfort skill set. She's not feeling great about how the whole announce our presence to the crowd thing went earlier. And this is something that it had a note on it that it needed to get fixed. She can fix it. So she's going to try and do that.
Nick: You look up from your work as you finish up and from the direction that the Patina entered town, you can see a tall, very thin figure with a backpack that is so big, it extends up above their head, walking towards you with a strangely angular metal walking stick. And they're still on the edge of town. But you can't help but feel that they're staring straight at you as they walk in your direction.
And we will cut back to Wilfred has settled down behind the desk, Wyatt you are seated in what must be a receiving chair on the other side of the desk. The stools you were using before are pushed to the corner of the room. And Wilfred says,
Nick (as alderman): If you can be proactive and you can go get those bandits, I know quite a few people who have been upset about the state of things in this time. You know, you talk about cost benefit analysis, you talk about that it's not worth provoking people. But what people see are ghosts appearing out of the trees in the night. If I could say that we've done something proactive to stop that, then that's what I should do. Right?
Drew (as Wyatt): That is something you should do, as leader of this town. Everyone will feel much safer at night, and they can see that you're the one who hired us to do it. At the end of the day, Wilfred, I'm not the hero, the person who hires me is. Does that makes sense?
Nick (as alderman): That makes sense.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. So these bandits, they come out of the woods ghost like probably an active camo situation. They're taking mostly supplies. They're not taking money, but they took money before is that what you said?
Nick (as alderman): Yeah, they took some money. But then lately, it's just been food. They've just been hitting the farms and the fishermen.
Drew (as Wyatt): And that's mostly because from what your estimation is, the people around here have run out of money, which says to me that they're mostly preying on you, and not much else around here. Now, is there any idea you have on who these people might be any disgruntled townsfolk? They don't seem like they've come out of nowhere.
Nick (as alderman): I mean, maybe? I don't know who could do something like this. I...
Drew (as Wyatt): How bout this Wilfred?
Drew: And he pulls out the picture that he got a couple of days ago. And he puts it down on the desk. And we see the camera on his fingers as he slides it across to Wilfred and goes
Drew (as Wyatt): Do any of these people look familiar to you?
Nick (as alderman): Yeah, actually. They used to - Gosh, that's an old photo. Where did you find that?
Drew (as Wyatt): Answer the question. Do they look familiar to you?
Nick (as alderman): Yeah, they look familiar. They used to - heck, I'm in that photo.
Nick: He points to this broad shouldered kid with a shaved head that's off to the side in the woods.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yeah that's where I thought. You see, Wilfred, two days ago, I killed a number of these people. They attacked my truck and my people. And I don't take kindly to that. So a good number of these fine upstanding people here are now dead. And uh I assume that they're your bandits. Now uh, do any of these people have family still in town?
Nick (as alderman): Well, most of those boys lit out a long time ago with Kilburn - that's the, the older guy you see in the photo, haven't seen them in a long time. But Mrs. Kilburn's still in town. Had a bit of a falling out, you could say. People don't talk to her much anymore.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. So here's the thing, it seems that I've taken care of your bandit problem. So I'm gonna ask, not for money. I understand you probably don't have Tree All squares a ton here, so I'm gonna ask for fuel. Probably... 30 gallons.
Nick: He sits up straight at the mention of a number and says
Nick (as alderman): 20 gallons.
Drew (as Wyatt): 25.
Nick (as alderman): 22 and a half.
Drew (as Wyatt): 24. And remember, I've already done the job.
Nick (as alderman): Well, I know. So you don't really what are you gonna do un-kill them?
Drew (as Wyatt): No. But I will tell everyone that I did it without your say so.
Nick (as alderman): 24 gallons. Sounds good.
Drew (as Wyatt): Good enough for me. You can deliver it to my truck. Now, where does this widow live?
Nick: And you see him look out the window. And there's a small fuel tank down by this smaller lake. It's not Lake Best, there's another one that looks like it's probably got some good local fishing and there's a few small motor boats on it. And there's a small fuel tank and a small shack next to that fuel tank. And he points out the window down there.
Nick (as alderman): She spends most of her time in there these days.
Drew (as Wyatt): And there's nobody else in town that knows these people? Nobodys that's gonna miss them?
Nick: You could see him looking through the picture. And he points to himself. And he points at the older man.
Nick (as alderman): I don't. Oof, that's a sobering thought. No.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right. Then she's the one I'm gonna talk to. And the last thing, I do wish that we can stay in town for the night at least and then be gone in the morning, if that if that's what you'd like. Or if you have other work for us. You know where to find us.
Nick (as alderman): You can go ahead and stay parked in the square. I don't have a problem with that. One word of advice there friend.
Drew (as Wyatt): All right.
Nick (as alderman): If a wizard tries to hire you, don't take it.
Drew (as Wyatt): Alright. That's sound advice. I will also, part of this deal. I will let people know that you hired me.
Nick (as alderman): Well, that yeah, that goes without saying I'm the alderman of this town.
Drew (as Wyatt): Yes!
Nick: And he straightens his shirt.
Drew: Wyatt turns around on him and goes,
Drew (as Wyatt): Yes, Wilfred. Yes, you are.
Nick: You can see when you came in, he was standing behind the desk digging for something, but he turns like an admiral at command and clasps his hands at the wrist and stares out these big bay windows at the lake as though assuming a new era of command and strength.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Aly (as Zee-o): End of episode. Commencing end credits. The following information will be placed in the show notes for your added convenience.
This has been A Knight of Shreds and Patches, an actual play podcast using the Genesys game system from Fantasy Flight Games. The show is edited by Austin Whittington, and features the talents of:
Drew Mierzejewski as Wyatt. Drew can be found on Twitter @worldstoforge and is the showrunner for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call, an all-ages actual play podcast set in the world of Spéir, designed by James D’Amato.
Aly Grauer as Zee-o. Aly can be found on Twitter and Instagram @dreamstobecome. Aly is also a player on and audio editor for Skyjacks: Courier’s Call. You can support both Aly and Drew by joining their Patreon @ Patreon.com/WhimsyArtifice.
Austin Whittington as Cassidy. Austin can be found on Twitter @austinwhitt and on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes.
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.