Transcript: Season 2 Episode 17: A Chance for All of Our Friends To Live
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 17: A Chance for All of Our Friends To Live 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 –
Penn: Penn Van Batavia as Marathon Messenger.
Kit: Kit Adames as Birdie Foundling.
Cameron: Cameron Robertson as Emma Blackwood.
Sydney: Sydney Whittington as Cassidy Shard.
Nick: Nick Robertson as GM and Narrator.
Sydney: Hello listeners, this is your editor, Sydney, with today’s messages:
Happy new year! And happy holidays! As always, thanks for listening, and we hope you’re getting what you need from this holiday season, whether that’s family time, some well-earned rest, or just another episode of AKoSaP. And if you need more of our show, consider backing our Patreon, which gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 17: A Chance for All of Our Friends To Live. 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] Kit (as Birdie): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we're still in just a bit of trouble with this uh, big oil sludge monster thing and Marathon kind of left me in the dust with a bandit in serious danger of bleeding out and then I found myself helping Marathon again to not get julienned by this evil wall thing, but I have faith that we'll be able to get this done in time and save the town right? [nervous laugh] Err right? [radio static]
Nick: The town of Iota is shaken violently. From above we can see some of the less stable buildings, some impacted by the recent combat collapse into dust and rubble as the entire area is hit with yet another earthquake. Something beneath the ground is awakening. In the now hectic Advantia stronghold that has been recently freed, but is still under attack this time from technology it was supposed to retain, different Advants are scrambling - some attempting to stabilize the injured, some attempting to assist from a distance - perhaps a radio signal could suppress the abyss below, but no one looks very helpful. Zooming into the mines beneath - the realm of the Abyss - a recently crushed wall reveals the terrifying vintage of massive train car sized tentacles covered in grinding, rock smashing teeth. And staring at this creature, this maze of potentially death dealing technology and the center with a gaping maw of yet more rock crushing mechanisms, Cassidy in your seat with the Knight carrying a giant synthetic diamond, you see your goal ahead of you. It seems suspended across a massive geode made of crystal and stone and dripping water and stalactites.
Sydney: Can Cassidy tell if there is a trajectory that can be taken that's not covered in gears or is it going to be a very quick don't stand in one place long enough to get caught type of approach?
Nick: Yeah, it's definitely that. This thing has eaten out the stone around it. There aren't any walkways or gantries - there's a reason the Advantia hasn't tried to do this because the only way to get it would be to climb on the Abyss itself to get there. It's suspended from its own arms that are plunged into the earth and going into the distance like a terrifying root system.
Sydney: Cassidy as the last of the debris falls in the hole that the Knight broke through to get into this beginning of a hollow which is now a gaping cavern, looks out and takes a deep breath and attempts to recenter herself because this is a lot of potential danger to herself and the Knight and if she screws this up, even if they live the Knight may not and that would be a problem. And then starts running, tucking the diamond awkwardly under one arm to have the other arm for leverage. She tucks it under the Knight's left arm so that theoretically she could dissuade a particularly eager questing tentacle with the Knight's crossbow gun thing.
Nick: All right. There is a tentacle nearby that would start you on your path, but you realize as you go that any sort of constant path is going to be intercepted by these larger questing tentacles. So make me a Coordination check in the Knight to start your journey towards the center of the Abyss. It'll be a hard difficulty check with two black die because of the diamond that you have to bring with you.
Sydney: Cool. Cassidy has a knack for Coordination, so she's going to remove those two black dice and then Cassidy's Agility is still the same as the Knight's so she is rolling two yellows and two greens against the three purples.
Sydney: Two successes and a threat.
Nick: Awesome. So the scale of this challenge is extremely daunting to look at - just the complexity of this creature. How does Cassidy feel before plunging into this dangerous situation? And what does it look like as she begins to make her way through?
Sydney: Cassidy is, after her attempt to recenter herself, is breathing slowly and regularly again, this is back to concentrating sharpshooter mode. This is falling back on her training basically because there is so much stuff going on and there is so much stuff that they really needed to have been told beforehand, and no one told anything and as soon as she gets through depositing this and opening the way for Emma and the Advantia to get the pumps working and get this monster re-sated and back to its slumber, many people are going to have many words from Cassidy. But at this point, there is only the actions in front of her and what that is, is running. [huffed laugh] So breathing evenly, but there are a couple of drops of sweat visibly dripping down her face and even with the life support back on, the camera can see that the rest of her was quite drenched in sweat from the superheated gas. Her shirt is still lying damp in the corner of the cockpit shoved out of the way and she is focused.
Cassidy is running through this mess of rocks and cave formations and tentacles like a trail runner crossing a river. So you're looking maybe two steps forward. You're looking at the step that you're currently in the air for and where that foot is planting and you're already looking forward for the next one as your weight transfers from that foot to the following one. Both feet are never on the ground at the same time, so if there was a slip, you would hit on the next foot and in theory be able to keep recovering, so it's a little bit more demanding but it is - you will get through it quickly and any single bad landing wouldn't derail the full approach.
Nick: The steps of the Knight are shorter and quicker than a full lope to attempt to keep the arms of the Abyss beneath you. Everywhere your foot steps, the ground begins to shift as it becomes more of these grinding teeth and attempts to pull the Knight to a stop, but you're able to move faster than it can adjust. You're making good progress. The arms of the Abyss are large and spread in every direction but seem to be mostly stable until they're not - one of the arms begins to shift and breaks apart into more of the small questing cables and these cables spring out. The mass of the arm that you're running along has shrunk considerably as you see an entire questing, shifting wall ahead of you blocking out your goal and we're going to jump away from Cassidy.
Marathon and Birdie - you are in a bleak situation. Marathon is grabbed by one of these cables, her skin is beginning to be torn as she is being pulled towards a wall. Birdie, you abandoned the canister to rescue your friend. You are lit by a very small pen flashlight and Birdie's larger flashlight, the shadows dancing ominously around you. Marathon you're within a stride of the wall which is now made of teeth. It looks like a giant blender that is about to tear you down to your component parts and on top of that you hear ringing from Birdie's headphones, the voice of Ipa saying
Nick (as Ipa): [over radio] We've got about a minute and a half at the current rate, so if you were able to find that fuel, I would strongly recommend that you get it back to the pump room now.
Penn (as Marathon): Birdie, just take the fuel and run.
Kit (as Birdie): No, I'm not leaving you here. Stop, just stop!
Kit: And Birdie's going to press on her radio to try and urge someone to come and get the fuel because she knows that she pushed it far enough that someone might be able to come and help and say
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Uh Emma are you out there? I - Marathons in trouble, I can't - I can't bring the fuel but I pushed a barrel of it over. I don't know what to do.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Uh~. Okay, I'll take care of it.
Kit (as Birdie): Okay. Okay, thank you.
Nick: We get a quick view of Emma. She is standing on one leg in the combat exosuit - one of the fingers of the exosuit is pressed into a fuse box, which is arcing sparks, the other arm is clasped on a lever for a butterfly valve that is actively fighting against her and one of her feet is jammed into another pipe junction seemingly holding a leak closed as Emma says that she will take care of it.
Kit: Birdie is going to start rifling through her bag to see if she has anything that can start to break or at least saw at the tentacles that are pulling at Marathon.
Penn: As Birdie is calling with Emma, Marathon is struggling against this cable and decides that there's enough pulling at her that she can try to adjust and it looks like to her that the blender part of this wall is maybe only about two or three feet wide and so she jumps up and using the tension from the cable pulling at her straddles this blender wall with both feet landing her boots either side on metal walls surrounding this blending this shredding wall as the cable is pulling her right into it. She's like
Penn (as Marathon): See Birdie. [strained laughter] I'm fine. You just got to- we only have a minute before everybody dies or you know, I lose an arm. It's not, it's not that big of a deal. Just like get the get the get the stuff.
Kit: Birdie is ignoring her and Birdie pulls from her bag a very interesting multi tool that has just about everything you could ever need on it and is flipping through everything as rapidly as she can to get to the knife.
Nick: You see pliers, you flip another tool there's a screwdriver, you flip another tool it's a corkscrew, you flip another tool it's a pair of scissors, you flip another tool and it's a little serrated knife.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh come on!
Kit: Birdie eventually gets to the knife and is going to immediately start finding tentacles to saw at on Marathon's arms so that she can have use of her hands to get herself free.
Nick: All right, so Marathon I'm going to need an Athletics check from you to keep yourself from being pulled into this wall. It will be a hard Athletics check and Birdie I'll need a Melee attack at easy difficulty against these cables to try to help cut Marathon free.
Penn: Okay, so I've got two yellows, two greens and three purples.
Penn: One success and one advantage.
Nick: Okay, you are able to avoid being hurt by the amount of strain pulling you towards this wall. You can feel your joints popping and your muscles fighting as hard as they can, but you can also hear the high pitched whine of mechanics fighting against something that they can't overcome as Birdie attempts to cut you loose.
Kit: Okay, this is gonna be two yellows and one purple then. That'll be one success and two advantages.
Nick: Great. You're able to cut Marathon free as she fights against this wall.
Kit: Birdie is using up any energy she has left in her body to just saw through these tentacles as fast as she can. Is it just like one around each limb or is it more like a lot of them?
Nick: It's got Marathon wrapped around one arm at the wrist and up the forearm and the rest of her is free, that's what it's been pulling her in by so that's why she's been able to fight back.
Penn: Yeah, she's in a squat perpendicular to one of the walls right now over the shredder.
Kit: Birdie gets through the tentacle that is holding on to Marathon's arm, and as soon as it falls she is just stomping on it on the ground.
Penn: Marathon falls to the ground as well as that tentacle rips off and the tension pulling her towards the walls is down.
Kit (as Birdie): [sounding tired] You okay?
Penn: And Marathon immediately jumps into action and is like
Penn (as Marathon): You need me to carry you?
Penn: And she's already kind of pulling Birdie up onto her shoulder and is running back towards the ladder where the barrel is.
Kit (as Birdie): I mean, I won't complain.
Penn (as Marathon): [lifting noise of effort]
Nick: As you hoist Birdie onto your shoulders, the wall of metal that you were braced against to avoid this blender section turns entirely into grinding teeth in both directions as far as you can see, and the way back towards the pump room is completely covered in more of these grabbing mechanical tentacles, and you realize that finding your way out of here is going to be even more difficult than you thought. And we cut away to Emma.
Emma, you just got a request to help with the fuel. You heard Ipa say there's almost no time left and you are currently plugging a leak holding a valve in the correct location, and gapping a broken fuse to keep these pumps prepared.
Cameron: So while she's standing in this awkward position, Emma does have the HUD of the exosuit up from where she had opened it up to allow Ipa and Cal to talk, so everyone else hears Birdie's message as well come across. And Emma does a quick glance through all of the different things that she's currently holding in place, realizes that the only thing that's allowing her to reach all of them is her length in the exosuit - her foot and one arm are really far away from each other. So replacing her is going to require both of these apprentices who are in here, because they just they are not seven feet tall like the exosuit is.
So not looking at all panicked, or like she's been dealing with a lot of stress today, she turns to the apprentices from where they're working over at one of the other pump stations and is like
Cameron (as Emma): [tone of someone trying to keep their voice calm] Hey, Cal? Vidia? Come over here, please.
Nick (as Cal): We're a little busy right now, there's a lot going on.
Cameron (as Emma): [talking calmly to a freaking out toddler] Yeah, I know, but I'm holding three things in place that if they are no longer held in place, this is going to turn off and even if we get the sludge, it's not gonna matter.
Nick (as Cal): Yeah, we need you to do that while we do these other things. It's too many moving parts, we need your help.
Cameron (as Emma): [very understanding of toddler's meltdown but needs you to focus] I know. I know. I know. And somebody needs to get the sludge.
Nick: Vidia from where she's standing, seemingly entering complex calculations into some sort of terminal that's monochromatic looks to you and says,
Nick (as Vidia): [mild panic] You're not leaving us are you?
Cameron (as Emma): [promising the toddler ice cream later if they are good now] Somebody needs to get the sludge. All all we're doing depends on us actually having the slurry to put into this thing. Like we can keep it running for a few more minutes, but if if Birdie and Marathon aren't going to bring us the barrel, then this is all pointless. I can get down there and get the barrel real quick and get back up here, but I can't do that while I'm holding these things.
Nick: Vidia begins to hyperventilate, and Cal's eyes are wide - a red indicator starts flashing behind her but she doesn't notice as she's staring at you. Neither of them say anything, but you can tell that they are panicking at the idea that you're going to leave. Make me a Leadership check to help them stay calm without you in the room while you go to help your friends. That will be a hard difficulty Leadership check.
Cameron: Can I have a blue die from my successful leadership in getting them down here to help me because we have some rapport going?
Nick: Yes, I think that that is extremely valid.
Cameron: Okay. And then I am also going to flip a story point to get a yellow, which makes my dice pool a yellow, a green, a blue and three purple.
Cameron: Two successes and three threats.
Nick: What do you say to help them stay calm as you begin to extricate yourself from your position in the pumps?
Cameron (as Emma): [all the patience of a pre-k teacher] Okay, Cal? Vidia? Just gonna take a deep breath quick. Breathe in.
[all breathing in]
Cameron (as Emma): And now breathe out~.
[long exhales from the group]
Cameron (as Emma): Very good. Yes.
Cameron: Emma is trying to tap down all of the nervous energy she currently has right now to be as relaxing and calm as possible and not transfer any more her freaking out to them, because they seem closer to giving up and just breaking than she does right now. They've had a long day, to be fair - probably a long few weeks.
Cameron (as Emma): [speaking slowly as if she doesn't want to frighten away an injured wild animal] Okay, so I am not saying this to stress you out anymore, but right now, all of your friends upstairs are depending on us to get this done. Cassidy is trying to delay the Abyss but we have to get this system up and running if we want a chance for all of our friends to live. Now I don't say that to freak you out, I realize - I can tell by your faces that did a little bit but they're depending on us and we have to be strong right now. Y'all are the only two who came down here to help me, you're already doing better than everyone else up there. I need you all to come over here and hold these three things, the rest of the stuff will wait until we get the slurry and I'm going to run down, grab the barrel and bring it back up here, and then we can get it dumped in and we can get this running, okay? And then we can all take a breath and we can go back to fully doing the calibrations we need to do, but we need the slurry to make this work.
Nick: They both nod in unison. Vidia types in a quick command and the screen locks in progress, and the two of them run over to take over for you. They seem calm, and like they're going to be able to maintain this while you're gone. With the three threats, as Cal walks away from the work she was doing, one of the two main pumps coughs and dies. And you know that once you get the slurry, it's going to take some pretty genius work to get it up and running again quickly. But like you said, without the fuel, it doesn't matter.
Cameron (as Emma): [sending peaceful vibes into the universe] Okay.
Cameron: Emma, as soon as Cal and Vidia grab these things that she's been holding in place and take over, she has started to quickly move over to the passageway with the ladder that leads out of this room into the tunnels. And as she is turning away from them and pushing her HUD down, the last thing they hear before the HUD clicks shut is
Cameron (as Emma): I will be back as quick as I possibly can.
Cameron: And then she jumps down the hole.
Nick: There's the heavy sound of impact and hydraulic shocks absorbing the weight of the exosuit as Emma lands at the bottom of this tunnel and sprints off into the dark to get the fuel. Make me a hard Athletics check to see how quickly you can get there.
Cameron: All right, so I have a three in Brawn and the exo frame gives me one additional Brawn, so my Athletics check is going to be one yellow, three green and three purple.
Cameron: One success, three advantages.
Nick: Yeah, you're able to move extremely quickly. The floodlights on the front of the exosuit turn on in response to how dark it is and you are able to make your way through this well lit hallway at a dead sprint and in this piece of technology that is extremely fast. You quickly find your way to a blue plastic barrel that clearly is full of what you can only assume is the slurry that the pumps need. Just past the barrel there is a turn in the mine corridor and you peek around it and cannot see Marathon and Birdie, you can only see a writhing wall of metal arms and grinding gears.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I swear we went this I swear I came down this way. Which way did you come from?
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] [groan of someone who has reached their limit on this bullshit] You're holding me backwards! I can't tell.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Okay, no, wait, was it left or right? Ahhh~
Nick: And we're going to cut away. Cassidy you have been blocked by the movement of the large arms of the Abyss and the concerted effort of the manipulating cables that have sprung out of it. You're still carrying this large weight of the diamond and you have a long way to go.
Sydney: Cassidy aims for the central hub or as close as she can get to it - the densest spot where these particular clump of arms look like they're reaching at her from and launches a Knight driven projectile with zero hesitation.
Nick: Great. That would be an average difficulty Ranged Attack to attempt to shoot your way through.
Sydney: All right, that is going to be two yellows and two greens against two purples.
Sydney: A triumph with no success and an advantage.
Nick: Huh. So you aim and you take your shot. The cannon ball doesn't pierce enough of this. It definitely damages these processing arms - some are shattered and fall into the darkness beneath you, but there's so many of them they act as shock absorbers and as you fire the wall courses forward and knocks your feet loose and you begin to fall. But with that triumph, you land on a separate arm that appears to be using most of its defensive capabilities to dig in the wall questing for more carbon and materials and you have a clear way to the center of the Abyss, which is beginning to glow brighter and brighter orange.
Sydney: Cassidy hits the ground at the bottom of this with the full weight of the Knight and even in the full comfort of the Knight's cockpit, it's a rough impact and Cassidy bites the inside of her lip from where she had been holding it concentrating and continues forward with the taste of blood in her mouth, but eyes still on the mission.
Nick: As you begin to run up an arm wide enough it feels like a road leading directly to the center of this wild tech monstrosity, the ground begins to shutter and you see that the center is beginning to rise towards the surface and towards the ceiling of this cavern. The way is getting steeper and this thing is about to break loose.
Emma you hear your friends panicking over the radio and muffled through this wall of metal that is continually shifting. The fuel that you need to achieve your goal is just behind you, your friends are in danger ahead of you and the ground begins to shake even more. Even within the shock absorbing exosuit you struggle to keep your balance. The Abyss is moving.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Kestrel you got the slurry?
Cameron: Emma had seen the slurry that Birdie had rolled down, had, as she passed it, flipped the barrel to be upright so that it'd be easier for her to pick up and then peeked around the corner real quick, heard the yelling arguing interspersed with metal arm moving through the radio that made it obvious that they still were in danger from the arms and the metal terrifying thing that she's seeing, even if they are currently okay since they're talking and I think it does one of the action hero time slowdowns to where realistically she maybe stands there and thinks about it for a second, but she has a whole flashback of meeting Birdie, meeting Marathon, all of them sitting around the campfire with Cassidy laughing, and then pictures this giant multi armed metal thing just attacking the fort that they're in, and it very quickly ruins her fond imaginings and shakes herself out for a second and does a deep exhale, and then turns around and runs and grabs the barrel and runs back towards the ladder. But looks like it really hurt to make that decision. Once she starts running she says
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [sounding slightly defeated] Yeah, I've got the barrel.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Okay, we're on our way out Kestrel.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] No, I said it was this way.
Cameron: Emma does not sound like she believes Marathon.
Nick: We see through the metal wall to where Marathon and Birdie are standing. There are splits in the path, all of them blocked by the pieces of the Abyss. Marathon is carrying Birdie thrown over a shoulder and there's nowhere to go as you hear Emma confirm that she's leaving you for the good of the mission.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Okay Birdie um, whatever happens next, I just I just want you to know that uh you're the best friend I've heard in a few years and I really appreciate our handshake that we did, even though you did it with Syphera, you know, I still really appreciate the handshake so um, but I think maybe I can just like run through the cables -
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Oh don't eulogize.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Okay, well, I won't.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Anymore. So I'm just gonna run through the cables do you want me to set you down? I think I can just power through maybe?
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] No, I can, I can -
Kit: Birdie is currently trying to quantify how much pain she is in.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] If I get all the cables on me, I think I can open up a hole for you to like squeeze through.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Please. No more like self sacrificing
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Okay no -
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] - stuff, I really just -
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] - no, I'm just -
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I can I can just power through. It won't be sacrifice. I know I can make it through.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay, okay, maybe let's just try it.
Kit: Birdie is going to pull out things from her backpack and start making an explosive just in case.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Hey, no one's dying today. All right? [overlap begins] Were good. We've got this.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] [overlapping Cassidy] I'm not the one saying this!
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] No, no - Marathon -
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Yeah of course. Nobody's dying.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] No one's dying.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Yeah.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] You're not throwing your life away to save anyone else here. We're going to be successful and everything's gonna be great.
Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] True. Okay, I'm running on three Birdie.
Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay.
Nick: Make me a hard Brawl check Marathon to try to blast through this wall, but I am going to flip a GM story point to upgrade it so that'll be two purples and a red.
Penn: Okay. So Marathon set Birdie down and is about to charge through this cables to, they can just see glimmers of the other side maybe just through some of the cables. I've got four yellows, two purples and one red.
Penn: Three successes and one threat.
Nick: How do you blast through?
Penn: So Marathon just starts charging through these cables and they start latching on to her, but she starts shedding some of her clothing. First Marathon's bandit guard outfit that she had put on just get snapped away by these cables before they start ripping into the clothing underneath and her boots both slide off as she reaches the end of this corridor. And there's a lot more now that some of the cables are retracting holding some of her clothes and they're getting shredded in the gears and she's down to a tank top and bike shorts, but she's made it through to the other side and what the cables retracting into the wall, there is a much larger - I assume that you can actually like see Marathon at the end of this corridor now.
Nick: Yeah. Birdie, you look up from assembling this explosive to see that there were several walls of these cables blocking the way and Marathon has smashed through them through pure will and strength and at the end, lit dimly by the small keychain flashlight that you gave her what seems a very long time ago, you can see Marathon dressed much lighter than she was before with scratches and bruises already appearing.
Penn (as Marathon): [excited yelling like a successful contestant at the weightlifting championships] I did it! I did it! Ahh~! [yelling groan] Dirt! [starting to notice pain]
Nick: The way is already beginning to close and you know you need to move right now.
Kit: Birdie is just completely from memory assembling her last molotov that she had in her backpack. Her hands are shaking as she's trying to do this from watching Marathon get through and all the stressors happening and she's going to take out her lighter and just throw - she's not even pausing for dramatic effect. She is trying to blow this shit up before she's trapped here.
Nick: So Birdie to go with Marathon you're holding this prepared molotov and you can see the way closing - you can chase after her. She's cleared the way, it will only be average difficulty but as you feel your body fighting against what you've asked of it lately, there will be two additional black die added to the check to make it to her.
Kit: Birdie shoulders her backpack as sturdily as she can and takes as deep of a breath as she can manage now and is going to light the fuse before sprinting straight into the fray and is going to attempt to throw it behind her while making her escape. So this is going to be one yellow, one green, two purple, two black.
Penn: Marathon's on the other side after having celebrated screaming is ushering Birdie, like
Penn (as Marathon): Come on! I know - You can make it!
Kit: That's one success and three threats.
Nick: Oh~. Birdie, you're able to make your way through this dodging the grasping arms and teeth as they try to recover from the force that Marathon forced her way through with. You're almost to the end of this tunnel and to where Marathon is waiting for you, when a single arm wraps around your ankle and trips you and you fall to the ground, one hand out stretched. You can feel the ground itself starting to move as the tunnel prepares to separate you into your component parts. Marathon, Birdie is just out of arm's reach in this tunnel that you cleared for her.
Penn: Marathon, who is trying to usher Birdie along, is just immediately after she sees Birdie get hooked is gonna run back in and just try to muscle her out.
Nick: Make me a hard Brawl check with two black die because you're also trying to pull Birdie with you.
Penn: Marathon can tell that Birdie's body is not giving her all of the energy that she needs at this point in this long drawn out fight and is just going to grab the arm not holding the Molotov cocktail so that she still has it free to toss back behind them if she can pull her free. And so I have got four yellow dice, three purple dice, and two black dice.
Penn: Three successes, one threat and a triumph.
Nick: You take a point of Strain pulling Birdie free as you take more superficial cuts and bruises, but otherwise you're able to pull Birdie free. Do you have an idea for the triumph?
Penn: So as Marathon is pulling Birdie out, there is just one cable that can't get unwrapped and Marathon just twists her arm in it as it's twisted over Birdie's ankle to alleviate the tension there and just full on gives one big rip and just rips out this eight foot cable out of this metal wall leaving sparks as she frees Birdie, just enough for a prime explosion.
Nick: And as you're able to free Birdie, you realize that it's a good thing that Birdie is in position to throw as the way that you cleared is now closed and combining and looks like it is about to launch itself at you. The corridor behind you the direction you need to go is clear, but you stand the risk at any moment of being pulled back into the blender that you just broke free of.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'm taking you up the ladder Birdie.
Kit: Birdie is going to absolutely just chuck that molotov cocktail as close to one of the walls because if it's near the middle, then it risks not doing too much damage to a lot of the tentacles so she's going to try and aim as best she can while throwing this.
Nick: All right, it'll be an average difficulty Ranged check.
Kit: I have got one yellow, two greens, and two purples then. [sigh of dismay] Two failures and two advantages.
Nick: Oh, Birdie. You throw the molotov and it flies perfectly the way you hoped. It smashes into the wall creating a sheet of flame and you hear the high pitched whine of machinery overheating, as Marathon begins to haul you up the ladder and back into the pump room - the cable dangling from Marathon's arm and back down the corridor behind you. Unfortunately, it appears that the fire does not dissuade the Abyss for long and as you surface back into the pump room, seeing Emma gesticulating wildly providing instructions over the barrel of slurry that she rescued, you see two things. First, a column of these questing arms and grinding gears plugs the hole back down into the mine and begins to reach its way into the pump room attempting to process the machinery itself and whatever small bits of slurry are still in the pipes. And also you see all of the lighting in this pump room go blood red as the machinery stutters and dies, and the ground begins to shake again. Everyone in the pump room hears Cal say in a soft and terrified voice,
Nick (as Cal): The light going red means the Abyss is awake.
Nick: And we cut over to Cassidy. The rising of the center maw of this Abyss starts to accelerate dramatically and your way ahead of you begins to become more and more steep until the arm that you are on is almost entirely vertical. There aren't any obstacles except getting to the center of this as it rises towards the roof of the cavern and the sky and the town of Iota beyond. And I'm going to need a daunting Athletics check from you in the Knight to climb one handed to the center of the maw.
Sydney: So I am using the Knight's Brawn which is five and then Cassidy's training is two yellows and three greens together. I'm also going to flip a story point to get that up to three yellows and two greens and that's against the four purples of this check.
Sydney: I have a triumph with no success, a failure and two advantages.
Nick: Well. Cassidy you begin the climb, you're able to dig the feet of the Knight into the ridges of this arm so you're able to move upward even with one hand, the other being occupied by the synthetic diamond that you're hauling. And as you begin to make ground, rock begins to rain down around you. Gigantic boulders the size of the Knight as the teeth and arms and questing limbs of the Abyss begin to break through the surface. You flinch imagining what this is doing to the town of Iota above, and you continue to make ground except that the arm that you're climbing flexes and then whips its way upward, breaking you loose and throwing you free. You have the unique weightless feeling of being thrown and then decelerating as you also smash through the thin shell of the roof of this cavern, as the maw of the Abyss breaks to open sky for the first time since it was created. With that triumph, as you are flying through the air, there's a brief window of opportunity where you might be able to throw the diamond where it needs to go.
Sydney: The weightless feeling of falling is not unfamiliar. That feeling being triggered by being flung, especially in the Knight is not something she would have ever expected, but it is falling while climbing happens. This is why in normal situations, she has harnesses and ropes and safeguards but in this case, there was no opportunity. And in being flung, she sees the glowing red core of this monster and bites her lip again, while readying an underarm throw of this diamond knowing that this is the last chance before things on the surface just start getting landscaped by this giant machine god and goes for an off balance tumbling throw, but throwing is a motion that she has practiced hundreds, thousands of times.
Nick: So this throw will be hard difficulty at the range that you're throwing, but you will have three black die because you are tumbling through the air as you attempt to make this throw.
Sydney: So Cassidy - this is what she does. So the Knight shares her Agility but she's rolling three yellows and a green against these three purples and three blacks.
Nick: And we cut away to the group in the pump room. Emma, you see, Marathon and Birdie emerge from the mine beneath with a gout of flame. And then they are quickly followed by more of those grasping arms and processing mandibles. You have the slurry and one of the pumps is dead, and you know that you need to get it started now, as the light turns to red. You hear Cal say that that means that the Abyss is awake.
Cameron: How long was Emma up here with the slurry before Birdie and Marathon showed up? So like how far into the process of getting it loaded would we have had time for?
Nick: I think you've got it prepared, but the slurry is still in the barrel, there's probably a hatch open and ready to go.
Penn: Once Marathon has climbed up this ladder, she sets Birdie down immediately and is like
Penn (as Marathon): Sup Kestrel? We're up.
Kit (as Birdie): [weird tired noise]
Penn (as Marathon): Told ya we'd make it!
Kit (as Birdie): [sounding oh so very tired] Mm hmm.
Cameron: So the scene that Marathon and Birdie enter into when they reach the top of the ladder before the arms start immediately following them up, is Emma and the two apprentices standing on the other side of the pump room with the barrel open beside them getting ready to dump it into the system, but there's still some last minute button pressing and lever switching going on to get it back into a happy mood after we made it wait so long for the slurry. And the arms make a really loud metal noise as they rip themselves up this ladder, so Emma had heard y'all when you came in, felt the momentary relief that she didn't leave her friends to die, and then with the arms, turns around and sees what's happening.
Penn: Marathon and Birdie as they've gotten up this ladder and are just, I don't think they're fully standing on the ground yet, the arms are just framing them like you can't even see the wall behind them as these arms climb up and begin to fill this part of the room.
Kit: Birdie is not having fun. This is the update.
Cameron: Emma spins, sees this beautiful tableau of Birdie and Marathon with all the metal arms behind them and slams her HUD back down from where she'd had it up and starts rushing across the room to y'all and over the speakers of the exosuit says
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] Ahh~ Marathon and Birdie, why don't y'all go help Cal and Vidia. Cal and Vidia, tell them which buttons to press. I will keep this off of you, but get that pump running.
Penn (as Marathon): Copy.
Kit (as Birdie): [fading fast] Thanks, Emma.
Cameron: And goes in with her sword swinging.
Penn: Marathon sort of drags Birdie under the armpits over to where Vidia and Cal are.
Nick: You can hear the clang of Emma grabbing her sword and beginning to cover you as you hustle over to where Cal and Vidia are next to each other arguing and working frantically. You hear Cal say,
Nick (as Cal): Look, I know that you're trying to restart the system, but every time you do it systematically, if the fuses aren't set it's going to redo the entire thing that I'm working on. You need to hold off.
Penn (as Marathon): Two non mechanics reporting for duty.
Penn: And Marathon pulls Birdie up by the armpits and stands her up steadying her by the shoulders.
Kit (as Birdie): Thank you very much, Marathon. Yep.
Kit: Birdie is limp. Just a little bit though. She's okay.
Penn (as Marathon): Tell us where you need muscle and where you need buttons pressed.
Nick: Cal looks at Birdie and Marathon and even in this situation, the presentation of the two of you - Marathon wearing very little and clearly having gotten through some pretty dangerous scrapes, Birdie on your last legs being supported by your friend - can't help but smile a little bit. And she glances around quickly and says
Nick (as Cal): All right, set your friend down against the ground here. You'll see some switches that are at the bottom of this panel, when I tell you to, flip them all at once. I'm assuming you're the muscle? That is good. Thank you for rescuing us earlier, I don't remember if I got a chance to -
Penn (as Marathon): Yup.
Nick (as Cal): - say that -
Penn (as Marathon): Yup.
Nick (as Cal): - a lot has been going on.
Penn (as Marathon): Ope, thank you.
Nick (as Cal): You see all of those levers against that far wall next to where Emma is fighting the Abyss?
Penn (as Marathon): Oh yes. Yes, I do.
Nick (as Cal): They all need to be 90 degrees to the left.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay fuck.
Nick (as Cal): From right to left as I say go.
Penn (as Marathon): Dirt. Sorry, uh dirt, um. Okay.
Nick (as Cal): 90 degrees left from right to left. Don't forget.
Penn (as Marathon): Ehhhh okay. [laugh that is totally full of confidence]
Penn: And Marathon slides Birdie over to the panel and then runs over where I assume stray cables are flapping next to these levers to turn.
Nick: And before actually I get the roll, we'll see how much Emma is able to keep you from being interfered with as you do this. So, Emma, you hear this conversation behind you as you attempt to hold the breach for your friends.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Cassidy how goes it~?
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Getting close - I'm having to climb.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] All right~. [voice trembling slightly due to stress]
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Just hold on. I got it.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Holding.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] You got it too.
Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Oh, we got something.
Cameron: I think Cassidy can tell more than anyone else that Emma is fraying at this point.
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] It's fine. We're almost the- shit!
Sydney: And the radio is full of static.
Nick: Emma make me a Melee attack at hard difficulty to use your sword skills to keep these arms from interfering with your friends, or you know killing you. That's also a problem.
Cameron: So with my extra Brawn from the exo frame, I've got two yellows, two greens, I have my blue because this is a combat check, and then I've got the three purples.
Cameron: Two successes, two advantages and a triumph.
Nick: Perfect. What does it look like as you completely hold these things back and do it so handily, you may be able to aid your friends at the same time.
Cameron: Okay, so I want you to picture Hercules fighting the Hydra, but the heads aren't growing back yet - where he goes on that brief rampage and cuts off so many heads that now there's 200 of them, like that, but the heads aren't growing back, but there's now just limp metal tentacles littering the floor around the ladder entry.
Nick: And is there anything you wanted to do with that triumph as well?
Cameron: So as Emma is cutting off all of these arms, the Abyss is starting to realize that it's not going well in this particular section for it, and decides that it can't do like one tentacle at a time when attacking the exosuit because the sword can cut through the tentacles individually too easy, so they need to form up as a group. And so after this flurry of blows that gets a bunch of the arms removed, the rest of the arms that are remaining bulk up into one singular tentacle and rear back to prepare to come at Emma with more force, and as they rear back, they slam into the wall of the pump room behind them and tear open this metal wall and there's a slurry storage room right there. It wasn't the one that Cal had directed everyone to because it's a long way around to get to it, so the closest ones were in the hallway below through the ladder, but now we have direct access to more barrels of the slurry.
Nick: Good. So you have plenty of fuel if your friends are able to get the pumps running, which is what we're going to see now. I need average Mechanics checks from both Birdie and Marathon as Cal and Vidia begin to shout instructions trying to get the pumps up and running.
Cameron: Can I use my advantages to give them blue die for buying the more time?
Nick: Yes, you sure can. And they also get a blue die from Cal's instructions.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, was it - now was it left or wait? No, it was a combo. Oh god. Oh fuck. Fuck dirt.
Penn: And so I've got two purple, two green, and two blue. More rollin.
Penn: Okay that is a wash with two advantages.
Nick: Birdie, I need you to make the same roll as Marathon.
Kit: Two greens, two blues, and two purples is one success and one advantage.
Nick: So over the clang of sword on metallic arm and the smash of a wall being demolished by additional pieces of the Abyss, you hear the shouted countdown from Cal as they begin the reboot sequence. Birdie, there's a sequence of switches numbered, they look like circuit breakers. They're big heavy plastic switches that appear to be in the base of this large electrical box and as Vidia is entering in terminal commands, she taps you with her toe periodically, and each time you're tapped you flip the next switch in the sequence. It takes some focus because the switches are not numbered from left to right or right to left, they appear to be random, so you have to find the next number in between being tapped, but you're able to do that and parts of the pump system begin to hum to life in a gratifying way.
Marathon you are over closer to the combat that Emma is doing. You see suddenly to your left large amounts of the slurry barrels that you risked your life to secure in the first place and as Cal shouts for you to begin to turn these levers, you have to stop and think about exactly what the instructions were. And a loud and worrying clanging noise starts to come from the pipes as slurry is loaded in by Vidia, but hits the valves that you're supposed to be opening and the pipes begin to groan under the pressure.
And we cut away from that situation to Cassidy. You are mid air and you've made this throw in an attempt to suppress and distract the Abyss keeping it from destroying Iota, which is beneath you currently, as you fly through the air. What were the results of your roll?
Sydney: I had three successes and two threats.
Nick: How do you make this throw?
Sydney: Cassidy basically throws it on instinct. The Knight does its analog of her intentions and this giant rock shoots back the other way towards the glowing red center of the Abyss as it begins to breach the surface. And Cassidy has a moment at the top of her trajectory where she sees that chunk of compressed carbon clang on the edge of the rim of the inside of the core and then tumbles into the hole before the Knight starts its rapid descent and she tries to get the Knight's feet under her.
Nick: The compressed carbon lands in the center where you can only assume this wild tech's processing apparatus is. You see an explosion of the smaller manipulation arms pop out like the mouth of a giant crab, wrap around the diamond and pull it deeper in with a horrific grinding noise. And as you begin your uncontrolled descent through the air, the Abyss slackens and begins to sink back into the dirt as power is rerouted entirely to processing the heavy material that was just introduced. With those threats that you rolled, Cassidy, you twist in the air attempting to get the Knight's feet under it but it's not a skill that you've practiced before in the Knight. There's no situation where that would have come up or been able to practice safely and you smash through a barn and into the ground on your back. The cockpit of the Knight begins to light up with red warnings as the support structure of the Knight has taken some significant damage that compromised the structural integrity of the mech.
Sydney: The Knight comes to rest and Cassidy comes to rest thankfully quite secured into her seat in the cockpit but the world is still kind of dancing before Cassidy's eyes for a couple of seconds. Cassidy tries the Knight's radio - it fails, it is just static and toggles the radio headset on her helmet and says
Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Kestrel - Cormorant. It's in.
Sydney: And then collapses back into her seat, energy spent.
Nick: The ground rumbles less than it had been as the Abyss sinks into the ground, but in the pump room where the rest of the Patina is fighting to suppress this wild tech, the rumbles and ground shaking are still extreme as one of the pumps is threatening to overload and shoot highly pressurized carbon slurry into the room. The light blinks from blood red back to a clear white hurting your eyes as the smaller cable arms retreat back into the mine, leaving Emma free to assist.
Cameron: Emma rushes over to the wall that Marathon's at to start flipping levers to where they need to be.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh god. Oh, god, okay. I think I was turning them the wrong way. Ah~!
Cameron (as Emma): [over speakers] [voice flatter than normal cause she's exhausted] You gotta, you gotta just flip them this way. It's fine. Keep going.
Penn (as Marathon): [concerned] Kay.
Nick: Emma make me a hard Mechanics check. It would be difficult to move these levers now as they are under pressure if it wasn't for the exosuit strength. You are going to have a black die as well, because you are under an extreme time crunch.
Penn: Is there any assistance from Marathon now attempting to put them the right way?
Nick: Yeah, so with your two advantages that you rolled on the previous roll, you can give Emma an additional blue die with your assistance.
Cameron: Okay, so luckily, Emma has a knack for Mechanics, so I get to remove the black die and I think I am going to flip a story point too. So I have three yellows, one green, one blue, and three purples.
Cameron: A success, an advantage, and a triumph.
Nick: Describe how you get the system back to equilibrium and begin to pump the slurry back into the porous rock keeping the Abyss asleep.
Cameron: With the efforts of Cal, Vidia and Birdie, everything was ready to go for this pump to be functioning besides these levers that were blocking the flow of the pipe, so once Emma gets over there and is able to use the strength of the exosuit to actually turn them the 90 degrees to get past the pressure that's built up in them, there's still a lot of pressure behind it, so it is still incredibly loud whenever Emma and Marathon eventually get all of these turned, but the pipes at least in the room, give one last groan as the pressure quickly dissipates. And then Emma quickly rushes over to the new hole in the wall that has all of the slurry in it and starts rushing slurry over to where it needs to get dumped to keep it running now that it is turned on.
Penn: Marathon is just going to follow Emma's lead and start pulling one of the barrels over.
Nick: And we see the pumps humming merrily keeping the flow going at a constant pressure, Marathon dumping additional slurry into the tank so that there's no risk of running out of supply. Birdie is slumped on a gantry next to Vidia and Cal looking worse for wear but happy to have achieved her part of the job.
Kit (as Birdie): [sounding exhausted] You're doing great guys.
Penn (as Marathon): Thanks, Birdie.
Kit: She holds up a thumbs up.
Kit (as Birdie): Doing great!
Penn (as Marathon): So are you!
Nick: And we get another aerial view of Iota, now with a massive crater to the side of the town. Some of the buildings have fallen into the resting place of the Abyss, but luckily thanks to Marathon's warning at the beginning of this assault, the people of the town were well outside the range of damage. And as the Abyss is lulled back to sleep by the members of the Patina, we see the Knight crashed through a barn. A single bright red blip appears on the HUD, Cassidy, as the Knight runs out of fuel and goes into dormant sleep mode, and as you pop open the hatch, you see a lone donkey standing between the legs of the Knight chewing on some hay that was broken free from its container by your descent to Earth.
Sydney: Cassidy looks at this donkey with the sweat and the grime and the little bit of blood from being slammed around inside the cockpit and just says,
Sydney (as Cassidy): I didn't miss that time.
[hurdy gurdy music swells]
Outro: Penn (as Marathon): Welcome back to MTR 1153, that was just the end of today’s broadcast and we’ll be right back to the music after this little break. The particulars of the subsequent can be found in the show notes.
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:
Kit Adames as Birdie. Kit can be found on Twitter and Instagram @ venusvultures. Kit is also a voice actor for Elevator Pitch Podcast, a queer genre-hopping anthology podcast that can be accessed on Spotify and YouTube.
Penn Van Batavia as Marathon. She can be found on Twitter @ acquiredchaste. Penn is an indie TTRPG designer whose most recent work includes Wasmannian, a prompt game about gender and wasps. Check out faer other work at pennharper.itch.io.
Sydney Whittington as Cassidy. Sydney can be found on our Discord server, which is linked in the show notes, and on Twitter @ sydney_whitt. She’s also a contributing editor for the Orpheus Protocol, a cosmic horror espionage actual play podcast..
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. Nick can also be found as a player on the Orpheus Protocol.
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. To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at www.patreon.com/AKoSaP, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.
Until next time…