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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 32: A Well Executed Ambush

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 32: A Well Executed Ambush 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:

We’ve got another new patron! Fern Gulley, prolific romance novel writer of the finest quality, we thank you for joining our noble patron ranks, and may our bounty of bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards be pleasing to thine ears.

And also, if you’re hearing this message, you, listener, are personally super cool. People passing you on the streets have to adjust their sunglasses to make sure they can handle gazing upon your splendor, and you brighten any room you enter. That’s just what listening to this show does. Or is it that you already do that anyway, and you’re so cool that our show just gets cooler by having you around? Who knows…?

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 32: A Well Executed Ambush. 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] Penn (as Marathon): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we got away from this giant robo-spider-monster-camera-chaser thing that's after Cassidy. Um it's either, it either wants her nanites or like her headset. We're still trying to figure that out. But yeah, apparently it's been after her for a while, so she kind of told us about that. Then, you know, we all settled in and I brought out posters that we found at gas station a while back with the old Patina on them and was very grateful to hear some stories about the old Patina and Cassidy also shared a little bit about her old flame, Owyn, who passed away tragically. Here's to uh, Cassidy flames not passing away tragically [awkward laugh] right here, hopefully. Well tryin' to be a Cassidy the flame first I guess, step one. Step two, not die. Anyway. And then uh yeah, after talking about loss and Allium where the Patina got kicked out, we had a little drinking contest to, to ease - just to ease our attitudes. And uh, and don't listen to what they all said, I won. But uh yeah, we hit the hit the road again. Adventure awaits for the Patina and I'm part of the Patina now. [happy deep breath] It still feels good to hear. [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: The day after the Patina's drinking contest is a difficult one for multiple reasons. One of the less obvious from the point of the group is the realization that as they continue their journey to the west, the Patina may want to do something to throw off this robotic assailant from their trail to buy them some time while they travel. What tactic does the Patina take and what does it look like as they make sure that they're not followed too closely?

Sydney: We see the Patina stopped for lunch that afternoon, after some back seat rest has been earned, with Emma shuttling our recovering crew, the hangovers starting to fade. Cassidy refuels the red motorcycle, takes out a map, draws a line with her finger looking at the terrain and a potential rendezvous point and showing it to the rest of the Patina as a this is where we're going to be meeting. And then with the agreement from the group and a promise of radios being turned on at specific times, Cassidy drives off on a diverging path towards the highest terrain feature in the nearby area with her travel tent and supplies for a few days tacked on her back.

Nick: And the Patina watches Cassidy go, hopefully luring this shadow away from the group for multiple days. Those days pass in relative peace. Travel is harder with one less person, but all is quiet. You are deep in the forest of this area. You don't see many people. And after a couple of days, Cassidy returns. Is there anything different about Cassidy after getting to spend two or three days by herself?

Sydney: Cassidy shows back up with a couple of giant white flowers tucked into her braid, their stems threaded across. You can tell that there's a sense of relief that she was able to rendezvous with the rest of the Patina safely. They had been in regular radio contact, but Cassidy in recent times is not often away with no crew at all. It's nice to be back.

Nick: The Patina is able to quickly resume their routine as they are reunited and continue west for several days. As you travel through this densely wooded region, there are small scattered settlements of loggers, fur trappers, farmers, and scavengers. What are some small jobs that we see the Patina take on along the way to help to top up supplies and gain extra funds?

Kit: Birdie after going around town trying to meet people who may be looking for a spot of help that they can't get anywhere else in town, she met an older farmer who him and his wife have had an old barn that they've been trying to - it's too dangerous to go in, It's a really old barn and they were trying to find a way to have it be demolished so that they could use the land for something else, because it's a barn it takes up a lot of space on their property. And so she helped them with a few very small explosions with a lot of safety precautions, she helped them demolish their barn, and she made friends with the wife of the farmer and they had a very lovely lunch. I'd say that they paid us half in pretty fresh rations that would cost more if we went elsewhere for them and they wouldn't let her walk away without some dusty old money that was probably under a mattress, no matter how much she insisted that it was okay. So Birdie returns with a little tiny purse that they gave her alongside a couple of golf ball sized spheres, which would have been really uncomfortable to keep under a mattress, but who is she to question them?

Penn: So the Patina had passed through a really small town where everybody knows each other very well - it's not many people. And they only have one small burial site that they like to keep people buried in, but there's not enough room in the burial site after a long time and they like to keep the people whose memories are closest to them in that burial site. And so one of the jobs that the Patina gets hired to do is to make the grave site fresh again by digging up and taking a lot of the bodies that are in this site and then transporting them into another spot into the nearby woods where they can rest and decompose in peace. We see some morbid antics with bodies as the Patina struggles to move them into the forest while trying to maintain a serious tone.

Sydney: We see while they're set up camp near town, Cassidy is sitting on the lowest limb of a tree, looking out across an empty grass field with a herd of sheep and the shattered moon rises, and then starts its descent before Cassidy who has just been maintaining watchfulness stops, tilts her head, listens, and then pulls up her bow, launches an arrow, and there's a metallic clank as a small wild tech predator is dropped to the ground between a couple of sheep. And in the morning, the wild tech trophy is shown to the villagers in exchange for a small handful of currency, and then given to Emma as mechanical parts. That day, we see Cassidy sleeping in the back of the rig during most of the drive.

Cameron: In each town that they pass through and pause in for a bit, Emma just sets up a mechanic's shop, because a lot of the places aren't large enough to sustain one. So she's fixing a lot of random small farm equipment and radios and stuff for people. Someone takes her to the exact model of tractor that she had been working on in Thunder Bay in her workshop and she feels very accomplished because she figures out exactly what's wrong immediately because she knows how it's all hooked up and knows what all the parts are called. So it's not exciting for anybody else, but she feels accomplished.

Nick: And that, among several other less noteworthy jobs, keeps the Patina busy as they continue their journey. After about a week of travel, you find yourselves in a terrain that has more elevation than what you've been dealing with so far. It's mostly rolling hills, but there are also some dry washes, small creek beds and you find yourselves at the entryway to a ravine. At this point, all of you have the same instinct that this could be a place for a well executed ambush, but looking at the terrain around you, you see that the woods are particularly thick, the loam is deep and would be difficult to drive through, and that the elevation is absolutely not conducive for going around. You would probably lose multiple days of forward progress if you avoided this ravine.

And out of sight, but not too distantly, as you have the rig parked and are looking at if there's a way to avoid this exposed position out of caution, you hear an explosion and the rapid pop of gunfire and a column of black smoke begins to rise into view somewhere ahead.

Penn (as Marathon): Ominous, question mark?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it does look like there was an ambush. Good sense. Yes.

Kit (as Birdie): Mhmm.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm fine honing my mercenarial skills, so

Nick: From the way that this terrain looks, the ravine is wide enough at the entrance that you would probably be able to approach without being stuck if you wanted to try to get a better view of what was going on. But any closer you get to this conflict obviously does increase your chance of being involved in it. Whatever is going on.

Kit (as Birdie): Well. Do you think they need help?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. How like heroes do we feel?

Kit (as Birdie): Nose goes. [sigh]

Penn: Marathon stands with her hands on her hips in a wide stance.

Penn (as Marathon): I'm feeling very heroic today.

Kit (as Birdie): [groan]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Cool do you think it's that the good guys have ambushed this group of bandits or do you think it's that the merchant caravan got ambushed by the bandits? Just -

Penn (as Marathon): Know what? We'll hero our way through, right?

Penn: Marathon gives a smug look.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. I don't think it's a bad idea to go look, since it's in our path, but blindly jumping into a conflict with no context...

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah~.

Penn (as Marathon): True. True.

Cameron: Emma is just walking around behind everyone starting to put on her armor to get in the exosuit because if she's approaching gunfire, [soft laugh]

Sydney: Cassidy goes back by the rig and grabs her nice rifle out of the case where it's stored on the side.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay, we're going? [possibly a bit tired of heroism] Okay. Yeah~ [fades to mumbles]

Kit: Birdie kind of has her arms folded, and is just like,

Kit (as Birdie): Okay, fine, we're going, whatever.

Kit: And she just is very nonchalantly getting her things together. And is just,

Kit (as Birdie): I don't like getting involved in other people's conflicts, you know? We already have our own. We are already looking out for other people who could ambush us, you know? Like, if we get closer to the conflict, what if we get ambushed? Then we can't help anyone.

Cameron (as Emma): We're just - we're just taking a look.

Kit (as Birdie): Okay. Okay.

Cameron (as Emma): I'll go in front.

Kit: She's just tying her stick to her back and she's shouldering her pack and spits bright pink bubblegum onto the ground. And it's like,

Kit (as Birdie): Okay, let's go.

Nick: Are you all driving the rig closer? Or are you going on foot?

Sydney: No, we're just walking.

Nick: Okay. Are you attempting to not be observed as you get closer to this? Or are you going for speed? Or what is the approach here?

Cameron: I think we're going for a sneak initially.

Sydney: Based on our reticence to get involved without understanding what's going on.

Nick: Yeah. I need everyone to make me a Stealth check, please, at average difficulty, but you all have a black die because this is a ravine, there's not a lot of cover. And Emma, you have an additional black die because you're using a giant armored suit.

Penn: All right so I've got two green, two purple, and one black.

Sydney: I am rolling one yellow and four green against two purples and a black.

Kit: I'm rolling one yellow, two green, two purple, and one black.

Cameron: The exosuit gives me an additional Agility, so I am rolling a yellow, two green, two purple, and two black dice.

Penn: [dice rolling]

Penn: One failure.

Sydney: One success.

Kit: Three successes.

Cameron: Two successes and an advantage.

Nick: Okay. So you all are able to make it down this ravine. Any noise that you make is pretty well covered by the ensuing gunfight and the crackle of fire. As you get closer, with that advantage that you got Emma, would the group be moving close together or would you be spread out from different vantage points as you come across the scene?

Cameron: Probably spread out.

Penn: Radios on?

Cameron: Yeah.

Nick: So as you approach this turn in the ravine, you all have found different bits of scrub or rocks or shadows to limit your silhouettes and what you are met with is pretty much pure chaos. The scene that presents itself to you is the road is partially blocked and bogged down on both sides by small ponds that appear to have been caused by rain and seepage and drainage. The road is blocked. The source of the black smoke is a damaged piece of armored cavalry. Smoke is pouring up around this small tank, it looks like it could crew three, maybe four people. And the group of combatants that you can see are scattered behind cover in the base of this ravine. Some are trying to use the tank as cover, some are behind rocks or bits of debris, and you can tell that whoever is attacking them is up on top of the ravine within cover of the trees and firing down at them. One of the people that you can see is leaned up against the tank partially covered by it, clutching an obvious gunshot wound. They appear to be unconscious. There are four other people that you can see most of them have rifles and are attempting to return fire. At least one of them has a pair of binoculars and is attempting to spot and figure out where this attack is coming from. The air is filled with bullets. You can hear the whine and ping of shots going wide, hitting rocks ricocheting. There's yelling. The smell of burning metal is in the air.

Penn: Marathon is on a slightly higher vantage point in this canyon and without taking her eyes off of the scene, raises her wrist up to her mouth and holds a button down on her watch.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Uh team, plan? Uhb over.

Cameron: Does it appear from this scene obvious to us that the group inside the ravine is the ones being attacked?

Nick: Well, yeah, they got ambushed.

Cameron: And they appear to be of a - some sort of traveling group?

Nick: Now that is a good question. That's pretty vague. They have a piece of military technology. They seem well armed and organized. They're obviously some sort of fighting group because they are responding well to being under fire - better than could be expected at this level of surprise. The tank doesn't have any markings on it that you could see through the smoke. The thing that would be difficult for you here is there are certainly bad people that are this organized and there are certain city's militia are this well equipped, other mercenary groups are this well equipped - there's a wide range of who these people could be and you're not sure exactly how you would ask them.

Cameron: They're not like wearing matching uniforms or something?

Nick: No. And honestly, even if they were that wouldn't necessarily tell you like, oh, these are the good guys.

Cameron: Yeah, it could tell us the level of the organization depending on how nice they were.

Sydney: Have we heard anything in the last few villages we've been through about either local militias patrolling or a group of organized bandits operating in the area?

Nick: Hmm, great question. I think a average Streetwise check would tell you if you had collected appropriate gossip on this situation. Anybody who would have been listening during the journey could make the roll if they want.

Penn: I have good Streetwise, but that's not something I would be listening for, so

Sydney: It is something Cassidy would be listening for.

Cameron: Emma has learned to listen to it from Cassidy.

Kit: Birdie has such a good Streetwise score that I don't think she's never not listening. [laugh]

Sydney: I am rolling three greens against two purples.

Kit: I'm rolling three yellow against two purple,

Cameron: And I'm rolling a yellow, two green, and two purple.

[dice rolling]

Sydney: I got a failure and a threat.

Kit: Three successes.

Cameron: Two successes, an advantage, and a triumph.

Nick: All right. Well, you have actually heard about some armed groups that have been in the area and you've heard about them recently. This region does have a bit of a bandit problem. You're far enough away from any of the seven cities that there isn't a strong and established militia force or security detachment and in those situations, bandits often flourish. The stories that you've heard, though, haven't mentioned bandits being so well equipped that they would have a tank.

You have also heard stories, Birdie and Emma both, about a mercenary group that had been making money specifically hunting bandits in this area. They tend to patrol in a area over the seasons over time moving from area to area and keeping the bandits shrunk down enough that they aren't a continuous problem and then leave before the problem is completely solved so that when they come back next year, they can harvest the work again. That's mostly what you know. Emma, with your triumph, you know that this tank specifically, it got mentioned at some point as a mercenary group with a very notable piece of military hardware that had perked up your ears because you thought they might have been talking about you and then they weren't. With that triumph, what would you like this mercenary group to be named? [laugh]

Cameron: They are called the Rust.

Nick: So Emma, you know that this group is called the Rust and peering through the smoke to the side of this tank, you also can see the logo of the mercenary company - a geometric shape. It looks like a pyramid but then, you know from someone describing it, all the pieces of the pyramid are different denominations of money from the seven cities. It was hard to make out because the paint was so faded that it pretty much blended in with the armor of this tank.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] So what's the plan?

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] I mean, there's not a lot of people but have military hardware like this.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] I recognize their logo. That's the Rust. They are a mercenary company. Uh~ [brainstorms for plan] I'm gonna go run up to the top of the ravine. Bye.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Okay.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] What? [much concern] Copy.

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Good or bad mercenaries?

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Uh they've been helping. The tank got mentioned, but I didn't hear anything bad about them. They're just - they're a traveling mercenary company.

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay. Hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] I'll let you know what the people up at the top look like. [laugh]

Sydney: Cassidy covers the top of her spy glass to keep it from glinting and starts scanning the top of the cliffs looking for the source of any of the gunfire.

Kit: Is there any cover by the tank?

Nick: Yeah, there's the smoke, there's some low boulders. The road is elevated above the base of the ravine just a little with earthworks so there's a slant to the earth you could try to lean against although there is the issue of fire is coming from both sides.

Kit: Birdie is specifically going to try and get as close to the tank as possible so that she can pull the injured person off into cover - like proper cover.

Nick: Before any of that happens, Emma as you stand up and decide to run to the top of the ravine, Birdie as you see this injured person and decide to help, Cassidy as you begin to try to scope out where the gunfire is coming from -Marathon, you're standing slightly above the rest of the group asking what the plan is, getting a pretty good view of the battlefield and you see one of the mercenaries down on the road. He is huddled behind a cluster of rocks that are already pockmarked with bullet impacts. He has longer than shoulder length, greasy black hair swept straight back tucked behind his ears, dark patchy stubble and sallow skin, his clothes have seen better days. And you notice all of these details as you make eye contact with him. He realizes that you're there and makes a face of confusion, partial panic, concern, and begins to turn a very well maintained shotgun in your direction, and everybody is now free to act. This is all pretty close to split second timing as you all leap into action.

Penn: How close is this guy again?

Nick: You're probably like 20-30 yards away.

Penn: Marathon is in a crouched position and she doesn't have a weapon. And she subtly taps the button on the side of her heel on her boots so that her skates pop out a little bit and while maintaining a stable figure so it's not obvious what's on her feet, she slowly raises her hands up in a stance of surrender, making very wide eye contact with this man.

Nick: Okay, go ahead and roll me a Charm check to convey your innocence to this armed person in the middle of a gunfight. It's an average difficulty check but it is with two added black die because this person is currently under fire.

Penn: I trust in Marathon's abilities. I have got two yellow, one green versus two purple and two black.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Two successes but four threats.

Nick: Oh wow. So with those successes, you are very easily able to convey to this guy that you are not here to kill him and there are enough people actively trying to kill him that he has other priorities. But you do see with those threats, his eyes start to widen in a different emotion as you realize that because of your skates being activated and the terrain, you are beginning to slide down this incline and into the crossfire.

Penn: As Marathon has made eye contact with this man and they've shared a very tense second and a half of unmoving tension, she catches the look on his face before she realizes that her skates are taking her down this slope a little bit. And as she tries to course correct, we see her begin to reach out her arms and spin them wildly and she tips head over heels starting to roll down this ravine into the middle of the firefight next to this guy.

Nick: So Marathon, your adrenaline starts to sing as you head in this direction because you can hear bullets whining through the air around you. Luckily, you aren't hit by any and with a solid thump you slam into the rock next to this guy, realizing that you are surrounded by mercenaries who are currently in combat, and it would seem to every mercenary except for the person you made eye contact with that you had appeared out of nowhere. Luckily because he is not being aggressive towards you, anyone else who notices isn't going to shoot it you immediately. Unluckily you are immediately in the crossfire and as you try to catch your breath and figure out what you're going to do in this situation, the man with the shotgun says

Nick (as Felix): Well welcome to the party.

Nick: And starts returning fire again back up into the woods and the blast from this shotgun is even louder than you would expect. This is one of the louder firearms you have ever heard and your ears are already ringing.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Dirt. Over.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] [sigh in tired older sister] Emma Marathon just went in.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [disbelieving] What?

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Hopefully your read was right, because we picked a side.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Oh, yeah - my read is 1,000% correct.

Cameron: Which side of the ravine had more of the people shooting down at the group from? People had to be taking cover on one side or another in the ravine - which side are they taking cover against because that's the side I want to go to.

Nick: Based on the fact that there are more of the mercenaries taking cover on the south side of the ravine, compared to the north, while there is fire coming from both sides of the ravine, you would imagine that they had assessed that there was more of a threat on the north side.

Cameron: All right, that's where I'm headed.

Nick: So are you climbing the wall or are you going back and around to try to go up a different way?

Cameron: Since we crept here from the start of the ravine, we're not that far away from it, so I think Emma's just running until the ravine is at a height that she can just jump up it and is not going to try to do delicate rock climbing in the exosuit.

Nick: Okay, make me a hard Athletics check to see how quickly you can make it to where you would be a threat to this attacking force.

Cameron: With the upgrade from the suit, I have two yellows, two greens, and three purples.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Three successes, one advantage.

Nick: All right! You are able to find a low point further back along the way you came. You are able to leap that pretty easily. You don't raise any dust clouds, you don't make more noise than possible, and you were very quickly able to run back up the slope at the top of the ravine and get in position to stop the side of the attack. We're going to come back to you - you are working your way through the woods moving as quickly as possible as you hear Cassidy report that Marathon is now down amongst the mercenaries. Birdie, as this evolves, and the combat is well underway, what are you doing?

Kit: Birdie is still running towards this person at the tank and is trying to hook her arms underneath their arms to drag them off into cover and assess if she can help them or not. And if she can see an insignia of their company to make sure that she's helping the right person, that would be great.

Nick: As you're running across, go ahead and roll me a Fortune die to see if you draw any of the enemy fire.

Kit: Okay, I roll - I roll a white one. I got a Fortune pip.

Nick: Okay, so the fact that you are not carrying any obvious firearms and are running crouched over towards someone who is injured, you do not draw any enemy fire from the ambushers up on the ledge and you are able to grab this person and drag them down into relative cover and see what you can do. Go ahead Birdie and roll me a hard Medicine check.

Kit: I'm gonna flip a Story Point in order to help me out here. So that'll be one yellow, one green against three purples. A success and one threat.

Nick: Hey! So you are able to keep this person from bleeding out. They're hit in the lower torso. What do you do to stabilize them?

Kit: So Birdie is going to try and apply pressure while fishing through her bag and pulling out her roll of gauze that she keeps. So she's going to take her gauze and take one length of it and press it a little bit into the wound so that it can staunch the flow from the inside and then take another pad of gauze on top and then she's gonna take out a roll of duct tape, tear it off with her teeth and then secure the gauze all the way across their skin so that at least there's something to hold it there.

Nick: Once you have gotten the bleeding to at least slow, you're not worried about them bleeding out immediately, this mercenary you do notice the Rust logo on a shoulder. It's very hard to see because it's covered in mud and grime. They're wearing cargo pants and a leather jacket and a face wrap with a metal helmet. Their face is mostly covered by that and they're wearing sunglasses so you can't make out what their appearance is.

Kit: Birdie is too curious, so she will gently shake this person's shoulders to see if they're going to wake up before taking off their sunglasses. [laugh]

Nick: They give a low pained moan. They sound like they're coming around, but they were just shot - they are not particularly functional. Birdie, you would assume that they're probably struggling to breathe with the pain and all of that gear on their face right now.

Kit: Mhm. Mhm. So she's going to very gently like she's trying not to wake them up because she doesn't want to start a conflict while trying to keep them from bleeding out in the first place and very gently remove what's covering their face.

Nick: You pull the sunglasses off and the face covering down to try and help them breathe. So as you pull the face covering down, their helmet falls back and long, dark, wavy hair falls out from under the helmet. And you get to look at this person's face - paler than usual because of the blood loss, but you are looking into the gorgeous brown eyes of someone with high cheekbones and full lips. Her gaze sharpens on you and she says

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): You're not a part of the mercenary company.

Kit (as Birdie): [suave as fuck] No, but I did save your life.

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): Helpful and beautiful.

Nick: And she smiles weakly at you as we cut away to Cassidy.

Sydney: Has Cassidy made out the positions of any of the people that she's been trying to spot while her teammates have either been carefully repositioning to higher ground or not carefully repositioning to lower ground?

Nick: I think that is probably a Perception roll to know what you have seen because they were very well camouflaged. It's an average difficulty check but with two black die because these people are camouflaged and in deep cover.

Sydney: So I am rolling two yellows and a green against two purples and two blacks.

[dice rolling]

Sydney: Three failures, a threat, and a triumph.

Nick: Huh! Okay. So you are not able to pick out exactly where these firing positions are. They're just too well camouflaged. You haven't had a lot of time, everything that's happened so far has been very close together and probably part of that was spent with you making sure you were in cover and that you had a good angle on wherever this attack was coming from. But what is that triumph do for you?

Sydney: So Cassidy doesn't see a lot of anything. As far as bandits go, they're all deep in cover doing smart positioning where there's no gun barrels hanging out of bushes or anything. But in the course of her searching across the edge of the ravine, she does see a - up behind her a little bit, if she was to go back out of the ravine following Emma's path and then loop around opposite to the side that Emma was on, there's a large thick tree with some definitely climbable branches giving cover and also a higher elevation vantage point that she thinks wherever these bandits are, they're looking to be shielded from the looking upward from the ravine angle and not from looking down above them and starts heading towards that. Cassidy still was trying to remain relatively unseen, but the chaos at the scene means that she's willing to like crouch run.

Nick: And you have practice being unobtrusive in a battle situation. You don't draw a lot of attention as you work your way towards that better vantage point. And at this point, we'll see how badly it is going for the people who are in the line of fire. Could you please roll me four greens and a blue against three purples?

[dice rolling]

Cameron: An advantage.

Nick: Okay, well, fuck. Yeah, so with one advantage, the gunfire stays fairly steady, but is predictable enough. There aren't any automatic weapons or anything, this is a relatively low fire rate. There's just a good amount of people that is causing this to be as dangerous as it is. And these mercenaries are obviously very good at staying in cover at the right times and nobody gets hit. The downside with that advantage is that due to the need to stay out of the line of fire, everyone will have a black die on their next check because they're being shot at.

Penn: Marathon pulls herself up slowly, still holding her hands up while facing this one guy while the rest of this mercenary group returns to firing and she's like,

Penn (as Marathon): Uh, I think you're - you're good guys, right? I think we're here to help. Uh~ yep. [clears throat]

Nick (as Felix): We're under fire and you're asking about the morality of the situation? Where's your gun?

Penn (as Marathon): Ah~ [clears throat]. I don't do guns.

Penn: Is Birdie within view of Marathon down here?

Nick: Yeah. While you were getting into cover, you saw Birdie drag somebody down the road and out of the line of fire and if she's peeking up over the road, you can make eye contact with her from where you are. It's definitely yelling distance too.

Penn: A shot screams past Marathon's shoulder she's like

Penn (as Marathon): Dirt!

Penn: And cowers down.

Penn (as Marathon): Um I'm here with miss medic over there. Um. I just - yeah, [clears throat] whatever you need to help, I got arms. I guess [yelling] Birdie! Birdie what's the plan?

Penn: Marathon also calls into the radio.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] I just need to know the plan. Over.

Kit: Birdie is just gonna grimace a little bit and then think for approximately two seconds before kneeling back down beside the woman she just saved and is gonna be like,

Kit (as Birdie): [still smooth as silk] Hey, do you mind uh, just telling your friend - the long hair friend you have over there to leave my friend alone?

Kit: And just put the radio up to her mouth so she doesn't have to talk too loudly.

Nick: She gives a little cough put some pressure over the bandage and says,

Nick (as Miranda/Deathstalker): [over radio] Felix whatever you're doing, these people are here to help. Don't do anything that I wouldn't do.

Nick: And over the radio Birdie, you hear a slightly distant shout of this guy saying

Nick (as Felix): [over radio] What? I'm trying to give her a gun! Here! Take this one.

Nick: And Marathon he's waving a large pistol in your direction handle first.

Penn (as Marathon): Uh. Emm.

Penn: Marathon freezes in front of the pistol.

Penn (as Marathon): Um, I don't I don't do guns.

Nick (as Felix): All right, your loss.

Nick: And he flips the gun in his hand, catches it by the grip and start shooting blindly up into the woods. Yelling

Nick (as Felix): [yelling] Come on, you bastards! What are you gonna do? Come down here and fight!

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] [realizing she brought fists to a gunfight] Uh~. Birdie you've got -

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Plan, question mark? Um explosives throw up to where they're shooting from, question mark? You got a good arm.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Fastball special. Over.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] Explosives? Which side are you throwing explosives up on?

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Uh. The one that the guy - Felix, question mark? - is shooting at, I figure?

Nick: He is shooting up in the direction that Emma is.

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] [haha I'm in danger] Okay. Uh. Tha-that's the side that I'm up on, so don't blow me up, please.

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Uh, yeah, Marathon's got a good aim. She can do it.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Yeah especially when it can't see, over. Just toss it here, Birdie.

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Okay. Fastball special.

Kit: And Birdie's going to take one glance at the woman be like,

Kit (as Birdie): [calm sexy nurse bedside manner] Be right back.

Kit: And then grab some of the goop out of her backpack, smear it on to one of her bottles that she's stuffed with a few ball bearings, and she's going to meet Marathon halfway, just

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Meet me half way Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): [over radio] Over. Copy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Emma are you sure that's good?

Cameron (as Emma): [over radio] I'm not there yet. [still sounds concerned]

Nick: Would the two of you, Birdie and Marathon, like to do a collaborative check to see how this goes? You could work together on the throw. Normally throwing an explosive like this would be Ranged Light because it's an attack but because you are not really aiming and you're throwing it at such a distance, we're going to use Athletics for this one. So it's whoever has the highest Brawn that sets the Brown score and whoever has the highest Skill that sets the Skill score. If it doesn't do that, you just give a blue die instead.

Penn: I have four Brawn and three Athletics.

Kit: Yeah, I'll give a blue die for assistance. But yeah, since it's the remote detonation, she's just going to keep her head poked out and that's at least she's not carrying a burning explosive. It's controllable. [laugh]

Nick: So Marathon make me a hard Athletics check, add a blue die for Birdie's help as you try to throw this explosive bottle up the side of a cliff.

Penn: Birdie tosses this bottle over to Marathon and she just continues with the momentum and spins with it like a shot put just sending it sailing without aiming too hard up to the top of this cliff. And I'm rolling, three purple, three yellow, one blue, and one green.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Four successes and a threat.

Nick: Okay. This goes very, very well.

Penn: Yeah, this shot put throw just sails right over the top of the ravine to where Felix is also firing, and Marathon, finishing her spin, gives a little wink at Birdie before stumbling back a little bit on her skates again and gives her finger gun. Assumably to hit the trigger.

Kit: As soon as Marathon gives her, she assumes that the finger guns is the signal, and it's like,

Kit (as Birdie): Well, hope Renn did a good job.

Kit: And she's gonna slam her finger on the button to detonate the explosive.

Nick: As you hit the detonator, this bottle explodes. You are surprised by the amount of force that just a small application of this substance was able to do. And everyone in the ravine takes cover from this loud explosion. There's the whine of superheated metal being shot in every direction at once. And Cassidy and Emma, you both see that entire area wherever the gunfire was coming from the foliage is shredded. You hear screaming and the gunfire is diminished significantly.

Kit (as Birdie): [yelling] Good job Marathon!

Nick: Marathon from where he is still crouched you hear Felix say,

Nick (as Felix): Oh, wow. Uh. Do you two need a job?

Penn (as Marathon): [laugh]

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] Haha.

Penn (as Marathon): [cocky] Let's say we already have one.

Kit (as Birdie): [over radio] We're spoken for.

Penn (as Marathon): Yeah.

Nick: So there has been an explosion. Emma, you are approaching the area as this goes off. The ground has been made a little unstable. There are things still falling out of trees. There is chaos in the woods around you from wherever these firing positions were. You can now make out some of these bandits from where they were positioned and Cassidy you also have a clearer view as you make it to the top of this vantage point.

Cameron: Emma's just running in and now that she can see where these bandits were hidden away, is just going on cleanup duty. And if anyone got really messed up, she's doing a mercy kill. Otherwise, she's poking at people with her sword to get them out of trees and stuff. [laugh]

Nick: Do you want to go ahead and make me a Melee attack roll to see how good you do wading into this group of people.

Cameron: All right, so with my increased Brawn from the exosuit, I have two yellows, two green, two purple, and then a blue die because it is a combat check and I get a blue die for combat checks in the exosuit.

Nick: I would like to flip a GM Story Point to upgrade the difficulty of that check, please.

Cameron: [faux annoyed sigh] Okay.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: One success, three advantages.

Nick: So you are able to put a couple of these attackers that are worse for wear out of their misery that have been shredded by this bomb, and you are wading into those remaining. They are slow to react to your appearance. What is this combat look like?

Cameron: Well, from the bandit's perspective, it's quite terrifying because they just had a big explosion go off in front of them and now there is a giant exosuit walking out of the flames and smoke of this explosion. And probably a few people who had been really close to where Marathon landed this explosive, think it is incredibly obvious that there is nothing that could be done to save them at all. So Emma's not really concerned with all of these people at this point, because they're kind of freaking out. So she's gently putting them out of their misery, and then walking around with her sword, poking people in trees, to get them to come down. Stabbing up in that she's not trying to kill everyone, necessarily, if they haven't attacked her, but she is poking them at a sword to make them move so that they don't get hit by a sword to hopefully get them out of the tree, where if they're intelligent, they will just surrender and then if they make a move, she attacks them with a sword.

Nick: Yeah, there are some people who when you wave a sword in their face, even though they're up and in cover, they drop their guns and start just climbing out of the tree. There are some people who immediately try to shoot you - you get a mixed response from this group. Nobody is surrendering outright, like walking around with their hands behind their back as you continue this but some people decide it's not worth fighting somebody who's that close having been exploded and some people are still trying to fight as you work your way through.

Cassidy from your vantage point, you're seeing Emma wade into the middle of a firing line. She doesn't appear to be forcing the issue. She is not trying to obliterate them, she is just disrupting their action. And as people become more aware of her being there, some people are giving up and some people are aiming at her from where you can see.

Sydney: Cassidy~ does a quick scan of her side of the ravine making sure that no one's approaching her. No one's about to throw explosives of their own down into the ravine - not that she figures they have much left if they haven't already used them, but her priority is keeping her team safe. And at that point, that means making sure Emma stays safe. Cassidy sweeps across the trees and the vegetation closest to Emma looking for the person who looks most out of the way and looks the most steady in their aiming towards Emma and goes to take away their ability to aim anymore.

Nick: Yeah, with your experience as a spotter you are very good at identifying threats against those that you are providing overwatch for and you find somebody who has stopped firing down into the ravine and is aiming for the back of Emma. She didn't see them from where they are. Go ahead and roll me your ranged attack there, at this distance it is going to be hard difficulty because you are at long range.

Sydney: So with my Ranged Heavy, I am rolling three yellows and two greens and my sniper rifle has accurate two so I add an additional two blue on to that against the three purples.

[dice rolling]

Sydney: Four successes and three advantages.

Nick: Wow. Yeah, with that level of success, you remove this shooter from the equation and are able to cover Emma as she breaks the line of this group.

Sydney: So Cassidy knocks this guy out of the tree with one shot - his shoulders are looking a little lighter. And Cassidy just goes over the radio.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [over radio] Emma keep going. I'm covering you.

Sydney: And scans and hits two more bandits that did not put together the defense to Emma's assault quite as fast as the first guy but looked like they might be moving quick enough to give Emma problems, but not quick enough to stop Cassidy from preventing them from causing any other problems forever.

Nick: It only takes what feels like a couple of seconds for this ambush to have been turned around between the explosions, the sudden appearance of a combat suit, and pinpoint accurate gunfire. The remaining forces begin to shout to each other, call a retreat, and break into a full run back into the woods.

Sydney: Cassidy makes sure none of the bandits as they move go in any direction that is near the rig.

Nick: They absolutely do not, because that would involve them running past Emma, which no one is interested in doing right now. And from down within the ravine and Cassidy from your observation point, the ambushers on the other side of the ravine also retreat, fading back into the woods. There were not nearly as many of them and they were not going to continue the fight without their main force. And as quickly as this fight started, it's over. There is a few minutes of the Rust gathering around at their damaged tank, Emma you're able to make your way back down into the ravine. Cassidy would you stay in overwatch or would you come back down to join the group?

Sydney: Cassidy is going to stay in the tree with a view of both the top of the ravine and the bottom in case anything untoward was to happen until given the all clear by Emma.

Nick: You stay in overwatch. You get a strong impression that these mercenaries are quite experienced because several of them - if they don't necessarily see you, appear to have clocked where your support was coming from and are staying very casual about making sure nothing is pointed in your direction and that everyone is looking non threatening. They're also more focused on patching up any wounds and collecting any damaged material at the moment.

Emma as you make it back down to where Birdie and Marathon are, you see the hatch of the tank thrown back. There is another big billow of smoke that is released and out of the cloud of smoke climbs a tall, broad shouldered woman. She is wearing a white button down shirt that is unbuttoned most of the way down her torso - it was obviously very hot in this tank, she is sweaty. She has a blonde, medium length mohawk, with the sides of her head shaved down to nothing. And you can see the tattoo of a snake winding its way up her right arm. It disappears into the rolled up sleeves of her shirt, comes up the back of her neck, wraps around the shaved side of her head and the head of the snake appears to be whispering in her ear. She is holding several wrenches, a hammer, and has goggles pushed up on her head. Everything is smoke stained and scorched and she says,

Nick (as tank lady): Welp. Rust, that probably could have gone better.

[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

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 @ 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 You can find Arne at

The official artwork for this podcast was created by Rashed AlAkroka, who can be found on Instagram and Artstation @ rashedjrs.

You can follow the Patina on Twitter @ akosap_podcast or visit the website: To further support the show, consider joining the Patreon at, where we’ll be bringing you weekly content including bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards.

Until next time…

…Signing Off


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