A Knight of Shreds and Patches
Transcript: Season 2 Episode 6: A Dirty, Bare Knuckle Boxing Brawl
A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 6: A Dirty, Bare Knuckle Boxing Brawl 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 hope you’re having a wonderful day, whether you’re listening to this far in the future (in which case, hi, future listener!) or right when it first airs. We're excited to announce that AKoSaP is part of the Fiction Podcast Class of 2022 for the New Jersey Web Fest! You can check out New Jersey Web Fest on Twitter at @NJWebFest and see all of our fellow 2022 classmates in their pinned tweet.
And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 6: A Dirty, Bare Knuckle Boxing Brawl. And so...
Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.
[hurdy gurdy music ends]
[electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]
[over radio] Sydney (as Cassidy): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, Emma and Birdie bought a wonderful jerky treat and some new armor in this merchant camp. Marathon and I had a nice talk before Emma and her went off to win some fights. And Emma even had a very smiley exchange of pleasantries with her next opponent. I'm sure that'll go totally fine. [radio static]
Nick: We open on an overhead view of a fighting arena. The ring is trampled grass and people stand in a loose circle around two combatants. Impromptu stands have been made on top of wagons and carts and trucks. The noise is loud as people cheer for their favorite fighter. And we see that these two combatants are Emma and Peregrine; one, a friendly mechanic, the other a self assured and terrifying beauty. And the organizer for this tournament with very little ceremony says,
Nick (as Fight Organizer): Well uh, start!
Nick: And steps backwards out of the reach of the fighters. And I'm going to need Emma and Peregrine to roll initiative.
Cameron: Emma has two successes, two advantages.
Kit: Two successes and three advantages.
Nick: So Peregrine will be going first. Because this is a prepared arena, I don't think it makes sense to spend the advantages on situational benefits here, so I think Peregrine will get a blue die on her first attack because she has more advantages than Emma does and she gets to go first.
Kit: Peregrine is going to try and get the immediate jump on Emma. She's going to approach very fast and try and take a quick jab just right in her face, just to prove that she's very confident in her abilities and will get right up in her face immediately.
Nick: All right, so your Brawl check is one yellow and two greens.
Nick: You will get an extra blue die because you won the advantages on the initiative, and you'll be against two purples.
Kit: So two green, one yellow, two purple, one blue. That's going to be four advantages, three failures.
Nick: Interesting. So Emma is able to dodge this hit. Emma, how do you dodge this first strike?
Cameron: Emma ducks out of the way slightly faster than humans should be able to move in a way that she will probably regret later, due to the arena juice she chugged just moments ago coursing through her system and causing her body to have a higher performance than muscles are supposed to. So I think it's just sheer movement of just ducking out of the way.
Nick: So with a speed that surprises you, Peregrine, this child dodges away from your strike. Do you want to use your advantages to give you a better chance on your next hit or make it harder for Emma to hit you when she goes?
Kit: I'll say make it harder for Emma to land a hit.
Nick: Okay, so you drop into a defensive posture right away, preparing for her counter strike. And Emma, it's your turn. Peregrine was kind of intimidating when you met her before this fight. She seemed confident, capable, bold - not the kind of person that you would want to be in this situation with, but you're surprised as she leaps towards you to see that she seems really slow. It's almost like a play fight that you would do with your cousins where you would go slow motion so that you could dodge and you're able to jerk out of the way. You feel a little pain as your muscles move, which is surprising, but everything just makes sense to you right now. And as you have that thought, your next thought is that your eyes kind of itch in a way that's unsettling. It's not a feeling you felt before but you find very specific details draw your attention and when your eyes refocus that it feels like lightning starts in your eye sockets and runs all the way through your body following the path of your nervous system. It's extremely uncomfortable, but at the same time makes you feel dangerous. And you can see an opening.
Cameron: Emma goes to take advantage of the fact that Peregrine shifted down slightly to go into the defensive posture to come up over the top of her and elbow her - aiming for the temple or neck area, so the side of the head so she's either gonna hit the head or the shoulder maybe, depending on how it goes.
Nick: Okay, and you're going to have two black die because of Peregrine's defensive movement after her failed attack.
Cameron: Yes. So do I still get the blue die from Marathon's training?
Cameron: Okay. And then it's an additional mechanics we've discussed for very wisely chugging that much arena juice, going to activate the talent, that I don't have but just comes inherently with arena juice red for some reason, Berserk. So, I will add a success and two advantages to all of my combat checks, but Peregrine will also add one success to any combat checks targeting me as well.
Cameron: And then I'm going to flip a story point as well, to upgrade one of my greens to a yellow. So I've got a yellow, two greens, a blue, two black and two purple.
Cameron: Two successes, three advantages.
Nick: So what's your Brawn?
Cameron: Three. So five damage.
Nick: You're going to do five damage. Peregrine has a soak of three, so you're going to do two strain damage to Peregrine and are you going to use those advantages for anything particular?
Cameron: I am going to pass blue dice forward to me because I'm starting to figure out the speed that I'm moving at now and adjusting to it. So I am better prepared for my next attack to know what it is exactly that I'm capable of at the moment.
Nick: Okay, so your elbow comes down. Peregrine gets an arm up to block it, but not enough to completely block the blow and you make contact and she looks surprised. Peregrine you're up.
Kit: Peregrine's eyes kind of widen when she realizes that something has definitely changed between her conversation with Emma and now. And so she's going to try and take advantage of the fact that Emma seems to be at this point still in the mode of getting used to how fast she's moving and just try and hit her as soon as possible after Emma strikes. I think she's going to try and hit Emma in the stomach. Just bring a knee up and try and knock the wind out of her, slow her down a bit.
Nick: All right, go ahead and roll that attack.
Kit: All right, so that's still two green, one yellow, two purple and without the blue die. That is one success. [laugh] Oh, I get a free success, so two successes.
Nick: So you are going to do five damage back to Emma. Emma, you're not wearing your armor. You had to strip down to your tank top for this fight. Nobody is geared up for war here, that's not the point of the competition. So you take two damage as well. You have both exchanged blows and you get the feeling, both of you, as you're feeling each other out - these fights up to this point haven't been to someone being unconscious, either someone gives up or a major knock down has been enough for the fight to be called, so if you're able to do enough damage in one hit to knock the person down, that could be enough to call the fight if it happens at the right time. As the fight continues we swing to Birdie and Cassidy up in the stands.
Sydney: Cassidy is stopped with a piece of the chocolate banana deep fried beaver tail jerky halfway to her mouth and is watching Emma move with her eyebrows furrowed because this looks - something looks weird.
Kit: Birdie is perched on the edge of her seat and is one of the most reactive audience members just
Kit (as Birdie): Oh~ Cassidy that's [noise of discomfort and disgust].
Kit: Cheering when everyone else is cheering starting cheers. She starts to do like a
Kit (as Birdie): [chanting] Emma! Emma! Emma! [laugh]
Penn: Marathon at the same time on the other end of the circle is trying to start a [laughing]
Penn (as Marathon): Let's go Emma, let's go.
Nick: You get a couple of takers but it peters out very quickly.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I might need to go see the bookie and actually put money down on Emma for this fight because she's looking surprisingly fast out there.
Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, she looks like she's much faster than normal.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I suspect there's something else at play that we can probably thank our friend Marathon for, but I am going to leverage that and see what Emma can do. Hold my seat.
Kit (as Birdie): Yep, yep.
Nick: As soon as Cassidy leaves, a broad shouldered woman with strong forearms and what looks like a smudge of flour on her shirt walks over to where you're sitting on one of these carts and smiles at you Birdie. She's got round features and her hair is pulled back in a no nonsense braid, but her eyes are kind and dark. And she says,
Nick (as Sasha): Hey, is the seat taken?
Kit (as Birdie): [stumbling over words] Um, take- no. Take not taken, not taken. Nope.
Nick (as Sasha): Great.
Nick: And she puts her hands on the railing of the cart and is able to lift her body weight up and over the rail with just her arm strength and plops down next to you. You can hear the suspension of the cart sink a little as she sits next to you. And it must be the wood of this impromptu bench not being very strong, but you feel yourself drawn in towards her as she sits down to watch the fight. And we jump back to the fight - Emma it is your turn.
Cameron: Now that we are in very close quarters combat at this point, Emma is going to continue to try to utilize the benefit that she has being currently slightly taller than Peregrine and come down against her shoulder general area again, but with a jump this time to throw more of her weight behind it. Because apparently we're just gonna sit here and hug this out until we get somewhere.
Nick: All right, roll that up and you have two blue die from your previous attack knocking Peregrine slightly off balance.
Cameron: So, three greens, three blues and two purples.
Cameron: Three successes, three advantages.
Nick: That's a very solid hit as you slam down with your full body weight from this jumping attack, doing three damage to Peregrine. You said you're aiming for her shoulder?
Cameron: Yeah, the junction point of the shoulder and your neck. So kind of where a lot of those important muscles are.
Nick: So you feel something give slightly with your attack, but also you scratch the side of Peregrine's face as you jump backwards, and a little trickle of blood is running down the side of her face. Peregrine it's your turn. This farm girl just drew blood on you in front of all of your lackeys. What are you going to do?
Kit: Peregrine's got it out for Emma at this point. I think that Peregrine is slightly in shock from the fact that she was just hit in that she can feel the skin was broken on her face and so with the weight of the hit, she sort of lets her body dip so that she can put her hand to the ground and grab whatever's there, whether it's sand or rocks or something like that, and she just goes,
Kit (as Peregrine): Why you little -
Kit: And just pitches the sand or whatever rocks she has in her hand at Emma's eyes.
Nick: So this will be a Ranged Light attack. So it's average because it's an engaged ranged attack and you have one yellow and two greens in Range Light. If this hits, there's a good chance that Emma will be unable to see for her next turn.
Cameron: I would like to utilize the advantages that I have to get Peregrine some black dice.
Nick: How many advantages did you roll?
Nick: So you will have to black die on this.
Kit: Okay. Since this is an NPC I don't think I'm allowed to flip a story point.
Nick: Yeah, I'll let you flip a story point. You can flip a GM story point for this.
Kit: [laughing] So one green, two yellows, two purple, two black. Two successes, four threats.
Nick: Oh. So you only do five total damage again, which gets knocked down to two. So the dirt doesn't do a lot of damage through Emma soak. I will say Emma is going to have an upgraded difficulty on her next roll because there's dirt in her eyes. With that many threats, you overextended on this throw and Emma did not flinch away from the dirt in her face, and instead ducked inside your guard and tripped you and you find yourself knocked prone in the dirt as the entire audience gasps in surprise. Emma, you can barely see, there's dirt in your eyes, but you've managed to knock Peregrine prone and you raise your fist to try to end this thing. And we get a quick aside to Cassidy trying to get the bookie's attention and interestingly enough, the bookie is very close to Marathon, as Marathon has been doing micro bits this entire time.
Penn (as Marathon): Six on Emma. Six on Emma - no uh four-four on Emma, nope uh seven on Emma. Seven on Emma.
Nick (as Bookie): I told you the fight started what are we supposed to be doing here? That's not how gambling works.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh my gosh. This was way easier in Tree All Mountain Okay.
Nick (as Bookie): Ooh big city lady.
Nick: He's got his hands up by his head doing a we've got a badass over here pose.
Penn (as Marathon): [yelling] KILL HER EMMA!!
Nick: The strength of Marathon's shout causes the bookie to flinch away as Cassidy gets within earshot.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Put this down on Emma.
Nick (as Bookie): Look, I was just telling Miss Marathon over here, fights already started. We don't normally take bets after that. Besides, she's standing over her opponent what are like, it's basically over, probably. That's, that's right where Peregrine wants her.
Sydney: Cassidy splits the money that she's putting down into 20% and 80% and holds up to 20%.
Sydney (as Cassidy): This is yours.
Sydney: And then the 80%
Sydney (as Cassidy): if we put this on Emma.
Nick: He looks around real quick and almost faster than you can see the money has been scooped out of your hands and replaced with a little handwritten ticket and he's pushing money down into his pockets. He says,
Nick (as Bookie): All right, but I wouldn't count Peregrin out just yet. Thank you for the tip, though.
Nick: And he turns back to Marathon and says,
Nick (as Bookie): See there, Miss Messenger. If you just -
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, I'm with her. Same deal.
Nick (as Bookie): Well, I know. You didn't offer me anything to take bets after the point.
Sydney: Cassidy turns and walks away -
Penn (as Marathon): No wait! Uh!
Sydney: - immediately after getting the betting slip.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, well. Um. [awkward laugh]
Nick (as Bookie): Yeah, clearly you're with her.
Penn (as Marathon): [awkward laugh] Um. Thank you. [stutter] uh - [yelling] KILL HER EMMA!
Nick: He sets a gentle hand on your shoulder and in a calm voice that you haven't heard from him yet when you've been arguing about betting Marathon he asks,
Nick (as Bookie): You've got uh, trouble in romance town, Miss Messenger?
Penn: Marathon is going to turn and tower over him with a very dark glare and then turn slowly back towards the fight.
Nick (as Bookie): Whoa. Oh, okay.
Nick: And he takes a few steps back. And Emma, it's your turn. You are standing over Peregrine, dirt in your eyes, fists raised.
Cameron: Emma was already slightly dealing with having tears in her eyes because they were freaking out already, so that's just helping get the sand out of her eyes faster. But Emma probably does take a swipe with one of her hands across her eyes to try to clear out some of the larger pieces of dirt particles and then looks and sees that Peregrine has fallen. And the elbow thing has been working pretty well, so I think she's just going to drop an elbow down into her stomach from standing. So I am flipping another story point.
Nick: Emma, I will make you a deal.
Cameron: [hesitant] Okay...
Nick: You feel the energy of the arena juice starting to wane a little bit - you never saw Marathon just drink that much all at once, it seems to be more of a slow sip situation - and it's obviously doing something to your body chemistry. If you were willing to spend three Strain, I will trade you upgrading your attack one time for this.
Cameron: I think I got it. I think I've got enough with my upgrade. I think I can do it.
Cameron: How does prone work?
Nick: Uh you get a blue die.
Cameron: Okay, cool. So I've got a yellow, two greens, two blues, a purple and a red.
Cameron: With the adds from the Berserk - four successes and five advantages.
Nick: Wow. Do you want to roll that crit? So you're doing seven damage to Peregrine.
Cameron: I got an 87 which is Compromised: increase difficulty of all skill checks by one until this critical injury is healed.
Nick: So you drop this elbow and it takes Peregrine in the throat and just completely knocks the wind out of her and you hear her struggling to inhale. Peregrine you only have a few strain left. You're in a bad way but you are still conscious. Do you give up?
Kit: Peregrine doesn't want to get up at first but if Emma gives her even the chance to stand up, she will try and push herself up while just coughing and hacking.
Kit (as Peregrine): [coughing fit]
Kit: And just falling back down. She's done.
Nick: Peregrine falls to her hands and knees and spits blood into the dirt and the crowd cheers loudly and the organizer for this tournament walks out stepping very nonchalantly around Peregrine's coughing form and grabs Emma by the wrist and raises it before dropping it almost immediately, looking at the clipboard and saying
Nick (as Fight Organizer): And the winner is Emma. Up next -
Nick: And Emma, you are shepherded out of the ring.
Cameron: As Emma goes to step out of the ring after having stood back up from jumping down on Peregrine, she does the sway that happens when you stand up too fast, and you're just suddenly incredibly dizzy and looks like she's gonna pass out for a second but then steadies and is able to walk off as she loses six Strain. [laugh]
Nick: Yeah, the arena juice wears off. And how many you Strain do you have left after that six Strain hit?
Nick: Ooh, not doing well.
Cameron: No. [laugh]
Nick: And the crowd clears out of the way seeing that you're not steady on your feet. And almost immediately another round starts. No one in the group's attention is really on this fight as you are all distracted by other things.
Penn (as Marathon): I think the crash got to Emma.
Nick: Do you go to talk to her Marathon or are you still betting? What are you- what are you up to?
Penn: Yeah, I'm rushing to Emma. I'm not heartless.
Nick: So Marathon you rush through the crowd towards Emma. You can see she's just kind of walking aimlessly like she doesn't really know where she's going. It looks like she's looking for somewhere to sit, but the crowds too thick.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma! Emma!
Cameron: She's walking to where there's just a slightly empty space where she's no longer jostling shoulders with other people, but is just shaking her head repeatedly as she's walking like she's trying to knock something out of it.
Nick: Emma, it feels like when you're shaking your head, your whole head is moving but your eyes are staying still. It's very uncomfortable.
Penn: Marathon is gonna rush over.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma, Emma, Emma.
Penn: And she's not gonna yell. She's gonna stay pretty normal conversation level.
Penn (as Marathon): Emma, Emma, are-are you all right? Is it all right, if I touch you?
Cameron (as Emma): [dazed] Hmm? Oh, hi Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): Hey, how you how you doing? You drank that arena juice pretty quick. Um you're feeling the crash, I know what you're feeling right now.
Cameron (as Emma): I'm dizzy.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, you mind if I help you sit down? Is that all right?
Cameron (as Emma): That'd be lovely.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, here. Here we go.
Penn: And Marathon is gonna grab Emma by the shoulders and take her outside of this circle of fighters to a slightly quieter spot, maybe near some shop booths and set her down on a stump and sit down next to her.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, Emma. So you ran through a ruby red pretty quick. That's going to be a big crash for you here.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm.
Penn (as Marathon): And you still got a little bit of fight left tonight. How-how's your head feeling?
Cameron (as Emma): It - my eyes kind of feel like lightning.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, yeah.
Cameron (as Emma): And I don't think the dirt helped with that.
Cameron: At this point. Emma is crying but just because her eyes are watering so much because of the dirt in it. It has now started to spill over and she's just wiping her eyes getting dirt out of it and it's making her - it's only slightly smearing her super cool face paint but it is smearing some mud across her face as the wet dirt gets out of her eyes.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, Emma. Um well, if anything you look very cool. I want you to know that right now, even though you're feeling the crash. So here I'm gonna grab you some water real quick. I got it in my side bag right here.
Cameron (as Emma): Okay.
Penn (as Marathon): Here you go. Why don't you sip on that.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you.
Penn (as Marathon): And um, I-uh-in-may - we got to [laugh and sharp exhale] you should- you shouldn't have just taken the arena juice. But you know what? That doesn't matter right now. We're uh, we're we're
Cameron (as Emma): It was worth it.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, I'm sure it was.
Cameron (as Emma): Did you see your face?
Penn (as Marathon): I did. [laugh] She was spitting blood. That was pretty good job out there. But I hate to do this to you, but if you want to stave off the crash, I've only got this - it's not a ruby red but you're going to have to sip on this arena juice just a little bit through, I know you're already having a bad crash so
Penn: And Marathon hands over what looks like a half drunk green arena juice.
Cameron: Emma sips it and then makes the face.
Cameron (as Emma): This one tastes like plants.
Nick: It tastes like if you put arugula, kale, and iceberg lettuce in a blender.
Penn (as Marathon): Yep, this one's pretty mild, but it'll keep you from totally crashing, maybe bring you back -
Cameron (as Emma): Why is this a flavor?
Penn (as Marathon): It's well it's mild flavor. It's mostly for in between it's exactly for situations like these in between, you know?
Cameron (as Emma): Mmm.
Penn (as Marathon): But I'm just going to sit here with you up until I'm announced. And you know what why don't we go find Cassidy? Are you feeling all right to walk or do you want to stay here a little bit?
Cameron: Emma has already finished the water.
Penn (as Marathon): Wow. Thirsty - quite, but good job on the water. I'm proud of that.
Cameron (as Emma): I think I can walk.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, okay, let's,
Cameron (as Emma): I'm fine. I'm not as dizzy anymore.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, good. Good. Let's find Cassidy, we'll get you sat down, and I'm proud of you. Way to go out there. Yeah, nice job.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you.
Nick: The mild arena juice does give you two Strain back Emma.
Penn: And Marathon is going to help Emma stand up and is going to let Emma lean on her as she starts taking her through the crowd back to find Cassidy and Birdie's spot.
Nick: And we cut away from them and over to Cassidy and Birdie's spot. Cassidy, you saw the end of the fight. You went to go and reclaim your seat and seated next to Birdie, who is looking extremely flustered, you see a large friendly woman holding a large round loaf of bread and tearing off pieces of it and eating and cheering and elbowing Birdie in a companionable way.
Sydney: Cassidy sees this and smirks knowingly for a second. How close can she get? Is it a thick crowd or is it -
Nick: You can get right up to the cart. The crowd is closer to the actual fighting than the carts and trailers and impromptu stands are.
Sydney: So Cassidy snakes her way through the crowd, gets up behind and beside Birdie and grabs the bag with the last of the culinary curiosity and taps Birdie on the shan a couple of times,
Sydney (as Cassidy): Have fun!
Sydney: And then walks away.
Kit: Birdie in the short few seconds that Cassidy makes her appearance, immediately starts trying to talk because that's her immediate defense mechanism. And she just goes
Kit (as Birdie): [high pitched and filled with gay panic] Oh, Cassidy! This is - Birdie. I eh no. [awkward laugh] I'm Birdie. [awkward laugh] Well. This is um [clears throat and squeaks] this is this is Sasha~. [giggle]
Sydney: Cassidy just gives a very broad smile and a head nod and gracefully retreats.
Nick: Sasha smiles and shoulder checks up against Birdie for a second says
Nick (as Sasha): Who was that? Is that your girlfriend?
Kit (as Birdie): [so high pitched it's hard to understand] No. I mean. [more normal but still high with panic] No, we're just friends. Yeah, like oh, we uh, we actually traveled together? Um, I'm not taken, no.
Nick (as Sasha): Oh, you're single?
Kit (as Birdie): [so very very high pitched] Yep!
Nick (as Sasha): Would you like some bread?
Nick: And she breaks the loaf in half and you can't help but notice that her hands are extremely strong as she hands a large piece over to you. And Cassidy as you are walking backwards to give Birdie some privacy, you run smack into Marathon who was walking your direction.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, hey, Cassidy. Um, I know have fight coming up. Emma is kind of on the crash. But let her keep nursing this green arena juice - it's gonna help her out, keep her back on the hype, maybe.
Sydney: Cassidy scoops under Emma's other arm to trade the weight off. Is Emma just standing up walking now?
Cameron: Yes, but she doesn't look steady. It doesn't look like she's actually putting weight on Marathon where Marathon's kind of supporting her with her arm around her, but it does also kind of look like that support is needed.
Sydney: Yeah. So Cassidy takes the other shoulder.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah, I'm real sorry. She just slammed a whole, well, a ruby red arena juice - I don't know what that means to you, but that's pretty big. Um./
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I could see it from in the audience.
Penn (as Marathon): Oof. Yeah.
Cameron: Emma is still nursing the green arena juice and kind of mumbles quietly
Cameron (as Emma): Slammed that chickie bird into the ground. Show her [mumbling]
Cameron: And just kind of mumbles off into incoherence.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You did a good job, Emma.
Penn (as Marathon): Mhmm. Mhmm.
Cameron (as Emma): Thank you. She deserved it. She's mean.
Penn (as Marathon): You got it from here Cassidy? I - sorry, I don't have too many more tips just let her keep drinking that. That green one is going to help. If she stops, it's probably just going to be the crash from here on out.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we'll do our best to make it through.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh. Good luck in your fight.
Penn (as Marathon): Thank you.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I put Emma's winnings on you.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, well, I'm flattered.
Nick: And on that note, the fight that was going on ends with a wet smack and a disappointed groan from the audience. You can hear somebody else 'I give I give' and then the crowd is distracted as the organizer for the fight steps forward and shouts a name that you can't hear over the crowd and then also says
Nick (as Fight Organizer): And uh, Marathon Messenger, apparently.
Nick: And the whole crowd goes Ooooooo.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'm headed in.
Cameron (as Emma): Thanks Marathon.
Penn (as Marathon): Yeah. You got this Emma!
Penn: And Marathon is going to rush through the crowd over to the middle of circle, taking some deep breaths as she does.
Nick: And they clear out of your way and as you step into the ring, which has stopped being tamped down grass and started to become dirt and just a little bit of mud at this point as the surface is getting sloppier, who does Marathon see is her opponent?
Sydney: Marathon walks out of the crowd into the circle and the circle is currently empty. And then she feels a hand on her upper bicep, as a figure walks past her and just goes,
Sydney (as Claude): Excuse me, ma'am.
Sydney: And takes up the spot on the other side of the circle. This guy is pretty short. He's kind of stocky, but you have almost a foot on him. The most notable feature that you see immediately is he has a glorious gunslinger mustache, just super thick down the sides of his face - definitely something that he invests a lot of time and effort in. He's got a hounds tooth gray flat cap, and he's wearing just the vest from a three piece suit over his bare skin, and a bow tie around his neck and he looks remarkably put together for having already won a fight in this tournament. And he gives the brim of his hat a tug and just goes
Sydney (as Claude): Well, I wish you the best Miss Marathon in this fight.
Penn (as Marathon): And to you as well. I don't think I caught your name Mr -?
Sydney (as Claude): Claude.
Penn (as Marathon): Claude. Mr. Claude, I wish you luck um, because you'll need it. So,
Sydney (as Claude): Well may the better fighter win.
Penn: And Marathon starts rolling her shoulders and holds out a hand to shake.
Sydney: And he shakes it. It's a very gentlemanly shake.
Nick: As your hands touch you both feel the calluses and strength of the other as the organizer says,
Nick (as Fight Organizer): All right, enough talking - start fighting.
Nick: And steps backwards out of the arena and people begin to cheer. Roll initiative.
Penn: Okay, I got an advantage.
Sydney: Claude rolls two advantages.
Nick: Okay, so you go first and you get a blue die, Claude, even though neither of you are very quick off the draw.
Penn: Well, it's because we shook hands.
Sydney: Yeah, this is the most clean, polite start to a dirty, bare knuckle boxing brawl, probably that this night has had. Neither of them are jumping off the line. Like there was a polite shake hands, there was the Marathon's back rolling her shoulders over, this guy takes a quick lap making eye contact with a couple of select people in the crowd and then settles into his stance with his fist somewhat extended out in front of him in the classic boxing stance.
Penn: I feel like they're both working the crowd just a little bit to start - raising their arms trying to get people to start cheering and Marathon maybe gets a little too involved in that as Claude starts to take the first move.
Sydney: And Claude's gonna wait till basically right at the moment where Marathon is looking back because he doesn't want to punch a lady that's not paying attention, but he will time it perfectly so that this blow attempts to land as she would be paying attention.
Nick: All right.
Sydney: So I am then rolling, two yellows, a green, two purples and a blue.
Sydney: That is three successes and two threats.
Nick: So that is five damage coming at you Marathon.
Penn: And I have a four soak.
Nick: Oh so this guy definitely hits you and you take the hit and are surprised that his technique is so good, but the strength behind it isn't what you're used to from your professional days. How do you react to getting hit in the face and it barely hurting you?
Penn: I think Marathon still reels back with surprise if anything and then as she looks back towards Claude, starts to take the fight a little more seriously. Shakes her head a little bit, wipes her hands down her face without smudging her battle makeup too much, and then gets ready to take a shot of her own because I imagine as they are being very cordial, it's more of a trading of blows.
Nick: Of course. And go ahead and roll that attack.
Penn: So this is four yellow.
Sydney: You can roll a blue too because I had two threats unless you want to use those for something else.
Penn: I'll roll a blue. Why not?
Penn: We've got three successes, three advantages and a triumph.
Nick: Wow. Would you like to use that triumph to crit?
Penn: Yeah, definitely.
Cameron: A 25, which is Off Balance: add a black die to the targets next skill check.
Nick: Okay, so three successes, so that's seven damage and this guy only has two soak. So you just clocked the heck out of this guy, like that's more than a third of his health. I think he definitely has some extra points in Grit, but not that many. And you send his head spinning. Would you like to use the advantages you got to give yourself two blue die on your next attack or give him additional black die on his next attack?
Penn: I'll take the blue die.
Nick: All right.
Penn: She lines up and just takes a jab in his face. And I feel like they're getting in position to kind of just, as people with bravado in fighting do, punch each other back and forth to see who's hits harder.
Nick: And Marathon's feeling pretty good about this chance, considering how it went just before and we're going to cut away to Cassidy and Emma. Are you watching the fight?
Sydney: How - in what kind of shape is Emma in?
Cameron: [not believable] Emma's doing all right.
Sydney: Then I think they go one row of shops down and they're chilling and one of the waiting chairs in the tattoo parlor. It's quieter but they can still hear what's going on and they can hear the crowd reactions to the things. They can't specifically tell who is winning necessarily because none of the chants have quite resolved into names. There's just general excitement atmosphere from this distance.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, Emma, you you won your fight. How's your - is your head clearing up at all yet?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. The dirts mostly out of my eyes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. We can grab a washcloth off the tattoo lady over there if we need to.
Cameron (as Emma): [sigh] Possible. The tears are working pretty well for the moment, though.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah I'd say it might mess up your face paint.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh. Can't have that. How else will everyone know that I'm ready for battle?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Uh huh.
Nick: Emma, as you're drinking some water and the mild flavor arena juice is balancing out your system, go ahead and make me a Resilience check at simple difficulty to see how you recover from this.
Cameron: Okay. I have three greens for Resilience.
Cameron: A success and three advantages.
Nick: Great. So you get - normally this is a healing check that does wounds as well, but we'll just say that all of that goes into Strain, so you get four Strain back.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, it looks like your uh, heart rates starting to come down some too.
Cameron (as Emma): Mhmm. Yep.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Welcome back.
Cameron (as Emma): That probably wasn't a smart decision.
Sydney (as Cassidy): No, but she kind of looked like she deserved it.
Cameron (as Emma): She did. Oh my god. She reminded me of all of the catty girls who wouldn't say shit to me in high school because they were scared of all of my cousins, but would corner friends of mine and pick on them and be mean when I wasn't there. And she deserved it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): She deserved it. I did not have that experience, but she deserved it.
Nick: We cut away to Peregrine coughing and sitting under a tree. Her face and neck are swelling from where they were hit. Felicity is trying to dab at her wounds and saying
Nick (as Felicity): You looked really good. I think she was cheating. We should make sure that there are not performance enhancing drugs at these fights.
Kit (as Peregrine): Everyone's cheating, Felicity. Ugh! Just stop it! She messed up my hair.
Nick: And we cut back to the fight. Claude it is your turn. Marathon let you take the first punch as far as you can tell, didn't seem to notice and then laid back into you and the force of the blow reminds you of when you used to tussle with your older brother back in the day.
Sydney: Claude straightens the hat on top of his head and gives a respectful nod and then goes for the silliest like most obvious windup Haymaker you've ever seen.
Penn: Marathon is definitely, after she has punched Claude, taps her chest and opens herself up to the next punch.
Sydney: Yeah, so this is there's a little bit of showmanship involved here, seeing that she's just being open for it. He knows how to fight, but also you can there's power to be gained by doing a big wind up.
Nick: So let's do this - Marathon you're gonna have an extra soak on this hit because you're bracing and all of your energy is going into absorbing this blow, but Claude is going to get an upgrade to his attack because he doesn't have to worry about you moving at all.
Sydney: So that puts the pool at three yellows and two purple.
Sydney: A failure and three advantages.
Nick: Describe what happens.
Sydney: He was leaning in too much to the showmanship, that he ended up hitting with more arm and less body than he probably should have, would have had he done a normal punch. But he did this ridiculous wind up and then slightly over extends, and it ends up it looks all right to the audience, but it means that Marathon just - it hits her okay, but Marathon slightly turns her chest and it doesn't hit straight on and really, most of the momentum just goes past and he pulls his hand back and gives a really gracious smile.
Penn: The crowd at this point is as each punch is connecting is going like oh, whoa. Oh. And so as the crowd winds up with the Oh, Marathon gives a little head nod to his smile and adds a little smile of her own as she winds up her own Haymaker [laugh] just to fire right back. Let me flip a story point here, adding a green here. So just to be clear, my dice pool is two purple, four yellow, one green and two blue.
Penn: Six successes, a triumph, and one advantage.
Nick: All right, why don't we go ahead and roll that crit from that triumph and see what happens there.
Cameron: 55, which is Fearsome Wound: the target increases the difficulty of all Presence and Willpower checks by one until this critical injury is healed.
Penn: Marathon also spends the two advantages from that last hit to heal her strain up back to full.
Nick: So you catch him right under the cheekbone and can tell that his face is already swelling as he flies backwards. What does it look like from Claude's perspective as he's just completely decleated by this?
Sydney: As this blow is coming in, he's realizing that he is probably just way overmatched. Marathons got a good chunk of reach on him and a lot more both training and just mass on him. And he's just going to do his best to take this blow gracefully. And it doesn't really work, but as he spins and hits the dirt a couple of feet back, he does manage to hold his hat on.
Nick: And the crowd, with the impact, they shouted their approval and then it went quiet as Claude is on his back and starts to try to get to his feet.
Sydney: Claude slowly stands, gets his feet under him, and is sitting on the ground in a squat and then wobbles a little bit, puts his arms out in front of him, pushes up and then stands up.
Penn: Marathon opens herself up for another punch and gives the universal come on gesture with her hands with a little smirk.
Sydney: He gives the same gracious smile that he gave right before he got punched. His eye - the eye where he took that blow is, he already is basically having to hold it shut. It's starting to turn purple even that quick and just takes his hat off and gives a theatrical bow and then points to the ref and gives the throat cut gesture of I'm out.
Nick: And the crowd cheers.
Penn: Marathon as the crowd starts to cheer lifts up her hands, but then after the ref lifts up her own hand, she goes over and lifts up Claude's hand as well and whispers over to him,
Penn (as Marathon): Don't worry, this looks good for the both of us.
Sydney (as Claude): You're a hell of a fighter, ma'am.
Nick: And Marathon you can feel him flinch as you raise his arm because he's very bruised, and it's uncomfortable, but besides that he's a good sport. And the crowd is really vibrating with energy. That got everybody excited and it was a feel good match.
Sydney: Claude walks away from the ring as Marathon takes the sole spotlight, and walks over to a group of three or four guys all in nice suits that have all of the pieces and gets a lot of good natured pats on the back and then flinching at maybe they shouldn't give him a pat on the back but he didn't get punched in the back. They think he did good out there.
Nick: One of his besuited companions, who appears to be about a foot and a half taller than him and just looking at him you can hear the seams on his suit jacket straining against his bulk, hands him a cold tankard of beer, and Claude just puts it up to his forehead and sits down on a stool. And the organizer says there's going to be a brief break as he looks to interpret the tournament bracket and see who's coming next, as all of the preliminary and second rounds have now been completed.
Penn: Marathon stays almost a little too long in the ring, soaking up the stuff from the audience so that it's getting a little quiet. It's gotten a little awkward. And as soon as she begins to realize that she's like,
Penn (as Marathon): Oh.
Penn: And she immediately is reminded of Emma and runs back into the crowd rushing to try and check up on her.
Nick: Mhmm. So Marathon, we see you looking through the crowd, high and low, people get out of your way, because you're the most recent winner, as you try to find Cassidy and Emma to check on your protégé of pugilism to see if she's okay and ready for her next match and they're not around. As we see Marathon with her hands on her hips, trying to figure out where they might have gone, her eyes lock with Birdie who is seated in some stands on top of a wagon next to what looks like a very friendly woman who is sharing a large loaf of bread.
Nick (as Sasha): I'm surprised that if that was your friend fighting, you didn't sign up to fight as well. You look uh, flexible.
Kit (as Birdie): [high pitched gay panic] Thank you. Um. No yeah, I don't really fight. That's not really - I mean, I do sometimes like you know, if it comes down to it, I can definitely throw a couple of punches. You know, [giggling] like [giggling for slightly too long]
Kit: Birdie is doing little mini punches in the air and then just does a rather light punch on Sasha's bicep and just
Kit (as Birdie): [gay panicked laugh]
Kit: While lowering her hand very suddenly to shake out her fist.
Kit (as Birdie): [embarrassed laughter] Yep.
Penn: Marathon walks up not even noticing this baker in Cassidy's spot.
Penn (as Marathon): Oh, Birdie. Hey, did you see me sploosh that guy? Oh my gosh. I know you said you didn't know much about punching or fighting, but [laughing] oh my gosh, that was pretty good crowd work, don't you think?
Kit (as Birdie): No. Yeah, I I was definitely watching-
Penn (as Marathon): Oh hey, who's your friend?
Kit (as Birdie): [noticeably higher pitched] Oh um, this is this is Sasha. Sash this is [mumbling] yes, this is Marathon, as you probably know.
Nick: Sasha smiles and does the hand reach out like for a courtly wrist kiss, and says
Nick (as Sasha): Hi, I'm Sasha. It's nice to meet you. Good fighting back there.
Penn: Marathon does the thing where she thumbs her lip and runs her hand through her hair. And
Penn (as Marathon): Uh yeah, nice to meet you. I'm Marathon Messenger, you might have heard of me.
Nick (as Sasha): Oh, sorry. I'm not much one for baseball. I'm usually working during the games.
Penn (as Marathon): [sounding a bit heartbroken] Oh, um. Yeah. That's all right. It's pretty cool.
Penn: And then I think Marathon finally notices Birdie's franticish looks towards Sasha and goes,
Penn (as Marathon): So oh! Oh~! Okay. Sorry. Um. Nice to meet you, Sasha. Birdie I'll get out of your hair here. I was just wondering um, do you know where Cassidy and Emma went? I'm looking for Emma before the next big fight.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh, um, I
Nick (as Sasha): We've been a little distracted. Your friend Birdie here, she's so cute. She was just telling me about all of your adventures and -
Penn (as Marathon): Okay.
Penn: Marathon mumbles herself.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I still got it. It's just Birdie.
Nick (as Sasha): Yeah, we've just been talking about your adventures. Birdie was saying that you've really been finding your place with the crew and Birdie was saying that - Oh, yeah I probably shouldn't say that.
Penn (as Marathon): Wait. No, no. What?
Nick (as Sasha): I have bread - would you like some bread?
Penn (as Marathon): No what -
Nick (as Sasha): No, don't don't worry about it. If it -
Nick: And she blushes a little and looks to Birdie to try to change the conversational topic.
Kit (as Birdie): Oh I- it's, I mean, it was nothing. We're just talking about um, you know, you like, I think I'm really glad that you came along with us and like it's super cool to have someone who's like so capable on the [awkward laugh] on the team now and like, I'm, I'm sure that everything's gonna go super well, especially, you know, with everything.
Penn (as Marathon): With -?
Kit (as Birdie): Everything is gonna be great actually.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. I feel like I feel like there's something you two know that I don't know. And
Kit (as Birdie): What?? [pfft]
Penn (as Marathon): No, you know what, I'm really sorry, Sasha. I'm not I -uh, anyway, but so Birdie. Was hoping you tell me where Cassidy and Emma are.
Kit (as Birdie): Uhhh
Penn (as Marathon): For Emma. Not for Cassidy. If that's - that's what, I don't know if that - you know what, I'm -
Kit (as Birdie): No, no, no, no, no, no.
Penn (as Marathon): Okay. Well.
Kit (as Birdie): Definitely not. Uh~.
Nick: And we're going to cut away to where Cassidy and Emma are. Are you still in the tattoo tent recovering?
Cameron: I think so.
Nick: What have you been talking about as you rehydrate and see to your wounds?
Sydney: Cassidy has another dark beer gracefully offered by the serving tray by the support stuff as a previous customer of the night.
Cameron: When Cassidy was provided her beer, they also gave Emma a wet washcloth. So she's sitting there with her elbows resting on her knees and her head in her hands with the washcloth across her eyes, just pressing it into her eyes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): You think you're going to be ready for the next fight? Do you want to do another one?
Cameron (as Emma): If the person I fight next round is like the first guy I fought - sure.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I regret to inform you that this is a bracket tournament so the people are likely to be better.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, they do seem to be improving. Um, you know, I think I could probably take a few more hits but I'm - I'm not feeling my best.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, you're losing it's because you're - you've got the washcloth on and it's rinsing off your Marathon's warpaint.
Cameron (as Emma): Oh no.
Cameron: [laughing] Emma sits up and removes it. It's not gone because she wasn't wiping with the washcloth, it's just lighter now in some areas than it was where the pressure was being applied.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, I [thinking mmm] [sigh] Are my eyes still red?
Cameron: Her eyes are definitely still red. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes.
Cameron (as Emma): Great.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Welcome to the wonderful world of substance - mind-body-altering substances.
Sydney: And Cassidy raises her glass of beer and takes a sip.
Cameron (as Emma): Mm. I think that's more the muscle fatigue I'm feeling. The eyes I'm pretty sure it's that there's still dirt in my eyes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well the washcloth will help with that.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. [groan]
Sydney (as Cassidy): So why - you were winking at me as you were ditching me in camp? I assume that's because you needed me to talk to Marathon?
Cameron (as Emma): Hmm. Um. Yes. Earlier?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yes.
Cameron (as Emma): Before the fights. Yes.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Cool.
Cameron (as Emma): I just thought it would be good if y'all talked.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Good.
Cameron (as Emma): Because I'm feeling some tension.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we talked.
Cameron (as Emma): And I just thought you should work on that. Together.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, we worked on that together. She probably won't lie anymore.
Cameron (as Emma): Good. That's progress. Um. Did you learn anything useful?
Sydney (as Cassidy): Ehh. [laughing]
Cameron (as Emma): Okay, just that she is now scared of you and probably won't lie anymore.
Sydney (as Cassidy): I'm a very intimidating person, obviously.
Cameron: Emma gives Cassidy a look. And Cassidy, you're not really sure if it's just that her eyes still hurt and that's why she's looking at you like that or if she's actually making an inquisitive face and a kind of disbelieving face at you. It's probably just that there's still stuff in her eyes, though.
Cameron (as Emma): You know, I was gonna say that I don't think you're intimidating, but I think Marathon does find you intimidating. So
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well it's useful, then.
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah I think it's your competence that does it.
Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, kind of have to be if I'm in charge, right?
Cameron (as Emma): Yeah. How-how are you feeling about that?
Sydney (as Cassidy): It's so fun, Emma.
Cameron (as Emma): I can tell you sound delighted.
Cameron: Emma face plants back into the towel. [laugh]
Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, I'm so happy to have earned this mantle.
Cameron (as Emma): I mean, we're, we're all here for you, including Marathon for the tim