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Transcript: Season 2 Episode 7: Tempo of the Fight

A Knight of Shreds and Patches Transcript Season 2 Episode 7: Tempo of the Fight 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 wish everyone a fantastic listening time, and also a fantastic rest of the time, as we welcome a new patron! Thanks to Anissa Danny for supporting us! We’re so happy to have you. Backing our Patreon gives you access to bonus episodes, campfire conversations, and other fun rewards, and also just brightens all our moods.

And with that, we wrap up today’s announcements and head into Season 2, Episode 7: Tempo of the Fight. And so...

Join us, for now our tale to yours attaches To carry hope: a Knight of Shreds and Patches.

[hurdy gurdy music ends]

[electronic beeping] [robotic powerup noise begins] Distorted Robotic Voice: Power restored. Systems online. Reconfiguring audio connection. [robotic powerup noise fades to radio frequency static]

[over radio] Kit (as Birdie): Last time on a Knight of Shreds and Patches, we watched a fight tournament. I got to sit next to Sasha and we talked about the fights and how and how I'm with the Patina and mobile bakery and her hands are so warm and strong and she's just so handsome and funny too. She started telling me a joke about a beaver and a wild type robot meeting in a bar - [radio static]

Episode Start:

Nick: We open on a pre-dawn sky. The stars are no longer visible as, even in the dim light of the early early morning, you can see large roiling clouds moving in from the horizon. And you hear the organizer of the fight declare that the first semifinal round will be Marathon and Emma. On either side of the ring, we see Emma with Cassidy and Marathon with Birdie as the crowd begins to move out of the way clearing space for the combatants to enter the ring.

Cameron (as Emma): [cheerfulness of someone who has accepted her fate] All right remember - bet on Marathon.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yep.

Cameron (as Emma): [cheerfulness of someone who has accepted her fate] It was nice knowing you. I'm going to die.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I would recommend against dying.

Cameron (as Emma): [cheerfulness of someone who has accepted her fate] Obviously, I'm not going to try to. I just don't know if it's avoidable. We'll see.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, it goes to the mercy call, so

Cameron (as Emma): [cheerfulness of someone who has accepted her fate] Yep!

Sydney (as Cassidy): Call it before you end up in a bad place.

Cameron (as Emma): [resigned sigh]

Cameron: Emma is still looking a little bit rattled from the last few fights.

Sydney: Cassidy reaches out, grabs Emma's shoulder and looks at her in the eyes and just goes,

Sydney (as Cassidy): You got this. Go out there and punch her at least once.

Cameron (as Emma): [surprised laugh] All right. I will - I will do that.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Great. I will go bet on Marathon then.

Sydney: And Cassidy gives a grin and walks off.

Nick: And as Cassidy walks away, people start to pat you forcefully on the shoulder, Emma, and shove you towards the ring in a very festive way. And we get a moment of Marathon and Birdie before they are also moved in towards the ring.

Penn (as Marathon): Time for this master to - the student to - I'm going to crush Emma! Hell yeah. I hope she's okay.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, let's let's not all the way crush Emma. Please.

Penn (as Marathon): No, of course I'm not going to all the way crush Emma. But you know, I'm hyped up. You know, I gotta go in there and win. I don't know I'm not gonna lie down.

Nick: All around you Marathon, people are picking up on the energy that you're giving off and start to jump up and down and you start to hear voices yelling,

Nick (as spectator 1): Yeah. Crush Emma!

Nick (as spectator 2): Yeah, get her!

Nick (as Angry Drunk Guy): Yeah, kill her! Kill her!

Nick: And then a betting frenzy ensues as everyone begins to bet on Marathon.

Penn (as Marathon): Hell yeah! Okay. [pleased laughter that transforms into long exhale] Well.

Kit (as Birdie): I'd say you have a pretty good chance.

Penn (as Marathon): [laugh] Yeah, well, I don't know. Maybe what I taught Emma has caught on and [laugh] I'm sorry, this is, I'm - I'm gonna crush her, Birdie.

Kit (as Birdie): [getting excited and bloodthirsty] You know what? Yeah, let's crush Emma. Can I be in your corner?

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, hella!

Nick: And the crowd starts to shove Marathon towards the ring. Birdie, you follow quickly in her wake so that you can keep up with her. And we see Emma shoved unceremoniously into the ring from one side. Marathon steps triumphantly from the other side and Birdie as you crouch down to get a good look and stay in Marathon's corner. The organizer for the fights is standing there with his clipboard, you can see that it's been scratched and re-scratched in a grease pencil. It's starting to look more and more complicated. And he looks up and says,

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Oh, good. You're both here. Uhh. Ready, set, go!

Nick: And steps backwards towards Birdie. And the fight begins. I need you both to roll initiative.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: I got a success, an advantage, and a triumph.

Penn: I got two successes and two advantages.

Nick: So a triumph normally can be used to really change the environment for something advantageous. Emma, is there something that you would like to happen to help you out in this situation?

Cameron: Due to all of the screaming of crush Emma and stuff and the level of hype that the crowd is at now, Marathon and I can't be heard talking within this area as long as we're keeping our voices reasonable and everyone's drunk enough to not be - they won't notice.

Nick: Yeah, you'll definitely be able to communicate fairly privately if you want to. And Marathon goes first. You also get a blue die to whatever you do because of your advantage situation. So how do you begin in this fight? As you look at each other and right before you can react, large fat raindrops start to fall from the sky sporadically. So far, not enough to really make the ground too slick or to be in the way of your vision, but it does look like more rain is coming.

Penn: I think the crowd is settling into a rhythmic chant something like crush, crush, crush, crush, and Marathon comes towards the middle of this makeshift arena to start circling with Emma, and she also notices that their voices are going to be concealed by this chanting and she says,

Penn (as Marathon): Now, Emma, now's your chance to bow out. I'm not gonna go easy on you this time. This isn't training anymore.

Cameron (as Emma): See, but the thing is,

Cameron: Still circling.

Cameron (as Emma): We could make this look very convincing and it will raise the betting on you in the next round, as long as you don't kill me immediately.

Penn (as Marathon): Now are you proposing to give me the win?

Cameron (as Emma): I feel like you're gonna have it anyways, we might as well make it look like really fun and entertaining, right?

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, it's a little less satisfying, Emma, but I'm game.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, it's far more satisfying for me. I would rather not get knocked out right now.

Penn (as Marathon): I'd rather not punch you.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah.

Penn (as Marathon): I would rather win, but I'm willing to uh, put on a show. I've been known when the Argyle Sox came and did a little ice derby with us as little cross trade, we had a little bit of fun there too, so I think we can access a little bit of that extravagant fighting.

Penn: And Marathon is going to reach her arms very wide and come in to lock up with Emma. Lock up in quotation marks.

Nick: Make me a Brawl check to see how good you can make this look. It's gonna be average difficulty.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Okay, we've got two successes.

Nick: All right. So you are able to do this very competently. Birdie you see Marathon, whose corner you're in, wrap Emma up almost immediately after they appear to have been trash talking each other for a second. Do you yell anything to your now teammate?

Kit: Birdie cups her hands around her mouth and yells

Kit (as Birdie): [screeching] Hit her with the Sasnak Tie! Come on Marathon!

Nick: So Marathon, you wrap her up - are you trying to crush her? What is your goal here?

Penn: No. So as we've been circling each other I think as she locks up with Emma, she's holding on to Emma's shoulders and is going to try and lead Emma through a little bit of faux fighting and positions her own shoulders under Emma's arms so that it looks like they're struggling right now for position.

Nick: So Emma, you have been locked up with Marathon. The crowd is at a fever pitch, including Birdie who appears to be advocating for your death. And it's your turn to act.

Cameron: Obviously Emma is very dramatically trying to get out of this hold. And if Marathon has her hands on Emma shoulders holding her there, Emma is going to collapse down to the ground and roll away in like a somersault and pop back up.

Nick: You can do this with Brawl to try to do it competently or you can do this with Deception to try to sell it as melodramatically as possible.

Cameron: I think I'm going for showmanship. We're going for the drama~.

Nick: All right, make that roll at average difficulty.

Cameron: All right, I've got three greens with my two purples.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Six successes.

Nick: Wow. Something about the adrenaline running reactivates the hype in you and you can't help but move faster and stronger. What do you do? How do you six successes this simple maneuver?

Cameron: To increase the drama of it, what happens is they're kind of rasslin and then Emma shoves her shoulder into Marathon to put some distance between them and then drops down. And Marathon was pushing on Emma shoulders and wasn't expecting it, so stumbles forward slightly, not in a way that she's gonna fall at all, but everyone's like, whoa, and then Emma somersaults away and pops back up and starts bouncing in place again.

Nick: You couldn't help but hear, Emma, the amount of people calling out bets for Marathon and as you achieve this, you start to hear your name being called out and money being passed around in your favor as well. The odds are fluctuating wildly right now. Even though they don't normally take bets after the fight has begun, this one has started slowly enough that bookies are still accepting bids. And Marathon you just got showed up a little bit. You were going for making a show and looking strong and you feel like you've lost the crowd a little.

Penn: As Emma's made a little separation, I'm going to start walking forward with my fists up, ready to punch. And I say,

Penn (as Marathon): Now, you didn't happen to put money down on me, did you?

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, I told Cassidy to put it all on you.

Penn (as Marathon): Let's make this one look good.

Penn: And she's gonna start running at you and she says,

Penn (as Marathon): Grab my arm.

Penn: And she's going to run at Emma and attempt to jump over her to make it look like an arm drag.

Nick: Yeah, go ahead and roll me that Brawl check.

Penn: We've got four successes, and a threat.

Nick: Wow. Yeah, you are able to really sell this. What does it look like?

Penn: The ground is just getting a little slick enough that as Marathon run towards Emma and Emma just gently grabs Marathon's arm and she goes falling onto her back, that there is a little splash of mud out, that makes the impact look much tougher than it was.

Nick: For your threat, it begins to rain harder. It's a little harder to see, your footing is a little less stable, and you're more likely to slip at whatever you all try to do next. So you're both going to have black die going forward on selling this. And as you all have connected and grappled and thrown, Cassidy where are you? Are you watching the fight? Are you trying to get the best odds? What's happening on the outside of the ring?

Sydney: Cassidy went to go find the bookie right as the fight was starting at the normal deadline, not wanting to play the late game and also knowing that she probably has the best actual return on investment on this whole place because she knows who's going to win. So she goes and puts down that same - all of the winnings of tonight onto Marathon. This is several compounded matches worth which is starting to get to be a slightly over non trivial.

Nick: Yep, you're getting to the point where the winnings are impacting the amount of time that the Patina can stay in business essentially. You're not quite up to the amount of money that you would get from doing a job but it is non trivial. And you're able to make your bet - the bookie recognizes you and actually takes your bet as the fight is getting underway because you have a standing tab and you get a couple of annoyed looks from other people in the crowd who are trying to get the bookies attention. It very much feels like when you're trying to get a drink at a crowded bar and the bartender gives you your drink even though you just got there. And as you have made your bet over the cheering of the crowd, you hear the slam of someone hitting the ground, more cheering, and then you hear Birdie's voice pierce above everyone.

Kit (as Birdie): [screeching] Yeah! GO MARATHON! [frantic speaking] What's what's the-? [yelling] Hit her with the savage badger! [frantic speaking] or the what's the other one? Um [yelling] The electric chair! CRUSH HER!!!

Nick: Yeah, so it sounds like Birdie is calling for blood and death is what it sounds like. How much of it is Birdie hyping the crowd and trying to manipulate things and how much of it is Birdie just going all in on a combat sport?

Kit: In that order, 30/70.

Sydney: So Cassidy having just put all this money down on Marathon feels like it would probably be a bad tactical choice to go and provide some moral support for Emma, even though she feels a little bit bad that she can't be there and also she does want to yell back at Birdie, who's calling for her teammates blood to be spilled basically, and then she gets a wicked gleam in her eye and finds the cart where Birdie had been sitting, where the two of them had been sitting, and sets out to go steal her seat back.

Nick: There is a small nondescript man sitting where you were sitting. And next to the nondescript man there is the large, strong, friendly woman that Birdie was sitting with and frankly flirting with earlier and she sees you and smiles. You remember that Birdie said her name was Sasha, and she gestures down towards the ring where, even behind you, you can still hear the sounds of combat and Birdie's yelling. And Sasha says,

Nick (as Sasha): It's quite a good fight. Did you want a seat?

Nick: And she smiles at you real big.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I would love to see it from this vantage point.

Sydney: And sticks an arm out to get helped up on top of the wagon.

Nick: With one arm Sasha does a wrist lock with you and pulls you up into the wagon. You notice how easily she does that even without standing. With the other arm she jerks a thumb at the guy who was sitting next to her and turns to him and says,

Nick (as Sasha): Kick rocks.

Nick: And he blanches in the rain and immediately hops down clearing a seat, and you can see him scrambling away to give some more space, and Sasha gestures magnanimously for you to take a seat next to her and she smiles broadly as the rain begins to fall harder.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Looks like Birdie's got some bloodlust tonight.

Nick (as Sasha): I don't know if I would say bloodlust. Not sure about the blood part.

Nick: And she winks at you and smiles real big.

Sydney (as Cassidy): [yelling] All right go Marathon!

Sydney: And Cassidy gives the most obnoxious over the top clapping, looking at the fight but also seeing if Birdie is gonna hear her voice.

Kit: Birdie is still very engaged with Marathon and Emma and is punching her fist in the air and time with the crowds cheering and she hears one stick out that's not in rhythm with the others. And she doesn't think much of it at first, so she starts another before the voice registers in her brain and it's just her yelling,

Kit (as Birdie): [screeching] Come on, give her the [cutting off with a choking noise] -

Kit: And whipped around in time to see that Cassidy is now sitting with Sasha when Cassidy was supposed to be over with Emma and why is Cassidy sitting by Sasha and suddenly Birdie just leaves. She exits the ringside and weaves her way through the crowd, and is definitely stepping on people's toes to get through.

Nick: Cassidy, you see Birdie disappear into the crowd, but can track her progress as taller people are shoved out of the way and you see a direct line headed in your direction. And we cut back to the ring, you two have been tussling trying to make a good show of it and it is beginning to rain harder. And Emma it is your turn. You're beginning to feel equally parts full of adrenaline and tired as this is your third fight of the night and you want to make a good show but also don't want to get so tired that you can't control what you're doing.

Cameron: So since Marathon knocked her to the ground, Emma's not going to try to get up because she realizes that with a crowd this excited, mud wrestling is not a bad idea. And it has become muddy. So does a leg sweep, but in a way that - it's not a totally controlled like kick, it's she sweeps it out, Marathon falls, but not in a position that Emma immediately has the advantage. They're now just both on the ground muddy.

Nick: Go ahead and roll me that Brawl check.

Cameron: All right. I've added the black die for rain. I'm going to use a story point for drama, so I get a yellow.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Two successes.

Nick: Nice. So it happens exactly like you say. You do a leg sweep and Marathon comes crashing into the mud next to you.

Cameron: When Marathon falls and looks over at Emma, Emma gives her a grin that from the outside perspective, people not knowing that they're trying to put on this dramatic fight, looks very cocky, but she pairs it with saying

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah, you should probably just get me to tap out now that we're both down here.

Penn: Marathon is gonna match her smile, and she's gonna say

Penn (as Marathon): Here, but if we stay on the ground for just a little longer, watch what the crowd does and follow my lead.

Cameron (as Emma): O-kay.

Penn: And she starts very dramatically flapping her arms and pretending that she's trying to struggling to get up so that the crowd starts cheering them on even more fervently as they are both struggling to get their footing.

Nick: So go ahead and make me a Charm check Marathon at average difficulty to see how well you're able to get the crowd going.

Penn: So my pool is two purples, two yellows, one green.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Two successes and two threats.

Nick: Nice. The crowd cheers. You've gotten everybody excited. Actually people who weren't watching the fights before are coming to see what all the hullabaloo is about, including some people who appear to have come out of tents or trucks because they were awoken by the noise even at this early morning hour. But also Marathon with your threats and your innate sense of crowd craft from your years in both radio and ice derby, you can tell that the crowd is getting restless; that this fight has gone on long enough that you're not going to get much more energy out of them than they're at right now. So, you know, it's almost time to finish this. As you begin to plan your final moves in this combat chess, we cut away to Birdie having just made it through the crowd and over to where Cassidy and Sasha are having a great time.

Nick (as Sasha): You know, Marathons got a lot of experience and strength, but I just can't help but pull for that little Emma. I think she's really got a chance if she stopped pulling her punches like she's doing.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Well, you know, it's looking like a good fight out there and we'll see who's gonna come out on top, but I put my money down on one of them and I'm reasonably confident.

Nick: She laughs and leans into you a little bit and says,

Nick (as Sasha): Yeah, you know, sometimes you go out there and you fight your hardest, and the other fighter just fights a little bit more, and you just got to try and fight and give it 110%. You know, just go out there and keep trying it. It's really up to the trainers and the luck of the draw.

Nick: And that sounds extremely rehearsed and comfortable to you, Cassidy.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, of course, of course. Also uh, it looks like I'm about to be yielding this seat.

Sydney: [laughing] Cassidy says she sees Birdie stalking up.

Kit: Birdie emerged from the crowd and she is - the nights, it's a little cool outside, but she seems to have worked herself up a little while elbowing her way through the crowd and so her face is bright red. And so she just while trying to make sure that Sasha can't see her, fixes her hair and takes a deep breath and is like

Kit (as Birdie): [relaxing breathing] Cool. It's okay. It's fine.

Kit: And just very casually - doing her best to be casual, I should say - strolls up to Cassidy and Sasha.

Nick: As you are walking up, you see that Sasha has leaned in to speak into Cassidy's ear and she leans back and laughs at something that Cassidy says. She's clearly enchanted and having a lovely time. And you lock eyes with Cassidy.

Kit (as Birdie): [squeak] Hey! [clears throat but keeps talking higher pitched than normal] Hey, guys.

Sydney (as Cassidy): How's it going, Birdie? You got your front row seat down there?

Kit (as Birdie): Oh, yeah. You know, it was getting a bit um, I don't know, it was getting a bit loud and crowded for my taste.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, you were getting pretty passionate down there, calling for things to be done.

Kit (as Birdie): [high pitch] What? [more normal] Yeah I mean, it's just for fun. [giggles]

Sydney (as Cassidy): Of course, of course.

Sydney: Cassidy sticks an arm down to help Birdie up. There's not another seat up there.

Nick: No, there is definitely just two seats.

Sydney: So Cassidy pulls Birdie up and slips her in front of her just into Sasha's like waiting arms. Because there's not a space there's not an additional seat. Cassidy maneuvers Birdie into maximum contact.

Nick: Sasha looks at where Birdie is standing perched on the very edge of the wagon, holding a hand with Cassidy and Sasha nods to you. You notice that her hair has been wetted down to her head in the rain, and her arms are glistening a little bit and she smiles and says,

Nick (as Sasha): Did I hear you call for an electric chair earlier? I don't - this is a no holds barred fight, but I'm still not sure that's legal.

Nick: Birdie, I think you're still perched kind of awkwardly trying to not be too in anyone's space, even though you're standing on a kind of rickety wagon and the rain. And Sasha says

Nick (as Sasha): There's not really enough seats, but you can sit here with me if you want.

Kit: Birdie, who was a little blindsided with the rain and the muscles and the biceps and her brain short circuited a little bit so she almost tripped a little coming up on to the wagon, and just very conveniently land herself in Sasha's lap. Don't know how that happened. Birdie is the innocent party. [laugh]

Nick: Sasha wraps her arms around you and rests her chin on your shoulder. And the three of you, two of you smirking knowingly, one of you probably struggling to breathe, look back out into this ring where Marathon and Emma are mud wrestling. And it is Emma's turn.

Cameron: Emma, knowing that we're wrapping this up, this is probably the last thing that she's going to act out, I guess - we're basically acting - is going to join Marathon in the, we'll say mud scrambling. The slipping around trying to get closer to her and grab onto her shoulder and pull her back down. But it's in a way that it is going to be very easy for Marathon to then pin Emma.

Nick: Make me a Brawl check for that to go exactly as planned.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: One success and one advantage.

Nick: All right, so you're able to grab Marathon's shoulder, it looks good as you pull her in close and Marathon, you can see that this fight, even staged like it is, is starting to take its toll on Emma. You can see the crash coming again and you know, the second crash once you've had the green arena juice to stave it off is even worse. You know it's probably time to finish this.

Penn: As Emma's got her hand on Marathon's shoulder, Marathon whispers

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, I'm gonna do something big. You're gonna have to trust me here. I learned this one from somebody who learned it from Judge Itsu, down south. Um. Tuck your chin.

Penn: And Marathon is going to jump up and grab Emma and lift Emma up by the stomach and is going to quickly flop back down onto her back launching Emma onto her shoulders in what many would call a suplex. Hopefully, it looks absolutely brutal, so - if Emma is to tuck her chin, it won't be but

Cameron: Emma follows instructions very well. She's a good student.

Nick: So go ahead and roll me that Brawl check at average difficulty, but I am going to flip a story point to upgrade the difficulty to a red and a purple.

Penn: And a get a black die for the rain.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Three successes and a threat.

Nick: Nice. So you suplex Emma, she tucks her chin, there's a huge splash. And Emma, how do you sell that you have been defeated?

Cameron: Emma does the very typical, trying to shake it off and get up and then fall right back down.

Nick: And as you do that, the announcer comes back in and declares Marathon is the winner and the crowd cheers, bets are exchanged, people wander off to get snacks and drinks and get out of the rain while they prepare for the next match which you all can barely hear over the sound of the crowd and it's not anyone you had been following before anyway.

Cameron: Emma stays on the ground for a little while because she is tired.

Nick: With the threats that you all have accumulated, you also hear a slight undercurrent in the crowd of people who don't necessarily believe it saying things like "Emma could have kept fighting" or "that seemed a little over the top there at the end." Not enough that anyone would call it out, but that not everyone believes that this was a honest match. And you all have been left alone while they prepare for the next semifinal.

Penn: Marathon is helping Emma up and as she's doing so she's asking

Penn (as Marathon): Hey, uh, where's where'd you put the green arena juice there?

Cameron (as Emma): Hmm?

Cameron: Emma is playing into the having just hit her head really hard on the ground.

Cameron (as Emma): Oh, Cassidy has it.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay, uh here, let's get you out of here. [laughing]

Penn: And is going to slowly help her up and maintain the visage that she is very hurt, even though Emma probably is a little hurt, or at least very exhausted.

Cameron: She's not hurt but she's had a rough day. [laughing]

Penn: And is gonna have her lean on Marathon as she wanders back.

Nick: As you are helping Emma wander along, you see Cassidy appears to have reunited with Birdie who is seated and nestled into the lap of the large woman that you tried to hit on earlier and got shot down for.

Penn (as Marathon): [quietly] Figures.

Cameron (as Emma): What was that?

Penn (as Marathon): Oh nothing. Nothing.

Nick: And Cassidy and Sasha and Birdie, you see Emma with an arm tossed over Marathon and they walk up to you. They're covered in mud, they're breathing heavily, Emma looks a little out of it, and very quickly the next fight starts. The rain hasn't gotten too much harder, but it's still raining.

Sydney: The mud is preserving Marathon's modesty, cause she's wearing a white shirt in the rain. [laugh]

Nick: Yeah. And Birdie, you feel Sasha's hand come off of your shoulder and do the little uh finger wiggly wave at Marathon and Emma as they come over. She says,

Nick (as Sasha): Nice fight.

Penn (as Marathon): Thanks. Cassidy - do you have any more the the green juice?

Sydney (as Cassidy): Ah~.

Sydney: Cassidy reaches into a pocket and pulls out an empty can.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh. Shoot. Dirt. Um. That was my last one.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Emma I think polished it off.

Penn (as Marathon): [filled with dread] Oh. Oh~. Okay, well, okay. Oh the crash. Oh, it's gonna come. It's gonna come the crash. Okay, I just need to mentally prepare.

Cameron (as Emma): Do you want some beaver tail?

Penn (as Marathon): No, I I appreciate Emma you know what? Sure Yep. Oh god.

Cameron (as Emma): It's sugar.

Penn (as Marathon): [filled with dread] Oh the crash. Oh the crash. Oh it's coming.

Nick: And as you begin to be nervous about this Marathon, you feel the crash hit all at once.

Penn: Everything suddenly feels as if it's a little third person - it feels like she's a little outside her body but not in a way that's enlightening, in a way that is exhausting and confusing.

Nick: You feel like you're floating just a little outside of yourself as Sasha from her seat under Birdie says

Nick (as Sasha): Oh, you weren't taking some sort of energy booster or something like that, wou-would you? That feels kind of poor sportsmanship.

Penn (as Marathon): [slightly pained laughing] Uh arena juice is um very, I uh- we use it all the time in Tree All, so I don't know what's your, oh my god the - fuck my head.

Nick (as Sasha): Arena juice?

Penn (as Marathon): Dirt.

Nick (as Sasha): I've heard of that before. Isn't the main ingredient supposed to be some sort of medication for moose?

Penn (as Marathon): Uh there's a lot in there that I'm not entirely sure about. But it is not addictive. The studies have been inconclusive about about that. So no worries. Oh, my head, dirt.

Cameron: I feel like the longer that this conversation goes on, the more it becomes Emma supporting Marathon rather than Marathon supporting Emma.

Nick: It is definitely like watching a balance scale go the other way. Birdie, all you can think about is how pleasant the feel of Sasha's voice rumbling in her chest behind you is.

Sydney: Cassidy gives a quick nod to Birdie and Sasha and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): All right, well let me go [sigh] take care of my people. You two have a fun night.

Sydney: And Cassidy adds a third arm to the pile of people holding people up and wanders them off towards something quieter.

Penn (as Marathon): No~ the crash.

Nick: So as you throw a shoulder under Marathon who is moaning about the crash - Marathon, go ahead and take five Strain damage, by the way.

Penn (as Marathon): [pained and drawn out] Oh~.

Nick: You hear a sound like two pieces of wood being snapped at the same time and the crowd cheers and then gives a disappointed groan and as you all look around, you can see that both of the fighters are laying on their backs not moving. The organizer of this fight, even in the dark and the rain, looks irritated. He prods one with a foot to no reaction, prods the other one with a foot to no reaction. And it looks like they just knocked each other unconscious at the exact same time.

Sydney: One person in the audience cheers so loudly.

Nick: Cause they just made a fortune.

Penn (as Frankie): They said tie odds would never work!

Nick: The announcer sighs, tosses his clipboard out of the ring and into the mud, puts his hands on his hips and says

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Well, all right uh~. These two were out. Good job Frankie. I guess you actually won that bet you've been making that bet for years. I'm sure it was totally worth it.

Penn (as Frankie): Eat sand! I told you Bill!

Nick: The bookie over to the side of the ring has the calculating look up somebody who's just realizing their profits have been cut at least in half by someone getting abnormally lucky. And the announcer looks around and says

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Well, there's no final. I guess Marathon could just win or no I - Here's an idea. Do you all want to see a real fight?

Nick: And the crowd,

Nick (as crowd): Yeah.

Nick: And he is saying the words of someone trying to hype up a crowd, but with so little enthusiasm, that it's disingenuous. He says,

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Oh, I'm sorry. I can't hear you.

Nick (as crowd): Yeah!

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Come on. Is that the best you've got?

Nick (as crowd): [more excited] Yeah!

Nick (as Fight Organizer): All right. Uh~. What if we have our reigning champion fight in the final instead? How does that sound?

Nick: And everyone gasps and looks towards Birdie. And Birdie, you see everyone looking at you and you have that feeling of immediate anxiety as they must have mistaken you for someone else, but then you feel the rumble behind you as Sasha says,

Nick (as Sasha): Um. Excuse me, beautiful. It looks like some people have need of my services.

Nick: And she gently picks you up and sets you down where she was sitting with no feeling of strain or effort and stands up, takes the apron that she was wearing off, rolls it up and tosses it onto the floorboards of this cart, and hops down with a thud and a large splash as everyone falls silent. And Sasha looks to Marathon who was limping away with Cassidy and Emma and says,

Nick (as Sasha): Oh, I wouldn't go too far Marathon. It looks like I'm your last opponent.

Nick: And she stretches her shoulders and her neck pops with a sound like a gunshot and she steps into the ring. You notice that everyone is giving her a huge amount of space. And she pops her knuckles, does a couple of shoulder rolls, drops into a fighting stance, and then looks at the organizer and says,

Nick (as Sasha): All right, I'm ready. Let's do this.

Penn (as Marathon): [hopeless] Dirt.

Sydney: Cassidy looks at Marathon trying to judge fighting shape. She knows what people who are ready to fight looks like. She seen Sasha before, she has an idea from the amount of true analysis that Sasha was doing on the previous fight - Sasha knows what she's doing. And she's trying to measure Marathon's capabilities.

Cameron: Emma leans forward slightly and meets Cassidy's gaze as she's looking Marathon over and looks concerned.

Penn (as Marathon): I can do it.

Cameron (as Emma): You can do it?

Penn (as Marathon): I can do it.

Cameron: Emma takes a step away to let Marathon stand on her own.

Penn: Marathon is standing on her own but is definitely like sweating. Not a healthy sweat, a fever-y sweat.

Sydney: Cassidy looks at Marathon with just a serious - the look of purpose and goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Are we betting on you for this?

Cameron: Emma is silently shaking her head no. [laugh]

Penn: [laugh] Marathon is shaking her head yes.

Penn (as Marathon): [sounding more drunk as time goes on] No worries. I I'm feeling you know, I've I've won in the crash before. And it's you know, it's just like winning any other time, it's just it hurts more.

Sydney (as Cassidy): You're not fighting at your peak and Sasha is big and dangerous.

Cameron (as Emma): And hasn't fought at all today.

Penn (as Marathon): I don't need to be at my peak for her. Mm hmm.

Cameron (as Emma): Are you sure?

Penn (as Marathon): I'm pretty sure.

Cameron (as Emma): Look at the size of her arms!

Kit: Birdie's swooning in the background. [laugh]

Cameron: Everyone else looks and is like wow~. [laugh]

Penn: Marathon looks at her own arms and they're covered in mud.

Penn (as Marathon): This will do.

Penn: And she slaps her biceps.

Sydney: Cassidy looks at Emma unconvinced.

Cameron: Emma shrugs and is secretly happy on the inside because she ducked away from Marathon and that left Cassidy and Marathon standing together supporting each other and she feels proud of herself.

Sydney (as Cassidy): All right, well, good luck. Try not to die.

Penn (as Marathon): Thanks, Miss Cassidy. I appreciate and I won't, and I will - I will look cool and you'll think I look cool out there. And Emma? You did great out there. Okay, let's, let's [grumbling sigh] feelin the crash. Yeah, it's a good thing. Yeah.

Nick: And we see Marathon step away from her friends and into the ring, Sasha punches with one arm and the other towards the ground, loosening up her sleeves and then holds them up in a boxing position. Marathon, your heart feels faint and slow as you get ready. And the organizer, even he, who has proven unflappable this whole time, looks a little interested as he says,

Nick (as Fight Organizer): All right, well, they're both here. So ready, set -

Nick: And right before he says go, you hear a familiar voice from the far side of the crowd say

Nick (as Marty): Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Nick: And everybody stops and a channel parts in the crowd as you see a skinny woman with a shaved head wearing a tank top that is clinging to her in the rain. And she holds up a hand says

Nick (as Marty): Come on now. These are my fighters. I'm the one that invited them and I - just give me five minutes to talk strategy. I'm their coach. Come on. It's cool.

Nick: And the organizer rolls his eyes and says

Nick (as Fight Organizer): Whatever. Uh~ I'm gonna go get some jerky from Pepop anyway.

Nick: And walks away. Sasha stretches her arms and says,

Nick (as Sasha): That's fine. I can wait. I'll be right here for you, good looking.

Nick: And she winks at Marathon. And Marty hasn't come any closer to the ring, but is gesturing broadly, like someone giving traffic directions towards Marathon, gesturing for her to come towards Marty,

Nick (as Marty): Come here. Come on. We got to talk strategy. Come here. We'll, we'll we'll duck into a tent real fast

Penn (as Marathon): [very slurred] Uh~ I'll see ya Sasha.

Nick (as Sasha): Yeah, you'll be seeing me.

Penn (as Marathon): [concerned sounds] Mmm. Um.

Penn: And Marathon [laugh] is gonna, with that noise, stagger over to Marty.

Nick: And Marty grabs the collar of your shirt and drags you off balance into a tent that looks like it was used for blacksmithing or some sort of repair work, but there's no one in it right now. Stepping out of the rain makes you realize how wet and muddy you really were. Stepping next to a heater makes you realize that you had gotten pretty cold. And Marty looks around, grabs what looks like someone's flannel shirt that's hung over the back of a chair and tosses it to you and she says

Nick (as Marty): Here dry yourself off. Clean yourself up. We got to make this look good, huh?

Penn (as Marathon): Mmm.

Penn: And Marathon starts using this flannel to just wipe off her arms and stuff. She's like,

Penn (as Marathon): [beginning to sound quite drunk] Not my my battle paint. It's gotta stay on.

Nick (as Marty): Well I don't know it - look, sweetie, it looks like shit right now. You've been through three fights and in the rain and in the mud and

Penn (as Marathon): [drunk] You look like shit.

Nick (as Marty): I always look like shit. That's normal.

Penn (as Marathon): [drunk remorse] Yeah. Sorry, Marty.

Nick (as Marty): Yeah, you should be sorry. I'm about to make you so much money and you're sitting here insulting how I look.

Penn (as Marathon): [drunk despair] [sad groan] I'm sorry, Marty. I didn't mean it.

Nick: Does Marathon try to hug Marty?

Penn: [laugh] Yeah.

Nick: So we see Marathon wrap Marty up in a big hug and Marty's arms are pinned down at her sides and she's very stiff and kind of leaning back. And she just head bumps the side of her head into Marathon's head a couple of times and goes

Nick (as Marty): [consoling a drunk friend] It's okay. It's okay. Let me go. We're gonna talk.

Penn (as Marathon): Oh-kay. Okay. I'm sorry. Anyway.

Nick (as Marty): Okay, here's the deal: I want you to throw the fight.

Penn (as Marathon): Mm?

Penn: Marathon snaps just a little bit to

Penn (as Marathon): Throw the fight? Okay, hey this is - that'll be easy.

Nick (as Marty): Yeah. Uh. We got to make it look good, though. So if you promise to throw the fight, you can have your friends bet as much money on Sasha as you want. The odds won't be very good. It's sort of shitty luck that she's fighting, the odds are always in her favor because she's basically an unstoppable killing machine.

Penn (as Marathon): [affirmative] Mm.

Nick (as Marty): I mean, have you seen her? Hot damn. I mean, like, for real.

Penn (as Marathon): Well -

Nick (as Marty): Damn.

Penn (as Marathon): - you know, she's okay. Mmmm. Nothing on these guns.

Nick (as Marty): Shit, girl. I'm straight and she makes me feel feelings.

Penn (as Marathon): Not me. Not one little bit. Mmnm. Not her cool exterior and you know, it's whatever [soft pfft noise] Birdie anyway, I'm - Sorry, you were saying?

Nick (as Marty): I will give you two Tree All squares

Penn (as Marathon): [excited noise]

Nick (as Marty): - to throw the fight.

Penn (as Marathon): Hmm.

Nick (as Marty): I'll give you that money. It'll be yours. Nobody else needs to know. And if you promise to throw the fight, I'll give you this right now to help make it look good.

Nick: And seemingly from nowhere, Marty does a flourish and she pulls out something that you haven't seen in years, Marathon, which is a bottle of arena juice: double purple. It looks almost black but as the fire light hits it, there's swirls within the depths like a nebula. These actually are illegal because of the side effects that happen sometimes. And she says

Nick (as Marty): You could uh, you could drink this. Make it look good.

Penn: Marathon's eyesight, it's a little double vision-y, a little ghosty, but as Marty pulls out the arena juice, everything narrows down. Everything goes black around her vision except around the arena juice and she can hear the pulse of her heartbeat in her head.

Penn (as Marathon): Okay. I'll do yeah, whatever. Just I'll take uh, double purple. I haven't - anyway, it's arena juice is arena juice.

Nick (as Marty): Yep, that's sure.

Penn (as Marathon): I'll do it. Ah yeah, two squares and give me the juice.

Nick: And she holds it out and as you reach for it, she pulls it back.

Penn (as Marathon): [sad drunk noise]

Nick: And she holds out her right hand and she says

Nick (as Marty): Shake on it. You got to promise.

Penn (as Marathon): Mmm.

Penn: Marathon is still reaching for it and puts her other hand out towards Marty's hand just loosely.

Nick: It's definitely your left hand and Marty has to turn her right hand around to shake backwards because her left hand is holding the arena juice and she says,

Nick (as Marty): All right, you promised. I'm gonna go make a lot of money.

Nick: And she sets the arena juice down on a chair and puts two Tree All squares next to it. She says

Nick (as Marty): You've probably got a couple of minutes before they come looking for you.

Penn: Almost like a squirrel to a nut, Marathon is already grasping at the arena juice trying to get it open before Marty even finishes her sentence. [laugh]

Nick: And she shakes her head.

Nick (as Marty): If you haven't had this one before, it's quite a rush. Maybe don't drink the whole thing, huh?

Penn: It's half gone.

Nick (as Marty): But I'm gonna go make some bets.

Nick: And she steps backwards out of the tent and into the rain and you have a moment to yourself. You've had your arena juice, you have more money than you've had since you left Tree All.

Penn: Marathon is feeling refreshed and back at it. The camera, we would see Marathon's head pop into frame and she looks like a new woman and she's got her hands on her hips and she's very energetic, bordering on a little manic as she marches out of the tent back towards the arena.

Nick: The crowd has been waiting patiently, you walk into the circle. If it wasn't for all the rain, it would be close to dawn at this point. These fights have gone on most of the night. And the organizer is holding some unholy beaver tail item and swallows a large bite and says

Nick (as Fight Organizer): All right. Looks like Marty got everybody all handled. All bets are in. Marathon looks fine. Sasha - try not to kill her, please. And uh~ ready, set go.

Nick: And he claps his hands and steps backward into the crowd. And the members of the Patina not about to be in a fight - Birdie is perched on the wagon, Emma and Cassidy are standing near it, and Marty materializes as if from nowhere next to you all.

Cameron: As she shows up, Emma is saying

Cameron (as Emma): This is not going to go well. This is bad.

Penn: After you say that, Marathon is entering the arena and she's just screaming.

Nick: Marty just chuckles and says

Nick (as Marty): I wouldn't worry about it too much, Emma. Your friends real smart. Real~ smart.

Nick: And we're gonna roll initiative. Sasha has four yellows in Vigilance.

Penn: Did I get any strain back from the arena juice or no?

Nick: Yeah, you could have four strain back.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Sasha has four successes, two advantages, and a triumph.

Penn: [sounding scared] I got three advantages.

Nick: Oh boy. And so we see Marathon screaming her defiance. And Sasha doesn't look in a hurry, but she just feels the tempo of the fight, the roar of the crowd and Marathon you're in the midst of the hype. This is probably the second longest time you've ever tried to ride out the hype from arena juice. You did it once for almost 24 hours during a championship trip and that didn't go well. And this is beginning to feel similar. You have that thought, and then Sasha is in front of you and she is trying to punch you in the chest. Her Brawl is four yellows and a green versus average difficulty and she has a blue die for going first.

Cameron: Does she have a black die for it raining?

Nick: She does have a black die for it raining. I'm just gonna hold on to that triumph for now. I wouldn't worry about it.

Cameron: [concerned] All right.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Two successes, one advantage.

Nick: Okay, so that is seven damage coming at you.

Penn: Okay.

Nick: It is strain damage, because she's not trying to kill you. How much strain do you have left?

Penn: Six.

Nick: Good to know. So she punches you in the chest. You don't feel anything crack but you do feel things begin to creak, Marathon, as you stumble backwards under the blow. Sasha smiles in the exact same friendly and welcoming way that you saw when she was in the stands of this contest just watching. It's like her fighting personality and her flirting personality are the same. And she holds her arms out wide and gestures at you, offering you a free hit. It's a little bit similar to mustachio guy.

Penn: Marathon with that hit is a little doubled over and then as she meets Sasha's gaze again, it's like full eyes, all bloodshot and she's gonna say

Penn (as Marathon): Oh, fuck no. That's my move!

Penn: And she's gonna try and hit her as hard as she can. And with that, as she was walking in is going Berserk and that adds a success and an advantage and then they also get a success.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Three triumphs and a threat and four successes because of Berserk.

Nick: Okay, so it's eight damage. She doesn't like that. Would you like to use those triumphs to do a crit plus 20? Because it's three crit, so you get to add 10 twice.

Penn: Yeah~.

Nick: Let's see what that crit is.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: All right with the plus 20, it is a 91, which is At the Brink: the target suffers two strain each time they perform an action until the critical injury is healed.

Nick: Wow. Okay, so you hit Sasha so hard that now everything that she does takes considerably more determination than it normally does. So what do you do?

Penn: Marathon after Sasha pulls the like, come ahead and hit me. Marathon gets a little too unhinged and I think she goes no mercy, a very strong palm strike into the nose. What could be a kill shot.

Nick: You feel a crunch, but she also quickly recoils backwards from it so you're not able to follow all the way through. But Sasha stumbles back a few steps shakes her head. Blood is streaming out of her nose, and she smiles, her teeth stained red and blood dripping from her nose and washed by the rain at the same time. She spits some of the blood out to the side, the crowd has stopped cheering and are now just watching in shock as she takes a step forward and back into striking range. Everything she does, even having been hit this hard, just looks effortless as she tries to grab your arm into a lock and throw you over a hip. And I'm going to need another Brawl check. She takes two strain because of her crit, which does almost as much damage to her as what Marathon was able to do. But yeah, so it'll be four yellows and a green versus two purple with a black die. And let's see what happens.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Four successes, a triumph, and two advantages.

Nick: Oh-hoho. So that is nine damage coming at you Marathon. It's actually 10 damage because Marathons Berserking and a crit. So let's roll that crit.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: A 76, Overpowered: the target leaves themself open and the attacker may immediately attempt another attack against them as an incidental using the exact same dice pools the original attack.

Nick: Oh geez.

Penn: And that puts me down to zero strain.

Nick: That's okay, I'm gonna give you an option here. So Marathon, you feel that your arm is almost dislocated, as Sasha just hurls you into the crowd, you actually - most of the pain you feel is from landing on some bystanders. The mud doesn't soften your blow because you don't land on the mud. You are pretty much just out of energy. This would be enough to take down the normal person, but you're not a normal person and you also just drank an entire bottle of arena juice: double purple. So these fights up to this point have been doing strain damage because no one's trying to kill anybody. There's a certain amount of control everybody has had. It sounds to me, like you have mostly stopped with that certain amount of control and if you really wanted to, with your particular background and set of skills for this particular fight, you could stay on your feet and start taking actual wounds instead of strain and keep fighting. Or you could fall unconscious and lose this fight. It's up to you.

Penn: Well, obviously losing the fight would be the smart thing to do because that's what I was just hired to do. But I don't think Marathon is thinking very smart anymore. And she is going to access those wounds as she is a little wild at this point. Is the crowd cheering or they kind of in that stunned brutal silence?

Nick: The crowd has started to cheer a little bit - most of the cheering right now is people laughing at the people you squished when you got thrown into the crowd, but they're not shocked so much.

Penn: So Marathon hears those laughs as well and immediately has the thought that they're laughing at me. They're laughing at me. And she's definitely gonna pop back up. She's not thinking about anything outside of this fight, outside of beating this person, this Sasha to a pulp or as best she can.

Nick: All right. You have that thought you get to your feet. You throw aside any trappings of sportsmanship or consideration for your opponent and you step back into the ring. And as soon as you do, Sasha takes a running leap and plants two boots into your chest in a double drop kick. Roll me up those four yellows and a green versus two purples and a black again.

Cameron: Alrighty.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Two successes and one advantage.

Nick: So that is seven damage coming at you, Marathon - wounds this time.

Cameron: And also one extra damage from the Berserk.

Nick: You are down to your last dregs. You would have been knocked unconscious by this blow, but instead, you lean into it deciding to take more physical damage rather than burn energy. You see Sasha looks surprised before you're thrown head over heels back into the crowd. And we're gonna cut over to where Marty and the Patina are standing watching this fight. Marty says,

Nick (as Marty): Well, I uh, bet on your friend to lose but uh I didn't bet on her to die. Why hasn't she given up yet?

Cameron (as Emma): How is she still standing?

Nick (as Marty): She did drink a lot of the arena juice I gave her uh... I wanted her to put up a good show. She seemed pretty interested. But I feel like she's, I don't know, it's like those fairy tale stories about people burning years of their life for strength in the moment. I think she's gonna die younger now.

Sydney (as Cassidy): I think she already was.

Nick (as Marty): Well, that's not good.

Sydney: Cassidy has the stress of the night and the drinks that she's had, this long day is catching up to her and she hasn't even done anything. She looks tired watching her passenger get the shit kicked out of her, almost literally.

Nick: Marty looks to Cassidy sympathetically says,

Nick (as Marty): Well, I bet on Sasha but I've seen Sasha fight before. Did you all bet anything?

Sydney: Cassidy feels in her pocket for the pile of change that represents the night's winnings that have been cashed out.

Sydney (as Cassidy): No, we didn't bet.

Nick (as Marty): Oh, well.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We're just here watching Marathon fight.

Nick (as Marty): Well, if you're gonna turn down easy money that's on you. She said she would throw the fight so really should have bet on Sasha.

Sydney (as Cassidy): She's throwing the fight, huh?

Nick (as Marty): Well, she said she would.

Cameron (as Emma): Are you sure?

Nick (as Marty): Ehhh.

Kit: Birdie has not been paying attention to any of this. She is wide eyed facing the fight. She's not actually biting her nails, but she's doing the thing where she's holding her knuckles to her mouth and just being like,

Kit (as Birdie): [small concerned noises] Oh my god not the face!

Kit: And peeking through her fingers.

Nick: And we cut back to the ring. Marathon, you're back on top of the same people that you had squished when you were thrown into the crowd being kicked right back into them. It's two different - they look like roadies, maybe, just burly guys who carry stuff for merchants - and they are struggling vainly to push you off of them and get out of the mud, but you have them fairly well pinned under you. And it's your turn.

Penn: Marathon without even noticing anybody else, she's got tunnel vision on Sasha right now. And I imagine Sasha's still kind of got a smirk going on, which is just going to make her fall into this rage even more. And as she stands up, she's just standing on top of some of these roadies and then she starts charging towards Sasha, as she tries to go shoulder first for a spear into her to the ground.

Nick: All right.

[dice rolling]

Penn: Four successes, a triumph and one threat. And then I keep forgetting Berserk, so that's five successes, and then that takes away the threat.

Nick: Okay, so a question for you. You have started to do this fight to the death essentially. Are you trying to kill Sasha? Or are you still trying to just knock her out? I'm basically giving you the choice of whether to attack her strain pool or her wound threshold.

Penn: I think originally as Marathon charges, she's starting to go into deathmatch Marathon, but as she's charging, she catches a glimpse of Birdie, very nervously gnawing at her knuckles, and in the moment pulls back for some strain damage instead so that it's not - otherwise, if she hadn't been making friends, there would be maybe some brutality on the line.

Nick: Okay, and then you rolled a triumph, right?

Penn: Mhm.

Nick: So that could be a crit plus 10.

Penn: Yep, that's what we're going for.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: Alrighty, so that is a 68, Scattered Senses: the target removes all blue die from skill checks until this critical injury is healed.

Nick: Okay, so where do you hit Sasha?

Penn: Marathon is spearing her to the ground with her shoulder, and as she pops back up as she tackles her to the ground, she just is back on her feet with another scream.

Nick: Sasha looks like she was about to try to talk you down and then as you scream in her face, she looks a little pained and goes to try and uppercut you into next week. She winds back dramatically, but you're already launching yourself at her and unable to get out of the way as she throws another punch, a big haymaker.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: A triumph, six successes and four threats.

Nick: Oh my god. Okay, so that's 12 damage coming at you Marathon and another crit, this one will be plus 10 because you've already been crit on once.

[dice rolling]

Cameron: So with the plus 10 that is a 54, which is Fearsome Wound: the target increases the difficulty of all Presence and Willpower checks by one until this critical injury is healed.

Nick: Whoo. So you almost dodge out of the way of this uppercut. It's giant and theatrical, but there's so much force behind it and she connects with the side of your cheek just over your eye, and you feel the familiar burning and run of blood as she splits open the scar that you received so long ago over your eye in that accident in ice derby. There's a gasp from the crowd as Sasha shakes out her fist from the blow and you reel backwards. Blood is sheeting down from Sasha's nose and now down from your brow and your cheek. The feel of this tournament up to this point has been festive; everyone knew what they were getting into, but it's gotten more and more serious as the two of you are striking so violently.

Penn: People can tell that Sasha would still have that festive fighter energy, but Marathon is bringing this scary animalistic, to the death energy that is out of place and is making the crowd a little uncomfortable.

Nick: So Marathon, you're circling Sasha. Sasha still seems fairly under control, but she is breathing heavily and her nose is still bleeding. And you reach out and the two of you lock arms above each other's heads and you're just straining against each other, trying to overpower the other person. And the fight stalls out for just a second. And you see that you are near the edge of the ring, where the members of the Patina are, and they all look extremely concerned.

Sydney: Cassidy has left Emma standing by the cart and has pushed most of the way through the crowd with an expression of grim resignation. This is something that she's seen before. Marathon gets close enough during this clash that she's pretty sure that her voice is going to cut through and she just goes

Sydney (as Cassidy): Marathon. This isn't that kind of fight. Give it up. It's not worth your life or her life.

Penn: With that, Marathon pushes away from Sasha and turns towards Cassidy's voice and she's just got this monstrous look, like her eyes are so bloodshot right now and she has this snarl and takes a step towards Cassidy as if she's going to hop this little barrier.

Sydney: Cassidy looks back with just grim resignation and a little bit of pity.

Penn: She, with Cassidy's pity, she pulls out a little bit, is very disappointed in herself and then the triple crash hits.

Nick: You feel a cold wave over you under your skin, not the rain and you can no longer stay on your feet. You are on your back in the mud. You don't remember falling and you can feel rain pooling on your eyes and washing away the blood from your cut, but you can't blink the rain out of your eyes. And then all is dark.

Cassidy, Emma, and Birdie you see Marathon collapse. Sasha drops her fists, shakes her head, wipes below her nose. The blood has started to slow and she raises her eyebrows to Birdie and Cassidy. The crowd is cheering but you can hear as she says

Nick (as Sasha): Your friend is quite a fighter and I'm not sure I mean that as a compliment.

Nick: And she walks out of the ring to go and collect the pot for winning the entire tournament. The rain comes to a stop. The crowd begins to disperse after they collect their bets. The clouds clear just a little and you all see that It is almost dawn.

Sydney: Cassidy's jaw is set as she looks back to Emma with the shoulder indicative movement of 'help me with us?'

Cameron: Emma has the look of someone who's taken care of a lot of younger cousins when they were dumb and hurt themselves and carries forth that energy as she jogs over to wear Marathons still laying in the mud and kneels down next to her and starts applying pressure to her eyebrow cut.

Sydney (as Cassidy): We can get her back to the rig we can take care of her properly.

Kit: Birdie is like - I should go and help Marathon, but sexy baker lady! Oh, no, your poor nose - I think that she would probably grab a cloth from her bag and go over to Sasha to try and help her.

Nick: Sasha has just gotten a small purse of winnings and she turns around and smiles broadly at you Birdie, which causes her nose to bleed a little bit again.

Nick (as Sasha): [slightly nasally] Oh, I thought you might be looking for your friend. Sorry, I took it a little far, I think.

Kit (as Birdie): Well um, I think there's a little bit of dispute that can happen over who took it too far first, but I'm not uh... I think my teammates have it handled.

Kit: Birdie just reaches her hand out with the clean rag and raises her eyebrows at Sasha and just goes

Kit (as Birdie): Do you need any help?

Nick: She takes the rag gently and presses it to her nose. The bleeding has mostly stopped and she says

Nick (as Sasha): Yeah, I could use some help, Birdie. Why don't you come back to my trailer with me? You can uh, help nurse me back to health.

Nick: And she winks at you.

Kit (as Birdie): Yeah, I yeah, I'd like that. Mhmm. [giggle]

Kit: And she's suddenly forgotten all about her crewmates.

Nick: And so we see Sasha and Birdie walking towards the far side of this merchant's camp holding hands, Sasha's other hand occupied stopping the bleeding on her nose, and Cassidy and Emma dragging and half carrying Marathon back towards the rig. There are varying amounts of restful activity that take place throughout the morning. And we see in the early afternoon, Birdie, heading back towards the Patina campsite after making sure that Sasha was going to be okay.

Kit: Birdie is - well, she's grinning. She looks very pleased and has a little basket with a plaid cloth of baked goods and she - what is the Patina doing by now? What scene does Birdie come up to?

Sydney: Cassidy's tent is already down. She's putting stuff into the side of the rig, she's ready to go. She's probably first one up by a long way.

Cameron: Emma's been up for a while and has all of her stuff put away and is trying to put some of Marathon's stuff away.

Penn: Marathon looks miserable. Just gaunt and very sweaty, pale. She's trying to help but she's struggling to get one tent stake out.

Cameron: The reason that Emma is trying to help Marathon is because Marathon is also trying to help and it's making actually accomplishing the tasks difficult.

Cameron (as Emma): Marathon. Marathon go sit down.

Penn (as Marathon): No I'm I'm so sorry you guys. I gotta help. I'm really sorr-

Cameron (as Emma): Go. Sit.

Penn (as Marathon): I can't I [whining] fuck. Fuck. Okay, I'm sorry, guys.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah, just stay out of the way. We got it.

Penn (as Marathon): I have the Tree All square. You want it for advance or whatever.

Sydney: Does Marathon hold it up?

Penn: Mhmm.

Sydney: Cassidy walks over and takes the square out of Marathon's hand and then walks back over to the truck leans against it and watches Birdie walk over. Doesn't really look at Marathon.

Kit: Birdie approaches to where she can almost feel the slight tension of the three of them. And goes

Kit (as Birdie): Morning guys! Oooh~! Marathon you look terrible.

Penn (as Marathon): Thanks.

Kit (as Birdie): Want a pastry?

Penn (as Marathon): Um, [self deprecating laugh] I don't deserve a pastry. Thank you though, Birdie. Um.

Kit (as Birdie): I think everyone deserves a pastry.

Penn (as Marathon): I know we won't see Sasha again, but in case you do tell her I'm sorry. Oh, god.

Cameron (as Emma): Yeah good afternoon, Birdie.

Sydney (as Cassidy): Yeah. Do you have a good rest of your morning?

Kit (as Birdie): Yep. It was really, really wonderful and I brought breakfast.

Kit: And she's just smiling very big and offering out the basket.

Sydney: Cassidy grabs a danish, shaking her head knowingly, and then surveys the camp to see what's left besides Marathon looking miserable in the middle of it.

Kit: Birdie's tent is probably left because it is her own personal tent. So she does set the basket down. She goes to offer Marathon the pastry again, but then thinks better of it and just sits the basket close enough to Marathon so that she can reach over if she wants one and then goes and packs up her tent real fast.

Cameron: Emma finishes packing up Marathon's stuff and then goes and grabs a doughnut.

Nick: And we see Birdie tear down her part of the camp with practiced efficiency. Everybody finishes loading the rig, they jump in. We see Cassidy driving with a danish, Emma in the passenger seat munching on a doughnut, and Birdie in the backseat with a basket of pastries grinning like the cat that's caught the canary, and Marathon tucked into the far corner of the rig with her head in her hands, partially from embarrassment and partially from concussion and partially from withdrawal from way too much arena juice. And the rig rolls away from this merchant camp, which is also packing up and heading in the opposite direction, and continues to go West.

[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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