328 episodes

Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Find us (and a listener guide) @Friends_Table on Twitter.

Friends at the Table friendsatthetable

    • Fiction
    • 4.9 • 131 Ratings

Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Find us (and a listener guide) @Friends_Table on Twitter.

    Sangfielle 10: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 2

    Sangfielle 10: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 2

    This episode carries content warnings for description of haunting, disorientation, dissociation, insect infestation of a human body, and discussion of slavery, sacrifice, and mass death.
    Having arrived at Roseroot Hall, the Blackwick Group’s investigation into the manor’s supposed haunting may finally begin. The methodology is familiar: One must walk the grounds, take in the passive energies of its passageways, attend to first hand accounts, pore over the home’s books, share tea and supper with its distressed master. Here, and rarely in the place that one might guess, is the answer.
    This week on Sangfielle: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 2
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Roseroot Hall: Now in the northern hills of Blackwick County, Roseroot Hall once stood mighty and imperious as a plantation house in the eastern half of the Heartland. Though the yon Vantzon-Estonbergh held it once, it fell into disrepair sometime after the panic. Details have been lost to time.
    Facts and Figures
    Dayward yon Vantzon-Estonbergh aka Dayward YVE (he/him): The moneyed scion of a minor Aldominan dynasty, Dayward YVE has traveled to the Heartland as both eager-apologist and curious explorer. Sensing opportunity, he's settled in Blackwick County.  
    Ana Berylia (she/her): Dayward YVE’s maid, a somewhat overwhelmed Carpana who has not adjusted to life in the Heartland. Her body is covered in brown/black hair with little streaks of grey at her temples. Mostly seen in uniform, a grey dress with white apron.
    Mr. Kenson (he/him): Big Horn Ram Kaprak. White fur with brown and black spots. Personal valet. Copper wireframe glasses. Proper black suit. 
    Dyre Ode (he/they): When an agent of the almanac pressed this mysterious, masked figure for more information about him, they only repeated their name, as if to ensure we’d print it right, adding “Dyre with Y but Ode as you’d like, a poem said in praise or a debt gone unpaid. It bothers me little, how you spell that name.”
    Organizations
    The Covenant of Kaitankro: You’ve seen them, haven’t you? The unsettlingly gregarious priests with the strange, chitinous crow masks? Of course you have, with their stilt-legs and their stilt-houses and their collection of stakes and strings and, of course, the kites. I asked one once if it was a pun: Kite and Crow, chitin crow. Something like that. The priestess told me that Kaitankro was a very real god, if a funny one, and that one day, he visited her. Like every morning, she raised each of the town’s kites up to the winds in daily worship, and Kaitankro landed on the smallest one—a sight to see, she said, since her god is so large a being. And like a carnivalist, Kaitankro walked down the wire, tips of her talons, until he met the priest at the bottom. There, I was told, they whispered in the priest’s ear a single phrase: “Better to live as birds on wires than die as men in the wind.” Chaos, it seems, breeds community, too.
    Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
    Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
    Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
    Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
    Text by Austin Walker
    Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

    Sangfielle 09: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 1

    Sangfielle 09: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 1

    This episode carries content warnings for discussion of bombings, insect infestation of a human body, gun use, viscera, and threatening with a knife.
    For the past few months, the Blackwick County council has kept Dayward yon Vantzon-Estonbergh at arm’s reach, close enough that his Aldominan wealth can filter into town, but not so close that he could risk overturning the order of things. Now, he’s called in a favor, and eager to keep things even, the council has turned to the Blackwick Group to meet his needs. 
    The problem is less “simple” than “timeless”: His home is not acting the way it should. Moonlight fails to pierce the windows. The halls twist and lead him to strange places. The very decor shifts behind him. This is, it seems, a haunted house.
    So who better than the Blackwick Group to attend his needs? Before they can, however, they must cross the distance (which Mr. YVE has decided to place between himself and the town), and climb the hills north. They ought only hope they aren’t the only travelers in the hills...
    This week on Sangfielle: The Secret Ledger of Roseroot Hall Pt. 1
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Roseroot Hall: Now in the northern hills of Blackwick County, Roseroot Hall once stood mighty and imperious as a plantation house in the eastern half of the Heartland. Though the yon Vantzon-Estonbergh held it once, it fell into disrepair sometime after the panic. Details have been lost to time.
    Facts and Figures
    Lye “Lyke” Lychen (he/him): Tossed out of one of the many occult academies of the Unschola Republica, Lyke came to Sangfielle to continue his magical education in the most hands-on (and pockets-full) way he could.
    Es (she/they): A heritrix with a penchant for the finer things in life and the perilous ventures needed to earn them.
    Duvall (he/him): Born into one of the few human families who still have noble status in Aldomina, Duvall wasted his inheritance on a doomed adventure into Sangfielle. Now colonized by the insectoid servants of the Structure, Duvall searches to solve a question as old as people: What is “the self”?
    Tamith “Tamm” Callaki (they/them): An aspiring young sort, 19 or 20, who works as a courier in Blackwick, their home town.
    Dayward yon Vantzon-Estonbergh aka Dayward YVE (he/him): The moneyed scion of a minor Aldominan dynasty, Dayward YVE has traveled to the Heartland as both eager-apologist and curious explorer. Sensing opportunity, he's settled in Blackwick County.  
    Ana Berylia (she/her): Dayward YVE’s maid, a somewhat overwhelmed Carpana who has not adjusted to life in the Heartland. Her body is covered in brown/black hair with little streaks of grey at her temples. Mostly seen in uniform, a grey dress with white apron.
    Mr. Kenson (he/him): Big Horn Ram Kaprak. White fur with brown and black spots. Personal valet. Copper wireframe glasses. Proper black suit. 
    Dyre Ode (he/they): When an agent of the almanac pressed this mysterious, masked figure for more information about him, they only repeated their name, as if to ensure we’d print it right, adding “Dyre with Y but Ode as you’d like, a poem said in praise or a debt gone unpaid. It bothers me little, how you spell that name.”
    Agdeline (she/her), Ettel (he/him), and Larch (he/him): This devil, drakkan, and human trio once spent time mining in the hills of Blackwick. In recent time, they’ve found that poorly armed travelers make for better prospecting.
    Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
    Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
    Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
    Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
    Text by Austin Walker
    Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

    Sangfielle 08: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 4

    Sangfielle 08: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 4

    This episode carries content warnings for implied execution, description of bound people, knives, fingernails, poison/chemical weapons, hallucination caused by substance, dissociation, and descriptions of boils/infected flesh.
    It was a simple task: Head down into the hidden basement of the Abbey’s ruins and find out what happened to neighborhood youth Janek Polyte. But instead of a dank cellar, half of the Blackwick group found their way into a living hymn, simmering under eternal noon-suns, where ashen nuns worship a goddess they once betrayed even as they tried to save her. Inside, Polyte and a Pale Magistrate who pursued him with the same vigor as the Blackwick Group (if much more virulence). 
    Now: A deal is struck and a simple task comes to a close. But not before the rain falls, begging someone to fall with it.
    This week on Sangfielle: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 4
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    The Priory of the Mother-Beast: In the streets of Concentus, some food sellers use specially treated props to advetise their goods. The color of fruit is brighter; the loaves of bread retain softness and texture indefinitely; meat glistens. Yet by extending their beauty through time, they trade their very nature as victuals, becoming injurious copies instead. Such is the Priory. Do not confuse the soft canyon breeze or the eternal noon sun for serenity. This place is ash, held.  
    Blackwick County: From the mines to the lake, the hills to the flats, the town once called Eastern Folly has felt a little more expansive now that it’s out of the hard grip of the old curse. It’s people aren’t perfect, but they’ve made it through some dark times, and that’s more than most can say.
    The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum: The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it. 
    Free Seas of Kay’va, formerly the Fourth Canton: First established after Cecile Cartine’s revolution over 300 years ago, today Kay’va is home to a collection of aligned communes who swear that the only way to prosperity is through the defense of equality.
    The Residuum:  A realm of vibrant color, where the things of the world go when their time in the material world fades away. A plane of death, but rendered in glorious light.
    Facts and Figures
    Sister Marisha (she/her): For decades, the human called Marisha served as the representative of the Boundless Conclave in Eastern Follow and as the only apparent follower of the old Cult of the Mother-Beast. Eager to guide, and quick to reprimand, she gained a reputation as a well meaning hard ass in the mining town. Now she finds herself adjusting to life inside this secret priory of salt, ash, and ceramic.
    Akule "Janek" Polyte (he/him): A Drakkan member of Blackwick County’s youth community, a member of the group who went beneath the Abbey’s ruins a year ago, and if his equipment is anything to go by, an undercover agent of the Free Seas of Kay'va.
    Ezek Semm (he/him): An up-and-coming Pale Magistrate, whose devotion to Fulmina, goddess of instant justice, is not to be questioned. It is, however, concomitant with his desire for glory.
    The Shape: Are the trains that run across the Heartland bound to the Structure, or do they direct it? Is the overlap between the two even real at all, or might two machinic forces be at work here in Sangfielle?
    Organizations
    The Telluricist Union: Made up by a mix of peoples driven to the hills by Aldomina, this group of knife sharpeners, herbalists, geologists, and all around investigators have made it their job to keep their old wisdom and see it used to help those in need. The best among them are called Keen.
    The Shape Knights: It took people with clear minds, great ingenuity, and implacable

    Sangfielle 07: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 3

    Sangfielle 07: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 3

    This episode carries content warnings for gun use, implied execution, knives, and amputation.
    As the Blackwick Group approaches the Priory of the Mother-Beast, a shot rings out, but it serves as question mark rather than exclamation. What is this place? Why does it seem stuck in time? Where is Janek Polyte, the young Drakkan they’ve been sent to retrieve? And how did a Pale Magistrate get caught up in all of this? Inside there are answers… but is the group more interested in finding those, or in pursuing their own interests?
    This week on Sangfielle: The Hymn of the Mother-beast Pt. 3
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    The Priory of the Mother-Beast: In the streets of Concentus, some food sellers use specially treated props to advetise their goods. The color of fruit is brighter; the loaves of bread retain softness and texture indefinitely; meat glistens. Yet by extending their beauty through time, they trade their very nature as victuals, becoming injurious copies instead. Such is the Priory. Do not confuse the soft canyon breeze or the eternal noon sun for serenity. This place is ash, held.  
    Blackwick County: From the mines to the lake, the hills to the flats, the town once called Eastern Folly has felt a little more expansive now that it’s out of the hard grip of the old curse. It’s people aren’t perfect, but they’ve made it through some dark times, and that’s more than most can say.
    The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum (ma-juh-strah-tuhm): The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it. 
    Free Seas of Kay’va, formerly the Fourth Canton (kai-vah): First established after Cecile Cartine’s revolution over 300 years ago, today Kay’va is home to a collection of aligned communes who swear that the only way to prosperity is through the defense of equality.
    The Residuum:  A realm of vibrant color, where the things of the world go when their time in the material world fades away. A plane of death, but rendered in glorious light.
    Facts and Figures
    Sister Marisha (she/her): For decades, the human called Marisha served as the representative of the Boundless Conclave in Eastern Follow and as the only apparent follower of the old Cult of the Mother-Beast. Eager to guide, and quick to reprimand, she gained a reputation as a well meaning hard ass in the mining town. Now she finds herself adjusting to life inside this secret priory of salt, ash, and ceramic.
    Janek Polyte (he/him): A Drakkan member of Blackwick County’s youth community, and a member of the group who went beneath the Abbey’s ruins a year ago. Quiet in public, and little kept in his humble home.
    The Shape: Are the trains that run across the Heartland bound to the Structure, or do they direct it? Is the overlap between the two even real at all, or might two machinic forces be at work here in Sangfielle?
    Organizations
    The Telluricist Union: Made up by a mix of peoples driven to the hills by Aldomina, this group of knife sharpeners, herbalists, geologists, and all around investigators have made it their job to keep their old wisdom and see it used to help those in need. The best among them are called Keen.
    The Shape Knights: It took people with clear minds, great ingenuity, and implacable spirit to face down and defeat one of the living trains of Sangfielle. In the time since, they’ve crafted armor from their slain foe, and with that have come to be experts of all things train. They herd, they breach, they redirect. But they haven’t yet killed a second.
    Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
    Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvibullet), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@

    Sangfielle 06: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 2

    Sangfielle 06: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 2

    This episode carries content warnings for a corpse, an animal feeding on flesh, claustrophobia, broken bones, death from immobility and implied starvation, fingernails, a body in a sack, animal sacrifice,  burning, a severed limb, animal slaughter, dissociation, and mental confusion.
    Having found their way through the chapel beneath Blackwick’s ruined abbey, the Blackwick Group continue their search for Janek Polyte and the mysterious magistrate who seems to be with him. From the bottom of a pit of salt, the group must find a way up a cliff face and back onto their prey’s tail—all while making sense of the strange new place they’ve found themselves in. In the distance, a bell rings, and a ritual begins.
    This week on Sangfielle: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 2
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Blackwick County: From the mines to the lake, the hills to the flats, the town once called Eastern Folly has felt a little more expansive now that it’s out of the hard grip of the old curse. It’s people aren’t perfect, but they’ve made it through some dark times, and that’s more than most can say.
    The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum (ma-juh-strah-tuhm): The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it. 
    Free Seas of Kay’va, formerly the Fourth Canton (kai-vah): First established after Cecile Cartine’s revolution over 300 years ago, today Kay’va is home to a collection of aligned communes who swear that the only way to prosperity is through the defense of equality.
    The Residuum:  A realm of vibrant color, where the things of the world go when their time in the material world fades away. A plane of death, but rendered in glorious light.
    Facts and Figures
    Janek Polyte (he/him): A Drakkan member of Blackwick County’s youth community, and a member of the group who went beneath the Abbey’s ruins a year ago. Quiet in public, and little kept in his humble home.
    The Shape: Are the trains that run across the Heartland bound to the Structure, or do they direct it? Is the overlap between the two even real at all, or might two machinic forces be at work here in Sangfielle?
    Organizations
    The Telluricist Union: Made up by a mix of peoples driven to the hills by Aldomina, this group of knife sharpeners, herbalists, geologists, and all around investigators have made it their job to keep their old wisdom and see it used to help those in need. The best among them are called Keen.
    The Shape Knights: It took people with clear minds, great ingenuity, and implacable spirit to face down and defeat one of the living trains of Sangfielle. In the time since, they’ve crafted armor from their slain foe, and with that have come to be experts of all things train. They herd, they breach, they redirect. But they haven’t yet killed a second.
    Ephemera
    A hymn found in the notes of Janek Polyte
    Her love is vast and nourishing.
    Her glory does astound.
    Thus in sin we're flourishing,
    Tis sin to which we're bound.
    With words we weave her love and ours,
    And with our voices breathe:
    A halt to death, a halt to stars,
    A halt to what will be.
    But listen, Mother-Beast, please know:
    Tis love by which we've wrought
    A world in which you're split in woe,
    Instead of merely nought
    Your love is vast and flourishing.
    Your glory does astound.
    Bless us with tears nourishing.
    We’ll drink until we’re drowned.
    Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
    Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvibullet), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
    Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
    Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcam

    Sangfielle 05: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 1

    Sangfielle 05: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 1

    This episode carries content warnings for discussion of cigarettes, rotting flesh, animal corpse, aggressive animal, knives, gun use.
    One year after the people of Blackwick County (then Eastern Folly) broke a curse that had plagued the town for generations, a group of strange and determined professionals arrived. Explorers, investigators, wardens of nature and culture and everything in between. They’d come to answer the call for folks just like them, people who could ensure the town wouldn’t fall under the sway of any other supernatural threat. 
    And just a few days after they arrived, they got their first job. Janek Polyte, one of the town youths who wandered down underneath the Abbey a year ago and found the egg sac (which now rests nestled and pulsating near the mine’s entry), has gone missing. And witnesses place him at the Abbey’s underground entrance before he vanished. 
    And so, the Blackwick Group heads off to their first job. Explore the under-ruins of the Abbey, locate the missing Drakkan kid, and figure out what in the name of the heartland is going on down there to begin with...
    This week on Sangfielle: The Hymn of the Mother-Beast Pt. 1
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Peoples
    Caprak (cap-ROK): The goat folks of the northlands, where they put up with dust, ash, snow, and the unilateral “justice” of the Pale Magistratum.
    Carpana (car - pahn - a): They’re little folks, three to four feet tall or so. A little like capybara, I suppose. 
    Devils: Once, they were contained by (and made to administer) some vast network of hells. But they fought their way out, took over Aldomina, and nurtured a fledgling empire into an expansive one.
    Drakkan (drah-KAHN):  I’ve always thought we look like seahorses. Skin pulled across spiny, exo-skeletal armor. Bright colors. Good looking. 
    Heritrixes (hare-uh-trixes): Heritrixes are immaterial beings, sometimes confused for ghosts, demons, or other sorts of supernatural spirits, who enter into contracts with physical hosts.
    Human: A smooth-skinned, hornless type of person, mostly found in the Heartland and in the Unschola Republica these days. Unremarkable. “Except in variety,” you’ll often hear a human say, revealing only that they’re more prideful than wise.
    Ojantani: The Ojantani, who share traits with buffalo and water oxen, are as often melancholic or timorous as they are the loud, stereotypical minotaur sort.
    Places
    Blackwick County: From the mines to the lake, the hills to the flats, the town once called Eastern Folly has felt a little more expansive now that it’s out of the hard grip of the old curse. It’s people aren’t perfect, but they’ve made it through some dark times, and that’s more than most can say.
    Aldomina (al-doh-mee-nah): What once stood as the name of the whole continent is now only the name of the Confederation that runs across the eastern half of the territory surrounding the Sangfielle, currently constituted by three sub-states called Cantons. 
    The First Canton, aka the Throne of Dominion: Once a fledgling human empire but nearly 1900 years ago, a minor duke of some great hell led an effort to take it over. And once they did, they pushed what was an already spreading empire even further in that direction. 
    The Second Canton, aka The Pale Magistratum (ma-juh-strah-tuhm): The Second Canton has ordered itself around its Magistrates—holy marshals given weapons blessed by Fulmina, goddess of immediate justice, and the right to use that power as they see it. 
    Unschola Republica, formerly the Third Canton (oon-skoh-la): For a millenia, the alchemists, mage-practitioners, and cryptotheological scholars of the Third Canton complained in secret about the leash kept on them by Aldomina’s distant leaders. They’ve since slipped that leash, and whether that’s for better or worse, time will tell.
    Free Seas of K

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
131 Ratings

131 Ratings

Pantherbaz346 ,

Good fun

Great players, superb Dm and a sublime intro song

Dave the Dark elf ,

Enjoyable

I think this reccent season has been better - there has been more banter and ‘friends’ left in the final edit.

I’ve enjoyed this podcast and listen all the time, the depth and characters is interesting and the myth is being created is intriguing.

Keep going guys!

JemEmIma ,

The most ambitious and literary actual play

This is absolutely the most ambitious and beautiful actual play i have ever listened to <3

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