338 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 • 1.5K 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 20: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 4

    Sangfielle 20: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 4

    This episode carries content warnings for death, experimentation on a person, loss of consciousness and bodily control, magical captivity, and forced bodily transformation.
    In Sangfielle, it’s rare enough to find an answer to a mystery, and rarer still to find one with the clarity and quality needed to convince someone else that it is, in fact, an answer at all. Such is the case with Lye Lychen, Pickman, and Duvall here in Bell Metal Station. Yes, they have a truth—a Truth even, with a capital T—but to those on the outside, it looks and feels like something else. Too impossible, too painful, too volatile to be the truth. But it always is. And it is in this moment of volatility that, for the first time, the Blackwick Group can see something larger take shape. Something with the sort of fatal and formative force that transforms pleasant parts into uneasy wholes.
    This week on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 4
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Bell Metal Station: The broad, 10 story tall station that the Bell Metal Band operates out of. Hard, metal-reinforced stonework. Scaffolding on scaffolding. Wood and leather and old picture frames. A middle space between laboratory, bunker,  and den.
    Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”
    Zevunzolia: The hypothesized city of cities, the telos behind telos, the place high above, the heaven yet to be reached. A utopian dream pursued at great lengths by the secretive Wrights of hte Seventh Sun.
    Banderole: The City of Banners. People all around Sangfielle have been dreaming of it. Some even build models of it in their sleep...
    Facts and Figures
    Erm (he/him): The leader of the Bell Metal Band truly is just a little guy, but that don’t be confused: he’s absolutely the boss around here! Chomps cigars, wears custom Shape train armor featuring the Bell Metal Band emblem. His white and brown fur is like a guinea pig’s, but covered in soot and smoke.
    Omerra Celendi (she/her, he/him): A human mage--with a speciality in alchemical inventions--from the Unschola Republica in his late 20s. She frames her light brown skin face with wavy dark hair down to her shoulders and big round glasses and wears a playful grin on his face. Today, it’s high waisted, dark green corduroy slacks, a sleeveless white button up blouse, a single powered shape knight gauntlets on his right hand, a pauldron and half-plate piece that covers the left side of her torso, and a sort of dark gold halfcape across the other side. Tomorrow it will be something even more immaculate.
    Calen fel Dynestia (he/him): Heir to a grim line, Calen has joined the Shape Knights in an effort to rehabilitate the fel Dynestia name. Eyes sunken, pasty purple face covered with stubble, and all the highest fashion of Sapodilla circa twenty years ago.
    Fezh (they/them): Soft for a Shape Knight. Strong for a Shape Knight. The closest there was to everyone in Bell Metal, but Calen most of all. Missed greatly.
    High Vicar Regan Alaway (currently he/him): Waxy, vampiric minister of Yellowfield, whose generations-long study of technology led him to dream of (and work towards creating) "The City of Lights," a place of flameless fire, energetic implements, and the safety and freedom to live as one wants. Disposed of, for now at least. 
    Tombo (he/him): Lye Lychen’s argumentative (but loyal) fish companion.
    Jolyon (they/them): An old friend. Swears they aren’t the train.
    Prince Alexander: A train turned over before its time, if such

    • 1 hr 54 min
    Sangfielle 19: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 3

    Sangfielle 19: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 3

    This episode carries content warnings for description of corpses and death by burning, the discussion of mind control, serious bruising, and the loss of motor skills. 
     
    Welcomed into Bell Metal Station, Lye Lychen finds himself separated from his compatriots by miles, but it is a gap in information that makes him truly distant. While the junk mage tries to complete a puzzle despite a missing piece, Duvall and Pickman instead find themselves looking at an unexpected extra. As the sun begins to rise in the plains north of Sapodilla, things begin to come into focus. But sometimes, the light only brings more questions.
    This week on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 3
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Bell Metal Station: The broad, 10 story tall station that the Bell Metal Band operates out of. Hard, metal-reinforced stonework. Scaffolding on scaffolding. Wood and leather and old picture frames. A middle space between laboratory, bunker,  and den.
    Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”
    Facts and Figures
    Erm (he/him): The leader of the Bell Metal Band truly is just a little guy, but that don’t be confused: he’s absolutely the boss around here! Chomps cigars, wears custom Shape train armor featuring the Bell Metal Band emblem. His white and brown fur is like a guinea pig’s, but covered in soot and smoke.
    Omerra Celendi (she/her, he/him): A human mage--with a speciality in alchemical inventions--from the Unschola Republica in his late 20s. She frames her light brown skin face with wavy dark hair down to her shoulders and big round glasses and wears a playful grin on his face. Today, it’s high waisted, dark green corduroy slacks, a sleeveless white button up blouse, a single powered shape knight gauntlets on his right hand, a pauldron and half-plate piece that covers the left side of her torso, and a sort of dark gold halfcape across the other side. Tomorrow it will be something even more immaculate.
    Calen fel Dynestia (he/him): Heir to a grim line, Calen has joined the Shape Knights in an effort to rehabilitate the fel Dynestia name. Eyes sunken, pasty purple face covered with stubble, and all the highest fashion of Sapodilla circa twenty years ago.
    Fezh (they/them): Soft for a Shape Knight. Strong for a Shape Knight. The closest there was to everyone in Bell Metal, but Calen most of all. Missed greatly.
    Tombo (he/him): Lye Lychen’s argumentative (but loyal) fish companion.
    Jolyon (they/them): An old friend. Swears they aren’t the train.
    Prince Alexander: A train turned over before its time, if such a thing exists.
    Mirlande (she/her): A senior Star-Touched agent of Kay’va on her final assignment.
    Ekule Polyte (he/him): The Blackwick group first met this “Star-Touched” Kay’van agent under the pseudonym of “Janek,” hiding out in Blackwick County. Now, he waits patiently for extraction.
    Katonya (she/her): A cleaver near the end of her career, Katonya’s body bears all the marks of years in service to the Heartland. Loyal to those who employ her, and a walking catastrophe to those she opposes.
    The Red Zephyr: A train what takes on strange character under the moonlight. For a month, it’s torn into not only Bell Metal Station, but also any passing train it could reach. A problem severe enough that the Shape Knights so troubled reached out for help from the biggest Cleaver they’d ever met.
    Agdeline (she/her), Ettel (he/him), and Larch (he/him): This devil, drakkan, and human trio once spent time m

    • 1 hr 49 min
    Sangfielle 18: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 2

    Sangfielle 18: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 2

    This episode carries content warnings for insect infestation of a human, bodily transformation, description of organs and interior of a body, serious bruising, loss of motor skills, vomit, temporal disorientation, and death.
    So far, so good. Lyke, Duvall, and Pickman navigated a skeletal riddle, drove away some uncanny engineers, and connected with a monster hunter who veers towards the monstrous herself. Normal, at least in so far as this particular tale of the abnormal goes, anyway. But now they’ve turned south towards Bell Metal station, and soon enough the strange will get stranger. Things could have gone differently here, stayed on script, so to speak. But the Blackwick Group is never happier than when taking things from an unpredictable angle. Ain’t that what makes them so charming?
    This week on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 2
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Bell Metal Station: The broad, 10 story tall station that the Bell Metal Band operates out of. Hard, metal-reinforced stonework. Scaffolding on scaffolding. Wood and leather and old picture frames. A middle space between laboratory, bunker,  and den.
    Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”
    Facts and Figures
    Katonya (she/her): A cleaver near the end of her career, Katonya’s body bears all the marks of years in service to the Heartland. Loyal to those who employ her, and a walking catastrophe to those she opposes.
    The Red Zephyr: A train what takes on strange character under the moonlight. For a month, it’s torn into not only Bell Metal Station, but also any passing train it could reach. A problem severe enough that the Shape Knights so troubled reached out for help from the biggest Cleaver they’d ever met.
    Jolyon (they/them): An old friend.
    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 times, they’ve found that poorly armed travelers make for better prospecting. Sometimes called “the Toll Collectors.”
    Chantilly Scathe (she/her): The signs and barkers rarely say her name alone. She ain’t Chantilly, or even Ms. Scathe, she’s always “Ms. Chantilly Scathe and Her Shackled Engine.” Don’t let her showmanship and ringmaster garb fool you though: She seems to have done what no Shape Knight could: Make a train of the Shape, The Grand Cormorant Limited, her very own pet.
    Organizations
    The Bell Metal Band: Of all the Shape Knight gangs, the Bell Metal Band might be the most curious (in both meanings of the word). From their tall station at the intersection of two major Shape lines, the Bell Metal Band tries to yank away whatever train parts they can safely reach for study and, frankly, for fun. In the recent days, though, they’ve come under some sort of trouble and have put out a call for help.
    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.
    Cleavers: Given how loose and fluid this collection of monster hunters, mystery solvers, and naturalists is, it’s hard to call them “an organization.” But when the central belief system of a group is that everything is ever in flux, well, give them the credit of applying that particular

    • 1 hr 48 min
    Sangfielle 17: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 1

    Sangfielle 17: What Happened at Bell Metal Station Pt. 1

    This episode carries content warnings for insects and the insect infestation of a human, the depiction of a supernaturally bubbling and oil-like skin, and a mention of blood.
    To say that this particular story starts off in a strange way would be the underselling of a lifetime. But that’s how things are sometimes. Sometimes, in pursuit of a missing eggsac--which we know isn’t even in this direction--an unlikely trio sets off towards an abandoned town, and on the way finds themselves at the wrong end of blade and riddle. Yet by the end of it all, in stories like this, they find themselves confronted with horrors physical and existential. So it goes in Sangfielle. So it goes.
    Today on Sangfielle: What Happened at Bell Metal Station
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Sapodilla: One of, if not the, largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla rests on the western shore of the vast lake that takes up much of southeastern Sangfielle, and prizes itself as the rare hub of culture in the bloodfields. In recent years, the powerful witch hunting organization called the Glim Macula has grown in power there, owing to the city’s focus on furthering “civilization.”
    The Waterlogged Kingdom: At least that’s what we’re calling it for now. Deep under the water, an empress waits. There’s been debate: Did they turn the wood from her sunken ship into a palace for her? Build castles out of the lake sand? Maybe they never stopped marching, and they’re down there right now, just going round in circles. An likely area of inquiry, for certain.
    Facts and Figures
    Chantilly Scathe (she/her): The signs and barkers rarely say her name alone. She ain’t Chantilly, or even Ms. Scathe, she’s always “Ms. Chantilly Scathe and Her Shackled Engine.” Don’t let her showmanship and ringmaster garb fool you though: She seems to have done what no Shape Knight could: Make a train of the Shape, The Grand Cormorant Limited, her very own pet.
    Phendleton (they/them) and Brace (he/him): Representatives of the so-called True Loyalists of the Sunken Empress. What makes them “true loyalists”? Well, if we knew that, things would be a lot simpler, wouldn’t they?
    The Sunken Empress Altapasqua (she/her): Around fifty years after the panic set in, Altapasqua told her people she would ride across this cursed land and purge it of its disease and danger. She only made it about three fourths of the way. And well, it’s as expected. She was down there ever since. 
    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 times, they’ve found that poorly armed travelers make for better prospecting. Sometimes called “the Toll Collectors.”
    Katonya (she/her): A cleaver near the end of her career, Katonya’s body bears all the marks of years in service to the Heartland. Loyal to those who employ her, and a walking catastrophe to those she opposes.
    Organizations
    The Bell Metal Band: Of all the Shape Knight gangs, the Bell Metal Band might be the most curious (in both meanings of the word). From their tall station at the intersection of two major Shape lines, the Bell Metal Band tries to yank away whatever train parts they can safely reach for study and, frankly, for fun. In the recent days, though, they’ve come under some sort of trouble and have put out a call for help.
    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.
    Cleavers: Given how loose and fluid this collection of monster hunters, mystery solvers, and naturalists

    • 2 hr 24 min
    Sangfielle 16: The Candle Factory Pt. 3

    Sangfielle 16: The Candle Factory Pt. 3

    This episode contains content warnings for violence, eye and bodily transformation, bodily experimentation, mind control, and the eating of glass (without harm).
    Sometimes you think you've got it all figured out, and rightly so. You've done your due dilligence, crossed your T's and dotted your I's, asked all the right questions to all the right people. And its these specific cases when you are most taken by surprise with the truth of the thing. It goes without saying that the case Yellowfield Candle Company is one such endeavor. The truth slips through the fingers, and only one thing’s for sure: it’s a wax house, baby—we all just live in it.
    This week on Sangfielle: The Candle Factory Pt. 3
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Yellowfield: Before the Panic this little valley of yellow flowers was the territory of a petty wizard and the subjects he frightened or beguiled. He called it his Xanthic Demesne, but these days we just call it Yellowfield. In the center of the valley, there’s a candle factory, and it is here that the old axiom refers: “All the candle light in Sangfielle was made with just twenty odd hands.”
    Sapodilla: One of, if not the largest city inside of the walls of Concentus. Sapodilla is on the western shore of Sangfielle's inland sea, and its leaders have gotten very good at selling it as a postcard pretty, tiered seaside paradise where civilization and culture are defended unlike anywhere else in Sangfielle. Well. it certainly is right to say that the way they defend their culture is unique, but the rest of it? Call me a skeptic.
    Facts and Figures
    High Vicar Regan Alaway (currently he/him, changes over time): The de facto leader of Yellowfield, the vicar preaches daily in the Factory's churchfront. A charismatic figure with a bright vision for the future.
    Gala (she/her): A young worker at the candle factory, Gala has grown increasingly concerned about the state of Yellowfield and the high vicar. Now, her concern grows to worry as her mother, Galena, has gone missing.
    Eyes, Ears, and Mouth: These three Caprak—loyal to the full extent of loyalty to Alaway—are no talk, all action.
    Subsolum: When a reporter passing east requested comment from the High Vicar on the distinguished deity worshipped at Yellowfield's only chapel, she was told only this: “My god is of the underneath, you see. The soil and the fertility in it. The deep soil, you understand. The soil that gives us these wonderful flowers.” Well that was a crock of shit, wasn't it? Not sure what to think about this one. Was there actually a Subsolum once? Is the Lord of Yellowfield Subsolum, self-proclaimed or in golden honesty? Is the whole thing a con? Who the hell knows.  
    Bucho (he/him) (mentioned): Whether you first hear of him as “Big Bucho” or “Two Step Bucho,” once you meet him, you’ll understand that no name does the gallant Shape Knight justice.
    Rana (she/her): An lonely devotee of Kaitankro who now lives out her days attending to one of her chosen god’s many kite-shrines.
    Organizations
    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), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
    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)

    • 2 hr 6 min
    Sangfielle 15: The Candle Factory Pt. 2

    Sangfielle 15: The Candle Factory Pt. 2

    This episode carries content warnings for discussion of a missing person, depiction of a bound and wounded person, and brief depiction of torture.
    From the heights of the stilted shrine of Kitankro, the valley of Yellowfield is a soporific refuge from the rest of Sangfielle. Absent are the dustorms, the chimeric creatures, and sharp shapes of bonewashed geology. Instead, the wind blows through and endless field of yellow. Little figures move to and fro, between factory and farmhouse. Even the trains arrive at an easy glide below, predictable and safe. Yes, from the heights of the stilted shrine of Kitankro, the valley of Yellowfield looks quite nice indeed.
    This week on Sangfielle: The Candle Factory Pt. 2
    The Almanac of the Heartland Rider
    Places
    Yellowfield: Before the Panic this little valley of yellow flowers was the territory of a petty wizard and the subjects he frightened or beguiled. He called it his Xanthic Demesne, but these days we just call it Yellowfield. In the center of the valley, there’s a candle factory, and it is here that the old axiom refers: “All the candle light in Sangfielle was made with just twenty odd hands.”
    Facts and Figures
    High Vicar Regan Alaway (he/him): The de facto leader of Yellowfield, the vicar preaches daily in the Factory's churchfront. A charismatic figure with a bright vision for the future.
    Gala (she/her): A young worker at the candle factory, Gala has grown increasingly concerned about the state of Yellowfield and the high vicar. Now, her concern grows to worry as her mother, Galena, has gone missing.
    Eyes, Ears, and Mouth: These three Caprak—loyal to the full extent of loyalty to Alaway—are no talk, all action.
    Subsolum: When a reporter passing east requested comment from the High Vicar on the distinguished deity worshipped at Yellowfield's only chapel, she was told only this: “My god is of the underneath, you see. The soil and the fertility in it. The deep soil, you understand. The soil that gives us these wonderful flowers.”   
    Bucho (he/him) (mentioned): Whether you first hear of him as “Big Bucho” or “Two Step Bucho,” once you meet him, you’ll understand that no name does the gallant Shape Knight justice.
    Rana (she/her): An lonely devotee of Kaitankro who now lives out her days attending to one of her chosen god’s many kite-shrines.
    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.
    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), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
    Produced by Ali Acampora and Aus

    • 1 hr 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.5K Ratings

1.5K Ratings

Chunk Flunkins ,

Remember

Burn thrones, build tables.

Snoochthenooch ,

Long episodes are cool

This makes me feel like a friend at their table. Great job fellas!

Bitsy K ,

Like, like, like, like

Really wanted this, with all its great reviews, to be something to spend many hours listening to, but I randomly listened to about 20 seconds of the first episode and heard the word "like" about 8 times.
Sadly, that is a huge turn-off.

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