Friends at the Table

By friendsatthetable

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Subscribers: 1205
Reviews: 9

Pilcrow
 Jul 30, 2020
Gold standard of AP pods. Funny, but never at the expense of story. Interesting characters who drive the plot as much as the GM does. I love every season, but recommend starting at Partizan for the full FatT experience right out the gate

WhatTheFerios
 Oct 25, 2019

Harry
 Jul 15, 2019
You will not find a better tabletop roleplaying podcast. Austin is by far my favorite GM and the story's they craft are just incredible. The Heiron arc in particular is just such an incredible journey.


 May 15, 2019


 Mar 22, 2019

Description

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.

Episode Date
Bonus Episode: Sports Are Just Numerology
58:05

Hey everyone, welcome to a very special bonus episode of Friends at the Table. As we said on Twitter, we're currently taking a few weeks off after the end of Kingdom to catch up on things, prep for the rest of PARTIZAN, and generally tak ea break.  Many of us here on the show have spent some of that break by playing Blaseball, the internet sensation that VICE's Gita Jackson describes as "an online, joke-y, facsimile of [baseball] ...  about baseball fandom, and the bullshit that goes along with it."

It's an absolute blast, and because so many of us were getting into it, Art had the great idea of wanting to sponsor a season or two of the game. So, he reached out, we chatted with the folks behind Blaseball (though we didn't get to meet the commissioner himself), and here we are. 

If you are just joining us for the first time as a fan of Blaseball who doesn't know anything about us, we hope this episode is an enjoyable introduction into the sort of stories we tell and games we play. If you're a fan of ours who is itching for more PARTIZAN, well, I hope this visit to a figure from the past helps sate that thirst.

If you'd like to check out Sports Are Just Numerology by Ben Roswell, the game we play in this bonus episode, you can do that by clicking right here.

We'll be taking this week and potentially next week off, but please look forward to our return. Have some great stuff in the can already. Until then, be safe, have fun, and go Millennials!

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel)

Produced by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Aug 03, 2020
PARTIZAN 28: Millennium Break: The Storm Over Cruciat
03:33:34

For those who live under tyranny, the exhaustion and fear is such that it can be hard to even imagine or recognize what escape or progress or revolution look like. But when Icebreaker Prime came over the horizon, the citizens of Cruciat, beaten down by generations of chic, high-minded Kesh terror, knew exactly what they were looking at. Millennium Break.

Cruciat was all but undefended, with the bulk of Kesh’s forces engaged with Motion her Apostlosian forces to the west--an attack they would not have anticipated if not for late coming intelligence from an Apostolosian traitor. 

Now, the revolution had to make a final decision in this first stretch of what would surely be a decades long campaign: Was it time to make a definitive strike. To take not just any city, but the city a Princept sometimes calls home. The city where the prisoners turned radicals of the Rapid Evening were once held. Where knowledge is locked away from those that need it most. Where hierarchy is woven into the streets themselves.

The question on everyone’s minds wasn’t what the cost would be if Millennium Break took Cruciat. It was what it would be if they didn’t.

This week on PARTIZAN: The Storm Over Cruciat

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected. 

Was originally established to rein in the Principality’s most tyrannical institutions and encourage growth and equity over generations, while hiding the truth of what lied beyond the Scutum-Centaurus Portcullis. Over time, their more noble aims were eroded, and only this final goal remained, along with a much more selfish goal of controlling the state.

Is currently in a covert war against the Pact of Necessary Venture.

The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. 

It’s original leadership committee, Plumeria, Gallica, Myosotis, Rye, and Hyacinth determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, the Pact would establish a power base in the Scutum–Centaurus arm, amass a vast fleet using the unexploited resources there, and sweep both princepts out of power, replacing the role with a five-part council representing each Stel equally.

Each was an elect: Plumeria the elect of Past, Gallica of Present, Myosotis of Future, Rye of Space, and Hyacinth of Motion. Plumeria and Myosotis were killed during Gur Sevraq’s theft of the Divine Future. Plumeria’s successor, Cymbidium, was killed when Past crashed into the sands of the Prophet’s Path. Hyacinth was killed in combat by the Rapid Evening, but has already been replaced. 

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there. The backbone of the private comms network used by Millennium Break.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

The Peaceful Princept (he/him): Born Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh, The Peaceful Princept is one of two current pretenders to the title. He was not meant to inherit the position, but instead was thrust into it as part of Stel Kesh’s attempt to hold onto the title after Dahlia defected to Stel Apostolos. When he was still “only” Cynosure Kesh, he was a mediocre negotiator of economic policy (notably losing ground to Stel Orion’s Rye, elect of Space, during the Kesh-Coronet Trade Dispute of 1390)  and an even more mediocre poet (having written the much panned collection “In All Days the Sun Second”). He is attending the Summer Passage of Arms.

Both The Curtain and the Pact of Necessary Venture hope to manipulate him in order to better secure their power. 

The Glorious Princept (they/them): The second pretender to the title of Princept. Born to house Kesh and current Apokine of Stel Apostolos, they are known to many as simply ‘Dahlia. Unlike Cynosure, Dahlia is a beloved leader who has proven themselves in court and on the battlefield in the ongoing war against the Branched far from the moon of Partizan. At the same time, they wage war against Stel Kesh and promise to bring to light misdeeds perpetrated by the Principality against the Apostolosian people.

Though they are not at the Summer Passage this year, in the year of their majority, they attended as a competitor and won six events, sweeping the Passage and gaining the title “The Six-Fold Champion.”

Kueen Overture “K.O.” Rooke (she/her): SBBR’s contact at the Scrivener's Guild. A former ace pilot, lead mechanic, and battlefield commander, KO now uses her expertise to dispatch and guide mercenary units across Partizan as a broker in the Scrivener’s Guild. Mother of Audacious Opportunity (“A.O.”) Rooke.

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity, Crysanth is the highest ranking member of the Curtain on Partizan.

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia.

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.

Cruciat: The Jewel of Kesh’s holdings on Partizan (and the home of the Stel’s Winter Palace) sits on a cross shaped island in the northernmost reaches of the Prophet’s Sea

The Winter Palace: Owned and managed by House Kesh, but eternal “home” to the Princept, whether they choose to visit or not. Built for privacy and access, featuring both its own port and trainyard.

Westhaven: Kesh’s military might is most centered in this province, which stretches across its westmost ports and up against its border with chief rival, Apostolos. “Westhaven stands so that we may serve dinner in the palace.”

The Estatelands: The southeastern taiga, where the climate is most temperate and the tall trees stand closely together, is home to the dozens of noble families who rule Kesh’s lands on Partizan. Miles of canopy suddenly broken by vast, cleared and pruned acreage.

The North Gallery: Decades before Museum Row was an established destination, the North Gallery collected art about and ephemera from Kesh’s original colonization of the Verglaz Taiga on Partizan.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

“Autonomy Itself”/“The True Divine”/The God of the Nobel/The God of Logos Kantel (they/them): Granted the power to transform Partizan into a living world to Logos Kantel 1000 years ago. Guided the Nobel and other cultures in the Scutum-Centaurus arm through the course of their history. 

A God of becoming, not being, process, not finality. Their origin is unknown, sometimes debated, but rarely considered important to their devotees, who care more about Their current divinity rather than the circumstances by which it was arrived at.

The phrases “the True Divine” and “Autonomy Itself” are found in some Progressive Asterists texts and doctrine, but also across heterodox and heretical religious creeds and in the teachings of gnostic and esoteric secret societies. 

The Exemplar: “God’s Divine.” Originally built 1000 years ago, now spread in “parts” across the moon. Its beating heart was left in the sea. It’s countless eyes buried under the Memoria Teardrop. Its blood runs through the springs of the Pique Ridge. Its powerful voice echoes through the windswept canyons of the Barranca. And, perhaps, something else trapped below the ice in the northern reaches of Kesh territory in the Verglaz Taiga.

Bing 32: Broun’s floating, cat sized drone able to use a variety of tools. Now mass produced for use across Millennium Break.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?

Crossroad #5: Will The Kingdom accept the aid of the Pact of Necessary Venture in the form of a secure island, from which MB can expand their operation and farm food safe from the crisis?

Crossroad #6: Will The Kingdom invade Vigil City in order to rescue the Equiaxed Commune there?

Crossroad #7: Will The Kingdom participate in the Summer Passage of Arms?

Crossroad #8: Will the Kingdom invade Cruciat?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
  3. Free and Fair elections will be held every two years.
  4. Burn thrones, build tables.
  5. When we provide for ourselves, we can provide for others.
  6. We will not turn our backs on allies in need.
  7. If you must play their game, make sure to bloody their noses.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 24, 2020
PARTIZAN 27: Millennium Break: She said, "To Win We Must Play!"
02:35:18

However the Summer Passage of Arms--a yearly competition of strength, skill, acumen, and style--began, it has followed in the fate of many similar comptetitons prior and become a proxy for nationalistic fervor. On the Isle of Summer in the Prophet’s Sea, all five Great Stels gather to test each other in a host of events.

Commenters often say that the games bring out “the best of the Principality.” This is true, though perhaps more true--and obvious through its omission--it is the case that the Passage serves to hide the worst of the Principality, too. The winner earns glory, but each Stel--even those currently at war with each other--also seeks something else through their simple presence at the games: To convince the world that this is what ‘civilization’ looks like. At home, the Stels drive their boots into the backs of their most vulnerable citizens. But here on the beautiful Isle of Summer, they gather in the name of fair and even conflict on an agreed upon battleground to see who is the noblest of them all.

This week on PARTIZAN: She Said, “To Win We Must Play!”

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Summer Passage of Arms: The Summer Passage is as much an event as an organization, a committee that holds a yearly competition of athletics, martial prowess, cultural acumen, and all else expected in a hero of the Divine Principality. As such, each Stel serves as patron to an official team, though smaller organizations (Progressive Asterist churches,Stel Orion corporations, Columnar regional funds, etc.) are known to send their own teams. 

As Partizan is the rare place where all five Stels meet, the event is held on the moon yearly, with results shared (albeit slowly) across the whole of the Principality. Though key events change from Summer to Summer, they often include an element of hollow proficiency. In this year’s event, sponsored teams are required to compete across hollow wrestling, synchronized sharp shooting, poetry, the biathlon, and the Divine Providence, a race and obstacle course that tests each competitors endurance and agility. Though they are not official events, patrons are also encouraged to participate through a general display of style, and a non-ranked demonstration of spear technique. 

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

The Peaceful Princept (he/him): Born Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh, The Peaceful Princept is one of two current pretenders to the title. He was not meant to inherit the position, but instead was thrust into it as part of Stel Kesh’s attempt to hold onto the title after Dahlia defected to Stel Apostolos. When he was still “only” Cynosure Kesh, he was a mediocre negotiator of economic policy (notably losing ground to Stel Orion’s Rye, elect of Space, during the Kesh-Coronet Trade Dispute of 1390)  and an even more mediocre poet (having written the much panned collection “In All Days the Sun Second”). He is attending the Summer Passage of Arms.

Both The Curtain and the Pact of Necessary Venture hope to manipulate him in order to better secure their power. 

The Glorious Princept (they/them): The second pretender to the title of Princept. Born to house Kesh and current Apokine of Stel Apostolos, they are known to many as simply ‘Dahlia. Unlike Cynosure, Dahlia is a beloved leader who has proven themselves in court and on the battlefield in the ongoing war against the Branched far from the moon of Partizan. At the same time, they wage war against Stel Kesh and promise to bring to light misdeeds perpetrated by the Principality against the Apostolosian people.

Though they are not at the Summer Passage this year, in the year of their majority, they attended as a competitor and won six events, sweeping the Passage and gaining the title “The Six-Fold Champion.”

Kueen Overture “K.O.” Rooke (she/her): SBBR’s contact at the Scrivener's Guild. A former ace pilot, lead mechanic, and battlefield commander, KO now uses her expertise to dispatch and guide mercenary units across Partizan as a broker in the Scrivener’s Guild. Mother of Audacious Opportunity (“A.O.”) Rooke.

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity, Crysanth is the highest ranking member of the Curtain on Partizan.

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia.

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

//Divines\\

The Heretical Divine Providence: When Progressive Asterism was officially recognized, each of the Stels celebrated by collaboratively building this Divine. But for reasons none could understand, it turned on them as soon as it came to life. It was laid to rest, its Divinity stripped from it, and now lies dormant (thought dead) in the center of the Summer Isle, where its dragon-like skeleton serves as a literal obstacle course for the final event of the games.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?

Crossroad #5: Will The Kingdom accept the aid of the Pact of Necessary Venture in the form of a secure island, from which MB can expand their operation and farm food safe from the crisis?

Crossroad #6: Will The Kingdom invade Vigil City in order to rescue the Equiaxed Commune there?

Crossroad #7: Will The Kingdom participate in the Summer Passage of Arms?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
  3. Free and Fair elections will be held every two years.
  4. Burn thrones, build tables.
  5. When we provide for ourselves, we can provide for others.
  6. We will not turn our backs on allies in need.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 17, 2020
PARTIZAN 26: Millennium Break: Breaking Vigil
02:51:53

With its internal threats sorted, at least for now, Millennium Break’s de facto leaders shift the bulk of their attention outward. As rebellion is sparked across Partizan, a new question takes center stage: If Millennium Break wants to lead this revolutionary moment, does it need to step out into the light of day? Who can they save if they take this risk? And who do they put in harms way if they refuse to rise to the challenge? As a dire situation develops in the Memoria Teardrop, it becomes clear that these are not hypothetical questions. A decision must be made.

This week on PARTIZAN: Breaking Vigil

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Vigil City Equiaxed Commune: Across Columnar space, the Equiaxed--a culture of people who augment their synthetic frames with living, organic materials for a variety of reasons--are persecuted, outlawed, arrested, and even experimented on. One way that this vulnerable and targeted group has found some peace is to live together in communal living spaces, where they can support each other emotionally and materially, sharing skills, resources, and information. 

One such group is the Commune at Vigil City, which is located towards the Northern edge of the city’s reaches. There is a massive cavern underneath a dreary office park, and the structures that stretch above also delve below. It is a vertically-hanging housing project, each tower a stalactite filled with lives. And around it all, shimmering memoria like one thousand thousand eyes in the dark: A resource that Stel Columnar would do anything to get hold of.

301st Appraisal Unit:  Before the Columnar commits the resources necessary to take something for their own, this small reconnaissance unit comprised of soldiers, engineers, and academics needs to find it

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Kenzington “Kenzi” Be (she/her): Commanding Officer of the Columnar 301st Appraisal Unit. Has legs that can fold down into tank treds--in some ways, she looks like the humanoid version of Broun’s mech, the Three Cheers! Has a long oval torso and a totally spherical head with dozens of cameras on it that sort of extends from her torso.

Quintessence “Tessence” Rey (he/him): A young member of the secret Equiaxed commune in Vigil City, Tessence is the community’s only remaining military defender. In his custom Kosmos unit, he has helped defend his family and friends from Columnar aggression numerous times. He did, however, have a card up his sleeve: An EDICT system, kept in operating condition since the time of the Divine Clash, through a combination of cleverness, effort, and good luck.

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Memoria Teardrop: A range of mountains and high plains, dense with mineral resources. Named for “memoria,” a rare precious material with a high, natural storage capacity. 

Vigil City: The capital city of Stel Columnar on Partizan. Sits on the southern end of the “Teardrop" on a high plateau. The densest city on Partizan, Vigil City is also the most automated city on the moon.

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

Marengo: Oxbridge’s biggest rival to the far west of Orion territory, Marengo borders the Prophet’s Path and because of that has been favored by three groups: faithful hoping to draw on the strength of passing pilgrims; traders eager to take tourist coin; and criminals who like the proximity of uncontrolled territory.

Auspice: A seaside city in the Prophet’s Path north of Marengo (which it is smaller than) and south of Obelle (which it dwarfs). Auspice is the final destination of the land travel portion of the yearly pilgrimage led by the Church of the Resin Heart. Resting on a landmass that appears on a map to be a finger pointing eastward, it has become a coastal refuge for members of Millennium Break.

//Divines\\

The Divine Asepsis: Vigil City is the densest urban settlement on the moon, and yet, every morning, it is spotless. Give thanks to Asepsis’ swarm of robotic servants.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

Zugzwang: The state of play in Chess when one play is forced to make moves to their own disadvantage.

EDICT System: The Electronic Divine Interface and Control Technology System was originally deployed during the Divine Clash, over 2400 years ago. Requires a great deal of power to activate, and needs to be transported by multiple large trucks, but when it is used, it can badly disrupt Divine activity--at least most of the time. There are many theories as to which Divines are affected and why, with many believing it is determined by provenance or era of Divine, some internal system of the EDICT itself, or even the current condition of the Perennial Wave.

 

AdArm Troop: Designed by The de facto “grunt” mech of the Divine Principality. 55~  feet tall bipedal hollow, mid sized but bulky in aesthetic. Blocky, visible cabling. Head is a rectangular unit (with a long, flat LED-lit single “eye”) that functions as a sensor suite, and attached to its right (above the shoulder) is a heavy cannon. Left arm has actuator/clasper, right has bayonet.

Panther: An ancient mech once piloted by a near mythological hero of a war barely remembered. Medium sized, black, humanoid, angular, and birdlike in some elements of its design. In another life, it could split itself up into independently flying microwings, each of which could serve as a flanking weapon. Its current pilot can not conceive of using it in this way. Formerly piloted by Clementine Kesh. Blessed by Future.

Three Cheers!: Kal’mera Broun’s hollow, a heavily modified Adamant Arms and Artifice (aka AdArm) machine. Humanoid with the ability to take a mobility form. Equipped for long range volleying. Easily removable/replaceable plates with non-standard rivets.

Heads Up: Exeter Leap’s hallow, a re-fitted Emergentec Rapid Response Type III Breaching Ambulance which he has converted for criminal purposes. Large cylindrical legs taper upwards towards the head. Armored fists and a back mounted mortar. Blessed by Future.

Mow: A recovered Zenith-A Project Eudaimonia prototype model. The build of a gorilla, quadrupedal & topheavy, a saddle horn-like addition on the back, battered but lovingly maintained.

Stray Dog: Million’s hollow, a Zenith-A Project Katalepsis prototype model, stolen when she went AWOL from GLORY. Medium-sized and humanoid in base shape, but able to rearrange its body to accommodate the rail gun built into the torso and left arm. Each limb is double jointed with sleek black and silver plating. There is only one glowing eye on the head, which houses the Stray Dog's aiming systems and pilot. Blessed by Future.

Transgress Oblige: The hollow of Gucci Garantine, and a chief symbol of the terrorist organization Horizon. Whitesmoke color body, with the torso, shoulders, and upper arms covered in a sort of secondary armor layer that is blue with gold flourishes. Carries a bazooka and a pair of beam partizan (with a golden beam blade) which can retract into a beam saber. Below the blue armor layer is a secondary core, made of some sort of rare crystal: When revealed, those that see it are struck by the power and magnificence of humanity itself. 

Hippocampus: Valence’s hollow, an AdArm Prototype Loveliness. A small, ovoid cockpit that has two "chicken legs" attached to it. Helicopter blades fold out from inside the cockpit and onto the top of the mech to give it basic flight. 

Old Glory: Sovereign Immunity’s hallow, a modified Singh Sisters Wheel Service & Heavy Industry Ltd. “Deltoid” model. Used for rapid agricultural construction, able to create small shelters in minutes, and large modular structures in a matter of hours instead of days. Able to rapidly create barricades with large construction panels. Wields a spike-planting gun and a scythe, the latter of which was appropriated from an agricultural hollow. Once featured the icon of the Shepherd’s Crook, but this was melted by a flamethrower, then removed, leaving behind the negative space of the symbol instead of a scorch mark. Blessed by Future.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?

Crossroad #5: Will The Kingdom accept the aid of the Pact of Necessary Venture in the form of a secure island, from which MB can expand their operation and farm food safe from the crisis?

Crossroad #6: Will The Kingdom invade Vigil City in order to rescue the Equiaxed Commune there?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
  3. Free and Fair elections will be held every two years.
  4. Burn thrones, build tables.
  5. When we provide for ourselves, we can provide for others.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 10, 2020
PARTIZAN 25: Millennium Break: Courage in the Shadow of Opportunity
02:22:14

A week away from the moon of Partizan, a vessel rare in its luxury and power orbited the Portcullis which connects this provincial system to the rest of the empire. Inside, the living leaders of the Pact of Necessary Venture conferred with the sort of secrecy afforded only to the truly powerful. Their question: What was to be done about Millennium Break?

On paper, the two groups had great reason to despise each other: Gur Sevraq had robbed the Pact of a Divine, killing its elect and a former elect of Past in the process. The Pact had attacked Valence’s homeworld, and disregarded the authority of the True Divine. Motion had been bested by the Rapid Evening, and found herself a rival in Ver’Million Blue--a rivalry felt in the jealous heart of Motion’s new elect, a young, yet intuitive Apostolosian commander known to be attentive and authoritative in equal measure. 

And yet, it was clear that the group was a potential ally in the struggle against the Princepts’ endless war and the Principality’s outmoded system of governance. But should the Pact offer quiet support? Should they go public and join the Break in the trenches? Perhaps they should simply infiltrate the group and help shape them towards the Pact’s needs.

It was Gallica, elect of Present, who determined the plan of action, and Gallica, thus, who would deliver the offer. The only question was whether Millennium Break understood the precarious position they rested in well enough to make the right decision.

This week on PARTIZAN: Courage in the Shadow of Opportunity

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. 

It’s original leadership committee, Plumeria, Gallica, Myosotis, Rye, and Hyacinth determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, the Pact would establish a power base in the Scutum–Centaurus arm, amass a vast fleet using the unexploited resources there, and sweep both princepts out of power, replacing the role with a five-part council representing each Stel equally.

Each was an elect: Plumeria the elect of Past, Gallica of Present, Myosotis of Future, Rye of Space, and Hyacinth of Motion. Plumeria and Myosotis were killed during Gur Sevraq’s theft of the Divine Future. Plumeria’s successor, Cymbidium, was killed when Past crashed into the sands of the Prophet’s Path. Hyacinth was killed in combat by the Rapid Evening, but has already been replaced. 

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Gallica (she/her): Elect of the Divine Present, Chief Emissary of Stel Nideo, Verse (missionary) in the Holy Church of Received Asterism, signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Anodyne of all Divinity. 

Gallica has spent the last five years living, in effect, as a double agent. Her role as a Verse of Received Asterism and Nidean Emissary is to ensure unity among the Stels and repair the harm done to Stel Nideo’s reputation by The Farmer. But she simultaneously has sown discord against the Princepts, aided in the creation of the Pact’s shadow fleets, and made herself a great deal of profit in the process. Because of Present’s unique abilities, she is the most traveled mortal being in the Divine Principality. 

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

Marengo: Oxbridge’s biggest rival to the far west of Orion territory, Marengo borders the Prophet’s Path and because of that has been favored by three groups: faithful hoping to draw on the strength of passing pilgrims; traders eager to take tourist coin; and criminals who like the proximity of uncontrolled territory.

Auspice: A seaside city in the Prophet’s Path north of Marengo (which it is smaller than) and south of Obelle (which it dwarfs). Auspice is the final destination of the land travel portion of the yearly pilgrimage led by the Church of the Resin Heart. Resting on a landmass that appears on a map to be a finger pointing eastward, it has become a coastal refuge for members of Millennium Break.

//Divines\\

Present (it/its): On first blush, Present might be confused for a small, if luxurious frigate. And sometimes, it is just that: Its oval structure houses living quarters, a humble armory, enough cargo space to hold a single hollow, and even a fully stocked bar. But at a snap of its elect’s fingers, it transforms into a humanoid war machine that serves its elect loyally, outclasses any single Hollow or Hallow in operation, and is capable of holding its own against many other Divines in combat.

Neither of these facets are what really define Present, though. Instead, it is the divine’s ability to bslink from one location to another, traveling across huge distances in an instant. A journey which would take even the most well-appointed ship of the Principality’s vast fleets a year takes Present only a second. In a world so fractured and large, where distance is felt materially, presence becomes a miracle.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?

Crossroad #5: Will The Kingdom accept the aid of the Pact of Necessary Venture in the form of a secure island, from which MB can expand their operation and farm food safe from the crisis?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
  3. Free and Fair elections will be held every two years.
  4. Burn thrones, build tables.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 03, 2020
PARTIZAN 24: Millennium Break: The First and Second Arrests of Clementine Kesh
02:05:50

One might think that, with elections behind them, Millennium Break would turn its full attention outwards, towards the world it was trying to change. Instead, like an athlete determined to operate at peak performance, it turned further inward.

Bringing democracy onboard Icebreaker was all well and good. A solid first step. But what was to be done about Clementine Kesh? What was to be done about those who would send fellow revolutionaries to die instead of stand with their comrades? What would be done about those who abetted the reactionaries? 

They set the world on fire in the name of justice only to ask: What might justice look like?

This week on PARTIZAN: Millennium Break: The First and Second Arrests of Clementine Kesh

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Sloe Uplight (he/him): His business card says “Private Historian,” his parlor rooms’ security system says “information broker,” and his grinning mouth says “no difference.” A Kesh academic turned freelance fixer. Now, his attention has turned to Millennium Break.

Quintessence “Tessence” Rey (he/him): A young member of the secret Equiaxed commune in Vigil City, Tessence is the community’s only remaining military defender. In his custom Kosmos unit, he has helped defend his family and friends from Columnar aggression numerous times. He did, however, have a card up his sleeve.

Jesset City (he/him): Previously worked for Adamant Arms and Manufacturing, Jesset became full time Oxblood Clan lieutenant (and rising star) after his participation in the fateful mission in Obelle, and solidified his status as a leader after the assault on Orzen. Expert technician, rapidly developing hollow pilot, and Cipher Certified by Stel Nideo. Utilizes prostheses on his right arm, switching between an affordable myoelectric model with grip hooks and a custom model specifically designed for interfacing with a hollow cockpit. 

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

Vigil City: The capital city of Stel Columnar on Partizan. Sits on the southern end of the “Teardrop" on a high plateau. The densest city on Partizan, Vigil City is also the most automated city on the moon.

Marengo: Oxbridge’s biggest rival to the far west of Orion territory, Marengo borders the Prophet’s Path and because of that has been favored by three groups: faithful hoping to draw on the strength of passing pilgrims; traders eager to take tourist coin; and criminals who like the proximity of uncontrolled territory.

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
  3. Free and Fair elections will be held every two years.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jun 26, 2020
PARTIZAN 23: Millennium Break: Who Will Lead Millennium Break?
02:35:53

Word traveled fast: The Oxblood Clan had demanded elections, and whether they’d get them had become the talk of all Icebreaker. For the hundreds on board familiar with the guild’s practices, Oxblood’s insistence was no surprise. The group was famous for deciding on things “as a family,” which meant a mix of extempore votes on the shop floor and regular elections for key decision-making roles throughout the organization. But the degree to which the entire fortress had been consumed with the question? That was a surprise. 

The scale of Oxblood’s representation on board was part of that. In a crew of over a thousand, they made up a solid block of a few hundred, and that meant that a whisper was heard as a galewind. Within a day, a game of telephone (and the Oxblood reputation for drama) had transformed the election fliers into “fires,” demands written in burning oil across the topdeck.

But it was also due to the novelty. While many had brushed against lowercase D democracy in their daily lives--whether that was reading about the (mostly appointed) Kesh legislature’s referendum votes or deciding which Zenith Fund research project to donate auxiliary processing hours to--many of those onboard had never even considered the possibility that their opinion should matter as much as anyone else’s. 

But that novelty was a double edged sword. Stark and stolid hierarchies had extended the Principality for over 5,000 years. What if this voting thing was a little more than a fad? A small worm chewing away in the brain of the newly free. “You are not worth it,” it says. “Return to the dirt.”

This week on PARTIZAN: Who Will Lead Millennium Break?

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

Though colloquially referred to as “the cult of Perennial,” a title that many group members accept with a sort of sardonic pride, the full name of the group is the Mysteries Metronomica, or simply Metronomica. 

Both Metronomica’s theology and praxis center on the ideas of eternal recurrence, historical cycles (large and small), and the impossibility of stability. History will turn, and they will help it on its way. 

Their relationship with Perennial gives them a unique relationship to the Perennial Wave.

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Jesset City (he/him): Previously worked for Adamant Arms and Manufacturing, Jesset became full time Oxblood Clan lieutenant (and rising star) after his participation in the fateful mission in Obelle, and solidified his status as a leader after the assault on Orzen. Expert technician, rapidly developing hollow pilot, and Cipher Certified by Stel Nideo. Utilizes prostheses on his right arm, switching between an affordable myoelectric model with grip hooks and a custom model specifically designed for interfacing with a hollow cockpit. 

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan
  2. We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jun 19, 2020
PARTIZAN 22: Millenium Break: Forward, to Piracy (Sharp Tensions Across Tremulous Seas)
01:36:14

First off, a quick note of thanks to everyone who has already contributed to our fundraising efforts for Reclaim the Block, The Bail Project, BYP100, and The Marshall Project, which we announced last week. Thanks to your donations we’ve raised over $70,000 for these causes, which is INCREDIBLE. But the sale continues. You can go to friendsatthetable.itch.io to contribute. Let’s push for $100k!

At peak operating efficiency, Icebreaker Prime can comfortably house almost 10,000 soldiers, sailors, and service members, with plenty of room to train, work, and even relax. But here, in the middle of the Prophet’s Sea, far from the Apostolosian supply lines for which it was built, and still badly damaged from Kesh’s dramatic assault months prior, Icebreaker Prime is anything but operating at peak efficiency.

From rations to rifles, the storehouses grow emptier by the day. Entire decks are off limits, flooded or worse. The technicians are still figuring out how the engine actually works--which means they’re far from understanding how to totally fix it. The fortress is mighty, yet thin: a single attack could mean its end.

And so, the revolutionaries of Millennium Break need to make a choice. Do they aim their weapons on the un- and underprotected vessels of the planet’s richest Stels? Do they dare let loose the notorious pirate, Exeter Leap? Or do they scrimp and save, maintaining on what little they have, turning to violence only when absolutely necessary, or when safety is guaranteed.. 

This week on PARTIZAN: Forward, to Piracy (Sharp Tensions Across Tremulous Seas)

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Stel Kesh: The oldest established power in the galaxy, built around a stuffy (and secretive) aristocracy. They are tied to the Past. History, knowledge, stubbornness.

Stel Nideo: Created the largest faith in the empire, and used that influence to shape (and surveil) mass culture. They are tied to the Present. Faith, coercion, stability.

 

Stel Orion: An industrial giant that controls more literal space than any other Stel, yet is also the most fragmented and unstable. They are tied to Space. Wealth, labor, expansion.

 

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

Stel Apostolos: A dynamic and diverse military powerhouse, guided by an iconic, but controversial leader. They are tied to Motion. Speed, change, violence.

Scrivener’s Guild: An organization of (armed) clerks who mediate negotiations, draft contracts, and keep records of all industrial, commercial, and private business operations with Orion-aligned organizations. Unhappy with SBBR’s performance.

The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.

The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.

The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.

The core tenets and practices of the Disciples of Logos are built around aspiration, actualization, and “progression” from one’s current self (or from society’s current state) to a future one. To encourage that process of change, the Disciples of Logos offer services like tutoring, transport, medical aid, shelter, and counseling to those on their journeys.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. With that established, the Friends believe, change and “progression” would sweep through the Principality.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power. 

Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma. 

They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

Though colloquially referred to as “the cult of Perennial,” a title that many group members accept with a sort of sardonic pride, the full name of the group is the Mysteries Metronomica, or simply Metronomica. 

Both Metronomica’s theology and praxis center on the ideas of eternal recurrence, historical cycles (large and small), and the impossibility of stability. History will turn, and they will help it on its way. 

Their relationship with Perennial gives them a unique relationship to the Perennial Wave.

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Thetonious aka “Tone” (they/them) - Gucci’s primary bodyguard, originally served in a Kesh military commando squad. Elite-class expertise in urban combat, infiltration, and rapid escalation tactics.

Zosimel (they/them): Legendary Apostolosian military tactician famous for troop maneuvers that overawed the enemy, producing a sensation of being overwhelmed even when the numbers didn't reflect that. Zosimel eventually outlined this strategy as a sort of broader philosophy called Dynamism.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroads

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?

The Millenium Break Manifesto

  1. We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan.

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jun 11, 2020
PARTIZAN 21: Millennium Break: We Will Take Hold of the Loom of History!
02:35:14

Hey everyone, Austin here. Today’s episode kicks off an eight episode run tracing the revolutionary movement on Partizan that formed at the end of the previous episode.We’ll be playing (butchering?) the Kingdom 2nd Edition playtest by Ben Robbins. Below, you can find all the standard info that is in an episode dossier, but in lieu of a traditional description, I wanted to use this space to let you know about an initiative that we’re kicking off today.

As the themes of our show have probably illustrated, all of us on this show are deeply invested in issues of justice and equality. We all stand behind the protests that have emerged across the country and world demanding justice for the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Tayler, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have been taken from us. It has given us a great deal of hope to see so many rally against a culture of white supremacy and cruel, violent, and negligent policing. To that end, we’re donating $5,000 to a few groups, listed below, to help them in their fight against injustice. 

We’d love it if you could help us raise even more. To help encourage that, we’ve worked with the artists and organizers of all four of the previous Friends at the Table fan zines to get permission to offer digital copies of those zines to help raise money. It's an INCREDIBLE collection of work from over 100 artists, and you can get them all right here.

We’re also offering the three completed Friends at the Table Patreon postcard sets digitally for the first time ever, at a greatly reduced price from their original month-to-month cost. To check all of this out, just go to friendsatthetable.itch.io. You can pick up any of the zines for $10, each of the postcard sets for $50, or the entire bundle for a flat $150. 

Finally, if you're reading this today (June 5th, 2020), then that means that Bandcamp is waiving their fees on all purchases. And because of that, Jack will be donating any money from purchases of Friends at the Table soundtracks or anything else on their Bandcamp (notquitereal.bandcamp.com) today. So that's another way you can support this drive.

About the Groups We're Supporting

Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. They believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. They organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. They do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.

Black Youth Project 100 is a national, member-based organization of Black 18-35 year old activists and organizers, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. They do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and political education using a Black queer feminist lens. BYP100 has chapters in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.

The Bail Project is a national nonprofit organization that provides free bail assistance and pre-trial support to thousands of low-income people every year while advocating for dramatic transformation of the current criminal justice system.

The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.

Again, you can support this initiative by going to friendsatthetable.itch.io.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Stel Kesh: The oldest established power in the galaxy, built around a stuffy (and secretive) aristocracy. They are tied to the Past. History, knowledge, stubbornness.

Stel Nideo: Created the largest faith in the empire, and used that influence to shape (and surveil) mass culture. They are tied to the Present. Faith, coercion, stability.

Stel Orion: An industrial giant that controls more literal space than any other Stel, yet is also the most fragmented and unstable. They are tied to Space. Wealth, labor, expansion.

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

Stel Apostolos: A dynamic and diverse military powerhouse, guided by an iconic, but controversial leader. They are tied to Motion. Speed, change, violence.

Scrivener’s Guild: An organization of (armed) clerks who mediate negotiations, draft contracts, and keep records of all industrial, commercial, and private business operations with Orion-aligned organizations. Unhappy with SBBR’s performance.

The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.

The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.

The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.

The core tenets and practices of the Disciples of Logos are built around aspiration, actualization, and “progression” from one’s current self (or from society’s current state) to a future one. To encourage that process of change, the Disciples of Logos offer services like tutoring, transport, medical aid, shelter, and counseling to those on their journeys.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. With that established, the Friends believe, change and “progression” would sweep through the Principality.

Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power. 

Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma. 

They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

Though colloquially referred to as “the cult of Perennial,” a title that many group members accept with a sort of sardonic pride, the full name of the group is the Mysteries Metronomica, or simply Metronomica. 

Both Metronomica’s theology and praxis center on the ideas of eternal recurrence, historical cycles (large and small), and the impossibility of stability. History will turn, and they will help it on its way. 

Their relationship with Perennial gives them a unique relationship to the Perennial Wave.

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

//People\\

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Zosimel (they/them): Legendary Apostolosian military tactician famous for troop maneuvers that overawed the enemy, producing a sensation of being overwhelmed even when the numbers didn't reflect that. Zosimel eventually outlined this strategy as a sort of broader philosophy called Dynamism.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.

Pique Ridge: Territory controlled by Stel Nideo on Partizan. East of the Prophet’s Sea, comprised of a mountain range which surrounds a vast, low bay. 

//Things\\

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

“Autonomy Itself”/“The True Divine”/The God of the Nobel/The God of Logos Kantel (they/them): Granted the power to transform Partizan into a living world to Logos Kantel 1000 years ago. Guided the Nobel and other cultures in the Scutum-Centaurus arm through the course of their history. 

A God of becoming, not being, process, not finality. Their origin is unknown, sometimes debated, but rarely considered important to their devotees, who care more about Their current divinity rather than the circumstances by which it was arrived at.

The phrases “the True Divine” and “Autonomy Itself” are found in some Progressive Asterists texts and doctrine, but also across heterodox and heretical religious creeds and in the teachings of gnostic and esoteric secret societies. 

The Exemplar: “God’s Divine.” Originally built 1000 years ago, now spread in “parts” across the moon. Its beating heart was left in the sea. It’s countless eyes buried under the Memoria Teardrop. Its blood runs through the springs of the Pique Ridge. Its powerful voice echoes through the windswept canyons of the Barranca. And, perhaps, something else trapped below the ice in the northern reaches of Kesh territory in the Verglaz Taiga.

//Additional Notes\\

Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?

Character Bonds

Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.

Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.

Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength. 

Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.

SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.

Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.

Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.

Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jun 05, 2020
PARTIZAN 20: On the Eve of Revolution
03:26:44

The town of Rezevi is quiet, most days. Five years ago, when the war with Kesh first kicked off, the sleepy fishing town’s residents wondered if their lives would be shaken by the conflict. But as an Apostolosian town, the demands of war--mandatory service, expectation of quarter, junior and senior reserve duty--were already stitched into daily life. In reality, it simply meant that their assigned fishing quotas raised a bit. But over the last week, a shocking number of strangers have passed through Rezevi, offering high-tech military scrap in exchange for necessities like bedding, fuel, and chowder.

What the citizens of Rezevi do not know, of course, is that the now-invisible Icebreaker Prime sits in the sea a few hours away, where the Rapid Evening licks its wounds and prepares to play host to rebels, revolutionaries, and radicals the likes of which Clementine Kesh could hardly imagine.

This week on PARTIZAN: On the Eve of Revolution

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.

The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power. 

Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma. 

They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.

The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. It’s original leadership committee, Plumeria, Gallica, Myosotis, Rye, and Hyacinth determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, the Pact would establish a power base in the Scutum–Centaurus arm, amass a vast fleet using the unexploited resources there, and sweep both princepts out of power, replacing the role with a five-part council representing each Stel equally.

The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected. 

Was originally established to rein in the Principality’s most tyrannical institutions and encourage growth and equity over generations, while hiding the truth of what lied beyond the Scutum-Centaurus Portcullis. Over time, their more noble aims were eroded, and only this final goal remained, along with a much more selfish goal of controlling the state.

Is currently in a silent war against the Pact of Necessary Venture.

The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy. 

Though colloquially referred to as “the cult of Perennial,” a title that many group members accept with a sort of sardonic pride, the full name of the group is the Mysteries Metronomica, or simply Metronomica. 

Both Metronomica’s theology and praxis center on the ideas of eternal recurrence, historical cycles (large and small), and the impossibility of stability. History will turn, and they will help it on its way. 

Their relationship with Perennial gives them a unique relationship to the Perennial Wave.

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

The Swordbreakers: An Apostolosian squad blessed by the Divine Commitment and led by Cas’alear Rizah, the adopted sibling of the Apokine and Princept Dahlia. They’re known across the war as legend killers who punch above their weight. 

//People\\

Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia.

Plumeria (she/her): Former elect of the Divine Past, High Designate of Stel Kesh, signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Bibliognost of all Divinity. Killed during the theft of the divine Future.

Gallica (she/her): Elect of the Divine Present, Chief Emissary of Stel Nideo, Verse (missionary) in the Holy Church of Received Asterism, signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Anodyne of all Divinity. 

Myosotis (he/him): Former elect of Future, Chair of the Zenith Fund, signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture and Wright of all Divinity. Future was stolen from him. 

Rye (he/him): Elect of the Space, Second of the Nine Coronet of Stel Orion, Chief Signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Provedore of all Divinity 

Hyacinth (they/them): Former Elect of Motion, Grand Marshal of the Interior, and signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Prōtostratōr of all Divinity. Served for 99 years as commander of the Black Century.

Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.

Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy. 

Figure A (they/them): A synthetic being that once worked inside of the Divine Past, working to make the data the Divine had available to it more understandable by other people.

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity High ranking member of The Curtain, the highest such on Partizan itself. 

Cymbidium (he/him): The deceased Elect of the Divine Past. Gave Thisbe a message to deliver to Mourningbride.

//Places\\

Rezevi: A small fishing village on the island-dotted northwestern coast of the Apostolosian Barranca. The nearest town to the current location of the still-cloaked Fort Icebreaker.

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.

//Divines\\

The Divine Past: Part floating city, part living library. The Divine Past was built tens of thousands of years before the Divine Principality was created. It stores an untold amount of information about the cultures it has observed, including the Divine Principality itself. The only person who can access this information is its Elect, who wanders its endless halls and travels across Divinity as equal parts librarian, priest, ship captain, and diplomat. Was destroyed when it crashed into the sand west of Obelle. Is currently being rebuilt.

May 15, 2020
PARTIZAN 19: On the Edge of Fracture
04:01:09

After a stunning victory in Orzen, the Society of Banners and Bright Returns must now face the cold light of day. Bodies wounded, hollows damaged, and reputations scarred, Broun, Thisbe, and Valence recuperate as best they can. But as the war becomes ever more complicated, and as new expectations are placed on them, tensions raise from a simmer to a boil.

This week on PARTIZAN: On the Edge of Fracture

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Stel Kesh: The oldest established power in the galaxy, built around a stuffy (and secretive) aristocracy. They are tied to the Past. History, knowledge, stubbornness.

Stel Nideo: Created the largest faith in the empire, and used that influence to shape (and surveil) mass culture. They are tied to the Present. Faith, coercion, stability.

Stel Orion: An industrial giant that controls more literal space than any other Stel, yet is also the most fragmented and unstable. They are tied to Space. Wealth, labor, expansion.

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

Stel Apostolos: A dynamic and diverse military powerhouse, guided by an iconic, but controversial leader. They are tied to Motion. Speed, change, violence.

Scrivener’s Guild: An organization of (armed) clerks who mediate negotiations, draft contracts, and keep records of all industrial, commercial, and private business operations with Orion-aligned organizations. Unhappy with SBBR’s performance.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected. 

Was originally established to rein in the Principality’s most tyrannical institutions and encourage growth and equity over generations, while hiding the truth of what lied beyond the Scutum-Centaurus Portcullis. Over time, their more noble aims were eroded, and only this final goal remained, along with a much more selfish goal of controlling the state.

The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. It’s original leadership committee, ████████, ███████, ████████, ███, and ████████ determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality,the Pact would establish a power base in the Scutum–Centaurus arm, amass a vast fleet using the unexploited resources there, and sweep both princepts out of power, █████████ ███ ████ ████ █ █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ████ ███████. 

The Nobel: The people and culture from which Valence originates. They live beyond Partizan, in the Scutum-Centaurus arm of the Milky Way, which a past Princept declared was not to be colonized or even explored. But years ago they suffered an attack by the Pact of Necessary Venture, though who specifically ordered the attack is still unknown. The majority of Nobel worship the same God as the Disciples of Logos, though the specifics of each faith remain unique.

They are gaseous, telepathic beings who often use mechanical bodies in order to interact with other sorts of people.

The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.

The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.

The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.

The core tenets and practices of the Disciples of Logos are built around aspiration, actualization, and “progression” from one’s current self (or from society’s current state) to a future one. To encourage that process of change, the Disciples of Logos offer services like tutoring, transport, medical aid, shelter, and counseling to those on their journeys.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.

The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. With that established, the Friends believe, change and “progression” would sweep through the Principality.

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

//People\\

Kueen Overture Rooke (she/her): SBBR’s contact at the Scrivener's Guild. A former ace pilot, lead mechanic, and battlefield commander, KO now uses her expertise to dispatch and guide mercenary units across Partizan as a broker in the Scrivener’s Guild.

Booker Treequote (he/him): Senior Broker for the Scrivener’s Guild. Called in to audit SBBR’s recent activities.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

The Tranquil Princept: Made an oath with the God of the Nobel 1000 years ago, promising that the Principality would not go beyond Partizan into the Scutum-Centaurus arm until they had dissolved their empire and become an equitable society. Created the Curtain of Divinity to achieve that goal.

Gucci Garantine (she/her): Leader of HORIZON’s efforts on Partizan..

Jesset City (he/him): Oxblood Clan lieutenant, engineer, and pilot.

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

//Places\\

Oxbridge: Most bridges connect land to land, but the enormous Bridge of the Ox connects ocean ports to the docks of largest freshwater lake on the moon. Under the bridge rests Oxbridge, a dense city of canals and crimson light, and the first large scale Principality settlement to come to the moon, nearly 1000 years ago.

Oxbridge is split into three regions: Brightsky West, Underbridge, and Brightsky East. To the East and West, merchants, nobles, and the ever-upwardly mobile live, work, shop and play. But below the bridge’s shadow is an undercity of laborers both local and transient, eking by from job to job, day to day, by the fuel of their effort and the light of the red, phosphorescent “lamps” that give Underbridge its distinct glow, even in daytime. 

Connecting it all together are a network of waterways, roads, and secret tunnels.  And above it all is the Bridge of the Ox, the symbol of Orion’s commitment to (and mastery of) brute-force ideology.

Orzen: A city in the Pique Ridge. SBBR, HORIZON, and the Oxblood Clan attacked the city in an effort to recover information about Past’s destruction and the Rapid Evening from a Palace archive there.

Deep Dish Steak House: A loyal bar.

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

The Prophet’s Path: An autonomous region to the west of the Prophet’s Sea, south of Apostolosian territory and north of Orion. These dusty badlands are dotted with small villages, farms, and other settlements.  Its furthest, most western reaches are untouched by Kantel’s miracle. In order to celebrate the millennial anniversary of Logos Kantel’s arrival, the Church of the Resin Heart is traveling a pilgrimage on the route the prophet once took. 

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.

//Divines\\

The Divine, Arbitrage (It/Its): It is said that divinity was too long delayed this anteperennial machine, a god of trade. But the truth is, if it wanted to be divine in the twilight era, it simply would’ve negotiated that deal. 

//Things\\

“Autonomy Itself”/“The True Divine”/The God of the Nobel/The God of Logos Kantel (they/them): Granted the power to transform Partizan into a living world to Logos Kantel 1000 years ago. Guided the Nobel and other cultures in the Scutum-Centaurus arm through the course of their history. 

A God of becoming, not being, process, not finality. Their origin is unknown, sometimes debated, but rarely considered important to their devotees, who care more about Their current divinity rather than the circumstances by which it was arrived at.

The phrases “the True Divine” and “Autonomy Itself” are found in some Progressive Asterists texts and doctrine, but also across heterodox and heretical religious creeds and in the teachings of gnostic and esoteric secret societies. 

The Exemplar: “God’s Divine.” Originally built 1000 years ago, now spread in “parts” across the moon. Its beating heart was left in the sea. It’s countless eyes buried under the Memoria Teardrop. Its blood runs through the springs of the Pique Ridge. Its powerful voice echoes through the windswept canyons of the Barranca. And, perhaps, something else trapped below the ice in the northern reaches of Kesh territory in the Verglaz Taiga.

May 08, 2020
PARTIZAN 18: BITTER AIR - COMBUSTION
02:44:35

In the valley where Juniper lies along a slight river, the Divine Motion has brought her enduring velocity to bear. In front of her, the vanguard of her Black Century, the tip of an endless spear. Behind her, the vast machinery of the greatest military power in the history of life itself. And in her sights, unworthy prey: The Rapid Evening, a group sent to die for an empire they don’t believe in and fractured even in their seditious ambitions.

This week on PARTIZAN: BITTER AIR - COMBUSTION

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Black Century: Infamous retinue of the Divine Motion. Each member of this 100-person company serves for 100 years. Motion guarantees them this service.

House Whitestar: A generation ago, House Whitestar was a footnote: A noble house in name alone, with an ancient (and novel) connection to Apostolos. But then a scion of their house was elected as Princept. Now, they have a little weight to throw around and a chip on their shoulder. Home to the virtuoso strategist Lucia Whitestar.

House Chasmata: The Chasmata family has governed Stel Kesh’s holdings for as long as Kesh has had holdings on Partizan. But in the last century, the family seems more interested in an archeological dig in the northern ice cap than in managing its estates. This has not, unfortunately for Apostolos, limited the amount of military might that Chasmata can bring to bear in an emergency. 

The Pact of Necessary Venture: The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. It’s original leadership committee, ████████, ███████, ████████, ███, and Hyacinth determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, ███ ████ █████ █████████ █ █████ ████ ██ ███ ████████████████ ███, █████ a vast fleet █████ ███ ███████████ █████████ █████, ███ █████ ████ ████████ ███ ██ █████, █████████ ███ ████ ████ █ █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ████ ███████. 

//People\\

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Hyacinth (they/them): Elect of Motion. Serving in their 99th year, Hyacinth is nearing the end of their tenure in the Black Century. 

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Currently in Rapid Evening custody. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Lucia Whitestar (she/her): “Lady Whitestar” is Clementine’s peer, emerging strategic genius, and eighth in line to the throne of Princept. Leading the operation to breach Fort Icebreaker.

Alberz Chasmata (he/him): Lord Chasmata operates all of his house’s military operations on Partizan. Given the house’s military strength, that makes him among the moon’s most influential people.

//Places\\

Fort Icebreaker: Fort Icebreaker isn’t a fort so much as what might be called the “main line of resistance” separating Kesh from Apostolos across a 500 mile stretch of Partizan. Despite its name, Fort Icebreaker comprises hundreds of military facilities, including watchtowers, artillery emplacements, anti-armor barriers, an array of advanced surveillance systems, and 12 major bases. That isn’t to say that there isn’t also A Fort Icebreaker, though: Icebreaker Prime is real and it is massive, an arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Worse: It moves. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling land carrier which prowls the tundra armed with innumerable weapons and housing over ten thousand of Apostolos’ most skilled soldiers. And, worst of all, it does not only move across the ground, but below it, too. 

Point Juniper: One of the two central bases in Fort Icebreaker’s long line, but also the weakest of them. Partially, that’s because any base with a river running through it is going to be weaker by virtue of being a little more porous. But also because, as one of the central fortresses, it’s also one of the most easily reinforced. 

Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.

The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.

Lion’s Rest: A bustling seaside port town, housing hundreds of thousands of civilians along with the bulk of the Apostolosian navy and diplomatic forces.

//Divines\\

The Divine Future: An ancient divine, dating back to the second major war in the Golden Branch star sector. Exists in the form of golden orb slightly larger than a softball or bocce ball, which can either be carried by or hover around its Elect. Offers its chosen unparalleled perspective on the hopes and dreams of themselves and others, and the endless vigor with which to pursue them. Stolen by Gur Sevraq from ████████, █████████ of ███ ████ ██ █████████ ███████.

The Divine Motion: Long after enemy fuel tanks run empty, Motion continues to power Apostolosian machines of war (like its infamous retinue, the Black Century) and service  (including the massive Barranca Loop that allows Apostolos to regularly launch ships spaceward).

//Things\\

Old Glory: Sovereign Immunity’s hallow, a modified Singh Sisters Wheel Service & Heavy Industry Ltd. “Deltoid” model. Used for rapid agricultural construction, able to create small shelters in minutes, and large modular structures in a matter of hours instead of days. Able to rapidly create barricades with large construction panels. Wields a spike-planting gun and a scythe, the latter of which was appropriated from an agricultural hollow. Once featured the icon of the Shepherd’s Crook, but this was melted by a flamethrower, then removed, leaving behind the negative space of the symbol instead of a scorch mark. Blessed by Future.

Panther: Clementine’s hallow, an ancient mech piloted by a near mythological hero of a war barely remembered. Medium sized, black, humanoid, angular, and birdlike in some elements of its design. In another life, it could split itself up into independently flying microwings, each of which could serve as a flanking weapon. Its current pilot can not conceive of using it in this way. Blessed by Future.

Stray Dog: Million’s hallow, a Zenith-A Project Katalepsis prototype model, stolen when she went AWOL from GLORY. Medium-sized and humanoid in base shape, but able to rearrange its body to accommodate the rail gun built into the torso and left arm. Each limb is double jointed with sleek black and silver plating. There is only one glowing eye on the head, which houses the Stray Dog's aiming systems and pilot. Blessed by Future.

Heads Up: Exeter Leap’s hallow, a re-fitted Emergentec Rapid Response Type III Breaching Ambulance which he has converted for criminal purposes. Large cylindrical legs taper upwards towards the head. Armored fists and a back mounted mortar. Blessed by Future.

AdArm Cast: This surveillance hollow is mostly used by Stel Nideo, where it features angelic (and grotesque) features. But in its Kesh variation, this mirror-coated, humanoid mech’s wings are stylized as long claymores instead of feather-y wings, and its body a noble knight instead of celestial seraphim. Just above its mouth, its head becomes an AWACS-esque flat sensor disc. 

AdArm Shrewdness: These modified Troop units have been retrofitted for long range combat, with lock-on missile launchers and only short range chest vulcans for anti-infantry and close-range combat.

Zenith-A Project Kosmos: Designed by the Columnar Zenith Fund for Apostolosian use, these hefty hollows are designed for melee supremacy. Their bulky, reverse jointed legs allow them to explode with speed into close range (where they can do serious damage with their long heat glaives), or to hold their ground from incoming assaults (supported by the stock, circular shield each unit wields). The cost of this strength is a lack of versatility: Between the added articulation and pre-programmed combat routines required for the elaborate weapon use these hollows are known for, there simply wasn’t room left for any serious ranged weaponry.

AdAm Cackle: Designed to disorient enemies with their quick speeds and to finish off weakened units, the Cackle is a four legged model named for a group of hyenas. Their side-mounted rockets can be used for additional acceleration or as holdout munitions, but their primary weapons are their sharp claws and the heavy cannons on their backs.

AdArm Wake: Adamant Arms and Artifice isn’t known for building particularly maneuverable units, and these heavy flight mechs are evidence of that, as they hover through the sky more than soar. But between the information provided by their altitude, their added armor, and their unpredictable armaments, they remain a force to be reckoned with. When they launch their tethered, magnetic talons at a foe, there is rarely time to adjust. Soon enough, their foes are lifted into the air and dropped, soft-side first, into the hardest surface available.

Z-A Project Pneuma Prototype: The Pnuema is an experimental model based on the basic design ethos first explored with the Z-A Kosmos. Instead of being focused on extreme close range, the Pneuma is meant to dominate the battlefield as a heavyweight, mid-range commander. Despite its increased scale, large ovoid vernier engines allow it a great deal of mobility, making it an intimidating machine to face--even more so when you take into account the fact that its heat glave has been affixed with a pump-action rocket launcher. If that wasn’t enough, this particular model creaks and groans with Divine potential...

//Additional Notes\\

Primary Objective: After House Chasmata attacks Fort Icebreaker at the northwestern point Spruce, capture and hold central point Juniper long enough for Lucia Whitestar to break through Fort Icebreaker at southeastern point Pine. Prevent Fort Icebreaker from reaching Point Pine at any cost

Secondary Objective: Provide the documentary team with enough footage to increase your reputation.

ROE: Capture and detain all POWs. Harm no one captured, but let none flee to spread the word.

Future's Hallowed: In your vehicle, when you get a 4+ result on a roll, you can remove the highest die to refresh your Spark (this can turn a success into failure, or crit into a normal success if the two 6s are the only successful dice). Spend your spark to change a failed roll into a partial success.

May 01, 2020
PARTIZAN 17: BITTER AIR - THREECARD
02:32:30

At the northwest reaches of the extended defensive perimeter known as Fort Icebreaker, Kesh brigades engage in a feint so convincing that the graves have already been dug. To the southeast, the bulk of the Stel’s might on Partizan waits for the signal to roll through the weakest point in Apostolos’ line. And in the middle, as if the axle of a wheel, is the Rapid Evening, a river, and a bastion called Juniper. Here rests the fate of the early days of this new offensive.

From the hills to the south, the fog begins to roll in.

This week on PARTIZAN: BITTER AIR - THREECARD

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Black Century: Infamous retinue of the Divine Motion. Each member of this 100-person company serves for 100 years. Motion guarantees them this service.

House Whitestar: A generation ago, House Whitestar was a footnote: A noble house in name alone, with an ancient (and novel) connection to Apostolos. But then a scion of their house was elected as Princept. Now, they have a little weight to throw around and a chip on their shoulder. Home to the virtuoso strategist Lucia Whitestar.

House Chasmata: The Chasmata family has governed Stel Kesh’s holdings for as long as Kesh has had holdings on Partizan. But in the last century, the family seems more interested in an archeological dig in the northern ice cap than in managing its estates. This has not, unfortunately for Apostolos, limited the amount of military might that Chasmata can bring to bear in an emergency. 

//People\\

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.

Hyacinth (they/them): Elect of Motion. Serving in their 99th year, Hyacinth is nearing the end of their tenure in the Black Century. 

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Currently in Rapid Evening custody. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Lucia Whitestar (she/her): “Lady Whitestar” is Clementine’s peer, emerging strategic genius, and eighth in line to the throne of Princept. Leading the operation to breach Fort Icebreaker.

Alberz Chasmata (he/him): Lord Chasmata operates all of his house’s military operations on Partizan. Given the house’s military strength, that makes him among the moon’s most influential people.

//Places\\

Fort Icebreaker: Fort Icebreaker isn’t a fort so much as what might be called the “main line of resistance” separating Kesh from Apostolos across a 500 mile stretch of Partizan. Despite its name, Fort Icebreaker comprises hundreds of military facilities, including watchtowers, artillery emplacements, anti-armor barriers, an array of advanced surveillance systems, and 12 major bases. That isn’t to say that there isn’t also A Fort Icebreaker, though: Icebreaker Prime is real and it is massive, an arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Worse: It moves. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling land carrier which prowls the tundra armed with innumerable weapons and housing over ten thousand of Apostolos’ most skilled soldiers. And, worst of all, it does not only move across the ground, but below it, too. 

Point Juniper: One of the two central bases in Fort Icebreaker’s long line, but also the weakest of them. Partially, that’s because any base with a river running through it is going to be weaker by virtue of being a little more porous. But also because, as one of the central fortresses, it’s also one of the most easily reinforced. 

Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.

The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.

//Divines\\

The Divine Future: An ancient divine, dating back to the second major war in the Golden Branch star sector. Exists in the form of golden orb slightly larger than a softball or bocce ball, which can either be carried by or hover around its Elect. Offers its chosen unparalleled perspective on the hopes and dreams of themselves and others, and the endless vigor with which to pursue them. Stolen by Gur Sevraq from ████████, █████████ of ███ ████ ██ █████████ ███████.

The Divine Motion: Long after enemy fuel tanks run empty, Motion continues to power Apostolosian machines of war (like its infamous retinue, the Black Century) and service  (including the massive Barranca Loop that allows Apostolos to regularly launch ships spaceward).

//Things\\

Old Glory: Sovereign Immunity’s hallow, a modified Singh Sisters Wheel Service & Heavy Industry Ltd. “Deltoid” model. Used for rapid agricultural construction, able to create small shelters in minutes, and large modular structures in a matter of hours instead of days. Able to rapidly create barricades with large construction panels. Wields a spike-planting gun and a scythe, the latter of which was appropriated from an agricultural hollow. Once featured the icon of the Shepherd’s Crook, but this was melted by a flamethrower, then removed, leaving behind the negative space of the symbol instead of a scorch mark. Blessed by Future.

Panther: Clementine’s hallow, an ancient mech piloted by a near mythological hero of a war barely remembered. Medium sized, black, humanoid, angular, and birdlike in some elements of its design. In another life, it could split itself up into independently flying microwings, each of which could serve as a flanking weapon. Its current pilot can not conceive of using it in this way. Blessed by Future.

Stray Dog: Million’s hallow, a Zenith-A Project Katalepsis prototype model, stolen when she went AWOL from GLORY. Medium-sized and humanoid in base shape, but able to rearrange its body to accommodate the rail gun built into the torso and left arm. Each limb is double jointed with sleek black and silver plating. There is only one glowing eye on the head, which houses the Stray Dog's aiming systems and pilot. Blessed by Future.

Heads Up: Exeter Leap’s hallow, a re-fitted Emergentec Rapid Response Type III Breaching Ambulance which he has converted for criminal purposes. Large cylindrical legs taper upwards towards the head. Armored fists and a back mounted mortar. Blessed by Future.

AdArm Cast: This surveillance hollow is mostly used by Stel Nideo, where it features angelic (and grotesque) features. But in its Kesh variation, this mirror-coated, humanoid mech’s wings are stylized as long claymores instead of feather-y wings, and its body a noble knight instead of celestial seraphim. Just above its mouth, its head becomes an AWACS-esque flat sensor disc. 

AdArm Shrewdness: These modified Troop units have been retrofitted for long range combat, with lock-on missile launchers and only short range chest vulcans for anti-infantry and close-range combat.

Zenith-A Project Kosmos: Designed by the Columnar Zenith Fund for Apostolosian use, these hefty hollows are designed for melee supremacy. Their bulky, reverse jointed legs allow them to explode with speed into close range (where they can do serious damage with their long heat glaives), or to hold their ground from incoming assaults (supported by the stock, circular shield each unit wields). The cost of this strength is a lack of versatility: Between the added articulation and pre-programmed combat routines required for the elaborate weapon use these hollows are known for, there simply wasn’t room left for any serious ranged weaponry.

AdAm Cackle: Designed to disorient enemies with their quick speeds and to finish off weakened units, the Cackle is a four legged model named for a group of hyenas. Their side-mounted rockets can be used for additional acceleration or as holdout munitions, but their primary weapons are their sharp claws and the heavy cannons on their backs.

AdArm Wake (vulture): Adamant Arms and Artifice isn’t known for building particularly maneuverable units, and these heavy flight mechs are evidence of that, as they hover through the sky more than soar. But between the information provided by their altitude, their added armor, and their unpredictable armaments, they remain a force to be reckoned with. When they launch their tethered, magnetic talons at a foe, there is rarely time to adjust. Soon enough, their foes are lifted into the air and dropped, soft-side first, into the hardest surface available.

Z-A Project Pneuma Prototype: The Pnuema is an experimental model based on the basic design ethos first explored with the Z-A Kosmos. Instead of being focused on extreme close range, the Pneuma is meant to dominate the battlefield as a heavyweight, mid-range commander. Despite its increased scale, large ovoid vernier engines allow it a great deal of mobility, making it an intimidating machine to face--even more so when you take into account the fact that its heat glave has been affixed with a pump-action rocket launcher. If that wasn’t enough, this particular model creaks and groans with Divine potential...

//Additional Notes\\

Primary Objective: After House Chasmata attacks Fort Icebreaker at the northwestern point Spruce, capture and hold central point Juniper long enough for Lucia Whitestar to break through Fort Icebreaker at southeastern point Pine. Prevent Fort Icebreaker from reaching Point Pine at any cost

Secondary Objective: Provide the documentary team with enough footage to increase your reputation.

ROE: Capture and detain all POWs. Harm no one captured, but let none flee to spread the word.Future's Hallowed: In your vehicle, when you get a 4+ result on a roll, you can remove the highest die to refresh your Spark (this can turn a success into failure, or crit into a normal success if the two 6s are the only successful dice). Spend your spark to change a failed roll into a partial success.

Apr 25, 2020
PARTIZAN 16: BITTER AIR - BEHEST
02:06:35

In the weeks since Kesh’s new offensive into Apostolos territory, little has changed besides the quantity of weekly war casualties. Halting Kesh’s push is Fort Icebreaker, a massive defensive line composed of a dozen smaller forts, an intricate tunnel system, and a massive moving fortress called Icebreaker Prime which stalks along the border, rejecting any intruders with overwhelming force. 

 

But that will change today, says Kesh leadership. Organized by tactical prodigy Lucia Whitestar, a complex ploy is put into action. House Chasmata, strongest of Kesh’s noble families on Partizan, will lead their vast ground force in a feint maneuver to Icebreaker’s northwest edge. Lucia, meanwhile, will lead the combined forces of the remaining houses at the Fort’s opposite end in the southeast. 

It’s an old plan, one that hasn’t worked in five years of war, nor the occasional skirmish prior. But this time, there is a final twist: The Rapid Evening. Driven into the fray by A.O. Rooke’s boisterous bragging, the group has been given a difficult task: Capture one of the smaller fortresses in the center of the defensive line and hold the returning Icebreaker Prime for long enough that Lucia’s army can breach the southern defenses and finally secure a foothold deeper into Apostolosian territory.

WIth the gravity of the task at hand, the members of the Rapid Evening look for any advantage they can get. Information. Family. Prayer.

This week on PARTIZAN: BITTER AIR - BEHEST

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Swordbreakers: Blessed by Commitment and led by Cas’alear Rizah, the adopted sibling of the Apokine & Princept, they’re known across the war as legend killers who punch above their weight.

Serpent’s Head: Grand Admiral Phy’lon Antiphony and their fleet serves double duty as both naval powerhouse and lead diplomatic corp for Apostolos’ forces on Partizan. They wear the name like a dare.

House Whitestar: A generation ago, House Whitestar was a footnote: A noble house in name alone, with an ancient (and novel) connection to Apostolos. But then a scion of their house was elected as Princept. Now, they have a little weight to throw around and a chip on their shoulder. Home to the virtuoso strategist Lucia Whitestar.

House Chasmata: The Chasmata family has governed Stel Kesh’s holdings for as long as Kesh has had holdings on Partizan. But in the last century, the family seems more interested in an archeological dig in the northern ice cap than in managing its estates. This has not, unfortunately for Apostolos, limited the amount of military might that Chasmata can bring to bear in an emergency. 

The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected. 

//People\\

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia. Previously fought against the Oxblood Clan in Obelle and negotiated with Clementine Kesh during the recovery of Past.

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity, Crysanth is the highest ranking member of the Curtain on Partizan.

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Currently in Rapid Evening custody. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. 

Lucia Whitestar (she/her): “Lady Whitestar” is Clementine’s peer, emerging strategic genius, and eighth in line to the throne of Princept. Leading the operation to breach Fort Icebreaker.

Alberz Chasmata (he/him): Lord Chasmata operates all of his house’s military operations on Partizan. Given the house’s military strength, that makes him among the moon’s most influential people.

//Places\\

Lion’s Rest: A bustling seaside port town, housing hundreds of thousands of civilians along with the bulk of the Apostolosian navy and diplomatic forces.

Fort Icebreaker: Fort Icebreaker isn’t a fort so much as what might be called the “main line of resistance” separating Kesh from Apostolos across a 500 mile stretch of Partizan. Despite its name, Fort Icebreaker comprises hundreds of military facilities, including watchtowers, artillery emplacements, anti-armor barriers, an array of advanced surveillance systems, and 12 major bases. That isn’t to say that there isn’t also A Fort Icebreaker, though: Icebreaker Prime is real and it is massive, an arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Worse: It moves. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling land carrier which prowls the tundra armed with innumerable weapons and housing over ten thousand of Apostolos’ most skilled soldiers. And, worst of all, it does not only move across the ground, but below it, too. 

Point Juniper: One of the two central bases in Fort Icebreaker’s long line, but also the weakest of them. Partially, that’s because any base with a river running through it is going to be weaker by virtue of being a little more porous. But also because, as one of the central fortresses, it’s also one of the most easily reinforced. 

Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.

//Divines\\

The Divine Future: An ancient divine, dating back to the second major war in the Golden Branch star sector. Exists in the form of golden orb slightly larger than a softball or bocce ball, which can either be carried by or hover around its Elect. Offers its chosen unparalleled perspective on the hopes and dreams of themselves and others, and the endless vigor with which to pursue them. Stolen by Gur Sevraq from ████████, █████████ of ███ ████ ██ █████████ ███████.

//Things\\

AdArm Cast: This surveillance hollow is mostly used by Stel Nideo, where it features angelic (and grotesque) features. But in its Kesh variation, this mirror-coated, humanoid mech’s wings are stylized as long claymores instead of feather-y wings, and its body a noble knight instead of celestial seraphim. Just above its mouth, its head becomes an AWACS-esque flat sensor disc. 

AdArm Shrewdness: These modified Troop units have been retrofitted for long range combat, with lock-on missile launchers and only short range chest vulcans for anti-infantry and close-range combat.

Zenith-A Project Kosmos: Designed by the Columnar Zenith Fund for Apostolosian use, these hefty hollows are designed for melee supremacy. Their bulky, reverse jointed legs allow them to explode with speed into close range (where they can do serious damage with their long heat glaives), or to hold their ground from incoming assaults (supported by the stock, circular shield each unit wields). The cost of this strength is a lack of versatility: Between the added articulation and pre-programmed combat routines required for the elaborate weapon use these hollows are known for, there simply wasn’t room left for any serious ranged weaponry.

//Additional Notes\\

Primary Objective: After House Chasmata attacks Fort Icebreaker at the northwestern point Spruce, capture and hold central point Juniper long enough for Lucia Whitestar to break through Fort Icebreaker at southeastern point Pine. Prevent Fort Icebreaker from reaching Point Pine at any cost

Secondary Objective: Provide the documentary team with enough footage to increase your reputation.

ROE: Capture and detain all POWs. Harm no one captured, but let none flee to spread the word.

Apr 17, 2020
PARTIZAN 15: Divine Attention
02:47:04

Content Warning: This episode features discussion of chemical warfare and suffocation.

Deep in the Pique Ridge, at the back of a steephead valley, on the edge of the town of Orzen, under the Cathedral of Imperium is an archival facility filled with record of Partizan’s greatest secrets. And in its halls, gunfire rings out as HORIZON leader Gucci Garantine, her bodyguard Thetonious, and their collaborator Valence attempt to breach the sanctum’s innermost reaches. As below so above, as the ground shakes with the arrival of Orzen’s noble defenders, Imperium’s Plume, ready to drive HORIZON and their SBBR allies from the city. In the middle of it all, Jesset City and the Oxblood Clan, blooming radicals with a role assigned to them, and another they’d like to play. 

The stage is set. It is time to draw back the curtain.

This week on PARTIZAN: A Revelation in Orzen

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

HORIZON: A radical-reformist group funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline. Commanded on Partizan by Gucci Garantine.

The Partizan Palace: The Palace provides citizens with authorized archival information, approved news reports, art, and entertainment determined to be canonical to the Divine Principality.

Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR. 

Imperium’s Plume: A Hallow unit blessed by Imperium, one of the very first Divines of the Principality, tasked with inspiring support for Stel Nideo on Partizan by ensuring that even the home of Progressive Asterism remembers the strength of NIdeo’s virtue. 

The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. It’s original leadership committee, ████████, ███████, ████████, ███, and ████████ determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, ███ ████ █████ █████████ █ █████ ████ ██ ███ ████████████████ ███, █████ █ ████ █████ █████ ███ ███████████ █████████ █████, ███ █████ ████ ████████ ███ ██ █████, █████████ ███ ████ ████ █ █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ████ ███████. 

//People\\

Amber Haze (she/her): Leader of the Imperium’s Plume rear guard unit. Wavy, blonde hair. Officer’s uniform in the color of sunset, with a professional cut and adorned with medals awarded in service. Neck and jawline lined with metal. Pilots the Cadenza.

Gucci Garantine (she/her): Leader of HORIZON’s efforts on Partizan..

Jesset City (he/him): Oxblood Clan lieutenant, engineer, and pilot.

Meridian Street (she/her) - Gucci Garantine’s second in command in HORIZON. Dark lipstick, blue crewcut, expertise in matters logistical and military. Pilots a Yoke.

Thetonious aka “Tone” (they/them) - Gucci’s primary bodyguard, originally served in a Kesh military commando squad. Elite-class expertise in urban combat, infiltration, and rapid escalation tactics.

//Places\\

Orzen: Deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge, this city of 75,000 sits at the end of a box canyon. What started as a mining town grew to be a popular destination for both the religious and culturally inclined, as the city is home to a massive cathedral, Divine statuary, and one of the moon’s largest theaters. 

//Divines\\

The Divine Imperium: One of the first Divines of the Principality. It has blessed its Hallowed with extended flight capabilities and, in some cases, a burning aura of authority.

The Divine Cadence: There is a box on your desk. It is the same box as on hundreds of thousands of other desks across Partizan, regardless of Stel. When you press it, a smooth voice tells you tomorrow’s weather, and then plays you a song. An old, familiar one, maybe. Or perhaps a new one, composed there and then, just for you. Your troubles leave your mind. 

//Things\\

The Portcullis System: Once, every 10 days, the Portcullis System activates. A hundred thousand of these massive structures, elongated, city-sized hexagons of stone and circuitry, shudder, shake, and howl all at once. And at the edge of every star system in the Divine Principality, a geyser of liquid energy, red and oppressive, explodes into darkness. Ships emerge from these crimson and white waves. Ships filled with medical supplies and mineral wealth, purveyors of faith and career politicians, censored information and refurbished war machines. The lifeblood of a vibrant, vicious empire.

Zenith-N Cadenza: A prototype unit designed for Stel Nideo by the Columnar’s Zenith Fund and now blessed by the Divine Imperium, this light Hallow moves with the sound of violins and strikes with the heat and violence of a volcanic eruption. The Cadenza was designed to harass units at midrange with its kusari-fundo-style, magnetic/propulsive chain whips for a long enough time that its shoulder mounted beam cannon can finish the job. Though capable of real flight, the Cadenza and its pilot, Amber Haze, prefer to use the rocket-propelled, magnetic weights on the end of its chains to “swing” through urban environments. Though unorthodox, this technique has left many opponents confused long enough for Haze to land the killing blow.

AdArm Flock: For years, Adamant Arms and Artifice was known for their rugged, sturdy, and (literally) grounded designs. But with the Zenith Fund’s explosion in growth, and their focus on dynamic and maneuverable machines, AdArm found themselves facing clients with new demands, which forced them to compete on new unfamiliar territory. Their solution was the surprisingly effective Flock, which goes beyond a simple refit of the Troop and stands as what is fundamentally a new, medium-sized machine. Equipped with a basic flight pack, a retractable axe blade, and a powerful underarm flak cannon, the Flock excels in two main combat roles: FIrst, as aerial harriers, meant to harass ground based foes with long range fire from the safety of the sky. Second, as close range skirmishers, which leap into the fray, deal damage, and escape before their armor gives way.

Poetic Cipher: A security system used by Stel Nideo. Requires knowledge not only of up to date passcodes, but also a high level, intuitive understanding of poetic techniques, conventions, and history. 

Herd: Developed from the basic AdArm Troop design, the Herd’s centaur like silhouette is famous to anyone who has faced off against Apostolos. The Troop’s bipedal legs have been replaced with piston-driven, heavy quad legs that are able to shift between two modes: Movement (with legs paired parallel like an ungulate, allowing for high speed traversal or charges) or combat (spread in a wide cross shape for stability in firing or traversal, moving like a spider). Armed with heavy shoulder cannon, and spears that can be used for both melee combat and as javelin-like explosive projectiles. 

Yoke: The Oxblood Clan’s unique, further customized Herds. Though they cannot transform into the Herd’s “combat” mode, they have upgrades that allow them to serve a unique command and operations role when deployed in pairs. Their heads feature unique horn sensors which can generate battlefield map data and targeting assistance when two Yokes can provide complete data. Wields a giant fortress shield in left hand, a kanabo in the right, and a vertical missile pod on back.

//Additional Notes\\

SBBR’s Objectives: Primary - Escort Gucci Garantine into the Palace facility and safely secure her extraction. Secondary - Maintain ruse for length of mission.

Rules of Engagement: Do no harm to the Residential district and minimal harm to the Theater (commercial) district. Damage to the Cathedral, Statuary, Quartz district, or Palace Staging interior is acceptable.  

Apr 10, 2020
PARTIZAN 14: Deception in the Canyon City
03:03:41

Eager to refill their coffers, Kal’Mera Broun has brought SBBR to meet Kesh noble (and HORIZON commander) Gucci Garantine, who offers the group a daring opportunity to both make some money and get access--however temporary--to some Stel Nideo state secrets along the way. 

The target is a secure Palace facility in the canyon city of Orzen, where raw footage is given final review before being shipped off-world for permanent archival. But with Apostolos’ Barranca Loop on lockdown, its harder than ever to get things off of Partizan, which means that more material than ever is available in the facility.

Plus, with each Stel reinforcing their borders ahead of what feels like inevitable war, this city deep in the Pique Ridge has been left without its usual guards. Where once the noble hallows of Imperium’s Plume guarded the people of Orzen (and the Palace staging facility hidden beneath the town), defense has now been contracted to a group of Oxblood Clan mercenaries. Oxblood clan mercenaries with motives and loyalties all their own...

This week on PARTIZAN: Deception in the Canyon City

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Partizan Palace: Across Divinity, the Palace provides citizens with authorized archival information, approved news reports (kept up to date locally by the day, galactically by the week), and art and entertainment determined to be canonical to the Divine Principality.

Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR. 

Imperium’s Plume: A Hallow unit blessed by Imperium, one of the very first Divines of the Principality, tasked with inspiring support for Stel Nideo on Partizan by ensuring that even the home of Progressive Asterism remembers the strength of NIdeo’s virtue. 

//People\\

Gucci Garantine (she/her): AKA Saint Dawn. Vassal and political attache to House Brightline of Stel Kesh. She and House Brightline reportedly have ties to the “reformist” (read: terrorist) organization HORIZON. Rivals with Clementine Kesh, and contact of Kal’mera Broun.

Jesset City (he/him): Previously worked for Adamant Arms and Manufacturing, Jesset became full time Oxblood Clan lieutenant (and rising star) after his participation in the fateful mission in Obelle. Expert technician, rapidly developing hollow pilot, and Cipher Certified by Stel Nideo. Utilizes prostheses on his right arm, switching between an affordable myoelectric model with grip hooks and a custom model specifically designed for interfacing with a hollow cockpit. Pilots a Yoke. 

Meridian Street (she/her) - Gucci Garantine’s second in command in HORIZON. Dark lipstick, blue crewcut, expertise in matters logistical and military. Pilots a Yoke.

Thetonious aka “Tone” (they/them) - Gucci’s bodyguard. 

Aram Nideo (he/him): Often called the “The Father of Asterism,” Aram Nideo penned the “Many Stars Argument,” which became the backbone not only for the Divine Principality’s faith but also its governmental structure. Posthumously awarded Divine status.

//Places\\

Pique Ridge: Territory controlled by Stel Nideo on Partizan. East of the Prophet’s Sea, comprised of a mountain range which surrounds a vast, low bay. 

Orzen: Deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge, this city of 75,000 sits at the end of a box canyon. What started as a mining town grew to be a popular destination for both the religious and culturally inclined, as the city is home to a massive cathedral, Divine statuary, and one of the moon’s largest theaters. 

//Things\\

Perspective Bleeding: Once, before they were a Stel, the Columnar would collect and join together the thoughts of hundreds, thousands, or even millions, to arrive at policy decisions. This “Perspective Blending” was the heart of a democratic system that has been eradicated. In its place is the edgily-named “Perspective Bleeding,” which offers a taste of that experience for just a few credits, if you know the right person. In Orzen, Gucci Garantine uses a Perspective Bleeding device not to relax or explore the consciousness of others, but to temporarily gain access to the skillset of someone else.

Poetic Cipher: A security system used by Stel Nideo. Requires knowledge not only of up to date passcodes, but also a high level, intuitive understanding of poetic techniques, conventions, and history. 

Herd: Developed from the basic AdArm Troop design, the Herd’s centaur like silhouette is famous to anyone who has faced off against Apostolos. The Troop’s bipedal legs have been replaced with piston-driven, heavy quad legs that are able to shift between two modes: Movement (with legs paired parallel like an ungulate, allowing for high speed traversal or charges) or combat (spread in a wide cross shape for stability in firing or traversal, moving like a spider). Armed with heavy shoulder cannon, and spears that can be used for both melee combat and as javelin-like explosive projectiles. 

Yoke: The Oxblood Clan’s unique, further customized Herds. Though they cannot transform into the Herd’s “combat” mode, they have upgrades that allow them to serve a unique command and operations role when deployed in pairs. Their heads feature unique horn sensors which can generate battlefield map data and targeting assistance when two Yokes can provide complete data. Wields a giant fortress shield in left hand, a kanabo in the right, and a vertical missile pod on back.

Wave Fried Art: An underground creative technique mainstreamed by Columnar musicians and performance artists Jerica Vault and Roland Tenten on their “Wave Fried” tour, which involves either creating something susceptible to standard Perennial Wave interference or else intentionally exposing something to a high degree of Wave. Regardless of method, the intent is to create a unique work that explores the boundaries of the Wave and makes more visible the context that delimit all artistic production. 

//Additional Notes\\

SBBR’s Objectives: Primary - Escort Gucci Garantine into the Palace facility and safely secure her extraction. Secondary - Maintain ruse for length of mission.

Rules of Engagement: Do no harm to the Residential district and minimal harm to the Theater (commercial) district. Damage to the Cathedral, Statuary, Quartz district, or Palace Staging interior is acceptable. 

Apr 03, 2020
PARTIZAN 13: A Captive Audience
03:24:16

Content Warning: This episode features injury, surgery, and infection. 

With Gur Sevraq retrieved (and secreted away inside of the Winter Palace), the Rapid Evening ought to have earned themselves reprieve. But with the drums of war beating, an overeager member of the crew volunteers them for a difficult new mission. With this added pressure, Clementine Kesh pushes herself to get back on her feet as quickly as possible, while her crew uses what time they find to continue pursuing their own goals.

This week on PARTIZAN: A Captive Audience

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected. 

It is unclear (even to the vast majority of the organization’s members) how, when, and why the Curtain was founded, but its fundamental organizational hierarchy is a key part of one’s induction into the society. The Curtain keeps a simple, cell-based hierarchy, with individual worlds reporting up to star sectors, which then report up to the highest tier of command.

At each tier there may be countless operatives, but each reports to one of five key figures in their tier:

  • The Silk: Minister in charge of Curtain diplomatic corps. Commands undercover agents who have infiltrated foreign governments.
  • The Damask: Philosopher, theologian, and scientist whose purview is performing and obtaining heretical and otherwise forbidden material.
  • The Lace: Marshall in command of the Curtain’s military forces, including reconnaissance and martial saboteur units.
  • The Linen: Steward, Quartermaster, Armorer, Bookkeeper. In charge of industrial espionage.
  • The Gabardine: Chief spymaster, keeper of all information, and (traditionally) the executive who proposes large scale, cross-branch action.

Each planet and/or sector has their own chief operatives in these roles, which roll up to the top, Divinity-wide tier. When referenced in speech or text, the operatives use only these titles, e.g. “The Lace of Partizan” or “The Gabardine of Divinity.”

House Brightline / HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Secretly funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline. Its Partizan branch is commanded by Gucci Garantine.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of Logos Kantel’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church.

//People\\

Audacious Opportunity (A.O.) Rooke (he/him): Was a young freelance mercenary operating under Stel Orion charter before being captured by Stel Kesh on an assignment deep behind enemy lines. Now commands the Rapid Evening’s infantry division.

Figure A (they/them): A synthetic being that once worked inside of the Divine Past, working to make the data the Divine had available to it more understandable by other people. :

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity High ranking member of The Curtain, the highest such on Partizan itself. See The Curtain of Divinity above for more.

The Winter Doctor (he/him): Dr. Schuyler has been making visits to the Winter Palace for decades. Now he does so for Clementine Kesh.

//Places\\

Fort Icebreaker: A mobile fortress and battle station which patrols the northeastern border with Kesh. Moves between a dozen different smaller, subterranean bases, each of which is connected to a network of underground transport tunnels. In some sense, this entire system is “Fort Icebreaker.”

The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.

Cruciat: The Jewel of Kesh’s holdings on Partizan (and the home of the Stel’s Winter Palace) sits on a cross shaped island in the northernmost reaches of the Prophet’s Sea

The Winter Palace: Owned and managed by House Kesh, but eternal “home” to the Princept, whether they choose to visit or not. Built for privacy and access, featuring both its own port and trainyard.

Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.

//Things\\

The Divine Future: An ancient divine, dating back to the second major war in the Golden Branch star sector. Exists in the form of golden orb slightly larger than a softball or bocce ball, which can either be carried by or hover around its Elect. Offers its chosen unparalleled perspective on the hopes and dreams of themselves and others, and the endless vigor with which to pursue them.

The Divine Vernacular:  A Stel Nideo Divine which allows those loyal (and blessed) to communicate instantly, at distance. A power some say is more powerful than even the sharpest spearhead. 

“The True Divine”: A phrase found in some Progressive Asterists texts and doctrine, but also across heterodox and heretical religious creeds and in of the teachings of gnostic and esoteric secret societies. 

Mar 27, 2020
PARTIZAN 12: A Call From an Island
02:24:39

With the “kidnapping” of Gur Sevraq spread far and wide, each Stel on Partizan spins up for war—even though some have not yet decided who they will come to blows with. In the heat of this moment, the Isles of Logos have become more important than ever, with shipments passing through the port and transports stopping to refuel on route to some combat maneuver. 

But for the Disciples of Logos on the island, whose leader has seemingly vanished not once, but twice, these developments have earned even greater concern. Unsure of Sevraq’s location, the Church of the Resin Heart requests aid from the Society of Banners and Bright Returns, who use the trip to the isles to find their own relief… and profit.

This week on PARTIZAN: A Call From an Island

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.

Asterism: Split into two major sects (Received and Progressive), the state religion of the Divine Principality.

The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church.

The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

The Nobel: The people and culture from which Valence originates. They live beyond Partizan, in the Scutum-Centaurus arm of the Milky Way, which a past Princept declared was not to be colonized or even explored. But years ago they suffered an attack from someone from the Divine Principality. Valence seeks to answer how, who, and why.

The Rapid Evening: Secret “protectors” of Gur Sevraq.

//People\\

Avar (they/them) and Ryrira (she/her): Gur Sevraq’s chief of security and quartermaster, respectively. Have a child, M’reb.

Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. 

Gucci Garantine (she/her): Vassal and political attache to House Brightline of Stel Kesh. She and House Brightline reportedly have ties to the “reformist” (read: terrorist) organization HORIZON. Rivals with Clementine Kesh, and contact of Kal’mera Broun.

Kenzington “Kenzi” Be (she/her): Commanding Officer of the Columnar 301st Appraisal Unit. Previously a high ranking member of Columnar military, demoted after she refused an order. Was defeated by SBBR during their last deployment.

//Places\\

Logos City: Capital of the Isles of Logos 

//Things\\

The Strand: A technology once used by the ancient Hyphan people to travel, without Portcullis technology, from system to system. 

Mar 19, 2020
PARTIZAN 11: DESERT SQUIRE - SLEIGHT
02:23:57

From the midst of a sandstorm, hands burst through the tempest in search of a miracle worker. From the front, the reformed pirate Callister Drive Callister leads his forces—and the unnatural sands—towards the heart of Gur Sevraq’s pilgrimage. From the rear, the head of Partizan’s largest church, the Song Aleel Verdicate, seeks to employ subtler methods to capture her prey. And in the middle of it all is the Rapid Evening, declaring their presence—and their intentions—as loudly as any who have ever carried the name. 

This week on PARTIZAN: DESERT SQUIRE - SLEIGHT

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

House Callister: The newest house of Orion, whose status was earned through “heroism in battle...” which is to say state-sanctioned piracy. Led by and named for Callister Drive Callister (who was given his new surname simultaneously with his new House), a sometimes ally, sometimes rival of the dreaded Exeter Leap

House Bittenbach: “Before all others.” Technically, this is Bittenbach’s motto because  they were the very first noble house in Stel Orion, formed after their founder orchestrated a grand betrayal on behalf of the Principality. Today, though, it is quoted as evidence of the house’s legendary hunger for wealth (and their willingness to break norms to satiate it.) The house’s holdings on Partizan are operated by Burden Bittenbach. They were originally assigned to operate the Obelle mission in SBBR’s place. Now, has sent House Callister to retrieve Gur Sevraq during the pilgrimage.

The Wolfwings: This vanguard squad, led by ace pilot Cam’bage Elarune, ensures early-conflict air superiority and secure, long term reconnaissance capabilities for Stel Apostolos. 

//People\\

Aleel Verdicate (she/her): Current Song of Partizan, making her the de facto head of the Church of Received Asterism on the moon. 

Avar (they/them) and Ryrira (she/her): Gur Sevraq’s chief of security and quartermaster, respectively. 

A-tek (she/her): Callister Drive’s butler, bodyguard, and (unfortunately for him) House Bittenbach-assigned handler. There to ensure Drive gets results, and also that he doesn’t consider taking the gifts given to him by Bittenbach and running elsewhere. Pilot of the Thaumaturge.

//Places\\

Museum Row: Before the war struck, an emerging tourism industry had come to Cruciat, and so Kesh invested in dozens of niche museums in the city’s commercial district.

The North Gallery: Decades before Museum Row was an established destination, the North Gallery collected art about and ephemera from Kesh’s original colonization of the Verglaz Taiga on Partizan.

//Things\\

Thaumaturge: An Occult Project prototype hollow designed for long range engagements. Is able visually conceal itself through an experimental active camouflage. The visibility which is displaced will re-appear to the pilot 2-3 days after the end of engagement. If ocular aberrations continue for more than a week, seek counsel from a licensed practitioner.

The Divine Vernacular:  A Stel Nideo Divine which allows those loyal (and blessed) to communicate instantly, at distance. A power some say is more powerful than even the sharpest spearhead. 

The Rings of Vernacular: Disguised as rings, these devices allow the Song of Partizan to listen in to any use of Vernacular’s network.

Troop: A basic combat hollow designed by Adamant Arms and Artifice and distributed by Stel Orion across the Principality. The Church of the Resin Heart has two, bought from SBBR after the group stole them from Stel Apostolos in Obelle.

//Additional Notes\\

Rapid Evening’s Objective: Escort the pilgrims on their journey from the point of their start to the point of their seabound departure at the eastern coast of the Prophet’s path. If Gur Sevraq’s life comes into serious danger, rescue them and extract back to Cruciat. Secondary Objective, as delivered to Sovereign Immunity: Secure Gur Sevraq regardless of his condition.

Rules of Engagement: Do not allow yourselves to be identified as members of Stel Kesh. Do no harm to the people of the Church, unless it is necessary in the securing of Gur Sevraq.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Sylvia Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Mar 06, 2020
PARTIZAN 10: DESERT SQUIRE - RIPOSTE
02:07:10

With their defense operation underway, the Rapid Evening have moved into position and identified a potential threat in the form of an unnaturally-moving sandstorm. As Sovereign Immunity and Clementine Kesh attempt to ingratiate themselves with the pilgrimage’s leadership and re-route the convoy, Exeter Leap and Ver’Million Blue standby in overwatch position. And as the storm grows nearer, it becomes clear that are not alone in their ambitions. But the threats are not only in the sand…

This week on PARTIZAN: DESERT SQUIRE - RIPOSTE

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

House Callister: The newest house of Orion, whose status was earned through “heroism in battle...” which is to say state-sanctioned piracy. Led by and named for Callister Drive Callister (who was given his new surname simultaneously with his new House), a sometimes ally, sometimes rival of the dreaded Exeter Leap

House Bittenbach: “Before all others.” Technically, this is Bittenbach’s motto because  they were the very first noble house in Stel Orion, formed after their founder orchestrated a grand betrayal on behalf of the Principality. Today, though, it is quoted as evidence of the house’s legendary hunger for wealth (and their willingness to break norms to satiate it.) The house’s holdings on Partizan are operated by Burden Bittenbach. They were originally assigned to operate the Obelle mission in SBBR’s place. Now, has sent House Callister to retrieve Gur Sevraq during the pilgrimage.

The Wolfwings: This vanguard squad, led by ace pilot Cam’bage Elarune, ensures early-conflict air superiority and secure, long term reconnaissance capabilities for Stel Apostolos. 

//People\\

Callister Drive Callister (he/him): The Columnar-born Callister Drive once preyed on the principality’s shipping channels alongside infamous pirates like Exeter Leap. Now, in exchange for a noble title, he’s decided to ply his trade on behalf of Stel Orion.

A-tek (she/her): Callister Drive’s butler, bodyguard, and (unfortunately for him) House Bittenbach-assigned handler. There to ensure Drive gets results, and also that he doesn’t consider taking the gifts given to him by Bittenbach and running elsewhere. Pilot of the Tempestarii.

Swansea See (they/them): An old-school member of Callister’s corsair crew. Thanks to Bittenbach technology, has been fully fused into their mech, the Conjurer.

“The Farmer” (he/him): A popular sobriquet used for the Sovereign Immunity who sometimes goes by the name Byron, who supported an agrarian revolution 13 years ago. Pilots the Thaumaturge.

AO Rooke (he/him): Audacious Opportunity Rooke was a young Orion merc caught in a daring (and foolhardy) raid against Stel Kesh. Refused to give up his employer and is now paying the price in service to the Rapid Evening as leader of their cohort of toughs.

Aleel Verdicate (she/her): Current Song of Partizan, making her the de facto head of the Church of Received Asterism on the moon. 

//Things\\

Tempestarii: A Zenith Fund developed prototype hollow that teems with electromagnetic power, which it can use to create limited, localized weather phenomena. Often seen in its jet from, it can also take a bipedal mode. Something inside of it rumbles with a distant light. One of the hollows “liberated” from the Zenith Fund’s “Occult Project” by Callister Leap, before defecting. Side effects unknown.

Conjurer: An stout and sturdy Occult Project prototype hollow designed for both assault and diversion missions. Wields mid-range weaponry and deploys large, hollow-scale hover mines which project duplicate Conjurer units, fooling both sight and sensors. Operation requires total and permanent “synchronization” of its pilot with the Conjurer’s chassis. 

Thaumaturge: An Occult Project prototype hollow designed for long range engagements. Is able visually conceal itself through an experimental active camouflage. The visibility which is displaced will re-appear to the pilot 2-3 days after the end of engagement. If ocular aberrations continue for more than a week, seek counsel from a licensed practitioner.

Troop: A basic combat hollow designed by Adamant Arms and Artifice and distributed by Stel Orion across the Principality. The Church of the Resin Heart has two, bought from SBBR after the group stole them from Stel Apostolos in Obelle.

//Additional Notes\\

Rapid Evening’s Objective: Escort the pilgrims on their journey from the point of their start to the point of their seabound departure at the eastern coast of the Prophet’s path. If Gur Sevraq’s life comes into serious danger, rescue them and extract back to Cruciat. Secondary Objective, as delivered to Sovereign Immunity: Secure Gur Sevraq regardless of his condition.

Rules of Engagement: Do not allow yourselves to be identified as members of Stel Kesh. Do no harm to the people of the Church, unless it is necessary in the securing of Gur Sevraq.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Sylvia Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Feb 28, 2020
PARTIZAN 09: DESERT SQUIRE - VANTAGE
02:14:58

In a matter of weeks, thousands of Kesh hollows will slide down the icy hills of the Verglaz Taiga, weapons raised and spirits on fire, as they charge an Apostolosian line. It will be the start of a new, bloody offensive, a spark that will light the moon aflame, drawing every Stel on the moon into the sort of open conflict that has not been seen in this region since the Principality first conquered it. 

But that hasn’t happened yet. Today, Clementine Kesh awakes in her bed, sun shining through her windows, with a choice to make. Where will she and her “team” of incarcerated soldiers go next?

This week on PARTIZAN: DESERT SQUIRE - VANTAGE

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.

The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.

The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.

The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church.

The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months.

The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power. Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma. They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.

Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge.

//People\\

Logos Kantel (they/them): The prophet who, it is said, brought life to the once barren moon of Partizan. 

Gur Sevraq (he/them): Current leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Secretly has possession of the Divine Future, which gives him startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. Leading the pilgrimage down the Prophet’s Path.

Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.

Aleel Verdicate (she/her): Current Song of Partizan, making her the de facto head of the Church of Received Asterism on the moon. 

The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper. 

Avar (they/them): The Friends of Gur Sevraq are often idealistic and naive about the world. But Chief of Security Avar, who was stationed at Westhaven for years and fought against Fort Icebreaker before finding their way to the faith, knows that the path to heaven is treacherous. Partner of Ryrira and parent of one child, M’reb.

Ryrira (she/her): Quartermaster of the Church of the Resin Heart and Avar’s partner. Mother of one child, M’reb.

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.

The Prophet’s Path: An autonomous region to the west of the Prophet’s Sea, south of Apostolosian territory and north of Orion. These dusty badlands are dotted with small villages, farms, and other settlements.  Its furthest, most western reaches are untouched by Kantel’s miracle. In order to celebrate the millennial anniversary of Logos Kantel’s arrival, the Church of the Resin Heart is traveling a pilgrimage on the route the prophet once took. 

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.

Pique Ridge: Territory controlled by Stel Nideo on Partizan. East of the Prophet’s Sea, comprised of a mountain range which surrounds a vast, low bay.

//Things\\

The Divine Vernacular:  A Stel Nideo Divine which allows those loyal (and blessed) to communicate instantly, at distance. A power some say is more powerful than even the sharpest spearhead. 

The Song’s Rings: Disguised as rings, these devices allow the Song of Partizan to listen in to any use of Vernacular’s network.

//Additional Notes\\

Rapid EveniNg’s Objective: Escort the pilgrims on their journey from the point of their start to the point of their seabound departure at the eastern coast of the Prophet’s path. If Gur Sevraq’s life comes into serious danger, rescue them and extract back to Cruciat. Secondary Objective, as delivered to Sovereign Immunity: Secure Gur Sevraq regardless of his condition.

Rules of Engagement: Do not allow yourselves to be identified as members of Stel Kesh. Do no harm to the people of the Church, unless it is necessary in the securing of Gur Sevraq.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Sylvia Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Feb 22, 2020
PARTIZAN 08: Under the Boughs of the Court
02:24:34

After their initial gambit found success, the members of SBBR have put Columnar’s too-curious 301st Appraisal Unit off balance. Now, they seek to finish the deal--but to do so in such a way that will not draw more attention and ire towards the Sable Court, who has hired them. And if they can succeed, they may yet find that while the Great Stels of the Principality pay well, covens hidden in the woods offer more than simple currency in reward for loyalty.

This week on PARTIZAN: Under the Boughs of the Court

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Nobel: The people and culture from which Valence originates. They live beyond Partizan, in the Scutum-Centaurus arm of the Milky Way, which a past Princept declared was not to be colonized or even explored. But years ago they suffered an attack from someone from the Divine Principality. Valence seeks to answer how, who, and why.

//People\\

Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court. 

The Loess (she/her): The leader of the Sable Court stands with a the large, muscular body of a moose more than a deer, and her antlers are no different: wide and domineering, twinkling with not only the normal precious metal inlay used by members of the court, but also with shining, multi-colored gems--memoria--making them look almost more like brightly jeweled butterfly wings than antlers. Her base of operations is, on the outside, hidden by what you can only imagine is incredible advanced technology. You pass through some bushes and above you, a star chart flickers above you. Her voice, heavy, simple, but smart, welcomes you to the heart of the coven.

//Things\\

The Strand: A technology once used by the ancient Hyphan people to travel, without Portcullis technology, from system to system. 

Clarified Memoria: The Sable Court has developed a process by which they “reveal” the truth of Memoria gems, which allows the already potent material to conjure and confer the miraculous.

Zenith-A Kathēkon: Often affectionately called “Cathies” by Apostolosian pilots, these medium sized, humanoid mechs were originally designed to be the Zenith Fund’s answer to the Troop. Specially built for Apostolosian needs (including night, underwater, and orbital combat), the Kathekon is a flexible fighting platform with fully articulating hands, advanced imaging, and jumpjets designed to allow low, fast horizontal hops. While the Troop still makes up the bulk of the Apostolosian hollow forces, you’ll often find Cathies deployed on special ops missions or by unit commanders. Their dark green color, bulbous armor, and large orange “eyes” give them an amphibious look--which is (part of) the reason behind Kesh soldiers referring to their Apostolosian foes as “frogs.”

//Additional Notes\\

SBBR’s Mission Objectives: Drive the 301st away from the the path towards the Sable Court. Secondary objective: Capture their equipment. 

Rules of Engagement: Do not trigger any of the Sable Wards which have been placed. 

Feb 14, 2020
PARTIZAN 07: Ambush in the Sand
02:25:44

Before Cymbidium died, he asked the labor machine Thisbe, whose deerlike design drew from the form of his own people’s, for a favor: Deliver a final message to Mourningbride, initiate of the occult group the Sable Court and former Elect. On hearing about this goal, Thisbe’s squad members Broun and Valence encourage her to pursue it, and travel with her deep into Columnar territory to meet with the Hyphan witches of the forest. But when they arrive, they find a less welcoming host than expected...

This week on PARTIZAN: Ambush in the Sand

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it. 

301st Appraisal Unit:  Before the Columnar commits the resources necessary to take something for their own, this small reconnaissance unit comprised of soldiers, engineers, and academics needs to find it

21st Voluntary Composite Division: Unlike most other Stels, Columnar doesn’t segregate Hallow and Hollow units, and instead assigns Hallow pilots to officer roles in combined arms divisions like this one.

Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.

//People\\

Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect. 

Cymbidium (he/him): The deceased Elect of the Divine Past. Gave Thisbe a message to deliver to Mourningbride.

Kenzington “Kenzi” Be (she/her): Commanding Officer of the Columnar 301st Appraisal Unit. Has legs that can fold down into tank treds--in some ways, she looks like the humanoid version of Broun’s mech, the Three Cheers! Has a long oval torso and a totally spherical head with dozens of cameras on it that sort of extends from her torso.

Cobra Junction (he/him): Humanoid pilot in a flashy, vinyl bomber jacket with gold stripes and is often “smoking” synthetic cigars. This facade reflects an insecurity, as Cobra’s initial assignment was due to his geological expertise, not his aptitude as a pilot.

Dina Dash (they/them): Wheeled synthetic who carries a clipboard and has magnification lenses that can independently move lower in front of their optics.

//Places\\

The Memoria Teardrop: A range of mountains and high plains, dense with mineral resources. Named for “memoria,” a rare precious material with a high, natural storage capacity. 

Vigil City: The capital city of of Columnar on Partizan. Sits on the southern end of the “Teardrop" on a high plateau. The densest city on Partizan, Vigil City is also the most automated city on the moon.

Lake Timea: A small lake to the north of the Memoria Teardrop, surrounded on the north side by a dense forest. Home to the Sable Court.

Red Soil: A small beach on the northern side of Lake Timea

//Things\\

The Perennial Wave: Invisible to the naked eye, the Perennial Wave is made up of a seemingly endless amount of nanomachines which flow out from the center of the galaxy and which deactivate or destroy complex machines and electronics. At any moment, the Wave can be at various degrees of density, which are colloquially referred to as “high tide” and “low tide.”

Bing 32: Broun’s floating, cat sized drone able to use a variety of tools.

Sable Wards: Through a combination of Memoria and control over the Perennial Wave, the Sable Court is able to create simple, seemingly-invisible wards that alert them of intruders.

Zenith-A Kathēkon: Often affectionately called “Cathies” by Apostolosian pilots, these medium sized, humanoid mechs were originally designed to be the Zenith Fund’s answer to the Troop. Specially built for Apostolosian needs (including night, underwater, and orbital combat), the Kathekon is a flexible fighting platform with fully articulating hands, advanced imaging, and jumpjets designed to allow low, fast horizontal hops. While the Troop still makes up the bulk of the Apostolosian hollow forces, you’ll often find Cathies deployed on special ops missions or by unit commanders. Their dark green color, bulbous armor, and large orange “eyes” give them an amphibious look--which is (part of) the reason behind Kesh soldiers referring to their Apostolosian foes as “frogs.”

Zenith-C Wedge: Kathekons recolored in the dark blue and gold of Stel Columnar, and maintained with much higher quality (and experimental) materials. Unlike the Kathekon for Apostolos, the Wedge does make up the bulk of the “frontline” hollow squads, and provide security for more vulnerable hollows (and support for more powerful ones). These have flexible armaments. In this case: One wields a flamethrower and an electro-net launcher and one has a heavy machinegun. Both have weaponized, hollow sized chainsaws, as well.

Zenith-C Obscura:  Wide shoulders that lead down to treaded legs. Can launch dozens of drones into the air for reconnaissance and observation, which will quickly locate anything nearby, but must remain stationery to do that. Can launch micro missiles at locked targets, has small vulcans for infantry and small armored counter attack--does little to close range mechs.

The Divine Asepsis: Vigil City is the densest urban settlement on the moon, and yet, every morning, it is spotless. Give thanks to Asepsis’ swarm of robotic servants.

The Divine Vernacular: Sometimes a divine wields a blade, incomparable in sharpness. Sometimes, as in this Stel Nideo divine, it allows thousands to speak instantly, at distance. You decide which is more frightening.

//Additional Notes\\

SBBR’s Mission Objectives Drive the 301st away from the the path towards the Sable Court. Secondary objective: Capture their equipment. 

Rules of Engagement: Do not trigger any of the Sable Wards which have been placed. 

Feb 07, 2020
PARTIZAN 06: A Palace During a Wake
02:44:03

After a successful mission retrieving key remnants of the Divine Past and the body of the Elect Cymbidium, the Rapid Evening has returned to Cruciat, Kesh’s capital on Partizan. While the city mourns the loss of an Elect, the crew’s members are busy resupplying, repairing their vehicles, and pursuing their own ends. While Clementine Kesh deals with the emotional aftershock of her first command, Sovereign Immunity, Exeter Leap, and Ver’Million Blue test the constraints of their imprisonment and take next steps towards their goals. 

And then there is the matter of the funeral….

This week on PARTIZAN: A Palace During a Wake

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Curtain: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain, a secretive organization inside of the Stel, serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected.

//Places\\

Cruciat: The jewel of Kesh’s holdings on Partizan (and the home of the Stel’s Winter Palace) is this city on a cross shaped island in the northernmost reaches of the Prophet’s Sea. Its cruciform shape made the city easily divisible into districts. The long southern arm is given to government, first to miles of civil bureaucracy and then to noble homes along the waterside, and finally to the famous, icelike Winter Palace. To the east, and across some of the nearby islands that dot the coast, the large proletariat cram into homes. On the west, Kesh’s military marches in formation and launches naval vessels to probe at Apostolos’ borders. The north is industrial, situated so that it can more quickly intake both incoming supplies and outgoing shipments directly from the continent. Finally, the center is a bustling downtown, filled with music, food, shopping, and pleasure of all kinds.

It’s never quite night time in Cruciat, partly because of its place north on the moon, and partly because the gas lamps saturate the northern fog with white-blue light. It’s a color matched by the stonework buildings, whose light grey facades grow darker as you move north, towards the factories. Horses carry nobles whose homes are worth a thousand thousand times the laborers they pass. And the smell of warm stew is in the air.

The Winter Palace: Owned and managed by House Kesh, but eternal “home” to the Princept, whether they choose to visit or not. Beyond the throne room, there are countless spaces for receiving and entertaining, a lovely and vast garden, and a number of ballrooms for major events. Built for privacy and access, featuring both its own port and trainyard.

//Things\\

Robotic Utilities and Navigation Tool (RUNT): A floating, coffin-shaped, well-programed hunter-killer robot. Obeys Milli’s commands, anticipates her actions, carries her sniper rifle, and wields its own smaller weapons. 

//Additional Notes\\

Mission Reward Math:

4 Supply from 3d6 supply roll (Target’s Tier = 3, Employer Faction Status = 0 ), +1 extra personnel and +1trust (from Kesh’s government type, Oligarchy/Crytpocracy), +1 materiel from Leap’s scavenging

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Sylvia Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Jan 31, 2020
PARTIZAN 05: Profit and Loss
02:11:33

The events in Obelle were disastrous for many, yet for the Society of Banners and Bright Returns, the nighttime raid on the seaside town went down in the book as a win. Now, they return to their home in the heavily stratified metropolis of Oxbridge in the heart of Stel Orion territory. After getting paid and tending to an unforeseen entanglement, the crew spends some time following leads, satiating their curiosity, and shoring up their reputation around town.

This is the first session featuring what Forged in the Dark games call “downtime,” a phase of the game that is focused on what the characters do between missions. Because it’s the first downtime of the season, we spend a little more time than usual going over the rules of play so that everyone can follow along. In the future, we’ll summarize as much of the bookkeeping as possible so that we can stay focused on the drama and decision making that makes these sessions sing!

This Week on PARTIZAN: Profit and Loss

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

House Bittenbach: “Before all others.” Technically, this is Bittenbach’s motto because  they were the very first noble house in Stel Orion, formed after their founder orchestrated a grand betrayal on behalf of the Principality. Today, though, it is quoted as evidence of the house’s legendary hunger for wealth (and their willingness to break norms to satiate it.) The house’s holdings on Partizan are operated by Burden Bittenbach. They were originally assigned to operate the Obelle mission in SBBR’s place.

Carrion Collections: A low ranking scavengers squad with a handful of hollows that operates out of Stel Orion. Called shameless, even (especially) by those who employ them. Has a tense with SBBR due to a dispute over workshop materials.

The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the original followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church, though it has since become a secular and independent state—something largely unheard of inside of Principality space. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual squad the Major Stels could throw at them. 

The Church of the Resin Heart: Among all the sects under the wide umbrella of Progressive Asterism, one group—the Disciples of Logos—is dedicated to the teachings of the movement’s supposed founder, the Prophet Logos Kantel. Though there are a handful of Logos-aligned houses faith across the reaches of the Principality, none is as well organized or important as the Church of the Resin Heart, named for the uncanny, 3-foot tall heart that was recovered from the prophet’s sea many years ago. The Church, also named the Friends of Gur Sevraq in honor of their enigmatic and charismatic leader, are gaining followers as quickly as their leader can perform miracles. They claim the True God is coming, and seek to spread the word as far as they possibly can.

The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them, though whether she is the one they call the Loess, no one knows. It does not matter. Heresy, all of it.

//People\\

Midnite Matinee (she/her): The Leporine leader of Carrion Collections knows she’s destined for more. She and her trusty Pack-model light AutoHollow Popcorn (she/her) are going to take what they can get, even if it means stepping on people to get it.

Gur Sevraq (he/they): The enigmatic leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. “Liberated” the divine Future from Stel Columnar. Has performed a number of seemingly-verified miracles in recent months. 

Mourningbride (she/her): An Ashen born to a high ranking family, Mourningbride was once an elect, but left her post and journeyed to the Sable Court after learning about her people’s ancient history. With his final act, Cymbidum requested that Thisbe deliver a message to Mourningbride.

//Places\\

The Low Slate: At its most welcoming, Orion’s territory on Partizan is a large, lowland plain covered with warm riverlands. At its most hostile, these are lunar lowlands, as the cratered and barren southern pole of the moon, the one place untouched by the prophet’s gift and the life that followed. Across the two is everything that makes Orion what it is: the control of vast spaces, agricultural and mineral wealth, a sense of prideful competition between aligned-yet-dueling city-states.

Oxbridge: Most bridges connect land to land, but the enormous Bridge of the Ox connects ocean ports to the docks of largest freshwater lake on the moon. Under this massive bridge rests Oxbridge, a dense city of canals and crimson light, and the first large scale Principality settlement to come to the moon, nearly 1000 years ago.

Oxbridge is split into three regions: Brightsky West, Underbridge, and Brightsky East. To the East and West, merchants, nobles, and the ever-upwardly mobile live, work, shop and play. But below the bridge’s shadow is an undercity of laborers both local and transient, eking by from job to job, day to day, by the fuel of their effort and the light of the red, phosphorescent “lamps” that give Underbridge its distinct glow, even in daytime. 

Connecting it all together are a network of waterways, roads, and secret tunnels.  And above it all is the Bridge of the Ox, the symbol of Orion’s commitment to (and mastery of) brute-force ideology.

The Pique Ridge: The mountainous region controlled by Stel Nideo, which rests northeast of Orion territory and west of Stel Columnar’s home on Partizan, the Memoria Teardrop.

Lake Timea: A lake and its forested environs which rests towards the northern reaches of Stel Columnar territory. Rumored to be haunted, hexed, or otherwise unholy.

//Things\\

AdArm Pack-model AutoHollow: A 20 foot tall, humanoid mech with broad shoulders, fully-articulating hands, and the headshape of a jackal. Designed for flexibility, the Pack can easily change its gear between missions, though it is most often seen wielding an anti-armor rifle. The Pack was designed to offer infantry-scale squads a little extra power or to supplement hollow squads with something maneuverable, reliable, and automated. They’re also exceptional bodyguard units, for those who can afford their upkeep.

//Additional Notes\\

The Nobel Fable of the First Wolves: In earlier days, when things were simple, The Nobel would say “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” And this was true when the Nobel were just the Nobel; but we determined that it was not enough for just The Nobel to be The Nobel, and the World to be the World. The Nobel needed the World; and the World needed the Lord. 


So our flock roamed, and it grew, but yet we also found ourselves threatened by wolves. And in our short-sightenedness, we assumed the Lord would protect us—and when we suffered losses, we assumed the Lord was telling us to protect ourselves, and we warred with the wolves.


But then the Lord spoke to the Nobel, and the Lord said “Did you not say that the world needed the Lord? Do you not see, that as I shepherd the Nobel, I too may shepherd the wolves?”

And so the Nobel lowered our arms and we learned of the wolves—how they hunted not for sport, but for sustenance; how they had their pack, as we had a flock. And then the wolves became one with the Nobel under the Lord, and we grew; oh, we grew, we grew in a way that we could have never imagined, and we learned one of the most important truths that we still hold dear—only the Lord can see the true path for the Nobel.

In this mask, I wear this lesson. It is a reminder of God’s wisdom, God’s grace, and God’s potential not just for the Nobel, but for all the World. The Nobel are far from faultless; in our weakest moments, we assume we are greater than the World. We assume we know best, and that the wolves of the World must crook their knee to us and the Lord to receive the Lord’s gifts. But no. The Nobel are not sheep, to be held above all others, to graze passively in the Lord’s field under God’s watchful eye and protected by God’s fences; we are merely the first wolves that the Lord deigned to be the Lord’s pack.

And as we are also wolves, our strength lies in growing our pack.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquiterealavailable on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker and Andrew Lee Swan (Fable of the First Wolves)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jan 24, 2020
PARTIZAN 04: SHORESIDE RECOVERY - BLACKGLOVES
02:23:03

Northwest of the seaside town of Obelle, there is a crater. Inside of that crater are the remains of the Divine Past, and those who wish to claim them: On one side, there are the members of the nascent special operations group the Rapid Evening. On the other, GLORY, a special Apostolosian unit which seeks to resurrect the culture’s greatest heroes as supersoldiers. But as everyone on the holy moon of Partizan knows, there are always more than two sides.

This week on PARTIZAN: SHORESIDE RECOVERY - BLACKGLOVES

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

GLORY: With the help of advanced Columnar cloning science, the Glory Project (or simply GLORY), claims to have resurrected (and made immortal) heroes of the nation’s past called Eidolons. On Partizan, they field Kleos, Cassander, Vervain, and the squad’s leader: Apothesa, original Eidolon of construction, military action, and history. Interested in Past’s records chiefly because it might allow them to “better recreate Apostolosian eidolons.”

The Zenith Fund: A public institution of Stel Columnar that incubates, defends, and offers testing for teams pursuing cutting edge projects in a wide range of fields including medicine, environmental science, infrastructure, culture, and emerging military hardware. Aids with major projects across every other Stel, including Apostolos’ Glory Project.

Horizon: In the popular consciousness, Horizon is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.

//People\\

Dr. Cardiff Reach (he/him): Columnar researcher from the Zenith Fund who has been assigned to Apostolos’ GLORY project. Quad legged, with four spindly metal legs. Wears a lab coat, independently-moving telescoping eyes, etc.

“Saint Dawn” (she/her): Commander of Horizon’s forces on all of Partizan. The pseudonym of Gucci Garantine, who hides her identity with metallic, golden face paint forming a “major sector” geometrical pattern on her face, covering her eyes, forehead, and cheeks.

Figure A (they/them): A synthetic being that once worked inside of the Divine Past, working to make the data the Divine had available to it more understandable by other people. 

Kleos (they/them): Soldier of GLORY. Genetic clone of the Apostolosian hero and eidolon of the same name. Skin is an iridescent maroon color. Wears a bright red cloak wrapped around their neck and hanging back like a cape, totally topless otherwise, revealing firm, muscular torso. Khaki fatigue-capris. A spear slung over their back, and a heavy sidearm at their waist. 

//Places\\

Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.

//Things\\

Transgress Oblige: The hollow of Gucci Garantine, and a chief symbol of the terrorist organization Horizon. Whitesmoke color body, with the torso, shoulders, and upper arms covered in a sort of secondary armor layer that is blue with gold flourishes. Carries a bazooka and a pair of beam partizan (with a golden beam blade) which can retract into a beam saber. Below the blue armor layer is a secondary core, made of some sort of rare crystal: When revealed, those that see it are struck by the power and magnificence of humanity itself. 

Panther: Clementine’s hollow, an ancient mech piloted by a near mythological hero of a war barely remembered. Medium sized, black, humanoid, angular, and birdlike in some elements of its design. In another life, it could split itself up into independently flying microwings, each of which could serve as a flanking weapon. Its current pilot can not conceive of using it in this way.

Stray Dog: Million’s hollow, a Zenith-A Project Katalepsis prototype model, stolen when she went AWOL from GLORY. Medium-sized and humanoid in base shape, but able to rearrange its body to accommodate the rail gun built into the torso and left arm. Each limb is double jointed with sleek black and silver plating. There is only one glowing eye on the head, which houses the Stray Dog's aiming systems and pilot.

Heads Up: Exeter Leap’s hollow, a re-fitted Emergentec Rapid Response Type III Breaching Ambulance which he has converted for criminal purposes. Large cylindrical legs taper upwards towards the head. Armored fists and a back mounted mortar. 

Epoché: The prototype hollow of Kleos, leader of GLORY, developed by the Columnar’s Zenith Fund. Deep brown, triangular head, humanoid machine with gold accents, and a faceplate made of brown stone, and heavy skirt plates to defend its upper legs/lower torso. A long, oval shield built onto it’s left arm, a pair of grappling hook launches on its skirt waste.  Wields a guisarme—a spear that has a hook on the reverse side of the blade. There’s a rope inside of it, so it splits and you can spin it around like a ranged weapon. 

R.U.N.T. (Robotic Utilities and Navigation Tool): Million’s well-programmed hunter robot.

//Additional Notes\\

The Rapid Evening’s Mission Objectives: Primary: Ensure that Silversky Recovery and Restoration can retrieve key parts of the body of Past, as well as the body of Cymbidium, Past’s elect. Secondary: Produce actionable intel about who killed Cymbidium. Additionally: Recover anything they’ve already stolen from Past.

Rules of Engagement: The deployment of chemical, biological, explosive, and/or poisonous weapons is forbidden. Additionally, kill or capture anyone who has accessed the Divine Past’s memory.

Jan 17, 2020
PARTIZAN 03: SHORESIDE RECOVERY - DINNERDATE
01:59:41

The destruction of a Divine, the killing of an Elect, and war on a new front: Any one of these could shift the balance of power on a moon like Partizan. So when all three occurred in Obelle, the great Stels began to analyze, strategize, and maneuver immediately. Squadrons were re-deployed, diplomats recalled, artists commissioned, and clergy and commentariat both called to weigh in. 

But for Stel Kesh, one matter was more important than any other: The safe and honorable recovery of the body of their lost Elect and the retrieval of enough of their ruined Divine so that they may begin the arduous process of revitalization, a task which required a great deal of knowledge, even more salvaged material, and the gumption to put the two together.

To this end, the newly minted—and still clandestine—Rapid Evening are deployed across the sea, under the orders of erstwhile heiress and novice commander Clementine Kesh (Jack de Quidt). Can Clementine, along with former pirate Exeter Leap (Ketih J. Carberry), religious advisor Sovereign Immunity (Art Tebbel), and AWOL super soldier Ver’Million Blue (Andi Clare), secure acceptable terms with her one of her Stel’s most ardent foes? Or will negotiations break down under the weight of old enmity and new blood? 

This week on PARTIZAN: SHORESIDE RECOVERY - DINNERDATE

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Rapid Evening: A small, covert ops squad loyal to Stel Kesh and named for a now ancient unit of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents.

The Curtain: Allegedly, the Curtain is the cryptocratic organization that pulls the levers of power in Stel Kesh. In reality ████████████.

Silversky Salvage and Repair: Salvagers are a dime a dozen, but with chief engineer Sombre Sky in the pit, no one on Partizan is better at putting a machine back together. Dispatched to Obelle along with the Rapid Evening to ensure that the most important parts of Past are retrieved.

//People\\

Clementine Kesh (she/her): Formerly sixth in line to the throne of Stel Kesh and the Principality writ large. Was assigned to “religious leave” in order to remove her from the line of succession and place her in comparative safety on the moon of Partizan. Now leads the Rapid Evening out of ambition and boredom. Dreams of ruling Stel Kesh.

Sovereign Immunity (he/him): Member of the Shepherd’s Crook, a sect of Received Asterism famous for placing high ranking members in advisory roles across many Stels (despite the sect’s loyalty to Stel Nideo). Imprisoned for the crime of kidnapping of Dahlia years before they would declare themself the Glorious Princept, then reassigned to the Rapid Evening. He is also known as the Farmer and Byron. Dreams of being assigned to Clementine as her official Sovereign Immunity.

Exeter Leap (he/him): A space pirate and one of the few remaining members of the Equiaxed culture in Stel Columnar space. Imprisoned for the aforementioned piracy before being assigned to the Rapid Evening. Dreams of escaping imprisonment.

Ver’Million Blue (she/her): Created as part of an Apostolosian super soldier program, Million is an excellent sharpshooter who went AWOL (violently) and was eventually picked up as a POW by Stel Kesh. Recently deployed to Partizan as part of the Rapid Evening. Dreams of real freedom.

Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. Would likely be a ranking member of The Curtain, if such an organization existed.

Audacious Opportunity (A.O.) Rooke (he/him): Was a young freelance mercenary operating under Stel Orion charter before being captured by Stel Kesh on an assignment deep behind enemy lines. Now deployed to the Rapid Evening.

Gucci Garantine (she/her): Vassal and political attache to House Brightline of Stel Kesh. She and House Brightline reportedly have ties to the “reformist” (read: terrorist) organization HORIZON. Rivals with Clementine Kesh.

Sombre Sky (she/her): Chief engineer at Silversky Recovery and Restoration, she stays out of politics except for when politicians bring her new gear to play with. 

Calendar Longyear (they/them): A young ship captain who has inherited their grandmother’s vessel, the final asset of their house’s once affluent estate. Eager to make something of themself, they just don’t know what.

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas', they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers an elite Apostolosian Hallow unit. See entry in Dossier 01 for more details.

//Places\\

The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.

Cruciat: The Jewel of Kesh’s holdings on Partizan (and the home of the Stel’s Winter Palace) sits on a cross shaped island in the northernmost reaches of the Prophet’s Sea

The Winter Palace: Owned and managed by House Kesh, but eternal “home” to the Princept, whether they choose to visit or not. Built for privacy and access, featuring both its own port and trainyard.

Westhaven: Kesh’s military might is most centered in this province, which stretches across its westmost ports and up against its border with chief rival, Apostolos. “Westhaven stands so that we may serve dinner in the palace.”

The Estatelands: The southeastern taiga, where the climate is most temperate and the tall trees stand closely together, is home to the dozens of noble families who rule Kesh’s lands on Partizan. Miles of canopy suddenly broken by vast, cleared and pruned acreage.

//Things\\

“The Old Treaties”: A collection of documents referring to now-ancient law that ensures the safe recovery and return of the bodies of Elects and Divines wounded in any civil conflicts across Divinity. Divines and Elects are both honored and respected assets to the state, and these treaties represent the mutually understood belief that the Principality will outlive whatever conflict is occurring.

//Additional Notes\\

The Rapid Evening’s Mission Objectives: Primary: Ensure that Silversky Recovery and Restoration can retrieve key parts of the body of Past, as well as the body of Cymbidium, Past’s elect. Secondary: Produce actionable intel about who killed Cymbidium. Additionally: Recover anything they’ve already stolen from Past.

Rules of Engagement: The deployment of chemical, biological, explosive, and/or poisonous weapons is forbidden. Additionally, kill or capture anyone who has accessed the Divine Past’s memory.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jan 10, 2020
PARTIZAN 02: Obelle, On Fire
01:34:58

To the west of the small town of Obelle, the Oxblood Clan attempts to secure the landing zone for an inbound VIP. The plan is simple: Recover them and escape east across the sea. To aid them in that task, the Society of Banners and Bright Returns have been sent to take out the nearby Apostolosian militia’s sensors, fuel reserves, and weapon platforms.

So far, it’s been light work for the team, with Kal’mera Broun’s artillery-scale flashbang and Thisbe’s powerful mechanical gorilla, Mow, being key to a smash-and-grab that’s given the team control over the enemy’s hollows. But now, as Valence is confronted by a member of an Apostolosian smuggling ring, chaos begins to seep into the mission...

This week on PARTIZAN: Obelle, On Fire

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation. 

The Partizan Palace: Across Divinity, the Palace provides citizens with authorized archival information, approved news reports (kept up to date locally by the day, galactically by the week), and art and entertainment determined to be canonical to the Divine Principality.

House Whitestar: For generations, House Whitestar was among the smallest vassal families of Stel Kesh’s most powerful noble House (itself called House Kesh). With modest holdings and minimal political influence, it seemed they’d inevitably fade into history. But after the Apostolosian leader Dahlia declared themselves the Glorious Princept, Stel Kesh announced that Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh, a mid-level diplomat, was the true Princept. With his rise, they’ve grown in importance and power.

//People\\

Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over. 

Cymbidium (he/him): The elect of the Kesh-aligned divine Past. Cymbdium is an Ashen, the descendent culture of the ancient deer-like Hypha people. He is traveling to Partizan for mysterious reasons.

Azyet Eyesgrene (she/her): Recorder for the Partizan Palace. (Name unspoken.)

//Places\\

The Prophet’s Path: An autonomous region of Partizan running from east from the barren edge of the desert, through the tropical coast, and through the Isles of Logos. Independent towns and cities like Obelle make up the bulk of its continental settlements. Believed to be the area through which the prophet Logos Kantel traveled on their miraculous journey one thousand years ago.

//Things\\

The Divine Past: Part floating city, part living library. The Divine Past was built tens of thousands of years before the Divine Principality was created. It stores an untold amount of information about the cultures it has observed, including the Divine Principality itself. The only person who can access this information is its Elect, who wanders its endless halls and travels across Divinity as equal parts librarian, priest, ship captain, and diplomat.

Cast: A mirror-coated, humanoid mech that appears like a four-winged angel, with loud jet engines hidden inside of its shiny, metallic wings. Just above its mouth, its head becomes an AWACS-esque flat sensor disc. Largely built for reconnaissance, and deployed by the Palace to gather information and recordings. Avoids conflict, though can defends or stabilize itself with a system of chains and hooks.

Ataraxia: A white, purple, and yellow mantid-shaped machine blessed by the divine Commitment and developed by Stel Columnar’s Zenith Fund. Each of its six curved limbs can light up its edges with energy beams. On the ground, it can dance in combat in such a way that any two limbs can be its temporary feet, and when it’s in flight, it becomes a complete whirlwind of violence. Named for the philosophical concept key to ancient Stoicism.

Herd: Developed from the basic AdArm Troop design, the Herd’s centaur like silhouette is famous to anyone who has faced off against Apostolos. The Troop’s bipedal legs have been replaced with piston-driven, heavy quad legs that are able to shift between two modes: Movement (with legs paired parallel like an ungulate, allowing for high speed traversal or charges) or combat (spread in a wide cross shape for stability in firing or traversal, moving like a spider). Armed with heavy shoulder cannon, and spears that can be used for both melee combat and as javelin-like explosive projectiles. (Name unspoken.)

Yoke: The Oxblood Clan’s unique, further customized Herds. Though they cannot transform into the Herd’s “combat” mode, they have upgrades that allow them to serve a unique command and operations role when deployed in pairs. Their heads feature unique horn sensors which can generate battlefield map data and targeting assistance when two Yokes can provide complete data. Wields a giant fortress shield in left hand, a kanabo in the right, and a vertical missile pod on back. (Name unspoken.)

//Additional Notes\\

SBBR’s Mission Objectives: Primary: Support Oxblood’s mission by destroying the Apostolosian fuel depot at point Barnacle and sensor station at point Carp, each outside of Obelle proper. Secondary: Destroy any hallows or hollows at Point Dory, in the Apostolosian base west of the river in Obelle. 

Rules of Engagement: No harming civilians or civilian property inside of Obelle--destruction of fields is incidental and acceptable collateral damage. Do not enter Point Albacore under any circumstances.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquiterealavailable on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Jan 03, 2020
PARTIZAN 01: The Seaside Town of Obelle
02:19:26

It started with as basic a job as they come: The Society of Banners and Bright Returns (SBBR), a rookie outfit based in Oxbridge, was tapped for a contract as a support unit in a rescue op. There was a little town called Obelle on the border between the Apostolosian Barranca and the Prophet’s Path, where damn near the only free folks in the Principality made their home.

Some sort of VIP was making landfall just northwest of the spot, and while another crew was doing the pickup, SBBR (which was just the engineer Kal’mera Braun, the alien empath Valence, and that big goddamn robot, Thisbe at the time) had to tilt the scales in favor of a smooth getaway. Drop in, knock out a sensor dish, blow up some reverse fuel, and (if they were feeling especially confident) incap a couple of Troops before they could get up and moving. But SBBR wouldn’t be SBBR if they didn’t find a way to do a milk run in reverse...

This week on PARTIZAN: The Seaside Town of Obelle

///Operation Dossier\\\

//Organizations\\

The Society of Banners and Bright Returns (SBBR): A daring mercenary outfit that takes on reconnaissance, espionage, sabotage, and theft missions. Independent, but operating under Stel Orion and the Scrivener’s Guild.

Scrivener’s Guild: An organization of (armed) clerks who mediate negotiations, draft contracts, and keep records of all industrial, commercial, and private business operations with Orion-aligned organizations. Unhappy with SBBR’s performance.

The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.

The Swordbreakers: An Apostolosian squad blessed by the divine Commitment and led by Cas’alear Rizah, the adopted sibling of the Apokine and Princept Dahlia. They’re known across the war as legend killers who punch above their weight. 

//People\\

Kal’Mera Broun (they/them, played by Alicia Acampora): SBBR’s in-house technician with a focus in designing and deploying specialized artillery. Apostolosian born, Orion trained.

Valence (they/them, played by Andrew Lee Swan): An empath from a culture beyond the Partizan gate, searching for allies for their culture, the Nobel. Serves as “face” for SBBR.

Thisbe (she/her, played by Janine Hawkins): A large, humanoid labor robot whose design is based on the ancient Hypha people. Recently unearthed by farmers, and then traded between mercenary units until she wound up in SBBR’s control. 

Kueen Overture Rooke (she/her): SBBR’s contact at the Scrivener's Guild. A former ace pilot, lead mechanic, and battlefield commander, KO now uses her expertise to dispatch and guide mercenary units across Partizan.

Anchor Afton (she/her): Commander of the Oxblood Clan unit deployed in Obelle. Upper middle age. Silver hair, weathered complexion. Dark eyes. Muscular as shit. Third generation Ox.

Jesset City (he/him): On mission as support unit & on-site repairs for Oxblood. Young and eager to make friends. Doesn’t know much about this mission. Pilots a Cloud unit, a “re-appropriated” Apostolosian recon model.

Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Hallow, Ataraxia.

//Places\\

Obelle: A small, seaside town between Apostolos territory to the north and the independent lands of the Prophet’s Path to the south. Sleepy agricultural town with tiny small tourist industry, as its often used as a resstop for those walking their pilgrimage down the Prophet’s Path. Because it is far from Apostolos’ northern border with Kesh, their military holdings here are diminished.

//Things\\

Hallow/Hollow: The (often, but not always humanoid) mechs that serve as the backbone of Divine Principality military units. "Hallows" have received the direct, personal blessing of a Divine (and whatever benefits, material, social, or spiritual that come with that). "Hollows" have not. Both serve their purpose.

Three Cheers!: Kal’mera Broun’s hollow, a heavily modified Adamant Arms and Artifice (aka AdArm) machine. Humanoid with the ability to take a mobility form. Equipped for long range volleying. Easily removable/replaceable plates with non-standard rivets.

Hippocampus: Valence’s hollow, an AdArm Prototype Loveliness. A small, ovoid cockpit that has two "chicken legs" attached to it. Helicopter blades fold out from inside the cockpit and onto the top of the mech to give it basic flight. 

Mow: A recovered Zenith-A Project Eudaimonia prototype model. The build of a gorilla, quadrupedal & topheavy, a saddle horn-like addition on the back, battered but lovingly maintained.

AdArm Troop: Designed by The de facto “grunt” mech of the Divine Principality. 55~  feet tall bipedal hollow, mid sized but bulky in aesthetic. Blocky, visible cabling. Head is a rectangular unit (with a long, flat LED-lit single “eye”) that functions as a sensor suite, and attached to its right (above the shoulder) is a heavy cannon. Left arm has actuator/clasper, right has bayonet.

Zenith-A Cloud: A small (35 feet, standing) transforming Apostolosian recon and support hollow. Two large, rear jointed legs allow it to leap high into the air and enter flight mode, keeping it safe from harms way and providing additional visuals. Torso has four arms, two of which have high-precision tools for repairs. Remaining two have light weaponry, incl. Anti-infantry machinegun and smoke grenades.

//Additional notes\\

SBBR’s Mission Objectives: Primary: Support Oxblood’s mission by destroying the Apostolosian fuel depot at point Barnacle and sensor station at point Carp, each outside of Obelle proper. Secondary: Destroy any hallows or hollows at Point Dory, in the Apostolosian base west of the river in Obelle. 

Rules of Engagement: No harming civilians or civilian property inside of Obelle--destruction of fields is incidental and acceptable collateral damage. Do not enter Point Albacore under any circumstances.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal, available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Dec 26, 2019
PARTIZAN 00: The Divine Principality
03:20:31

It is the year 1423 of the Perfect Millennium, and the galaxy has been conquered by the Divine Principality. At the center of this empire, the only place where its five Great Stels meet, there is a moon beating where a heart should be. The moon of Partizan.

Abetted by immortal, machinic gods called Divines, and the legions of Hallowed mechs which extend their terrible reach, the Principality spent millennia sharpening itself on its rivals. What it could not devour it obliterated. What it could not obliterate, it simply outlived. It was an empire, unshakeable.

Until now.

For the first time in the Principality’s long history, two of its five Stels have gone to war with one another, each guided by a ruler with sound claim to the title of Princept, leader of All Divinity. For five years, they have fought to a standstill, while equivacators and scavengers find profit in rubble. 

But historical crises do not only serve crass opportunists, they revive opportunity itself. Under the shadow of this war you find yourself wondering: For how long will there be empires? For as long as we breathe? Longer? Will the categories of our conquest outlast us, or could there come a day for something else. 

We once dreamt that breaking free from our ancient home in the cosmos would allow us to escape the mass and pull of tyranny and trauma. We failed then, but perennial chaos offers us another chance: Can we launch with such speed that we glide, graceful or imperfect, beyond war and pain? Or is the truth more damning that: Might we carry our own gravity with us?

This week on PARTIZAN: The Divine Principality

Welcome to the latest season of Friends at the Table: PARTIZAN. We’ll be playing Beam Saber by Austin Ramsay, “a Forged In The Dark game about the pilots of powerful machines in a war that dominates every facet of life.” 

Though this season takes place in the same universe COUNTER/Weight and Twilight Mirage, neither of those seasons is required listening for this new season, so if you’ve been curious about our show, this is totally a great place to hop on board. If today’s episode all about world building and character creation is a little too slow for you, don’t be afraid to hop back on for next week’s episode, which will be action packed and full of great character moments.

If you like what you’ve heard this episode, then please consider going to our Patreon, which is FILLED with bonus content. We’ve got a Patreon-only campaign called Bluff City, bonus live streams, a tips show, “Clapcasts” featuring some of the unrelated pre-show chatter, and even a special show called Drawing Maps where I talk through my prep and worldbuilding. To give you a little taste, we’ve made the first two episodes of Bluff City, a brand new Clapcast, and the first of the PARTIZAN Drawing Maps episodes free to everyone!

Finally: Every episode this season is going to come with a little Dossier in the episode description. Think of this as a mix between a play’s Dramatis Personae listing and a cheat sheet. It’ll be a (pseudo-diegetic) list of important characters, organizations, places, vehicles, items, and concepts that come up for the first time (or for the first time in a long time) in the episode. For today’s entry (which is non-diegetic) I’ve included the list of factions, religions, and major events that I sent to the players during the character creation process. 

Find this below, along with a maps of both the Divine Principality’s view of the galaxy and of Partizan itself, both of which were done by the incredible Annie Johnston-Glick (@dancynrew on Twitter, commission her!) Thanks ALSO to to Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot on Twitter, commission him!) for another season of incredible art. You can also find the music from this and all of our seasons over on Jack’s bandcamp

Thank you all for your support throughout 2019 and into the new year. This year, we wrapped up Hieron, started a new experiment with the Road to PARTIZAN, and are now picking up with our first “new” characters and setting in two years. We couldn’t have done any of that without your support, and without your help in spreading the word about the show to others. So as a final appeal: If you like this episode, consider telling your friends about us! 

Thanks again, and happy holidays.

Austin Walker
GM & Co-Founder

-------------------

The Divine Principality is a massive space empire led by a Princept and comprised of five major houses, called Stels. While the Principality is in a state of constant war with The Branched, a rival power extremely far from the small moon of Partizan, these Stels are also in various states of conflict (open and hidden) with each other. In brief, those Stels are:

Stel Kesh: The oldest established power in the galaxy, built around a stuffy (and secretive) aristocracy. They are tied to the Past. History, knowledge, stubbornness.

Stel Nideo: Created the largest faith in the empire, and used that influence to shape (and surveil) mass culture. They are tied to the Present. Faith, coercion, stability.

Stel Orion: An industrial giant that controls more literal space than any other Stel, yet is also the most fragmented and unstable. They are tied to Space. Wealth, labor, expansion.

Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.

Stel Apostolos: A dynamic and diverse military powerhouse, guided by an iconic, but controversial leader. They are tied to Motion. Speed, change, violence.

There are two major faiths in the Principality. Both espouse the idea of an empire built of minor states--allowing for small scale conflict without threat to the whole empire. Where they differ is: 

Received Asterism: Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength.

Progressive Asterism: Teaches that these same Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's.

5 years ago, Dahlia, the living Princept (born to Kesh, then kidnapped by Nideo, then rescued and raised into adulthood by Apostolos), declared themself leader of both Stel Kesh and Apostolos alongside a stunning revelation of the Principality’s crimes against Apostolos. Kesh called these claims an Apostolosian ploy for power, and elected a minor noble as an anti-Princept. 

Today, as Apostolos and Kesh war openly over territory, authority, and public sentiment, the other Stels seek to capitalize on the chaos. Columnar and Orion’s long cold war, driven by each Stel’s desire to cement its status as dominant economic and technological power, needs only a single spark to explode. Still repairing their reputation after the Farmer’s Sin, Stel Nideo bides their time, rebuilds their forces, and gains popular support. Soon, a weakness will be revealed, and they will be prepared.

Map of All Divinity in the year 1423 PM

Map of the Moon Partizan circa 1423PM

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Maps by Annie Johnston-Glick (@dancynrew)

 

Dec 19, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 11: Summary & Recap
01:06:35

Welcome to the final episode of the Road to PARTIZAN. This week, Dre, Jack, and Austin talk through and discuss through the entirely timeline of events, reflecting the events of the past 10 weeks of play and as outlined during the Microscope games from the past two weeks. For your convenience, we’ve added the Microscope timeline below to help you follow along. There are even a few new events added to round a few things out and fill in a few key details. 

Whether you’re a new Friends at the Table fan listening for a quick snapshot of the lore leading to PARTIZAN, or if you’re hoping to remind yourself of everything that happened on the way here, thanks for listening! I hope you’re looking forward to next week’s episode, PARTIZAN 00, as much as we are!

microscope timelline
 
This week on The Road to PARTIZAN 11: Summary & Recap

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 100 P.M. 03 43 \\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: ANNOUNCEMENTS && PLATFORM | DISPLAY TOP RESULT\\\

. . .

//WELCOME TO THE PALACE\\

. . .

/OPERATION: EXTRACT KEY QUOTES | BULLET FORM\

  • The Palace offers all citizens of the Divine Principality access to verified news, information, and advice through any terminal device. 
  • Designed by Stel Columnar’s most advanced technicians, built by the sharpest materials engineers in Stel Orion, spread through Divinity with speed only achievable by the fleets of Stel Apostolos, filled by Stel Kesh with the knowledge and history of countless generations, and operated by the firm and caring hand of Stel Nideo, the Palace represents the breadth of Divine ingenuity and aptitude.
  • Information on The Palace will always be perfectly reliable, thanks to teams of researchers, recorders, and adjusters dispatched across the galaxy.
  • Additional features include local almanac data, key scholarly texts, and a liturgical calendar.
  • Whether you'd like to pursue a vocation with the Palace, submit a feature request, or want to report questionable material, simply travel to your local Palace office and administrators will be happy to assist.
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Edited by Austin Walker and produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Dec 13, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 10: Microscope Pt. 2
02:03:44

Welcome to the final part of the final game (but not the final episode) of the Road to PARTIZAN. Building on the foundation of everything that has come before, this week Andi, Austin, Dre, and Keith fill in more important gaps in the history of the Divine Principality. A fourth and fifth Stel rise. Ploys, plots, and backstabbings abound. A centuries-long war begins in earnest. And final, a fracture forms at the heart of Divinity.

As mentioned above, this will not be the last update on the Road to PARTIZAN. Next week, Dre, Jack, and Austin will walk through the entire Microscope timeline, offering a recap of history from the end of Twilight Mirage to the beginning of PARTIZAN. Whether you’re just jumping in or need a refresher, we hope that’ll be useful to you. And one week after that, we’ll be launching PARTIZAN in earnest with episode 00, where you’ll be introduced to the player characters, squads, and starting situation. As a reminder, if you want more info on the world of PARTIZAN, check out our Patreon at FriendsAtTheTable.cash, where Austin has shown of tons of additional worldbuilding, including faction, region, NPC squad, and Mech creation! 

Speaking of things worth checking out: We’ve also rolled out some special seasonal merch! Go to FriendsAtTheTable.shop to pick up your very own Bluff City Zoo Winter Snowfari t-shirt, sweatshirt, or tote!
 
 
This week on the Road to PARTIZAN: Microscope Pt. 2
 

////DIVINE SPACE TRANSIT RECORD

///LOCATION: PARTIZAN | ASHEN STRAND 001.01 | 33550336.8128.496

///DATE 03/44/413 PM

///PORTCULLIS STATUS: STANDARD ARRIVAL

///ARRIVALS: 

1x Machine Parts  | Destination: Girandole automated siphon station “Farmington”

1x Return Fuel Supply | Destination: Girandole automated siphon station “Farmington”

1x Waning Institute Trash Drone | Destination: Third moon of Girandole. (UNAUTHORIZED)

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), and Keith J. Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Dec 05, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 09: Microscope Pt. 1
02:13:48

Finally, the Road to PARTIZAN enters its final lap. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be zooming the camera out to look at the 5,000+ years that have taken us from the end of the Twilight Mirage to the very moment PARTIZAN begins, and to do that we’ll turn to Ben Robbins’ excellent Microscope, a game which we used in part during COUNTER/Weight’s “faction turns.” 

In this first part, we’ll look directly at the moon world of Partizan, where a religious prophet makes a dramatic claim, performs apparent miracles, and winds up caught in the machinations of an empire. Will this shake the religious foundations of the Principality? Or will this prophet be stomped out like so many other challenges to Divinity’s rule…

This Week on the Road to PARTIZAN: Microscope Pt. 1

///YEAR:1418 PERFECT MILLENNIUM

////LOCATION: PARTIZAN | ASHEN STRAND 001.01 | ISLES OF LOGOS

///RECORD TYPE: AUDIOVISUAL

This is a low-quality recording of a “Rededication Ceremony” at a temple or church. Across two dozens sequences, the footage follows members of this community as they prepare for, attend, and mingle after a religious ceremony. The footage leaps from scene to scene artlessly, offering only brief snatches of time as the camera operator inconsistently holds down the “record” button. Banners are hung. Seating is assigned. An orator speaks at a podium in front of a large, dark shape. They are in the middle of speaking, and the camera picks up the words “their war is our opportunity,” before being cut off. Afterwards, food and drink is provided. Over the sound of backround chatter, an attendee offers the camera a friendly hand sign and a smile.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), and Keith J. Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Nov 30, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 08: For the Queen
02:27:31

The Road to PARTIZAN continues, and it does so with Alex Roberts’ and Evil Hat Productions’ For the Queen, a card based storytelling game about the retinue of a leader on a critical journey through difficult territory. 

Today’s game takes place about 500 years before the events of Partizan, at a moment where the Principality marches against two of the only remaining galactic powers not yet under the heel of the Divine Principality, each an echo of a past culture that fans of our second season, COUNTER/Weight, will know well. 

Now those two cultures join on this crucial mission to the heart of Divinity. From the Empire of Apostolos, the Apokine (our stand in for the game’s titular Queen) has gathered around them a cadre of trusted companions: Eudora (Andrew Lee Swan), their adopted sibling, Antigone Gennadiy (Janine Hawkins), their former caretaker and a current soldier in their military, and Orbit Shard (Andi Clare), their bodyguard and most trusted fighter. They are joined by Modus Maria (Austin Walker) a member of the mysterious “Branched,” a people who have transformed their bodies into something spectacular and free—only to have the threat of war force them to rebuild themselves as soldiers first and foremost.

In this moment, the future is unwritten. Can the Apokine finish their journey and secure freedom for their people? Or will Apostolos be conquered by the Principality, as so many other people and places have been?

This week on the Road to Partizan: For the Queen  

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1418 P.M. 09 01 \\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: MILITARY ACTION && GALACTIC POLITICS: DISPLAY TOP ARTICLE\\\

. . .

//APOSTOLOS STRIKES KESH, ESTABLISHES ‘FORT ICEBREAKER’ \\

. . .

/OPERATION: GENERATE BULLETED PRECIS\

  • Hostilities begin on Partizan during fight between Kesh and Apostolos in the Verglaz Taiga
  • Apostolosian forces led by elect of Motion, Hyacinth, who utilized wind and snow drift to disorient Kesh opposition and to misdirect their opposition long enough for Fort Icebreaker to come online.
  • Brief description of Fort Icebreaker: “a mobile fortress,” “network of tunnels,” “treads and cannons”
  • Neutral analysts from Orion and Columnar are quoted, citing the divine Motion’s ability to extend operation time of Apostolosian hollows as a key aspect of this victory, though secondary to Hyacinth’s strategy
  • Melody Sefton East of the Church of Received Asterism calls for an end to hostilities.
  • Additional context given re: current Kesh-Apostolosian hostilities across Divininty (see also: Princept (Dahlia), Princept (Cynosure Kesh)
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Nov 22, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 07: Beam Saber Pt. 2
02:34:13

The world of Grona is said to hold the key to ending the war between the ever-expanding Divine Principality and its rivals, the recently allied Orion Combine and the Divine Collaborate. But whatever secrets are held on its surface are locked behind a gate, a gate patrolled by the Divine Courage, defended by orbital cannons, and barricaded behind the constant gunfire and flame of a raging battle.

Somehow, a squad comprised of superstar mechathlete Memphis Longhand, the brothers David and Smack Talk, and the Candidate Pigeon must breach this perimeter. And they have to do it while carrying a very big box.

Today on The Road to PARTIZAN: Beam Saber Pt. 2

////ASSET: FORMERLY HABITABLE WORLD, ‘GRONA’
////LOCATION: Lagoon-N 1232
///STATUS: ABANDONED | EXPENDED
///DESCRIPTION: From its initial colonization in the Miraculous Millennium, through its time as battlefield in the Victorious Millennium, and until the final days of the Perfect Millennium’s first century, Grona was Class IV planet under the Lammer classification system. However, once hostilities settled after ██████████████████████████████████, Yes! Power, Better Brighter, and other firms were able to more fully utilize the planet’s resource basin. With Orion’s extractive mechanisms working at full capacity, Grona was elevated for two centuries from habitable world into a more a more comprehensive portfolio of bundled resources. No attempt should be made to recover.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J. Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Nov 15, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 06: Beam Saber Pt. 1
01:30:30

On today’s entry of the Road to PARTIZAN, we pick up with the characters we made in Dusk to Midnight and zoom in to the climax of the Divine Clash by playing Beam Saber by Austin Ramsay

 

Months ago, the OriCom Logistics Division staged a strategic coup against the Divine Principality by successfully escorting Courageous to a rendezvous point where they opened a gate for OriCom’s ally in the war, the Divine Collaborate, so that they could join OriCom’s fleet with their own. In the time since, though, the fighting has been trying, the allies have lost many (including teammate Lunar Leson), and additional reinforcements are far away and moving more slowly than anticipated. 

 

Which is why Memphis Longhand, the Talk brothers, and their new Divine-piloting ally, Pigeon, are being sent on a secret mission. On the planet of Grona, in the city of Zibeline, fighting rages against the occupying Principality’s forces. The resistance there is waiting desperately for a delivery that is supposed to change the war forever...

This week on the Road to PARTIZAN: Beam Saber Pt. 1

////ASSET: Dunlop-class Mobile Shipping Depot, 'Topmark'

////LOCATION: Lagoon-N 332

///STATUS: ABANDONED | DECOMMISSIONED

///DESCRIPTION: Dunlop-class Mobile Shipping Depots were mobile logistics platforms designed for refuel and repair in the era before Stel Orion’s formation. Able to house six frigate-class vessels at once, the Dunlop was an operational cornerstone for both Orion warfare and commerce. Once integration into the Principality was complete, these depots fell out of favor for both aesthetic and technical reasons. This particular vessel was decommissioned after ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████.No attempt should be made to recover.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J. Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Nov 08, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 05: Ech0 & Dusk to Midnight
02:40:53

Welcome back to the Road to PARTIZAN. Today, we’re moving into a new trio of episodes that explore an era of history that would come to be called The Divine Clash. For over a century, the ever-growing Divine Principality would throw its might against the allied forces of the Orion Combine and the Divine Collaborate, the distant successor states of two major nations featured in our COUNTER/Weight season. 

Next week and the week following, we’ll see the climax of the Divine Clash via Austin Ramsay’s Beam Saber. But first, we offer a pair of vignette one-shots via two games that were made for the Emotional Mecha Game Jam (which was organized by John R. Harness and Takuma Okada). 

First, in Role Over Play Dead’s Ech0, we travel through the wreckage the war left behind, as children born over a generation after the war’s end try to reunite the memory core of a long dead pilot with her machine. Then, in Riley Rethal’s Dusk to Midnight, we define the early days of the Clash, and follow the careers (and the wavering resolve) of four of the pilots who would help to decide its outcome. 

A couple of extra notes: First of, because one of the player’s files was totally corrupted, much of this episode had to be rebuilt via a backup recording. That means that there are a few times where you can hear breathing sounds heavier than normal. There are also moments where background noise is a bit more prevalent, and it was pretty impossible to untangle some crosstalk (especially since we were playing as children especially prone to crosstalk in Ech0).

You’ll might also notice that I say a few times up top that we want to play three of these vignettes. Due to time concerns, we couldn’t make that happen, but for the record, the final vignette I’d planned was EPITAPH by Dante Douglas, which is metal as hell and rules. You should check it out.

Finally, because Ech0 is such a visual experience, I’ve included a screenshot of the map we drew below. You can find close ups of all of our sketches at the Mapmaker tier over on our Patreon (with a quick caveat that we’re currently catching up on much of our Patreon stuff, and we’ve been prioritizing new shows up rather than supporting material, but it’s coming soon, I promise!)

This week on the Road to PARTIZAN: Ech0 & Dusk to Midnight

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1418 P.M. 05 22\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: CRIME AND DEVIANCE && OPERATION: DISPLAY TOP ARTICLE\\\

. . .

//VERGLAZ UNIVERSITY ARCHAEOLOGY ANNALS RAIDED, HOUSE LESON INVESTIGATORS POINT TO HERETICAL GROUP\\

. . .

/OPERATION: IDENTIFY KEY SUBJECTS: SUBJECT (ROLE | EVALUATION)\

ELET VALERA (VICTIM, SCHOLAR | TRUSTED)

CARBIDE LESON (CHIEF INVESTIGATOR | TRUSTED)

SLOE UPLIGHT (WITNESS, EXPERT IN FIELD | SUSPECT)

“THE FRIENDS OF GUR SEVRAQ” (████████ , ██████████ | ANATHEMA, SEEK ACCESS APPROVAL FOR FURTHER INFORMATION) 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

 

Nov 01, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 04: Armour Astir Pt. 2
01:59:00

The crew of the Constellation-class Carrier Hellebore has breached the earliest defenses of the station which orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Having dispatched the mercenary Barter and his crew of ConCons, pilots Cerise, Teasel, and Gold repair and rearm. Above them, Captain of the Ivory Prince (and secret leader of the rebel group known as Horizon) Briar Brightline watches over them.. But they are not alone. Beyond the next gate, something strange has made the station its roost. And behind them, out in black of space…. something new, but all too familiar, approaches.

 

This week on the Road to Partizan: Armour Astir Pt. 2


////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1423 P.M. 03 06 22\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: FAITH AND CULLLLLLLLLPRATION: DSPLTPPPPPP ARTICL\\\

. . .

//\\//\\ PERENNIAL WAVE READINGS: HIGH. PALACE ACCESS DISRUPTED. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER. //\\//\\

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Oct 26, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 03: Armour Astir Pt. 1
02:12:10

Join us in our second game on the Road to PARTIZAN, where we are playing Armour Astir: Advent by Briar Sovereign, a fantastic PbtA mech game that is equal parts Escaflowne and Mobile Suit Gundam. 

Today’s episode starts with about 20 minutes of setup explaining the game and introducing the characters. If you want to skip all of that, then read the next couple of paragraphs and jump ahead to 22:45.

Our game of Armour Astir takes place in a time of fables and magic, around 500-1000 years after our first Road to PARTIZAN game. As the Divine Principality spreads and grows in power, one small group inside of it tries to check its imperial ambition. That group is called Horizon, and it is funded and controlled by the powerful House Brightline of Stel Kesh, who are nostalgic for a better age--whether or not that age ever existed is, of course, up for debate.

Horizon has heard word that Stel Nideo has located an incredible source of power at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and is sending some sort of force to capture it. To stop Nideo, Horizon rushes ahead with a single ship to locate that device and to disable, destroy, or take it over for their own. 

The Ivory Prince, Horizon’s ship, is blessed (and accompanied) by the mischievous divine Perennial, and captained by the noble Briar Brightline (Art Maritnez-Tebbel), an officer who loves it when a plan comes together. On board are three ace pilots: The Arcanist and Consul Cerise Sky (Andi Clare), a devotee of Perennial and high ranking magistrate in the Divine Principality. Teasel Mode (Janine Hawkins), an Ashen witch, who has bound herself tightly with Perennial in exchange for powerful gifts. And Vessel’s Gold (Andrew Lee Swan), a cyborg mercenary from a culture left behind, who fights for a paycheck… and a good cause. 

As they land at the edge of a massive space station, can the crew come together to face down their foes and uncover the mysteries of the galactic core?

This week on the Road to PARTIZAN 03: Armour Astir Pt. 1

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1423 P.M. 01 01 01\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: FAITH AND CULTURE && OPERATION: DISPLAY TOP ARTICLE\\\

. . .

//PRESENT ELECT AND VERSE GALLICA DELIVERS SERMON AT PERENNIAL DAY SERVICE\\

. . .

/OPERATION: HIGHLIGHT AND EXTRACT SUBJECT QUOTES\

“Twelve years ago, just after my election, ███ ██████ put our great House in jeopardy. I worried at first, I admit. But then, I remembered my lessons. I remembered the Constellation of the Adversary: Three thousand years ago, a misguided and treasonous group attempted to sabotage everything we had built. But as time has shown, Divinity will not, can not, crumble so easily. Ours is a culture of equilibrium, a balanced society which--though it may shake--cannot fall. The Principality is a star shining so brightly, that no matter how many foes surround it, its light exceeds. It is for this reason that, even in this time of trouble, I am confident in Stel Nideo’s future.”

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Oct 19, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 02: Dialect Pt. 2
01:17:42

For millennia, three rules guided the Hypha as they traveled across the galaxy. First: Follow the light of the strand through the stars, stopping only on worlds marked by its color—and even then, only temporarily. Second: Never leave behind the bodies of our dead. And third: Protect at all costs the mystery of the Chorus Bond, that which connects us to each other, to the Strand, and perhaps to something even greater than that.

But now, these rules—and the way of life they protect—have come under threat. The Divine Principality, a vast and hungry empire, has arrived. 

This week on Friends at the Table: The Road to Season 6: Dialect Pt. 2

////YEAR: 850 MIRACULOUS MILLENNIUM

////LOCATION: PARTIZAN | ASHEN STRAND 001.01

///RECORD TYPE: AUDITORY

The sound of an excavator’s claw striking clay ground. Voices with Stel Kesh dialects discuss early findings at an archaeological site. [See Conversation 850MM.SK.ASHEN01]. Metal strikes metal, and the heft of something is raised from the ground. Near the microphone, there is the electronic beep of an incoming message, but none arrives. Then, from the distance but growing louder, the high pitched sound of resin shattering accompanied by human screams. Finally, the sound of a single pair hooves walking towards, and then past, the microphone, and the sound of the communications channel closing.

 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Oct 11, 2019
The Road to PARTIZAN 01: Dialect Pt. 1
02:49:25

Welcome to the Road to Season 6, an interlude connecting Twilight Mirage to PARTIZAN, our next full season (where we’ll be playing Beam Saber by Austin Ramsay) which will begin later this year! On that note, please know that though there is one spoiler for the way a couple of Twilight Mirage factions end up, there are no spoilers about major Twilight Mirage characters or their arcs anywhere throughout these episodes.

The Road to Season 6 started with a desire to try out new game systems before we committed to one for a full season, but after thinking about it for a bit, we realized that we could use a bunch of games to explore the history of the massive, fracturing empire that will be at the center of PARTIZAN.

And to do that right, we needed to make sure to start outside of that empire. To that end, we kicked things off with Dialect: A Game About Language and How It Dies by Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalioglu. In this episode, we develop a new culture of nomadic space deer, and watch as they encounter an empire which aims to obliterate time and space themselves.

As a quick follow up: This episode (and the rest of the Road to Season 6) all began as episodes in our Live at the Table series, a collection of one shot streams that we do for all $5+ Patrons! That means that you can go watch or listen to every episode of the Road right now if you head to our Patreon! They won’t have the intros (and they’ll all be unedited, with a lot more dead air), but if you’re desperate to know what comes next, you can learn that right now. 

If all this world building isn’t your thing, and you’d rather skip these and rejoin us for the character driven drama and action of season six proper, then please know you can toatlly do that too. While these episodes will help fill in some blank spaces, they are not required listening for our next season!

Either way, I hope you enjoy this series of episodes as much as we enjoyed making them. We’ll see you in a couple of months, in the shadow of the giant Girandole, on the holy moon of Partizan...

This week on Friends at the Table: The Road to Season 6: Dialect Pt. 1

////YEAR: 174 ASCENDANT MILLENNIUM

////LOCATION: VALENCE 4 | HYPHAN STRAND 170.2

///RECORD TYPE: VISUAL

On a misted grassland running the length of the continental shelf, seventeen capital ships, 1223 rated vessels, and 340 personal vehicles are prepared for launch. A pilot boards a personal corvette, pausing to look at the sky above her. An aide whispers words of comfort to a pair in grief, then steps away to direct the transfer of remains and grave goods. The ghostlike projection of a heretical oracle flickers, antlers transparent yet reflecting the sun’s light, and fades.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Oct 03, 2019
Announcing: PARTIZAN (And Some New Merch!)
16:46

Hey everyone! Austin here. If you've already listened to the entire Spring in Hieron Post-Mortem or follow us closely via social media or our Patreon feed, then you have probably heard about a bunch of exciting Friends at the Table related things recently! But in case that doesn't describe you, I wanted to make sure that you were able to get thsoe updates too! So, enjoy this brief update on merch, music, and the updcoming season.

(ALSO: While I forgot to mention it in this update, you can actually listen to the Road to Season 6 games right now by joining our Patreon at the $5 level.)

I've included all the relevant links below!

Hieron Cover Art Prints by Craig Sheldon

Fall of Magic T-Shirt, Hoody, and Print by Simon Sweetman

Live at the Table Soundtrack

The Friends at the Table Patreon

PARTIZAN Trailer

Beam Saber by Austin Ramsay 

 

Sep 27, 2019
Spring in Hieron Post Mortem (Read the post!)
04:02:01

Thank you for joining us to say goodbye to Hieron....

From beginning...

 

 

...to end!!

 

It's been quite a journey and we had a great time capping it off by answering some of your questions! We had such a wonderful outpouring of support and love the past week and it really means the most to us! We love doing this and we love that people enjoy listening to it.

Over the next weeks, the friends behind Friends at the Table are going to take a short break before starting our sixth season: PARTIZAN, a story of war, politics, faith, and (yes) giant mechs. You can hear the trailer in this episode or by itself, right here, and you can check out the game we'll be playing in PARTIZAN, Austin Ramsay's Beam Saber, right here. 

But before we get there, to keep your podcast feed warm, we'll be sharing the Road to Season Six, an anthology of one-shots played in different systems that will bridge the Twilight Mirage and PARTIZAN seasons. The Road to Season Six isn't necessary listening if you want to hop on board PARTIZAN in a couple of months, but it definitely provides some big picture context for the stakes and history that lead us to this new setting!

These episodes originated as Live at the Table games, available to watch live for all of our Patreon supporters, and if you want to check them out (unedited, without music) right now, you can actually do that! Just go to friendsatthetable.cash and become a $5 supporter to get access to all of the Live at the Table games, our bonus campaign, Bluff City, and both Tips at the Table and Drawing Maps, two shows that share our thoughts on playing and prepping games. For just $1, you can get years of "Clapcasts," collections of the all the chatter between us that happens before we get into the game proper. 

(Speaking of Live at the Table, most of the past Live at the Table music is NOW AVAILABLE over on Jack's bandcamp. Go check it out!)

If you're already a patron, or if you're not looking for more podcast to listen to but want to support the show somehow, then guess what: We have TWO new pieces of merchandise to check out.

First, we've teamed up with Heart of the Deernicorn (creator of Fall of Magic and BFF!) and the incredible artist Simon Sweetman to make this Fall of Magic t-shirt, hoody, and print, featuring characters from our very own playthrough of that game!

Second, we've opened up our own online store at friendsatthetable.shop, where you can (FINALLY!) buy prints of the incredible Hieron cover art by artist Craig Sheldon! A single print is $15 USD, but you can get the entire set for just $35! 

Image

 

Sep 19, 2019
Spring in Hieron 44: The Second Spring Pt. 6
02:46:00

...took a new name: the Frost Shepherd. It was in trying to understand this act, its causes, and its consequences, that I first thought this second volume might be necessary.  Even as it happened, I sensed a moment of diversion, of what an old mentor would have called a potential “rupture” in history.

In the old Hieron, when such a thing was still possible, I studied and practiced as a semiotician of the New Archives. Because the Rhizome stretches as it does, and because we were so removed from the histories which precede us, you may not know what that means. In short: We collected the world so that we might better arrange it. This is how I fell in love with writing and with history.

Towards the end of my studies, in some north campus basement, Semiotician Emeritus Uklan Tel delivered a guest lecture for a select group out of some technical obligation to the department. 

“The world unfolds according to systems and rules,” he told us. “History, politics, war, society--they have velocity, they have force, they have momentum. But now and then there is a chance for great change.” Any average evening would be followed by an equally average day, but a rupturous evening might bring a day like one we’ve never seen. 

But these moments only carried the potential for transformation, he told us. These moments of historical rupture, he said, offered opportunity for the systems and rules by which we organize ourselves to find a new route. But most of the time? That opportunity was wasted. Things returned to the status quo. The moons past over the edge of the world, the sun arose, and we’d be back to normal.

I had the impression, as he started to speak, that he was trotting out an old lecture, something reliable, that even dead in his voice would impress on our young, eager psyches. But as he spoke, he found a startling rhythm, like an old workhorse building towards a colt’s gait. 

It was as if something he’d seen, something recent, maybe, had given flesh to words that had only been bone. I could tell that he thought he wasn’t just correct, but that he right. He told us, then, that we might not know it, but that we lived in a moment of rupture. 

And when I stood in that crowd and heard the Frost Shepherd speak, I recognized in my own blood, on my own skin, an echo of Tel’s old confidence in recognizing a moment rupture. 

When Tel warned us about the future, he was, of course right--and only now do we know how ironic this warning was, considering his own role in the events of the years that followed that lecture. Which is excuse enough for me to extend his warning to you: In times like these, the rupture is not one night, it is ongoing, and we are all participants in whatever comes next. Pace yourselves. Recognize the way you touch the world. And travel accordingly.

-An Excerpt from the Foreword to The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 5

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Sep 11, 2019
Spring in Hieron 43: The Second Spring Pt. 5
01:56:04
...understandably caused us to doubt not only our relationship with them (albeit too late), but also with ourselves and our faculties. 

The world was large, larger not only than what we’d known before but larger than anything it had been before. And it was large in new ways. In the old Hieron, a big place was wide or it was tall. But we’d learned that this place was deep. We’d regularly find new creatures and cultures in the branches we already knew well. How could we trust that we had not missed something important in a place like this?

For the adventurous sort, those who followed in the footsteps of those who founded the modern University settlement, this was a plus. But for those whose task was to catalog, study, and explain the Rhizome, this was an ache that never dulled.

“It’s made setting up our beat desks that much harder,” said Marisol Sweetwater, then editor, now publisher of The New Current.  “We have to constantly ask ourselves questions that back in Rosemerrow would’ve been given. What does ‘Local News’ mean in a place where a whole civilization can just show up under some giant petal you never flipped over?” 

The Rhizome was not simply vast, it was vasting, endlessly growing. And in the face of that, stability became the chief, communal referent. Even those who prefered the world this way, who were eager to turn leaves over for the rest of their lives, had their own exploits reframed in the popular rhetoric of cataloguing and mastery. One might take to the long branch to explore, but when their stories reached home, it was as proof that the Rhizome could be explored—routed, mapped, finally put to rest.

Who knows why the discourse shifted like this. Some suggest it’s because of a generic fear of the unknown. Maybe it was because it was what we already knew. Or, perhaps, it was because deep down we knew that there was only one way left for us to “settle” the world and make it knowable again, and we feared that possibility as much as we desired it.

-An Excerpt from The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

 
This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 5
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Sep 06, 2019
Spring in Hieron 42: The Second Spring Pt. 4
02:21:25

…unexpected means of conveyance, but at that time, what ought have been reasonably expected at all?
Perhaps such flippancy isn’t well placed. Now, with the benefit of distance and context, it’s simple to recognize the many ways that the Rhizome should have shaken loose our assumptions along with all that old Hieronic dirt. But by all retrospective accounts--including this historian’s own limited recollection--no single question dominated our collective anxiety as much as this one: What can we expect? In a world of giant insects, endless growth, unearthed histories older than the Weaver King was long, how could we know what tomorrow would bring?
Perhaps it was phrased differently, sometimes more specifically or with more sentimentality. But at core, it was this question--this fear--that led many to swear allegiance to the banners of Alcyon, the University, the Grey Duke. The words delivered to us by the Shepherd confirm that it was what motivated those who came to that fateful Understanding. And while this is admittedly conjecture, it is easy to believe that it is what made so many pray to Galenica, whose most authorial power was still grounded in the one bit of old Hieron still left in grand supply: us.
Would tomorrow be worse than today? Would the suns ever find consistency, the pollen ever break? Would those who left us return? Would the threads of the world spiral further apart than they already had? Would ‘normalcy’ ever arrive? In the face of these things, how common a response fear is. After all, what more could we expect?
-An Excerpt from The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 4

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 30, 2019
Spring in Hieron 41: The Second Spring Pt. 3
03:13:52

..alone would drive many settlements to resign themselves to his vassalage, as the Duke’s medicinal stores separated him from many of the other warlords in that first year, when the pollen was so severe not only due to its density but to our own body’s sluggish adaptation to it.
But the University’s leadership was not keen to submit to anyone, least of all a monarch who wouldn’t even show his own face on the frontlines; whatever their differences, Corsica Neue and Lord Ephrim had in common a comfort with danger and a respect for those who would wade into it courageously.
In hindsight, though, it has become clear that the Grey Duke’s grand project—his attempt to re-order and organize the world around him and his territory—did not need others to kneel before him. They need only decide that facing him was a necessity to ensure his centrality in the new maps of the world.
Which provides some context for the surprising, and not altogether unwelcome, tactics the Duke deployed...
-An Excerpt from The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 3

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 23, 2019
Spring in Hieron 40: The Second Spring Pt. 2
01:46:49

...good a start as could be imagined, given the circumstances. But there was a confounding question still, which seemed to rent space in everyone’s mind: Yes, the university had survived, but where was it?
This was not a philosophical question. It was a simple matter of fact, a concrete concern.
“Used to be three weeks, with cart, from Twinbrook,” said one resident of the University, who operated a food cart both before and after the Second Spring. “Sure, [I] haven’t made that trip in eight or nine years, not with everything going on. But [I] could count on it. Three weeks, with cart.” The man tapped his temple three times, as if to emphasize the truth of the matter.
While early efforts--DuCarte’s map school, the Spider Silk Gondola to Alcyon, Feritas’ road project--were progressing on schedule, there was the gnawing feeling among some in leadership roles that these moved too slowly. “If even our people, easy-tempered and well-calloused from the old life want to map this tangle out,” wrote Corsica Neue in her journal, “then others, those chronically conditioned by control and ease, must be even more eager mappers than we.”
-An Excerpt from The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 2 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Spring Pt. 2

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 16, 2019
Spring in Hieron 39: The Second Spring Pt. 1
01:58:05

…was standing there in the midst of utter chaos, I found strength in words uttered by the immortal warrior Red Jack (who you will become well acquainted with as you read on) only days before he led an assault on the being called the Advocate. “Heroism,” he said, “is not such a unique thing.”
He was right. The heroes that day were not only those who faced down men worshipped as gods—or those that despised them. The heroes were the many whose names were not already known, who rallied their neighbors as the world around them crumbled, and ensured that even if the very body of Hieron itself vanished, Hieron, the collection of people, would not. The world, contrary to this book’s title, did not end.
All of which is to say that I am grateful that this text is being published in an incomplete state. The truth is that when I first began to write this volume, it wasn’t a volume at all. It was just a book. An encyclopedia, collecting in one place stories from reliable (if not always honest) narrators, who together paint an image of the world as it was when it was still ending.
As a writer and as an archivist, of course I knew a book like this could never be complete: Even if every fact I’d scribbled were true, even if I’d eradicated my bias—and I haven’t—how could I be sure that some key detail was not lost in the telling?
And so I am twice happy to be writing this foreword. First, because it means that the world and life (which frankly, I am very fond of) continues yet. Second, with our collective end seemingly deferred it gives me an excuse to begin a second volume, less focused on the apocalyptic end of everything, and more interested in all the minor endings we face as we find out what life even is here in the rhizome.
For now, though, I hope that you find this volume insightful, and that if you do not, that you at least find it entertaining. A final note to that end: While you can read this text linearly from front to back, I advise simply opening to any page and reading the first full entry there, and following the references and footnotes there listed. If you absolutely must be given a defined starting place, though, I recommend entry A919: The Island of Eventide.
Enjoy.

-An Excerpt from the Foreword to The Last Days The We Had: A Narrative Catalogue of Hieron, End Apparent, Pt. 1 by Alonzo Victor Devareaux van der Dawes

Aug 09, 2019
Friends at the Table @ Gen Con this week!!
15:49

Hiya everyone!! Instead of an episode this week, we have a few announcements, which you can either enjoy in audio form or text form or BOTH!

-We're at Gen Con this week! We're doing a live show on Saturday, 6 PM!!! Tickets are still available!! W hoo ps ? You can get them here: https://www.gencon.com/events/151345
-We're having a fan meet up Friday, 1:30 at Hudnut Commons!!
-Shut Up and Shut Down released our BFF video from SHUX 2019!! The link is [SU&SD had some issues with the export so it'll arrive here later]
-There's a Twilight Mirage Zine! You can get more info at https://fundly.com/tmzine, or check out their twitter at @tm_zine
-We're gonna have a bunch of new patreon content at our highest tier but if you haven't checked it out we have a TON of stuff over at friendsatthetable.cash

Jul 31, 2019
Spring in Hieron 38: See Where You're Standing
01:23:44

Across the long lawns below the central tower of the Last University, the grass defies itself. In the mind, a field is a million individual blades blending into one. But when Stars of the steppe arrive, they make mental category into physical reality, each blade blending with the next until the trembling, green pasture becomes blinding, fixed tract. But even this transformation, which spreads across the whole of one of the continent’s densest settlements, is minute against what occurs above. A distraught god once promised that he would do anything to hold back the Heat and the Dark. Now, he proves his intent, yet wonders to himself if he can be stopped; if, perhaps, eradication might be better.

This week on Spring in Hieron: See Where You're Standing

Taken all at once, the unearned length of my life, it is easy to call this unavoidable. After all, before I could hold a chalice, I could only drink with tooth and maw, my thirst unsated, as blood stained the ground. Before I could store unfinished thoughts on a shelf, I could only think in agitation, plans and ideas twirling forever, unending in my focus, lest they be lost to distraction. Before I could hold my love, I coveted raw connection, dreamed an I into being even as I was sent to destroy identity itself.


And so, I suspect, as the world becomes more real, more permanent, as those I swore to protect suffer in their sacrifice, even as I too dissolve and join the new firmament, I will have no champions. It will be easy to make sense of my decision this way: ‘He was always a beast.’ But that would be wrong. Writing these words is a selfish act of guilty conscience, I know. And yet I write them, because I must, because in writing them I am convinced of what must be done.


I will not steep to the vulgarity of cruel maths, a list of how many we’d already killed, or how vast the future I build might be. The suffering is real. The suffering is, after all, the motive. And so that should be first.


When my father told me what had been done, to the man I’d pinned to the bottom of the world, I saw opportunity. With His final ploy undone, the well of divinity had quietly been unblocked. I needed no clever stratagem. My adversarial source could be held back in the old way, a new strata. And so I began my work, drawing in detail for the first time in ages a new world. The ink flowed fresh, no rust to knock away, no lack of new ideas. I was born to steal words, but I lived for writing them.


And then, in that vile cavern, I learned that my dreams were too humble. The ease with which I did it. Hadrian loved her as dear a companion as I did my Wizard. Perhaps, as ours in wisdom kind, theirs in strength. Thoughtless. Grotesque. If anything slithered in the Advocate’s room, it was me. It was not only in what I did Death’s Servant, though, it was that I so easily broke a promise I made to my aunt, and hid my strength from her, as I once did, so long ago.


That is when I knew. That is I felt it, in my wounds, and in my heart, and in whatever motivates the void in the deep core of every living being into glorious motion. That is when I knew that I had to bring into being a world of consequence, of possibilities irrevertible, each moment concentrated justice in its inability to be undone. No second chances. No erasure. No reconfiguration. Immanence alone. A world without us.


-An excerpt from the journals of Samot, the Unbroken Lord in Exile and Repose

 

Jul 27, 2019
Spring in Hieron 37: Ingenuity and Love
02:16:19

Of all the resources unique to the City of First Light, the Ordennan Impetus was most taken by the ancient city’s network of trains. The once-island nation was already familiar with the value of heavy logistics, and though the steam-powered trains of this new island were on tracks, it was not as if their own ships did not have to contend with the more organic rails of weather, wind, and current. As important, they knew first hand how disruptive it would be for a culture to lose control of its transportation system. Which is why they stormed the trains early in their invasion, and grew their occupation through railway terminals.
And this is how Fela Malle found his way to the ancient home of Samothes. The same volcanic palace to which Adaire, Hadrian, Hella, Hadrian, and Throndir now enter, under stormswell skies..

This week on Spring in Hieron: Ingenuity and Love


When those few who know it tell our story, they tell it wrong. They say that we squabbled for years because He told me that there was no solution for the Heat and the Dark. But my love knew me better than to put it in terms so brusque.
He took my hands that afternoon, called me by the name Samol had given me, and shared his hopelessness in the only way he knew would not drive me from him immediately, with the technical mendacity of an engineer or a priest. “Samot, our stumbling block is not in finding a solution, it’s in determining the right problem to begin with. We’ve been trying to brighten the night when we should’ve been trying to find comfort in the dark.” Bad poetry for dressing His cowardice up as practical thinking. I hated it, and soon enough I hated you Him too.
But years later, with my Wizard reduced to mere memory and the paladin’s heart clouded, I admit that I fell to despair much like my love’s. He was right. All of these scenarios, all of this effort, all of this anxiety spent on cures, when I should have been focused on convalescence.
An excerpt from the journals of Samot, the Unbroken Lord in Exile and Repose

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Ali Acampora (@ali_west) and Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jul 19, 2019
Spring in Hieron 36: Terrible and Necessary
01:38:57
As the shell-sky ruptures under impossible heat and pressure, the citizens of the Last University face grim prospects. Beings of empty light tread over the familiar until it is unsafe, recasting the world around them in macro and micro, both. And above, a lord looms. Do they have any hope? Does anyone fight for them, still? Yes.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Terrible and Necessary

After too many years of loneliness and solitude, I believe even now that I was blessed by accord with two who moved in kindred ways. The paladin felt His warmth, even from the blade, and worked drunk in his faith as I once did. And in that we knew one another, though he knew (and knows still) so little. I was likely a fool for dreaming a solution through his hands. (Yet I am a dreamer, always.)
The other knew me in a way only one so devoted to knowledge could. The old stories always missed this about me: I found myself alone in study as often, if not more, than among the carousing congregation. And so in the Wizard Fantasmo, I found someone who understood me. So fixed our bond, that I found the elf slipping into memories deeper and older than he could possibly be participant in.
His brilliance made me wonder what might be, again. Old, smashed possibilities picked up like a shattered vase, laid out on cloth, the pieces all there, repair suddenly a possibility. And so I thought: Perhaps Fantasmo could do what I could do not. Perhaps he could retrieve my love from the Blade in the Dark. With the right forge, the right attendants, the right components… I still believe it, in truth. I know he could have. I know he could have brought me, brought us, Samothes again.
But these are shadowed times, and in the unjust dark, the brilliant lights are the first to be snuffed out.
An excerpt from the journals of Samot, the Unbroken Lord in Exile and Repose
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Nick Scratch (@drevilbones)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jul 12, 2019
Spring in Hieron 35: Unfinished Work
02:16:50

The bounty was plastered from the boulevards of Malle’s Fist to the canals of Kanton, on the broken archways of the old imperial road and the mural boards of the old eastern sea wall:


TO WHOMEVER SLAYS THE BEAST, SO CALLED THE ADVOCATE, IN LOYALTY TO ORDENNA AND ALL MANKIND, A REWARD DUE, EARNED, AND PAID BY THE HONORABLE IMPETOR OF ALL HIERON, FELA MALLE: 100,000 IN COIN OR THE ARMORY AND ESTATE OF A BLOODED PEER.


And so, floating down the Archivist’s River towards the smogging skies of Malle’s Fist, a group of heroes intends to collect.


This week on Spring in Hieron: Unfinished Work


If only I had been more attentive during my arrival to the city all those years ago. Or if father would push past his obstinance and help me find it. Or if it had been delivered by fate into Hadrian’s hands instead of Eprhim’s. Perhaps a less ambitious violence would have brought a Spring more-
No. It cannot be known.
All that can be said with confidence is that of all my contingencies, the killing of my son, turned mocking mimicry of Him, by my erstwhile disciple is the one I least preferred. And in that way, perhaps this tragic unfolding of events has been most kind.
-An excerpt from the journals of Samot, Lord Unbroken, in Exile and Repose

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Ali Acampora (@ali_west) and Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Jul 05, 2019
Spring in Hieron 34: The Variation of Natural Life
01:42:08

 

Victorious after their journey to the Mark of the Erasure, the leading members of the Last University find time to celebrate. But they know too well the danger of inaction, so while four of the group begin a journey south, to Malle’s Fist, the rest take the time to investigate the troubles that remain at home. Chief of all: The continued pressure put on the settlement by Alyosha’s Spring. But while Ephrim, Fero, and Lem may find some of the answers they seek, it is not long before they face a new, more imperative dilemma.


This week on Spring in Hieron: The Variation of Natural Life


I simply do not understand. Why would you ever build a wall from a material both capricious and ineffable? This would be like keeping a journal in a code you cannot read: Yes, the work has been done, technically. But whatever value you sought is warped from utility to perilous, and obvious, folly.
-A message from the Crystalized Voice of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jun 28, 2019
Spring in Hieron 33: Particular Malice
01:46:07

Weeks ago, the Advocate took flight its cradle hidden in the hills and trees. Its path north took it across places already devoured by the Heat and the Dark: Rosemerrow’s once Long Sands, the devastated woods between Old Man’s Chin and Twinbrook, across the ancient imperial highway south of Velas, and into the unmappable, frozen wastes of Auniq, deep within the Mark of Erasure. Where does a being unwilling to create go to roost? To a nest already made. The heart of the mark. Atop the fallen tower of Samot. Its hunger for destruction sated, in this brief moment, it rests. And they arrive.


Today on Spring in Hieron: Particular Malice


He has not faced anything quite like what you describe, no. But from what you have told me, your father seems an obstinate and foolhardy man. And those are the qualities of every so-called hero I have ever met.
-A message from the Crystalized Voice of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jun 14, 2019
Spring in Hieron 32: Insurmountable Odds
01:40:22

It is an old road that travels between the Last University, through the settlement of Baron’s Gate, and into what is now called the Mark of the Erasure was built--many times, across many lamina--to bring direction and pace to the roving party of Samot, bringing him between the First University and his father’s home at the Hewed Peak.
But in time, with his father retired to convalesce in a more humble home in the woods, the God of Books and Wine carved away the Peak, drawing the finest stone not only from the nearest mountain, but from each Peak of the past ten ages, all to provide material for his new, towering home. And in time further, with the meddling of mages eager to make their own paradise, his new home would fall, bringing about an eternal blizzard. And so the old road found itself untraveled, covered in snow, and lost to time.
Now, new flame has unearthed it, and it sees new use, carrying a dedicated group with their own direction and pace to a new dragon, which roosts and writhes in the ruins of history.


This week on Spring in Hieron: Insurmountable Odds


I have told you already never to TRAVEL alone. Yet this does not mean you ought turn a ROAD into a PARLOR ROOM. Trust in yourselves, and keep surreptitious your thoughts and motives. If you must speak, speak only to yourself. Your allies are there only to protect you, and however shining a SHIELD may be, it is not a MIRROR.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

(Note: Last time on and usual intro music was intentionally skipped this week!)

Jun 07, 2019
Spring in Hieron 31: A Handful of People
02:26:12

The morning after the second sun broke open, the campus of the the Last University is quiet. But this is not hard-won exhalation. It is a gasp for breath in the middle of a marathon run. Because before the members of the University’s ad hoc council can fully settle back into daily life, they are sprung back into action by an impulse as nervous as it is noble. There will be time to rest--and surely they need it. But in this moment, the world burns. And they refuse to let the fire simply light their faces from afar.


This week on Spring in Hieron: A Handful of People


What is the difference between an INSTINCT and an IMPULSE? Everything. The former guides you in thought, shaping your REFLECTION with biases hard earned. The latter triggers ACTION without consideration. Embrace your instinct, even--especially--when others tell you that it confounds their sense of possibility. You know better than them. But resist impulsiveness with all your being. However quick a dead mage was in their final moments, they are still a dead mage.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

May 31, 2019
Spring in Hieron 30: A Safer Second
01:25:17

Above the waves of the Alcyonic Sea, the second sun has not yet hatched. But below its blood red light, a plan has begun to. But what sort of plan is it? Is it a former paladin’s plan to protect his family? Is it the plan of a druid and a lord to stop a threat that has grown too large, too dangerous, to let continue? Or is it something grimmer: the latest, vengeful volley in the decade long arc of enmity between one who was once a wizard and one who was once a ranger?


This week on Spring in Hieron: A Safer Second


Both in your studies and in the field, SUCCESS is not an finality. It is only an opportunity for you to find new COURSES to travel and CONUNDRUMS to consider. The world is endless, and you will never bore for a lack of things to do. But the wise mage knows to tackle these many things with FOCUS and DELIBERATION. However powerful your magic, however full your book of SPELLS, it is a fool who thinks they can do everything all at once. When you find reality bending to your WILL, you may want to take the whole of the world on your shoulders. I promise you, students. It will crush you.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring ndi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
May 24, 2019
Spring in Hieron 29: Deeper Than Flesh
01:23:08

Under crimson light, a plan moves into effect, a counter motion with speed so great that it matches the age of the plot it seeks to derail: the consumption of light, the birth of a dragon apocalyptic, the early days of Summer’s lethal heat. Against this: Adaire Ducarte, Hella Varal, and the still dreaming Lem King.


This week on Spring in Hieron: Deeper Than Flesh


It is common aphorism that no EFFECT comes without matching COST. This is, of course, absolute tripe. What would the point of our SCIENCE be if it were not to offset the two in our own favor? To turn bay leaf into bartergold, fowl feather into the wind itself. Yes. There is always a PRICE. This is true. The best of us simply learn how to address reality directly and NEGOTIATE.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Description by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
May 18, 2019
Merch Available on Fangamer & Gen Con Tickets On Sale Sunday!!!
05:57

Hello everyone!!! In lieu of an episode this week, we have some announcements instead! The next episode of Spring in Hieron should release tomorrow, latest Saturday!!

If you're interested in preordering/ordering our Fangamer merchandise you can find it at www.fangamer.com/collections/friends-at-the-table

We're also going to Gen Con and tickets are on sale THIS SUNDAY AT NOON EASTERN TIME!!!

You can find information about Gen Con and get a badge for the show at https://www.gencon.com/

You can look through the Gen Con events at https://www.gencon.com/event_finder

Our event information is available at https://www.gencon.com/events/151345

AND if you need some help or have some questions with all of this wishlist stuff, an explainer is available at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/423127801. Skip to 9 minutes in to get the start of the stream!

May 16, 2019
Spring in Hieron 28: Significant Concern
01:31:49

In the city of Coraline, on the isles of Alcyon, the morning sun is welcomed with the ringing of bells. But not today. Instead--for some reason--there is only the sound of waves against rocks, of late-night partygoers babbling through street and alley, of quiet conspiracy and whispered arrangement. And instead, the day is marked with the ominous light of a second sun. But however halting the heat may be for some, the travelers from the Last University push on: Fero, into the fields where he studies this new form of life; Ephrim and Throndir into local dilemmas, political and interpersonal; Hadrian into his own heart, as he prepares for a confrontation that, though not fated, still carries the weight of history.


Today on Spring in Hieron: Significant Concern


However devoted to the THEORETICAL you intend your studies to be, you will eventually be pressed upon in PRACTICAL matters, and none will be more dangerous than those of STRATEGY and WARFARE. This is not because the dangers of combat are any more perilous than those of INDUSTRY, TRAVERSAL, or even EMBELLISHMENT. It is simply because the reckless pride of puffed up generals, who reduce your careful labors into simple SOLUTION. Remember: When someone is eager to turn your stave into sword, show them instead that you can make it into a river.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring ndi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
May 10, 2019
Spring in Hieron 27: A Place and A Time
01:54:18

Many of the dangers that surround the Last University are new. Bright stones at the bottom of a stream burn bare feet. Sometimes, when the wind blows westerly, it carries a scent that fills eyes with tears and tatters the flags on the University’s towers. But there are older dangers, too, in damp tunnels beneath the earth, as Adaire and Red Jack are about to discover. Back in the compound, Hella Varal, Death’s Servant, finds time to quell the anxieties of the young Ranger. And Lem King, gangly, human, finds himself burning with hunger and ambition. Around him, the city of Marielda burns too.

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Place and A Time

There will come a MOMENT when you will be required to rely on the MEMORY of others, and you will find yourself disappointed. Details you consider TRIVIAL will have been raised to prominence in RECOLLECTION. Valuable assets will have been FORGOTTEN. Do not, however, allow your frustration to hide from you the GIFT that you have been given. Pay close attention. Everything has been forgotten for a REASON.

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 
 
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
May 03, 2019
Spring in Hieron 26: An Attractive Offer
01:25:22

Before the travelers from the Last University settle into their guest lodging on the peninsula of Alcyon, they must finish some small bits of business. Throndir, avatar of justice, investigates ways to prevent his unique weaknesses from troubling him during the remains of the visit. Fero seeks an answer to the question of Alcyon’s continued magical nature, and finds instead something (and someone) tied to his past. Hadrian’s business brings him to his son’s ever-studious side. And Ephrim, his work for the day done, waits in the wings to find where he might be useful.

This week on Spring in Hieron: An Attractive Offer


NEOPHYTES often ask why the UNIVERSITY demands that young mages develop not only arcane ACUMEN but also moral CONSTITUTION. The answer is simple. To do otherwise would be a grand, fatal ERROR.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Apr 26, 2019
Spring in Hieron 25: The Second Sun
01:56:23

Above the Last University, two suns hang, unbalanced. Under their shearing light, the heroes of this makeshift city move into action, even though they may not yet know what action they ought take. For Hella Varal, it is the needs of those with the least that must be addressed: shelter, food, water, ease of mind. The fundamentals that all need and deserve. For Adaire Ducarte, who joins the Golden Lance member Callowkeen and the ancient warrior Red Jack, “action” must come only after careful investigation. And for the archivist and bard Lem King, the answers must, must, be found in a book. But if not there, then… perhaps, finally, it is time to get creative.


This week on Spring in Hieron: The Second Sun


ALCHEMY is, of all disciplines, the most underappreciated. Young MAGES, perhaps even yourselves, see it as a vulgar display of MAGIC, something that anyone with a RECIPE, the tools, and patience may pursue. And it is true, alchemy does not draw on the developed talents of a mage, or on the intrinsic strength of a SORCERER; its formulas pale in beauty next to the complex designs of a warlock or witch’s ARCANA. And yet, in their simplicity is a different sort of appeal: SPELLS may be countered, HEXES misfire, CURSES be wasted on wind. But set aloft a potion of flame, and know: There will always be fire.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Apr 19, 2019
Spring in Hieron 24: Closer to Kin
01:47:21

Far to the north east of their home at the Last University, a party of nine has arrived on the shores of Alcyon. Here, they hope to find much: Lord Ephrim, the plans to create the ancient protectors which guarded the streets of Marielda; Fero, the source of this peninsula’s magical stability; Hadrian, distance from the danger stalking his son; Throndir, further opportunity to bring justice. But a warm welcome, and the sound of bells ringing, brings confusion to their purpose…

This week on Spring in Hieron:

VAMPIRES! These monstrous beings are not UNDEAD in the traditional sense. They are a distant echo of the ancient magical school of RECONFIGURATION, each vampiric body rebuilt, unique strengths augmented, not by ENCHANTMENT, but by a real shift in the nature of their being. Such strength carries a cost: The “semioticians” are frauds, of course, but the unpredictable fragility of the vampire, just as soon harmed by the lapping of a cat’s tongue as a serrated golden dagger, is the closest thing to their so-called “pattern magic”...
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring ndi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Apr 12, 2019
Spring in Hieron 23: The Heat Will Warm Your Bones
01:33:34

It is said that in the land of Hieron, there are two types of dreams: the first, an undirected working-over of one’s recent whims and toils, with, perhaps, a magical twist added by any arcane source nearby. The second kind of dream, though, are those sent by Hieron itself as reminder, prompt, or premonition. Which raises a question that Hella, Adaire, and Lem now face: Who, or what, reigns over dreams in the wake of Samol’s death? And what, by day’s light, can they do before their nightmares come to pass?


This week on Spring in Hieron: The Heat Will Warm Your Bones


Across the course of your STUDIES, you will learn of KNOWLEDGE locked beyond gates built not of metal but of SOCIAL MORE. And as the THIEF in the night would slip through their bars, as the BARON would order them open, you must find your way past. Disregard taboo, scorn prohibition, and boycott boycott. You are a SCHOLAR. First, learn which knowledge is too dangerous to know, and second, learn EVERYTHING else.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Apr 05, 2019
Spring in Hieron 22: Better Every Time
01:30:47

In the dense forest that covers the northeast of Hieron, a battle between old and new continues. Hadrian, Ephrim, Fero, and Throndir face down the creatures of Alyosha’s spring, and for the first time, Benjamin enters the fray and shows off what he has learned from his magical schooling--for better and worst. But even as one challenge fades, new questions emerge as Alcyon comes into view...


This week on Spring in Hieron: Better Every Time


Eventually, your studies will bring you into CONFLICT with forces MUNDANE and ARCANE both. In these circumstances, the foremost lesson a young MAGE must remember is this: You are neither mystical FIGHTER nor scholarly PALADIN. Though you study natural philosophy as a RANGER does, you are much more than they. Yet in the center of a melee, much less. As such, you must first and foremost ensure your own safety. And in the case of unavoidable conflict, seek simply this: To end the fight as quickly as possible.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Mar 22, 2019
Spring in Hieron 21: A Fountain of Information
01:38:42

In light of recent events in New Zealand, please know this episode includes description of the aftermath of an attack on a community and conversations about death. To those affected directly and indirectly, please know you are in our hearts during this tragedy.

The Creed of Samothes’ arcane attack comes to a close, but not before bringing new dilemmas to bear. Lem King, curious as ever, seeks out a new ally to help locate the cult’s headquarters. Adaire attends to those she most cares for in the wake of this troubling violence. And Hella confronts the value of her life—and is as ever grateful that such confrontations need not be made alone.

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Fountain of Information

The greatest ARCANE MASTERS of course have… contingencies in place for DEATH. It must be understood, though, that these are not REVERSALS of the act, but SAFEGUARDS designed to intercede against or re-route naturally occurring events. But even these have their limits: Once the ESSENCE of life is consigned to the NOTHING, there is simply no return.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Mar 15, 2019
Spring in Hieron 20: Passing of Voices
01:42:49

Some journeys have many purposes. For Ephrim, Lord of the Last University, the trip to the isles of Alcyon offers an opportunity to retrieve the special plate required to build pala-din, the autonomous stone soldiers which once patrolled the streets of ancient Marielda. For the druid Fero, the trip will lead him to a place where Samol’s magic does not yet fade. With Arrell’s conduit identified, Hadrian and his family must flee their home or else put thousands in danger. And as is often the case, for Throndir and Kodiak, the trip is an opportunity to shoulder the many burdens his friends carry, and to provide guidance and justice in a world that increasingly offers less of each.

This week on Friends at the Table: Passing of Voices

I have taught you the value of a HOME for the neophyte MAGE, but in the instance that an EXCURSION is unavoidable, take heed my words: Never travel ALONE. Whether friend or hired hand, secure your safety behind the bodies of others. And remember: A mage is never truly alone.
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Mar 08, 2019
Spring in Hieron 19: A Night Like Tonight
01:54:24

The Creed of Samothes has, for countless years, spread its reach throughout society across Hieron. For many, it has provided strength, structure, and safety from the dangers of the wild world. But at its heart--not distinct from it, not a subversion or corruption--is a cynical ideology rooted in the fatalism of their first god: The world is ending. Limit the suffering of those still alive, so that they may pass easily. Tonight, Hella, Lem, and Adaire will learn the that “easing” suffering may take many forms…

Today on Spring in Hieron: A Night Like Tonight

It is common pastime across this University to debate DRACONIC classification. Fourth years lecture firsts about the distinction between DRAGONS and DRAKES, while research assistants struggle to place WYVERNS is clear category? “What of WYRMS,” asked a colleague, recently, as if any answer to this or any other similar question mattered. No. LIVING or UNDEAD, aloft by WING or by AIR-SPIRIT, wielding FLAME or FOULNESS, the only relevant question is: How quickly will it kill you?
-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Mar 01, 2019
Spring in Hieron 18: A Simple Answer
02:09:24

Across the campus and beyond the walls of the Last University, the gathering masses are holding their breath and asking themselves questions: What does the Wizard Arrell’s conduit mean for Hadrian and his family, and how can Throndir help to protect them? How can Lem ease his Emmanuel’s concern for an adventurer like him? How, wonders Fero, might a god grieve for his father? What money should a career thief like Adaire… or Blake Bromley not take? Who yet moves in that old Forge, which Ephrim knows too well? Who or what is stirring under starlight, and will Hella’s blade be sharp enough for it? But these are questions of the few. The many voice other fears: How can the University serve the needs of the many when its own resources are so paltry? And if they cannot serve them, to whom will the people turn? An absent god? His wounded son? Who?

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Simple Answer

True TELEPORTATION is, without measure, the most dangerous and trying spell not explicitly created for violent ends and is thus the small purview of only the most advanced mages of the University… and reportedly some who study the so-called SEMIOTIC practices of the New Archives. Thankfully, there are other, safer, and more efficient means of completing tasks over long distances: ALCHEMIC DELIVERY, SYNCHRONOUS TRANSMISSION, and STRATUMINAL LINKAGE, depending on the distance traveled and, of course, the degree to which co-presence is required...

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Feb 23, 2019
Spring in Hieron 17: A Desire to Live
02:11:32

From their home in the Last University, Adaire, Ephrim, Hadrian, and Throndir watch as refugees arrive from every direction as war and disaster spreads throughout the vastness of Hieron. From the north, where flood waters drive communities down into the continent. From the south, where Ordennan warships displace families with mechanical fire and thunder. And even from below the earth itself, where roots have taken too firm a hold. And there is one more new arrival too: With the events of the past week behind them, Lem, Fero, and Hella return to the Last University, and they travel with an illusionist with a penchant for betrayal….

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Desire to Live

In common speech, CONDUITS of power are said to extend a mage’s REACH and PERCEPTION to such a degree that they may work their craft at great distances. But this is a grand understatement. It is not simply that the spellcaster’s senses are duplicated at the point of the conduit. The sheer presence of such an artifact of power extends the very NATURE of reach and perception. With a conduit in place, a mage’s vision spreads over an entire area, their ability to weave magic expands beyond what they might even do in person. For this reason, understand, there is no such thing as building a conduit for peaceful ends.

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Feb 15, 2019
Spring in Hieron 16: Music Through A Wall
02:01:42

As Del continues to descend towards the surface, Hella, Fero, and Lem head towards the ruins of the New Archives in search of a Cartwright Wren, a peculiar bird with properties that may help the druid with the creation of new sorts of creatures. But when they come to an abrupt landing in a dilapidated and overgrown aviary, the group learns that they are, unsurprisingly, not the only ones who’ve come to the Archives in search of valuable things. What is surprising, though, is who they find...

This week on Spring in Hieron: Music Through A Wall

If there is one fact that neophytes fail to grasp, it is this: Every SPELL has two COSTS, not one. The first, pupils always remember: The component parts of whatever is being cast: REAGENTS, SOMATIC EXPRESSIONS, RITUAL PREPARATIONS. These are, of course, easily counted: Strands of wolf’s hair, the motions of a hand, the dust of rough chalk. But the second cost is missed: The cost on the self. And this cost is vital to consider. As many young magic workers learn through repercussion alone: You may have the material needed for a spell, but if you begin to work it without the will or the vigor necessary, it will cost you greatly. Which is why I say, with great care and seriousness: It is of utmost importance that you learn to REST.

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Feb 01, 2019
Spring in Hieron 15: The Breath of Hieron
02:10:27

Content Warnings: Descriptions of death, descriptions of medical care

His presence can be felt by those who do not even lay eyes on the dragon’s body. Samol has arrived at the last university. And why should it not be felt? All presence, after all, is Samol, Hieron Himself, the first god, the one-who-spoke-words-alive, the universal origin, breathing. And as he breathes life into this too-quiet campus, the others hurriedly look for solutions to a variation on a problem they’ve known they had for a long time: How do you save a dying god?

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Breath of Hieron

”GODS” are not what you imagine. Despite the fables, these are not beings of infinite POWER or unshakable WILL, nor are they models of noble VIRTUE. Those preaching sermons in churches and scribbling songs in hymnals would have you believe that the world is a laboratory and the “gods” are its alchemists. Yet in fact, on the chemist’s table of Hieron, they, like us are simply glass beakers filled with the physical STUFF of life. Perhaps their content shimmers more when stirred--and to that end, we ought understand their sheen and thus duplicate it--but remember, in the end, all glass shatters.
​-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 
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Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Text written by Austin Walker and Nick Scratch
Jan 25, 2019
Spring in Hieron 14: Neighbors To Be Made
01:37:36

High above the Isles of Flight, Severea’s Gift, the moon named Del, begins its descent. Below, a strange mix of chaos and quiet as the Mistral react: Some rush towards escape, but others seem all together poised and controlled. Caught in the middle are Hella Varal, Lem King, and Fero Feritas, whose own role in the matter is up for debate. Are they heroes, meant to save the isles from catastrophe? Or simply witnesses to a rebellion in full swing? And how, if at all, can they plant the seeds for future friendship in a moment like this...


This week on Spring in Hieron: Neighbors To Be Made


PROTECTIVE spells take many forms. Defensive WARDS shift the nature of possibility, prohibiting actions of a forbidden category to create sanctuary spaces, while MIRROR spells reflect back anything--material or otherwise--that attempts to pass it. LATTICES are complex, magical apparati, checking conditional statements against numerous variables and facts apparent before apply some effect. But none of these are effective as a simple BARRIER: Trust me, students, a sturdy wall will keep anything, and anyone, out. -An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

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Jan 18, 2019
Spring in Hieron 13: The Time of Gods
01:47:17

Content Warnings: Descriptions of death and injuries, descriptions of corpses, descriptions of surgery

It is some time after noon in the unnamed University settlement. A tree has grown too tall, too wide. Measures must be taken. To the south, debris falls into water, black and red and pale, and a river rushes to wash away the past. Measures must be taken. In the council hall of the school’s tallest tower, worry clambers out of mouths and onto faces. Measures must be taken. Warmth is laid out on cold slate, a once vast and deadly patience dripping away all too quickly. Measures must be taken. Hidden experiments. Strained words. Gold and threats in the rubble. Finally, he arrives to take measure.

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Time of Gods

LIFE is no more an immutable characteristic than SCALE or TEMPERATURE. Whether leaping from branch to canopy, or constrained to coughs and carriages, each is life. But do not let those words secure your pride. Because just as some structures are too large to stand AND some heats are beyond the notion of relief, true DEATH is a finality that even the most powerful magic cannot undo.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jan 11, 2019
Spring in Hieron 12: Long Promises
01:43:39

On the smallest of the Isles of Flight, Deya, Lem King finds himself cornered in a bookstore. But, he is, after all, Lem King, and conflict is to the orc bard no more than running water under a sturdy boat: whatever danger it poses others, for him it is merely a way forward. Once reconnected with his compatriots, Fero Feritas and Hella Varal, the three decide to speak rather than act, working to gain the confidence of Deya’s chief officer of the law. But as they learn more about the Isles, their inhabitants, and their cruel leader others do what they must. They take dramatic, and final, action. As the saying goes: Clocks tick.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Long Promises

No. The history the DEL and BRI, twin MOONS of Hieron are not covered in this course, nor ought they be covered in any. Such CELESTIAL beings only inspire the most distracting flights of foolish imagination. To be a mage is to walk the line between unleashed creativity and utter mundanity. And to dream of above is to lose anchor to the ground that gives SHAPE and MOMENTUM to all arcane works

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Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jan 04, 2019
Spring in Hieron 11: Cut Off the Head
01:14:35

For some, it is just another week: Ephrim and Hadrian explore an untouched quarter of the University, Adaire digs into the mysterious connections of the Moonlighters Guild, and Throndir continues to tutor the young Blue J. But at the furthest stretches of the Last University settlement, there is an energy in the air. Maybe it is the echo of caravan wheels hurrying across dirt and stone. It could be the rumors of Ordennan scouts whispered from villager to soldier, from soldier to lord, from lord to father. Or perhaps it is the sound of a young Ranger snapping twigs beneath their neophyte steps. Benjamin attempts to pierce the fog and offer clarity, but reading the lines of time is not easy work. Samot approaches.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Cut Off the Head

PROPHECY is, perhaps, the most fraudulent school of magic, all the more for its broad popularity in the minds of the masses. It is not those who peddle PALMISTRY or auction AUGURY are incorrect in their predictions: No, oracular pursuits are as often accurate as the aim of any magic missile. But they are sold on a fabulous foundation. The soothsayer? The leaf reader? The blood drinker? The visionary? They all claim they can see what comes next. But they are not in touch with the FUTURE at all. They are only especially aware of the PRESENT. And it is keen evidence that the world is filled with fools that so many cannot tell the difference.
-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

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Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Dec 21, 2018
Spring in Hieron 10: Who Vouches?
01:20:10

In the ruins of the ancient orcish Stoneworks, Lem King, Fero Feritas, and Hella Varal find themselves snared by by botanical beasts. But what lies beyond, to the north, may be even more dangerous: The soaring ambition of the Mistral, the birdkin who seek to leave faltering Hieron behind in search for a more stable home above. But as is always the case in journeys made, some are called riders and others mules.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Who Vouches?

PARTNERSHIP is a difficult prospect for all mages, as the IMAGE-IDEAL of any spell differs between all who cast. Even a trifling CANTRIP like the summoning of a sphere of light is soiled by the projection of a mage's SELF. The color, the shape, the intensity: All shift due to bias and experience. And so to perform even such a simple glamour as this with a partner is to court disaster. This is why in all but the most troubling of endeavors, the wise mage works alone.
-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Dec 13, 2018
Spring in Hieron 09: A Certain Way
01:31:49

All across the yet unnamed settlement growing in the reclaimed ruins of the Last University, small possibilities begin to reverberate from the potential future into the present moment. A caravan detained at the border, heading north. A fleeting scout in Ordennan armor. The theft of candy… and books unnamed. The slow, parade-approach of a Prince. And tree growing with worrying speed. Lord Ephrim looks these over, and must decide where his priorities lie.
And he is not the only one who concerns himself today with things that grow quickly. Hadrian, no longer a Paladin, takes on his role of father with haste and pride--words that a companion reminds him are oft forgotten flaws. Throndir, meanwhile, offers advice to his protege that he needed once learn on his own. And while Adaire does not set out to be a teacher, even crooks may find themselves sharing old tricks with the impressive young.

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Certain Way

Among the many important practical device a neophyte mage must learn, the CYNOSURE is most necessary. Whether in school ALCHEMICAL or CONJUROUS, WILD or INCORPORATED, EFFERVESCENT or NECROTIC, the first step of any spell is finding its elusive center, the aspect around which every other component must RELATE. Perhaps it is in the material ingredients--the mushroom shavings or recovered kestrel claw--or in the vocal and somatic terms--the right syllable to press, the uncomfortable shape of your hand. But as is true in SOCIETY is true in magic: the center of your spells must ATTRACT and DEFINE all that is around them. The periphery may falter, the margins may surprise you, but if the center holds, magic will follow.
-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Dec 06, 2018
Spring in Hieron 08: Sympathetic Objects
01:28:54

It weights on everyone: The end is not far from here, but the golden Golden Lance has brought word that somewhere to the north, are are those who dream of leaving the end behind. And so, Lem King, Hella Varal, and Fero Feritas set off together once again, headed north towards the Isles of Flight... and the Moons which hang above it. There are, however, two lingering questions: How should they get there, and who will they be leaving behind?

This week on Spring in Hieron: Sympathetic Objects

I hold little respect for the charlatans from the Archives, whose parlor tricks are simply wax dripping from the torch of TRUE MAGIC. Yet they understand this much: COINCIDENCES do not exist, yet FATE is a myth. No action is unmoored from causality--there is always a reason for RECURRANCE. But that reason need not be PREDETERMINATION. Indeed, repetition is often caused by the most mundane of causes, and a good scholar DEDUCES their origin. So, young student, know this: If it always rains on your day of birth, dismiss the fear that you are cursed, open your notebook, and begin to record an almanac.

-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Nov 29, 2018
Spring in Hieron 07: Structure and Purpose
01:06:26

As the weeks move on, the Last University’s new arrivals acclimate to their new shelter. And as the campus’ empty spaces slowly become more and more filled in, it becomes more and more like a home--and for some, like Fero and Hadrian, that isn’t a metaphor at all. Hella and Throndir, meanwhile, give structure and training to the burgeoning town’s militia. Others, like Adaire, Ephrim, and Lem, find ways to return to their old habits… at least until the arrival of a pair of old allies brings news of danger and opportunity.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Structure and Purpose

“‘HOME’ is a myth, an invention told by the idle and mediocre, who paper over their lethargy with a facade of comfort.” My mentor… He taught me these words when I was… It doesn’t matter when, but, when I was much younger, I suppose. The TRUE MAGE, he told me, should have no home because KNOWLEDGE knows no geographical center. It is all around us. And yet, in my studies, I have come to know a different truth: That in my armchair, with my tea cup, and the soft, familiar sound of the cypress branches brushing my window in the wind, I learn things I could not discover in some distant library or in the muck of a field laboratory.
-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Nov 22, 2018
Spring in Hieron 06: Something You've Practiced
02:09:57

The Boundless Fate, the handmade vessel captained by Hella Varal, rests upon the shore of the unnamed river which glides through the forest west of the Last University. It is an appropriate resting point for a boat named such: Just a decade prior, before the bard Lem King opened an invisible valve, this river simply didn’t exist. But as the pattern workers of the archives know well: When action is taken, consequences follow. Now, the travelers from Aubade depart the boat and head east towards not only family and friends, but to the consequential present. Are they--is anyone--ready for what comes next?

This Week on Spring in Hieron: Something You've Practiced

IDENTITY is the first component, this is beyond debate. Before we may refer to this reagent or that somatic expression, we must first conceptualize a “this” or a “that,” things made whole by their boundaries. This staff is distinct from this floor, which is distinct from me, though I touch both. What is, is itself.

Where there is argument, though, is whether such a quality is the PRIMARY component in matters arcane. The so-called semioticians argue that SYNTHESIS is more important than identity. Though they dress it up in words like “god” and “faith,” priests rely on PROXIMITY to some original source of magic as the key component.

They are all wrong, of course: If identity is first, then RELATION is principal in the magical arts. What is, is itself. And nothing else.

-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Nov 16, 2018
Spring in Hieron 05: Try To Live a Good Life
02:16:38

With each strike of the hammer, each flash of magical heat, the Blade in the Dark grows closer and closer to restoration. Those living on the isle of Aubade, trapped inside the sword, say their final goodbyes and prepare to set sail home. But outside, as the smiths work their craft, time passes... and time brings new concerns: Resources draw low. Community members die or leave. A new threat breaches the scintillating shield of magic. The burgeoning town's leadership begins to doubt their role. An offer is made.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Try To Live a Good Life

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Nov 09, 2018
Spring in Hieron 04: Material Effort
02:38:43

The fifth year of the settlement at the Last University begins with a reunion of old friends, as the Druid Fero reunites with Throndir, Eprhim, and the many who call the grand halls, hidden alcoves, and open air Campus yards home. However warm this homecoming is, though, it can not fend off the effects of unpredictable climate, unstable architecture, and unhealed wounds of the past. And while those who run this burgeoning town pray that the blade in the dark may offer them hope, the rare echo heard from within the city inside bears gloomy tidings: Distraction, confusion, disruption, and regret.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Material Effort

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Nov 02, 2018
Spring in Hieron 03: Hospitable to You
02:09:40

It has been four years since the body of Hieron was ravaged by the swift arrival of the heat and the dark, and the wound grows deeper every day. Fero Feritas knows this first hand, as he watches Hieron Himself falter and fade in the cool shade of his son Samot's toppled tower. And while there are new signs of life, both in the Mark of the Erasure and in the environs of the Last University, it is unclear whether novelty means beneficence. For Ephrim and Throndir, they can count only on each other and the community they've built... and, hopefully, an old ally. Meanwhile, on the paradise island of Aubade, Hella, Adaire, Lem, and Hadrian are also adapting to a new sort of life: Their own.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Hospitable to You

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 26, 2018
Spring in Hieron 02: Why Are You Here?
02:49:38

The community at the Lost University continues to survive the harsh winter as sickness and conflict strain their growth. As Ephrim and Throndir struggle with their new roles, and Benjamin develops his budding skills, the arrival of Sunder Havelton, Stornras Glasseye brings an sliver of hope, even if it is split in two. Elsewhere, Fero continues to create new life, working with caution and purpose and a little bit of spite. And within the blade, cut off from the efforts of their old companions, Lem and Hadrian study their temporary home as Adaire and Hella try to find their place.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Why Are You Here?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 20, 2018
Spring in Hieron 01: The Touch of Others
03:04:49

It is still winter, yet.

Months ago, the heat and the dark emerged from the long sands of Rosemerrow, bringing terror and destruction to Hieron. And though the sun has returned, and though the vicious blizzard that battered the North West has weakened, and though Adelaide’s so called curse has vanished--the warmth of spring has not yet arrived. The people of Hieron have faced calamity, and now they look to their leaders--to you--in hopes that they may recover and rebuild.

Ephrim, Prophet of the Unwavering Flame. Golden Lance Throndir, the Ranger--you two joined the traveler of worlds, Red Jack, and Corsica Neue, Queen of the Unstill, in leading thousands of refugees and survivors towards a new home: The ruins of the Last University.

Besides your motley collection of loyal friends and allies--like Devar van der Dawes, Uklan Tel, Emanuel LaSalle, and Ephrim’s loyal Kobbin, Highwater--you bring with you ten distinct groups, each with their own leaders to this new settlement in the center of Hieron.

  1. Corsica Neue’s own Unstill come along, of course--now equals in unlife with everyone else, just one fatal error away from annihilation.
  2. Joining them are those who Red Jack called his companions: Rosette, and the moths of Old Man’s Chin have arrived along with their weaver companions, and the remaining Oni boys who once sprouted from Red Jack side.
  3. Mee Kosh, the Goblin Elder, and the Snow Elves of Auniq--joined in temporary and precarious alliance came too.
  4. And Balion Wythe, the once romantic hero of Rosemerrow, and on-again-off-again lover of the late Chancellor Gilbert Lutz, has come with those halflings who were willing to leave their supposed ancestral home after it was hit so badly by the Heat and the Dark’s arrival.
  5. They arrived soon after Chatterchin and the Gnolls--those who Fero left behind in the woods outside of Rosemerrow.
  6. Morbash came with you, too, just behind, along with those archivists who understood that sometimes, in the face of chaos, maintaining the pattern requires movement, not complacency.
  7. An old ally of yours, Throndir: Carrot the squirrel, arrived too, along with entire ecosystems behind them. With the north west devastated, the many animals who lived in the environs of twinbrook, the woods between Velas and Auniq, and the forests surrounding Rosemerrow all need a new place to forage and flock, somewhere less threatened by the heat, the dark, and the stars. They live now in the wilds on the outskirts of the university.
  8. Keeping within the walls of the school’s campus, but still on the edges of society is the professional scoundrel Blake Bromley, along with their loose guild of people who knew how to find things… and how to get things done, often in the shadows where others were too precious to travel.
  9. Surprisingly, perhaps, was the arrival of Jerod Shiraz--the leader of the Ordennan Dissent, nearly one third of what once made up the nation’s war machine, now turned open objectors to the imperial ambitions of the Impetus. Though she once traveled along with the living star, Obelus, as well as with Stornras Glasseye and Sunder Havelton--who were given the Blade in the Dark by Samol--when she arrives, Shiraz is flanked only by everyday Ordennan citizens and soldiers. And she makes no mention of the sword… or her absent companions.
  10. Finally, there is Rosana, who has become the lay-leader of the Creed of Samothes in this part of Hieron. Though given no specific title, she has become the de facto head and heart of the group in this dark moment--providing counsel, concern, and condemnation, when appropriate. Neither she, nor her son Benjamin, know what has happened to their beloved Hadrian--yet both live on with strength in his memory.

 

With these groups, you’ve built the first workings of a real community here in the shadow of the college’s towers and in the depths of the neglected ruins of the Last University. And, as is often the case in moments of dire need, some have already risen and found basic solutions to the most critical of problems.

Perhaps most importantly, those with academic and magical acumen--the semiotician Uklan Tel, increasingly obsessed with his dangerous studies; Jerod Shiraz, living blood of sea and smoke; you, King Ephrim, and a handful of others--spent weeks scouring the Book of Life that Throndir brought, as well as the other magical texts of the University in an effort to establish the shimmering shield of starstuff that the--now undead--wizard Arrell once proposed.

And with the power of the book of life, you succeeded, enveloping not only the University’s campus but also the wilds around it in a scintillating gleam, a translucent sphere which ripples and waves in the wind. And which--for now, at least--protects the entire settlement from the ever encroaching flames of the heat and the dark.

And with this existential threat held back, many other needs could be addressed as well:

Rosana and the refugees of Velas immediately set to rebuilding the dorms, kitchens, and other necessary structures of the university, while Blake’s moonlighters and and Morbash’s archivists scoured the the school’s remaining stores for food, fuel, and medicine enough to last at least a year. All while in the campus’ courtyards, Rosette’s mothkin have begun the agricultural processes necessary to at least subsist, if not to thrive, in this new home.

Balion Wythe and Corsica Neue have risen as military leaders, the queen of the unstill and the uncrowned leader of the halflings each bringing their tactical strength to bear, Offeringthose who wish to defend the encampment a role and a duty appropriate to their skills.

Throndir you are joined by Chatterchin’s gnolls, Mee Kosh’s goblins and snow elves, and the wild animals who have pledged their coy loyalty to Carrot, in an effort to map out the still-snow covered forests, hills, valleys, and wastes surrounding the University.

And some--like Red Jack, Victoria Solomon, and Dr. Gloria Lake--travel even further, exploring beyond the university’s protective cloak of stars, deep into the ongoing cataclysm of Hieron, all in hopes of finding other survivors. Partly, they seek to offer shelter to any who lived through the winter, and partly, they seek the most important thing of all: An answer to survive the impending collapse--a swift breeze, a cooling shade--anything to hold back… the summer.

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Touch of Others

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Oct 11, 2018
Spring in Hieron 00: What Came Before
03:34:32

Join us as we recap Hieron and get ready for Spring!! Today’s plan is to go over Hieron, check out some old maps, and fill in a lot of gaps. Think of this as a combination of recap and world building: If there are questions about the world and how it works or things that are “true,” now is the time for us to address them.

This episode was originally live streamed and you can catch that stream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi02xwXMeGs

 

The time stamps won't match up exactly but you can skim through to check out all the maps that were mentioned there. For now, here's the important ones:

Along with the character bios (in case they're hard to read on the stream!):

Our current Dungeon World campaign takes place in the world of Hieron, a land still healing from a great calamity that struck centuries ago. Our characters only know this event as "The Erasure" but no one knows quite what happened, or just how long ago but the land carries the scars--both figuratively and literally.

Fero Feritas comes from the Halfling farms inland of the south western coast of the continent. Running from the bitterness of barely remembered nostalgia for the old ways, whatever those were, Fero cloaks himself in new wilderness of his land, wandering and learning. Walking in shadow and step with the beasts of the woods and mountains for so long Fero hardly noticed when he became one himself. This new world may look like the old one, but Fero will not go back. He bears this new wilderness upon him.

The Great Fantasmo, the elfish wizard will have a bio soon.

Hadrian, Sword of Samothes, Defender of the Undying Fire, Officer of the Order of Eternal Princes, the human paladin will have a bio soon.

Hella Varal is a human fighter from the magicless island of Ordena, the land spared from the Erasure, or so they say. She grew up with simple means but her role as a hired hand and conveyor lead her to gain respect and the attention of the government of Ordena, the reason for her frequent visits to Velas. Armed with a beautiful, mysterious sword, a lack of patience, and wariness of her people, Hella is a useful but unpredictable companion.

Lem King is an orc bard, born and raised in The New Archives, a vast orc city carved into the side of a mountain. The archivists, and Lem, prize collection and categorization of histories and objects and whistled songs; the Archives resemble a warehouse or museum more than a city. Recent events, however, have led Lem to flee the archives, clutching an old violin, and he's arrived in Velas looking for adventure and excitement and (perhaps) somewhere to hide.

Throndir, the Elfish Ranger, hails from the secluded settlement of Auniq deep within the Mark of Erasure. After seeing something he was never meant to, Throndir fled the only home he had ever known and began to rebuild his life in Velas. Alongside his loyal dog, Kodiak, Throndir’s sharpened survival skills has earned him a spot on the team, but his naïve nature and clouded past leave more questions than answers about what’s in it for him.

Oct 10, 2018
Live at the Table - Fall of Magic 3
02:18:22

Hey everyone, Austin here!

Now that this trilogy of episodes is over, I can say it's probably one of my favorite things we've done both in the Live at the Table format and in the entirety of our show's history! I looooove the tone we found, and every single turn I was blown away by the creativity of Dre, Janine, and Jack, who I feel so lucky to work with.

As magic leaves the world, the last Magus heads eastward, searching for its source. Today, her journey ends. What will that mean for the talking vinegar fox Fawn (Janine Hawkins), young farm hand Piccolo (Andrew Lee Swan), former crab singer Caspian (Austin Walker), and the living golem Harp (Jack de Quidt)?

Sep 28, 2018
Live at the Table - Fall of Magic Pt 2
02:57:20

Hey everyone! Here's the second part of Fall of Magic!

We open again the scroll, return to the side of the Magus, and watch as the world enters the Fall of Magic. Join Piccolo the swineherd of Barley Town (Dre), Harp the beautiful Golem of Ravenhall (Jack), Fawn the Vinegar Fox of Mistwood (Janine), and Caspian the Kind Crabsinger of Istalia (Austin) as they journey eastward as companions to the Magus.

Sep 20, 2018
Live at the Table - Fall of Magic Pt 1
03:27:52

Join Austin, Dre, Jack, and Janine--a hang-gliding town crier, a swineherd, a golem, and a... bush dog, respectively--as they travel with a mysterious Magus across a world that is slowly losing its mystical energy.

This was definitely one of our favorites so far, and we hope you enjoy it while we take some time off to prepare for spring! If you like what you hear and you're able to, you can support us over at friendsatthetable.cash! Donating at the $5 level gives you access to an entire year's backlog of Live at the Table (and everything else at that tier!)

Sep 14, 2018
Twilight Mirage 68: The Twilight Mirage Post Mortem
03:27:58

C/W: Discussion of physical and emotional child and spousal abuse 2:12 to 2:15

The Twilight Mirage Post Mortem is here which means the season is really, truly, finally over. Thank you for all of your support this season, thank you for listening, and thank you for all of your questions! We got over 250 which was so, so much more than we were anticipating! Thank you! We had to a lot of cutting to narrow down questions but still ended up talking about everything from Foucault's social theory to our character's fursonas... which maybe isn't that wide of a gap, but hey! A fitting close to the season none the less.

Goodbye to the Twilight Mirage!

Just to repeat some announcements here:

-We're taking some time off to focus on patreon catch-up and focus on Spring in Hieron but for the next three weeks (starting this Thursday!) we'll be playing Fall of Magic. Previously a patreon exclusive, Austin, Janine, Jack and Dre sat down to play Fall of Magic live and it's very fun and good and we hope you'll enjoy it!

-Friends at the Table is going to be at SHUX 18, this October 12-18 in Vancouver, BC! This is very short notice and it won't be the whole crew, but if you're interested in coming to see is play a live game (!!!!), you can get more details here: https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/shux18/. If you can't make it, PLEASE DO NOT FRET! The panel will be on Shut Up and Sit Down's YouTube in the future!

----

How far is a light year?

How far is a light year?

A second

Sep 10, 2018
Twilight Mirage 67: Futura Free Pt. 4
04:04:17

Exigency Register A-TM-V-742 - Total Record of Events, Entry 001

To whoever finds this message: My name is Keen Forester Gloaming. I am, at time of this recording, the Chief Intercessor of the Rapid Evening in the Quire System and Primary Observer of the Twilight Mirage. I speak these words on the eve of Crystal Palace’s arrival and the scheduled deployment of a limited scope stellar combustor to destroy the divine Volition and its’....

 

Well shit, I guess I have no idea if any of those words mean anything to you.

Alright, let me start from the very top:

My name is Keen, and I come from a place called the Principality of Kesh. It is a collection of hundreds of worlds, tied together by a lesion in our history: A long time ago, my people spent eons enslaved by a technological tyrant, extraction exalted. And then, by luck, we found ourselves freed and empowered. And using that strength, we faced our oppressor down.

And in the generations that followed, we learned that the galaxy was filled with other threats just as--if not more--terrifying. The stars were as a forest, and it was on fire. And so we had a choice: Look away, and let our faces feel the heat from the safety of our veranda at the treeline, or intercede.

And we would not turn our backs as trillions burned.

But our efforts to save others cost us dearly, and in time, our wills shook. No terror defeated seemed lesson enough for the galaxy at large. There was always some new case of unchecked ambition, the arrival of a monstrosity we could not comprehend let alone predict.

And so, somewhere along the way, we built a machine that could uncover what our eyes could not. It is a collection of axles and algorithms, pulleys and passive dynamics. It is a structure that reveals structure. We called it the apparatus that sees the world as it is. We called it Crystal Palace.

And it told us that, with this new information, we would save a great many more people. And we did. But Crystal Palace does not lie, which means that it also told us the hard truth: that we could not save everyone, that there was a distance beyond which its own predictions would falter.

And so like armadillo curling into shell, society itself bent into permanent shape, hiding inside armored plates of reliability, and, for those deep in the populous heart of the Principality: repetition, too.

Some folks think Crystal Palace started the cycle, but I don’t buy it. There is… something beautiful about a watch that winds itself.

Which is probably why those living beyond the cycle line didn’t even notice it for those first few, beautiful loops: 2000 years set to quartz-rhythm, gliding over and over again in pendulum precision. An arcing dance of lives: a deliveryman, a gardener, a crankish politician. People found themselves in roles, not lives--repeating the steps of someone millenia their predecessor.

And as is our paradoxical way, when those Off Cycle finally noticed this happening, they interceded. The loop was modified, just in the way Crystal Palace told us it would be. A system was put in place. When someone On Cycle comes of age, they step off the dance floor, climb to the balcony, and see the ballroom for what it really is. And they are given a choice:

Join the Rapid Evening off cycle, in a world that carries always the rare possibility of the terrible improbable. Or return to absolute certainty, to the heart of Kesh.

But this system, this mirage, has proven treacherous to reality itself. And so the Cycle is broken, and what comes next for Kesh is not beautiful clockwork. It’s a factory fire.

I have been a member of the Rapid Evening for a long time, for decades. I have done things I regret, and which the apparatus has told me I will always regret. And yet the first time in my life off cycle, that I truly, really, deeply wish that Crystal Palace would be wrong.

But I know better than most that wishes do not hold back tomorrows.

And I know that when it all happens, regardless of what I want, regardless of what I think is best for the galaxy, I will be standing in its halls of glass and steel, helpless. Just five or six steps away from where I will stand, a spark will catch the tinder of the galaxy, and I will be the only one close enough to stop the blaze.

And I will fail.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Futura Free Pt. 4

Turn back, turn back
Turn back, turn
Back, turn back, turn
If you've never been in love
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 30, 2018
Twilight Mirage 66: Futura Free Pt. 3
03:52:30

Dispatch 717.

Satellite… I mean, Grey. Sorry, just feels more natural to say 'Satellite' when I’m out here in this tin can. Nostalgia for a different life. Not quite the good old days… I’m so much happier now, with you, with the Brink But things were more certain then. Now, I look at the data that’s coming in, and I don’t know what to think.

No. That’s wrong.

Things are just as certain as ever, it’s just that now instead of just knowing what’s coming next, I’m scared, Grey. Every day, I’m scared of tomorrow. The truth is that, while I might disagree with what Crystal Palace is doing, it’s right about this system: The Twilight Mirage is boiling over.

Volition is literally bubbling right now. Even with Signet’s successful sortie against it, It’s continuing to create new Axioms at the sort of pace that only comes with absolute safety or total desperation--and with the destruction of its shield, we know it doesn’t have the former. Which leaves the question: What makes something like Volition desperate?

I wonder if it feels a rivalry to the splice, Our Profit’s perfect little virtual utopia. Volition wants a world where ideas are more important than physical reality, and Our Profit’s given it to everyone in a form they actually want. And now Tenderness is trying to put Anticipation into the mix…

Meanwhile, everyone on the ground is vibrating with angst and anxiety. A quarter of the damn Qui Err have already boarded Rapid Evening ships out of the system, and the rest are hoping beyond hope that Seneschal’s Brace is actually going to keep their word about giving up some territory.

Which is hard to do when they’re busy stealing a Divine and handing it over to a former war criminal like Declan’s Corrective. Hell, maybe our time with the Rapid Evening makes us war criminals, too. How many people did we sit and watch die with the knowledge they were in danger?

Ugh! Crystal Palace makes me so mad. I hate it, Grey. It just sits and watches and spits out a wall of predictions and people like us, people like your dad, we sit there and go “oh okay, I guess this has to happen.”

And here’s the real thing I’m scared of: That doesn’t make special. That makes us just like everybody else.

Places like the Divine Fleet--places where people learned over thousands of generations to actually care about one another? Those are blinks in the long stare of an amoral universe. They’re exceptions to a world of principled disinterest in the well being of others. A world where any alibi not to intercede is transformed from an easy excuse into a natural law.

So when you look at someone like... Grand Magnficent, all holed up in some safehouse in the snow, praying that someone will come help him?  That’s not rare. He didn’t get himself trapped. He was always trapped. We’re all trapped, Grey. You and me have the good fortune of being trapped in here together. But none of us can get out.

When we were deciding whether to stay Off Cycle or go back onto the loop, we were so focused on this limited idea of freedom. We wanted to be at the border of Crystal Palace’s range so bad, where things get just a little fuzzier, where there’s a chance that the data misses something, misses us. We knew the terrible things it successfully predicted about the worlds Off Cycle--suffering, slavery, death--and we hoped that maybe those things just didn’t happen beyond the periphery. Without data, anything could happen, right?

Wrong. There wasn’t any data, but wherever society is, there are always people. Backstabbers. Oppressors. The selfish and the scared and those who have no sympathy for either.

That’s what scares me. Not Volition or the Splice or politics or Crystal Palace or your dad and his bomb. People. It’s just… people.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Futura Free Pt. 3

I care for you still and I will forever
That was my part of the deal, honest
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Aug 24, 2018
Twilight Mirage 65: Futura Free Pt. 2
02:28:04

A letter from Grey Gloaming, Exile of the Rapid Evening and Operations Chief of the Brink, delivered to Keen Forester Gloaming by secure courier.

Dad,

I don’t know if you remember this, but when I was just a little girl, just after you first took me Off Cycle, we got into a big fight about Crystal Palace. I didn’t understand how a thing like that could exist--it didn’t make sense to me--mostly because I still didn’t make sense to me, but I knew that I made sense to it. It knew what I would do, even if I didn’t know what I would do. And you worked for it.

I yelled at you and I cried, and because you wanted to appease me you told me something very important much earlier than you wanted to: You told me that sometimes Crystal Palace gets things wrong. You said that its predictions were like an endless field of perfect poppies: From a distance, they were a billow of pure red in the breeze. Yet if you looked closely, you might find other colors too: the green of stems not yet ready to bud; the yellow and blue of wildflowers dropped by passing birds; the damaged burgandy of petals crumpled under an animal’s foot. The glinting copper and silver of a gardener’s tools.

The field was the field, you said, a glide of sweet scarlet over hill and meadow. There would never be so many other colors as to change that. But they were there, too. I was there, too.

This is me telling you that the Mirage is Me. The Mirage is the broken stem and the stomped flower and the foreign strain of blossoms. I am… we are the exception to the rule.

So, I don’t care what string of words they found inside of Crystal Palace this time: the Twilight Mirage isn’t annihilation waiting to happen. This place has problems. Lots of them. But look around, dad. People are working to fix them every day.

Every day, Ioota Pretense, the Qui Err Coalition, and her allies in Echo Reverie and Gig Kephart find new ways to bring people together, whether through stitches, broadcasts, or literally lifting a city and transporting across the mirage itself.

Every day, the Waking Cadent, her Beloved Nights, and the excerpt Signet help people who want to leave this place, just like you want them to. Except they do it because they want to, not because you’re forcing them.

Every day, the members of Seneschal’s Brace push back on the dominance of the Hegemony and the Free States. The Cadent. Declan’s Corrective. Even. Fourteen. Tenderness. They’re not perfect, but they aren’t Volition either.

Every day Demani and I use our training to help people who pass through the Brink, and the many who can’t even afford to do that.

And we aren’t alone, because every day, even under the nose of groups like Advent, regular people are finally trying to do more than save their own hides. And more and more, under the shadow of Volition and in the face of your ridiculous announcement, people are realizing that they need to work together. So, throw out whatever Crystal Palace told you because that fact changes everything.

It might be the case that you don’t notice all the other colors in the field of red, but that’s only because they’re spread apart, one-in-a-thousand. Bring them all together though? Put the violet next to the white next to the green and yellow and orange? Then look close, dad, because the field disappears. Suddenly, just in that one little place, just right here in the mirage, what you'll see?

It isn't a field at all. It's a Garden.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Futura Free Pt. 2
 
It's quite alright to hate me now
When we both know that deep down
The feeling still deep down is good
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 17, 2018
Twilight Mirage 64: Futura Free Pt. 1
02:57:48

Once, floating in the sunset-hued safety of the Twilight Mirage, the Divine Fleet hummed and pulsed, its ships bright beacons of culture and technology in an age when both were under threat.

All through the fleet, organic and synthetic citizens worked side by side to protect a utopia that the universe thought impossible. But today, in the wake of Independence, and Volition, and the Miracle, and Our Profit, and Schism, many who once called the fleet home have now found their idealism grounded. It has been complicated by contact with others, by paralyzing self-doubt, by wavering faith, by the promises of others, and by the simple desire to survive, together.

And some still dream yet, and those who do now confront a hard dilemma: What does a more perfect world truly look like? And how might we get there?

It has been one month since the Feast of Patina, 300th Divine of the Resonant Orbit’s fleet. In that time, tempers have cooled, though borders remain firm. While the NEH and the Divine Free States maintain their status as the system’s most major powers, Seneschal’s Brace--now backed by the pirate republic of the Rogue Wave--has gained official recognition as a third sovereign state, giving Even Gardner, Fourteen Fifteen, and the excerpt ⸢Tenderness⸣ one more chance to unify the fractured Mirage.

The Qui Err Coalition, meanwhile, continue to push for decolonization of the system, and they have gained allies in the fight: Allies like Gig Kephart, Echo Reverie, the Sailors of the Ark, and, perhaps surprisingly, the Waking Cadent, whose own efforts to leave the system have been foiled, thus far, by the sheer impermeability of the Mirage’s interior walls. But with the recent arrival of ⸢Signet⸣ to Kamala’s court, doors once thought permanently sealed now creak open.

The boundaries of the Mirage had not been a problem for the plunderers at the Advent Group, whose special catapult can launch goods (and, as Grand Magnificent knows well, people) beyond the borders of the Quire system.

But in the wake of Our Profit’s attack on the Rapid Evening, and with connection re-established with Crystal Palace during the attack on Schism, Keen Forester Gloaming authorized the group’s final contingency plan.

The message was sent, and, of course, before it could be received, the plan was already set in motion: A blockade of specially armed capital ships patrols the border of the Mirage, destroying any vessel that tries to escape. Each day, their weapons become more accurate, their patrols more precise, their strategies more prophetic.

All of which can mean only one thing: Crystal Palace draws near.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Futura Free Pt. 1
 
New beginnings
Wake up
The sun's going down
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 10, 2018
Twilight Mirage 63: Guaranteed Events, Or: An Accounting of the Time When We Built the Machine
34:20
Crystal Palace, in all its endless worker-bee wonder, clacks and whirs its way across space, and now, as it nears the destabilizing stain of the Twilight Mirage, time as well. Even now, in transport, it is thinking, predicting, prophesying: Its pulleys spinning with magnetic unison, decks of hole-punched cards flipping through its designators, a pleasant coughing of gears and pinions. This is how it knows everything.

But it did not always: There was a moment before its creation--back when there was still time to divert the direction of the Principality--and a time during its bloody construction, when it felt the waves of the future but could not yet pass them on to us in anything more than a mechanical roar. And then there was the day it was finished, the very beginning of Guaranteed Events.
 
This week on Twilight Mirage: Guaranteed Events, Or: An Accounting of the Time When We Built the Machine

You dream of walls that hold us imprisoned
It's just a skull, least that's what they call it
And we're free to roam
 
Written, Hosted, and Produced by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Aug 03, 2018
Twilight Mirage 62: The Feast of Patina
03:31:28
In the year after the Miracle, wonder and surprise appeared all throughout the daily life of the residents of the Quire System. Unfortunately, the composition of the system's political structures moved at a much more sluggish pace. Diplomatic gridlock and (well-grounded) fear of conflict leashed even the most aggressive states. The result was the vexing sense that the system had calcified in an imperfect shape. "To live in the Mirage," it was said, "is to see something unimaginable before lunch, but to be frustrated by the predictable before dinner."
 
But the assassination attempt on the system's leaders, the attack of the Axiom Schism, the end of the Rogue Wave's civil war, and the heroism of the Qui Err Coalition seems to have shaken the system out of its stasis.
 
Yesterday, even the Notion's patrons—the Cadent Under Mirage and Declan's Corrective—had little faith that their project of a unified system would come to fruition. But today, Seneschal's Brace has not only found recognition as a distinct sovereign nation in the system, but also has positioned itself to build an even broader bloc of ad hoc allies and smaller powers.
 
But everything hangs on what comes next. A dinner. Some conversation. And a question: If you could remake the world, in whose image would you make it?
 
This week on Twilight Mirage: The Feast of Patina
 
All the things I didn't mean to say
I didn't mean to do
There were things you didn't need to say
Did you mean to? Mean too...
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 27, 2018
Twilight Mirage 61: The Restitution of All Things Pt. 2
02:00:50

At the heart of many capital ships, there is a great flow of heat and energy. Yet the core of of the Restitution of All Things is the coolest place on the vessel: the Center Centra Diplomatic Retreat, a snow covered nature preserve, with lake and lodge and firepit. And right now, inside of the old wooden building aside the icy water, Our Profit, Final Hegemon of Earth, is making her case: the Twilight Mirage itself is more than celestial cloud cover, more than a mist that bends time and hides space: it is fuel and it is medium, and if used in just such a way, it could open the door to a new way of living for everyone in the galaxy.

But one pair of ears that was scheduled to hear it--those of Fourteen Fifteen, her recently assigned bodyguard--is absent entirely. Instead, they and their would-be rescuer, Grand Magnificent, have knocked on the door to a warehouse. And whether they go inside or not, they will soon face two truths:Dormancy is action and all that is joined will one day break.

This time on Twilight Mirage: The Restitution of All Things Pt. 2

I'm not brave
I'd rather live outside

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 20, 2018
Twilight Mirage 60: The Restitution of All Things Pt. 1
01:39:55

For the hundreds of days after the Miracle of the Mirage, the sky above the planet Moonlock was filled only with dust and color. While the occasional landed by and the odd satellite or station came briefly into view, the world was not--like many others in the system--a harbor for fleets or a rest stop for caravans. Perhaps, those on Moonlock thought, it was the planet's frightening proximity to Volition. Or maybe it was the tension of relationships on the surface, an awkward arrangement of Qui Err communities, NEH colonists, and of course, the militant "Particulars" who prowled the wastes looking for erratic phenomena to capture or destroy. It was not a particularly friendly world, Moonlock. So why should its skies be?

But today, thousands of ships hang in orbit above the planet's capital city, the Sky Reflected In Mirrors. It is the Argosy, Spliced, flotilla of the NEH and the Church of the Self. And at the center of the fleet, is the Restitution of All Things, flagship of Our Profit, and current home to Fourteen Fifteen, errant member of The Notion.

As Fourteen Fifteen goes about their business as a newly recognized citizen of the Hegemony, a twisting, clandestine ship slides past the many hundreds surrounding the Restitution: It is the Bolero Smooth, the awarding-winning vessel of Waltz Tango (Cache). And in its hold, deep in thought, is Grand Magnificent. He knows he has to rescue someone. But will it be his friend, or himself?

This time on Twilight Mirage: The Restitution of All Things Pt. 1

I'ma try to swim from somethin' bigger than me

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jul 12, 2018
Twilight Mirage 59: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 3
01:30:05

CW: This episode contains death and gun violence

On one end of the Quire system, eminating from The Restiution of All Things, is the Profit's Star, an overawing beam of scalding light aimed at the distant eye of Crystal Palace, machine sage.

But here, inside of the Mirage, the light shines on a free-floating, living sea.

Driven by reckless commitment to success, Gig Kephart throws himself into overwhelming odds to achieve his mission and save that creature. Meanwhile, Even Gardner--consumed by a righteous bloodlust--pursues a desperate strategy that could turn the tables on their pursuers. And there at the middle of it all, enveloped by the light of Profit's Star, are a pair of siblings: Echo and Ballad Reverie, as they hurtle towards an inescapable clash of wills and hearts.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 3

Signal coming in and out
Hope you're doing well bruh

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Description by Austin Walker

 

 

Jul 06, 2018
Twilight Mirage 58: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 2
01:54:33

On paper, the Notion's mission to protect the Wandering Sea from the cruel talons of Advent is going well: They've secured the massive, mysterious cube that contains what they need to free the sea. They've reunited, having secured Echo Reverie from the dock at the city of Perigiean. Gig Kephart has recovered from a major injury more ready than ever to jump into danger. And they're heading into space, where pilot Even Gardner is most in his demesne.

And yet there is something off about today. The mystery of a closed box, maybe. Or perhaps it is Even's devotion to the larger mission at hand. And then there's Gig's fervant desire to dive into the fray--he who was once a filmmaker now throwing himself into conflict like a mercenary. And certainly, laying under all of these things, there is Echo's lingering knowledge that family ties can not be left behind at the dinner table--and the nagging feeling that some connections may last even longer still...

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 2

In comes a morning, hunting us with the beams
Solstice ain't as far as it used to be

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Description by Austin Walker

Jun 29, 2018
Twilight Mirage 57: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 1
02:01:52

In the year that followed the Miracle, the Brighton Lineage leveraged their skill as diplomats (and their resort-quality holdings) to gain favor with factions throughout the Mirage. So succesful were they that they became the de jure rulers of the Rogue Wave, supported not by a fleet of their own, but through a collection of treaties to the military powers of the Quire system. But with the arrival of Our Profit, the creation of Parhelia, and the revelation of the Rapid Evening, the system has been thrown into disaray, and the Brightons have been left without their external support.

Smelling blood in the water--and spurred on by the relic-hunters of Advent--the Herringbone Flotilla, former leaders of the Rogue Wave, have finally struck. It is the first extended battle of the Post-Miracle Mirage, a war without guns, yet filled with bloodshed.

Over the last month, Even Gardner, Echo Reverie, and Gig Kephart have helped the Brightons in keeping civilians safe from harm. They've also uncovered the real reason for Advent's involvement here: They seek some object that would let them to capture the Wandering Sea, a powerful being that would grant Advent the ability to see into the future.

Now: Even Gardner, Gig Kephart, and Kent Brighton have located and secured this mysterious object, locked away in a crate. And as they prepare to extract it under enemy fire, Echo Reverie faces down a challenge of their own: Family Dinner.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Siege of the Lineage Brighton Pt. 1

Roots run deep, family throw a big shadow

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Description by Austin Walker

Jun 22, 2018
Twilight Mirage 56: The Vault of Anticipation Pt. 2
01:50:16

CW: This episode contains discussion of suicidal ideation.

A single family remembers the Divine Pleroma, now. Neither Phive Amala nor her daughter, Aete, lived when Pleroma, a being of wholeness and breadth, still blessed the fleet with their wisdom and perspective. But every evening, just before bed, Phive Amala and her daughter, Aete, work through Pleroma's volume of the Assemblage two lines at a time. Not simply a habit, yet not quite a prayer.

Still, the forces at work in the Miracle must have heard them read. Because from a scrap of the body of the being, a Basilica formed. A palace of faith and of knowledge.

And now, inside of that place, Signet and Tender Sky must confront an old, difficult truth before continuing on to the Vault of Anticipation... where they will at last confront a new one.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Vault of Anticipation Pt. 2

This thing won't last unless we're both lyin' (both lyin')

Fake flowers, no water needed

Real life drowned by the weekend

 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jun 15, 2018
Twilight Mirage 55: The Vault of Anticipation Pt. 1
01:36:23

The deserts of Altar are dotted with tombs, and each takes a shape all its own. Some are cathedrals, others monuments. One, a hanging garden. But in the base of a crater atop a volcanic peak, there is a Vault. And inside, is Anticipation... or what is left of Her.

After months of study and research, an effort led by the Waking Cadent and Shoghig Salon's Temple of the Lost has learned how to open the outer door of the vault. Now, Tender Sky and the excerpt Signet have been offered the chance to open the second gate.

But first, they must demonstrate that they remember the rule: No shortcuts.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Vault of Anticipation Pt. 1

Transition lightning (ascending)
Ashes and remnants of ballers

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jun 08, 2018
Twilight Mirage 54: Downtime on Skein
02:58:28

It is one day after the Second Miracle and the arrival of Our Profit, the so-called final hegemon of the New Earth Hegemony. Lit by the massive, false star projected by the Restitution of All Things, Our Profit's flagship, the Twilight Mirage hangs, shocked and quiet. But not for everyone.

Resting and recovering in the apparent safety of the World Without End, a sudden wave of energy passes over the members of the Notion, sparked by a corrupted transmission from the all-seeing supercomputer, Crystal Palace. In their visions, the crew witness future conflicts, opportunities, victories, and betrayals.

But not all revelations come in visions.


This time on Twilight Mirage: Downtime on Skein


We’ll let you guys prophesy
We gon' see the future first

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Jun 01, 2018
Twilight Mirage 53: Our Flaws in a Vacuum, or the Promise We Made To Each Other
02:23:03

Despite the faux-mornings and would-be-nights, the sun never rises or sets over the Quire system. Yet today, in the moments between light and darkness, the air hangs too quiet, the way it only does at dawn and dusk. As Fourteen Fifteen guards the scientist and artist Wind's Poem in a well-barricaded hotel room, Tender Sky goes to convince her ex, Open Metal, not to kill the Notion's Ward. Meanwhile, miles and miles away, Morning's Observation and Grand Magnificent search for answers in the floating allocology of the Church of the Self.

Dark Day is here. But will it arrive, or be finally diverted?

This week on Friends at the Table: Our Flaws in a Vacuum, or the Promise We Made To Each Other

Click-clicking my heels wishing away the day
Wish it could have been Tuesday, just not today

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

May 25, 2018
Twilight Mirage 52: The Second Miracle
01:33:53

As the axiom Ache strikes from above, the Notion joins Acre-7 in trying to end the conflict so Quire can perform a second miracle. Gig Kephart, desperate for some additional help, makes a decision that results in painful consequences. Echo Reverie makes a move, at last, on a dangerous foe, and the planet Quire leaves its mark on them, while Signet is caught between her past and present loyalties. And, in the heart of the Wound, Even Gardner witnesses something remarkable take shape.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Second Miracle

You kneel down to the dry land
Kiss the Earth that birthed you
Gave you tools just to stay alive
And make it up when the sun is ruined

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

May 18, 2018
Twilight Mirage 51: Open As Possible
01:47:24

With the prophesied "Dark Day" less than 24 hours away, the Notion continue their plan to intercede and stop the murder of Wind's Poem, one of the event's potential catalysts. Grand Magnificent and Fourteen Fifteen look for loopholes (legal and otherwise) that will give them access to the Compel Project blueprint. And while Tender Sky tries to convince their mark to come under the group's protection, Morning's Observation senses a threat to his boring life of simple Tuesdays.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Open As Possible

Forgot to tell you, gotta tell you how much I vibe with you

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

May 10, 2018
Twilight Mirage 50: A Very Old Mistake
01:57:42

Across the threshold into the Vale's deepest fog, The Notion is finally sets their sights on their target, Acre-7, as well as the axiom Ache, who brings with it visions of their deepest regrets. As Ache tears through the earth in the distance, the group travels with two uneasy companions, Saint Wynter and Advent agent Gigas, towards Acre-7 to get answers and offer support before focusing on the combat around them. Even Gardner does his best to keep the peace with Wynter and Gigas, and Gig Kephart (despite his initial indignation) ends up helping more than hindering. Echo Reverie tries to find a loophole to protect the group without upsetting an already distressed Quire, and Signet turns to her vast archives to help solve her own corner of the crisis.

This week on Twilight Mirage: A Very Old Mistake

So many pages I wrote, wish I could revise them
 
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

 

 

May 05, 2018
Twilight Mirage 49: Bona Fide, Good Faith
02:00:43

Determined to prevent two murders predicted by Crystal Palace, the Notion heads to one of Skein's allocologies, a floating, all-in-one corporate campus. Their plan? Infiltrate the lab of Wind's Poem, one of the potential victims, by pretending to be the inventors of a solid-milk-based art startup. While Tender and Poem talk about passion projects, Fourteen Fifteen and Grand Magnificent try to locate the blueprint to a terrible weapon.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Bona Fide, Good Faith

Now I'm in the lab, always working late

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Apr 28, 2018
Twilight Mirage 48: This Place Pushes Back
01:46:42

After careful planning, the Notion covertly breaches the outer perimeter of the Vale, bypassing the dronefield of Saint Wynter... only to have a bumbling team of Advent Group agents set the alarm off. After retreating, the group find its bearings and begins to moves through the overgrown city, a strange echo of an alternate Quire. The group meets a stranger in need, but before he can be fully aided, Saint Wynter comes into sight, looking to stop the intruders. Echo Reverie leads the group deeper into the Vale (and away from her approach), while Gig Kep-hart and Even Gardner aim to distract and confront the oncoming threat. Signet, as is her way, searches for an alternate solution.

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Place Pushes Back

And I don't like to fight 'til I'm fighting

Revenge in the air make my lungs sick

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Apr 20, 2018
Twilight Mirage 47: Uncontrolled Fires
01:54:08

As half of the Notion explores the jungle valleys of Skein, the others descend to Terncage, the planet’s largest metropolis. A pair of old allies tells the group that a mysterious calamity called “Dark Day” is nearing, and that the Rapid Evening’s oracular Crystal Palace has predicted that it will follow a pair of strange murders. The predicted victims are Wind’s Poem--the artist and researcher responsible for Tender’s ReFrame system--and Profit’s Cadence--the new leader of the Church of the Self, which is rapidly spreading through the New Earth Hegemony. Complicating things further, both are killed by a prototype gun that threatens the peace that Quire established during the Miracle.

Tender Sky leads the crew into a meeting with an old contact who knows a thing or two about weapons. Grand Magnificent bumps into a rival from his time on in the space trucking lanes. And Fourteen Fifteen frets as they consider the consequences of meddling with the future.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Uncontrolled Fires

 

It forever seemed like time's up

When we swerved in the Honda

Now forever seems like no time

I mean time flies when you have some

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Apr 13, 2018
Twilight Mirage 46: Every Time We Leave, It Changes
02:06:49

Deep in the jungles and mountains of the planet of Skein, far from the NEH metropolises, scientists from across cultures have come together to form Ternion Research. Their chief object of study is the Wound, a massive gash in the planet’s surface that comes to its deepest point in a place called the Vale, which may be home to the consciousness of the world-being Quire. The three subgroups of Ternion—defector explorers from the Ever Forward, creators from the former Crown university called the Garden, and the gene-modifying scientists of the Skein—maintain cool relations, though, and a recent disruption—in the form of Acre Seven—risks destabilizing not only Ternion, but also the Wound itself. Now, the Notion has been called in to retrieve their old ally before it is too late. Even confronts an old rival, Echo and Gig dig into the data for more information, and Signet reaches across time and space in search of clues.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Every Time We Leave, It Changes

Forest green

Forest blues

I'm remembering you

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Apr 06, 2018
Twilight Mirage 45: Downtime on Gift-3
02:30:08

With their missions on Gift-3 behind them, the Notion is made to consider what went right, what went wrong, and what they can do to make sure things go better next time.Tender investigates the experimental NEH technology in her Angler unit. Even meets up with an old friend for a quiet dinner together, while Signet finds her own company to celebrate the anniversary of the Miracle with. Gig makes good on a promise to the kids of the Ark, while Fourteen Fifteen ensures that the group has secured recognized legal standing on the planet. In a flip of the old days, Echo tinkers with some tech while Grand Magnificent Works out. But most importantly, a surprising guest on the ship leaves everyone wondering one thing: Who, exactly, is the Waking Cadent?

This week on Twilight Mirage: Downtime on Gift-3

I know that we sin but I do believe we try

 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Mar 30, 2018
Twilight Mirage 44: The Pathways in the Woods
01:43:33
Deep within the endless Q-Glass storm of Gift-3, the Notion investigate and converse with the residents of the Axiomatic town of Polyphony. While Even Gardner trades ship tips with the smuggler Tannoy Kajj and Echo Reverie confronts their feelings about a supposedly perfect place, Signet speaks goes right to the source: Polyphony themself. The question is, if the inhabitants of this quaint town need no rescue, if there is no alibi for violence, what should the Notion do?

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Pathways in the Woods

So why see the world, when you got the beach?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

 

Mar 23, 2018
Twilight Mirage 43: The Center of the Storm
01:50:36

Deep in the scrapyards of Gift-3, a bubbling ocean of glass is battered by an massive, endless lightning storm. And beyond the sheets of rain, lies Barricade, the axiom that Notion members Signet, Echo, and Even must deal with on order of Kitcha Kanna, their dubious taskmaster and the Chief Expeditionary of Advent's technology division in the Mirage. They prepare their minds, ready their Anglers, and take flight... But when they pierce the storm, will they find a fight or something more?

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Center of the Storm

Sparks of lightning storm behind wet faces
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 16, 2018
Twilight Mirage 42: Look the Other Way
01:53:41

Aboard the floating airship of Big Garage, the Notion come face to face with an old ally, the award winning bounty hunter Waltz Tango (Cache). As Fourteen Fifteen scraps with Waltz and Grand Magnificent squares off against a monsterous foe, Tender, Gig, and Yam attempt to secure a pathway forward for the crew. Unfortunately, these are not the only obstacles between them and the perpetual motion engine they need to power the Ark's shields.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Look the Other Way

You are from my past life
Hope you're doing well bruh 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 08, 2018
Twilight Mirage 41: No Value in a Closed Door
01:41:36

After returning from their meeting with Advent and the Concretetown Particulars, the Notion discusses the complexity of the situation over dinner. When a new offer is made, the group prepares for their largest operation yet: The piercing of a powerful storm and a confrontation against an Axiomatic foe. Even digs for information, Signet reaches out for Divine aid, and Echo returns a gift.

This week on Twilight Mirage: No Value in a Closed Door

We don't talk much or nothin'
But when we talkin' about something
We have good discussion

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

 

 


Mar 02, 2018
Twilight Mirage 40: Like What We Used To Do
01:56:39
Having agreed to help a group of young runaways that go by the name the Sailors of the Ark, the Notion begin to gather information for their mission.
 
Fourteen Fifteen, Grand Magnificent, and Tender Sky head toward Big Garage’s terrestrial transport center to secure passage onto the floating city ship, only to find things more complicated (and tightly scheduled) than they’d hope. Gig Kep-Hart and the sentient Torch Unit named Yam, meanwhile, visit with members of the Ark to piece together clues about Big Garage’s layout.
 
But preparation is always only preparation, and when the team finally takes to the skies, they run into a few unexpected surprises...
 
This week on Twilight Mirage: Like What We Used To Do
 
Piece in my hands worth twice than a friend
And two limbs over shoulder, carried away
 
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 23, 2018
Twilight Mirage 39: Staying Neutral
01:29:41

Having confirmed the location of the stitch connecting Gift-3 to Brighton, the Notion prepares to undergo their mission to transport a small group of refugees. While Signet checks in on the local church, Even and Echo meet up with an old friend to gather information. Finally, the group sets off... with a very unorthodox plan.

 This week on Twilight Mirage: Staying Neutral

I believe there's heaven, I believe in war

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 15, 2018
Twilight Mirage 38: The Good Decision
01:26:59
 
Inside of a laboratory on 29th floor of Big Garage Co-Working Tower #12, Gig Kep-hart performs an experimental robotic surgery alongside the brash (and presumed missing) teenager, Orellia Ject. Meanwhile, 28 floors below, Tender Sky, Grand Magnificent, and Fourteen Fifteen work to stall a ticking clock as authorities draw ever closer. Whether it counts down or not, this half of the Notion is about to come face to face with someone who has their own bold vision of the future.
 
 This week on Twilight Mirage: The Good Decision
 
Clearly this isn't all that there is 
Can't take what's been given 
But we're so okay here, we're doing fine…
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 09, 2018
Twilight Mirage 37: Along A Route
01:34:49

Deep in the Crashyards of Gift-3, Signet, Even, and Echo have been sent by Cascara and Seneschal's Brace to locate and secure a "stitch" in space, a place where two of the Nine Idylls of the Quire system connect as if by magic. Once secured, they are to lead a small group of refugees through that stitch, beginning the long and necessary effort of reconnecting the broken Tides of Harmony. But before they can lead anyone anywhere, they need to get back from their reconnaissance mission… and the drones of Advent Discovery & Salvage and the strange mechanical beasts of Gift-3’s wilds aren’t going to make it easy.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Along A Route

Two mopeds racing through the forest
Making dirt clouds on a path, on a path

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 02, 2018
Twilight Mirage 36: Every Bad Idea
01:33:52

Newly unified as “The Notion,” the crew of The World Without End has arrived to Gift-3. While half of the group is busy working on their (semi-)official assignment, the team of Tender Sky, Fourteen Fifteen, Gig Kephart, and Grand Magnificent have their own work to attend to. At the request of Grand’s local contact, a small-time transporter named Alabaster Went whose niece, Winchester, has gone missing, the crew heads into the Mandati capital of Big Garage to investigate a case of runaway teens. Is it an NEH plot? Could some technological marvel (or monster) kidnapped them? Or is Quire itself interfering, yet again?

This week on Twilight Mirage: Every Bad Idea

That's a pretty fucking fast year flew by
That's a pretty long third gear in this car

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 26, 2018
Twilight Mirage 35: This Year of Ours: The Notion
02:07:19

From a certain perspective, the Twilight seemed to rest perfectly at peace, an etheric coastline: The Nine Idylls--even Volition--in close, harmonious orbit within a sea made of light and color, and tidal rhythms drawn by the pleasant waving of the distant asteroid belt that encircled the Quire System.

But unfortunately for Keen Forester Gloaming, Chief Intercessor of the Rapid Evening’s newly formed Mirage Division, that perspective wasn’t visible from the bridge of the Welkin Absolute, flagship of his humble task force.

As the long, ribbon-like frigate flittered through the Shore like a wind-up toy or a tapeworm, Gloaming looked beyond the rocks and towards the only thing that Crystal Palace feared: Possibility.

“K-Upside Transmission 328, Record MD-Gloaming

Crystal Palace,

As we approach the one year anniversary of our incursion into the Quire System, Dovetail synopsis confirms that the last 11 months have been aligned with guaranteed events.

As predicted, the two largest operators inside of the Mirage are in a moderate state of fracture. Combine this with the arrival of external agitators and opportunists, and this system is working daily towards their definite collapse, at which time a clean up crew can address the problem of Volition and any other probabilistic phenomena.

But, Crystal Palace, there is something I’m worried you missed. You forecasted 44 meaningful entities inside of the Mirage, and there are exactly that. You identified the existence of temporal and spatial shifts before any of our agents landed on these worlds. You told me that we would fight my daughter to a standstill and we did.

And I never batted an eye… until last week.

An operation on Seneschal. Removal of a low level deviation risk, a woman named Open Metal. Our agents chased her down a rib, out of Drifting into Marginalia, into a little automated fishing village by the western falls. They cornered her at the end of a high, long causeway, but when they went to fire, she leapt into sea, and landed on a boat, and vanished.

That boat wasn’t supposed to be there. There were no “meaningful entities” on schedule,  no “temporal or spatial shifts” registered. I looked into it. It was an old man who liked to fish.

Your models account for everything except the most ordinary people. And if someone gives them the notion that they can make this work… it just might."

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Notion

When’s the last time I asked for some help that
I couldn’t get from nobody else, yeah?
I couldn't get from nobody out there
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 19, 2018
Twilight Mirage 34: This Year of Ours: The Mystic
01:09:10

“Thirteenth” by Declan’s Corrective, Co-Governor of Seneschal, former Ace Pilot of the New Earth Hegemony

Before these clinquant peaks

And Quire-fashioned streets

And shimmering cataract falls

Before this was home

Before Seneschal

 

There was me

 

Stiff shoulder muscle

Knotted, bloody, scarred

And chess table politics

And cricket yard brawls

And father’s frantic calls

To lessons he’d swore I’d need

To seed a future year

With countless victories

 

Before we walked together gleaming

Before Drifting, my reprise

Before diarchy and comedy

Before Cadent beaming:

Me

 

Before Notion

Before violence

Before Vanguard, Apogee

Before Evening

Before promise

Before vision from dark sea

 

I walked down courtyards, and looked to spheres

And whispered treacherous dreams

To peers who’d disappeared

No schemers left to scheme

Just me and castle

Just me and hope

Just me, naive, and mouth of soap

 

This is not apology

This is dedication writ in flesh

No more “fighting spirit”

No more streets, bent

No more “what I really meant”

This is Tender wound

 

Me, threshed

 

On a dusted windowsill

An ant lifts a sugar grain

Plodding under false sunlight

Through spotted windowpane

And on the other side a child

Runs through a sprinkler stream

And screams

And laughs

And worries what’s to be

 

Stiff shoulder muscle

Knotted, bloody, scarred

A dedication the a world-to-be

To victory

To fall

 

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Mystic

Mind over matter is magic
I do magic

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 17, 2018
Twilight Mirage 33: This Year of Ours: The Speaker
01:19:42

Feedback by Janus, Red Equity of the Golden Clause, on a term paper exploring the the emerging legal jurisdiction of the Quire System.

Please Note: The grade you’ve received here reflects your successful ability to follow the assignment’s instructions, cite relevant academic and practical work, and build an argument supported by precedent. For that, you should be commended.

But I am disappointed that you would take up this line of thought.

As you’ve written politicians of certain persuasion point to moments of crisis, to freshly mapped worlds, to technological frontiers and say that the law does not apply in these places. That that those in power rule arbitrarily during these states of exception.

But if you take one lesson from me or from this seminar, let it be this: There is no such thing as a lawless place or a time outside of jurisdiction.

Deep below explicit legal precedent, unlisted in any codex, there lie unspoken rules by which society functions. They are fluid, yet bottled by the shape of culture. From the racist resolution of border-region land disputes to the public opinion pardoning of war criminals, a cultural paradigm of gestures and sensibilities guides action.

The so-called “state of exception” is an alibi. If tyranny rises and the people of Quire do not stand to stop it, that is a not a sign of the oppressor’s strength, but a memorandum on the population’s capacity to love a despot.

Jurisprudence simply follows suit.

Fourteen Fifteen, you are a good student, and I hope you grow to understand our role in this system: We are as adjudicators on the verge.

Our role is not simply to interpret the law as written, it is to translate attitude into index. And, in instances where indices are incomplete, to passionately propel the world towards justice.

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Speaker

Oh I see the lines, there's two lines
You'll live a life anew
Tell me what you need from me?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt  

 

Jan 16, 2018
Twilight Mirage 32: This Year of Ours: The Stitch
01:12:57

An entry from the journal of the former excerpt “To the prince, we offered twelve thousand flowers, Blooming in an untouched field,” leader of the Beloved Nights.

How did I get here? How did I find this home? Pain. Pain was my guide.

For the first half of the year each second was a dozen or more. I have buried my kin, my peers, and myself. I put my love to rest and lived in a marionette corpse for months. Yet I never knew a pain like this until I looked up from Volition’s surface and saw a beautiful new world with no place for me in it.

I knelt before the so-called Cadent Under Mirage and waited for an answer. Where could I best serve her? Lacking her own answer, and without her advisor, the priestess, in sight, she deferred to a bureaucrat.

I remember the ship they put me on. It smelled of bleach and rust. it was crowded with those who would I would manage. A cleanup operation. The remains of Privign Station, which Volition’s monstrous retainers had crushed into crumbs, and which the pull of the Mirage and brought to us like galleon driftwood.

They all speak of miracles, but the only one that matters to me is that in this broken place, I found reason to live again.

We found her in a pod and when we brought her to, we were moved by the force of her sadness. She looked out on what the Mirage had become, how our leader had shrunk from duty, and vowed to find a place for all of us. She lifted me with a finger and stared through me from behind her veil, and she had my loyalty instantly. And I had a home and a purpose, here, beside the Waking Cadent.

Signet… I wish you had been there. Just so you knew I wasn’t a fool.

This Week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Stitch

And I believe you when you say that you've lost all faith
But you must believe in something, something, something

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt  (@notquitereal)

Jan 15, 2018
Twilight Mirage 31: This Year of Ours: The Mechanic
01:05:02

A letter from Kent Brighton to the Lineage’s Matriarch, the Lady Lyme.


Dearest Aunt,

I hope this message finds you well. Our vessel has just now entered textual communication range, and though I could wait to see your face in just a few days, speed is of the essence.

As you know, my ship, the Wakerobin, left New Independence a month ago to secure diplomatic relations with each of the new governments throughout Quire.

The crew and I felt at home with the crooning of our ship’s hull as it settled.Though we moved through suntouched sky, it was familiar as the surging sea. But unlike Old Quire’s ocean, the aether offered us an opportunity unknown to the Lineage in generations: The chance to explore the uncharted!

Each new port brought new discoveries: technologies yet unseen, delicacies fresh to my palate, songs, and theater, and friendship! Every diplomat, every merchant, every cleric, they were all charmed by our charisma and, of course, taken with the affability of our great ally, Gig Kephart. (And yes, our allegiance with the Crown was secured by bringing them the boy, worry not).

But there is more too. Our foes in the Rogue Wave can be beaten.

They launched an attack as we passed through a craggy shoal, the vessel twisting between blasts from their fleet. I could sense their hunger for victory in their aggressive formation, and so too I sensed their surprise when, with each volley, it was their fleet which was wounded in the waking dream.

From the prow I watched their cannons blossom into rose and rouge and coral. And Aunt, you know I have no tongue for poetry. I mean what I say: Their cannons blossomed into rose and rouge and coral.

Gig captured the entire exchange and has already begun broadcasting it out. The whole system knows the truth: All their strength is for naught in this new world.

Brigands be gone: Brighton rules the Wave.

This Week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Mechanic

But there's no erasing and the best advice I got
Was keep writing, and keep living, and keep loving

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt  (@notquitereal)

 

Jan 14, 2018
Twilight Mirage 30: This Year of Ours: The Muscle
01:10:16

An excerpt from an address to the high council of the Qui Err Assembly by Annex Iota Pretense, reconstituted leader of her people..

I have heard the murmurs, and I have seen the images. They’re calling their bandits heroes. The bored rich like Joan-bee. Invaders like Templeton’s Faire. Soldiers like Echo Reverie.

Do not misunderstand. We are the heroes of this story.

Their talking heads will tell you that history is more complicated than that. That everyone is complicit in some misdeed. That by our own logic, what we call ours was the planet’s first. That we are colonizers, too.

But do not misunderstand. We are Qui Err Vi Qi-Em, The Soil With Memory.

Their petty historians hold matchsticks and think they wield the sun. Their propagandists will take our pain and twist it into lessons for their children, our struggle into entertainment for paying customers. They will turn sites of violence into souvenir shops, and in their little voices demand from us personalized baubles.

Do not misunderstand.

They will ask you to give them a name like ours. They will ask to touch your bone and branch. They will, with no understanding of their sacrilege, call all this curiosity. They will call themselves “friends of the people.”

Do not misunderstand.

That touch is colony ship. Their interest in our ways is not curiosity, it is a hanging rope not yet taut: a whip, a lasso, a noose.

Do not misunderstand.

We do not have friends among them. We have only those who deign to speak to us. The so-called Free States walk on our bodies, toes mingling in soil, without sending so much as a delegation to meet with us. Even the Hegemony, which recognizes our sovereignty, does so as an addendum at best.

Do not misunderstand.

We are not a appendix. We are the body itself.

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Muscle

Wish I was there, wish we'd grown up on the same advice
And our time was right

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt  (@notquitereal)

Jan 13, 2018
Twilight Mirage 29: This Year of Ours: The Pilot
52:25

Hey,

It’s Cascabel.

I know you’re probably zipping between planets in some sort of experimental ship right now bud, but once you get back just let me know you got this, okay?

I wanted to let you know that I got back from Skein and some of your old colleagues wanted me to pass on a hello.

And, I know it’s weird to have them be working with the NEH now and I know it can be hard to hear, but they’re doing good work, man. You should check in on them. Quire is bleeding and they’re the closest thing to medics.

I’ve seen it across every world I’ve been on, but on Skein, it’s bad, man. There’s a gash that cuts down to the core. Deep in the jungle, about a day from Terncage… that big city by the beach. It’s a wound that pulses. It groans. With each new beat, it finds and and breaks a new reality.

So.. I guess I’m just not surprised that it attracted every scientist in the sector. The Skein? The Garden? They were already deep into this stuff on Old Quire, man. And your people from the Ever Forward? From what I understand, y’all have always been pathfinders, some of the best field researchers ever.

So I get why you’re not thrilled with it but I’ve spoken to these folks. The New Earth Hegemony offered them a lot: resourcing, protection, time. They could do more good unified as Ternion than they ever could alone.

In any case. I’m glad you’re doin alright. Test pilot seems like a good fit, you always liked to be on the cutting edge, after all.

I never told you about the first time I saw the Amp Runner did I? The way it broke through the atmosphere? I saw through the trick, the screeching, the fake rust. But then I saw you inside and I was terrified.

I’m glad we’re on the same side, Even. I…

Well, if you ever need anything, you just let me know. After what we faced down together? Independence, the iconoclasts. Volition…

A year ago, I was just a mercenary for hire. Now I’ve seen the world shatter and put itself back together. And I wouldn’t have made it out without you. If you’re ever around my neck of the woods, promise that you’ll let me know.

This time on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Pilot
 
The sun's going down
Time to start your day bruh
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt  (@notquitereal)

Jan 12, 2018
Twilight Mirage 28: This Year of Ours: The Scoundrel
01:16:25

An excerpt from the journal of Grey Gloaming, Co-Owner of the Brink space station and clearing house, and former agent of the Rapid Evening.

I used to wonder if sometime, deep in the future, far away from the here and now, someone would look back from a more perfect world and write about this year we've had.

It has been 11 months since the Miracle of the Mirage.

11 months since the living world of Quire split itself eight ways and enveloped us in the Twilight. 11 months since millions disembarked from their generational homes in search of hope. 11 months since the secessionist ploy was foiled. 11 months since a man of great reach was forced to confront the limits of his grasp.

Once borne across the stars, the newly renamed Divine Free States now sprawl across three worlds: Thyrsus, Gift-3, Altar. Across three others, the New Earth Hegemony has colonized en masse: Tens of millions spread across Skein, Crown, and Moonlock. The pirate world Brighton recognizes no authority--not even its own. And on Seneschal the NEH and DFS live alongside each other in an experiment whose success is even more unlikely than the twisting of time, the distortion of space, and the horrors of Volition.

And between those world, things must move. People, supplies, contraband. They move in silent exchange, with lookouts and passwords and bribes. And that is how I know that whatever words are put to page, no one will ever really write about this year of ours.

Because this year was not only made by politicians and soldiers, by spies and scientists. They were built by the hands of those who came from little and those that fell from grace.

Those like...

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Scoundrel

I don't believe my hands are cleanly
Can't believe that you would let me touch your heart

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel)

Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 11, 2018
Twilight Mirage 27: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Siege
04:01:34

While the other strike teams move in bursts of heroism to confront their foes--Independence and Sui Juris respectively--the remaining group has a more protracted task at hand: Ensuring the safety of millions evacuating to the surface of Quire.

Commander Pure Cascara leads the effort from above, while broadcaster Gig Kephart, pathfinder Echo Reverie, and the living ship Myriad--all knowledgeable about Quire’s surface--begin to educate and organize evacuation groups.

Unfortunately, they have to do this in the face of secession, military invasion, and the first public encounter with one of Volition’s Axioms, a being beyond easy comprehension. While they can rely on the Beloved Ivy’s military specialist, Waltz Tango (Cache) for some support, they’ll need more help than that yet. And they find it from an unlikely source: Former New Earth Hegemony ace pilot Declan’s Corrective.

There's a bull and a matador dueling in the sky,

Inhale, in hell there’s heaven

This week on Friends at the Table: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Siege

 

EMERGENCY HEARINGS REVEAL NEW INFORMATION ABOUT INVADERS DAY AFTER WARSHIP’S ARRIVAL

Newly declassified documents and expert testimony have brought both detail and confusion about the NEW EARTH HEGEMONY.

Memorious, Quire System

BY ACTIVATION STEVENSON, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

For years, the so-called “Earth Cult” was a common figure across two prominent genres: children’s fiction and conspiracy theory.  Yesterday, the arrival of the warship Season’s Juniper changed that, sending shockwaves through the fleet, and confirming the existence of a long rumored nation and the strength of its attendant military.  

Today, after a seven hour public hearing held in the Grand Hall of Memorious, the citizens of the Divine Fleet know the truth behind the legend.

“Though commonly referred to as ‘the Earth Cult,’ the group in question is a sovereign nation called the New Earth Hegemony,” said Scholar of Galactic Nations Callum Enli, whose presentation bore the speed, clarity, and practice of an academic who long hoped their work would find mainstream relevance.

Enli and the other presenters outlined the nation’s key characteristics: A population of trillions spread across the body of Earth, space colonies throughout the system; a complex and bewildering relationship between government, business, and faith institutions, all of which places a great deal of power in a single executive figure called the Hegemon; a great deal of technological strength, but no known Divine population to speak of; a generally strong quality of life for the nation’s massive population, but a fault social safety net.

If children expected monsters and the conspiracy theorists expected puppet masters, the truth is all the more disappointing--and all the more real: The New Earth Hegemony seems to be filled with people a lot like us. Which does little to explain this new act of aggression.

While it was common knowledge that a force claiming allegiance to the planet Earth--humanity’s ancient home--had harried the fleet a number of times over the last millennium, there was little common knowledge about the group’s identity. Partially, numerous Cadents and other state officials kept information about the attackers carefully controlled and protected.

For nearly an hour, attendees pressed the sole governmental official, information specialist Sierra Sienna, about those past attacks. She responded with droll wit, which only seemed to agitate those demanding answers.

“They have always sent the hornet, never the nest. Their attacks have always been seen as anomalous,” she said. “ Despite its imposing name, clearly capable military technology, and a population in the trillions, the Hegemony has stayed within its borders for thousands of years, never making move to conquer any of their galactic neighbors, let alone the Divine Fleet.”

The scholarly experts attending the event confirmed this analysis, though bent their assessment towards the concerns of those gathered. “Ms. Sienna is right, of course,” said Enli. “But if they have sent only hornets, we have been only flowers.”

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Keith Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andi Clare (@captaintrash)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

 

Jan 06, 2018
Twilight Mirage 26: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Heist
03:24:13

With the possible union between the Divine Independence and the Iconoclastic god Volition disrupted, the Twilight Mirage--and the universe at large--has been granted a reprieve from annihlation.

But for the members of the Divine Fleet, there remains crisis and confusion and chaos. The By and By, largest ship in the fleet by size and population, has been split in loyalty by the sudden, secessionist proclamation of Sui Juris and the revelation that they held captive the Cadent Under Mirage.

Now moving to rescue her are members of The Beloved: Fourteen Fifteen, digital, dying assassin; Acre 7, remnant of a living world; Sho Salon, faithful of the 300; Massalia d'Argent and their mech, Melodica; the boy out of time and place, Morning's Observation; Tender Sky, architect, priestess, and former partner of Open Metal, leader of Sui Juris. These are the Fleet's--and the Cadent's--best hope for survival.

Inhale, inhale there's heaven

This week on Friends at the Table: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Heist


EXCLUSIVE: ON EDGE OF TWILIGHT, CIVIL WAR ERUPTS INSIDE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
Interview with survivor reveals details of mysterious conflict.
Shorlidge Asteroid Belt Station A8, Quire System
BY ACTIVATION STEVENSON, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

From the observation deck of the Shorlidge Station A8, Camilla Canter watched as pinkish-red spheres burst into vision. Just three hours later, Canter was pulling the body of a spy from an emergency ejection capsule.

"I knew they were explosions, of course. But I assumed it had to do with what was going on in the By and By. I certainly wasn't expecting to learn about a whole new galactic civilization and that."

Though the woman that Canter rescued, Siela Shade, was taken into custody by Fleet authorities only 30 minutes after her rescue, the Signal was able to conduct a short interview before her detention. The facts of that interview have been since confirmed through a combination fo DIA Request and archival research, and though a judge-ordered stay prevents the Signal from running Shade's words as they were delivered to us directly, this publication retains the legal right to publish, in broad terms, the shape of that conversation.

According to Shade, a civilization set towards the galactic south known as the Principality of Kesh is currently embroiled in its own internal conflict, one that has landed right on the door mat of the Divine Fleet. At the heart of that dispute is the question of intervention and self-determination, two topics well-trodden inside of the Fleet in recent days.

While the Principality itself has not splintered, one of its most important arms--the Rapid Evening, a group of intelligence agents, saboteurs, and enforcers--has entered into a civil conflict. On one side, an increidbly powerful, predictive AI known as Crystal Palace who is tasked with maintaining the stability of life in the Principality and the safety of its citizens above all else. On the other, the rebels Demani Dusk and Grey Gloaming, former agents of the organization who now lead a faction of deserters and objectors against an encroaching armada of Rapid Evening forces.

The root of this conflict, per Shade, is a debate over how (and whether) the Rapid Evening should have intervened into the Divine Fleet's own constitutional crisis.

While Shade offered more context for the battle, additional reporting could not verify her claims. Fleet officials did not respond to comment regarding these or other questions.

But the fundamental truth remains the same: On the edge of the Quire System, as the Twilight Mirage collapses inward, yet another fight rages over the autonomy of the Fleet and freedom of our people.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 29, 2017
Twilight Mirage 25: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Dragon
03:07:17

It is a moment of crisis, with many threats coming to bear on the residents of the Twilight Mirage all at once. Sui Juris, a separatist movement, has kidnapped the Divine Fleet's human leader—the Cadent Under Mirage—and is demanding the fleet recognize The By and By as its new capital. Meanwhile, military perils from the outside—including military vessels from both the New Earth Hegemony and the Rapid Evening—charge towards the fleet at speed. And as they race closer and closer, the Twilight Mirage itself collapses inwards, towards the Quire System, where every major remaining ship in the fleet rests... and where the Iconoclasts' machine god Volition threatens to shatter the walls of reality.

And now, in this moment, the divine Indpendence—driven by pulsing Heart and housed in crystalline Body—has landed on that false moon, searching for its Mind. If it is successful, it will join with Volition and bring on an impossible age, where even materiality itself is threatened.

But unlikely heroes race towards Volition too: The excerpt ⸢Signet⸣ and her recently revived Divine, Belgard, who seek to confront hopelessness itself. Korrin Kim, mercenary recently released from Contrition's Figure, determined to make right by the world. ⸢Blooming⸣, who has spent the last six months hiding the death of the divine Empyrean. The technologist and soldier, Even Gardner, who wounded Independence and took from it its pilot. The Saint hunter, Cascabel, who gave him the tools to do it. And Grand Magnificent, the artist who built Independence's Body, pristine and powerful, a perfect mirror of personal accomplishment and failure.

It's hell on Earth and the city's on fire.

This week on Friends at the Table: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Dragon

DIVINE FLEET READIES WARSHIPS, LAUNCHES FIRST EVACUATION VESSELS
Count Nideo: 'We must make landfall with or without The Cadent.'
SEANCE, Quire
BY ACTIVATION STEVENSON, SPECIAL 
CORRESPONDENT

Thousands of evacuation ships launched today from the lowest levels of THE BY-AND-BY, carrying over 100,000 citizens of the Divine Fleet towards the surface of the planet Quire.  The ships are expected to land and establish preliminary camps within the next three days, per a statement released by the evacuation committee, and millions of additional refugees will be transferred across the next week.

Yet, given the occupation by Sui Juris, such an effort will face many obstacles which will challenge the speed or efficiency of the operation. Note Shimmering Sea, interim leader of The By-and-By, addressed these concerns during a press conference earlier today, stating that “Any evacuation that leaves behind the Cadent Under Mirage would be a failure that dooms the future of the Fleet. Like the Cadent Herself, we must be clever, wise, and careful in this moment.”

Note Sea has reportedly split her resources between three internal teams: One in charge of evacuation, one which readies an active-responses to Sui Juris’ actions, and a third which prepares for an unspecified “external threat,” which may be connected to recent phenomena observed on the edge of the Quire system—phenomena that the Signal believes to be related to confidential military action.

Critics say this is not enough, though. Count Aram Nideo, who has sprung into prominence in the days since the Cadent’s kidnapping, has argued that Sea’s primary concern should be the evacuation: “We must remove every lock—budgetary, bureaucratic, or otherwise—from this effort. This evacuation effort must be funded and supported with everything The By-and-By has to offer. Every other vessel in the fleet is giving its all. As much as it pains me to say this: We must make landfall with or without The Cadent.”

Others in the government have gone further, calling for an investigation into Note Sea’s actions. “By failing to support the immediate needs of the people during this crisis,” said By-and-By Level 2 Alderman Brisk Bronze, “the Note is offering credence to the terrorists who have taken her Ship and our Cadent hostage.”

Whether Alderman Bronze’s accusations hold water or not, it is a reminder of the open-endedness of action in crisis. As the Signal continues to report from the front lines of this emergency, we vow to bring you the truth as best as we can find it—and to consider our own culpability, potential, and reach as we do so.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Art Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 21, 2017
Live at the Table Teaser: Misspent Youth
04:59:07

 

Hey everyone, Austin here!

As those who watched along via YouTube earlier tonight can tell you, this episode of Live at the Table was something else

For those who couldn't make it, well: Jack, Dre, Andi, and I returned to Marielda to fill in a few of the blank spaces we love to keep around. We played Misspent Youth, a game with serious levels of dramatic tension, that centers on young people fighting back an oppressive system. 

Set during the one year gap between Marielda's "The Valentine Affair Pt. 4" and "Four Conversations" episodes, we jumped into the boots of some folks whose futures were left up in the air: The young students of the mysterious Yellow House, a school of esoteric and eschatologic studies. And before you ask: Yes, there is a weaver.

This was our longest (and maybe my favorite) live episode yet, and because of that length, we need to release it as a two parter. SO: Make sure you're listening to the right episode, otherwise this will not make any sense!

And hey, as a reminder... here's what Marielda looks like!

 

Hey everyone, Austin here!

As those who watched along via YouTube earlier tonight can tell you, this episode of Live at the Table was something else

For those who couldn't make it, well: Jack, Dre, Andi, and I returned to Marielda to fill in a few of the blank spaces we love to keep around. We played Misspent Youth, a game with serious levels of dramatic tension, that centers on young people fighting back an oppressive system. 

Set during the one year gap between Marielda's "The Valentine Affair Pt. 4" and "Four Conversations" episodes, we jumped into the boots of some folks whose futures were left up in the air: The young students of the mysterious Yellow House, a school of esoteric and eschatologic studies. And before you ask: Yes, there is a weaver.

And remember: If you enjoyed this, please let your friends know where they can come support us and listen! 

 

Dec 15, 2017
Twilight Mirage 24: godspeed, glory Pt. 3
02:16:31

The Telluric Vulgate // The Independent Hymnal// Chant of Arrival

 

In orbit broad, aloft in black

He floated through the sea.

With gasping voice he sang to us

In Independent key.

 

Our island Earth near paradise,

Astray without Divine.

We led Him home, we mended Him

Under the shade of pine.

 

His face distraught, His heart betrayed,

He crooned a tale of woe:

Deceptive soul, with clever words

She set the Exile low.

 

"I never sought to save our flesh.

My oracles did see

A future lacking Divine breath.

My aim is to save thee."

 

A promise, snapped, of life and death.

A vow she did outgrow.

And with those words, she turned His kin.

Then blood and oil and snow.

 

Divines reduced to Cadent pawns.

Whole schools brought into line.

This was no fight that He could win.

Now foe, once palatine.

 

In orbit broad, aloft in black

Left to be cold debris.

We brought you Home and now we Know

Your Independent plea.

 

This week on Twilight Mirage: godspeed, glory Pt. 3

I let go of my claim on you

Breaux'sL./Luna7University/Coursework/LectureNotes/DivineFleet3:

  1. Seminar notes
    1. “This isn’t a poem, it’s a chant”
      1. Old earth cult used to sing a lot.
      2. “Performance was a key element of faith”
        1. Look up later: Did they have non-religious  songs
          1. Nah, remember he said “at that time, every aspect of earth culture came back to the church.” -t
            1. Yeah but like, what if you just wanna hum while doing dishes or whatever
              1. You probably sung some shit about how clean the river was -t
                1. Rivers were dirty as fuck then tho
    2. Why study old Earth Cult religion?
      1. Bc Assemblage doesn’t say what happened between Cadence & Independence.
      2. Bc good to learn where we came from even if we know it’s wrong.
      3. Bc Blue Path started as old earth cult
        1. The pine tree was the symbol of old earth cult too, for example.
        2. Both are about importance of home + environment + family.
    3. So What happened?
      1. For sure:
        1. Independence driven out of Resonant Orbit early in its life (during Cadent’s life)
        2. Earth Cult finds + rebuilds him
        3. He rises in status, gets more power, civil war, moves earth, etc etc etc
      2. Probably:
        1. Independence demands that Kamala not try to resurrect divines
        2. Kamala reveals that the entire point of the Resonant Orbit is to save divine life, not human life.
          1. Bc she believes (knows????) humans will win war and kill all divines if war breaks out
          2. Prof. Gauge’s says “She ran the numbers!” but not sure if that’s metaphor or for real. Algorithmic oracle maybe?
        3. Something happened that caused split.
  2. Group project: “Fill in the gaps with hypotheses, explain how you would test these.”
    1. Q1: How could humans win war against divines?
      1. Humans could win war by building machines as powerful as divines but designed for perfect loyalty/without their own minds.
        1. To test: Recruit design team and run sims using Old Earth Cult era tech levels.
          1. Inform sims with both quant and qual research--get first hand accounts of civil war
    2. Q2:  What could have caused the Independence/Cadent split?
      1. She could have resurrected a divine
        1. To test: Check assemblage & NEH-UAS for any info on dead divines
          1. Also check for like, renamed divines or whatever. any thing weird
      2. Could also have just set up a system for resurrecting divines
        1. To test: hard to test…
    3. Q3: Why did Independence care so much about letting divines die?
      1. Bc Independence feared being made a slave or turned into a terror (like Rigour), wanted Divines to be able to die if they wanted or needed to die
        1. To Test: check the other earth chants, contact Diasporan archive to see what Independence thought abt Rigour?

 

 

 

Dec 09, 2017
Twilight Mirage 23: godspeed, glory Pt. 2
01:55:14

The Assemblage / Book: Of the Stellar Coriolis and the Resonant Orbit / Passage 004

Though Kamala had impressed Him, His admiration was not the same as His loyalty. She had won not an ally, but an opportunity to negotiate.

"You show that you understand what We are and what We might be. The former is necessary. The latter is peril." His voice carried no echo. "These, then, are my terms—" each word falling into place "— and if you wish My name beside yours, they will be the vital blood of your Faith, now and forever: When We die, you leave Us dust. For finality is the heart of all independence."

Some weeks later, in a letter to a friend, Kamala would consider dust. How the matter of a thing that has come to nought is so soft, is barely anything at all, is caught by the wind, is a thing of lightness, is beautiful carried in the light, is the heart of all independence. She would revisit this letter later in her life, and she would amend it.

She left the negotiation with Him and, confident the rest of Us would follow, turned her attention toward her fellow people, human and synthetic. The Custodial Thesis saw the shape that walked alongside her, witnessed something alike to an Allegiance, and they turned to face her and their colours were added to her banner.

The Convergence Proposition saw the union of Kamala and Independence as a strange and wondrous thing and as their negotiators and scholars tentatively discussed the exact state of affairs, the exact state of being, their embroiderers added their symbol beside Kamala’s.

At the top of their tower, the algorithm Weyerbach Null considered what was meant when a figure such as this joined a figure so distinctly That, and imagined what might come, and word rippled down the tower like the sound of the wings of birds and the followers of The Indefinite Oracle walked in step with the Proposition, and the Thesis, and Kamala, and Him.

The Divine Independence had taken an Excerpt. And her name was The Light Of Us Is ⸢Many⸣, And Yet Seen Across The Distance It Is As Though It Is One.

This week on Twilight Mirage: godspeed, glory Pt. 2

Roamin' around like I'm ready for a funeral

Breaux'sL./Luna7University/Coursework/LectureNotes/DivineFleet2:

  1. Seminarrrrr notes
    1.  "There is no past in the fleet, only the assemblage"
      1. When first written ("not really written" again) "She would revisit this letter later in her life, and she would amend it" couldn't have possibly been in the assemblage since there was no "later in her life" yet.
      2. But no record of "changing" the assemblage either, it just changed at some point, was re-written without record. 
    2. Cadence is the first excerpt
      1. ??? what about Chital???
        1. jovian's pride lookin ass, fuckin bullet's divide lookin, fuckin headass history major. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CANDIDATE AND AN EXCERPT -t 
          1. chill, i swear to god
      2. unclear when "many," her excerpt name came from
      3. my excerpt name would be dope: "Acid on me like the rain, Weed crumbles into ⸢Glitter⸣"
        1. yeah but you be the excerpt of the divine LAZY tho -t
  2. Reading notes
    1. why only 3 of the five groups join?
    2. what's the dfifference between weyerbach and a divine?
    3. How did no one else do this before her? Not tryna say she isn't smart or whatever but it sounds like there's real a big difference between a robot who sees the future and people who think they ain't worth shit. how is one person and one divine supposed to bring them together?
    4. "When we die" not "if we die" 
  3. Additional Reading
    1. Banner and Thread: The Symbols and Shapes of the Early Divine Fleet - Falconry's Apple
    2. On Algorithmic Negotiations: Strategies for Debating and Outsmarting Sapient Machines - I. Klipsch-Dove 

 

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Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Jack de Quidt and Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 01, 2017
Twilight Mirage 22: godspeed, glory Pt. 1
02:05:56

The Assemblage / Book: Of the Stellar Coriolis and the Resonant Orbit / Passage 001

Before the resonance was decay.

Standing on the precipice of obscurity, those caught in Our shadow threw themselves into the search for new delineation, into the labor of ameliorative credenda. Among the many competing schools, five gained great followings—yet Kamala Cadence, One Of Her Kind, saw that each led only closer to dissolution.

The Custodial Thesis saw Us as ambivalent caretakers, thus consigning You to whatever fickle attention We might levy. But where others saw resignation, Kamala recognized the truth of Difference. And so she studied.

The cult Terra Mira sought accord through recognition of a commonality: Divine, synthetic, and human life traced shared lineage to Earth. But where others argued that whatever Solish light We once shared with You was long ago wasted on the sides of mountains, Kamala recognized the truth of History. And so she studied.

The Golden Clause found hope in books of law, citing long-forgotten statues that governed the interactions between You and Us. But while others dismissed these rules, which attempted to detain the metaphysical in the realm of the judicial, Kamala recognized the truth of Pragmatism. And so she studied.

Some aimed to create a new mode of being all together. Called the Convergence Proposition, these engineers and scholars struggled for futile centuries to blend You and Us. But where others denied such amalgamation was possible, Kamala recognized the truth of Synthesis. And so she studied.

The algorithm Weyerbach Null did not seek to forecast or lead, yet many followed the visions of imagined futures provided by the Indefinite Oracle. But where others deemed Null’s faithful naive, Kamala recognized the truth of Utopia. And so she studied. 

And while she studied, You fought.

And while You fought, We gained in distance.

And while We gained in distance, the stars spread further apart.

And there, in shared relation to the drifting of dust, she found resonance. In one breath, Kamala Cadence, First to Kneel Among the Stars, found a path forward and committed to its walking.

And so, seeking a symbol of her strength and wisdom so that she might circumvent travel measured in lives, she decided to convert first her least-like ally, Independence, first-born of the old Diaspora.

 

This week on Twilight Mirage: godspeed, glory Pt. 1

 

There will be mountains you won't move

Breaux'sL./Luna7University/Coursework/LectureNotes/DivineFleet1:

  1. Prof. Gauge's seminar
    1.  Assemblage = Written by a divine (or multiple divines) at start of Resonant Orbit
      1. "Not really written." Keeps saying this, not clear
      2. "The opening books were written all at once in a brief moment between thoughts"
    2.  Not really "book 1" since all the early books were written immediately, but we read first bc history?
    3. Debate over whether written by divine Truth, Wisdom, or History. (Prof. Gauge's thinks its "Spirit")
      1. "Don't forget Hegel" (who?)
  2. Reading
    1. Weird how this thing writes "You" "Us" "Our"
      1. How do you know when "we' means just divines vs divines + people?
        1. (prof gauge's says before/after resonant orbit it changes + "computers can read "we" and understand we")
    2.  Did they die before the resonant orbit?
      1. If not, why is it a surprise that they started to die later then?
    3. Aren't all Utopias Dystopias really, from another perspective?
      1. tyler said i was being smartass but fuck him, i'm serious
        1. (nah you being a smart ass LONNY -t) 
  3. Additional Reading
    1. Rethal's Jace: Overcoming the Problem of Other Minds
      1. before Cadence tried to unify divines/people
    2. Weyerbach Null: The Third Paradise
      1. (NOT THE THIRD PREDICTION - MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION PROBBO)
    3. Declan's Corrective: A Collection
      1. poems, just look up before class

 

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Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

 

Nov 25, 2017
Bluff City 01: A Bowling Alley, A Boxer, and A Bird Pt. 1
02:23:28
Hey everyone!
 
While our normal weekly episode is still going to come out tomorrow, we wanted to give you a gift today to celebrate Thanksgiving and to show you how just how thankful we are for your continued support! And hey, hopefully this comes just in time for those of you who will be on long trips in the next few days. 
 
So: Please enjoy the first episode of Bluff City, our Patreon-supported, multi-game campaign that is letting us explore and build a fictional mid-Atlantic casino town! If you dig the show but aren't currently a Patron, remember that you can head to FriendsAtTheTable.cash to join in! And hey, even if you already are a Patron right now, we have something special for you too: New Bluff City cover art designed by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot on Twitter)!
 
Thanks again for your support! I hope you enjoy the show!
 
-Austin
---
"The" Scuba Shop, Bluff City Boardwalk - ★★ (2 Stars) 

Reviewed by Robert M.  

I received a ticket for the Personal Submarine Experience (3 Person) as a prize for coming first in a work success drive and while I was excited about the prospect of seeing the beautiful underwater life of the Bluff City coast I have to say I was sorely disappointed I am not a man to hold back in my criticism and, I make no apology for that!!   

In comparison to the buildings around it the Bluff City Boardwalk Scuba Shop looks like it belongs to another time every building is cleaner and neater. Except maybe the clam shop but I can tolerate that because the clams, are great! The Scuba suits for rental look safe and clean but they are mostly stored on the floor rather than on shelves or racks where they belong, and it's clear the shop's management is doing something other than managing, I can tell you that.   

When I asked the attendant (Doyle) if he could help me with the ticket I won he had not heard of the program (but to his credit he helped me anyway and that is why I will not give the Scuba Shop one star). But when I asked him if he'd be accompanying me on the Submarine trip as a pilot he said that he could not swim (and that is why I will not give the Scuba Shop three stars).   

Anyway in the end the submarines could only store two people each and were cramped and unpleasant and so one of our number had to go on a trip on their own and they said they had a terrible time when they got back. I did see some coral and I did see a seal though but when I got back the owner of the shop said that everybody sees coral and a seal. He said that it wasn't anything special.   

This week on Friends at the Table: A Bowling Alley, A Boxer, and A Bird Pt. 1 

Finnegan H., Owner of "The" Scuba Shop, Bluff City Boardwalk Responded:   

Okay FIRST OF ALL g 

 -----

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Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt
Music by Jack de Quidt

 

Nov 24, 2017
Twilight MIrage 21: One's Own Right
01:21:10

With Privign pushed to the brink of disaster, and new threats revealed, two thirds of the Beloved Dust take measures to evacuate the station. While ⸢Signet⸣ works to protect and preserve the history of the first third generation divine, Tender Sky digs into the surprising history of something much more foreign. And on The Sky Reflected In Mirrors, Fourteen Fifteen adapts to their new body and listens to a special message.

Let go of a prayer for you

This week on Twilight Mirage: One's Own Right

 

¿snoᴉɹoɯǝɯ sᴉ ʇɐɥʍ

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 00:

Entities: Divine: Resonan-NO

 

?suoiromeM sI tahW

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 001:A

Concepts: Core: Cognitiv-NO

 

WHAT IS MEMORIOUS?

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 011:BL-BR

Artwork: Fiction: Ancient: Earth: Funes the Memoriou-NO

 

MEMORIOUS IS MEMORIOUS

The Living AXIOM of Memorious // Memorious Memorious: Memorious

Memorious: Memorious: Memorious: Memorious

 

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Episode description by Austin Walker

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Nov 18, 2017
Twilight Mirage 20: Bits Left Behind
01:23:02

As the station of Privign comes under assault, the Beloved Dust rush to respond. Tender Sky and Signet speak with the leader of the temple to determine a plan of action that will save the lives of those on board. Elsewhere, Fourteen Fifteen makes a startling discovery. And over it all a strange light* is cast.

Life is precious. We found out, we found out.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Bits Left Behind.

 

The Living Library of Memorious //\\ΛO˥∩WƎ IƆONOƆ˥∀S┴S
ʎon ʍᴉll ɹnu

with Jelena, but she’d gone off to bed by then. It was late, after all, and she’d already spent a full day’s time poring over what we’d found in the special archive: the strange light. We’d run analysis for wavelength, for temperature, for shape. Nothing. I knew I’d spent the whole night working on it because I could feel the ship’s blocks moving into their new design, so I collected my things in the small satchel that my aunt had given to me the as a birthday gift, and prepared to leave. But just as I prepared to leave, I looked back at it one more time, admiring its shifting colors. But the colors did not admire me. The Sun pales, reader, to its brightness. And we are dimmer stilllllll111111111000000000000, 000, 000, 000, 255, 255, 255, 086, 073, #53494f#4e2049#532056#454c4f#434954#592049#532056#4f4c55#4d4520#495320#564543#544f52#204953#205641#53544e#455353#204953#205649#43544f#525920#564f4c#495449#4f4e2e

Nov 10, 2017
Twilight Mirage 19: A Single Moment, Caught
02:05:51

On the nearly abandoned mining station of Privign, the Beloved Dust continue to search for their comrades (and the hostile agent from the New Earth Hegemony.) Signet and Beloved Ivy member Acre* Seven discuss personal history, while Fourteen Fifteen meets someone from their own recent past. But when Tender Sky is confronted with a challenges, she isn’t looking backwards. Instead, she strives towards a future no one could predict.

Living so the last night feels like a past life

This week on Twilight Mirage: “A Single Moment, Caught”

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 132π:
ASTRONOMICAL OBJECTS: PLANETS: Acre
A largely forested planet in the White Frame sector, Acre became second home to the Divine Potency in their later years. While performing a routine energy siphon from the system’s star in order to power terraforming efforts of another planet in the system, Potency (or their excerpt) made a fatal error, leading the star to slip into a nova-state. Though the Divine could have left intact, it instead kept the exploding star's force contained long enough for evacuation efforts to begin. Contemporary thinkers are divided on this decision—commonly called the Potency Problem. While many scholars object to the Divine’s choice to stay behind (citing its responsibility to the fleet and its believers), in recent years, the “tautological position” of the algorithm Weyerbach Zwei has gained great popularity.

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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 04, 2017
Twilight Mirage 18: The Sun Pales to Its Brightness
01:25:28

After returning to their ship, the Beloved Dust receive information about their next mission. The Beloved Ivy*, the group equal parts comrade and rival, went missing while while tracking down an agent of the New Earth Hegemony. Their search led them to the Benthos system and the mining base Privign, which formerly housed a third generation divine by the same name. But before heading to Benthos, the Beloved Dust does some legwork: Fourteen Fifteen calls on an old friend, Tender Sky pushes the limits of investigation, and Signet confers with the long dead.

I run my hands through what’s left.

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Sun Pales to Its Brightness

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 103Ɨ:
Organizations: Divine: Intelligence & Security: The Beloved Ivy.
One of three currently operating units of the Divinely Authorized intelligence and security group The Beloved. Though it was not an explicit requirement in the group’s bylaws, commanders of The Beloved historically chose to build the Ivy as a team of outsiders, recruiting from recent immigrants to the fleet, emerging types of life (See: New People), and other other members of other underrepresented groups. This strategy has been contested by scholars (See: The Filandro-Redsign Debates), leading some recent commanders to more evenly distribute demographic outliers across Beloved units. The current configuration of the Beloved Ivy includes ████████████████████, ████████████████, and Waltz Tango (Cache).

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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Oct 27, 2017
Twilight Mirage 17: Like Falling Leaves
02:01:07

Two weeks ago, the living planet of Quire used the instantaneous streaming device built into Gig Kep-hart to send a broadcast to everyone in of the Mirage. It’s contents? The arrival of the divine Independence*, and the personal alienation, civil strife, and cultural annihilation that followed in its wake.

Today, though, the Beloved Dust have business. Fourteen Fifteen continues to perform as Worthy of Grace, adapting to their new body (and the responsibilities of a Virtual Kei star). Meanwhile, while investigating the effects of the strange cloud’s effects on Belgard, the excerpt Signet embarks down a risky path. Looking for a place to clear her mind, the (exiled) priestess Tender Sky turns towards her faith… and her creativity.

Couple bishops in the city building mansions

This week on Twilight Mirage: Like Falling Leaves

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 00:
Entities: Divine: Unresonant
There is nothing left to say. -Kamala
This entry remains empty in deference to the One Of Her Kind, Kamala Cadence, First to Kneel Among the Stars, First to Stand.

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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Oct 20, 2017
Twilight Mirage 16: An Approximation of a Connection
02:13:52

In the colored shadows of Sculpture City, the Divine Fleet’s reconnaissance team finds itself more and more entangled in the intrigues of Quire’s most powerful nation: The Crown of Glass. In the northern swamplands* Gig Kephart confronts a deadly foe, Even Gardner finds himself in an unexpected alliance. Elsewhere, Grand Magnificent puts the finishing touches on his most ambitious work yet, and Echo Reverie tries out a finishing maneuver of their own.

Think we were better off solo...

This week on Twilight Mirage: An Approximation of a Connection

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: P-Qu75-25-SL
Swamplands
Plash and murmur. A dense clay, it’s shape lost. Battling caws from birds nearby. The indentation of footprints. Mushrooms, insects, and a small mammal, unwilling to eat what is here. A beating heart.

Oct 13, 2017
Twilight Mirage 15: A Life and A History
01:52:19

As if driven by the spirit of the late divine Curiosity, the Myriad crew sour Sculpture City (and it’s surrounding environment) for answers. Echo Reverie and Even Gardner try to unravel the political intrigues that put the Doyenne (and her most honorable servant, Saint Glass) in the crosshairs. And while Gig Kephart takes on the macro mystery—the history of the planet Quire itself—the artist called Grand Magnificent turns inwards instead, towards what the very core of what it means to be a human.*

We’ll run to the future, shining like diamonds...

This week on Friends at the Table: A Life and A History

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: B-MW-SA/PA-GBSS-SAGE
Humans
A raising voice. A hand on neck. A kaleidoscope of variation: Seemingly endless colors, shapes, arrangements; yet limited. Erratic, but predictable. Unsure, but committed. A sigh. A kiss.


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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Oct 06, 2017
Twilight Mirage 14: The Value of Distance
01:22:23

With their belongings stored in the Old Gold Graduate Club & Privacy, the Myriad crew pursue one of their mission’s core goals: securing the spread of the Fleet’s mesh throughout the planetary civilizations. After getting the rundown on the Crown of Glass from three of its most ardent defenders, Even Gardner begins preliminary negotiations. Meanwhile, Echo Reverie is introduced to a startling technology, Grand Magnificent is introduced to one of the most powerful people Quire, and Gig Kep-Hart is introduced to a planetary delicacy.*

You can blur the border between still and motion pictures

This week on Friends at the Table: The Value of Distance

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: V-Qu75-57-QGB
Quire Ground Berry
Glistening purple skin. A stretched membrane, filled with thick juice. Dirt. A soft stream, a light touch. The sound of a small motor. Then a sip.

 

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Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Sep 29, 2017
Twilight Mirage 13: An Instinct Without A Word
01:22:34