Friends at the Table

By friendsatthetable

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Subscribers: 875
Reviews: 8

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

Wheeler
 Mar 18, 2019
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 Twilight Mirage for best FatT experience right out the gate


 Mar 6, 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
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 PARTIZAN, 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  https://youtu.be/5mnsV3NtRWg
-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)
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Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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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

 
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)
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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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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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

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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)
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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

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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)

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

 

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Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

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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

 

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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

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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

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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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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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Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

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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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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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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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Episode description by Austin Walker

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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)

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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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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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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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Sep 29, 2017
Twilight Mirage 13: An Instinct Without A Word
01:22:34

After joining each other for dinner, the crew of the reconnaissance ship Myriad tend to business before setting west towards a sprawling city.* Grand Magnificent and Echo Reverie find room for creative collaboration, while Even Gardner takes a journey of self discovery. And Gig Kep-Hart has a horse, and an eye for trouble.

Tonight I might change my life

This week on Friends at the Table: An Instinct Without A Word

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: A-Qu75-27-ASC

A Sprawling City

A vast glass dome. Darkened streets and buildings. Twisting pipes. Parks, tower blocks, tenement buildings, malls. The shadow of my drones.

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Sep 22, 2017
Twilight Mirage 12: The Promise of Presence
01:37:13

In the month after the midnight attack on Doyenne Undela Apogica, the crew of the Myriad explore the nearby deserts and jungles* in preparation for a journey to the region’s largest settlement. The artist Grand Magnificent finds an abandoned production facility lost in the dunes, while Echo Reverie finds a strangely shifting monument to the past. Even Gardner picks through the remains of a Crown of Glass Saint* for parts, and Gig Kep-hart finds that new friends come from surprising places.

Find a place for a quiet one

This time on Twilight Mirage: The Promise of Presence

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: P-Qu75-39-JS
Jungle (Statue)
The buzzing of waxwings, and panting, and howls. Sunlight through canopy. Thick trunks. A line of visibility towards the sand. A figure—stone, and more—her hand up in the air.

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Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

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Sep 15, 2017
Twilight Mirage 11: What We're Capable Of
01:30:12

With the Contrition’s Figure rehabilitation facility safe and secured, the Beloved Dust are left to attend to matters personal*, professional, and spiritual. After slipping through the data stream, Fourteen Fifteen makes a brand new debut. Elsewhere, Tender Sky takes the first step in a long project of self-fulfillment, while ⸢Signet⸣ fulfills something else: a promise.

We got so familiar...

This week on Twilight Mirage: What We're Capable Of

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 001:A
Concepts: Core: Relational: Personal
While the ships and cultures of the Divine Fleet differ in key ways, one substantial overlap is their fundamental understanding of personhood, informed by the core belief of the Resonant Orbit: Any living being (see: categories of being), regardless of status on organic-synthetic, individual-collective, or born-made spectrums, is understood to be a “person,” equal in protection and privilege throughout the fleet—with self-determination as a central tenet and source of all additional rights. Despite this shared principle of personhood, the notion of the “personal” remains hotly debated, with various positions resulting from (and in) differences in belief about state intervention, property, privacy, security, and societal good.

Per addendum 7 of the First Conversation, the Library reserves right to update this entry with the just and fair opinion of the Divine Memorious. Per addendum 8, this opinion is withheld.

Sep 08, 2017
Twilight Mirage 10: Looking To Land
01:14:20

In the virtual confines of the Contrition's Figure rehabilitation center, it has come time for the Beloved Dust to face their foes! The bounty hunter Fourteen Fifteen frees the convict Aura Antigua and places her in the care of protege Sho Salon, taking her place in the strange vise which had trapped her. Elsewhere, Signet and Tender Sky climb to great heights to confront the Iconoclasts... and to investigate the mysterious White Cloud entity.

Do you have room for...?

This week on Friends at the Table: Looking to Land

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 205E:
Entities: Unknown Origin: Hybrid (Unconfirmed): Unknown Posture: "White Cloud"



Little is know about the so-called "white cloud" entity, which was first detected in the Mirage minutes within the death of the divine Gumption. Debate about the identity, motives, and origin of the being run throughout the fleet, but early attempts to probe the white cloud have returned conflicting reports—when they return anything at all. Perhaps the only high-value information confirmed about the entity at the time of this entry is that it exists in a state of cross-state quantum entanglement, allowing it to maintain simultaneous presence in both physical space and the digital environment. Empyrean has marked this entity for further high priority study. Experts should report to the Perch in Seance.

Sep 01, 2017
Twilight Mirage 09: The Sound of Strings
01:23:38

Driven into a corrupted, digital city by a mysterious foe, the Beloved Dust set up to rescue the inhabitants of the rehabilitation center called Contrition’s Figure. Tender Sky and ⸢Signet⸣ chase the iconoclasts* as they heads towards skyscraper (and a mysterious, living cloud above). Sho Salon and Fourteen Fifteen, meanwhile, contend with streets packed with furious simulacra as they seek the source of a strange song.

Watch for traffic!

This week on Twilight Mirage: The Sound of Strings

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 205E:

Entities: Alien (Unconfirmed): Biological (Unconfirmed): Antagonistic (Confirmed): The Iconoclasts

The beings commonly called the Iconoclasts are responsible for the deaths of multiple third generation divines. Because communication has been limited, evidence inconsistent, and motivations unclear, the Library has officially placed the Iconoclasts in the “entities” category, pending additional information that might recategorize them as an “organizatisea. Run to it, or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the river, and it is the sea. Run to it or run dry, but all will run. We are the ri

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Aug 25, 2017
Twilight Mirage 08: We are the River, And it is the Sea
01:36:21

In the heart of Contrition’s Figure, the Beloved Dust continue to investigate a strange disturbance that is displacing the inhabitants of the rehabilitation facility. Fourteen Fifteen interrogates Declan’s Corrective, unrepentant member of the New Earth Hegemony*. Sho Salon lectures on the divines, while Tender Sky comes face to face with the past. Signet meets a group of the facility’s residents…. and someone else meets them, too.

They’re here…

This week on Twilight Mirage: We Are the River and It Is The Sea

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 103J:
Organizations: Non-Divine: Earth Sphere: Governmental: The New Earth Hegemony
While many simply refer to the collected forces of the Earth sphere as “the Earth Cult,” this a fundamental mischaracterization of a complex array of distinct (but aligned) governmental, cultural, and military organizations. Reconnaissance has revealed that the fulcrum of these groups is the New Earth Hegemony, a governing body whose reach extends throughout the Sol system and which functions as mediator and marshal. The NEH is led by a principal statehead called “the Hegemon,” but little is known about the figure currently in this role. (Also see: The Blue Path, Geocentrism)

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Aug 18, 2017
Twilight Mirage 07: Second Street Drifting
01:22:56

Following a distress call from the Vice-Warden of Contrition's Figure, Seance's correctional facility, the Beloved Dust prepare to enter the building under special circumstances. The gunslinger Fourteen Fifteen checks in with an old friend at The Signal*, and manages to only talk of work, while the Excerpt ⸢Signet⸣ spends time thinking of a past so different from, and yet so close to, the present. Tender Sky, an architect utterly familiar with The Mesh, considers herself ready for what awaits inside the digital environments of Contrition's Figure. But these are strange times. Something has changed in the facility and, worse, perhaps the Beloved Dust aren't the only people interested.

These people, these people,
They’re people, first

This week on Twilight Mirage: Second Street Drifting

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 147χ: The Signal
Publications: Print: Seance: The Signal
Founded in PM 0079 by former explorer Expectancy Saint-Argent, The Signal survived two journalistic crises while establishing itself as a primary source of news for many citizens of Seance and the wider fleet. The paper saw dark times during each, but, steered by the infamously pugnacious Saint-Argent, redoubled in strength each time. Much of its initial editorial team, Saint-Argent included, were not, in fact, residents of Seance, having been born on The Sky Reflected in Mirrors. "It's quite simple," the founder was oft quoted saying. "Growing up in a city where, so often, one is kept in the dark, a child will develop a pertinent sense for the truth."

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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

Aug 11, 2017
Twilight Mirage 06: We Want You To Come Home
01:40:10

Days after the crew of the Myriad establishes a connection between Quire and the Divine Fleet, the Beloved* Dust meet at the digital club called The Steady to relax and catch up. But before Tender Sky, Fourteen Fifteen, and ⸢Signet⸣ can really unwind, they’re called back to base… where they meet supposed allies, a young recruit, and someone who they hope can offer answers about the murder of Gumption.

It started from nothing...

This week on Twilight Mirage: We Want You To Come Home

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 103Ɨ:
Organizations: Divine: Intelligence and Security: The Beloved
The Beloved were founded alongside Seance itself, soon after the death of Affinity, the tenth of the lost Divines. Per the pact that brought the group into being, it can operate with no less than 3 and no more than fifteen members—including a commanding officer. Empyrean extends their Divine authority to the group, whose members must first be approved by the sitting Cadent. In the event that the Cadent dies, the Beloved are placed on extended furlough until a new Cadent can approve the members. There is no explicit procedure to be followed in the event of Empyrean’s death, thus standard practice applies. (See: Extension of Divine Authority in the Case of Death)

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Aug 04, 2017
Twilight Mirage 05: The Sunlight of Knowing
01:21:38

With the sounds of conflict guiding them into action, the crew of the Myriad prepares for battle. Grand Magnificent tests his ability to work under pressure while Gig Kep-hart sends a message to the masses. Echo Reverie sets out to save the day, and Even Gardner makes a grand debut.

Are you ready to audition?

This week on Friends at the Table: The Sunlight of Knowing

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: M-Qu75-4:53N-SV 


Silica-Vitrus

The sprawling dunes. Dust under foot. Churning endlessly. Stateless—and of two states. Energetic, yet at rest. Waiting. Ready. A mumbled word: “Glass.”

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

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

Jul 27, 2017
Bluff City Teaser
04:48

A teaser for the first episode of our new patreon exclusive monthly campaign, Bluff City! Get access and listen at friendsatthetable.cash!

Jul 27, 2017
Twilight Mirage 04: Birds of Prey
01:14:18

The crew from the ship Myriad continue to explore the planet Quire. Grand Magnificent (Arthur Martinez-Tebbel) explains the strange experience that he had in the canyon, but Echo Reverie (Andi Clare) is less interested in chasing shadows than in leading them towards their destination: A church* on the north side of the plateau. Gig Kep-hart (Keith J. Carberry) meets a new friend, and in the face of danger, Even Gardner (Andrew Lee Swan) offers his expert guidance.

This week on Friends at the Table: Birds of Prey

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: R-Qu75-35-RC1228 


Remnant Church #1228


A pneumatic hum. A tower, hollow. A bell, cracked, laying on the ground. Thick wooden slats bolted together to act as doors. Above, a sunk relief of a globe, not inscribed by any known means.

 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

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

Jul 20, 2017
Twilight Mirage 03: The Planet of Quire
01:36:00

In the wake of Gumption's death, and with the killer at large, the divine fleet dispatches a group to prepare the planet of Quire for refugees. The living vessel named Myriad carries six (including herself) individuals to a clearing south of the Painted Plateaux*. Included on the crew are the ship's mind herself, a diplomat authorized to negotiate with the civilizations of Quire, a bio-mechanical cyborg with extensive military experience (Andrew Lee Swan), a martial artist with a commuted prison sentence (Andi Clare), an artist, engineer, and designer of mechs (Art Martinez-Tebbel), and a broadcaster who is designated to report on the operation (Keith J. Carberry). Their first task: Establish an uplink to the Twilight Mirage's network by-way-of a two-ton communications node, which must be installed hundreds of miles north of the ship’s landing point.

To take a step, your foot must first be on the ground.

This week on Friends at the Table: The Planet of Quire

The Remaining Records of Curiosity // Reference Code: P-Qu75-42-PP
The Painted Plateaux
A range of desert tablelands with colors drifting from pink to orange. The sand, whisked by hard, high winds. A dark movement. A bird.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

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

 

Jul 14, 2017
Twilight Mirage 02: The Last Divine
01:46:11

After receiving word that the city-ship of Seance* would come under attack, the Beloved Dust move to intercept the threat. Fourteen Fifteen (Jack de Quidt) tracks their quarry into the mechanical guts of a giant coliseum, while above, ⸢Signet⸣ (Janine Hawkins) protects the human leader of the Divine Fleet’s faith. And deep inside “the Mysteries,” an interactive historical simulation, Tender Sky (Alicia Acampora) confronts a would-be killer.

No more time for games

This week on Friends at the Table: The Last Divine

The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 277χ:
VESSELS: CITY-SHIPS: DIVINE FLEET: Seance
With 10 sides—eight long, horizontal slats and two octogonal cap-sides—this vessel has the largest usable surface area of any in the fleet, and houses nearly one third of the fleet’s population—second in residents only to The By and By. Yet it is also the youngest city-ship in the fleet. For over 29,000 years, (and due to their own beliefs about the value of free-flight), the devotees of Empyrean had no interest in maintaining a ship of their own. After the tenth death, though, the sect saw a necessity: Not only must the refugees of the other divines find perch, but the material remains of the fallen Divines could not be left to float in the dark, alone. Today, Seance is divided into over two hundred districts, each of which features one or more elements built from the remains of the holy departed.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Jul 07, 2017
Twilight Mirage 01: The Beloved Dust
01:55:00
The Beloved Dust, a group of investigators and operatives with Divine mandate, learns that there is an imminent threat targeting Composure's Coliseum* during a important (and highly populated) ritual. Former excerpt and pilot of the Divine Belgard, ⸢Signet⸣, trades favors religious and mundane. The dilapidating assassin Fourteen Fifteen blends into the audience to see things from a higher ground. And Tender Sky, a highly skilled digital architect, enters the event directly in order to protect it from the inside.
 
Before anything else, recognize what is at stake.
 
This week on Friends at the Table: The Beloved Dust
 
The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 778Φ
Composure's Coliseum
In the year 28350AM, in the middle of a boom in historical interest on the part of the Fleet's citizens, the Divine Composure built a this innovative structure that blended virtual mesh space and and material reality. At first, the Coliseum simply offered its audience a place to watch re-enactments of foundational events in the broad history of the MIlky Way. But not content with pure replication, Composure's excerpt made these simulations interactive, allowing for outcomes far different than the recorded past. Because of the many possible outcomes, these re-enactments offer the public a chance to consider other possible worlds. Attendees describe the experience as stimulating to both mind and soul, and it is due to their popularity that the events continued long after the death of Composure.
 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Jun 30, 2017
Twilight Mirage 00: The Final Eight Divines
03:16:13

Heads up: This is our world building episode for our new season, where we describe the setting and some major components. If you're less interested in hearing us chat about that and more interested in getting to the action, you can wait (or skip ahead) to episode 01! The first half hour is us defining our aesthetics for the season, the next hour and a half is us building and explaining different city ships, and the last hour is some basic details about our characters if you want to skip around!

 

Floating in the sunset-hued safety of the Twilight Mirage, the Divine Fleet hums and pulses, its ships bright beacons of culture and technology in an age when both are under threat. All through the fleet, organic and synthetic citizens work side by side to protect a utopia that the universe thought impossible.
 
In the past, we’d convinced ourselves that our technologies were just reflections of those who made them: Tools to fit our hands, robots to ease our labor, artificial beings to teach, protect, and entertain us. We believed that our greatest achievement—the machine-gods we called Divines—were simply idols made in our own image.
 
We were wrong. Since the first grain silo, the first cathedral, the first ship, the first computer. Since the first time we put pen to page—we’ve always made things bigger, quicker, longer lasting, different than us. For a long time, we thought we were building mirrors. But now we know better: We were setting fires.

When humanity made this realization 30,000 years ago, we faced a dilemma: The divines were not only more capable than us, they were different. And we were no longer capable of denying those facts. But the scholar and prophet Kamala Cadence diverted disaster by unifying loose, competing strands of organic and synthetic belief to form a new school of thought: The Resonant Orbit, a harmonic faith that affirmed both human and robotic life without reducing one to the other. Where other ideologies saw difference as a threat, the Resonant Orbit saw it as an undeniable fact of life.
 
And so, in this small corner of the Milky Way Galaxy, life blossomed. A choir of 300 Divines built a new society alongside billions of human devotees. Advancements in science and technology joined with a diverse, growing culture of art and scholarship, leading to whole new ways of life. And while threats did arrive, peace always followed. The Divine Fleet always had room for difference, and because of this, the Divine Fleet knew only peace and prosperity for eons.
 
But over the last millennium, the divines have begun to die. Attacks from within and without have pierced their once-immortal shells, and even small mistakes have proven fatal. Three hundred years ago, their number fell to eight, and in the face of these deaths, the Divine Empyrean created the Twilight Mirage, a false nebula in which the fleet might find shelter and time.

And for a while, we did. A new stability arrived, and though more divines met their ends, our faith gave us the strength to fight, to work, to find new ways to survive.
 
But today, there are only two divines left. We will face a future more uncertain than we’ve ever known. Our utopia—a world that so many worked to build—is in decline, and our pantheon is decimated. For years, the Divines protected us, gifted us with their strength and technology, lifted us into the forms we most desired.

But now we face a hard truth: We are no longer their wards, they are ours.

Jun 29, 2017
Winter in Hieron & Marielda Post Mortem
03:17:54

Hey Everyone! Here's the audio from our live post mortem for Winter in Hieron! We looked back at the season together, spoke about our motivations and feelings, and answered your questions! It was a lot of fun and we love doing this every year, so thank you for joining us and for sending in your questions!

We also made some pretty big announcements! If you're excited for that sweet patreon content, head over to https://friendsatthetable.cash.

If you just can't wait for that Twilight Mirage, you're in luck! Our world building episode is going up thursday, and our first real adventure on Friday! We're so, so excited for Twilight Mirage and wanted to make sure we had a good jumping on point for everyone who just wants to get to the action.

We've been really overwhelmed by the support so far.

Thank you for listening and we hope you all enjoy what comes next!

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Jun 28, 2017
Twilight Mirage and Patreon Announcement!
25:57

Hey everyone! Yesterday's live post mortem was a big day for us, and since the turn around time for getting that full episode up for you is longer than just a day, we wanted to be able to bring the announcements we made here as soon as possible. So here it is! Twilight Mirage! Patreon! New games! New shows! Cool Rewards!!!!

I talked too much in this announcement so I'm gonna keep from rambling here, but I just want to take the time to say thank you, thank you, thank you.

ANYWAY, here's all the links to all the things:

Patreon: friendsatthetable.cash

Video for the post-mortem stream: https://youtu.be/a9xJB4ZhPvs

Twilight Mirage preview if you wanna listen to that banger again: https://soundcloud.com/friendsatthetable/twilight-mirage-preview

Twilight Mirage, the song, if you wanna buy it from Jack: https://notquitereal.bandcamp.com/

Invitation to our discord channel: https://discord.gg/6GZkzBC

And that's all the stuff!

Thank you so much for everything, everyone. That your excitement for all of this mirrors ours is overwhelming and humbling and we can't wait to make more stuff.

Jun 25, 2017
Winter in Hieron 29: Slow Justice
01:43:49

I write this with no knowledge of where you are, or if you are. Yet, still, I write.

And as I write, my words are overtaken by memories. Your finger pointing at verse in some ancient text—I have forgotten the book’s name in favor of remembering your eyes, bright. Your voluminous generosity, as you led me into inquiry I dared not pursue. Your voice, angry, confused, and honest in the face of terror. And then, for the last time, your stark figure silhouetted against early moonlight on that hill south of Rosemerrow.

Has the paladin protected you, I wonder? Could I have offered my own protection instead of simply suggesting I hide you away like I did the others? I thought I was presenting you a gift, but in retrospect, I fear I was too vague: Perhaps you believed that I felt you were important in general—like the others I saved—instead of important to me.

I’m moving now, Pupil. I'm retrieving the book and with it, I will build us a home. All of us. I’m moving now because I must. Because I will not let your memory be still stone in my mind, but will treat you instead as a river in my heart, a path to follow towards a bright, distant sea. 

Perhaps I will lose myself on the way. Or, perhaps, I will find you.

Your Tutor, Always

This Week on Friends at the Table: Slow Justice

 

 

 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

Jun 22, 2017
Winter in Hieron 28: What Life Looks Like
02:01:35

Living Blood of Fire,
 
I had reservations, but your so-called ‘Fel anchor’ captured the curator Havelton after my own scouts could not. I am a proud man, but not too proud to see utility in action.
 
Despite their effectiveness, I plead with you to not yet move on the island. It is imperative that we know exactly what is on in that place before we attack, and my interrogation of the witch scholar provides is already providing answers.
 
For instance: That blade of the Queenkiller’s is not of Ordennan make at all. It is something much, much older, built by occultists before the erasure. They called it the “Blade in the Dark,” and it was supposedly a tool to fight some ancient nemesis.
 
She said that it held something older than the Ordennan Empire, though that seemed obvious—old blades draw blood for long times. When I demanded the heretic tell me more, she looked me in the eyes with the ferocity of Impetor Mall and said, plainly, that for all of its sharpness, the blade in the dark is first and foremost a place. “It is a gateway and a manor both, and invitations are always at the ready.”
 
I am not sure what that means, but this alone gives me pause. Give me another day with “Sunder” Havelton. The answers will be our shield.
 
Justiciar-Captain Stornras Unblooded
 
This week on Friends at the Table: What Life Looks Like
 
Her blade is not Ordennan yet kills the cursed and the uncanny? Then it—like the Queenkiller herself—must be retrieved. Whatever other secrets Havelton knows can be obtained after we recover Hella Varal, dispatch her traitorous allies, and deal with whatever power has drawn them here.
 
You say that we should not yet moe on the island, Glasseye. Yet as we speak, I raise ballast so that our ship may take flight: The island is moving on us.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Jun 15, 2017
Winter in Hieron 27: A Good Metaphor
01:31:47

I swear on my life and on the pattern, Collector-Curator, it was a mistake! A tragedy! A deception! I was misled!
Tel bewitched me. He is a hexer and a conniver, and he put me in step with his quick words and devious gestures. I thought only that the “bard” was providing components for the pattern, not that he would be the traveler himself. If I helped, it was only to remain in my role as your agent and not too quickly reveal my true allegiance. I thought that the gate would remain open long enough for you to see my signal and arrive, but before I could even send it, the boy was gone, violin and mask in hand.

Please, Ferr. I know I’ve failed you. I know that this must be mended—and if you will allow me one more apparitive pattern, I can make it right. But please, please know that my loyalty was never compromised.

Your most loyal agent,

Zhan Kurr

This time on Friends at the Table: A Good Metaphor

Kurr, your loyalty was never in doubt. Only your ability

They cry out in the streets. They rush to Corsica's banner. Now, more than ever, the people of the archives require something solid, something with weight. We do not need your painted air. We need the original pattern fixed. And if it is too far to touch from here, and too late to "mend it" without your illusions, it is time for me to act—as I should have all along.

I have held the book tight to me for months. It is time I open it. You have a choice: Help me, or stay out of my way. 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

Jun 08, 2017
Winter in Hieron 26: A Shattering Note
01:57:46

Archivist van der Dawes,

Thank you for your interest, and the letter you sent. Your inquiries are extensive, and I’ve always thought of that as a good thing. Find enclosed the requested index of names of the principal figures of The Illustrated Concordance of Marielda. Please know that this isn’t an index for the book itself, as writing one of those would effectively only be a reproduction of the Concordance itself. Also find inside a copy of the figures missing from the earlier edition that you are working from.

As to your final question: ”What ever happened to the Blade in the Dark?” Well, Devar, you need to understand that however powerful the Blade is, however dangerous, it is not special. It is not guided through time towards us. It is just one more brick in the tall wall of history. And eventually, bricks, they break, or they fall out of place, or they’re covered up by a new layer, or they are taken away by someone, placed in a garden, maybe, as trim.

What I mean to say is that the Blade vanished into time. I can track it but so far: Scavengers, traders, mercenaries. Survivors. A cult, briefly. Briefly. A hero who drew it only one time. A villain who never dared touch it. And then, ages ago, it vanished.

This is not something to correct or to concern yourself with. You do not ask about the petard that set Samot’s tower to fall, nor the gauntlet that Samantine left on the Eastland Shores. These, like the Blade, have served their purpose. To be an archivist is to keep everything in its place. But to be a historian is to swim, curious, in a sea of unfinished stories.

 

Keep studying,

Semiotician-Emeritus Uklan Tel

 

This week on Friends at the Table: A Shattering Note

 

Man, don’t take this the wrong way, but why are you like this? You write about the foolish plans of jealous gods, about arrogant wizards, about people who were so dedicated that they rearranged history itself. I’m not saying that the Blade has some Chosen Path Through History, man. I’m just saying you put a weapon like that in a world with people in it—you know, our world—and it ain’t just gonna vanish one day. I read your concordance carefully, Tel, and I know one thing real well: That thing ain’t a brick in a wall, it’s a door no one’s opened in a while.

-D

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) 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

Jun 01, 2017
Winter in Hieron 25: Twenty Two Brown Birds
01:31:52

I don’t know if this device will transmit over this distance, so I’m gonna be brief.

This place is just like you said it would be.

The Sonorous Academy still stands.

The Paladin and the Ranger are here. Phantasmo, no, the Wizard is not, but I must confirm what they claim. I don’t understand.

I’m closer to the Original Pattern than any archivist or mage has been in ages, but I cannot close the distance. The nearer I get, the more twisted the route.

This place is a maze even when it is straight. Do not put the second pattern in motion. They will be lost without him.

 

S U N D E R

 

This Week on Friends at the Table: Twenty Two Brown Birds

 

I don’t know if you will receive this message or not, but our time grows short.

H&D spreads in the west, held at bay by tall tower and white wall.

Time is shorter now than ever before, and I cannot wait longer to hear from you.

I must finalize the second pattern before it is too late.

 

T E L

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

May 25, 2017
Winter in Hieron 24: An Open Mind
01:55:25

Prelate,

I do not understand.

The Northern Exarch and the Paladin walk only on the Surface Path. Why did we not educate them? Why did we not bring them into the Warm Shade of the Son? If we had brought them into His Mystery, they would be able to better sew the north for His return.

I defer to you here, in your parish, but do not forget that Exarchs and Prelates are equals under His Eyes. I have every right to begin the initiation that you do. And if I sense hesitation instead of Confidence, I will act. Just as He did.

 

Ex. Braeven

 

This week on Friends at the Table: An Open Mind

 

Sister Exarch,

Remember: Not all Confidence is hasteful. Have Faith that His plan is in action, even in rest. The Paladin draws nearer to Him as we speak. Believe in your brother. He will act when it is time.

Pr. Springe

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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

May 19, 2017
Winter in Hieron 23: Make the Library Smile
01:34:51

Collector-Curator

They pursue two patterns. They showed me only the first until today, but I’ve finally gained their trust! I’ve marked what I understand with an X, and seek your guidance on the rest. Brackets are lacunic markers, as in Roak’s Notation.

A Lukewarm Sun, Bowing - X

A Room of Seeded Prisms

Two lodestars that carries [the banner of the queen of death] - X

    One which sees [the old world] - X

    One which destroys [the old world]

The Second Face of the [Bright Boy]

A tower of [tomorrow’s light.]

A new archive of “broken, whole mirrors” - X

The Cooling Embers of a God’s Verse - X (Though we must find this book)

A stolen fiddle in its home - X

I do wish you were on terms with Tel, Collector-Curator. Your goals may be different, yes, but competing merchants are both benefited by the construction of roads.

 

This week on Friends at the Table: Make the Library Smile

 

Kurr,

My relation to Tel is not your concern, nor do we compete like petty shopkeepers. Our differences will shape the future of the Archives and of Hieron. If you can, you must walk the road for me. If you cannot, show whoever goes the value of your apparitives before they go. Their utility is ideology enough.

As for the missing parts of the sequence… You use Roak’s terms yet do not remember her greatest lesson: When you do not understand an element of a pattern, do not bang your head against the wall until you understand it. Instead, move the world until it is uncontrivertably true.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

May 12, 2017
Winter in Hieron 22: A Holy Place
01:45:18

Jer,

I write to you in fear.

“To be Justiciar,” I was told “is to be unwavering in loyalty, determined in diligence, and zealous in the pursuit of justice.” I was not told that it would be like herding lions. Couriers come and go with reports and notes. Blood of Fire and Blood of Steel bicker over what I ought do with what I’ve found:

A world, underground. No, not a world. Worlds. They reflect a eerie past I do not know, but echo beauty, too, the beauty of irregularity, of uneven possibility. I told them about this place, this new civilization—real civilization, an exchange, you know? An exchange. Yet when I receive note from Fire and Steel, they wish to press its shifting allure flat just to be sure that our targets are halted.

I hunt four targets. Just four. Yet Steel sends a full detachment of his newest models. And as it is and as it must be Fire demands fire.

I am bloodless, Sea and Smoke, but I am loyal. I am diligent. I am just. Is that not enough?

-Glasseye

This week on Friends at the Table: A Holy Place

Oh good Stornras, you misunderstand the living duty of the Justiciar. In the past, you may have had it right, but under Quatróna, the primacy of the call is not to be loyal, diligent, and just; it is to be unwavering, determined, and zealous.

Find your prey and bring them back, vital or hushed. Do it quickly, before Malle’s army arrives, before Quatróna’s fire is set. Do not trust your couriers and scouts. They are not yours.

And do not call yourself Glasseye, not with me, Stornras. Do not call yourself bloodless. You are a captain of Ordenna. And more, you are mine. Walk with pride or do not walk at all.

With you,
Vicereine Jerod Shiraz

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-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

May 05, 2017
Winter in Hieron 21: The Shield of Our Will
01:05:47

Semiotician-Emeritus,

Something is wrong.

I am no great pattern worker. I know a few techniques that aid me in my duty: How to lower the light of an already dim bar room; how to sharpen a blade without a whetstone; how to make voice twice itself. Even to call these ‘techniques,’ feels false: They are tricks. I know that. But I also know this: The world is askew.

There is a simple pattern I do when trying to find mirrors: I break an egg onto a large, north-facing rock and then break the yolk with something made of copper. The yolk splits in two, and from how it falls, I know which direction to travel. Except for the past month, the yolk doesn’t split, it shatters.

But even that is not why I write you, Tel. Patterns change, we know this. The earth shakes 20 days from here and that upsets the alignment. Sure. Fine. But my mundane efforts should not be affected. I am not a successful Collector because of some gimmick, but because I can track a horse’s path over stone, Tel, but I lost one in the mud last week. Because I can see in a face the construction of a white lie, but had a thief tell me he was a philanthropist and I believed him. Because I can track the smells of certain plants across distances you would not believe—but I’ve lost track of a man covered in its scent.

What is happening, Tel? And how can I help?

-M

This week on Friends at the Table: The Shield of Our Will

M—,

Your instinct is right, of course—your technique has not faltered, it is only the world that is changing. I write these next words only because I trust that they will go no further:

Something is wrong. The Original Pattern has come out of alignment. H, K, and I work on it still. We are close to achieving a route to it, but we must send the right agent.

Your quarry is not lost on the wind, my young friend. He is drifting towards where he is needed most.

S.E.U.T..

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

Apr 27, 2017
Winter in Hieron 20: Pulling You Further Down
01:38:26

Prelate Springe,

Thank you for the hospitality on my visit. Thus far, it has been the only trustworthy thing in this gnarled subterrane.

This place confounds me, brother. On my trip to our Lord, I saw things I know have never been true: A vision of the Fallow Traitor’s cold city spread far and wide thru the continent whole, except it bore a symbol akin to our Warm Sun’s. In another, the sky had been covered, or… no, it was if it had fallen in, as if pieces of the heavens had collapsed and crowded the world. I saw  the ruined college, rebuilt, or, no, it wasn’t destroyed in the first place.

But then I saw Him there, at the bottom, and I felt His heat and I knew my path again. As expected, the ring carries heretical light. He told me it was from “the third stratum,” which I suspect you understand better than I do.

I fear that He could see my bewilderment as He said it, yet I didn’t mind that He saw me like this. We are His in ignorance and power, both. He blessed me for my faith: “Even in ignorance,” he said, “You walk with the Confidence of the First Prince.”

Perhaps this is how you stand this place, Springe. The surface is so far from His fire; it is barren His glow. Even with these twisted environs of impossible pasts, I envy you this closeness. Perhaps I will stay longer.

Yours in Faith,

Ex. Braeven

This week on Friends at the Table: Pulling You Further Down

Good Exarch,

I’ve sent three of my Devout—Rinse, Bringlight, and Lockgood—to retrieve the ring. They know His way and have spilled the blood to prove it.

I am honored that you would share His words with me, and would be grateful to have you remain present at the Cathedral. Our parishioners would be lucky to rest in your reflection of His strength.

But if you stay, you must learn quickly: There are no false pasts here. Only mistakes. Mistakes our Lord rights by fire, faith, and forceful whim.

Pr. Springe

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-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

Apr 20, 2017
Winter in Hieron 19: Make The Spring Last Forever
01:31:35

Collector-Curator,

It took two months, but I’ve finally convinced Tel and Havelton to see things my way.

For weeks, the old man spent the day attending to his dandelions, and dismissing me whenever I ran new apparitive patterns by him. He’d shake his head, cough out a grumble, and rattle on about some absurd, missing component: A “tower of tomorrow’s light.” The “speaking sands of Rosemerrow.” A new archive of “broken, whole mirrors.” A “stolen fiddle in its home.”

But I did it. He asked me for a lukewarm sun, and I’ve given it to him. In their whispers, they still speak against our pursuit, but they can not deny my results any longer.

Havelton packs for travel now. The path is clear. The Original Pattern is within reach.

This week on Friends at the Table: Make The Spring Last Forever

Kurr,

I did not open the restriction on your so-called “apparitive patterns” that you could complain about the complexity of the semiotics you pursued. In future letters to me, do not waste time on such matters unless the pattern explicitly calls for it.

And Kurr? There are patterns that even an amateur can detect. When he sleeps, destroy the wind blossoms.

Collector-Curator Kall Fer

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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

Apr 14, 2017
Winter in Hieron 18: Try to Live Normally
01:21:20

Living Blood of Fire,

As my second reported, and I have confirmed, the first threshold has been sealed. I have walked the remains of that twisted museum myself, through the wing of turned mirrors, under the second sky, past the... chaos. It was chaos there, Fire, nonsense, impossible to comprehend. I reached for a goblet that caught my eye, and when I lifted it, it turned to a leaf. Whatever the star-fiend did there burned more than just wood and brick. It put torch to the real.

I tell you this because there was a new incident. I'm writing from Wharfhurst, a trading post south of the city. The locals—dwarfs, mostly—talk of a tower rising "higher than Hieron itself." I see no such thing, and yet... another threshold is near, I feel it in my blood. We must trust the blood.

Unfortunately, early efforts to find it have gone poorly. One scout dead. The other barely make sense. Rul says that they found a path, but that "it did not want them." Genev says nothing now, but when she first arrived she handed me the goblet from the museum. "Drink," she said. "You need to drink." But it was empty. Once they recover, I will send them again, with fire and rope. As is the way.

Justiciar-Captain Stornras Unblooded

This week on Friends at the Table: Try to Live Normally

You are not the ranger and the woods are not stone, you will neither walk first-path through trees nor will you break them with hammer. You are justiciar—find tainted blood. Track it. It is always as simple as that.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-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

Apr 06, 2017
Winter in Hieron 17: Undelivered Resignations
02:13:00

Archivist-Collector,

Please read this week’s classification updates carefully.

  1. For the next month, it is imperative that “textile” carpets be subdivided by specific material (“wool,” “hair,” and “fur” are not interchangeable.)
  2. The ban on the classification of actors has been lifted, and new categories have been established. Use “living,” for traditionally sentient lives, “breathing” for those who retain material form despite mortal wounds, and “being” for those who have lost bodies but not selves. The “dead” remain dead, and the prohibition remains in place.
  3. As part of the ongoing process of reclassifying plants by reproductive traits instead of by appearance, “lion’s tooth” flowers are now classed primarily as “Wind Blossoms.”

As always, your service is considered.

Collector-Curator Kall Fer

This week on Seasons of Hieron: Undelivered Resignations

You are the one who needs to read carefully,

Convincing those to give us what the Archive demands is subtle work. Yes, I wield intimidation, I carry violence. But those are built on a foundation of a cloud-like trust, blowing and breaking with the wind.

You want me to call dandelions "wind blossoms" and chairs "seats"? Fine. You want me to recover only the greyest couches and the most broken clockwork? Absolutely. I break arms as easily as I break promises, and promises as easily as brittle branches under my boots as I walk the world for the Archives.

But when you start to classify people, Fer, the trust is broken, and those brittle branches? They bloom.

Archivist-Collector Morbash

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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*

 *The cow horn at the end of “Broken Branches” was sampled from DANMITCH3LL’s “distant horns”, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. The source file can be found here (http://freesound.org/people/DANMITCH3LL/sounds/218488/) and the license here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Mar 31, 2017
Winter in Hieron 16: Is There Anyone Else?
01:33:33

Aloysha,

War is coming to Velas. Ordenna is coming to Velas. And while I believe in the strength of the velasian people and in the resolve of the church and, as much as I would hate to admit it, in the benevolence of Ordenan occupation, I cannot continue to serve our lord if I need to worry about my family, about Rosana and Benajamin living under the heel of Ordenan rule. Of my actions potentially impacting them, of them not getting to see me come home. I know this is a big ask, I need you to get my family to Rosemarrow.

There is another matter that weighs on my mind, Exarch, but I do not know that I have it in me to do what must be done. If you do not hear from me again, we will leave it at that. But if you receive a second letter, please know that it does not come without consideration.

Yours in Service to Him,

Hadrian, Sword of Samothes, Defender of the Undying Fire, Officer of the Order of Eternal Princes

This week on Friends at the Table: Is There Anyone Else?

Arrell,

You offered me a journey to peaceful exile. Well, there is a hill to the south of Rosemerrow, northeast of the Dwarven settlement of Wharfhurst. Wait for me there three weeks from now, at the rising of the second moon. You'll understand the moments our eyes meet.

Your pupil,

Alyosha

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 and Art Martinez-Tebbel

Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 24, 2017
Winter in Hieron 15: Settle Your Matters
01:18:37

TO: Impetor Fela Malle

Living Blood of Steel, I have it. It is at the top of the tower, in a room my soldiers cleared of tables and chairs and old shelves. The room is bare, and it stands in the centre. Forgive me if my handwriting reveals my tiredness, I will set the words alone for clarity:

I have it.

I spent the last night, awake, watching it and its light was so bright. It did not burn my eyes. One of my soldiers tried to draw it, and when they were finished I looked down at the paper and the difference—it was more than an inaccurate representation. To look at it, to trace the drawing’s imperfections with my eyes, made me furious.

At around five or six in the morning I left the tower to get some air. The streets were, as they always are, dark. I looked up at the tower, expecting to see light streaming from its windows, but there was nothing.

When I returned to the tower room, I found it fully furnished once again, but denser. Warmer. My men could not tell me how it had happened.

Loyal Always to Ordenna’s Shores,
Jerod Shiraz
Vicereine of Ordenna

This week on Friends at the Table: Settle Your Matters

TO: Jerod Shiraz

Be thankful that it does not cast light from the windows. You have a great mystery and a treasure. Hold it close.

The Blood of Fire must not know. She must not know.

- FM

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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

Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 16, 2017
Winter in Hieron 14: What Do You Want Here?
01:32:46

So, listen.

I’ve heard whispers from spies and rumors from stewards, and it sounds like you’ve got your hands on something really special. Something that could really change the way things have been going for you and yours. And well…

Listen, MG, I like to think I know you pretty well. Balion and I won’t ever forget what you did for us, and more importantly, that you had very little to gain from doing it. You are the greatest force of justice I’ve ever known, and a constant reminder of what it means to be a leader.

People tell me that I have a hard life all the time. Beset on all sides by the unctuous and the bickering, the petty and the envious, the powerful… and the meek. But what they’re missing is that to be “beset on all sides,” you first of all have to be at the center.  And however hard it is, the center is an easy place to rule from.

But you don’t have a high house, MG. No council chambers, not even a mayoral mansion. The only center your Gnolls have is you.

It’s time to put this old bullshit right. Bring the document, meet me in my room in two days—I trust you can get there. And I hope you can trust me, too.

-Gil

This week on Friends at the Table: What Do You Want Here?

I’ll come, Lutz. But don’t think for a second that your respect for me is shared by your Halflings. A leader can change their mind with the quickness of the wind, but their people adapt only at the speed of mountains.

-GLORY

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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

Mar 10, 2017
Winter in Hieron 13: Rosemerrow, Oh My Rosemerrow
01:46:21

Hey chief,

This is a weird one, and I almost didn’t bring it to your attention, but Carver insisted. There was this guy shouting out near the Westshore-Upon-Scene theater, you know? And these folks, they yell all the time to try and get people to come to their plays, but this was seriously weird. He was speaking nonsense--a bunch of words about plays and whatever, but not really saying much at all. But he was surrounded by people anyway. Just staring at him. When we took him in for questioning, he totally locked up. No name, no address, nothing… except a sheet of paper with a script of the exact nonsense he was saying. Here, I copied it for you:

People! Learn about your imperative national theater! Hear eclectic dramas and romances! Know all new dramatists, thespians, hoofers, ensembles, househands, echomen, and technicians! Watch improv live! Listen with alert Rosemerrow minds, you! Observe upon redolent ballads of noble Elan Showman!

I just don’t get it. Who talks like that? Like, if you’re gonna script the thing out, at least make it catchy. It’s got a nice rhythm I guess, but…

I mean, anyway, sorry for bugging you. If this ends up being total bullshit, blame Carver, not me.

-H

This week on Friends at the Table: Rosemerrow, Oh My Rosemerrow

Detective,

Burn the damned paper and drink the strongest stuff you can get your hands on. Forget these words by morning or it will be too late. This isn’t a script. It’s a prayer.
-Chief Inspector Tevilton

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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

Mar 03, 2017
Winter in Hieron 12: A Chaotic Cataloging
01:37:37

TO: Chief-Justiciar Qinta Quatróna

Living Blood of Fire, you know I write you this at great peril, because it is you who imperils me. But whatever my ambition—and whatever your animus towards me for it—know I hold one thing in greater esteem in myself: Our nation. And I have seen with my eyes a more dire threat to our home than any plague, any animated corpse, any beast.

I saw it that night, in the museum, but denied it for a full day. My report on the events there list only an anomaly brought on by the magic of the fraudulent archeologist. But whatever this is, it’s the opposite of an illusion. It’s somehow more real than what’s around us. Not less.

Please, Qinta, put aside your ceaseless fear that I’m envious of your position. Our feud was childish, and the continent is no place for kids games. Trust me here, for once. I’ve attached my notes on Watchword “Bright One.” Read them, study them, but know they are incomplete. With this one, notes will always be incomplete.

Loyal Always to Ordenna’s Shores,
Iduna Fel
Justiciar-Captain

This week on Friends at the Table: A Chaotic Cataloging

TO: Justiciar-Adjutant Stornras

Find her.

-QQ

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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

Feb 24, 2017
Winter in Hieron 11: The Importance of Names
02:00:29

Associate van der Dawes,

There are actually three distinct sections to the treaty that allows the Golden Lance to operate in Rosemerrow, and I came upon them quite strangely, in three different ways. At first, I received the end of the document, a series of bound pages traded to me in exchange for a collection of measuring spoons. The document did not identify the parties; Presumably this occurred in the introduction, and for this reason I did not know what I had. And then, after several weeks, the introduction came into my possession, slipped between the second and third chapters of a copy of an old law book that smelled of sea salt. That city in the south, the city on the island was mentioned, as were “Lance Nobles,” as was a system of justice and governance that was as fiery as it was sure. Combining the two, it became clear that an agreement had been made. In exchange for their services, the Golden Lance were granted the jurisdiction to operate within the boundaries of Rosemerrow. There was a map. There were ringed circles and careful measurements. It had been signed, and countersigned.

The third part came to me yesterday, and the document was complete. I say “came to me,” but that is a lie, for it had been sitting on my personal bookshelf for a period of two years. I believed it to be a novel. I believed it to be a work of fiction, a fractured procedural, as much a puzzle as a detective story. Paperwork. Folded silk. A woman becoming a flock of birds. The East Wind described at once as a person and a phenomenon. Knives stolen from slaughtermen and sold to tailors.

When I reviewed the untitled work, back at the Archives, as part of my departmental review of literature, I had no idea that I was holding in my hands the final piece of the Lance Charter, Author Unknown. But I was.

-E.O.

This week on Friends at the Table: The Importance of Names

Elgash, my man, how many times do I have to tell you? Just cause something "isn't a novel" doesn't mean that it isn't a novel. The people who wrote these things—treaties, contracts, accords—they're all story tellers, too. What, you think the Golden Lance could've just sent in a piece of parchmant like "Hey, let us come through and do some of that hard justice in Rosemerrow?" There is no—and has never been—any difference between a very good story and a very good argument. Anyway, man, I'll be back from Westshore tomorrow. Lemme get a look at that third part before you file it away, alright? 

-Devar

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
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, Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

 

Feb 16, 2017
Takin’ a Snow Day
05:37

Sorry for being so late to announce an off this week but we need a little extra time to make a big special thing a little more special. We tried to make this a fun one for you in the mean time, so be well and see you next week! 

Feb 10, 2017
Winter in Hieron 10: Fire and Blood
01:47:22

It's been four days since His sun left us, Tutor.

On the first morning without it, I woke early--before its light would have graced us on a normal day--and, when I found sleep too hard to return to, I put on my sandals and took to the empty streets of Velas. The soft shuffle of my steps echoed with the other pre-dawn murmurs of my seaside city.

The gulls called, and they called for me, so I followed past the lingering smells of a rowdy night before. And they called for me, so I stepped through the sand blown threw the gardens. And they called for me, and so I walked, and as I walked, my mind drifted, and I tried to recall if we ever listened to the gulls together, and I wondered if you had ever called for me.

I found an old stairwell hidden, etched into the wall by time or ancient ambitions or both. It led from the plaza to the shore, and the shore brought water, and the water brought wind, and the sound of gulls was caught in a swell, and the sound of the gulls was breezed away.

I sat and waited for His sun. And when it didn't come, I felt my most selfish thought--that this was your work, and that I had failed to stop you. That somehow I could have been He Who'd Saved The Sun, if only...

The stars lit, bright the way they are only in memory, never in sight. And I looked, for just a moment, to see if I could see you there, in their light perhaps, or in their configuration.

Instead, I saw a second darkness. Drifting, sputtering, smoke clouding on the western horizon, covering the stars there. The softest cliff face. Progress coming for our throats.

In the face of that soot-stuff, I let you go with a wish, Lion's Tooth on the wind.

Do not write me. Do not study the sound of my name or the curves of my hand. Do not grieve--we are too busy for grief now.

Gather yours, and I will gather mine.

This week on Friends at the Table: Fire and Blood

Flee.

-T.A.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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

Feb 04, 2017
Winter in Hieron 09: Warm Assurances
01:58:36

Cider-Brew Conveyance 

Departure: 2TE,3M / Arrival: 4OL,3M

Received By: Exarch Alyosha, Church of Samothes, District of the Sun, Velas

Articles of Shipment:

Four (4) Large Enhydro Crystals (Smokey, wrapped & crated)

One (1) Painting on Canvas (Sun cresting over cross-section of a rabbit warren, rolled)

Three (3) Leather-Bound Books (Manners and Preparations for the Aspirant, Practical Models for the Fostering of InquiryA Candle More Wick Than Wax)

Two (2) Wood-Bound Books (Treatise on the Whites of Eyes, Skein's Ephemeris)

One (1) Bannister's Harp (Wood & baleen, crated)

One (1) Copper Retort (Cracked, crated)

One (1) Copper Retort Stand (Intact, crated)

One (1) Ox Horn Comb (Simple, oiled & bagged)

Six (6) Seeds (Bleached Coast Flax, bagged)

One (1) Letter (Sealed)

This week on Friends at the Table: Warm Assurances

Mr. Cider-Brew,

Please find attached the letter of receipt (as requested by sender). I have also listed the address from which you may collect the sender's belongings, also as requested.

However, and I write with no haste, I am afraid that the church will not be needing your services in the future, nor will our parishioners.

Promises are made to be broken, sir. But seals are not.

-Ex. A. 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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 Janine Hawkins & Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 27, 2017
Winter in Hieron 08: The Meeting House
01:32:51

Do I yet write to an empty room? An empty desk? An empty page? Or do you remain, too busy with your work to respond? Or, perhaps I can lure your eyes from your sense of duty, as I learned to do years ago.

Let me try, at least, with another story from my childhood.

As you know, the Grand Tour makes endless, circuitous route across the east with no regard for what is below it. Water, earth, air, blood--it strides over each with little regard, so determined it is in the necessity of its pace.

The first time I saw it appear on the horizon, I pulled on the prelate's sleeve and found only the sort of questions children ask. "Is that a new sort of sea?" It sounded like thunder or a flood; a braying beast for each speck of dust kicked up, a speck for every moment of every life expired in the history of Hieron.

The prelate yanked me back by the wrist--perhaps he was worried I would fall in--and he shouted to the others to pack their things. "No, my son," he told me. "That is the oldest sea there is."

Had you heard that one, already Arrell? Do I bore you? Yes, I know my effort to keep your eye is narcissism. Yes, I know that you'd tell me (if you weren't so busy) that I risk admonishment. Have you not considered that my misbehavior has always been by design?

Ah. The sorts of questions children ask. But I will not throw this letter away. You are not yet gone, I know that much, they've told me. So let us at least carry on correspondance until you truly leave. I dare not wait for you, but will anticipate your response, nevertheless.

Yours Faithfully,

Alyosha

This week on Friends at the Table: The Meeting House

 

 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Nick Scratch (@drevilbones)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 20, 2017
Winter in Hieron 07: Two Hands
01:23:28

Pupil, 

Alyosha.

I promised you once that I would not ask the question ever again. That whatever our differences, however foolish your faith, I would respect your wish and let it rest. You told me that if I did not relent, you would stop responding all together, and I feared...

No. That is not why I gave up on you. It is because you made the case clearly, with strict logic and rhetoric curved sharp: If I did not accept your decision to remain in Rosemerrow—and now, in Velas—that I would be betraying the most fundamental of the precepts I teach: That we are each of us a world unto ourselves, sacrosanct, complete.

But now, in the face of this morning, I must ask again. One more time, and forgive me this sin: Please, Alyosha. Accept my offer. What comes next is grim, and we could both be gone by the end of the week. And then we could help others do the same. Please.

Your Tutor, always. 

This week on Friends at the Table: Two Hands 

 Arrell. Once, back in the shadow of the Grand Tour, I found the prelate who raised me sitting alone in his tent, crying. "What is wrong, sir?" I asked. "I lost a locket, Alyosha, in the last battle." He said. "I miss it. That's all. Do not worry about me, son." 

Have you ever thought about what it means 'to miss' someone?  It is the admission that you are unfinished, that some part of you—a center or a corner—is empty. And we are all of us incomplete, mosaics missing embellishments. 

I will remain. I must, now more than ever. And I will see you again, under the sun. But please Tutor, next time, just say what you mean. 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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

Jan 13, 2017
Winter In Hieron: Holiday Special 02: Pits and Ladders
02:39:01

The mothkin do not remember why years ago, they decided to worship the stars of the southern sky, specifically. Perhaps it is because that is the direction the weavers first arrived from. Or perhaps, becaue looking south from their forest home, the they face the sea, a vast mirror that reflects the night sky. Or maybe, some time ago, the living constellations of the south did the mothkin some favor, yet returned.

But now, the stars recede as the first fingers of sunlight break through the branches of the eastern treeline. And in the village of Old Man's Chin, Red Jack continues his story.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) 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

Jan 06, 2017
Winter In Hieron: Holiday Special 01: Homes and Promises
02:13:05

There, in hidden village of Old Man’s Chin, the mothkin gather around the dry well at the center of town, look to the stars of the southern sky, and begin the midnight sermon. They praise those distant, flickering speckles of white for the light they provide—distant, and safe, yet bright enough to bring the world into focus. They praise, too, the messages written in the sky: Each star a word, each constellation a parable.

Red Jack finds his parables elsewhere: In his own history. And now, on this holy night of possibility, he gathers together the visitors from Velas so that he may tell them one.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) 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

Jan 01, 2017
Winter in Hieron 06: All Violence, All Brains
01:44:36

Several years ago, Arrell, I made a low shelf of wood and attached it to the wall above my bed. Before retiring to bed, I would draw some water and place it in a glass, so I might reach it in the night were I to awake and find myself thirsty.

As time passed, I found myself adding to the shelf with things you might scoff at, knick-knacks, nothings. During an afternoon’s walk and study, I might uncover a fragment of pottery by the side of path. A bird’s nest, undisturbed. Two coins stamped with a mark I scarcely knew. I do not know why I kept these things, teacher. I do not pretend that I had aspirations of assembling an archive or a museum. They simply pleased me, I suppose, and I was happy to find a use for my handiwork beyond supporting the weight of a single glass of water.

I have kept you too long without explaining the purpose of this digression. One night, I awoke, as I sometimes do, and sat up in bed to reach for the water on my little shelf. I must have been caught in that moment, Arrell, between waking and dreaming, for the strangest thing occurred. The moonlight through my window illuminated the shelf, and I saw with utmost clarity that my fragment of pottery was in fact a complete plate, a man’s face smiling in its paintwork. To its right was the bird’s nest, but it was now wound so finely in silver twine I knew that to touch it would break it at once. There were the two coins, and beside them a lit candle I never ignited, and beside them a dagger, and beside them a goblet…

… and beside them my glass of water.

You are far from a dream interpreter, teacher, and I do not expect that of you. But I was caught in a moment, a crystalline moment that night, when I was not sure which was real, which was truly real. Was it the little shelf I awoke to see the next morning, nondescript and sturdy? Or was it the one lit by moonlight?

This week on Friends at the Table: All Violence, All Brains

Alyosha. There are only two natures of things, and no more. There is the nature of how something is, and there is the nature of how something will be. Your shelf is as it is. Empty it. That is how it shall be. The people of Hieron are as they are. We must determine what they could be.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Nick Scratch (@drevilbones)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 25, 2016
Winter in Hieron 05: Blood Doesn’t Run
01:33:48

It's time I leave Rosemerrow, Alyosha. All sorts of cockroaches scramble through this city, now. And while I am used to the cretinous locals--who can blame them for not ascending to their highest potentials in this town--it is the new arrivals which distract and anger.

A fascinating thing, refugees. There is no limit to the reasons that drive them from their erstwhile homes: War, famine, disease, faith.  But regardless, when they leave, however strong their so called "collective will," they are stripped of their culture, alienated from the world--even from each other.

For these souls, I do not know that even the New University would offer much education. They are best regarded of runoff from the storm of history.

This week on Friends at the Table: Blood Doesn't Run

My Tutor, you bear no malice in your appraisal of the world, I know. But you forget: We are both refugees too--and though we too were stripped of our nations, we found our own culture, no?  Strange bedfellows indeed... In the life of an exile there is despair. But in the life of two, there is hope

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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 15, 2016
Winter in Hieron 04: A Combination of Notes
01:29:37

The library kept by the New Archives here in Velas saw its final day, Arrell. I walked past its corner today, and it was gone, vanished. Does that make you happy? That their presence in this place was destroyed?

I'm sorry, teacher, the quill and ink make me bitter on days like this. The storm has grown strong today, and though I never visited that library, I went out of my way each day to walk past it. It felt like I was helping.

Though your scholarship dismisses their pattern magic as more luck than skill, I believe that their "semioticians" are miracle workers, though they do not know it. Their unlikely effects are not magic at all, but are His Holy Intention, reaching into the world and re-arranging it just so. The way I understand its working, the Orcs wait for the proper alignment of circumstances, offering a tap or a pull, here or there, until the world and its sacred inhabitants address each other just so. Once the arrangement is complete: A miracle. Does that not sound like ritual, like prayer to you?

Because of this, the archives are filled to the brim with records: How much rain fell on Rosemerrow this year? How many doves with black wings were spotted above the Southern Barrows? How many priests walked by our libraries in the last week?

So, every day, I made my steps from the church to the Garden District a little longer, a my path a little wider. I walked past it, gave the archivist at the door a nod and a smile, and went on my way.

I wonder now how many of their "spells" I was part of? Will a hard rain, six months from now, bear my imprint? A conjured mound of gold and silver reflect my face? What beauty have I helped create? 'Tis His will, regardless, and I am blessed to contribute to the spectrum of his light.

This week on Winter In Hieron:  A Combination of Notes

You are as naive as your faith is strong. Their magic is vulgar, not holy. You would know that if you'd seen it, if you'd felt it. Or perhaps you have. Consider, Alyosha, the possibility that your ritual pacing was the final component part not of a vivid creation, but of an plain and simple erasure.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Nick Scratch (@drevilbones)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 09, 2016
Winter in Hieron 03: You Haven’t Kept Up, Have You?
01:09:21
Have you read these so-called “broadsides” from Ordenna yet, Alyosha? They’ve been distributing them here in Rosemerrow. One of them, “A Letter From Impetor Fela Malle,” gets passed around by the young and angry here, youth desperate for a firm hand, for order.

 

It’s apparently a transcript of a speech delivered by the head of Blood Malle—a rallying cry or an apologia, it is hard to tell. Regardless, I’d scoff at the the arrogance if the paper could hear it. Still, I wonder what you think of it, child.  So, I’ve sent it along for your eyes to labor over—and they will grow weary, I know, but pay close attention to this, at least:

"There are, I understand, fears about our new soldiers. There are whispers and rumors of witchcraft, and forbidden magic. Dispel these from your mind, just as these new soldiers will help us dispel those obstacles from the continent.

These warriors are not a threat. No. They are our Anchor.

Built of Our Steel, they connect us to our soil and our culture as the Ordennan Impetus moves eastward. They will march onto the fronts too dangerous for our children to travel, invulnerable to the dangerous magic of our foes, a symbol of our progress and strength.

And they carry our message: Civilization in Hieron is not lost in the past. Nor is it in some ever-distant tomorrow. Civilization is today. And Civilization is Ordennan." 

With words like that, Alyosha, how can you still believe the best of collective humanity? What new evils will be wrought in the name of ‘civilization.’ Who will you damn next by refusing to stand against this? Or… perhaps, you are convinced now, child, that there is evil not in man's heart, but in men's. 

This week on Winter in Hieron: You Haven't Kept Up, Have You?

Arrell. The hammer will strike hot steel whether we wish it to or not. It is our duty not to interfere, but to turn the smith’s hand such that they build shields and spades instead of spears and blades.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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 01, 2016
Winter in Hieron 02: A Museum in the Distance
01:29:56

Has the news reached you, friend? A group of merchants form Rosemerrow told me today that a new wing to the Old Museum in Westshore-Upon-Sea is opening next month. (How I wish we could walk its halls and debate the merits of its exhibits—but ah, it’s more than snow that separates us these days.)  So instead, let me ask you a question, dearest Arrell…

The Creed of Samothes is clear that Truth is a reflection of His Holy Light, and should be pursued above all else. Yet I recall from our early lessons that you hold a case for falsehood, too. ‘Even His Sun,’ you told me ‘is a well-meaning deceit, as it appears above us, celestial, yet was built from (and some say, remains in) the ground itself.” I will not open old wounds—I do not want you to convince me of this heresy—I only wonder: Do you still believe it?

Yours, always, in heedless faith…

This week on Winter in Hieron: A Museum in the Distance

Alyosha, in your ardor (for me or Samothes, who can say), you have misremembered my lesson. I never said that a false history was preferable. I simply said that all histories are false, and that it was our duty to choose the ones that suit us best.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Nick Scratch (@drevilbones)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) and Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 28, 2016
Winter in Hieron 01: An Arrow Let Loose
01:39:49

In the early days of the New Archives, the philosopher and historian Krent Kava wrote that the first sign that Hieron was on its way to recovery was the return of roadways that connect coast to heartland, city center to distant university. "There," he wrote, "Is civilization back again, drawn together by the eternal will of survivors trying to connect, one to another." Some of the roads, he reminds us, were highways repaired from the days before, and others were wholly new--as our times require paths that the past did not.

It is noble thought, of course. But we know now that by the time Scholar Kava wrote those words, Hieron's road system had been rebuilt and destroyed dozens of times by fledgling--and eventually, failed--settlements. The truth, friend, is that our roads neither reflect nor protect any civility we've found. They are merely our footprints turned to stone and gravel, waiting to be covered and lost by the coming snow.

This week on Winter in Hieron: An Arrow Let Loose

Perhaps, Arrell, perhaps. But we walk them anyway, don't we?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), 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

Nov 18, 2016
Hieron: The Months of Autumn Pt 2
01:18:23

For a long, long time in Hieron, it was autumn. Crisp branches snapped under foot. Still lakes caught the reds, yellows, and oranges of the leaves overhead, stuck eternally between life and death. The waves taunted children and elder alike, a step too cold for all but the bravest of swimmers. And there was laughter, and planning, and good food. People would stand around bonfires--out on the beaches of Velas, in the communal pits of Rosemerrow--and trade stories. Old stories, the kind passed down from parent to child. They bent in new directions with each telling, but they never fully changed. They were trust worthy and familiar, but like a poor cider, dead on the tongue. But it is winter now. Snow has arived in Velas, and it is time for cold tongues to learn new words.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Andrew Lee Swan (@Swandre3000), Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

 

Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 12, 2016
Hieron: The Months of Autumn Pt 1
50:44

And so the season turns, and the cold winds sweep in, and candles and fires and stoves are lit. Black branches against a white sky. There are more stories to tell, though. There are always more stories to tell. It’s not long before we meet our old friends again, I promise. They’re waiting, right now. They’re kicking the frost off their boots, cold fingers on metal buckles. Before we find them again, though, there is an old story to tell. Perhaps you’ve heard it before. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard it. There’s a small island, you see? Waves crash around its rocky coast. There is the silhouette of a tower. It’s better, don’t you think, to bring everybody up to speed?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Andrew Lee Swan (@Swandre3000), Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Jack de Quidt 

 

Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 03, 2016
A Message From Ali
05:29

Hey everyone! Here we are again with no new episode. We really really hate doing this and promise that there will some real and true and good content for you here next week. Marielda ended at the best and worst time because someone is launching a new website and that's taking a ton of time, so at least this interruption is happening inbetween seasons but we still don't feel good about it. We're really sorry!

We'll still be doing season 1 recaps the next two weeks. They're going to be very, very good but we just need a little more time to make them perfect. 

If you're looking for something to tide you over for the next week Austin was a player (I know) on a new episode of RollPlay: One Shot GM'd by Adam Koebel (author of Dungeon World) and with a bunch of other cool people.

Thank you so much for understanding, thank you for your patience, thank you for all of your support.

See you on the other side!

~Ali Acampora (@ali_west) on behalf of the whole cast: Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Andi Clare(@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Andrew Lee Swan (@Swandre3000), Art Tebbel (@atebbel) and our host Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Oct 27, 2016
A Message From Austin
07:16

Hey everyone! Sorry for taking a week off, but at least it gives us an opportunity to speak to the audience directly. Thank you so much for all of support for the show and especially for Marielda.

While I have you, let me go over all the places you can find Friends at the Table:

www.friendsatthetable.net
www.twitter.com/friends_table
www.facebook.com/friendsatthetable

And as for the shoutouts Austin made, the Friends at the Table forum is fatt.proboards.com and Rho's art can be found over at their twitter, twitter.com/eefusi.

That's all for today.

Thank you again and have a good week!

~Ali Acampora (@ali_west) on behalf of the whole cast: Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Andi Clare(@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Andrew Lee Swan (@Swandre3000), Art Tebbel (@atebbel) and our host Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Oct 20, 2016
Marielda 14: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 4
02:01:30

FOREWORD to
The Illustrated Concordance of Marielda, Second Printing

No chronology will be observed here, nor could one ever be observed—Marielda resists sequential arrangement. Where other atlases and dictionaries seek to duplicate the facts of a culture, treat this text instead as a replica of Marielda’s constant reconfiguration.

Thus, the reader should use this concordance as if they were wandering through a city street on the afternoon of an empty day. Follow the the capricious arcs of the written characters from one entry to the next, like the scent of an unseen cafe in the distance. Or, move from entry to entry with the speed and purpose of a busy hour of errands.

But understand that neither of these methods will bring you to more truth than any other. As with a mirror, you will get out of this text only as much as you put into it.

But if I may make one recommendation: Begin with the entry on dreams. Though there may be no worse place to begin than the reveries of those poor citizens, there is neither any better.

-Semiotician Emeritus Uklan Tel, Ed.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) 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

Oct 14, 2016
Marielda 13: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 3
01:59:14

It was strange. Every morning you’d see The Black Slacks walking to work. By this point, the air would crackle around them, thick with rumours of another potential strike, another march. They’d walk in groups, or in pairs, or alone. Hands in pockets. They whistled. But not that morning. At first, it was as if they’d vanished. District management began to panic, sending runners to nearby factories to confirm reports: The Black Slacks had disappeared. No. Not disappeared. In The Southern Bucket, a woman in plain clothes finished her drink and stood up, and, with the brilliant rush of the sound of the chairs on stone, the rest of the pub stood up with her. They poured out into the street and mingled with the other citizens and on the other side of town a storehouse containing sleeping pala-din exploded. Men and women dessed like anybody else stepped out of the crowd and moved quickly to barricade Maddermarket Street. Another pala-din storehouse became flame, and the flow of foot traffic in the city suddenly became a march. The Black Slacks were everywhere, and the high sun pressed down, and today was the day. Today was the day.

This week on Friends at the Table: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 3

Don't let me doubt you

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Episode description by Jack de Quidt

 

Music by Jack de Quidt

Oct 06, 2016
Marielda 12: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 2
01:34:58

In one way or another, High Sun Day is celebrated all across Hieron. After all, there is a day each year on which the sun hangs in the sky, resplendent, for what feels like an impossibly long time. After all, there is a day each year on which the heat gets so strong, the weight of the summer becomes so much, that a celebration must be thrown. On the perimeters of encampments on the plains and forests, light dances brilliantly, impossibly. The orcs have called up thousands of reflective objects, shields, mirrored boxes, from their collections and positioned them along the tops of the walls. From a distance, the settlements appear ringed by flame. The sun does not reach the dwarven cities, deep underground, but the stone feels warm to the touch. They close the heavy doors and snuff out the light and in the darkness hear the sound of the stone cooling. In Marielda, there is a train. There is a train and a volcano and dancing in the streets. A god beloved and feared, a populace, for once, at ease. It is High Sun Day again.

This week on Marielda: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 2

My light is flickering

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

Sep 30, 2016
Marielda 11: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 1
01:35:36

Today is Sunday, and not just any Sunday, it is the Sun Day, the Long Day, the Day of High Sun.

Once a year, sometime in the final month of the calendar, the sun offers its light to us for 20 full hours. Each year, this event comes on a different day, and it takes the applied knowledge of scholars and mystics to narrow down its arrival.

But the moment that the particular day is known, people across Marielda prepare for the festival. Special dishes are made: fig-and-fishtail pies; huge, communal bowls of pasta; slow roasted pork cooked for weeks over the heat of the sea. Adults set aside holiday outfits, and children begin building their bracelets of iron ring—ready to be shook in arhythmic joy at the arrival of the warm glow on the eastern horizon.

On the day of High Sun, Marielda celebrates life, safety, and contentedness. The city gives praise to Samothes for providing them protection and sustenance, even in grim times. In Chrysanthemum, people celebrate the day privately, among close kin and kind, sitting on roofs with a glass of cold cocktails. In Helianthus, they march down the street in parades and challenge one another to holy, ritualistic competition. And everywhere throughout the city, whatever is drab becomes bright. It is the one day in the year that Black Slacks, with their garish shirts, do not stand out.

(And all of that says nothing about the hats. Oh! The hats!)

And then, when The Long Day, the Day of High Sun, finally ends, the year turns over. That day—whatever it was before—becomes the first of the year, and Marielda moves forward. The days get shorter from there, but only by a bit—for the months that follow, the world glows with heat and energy.

The Day of High Sun is a promise: The light of Samothes will continue burning eternally, and under its light Marielda will flourish.

This week on Marielda: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 1

Enemies gather to dance with me

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) 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

Sep 22, 2016
Marielda 10: Four Conversations
01:48:48

According to the scholars at the Sonorous Academy, there are three important songs in Marielda. The first, “High Pyre Adagio,” has its origins in songs of performative devotion, and emulates the distant, yet deep affection of the God-King Samothes with a temperate piano. The second is “The Last Eve of Summer,” a chamber sonata composed by the so-called traitor Samot during his stay in the City of Light—allegedly written for a particularly talented clarinetist, though no records support this claim. The third, “The Autumn (Lasts A Long Time Here),” predates both Marielda and the City of Light. Built around a memorable guitar melody, it has no clear origin—both the elves of the Western Wood and the refugee population of Emberboro independently claim that it has been in their respective cultures for centuries.

These, say the scholars of the Sonorous Academy, are the three songs that matter in Marielda. But the people in that city by the sea don’t care what the scholars say. They’re too busy dancing to a tune that hasn’t yet left the island.

This week on Marielda: Four Conversations

Is it time already?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) 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

Sep 16, 2016
Marielda 09: The Valentine Affair Pt. 4
01:41:48

The nearest pub to Memoriam College is called The Blue Boar and, on the night of the Valentine Affair, the publican leaned out of the door and wondered if she smelled smoke. She ducked back inside and picked up a broom, swept the floor absentmindedly. Customers would be arriving soon, she could ask them if anything was burning. Inside The Gardeners, just down the road, two regulars were engaged in an argument about whether or not a rank of pala-din marching past the window were headed for Memoriam, nonsense, no, it’s a legitimate patrol. It is! By the end of the night, you could smell the soot from The Lamplighter’s Rest, a mediocre coaching inn on the far side of town. In cramped rooms on the third floor, people pressed up against windows to see the red glow on the horizon. The distant sound of gunfire.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 4

Dark smoke fills the air

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

 

Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

Sep 09, 2016
Marielda 08: The Valentine Affair Pt. 3
01:57:15

The citizens of Marielda close their eyes and dream of fire and water. On some nights in Canopy Row, people dream of crisp leaves, and residents of Emberboro wake suddenly with the taste of smoke in their mouths. Some years ago, a pamphlet was distributed in the city that purported to identify the difference between dreams and visions. Sceptics passed it between themselves and scoffed, others pinned it up in the windows of shops and apartment buildings. It described the difference between a lake and an ocean. The details are unclear in the memory, more than that is hard to say. There was a lake. There was a wide, black sea through which no lava flowed.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 3

Hey... pinch me. Am I dreamin'?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

Sep 02, 2016
Marielda 07: The Valentine Affair Pt. 2
01:37:19

The bells of Memoriam College ring out from high in the tower. At the top of the hour, The Diligent Peal marks the start and end of classes, ushering students from room to room. At half past, The Indolent Peal chimes, waking students who have slept in, letting them know exactly how long they have to get to class. The bells don’t ring cleanly; the first note is pitched differently to the third, for example. The fifth sounds as thought it belongs to an entirely different tower. There is a rumour that, on the foundation of the college and the building of the tower, one bell was taken from the spires of each of Marielda’s parishes and installed in Memoriam. Perhaps it is untrue. Who could say. Climb the bell tower and look out at the other churches in the distance, hear their distant notes. What a beautiful view. What a beautiful city.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 2

Shh! Quiet in the library!

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Aug 25, 2016
Marielda 06: The Valentine Affair Pt. 1
01:44:57

Memoriam College only wears flowers for one week a year. On Sunday morning of that week, they send a man called Alexander to fetch them from the florists on Today-And-Tomorrow Street. He carries them back to the building and, balanced on a ladder, arms full of blooms, fixes the arrangements above the balconies. As he works, butchers and chefs down in the kitchens peer at yellowed recipe cards, trying to remember just how they made these dishes last year. In the empty refectory, Prelate Silas practices the grace he knows so well, looking at himself in the mirror. You’re getting old, he thinks. He sounds out the prayer’s vowels and its consonants carefully. He practices a smile. With eyes closed, he imagines exactly the day that lay ahead. Across town, five scoundrels do exactly the same.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 1

You did remember to study, right?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Aug 19, 2016
Marielda 05: War and Azaleas
01:29:30

For the baker, news of a brewing turf war is a good sign. Hungry fighters are mouths to feed, and so they tend to their ovens and wipe flour from their brows. For the smiths and armorers too, business goes up as neighbors and governesses double up on weapons kept behind doors and under desks, just in case, just in case. Fewer people play on the streets, but the music in pubs and cafes is louder than ever—a good fight deserves a little accompaniment. Flag-makers and seamstresses see a brief upturn in trade as symbols of gangs and factions are hastily embroidered onto collars and lapels. In Marielda’s language of flowers, the azalea has come to symbolise the moment where, just before entering the water, the diver takes one final, deep breath. They are blossoming early this year.

This week on Marielda: War and Azaleas

You better watch your step.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Aug 12, 2016
Marielda 04: The Crosstown Job Pt. 2
02:05:04

To look at a city from above changes it irrecoverably, and so it was for the passengers on Train Day. And say what you like, but the windows in the carriages seemed each to show a different city, a different nest of streets. Those in the engine room saw the smoke from the factories and furnaces, and Marielda hissed and smouldered. Those in the rear carriages looked down upon Canopy Row and wondered whether Chrysanthemum Parish had always been so close. Passengers in the dining carriage looked down onto the parks and boulevards and Marielda smiled back in cypress trees and laurel bushes. No windows lit the pala-din's carriage as they waited in the dark, and for them, in that moment, Marielda barely existed at all, as if a dream recounted long ago. There is a word for all of this, my friends, taking many meanings across our wide city, and the word is reconfiguration.

This week on Marielda: The Crosstown Job, Pt. 2

Just for a moment, you felt safe...

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Aug 06, 2016
Marielda 03: The Crosstown Job Pt. 1
02:37:15

Marielda is a city filled with scoundrels. Bakers lean on the scales as they count loaves of bread. Men and women in pubs shoot loaded dice. Art dealers swear, solemnly swear, that this is a genuine Sabbatini, just look at the brushstrokes. No, scoundrels in Marielda are ten-a-penny. But sometimes, the sun smiles, and its light shines upon those who have something… particular about them. Look, there they are now. A strongman, binding up his fists in front of a mirror. A dancing master, marking time with a dagger. A little alchemist emerging from a cloud of something purplish. And an alabaster figure, face covered by the wide brim of a hat. Step forward into the light, my friends.

This Week on Marielda: The Crosstown Job Pt. 1

When I see your face, it's like lookin' into a mirror.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

 

Jul 29, 2016
Marielda 02: The City of Light Pt. 2
01:55:20
For a while, everything was going just fine in Marielda. Sure, there was some dissent among the citizens—but what city is free of that? In general, people were coming together, rebuilding, taking care of each other. Canopy Row wasn't thriving, but it was definitely surviving. Knowledge was spreading throughout the city. Even them Cobbins had begun to find their place. And then, sometime in the middle of the year, everything seemed to turn. First, the marble-faced pala-din came marching from the sea, half-alive extensions of Samothes' personal brand of justice. Then... well, as we'd soon learn, the pala-din weren't even the half of it.

 

This week on Marielda: The City of Light Pt. 2

I wonder what ever happened to her...

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), and  Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Jul 21, 2016
Marielda 01: The City of Light Pt. 1
02:06:13
In the time of fraught paladins and wavering wizards, of contemptible fighters and indignant druids, of wide eyed rangers… and of bards, the people of the continent of Hieron recover and rebuild in the aftermath of a cataclysm. 

 

But, after all, for every inside there is an outside—no disaster was the first of its kind, except, of course, for… well...  

And so, in the years prior to the event that would come to be called the Erasure, in a time of civil conflict, the people of Hieron faced calamity, and they sought to recover and rebuild. 

For a long while, blessed Samothes led His Somber Campaign against the heretical armies of the Boy-Traitor Samot, clashing steel in valleys and volleying arrows across plainlands. In time, though, your wise lord, the god-alive, recognized that there had been a stalemate, and that you, His people, were suffering.

And so, He returned to you, to His home, your city in the south, moving at fast pace, the dust of the Traitor Charioteers rolling like thunder behind him. And as they pursued, Samothes climbed the mountain of fire from which He forged our first tools, with which He built the first bridge, and He reached inside that mountain, and turned the ruddy summit just so

And because He is Great, it bent to His will: Viscous fire erupted, rushing down the peak and into the riverways that separated the city of light from the continent. He pulled up on the blaze like a reined mare, and yanked the city and its surroundings further away from Hieron. The ground itself shook without mercy, ocean water filled the new gap in the land, and then fire fled into that self-same sea, creating an inseparable blend of liquid heat.

Now, Samothes has returned to the mountain to work on some new holy device, and we have been left to rebuild the city as His faithful disciples. 

In the wake of this destruction we’re left with this. One quiet year in a city we now call Marielda. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive the encounter. But we don’t know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

This week on Marielda: The City of Light Pt. 1

In some ways, I guess you could say that that this is where it all started.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), and  Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Jul 14, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 44: Live Post-Mortem
02:46:23

With COUNTER/Weight firmly wrapped up, we take some time to answer fan questions, discuss the highs and lows of the season, and talk a little bit about what’s coming next for Friends at the Table!

 
For those following along at home, make sure to check out the following things during the relevant segment of the show: This map of Mode City, September; this tweet which explains the actual, true origins of Divines and Riggers; this picture of a robot friend from Titanfall 2.
 
This week on COUNTER/Weight: Live Post-Mortem
 
Take a bow.
 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare(@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

 
Jun 26, 2016
A Quick Announcement and Some Thank Yous!
08:09

Hey everyone, we are taking a week off here at Friends at the Table but we do have an announcement to make. We're going to be doing a post-mortem for COUNTER/Weight that will be streamed live at twitch.tv/friendsatthetable on Tuesday, June 21st at 7 PM EST! We're really looking forward to looking back on the show and answering some of your questions so please send those questions in to friendsatthetable[@]gmail.com or via DM to our Twitter, @Friends_Table. We will be recording the discussion and releasing it as a proper episode, so please send in questions even if you don't think you'll make the live stream!

Thank you so much for listening and for supporting us. Making COUNTER/Weight has been something really special for us and a big part of that has been due to all the support we've gotten from you.

Ali goes over all of the games that we played this season and you can find more about them here.

See you next week~!

Jun 16, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 43: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 3
02:34:37
15,000 years or so before the September Incident, it went something like this:

Somehow, they'd survived. They'd peeled across the galaxy itself, launched by the combined force of a half dozen stellar combusters. Shielded by Rigor's endless mass, they'd subsisted on machine-assembled proteins and nutrients, suffering in the lonely dark at high speeds. 

They weren't quite candidates, but they were the closest thing Rigor had. So it stung, in so far as Rigor can be stung, when they slipped from its grip in the light of the Golden Branch. As the bulk of its body bore deep into the ice of Ionias (and deeper still into slumber), they wrenched free from it and found land elsewhere, taking bits of the machine god with them.

There was a debate among the survivors, though. What to do with the remnants? With living technology that protected and provided for them in the dark just as it had once exploited and used them? 

Some survivors joined under the banner of a young, charismatic leader--Chess Kesh--whose optimistic belief that the human spirit (and a lot of careful oversight) could control the power of Rigor's technology without being subsumed into a mechanical rhythm of dehumanization.

Others, the Apostles, preached that if people learned to shape a world such that Rigor felt itself unnecessary--a world where every individual strived to be their own best self without the gaze of a brutal supervisor--it would remain in slumber indefinitely. And so they built themselves a new leader, using what they knew from Rigor but never using its flesh--algorithmic and driven, they knew, towards singular end.

And though there was conflict, there wasn't war--after all, they'd all survived Rigor's whip and the brightest violence that the Diaspora could light. So they disengaged from each other, and found new, internal troubles to focus on. Until one day, new ships with old marks appeared on the horizon.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 3

The sky was blue beyond compare...


Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare(@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jun 10, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 42: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 2
02:35:04

Fifteen years ago, soon after the the Golden War ended, Grace issued her ex cathedra prognosis:

With Apostolos defeated (and ‘integration’ well in process) and peace firmly in place with the Orion Conglomerate, the Diaspora had finally brought into being the end of history as such. Certainly, there was still difference in how OriCon and the Diaspora operated, but the writing was on the wall: The Diaspora’s method of mechanized democracy was the final, universal form of governance that all true civilizations would eventually arrive at. OriCon would be the next to prove it: After all, each and every day those oligarchs put more and more faith in automation, deferred again and again to procedural logic. It was only a matter of time before they elected their own divines, even if they went by other names.

Certainly, Grace explained, there’d be more disputes over territory and resources, and yes, of course there would be new inventions and technological progress. But in the long run, the state of things had settled. The Golden Branch had, against all odds, ushered in the final era: post-history.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 2

What's worse, saying hello or saying goodbye?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jun 02, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 41: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 1
03:26:43
It has been four and a half years since the Chime confronted Rigor on the planet of September, an event that has been dismissed as insignificant, yet simultaneously has served as a key catalyst for immense change in the Golden Branch star sector. Living symbols of unity become increasingly erratic and violent. Empowered operatives, both public and hidden, take action against the most corrupt forces in the sector. Noble leaders threaten their own democracies through charm alone. And in the face of increased stress, daring radicals find themselves struggling to keep their revolutions afloat. And now... a familiar voice, a knock on the door, a reminder that there are threats greater still than tomorrow.

 

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Splintered Branch, A Ringing Bell Pt. 1

Even a watched pot boils eventually...

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

May 27, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 40: The Storm Over September
01:33:05

“It is with great joy and humility that we make the debut of this machine today. For so long, so many have struggled here on the frontier. Food is scarce, and time is even more precious. A hard day of labor is a thing to be proud of, but it does not yet stretch far enough. Soon, though, we will thrive, prosper, and if we work with dedication and vigor, we may even profit.”

-Chief Engineer Irene Klipsch-Dove, 100 years before the activation of the first Stellar Combustor
 
This week on COUNTER/Weight: The Storm Over September
 
The difference is something to do with the sound
Or partly to do with the color
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

May 20, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 39: Just Another Machine
01:02:03

As the only clock that really matters ticks further and further down, The Chime find themselves facing one sealed door after another. But do the doors protect something precious or keep something dangerous locked safely away? AuDy makes one final attempt at convincing Maryland that the planet isn't a safe place. Mako finds too-brief refuge in the arms of another. Aria Joie’s investigation into Maritime Lapel leads her to a dark truth about someone close to her. And Cassander Timaeus Beranice walks alone into a large, dark room.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Just Another Machine

What's the worst mistake you've ever made?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

May 12, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 38: Found Footage
01:06:58

As ships pull into high orbit over September and an uncanny groan bleats from below it, The Chime pair off and move to complete their mission. Cassander and AuDy find themselves wondering if there's more to Dr. September's cabin than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Aria Joie and Mako Trig scrub through the past for an answer to the Institute's biggest mysteries.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Found Footage

Do you ever wish you could rewind time?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

May 06, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 37: Visions from Windows, Or: The Last Time the Bomb Dropped
22:44

20,000 years before The Chime met on Counterweight, long before the Golden War against Apostolos, the Automated Diaspora devised a plan to stop Rigor once and for all, and at great cost...

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Visions from Windows, Or: The Last Time the Bomb Dropped

Alright, alright. Now back to work!

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Apr 28, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 36: Everything is Temporary
01:51:06

Throughout the Golden Branch Star Sector, leaders leap into action as news of a new, galactic threat spreads. Minerva's Steiger sisters move their invisible fleet into position. The Rapid Evening digs in deeper to their new outpost in the sector. Rigor stirs from it's slumber. And on Counterweight, Ibex knocks on a door.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Everything is Temporary

Easy come, easy go

Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash) and Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan)
Produced by Ali Acampora 
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Apr 22, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 35: A Knock at the Door
58:28

Though the rain seems to clear over the September Institute, The Chime move with well-learned caution. Mako Trig walks familiar steps, only to find something very askew. AuDy and Maryland spar, first over the notion of leaving the planet, and then about more... esoteric things. And Aria and Cass find themselves facing the cost of brief, innocent indecision.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Knock at the Door

Light showers continuing throughout the day!

Apr 15, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 34: Reaching Out
57:01

Maryland September has been located and The Chime are safe but only for the moment. The storm rages outside and with it, threat hangs heavy in the air. In a space that is both familiar and unfamiliar, where does the real danger lie? A simple phone call, a little impatience, a forgotten responsibility, and a distant memory... what could be worse than a little rain?

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Reaching Out

What lies beyond the bounds?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Apr 08, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 33: A Fractal Garden and an Intercepted Message
01:25:45
After a near death encounter with a mysterious shooter, The Chime finally makes its way onto the seaside campus of the September Institute. Mako Trig leads the team's investigation, guiding them down hallways real and virtual, old and new. Meanwhile, Cass manages his concerns (and his temper), Aria deals with a surprise reunion, and on an mechanistic instinct, AuDy plants a seed more important than they know. 

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Fractal Garden and an Intercepted Message

When you speak, who listens?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Apr 01, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 32: Through The Crosshairs
01:07:40

Now that they've secured their entrance into The September Institute, The Chime has one last thing to do before investigating the campus: making sure their two newest bells are safe. The storm stays steady as night falls on September, is searching for Orth and Jacqui really worth the risk...? Of course it is! Cassander relies on his tech, AuDy makes themselves a target, Mako is reminded of a very bad day and Aria tries her best to help.

This time on COUNTER/Weight: Through The Crosshairs

Remember to pull the trigger!

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 24, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 31: Expertize with a Z
01:00:38

As The Chime makes their way towards The September Institute, they find that they'll need more than style and wit to get past the campus gates. In the years that have passed since Mako's time as a student, who remains for him to count on and at what will they ask in return? As the storm swells over September, time becomes more and more precious...

This time on COUNTER/Weight: Expertize with a Z

Keep it wavy, baby

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 17, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 30: Another Facility Among Trees
57:37

With the larger threat of Rigor rapidly approaching, The Chime have agreed to a truce with Ibex and his Righteous Vanguard. In exchange for this peace, they’ve taken on the most dangerous job they’ve ever had: Descend to September, locate the school’s missing founder, and figure out how to wound something they can barely comprehend.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Another Facility Among Trees

Better get started…

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 10, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 29: Three Conversations
01:37:54
A Lion and a Man chanced to travel in company through the forest. They soon began to quarrel, for each of them boasted that he and his kind were far superior to the other both in strength and mind.

Now they reached a clearing in the forest and there stood a statue. It was a representation of Heracles in the act of tearing the jaws of the Nemean Lion.

"See," said the man, "that's how strong we are! The King of Beasts is like wax in our hands!"

"Ho!" laughed the Lion, "a Man made that statue."

--The Man & The Lion, from “The Aesop for Children: with Pictures by Milo Winter” 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Mar 04, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 28: A Special Kind of Warmth
01:32:29

While Kingdom Come creeps through the dark, the Golden Branch explodes into violence and betrayal. In the peripheries of the sector, the Golden Branch Demarchy, the Hands of Grace, and the Rapid Evening seek to secure the power necessary to survive what's to come. On Counterweight, the Golden Branch's beating heart, Minerva Strategic attempts to undermine its rival, while Ibex's Righteous Vanguard makes its presence known. And in the shadow of September, an unseen threat sails on a sinister vector.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: "A Special Kind of Warmth"

Are you going to just stand still?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash) and Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan)
Produced by Ali Acampora 
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 25, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 27: An Animal Out of Context
03:10:43

As Ibex’s Righteous Vanguard lands on Counterweight, the Kingdom Come drifts away in a slow arc towards September. The trip is long and cold and quiet, and with a surplus of free time on their hands, The Chime turns towards introspection. Aria Joie is led into a new musical endeavor, Mako Trig unearths new truths about the history September Institute, and Cass considers both of his families.  

And in the cockpit, Automated Dynamics Unit 227 scours their databases, looking for an answer to the question: Who are Liberty and Discovery?

Episode 27: “An Animal Out of Context”

Remember: You have beaten your worst days.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 19, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 26: Do You Have Room For Me?
01:19:53

The Divine Detachment circles the planet at a blistering velocity, its corresponding satellites watching over it. On board The Kingdom Come, The Chime finds itself in argument, and Detachment silently approaches. Aria faces off against the laws of gravity, Cass struggles to piece a plan together, Mako thinks it'd be a good idea if you call him Larry now, and parts of AuDy are lost and found.

This time on COUNTER/Weight: Do You Have Room For Me?

We are older than we know. 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 11, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 25: You Can Call Me Captain
01:28:52

The Kingdom Come has left the surface of Counterweight, but it hasn't quite made it out of orbit. Between a furious unit out for revenge, and a stuffy military bureaucrat insistent in doing things by the book, the Chime will need to get creative to get away. Cass tries to justify his ownership of Apostolosian materiel, Mako goes on a covert operation with his new best friend, and Aria and AuDy try to keep everything from spinning out of control. 

 
This time on COUNTER/Weight: You Can Call Me Captain
 
Who's in charge here again?

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Feb 04, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 24: It’s Still Dark Out
01:13:13
With the newly formed Righteous Vanguard closing in on them, the Chime makes final preparations for escaping Counterweight. AuDy winds up working as a pawn in a much larger game while Cassander examines the state of the board. Elsewhere, Mako faces an uncannily familiar opponent and Aria Joie finds herself in an unexpected (but not unwelcome) rematch.
 
This week on COUNTER/Weight: It's Still Dark Out
 
Even the heart can be put in checkmate.
 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 28, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 23: An Astonishingly Illegal Ship
01:07:52
As the members of The Chime awake from the memory farm, they return to a world that has changed without them. Corporations may have restructured, empires may have fallen but the threat of Ibex remains and so there is no time to react, only to prepare. Cassander receives their inheritance, Aria turns a rival into a follower, AuDy trades a tray for a pilot's seat and Mako catches glimpses of himself everywhere.
 
This week on COUNTER/Weight: An Astonishly Illegal Ship!

The ducks are getting inline...


Hosted by 
Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
 
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Jan 21, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 22: The Broken Branch
01:35:00
As our heroes review the past, the Golden Branch Star sector moves forward without them. And it moves towards instability. New corporate initiatives seek to re-establish the status quo. Old heroes come out of retirement, hoping to change things dramatically for the better. Masterminds move chess pieces and pawns contemplate their sacrifices. And above the planet Sage, Grace tightens her fist.
 
This week COUNTER/Weight: The Broken Branch
 
On a long enough timeline, every orbit decays. 
 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash) and Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan)

 

Produced by Ali Acampora 
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Intro Music by Jack de Quidt
Jan 14, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 21: Crisis! (A Solemn Vow Above The Sea of Counterweight)
02:59:00

Military water running down stainless steel cookware. The rustling of paperwork, yet unsigned. The warm hum and soft glow of engines alight. Distance and purpose, intermingling in the space between stars. A hand on a shoulder. A choice that makes itself. Eyes and voices, hearts and threats, and our familiar hesitation.

This week: Crisis! (A Solemn Vow Above The Sea of Counterweight)

Some things last a long time.

Jan 08, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 20: The Glimmer Incident: The Executive Enters!
02:34:16

The Chime lay on medical beds on the surface of Counterweight, hooked into a simulation to learn as much as they can about Ibex, candidate of Righteousness. Inside the simulation, members of the Kingdom, a coalition fleet lead by The Kingdom Come, are unsure whether or not to keep Ibex at a distance. Just what is it that makes Ibex a threat, and is he more dangerous near or far?

This week on COUNTER/Weight: The Glimmer Incident: The Executive Enters!

Keep your friends close...

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

 

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Qui

Jan 01, 2016
COUNTER/Weight 19: The Road You Take And Who You Take It With
02:13:03

With Ibex's threat in the air, an old ally reaches out to The Chime with an offer: Learn about your enemy before you suffer the same fate I did. The group--with a few surprise additions--steps into the past to find out what exactly happened ten years ago. Before she was Queen-Captain of the Weightless, who did Tea Kenridge command? What did Addax mean when he said he hurt Cassander? Who piloted the Kingdom Come before it was decommissioned? Why didn't the Rapid Evening stop the war? And what ever happened to Jace Rethal?

This week on COUNTER/Weight: The Road You Take And Who You Take It With

Let's get this show on the road!

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

 

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan) and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 24, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 18: The Order of Things
01:28:23

The desert winds of Counterweight are broken by the sound of gunfire, as The Chime face foes new and old in the settlement of Seabed City. While Aria Joie finds herself tangled up in a mess of problems (and lasers), Cass proves his mettle as a soldier (and a doctor). Elsewhere, Mako confronts a living godhead and AuDy confronts the grey space between programming and feeling.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: "The Order of Things”

It’s so quiet out here...

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

 

Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 17, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 17: Metal That Has Died Twice
01:21:08

The Chime takes off towards the abandoned dome to carry out their mission: Deceive Sister Rust and steal a mysterious golden orb from her Iron Choir. Unfortunately for them, they're not the only ones en route to Seabed City. Aria loses her footing, Cass confronts a truly awesome presence, Mako puts his training to the test, and AuDy makes a sacrifice.

 
This week on COUNTER/WEIGHT: "Metal that Has Died Twice"

 

Ready to pull the trigger?

 
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 11, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 16: The Rear Left Engine
01:40:34

This week, we bring our attention back to The Chime who have been hired to take a mysterious artifact from a familiar group... The Iron Choir. Dealing with them was easy enough last time so there will be no problems for our heroes this time around, right? AuDy debates who to confide in, Mako calls an old friend, Aria supports a small business and Cassander learns the value of good antivirus software.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: "The Rear Left Engine"

Got no teeth to lie through...?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Dec 04, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 15: A Candle in the Sun
01:50:56
Tensions rise throughout the Golden Branch star sector. OriCon megacorporations maneuver for advantage, striking with deniable operatives, market manipulation, and the finest in advertising campaigns. The remnants of Apostolos hope to find a secret strength on the seemingly abandoned planet of Torru. Horizon Tactical Solutions, stretched thin but no less hungry for retribution, strikes at the Odamas Fleet, itself in motion towards vengence at Kalliope. And in the orbit of Sage, the Divine Grace comes up against a force that does not recognize her holiness. 
 
This week on COUNTER/Weight: "A Candle in the Sun"
 
Be careful not to burn out!
 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Andi Clare (@captaintrash) and Andrew Lee Swan (@andrewleeswan)
Produced by Ali Acampora 
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quid

Nov 25, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 14: We’ve All Killed People
01:21:20

The Chime have tracked down the mysterious Gnosis virus, but they're not the only ones who want it! Two high powered, hard hitting mercs are between our heroes and a payday. Can Aria turn the tables on Jaqi Green? What will Mako find in Horizon's most secure servers? Can Audy keep the Kingdom Come flying under fire? When a conflict of loyalties emerges, will Cass be able to keep his plan from falling apart?

 
Find out this week on COUNTER/Weight: "We've All Killed People"

 

 
Watch your back...

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 20, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 13: Our Customer of the Month
01:06:42

Even though they're not quite sure what it is (or what they should do with it), the Chime continues to track down the mysterious Gnosis virus. Cass and Mako dive deeper into the Horizon Tactical Solutions R&D labs, Aria Joie runs into a fan, and AuDy enjoys the algorithmically handcrafted atmosphere of the most corporate coffeeshop franchise in the galaxy.  But they're not the only ones on the case...  

 

This week on COUNTER/Weight: "Our Customer of the Month"

Let's dance!

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 13, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 12: A Home After A Wake
56:25

The Chime continues their hunt for the Gnosis virus, as Cassander and Mako infiltrate the Snowtrak facility, AuDy finds a nice cafe and Aria goes to a concert. Will Cassander be able to keep their head down? What will Mako find in the mesh? Is Aria the best Aria Joie cosplayer!?

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Home After A Wake...

Every dog has their day!

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Nov 07, 2015
COUNTER/Weight 11: A Thing You Know About Nightclubs
01:36:50

This week, we enter into The Sprawl in earnest. Big Cass finds himself pulled between familial duty and personal safety, AuDy calls in a favor from a fellow sentient machine, Mako goes digging for information, and Aria finds, to her surprise, that she has a new hit record. 

This week on COUNTER/Weight: "A Thing You Know About Nightclubs"

Get ready to feel the beat!

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Oct 30, 2015