Apr 10, 2020
Content Warning: This episode features discussion of chemical warfare and suffocation.
Deep in the Pique Ridge, at the back of a steephead valley, on the edge of the town of Orzen, under the Cathedral of Imperium is an archival facility filled with record of Partizan’s greatest secrets. And in its halls, gunfire rings out as HORIZON leader Gucci Garantine, her bodyguard Thetonious, and their collaborator Valence attempt to breach the sanctum’s innermost reaches. As below so above, as the ground shakes with the arrival of Orzen’s noble defenders, Imperium’s Plume, ready to drive HORIZON and their SBBR allies from the city. In the middle of it all, Jesset City and the Oxblood Clan, blooming radicals with a role assigned to them, and another they’d like to play.
The stage is set. It is time to draw back the curtain.
This week on PARTIZAN: A Revelation in Orzen
HORIZON: A radical-reformist group funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline. Commanded on Partizan by Gucci Garantine.
The Partizan Palace: The Palace provides citizens with authorized archival information, approved news reports, art, and entertainment determined to be canonical to the Divine Principality.
Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.
Imperium’s Plume: A Hallow unit blessed by Imperium, one of the very first Divines of the Principality, tasked with inspiring support for Stel Nideo on Partizan by ensuring that even the home of Progressive Asterism remembers the strength of NIdeo’s virtue.
The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos. It’s original leadership committee, ████████, ███████, ████████, ███, and ████████ determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, ███ ████ █████ █████████ █ █████ ████ ██ ███ ████████████████ ███, █████ █ ████ █████ █████ ███ ███████████ █████████ █████, ███ █████ ████ ████████ ███ ██ █████, █████████ ███ ████ ████ █ █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ████ ███████.
Amber Haze (she/her): Leader of the Imperium’s Plume rear guard unit. Wavy, blonde hair. Officer’s uniform in the color of sunset, with a professional cut and adorned with medals awarded in service. Neck and jawline lined with metal. Pilots the Cadenza.
Gucci Garantine (she/her): Leader of HORIZON’s efforts on Partizan..
Jesset City (he/him): Oxblood Clan lieutenant, engineer, and pilot.
Meridian Street (she/her) - Gucci Garantine’s second in command in HORIZON. Dark lipstick, blue crewcut, expertise in matters logistical and military. Pilots a Yoke.
Thetonious aka “Tone” (they/them) - Gucci’s primary bodyguard, originally served in a Kesh military commando squad. Elite-class expertise in urban combat, infiltration, and rapid escalation tactics.
Orzen: Deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge, this city of 75,000 sits at the end of a box canyon. What started as a mining town grew to be a popular destination for both the religious and culturally inclined, as the city is home to a massive cathedral, Divine statuary, and one of the moon’s largest theaters.
The Divine Imperium: One of the first Divines of the Principality. It has blessed its Hallowed with extended flight capabilities and, in some cases, a burning aura of authority.
The Divine Cadence: There is a box on your desk. It is the same box as on hundreds of thousands of other desks across Partizan, regardless of Stel. When you press it, a smooth voice tells you tomorrow’s weather, and then plays you a song. An old, familiar one, maybe. Or perhaps a new one, composed there and then, just for you. Your troubles leave your mind.
The Portcullis System: Once, every 10 days, the Portcullis System activates. A hundred thousand of these massive structures, elongated, city-sized hexagons of stone and circuitry, shudder, shake, and howl all at once. And at the edge of every star system in the Divine Principality, a geyser of liquid energy, red and oppressive, explodes into darkness. Ships emerge from these crimson and white waves. Ships filled with medical supplies and mineral wealth, purveyors of faith and career politicians, censored information and refurbished war machines. The lifeblood of a vibrant, vicious empire.
Zenith-N Cadenza: A prototype unit designed for Stel Nideo by the Columnar’s Zenith Fund and now blessed by the Divine Imperium, this light Hallow moves with the sound of violins and strikes with the heat and violence of a volcanic eruption. The Cadenza was designed to harass units at midrange with its kusari-fundo-style, magnetic/propulsive chain whips for a long enough time that its shoulder mounted beam cannon can finish the job. Though capable of real flight, the Cadenza and its pilot, Amber Haze, prefer to use the rocket-propelled, magnetic weights on the end of its chains to “swing” through urban environments. Though unorthodox, this technique has left many opponents confused long enough for Haze to land the killing blow.
AdArm Flock: For years, Adamant Arms and Artifice was known for their rugged, sturdy, and (literally) grounded designs. But with the Zenith Fund’s explosion in growth, and their focus on dynamic and maneuverable machines, AdArm found themselves facing clients with new demands, which forced them to compete on new unfamiliar territory. Their solution was the surprisingly effective Flock, which goes beyond a simple refit of the Troop and stands as what is fundamentally a new, medium-sized machine. Equipped with a basic flight pack, a retractable axe blade, and a powerful underarm flak cannon, the Flock excels in two main combat roles: FIrst, as aerial harriers, meant to harass ground based foes with long range fire from the safety of the sky. Second, as close range skirmishers, which leap into the fray, deal damage, and escape before their armor gives way.
Poetic Cipher: A security system used by Stel Nideo. Requires knowledge not only of up to date passcodes, but also a high level, intuitive understanding of poetic techniques, conventions, and history.
Herd: Developed from the basic AdArm Troop design, the Herd’s centaur like silhouette is famous to anyone who has faced off against Apostolos. The Troop’s bipedal legs have been replaced with piston-driven, heavy quad legs that are able to shift between two modes: Movement (with legs paired parallel like an ungulate, allowing for high speed traversal or charges) or combat (spread in a wide cross shape for stability in firing or traversal, moving like a spider). Armed with heavy shoulder cannon, and spears that can be used for both melee combat and as javelin-like explosive projectiles.
Yoke: The Oxblood Clan’s unique, further customized Herds. Though they cannot transform into the Herd’s “combat” mode, they have upgrades that allow them to serve a unique command and operations role when deployed in pairs. Their heads feature unique horn sensors which can generate battlefield map data and targeting assistance when two Yokes can provide complete data. Wields a giant fortress shield in left hand, a kanabo in the right, and a vertical missile pod on back.
SBBR’s Objectives: Primary - Escort Gucci Garantine into the Palace facility and safely secure her extraction. Secondary - Maintain ruse for length of mission.
Rules of Engagement: Do no harm to the Residential district and minimal harm to the Theater (commercial) district. Damage to the Cathedral, Statuary, Quartz district, or Palace Staging interior is acceptable.