Jan 7, 2021
It is the year 1424 of the Perfect Millennium.
It is now.
In the chaos-depths of Girandole, the Pact of Necessary Venture is shackling a god to an engine, an engine that would become a star, a star that would consume Partizan. A small sacrifice, they believe: necessary venture. Because what it will earn is clear: A new era for the galaxy, in which they would be the principled hegemons.
But across the system, those few who know the danger of this plot rally to stop them. A few hundred thousand miles away, on the moon of Partizan, members of MIllennium Break ready their attack force, which will be brought up en masse into orbit by the Reflecting Pool, flagship of their dubious ally, the Witch in Glass. Meanwhile: Rushing from the now-repaired Partizan Portcullis: A Curtain Armada, eager to rendezvous with Mourningbride and finally leash this star system gone feral.
But this climactic clash will not be won with arms alone. Throughout the Principality--war is fought not only on the battlefield, but also across an emerging media landscape, one where the truth is determined by salvos of propaganda, shaped by onslaughts of distraction, and interpreted by the sweet, whispered sermons of falsified prophets.
And so the question is not simply “Can Millennium Break win?” It is “What does victory look like?” Will they be seen as revolutionary heroes or jealous upstarts? Compromised cynics or naive insurgents? Can they break free from the gravity of the old logics in a way so confident, so stunning, that they inspire people everywhere to see the world differently, to not only raise arms, but lock them in solidarity, too?
This week on PARTIZAN: Operation Shackled Sun: Act 1: The Fray
The Curtain of Divinity: Though Kesh is technically governed through an elaborate parliamentary democracy, the truth is that The Curtain of Divinity, a secretive organization inside of the Stel (and with agents across all of the Principality), serves as the actual power behind the throne. Knowledge of the Curtain is carefully guarded, and its membership is even further protected.
Was originally established to rein in the Principality’s most tyrannical institutions and encourage growth and equity over generations, while hiding the truth of what lied beyond the Scutum-Centaurus Portcullis. Over time, their more noble aims were eroded, and only this final goal remained, along with a much more selfish goal of controlling the state.
Currently, the Curtain is most firmly aligned with Kesh and Nideo, and fights in an open war against the Pact of Necessary Venture and Millennium Break.
The Pact of Necessary Venture: Though they trace their lineage back to an exploratory committee founded in the late 14th century of the Perfect Millenium, the Pact was not made in earnest until five years ago in 1418 PM, soon after hostilities began between Kesh and Apostolos.
It’s original leadership committee, Plumeria, Gallica, Myosotis, Rye, and Hyacinth determined that to ensure the future stability of the Principality, the Pact would establish a power base in the Scutum–Centaurus arm, amass a vast fleet using the unexploited resources there, and sweep both princepts out of power, replacing the role with a five-part council representing each Stel equally.
Each was an elect: Plumeria the elect of Past, Gallica of Present, Myosotis of Future, Rye of Space, and Hyacinth of Motion. Plumeria and Myosotis were killed during Gur Sevraq’s theft of the Divine Future. Plumeria’s successor, Cymbidium, was killed when Past crashed into the sands of the Prophet’s Path. Hyacinth was killed in combat by the Rapid Evening, and was replaced by Laurel, a member of GLORY.
Currently, the Pact has finds its greatest support from members of Columnar and Apostolos. They are in a state of open conflict against the Curtain and Millennium Break.
Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries. Even now, they agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.
Logos Kantel (they/them): The prophet who, it is said, brought life to the once barren moon of Partizan. For nearly 1000 years, they have been held as prisoner by the Curtain in the depths of a prison underneath the Chasmata Quarry. Now, “rescued” by the Pact of Necessary Venture, they are being led to a secret facility inside of a hidden Portcullis, deep in the depths of Girandole, where they will be able to reach out to their god for aid. Little do they know, the Pact of Necessary Venture is poised to enslave the being that comes through the gate.
Gucci Garantine (she/her): Defector from Stel Kesh, controller of House Brightline and HORIZON’s efforts on Partizan. Now a powerful member of Millennium Break’s political class, heading the Party of the Masque.
The Witch in Glass (she/her): A former scion of Kesh who, after knitting a bond with the adversary Perennial, came into control of the body of the Divine Past. Now scours Partizan for the lost, injured, and unsure, recruiting them into her growing city-state. A shaky ally of Millennium Break. Haunted by an old foe.
Xiphion, aka Zig’ell Barbos, aka The Red Roc (zig/zig’s, he/him): Elect of the Divine Valour and rising star in the Apostolosian military. Zig’ell kept zig’s Apostolosian name in personal use even after being chosen by Valour as its elect. He is a rising star in the Apostolosian military, famed for his talent as a pilot and commander. There is good reason for this: zig spent years serving as Cas’alear Rizah’s confidant and lieutenant, before being promoted and transferred into service directly under the Divine Motion, working closely as the elect Laurel’s right hand. A true believer in the Pact’s mission to split the Principality up.
Girandole: The massive gas giant around which Partizan orbits. Deep within its gaseous storms rests a secret Portcullis which leads towards the space sector containing the Nobel homeworld and Autonomy Itself.
The Reflecting Pool: The city that has emerged inside of the Divine Past’s body, led by the Witch in Glass. Its citizens come from every walk of life on Partizan, all united in the desire to leave the past behind and start a new life. Currently being used as a flagship for the allied forces of Millennium Break and the Witch in Glass.
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 Valour: A machine the size of a large Hallow, Valour can transform between a vast, roc-like bird form and a more traditional humanoid model. Soldiers claim that serving under Valour gives them a noticeable boost to their morale, but it is unclear if this is a feature of their proximity to the Divine or to its elect.
“Autonomy Itself”/“The True Divine”/The God of the Nobel/The God of Logos Kantel (they/them): Granted the power to transform Partizan into a living world to Logos Kantel 1000 years ago. Guided the Nobel and other cultures in the Scutum-Centaurus arm through the course of their history.
Operation Shackled Sun: An ongoing military operation led by Motion and her allies in the Pact of Necessary Venture. Through the use of a web of space stations called The Lattice, the Pact plans to capture the raw energy of the being that is worshipped as “Autonomy Itself.”
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.
The Will of the Witch: The Hallow of the Figure in Bismuth. A hulking monstrosity in the shape of a knight, which can nevertheless move with explosive acceleration. Splintering crystals run through its body, and when confronted directly, its use of enormous weaponry separates it from other mechs of its scale.
Mow: A recovered Zenith-A Project Eudaimonia prototype model. The build of a gorilla, quadrupedal & topheavy, a saddle horn-like addition on the back, battered but lovingly maintained.
Curtain Ideograms: A vast collection of graphic symbols and code words used by the Curtain to communicate information clandestinely.
“The Bitten Bullet”: A large personnel transport owned by the Pact of Necessary Venture. Currently docked on the Lattice, holding a large number of Pact troops… and the stowaways Kalar and the Figure in Bismuth.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Sylvi Clare (@sylvisurfer), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)