Feb 22, 2020
In a matter of weeks, thousands of Kesh hollows will slide down the icy hills of the Verglaz Taiga, weapons raised and spirits on fire, as they charge an Apostolosian line. It will be the start of a new, bloody offensive, a spark that will light the moon aflame, drawing every Stel on the moon into the sort of open conflict that has not been seen in this region since the Principality first conquered it.
But that hasn’t happened yet. Today, Clementine Kesh awakes in her bed, sun shining through her windows, with a choice to make. Where will she and her “team” of incarcerated soldiers go next?
This week on PARTIZAN: DESERT SQUIRE - VANTAGE
The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.
The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.
The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.
The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church.
The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months.
The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power. Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma. They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.
Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge.
Logos Kantel (they/them): The prophet who, it is said, brought life to the once barren moon of Partizan.
Gur Sevraq (he/them): Current leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Secretly has possession of the Divine Future, which gives him startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him. Leading the pilgrimage down the Prophet’s Path.
Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.
Aleel Verdicate (she/her): Current Song of Partizan, making her the de facto head of the Church of Received Asterism on the moon.
The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.
Avar (they/them): The Friends of Gur Sevraq are often idealistic and naive about the world. But Chief of Security Avar, who was stationed at Westhaven for years and fought against Fort Icebreaker before finding their way to the faith, knows that the path to heaven is treacherous. Partner of Ryrira and parent of one child, M’reb.
Ryrira (she/her): Quartermaster of the Church of the Resin Heart and Avar’s partner. Mother of one child, M’reb.
The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.
The Prophet’s Path: An autonomous region to the west of the Prophet’s Sea, south of Apostolosian territory and north of Orion. These dusty badlands are dotted with small villages, farms, and other settlements. Its furthest, most western reaches are untouched by Kantel’s miracle. In order to celebrate the millennial anniversary of Logos Kantel’s arrival, the Church of the Resin Heart is traveling a pilgrimage on the route the prophet once took.
The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.
Pique Ridge: Territory controlled by Stel Nideo on Partizan. East of the Prophet’s Sea, comprised of a mountain range which surrounds a vast, low bay.
The Divine Vernacular: A Stel Nideo Divine which allows those loyal (and blessed) to communicate instantly, at distance. A power some say is more powerful than even the sharpest spearhead.
The Song’s Rings: Disguised as rings, these devices allow the Song of Partizan to listen in to any use of Vernacular’s network.
Rapid EveniNg’s Objective: Escort the pilgrims on their journey from the point of their start to the point of their seabound departure at the eastern coast of the Prophet’s path. If Gur Sevraq’s life comes into serious danger, rescue them and extract back to Cruciat. Secondary Objective, as delivered to Sovereign Immunity: Secure Gur Sevraq regardless of his condition.
Rules of Engagement: Do not allow yourselves to be identified as members of Stel Kesh. Do no harm to the people of the Church, unless it is necessary in the securing of Gur Sevraq.
A transcription is available for this episode here.