Jun 5, 2020
Hey everyone, Austin here. Today’s episode kicks off an eight episode run tracing the revolutionary movement on Partizan that formed at the end of the previous episode.We’ll be playing (butchering?) the Kingdom 2nd Edition playtest by Ben Robbins. Below, you can find all the standard info that is in an episode dossier, but in lieu of a traditional description, I wanted to use this space to let you know about an initiative that we’re kicking off today.
As the themes of our show have probably illustrated, all of us on this show are deeply invested in issues of justice and equality. We all stand behind the protests that have emerged across the country and world demanding justice for the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Tayler, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have been taken from us. It has given us a great deal of hope to see so many rally against a culture of white supremacy and cruel, violent, and negligent policing. To that end, we’re donating $5,000 to a few groups, listed below, to help them in their fight against injustice.
We’d love it if you could help us raise even more. To help encourage that, we’ve worked with the artists and organizers of all four of the previous Friends at the Table fan zines to get permission to offer digital copies of those zines to help raise money. It's an INCREDIBLE collection of work from over 100 artists, and you can get them all right here.
We’re also offering the three completed Friends at the Table Patreon postcard sets digitally for the first time ever, at a greatly reduced price from their original month-to-month cost. To check all of this out, just go to friendsatthetable.itch.io. You can pick up any of the zines for $10, each of the postcard sets for $50, or the entire bundle for a flat $150.
Finally, if you're reading this today (June 5th, 2020), then that means that Bandcamp is waiving their fees on all purchases. And because of that, Jack will be donating any money from purchases of Friends at the Table soundtracks or anything else on their Bandcamp (notquitereal.bandcamp.com) today. So that's another way you can support this drive.
About the Groups We're Supporting
Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. They believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. They organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. They do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.
Black Youth Project 100 is a national, member-based organization of Black 18-35 year old activists and organizers, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. They do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and political education using a Black queer feminist lens. BYP100 has chapters in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.
The Bail Project is a national nonprofit organization that provides free bail assistance and pre-trial support to thousands of low-income people every year while advocating for dramatic transformation of the current criminal justice system.
The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.
Thanks, and I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.
Stel Kesh: The oldest established power in the galaxy, built around a stuffy (and secretive) aristocracy. They are tied to the Past. History, knowledge, stubbornness.
Stel Nideo: Created the largest faith in the empire, and used that influence to shape (and surveil) mass culture. They are tied to the Present. Faith, coercion, stability.
Stel Orion: An industrial giant that controls more literal space than any other Stel, yet is also the most fragmented and unstable. They are tied to Space. Wealth, labor, expansion.
Stel Columnar: A fence-sitting democracy, made up largely of synthetics on the cutting edge of technology, art, politics, and war. They are tied to the Future. Innovation, style, cowardice.
Stel Apostolos: A dynamic and diverse military powerhouse, guided by an iconic, but controversial leader. They are tied to Motion. Speed, change, violence.
Scrivener’s Guild: An organization of (armed) clerks who mediate negotiations, draft contracts, and keep records of all industrial, commercial, and private business operations with Orion-aligned organizations. Unhappy with SBBR’s performance.
The Church of Received Asterism: The most widely practiced faith in the galaxy, and one of the earliest major organizations in the Divine Principality, created at the beginning of the Miraculous Millenium, over 3000 years ago. Teaches that Divines, the immortal machines and mechs that helped establish the Principality's hold on the galaxy, reflect the best aspects of the state itself. The divine Strength, in other words, is like a living flag of the Principality's own strength. Organized as a central church, led by a religious leader named a “Cycle,” whose will is enacted across the Principality by their many “Songs,” who rule worlds, star systems, or sometimes entire constellations.
The Church of Progressive Asterism: Created as the teachings of the prophet Logos Kantel grew in popularity 1000 years ago, and made a secondary state religion in order to prevent a large schism. Teaches that Divines are true embodiments of their names, and that the citizens and states of the Principality should look to them as guiding stars. The Divine Strength, in other words, is a reflection of strength itself, or maybe "god's strength," and we should aspire to make our strength look like the divine's. Unlike Received Asterism, there is no single central church, but hundreds of smaller sects, schools, and cults, each devoted to individual Divines, grouped sub-pantheons, or otherwise adjusted beliefs.
The Disciples of Logos: A small sect, technically of Progressive Asterists, who believe that Progressive Asterism itself operates under a misunderstanding of the prophet Logos Kantel’s words. Membership spans Divinity, but remains miniscule in size compared to even other Progressive Asterist sects.
The core tenets and practices of the Disciples of Logos are built around aspiration, actualization, and “progression” from one’s current self (or from society’s current state) to a future one. To encourage that process of change, the Disciples of Logos offer services like tutoring, transport, medical aid, shelter, and counseling to those on their journeys.
The Church of the Resin Heart: A Disciples of Logos church on Partizan which claims to be the true inheritor of the prophet’s religious mission. The “resin heart” in question is a 3-foot large object pulled from the sea 400+ years ago and displayed as a relic by the Church. It was originally part of the Exemplar.
The Friends of Gur Sevraq: The name given to the current membership of the Church of the Resin heart, who follow the teachings of a new prophet, Gur Sevraq, who has reportedly performed a number of miracles. They teach the value of and need for open communication between regular members of the principality, and dream of a galactic-communications network which would allow people to send messages between worlds in a matter of seconds or minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. With that established, the Friends believe, change and “progression” would sweep through the Principality.
Millennium Break: Dissidents, idealogues, rebels, and mercenaries launch a revolution from a state-of-the-art mobile fortress. They agree on little, except this: It is time for a new Millennium.
Strand Semaphore: Using ancient Hyphan technology, this messenger service is able to send text-based communications to anywhere on-moon, so long as they’ve built an outpost there.
Lambic House: A group of beer-brewing monks who both operate a brewery and manage a sizable civilian settlement deep in the mountains of the Pique Ridge. Part of the Shepherd’s Crook.
The Shepherd’s Crook: A sect inside of Received Asterism which began soon after the founding of the church as a collection of monks who provided safety and service to then-new colonies… in exchange for wealth and power.
Though their extortionist tendencies (and military might) was reined in by the central church, they remain a group focused on local communities rather than central bureaucracy or dogma.
They’ve also become the home of the Sovereign Immunities, an elite rank of political advisor which carries the freedom to speak directly when others would be censored and which is offered a high degree of diplomatic immunity.
HORIZON: In the popular consciousness, HORIZON is a radical, anti-Principality terrorist organization. In actuality, they are a radical-reformist group, which seeks to drive out what it perceives as corruption in an empire that ought be pursuing noble (instead of selfish) ends. Rumored to be funded by Stel Kesh’s House Brightline.
The Mysteries Metronomica/ “Metronomica”/“The Cult of Perennial”: Guided by the paradoxical belief in historical cycles and radical freedom, the Isles of Logos offers this faith of the Adversary, Perennial, perhaps the only safe ground in the entire galaxy.
Though colloquially referred to as “the cult of Perennial,” a title that many group members accept with a sort of sardonic pride, the full name of the group is the Mysteries Metronomica, or simply Metronomica.
Both Metronomica’s theology and praxis center on the ideas of eternal recurrence, historical cycles (large and small), and the impossibility of stability. History will turn, and they will help it on its way.
Their relationship with Perennial gives them a unique relationship to the Perennial Wave.
The Red Fennecs: Technically, the Red Fennecs are an Apostolosian logistics and transport squad. In actuality, they’re utilized by their commanding officer, Tes’ili Serikos, as the backbone of a humble smuggling operation.
The Sable Court: Some say that on dark nights, they have seen these Ashen witches on the eastern edge of Lake Timea, horns and antlers glittering in the light of Girandole. Some even say that a former elect walks among them. Heresy, all of it.
Company of the Spade: A veteran mercenary unit founded by space miners who learned how to pilot Hollows in the most dangerous of settings. They’ve been brought to Partizan to combine both types of expertise.
The Oxblood Clan: What started as a group of orphans turned into a labor guild and criminal enterprise with connections across Partizan. Occasionally run rough-and-tumble military ops for extra cash. Allies with SBBR.
Apparatus Aperitif (they/them): Logos City, the largest independent city on Partizan, is known as a religious center, but its robotic night mayor ensures that everyone has a good time at the end of their time traveling the Prophet’s Path. Representative of the Mysteries Metronomica onboard Icebreaker Prime.
Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Miracle worker. Currently on board Icebreaker Prime. Has possession of the Divine Future, which gives them startling prescience and the ability to imagine futures outside of the confines of the hegemonic and imperialist world around him.
Si’dra Balos (Si/Si’s, they/them): During their time in a communications division of the Apostolosian Navy, Si’dra saw the cost of war first hand. Now they dream of a world where people can connect instead of fight.
Tes’ili Serikos (they/them, tes/tes’): This Apostolosian transport specialist, black marketeer, and Tes’ili Serikos can get just about anything just about anywhere, for a price. Short, round, fuzzy, and good natured… unless you screw tes over.
The Blossom (he/him): The Lambic House is just supposed to make beer, sell it around the world, and keep people happy. But with each keg delivered by the sect’s Abbot of Provision, the Blossom also serves a short, populist whisper.
Zo’la (zo/zo’s, they/them): As a projection artists, Zo’la seeks to create a cinematic work that captures the dynamic spirit of this historical moment. Born to Columnar, then drawn to the Apostlosian ideology of Dynamism (which values speed, change, and violence above all else. A wildcard and a vanguard. Friends with Gucci Garantine, despite having spent time on opposite sides of the Kesh/Apostolos war.
Zosimel (they/them): Legendary Apostolosian military tactician famous for troop maneuvers that overawed the enemy, producing a sensation of being overwhelmed even when the numbers didn't reflect that. Zosimel eventually outlined this strategy as a sort of broader philosophy called Dynamism.
Agon Ortlights (she/her): Aided by her servicebot companions, Agon worked hard to attain the rank of lieutenant in the Company of the Spade, where she’s become a veteren mercenary, a skilled miner, and a hell of a drinking buddy.
A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.
Eiden Teak (he/him): Soldier and commander in the Sable Court. Wears the wounds of past fights on him with a distinct sort of pride, inherited from his time fighting as an Apostolosian soldier: He’s missing right leg under the knee, and a number of his antlers have been snapped and broken. Wears loose olive drab fatigues, marked the occult insignia and wards of the Court.
Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect.
Alise Breka (she/her): Guest lecturer at Verglaz University and Author of popular Renegade Hearts pulp series, which tells stories of daring and romantic Hallow pilots. On Partizan to research her next book, partly by interviewing the imprisoned pirate Exeter Leap.
The Prophet’s Sea: A massive ocean that dominates the center of most maps of Partizan. It is said that the sea was made by the prophet Logos Kantel in their first miracle, after walking the length of its radius and climbing a set of hills that would soon become islands.
The Isles of Logos: An independent nation built by the followers of the prophet Logos Kantel’s around their very first church. Though only a small handful of islands in the Prophet’s Sea, the Isles keep a standing defense force that rivals any individual unit of the Major Stels.
Pique Ridge: Territory controlled by Stel Nideo on Partizan. East of the Prophet’s Sea, comprised of a mountain range which surrounds a vast, low bay.
Icebreaker Prime: A massive arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling carrier which prowls land and sea, armed with innumerable weapons and potentially housing over ten thousand soldiers. Currently, Icebreaker Prime is under the command of Clementine Kesh and the Rapid Evening, and is hidden in the most unperturbed waters of the Prophet’s Sea.
“Autonomy Itself”/“The True Divine”/The God of the Nobel/The God of Logos Kantel (they/them): Granted the power to transform Partizan into a living world to Logos Kantel 1000 years ago. Guided the Nobel and other cultures in the Scutum-Centaurus arm through the course of their history.
A God of becoming, not being, process, not finality. Their origin is unknown, sometimes debated, but rarely considered important to their devotees, who care more about Their current divinity rather than the circumstances by which it was arrived at.
The phrases “the True Divine” and “Autonomy Itself” are found in some Progressive Asterists texts and doctrine, but also across heterodox and heretical religious creeds and in the teachings of gnostic and esoteric secret societies.
The Exemplar: “God’s Divine.” Originally built 1000 years ago, now spread in “parts” across the moon. Its beating heart was left in the sea. It’s countless eyes buried under the Memoria Teardrop. Its blood runs through the springs of the Pique Ridge. Its powerful voice echoes through the windswept canyons of the Barranca. And, perhaps, something else trapped below the ice in the northern reaches of Kesh territory in the Verglaz Taiga.
Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?
Valence: I feel the uncomfortable draw of the unknown from Apparatus, but must keep focus on the revolution and the way of God. An overindulgence of curiosity would sidetrack me.
Apparatus: Gur Sevraq has always been a bit of a Day Mayor. I hope he has not gotten too used to the light.
Gur Sevraq: Milli is right to distrust all who seek to direct her power, but she ought fight for those who share her dreams yet lack her strength.
Milli: Sovereign Immunity's connections could get us out of prison. I need to make sure this summit doesn't make him forget that.
SI: This is the moment Clementine must show her mettle as a leader. If she is truly a frivolous child I will find someone better.
Clem: United, Gucci and I could be a powerful force for Kesh, with me at its head. Her misplaced egalitarianism, however, is a problem.
Gucci: Broun knows how to get things done and I know what they want in return. But there’s a difference between service and loyalty, and I don’t know when or where they’ll draw that line.
Broun: I need Valence to keep their promise to me but I don’t believe they can.