Jul 3, 2020
A week away from the moon of Partizan, a vessel rare in its luxury and power orbited the Portcullis which connects this provincial system to the rest of the empire. Inside, the living leaders of the Pact of Necessary Venture conferred with the sort of secrecy afforded only to the truly powerful. Their question: What was to be done about Millennium Break?
On paper, the two groups had great reason to despise each other: Gur Sevraq had robbed the Pact of a Divine, killing its elect and a former elect of Past in the process. The Pact had attacked Valence’s homeworld, and disregarded the authority of the True Divine. Motion had been bested by the Rapid Evening, and found herself a rival in Ver’Million Blue--a rivalry felt in the jealous heart of Motion’s new elect, a young, yet intuitive Apostolosian commander known to be attentive and authoritative in equal measure.
And yet, it was clear that the group was a potential ally in the struggle against the Princepts’ endless war and the Principality’s outmoded system of governance. But should the Pact offer quiet support? Should they go public and join the Break in the trenches? Perhaps they should simply infiltrate the group and help shape them towards the Pact’s needs.
It was Gallica, elect of Present, who determined the plan of action, and Gallica, thus, who would deliver the offer. The only question was whether Millennium Break understood the precarious position they rested in well enough to make the right decision.
This week on PARTIZAN: Courage in the Shadow of Opportunity
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, but has already been replaced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gallica (she/her): Elect of the Divine Present, Chief Emissary of Stel Nideo, Verse (missionary) in the Holy Church of Received Asterism, signatory of the Pact of Necessary Venture, and Anodyne of all Divinity.
Gallica has spent the last five years living, in effect, as a double agent. Her role as a Verse of Received Asterism and Nidean Emissary is to ensure unity among the Stels and repair the harm done to Stel Nideo’s reputation by The Farmer. But she simultaneously has sown discord against the Princepts, aided in the creation of the Pact’s shadow fleets, and made herself a great deal of profit in the process. Because of Present’s unique abilities, she is the most traveled mortal being in the Divine Principality.
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.
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.
Marengo: Oxbridge’s biggest rival to the far west of Orion territory, Marengo borders the Prophet’s Path and because of that has been favored by three groups: faithful hoping to draw on the strength of passing pilgrims; traders eager to take tourist coin; and criminals who like the proximity of uncontrolled territory.
Auspice: A seaside city in the Prophet’s Path north of Marengo (which it is smaller than) and south of Obelle (which it dwarfs). Auspice is the final destination of the land travel portion of the yearly pilgrimage led by the Church of the Resin Heart. Resting on a landmass that appears on a map to be a finger pointing eastward, it has become a coastal refuge for members of Millennium Break.
Present (it/its): On first blush, Present might be confused for a small, if luxurious frigate. And sometimes, it is just that: Its oval structure houses living quarters, a humble armory, enough cargo space to hold a single hollow, and even a fully stocked bar. But at a snap of its elect’s fingers, it transforms into a humanoid war machine that serves its elect loyally, outclasses any single Hollow or Hallow in operation, and is capable of holding its own against many other Divines in combat.
Neither of these facets are what really define Present, though. Instead, it is the divine’s ability to blink from one location to another, traveling across huge distances in an instant. A journey which would take even the most well-appointed ship of the Principality’s vast fleets a year takes Present only a second. In a world so fractured and large, where distance is felt materially, presence becomes a miracle.
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.
Crossroad #1: Will The Kingdom allow civilian refugees to live on Icebreaker Prime?
Crossroad #2: Will the Kingdom rob the surreptitious Columnar and Orion arms shipments in order to address our resource problem?
Crossroad #3: Will the Kingdom hold elections?
Crossroad #4: Will the Kingdom put counterrevolutionaries on trial?
Crossroad #5: Will The Kingdom accept the aid of the Pact of Necessary Venture in the form of a secure island, from which MB can expand their operation and farm food safe from the crisis?
The Millenium Break Manifesto
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.
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 (@ali_west)
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)