Jul 24, 2020
For those who live under tyranny, the exhaustion and fear is such that it can be hard to even imagine or recognize what escape or progress or revolution look like. But when Icebreaker Prime came over the horizon, the citizens of Cruciat, beaten down by generations of chic, high-minded Kesh terror, knew exactly what they were looking at. Millennium Break.
Cruciat was all but undefended, with the bulk of Kesh’s forces engaged with Motion her Apostlosian forces to the west--an attack they would not have anticipated if not for late coming intelligence from an Apostolosian traitor.
Now, the revolution had to make a final decision in this first stretch of what would surely be a decades long campaign: Was it time to make a definitive strike. To take not just any city, but the city a Princept sometimes calls home. The city where the prisoners turned radicals of the Rapid Evening were once held. Where knowledge is locked away from those that need it most. Where hierarchy is woven into the streets themselves.
The question on everyone’s minds wasn’t what the cost would be if Millennium Break took Cruciat. It was what it would be if they didn’t.
This week on PARTIZAN: The Storm Over Cruciat
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.
Is currently in a covert war against the Pact of Necessary Venture.
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. The backbone of the private comms network used by Millennium Break.
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.
The Peaceful Princept (he/him): Born Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh, The Peaceful Princept is one of two current pretenders to the title. He was not meant to inherit the position, but instead was thrust into it as part of Stel Kesh’s attempt to hold onto the title after Dahlia defected to Stel Apostolos. When he was still “only” Cynosure Kesh, he was a mediocre negotiator of economic policy (notably losing ground to Stel Orion’s Rye, elect of Space, during the Kesh-Coronet Trade Dispute of 1390) and an even more mediocre poet (having written the much panned collection “In All Days the Sun Second”). He is attending the Summer Passage of Arms.
Both The Curtain and the Pact of Necessary Venture hope to manipulate him in order to better secure their power.
The Glorious Princept (they/them): The second pretender to the title of Princept. Born to house Kesh and current Apokine of Stel Apostolos, they are known to many as simply ‘Dahlia. Unlike Cynosure, Dahlia is a beloved leader who has proven themselves in court and on the battlefield in the ongoing war against the Branched far from the moon of Partizan. At the same time, they wage war against Stel Kesh and promise to bring to light misdeeds perpetrated by the Principality against the Apostolosian people.
Though they are not at the Summer Passage this year, in the year of their majority, they attended as a competitor and won six events, sweeping the Passage and gaining the title “The Six-Fold Champion.”
Kueen Overture “K.O.” Rooke (she/her): SBBR’s contact at the Scrivener's Guild. A former ace pilot, lead mechanic, and battlefield commander, KO now uses her expertise to dispatch and guide mercenary units across Partizan as a broker in the Scrivener’s Guild. Mother of Audacious Opportunity (“A.O.”) Rooke.
Crysanth Kesh (she/her): Clementine Kesh’s mother. Third in line to the throne of Kesh. As Gabardine of the Curtain of Divinity, Crysanth is the highest ranking member of the Curtain on Partizan.
Cas’alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Cas has brown skin with dark green hair up in a bun, with a few strands hanging down in front of their face (which is framed with similarly colored scales covering cas’ jawline and neck. Broken sword tattoos under their eyes. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia.
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.
The Verglaz Taiga: Wrapped around the northern latitudes of Partizan, the Verglaz is a beauty to take in, at least from the comfort of the palatial Kesh estates which dot its wooded expanses. From the smaller villages and towns, where feudal tenants huddle for warmth in the snow, whatever aesthetic pleasure the taiga may offer the rich is lost. In the south west, though, a new source of warmth has made its presence known: The burning engine of the Apostolosian war machine, which melts the ice away with artillery barrage and crashed mech, both.
Cruciat: The Jewel of Kesh’s holdings on Partizan (and the home of the Stel’s Winter Palace) sits on a cross shaped island in the northernmost reaches of the Prophet’s Sea
The Winter Palace: Owned and managed by House Kesh, but eternal “home” to the Princept, whether they choose to visit or not. Built for privacy and access, featuring both its own port and trainyard.
Westhaven: Kesh’s military might is most centered in this province, which stretches across its westmost ports and up against its border with chief rival, Apostolos. “Westhaven stands so that we may serve dinner in the palace.”
The Estatelands: The southeastern taiga, where the climate is most temperate and the tall trees stand closely together, is home to the dozens of noble families who rule Kesh’s lands on Partizan. Miles of canopy suddenly broken by vast, cleared and pruned acreage.
The North Gallery: Decades before Museum Row was an established destination, the North Gallery collected art about and ephemera from Kesh’s original colonization of the Verglaz Taiga on Partizan.
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.
Bing 32: Broun’s floating, cat sized drone able to use a variety of tools. Now mass produced for use across Millennium Break.
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?
Crossroad #6: Will The Kingdom invade Vigil City in order to rescue the Equiaxed Commune there?
Crossroad #7: Will The Kingdom participate in the Summer Passage of Arms?
Crossroad #8: Will the Kingdom invade Cruciat?
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 and Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
A transcription is available for this episode here.
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