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Jan 6, 2023

This episode carries content warnings for slavery and indentured servitude, kidnapping, discussion of taxidermy, animals bred to be hunted, blood, injury, physical harm, death, and the discussion of sports-related injuries.

It is often noted that the Bilateral Commission (formerly the Curtain) is mostly comprised of people from Stels Kesh and Nideo, and likewise that the Pact is largely made up of Apostolosians and Columnar. Room is made for exceptions because, in many cases, such cases are all the more important.

Thus could be the case of Exanceaster March, Columnar data magnate and long time friend of the (ever diminishing) Solstice family of Kesh. Today, the troubled aristocrats bring their powerful ally to their estate for a visit, during which they hope to persuade March to leave the Pact behind. 

For the Solstice family, this could be everything they need to be catapulted back into the upper crust. For their servants, it will be just one more hellish event left for them to clean up after.

This week on the Road to PALISADE: Upstairs & Downstairs

Records Recovered from the Divine, Arbitrage


The Bilateral Intercession: This faction, made up primarily from Stel Nideo and Kesh assets, was formerly known as the Curtain. The rebranding comes as part of a “civil coup” performed by Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh. In a move that surprised no group more than the Curtain themselves, Cynosure spent years growing in confidence and power, until that intelligence organization could be once again reduced to a tool. Still defined by their traditionalism, they wield their control on culture, religion, and history as a weapon—and the extensive spy network for which they are named when those come up short.

The Pact of Free States: While the Bilateral Intercession’s name change reflects a shift in leadership and posture for the Curtain, the shift from “The Pact of Necessary Venture” to “The Pact of Free States” is simply the public acceptance of what was already widely understood to be true. Led in name by Dahlia, the Glorious Princept, and in day-to-day operation by senior members of Stels Apostolos and Columnar, the Pact paint themselves as liberal reformists whose aim is to increase the degree of autonomy in each of the Stels, such that they become in reality five separate nations.

The Branched: A post-human culture from the Golden Branch star sector who have transformed their bodies into spectacular forms, but who are now weighed down by an endless war with the Principality.




Crevera Solstice (she/her): (Largely absent) matriarch of the Solstice family. 

Coughton Solstice (he/him): Crevera’s husband. An absolute pushover.

Carvisle Solstice (he/him): The cruel son of Somerset House.

Catalina Solstice (she/her): Adventurous older daughter of the house, who’s never met a cause she wouldn’t turn into a vanity project. 

Catrina Solstice (she/her): Morose younger daughter of the house with a special interest in taxidermy.

Exanceaster March (he/him): Head of the vast Columnar multi-system conglomerate called the Frontier Syndicate, which is older than the Stel itself. While the Syndicate has its hands in many enterprises, the heart of it all is corralling and instrumentalizing data. One such effort, Exanceaster’s pet project the March Anecdatist Foundation, set its sights on Palisade as a testing ground.

Guliford Gain (she/her): March’s bodyguard. Cinephile.

Bel’Agos Bloom (bel/bels, they/them): Pact admiral and March’s sibling-in-law. 

Laris, Leah, and Laurice: March’s servants. Indentured indefinitely. 

Vivian Exler (she/her): Somerset House’s “award winning” gardener and groundskeeper. 

Martine Sprue (she/her): Somerset House’s mechanic, in charge of the family’s small fleet of terrible machines.

Eileen Lilas (she/her): One of Somerset House’s maidservants and erstwhile companion to Catrina.


Kaliope: A planet at the very periphery of the Golden Branch star sector. Once, it was known for cutting edge genetic modifications, avant garde fashion, and a streak of anti-authoritarianism. Now it is just one jewel on the bracelet of the principality. 

Somerset House: Estate of the Solstice family, deep in the forests of Kaliope. It’s hidden away and defensible, but some say that it carries a dark past connected to the Branched..


Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart),Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), and Sylvi Bullet (@GODSNEXTMARTYR)

Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)

Text by Austin Walker

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

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