Apr 25, 2020
At the northwest reaches of the extended defensive perimeter known as Fort Icebreaker, Kesh brigades engage in a feint so convincing that the graves have already been dug. To the southeast, the bulk of the Stel’s might on Partizan waits for the signal to roll through the weakest point in Apostolos’ line. And in the middle, as if the axle of a wheel, is the Rapid Evening, a river, and a bastion called Juniper. Here rests the fate of the early days of this new offensive.
From the hills to the south, the fog begins to roll in.
This week on PARTIZAN: BITTER AIR - THREECARD
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 Black Century: Infamous retinue of the Divine Motion. Each member of this 100-person company serves for 100 years. Motion guarantees them this service.
House Whitestar: A generation ago, House Whitestar was a footnote: A noble house in name alone, with an ancient (and novel) connection to Apostolos. But then a scion of their house was elected as Princept. Now, they have a little weight to throw around and a chip on their shoulder. Home to the virtuoso strategist Lucia Whitestar.
House Chasmata: The Chasmata family has governed Stel Kesh’s holdings for as long as Kesh has had holdings on Partizan. But in the last century, the family seems more interested in an archeological dig in the northern ice cap than in managing its estates. This has not, unfortunately for Apostolos, limited the amount of military might that Chasmata can bring to bear in an emergency.
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.
A.O. Rooke (he/him): Former Stel Orion mercenary, now commander of the Rapid Evening’s “toughs” squad.
Hyacinth (they/them): Elect of Motion. Serving in their 99th year, Hyacinth is nearing the end of their tenure in the Black Century.
Gur Sevraq (he/them): Leader of the Church of the Resin Heart. Reported miracle worker. Currently in Rapid Evening custody. 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.
Lucia Whitestar (she/her): “Lady Whitestar” is Clementine’s peer, emerging strategic genius, and eighth in line to the throne of Princept. Leading the operation to breach Fort Icebreaker.
Alberz Chasmata (he/him): Lord Chasmata operates all of his house’s military operations on Partizan. Given the house’s military strength, that makes him among the moon’s most influential people.
Fort Icebreaker: Fort Icebreaker isn’t a fort so much as what might be called the “main line of resistance” separating Kesh from Apostolos across a 500 mile stretch of Partizan. Despite its name, Fort Icebreaker comprises hundreds of military facilities, including watchtowers, artillery emplacements, anti-armor barriers, an array of advanced surveillance systems, and 12 major bases. That isn’t to say that there isn’t also A Fort Icebreaker, though: Icebreaker Prime is real and it is massive, an arsenal, garrison, airfield, and a firebase all rolled into one. Worse: It moves. Icebreaker Prime is a rumbling land carrier which prowls the tundra armed with innumerable weapons and housing over ten thousand of Apostolos’ most skilled soldiers. And, worst of all, it does not only move across the ground, but below it, too.
Point Juniper: One of the two central bases in Fort Icebreaker’s long line, but also the weakest of them. Partially, that’s because any base with a river running through it is going to be weaker by virtue of being a little more porous. But also because, as one of the central fortresses, it’s also one of the most easily reinforced.
Barranca: To the north of Obelle lies the Apostolosian province of Barranca, where mediterranian subtropical shores give way to a vast latticework of ravines and crags. There, military bases and civilian settlements sit in the crooks and alcoves, shaded by high canyon walls. Rising above it all is the famed Barranca Loop, a massive suspended cable system that runs up above the atmosphere like a giant bridge, and which allows Apostolos to launch ships and cargo into space. Heavily patrolled and under complete control of Stel Apostolos.
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.
The Divine Future: An ancient divine, dating back to the second major war in the Golden Branch star sector. Exists in the form of golden orb slightly larger than a softball or bocce ball, which can either be carried by or hover around its Elect. Offers its chosen unparalleled perspective on the hopes and dreams of themselves and others, and the endless vigor with which to pursue them. Stolen by Gur Sevraq from ████████, █████████ of ███ ████ ██ █████████ ███████.
The Divine Motion: Long after enemy fuel tanks run empty, Motion continues to power Apostolosian machines of war (like its infamous retinue, the Black Century) and service (including the massive Barranca Loop that allows Apostolos to regularly launch ships spaceward).
Old Glory: Sovereign Immunity’s hallow, a modified Singh Sisters Wheel Service & Heavy Industry Ltd. “Deltoid” model. Used for rapid agricultural construction, able to create small shelters in minutes, and large modular structures in a matter of hours instead of days. Able to rapidly create barricades with large construction panels. Wields a spike-planting gun and a scythe, the latter of which was appropriated from an agricultural hollow. Once featured the icon of the Shepherd’s Crook, but this was melted by a flamethrower, then removed, leaving behind the negative space of the symbol instead of a scorch mark. Blessed by Future.
Panther: Clementine’s hallow, an ancient mech piloted by a near mythological hero of a war barely remembered. Medium sized, black, humanoid, angular, and birdlike in some elements of its design. In another life, it could split itself up into independently flying microwings, each of which could serve as a flanking weapon. Its current pilot can not conceive of using it in this way. Blessed by Future.
Stray Dog: Million’s hallow, a Zenith-A Project Katalepsis prototype model, stolen when she went AWOL from GLORY. Medium-sized and humanoid in base shape, but able to rearrange its body to accommodate the rail gun built into the torso and left arm. Each limb is double jointed with sleek black and silver plating. There is only one glowing eye on the head, which houses the Stray Dog's aiming systems and pilot. Blessed by Future.
Heads Up: Exeter Leap’s hallow, a re-fitted Emergentec Rapid Response Type III Breaching Ambulance which he has converted for criminal purposes. Large cylindrical legs taper upwards towards the head. Armored fists and a back mounted mortar. Blessed by Future.
AdArm Cast: This surveillance hollow is mostly used by Stel Nideo, where it features angelic (and grotesque) features. But in its Kesh variation, this mirror-coated, humanoid mech’s wings are stylized as long claymores instead of feather-y wings, and its body a noble knight instead of celestial seraphim. Just above its mouth, its head becomes an AWACS-esque flat sensor disc.
AdArm Shrewdness: These modified Troop units have been retrofitted for long range combat, with lock-on missile launchers and only short range chest vulcans for anti-infantry and close-range combat.
Zenith-A Project Kosmos: Designed by the Columnar Zenith Fund for Apostolosian use, these hefty hollows are designed for melee supremacy. Their bulky, reverse jointed legs allow them to explode with speed into close range (where they can do serious damage with their long heat glaives), or to hold their ground from incoming assaults (supported by the stock, circular shield each unit wields). The cost of this strength is a lack of versatility: Between the added articulation and pre-programmed combat routines required for the elaborate weapon use these hollows are known for, there simply wasn’t room left for any serious ranged weaponry.
AdAm Cackle: Designed to disorient enemies with their quick speeds and to finish off weakened units, the Cackle is a four legged model named for a group of hyenas. Their side-mounted rockets can be used for additional acceleration or as holdout munitions, but their primary weapons are their sharp claws and the heavy cannons on their backs.
AdArm Wake (vulture): Adamant Arms and Artifice isn’t known for building particularly maneuverable units, and these heavy flight mechs are evidence of that, as they hover through the sky more than soar. But between the information provided by their altitude, their added armor, and their unpredictable armaments, they remain a force to be reckoned with. When they launch their tethered, magnetic talons at a foe, there is rarely time to adjust. Soon enough, their foes are lifted into the air and dropped, soft-side first, into the hardest surface available.
Z-A Project Pneuma Prototype: The Pnuema is an experimental model based on the basic design ethos first explored with the Z-A Kosmos. Instead of being focused on extreme close range, the Pneuma is meant to dominate the battlefield as a heavyweight, mid-range commander. Despite its increased scale, large ovoid vernier engines allow it a great deal of mobility, making it an intimidating machine to face--even more so when you take into account the fact that its heat glave has been affixed with a pump-action rocket launcher. If that wasn’t enough, this particular model creaks and groans with Divine potential...
Primary Objective: After House Chasmata attacks Fort Icebreaker at the northwestern point Spruce, capture and hold central point Juniper long enough for Lucia Whitestar to break through Fort Icebreaker at southeastern point Pine. Prevent Fort Icebreaker from reaching Point Pine at any cost.
Secondary Objective: Provide the documentary team with enough footage to increase your reputation.
ROE: Capture and detain all POWs. Harm no one captured, but let none flee to spread the word.
Future's Hallowed: In your vehicle, when you get a 4+ result on a roll, you can remove the highest die to refresh your Spark (this can turn a success into failure, or crit into a normal success if the two 6s are the only successful dice). Spend your spark to change a failed roll into a partial success.
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt
A transcription is available for this episode here.
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