May 8, 2020
After a stunning victory in Orzen, the Society of Banners and Bright Returns must now face the cold light of day. Bodies wounded, hollows damaged, and reputations scarred, Broun, Thisbe, and Valence recuperate as best they can. But as the war becomes ever more complicated, and as new expectations are placed on them, tensions raise from a simmer to a boil.
This week on PARTIZAN: On the Edge of Fracture
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 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 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.
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, ████████, ███████, ████████, ███, and ████████ 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, █████████ ███ ████ ████ █ █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ████ ███████.
The Nobel: The people and culture from which Valence originates. They live beyond Partizan, in the Scutum-Centaurus arm of the Milky Way, which a past Princept declared was not to be colonized or even explored. But years ago they suffered an attack by the Pact of Necessary Venture, though who specifically ordered the attack is still unknown. The majority of Nobel worship the same God as the Disciples of Logos, though the specifics of each faith remain unique.
They are gaseous, telepathic beings who often use mechanical bodies in order to interact with other sorts of people.
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.
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.
Kueen Overture 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.
Booker Treequote (he/him): Senior Broker for the Scrivener’s Guild. Called in to audit SBBR’s recent activities.
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.
The Tranquil Princept: Made an oath with the God of the Nobel 1000 years ago, promising that the Principality would not go beyond Partizan into the Scutum-Centaurus arm until they had dissolved their empire and become an equitable society. Created the Curtain of Divinity to achieve that goal.
Gucci Garantine (she/her): Leader of HORIZON’s efforts on Partizan..
Jesset City (he/him): Oxblood Clan lieutenant, engineer, and pilot.
Mourningbride (she/her): An initiate in the Sable Court, and a former Elect.
Oxbridge: Most bridges connect land to land, but the enormous Bridge of the Ox connects ocean ports to the docks of largest freshwater lake on the moon. Under the bridge rests Oxbridge, a dense city of canals and crimson light, and the first large scale Principality settlement to come to the moon, nearly 1000 years ago.
Oxbridge is split into three regions: Brightsky West, Underbridge, and Brightsky East. To the East and West, merchants, nobles, and the ever-upwardly mobile live, work, shop and play. But below the bridge’s shadow is an undercity of laborers both local and transient, eking by from job to job, day to day, by the fuel of their effort and the light of the red, phosphorescent “lamps” that give Underbridge its distinct glow, even in daytime.
Connecting it all together are a network of waterways, roads, and secret tunnels. And above it all is the Bridge of the Ox, the symbol of Orion’s commitment to (and mastery of) brute-force ideology.
Orzen: A city in the Pique Ridge. SBBR, HORIZON, and the Oxblood Clan attacked the city in an effort to recover information about Past’s destruction and the Rapid Evening from a Palace archive there.
Deep Dish Steak House: A loyal bar.
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 Prophet’s Path: An autonomous region to the west of the Prophet’s Sea, south of Apostolosian territory and north of Orion. These dusty badlands are dotted with small villages, farms, and other settlements. Its furthest, most western reaches are untouched by Kantel’s miracle. In order to celebrate the millennial anniversary of Logos Kantel’s arrival, the Church of the Resin Heart is traveling a pilgrimage on the route the prophet once took.
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.
The Divine, Arbitrage (It/Its): It is said that divinity was too long delayed this anteperennial machine, a god of trade. But the truth is, if it wanted to be divine in the twilight era, it simply would’ve negotiated that deal.
“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.
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