Jul 17, 2020
However the Summer Passage of Arms--a yearly competition of strength, skill, acumen, and style--began, it has followed in the fate of many similar comptetitons prior and become a proxy for nationalistic fervor. On the Isle of Summer in the Prophet’s Sea, all five Great Stels gather to test each other in a host of events.
Commenters often say that the games bring out “the best of the Principality.” This is true, though perhaps more true--and obvious through its omission--it is the case that the Passage serves to hide the worst of the Principality, too. The winner earns glory, but each Stel--even those currently at war with each other--also seeks something else through their simple presence at the games: To convince the world that this is what ‘civilization’ looks like. At home, the Stels drive their boots into the backs of their most vulnerable citizens. But here on the beautiful Isle of Summer, they gather in the name of fair and even conflict on an agreed upon battleground to see who is the noblest of them all.
This week on PARTIZAN: She Said, “To Win We Must Play!”
The Summer Passage of Arms: The Summer Passage is as much an event as an organization, a committee that holds a yearly competition of athletics, martial prowess, cultural acumen, and all else expected in a hero of the Divine Principality. As such, each Stel serves as patron to an official team, though smaller organizations (Progressive Asterist churches,Stel Orion corporations, Columnar regional funds, etc.) are known to send their own teams.
As Partizan is the rare place where all five Stels meet, the event is held on the moon yearly, with results shared (albeit slowly) across the whole of the Principality. Though key events change from Summer to Summer, they often include an element of hollow proficiency. In this year’s event, sponsored teams are required to compete across hollow wrestling, synchronized sharp shooting, poetry, the biathlon, and the Divine Providence, a race and obstacle course that tests each competitors endurance and agility. Though they are not official events, patrons are also encouraged to participate through a general display of style, and a non-ranked demonstration of spear technique.
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.
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 Heretical Divine Providence: When Progressive Asterism was officially recognized, each of the Stels celebrated by collaboratively building this Divine. But for reasons none could understand, it turned on them as soon as it came to life. It was laid to rest, its Divinity stripped from it, and now lies dormant (thought dead) in the center of the Summer Isle, where its dragon-like skeleton serves as a literal obstacle course for the final event of the games.
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?
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?
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)