Episode Description[edit | edit source]
In the weeks since Kesh’s new offensive into Apostolos territory, little has changed besides the quantity of weekly war casualties. Halting Kesh’s push is Fort Icebreaker, a massive defensive line composed of a dozen smaller forts, an intricate tunnel system, and a massive moving fortress called Icebreaker Prime which stalks along the border, rejecting any intruders with overwhelming force.
But that will change today, says Kesh leadership. Organized by tactical prodigy Lucia Whitestar, a complex ploy is put into action. House Chasmata, strongest of Kesh’s noble families on Partizan, will lead their vast ground force in a feint manoeuvrer to Icebreaker’s northwest edge. Lucia, meanwhile, will lead the combined forces of the remaining houses at the Fort’s opposite end in the southeast.
It’s an old plan, one that hasn’t worked in five years of war, nor the occasional skirmish prior. But this time, there is a final twist: The Rapid Evening. Driven into the fray by A.O. Rooke’s boisterous bragging, the group has been given a difficult task: Capture one of the smaller fortresses in the center of the defensive line and hold the returning Icebreaker Prime for long enough that Lucia’s army can breach the southern defenses and finally secure a foothold deeper into Apostolosian territory.
With the gravity of the task at hand, the members of the Rapid Evening look for any advantage they can get. Information. Family. Prayer.
This week on PARTIZAN: BITTER AIR - BEHEST
///Operation Dossier\\\[edit | edit source]
//Organizations\\[edit | edit source]
Swordbreakers: Blessed by Commitment and led by Cas’alear Rizah, the adopted sibling of the Apokine & Princept, they’re known across the war as legend killers who punch above their weight.
Serpent’s Head: Grand Admiral Phy’lon Antiphony and their fleet serves double duty as both naval powerhouse and lead diplomatic corp for Apostolos’ forces on Partizan. They wear the name like a dare.
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.
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.
//People\\[edit | edit source]
Cas'alear Rizah (cas/cas’, they/them): Leader of the Swordbreakers. Reputation as being beautiful and brave by allies, unflinching and unpredictable by foes. Pilots the notorious Ataraxia. Previously fought against the Oxblood Clan in Obelle and negotiated with Clementine Kesh during the recovery of Past.
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.
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.
//Places\\[edit | edit source]
Lion’s Rest: A bustling seaside port town, housing hundreds of thousands of civilians along with the bulk of the Apostolosian navy and diplomatic forces.
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-armour 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.
//Divines\\[edit | edit source]
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 ███ ████ ██ █████████ ███████.[note 1]
//Things\\[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
//Additional Notes\\[edit | edit source]
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.
Rules of Engagement: Capture and detain all POWs. Harm no one captured, but let none flee to spread the word.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Opening Narration[edit | edit source]
Twisting alleyways led like tributaries to packed avenues, where civilians hawked their wares to passing sailors. Barroom shouting led prelude to streetside sparring matches. Smoke brought the smell of charred food up from one level of the city to the next, and the sea added its own salt. This bustling seaside metropolis, spread across a terraced bay, wrapped around a lush inlet, was Lion's Rest, home to all the things that reminded good Apostolosian soldiers what they were fighting for.
It was also home to the Serpent's Head, de facto leadership of Stel Apostolos on Partizan, equal parts armada and diplomatic corps, which was why Cas'alear Rizah, leader of the infamous Swordbreakers was here to begin with. They had reviewed the reports, watched the reconnaissance footage. They knew that Apostolos wasn't the villain that Kesh had made them out to be. Apostolos didn't kill Past and they didn't kidnap some priest.
So why wasn't leadership trying to convince anyone else of that? Why deflect instead of deny? Why rush to the parapet instead of to the press corps?
They got their answer from the corner of cas' eye. Coming down some old stone stairs in a fury, looking out to the sea for comfort, cas was taken for a moment by the sheer beauty of the Apostolosian navy, churning through the bay.
Each ship bristled with charged violence, gun barrels and aircraft, launch decks and porthole rifles, mine-layers waiting to deploy concentrated misfortunate. It all moved for the sake of moving. They didn't try to deescalate because they wanted to see their ships dance in the sea, light the sky on fire, serenade foreign shores with artillery rhythm.
It hit them like a bullet in the gut: "oh, this is how we lose the war."
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Austin Walker
- Sylvia Clare (Ver'Million Blue)
- Keith J Carberry (Exeter Leap)
- Art Martinez-Tebbel (Sovereign Immunity)
- Jack de Quidt (Clementine Kesh)
Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- (Speculation: UNKNOWN of The Pact of Necessary Venture)