Episode Description[edit | edit source]
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
///Operation Dossier\\\[edit | edit source]
//Organizations\\[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
//People\\[edit | edit source]
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.
//Places\\[edit | edit source]
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.
//Divines\\[edit | edit source]
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.
//Additional Notes\\[edit | edit source]
“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.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Opening Narration[edit | edit source]
Kueen Overture Rooke had not chosen to work with the Society of Banners and Bright Returns. In fact as she had been assigned as the group's broker by Scrivener's Guild lottery, choice never came into it at all. But after meeting that band of misfits for the first time, she was so pleased by her assignment that she permanently worked words of gratitude to the Divine Fortune into her nightly prayers.
She saw in each of them a reflection of a different age in her own life. In Thisbe, the way she used her strength and endurance as a soldier, committed, unstoppable. In Broun, her time as a tinkerer and mechanic, to say nothing of a shared thirst for profit. And in Valence, a modern mirror: the care she felt for others, her ability to walk delicately between the lines to get things done.
But now, with the war heating up, with reports from SBBR's activity in Orzen, and with whispers in her ear that something big was coming, she was kicking herself for thinking of them as friends or favourites, instead of simply clients.
It had happened overnight: Stel Nideo had entered the war against Apostolos on Partizan. Whether it had done so throughout the Principality was anyone's guess, but probably, probably. What she could say for sure was that the act had sent Orion and Columnar into a new, more direct style of rivalry. Not war by definition, but not peace by any standard.
And yet it was in this moment that Broun decided to go off-book and hurt civilians? In this moment that Valence had sought to get the group caught up with amateur revolutionaries? She had championed them, helped them set up shop, secured their first contracts, and shielded them from management when they went bad.
But if they were going to go where she thought they were, then they would need to trust her as much as she did them. And if they couldn't, then who could they trust?
Episode Events[edit | edit source]
Resolve entanglement: Broun goes to talk with a dude. (Interrogation).
Thisbe's First Move[edit | edit source]
Heal: Get defragged. Broun has to look up a manual for the Talonite version of Thisbe. Thisbe recovers completely from her 1st level harm.
Valence's First Move[edit | edit source]
Heal: Broun rolls a crit, so Valence is healed completely from a 2nd level harm. The healing happens pretty soon after getting back -- after Broun's nap, before their interrogation. Valence is in Broun's workshop, where they meet Broun and explain that, while normally they would be able to heal themself, their fine motor controls are gone, and they require Broun's help in restoring them, and in patching a hole in their exoskeleton.
Valence holds up their arm to demonstrate their robotic form to Broun, and their skin shimmers into a mist and vanishes, revealling robotic arm beneath. Valence takes off their mask, and inside is a blank face -- "like Mr Potato Head before you put anything on". They float out of their body as purple-teal gas, which is the natural form of a Nobel. Valence tells Broun about a hole in the back of their head that needs fixing, and Broun goes to get more tools, making telepathic small talk -- including recommending upgrades to Valence's body -- whilst they move.
Broun's First Move[edit | edit source]
Fix their mech. Rolls a 2d6, with the result of a 2 and 3, clearing the 1st level harm "Decalibrated". They then spend one material to drop the 2nd level harm "Scorched" to a 1st level harm.
Thisbe's Second Move[edit | edit source]
Thisbe starts a new long term project, "Find the Farmers", which has a four step clock. Originally, the idea was suggested that she try to use pirate records, as the Principality has purposefully lost the records of that planet. Instead, as Thisbe has no pirate contacts, she goes to talk to The Divine, Arbitrage. Janine rolls 1d6, rolling a 4. Narratively, this means that she has a meeting booked with the The Divine, Arbitrage in several weeks -- a shorter time than would normally be possible for a meeting with it, due to its interest in her.
Valence's Second Move[edit | edit source]
Work on Long Term Project: Find out who attacked the Nobel. By meditating on the vision they saw. Dre rolls 4d6, with an outcome of a five (2/5/2/2). The stars in the vision were in the Scutum-Centaurus arm. They manage to pull Gur Sevraq into the meditation (from where Sevraq is on Icebreaker Prime).
Gur reveals that, 1000 years ago, Logos arrived on Partizan, bringing the "Potency of Progression", and changed the moon. And the Principality could have changed, but a different path was chosen. The Princept at the time, the Tranquil Princept, saw that the True Divine was scary and that the Principality could not beat them, and signed an oath. The True Divine would bar The Divine Principality from entering the Scutum-Centaurus arm until they had progressed to a point that they did not consider all worlds already theirs. The Pact are not in line with this goal. This recent vision was their second attempt, and it broke the pact. Previously, the group established by the Tranquil Princept would have stopped them.
Broun's Second Move[edit | edit source]
Broun rolls Collect, rolling 4d6 and getting a 6 (4/3/4/6).
Thisbe's Third Move[edit | edit source]
Contact Lake Timea/Train in sending more discreet psychic messages. Austin starts a project to keep track of the number of "revolutionary parties" that SBBR have managed to contact and bring together, Thisbe's actions adding Lake Timea to this list, which currently involves HORIZON, The Oxblood Clan, and The Friends of Gur Sevraq.
Valence's Third Move[edit | edit source]
Valence goes to schmooze, increasing the Society's relationship with HORIZON, which results in a +1 with Stel Kesh. Advances the plan to hold a meeting of revolutionaries, which, in a conversation with Gur, they propose could be held in the middle of The Prophet's Sea. Gur tells them that he will get back to them about this, as he may have a place that this meeting could be held.
Broun's Third Move[edit | edit source]
Broun works on their drive clock, acquiring an asset which takes the form of a license to pilot a ship through Partizan's Portcullis deeper into Divinity.
Broun's Forth Move[edit | edit source]
(Broun is able to take additional moves by spending the Material they Collected earlier in thie downtime). They begin to work on the machine that they were given by the Sable Court. Roll and spend a bunch of material to do that, gets a broken car in exchange that is theirs to keep.
Broun's Fifth Move[edit | edit source]
Start a long term project: Fix the broken car they just received in exchange for returning the acoustic unit to the Court. Ali rolls a six, nearly filling this progress clock.
Scene Between Valence and Clementine[edit | edit source]
Resolve location of meeting of revolutionaries: Gur Sevraq connects Valence to Clementine Kesh.
Broun's Sixth Move[edit | edit source]
Broun heads to a spa with Valence, and while there the two explore Valence's telepathy.
Scene with KO Rooke[edit | edit source]
KO Rooke shows up, chastises Broun/SBBR for taking off the book jobs, bcs she cant protect them.
Scene between Broun and Valence[edit | edit source]
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Cast[edit | edit source]
- Austin Walker
- Alicia Acampora (Kal'Mera Broun)
- Andrew Lee Swan (Valence)
- Janine Hawkins (Thisbe)
- Jack de Quidt (Clementine Kesh)