Jan 20, 2023
This episode carries content warnings for distorted and layered vocals (00:30 - 01:10), discussion of workplace injuries, discussion of medical debt, and discussion of slavery and indentured servitude.
For three years, the Bilateral Intercession has held Palisade under blockade. The Pact of Free States holds just beyond Nideo space, waiting in the dark for an opportunity to strike. The Qui'Err Coalition's fleet hovers at the edge of the Mirage, a flock around the Brink. Millennium Break's strike force hides in the shadow of Palisade's moon, Travertine.
Something must give. Someone must move.
And that is when Perennial whispers into an ear she’s taken as her own, giving the Witch in Glass a new task and reminding her of an old law: Everything that has happened before will happen again.
And so she moves. The Witch in Glass is fearless, and after all, she has two Divines on her side. The revivified corpse of Past and, of course, the Adversary herself. So she leads the Reflecting Pool (and its many attack wings) crashing through the blockade and driving Crystal Palace once more into the ground--albeit in a much more controlled way this time.
It is only hours days after making landfall that the Witch departs the city, joined by Emmeline, her attache, but leaving behind her most loyal supporters. She leaves behind two orders: First, that they must turn their wider landing zone into a city worthy of her rule before she returns. Second, that the city must carry the name which came to her as she browsed Past’s ruined archives one night, taken from a kingdom that once ruled vast expanses of the Quire desert: the Crown of Glass.
And with no further words, she wanders out into the wilderness–everything that has happened before will happen again–leaving behind only a group of the ship's de facto leaders to see to the new city's repairs and re-establishment.
This week on the Road to PALISADE: City Planning Department
The Bilateral Intercession: This faction, made up primarily from Stel Nideo and Kesh assets, was formerly known as the Curtain. The rebranding comes as part of a “civil coup” performed by Cynosure Whitestar-Kesh. In a move that surprised no group more than the Curtain themselves, Cynosure spent years growing in confidence and power, until that intelligence organization could be once again reduced to a tool. Still defined by their traditionalism, they wield their control on culture, religion, and history as a weapon—and the extensive spy network for which they are named when those come up short.
The Pact of Free States: While the Bilateral Intercession’s name change reflects a shift in leadership and posture for the Curtain, the shift from “The Pact of Necessary Venture” to “The Pact of Free States” is simply the public acceptance of what was already widely understood to be true. Led in name by Dahlia, the Glorious Princept, and in day-to-day operation by senior members of Stels Apostolos and Columnar, the Pact paint themselves as liberal reformists whose aim is to increase the degree of autonomy in each of the Stels, such that they become in reality five separate nations.
Hypha & Ashen: The former were a culture of galactic nomads, guided by a paranatural force called the Strand which they could commune with using technological devices built into their antlers. The latter are their descendants, their routes broken by the Principality’s expansions and occupations, their culture ripped from them.
The Branched: A post-human culture from the Golden Branch star sector who have transformed their bodies into spectacular forms, but who are now weighed down by an endless war with the Principality.
Apparatus Aperitif (they/them), Shunley Pernard (they/them), Antonina Juris (she/her), Plum Tort (he/him), and Kojack Variety (he/him): The leading council members of the Crown in Glass, the city built from the fallen ship the Reflecting Pool.
The Witch in Glass (she/her): A former scion of Kesh who, after knitting a bond with the adversary Perennial, came into control of the body of the Divine Past. Now scours the galaxy for the lost, injured, and unsure, recruiting them into her growing city-state. A shaky ally of Millennium Break. “Haunted” by an old foe.
Exanceaster March (he/him): Head of the vast Columnar multi-system conglomerate called the Frontier Syndicate, which is older than the Stel itself. While the Syndicate has its hands in many enterprises, the heart of it all is corralling and instrumentalizing data. One such effort, Exanceaster’s pet project the March Anecdatist Foundation, set its sights on Palisade as a testing ground.
The Bontive Valley: When the fledgling Divine Principality left Palisade—for reasons unknown by most—those few who refused to leave (unwilling to see themselves become part of a new empire) remained in quiet isolation, blessed by the gifts of the Divine Bounty. Where that Divine is now remains a mystery.
The Perennial Wave: Perennial is something like a god, or at least I think she imagines she is. Her wave is her arrogant whim, made manifest. Functionally infinite nano-particles, spread throughout the galaxy, hampering all technology except (curiously) Divines.
Kalmeria Particle: A so-called miracle of modern science, providing those that master it power akin to what was wielded before the Perennial Wave. Like most miracles, there is an explanation, but most people have neither the knowledge of nor interest in what it really is or where it came from. Some know that it is named for the rogue engineer Kal’Mera Broun, but few know that it is the result not only of their research into the divine Asepsis, but also the particular consequences of Millennium Break’s battle with Motion and her siphoning of so-called “Autonomy Itself.”
Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Produced by Ali Acampora and Austin Walker
Music by Jack de Quidt (available on bandcamp)
Text by Austin Walker
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
You can buy City Planning Department right here: https://kaelandm.itch.io/city-plannin...