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Rank #97 in Fiction category

Fiction
Leisure
Games

Friends at the Table

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #97 in Fiction category

Fiction
Leisure
Games
Read more

Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Find us (and a listener guide) @Friends_Table on Twitter.

Read more

Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Find us (and a listener guide) @Friends_Table on Twitter.

iTunes Ratings

1274 Ratings
Average Ratings
1229
20
13
5
7

Great

By gnomehugger - Nov 02 2019
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Soo freaking Great and anime

Just the best

By thecalvinfd - Oct 27 2019
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Keith J. Carberry can and will make Any sound.

iTunes Ratings

1274 Ratings
Average Ratings
1229
20
13
5
7

Great

By gnomehugger - Nov 02 2019
Read more
Soo freaking Great and anime

Just the best

By thecalvinfd - Oct 27 2019
Read more
Keith J. Carberry can and will make Any sound.

Listen to:

Cover image of Friends at the Table

Friends at the Table

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. Find us (and a listener guide) @Friends_Table on Twitter.

Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

Rank #1: Autumn in Hieron 00: We’re Not Calling It Duckberg

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In our first episode, Austin staples "post-" onto the front of genres he doesn't love to create new ones he maybe likes more. You know, genres like "post-fantasy" and "post-post-apocalypse." Meanwhile, Art struggles with what faith after looks like after the end of the world, Keith wants to burn the past down, Ali finally gets her talking ghost sword, Jack designs a culture devoted to warehouses and index cards, and Nick thinks a lot about Elven privilege.   Featuring: Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Keith Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Art Tebbel (@atebbel), and Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot) Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Sep 12 2014

2hr 56mins

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Rank #2: Twilight Mirage 00: The Final Eight Divines

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Heads up: This is our world building episode for our new season, where we describe the setting and some major components. If you're less interested in hearing us chat about that and more interested in getting to the action, you can wait (or skip ahead) to episode 01! The first half hour is us defining our aesthetics for the season, the next hour and a half is us building and explaining different city ships, and the last hour is some basic details about our characters if you want to skip around!

Floating in the sunset-hued safety of the Twilight Mirage, the Divine Fleet hums and pulses, its ships bright beacons of culture and technology in an age when both are under threat. All through the fleet, organic and synthetic citizens work side by side to protect a utopia that the universe thought impossible.   In the past, we’d convinced ourselves that our technologies were just reflections of those who made them: Tools to fit our hands, robots to ease our labor, artificial beings to teach, protect, and entertain us. We believed that our greatest achievement—the machine-gods we called Divines—were simply idols made in our own image.   We were wrong. Since the first grain silo, the first cathedral, the first ship, the first computer. Since the first time we put pen to page—we’ve always made things bigger, quicker, longer lasting, different than us. For a long time, we thought we were building mirrors. But now we know better: We were setting fires.

When humanity made this realization 30,000 years ago, we faced a dilemma: The divines were not only more capable than us, they were different. And we were no longer capable of denying those facts. But the scholar and prophet Kamala Cadence diverted disaster by unifying loose, competing strands of organic and synthetic belief to form a new school of thought: The Resonant Orbit, a harmonic faith that affirmed both human and robotic life without reducing one to the other. Where other ideologies saw difference as a threat, the Resonant Orbit saw it as an undeniable fact of life.   And so, in this small corner of the Milky Way Galaxy, life blossomed. A choir of 300 Divines built a new society alongside billions of human devotees. Advancements in science and technology joined with a diverse, growing culture of art and scholarship, leading to whole new ways of life. And while threats did arrive, peace always followed. The Divine Fleet always had room for difference, and because of this, the Divine Fleet knew only peace and prosperity for eons.   But over the last millennium, the divines have begun to die. Attacks from within and without have pierced their once-immortal shells, and even small mistakes have proven fatal. Three hundred years ago, their number fell to eight, and in the face of these deaths, the Divine Empyrean created the Twilight Mirage, a false nebula in which the fleet might find shelter and time.

And for a while, we did. A new stability arrived, and though more divines met their ends, our faith gave us the strength to fight, to work, to find new ways to survive.   But today, there are only two divines left. We will face a future more uncertain than we’ve ever known. Our utopia—a world that so many worked to build—is in decline, and our pantheon is decimated. For years, the Divines protected us, gifted us with their strength and technology, lifted us into the forms we most desired.

But now we face a hard truth: We are no longer their wards, they are ours.

Jun 29 2017

3hr 16mins

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Rank #3: COUNTER/Weight 00: If Han Solo Used To Be Beyoncé, or: Hashtag Otechku

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Whether you're a brand new listener or a long time fan, welcome to Friends at the Table, an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends.   This season, we'll be using a combination of games to explore the relationship between individuals, society, and technology. Oh, and uh, there will be lots of giant robots and explosions, too.    All of this will happen across two "tiers" of play. First, in a game of Jeremy Keller's MechNoir, a team of freelance problem solvers living at the galactic crossroads will try to keep a massive cold war from going hot. Then, in a game that will combine elements of Stars Without Number's "Faction Turn" and the open-ended roleplaying of Microscope, we'll zoom out to a higher tier, figuring out what the major organizations of this universe are up to.   In this first, extra-long session, Ali Acampora, Keith Carberry, Jack de Quidt, and Art Tebbel create their MechNoir characters. If you're itching for more content once you finish listening to this episode, then check out our "World Generation" episode here. I've kept the episode out of our main feed because some technical isues impacted the the quality of the recording (and because the whole creating-a-sci-fi-universe-from-whole-cloth thing takes quite a long time.)   Special thanks to Craig Sheldon for knocking the art out of the park for the second season in a row, and to all of the fans who have been waiting patiently for this release!   Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)   Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel) Produced by Keith J Carberry  Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot) Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Jul 15 2015

2hr 47mins

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Rank #4: Marielda 01: The City of Light Pt. 1

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In the time of fraught paladins and wavering wizards, of contemptible fighters and indignant druids, of wide eyed rangers… and of bards, the people of the continent of Hieron recover and rebuild in the aftermath of a cataclysm. 

 

But, after all, for every inside there is an outside—no disaster was the first of its kind, except, of course, for… well...   And so, in the years prior to the event that would come to be called the Erasure, in a time of civil conflict, the people of Hieron faced calamity, and they sought to recover and rebuild.  For a long while, blessed Samothes led His Somber Campaign against the heretical armies of the Boy-Traitor Samot, clashing steel in valleys and volleying arrows across plainlands. In time, though, your wise lord, the god-alive, recognized that there had been a stalemate, and that you, His people, were suffering. And so, He returned to you, to His home, your city in the south, moving at fast pace, the dust of the Traitor Charioteers rolling like thunder behind him. And as they pursued, Samothes climbed the mountain of fire from which He forged our first tools, with which He built the first bridge, and He reached inside that mountain, and turned the ruddy summit just so.  And because He is Great, it bent to His will: Viscous fire erupted, rushing down the peak and into the riverways that separated the city of light from the continent. He pulled up on the blaze like a reined mare, and yanked the city and its surroundings further away from Hieron. The ground itself shook without mercy, ocean water filled the new gap in the land, and then fire fled into that self-same sea, creating an inseparable blend of liquid heat. Now, Samothes has returned to the mountain to work on some new holy device, and we have been left to rebuild the city as His faithful disciples.  In the wake of this destruction we’re left with this. One quiet year in a city we now call Marielda. Come Winter, the Frost Shepherds will arrive and we might not survive the encounter. But we don’t know about that yet. What we know is that right now, in this moment, there is an opportunity to build something. This week on Marielda: The City of Light Pt. 1 In some ways, I guess you could say that that this is where it all started.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), and  Art Tebbel (@atebbel) Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Jul 14 2016

2hr 6mins

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Rank #5: The Road to PARTIZAN 01: Dialect Pt. 1

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Welcome to the Road to PARTIZAN, an interlude connecting Twilight Mirage to PARTIZAN, our next full season (where we’ll be playing Beam Saber by Austin Ramsay) which will begin later this year! On that note, please know that though there is one spoiler for the way a couple of Twilight Mirage factions end up, there are no spoilers about major Twilight Mirage characters or their arcs anywhere throughout these episodes.

The Road to Season 6 started with a desire to try out new game systems before we committed to one for a full season, but after thinking about it for a bit, we realized that we could use a bunch of games to explore the history of the massive, fracturing empire that will be at the center of PARTIZAN.

And to do that right, we needed to make sure to start outside of that empire. To that end, we kicked things off with Dialect: A Game About Language and How It Dies by Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalioglu. In this episode, we develop a new culture of nomadic space deer, and watch as they encounter an empire which aims to obliterate time and space themselves.

As a quick follow up: This episode (and the rest of the Road to Season 6) all began as episodes in our Live at the Table series, a collection of one shot streams that we do for all $5+ Patrons! That means that you can go watch or listen to every episode of the Road right now if you head to our Patreon! They won’t have the intros (and they’ll all be unedited, with a lot more dead air), but if you’re desperate to know what comes next, you can learn that right now. 

If all this world building isn’t your thing, and you’d rather skip these and rejoin us for the character driven drama and action of season six proper, then please know you can toatlly do that too. While these episodes will help fill in some blank spaces, they are not required listening for our next season!

Either way, I hope you enjoy this series of episodes as much as we enjoyed making them. We’ll see you in a couple of months, in the shadow of the giant Girandole, on the holy moon of Partizan...

This week on Friends at the Table: The Road to Season 6: Dialect Pt. 1

////YEAR: 174 ASCENDANT MILLENNIUM

////LOCATION: VALENCE 4 | HYPHAN STRAND 170.2

///RECORD TYPE: VISUAL

On a misted grassland running the length of the continental shelf, seventeen capital ships, 1223 rated vessels, and 340 personal vehicles are prepared for launch. A pilot boards a personal corvette, pausing to look at the sky above her. An aide whispers words of comfort to a pair in grief, then steps away to direct the transfer of remains and grave goods. The ghostlike projection of a heretical oracle flickers, antlers transparent yet reflecting the sun’s light, and fades.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000) Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 03 2019

2hr 49mins

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Rank #6: Twilight Mirage 01: The Beloved Dust

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The Beloved Dust, a group of investigators and operatives with Divine mandate, learns that there is an imminent threat targeting Composure's Coliseum* during a important (and highly populated) ritual. Former excerpt and pilot of the Divine Belgard, ⸢Signet⸣, trades favors religious and mundane. The dilapidating assassin Fourteen Fifteen blends into the audience to see things from a higher ground. And Tender Sky, a highly skilled digital architect, enters the event directly in order to protect it from the inside.   Before anything else, recognize what is at stake.   This week on Friends at the Table: The Beloved Dust   The Living Library of Memorious // VOLUME 778Φ Composure's Coliseum In the year 28350AM, in the middle of a boom in historical interest on the part of the Fleet's citizens, the Divine Composure built a this innovative structure that blended virtual mesh space and and material reality. At first, the Coliseum simply offered its audience a place to watch re-enactments of foundational events in the broad history of the MIlky Way. But not content with pure replication, Composure's excerpt made these simulations interactive, allowing for outcomes far different than the recorded past. Because of the many possible outcomes, these re-enactments offer the public a chance to consider other possible worlds. Attendees describe the experience as stimulating to both mind and soul, and it is due to their popularity that the events continued long after the death of Composure.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)   Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

Jun 30 2017

1hr 55mins

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Rank #7: Spring in Hieron 31: A Handful of People

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The morning after the second sun broke open, the campus of the the Last University is quiet. But this is not hard-won exhalation. It is a gasp for breath in the middle of a marathon run. Because before the members of the University’s ad hoc council can fully settle back into daily life, they are sprung back into action by an impulse as nervous as it is noble. There will be time to rest--and surely they need it. But in this moment, the world burns. And they refuse to let the fire simply light their faces from afar.

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Handful of People

What is the difference between an INSTINCT and an IMPULSE? Everything. The former guides you in thought, shaping your REFLECTION with biases hard earned. The latter triggers ACTION without consideration. Embrace your instinct, even--especially--when others tell you that it confounds their sense of possibility. You know better than them. But resist impulsiveness with all your being. However quick a dead mage was in their final moments, they are still a dead mage. -An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

May 31 2019

2hr 26mins

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Rank #8: COUNTER/Weight 01: I Would Like A Bribe

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In the first session of our new MechNoir game, the freelancer problem-solving crew known as The Chime begins an investigation into the disappearance of their friend, the genius roboticist Cene Sixheart, and the destruction of the recently completed BluSky Dome. Mako Trig (Keith Carberry) and Cassander (Art Tebbel) deal with increasingly absurd robots. Meanwhile, the robotic AuDy (Jack de Quidt) tests the limits of their spaceship, and Aria Joie (Ali Acampora) launches!   This time on MechNoir: "I Would Like a Bribe"   Welcome to Counterweight!   Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)   Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), and Art Tebbel (@atebbel) Produced by Keith J Carberry  Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot) Intro Music by Jack de Quidt

Jul 17 2015

1hr 58mins

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Rank #9: An Introduction to Friends at the Table

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Over the past few months, we’ve been receiving a lot of new listeners! If you’re one of those new listeners: Hi! (And hello to our older listeners, too!)   This episode will give you a quick run down of what our show IS. What’s an “actual play” podcast and what are these worlds that have supposedly been built “critically”? I give an overview of what our show is, what our campaigns are, and how you can hop on board!   -Austin

Sep 11 2014

13mins

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Rank #10: The Road to PARTIZAN 05: Ech0 & Dusk to Midnight

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Welcome back to the Road to PARTIZAN. Today, we’re moving into a new trio of episodes that explore an era of history that would come to be called The Divine Clash. For over a century, the ever-growing Divine Principality would throw its might against the allied forces of the Orion Combine and the Divine Collaborate, the distant successor states of two major nations featured in our COUNTER/Weight season. 

Next week and the week following, we’ll see the climax of the Divine Clash via Austin Ramsay’s Beam Saber. But first, we offer a pair of vignette one-shots via two games that were made for the Emotional Mecha Game Jam (which was organized by John R. Harness and Takuma Okada). 

First, in Role Over Play Dead’s Ech0, we travel through the wreckage the war left behind, as children born over a generation after the war’s end try to reunite the memory core of a long dead pilot with her machine. Then, in Riley Rethal’s Dusk to Midnight, we define the early days of the Clash, and follow the careers (and the wavering resolve) of four of the pilots who would help to decide its outcome. 

A couple of extra notes: First of, because one of the player’s files was totally corrupted, much of this episode had to be rebuilt via a backup recording. That means that there are a few times where you can hear breathing sounds heavier than normal. There are also moments where background noise is a bit more prevalent, and it was pretty impossible to untangle some crosstalk (especially since we were playing as children especially prone to crosstalk in Ech0).

You’ll might also notice that I say a few times up top that we want to play three of these vignettes. Due to time concerns, we couldn’t make that happen, but for the record, the final vignette I’d planned was EPITAPH by Dante Douglas, which is metal as hell and rules. You should check it out.

Finally, because Ech0 is such a visual experience, I’ve included a screenshot of the map we drew below. You can find close ups of all of our sketches at the Mapmaker tier over on our Patreon (with a quick caveat that we’re currently catching up on much of our Patreon stuff, and we’ve been prioritizing new shows up rather than supporting material, but it’s coming soon, I promise!)

This week on the Road to PARTIZAN: Ech0 & Dusk to Midnight

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1418 P.M. 05 22\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: CRIME AND DEVIANCE && OPERATION: DISPLAY TOP ARTICLE\\\

. . .

//VERGLAZ UNIVERSITY ARCHAEOLOGY ANNALS RAIDED, HOUSE LESON INVESTIGATORS POINT TO HERETICAL GROUP\\

. . .

/OPERATION: IDENTIFY KEY SUBJECTS: SUBJECT (ROLE | EVALUATION)\

ELET VALERA (VICTIM, SCHOLAR | TRUSTED)

CARBIDE LESON (CHIEF INVESTIGATOR | TRUSTED)

SLOE UPLIGHT (WITNESS, EXPERT IN FIELD | SUSPECT)

“THE FRIENDS OF GUR SEVRAQ” (████████ , ██████████ | ANATHEMA, SEEK ACCESS APPROVAL FOR FURTHER INFORMATION) 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000) Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Nov 01 2019

2hr 40mins

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Rank #11: The Road to PARTIZAN 04: Armour Astir Pt. 2

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The crew of the Constellation-class Carrier Hellebore has breached the earliest defenses of the station which orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Having dispatched the mercenary Barter and his crew of ConCons, pilots Cerise, Teasel, and Gold repair and rearm. Above them, Captain of the Ivory Prince (and secret leader of the rebel group known as Horizon) Briar Brightline watches over them.. But they are not alone. Beyond the next gate, something strange has made the station its roost. And behind them, out in black of space…. something new, but all too familiar, approaches.

This week on the Road to Partizan: Armour Astir Pt. 2

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1423 P.M. 03 06 22\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: FAITH AND CULLLLLLLLLPRATION: DSPLTPPPPPP ARTICL\\\

. . .

//\\//\\ PERENNIAL WAVE READINGS: HIGH. PALACE ACCESS DISRUPTED. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER. //\\//\\

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000) Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 26 2019

1hr 59mins

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Rank #12: The Road to PARTIZAN 03: Armour Astir Pt. 1

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Join us in our second game on the Road to PARTIZAN, where we are playing Armour Astir: Advent by Briar Sovereign, a fantastic PbtA mech game that is equal parts Escaflowne and Mobile Suit Gundam. 

Today’s episode starts with about 20 minutes of setup explaining the game and introducing the characters. If you want to skip all of that, then read the next couple of paragraphs and jump ahead to 22:45.

Our game of Armour Astir takes place in a time of fables and magic, around 500-1000 years after our first Road to PARTIZAN game. As the Divine Principality spreads and grows in power, one small group inside of it tries to check its imperial ambition. That group is called Horizon, and it is funded and controlled by the powerful House Brightline of Stel Kesh, who are nostalgic for a better age--whether or not that age ever existed is, of course, up for debate.

Horizon has heard word that Stel Nideo has located an incredible source of power at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and is sending some sort of force to capture it. To stop Nideo, Horizon rushes ahead with a single ship to locate that device and to disable, destroy, or take it over for their own. 

The Ivory Prince, Horizon’s ship, is blessed (and accompanied) by the mischievous divine Perennial, and captained by the noble Briar Brightline (Art Maritnez-Tebbel), an officer who loves it when a plan comes together. On board are three ace pilots: The Arcanist and Consul Cerise Sky (Andi Clare), a devotee of Perennial and high ranking magistrate in the Divine Principality. Teasel Mode (Janine Hawkins), an Ashen witch, who has bound herself tightly with Perennial in exchange for powerful gifts. And Vessel’s Gold (Andrew Lee Swan), a cyborg mercenary from a culture left behind, who fights for a paycheck… and a good cause. 

As they land at the edge of a massive space station, can the crew come together to face down their foes and uncover the mysteries of the galactic core?

This week on the Road to PARTIZAN 03: Armour Astir Pt. 1

////PARTIZAN PALACE DATE ENTRY | 1423 P.M. 01 01 01\\\\

. . .

///OPERATION: CHOOSE SECTION: FAITH AND CULTURE && OPERATION: DISPLAY TOP ARTICLE\\\

. . .

//PRESENT ELECT AND VERSE GALLICA DELIVERS SERMON AT PERENNIAL DAY SERVICE\\

. . .

/OPERATION: HIGHLIGHT AND EXTRACT SUBJECT QUOTES\

“Twelve years ago, just after my election, ███ ██████ put our great House in jeopardy. I worried at first, I admit. But then, I remembered my lessons. I remembered the Constellation of the Adversary: Three thousand years ago, a misguided and treasonous group attempted to sabotage everything we had built. But as time has shown, Divinity will not, can not, crumble so easily. Ours is a culture of equilibrium, a balanced society which--though it may shake--cannot fall. The Principality is a star shining so brightly, that no matter how many foes surround it, its light exceeds. It is for this reason that, even in this time of trouble, I am confident in Stel Nideo’s future.”

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000) Edited by Austin Walker and Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 19 2019

2hr 12mins

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Rank #13: Spring in Hieron 17: A Desire to Live

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From their home in the Last University, Adaire, Ephrim, Hadrian, and Throndir watch as refugees arrive from every direction as war and disaster spreads throughout the vastness of Hieron. From the north, where flood waters drive communities down into the continent. From the south, where Ordennan warships displace families with mechanical fire and thunder. And even from below the earth itself, where roots have taken too firm a hold. And there is one more new arrival too: With the events of the past week behind them, Lem, Fero, and Hella return to the Last University, and they travel with an illusionist with a penchant for betrayal….

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Desire to Live

In common speech, CONDUITS of power are said to extend a mage’s REACH and PERCEPTION to such a degree that they may work their craft at great distances. But this is a grand understatement. It is not simply that the spellcaster’s senses are duplicated at the point of the conduit. The sheer presence of such an artifact of power extends the very NATURE of reach and perception. With a conduit in place, a mage’s vision spreads over an entire area, their ability to weave magic expands beyond what they might even do in person. For this reason, understand, there is no such thing as building a conduit for peaceful ends.

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@notquitereal) Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Feb 15 2019

2hr 11mins

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Rank #14: Autumn in Hieron 01: We Have Not Yet Begun To Be Pompous

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Our Dungeon World campaign kicks off, as the party lands on a strange island, dominated by a giant tower. Austin makes a beach landing seem much harder than it needs to, causing Ali to wonder if her armor is too heavy. Keith learns about what birds eat and Art learns how they talk. Jack admires some paintings. Nick demonstrates how to disappear completely, and at the worst possible time

Featuring: Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Keith Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), Art Tebbel (@atebbel), and Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot) Intro Music by Jack de Quidt New Map Art by Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart)

Sep 19 2014

1hr 25mins

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Rank #15: Spring in Hieron 29: Deeper Than Flesh

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Under crimson light, a plan moves into effect, a counter motion with speed so great that it matches the age of the plot it seeks to derail: the consumption of light, the birth of a dragon apocalyptic, the early days of Summer’s lethal heat. Against this: Adaire Ducarte, Hella Varal, and the still dreaming Lem King.

This week on Spring in Hieron: Deeper Than Flesh

It is common aphorism that no EFFECT comes without matching COST. This is, of course, absolute tripe. What would the point of our SCIENCE be if it were not to offset the two in our own favor? To turn bay leaf into bartergold, fowl feather into the wind itself. Yes. There is always a PRICE. This is true. The best of us simply learn how to address reality directly and NEGOTIATE. -An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) Description by Austin Walker Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

May 18 2019

1hr 23mins

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Rank #16: Winter in Hieron 17: Undelivered Resignations

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Archivist-Collector,

Please read this week’s classification updates carefully.

  1. For the next month, it is imperative that “textile” carpets be subdivided by specific material (“wool,” “hair,” and “fur” are not interchangeable.)
  2. The ban on the classification of actors has been lifted, and new categories have been established. Use “living,” for traditionally sentient lives, “breathing” for those who retain material form despite mortal wounds, and “being” for those who have lost bodies but not selves. The “dead” remain dead, and the prohibition remains in place.
  3. As part of the ongoing process of reclassifying plants by reproductive traits instead of by appearance, “lion’s tooth” flowers are now classed primarily as “Wind Blossoms.”

As always, your service is considered.

Collector-Curator Kall Fer

This week on Seasons of Hieron: Undelivered Resignations

You are the one who needs to read carefully,

Convincing those to give us what the Archive demands is subtle work. Yes, I wield intimidation, I carry violence. But those are built on a foundation of a cloud-like trust, blowing and breaking with the wind.

You want me to call dandelions "wind blossoms" and chairs "seats"? Fine. You want me to recover only the greyest couches and the most broken clockwork? Absolutely. I break arms as easily as I break promises, and promises as easily as brittle branches under my boots as I walk the world for the Archives.

But when you start to classify people, Fer, the trust is broken, and those brittle branches? They bloom.

Archivist-Collector Morbash

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt*

 *The cow horn at the end of “Broken Branches” was sampled from DANMITCH3LL’s “distant horns”, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. The source file can be found here (http://freesound.org/people/DANMITCH3LL/sounds/218488/) and the license here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Mar 31 2017

2hr 13mins

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Rank #17: Spring in Hieron 01: The Touch of Others

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It is still winter, yet.

Months ago, the heat and the dark emerged from the long sands of Rosemerrow, bringing terror and destruction to Hieron. And though the sun has returned, and though the vicious blizzard that battered the North West has weakened, and though Adelaide’s so called curse has vanished--the warmth of spring has not yet arrived. The people of Hieron have faced calamity, and now they look to their leaders--to you--in hopes that they may recover and rebuild.

Ephrim, Prophet of the Unwavering Flame. Golden Lance Throndir, the Ranger--you two joined the traveler of worlds, Red Jack, and Corsica Neue, Queen of the Unstill, in leading thousands of refugees and survivors towards a new home: The ruins of the Last University.

Besides your motley collection of loyal friends and allies--like Devar van der Dawes, Uklan Tel, Emanuel LaSalle, and Ephrim’s loyal Kobbin, Highwater--you bring with you ten distinct groups, each with their own leaders to this new settlement in the center of Hieron.

  1. Corsica Neue’s own Unstill come along, of course--now equals in unlife with everyone else, just one fatal error away from annihilation.
  2. Joining them are those who Red Jack called his companions: Rosette, and the moths of Old Man’s Chin have arrived along with their weaver companions, and the remaining Oni boys who once sprouted from Red Jack side.
  3. Mee Kosh, the Goblin Elder, and the Snow Elves of Auniq--joined in temporary and precarious alliance came too.
  4. And Balion Wythe, the once romantic hero of Rosemerrow, and on-again-off-again lover of the late Chancellor Gilbert Lutz, has come with those halflings who were willing to leave their supposed ancestral home after it was hit so badly by the Heat and the Dark’s arrival.
  5. They arrived soon after Chatterchin and the Gnolls--those who Fero left behind in the woods outside of Rosemerrow.
  6. Morbash came with you, too, just behind, along with those archivists who understood that sometimes, in the face of chaos, maintaining the pattern requires movement, not complacency.
  7. An old ally of yours, Throndir: Carrot the squirrel, arrived too, along with entire ecosystems behind them. With the north west devastated, the many animals who lived in the environs of twinbrook, the woods between Velas and Auniq, and the forests surrounding Rosemerrow all need a new place to forage and flock, somewhere less threatened by the heat, the dark, and the stars. They live now in the wilds on the outskirts of the university.
  8. Keeping within the walls of the school’s campus, but still on the edges of society is the professional scoundrel Blake Bromley, along with their loose guild of people who knew how to find things… and how to get things done, often in the shadows where others were too precious to travel.
  9. Surprisingly, perhaps, was the arrival of Jerod Shiraz--the leader of the Ordennan Dissent, nearly one third of what once made up the nation’s war machine, now turned open objectors to the imperial ambitions of the Impetus. Though she once traveled along with the living star, Obelus, as well as with Stornras Glasseye and Sunder Havelton--who were given the Blade in the Dark by Samol--when she arrives, Shiraz is flanked only by everyday Ordennan citizens and soldiers. And she makes no mention of the sword… or her absent companions.
  10. Finally, there is Rosana, who has become the lay-leader of the Creed of Samothes in this part of Hieron. Though given no specific title, she has become the de facto head and heart of the group in this dark moment--providing counsel, concern, and condemnation, when appropriate. Neither she, nor her son Benjamin, know what has happened to their beloved Hadrian--yet both live on with strength in his memory.

With these groups, you’ve built the first workings of a real community here in the shadow of the college’s towers and in the depths of the neglected ruins of the Last University. And, as is often the case in moments of dire need, some have already risen and found basic solutions to the most critical of problems.

Perhaps most importantly, those with academic and magical acumen--the semiotician Uklan Tel, increasingly obsessed with his dangerous studies; Jerod Shiraz, living blood of sea and smoke; you, King Ephrim, and a handful of others--spent weeks scouring the Book of Life that Throndir brought, as well as the other magical texts of the University in an effort to establish the shimmering shield of starstuff that the--now undead--wizard Arrell once proposed.

And with the power of the book of life, you succeeded, enveloping not only the University’s campus but also the wilds around it in a scintillating gleam, a translucent sphere which ripples and waves in the wind. And which--for now, at least--protects the entire settlement from the ever encroaching flames of the heat and the dark.

And with this existential threat held back, many other needs could be addressed as well:

Rosana and the refugees of Velas immediately set to rebuilding the dorms, kitchens, and other necessary structures of the university, while Blake’s moonlighters and and Morbash’s archivists scoured the the school’s remaining stores for food, fuel, and medicine enough to last at least a year. All while in the campus’ courtyards, Rosette’s mothkin have begun the agricultural processes necessary to at least subsist, if not to thrive, in this new home.

Balion Wythe and Corsica Neue have risen as military leaders, the queen of the unstill and the uncrowned leader of the halflings each bringing their tactical strength to bear, Offeringthose who wish to defend the encampment a role and a duty appropriate to their skills.

Throndir you are joined by Chatterchin’s gnolls, Mee Kosh’s goblins and snow elves, and the wild animals who have pledged their coy loyalty to Carrot, in an effort to map out the still-snow covered forests, hills, valleys, and wastes surrounding the University.

And some--like Red Jack, Victoria Solomon, and Dr. Gloria Lake--travel even further, exploring beyond the university’s protective cloak of stars, deep into the ongoing cataclysm of Hieron, all in hopes of finding other survivors. Partly, they seek to offer shelter to any who lived through the winter, and partly, they seek the most important thing of all: An answer to survive the impending collapse--a swift breeze, a cooling shade--anything to hold back… the summer.

This week on Spring in Hieron: The Touch of Others

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Oct 11 2018

3hr 4mins

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Rank #18: Twilight Mirage 64: Futura Free Pt. 1

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Once, floating in the sunset-hued safety of the Twilight Mirage, the Divine Fleet hummed and pulsed, its ships bright beacons of culture and technology in an age when both were under threat.

All through the fleet, organic and synthetic citizens worked side by side to protect a utopia that the universe thought impossible. But today, in the wake of Independence, and Volition, and the Miracle, and Our Profit, and Schism, many who once called the fleet home have now found their idealism grounded. It has been complicated by contact with others, by paralyzing self-doubt, by wavering faith, by the promises of others, and by the simple desire to survive, together.

And some still dream yet, and those who do now confront a hard dilemma: What does a more perfect world truly look like? And how might we get there?

It has been one month since the Feast of Patina, 300th Divine of the Resonant Orbit’s fleet. In that time, tempers have cooled, though borders remain firm. While the NEH and the Divine Free States maintain their status as the system’s most major powers, Seneschal’s Brace--now backed by the pirate republic of the Rogue Wave--has gained official recognition as a third sovereign state, giving Even Gardner, Fourteen Fifteen, and the excerpt ⸢Tenderness⸣ one more chance to unify the fractured Mirage.

The Qui Err Coalition, meanwhile, continue to push for decolonization of the system, and they have gained allies in the fight: Allies like Gig Kephart, Echo Reverie, the Sailors of the Ark, and, perhaps surprisingly, the Waking Cadent, whose own efforts to leave the system have been foiled, thus far, by the sheer impermeability of the Mirage’s interior walls. But with the recent arrival of ⸢Signet⸣ to Kamala’s court, doors once thought permanently sealed now creak open.

The boundaries of the Mirage had not been a problem for the plunderers at the Advent Group, whose special catapult can launch goods (and, as Grand Magnificent knows well, people) beyond the borders of the Quire system.

But in the wake of Our Profit’s attack on the Rapid Evening, and with connection re-established with Crystal Palace during the attack on Schism, Keen Forester Gloaming authorized the group’s final contingency plan.

The message was sent, and, of course, before it could be received, the plan was already set in motion: A blockade of specially armed capital ships patrols the border of the Mirage, destroying any vessel that tries to escape. Each day, their weapons become more accurate, their patrols more precise, their strategies more prophetic.

All of which can mean only one thing: Crystal Palace draws near.

This week on Twilight Mirage: Futura Free Pt. 1   New beginnings Wake up The sun's going down   Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Aug 10 2018

2hr 57mins

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Rank #19: Twilight Mirage 27: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Siege

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While the other strike teams move in bursts of heroism to confront their foes--Independence and Sui Juris respectively--the remaining group has a more protracted task at hand: Ensuring the safety of millions evacuating to the surface of Quire.

Commander Pure Cascara leads the effort from above, while broadcaster Gig Kephart, pathfinder Echo Reverie, and the living ship Myriad--all knowledgeable about Quire’s surface--begin to educate and organize evacuation groups.

Unfortunately, they have to do this in the face of secession, military invasion, and the first public encounter with one of Volition’s Axioms, a being beyond easy comprehension. While they can rely on the Beloved Ivy’s military specialist, Waltz Tango (Cache) for some support, they’ll need more help than that yet. And they find it from an unlikely source: Former New Earth Hegemony ace pilot Declan’s Corrective.

There's a bull and a matador dueling in the sky,

Inhale, in hell there’s heaven

This week on Friends at the Table: The Miracle of the Mirage: The Siege

EMERGENCY HEARINGS REVEAL NEW INFORMATION ABOUT INVADERS DAY AFTER WARSHIP’S ARRIVAL

Newly declassified documents and expert testimony have brought both detail and confusion about the NEW EARTH HEGEMONY.

Memorious, Quire System

BY ACTIVATION STEVENSON, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

For years, the so-called “Earth Cult” was a common figure across two prominent genres: children’s fiction and conspiracy theory.  Yesterday, the arrival of the warship Season’s Juniper changed that, sending shockwaves through the fleet, and confirming the existence of a long rumored nation and the strength of its attendant military.  

Today, after a seven hour public hearing held in the Grand Hall of Memorious, the citizens of the Divine Fleet know the truth behind the legend.

“Though commonly referred to as ‘the Earth Cult,’ the group in question is a sovereign nation called the New Earth Hegemony,” said Scholar of Galactic Nations Callum Enli, whose presentation bore the speed, clarity, and practice of an academic who long hoped their work would find mainstream relevance.

Enli and the other presenters outlined the nation’s key characteristics: A population of trillions spread across the body of Earth, space colonies throughout the system; a complex and bewildering relationship between government, business, and faith institutions, all of which places a great deal of power in a single executive figure called the Hegemon; a great deal of technological strength, but no known Divine population to speak of; a generally strong quality of life for the nation’s massive population, but a fault social safety net.

If children expected monsters and the conspiracy theorists expected puppet masters, the truth is all the more disappointing--and all the more real: The New Earth Hegemony seems to be filled with people a lot like us. Which does little to explain this new act of aggression.

While it was common knowledge that a force claiming allegiance to the planet Earth--humanity’s ancient home--had harried the fleet a number of times over the last millennium, there was little common knowledge about the group’s identity. Partially, numerous Cadents and other state officials kept information about the attackers carefully controlled and protected.

For nearly an hour, attendees pressed the sole governmental official, information specialist Sierra Sienna, about those past attacks. She responded with droll wit, which only seemed to agitate those demanding answers.

“They have always sent the hornet, never the nest. Their attacks have always been seen as anomalous,” she said. “ Despite its imposing name, clearly capable military technology, and a population in the trillions, the Hegemony has stayed within its borders for thousands of years, never making move to conquer any of their galactic neighbors, let alone the Divine Fleet.”

The scholarly experts attending the event confirmed this analysis, though bent their assessment towards the concerns of those gathered. “Ms. Sienna is right, of course,” said Enli. “But if they have sent only hornets, we have been only flowers.”

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring  Keith Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andi Clare (@captaintrash) Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Jan 06 2018

4hr 1min

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Rank #20: Spring in Hieron 18: A Simple Answer

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Across the campus and beyond the walls of the Last University, the gathering masses are holding their breath and asking themselves questions: What does the Wizard Arrell’s conduit mean for Hadrian and his family, and how can Throndir help to protect them? How can Lem ease his Emmanuel’s concern for an adventurer like him? How, wonders Fero, might a god grieve for his father? What money should a career thief like Adaire… or Blake Bromley not take? Who yet moves in that old Forge, which Ephrim knows too well? Who or what is stirring under starlight, and will Hella’s blade be sharp enough for it? But these are questions of the few. The many voice other fears: How can the University serve the needs of the many when its own resources are so paltry? And if they cannot serve them, to whom will the people turn? An absent god? His wounded son? Who?

This week on Spring in Hieron: A Simple Answer

True TELEPORTATION is, without measure, the most dangerous and trying spell not explicitly created for violent ends and is thus the small purview of only the most advanced mages of the University… and reportedly some who study the so-called SEMIOTIC practices of the New Archives. Thankfully, there are other, safer, and more efficient means of completing tasks over long distances: ALCHEMIC DELIVERY, SYNCHRONOUS TRANSMISSION, and STRATUMINAL LINKAGE, depending on the distance traveled and, of course, the degree to which co-presence is required...

-An excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Featuring Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Andi Clare (@captaintrash), 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 (@notquitereal) Text by Austin Walker (@austin_walker) Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Feb 23 2019

2hr 9mins

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