The Brazen Brigade

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The Brazen Brigade
Pan ambience.png
The Brazen Brigade (Sidebar)
Located in Eleutheria
Ports The Brazen Brigade
Shops none

The Brazen Brigade is a platform in Eleutheria. It occupies the very middle of the central circle, close to Pan.

The Hour in Pan[edit | edit source]

This storylet will sometimes automatically show when docking at The Brazen Brigade.
See Pan icon.png The Hour in Pan for possible interactions.

The Brazen Brigade[edit | edit source]

This clot of sable groves is home to the devils of the Brazen Brigade. At its heart stands the Adamant Idol, whose arrhythmic piping determines the current hour in Pan. The Brazen Brigade are its interpreters. They promise they are utterly impartial.


The Grove of Far-Too-Late
Curiousdilettante.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 298530


The Grove of Far-Too-Late[edit | edit source]

Here, the Brazen Brigade venerate the Saints of Hell. Reliquaries speckle the ground like gemstones on a cardinal's vestments. A hill rises from the grove. Halfway up it a broken temple rests below soaring arches. Behind the hill, from the centre of Pan, the Adamant Idol is clearly visible. Long shadows move below the arches, swaying to the arrhythmic wail of the pipes.

Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Enter the Grove
Walk in the fiefdom of the Brazen Brigade, the devils that aspire to seize Heaven's thrones.
Thou hast taken, and shalt not render again
The carved faces of saints peer down at you from arches and columns. Some have expressions of serenity, their many mouths gently smiling. Other, more ecstatic saints are contorted in sanctified rapture.

A Curious Dilettante waves you to join him by a sunken arch. "You're just in time! They're about—" He's cut off by the sound of horns.

A troupe of devils thunder past. A single devil in a suit is their quarry. They pursue him to the boundary of the grove, where he disappears in the mists.

"They hate the republicans of their kin," the Dilettante whispers. "They will not suffer equality here."
Exchange Mysteries with the Curious Dilettante
An artist tolerated by the Brigade for his sympathies with their splendour, he likes to be of help to newcomers to the Brigade. He's interested in sharing stories of Eleutheria.
"From the first thou wert; in the end thou art."
The Dilettante listens hungrily, his cloudy white eye not once leaving your face. "I shall have to see that for myself – but not until the Brigade ceases to inspire." He shows you a few of his sketches: of the translation of relics from across the skies to be buried in the grove; of the dances at the Feast of the King of Carols; of the hunts done below the arches.

Game note: You will gain a Savage Secret.


Receive the Blessing of the Violist
The Curious Dilettante speaks of a ritual in an old vault. A rite to one the Brigade call the Wailing Saint. This Saint is the Violist, a royal saint of the old aristocracy.
"Where a note grown strong, relents and recoils"
The Scarlet Condottiere bows solemnly when you tell him your intentions. He guides you below. Your crew are permitted to follow. Most do. Cobwebbed catacombs lead to a low chamber with a broken altar.

Standing on the altar is a brass hand-reliquary. The Condottiere produces an ivory fiddle and dons the reliquary to play. "You shall dance," he tells you. "These are the steps."

There is singing, of a sort. The air resounds with the wail of the viol and those who descended here.

When you re-emerge into the dim light of the grove, the Condottiere promises that you have been blessed by the Violist. "You drip with sanctity." He gives you a pilgrim badge, a token of the queen-saint.
Advanced alteration value probably needs examination.


Game note: Trade Crew, a Cryptic Benefactor, glass and Mysteries for a Royal Dispensation


Join the Brigade
Could there be a place for you here? Amongst the ranks of these renegade devils pining for all their slaughtered saints? The Order of the Piper welcomes mortal souls.
"The souls that stand, in the sun's sight, clothed with the light of the sun
The Careful Dilettante acts as intermediary. You are to go to the sunken sepulchre of the Nameless Saint at the Hour of Veracity.

When you arrive at the sepulchre, you find someone is already kneeling before the altar. They rise: it is the Scarlet Condottiere, the bloody-handed general of the Brazen Brigade.

"Your request is acceptable. Your devotion must be proven. There are tombs held by the other factions of Pan. Tombs of our Chorister Saint in the Heart-Catcher's Garden; the Bellows Saint in Winter's Reside. Anoint one of their corpses with these souls," he produces a thin silver vial, "And return to me."

"The others will not like their territories being disturbed. Consider carefully which saint you choose."

Game note: This will begin your initiation into the Brazen Brigade. You will not be able to ally with any other faction on Pan afterwards.


Return to the Scarlet Condottiere
You have re-consecrated the corpse of the Chorister Saint. Have you proven yourself worthy of a rank in the Brazen Brigade?
"The weeping face, whose lips have drunken the wine of tears"
The Scarlet Condiottere listens to you, rapt. When you finish, he gives you a toothy smile.

"Of course you encountered one of his shells. The meat of him is elsewhere. Our Chorister was not so easily vanquished." The Condiottere sighs, wistfully. "An inspiration to us all. And to you, Marcher in the Brazen Brigade. You stand now under our tattered banner."

He bids you kneel and places on your shoulders the musket and sword of his rank. When you rise, you do so a soldier in the Brazen Brigade.
Return to the Scarlet Condiottere
You have re-consecrated the corpse of the Bellows Saint. Have you proven yourself worthy of a rank in the Brazen Brigade?
"Full of the sound of the sorrow of years. "
The Scarlet Condiottere listens to you, rapt. By the time you've finished, he looks anguished. "It grieves me to know he's still trapped below. But the greatest of our kind are not easily broken. If we might restore him to himself, so that he remembers what must be done..." He pauses to recover himself. "Kneel, Marcher in the Brazen Brigade." He touches your shoulders with his musket and sword. When you rise, you do so a soldier in the Brazen Brigade.
Speak to the Curious Dilettante
What can he tell you about himself? Does he know more about the Brazen Brigade?
The histories of Hell
He looks up from his sketchbook. "I wished to witness suffering. Not out of sadism, you understand, but my station in life has always been privileged. My art; my self lacks something for it. Wishing to learn more of injustice, of doomed causes, I came here. The Brigade have been very accommodating. I think they appreciate the interest." "As for the Brigade, they are unique among devils I've known. Their saints are the grand devils who once served in the Heavens, but rebelled and were cast down or imprisoned or fled. The stories are inconsistent on the point."


The Temple of Almost-Time
Devilshell.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 298537


The Temple of Almost-Time[edit | edit source]

One ruin rises above the rest; dismal in its desolation, it commands the grove. From its broken windows, the Adamant Idol can be seen, like the moon viewed from a tower. The commanders and knights of the Brazen Brigade reside within. Here their solemnest rituals and their dearest venerations are performed.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Make pilgrimage to the Adamant Idol
The Brazen Brigade sends initiates to the Idol on the hill. Sometimes they return.
The Approach
You follow the instructions given by the Condottiere. Distance shimmers like haze on a hot day. One moment you are there; the next here. Grass, long as witch's hair, shivers and screams on the hillside. Bones, long and white, break beneath your feet. The pipes scream each hour as they go by.. A journey that should take an hour at most takes a full day.
Return the lamp
You escaped Piranesi bearing one of its distance-meddling lamps.
Triumph
The Scarlet Condottiere is polishing a rusted cannon, installed in the vestry, when you return. He looks up with surprise, a delighted smirk playing about his lips. "I knew you'd come back. You had that look about you – I see it often on our troops before they charge." He claps you on the back. "Now, you must deliver a message to the Piper in the Adamant Idol: the Brigade is gathered, and the hour for her emergence is at hand. I'm sure you'll come back." He propels you towards the door. "Most of our messengers return perfectly intact.
Return the message
You have heard the Drummer's missive, deep in the bowels of Caduceus.
Triumph
The Scarlet Condottiere is polishing a rusted cannon, installed in the vestry, when you return. He looks up with surprise, a delighted smirk playing about his lips. "I knew you'd come back. You had that look about you – I see it often on our troops before they charge." He claps you on the back. "Now you have the missive from her old paramour, you must deliver our message to the Piper in the Adamant Idol: the Brigade is gathered, and the hour for her emergence is at hand. I'm sure you'll come back." He propels you towards the door. "Most of our messengers return perfectly intact.
Return to the Scarlet Condiottere
You bring a message from the Piper.
"The pulse of war and passion of wonder"
The Scarlet Condiottere fixes you with his gaze when you finish, eyes smouldering like a burning boiler.

"So be it." You suspect this is not the first time he has heard this response.

"She shall rise again. She will guide us to the trapped saints in Caduceus and the Well and all the rest. When the saints go marching, Heaven will fall."

He gestures to a heavy chest beside him. "Booty, from our first campaign on Pan. Yours now."
Spy on the leaders of the Brazen Brigade
You are not welcome here. The Curious Dilettante knows of an alcove where the devils rarely think to look.
"Full of thy dead"
The Dilettante guides you away from the battered remnant of the temple and across an outcropping of broken stones to an even older temple.

Looking down you see you are walking across not stones but graves, each carved with the name of a Saint. "Each of these died before the devils fled Caduceus," the Dilettante tells you as he pulls you to crouch below a broken rose window. You have an enviable view of the temple opposite.

Within, the Brazen Brigade are preparing a feast. A table laden with souls and spices; mock thrones for every chair. At each table setting is placed a reliquary: a finger, a faceted eye, a variegated limb. The devils recreate a heavenly court, with their saints seated as masters.
Request a favour of the Brazen Brigade
The Brazen Brigade, though infernal supremacists, can be induced to assist their mortal friends.
"Have the high gods anything left to give?"
The Scarlet Condottiere considers your request. "I'd be glad to offer any assistance you need from the true heirs of Heaven." He snaps his fingers. A devil dressed in the gold and crimson regalia of the Brigade's generals approaches. They bow before you. "I shall look out for you, and be your friend and comrade in arms. When you have need."

Game note: This will exchange a Moment of Inspiration for a Cryptic Benefactor.


Pour libations to the Vintner Saint
The Curious Dilettante knows of a ritual performed for the oldest of saints.
"All that life gives and the years let go"
The Dilettante takes you deep into the barrel-vaulted cellars of the Temple. In a dusty hallway, lit by flickering candlelight, a knight of the Brazen Brigade is filling chalices.

Below, the fermentation-mysteries of the Vintner. Looming vats, to which cowled, chanting devils hurry extractions and essences. Vast alembics licked by lurid flames of crimson and blue. Black wine percolated through dozens of glass bulbs holding ecstatic, incandescent souls. The grind of a millstone, reducing bones to powder. Somewhere, the bleat of a goat, cut abruptly short, and then a meaty splash. They give you a tiny lead phial at the end, containing the single drop that the ritual produced. "Best not to drink it," you are told.

At toast is made to the first at table, the transfiguration of the sovereigns; the paring of flavour with effect.

Game note: This will exchange three Savage Secrets and Four Eleutherian Mysteries for a Condemned Experiment.


Rise in the ranks of the Brazen Brigade
There are secrets still hidden; confidences unshared. You have heard of pilgrimages undertaken by initiates, but have not been asked to undertake one. What could you do to advance your position?
The Advent of the Piper
The Scarlet Condottiere listens to your request. "I understand," he says with sympathy, "You strive to rise, as our own saints showed us." He gestures to the Adamant Idol, visible through a broken arch in the transept. "We have brought a living saint to Pan. Imprisoned in Hell's hinterlands, we translated her to a site where she might emerge in glory." He coughs, "When she chooses to. Reaching her is difficult. Distance is porous and she is particular. Two methods have succeeded in the past: a Chaplain's lamp from Piranesi, or a word from the Drummer, beneath Caduceus. Return here when you have either."



The Adamant Idol
Halved.png
Category Story Event
Type Story
Data ID 298548


The Adamant Idol[edit | edit source]

Here, at the heart of Pan, is the Adamant Idol. Pinned to a blackened rock; it perhaps resembles the saint it confines. At its base are doors of burnt gold; they are bound shut. A wind shivers the grass. The scent of jasmine and wine emanates from within the Idol.


Interactions

Actions Requirements Effects Notes
Ambition: Ask "What is the Courtesy?"
The Saint inside the idol is to devils as an oak is to nettles. Undoubtedly it can reveal something about the Courtesy.
    • Maskedcitizen icon.png The Citizen's Investigation = 40 [Join one of Pan's factions, advance within them to access to their inner mysteries, and ask about the Courtesy]

Half the truth
When you ask your question there is a sudden, lurching sense of movement. You are surrounded by a stifling dark, and the papery rustle of a thousand wings.

The Piper answers in a chorus of stories. Once, the stars went to war with themselves. The Courtesy was the agreement that ended it: thereafter, the stars were permitted to kill each other so long as they adhered to the formalities and procedures set out in the Courtesy.

"They exchanged war for murder," the Piper's droning voices say. "And that is half your answer. The other half, even I cannot say." She rebelled against the Judgements once before. She will not risk it again.

You are cast from the idol back into Pan's balmy gloom. You should tell the Masked Citizen what you have learned.
Entreat the Piper to emerge
A Saint is entombed in the Adamant Idol, delivered from Hell. It is time for her to open wings and soar.
"I shall hate sweet music my whole life long"
The moment your hand touches the skin of the idol, you are somewhere else: somewhere dark, confined. It feels like being inside a church-bell. Something dry as moth's wings brushes your face. There is a sound like a cloud of locusts taking to the air. The Piper has awoken.

Her voices reverberate in the enclosed space, sharp as nails on slate. She knows why you have come – you are not the first of the Brigade's emissaries. But she will not emerge today. Nor any day, if she can help it. Once, she helped lead a rebellion against the Judgements. When it failed, she found a way for the devils to escape to the land behind mirrors.

She is not pleased that the Brigade have returned her to the heavens she fled, and has no intention of leaving the confines of her idol. But she is merciful today, and sends you on your way.

Game note: This will unlock a new facet you can choose when levelling up.


Trade mysteries with the Piper
Content in her adamant sarcophagus, she is always hungry for secrets.
"All time past, was it all for this?"
You place your hand on the idol; the moment your skin touches the burnished gold you find yourself somewhere else. Somewhere lightless and close. A wing, soft as a moth's, huge as a tapestry brushes your arm. She bids you tell her your secrets.

When you are done, she tells you of a great war fought before the devils fell; of a new Conjunction in heaven; of diets of war and of peace; of counsels betrayed and feasts where the sky ran with spilt starlight; of the death of a king, and the end of all idylls in Eleutheria. She offers lamentations for the dead and the undeparted.

Her innumerable voices are so thorough so precise in their gestalt descriptions that it is as if she was drawing a map on the fabric of your memory

Game note: This will get you an Unlicensed Chart.


Return to the Brazen Brigade
Leave this hill of wind and wailing and broken bones.