Tezenelia: An Envoy To Sovehles

The Voyage Begins
Meet the Party

After the end of the Reunification War, the 11th Aujkan Empire turned its sights on re-establishing contact with the rest of the known world, sending out diplomatic envoys to the polities of Urçat and the Underground Empire of Yeotl. Of particular interest was distant Sovehles and its Grand Republic with whom all contact was lost following the cataclysmic SpineSpike.

The Mendicant court convinced the Ebony Potentate that all effort should be made to re-establish this connection for political and economic reasons. An expedition was organized, with a core group composed of some of Aujka's finest minds, protection provided by a hero of the Reunification war, and its support staff consisting of various volunteers of some form or another. Axandra, Clymene, and Hester fall into the latter group, each of whom joined the expedition for their own personal reasons.

After an extended ceremony in which they were introduced to Ikasi Xucallo, they boarded the ALV-C Impromptu Herald and began the 4-month long voyage to Sovehles under the command of Lieutenant Commander Milia Kaitakoa. Clymene spent most of the first week vomiting below deck with many of the other sea-sick passengers, while Axandra enjoyed the sight of the ocean, trying not to think about the life she was leaving behind. Hester acquired a table leg, and attempted to use it as an antennae to improve his connection to the datasphere.

A month into the voyage, Axandra and Hester were pestered by a young woman named Perrin, who sought to sell them biomechanical insect-like creatures called Psychips, a type of mood-altering drug. After sparing the Captain from the complaints of an uppity noble, Axandra chose to investigate this matter further, and found a nest of Psychips in the storage of the vessel. She captured one of them and stored it away in her pocket.

Meanwhile, Clymene came across a heavily tattooed man named Jormunde in the midst of a Psychip trip. After removing the creature from him, Jormunde grew irate and demanded that she pay him for his Psychip. She talked him down, and got  him to agree to kicking the habit if she procured him a Compound Bow to keep himself occupied with for the duration of the trip. After asking around, she enlisted the aid of Velee in this matter, and the two of them set about gathering the necessary components for the bow.

(Will be completed in prose at a later date. For now, cliff notes:)

  • Clymene acquires Hester's leather jerkin for use in making the bow. Hester makes a scene in the nude, and manages to evade two marines before being subdued by the Captain of the ship. Kaitakoa has him sent to the bring over night
  • The next day, Axandra goes to Kaitakoa and presents her findings. The Captain asks her to resolve the matter quickly and quietly, and recommends that she gets First Mate Roland Dorcastle to aid her in this matter
  • Clymene retrieves the newly-made bow from Velee and presents it to Jormunde, who thanks her and swears off Psychips for the rest of the trip.
  • Axandra and Hester fall under the influence of Psychips and enter a psychotic rage. They meet the First Mate after they break free from it and explain the situation
  • The party acquires a metal jewelry box from the Captain and go to Ettien, the resident numenera expert, about acquiring some acid. After diplomacy fails, they resort to threatening him until he complies.
  • Party and Roland goes down below deck to take care of psychip infestation. There they find Matios and Perrin arguing over them. Roland attempts to restrain them, but Perrin throws the bowl containing the Psychips at him.
  • Party discovers that Matios uses Psychips to cope with his severe depression, and snuck a Psychip queen onboard the Impromptu Herald so that he could continue using them in Sovehles. Perrin came across the faulty containment unit while searching through the storage bins and proceeded to sell the Psychips that the queen gave birth to.
  • Having succumed to the influence of the Psychips, Roland falls into a psychotic rage in which he grievously wounds Perrin. Axandra manages to knock the psychips off of him and calm him down.
  • Clymene goes and finds the ship's medic, Arala, to treat Perrin. Roland apologizes for his actions, but admonishes Matios for putting everyone at risk of a psychip infestation and kills the Psychip queen.
  • Hester discovers more information about Matios through his connection to the datasphere. Axandra convinces Matios to give up psychips and find a new way of coping with his losses.
  • The party meets with Lt. Cmd. Kaitakoa, who thanks them for handling the situation before it escalated to the point where she would need to contact her brother, Captain Orlan Kaitakoa. While she doesn't reward them for their efforts (claiming that doing so would be improper conduct), she does say that she will do her best to make the rest of their trip as comfortable and  as possible.


The Storm
aka, Things Happen

About a week after the resolution  Psychip infestation, several of the crew members become too ill for Arala to nurse back to health, so they are sent over to the more advanced medical facilities aboard the Crowd Control. Several crew members are sent over to replace the ones that took ill. Among them was Axandra's Brother, Kaizer. 

Kaizer's attempts to go unnoticed on the new ship falter as he stumbles directly into his sister not moments after boarding it. Having spent so many years apart following the incident that had led to Axandra's exile, they had much catching up to do. Lt. Cmd. Kaitakoa has a reunion with her own brother, though this leaves her more stringent than before.

During the long voyage, Axandra spends some time consoling Matios. She learns more about the string of past tragedies which led him to turn to Psychips and join the expedition, and promises to reunite him with his son.

After a few more months of travel, the party finally nears its destination. Just in time too as the food processor on board the ship was beginning to malfunction and the ship's supplies are rapidly dwindling. Jormunde is able to hunt a few birds and fish to supplement the meager meals, but not enough to feed the whole of the ship. Hester's connection to the datasphere grows silent as their ship approaches Sovehles, 

Lt. Cmd Kaitakoa announces to the passengers and crew that she and the other captains have decided to stop at a nearby port to resupply. Upon arrival at its supposed location, however, they and the party are shocked to discover that the port – along with the rest of the coastline – had vanished.  The captains of the three ships convene quickly to determine a course of action, and opt press on ahead up the coast to the outpost in spite of their lack of sufficient supplies.

Hester taps into the unusually quiet datasphere in an attempt to gain more insight on the situation. Datasphere responds with a loud, unclear warning about a nearby containment breech. He falls into a hysterical panic and tries to convince the party members and the captain that they need to change course. The former are wary of his warnings given his past behavior, and the latter refutes them both, saying that diverting course could lead to further starvation.

The storm picks up intensity, and amid the torrential downpour, Axandra spots a coral-encrusted, metallic ship on a collision course with the Impromptu Herald. She convinces the captain to change course, and not a moment to soon as it scratches against the side of their ship. Large chunks of coral detach themselves from the mystery ship, unfold into humanoid shapes, and proceed to attack the ship and crew. The mystery ship then crashes into the Dignified Response.

The party leaps into action. Hester and Kaizer stay on deck to defend the ship from the coral 'hunters' with the Roland and the captain. Hester attempts to gain more information from the data sphere, while Kaizer faces mixed success in his skirmish against the monsters. Axandra goes below deck and is greeted with a scene of chaos. The coral hunters managed to claw their way into the ship's lower decks, and were tearing apart the passengers and crew alike. She manages to rescue Velee and her family, and comes across Matios propping up a door against the encroaching monsters. She joins him against his wishes to prevent him from martyring himself,

In the cargo hold,  Clymene faces problems of her own as the coral monsters burst through the corridor. She attempts to fight them off, but it quickly becomes clear that she is outnumbered and out of her depth. Jormunde comes to her rescue, and tells her to run while he holds the monsters off. She passionately kisses him (her very first kiss too), then heads off to the upper decks help wherever she can.

Meanwhile, Kaizer struggles the fend off the hunters as he is unused to fighting ambulatory coral monsters on a ship in the middle of a storm. One of hunters manages to smash him halfway through the floorboards. He manages to kill it before it can finish him off.

Hester helps him back to his feet, just in time as a larger, more powerful coral monster crawls its way onto the deck. Hester's uses the data sphere to identify it as a Suzerain-class growth, and the captain stuns it with a sort of electrical detonation cypher.

Clymene finds Axandra, and Axandra uses her stoneguts cypher to seal to door behind her. She then goes off to seek medical aid for the wounds that she and Matios sustained while holding back the monsters. Kaizer heads off below deck to find his sister, leaving Hester, Roland and the captain to deal with the final coral monster. After a long fight, Roland critically wounds the monster, but is devoured by it before he can finish the job. In a moment of mad panic, Hester charges the enormous creature and kills it with his trusty table leg.

Over the course of the tense battle, the Impromptu Herald drifted away from the rest of the expeditionary convoy. Worse, the storm has intensified. With most of the crew dead, the party takes their place and attempts to regain control of the damage ship. A massive wave crashes into the side of the ship, and everything fades to black.

Island Times
First encounters of the Sovehles Kind

The party awakens to find themselves shipwrecked on an island that Milia managed to steer them onto after they'd blacked out. While the ship itself has suffered some damage, it is still seaworthy. The bigger issue is the crew. Of the original fifty crew and passengers of the Impromptu Herald, only 15 remain. Perrin managed to survive being devoured by a Coralysk hunter. She dug her way out of its innards with a shiv, though she lost most of her right leg in the process. Thanks to Axandra’s aide, the Percedal family were able to survive the attack by hiding away in the bowels of the ship. Clymene finds Jormunde wounded, but alive in the cargo hull of the ship after having successfully fended off a horde of Coralysk hunters. Clymene is overwrought with emotion at the sight of him. Hester attempts to contact the Datasphere once more, but is greeted by static.

Matios uses his limited medical skills and Arala’s facilities to treat the injured. Milia is anxious over the loss of Roland, most of her crew, and the group’s separation from the other ships. The possibility of her brother’s loss also weighs heavily on her, but she places her first priority on trying to salvage the situation and repair the ship. The party goes about helping clear out the bodies of the Coralysk clean up the damaged vessel. As per Milia’s orders, Clymene recovers the crew manifest from the captain’s cabin, and steals a portrait of the Kaitakoa family in the process.

Milia temporarily promotes the party from expedition aides to expedition adjudants until they can reconnect with the rest of the expedition. She sends them out on a scouting mission of the island they are on. After climbing to the top of the hill at the Island’s center, the party spots a Pirate ship on the opposite side of it. The crew of this ship vastly outnumbers the survivors of the Impromptu Herald, and appear to be far better armed. They quickly return to the captain to inform her about their discovery. 

After some deliberation, the group decides to try and negotiate with the pirates for information on the region and the purchase of a cannon so that they can defend themselves against future attacks. Group 1, composed of Axandra and Clymene will handle the negotiations, while group 2, composed of Hester, Kaizer, Jormunde and Perrin (who has been fitted with a prosthetic leg), stay hidden in tree line in case trouble breaks out.

Axandra and Clymene meet with the captain of the pirate ship, who is surprisingly receptive to diplomacy. From him, they learn that most of the western coastline of the continent sunk into the ocean during the SpineSpike, and that the region they are in is currently embroiled in a war between the Pirate King and the Pirate Queen. The currency of the old republic is worthless in this region, and has been replaced by a barter economy centered around slaves, services, and numenera artifacts. The pirates on the island are affiliated with the King, and are willing to trade a cannon for slaves or numenera. Axandra and Clymene hand over a few artifacts in exchange this information, as well as information on where to go and not to go. The pirate captain warns them of the Fog lands to the east, marks a very rough outline of the new coast on their map. they agree to meet at dusk on a nearby beach to trade a cannon for a numenera artifact from the ship itself.

After group 1 leaves, the captain sends a small task force led by his first mate to learn more about the Impromptu Herald. Group 2 notices this, and tracks them at a distant before springing an ambush. Kaizer and Jormunde manage to take out the two escorts, but the first mate proves to be far more tenacious. He uses a sort of bio-augmentation cypher on himself to sprout a pair of cricket-like wings and attempts to fly off. Perrin side tackles him, which restrains him just long enough for Kaizer and Hester to get a few good hits on him. Just as the first mate begins to , Kaizer kills him with a crossbow bolt, then catches Perrin before she can hit the ground. 

Group 2 drags the bodies back to the ship just as Group 1 finishes relaying their findings to the captain. After some further discussion between them, they decide to spring a trap on the pirates. Kaizer, Matios, and Hakram will disguise themselves as the first mate and escort respectively while Clymene, Axandra, and the Captain will pose as prisoners. Kaizer will claim that they managed to capture the crew of the Impromptu Herald, allowing him to get close enough to the pirate captain and take him out with a poisoned sword. Hester, Velee, and the rest of the crew will hide in the trees armed with crossbows, and when Kaizer makes his move they will open fire as well.

The time for the meeting comes. The party and the pirate meet on the beach as per their intialy agreement, with the latter having come with a small force of half a dozen pirates as well as the cannon. The pirate captain suspects nothing at first, and even though Hester falls out of his tree, he manages to hide in the bushes before he is spotted. Once he gets close enough to the captain, Kaizer lunges forwards to attack, but trips in the sand and botches the initial surprise. The crew open fire on the pirate captain’s escort, taking most of them while Clymene uses her sparkler cypher to blind the captain. The captain calls for reinforcements, but those are also swiftly taken out by the barrage of crossbow bolts. Kaizer skillfully dodges the blinded pirate captain’s attacks.

About midway through the battle, numerous explosions ring out from where the pirate ship is located, much to the confusion of everyone in the fight. The pirate captain activates an automated function of the cannon, which targets the tree line and opens fire on the crew. Thankfully, the crew manages to avoid the worst of the blow, but they are now expose to future attacks. Axandra rushes the cannon and uses her siphon abilities for the first time to prevent the cannon from firing again. She is almost overwhelmed by the sensation.

Frustrated that his crossbow attacks keep missing, Hester rushes to bash the captain with the blunt end. Kaizer manages to knock off the Captain’s helmet, exposing the pirate’s large, lidless eyes, fish-like teeth, and tumorous growths as he delivers the killing blow. 

Milia, Clymene, and the rest of the crew return to the main ship with the cannon and ammunition while Axandra, Hester, and Kaiser go to investigate the source of the explosions. Once they arrive, they find the pirate ship on fire, the charred remains of most of the pirates. Amid the wreckage, they come across a strange, humanoid creature wearing a bulky, patchwork yellow jacket and a strange, bone-white mask. Apparently startled by their arrival, it brandishes a crossbow in their direction. Kaizer fires a warning shot at it, to which it responded by shooting him in the chest with an explosive crossbow bolt and scampering off with a large sack of loot. Their last sighting of the creature

Hester and Axandra enter the smoldering pirate ship in an attempt to recover more cannons. They manage to drag one out of the wreckage before they are overwhelmed by the smoke and flames.

Rescue Mission

Axandra, Hester, and Kaizer return to the Impromptu Herald with the extra cannon in tow. The crew wastes no time in setting up the cannons, while the united learns that the other envoy ships have activated their emergency beacons. Both are located about 65 kilometers away from the Impromptu herald, but are 35km away from one another. The question arises as to which one do they respond to, as there is a strong likelihood that the party will only be able to get to one of the ships in time.

Milia abstains from the vote on the account of her brother Orlan being the captain of the Crowd Silencer. She fears that her emotions on the matter might get in the way of making a rational decision with regards to how the rescue mission's priorities. The party takes heart, and agree to rescue the expedition’s military escort and her brother. 

Axandra established a mental link with Milia to allow her to communicate with the captain while up in the crow’s nest without having to shout down. Clymene handles navigation. Kaizer and Hester help the crew with the sails, and together they being the journey north east. After a few hours of sailing, they come across the Crowd Silencer run aground on an island-sized coralysk with a pirate ship quickly closing in. The party springs into action and managed to take down the ship with nary a scratch.

Before boarding the Crowd Silencer, Axandra sets up a mental link with Matios in the event that something goes wrong. After searching around the deck, they are greeted by Gunnery Sergeant Wraeil Skuod. Axandra and Clymene make eyes at him, while Axandra makes an offhand about his attractiveness that he reciprocates, much to her horror.

They find Captain Orlan Kaitakoa along with the rest of the survivors below deck. The attack took them off guard, and they were quickly overwhelmed by Coralysk Hunters and Suzerains. Orlan himself lost and arm in the attack. He steps down as the military head of the Envoy and promotes Milia to Commander in his stead. The surviving soldiers make preparations to move their injured over to the Impromptu Herald

Kaizer inquires as to the location of some more cannonballs and weapons, to which Orlan responds by saying that the armory should still have a supply of them. Traveling down to the Armory, they find two Coralysk that have taken up residences inside of it. The cramped corridors make for a difficult battle ground. Hester searches for something that will aid him, and comes across an artifact hidden in a secret compartment: a large, tube-shaped artifact with three prongs on the end of it.  

Axandra tries to drain a machine within a coralysk, but is hit with a psychic attack from the very same one. Though she weathers it, Matios is also affected by it through her mental link. The link is severed before Axandra knows what it did to him. Clymene’s attempts to fend one of the coralysk off result in her getting a long, nasty gash across the side of her face that stretches from her temple to her jaw.

Clymene manages to activate a defense mechanism, which promptly tears apart the last of them, but the party has to dodge as the mechanism tries to grapple them as well. Axandra gets caught by one, but drains it, effectively causing it to malfunction and release her.

After dispatching the Coralysk, Wraeil arrives with a pair of guards to help them move the cannonballs and other weapons to the Impromptu Herald. They get onboard and leave the ship just in time as the island-sized Coralysk begins to move. Hester is too preoccupied with his new-found device to notice Kaizer taking his table leg and tossing it over board. In the distance, Kaizer sees a Coralysk growth the size of a large island – the Coralysk Emperor, as the crew has taken to calling it – writhing in response to their attack on its kin.

Solo Sessions
The calm before the storm

Back aboard the Impromptu Herald, the party splits up to handle some personal affairs. Axandra learns that Matios attempted to throw himself overboard following the psychic backlash, and needed to be sedated. She has an encounter with the new ship’s doctor, the acerbic Medical Sergeant Erranamol, and his two hapless assistants.

Meanwhile, Kaizer manages to secure a large stash of weapons for himself, but struggles to find a spot to hide it as the soldiers from the Crowd Silencer are busy claiming rooms for themselves. He attempts to break into the room of the mysterious ‘acid woman’ who was also aboard the ship, but can’t manage to actually get into her room. Axandra manages to pick the lock on the door. The air inside the room is thick with a caustic smell despite the massive gash through the wall. The scent is strong enough that it actually becomes a bit difficult to breath. Searching the room, they find an opaque glass chest and a matching key, inside of which there is a bizarre looking gas mask that is also made of mask, a vial containing a bright blue liquid, some thick clothes, and a strangely cold, leather-bound journal. Perrin enters the room at this point, trying to get away from the various guards.

Axandra puts on the mask, which instantly wraps its way around her face to form an air-tight seal. Kaizer attempts to pull it off, with little luck. Hoping that it will trigger some sort of unlocking mechanism, Axandra inserts the vial inside of one of the tubes. It has a very different sort of effect, one which actually worsens her breathing. Kaizer begins stabbing at the mask to try and help her. This goes poorly. Axandra passes out while Perrin fetches Velee, who easily disengages the mask freeing Axandra. She admonishes the three of them for their idiocy in using technology they didn’t understand and exposing themselves to strange chemicals. 

Axandra wakes up to find that she is now having a lot of trouble breathing. Perrin heads off to with the gas mask and vial to alert Milia about the dangerous numenera that was hiding aboard the ship. Kaizer seeks out medical treatment for his sister from Erranamol. The medical sergeant bruskly stabs her tongue with a needle to extract a blood sample and tells her to go get some fresh air until he gets the results. On her way up, she runs into Perrin, who tells her that she overheard a snippet of the Milia’s conversation with her brother. From what she heard, the expedition wasn’t just a diplomatic envoy as most of the expedition team consisted of political dissidents and other undesirables. Moreover, at least half of the crew of the Crowd Silencer was composed of war criminals who were once in service to the infamous Aujkan Major known as the Devil's Eye, who was responsible for committing horrific atrocities against enemy civilian populations during the war of Reunification.

Kaizer tries to get back into the closet he’s claimed as his private storage, only to find that the door is once again locked. Perrin offers her services disabling the lock now and in the future in exchange for him acting as her bodyguard aboard the ship because she is concerned for her own safety given the information she overheard. They shake on it, but Kaizer threatens that if she tries to blackmail him he will hurt her.

Axandra runs into Wraeil above deck. She acts like a middle schooler with a crush around him. He gives a quick diagnosis of her ailment using built-in sensors. He states that he can do a more detailed one with a fluid sample, and kisses her to get it, leaving her speechless. Kaizer sees this, and goes to tackle him. Wraeil laughs, holding his ground, and ruffles Kaizer's hair while flirting with him. Kaizer leaves just as flustered as his sister is.

Meanwhile, Clymene seeks out treatment for her facial wounds. The medical ward on the Impromptu Herald is currently packed with injured, and she struggles to get immediate attention while not drawing attention to the gaping gash on her face. After a brief talk with one of the medical assistants, she ‘disguises’ herself as ‘Clymedia’ to get her wounds stitched up. She figures out the Erranamol is Ocepholus nobility. He doesn't respond well to her bringing that up, threatening her if she dares to mention it to anyone else.

She runs into Jormunde working in the Kitchen with Hakram. Hakram leaves to give the two of them privacy. Jormunde reveals that while he appreciates her advances, he isn’t interested in that way, and hasn’t taken a new significant other since he was forcibly separated from his husband. Clymene is heart broken, and Jormunde lets slip that it was Axandra who told him to speak with her about the wounds. Clymene goes after Axandra, punches her. Axandra doesn't fight back, but listens because she's sure she deserves the punch, and Clymene explains her distress. They manage to reconcile their differences, and become better friends, just in time for a meeting with Commander Kaitakoa. 


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