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.