With the start of their journey imminent before them, the group was startlingly calm as they awoke. Aurianya was awoken by the sounds of an altercation caused by her adoptive sister Semiya, and brought her outside for a heartfelt talk. During this, Naberia confronted her brother Eligor about her worries regarding the journey, which Eligor calmly dissuaded. Rael found his daughter fighting in a nearby arena in an attempt to prove her strength and capabilities to her father, though he still refused to allow her to accompany them. Sitka and his instructor Leva took a walk out to the ocean, where Leva reassured herself that Sitka was ready for such a step.
The party then went to examine their ship, which they renamed Astrid Steele, after much discussion. The vessel itself seemed skyworthy, though there were some doubts about its ability to handle a fight. It was decided that no, it could not handle a fight. Fortunately, it was fast enough that it shouldn’t be an issue.
After the impromptu inspection, Kendra invited the group to her manor, for a dinner and discussion in regards to the importance and finality of their mission. She was joined by an Elphatalian Councilor of Accomplishment, Novalum, and the pair described to the two in no uncertain terms that should this mission fail, both Tephra and Elphatal would surrender to Bezerel. Compounding that, the group was given a one-year time limit, at the end of which, the officials would consider their mission a failure.
With that dour end to their night, the group retired until the morning. The next day found them leaving at noon, with Naberia seeing them off at the hanger. The trip itself was mostly uneventful, though Rael questioned the mechanics on the IllusoPhysical engines, and Sitka took charge of the ship, working with Nathaniel (the ship’s primary navigator). A brief party meeting took place, where Sitka got everyone to go over their party roles, and they became a bit more familiar with each other. Beyond that, the journey was quiet.
Until the Leviathan appeared. Hidden behind an illusion of quiet, Rael and Veronica saw through the blank illusion and warned the rest of the party. Rael’s efforts broke through the illusion enough for the party to see it fully, and it didn’t take long before the Leviathan opened fire. Between massive summoned Demons and heavy Magicannon fire, the Astrid Steele was not long for this world. Thanks to Sitka and Aurianya’s quick thinking, all the crew save for the four mechanics and one unlucky crewman survived.
But survival would not be easy. Landing on the surface of the Alor mountain range, the party was approached by two intimidating figures. Selina Argos was easily recognized, though her even taller companion was inadvertently introduced as Tharja. Selina commended the party on their survival, and informed them that their mission was a failure, and if they wished to live, they would return home. Sitka just barely resisted the urge to attempt to murder Selina, but Eligor and Rael’s quiet insistence to the contrary quelled him. With Selina and Tharja gone, the party now has to contend with the sub-zero environment of the mountains, and get to Bezerel on foot.