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Chapter 2, Scene 1: The Captain

Friday, 30 September 2022

Captain Beinteinn Versson was a short, balding man from @Miiros. He wore a bright red uniform with gold stripes. The past few months have been very busy. Versson needed to secure funding for the expedition to Rupes Nigra. He was also involved with planning the route and logistics of the expedition, including determining the appropriate supplies and equipment that will be needed, and the route that will be followed.

Captain Versson was a skilled navigator and explorer, always looking for ways to improve his methods and expand his knowledge. He was interested in using any modern tools and technology to plan his route. Anything that could improve the safety and success of his expedition.

Thanks to modern technology, the route for this polar expedition was planned with a high degree of precision and detail. It involves using satellite imagery and other remote sensing techniques to identify potential routes and potential challenges, such as ice flows or rugged terrain. Additionally, the team would use computer modelling and simulation to test different route options and assess their feasibility.

Once a potential route had been identified, the team could use GPS and other navigation technologies to plot the exact course and ensure that the expedition stayed on track. Overall, modern technology would allow the team to plan and execute a safe and efficient route for the expedition.

Personal Information

Name: Beinteinn Versson
Gender: Male
Age: 47
Nationality: Miirosi
Profession: Captain
Speciality: navigation, exploration, leadership, planning
Personnel category: Officer
Description: The leader of the team, Beinteinn is a seasoned explorer and captain of the IRV Beredo. With over 15 years of experience navigating the icy waters of the polar regions, he is an expert in ice navigation and survival in extreme conditions.

And, of course, he was involved with putting together a team of experienced explorers, scientists, and support staff. The team will be conducting research and making observations along the way.

A number of criteria were used to select the team for a polar expedition. These criteria included:

  • the person's experience and expertise in polar exploration,
  • their physical fitness and ability to withstand the harsh conditions of the polar environment,
  • the ability to work well in a team, and
  • their willingness to take on the challenges and risks associated with such an expedition.

Additionally, the team would need to include individuals with a range of skills and expertise, including scientists, navigators, medical professionals, and support staff, in order to ensure that the expedition is well-equipped to handle any challenges that may arise.

For example, the team might include individuals with backgrounds in fields such as geology, biology, meteorology, and oceanography, who can conduct research and make observations in these areas. Additionally, the team would need individuals with technical skills, such as mechanics and engineers, who can maintain and repair equipment, as well as individuals with practical skills, such as cooks and medics, who can provide essential support for the team. Other important skills for a polar expedition might include navigation, communication, and emergency response.

Chapter 2, Scene 2: The Crew

Monday, 17 October 2022

The first job interviews took place in a sleek, modern office building in Miiros. The room is well-lit and sparsely furnished, with a large glass table in the centre and several comfortable chairs arranged around it. The walls are adorned with abstract art and the floor is covered in a plushy, neutral-coloured carpet. The atmosphere was professional and businesslike, with a low hum of conversation and the occasional sound of typing from nearby offices. Outside the window, the city skyline of Orthen stretched out into the distance, punctuated by the occasional glint of sunlight on glass and steel.

Captain Versson: Good afternoon, candidates. I am the captain of the IRV Beredo, and I am in need of a crew to join me on a journey through the frozen seas.

Sailor 1: Why would anyone want to go on a journey through the ice, captain?

Captain Versson: Because it is an adventure like no other! The icy waters hold many mysteries and treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Plus, our icebreaker is a sturdy ship that can handle the toughest conditions.

Sailor 2: But isn't it dangerous? I've heard stories of ships getting stuck in the ice and being crushed.

Captain Versson: Of course there are risks, but that's what makes it exciting! And with a skilled captain like myself at the helm, I can ensure that we avoid any treacherous situations.

Sailor 3: What's in it for us?

Captain Versson: Apart from the thrill of exploration, there are also great rewards to be had. We will be paid handsomely for our services, and any experience you get will add to your future career prospects.

Sailor 1: That does sound tempting. Count me in, captain!

Sailor 2: And me too!

Captain Versson: Excellent! Welcome aboard the IRV Beredo, mates. We set sail December 13th, seven days from now, so be sure to bring your warmest clothing and your bravest hearts. It's going to be an interesting adventure!

OOC. Chapter 2 is a second reminder for the current Entente members. Please reply to this topic if you want to join the crew. If you don't have the time, just post a placeholder and edit it later. For maximum exposure, players from observer states are also invited.

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Chapter 2, Scene 3: Making the cut

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Captain Vensson stared out at the dark, cold waters of North Oriental Ocean, his mind racing with the weight of his decision. As the leader of the IRV Beredo and its crew, it was his responsibility to make the tough choices and ensure their safety. And this time, the choice was harder than ever. He knew that taking the Beredo on a voyage through the frozen waters was a risky proposition, but he also knew that the potential rewards were great.

For years, he had dreamed of exploring the polar regions and uncovering the mysteries and treasures that lay hidden beneath the ice. And now, with a skilled crew and a sturdy ship at his disposal, he felt ready to take on the challenge.

But as he stood on the deck of the Icebreaker, the captain knew that the decision was not one to be taken lightly. The icy waters were treacherous, and many ships had been lost to the crushing grip of the ice.

Still, the captain was not one to back down from a challenge. He had faced danger and adversity before, and he was confident in his abilities as a captain and navigator.

After careful consideration, the captain made his decision.

The captain had a warm and friendly relationship with the technical staff on the IRV Beredo. He respected their skills and knowledge and valued their contributions to the voyage. He often spent time talking with them, discussing the latest advancements in ship technology and sharing stories from his many years at sea.

Technical Staff

First Mate Rachel Williams from @Miiros: As the captain's second-in-command, Rachel is responsible for assisting with navigation and ship operations. She has over 10 years of experience sailing the polar regions and is an expert in ice navigation and survival.

Chief Engineer Amrit Benjankar from @Mahana: Amrit is responsible for maintaining the IRV Beredo and ensuring that all systems are functioning properly. With over 20 years of experience in ship engineering, he is a vital member of the team.

Electrician Peter Patel from Mekabiri: Peter is responsible for maintaining the electrical systems on the ship and ensuring that all equipment is functioning properly. He has over 15 years of experience as an electrician and is skilled in both repair and installation.

Mechanic Sahmi Werjet from @Hemahat: Mike is a mechanic who is responsible for maintaining the ship's engines and other mechanical systems. He has a background in mechanical engineering and is an expert in troubleshooting and repair.

Environmental Technician Alice Anderson from $country: Alice is responsible for monitoring the environmental impact of the voyage and implementing sustainable practices on the ship. She has a background in environmental science and is passionate about protecting the polar regions.

Communications Specialist Samantha Sheppard from $country: Samantha is in charge of maintaining communication with the outside wurld during the voyage. She is an expert in satellite technology and radio communication.

Chef Tim Tatashir from @Bainbridge Islands: Tim is the team's resident chef, responsible for providing nourishing and tasty meals for the crew during the long voyage. He is an expert in creating delicious meals using limited ingredients and resources.

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The captain's relationship with the scientific staff, however, was somewhat cooler. While he respected their expertise and admired their passion for exploration, he sometimes found their more academic approach to research to be a bit dry and unengaging. He was friendly with them, but he didn't have the same close bond that he had with the technical staff.

Scientific Staff

Expedition Leader Maria Garcia from @Deltannia: Maria is the leader of the support staff on the voyage, responsible for coordinating logistics and overseeing the safety of the team. She has extensive experience in expedition planning and management.

Dr Julia Jones from Rohini: A renowned biologist and oceanographer, Sarah is in charge of leading the scientific research on the voyage. She is an expert in marine life and the effects of climate change on the polar regions.

Geologist Mark Johnson from $country: Mark is a geologist with a passion for exploration. He is fascinated by stories about Rupes Nigra. He is responsible for conducting geological research and collecting samples of rocks and minerals from the polar regions.

Seismologist David Lee from @Ide Jima: David is a seismologist who specializes in studying earthquakes and other geological phenomena. He is responsible for conducting research on the structure and composition of the earth beneath the ice.

Meteorologist Emma Lee from $country: Emma is an expert in weather and climate, and is responsible for providing the team with accurate weather forecasts and analysing the effects of climate change on the polar regions.

Survival Trainer Jackie Lee from $country: Jackie is a trained survival expert who is responsible for teaching the crew how to survive in the harsh conditions of the polar regions. She has experience in wilderness survival and is an expert in first aid and emergency response.

Medic Jake Thompson from $country: Jake is a trained paramedic and the team's resident medical expert. He is responsible for providing medical care to the crew and conducting any necessary research on the effects of extreme environments on human health.

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This is the crew he would take on a voyage through the frozen seas, and he would not rest until he had uncovered all the secrets and treasures that lay hidden beneath the ice. It was time to embark on a journey like no other, and the captain was ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead.

Chapter 3: Loading the Ship

Thursday, 1 December 2022

As the IRV Beredo prepared for its journey to the polar regions, the crew went through a thorough checklist to ensure that the ship was properly prepared and equipped.

IRV Beredo

First, the ship's engines and mechanical systems were thoroughly inspected and tested to ensure that they were in good working order. Any necessary repairs or maintenance were carried out, and spare parts were stocked on board in case of emergency.

Next, the ship's navigation and communication systems were checked and tested to ensure that they were functioning properly. Satellite communication equipment was installed, and the ship's GPS and radar systems were calibrated and checked for accuracy.

Once the technical systems were in order, the crew turned their attention to supplies and provisions. Food and water were loaded onto the ship, along with any necessary equipment and supplies for the scientific research that would be conducted during the voyage.

Finally, the ship was stocked with emergency equipment and supplies, including lifeboats, first aid kits, and survival gear. The crew went through extensive training on emergency procedures and survival in extreme conditions, and they were prepared for any challenges that might arise during the voyage.

Once all the preparations were complete, the IRV Beredo was ready to set sail on its journey to the polar regions. The crew boarded the ship, excited and nervous for the adventure that lay ahead.

There are many risks associated with a voyage to the polar regions, particularly for a ship like the IRV Beredo.

First and foremost, there is the risk of ice damage. The polar regions are covered in vast expanses of ice, and navigating through these treacherous waters can be challenging, even for a modern icebreaker. The ship could become stuck in the ice, or it could be damaged by the massive chunks of floating ice.

In addition to the risk of ice damage, there are also the challenges of extreme weather and long periods of darkness. The polar regions are known for their harsh weather conditions, with frigid temperatures, high winds, and frequent storms. The ship and its crew must be prepared to withstand these conditions for extended periods of time.

There is also the risk of isolation and communication challenges. The polar regions are remote and far from civilization, and the ship may be out of contact with the outside wurld for long periods of time. This can make it difficult to get help in case of emergency, and it can be challenging for the crew to stay connected with their loved ones back home.

Overall, a voyage to the polar regions is not without its risks, but with careful planning and skilled leadership, the IRV Beredo and its crew can overcome these challenges and accomplish their mission.

Chapter 4: Departure from Ypsilandi

Friday, 16 December 2022

Captain Versson stood on the docks of Ypsalindi, a small, rugged Miirosi outpost located in the frigid waters northeast of Ide Jima. Surrounded by rocky shorelines and coniferous forests, the island is home to a diverse ecosystem, including hardy wildlife such as seabirds and fish adapted to the cold waters. The island's interior is covered in dense coniferous forests, where visitors can explore winding trails and discover hidden waterfalls. The island's locals are known for their hardy, resilient lifestyle and hospitable nature.

Ypsilandi

Location of Ypsilandi, off the coast of Ide Jima (approx. N53°30' and E149°)

As the crew of the IRV Beredo prepared to set sail on their journey through the frozen seas, they said their goodbyes to their families and loved ones.

Some crew members hugged their loved ones tightly, tears streaming down their faces as they said their farewells. Others exchanged heartfelt gifts and promises to stay in touch, despite the challenges of long-distance communication.

For some, the goodbye was especially difficult. Those who had young children struggled with the thought of leaving their families for an extended period of time. They took comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones would be waiting for them when they returned, and they vowed to make the most of their time at sea.

Overall, the goodbyes were bittersweet, as the crew members were both excited and nervous about their upcoming voyage. But they knew that they had an important mission to accomplish, and they were determined to make the most of their time at sea.

Versson had a sombre look on his face as he gazed out at the Beredo, the ship he called home. Beside him, his two young children clung to his legs, their eyes filled with tears as they realized that their father was leaving again.

"Daddy, please don't go," his daughter pleaded, her lip quivering. "I don't want you to leave us again."

The captain knelt down and took his children in his arms, hugging them tightly. "I know it's hard, my darlings," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "But I have to go. It's my job to sail the seas and explore new lands. And one day, when you're older, you'll understand why I have to do this."

His son looked up at him, his eyes shining with admiration. "I want to be a sailor like you, Daddy," he said. "I want to see the wurld and have adventures."

The captain smiled sadly. "I know you do, son," he said. "But for now, you have to stay here and take care of your mother. She needs you, even if she doesn't always show it."

He turned to his ex-wife, who stood a few feet away, her arms crossed and her expression cold. "Take care of our children, Elísabet," he said, his voice firm. "I'll be back before you know it."

Elísabet didn't reply, but the captain could see the hint of sadness in her eyes. He sighed and turned back to his children, giving them one last hug before walking down the gangplank and onto the ship.

As the IRV Beredo pulled away from the docks, the captain stood on the deck, looking back at the shore where his children stood, waving frantically. He knew it would be a long and difficult voyage, but he also knew that it was his duty to explore the unknown and bring back the treasures of the sea.

And even though he was saying goodbye to his children once again, he knew that one day they would understand why he had to leave, and they would be proud of the brave sailor he had become.

OOC. Chapter 2 describes the crew. Depending on which posts you take, this story began 7 to 10 days ago. So far, no crew volunteers signed up. So a crew was invented. CAOS members and observers can still claim one of these characters as their own, and RP their actions. Just let me know here or via private message. Please claim your character before the end of this month, December 2022. Any unasigned characters will be randomly given a nationality from the CAOS list.

Chapter 3 details how the ship is prepared. Not very interesting, but very necessary. To find out how this is actually done, I reads a couple of stories for more details

Chapter 4 is the actual departure. For the location, I looked at the northernmost EOS members and picked a port that is closest to Rupes Nigra. The choice was between Deltannia, Ide Jima, and Miiros. In the end, I noticed that Mirros island off the coast of Ide Jima. Its the perfect place to depart from: close enough to the polar region, and far enough from all the Anglian drama going on.

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Sunday, 18 December 2022

Roiters News

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CAOS-icebreaker Beredo departs for exploratory mission to North Pole

Written by Jorijina Yeigiziabiheri Wedaji

LighthouseYPSILANDI, Miiros -- As the modern icebreaker IRV Beredo sets sail from Ypsilandi on its exploratory mission to the North Pole, excitement and anticipation are running high among the crew. Among them is Captain Beinteinn Versson, who spoke to us about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“This is a truly historic moment for us,” said Versson. “The IRV Beredo is a state-of-the-art vessel, and we are confident in its ability to navigate through the most treacherous ice conditions. But more than that, this mission represents a chance for us to learn more about our planet and its changing climate, and to gather valuable data that will help us better understand the world we live in.”

The IRV Beredo, which is equipped with the latest in icebreaking technology, is expected to be able to reach the North Pole within a matter of weeks. Once there, the crew will conduct a variety of scientific experiments and gather data on everything from ocean temperatures to the composition of the ice pack.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our team of scientists and technical staff,” said Dr Maria Garcia, the chief scientist on the mission. “We have been preparing for this for years, and we are eager to get out there and start collecting data. It's a chance for us to make real contributions to our understanding of the polar regions and their role in the global climate system.”

The IRV Beredo is not just a research vessel, however. It is also a home away from home for the crew, who will be living and working together in close quarters for the duration of the mission.

“We are all looking forward to the friendship and teamwork that comes with being part of a mission like this,” said Chief Engineer Amrit Benjankar from @Mahana. “We know that there will be challenges ahead, but we are confident in our ability to work together and overcome them. This is what we have trained for, and we are ready to take on the task.”

As the IRV Beredo sets off on its historic journey, it is clear that the crew is united in their sense of purpose and determination to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Whether they are braving the elements or conducting experiments in the lab, they are united in their commitment to advancing our understanding of the world around us.

OOC. Just a piece of news, describing the ship's departure. It's not enough to be a separate chapter on its own. Just thought I'd do a personal piece on the crew.

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Personal Information

Name: Sahmi Werjet (Given Werjet, Family Sahmi)
Gender: Male
Age: 35
Nationality: Hemahatik
Profession: Mechanic
Specialty: Ship Repair/Maintenance, mechanical troubleshooting, electronic repair, detail attentiveness. 
Personnel category: Mechanic 
Description: Werjet, always a gearhead, is applying to be the Mechanic of the IRV Beredo. Having graduated from the Khewet Education Academy with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, he served as a mechanic for a few Hemahatik Shipping companies, predominantly working on-ship as a troubleshooter and repairman. 

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Chapter 5: The first days

Sunday, 18 December 2022

The IRV Beredo had set off from Ypsilandi, headed for the icy expanse of the North Pole. In the first two days of their journey, the crew was occupied with settling in and preparing for the long months ahead. The ship was equipped with all the modern comforts of a research vessel, including labs, living quarters, and a cafeteria.

The captain and navigator were carefully plotting their course, using the latest navigation technology to guide them towards the treacherous Argic waters. Meanwhile, the scientists were getting ready to begin their research, reviewing their data and setting up their equipment.

As the ship sailed further into the open ocean, they encountered rough weather – strong winds and high waves. The crew took precautions to keep the ship stable and protect themselves and their equipment. Despite the challenges, they were excited to be on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, eager to delve into the mysteries of the frozen north.

For years, Captain Beinteinn Versson and Expedition Leader Maria Garcia had been working in the field of polar research, devoting their careers to understanding the Argic's complex and fragile ecosystem. They had both been on numerous research expeditions to the region, and they were excited to have this opportunity. As they walked through the ship's corridors, they stumbled upon each other and stopped to talk.

“Good morning, Maria,” the captain, Beinteinn Versson, said. “How are you settling in?”

“I'm doing well, thank you,” replied Maria Garcia, the scientific expedition leader. “It's a bit of an adjustment being out at sea for so long, but I'm looking forward to getting started on our research.”

“Yes, it can be a challenge,” said Captain Versson. “But we have a great team on board. I have every confidence in our ability to accomplish our goals.”

“I agree,” said Maria. “It's a privilege to be part of this expedition. I'm particularly excited about the opportunity to study the impacts of climate change on the Argic ecosystem.”

“Yes, it's important work,” said the captain. “And we have the best equipment and resources available to help us gather the data we need. But we also have to be careful out here. The Argic Ocean can be a harsh and unforgiving environment.”

“I understand,” said Maria. “We'll make sure to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our team and the success of our mission.”

“Good,” said the captain. “We'll stay in touch with the home base and update them on our progress. And we'll keep an eye on the weather, as well. It can change quickly up here.”

“Thank you, Captain,” said Maria. “I look forward to this being a productive and successful expedition.”

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Chapter 6: You are not alone

Saturday, 24 December 2022

Perched atop a steep cliff overlooking the rugged coastline stood a high-tech radar station located on the eastern seaboard of Volsci. The station was housed in a fortified concrete building, designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the region.

Volsci

Stations like this were a crucial part of the Volsci military's operations, providing a vital link between the officers on the ground and the command centre in the capital city of Antium. It was a place of constant vigilance, where the officers worked around the clock to protect their country's strategic interests.

Inside, the radar station was a beehive of activity, with officers rushing back and forth between screens displaying real-time surveillance footage and maps of the surrounding waters. The walls were lined with shelves of sophisticated technical equipment and powerful computer servers, humming with activity as they process vast amounts of data.

At the heart of the station was a spacious control room, filled with rows of workstations where officers monitored the radar screens and communicated with other military units. The room was bathed in the flickering light of fluorescent bulbs, and the air was thick with the smell of coffee and the sound of keyboards clicking.

Two Volsci officers were hunched over their screens in the high-tech military command centre, their eyes fixed on the real-time surveillance footage and maps of the North Oriental and Argic Oceans. They had the most advanced military equipment at their disposal, including top-of-the-line communications systems and ultra-high resolution radar imagery, to gather every scrap of intelligence on the Beredo's movements and intentions.

At the same time, they were monitoring the ship's radio communications, intercepting any messages that might give them an edge in this high-stakes game. They were permitted to do whatever it took to protect the Volscian interests in the polar region.

“Sir, we've just received word that an icebreaker from a foreign CAOS organisation is approaching the northern polar circle,” Volsci Military Officer Petri Väisänen exclaimed, his eyes wide with alarm. “We can't let them intrude on our territory like this!”

“Calm down, officer,” replied Base Commander Kustaa Ollila, his voice steady and measured. "I'm aware of the situation. The ship is called the IRV Beredo, and it seems to be on its way to conduct some sort of scientific research in the north."

“But sir, these perfidious EOS-spies have no right to be here!” Officer Väisänen argued. “We have to do something to stop them!”

“I understand your concern,” said Commander Ollila. “But we need to proceed with caution. We don't want to escalate this into a full-blown conflict unless it's absolutely necessary.”

“But sir, if we don't take action, they might think they can just waltz into our territory whenever they please!” Officer Väisänen countered.

“I agree that we need to show strength,” Commander Ollila said. “But we also need to be smart about this. Let's gather as much information as we can about the Beredo and its intentions before we make any decisions.”

The Volsci military had well-established protocols in place for communicating developments and decisions up the chain of command. These protocols included regular updates and reports from lower-level officers, as well as briefings and meetings with higher-ranking officials.

In the case of the Beredo's approach, this required informing the very highest levels of government, through a series of secure communication channels. Ultimately, the decision about how to handle the Beredo's approach would be made by those in charge of the military chain of command.

Under normal circumstance, that would be Executive Triumvir Nadar Berbatiev. But his role was more and more usurped by his protégé and designated successor, Deputy Executive Triumvir Alyeksandr Voremen. He used encrypted emails and satellite phones to receive sensitive information and updates on the Beredo's movements and intentions. It was a closely coordinated effort, one that required careful planning and precise execution.

To get rid of unwanted visitors such as these, the Volsci military had a variety of options at their disposal. This included unconventional tactics that the Beredo's crew might not expect, such as psychological warfare, or non-lethal means to disable the ship and force it to turn back.

Alternatively, a more direct approach might be needed. They could use their advanced radar-evading technology to approach the icebreaker undetected, giving them the element of surprise. Once in position, they could deploy armed soldiers to board the ship and seize control of the situation, before the Beredo's crew had any chance to react. It would be a ruthless and effective tactic.

OOC. Absolutely nothing new here. The icebreaker is still sailing north. Volsci can likely track the ship's course from their eastern seaboard. Volscian government characters were introduced a while ago. The Argic Ocean strategy is a more recent development. Still unsure how much of an opponent is needed in this story, and some excitement never hurt anyone.

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter 7: Status Report

Monday, 9 January 2023

The IRV Beredo was ploughing through the icy waters of the Argic Ocean, making its way towards the Rupes Nigra. Captain Versson was in his cabin, staring intently at the navigation screen, when he received an urgent message from CAOS headquarters. They were requesting a status report on the icebreaker's progress and current location.

Versson quickly opened his computer and drafted a brief message, detailing the IRV Beredo's current location at 74°40'50.74" N 152°49'31.06" E. He then hit “send” and leaned back in his chair, waiting for a response. Within minutes, he received a message from CAOS. They acknowledged receipt of the report and instructed Versson to continue on his current course. Versson closed his computer and headed back to the bridge.

On the bridge, Captain Versson stood at the helm, monitoring the ship's progress as it sliced through the icy waters. The room was filled with the hum of electrical equipment and the occasional beep of an instrument, but otherwise it was silent as the crew went about their duties. Captain Versson gazed out the forward windows at the vast, white landscape stretching out in front of the ship. He was aware of the dangers of navigating these waters.

First Mate Rachel Williams was studying the array of screens and instruments that surrounded her. Her eyes were fixed on the display of the towed array sonar, which was picking up a signal 5 kilometres behind the ship. She was deeply concerned, and she knew that her captain and the scientific expedition leader, Maria Garcia, felt the same way.

“Captain, come take a look at this,” she said, beckoning him to her side. “Our towed array sonar is picking up a signal 5 kilometers back. We're being followed.”

Versson's eyes went wide with alarm as he looked at the sonar display.

“Do you think it's the Volsci?” Garcia asked, her voice tense with worry.

“It's possible,” Captain Versson said, his eyes narrowing. “They've been known to monitor ships in these waters, and they won't hesitate to take action if they feel threatened.”

Garcia nodded. “What do you think we should do next?”

Captain Versson rubbed his chin, deep in thought. “We need to act, but we also need to be cautious. If we're being followed by the Volsci, we don't want to provoke them.”

“Agreed,” Garcia said. “But we also don't want to be caught off guard. We need to be prepared for anything.”

Captain Versson nodded. “I'll call a meeting of the crew to discuss our options. We need to come up with a plan.”

OOC. Because of course the Volsci are going to be shadowing the ship.

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  • 2 months later...

Chapter 8: The Other Ship

Sunday, 29 January 2023

As the IRV Beredo continued on its journey towards the North Pole, the ship's crew was on high alert. The threat of the Volsci military was always present, and tensions ran high as the crew remained vigilant against any potential threats.

One cold morning, while navigating the frigid waters, the crew detected another ship approaching on their radar. The crew grew anxious, fearing that it might be another Volsci vessel. The crew watched anxiously as the approaching ship grew larger on their radar. For the past few days, they had been on edge, constantly on the lookout for any sign of the Volsci military, but this ship was different. It wasn't on any of their scheduled routes, and its intentions were unknown.

Ship radar

Captain Versson called a meeting of the senior crew members to discuss their options. “What do you think this ship is?” he asked, turning to his team.

“It could be a supply ship,” said the ship's Chief Engineer, Amrit Benjankar from @Mahana. “We're in the middle of nowhere, so it's possible they're just passing by.”

“But it could also be a scout ship for the Volsci,” interjected the ship's Expedition Leader, Maria Garcia. “We can't rule out the possibility of danger.”

The crew was divided, with some arguing that they should make contact to determine the ship's intentions, while others advocated caution and maintaining a safe distance.

“I think we should proceed with caution,” said the ship's doctor, Jake Thompson. “We don't know anything about this ship, and we need to protect ourselves.”

Captain Versson nodded. “I agree. We'll keep our distance and monitor their movements. But if they make any aggressive moves, we need to be ready to act.”

As the Beredo continued on its course, the crew kept a close eye on the approaching ship. They watched as it altered course and drew closer, raising the tension on the bridge.

The communications Specialist Samantha Sheppard finally managed to establish contact with the other vessel. “This is the IRV Beredo. Can you identify yourself and your intentions?”

To the crew's relief, the response came back, identifying the ship as a research vessel from the @Gaellician government. The crew of the Beredo breathed a collective sigh of relief, their tension easing as they realised that the approaching ship was a friendly one.

The communications officer continued the exchange, sharing information about their respective missions and scientific discoveries. The crew was excited to hear about the SS Explorer's findings, and they shared their own discoveries with the other vessel.

As the exchange came to an end, the crew felt a sense of fellowship with their fellow researchers, united in their shared love of science and exploration. They had overcome their initial fears and tensions, and they were now working together towards a common goal.

However, unbeknownst to the crew, a Volsci submarine was still lurking beneath the icy waters, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The Beredo continued on its journey, forging ahead into the unknown, always watching, always waiting for the next threat to arise.

As the days went by, the crew remained vigilant, their nerves on edge as they navigated through the treacherous ice floes and unpredictable weather patterns. But they were a dedicated and skilled group, working together to overcome every obstacle in their path.

As the ship approached its destination, the crew prepared for the final push to the North Pole. They knew that the dangers they faced were greater than ever before, but they were ready to face them head-on.

The Beredo continued on, slicing through the frigid waters of the Argic Ocean. The crew remained determined, their eyes fixed firmly on the horizon as they pushed forward, always on the lookout for the next challenge to overcome.

OOC. Turns out the other ship was friendly. But maybe that's more than one other ship out there, perhaps underneath the waves?

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  • 4 months later...

Chapter 9: The Clouds

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

With the encounter with the SS Explorer behind them, the crew of the IRV Beredo felt a sense of relief. The unknown ship had turned out to be friendly, and Captain Versson allowed himself to relax a little, knowing that they were not alone in these treacherous waters.

The icebreaker continued north, nearing the supposed location of Rupes Nigra, the mythical island they had been seeking. The crew gathered in the ship's command centre, poring over charts and satellite images, preparing for their next moves.

Captain Versson leaned over the weather charts spread out before him. “This heavy cloud cover is proving to be a real obstacle. Without a clear view of the area, our chances of identifying Rupes Nigra are slim.”

Emma Lee, the expedition's meteorologist nodded, her brow furrowed in concentration.“Indeed, Captain. The cloud cover is causing interference with our satellite communication, making it impossible to access the EOS Helios system for an accurate view.”

She continued, her tone analytical. “Furthermore, the magnetic north in this region is notoriously erratic, which is affecting the calibration of our navigational instruments. It's throwing off our bearings and making it difficult to determine our precise location.”

Captain Versson sighed, feeling the weight of their mission bearing down on him. “We need a breakthrough, Emma. Is there any way we can predict when the cloud cover might clear?”

Emma consulted her weather instruments and satellite data, her face illuminated by the glow of the screens. “Based on current atmospheric conditions, there is a chance of the cloud cover dissipating in the early morning hours. If we're lucky, we might get a window of opportunity to scan the area from above.”

Captain Versson nodded, feeling a glimmer of hope. “Alright, let's prepare for that possibility. In the meantime, I want our navigational team to reassess our bearings and make adjustments based on the magnetic anomalies.”

The oceanographer, Dr Julia Jones, chimed in, her scientific mind racing with possibilities. “Perhaps we could also use our acoustic sensors to search for underwater features that might indicate the presence of an island. The seabed topography might hold clues.”

“That's a good idea, Julia,” Captain Versson replied, impressed by her quick thinking. “I'll have the sonar team on it right away.”

As the crew worked hard to gather data and analyse every available piece of information, Captain Versson felt a renewed sense of determination. They were a group of scientists and explorers, with over a century of collective experience behind the belt. Their expertise and resourcefulness would be their guiding light in this vast and mysterious landscape.

Night fell, and the crew continued to prepare for the potential break in the cloud cover. Emma monitored the weather data, providing regular updates to the captain on the changing conditions.

Hours passed, and as the early morning hours approached, a sense of anticipation filled the ship. The crew gathered on the bridge, their eyes fixed on the radar and sonar screens, waiting for any sign of a break in the clouds.

Suddenly, a faint glimmer of light appeared on the horizon. The cloud cover was thinning, and a sliver of clear sky emerged, revealing a hint of the stars above.

“We have a small window, Captain,” Emma said, her voice tinged with excitement. “Let's take advantage of it.”

As the crew activated the EOS Helios satellite system, they held their breath, hoping for a clear view of the area. The satellite's powerful sensors scanned the landscape below, capturing high-resolution images of the surrounding waters.

Finally, the images appeared on the screens, and the crew leaned in, eager to see what lay below the cloud cover. But just as the satellite images began to load, the screen went blank. The cloud cover had closed in once again, obscuring their view.

Frustration washed over the crew, but they remained undeterred. They had glimpsed the possibilities, and they knew that they were on the right track. They would continue to use their scientific expertise and determination to unravel the mysteries of the Argic Ocean and find the elusive Rupes Nigra.

As the day began, the crew settled into their regular.

Little did they know that, as they persevered in their scientific quest, an ominous presence lurked beneath the waves. Just beyond the ship's detection range, a periscope breached the surface.

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  • 3 months later...

Chapter 10: Shadows in the Ice

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Surrounded by nothing but the desolate beauty of the northern polar sea, the IRV Beredo cleaved through the icy waters, drawing ever closer to the supposed location of Rupes Nigra.

The ship's crew maintained a vigilant watch, their eyes scanning the endless white and their breaths forming ghostly trails in the frigid air. Their senses were alert to every shift in the wind and crackle of ice.

Unseen, but ever-present, the silent shadow of the Volsci submarine lurked beneath the waves. This uninvited sentinel shadowed their course, maintaining a careful but determined pursuit.

Captain Versson, the mission's steadfast figure of leadership, stood on the bridge, binoculars in hand. His eyes, hardened by memories of past expeditions, scanned the distant horizon, searching for any sign of Rupes Nigra. The salty sea air and the cold wind bit into his skin, reminding him of the harshness of their environment.

Below deck, the diverse crew of grizzled sailors and scientists worked together to find the island. In the background, the ship creaked and groaned. The crunching of ice against the ship's hull was a reminder of their dangerous journey.

“Captain, we've arrived at the exact coordinates of Rupes Nigra as describe by Gérard Le Marchant,” announced oceanographer Dr Julia Jones, with a mix of both excitement and professionalism. Her mind was occupied with the navigational complexities of approaching an unseen island. As she spoke, her breath formed small clouds, dissipating quickly in the biting air.

Versson, with a firm nod, acknowledged her report. “This could be it,” he thought, remembering the legends of Rupes Nigra that had captivated him since childhood. “Stay alert. This is our moment,” he said, his voice firm yet laced with an undercurrent of anticipation.

While everyone was busy searching for the island, Rachel Williams, the First Mate, interrupted with a tone of urgency that cut through the cold air: “We may not be alone. I'm detecting some unusual signals.” She frowned, recalling a similar anomaly they had dismissed just days earlier. Her fingers moved quickly over the complex equipment, adjusting dials and pressing buttons on communication panels. The sonar screen beeped. She analysed the digital readouts from the towed array sonar, deciphering the signal strength and frequency.

The revelation brought a sense of foreboding to Versson, stirring an old fear he thought he had left behind on his last journey to the polar region. “The Volsci?” he speculated with a mix of concern and resolve. His mind raced with strategies to safeguard their mission against unseen threats.

As the crew's surprised whispers began to build, an undercurrent of unease spread among them. Some exchanged worried glances, recalling tales of cursed expeditions and unexplained disappearances in these very waters.

Suddenly, a dark shape pierced the mist.

“There!” yelled Dr Julia Jones, cutting sharply through the murmurs, her index finger pointing towards the horizon. “Rupes Nigra!” Her eyes shone with the fire of discovery.

The crew members rushed to the deck, each battling their own mixture of excitement and apprehension, their eyes fixed on the rugged island. Its stark, majestic silhouette loomed before them, a silent guardian of ancient secrets.

Rupes Nigra

Maria Garcia, the scientific leader, clasped her hands together, a gesture betraying her usually composed demeanor. “Centuries hidden, and now revealed,” she whispered in awe. With her intense gaze, she drank in every detail of the island's untouched beauty, as if trying to etch it into her memory.

Captain Versson joined his team on deck a sense of pride swelling in his chest as he watched their faces light up with the thrill of discovery. “A historic moment,” he proudly declared while looking at the island, feeling its timeless story resonate within him.

Garcia was full of plans and eager to get going. “Time to start exploring,” she declared with resolve. Dreams of uncharted mysteries danced in her mind. For many years she had dreamed of adding her name to the annals of discovery. This was her chance. “A new world awaits our uncovering,” she thought, her imagination leaping ahead to the secrets that were waiting for their arrival.

The crew's excitement was clear as day, a genuine energy that even the seasoned scientists couldn't contain. The salty, cold air was filled with the thrill of discovery.

“We're not just explorers,” Garcia's voice boomed across the deck, her eyes twinkling with an unwavering determination. “We're now pioneers of a new chapter in history.”

Versson also felt the weight of history pressing upon him, combined with his own personal responsibility to keep the crew safe. “This is it,” he thought excitedly, his heart racing. “We're about to uncover secrets long hidden from the world.”

Suddenly, the anchor plunged into the depths, its sound a herald of the adventures to come. And the island's mysteries called out, with irresistible attraction.

As the ship anchored off Rupes Nigra, the crew was acutely aware of the world's eyes upon them, not to mention those hidden beneath the waves.

OOC. Finally figured out a way to incorporate all these twists and turns into a satisfying ending. It will certainly turn out much different than what I had imagined in the beginning.

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Chapter 11: The Landing

Monday, 13 February 2023, morning

As the IRV Beredo anchored near the mysterious Rupes Nigra, an air of excitement and anticipation filled the ship. The island loomed ahead, a towering silhouette against the stark, icy landscape.

Rupes Nigra

Expedition leader Maria Garcia's voice broke the silence. “Alright team, let's get going! We have a new world to discover!” The crew responded with a chorus of enthusiastic affirmations.

The scientific team, geared up in cold-weather attire, began their descent into the small, sturdy boat tethered to the Beredo's side. The tiny boat bobbed gently in the frigid water, making the short journey from ship to shore a breathtaking experience. A cold sea spray occasionally kissed their faces.

As they approached the island, the sound of crashing waves against the rocky shore provided a rhythmic backdrop to their chatter. “I've got the GPS ready. We'll make landfall on the eastern shore — it looks like the most accessible point,” suggested Dr Julia Jones, the oceanographer slash biologist, while scanning the rugged coastline through her binoculars.

“Excellent choice, Dr Jones. Precision is key in uncharted lands,” Garcia replied, peering over her shoulder at the GPS readings. “Let's make sure we're tracking everything from the get-go.”

The boat ride was short but thrilling, each bobbing wave bringing them closer to the unknown.

They had chosen this landing site after several days of careful observation. This cove appeared to be the safest and most navigable part of the island.

Upon reaching the shore, they were greeted by the stark contrast of the island's snow-covered terrain against the dark, craggy rocks. The air was filled with the calls of distant seabirds, their cries echoing off the icy cliffs.

Upon reaching the shore, Maria turned to the team, a broad smile on her face. “This is it, folks. We're stepping into uncharted territory,” she declared. “Let's make history.”

Maria Garcia, ensuring she was the first to step onto the solid ground, led the team ashore.

The shore crew, equipped with a variety of scientific instruments, embarked on their expedition across the rugged terrain of Rupes Nigra.

As they ventured further inland, the crunch of snow under their boots and the occasional distant roar of a seal added to the sense of entering a truly wild and unexplored world.

Seigmologist David Lee, now holding a handheld GPS device, called out to the team. “We need to triangulate our position to get the exact coordinates. Let’s spread out and set up the transponders at these three points,” he instructed, pointing to spots on his digital map. “We need precise readings of this place.”

As they positioned the transponders, the surrounding landscape unfolded in its raw, untouched glory. The ground was a mosaic of ice and stone, with patches of hardy vegetation poking through the snow.

“Look at those penguins!” exclaimed Medic Jake Thompson, pointing at a group of them waddling on the ice. “They're just like little comedians on ice!”

“Indeed, they're like the Adélie penguins, perfectly adapted to this environment,” Dr Jones added, observing the penguins through her binoculars.

Jake's eyes sparkled with excitement as he qiocklu snapped photos. “For back home.”

Nearby, a colony of seals lounged on the ice, their large, blubbery bodies contrasting with the sleek agility they displayed in the water.

“Those are Weddell seals,” Dr Jones explained to a curious crew member. “They can dive deep and stay underwater for long periods. Amazing creatures.”

As the crew worked, they were serenaded by the cacophony of seabird calls and the occasional deep grunts of the seals. They moved carefully, taking care not to disturb the delicate balance of this pristine ecosystem.

The process of measuring the exact location was meticulous. Maria and her team placed markers and used laser rangefinders to ensure precision. “The coordinates are crucial for our maps and future studies,” she said, her breath misting in the frigid air.

Their exploration was not just about charting the island's physical dimensions, but also understanding its role in the broader ecology of the polar region. Each observation and measurement brought them closer to unravelling the mysteries of Rupes Nigra.

As the exploration of Rupes Nigra unfolded with a symphony of scientific curiosity and natural wonder, it was Survival Trainer Jackie Lee who proposed a strategic vantage point.

“We should climb that hill,” she suggested, pointing towards a looming elevation that promised an all-encompassing view of the island. Her suggestion was met with nods of agreement from Dr Julia Jones, the biologist, Geologist Mark Johnson, and Meteorologist Emma Lee, each eager to grasp the island's grandeur from above.

Their journey to the summit was equally challenging and exhilarating. With each step, the hill revealed layers of Rupes Nigra's rugged beauty — the crunch of snow under their boots, the crisp bite of the polar air, and the ever-changing play of light on ice.

Jackie, with her wilderness expertise, led the way, ensuring their path avoided hidden crevasses and unstable ground. “Keep your eyes on where you're stepping,” she advised, her voice steady in the biting wind.

Dr Jones, her breath misting in the cold air, marvelled at the island's flora clinging tenaciously to life in this frozen realm. Mark, his geologist's eye-catching details in the rocky outcrops, mused on the island's ancient origins. Emma, meanwhile, noted the changing cloud formations overhead, reading the sky like a seasoned sailor.

Upon reaching the summit, the team was greeted with a panorama that stole their breath away. The island unfurled below them, a canvas of white and grey, stark and beautiful. To one side, the endless ice stretched towards the horizon, a testament to the Earth's ancient rhythms. On the other, the IRV Beredo sat anchored, a solitary sentinel in the vast expanse of the ocean.

Dr Jones unslung her camera, a state-of-the-art digital SLR equipped with a powerful zoom lens, perfect for capturing the nuances of this pristine environment. As she peered through the viewfinder, adjusting the focus with a practised hand, the camera became her window into the soul of Rupes Nigra. With each click, she captured more than just images — she captured moments of discovery, snapshots of a world unseen by most, and the essence of their groundbreaking expedition.

Mark Johnson, peering over her shoulder with a combination of admiration and curiosity, remarked, “You always find a way to see what we all miss, Julia.”

Emma Lee, ever the pragmatist, was already checking her equipment, ensuring everything was secure for their descent.

The camera's shutter clicked rhythmically, preserving this moment in history. Each photograph was a testimony to their journey, a blend of human endeavour and the raw power of nature. As they descended back to the rest of their team, the short, careful steps they took echoed the cautious excitement in their hearts. Their hearts were full, carrying with them not just scientific data, but memories of a landscape untouched by time.

During their descent, the keen eyes of Dr Julia Jones, always attuned to the subtle nuances of the natural world, caught a peculiar shadow against the hillside.

Dr Julia Jones: “Look over there, at that shadow. It seems to be defying the landscape's logic.”

Mark Johnson, squinting in the direction she pointed: “You're right. That outline... it could be a cave entrance. It's definitely worth a closer inspection.”

Emma Lee, with a note of caution in her voice: “Agreed, but let's approach it carefully. We don't know the stability of these formations, and safety comes first.”

Intrigued yet cautious, Dr Jones led the team towards what appeared to be a cave entrance, half-concealed by a curtain of ice and snow. Her heart raced with anticipation, a mix of scientific curiosity and a hint of trepidation about what they might discover within.

OOC. The animal names of the local fauna will probably be changed to a different, more original name. Your suggestions are welcome via DM.

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Chapter 12: The Discovery

Monday, 13 February 2023, noon

Their headlamps cut through the darkness. The light was like a beacon, uncovering secrets long buried. It revealed a tunnel that led deeper into the heart of the hill.

“This ice… it's like a gateway,” whispered Mark Johnson as they stepped into the cave's mouth. Awe and anxiety filled his voice. Mark, an experienced geologist, had always felt a deep connection to ancient landscapes. His passion was evident in his wide, excited eyes.

The explorers stepped into the cave. Their headlamps immediately illuminated a world untouched by time. The walls, etched in frost, shimmered under the lights. Natural rock formations seemed to tell a story of centuries. Stalactites hung like ancient chandeliers. They cast intricate shadows on the icy floor. The air bit at their skin with its intense cold. With each breath, a visible cloud of mist formed, hanging in the freezing air. The sound of dripping water echoed. The droplets created a haunting melody that accompanied their steps.

“Look at these formations,” sighed Dr Julia Jones. Her voice echoed in the cavernous space. “This cave is a geological marvel.” Julia, always the scholarly type. She viewed everything through the lens of her academic curiosity.

The team moved with caution. Their footsteps echoed on the cave's cold, hard ground. Emma Lee, the youngest and most enthusiastic among them, couldn’t help but let her eyes widen in wonder. Emma was like a child in a fabled world. She was in awe. The team felt like the first humans to witness the cave's hidden wonders.

As the team ventured deeper into the cave, their attention was drawn to a cluster of what appeared to be stalagmites. The formations, bathed in the pale light of their headlamps, stood like silent sentinels in the darkness.

“Remarkable how these stalagmites have formed,” commented Dr Julia Jones.

But as they moved closer, a realisation dawned upon them. The shapes took on a human-like appearance. Its hollows and protrusions resembled eyes and limbs. Suddenly, the beam of a flashlight revealed something unexpected: a skeleton, half-buried in the ice, was wearing tattered remnants of clothing.

“A skeleton?” gasped Emma Lee. Her voice was filled with disbelief. “So we're not the first humans to set foot on this island?” Emma's youthful voice trembled. It revealed her mix of excitement and fear.

For a moment, the team stood in complete silence. The reality of their find slowly sank in. What they had mistaken for natural formations were in fact human figures, preserved and standing as the silent witness of a forgotten past. This cave, which they had assumed was a pristine sanctuary, held traces of human presence. It held secrets of a past. The air around them felt heavy with history. The team stood at the crossroads of mystery and discovery. The cave, once thought to be untouched by human hands, was now a chamber of historical secrets. Secrets that waited to be uncovered.

“How can this be?” gasped Emma Lee. She kneeled beside the frozen figure. The body, its clothing partially visible through the ice, seemed out of place. It was an anachronism in this tomb.

“These skeletons… they must be centuries old,” Dr Julia Jones wondered. Her eyes reflected a scholar's hunger for the unknown. “Look at this fabric,” she continued while gently touching the edge of the clothing on one of the skeletons. “Its detailed pattern is almost like the traditional Iverican embroideries. It has shapes and vibrant colours, now faded. The pattern of its clothing reminds me of something I've seen on holiday in @Iverica. We know that their 17th Century explorers ventured well beyond any known lands. But we're too far from the Islas Ultramares. Could this be from The Gran Viatge? Did one of their ships got lost and end up here?”

Near another the body was an axe. Its head was crafted in the Buranian art style, a melding of functional design and artistic expression. The axe head was adorned with engravings, featuring spirals and animal motifs typical of Buranian culture. This matched with their reputation of warrior spirit and artistic finesse. The axe's handle, although weathered, bore remnants of carvings. Perhaps a depiction of hunting or battle scenes?

“An axe of Buranian design?” asked Jackie Lee. Her furrowed brow and eyes reflected surprise and curiosity. “That's unexpected. Did the Buran make it to this island as well?”

“It sure looks like it, Jackie. All of this suggests we've stumbled upon a story that's far more complex than we knew,” added Dr Jones. Her eyes traced the axe's patterns, as if trying to decipher an ancient script.

As the team moved deeper into the cave, they found even more skeletal remains. The bodies seemed to stretch back in time. A sudden, ominous rumble echoed through the cavern. It sent a shiver down their spines. Dust and small pebbles cascaded from the ceiling. It was a reminder of the cave's unstable origins.

“Look at these,” said Jackie Lee. She shone her light on a pile of bones, pushed back into the darkest corner of the cave. “These bones are much older. More than centuries, maybe even millennia. This cave, it's like a time capsule,” she added. “Could it have been a shelter for those unlucky enough to be stranded on the island?”

“Yes, much older,” replied Dr Jones.

Beside the older skeletons lay a collection of artefacts. There were old coins, worn but still bearing a name. And a small, intricately carved figurine.

“Look at these coins,” Jackie pointed out, picking one up carefully. “They're embossed with detailed imagery. There's a ship on one side and a stylized depiction of a woman on the other. The edges are decorated by ornate script.”

“And this figurine,” Dr Jones continued, holding up the small object. “It’s exquisitely carved, possibly ivory. I think it depicts a mythical creature or some deity. I think those were common in early Orinese lore.”

“The design is definitely Orinese. But the markings look like Middle Oharic to me. Maybe they're from that mythical, long-lost expedition sent by Empress Yomiro II? Didn't they teach you this story in school? The archaeologists are going to have a field day with this one.”

The crew, in awe and reverence, captured all these moments in photographs. Their camera's flash cast light on these echoes of the past. But they were also mindful to leave the remains untouched. The sanctity of this tomb should be respected.

Yet, in a moment of human weakness, geologist Mark Johnson, bewitched by the overpowering connection to history, discreetly slipped one of the coins and the small figurine into his jacket pocket. His heart raced with a mix of guilt and exhilaration. “What am I doing?” he thought, his internal struggle evident in his hesitant movements. But the temptation of holding a piece of undiscovered history was too great to resist. It was a small souvenir from their great journey. They had bridged the gap between the present and a distant, almost mythical past.

As the team emerged from the ice cave, the weight of their discovery hung in the air. They felt was a mix of scholarly excitement and respect for the long-forgotten lives they had just brushed against.

Each of them silently considered the consequences of their discovery. They thought about how this new information could rewrite the history of human migration on Eurth. The cave, once a silent keeper of secrets, had now opened the doors of change.

OOC. (1) A possible reference of Gran Viatge voyagers blown off course was previously discussed with Iverica. (2) Presence of some Buran seemed realistic. (3) The lost expedition of Empress Yomiro II is referenced on IIWiki, including a similar find on Rohini.

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Chapter 13: The Interception

Monday, 13 February 2023, afternoon

The team emerged from the ice cave, smiling. The late afternoon sun cast long shadows over the snow. This amplified the sense of discovery that enveloped them. Their eyes shone with excitement.

Dr Julia Jones, her hands trembling with excitement, grabbed the radio. “We've made an incredible find,” she announced. Her voice echoed off the cave walls. Her eyes sparkled with triumph.

“Seriously? What did you find?” came the reply from the other shore team headed by Maria Garcia. “We need details!” Their tone was a mix of curiosity and scepticism.

“Artefacts from the Gran Viatge era, possibly even older,” Dr Jones responded. “There’s clothing, coins, even an ancient axe. It’s like a time capsule.” Her breath was visible in the air.

After exiting the cave, Dr Jones and her team descended from the hill. They met with the rest of the shore crew. They shared the photographs of their discovery.

“Look at these,” Dr Jones said. She displayed images of the artefacts on her digital camera. The team gathered around. They marvelled at the images. Their faces were illuminated by the camera’s display in the dimming light.

Before their return journey, the shore team relayed this news to the IRV Beredo. The radio crackled as the information was passed on. Unknown to them, the Volsci submarine intercepted every word. It was hidden in the shadowy waters.

Inside the submarine, the control room buzzed with activity. It was illuminated by the glow of screens and dials. Crew members moved around in the cramped space. In the background, the submarine's systems hummed.

Captain Jukka Korhonen was a stern figure. He had years of experience in the icy depths. He and his crew had been shadowing the IRV Beredo for weeks. They absorbed the news with concern and intrigue.

“Foreign invaders here, in our territory? This complicates things,” murmured first lieutenant Tuomas Heikkilä. His brow was furrowed. “It could disrupt the geopolitical balance in the region.”

Captain Korhonen contemplated their next move. “Inform headquarters immediately,” he instructed. His voice echoed in the submarine’s control room. “We can't let this go unchecked. This discovery could threaten our claims in the polar region. It could threaten our nation's pride.”

The crew was accustomed to the silent world of underwater operations. They nodded in agreement. A young officer hesitated. He asked, “Should we engage directly?”

“Orders are clear,” Captain Korhonen declared. He scanned the crew. “We must halt their intrusion into our territory. It us our sworn duty to resolutely defend Volsci's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”

As the polar night enveloped the landscape in darkness, the Volsci submarine surfaced. It made a barely perceptible sound. The vessel broke through the thin layer of ice. Its dark silhouette merged with the night sky. From a distance, it was nearly invisible against the icy sea.

Volsci soldiers geared up for their mission. In the armoury, they donned their winter gear. They adjusted straps and checked the fit of their snow camouflaged suits. Weapons were selected from the racks. Each soldier chose their equipment based on the operation's requirements. They moved with urgency. They remained silent. Their actions spoke of experience and discipline. Exiting the submarine, they prepared the boat. They worked quickly to avoid detection. Each soldier checked their gear one last time. Their faces were set in determination under the Argic sky.

As darkness fell, it shrouded the polar landscape in a deep blue hue. Two sleek, dark Volsci boats were launched. They were manned by two units of elite marine soldiers. The boats cut through the icy waters towards the shore. The sound of ice cracking under its hull reverberated through the night. It was a foreboding sound. The crew's breath formed clouds in the air.

“We do what must be done. For Volsci,” said one soldier. His voice was firm. His resolve was unwavering.

One boat approached the IRV Beredo, while the other headed towards the shore. Each soldier checked their weapon, each click echoing softly. It signalled the start of a covert operation.

OOC. The IIWiki pages of Volsci and Deltannia mention an ongoing dispute over islands in the Gulf of Lanjon. I thought it'd fit that situation if the Volsians would also have another dispute over different islands, in this case Rupes Nigra.

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Chapter 14: The Ultimatum

Monday, 13 February 2023, Evening

The evening's shadows deepened. A crisp chill hung in the air. Volsci unit A, led by Petty Officer First Class Jukka Heikkinen, landed on the rugged shores of Rupes Nigra.

“Stay alert, and remember why we're here,” Jukka whispered. His warning cut through the quiet.

Each member was equipped with night-vision goggles. Their boots sunk slightly into the soft snow. The sound of the gentle waves seemed almost comforting amidst the tension of their mission. They moved with stealth towards the hill with the cave. Their movements were almost imperceptible in the growing darkness.

Simultaneously, Volsci unit B approached the IRV Beredo. In silence, their boat slid through the icy waters.

“Remember, no casualties,” Petty Officer Second Class Mikko Virtanen reminded the soldiers. The moonlight reflected off their black wetsuits as they neared the ship. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves. “For our country, for our future,” he whispered to himself.

Each member knew the stakes of their mission. The weight of their actions hung heavy on their minds. Stealth was their ally in the enveloping night.

Unit B reached the IRV Beredo. The unit's members were trained for precision and stealth. Cloaked in black, they were nearly indistinguishable from the dark waves lapping against the hull of the ship. They approached like phantoms born of the night. The moon's silver glow barely illuminated their figures. They glided through the icy waters, the chill of the sea a mere inconvenience to their skilled determination.

The unit's leader was Petty Officer First Class Kai Mäkinen. He signalled with a subtle hand gesture, and the unit efficiently split into two groups. One group, led by Petty Officer Third Class Elina Korhonen, silently scaled the port side with grappling hooks. Their movements were firm and fluid. The other, under Kai's direct command, approached the starboard side, using magnetic clamps to ascend the metal hull with ghostly quietude.

Atop the IRV Beredo's empty deck, they regrouped. Each member knew their role. The result of countless hours of rigorous training and unspoken trust. They communicated through hand signals to avoid any unnecessary sound. Their sight, enhanced by the green-tinted view of their night-vision goggles, scanned the area for any signs of the crew.

Mikko, the unit's tech specialist, quickly began to disable the external cameras. With practised ease, his fingers moved over the compact set of tools. Meanwhile, Petty Officer Second Class Venla Koskinen and Petty Officer Second Class Aino Laine, weapons at the ready, secured the access points to the ship's interior. Their senses were attuned to any hint of movement.

With the exterior secured, Kai gave another signal, and the unit moved towards the bridge. Their steps were light and moved through the ship's corridors with purpose. They were like shadows: unseen yet omnipresent, and ready to incapacitate any threat with swift, non-lethal efficiency.

As the Volscian unit neared the bridge, the faint sound of hushed voices reached their ears. Kai paused, assessing the situation with a seasoned eye. He motioned for two members to flank the entrance, while the rest prepared to breach. In a matter of seconds, they would take control of the IRV Beredo. It would prove their skill and the unyielding will of the Volscians.

The tension was clear, each unit member aware of the gravity of their mission, yet unflinching in their purpose. This was their element, where every trained instinct and honed skill converged into a singular, decisive moment. Each unit member understood the mission's importance. They were in their element, where training and skill mattered most.

With a swift, coordinated movement, the team breached the door. The silent and efficient movement showed their extensive practice.

Captain Versson recoiled upon encountering the intruders. His eyes widened in shock and disbelief. For a moment, he was rendered speechless. His mind grappled with the intrusion into his vessel's sanctity. The colour drained from his face. And his voice, when it finally emerged, was a mix of outrage and fear.

“What is the meaning of this?” he demanded. His voice escalated from a disbelieving whisper to a vehement roar. “This is an disgraceful act of aggression! You have no right to board this ship!” His hands trembled from adrenaline and anger. He clenched them into fists. The captain's stance was defiant despite the obvious threat. His years at sea had instilled a protective instinct over his crew and vessel, a responsibility he took as seriously as his own life. “You are in direct violation of maritime laws and international treaties!” the captain continued. His words showed duty and honour. “I demand you identify yourselves immediately and explain this blatant breach of protocol!” Captain Versson's eyes darted around. He sought signs of understanding or reason within the cold, masked faces standing before him. Despite the fear gnawing at him, his voice carried the weight of authority and command, a skill he owed to his years of captaining ships through both calm and stormy seas.

“Quiet!” Venla hissed, her voice cold as ice. “We have our orders, and we don't want to hurt anyone.”

Captain Versson was filled with disbelief, his eyes wide as he registered the severity of the situation.

In a single motion, the Volsci intruders sprang into action. They swept through the corridors of the IRV Beredo. The soldiers moved with in synchrony. Each step was calculated and silent, except for the muffled thud of their boots against the deck. Cloaked in darkness, they glided through the ship's passageways.

The crew, scattered throughout the vessel, were caught completely off guard. In the engine room, engineers froze. They had been maintaining the engine. Tools slipped from their hands. Shadowy figures appeared at the doorway. The intruders directed them towards the bridge.

In the galley, the ship's cook Tim Tatashir and some off-duty sailors were having coffee. This tranquil scene shattered when the galley door burst open. The sailors reacted quickly, standing up in a flash, their chairs scraped against the floor. But the armed intruders and their pointed guns commanded them all to the bridge.

In the sleeping quarters, Volscian soldiers roused the remaining members from their sleep. The Beredo's crew blinked in confusion. Some tried to protest, but it was useless. Everyone was rounded up and corralled towards the bridge.

As the crew members converged on the bridge, their faces showed many emotions. They felt disbelief and fear. They realized their predicament. The bridge had been a place of command. Now it felt like a trap.

The Volsci team moved among the crew. They kept their weapons trained. Petty Officer First Class Kai led the team. He stood at the forefront. His eyes scanned the crew's faces. His gaze was calculating. He assessed the situation. He ensured every crew member was accounted for.

The startled crew members showed confusion and fear. The bridge turned into a cramped area of uncertainty. The crew members huddled together. Their whispers and glances created tension in the air. The bridge had transformed into a theatre of uncertainty. The balance of power had shifted to the intruders.

The crew's hesitant footsteps and murmurs filled the space. Meteorologist Emma Lee, one of the younger crew members, stumbled slightly, her hands trembling. Chief Engineer Amrit Benjankar from @Mahana, an older and seasoned sailor, exchanged a fleeting, worried glance with Emma. Their unspoken fears hung heavy in the air.

In the charged atmosphere of the bridge, medic Jake Thompson stepped forward. His eyes glistened with unshed tears. “Please, think of our families,” he begged. His voice was barely more than a cracked whisper. His unanswered plea hung in the air.

The Volsci unit, unmoved, methodically proceeded with their mission. “All photographic evidence, now,” commanded Kai, his voice firm yet devoid of malice.

Under the weight of the unwavering guns, the Beredo's crew began gathering every memory card and camera. The hurried clatter of equipment being handed over was punctuated by sighs and the occasional soft clink of metal.

“We haven't made any backups,” whispered Dr Julia Jones, more to herself than anyone else. She reluctantly extended her camera towards the invaders. Her hands visibly trembled.

The bridge was eerily silent. It no longer buzzed with the rhythmic hum of navigation screens and the confident calls of seasoned sailors. The glowing consoles cast ghostly shadows on the shocked faces of the crew. Each crew member was in shock. Wide-eyed, they exchanged skittish glances with one another. Their faces showed disbelief and dread. The only sound breaking the tense silence was the steady, mechanical hum of the ship's operating systems. It punctuated the air, heavy with the crew's unspoken fears.

Meanwhile, the Volscian intruders presented a clear contrast. Each movement was deliberate. Their confidence spoke of extensive training and ironclad discipline. From behind the shadows of black combat helmets, their eyes scanned the bridge. The muted clicks of their weapons being readied was a subtle but clear sign. It showed their unwavering intent. In the cramped confines of the bridge, the sound echoed ominously.

In a sudden, unexpected movement, Captain Versson lunged forward, his protest fierce and defiant. “You can't do this…” he began.

But his words were cut off as he was struck on the head. The sound of the impact was grim. It silenced him mid-sentence and sent a wave of shock through everyone present. The crew members flinched. The stark reality of their precarious situation was all too real.

“This ship will leave right now, or our submarine will act,” Kai warned. His voice projected a cold authority. “You have your orders,” he said with a steady gaze.

The implicit threat to torpedo the IRV Beredo was clear. This ultimatum forced them to leave the island and head south. His words showed the unyielding resolve of the Volsci. There was no room for negotiation or dissent.

The IRV Beredo's engines hummed to life. A palpable tension filled the air. The crew, still reeling from the encounter, moved to secure the ship's equipment. Their movements were slow as they struggled to process the intrusion and its implications.

Captain Versson, nursing pain at the side of his head, leaned against the steering console. He looked over his crew. His face showed concern, defiance, and duty to protect his people. He broke the silence, speaking in a low murmur, “What has this expedition become? Compelled to flee from our own mission…”

The mood was sombre. Each crew member was caught in their whirlwind of thoughts. The abrupt turn of events cast shadows over their convictions and purpose.

Suddenly, the night was shattered by a distant explosion. The sound rolled over the waves. It was a deep, resonating boom that sent a shiver down everyone's spine.

In the distance, on the shore of Rupes Nigra, unit A leader Jukka stood motionless. His silhouette was stark against the hill's fiery backdrop. The explosive charges planted by his unit had done their work. They obliterated the evidence they were sent to erase. As the echoes of the explosion faded, doubt crept into his eyes. He was a man of conviction. The magnitude of their actions weighed on him. “Was this truly the right choice?” he wondered, a whisper lost in the wind.

Back on the Beredo, the crew stood rooted to the spot. They stared at the distant flames as they climbed in the sky. The explosion marked the end of their mission.

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Chapter 15: The Return

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

As the IRV Beredo set off from the shadowed and mysterious shores of Rupes Nigra, the mood aboard was sombre and reflective.

The Inter-Regional Vessel (IRV) was a state-of-the-art research vessel outfitted with the latest in subaquatic imaging technology and atmospheric analysers. But all that technology hadn't protected them from the human danger they had encountered.

The crew faced a long journey back to the familiar yet distant Ypsilandi. The idea of this long, empty-handed return weighed heavily on their shoulders. The once lively chatter about the day's findings had given way to a quieter introspection as everyone processed the events and sudden conclusion of their mission.

Captain Beinteinn Versson stood at the helm, his eyes fixed on the horizon, lost in thoughts of what could have been. Versson was lost in thoughts of what could have been done differently. The crisp Polar air filled his lungs. His hands, steady on the wheel, betrayed a lingering tension.

The winter sun began its early dip below the horizon. It cast a golden glow over the deck. All of a sudden, the static-filled silence that had enveloped the IRV Beredo for days finally broke. The crackle of a radio cut through the quiet. Every crew member paused. Their attention shifted to the communications console.

The radio buzzed. And then a voice, distant but clear, called out, “IRV Beredo, this is CAOS HQ. Do you copy?” Communication was finally restored between the IRV Beredo and CAOS headquarters.

“CAOS HQ, this is Beredo. It's good to hear your voice,” Captain Versson responded. The relief on his face was visible.

“Beredo, we've been trying to reach you for days.” The voice from HQ contained concern and relief.

“We suspected the Volsci were jamming communications,” the captain replied. "“So we must've manoeuvred beyond the Volsci's jamming capabilities. It's been complete radio silence since their attack.”

Versson recounted in detail the unexpected attack by the Volsci military. His account was factual, while also underscoring with a sense of urgency. He recounted their boarding and treatment of the crew. Expedition leader Maria Garcia added details about the scientific sensor data they had managed to secure. Her voice betrayed concern for the loss of their research.

“We were completely cut off,” Garcia added. “No way to warn you or ask for help.”

The voice from CAOS HQ was sympathetic and professional. It promised support and a debrief upon their return. “Your safety is our priority, Beredo. We're preparing for your arrival. Well done on keeping the crew and the ship intact,” the operator at headquarters affirmed.

The connection, though clear, was occasionally marred by a faint crackling. It was occasionally marred by a faint crackling. It reminded the crew of the distance between the vessel and its home base. As the communication wrapped up, there was a moment of silence on the Beredo.

During the remainder of the voyage, the crew wrestled with their mixed emotions. The mess hall, which was usually quite lively, became a place for reflection.

On one such silent evening, mechanic Sahmi Werjet's fingers abruptly stopped drumming on the table. He glanced around and noticed the worn faces of his comrades. It contrasted with their usual spirits. “We were so close...” he started. His voice trailed off.

Dr Julia Jones, sitting across from Sahmi, looked up. Their eyes connected. Then they returned to her coffee cup. Her hand trembled slightly, betraying her composed exterior. The silence that followed was telling.

“It’s the silence of the sea that stays with you,” Emma Lee, the meteorologist, finally said. Her voice showed a wistful note. But her gaze remained fixed on the porthole.

Captain Versson, who had been leaning unnoticed in the doorway, pushed off from the frame. “You start to hear things in it,” he added. His voice was softer than usual. “Echoes of discoveries, of dangers, of what lies beneath.” He joined them at the table. His shadow mingled with theirs on the floor. “Our journey isn't just about what we bring back. It's also about what we carry forward within us.”

First Mate Rachel Williams tried to lighten the mood. She smiled. Her eyes held the same melancholy. “We survived, remember? That's no small feat.” She clapped her hands together.

As the Beredo sliced through the waves, memories of Rupes Nigra haunted the crew. The chill of the deep sea had seeped into their bones. They felt like they were on the edge of the world. These experiences became a part of them.

Friday, 31 March 2023. It was a cool, overcast morning as Ypsilandi's shoreline finally came into view. The crew prepared for disembarkation. The ship's engines quieted to a gentle purr as they approached the berth. It signalled the end of their long journey.

“We’re coming back different people,” Captain Versson said aloud. His voice showed a mix of loss and understanding. “The sea changed us. The challenges we faced changed us. Remember those truths.” He watched his crew one last time, and noticed subtle changes in them. They showed newfound resilience, a deeper contemplation , and a lingering gaze that often turned seaward.

As they docked, Ypsilandi's sights and sounds welcomed them. Children's laughter blended with the calls of seagulls. In a nearby market, the vendors called out, selling fresh fish. The briny scent of the sea mingled with the earthy aroma of rain-soaked docks. The scent of the sea mixed with the aroma of rain-soaked docks. The gulls' cries echoed their own feelings of return.

Captain Versson was the first to step off the ship. He was greeted by his family. His ex-wife Elísabet's eyes were filled with relief and unspoken questions. She reached out. Her touch was hesitant yet longing. His children's joyous laughter was a balm to his weary soul.

“Welcome back, Dad!” his daughter exclaimed, her words catching in her throat.

“I missed you so much,” he replied. His voice was emotional. He hugged her, and held her a moment longer, cherishing the feeling of home.

The rest of the crew also disembarked. They were met with embraces and tearful reunions. Each of them paused to take in the scene. Their eyes revealed lingering emotions: relief, sadness, and unquenched thirst for the unknown. Their adventure seemed like a distant dream. Each step away from the Beredo was a step into a familiar world that seemed unchanged. But they themselves had.

In the days that followed, the crew's testimonies would fuel discussions and debates in the scientific community. The detailed logs, sensor readings, and navigational records from the IRV Beredo could provide valuable data for future expeditions.

And although they returned without physical evidence, their accounts of Rupes Nigra would surely inspire future explorations. They would fuel the quest to uncover the truth. The whispers of the north and the secrets it might still hold echoed in their hearts. It would drive them in their unending quest for knowledge. The journey of the IRV Beredo would be remembered.

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Epilogue: The Legacy

Later…

The story of the IRV Beredo and its journey to Rupes Nigra started to spread far beyond the ship and its crew. People talked about the expedition within the halls of academia, in government corridors, and during scientific symposiums. These talks sparked lots of speculation and interest.

Even though the Beredo's crew returned empty-handed, their vivid descriptions made Rupes Nigra seem very appealing. Maria Garcia, the expedition's leader, often talked about how the island seemed to change in the Polar light. This mysterious island, barely explored and on the edge of the known world, now called on the brave and curious. Across the globe, eyes turned northward. Teams of explorers and scientists prepared for their own adventures. There were still secrets left to be discovered.

In the corridors of power, the events surrounding the expedition to Rupes Nigra caused a stir in politics. Citing historical and scientific values, the nation of Orioni, backed by the testimonies of Captain Versson and his crew, laid a strong claim on the island. But this claim was not uncontested; Volsci, with their own interests in Argic exploration, initiated a diplomatic protest. The dispute over Rupes Nigra became a complex issue. It involved questions of sovereignty, historical rights, and the rules of exploration.

For Captain Versson and his loyal crew, coming back home felt like returning to a different life. They all were changed by Rupes Nigra, by memories etched deep in their minds. First Mate Rachel Williams often found herself staring at the sea for hours, lost in thought. Captain Versson felt comforted by the embrace of his family, finding solace in their warmth. But part of him was still lost at sea. He couldn't stop thinking about the mysteries of Rupes Nigra.

The whereabouts of the Volsci submarine, known among the crew as the “Ghost of the Depths,” stayed an unanswered question. Its shadow loomed over any future endeavour to Rupes Nigra. Exploring the Argic Ocean would remain dangerous.

As time went on, the IRV Beredo's story became legendary. The whispers of Rupes Nigra, half-revealed, half-concealed, kept sparking debates and dreams.

In moments of solitude, when the sea's song filled their ears, the Beredo's crew would think about the island. The sound of the sea made them remember. They thought about the paths untaken. And they wondered what stories were left to be discovered, caught in the enigmatic embrace of the Argic.

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