By Anton Sokolov
A colleague of mine owns a stunning map of the Known World. Adorned with curlicues and sea beasts, it has a cherished spot over her mantle. She paid handsomely for it, and was so bristled when I enumerated the various errors. Chief among them, of course, the size and placement of the Pandyssian Continent. Oh, how cartographers are loath to show how small and distant our Empire really is compared to that giant landmass! As if Pandyssia were but a few days' journey from Arran!
Every veteran ship captain knows that it takes months to reach those shores!
I had no doubt that Pandyssia was rich in resources. But a place must be understood if we ever hope to exploit its myriad treasures. These were my thoughts as I agreed to join the ill-fated expedition. And so it was, on the third day of the Month of Earth, under calm grey skies, the great sea vessel Antonia Aquillo set sail with captain, crew, researchers, and myself, (thirty-eight of us total) for what would be the most terrifying and spiritually draining experience of my life.