Episode 8: The Queen of Port Azuriel

An airship runs into difficulties, and Courier Marks takes a dislike to a customer.

The transcript of this trailer can be found below or as a PDF here

TW: death, suffocation, illness, hypothermia, heights.

Station Arcadia is a podcast by Metal Steve Productions and licensed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial sharealike 4.0 international license. It is produced by Eliana Esdi and C.V.V.M. and directed by Tovah Branter. It is edited by Eliana Esdi and J.R. Steele with Soundscaping by Becker Hoang and music by Theo Goodwin. Today’s episode was written by C.V.V.M. with scenes by J.R. Steele. It featured Jade Virginia as Kass, CaraLee Rose Howe as Peaches, Cory Repass as Charlie, and Jonaya Riley as Jebediah Mosely.

Subscribe to our patreon for early access and bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/stationarcadia Join us on twitter(https://twitter.com/StationArcadia) and tumblr(https://stationarcadia.tumblr.com/), @stationarcadia, for more content. Join us on discord at https://discord.gg/Reb8UCw to chat with other fans. Check out our website, stationarcadia.com for a transcript of this episode as well as information on the cast and crew.

!NOTICE: This episode's transcript is still being formatted, apologies for any inconveniences. The transcript can also be accessed through a PDF here

Transcript for Episode 8:

BRONWYN. Hey, Bronwyn here, the voice of Alice Harlow. We are very excited to announce that we now have a patreon! By supporting Station Arcadia on patreon at patreon.com/stationarcadia, you can gain full access to all sorts of perks. For only $3 a month you can watch our monthly game streams, vote on new merch items, and view world of Arcadia lore drops. $5 a month will bring you hilarious blooper compilations, as well as early access to episodes and merch. $10 monthly gets you access to tabletop rpg one shots, bonus in world episodes, and of course, everything at lower tiers. If you don’t have the means to donate monthly, or conversely, would like to donate more monthly, our pinecast tip jar will remain open for both one time and recurring donations. We also have a $1 tip tier on patreon for any who would like to support the show but can’t commit to a larger pledge. To anyone who has already donated to our pinecast tip jar or bought merchandise, thank you. Your support means the world to us. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/stationarcadia. Thanks, and enjoy episode eight, the queen of Port Azuriel.

EXT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Welcome, anyone. And thanks for tuning in. You're listening to Station Arcadia

[THEME MUSIC PLAYS]

KASS. Today has been a bit of a boring work day around the station. Jo is just doing his paperwork, Lyssel is off in… wherever they hide out, working on ghosts know what, Z is taking a nap and I don’t want to disturb her, which just leaves me so… let's hope Arcadia has something interesting for us today. (slight chuckle)

[TWO CLICKS]

The Queen of Port Azuriel was a beautiful ship. She carried great cargo, transporting expensive trinkets and goods from Vanfell to Essen. She had a massive frame, bigger than any of her sisters. There were two fins along her topside and two along the bottom, guiding and steadying her as she cut through the air. Her defining feature though, part of what made her so lovely, was the long narwhal's horn planted on her bow. She was a beauty.

It was a shame she never came back.

The crew of The Queen was small for a ship of this size. There were two cabin boys, one wireless officer to commune with other ships, a medic, two sailmakers to mend the great hull, a captain and Edwin, the navigator. The crew was closer than peas in a pod, and they navigated about the ship with ease. It was a simple path they flew, so long as they could avoid the Devil’s Fist, a never-ending typhoon which raged above the Nagabis ocean.

Storms never really worried Edwin, she’d been through too many for them to scare her. Never one as strong as this though. It was dangerous work to fly an airship through a storm like that but she had great trust in Captain Dalagney. He could fly a kite through a tornado unscathed if he had to.

The ship was three days out of Vanfell, travelling at a leisurely twenty-one knots when they came across the Devil's Fist. It was a sight no one on the airship wanted to see, but Edwin had no fear. She knew they could brave this. She feared nothing in the sky, only the great vast sea below.

Captain Dalagney instructed the crew to skirt the storm's weakest edge and brace for the wind. The crew anchored themselves, grabbing onto the beams that laced the walkways of The Queen’s vast inner chambers. Edwin had little she could do to anchor herself. As the navigator she had to stay by the map, charting the course and keeping a close eye on coordinates, altitude, direction, all of it.

As they began to pass by the storm, Edwin felt in her gut that The Queen was beginning to drop. She read the altitudes as she recorded them, and they were indeed sinking rapidly.

“Captain, sir we need to drop weight,” she said. He told them to drop the ballasts with a strong voice and no hesitation.

Edwin admired him for that, how he wasn’t scared even as they sunk towards the drink. She heard the sound of the great hatches of the ballast open, followed by water crashing down. The ship rose two hundred feet, which put it at 538 feet above sea level.

“Shall we go higher?” She asked him, and all eyes turned to Captain Dalagney.

He sent the two sailmakers, Wendorf and Pierre, down to the cargo levels. Their voices drifted up through the metal speaking tubes as they asked what to drop. “The trinkets”, Captain Dalagney told them.

Faintly, the doors of the cargo hatch could be heard opening with a violent rush of air, followed by a frantic shout as the doors slid shut. Wendorf climbed the ladder back up to the control car, and everyone turned to him.

KASS. Before we learn what happened next, I think the station wants us to patch into Hardizan.

TRANSITION

EXT. UPTOWN SINCLAIR

[SOUNDS OF A HARDIZAN STREET, BUT IN THE RICHER AREA. A MOTORCYCLE RIDES UP, THEN TURNS OFF. PEACHES WALKS UP TO JEBEDIAH'S HOUSE, KNOCKING ON THE DOOR. A FEW MOMENTS LATER, SOMEONE OPENS THE DOOR.]

JEBEDIAH. Yes?

PEACHES. Oh! Hello. I have a package here. If you wouldn’t mind I’d like to give it to either the butler or the intended recipient.

JEBEDIAH. Who is the intended recipient?

PEACHES. The man who lives here; Jebadiah Mosley.

JEBEDIAH. Then the package you have is for me.

PEACHES. …you’re Jebediah?

JEBEDIAH. (shortly) Yes. Is there a problem?

PEACHES. (a bit thrown) Not at all, I just didn’t expect you to be getting your own mail.

JEBEDIAH. (bristling) I am perfectly capable of accepting my own packages, courier. I should like to accept the one you’re holding if you don’t mind.

PEACHES. (realizing their mistake) Oh! Of course, (attempting to recover) apologies Mr. Mosley if you’d just sign here--

[JEBEDIAH SNATCHES THE CLIPBOARD AND SCRIBBLES LOUDLY ON IT, BEFORE SHOVING IT BACK AT PEACHES. HE THEN TAKES THE PACKAGE.]

JEBEDIAH. You’d do well to learn your place, courier, or I’ll have you fired for your disrespect. Good day.

[HE SLAMS THE DOOR. PEACHES STANDS IN SILENCE FOR A MOMENT.]

PEACHES. Damn.

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. The first thing the crew of the Queen saw when Wendorf returned, was that Pierre hadn’t followed behind him. Donnie, the medical officer, asked what had happened and with tears in his eyes, Wendorf said that Pierre had fallen. An eerie hush fell over the cabin while he told the crew that even though they’d both been strapped in and holding tight, the winds had been too strong.

In the moment of solemn silence that fell over the control car Edwin realized they were climbing, drastically fast. She read the altitude aloud as they climbed. 600... 650… 700… 800 feet. They were rising at a dangerous speed; at this rate it wouldn’t be long before they’d be high enough for altitude sickness to start kicking in.

1200, 1400. Edwin spoke up. “Captain,” she said, “What should we do?” As soon as she finished speaking the altimeter began to beep, indicating they were getting dangerously high. Soon they’d be too far up for the oxygen to be breathable.

Captain Dalagney looked around the room for a few seconds before his gaze fell on the gauges of the hydrium tanks. He couldn’t possibly think about letting some out, it was the only thing keeping the ship up. But then, they were still rising dangerously fast.

Edwin announced that the ship was nearing 3000 feet; looking back, the altimeter was still beeping furiously.

Captain Dalagney instructed Wendorf to vent hydrium, the gas keeping them afloat, from tanks 1, 2, 9 and 10. The boy did, but nothing changed. The Queen was still rising. As they approached 4000 feet, Captain Dalagney instructed Wendorf once again to vent some hydrium, this time to get each tank down to 95% capacity.

Edwin knew that was as much as they could vent safely before risking the frame of the ship collapsing, or sinking into the sea with their cargo. She hoped this would work, but even when Wendorf announced that he’d vented each tank down to ninety-five percent the ship was still rising, unsettlingly fast. She could feel it in her bones before even checking the altimeter.

The Queen of Port Azuriel was approaching 6000 feet, and she wasn’t slowing down. Edwin told the Captain, but she knew there was very little he could do. They couldn’t vent any more hydrium or they’d risk a violent and brutal death, and there was no charted land nearby. She brisked over her map to double check that that was true and unfortunately, it was.

The ship shook violently, causing the crew to stumble and fall, and their equipment to rattle and shake.

When Edwin thought it could not get any worse, Oren, the cabin boy in the crows nest, shouted through the speaking tubes to inform the crew of an incoming bank of clouds, near 8 stories tall, coming at them at 35 knots. He said it was no more than 80 feet away. Edwin was no pilot but she knew that didn’t give The Queen anywhere near enough time to

steer away.

Captain Dalagney sighed and looked out the massive control car window before speaking into the metal voice tube. He told Oren to brace himself, and that though this might not kill the crew, it sure as hell was gonna try.

He turned to them and smiled grimly before turning back around and taking the wheel of the ship. Edwin looked around the control car. She nodded at her colleagues, trying to seem confident and reassuring - after all, she wasn’t scared. She was never scared. They were all strapped in well, and though she felt the ship shake beneath her feet with a bit of turbulence, they seemed to be holding fine.

Or so she thought.

Edwin looked out the control car's vast front window at the clouds coming their way, dark and menacing, bigger than anything she’d ever seen. Time seemed to stand still as the ship hurdled towards the wall of darkness, then all of a sudden, they were in the midst of it. Before anyone could do anything, the ship was being thrown through the storm, objects and crew alike being thrown from their place and tossed about. After a few moments, the ship breached the clouds and flew straight into a squall of violent winds and frosty rain. She was still rising. The altimeter sky-rocketed as the crew was tossed around in the furious prison of clouds. They went from six thousand to nearly ten thousand feet in less than a second. The crew yelled out as their ears suddenly popped. They were higher than any ship ought to be, especially one like The Queen, but there was no way to slow their ascent. They were past the point at which altitude sickness would normally begin, and were approaching a point where they would need the oxygen tanks they’d brought.

The medic and the wireless officer soon began laughing, doubled over and stumbling about like fools as the storm shook the ship. Edwin knew it was the altitude sickness, hypoxia. Symptoms could include any number of things, headaches, failing vision, clumsiness, and numbness. As she looked to the two poor men she remembered one of the most telling symptoms; a feeling of joy, or even euphoria. She didn’t feel much more than a bit of unpleasant pressure in her temples, but she was the youngest and likely the healthiest on board. Donnie, the medic, was a frail old man and she feared for his life more than her own. Of course, the moment she looked over at him, his laugh morphed into a haggard cough. Luckily he didn’t fall over dead, at least not yet.

KASS. And now, um, back to Peaches.

[TRANSITION]

INT. CHARLIE’S OFFICE

[THERE’S SOME SCRIBBLING ON PAPER AND A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. CHARLIE HASTILY SHOVES THE PAPER IN A DRAWER.]

CHARLIE. (clears throat) Come in.

[THE DOOR OPENS AND PEACHES ENTERS.]

CHARLIE. Oh, it’s just you.

[HE PULLS THE PAPERS BACK OUT AND BEGINS TO WRITE ON THEM AGAIN.]

PEACHES. (teasing) Aw, Charlie, can’t you act a little happy to see me?

[HE STOPS WRITING.]

CHARLIE. (sincerely) I am happy to see you. How was your day?

[PEACHES PULLS UP A CHAIR AS HE TALKS AND FALLS INTO IT HEAVILY.]

PEACHES. Long.

CHARLIE. Productive?

PEACHES. Somewhat?

CHARLIE. Tell me about it.

[CHARLIE RETURNS TO WRITING. PEACHES SITS DOWN]

PEACHES. Emmeline and Lavinia say hello again. They want to know if you’re sleeping enough.

CHARLIE. Tell them I am.

PEACHES. (laughs) I’ll tell them when it’s true.

CHARLIE. Don’t keep them waiting.

PEACHES. I won’t.

[A PAUSE WHERE CHARLIE STOPS WRITING.]

PEACHES. They also said one of our quarries just put a lot of money into Ajax Oil.

CHARLIE. (interested) Really. When?

PEACHES. About a week ago.

CHARLIE. How much?

PEACHES. Couple thousand.

CHARLIE. (deep inhale) That’s unusual.

PEACHES. Yeah. They didn’t seem to know much more than that, though.

CHARLIE. Is there anyone else on your route who might have more information? What about Jebediah? I know he has connections.

PEACHES. Maybe. But I don’t think he’s going to tell me anything.

[A PAUSE.]

CHARLIE. (deadpan) What happened?

PEACHES. Well, I met him today.

CHARLIE. And?

PEACHES. And… I don’t think he likes me.

CHARLIE. (sigh) Peach--

PEACHES. Jebediah’s just horrible Charlie. I can’t pretend that I like him! He overworks his butler and he’s got all this land and won’t pay his employees what they deserve and apparently their living situation is terrible and he’s up in his high house on the hill above everyone else! It isn’t fair and I know it takes time to change these things but I can’t pretend that I tolerate him because I don’t!

[CHARLIE SETS DOWN HIS PEN]

CHARLIE. I understand. You know I do. But you know everyone on the route is important.

PEACHES. (mumbling) Except Oswald. That man never held an ounce of importance in his life.

CHARLIE. (stern) Peach.

PEACHES. (sigh) Sorry.

CHARLIE. (sigh) Just… tell me you didn’t say you hated Jebediah to his face?

PEACHES. I didn’t say I hated him to his face…

CHARLIE. ...what did you say?

PEACHES. Nothing too bad. It was mostly him overreacting, I’m sure he’ll forget about it.

CHARLIE. (hums dubiously) Let’s hope so. Because he’s the one you need to get information from next.

PEACHES. What?

CHARLIE. You know why you have this route. He’s an important source. I’m not asking you to be his best friend, but at the very least be civil. This information is going to help with the overall problem, so let’s not focus on the tiny quarrel.

PEACHES. You’re right.

CHARLIE. Which is why you should listen to me.

PEACHES. Fine. But you still have to listen to my complaining when I get back.

CHARLIE. Oh, I don’t mind the complaining too much. It’s when you do something stupid that I get mildly annoyed.

PEACHES. Life is short. Shorter for us. We’ve got to live it.

CHARLIE. (teasing) Not the way you’re doing it.

PEACHES. (more serious) Not the way you’re doing it either. I’m not telling Emmeline and Lavinia a lie tomorrow. You need to get some rest.

CHARLIE. (unconvincingly) I will.

PEACHES. Charlie.

CHARLIE. (sincere) Don’t worry about me, Peach.

PEACHES. We have to take care of each other. It’s not just one way.

CHARLIE. I appreciate it.

PEACHES. Put that down for tonight and go home?

CHARLIE. (teasing) Are you giving me an order?

PEACHES. It’s… a request. A very strong request.

CHARLIE. (sigh) I’ll finish this last bit up and head home. Do you have anything else?

PEACHES. Not for today. I’ll keep you updated as always.

[PEACHES STANDS AND WALKS OVER TO THE DOOR, OPENING IT.]

CHARLIE. Oh, um, Peach?

PEACHES. Hm?

CHARLIE. Jebediah is a good source. Possibly one of the best ones we’ll have, if you can get something out of him. (pause) And you need to be careful. You’re putting yourself in danger if you speak out against him and, while I know you want to, it’s just not worth it. So be safe.

PEACHES. I’ll do my best.

CHARLIE. (with a small smile) I know.

[TRANSITION]

INT. STATION ARCADIA

KASS. Welcome back.

KASS. The ship was still steadily rising and Edwin was the least affected by the altitude, so she went down to get the oxygen that they needed. She clambered down the ladder to the cargo hold, cautiously stepping around the doors that Pierre fell out of. It took a few trips to grab all 32 tanks - four for each crew member. It had seemed like too much to take when they were leaving port, but now it seemed like far too little.

Edwin was almost more worried about the ship than the crew, for The Queen of Port Azuriel was no skybreaker. The Queen didn’t have a pressurized engine and she definitely didn’t have anywhere to vent hydrium as it expanded from the altitude. If she went down, they all went down. That was starting to become a likely situation as they neared 14’000 feet. She knew that once a ship passed 12’000 the air got too thin to breathe. She looked at the altimeter and it read 14’300 feet, so she handed a tank of oxygen to each of the crew members.

The ships rising had begun to slow noticeably once they approached 16’000 feet and the crew hadn’t needed a second tank yet so Edwin started to hope that they might be fine.

Of course, hope alone wasn’t enough to get them very far.

Edwin was always a smart girl, and it didn’t take her long to realize that just because the ship wasn’t going down, that didn’t mean they were safe. In a final, desperate attempt to leave a mark on this world, she began to write on some spare mapping paper, in the hopes that someday, someone might find it.

October 7, year 405, altitude 20’300 feet

Our crew is faltering. The medic and wireless officer don’t have the energy to do much more than laugh and cry. The cabin boy, Goodreau, died last night. I’m not too sure what to do with the body and neither is Oren. We seem to be the only two who are well enough to get by.

October 15, year 405, altitude 20’250 feet

The medical officer and the wireless officer both decided to stop using their oxygen and died shortly after in a great fit of laughter and euphoria.

The captain is becoming frail, and he refuses to eat. Though he breathes the oxygen we give him, it’s clear that the hypoxia takes its toll on him.

I worry for our crew, our ship, even our cargo. No one else onboard knows how to pilot an airship. Oren used to be a skipper but water ships work differently.

October 17, year 405, altitude 19’840 feet

You can see the elements taking a toll on not only the ship but her shrinking crew. Windows frosted over, with equally frosted over crew trying to look out of them.

We have so few oxygen tanks left. Out of the original eight, there are four members of the crew left, myself included.

I don’t know what we’ll do with the bodies slowly piling up. I can’t bring myself to throw them overboard but they’re terrifying to look at.

October 27, year 405 , altitude unknown

Our last known altitude is 20’400 feet, but the altimeter stopped working soon after that. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember to write. Only Oren and I remain.

I worry the cold will get us before the hypoxia does.

November 4, year 405, altitude unknown

I’m scared. I fear for my life, as it takes so very much out of me to write this, Oren can’t stand and his fingers have begun to wither, two have fallen off.

November, year 405, altitude unknown

(laughing) I am the only one left. Soon no one will be left. We were not rescued. We will not be found.

KASS. That was… interesting to say the least. I doubt anyone ever found that journal, so I’m glad I was able to share it at least. It does make me wonder how Station Arcadia knows these things, but in the end I don’t suppose it really matters. I mean, I guess what Edwin did wasn’t in vain because, well now I’m telling her story and, hopefully, people are hearing it. In any case, stay safe, stay moving, and stick close. You’ve been listening to Station Arcadia.

[THEME MUSIC PLAYS]

ELIANA ESDI. Station Arcadia is a podcast by Metal Steve Productions and licensed under a creative commons attribution noncommercial sharealike 4.0 international license. It is produced by Eliana Esdi and C.V.V.M. and directed by Tovah Branter. It is edited by Eliana Esdi and J.R. Steele with Soundscaping by Becker Hoang and music by Theo Goodwin. Today’s episode was written by C.V.V.M. with scenes by J.R. Steele. It featured Jade Virginia as Kass, CaraLee Rose Howe as Peaches, Cory Repass as Charlie, and Jonaya Riley as Jebediah Mosely. Join us on Twitter and Tumblr @stationarcadia for more content. Check out our website, stationarcadia.com for a transcript of this episode as well as information on the cast and crew. Today’s art piece of the week is a picture of a rosy maple moth my friend, Pascale, drew. This is an audio medium so I will describe it to you. This moth is a friend. The pink and yellow tones, bleeding slightly outside of the lines, invites you to metaphorically lay your head on its large, uneven wings. Its two small pink arms curl upwards, signaling a hug waiting to happen. And on it’s beige face is a smile that will warm the heart. The pink antennae look soft and they sit at uneven angles as if waving back and forth. This moth loves you.

---

Subscribe to our patreon for early access and bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/stationarcadia Join us on twitter(https://twitter.com/StationArcadia) and tumblr(https://stationarcadia.tumblr.com/), @stationarcadia, for more content. Join us on discord at https://discord.gg/Reb8UCw to chat with other fans. Check out our website, stationarcadia.com for a transcript of this episode as well as information on the cast and crew.

Season 1