The Sojourn is an original Science Fiction audio drama created by YouTuber Daniel Orrett and produced by his YouTube channel Spacedock. The project was funded by a successful Kickstarter and will feature 12 episodes for its first season. The series' first three episodes comprising Volume 1. released on August 1st, 2020. Additionally, there are plenty of lore videos here on Spacedock's YouTube channel.
Outside A Galaxy Far Far Away, there exists a race of Human Aliens whose civilization has developed within a tiny collection of star systems called the Tantalus Cluster. The Tantalus Cluster lies in the intergalactic void, four thousand light-years from the perimeter of its parent galaxy, and after centuries of reckless colonisation and a violent interstellar war, the delicate ecosystem of Tantalus has begun to collapse, and humanity is gripped by poverty and famine.
Desperate and facing extinction, humanitys only hope is a strange nebula that has suddenly appeared beyond the edge of the cluster. Its shifting clouds may hide a source of salvation for the people of Tantalus, but time is running out.
The Sojourn follows the men and women of the Avalon Expedition, a daring mission launched across the void to find the vital resources and territory needed to save humanity. The story delves into the complex motivations and drives of those who volunteered for this dangerous voyage, and explore the many wonders and secrets theyll uncover on their way.
The series stars former Templin Institute member Larissa Thompson as Guinevere's captain and co-pilot, Cassandra Farren. In addition, there's Ben Pendergast as pilot and gunner Matthias Croft and Laura Faye Smith as doctor Tamara "Meds" Melari. Emily Serdhal stars as Elizabeth Ancelet, director of the Edric's Gate project and the Avalon Expedition, and the main voice cast is rounded out by Stephen Trafford as Castian Vadric.
Provides examples of:
- Artificial Gravity: While most of the ships have gravity using centrifugal force, one of the special features of the Drift is its ability to induce artificial gravity. This is usually reserved for ships of a much, MUCH larger class, which makes the Guinevere all the more distinguished for having this feature considering how tiny she is, relatively speaking.
- Asteroid Thicket: After arriving at CDC-41-Gamma, the Guinevere's crew is confronted with an ice asteroid field eight light-years wide. Cass comments on how it shouldn't be possible.
- Badass Crew: The crew of the independent Privateer Corvette Guinevere.
- Bold Explorer: The crew of the Avalon Expedition, venturing farther than anyone has ever gone into the heart of a mysterious nebula of unknown origin.
- Captain Obvious: This exchange after the ship arrives in the nebula:Meds: "Where are we?"Croft: "I think we're on the bridge."
- Casual Interstellar Travel: The 16 inhabited systems of the Tantalus Cluster are all linked via Drift Gates that allow nearly-instantaneous Faster-Than-Light Travel between them. Averted when it comes to the Avalon Expedition, in that the whole goal of it is to build a special, larger, longer-range gate at CDC-41-Gamma to allow two-way travel between it and Tantalus.
- Centrifugal Gravity: The Avalon Platform has three counter-rotating rings to provide this without the need to use expensive and inefficient Drift-Based Directional Paragravity Circuits.
- Constructed World: The entire Tantalus Cluster and its worlds, as well as Nebula CDC-41-Gamma, which orbit around the fictional Morgana Galaxy.
- Cool Gate: The Drift Gates used to get around Tantalus Cluster in a network. A major goal of the Avalon Expedition is to build one where they are going so they can return home.
- Conlang: The world of the Sojourn has at least two languages spoken, Centran Standard and Teldrani. The latter has been hinted at with some words and phrases, and is being turned into a full conlang.
- Corralled Cosmos: The Centrum Assembly is completely confined to the Tantalus Cluster, since said star cluster is located outside the galaxy. The whole purpose of the Edric's Gate Project is to avert this by travelling across the intergalactic void and establishing a Drift Gate in CDC-41-Gamma as a steppingstone to the main galaxy.
- Crapsack World: The Post-Frontier War Tantalus Cluster worlds are spiralling further into this with every passing year, and trying to fix it is the main driving issue for the story.
- Critical Research Failure: Meds asks Elizabeth if she knows what it's like to have ships destroyed by bombs, seemingly unaware that the first attack of the Frontier War was the destruction of the Wanderer space platform that colonized Elizabeth's homeworld. Quickly Lampshaded as Elizabeth points out she is quite familiar with the concept.
- Dwindling Party: A double example:
- Upon arrival, the Avalon fleet finds itself scattered across the nebula, with only a few ships accounted for.
- In each of the first 3 episodes, a ship is destroyed: the Mariana is destroyed by the CDC-41-Gamma aliens during First Contact, a Gatehauler is destroyed by asteroids (although the gate component is salvaged), and the Abigail is destroyed by a terrorist attack.
- Easily Forgiven: Elizabeth holds no animosity towards the destroyers of the Mariana as she notes that, given how often humans attack each other, it's understandable that a completely alien group might attack following a perceived misunderstanding or slight.
- Enemy Mine: The Centrum Assembly and Frontier Union are forced to work together for the good of humanity, despite the open wounds still left open following the 10-year long Frontier War.
- Expanded Universe: And how. The Spacedock Youtube channel has several videos discussing the worlds of the Tantalus Cluster and going into detail about the Frontier War, the history of the Guinevere.
- Fantastic Ship Prefix: Centrum Assembly ships have the prefix "CSV", standing for Centran (Assembly) Space Vehicle. Subverted by Frontier Union ships, which have no prefix (e.g. "Mariana", "Abigail")
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The worlds of the Tantalus Cluster are connected via the Drift Gates, large accelerators that catapult ships between the stars in a matter of seconds. In the CDC-41-G Nebula, however, FTL travel is achieved via Laurilyn Conduits, Minovsky Physics versions of Krasnikov Tubes. Their origin remains unknown.
- First Contact: The Mariana and the Guinevere make initial contact with the CDC-41-Gamma aliens. It ends with Mariana lost with all hands and Guinevere barely escaping.
- Great Offscreen War: The series takes place after the Frontier War, fought for ten years between the Centrum Assembly and the Frontier Union. Despite being off-screen, its effects on both the setting and characters can still be very much felt.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Cass' interactions with Elizabeth are suggestive of a mutual attraction, and Elizabeth is a redhead.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When their ship is fatally damaged in a terrorist attack, the crew of the Abigail get as far away from the Avalon as they can before the ship explodes, saving the station from destruction at the cost of their own lives.
- The medic aboard the Gate Hauler used all her medical supplies to save a critically injured crewmate before succumbing to her own injuries.
- Human Aliens: The humans in the Tantalus cluster are this, as are the aliens of the CDC-41-Gamma civilization, to the point where several of the CDC-41-Gamma aliens are certain that recovered human bodies are a deliberate deception by Unholy elements.
- Incompatible Orientation: When the bartender on Firewatch inquires about Cass, Croft says that he's 'not her type'.
- Intrepid Merchant: The Mericians as a whole.
- Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Despite having very advanced technologies, the Tantalus Cluster's factions use Coilguns as their main armaments, backed by Autocannons for point-defence purposes.
- Magnetic Weapons: Both sidearms and ship weaponry alike in are primarily comprised of coilguns, but chemically-propelled projectile weapons are still used to a lesser extent.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The exact nature of the nebula is as of yet unknown. Thus far most of the peculiarities of the nebula can be explained scientifically, but the sudden appearance of the nebula out of nowhere combined with the existence of a space faring race of humanoids whose religious beliefs center around a mystical origin for the nebula hints at a less-than-natural origin.
- Merchant City: Meric's Keep is one of these. The city is the only way outsiders can enter the Merician Freehold, and in order to keep their stuff away from prying eyes, they stuck the System's Drift Gate into an asteroid.
- Minovsky Physics: Most of the series' deviations from reality are attributable to Drift, a substance that can create gravitoelectromagnetic effects when subjected to electrical currents. The mechanics, applications and limitations of it are all detailed in this video, and more in-depth in "The Science of Drift" document.
- Multinational Team: The Avalon Expedition was hastily assembled through the combined efforts of all of Tantalus' major powers: the Centrum Assembly, the Frontier Union, and the Mercian Freehold. Given it has been less than five years since the end of the Frontier War, tensions abound as then-enemies must now cooperate if they wish to survive.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Meds has this reaction when her advice leads to the majority of the Frontier Union crew being killed in a terrorist attack.
- In Episode 4, we learn this is what happened to Cass during the war: due to exhaustion and a desire to prove herself, she led a task force into the Howling at the end of the Battle of the Atamara Crossroads, which resulted in her ship destroying a fellow Centrum ship with the loss of 47 people in a friendly fire incident. The incident was covered up following her resignation from the service.
- Name's the Same: While not identical, there is a distinct similarity between Sadavar Edric, the human who discovered CDC-41-G, and Holy Advar, the legendary creator of that same nebula.
- Negative Space Wedgie: Lauralyn Conduits.
- Oh, Crap!: The normally unflappable Cass lets out a panicked "Oh shit!" when she realizes the terrorist bombing on the Avalon wasn't to destroy the station; it was to maneuver the Abigail into being an easy target.
- Opening Monologue: The very first line of the series, narrated by Elizabeth Ancelet, explaining the premise and setting of the series.Elizabeth: "The Universe was cruel when she gave life to the Tantalus Cluster..."
- Privateer: The crew of the Independent Corvette Guinevere.
- Space Pirates: The aftermath of the Frontier War and the chaos that ensued proved itself ripe for... enterprising ship-owners to engage in more questionable means to make a buck in the Cluster's ravaged economy. The rise in space piracy has led directly to the reintroduction of the aforementioned Privateers across Tantalus.
- Space Sailing: The CDC-41-Gamma Alien's ships seem to have sails. Their exact functioning and usage remains unknown, however.
- Silent Running Mode: In Episode one, the Guinevere shuts down all non-essential systems to try to hide from the CDC-41-Gamma Alien ship approaching the Abigail.
- Taking You with Me: What, in Michael Favara's mind, they were doing when they bomb the Abigail in Episode 3.
- The Theocracy: the CDC-41-Gamma Alien civilization is one of these.
- Walking Spoiler: On a smaller scale, Stephen Trafford's character, Castian Vadric, and on a larger scale, the CDC-41-Gamma Alien Civilization as a whole.
- Wham Line:
Cpt. Jinn: "Magnetic bottle failure. Reactor breached. Attempting to reach safe distance."
- The last transmission from the Abigail in the third episode:
Cass: "It wasn't them. It was one of ours."
- Cass, when talking about destroying a Union ship following the Battle of Atamara Crossroads, drops this bomb: