Life on the high seas was nothing to write home about. The oceans of Y'vera were actually fairly calm, with the prevailing winds always going southward. It wasn't until after the Cynthia Wars that the Fae had enough influence to develop the magic-current riding sails in use by a majority of sailors. While winds always blew south, the "Fae Winds," as they've come to been called, have a much more complex pattern. Unfortunately for sailors who often lack magical ability, it's impossible to see with the naked eye. It's difficult to see even for a trained magician. That's where Aspen comes in.
Aspen is a Pixie. Pixie's aren't not Fae, but they're far enough removed that they don't like to associate. A Pixie's had her wings pruned, or even removed entirely. Grinding them up into a dust creates what may well be Y'vera's most potent drug: the effects unpredictable, but always guaranteed to be a trip. The more ruthless and superstitious pyrats of the sea, however, decorate their sails with whole wings intact, believing that they grant them favorable Fae Winds and enhance their sails' effectiveness.
Ivory hadn't yet learned the specifics of how Aspen came to be aboard the Cerberus. The Pixie didn't care to talk about her past, but Ivory gathered that, as with most of her kind, she had been a slave once. Was Xen so kind as to harbor a slave? It didn't seem like it. Regardless, as the ship's navigator she was now an integral part of her crew.
After leaving Calhearth, the Cerberus and her crew headed south to the port of Lothair. They dropped off one of the humans Ivory didn't get the chance to meet, then left to the Fae port-city of Tarver. After that, it seemed a blur with how many destinations they visited in such a short time. Ivory had no idea ships could travel as fast as they were. "It's the Fae Winds, lass," Aspen explained to her in the crow's nest one day, "Not just any ship can do what the Cerberus does." She let the moment linger, a proud look on her sparkled face. Despite her best efforts, she couldn't hide the way sunlight glinted off her body. "Look at the sails," she pointed below, "There's two sets, if you look carefully." Indeed, there were two sets. On the main mast, in front of each sail, was a second, thin sail. Until now, Ivory had mistaken them for tattered damage to the primary sails. "The primary sails catch the wind, as you'd expect. The second set, though, catches the Fae Winds: the flux that flows through our world in a predictable manner thanks to that crystal on ithica." Ivory knew the crystal well, thanks to her heritage. "The Crystal of Balance," she recited the story, "bestowed upon us by The Goddess of Nature, forever watched over by the Archaeon and their Lady..." She trailed off, knowing the risks of mentioning Cynthia to the crew.
"Lady Cynthia," Aspen finished her sentence. Ivory had a surprised look on her face as Aspen attempted to explain, "My kind aren't particularly religious, but we were once. Tarver has churches and idols the same as anywhere else." Moments like this were few and far between among pyrats. It was even a bit uncharacteristic of Aspen. She partook in the same pleasures the rest of the crew did at each port, even using her size to her advantage in thieving and pranking.
Xen was awake, but the pounding on his door still startled him from his work. There were maps, floorplans, diagrams, letters, and sketches scattered across his desk and hanging on the walls. He didn't bother putting them away as he annoyedly opened the door...