The expedition of the empire's greatest minds set off due north, full of verve and good spirits. Sadly, before they'd even reached the empire's borders, rumors reported major unrest within the party. Over the course of the next year, letters to the homeland described falling-outs, terrible accidents, an unfortunate death, and the empire's leading physicist renouncing his past life to become a hermit. Eighteen months after departure only three now-not-so-brilliant-minds arrived home.
The fall from grace of these esteemed minds has led to scientific endeavours being considered cursed.