Dropping out of Hyperspace the group find The Moonshadow disabled just outside of the orbit of Vorzyd IV. Its hyperspace and sublight engines have been scrambled and although the players don’t know it when they first arrive (due to having to deal with scavengers), the side of the ship obscured to them has a Chiss Clawcraft attached to it.
The group engage in combat with a group of eight Kryat Dragonfighters, with Arruna, Ni’lani and Pike exiting The Distant Star, while Hugh and Hylo remain aboard the Shyrack Transport and man the guns.
Just as the Dragonfighters are starting to lose the battle, a Nebula-Class Cruiser and a cloaked Starshark jump in from Hyperspace to reinforce the enemy ships. As Pike attempts a dangerous fly-by maneuver against the Cruiser, the Starshark reveals itself by launching a surprise attack against The Phantom Katarn, but only wings the smaller ship. As the others give him cover, Pike is able to perform a fly-by on the cruiser with a million-to-one shot that manages to hit a vital part of the engine causing a cascade reaction which destroys the larger ship. As if levelling the books however, fate abandons them seconds later when a weapons malfunction aboard The Distant Star causes a massive explosion which wipes out half the ship, tears The Forgotten Myth in half and almost kills Hugh, Hylo and Malius.
As Arruna recovers the only intact Dragonfighter (that she disabled rather than destroyed during the fight), Pike does a sensor sweep of the Starshark remains and collects what small fragments aboard his ship to attempt to discover the identities of the ships’ crew. Among them is a jump suit that was contained in a storage locker, emblazoned with the emblem of House Navashhi, a rather minor Gesk Fleet Family.
Ni’lani searches the Force to discover there are life-signs aboard The Moonshadow, and does a perimiter check of the Gage-Class Cruiser. She discovers a ship clamped to the other side of the hull, a configuration she doesn’t recognize (it is a Chiss Clawcraft), but notes that the shields are disabled on The Moonshadow and that the ships could easily land in the Hangar Bay. She informs the rest of the group of this, and they fly their ships – and the heavily damaged Distant Star – aboard The Moonshadow. Before that however, Ni’lani flies in close to the unusual ship and uses her flight-suit to leave the safety of The Shard momentarily, long enough to plunge her lightfoil through the ships Sublight Engines, disabling them.
Once aboard they will find many dead Grey Sun mercenaries the first of whom seem to have been killed brutally using a bladed melee weapon of some kind, but as the group make their way toward the bridge the violence seems more varied: blaster fire and super-heated plasma burns evident. The worrying aspect is it seems that all the mercenaries seem to have been dispatched by a single attacker.
As they approach the bridge the group find it in lock-down, with Grey Sun mercs trying to gain entry to the bridge by re-opening a welded door. The group have no choice but to fight them because the mercs turn on them the moment they see them, assuming them to be looters.
A short battle ensues where the mercs are dispatched using a variety of non-lethal means, but eventually the group are victorious and Ni’lani uses her Lightfoil to weld open the rest of the door.
Once they gain entry to the bridge the group find a Vorzydiak (Shen) cowering behind a makeshift barricade and flanked by eight Grey Sun Mercenaries who are engaged in blaster-fire with a heavily-armoured Chiss Bounty Hunter (Jer’quams’reela Lor’raine).
Between them lies the bodies of many dead mercenaries.
Despite Shen spotting them and asking for aid, the group side with the Bounty Hunter and remove many of the mercs (and shen) from the fight with a single well placed Stun Grenade. The remaining standing mers are of little challenge to the Bounty Hunter, who dispatches them with headshots.
The group explain their predicament and Jer’quams’reela says she has no interest in anything except taking Shen in for a bounty, and agrees to give them a few moments with the Vorzydiak to get the location of the mask from him. This they do with little problems, as he is easily intimidated to taking them to his quarters (the rather overly-spacious captains quarters) where he has the mask on display (as well as a Holocron which Ni’lani takes for study and an ancient blaster pistol which Pike takes). After getting the location of the mask they turn Shen over to Jer’quams’reela.
As the Bounty Hunter leaves the group to it, they examine the mask before contacting Tres Zell. Just opening the case causes the mask to give off a large burst of Dark Force energy, which assaults the senses of the three Force Sensitive members of the crew. While Ni’lani and Pike are strong enough to resist the powerful emanations, Hylo is wracked with chest pains and nausea and barely manages to not vomit, also suffering a minor nose bleed. Ni’lani gets the feeling that something of great importance has just been set in motion. Though she quickly re-covers the mask, it gives off no further emanations, and feels dead to Force Sensitivity.
The Moonshadow itself is more or less intact, except for its Hyperdrive which is disabled (but can be fixed) and its sublight engines which are damaged beyond repair and require replacing. Shen is not really the “owner” of the ship, he acquired it illegally. The group contact Zell and explain they have the mask, he recommends them not returning to Vorzyd V due to the fact that Senator Kelsarbu Tja’ski has put a price on their heads. He recommends coming to them, but the group explain their predicament and he suggests purchasing a new sub-light drive for The Moonshadow, and that the group can sell him The Distant Star and the rest of the broken ships to cover the cost.
While Zell arranges the purchase of Sublight engines for the ship, Hugh and the droids set about repairing The Moonshadow’s Hyperdrives and also helps Jer’quams’reela fix her ship (which seems to have been damaged somehow!) before she leaves. During this time the group also discover the ship has a fully operational Lambda-Class Shuttle aboard, a ship which Hugh claims ownership over after the destruction of The Forgotten Myth.
Zell arrives on The Moonshadow a few hours later and accepts the Mask, giving them each the agreed payment of 2,000c and says that 2 more parts of the collection exist. Though still trying to find the fourth part, he believes he has located the third part of the collection: a precious cloak which can be found on the world of Onderon. Zell explains that the owner of the cloak is unlikely to want to part with it and as such they are to attempt to negotiate a deal on Tosaken Corporation‘s behalf or, if that doesn’t work – steal it or get it by any means. Due to the probability of improvisation and potential risk, he is offering each member of the group 5,000c this time. Onderon is in the Inner-Rim, very near to the Hapes Consortium but perhaps more importantly, deep in Confederacy-Controlled space. This makes all of the characters feel uncomfortable at best. Zell has asked them to contact him once they get to the Capital City of Iziz, giving them a HoloNet code he can be reached on, whereupon he will give them further details.
He explains that he has been given authority to provide the group with 1,000c each out of their 5,000c payment up front, as well as possibly covering expenses. When the group decide to take his offer he pays them, wishes them luck and leaves, taking the mask, The Distant Star and his salvage with him.
While the new sublight drives are being installed (which makes the ship legal as far as IFF and Transponder Codes go), Arruna takes the surviving mercenaries and “deposits” them on Vorzyd IV.
Upon registering the ships’ new details, an official owner/captain has to be named, which is an honour Pike takes upon himself.
Once the ship is repaired and fully functional the group make their way to Onderon. Being a three day journey in Hyperspace, the group have time to rest and recuperate. Upon the 2nd day of the journey Ni’lan receives a troubling Force Vision which she keeps to herself, but the crew do not see her until they arrive in the Japrael system around the planet Onderon.
Arrival at the planet of Onderon finds many starships in orbit, most civilian but with some Onderon Royal Military vessels and Confederacy Police ships as well. As the group need to go to the capital city of Iziz, it is not difficult to find their way, but The Moonshadow is too large to land on the planet, so the group need to take the smaller ships and decide to try out the Lambda Class Shuttle. However, on route to the planet they are contacted by Onderon Planetary Security who ask for the Transponder code and it occurs that The Moonshadow might have legal codes but they have no idea where the Lambda Shuttle came from. With R4’s help the group stall security while the droid creates a false code, identifying the ship as ‘Voidrunner’, and they are able to land safely.
Compared to where they have been before Iziz is large, spacious and beautiful: the skies are blue and there is plenty of flora to be found amid the city streets. ConFed Police are a common sight but not too intrusive and it seems odd to see people walking about not wearing armour or carrying weapons openly. Although a variety of species call the planet – and the capital – home, most are Humans (Onderan Humans). The group do not feel safe however despite the surroundings: Arruna is a mercenary and finds it all too stifling, Hugh is a HuMech and such would be captured and deported (if not destroyed) if found out, Hylo was thrown out of the ConFed military and although the ConFed here are police, it still makes him feel ill at ease. Ni’lani is a Force User and would almost definitely be executed if discovered here, and Pike finds it too open and bright compared to his beloved space.
Shortly after arriving the group are able to contact Zell via the HoloNet, and get information from him with regards to the owner of the cloak.
The owner is Lady Aeris Kira, part of The Royal House of Onderon (under King Tanomas Kira and Queen Edea Kira). Despite being only 16 years old, she is a kind soul who wishes to be a great ruler for her people one day.
Aeris is hosting a charity gala event in the main ballroom of Ov Taraba University in the Iziz Campus, to raise money to help fund nature reserves to house new generations of Tee-Muss which have been steadily shrinking in population over the last few hundred years.
The Cloak (which is known as The Shroud of Karnak) is going to the highest bidder, like all the items, and will be on display at the event prior to the auction.
Before the group can go there however, they need to look the part and so go and get dolled up in expensive finery: Pike is a sharp suit, Hylo and Hugh in practical yet expensive-looking “working-class-done-good” outfits, and Ni’lani and Arruna in elegant gowns. Though having to use the 1,000c each they got from Zell four days earlier, they make a mental note to get reimbursed under “expenses”.
Once they arrive at the university they need to hand over all weapons (except concealed ones such as the pistol Pike hides on his person, the light-foil Ni’lani hides in a thigh holster and Arruna’s grenades collection which she fashions into a disguised belt), and are led into a large spacious ball-room complete with stone pillar supports and a high domes glass ceiling.
A circle of 15 stone pillars are in the centre of the room, one of which houses the Shroud the group are after.
Many influential members of Iziz Society are there from Nobles, Diplomats and Dignitaries to even the Magnate of Iziz (Daseaed Tai). Around the room stand a collection of Onderon Royal Security Guard, watching the crowd closely.
While examining the shroud Ni’lani feels the eyes of another Force User on her and turn to discover it is the Princess, Aeris. The young woman comes over than they swap small-talk, both aware that the other is a Force-User among a den of anti-Force sympathizers. Joined quickly by Pike, the three chat idly for a moment before Aeris takes to the podium to start the bidding on the items.
Various eccentricities are bid upon and sold, until the Shroud takes the stand and Aeris starts the bidding at 1,000,000c. Somewhat startled, Ni’lani contacts Zell via Holo-communicator, who says 1 million credits is fine, so she tentatively puts a bid in. The price begins to rise with interested parties who all pull out as the Shroud reaches the 2 million mark, whereupon it is bid by Magnate Daseaed Tai and 2.5 million. Contacting Zell again, Ni’lani is instructed to carry on bidding, and so Pike decides to enter the fray as well.
As the price reaches three and a half million another voice can be heard in the crowd, but cannot be seen, and as it gets close to 4 million the high bidder presents himself: a Chadra-Fan who looks suspiciously similar to the late Kabe in expensive finery.
With a final communication from Zell, Ni’lani puts in a bid at a cool 4 million credits, which wins the bid, but mere seconds after conclusion the sounds of explosions can be heard throughout the city.
As the Onderon Royal Guards spring into action, Pike makes a Force-powered dash for the Shroud just as the shadow of a shuttle craft looms above the building. As it slams into the roof, falling masonry and glass fall to the floor as people scramble to take cover.
Pike grabs the case holding the Shroud, while the weaponless Hylo punches a passing guard and grabs his rifle. In the chaos Hugh, Arunna and Malius take cover while Ni’lani vanishes from sight using the Force and grabs Aerisoff the podium.
At the same time, before the shuttle has even come to a complete stop, a door swings open and twelve heavily armoured individuals in what appear to be power-armour air-drop in and land in the middle of the stone circle, as well as a Human woman who descends between them and uses jet thrusters to cushion the final part of her descent. Unarmoured and wearing only what appears to be a flight-suit, she pulls twin blaster-pistols…