It started on Kalda. At the coronation of the new queen. Cervalia. After the ceremony several friends met up at the Pope’s Funny Hat—friends from childhood, some of whom hadn’t seen each other for years. Maxis Vis and Rowan Vergist, for instance. Ess Duneblazer was there, and so was Stella FaKalklan , Barthos O’Keefe Parker, and Nora Sha’adron, both of the latter two were drowning their separate sorrows in drink.
Rowan, Ess and Maxis caught up on old times and Maxis introduced Ash, who had joined up with him on Chandrilla. A wookiee named Fanbacca and his droid, Goldenvoice, showed up at the bar and requested to travel with Maxis for a while. It appeared he was interested in meeting Maxis’ sister, Tara at some point.
Stella got a call and asked her friends for help. A couple of her friends were in trouble—environmentalist types, trying to save some endangered species—on Suka-mel. A few of the group were interested in helping her find them—more than one of them was interested in taking off for a while. Barthos O’Keefe Parker had recently gotten his pilot’s license, so all they needed was a ship. They were able to negotiate the rental of an old ship that Nora owned. It was The Moonshadow. Nora had inherited the Gtroc freighter when her mother, Reodi died. After a bit of confusion and brain-wracking to find the keycode to the ship, they finally took off for Suka-mel. Onboard were Barthos O’Keefe Parker, Ash Norton, Ess Duneblazer, Maxis Vis, Stella Fakalklan, Fanbacca, Rowan Vergist and the two droids, Goldenvoice and R2-B8.
They decided to sneak onto Suka-mel, since it seemed Stella’s friends weren’t exactly there legally. On their way down to the planet, The Moonshadow attracted the attention of a corporate mining company, and they tried to bluff an emergency landing (which was only partially a bluff on account of a broken stabilizer). While a few of the crew dealt with the pilots who had followed them, Rowan, Ess and Ash went in search of Stella’s friends’ ship. They found the ship, but it was not in good shape. There was no way it was flying out in this condition—it had been stripped of all its useful parts. This was unfortunate, since they were in need of a stabilizer after some malfunction during the last hyperspace jump. There was also a lot of blood and claw marks all over the interior. They didn’t have a good feeling about the state they were going to find the missing men in.
When they got back to The Moonshadow, the corporation’s forces were becoming more insistent that the crew of The Moonshadow return with them, but someone decided not to cooperate, shots were fired, and long story short, The Moonshadow took off and headed in search of someplace to hide while the crew fixed its stabilizer. They found a mine they were able to fly the ship down, but a corporate ship was still on their tail. They were able to land on a side shaft, but the ship following them wasn’t so lucky. It ended up hanging out of another side shaft further down the mine, but that ship wasn’t going to stay there long. The crew of The Moonshadow did its best to save everyone they could, with Ess performing most heroically, diving down the tube with a mere rope around her waist. The ship wasn’t salvageable, but they rescued a few crewmembers and one of their apparent slaves, Tess.
Tess claimed that the corporation was actually a front for a slavery ring and advised that The Moonshadow crew kill the crewmembers they had saved. That wasn’t going to happen, so they locked Tess up for questioning later. Fanbacca and Ash had gotten the stabilizer fixed (for the moment), so they dropped off the corporation’s crewmembers and got off of Suka-mel as quickly as they could.
When they went to talk to Tess, they found he had completely demolished the room they had locked him in. They figured out that he was a pirate, possibly a slaver himself. He tried to convince them to take him to a ship he worked on, but they let him go instead on a small backwater planet nearby.
While there, Sector Ranger Selkin tracked down The Moonshadow’s crew. They were in big trouble with the corporation working off of Suka-mel(which turned out to have nothing to do with slavery, by the way!) and Tess was a pirate, part of an operation headed by someone named Rasher. Selkin agreed to let them off the hook if they could manage to get some information from Tess about Rasher, specifically the location of their base. They decided to set Tess up. It was a truly brilliant plan (though not without its voices of dissent), complete with tricking him into thinking we were a different crew and a different ship, and that we were willing to take him as a passenger to wherever he needed to go. It went smoothly, with Tess thinking he was in charge, until they had docked with his ship. They boarded, and Tess drew his weapon on his new “friends.” But then, they had expected that.
After an annoying fight, the crew of The Moonshadow found their way to a computer, downloaded what they could, and found Stella’s missing friends locked up. These pirates were the slavers, apparently.
The Moonshadow headed back to Agent Selkin and gave him the information they had found. He didn’t like or trust them much, but he let them off on the whole Suka-mel incident.
They took Stella and her friends home, and while having a drink at a bar, Rowan was approached by a rodian, who had a message for Rowan Sha’adron. (How did he know who he was??) The message read that Gorlam the Hutt requested the presence of Mr. Sha’adron and his associates. So it came out that Rowan had been raised by Gli Sha’adron.
Curious, everyone agreed to go. Perhaps Gorlam had a job for them. So it was off to Na’ar Shadda.
Gorlam told the group he was dying. He wanted Rowan to take a lute to Gli, so none of the other hutts could take it when he died. Rowan agreed, of course.
On their way out, they met Lily, Gorlam’s human daughter. She said she had some plans and wasn’t going to be sticking around once Gorlam died. The rival hutts would quickly kill her if she stayed.
Gorlam’s rivals weren’t waiting until he died to try to get the lute. They attacked the crew of The Moonshadow as they made their way back to the ship. They had switched lutes, though, so they were all going after the wrong case. (Rowan had brought his lute to sing for Gorlam) It was Rowan’s lute bag that had the priceless lute, and the hard lute case Ess carried that held his less expensive (though still precious) lute.
It was an exciting fight. Barthos O’Keefe Parker almost fell to his death but through awesome maneuvers managed to save Rowan’s lute instead, and Ess kicked butt.
So next it was a simple matter of arranging to drop off the lute with Gli. Maxis wanted to make Gli pay out the nose for it, but of course Rowan wasn’t comfortable with that. In the end, Gli did agree to donate some money to their little outfit, so they could afford to galavant around the galaxy.
They dropped off the lute on Coruscant, had a nice quick chat with Gli, and ran into Maxis’ sister Tara.