Two days out from Enfeer, when Hemmings announces a strange message and six ships on an intercept. Lavinia sounds general quarters and asks Seath to the front. The Vau studies the message and tells the captain that they have recognized the vessel as foreign and ordered the Hyperion back where it came from. With some back and forth with the ship, Seath has convinced the six vessels that this is a captured ship under his command. Two of the ships will escort the Hyperion to the planet and the rest will go to the Jumpgate. Shortly before they get to the planet, a request for a lesser official to come aboard is sent. They decide to meet in the forward marine staging area, hiding weapons and Phoenix Guardsmen the area. Otherwise it will be Lady Lavinia, Sister Sorami Sun, and Seath to meet the Mandarin.
A shiny Vau ship docks. The first being to step into the airlock is a dark-skinned human with bright green eyes and tightly braided hair. She immediately talks to Seath, who responds, and then turns to Sorami and Lavinia. She introduces herself and her mistress, the Mandarin, and asks for more information on the ship as well as an interest in these documents that Seath mentioned to her. Lavinia says she will allow the woman to see the documents, though not take them, to report back to her mistress. Sorami tells her that they were sent with permission to Vau Space by Ka’zhari Dronsauri, as well as the expectation of an escort. Seath confirms this, and the woman leaves the ship.
When she return, she is followed by warriors much like Seath and the Mandarin, who has to stoop a bit being almost 10 feet tall. She speaks to Seath first and then turns to Lavinia and Sorami. When the Mandarin asks for the documents, Lavinia keeps her eyes down and mouth closed as she extends the paperwork. Her master wishes for several people to experience and see the Vau culture, and they will be making a gift of technology that will assist in them in breathing the fickle air on the planet. She suggest no more than eight to attend. The Mandarin, Zivhara Eskavili, then requests to go on the tour of the Hyperion. Lavinia asks that Seath take Zivhara on a tour and then meet with the Master Engineer for any questions.
Lavinia will call the Phoenix Guard down and go to the bridge to make a list of potential candidates for planet visit. The Vau Mandarin meanders through the ship for a while and then spends over a half and hour looking at all the systems in Engineering. She eventually turns to Corbin and tells him there are many improvements that could be made, but he has done a fine job. Then she continues on her tour with Seath. Meanwhile the list of candidates is settled: Lavinia, Alex, Corbin, Sorami, Taylor, Archer, and 1-2 more Phoenix Guards.
Archer goes back down to a group of nervous Guardsmen. He has decided to bring Max Foss with him, in case there is a need for forward intelligence. When asked for recommendations, Max suggests Valaslav. Nodding at the suggestion, Archer agrees and also recommends covert ops gear as well as official gear.
The Mandarin returns planetside, and the group wait a day or so for the return of the human ambassador. They return carrying suitcases. These are the groups sheathes, providing life support, translation, and help with any foreign foods consumed. She explains the clothing and armor can be worn over it, since the Mandarin has allowed the group to wear armor and carry weapons within reason. The ambassador pulls out a gray jumpsuit with a broach on the right breast. She pushes the broach which opens up the suit; she instructs to step in and then push the broach again to be fully sheathed. When asked who wants the first one, Corbin rushes forward. He moves into a nearby room and strips down to don the sheath. One by one the group follows in donning the sheathes.
After packing and arming, the group will board the shuttle to the surface, flying over domed cityscape surrounded by rocky desert. The shuttle lands in a dome. When the party leave the ship they are greeted by a small group of soldiers and a trio of Mandarins, one being Zivhara. Seath makes all the proper abasements and tells the Mandarins he has pledged to help these humans in their quest. The front Vau makes mention that it is good that he has helped these humans. He steps forward and looks to the group, telling then that he is Worthy Jakaro, who governs the world of Enfeer. He looks at the documents provided by the Council of Worthies and tells the group that they are under the Vau protection. He says they will provide food and lodgings to the group, and everyone follows the last Mandarin to where they will be staying for the term. Boarding a high speed train for several hours, they leave the desert area for a lusher jungle area with trees that have huge, reddish leaves.
When the group disembarks, a group of different, stockier Vau take the luggage. The humans are led to hovercrafts and ride for a half an hour to a very small palace. The palace is small but ornate, sitting on the shore of an inland sea at the very edge of this lush foliage. The escort says this is theirs for the stay, workers and soldiers for the groups protection and comfort. The visitors are allowed to explore as they wish.
After a minor incident with Lavinia and an acid filled lake, the 36 hours of light begins to fall and a equal amount of darkness will ensue. The jungle fills with luminescent plants and animals, catching the amazement of a certain animal-loving noble. When she begins to ask questions about hunting and pets, she gains the attention of a worker Vau who shows her a program used to teach children. Touching a spot on the wall, he pulls up a holographic program about animals on the planet. Excited beyond words, Lavinia rushes out and has him show the others this program. Corbin immediately engages the programs about a complicated Vau culture and how to work the house, which he finds can be completely transparent, sink into the ground, and has its own energy shield.
Archer has assigned Max guard duty outside, and on top of, the house. He sees what seems to be a Vau hover-tank approaching the palace at high speeds. He reports to Archer who goes to find Lavinia. She apparently turned on a holographic jungle, got lost, and went to sleep. He informs her that a craft is approaching. She orders him to summon everyone to the lobby in full war regalia. Still watching from the roof, Max sees Seath and a soldier exit the vehicle and have words. Seath wins and moves to the doors, wielding his staff and donning armor. He comes inside and tells them that the group is not the only one from the known worlds, that a human came in a stasis pod with a label of danger to Vau.
Corbin tells the house to environmentally seal off a section of the house to bring the stasis pod to. Seath rounds up workers to bring in this large crystalline stalactite thing…