The Chronicles of The Annabel Lee

Dawn of Defiance: Episode 8

The Queen of Air and Darkness: Part 1

After a few days of recovery time, the heroes are dispatched to Bespin in pursuit of Darga and his plans.

Once the heroes have made their way through customs, the heroes begin their search. Most citizens don’t know the first thing about the crime lord, and they seem affronted that the heroes would suspect them of associating with criminal types. Digging deeper turns up few leads. Computer-savvy Londo discovers a spaceport log entry for the arrival of a luxury yacht called the Glorious Chariot, whose port of origin is registered as Cato Neimoidia, but the docking information seems to have been erased, with no ability to retrieve it.

With all of the luxury vessels arriving at Cloud City for the Galactic Sabaac tournament, finding a specific yacht is going to prove nearly impossible, and the heroes realise that doing so could take weeks even under the best of conditions.

The heroes get a message from Captain Okeefe, she tells them that a message was delivered electronically to the Banshee, addressed to them. The message simply states, “If you are wise, you will stop asking so many questions. It is a long drop through the clouds, and enemies of the Hutt have a bad habit of vanishing.” Captain Okeefe tells the heroes that her droid copilot, Crash, has managed to trace the message back to a computer terminal in one of the more industrial areas of Cloud City, and can give them directions using the city’s map.

Following the directions they received from Captain Okeefe, the heroes leave the tourist areas of Cloud City and begin descending into the industrial sector. Humans become less and less common, and Ugnaughts outnumber other species almost two to one in these areas. The directions lead the heroes to an office marked “Parliament of Guilds— Sector U357,” which appears to be little more than a bureaucratic office. Inside, the heroes find nearly a dozen Ugnaughts working behind desks and at computer terminals. When the heroes enter the Parliament office, over a dozen Ugnaughts look up from computer terminals or end conversations with one another abruptly. There is a long moment of silence as the Ugnaught workers all turn their eyes toward thrm. Breaking the silence, one of the Ugnaughts squeals and grabs another by the coat, shaking his comrade roughly. “I told you they would find us!” the Ugnaught shouts. “You’ve brought them down on us, all because of your meddling! They will kill us for sure!” The second Ugnaught, fighting desperately to break free of his companion’s grasp, cries out pleadingly. “We don’t know that they work for the Hutt! Maybe they could help us.”

After struggling with each other for a few more moments, the two Ugnaughts separate, and the first turns to the heroes, begging for his life. He introduces himself as Krygg and explains that they meant no harm with the message. His shaken companion, who identifies himself as Fyren, tells the heroes (in a much less fearful tone) that they noticed the heroes snooping around afterDarga and figured that they might be enemies of the Hutt. Rebuking Krygg for his spinelessness, Fyren invites the heroes to join him in his office. The two Ugnaughts escort the heroes to a very small, cramped office (built for Ugnaught-sized inhabitants), where they explain furtherexactly what happened.

According to Fyren and Krygg, ever since Darga set up his ancillary operation in Cloud City, it has caused no end of trouble for the Ugnaughts, particularly those involved in the Parliament of Guilds, Cloud City’s ruling body. When Darga first set up shop in Cloud City, he began bribing a number of Ugnaughts working for Figg & Associates (the company responsible for all Tibanna gas exports from Bespin) in order to siphon off some of the spin-sealed Tibanna gas for sale on the black market. When Figg & Associates discovered the missing Tibanna gas, they began taking their complaints to the Parliament of Guilds. Knowing that the Ugnaughts were responsible for the missing gas, but not knowing which ones, the Parliament had no choice but to issue tougher restrictions on all Ugnaughts. Over time, the situation has degenerated to the point where the Ugnaughts’ reputation is close to being ruined.

Fyren explains that, when they noticed the heroes searching for Darga, he sent them a message to dissuade them from seeking the Hutt further. Fyren says that he was just trying to stop them from getting too involved in dealings with the Hutt, but Krygg accuses his companion of leaving a trail for the heroes to follow, hoping they would come to assist. Fyren admits that he finds it fortunate that the heroes have come, and if they will help the Parliament of Guilds root out the Ugnaughts on Darga’s payroll, he and Krygg will provide information that could help them in their search for the missing Hutt. The Ugnaughts explain that they were considering dealing with their criminal comrades themselves, but they believe that the heroes are more suited to (and likely more experienced in) dealing with those in Darga’s employ. Fyren explains that they don’t necessarily want the heroes to kill the Ugnaughts that Darga has bought, but that such losses would be understandable if the heroesfound no peaceful way to resolve the situation.

The heroes agree to the exchange, and the Ugnaughts share one piece of information with the heroes in good faith—they know that Darga has been dealing with the Empire, and they believe that a transaction is about to take place. If the heroes take care of their problem, Fyren and Krygg agree to share the rest of what they know. To get them started, the two Ugnaughts tell the heroes that they have tracked the source of the Tibanna gas being sold on the black market to one of their gas storage areas in the bowels of the city. They give the heroes directions for getting there, but they also provide a warning: The Wing Guard rarely goes into those depths, so the heroes will be on their own down there.

Following the directions given to them by Fyren and Krygg, the heroes make their way to one of the Tibanna gas storage areas. The Tibanna gas storage chambers are unguarded, though the heroes eventually stop seeing anyone—Human or Ugnaught—moving through these corridors well before they find who they are looking for.The heroes approach cautiously and are not spotted, they see further evidence that they have found their quarry. The Ugnaughts have connected a small pump to one of the massive Tibanna gas storage tanks(which is clearly labeled in Basic, Bocce, and a dozen other languages)and are transferring the gas into dozens of smaller containers, each small enough for an Ugnaught to carry.

The heroes try to talk to the Ugnaughts, they are wary.Having been caught doing something illegal—not to mention being in the employ of a Hutt crime lord—they are extremely paranoid about outsiders. The boss, clearly the ringleader of this gang of thieves, calls for action and a fight, short and bloody, ensues.

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stevie

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