The Lone Wolf Club

The Eighth Encounter: Lord Laken's Keep

In which the LWC slays many beasts, revisits its membership, meets a ghost, and destroys a portal.

Just as the Lone Wolf Club was preparing to delve deeper into the dungeon below Lord Laken's Keep, a messanger from the King arrived – a young, zealous soldier with the rather unfortunate name of "Unferth." He brought news that Eric the Blond was actually a spy, planning to take any portentious news uncovered by the LWC, flee, and sell it to the highest bidder. He had also stolen a precious book from the King's library! Unferth apprehended him and then joined the Lone Wolf Club himself, as per the King's wishes. 

Descending into the dungeon, the LWC encountered the ghost of Lady Laken. She revealed that something had come through the rift deep in the ground below – something dangerous. Lord Laken was attempting to harness its power to bring her back to life, but Lady Laken was positive he wouldn't do anything to harm anyone! Nevertheless, she had wearied of the mortal world and wished only to have her spirit freed. When the LWC promised to help her, she gave them her sword. 

Eventually, after battling many goblins and other monsters, the LWC reached the lowest level of the dungeon, which had been converted into some sort of arcane shrine involving blood sacrifice! After killing more stuff, they spoke with the rift itself – a dark portal with the ability to reach out into the physical world. The creature behind the portal attempted to woo the LWC into surrendering the "Seelie" in return for the princess' freedom – and riches and power beyond imagination! The LWC, concluding the Seelie she spoke of must be their strange, pale companion, resisted the portal's temptations. Instead, they learned that the portal purported to be from the kingdom of Begnorn, on the eastern border of Ardanach. The portal claimed that Begnorn would take what was rightfully theirs – Ardanach – and that the Unseelie court would rise again. "The Usurper will fall!"

Although Kell briefly contemplated suicide via jumping into the portal, he eventually saw reason and agreed to join the LWC in destroying the evil apparition.

Upon emerging from the dungeon, the LWC was contemplating what to do – as Dolores, the cart, and the horses were missing – when Sir Acwellan, the king's faithful guard, rode up. He informed the adventurers that he had captured Lord Laken in the halfling village and taken him back to Rodharc for death by hanging. When he heard what the LWC had encountered in the bowels of the dungeon, he became very concerned. He volunteered to return the princess, Toren, and the baby to Rodharc, while the LWC turned eastward. He also mentioned that he had seen a cart and donkey going eastward with some peasant refugees. Acwellan promised that the LWC would be richly rewarded for any information they could provide about what was going on in Begnorn. As a promise of future reward, he gave them the 200 gold pieces he carried with him. 

So the LWC headed eastward. They had not gone far when they began to encounter the mauled bodies of women, children, and elderly peasants who had been fleeing from Lord Laken's keep. They found one dying woman who could only call out a warning before she died. At that point the LWC realized they were surrounded by vicious dire wolves – whom they proceeded to slay. For the first time, the timid Seelie stranger, now called "Sky," dared to involve himself in the fight. Caff the club-footed stable boy, also continuing onward with the LWC, hung back with his wooden sword. The warriors of the LWC did, however, begin to teach him a little swordplay. 

Several days passed while the Lone Wolf Club was embroiled in the dungeon conflict; the adventurers are now in the afternoon of the EIGHTH DAY since the king commissioned them. 



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