Our last adventure ended with the Lone Wolf Club entirely scattered – Eric was in the Halfling village, attempting to repair the Stranger's Montgolfier; Anova, Rev, and the Stranger were in town waiting for some response from the castle; Lone Wolf and Deloris were riding back to town; and Kell, Gray, Toren, and her misshapen baby were heading back to the Halfling forest on the two horses stolen from the prison carriage.
We will begin with Anova. As she loitered around the entrance to the castle, observing the passers-by, she was finally rewarded for her patience. Tiller, whom the LWC had sent into the castle to fetch Acwellan, appeared – alone. He handed Anova a document sealed with the king's mark. This letter bore bad news: Lord Laken's prosecution of Toren, supposedly for the misplacement of her baby, was only a ruse. His true intent was to capture the princess Emmaline. Even now he is escaping with her. Acwellan has already gone in pursuit, but the king begs the Lone Wolf Club to join in searching for his daughter before Lord Laken can get her with child and claim the kingdom.
At that very moment, Lone Wolf arrived. Conferring with Anova, the two decided to head to the Halfling village to meet up with their comrades. Lone Wolf managed to procure two horses by deceiving Caff, the stable boy – and then agreed to take the boy along!
Meanwhile, Kell, Gray, Toren, and her baby reached the Halfling village, where they were successful in making the baby-exchange.
When Anova, Lone Wolf, and the stranger arrived with news of Emmaline's kidnapping, everyone agreed that they ought to go to Lord Laken's keep, located to the east. Eric wanted to pilot the Montgolfier, but the Stranger indicated that the wind was blowing the wrong way. They would have to wait for morning. The rest of the group set out and camped for the night in the countryside – except for Kell, who kept riding until he reached the keep.
Instead of a majestic castle, he found only ruins. Piles of shattered stone and scorched timbers dominated the area, sprawling out to the edge of the woods. A few hastily-constructed hovels were set up along one partially-remaining wall, but when he approached the inhabitants fled.
Kell managed to find one of the survivors, Rella, and asked her what happened. She said, "One night, maybe a moon ago, there was a great fire. A sound like a banshee's wail came through the whole keep and the stones began to fall around us! Crushed half the inhabitants. The other servants fled to the surrounding villages or beyond, although the lord's most loyal followers have remained. We tried to take shelter in the caves beneath the keep, but found goblins there! They only let Lord Laken and his blood pass unharmed. We hear wailing at night."
At dawn, Eric and the stranger set out for Lord Laken's keep. They and the rest of the Lone Wolf club arrived at around the same time. They were able to speak with Rella, who agreed on behalf of the others that they would protect the LWC's belongings if they could slaughter and eat one horse each day the LWC is in the dungeon. The people do not believe they will come back again.
So – leaving the Stranger, Toren, her baby, and Caff in the care of the peasants, the LWC descended into the dungeon.
They fought many goblins and other creatures before Eric, striking out on his own, located a storeroom. Wishing to avoid the slaughter of any more of the group's horses, he made several trips above-ground to deliver supplies. And a good thing he did, too – the Stranger was just getting ready to fly away in his balloon! Eric managed to convince him to stay until the group returned. He also tried to get some of the people to join him in the dungeon, but they refused.
The LWC joined up again and fought some more goblins. They encountered a torture chamber – and after defeating the head torturer, discovered a prisoner: the princess Emmaline.