After their encounter with the wolves in the courtyard of the castle, the Lone Wolf Club returned to the chained library to confront the king. Kell appeared so menacing after the fight (blood running down his face and rippling biceps) that the king apologized profusely for not giving them more information. He told them that, thirty years ago when they fought the northern hordes, they noticed that some of the men and animals did not die, even when they received mortal blows. So, several years ago, on one of his patrols up north, Acwellan captured some undead wolves – apparently still alive after all this time, prowling the snowlands. The king's servants have been experimenting with them, attempting to divine the secret of their continued animation.
But before the Lone Wolf Club could get too excited about these prospects, the king rose and went to a drawer. He opened it and pulled out the forearm and claw of a wolf—still moving. "I would rather die," said the king, "than live like this." He reiterated that he does not want to live forever; he merely wants to secure his lands.
The Lone Wolf Club began to ask more questions, but the king grew tired and it was necessary for him to retire. However, as they headed for the castle gates, they were stopped by Acwellan. He confided in them that "The north is dangerous, but it holds many secrets. In my last patrol, I heard rumors that some of the royal family may still live. They may hold the secrets of the northern invaders, or perhaps they would be willing allies." He also warned them to be careful in town, as the king has many enemies. He recommended the Lone Wolf Club talk to his servant, Tiller (do bodyguards have servants? hmm…), waiting outside the gates. Finally, before turning away, Acwellan pressed a small white stone into the hand of Eric the Blonde.
Outside the gates, the LWC attempted to speak with Tiller. This bedraggled, sour old man only grunted and pointed to the stables.
Inside, the LWC attempted to hitch Lone Wolf's donkey, which was quite disturbed when she saw that her master, Lone Wolf, was unconscious. Anova attempted to handle Deloris and promptly got kicked in the face. At that point, Caff, a club-footed stable boy came in and calmed the animal. He was very eager to be of service and earned a silver piece from the rather generous Eric the Blonde.
Going back to Tiller, the LWC was pointed in the general direction of the church. On the way to find a cleric, they encountered a young woman with a hood pulled over her head, carrying something. She seemed very afraid and asked to ride on their wagon. The LWC agreed.
At the church, all of the members except for Gray carried Lone Wolf inside to be healed. In the meantime, Gray stayed outside with the girl, making fumbling attempts to woo her – discovering to his chagrin that she carried a baby! Inside, the LWC met Flenac the Cleric, who agreed to heal Lone Wolf for a donation of a mere 50 gold coins. Business has been slow, lately.
Outside, the LWC finally induced the girl to speak. She introduced herself as Toren, wife to Lord Laken's fourth son. She begged the LWC to help her: recently, she gave birth to a baby. But when she finally saw the child, he was misshapen, with a huge head and a small body. Her maids told her the halflings have left one of their children, taking hers! She begged the LWC to take the halfling baby to the halfling village to the north of Rodharc, in the forest. The LWC argued about this for a while – until footsteps were heard in the distance. Toren bolted in fear, crying out that she would meet them in front of the Inn the next morning.
Relieved of the responsibility to make a coherent decision, the LWC headed for the Red Rooster Inn. Outside they encountered two orcs; inside the found Wyrcenda, the half-orc barmaid (and madam), and Lord Laken. After some truly harrowing entertainment from the newly revived Lone Wolf, Laken proceeded to get a little drunk and pay for all their beers and their rooms. He was very interested in what the Lone Wolf Club was doing in town, particularly with regards to the king, and he invited them to come to his keep at… oh, where was that again? Hm, probably should have written it down. He also expressed how much he wanted the kingdom to be prosperous and at peace. He thinks that could best be achieved by marrying the king's daughter, since Laken is newly a widower.
Finally, Laken took his leave and Wyrcenda, in a very good mood, wondered if any of the gentlemen would like some company for the evening? Gray the Bold (as he became known after that night) took her up on her offer. After a rousing good time, Wyrcenda was happy to give her impressions of Lord Laken. "He's been looking for spells everywhere. Anything to do with magic, really. He believes that as a half-elf, magic is his heritage, but somehow it has been lost. He's been asking around about some island off the coast? And also about the Eastern Kingdom. He suspects the king has some sort of magic, but I'll bet he doesn't know half as much as he pretends."
In the morning, Wyrcenda treated everyone to beer and pancakes with an excessive amount of syrup. Only then did Lone Wolf, who had spent the night with Deloris, his ass, rouse from his wagon to see Lord Laken's orc companions approaching the Inn. They bore weapons and looked very menacing. Eric the Blonde promptly ran out the back door, while Kell the Barbarian stepped out and reduced the orcs to whimpers of fear. Nevertheless, they continued to advance. Nobody was entirely sure what happened, but it seemed that Lone Wolf lost control of his bow and fired an arrow in the air. All hell broke loose, and when it was done two orcs were dead.
Wyrcenda, hearing the commotion, came outside and began to wail. "My cousins! My cousins!" She drop-kicked Rev out the door and sent everyone scurrying, yelling after them that if they "ever came back, I'll gut you and serve your innards in my famous pies!"
Loitering around outside, trying to figure out whether to high-tail it out of town or lay low and scout a bit, the LWC glimpsed some movement around the corner of the Inn. However, they were too shaken by the fight to pursue the phantom.
Will the Lone Wolf Club attempt to disguise their presence in the city while they scout for information and supplies? Or will they tuck their tails between their collective legs and get out of Dodge?