The party took their prisoner and the dead body of their companion and traveled through the cold forest to Deepwood Motte. The gates to the town were closed, but Lord Ruthermont convinced the guards to let them in, calling out through chattering teeth and wincing in pain from his… private wound. Their presence was announced to Lady Sybelle Locke-Glover, who was Lady of the Motte while her brother-in-law was off to war, but she was unable to see them that evening. The party stopped in the Weathered Poet Inn where they had a meal, a few drinks, played some cards and got into a minor scuffle. Soon enough the Maester sent for them, and they headed up the hill to High Town where he kept his residence.
“You bring me many mysteries this evening, which is a pleasant break from my studies. Here before me is a man, some writs, a chest and a crown. Alone they are each interesting but together they seem to tell a tale, although not a pleasant one. Let me tell you what I make of it.
“First off, this man is who he claims – I recognize him. He is Lucas Snow, who I have not seen in many a year, bastard of Lord Galbart Glover who is riding in the south. I understand you have bested Lucas after you claimed he attacked you in the wood, and taken him prisoner under command of the Lord you travel with. I cannot imagine this is pleasant for him, and I doubt Lady Locke will be happy to see him.
“The writs are from soldiers of the Motte. One week ago these men were sent east to the ridge of hills that border the Wolfswood in order to investigate complaints the Lady had received. The miners there claimed their tunnels were haunted by small, twisted, dark men with gnarled faces, which they call “knockers”. The mine is newly dug but important, especially now we are at war, and the soldiers were sent to put these rumors to rest and get the miners working again. The soldiers have not been heard from since – and you claim they were found dead on the road.
“The chest is old – that much is apparent from the age of the wood and style of the engravings on its exterior. I suspect it is from the time of the First Men, especially because the runes on the inside are written in their tongue. I am a student of history, and have my copper ring amongst others, and can read the runes. Yes, you have heard the rhyme as well, the tale of the Wolf King.
“The crown is frankly unsettling for it is, I fear, what brings these separate objects together into a single tale. You have heard the rhyme of the Wolf King, but do you know of his curse? They say he was one of the First Men, a Skin Changer, who ruled the men and the beasts who lived alongside each other in the Wolfswood long ago. He was killed by our Andal forefathers when they settled this land, though whether it was in battle or in his bed is not known to me. It is said that with the Wolf King’s dying breath he cursed his enemies so their offspring would be born as beasts – not as men.
“I am not a superstitious man, but I have lived for many years and seen many things. I do not know if the chest and crown are relics or fakeries, but I would not suggest that you tempt fate. If you claim the chest and crown were found on the soldiers then I suggest you investigate how the soldiers came to possess these things. If they are false trinkets then dispose of them as you wish. But if they are true objects of power and tied to the Wolf King of old, then perhaps its best if they laid to rest for they may still bear his curse.”