Satisfied with the party’s performance in the arena, Lord Many-Earrings congratulates them on their victory, and ushers them towards the Link site. Their last chance to catch a connection to Skannayutenate, the Iroquois capitol, will occur in a matter of minutes. As they walk, the Mound Lord explains a bit of the itinerary for the summit, has his healers attend to their bruises, gives them a little wampum to pay their way on their return journey, and gives each of them a small amulet: a white disc of mother-of-pearl on a string of beads, which he says will protect them from the curse of lycanthropy. When the party expresses surprise, he mentions casually that werewolves are somewhat common where they’re going. There’s been an outbreak recently, but it shouldn’t cause them too much trouble.
The party passes through the Link, and arrives in Skannayutenate, the capitol (though not the largest city) of the Iroquois League. Prince Cadogah retired to his chambers at the local inn to practice his speech, while Content Not Found: null stands guard over him, and the other party members make preparations, purchasing silver weapons to fend off lycanthropes, scanning the perimeter to ensure security, and gathering information. In doing so, Xiang learns two interesting things: that several Europeans have shown up to observe the conference on behalf of foreign kings with an interest in trade with and between Native nations; and also that a pack of werewolves has moved into the area, and has been attacking stragglers after dark (this may or may not be connected to an outbreak of lycanthropy in Montreál, Quebec.
Returning to the inn, the players find Lu in a state of agitation, flipping over tables and demanding to know who last saw the Prince. The youth has vanished, just hours before the conference was set to begin, leaving only a note which read “I will return. Do not follow me.” A watchman says that he saw a foreign-looking youth walk hurriedly into the woods after using the latrines, but thought nothing of it at the time.
Despie the approach of dusk, the party sets out to follow the Prince’s trail, heading north. Tanaraq sends Nukka, her golden eagle companion, to scout ahead before the light fails. They learn the boy is barely a mile ahead of them, but running like a deer from dogs. Chang intentionally falls behind and takes fox-form, unbeknownst to the other party members (who aren’t even aware that he’s anything but human), and races ahead to intercept the Prince on his own.
Chang cuts the boy off and begins to speak to him, urging the boy to stop running. Surprised, Prince Cadogah tells the strange fox to run, and get away from him as quickly as he can.
“Why?”, asks Chang.
“That’s why,” says the Prince, pointing to the full moon which has just emerged from behind a bank of clouds. Snarling and spasming, the boy begins to shift, before Chang’s shocked eyes, into a full-grown werewolf.
A quarter-mile behind, the other party members hear the silence rent by an unearthly howl.