(PART 10 OF 10)


With paper in hand, I hurried back to Wulfren and Laurenna at the cabin.  Wulfren was, to say the least, overjoyed to see this piece of paper.  This will certainly clear his name, and he would at last be able to take his proper place as chieftain of Lokken Island.

"Eldorf," said Wulfren, "I want to thank you for help you've given us in ridding the island of the evil that has gripped this island for the last year. I have to tell you a secret."  I was hoping it was the secret recipe to granny's cookies, but I was way off base.

"Laurenna is in love with you. She'll have you, if you wish."

I knew that she had feelings for me, but I hadn't dare to realize that it was going this far.  Then I thought about it for a minute: I had been in prison for 50 years, and with all the things in these lands that wanted to have me for dinner, well, it would be nice for someone or something to not want to put my head on a pike for a change.

"Uh, Eldorf, the Wise," Wulfren continued, "when you pick your jaw up off the floor, why don't you go ask her for her hand.  Of you go now, there's a good lad."  Wulfren nudged me towards Laurenna.

I went over to Laurenna, and took her hand.  "Laurenna," I said, "I know how you feel about me, and to be honest, I feel the same way about you. I want you to know that if you wish it, I would be very proud if you would be my wife."

This resulted in a huge, Nordic bear-hug, the likes of which I had never experienced before, along with a very positive, and loud "YES". I turned to Sigrid and asked if she would also consent to having Laurenna marry me, and she said she would be most honored to have me as a son-in-law. I turned, and looked at Wulfren, who was grinning from ear-to-ear. "Well, then," he said, "you'd better get to the castle trophy room, so you can get her dressed up."

Sigrid stopped us from leaving for a moment, and took me aside. "You know, when Ragnar threw her out of the castle, she cut her hair off and swore it would never be long again until things were put right." I nodded my understanding. "Well, I saved her hair and made a wig out of it." She stuffed something in my robe's pocket. "Off you go now."

We made our way to the castle, and as we arrived, I thought about this for a moment. I cannot get married, not in this old robe, anyway. Inside the castle, I asked Laurenna to wait for me - I had to go to Solstheim castle so I could get the proper clothes for the wedding. "Will you be long?" she asked. "No, I can teleport there, but it'll be the return trip here that will take a while. Can you wait a day for my return?" She gave me a hug and said she would wait forever, if necessary. "It won't be that long, I promise you. I'll send word on ahead when I leave Solstheim Castle. In fact, I want to bring you there to see it."

Laurenna said she would wait in her room for me, so I headed to my room at the inn, picked up my things, and used the Amulet of Recall to teleport back to Caldera, sold my stuff, then used the spell scroll to return to Solstheim Castle. The boatman going to LoKKen was not at the docks yet, so I went to bed.

At 5am, one of the night staff woke me up, and said that the LoKKen boat was here.  I got up, got dressed, and put another warm robe on, then headed to the boat docks.

When I arrived at the docks, the boatman greet me with a surprised look on his face.  "Ah, I see you survived LoKKen well. Did ya hear the news? Ragnar Fire Hair was a killer, did in Wulfgar the White, they say, and now Wulfren, his son, who had been turned in a wolf, had returned to avenge his father's death, and take his rightful place as chieftain." I smiled, patted him on the shoulder, and said I had also heard there might be a wedding taking place, and I didn't want to be late for it. "A wedding, you say? Well, this'll be a fine day indeed! Cast off that line for me, will ya?"  I did so, and in a minute we were back on our way to LoKKen.

When we arrived a few hours later, a blizzard had started up. I could barely see my way to the castle door, but since I had done this so many times before, it was easy to find.

Inside, I found Laurenna.  When she saw me, she gave me a big kiss and another bear-hug. Nords are pretty darn strong, I tell you.

In the trophy room, we found the wedding dress, and I had to help her into it. It looked better than the armor she had under her robe. I took off my own robe and showed her the fine clothes I was getting married in. "Oh, Eldorf, you look so handsome!" she said.

Just before we were ready to head to the throne room, I told her I had a present for her from Sigrid. I showed her the wig her mother had made for her. In it, she had also included a tiara. "What do you think of the dress?" she said. What could I say? "Laurenna, you look beautiful."  Well, that resulted in another kiss and hug. I was getting the hang of this.

We arrived in the throne room, and everyone was waiting for us there, including Snorri, Wulfgar's (and now, Wulfren's) shaman. I shook his hand, and thanked him for his help in all of this.

We went up the stairs and the priest said what he needed to say, then Laurenna and I exchanged vows.

As we descended the stairs, Wulfren said he had something to tell me. "Eldorf," he said, "you're not the only one getting married.  I too, am in love." "Are you, now?" I replied. "And who would this lucky girl be?" Wulfren looked a little sheepishly at Laurenna, and said "Well, there's this girl in that hunting party at the inn, Lisendra." Wulfren went on to explain that Lisendra and Laurenna wouldn't get along together well, and that Lisendra already had a house set up near the inn. "Look," he went on, "I'll still be chieftain, and carry on the day-to-day duties, of being one, but I'd appreciate it if you and Laurenna were to stay here, that is, if you wish. I want you two to consider this castle your home."

"Wulfren, I'll tell you what: I have my own castle just to the north of here, but we'll be spending time at both of them. And of course, I want you to come up and visit mine from time to time. It seems I have a wine cellar in the back. There is also a ghost nearby that I believe would love to hear both of us tell this tale of bravery and daring-do. What say you?

Wulfren smiled and laughed. "Breton, you have a deal. Now, get the two of you upstairs. I think you have some important business to tend to. The rest of us have to get busy getting drunk!"

I looked at Laurenna, she looked at me, and smiled, kissed me on the cheek, and said it was too noisy here.  I agreed.

We headed upstairs and ended up in the master bedroom, where we had found the secret door. I thought about it for a moment, then moved a heavy chest on the top of it.

I wanted to show her Solstheim Castle, the pleasant grotto nearby, but that would have to wait. I still was wondering what the Emperor wanted me to do for him that had him send me to this place, still smugglers near my Telvani stronghold that needed to be dealt with, still things out there that went 'bump' in the night, strange rumors of evil at Red Mountain, but none of that mattered tonight. 

Tonight, Red Mountain could wait. 

Tonight, the smugglers could wait.

Tonight, even the Emperor himself, in all his spender and glory, could wait.

Tonight, I would finally have a "good" vacation.