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The Duke of Gloom

Chapter 1

Fenwick Glumber heard a mysterious noise in the dark quiet of his home. Alarmed, he uprooted himself from his beloved armchair, set his book down, and listened further. "Hello?" he said, sensing the presence of another. "Is anybody there?" The light was dim; only a few of the sun's rays continued to pour into the living room window.

"Hello?" Fenwick repeated, hearing no answer. A low breeze hummed over the house's edges and through the small spaces between the shingles. Someone was out there. He knew it. Cautiously, he approached the front door and put his ear to it. "Hello?"

Taking a deep breath, he put his hand on the door handle and pulled it open. Behind the sudden gust of chill air was a dark robed figure, standing solemnly before him. Fenwick exclaimed, startled, but the figure did not move.

"Who are you?" Fenwick demanded. "What do you want?"

"Your beloved daughter is held captive by the Duke of Gloom, who has recently abandoned his palatial estate and disappeared," the figure intoned. "She'll need your help to free herself from a fate worse than death. I have brought you a message to start your quest." The figure handed Fenwick a note, turned, and vanished into the night.

"Wait! Wait!" Fenwick called after him, but the figure did not reappear. He turned his thoughts to the note. Shandra in danger? Fenwick thought, alarmed. He opened the note and read it:

Blood red logo is only a part.
There's lots more here, so take this to heart:
The first three letters ignore if you can;
The next four refer to a wise old man.
Two more that follow you don't need to know,
But the last three remember; that's where you should go.

"What is all this?" Fenwick muttered in frustration. "What am I supposed to do with all this drivel?"