William Garnett was contracted by a woman named Victoria Slater to find a book that her ex-husband, Victor Yorkshire, stole from her. It’s one of three she inherited from her father, John Slater. Will takes the case and begins investigating. His investigation reveals that Victor takes occasional trips to Dudleytown, so Will arranged for a police escort (since the area is off limits and patrolled) with Daniel Benjamin and set out to go there.
Kristopher Magnuson was accosted by a pretty neighbor who knew that he sometimes helped people out. She begged him to please find her missing teenage son. Being a sucker for a pretty face, he gave in and began looking into it. Kris soon discovered that the kid was an amateur paranormal investigator, and the last place he planned to visit before he disappeared was Dudleytown. Kris makes plans to visit the area and look around.
Charlie Kane and Mark Peter Brewer are both visited by The Gatekeeper, who cryptically tasks them to make a trip to Dudleytown and investigate strange supernatural activity there. With little choice but to accept, they gear up and set out.
Kris, Mark and Charlie run into each other at the forest trail leading to the abandoned Dudleytown. There they also meet the private investigator Will and his police escort Daniel. After a brief discussion all five decide to enter together.
In the woods along the trail to Dudleytown they spot a campsite. No-one is there but Kris quickly discovered it belonged to the missing teen that he was there to find. The teen however is still nowhere to be found.
At Dudleytown they come upon a crater with a naked man at the center of it. The man is alive but appears to have lost his mind. Kris determined this wasn’t the person he was there to find. Daniel took him back to the cruiser in order to bring him in and get him help.
On the other side of the crater is the book that Will was contracted to find. He flips through it with no ill effect. Charlie looks through it and becomes “Touched by Darkness”. Still reeling, he agrees to let William return it to its rightful owner. Charlie and Mark conduct a magical investigation which reveals the entire area is seeped with residual, alien (Outsider) magic. The group makes the decision to head back before nightfall.
Will tries to return the book, only to discover that “Victoria Slater” never existed and her place is abandoned. Further investigation reveals Victoria’s real name is Dolores Klowski and that she works for Victor Yorkshire. That evening they would both be at a private location in Ledyard for some function. Will decides to check it out in order to confront Dolores. Charlie offers to buy the book (to keep it safe and to learn how to undo what happened to him in Dudleytown) and Will sells it to him.
Charlie, Kris and Mark also decide to visit the private location in Ledyard, which is the Accorded Neutral Ground Casino, based on the results of their individual investigations and researches. Will is not let in, but he is able to sneak in and disguise himself as a waiter. He meets up with Charlie and they both confront Dolores. She doesn’t want the book; she just wants to keep it from Victor. She pays Will what she owes him plus some extra. She and Charlie banter briefly.
Kris and Mark find themselves at a game table with Victor Yorkshire and some other folks. Kris demands answers from Victor, but Victor won’t just give up the information for free. Kris and Victor square off in a heated card game with Mark as the stakes. Kris wins the game; he gets the answers he was looking for, and Mark gets to keep his freedom.
After everyone goes their own way, Mark and Charlie are at the bookstore again when the Gatekeeper arrives. He thanks them for their work and asks Charlie to destroy the book. Charlie agrees, but instead locks it up in his “vault” in the hope he can use it to reverse what came over him in Dudleytown.