Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 03: Blood Ties: Chapter 03
The Root of Evil
Transcribed by: James
Date: September 10, 2017
In Game date: November, 2011
Fergus Mac Cormaic had his hands full after being shot in the leg by his blood crazed neighbor, Mr. Wilkins. Luckily, the wound wasn’t too serious although he was bleeding quite a bit. He managed to find a kitchen towel that seemed mostly clean to staunch the wound. Meanwhile, David Clay , realizing that the man might regain consciousness, tied him up as best he could with some rags he made out of the curtains in the kitchen. That accomplished he did his best to calm the completely hysterical Mrs. Wilkins who seemed almost as terrified of her two surprising rescuers as she was of her murderous husband. She had seen Fergus appear out of nowhere from a portal and David had become decidedly larger as he battled her husband. Her two little girls were huddled against her crying. David’s torn suit and bulging form did little to reassure them.
Gemtriax Theophania, who had known the Wilkins for several years entered the home and was completely taken aback at the shambles of the once charming home. She quickly assessed the situation and got to work. She ran to the bathroom and got a small med kit and quickly started on Fergus’s wound while David explained what had happened. When the counselor explained the four bodies he had found stacked in the shed (two men, a woman and a child) from the house next door Gemtriax stopped him. She knew them. The Chamberlains had their grandfather and their two children living with them. A boy, Arthur and the youngest was a little girl named Amanda. She told the attorney to go look for the other child and she would calm down Mrs. Wilkins and her children after she finished binding Fergus’s wound.
David, realizing he may have made a mistake, went to the shed in the back of the home and was startled by the thick, oppressive fog that had rolled in reducing sight and muffling sounds. He couldn’t be sure but he thought he heard screams and gunshots echo through the mist. It was impossible to tell where they came from as sound was distorted by the murky conditions. He was startled and alarmed at what he found at the shed. Or rather what he didn’t find.
The bodies of the Chamberlains, which had been hacked up beyond recognition and wrapped in plastic by Mr. Wilkins were nowhere to be found. Black, slimy looking mold grew all over the small tool shed and he saw tattered, shredded plastic where the bodies used to be. It was hard to believe but it looked like the four bodies had arisen and shredded the plastic and gone off into the night. But that was impossible. They were dead. David armed himself with a pick ax fearing the worst. He slowly made his way to the Chamberlain’s house. The side door had been kicked in and he could see blood on the floor and walls of the devastated home. Stealing himself David quietly entered the house as sirens echoed in the night.
After finishing up with Fergus, Gemtriax gathered Mrs. Wilkins and her little girls and led them to a bedroom and closed the door to calm them down. Fergus, impressed by Gem’s take-charge manner, got up and peaked outside just as a Vashon Island Sheriff car seemed to erupt out of the thick fog. Thinking quickly he put a glamour on himself to conceal the gunshot wound and waited calmly as a pair of deputies approached him suspiciously.
Deputy Ramsey identified herself and asked Fergus who he was. She saw the damaged front door and with her hand on her firearm she demanded he explain what had happened to the Wilkins family whom she apparently knew. Fergus related that he and David were having dinner at their home across the street and had heard screaming after the power went out. They investigated and had found Mr. Wilkins attacking his family. They managed to restrain him after a brief fight. Not willing to take the young man at his word the deputy called out for Mrs. Wilkins. The distraught woman seemed to be much calmer and she came out with Gem and corroborated Fergus’s story. Ramsey cuffed the still unconscious man and began taking statements in earnest. Her deputy began roping off the crime scene as she spoke to Mrs. Wilkins and Gem, whom she knew by name.
David entered the house cautiously, doing his best not to contaminate any evidence. He gingerly stepped around the blood that had splattered all over the kitchen and dinning room. Through some careful deduction he was able to paint a picture of the attack. Wilkins had chopped down the side entrance door surprising the family at their dinner table. He could see signs of a struggle and based on the arterial spray he guessed the first death was the father followed closely by the grandfather who had come to his son’s aid. Bloody footprints of two small children and a woman led down the hall toward the stairs. He found more blood at the bottom of the stairs and guessed that this is where the mother had perished while trying to protect her children followed quickly by the boy. Tiny blood prints lead up the stairs and down a hallway. A curtain at the end of the hallway billowed in the night breeze. Hope swelled in the golem’s heart as he made his way to the window pushing the heavy drapes out of his way. A rickety trellis leading to the ground was below him. He could tell that the flimsy structure would never support the weight of a grown man. But a small girl? Yes. He could see where some of the vines had been torn from their grip on the old lattice showing him where Amy had fled into the woods behind the house. Into the fog. Fighting back his rage at the carnage he vowed that he would find that little girl and bring her back safe.
Fergus, after giving his statement to the two deputies, stepped out of the back of the house looking for David. He spotted the golem coming out of the neighbor’s home. Seeing the grim look on the counselor’s face he asked him what he had found. David related the carnage he had discovered and told the young Guardian that he suspected the missing girl had run off into the woods. Deputy Ramsey showed up then and noticed the busted down door of the Chamberlain home.
David told her about the blood they had found and the missing girl but they were interrupted by a desperate call on the officer’s radio calling for backup. She explained that there had been several incidents after the power went out and she looked a little shell shocked and haunted. She told David to go look for the missing girl. They would assist when they could but she couldn’t ignore that call since there seemed to be no immediate danger. Ramsey gathered up her deputy and peeled off into the night, swallowed by the menacing fog.
Fergus could feel something coming from the woods. A darkness that ran counter to his very nature as Wyld Fae. A doorway that was completely alien and full of a black hunger was somewhere ahead of them. Determined he opened his senses up to the powerful hate trying to find its source. He realized that while he could use his enhanced senses to track the aberration in the woods, it was a two way street. Whatever it was that was out there would sense him coming as well. It wasn’t easy staggering through the thick, concealing fog but after some time they began to notice that all the trees around them were dead, desiccated husks covered in the same black corruption David had seen at the shed. Through the swirling mist they saw a small hill top crested by a twisted, horrid looking blackthorn tree silhouetted by the full moon behind it. The tree wasn’t very large, a mere 8 or 9 feet tall. But both of them could sense a palpable evil radiating off of it. David approached cautiously, pick ax in had and simply vanished from Fergus’s sight. Realizing the tree was the portal to the Nevernever he had been sensing Fergus followed his new friend resolved to finding the girl.
On the other side David was stunned into inaction by a hellscape of dead trees all covered with a horrid black mold. In the middle of it all was a writhing tree-creature that howled furiously as it dragged young Amanda toward it with one of its terrible prehensile roots. Four slime covered bodies encircled the deadly tree protectively. Three adults and one child. The Chamberlains.
The little girl’s screams snapped David out of his stupor and he charged down towards the tree and grabbed the roots. With a mighty rip he tore the hapless innocent from the corrupt tree’s terrible grasp. It retaliated furiously with thorny vines but the clay of David’s form shrugged off the terrible blows with little effort. Two of the formerly dead Chamberlains confronted the golem rending him with terrible claws that sprouted from their skeletal hands while he towered over Amanda protectively, preventing the girl from being harmed. Fergus, who had slipped through the portal on David’s heals, snatched Amy up as the other two creatures slashed at him with their talons. He used the massive golem as cover as the tree joined in the assault slashing and slicing into David’s clay form.
Concentrating for a moment Fergus used his ability as Guardian of the Seventh Gate to open a door back to the mundane world. He didn’t want to leave David behind but he had to protect the girl. David understood completely and turned his massive form and began to make his way back to the passage that brought him to this terrible demesne as the tree howled savagely at the loss of the girl. Two of the creatures tried to stop him but he batted them aside and charged through the fog and back to the sight of the blackthorn where Fergus was desperately trying to calm the frightened girl. She looked back at David in his full golem form with fear. But it was her former family pouring through the portal behind him that caused her to scream in abject terror.
Again Fergus scooped the traumatized girl up and, using his amazing speed, ran through the fog trying to get the girl to safety. David turned to face the four monsters defiantly. As the revenants piled on him they resembled a pack of wolves attacking a bear. David swung at one missing, threw a second off of him while another jumped on his back ripping into his clay body with fury. When he turned to face the fourth combatant the first one ripped into his turned back ripping deep furrows into his body. Realizing all four creatures might be more than he could handle alone David changed tactics. He slowly retreated keeping the pack of monsters from surrounding him while concentrating on defending himself. Despite his defensive posture he knew he wasn’t going to be able to survive much longer. Fortunately, he did not stand alone.
Fergus appeared out of the deep fog and bowled the entire pack of monsters over with his reckless charge. The four of them kicked and scrambled to their feet but he was able to avoid their attacks. While they were concentrating on the Wyld Fae David grabbed a massive rock and hurled it at one of their antagonists utterly obliterating it in a spray of vile blood.
Taking advantage of the distraction, Fergus grabbed a tree branch and nearly decapitated another revenant with a blow to its neck. Its black blood splattered all over the clearing. David charged and put his massive fist through the chest of one while Fergus finished the last one off by impaling it with his branch. Triumphant the two allies turned toward the terrible blackthorn.
They made their way back to the neighborhood wearily. Fergus went to the commune’s barn looking for gasoline. That tree had to die. He used the emergency shower in the studio to wash the terrible slime that covered him from head to toe. His wife heard him moving around in the barn and questioned what was going on. And what was that horrid smell?!!? Thinking fast, Fergus told her he had been helping a neighbor with a sewer line that busted. The smell was so overhwelming that Anna became quite sick. Several times. But she seemed to accept Fergus’s story.
David hunkered down in the stone patio at the Wilkin’s home after collecting some of the slime in a jar. He needed to find out what was causing this terror and planned to see if Adrian Huggins could help. He also needed to regain his calm. The terrible events of the night had strained his control and he felt the righteous anger bubbling up within him. He battled his rage and settled down to wait for his friend. He noted several shapes in the fog walking jerkily toward the blackthorn.
Fergus arrived and the two made their way to the tree carefully, covered it in gas and set it on fire. The tainted blackthorn tree erupted, burning hotter and faster than either expected. In the end the fog melted away and nothing was left of the terrible tree. The danger was over. For now.