Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 04: Chapter 03
Under the Mountain
Transcribed by: James
Date: March 11, 2018
In Game date: November, 2011
Jack Youngblood read over the extensive documents Fergus Mac Cormaic had copied when they broke into the offices of Parker, Daniels and Johnson Attorneys at Law. They had been trying to figure out the location of Artemis Miller’s sanctum from the old records they had liberated. Since they missed the last ferrie to Vashon Island Fergus got some much needed rest on Jack’s couch while the Wizard learned that the Senior Warden of Seattle would have the privileges of an executor over Miller’s affairs. They probably hadn’t needed to break into the offices to begin with since Jack held that position. Jack shrugged. No harm, no foul. More importantly to the young Warden, the documents implied that he might have metaphysical permissions when dealing with any magical wards, locks or traps that might await them at the crazy old hermit’s lab. Jack resolved to go out to Mount Rainier the next day to see if they could discover the property mentioned in the old documents.
The next morning Fergus was awakened by the sounds of pots rattling in the kitchen. He was a bit shocked to find Jack cooking up a big, healthy, organic breakfast along with some coffee and tea on his large, wood-burning stove. There was a knock at the door and Jack greeted a bubbly Rhoswen Grisby at the front door with a cup of herbal tea. She was just as energetic and erratic as Fergus remembered her from their first brief meeting two days ago. She seemed delighted to see the Guardian and bounced into the house with Jack’s permission waving good bye to her husband,Grizzly, who was driving away in his stylish BMW. Emerson Lake arrived moments later and Jack provided him with some coffee and finished cooking breakfast for all of them including his beautiful, if physically fragile, wife, Abigail Youngblood. The food was good and plentiful if a bit bland for Fergus’s tastes.
Fergus called his wife on Jack’s old rotary phone. He explained he would likely be working with Jack until they figured out how to repair the Seventh Gate. She asked if there was a guidebook for the supernatural world and he speculated that Adrian Huggins, might be able to come up with an idea or two for her. She asked him to bring her some dark chocolate and some muffins and get home safe.
Jack rushed around preparing an organic lunch for his wife that was apparently full of anti-oxidants and other healthy things. He sent Emerson and Rhoswen up to the guest bedroom where there was an impromptu art studio set up. Lake had brought some new pigments and Rhoswen was excited to try them out. Fergus didn’t really see Jack as an art aficionado much less a cook and was a bit surprised to see that side of the wise cracking young Warden. While on their drive up to Mount Rainier he and Jack shared their stories in more detail.
Jack explained that his irresponsible actions when he was a kid had led to his wife, Abigail Youngblood, being possessed by the demon, Azael for several years. While possessed Abby had given birth to their child and they had no idea where the demon had hidden her. The demon had left Abby when her terminal cancer proved too much for even it’s supernatural constitution and now resided in the body of Jack’s comatose father. The painting that Rhoswen and Emerson were working on was part of a magical ritual that would hopefully help Abby stay healthy.
In addition a couple of years ago, Jack had apparently lost a great deal of his mystical power to a creature from Outside this reality called the Un-Man. The same creature that Ferguson and David Clay had discovered in a coma at the Radcliffe Interdisciplinary Research Center a few nights ago. The Un-man drained all kinds of Mana, Jack explained, and when it had enough power it would open a gate to the Outside that could threaten all reality. As a Guardian of the Seventh Gate Ferguson was sworn to prevent that.
The young Warden told Fergus in no uncertain terms that his first concern was for his missing daughter and his wife. He would do anything for them and he wanted to be up front with the Guardian about that. He hoped that using the Un-man to close the breech in the Seventh Gate would also restore his own magic. With his full power he would be much more able to protect his family.
Fergus appreciated the Wizard’s candor and told him about his own life. Fergus had been a changeling whose troll grandfather had been the previous Guardian of the Seventh Gate. Fergus had chosen to remain human and had forsaken his Fae heritage out of love for Anna Maria Avila and in anticipation of the birth of his own child. But his grandfather suddenly appeared mortally wounded on his doorstep. When he died in Fergus’s arms the tattoos of the Mantle had passed from the troll to the nearest vessel. Fergus. He had not chosen to bear the responsibility but he did realize that doing his duty was the only way he could protect Anna and his unborn child.
For the first time the two men felt that they had far more in common than they had realized. They both cherished their families and would do anything for them. By the time they arrived at Mount Rainier the beginnings of a friendship had developed between them.
They arrived at the foot of Mount Rainier and proceeded on foot after reaching a meadow. Jack attempted to use some Earth Magic to locate any possible tunnels or mines that might house Miller’s lair but learned very little. Fergus looked around but found nothing as well. He leaped up into a tree and climbed to the top with great agility to get a better vantage point. From the top of the tree he was able to spot an anomaly in the slope of one of the nearby hills that could only be man made. He pointed Jack over to it. Jack once again used his mystical senses and this time was able to locate a compound under the hill completely hidden from view. He used Earth Magic to pull on a stone and with a click a passage into the mountain opened.
The passage was so big that Jack realized his jeep would fit into it easily. He gathered his vehicle and parked in the passage with the nose of the vehicle facing toward the road in case they needed a fast getaway. The wizard used Geomancy to try to get a better idea of what they were dealing with and learned that the tunnels into the mountain were extensive.
The two entered and explored the compound carefully. They came across a large, elaborate iron door and Jack was able to figure out that his Warden’s Sword worked as a key gaining entry into the deeper chambers of the cave. The whole compound was lit by an ingenious series of small crystals that seemed to magnify light from the outside into the place providing basic if dim lighting.
They continued to explore and found an empty library with some left over packing material and a note from a Stacy Keane to pack the books separately and catalog them for removal to Edinburgh. They also discovered some modest living quarters with a meager kitchen as well as an alchemy lab. But where was the wizard’s sanctum? Where was the keystone to Miller’s demesne that they needed for the ritual that would fix the breech and repair Jack’s magic?
The wizard was frustrated because he knew they were in the right place. He finally noticed that a section of the floor was completely clean with no dirt on it. Unlike the entire of the compound. Excited he got down on his knees and with Fergus’s help was able to find a trap door leading to a pair of chambers. One was an summoning chamber complete with elaborate magic runes. The other was an odd room of all white walls with a large stone in the middle.
Jack was able to use his wizard’s senses to determine that the White Room might be what they were looking for. Stealing himself he attempted to concentrate and learn more from the Summoning Room. But he was too distracted and Fergus was fidgeting back and forth. Jack yelled at the Guardian, perhaps unjustly, telling him to back off so he could concentrate. He then sat in the middle of the Summoning Room circle, trusting its sigils would protect him, and opened his Third Eye to peer into the White Room.
From Fergus’s perspective the wizard merely sat there for a few minutes still as a statue and without a sound crumpled over to the ground. Alarmed, the Changeling called out to Jack but got no reply except for a bit of twitching. Like a rocket the young man charged into the Summoning Chamber to Jack’s side. Much to his dismay the Warden was bleeding from his eyes and nose but stirred when he cried out his name. Jack slowly came to his senses and while he was suffering from a terrible headache he seemed to be happy. He had gotten what they came for. They had found the center stone of Artemis Miller’s lost demesne.