Book 05: Chapter 08

The Demesne Donnybrook


GM: James
Transcribed by: James
Date: January 26, 2020
In Game date: April 17, 2012
Episode: 29

Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0508_01.pngMan. This storm is intense. The radio in David’s ancient Crown Vic was reporting that it came out of nowhere and was reaching an intensity not seen in the region since the night before Black Monday. Which was not ominous at all.

They were also reporting that an FBI anti-terrorist task force was being brought in to investigate the rising violence in Seattle and to look into the shooting at Alki Beach and the bombing of the Radcliffe Clinic on Capitol Hill. They reported that there was a connections to some Irish terrorist from decades past, which seemed fairly dubious if you ask me. At least they didn’t mention the “Green Man”. The last fucking thing I need is to be investigated by the FBI.

David and I had been weighing our options about what our next move should be. We had several leads and needed to follow up on them as soon as we are able. We knew that previous victims of Sebassis were targets. Which meant that little Amanda Chamberlain, whose family had been murdered by Robert Wilkins after he had been driven mad by Sebassis’s influence, was in danger. I had to remind myself that Wilkins himself, the bastard who had shot me in the leg with an old .38 Special revolver, was a victim too. We can’t take chances with this kind of power. It was a threat to every single person in the region. So we needed to track him down. Eventually.

We also needed to pursue Eric Laufey, who had stolen the blackthorn tree that was linked to the demon from The Sokolov Bratva. He likely has been corrupted by the demon and we had to find him as soon as possible. Hopefully we can save him from himself and prevent him from hurting anyone else.

After some debate we both decided that our next move had to be to find Abby. We couldn’t leave her in Barry Goldman’s hands. He was a depraved madman and there was no telling what he was doing to her as we spoke. We had a lead that suggested that Goldman might be hiding in plain sight at his childhood home. The same place where he had murdered his own sister and mother in some insane ritual to gain mystical power. Freaking psychopath.

David carefully drove through the pouring rain to the Central District where Goldman’s house was located. He parked the old sedan a block away and we made our way through the storm to the street. Apparently, despite the rain that Seattle was famous for, it wasn’t common for the region to experience a thunderstorm. Especially one of this magnitude. I guess we were living in interesting times because rain fell in buckets and high winds buffeted us both as lightning flashed, followed by peals of rolling thunder. It was one of the most intense storms I had been in. But something about it felt…off. As if nature herself was recoiling from some terrible horror. I had a feeling we were in the right place.

As we got closer to the passage my mind wandered. I was suddenly not really interested in continuing the investigation of Goldman’s house on such flimsy evidence. We should just go back to the car and try and follow those other leads. After all, Goldman wouldn’t hide in such an obvious place. Right?

David turned to me as I was about to leave and said, “The evidence leading us here is flimsy. There is no way Goldman would hide in such an obvious place. Right?” he asked, his voice a dull monotone. “We should go back to the car and follow the other leads.”

Somehow David exactly echoing my internal thoughts jarred my senses enough that I was able to push through the subtle, magical compulsion to leave that had been placed on the street. I grabbed him by the arm and quietly insisted he follow. After a moment David shook his head in confusion, shrugged and fell in behind me.

We walked down the darkened, storm-swept street and as we approached I felt it. A strange sensation that I only experienced when the veil between this world and another was weakened. Where passage to the Nevernever was possible. I held up my hand and David paused without a word and watched me patiently.

After some concentration I perceived a door leading to…somewhere. But it felt different than the usual passages that I traveled through with my fey magics. Artificial maybe. I remember Jack Youngblood telling me about the old wizard, Artemis Miller’s research into demesnes. About how they could be constructed, tailored to the creator’s needs. Somehow, I knew that that was what this was. A creation. But for what purpose? I waved David forward and we stepped through the passage in a flash of green light.

It took a moment for my eyes to clear but I could feel the change immediately. First off, the wind and rain were gone. We stood in a strange replica of the same block we had just left. But it was a frayed, faded imitation of our reality with most of the details blurred. As if it was a copy of a copy of a copy. There was a feeling of oppression and death that permeated everything and I felt diminished just by being here. As if my connection to my center of power had been diluted, leaving me weakened.

My pulse quickened in fear as I struggled to manifest my power. I reached out to the Wyld that embodied the natural order of things. It was the fountain from which my power flowed. After several moments of deep concentration I was able to sense the Wylde. But just barely. With an effort my elaborate tattoos flashed and my spear manifested in my hand. Relieved, I held it aloft in silent challenge as its green glow flared, piercing the oppressive fog that closed in on us.

Around us the houses stood empty and dark as the heavy fog dominated the street. We could barely see 5 feet in front of us. At the end of the dead street, towering over all the old houses, was a massive blackthorn tree that reached with tortured talons toward the sky. A red full moon painted the whole block a bloody scarlet. Dozens of dark, shadowy figures began to shamble toward us drawn by the light of the Wylde that blazed from my spear. They were hard to see in the fog but I realized because of their clumsy, stuttering approach that I had seen their ilk before.

Dozens and dozens of Lunatisidhe surrounded us. They are the decayed corpses of normal people who had been fully corrupted by Sebassis’s demonic power and murdered. Covered in a slimy black mold, they would murder anyone they encountered, friends or family, without remorse or fear. I realized that they must have been the families that lived on the block. Innocent people who were drawn to this demesne with arcane power, driven mad by the demon’s power, then murdered in pale imitations of their own homes. Individually they posed little threat to David and me. But we were surrounded by far too many for us to face alone.

I extinguished the Wylde power from my spear and we moved toward the nearest house. The shadowy forms of the mold monsters were like moths after the flame had been extinguished. They staggered aimlessly and began moving away without the beacon of my power to draw them.

As we got closer to the home I noted busted windows and that the door had been kicked in. Bullet holes riddled the front of the old house. Curious I entered the front door to find the interior in complete disarray. Obviously a massive battle had raged across the living room and in the corner I found a dead body.

He was a huge man with crude prison tattoos covering his body. At his feet was an emptied pistol, its action locked back, and a whole pile of spent brass shells rolled around the floor. In his massive paw of a hand was the remnants of a shotgun. It was broken in half and it was clear that after firing the last shell from it the man had laid about with it as a club. Bloodstains, covered in black mold, littered the living room, a clear testament that this man had not gone down easily. His body was torn and ripped in dozens of places. The terrible, rending wounds could only be caused by the mold zombie’s talons. He was lying on his side in a near fetal position his body wrapped around something I couldn’t quite see.

I was silently commending his tenacity in the face of what must have been overwhelming odds when his body moved. Bloody hell! I nearly jumped out of my sneakers! After I calmed my racing heartbeat I realized that there was something underneath the man’s savaged body. I cautiously turned him over and found a young child, nearly crushed by his massive bulk. She took one look at me, tears flowing down her tiny, upturned face, and jumped into my arms wrapping her entire body around me with a desperate sob. She was two, maybe three years old.

Gods! I looked down at the man’s body and raised my spear in silent tribute. Whoever he had been in the past, he had sold his life dearly to save this little girl. In my eyes he was a hero. I would do what I must to make sure his sacrifice was not in vain. I had to get this child out of here.

Part 02: David Clay

DFA_ECR_Log_0508_02.pngI hid in a storage shed concealed by Fergus’s fae magics as The Patient One, alerted to our presence, directed the mold covered victims of the demon’s hunger to track us down and destroy us. Fergus used an illusion of himself running off in a different direction to distract them as he escaped with the precious child we had found. It was disturbing to me that the Patient One was here. Was he the one who had destroyed all these people? If so he would pay dearly. I would make sure that the dead would get the justice they deserved.

He was leading the veritable army of undead in a relentless search that would surely reveal my hiding place in short order. I was just beginning to form a plan for an attack on the enemy when an odd voice called out from the end of the block, near the massive blackthorn tree. It was hard to hear in the thick fog, which distorted all the sounds around us, but the voice seemed strange. Almost like two voices speaking the same words at the same time in different timbres. It was disturbing and familiar somehow. The Patient One replied with great deference to the voice and left the search to join him.

Fergus appeared as the zombies wandered around aimlessly, no longer directed by the Patient One, and waved me out of the shed. He began creeping after the Patient One in the fog, planning to take out the powerful wizard from ambush but he forgot one very important fact. Where the Patient One goes, Nôž Hladu was soon to follow.

The Knife of Hunger was a blur of motion at the young changeling’s back, claws ripping through the fog. I was sure Fergus was a dead man but he somehow somersaulted backward over the razor sharp talons. The Patient One called for the Knife to hold us there while he and “The Master” finished the ritual and vanished into the fog. Master? Who could command the service of someone as powerful as the Patient One?

The ghoul followed up his attack and Fergus dodged and rolled, manuevering the monster into position for me to attack him from his flank. I exploded out of the shed with all the violence I could muster, using the metal door as a weapon. However, the ghoul was too quick. Too savage. He used his wicked claws to shred the door, rendering it useless as a weapon. The Knife ignored me and concentrated fully on my young companion.

The two of them were moving with such speed that they were a blur to my senses. The Knife lashed out with a series of attacks that Fergus was barely able to stay ahead of. The mold monsters were closing on us steadily and Fergus was forced to divert some of his attention to them. He dodged and weaved with great skill and athleticism but still ended up with several defensive scratches and tears over his arms and chest as their overwhelming numbers took their toll. The Knife used the arrival of his allies to fade into the fog and began to stalk us in earnest.

With no other targets in sight I focused on dealing with the obvious threat. I attacked the nearest Lunatisidhe, blasting it into a noxious, black goo with a heavy blow. Fergus used his manifested spear to hold the zombie-like monsters at bay, but just barely. That was when the Knife ambushed me. I was completely surprised by the assault and may have even fallen at the savage rush of the attack but for my friend. Fergus, who had tricked the Knife into believing he was unaware of his presence, had anticipated the attack. He lunged forward with his spear slashing out, forcing the Knife off-balance. I slammed the Knife with a powerful blow and he was forced to retreat back into the ranks of the undead monsters that closed on us.

Fergus spun and danced, avoiding the zombies while I tossed them left and right as they tried to overwhelm me with their superior numbers. The young warrior reversed his momentum on a dime and used his spear shaft to pole vault over the front line of the zombies as they clutched at him clumsily, their eyes alight with mindless rage. He came at the Knife from above, howling a wild battle cray at the top of his lungs, his spear slamming down in an overhanded strike that pierced the assassin’s shoulder leaving his left arm useless. The Knife was undeterred and lunged right into Fergus’s face, forcing him to retreat.

More zombies ripped into my clay form, tearing out long furrows in my body with their claws. I threw them off of me with, staggering them, giving me a brief respite. I took advantage of it and slammed the Knife of Hunger with a kidney punch from behind, staggering him. He spun away from me and danced back into the deadly battle with my friend.

Fergus and I spent every bit of energy we could summon to fight the ghoul. Fergus’s Guardian tattoos and spear glowed with Wylde power and my eyes answered with their own orange glow as a Righteous Wrath stirred in my chest. We pushed the Knife to his limits and beyond with our combined assault. He became more reckless as his Hunger, which fueled his formidable physical prowess, grew more and more uncontrollable. My body’s clay substance would provide him no nourishment. So the ghoul concentrated his attacks on my friend, almost ignoring me as his need to devour flesh became overwhelming. We were on the edge of victory when a familiar form stepped out of the fog, smiling with a terrifying glee.

We had destroyed the walking corpse of Donald Goldman at the museum the night before. But he seems to have gotten better. Craig Big Eagle had warned us that Goldman, as the Relentless Dead, could not be destroyed with simple physical attacks. Unless his spirit was put to rest his body would return from any amount of damage, no matter how severe, to hunt down his enemies. Or the enemies of the monster that controlled him. Barry Goldman must be here. He would not be far from his favorite new toy.

There was no way that Fergus and I, despite our best efforts, could defeat the combined power of the Knife and the joyfully murderous Goldman as well as the hordes of Lunatisidhe. But Fergus did something unexpected. As the Knife’s ravenous hunger for meat clouded his mind Fergus grabbed him and rolled backward, planting a foot in his stomach, flipping him right at the feet of the walking corpse of Donald Goldman. The Knife didn’t hesitate for an instant. He growled, his fangs gnashing, and attacked the walking corpse hungrily, craving the flesh he needed to survive. The two of them vanished into the fog, ripping and tearing at each other savagely.

Thank God! We had survived another confrontation with one of the most savage creatures I had ever encountered. As we continued to fight with the ever increasing numbers of Lunatisidhe we both couldn’t help but note that the blackthorn tree had begun to glow with a noxious yellow light. I caught Fergus’s eye and told him to go. We had to stop whatever was transpiring at the tree. He nodded to me and vanished, stepping into the Nevernever through a passage manufactured with his magics. I wished him luck and continued to fight my way to the tree.

Part 03: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0508_03.pngI didn’t want to leave David behind but I knew he wouldn’t be taken down by a bunch of moldy, rotten, clumsy undead. He was made of sterner stuff than that. And I knew we had to stop whatever was going on at that giant blackthorn tree. I gathered my courage and with a moment’s concentration stepped through a portal, arriving at the base of the tree. I hid as soon as I arrived. What I beheld wasn’t what I was expecting.

First off the demon-possessed blackthorn tree was almost exactly the same as the one David and I had defeated at the The Peter Kirk Syndicate lab in Bellevue. Only it was much, much larger. Fortunately, it seemed to be asleep. Its eyes were closed and its hideous parody of a face on the side of the tree was unmoving.

In an elaborate magic circle lay three figures, all restrained and held to the ground by massive roots. There was an older man who seemed catatonic and unmoving, a woman who was struggling against her bonds and finally Abigail Youngblood. Abby was unconscious but seemed to be breathing all right. I could tell she must have fought back against her captors. Her clothes were torn and she sported a nasty black eye. She must have fought so hard that they had to knock her out to control her.

The Patient One stood over the final captive. She was a fit looking woman wearing what looked like a jogger’s outfit. She was struggling and straining against the roots that held her down. The Patient One gestured causing a new set of roots to spring from the ground further restraining her.

The woman, with a second set of eyes appearing on her forehead, screamed at the top of her lungs,“I will devour your souls for this outrage!”

Tentacles sprang from nowhere, lashing out at the older wizard. He jumped away from them and gestured again.The roots tightened their grip on her further like a group of giant pythons squeezing its prey. Her curses were cut off as they wrapped around her mouth, gagging her. The tentacles faded away as her struggles grew weaker.

That was when Barry Goldman strode forward confidently, wearing a large broadsword on his back and dressed in ceremonial robes. His every move radiated power and control. Which was contrary to the loser I had encountered before. When he spoke his voice had that strange double timber I had noted earlier. As if two were speaking, saying the same thing at almost the same time, with slightly different voices.

“Ah Tenebriel. You are a fool. Once I add Sebassis’s power to my own I will be unstoppable. I will finally take my place and rule over this pathetic world, as is my due,” he gloated. “And I will finally dispose of you, my old enemy.”

Tenebriel? I think she was the Denarian demon that had petitioned the The Conclave of Emerald to be allowed to live in Seattle awhile back. How the heck had a loser like Goldman capture her?!?!?

My thoughts were racing as I tried to figure out what was going on when I noticed a second set of eyes open, glowing on Goldman’s head.

“We cannot wait any longer for the Knife to secure the other sacrifices. What we have will have to be sufficient. We will begin the ritual now,” Goldman ordered.

“Yes my lord, Azael,” replied The Patient One.

Shit. That loser had his own coin. He was possessed by a Denarian demon too! And not just any demon. Azael was the monster that had possessed Abigail Youngblood and had been plaguing Jack for years now.

“And command the Lunatisidhe to kill that changeling before he inteferes,” Goldman said gesturing right at me.


Part 04: David Clay

DFA_ECR_Log_0508_04.pngAfter Fergus’s departure I battled my way through the mold-encrusted walking corpses of the innocents that had lived on this block. Their only crime was being unfortunate enough to live next to the childhood home of Barry Goldman. I was forced to destroy them and a righteous anger grew within me. There would be a reckoning for this atrocity.

Behind me I could hear a great cacophony as a massive force approached from the rear. Fearing being overrun, I had no choice but to charge forward to support my friend. I arrived at the site of the ritual and was shocked at the spectacle before me.

I recognized Abby of course, and the woman in the track suit was the Denarion, Tenebriel. It took me a moment to remember the older man who lay unmoving at the third spot in the ritual circle that surrounded the sleeping demon tree. I had seen his picture many times at Jack Youngblood’s home. He was none other than Jack’s father, John Francis Youngblood II, who had been in a coma for several years before his body was possessed by the demon Azael. I realized that the ritual must be using the former hosts, all tainted by demonic energies, as a focus to harness Sebassis’s power. The Un-man had drained Sebassis for years. Anyone who harnessed those energies would be nearly unstoppable.

Perhaps the most shocking thing was that The Patient One was being ordered around by Barry Goldman. Goldman was a pathetic excuse for a sorcerer and I could not fathom why someone of the stature of the Patient One would obey him for any reason. Then the second set of glowing eyes appeared on Goldman’s forehead. It all made more sense then. Goldman had been possessed by the Denarion, Azael. Azael was already one of the most powerful supernatural beings in this region. If he gained more power he would be able to wreak havoc on a scale that was terrifying. He had to be stopped.

I charged forward as The Patient One ordered the Lunatisidhe to attack Fergus. The young changeling was too fast for them though and they didn’t even come close to him. I ran in their midst, battering them out of my way as fast as I was able. Fergus made his way to Abby, who was held fast by the roots of the massive blackthorn tree. He struggled to free her but was struck by some kind of magical feedback that knocked him back a dozen feet. He jumped up, his clothes smoking from the dark energies that had blasted his very being, his hands were covered in black goo. Zombies closed in on him as he struggled to shake off the debilitating blast.

Goldman was chanting, his voice somehow booming over the chaotic sounds of the battle. He began nailing the eyes and mouth of the tree, Sebassis, shut with rune-covered nails. The whole tree shuddered as a whirlwind of power started to form around it with a sickly yellow glow. The branches seemed to drink in the energies, sucking them down from the sky. Sebassis was struggling to resist the spell and awaken, his trunk twitching and jumping with random impulses. If the demon manifested here with all that power it would be unstoppable.

As I fought toward the ritual area the Patient One turned his attention to Fergus. He screamed out a strange word and lightning leaped from his outstretched hands. The changeling was somehow able to dodge aside at the last moment in a blur of motion. A half-dozen mold zombies were struck by the blast, their skeletons back lit in the intense glare for a brief moment before their bodies exploded.

I charged over to Tenebriel and pulled on the roots trapping her with all my might. Dark power coursed over my clay body, leaving me feeling numbed and tingling. Yet I was able to resist and ripped the roots apart. The Denarian leaped to her feet just as a blast of Hellfire struck her in the chest knocking her back. Her second set of eyes flared as the demon that possessed her manifested and she glared at Goldman/Azael with a hatred that was reflected in his dual eyes.

Goldman pulled the sword from his back and it began to glow with a Righteous Flame. The sword resonated with my own Divine nature and I recognized it immediately as the Sword of Wrath. A powerful sword that had been carried by the Archangel of Wrath until it had vanished, along with the Archangel who wielded it, several decades ago. While the sword was deadly to demonic powers and the damned, it could apparently be wielded by a fallen angel like Azael.

The sounds of the approaching forces at our rear intensified and I admit that I was losing hope we would be able to prevail. We could barely hold our own against Goldman’s current forces. We would stand no chance if he got reinforcements. All seemed to be lost.

Part 05: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0508_05.png“So tis betrayal then,” called out a lilting voice with a thick Irish accent. I turned to look and saw the man who had blown up the Clinic last night. He was at the head of an army of Fomor soldiers. The battle lulled at their unexpected arrival.

The Patient One stepped forward. “Lorcan Rourke, I was never working for The Fomor so my acts are not a betrayal. Know that I serve one master; Azael,” he said. “You will find that you have no power in this place. Only my master is supreme here.”

KILL THEM ALL!” screamed Barry/Azael. Barrael? Azbarry?

All hell broke lose then as the Lunatisidhe charged and attacked the Fomor Fishmen from all sides, seeming to erupt from the heavy fog. While there were far more mold-zombies, the fishmen were smarter and more powerful. They were also armed with an assortment of odd weapons that fired sea urchin looking projectiles that sizzled with acid, burning anything they splashed.

Lorcan Rourke, was a name I recognized. He was the Uncle of Fiona & Nora Quinn who had murdered their parents and brother in a bid to capture them for The Fomor he apparently served. I just hope he didn’t realize that the sisters were living on Vashon Island.

I didn’t have much time to ponder that however. The fight escalated into a full scale war as the fishmen and zombies clashed, tearing each other apart. David and I were too busy fighting off zombies and fishmen while trying to free the sacrifices from the ritual circle.

The two Denarions squared off against each other, seeming evenly matched, throwing powerful magics back and forth in a display of mystical power that would have left me in awe. Azbarry missed with a blast of Hellfire that struck a house behind Tenebriel. The whole structure erupted in a detonation of sulfurous fire. She charged forward with tentacles manifesting and attacked the other demon with a fury. It was…impressive.

Almost as impressive was Lorcan Rourke battling The Patient One. The Irishman’s forehead started to glow and a single eye opened on his forehead and a baleful fire started blasting from it splashing on mystical shields that were hastily erected by The Patient One. Despite the wizard’s claims that Rourke would have no power in this manufactured demesne, the three-eyed Irishman quickly got the upper hand. The blasts from his eye distracted the wizard while he quickly got within striking distance. With a punch he shattered the Patient One’s shields slamming him to the ground.

The tall Irishman stood triumphantly over his vanquished foe, ready to deliver the coup de grâce. The Patient One glared up at him defiantly, “You will never defeat my master, Rourke,” the Patient One said spitting out blood. Rourke grabbed him by the throat, choking him, obviously relishing the pain he was inflicting.

“I have been looking forward to break your neck since I met you, old man,” Rourke gloated. But before he could finish the Patient One a figure blurred out of the fog and slashed Rourke across the belly. It was the Knife of Hunger. Somehow he had defeated Donald Goldman and had nearly eviscerated Rourke. The Knife gathered up his injured master and disappeared into the fog as Rourke fell to his knees, clutching his belly.

By this time David and I had taken advantage of the chaos of the battle to free Abby and Jack’s father from the tree and ran for all we were worth for the passage out of the demesne. We made it to the portal with our friends and leaped through with Zombies and Fishmen hot on our tails. We eluded our pursuers and made it to David’s car, burning rubber to get away from the pursuit. We had done it! We had stopped the ritual and saved Abby and the old man.

I wonder who he was anyway.

It didn’t matter. I was so tired. David and I had spent everything we had to survive that fight against impossible odds. I was amazed we had made it out in one piece. I just wish my hand would stop aching. I looked at the strange burn I had suffered when I had tried to free Abby earlier and my head started buzzing as if I had a fever. My thoughts seemed to slow as if my mind was in a thick fog. I noticed that there seemed to be some mold around the edges of the wound. I decided not to tell anyone about it. It was probably nothing anyway. I couldn’t let a little mold scare me could I?



Book 05: Chapter 08

Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem HumAnnoyd