Book 05: Chapter 10



GM: James
Transcribed by: James
Date: March 8, 2020
In Game date: April 19, 2012
Episode: 31

Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_01.pngI had forgotten just how majestic the Wylde places in the NeverNever can be. David Clay and I arrived at Burroughbrook Glen at the Faerie Ring of mushrooms. The sun was just rising on a beautiful summer day. The view was simply breathtaking with tall grasses swaying in the wind as little seed pods floated in the sunlight. Butterflies and tiny faeries fluttered and flitted back and forth as huge trees rustled in the slight breeze. I felt tears in my eyes as I remembered all the time I had spent here as a child, visiting my cousin Aonghas Mac Cormaic and my grandfather.

I had walked away from all of this, choosing to be a mortal, because there was one thing that was even more beautiful than the Glen to me. My fiance, Anna Maria Avila, had stolen my heart and made it easy to choose to be mortal and share a life with her. But then I had inherited the mantle of Guardian of the 7th Gate when my grandfather had died in my arms. Now, here I am again, neck deep in the crazy life of a fae, fighting against demons and The Fomor. Luckily, Anna knows all about it now and we are facing the difficulties of this life together.

David and I continued on the cobblestone path, weaving through the soft hills and faerie mounds approaching the Apricot Forest. We would travel for half a day to reach my cousin’s keep at Daereth Dale. I had made it very clear to my Golem friend that the most important thing to remember is to stay on the trail no matter what. The Summerlands were beautiful but the dangers have to be respected. We could lose our lives and our sanity if we weren’t cautious. Unfortunately, I was so dazzled with the beauty around me that I allowed nostalgia to make me careless.

Part 02: David Clay

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_02.pngI must admit that in all my years on this Earth I have never seen anything as beautiful as Burroughbrook Glen. Its beauty was overwhelming and I completely understand why Fergus Mac Cormaic did not notice that he was being led off the cobblestone path by an illusion. I heard hysterical laughter coming from a nearby hill and saw what at first seemed like an impish young boy dressed in a brightly colored jester’s outfit. But on closer inspection I saw through his glamour and saw a squat figure with a round body and spindly arms and legs. It dawned on me the danger of the situation and I was about to alert my friend when he stepped off the path following a glamour that concealed the real path. I reached out to grab him but wasn’t fast enough.

“Ow! ’ho is trodding ’pon me face!?!?!” cried a rumbling voice that sounded like an avalanche.

The ground rose up under Fergus’s feet and he jumped back barely managing to keep his feet. The mound was vaguely humanoid with a huge torso made up of earth with cobblestone rocks interspersed throughout. It easily out-massed even my golem form and it towered over us both.

“Dey be walkin’ all over me all da time,” the cobblestone man cried, his strangely human eyes filling with tears. Abruptly his expression changed to one of self-righteous rage and his eyes glowed a blood red color.

“Me not taking it anymore!!!” He roared slamming his fists on the ground causing it to quake. I could hear that laughter again in the distance.

Fergus moved faster than lightning, attacking the massive Cobblestone Man with a spear he manifested from his mystical tattoos in a flash of green light, but the blade just rebounded from a cobblestone, doing little harm. I charged forward and tackled the creature, trying to throw it off balance but it was simply too massive and I rebounded without budging the creature. He smashed down on me with his massive fists and I was left reeling from the blow.

Fergus, seeing I was in trouble, ran up the creature’s arm, stabbing it rapidly, trying to distract it with a rain of blows. The Cobblestone Man, roaring in rage, turned and swung at the nimble Guardian but wasn’t able to match his amazing speed. He aimed his spear carefully and jabbed the creature under his arm in a gap in the stones. It screamed in rage and pain, completely consumed with destroying his tormenter.

I attempted to distract the creature by pointing out that in Common Law, if he was lying in the Right of Way, then he was responsible for being tread upon and shouldn’t be so angry about it. The Cobblestone Man seemed taken aback at this reasoned logic and paused to consider it for a moment, a thoughtful look on his face.

Fergus maneuvered behind the massive earth creature and manifested a shillelagh with his tattoos and, with perfect timing, tripped the creature. Its massive form fell majestically, shattering on the cobblestone path. After a moment the earth and stones that made up the Cobblestone Man seemed to melt into the earth. We could here angry grumbling and complaining coming from the ground as a mound of earth moved away rapidly, like a wave through the ground.

“Perhaps in the future you should consider posting proper signs to redirect travelers around you!” I called out to the retreating mound. It paused for a moment, and then a massive hand seemed to grow out of the earth, its middle finger extended in a rather rude gesture.

“I guess he doesn’t enjoy legal advice,” Fergus quipped, a crooked smile on his face.

Part 03: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_03.pngI heard the impish laughter moments before a large, rotten tomato hit me in the back of the head. This was getting annoying.

“And what are you called?” I inquired.

“I am Tad!” exclaimed the imp.

“Is this what passes for hospitality these days, Tad?” I demanded. “I remember a much higher standard from the Fae in the Wylde Regions. We aren’t the barbarians of the Winter Court after all.”

“Who are you to say such things?” replied the imp in a defensive tone, his voice echoing on the path.

“I was called Fergie when I was a child here, not so very long ago,” I declared proudly. “My kinsman, Aonghas and I had many adventures along this path and we were never treated with such rudeness.”

Tad’s head popped up in the tall grasses to our left, and said in a high-pitched voice, “Do you know him?”

An identical head appeared from behind a tree, “I don’t recognize him. Have you ever seen him before?” Tad asked in the same voice.

A third head popped up to our right. “No, I do not know him,” Tad declared, giggling madly.

“We are here to see the Lord of Daeryth Dale,” I countered. “This is his land!”

The three heads vanished and a single voice responded testily, “Ah, the one with the keep? We don’t like him!”

“You must be the long lost cousin,” Tad speculated, stepping out before us on the path with a swagger. “Please give your cousin a message for me,” he asked sweetly. Then the imp dropped his trousers, mooning us both, wiggling and waving his arms, laughing uproariously.

“I have seen better dances,” David said dryly, stopping the imp in his tracks. Music began playing from the woods as Tad pulled up his pants. The colorful figure bowed deeply and started a complex jig that increased in speed and intensity. David and I started nodding along in time to the infectious music.

I have to admit that it was an impressive performance. David and I both clapped in appreciation when it was over and the imp bowed deeply. He then turned and disappeared around a corner on the path as the music slowly faded in the distance.

“I doubt we have seen the last of him,” David stated.

“We should get moving,” I replied. “We have wasted too much time on that creature and the sun is setting. It is dangerous out here after dark.”

As the sun went down it flung parting rays across all the sky, from horizon to zenith. The clouds were painted with fiery pigments, and they glowed with gorgeous colors from glen to creek. Golden and yellow near the horizon, the hues changed to boundless masses of pink, and crimson, and scarlet, and purple, further up the dome of the sky. The sunset was gorgeous if transitory. Gold changed to crimson, crimson deepened to purple, and soon the glory of the heavens passed away. We turned and journeyed silently down the path.

Part 04: David Clay

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_04.pngWe had been travelling on the darkened path and the splendor of the wilderness around us took on a far more sinister aspect. Trees stood sentinel, towering over us their branches rustling menacingly in some unnoticed breeze. Strange animals cried out in the darkness waking up for their nocturnal hunt. I just had to hope that we weren’t on the menu. Fortunately for me there weren’t many creatures that would want to devour my clay form. I hoped.

As we meandered down the twisty cobblestone path I spotted an abandoned and rundown shack to our left. I quietly pointed it out to Fergus and we both paused listening intently. Faint weeping reached our ears. We approached cautiously doing our best to make no sound. When we got even with the shack Fergus decided to call out to whoever was in distress and signaled for me to be ready.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” he queried softly. The weeping ceased immediately and all that could be heard was the sound of an owl hooting in the trees. Fergus turned to me with a question in his eyes. I met his gaze and nodded. He took a deep breath and stepped toward the building.

That was when the whole shack exploded in motion and a massive dragon erupted from it roaring so loudly that I felt like my ears would burst. Fergus and I both jumped back at the spectacle and tumbled head over heels right off the trail and down an embankment. We could hear that impish laughter again as we came to a stop completely disoriented. Somehow we were deep in the woods and we could not perceive the path at all. Fergus took my hand and lifted me to my feet when the howling began.

If I had blood it would have been chilled by the sound. At first it was a single beast, its howl was mournful and full of longing. That was answered by more creatures and we understood that we were surrounded. We had been hunted by predators before. The Knife of Hunger had stalked Fergus and I through a park not so long ago. I experienced the same feelings of vulnerability and fear as red, hungry eyes appeared in the brush, moving towards us.

“We have to get back to the Path!” Fergus cried, trying to stay calm. “We are dead if we don’t!”

I looked around desperately but it was no use. It was like we had fallen to a different universe. The woods, formerly well lit by a massive full moon, were now completely dark and the only light I could see was the glowing red eyes of the wolves that were converging on us. Fergus whipped his belt off and told me to do the same. We used the belts to keep from being separated as we staggered through heavy brush trying to find our way. But we were just going in circles and the path was no closer. Unlike the wolves.

“Hold on! I am going to climb that tree. Maybe I can see where to go from up there!” Fergus called out.

He scrambled up the tree and the wolves howling increased as they all sighted him. He spotted the way and pointed. I used the belt to pull him down to me and then I charged toward the path as fast as I was able. We made it just in time as a wolf was literally nipping at Fergus’s ankles as we stepped back on the path.

That was too close.

“Whew!” Fergus called out. “That was a tad much.”

A rotten egg hit him right in the back of his head.


“Only I get to make such bad jokes!” Tad exclaimed testily.

“You kind of deserved that one,” I said wryly.

Fergus sighed. “Everyone is a critic.”

Part 05: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_05.pngAfter the near miss off the trail David and I proceeded with a great deal of speed tempered with caution. We were wise to Tad’s tricks now and would not be easily fooled again. Perhaps the little bastard knew that we were on our guard or maybe he didn’t want to venture too deep onto Aonghas Mac Cormaic’s property but we didn’t see him for the rest of our trip. We made our way to Daeryth Dale without any further incident.

We could hear merry voices and music coming from the small, squat formidable looking keep. It abruptly stopped when I rang the bell and called out a greeting.

“Who is it who knocks upon my door at this late hour?” called out a deep voice ringing with authority.

I thought back to all the time I had spent on these lands playing hide-n-seek and other games with Aonghas. "Last I remember you, my friend, were ‘It’, " I retorted.

“Fergus?” Aonghas cried out. “Is it you!?!?!”

The large door to the keep swung open and my cousin was standing there with a welcoming grin. “My long lost cousin! It is so good to see you again!” He embraced me heartily, pounding me on my back. “I feared I would never see you again!”

“Welcome to my keep! You and your…Umm. Is he your construct?”

“No. Actually he is my lawyer.”

“Splendid! That must be convenient!” he exclaimed. “You both are guests in my home! Eat! Drink! Be merry!”

Aonghas kept his word and we enjoyed some marvelous hospitality. We caught up on what was going on with each other and it was a marvelous time. We were entertained by poetry from a 15 foot tall hill giant, singing from a tiny, winged faerie with a voice to match any diva on Earth and a comedy routine from a particularly raunchy, green horse. I am not sure I have laughed so freely and with such gusto in recent months. It was rejuvenating. I felt fortunate to have Aonghas as my kin.

He explained that after the Destruction of the Red Court, the entire political structure of the Fae had become unstable. Old monsters not seen since the dawn of time had awakened to fill in the power vacuum left in the wake of the Court’s destruction. The Fomor in particular had been actively probing his defenses and forcing him to declare his allegiance to the Summer Court or risk losing his fief.

With that I explained why David and I had come to the Nevernever. We were in search of my old rival Máire, a dryad who could use her abilities to grow our tainted blackthorn tree to maturity so it could be used in a ritual to end the threat of the demon, Sebassis on my city.

“Máire?” he opined. “She has been missing for some time. The last I heard she was seen near Killkenny Bog a few years ago.”

“That’s great! How far away is that from here?” I asked excited.

“Oh, not far,” he replied. “But Fergus, no one who goes there is ever seen again. I have meant to look into it since I was given these lands but I am stretched too thin.”

“I see. And no one knows what we might face there?”

“I am afraid not.”

“We have no choice. We will have to face the dangers there. Too many lives are at stake,” David replied.

“Very well. I wish I could accompany you myself but I fear my duties to my own lands are too pressing.”

“Yellow Bell!” Aonghas called out. A tiny, little yellow light the size of a thumbnail zipped by to land on his outstretched hand.

“She will lead you to the bog and wait for you to come out after you have found the dryad. I wish you and your friend good fortune!” he cried, raising his mug in a toast. “Tonight you will dine and sleep and you can venture out in the morn!”

Part 06: David Clay

DFA_ECR_Log_0510_06.pngFergus and I had been treated like kings by Aonghas and his subjects and had delighted in their hospitality. When dawn came my friend looked well rested and ready for whatever adventures we would face. We were treated to a hearty breakfast and prepared to find the missing dryad.

“Good fortune, cousin,” Aonghas said heartily embracing Fergus. “And do not worry. I will deal with this Trickster called Tad. I do not allow such antics on my lands.”

He turned to me and we shook hands. “Look out for my kinsman David o’ the Clay,” he said. “He is a brave and valiant warrior, but his passions can make him careless.”

“Hey!” Fergus called out indignantly.

We both ignored him and I promised Aonghas that I would have his back. With that we set out on our journey. We followed little “Yellow Bell” down a long, winding trail that lead us through wild country. The trail itself became narrow and twisting and more than once I was forced to forge ahead through heavy brush and thorns to pave a way for Fergus. By late afternoon the beautiful and wild woods transitioned into wetlands and swamps and I knew we were near our goal. Yellow Bell flashed in front of me and and landed on a branch.

“We should be back within a day or two, little one,” Fergus told the little fae. “If not please let my cousin know.”

With that we both turned to face the challenge of the swamp ahead of us. We plunged deeper into the bog with the path becoming almost impassable the further in we went. Thorns tore at our clothes and we waded through waist deep water much of the way. The air was heavy and oppressive with a strange kind of sadness and anger.

Again I felt like a predator was stalking us. It was almost as if the swamp itself was hungry and we were the main course. After hours of endless toil and discomfort I felt a subtle change in the air. I noted a stand of odd looking trees in front of us but I could not quite figure out why they bothered me so much. I got a closer look at some of them and saw figures trapped within the woody bodies of the trees as if people had been absorbed by them.

Every instinct I had screamed that I was in more danger than at any other point in my life. I looked around and finally saw her. A beautiful woman in white was washing clothes in the waters of a small pool of water. It was a magnificent scene that entranced both Fergus and I completely. He later shared with me what he experienced.

At first he did not notice the other trees and had only eyes for the woman who sang a melancholy ballad softly to herself as she washed clothes. A sense of dread overcame him as he noticed blood stained the waters around her crimson. She lifted up a dress that she was scrubbing with a sad look on her face and Fergus realized that he recognized it.

It was the first dress he had designed and sewed for his fiance, Anna Maria Avila, when they first started dating a few years ago. As he saw that the dress, still her favorite, was blood stained and shredded. He experienced visions of losing control of the Wylde that lived within him. Of lashing out in anger as he was overcome with a Wylde rage. He lashed out at the woman that he loved, at his friends, at his beautiful daughter, and none survived his wrath. The despair and self-loathing that he felt mingled with the absolute horror of his vision and my friend fell to his knees and cried out in anguish.

I saw something different but no less shattering to me personally. When The Woman in White held up the clothing she was washing I saw the funeral shroud of my creator, and the clothing of my dear friend Rabbi Jerith Shulman, and Fergus’s favorite jacket, and young Charlie Kress’s hoodie. One by one I had visions of all my friends that I shared this life with, and all the friends I would make in the future, die. Not through some epic tragedy. But through the slow, inexorable passage of time. Time, that would devour everyone I knew, everyone I would ever know, but would never touch me and my clay body. The sheer weight and magnitude of it nearly shattered my sanity and I felt a despair that had no equal in my long life.

So I took comfort in the fact that this was the Natural Order of things. That God created this world in this way for a reason. I took comfort in His plan and began to pray to Him with a more profound understanding of my place in His creation than I had ever had before. The crushing despair was lifted from my heart and I looked up and the vision of the beautiful woman was replaced by the sight of an ancient and withered monstrosity who seemed to be devouring the very despair it had created in us.

“N-no!” I cried out. “Fergus! You must fight it! It is not real!”

I staggered to my feet, my faith a shining beacon in my heart and mind, and stalked toward the monstrosity that had hurt me more profoundly than any other. I had been injured in combat. But this was an assault on my soul. My very being. Righteousness rose in me. And I could see that same fire in Fergus’s eyes as he rose up defiantly.

With a flash a wickedly barbed spear appeared in my friend’s grip. With an inarticulate cry of rage and despair at the violation that had been perpetrated on us by this creature he stabbed at her with all of his might. The crone leaped out of the way of the spear but it gave me the opening I needed and I grabbed her withered arm holding her in place. She whirled on me, grasping my head in her long, bony fingers and again I was devastated by despair and anguish. I screamed in pain and that was when Fergus rammed his spear through her back. The blade went all the way through her emaciated body, erupting from her chest, in a shower of gore.

The crone grasped the spear shaft in her hands and screeched in agony. Fergus, his eyes lit green with Wylde energies, screamed in triumph and hatred and twisted the spear. The crone’s body seemed to slowly fade into mist and drift away, her screams fading into the distance. Fergus dropped the spear and fell to his knees, his body shaking uncontrollably. I could see this battle had cost my friend dearly.

“Fergus! Fergus…you have to breath!” I called out to him offering what comfort I could. “It wasn’t real Fergus! What you saw wasn’t real! Anna is fine! She’s all right! So is Erin! Your family is safe!”

“Fergus, you can’t let this creature hurt you any more. It was a lie. An Illusion. You are stronger than that!”

It took some time to calm my friend down. The crone’s attack had been profoundly painful for us both. But eventually he seemed to come back to his self. He hadn’t fully healed. But, I realized that Time would take care of that. The irony of that thought did not escape me.

After a while we explored the stand of trees and found what we were looking for. Máire was indeed imprisoned in the trunk of one of the trees. Her face was contorted in a terrible expression of the deepest despair. It was hard to imagine being at the mercy of that monster for years. After some time Fergus was able to coax the Summer Fae out of her wooden prison and he caught her as she collapsed with a sob of despair and self loathing.

“We’ve done it,” Fergus said grimly. “When we get back to Daeryth Dale I will let Aonghas know about these other poor souls.”

I clapped my friend on the shoulder reassuringly. “Come my friend. The sun is rising. We have a long journey ahead of us.”



Book 05: Chapter 10

Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem HumAnnoyd