Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 07: Chapter 03
Transcribed by: Brad
Date: November 14, 2021
In Game date: June 20, 2012
Episode: 39 (114)
Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic
My Cousin and her sister were freed, we raced back across the strange land. The Fomor had gotten their asses handed to them, so I wasn’t worried about them chasing us. Nora was pretty injured though, the Fomor had done a number on her. Virgil covered the rear with his magic while David carried Nora with one hand. Fiona clung to me hard and I ran as fast as my feet could take me without leaving the rest of my companions behind.
We made our way past the rivers of acid, into those caves, and past that noneuclidean geometry that gave Virgil a migraine. We found the anchor and I used my power to open a way back.
When I reached out, I looked for the portal I had left with Jack to hold open…but I couldn’t find it. What the hell? His power was gone.
I thought about my wedding, about my bride-to-be and her family. I was getting married today, dammit.
I took a deep breath and opened a new Way in the same spot as the last and we leaped through.
“Aww, oh shit!” I shouted as gravity went topsy-turvy again.
The way back was as rough as the way in. We came through the portal and fell to our knees as the portal closed behind us. David and I faceplanted while Virgil managed an Aikido roll and hopped back to his feet.
“Everybody all right?” I said, getting on my hands and knees, “Jack? What the fuuu…”
I looked up but instead of Jack, standing over me was my cousin Aonghas. “Where the fuck is Jack?!?” I demanded angrily. “We almost didn’t make it back without him holding the door for us like he promised.”
“It is okay, Cousin.” Aonghas said, “Youngblood had to leave. He got a call that his wife had taken a bad turn and he had to see to her.”
I got to my feet in a flop sweat and I was breathing hard. We were lucky that I was able to get us back at all. Without Jack’s beacon it had been a nearly insurmountable task for me to open the portal from the shores of the Otherworldy Sea of Irish myth.
“Is Abby going to be okay?” I asked, calming down. Please let her be OK.
“We’re not sure,” Aonghas said in an apologetic voice, “It didn’t sound good. I don’t think she was on death’s door just yet but there were questions about her medications and Jack was the only one who could help…”
For just a brief moment things went topsy turvy in my vision and I could have sworn I saw…I am not sure what I saw. It must have been the strain of ’porting us here.
“I’ll get these ladies to the hospital.” David said with confidence, “You handle your wedding.”
I looked over to David, the golem picked up Nora with ease. Her sister, Fiona followed close behind the golem as he carried her sister out toward the parking lot. Also, from the look of it, his suit hadn’t taken as much damage as I thought.
David ran out the door with the girls and the thoughts of them lifted from me.
Virgil looked to me and a smile grew on him, “We got this, Ferg. You handle you, shower up and actually get into that tux. The photographer is here at two o’clock.”
Now that everything was under control, I finally calmed down. As the battle high wore off, my nervousness returned. That feeling of floating also returned.
“I’m getting married.” I said, still in disbelief.
Virgil put a hand on my shoulder, “You’re getting married, man. Or should I say, soon-to-be-cousin I guess?”
I lost track of time as I showered and changed into my tux. Thinking about how long it took to get into my tux gave me a headache.
At some point, one of the bridesmaids knocked on the door.
I straightened my bowtie and looked to her. It was Karen, the bridesmaid who had had the hairstyle malfunction. The hat she was wearing didn’t quite hide her neon colored hair but it did look nice on her.
“Anna wants to speak to you, it’s important.” Karen said, sounding almost apologetic. “She said I had to bring you immediately.”
My heart leaped into my throat and an army of butterflies fluttered in my belly. What could this be about? I made my way to the main hall. It was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, but if Anna needed me, she would get me. Gods. Please. Everything was going to be all right. I just had to keep telling myself that.
I made my way through the wedding party and time blurred again. It must have really put a strain on my body to bring us back from the Nevernever. The next thing I knew I was running past the band. They were tuning up in the pavilion doing a sound check and checking their equipment.
It was all going to be fine. Anna probably just wanted some help with some wedding detail or something.
One of them flipped a switch on a large amplifier and there was a shower of sparks. Voices were raised in alarm at the spectacle and a fire started next to a propane tank for the food warmers. I heard laughter in the background.
Fucking Tad the Trickster.
No. Not today…I was not about to allow that little bastard to ruin my wedding day. It was all going to be fine. Dammit.
I looked around, found a fire extinguisher, and put out the fire fast enough to impress any firefighter, not even breaking stride. The flames had left black marks around the propane tank, but the crisis was averted.
But, I wasn’t getting my deposit back. Dammit…
I headed towards the main building, where Anna was preparing. On the way there, I ran into Raymond Avila, Anna’s father. He didn’t approve of me, but he did want his daughter happy, so we didn’t talk much.
“MacCormaic,” Raymond said and looked down his nose at me.
“Dad.” I replied.
He walked past me and smiled smugly. If I was not mistaken there was definitely some evil in that smile. Like he knew something I didn’t. The butterflies in my stomach almost turned me inside out. Fine. It was all going to be fine.
I entered the main building and found the bride’s dressing room. The whole way there, I saw bridesmaids staring at me for some reason. Some seemed angry, others sad. My dread increased exponentially. My whole body was trembling in anticipation.
I found Anna in her dressing room, but she wasn’t wearing the dress I made her. Why wasn’t she wearing the dress? My heart stopped and I felt pressure in the back of my throat before she even spoke.
The love of my life regarded me with a cold determination, tears streaming down her face. I don’t think I will ever forget what she said.
“God. Fergus. I am sorry,” she said softly, casting her eyes down. “But you lied to me for years, keeping the fact that you are Fae from me. How can I trust you now? What other lies have you told me? How can our relationship work when it was all based on deception?”
She looked up into my eyes and I was frozen, unable to speak. The words stabbed me deeper than any knife.
“This is not going to work, Fergus. Your life is too crazy. You are a threat to me and my child and I cannot allow anything to harm Erin. I want you to leave and never come back. There is no place for you in our lives anymore."
No, no, no, no….This was ripping me apart. She can’t be saying this to me.
Her voice became hard, "I talked to my dad and he will get a restraining order against you if he has to.”
It felt like something inside me was shattered. Sharp and jagged edges cutting me to the core as my breaths came in shallow, pain filled gulps. It was agony…
“If that won’t keep you away, I’ll out you as the Greenman and daddy will put you in a cage,” my beautiful Anna said cruelly and she ripped the wedding dress I had made for her in half. My whole world came unraveled. Death would be preferable to this…
Part 02: David Clay
The walk back to my car was far easier than the run back to the portal. Luckily, my cellphone had survived our journey and I used it to ensure that the Urgent Care was waiting for us when I arrived with the girls in the parking lot.
When I got to my car, I got ready to change into my backup suit. As I opened the back of my car to get my suit, two men in leather trench coats appeared from under a veil. I recognized one of them as my friend.
“David Clay!” Jack Youngblood said. He and the other man carried the silverswords of the Wardens of the White Council of Wizards. The other man I didn’t recognize but based on his demeanor I assumed was his superior, Warden Ramirez.
“Jack?” I said confused, “How can I help…”
“This is Carlos Ramirez, commander of the Wardens for this region. My boss.” Jack said, in an official tone bereft of warmth.
“What is the meaning of this, Jack?” I asked as the two of them flanked me. Jack fished around in the pocket of his bespelled jacket and pulled out an official looking scroll.
Jack looked at me and I think there was something of an apology in his gaze, “Due to recent testimony by The Patient One to the High Council your status as a person has been reconsidered," he declared. “You have been declared a dangerous construct that must be constrained lest you lose control and cause harm to those around you.”
No. This could not be true. I had struggled to maintain control it was true. But I had done so for over 40 years now. How could they do this?
“You are now considered the property of the Patient One and are to be remanded to his custody immediately.”
“Please come with us,” Jack pleaded.
A wave of existential despair flowed over me in what seemed like frozen time. I had stopped the Patient One the last time he came for me, but not before he almost destroyed me.
“Do not resist, Golem.” Carlos warned, steel in his voice.
If the wizards bested me, then the old kabbalist would dismantle me to my core. He would dissect me to learn the secrets of my creation and my very self.
I always feared this would happen. As a golem, I am not alive like a mortal. To the White Council, I was classified as a, “dangerous magical object” I believe. My behavior thus far had proven my good intentions, but sooner or later, I knew that this issue would have to be resolved.
Still. How could Jack do this to me? How could he betray my trust?
I didn’t know, but I had no intention of going quietly.
So, I balled my fists.
The two wizards took stances, drew their Warden swords, and began to gather magical power.
Before my calmness left me for the coming battle, only one thought lingered in my mind. How could my friend betray me like this?
Part 03: Virgil Gugasian
There is a saying, “You can’t con a con artist.”. That is not entirely true, you absolutely can, but it is usually more difficult. Con artists and former con artists like myself are wise to most of the tricks used to deceive. We won’t fall for a Nigerian prince sending a cold email, a girl on a dating site claiming they need money to fly in from the ass-end of nowhere, or the promises of a pyramid scheme that assures you it is not a pyramid scheme.
When I first discovered that magic was real, I asked around about the nature of magic relating to deception. I was kind of disappointed that the Laws of Magic prohibited real mind reading or hypnosis.
“Thou shalt not invade the thoughts of another mortal.” No diving into minds, memories, or other parts of the brain.
“Thou shalt not enthrall others.” No taking away someone’s free will.
Either one meant an appointment for decapitation courtesy of the Wardens of the White Council of Wizards.
That left shapeshifting, which had its own rule against involuntary transformation.
“Thou shalt not transform others.” Though, that didn’t mean you couldn’t transform yourself with your own power.
That also left illusions, which Jack always refers to as “Veils” and “Glamours”. I eventually found some small-timers and a lot of faeries that used these kinds of magic to hide themselves, disguise themselves and fool others. With enough talent, you could in theory be your own personal holographic projector. I figured this field of magic would be my jam.
But I was wrong. I found my Talent for magic, but whatever god that might exist has decided I don’t have any talent with illusions at all. My talents lean into physical magic, the stuff involving physical forces like light, gravity, heat, and such.
But make an illusion that deceives another person convincingly? I can’t do it. I have no idea why. On the other hand I find that I can see often through illusions. Not literal true sight or any kind of magical ability. Because of my analytical mindset I am just good at picking out the small details that glamourists miss.
The sounds of footsteps. The scuff marks when you brush against objects. The smell of perfume, cologne, or just bad BO. Any one of these small details made glamorous easier to defeat in my book. So, for my cons, I never used them, let alone relied on them.
When we got through the portal, I found myself in a tableau out of Little Shop of Horrors or something. Vines reached out of nowhere and wrapped us up. They hogtied Fergus and David and tried to do the same to me. I could also see that the vines had done the same to my friend Jack, who hung from the ceiling in the middle of the tableau.
I could feel the psychic energies go into me, but because of my talent for absorbing magic I was able to resist them before they took hold. I was wrapped up physically, but with my mind free it meant that I could gather information. As a result, I could make out what the hell was really going on and who was creating the botanical nightmare.
I immediately saw what I assumed was a Dryad, seeing as how she had deer legs and was made of mostly tree. I also saw a goat-legged guy with green skin whom I assumed was Tad the Trickster chilling out with some pipes.
“There as agreed.” the Dryad said, “You can have the two that cause you harm! Now give the two girls to me!”
But towering over all of them was the seven feet of malice that was controlling the vines. The boss of this little encounter.
I was still new to the whole supernatural scene, but I knew a Hag when I saw one. Unlike misogynistic literary counterparts that demonized old women, a hag is a patently evil thing that actually eats children or so I hear. The ugly bitch looked like the R-rated grindhouse version of the old lady from Snow White. Wrinkled skin, unnaturally long fingers, disgusting green nails sharp as razors, jagged teeth just as sharp, and hair that could kill with a glance. She also needed a toothpick for what I hoped was animal meat in between her yellow and black teeth. A bloated and nasty tongue bulged from her mouth and draped down to the floor.
Her speech was the stuff of nightmares. Her actually body didn’t make a sound but I felt a strange pressure in my mind and heard a horridly rough voice that sounded like she had smoked like a chimney from birth.
“That was our original bargain.” The hag rumbled, “And I handed the girls over to you before. It matters not to me that you allowed them to escape you. I promise they will not be so fortunate with me.”
What was really fucked up though was that in addition to that voice, whenever the Hag spoke, so too did the tied-up Jack, hid eyes still closed, body limp.
The branches squeezed the two girls we just rescued. The pair of them screamed silently in agony and despair. It was horrific to watch.
The little imp boy Tad start laughing with glee and started clapping his hands together in sick delight.
The Dryad tried to stand up for herself, but she was terrified. Standing up to a Hag was beyond her.
“But I need them to complete my bargain with the Fomor! “I am supposed to give them to Lorcan Roarke!” The Dryad pleaded.
“Silence! Stop this insolence right this second!” Tad said, “Or perhaps you wish to revisit my mistress’s tender embrace?”
His mistress? Definitely the bad guy then. I was planning on making an example of Tad, but I think now he’s a dead faerie as soon as I can find him.
The Dryad shuttered in abject terror, “N-nnn-no! I apologize. They are all yours.”
The Dryad bowed and left, anger and resentment clear on her face warring with the fear that overwhelmed her.
I tried to act like I was as unconscious and contained as the rest. Maybe I could get to my knife and cut my way out of this mess. But the Hag had already found me out.
“Wait,” the Hag says in Jack’s voice. “Not all of my pretties are under control. That one’s still free!”
Well, shit. That nixed that idea.
I drew in power from the environment and it seemed enough to break the vines and free me.
As soon as I was back on my feet, the Hag leveled a finger at me and gathered power. I don’t know what she threw at me, but it looked, smelled, and felt like a black blast of nope.
But she didn’t know I was a Kleptomancer.
I held out my open hand to the blast as it impacted. I absorbed the blast and took in the energy. I don’t think that had ever happened to the Hag before, because she looked at me with anger and worry.
I caught enough of the spell to copy it, so I gathered energy in my other hand.
“Turnabout’s fair play, Bitch!” I shouted.
I threw a copy of her spell back at her, but she dodged with unnatural speed. If it had been a more direct blast of pure force, I would have done better, but I was flying blind.
The blast followed by my death glare was scary enough for Tad the Trickster to rethink his recent choices, and he vanished under a veil. He could hide only for so long.
Although the blast didn’t damage her, it did break her concentration.
She had enough wits to hold Fergus in front of me as a human shield. I don’t know what the Hag was making Fergus see with her mind control, but whatever it must have been horrific. His face was contorted in a such a grimace of agony and despair that it actually freaked me out a bit.
It also pissed me off.
That was the wrong choice, because I was close enough to reach out and touch the vines that bound him.
I used my power to unravel the vines and the spell that held Fergus. Fergus fell out of the vines and looked up to me, his face contorting from despair to confusion.
I looked to him and shouted as loud as I could.
“Wake up! Whatever you saw, it was a Glamour. Crazy Hag trying to kill us!”
Part 04: Fergus Mac Cormaic
The time I spent with Anna tearing up the wedding dress I made for her felt like an eternity. It was the worst thing that I could possibly imagine.
Shoot me with a gun. Stab me with a Warden’s sword. Set me on fire.
I would have gladly endured any of those than been stuck in that moment as Anna rejected my love for her completely.
But it was ended by what felt like the bottom part of a roller coaster trip. All speed and screams. Someone else’s screams.
I faceplanted and found myself in the utility shed we did the ritual in. Virgil slapped my face got me to look up. He looked at me as I regained my senses and shouted.
“Wake up! Whatever you saw, it was a Glamour. Crazy Hag trying to kill us!”
I looked over and I saw the seven-foot Hag with the long green tongue. I knew her name too.
“The Woman in White…Baen-Nighe.” I said. My gods. She must have survived our first encounter with her in the Nevernever.
We had wronged her, David and I, and she had come for her revenge.
My despair from the previous moments didn’t go away. It was just overpowered by a rage greater than any I have ever felt before.
I leapt over Virgil’s head and time slowed down. I manifested the Blade of the Guardian as a glowing spear that appeared in my hands and stabbed down at that ugly tongue.
The Hag was faster. I missed and the spear pierced the concrete floor.
The Woman in White shrieked and Jack shrieked with her at the same time. The Hag raised a hand and fired some kind of energy at me so quickly that I didn’t have time to dodge.
The blast tore through my clothes and turned my world gray for a moment and I felt the Power of the Wyld surge to protect me. I realized that the Wyld power was the only thing that saved me. Another hit like that, I’d be fucked.
But my rage and Fighting Irish spirit drove me forward. I pulled my spear out of the ground and pushed my attack on through.
The Hag matched me with equal or possibly even greater speed slashing with her deadly claws. But the more she swiped at me the less she was using that entropic magic that had almost ended me.
The Hag turned her back on Virgil as I distracted her just long enough to allow the Kleptomancer to reach David. He placed his hand on the roots tying the golem down and grunted in a force of will.
The roots shriveled and died, releasing David from what must have been similar torture.
I drew on my Wyld Power and tried to impale the Woman in White, but she batted my spear away. Dammit!
She swiped a claw at me and I barely dodged. The claw tore through the concrete, leaving deep furrows. I would hate to think what that would have done to my organs.
She moved to swipe at me again keeping me off balance. I mustered all my speed to stay one step ahead of her.
Then David woke up.
Part 05: David Clay
I do not recall the fight with Jack and Carlos. I would like to think that I acquitted myself well in our battle and ripped off someone’s arm before taking a Warden’s Sword to my gut, which would likely unravel the enchantments that created me.
Instead, I fell to the ground and found myself in the ritual space. Virgil stood in front of me. He had freed me.
Fergus was fighting a Hag. The Woman in White. She somehow survived and sought her vengence.
It made sense now. It was an illusion. I had almost broken out of it, but I couldn’t. The Hag had been too powerful.
But I was awake now.
The Hag’s combat with Fergus drew screams from Jack who was still tied up. The swipes from sharp claws also drove Virgil to the other side of the room. With the current positioning, he would be unable to free Jack as he had done me.
So, I reached out for the Hag’s foot.
I tried to pull her off balance, but she resisted with similar strength to my own.
It was just the opening that Virgil needed to pull out a knife he had in his pocket and slash at her. I thought it was not the wisest course, but then the knife touched the Hag’s hand.
Where the knife’s steel blade touched flesh, it not only cut but burst it into flames.
“Iron! Use Iron!” Virgil shouted and tried for another slash.
I looked at my surroundings. We were in a storage shed. Shelves of supplies. Garden tools.
I stood up and picked up a sledgehammer with a steel head. That finally gave the Hag pause.
“Hammer time..” I said and swung at her.
I smashed the ground next to the Hag just as Fergus tried to jump off the wall and stab her from above.
I swung at her again and shattered the concrete floor.
I swung a third time and the Hag blurred out of the way. She was too fast. But all I had to do was hit once…
Part 06: Virgil Gugasian
My initial plan had been to free the toughest fighters that the Hag had trapped. I had gone for Fergus first because he was the fastest. I went for David because he was the strongest. Fast and strong in an enclosed space was safer than an angry wizard.
I had thought that Jack would be strong enough to overpower the Hag’s mindfucking. But, then I got a good look at him and saw he was worse for wear. She had beaten him hard. He has had a lot on his plate lately with Abby’s illness. The hag must have caught him by surprise and overpowered him before he realized he was under attack.
As Fergus went toe-to-toe with the Hag, I had to dodge out of the way. Unfortunately, that put the Hag between me and my oldest friend. That meant I had to attack.
I couldn’t remember if Hags were faeries. I was sure they were. That meant I had two last cards to play.
Unfortunately, most of my weapons were in my car outside. David’s attempts to destroy the stone altar had destroyed my Thunderball, so I was left with only one last weapon on my person.
Robert Redford of all people once maintained that most of the time, all you need was three things: a pocket knife, a stick of gum, and a smile. A smile and gum won’t stop a Hag most of the time.
Besides my Thunderball, the only other weapon I always carried was a pocket knife. Nothing fancy, just one like the special forces use or so the advertisements say. Cheap, versatile, utterly useful, sharp, fits into a pocket, etc.
And its blade was made of high carbon steel.
I pulled my knife and slashed at the Hag, this Woman in White as Fergus called her. The Hag was faster, but I did clip her. The iron of the blade was like magnesium hitting water. Fwoosh!
That gave her pause. I was not the best knife fighter and I was basically fighting evil Supergirl, but I had a shard of Kryptonite.
“Iron! Use Iron!” I shouted and tried slashing at her again. She danced out of the way with impossible speed.
Then she turned to me, her biggest threat, and charged at me. It was only by my routine checking of my environment that I realized her game. She was trying to drive me into the vines to trap me like the others.
I didn’t fall for it.
I took a well-timed step to the side and forced the unstoppable force to faceplant into her own vines.
It was at about that time that David picked up a sledgehammer and readied it.
“Hammer time…” The Golem said.
With the Hag momentarily distracted, I decided to risk it and try some magic. With the magic I had absorbed from the environment, the power of the spell I had blocked and copied, and the ambient power of the space, I had enough gas to try a simple spell with some horsepower.
I reached out my hand and pointed at the Hag. I poured out power and shouted, “Magnos!”
A bead of power created a magnetic black hole under the Hag’s chin. It drew in all of the loose ferrous metal in the room towards the Hag.
But, she countered with a shield spell of her own, a shield of frozen energy and ice that stopped the iron from burning her.
Part 07: Fergus Mac Cormaic
The vision of Anna tearing up the wedding dress stuck with me like a hole in my heart. Anger was the only thing that kept me going.
Hags are strong, fast, and full of magic. But as a fighting Irishman on his wedding day, I was up to the challenge.
When David got on his feet with a sledgehammer and caused the Hag to turn her head, I decided to go tricky.
I saw some scaffolding on the edge of shack and scrambled up above the Hag’s head.
But my boot must have hit a part of the scaffolding, because as soon as I climbed, the Hag turned towards me.
I wanted to stay in her blindspot, so I ran along the wall as fast I could. The Hag countered by wheeling around just as fast as I was running. To everyone else, it was probably one blur along the wall and a blur in the center of the room. To me, it was like the Flash trying to run around Superman or something.
Virgil made a swipe at the Hag and caught her attention. Her back turned to me.
I took my chance and leapt from the wall. Death from above.
With my Wyld-powered speed I stabbed down and shattered the concrete floor. But there was no blood.
The Woman in White had dodged. She was as fast as me. Shit.
Virgil raised a hand and shouted some kind of magic word and the iron in the room flew at the Hag. She blocked with some kind of cold magic shield.
I think it was Jack’s scream that matched the Hag’s own that got my head straight for a millisecond.
My speed wasn’t working. Virgil’s tricks weren’t working. David’s strength was being matched.
We needed all hands on deck.
I ran to Jack, who was bound in the hag’s vines. I pulled the vines away and smacked him in the face.
“We’re in the shit, man.” I shouted, “Wake up!”
Jack didn’t respond.
I looked around for anything I could use. I settled on picking up a garden hose and turned on the faucet.
Running water would counter the magic. It would wash the spell away.
But, no water came out. I looked down and saw that some shelving next to me had fallen onto the hose.
I heard laughter…and realized what was going on.
Tad had been fucking with me this whole time during the fight. It was how I had missed my marks and been off the whole fuck.
“Goddammit Tad, you are dead!” I screamed. Tad’s giggling infuriated me.
I was silenced by another scream from the Hag and Jack.
Part 08: David Clay
It turns out that a Hag is quite formidable.
Fergus tried an attack from above and missed. She matched him for speed. Virgil tried some magic and was countered.
That left my strength to test against hers.
When the Hag’s shield of frost went down, I saw my moment and took it.
I gripped the sledgehammer and took a swing at the Hag.
The Hag blurred out of the way, but was clearly wary of the iron.
She pointed a finger at me. The Hag and Jack screamed in unison as ugly black energy flew towards me.
When the energy hit me, the tide turned.
The whole morning I had been holding back because of the damage the Patient One had done to me. If I tapped into my power, I would not be able to control myself.
But that was before our trip to the Otherworldly Sea. Before its strange nature had rejuvenated me somehow. The place had made me whole again in a way that the efforts of my friends had fallen short. I had been healed.
So, when the energy hit me, I drew on my power.
My body of clay reshaped and blocked the power.
I showed the Hag my true face.
I looked down on the Hag with focused righteous anger.
And I still had a sledgehammer…
Part 09: Virgil Gugasian
I had been told about David’s nature. When I had shaken his hand for the first time, I could feel the strange magical nature of the living clay that was his body. I knew that the mild-mannered attorney who represented me was a more modern version of a story going back centuries.
Golems were built to be guardians of people. But they were also heralds of destruction.
I had read up some and found that Golems were notoriously hard to make let alone control. David’s ability to take a human form combined with his intelligence and ability to feel emotions meant he was a masterpiece of magical artifice.
It is one thing to be told a story like that and another to actually see it several feet next to you.
When my magnet spell failed to penetrate the Hag’s shield, David ran at her.
The Hag wheeled around and threw a death bolt at David. The power impacted and I had thought was going to disintegrate him.
Instead, it knocked David’s glasses off his face and David’s suit perished as his body changed.
David grew about two feet into a shape more akin to the Incredible Hulk or Ben Grimm. He grew bigger than the Hag into a block of clay that only vaguely resembled a human shape. The sledgehammer he carried now looked like some kind of kid’s toy in his bulky hand.
David Clay the Golem looked down at the Hag with a look of pissed off I associate with violent people before a homicidal beatdown.
The Hag stopped blurring. I think she was rethinking her life choices.
David moved in on her and the two began to grapple. She was fast, but David was stronger.
That was the perfect opportunity for me to free our last man.
I ran past Fergus, who had been trying to free Jack. He had tried running water, but the laughter and Fergus’ swearing tole me Tad had disabled it.
I placed a hand on Jack and forced my countermagic into the vines, making them wither. I caught Jack as he fell and kept him on his feet.
Jack opened his eyes. Before I could tell him what was going on, he rasped out a single word to me.
Jack is a completely different animal when it comes to mortal magic. So, I took a step to the side and watched a Warden of the White Council show me how combat magic was done.
He pulled out of his pocket what looked like a magnifying glass or a camera lens etched with sigils. He raised it up and pointed it at the Hag, who had just started grappling with David.
Jack rasped out a magic phrase I had heard him use before, “Spiritus Agon!”
Power gathered and a red shaft of blinding light blasted out towards the Hag. Jack’s infamous Battleship Death Laser was even scarier than the rumors said.
The blast took the Hag off her feet and finally the Hag screeched instead of Jack. She flew through the shack’s wall and caught fire.
She landed in a heap. She was clearly still alive but was now very very badly burned.
Fergus ran over to her to finish the job. I had planned to follow with my knife and even let David have a turn with the sledge just to make sure she stayed down.
Then fucking Tad the Trickster appeared, danced a jig, and sent up fireworks in front of us.
We protected ourselves from the fireworks and only realized it was a glamour a moment too late. The trickster ran to the Hag and the two of them disappeared.
We waited a moment to see if there were any other threats. Our questions were answered by Karen the Bridesmaid when she knocked on the door behind us.
“Did someone see that light? The photographer is on his way.” Karen shouted.
I got my senses back, ran to the door, and threw out the first bullshit I could think of.
“It’s okay. We just blew a fuse!”
That seemed to placate Karen and she walked away. It was about then that we all came down from high alert and came back to reality.
I looked over and saw that the Fiona and Nora were in the corner. They had been bound by vines, but were still okay.
The shack was fucked. But we were alive.
Since I was the most presentable, I took it upon myself to get David his backup suit from his car. Hulking out had shredded his tux, so he cowered under a tarp naked when he morphed back into a human shape.
Fergus looked drained. Color was absent from his face.
When I got back with the suit, Fergus and Jack were embracing in a cry they couldn’t hold back. They stayed that way for a good long while.
I have no idea what the Hag made them see, but it was not my place to ever ask. Let them cry.
Karen checked on us again while the two of them were still crying. David managed to deflect any suspicion with a single word.
Jack looked like hell and the screaming the Hag had made him do had blown his voice out. I gave him some first aid and we made our way to Vashon’s Natural Medicine Clinic down the road.
Gemtriax was involved in the clinic, so she let us in and used some magical healing on us. Not a, ” snap-your fingers and grow back a limb” type stuff, just some soothing that got Jack and especially Fergus back into the right headspace for the wedding.
For the girls, Gemtriax took care of them with more conventional medicine courtesy of the clinic’s mundane Urgent Care.
There was a single spark from the band and an incident with punch, but otherwise, the Wedding continued unmolested by faeries.
Part 10: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I went into the Clinic with a broken heart that had a hole in it. I couldn’t shake the feelings the Hag had given me.
Gemtriax led me in some meditation and gave me something. I am not sure what she gave me, but after all she did for me I felt like I was on the best drugs ever.
The good stuff they give you in hospitals with a prescription. It’s not that it took away the trauma I had just gone through or the pain that it caused. It just made me forget I had any. FOr a while anyway.
Gemma said that it would get me through the Wedding.
When she told me that, my head went back to the place it was before. Back to the weightless feeling.
I was getting married to the love of my life…
I’ll never forget the ceremony. The vows, the kiss. The music. The look of my new wife in the dress I made. My family applauding the new couple.
It was a small, intimate ceremony just like we wanted.
Then came the party.
The only trick Tad had left to play was the punchbowl. He had hexed it to make whoever drank it completely intoxicated after one sip. The first people to drink were my new father-in-law Raymond Avila and Anthony.
The two of them got pissdrunk in moments and started slurring their words.
Virgil pulled out his phone and had discretely put it into a front pocket. Recording for blackmail material I guess. Anna walked right up to me, put a hand over the camera and just shook her head.
“Right.” Virgil said and turned off his phone.
“Thank you.” Anna replied.
Virgil then took it upon himself to get the tainted punch out of there and get it replaced.
Bouquet toss went to someone. Garter went to someone.
Dinner was great. Vegetarian options galore.
Then came time for speeches.
Among the speeches was Virgil, who put on his Wyatt persona for the evening.
He made a small speech.
“I just got back into town and Fergus here quickly became a good friend. We have helped each other build our new businesses and now he has the dubious honor of being my newest cousin…”
Virgil rambled on for a while to play to the crowd. He got a few laughs and a few death stares.
Then, he pulled out a pair of wine bottles.
“I have a gift for my new cousin as my way of saying thank you. The first bottle is for tonight. The second you should save for a very, very special occasion.”
I looked at the bottles.
The first was a vintage I had wanted for the wedding, but the catering couldn’t get in time. That was a kind gesture.
The second was an old weathered bottle with a lead stopper and a stylized label. I had trouble reading it at first but I made out, “Bordeaux 1942”. I have no idea where he got something like that, but…I didn’t ask.
“You shouldn’t have.” I said.
“I had to.” Virgil said.
The party ended and my wife I drove together for our honeymoon.