Book 09: Chapter 01

Target: Silver Falls

BOOK: 09
GM: Justin
Transcribed by: Bradford
Date: March 27, 2022
In Game date: August 2012
Episode: 44 (119)

Part 01: Jack Youngblood

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_001.pngMy daughter. I had found my daughter.

Or rather, a Djinn called The Builder had found my daughter at my command.

I had wished for the Djinn to give me her current location to the best of his abilities with a map of the specific area she is known to be. He also had to indicate if she was alive or dead at the time, he acquired the information.

So about a week after the Great Seattle Flood, I was sitting at home, entertaining Virgil in my study room, and found a piece of paper. It could only have been left by the Djinn.

It was a hand-drawn map of the state of Washington. It was intricate detailed and shaded in ink of some kind, but with an impossible level of shading and texture. Ink is a type of water, so no surprise there.

The map indicated a specific point south of Spokane, on the East side of the state. A town called Silver Falls next to a place called Silver Lake. The map included a drawing of the town with a building circled and a timestamp. The timestamp was from minutes ago. Under a magnifying glass the building was larger than the nearby houses, and half surrounded by what looked like athletic fields and a bit of a parking lot.

At the bottom of the map was a simple script that read, “Confirmed Alive. Good hunting, Wizard.”

The obnoxious semi-omnipotent prick had been good to his word.

Thank God.

Virgil tapped me on the shoulder. I didn’t need to tell him what was going on.

“I need to do some recon.” I said, “Talk to some spirits.”

“I’ll get your bike ready.” Virgil said and left without another word.

I did a quick magical ritual. I used my power to call to the spirits, asking them for any information they could about the area.

All I heard back were wails of fear. The spirits refused to go there.

“It is a bad place, stay away!“ They said.

“The place smells of char and has the howls of hellhounds.” They said.

Fuck that.

Next thing I knew, I was on my Indian Motorcycle with Virgil in my sidecar. His dark clothes didn’t mesh with my sister’s Hello Kitty Motorcycle Helmet, but he clearly was beyond caring. He was ride or die with me.

I was so high-strung, I dared not use my phone. I think the cell towers would have caught fire if that is even possible.

I needed to get everyone I could together. Fergus, David, and even that damned cat. Research as much as we could and then go to Silver Falls.

I broke every traffic law driving around that day, telling people in person. We almost got pulled over, but no cop dared to stop me. I think even they knew the sign of someone on a mission.

I didn’t care.

I had found my daughter. And she was coming home.

Part 02: Kerouac

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_002.png“Kerouac, stop kneading my leg.” Fergus complained.

“I wasn’t doing it.” I replied. I was being serious.

I was in the back of Fergus’ car in a comfortable harness. My feline form preferred this mode of transit, and it was oh so adorable. A Pooka’s life for me.

“Then what was that feeling I just had?” Fergus asked.

I thought a moment, “Perhaps it was mortal magic. The Warden trying to contact you.”

“He can wait. The house hunt in on.”

I purred.

Fergus and his new wife Anna had spent the past week house hunting. I don’t know how you can hunt a house, since they can’t exactly fight back, but I was up for the challenge anyway. Recent events had forced me to approach Fergus and become more directly involved in the guardian’s day-to-day life.

The inference of The Builder over the past season was to Fergus’ benefit. The Djinn had expertly manipulated William West and his associates into hiring Fergus. The manipulation was so complete that Fergus’ business had already evolved into a full-blown operation. I have to respect that level of meticulousness from a fellow trickster.

But the Djinn’s labor had been completed. Any further success or failure was out of the Genie’s hands and in the hands of Fergus, his friends, and me.

There was a young one to think of now. Two lives now bound together by marriage along with a third with true love.

So many possibilities.

But everyone needs a home.

Despite the Summer Court’s interest being in Vashon Island, where the commune lay, Fergus decided he wanted to find a home that was closer to his workshop. He wanted it on Capitol Hill.

As long as they allow cats, it was acceptable.

Fergus drove around to various houses waiting for us to strike. We found a few that Fergus liked, until I let him know of any deception on the previous owners’ part. There was always deception on the part of merchants. But some like the painting of walls and shelving is acceptable, while trying to cover up the evidence of a bed bug infestation or a haunting is not.

Until Fergus found his home, I would stand with him. And then I would get scratches…

Part 03: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_003.png“This is great, I love it!” My new wife Anna said to the Realtor for the twelfth time that day. We had been all over Capitol Hill hunting for a new house. My newfound success in business might have been the result of a wish-granting Genie, but I might as well go with it.

My contract with William West didn’t give me all the money in the world, but it did give me a chance to get a home I could call my own.

We wanted Cap Hill for its closeness to my new workshop as well as for the commute and good schools. I also wanted a place close to wyld place like a park or a forest for obvious reasons.

After a few hours, we ended up at a house for sale near Madrona Park. It had everything we wanted.

I looked over to the Realtor, a little lady in a pantsuit, and could see her counting her commission in her head already.

“This place just got remodeled,” The realtor said, “This property will increase in value in the next few years. It is a steal! ”

I decided to play along in hopes of staying awake after driving around all day.

“A steal is great, but is it getting away with murder?” I asked.

The response I got was from behind me, “No bodies in that home. It is safe from unwanted homicides.”

The realtor looked around for who responded in a posh voice, only to find the fuzzbarge of a cat I had been hauling around with me.

Kerouac was not a cat, but a Pooka, a trickster from the Summer Court of Faerie. Kerouac could take the form of any other small animal, or even the shape of a child if had the mind to, but today he favored a cat resembling a Maine Coon. He was thirty pounds of fur hiding a mind full of glamours.

But all the Realtor saw was a cat. Kerouac meowed in response.

I could see the realtor’s migraine starting again. Kerouac had done that a least a dozen times that day. It was funny the first few times…then he got going.

Luckily for us, Kerouac was trying to be helpful. He had already identified several properties for us that we hiding things from even the Realtor.

After thinking about it for a moment, I decided to take the initiative.

“We are going to consider this one, but I need to talk to my wife.”

“Of course.” The realtor went off on her own. I think to find some Tylenol, even while Kerouac started encircling her legs in a little cat dance.

Looked to the house and then to Anna.

“I think this might be the one.” Anna said, “It has everything we need.”

“It is a bit pricey though,” I said. The Djinn’s granted wish had given me an initially successful business, but it wasn’t unlimited and had run its course. He had alluded that he had opened that door, but from here on, it was up to me to keep it open.

Buying a house was on the bucket list, but money was still tight. I didn’t want to think about what would happen if my business failed, but I had to consider the possibility.

“I might have to use the long-term fund.” I said.

I was referring to the laundered cash we had procured from Trevor Radcliffe’s personal safe. It was more than enough for the down payment for a house and a mortgage, but it was also enough to put our little girl through four years of college at a good university.

Anna bit her lip and offered an alternative she knew I wouldn’t like, “I could also ask my Dad.”

“I don’t think…”

“He’d be happy to do it. And he’d own it outright.”

Raymond Avila had enough scratch to buy the house and mortgage it back to me. It would mean I was just paying back my father-in-law, but it would also mean owning one to Raymond Avila.

“I’ll think about it.” I said.

My train of thought was then interrupted by the distinctive sound of a hundred-year-old motorcycle racing down the street to us and stopping on the curb.

Jack Youngblood’s old Indian Motorcycle wasn’t the loudest vehicle in the Seattle area. But it was definitely one of the most distinctive sounding. He had his sidecar on, which was currently occupied by a tired-looking Virgil Gugasian in Caroline’s pink Hello Kitty helmet.

Anna immediately did a one-eighty from her previous mood and glared daggers into my soul, “You said you would give me a day!”

I looked over to my friends to do some damage control.

Before I could even start, Jack turned off his motorcycle and looked to me apologetically before looking Anna in the eye.

“I am sorry, Anna. I don’t mean to interrupt. But I found my daughter. I know where she is.” Jack said.

Virgil nodded in agreement. “The game is afoot!”

Almost immediately, Anna wheeled me around with tears in her eyes. She knew what this meant.

“Go save her.” My wife said, “I’ll take care of this.”

My friends had saved us more than once. Time to return the favor.

Part 04: Virgil Gugasian

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_004.pngI got back from the largest amount of legwork I have done in half a decade and found I had missed the score of a lifetime. Fucking Wish granting Genie was in town, and I missed it.

But, now my friend had a lead on his daughter.

Although he stopped his bike only a few blocks from his house to talk to Fergus, I told Jack that I wanted to walk back to his house after a few weeks in various parts of the Nevernever among other places.

The walk back was as much to get air as much as it was to figure out gravity again.

“Euclidian Physics…how I have missed you.” I said to the universe as I walked back. Eventually, I went from walking to a light jog and returned to Chez Youngblood. It took us less than fifteen to get our allies together inside of a Magic Circle in the basement of Jack’s house.

Our war council consisted of Jack, myself, Fergus, and David Clay. And, that damn pooka, Kerouac. So it was just the five of us.

Jack and I had been making calls and riding around all morning as soon as we got the location of Jack’s daughter. We talked to everyone we could think of to research and get information on the location.

Any dimension lag I had been feeling went away when I saw Jack’s face. He had an expression I associated with the kind of ride-or-die people I normally don’t associate with. But this was about family. This was different.

“You all know the risks. I can’t ask you to take them.” Jack said.

I think he started a Saint Crispin’s Day speech for us, but Jack was never the best orator.

“We are going to be facing the forces of a fallen angel. If you want to walk away, I understand.”

I put a hand on Jack’s shoulder.

“I got a shotgun in my trunk.” I said, “I was in from the moment you said you had a daughter.”

That set the tone as everyone agreed to help. I don’t like guns, but for Jack’s kidnapped kid I’m breaking rules.

David was embroiled in court obligations of some kind, so the most he could do for us was research. His research consisted of a file folder filled to the brim with information. The golem plopped the meaty file on the table before us.

“I checked the county records on this place.” David said, “They’ve kept some details out of the public, but Silver Falls seems to be a private, gated community.”

Jack gathered himself and took us through what he knew.

“My daughter is being held in Silver Falls, Washington.”

Kerouac perched over the map and put his paws on his hips.

“Where is this Silver Falls?” The Pooka asked.

“Just outside Spokane. Near Silver Lake.” David confirmed.

Kerouac cringed and sneered like a cat, “That armpit? Fuck that!”

David looked over his notes and continued with his research.

“Founded in 1913. A planned community owned by N. A. Enterprises, LTD. “

“A front?” I asked.

“A holding company that owns various real estate properties.” David confirmed, “It has a a rather large share in a large defense company, Viridian Dynamics, which has a major plant nearby.”

“I’ve heard of Virdian, “I interjected, “They make Rockets, missiles, and RPGs that are man-portable. Missiles sold to Raytheon. Electronics sold to Lockheed. That kind of thing.”

“They also gave money to a local school for the deaf. Silver Falls has a local ASL immersion program because of the contributions.”

Jack considered this, “It might mean that they have those Tongueless cultists on-site. Fanatics.”

“That would be a fair assessment.” David said.

“Are you familiar with the area, Fergus. Virge?” Jack asked, “I’ve never been to that part of the state.”

Fergus and I shook our heads, “Same. Too small of a pond. Spokane has lots of small fish with no real big ones. I wouldn’t go there except for a cheap meth house or if I wanted to turn to religion.”

One member of my old crew was from Spokane. He insisted on never going back even to go to ground.

“What else do we know?” I asked, “Isn’t it near the Spokane Casino? Maybe Craig knows somebody?”

“I asked Craig about it and he doesn’t know any of the tribes there. He doesn’t like casino people. Closest he can come is getting a safe house address in the Colville Reservation”

Jack looked to Kerouac and Fergus, “What do the faeries know?”

Fergus shrugged as Kerouac burred out a feline noise of frustration, “The little folk are afraid of that place. My sources of information have been exhausted.”

“Damn. We need more information on this place.” I said and looked over to our expert.

Abigail Youngblood, Jack’s wife, was off to the side resting in a wheelchair until we needed her. It was damned eery seeing her walking around with a full head of hair after she had lost it all to chemo. Dr. Wotenson wanted her in the hospital for more observation, but Abby insisted on being here to give us information.

Jack gently nudged Abby awake and wheeled her over to the table. I had heard she practically danced out of bed when the cancer went away, but today she looked like she needed a forty-year nap. But we needed her here.

Abby was also the former host to a Knight of the Blackened Denarius, a fallen angel who had taken up shelter inside of a silver coin. Regardless of how spooky or questionable the backstory of that organization was, the Denarians were the kind of supernatural heavyweights you are not allowed to underestimate.

“Take your time, Abby.” Jack said as he took her hand.

Abby held her husband’s hand and insisted on standing up. She looked at the map and considered it.

“This is a Denarian Sanctuary Camp.” Abby said with the confidence of someone ten times older, “One of Azael’s old safehouses.”

Fergus made what looked like a guess. “Cultists?”

“Yes, as well as assassins, and people willing to associate with them for safety. Them, their families, a few convenient patsies. The deepest of camouflage. Just an innocent seeming community in the middle of nowhere. A home for the faithful and various potentials.”

I nodded at this and put on my evil hat for a moment, “On paper, it’s just a gated community. In reality, it is a space of confederates hiding a training ground of killers.”

Abby nodded, “And the local gun nuts give them plenty of cover too.”

Fergus groaned. “Mortal cultists are a problem. We can’t just plow our way through then. Especially with your kid in the crossfire.”

Jack looked at the area with calculating eyes, “Magic?”

“Wards, yes.” Abby confirmed, “Put down by thirteen full practitioner Denarians including Azael. The entire grounds desancitified and warded to darkness. The safehouse itself is bound to all the Denarians.”


“The aforementioned cultists will be armed along with demons and magical guardians at their call.” Abby said and strained, “But that was a while ago. I don’t know what else is there. I have never been there myself. ”

Abby sat back in her wheelchair to catch her breath.

I sighed as my brain finally got back into gear.

“Your take, Virgil?” Jack asked, “You’re the security guy.”

I shook my head, “With multiple Denarians setting this place up, we must assume worst case. Any security thing you think they might have, they probably do. As soon as they know something is up, guns will blaze. Backup is always a block or less away. Anyone and everyone could be a confederate with a machinegun in their pocket. Any plans going forward will depend on first-hand recon. But at the least, assume that after we step through those front gates, their security can see and hear everything that you are doing down to every word you speak.”

“That’s just paranoid.” Jack said.

“Stakes like this, I’ll go with paranoia.”

“Sounds like we have to sneak our way in.” Fergus said.

I decided to go traditional, “Regardless of guards, wards, ancient curses, demon dogs or whatever, the most likely way for us to get in and out of a place like this is for a Denarian to walk us through the front door. I say we ask Tenebriel for help.”

Abby perked up a bit and coughed. Tenebriel was the only other Denarian we knew and was one of the most dangerous people in our orbits.

“She does have a grudge against Azael,” Abby confirmed, “She might be willing to help.”

Jack put his foot down and stood tall, “We can’t trust her. I appreciate the idea, but only as a last resort.”

I finished the last of my drink and put my hands together.

“It’s settled then. We gotta go for a ride.”

Part 05: Jack Youngblood

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_005.pngI took Abigail back to the hospital and got Leif back to work checking her out. I wanted Abby to get better, so she was going to stay in the hospital to get more tests and fluids into her.

We met with Leif in an exam room he had set up with older medical equipment. The kind I was less likely to destroy from my wizardly aversion to technology.

Abby sat on an exam table as Leif looked through her chart. The doctor was more than just a doctor, as a scion of Odin he put other docs to shame. Even the Dr McDreamies of modern soaps and doctor shows looked like Leif’s ugly stunt double.

“The good news is that she has no sign of cancer.” Leif said in his professional doctor voice, “The cancer is technically in remission, and I can’t find any more tumors. Looks like your blue friend got it all biologically speaking.”

“That’s good news.” I said.

“She won’t be running any marathons, and I want to keep her under observation for a while.”

“Whatever it takes, Leif.” Abby said, “Did you tell him about the magic?”

“What magic?” I asked, gaining a sense of dread.

Leif looked at me and searched for the best words to use, “The cancer is definitely gone for now. But as a test, I had Abby use a little magic and she did not respond well.”

Abby curled up a bit and looked inside herself, “I tried to gather power for a tracking spell and it gave me a full body cramp.”

“I am reading it as an auto-immune disease, but otherwise I would say she is…allergic to her magic somehow.”

I walked up to Abby and held out my hand, “Let me try something. Leif.”

Leif leaned over as a I held palm up and gathered energy. A simple light spell from spirit magic. It started as bright as a bic lighter and didn’t seem to affect Abby.

Then, I cranked it up to a ball of light the size of a baseball. Still no effect on her.

I dismissed the spell and looked to Abby.

“I didn’t feel anything.” She said, “It looks like I can’t use magic anymore.”

I sighed. Abby was gifted. In many ways more gifted than me with power.

But after having lost my own magic before, I humbled myself to my wife.

“We’ll get through it together.” I said, “Can I get anything for you? A bite?”

Abby looked at me with desperation, “A milkshake. I want a milkshake.”

I went down to Molly Moon’s and got two of the biggest milkshakes I could get for each of us. The best damn ones in town. Anything for my love.

We sat together and drank the shakes. The cold went down the gullet until eventually we ended up holding each other. We were going to have our daughter back, and even in a hospital bed, seeing Abby hungry and eating gave me hope, finally a future for our family.

Abby pulled me in tighter and we cried into each other’s shoulders.

“Find our little girl.” She demanded.

“I will.”

Part 06: Kerouac

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_006.png“Ah, Virgil. It has been some time.” I said to the thief in the driver’s seat.

“Likewise” He replied.

With a Four and a half-hour drive to Silver Lake upon us, I had decided to catch up with my old comrade. I jumped into his car; a motor carriage that was meant to look as boring as possible. Looking as boring as possible was often the best camouflage.

I sat on the passenger’s seat with glee as countless forests and pastoral expanses whipped past us. I might have purred a bit.

“This feels just like Amsterdam.” I said.

“I hope not.” Virgil said, “Either way, we’ll need you for distractions.”

Virgil Gugasian nee Wyatt Avila, was an accomplished thief and con artist. Even more so after he discovered his magic and the presence of the supernatural. When he started devouring information last year, the Summer Court sent me to try to recruit him. Perhaps get him indebted to us.

Instead, I found myself allied with him. He brought me onto his “Crew” of fellow thieves from time to time for the various heists and confidence games they played on unsuspecting nonhumans.

My contribution had been the use of my glamours to create illusionary distractions for the crew to get away or prevent others from seeing our work being done.

“I am always happy for a distraction.” I said, “Until you can figure out glamours that is.”

Virgil seethed in frustration as he drove, unwilling to look away from the road.

“You know for a fact I still cannot do glamours.” Virgil said.

Despite being a confidence artist with the gift of gab, poor Virgil had no talent with creating actual illusions. Even with his ability to take someone else’s magic for his own for a time, Virgil’s illusions reminded me of… Well, let’s say I’ve seen better shadow puppets.

“You’re overthinking it; you know.” I replied with the same explanation I always gave, “You have to accept that someone will believe it.”

“But glamours are so flimsy.”

I immediately conjured the visage of Virgil’s own father sitting next to him and, “Flimsy is your excuses for not going to Harvard like I wanted.”

Virgil didn’t jump like I wanted. But a good thing on the freeway.

“I told you, none of that in the car.” Virgil said.

I changed back to my usual form and sat.

“Fine.” I said, “You’re no fun.”

Virgil reached out a hand and gave me scritches. Oh…the scritches. So good.

“If you do that in the car, you won’t get these.”


“Think you can fool some Denarian Cultists?” Virgil asked.

“I like a challenge.”

“But are you going to save my friend’s kid? Or are we going to have to have negotiations?”

The mention of the Youngblood child made something stir in me. The part of me that remembered when I was a boy back in Ireland. The part that remembered the love of family, true family.

“The child will be rescued,” I said, “Or the town will be raised.”

I keep my promises.

Part 07: Fergus Mac Cormaic

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_007.pngWhen we arrived in the outskirts of Silver Lake, Kerouac and I decided to go into the woods and do some scouting. The Pooka turned himself into a mouse and plopped himself inside my front pocket.

“Once we get there, the rest is up to you, Kero” I said to the mouse.

Kerouac’s ability to shapeshift into small animals made him perfect for recon. Even more so with his uberglamours that only the true fae are capable of. I could make myself invisible and even conjure the image of a fake person.

Kerouac could conjure an entire room of people you could have a conversation with. With hugs and kisses that felt real. It was eerie to think about let alone see someone do.

The plan as a result was simple: go to the edge of the lake and look across for ways in. Send Kero in as a small animal and let him look around for Jack’s kid.

For this recon, I put up a veil to make me invisible. Kero was nice enough to reinforce it with his own. Together, we had enough glamour to go unnoticed by even the local insects as I leapt through the forest silently from tree to tree.

I took the time to take in the nature around me, only to be disappointed and disturbed at the same time.

Silver Falls was the most boring suburbia I had ever seen. And that was on the outside.

There was a lake, green fields, and mom-and-pop stores. There were playgrounds and a library. Hiking trails and docks for boating. That was just outside the walls of the gated community that housed who knows how many cul-de-sacs of million-dollar houses.

But the place felt wrong.

There were wyld places around. Plenty of forests, but even those felt off. The patches of forests felt weaker than they should have been. The whole place smelled of pine, but also of smoke and ash like it was wildfire season. But there were no signs of fire for miles. I don’t didn’t even recall seeing a local fire station.

“This place feels fucked.” I whispered to the mouse.

“I agree,” Kero replied in a disturbingly human-sounding voice coming out of a mouse’s mouth, “This place has been defiled.”

I found a perch on the edge of the lake across from the compound and surrounded myself with Wyld power to keep me unseen.

I took out my sketch pad and started sketching everything and everyone I could see. Boathouses. Some security guards that looked normal. Some ducks that for all I know were demons in feathery guise.

But as I got closer, I could feel something. I had passed some kind of threshold. Not a true threshold like that on a house, but the edge of some kind of power.

“What are you picking up, Kero?” I asked the Pooka.

“A crackling sensation.” He replied as he crawled onto my shoulder.

“Must be the wards were heard about,” I said as I sketched a map to gauge where the barrier was as far as I could tell.

“You stay here.” Kero whispered, “I’ll check it out.”

Kero raised a paw and sent out power. A pro-level veil that put any of mine to shame.

We both then regretted that decision.

I immediately felt like I was being electrocuted and burned. Pure pain and hurt. It knocked me off my feet. It took my breath away. I was lucky I didn’t bleed from my nose, my eyes, and every other orifice.

My Wyld power managed to deflect some of the blast, but it still knocked me on my ass, and I smelled brimstone.

Kero stopped and looked at me. I looked back at him.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“The barrier didn’t like my glamour…” Kero said.

Lights came on across the lake. The timing was too perfect for it not to be related to the magic we just used.

“Shit!” I said.

I picked up Kero and ran back through the woods as quickly as we could.

As quickly as I ran, I saw flashlights of people looking for me. I outran the flashlights, but still their response time was unbelievable.

I got back to the others and forced them back into our cars. We drove away as fast as we could and didn’t look back.


“That place is locked down tight.” I said as I put an icepack on my forehead. We regrouped at Jack’s place with all the information we gathered laid out again.

“That is one hell of an antimagic barrier.” Jack confirmed.

“It did that to a veil,” Virgil said, “imagine what it would do to combat magic.”

“We have to know more, “Jack said, resigned as he looked at me, “Make the call.”

I walked out of Jack’s place and turned my cell back on. I went through my contacts and found the one I wanted. Since Tenebriel was a client, I had her info.

My call was met with an answering machine.

“This is Ray, leave a message.”

I left one and waited for a fallen angel to call me back.

Part 08: Jack Youngblood

DFA_ECR_Log_0901_008.pngA long day of driving to the other end of Washington and back had left us all amped up and exhausted. The level of magical protection on the Silver Falls sanctuary was unfathomable and we all knew it.

So we bit the bullet, put our tails between our legs, and called the only true expert we knew.

Anything for my daughter. I was out of caring for my own safety.

Tenebriel met us on my back porch. Virgil was propped up in the gazebo behind us after too many energy drinks. He was trying to stay awake, but had a shotgun hidden and ready. Between myself, Fergus, and Kerouac though, we had enough to take her down if she tried anything.

The Denarian was in her normal female business suit and driving her European car worth more than my neighbor’s house. We were all on edge, but we were also exhausted.

“I agree to guest rights under the Accords.” Tenebriel said and made a slight bow to me, her host.

“Granted.” I said, “Normally I don’t believe a word you say, but we need you.”

Tenebriel sat down at a chair I had laid out for her. We sat around the gazebo’s table with a map of the area.

“So, Azael has your daughter?” The denarian said.

“Yes. I want her back.”

“Azael is a toilet bug. I can help you.”

Her voice sounded of pure scorn, but I still didn’t trust her.

“Tell us anything you know and what it is going to cost us. I am not in the mood for games or banter.”

“Understandably so. ” Tenebriel said steeping her fingers, “My price is reasonable given the risks all of us will have to take for this extraction. I will give you what you need to get in and retrieve your child. I will keep it to the point.”

“Start with the barrier, “ Fergus said, “We cast a veil and it tried to burn me inside out.”

“The grounds of the compound are warded. Any magic that is not unholy, born of darkness or hellfire is not permitted inside the area.”

I gritted my teeth, “No spells or worse than that?”

“No magic at all. No spells cast. No focus objects or accumulated power can be used on the grounds. Any magic not properly attuned will set off alarms and create that backlash you encountered.”

“How do we get past that?” Virgil asked.

“You don’t. You will have to eschew your magical implements and ground yourself regularly.”

“That means no cards.” Virgil said.

“I’m a Wizard. Magic is in my blood." I said.

“You will have to take some measures to contain your power.” She said and looked to Kerouac, “Your faerie companion will be unable to change shapes or use glamours once you are on the grounds.”

“Swell…” Kero purred in anger.

“Could Virgil drain my magic? Maybe put it into an enchanted object?” I asked.

Tenebriel considered the plan, “Your ally’s Kleptomancy may suffice. Such an object could be made.”

“What kind of cover can you give us?” Virgil asked.

“Give me three weeks and I can give you cover identities within reason. The covers will allow you to get into and out of the compound unmolested.” She said.

“So what’s your price?” I asked.

Tenebriel leaned forward and steepled her fingers.

“Azael has a sword of power on the grounds. Bring that sword to me. It is better for I to have it than he.”

“The Sword of Wrath?” Virgil posited, more awake now. I don’t know how he knew about the Sword of Wraith, but at this point I wasn’t surprised.

“The same.”

“How do you know the sword is there?” I asked.

“Azael keeps a home there. The sword is never far from him, and I will ensure he is not in area when the time comes.”

“So we’ll have to fight Azael too?” I said, anger seething in my voice.

“No, I will ensure Azael is occupied. But he will leave the sword in the camp. You have my word on my own power that this will let you know when he is gone and unable to return quickly…if you swear to me on yours that you will obtain this weapon and freely give it to me. Lets just say that he is not going to trust That Sword to the TSA.”

Normally I would have taken time to think or consider my options. But this was for my daughter. My blood. If she had said I needed to take up one of those damn coins to get her back…I would.

I could see everyone else just slightly nod. They were in too.

“I swear on my power that I will retrieve this sword for you if you get us inside and help us get my daughter back to the best of your abilities. Any betrayal will void this.” I held out my hand for what felt like an hour.

“Agreed.” Tenebriel said and shook my hand. I could feel her magic through our touch and could sense the binding of a Spoken Promise on one’s power.

Tenebriel left us some contact information and left without much else of a word.

“I’ll take responsibility for the sword.” Virgil volunteered, “you get your daughter.”

“You think we can do this?” I asked my old friend.

“Three weeks will be have to be enough for a decent plan.”

As soon as she left, Kerouac, who normally was playful, sat on the table and spoke solemnly.

“I Kerouac, Pooka of the Summer Court pledge myself and all of my abilities to bring your child home safely.”

He repeated himself twice more, ending with, “Thrice I say and done.”

It was the biggest promise a faerie could give. If the trickster faerie was ride-or-die, we all were.

I stood over the table and addressed my war council.

“Everyone get some sleep. We take our time to plan and gather materials. We’re getting her back, or we’ll die trying.”



Book 09: Chapter 01

Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem Arandmoor