Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 10: Chapter 02
Preparations of Ice and Fire
Transcribed by: Bradford
Date: September 11, 2022
In Game date: September 25, 2012
Episode: 52 (126)
Part 01: Virgil Gugasian
I blinked at what Hrolf just told us.
“Jotunheim?” I said, “As in the land of the giants?”
“The same.” Hrolf said.
“Who are we going after?” Hiroko, our newest ally, asked.
“Eric Laufey.” I said, “You know him?”
Hiroko shook her head.
“A Used Car salesman from Ballard and a scion of Loki, the legendary trickster.” Hrolf confirmed.
“Why does he need to be retrieved?” Hiroko asked.
“Eric fled to Jotenheim. There have been rumblings of a rebellion and a coup ever since. Mayhap the blackthorn tree he carried is the cause of the strife.”
“A blackthorn tree?” Fergus said in panicked tones, “I wasn’t aware that the Blackthorn tree had that kind of power in Jotunheim.”
“It is a tainted tree.” Hrolf explained, “the demon, Sebassis, has long used it as a tool to spread his corruption and taint.“
Sebassis was infamous in the Seattle Area. A demon from Ireland that used spores, fungus, mold or something to take over people’s minds. Pure evil.
“I read the Wardens’ report on those.” I confirmed, “Bad news.”
“You need him alive?”
“Yes. We cannot have a son of Loki attaining a seat of power in Jotunheimen. It could tip off Ragnarök which would devastate all of the Nine Realms. Including Midgard. However, we cannot simply murder a scion of Loki. A child with the blood of Joutuns. That could cause…complication. Bring him back alive if at all possible.”
“If we find the tree…?”
“We’ll bring fire.” I said, “How the hell did he get his hands on a dangerous thing like that?”
Hrolf scoffed, “He smuggled it into the country after stealing it from a ship that had been overtaken by the tree’s power.”
The Conclave of Emerald had my number or, more specifically, a contract that was written in my blood for amnesty for my year-long crime wave. One of the provisions of the contract was that in the presence of a Conclave member in good standing, I could not speak a deliberate falsehood and had to tell the complete truth. It meant that for people like Hrolf, I couldn’t lie and had no filter.
So, when I whistled in surprise and thought of my response, my mouth immediately got a mind of its own.
“That’s damn impressive. If I was still in the game, I would have reached out to this Laufey to hit something big and expensive…”
I only realized what I was saying when I saw Hrolf staring at me.
“Sorry.” I said.
Monoc’s number three smiled a predator’s smile. “Good to know the contract is still working as it should.”
I regathered my wits and went to my notes. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Hidenori’s visit was about Laufey, so I had brought a pile of notes I had gathered. Because of his connection to Loki, I had gotten Warden reports I had procured from Jack’s files relating to all things Norse.
“What kind of opposition will we face in Jotunheim?” I asked, “A Venatori’s report said that the last party from the Conclave concluded quote, ‘We should have had rocket launchers for this kind of deal.’”
“Frost Giants,” Hrolf confirmed, “Several may have been corrupted by the tree.”
“Frost Giants?” Fergus asked with a bewildered look.
Frost Giants corrupted by the evil tree?
Fuck…we didn’t need a rocket launcher. We needed a tactical nuke.
Part 02: Hiroko Noshimuri
Even as we discussed the finer details, I didn’t know what to make of the situation. I had seen the billboards for Ballard Automotive across town, but never thought the sleazy guy on them could be involved with something as dangerous as a Blackthorn tree.
Going into Jotunheim would be a challenge for anyone’s abilities, but that was no reason to back down.
“My Muramasa blade should be able to help with the Frost Giants.” I confirmed, “The larger they are, the harder they fall.”
“A Muramasa?” Virgil asked.
I didn’t know what to make of the black-hole guy except that he was obviously intelligent and professional. I had no idea what his capabilities were, but he probably didn’t know mine either. Sounded like it was time to change that.
“I wield a sword made by the legendary swordsmith Muramasa.” I said, “I use it to protect the innocent from the shadows that devour them.”
Virgil nodded, “Muramasa is a premium good. I always wanted a Masamune, but it was out of my range.”
“Too expensive?” Masamune was another legendary smith, but their power was far different from Zanpakuto’s.
“Too much security.” Virgil said, “The people with Masamune swords tend to be proficient users of them. Not worth trying to take.”
“You’re a thief?” I asked.
Virgil scowled at me, rolling his eyes for what felt to me was practiced, “Con Artist. I used to deceive people and acquire rare goods from those who don’t deserve them.”
“If you steal, then you are a thief.”
“Was. Now I consult.”
I didn’t wholly believe him. The more time I spent with him, the more I thought I couldn’t believe a word he said.
As we finished our tea, I decided to engage with our client.
“Can you give us any aid, Mister Magneson?” I asked.
Hrolf nodded to his companion, a mister Singard Jarlsson, who produced a tiny runestone that seemed to glow with power.
“This runestone will give you Laufey’s direction in Jotunheim. Any of your number will be able to use it.”
David Clay, the unusual lawyer, picked up the stone.
“I shall hold onto this myself.” David said.
“I will also give you the means to get to Jotunheim and to return.” Hrolf said, “But, I can offer no further assistance. Asgard cannot be perceived to have any part in this breach into Jotunheimen.”
Something about what he said turned the wheels in my head. I looked to Hrolf and said, “You’re sending us to do this as deniable assets. To you we are expendable.”
Hrolf simply smiled that wicked smile and said, “You all have no direct ties to Monoc, except perhaps for Gugasian. But he has no official status with us.“
“Swell…” Virgil said.
All of a sudden, the tense conversation was interrupted by a new member. A six-year-old redheaded boy in overalls appeared out of nowhere at Fergus’ feet.
“Daddy? What’s going on?” The child said before starting to suck his thumb.
Even mortal ears could pick up the sound of Fergus’ eyes rolling.
“We are not doing this again.” Fergus said with anger in his voice, “Outta that form!”
The child then changed. One moment, a boy, the next the boy was replaced by a big furry cat.
“You need to learn to have more fun.” The cat said in a familiar sounding reedy voice.
I recognized the cat almost immediately.
“Why do you have a Pooka here?” I asked.
Kerouac was a Pooka, a faerie of the Summer Court. A trickster, a master of glamour and unusual in that he has an unusual fondness for mortal children that didn’t creep me out like the rest of faerie.
He had helped me on a previous case involving a monster at a local animal shelter.
“He’s a friend.” Fergus said.
“You trust a Pooka?” Hrolf asked, obviously appalled.
“He has proven useful.”
“It is fortunate I found you all.” Kerouac said, “I came to tell you about the Fomorians at the Warehouse.”
“Fomor? In Seattle?” I asked. Their war continued to be a growing danger to the mortal and supernatural worlds. Everyone in the paranormal community had been forced to choose sides when the Red Court fell, and the Fomor began to move in.
“We do not have time for the foolishness of pookas…” Hrolf said.
“We have time enough to hear him out.” I said, “Speak, Pooka. What about these Fomor?”
“Well, I was going for a morning stroll after…” Kerouac began.
He told us of his “nemesis” the dog catcher, the kidnapping of neighborhood animals and the resulting trail to Yakuza running a human trafficking ring out of the waterfront.
Apparently run by an old acquaintance, my “Neice” Michelle Shioma..
“We have to do something about this.” I said.
“One thing at a time.” Virgil said, “Extraction first. Then we will deal with that. If they are being trafficked, they won’t be going anywhere for a while.”
“The Con Artist is correct,” Hrolf added, “Time is off the essence in Jotunheim.”
I thought about the Yakuza’s MO. If the Jade Court was involved, they would need time to gather people.
“I had to say it, but I agree. The people there will keep.”
“I can ask some of the little folk to keep an eye on the docks for us.” Kerouac said.
“You pay them in gold?” I asked.
“Something much more valuable to the little folk.”
“Um, Okay, “ Virgil said, “Everybody stock up. We’re going to Jotunheim.”
Part 03: David Clay
I sat at the table with the assembled team, myself along with Virgil, Fergus, Kerouac and our newest ally Hiroko. While the others drank their tea periodically, I merely sipped to keep up appearances. A golem doesn’t need food or water.
As we went over the operation with Hrolf, I considered our past experiences with the demon Sabassis and its black tree. Precautions needed to be taken.
“We will require gas masks if we are to destroy the tree.” I said to the group.
“Why gas masks?” Hiroko asked, “What can this tree do?”
“It produces mold and spores corrupted by dark magic. Breathing it in will allow the demon to corrupt the mind and the body.”
It was quite the disturbing sight and could turn allies into enemies.
“Mold Zombies,” Fergus said, “Very dangerous”.
He always did have a way of boiling knowledge down.
It went unsaid, but I didn’t need a gas mask because I didn’t need to breathe.
“If you have faced this before,” Virgil said, “You should give us as much information as you have.”
We spent the next hour going over plans and preparations. A trip to a hardware store gave us the necessary gas masks we would need.
But I then turned my sights on a more pressing obstacle, the cold.
Jotunheim was colder than anywhere on earth, so we would need to prepare for it. So, I set out to REI to find cold weather gear for all of us.
Fortunately, outdoorsman stores stock such gear year-round in areas that hardly get snow, otherwise stocking up would have been a bigger task.
I purchased several parkas, ski gloves, and balaclavas. For myself, I needed to shop in the expensive parts of the store.
With the study and meditation, I had used to rebuild my human form, I could now maintain a human shape indefinitely unless I was needed for combat. Unfortunately, even the magic that created me was not immune to basic physics. I was still made of clay, and the clay becomes brittle and stiff in the cold.
I bought an oversized coat that had an actual heating system. The coat and similar accessories should keep my body warm, and the size would allow me to change forms while still being protected.
When one of the store clerks asked why I needed such a large coat, I attempted a bit of dry humor.
“I have a client who has put on a few pounds.” I said to the clerk, “He needs the room.”
The clerk just nodded. Bored.
Part 04: Kerouac
Hrolf is a curious creature. I couldn’t place exactly what he was. At first, I thought he an Einherjar, one of the warriors reborn to serve Odin like his companion, Singard Jarlson. But, his aura wasn’t right. He seemed to be too powerful to be a mere human and definitely more powerful than I.
But, that was to be expected of the number three at Monoc Securities, Odin’s front company.
Given how limited Virgil’s resources were, I felt the best use of my talents was to aid him in providing him with some magic. What made Virgil more powerful would make Fergus that much safer.
Virgil had a curious talent, what the mortals call Kelptomancy. He absorbed magical power and had the ability absorb and copy spells he had observed. I surmised that with enough training, he could abandon the talent to become a true practitioner, but for the time being it was the only power he possessed besides a sharp intellect and a silver tongue.
I went to my contacts and found the perfect one for our needs.
“You can get me some fire magic?” Virgil said as we drove down some nameless boulevard.
“Sally owes me a favor.” I replied with a smile.
We found a parking spot and walked to the appointed alley at the appointed time.
Virgil raised an eyebrow when he saw my contact, a lizard. Well, a lizard the size of an iguana with bright red scales and red-orange flame emerging in the same way sweat covered an athlete.
“Hello Sally, how are you doing?” I asked.
Sally’s chin pouch inflated, and her tail swayed tranquilly back and forth. A sign she was content.
“Sally…the Salamander?” Virgil asked.
“She is a fey of Summer. She will be a big help."
I talked with Sally, who seemed enthusiastic enough.
“I need you to spit some fire.” I asked her.
“I like burning things.” She said. Well, she didn’t speak words, she inflated and deflated her chin pouch, danced around in a specific pattern, and emitted a tone inaudible to most mortals.
“Virgil, bring our offering.”
Virgil complied and brought over a steel trashcan filled with combustibles. He laid the can on its side and against a brick wall. Virgil then stood off to the side and put on a firefighter’s coat and helmet.
“Ready.” Virgil said as he raised a hand. At his feet was a fire extinguisher.
“Spit only in the can, if you please.” I said to Sally.
As much as even I enjoyed mischief, starting a fire in a mortal city would only delay us.
She smiled and went to work. A pouch under her chin gathered air and inflated. Then Sally opened her maw impossibly wide.
Sally produced a stream of Summer fire into the trash can. It burned the garbage inside and turned the trash can bright hot. At the same time, Virgil held out his open hand and strained. I could see him lick up the Summer Fire blast and inhale it like it was air.
When Sally finished, Virgil stood breathing heavily. A familiar aura of summer flame surrounded him and the surface of his skin for a moment before receding to normal flash tones.
The barrel burned before us. Then burned again as Sally spit out another blast. How she enjoys burning things.
When Sally was done with her fun, Virgil used the fire extinguisher to silence the flame outside the trashcan which had grown red hot. The flame would not harm any mortal, but it did make the trashcan unusable and the garbage little more than ash.
Virgil tipped his fireman’s helmet towards Sally.
“Thank you, Sally.” Virgil said formally.
“What a good lad.” Sally said to Virgil. Though all Virgil heard was more of a “wark” sound and a large puff of smoke.“Will this be sufficient?” I asked Virgil.
“Very,“ Virgil said, “I should be able to get a few blasts with this.”
Good. Considering our opposition, we will need it.
Part 05: Virgil Gugasian
It’s not every day you meet a Salamander that breathes faerie fire. But, that has been my life the past two years. Every day I find out something that I thought was fantasy that turns out is very real. It’s terrifying. But, all life is.
The more I learned about the supernatural, the more magic I sought out. One of these days I need to sit Jack down and get him to teach me the real stuff. But, for right now, I had to work with what I had.
Absorbing the spell from the Salamander would give me some power, but there was something else I could do. I could make something to deal with the tree. Something hot.
There are several books on making extremely dangerous things. Some of these books are actually illegal but contain common sense devices for various sordid tasks. Many of these schematics are well-known and can be found on the internet with little effort. Other books do the same thing but are available in any college science class. Science, like magic, has many discoveries that can harm as much as they can build.
One such discovery came in the late 1800s. A mixture of aluminium and rusted iron filings. Each one by itself is basically inert. Together in the right proportions, you get a do-not-try-this-sat-home concoction called thermite.
When lit, Thermite turns into a molten slag that burns through a lot of things.
Thermite is used to repair railroad ties and various metalworking applications.
But the military also uses thermite. A single dose of thermite can burn through any lock as well as an entire engine block. They even make grenades of the stuff that destroy military equipment with ease, turning it all to molten slag in an instant.
Thermite is one of the most dangerous substances you can make with easily accessible materials. The formula is quite simple, but it gave me even more pause than the bomb I made to destroy the Wardstone. A thermite bomb would not be the most stable, but it is what we need.
Thermite can melt through a tank. I had to hope it could burn down a tree-of-evil.
Part 06: Fergus Mac Cormaic
After the meeting, I went back to my family. I made a promise to Anna that would keep nothing from her. I mean to keep that promise.
I came to my home and hiked through a canyon of boxes to find my living room couch.
Andrea, a 17-year-old girl from the commune, was babysitting Erin on the couch.
“Hello, mister Mac Cormaic. Erin has been a perfect little lady.” She said. Erin was curled up in a nap next to Andrea in a green onesie that had a four-leaf clover on it.
“That’s great.” I said to Andrea as I sat next to my little girl.
Erin was my everything. I would do anything for her.
“Do you know where Anna is?” I asked.
“In the Bedroom. She had a little bit of wine.” Andrea said.
“You can take off early. I might call you later.” I said.
“Thanks, Mister Mac Cormaic. Let me know if you need anything.”
Andrea took off, but I know would come back at a moment’s notice. Andrea was a good kid.
I went to the bedroom and opened the door.
An empty bottle of wine rolled against the door. Anna was lying on the floor, passed out with a blanket around her. Her work had gotten to her. She had recently uncovered evidence that implicated her father, Raymond Avila, in an insurance fraud and a money laundering scheme that could ruin his career and even land him in jail. She had struggled with the decision to do the right thing and pass the information to the proper authorities. It made my heart drop to see her like this.
I picked her up and put her into bed. It was just enough to wake her up.
“Baby, is that you?” She slurred as she put her arm around me.
“Honey, I am going to be gone for a few days.” I said to her. “I have to save one of Jack’s buddies from Sebassis.”
“Thah demon? Again?" She burped. "Whoops. I think I’m drunk.”
“Yes, honey. Drunk.”
I tucked my beautiful, fiercely loving wife in our bed and put Erin in her crib next to us.
I laid down in the bed curled up with my wife and child and just…took the experience in. I took what must have been an hour with my family and gained a focused calm. I would do whatever it takes to come back to them. But I was taking a risk to do the right thing. If Helgarson was correct it was vital we prevent Sebassis from sparking off Ragnarock. I couldn’t ignore that possibility.
I left Anna a note. The note said that I had to go with my friends to save Eric, to save the world. And not to worry.
“I’m helping people and doing the right thing.” I wrote. I meant it.
Night fell and the time came to go to Jotunheim. We met up at Buel Hall in the University of Washington. So much supernatural crap had happened in this unassuming college building, the barrier between worlds was thinner here than anywhere else in the tri-state area. The veil around here had been torn apart by several natural disasters and rituals and never repaired.
It’s surprising that more people didn’t disappear around here. Just slip right through the veil and into another realm.
Buel Hall itself was being boarded up under the cover of “renovations,” but the University was still debating whether or not to tear the building down. Personally, I would burn it down, exorcise the land and bless it with people from a dozen different faiths, but the University wasn’t listening to me.
We gathered in the cold weather gear that David had bought for us. David himself was in a massive high-tech coat that reminded me of the “Couple of guys in a trench coat” bit.
Hiroko arrived promptly with her samurai swords at her hip. She radiated serenity and a cold confidence. I felt like I could count on her.
Virgil seemed to have a tan, which was weird at this time of year. But, both Virgil and Hiroko were also carrying something I don’t really see him with.
“When did you two start carrying guns?” I asked. I saw Virgil check a tactical shotgun and a pistol with a ton of ammunition on some army surplus webbing. I also saw Hiroko with a shotgun, though one that looked far cheaper than Virgil’s.
“When I got my license as a mortal bounty hunter.” He said.
The Conclave had Virgil’s number; as part of it, he had opened a security consulting business with some side ventures for bail bonds and fugitive recovery. Word was that the Conclave was using it to launder some mortal money, which made sense.
Hiroko didn’t seem impressed by the weaponry. She just pointed at her back with a thumb.
“Dragon rounds. They spit fire but ruin the gun.” Hiroko said, “Should work just fine against an evil tree and some frost giants.
“Didn’t think to bring a machine gun?” I laughed.
Virgil shook his head seriously, “Gun laws in the state of Washington are kinda strict. Even as an armed private investigator, these are the largest guns I am legally allowed to carry without drawing suspicion. AR-15s don’t play well in Seattle.”
“That might make the trip more difficult.” I said, “Cold iron and Fae power don’t mix.”
Virgil and Hiroko cringed at the revelation.
“Zanpakuto would be coming regardless. It’s my primary tool.” Hiroko said.
“You don’t have hammer space or something?” Virgil asked.
“What?” Hiroko asked, confused.
“Never mind.” Virgil said shaking his head, “We can’t leave behind the primary weapons for two of us. We’ll have to risk it.”
Kerouac appeared from the shadows in a much fluffier form than normal. Some kind of snow cat from the higher elevations.
“All set.” Kerouac said in purr.
I reached into my pocket as I saw the cat, “I made this for you.”
I handed Kerouac a small mask for the cold. It was an adorable little mask on such a big cat, but it would serve its purpose.
“Very cute.” Kero said.
Hrolf Helgarson arrived and looked us over.
“I will stand guard here until you return for as long as I am able.” Hrolf said, “The runestone will allow you to find Laufey.”
David tapped a pocket on his oversized coat. He had the stone with him.
“How are we getting to Jotunheim from here?” I asked.
Hrolf answered by producing…an acorn. An acorn the size of damn coconut.
“This acorn is from the Jotunheimen branch of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. It will take you to Jotunheim and allow you to return here when your mission is accomplished.”
I was going to make a joke about cutting it in half and banging it together, but then I touched the damn thing.
I felt power, serious power from the acorn. The tattoos on my arms lit up like Christmas, wyld power glowing in the night through the parka I wore.
“Are you ready?” Hrolf asked.
“Let’s do this.” I said.
“May the Norns be with you on your journey.”
We gathered, and I held the massive acorn before me. I drew in my wyld power and strained. The damn cold iron wasn’t anywhere near me, but it still burned as I drew in power. It was like trying to breathe while powerlifting a weight that was a little too heavy.
I took in more of my wyld power and opened a Way. The cold came towards us and I was glad we were wearing cold weather gear. It felt like when you get off a plane with a good heating system. The door opens, and bam! Cold.
We went through the Way and I strained further as all the iron came with it. It threw off my efforts.
Part 07: Hiroko Noshimuri
The way opened and we all spilled through. We emerged in Jotunheim on the side of a snowy mountain. Well, fifteen feet above the side of the snowy mountain. Gravity took over as we emerged, and we all fell.
My Shinigami training served me well, allowing me to catch a tree branch and slow my fall enough to get into a practiced roll.
David landed on his feet with a loud boom creating a crater in the snow. Who was this David Clay?
Fergus and Kerouac landed more or less safely, but Virgil landed on his face in an effort to roll like I did.
Then the Con Artist began glowing with power that seemed to flood into him from the surroundings in an uncontrollable stream. Virgil grimaced in concentration, obviously struggling to control its flow as he soaked up ambient energy in the area. The nearby trees bowed toward him and for a strange moment even sound ceased as my ears popped, all drawn to the Kleptomancer. I could see Virgil grunting with effort before he finally lost control and it all exploded away from him in a flair of power. The shock wave of the blast echoed out across the mountainside.
Virgil rolled over and tried to sit up, “Ow.”
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“The ambient magic in this place is giving me a stomach ache.”
“What did you bring, Virge?” Fergus said furiously, “That seems like a lot of iron.”
“Sorry, “ Virgil said, “I made some thermite for this deal.”
“You should have told me.”
“I had faith in your abilities. We got here didn’t…”
Then we all went silent when we heard the rumble. I looked up to see the inevitable result of a loud explosion on a snow-covered mountain.
An avalanche came to devour us.
“Run!” I shouted as I made my way to safety. I only hoped that they could follow.
Part 08: David Clay
Hiroko used her agility to avoid the deluge, practically running on top of the snow as it flowed like water. But the rest of us were not as quick.
I stood up in my place and took up my native golem form. My increased size and mass should allow me to resist the oncoming onslaught, but it was still a lot of snow.
Virgil rolled behind me, trying to take cover behind my body. As the snow came upon us, it was clear we were going to be buried.
Then Virgil stood up, grabbed me from behind, and held out his hand.
“Brace yourself!” Virgil shouted.
A stream of orange flame erupted from Virgil’s hand and lit up the side of the mountain. The flame was as hot as the snow was cold, making a cloud of hissing steam.
Whatever Virgil was doing, it wasn’t quite enough. We were all buried by the oncoming snow.
I saw Fergus crouch down to try to form an air pocket, but I didn’t know if he made it by the time my vision was covered by white.
As soon as the rushing stopped, I stood up and emerged.
“Is everyone alright?” I asked, checking my surroundings.
Hiroko held Fergus by the hand outside the snow piles. She must have caught Fergus’ hand and pulled him out at the last second.
Kerouac emerged from the snow in the form of a fluffy, white snow bunny before quickly re-assuming that of a Norwegian Snow Cat, his paws digging him out of the snow. The pooka seemed to have been injured by the avalanche and was pawing around with a pronounced limp.
“That was not ideal.” Kero said, “Where’s Virgil?”
I heard a muffled shout from below me. I reached down and easily pulled him out, forcing him to take in a huge breathe.
“Thanks.” He said as he sat down.
We all got back to our feet and dusted ourselves off. As we did, we finally had a chance to look at our surroundings.
I don’t know who said, “Wow.” I think we all did at one point or another.
The mountain we were on was big. I don’t have the right words to describe how big the place was accurately. The mountain we stood on went up for what looked like miles more and went down further than I could see.
“This place makes Everest look like a speed bump.” Fergus said.
The trees were just large. They were miles high, their leaves blotting out the sun. The forests behind us reminded me of skyscrapers, but with branches and bark instead of windows.
The sun set was magnificent as if drawn by God’s own paintbrush.
Our reverie was broken by Hiroko, who stood atop a snow pile with perfect balance.
“Enemies.” Hiroko said, “Charging towards us.”
I changed the shape of my eyes and looked down in the direction she pointed. We saw three shapes running up the hill, having no trouble.
“Frost Giants.” I confirmed.
I checked the runestone, using it the way Hrolf said. It pointed uphill towards the forest.
“Let’s move that way and try to find a defensible position.” I said.
Fergus raised a hand to try his glamorous, but he immediately grabbed his side, the site of fresh bruises.
“I’ll cover our tracks.” Kerouac said.
The Pooka started using his considerable glamorous talent. Together with Hiroko’s help, the illusions covered our tracks and created a false trail in a different direction.
As the Glamours worked over us, the three giants stopped confused as they went in another direction. As they passed us, we got a look at them.
The three giants had blue skin and were much larger than even I. Fifteen feet tall at the shortest. They also had mold all over their desiccated bodies and long fingernails. They made inarticulate grunting sounds, but still seemed intelligent.
“They’ve been taken by the tree.” I confirmed.
“Frost giant mold zombies,“ Virgil said, straining in pain, “I guess we’re in the right place.”