Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 04: Chapter 02
Transcribed by: James
Date: February 11, 2018
In Game date: November, 2011
Jack Youngblood was trying to wrap his brain around the ritual he needed to do to close the breach in the Seventh Gate and prevent Outsiders from invading this world. He concluded that Artemis Miller, an eccentric but brilliant Wizard who had died a few years ago, had the key to their success. The old Wizard had created a pocket demesne that Jack could ritually connect to the Un-Man. When the Un-man tried to drain what was effectively an empty shell it would disrupt his Mana-Eating ability and displace the power the creature had absorbed. This would theoretically close the breach in the Gate and might even restore all the mana the Un-man had stolen. Including what it taken from Jack. The young Warden could only hope that he could restore his magic. At one point he had been considered one of the most powerful Wizards of his generation. After his defeat at the hands of the Un-man Jack could barely muster enough magic to cast even the most simple spells with any reliability.
According to the notes that the The Watcher on the Wall had given the Guardian of the Seventh Gate, Fergus Mac Cormaic they needed to do the ritual at the spot where Miller had created the demesne. The problem was that the old Wizard was a notorious hermit and Jack had no idea where he even used to live much less where he had created his demesne.
It was Fergus who suggested they try the Paranet. Martin “Grizzly” Grisby was a computer genius who was an unmatched researcher. Fergus reached out to him with a phone call after they made their way back to Jack’s house. Grizzly’s initial search didn’t dig up much. It seemed that Artemis Miller had dropped out of society long before electronic records had become common. He did find some consulting contracts from 1917-1946. There were also some receipts of payment for consultations, a few testimonies on a few warrants and so forth. Unfortunately, there were no property taxes on record but Grizzly pointed out they had only been digitized from 1973 to today. He suggested there might be some things to find in the Hall of Records archives.
Jack lamented to Fergus that David Clay wasn’t there. As an attorney he was much more experienced at this kind of research. Fergus lit upon the idea of recruiting his fiance, Anna Maria Avila, who was a forensic accountant. This kind of thing might be right up her alley he suggested. Jack thought it was worth looking into and the two made plans to go to Vashon Island and recruit Anna.
Before they left Jack got a call from his sister, Caroline Youngblood. She said that Jack’s old mentor, Zebidiah Einar, had left Edinburgh six months ago after making arrangements for Caroline’s continuing education. Nobody knew where he was or what he was doing. He was still crippled and in a wheelchair though. She didn’t really remember much about Artemis Miller other than that he was “The Man on the Mountain”. Whatever that meant. Jack thanked her and told her he would copy the parchment notes and send them to her to see if she could learn anything more.
Realizing that they might have to transport Anna, who was 7 months pregnant, Jack put his Indian motorcycle in the garage and got in an old, battered but still reliable (mostly) 1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A with a canvas top and doors attached to keep the rain out. Painted black of course. Fergus didn’t really care what kind of car they were in as long as he didn’t have to wear that damned Hello Kitty motorcycle helmet again. The two caught a late morning ferry back to Vashon Island to visit with Anna and see if she could help.
On the way Fergus noticed a odd looking man feeding pigeons near Lincoln Park with a good view of the ferry. He had a decidedly inbred look with huge eyes and a wide, thin lipped mouth that gave him an almost froggish appearance. Both Jack and Fergus found this alarming because he bore more than a passing resemblance to The Fomor. Neither of them had a favorable opinion of the deadly invaders and they discussed briefly if they should take action. Since neither of them could tell if the odd man was actually watching them or if he really was a Fomor they decided to let him alone. They resolved to keep on high alert however. In case he or others might be following them.
They made it to the Judd Creek Commune without any excitement. Fergus did his best to warn Jack that Anna might be a handful. She had just discovered that Fergus was a changeling and that magic and the rest existed the day before. She was still dealing with it in her own unique way. That meant the strong willed woman was devouring every bit of knowledge she could get her hands on. When they entered the house they found a frazzled looking Gemtriax Theophania doing her best to explain to Anna that not all werewolves were bikers. Nor were all bikers werewolves. The Pack, however, was a gang of werewolves who were bikers.
Anna was writing down everything on a legal pad that was almost completely filled up with her notes. Presumably notes that Gem had given her. When she saw Jack she cried out his name and hurriedly explained to Anna that he was a Wizard with far more mystical knowledge than she would ever have. Then she practically fled up the stairs to her room, her door slamming loudly.
Anna turned toward the young Warden and Jack found his throat suddenly very dry in the face of the formidable young woman’s regard. She obviously sensed his discomfort, calling him “Mr. Wizard” and prodding him for information about vampires. Fergus tried to intervene but she told him she was hungry and needed a snack. Now. Fergus disappeared in the kitchen to make her a sandwich leaving Jack to explain the about the different Courts of the Vampires. He returned with a liverwurst sandwich just as Jack was finishing up his discourse. Fergus got Anna to swear that she wouldn’t let anyone else read her notes. He explained that many supernaturals would feel threatened by a human with that kind of knowledge. Such creatures dealt with threats in a very lethal manner.
After Anna to devoured her food Fergus explained that they needed her help. They wanted to bring her down to the Hall of Records to help them do research on Artemis Miller. She balked explaining that it would be a horribly boring slog among very old, musty records. It wouldn’t be good for the baby. However, if they found some records she would be happy to examine them for clues. She suggested that they get Miller’s last will and testament. It should help them find any properties the old wizard might have had. She also pointed out that Gemtriax seemed to know everyone in Seattle and had been around for ages, so they should ask her if she knew anything.
Fergus called Gem back down to the living room and asked her what she knew of the reclusive Miller. Gemtriax admitted she didn’t know much. He kept to himself mostly. She seemed to remember him dealing with the Saints in the International District a fair amount though. Jack seemed really, REALLY uncomfortable at that. He said he would be happy to talk to Reverend Charlie and Babylan but it would probably be best if they left the The Dragon Lady out of it.
Fergus could tell the Wizard was really uncomfortable about confronting this Dragon Lady but he was completely evasive as to why. He would only say that surely she wouldn’t still be mad. After all it was just the one time he tricked her with pig’s blood instead of his own. Not a big deal right? Fergus reassured the shaken Warden that it would probably be fine. The Guardian would talk to this Dragon Lady if they had to. Jack seized on that plan but warned Fergus not to give her any blood. Or to make any bargains with her.
Gemtriax also recalled that Artemis Miller had been represented by the lawyer Ronald Parker IV. Jack explained that Parker had been the leader of a chapter of the The Venatori Umbrorum that had been taken over through mind control by JJ Mercer. They had self destructed because of the strain of such invasive mind control and Parker had gone quite crazy. There still might be files at his law firm on Mercer Island though. Jack seemed almost giddy that they might have to break into the offices after hours. With the handful of leads to explore the two men headed back to Seattle.
The pair’s first stop was the Buddhist Temple where Reverend Charlie resided. Charlie was a peaceful yet powerful presence and the normally wise-cracking Jack was very respectful of the monk. Mostly. Fergus did wince when Jack called the Reverend “Chuck” more than once. The three of them had tea and refreshments in the Temple’s garden. It was a peaceful setting and Jack found his agitated spirit calmed in the presence of the holy man.
Fergus experienced the same peace that Jack did. Although his eyes were drawn to a beautiful wall scroll that depicted a noble tiger on the hunt. He could have sworn that the tiger on the scroll moved subtly when he wasn’t looking and he had the feeling that he and Jack were being watched very closely. That they were being hunted. Jack smiled knowingly at the changeling’s discomfort. He knew that the a powerful tiger spirit resided in the scroll that was not to be trifled with.
The young Warden asked his questions but, unfortunately, Charlie was unable to provide them with any pertinent information on Artemis Miller. They made small talk for a time and then bid the monk farewell.
Their next stop was the Panama Hotel Tea House. Fergus was quite impressed with the hostess that greeted Jack with a hug and a smile. Babylan was a beautiful Filipino woman who exuded grace and wisdom. Fergus got the impression that she was far older than she looked. Jack flirted with her a bit and the two settled in to what Fergus realized must have been an enjoyable routine. With the preliminaries out of the way Jack asked the woman if she knew anything about Miller. To the Wizard’s delight she was able to shed some light on him.
Babylan revealed that Artemis Miller had a sanctum at the base of Mount Rainier. It was on the North face of the mountain facing Seattle. It was fairly isolated she recalled. A 15 minute hike from the road. She suggested that it might even have been in one of the older mine shafts that dotted that side of the mountain and that it could be concealed with magic. She said he didn’t have a house or any other property in the city as far as she knew and that he kept to himself and concentrated on his research. Jack thanked the lady profusely for the information, it was exactly what they needed. Babylan laughed at his effusiveness and pointed out that Jack must be elated that he would not have to face the Dragon Lady to get the information he needed. Jack just smiled in agreement.
They made their way to Mercer Island as the sun was going down to case the offices of Parker, Daniels and Johnson Attorneys at Law. There were some people working late so the two of them found a coffee shop to get some food and came back just before midnight. Jack used his meager magic to gather the shadows around him and make himself a bit less noticeable. It wasn’t the full veils he was used to but it was effective. He was able to determine that the office had wards that were quite potent. What was interesting is that the wards were apparently set up to allow certain patrons through them without being triggered. Fortunately, Jack, whose father had used Parker’s services for years, seemed to be one of the patrons who was allowed entry. Using that loophole the Warden could get himself and Fergus into the building without triggering any magical alarms.
Fergus discovered an extra layer of wards on the fire escape that Jack had missed though. After some discussion the two decided that their best course of action was for the Guardian to use his mastery of gate magic to teleport them both to the roof of the building. Once there Jack was able to pick the lock of the rooftop access door. The mischievous Warden relentlessly teased Fergus with veiled comments about his height and about being a leprechaun. Fergus managed not to punch the laughing Wizard in the face. But it was a near thing.
The two intruders made their way to Parker’s office and, after an extensive search, found a secret compartment to a cabinet full of files. They hit the jackpot. There were extensive files on Artemis Miller. Fergus copied the files while Jack stayed as far away as he could from the copy machine. He didn’t want his magics to disrupt it. They had also found files on the Einar and Youngblood estates which Jack perused. He found the bill of sale for his father’s mystical Winnebago.
He mentioned that he had it to Fergus who acknowledged him. Jack then asked him about it immediately and was amused to discover that Fergus had already forgotten it. The magic his father had woven around the old vehicle was still quite potent. It made anyone who was not of Jack’s family instantly forget about its existence.
After copying everything they needed the two of them made their way back to the roof locking all the doors behind them. Fergus, peering over the edge of the roof, was trying to figure out how they were going to get down. jack asked him to trust him. To close his eyes. Fergus probably should have noticed the wicked twinkle in Jack’s eye. It was a good indicator that the Wizard was up to his usual mischief.
Jack shoved the startled Guardian off the roof with a swift kick and then jumped right after him yelling with the thrill of it. Fergus’s scream was much more primal and fueled by a far different emotion. Concentrating Jack channeled Earth magic into his staff and into a very special hematite ring. The two were surrounded in a glow of energy and gravity’s pull was greatly lessened. They drifted slowly to the street landing without harm. Fergus grabbed Jack’s shirt and told him if he ever did anything like that again he was going to punch him the hell out. Jack held up his hands in surrender and smirked. They had what they came for didn’t they?