Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 05: Chapter 06
Looking for Laufey in All the Wrong Places
Transcribed by: James
Date: November 10, 2019
In Game date: April 15, 2012
Part 01: Fergus Mac Cormaic
That David Clay had survived the bombing of the Radcliffe Clinic wasn’t surprising. He is made of clay and probably indestructible after all. However, we had had a whole damn building dropped on our heads. He had come out of that disaster without a scrape and managed to save Emmie Mercer in the process. The man was a hero.
Meanwhile, I was Public Enemy Number One even though I saved a guy I probably don’t even like that much. I mean, sure, Leif Wotensen, AKA “Doctor Hero” is the idol of millions (apparently including my fiance!) but no one seems to notice that I saved his life. Effing figures.
We were watching the news on Jack’s battered old TV and, of course, the bombing was the main story. The police were seeking the mysterious “Green Man”, which is what they were calling me on the news these days, as a “Person of Interest”. I was now connected to the shooting on Alki Beach and the bombing of the Clinic. So much for keeping a low profile. Gramps is probably spinning in his grave.
The news continued and it seemed that incidence of violence were on the rise throughout the city. There had been a shooting in Pioneer Square at the Underground night club, which was a front for The Sokolov Bratva, and a gun battle in West Seattle involving a biker gang. That last one had to be The Pack. As I had learned they were very protective of their territory. There were also reports of a near riot that had broken out during a high school soccer match and of an alarming increase in domestic abuse and other violence all over the region.
Craig Big Eagle was watching attentively and he was very disturbed by the news.
“Sebassis’s influence is lingering over Seattle,” he said gravely in his deep voice. “All the power that was drained from the demon by the Un-man is now affecting the whole city. We need to track down Eric Laufey and prevent that Blackthorn Tree he stole from falling into the wrong hands.”
“I have a friend, Singuard Jarlson, who keeps tabs on Eric,” David said. “I have tried to call him a few times but he isn’t answering his phone. I don’t know where Eric lives but perhaps we can learn that information from his place of employment.”
“That is a good idea,” Craig replied. “While you follow up on that lead I will work with Grizzly to see if we can find a pattern in the locations of violence spreading throughout the city.”
“We also need to look into the location of Robert Wilkins and Amanda Chamberlain,” I said. “They were both victims of the demon and, if Jack is right, would make excellent vessels for gathering that power.”
“That is a good point. I will also review what information we have on Barry Goldman,” Craig stated. “We need to track him down and get Abby back. I shudder to think of what she is going through in the hands of that lunatic.”
“We can leave Jack here with Bruno, Anna, the baby, and Lief,” he continued. “I just hope Jack comes out of his coma soon. We need him.”
The Nordic History Museum in Ballard was not open this late at night and David had failed to reach them by phone and was forced to leave a message for his old friend, Singard Jarlson. We really needed to find the home address for Eric but it seemed that he was good at keeping a low profile. Even Grizzly was unable to locate any information on him. Maybe he could give me some pointers.
We had no choice and decided to go to the Ballard Used Car Lot where Laufey worked as a used car salesman. I couldn’t imagine that a scion of the God of Lies had ever had a more appropriate profession. Outside of Congress that is.
The place was closed this late at night and we parked down the street and walked over to it trying not to look suspicious. David was a total failure at that and looked around furtively with a nervous energy that shouted that he was up to no good. I told him to wait in the lot for me while I approached the old, tired neon sign,obviously from the seventies, that went up the side of the main office building and onto the roof. I waited until there were no cars passing by on the busy street and, using the sign to give me leverage, flipped up and over to the roof in one move, crouching down out of sight. I smiled as David uneasily turned his back on the building, clearly uncomfortable with breaking the law. Even though the cause was just. Luckily, I was a tad more morally flexible.
I was able to pop the lock on the rusty, old roof latch and drop down the ladder to the main room. I saw Eric’s picture on the wall multiple times as Employee of the Month. Guess he really was good at selling cars. I went into the larger of the two offices and found a filing cabinet. I knew I would be able to find something in there among all the records and I was right. I found Eric’s HR folder with all of his personal information. There was a hastily scrawled note in the record complaining that he had not shown up for his shifts for the last couple of days (corresponding exactly to the time that the blackthorn tree had arrived in Seattle) signed by someone called “Brick” Johnson. Wow. Talk about a reject from the 70s. I imagined him with thick sideburns, huge shades and smoking too many cigarettes while wearing a plaid polyester suit. Sheesh.
My curiosity peeked I went to the second, smaller office that was apparently shared by all the floor salesmen. Eric’s desk was a monument to chaos with papers and notes and documents all stacked and piled and posted in every single available space. I saw another note from “Brick” (his handwriting was curiously frilly and very precise) that mentioned that a “Creepy Kid and his pale, intense Father” had asked about Eric earlier today. Interesting. Based on the description that could have been Barry Goldman along with that creature Anna Maria Avila had seen kidnapping Abigail Youngblood. Maybe we were on the right track after all. Finally our luck was changing!
In my excitement I accidently tripped the lights on for the whole office. I was scrambling desperately for the light switch when I heard the chirrup of sirens as a cop pulled into the car lot. David stood right in their headlights.
I guess I should have known better. Our luck never seems to change.
Part 02: David Clay
I have never been comfortable with breaking the law. Surely there were better, LEGAL ways to get the information we are seeking. Unfortunately we were running out of time. Abby was running out of time. I would not allow my squeamishness to doom that woman. I would break man’s law if it meant preserving the will of God. I was an instrument of God and stopping a demon from spreading chaos and death was my primary reason to exist. But only if I stayed out of jail.
I saw the police cruiser slowly moving toward me and I moved into a deeper shadow from the building and prayed that the police would not notice me. That was when the lights flipped on in the main office behind me bathing me in bright light. The officers got out of their vehicle with their lights in my eyes and politely asked me my business at the dealership so late in the evening. Despite their civil tone both officers had their hands on the butts of their weapons and they asked for my identification. While I passed over my license I tried to convince them that I was there to meet Eric to buy a car but they did not seem to find that plausible. I could tell that they were about to arrest me when, to my great surprise, Eric Laufey appeared and called out to the officers that he was there.
He invited us all inside and stood near a wall in the office which featured photos of the Salesman of the Month. Both officers could see his photo featured multiple times and that he was an employee of the dealership. Eric graciously thanked them for their diligence, shaking their hands and explained to them that he had been trying to sell me a car for a few days now and that he really needed to make the sale if he was going to win Employee of the Month again. Mollified the officers told Eric to carry on and didn’t call in an incident. The older officer did write the details down in a little notebook he put back in his pocket, however.
When they were gone Eric smiled at me and in a flash was replaced by Fergus. He had used his Fae Glamours to create the illusion that he was Eric. Very clever. I returned his smile as he brandished a file and said he had what we needed. He left a note on the reception desk saying that the latch to the ceiling needed to be replaced and we took our leave of the dealership.
Eric lived in Ballard and we didn’t have far to travel. His house was a modest single-story building with a very small yard. I noticed that Singard Jarlson’s large pickup truck was parked on the street. I approached the truck and touched the hood. It was cold. Singard had been here for awhile. The house stood dark and foreboding with no movement or life at all. I went to the door and knocked and it swung open. I could feel the power of the house’s threshold and knew that as a magical construct I would not be able to enter without an invitation. Alarmed, I called out to Eric but got no reply at all.
I noticed the horseshoe hanging over the door door, a common ward against faeries. I was about to point it out when Fergus pushed his way past me, turned almost invisible using his Glamours and headed into the darkened room. He cried out almost immediately and I heard a great crash as he tripped over something and fell into a shelf covered in Christmas lights knocking it over on top of him. This in turn caused a cascade of shelves and other furniture to tumble down causing a clamor that seemingly went on forever.
When the noise died down I saw that Fergus was entangled in a bunch of Christmas lights and power chords he could not extricate himself from. I explained that I could not cross the threshold so he had to stand up awkwardly on one leg and hop over to me cursing under his breath the whole time. I admit that I had a hard time not laughing at the spectacle. It wasn’t easy to untangle the normally surefooted changeling from the chords, especially with a straight face. By the time I was done he was scowling at me while I did my best to keep my face blank.
All humor left us as he made his way back into the darkened building. Fergus reported signs of a battle throughout the small dwelling. There were claw marks on the walls in the small hallway along with some blood splatter. He followed the signs of battle and called out that he had found Singard in an office chair bleeding from multiple wounds. He pulled the heavy man through the living room, after being forced to clear it of some of the debris, and out to the porch. There we bound his wounds as best as we could and decided we had to get him over to Jack Youngblood’s house where Doctor Wotensen could tend to his wounds. While we were on the way Fergus looked over to me and said that he had found signs of black mold, just a little, in the bathroom and bedroom. These were signs of the demon and were confirmation that Eric was involved.
Fergus asked me to drop him off downtown and explained that he wanted to investigate the shooting we had seen on the news at the Underground in Pioneer Square. I left him and drove up to Capitol Hill. Lief and Bruno Walsh helped me get the large man into the house and into a guest room. There the doctor was able to stabilize him. When he came to we learned what had happened.
Singard explained that Eric had been acting strangely the last few days and had been ranting that he would have power soon and no one would dismiss him after that. Not even his father! He had been trying to track him down after he had missed several shifts at work when he was ambushed at Eric’s house. Based on the descriptions I deduced that he was attacked and tortured by The Patient One and The Knife of Hunger – Nôž Hladu. They were trying to find Eric and demanded to know the location of the Blackthorn Tree.
I explained what was going to my old friend, giving him all the details on Sebassis and the black mold. Alarmed, he noted that Eric’s eyes had seemed unusually black, an indication that he had been compromised by the demon. Singard stated that if Eric was feeling threatened he would probably make his way to Asgard in the Nevernever. He would need some help getting there though. Singard explained that Eric could use some ancient Valkyrie pins that were on display at the Nordic Heritage Museum for the rest of the month as a focus. Singard gave me the keys and alarm codes for the museum and begged me to save Eric from the demon. He said that he was a good kid despite his chaotic nature.
I was about to head out to the museum when Fergus arrived back from his errand. He explained that he had used glamours to infiltrate the ongoing investigation of the shooting and learned that 6 of the 9 victims were part of The Sokolov Bratva. The shooters themselves were wearing track suits and had been overheard shouting in Russian. The consensus among the police was that there was an internal struggle for leadership in the bratva now that Casimir Sokolov had vanished.
Fergus grumbled that the police were even suggesting that The Green Man was rumored to have slain Casimir, which was true., and suggested he was behind the Sokolov “Civil War”. We were going to have to be careful to remain out of the limelight. The bombing, followed by the shootings in Alki and in Pioneer Square were bringing national attention. We had to avoid scrutiny as much as possible but we couldn’t give up on stopping the demon. Our work was cut out for us.