Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 05: Chapter 12
The Exorcism at Mount Rainier
Transcribed by: James
Date: July 26, 2020
In Game date: April 19, 2012
Part 01: David Clay
Fergus had used his power as Guardian of the Seventh Gate to transport himself into Artemis Miller’s demesne to find out what was trying to invade it so he could protect Jack Youngblood, Abigail Youngblood and Craig Big Eagle. They were doing a ritual, along with Máire, to banish the demon Sebassis back to Hell along with his Mantle of Power. He left me in the mundane world at the foot of Mount Rainier, to guard the physical entrance to the demesne to make sure no one interfered with the ritual.
I was standing vigil alongside the werewolf, Ash, an enforcer for The Pack, along with six other wolves. Two werewolves had already been slain by soldiers in the employ of Trevor Radcliffe, the owner of The Peter Kirk Syndicate. We had driven them away and were in the middle of a welcoming respite. We knew the PKS commandos were to be reinforced and would make a fresh assault soon.
Suddenly, from the last known location of the soldiers in the concealing forest, we heard a massive volley of gunfire. The trees shook and thrashed as the battle intensified and one tree even went crashing down. We overhead the desperate screams of men as something tore into them along with strange flashes of bluish light. I even saw what must have been a spray of blood flash above the treetops and suddenly all the guns were silenced. One lone voice screamed agony into the deafening silence, fear making his voice high pitched and frantic, before it ended with abrupt finality.
A cold breeze flowed down the mountain and the wolves huddled together uncertainly next to their leader, Ash. His body seemed flow like water and suddenly he was a russet furred wolf, larger than his pack-mates and he strode forward with his nose in the air, his body bristling with tension. There was some rustling in the woods as a figure approached and all of the werewolves braced themselves for whatever monstrosity had decimated nearly 30 well-equipped and well-trained soldiers.
An older man, wearing a tailored suit stepped silently out of the treeline and calmly looked at me ignoring the werewolves that bristled at him with low growls. Only Ash seemed to not notice the man as he scanned the trees for any signs of a trick.
I recognized the old man at once. He had haunted me for my entire life. The Patient One was considered by many to be the foremost authority on Kabbalistic Magics. He had long sought to control me and use me as his own personal weapon in his many nefarious endeavors.
“Ah. Yossele it is good to see you again, my son,” the old man said in a kind voice. One of the wolves inched forward and growled at the sound of the man’s voice and The Patient One’s eyes flickered to him in annoyance.
“Nôž Hladu – entertain these…animals,” he said with a dismissive gesture. In a flash The Knife of Hunger, or Nôž Hladu in Hungarian, dove out of the trees and snatched up the wolf that had been growling at his master, disappearing back into the trees. An agonizing yelp followed and suddenly all of the Pack, including Ash, leaped in pursuit of him. I was left alone with the old man as roars and yelps erupted from the thick treeline.
The Pack were a mighty foe and against anyone else I would not be worried. But the Knife of Hunger was an Apex Predator. I feared the wolves would not last long against him. I wished to go to their aid but the old man in front of me was far more dangerous than the monster in the woods.
“There. That’s better. Don’t you think Yossele?” The Patient One queried in his calm voice as the werewolves battled for their lives in the trees.
“Stop calling me that,” I growled out, my voice like granite.
“Why? It is your name isn’t it?” he opined.
“I am David Clay now,” I hissed.
“Of course. Of course you are,” he said in a conciliatory tone. “I have been very proud of all that you have accomplished my son. You have become far more than I ever expected.”
“I am not your son!” I declared angrily. “You killed the only man who could be called my Father years ago!”
“That is not so, Yossele!” he cried looking hurt as the howling in the trees intensified. “Without my hard work the Rabbi never would have been able to create you! It was my research that was key in your creation. So you see. You ARE my son. Just as you were his.”
I shook my head in denial as he continued, “You must join me Yossele. With you by my side there is so much that can be accomplished,” he said. “I can gather Sebassis’s Mantle of Power and use it to save Seattle from The Fomor. I can use it to drive them back into the sea where they belong!”
“You care nothing for Seattle!” I yelled. “You only want the demon’s power for yourself!”
“And why shouldn’t I have it?” he parried. “I have lived several human lifetimes and have amassed far more knowledge and power than any other. If not me then who is best equipped to make these judgments?”
“Jack Youngblood is a Wizard and Warden of the White Council,” I growled. “I trust his judgement along with Craig BigEagle far more than I ever would yours.”
“Youngblood? Bah, he is a young fool!” the old man replied. “He is the reason The Fomor are a threat to the region to begin with. He may have some modicum of power but he is as a child to me.”
He lowered his voice and leaned toward me. “Just before coming here I manipulated the demon, Azael into a confrontation with The Fomor. Otherwise they would have united to destroy you and your pathetic friends and steal the Mantle. Only I had the wits and the power to deceive them. Not that fool of a Warden.”
“Jack may be young,” I retorted. “And he may have made mistakes in the past, but he is doing his best to protect the people of Seattle. His heart is true. And all you care about is yourself.”
I stepped toward the old man, my full Golem form towering over him and looked him directly in the eye. “Know this old man. I will never join you.”
The Patient One regarded me seriously for a long moment, searching, trying to ascertain my resolve. “Oh Yossele,” he whispered sadly. “I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this.”
The Patient One pulled out an ancient tome that I recognized at once. It was the Shorshei ha-Shemot. A Kabalistic Magic compendium by the 17th-century Rabbi Moses Zacuto. From it my Rabbi had created me. Given me life. The Patient One had a far different goal it seemed.
He cried out my name, his voice carrying a power that I could not resist, and suddenly I couldn’t move. He began a chant, reading from the ancient book, and agony lanced through my form and my body began to crumble.
Part 02: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I didn’t feel good about abandoning David and the wolves but I had little choice. I had felt something breach the demesne we were guarding with brute force. It felt familiar somehow. As I entered the demesne that had originally created by the old wizard, Artemis Millerand viewed the mountainous landscape around me that mirrored the real world, I realized I had felt this before. The fog probably would’ve been a dead giveaway but it went further than that. I knew on some instinctual level what had happened.
The demesne that Barry Goldman, himself newly possessed by the Denarian demon Azael, had created to summon the Mantle of Power of the demon, Sebassis, was now connected to this one. Given the two magical domain’s similar natures I was not too surprised. I guessed that Sebassis was responsible for connecting the two pocket dimensions when its creepy, mold-covered zombies poured through the portal along with a thick fog.
The Lunatisidhe were the victims of Sebassis. They had been normal people until they had been completely corrupted by the demon’s influence and murdered. They had risen as monsters covered in a slimy black mold, and would murder anyone they encountered, friends or family, without remorse or fear. They would do everything in their power to serve Sebassis and were a direct threat to my friends who were trying to banish the demon back to Hell where it belonged.
As dozens of them charged toward where Jack, Abby, Craig and Máire were performing the banishment ritual I realized I had to act quickly. I used my connection to The Wyld to manifest a bright flash of green light to draw the monster’s attention but it had little effect because of the dampening effect of the thick fog that rolled in from the rip in space that they had entered from.
I glanced back at my allies and saw Jack, Abby and Craig deep in concentration, chanting and gesturing, summoning Sebassis to this demesne. Máire , a Dryad of the Summer Court of the Fae had her hands on the sapling blackthorn. The tree was nestled in the middle of an elaborate magical circle that Abby had meticulously crafted on a cleared area using copper, gold and silver wire and carved wood. Máire was attempting to use her powers over nature to force-grow the blackthorn tree to a large enough size for Sebassis’s full Mantle of Power to inhabit. She was bent over in concentration and I watched in amazement as the tree doubled in size reaching about 4 feet in height. She was making progress but had a long way to go to create a vessel large enough for a Duke of Hell’s power.
Sebassis’s Lunatisidhe were single-minded and sought only to destroy any threat to their master. I had to draw their attention by becoming a more immediate menace than Jack and and the ritual team. I leaped into the midst of the thickest concentration of the mold-covered monsters engaging them as I brandished the shillelagh that manifested in my hand as I called on the power of my tattoos. A large group of the creatures turned on me, slashing, ripping and tearing at me savagely with the bony talons that used to be their hands. I ducked, dodged and twisted, managing to draw a large group of the Lunatisidhe into tangling up with another group, halting the headlong charge towards my friends. Unfortunately, this also gave me less room to maneuver.
A large cloud of spores filled the clearing. They poured off of the blackthorn tree as it grew. They would enter the lungs of Sebassis’s victims, corrupting them and filling them with rage that would inevitably lead to death and violence. I was grateful that Craig had given me a rune-carved acorn that served as a talisman, protecting me from the demon’s corruption. At least for a short time.
As I charged headlong into the throng of moldy zombies I found myself wishing I had David with me. Little did I know that he was fighting for his very existence at the entrance to the demesne.
Part 03: David Clay
As much as I struggled I could not move an inch. The Patient One held me in a mystical vice grip with his will. His face contorted with cruel triumph as he chanted his Kabbalistic spell that was erasing my very existence from this Earth. My physical strength, many times greater than the strongest human, was as nothing to the power of the ritual. As I strained against my unseen bonds I could hear the growls and cries of the wolves as Ash and his Pack faced their own life or death struggle against the Knife in the woods. I had to help them! If I could not physically defeat my bonds I had to find another way.
The Patient One’s chant continued in earnest and my very being felt like it was being torn asunder every time he screamed out the name “Yossele”. I looked on in horror as my body cracked and dissolved, blowing away in the wind like sand in a desert. I listened to the horrible words of the spell and could find no loophole to it. Because he had my name the Patient One had great power over me. I hadn’t gone by Yossele since my creator had died but it was the name I had been created with. I had grown and changed a great deal over the decades. Even The Patient One had noted how different I was, how different David Clay was than Yossele .
That was it! I was not the same being I had been when I had been given that name. I was DAVID CLAY now. As I became more and more convinced that I was a different person I felt the spell’s hold loosen. The binding concentrated on the parts of me that were deeply tied to my creation. The righteous rage that fueled my power as Yossele the Golem was firmly caught in the sorcerer’s spell.
But David Clay, Attorney at Law, confidant of Rabbi Jerith Shulman, ally to Jack, Craig and Abby, friend of Fergus Mac Cormaic was a distinctly different person than Youselle. I spiritually stepped back from Youselle the Golem whose righteous rage protected the people, and embraced David Clay who defended them in court. Who represented his community by protecting their lives and property with the words and traditions of law and community.
The Patient One could feel his hold on me slip. His eyes widened in fear and he redoubled his chant hoping to destroy me before I broke free. My whole body shuddered under his power and even as I was crumbling to dust I snapped my head forward, headbutting him with a crack. The sorcerer’s head snapped back under the blow and blood flowed from his nose as he fell to the ground a look of confusion and absolute shock on his face. I could tell the blow left him concussed.
I moved forward without mercy. My body had lost much of its power and if he started the chant again I knew I would not survive it. He scrambled back out of my reach in desperation. I nearly had him in my grasp when he used his magics to cast a concealing veil, vanishing from my sight. But I could see where his body left an imprint in the grass even if I could not see him fully. I looked directly into where his eyes would be, glaring with fury.
“Drop the book and go, and I will not follow.” I grated out. He reappeared and the Shorshei ha-Shemot tumbled from his nerveless fingers. He turned and ran. I kept my word and let him flee. I hoped to never see him again but I feared that would not be the case. I heard The Patient One beckon to the Knife and the sounds of struggle in the woods ceased suddenly. After a moment a pair of wolves, both wounded and bloody staggered into the clearing.
Only two! The Knife of Hunger had fed and five more of The Pack had been slain. Callisto would be most displeased. But that was something I could deal with later. Fergus had been gone too long. I had to get to him.
Part 04: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I had been battling a steady stream of the Lunatisidhe felling dozens of them. But even I wasn’t fast enough to stop them all. A group of them had bypassed me and made their way to the magic circle where the ritual team worked frantically to summon Sebassis and banish him back to hell. Máire had managed to grow the tree to about 20 or 30 feet tall and I could see the demonic countenance marring the tree’s bark. It was still slumbering so far but that could change at any moment.
Abby had broken off from the ritual and was doing her best to repel the small group of zombies that menaced them. She was barely holding on as Jack, his face etched with a great deal of strain, poured power into the spell, his voice booming above the tumult of the fight. I could tell he was pushing the very limits of his power as he struggled to cast the demon out. Abby fought bravely and knocked one of the monsters to the ground, but several more surged forward threatening to overwhelm her. A shield of mystic energies flared as she defended herself with her magic.
“Jack! You’ve got to show this demon he ain’t shit!” I cried out encouragingly. “You’ve got this!”
Jack seemingly ignored my words, but I saw him take in a deep breath and his chanting spell redoubled in volume. I finally battled my way to Abby’s side and laid about with my club, striking down a half dozen of the monsters with a flurry of blows. In the brief respite Abby rejoined the ritual team.
I was fully surrounded by the damned mold creatures, and, despite my far superior speed, my luck ran out. I had twisted out of the path of one of the monsters, leaped over another’s wild swing only to land right in the path a third’s attack. I cried out in pain as its bony claws ripped deep wounds in my chest, my blood splattering. I crushed that monster’s skull with a heavy blow from my shillelagh and paused for a moment to catch my breath.
I saw a flash near the door to the demesne and saw David appear. He looked about half as big as he usually did, and his entire body was full of cracks and did not seem nearly as solid as it usually was. I wanted to go to him and make sure he was all right, but I didn’t have time as the enemy closed in around me. David lowered his head and charged forward, his body moving with jerks and stops, bowling into a huge group of the demonic minions trampling many of them to the ground.
“Máire,” Jack screamed. “The blackthorn has to be bigger!”
“I…I can’t do it!” she screamed back. “I don’t have enough power!”
“I will do what I can,” Jack called back.
With a gesture a flow of magic energies roared out of is hand and into the struggling Dryad. She screamed with great effort and the tree surged doubling, no tripling in size. That had to be large enough to contain the demon and his full Mantle of Power.
That was when I noticed that Máire was tangled up in the new growth and she struggled to free herself from the branches and roots that had erupted from the tree. It was then that the demon’s eyes snapped open and he roared in rage, the volume deafening us all. Glowing spores from hell flowed from the monstrous tree engulfing us all. I could feel the protective magics of the acorn I held resisting until they collapsed under the strain.
I was reaching the end of my endurance and was completely surrounded by the implacable minions of the demon. My wounds were slowing me down and I realized then that we might not make it out of this ordeal alive. I could tell that David was at the end of his rope as well. His formidable body was a pale shadow of its normal might. Luckily the Lunatisidhe paused in their attacks their gazes drawn to the blackthorn demon that they served.
Máire struggled to free herself from the blackthorn demon but was clearly outmatched. She roared her own defiance and her body grew and stretched as she pushed at the demon twisting from its grasp. The demon redoubled its efforts and tore and ripped at the dryad doing terrible harm. Green blood splashed the clearing and was quickly quelled as black mold infested her wounds.
David took advantage of the Lunatisidhe’s distraction destroying several of them with mighty blows while I bashed in several rotting skulls with my club.
Roots from the demon lashed out and were repelled by the mystic energies of the ritual circle that bound it in place. Jack, Abby and Craig’s voices all rang out in unison and a rip in time and space appeared next to the demon dragging it back to hell. It resisted the portal, and for a moment I thought it might break free, but Máire slashed at it with her own claws, and it lost its grip on this plane. It was ripped from this world back to hell where it belonged in a flash of sulfurous light and a mighty clap of thunder. The Lunatisidhe all dropped to the ground like puppets with their strings cut and began to turn to a vile black sludge that quickly dried up and began to blow away like a dandelion’s seeds.
All was silent as we stood triumphant over the demon at last.
- Máire was barely hanging on to her sanity after surviving the attentions of the Woman in White for years. Battling the demon taxed her to her limit. She angrily rebuked Fergus Mac Cormaic, telling him that they were even now. She owed him nothing. She also warned him that she would claim the Mantle of the Guardian of the Seventh Gate someday as was her due. She vanished in the morning sunrise.
- Ash spoke to Jack Youngblood saying that the loss of seven wolves from The Pack was a heavy price. Callisto would be pissed. You are all in our debt. “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”
- David Clay was severely injured by The Patient One’s spell. His very substance was nearly annihilated. It will take him a long time to recover from such wounds.