Campaign of the Month: February 2022
Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem
Book 06: Chapter 01
Transcribed by: James
Date: July 11,2021
In Game date: May 03, 2012
Episode: 34 (109)
Part 01: Jack Youngblood
Lucy Smith-Einar and I grew up together. Our parents were quite close and she and I saw a lot of each other as kids.
Lucy was a couple of years older and she ended up babysitting my sister, Caroline and I on several occasions while our parents were out doing what Wardens of the White Council do. Chopping off the heads of Evil Warlocks to preserve the Laws of Magic and protect all of Mankind from their Evil, Evil blah, blah, blah, blah. Cue Battle Trumpet music.
I admit that she was my first big crush as a boy. I was totally head over heels in love with her and, of course, she didn’t even notice that I existed. There was a time when I was always eager to see her again. I was so infatuated that to simply hear her say my name sent a thrill through me down to my toes. It is amazing how much can change in just a few short years.
Don’t get me wrong. Lucy is a beautiful woman. But nowadays, when I get a letter from her I am nowhere near as excited as my boyhood self would have been. Who could blame me? The last few years trouble always seems to be nipping at her heels sweeping up everything and everyone in her wake and drowning them in sorrow and death.
No. When I got a letter from Lucy asking her to meet her at the Four Seasons Hotel I didn’t feel elated.
I felt dread.
We met in the ostentatious and overpriced bar and restaurant at the Four Seasons. The maitre d of the hotel escorted me himself to our table, set off to the side in a private corner. I am not sure but I don’t think he liked the look of me. Can’t imagine why. Maybe it was my scruffy haircut, my battered combat boots, my ripped jeans? Or maybe he objected to my Pixies t-shirt?
Only a stuffy, elitist asshole doesn’t like the Pixies.
At first glance Lucy looked gorgeous. Her natural beauty was well suited to the spring light coming in through the restaurant’s huge windows. However, the cane she hid beneath the table and the pale, drawn look of her complexion let me know that she was still healing from being nearly eviscerated by mold zombies last November.
I hadn’t been there when she, Fergus and David initially confronted the demon, Sebassis at Trevor Radcliffe’s research facility in Bellevue. The three of them had barely survived that encounter but they did manage to keep Sebassis from manifesting fully on this plane. At least for a time anyway. It took all of us working together to finally put that threat to rest two weeks ago. An effort that had nearly killed us all.
I sat down and propped my battered old combat boots up on the table, leaning back in my chair, drawing a scowl from the maitre d. I ordered some bagels and herbal tea with a crooked smile on my face. He stalked off in a huff and Lucy ruefully shook her head in disapproval of my antics.
“Hey, Lucy,” I lied, “You look well.”
“Jack I need your help,” she replied nervously turning a blind eye to my compliment. Shit. I knew it.
“Radcliffe still has my notes involving his, uh, ‘long-term visitor from Ireland’,” she explained cautiously referring to Sebassis. “I think now is the time to retrieve them. The notes are extensive and shouldn’t be available to a man such as him. They’re too dangerous.”
“Seriously, Lucy. What the fuck?!”
“I am pretty sure he is keeping them somewhere close to him, or under his personal supervision,” she continued, ignoring my outburst.
“Why now? Is he going to use the information imminently?”
“I don’t think so. But it is a loose end. I need the notes back. Not destroyed.”
“I understand you’re trying to make amends and I want to trust you, but you’ve been working for some shady people,” I replied. “I cannot promise to get the notes back to you.”
She nodded, and I noticed a tinge of sadness in the creases of her face, knowing neither of us were in a place to risk meeting eyes, initiating a Soul Gaze. A reminder of the past we shared. “It is important that I get them back. Very important. I’ll be here for a few days, you can reach me at this number after I head back to Vancouver.”
I took the card she handed me as she stood up without comment. I watched her go, my thoughts churning. If I was going to get these notes I was going to need some help. And I think I knew exactly who I could get it from.
Part 02: Virgil Gugasian
I was working diligently to hunt down that psychopath that had haunted Seattle for far too long, Barry Goldman when I got a phone call. The line was heavy with static and I could barely understand the caller. It was slowly dawning on me who I was speaking to when I heard the name “Jack”.
Splendid. It could only be Jack Youngblood. It would certainly explain the static on the line. Wizards don’t react well with modern technology and Jack was the most powerful wizard I knew. I had heard that he had lost his mojo a few years back when he confronted the Un-Man who sucked his magic right out of him. Something I knew a little bit about. Somehow he had reversed his condition and was slinging magic like he had before.
Whatever is bothering him must be important if he was calling me. We had worked out a prearranged meeting place months ago and I left my office and went directly to Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill. It was a glorious spring day with the sun coming out for the first time in months. It being a weekday the park wasn’t too crowded and I was able to spot Jack sitting under a tree discreetly nipping on a flask.
“Jack, it is good to see you, man,” I said and we shook hands. Jack smiled in recognition and offered me his flask. I took a sip. It was a bit early in the day for me but since Jack was a member of the The Conclave of Emerald, a local roundtable of supernaturals in the greater Seattle area, I wanted to keep him happy. At least he was drinking Jameson’s. A definite step up from the rot gut we used to sneak when we were kids.
“Good to see you too, Wyatt,” he said, “or is it Joey?”.
“It’s Virgil now,” I corrected him patiently.
“Why did you change your name anyway?”
“You would too if you were named after Wyatt Earp.” I replied without thinking.
As penance for my past heists, I was under some kind of geas. A blood contract with the Emerald Conclave. As a result, while I was aware that I was in a conclave member’s presence, like Jack, I could not speak a lie in any way without express permission.
“Well, sure. But why ‘Virgil’?” he asked somewhat incredulously. “I mean Virgil isn’t exactly a step up. More like a lateral move.”
What I could do is avoid the question unless he pressed the issue.
“A bit of a story,” I said and took another sip. “How’s Abby doing?” I asked trying to change the subject.
“She’s hanging on. I am not sure how long though. I have done everything in my power to find a cure for her but nothing fucking works,” he stated clearly frustrated. Abigail Youngblood was one of the most powerful women I had ever met. And she was being eaten alive by cancer.
He took another sip from his flask, “I think she is trying to hang on long enough for me to find our daughter. But I haven’t had any luck there either. Everything I try, everywhere I look it is a dead end. That fucking demon hid her well.”
Azael was a demon that once possessed Abby for several years. While it had her in its power she gave birth to her and Jack’s daughter and then spirited the baby away never to be seen again. Jack had been searching for her ever since he found out that she existed.
“I…I am afraid that I am going to lose Abby before I find our daughter…I…,” I put a supporting hand on Jack’s shoulder and pretended not to notice his eyes tearing up.
Jack bowed his head for a few moments and drew in deep breaths and seemed to pull himself back together.
He put the flask away.
“So. I have a problem that I think you might be able to help me with,” he said with forced nonchalance. Jack told me about Lucy and her missing notes. I knew her from a few encounters in the past. Her work as a security specialist was top notch and we had something of a friendly professional rivalry going.
Jack had explained that Trevor Radcliffe had used coercion and threats to keep her under his employ. Something I would dearly like to make him pay for. I knew immediately why Jack chose me for this job. I had broken into Trevor’s office in the Peter Kirk Syndicate headquarters once before. Plus I was a far better thief than he ever was, even if he wouldn’t admit it aloud.
“I am in,” I told him. It was never really a question. I was indebted to the Conclave and Jack was a member. But he was also a friend.
“There’s one other person who I think we need to bring in on this if it is to work,” he said standing up. “What time is it? We have a ferry to catch.”
Part 03: Fergus Mac Cormaic
I felt like my life was spinning out of control. My engagement party was in only a few more days and I had just learned that my father-in-law Raymond Avila had invited a number of local fashion industry guests, in particular, Emanuel Barardo. The very same Emanuel Barardo that had staked my fledgling line of Parkour clothing and had been demanding a progress report on his investment.
I know it was Raymond trying to set me up to look bad under the guise of ‘helping me network’. It is possible I had fallen a little behind.
I doubt he would accept the excuse that I had been embroiled in mortal combat with the forces of a powerful demonic presence or that my daughter hadn’t allowed me a decent night’s sleep in the last 4 weeks. Maybe if I told him that I was the “Green Man” he would give me more time?
It was a beautiful spring day so I had walked down to the Snapdragon Cafe with my laptop to do some research into hi-tech new fabrics for my parkour line. There was a promising new material called Thermogreen that was Eco-friendly and keeps you warm even when wet, unlike down, which can serve as a breeding place for mildew and creates odor. It seemed like a perfect foundation to my clothing designs.
I was working out an order of the new textile when I heard the distinctive sound of an old, Army Issued 1940s era Jeep. As I looked up my laptop dropped the internet connection and based on the gasps of dismay that rippled through the internet café I wasn’t the only one. Sure enough. Jack was in town.
I ran outside the café and flagged down Jack. His old jeep backfired a couple of times as he pulled to the side of the road and got out to greet me. He was accompanied by Wyatt Joseph Avila AKA Virgil Gugasian. Who was one of my fiancé’s cousins. We spent a few moments exchanging pleasantries before Jack got down to business. I walked with them down the street to the Judd Creek Commune, where I lived, so we could speak without being overheard by passersby.
Gemtriax Theophania, the founder of the Commune and a leader of the Seattle chapter of The Paranet had obviously had a premonition that Jack was visiting because she greeted us at the back gate with a tray of snacks and a pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade. We sat at the picnic table near the barn and Jack filled me in on what was going on.
“Sebassis?!?!” I exclaimed. “Will that damn demon ever be out of our hair? I am so sick of dealing with this crap.”
“Look man, I know you are busy right now,” Jack said. “I know exactly how you feel. I don’t have time for this either. But you know we can’t let this go. If Radcliffe summons Sebassis again then we would all be in serious trouble. Demon’s aren’t known for being forgiving towards the people that banished them back to Hell.”
“Shit. But why me?” I asked. “Virgil here is the criminal,” I said. “Uh, no offense.”
“None taken,” Virgil said with a shrug.
“Fergus, you know why,” Jack said with a quiet intensity. “We are the only ones who can put a stop to Radcliff and his ambitions. Who can prevent Sebassis from rising again.”
“Shit. OK. I am in.”
Part 04: Jack Youngblood
I knew Fergus would join us. He may make a show of being reluctant to get involved with Sebassis again but he knows what is at stake. He is a brave man. He has so much to lose.
His wife, Anna Maria Avila is a fierce and intelligent woman and their love for each other is palpable. His daughter, Erin is a treasure. If Sebassis was to return to this reality then they would both be prime targets for the demon’s vengeance.
Once we were settled in with our tall glasses of lemonade, Wyat… er Virgil went over his past research into Trevor Radcliffe, and the office’s complex security, both mortal and mystical. Virgil and his old crew had managed to break into Radcliffe’s office in the Peter Kirk Building through diligent research and planning.
Based on that research, the only plausible places where Radcliffe would keep the notes were in the office or Radcliffe’s yet untouched mansion. Given the recent theft of his office by Virgil, Trevor might move the notes to his mansion.
Our course of action decided we went to stake out Trevor Radcliffe’s mansion in Bellevue. Virgil took us to a great vantage point at a dog park across the sound from Radcliffe’s McMansion. It had a perfect view right through the front windows and was elevated enough to give us a look at the back as well. While Virgil surveilled the grounds through his camera with the telephoto lens, Fergus and I used our magics to test the mansion’s defenses.
Fergus reached deep within the Wylde, that mystic place that fueled his abilities. As its name implied it was a wild and unpredictable force so I used my spirit magics to help anchor him and prevent him from succumbing to the impulses that were part and parcel for using that kind of unpredictable power. Fergus was able to control his impulses but he learned very little about the grounds other than that were fully mundane with no mystic forces he could detect.
Not wanting to leave anything to chance I did my own reconnaissance, using my connection to the local spirits and ghosts of the area to see if I could detect anything. Despite my deep meditations, I had similar results. There was nothing significant on the mansion’s grounds as far as I could discern.
Not satisfied Virgil masqueraded as an Amazon delivery associate and scoped out the security of the mansion by making a “delivery”. He lightly interrogated a maid and also came up empty.
I had been hoping the notes would be held at the mansion which didn’t have anywhere near the level of security as the headquarters of The Peter Kirk Syndicate. Unfortunately, it looked like we were going to have to do it the hard way.