Book 11: Chapter 05

Tad’s Big Trick

BOOK: 11
GM: Jeff
Transcribed by: Bradford
Date: June 11, 2023
In Game date: October 31, 2012
Episode: 60 (134)

Part 01:

Hiroko Noshimuri

Stupid faeries. I hate them so much…

First, we had to suffer time itself breaking because of a damned magic rabbit’s broken watch. Then, we had to wade through a la-la-land to get it fixed. Then another faerie steals it from us, leaving us high and dry a few inches tall. Then, to get back to regular size, we had to go through time and space and relive trauma and ominous portends of “possible” futures.

But we got back…on Halloween night, and we went our separate ways to find out what the hell was going on. David went to the library to hit some books. Jack was talking to dead people. Orenda was hitting up some hunters.

I was on the rooftop of Zeek’s Pizza in Fremont, the home of the Knights of the Lid. From what I had heard, the Knights of the Lid were a bunch of sprites, pixies, and other small fey who had styled themselves after King Arthur’s Court. One of their members had promised to get us big again in exchange for two large pizzas.

One hour and thirty bucks later, I was on an empty roof with two pizzas and no little folk in sight. Their court was a castle of cardboard and Styrofoam, covered by a big blue tarp, and a round table of a pizza tin, but otherwise had no signs of life. My calls hit nothing but empty air.

Stupid faeries…

I made some calls and checked the news to find out what we had missed. Turned out that “The Great Seattle Traffic Jam” had resolved and turned into the “Great Seattle Riots.” Well, they started as parties. Parties meaning naked people, fireworks, loud music, dancing, and lots of illicit substances.

Then, the parties escalated and turned into mass civil unrest. Riot cops were being overwhelmed all over town as partiers turned either angry or overly excited to stick it to the man. At least one dotcom skyscraper’s upper floors were set on fire when a horde of people broke through police blockades and started looting.

It was bad. And something was going on. Something big in Faerieland.

I only knew one person involved in faerie bullshit that I could actually talk to…and I only hoped she wouldn’t jerk me around.

I called a number, got an answering machine, and then an immediate callback. The voice on the other end of the line was familiar, albeit nigh-unintelligible, because of the loud EDM playing in the background.

“Hiroko!” The voice said, “Long time no hear.”
“Hey, Fern.” I said, “I am glad you answered.”

Fern Frost was my former college roommate. She was also a Faerie Noble of the Winter Court of Faerie. We had had good times together. I didn’t trust her as a faerie, but I trusted her as a friend. She had been instrumental in helping Fergus and I move across the country under the radar.

“I need your help, Fern.” I said, “Things are weird.”

“I heard about your little excursion. Word travels.” Fern said.

I explained what was going on and the weirdness of the night. Pizza was cocaine for little folk, especially the Knights of the Lid. This place being deserted made no sense.

“That’s not surprising.” Fern said, “My Queen closed the Ways in and out of Faerie about an hour ago. Your knights probably didn’t want to get trapped there. Halloween is a dangerous night.”

“The Ways are closed?”

“Indeed. My Queen’s orders.”

The Queen she referred to could only be Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. A sidhe lady of such legendary power, she made her way into Shakespeare. If Mab had locked down the Ways, that meant there was something big.

“Is there anything big happening tonight?” I asked, ‘Anything Tad might want to hit.”

“Only the party,” Fern said, “I can get you in, by the way.”

“What party?”

“The Masquerade Party at Odianna’s club. It is the best in town in my opinion.”

Lady Odianna had a nightclub on Capital Hill. If there was a party there, it might be going down there.

“Put your people on alert for Tad the Trickster. We are looking for his mint-colored ass.”

“I’ll keep a lookout, but no way he’ll get into this party. Good hunting.”

I set the pizzas down with a note saying, “For the table.” and ran off into the night across rooftops. Something was going down.

Part 02:

Jack Youngblood

We needed to find Tad fast, so I went home and went with what I knew how to do. Magic was the only answer.

I set up some symbolic representations of the five elements and the five senses in my ritual space and started a ritual as Virgil and Hiroko walked in, seemingly exhausted.

I tried to keep my head straight while I prepared my materials.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Town’s going to shit.” Virgil said, “Riots all over down.”

“Little Folk made themselves scarce.” Hiroko said, “Big M closed the Ways.”

I paused, “That’s bad. But whatever. We need to find Tad. Help me.”

Virgil did his best to help with the magic bits, but he was new to Thaumaturgy and wasn’t much help. Hiroko played a tune on a stringed instrument to help me through guided meditation, but it only worked so well.

The real problem was that when I got home, I found the place empty. There was a note on the fridge from Abby that said she had taken Lilith to Edinburgh to see Zeb. After our jaunt, I tried calling but got no answer. I could only hope they were safe.

Luckily for me, I had materials to work with. I used some party favors Tad had left at Fergus’ wedding as a focus to channel some power over the course of an hour. I reached out to the local spirits, every ghost, elemental, and other ethereal in the metro area, and had them look for Tad or any sign of his presence. The spirits moved through me, through the world, and came back with news of magic.

I opened my eyes after a while and saw Virgil and Hiroko looking at me, concerned.


“Your eyes rolled in the back of your head, and you were talking to yourself in tongues,” Hiroko said.

“Talking with the locals.” I replied, “It’s worse than we thought. We got an Entropy Storm.”

“Sounds bad.” Virgil said, “The watch’s leak?”

I nodded and started shifting ritual objects around. I used the explanation of route information to get into a rhythm as I prepared a pointy thing.

“An Entropy Storm occurs when a lot of entropic magic is put into an area. Tad probably added to it. Murphy’s Law is basically having a field day like a hurricane. Anything out there that can go wrong will and is. My contacts tell me that the last time there was anything this bad was either on D-Day or during the Battle of the Bulge. The experts are still out on the specifics.”

“Is it dangerous?”

“It’ll burn out, and different weirdness will follow.”

“So, what are you doing now?”

“Testing a theory.”

I channeled power into a pair of enchanted objects I had prepared for this ritual. One was the dart had in my hand, a simple thing of iron wrapped in some silk Tad had touched at the wedding. I released my will and threw the dart at an enchanted map of Seattle I had drawn myself.

In mid-air, the dart slowed and almost stopped. The spirit forces searched the area until letting the dart go on a location. The dart thwupped into the map at Tad’s location.

Virgil looked at the map as I exhaled and caught my breath.

“Where is the bastard?” I asked, downing some water from a water bottle.

“The Masquerade in Capital Hill,” Virgil confirmed.

“That makes sense. It’s the eye of the Entropy Storm.”

Hiroko sighed and rubbed her temples, “Odianna is having a party there tonight. Fern invited me.”

I stood up and smiled.

“Get your costumes ready.”

Part 03:

Virgil Gugasian

An Entropy Storm was worse than I initially thought. When we all regrouped with David and Orenda, we climbed into Jack’s Jeep to get to the party as fast as we could. The goddamn thing broke down after block, forcing us to walk there on foot.

The entropy in the air had killed one of the most reliable cars I had ever seen and turned every light red.

Everyone with magical talent around town could feel the magic in the air. Even me. Jack said it felt like a black morass over the sky. Hiroko’s Shun Sight was going wonky. I just felt a pit in the back of my throat the whole night.

It took us two hours to walk about five blocks. Roads were closed. Riot cops were in the streets. Citizens were in creative versions of undress and hedonism. It was a journey.

We took the opportunity to talk and share information.

“You find anything about Tad?” I asked David and Orenda, walking beside us.

David nodded, “Tad is a minor faerie. He has done nothing of note in his centuries of life all the way back to Ireland. I actually found more mention of Kerouac than I did of Tad, and the only stories that have survived focus more on his cruelty than any ingenuity or cleverness. If anything he comes across as kind of…mediocre.”

I didn’t trust that assessment. Something was pushing him.

“I went to my Dad’s Saloon,” Orenda said, “Checked with local hunters. They confirmed what David learned and then some. Whatever Tad’s doing is affecting everybody.”

“How’s the Pack holding up?” Jack asked.

“Right now, they’re bailing some of their own out of jail. They were fighting with some of those Yakuza, and both sides got beat up by a third party unknown.”

“The Greens.” I said, remembering the scene we had passed through in the Nevernever, “Whoever they are.”

We arrived at the Masquerade at about 11. Once we got to the club, the entropy storm died. Jack was correct that we were in the eye of the storm. Whatever was going to happen was happening here.

The night air chilled as I walked to the front doors flanked by a pair of bouncers in dark blue suits.

“Invitation?” The ogre in disguise asked.

“They’re with me.” We heard as a young woman emerged from the club. She was wearing a snow white dress with gloves the design of mittens and a mask with a distinctive orange carrot nose.

“You’re dressing like your Dad?” Hiroko asked, laughing.
“I am honoring the great Jack Frost.” Fern Frost said as she embraced Hiroko.

Hiroko had run home and returned in a leather ensemble with a whip. Tonight she was Julie Newmar’s Catwoman from the 1960s Batman.

Jack and I and gone with suits and domino masks, though I had untucked my shirt and put on a bandana. Got to get my Reno on.

I bowed to Sidhe as deeply as I could, and we made introductions.

“Time is short.” I said, “We need to find Tad now.”

“We haven’t seen him all night,” Fern said. As a faerie, we knew she could only speak the truth.

Jack walked up, adjusting the sword on his back and the staff in his hand, “My lady, we have confirmed that he is here. Somewhere. He must be in disguise.”

“Try not to cause trouble unless you have to for the safety of the guests.” Fern commanded, “You and everyone else here are the guests of Odianna of Winter.”

“We will abide by Guest Rights in the Accords,” David said, his clay face changed to his own mask of hardened clay.

Fern waved her hand. The bouncer opened the door for us.

“Good hunting,” Fern said and followed us in.

The Masquerade was a nightclub with all the amenities. A stage with folks dancing their hearts out in all manner of costumes, a DJ in a large top hat scratching records like a pro, an open bar with every drink imaginable, and a high-end restaurant that most plebs couldn’t afford to eat at. Along the walls were various bouncers that could have passed as Secret Service agents. Some of them were in costume. Some were just Ogres in their natural form, veiled just enough to look human-sized. There was so much booze and reefer in the air I doubt anyone saw anything but a bunch of bad rubber masks.

A cursory glance showed a who’s who of Seattle high society. Everyone with money was here tonight. As was more than that, as evidenced by a sign that read, “Accorded Neutral Territory” on the wall.

“We should spread out.” Jack said, “Look for Tad systematically…”

Or at least that is what he tried to say. He was interrupted by a few police officers in dress uniforms. They knew Jack on sight. I hoped to God they didn’t recognize me.

I had never met Delilah Montague or her notorious Father, but their reputation was deadly. The Montague Family had infiltrated the Seattle Police Department and Sherriff’s Offices, feeding on all manner of emotions of Seattle. Bad people, all.

Delilah got into Jack’s grill immediately and pointed to his sword.

“That’s a real sword.” Delilah said, “There’s no permit in the state for that. Hand it over, Youngblood.”

“This isn’t a sword!” Jack said, pulling it out, “It’s plastic. Look.”

I think Jack tried a glamour on the sword. I also think the entropy in the air, combined with Delilah’s experience, made it not work.

“Arrest him.” She said, drawing her gun.

Jack darted off and dove over the bar. Guns were fired. Bullets whizzed past our ears.

I tried to interpose myself between the cops and Jack but was stopped by Tad.

Specifically, Tad the Trickster’s disguise, a man at the bar dissolved into the little green bastard’s form with a bullet in his head. In his last moments, he clicked the silver watch he held in his hand and fell over dead.


“Try not to cause trouble unless you have to for the safety of the guests.” Fern commanded, “You and everyone else here are the guests of Odianna of Winter.”

I blinked and realized we were back at the door again.

“Deja Vu.” I said in my best Keanu impression.

Jack looked at me and checked himself for bullet holes.

“Time loop?” Jack asked.

“Let’s find out,” I said and ran through the door.

I decided to take a risk. No matter how it turned out, it would tell us something.

It worked better than I expected.

I walked right up to the bar patron I had seen before. Tad’s previous guise as a guy dressed like David Bowie. I gambled that if he died and this was a time loop, he might still be out of it.

I pulled out my Thunderball, a DIY flail I made from paracord wrapped around a steel bearing the size of a billiard ball.

Not-Bowie caught my eye as I said in my best Boston accent, “I remember you. We went to Kindergarten together.” and slammed him in the face with my weapon.

It wasn’t Tad, and the ball knocked out most of his teeth. The cops came for me this time.


I’m pretty sure I took a bullet. But so did Tad.

The loop reset again. We tried again.

I don’t remember most of the loops, but we did it a few times.

Fern seemed to remember each loop, but not as much as us.

After the first five…to five hundred loops, Tad got impaled by Odianna’s ice lance. But we still didn’t get him.

Orenda sniffed Tad out section by section while Hiroko talked people up to draw Tad out. David worked the floppy-hatted DJ in an effort to gain support while Jack used his Sight Goggles and some anti-glamour eye cream he put in our eyes to see through the faerie disguises.

I don’t remember all of the ways we tried, but none of them worked. Tad had a different routine and disguise and hiding place every single loop.

Tad always died. We always reset.


One loop, I did try checking people with my Thunderball. All I got was a reaction from the floppy-hatted DJ. He was a faerie, but he was in his true form. I was then we realized who he was.

“Are you…the Mad Hatter?” I asked, shaking.

“You’ve heard of me?” The Mad Hatter confirmed, “Nice of Tad to let me out of the pokey.”

“You were under house arrest.”

“Wilbur put me in a Time Loop much like this one. I hadn’t realized I had lost almost a century until yesterday.”

I rubbed my temples. The puzzle pieces fit, but it was not helpful at all…


During a loop that seemed just like the last ones, I started getting a headache, and we searched the club systematically for Tad. We searched for half an hour, longer than we had previously.

It was long enough that I think we finally saw the end of the loop. We felt more than we saw the Entropy Storm outside swirl and gather around the nightclub. The club started to shake, and cracks appeared in the concrete. I swore I heard Tad’s laugh just before Hiroko moved to cut off his head for the 19th time.

Something was happening. Something big.

I decided to risk it all.

I took out my secret weapon.

A specially prepared playing card with a stylized black hole design on it that read, “Into the Abyss” flew from my hand, floated in the air, and turned white as power rushed into it.

The card was the ultimate manifestation of my Kleptomancy. The card drained all of the magic in the area and prevented anyone from using magic or at least greatly impeded or disrupted any spellcasting. I had hoped it would disrupt Tad’s veil or maybe catch some of the power of the Watch.

This time though, it intercepted the gathering entropy as the curse drawing in its power took hold. The curse redirected itself through me.

I exploded into a bloody mist. Shredded by pure entropy. I might have even gone nuclear.

I died. I know it.

Then the loop reset, and I was alive again.

I fell to the ground outside the Masquerade and wretched.

Part 04:

David Clay

I grabbed Virgil as he fell and vomited blood onto the sidewalk. He was sweating in the cold Seattle air, despite shivering moments before. I could not remember what had happened during the last loop besides a white light and a haze over my vision.

Virgil hyperventilated and fell into my side. Everyone gathered around him.

“Virgil?” I asked.

Virgil breathed rapidly, my grip the only thing holding him up.

“Tad is trying to kill someone.” Virgil said, “He’s using the storm to power an Entropy Curse. The target is inside the club somewhere.”

By his tone, I could tell Virgil was speaking true knowledge. More devout than any believer. He was speaking metaphysical truth.

“How can we still remember each loop, but no one else can?” Jack asked.

“I’ve been absorbing the power. You were all standing next to me when the loops started. But Tad is running out of time.”

“How?” Orenda asked, “He’s been turning back the clock all night.”

I considered the situation and came to a hypothesis.

“Entropy.” I said, “Every loop, Tad loses power. He is running low on whatever fuel he has used to power the stasis.”

Hiroko spit onto the pavement, “I hate faeries.”

I thought about our options and considered the routes we had not taken.

“Miss Frost,” I said, “We need to see Lady Odianna immediately.”

“Finally, someone with some intelligence.”

Fern took us to the backrooms, where we found Squire collared like an animal. Tad had impersonated Odianna to get us whatever he needed for this night, and she was not happy with her ogre bodyguard.

We made our way past a meeting we hadn’t seen before; Aaron Mercer was meeting with Michelle Shioma. A curious association to be sure. One to account for in the future.

When we entered the last backroom, past wards and locks, a wave of cold fell over us. A power I could feel stiffen my body. The magically sensitive of our group all got goosebumps in the presence of two Winter Nobles.

Odianna was dressed in her best for the night and looked displeased. Her displeasure was personified in her guest and the only other person in the room with us. An older gentleman, obviously also a Sidhe stood in regal attire the colors of winter. He was a warrior king of some variety. A high faerie nobleman.

“Happy Halloween, Grandfather!” Fern said, giving the bear of a man a big hug.

“Granddaughter, it is so good to see you.” The old man laughed, “This is quite a party.”

“Forgive me,” Fern said, introducing us all, “This is my grandfather. Boreal, the Duke of Blizzards.”

“Charmed.” Boreal greeted.

“What is the purpose of your intrusion?” Odianna asked with chilled anger.

“We believe Tad the Trickster means you harm, my lady.” I said, “He has trapped us in a time loop.”

“A time loop?” Odianna said, “Impossible for a mediocre trickster like him.”

“Possible when he stole the White Rabbit’s Pocket Watch and whatever he had us exchange the Patient One’s grimoire for to facilitate it.”

Boreal cut through the seriousness with a belly laugh that filled the room.

“We should invite Tad more often. I haven’t had this much fun at a party in centuries,” Boreal said, “I do love watching you all struggle against him time and again.”

“You can see the loops?” Virgil asked.

“Naturally, mortal. I am a Duke.”

The ice in the room cracked as Odianna balled her fists.

“My Lord, you could have told us this earlier.” Odianna beamed.

“And spoil the fun?” Boreal said. Odianna turned away from her superior and towards us.

“We find the trickster, now.”

Part 05:

Hiroko Noshimuri

We walked out of the backroom, Duke Boreal’s laughter continuing, and I was done with this mess.

Odianna walked into the club and waved power in just the right places.

The veil that concealed Tad evaporated, showing him at a table drinking a tequila.

“Took you long enough.” Tad chuckled, “No more loops. This is the end.”

We all drew our weapons. I had Zanpakuto, Jack had his Warden’s blade, Virgil his ball thing, David his fists, and Orenda conjured the claws of a bear.

I scanned the area with my Shun Sight for any surprises as we approached.

Tad sat in his loincloth and green skin next to a familiar opened briefcase. The Pocketwatch lay on the table in front of him, completely stopped. I clicked it, but it had no effect. It was out of juice.

Next to the watch was a hand torch that had just gone out.

“Even the Olympic Torch, the Eternal Torch, can only power this bobble for so long,” Tad said, resigned.

But then the club started shaking again. Virgil didn’t look up for another one of his card tricks, either.

I didn’t give him a chance to pontificate anymore. His sentence was already passed.

I drew Zanpakuto and readied for a swing to take his stupid head from his stupid body…

But then, something caught my eye. Something only my Shun Sight was able to see.

A shadow crept up behind Odianna. An assassin came to murder her.

I turned on the balls of my feet and leaped towards the shadow, intercepting the shadow as it swung a large weapon toward Odianna.

“No!” Tad screamed as my sword met a matching level of power.

A veil fell away, and an Oni stood before me. My sword locked with his Testubo, a great club of equal craftsmanship to my own sword.The Oni pressed against me, but I held my ground as the entropy storm ended and released its power.

Odianna was saved.

But then we heard the familiar laughter end and turn to the sound of pain.

Blood trickled from Boreal’s nose as his bloodshot eyes rolled into the back of his head, and he collapsed. It looked like a stroke or a heart attack. It explained why the entropy storm was needed to…

I turned to Tad, who smiled as the corpse fell. Power flowed through the air into Tad, turning his skin from Summer green to Winter Blue. I didn’t understand what he did, but I knew he was taking Duke Boreal’s power.

“Kill him!” I shouted and raked my sword across the Oni’s eye to hold him off.

Everyone attacked at once. Everyone got a piece. Tad didn’t have a chance or know what hit him until it was over.

Orenda turned into a bear and ravaged his torso. David crushed his heart. Jack decapitated him while Virgil forced the steel billiard ball into Tad’s mouth and slammed his head into the ground.

Tad’s death ended in a flash of white light, and things got fuzzy. Odianna and Fern disappeared.

We won. The Oni and whoever else was helping Tad got away in the confusion, but we won.

We brought what was left of Tad to the Queen of Hearts in a ziploc bag, as requested. We arrived just in time to find out there was a new Summer Lady and Winter Lady of Faerie.

Something big went down alright. Something way beyond us.

The Great Seattle Riots ended at midnight. More specifically, at 11:59 pm, a horde of people tried to set fire to another Dotcom while Riot cops braced for a charge. One minute later, the entropy storm ended…and everyone went home. Whatever drive the parties had dried up immediately, and everyone involved went home peacefully. No arguments. No opposition.

The rioters even cleaned up after themselves without much of a thought. News outlets still can’t make a good story out of it.

Jack told me later that the end of an Entropy storm led to the weirdness. With nothing to break down, order set in until the natural balance between order and decay returned to normal.

As a result, the next week had everything on time and in perfect moderation. Green lights and efficient traffic flow. Performance metrics in all sectors found themselves in the middle every single day. But no one could cook worth a damn because it always fell between under-spiced and over-spiced. Food was bland for seven days.

I even heard a few stories about hard drug addicts who were within city limits at the time were able to kick the habit for good. For a solid week, they had a clear head and could not get high.

I’ll take the small victories.



Book 11: Chapter 05

Dresden Files Accelerated: Emerald City: Requiem HumAnnoyd