The Dresden Files: Portland

Scenario Five, Session Six

Days of Future Past, Part Six

October 30, 2012 (Late night)

After a late night, everyone finally goes home, Sabrina dropping everyone off. Along the way, there is a discussion of the use of magic circles and wards that may be used to contain Benjamin Hutton. Nick offers to teach the others to make magic circles that can be used by anyone as a form of protection. They all speculate on the ability to use the demon’s name to lure him into some kind of trap.

October 31, 2012 (Morning)

Hana and Yuriko do some research at Powells on demonology: how to stop a demon, protection, etc. They learn that with the demon being inside a human host that he is a lot less vulnerable to supernatural protections than if he had come across as a ectoplasmic entity on its own. They also confirm Nick’s speculation that its power would be weakened by thresholds created by magic circles.

Nick conducts a class in his home on how to infuse the power of will into a magic circle of protection for Hana, Yuriko, and Dillon. They have many questions for him and he does his best to answer them. Hopefully they will be better prepared to protect themselves against some of their supernatural enemies in future with this knowledge.

After his class, Nick heads out to talk to some of the paranetters about blood magic—primarily, what carving up a body with symbols after a ritual murder could achieve. The team still doesn’t have any leads on the ritual murder of Lyst Cathers, Brendon Adams, or Joel Hahn. At first he’s asked to inquire about the possibility of speaking with the dead spirit of Joel Hahn—maybe he can shed some light on his killer—but Nick balks at that. He says it gets awfully close to necromancy which is against the laws of magic. Plus, the Paranetters are all minor talents, there aren’t any that are probably powerful enough to pull that off. Nick also plans on checking in with John Daymar on his divination of the crime scene slag that Sabrina managed to get to him last night.

While Nick is out and about, Dillon decides to call Reverend Buxman with to get updated on the demon hunter possibilities and to ask a few questions about invoking this demon’s name. The priest tells him that the demon hunter possibility didn’t pan out, but that he has contacted an exorcist out of Boston that will be coming in to help. He should be in Portland on November 2nd. His name is Father Seamus O’Donnovan. As far invoking the demon’s name, you wouldn’t be able to summon him per se, but it would act as an irritant. Buxman would advise against doing that unless you had good reason. Dillon then asks if there is an old church that the diocese isn’t using that may be used as a possible site to lure the demon into and hold him should the need arise. Buxman suggests the Church of St. John the Revelator, an abandoned church in Nob Hill that the diocese is no longer using because it could no longer afford.

After concluding his conversation with the Reverend, Dillon then calls Tom Casing at the Police Bureau. Tom has no new leads on the serial killer case. He’s reviewing old cases to see if there are any matches in the details. Dillon asks him for permission to reveal the details of some of the carvings on the bodies to some other occult experts in order to dig up some leads on that end of things. Tom is reluctant at first—he doesn’t want to spread detailed information on the carvings around to encourage copy cats—but acquiesces finally to Dillon’s persuasive arguments.

Later that day, Nick returns from his outings with the Parnetters and with John Daymar. The Parnetters didn’t have much to offer as far as information. They were baffled as to why someone attempting blood magic would be carving a body after the fact. Blood magic is usually performed to gather power for a magical act with the death of the body being the culmination of that act. The carving would be to focus that power beforehand, not afterwards.

Nick’s information from John Daymar is much more fruitful. He recorded his session with Daymar on cassette (the diviner probably would have fried a digital recorder). Also, according to Nick, Daymar is pretty upset about what he saw and says that the group “owes him big time”. This is largely due to the fact that in the course of his vision, he saw a man get burned alive—probably Reverend Beauvais.

The recording is of Daymar describing what he is seeing and Nick indicates that he is holding the slag from the fire site that Sabrina provided:

““I see flames. Nothing but fire and smoke and heat surround me. Now I see a cross on the wall.” He taps the slag on his lap. “This. He burns this.”

“I see a man sleeping in a bed. Another man approaches, a tall bald man. I smell smoke behind me. The man in bed wakes up. Oh god, he’s burning. He’s screaming, burning. Oh god, I’m watching him burn… The bald man turns toward the cross on the wall.”

“The vision is shifting from the cross, from the house. I see the bald man. He walks across the lawn of the college. Two uniformed men approach him. He strikes one and his neck turns, hard. The other attempts to tackle him but the bald man throws him like a doll to the ground. He continues across the grounds.”

“I see the bald man again. He’s riding in a car. A cab. It’s driven by a woman in one of those Greek fisherman caps. He’s watching out the window. Her license is reflected in it. Kit Hardison is the driver.”

“He’s in the car again. Now he’s parked across the street from an antique shop. Faith Antiques.He watches as a man locks the door to the shop and makes his way down the street. He tells the driver to go to the University of Portland.”

“He’s in an alleyway and lifting a man up by his collar. An Indian man, maybe a Pakistani, I don’t know. ‘Where is Gary Faith?’ he demands. The other guy says he doesn’t know and the bald man produces fire in his free hand and brings up close to the Indian’s face. ‘I don’t believe you,’ he says. ‘Fine, fine. He’s got a shop over in Hawthorne. An antique shop. I don’t know anything else, I swear.’”

That’s all that’s on the recording. Dillon immediately calls Reverend Buxman and asks if he knows a Gary Faith or an Indian or Pakistani man that may be mixed up in this. Buxman says that he does not. So Faith may be someone that either the demon or that Hutton knows. And if so, he may be mixed up in this mess as someone who instigated this mess in the first place. He may know, or may be the one, who sabotaged Hutton’s circle.

Dillon calls Sabrina and lets her know that he has more information on the demon Hutton but it won’t pass the smell test for a court of law. As a result, he needs her to get an address for a Gary Faith. Also, could she get information on a taxi driver named Kit Hardison? These will have to be off the record, of course. She says she can and says goodbye.

October 31, 2012 (Evening)

The gang all head over to Barry’s Drafthouse to see Daymar in hopes of more details on his vision. Daymar is not happy to see them, but cooperates. They discuss the vision in more detail, but it’s clear from the vision that Hutton is more interested in Gary Faith the man than in the antique shop. Yuriko invites John back to her place for dinner, but he declines and stays at the bar.

Back at Yuriko‘s apartment, she does some internet researching into Gary Faith but only manages to pull up a non-helpful web ad for his antique store. Dillon calls Sabrina and asks if she’s found anything on Gary yet. She seems surprised and asks if there was a rush. He says that yes, actually, that he may be a target for Hutton. She says she’ll get on it and call him back. After a short while, she calls back and gives Dillon an address in Hawthorne. At Dillon’s suggestion, she’ll patrol the Hawthorne district and await their call for help if they need it. Hana will remain at the apartment.

Yuriko, Dillon, and Nick all head to the address that Sabrina provided. It turns out to be Faith Antiques. Gary must live at the shop. The porchlight is off—he must not want any trick-or-treaters. The three maintain a distance from the shop and watch. Then Yuriko strips down and changes into fox-form to check to perform a security perimeter of the house.

Going around the outside of the house, Yuriko observes that the windows all have security wires around them and there is a keypad at the backdoor. She also notes that there are lights on and a TV playing on the second floor. Security lights are on in the first floor shop area. She does a second trot around the perimeter to look for other observers and then rejoins the others and takes back on her human form.

The three discuss their next course of action. Ring the bell? Face directly? Be circumspect? He’s going to be suspicious of strangers, especially on Halloween. Dillon calls Sabrina. He gives her a heads up that they are at the address, but that he might call the police if they knock. Could she take the call if he does? She informs him that it would be a bit weird, but she could. How about if she just gives them a heads up if the call goes out? Okay, she could do that as well. . .

They decide that Yuriko and Dillon will go to the door and that Nick will stay outside as lookout in case Hutton comes calling. Dillon rings the bell several times before a slightly disheveled, balding man comes out, insisting that his porchlight was off before being brought up short by the fact that the ringers were not costumed children. “Who are you?”

Dillon introduces them and says that they have some information about Benjamin Hutton and why he might be tailing him. This pronouncement seems to set Faith aback, at first frightening and then surprising him. “May we come in and discuss it?” Faith invites them inside and leads them through the shop to a staircase leading up to a loft apartment. As they make their way through, Yuriko gets no supernatural “vibe” from the shop at all—it is full of high-end antiques and knick-knacks.

They sit down in the apartment after Gary mutes the television. “Now, who are you?”

“Well, like we said, I’m Dillon and this is Yuriko. . .”

" No, I mean, how do you know Hutton? "

“We have a mutual acquaintance.”

“Who’s that?”

" A Reverend Buxman. "

This seems to confound Gary, so Dillon takes the opportunity to start asking the questions. “How do you know Hutton?”

“We ran in similar circles. I thought we could work together—apparently, more than he did.”

“Do you have any idea why he’d follow you?” Dillon asks.

“No, I don’t have any idea.” But Dillon feels like not only does he know, but that the thought of it frightens Gary.

“Why are you so nervous, Gary? Why would Hutton rough up some Pakistani guy to find you?” This seems to get Faith’s attention even further, sweat breaking out on his brow. “Look, Gary. We can help you if you give us more information. If we know what is going on. This has gotten the attention of the Church. What does that mean to you Gary? What is going on?”

Finally, the man breaks down and seems to tell the truth. He provided Hutton with a summoning. A demon summoning, though Hutton thought it was for a spirit of Knowledge. He also sabotaged the man’s summoning circle. He thought that the demon would kill Hutton in revenge for not partnering with him in some supernatural endeavor. He felt slighted because Hutton called him an “amateur”. Faith didn’t reckon on possession. He didn’t reckon on Hutton coming back for revenge. He apparently got the summoning with one of his shipments of antiques. He stole the scroll back from Hutton’s apartment later.

Dillon’s phone rings—it’s Nick. Hutton just pulled up in a cab. “We’ve got to get out of here, Gary. It’s Hutton. Where’s the scroll?”

“Downstairs. In my sanctuary”

“Let’s get it.”

The three run downstairs as Dillon speed-dials Sabrina. They hear a booming sound as the front door of shop is kicked open with great force. “Gaaaarrryyy!” Hutton croons.

“Is there a way out of your sanctuary?” Dillon whispers, Sabrina answering on the phone line in his ear.

“No,” Gary replies

“Forget it. Let’s get out of here.” He directs his attention to Sabrina. “Pick us up at the shop now. It’s Hutton. He’s here.”

“I’m on my way.”

The three in the shop sneak their way toward the back door.

“Let’s shed some light on the subject,” they hear Hutton call out. They hear a whoosh and suddenly antiques along the walls behind them erupt into flames. At the door, Gary starts typing in the alarm code. “Hurry!” Dillon cries out as more antiques burn.

Finally, the door opens and the three spill out into the night and start running. Dillon calls out to Nick and he catches up to them. Yuriko looks back to the house and sees it glowing in flames, a figure standing on the porch, his eyes reflecting the firelight, staring at them as they run away into the night. Sabrina pulls up and they all pile into the car and she drives off. Dillon calls Reverend Buxman and catches him up on the situation. They all decide to meet at the abandoned St. John’s church.

At the church, Sabrina is obviously very uncomfortable under the holy threshold. Buxman is already there. Gary is informed by Dillon that he is basically under citizen’s arrest until they can figure out what to do with him. In the meantime, he’s safest here than anywhere else from the demon that looking for him. A long discussion ensues about what to do about Gary and about Hutton. Buxman doesn’t like the White Council’s summary execution methods but also does not condone what Gary has done and does not think the Church would either. Nick and Yuriko are for calling the Warden to help deal with Hutton—and, thus, Gary. Buxman (and, to some degree, Dillon) are uncomfortable with this idea). At the same time, Buxman does not want to lie (“bear false witness”) either. Finally, Buxman turns to Gary and asks him if he seeks the sanctuary of the Church. Gary, almost eager, says “Yes. Yes I do.” Buxman nods and says. " Very well. Call the Warden. We will seek her aid. But she will not have this man. He is under the Church’s protection. "



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