The Dresden Files: Portland

Scenario Three: Session 1

Yuriko’s mother tells her that Hana, Yuriko’s cousin from Sapporo, Japan, will be visiting them. Yuriko doesn’t know much about Hana, just that she met her once while visiting her grandmother. The two girls are about the same age. Yuriko is to meet Hana at the train station and bring her back home.

That evening, when Yuriko reaches Union Station, Hana is standing outside with her luggage and smoking a cigarette. There is a bit of awkwardness as Yuriko tries to give her cousin a hug, while Hana attempts a more traditional bow, but eventually they get sorted out. On the way back, Yuriko asks Hana how long she will be staying. Hana replies that she’ll be here for two weeks. Anzu said that it would be a good idea for her to visit. Hana also mentions that Anzu spoke very highly of Yuriko. Along the way, Hana is talkative and seems excited to see the city.

That same evening, Dillon gets a phone call from Tom. “How would you like to be a ritual consultant on a crime scene?” he asks. Tom confides that they may have a serial killer on the hands. This recent murder seems to be connected to that of Cathers. Tom gives Dillon directions to a point on the Colombia River near the airport. Dillon agrees to head that way.

When Dillon arrives, there are lots of Portland PD on the scene. He is stopped by uniformed officer, but Tom is nearby and waves him through the yellow tape. Dillon is given a visitor’s badge, then both men head towards the swarm of activity on the bank of the river. Before them lies a bloated male body with the same mutilations as Cathers. Based on his knowledge of the Church, Dillon is fairly certain that the triangle pattern of 666 carved into the victim’s forehead is not a ritualistic symbol. Added to the presence of the pentagram and the runes, he thinks that there is no real meaning involved. Nothing seems to match.

Another cop is standing near Tom. She is an attractive woman in plainclothes whom Tom introduces as Sabrina Manheim. He tells Dillon that they work together on some cases. Manheim is working a missing persons case, that of Brendon Adams, who is quite possibly the murder victim. Adams had been working as a waiter at Gerhard’s in the airport. When Dillon asks, he is told that the police believe that the victim probably died from blood loss, then was thrown into the river. Dillon explains his theory that the symbols don’t go together and that he’s not sure they mean anything. Tom mentions that this may actually be the first victim. Cathers was just the first body found.

Tom promises to get Dillon crime scene photos the next day. Dillon pulls Tom aside and asks about getting into the house where Cathers’ body was found to get a look at the scene. He asks if he can bring Nick as well and Tom agrees. Dillon also asks in a low voice if there’s been any more “ruckus,” but Tom shakes his head. As Dillon prepares to leave, Manheim stops him. He notices that she is wearing tinted glasses at night. The cop asks if Dillon has a business card. Dillon, nervous that Manheim might realize that he is not really a “ritual consultant,” tells her that he left them at home. Manheim tries to get his phone number, but Dillon pretends not to hear her and quickly leaves the crime scene.

On the way back, Dillon calls Nick and explains the situation. Nick agrees to meet at the house the next day. Dillon also calls Yuriko, who is with her family and Hana. She tries to unobtrusively retreat to the kitchen. Dillon begins to tell her about Brendon Adams and Sabrina Manheim, but Yuriko notices Hana hovering near the doorway. She tells Dillon that she’s in the middle of family stuff, but she will call him back when she gets to the apartment. Once at the Church, Dillon talks with Buxman who concludes that patterns of symbols seem very Hollywood-like, like someone just picked them randomly.

Meanwhile, as Yuriko leaves the kitchen, Hana stops her. Hana wants to know if she was talking to her boyfriend. Yuriko laughs, a bit nervously, and replies that the person on the phone was just a friend, not her boyfriend. Although Hana doesn’t look convinced, she moves onto a different topic: going out tonight. She is bored and wants to go dancing. Yuriko, not much into the club scene, agrees. The girls head out to “The Zoo”, a place that Yuriko has heard good things about. Along the way, Hana maneuvers herself behind Yuriko and begins rolling up her skirt and unbuttoning her blouse. Once at the club, Yuriko and Hana dance together for a little while, then Hana moves off to dance with boys. Yuriko sits near the bar, drinking diet soda, and trying to keep an eye on her wildly dancing cousin.

Finally, as the club closes, a still-energetic Hana approaches Yuriko. She wants to find a place to go run with her cousin. Yuriko, not quite sure what Hana means, asks “Go run?” Hana replies with emphasis, to “run” like Grandmother Anzu. Yuriko realizes than Hana is also a kitsune. She agrees and the two young women head to Forest Park. Yuriko is a bit nervous with all of the recent activity, but tells Hana to stick together. Each change behind some shrubbery, and then the two foxes are off and running. Yuriko tries to keep her cousin always in sight and to the areas of the park to which she is familiar. Once, Yuriko almost loses track of Hana, but manages found her trail again. Eventually, Hana begins to tire and the two foxes head back. Once back in human form and clothed, Yuriko tells Hana that if she wants to run here, then they have to do it in pairs … that other shifters share these woods. Her cousin agrees, but Yuriko is not convinced by her sincerity. She takes Hana by the shoulders and makes her promise. If something happened to Hana, Grandmother would kill her. Hana promises.

Once Hana is dropped off at her parents’ house and she is back in her apartment, close to 3 a.m., Yuriko texts Dillon to see if he is still up. He is. Yuriko calls his phone so they can discuss the case. Dillon is surprised that Yuriko is up at this hour. She tiredly explains about her cousin and the club, and then about going for a run in Forest Park. Dillon is concerned that she was in the park at night. Yuriko explains that she and her cousin were going for a “run” … like Yuriko “runs” in the park. Dillon is surprised that her cousin is also a shifter. Yuriko briefly explains her family situation, how she got the trait from her father’s mother. Also, how her father doesn’t really approve of the situation, and that her mother doesn’t know. The two also talk about the crime scene and Dillon’s belief that the ritualistic elements are fake. He invites her to drop by tomorrow while he and Nick go over the house where Cathers was murdered. She agrees.

The next day, Tom calls Dillon around 11:00 to ask him to meet at the house. Dillon replies that he will be there, then calls Nick and Yuriko. Yuriko takes a taxi so that she will not be away from work for long. When the taxi approaches the house, she notices that Tom and a woman are waiting. Not wanting to be the first one there, Yuriko has the taxi drop her off a few blocks away, then approaches only after Dillon and Nick are there. Tom seems a bit surprised to see Yuriko, but introduces her to Detective Manheim. Tom hands the crime scene photos to Dillon, and Nick and Yuriko take a moment to peruse them as well. Yurko realizes that she has seen those runes before, in one of the books that she researched at Powell’s.

The group enters the ramshackle house. Tom leads them to a bloodstained part of carpet. A bit of chloroform was found at scene, but not much else. The house was abandoned about 2 years ago. Tom thinks that Cathers was squatting here at the time of his death. Dillon, Nick, and Yuriko each go over the surroundings, but find nothing that would indicate a ritual killing. When questioned, Tom relates that while both victims were male and were killed in the same way, there doesn’t seem to be any other common factors between the two. The group heads outside again. During the entire time, Yuriko notices that Manheim is taking a definite interest in Dillon. Since she has to get back to work, Yuriko says her goodbyes. On the way back, she calls Dillon to let him know about Manheim’s interest. Nick and Dillon tell Tom that neither could find any evidence of ritual magic at the house. However, they will keep him posted if they discover any more information that might help the case. As the two men also say their goodbyes, Manheim approaches Dillon. Since he still doesn’t have a card to give her, she gives him her business card. On the back, she has written her personal phone number. Manheim tells Dillon to give her a call sometime.

Yuriko, Dillon, and Nick head to Powells’ to find examples of the symbols that were on the bodies that we didn’t recognize. It turns out that they are characters from the Cherokee alphabet. They mean something along the lines of “seeking the gate”. While there, everyone experiences an earthquake; which is the second earthquake Portland has experienced in a week. Nick thinks that if the killer is doing magic, it is “hedge” magic. He says he will keep his ears open in magical circles.

Dillon calls Jim Liwanu about the symbols. Jim isn’t Cherokee and can’t really help with that, but if actual native magic is going on, he suggests that they talk to Elder Eaglestaff at the NAYA center. He knows “native mojo.” Jim will call Eaglestaff to see if he will see Dillon.

Meanwhile, Yuriko goes home to get Hana and she, Dillon, and Hana go out to dinner. Hana is not convinced that Dillon is not Yuriko’s boyfriend. After dinner, the three go to Club Beat to dance. Dillon hangs out alone while Yuriko and Hana dance. At some point, the three split up and Hana begins associating with a seedy group of men. Yuriko goes to find her and discovers that the men what her to with them to Forest Park—and that Hana’s drink tastes “funny”. Yuriko accuses them of slipping something in her cousin’s drink and the men slink off. Yuriko collects Hana and Dillon and the three go home for the evening.

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