The Dresden Files: Portland

Scenario Two: Session 2

Yuriko heads back home while Dillon decides to check out the Signa Apartments at night. He sees a group of four tough-looking men hanging around the parking lot. They are laughing and cutting up. Dillon approaches the group and tries to engage the men in conversation. However, as soon as he asks about a man with a bulldog tattoo, the men’s attitude shifts. They grow increasingly close-mouthed and hostile.

Dillon decides it will be best to move on. He retreats to the shadows to eavesdrop on their conversation to see if anything of interest is said. He doesn’t have to wait long before the toughs decide to see someone named “Two Tone” to get a fix. They also say that they’re going to tell Two Tone that someone was asking about him.

As the men walk away, Dillon follows close behind, sticking to the shadows. The men head over to 81st Street and walk up to a run-down house. They knock on the door and someone inside can be heard yelling for Sharyl to get the door. A worn-out looking woman opens the door and the men enter. Dillon sneaks up to a window along the side of the house and peers inside. A big bald guy sprawls on a tattered and worn couch. As he turns his head to speak with his visitors, Dillon gets a clear view of a bulldog tattoo along the big man’s neck. Dillon texts Tom the address of the house with a brief message about his discovery, then decides to head back to the apartments and continue his watch. Dillon stays until almost 3:00 a.m., but nothing else seems to happen.

The next morning, Tom calls Dillon. Two Tone has been arrested. Dillon calls Yuriko to let her know, then calls Nick to see what he thinks about the situation. Nick tells him that solving the crime may have taken care of the ghost. However, there’s only about a 50/50 chance. If the spirit is still lingering, they will need a Warden or an ectomancer to take care of it. Nick suggests using the local Warden. Dillon asks Nick if he will accompany them to the apartment to see if they can find evidence that the ghost is still there. Nick agrees. Dillon calls Tom and explains the situation. Tom agrees to meet everyone at the apartment complex the next afternoon at 2:00.

The next day, everyone meets in the parking lot. Dillon introduces Nick to Tom. During the entire conversation, Yuriko stares fixedly at the apartment complex. Suddenly, she sees a flash of a bedraggled young woman gazing out at them from a upstairs window. As soon as she sees the woman, the figure disappears. Yuriko gives a small gasp and points a finger at the apartment. Cautiously, the group makes their way to the apartment where Yuriko saw the figure, number 212, and knock on the door. There is no answer.

They head down to the apartment manager’s office and inquire about the apartment. The manager tells them that the apartment has been sitting empty for the last several weeks. He admits that a previous occupant of apartment 212 did have a bit of tragedy befall her. This was Epson‘s apartment. He also tells the group that another young woman lived in it after Epson, but left because she "didn’t like the feel" of the place.

The manager lets them into the apartment to leaves them to take a look around. Everyone feels uneasy as soon as they cross the threshold. There is a decidedly creepy feeling here. While Nick, Tom, and Dillon try to decide what to do next, Yuriko takes a step forward. In a slightly quavering voice, she calls out “Audrey Epson! The man with the bulldog tattoo was arrested this morning. A person came forward.” Almost immediately, the lights begin to flicker. The group flees the apartment to the safety of the parking lot. The spirit is clearly still lingering here.

Tom has to leave to go speak with the D.A. about holding onto Taylor for a little longer. As long as there’s a chance of Epson killing again, Taylor will be safest in police custody. Nick, Dillion, and Yuriko talk about their options. As the only way to get rid of the spirit will be through a magical ritual, they will need to have access to apartment 212. It falls to Yuriko to go talk to the apartment manager about renting the apartment. While she is gone, Dillon talks to Nick about the evening at Edgefield. Nick confirms that Queen Mab is also known as the Queen of Air and Darkness. Yuriko comes back and informs them that she can “start moving in” tomorrow. Nick tells them that he will contact the Warden about performing the ritual.

Later on that night when Dillon is back at the church, he calls Tom to let him know about the plans for the next day. He is not specific about the ritual, only that they will be bringing in another “expert.” Tom confirms that Taylor’s release has been pushed back a few more days. Hopefully, this will all be resolved soon. Dillon seeks out Buxman to talk with him about some of the recent events. Buxman thinks that “the balance is shifting.”

The next day, Yuriko picks up the key to apartment 212 in preparation for the night’s events. Once the sun has set, Dillon, Yuriko, Tom, and Nick meet in the apartment parking lot. It is not long before the Warden shows up. Dillon briefly introduces her to Tom. The Warden asks Tom if he has ever worked with psychics in the police department. Tom replies that he has. The Warden tells him that tonight, things may go a little like that.

As the group enters the apartment, a feeling of unease washes over all of them. The Warden finds a clear spot and begins setting out her equipment. She explains that as soon as she starts the ritual, the ghost may try to stop her. If the spirit materializes, then it can interact with the physical world … and they will be able to interact with it as well. They must keep the spirit away from the Warden for this to work. The Warden draws a series of circles on the ground around her, then starts the ritual.

Almost immediately, the lights begin to flicker and the ghostly form of a young woman appears. The spirit angrily tries to rush at the Warden, but Tom and Dillon block its path. They both grab the ghost and wrestle with it, keeping it from interrupting the Warden. Yuriko and Nick hover nearby in case the two men need help. With a final chant, the Warden completes the spell and the ghost disappears. There is not a lot of discussion as the Warden picks up her supplies and everyone leaves the apartment.

After Nick and the Warden have left, Yuriko, Dillon, and Tom head to Darla’s for a cup of coffee. Tom is clearly disturbed by the night’s events. Dillon and Yuriko look at each other, trying to decide how much more Tom can handle. Yuriko leans across the table towards Tom. In a low voice, she tells Tom that now that he has seen evidence of ghosts, maybe now he can stretch that belief just a little further. She tells Tom about the gruff (that wasn’t just a man in a goat mask), fairies and the two courts. Somehow, Tom has gotten the attention of the Summer Court. Both Yuriko and Dillon urge him to be very careful.

Dillon asks Tom why he was in the woods that night. Tom relates that he was investigating the murder of a young man, Lyst Cathers. It is an active case, the killer hasn’t been found, and the murder was “ritualistic” in nature. Apparently, occult symbols were carved into the victim’s body. Upon Dillon’s request, Tom agrees to let him see crime scene photographs to see if he recognizes the symbols. The three finish their coffee and head to their respective homes.

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