Dresden Files in Birmingham UK

Session 4 Diamondback

Session Three – Diamondback

Under the forensics tent, Beaker prepared her magical ward. The bridge from Faerie would emerge at the south side of the stream, so the Ward need only be a semi-circle as the running water would block the other side. She wanted to leave the demon with one exit, back into Faerie, in the hope she could thwart its mission and send it back against its summoner.

The last few hours before sundown were pretty frantic, gathering components and drawing up the power. Her teacher (she didn’t like the term “master”) would not have approved of all her choices, but time was short! Lyra was sent off,on her scooter to collect a few items from Noreally, Beaker’s hippy/geek shop.
A bottle of Cobra.
A diamond earring (well, probably diamond, zirconium was a kind of diamond wasn’t it?).
A snakeskin pouch – a new line of ethical snakeskin, harvested from a shed skin.
A smear of the demon’s blood scraped from an arrow head from one of the Fae hunters.
She also tried a 20 pound note, thought to have belonged to its summoner (Mr More).

The final ingredient was power drawn down from the sky by Long Zhu. The young woman concentrated for almost an hour, gathering clouds overhead and then calling a mini lightnig strike to sizzle and spark along the barrier. Lyra rolled her eyes as she watched the sparks singe the corners of the tent. The Stores sergeant was going to go ballistic!

When darkness fell, the nearby streetlights began to flicker and the portal from the faerie realm shimmered and, from the ruins of the brick bridge in our world, the ghostly image of the ancient stone bridge in Faerie, came into view.

The huge snake slithered over the bridge and into the Mortal World, crashing into the flaring barrier and bouncing off. (Beaker’s Lore, boosted by preparations, significant symbolic elements narrated into the story and by Long Zhu’s lightning was sufficient).

Behind the great snake, a hawk, two huge hunting hounds and two Faerie huntsmen on white horses came to join the fight. The hawk was crushed by the giant snake, shattered against the flaring barrier. One of the dogs was torn apart by the enormous fangs.

Then it reared up, flaring its hood and tearing the tent roof open. Its black, glittering eyes stared down at Beaker trying to overcome her will. She may have been “Out of her comfort zone” but she managed to hold on.

The first rider galloped over the bridge to spear the demon but horse and rider were swiftly torn apart. The second rider reached the bridge, drew a bow and called across. “What would you have me do?”. Beaker replied that they wished to repel the Demon and track it back to the summoner. The handsome young knight waved and withdrew out of sight.

Just as the Demon drew back for a final effort to breach the barrier, a little old lady with a small dog peeled back the flap of the tent and peered inside. Ezio and Lyra moved to keep the intruder out while Long Zhu tried to distract the snake. Fortunately Beaker managed to keep her concentration as the old lady turned out to be a simple illusion cast by the demon to distract her. It flailed against the barrier but was held. Glaring with hatred, it hissed at Beaker, “Give me a Name!”.
Thinking as quickly as she could she said, “Your summoner” and the creature turned and fled back over the bridge. It was only a few moments later that she began to wonder if she had just inadvertently used magic to send a demon to kill a mortal – one of the big no-nos of the Wizard’s Council. Ezio stooped to taste the blood of the slaughtered faerie knight, it was sweet and its power tingled and energised him.

They pursued the demon into Faerie but it was too quick for them, even Ezio and Lyra. Long Zhu spoke with the spirits of the air, asking them for help against their mutual enemy. She summoned a mighty wind to pick them all up and hurl them through the forest at breakneck speed surrounded by a cloud of autumn leaves. Lyra transformed into a glowing winged pixie, 6 inches tall, her police uniform, and other, more personal, items of clothing blown along beside her. Some way into the hectic flight a long green arm reached out from the bushes to snatch her panties. It withdrew with an evil cackle.

After a few miles, following the trail of devastation and decay, and drawn by the hunting horn of the faerie knight, they reached a huge thorn hedge. The thorns had drawn back into. A circular passage, just wide enough for the snake and its tail was just vanishing into a long, dark corridor with white walls, a red carpet and many doors. The young knight saluted them as they passed through. He had been one of the Earl’s court but there had been no time for introductions.

Lyra led the way through, her glitter illuminating the 7th floor hotel corridor stretching away into the dark. The Demon’s presence had killed all the lights. From some distance ahead it crashed through a fire door. Ezio and Lyra raced after it leaving Long Zhu and Beaker to follow. The Daughter of the Dragon calmly smashed a Fire Alarm so that, once the Demon was out of range, the alarms would start and the building would be evacuated.

The pixie caught up just as the snake bashed down the door to the penthouse suite. In the large, well-appojnted room beyond, many candles illuminated the scene. A glowing silvery dome, 8 feet in diameter, was in the centre of the large room. The furniture had been dragged to the edges and the carpet rolled out of the way to allow the preparations. Thru the translucent dome the figure of an old man, sat cross-legged and wearing only a loose robe of grey silk, was dimly visible. His wrinkled pale skin had many tattoos and other, temporary markings covered his face, including a triangle with an eye in it drawn on his forehead. On his lap was a small flute.

Thru a door to the left was a bedroom and a large man was groggily rising, eyes wide with confusion and fear. He had clearly been asleep, fully clothed in a crumpled black suit.

To the right, rising with inhuman speed from an armchair, was a handsome well-tanned man with hair greying at the temples. This was probably the guy who had bought the supplies from Beaker’s shop last week. He drew a handgun and emptied a clip into the giant snake, dodging and weaving as he fired. The shots mostly hit the target, clearly stinging the monster but a few flattened and bounced on its scales, dropping back like silver rain.

In the confines of the room, the shots boomed, even over the tearing of the doorway and the smashing of furniture as the huge snake thrashed about, trying, and failing, to reach the summoner.

Ezio, sword drawn, ran along the serpent’s writhing body, ducking through the door and leapt at the gunman. In the instant that their eyes met, he knew he had seen the man before. He was a senior member of the Italian mafia and a Red Court Vampire. Not one of the Scorsayzes but one of their senior lieutenants. The magical sword struck down, powered by Ezio’s inhuman strength and cut deep in the vampire’s side. The man’s face twisted in a horrific grimace, mouth opening wider than it should and the fangs flashed white as it bit down on Ezio’s shoulder ripping through clothes and flesh. The vampire was stronger and faster than Ezio and had honed his skills over more than one lifetime.

Lyra switched back to her human form, naked and beautiful. She tried to wrench the gun from the vampire’s hand and managed to distract him long enough for Ezio to run him through the chest. As he died, a flash of recognition and he gasped “You!” then fell and turned to dust as his armani suit fell to the floor. Lyra grabbed the gun, took aim at the snake and pulled the trigger but it was empty.

The summoner managed to remain calm and began playing on his flute, swaying rhythmically. He was clearly struggling to regain control over the demonic assassin.

Beaker and Long Zhu arrived in the hall outside. behind them in the corridor, lights were coming back on and a fire alarm began to sound. Doors were beginning to open and people were stepping out.

With great style, the Daughter of the Dragon drew her own magical blade and hacked at the serpent’s tail, cutting off a huge chunk and causing it to twist around to face her, ignoring the frantic attacks from the big guy from the bedroom who was now armed with a baseball bat. They saw that the Summoner had regained some control and the demon was now firmly focussed on killing them. It smashed down, wounding the lithe swordswoman badly, and rose to deliver the finishing blow. beaker had been pressed against the wall trying to stay out of the way but she screamed, “Close your eyes” and threw one of her flashbang potions. Long Zhu was ready and closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them as the flash faded and skewerd the dazzled serpent thru the back of the mouth. It exploded in black ichor, drenching the room and everyone except the summoner and was suddenly gone.

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MickH666

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