Song of the Earth
The Failed Ecstatic
Dylan is Will‘s father, and was the husband and lover of the Ecstactic mage Gabrielle for 17 years. After almost two decades, he has finally Awakened as a nascent Son of Ether. After Gabrielle’s death, he retreated from the magical world, also becoming largely an absentee father to his living son. As Will’s life has repeatedly been put in danger he’s tried to live up to that role.
Dylan’s life before becoming sucked into the Ecstatic’s world isn’t well-known, but seems to have been ordinary, if extremely sexually adventurous. He told Will he tried sex with boys but only six of them—it wasn’t really his thing. Before Will was born, Will’s bedroom used to be his and Gabrielle’s playroom. And so forth.
Gabrielle, like Ava, Awakened after exposure to Mr. Kite‘s circus. Dylan and Gabrielle actually knew Ava beforehand—the three of them were in the same circles, the sorts of circles the Ecstatics recruit from. They maintained a friendship after, but Ava chose to stay in Kite’s pocketrealm. Dylan would have been happy to stay, or at least explore the various pleasure realms of other Ecstactics, but Gabrielle was determined to live in the real world.
Together they formed a cabal, the Radical Dreamers with Eleanor Graf (later Morris); and Marc Hudson, a Son of Ether who created most of the artifice in their chantry, though he didn’t put it in a Volkswagon Beetle. Dylan was a full member of the cabal despite being a Sleeper.
Dylan and Gabrielle later chose to settle in Davenport, Dylan’s hometown, Gabrielle placed mental safeguards in Dylan’s mind, something that made him seem clueless when he was twice picked up and investigated by the Technocracy and ultimately written off. Those safeguards have held to this day, violated only by Sapphira, and then only in dreams.
After they had a child, Dylan wanted to leave Davenport for somewhere safer, but by then Gabrielle wouldn’t, both on principle and because there were boundaries she couldn’t leave unwatched.
She died when their son Will was 7, in a car accident.
Dylan is initially clueless of all goings-on; Will and his cabal, the Children of Vision, take pains to hide things from their parents. He meets Sonia as well as Jacob, who convinces Dylan that he and his son are dating for laughs. It’s not until Sonia breaks the cabal that Dylan learns what’s going on.
Dylan arrives home just in time to see Jerusha kick Cudro through the air—into his car. Though he and Will had been fighting, for a moment all Will can see or think about is his mother’s death. Will, Jahan, and Dylan leave Davenport with Jacob and Cudro, and Dylan hears enough of the situation and argument between the mages to understand what’s going to happen, almost dropping the word “Technocracy.” On the way there, he asks Will to tell him everything, and Will does.
Dylan reveals that Will’s mother was a Cultist of Ecstasy, realizing neither one knew the other knew about magick. This revelation overshadows much of the drive to Chicago, but Dylan also infers that Will is blood-bonded to Jacob. He reveals that Jacob is also bonded to Will—the path is slower but no less complete—and surmises that he’s known Will too briefly and superficially to care enough to risk himself if the blood bond were not a factor. Later he tells Will he knows about the bond because he was bonded himself, once.
After getting everyone safely to Chicago, Dylan returns to Davenport to meet with a contact—Eleanor, though he does not share that with the group—taking Jacob with him. Jacob has his own encounter, meeting Xifeng, Ben, and Russ and abducting Russ. When they return, Kate is able to read Russ’ mind and find out about him and the rest of his amalgam. As he is assigned to find Will’s cabal, Dylan wants to kill him or have him blood bonded to Jacob, but Will and Jahan outvote him.
After Jacob calls the Technocrats and they have to escape, Dylan mostly plays the role of getaway driver (something he is used to doing). When they realize they left Jahan behind, Dylan is immediately clear they can’t go back for him, but says he won’t be tortured as they treat kids differently. They ditch Kianna, the vampire that let him fall out the back.
On the run, the first thing Dylan does is use one of Gabrielle’s artifacts to find Mr. Kite, although he needs Will’s help to pinpoint it. At the Circus, they meet Ava. After encountering Kite, Will finds the chantrymobile that Gabrielle left for him, as well as some other things.
Dylan recognizes it, explaining this is where he and his old cabal used to live—the chantry housed as many as seven people at one point. It eventually split when Gabrielle and Eleanor became Adepts and the others lagged behind. Will learns that Jeffrey was a member of their cabal briefly, when he was a kid and a novice, and admits that he was a Nephandus and he had to kill him. Dylan reacts negatively, and then comes back later and apologizes.
After this, Will and Dylan fight repeatedly, from Will taking the master bedroom of the chantry to Will taking risks to just about everything. Sapphira manages to invade Dylan’s dreams, aggravating the situation.
When the Virtual Adepts come up with a plan to rescue Jahan, Sonia stays in the car with Dylan, the getaway driver. When she abruptly senses she needs to get to Christine’s, she tries to leave, and as Dylan tries to delay her by asking questions, she’s forced to knock him out to stop him. He wakes up quickly, in time to help get Will out.
Will is shot and bleeding out. While they are leaving, Chad Smith jumps onto the car and struggles with Dylan over the steering wheel. He causes them to crash into a car—the one Xifeng, Ben, and Russ are driving. Xifeng gets out of the car—the others are unconscious—and shoots Chad, killing him.
Dylan has no mercy. Pulling his gun on Xifeng, he takes her hostage. He wants her to take them to an Empowered doctor. If she tries anything, he’ll kill her. If Will dies, he’ll kill her. If the doctor does anything, he’ll kill her. If they don’t get out of Davenport, he’ll kill her. Dylan is hysterical. Xifeng takes him to James. James is able to patch Will up. Then they leave Davenport, Dylan taking Xifeng as far as the city line.
The cabal reunites in Cincinnati, Eleanor bringing Sonia and the newly-rescued America Anders. Dylan reveals that Eleanor Morris was the “Ellie” in his cabal. They discuss what happened while each was apart.
The chantry settles down in Cincinnati. Eventually Eleanor comes up with a ritual to break Will’s blood bond, using her entire coven in Cincinnati. Dylan takes him home afterwards.
Sometime after this they collect Jahan from Mountjoy and the Cincinnati Hermetic chantry. Things slowly come back together… until Super Tuesday.
Dylan is one of the first to react when the Technocrats attack the chantry, immediately recognizing the use of tear gas. When America seals Russ Jones inside, he rips off Russ’ mask, exposing him to the same gas he was using on the rest of them. Davey created a barrier to buy them time in the basement as the other Technocrats broke though. As the chantry retreated to the hot tub, and the promise of Hollow Earth, Charlotte Bailey rerouted the exit point back to the living room. The others returned to find Dylan unconscious, and this way he remained through the battle with the Nephandi, until Matt showed up to rescue everyone.
Dylan participates in the rescue of his son, although none in any significant way. Afterwards they form a new cabal, the Avengers. Dylan is not a member, unlike his days with Gabrielle; he has sort of a vague non-voting member status.
Dylan was largely absent from the events of Black Tuesday, but he did drive Jacob to Ben’s safehouse at Cadence’s urging, so Jacob could take him out.
When Kal triggered the Cataclysm, Kate teleported everyone she deemed important to her lair to gloat, leaving out Dylan. He and Sapphira traveled the destroyed North America for 11 weeks before they were reunited with their children. The isolation led them into a relationship.
After Jessica‘s return, Dylan learned his wife Gabrielle was still alive, trapped in the Shade Realm of Time, in Saturn. He and Will traveled to free her. During an attack by Nephandi in Deep Space, with Will extending him his perceptions, Dylan Awakened as technomancer, jamming an enemy ship’s attack.