April 25, 2004

TToD CAMPAIGN BACKGROUND

ONE YEAR AFTER THE RETURN OF THE ARMY SENT TO CHAOS, ONE YEAR INTO THE REIGN OF RANDOM.

Random is King, Vialle is Queen. Llewella is working on becoming Regent of Rebma, but there are problems. Corwin and his son Merlin are off in his new Patternverse.

Due to time dilation, Gerard spent 4 years as Regent in Amber. His reputation is mixed. The repair of the Primal Pattern wiped out or altered much of Shadow. Amber’s network of trade collapsed. Gerard had to use draconian measures to prevent starvation in the City while he forged new Shadow Paths to old and new trade partners with the help of youngers Tyler and Thalia. He saved the City but showed it a ruthless side few outside the fleet had seen.

Queen Moire died protecting Rebma with the shadow-Jewel, leaving a 15 year old daughter who was in no way prepared to rule Rebma. Martin stepped in to aid his young aunt and those Rebmans who had not pissed him off as a Prince, but not Regent – really as pain-in-the-ass mofo who’s the only guy who can make shadow paths for us. He’s tight with the young queen (in an older brother kind of way) and has put off swearing fealty to Random to keep his shit strong in Rebma for her sake. Llewella is having problems because she did swear.

Whatever their reasons for swearing fealty (like, for instance, that he had the Jewel and was the only one who could keep the huge shadowstorm from killing all of them), the family continues to back Random.

Chaos remains a huge bag of mysteries. Most of the family has seen little but the site of Dworkin’s Chaos Trump, the battlefield and a bit of the Courts proper. Chaos looked complicated. Dangerous. Weird. There is a Chaosian Royal Envoy and his suite in Amber, effectively an ambassador though the Chaosites don’t seem to have experience with ambassadors, per se.

Dworkin is almost never seen. He does not supply the family with Trumps any more.

Oberon is still dead.

Random is busy being King, of course.

Osric and Finndo are still dead.

Benedict comes and goes but his support is steady.

Eric is still dead.

Corwin is in another universe.

Deirdre wandered in a year after the others. The Unicorn had saved her but she was a long time healing from the wounds suffered in the Abyss. She has recently taken on Caine’s old job as Admiral of the East.

Caine never got along with Random. They tolerate each other, but not to the extent of Caine retaining his admiralty. He’s gone most of the time. [Rilga was Oberon’s long time mistress from before Faiella’s time. Caine is a legitimized bastard, like Llewella. Oberon married Rilga much later and Julian and Gerard were born legitimate.]

Fiona comes and goes as mysteriously as ever. She helps the king out when asked and is known to be a Trump Artist. Fiona is treated as in the books, as a sharp tongued, often irritating, extremely knowledgeable about occult matters and a Pattern wonk. Nobody wants to get into a mental duel with her via Trump but it’s not like she’s gone around kicking their asses psychically. Maybe she can, but if so she prefers to keep them guessing.

Bleys is extremely unpopular in Amber, what with attacking the City with a huge army and all. He visits occasionally and generally avoids situations where people might throw garbage at him – something that’s highly illegal but has happened once or twice.

Brand is still dead.

Llewella is in Rebma, trying to work things out with the Regency Council..

Florimel splits her time between Amber and her Shadow Earth. She and Random seem to enjoy needling each other. Florimel is the King’s Trump Artist, having stepped forward on Benedict’s advice. She has made Trumps of the newer members of the family for all.

Delwin and Sand may or may not exist.

Julian continues to work on Amber’s landward defenses and trade routes. Arden has changed considerably; he spends much of his time exploring.

Gerard runs the fleet, explores with an eye for trade and is in Amber little more than one month in ten.

Martin is Llewella’s right hand man, a role he’s not entirely comfortable with. He’s also effectively Crown Princess Melisandra’s big brother (though he’s her nephew) and pal.

Merlin is off with Corwin, and nobody but Martin has got to know him anyway.

Crown Princess Melisandra (daughter of Moire and Corwin) is 19 and restless under the Regency Council’s wardship.

Rebma
Rebma is in the same shadow as Amber and the weird pressure negation and breathable water thing is something they maintain. Rebma has its own, smaller, undersea trade network . Magic is common in Rebma and some of it, like the weird breathable water and all, works just fine in Amber.

Tir-na Nog’th
Is even less popular now that Oberon’s ghost prowls its spectral hallways.


The Nobles of Amber
An aristocracy of trade. Something like the British and Dutch East India Companies but with a stronger interest in the long run and less military support from the Crown. The Royals don’t like losing men and ships because some trading House got too greedy.

The City: Amber
Elements of Roman and Andalusian and Renaissance Italian architecture, near-modern plumbing and sewers, an extremely busy and cosmopolitan port, crowded – in many districts the average building height is 3-5 stories, 4 – 5 times the normal human lifespan, art, music and gadgetry from literally everywhere, patriarchy blunted and suborned by the royal ladies and rich noblewomen, a population full of people who’ve traveled widely, the arrogance of a people never conquered and seldom seriously hurt, a cacophony of cults with little power to oppress or to help…

Winterfair and the Festival of Masks
The most elaborate and popular festival in Amber, a week long series of Venetian Carnival-like parades, dances, balls, sporting contests, entertainments and such. Most people go masked and costumed at least part of the time, and while masked the social and class barriers are not in effect. (To a point.) Sexual adventures that take place during Winterfair, at least those between those costumed and incognito, are supposed to be ignored. (To a point.) There are always some murders, a rash of theft and robberies and a lot of disorder but Oberon always considered it a necessary pressure valve. Plus, Oberon enjoyed it and so do most of the royals. ‘Companies’, something like Mardi Gras ‘krewes’, sponsor and run specific events within Winterfair. There are neighborhood Companies, club Companies, temple Companies, etc. Several royals sponsor events or are members of Companies.

Posted by randy at April 25, 2004 05:38 PM | TrackBack
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