June 30, 2004

Thoughts from Jade, Session 6

With all the poisons going around, I find it is time to learn more about them. I trump my mother who seems to be somewhere in Chaos. She has her hair all slicked back and she is in a very provocative gown. She pulls be through, waives her hand and has me dressed appropriately for this place, some Fae domain. Exquisite manners go side by side with grossest indulgence. Fae nobles in fantasic costumes exchange barbed quips while sipping delicate vintages while others screw on couches or neurowhip screaming slaves for fun. Fae eye me and Mother resentfully or fearfully as we pass. My mother tells me that they are typical Fae, jaded, cruel and petty from centuries of boredom. She does not introduce me to anyone saying they are not worth knowing. I tell her that I want to meet my father. She is puzzled and I explain to her that I want to know more about poisons and the ways of chaos. She understands and tells me that Chaos is a lot like where we are now, but different in many ways. She pulls out a trump of a desk and searches in it and pulls out a sealed trump. She hands it to me along with an amulet for protection of my mind and body along with a signet ring to warn my father that he will risk vendetta if any harm comes to me. From looking at the trump, I can see that it is old and that she spent a lot of time making it from all the details. My father has green hair and green eyes, wearing a white suit and a few gold chains. My mother tells me that his name is Vramine and that he is not her long lost love, just someone she was involved with for a while. I’ll have to find out at another time who her long lost love was. Me, I don’t have time for that silly business. It’s all love them and leave them to me.

I return to Rebma and meet up with Pelydryn. I tell her that mother has me going to Chaos to find out a few things and I need her help in getting me suited up in protective armor as well as weapons. Pelydryn is deeply concerned but is very precise in making sure I am armored to the teeth and well as having weapons of every sort in every nook and crevice in my armor as well as my hair. I also make sure that I am in my mother’s colors as well as getting my hair done. After I feel I am as ready as I ever will be I head to the stable in Amber wanting a horse to take with me into shadow. I am given a loaner and head out into shadow towards Chaos.

After a few attempts I make contact with Vramine. He looks nothing like the trump. In fact, he is gross. He is obviously in a demonic form and resembles a very nasty looking spiny lizard. At least I know, I don’t have to worry about the guys I bring home to mother. How she hooked up with him, I have no idea. I’ll have to get that story later. I tell him that my name is Jade and that I am the daughter of Princess Llewella and am the result of a liaison from their friendship. He tells me to contact him in a little while. I continue heading towards chaos for a few hours and trump him again. He is now resembling the trump my mother drew, but he is older and wearing way too many gold chains. I am going to have to show him how to dress. He pulls me and my horse through onto a little solidified cloud, one of many, miles apart, floating over the edge of the Abyss. I tell him that I want to learn more about the ways of Chaos, and more importantly the shifting poisons and antidotes. He tries to get me to agree to one day show him around Rebma. I remembered by mother’s warning of deals he may try to make and tell him that I will offer him nothing except my gratitude and that if he wants to go to Rebma, he must take it up with my mother. I also inform him that I do not want him to claim me as his daughter, but since he is my biological father, the least he could do is teach me. Vramine says the notion is quaint but has taken some interest in me. He takes a look at my horse and asks what do I want to do about my pet. I tell him that I have to return it, so I attempt to trump mom. I am so far away from her, that I am struggling, Vramine puts a finger on my back and contact is made. Before I can say anything, he tells mom “Here is our offspring’s pet” pushes it through and closes the contact. Mom is not going to be happy having a horse in her room in Rebma. The poor horse is probably completely traumatized.

Vramine pulls up the logrus and a black road is made. I can tell that he is shielding me from most of the ill effects; however, I find it impossible to keep my stomach down. Humiliated I throw up. Vramine doesn't bat an eye. We get to his palace and we spend some time having me get adjusted to how to walk in his Escheresque palace -- a "traditional design." The environment is ever changing and what looks like a straight walk way is not. Codes -- words or gestures -- are necessary to open many of the doors or to warn you of conditions on the other side. Eventually I can move about the castle without getting lost or disoriented. He takes me to a room saying that it is not one of the larger rooms. To me, it’s gigantic. It’s at least four times the size of the throne room in castle Amber, in a three-dimensional design. I immediately get the urge to find out how well my father is with a sword and challenge him to a mock battle. He’s bad, or at least equivalent to an Amber Guard. I decide not to humiliate him, and pretend that it takes more effort to defeat him. We then go to his lab and he says in order for him to help me shift, I have to remove the amulet my mother gave me. He tells me not to worry, as he does not want to risk vendetta with Llewella. I guess I am going to have to trust him to an extent, but the amulet will go back on when our sessions are done. We spend hours shifting into creatures, plants, and partially shifting. He has me taste several poisons and antidotes. Just when I don’t think I can do any more, he pushes me further. At the point of me collapsing we stop and have dinner. I have never seen such disgusting looking food in my life. However, I am a guest here and must be gracious not to mention, I wanted to learn about this place, so I better learn to acquire a taste for this stuff.

After dinner I retire to my room. I ask the servants if there is a bubble bath that I can take. They look at me oddly and point to pools outside. I try to explain a bubble bath to them and they are truly confused. They say they will do their best to arrange for one for me in the morning. My body is reacting to all the poisons in my system and my temperature goes from hot to cold in seconds. I am surrounded in my bed with small furry creatures that are regulating my body. The next morning, the servants take me to a room and have me get into what looks like a huge washing machine. [*Actually an artwork equivalent to a decorative fountain, a cathedral-sized, zero-gee, ever-changing array of watery vortices. GM] I know that they have gone out of their way to prepare a bubble bath for me and fear death if I am not satisfied, so I go in. I get out as soon as I can and tell them thank you, but that it is not what I wanted. I felt pity from seeing the fear in their eyes. I tell them not to worry, and that I am pleased with their efforts. I tried to explain a bathtub to them. I told them that I would even be fine with a large cooking pot. They thought that I wanted to cook myself. After a time of explaining the concept of a bubble bath to them, I think they got it. They said they would see what they could do. I met my father in the lab, and we started our day all over again. It was worse than yesterday, but I am learning a great deal. At dinner, the meal was different. A lot of the courses were poisonous creatures that I had shifted into. There were also several antidotes that I would take before or after I ate. I enjoyed testing it all out, but Vramine stopped me after I got a little crazy, saying that he was not going to risk vendetta with Llewella over dinner. I still have a lot to learn. After dinner I went to my room and was surprised by a beautifully created bubble bath. I got in and was held up by several creatures. I had to kick a few out saying that I just wanted to soak, not be washed. They were thankful for that. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

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Log: Session 6

Jade trumps her mother and is pulled through somewhere that may be in Chaos. Llewella’s dress catches Jade by surprise, and soon Llewella has Jade dressed in the same basic attire. In this shadow it appears that the Fae Power is also being used. Unlike the other world, here the servants are being whipped and tortured for nobles' pleasure. Jade tells her mother that she would like to meet her biological father so he may show her the ways of chaos. Llewella pulls up a trump of a desk and in the back finds an old trump of Jade’s father. She hands the trump of Vramine to Jade along with a ring and amulet. Llewella tells Jade that the ring is for Vramine to know that she is under her protection, and the amulet is to keep anyone from tampering with Jade’s mind and body. Jade returns to Rebma and has Pelydryn armor her up for going into Chaos.

In the city of Amber, André decides to go shopping for a safari outfit, equipped with miscellaneous trinkets and weapons. He finds a store that is more than happy to supply him with his needs, however some of the items require permission from a Royal of Amber. Having tasted the blood of Deirdre before, he shifts into her form and walks into the store giving permission for André to purchase whatever he wants. André then returns to the library in Castle Amber searching for information that may lead him to finding out who his biological parent from Amber is.

Mykal meditates to concentrate on creating the trump for Jade. He is working on trying to have the image of cherry blossoms come to mind when the trump is used. After a time, he figures out how to do it and spends hours making a trump. He contacts Jade, then, trumps Amanda. Jade is very impressed and very grateful when Mykal hands her the trump. Mykal goes back to meditating and reflects on how he felt like an orphan during his childhood. He contacts his mother who offers him assistance in creating his next trump. She tells him that Deirdre is still missing. They also discuss the Faye power, and Flora believes that cold iron may work against it.

Jade completely outfitted and in her mother’s colors goes to the stables in Amber and is given a horse. She heads into shadow towards chaos. After testing the trump several times, she eventually makes contact with Vramine. He looks like an insect and has others around him. Jade identifies herself as the daughter of Princess Llewella and would like to talk to him when he is alone. Jade trumps him a few hours later and is pulled onto a cloud along with the horse. Jade shows him the ring of Llewella and tells him that from a liaison that he had with her mother in the past, she is the result. Jade does not want him to claim her as his daughter, just to teach her the ways of chaos. He tries to have Jade agree to take him to Rebma one day. Jade informs him, for that he must get permission from Princess Llewella. Jade then trumps her mother with Vramine’s help and Vramine pushes the horse to Llewella telling her that the pet cannot stay.

André takes the form of an owl and flies to Tir-na Nog’th. He finds that he must touch the stairs or the city alludes him. Once on top he resumes his natural naked form. The wraiths move about not taking any notice of him. Oberon is sitting on the throne and there appears to be trial of some sort going on. He follows Oberon and a girl into a secret room. Oberon leaves and André tries to make contact with the girl. He finally cuts his finger drawing blood and touches her. Startled, she tells the ghost of André to go away. He says that he can’t for he is a ghost of the future and he must fulfill his mission. She informs André that she cannot help him. She says a power word and runs away. André decides to search for Oberon. He finds him looking at a pamphlet. André tries the same trick, but Oberon dodges him and pulls the power of the pattern to create a hurricane like environment pushing André out of the palace. Wisely, Andrade leaves.

Mykal is given a tori stone from his mother and uses its power to create trumps. It helps him focus and create objects easier. Mykal goes to Nai Pawn and checks on his household. He sets up a cabinet full of weapons and other supplies with the intention of creating a trump so he can obtain any of these items via trump. He is interrupted by a trump call from Fiona who says that his mother insists that he be checked again to make sure all influences of the Faye power have been removed. Now in his mother’s studio he sees his mother with a fire poker twisted into a pretzel glaring at Fiona. Fiona placers her hand on his forehead, and his mother places hers on the back of his neck. Both women concentrate and moon glow wisps dissipate from his head into the air. Both women are exhausted as well as Mykal. Flora pours drinks for the three of them. Fiona finishes hers and excuses herself. Both Flora and Mykal then talk about his father. She says that she has made a promise to him, to not reveal too much, but that he was famous in Nai Pawn and that he should take the day walk tour to find out the history about his father.

Vramine pulls up the logrus and takes Jade on the black road. Shielded from most of the effects of the logrus, Jade still pukes while traveling. At Vramine’s home, he escorts her to her room, which is four times the size of the throne room in Amber. The two engage in a mock fight and Jade chooses not to humiliate him and just barely defeats him. He then takes her to his lab and has her remove the amulet given to her by Llewella saying that he can’t teach her if he can’t help shift her. Reluctantly Jade obeys. She is shifted into various forms and tastes a variety of poisons and antidotes. The two eat dinner and Jade does her best to be grateful for the unique food that is served. Jade retires to her room longing for a bubble bath. The servants are confused and say they will try to have one ready for her in the morning. Jade suffers from hot and cold flashes and has fuzzy creatures sleep with her to keep her body temperature normal. The next morning Jade is taken to a room and placed in a giant sized washer that shoots bubbles. Jade is washed and rinsed and then tries to explain in detail what a bubble bath is. The servants say they will work on it. Jade returns to the lab and once again returns to the grueling shifting with Vramine. At dinner, Jade recognizes a lot of the poisonous food as well as antidotes and eats with her father. She retires to her room and a make shift bubble bath where she passes out from exhaustion.

André is questioned by a guard in Amber for the behavior of his Weir companions. André claims that Mykal gave him permission to let his Weir companions take on the Faye power. Fiona is brought in and she trumps Mykal. Mykal vouches for André stating that they are all his agents. André’s companions are released and André is taken to Random. Knowing that he can’t keep up the charade much longer, André comes clean and tells Random the truth about himself. Random has him prove that he has the powers of pattern when he rolls the dice and André says they will be a three. He gets snake eyes, but Random says that he felt the power of the pattern. André swears fealty and Gérard, Flora and Fiona step in. He is given the title of Duke of Kolvir with no land. It is agreed that his identity will not be announced so they can flush out the Chaosian that has been hunting him down. André is given a tour of the castle and Random hands him a deck of family trump drawn from Dworkin. Flora will work on the other members of the family that are not in Dworkin’s deck.

Mykal prepares to take the tour in Nai Pawn and is trumped by his mother. She congratulates him on his deception of Andrade and also tells Mykal to make sure that he stops at all the shrines on the walking tour. Mykal decides to speed up the pace but takes more time at the shrines. All are beautiful, but he does not get the meaning until he reaches the last shrine. His father was a warrior who was betrayed and asked to kill himself by the emperor. Mykal has made up his mind to set the record straight and gain back honor for his father. He returns to his home and completes all his trumps including his closet.

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June 21, 2004

Andre's Journal Session 6

Another Entry in Andre's Journal:

I am so screwed. I returned to the compound after a research session at Tir N’goth only to discover my bodyguards had been detected and arrested as glamour users by the Amber officials. I fear it is time to come clean as I can no longer avoid scrutiny by the elder members of the family. Best I do it myself on my own terms.

Tir N’Goth was very interesting. I think I encountered the ghost of one of Oberon’s secret service people from years ago. This is further indication that the stories of “Old John” have some bearing on my interest. I tried to communicate, to no avail. The ghost of Oberon was there as well and took an instant dislike to being bothered…he more or less booted me from the ghostly castle.

In the morning I shall report to the King and see what kind of arrangement I can work out.

Postscript:

I met with the King and a handful of the elders and have been welcomed to the royal family. When I admitted to my shapeshifting abilities, it was decided not to publicly announce my acceptance. Instead the King wants me to continue acting as a target for the mysterious horned man. The next time I am to call upon Gérard to pound him should he make an appearance. Life will be interesting for a while.

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Andre's Journal Session 5

Andre’s Journal;

It appears my issues with the chaosians are not yet at an end. I had a rather disturbing encounter with a large horned gentleman in the street today. Duke Mykal and myself were strolling about discussing items of mutual interest when we detected an unwelcome eavesdropper. The fellow sporting the horns had used some strange power on us to make us ignore his presence and was closely following us about, listening to our conversation. We turned to brace him and a minor skirmish broke out. Our foe was quite nimble and evaded our attacks with only minor difficulty. Most annoying. I can only hope Mykal was able to obtain an impression of him for later trump making.

The whole thing is likely to shed even more unwelcome light in my direction. I am near the point of just announcing myself and getting it over with.


Addendum:

Research by Fiona has revealed the source of the power used on us. It is called Glamour and is common in fae shadows. It can be defended against with some difficulty without partaking of it. I just went ahead bathed myself in the mystical moonlight, taking the initial step to mastering the power myself for future use. Most interesting it was too. I decided to initiate my bodyguards as well….now they are quite high with the power and not able to function as intended just yet.

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June 19, 2004

Mykal's Journal

Mykal’s Journal Session 4/5?

Duty Officer of the Day.
Final day of the Festival of Masks

Interesting Trumps of some birds, useful as spies. Fly them around a bit experimenting and learning to “drive” them. I will have to see if the owl’s night vision is up to some minor peeping later.

Late Morning:
Auntie Fiona dropped by, she had read my security report and was curious about Merlin and Andre, she asked about the attacks, and how Merlin handled himself. She admitted to doing the Bird Trumps.

Early Afternoon:
Caught sight of Uncle Bleys moving around in a rather poor disguise, he had good bodyguards, but I sent a detachment to the area anyway, just in case he needs them. The spy-birds work great I’ll have to see if there are any special tricks to trumping a specific elemental like that.
Jade trumped me, she wants a favor. She would like some trumps made, and I’m glad to finally have a favor owed TO me rather than BY me. Rather nice feeling, hoping to be having more of these in the future.

Late Afternoon:
Birds reacted to something, get in the drivers seat in time to catch a trumpout, a disguised man with an unconscious black haired woman. WAY too much damage for a normal Amberite, it had to be royals. And since I have only ONE aunt with black hair… Decided to turn this one over to the elders, and Trumped Gerard. I could see he shared my suspicions as I described what I had seen, and the locations of the royals that I could find seemed to solidify those suspicions. He brought King Random into it, and they began investigating and questioning witnesses. Too bad he doesn’t know Andre was there, what the heck was he doing helping to clean up the mess, I’ll have to ask him later.
Gerard came back a bit later, wanted to know what Merlin was up to. So we took a walk, seems he’s begun packing. Corwin has recalled him to Argent on some matter or other. Gerard told him to do the right thing, I told him to trump me later if he needs me.

Evening through the early Morning:
Normal last day scuffles and fun, everyone trying to get the most out of the last day. Couple of scuffles the guards handled easily, and plenty of drinking and sexing. Stupid owls don’t work the best for peeping though, looking through an elemental’s eyes, while It’s looking through an owls eyes just doesn’t give much detail. Especially through a window at night.

Morning:
Turned the Duty over to the guard officers, on the way out I dropped by the armory to get a couple escrima sticks, hardened nicely for royal use. These will make nice, non-lethal, substitutes for my blades. Then I went home and crashed.

Late Afternoon:
Got back up, cleaned up and decided to go chase down Andre. Headed to the Skyguard Embassy. He fed me then we took a walk toward my townhouse, discussed several things, among them his witnessing the fight between who we took to be Corwin and Dierdre. Realizing we were being spied on, by someone I hadn’t noticed but was MUCH closer than I’d normally allow while discussing certain things. I counter attacked to put him off his guard, Bastard Chaosian was as fast as Gerard, though only about as strong as myself. It did get a spell or something in on me to distract me, only partially effective, but a pair of bystanding guards got popped with a sleep spell or something. Luckily Andre backed me up and was just enough to keep him from thrashing me outright, though it did get in a good lick before popping a flash and Trumping out. Trumps, Spells, and as battle savvy as one of my uncles, nasty piece of work that. Trumped Gerard again, I think he’s beginning to get an attitude about that, I keep bringing him bad news, though it could just be the frustration of his other investigation is getting on his nerves. He got back at me though, he sicced Auntie Fi on me. Lovely woman, but unsettling aura around her. And way too curious about certain things I’m trying to keep under my hat. Seems that was an unusual power used on us, rather than spells, and she’s an expert. Checked me out, then we went and checked the guards. She left muttering something about having to check on something, she did seem to recognize the power signature or whatever it is.
Andre and I got back together at my place, He’d been hiding there while I distracted Auntie Fi. Not that I was all too sure she wasn’t wise to us anyway. We discussed the new development, and decided that the Chaosians were entirely too interested in his affairs for some reason. I’ve been bumping up against them way too often the last few days myself.

Evening:
Spent the evening at the Library, chatting with an attractive assistant librarian, and researching the locations of my aunts and uncles during certain, specific times, as well as my Mom’s whereabouts and activities. Set it up so my servant can come and continue without me being there to supervise.
Left to go get some sleep.

Next Day:
Auntie Fi trumped me, brought her through, she wants me to come out to shadow and do some defense training against that power that was used on me. Defense being a good idea, I agree. We head out to some location she knows, and I get abused by someone very powerful with a similar (the same?) power. Finally get a decent handle on defending myself from a casual application anyway. Fiona has imbued some poor defenseless elemental with a bit of the power, and wants me to help pull in some of the Royals to familiarize them with the power, and recognizing it. I get to familiarize Gerard, my Mom, and some of the cousins. I also have Auntie Fi show me a Fast time shadow to do all this at, (and to do my trumps in), may cost me later but it will be worth it. Get set up, familiarize Gerard and Mom with no trouble, then trump Jade and bring her in, show her how to familiarize someone then start a trump of the area, while she brings in Martin, Melisandre, and her mother Lewella. I finish in time to follow along as Jades Mom decides to go hunting a source of the power to keep the cycle going or something like that. We find a lovely pool of condensed moonlight, complete with unicorns and werewolves. Several bathe in the pool and come out empowered with Glamour, after most depart I have an epiphany, and break out my painting gear, I do a trump of the location.

I then trump back to that fast time shadow, spend some time setting up a studio apartment and making arrangements for its upkeep and such. Then spend several days cranking out trumps and training myself how to use certain effects in my trumps, and how to trump an item (Auntie Fi’s trump closet was just TOO cool)
I have Jades trumps ready, but I’ve crammed too much trump work in too short a time, giving me persistent headaches and leaving me in a foul mood.
Unless something comes up I’m going to take a couple days in Naipon with some geisha, being fed grapes and massaged to within an inch of becoming putty. Being given the “Visiting Kami” treatment might put me in a better mood.

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June 16, 2004

Session 5 Log

This Thing of Darkness Session 5

Mykal

Mykal is visited by Fiona who is snooping around the recent events regarding Merlin. She is curious about what the chaosians have been doing and how they interacted with Merlin. In the course of conversation, she gets a few hints about Andre though Mykal does not directly spill the beans.

Mykal is still on shit duty watching over the final day of the festival. He takes his post and uses various birds to oversee the common areas.

Andre

Andre soaks in his bath and converses with the house elemental. He learns what the help has been gossiping about and learns the bodyguards are concerned that they are not adequately doing their job. Andre decides that things are settled enough to hazard another jaunt into the city so he gathers his bodyguards and sallies forth to get in a last day of partying.

Jade

Jade arranges medical attention for the recently chastised thugs. She has a conversation with Spengler who admits his distaste for getting involved with the family. He gives her leads on other groups, including one associated with assassinations, but warns her she may start treading on Caine’s territory if she tries to encompass too much of the underworld in her designs.

Jade then returns to Rebma for a meeting with Battlemaster Ap-Morgwyn. Jade suspects that she is mostly neutral in the plots surrounding Melisandre and is unwilling to take a direct hand. She does seem to be sympathetic to a degree and may be helpful to a limited extent.

Mykal

Mykal gets some trump work done while waiting for anything exciting to happen. It soon does (see below).

Andre

Andre and company begin the arduous process of seeking the perfect conquest for the last day of the festival. Andre finds himself in a bar checking out a very nicely shaped woman with dark hair and an unwanted suitor. Andre is just about to make his move when the two break out into a knife fight. From their skill, Andre recognizes it is Dierdre and Corwin having a very nasty spat. The bar clears (incidently catching Mykal’s attention) as Corwin eventually knocks Dierdre out by slamming her into a wall. Corwin grabs her and trumps away while Andre watches. Andre decides to clean up the mess (incidently getting samples of both Dierdre and Corwin’s blood and Dierdre’s dagger) and leaves before the guard arrives.


Mykal

Mykal catches the last bit of the scene via spy bird. He immediately notifies Gerard and a clean up squad is dispatched to keep the whole thing as quiet as possible. Gerard notifies the king. Unsurprisingly, Corwin is not answering trumps and Merlin has been ordered by him to prepare for immediate departure from Amber.

Andre

Somewhat disappointed that the woman he had targeted for seduction was actually his relation, Andre heads to other parties. He encounters his friend Safron Ap-Morgwyn and proceeds to hit/be hit upon. Soon he has her in the sack and they bump uglies for the rest of the day and night.

Jade

Jade trumps Mykal and asks for help with three trumps. She wants one of Andre and two of herself as Amanda. Mykal agrees in return for future favors. Jade then trumps Caine to negotiate with him over the underworld rackets. They discuss the do’s and don’ts of meddling in such things. Jade lays out her desire to control it all. Caine discourages her but does not forbid. Good enough for Jade to proceed.

She then meets with Pelagrin Ap-Morgwyn to talk about Melisandre. Jade learns there were old spy organizations run by Moire that may be uncontrolled. Llewella may know some of them but as far as the Battlemaster knows does not control them. Jade decides to pursue that resource next.

Mykal

Mykal ends his shift and gets some rest. In the morning he visits the armory to pick himself up a pair of fighting clubs before heading out into the town. He wants to meet with Andre to go discuss the Corwin episode.

Andre

Andre spends the morning practicing new shapes after returning from his tryst with Safron. He just finishes breakfast when Mykal arrives at the door. They decide to take the air to discuss things away from the servants.


Jade

Jade trumps Melisandre and gets a rude refusal to talk. She does catch an image of Mel in bed with some young man, probably in Amber. Jade decides to track her down. It does not take too long since she is with Martin at the estate of the Astalfs.

Mykal/Andre

Continuing Andre’s tradition of being attacked at least once a session, the pair find themselves being shadowed by a chaosian after unknowingly having discussed a number of delicate things right in front of him. Upon discovering the problem, Mykal and Andre brace him in the street. It soon becomes apparent he far outclasses either of the young men individually. He manages to escape, leaving the two Amberites feeling like idiots.

Jade

Jade finds Melisandre and approaches her with the notion that she needs to have better advisors..and offers herself as a confidante to ease the boredom of rulership. As a result, she swears fealty to Melisandre in front of witnesses. Martin just shakes his head.

Mykal/Andre

After reporting the incident, Mykal takes a shapeshifted Andre to the library to begin their research. They spend about three hours there before Mykal returns to the castle. There he encounters Fiona yet again and undergoes an examination into the power used by the chaosian. She seems to recognize it as an enthrallment power and suggests finding another user to train against. They soon head out into shadow after Fiona has made an arrangement with a powerful sorceress to demonstrate the power and how to resist it.

Mykal gets another taste of it and slowly learns how to recognize it and fight it off. While he is doing that, Fiona has a small elemental capture a bit of the power for study.

Mykal/Jade/Andre

Soon they have trumped every important family member for a training session. It is decided to track the actual source. Jade, Mykal, Fiona, and Andre eventually visit the site. It turns out to be a faerie meadow, complete with unicorns, all bathed in a strange moonlight. The moonlight imparts the power. Several folks try it out, discovering it gives you a strong drunk feeling.

Andre attunes to it a bit later after Fiona has left. He decides to return later with his bodyguards who also attune. When all have recovered, they return to Amber.

Posted by jcbarnes at 09:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 07, 2004

High Attributes vs Powers

Some more advanced tricks require higher Attributes in order to do them at all, or to do them and not fall down after.

Benchmarks are based on the standard cost of the power: 50 for Pattern, 40 for Trump, 30 for Shapeshifting, 20 for Glamour, 15 for Sorcery, etc. The important benchmarks are 1/2X, 1X, 1.5X and 2X.

Extreme tricks are some of the highly advanced techniques like Mental Trumps and Fiona's shadow shortcut to the Primal Pattern. Both of those are Psyche AND Endurance tricks, figure you need 1/2 the base in both Atts to do the trick at all... and then fall down unconscious. More Psyche or End -- add them together -- allow you to stay conscious, do it better, do it longer. Some tricks, like starting to shadowwalk a mile out of Amber City, are Endurance based: 1x the base in Endurance. Some, like scanning a region of Shadow are Psyche based: 1x again.

So, for Pattern you want 25+ Psyche to do things really slick or 25+ Endurance to do them really fast or hard. 50's are even better, including net 50's for combined Att tricks.

Trump gets a wider spread as some tricks are based on time or artistry, but your target for slick is 20, then 40.

Shapeshifting is almost all Endurance, but Psyche doesn't hurt. First target is 15, then 30. But 45 or 60... ooh baby.

Glamour's first target is 10, then 20. Obscure/Dazzle/Sense is Psyche, Command is End (or both if you're tricky) and Enslave is both. All deal with Psyche resistance but Obscure/Dazzle is insidious. Instant Enslavement is an extreme trick, btw. Queen Neave's Psyche + End are quite high, and even she was getting tired and cranky after doing it three times.

TARGET NUMBERS ARE APPROXIMATE -- aside from bare minimums. Almost equal to a base cost is almost as good as equal to it, and slightly more is slightly better.


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June 06, 2004

Beyond Standard Trump

Standard (40 pts) gives you:

Sense active Trumps over a considerable area.
Trump Defense still requires a card, drops combat abilities to Amber or Chaos.
Identify callers by memory.
Make Trumps in about 6 hours from memory.

45-60, 5 points each and whom is known to use the technique (in [brackets] if known only to a few):

TRUMP GATES, best for those with high Endurance or Sorcerers or Pattern whizzes with access to shadow power sources (they can form a Gate at the source and plug it in). Fiona, Llewella, Flora (rarely).
TRUMP SPYING, best for high Psyche types with lots of free time and patience. Also useful to amp up your ability to detect Spying. Caine (who is not known for actually making Trumps), Brand.
TRICK TRUMPS -- specialized to emphasize one or more aspect. This includes the different aspects of a hyperrealistic Trumps (ease of use, range, resistance to energy and Power damage), art tricks like hidden images and abstract images (which make them harder for other people to use), Trumps that give a somewhat different 'feel' to the recipient), Trumps made to be used by a particular person only (not impossible for others to use, but a lot harder), hard-to-detect Trumps and other things you can con me into. Specialized Trumps take more time and effort to create; the base is 150% of normal, more if it's a time consuming art trick like a hidden image. Trump Traps, to the extent they exist, are regular Trumps of a prepared place trap. For instance, a Trump that looks like the entrance to Amber's Royal Library but is actually of a lookalike place in Shadow full of hostiles. Flora, [Llewella], [Fiona].
BLOCK or JAM TRUMPS, best for high Psyche folk. Block: interfere with a Trump contact or use within visual range. Jam: interfere with a person's Trump use or contacts by concentrating on a Trump of them. Fiona.
TRUMP ARTIFACTS -- imbue an object with Trump energies. Possibilites include making objects Trumpable, interfering with Trump within an object or a room (these would get eroded away by resistance unless plugged into to an external energy source), objects with simple Trump functions (detect, defense) operable by normal people or spirits. You can't imbue a person or spirit but you can teach them to use an empowered object. Fiona, [Llewella].
USE TRUMP DEFENSE WITHOUT A CARD, like it sounds. [Flora]
-- Yes, there are 30 points worth there; the last two 5 pointers are free.

65-80 points, 5 each, and who is known to have used the technique:

MENTAL TRUMPS, form a Trump image out of memory and willpower. Brand, Dworkin
TRUMP GUARDING, making objects', places' or peoples' images un-capturable, like most of Amber Castle. Dworkin
TRUMP DUPLICATION, may be more than a purely Trump effect. Dworkin
QUICK CREATION, rumor has it Dworkin could make minimalist Trumps in ten or fifteen minutes. Dworkin
REVERSE TRUMP, send someone back to the place or person they recently
Trumped from. Oberon, using the Jewel, but it should be possible.
-- high Psyche and/or Endurance look like musts for most of these tricks
-- as above, the 5th 5 pointer is free.

Mykal doubts that Flora ever learned to Spy or Block Trumps in the old days. Too easy to get caught.

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June 05, 2004

Jade Session 4

Thoughts from Jade

I am determined to control the underground of Amber. Investigating the attack on Merlin and Andrade should help the cause. I went down to the scene of the crime as a street dog, but could sniff out nothing with all the scents of everything from the festival. I found a few darts, but that was pretty much all. I shifted to my Amanda form and gave my good friend Niven a ring. After a tumble in the sheets, an elaborate breakfast he told me I may find out more from the Spangler Group. Niven can’t understand why I dabble in such things anymore. He’s made his fortune and appears to be retired. But I know better.

I leave a note at the tavern and find that I have urchins following me. Boring them with window-shopping amuses me. Once they realize that they have been made all but one scatter. I take an interest in this boy. We go to lunch, then shop some more. By the end of the day, he asks me what I would like him to report. I give him a silver coin and we walk back together. Once there, a gentleman approaches me. He goes on telling me that an attack was made on one by mistake. The intended victim was not the Prince. It seems that there is more to Andrade then I thought. It also seems that getting into this underground won’t be too difficult. I leave telling the thug that I will pass the message on, but that I will be coming back for more information in the future. I leave, and shift back into the street dog. As I suspected they make a run for it.

I follow them to the docs. I shift into Amanda, acquire some cloths and money. After negotiating a cabin I contact Merlin. He comes through with Mykal, Andrade and 2 Chaos guards. I find out that Andrade has Amber blood, but is not sure who his father is. Interesting. I’ll have to look into that as well. Andrade like myself does not want to swear fealty to Random. I like him more and more. Mykal, Andrade and myself break the 30 thugs to my mercy and now they know they will all work for me. Of course the thugs all think that this was payback for Andrade and Merlin. I’ll go with that.

We return to Amber and I find Corwin pumping a Deirdre look a like. He needs help. The next day I go back to the Spangler hide out and let them know to keep running the place as they have and that I will be back for more information and how a few things are changing. I’m in. Now my goal is to take over the entire underworld in Amber as well as Rebma.

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Jade Session 3

Thoughts from Jade


Since I missed the party in Amber celebrating the return of Aunt Deirdre, I thought I would go with my mother to see her at the stables. Horseback riding was rather amusing. Both mother and Deirdre were trying to see who could manipulate pattern first once we were in Arden. Mother was better, but Deirdre has a lot more endurance. Once mom and Deirdre determined we were far enough in shadow to avoid prying ears mother asked if I would nab a copy of the journal to the Secretary of the High Priestess. I asked if there was anything I could do for Deirdre, but she was fine for now. I think mom and Deirdre are plotting something, but then who knows.

I head back to Amber and meet with Morgwin who my mother said would be more than happy to help me with items I may need for my new endeavor. Armed with anything that I’d need and more, I plan what to do in my room. I decide the best way to meet with this man is to pretend to be interested in learning more about the House of Seven. Secretary Dalday must be the loser of all time. Talk about a man with no life. Dalday summons Sister Gwenlliant who gives me a tour of everything. Maybe someday, I’ll be interested in all of this, but right now it’s not my thing. I pretend to be intrigued and ask all the right questions. One thing for certain, they are all too religious. I am curious as to why men can’t be a part of all this. I think it has to do with Lur mating with the seven wives, they got angry and killed him taking on all the power, but I’ll dig into that later.

After a few dates and making Dalday extremely uncomfortable, I did learn his routine. I broke into his house, copied the diary and left. It appears the High Priestess has spies in the inner court of Melisandra’s staff. I’ll have to make arrangement to make their lives not so fun. I hand the copied diary to my mother and go party with Melisandra and Merlin.

A fellow by the name of Andrade shows up, claiming to be an Ambassador from Skyguard. He says that he has been attacked. Melisandra and I come to the conclusion that he must have inadvertently been fooling around with a married woman. Obviously he must have angered the man as he and Merlin were attacked later. After nursing their wounds, Martin, Melisandra and I went back to the festival. It has peaked my curiosity as to why anyone would take such interest in an Ambassador from Sky Guard. I’ll have to look more into it tomorrow.

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Session 4, May 22


Jade shifts into a hound dog sniffing around the scene of the attack on Merlin and Andrade. With so many different scents she shifts into Amanda and visits her old partner in crime Niven. Niven has invested his riches and lives on the wealthier side of Amber, and greets Jade with an affectionate smile. The two talk of old times and then about the attack. Niven says it may be from the Spangler group. Jade leaves after breakfast and heads to the shop where she leaves a note for a meeting with someone from Spangler. She spots the urchins following her right away, and pretends to shop. Once they figure they have been made, all leave except one. Amanda takes the boy to lunch and he offers to report whatever she would like. She gives the boy a silver peace and tells to report whatever he feels like. She’ll be by later.

Andrade lays low, shifts into a commoner and listens to the rumors. As he heads towards the embassy he notices that urchins are following him. He hangs around and notices that all the urchins are taking orders from a bum. Thinking the bum to be an Amber guard. Andrade also spots a pathetic looking crow watching him. Obviously 2 factions are watching him. One from Amber, the other unknown. (maybe from Chaos). He heads to his second home and switches back to himself. Andrade attempts to contact Sathyrane but has no luck. He then heads to a tavern where someone from Rebma may hang out. He finds Sathyrane and tells her about the crows. She is upset with the way the crows have been manipulated, saying that the person who did this is very sloppy.

Andrade meets up with Merlin and Mykal and shows them the crows. Merlin rips apart a dead crow and says it is a weak sith and conjurer who did this. Merlin grows claws and climbs up the building, jumping from rooftop to rooftop until he reaches the highest place. Merlin says they are coming from the Chaos embassy. Merlin looks to Andrade and is curious as to how he is involved and what has he done to be fingered.

Jade disguised at Amanda, meets with a man from the Spangler group to discuss the attack on Merlin. They go back and forth without naming names about how the attack on Merlin was not intended. They were after the other one (Andrade). Amanda wants in on the underground and says that she will work out apologies with the powers that be from Amber provided they feed her information when she wants it. Both say they have to speak to the higher ups, and Amanda leaves. Not trusting what they may do, Jade shifts into a dog and waits. A group slip out the back door and head for the docs. Obviously they are running. Once she spots the ship they are going to she shifts back into Amanda, steals some clothes and a little money and books passage on the ship. Realizing that the Spangler group has booked 3 cabins, sleeping on the deck won’t do. She makes arrangements to have a cabin ready, and she pays him for it within a ½ hour.

Merlin trumps Flora with a Dworkin designed trump, as Mykal would like to learn from him. She advises Mykal to stay away from Dworkin because he is not a very sane man. Mykal then tells Flora about the crows and also the rats that are following Andrade. Merlin, Mykal and Andrade head to the Thorn Club where all the Chaos groupies hang out. As they step into the Gentlemen’s club environment they spot 2 men from Chaos. Merlin steps out from behind Mykal and is completely ignored. Mykal then makes some comment about the crows. Continuing to ignore Merlin, they take an interest in Andrade. Mykal hopes to find out more information but gets nothing. The Chaos lords comment on the small huts in Amber and why do the princes live like animals, and why, when they have so much power. Bored with the small talk, Merlin pulls out a dart gun and shoots both of the lords. A brawl breaks out, one lord is subdued and the other is paralyzed. The trio takes the Chaos lords to a hide out of Mykal’s. A concrete room buried in the ground where the only way in or out is via trump. They torture the Chaos lords until they say they are after Andrade. They say they are just guards, know about the crows and the attack. They believe that Andrade is a spy from Chaos. Andrade tells the Chaos guards that he is not a chaos spy and denies having anything to do with Chaos. Merlin casts a spell on Andrade and there is a shape-shifting ripple between the two of them. Merlin wants to know if he is from Rebma. Andrade fesses up and tells Merlin and Mykal that Oberon found him. He has no idea who his parent it. He just knows that Oberon trained him and he refuses to swear fealty to Random, as he doesn’t know enough about the family. He would appreciate it greatly if the two would keep his secret. Andrade asks if they will give him access to the library, so he can look at the genealogy in hopes to find his real parent.

Jade trumps Merlin and says that she has found the attackers and it has to do with Andrade. She also informs him that they were hired from some lords from Chaos. Merlin turns to Andrade and asks if Jade can be brought in on it. The trio brings their Chaos prisoners through to Jade’s cabin. Jade smile and Andrade and says she won’t swear fealty either and that his secret is safe with her. Then she smiles at the bunch and says it is time to teach these 30 men a lesson. They knock out the two chaos prisoners. Mykal pays off the captain of the ship and asks him to ignore the noise downstairs. The captain recognizes Mykal as an Amber Prince, but takes the money anyway. Amanda, Mykal and Andrade each go to a door and proceed with teaching the thugs about running away from Amber. After it’s all over, Amanda informs them that they work for her now, and that they need to return back to Amber or she will arrange another lesson. They go back to the cabin. Amanda shifts back to Jade, and they trump back to Amber via Corwin. They take the demons to the embassy and drop them in the inside entryway. They head to a bar where Merlin buys a round of drinks.

The next morning Flora trumps Mykal and asks about why the ship “Pride of Cashfa” has returned and what he knows about the 5 dead men, and all the wounded men. Mykal says they were thugs and needed an attitude adjustment. She smiles, gives him security duty for the day and tells him to write it up in a report.

Jade disguised as Amanda returns to the hide out of the Spangler group and informs them that not only do they work for her now, they can continue to run things the way they have. They are shocked, but agree.


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