Amber's royal archivist directs the updating of the Grand Atlas, using information from the noble houses, the princes and the various royal agents and officers, supplemented with information from--
The Daebekkar Atlas, the massive and hideously expensive atlas made, updated and printed (in very limited editions) by the Daebekkar Society. Said Society is sort of a Universal Geographic Society of wizards and others. The Daebekkars also make regional and less detailed (but still very expensive)atlases. Daebekkar Atlases have notations for wizards detailing the differences in magic's operation from world to world.
The private atlases of Amber's trading clans and companies.
Rebmas have their own royal atlas, of course. They subscribe to the Daebekkars too.
Amber military commands are equipped with atlases for their area of operations and the adjoining region of shadow.
Q. from Stan:
So how do you see Conjouration workinw with Sorcery? Could I load a Conjoured poinson ball in a spell? How about the enchantment things done on Fineas' Rifle. And what about things that can be done with bullets?
For game mechanics, Conjuration uses the 1 and 2 point A&C stuff, as per the chargen. Mostly. It does not include summoning demons or anything else across shadow. Both Conjuration and Sorcery can summon elementals, ghosts or animals. Teleporting anything is a major, complex effect. It does not include making things from the 'stuff of shadow' in the out-of-nothing or magical flux sense. It is possible to transform things from one substance to another, including air-to-solids, but transformations are hard and complicated according to the amount of change. Lead to gold is relatively easy because they are both metals and the weight to volume is pretty close, and the substances are fairly pure. Leaves to gold would be tremendously complex.
Conceptually, Conjuration is magic bound into objects and creatures. It's slower, it's not as flexible. It lasts longer and it's tougher, especially vs shadow movement. An enchanted item (I'm using "enchanted" as a technical term for "empowered by conjuration") will generally work over a wider area of shadow. Because it's tougher, it's what you use to make more complicated structures of magic. The Hendrake necromantic array consists of enchanted circles and altars and sacrificial knives plus the spells that go into the killings and other support structures, all feeding power into the mega-construct of the gateway. Hypothetically, that could all be done with spells alone but the structure would be flimsy.
Fineas' mom didn't enchant the bullet, she wrapped a spell around it. The main differences are that she could whip up a shield-penetrating spell easily, modifying something she already knew by not very much, that the spell is more powerful (it is, after all, 15 pts vs 10 pts) and that the spell would decay in a couple of days. What Jacob does works as well and as fast as it does for reasons that are not yet disclosed, and Tori's the only one -- I think -- who's seen the process and knows to be impressed.
Enchantments take longer to modify or invent becaust they have the equivalent of closer tolerances; they require more tinkering to get it right.
Re: The conjured poison ball. First, making a complex substance like a poison out of, say, air, with magic is nasty hard. If you had the base ingredients you could process them with a spell or an enchanted item. You could fire an existing ball off with a spell, make it hard to see with one, rupture or explode the ball at a set point with one, etc.
Re: the rifle. The Hendrakes use air elementals trained to sniff out 'modern' gunpowder traces. The Chantris sniper rifle is enchanted to not let any such traces out, though that doesn't work when the gun is actually fired. A spell that could suck the traces out when the gun is fired would not be subtle at all (not that an enchantment for that would be subtle either) and the enchantment on it is very low-key and hard to detect.
Re: bullets. Some possible effects: burning, a teflon effect (frictionlessness), more kinetic punch, magical shield disruption.
Q from Stan:
I have a question on Stat enhancing spells. If one can do Psyche enhancement, shouldn't one also be able to enhance Warfare, Strength, and Endurance? And the next part of that question is: What are the parameters of a minor, medium, and major spell. How much of a boost in stat, for how long?
With Warfare, aside from the fact that I don't want to deal with keeping track of Major, Medium or Minor enhancements of the PCs and every frelling Chaos Lord and sorcerer running around*, you have to ask, "How does it work?" Performance-enhancing drugs and supplements in the Olympics work mostly by extending stamina or by helping build muscle. A drug or spell might sharpen your senses but that could be distracting at some moments. Anything that made your muscles twitch faster would throw off all your hardwired, practiced moves and might cause muscle damage. So enhancing vision to give you telescopic vision would help with distance marksmanship, but if you suddenly had to shift to up close, you'd have to cut the spell or fight with blurred vision. Now with a mook, a human-level type, you could train a spirit (or find a spirit of an experienced fighter) to take over their combat actions. You won't find any spirits close to as good as the PCs, so anything like that would only degrade your performance. Parameters: varies depending on the effect. [Yeah, I'm weaseling] *Which is why I don't offer Warfare Resource specialties.
You are enhancing some _aspect_ of a stat. Intimidation
With Warfare, aside from the fact that I don't want to deal with keeping track of Major, Medium or Minor enhancements of the PCs and every frelling Chaos Lord and sorcerer running around*, you have to ask, "How does it work?" Performance-enhancing drugs and supplements in the Olympics work mostly by extending stamina or by helping build muscle. A drug or spell might sharpen your senses but that could be distracting at some moments. Anything that made your muscles twitch faster would throw off all your hardwired, practiced moves and might cause muscle damage. So enhancing vision to give you telescopic vision would help with distance marksmanship, but if you suddenly had to shift to up close, you'd have to cut the spell or fight with blurred vision. Now with a mook, a human-level type, you could train a spirit (or find a spirit of an experienced fighter) to take over their combat actions. You won't find any spirits close to as good as the PCs, so anything like that would only degrade your performance.
Parameters: varies depending on the effect. [Yeah, I'm weaseling]
*Which is why I don't offer Warfare Resource specialties.
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
So far, for me the most interesting feature of the Mind Control Device has
been the creativity of the programmer. He, or she has introduced some
wonderful creativity to me. Magic, Pattern, Things existing outside of The
Village...all very creative. The latest has been the introduction of
"negotiation". I have had a festinating time watching Fineas negotiate with
people. This is something that simply does not happen in the village. I mean
the bartering of goods for services on such a scale is unheard of. Plus, in
The Village, the fact that nobody is given the chance to refuse a task has
made the goings on of fineas most profound.
It seems from talking to Dearkon that Toriana actually did some work in
Belken. According to him she had recruited several Mage's, and had given
them Trump sketches of herself. Dearkon is happy to help out, but he tells
us that he needs some "items". The fact that he (according to Fineas) is a
"Necromancer", who knows what he is going to bring with him.
As Dearkon leaves, a pretty young thing catches both Dearkon's and Fineas'
eye. Dearkon is the first to approach her, and get shot down. Fineas
decided to give her a go next, and was a bit more successful. He was able
to convince her to talk to her Mistress Petra about joining the Amber
cause. Fineas Turns to me and tells Tanitheel and I that he needs some
alone time with Pheadra, so the two of us should go talk to Baran.
Mimicking Fineas' smooze ability, I cut a deal with Baran. He tells me all a
about his military exploits and Blah, Blah, Blah. When he is done I ask him
what it would take to get him to enlist in the Amber cause. He tells me
that some Trumps would do nicely. I agree (since this seems to be the
standard fare of exchange here) and we sign some papers. Tanitheel is
distracted by something and swatting at it the entire time. Baran and I
shake hands and part ways. I ask Tanitheel what was bothering her while I
was talking to Baran, and she tells me that he had had a magical hand
feeling her up the entire time. Interesting. Tanitheel tells me that she is
ready to return to Amber, and that she'll take the Contract to #2. I thank
her for guarding Fineas' and my backs while we were here in Belkin, hand
her the Contract as she disappears through the Trump.
One more thing that, as I look back on it, seems odd. The concept that a
piece of paper is ever going to guarantee anything. There must be a spell on
it. I'll have to have that looked at when I get back to Amber. Get
together with Cango and Elmore along with #2.
After all of that, I meet back up with Fineas, and Dearkon, who has brought
with him two dragons and a really pale gentleman. Fineas and Dearkon
decide that the Shadows of Sandora, then Fangorn, and lastly Hunac need
to be investigated to see if there is any Necro effects going on in any of
them. Fineas pulls out a trump of our first place of investigation.
Shortly after we arrive at Sandora, we are set upon by what Fineas'
describes as "Zombie-Cossacks". Fineas and I are more than a match for
the three of them. We kill two and capture the third. Dearkon uses the
last one for his necro detect spell, with a little bit of a boost from our
Pattern. He is able to find out that the Hendrake's are very much in
control of this shadow. A large amount of "un-dead" armies are seen to be
scurrying around a "gate" of some sort. While the three of us are spying on
the Hendrake's, and long, black, Snakey thing attacks us. From what little
info #2 provided us on the enemy, we came to the conclusion that this must
be a "Logrus" tendril. Fineas decides that it is a good idea to beat a hasty
Next on our tour is Fangorn. A place of deep dark forests. We meet with
some folks that Fineas had met before, and the tell us that they are waiting
for an individual by the name of Lord Oak. It must say that the people that
are testing my loyalty must of kicked in some new drugs, because Lord Oak
turned out to be a moving, and talking tree. Lord Oak and Fineas talked
about foreign troops to help defend Fangorn, But lord Oak said anything not
of the forest would be attacked by the Forest. We were able to talk Lord
Oak into letting Dearkon check for any Necro incursions into the Fangorn
Forest from Shandora. When Dearkon was done checking (me helping power
him again) he told us that there may be a few spots, and told Lord Oak
where they were. Lord Oak confessed that his "troops" ("sylphs" of all
things) might have some trouble getting to those locations, so Fineas
started to work on making the weather wetter for the Sylphs.
Prior to starting on his promising new career as a weatherman, he contacted
Jacob about something that they had been cooking up in Hunac. Fineas tells
Jacob that he is going to be busy for a while, so he was going to send me
instead. So Dearkon and I get to spend a delightful afternoon with #3
waiting for some yutz by the unlikely name of Eye of the Sun, Lord Akbal.
Things just keep getting weirder and weirder. Toriana takes the time to
make Trump sketches and tell me how her new body guards that Daddy gave
her were much better than me.
Toriana gave EotS, Lord Akbal her little song and dance and he was greatly
pleased at the amount of death that was going occur. He was even happier
that Dearkon could re-animate the corpses so they could fight some more.
Before Toriana, Dearkon and I go on our merry ways, Toriana gives EotS,
Lord Akbal a trump sketch of herself so everybody can communicate better.
My next thankless task is to talk to EotS, Lord Akbal's troops about the
Chaosian Army, and what we feel are the best ways to engage the in
combat. I leave Dearkon to continue his discussion of tactics and
necromancy (much to the delight of the Hunacs) so that I can do some
scouting around in Shandora.
I trumped back to Amber, Collect a few Items:
- A Ninja-To
- A Sterling L2A3 (which I left at Sabin's, sans Ammo). A replacement for
the StEN that I had be come used to in The Village
- A De Lisle Carbine .45 APC (the quietest gun shown to us by #2).
- A quick load, Titanium alloy 200#, Cross-bow
- Several of my newly concocted poisons, all of which contained an
ingredient thought to inhibit Shape-Shifting.
- forgetting my new toy, the poison ball gun
When I got to Sabine's I lingered a while with her, almost forgetting why I
was there. When we got back to a more relaxed state of mind, I told her
about Shandora and what I wanted to do there. She said that she Had a
few Item which might be of help, and went about gathering them up. We
got dressed and ready, and I trumped Fineas, Since I knew that was where
he was going last. He answered in a very peeved voice. I asked him to pull
Sabine and I through. He told me he was just about to Assassinate one of
the other sides General's. Good, I was glad someone was listening to me
the other day. I told him that Sabine and I could help, so he reluctantly
pulled us through.
When we crawled back to his snipping position, he told us that he wanted to
make sure that his shot hit its target. Sabine started to rummage around
in her haversack and pulled out a set of binoculars and told Fineas that they
should be able to penetrate any illusion. He reacquired his target and
thanked Sabine. The binoculars were a godsend, His target was one yard
right and to the back of where he thought that she was. I readied the De
Lisle and Fineas told me that none of my ammo would work here, and not to
use Pattern to make them work, since that would give away our position. He
told me where his target was, and I applied a paralysis poison to a few of
my bolts and we got ready to fire.....(waiting to see if the GM lets us kill a
After walking this “pattern” and enduring my presentation (along with three other members of the Household) to the masses, I wasn’t really in the mood for a party. Maybe the sort of party that involved a smokey backrooms, whiskey, and poker, but definately not the kind of party where you were expected to be social and put your best face one. I didn’t know if I even had a ‘best face’, but I did know I wasn’t interested in wearing it. The others didn’t seem to have that problem.
Thinking of liquor, smoke, and cards made me think of Texorami, which led me around to Random and his damn letter. I missed him. Missed him more, maybe, because of what I knew about him now, but missed him all the same and for other reasons. He was a good friend, and he’d known me in a time before everything had gotten dark and difficult.
Things broke up in the witching hours and Gerard took us back up to the castle where we somehow ended up in a private study instead of finding out seperate ways to perfectly useful beds. Uncle Regent wanted to chat.
Turned out, his dissertation was on the different armies of Chaos. This was good for me, since it kept me awake. After a bit, though, it became obvious that there were at least a few bits of information that Gerard didn’t have and I did, so I shared. Left with lots of new information to chew on, we found our respective rooms and caught shut-eye.
The next morning, Gerard let me know that we’d be going for a ride into Arden Forest today so that he could go over the basics of using the abilities that came with the Pattern. I picked out the least eye-catching of the striped horses and met (again) my cousin Fineas and Thirteen. Apparently the girl, Gerard’s daughter, wasn’t coming along, or had already gone.
Once away from the city (according to Gerard, getting clear of Kolvir Mountain is a necessity), we started ‘shifting’. I felt pretty familiar with this sort of thing, as I’d been using a similar, weaker power to get around for years now. This didn’t have the same limitations that I was used to, however, and it took awhile to get over the habits of a decade and then some. Time will help.
Our destination was a permanent camp in the forest. The troops stationed there looked competent enough, athough they were better with sniping and scouting than straight-up fights that the castle guards excelled at. Gerard wanted to get some work done with firearms, but after a few minutes I wandered off to something I didn’t know better than my own name. It had been long while since I’d worked with a longbow, so I picked one up and got reacquanted while Fin and Thirteen shot at things with rifles. Towards the end, things started to feel familiar again, and I got two or three arrows into the air between me and the target at the same time. Lousy accuracy on that trick though.
Good idea, giving the troops guns. Also a good idea to give them single-shot rifles -- less wasted ammo that way.
Gerard wanted to test himself against his nephews, or test his nephews, depending on how you saw it. At any rate, the day ended with the three of use fencing and wrestling the regent. The man is shockingly strong. Vast, unending strength. He could kill me with a backhand, I think. After embarassing us for an hour or so, he gave us each an Ephemeris -- sort of a guidebook to the local Shadows -- headed back to Amber, and left us to our own devices and to get acquainted. Fin and I discussed the military situation and ways we could box-off the Chaosites.
Thirteen didn’t say much. I gather he doesn’t, usually. Seems bright enough, so that’s not it. Cagey. Glances over his shoulder a lot, but I’m not sure he really knows that he does it.
Next morning, we all set out in opposite directions. I headed further into the forest, intending to locate this “Hunac” shadow that seemed one of the two most likely places that Hendrake would hit next. The hope was that we could get them organized before that happened. That I could, more to the point.
I got to thinking about this a little more and realized I might probably be the worst possible guy to talk to a group of sorcerer-priests with a Narcissus fixation. I didn’t know how.
Gerard’s daughter knew how. I fished her trump out of my vest and concentrated on it as I rode, waiting for that back-of-the-neck feeling that let me know it was working.
The smokey connection went crystal clear when she answered me. Before I could phrase my request, she yelled something about an attack and requested my help. I say ‘requested’, because she made it seem formal, as though it were significant. I didn’t think about it at the time -- I slipped off the horse, offered her my off-hand, and put a knife in the other.
The place I stepped into was some sort of tenement. Toriana was just outside of a room that smelled of burnt hair, blood, and ozone. I filled my other hand with sharp metal and stepped inside.
Demons. Three. Standing betwixt me and their masters, one of which was saying something loud that I still couldn’t quite hear and making odd gestures with his hand. I didn’t like the look of that, so I threw a sharp thing through his palm to distract him. Worked.
The princess had had guards with her when this happened, which was smart. Two were down and three were up -- I sent the standing ones after the demonlings and focused on their masters. The one with my knife through his hand went out a window in a long leap, the other crawled out of another broken window and went up. Toriana was doing something that required chanting, so I didn’t pay attention to her. The guards seemed to have the demons in check (I put my sword through the neck of one as I moved across the room to make sure they had an advantage), so I went after the jumper.
He was standing in the sqaure below me, looking back at my second floor window.
Stupid. My hands did their trick and the guns were throwing silver at his head. He ran for an alley and I jumped out after him, continuing to shoot so he’d keep his head down and not get any bright ideas. I landed alright and ran for the alley, rolling low into the opening and emptying the other gun.
He wasn’t expecting me to go low. Too bad for him. I waited for the flames to go down and checked the body -- a signet ring told me he was House Basilisk -- hired assassins from the courts. The three thick golden coins in his pouch made my fingers tingle and I decided to have a look at them later.
The other one got away. Turned out Toriana was after her kidnapped aunt, who was some sort trump artist as well, and about to be ‘recruited’ for the cause in terms less-friendly than ours had been.
I explained to Toriana that I was glad I’d managed to keep her skin intact, since I needed her for a few things, especially a trump or two of myself for a plan I was hatching, which things I’d take in repayment for services rendered. She didn’t look thrilled, but it could have been worse.
In the meantime, she’s taking her aunt back to Amber and I borrow her trump of the Arden Camp so I can get back to my damn horse.
By the time I’d found it, I realized I’d forgotten to ask her about Hunac.
I've added a few features to the front page. The most important one for players and GM alike will probably be "SEARCH THIS SITE" (over on the right of the main page). This will let you look search for any mention of specific words or phrases -- especially useful if you're trying to remember something about a log, but can't seem to find it.
In the 'ego stroking' category, there's now a hit counter down at the bottom of the front page which just started up today. Clicking on the icon will also let you see where hits are coming from and some other geeky info on this and that.
Jacob is riding through Arden to Hunach, where he will negotiate via the contact from House Kandive, who trades with them. He trumps Kelamon to get closer to the Shadow. She isn’t decent, so asks for 10 minutes. In the meantime, he talks to Tori and invites her along, since she’s better with court functions and representing the magical aspects of the Household. She's coming along with him.
Kelamon pulls Jacob to Amber, then sends both Jacob and Tori to a Nexus closer to their destination. They start off towards Hunach.
Toriana asks Jacob about an elemental goldfish to spy on aunty.
The pair are schmoozing Derkan and Baran. Derkon is puzzled, since Toriana already made arrangements with him, and isn’t sure why Fineas and Thirteen are here. Fin explains the nature of one of the armies that are coming (necromantic in nature), and hopes to get him focused on reconning that army ASAP. (This would be Hendrake beating up the “Austrian” Shadow.) Derkan had already said “yes” to helping, so Fineas essentially provides a specific direction.
The two learn that Toriana has done sketches of all the acquiescent mages, and has provided them sketches of herself. Fineas sends off Derkan to prepare for a trip so he can scam on Phaedra, who he was speaking with.
Phaedra is an apprentice mage specializing in Sonic magicks and Fin (never one to pass up an opportunity) talks about her help with the army -- Phae isn’t sure her mistress (Petra) would approve.
Thirteen Enjoys watching Fineas scam on Phae, but Phae’s not entirely interested.
Jacob asks how Tori’s bodyguard is doing. They talk about Hunach and why they want to get Hunach made inhospitable so that Hendrake will choose to advance through Fangorn. We travel, kill some bandits, camp. She makes Jacob some (4) sketches of himself, and Jacob dresses up the bullets for her pea shooter so they are more effacacious.
They arrive in Hunach without incident. Kandive’s proxy is on a coastal island. Their contact is a middle-aged fellow (reminiscent of Anthony Quinn) -- Cullin of house Kandive.
Fin finally lets out to Phaedra that he’s recruiting on behalf of Amber. Phae becomes much more interested in him. Fin makes arrangements to talk to her mistress/master at a later date.
Fin trumps Jacob. Jacob answers. Fin and Jacob explain relative situations. They work out how to approach the Hunach social groups (both the priesthood and the shadowy “Organization” that controls black market trade in the realm). They also talk about funding or backing an underground resistance in Shandora (“Austria”) or spiriting away local heroes for a resurgent revolution at a later date.
Fin talks to his mystery mom and discusses support from her, for him, during the initial conflicts.
Fin talks to Liam and checks up on the assembly of the expendable prisoner army.
Baran and Thirteen chat. Baran is very interested in Tanitheel. Tanitheel is not likewise enamored. Baran is a combat sorcerer and tactician and thus (theoretically) quite desirable. He is also purely mercenary. He and Thirteen negotiate terms that are generally agreeable to both, apparently. Papers are signed. Tanitheel is not pleased.
The pair work out that while Toriana is dealing with Priests, Jacob will talk to the groups that deal with the black market. Jacob discusses the nuances of the black market with Cullin and heads out to another island where “that sort of thing” takes place.
Tori has arrangements made for Priestly meetings -- arranging this on short notice takes a great deal of time and money. Tori has two days to burn, and does so making a couple ‘permanent’ trumps.
She is made to wait for a few hours on the day of the audience, so she makes 3 or 4 sketches and freaks out the local mages with the swirly trump energy.
She is called in to meet with Palinke’. She starts off by immediately making her displeasure with the long wait known.
Fin is sitting on his hands, waiting for Thirteen, Petra, Phae, or Thirteen to catch up with him (he moves quickly in the backalleys of bureaucracy).
Petra arrives at their meeting. Fin wants her for (sonic) illusion magic, to simulate the enemy’s military signals to confuse the opposing troops. (The enemy doesn’t appear to have any Trump artist’s to facilitate communications.)
Petra is keen to help. She finds it intriguing. She, Phae, and her other apprentice Sinone are committed.
He and Fin and Tanitheel discuss ‘the plan’, and talk about what to do with each of their new allies. Fin thinks taking Derkon to Shandora-then-Fangorn-then-Hunach is optimal, first to get a feel of the enemy’s necromancy, then to scan for current necromantic ‘weak points’ or ‘nexi’ in the other two shadows.
In case anyone missed it, TANITHEEL REALLY DOESN’T LIKE BARAN. Baran, on the other hand, thinks Tanitheel’s breasts are just swell.
Derkon, Fin and Thirteen are go to Shandora (trumpwise) to get a ‘feel’ for the necromantic magic.
In the Shandora, the group is attacked by a couple “thrall” scouts. One zombie-like, mind-controlled native who attacks them is captured. Afterwards, Derkon does some work scanning the area’s necromantic fingerprint.
Jacob meets Immish-kan. Jacob explains the problem of the incoming Chaosite armies to this criminal contact. The gist is that they need to organize resistance to make them seem like the worst possible choice for the next advancement. The guy agrees, but needs to contact a few people who will need to see the armies first hand. Jacob agrees to this situation and gives the guy a trump sketch of himself (one of four he currently has) to contact him when he’s ready to see the armies. This should take a couple days.
Tori talks to the second-in-command priest. Explains the situation. (See above.) The priest doesn’t knows if this is important enough to warrant taking to the All High Eye of the Sun without “proof”. Tori contacts her mom Kelamon to get a trump sketch that will facilitate this. Kel provides a sketch of a Chantris spy in Shandora.
The priest is going to send his nephew and two sorcerers along with Tori to investigate Shandora: he trusts his nephew’s judgement. Tori makes it clear she’s not wasting days waiting on bureaucracy when it’s this world’s good that hangs in the balance.
[Elsewhere, in a gaming room, player’s discuss perpetuating a superstitious association between Making Amberites Wait and Having Bad Luck.]
Derkan is shocked by the sheer scope of the necromantic energies in use by the Chaosite army in Shandora. Fineas asks about the odds of siphoning off the energy for their own use, or to weaken the magic. Derkon is not optimistic, but provides a few cautious theories.
Derkon talks about Amberites being able to “break magic”, and recounts some stories of the previous generation messing up other sorcerers. Fin and Thirteen both try this out. Thirteen seems to be able to do this better, though whether this is native ability or the result of getting to see Fin try it first is not entirely clear. Derkon is directed to try to spy on the via magic, and Thirteen does a reverse of ‘breaking magic’: enhancing the chances of Derkon’s success. The view Derkon acquires is one showing ghost-forms and other mystic energies feeding into one of the Chaosite’s gate to power it. Fin tries, while he can ‘see’ the gate, to use his probability effect to mess with the energies feeding the gate. His effect is minimal but discernable, once Thirteen reinforces the viewing device/mirror so it doesn’t overload.
This attracts the attention of a Logrus tendril. The stress of conflicting energies cracks the mirror and melts smaller components to slag.
Jacob receives a trump call from the Organization after about 15 hours. The Organization is ready and can be available within the hour. Jacob says that arrangements can be made within that hour or cannot be made at all, so come on through. He then trumps Kelamon.
Toriana is taking through two sorcerers and the nephew of the secondary priest to Shandora. The area Soren (the spy) is in is dangerous, and he’s concerned that the group arriving must be competent or dead. Tori receives assurances that the group is good enough.
After about 40 minutes, the group trumps through to a place where the locals are being sacrificed on at least a 12-per-hour rate to power one of the Chaos gates. The nephew looks pale. The sorcerers analyze ambient magicks and look quite concerned. The group attracts attention after a few moments due to the sorcerous activity. Some guards are coming, some of the Ta’andu (insect centaurs) toss some darts to no effect, and Tori trumps everyone away, back to the Hunach trade island, then sketches their way back to the priest’s city.
The group makes it’s way to Fangorn via trump and meets with “Lord Oak”, whom they warn of the oncoming invasion. Lord Oak is willing to coordinate, but needs to see firsthand the effects of the oncoming army. Fin takes him to a world where the armies have already passed. Lord Oak digs in and communes with the local elements and elementals. This takes hours. Meanwhile, his entourage of a dryad and some “bush warriors” protect the area. Lord Oak finishes and they head back to Shadow Fangorn. Fin queries him about the chances of recovering that world. Lord Oak has not considered such a thing.
Fin and Lord Oak discuss tactics. The Forest (capital F) will not allow outsider troops in great numbers. It looks as though Amber will only be able to provide weapons, some logistics, and trump movement support. If Amber moves an army in, the army will be attacked. Fin makes it clear that Fangorn is welcome to defend itself, but if they are losing, Amber will have to step in, because Amber can’t afford to let them lose, and hopefully The Forest will see the point of getting help.
Thirteen talks with Derkon and Fin about scouting the necro-friendly points in Fangorn, but the survival chances on such scouts are not good. They talk about doing some probability manipulation for wetter weather.
Jacob is trumped by Thirteen, who wants permission to come through. Jacob checks with Tori, who checks with the Priests, who say “Hell Yeah.”
Jacob calls Kelamon, requesting help with moving the Organization around, and K tells him Tori was already at Shandora. He calls Tori back and sets up transport. He then calls Thirteen and passes on permission to visit Shandora (while he goes to meet his criminals). Jacob trumps (sketch) to Shandora, scouts, clears a landing pad, and Toriana passes the syndicate people through to him. They scout. Jacob notes that the sorcerers are much better at (a) stealth casting and (b) recon. The group arrives, scouts, and departs with the enemy none the wiser (except for one sentry Jacob terminated.)
Fin goes off to meet with Petra and Co. The challenge with this recon is that he needs to get them close enough to a battle that they can hear their signal horns and other commands. He works out the logistics with the Chantris Proxy in the Shadow. While there, he asks after local heroes who show great promise but are hamstrung by local politics. One shows promise but was badly wounded a few months ago due to poor support from the local Emperor. Fin wants to get him away -- get him spirited out and healed -- to use him as a guerilla resistance leader or to try to rejoin the battle after the Hendrake are pushed back from their next Shadow attack. (Name of psuedo-hero is Euguene?).
Fin works to get the Chantris people out and get his sorceresses in to recon the army.
Thirteen trumps Toriana and brings through Derkon and his ‘assistant’ (read: walking dead). Derkon heads off to scan the Shadow for good points of necro-nexi. Thirteen and Tori meet with EYE OF THE SUN (head honcho) and explain the tactics of the major battle (which was planned to occur in Fangorn, but that’s changed) -- the EYE likes the “Disposable Troops” idea -- waste of foreign life pleases him. Tori thanks him for not making them wait (the peons are learning the ‘don’t make the Amberites wait’ rule). Toriana offers to make the EYE a trump sketch to facilitate organization of forces.
(Currently have five sketches and one full trump of himself, all via Toriana, having given one to the Organization). He explains the logistics of the war to the Organization and rides into Shadow to find troops and spies. He hellrides for several days and reaches the Borderlands, where he plans to collect ‘his people’ and start looking into gathering a military force. The problem, in his mind, is that his stomping grounds do not lend themselves to large armies -- it’s not the ideal place to find troops.
Fin is in Shandora and detects the use of Pattern Tricks in Shadora’s capitol -- but he’s the only member of the Household around, and HE isn’t doing it. This isn’t good. (Also, enemy troops arriving abruptly within the capitol city and no one (besides perhaps Fin) knows how -- Chaosites shouldn’t have trumps.) The front line of battle is still 50 miles away, but some sort of mystic paratroopers have hit the city.
Fin focuses on getting Chantris people out, then contacts Gerard and informs him of the “Pattern Problem in River City”. He collects a good rifle and recruits assistance for working out a bullet that can make it through a ward. He can’t reach Jacob (who’s hellriding) for advice and contacts his mother, who comes through to enchant the bullet (using magic, not conjuration).
He gets an idea of the general direction of the Pattern activity and sets off into the embattled capitol city to do his duty for the Kingdom.
There are warrior troops about, but Fin manages to get close enough to see some sort of asexual Demon who seems to be the source of the Pattern manipulation. He zooms in on her...
Thirteen meets with the commanders of Hunach’s military and discusses the Facts As They Are Known regarding chaosite troops. Derkon talks about the necro-nexi in the region and everyone returns solid feedback on tactics that should work on the Chaosites in this Shadow. The generals are reassuringly competent and also like the idea of the prisoner troops (disposable foreigners are gooood). Hunachish peasant troops are also a viable choice, apparently.
That having been done, Thirteen heads back to Amber to collect Sabine, a crossbow, a gun (sniper rifle), as well as a sword to match his wakisashi. He then trumps Fineas, who’s about to squeeze off a shot at the Pattern-tricky person.
Fin asks if Thirteen can penetrate illusions. He can’t, but Sabine can. Thirteen trumps through with Sabine and Sabine casts an anti-illusion on Fin (so that Fin doesn’t have to worry about magical illusions masking the target’s actual location).
Fin is going to shoot the target (who was actually shifted visually to appear in a slightly different location) -- Thirteen is going to use a poisoned bolt with the crossbow, since his weapon doesn’t have the right ammo.
And that’s where we’ll leave our heroes.
- Thirteen is in Shandora’s capitol city.
- Toriana is in Hunach.
- Fineas is in Shandora’s capitol city.
- Jacob is in Borderlands.
The clan was at a steet party celebration following our introduction to the public and there was much to talk about. All the newly-found relatives were there and the party was a success.
Meanwhile Fineas and Thirteen schmooze the ladies of the party with varying degrees of enthusiasm. K hands out trumps to everyone, including and Amber trump, a trump of Gerard, and one of each of the other members of the Household.
Thirteen arranges for arms training with Sir John. Gerard got everyone together at some point and briefed us on the enemy, Jacob chimed in with some other information that he knew on the subject.
Gerard puts Toriana in charge of retrieving her aunt the trump artist. Tori asks to have a different bodyguard assigned and Sir John takes care of that.
Dad went with Thirteen, Fineas, and Jacob to see the Rangers in Arden. Interestingly enough, there are male and female rangers. Thirteen learns he is not so sneaky - yet. Fineas learns he is quite good at target practice. Jacob works on a longbow, since firearms are familiar ground for him. The men all ganged up on Gerard, both armed and unarmed. Gerard’s tough, but another helper and they might have been able to take him.
Tori is off to find her aunt, last seen with one of the wizards of Dom Damiel. Her new bodyguard is named Himrick, a weir shapeshifter. Tori is very pleased with her bodyguard.
Three men apparently took Tori's aunt and there was still a trace of their energy in the air. Tori takes Himrick’s advice and trumps K, her mother, for reinforcements. The kidnappers are taking an odd route. Tori comes to a city and does a quick locate spell to find her Aunt.
Thirteen gets sneakier. The three new relatives get some equipment from the rangers. Thirteen heads back to Amber. He practices his shadowshifting and probability. He runs into Tanitheel (who is remarkably well, all things considered) they chat about this and that. Thirteen notes that she is healed and eating a lot. Tanitheel is very patient and tries to teach Reese some magic(?).
Jacob is trying to figure out how to stop the advancing enemy. He scouts for nexii and likely routes the enemy would take. He is all rangery and stuff.
Fineus schemes in private with an agent from House Miramond. The mystery agent has some agreement with Fineus. Fineus hits mom up for a trump, she gives him a sketch of shadow Fenghorn - his next destination and the reason he was talking with Miramond - they trade there to a limited extent.
Tori's bodyguards shapeshifted to look like (large) dogs. Her Aunt is not too far away but is very drugged. They enter the establishment where she is and head towards the upper floors. There is a nasty trap on the door to the room where she is being held. They decide to rush it and head to her. Himrick leads the rush and as he charges, Tori feels a trump call. She quickly answers, since the good guys are not winning and could use some help. It’s Jacob. He agrees to help and a quick fight ensues. The bad guys try to escape out the window, and both weir bodyguards were injured, to greater or lesser degrees. The ugly man with large bull horns gets away, but Jacob is able to kill the (other) mage. The pair try to track the bull man, to no avail. Tori gives her trump to the ranger camp to Jacob for helping her. He wants more, doesn’t everyone?
Thirteen is learning sorcery (?), after six hours Tanitheel proves that even she has limits and gives up on the lessons. Thirteen is being watched by Belcan or Don Delcon. He is slowly learning in the city not the castle. He finally gives up and heads to Bloodly Bill agains. Thirteen greets Elmore, Chongo and Badger there. Thirteen finds out there is a house in Amber you can trump to from Dom Damiel. Badger thinks the gate should be closed.
Fineus has a private conversation with some mystery man. It is going to take a least a week to "rescue" (retrieve) a little under 1000 men from prison. Fineus is looking for troops. He is taking rangers to look for Shadows that met criteria and troops. He will first recruit good troops. He is also looking for archers, heavy and light infantry. Rent-a-troop option investigated. Fineus is going to gate troops into battle (or thinks someone else will be able to).
Tori talks her Aunt Gwyneth into staying in Amber -- she is not particularly nice about the whole thing.
Thirteen trumps Fineus. Fineus pulls him through the contact. They (and Tanitheel) meet up with Badger and Raja shows them the trump picture in a seaside villa a few miles from Amber City. It leads to Dom Daniel and from there to Belcan. Tanitheel is not amused. They try and meet up with Gellerack, but instead meet with Osvan. Thirteen and Osvan arm wrestle (manly aren’t they?). Thirteen wins. Fineus asks Osvan what he wants in payment to be an assassin. Osvan wants land, riches, shiny things. They draw up a contract.
Stan to Gm
"Yes, I guess 13 head back to Big Gay Gerards Big Gay Palace".
Gm to John
"When you get back to amber Castle, one of the guard's informs you that
Gerard is with the Amber fleet"
John to GM
"Of course he is"
Jacob to Toriana
"Well, now that I've saved you and your great aunts life, I think that you
should at least make me a trump sketch of where I was since it'll take me
two days to get back there."
Toriana to Jacob
"Like your inability to get from here to there is any of my concern."
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
The next day #2 gathered up his misbegotten flock and herded us out
beyond Arden forest. As we walked he had each of us try and do some
Pattern tricks. I was up first and he seemed pleased with how well I did.
next up was Jacob, who for some reason had decided to show off. This
greatly upset #2, who soon retook control of the procession.
We soon arrived without further incident. #2 gave us a speech about the
enemies that we were about to face and their abilities. Jacob piped up and
added some information that he had come by in his wanderings. Next on
#2's agenda was to give the four of us firearm and bow training. Jacob
asked about gun powder and why it did not work here. #2 told us that it
was a very rare element, and was to be used sparingly, that was why we
were out in shadow training.
I was fine with the firearms, but the bow took some getting use to.
Toriana left after the first day. Jacob, Fineas and I stayed for two days
to get as much training in as possible. #2 had us spar with each other. we
were all pretty even, but Jacob won most of the matches, with Fineas in
second. when we moved on to swords the first and last places were swaped.
#2, who seemed excited from watching our fighting, and wanted the three
of us to attack and wrestle him all at the same time. Fineas and I looked at
each other with apprehension, but when Jacob went in a mad rush at #2, we
were oblighed to follow suit. #2 was able to handily defeat us, and thanked
us for our time and went back to Castle Amber for a bath and a Massage.
He asked if anybody wanted to join him, and the three of us all declined.
I had decided that Sabine's place was as good a place as any to get a bath
and a shave. After I was presentable again, Sabine and I set about training
me "magic". The whole thing was like the time when #26 had told me that
the way to seek inner peace was to try and move the unmovable with my
mind. #26 was a bit of a thicky. But there I was with Sabine, and her first
instruction was for me to try and bend the flame with my mind. I pursed
my lips and blew, which only brought a look of disapproval from Sabine. She
told me to take this seriously or leave. I herumpfed and sat down and
focused on the candle flame, and Sabine went out to shop.
Several hours passed and I was beyond bored when Sabine came back. She
looked at me with astonishment, and told me that she had never seen
anybody in Dom-Daniel conquer the flame lesson so quickly. I looked at the
flame and it was actually bent. Nice. At least the computer was going to
let me win some of its games. After a nice dinner (I made a Village
specialty, Terrine of young grouse, potted shrimp, a bottle of Bayles Best,
and finished off with Coffee Meringue). we decided to finish off the
evening in our own wrestling match.
The next morning it was time to meet up with Fineas and take him Dom-
Daniel and Belkin. A good place to start was in the Castle. Rumor had it #2
was spending "some time" with the Amber navy (of course he was). But I
soon found out that both Chango and Elmore were in town with another
mage by the name of Badger. I asked were I might be able to find them,
and I was told that they would be at "Bloody Able's". I asked by which
route one might find "Bloody Able's" and was provided with a map. Not
wanting to look to much like a newby, I memorized the route and location.
The way there was clear and fine. I stepped into the bar and noticed the
three mages drunkenly singing in the corner. I greeted them and asked if I
could join them. They agreed and told me that it might be a good idea if I
had my Wakasashi out and ready on the table. We talked and I ended up
buying several rounds for the four of us, including the Bars only bottle's of
"Bayle's Best". At the end of the evening Badger had agreed to lead Fineas
and I to Dom-Daniel. He also told me that I had to keep his route between
Amber and Dom-Daniel secret. I promised I would. With this I headed
back to Sabine's for a bit of a night cap.
The next morning I went to the Castle to find Dame Tanitheel, and asked
her to come along on the excursion (I sensed that whatever was going on
was a bit dodgy). I trumped Fineas and asked him if he was available to go
to Dom-Daniel and Belkin. He replied that he was, so I pulled him through
to Amber. We met Badger at the Bayles Gate in the east of Amber City,
and proceeded to Baylesport. I found this all a bit odd at first, but it all be
came clear when Badger told us the his route to Dom-Daniel was a Trump
mural in near by house. It was House Nampara, and the house keeper went
by the name of Zacky Martin. Tanitheel mentally took all of this in, since it
was a major breech in the Amber defence's.
We trumped through to Belkin Via Dom-Daniel without incidence. The Dom-
Daniel-Belkin trump was in the OCS. When we all arrived in Belkin, Badger
cast some spells at an obelisk telling us that the local shadow god Bel
needed a "sample" of us to protect us while we were attending the
convention. Badger gave us a who's-who tour of the place and introduced us
to a Mage by the name of Azvan. Before Badger headed off for his own
pursuits, Fineas talked to him about helping the Amber army in one of two
shadow that he and Jacob were seeking to protect. Badger was very
concerned that the Chaosians were going to attack that shadow and agreed
When we met with Azvan everything went swimmingly. The meeting with
him went on for a long time but eventfully Fineas was able to negotiate his
help with only some trumps from Toriana or her mother in the bargin. Our
next stop was going to be a talk with either Derkon, or Holruun.
RESOURCES is a grab-bag designation for a wide variety of things, including Allies.
1 point: it's useful
2 points: it's very useful
So this covers allies, riches, contacts, special knowledge, extraordinary talents, some kinds of magical specialization, henchmen, armies, estates, feudal realms, cults, spy networks, membership in some organizations...
It doesn't cover combat specializations.
With talents and specializations, 1 point will usually signify a 50% raise in the governing stat/ holistic stat for a narrow purpose. 2 points signifies doubling the stat.
Say I want to stat out a knockoff of Brust's Kiera the Thief, prior to recent revelations:
Psy:30 --- she's amazingly perceptive and charismatic
Str: Ch --- easily lifts 200 lbs
End: Ch --- Olympian marathoner
War: 30 --- 007ish
Conjuration: 10 --- she has all those magical traps to defeat
Sorcery: 10 --- some things have to be done off the cuff
Broken Pattern: 15 --- hexing level
2: burglary --- doubles her real Warfare for burglary (60x2, -30, =90)
2: stealth --- doubles her real Tactics for stealth (90x2, -45, =135)
2: pickpocketing --- Tactics again
2: magical wards and locks --- doubles her real Psy+[War/2] (90x2, -45, =135)
2: magical stealth --- [ditto]
1: disguise --- 1.5x her real [ditto] (90x1.5, -45, =90)
1: magical disguise --- [ditto]
2: friend who does "work"
2: knowledge of tech security measures
Good Stuff =5 (maxed out)
=98 points: About right for the best thief anywhere. She's still not going to have much luck picking Benedict's pockets as his Tactic score, unvarinshed, is aroud 150.
SHADOWS are hard to put points in since I nixed Altering or Editing shadows and declared that major powers can't be blocked. You can define one, within limits, for a point. A shadow with a minor power source costs 2, with a Broken Pattern costs 4. No Control or Barriers.
ARTIFACTS AND CREATURES are confined to 1 or 2 point effects and are not, as a rule, summonable.
Minor elementals are creatures of near- or low- level human intelligence. They rarely have to be bound for simple, one-shot tasks. They are usually bored and fascinated by human activities.
The commonest elementals are minor salamanders, gnomes, undines and sylphs. There are other kinds, including cislunar or aetheric elementals which are used for investigating magical constructs.
Ghosts, of people and animals, are useful for some operations. Human ghosts usually have to be freed from their haunting parameters and bound to their new jobs.
It is possible to bind a spirit (or sometimes spirits, plural) to a some power sources. Sometimes this happens naturally, with elementals or ghosts. More often it is deliberate, where a powerful mage (or, occasionally, scientist) merges with a source, a process that involves dying and has a high failure rate. Another drawback is that such gods are confined to one shadow, or even one part of one shadow.
Some sources will hold only one spirit at a time while others will take lots of them. Multi-spirit entities generally merge but you do get the odd schizo god.
Bel is a singleton spirit of great power. He has a cult and is capable of possessing his priests. They see possession as a good thing, rather like followers of voudoun with their loa. By hosting and providing security for the Brotherhood convention, Bel gets to listen in to gossip and news from all over Shadow. Bel enforces the peace at the Belken (within the borders of the valley of the assembly) gathering by hurling those who initiate or incite violence several shadows away, to the Dung Pits of Glyve, a low-magic, frozen wasteland of excrement. Most mages thrown there never make it out.
Dom-daniel's Broken Pattern is inhabited by a multi-spirit entity tasked with defending that world.
Amber's great noble houses:
Dukes of Feldane
Dukes of Chantris
Marquises of Bayle
Earls of Miramon
Earls of Kandive
The rank is that of the head of the house, there are lesser titles (Baron Bayle, for instance) within each house.
The Brotherhood is the largest association of shadow mages ever. There are thousands of members. The Brotherhood is such a big tent organization that it is impossible to get the membership as a whole adapt any policy beyond certain rules of courtesy. The Guiding Council of the Brotherhood sets policy (sits on its ass) and the Council Deputies do any actual work.
Dom-daniel is a high-magic shadow in the Rebman region famous for schools of magery.
The Great Houses of Chaos, according to somewhat dated, Helgram-slanted information available to Jacob, are:
Helgram is the smart, sneaky house
Hendrake is a bunch of martial bozos
Jesby a House of arrogant, not overly bright, greedheads
Chanicut is a House of moralistic prigs who, stupidly, never back down
Basilisk a bunch of thugs and assassins (rather like Helgram, but with less class)
Gryphon has flair but lacks real focus or intelligence
Manticora is a (small) bunch of dangerous berserker crazies
Sawall a small, loose collection of over-eccentric power-monkeys
Hendrake was the largest House with maybe 100 members, Sawall the smallest
with maybe over a dozen. That was before the war with Amber. In large
Houses, especially Hendrake, most members are not Logrus masters. Sawall
(the smallest) is all Logrus masters. The Logrus kills most who attempt it.
The Patternfall War was mostly a Helgram and Hendrake plot, with royal connivance.
There's a certain amount of Dragaeran influence on House character: Hendrake is Dragonesque, Basilisk is Jhereg-like in a very different social setting, Sawall is reminiscent of Athyra, Chanicut has Lyorn (and Minbari) elements.
Swayvill, King of Chaos, is the scariest person there.
Suhuy, Keeper of the Logrus, is number two.
'Fiends', or khrazall, are represented by Strygalldwir and Gryll in the books. All the great houses have limited numbers of them as slaves or janissaries. They're as strong as the more martial PCs but generally slower than Toriana.
Prominent or frequently recurring NPCs are underlined.
Emperor Ajaran of Ghenesh, the monarch first approached by Kiros Helgram and thus the first to gain the mirrormastery power. Conquered Ghenesh in short order. Happens to be the mad ruler from whom Tanitheel fled Ghenesh.
Akbal, Eye of the Sun, highest priest of the empire Amber deals with in Shadow Hunac
Alcazar Hendrake, captured by Thirteen while scouting the Chantris forces in Shandoria, released to his House
Alessandra, see Sand
Alexa see Vayla
Alit, Gryphon-turned-Tir Tarngiran, Broken Pattern initiate; 'alleet'
Madame Ambrosia, grand dame of Amber's courtesans, possibly as much as 300 years old, mistress of Ambrosia House.
Antryg, high ranking Old Citadel mage, once called in to Castle Amber as a consultant by Toriana, witness to the destruction of a shadow by primal Chaos.
*dead*Artegall Helgram, captured outside of the Chanicut fortress.
Pontifex Augustus III, a shadow dignitary picked up by 13 along with a brigade of Svetz infantry. Intelligent and adaptable, he's attempting to attach himself to 13 in a position of importance.
Azvan, lizardman mercenary mage-commando, a Broken Pattern initiate, signed a contract with Fineas, worked with Amber in his native Johrom with his associates Chomali and Tananda, his clan is very important in Johrom, currently training Fineas' lover in the mastery of Broken Pattern. [Aahz: Kelly Freas]
Badger, well-known sorcerer and scout; new ally of Amber off to scout the Helgram invasion area; founder of the Autumn Moon school of sorcery, were-badger, worked closely with 13, Dara and Mirelle.
*dead* Baran of the Extra Hand, sorcerer hired by Thirteen in Belken, odious (and abusive) to women, with Jelerak in the visit to Gwenyth's palace ("an innocent mistake, Himself was expecting Chaos Lords"), under contract to Prince Thirteen and working in Shadow Purgatory, captured by the Helgrams, released from his contract, still drugged, into Dom-daniel where he was found by one of his past victims. Word got around and it was ugly.
The Beast Formerly On the Pole, a greater Elderkin long bound impaled on a 50' pole. It weighs several tons and has shapeshifting powers well beyond the norm. Its blood induces violent, uncontrolled shapeshifting if ingested; if the subject lives, he or she gains some degree of shapeshifting power. Recently released. After an initial, brief period of mindless fury It has retreated to consider It's options. Recently sent a mutated garou minion, "Lucy", to Amber to investigate the courage of the mortal Valery Kasynovich.
Bel, a shadow 'god' or genius loci (see under Powers), chief such in Shadow Belken. On very good terms with Fineas. Made him and Florimel temporary Avatars to help out against Tualua and Jelerak. His special powers pertain to space warps and teleporting.
Duchess Belissa Minobee, dead Duke Larsus' wife and advisor, of the minor House Minobee (known for a darkness power, intelligence and eccentricity), interim leader of Hendrake until they can afford to have a succession struggle. Pragmatic. Mirrormastery initiate. Ally of Tor and Palatine and Dara. House Hendrake is adopting the members of House Minobee by mutual consent.
*mostly dead, for now*Prince Benedict, eldest prince of Amber, recently released from Zhartra's control and returned to Amber. Father of Dara. Transformed to broken glass by Tualua, then to a relatively powerful spirit by Dara's, Llewella's and .... efforts. Dara and Toriana have engaged the mage Turjan, a protegee of Pan Luum, to make Benedict a new body.
Prince Bleys of Amber, part of the cabal of Clarissans that tried to take the throne of Amber. In the process they damaged the Primal Pattern, got King Oberon imprisoned in Chaos, gutted Prince Martin of Rebma, invaded Amber with a huge army out of shadow, killed relatives of nearly everyone in Amber, noble or common. He did lead a hidden cavalry reserve at Benedict's direction that was vitally important to winning the initial battle in the Courts. Larger than life, one of the top swordsmen in Amber, trained to some degree by Dworkin. Captured in Chaos and fitted with a parasite to feed him hallucinogens to weaken him. Spent 4 years hallucinating with his Pattern powers gone mad. Rescued by Prince Diego and returned to Amber. Toriana and Fineas sat through his detox. Cooperating with the family. Currently working on dragging his old five-shadow Avernan empires out of ruination.
'Bono', Naboliano Buonoporte, emperor of Francq, an ally of Prince Fineas, military genius, married to Josette, conqueror of Angland. He and his wife have been rejuvenated by Fineas.
Col. Sir Bors, chief of the Amber Royal Guard.
Brand's Palace staff: Kwan Ro (air and bird specialist, first among equals [tall, thin, graceful]), Sprague (engineer, the organizer of the bunch [tall, thin, spade beard, occidental]), “Tiger” Tlacoatl Man-ching (werejaguar, erltiger liaiaon [Aztec features]), Trocero (herbmaster, gardener, toxicologist [looks Italian]), “Catkin” Kubash (Librarian [‘goblin’; a middle aged but spry Chiana with green skin, a shock of black hair, sharper than human teeth, barely 5’ tall]), Sergeant Lo Ken (master of arms), Wang Fei (Cook, or rather: paramount master chef)
Baroness Bree Hendrake, a Logrus mistress, youngish, supporter of Palatine.
Breggor of Feldane, wastrel taken under Fineas' wing; gradually improving.
Caridwen/Crazyred, one of Amber's top courtesans, of the Red Rooster.
The Cat, Elderkin, brother of The Unicorn, an ancestor of the Shroudlings, savior of Tir Tarngir when it reconstituted after the Pattern was repaired -- a very personal god to each Tarngiran who went through the ordeal.
Chango, Amber Castle staff mage (a tech not a real fighter); think Cheech Marin in his 40's, BP initiate. [Cheech Marin]
*dead* Chinaway Hendrake, influential member of his House, fanatical Serpent cultist, killer of Prince Julian, brother of former Hendrake Duke Larsus, author of Hendrake's defeat versus Amber, killed by artillery at the Battle of Tulun.
*dead*Chomali "Chumley" Dhevanapadi, big (6'10"), brawny, brainy, green-haired adventurer, brother of Tananda and friend of Azvan, working for Amber in Johrom, recent Broken Pattern initiate, currently Princess Florimel's lover, entered Amber's service as Flora's aide. Killed by Gheneshans of Vala's court in Shadow Earth. [Akshay Kumar]
Prince Corwin/Corouine le Roi, Creator of his own Patternverse, king of Avalone, husband of Queen Lorraine, father of Diego and Morwyn, plus Douglas, Deirdre and Vialle in Avallone.
Cory, page (12ish) of Amber Castle
Crow Girls very fast, dangerous and odd twins searching for Pan Luum, their nephew. Binders, Shapeshifters and Mirrormasters.
Cullin of Kandive, Amber trade factor in Shadow Hunac, minor sorcerer
Lord Dain Minobee, cousin of Belissa, accompanying Palatine on her mission to Amber. A master of the Darkness.
Dai-shen, male Kuromoni (Tir Tarngiran) concubine rescued from Dantay Gryphon, a courtesan courtier. 'Pregnant' with spawn of Prince Diego.
Princess Dara of Amber, Lady of House Hendrake, tentatively accepted as a member of the Amber family, sworn to fight against any but Hendrake, leader of the hellmaids, daughter (not great grandaughter as she'd been taught) of Benedict, loves the sting of battle, worked with 13 in Purgatory, Limbo and Inferno. Reinstated to House Hendrake by sharing the Mirrormastery power with them and foiling the Helgram assassination program. Assassinated her aunt Duessa with Tor Hendrake's help. Acknowledged as Lintra's heir and liege of the Hellmaids. Has become friends and chaos-buddies with Toriana.
Daughters of Agheer, uber-undine minions of the genius loci Agheer. Hrona, Bara, Kolga and Duva; Hefring died by Logrus tendril in the Battle of Chelaya.
Dawadire (dahwahdeeray), woman from a shadow kingdom (a Mongolesque empire in something like an Africa) allied to the Gryphon-controlled Kuromon Empire; former concubine of Dantay Gryphon, last seen among the Mapungumbwe of Vulnavia. Pregnant with Diego's child.
Princess Deirdre of Amber, full sister of Corwin and Eric, died in the Abyss.
Princesse Deirdre of Avallone, daughter of Corwin, brunette, athletic, something of a rebel.
Delwin, Binder drafted into the job by Oberon and Dworkin, forbidden to contact his siblings. Captive (with arms and legs removed) and Binding-power battery of Jelerak for some time. Rescued by Dworkin and stripped of the Binding power. Limbs regrown fast with Tanitheel's help under the Family's direction. Currently in physical rehab and healing from brain damage.
Derkon, Brotherhood mage and (really) unusually personable necromancer; doing very good work for Thirteen in Sh. Purgatory.
Duchess Devera of Tir Tarngir, daughter of Florimel, Pattern initiate
Prince Douglas of Avallone, son of Corwin and very like his father in most ways, though less moody.
*dead* Marquis Duessa Hendrake, most bloodthirsty and personally powerful of the clan, assassinated by Dara and Tor.
Dworkin, maker of the Pattern, Binder, father of the Houses of Amber and Rebma, currently suffering from a mental disorder brought on by part of his mind being erased (by damage to the Primal Pattern) and patched over with part of Oberon's mind. Maker of the blood-artifact (Binding, Pattern, Magick, Trump, Shapeshifting) Spent some months on Shadow Earth recovering. Rescued Delwin and Sand and stripped them of the Binding power he'd forced upon them long ago. Currently traveling with the Unicorn in mystical realms. Took Princess Galina with them for a week and taught her the Pattern superhighway trick. Took the Jewel of Judgment with him and has generally refused contact.
Elmore, Amber Castle staff mage (more tech than fighter), BP initiate; think Elmore Blues
*dead, assassinated by a Gryphon*Count Sir Emrys Feldane, former Duke Feldane, father of the current duke, Chancellor of Amber who largely ran the country while Gerard is out fighting, old, supposedly incorruptable, owns one of the three best libraries in the known universe.
Prince Eugen of Shandoria, possibly the only really competent Shandoran general, wounded (lost a foot) and recovering in Amberite care. Fineas is promoting him as the next emperor of Shandoria.
Fandral, fire-mage of Sh. Purgatory, an ally/minion of Prince Thirteen.
General Fenmor, master of the Arden Rangers -- an organization that spans hundreds of shadows and dozens of kinds of troops.
Princess Regent Florimel, has changed her role from useless fluffhead to Hard Working Princess after centuries of dogging it. She's a Trump artist, a Mirrormaster, a tyro shapeshifter, a minor maker of Pattern artifacts, a decent military commander and has several children (involuntarily) as a result of her captivity in Chaos. They are Marcus, Vayla, Savaton, Liana, Devera, Powell and Herne, formerly of House Gryphon and now Emperor and Princes of Tir Tarngir. Currently grieving the death of her lover Chomali Devanapadi. Current Regent of Amber for the second time. [Catherine Deneuve]
Princess Galina (Ostreyeva) of Amber, bastard and unknowing daughter of Caine, about 160 years old, an inhabitant of Shadow Inakhos, a former pacifist and music teacher. Brought to Amber and the family by Fineas. Training has brought out some of her natural agression. Pattern and Mirrormastery initiate. Spent a week with Dworkin and the Unicorn in mystical realms. Still a bit spacey. Learned the Pattern superhighway trick.
Baron General Gelban Chantris, commander of the Chantris forces in Shandora (ghell-ban)
Genevieve/Zhenevyev, powerful and seemingly ethical vampire in Sh. Limbo, allied to Prince Thirteen. A former nun. Being groomed as a crown agent. Broken Pattern initiate. [Anne Parillaud]
Prince Gerard, ruled Amber through the difficult period following Oberon's repair of the Pattern. Fixed or re-made most of Amber's shadow path trade routes, ruled well and fairly for 15 years, reorganized the Royal Guard as a unit of cross-trained commando near-supermen, father of Toriana, brought in every semi-useful nephew and niece he could find, made them princes and trusted them/gave them enough rope to save or hang themselves. Mostly recovered from being shot up by the vampire assassin Vrykos with Tualua-powered bullets. Most popular member of the royal family by a factor of 2. [Brian Blessed]
Gertruda, Amber royal guardswoman, Weir. Frequent bodyguarded Prince Thirteen prior to his acquisition of vampires. [Franka Potente]
High Priestess Glencora, chief of a college of 50 earth-goddess priestesses in Sh. Purgatory, rules a duchy-sized state, ally of Prince Thirteen.
Griv, a khrazall of House Hendrake stranded in the Borderlands during the Patternfall War, he and Jacob became friends. Broken Pattern initiate and a leader of an underclass revolutionary movement in the Courts.
Gwyneth, exiled Rebman royal, longtime Brotherhood luminary, expert Trump Artist and mage; kidnapped by Chaosites and rescued by Toriana, Jacob and some guardsmen. Worked for Amber after Tori made her an offer she could not refuse until she panicked at Toriana's proposed new security measures. Sent to King Corwin to be court Trump Artist and teacher where she has done very well. Looks like an older, meaner, demanding Paltrow.
Hans, talkative Amber Castle masseur
Heinrik, Amber Royal Guardsman and Weir shapeshifter; Toriana's bodyguard. 6'8" tall, muscular and fast. [Dolph Lundgren]
Helel, a massive, stony Elderkin in the form of a black, dump-truck sized, stylized jaguar with avian wings. Owes Toriana a moderate favor. Can turn its tears into garnet-like cross-shadow communication and locating artifacts. Gravity is his bitch. Not exactly friendly but very interested in keeping Dworkin and Zhartra from re-binding him.
"Hilda and Gilda", Hildmara and Gildinsherna, swanmaids in Amber's service. Recently learned Dame Tanitheel's 'swiftform' and are called hawkmaids.
Duke Herne of Tir Tarngir, son of Florimel, Patterner
Holrune, alert, friendly and helpful mage and Brotherhood Council Deputy; seems to have gained Gerard's trust through excellent work in Shadow Chelaya. 'Frogged' by Tualua and restored with Amberite help. Currently working on reconstituting the Brotherhood more on lines pleasing to him.
*dead* Illyan, dead son of Florimel and Duke Khaavren of Gryphon, killed by his half-brother Marcus
Itzamna, Hunacan 'tong' operative, a stealth-specialist mage. Hired by Jacob as a teacher.
Prince Jacob's Sentinels, a group of strong sensitives adept at tracking shadow movement; Nelson (chief, stationed in Amber), Billy-bo, Antoine, Markoff, Lamont, Samuel, Rivan (with Princess Toriana's entourage), Eddie (in Rebma), Azhul (with Azvan in Johrom), Conner & Lonner (in Sh. Purgatory with Badger) -- unassigned ones are currently undergoing combat training in Arden with Santee.
*dead* Jan van Eyck, psychotic serial murderer son of Corwin killed by Fineas on general principals with Gerard's blessing.
Queen Jasra of Kashfa, mother to Princes Fineas and Rinaldo, widow of Prince Brand, a sorceress of some power, a helpful and concerned mother, Dark Well initiate, ally of Zhartra. [Julianne Moore]
*dead*Jelerak, 2000+ year-old evil badass sorcerer whose name is not spoken by other mages, known for using spies, for going around in disguise, for cruelty, and now for the Pez Staff of Doom; employed Baran and a number of other mages at least part-time. Released and thought he controlled the Abomination Tualua. Killed by his vampire slave Vrykos while in mental combat with Toriana.
Sir John Gaunt, chief Amber crown emissary since Oberon's time, Gerard's right hand man, Broken Pattern initiate, Knight of the Unicorn.
Lord Jorian of Ghenesh, an expendable minor noble thrown to the Amberites as part of an infiltration plot. Weaselly.
Jurgen ("your-ghen"), Weir royal guardsman, frequent bodyguard of Prince 13 with Gertrude. [Moritz Bleibtreu]
Lady Kelamon, mother of Toriana, sometimes-lover of Prince Regent Gerard, Trump Mistress of Amber, member of the Rebman House of Lir; purple hair, beautiful, hard working. New Mirrormaster.
Duke Khaavren Gryphon, former captor of Florimel, father of Illyan and Komarra.
Kirsten, 70 year old vampire who looks like an 14 year old girl, one of 13's lackeys, strengthened by drinking a lot of her former master's ichor, a good deal of the ubervamp Varnai's, and some Chaos Lord blood as well. Bound by Jacob to obey 13. [Kirsten Dunst]
*dead* Komarra Gryphon, daughter of Florimel and Duke Khaavren of Gryphon, an obsessive huntress, executed while unarmed and unconscious, in front of her mother, by Jacob.
Kyeigha, a R'lyeh-spawn that was drugged and moved to cover the disappearance of its fellow Tualua. Writhing, tentacly darkness with one red eye. Strongly telepathic and telehypnotic, but not nearly as strong as Zhothaqquah.
Kyllikki (kewleekee), former concubine of Dantay Gryphon and current concubine of Prince Diego. Recently started shapeshifting spontaneously.
Ky Tung, attractive, adventurous female captain in the Tung Family, a minor but prosperous Amber noble house -- via a bought title now one generation old. Steady lover of Fineas. Aided significantly in the expedition that found Tir Tarngir. New Broken Pattern initiate, being trained by the lizardman mage Azvan. Working on turning Shadow Gigantor into a resort and source of pharmaceuticals. [Tia Carrere]
*dead*Leonore Helgram, captured outside the Chanicut fortress. Killed by her family in a demonstration of power.
Duchess Liana of Tir Tarngir, daughter of Florimel, Patterner. Trump student of Flora with her adoptive sister Saia. Studious and serious.
Liam of Miramon, Amber noble working with Fineas, dealing with GC kings for cannon fodder
Lirazel of House Basilisk, spy and expert shapeshifter. An ex-prisoner/ liaison to her House in Amber City.
Princess Llewella of Amber and Rebma, dear sister of Moire, mostly recovered from years of abuse, leader of the Rebman expedition into Chaos. Greatest Pattern master alive after Dworkin.
Queen Lorraine of Avallone, wife of King Corwin and mother of Douglas, Deirdre and Vialle.
Count Luc Hendrake, one of the main contenders for the Dukedom, very dangerous, egocentric, flashy. Opposed to Belissa and to Dara.
"Lucy" garou minion of the Beast, sent to Amber to investigate the great courage shown by Valery Kasynovich in confronting It.
Count Mangold of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, semihermit
Emperor Marcus of Tir Tarngir, former Gryphon, son of Flora via a host mother. Known as a clever bastard t some of his relatives.
Mareka, Captain, hellmaid captured by Thirteen and imprisoned in Amber Castle's dungeon, returned to Dara's service.
Prince Martin of Rebma, son of Random and Queen Moire's first daughter Morganthe, shapeshifted for 4 years into a dumb-animal lizard and left in a swamp by his Hendrake captors, half-brother of Jacob. A Prince in both Rebma and Amber.
Mirelle, formerly-exiled Princess of Amber, mother of Thirteen, blonde, petite and athletic. Reinstated as a Princess of Amber. More than a little reckless. [Kate Blanchett]
Queen Moire, old (older than Fiona), unaging, powerful, ruthless, commander of the best spy corps in the realm of Order, mistress of the Jewel of Rebma, ally -- to a point -- of Amber, sister of Llewella, mother of Morwyn, grandmother of Martin. [Christina Ricci]
Crown Princess Morwyn of Rebma, daughter of Queen Moire and Corwin of Amber, Trump Artist, admiral, hard-working and hard-playing. Friends with Toriana and Dara. [Reese Witherspoon]
Duchess Nicola of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, recent Broken Pattern initiate, Trump student in Rebma, mother of Ashtrakhan
Mr. Nishka, businessman/fixer/crimelord in Sh. Texorami who does work for Prince Jacob.
Duke Nolan of Tir Tarngir, former Gryphon Lord of Chaos, Broken Pattern initiate
Baroness Dame Nyctasia Kandive, crown emissary, sorceress, diplomat, spy, healer, currently serving as Princess Galina's tutor and bodyguard. 5'2", attractive, dark, lucky. Former employer of Dame Sigrun.
"Lord Oak", an upper level servant of The Forest in Fangorn; pretty much an Ent with impressive power over elementals.
Oleg of Miramon, Factor (boss) of the Miramon trading town in Shadow Fangorn
Otaru, major Old Citadel mage, in Amber as a consultant at Toriana's request.
Countess Palatine Hendrake, moderate, a great tactician, protegee of Lintra, ally of Tor and Belissa, Mirrormastery initiate. Logrus master.
Pandelume/Pan Luum ubermage, creator or settler of the subspace pocket world Embelyon. Inventor (?) of the biomatrix creation process. Teacher of Turjan. Nephew of the Crow Girls. Killed, imprisoned or chased out of Embelyon by Jelerak. Status unknown.
*dead*Petra, Phaedra, mid-rank sorceress and her apprentice, specialists in illusions (mostly for entertainments), hired by Fineas in Belken. 'Frogged' and killed.
Duke Powell of Tir Tarngir, son of Florimel, gutsy, Patterner
Duke Pramash of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, father of Saia, recent Broken Pattern initiate, Trump student of Flora's; 'prom mosh'
Duke Rhastoferas ("Rhas") of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, father of Empress Rhondalissa, head of the Redcloak family, recent Broken Pattern initiate; 'ross'. Very formidable. Has shown a strong attraction to Princess Toriana.
Empress Rhondalissa of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, Initiate of the Jewel of TT, wife of Marcus, favored of the Cat, grandaughter of Rhastoferas; 'Rhonda'
Duke Rhundimas (Rhune) of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, brother of Rhastoferas. Very big and strong, smarter than he looks.
Countess Rianna Hendrake , ambitious rival of Belissa, a plotter. Not a Dara fan.
Prince Rinaldo, brother to Fineas, a personable redheaded fellow, a sorcerer, secretly a Trump Artist, a new Binder, son of Brand and Jasra, brother of Fineas. Dating Duchess Vayla of Tir Tarngir.
R'lyeh, Spawn of, creations or children of a much greater Abyssal abomination long bound in the forbidden (nearly unreachable, blocked by extreme Pattern and Binding measures) shadow of R'lyeh. May have been designed to more effectively communicate with and use mortals of this universe. All are strongly telepathic and telehypnotic. Unkillable or nearly so. Zhothaqquah, Tualua, Kwygha, others.
Prince Robert of Tulun, intelligent and dynamic ruler whose innovative defensive measures contributed substantially to winning the Battle of Tulun, negotiating with H. Chantris to serve as that House's main port on the Shandorian mainland.
Lord Rohan Hendrake, soldierly cousin of Dara's, supporter of Palatine and accompanying her to Amber.
Lady Ronath Chantris, head of the Chantris delegation in Shandora's capital until they had to bug out
Sabine, young sorceress of Dom-daniel, trained in the Autumn Moon school, a defensive stealth expert, tutor and lover of Thirteen, recent Broken Pattern initiate. Recently split with 13 over moral issues involving necromancy.[Sophie Marceau]
Duchess Saia of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, daughter of Pramas, scholar, recent Broken Pattern initiate, Trump student of Flora. Hard partier. 'sigh-ah' [Valerie Chow]
Sand/Alessandra, Binder drafted into the job by Oberon and Dworkin. Recently a drugged and maimed (sans arms and legs) captive of Jelerak. Rescued by Dworkin and stripped of the Binding power. Limbs regrown and other damage healed at top speed with Tanitheel's help. Currently undergoing physical therapy, training her regrown limbs.
Santee, heavyworlder pugilist who works for Prince Jacob, currently training the prince's minions in Arden, owns a bar in Texorami.
Savaton of Tir Tarngir, son of Flora, known as the diplomat among his sibs.
Dame Sigrun, former bodyguard of crown emissary Nyctasia Kandive, now a crown emissary and knight herself. 6'3" tall, very blond, good-looking, built like a pro volleyball player, a very good fighter by Royal Guard standards. Werewolf but not Weir, from a country neighboring Weirmonken the nation in Shadow Weirmonken. Currently bodyguard and martial tutor to Princess Galina -- who keeps leaving her behind.
Sorac, former concubine of Dantay, red skinned, black haired, a former princess captured when Gryphon-supported barbarians overwhelmed her city, settled by Diego into a secure shadow with the remnants of her people. Pregnant with Diego's child.
Soren, Chantris spy in Sh. Shandora
Admiral Sir Strake, one of Gerard's top naval commanders; looks like Ving Rhames
Sullus, Reman client whom Fineas is backing for Emperor. An intelligent and ambitious fellow who's a little shocked to have a god or demon on his side.
Talifa, Daebekkar Senior Scholar and Explorer, working with Ky Tung on Shadow Gigantor. Over 200, rejuvenated 4 times. Looks like Queen Latifah with an upper class accent. Her assistants: Master Ferroh (grandson) and Jayanti (Chelayan: blue skin, short white hair, Allyson Hannigan)
Talori, House Miramon retainer, logistics expert, advising Prince Fineas
*dead*Tananda Dhevanapadi, tall, attractive, green-haired adventurer, Amberite-fast and pretty strong, sister of Chomali and friend of the wizard Azvan, working for Amber in Johrom, recent Broken Pattern initiate, had an affair with Prince Jacob. Killed by Gheneshans of Vala's court in Shadow Earth. [Lexa Doig]
Tan-wu, female Kuromoni (Tir Tarngiran) concubine rescued from Dantay Gryphon, a courtesan courtier from the capital city. Pregnant with Diego's child.
Baroness Dame Tanitheel, Amber crown emissary, Amber's best shapeshifter until Diego showed up, recently learned to heal others with shapeshifting, studying the making of Blood creatures, Broken Pattern initiate, subject to mild vampiric needs, Gheneshan by birth. [Famke Janssen]
Baron Taran of the House of Lir, an old friend of Fineas', in Rebma's service as a scout/commando commander.
Baron Tor Hendrake, well-regarded member of the Hendrake clan, captured by Prince Diego in the Battle of Tulun, handed over to Queen Moire to trade for her grandson Martin. Ally of Belissa and Palatine. Assassinated Duessa with Dara's help. Mirrormaster.
Tsayn beautiful creation and wife of the mage Turjan.
Turjan mage specializing in 'biomatrix creation' of lifeforms, a student of Pandelume/Pan Luum. Recently de-'frogged' and shandhied by Toriana and Fineas. Thought to be (unknown to him) a descentant of Jelerak and hence of Oberon. Tasked by Tori and Dara with attempting to create a new, Pattern-capable body for Benedict's ghost. Maker and husband of Tsayn.
The Unicorn/Amalthea, Elderkin, sister of The Cat, mother of Oberon, Morgana and Lir. Major power seems to be projecting Awe. No longer speaks. Capable of taking human form, able to move through Shadow very quickly, able to survive the Abyss for a short time.
Queen Vala of Ghenesh, one of the monarchs who surrendered to Ajaran and survived. Masterminded the raid on Shadow Earth and the near-successful abduction of Kelamon and Liana.
Valeri Valerinov Kasynovich, columnist at Die Tageszeitung, a paper in Amber City. Very much an Amber loyalist. Recently fired and exiled for writing libelous and untrue things about Regent Gerard, things he'd believed to be true. His exile was commuted for service to the realm -- acting as expendable spokesman to the escaped Elderkin known as the Beast. The Beast recently sent a garou minion, "Lucy", to study this insanely brave mortal.
Vayla of Tir Tarngir, daughter of Flora, sister of Marcus, spied on Amber as the courtesan Alexa, having an affair with Rinaldo.
Countess Vestalla of Tir Tarngir, Shroudling, aged
Princesse Vialle of Avallone, daughter of Corwin, seems nice.
Lady Vialle of Rebma, blind but superbly Sensitive and inspiringly Nice, former wife of Random.
Von Klatka, a petty vampire lord in Sh. Purgatory, minion of Prince Thirteen.
Vractazzir, 'Vrac', one of Dara's khrazall bodyguards, kept out in shadow.
Vrykos, vampire assassin, probably the most powerful known vampire around. Prefers long range weapons. Thrall of Jelerak for an unknown period. Nearly killed both Zhartra and Gerard. Killed Jelerak when the sorcerer's control slipped during an all-out mental battle with Toriana. Adopted into House Basilisk. Broken Pattern initiate.
Admiral Sir Wingard, one of Gerard's top naval commanders; looks like Alan Rickman with a sea-dog's tan
Zariel, bound sylph servant of Prince Jacob, who has gradually increased its power many times over.
Zhartra, the Queen of Air and Darkness Dworkin's great grandmother, ancestress to most Lords of Chaos simply by virtue of age, a dozen or more children and their thousands of descendants. She beat Prince Benedict in personal combat -- when he was tired, wounded and missing an arm -- and held him as a 'guest' for four years, seems to genuinely like him; senior Binder, initiated Jacob and Rinaldo to replace murdered Delwin and Alessandra. A mistress of the Dark Well teleporting power. Mistress of a corps of both bound and free DW initiate asskickers. An independent power on the edge of Chaos, known for training 'heroes', mostly from H. Manticora. Twice Queen of Chaos, a job she says she stank at.
Zhartra's guards, highly trained commando types, initiates of the Dark Well (fadeaway) power. Most are former Lords of Chaos but a few are khrazall.
Zhothaqquah, Abyssal spawn of the Monster of R'lyeh, strongly telepathic/ telehypnotic like all its kin and capable of mental contact with them cross-shadow. They don't seem to be killable, at least not permanently. Looks something like a 10' man-toad bound to a stone throne deep in a tunnel.
cost: 5/ 10/ 15 points for minor, medium or major spells.
Time to cast: 1 minute/ 5 minutes/ 20 minutes.
Time to hang: 3 minutes/ 15 minutes/ 1 hour.
Spell Racks are available commercially many places. The very best racks are wands/ rods/ staffs from Fangorn (that's a secret of the House of Miramon) and rings from a Rebman trade house, available in Amber, Rebma and through the Brotherhood.
Best-quality racks hold 12 hours (as in 'time to hang') of spells and need maintenance once a week, or once a day if you'r doing a lot of shadow travel.
Normal-quality racks, like those you can conjure yourself from normal materials, hold half of that and require more maintenance. Sorcerers can make racks too, with a major spell, but they don't (shadow) travel well at all.
There are also the 1- and 2- point specializations that can be applied to sorcery. Necromancy, for instance, or scrying, or wards.
PCs can only acquire sorcery in-game in 5 point incrememts as you're trained.
Sorcery is being run pretty loosely. Established sorcerers are assumed to know hundreds of spells and have the ability to make more. You do need a list of what you have hung currently.
A drawback to sorcery is that spells can be interfered with or dispelled by other spells, Broken Pattern hexing, some minor powers, Logrus and Pattern. SEE PATTERN.
MOVING THROUGH SHADOW PROBLEMS --- SEE PATTERN
You can do most of the things with Conjuration that you can with spells. Conjuration is slower for most things but more permanent. Conjuring is far more materials-sensitive (though you can get around it by using really flexible materials, primarily your own blood) and slower to adapt -- research takes longer. Conjurations are far more durable than spells when stressed by power fluctuations, magical attacks or probability attacks. Conjurors usually carry around gadgets for their most frequent effects: goggles, weapons, lights, detectors, elemental summoning devices, etc.
HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION
Pattern and Broken Pattern remake you towards a certain ideal. They also
give you some inherent resistance to intrusive magic. So surface healing
magics and tech --- first aid at the late 20th century level -- work fine.
More intrusive healing works if it isn't too complex, since it supports the
return of the initiate to the ideal state. So a bonesetting spell will work
unless the patient is actively resisting it. Surgery, simple cutting and
stitching, works fine. (Rewiring things, like bypass surgery, will correct
itself.) Nutrition spells work fine. Spells (if cooperated with) and drugs
that kill pathogens work. Radiation therapy would work better -- initiates
are tougher -- but they don't get cancers. Skin grafts will work to a
point -- but the initiate's body will quickly consume and replace the alien
tissue. Bigger grafts, like limbs, get rejected. Cybernetic implants get
rejected. (The arm Oberon got for Benedict was a special case.) Nanobots
fail and get rejected but it takes some hours, so it's possible for them to
do some good. Cosmetic surgery doesn't last.
Shape Change spells have to be terribly strong and cooperated-with to work. For more ordinary mages transformation spells are still difficult. They are also dangerous. Altering your body is something you do not want to get wrong and each step of a transformation must be just right. Magically transformed people are quite vulnerable to some kinds of attack spells, magical fluxes, and probability attacks.
Teleports are space-warping spells. They're difficult (like 2 Major spells)
and complex and easy to block with much easier spells. In high magic shadows
permanent teleport blocks (and nastier defenses) for security are
commonplace. All of that applies equivalently to tech teleport devices.
SHADOW MOVEMENT BY SPELLS/ CONJURY/ TECH
Spells, enchantments and high tech devices can be made to detect Shadow
Paths, Trails and natural breaks. It's also possible to make Gates to nearby
shadows (create a Pathway) with magic or tech devices, but it's a big
deal. (Like, massed sorcerers assembled on Walpurgis Night and
powering up with human sacrifices, or a dedicated nuke plant and giant
Really good, high capacity (= stores 12 hours of spells; ordinary ones store about half of that) spell racks, like a shadow sorcerer needs for traversing shadow without frying all his hung spells, are made from rare woods from Shadow X or rare metals cast into ring shapes from Shadow Y. Both shadows' locations are commercial secrets of the Amber and Rebman merchant houses,
respectively. All the major trans-shadow wizard societies have stocks of
them for their members. That's one reason the dues are high. Amber and Rebma keep limited stocks on hand for their royals and agents.
25 Trump Artistry: Sense, ID, make Sketches, make Trumps, expert Trump usage. No Defense (but see * below), no Trump Artifacts. Trumps are tougher than they should be.
+10 Trump Tricks : Gate, Jam, Spy and Trick Trumps. There are no automatic Trumps, per se, because they require willpower to function -- but see ** below.
+10 Trump Memory
Only TAs can pass psychic impressions to other TAs from which Trumps can be made. Brand did not build up an image from talking to other people about Martin. He put together enough information to find him and observe him himself.
Sketch Trumps are as vulnerable to damage as the materials they're made of. Full Trumps are physically twice as tough as they should be and extremely resistant to energy and magic
Sketch Trumps can be used any number of times for normal communication. They can be used once for transport or for a strong Psychic hit -- then they break. A Sketch will ordinarily transport one person. A TA can stretch that, if they have leisure to concentrate, with an effort. How many depends on Psy + End.
Sketches are not good enough to Memorize.
Magic can be used to supply energy for Trump contacts, Gates, etc.
Trump creation time: People Trumps take 24 hours of work. Place Trumps take 48. High Psyche lowers the time: Divide the normal time by your (Psyche/100) + 1. If your Psyche was =50, your divisor is 1.5 and you could make Trumps in 16/ 32 hours.
How long can you keep a Trump Gate open? (Psych + End)/5 minutes, after which the Gate collapses and you fall to your knees breathing hard. Other people can help, even if they're not TAs, at the same rate. A standard spell can add about 2 minutes. An external power source is recommended. Magic hot spots, human sacrifices, minor power sources you can talk an initiate into helping with, the Pattern: all can be tapped with spells or conjury. Observe safety precautions, especially with the big ones.
Trump ID requires your cards to fiddle with unless you have Trump Memory.
**You can bind spirits into Trumps for a variety of purposes.
You can do Gates, Jamming and Spying with Trump Memory. It adds to the difficulty.
*Your points in Trump add to your mental combat score.
How do you duplicate Trumps? Dworkin could do it, since all the family decks are identical. Nobody else knows how.
With 15 points in Sorcery and basic Trump, you can make a Trump Spell -- a Sketch in spell form. It takes an hour, since you have to hang it and everything.
So if the Chaosians have 10 or so Castle Amber Trumps, why haven't they used them? Gerard wonders the same thing. The Trumping-in spot is covered by several guards and one gatling gun but so far they haven't had any trouble.
Beginner Pattern is bought (free for PCs) as a 25 point block that breaks down into:
10 points- Shadowshifting
5 points- probability control
5 points- senses (mostly to Pattern and Logrus use and trails)
5 points- Pattern defense (visualizing the Pattern as a shield in front of you)
Standard Pattern is another 25 point block but each component can be bought separately. The difference is that you can do things faster and easier, and you can do complex things.
Broken Pattern adds to the basic block like so:
10 points BP- full Shadowshifting
15 points BP- full probability control
25 points BP- full standard Pattern imprint
High Endurance does not make walking the Pattern easier. It does let you recover faster. Dworkin made sure that it's an ordeal for everyone.
You cannot find particular people or things with Pattern.
You can, even with basic Pattern, make or break Shadow Paths.
You can send things or people through Shadow. You must have a really good idea of the shifting sequence unless you're sending along a known path like your backtrail or existing Shadow Paths.
Wishing yourself to people from the center of the Pattern doesn't work. Verbal commands don't work, just visualizations.
There is no Editing or Altering the Rules with Pattern or Logrus. There is no Pattern lens. There are the Fiona tricks -- elaborations of the Shifting, probability, defense and senses categories. Brand summoned monsters via Trump Memory.
The Jewel of Judgement costs one point to attune to --- no more, no less --- once you know how and you have the opportunity.
Power Words are Pattern tricks, not magic. Since nobody started out with them, you can learn from Gerard or some Broken Pattern types. Gerard has demonstrated SURGE and mentioned that there are a couple of nifty ones he uses to defend against Trump attacks.
The first 5 Power Words cost 2 points each and then 1 point each for the 6th and up.
Starting with your 3rd PW you can have an additional, free, cool, non combat related PW. Examples: Dry Paint Fast, Spiffy Up.
KEEPING YOUR STUFF FUNCTIONAL WHILE MOVING THROUGH SHADOW
Tech and magic work, one way or another, most places. The more complex the
item/spell, the fewer places it will work. Complexity applies to the
operation of the thing, not its means of manufacture. Hang gliders made by
factories or by a spell work everywhere that has the right laws of
aerodynamics. While it is theoretically possible to find a shadow where
sharp things don't cut, such a shadow would be weird enough that many
important mechanical functions of life as we know it would not work.
Magic and technology are not opposed to each other. If you had the materials
handy (creating materials is _hard_) you could turn them into a pistol and
bullets by spells or conjuration. (You'd also need to have all the design parameters in the spells/ conjury, or use the magic to duplicate an existing device.)
Random's hang glider worked without him paying attention to anything but
shadowshifting and the wind currents across a fairly long shadow journey.
With a powered ultralight, left to itself, the engine would have crapped out
a few shadows away from the point of origin. Given the leisure to
concentrate on it an experienced Amberite can shift his vehicle to confirm
to the local laws of nature. So with Corwin driving Random was able to keep
their vehicle going well into Arden. It was a good trick getting it that far
and Random was really pleased with himself. Had he been driving himself he
would not have got so far.
The same trick would work for an experienced Pattern Initiate sorcerer using
spells to propel a vehicle. Without a vehicle, the spells are far more
complicated and hard to adapt. Lift and the mechanics of rolling don't
change all that much from shadow to shadow (unless you're trying for that)
but antigravity and telekinesis do.
With firearms and cannon, the mechanics work most places. A 16th C
musket will work more places than an M-16, which will work a lot more
places than an electronic in-line gun. What chemical mix works for gunpowder
varies a lot. Again, given gradual shifts and leisure to concentrate Random
kept two pistols functional from Earth to Arden.
Keeping it together on a hellride would be tremendously difficult. Fiona, if
she's still alive, would shed some sweat to pull it off.
Pulling off an instant shift through a Trump move... If you're quite
familiar with the destination (in terms of using tech or magic there),
maybe. With total concentration. It would help to have a high Psyche, be a
Trump Artist, and/or have another Pattern initiate on the other end helping.
For non-Patterner sorcerers moving
through shadow is a much bigger hassle. Magic tends to work about the same
in a given region, so they can gradually adapt. (A few minutes tweaking
their hung spells and cast enchantments.) If they've been to a given shadow
before, they already know what to do. Moving to a new-to-you region means
spending a couple of days figuring out the new parameters. (This is where 1
or 2 points spent on Knowledge of the Shadow Path Network come in handy.
You've been there, done that.) Similarly, machines will tend to run within a
given region. It will be necessary to adjust the engines from time to time
and computers will get glitchy with distance from their world of origin.
(Microsoft products fail utterly within two shadow veils of Earth.) Move to
a new region and you'll need a new engine, new ammo. Optics work almost
PROBABILITY, BROKEN PATTERN AND LOGRUS ATTACKS ON MAGIC AND TECH
First, using any of those takes a lot of concentration and some effort. Not
a good idea while engaged in personal combat.
Second, they work best on active, complex spells, enchantments and
machinery. A Tiger tank's engine, turned off, is safe from most anything but
careless smokers. Idling, it's vulnerable. Running full out, it's more
vulnerable. A modern field gun at rest is safe from blowing itself up. It's
vulnerable while shooting. The shell, once it's in the air, might have a
timer malfunction or be a dud. Spells being cast are very vulnerable. If a
fireball is already flying towards you though, you'd be better off dodging.
If the Pattern initiate or BP hexer has time, she can lay the bad luck on
the machine or sorcerer beforehand.
Third, probability tricks are blatantly obvious to Pattern and BP initiates,
who can oppose the effects.
Fourth, doing anything really clever, like turning a spell against the
caster, requires that you be a sorcerer yourself. Clever tricks with
machinery or electronics require you be familiar with how they work.
The first series is true, mostly. Some people -- Dara, for instance -- may have been shading the truth or lying outright on a few matters. Corwin probably made a Pattern. I haven't decided, but rest assured that the conflict between it and the other Pattern or the Logrus isn't going to endanger the universe; been there, done that.
The main difference is that Random did not Trump to Gerard after deflecting the wave of chaos in CoC, instead he joined his brothers and sisters in heading into the Courts proper where they were ambushed and overwhelmed. The Jewel teleported Random away too late to save his life, but with just enough time for him to tell Gerard how to attune to the Jewel.
Rebma and Tir-na Nog'th always were well away from Amber in Shadow; the connecting stairways were really good tricks. The stairways broke in the wave of chaos.
Rebmans of the House of Lir are all actual or potential Trump Artists and super-human, though not quite so superhuman as Amberites. Queen Moire is a bit older than Fiona and quite formidable. Her daughter by Corwin, Morwyn, is in her late twenties and a Pattern initiate.
The Rebman atmosphere and lack of crushing pressure applies to their whole region of Shadow. Rebman is a high magic area.
Amber's mortal nobles are a fairly scary bunch. They live about 200 years on average, have long experience with scores of shadows (and all their technology and magic) and act essentially as clan East India Companies with only the lightest royal control. Their mercenary armies and fleets constitute the bulk of Amber's forces short of royals going out to recruit religious fanatics as cannon fodder. They are not particularly awed by most members of the royal family.
There is no Church of the Unicorn in Amber. There are shrines where the Unicorn was sighted, Shinto-like but all small, tended by holy persons (reputed to be capable of effectively blessing) who are modestly supported by the Crown. Amber City hosts dozens of mostly foreign cults who are watched closely by the authorities. Troublemakers --- inciters of religious riots, for example --- are punished harshly, often quite informally. They are not exempt from taxes. Oberon did not like competition.
I'm using some things from the second series: Logrus, House names, some characters. Things that also fall into the Been There, Done That category and will not be seen in CH: sapient Pattern/s or Logrus, Ghostwheel the Trump God, Dara as Queen Bitch of the Universe and Spikardmania.
The Castle is the one from the Visual Guide with a few alterations like bathrooms, Roman baths, some hypocaust-heated areas. Sure it's small. Oberon liked it that way. He wasn't some mortal monarch trying to awe people with architecture. He had real power and just about everyone who got to the castle knew it. Oberon strangled the growth of bureaucracy for ten thousand years and operated in part on a principal that "staff expands to fill space available." Amber Castle was Oberon's house. The kid's rooms are little two-room, (mostly) windowless things to encourage them to live elsewhere.
John Barnes GMs Ambre (on hiatus) and has played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness and Schist.
Mike Hance is diving into this his first Amber campaign.
Stan Pedzick GM'ed Schist and played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness, and Ambre.
Doyce Testerman GM'ed Keys to the Pattern and Things in Heaven and Earth. He's been to ACNW once.
Jackie Testerman played in Keys to the Pattern and Things in Heaven and Earth.
Randal Trimmer GM'ed one short campaign previously and has played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness, Ambre, Mask of Chaos, Things in Heaven and Earth and Schist. He's been to ACUS once and ACNW twice.
A moderately mysterious character who had passed through Amber any number of times, often working as a navigator on trade ships. Rumors named him the son of either Corwin or Eric. While charming and genial, he does have a ruthless streak when it comes to cannon fodder. He has adapted easily to life at the informal court of Amber. He and Jacob are very closely matched in swordplay; Fineas is a little faster, Jacob is a bit stronger. Fineas' Trump Artistry is still OOC knowledge.
Fineas recently revealed to Gerard his true ancestry: he's a son of Brand. Fineas' brother Rinaldo has just shown up to claim his heritage.
Associates: his Mother, a potent sorceress whose identy and even existance is unknown to the other PCs, Liam Miramon (out acquiring cannon fodder most of the time, Ky Tung (female sea captain of a minor house)
Troops: 2500 'euro-samurai', 1000 dragoons, about 3000 cannon fodder
Jacob has dedicated many years to hunting and killing supernatural menaces along the Borderlands, the regions of shadow along the Dancing Mountains. He has a strong preference for firearms and is very, very good with them. Gerard told him that he was Random's son. This was a surprise as he'd thought Random was merely a friend. Jacob is not at all used to any kind of princely lifestyle; he does like the perks. Jacob was a Broken Pattern initiate for decades and adapting to the real Pattern power is different.
Associates: his Watchers (sensitives who monitor shadow movement and gather reports of demonic activity), Itzamna (Hunacan tong sorceress: teacher), Zariel (bound sylph)
Troops: 4000 Reman legionaires, 6000 Pars archer-cavalry, 400 'foreign legion' riflemen, 4000 Oscray infantry (orc-Hessians)
Thirteen was raised in The Village, an odd prison in shadow for political and espionage prisoners. He thinks Amber and all his recent experiences are not real, or not entirely real. The Village specializes in mind-warping technology. He does treat the experiences as valid. For one thing, there's an excellent chance that if he dies in the 'dream' he'll really die. 13 sees everything through a filter of paranoia and skepticism --- not necessarily a bad thing in Amber. Intensive, brutal training has brought out his strong talent for martial arts. He has found a teacher for instruction in magic. He's making himself useful to Gerard while planning his move up the ladder of Amber.
Associates: Sabine (ex-Autumn Moon sorceress: teacher, assistant and sometimes lover), Jurgen and Gertruda (Amber Royal Guards and Weir: bodyguards)
Toriana is the daughter of Gerard and Kelamon, a baroness of the royal Rebman house of Lir. She's a Trump Artist like half of her relatives --- an unusually good one. She's also an excellent sorcerer. She's also spoiled and imperious. Her father's identity was kept secret until recently as neither Oberon nor Queen Moire approved of mixing the bloodlines. Gerard bullied her into taking the Pattern and her position as a princess of Amber with Kelamon's connivance. Moire, who claims to have engineered the situation, is pleased. Tori has attuned (in a very basic way) to both the Jewel of Judgement and the Eye of the Sea -- the Jewel of Rebma. Tori rescued Florimel via Trump and assisted Moire in the recovery of Llewella.
Associates: her shapeshifting familiar, Heinrik (Weir and Amber Royal Guardsman: favorite bodyguard), Queen Moire, Amber Trump Mistress Kelamon (mother).
A son of Corwin, found and brought to Amber by Florimel. Diego rules an island state in a Shadow near Florimel's Earth. He's a doctor, scientist, engineer and expert shapeshifter. He was instrumental in breaking Princess Llewella out of her coma.
Associates: his aide Marcia Sherman; he's working hard at cultivating Queen Moire and Crown Princess Morwyn, his half-sister.
Rebmans are generally pale. Really pale. Vampire pale.
Eye color goes from yellow-green, to green (the most common color), to blue, to purple.
Hair color goes from black to dark green (most common), to light green, to blue, to purple.
Eye and hair color do not necessarily match.
So Toriana has the equivalent of green eyes and pale blond hair. I don' believe Jackie has specified her skin tone, but mom is pale and Gerard is southern Italian, out in the sun a lot dark.
False coloring of hair or eyes is not very common despite the common use of illusions for adornment.
Gerard will be giving the lecture next time he can get you all together. It's long enough and contains nothing the players don't know, that I'm posting it beforehand, since your superhuman Amberite memories would pick up on any little questions that come to mind.
"I've put this off too long. This is how things came to be as they are.
Ages ago, before Amber or its shadows existed, there was Chaos. What that means, really, I don't know. It was not like this. [He gestures, indicating Amber and the worlds beyond.] Chaos had its denizens and among them was one named Dworkin.
Dworkin made the Pattern, the real one, of which Amber's, Rebma's and Tir-na Nog'th's --- remind me to tell you about Tir-na Nog'th --- are the first and truest reflections. The Pattern caused Shadow to come into being between itself and Chaos. Other denizens of Chaos objected to this and tried to destroy the Pattern and the infant Amber. Dworkin and his son Oberon fought them off. Eventually Chaos gave it up or perhaps lost the power to reach Amber and there was peace for many centuries. Oberon's children were not told of Chaos and only a few --- Fiona, Bleys and Brand --- were told that Dworkin was Oberon's father.
Centuries passed. Oberon was a great king, a bad husband to six or seven wives, don't ask, and an indifferent father.
About a century ago Bleys, Fiona and Brand formed a conspiracy to usurp the throne. They had learned of Chaos and approached leaders there for knowledge and aid. Several thousand years of peace had not sufficed to cool the hatred of Chaos, so Chaos gave them what they wanted. The conspirators damaged the Real Pattern. That involved spilling a great deal of Family blood on it. They chose Random's son Martin for it and Brand carried it out. Martin got away without bleeding to death but the Real Pattern was damaged.
The damage opened a way from Chaos to Amber, the Black Road that was reflected across Shadow. Oberon tried to find a way to repair the damage. He was lured into a trap and held prisoner in Chaos. After decades passed with no word, most of us thought him dead.
Eric, Caine and Julian learned something of the cabal's plans and formed a counter-alliance.
At some point Brand fell out with Fiona and Bleys. They began working against each other. Both sides claimed that their disagreement arose because they broke with the Chaosians.
Then Corwin, who had long been thought dead, showed up and joined Bleys in leading powerful forces against Amber. They were defeated, but they killed a lot of our men first. Nearly every soldier and sailor lost kin or friends; Corwin and Bleys are not remembered kindly. Bleys faked his death. Corwin was taken, blinded and held in the dungeons below Amber Castle. Eric crowned himself King.
Oberon escaped with the aid of Martin and a woman of Chaos named Dara. Dara claimed to be Benedict's great-great-grand daughter, and she did walk the Pattern later. Dara seduced Corwin and bore him a son named Merlin who was raised in Chaos to be heir to both thrones. Dara claimed that the Chaosians had assumed all along that they'd be betrayed and planned for it.
Within a few years Corwin grew new eyes and escaped. Meanwhile, attacks from the Black Road grew more and more dangerous.
Bleys and Fiona captured Brand and imprisoned him.
Eric died in a massive attack on Amber just as Corwin arrived with riflemen to save our skins. No one had found an explosive agent that would work in Amber before. Corwin, though ignorant of most of what was going on, became defacto Regent. He effected Brand's rescue by having all of us Trump him at once. Fiona managed to knife Brand without getting caught, to keep him from talking.
She then disappeared. Julian retreated into Arden. Llewella went to Rebma. Caine faked his death and framed Corwin. It was a mess.
Unknown to all of us, Oberon was among us, disguised by shapeshifting as Corwin's henchman Ganelon. Oberon manipulated us into thwarting Brand from attuning to the Jewel of Judgement. Brand was determined, they said, to destroy the Pattern and Shadow and make a new universe more to his liking. Dad recovered the Jewel and directed the others to attack Chaos through a Trump of Dworkin's. I was ordered to stay here as Regent. Dad would then repair the Real Pattern --- at the cost of his own life. There were hints that he intended Corwin to succeed him with Dara as his queen. He warned me that the repair would twist time: years would pass here while days went by in Chaos.
Oberon did the deed. A great, gut-wrenching storm spread out from Amber and Rebma across Shadow, a "wave of chaos" that Dad had warned of. Then things returned to normal, save that the stairways to Rebma and Tir-na Nog'th were broken and the ghost city no longer appeared in the moonlit sky of Amber. I directed the repairs of storm damage to the City and then replaced many broken shadow paths for our fleets.
Nine years passed. One evening Random appeared next to me in the courtyard, bleeding from many wounds and suffering from burns, clutching the Jewel of Judgement. He told me with his last breath how to attune to it and that the others had fallen into a Chaosian trap. He died in my arms. A year later we got the first reports of the invasions. None of my brothers or sisters have returned.
Prisoners have told us that Amber's forces won the initial battle but later fell prey to an ambush. Who among my brothers and sisters is captive and who dead is a matter of rumor and disinformation among the Chaosians. Three sources agreed that Florimel is the Gryphon Duke's trophy concubine. Beyond that, we know nothing for certain."
The woman, who introduced herself as Tanitheel, was swaying on her feet and looked pretty cut up. Also, she was standing there in the buff and looked very... compelling, but the only shapeshifting creatures I’d met tended to be from the wrong side of creation, and I wasn’t about to lower my weapon.
“I’m not what you think -- we have shapeshifters as well,” she claimed, and dropped names she seemed to think I would recognize. One of those names was Random, which wasn’t a name anyone should think meant anything to me. It did. Also, her blood wasn’t burning, which seemed to be a telltale for the types of monsters I tended to kill. She had a good opening line.
I lowered my weapons, but not my guard, and offered to bandage her wounds. She pulled a gauzy robe out of an ankle pouch I’d somehow managed to miss in my once-over, which wasn’t anything but sloppy on my part.
Neither of us wanted to stay around the area, since the chaos mageling might be back with winged party boys. Tanitheel produced a card like the one I’d been given by Random years ago. The image showed a place, not a person, and I almost thought it looked familiar; when the image grew in my mind and we stepped/sank through/out/into it, I was sure of it. Texorami hadn’t changed, though I’d not been here for years. I didn’t recognize the people that were waiting for us in the sand dunes outside of town near the flat, open bay. Tanitheel exchanged a few words with one who looked almost as tense as I felt and accepted more equipment and another collection of cards.
The picture on the new card she pulled out definitely wasn’t Random.
The hulk standing in front of us was about as thick across the chest as my last horse. Better dressed. Looked uncomfortable with me or the conversation he was preparing to have. He explained that he was one of Random’s brothers, which I didn’t care enough about to argue the obvious physical disparity. I didn’t remember Random mentioning a ‘Gerard’ in one of our drunken nights out, which probably meant Gerard hadn’t pissed him off. That was the easiest assumption.
He handed me a letter addressed in faded ink and sent Tanitheel to a doctor while I read. The letter wasn’t long, but it hit some high points.
Things Random would want his one surviving son to know.
Gerard started talking about this (his) kingdom of Amber, the Courts, their war, and his recruitment of various expat sons and daughters of the kingdom, which number apparently included me. I occurred to me that this request for aid was more a technicality in my case, since I was already working on these sorts of projects on my own, but Gerard’s version of the arrangement involved being identified as some sort of royalty, surviving a rite of passage, and leading armies.
Leading an army would be a new development, but mostly I wasn’t sure what I thought about the idea of a testing rite based off an assumed parentage only a piece of paper verified. I asked for some time and a bath. Gerard made arrangements and I promised not to sneak away under cover of darkness.
Waiting for a servant to pull the bath, I checked my gunpowder.
My outlook got darker.
While I soaked and smoked, a professional robed mutterer came in and collected blood. I wasn’t much interested in this until he mentioned he could probably verify my parentage. Considering my chances of Rite Survival depended on such, I gave him both blood and encouragement.
Afterwards, I snagged a castle page and went looking for my clothes with my gear in a satchel I’d kept with me. Wesley wasn’t in his office, so Cory (the page) and I found the kitchen, ate, replaced my robe with borrowed clothing and went exploring.
Like every other place I’ve been, the working staff knows all the details I wanted. Cory is a sharp kid, and filled me on the other abandoned children of the kingdom. If the kid was right, then there aren’t enough of them, us, whichever it is. He mentioned that one of the new arrivals was Gerard’s daughter, which made it clearer to me what the “Prince Regent” is willing to risk, which made me more comfortable about him if nothing else.
The riding stock in the castle stables were striped eyesores, but looked like excellent horseflesh. I had the kid take me past the practice grounds where the castle guards exercise. I had to hand it to whoever trained the troops -- they used every advantage and didn’t stand on useless points of style. I warmed up a bit with one of the sergeants, who suggested he get a few other men to give me a ‘real challenge’. Personally, I’ve always preferred fights I was sure to win, but I thought getting the guards’ respect might be worth a few bruises.
Again, the guards were well-trained, and I certainly picked up bruises, but got a good idea of how I measured up and learned in passing how the other ‘special’ recruits had as well. Good information to have.
Afterwards, the kid and I went looking for Gerard. He was in the office of some sort of prime minister, a local noble named Feldane. The Prince seemed in a good enough mood when he left, and after I recovered my clothes and gear we headed for the deep dungeons of the castle, wherein I learned my rite of passage would take place. The room I was led to was dominated by the glowing pathway maze of their “Pattern”, which path I was meant to travel, a reverse of the power sources I’d become familiar with Elsewhere.
Let me be brief: it was not easy, I did not enjoy it, and I survived. Flashes of my life went by, especially moments spent with the father I’d only known as a friend.
When I made it to the center, I called across to the Prince Regent for further instructions. He told me I could will myself to whatever location I desired. I thought I detected a slight edge to his voice, so I acted on a hunch and took myself over to him and nodded, trying not to look as tired as I was. He looked pleased, or amused, which made sense a few minutes later when I remembered the long stairway we had to climb to get back to the castle proper.
The rest of the day was a blur of functionaries, meetings, and presentations which culminated in a public ceremony in which I and the others (my relatives, apparently) were introduced to the public. We introduced ourselves in cursory fashion and exchanged a few words, testing the waters but keeping to ourselves. I’ve no clear idea what to expect from this crew.
We’re facing a war with forces we don’t know enough about, weakened by a previous war which we’d lost (against this same force).
Gerard is an optimist.
In Cry Havoc I'm trying for several things within the primary goal of entertainment.
A 'canon' feel with a First Series bias. Armies are important and not something you can get rid of easily. Psyche is not the Uber-Attribute. Strength is useful. Numbers count. Shadow is a deep, dark hole. Chaos is weird and nasty. Artifacts and Creatures are toned way down; Greyswandir didn't zip through armor like it was cheese and neither can your 'pointed' sword.
Breaking as many of the established tropes of my game groups as I can. The Pattern will not take you to people. Trumps of dead people do not go warm -- unless they're broken. There is no Pattern Magic or Logrus Magic or Abyss Magic, there's magic --- and it's a minor though damned useful power.
PCs start out powerful, more powerful than 9 of 10 Lords of Chaos. There aren't a bunch of elders to tell them what to do and how things work. There's Gerard and on a lot of subjects he is clueless.
Rebma is powerful. The Amber nobles are tough, competent and not inclined to lick Princely boots.
The basic setup is one of the classics: At the end of tCoC most of the family goes into the Courts proper. They don't come back. Chaos invades the realm of Order, slowly crunching towards Amber. Gerard gets tired of losing and seeks out the odds and sods of the family, the hidden, imprisoned, lost or discarded descendants of Oberon --- the PCs --- and makes them offers they cannot refuse.
[xx] = met by a PC, T for Tori, F for Fineas, 13 for 13
Holrune, a busy, friendly, important guy, a Brotherhood Council Deputy. Happy to help out, interested in Trumps and a closer relationship with Amber. Currently employed by Amber and Gerard's favorite mage.
Chun, called the Unavoidable, who collects pretty eyes (Holrune pointed this out). Very taken with Toriana. Tall, spooky guy with in a big cloak. [T]
Badger, a well-respected mountain man type who wanted not to work for Amberites but to ally with them. Very concerned with the invasions. [all: F and 13 met him in Amber] Currently spying on the Helgrams. Founder of the Autumn Moon school.
Eboll and Vonni, an aged couple of extremely well-respected and liked sorcerers. [T]
Baran of the Extra Hand, a burly jerk barely able to contain his lecherous contempt for women. [T]
Derkon, possibly the only personable necromancer around. Working for Amber and currently in Shadow Hunac. [T]
Azvan, a lizard-man (Johroman) and reputable mage, known for combat and investigative ops. Strong as a strong royal guardsman. Signed a contract with Fineas and (?) 13. [F, 13]
Holrune, Eboll and Vonni may refer more mages to the cause in the future.
Others of note:
JELERAK , whose name is not spoken anywhere he might have agents; terrorizes a whole region of shadow; evil for evil's sake; treacherous, insanely vindictive, brilliant, at least 1500 years old; rumored to have been at Belken
Mazirian specialist in transformations; lordly, pompous and vindictive
Vermoulian collector of dreams, owns a flying palace; over-elegant
Semirama claims to be the same Semirama as the queen of ancient (-1200 years) and fallen Jandar; very adept; ungodly beautiful in a Mediterranean way
Belha the Thief, the Queen of Thieves you get the idea; personable and good-looking too
Silverheels dancer-entertainer and mage; sort of a wild gypsy with power
Pandelume possible rival to Jelerak in power and knowledge; a hermit who lives in his own sub-world none know where
Turjan a young mage who is rumored to have rediscovered the secret of making creatures, even intelligent ones, to order; a kidnapping risk though he has backers
Sheelba of the Eyeless Face an old meddler but well-informed
Ningauble of the Seven Eyes another old meddler and Sheelba's frequent partner, rival and competitor
Mardevvis the Maleficent sort of a female, low-rent Jelerak known mainly for turning into a dragon and eating people; attended incognito
See the MAJOR SCHOOLS OF SORCERY post, but in short:
Archmage Eldevon, Chairman of the Guiding Council of the Brotherhood, master of the Floating Spire school; a great mage and a better politician [T, 13] Gerard found the Floating Spire students to be mostly useless.
Otaru the Singer, the senior member of the Old Citadel school to actually meet the Amberites [13, T] Old Citadel students were well-trained and useful.
Minhyrdin the Fair, Archmage of the Old Citadel school
Archmage Elenae of the Glass Castle school, beautiful, elegant, charming and reputed to be queen bitch of the universe; supposedly the greatest master of scrying magic [T, 13] Her students were narrowly trained and of limited use.
Archmage Rihar, aged and wise master of the Belladonna school [13, T]
Shining Crane (Shang Ko) and Mud Turtle (Nu Liung), aged masters of the Autumn Moon school; onetime apprentices of Badger; nearly-monastic do-gooders [T, 13]
Dr. Ryll, master of the Burning Peak school; very businesslike [13, T]
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
After breakfast today I had my first official meeting with Gerard with regards to my official duties. I asked him to outline the situation for me so that I might suggest where I could be best utilized. The situation turned out to be quite simple. Amber was under attack by four separate chaosian incursions, each directed by a different house and not necessarily cooperating with each other. One spearhead was led by the Hendrakes and seemed to be the most straightforward opponent. They were relying on brute force and intimidation to bull their way through shadow. It was said that a descendent of Benedict was involved in leading them. Another spearhead was led by the Helgrams and was advancing through political subterfuge, dirty tricks and a route through less well traveled shadow. Their progress was less clear but potentially more dangerous. Using somewhat similar tactics are the Jesbys but with a more direct component than the Helgrams. Finally House Chanicutt was advancing using primarily naval routes. This one seemed most intriguing to me at the start but I decided that the Hendrake advance needed blunting quickest.
I listened to Gerard describe the current conditions. It was apparent that my first order of business as far as he was concerned was to gather some sort of army together as quickly as possible. I rather gathered that Gerard intended each of the four offspring that had been found to address one of the spearheads. I still had no idea what the others were like and whether I could use them effectively. I decided to float an idea about using the prisoners in the dungeons to form a bait force. Gerard did not balk, though I doubt he was much enthused. I took some time to explain my rationale and he agreed to try it. I wanted him to know that I was capable of ruthlessness in defense of the realm. I think he got the message.
I decided to establish my initial base among the noble houses of Amber and work out from there. I asked Gerard about the various houses and which ones might have suitable young members that I could call upon for assistance. After talking it over I chose to recruit two young men. The first was Breggor of House Feldane. He has a reputation as a wastrel, but in my opinion his family's good graces are critical to my long term success. I decided that I should befriend him and slowly groom him for higher things as a favor to the Feldanes. The second was Liam of House Miramon. From what I heard, he is the closest in outlook to myself and his ambition will be a very useful tool. I sent invitations to each of the young men to meet me in the castle at their earliest convenience.
I wanted to properly set the mood for my two upcoming meetings, so I arranged for a bottle and some mild recreational drugs to be made available. As I was poring over a couple of reports, my first recruit arrived. At his knock I looked up to see a rakish young man obviously suffering a bit from lack of sleep and carousing.
" Hey there, please take a load off. Here, help yourself to a drink," I offered.
"Great….thanks!" he replied as he poured himself a stiff one. I let him take a long swallow before I began.
"My name is Fineas. They just hauled me in from shadow to take up some position here and I haven't really had a chance to settle in yet. I asked around and you came recommended as a guy who can show me the ropes and still have a good time. I'm not sure I'm ready for all this leading of armies stuff yet. I could sure use a buddy to unwind with to keep me sane. You up for a job that requires fun-seeking, excitement and maybe just a little troublemaking? Here, have a hit of this…" I offered. Breggor grinned widely.
"Sure! I'm your man! I know all the best places to have a good time. Cards, women, drugs, I am an expert on all of them. I wasn't sure what to expect when you invited me here. Frankly I had to be ordered here by my mother, but I'm glad I came now. You seem like a guy after my own heart" Breggor confided. "When do we start?"
" I need to talk to another guy that Gerard wants to push on me. Some guy named Liam. Know anything about him?"
"Ah, he is a major pain. You need to keep your eye on him.," answered Breggor.
"Well, anyway after I am done talking with him, I guess I need to go through some kind of investment ritual tomorrow and then get started on all that save the kingdom stuff. I figure that we can start late tomorrow. I am gonna need to go riding out in shadow, so bring a suitable supply of booze and other traveling supplies."
"OK, tomorrow it is then. I will see you at the investment…maybe introduce you around to some of the other guys before we have to take off." He nodded and got up to leave. I had a few minutes before Liam was due to arrive. I put away the booze and thought about how best to approach him. I decided to be as honest as I could and see if he wanted to come along for the ride. He appeared at my door promptly at the appointed hour and I motioned for him to have a seat.
"Thank you for coming. My name is Fineas. I am recently arrived from shadow to take up my position as a prince of the realm and I find that a daunting task lies before me. I asked for you because I heard that you are a man that can get things done and are not squeamish about what it might take. I need those qualities and I am ready to make a mutually beneficial alliance to get them. I need a right hand man, someone I can count on to cover my back and keep their mouth shut. In return, I offer political and monetary advancement for yourself and your house," I explained.
"I see. What specifically would be my job?" he inquired with a poker-face.
"I need someone to do some diplomatic work for me to begin with. My first task will be to blunt the Hendrake advance. To do this I intend to work on their overconfidence to lead them into a trap. I intend to offer them an army of misfits and criminals for sacrifice while hitting them from the sides and rear with a real army. To create my bait army, I want to empty the prisons of Amber and the Golden Circle, give them minimal training and gear and put them in harms way at a place and time of my choosing," I explained.
"How do I fit into this?" he asked.
"I want you to approach the Golden Circle kingdoms and obtain the release of the prisoners I need. Put any spin on it that you like. I will entertain any reasonable deal that it takes to get the job done. We will also need to find someone to lead the sacrificial army. Any enemies you need to dispose of or do you have any suggestions?".
"I am sure that there is at least one competent general being kept as a political prisoner out there. Perhaps we could offer an amnesty in return for service to those that survive? I think that having a political prisoner die for the cause is more palatable than making him a martyr by execution," Liam suggested.
"An excellent idea. We could make a general offer of pardoning any prisoner in return for 5 years service. Maybe throw in a promise of land as well. We would keep them ignorant of their function of course until it was too late for them to desert. I would even honor the bargain for any that happen to survive. Exceptionally gifted ones might even be offered permanent positions on my staff. Now then, what do you want in return for your service? A political position perhaps?"
"I have no great desire to enter the political arena. Rather I would ask your help in establishing a few new trade routes to enable me to gain an economic advantage. I am a trader by heart and my price is an advantage in trade over the other houses. I understand that you can create shadow paths?" he asked.
"So I understand. I have not yet undertaken such a thing, but I agree to its undertaking on your behalf. Stick with me and we both will attain great heights. But first we must crush this Hendrake advance or all our designs will come to nought. By the way, I have had to take Breggor Feldane under my wing as part of a long term strategy I have to tame the Feldanes to my will. I realize that he is a fool, but I must ask your forbearance while I babysit him. He may prove useful to our long term goals so I will be spending some time with him."
"I understand. When shall I begin?" Liam asked.
"Tomorrow after the investiture. Let me know what expenses you may incur and I will arrange for funds to be made available for your journey to the Golden Circle. I also would like you to engage the services of a news stringer to accompany us on our campaign. I want someone who is respected but ultimately able to be manipulated to put out the message we want to send. Public perception is vital to political power. Perhaps a minstrel as well. What do you think?"
"I would recommend a stringer named William. I will be happy to engage him on your behalf. As for a minstrel, we would want an earthy type who will appeal to the illiterate types. Perhaps Woodruff."
"See to it then. I will meet with you tomorrow before we take off. In the meantime, take my trump and feel free to contact me if you need advice or a decision. Until tomorrow then" I said, extending my hand for a handshake. He took my hand in return and took his leave.
The remainder of my day was taken up with the minutae of arranging supplies, getting fitted for the investiture ceremony and more research. The following morning I reported to the assembly area for the ceremony and met my cousins for the first time. Toriana seemed distracted and a bit spoiled. I tried to engage her for trumps for my command, but she put me off imperiously. A big mistake on her part. Another fellow simply answered to the name Thirteen and seemed wildly out of place. He was definitely out of his element but seemed bemused by the whole experience. When I spoke with him at some length, I learned he had been assigned as Toriana's bodyguard and had been off helping her recruit wizards. I asked for his future help in approaching the wizards myself and he seemed amenable. I have not figured him out yet, but he bears closer observation. The final cousin was Jacob. He reminded me of a sunburned crack addict. Definitely on edge much of the time and he had a well traveled look about him. He seems to consider himself a man of action and confided that he had intelligence to impart to Gerard about the chaosian incursion. I will definitely need to debrief him myself when time allows.
The ceremony was short and sweet. The nobility was present and I was able to meet a number of them I had only heard about. The rest of the morning was spent mingling and pressing the flesh. I can only hope that I was able to give a good impression at the proceedings.
Things had been pretty much normal on the Border: demons on the prowl, tribes of snake-masai hybrids out to expand some territory, and a few nasty dust storms. Griv had come by a few months ago and told me that the Courts were going to be getting more active, but I had seen much of that in what I thought of as ‘my’ territories.
Until one of the tribes sought me out, looking for help.
Of course, that’s not how they phrased it -- in their version, they were merely bringing the cowardice of other tribes to my attention -- something was happening, and those yellow-water dogs had fled their own tribal homes. Didn’t have anything thing to do with them, of course, but they thought I might be interested. The fact that this Big Bad seemed to be coming their way was a coincidence, and they weren’t concerned in the least.
I took the horse the direction they pointed and kept and eye out for trouble -- and water. The region was dry as old stories and I was starting to run low on needful things. There wasn’t anything in that area that was close to anything else, which was probably the reason the tribes didn’t fight more than they did, so it took me a day to come up on anything interesting in the way of information. In the way of water, I didn’t see a thing.
The village we came on was wiped out. Bodies were bloated and scavenger-torn in the sun and quite a few of the buildings had been torched. The village warriors and marksmen looked liked the first targets, which was smart -- their guns didn’t load fast, but the men shot for distance on this wide plain and hit what they pointed at. After that, it looked like the raiders had swept in and ripped through the noncombatants at their leisure.
Two types of attacks; smart and sharp, lazy and sloppy. Smart & sharp had used guns. Big ones. Lazy and sloppy had used claws. There hadn’t been many of either group; maybe eight total. Maybe less.
A couple commanders and some demonling back breakers. Maybe a scout-and-destroy mission. I picked up the trail and moved on. Another day passed before I found the next village, which looked too much like the second to make me want to poke around. I knew where the next village was, but the tracks didn’t head that direction, so I left the second-guessing for another time and followed.
The trail shifted, literally shifted, and I didn’t like the feel of where it ended up -- same sort of open grasslands, but the local flora tended to be bigger, faster, scalier, and meaner. Not a tourist spot. None of the territory was, but this place went to the trouble of hanging up large “No Trespassing” signs, if you knew what you were looking at.
The next attack wasn’t a village, which wasn’t surprising; the villes around here tended to be fortified and even more than overprotective. The rovers had killed off a pack of scaled critters that had been hunting herbivores around a small watering spot. I filled up my canteens and thought about it. There hadn’t been a fight -- the shooting had started from nearly a mile away, and most everything was dead by the time anyone got close to anything that could fight back. It was a slaughter, like congressmen vs. buffalos out the back of a railroad car.
They weren’t scouts. They were hunters. This was a vacation for them.
See, that sort of thing pissed me off.
I heard the gunshots from close to thirty miles away, half that distance before I could see anything at all, and a tenth of the distance before I could make out anything useful.
The demonlings were winged, scaled buggers, the like of which I’d seen before and killed without too much strain. The hunting party had been in full swing for several hours by this point, and one of the shooters was mixed in with his minions, getting up close an personal. From what I could tell, there was one other shooter staying back about a half mile to a mile and firing off a shoot every few minutes. Trick shots. Amusement.
I walked the horse in a circuit, watching the group in amongst the reptile pack and the circling pterodons that were waiting for their chance to feel on the leftovers. I moved without incident, a mixture unnoticed or uninteresting, circling at about the same distance as the shooters had stood off from the pack.
Eventually, I found the second shooter’s gear, left in a neat stack so that he could go have some more direct fun. My current arsenal included a heavy-gauge shotgun, the revolvers, the saber, and a few heavy knives. I picked up both the big, discarded rifles, grabbed a handful of the ridiculously-sized ammo, and left the horse where he was. It took me another half-hour to get closer to the other shooter without being noticed. I watched his pattern and loaded the big guns. Like the first shooter, he had two large guns, and was swapping between the two, letting a demonling reload while he did his trick shots. Each gun had one shot in it, but you really only needed one, if you could hit.
I waited until the shooter was aiming and his underling had reloaded and was waiting. My shot went off when his did, so that it sounded like one shot to the other group, and took the reloader square in the chest, tossing him and the only useful gun back about 20 feet. The chaos lord didn’t notice for a second, and by the time he looked up, I had rolled to the second gun (laying next to the first), and was aiming as he started to move.
I winged him. Literally tore one off, actually, but didn’t kill him. You only need the one shot if you can hit, you know. I taunted myself and started moving. The thing was running perpendicular to me and trying to flank my location. I ran straight for their original position and heard him racing through the grass towards me. I dropped and rolled over when I figured the timing was right and unloaded both revolvers up into him from the ground. He left on top of me and we both struggled to end it favorably. He was strong, and had grown himself some claws. I didn’t have any claws, so I had to settle with shoving a foot of metal into his brain. It worked well enough, and I rolled him off of me without too many more bruises than I’d already had.
The lackey was just as dead as he should have been. I grabbed the last loaded big rifle, took aim and dropped one of the flier demons out the sky to get their attention.
That left me, my shotgun, the revolvers, the knives, and their four, who were suddenly very interested in me.
My horse was fast, watered, and didn’t get tired under most normal situations, so my situation could have been worse. On the other face of things, all but one of my new friends could fly, and the big fellow on the ground didn’t seem to be having any problems keeping up. They were too far away from my weapons to do much good, and when they did get in range, I’d have too many targets to choose from all at once. I switched paths to take us back to more civilized tribal territory, thinking that I might be able to hold out in a two-day race for the nearest armed village, but the fliers were coming in too fast for that, and within and hour, the fastest one was on me.
Rather than letting him land on my back, I turned my mount around and we moved in to each other head on. I had the saber in one hand and was using my revolver to say hello with the other. We passed each other, and he dropped a net at us. I got clear and I heard my horse scream as it went down.
Didn’t look good.
The ground-bounder was closing in, and the other two fliers were circling and telling knock-knock jokes while the first one swung around for another pass. Checking it over and gauging my chances while my fingers did their reloading trick, I noticed something fast and blue coming at the fliers. It went through one, and the demon fell in two pieces. The second one was ready, though, and there was a tangle of screams and claws in the sky.
I didn’t know what that was about, and I didn’t have more time to worry about it. I fired a couple shots at the ground-bound chaser, the chaos lord, to keep him occupied and distracted. This got the second flier in close, and I used the rest of both revolvers on it to take it down. Close. My hands did their trick, the callused tips burnt tan from pressing against hot shell chambers for years.
The chaos lord was busy with something dangerous, and it took me time to beat his summoning back enough to throw more silver slugs his direction. While his head was down, I got to the horse, who was still thrashing with three broken legs. Trying to get up. I put a stop to that and cut loose my shotgun from it’s harness. I had a variety of shell loads for the short, double-barreled weapon -- silver shot, rock salt with a low powder load for dealing with zombies -- right now, I was using silver slugs, each one thicker than my thumb nearly an inch long. The accurate range on the slugs wasn’t much farther than I could throw the gun itself, but like the big rifles, you usually only needed to hit once, and I had two barrels.
The son of a bitch was already fading away through some sort of portal when I turned around.
I checked the sky, watching the blue avian dropping down in steep, bloody drive with the last demonling in it’s talons. They hit the ground about thirty meters away. The demonling didn’t get up.
I closed in on my possible ally with both barrels ready to go, watching the cyan feathers pull and shift in ways unnatural, revealing a blooded-but-beautiful dusky woman with strange eyes.
I had heard of such things, even seen them, but never from someone I hadn’t been hunting. My hand didn’t waver as I watched her.
She watched me watch her, standing naked in the harsh, dusty light of the plains for all the world as though she owned the place, and nodded in recognition.
“You are Jacob,” she said in a lower voice than I’d expected. “I have a message for you from the Prince Regent.”
I didn’t have the damndest idea what she was talking about.
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
Well, last night Sabine left and Toriana decided that we were going to stay
at the Old Citadel School so she can spend some more time with Professor
Otaru. While she was dragging me from the lovely inn that I had spent so
many wonderful nights this past week, she has told me that Professor Otaru
had some information about the Chaosians, and she needed to put on the
charm to get it.
When we got the school everybody fawned over Toriana's Purple hair (not
unlike Miss 138's, though without the mohawk). I can tell that Toriana
loves to be the center of attention, this could be of some use later on.
When Toriana finally decides that it is time to get down to business, she
dismiss' me. I spend the evening watching several of the students cast
"spells" and study their "magic" books, or ohh and ahh over each others
"spell components". I wish I had a good sturdy sap handy. After studying
the situation and deciding that there were no good looking women at this
school, I found my room and packed it in for the night.
"get up, get up, get up. get up, get up" was all I heard as Toriana burst into
my room. I rolled out of bed and started to get dressed, Toriana was a bit
embarrassed as I clothed my naked body. While averting her eyes, she told
me that one of the "magic wards" had alarmed and that somebody was
trying to get onto the school grounds. Hmm, sounds like somebody is just
probing the security systems of this place. Most likely they have already
fled the scene, but I'll humor Toriana and check it out with her.
She lead me through to the grounds to where she thought that the security
breach was. We stepped around a tree and three daggers came flying at me
from off in the distance. I dodged them quite readily, and I am thankful
for the training that I had received over the past two weeks. Toriana
makes a sound of frustration, hitches up her dress and in the blink of an
eye reappears right in the middle of the three attackers. I yelled at
Toriana to come back here, but she cut me off in a snippy tone "they're
only shadow people". One of the assailants took off at a great speed,
Toriana stabbed the one nearest to her, spinning around to grab the third
ones head. Not the most logical of moves in combat, but it seemed to work
for her. I shrugged and went in search of some the daggers that had been
thrown at me.
They were under one of the nearby trees. I carefully picked up one of
them and closely examined it. There was a glossy sheen on the blade, a
poison of some sort. I collected the three daggers and waited for Toriana
to come back. She seemed pretty pleased with herself as we headed back
to the school.
When we got back, we were greeted by Otaru. Toriana tells him that the
three intruders were sent to try and follow her into the school, but she had
taken care of them. I asked Otaru if he knew of a chemist in town that
could analyze the liquid on the daggers. He said that it looked like poison
(isn't he the smart one), and that the School Alchemist Gheen could figure
it out for me. Toriana lead Otaru away as he summoned a student to take
me to this Gheen person.
Herb Mistress Gheen (as she refers to herself as), comes across as a bit of
a thicky, but once focused she is in her realm. After several hours she was
able to discern that the poison on the daggers was a paralysis poison. So
this was to be a kidnapping, not a murder. I asked her if she could
synthesize a bottle of the poison. She told me that she could and provided
me not only with an antidote to the poison in question, but provide me with a
sampler pack of several poisons and antidotes. I thanked "Herb Mistress"
Gheen, and went back to my room.
The events of the evening reply in my head as I wait for the morning. I
have to consider the fact that this was all a bit of a set up. Toriana has
told me that Otaru is the only person that has seen "Chaosian" mages with
the ability to destroy whole worlds. For the past week neither of us was
even given a cross look, but one night at the ye "Old Citadel School" there
is a breach in the schools security. Otaru claimed that this had been going
on for a week or so, But Toriana was able to squeeze some information out
of one of her failed kidnappers that they had been sent to try and grab
her. Why would they have been trying to get onto the school grounds for a
week if Toriana and I had only arrived at the school this evening? Why
does this school not have any Guards, but have the mother of all security
systems? And it was a bit odd that Otaru, the guy who had set up the
wards hadn't even bothered to go check out any of the intrusions. Only one
conclusion, Otaru is working for these "chaosian" people but still wants to
keep his hands clean.
I also find myself pondering all of the female attention that I have
received since I have arrived at Dom-Daniel. During my time with Anais,
Daphne, Ione, Margaux and Sabine I had been able to find out that all of
them except Sabine were being forced to spend time with me at the urging
their Schools Masters. Sabine had let slip that she was an "independent"
without any backing of any of the Schools. When pressed, she told me that
she had been originally taught at the Burning Sphere school, but had left to
seek her way in the universe. I found this to be bit on the odd side for
some one from the weird little "shadow" would actually want to think
outside of the box. More likely she is under the influence of some powerful
patron or organization. Possibly even these "Chaosians" that #2 is so
concerned about. I should endeavor to pursue Sabine and uncover her
The next morning I set out to find this Sabine, but to know avail. Dom-
Daniel is a queer little place, nobody seems to know anything about anybody.
One of the people that I had talked to told me to go and find a "trump"
maker and have them make a sketch through which I would be able to
contact Sabine. #2 had made it known that Toriana was a "trump" maker so
I went back to the Old Citadel School to find her.
She was just finishing up from breakfast. After some small talk about last
night and some talk of another "shadow" by the name of Belkin, I asked
Toriana if she could make a "trump" sketch of someone that I had met this
week. Toriana mentioned somethings about Sabine, whore, me, and pimp
daddy. None of these comments made any sense what so ever. The girl is
just plain odd. Though I'll admit that she did like lording it over me how big
a favor she was doing for me, and how she hoped that this waste of time
was worth it, and that I would owe her big time. After much grousing, and
the slowest amount of time I had ever seen someone take to make a doodle,
she told me to come over and she would show me how to make a trump
contact. Odd, odd, odd, odd. I came over and sat down next to her as I
took the sketch into my hand, She kept her fingers lightly on the other
Until this point in time I had not thought about how invasive the program
that I was being run through was. I, at first thought that the things that I
was seeing and feeling were simply the well applied use of drugs. But when
I was able to be in the mind of a completely unsuspecting person, I had to
rethink this a bit. Who ever the new #2 was, either his manifestation as
Gerard, or maybe not here at all, this new #2 was a person to be feared.
Toriana guided me through this "contact" and slowly the fear and
bewilderment that I felt coming from Sabine's mind eased. We had a bit
of a conversation, and agreed to meet a place in Dom-Daniel she called "the
universal loves to become".
I thanked Toriana and left for this place. On the way I thought about the
"Trump contact". Had Sabine been shocked (as any sane minded person
would) by peoples voices erupting in her mind, or had she been shocked
simply because it was me.
Upon meeting Sabine in "the universal loves to become" Icould tell that she
was please to see me. We talked about her ability of using "magic", It
almost seemed tailored to what I had grown up learning in "The Village".
stealth, covert actions, hiding, and of course spying. Though I do so hate
things when they appear to be fixed. It means that there is a maker, a
guider, a puppeteer, and someone who is looking out purely for themselves
behind the actions. I wanted to learn this use of "magic" that Sabine was
telling me about, and I wanted to see if I could draw the Puppeteer out in
to the playing field.
Sabine wanted to be paid for her work, which I could of course understand.
I told her that I had been unable to secure work credits, But felt confident
that this would not be a problem. She also wanted to know where she was
going to tutor me. I told her that my #2 had shown me how to travel
between "shadows". This had occurred after he had made me walk a glowing
spiral on the floor in an attempt to cure my, as he put it, "my thick headed
stubborn belief that the unreal is real". Sabine's eyes got really big at
this, but I could not decide if this was because she might think me mad, or
because of the mention of #2's "pattern".
We went into town and rented some rather odd bird/fish creatures and I
guided her on a hellride to Amber. We set her up in a flat in the Halles
section of Amber City. I went back to the Castle, and was stopped by #2
and told to make a decision as to my future, would I become a Prince of
Amber or not. I asked what my tasks would be, and he rattled off a laundry
list of tasks that I was already doing. I asked if I would be given Work
Credits. He sighed and replied in the infirmative. This was a not so subtle
test of loyalty. Looking at him standing there glowering at me I knew that
if was to turn down his off that I would be dead on the spot. I of course
agreed to his request.
With that done a gentlemen a hair taller than myself with bright blue eyes,
that weren't that different from my own, and a playfully, but purposely
unkempt head of raven hair walked up to Gerard and I. Gerard greeted the
gentleman and introduced him to me as Fineas, and I returned the gesture.
Gerard told us that the next morning that we two, along with two others
would be made Princes of Amber. He left us and told us to get a good
nights sleep. Fineas and I left shortly after in opposite directions.
The next day was for the most part blissfully uneventful. We four greeted
each other and made small talk. Fineas told me he may have a job for me.
It would have to be better then following Toriana around. We were made
princes, and there was a big celebration.
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
The sun awoke me streaming through my cabin window, vying against the gentle sway of the ship trying to lull me back to sleep. Sadly the light won the contest and I reluctantly stirred from my hammock. I ran my fingers through my unkempt hair as I staggered to the washbowl I had prepared the earlier evening in anticipation of a raging hangover. I seem to have somehow avoided that fate this time, but the cold water served to further awaken me as I splashed my face a few times and stared into the mirror. In the morning light I searched my face for any unwanted hint of character and found none. A youngish man stared back from the mirror with piercing blue eyes and black hair. I closely examined my coloring and made a few touchups where it appeared necessary.
After a while I managed to successfully dress and emerge from my cabin to take up my duties as navigator for the ship I was currently employed on. The captain must have suspected something of my lineage because he seemed to cut me more slack than he did the rest of the crew. They had noticed this of course and came to their own conclusions. My friendship was sought amongst the crew as it was assumed that I was someone of importance. In addition I had earned something of a reputation as a savvy gambler amongst my shipmates. In fact most of them owed me money by this time. I tried to keep my fleecing moderated since I did not wish to wake with a knife at my throat before we made landfall.
As I emerged onto the deck, several deckhands turned and greeted me with wan smiles. The poker session the night before had been long, entertaining and had resulted in the last of the ship's stores of rum being consumed. Luckily we were due to reach port tomorrow afternoon by my calculations. Still, tonight's gaming would be done sans alcohol. I had resolved to arrange to lose a bit more tonight to cheer up the crew. With such thoughts on my mind, I was approached by one of the less savory deckhands, a fellow called Growley during my afternoon watch.
"Might I have a word with you Mr. Fineas sir?" Growley asked in low tones. I nodded my assent and prepared to listen to his apparent proposal. " I can't help but admire your skill at the cards sir, but I have noticed that you are not taking, er, shall we say full advantage of your ability."
"Why Growley, whatever do you mean?" I responded in as innocent a tone as I could manage without bursting into laughter. "How should I be taking advantage of my ability?"
"Well it's just that with a partner such as myself, the two of us could end the voyage with the majority of the cash on board split between ourselves fifty-fifty. All it would take is a wee bit of fudging on some bets. You know, a bit of teamwork during the evening's friendly game. A matter of a few signals sent and your own good knowledge of the game to line our pocket's smartly before landfall tomorrow."
"I see. So we form a secret team to clean out the rest of the crew. I will think on it…I will certainly get back to you before tonight's game to discuss it further," I responded. Of course I intended no such thing. I would not partner with a swine such as Growley for such pitiful stakes as a ship's payroll. It would take a truly impressive stake to interest me to the point of teaming with such vermin. I decided to curry a bit of favor with the rest of the crew and expose Growley. It never hurts to be popular with the lower classes and some occasional benefits may be found with the association of sailors.
By the end of my shift I had managed to speak to every crewman and alert them to Growley's plan. A number of them decided to take matters into their own hands and Growley was strangely absent for the remainder of the voyage. The sea and those who sail on her are unforgiving by nature. An important lesson to remember. I was careful to not win too much in that evening's card game.
The ship anchored a short distance from the Amber docks the following afternoon. I took the first longboat to the pier after receiving my pay and proceeded to my usual haunts to find a room and entertainment. I typically stay in middle of the road establishments…not too tame but not too dangerous either. My drinking tends to take place in the seedier establishments at first. It is best to gauge the mood of a realm by the demeanor of the lower class citizens. At Bloody Bill's the rumors were rife of upcoming troubles. The royals had embarked on a war to oppose the distant forces of Chaos and had apparently fared poorly. At least that was the rumor. It corresponded with what I had heard or surmised at home from my mother and her advisors. I know my brother seemed to have changed for the worse recently. Our latent rivalry had seemed to be forgotten as something weightier occupied his mind. He had left before my voyage and I found myself wondering at his current doings. As for myself, I intended to gather what intelligence I could to strengthen my position if it became necessary to announce myself to whoever ruled Amber these days.
The evening had turned out to be rather uneventful in Bloody Bill's, so I eventually decided to return to my rooms. I had been asleep for a short while when a loud insistent knock aroused me. Gripping a dagger, I observed the shadow of someone beneath the door.
"Who's there?" I queried. I silently glided to the door and awaited the reply. I did not have very long to wait and the voice seemed very sure of itself.
"A messenger from the regent Gerard. The prince wished to speak with you immediately," was the response. I held the dagger behind the hip and cracked the door open. Beyond was a youngish man dressed in official uniform. "Please sir, the matter is urgent."
"Very well…allow me to dress and I will be at your service momentarily," I responded. I quickly gathered some of my better clothing and dressed in the darkness. Shortly I emerged and followed the man downstairs where he had a horse waiting. It was light out, but not that many townspeople were about. He indicated that I should mount so I did so. He lead the way through the streets and some minutes later we approached the castle gate. I was curious at what Gerard knew of me. I had never been presented at the court by my father and had been under the impression that I was unknown to the royal family. Apparently I was mistaken and I began to feel a certain amount of apprehension at my reception.
Soon I was led inside the castle and taken to a sitting room where I was asked to wait. At no time was I searched or in any way manhandled, so I began feeling better about things. Perhaps it was time to claim my heritage and take my place among the royal family, whatever was left of it. Some time passed, perhaps half an hour. I was then led into an office where a very large an imposing man awaited. I immediately recognized Gerard from my father's trump deck. He motioned me to a seat and peered at me for a moment or two before beginning.
" I have reason to believe that you are a relative of the royal blood. I have brought you here because if you are, the realm has urgent need of your services. Take my hand a moment." He commanded. I did so and immediately became aware of the slowly building pressure as he tested my strength in an arm wrestling contest. A strange way to test parentage, but then my father had always had a rather uncomplimentary opinion of Gerard. He easily defeated me of course, but my effort was sufficient to make up his mind about the next step.
"As you may have heard, things have not gone well in the war against Chaos. Of the princes and princesses, only I remain free. We are attacked out in shadow and I need help defending the realm. I have done some research and have located a number of royal offspring scattered throughout shadow. I think you are one. There is a definitive test, but it is dangerous and will result in your certain death if you are not of the blood. I must ask, if you are willing, that you walk the Pattern and take your place in the realm. It is not a decision to be taken lightly."
"I would like to see more of Amber before I make a decision. Might I have a brief tour?" I asked. I wanted to feel out the situation before committing myself.
"Very well. I will have you shown around but I expect an answer before the day is out. Time is short," he replied. I settled back as he called for a page to show me around. I spent the next few hours getting a tour of the castle, including introductions. During this time I paid close attention to the demeanor and training of the guards and servants. Morale seemed relatively high and there was an air of confidence in everyone I met. Since I knew for a fact I was of the blood, I was confident I would survive the Pattern. I had intended to walk it at some point and now the opportunity had presented itself in relatively advantageous fashion. I had word sent to Gerard that I would agree to assay the Pattern in the morning. I was assigned temporary quarters and tried to get a good night's sleep before my ordeal in the morning.
After a hearty breakfast, Gerard met me in the morning and we proceeded through some rooms I had not been shown and descended a very long flight of stairs. We came to the Pattern room, exactly as my father had described it. Gerard gave me a few last minute instructions and I set off to attune to the power. It was more difficult than I had believed, but after what seemed like a century I reached the center. Gerard instructed me to wish myself out, either to his side or up the long stairs. I chose to place myself at Gerard's side,( the politically correct decision) and accompanied him back up to the top.
We discussed a few minor things as we walked. I requested Eric's old quarters and he agreed to make them available. He outlined a training schedule for me and I was to report to Sir John after I had rested for some evaluations on my martial abilities. First, I decided to make the aquaintance of the hot baths and the masseur. This I accomplished easily and then reported to the practice room once I was refreshed.
Sir John was an older gentleman but apparently one of the better swordsman in the guard. We started slow in the practice room, feeling out each other's limits. I decided to hold back, but in the end I was still defeating him easily. This seemed to impress the guards somewhat and I thanked my long sessions competing with my brother. He is a much more difficult challenge and I find myself wondering what he is up to at this very moment.
I found myself settling in to Eric's old quarters at the end of the day. I rummaged through his closet and chose what garments would fit and would be appropriate. The remainder I had boxed and placed into storage. He had some secondary armor and gear which I appropriated and I finished settling in.
I wondered about the other royal children and what they would be like. I was sure to meet them in the coming days and I needed to take their measure quickly. Well, tomorrow is another day.
Cry Havoc - Session II Game log
Jacob - Wild, Wild Transvaal
Toriana - Dom-Daniel
13 - Dom-Daniel
Fineas - Castle Amber
Shortly after having shot Tanitheel, Jacob decides to take off some
clothes to cover up the nude young woman, and gives her first aid. Looking
around he notices that the Uber-mage that had been attacking him has fled.
She introduces herself as Tanitheel, Crown agent.
Boy did the Uber-mage smell. There was something about him that was
nagging at Jacob.
Tanitheel looks over at the perplexed Jacob and tells him that the Uber-
mage was a Chaosian.
"Yeah, That was what I thought" replies Jacob.
He notices that Tanitheel has pulled out some items out of a pouch, one of
which looks like a large card. He recognizes the card as a trump card and
knows that a trump card equals his friend/uncle(?) Random. He looks down on
Tanitheel and says "Hey, your blood doesn't burn".
Still concentrating on the Card she tells him "That's because I'm not a
Tanitheel sits up and reaches out to Jacob and tells him to come with her.
His thoughts are of his Father at this point, and willingly goes along. Trippy
The Card activates and they are standing in front of a gentleman who
introduces himself as Thoven. Jacob Looks around, Takes a deep breath
and sighs "Ahhh, Texorami". He notices that Thoven has pulled out a trump
card and concentrates. Jacob looks over at Tanitheel and asks her if they
are going to see Random, She does not directly answer that question.
Tanitheel again reaches out her hand to Jacob and he takes hold of her
hand. Some more trippy rainbow effects, and Jacob finds that they are
standing in front of a powerfully built smiling man who introduces himself as
Prince Regent of Amber, Gerard.
Gerard looks sorrowfully at the young man standing before him and hands
Jacob a piece of paper sealed with Random's Sigil. Jacob breaks the seal
and reads the letter with an expressionless face, and finds out things
Random would want his one surviving Son to know. Yes, that's right: Son.
Gerard dismiss' Tanitheel to the infirmary and he and Jacob Discuss the
Family (Fineas, Toriana, 13, and maybe one more), Chaos, War, Recruitment
opportunities in shadow, and that the four Chaos armies must be stopped
before they reach Amber.
After much male bonding, Gerard makes Jacob a prince of Amber, (also
telling him that there will be a public ceremony later) and talks him into
walking the Pattern.
When they leave his office, Gerard tells Jacob to go get a bath. While in
the large bath, Jacob pulls out a small metal cylinder and plays with it.
"damn", he says quietly as he puts it back into his back pack.
She goes and meets with all of the Wizards Privately, and separately
(Eldevon, Otaru, Elenea, Rihar, Autumn Moon, and Dr. Ryll). She finds out
that they all want trumps...badly, and that a few want some of their rivals
She also finds out that none of the heads of the Wizard Collages know of
any Chaos spies in Dom-Daniel.
She decides that since Otaru of Old Citadel (OCS) knows about some of the
things going on out in shadow with Chaos, this is where 13 and herself are
going to stay for the night.
Everybody at Old Citadel loves her purple hair, and she enjoys the
attention. Later, she and Otaru meet again in private. He tells her about a
confrontation out in a Broken Pattern shadow between members of the OCS
and a Chaos mage. The battle ended because the Chaos mage was able to
destroy the entire shadow. Parts of that shadow are spread out in other
Later that evening, alarms go off in the OCS, and Otaru tells her that for
the past week somebody has been trying to breach the wards and get into
the school. Toriana charges off and wakes up 13 and tell him to act like a
body guard and follow her.
As Toriana and 13 make their way to out into the area of the breach, they
are attacked by ninja types. Three daggers are thrown at a dodging 13,
Toriana teleports the 75 yard to the attacker yelling "they're only
shadowites". She is able to stabs the nearest one, killing him, while the
leader runs like the wind out into shadow. 13 looks over the situation and
decides that Toriana is out of his range of protection and decides to look
for the daggers. Toriana snags the second Ninja and mind rapes him. She
finds out that they were hired to get through the wards to follow her. She
does not share this info with 13. 13 finds the dagger and that they have a
sticky liquid on them.
They head back to the school.
13 takes the daggers to Otaru and he looks them over. He tell 13 that they
look to be some sort of poison (duh). 13 asks if Otaru has a staff
Alchemist Otaru tells him that he has on staff a Herb Mistress by the
name of Gheen, and Otaru takes 13 to her.
The poison turns out to be a paralysis poison, and 13 asks if she can
synthesize it and she tells him yes and that she has other poisons that he
might be interested in. 13 gets the sampler pack o' poison and antidotes.
The next morning 13 decides to go find out what had happened to Sabine.
She was one of the women that had glommed on to him over the last week,
most of them had told him that they were sent to provide him with
entertainment while he was here. All of them had been sent by one of the
magic collages, except Sabine, she was an independent.
13 took the straight forward approach to finding her, but found out that
this was not how things were done around here. Her finally resorted to
asking Toriana if she could make a "trump" sketch of Sabine. Toriana rolled
her eyes, and said things about "men and whores".
When she was done Toriana showed 13 how to use a trump and joined in on
the trump contact. Toriana noticed that Sabine was not used to getting
trump contacts. 13 and Sabine agreed to meet at a place called "the
universal loves to become".
Fineas was sitting in his new room in Castle Amber. He is formulating how
to create a huge army. he spends several hours at this task. When this is
done, his has come up with a grand scheme to take out the Helgram army.
As a final touch he jotted down the structure of his Army.
Feeling like he needed a walk, he sets off for Amber City in search of
Breggor Feldane . The two of them discuss all sorts of things that Fineas
can provide Breggor, and better yet, what Breggor can provide Fineas.
Fineas seems to have pulled the wool over Breggor's eyes in regards to the
nature of what the Grand Scheme is.
After working his magic with the young Feldane, Fineas sets off for the
Miramon Manor house. There he meets with Liam Miramon and they discuss
a plan to bring the Golden Circle Kingdoms (GCK) back in line with Amber
To cut Fineas' meeting with both young men to the quick....he bullshitted
them both, and then added on another layer for good measure.
In his discussions with both young men he found out that he was not to
trust Countess Mara Kandive or Baroness Eliza Feldane.
While in the bath, Castle mage Elmore come to test his blood to try and
discern who he is descended from.
After the bath and massage from Sato, he wraps a towel around his waist
and starts to look for the page Wesley. Wesley had promised to clean his
clothes while in the bath, and had not returned yet. Jacob instead finds a
page by the name of Cory, and sends him to find where Wesley has got to.
Cory comes back a little later with clothes that he had just found laying
around. They are of an unfamiliar style, but everything seems to fit except
the boots which are a bit to large. Cory fills Jacob in on Fineas, 13, and
Toriana. He finds out that Fineas is a political opps guy who is being sent
out to recruit an army for Amber. He finds out that 13 is several shades of
weird, and that Toriana is a mage/trump person from Rebma who is next in
line for the throne.
After their little talk Cory takes Jacob on a tour of Castle Amber and its
environs. Jacob really likes the giant striped horses and tries to figure out
how to get one. While approaching the Castle, Cory and Jacob spy some of
the Royal Guards fencing over by the Ruins. Jacob talks three of them into
a three-on-one fight. He defeats, with some effort.
The days events seem to have gotten the better him when Cory takes him
back to the Castle. Jacob tells Cory that he wants to go and see Gerard,
and Cory takes him to Lord Feldane's office. He takes a seat while
dismissing Cory. Jacob can hear Gerard and Feldane talking, but can not
make out what they are talking about.
After about 15 minutes Gerard leaves the office and upon seeing Jacob,
greets him warmly. Gerard tells Jacob that he is pleased to notify him that
he is indeed Random's son. Jacob agrees to walk the Pattern. Jacob asks what was so important about being of the blood of Amber. Gerard replies, that more then likely young Jacob would have exploded as soon as he set foot upon the pattern. Jacob seems not to fully believe this explanation. After treading down a staircase that goes on forever. they arrive at the Pattern room. Jacob charges the toward the Pattern without any fear in his eye, mocking the potential for death as he puts his foot upon it.
When he gets to the center of the Pattern, Jacob asks Gerard what to do
next. Gerard tells him to focus on where he wants to be right now. Jacob
thinks to himself that he wants to show the Regent that he is a tough guy,
and has no fear, so he teleports himself right next to Gerard. Jacob wants
to prove himself by walking back up the long stairway back up to the Castle.
After 13 thanks her and takes his leave, Toriana trumps her Dad. She
reports in about all that has gone on in Dom-daniel since she and 13 arrived.
Gerard thanks her and tells her to keep up the investigation, but she will be
needed in a few days for her investiture. She acknowledges him and signs
Toriann talks to Otaru about Belkin. He tells it is a big convention of mages
that happens every seven years. Mages from all around shadow attend, and
it is guarded by the shadows Loci/God who protects all who attend from
harm. Otaru tells her that he had just returned from Belkin when he met
with her yesterday, but if she wished to attend he could provide a couple of
students to go with her. The two students were introduced as Constance
and Meghan, and they were both excited about being able to go Belkin,
especially with a Princess of Amber. Otaru takes Toriana, Constance, and
Meghan in tow and leads them downstairs to where he has a big mural trump
of Belkin on the wall. The three girls step though to Belkin.
A small bit of bother occurs when Toriana refuses to give the Belkin
Loci/God an imprint of herself, but is cleared up when Meghan informs her
that the Loci/God will not be able to protect her with out the sample.
Toriana reluctantly agrees and tosses a spell toward the receptor. Both
Constance and Meghan keep a running commentary going about all of the big
time mages that are in attendance.
-Holruun who is a big time jerk. He works for the Brotherhood and Ebull.
-Chun the Eyeball collector makes Toriana his next mark.
-Verullian the dream catcher.
-Dearkon the black mage and necromancer.
Toriana dismiss' Meghan and Constance and heads over to Holruun for a
talk. After much bargaining Holruun decides to come to the aid of Amber
for some trumps. Satisfied with Holruun's answer she goes to talk to
Dearkon. She enchants Dearkon with her wit and charm (not to mention her
violet eyes and ample chest), and he pledges that he will help Amber.
Toriana soon finds herself in a discussion with three mages by the name of
Jelerek, Barone, and Badger. they wish to talk to her further about what
she and Amber have to offer, when a page comes up to her and tells her
that her Great Aunt has just been kidnapped from the convention. She
trumps her mother to let her know what had happened to her Great Aunt,
and for some quick travel back to Rebma.
In the "the universal loves to become" 13 discuss "magic", and "spells".
Sabine tells 13 that her specialty is spells that deal with stealth and hiding.
13 tells Sabine about the glowing spiral that Gerard made him walk, 13
notices that Sabine's eyes get very big at the mention of the Pattern. 13
is soon able to convince Sabine to come back to Amber with him and teach
him "magic". They set off on a hell ride to Amber. After 13 is able to find
her a room at an apartment near the Halles section of town, he heads back
to Castle Amber and runs in to Gerard.
After spending the morning dealing with Breggor and Liam, Fineas decides
that it is time to go and hire a propaganda reporter. He is soon able to find
one by the name of William. He also hired a minstral by the name of
Satisfied with his ability to accomplish all of his goals today, Fineas heads
back to Castle Amber where he is greeted by Gerard. Gerard was talking
with the strange guy by the name of 13. Gerard greets Fineas and motions
him to join them. He talks two the both of them about the investiture
tomorrow and that they would both be attending. Gerard strides off into
the heart of the Castle, 13 rolls his eyes and makes an odd gesture, and
Fineas rubs his hands together with glee.
The Big Ta-doo
Fineas, 13, Toriana, and Jacob are brought to the big square in the center
of Amber city and after some small talk between them, Gerard makes them
all Prince's of Amber with all the power, privileges, and responsibility that
this conveys. There is much cheering. May The Unicorn preserve us.
Jacob - Castle Amber
Toriana - Castle Amber
13 - Castle Amber
Fineas - Castle Amber
Cry Havoc - Session 2 Quote's
Toriana - "It's just a shadow person". While attacking three ninja's
Jacob's private thought about Toriana - "If you can find any Pussy closer to the throne of Amber....Fuuuuuck it!"
Stan and John discussing Regent Gerard " So lets see; Gerard is over forty..." "single..." "a bodybuilder neatfreak..." "who likes to be in the Navy - Gay!" "Not that there is anything wrong with that". "Nope, not at all".
Cory the page to Jacob - "Ahhhh, your one of the guys that Gerard is...working on."
Jacob to Cory the page - "Can Sato do me?"
Jacob to Regent Gerard talking about walking the Pattern - "that's a little backwards, but the reverse alright"
While Wizard Chun is trying to figure out how to get Toriana's Violet eyes into his collection, Toriana was overheard to say
- "Wizard Chun, can't you look at my breast's like a normal guy"