"He done blowed up...He done blowed up real good!" or "Boom baby Boom!"
Jacob - Hunac
Toriana - Rebma
13 - Shandora
Fineas - With his expendable Troops in an Ardon Shadow (as of yet
Toriana receives a trump from her Mother Kelamon. Kelamon wants to know
how she was able to gate so many people, and keep the gate open for so
long. Toriana Tells her Mother about Jacob's little "Magi-Coin" trick and
she hands Kelamon one of her first attempts. Kelamon doesn't know what
to make of this, but excepts the gift anyway. The next item of the
conversation is about Toriana's Aunt Gwyneth, and what they are going to
do with her. And just before Kelamon signs off, she hands Toriana two
letters: one is the history of Amber according to Gerard, and the second is
a questionnaire about what should be done about the guns and ammo in the
Toriana takes an interest in the History, but discards the questionnaire.
She goes back to her studies, and afterwards, partakes in the pleasures of
13 meets with the leader of the Chantris army in Shandora. A chap by the
name of General Gelban. 13 Asks General Gelban if he can borrow six of his
mounted rifle troops. General Gelban seems pleased to even be asked.
13 also receives the Kelamon trump, and he pockets both of the letters.
She also tells him that he is requested to come to Amber so Gwyneth can
make a trump of him as well. 13 makes some polite noises and signs off.
The seven of them head out and are soon spotted by one of the flying
demon's and are forced to retreat back to Chantrisport. While hold up in
Chantrisport 13 magics all of his ammo to work better/undetectable in
Shandora. Under the cover of darkness, 13 and the two best of the lot
(Hans und Franz) successfully make their way to the Capital city.
This woman is on a tear...Kelamon trumps Fineas and hands him the two
above letters, and he too is requested to come to Amber for a Gwyneth
trump sitting. Fineas, as quick as a flash turns on the Schmooooooz! The
two of the talk at great lengths about her family, its history, Queen Moire
and Rebma. Just before saying goodbye, Fineas express' his concern about
the loyalty/stability of Gwyneth. This is the best, unsolicited response
Fineas could give to Kelamon, and she is putty in his hands when he signs off.
The presence of an Air Elemental seems to have effected Jacob's logic for
several minutes, but he soon get a hold of himself. He gives some simple to
follow orders to it and sends it on it's way. He decides to go and find his
Persian, French, and Roman troops and of course he gets trumped by
Kelamon just before setting out. Letters/Gwyneth/Trump sitting. He talks
to her at length about Toriana/Uber-Trump-Gating and the "Magi-coins",
their uses and manufacture.
Toriana Trumps her Aunt Gwyneth under some pretense. The real reason is
soon revealed when she starts trump spying on Gwyneth.
- Gwyneth gives13 a second trump call (13 refuses). and another to Fineas
and he excepts her offer for a trump sitting.
Toriana continues to improve on her "Magic Coins". When she is done she
trumps her Mother Kelamon and gives her some her earlier attempts,
keeping the good ones for herself. After having read her Fathers version
on the History of Amber, Toriana quiz's her Mother about the Patternfall
War and Aunt Flora. After getting some confirming information Toriana
heads out to rescue her Aunt.
When the three of them get to the Capital of Shandora, 13 can feel the
throbbing of a great magical engine trying to turn over.
Thrum......thrum.....Thrum......thrum. Hans und Franz lead him towards the
center of the city. As they are moving through the city, 13 gets yet
another Trump call and he ignores it till they quit. With some help from 13
and the knowledge of Hans und Franz they get within a few blocks of the
central square. looking through his sniper scope 13 can see that the lords
and ladies of the royal family have been enthralled and are throwing
themselves in to the magical gulf of energy.
Having read about great siege tactics of the past Fineas decides that the
best way to defend Hunac is to mine the temple and blow it sky high when
the Hendrake assault happens. When his plan is moving along nicely, Fineas
receives a Trumps call. It's Kelamon again and she asks if Fineas has the
time for his Trump sitting and Fineas gracefully accepts. After a fine time
in Amber (a bath and a change of clothing), Fineas returns to Hunac. As he
approaches the Temple he can see the gate start to form. The top priest on
site and the top mage are attacked and killed by their assistants. It's soon
clear that two possessing spirits are hopping from body to body, attacking
people. Spells seem ineffective against them. Fineas tries to Probability them
into a wimp's body and finds them vulnerable to Pattern. They try to escape
the Prob pull but Fineas manages to touch one and rips it to shreds. The other
escaped, but saw the mining operation. One of the possessed Priest's
starts to strangle Derkon and another knocks out Sabine when she comes to
As the Necro Ball starts to grow, Fineas can see only one choice that can be
made. He was going to have to be the Hero after all. He brings up Pattern
Defence and slowly starts to walk up the Stairs of the Temple towards the
Glowing ball of Death......
Jacob receives a Trump call about Griv (Griv is a khrazall (fiend) friend of
Jacob's who sometimes visits from across the Dancing Mountains). Tries to
trump Toriana and she ignores him till he gets a headache. Griv arrives with
some demons and they talk about Nelson (Nelson is one of Jacob's watchers
(psychics sensitive to shadow path use)). Griv and Jacob go to a shadow to
meet with Nelson. Jacob, Griv and Nelson discuss the possibilities of starting a
rebellion in the Courts.
Toriana heads out to the "borderlands" and makes several attempts to
contact Flora without success. Toriana moves on to Plan "B". Does a few
things to improve her chances and tries again....Success! Tori finds Flora in
a very large structure chained to the floor with gilded chains (You gots to
keep the Amber ho in line). After some effort on Flora's part Tori manages
to free Flora. Flush with success, Tori Trumps Gerard and tells him all
about it. Gerard is a bit concerned about Flora's mental ability and tells
Tori to keep her eye an Flora. Tori takes Flora to Amber.
All Necro soon blows up. Several of the Hendrake mage's and lord are
knocked down. 13 decides to try and keep things that way. He fires the De
Lisle until his ammo almost runs out and then he launches most of his poison
balls at the crowd in the square. The building that Hans, Franz and himself
are in starts to take heavy fire, so they flee into the streets. As they
enter one several blocks from where they were, 13 spots several angry
looking women on demon mounts charging down on them. 13 Fires the last of
the De Lisle rounds at them and the three of them decide to make this a
house to house fight. Using several spells that Sabine and Derkon had
taught him they are not only able to evade the Demon women, but 13 also
captures one. He sends Hans und Franz through to Amber first with the
demon Woman while he fights a rear guard action. After awhile he is able
to find a safe spot to Trump himself out.
Tis but a flesh wound...
Ok, so maybe all he got was a few bruises, but not bad for saving the
Shadow. Fineas is hopped up for action. First he checks to see if Derkon
and Sabine are ok then he gives them Trump cards of Toriana and 13 to
bring them to Hunac. Fineas Trumps Jacob (who was able to finish his
conversation with Griv, and get him out of site, prior to accepting the
Trump call) and brings him to Hunac. Jacob Trumps Tori and brings her
through to Hunac as well. Jacob tell Tori to capture the spirit that is
taking over the Priest's. Jacob trumps to Arden and gathers his Troops
that he has stored there. From there Jacob goes to Kandive and meets
Colin. Fineas trumps Kelamon and pulls Tanitheel through to Hunac. Soon
after this, Jacob is trumping all over the universe and when he gets tired
of this he Trumps Fineas to pull him through to Hunac. Tori spends the
time Studying the Necro gate and the Survivors of the attack. The
possessing demons, as Toriana finds out by probing survivors of
possession, are not immune to magic but are of a different order from most
spirits; hence the spell failures. She's quickly able to work out
possession-blocking strategies. Pattern initiates are likely immune. Mass
production of anti-possession amulets is a priority, for Amber staff and
allies. Specs are passed on to Hunac and Fangorn mages.
Meanwhile back in Amber....
13 tells Fineas that he is busy with other, time sensitive matters, and
cannot go to Hunac just now. Maybe in a few hours. Anyway, Hunac should
be safe for a while longer, since it is going to take some time to get the
gate back up and running since the Hendrake's expended lots of "fuel"
trying to get the last one open.
13 and Col. Sir Bors take the unconscious Demon woman down to the
Dungeon and find out a few things:
-Her name is Marayka and she is a Hellmaid.
-Fineas did shot and wound Dara, Possibly mortally. She can't be moved far
so she may still be in Shandora or a nearby Shadow.
-Chinaway was the big scary looking Logrus user in Shandora. Other Logrus
users in Shandora are Neniv, Galityn and Uwain.
-House Basilisk are playing all sides and are acting as scouts for all of the
Major Houses (Hellgram, Hendrake, Chanicut and Jesby). They were sent
out to try and kidnap Toriana and Gwyneth.
-Lintra was the former leader of the Hellmaids. She was knocked up by
Benedict and was Dara's Grandmother. Currently Zava is the leader of the
-After the Patternfall war the Hellmaids became dissatisfied with their
service to Hendrake, Due to the loss in the battle of their patron Lintra,
and they may be looking for new employers. With the loss of Lintra oh
those many decades ago, the Hellmaids status has fallen and they are
considered expendable by House Hendrake. There are between 90 and
120 Hellmaids in Shandora currently.
The Patternfall fallout:
-Corwin knifed by Merlin. Corwin kills Merlin. Corwin is currently a prisoner
of the Hendrake's.
-Flora, captured and is currently the Whore of house Griffon.
-Benedict, killed by Zatra (leader of the Hellmaid's at the time of
-Fiona, may or may not have been a Pattern suicide Bomber.
-Bleys, may have been killed by house Jesby.
-Llewella, Body not found. Possibly dead.
-Brand, Body not found. Possibly dead.
-Diedre, Body not found. Possibly dead.
-Cain, Killed in the courts by three arrows to the throat.
-Julian, Killed by Chinaway. Skull is currently Chinaway's Apertif glass.
On the way back upstairs the annoying witch Gwyneth coos at him and
makes quit a pest of herself asking him to do a trump sitting with her. He
tells her he has to much on his plate right now to spend the time.
Fineas has the Hunac's remove all of the gunpowder that they had placed
underneath of temple and move it back to the Kandive's Island. Fineas,
Jacob, and Toriana discuss the Borderlands, the Dancing mountains, and
Flora. Jacob and Fineas discuss the possibility of a Chaosian rebellion. The
three of them come up with plans for the future. Fineas takes his leave of
Toriana and Jacob and Trumps back to Amber looking for 13.
After getting his ducks in a row, he to Trumps back to Amber. He seeks
out Flora and talks to her. Finds Tori's Magi-Coin maker and plays with
them. Decides to check on things in Fangorn and Hellrides there.
All alone in Hunac now, Toriana decides that some of the wards had been
damaged in the explosion and goes about fixing them. Trumps Queen Moire
and tells her EVERYTHING that has gone on since they had last talked.
Several feet of Mercury were lowered in that conversation.
Amber's merchants and bankers have a variety of magical gadgets at their disposal to determine the content and purity of coins. Since they deal with coinage from three dozen or so worlds (and three or four times that many nations of those worlds) regularly, and a hundred more occasionally, this helps a lot. They also employ expert gemologists and several kinds of experts in the fields of textiles, magical doodads and so on. Reasonable honesty is enforced by the Crown -- trade is the lifeblood of Amber -- more by really vicious punishments than constant, rigorous observation and inspection.
Each great noble house runs its own bank but the largest (though not by much) financial institution in Amber is the Kiruz (keer-ooz) Bank. The Baronial House of Kiruz would be a great house if they had much in the way of land. Kiruz operates much as a modern (Earth) bank, issuing many small loans at modern low interest (low at least when compared to Earthly Renaissance rates which compare favorably only to the Mob's vigorish) to small businesses, families, farmers and such. They also conduct riskier business with the minor trading houses and fleets. The banks tend to use letters of credit rather than hard currency, with occasional shipments to even things out. The bankers use a number of effective identification procedures to guard against fraud.
Medical care available is very good within the technological and magical constraints. No leeches, no treatment for imbalances of humours, etc.
More radical treatments are available in Shadow. Notably: limb replacement. Both regeneration and transplantation are routinely (but expensively) available in several Shadows. Nobles and other rich people use the services as a matter of course. Noble house ship crews are usually covered, as Amber sailors are harder to replace -- low birthrate -- and more valuable -- more experienced due to longevity. Trade association dues often defray the costs, too.
One of the Crown's few direct charitable efforts is to partly subsidize both treatment and transport to the Shadows where it is available. (It is still a major expense for common folk, but Amber does have 'modern' banking and interest rates.) This is done for both aesthetic and practical reasons; with the general longevity of its people, Amber would eventually be largely peopled hook-handed, peg-legged folk. Not good candidates for the militia or the merchant marine. It's good PR, too. Oberon established his rep for looking after his subjects millenia ago.
Effective contraception is widely available in both chemical form and as a minor magic.
Nearly all diseases are weakened in Amber and succumb easily to many different chemical and magical treatments. (If a sufferer isn't too far gone mere time will work a cure as well.) As a result, some of Amber's lesser towns do excellent business as sanitarium resorts for rich shadow folk suffering one ailment or another. Poorer shadowfolk try to make their way to Amber by a variety of dodges. In Amber, even living in a filthy garret with treatment by a third-rate physicker will see most people cured in a short time. Since diseases spread so poorly, innkeepers and people renting out rooms don't worry about sick boarders.
It also doesn't hurt that Amber has an excellent, Roman-like, sewage system and aqueducts sufficient for plentiful, free, clean, water. Plus general habits of cleanliness and sufficient wealth (and cheap, imported, mass-produced cloth) that even poor people have more than one set of clothes, add to the healthiness of the place. (Amber proper could easily survive sloppy habits but then the Amber traders and sailors out in Shadow would, in following those habits, die like flies. Oberon shaped Amber's society accordingly.)
Session 6 Quotes
Doyce - "Where do you store an air elemental when you are not using them?"
...RIPPPPP! (Doyce expels air with great velocity from his stomach)
Jacob to 13 - "Contact Toriana in about an hour, until then she will be in useless positions..."
Kelamon (GM), as Tori hands her a magic "battery" coin.
"um, thanks Toriana, and I have nothing for you..."
Flora after having been rescued by Toriana, as Toriana explains her parentage
Flora (GM) - "That little rascal Gerard, I didn't even know he had any daughters...."
John piping in - ".....several boyfriends, but no daughters."
Randy after yet another rousing round of "In the navy"
(Heavy sigh) And big gay Gerard just keeps getting closer, and closer to being big gay
DEAD Gerard." Postscript - we do not know if this is a valid threat, since Randy made
several comments that were unintelligible since he was laughing to hard.
Jackie explaining to Randy that she is looking for lots of little multi-colored pebbles with which to make some more
"You know....red ones, and pink ones, and blue ones, and of course green ones
Stan piping in - "....Toriana is making "Skittles of Doom!"
John and Stan commenting on Gerard some more...
John - "How does Gerard stand on a pitching and rolling deck in stiletto heels?"
Stan - "Oh, he uses his garter belt to tie off to the nearest rail, or line."
When Flora is greeted by her long lost little brother Gerard the hilarity continues...
Randy - "...And Flora starts to cry as she gives her little brother a hug....
John piping in - ...and whispering in his ear "you bastard, did you have to wear all of my dresses!"
Stan Piping in - ...."No", answered Gerard "Toriana and I split them 50/50.....ouch dammit" as Jackie elbows
Stan. Randy almost fell off of his chair laughing at this exchange.
Jackie to Stan "Shut up Daddy's not gay because I'm his Daughter"
Stan - "...Really, Kelimon was just his beard...your really Corwins Daughter" Ouch again -elbow
Randy chortles in the background, and not the evil GM kind either.
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out into the REAL world....
.....Fineas and I fired simultaneously. His shot hit the target in the upper
chest, and my bolt hit it in the pelvic region. The Demon fell from it's
riding beast. The Target's second in command brought his troops to bear
on our position in a hail of musket fire. Sabine got up and fled to the rear
of the room toward a window. I called to her to get back to Fineas and
myself as he reached for his trump of Chantrisport. I noticed that the
second in command was racing toward the our building. Sabine returned and
we trumped out.
In Chantrisport we regrouped. Fineas had me trump Toriana and ask her to
do something useful for a change I told her bring through Chantris' Army
that was still in the Shadow's Capital city. She grumbled a bit about it, but
Complied in the end. Fineas told me that he had to go and rescue one of
the Chandorans Military leader by the name of Prince Eugene.
When the three of us got back to the Capital city, the Hendrake's have
gone on a destructive rage. The loss of their Pattern user must have
caused them great distress. We had to fight our way through the people
fleeing the city, and were able to rescue Prince Eugene and his troops
without much trouble. The Prince had lost a foot, which Fineas was able to
take care of. We trumped through to Hunac bringing 550 of Prince
Eugene's troops with us.
Once we were safely back in Hunac, I asked Sabine if she found Hunac
suitable for the teaching of Magic. She looked around and said "it's no
Dom-Danial, but it will do". We spent the next several days relaxing,
recovering, and spending some quality student/teacher time together.
After several days Sabine told me that she was going to need a few days to
rest if she was going to be any good in the coming battles, so I headed off
to find Dearkon. I asked him if he had some time to teach me about his
school of magic. He was a bit taken aback by this but in the end agreed to
give me some lessons. Dearkon led me to a local Hunac grave yard and
preceded to teach me about Bone-dancing, talking with ghosts, getting info
from the dead (by eating the appropriate body part) and other little Necro
spells. He commended me on my training, and asked me who has been
teaching me. I told him that Sabine had been doing her best to try and
teach me so far. Dearkon says "hmmm, well Autumn Moon School is very
good with it's technical teaching, but they are a bit lax on the practical
aspect of things. Its a good thing that you sought me out to further your
After spending the night in the grave yard with Dearkon, I felt that it was
time to start on one of the things that #2 had mentioned in his first
briefing, and that was to get some silver. I went to the Island that was
currently housing Prince Eugene's troops and asked to borrow 30 or so
troops for a few days. The Prince was so greatful to even be alive that he
gladly gave them to me. About an hour later we mounted up and moved out.
Using the technic that #2 had shown us to find things that we wanted out
in shadow, I started to look for a lightly guarded silver shipment. After a
fairly short time I was able to locate one just coming over a pass. It was an
easy ambush, and we're even able to find an overland route back to Prince
Eugene's Island (with four tons of silver ingots).
Several days were spent on making really bad silvered weapons, when I hit
upon a way to Magicly duplicate molecular bonding between the steel and
the silver. This has two bonus': one, to stretch out the silver supply (we
were able to send 2 tons to Fangorn), and two, to keep the weapons sharp
with out losing any of the benefits of the silver. At first, the Hunac's
aren't happy about using the new process, but after some mild persuasion
(killing the loudest protestor), all went swimmingly.
When all is going well in the silver smelter, I headed back to check in with
Sabine. She was going to need a few more days of rest. So I told her that
I was heading back to Chandora to try and get done what I had wanted to
do before when we got involved in killing the Chaosian Pattern user. Not
having any Trump of Chandora I decided to hell ride there. I got back to
Chantrisport, and they were just about packed up. I asked to see the Guy
in charge. they lead me to him...
I underestimated how long it would take for me to gather up my watchmen. I'll have to come up with some other way to facilitate that. They've faired well enough, though; I collected seven and sent them to Arden to get their bearings and await orders.
Following that, I moved through the wastelands, trying to find desperate by relatively honorable troops for which a battle against the very forces of hell would sound like a turn of good fortune. Harder than it sounds. A group of desperados patterned after turn of the century Chinese ganglords were the best I could initially find -- I moved them via a trump (an good oil of Arden that Toriana gave to me). After that I settled on foreign legionaire types and found a good force of them -- four hundred or so -- wandering in a desert and desperate for rescue. With a force of gunmen behind me, I sought roman-legion styled troops in similar straight.
Well, I found them -- several thousand of them, in fact -- but they were locked in a battle with a larger (six thousand, by my rede) Persian-type foe.
There's a say about birds and stones. Using a good portion blood, I summoned a local efreet and sought to cow both sides. It wasn't entirely perfect, as I had to work fast and offer the thing another cup of blood, but after a few executions, I got both armies into a listening frame of mind.
I contacted Toriana for help with moving the large groups to seperate locals (one to Arden, the other straight to Hunac). We weren't entirely sure if we had enough power to maintain such a massive gate for the time required, until I remembered the coins I gathered off the Chaos Lord that had kidnapped Tori's aunt. The things are somehow constructed out of pure, solidified magical power, and using up two out of the three proved sufficient to our needs. I keep the last, and Tori held onto her shaving to see if she could replicate the thing.
The Hunac Organization moved the Persians throughout the area to put them into postion for later use. A deal is struck and ships are loaded -- the forces covertly moved to several out of the way marshalling points so they can be kept quiet and trained. I want them to have as little contact with the locals as possible.
I check in with Cullin and let him know I am staying until the meeting with Akbol. I meet with him and I do get to meet him and Reese is at the meeting with me. Akbol would like a sketch of him and his commander. I trump Durkon after the meeting and let him know I am leaving.
Reese goes his way and I go mine. Shortly thereafter Reese calls again and needs to evacuate some people. Sure he can find time to save others as long as one isn’t me. I trumped Cullin to see if he could help. He would very much like the house Chandros to be indebted to him and agrees to help.
After a long time away from home I find myself with finally a spare moment. It is time to go home. Rebma how I have longed to see your sweet hews again. A deep breath and pray for the best as I trump to my manor. Boris is always a loyal servant greets me at the door with the state of affairs. It seems as though Moire is feeling generous and has not confiscated my manor for walking the pattern in Amber. I have a message sent to her asking for a meeting. Better that she hear from me that I am home then to hear from someone else first.
A hot bath and a good meal, life is sometimes sweet. This is home; this is safe. Moire will meet me in the morning returns the messenger. A good night’s rest in a good bed is a wonderful thing. Wonder what tomorrow holds…
Moire was civil almost pleasant, almost. She is not mad but is very understanding of my position and she will even send troops to help in the battle with the enemy when time draws closer. I would say that I have gotten a great deal out of this meeting.
I am going to take some time and study the coin that is still active. This is a wonderous thing. I am so glad the Jacob was able to leave one with me. It was very kind of him. I need to find a way to replicate it. This coin is a treasure, but I must conquer it! Round one to the coin, but slowly I begin to win and by next week I shall have learned the secrets this thing is trying to conceal.
Jacob trumped me he needs some help both magical and diplomatic. Both suits he does not wear. He is going to make a water sprite for the fish tank in Auntie’s room. That way I can keep an eye on her. He briefed me on the mission, and I made some sketches for him. I had a very restful night’s sleep.
Cullin house of Kandive is here. That might prove to be handy. We are in Hunach and greeted by Cullin. I am given a meeting with the second in command and he makes me wait for 2 days to see him. I make two real trumps again with the 2 days wait. I also have time to make 4 more sketches to kill time.
The second in command hardly believes the story I am telling him so I talk to mom and we are going to take people from here to see what is really going on so they will believe us. I am going to take 3 people to see the destruction so they will be believers. I take them through and we are watching executions and my skin is just about crawling off me. We are noticed and hope back to the city through a trump contact.
They are now believers and I make a sketch of downtown and we obtain permission to bring some guests here. I guess Reese and Fineas have a need to come here. They will do just about whatever we want now that the Hunach are convinced of the danger. Jacob trumps me and needs a sketch of Shandora and to keep contact with him and bring him back after a short time.
Akbol has asked for meeting with us, he is the guy that runs this place. Neat.
I've discovered something about myself. I'm not sure how much I like it.
I've always thought of myself as a loner, by choice, by disposition, and by native ability. I've never been much of a talker.
Seems as though that's not exactly because I can't, however. I've spent the last three days working on nothing but talking. I knew that I was going to have to negotiate, but my expectation was that I would walk in, explain that everyone standing in the room with me was going to die if they didn't get their shit together, and then write down the names of everyone who wanted to do something about it.
Then I got to the meetings, and it was different. I heard words, phrases coming out of my mouth that were more than the basic facts required. It was persuasive.
I was persuasive.
I don't know where it came from. I don't know if I want to find out how it happened, and I'm not sure I'd like the answer if I knew it.
Maybe Toriana's presense helped me rise to the occasion. She's good at that sort of thing -- soft where she needs to be, and hard when it's called for. We double-teamed Hunac together and I think there's quite a few ways the two of us could compliment the other's abilities -- I hear she's a witch, plus it never hurts to have the ear of the ruler's daughter. She's been doing sketches of me for my scouts, so that they can contact me, and I've done what I could for her weapons so that she's not completely helpless if magic turns to sludge in some backwater realm.
We've got the alliance of Hunac's rulers, both covert and overt. It's time to fine troops, so I'm off to real home, the hinterlands, where I'll gather up as many of my watchmen as I can and see if this new Pattern power can help me find some soldiery.
I've never done anything like this before. I suppose most of us haven't. I've been doing things I'm completely comfortable with for so long I'd forgotten what it felt like to scramble for a solution.
I was at a street party celebration, and there was much to talk about. You would think Amberites had never seen a girl with purple hair before. All the newly found relatives were there and the party was a success. Badger showed up and dad decided that Badger needed a trump of me and had me hand it over to him. It was just a sketch though. I also received instructions to make more trumps of Badger.
Meanwhile Fineas spent the night wenching. It still surprises me that his head fits through the door sometimes. It’s not because he has a big brain but because he has a big ego. Whatever, I guess some women like that sort of thing, can’t understand why but I guess they do.
Mom hands out trump sketches to everyone, well everyone but me. I think she is going through a dark phase, too many heavy colors. I have not told her this, as she is not found of criticism especially from me.
Reese arranges for arms training with Sir John. Dad says I should still call him 13 but I do not have to obey him all the time. Reese does a fair amount of wenching as well. I dare not imagine that some court groupie is yelling out 13 as his name, but that is none of my concern I have a proper name.
I noticed that Gerard has Jacob cornered again. It sounds like more pattern training for Jacob. Jacob briefed the relatives on the houses of Chaos. I probably should have listened closer, but it is all quite boring to me.
Dad has put me in charge of the search for aunt. I have asked to have a different bodyguard assigned and Sir John has taken care of that.
I am off to find my aunt. She was last seen with one of the wizards. My new bodyguard is named Himrick and he is a shape shifter. Three men took my aunt and there was still a trace of their energy in the air. Oh and the new bodyguard kicks considerably more ass then Reese. Two thumbs up for Sir John ’s choice. I took Himrick’s advice and trumped mom for reinforcements. She will call back when they are ready. The kidnappers seem to be taking an odd route. We come to a city and I do a quick locate spell to find auntie.
I find my bodyguards are shape shifted to look like dogs and auntie is not too far away but she is very drugged. We enter the establishment where she is and head towards the upper floors. There is a nasty trap on the door to the room she is being held. We decide to rush it and head to her. Himrick leads the rush and as he charges in I feel the calling of someone. I quickly find out who it is because from the sounds upstairs we are not winning. It’s Jacob and I am happy to see him for maybe the first time ever. He agrees to come help me and a battle ensues. The bad guys try and escape out the window. The ugly man with large bull horns gets away, but Jacob is able to kill the mage. We try and track the bull man to no avail. I gave my trump to the rangers to Jacob for helping me. He wants more, doesn’t everyone?
I talk Auntie Gwyneth into staying in Amber. It wasn’t easy and I am sure she will be a royal pain in the ass who needs to be watched.
I am staying at a place called Dom-Daniel with some wizards who have been kind. Reese is busy trying to procreate with anything that moves. I changed his appearance because it was bothering me. He was also not dressed appropriately.
There are people outside the school probing the wards. I went after them and I was able locate them. There was a short scuffle and the leader got away. Reese was useless. The guy I captured is a ward specialist. I turned him over to the school for punishment.
The place we went for wizards was a New Orleans at Marti Gras type party. They wanted me to put my energy into a pillar. I was very unhappy about this. You never know what that kind of thing does or when it will haunt you.
I met Hulrune he was a jerk. Eboll, who was an old guy, but dependable. Chun is a balding guy who collects eyes. He is freaky. There was also Durkon who is a black magic user, dependable and keeps his word. Jelrack could not be found. I met Badger who also seemed like a decent fellow. Reese was off in his own little world. There is something not right in his head. Must let dad know about that.
There was much drinking and dancing tonight. I am not sure what we were celebrating but most times there hardly needs to be a reason. I had even had a couple drinks tonight. I was feeling safe and secure in the bar that Denise had chosen. She normally had a knack for finding the in spot.
The party did not last too long as dad trumped me. He never calls must be important if he is suddenly remembering I exist. Oh come to Amber he says, walk the pattern he says. Two rules he wants to break things can only get worse from here. The Queen is going to have a fit. Mom is going to be pissed. Hey but as long as the stranger is happy, right?
I am not sure why I let him talk me into going to Amber. Must be how desperate he sounds right now. I am way to drunk to be walking the pattern right now thought. Well at least we agree on that. It seems Dad is looking for lost relatives. He has found one in prison named 13.
Dad made me sleep and walk the pattern the next day. What a pain in the ass and it had better be worth pissing the Queen off over. I started trying to use it but dad doesn’t want me to overdue it. Nap time again I guess, oh after a nice hot bath.
Dad gave me a lacky/bodyguard named 13. What is that a number for a name? That certainly won’t do. I have named him Reese, much more fitting for a family member even if he is an ex-con. I have to take him and recruit wizards to help the family in the upcoming war.
I get to test out my new pattern powers trying to find these wizards. This should be fun. I am sure I can do it.
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
Bang! Just as I squeezed the trigger, my target adjusted her position slightly and my bullet impacted her in the upper breastbone area rather than the bridge of her nose where I had been aming. She flew backward in a massive spray of blood (not burning I noticed). A split second later Thirteen’s shaft struck her mount….it did burn. A moments orientation and I could tell they now knew where we were. Time to boogie as they say. The enemy troops begin pointing up at us and they start bringing their guns around to bear. Before they can ruin my perfectly good shirt, Thirteen, Sabine and I withdraw into the building and I make preparations to trump out. Sabine is not yet at home with the concept and she instinctively keeps running. Thirteen managed to stop her in time and we trumped out to Arden.
Congratulating ourselves for a job well done, we felt we should return to Chandora and see the results. First I trumped Gerard and informed him that I had at least wounded the enemy Pattern wielder and possibly slew her. He seemed pleased. The next step involved was to get trumped back into the Chandriss compound in Chandora so we enlisted the aid of Torianna’s mother to return. The Chandriss compound was in some slight panic. Apparently they felt the fall of the capitol was imminent and they wanted the hell out of dodge. I wanted to rescue Prinz Eugen first, so I grabbed a small force and found out where he was being held. In the meantime, Torianna was imposed upon to help evacuate the Chandris compound and she began to do so.
Once things were organized, Thirteen and I began our journey to rescue Eugen. The city was a complete mess. Enemy fliers were about directing the vengeful ground troops to crush any organized resistance. We were given a look over and it became apparent we would be on their menu soon. We rushed to get there first, bypassing retreating Chandoran troops and fleeing civilians. It still took some time and we began to pick up a few stragglers who attached themselves to us since we seemed to know what we were doing.
We reached the compound safely and made contact with Eugen. He was being protected by his loyal troops, but had suffered somewhat at the hands of their idiot “doctors”. His foot had been amputated and he was very anemic from the application of leeches. I arranged immediate medical attention for him and once again called on help to trump gate the whole mob to safety. I just a few minutes, the entire retinue was safely transported to the Kandive compound in Hunak. Five hundred and fifty people made it out all told.
It was obvious we were taxing the Kandive facility, so I contacted Liam for help in finding a suitable barracks where the Chandorans could recuperate. He responded that his cousin Dorianna should be able to help. She owned a number of warehouses near Amber that would be suitable. The shadow had enough magic that the healing could be expedited and it was easy to arrange a sort of quarantine to prevent drastic culture shock. I had to promise more trade route help for the Miramon house, but it was worth it. Within a few days the Chandorans and Prinz Eugen were safely squirreled away for rest and recuperation.
By now Thirteen had taken his leave of me to do his own thing for a while, so I used the solitude to begin my recruiting of an actual army. If we were to fight in Hunak, I wanted expert archers who could also kick ass in melee. With this in mind, I began walking through shadow until I came upon a medieval society completely ignorant of Amber. They were basically caucasian looking samurai warlords with a deep sense of honor and not a lot of sympathy for their enemies. It would be interesting to recruit them, so I spent a number of days working nearly nonstop to set the stage. I had to appear to represent a higher authority, so I found a nearby shadow with a large army camped in garrison and used them for my backdrop. I sent an invitation to Lord Sakura and soon met him in front of this impressive army. He was recruited with promises of honor, lands and power. He needed a few days to muster his force, so I spent a day sleeping off my fatigue and three more arranging logistics for the move. When he returned, I led them off into shadow towards the Arden camp. It did not take them long to realize things were not as they seemed, but by now they feared my power and I made sure to treat them well along the way.
Once I had my samurai settled into a garrison situation, I set them to training with the rangers to learn how we do things in Amber. I had some time to kill, so I returned to Hunak to see how things were progessing. I ran into Derkon and got a status report. He had completed his device for monitoring Hunak and had made a lot of local friends in doing so. During our discussion, he mentioned that ambient power could be found at all the necromantically strong focal points here. I suggested that by draining off that power into some other use, we could effectively limit the number of entry points for the enemy. He agreed and set about doing so.
I asked around to see what kind of flying troops might be available here. I learned the local coatls would be difficult in the extreme to recruit and most other types of flying mounts could not live here. Only those with some sort of magical levitation effect could fly here. I resolved to try and recruit something on the order of Djinn or perhaps the oriental varieties of dragons and serpents. That would be for a future foray however.
Thirteen reappeared with a healthy stock of silver. When he asked what would be the most effective method of coating the local weapons, I suggested some form of magical electroplating. When the concept was explained to the local wizards, they seemed to think it could be done. Before long I heard that they and Thirteen and had success and a prototype plater was constructed. I soon found myself taking the technology and a stock of silver to Fanghorn for their use as well. All was still quiet in Fanghorn. I decided to check on my prison troops and headed off to find out how they were doing.
When I arrived, the rangers informed me that about a dozen of the more intelligent ones had more or less figured out their eventual fate and were beginning to talk. I had them quickly summoned and removed from the others. I met with them under private accommodations and congratulated them for passing the test. I offered to set each of them up n a business around the golden circle and provide them with a modest salary in return for their acting as my agents. All agreed readily, as they sensed their only real alternative was to have an accident or be returned to the prisons from which they came. I drew up a simple contract and had each sign in turn. I will need to get them set up in the next few days as I have other fish to fry and the chaosians have nearly finished off Chandora.
"The Gathering Storm"
Jacob wanders the borderlands collecting his far flung agents and tries to seek out useful forces to bring to the upcoming conflict.
He spends 4 days in walkabout locating and briefing his men. Running out of time, he delegates some of this task to Nelson, one of
his henchmen to get the rest of his agents.Jacob scouts his usual haunts for troops, especially mercenary bandit lords but in the
end decides to travel further afield.
Torianna meets with Cullen of House Kandive in Hunak. He warns her that some of the locals had taken particular interest in her trump
ability and he is worried some of them might try to kidnap her as a trump slave. Torianna does not appear to be overly worried for her
safety and continues her work with the Hunak hierarchy. She takes some time to meet with Derkon to discuss his progress. Derkon seems to
get along well with the locals since necromancy does not have the stigma in Hunak that is found elsewhere. He has worked with the locals
to create a magical map monitoring the potential troublespots. He has narrowed the potential breakthrough locations to just two or three.
Torianna then meets with the head honcho of Hunak again and produces the trump sketches she had promised him to secure his cooperation.
Back in the capitol of Chandora,the duo successfully shoot the Pattern user and her mount. She takes a severe hit in the upper breastbone
area but it is unclear if it is a mortal strike. Almost immediate attention is drawn to the rooftop so Thirteen and Fineas collect Sabine
and immediately trump to safety. Torianna is recruited to help evacuate the Chandris forces from the capital. She succeeds in transferring
the vast majority to safety leaving only a covering force. Thirteen and Fineas return to Chandora and take the covering force to make an
attempt to rescue Prinz Eugen from his predicament. Sabine continues to offer assistance and accompanies them as well. It is clear that the
strike on the Pattern user has really annoyed the enemy after they increase the ferocity and cruelty of their advance. A major enemy break
through has occured and forces are driving on the capitol quickly.
Jacob continues wandering shadow looking for cannon fodder. He eventually locates a suitable band of desperados patterned after turn of the
century Chinese ganglords. After some inducement, they are to be sent to the outer environs of Forest Arden for training and marshalling.
Jacob makes arrangements for trump transport and the force arrives without mishap.Jacob ponders what other types of troops he will need and
settles on looking for foreign legionaire types. He sets off to find an appropriately hostile desert shadow where the men are desperate for
water and/or rescue.
Torianna decides she needs to get away from Hunak for a while and takes a trip to Rebma to feel out her reception there. She is somewhat
concerned about Queen Moire's perception of her for walking the Pattern and swearing an oath to Amber. Before she walks into the lion's den,
she visits her old estate and finds out the lay of the land from her servant Boris. He indicates that no action has been taken by Moire against
Torianna or her holdings and that all appears to be well. Torianna sends a request to meet with the queen and an appointment is made for the
following morning. Torianna relaxes the remainder of the day awaiting her audience with Moire.
The Chandriss force advances to the part of the city in which Prinz Eugen is under house arrest. Along the way, fleeing citizens and deserting
troops tend to slow progress, but eventually they reach the place.Enemy flyers witness the arrival but are unable to interfere in time. Eugen is
found inside guarded by his loyal troops but he has lost a foot and is not in great shape. Proper medical treatment is initiated and his forces
are rallied for an evacuation. All told 550 troops are rescued from the impending fall of the capitol after a trump gate is opened to bring them
to safety in Hunak. The Kandives are more than happy to have House Chandriss owe them a favor.
Jacob finds the circumstance he is looking for. A number of Foreign Legionaires are found on the verge of collapse from lack of water in a shadow
desert. Jacob promises them water and employment if they follow. There is some early resistance from the officer in charge, but a quick bullet
later from his unhappy men changes things and they happily follow Jacob. He attends to their immediate requirements and begins leading them through
shadow to find his next desired force....Roman type legionaires also in dire straits.
Thirteen decides to take a break from recruiting and spends some time learning magic from Sabine. Since Amber is somewhat difficult to learn in, they
return to Hunak for the lessons. Thirteen adapts quickly, though Sabine has to experiment to get her spells to work properly. He spends several days
getting a feel for the magic and incidentally becoming more practiced at the particulars of Hunark sorcery.
Fineas realizes he needs proper housing for the Chandora troops so he contacts Liam for help. A warehouse suitable for conversion to a barracks is
chosen in a shadow close to Amber. It is decided to keep it somewhat isolated so as to limit the culture shock of the Chandora troops. The deal is
made and the men are transferred to the higher magic shadow where they may be healed more quickly.The warehouse is owned by Liam's cousin Dorianna
so some additional favors are owed House Miramon.Fineas decides he needs some exellent archers next so begins looking for suitable medieval forces.
He seeks and finds a shogunate type shadow (causasian in appearance being a major deviation). He decides to attempt to recruit them through deception.
Fineas impersonates an important functionary and convinces the local warlord to mobilze his best samurai in a couple days time for a prestigious
duty. Several days are spent in this endeavor but finally a force is led through shadow. Soon they are convinced Fineas is a demi-god and begin to
follow him from fear rather than duty.
Torianna has her audience with Moire. She learns that Moire expected her to walk the Pattern and in fact had desired her to. Torianna brings up the
possibility of Rebman aid to Amber against the chaosians. Moire states that some aid has already been given but a formal alliance is not yet likely.
Moire says a few House Manticora chaosians had been captured and questioned but that nothing extraordinary had been learned. Torianna leaves and returns
to her estate to pick up a couple of secret items for study. She seeks and finds a faster shadow (Syrinx) with medium levels of magic to further her
studies of both magic and trump.
In Hunak thirteen visits Derkon for a bit of instruction on necromancy. Handing him a shovel, Derkon leads him to a graveyard and introduces him to
the art of conversing with and controlling ghosts. This proves to be amusing for a while, but soon Thirteen decides to get some work done so he leads
a small force into shadow to obtain the silver needed to arm the Hunak forces appropriately. He seeks and finds a wagon train haling silver across a
mountain pass. His force quickly hijacks the shipment and leads it back to Hunak, making the local Kandives and Hunaks very happy.
Jacob finds his Romans. They are locked in a face to face conflict with a larger Persian type foe. Jacob relies on a little diety impersonation to
convince both sides they need to follow him into a holy battle. It requires a few summary executions with the help of his Foreign Legionaires, but
he succeeds in getting both armies to follow him. His biggest problem proves to be keeping the two foes separated. He contacts Torianna and gets her
help in moving the armies. One goes to Arden, the other straight to Hunak.
Torianna studies the condensed magic coins she had obtained from the chaosians and tries to duplicate it. She has a lot of difficulty getting anywhere
without access to a major power source. After several fruitless attempts, she moves her experiments to Rebma where she has access to the Pattern.
Thirteen works with the Hunaks to distribute the silver for weapon production. With Derkon and the local magician's help it is discovered that weapons
can be magically electroplated with silver. This enables them to keep their edge while maintaining the property inherent with silver. This helps
stretch the silver supply tremendously and the locals are very happy.
Fineas returns to Hunak to check with the others. He speaks with Derkon about the necromantic hot spots and suggests that they can be diminished by
drawing off the residual magical energy for storage. This would have the effect of narrowing the choices for the chaosians to enter by. Fineas asks the
locals about the possibility of flying forces.The local physics preclude many types of flying creatures. The local variant is a coatl type serpent but it
is deemed unlikely to assist in any organized fashion. Their habitats are far from easy to get to and it is decided not worthwhile to make the attempt
to recruit them. Fineas also discusses the possibility of warded rifles and ammunition to allow their use in Hunak. There is some possibility that this might
work but it will be difficult to obtain local approval for their use.
Jacob renews his contacts with the Hunak underworld. He hires them to begin transporting and dispersing his Persian troops throughout the area to put them
postion for later use. The deal is struck and ships are loaded. the forces are covertly moved to several small out of the way marshalling points so their
can be kept quiet.
The coin studies continue. With the more abundant supply of power, Torianna succeeds in growing a small amount of congealed magic. She learns that the
center hole characteristic is required for the successful growth of the material. It appears the art of conjuration will be more useful in this type
of endeavor, so she begins the arduous and dangerous task of self training. Sparks fly, hair frizzes and nasty odors abound but she seems to make progress.
Thirteen finishes the electroplating prototype and puts it into operation. He decides to return to Chandora to scout out the current situation. He learns
the last remnants of House Chandriss are evacuating and that the Hendrakes are really pissed off since the attack on the Pattern user believed to have been
Dara. From their behavior, it is likely she has been put out of commission for some time and possibly killed.They are resorting to even more brutal behavior
Fineas Sends a shipment of silver to Fanghorn for their use. He explains the electroplating concept and the silver is distributed to local forces for their
use in the upcoming battle. Fineas then moves out into shadow to check on the development of the expendable troops. They still suck but are making some progress.
A handful have apparently figured out their true purpose, so Fineas seperates them from the rest and offers them positions as his personal agents in the Golden
Circle. They will be provided with a stake to start a business but will act as eyes and ears. They agree, knowing a good deal when they see it. The remainder of
troops continue to drill under the watchful eyes of the rangers.
Where They are now:
Jacon is in Hunak
Torianna is in Rebma
Thirteen is in Chandora
Fineas is with the expendables in shadow.
For gadgets is either a sort of clockwork programmed function (as in a vise or a trap) or an enhancement of binding a spirit into it. Sabine's rope has Vitality, used to hold onto things. Effective lifting or crushing power is based on size and composition.
For critters, 2 pt Vitality doubles its musclepower.
For a gadget is, again, a programmed clockwork effect unless it's part of a bound spirit's function.
Winged flight base (1 point) speed is about 30 mph. Wingless flight base speed is half of that.
Adding flight to an animal that normally can’t means adding Movement. Flight without wings – levitation – is half as fast as winged flight and will not work some places.
For gadgets is a battery, arcane or otherwise. A common combined (Conj & Sorc) trick is to have a spell draw upon an item's Stamina for increased duration or uses -- an ablative spell-shield could take several hits that way, for instance.
For gadgets usually is a feature of things with spirits -- martial ghosts -- bound into them. 1 point is quite good. 2 points is great.
For critters it gives, for one point, skill and speed equivalent to top of the line Special Forces – or better than that if it’s specialized. At two points you’re talking world-class or low-action-hero level skill and speed.
If it isn’t rigid, it protects only itself. No armor spandex, please.
Could be used to enchant clothing to armor hardness -- leaving flexible (and vulnerable) joints.
Is mostly used to toughen up existing armor or objects. The wooden door you're hiding behind, for instance. You could make an item that would slap on the door and transform it.
Applies mainly to breaking through magical defenses, and to not breaking in combat. Greyswandir didn’t cut armor like cheese, so neither can your stuff. BUT you can define it as added energy damage to model flaming swords, freezing lances, electrical axes, etc. Stamina defines how long it can keep flaming/ freezing/whatever.
Generally means there’s a bound spirit inside it. 1 point Intelligence is normal for Minor elementals and ghosts.
A.I.'s are possible but would take months or years of your valuable time to create.
1 point covers simple sensor devices: IR and UV vision, sonar, types of magic, etc. 2 points covers more versatile sensors. There is no Danger Sense.
As a gadget used on yourself, figure the usual 125% and 150% for 1 and 2 points.
SHADOW MOVEMENT is a Creature power, not an Item power. Both Trail and Path vastly increase the range of your sensitivity to Shadow Paths. Seek In Shadow is a very rare ability limited to some magical creatures like (not that your characters know it) fire angels and ty’igas.
Is what covers most spell-like effects. 1 point covers Minor and Moderate effects, 2 points covers Major effects.
Either specific effects, like sealing wounds or curing a specific disease, or a general enhancement of the body's healing powers.
ITEM SHAPE CHANGING
Can be defined as either illusion (1 point) or real shape changing (2 points).
TRUMP POWERS you can forget.
Making spell racks: 1 point makes one that holds one Major/2 Moderate/4 Minor spells; 2 points makes for a 6 Major/12 Moderate/24 Minor rack -- double that if using highest quality materials.
Q. from Doyce: Would buying Expertise in conjuration of elementals (of the type seen in "Well-favored Man") be a 1 or 2-pointer? I'd like to get better at that.
A: The Well-Favored Man is a much higher power level than CH. To get a WFM
Salamander... First, something that powerful will be extremely rare or
nonexistant anywhere but a high magic world. (A big-ass Salamander taken
from a high magic world to a normal magic one wouldn't necessarily die, it
would shrink and be unhappy about it.) Second, that's like two steps above
third-level (full) Sorcery, so it's something on the order of a
Salamander-specific enchanted item + 2 major spells (one to boost the item's
summoning and one to bind it temporarily -- a full binding would be a
separate enchantment) + a high magic shadow, or 3 items (which includes
temporary items like the mandalas) and the high magic shadow.
Your djinn was not actually capable of burning everyone; he was good at
looking really dangerous and at intimidation. Two pints of Amber blood was
worth about two steps up from your normal Conjuration ability. It didn't
hurt that the thing was hanging around watching the battle.
Summoning and binding a medium elemental would normally be two conjurations, but you could combine them in one mandala, or use a summoning gadget and a binding mandala.
Elementals being as useful as they are, each category (traditional four plus
Aether and maybe others -- darkness?) would be Unusually Useful -- 125% and
150%. One point would help some (speed and enhanced bindng [psych combat]
ability) and two points would run it up a full level -- in the WFM example
you'd need just two items or one item and one spell.
> Or would it not be expertise, but points spent on Sorcery?
Sorcery is also good, though the initial (5pt) buy in Sorcery wouldn't help
for any but the little elementals.
> Or simply five more points in Conjuration?
You're maxed. Everything beyond 10 points is specific types of Expertese.
> (Obviously, a psuedo-permanent conjured elemental servant would be
> I'd more accurately buy as a servant -- endurance, speed, vitality, combat
> reflexes -- that's a possibility as well.)
Nah, it would be 1 or 2 points: Useful or Very Useful. Don't get too
impressed with elementals; they're mostly made of magic and you've been able
to hurt or destroy them with BP hexing for years -- and Prob control works
better. Logrus tendrils would be able to tear them up too. (Of course if you
have the leisure, you can now protect an elemental with Prob control.) A
sorcerer of moderate power, like Chango, avoids the big elementals because
his psych combat power isn't sufficient to reliably bind them, but he can
protect herself from them. He probably carries a couple of anti-elemental
items on him. Major mages have spells worked up (and enchanted items backing
up the spells) to break bindings or attack elementals directly.
Pattern and Broken Pattern initiates have the universal translator effect. Like Star Trek, their lips even move correctly for the local language. The effect does not extend to the written word. You do learn scripts amazingly fast.
There are spells and enchantments to temporarily or permanently copy a language (including the written word) from one person to another. There are also technological methods to do the same.
So letting your troops talk to each other will be only a minor problem. Lots of the sorcerers employed by Amber noble houses know language sharing spells. The noble houses have normal translators too -- and most of the nobles are trained to be polylingual from birth. Hunac and Fangorn specialists know the techniques. Tori can do the language-share spell and Jake can do the enchantment. Sabine and Derkon can do both -- Derkon's already used it on himself to talk to his Hunac colleagues.
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
Thirteen and myself continued our interviews of various spell casters in hopes of finding useful assistants. I had heard of the necromancer Derkon and wished to find out if he would be of use. That particular realm of magic seemed likely be to be needed since our foes seem to rely heavily on it. Asking around, I was told he could usually be found socializing with the ladies. Thirteen and I finally found him in conversation with an attractive young lady named Phaedra. I hated to break up his fun, but business is business and I introduced myself.
After some discussion, it became apparent to me that he had already been signed on by Toriana. This made things much easier and we got down to the nitty gritty. I asked him to accompany us to inspect the enemies use of necromancy and help us to devise a way to impede their efforts. He seemed eager to help and I found myself taking a liking to him. We arranged to meet later after he had time to gather his equipment. He scurried off and I found myself in conversation with Phaedra.
Phaedra was merely an apprentice, but her realm of magic would also be useful. An illusionist, I proceeded to recruit her help as well, although unsuccessfully at first. Once she found out I was a Prince of Amber her tune changed quickly enough and I asked her to bring her master to meet with me. A short time later, she returned with her tutor Petra and I discussed what I had in mind. I wished to be able to emulate the enemy bugle signals in order to sow confusion in their ranks when the battle came. It was apparent to me that command and control would be an issue for our opposition since the bulk of their cannon fodder consisted of enthralled locals in most cases. If I could sound the charge or retreat at a critical time, I felt I could break up their formations, particularly in lower tech shadow. Petra seemed intrigued by this and I assured her I would attempt to make her as safe as possible during the event. Together with the allure of what status she would gain as my retainer, this seemed to satisfy her. In all, I would get the services of herself, Phaedra and another apprentice Sinone.
As we waited for Derkon’s return, I got into contact with Jacob to coordinate our strategies and get a status on his efforts in Hunak. His description of Hunak began to sow seeds of doubt in my mind about the feasibility of making it the harder of the two shadows for the Hendrakes to penetrate. We decided that it would be best to bring Toriana in to approach the Hunak priest-kings and have Jacob concentrate on contacting the underworld elements of the society. Jacob seemed to feel the black marketers would be very useful. I am less convinced, but they should certainly be where the initial penetrations by Hendrake occur.
After I filled Thirteen in on what was decided, I slipped away for a bit to contact my mother. If I were to successfully open a trump gate to bring in the army at a critical juncture and still be fresh enough to function as a commander, I would need to power the gate from an external source. My first thought was to shadow walk the army to a staging area in my home world and power the gate from there with mom’s help. She suggested that she could feed me the power remotely without having my rabble messing around her gardens. This would be preferable to me as well, since I did not wish nosy relatives poking around my home, bribing the servants and whatnot. Mother also suggested I bring my brother in on the deal since he is the more magically inclined of us. I resist this temptation, simply because I would not trust him to not screw the whole thing up to annoy me. If I have to, I suppose I can tolerate his assistance, but I will keep it as a last resort. After mom dismissed me I contacted Liam for an update. Things were progressing, but we still did not have a suitable leader for the army. I told him to keep looking and continue his efforts.
By now, Derkon had returned and together with Thirteen we decided to pay a visit to Chandora so that Derkon could get the flavor of the power being used. We arrived in an out of the way spot and Derkon set up his gear. While he was doing so, a pair of enthralled enemy scouts chanced upon us. We easily dispatched the first and captured the second for more detailed study. Since no general alarm seemed to have been raised, we continued with our reconnaissance. Derkon began examining the area magically and seemed shocked at the magnitude of the effort being undertaken by the enemy. He was able to visually isolate the gate mechanism used to channel energy with some magical construct he had in his possession. Derkon suggested that one way we could halt or damage the gate was to use our Pattern probability control to corrupt the magic. He sacrificed a small item for me to try on and I succeeded in destroying it. Thirteen gave it a shot also and seemed more adept at that sort of thing than I. The next step was to see if we could effect the gate remotely using his scry device. Thirteen used his power to stabilize the device while I attempted to corrupt the flow of necromantic energies we were viewing through the device. I had limited success, but my efforts were immediately noticed and a strange tendril began seeking me out. I had heard of that sort of thing before so we broke contact and rapidly left the area before problems arose with enemy troops.
We fled directly to Fangorn where I had Derkon begin probing for areas where the enemy would be most likely to penetrate. While he was on this task, one of the late local leader arrivals asked to meet and discuss the situation. When I agreed, I found myself talking to a tree-giant hybrid of some sort who styled himself Lord Oak. He wished to see Ruin first hand so I once again took a small entourage to the place and let them see for themselves. Lord Oak went about it in a different way, utilizing elementals to scout, but he came to the same conclusion as the others. We returned to Fangorn and discussed strategy. Lord Oak informed me that the great local diety would not allow my troops to enter the forest in any numbers. Instead, the locals wished to be solely responsible for defense. After some discussion, I agreed to supply the locals with silvered weapons and logistical help. I warned them that if they were not up to the task, I would be forced to bring in my army regardless. Lord Oak seemed to accept that and he left to begin his people’s preparations.
In the meantime, I had Derkon examine our prisoner. It turns out that the enthrallment could be broken once away from the source. We questioned him after he came out of the trance but he was relatively useless as a source of information. I let Derkon know he would be needed in Hunak soon and took my leave to meet with Petra and company again. They were ready, so I took them to Chandora and met with the local Chandris representatives to get an update on the situation. I learned that things were not going well. The best military leader we had here , Prinz Eugen, had been wounded some time back and had been arrested by the Emperor. I resolved to rescue him and use him to lead my army and possibly a resistance effort in Chandora. I found out where he was being held and was about to undertake this task when a panic broke out. Enemy troops were in the capital and advancing on the palace. I had Petra’s people learn as much as they could and organized the Chandriss evacuation as quickly as I could.
Gunfire could be heard not all that far away and I began to feel the use of Pattern that I was not responsible for. No other family member was here, so I contacted Gerard with the news. We decided we either had a turncoat amongst his siblings, or it was Dara who was known to have taken the Pattern. This seemed an opportunity to put a kink in their plans, so I obtained a high quality and enchanted sniper rifle and contacted my mother to place ward piercing spells on a bullet. This took some time and the sound of battle was growing closer. When she finished, I hustled out into the city to take up a good vantage point. I found myself a hidden section of rooftop where I could see the action.
A battle line was formed in the street some distance away. I could feel the probability being used to render the defender’s fire ineffective. It seemed to be coming from a smaller demonic form protected by two larger demons just behind the enemy battle line. Loading the bullet, I took careful aim and waited for a clean shot. Suddenly, I received a trump call from thirteen and my concentration was broken. Somewhat annoyed at the interruption, I decided to bring him through for backup. He had his crossbow with him and he conferred for a moment. During this time I decided Dara would have more defenses than the obvious wards. I contacted Petra and asked if she had the ability to pierce illusions. She smiled and presented me with a pair of goggles. Putting them on, I observed the scene below. As I feared, my target was displaced some 3 feet to one side of where she appeared to be with the naked eye. I let Thirteen take a look and we settled down to take our shots, keeping a hasty retreat path open. I had a clean shot to her head and Thirteen was aiming for her main torso. Slowly my trigger finger squeezed….
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
The celebrations seemed to drag on a bit as I was forced through an endless round of introductions with various important people of the realm. I put on the best face I could and made special effort to favorably impress those who mattered in my grand scheme of things. I had made prior arrangements to head out with Breggor later in the afternoon, but I soon learned that Gerard had made other plans for me. I was presented with a set of trumps (which seemed adequately done, though I determined to investigate them more closely at a later time) and a short lecture on the military state of affairs. Gerard gave a brief rundown on which Chaosian houses were doing what to the four of us newcomers. Much of this he had already shared with me during my first interview, but I kept my mouth shut and listened for variations in his tale.
I was instructed to accompany Gerard, Thirteen, and Jacob to the ranger's training center somewhere past Arden. Putting on my travel gear, I tried to enjoy the ride as much as possible. I learned a bit more about shifting shadow and was pleased to discover my fellow inductees were not the annoying chatty sort of people I had expected. Both of them seemed highly capable and I decided to treat them as equals as much as possible. We reached the encampment and began training almost immediately.
My introduction to firearms seemed to go well. They are much like using crossbows and I had no trouble adapting. In other forms of martial training, the three of us learned that we are closely matched. Thirteen is stronger than I but I seem to be a bit quicker. Jacob and I are very close in ability. He may have a slight edge in personal combat. I suspect I am a bit more knowledgeable in mass combat. Together the three of us should be able to put a hurt on the Chaosians when they come to visit. Alas at the end of the day, Gerard felt it necessary to "instruct" us in hand to hand combat. I knew without doubt what was coming but I simply put on my best grin and took my drubbing in good spirits. In one variation, the three of us took Gerard on at once and managed to make a good showing. Afterwards, I resolved to never attempt close combat if I can in any way avoid it. It is much too painful the next day.
In the solitude of my tent I made contact with Liam and discussed his progress. It was much too early for any results yet but he was on the job. A good man. In the morning I met with Jacob and thirteen again and we discussed a plan. From our ranger friends we learned that the enemy were progressing from nexus shadow to nexus shadow, more or less skipping shadows in between for later. They currently are fighting in Chandora which leads to two likely possibilities for the next conquest. One of them, Fangorn, was a faerie realm more or less inimical to outsiders. The other is a place called Hunak and is a more tropical realm with an old and corrupt civilization. Jacob and I discussed the possibilities and came up with a plan. The idea is to render Hunak so inhospitable to invaders that they will choose the path of least resistance and choose Fangorn. There we would set a trap for them, using my expendable prisoner troops as bait and bring in a larger more professional force to catch them by surprise once they were engaged.
Jacob agreed to head to Hunak to lay the foundation there while I would begin preparations in Fangorn. Thirteen was relatively quiet on this whole plan, keeping his own counsel for the moment. He left for some personal time but was going to be available to assist me in recruiting mages from Dom Daniel a few days. Not wanting to be idle, I took a couple of rangers and followed them to Fangorn to begin my work.
Fangorn is a heavily forested land rife with generally unfriendly creatures. There is a settlement where Liam's family conducts business with some of the locals. I used their good graces to set up a meeting with some of the local leaders to convince them of our intentions on their behalf. I neglected to mention that we would be working to insure the enemy came through Fangorn and not Hunak. Resistance to any outsiders is strong there. Before any deals could be struck, the locals demanded to be shown the peril they were in. I agreed to take a few of them on a sightseeing tour of an overrun shadow. With the help of my rangers, I was able to shadowwalk to a place I dubbed "Ruin" and made a trump sketch of a relatively safe entry point. Returning to Fangorn, I met with a few of the leaders and used the trump to take them to Ruin. They were dutifully impressed and shaken by what they saw there. They quickly agreed to return and spread the word to their people and fellow leaders.
While they went about spreading the gospel, I made contact with Liam and found he had successfully rounded up a small prisoner force and they were ready to begin training. I returned to the Golden Circle to pick them up and began herding them out into shadow. I picked a handful of the rangers to implement training and arranged for basic logistics. New tunics were designed and ordered to outfit this "army". I found a relatively unpopulated shadow and set them to work on drilling and learning how to function as an army. With some effort, they may actually prove to be a useful force. I will give them a chance to prove their worth. The good ones I will keep around and reward, the scum will find themselves soon dead.
I need magical assistance if I am going to be successful, so I joined Thirteen again when he contacted me to head to Dom Daniel. He introduced me to a skuzzy looking fellow calling himself Badger. Badger claims to have been convinced of our cause and was willing to show us a short cut to Dom Daniel to recruit help He also wanted us to be made aware of a potential threat to Amber. He led us to a building in the outskirts of Baylesport wherein we found a large trump painting leading directly to Dom Daniel. This was apparently the threat he referred to. I suppressed my urge to slay everyone involved with the trump and thanked him for the warning. We agreed to take precautions to guard it without killing the Namparas who owned it. Stepping through, Thirteen, Badger and I stepped through and began efforts to recruit help. I had a bit of nervousness when I was requested to take part in a small ritual upon entry. I allowed a small portion of my energy to be sampled by an obelisk to insure my safety within. Not something I want to do every day, but I had no time to quibble.
Inside I was introduced to a mage who seemed willing to help for a price. Avram declared his support in return for a couple of trumps. I quickly agreed, knowing that if I could not pawn off the debt on Torianna or her aunt, I could probably take care of it myself. I also learned of two other likely candidates, Derkon the necromancer and Holruun. After successfully closing negotiations with the mercenary Avram, I and Thirteen went in search of Derkon.