Not written in stone yet:
First, for all combat
Full Attack: 150% offense, 50% defense
Aggressive: 125% / 75%
Defensive: 75% offense, 125% defense
Full Defensive: 50% / 150%
Mental/Magical/Powers declare first
unreadied, thrown or enchanted-item Ranged attacks go next
Melee attacks next
readied Ranged (pull the trigger, release the arrow) go next
Hand to Hand is fastest
act in reverse order
Splitting your actions between physical attacks and mental/power ones means splitting your total action percentages. The minimum you can allocate is 10%. Say 80% to Melee and 20% to Mental. The offense-defense mods are separate for each type; you can Ful Attack on the physical side while going Full Defensive on the mental.
'Pattern Defense' is a Mental action as far as speed goes and only appears when you have an action percentage allocated to Mental combat. The good thing is that you always get the full Power points. Example: Arthur has a Mental stat of 90 (20 pts spent in Psyche and 10 on Endurance, plus the +30 each for the Real stats) and a Melee of 120. He's fighting soldiers with mages around so he allocates 80% (=96) for Melee and 20% (18) for Mental. The Mental is Full Defensive, = 21, plus his Pattern Defense (basic) of 25 for a total of 46.
RANGED MAGICAL/ POWER ATTACKS NORMALLY USE FULL PSYCHE AND 1/2 WARFARE TO HIT. (Tentatively: arguments pro and con are welcome) Why? The spells are not ballistic, they're under some control after launch. Exceptions would be 'fire and forget' spells which are treated as normal Ranged attacks.
SPELL DAMAGE/ EFFECT IS BASED ON THE ATTACKER'S MENTAL + SORCERY (MODIFIED BY THE SPECIFICS OF THE SPELL) VERSUS THE DEFENDER'S MENTAL + POWER. UNAWARE/FLATFOOTED TARGETS GET ONLY THEIR ENDURANCE AND MAYBE GADGETS (CONJURED PROTECTIVE ITEMS AND THE LIKE), WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HELP. (JUST LIKE SURPRISED VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL ATTACKS HAVE THEIR STRENGTH AND ARMOR ONLY TO PROTECT THEM.)
Based even more on the d20 spell list:
Spells are rated by the Mental juice needed to cast them. The rating also indicates the MINIMUM strength of the spell -- how much damage it does or how hard it is to resist, modified by spreading (area effects) and other spell-specific things. Spells can always be cast with more Mental juice.
5 pts of Sorcery gives you L0-L4, 10 gives the full array.
Level = the lowest level on the various spell lists
0 requires 10 Mental
Say your Mental stat is 100, plus 10 for the Sorcery. You up it to 160 (L6) with a Full (+50) effort. Using a conjured item specifically made to do so adds another 50, giving 210 (L7). Using another kind of conjured aid, say a pentegram, adds another 50 (L8). Amberite blood used somewhere or other gives a final 50, making L9 possible. Most of these things slow the spell casting time down.
Coins add 100% to your Mental stat safely. Channelling more than that damages you and may let the energy run wild.
Yes, it's really hard to resist a 300 pt attack. It's really hard for the sorcerers to resist cannon fire too.
I'm only listing ones that DON'T work and I'll miss some. Ignore any that refer too closely to d20 mechanics ("+1 on saving throws", Read Magic). Note that things like Read Thoughts will involve touching people with a psychic/magic tendril that most people with Powers can see or sense and dodge, and then a Mental stat comparison and possibly a battle. Ditto spells like Daze or anything else that looks like a Mental attack. Scratch any spell that would add directly to your Combat stats, like True Strike. Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace and the like don't change your combat stats but do make you tougher and able to lift more or better at stealth, acrobatics, climbing. And please, please rename the cheesier ones. The Universe will not be kind to those who say, "I cast . . . Magic Missile!". Only a few very powerful spells cross shadow veils. Involuntary Magical physical transformations of Pattern and Logrus masters doesn't work. (PC'S CAN'T BE TURNED INTO NEWTS. IT WOULD BE BAD FOR THE GAME.)
Most simple sensory enhancement spells (IR vision, telescopic vision, enhanced hearing) are L1.
Resistance, Read Magic
Protection From X, Mount, ALL Summon Monster spells, Comprehend Languages, True Strike, Enlarge, Magic Weapon (except for cutting through magical defenses), Reduce, Spider Climb (except in a much more limite form), Guidance, Virtue, Bane, Bless, Bless Water, Curse Water, Det Chaos/etc, Divine Favor, Doom, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, Magic Fang, ALL Summon Nature's Ally spells (you can make spells to call local animals to you and control them),
Prot Arrows, Summon Swarm (except as an Illusion), Ghoul Touch, Spectral Hand, Rope Trick, Aid, Augury, Undetectable Alignment,
Dispel Magic (banned as a general effect; you can make spells to dissolve other specific spells; you can Disrupt spells as they are being cast), Magic Circle Against X, Phantom Steed, Vampiric Touch, Blink, Gaseous Form, Greater Magic Weapon (except for cutting through magical defenses), Keen Edge, Shrink Item,
Bestow Curse, Meld Into Stone, Negative Energy Prot, Prayer, Greater Magic Fang, Speak With Plants (only if they have elementals in them),
Dimensional Anchor (except as a Teleport Block), Shadow Conjuration, Contagion (except to mimic a specific disease), Enervation, Bestow Curse (not on people with real Powers), Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer, Divine Power, Giant Vermin (except as a very slow effect), Imbue with Spell Ability, Lesser Planar Ally,
Dismissal, Lesser Planar Binding, Wall of Iron, Wall of Stone, Greater Shadow Conjuration, Animal Growth (except as a slow -- days to weeks -- effect), Transmute Rock to Mud (make that 'to Dust'), Transmute Mud to Rock (make that Dry Mud to Hardened Earth'), Permanency, Atonement, Commune (except for some devotees of Shadow Power Sources/Gods), Dispel Chaos/etc, Hallow, Insect Plague (unless local insects are actually available), Righteous Might, Spell Resistance,
Planar Binding, Contingency (actually usable as a 3rd level effect), Greater Shadow Evocation, Shades, Eyebite, Tenser's Transformation, Forbiddance, Planar Ally,
Banishment, Prismatic Spray, Shadow Walk (actually just needs a different name), Ethereal Jaunt, Limited Wish, Blasphemy, Dictum, Holy Word, Word of chaos, Resurrection (except in a few places, versus mortals), Changestaff, Creeping Doom (unless there are hives around),
Prismatic Wall, Prot Spells, Greater Planar Binding, Maze, Discern Location (limited to one shadow, or a direction down a shadow path), Clone (well, maybe -- so many evil possibilities), Etherealness, Iron Body, Polymorph Any Object, Symbol, Cloak of Chaos, Geater Planar Ally, Holy Aura, Shield of Law, Unholy Aura,
Prismatic Sphere, Gate, Foresight, Meteor Swarm (needs a new name: they're not rocks), Astral Projection, Energy Drain, Temporal Stasis, Time Stop, Wish, True Resurrection (except in a few shadows, versus mortals)
PROBABILITY VERSUS MAGIC
Attacker's Mental + Pattern vs. Defender's Mental + Sorcery/Conjuration. If an enchantment isn't active, you can't really get hold of it.
Compare the Mental + Conj of the maker to the strength of the attack to get the number of hits it will take
<50% of the item
Toriana impersonates Gwyneth to gain information, and encounters some new spell slingers, then moves to help Jacob deal with the mutiny
Jacob is heading to Johrom with Azvan & Co. (mages who were hired by Amber awhile ago and are finally being made use of), during the trip, he is contacted and told that one group of mercenaries he recruited is rebelling.He goes to tend with that, but is interrupted in mid-effort (by means unknown) to come help Toriana, who's under attack. The ensuing fight with several shadow sorcerers leaves him in a foul mood, which mood he is
still very much in when he returns to Hunac. Discarding subtlety or secrecy, he makes it clear he will burn the city to the ground with all mercenaries and hostages inside if the rebels don't yield. Some small percentaege do, most don't. During the following conversation with Toriana discussing how to
raze the city with the lowest cost to his loyal troops, he cools down a bit, and instead gasses the whole city to knock them out and collect the mutineers.
Diego expresses concern over prisoners repatriated from chaos, has dinner with the queen of Rebma, collaborates to restore conciousness to Llewella, and passes a combat test with the castle guard
Fineas discusses many items at length with Gerard, his mother, his brother, and spends qaulity time with his sea captain, and offers the possibility of joining amber to his kin.
13 talks about Hunoc, offers rewards, spends time with Sabine, Makes contact with mercenaries, and fences with Flora.
Torianna- Castle Amber
Jacob- a bar he vaguely recalls
Fineas- receiving end of a trump
Toriana - Torianna does gweneth (long turn)
Cuts and dyes hair to look like gwyneth, and goes to the hotel in Dom-Daniel that was the residence of her imprisoned aunt with a group of qaulity troops put together by Heinrich, the hotel clerks are somewhat skeptical of the ensemble, but are considerably less so after the use of pattern and illusion. Upon arrival to gwen's apartment summons the captin of the gaurd-Mezenties, chastizes him citing the scar on her chin, anounces demotions, and the hiring of her additional help. she states "your incompetence was partly due to lack of staffing". then she begins a full inspection of the facilities revealing a posh and well maintained residence, with many trumps, and and mystical defenses. Torianna discovers the her aunt had large semi-intellegent trolls working as muscle as aprehension over further demotions fills the staff. the old gaurds are impressed by the new troops. Torianna discovers Gwyneth has intimate realtions with some of the gaurds (among others). a were is staffed among the grounds keepers, no higher order shape shifters sensed by Fineas's sniffers, but 2 "sleeping" vampires are on staff. The hotel suite is linked by trumps to other locations employing a toal staff of roughly 200. the attends in aunt Gwyneth's spa are amazing. Torianna excuses herself from answering trumps by saying , as Gwyneth " It could be my horrible neice-Torianna", she examines Gwyn's backed-up messages,some seem to have codes involved. meets with local monarch, is invited to a banquet, and promises to attend, after drawing some trump sketches in the style of her aunt.
Jacob- hung-over outsourcing and the treachery (long turn)
wakes up and brushes off his shoulder, sits up with a dry mouth refreshes his memory as he ponders the brother-sister relationship between Chumley and Tanana. Discusses Azvan, and offeres his mercenaries contracts from amber, but primarily from himself. The mercenaries say they like a variety of assignments. competence is assessed and broken pattern is discussed. As jacob is preparing to go to join 13 in Johrom with Azvan, who plans to visit his family. It is revealed that the culture of Johrom is primarily materarchal, and that the matriarch of his clan is well known and affluent woman. Jacob receives a trump from Colin In Hunoc stating the his persian troops have mutanied, and have taken over a small town. They are divided up among factions who are motivated to various degrees by religion. there has been some looting. The mercenaries are sent to Johrom while Jacob decides to deal with the crisis of the treacherous Persian troops.
Diego - Diego talks tramp
taking a break between Llewellas examination, treatment, and discussions with the queen over supper, Diego Trumps fineas to discuss concerns about Flora possibly still carrying around created blood creatures, and shadow parasites from her captivity, and fineas inserts the need for delicacy in handling of the matter, but does agree to talk to Gerard, and expresses that he had some concerns about her as well.
Has a broad ranging discussion with gerard starting on the topic of Floras possible Diabolical plumbing alterations, and they decide to go with technological treatment to make the procedures as non-evasive as possible and make treatment voluntary. then they move on to the topic of Fineas' family, and possible recruitment of his mother and siblings. also discussed are Dara, and her Hendrake adoption plot, Corwin's created pattern, Troop deployment. Ky Tung calls and mentions she needs a ship quickly
13 - steaming it up outside the tantric love fest
discusses the problems with mutiny with the leader of Hunoc, and talks to Sabine who wants pattern without playing russian roulette. talks with the leadership about the strength and endurance needed to complete the ritual. They are running out of broken pattern people in Hunoc. 13 throws out broken pattern as a carrot to Homeran and Dercon, and scores points with Sabine mentioning pattern possibilities. gathers jurgen and gertruda, and makes the half day journey to Johrom where he trumps Kelamon, and asks for a trump of Azvan
Turn 2 (no jacob or torianna)
Diego- supper with the queen
the dinner is semi-formal , and various treatment methods to bring llewella to conciousness are discussed, a subtle interplay begins once again leaving Diego's ready to bubble over libido stranded without a safe harbor, like an ship filled with radioactive waste, he listens to stories of his biological father and feigns interest, he is given a trump of his half sister Morwin, and it is agreed to use a 50 percent non-invasive procedure heavily involving the queen's own magic. a rescue possibility for Corwin is discussed.
Fineas - If you see this aft-castle a' rockin.....
spends 3 joyous hours with His sea captain, discreetly draws her some trumps, helps the ship to move really fast through shadow, upon arrival he needs rest as he draws a sketch of the doc area. the local environs seem to foster giganticism and a dreamlike nature.
13- looking for lizard gurkas
takes his ensmeble and heads for a port discovering an abundence of muscular squat lizard people, they acquire baroque clothing, and hire a guide, who tends to share the local veiw of looking down on the "squishy monkey people". a more orthodox humanoid is meet who proves to be helpful offering many suggestions and the group eats. translator devices are ordered. Flora is trumped in, and they discuss optimal trump sketching locations, and have an impressive round of practicing swordsmanship. Lazeral has made an offer, and the prospects of a union between the chaosite, and the prince of Amber are discussed.
Toriana- looking in gweneth's drawers
Kills time by making all order of trumps in gweneth's hand starting with baba yaga. Heinrich discovers Torianna's aunt's collection of trumps including a wizard named natalia,who seemed to be a genuine friend of gwen's. also included were a near bear sized armored dog named borkon, and an alarmingly large array of amorous relations. while looking at trumps Torianna gets a bad sense and observes several ghosts go zipping across the room, a liberal amount of spell casting ensues vs. a trio of a man with a staff, and extremely attractive woman, a mage called baron, and a giant disembodied hand.
Jacob- a leader's lot is not a happy one
grows increasing frustrated over extracting his mutinious troops from civilians, after several plots to deal with the situation are being discussed, he receives a trump from Toriana, and rushes to her aid with arms loads full of pointy things, an extreme amount of magic is discharged in the passionate battle, after refusing an offer for discussion with the "visitors", they leave magically, and rapidly.
is able to succesfully complete the restoration of Lewella's faculties with the collaboration of queen Moire, leaving a giftwrapped set of prostethic limbs for his patient as he swims out, he trumps morwyn, and informs her of his existence, identity, and lewella's new status, talks with gerard again expressing concerns over chaos contamination in the household. he agrees to spar with the palace gaurds.
he offers the options of joining the court to his mother. Then continues affiliation related discussions with his brother. bids the ship an all too found aloha, and discusses the options of joining the court of Amber with his mother, and the case of gwyneth. breif discusses the same with his brother then shuffles off to Aquatine
13- looking for lizard gurkas part 2
continues the good work in johrom, looking into business in more detail.
Toriana and Jacob joint turn
an extreme amount of magic is discharged in the passionate battle, after refusing an offer for discussion with the "visitors", they leave magically, and rapidly. after collecting themselves the 2 trump back to the scene with our treacherous Persians. several options are discussed with variable degrees of mortality for various parties involved in the dispute. the final conclusion is to have torianna, jacob, and a legion of hunac sorcerers work all night on an series of spells that will send large rolling clouds of slepping gas through the town. Torianna objects streniously to jacob's planned disposal of his betrayer legions after they are unconcious.
has an amiable sparring session with the gaurds, and passes most of their tests, and reveals the majority of his combat related abilities to them. he then exchanges technique with the castle shapeshifter, and agrees to further discussions, and concludes plotting the next step with gerard.
trumps through Dragoons, talks more with his brother, one of his sniffer's detect a shape shifter, and he distributes anti-shapeshifting poison. considers magical tracking options, and has a tactical discussion with the local goverment. sucks up to the local elite gaurd, and prepares for troop siphoning, discusses the situation in chandor, and suggests doubles for Prince Jugend.
intensive trump scouting, unsuprisingly discovers that Flora fights dirty. goes off to meet local cheiftan, and discusses price, and discovers that people of the world seem greedy by nature.
Diego- Castle Amber
I do not want this fight.
The world has changed, what I know has changed, and I have changed to match; become a soldier in the war.
But I’m no soldier. I fight and I kill if the cause is right, but these are not my fights. I don't understand them -- they are beyond me.
I never intended to control worlds. The power required to do it makes me arrogant. I care less about my people. Any people.
I almost wiped out a city of thousands today because I was annoyed; because I simply didn’t feel like going to any extra effort.
If we win this war, what sort of things will have won? Who would I be when it ends: something I would recognize or something I would instinctively kill?
I do not want this fight. I cannot win it and remain myself.
This past week has reminded me that I am not made of the same material as father's bronze statue by the shore, but of the same faithless flesh and bone that I have been up to my elbows in daily, more then any masochistic fish-monger or butcher.
I've learned more about this underwater city, called Rebma, they have a great deal of magic. they also seem to enjoy indulging themselves, and being virtually naked, as if sodom was cast into the sea, and just continued it's ways to spite the slight. An Aqua-Sodom, if you will. While my initial favorable impressions have been diminished, but even this revised evaluation might be glib.
The queen here also seems to have enamored enough of my sperm donor, some one called Corwin, to give me a half sister (more on her later), and try a failed rescue attempt for him. I find the queen, Moire, an enchanting personality, and it was that that kept me from wretching during her talking of the "man".
All I will say is that his wisdom in child rearing is only equalled by his skill in avoiding incarceration when he wasn't traveling across shadow destroying lives as the johnny appleseed of insemination. My sister never met "dad" either. Moire wants us to help bring him out of the hands of chaos, but I am not at all sure that I am prepared to do that
I was able to use ol' Mojo, that writhing mass of tentacles, tubules, tendrills, glands, and gas bladders, that offered us those many nights of wedded bliss, to aid in the restoration of the queen's sister, Llewella, a extracted former prisoner of chaos. She had locked out her mind from external tampering, and we were able to use a combination of my abilities, and her magic to pull it off. I made some special prothestic limbs for llewelas missing limbs that were take away from her during her captivity, pretty proud of the design actually. I am also slightly awed by the tenacity of my patient and look forward to aiding in her recovery.
I didn't have time to have an exchange with my cousins (for that matter even indulge in a smoke) save Fineas, I was eager to talk with him to see if there was a possible connection there, he is still well bred ,and pragmatic, but he seems to be a little too accustomed to paranoia, and intrigue, I how this hasn't degenerated his values structure to a constant stream of social darwinist arguments where he always places himself on the top of the pile. We discussed the ongoing saga of my aunt flora, the undulating trollop, I suspect that she was tampered with in ways the people here cannot detect during her time in the hands of the enemy, my misplaced trust in her may prove doubly damning if this is the case.
I also had the chance to spar with the local guard, who are all very good, while it wasn't as fun as my own people it wasn't bad, I think I will bring them some of our rum. they also have a shapeshifter on staff who is agreeable enough. I really need to return home to make sure nothing has been tampered with, and get a change of clothing. I should arrive just in time to commemorate what would have been our boys golden 16th birthday.
I made breif contact with my half sister, Morwyn, and she was on a boat far away from amber. this tells we will likely have a good deal in common, and that she has the good sense to get away from castle sanitarium. It might be real family after all these years.. I can't tell you how good that feels
The next morning, having declined the big night out with Chungo and Elmore,
I woke up refreshed and functioning, Sabine on the other hand responded with
a groan when I nudged her. I prepped an anti-hangover spell for her and let
her sleep a while longer while it took effect. I found one of the second floor
maids and asked her to bring us some breakfast and some hot water. When
she had returned with the requested items, she told me about Fineas'
prisoner. I ate quickly, cleaned myself up and proceeded to the basement.
I found Col. Sir Bors on the way down stairs and he told me everything that
he knew about her capture. We found her in the new standard Chaosian
confinement cage. Bors then told me that she had heal since last night...that
would have to be taken care of soon enough. She didn't say anything as we
(two guards, Bors, Jurgen, and I) took her to the newly renovated
interrogation room. She was strapped down and I asked her who she was and
which house she was from. She did not answer, so I rebroke one of her legs.
She asked who I was, and I told her.
"She wasn't a very good spy if she didn't know who Prince Fineas was". and I
rebroke her arm.
She then told me that her name was Lirazel of house Basilisk. It had the ring
of truth about it. I then hooked up some drugs and the anti-shapeshifting
poison and she told me that if I continued that their would be dire
consequences if I continued. I let the drugs flow into her for awhile when I
noticed that she had managed to shapeshift them right back out of her
system. The anti-shapeshifting poison was having no effect whatsoever.
She told me that we could make a deal, but if I continued I would be
responsible for the destruction of Amber.
In hindsight, my knowledge of shapeshifters consisted of the Weir and
Tanintheel, so I was grossly unprepared for what happened next.
Seeing that my way of dealing with things had not worked out as planned, I
trumped Toriana (remembering what she had done to her would-be kidnapper
in Dom-Daniel). Toriana was more than willing to help, almost giddy. It would
seem that she really likes to show off her abilities. Lirazel squirmed as
Toriana approached and made contact. Toriana muttered under her breath
that Lirazel was resisting, so I punched Lirazel hard to distract her. As
Toriana started to make contact Lirazel began to secrete fluids and gases,
Toriana said that Lirazel was trying to kill herself. Right after that Bors and
the two guards keeled over and started to have seizures. I started CPR on
Lirazel and yelled at Toriana to get us out of here. Toriana asked me where
I wanted to go and named several places, and I told her Anywhere as long as
it was not in Amber. As we commenced to leave, I told Jurgen to go and seal
off the Dungeon from the rest of the Castle.
We appeared in what must have been Rebma, based on all the water all around.
Lirazel regained consciousness and repeated her offer. (BLOODY, BLOODY
BUGGER) Based on what little I knew about shapeshifters she could have
blown herself up leaving us with no option but to watch the Castle die. She
must really want to deal. The Poison must have been a Binary. She had a week
to spread the first part, just in case of her capture. Damn and Blast! There
was only one way out. Since I was doing a pretty good job of being the bad guy
here, and Toriana was having too good a time being the insane heavy, I needed
to bring in someone that would be able to pick up on what was going on and run
with being the White Knight. That left Fineas. I looked at her and told her
that "I should have let you and the Guards die".
I trumpdd Fineas and provided him with enough clue's so he would know where
to take over. Right off the bat Fineas managed to distract Toriana by putting
the fear of Queen Moire into her, and she trump the Queen to let her know
what is going on. Fineas was a wonder to watch in action, he led Lirazel down
the garden path and in to the high walled paddock. Lirazel was going to find
herself in the same position as Dara. Lirazel told us more about King Svayhill's
Geas the Geas that her own house had put upon her. When a deal was reached
(Lirazel would cure those effected and we would put her under house arrest,
Also Toriana, Fineas and I promised not to torture her any more. He also got
her to promise to spead the rumore about Dara being a trator to Hendrake)
we were ready to head back to Amber and Toriana went into a several minute
long dither as to where and who and all sorts of things that were not getting
us back to the Castle. Fineas who looked to have had enough of Toriana dug
out his own trump and we went back to the Castle.
Lirazel was true to her word. Several of the guards were already beyond hope,
but Bors was fine. The inhabitants of the Castle were soon found to be pulling
long centipede's (blood creature's) out of their skin. This was the first part
of Lirazel's Binary, the gas was the second. I hate Shapeshifters. Fineas was
off to tell Lord Feldane and #2 about his deal with Lirazel and the Basilisk.
Lirazel seemed very happy dealing with Fineas...good. Fineas did make a joke
to Lirazel of marrying me to seal the deal and clearing up the Basilisk Geas.
I checked up on Sabine and I found out that since we (Sabine, Jurgen,
Gertruda, and I) hadn't spent much time in the castle we didn't have any of
the damnable blood beasts.
Things to ponder; The anti-spapeshifting poison (ASSP) didn't work, and the
Basilisk were willing to die before they gave up any of there information. I
send the information about the ASSP on to Chungo and Elmore. Next time I
find a Basilisk I should kill them out of hand.
I noticed that my meeting with Duchess Lornaya's man in Amber city is soon
so I take off for the City.
The meeting with Binx went well, I bought the House Nampara (only to find
out later that Gwenyth's trump of Dom-daniel had been removed). When I was
back at the Castle, Kelamon told me that it was in storage and since no one had
claimed I could have it, as long as I was willing to have some of the castle
guard along to make sure nothing "Wrong" happened with it. This was a good
deal and I took it.
Next I met with Duchess Lornaya who had trumped to the Castle to keep the
meeting (the nobles seem to almost live in fear of upsetting the "royal" family).
She told me that Mariana and Fritz were ready to be sent on to take over the
running of Nampara, but that they could not speak a word of Thari ( I found
this odd since I have no problem speaking with anybody since I was brought
here, in Shandora, Dom-daniel, Blekin or Hunac). She told me that a spell
would do the trick, and asked what kind of speech pattern I would like her to
have (again, this was very odd, but come to think off it everybody who had
claimed to have come from different places other than The Village had had
something done with there speech patterns). I told her a good clear mid-class
version of the Amber Thari would be fine. I meet with Mariana and Fritz
afterward. They were a bit scared of the changes in their life but were
holding up well.
Just after thanking Duchess Lornaya for her time and effort and conveying
her back to her Manse, I received a trump from Jacob. He asked me about
Azvan and Jeloram. I told him about the deal that Fineas and I made with him,
and that I was just about ready to go and collect him in Dom-Daniel. I told
him our contact with him in Dom-Daniel was a woman named Tananda. He next
wanted to know about the Chaosian I had Captured and I told him that I
thought that he already know about Lord Alcazar. "No, no, no" he responded
"the one that was spying in that Castle" I told him that that was Fineas'
prisoner and a deal had been cut with her. He muttered something about that
and said "Oh, yeah, that's right I kind of see you and Fineas as the same
person". Nice cousin, next time pay attention to detail.
I continued on about my up coming mission to "map" out the Shadow's that the
Hellgram's, Gryphon's and others were invading, and that Flora would be
providing the trump making part of the exercise. Jacob's face screwed up and
said "You mean she's useful?' Yes cousin. He muttered some more about her
time in Chaos and why she didn't escape earlier. When his mind had cleared
up again, he told me that he would be willing to gather up Azvan and take him
to Jeloram. I told Jacob everything that Fineas and I knew about him and
Tananda and Jeloram. I also told him of the rumor of the new cousin that
Flora had found by the name of Deigo. This also through Jacob for a loop. He
kept repeating "Who knew, Who knew..." He thanked me and signed off.
The list of things to do before I could head out to Jeloram was getting
shorter. Sabine, Jurgen, Gertruda and I Trumped to Hunac to meet with
Holrune and Derkon. I promised them "Shadow of there Desires" for there
service to Amber and I needed to take care of that before moving on. Each
of the mages Taste was quite different and not what I would have thought.
And since both of them wanted secure pathes to and from Dom-Daniel I
stopped in on Herb Mistress Gheen of the OCS to let her know about the
Basilisk's emunity to the Shapeshifting poison, and the need to make a
stronger version (I also left her a vial of Lord Alcazar's blood to play with).
Next, I took each of them out separately and brought them back to Hunac.
Along the way I talked to Holrune about a spell to keep the Chaosians from
burning up and after a few minutes he came up with a super cooling spell
(minor) that should work.
Back in Hunac, with the Tantric Love Fest Blowing through the air, I dismissed
Jurgen and Gertruda to their own discretion and went to the beach with
Tomorrow I will need to see if there is anything that Sabine wants out in
Torianna requests guards from Gerard and lets him know that she plans to pass herself off as an escaped Gwyneth, 'hiding' in one of G's lesser-known keeps in hopes that one of the Chaos houses makes a move for her. She also lets him know that auntie is being watched over in Rebma. Gerard inquires as to what she needs to pull this off. Gerard thinks she should pick up a shape-shifter sniffer. He wants her to consult with Hienrich to see what she will need to pull of the security concerns. She also asks to know when Dara will be gone. Gerard suggests setting up the construct at a neighbor’s house to watch her Aunt/Cousin/Whatever.
Jacob does secret stuff involving arrangements with Kelamon and Gerard.
Diego is at a spa and one of the guests wants to speak with him. She came with one of the regulars. She has a couple of her own people: bodyguard, maid and such like. She is very attractive. Diego looks her over and checks out the outfit. She looks like a movie star and claims to have read about him. She extends her hand to greet him and he gets an almost psychic jolt of energy from her handshake. Diego tries to look suave and offers a tour of the island. She seems to have studied his projects. He puts her on his expense account and prepares for her to be staying awhile.
He shows gives her the ‘special’ visitor tour, sharing some of his projects and culminating the whole thing in a private dinner, where she ruins it all by telling him that she is his aunt, knew his real father, and wants to take him back to meet the rest of his family.
Fineas is trying to determine how to get Prince Aquitaine to work with him. Fineas takes Breggor to Hunach and shows him the tantric love fest. Breggor has a very good night. The Kandive people guard him when he passes out from too much partying.
Swan maids trump him when they are on the outskirts of the Shandora capitol. Fineas gathers some local currency (rolls a drunken noble) and locates lodging in the city for several months, making sure the swans are properly attired for the area, since he is sending them on errands.
13 returns from the great night out. He hits Sabine up for a cure for hangovers and hears a rumor they have captured another Choasian. 13 goes down to visit the new prisoner and takes her to the fun happy room. He and Colonel Sir Bors prepare instruments of interrogation for the spy. He asks who she is. She doesn’t answer but instead asks who he is. He moves her into a chair and binds her. She gives her name as Lirazel. He asks who she was on her mission for; who the information was going to be sold to. She asks again who he is. 13 answers that he is Prince Fineas, just to confuse things. He tortures her for not answering his questions right away. She tells him that before he takes this much further that there will be consequences for his actions.
He trumps Toriana and she comes to assist with the questioning. When Toriana tries to overrun her mind (I am the Aurora Chair.) she resists and seems to exude a gas that takes down all the nearby the castle inhabitants. 13 and Toriana trump her to Rebma, where they believe the servants might not be affected (or at least there are less of them to die in Tori's house). 13 punches Lirazel -- hard -- in the gut and she stops her own heart.
They get her to Toriana’s house in Rebma and get her heart started again. She wants to negotiate. She offers the cure for the people now dying in Amber Castle in trade. 13 trumps Fineas and he comes to negotiate. She wants her freedom and Fineas is not prepared to allow that. Meanwhile, Toriana trumps Moire to let know her that this is going on within her city.
Fineas lays out the terms of negotiation. Lirazel is concerned with the Geas that affects all the major houses of Chaos (created by the King, forcing them all to try to conquer Amber) and how it will affect their agreement. Fineas proposes house arrest with a semblance of freedom. She is not allowed to make a deal on behalf of her house, but can do so for herself only. Lirazel ejects 10 little antivenim sacs and needles from under her fingernails to use on the victims in the dungeon area.
Jacob trumps Kelemon and requests of her to make a number of trump sketches of him. Kelemon brings Jacob up to date on what is going on in the castle. Jacob inquires about the poison exposure and how widespread it is. Jacob asks if he could send people through and she said that would be ok. He brings in a number of his 'watchers', who he then dispatches to various areas in and around Amber or out via other Kelamon trumps. Two are sent to Badger who is reconning the areas occupied by Helgram.
Diego is talking with "Evelyn Flaumel". She talks about where he was born and tells him more about his father (Corwin, apparently) and that he feuded with his brother. Diego asks who near her is hurting; he assumes someone in the family needs healing. Evelyn’s offers him power, and tells him that he could travel the world as he wished and even find whatever he is looking for. Diego tells her he has most of that. She tells him the family is not really immortal until they walk the Pattern. Evelyn’s lets him down as easily as she can about sexual relations. Evelyn asks for his help in regards to shapeshifting. She asks if he wants to go to Amber, eventually trumping them back to Amber and introducing him as her nephew. She introduces him to Gerard. Flora says she thinks Corwin is Diego’s father. Gerard goes through the deck and tells him who the people are, then takes him to the Pattern and has him walk it. Diego walks the pattern and reaches the center. He shifts as he is walking it, which is mostly startling only to his new 'family'.
Fineas trumps Toriana to have her check and see what things the spy had done to the castle. Toriana suggests he contact the two main Amber sorcerers, since they are technical experts (non-combative). Lirazel warns of an itching sensation and that it is to be expected during recovery. There are "blood" centipedes crawling out of people and they die when they get out. She suggests competent wizard could make amulets to keep parasites out.
Fineas suggests to Lirazel that she should not try and assassinate Dara and that she spread the news that Dara has made a pact with Amber. She would like one of Fineas' people to look after her, since she doesn't seem to like 13 and Toriana -- go figure. She says she is happy to be working with him.
13 is talking to Binks, Duchess Lornia’s real estate agent. He finds out Gwyneth's trump wall was removed out of the house it was hidden in. 13 is going to try and take the trumps back out of storage. He is purchasing the old house where the trump was. 13 counters the agent’s original offer. It will take a couple days for the paperwork to be done. His person at the house will be Mariana.
13 goes to meet with the Duchess. She is trumped to him because she knows the royal family does not like to wait. He has found out that Mariana is competent to run the household but she does not speak Thari. 13 can do an enchantment to help her and Fritz with speaking Thari. The Duchess wants to know whose vocabulary he would like Mariana to have. The Duchess picks out a midranked servant to use. Mariana is a little scared but she is holding up well.
Toriana talks with Fineas about working on the wards. Gerard trumps her and tells her about the new relative and to get him researching the spy's assassination tools. Antryg and Otaru come to help with the amulets. Berritt agrees to go with Toriana on her mission and checks out the two sorcerers. Toriana goes to find out the new relative to let him know what needs to be done. She tells him what needs to be done and sends Antryg and Otaru with him to assist.
Jacob passes Conner and Lonner to Badger. He pulls more people out of Fangorn and redistributes them. Jacob contacts Devon to find out if any of Amber's people are reconning in Jesby's current occupied Shadow of Johrom. They are having problems getting people in. Johrom has a new political leader and a new philosophy. There is more hypnotic and nasty feel to the place from the newly crowned leader. Azhul (one of Jacob's watchers) will be going with Azvan, a mage from Dom Daniel who is probably the best choice for recon, since he's a native of Johrom. Kelemon suggests that Jacob should get in touch with his cousins because they made the actual agreements with the person he is looking for. He orders a random servant to find Corey and have him meet him in the green room. He has Corey find him poor people’s clothing in Azhul’s size. He is then trumping 13.
Diego grows wings and tries to fly down the stairs, and the guards stop him. They let him know they are not used to that kind of thing. He politely shifts back to full human form. He is talking to Elmore and is shown what the blood bugs look like. Diego lets them know what tests he wants performed on the creatures. They do not really understand what he is talking about but they are trying to help. The bugs are created with minimal magic or no magic and they are simple creatures made to be sneaky. They grow up to about 6 or 7 times their initial size. In their initial size they change color to match their surrounds. He is going to work on a normal anti-vermin trap. They are not very easy to detect.
Diego takes one apart and makes one of his own bugs bigger than the ones they currently have. It takes quite a bit of blood. He puts it into a shoebox and pins it down and has it sent to Toriana. She is currently working on recalibrating her wards to include the new family friend. She notices the delivery person holding the package oddly and asks about it. He said people were giving it weird looks and she asks the boy to give it to Gerard instead -- she is very busy.
Fineas returns to Aquitaine and his tasks there. He picks up his good offical clothing. He brings Breggor and a couple of his dragoons along as well to his leased residence. He then sends a letter to the Prime Minister to let him know that he is in this city and that he wishes to hold a dinner in his honor. He sends invites to the upper society people he is aware of. Towards the end of the day he gets a visit from the secret police escorting an older gentleman and a squad of 20 men outside. The guy is Ambassor Dolomay and he speaks with Fineas. He asks Fineas for proof that he is who he says he is -- easily proven. The ambassador leaves a liason to assist Fineas. Fin brings Phaedra and Petra along for this mission as well.
Fineas holds a fine dinner to honor his guests. There is much exchange of pleasantries during and after dinner.
13 is getting trumped by Jacob who asks about Azvan and what contracts he is under. 13 mentions he is going to be taking him to Johrom. Jacob offers to take Azvan and his own man to Johrom. Jacob and 13 discuss tactical situation and where to best use men. Jacob has information he would like to get from the spy next time she is questioned, specifically the location of several of the other Houses' troops.
13 knows that Azvan doesn’t go to Johrom very often and he doesn’t like his family there. He can get Jacob pointed in the right direction to talk to important people in Dom Daniel, but Jacob has a trump of him from Kelamon.
Toriana is recalibrating to ward both the houses she wants. She asks Heinrich if he is prepared to leave and lets him know it is going to be about 2 hours before she is prepared to leave. She then finds Kelemon and lets her know what to expect and what she is going to do. She is given a lesson about self protection from Kelemon. She sets up the "spy-on-Dara" contraption in the house Gerard has designated as appropriate. Toriana goes to get ready, cutting her hair and dyeing it to match Gwyneth.
Jacob grabs another page -- Mica. He attempts to locate Diego and the page tells him what has transpired today with Diego and that he might be in a foul mood. Mica tells Jacob about the bugs and poisons. Jacob pounds on Diego's the door while he's gathering this information. Diego answers the door and Jacob politely introduces himself and offers whatever assistance or support he can while getting settled. He chats some more with Mica, then trumps Fineas. Jacob apologies for interrupting Fineas’s dinner, and lets him know what he would like to get as far as information from the spy. They both agree that Hunac does not seem to be a likely target for the troops. Fineas suggests that Jacob move his mercenaries closer to Shandora and updates Jacob on what he learned from the spy. Jacob trumps to Dom Daniel/Azvan and takes Azhul with him.
Diego gives a copy of his journals to Gerard. Gerard gives him some of the family trumps. He receives one of all the cousins except Morwyn. Diego expresses his concern about Llewella. Gerard would like to test out Diego and see what his martial abilities are and discusses his oath to protect Amber. Diego wants to know what this does to protect his island. Gerard talks about the favorable trade agreements Amberites have. Diego eats his dinner quickly and converses with Flora and Gerard. Gerard eventually trumps Moire because Diego wants to meet Llewella. Moire allows him to go through to her and questions Diego on what he thinks he can do to help insofar as shapeshifting is concerned. He proposes to use the "mojo form" to assist with the healing and regaining consciousness. Moire agrees to let him try, but she will monitor him. He offers to check for Chaos implantations. Moire questions him extensively about the centipede type creatures.
Fineas mingles with the folks from Aquitaine and they exchange information. Fineas is honest and gives the details of what happens when the Chaosians overrun a Shadow. He mentions that he rescued Prince Eugen. They ask to meet with Fineas again in two days time. Fineas offers to take the liaison Dolomay to Amber so they can have a better understanding of the family. Fineas gives him time to prepare for the journey then takes Dolomay around to the major noble houses for introduction. They discuss the technology levels and where Amber's interests lie. Fineas suggests a marital allegiance to further Aquitaine’s relations with the Chandorites.
13 will meet with Holrune and offer to take care of his shadow-of-desire request, although Holrune is currently working on the tantric love fest. Holrune is looking for a kind of retreat for his Shadow. He wants a fortress and decent weather. He will settle for a fixer-upper. Hulrun wants his own little world. He needs to bring in his own people into the shadow. Holrune needs a sample of the Chaosian blood because he needs to see it to create a cooling spell to preserve the bodies as requested by 13.
Derkon wants a shadow with no gun powder, great nightlife, and beautiful women. 13 also inquires on Derkon’s opinion of the cooling spell. He agrees that the is the best way to do the preservation.
Toriana is perfecting auntie’s "look". She trumps Moire to let her know what is going on and not to be surprised of reports that auntie has escaped. Moire has promised to keep auntie in check while Toriana is pulling this off. She goes to auntie’s keep with her entourage in check.
Azvan was in the middle of a bar fight when Jacob trumped him, and Jacob joins right in. His watcher, Azhul, hides under a table. It was partly a magical fight with only Jacob, Azvan and his friends Tananda and Chumley on one side. Tananda introduces herself to Jacob during the fight and is quite... nice-looking. And friendly.
Diego tells Moire about how he defended his island from Chaosites. He offers her his minions for assistance. She trumps him to a medical facility where Llewella is currently located. Moire wants him to probe and see what is going on and if he can help. Moire is quite taken back by Diego’s mojo form. Diego probes Llewella for a couple hours and has a couple of lines to pursue for her treatment. It looks like someone else tried to wake her in the same manner a couple weeks ago to no avail. He gives Moire a very detailed and thourough report.
Fineas collects Prince Eugen and Dolomay and returns to Aquitaine in shadow Shandora. The prince has quite the collection of people in his entourage. Aquataine agree to back the Prince with a large army. Fineas asks if they are interested in any mercenaries and they say they are. Fineas wonders who is in charge of the war campaign. Prince Eugen remarks that he is. Fineas is warned by the sniffer that one of the men in the intelligence crew is odd. He is not sure what it is, but it is definitely odd.
13 sees how Derkon feels about the Shadow he found for him. Derkon would like to stay longer but he was not able to do so because work is calling him back. The lovefest in Hunac is calling 13 back to the Shadow. 13 tells the were that they can participate in the fest if they like, but they decline because they do not want to be energy-sucked. They go off to a different area not in the fest and have a fest of their own instead. 13 and Sabine do likewise and Derkon is left in Hunac without a date.
How are you able to do the "more..." feature?
Here's the steps:
1. Click on 'make an entry' on the main page.
2. Start a new entry.
3. Just under the 'main entry' box and the 'preview/save' buttons, there's a link that reads "[Customize the display of this page]." Click on that.
4. Check the checkbox next to words "Extended Entry Box". Don't bother checking or messing with the rest of them... generally not worth it. PLEASE don't check "allow pings", whatever you do, but you might want to check 'save buttons at top of screen' or whatever it says.
5. Click the "save" button.
That will add a standard "Extended entry" window under your "Main entry" window when you do a log entry. Whatever you want to 'hide' behind the 'more', you put in the extended entry box. I had shut it off initially because it simplifies the entry screen, but I have to admit that it is nice for logs and it keeps the front page cleaner. Diego was able to do it because I'd just set him up and I forgot to turn it off for him.
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
The trip I planned to Aquitaine was a pleasant diversion from the day to day grind of riding herd on my troops and family. I did not want to make a big splash at first. In fact, I thought a low key approach might be a bit wiser given the likely paranoia of those in power in Aquitaine. I would need a couple of scouts to find a suitable entry point since my knowledge of the shadow was limited to those areas now overrun by the Hendrake swine. Two of the Swanmays volunteered after a bit of persuasion and I sent them ahead with my trump under darkness to find a safe spot to enter the shadow. The lovely ladies performed admirably and soon I trumped in and began my search for lodgings with the morning light. Currency was an issue, so I used a little Pattern to "find" an inebriated noble and gently mugged him. Using the proceeds, I outfitted the swanmays and myself in local garb. We then sought out suitable lodgings for my stay in Aquitaine.
My initial residence was a small manor recently converted to a boarding house. I spent a short while listening to the local gossip and getting a feel for the political scene. With a modest outlay of cash, I had a formal dinner invitation printed and sent to the Prime Minister of Aquitaine as well as a few notables I had heard about in the local area. Fortunately for me, the man I mugged was not among them, not that he got a look at me in any case.
It was not long before I had an official visitation from the Aquitaine secret police wanting to verify my identity and purpose. Before the Prime Minister could agree to visit, his security concerns would have to be addressed. I happily turned over all security arrangements and offered every assistance I could to allay their fears. It worked. The PM accepted my invitation and I set the date two days hence, though I was forced to move location to a more suitable dwelling. I was assigned a liason from Aquitaine, a fellow who claimed to have seen me in action somewhere recently to assist in the preparations.
The dinner progressed well. After a pleasant exchange of converstion, we adjourned to the gentleman's lounge to get down to business. The PM grilled me as expected, wanting to know what my evaluation of the situation in Chandora was and asking about Amber's ability to hold off the hordes. I think he relaxed somewhat when I told him I expected to lead an offensive to retake Chandora. One does not go on an ambitious offensive when one is on the ropes. I mentioned that it was my intention to see Prinz Eugen placed on the vacant throne of Chandora and asked if the King of Aquitaine would see an advantage in having a deep debt of gratitude owed him by the future monarch of Chandora. It was amusing to watch the mental gyrations of the PM calculating how this could be used to advance his own career. He quickly saw the benefits and agreed to undertake arranging a meeting with the King to discuss the possibilities. To put his concerns about the health of Amber to rest, I offered to take my liaison on a tour of Amber to see for himself how things stood. Agreement was reached on all points before I began to get a trump call. I excused myself and answered.
It was Jacob, asking for permission to use one of my retained mages for a foray to Johrom to make problems for House Jesby. I thought this a capital idea and gave him my blessing. Time did not allow a full debriefing of each other, but I promised myself to get caught up with his doings as soon as conditions allowed. I was encouraged that Jacob felt the situation under control enough to leave Hunac untended and I resolved to grab the initiative from the Hendrakes in any case.
The following day I brought my liason to Amber to show him around. I did not dwell on the military defenses, but instead showed him as much of daily life as I could. I gathered Breggor and we made the rounds to many of the noble houses to make introductions and give the impression that all was under control. It is fortunate that my timing was such that we missed a great brouhaha erupting from the castle a short time later.
I had returned to Aquitaine with my guest and received the blessing of the King for a meeting with his council, Prinz Eugen and myself. In two days time we would meet and discuss my desire to retake Chandora with Aquitainian armies. A short time after this was arranged, I was trumped by Thirteen. He was somewhat agitated and requested my negotiation assistance with the chaosian spy I had captured. I stepped through to find myself in aqueaous solution. We were in Rebma, apparently in Torianna's manor house and the bedraggled Chaosian spy was under restraint but looked strangely triumphant. Thirteen explained that he and Torianna had undertaken interrogation of my prisoner and things had gotten out of hand. The spy released a chemical trigger into the atmosphere of the dungeon, activating a nasty neurotoxin that had been insinuated into most of the Amber castle population. She further threatened that if she were to expire, unspecified additional triggers would be released to finish the job. She needed to deactivate them within 3 hours or most of Amber's servants and guards would die.
At first I was inclined to slay her as an example of the futility of such tactics against me, but Thirteen was doing an admirable job of playing the heavy and had set me up as the good cop. I figured I might as well go along and listened to what she had to say. I wanted no interference from Torianna, so I advised her to contact Moire and explain what a spy from House Basilisk was doing in her realm. I had no doubt Moire knew already and I figured it was in Tori's best interest to be seen coming clean with the queen as soon as possible. I wanted to get my spy out of Moire's clutches as soon as possible also, so I negotiated in haste. In effect, I agreed to spare the spy's life, made available other chaosian captives for Basilisk to ransom and offered a limited alliance of sorts in return for deactivating the poisons, Basilisk help against Hendrake and intelligence about the other houses attacking Amber. The Basilisk spy agreed after securing my word that what I offered was in good faith. I quickly trumped us back to Amber and we began the decontamination process.
Once things seemed to be under control, I sent word to Gerard of my bargain and arranged to house the Basilisk spy outside the castle. I will need to check on her from time to time, so I left my minstrel with her as a liason. I figured he was the most expendable of my servants and I may need to sanitize him later if he becomes unduly under her influence. Gerard showed up to introduce yet another bastard cousin that Flora dredged up from shadow somewhere. Rumor has it he is the son of Corwin and seems to be a shapeshifter. My alarm bells went off immediately. The fact that Flora admitted to a couple of forced offspring likely to be shapeshifters and her fortuitous knowledge of Diego's whereabouts seems a strange coincidence. He will bear some watching, though he may be innocent of any harmful intentions. He seems a bit older than myself, though it is hard to tell when someone can alter their appearance so readily. I chatted with him briefly and he seemed to be a fairly normal fellow. If he is indeed the son of Corwin, he may be the obvious choice to go up against House Gryphon. He successfully walked the Pattern, so his interest lies with us now in any case. Before the afternoon was out, I had a brief exchange of information with Jacob. He will be moving against Jesby I think, leaving Hendrake to Thirteen and myself. Hopefully my new front in Chandora will gain us some initiative.
It was soon time to return to Aquitaine and meet with the king, so I stopped to pick up Eugen and a small contingent of his men and my dragoons. We arrived in time to meet the king and began deliberations. Our plan was eventually approved, though my staff sniffer detected something strange about one of the Aquitaine officers. I decided he would probably meet with an unfortunate accident soon, but I wanted to try and investigate him a bit further. We made plans, drank to the upcoming victory and set the wheels of state in motion. My next task will be to supplement the Aquitaine forces where needed and try to arrange for some additional allies.
The trick to getting anything done, as far as I've figured out up to this point, is to ask the right people; ask the right person for the right thing (or ask the right question), and you can shave weeks off whatever your working on.
In most cases, and with a few exceptions, the "right person" usually isn't the one you'd expect.
Kelamon's starting to understand that I don't have much time to sit and chat and that I don't call for no good reason. That helps, considering she's the only trump artist we've got that doesn't need a good ass-whuppin' most of the time. I got her to working on a few things for me, while I started sending my boys out to their new tasks. Rivan's job I had to okay with the Regent, but as long as you talk slow, Gerard pretty much nods and goes along with things.
The castle was a mess while I was there -- some sort of assassin poisoned a bunch of folks. I checked on some that I knew the names of and left some gold with Nelson to get to the families of the few that'd passed on, then I set Nelson up to keep an eye on things and spent the rest of the day moving people around... it's getting to the point where what I mostly need is more eyes (just like the old days), and none of the eyes we've got are where I need them, so I have to take care of it my own way.
Suits me just fine.
Along the way, I found out from Thirteen (who's certainly been keeping occupied) that we'd acquired another cousin, apparently tracked down by Flora. The idea that the woman did something useful was almost as much a surprise as Thirteen telling me she could draw trumps, but that bit of info got me thinking about a few things: dear ol' Aunt Flora can draw trumps and managed to hide this trick from her jailers in Chaos for something like fifteen years.
If that's the case, why the hell didn't she just get out of there? She can track down an unknown blood relation through all of Creation in a few days, but in fifteen years she couldn't tie ten hairs together and paint a picture on the floor with her blood and a little eye shadow? Doesn't smell right from where I'm standing. They say she might even have left some kids behind in the Chaos house that held her.
Doesn't exactly simplify things.
Still, the fella she found seems alright. I stopped by his door and made my introductions before heading back out. Just before I finally left, I called Fineas and got caught up.
One thing about Fineas - in the time it takes most folks to get started saying "hello", he and I can tell everything that needs tellin', plan out the next two weeks, and play a game of checkers. He's about the only one around here that reminds me of Random. I don't know if I trust him exactly, but I don't know if that really matters right now.
My last job for the day was getting ahold of a Dom Daniel mage we'd reached an understanding with. I plan to haul Azhul and this fellah into Shadow Johrom where the Jesby are hiding out. The mage, who goes by the name Azvan, is a native of the place, and I figure there's a good chance he can get an idea of what's going on.
Azvan ain't much like the sorts of hand-wavers I'm used to, and that's a compliment. When I got ahold of him, he and a few friends were in the middle of a bar fight with a crowd of unfriendly regulars - I joined in out of sheer relief; it's a hell of a load off to just be outnumbered and cornered in a bar with a bunch of fellas trying to cave your skull in. Nice and simple. Also, if most folks in Johrom are anything like Azvan, I think Jesby's gonna be busy for awhile.
All in all, it was a fine end to a long day, and I didn't miss the castle in the least.
Okay, the categories have been redone and fiddled with. (Randy, god love yah, but mess with the category names on pain of death, I swear :) Pictures have now been associated with the categories.
A word on the categories: most are self explanatory.
Background & History is also for retcons and various bits of 'filler' info Randy doles out.
Notices is basically for announcements of game times, I-can't-play-this-weekend,, or blogmin things like this post.
Powers also includes things like Randy's posts on how far/fast/long we can run/walk/jump/lift, etc. Basically, stuff having to do with the rules of the game goes here.
Finally, a reminder, the little black 'dot' between the time-stamp and "Comments" on your post is a link that takes you right into Edit Mode on the post in question (assuming you have the clearance to mess with that post). Very handy when you spot a typo.
(Authors note: During the years since the death of his spouse, the scant few personal, non-scientific entries in Diego's journals have been written to his deceased wife, American Heiress, and former silent film star.. Jessica Mayer.)
Last night, for the first time in a decade, I felt genuinely alive. All I can try to relate to you is the sensation like a pleasant version of ghost-limb syndrome, when a person who has lost a limb swears they still feel it, as if I had a part of me long-lost brought back, only to be taken away in the matter of hours. God, I miss you.
It felt good to be near a woman after all this time. It was affirming to dine, drink, and dance, and more importantly to be able to trust. It has been so long.
After a supper on our yacht, she revealed to me that she is my Aunt, called Flora, and that I am a bastard and no tribute to the great man I had known as my father. This trollop has no idea the pain she has caused, throwing the septic materials of lies and deception on a wound that may never heal after your all-too-hasty departure from me. Later, I discovered that she had been a captive of Chaos; I suspect her time spent with their foulness was all too short if she continues to practice their tactics with her own family. There will be more on this.
I must unfortunately suspect that their claims on my lineage appear to be valid, after having been brought into the viper's nest that is my challenging new heritage. The king of the madhouse and my new found Uncle, is a man called Gerard; huge, and the strongest man I have ever meet - my suspicion was that a man of his size, strength, and sub-standard mental functioning could only fully satisfy his potent reprodcutive urges in the arms of a silverback gorilla, but society at large, and I, have had no such luck.
To my mind the greatest thing one can do to pay back society for your existence is to raise a courteous child, and Gerard was clearly incapable of doing that. Even when we lived in New York, the land of brats, was there never such a brat. My jaw dropped at the way his daughter conducted herself.
I am trying to make this best of this situation, I have managed to help protect the family estate from neuro-toxin secreting vermin and begun the process of helping yet another liberated prisoner of Chaos recover from a coma and restore her limbs in a strange underwater city adjoining the main estate. Being underwater in the process of an altruistic act makes me feel doubly clean, and I need it.
There are a couple of bright spots, however. I met a man named Jacob (just like our boy) who seems to be doing his best to make things out like myself, and another cousin, a gentleman name Fineas who strikes me as a well-bred pragmatist, so at least we will have something to talk about. As well, the current Queen of the underwater city of Rebma seems very reasonable and genuinely concerned for her sister, the second victim of chaos - it is a qaulity all to rare here, it seems.
I keep thinking of sitting on the beach reading "Alice in Wonderland" to our boys, and how it seems like Lewis Carrol wrote this new universe while he was having morphine withdrawl, or perhaps looking behind the curtain to see the great Wizard of Oz is a better analogy. The whole of creation is at war, going to hell on a bus, and the only thing that is saving us is the fact that the driver lacks the ability to read a map. For the time being it is "when in rome...."
No, change that to... "when in the sanitarium, pretend your Napoleon".
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
Today I decided to put my worries about Chaosian spies in Amber to rest. I outlined my needs to Sir John and he put me in contact with Ambassador Philip, the crown’s representative to the wonderful realm of the Weir. Philip was most efficient in narrowing the field to three potential candidates for recruitment into my spy sniffing corps. I was introduced to Barret, a youngish woman possibly in her twenties first. After outlining that I required detection only and no actual combat, she seemed happy to sign on. The next was Otto, an older fellow who seemed to be very competent and also willing to serve. The last was Dietz, a very young man still learning the ropes. I accepted the service of all three and gave them a couple days to prepare. In the meantime I spent some time producing trump sketches of each of them as well as one of the embassy.
We returned to Amber where I summoned Breggor to join us in an afternoon lark. I explained that we were going on a shapeshifter hunt and I would introduce each of them as my secretaries or aides de camp. Breggor seemed happy, especially as I explained we would cover our true purpose with a number of social occasions or parties, and it would likely be a bit of fun along the way. The first order of business was to educate my sniffers with the scent of Chaos. I contacted Sir John and arranged to have my sniffers pay a visit to our captives as well as various friendly shifters to learn the difference.
I discovered that there were at least three different classes of shifters. There were mundane shifters such as Weir and Swanmays, another class a bit more powerful (Tanitheel for one) and finally the type exemplified by Chaos lords and Amberites (or at least Flora). I learned Hellmaids are not shifters per se… a fact I found curious. Once my servants felt they had a grasp of what to look for, we set out to tour the town first to see what we might discover.
It was not long before Otto picked up the scent of a Chaosian. We trailed it to the castle and immediately had the exits sealed as quietly as possible. It became apparent that the quarry realized we were on its trail, so we disdained further subtlety and set out to capture the creature as quickly as possible. We eventually cornered it in an upstairs room and sealed it off. I positioned men outside to prevent escape through the windows. They reported seeing a woman climb out, then change into a demonic winged figure and attempt to fly away. Unbeknownst to be, the castle was warded against flying creatures and the quarry was swept away out of control towards the city. I grabbed some guards and made pursuit.
The foe came to ground near a shadowite temple and fled inside. We stormed the place and effected the capture of a female chaosian. After hauling her to the dungeon for incarceration and future questioning, I decided to follow the backtrail. We did so and found one of the castle servants had been murdered and impersonated for at least 2 weeks. We found some coded correspondence and turned it over to Sir John for study.
It occurred to me Rebma was probably also under illicit scrutiny so I trumped Princess Morwyn and warned her of what had transpired. She seemed confident that no such spies could enter Rebma undetected. I found her confidence to be misplaced, but I held my tongue. I asked her how Aunt Llewella was recovering and she informed me her physical rehabilitation was coming along but they were worried about her mental state. She was unresponsive and they were unsure how long she would remain so. I offered a couple of suggestions, but they seemed to have thought of them already and had no success. I wished Morwyn well and decided to check on military affairs for a bit.
Prinz Eugen was recovering nicely. I discussed opening a new front in Chandora under his command with an eye to putting him on the throne there with my backing. Eugen seemed to like the idea (imagine that) and suggested he get backing from Aquitaine. Tomorrow we ride out to make contact with Aquitaine and make some deals.
For Vitality and Movement when applied to living creatures, 1 point will give 150% of normal rather than nothing at all.
Air, Fire: 0=1kg, 1=2kgs, 2=10kg, 4=100kg, 5=200kg, 6=300kg, 7=600kg, 8=1 tonne casual lifting; items with lots of surface area lift far easier.
Water, Earth: 0=10kg, 1=20kg, 2=100kg, 4=1000kg, 5=2 tonnes, 6=4 tonnes, 7=6 tonnes, 8=10 tonnes; this is also approximately what they weigh.
Elemental Movement is part of Vitality:
Base (0 point) Air/Fire movement is 100kph, 1=150, 2=200, 4=400kph, 5=500kph, 6=600 kph, 7=700kph, 8=800 kph
Base Water movement is half of that.
Base Earth movememt is the same as water when moving through earth. On the surface, it's 1/10 that of Air/Fire.
Carrying things reduces speed.
Specializations are also possible.
I have been sitting thinking about all the ways things could go wrong with Auntie residing in castle Amber. I get the feeling everyone has been expecting me to make sure she is not in trouble and I have been a little lax in that regard. I realized this when I noticed her listening in on trumps. Now I can tell she is doing it and mom probably can tell, but the rest of the family seems to be pretty clueless about the whole thing.
So it occurs to me while I am hanging out in mom's Lynxian condo that I need to step up security in the castle. I get it all figured out and now I just need to make the contraption. I find myself wondering who else could build what I am building now. No matter it needs to be done, I must focus.
I need some more information before I finish this. I trump to Dom Daniel and find some of aunties *friends*. I know auntie has some woodsie kind of friend and I am going to find her and have a chat. This is a two-fold project. The Baba-Yagga woman tries to make me wait. Doesn't anyone know it is bad to make a princess wait, especially in times like these in Amber. I am not having it and I blow past most everything until she gets fed up and faces me.
I decided to plant information that auntie is missing and that I am concerned about her well-being. I need a cover story for why I am here and asking the questions I need to ask. Baba does not give me much to go on, but I imagine the rumors about Auntie should spread like wildfire. Baba does give me that the Basiliks are the ones who are the spies of Choas. I am trying to bribe her to capture one; I do not imagine it will do much good. I give her a sketch of me just in case she should prove more useful then I believe.
Now for the hard part, I need to finish my contraption and head to Amber and convince auntie not to use trumps and to stay in the castle. Oh yeah this should be a great conversation; I for one can hardly wait. What the hell am I going to say? When I trump back to Amber with my contraption there is all sorts of commotion and some person sniffing me because Fineas has ordered him to. This does not amuse me, but I have other things on my mind right now, more important things. I hear in the commotion that there was a Choas spy in the castle. I find myself wondering if auntie is involved, after all she told all too many family secrets to Baba-Yagga. I have just thought of what to say to auntie. I wonder if I can pull it off I suck at lying.
I arrive at auntie’s room and I enter it. I tell her that the person we are all looking for was sent her to kill her and that we need to move her to a lower level of the castle for her own protection. She says over my shoulder, “Hi Gerard.” In my mind I start thinking of the things I could say to him, but I don’t turn around cause I can’t face him right now if he is really standing there. I will wait for him to say something. Auntie decides I am not falling for her rouse and punches me. I stumble back a bit dumbfounded cause the bitch just hit me! She pulls a trump and tries to trump away but I’ll be damned if she isn’t taking me with her.
We arrive at her castle and she bellows for her guards. Oh this is so not good. We continue to grapple. Screw this she wants to play rough lets play rough. I grab her and from memory trump to my castle in Rebma. She is going to knock me out as soon as I arrive. I hope my guards are ready for this, hope they are worth what I pay them cause I am about to find out.
When I wake seconds later the bitch is holding off the guards with a dagger to the bottom of my chin. Enough fun and games screw this I am calling Moire. When I do this auntie shoves the dagger into the bottom of my jaw because she feels the trump energy. My guards nail her to the wall at this point. Damn that was one of my favorite tapestries.
Moire is willing to look after auntie and keep her from falling into the wrong hands and doing well anything basically. I am very angry I told Moire to do what she would with her. Moire kindly offers me some healing help. I will still need days for the cuts to fully disappear but at least I can pretty much talk. Moire offers me auntie’s head to rifle through as I see fit. Now on a normal day I may have had more will power but today she had hit me, broken fingers, and stabbed me. Yep I did it and I will take everything I want from her, no more games. I will need it to help Amber.
I am beginning to wonder when I will get to breathe. Ever since I was asked to come to Amber I feel as though most of my time is dictated by other people. This time it is Jacob who has decided he needs another trump. I just keep telling myself that he helped with auntie, but I think he is now again in the owing category. It is however something interesting that he needs this time…an air elemental trump. This takes me most of the day to do and I am pleased with the results.
I trump dad and find auntie listening in. How dare she intrude on his and my privacy like that? She is not acting like a guest in my father’s home. I kicked her off the line and told dad about Llewella and the jewel. He wants me to join him at his hospital bedside after I retrieve Amber’s jewel and return it to him.
Sir John leads me to the safe and using Gerard’s instructions I am able to open it. I take the jewel out and trump to Gerard. He of course has me attune his jewel. I feel like such a tool. This gem seems harder and redder. I am suddenly glad that only two people know I have attuned jewels, well maybe three, well maybe more but Moire would never let her people know. If they do know somehow I am sure she will make them forget.
I have a long talk with auntie and it does not seem to do much good. She injured the water elemental in the tank. I am going to have to keep a better eye on her she is likely up to something. I shall give this some thought.
I am going to talk with Moire about Llewella. I am certain that she would want to know that her sister is alive. I know she is going to do something about the situation, I just do not know what. She is going to give me some assistance with Llewella. Moire quietly contemplates for some time. I have learned that when she is thinking it is polite to sit quietly and just wait.
I am sure she has lost her mind when she breaks the silence. She wants me to attune the jewel of Rebma. Wow is she pisted that Llewella is being held, that is the only explaination. I have never had ambitions to attune a jewel, let alone the Rebma jewel. It is bluish in color and it is like nothing I have ever seen or felt before. I guess she thinks I am now more of a threat. Note that it is more of a threat but not an actual threat. I could care less about ruling anything.
From what Moire has said Llewella is attuned to the jewel as well. I follow Moire’s lead and do whatever she askes me to do. This is her show after all and I am just a player. Moire executes her plan and loses some men in the process but she does manage to rescue Llewella, I guess we do it but mostly it is Moire.
I have some time and do a dozen sketches.
Gerard rewards me with a hug for rescuing aunt Flora. There are times when dad reminds me he is really strong. Hugs are definitely one of those times. I never wonder if dad could kill me with his bare hands, I already know the answer.
I talk with auntie about nothing in particular. I figure it is good to remind her that I am going to show up on her door even when she doesn’t know I am around the castle. Yes she is my aunt but Moire doesn’t kick people out of Rebma without a reason. We have never talked about it and I would never ask either of them why or what happened. She sketches Jacob while we talk. At least she isn’t putting him in the same outrageously overdone hues she has been using lately.
Gerard takes everyone to a ship of the fleet. Mixed group of sailors are already aboard the ship. Hulrun is on the ship as well. I am not as comfortable on boats as dad would like. I do not think I will ever be.
Elmounds school sent slubs to Amber for mages. They are highly under qualified and no one is impressed, especially me I shall be visiting and see what they are thinking. Hulrun has created goggles to see demons in the water. We are briefed on what works in regards to the demons. Two women pop out of the water and start talking to Gerard. Actually they start groping him in public. I am completely appalled and I can’t imagine what mom must be thinking.
Jacob gets trumped by Griv. Jacob goes through the trump with Gerard and I in cloaks. Give and company will walk a broken pattern. Gerard will control the pattern with the jewel and I will be chanting pretending to be holding up a spell to keep attention from Gerard. I can pretend pretty well and it seems to work very well.
Flora and I talk and I am able to convince Flora that she needs to walk the pattern to put everyone’s minds at ease and to perhaps help her recover a bit. Flora understands the concern and humors me. Flora is then sent to her room to rest a bit. She will brief everyone when she is rested.
I am going to the edge of Chaos and try to get Llewella. No good she is drugged. I try waiting for a long time and she is continually drugged. I finally give up and go home.
I am going to work on the coins in Rebma and see if they are similar. I am working on setting up the stones to make the coins. I get everything in place where it should be and then head back to the manor for updates, footrubs, food, a hot bath and then retire to bed. I decide to trump back to Amber before retiring so that less questions are asked of me.
I trump Moire and give her a coin. She is very interested in making one herself. I let her know it is made with pattern. It is obvious she is going to try this. I would expect nothing less. If Chaos has a weapon we do not have it is a disadvantage. I am surprised she did not already know and try making one; her spies must have lost a step. I set up the coin making on autopilot.
I have this nagging question in the back of my mind that makes me wonder if the rumors of Flora are true. I find a servant and get help finding her things. They seem to be leery of assisting me in this matter. I am persistent and they finally do bring a box with some of her personal items in it. I take out her hairbrush with her hair and being thinking of a spell to locate her if I need to.
I find mom and ask her if she has a trump that will take me to the border of Chaos. I did not want anyone telling me what a bad idea this is and listing all the risks involved. I will not be talked out of this. I just need to know, all the cousins have their things they do and this is the one I am good at. I trump to the site and ready a trump boosting spell and concentrate on the trump great grandpa did of Flora.
Much to my joy there is a person at the end of the contact. She quietly asks who I am, I let her know who I am and she tells me she needs a moment. She quickly rips her chains out of the wall and kills someone with them and then she quickly has me pull her through the trump. She is even in this state quite lovely. She needs a bath but you can see her beauty. I take us to Amber without pulling a trump. I cannot be sure they will not be on me in minutes. Damn did I really just rescue Flora?
I politely ask if she wishes to be taken to the infirmary and she does. I take her straight there from the grand hall. She and I talk for a few moments and she wants to see dad. I step out of the room and quickly trump him. He thinks for some reason that she might not be in her right mind. I wonder what he means by that.
Jacob trumps me and needs me right away in Hunach. He needs me to make a spell to find some weird thing that may be wondering around. I get a sense of the thing from a nearby person. I do the spell and the thing is gone, and thank goodness from what Jacob tells me.
I think I can make an amulet with a spell to keep the thing away. I really won’t know if it works properly but I am sure it does. I trump Moire and give her one of the amulets and let her know the about the scout thing and what they do.
I hired an army of almost-human mercenaries in a country called Mülat. The ‘oscray’ numbered five thousand and looked stronger and tougher than the troops I’d found so far, though pry not as well-trained. The locals didn’t cotton to my bidding techniques, but after I posted the heads of a few failed attackers outside my tent flap they either gave up or couldn’t find any more stupid assassins.
I took the measure of my new troops in a frozen world I knew then marched them through Shadow, not really trying to keep various unfriendly critters out of our way. A few deserted but the remainder ended up with a week in Carnival.
Those that listened to orders in the ice, toughed out the trip, and showed up outside of town at the rendevous point 3 days after we came to Carnival... those were the ones I wanted. I ended up with four thousand.
During that last, Nelson finally contacted me. I brought him and the rest of my people through and sent them to specific places, then contacted Kelamon to get up to date. Things had been going on, but aside from acquiring an "ally" in the form of another damn female relative of dubious loyalty and questionable worth (I gather her name is Dara), nothing much has happened. She apparently commands the hellmaids, which might be useful. It'd pry be quickest to kill her and somehow keep her troops, maybe after acquiring whatever intelligence she has that's useful.
I’d suggest it, but I'm sure my cousins have already paved that road.
Turns out that Helgram pry knows that we know about their tantric magic tricks, so getting ready for that’s not really important now -- they'd be fools to try it, and they aren't that. I called Holrune and regeared the ritual so that we could use the power someplace else -- seems a shame to waste the effort, so we’re going to try to dilute the necromanticly-active zones with the bleed-off energy from the festival. Holrune managed most of it, and I created a few Sympathetic Receptors to route the energy and prevent any sort of counterattack. It went pretty well and I think we’ll try something similar for the second and third access points.
Here's the problem: we might have reached a point where we’ve made Hunac too damn much work for Helgram, and if they don't attack here, we don't know where they will, which is not what we were aiming at.
On the other face, it buys us time if Helgram opts for Fangorn, since the forest refused our offers to help. That’s fine by me: none of the troops I’ve gotten up (fifteen thousand by my count) are gonna set foot there. We can let those idiots fight their own battle and wear Helgram down for us before they die.
Gerard was spirited away from the battlefield while we stayed behind to second guess ourselves. Chaosians had fled or died, leaving behind spies and watchers on the outskirts, but in the larger sense we’d held the field.
Didn’t feel like a win.
Toriana and I chased off a few of the stragglers, and I imposed on her for a trump of Zariel to make my life easier. Afterwards, I retired to Lynxia, Shadow of the Spa and thought over a few options, none of which seemed particularly useful. Eventually, a thought came to me and I sent Zariel off to find Nelson and have him trump me (not having his trump was also proving a pain).
After polling the family, I went back to Hunac to discuss means of attracting the sort of tantric magicks that Helgram would be using to pierce the world-veils. Seems possible to instigate enough debauchery to influence the location of their best break-in point, since locating particular hot spots is impossible; Itzamna filled me in on some Hunac history, and it becomes evident that the whole damn place is a hot spot.
I went for a ride into nearby realms to think things over and play with the Shadows a bit... I’d no particular goal in mind with what I did and I’m not sure anything will come of it. We’ll see.
It occured to me that the magical aspects of what seems necessary in Hunac are right up Toriana’s alley, so I trumped her. She disagreed and was disagreeable to boot. I don’t know what her problem is with actually having something useful to do (instead of rescuing usless ex-whores and amputees from the Chaos Courts), but leaving me to organize a large social gathering and manipulate the mystical energy pertaining thereto makes about as much sense as signing up Tori’s Aunt Llewella for a triathalon -- at that point, the family’s not exactly playing to its strengths.
I tried contacting someone -- really the only person -- with the authority to tell any of us what to do, but rather than accepting an existing plan, the pain-killer-doped regent came up with a new plan on the spot, to be supervised by me and organized by a mage who’s never been to Hunac. How does one go that wrong in a single statement? (Granted, "we're going to engage in an open sea battle and we're relying on you for mystic support" runs a close second. Seems odd that both came from the same person's mouth.)
I thought the image of Llewella in a triathalon was rich irony.
I set the mage Holrune to his tasks and left him to it. Since I can (at least) see where my strengths do and do not lie, I set back into Shadow in search of more troops for the cause.
I was more successful at this than the tasks Gerard had asked of me in the last few days. This didn't really surprise me.
I left Amber for Hunac after the meeting with Gerard’s sister. She was comely enough; I gathered she’d been kept as a brood mare by one of the Houses, so using her as a source of intelligence was probably as useful as questioning an enemy’s pet parakeet.
Didn’t seem worth the argument to point that out.
In Hunac, I contacted the Organization. I’d noticed on our run into Shadora that their pet mages had been able to mask their activity, which seemed useful; I was looking for a tutor in the technique. A young woman named Itzamna was summoned for the purpose, and while waiting I had Kelamon connect me with one of Sir John’s leftenants, whom I questioned about how to go about assisting in Griv’s rebellion. He told me that the crown had several teams that specialized in training rebels to make trouble for regimes of which Amber is not fond. One was available, headed by a fellow named Dax who would instructed to contact me.
I’d been asking questions of the people in charge. It was obviously the people who actually ran things day-to-day that were better suited to answer. Good lesson to learn.
Mage-ling in tow, I trumped through Kelamon to Shadow Sei-bahtl and has her attune her spells to the local dynamic while I instructed Zariel on his role during the upcoming fracas.
I wasn’t looking forward to this fight; it wasn’t the sort of field I preferred, and we weren’t supposed to be using the sort of weapons I knew a damn thing about.
The results were everything I expected.
Theoretically, we won. I was fairly surprised that Itzamna survived, but then again I was fairly surprised that I did. The chaos lords died or ran away, and we lost far too many men and ships to call it much of a victory.
Thirteen told us afterwards (he’d been off somewhere else during the battle) that he’d captured and questioned a Chaos lord. The thing claimed that the next major attack on Hunac would rely on magick completely different than what they’d been using; this meant that our identified ‘weak spots’ were nowhere near where they’d now be coming through.
I managed to contain my enthusiasm for this news.
Back in the castle (second time in two days, for a total of almost 45 minutes, which was a personal record) I spoke with Gerard about Griv’s other problem; he planned to attuned a number of expatriats of the Courts to the power source I’d first shown him. The problem therein lay in the fact that it tended to kill a fairly regular number of those who tried to use it.
Personally, I thought it was a fine culling process, in that it killed those who would have been too weak to use it responsibly anyway. Griv didn’t agree, as he was hungry for allies with some semblance of power.
Gerard allowed that he could use one of Amber’s mystic bangles to keep the power source in line and also that it seemed a good use of his time, provided no one knew who he really was. We made arrangements for myself, the regent, and Toriana to meet with Griv at the Source, where some misdirection would let Gerard do all the real work from inside a deep and shadowy hood.
I didn’t bother telling him that half the critters from the Courts can see into shadowy nooks and crannies better than he could see in broad daylight. Didn’t seem a good way to end the conversation.
While the Regent and his daughter made plans and cleared their busy social calendars, I went back to Hunac and arranged to split the Persians between two of the less dangerous weak-spots in the fabric of that Shadow. The Romans I left where they were, sitting at the temple where Helgram had already tried to push through.
Gerard called us to Shadow Sei-bahtl to suss out useful tactics for the anticipated bloodbath. I couldn’t see where I’d be much as as much more than a well-armed grunt, but I nodded at all the appropriate places and showed several of my kin the technique I’d learned for laying power on bullets.
Everyone in attendance was very happy with a silver-coating technique they’d come up with for their bullets. I suppose it would work fine for normal troops, but coating come off; I decided I’d stick with slugs that were silver through and through.
One of the sea-princesses that Gerard’s made friendly with knew quite a bit about summoning water sprites and the like. I gathered they all did. We exchanged notes on the subject, among other things -- remembering what we were fighting for and all that.
Following that, Griv contacted me with the sketched he’d taken from Nelson and I took the regent and Toriana through.
There wasn’t much to it: Toriana chanted nonsense and waved her arms around (I’d imagine that Griv, who served a Shadow Mage for over 300 years, wasn’t fooled) while Gerard did the real work of keeping people from dying. I gave Griv the non-sketch trump of myself along with appropriate warnings about losing it, and Toriana studied his face for a bit. We shook hands and that was that. He hadn’t know anything about the whereabouts of Gryphon House.
Back in Amber, which questioned one of Gerard’s sisters that Toriana had somehow rescued from Chaos. As the timeline of events is recounted, Thirteen realizes that technically I’m something like Random’s heir and that Random was the last one officially named for the throne...
I ignored him.
I sent Zariel off on errands to the hinterlands, annoyed (and not for the first time) at the difficulties we’ve had with communication between ourselves and our forces. One of the unspoken benefits of working alone is that you usually never have to deal with communication lag.
The Hunac “Organization” is working better than I’d hoped. In all honesty, they’re the one completely competent group I’ve encountered up to this point other than the palace guard in Amber, and in Hunac’s defense, the guard has a much simpler job. The troop relocation, probably something they’ve never had to do en masse, is going smoothly.
Kelamon contacted me in mid afternoon, informing me that I might be contacted by Toriana’s aunt, who was apparently called Gwyneth and also something of a trump artist. Gwyneth did in fact call me not long after, but didn’t have much to say about her kidnapping (which is what I was expecting), even to say thank you (which I certainly wasn’t, since I’ve met her near relatives); she wanted to schedule a ‘sitting’ where she could study me for a painting, but she wasn’t available immediately (prior appointment), and I didn’t want to commit to anything more than a day out. We left that lie, spoke about nothing in particular for several minutes, and I went back to my business.
The next morning Nelson contacted me via the sketch that Toriana had made for that purpose. Griv was in the area and wanted to speak face to scaly face. I did a little of that with him over the trump and arranged for a meeting a place we both knew; he was headed for the place of power I’d first shown him years ago after killing his then-master.
I cut the connection and thought over some of what he’d told me; it was almost all interesting and useful and worth doing something about -- it had been a while since I’d had news like that, so I enjoyed the sensation.
Griv had plans for a rebellion in Chaos, which I was in favor of just for the irony of it. Problem was he didn’t know a damn thing about rebellions and thought I might know someone better versed. I didn’t, but I had a notion that some of my newly minted cousins might. From Fineas and Toriana I learned enough on the subject to keep looking, and asked a favor of Tori regarding trumps before I headed back to Amber, and thence to Fangorn, where I placed a watcher or three.
I don’t care for relying on others. Doing so had me in a foul mood by the time I went back to Amber.
While recovering in Lynxia Sabine and I started to design a Magi-coin
maker. The design was fairly easy, but we would have to finish it off in the
shadow that we were going to leave it in. Later, after we were ready to
start actual production, I worked on the machine while Sabine made some
"coin-purses" based off of Fineas' mothers design.
When we were ready to go, I went looking for Jurgen and Gertruda. They
were mostly healed up and getting a bit stir crazy. We headed out into
nearby unknown shadow. We had to stop every so often so I could try and
pick upon a strong lay line. I finally found one in a off the beaten path
shadow in between Lynxia and Amber. Checking with the Shadow atlas I
could find no reference to it, so it was up to me to "name". Jurgen
suggested "Eichbaumgrossegleichnebenschwarzstrahl". A bit long and not very
imaginative. I asked Gertruda the name of the town that she was born in,
and she told me "Sigmarin, Sir". I thanked her and made a notation in the
Atlas with the new name of the Shadow as "Sigmarin".
While Sabine set about putting the Machine together, I started to make
the final parts to the machine. I summoned the Earth elementals to work
it, the Collectors that would gather the magic, the Capacitor bank to
regulate the energy, and lastly the Refiner to put the energy into the coins.
Everything was automated and it should be able to run for quite a while
without needing to be tinkered with.
With that bit of business out of the way, we continued on our way to
Amber. The Weir needed to check in with Sir John Gaunt, Sabine wanted
to meet with Elmore and I had to see if Chungo had found out anything
about Lord Alcazar's blood. Chungo was more than happy with the results
of his tests, Reading between the lines of his report I could make out that
Chaosian blood had similar properties to ours, but weaker. This was good to
know. Chungo told me that was draining off as much as he could from Lord
Alacazar for his "experiments". I asked if I could barrow a few vials, and
he willingly gave me some. I had plans for at least one of these vials.
Next on my rounds was the Dungeon. I had to see if Marayka had been
released yet. As I rounded the corner I could see that she had not. I
walked up to her cell and woke her up. She stirred and was not looking at
all healthy. The first thing out of her mouth was that if I had returned to
finish my interrogation. I told her that due to the information that she had
given me, and the capture of Lord Alcazar, Lintra's heir, Princess Dara had
been rescued from the clutches of House Hendrake. I continued to tell her
that Regent Gerard had granted her and the Hellmaids amnesty on Dara's
word. Because of this she, Marayka, was to be released to Dara's
guardianship. I opened the cell door and Handed her one of the vials, she
immediately perked up and looked up to me and asked "whose is this?". Lord
Alacazars I replied. That brought a grin to her face. "Come" I told her "it
is time to take you to Dara".
The ride out to #2's Villa was mostly uneventful. Though I noticed that
the Whole time Marayka was trying to "enthrall" me like she would any
Shadowite. I could see the usefulness of such a force....no need to keep a
supply line, just "eat" what you find out in shadow.
Dara was very charming when I met her. We covered a very wide range of
topics. First off she thanked me again for rescuing her from the
Hendrakes. and next she wanted to know about Amberian Culture and Social
Mores. Having just been through that myself with Duchess Lornaya of
Chantris not to long ago, I was more than willing to give her the pointers
that she would need.
The next thing on her agenda was to tell me all about the "Geas" that the
King of Chaos (Svayhill) had put on all of the Houses. She then told me that
the whole war could be put to an end if all of the Amberites would agree to
be "adopted" by her and the House of Hendrake. I found this to be both an
odd and frightening proposal. I could see all sorts of things that could go
wrong with it. I told her I would pass on this information to the
"appropriate family members". We ended the afternoon talking about the
other houses and what they were up to in the war.
Just before nightfall I took my leave of Princess Dara, and rode back to
When I get back to the Castle I have a nice meal Brought up to my Room for
Sabine and I for a "romantic dinner. As we finish up she informs me that she
is going out with Chungo and Elmore for a night on the town at Bloody
Marlene's. Hmmm, new name. I told her to be careful, and she tells me that
no one in there right mind would attack three of the Castle Amber mages. I
chuckled, and informed about the night that Elmore, Chungo and I were
attacked when we left Bloody Able's. Granted they were no match for us, but
their are stupid people out there and of course the Baskalisk'a are still out
there kidnapping people. She promised to be careful and take a weapon.
With nothing better to do, I head out to the Chantis' to talk to Duchess
Lornaya about how I can pay back her house for there help, and to take care
of any dependents that Hans and Franz left behind.
After all the formal greetings the Duchess told me how pleased she was that
the training she had given me had taken root. We chatted about the war and
my participation in it. She wanted to know about Princess Dara and the
Hellmaids. it was a very pleasant discussion. I brought up the her families
help and she told me that they were glad to help. After a little bit more small
talk she did agree that House Chantris would not be apposed to a new Shadow
path to a new shadow. I brought up Hans and Franz, and she told me that
Franz had left behind a wife (Mariana) and child (Fritz). We talked some more
about #2's Villa and how I, being a Prince of Amber, should get a place in the
country as well. She told me about a place called Amalfi and a man in the City
that could find a place for me by the name of Binx. Duchess Lornaya also told
me that if I was to get a country place that that would be a good place to hire
Franz's widow. I thanked the Duchess for her time and left for Amber.
On the ride back to the Castle I wondered if the house with the Dom-Daniel
trump in it was still "Abandoned". I think that the name of it was Nampara.
I'll have to ask Mr. Binx about that.
Later that night Sabine stumbles into my room very drunk, and very giddy. As
she fell about the place trying to get undressed, she told me all about her
night out. The had the Idea to go in disguise and were attacked on the way
back home. After a few spell misfires, they were able to defeat there
attackers handily. With a sort of a power woman pose and chant she passed
out on the bed. Tomorrow I'll have to tell her about going out and drinking
with the BIG DOGS.