December 29, 2002
Diego's can't sleep bonus journal

A great many thoughts are running through my head as I dash down the steps leading to the underground holding cells, in anticipation of working out a considerable amount of pent up frustration on a very unlucky captive. On the way down I passed a caged monkey. It was in one of our secondary labs, frothing and rattling it's cage. it gave me pause to think...

Gerhard versus a near rabid chimp as regent of Amber

In favor of the Chimp
1- the chimp couldn't fling his feces as far
2- the chimp might bite whora
3- the chimp would eat less
4- no one would have expectations of the chimp doing anything to begin with
5- the chimp would be instinctually revolted by the taint of mass necromancy
6- the chimp wouldn't be subject to Toriana's guilt trips
7- even a rabid chimp knows the proper way to treat chaosites
In favor of Gerhard
1-gerhard might be nicer to small animals

Moire-
I had a long talk with her sister, who recommended I put aside my dreams of a real relationship with the queen in favor of my own sanity. Several bottles of my special industrial strength rum and I endeavored that very task this evening, but failed miserably.
I tried, I can't. I am too far down a slippery slope. Even I can see the analogy one might make of trying to make love to the Arctic permafrost. However I think a better analogy might be to having licked the pump handle on a frozen winter day, and finding your tongue stuck.
To a large extent me abandoning thoughts of her would be abandoning hope. I desperately need something that gives me hope. Outside of utter intoxication, and blind estrus, the only time I have felt entirely at ease, since contracting the Amberite pox, is around her. I don't suspect it is even possible for me to find a thread of friendship, support, or even respect in the infernal viper pit of my involuntary relations. Where am I to go then? It has gotten so bad my flesh starts to crawl during my brief periods of contact with Amber, and now that I sense tendrils coming out of the viper pit reaching to destroy my only forecasted chance at happiness. my lament grows even deeper.
The rumor has started going around that I traded a Hendrake captive for a date with Moire. I simply intimated that it would be agreeable to finalize any paper work she required over dinner, and drinks. No either or scenario was discussed. I suffered a loss to do what was best for all involved, besides...
1- only had fully realized storage for one chaosite lord
2- I lost over a thousand of my troops, and risked my life for the prisoner, so if i trade my well earned booty for a bag of magic beans, it is my prerogative
3-Moire had partial rights to spoils from the battle as well, because she contributed 8 to 12 battle mages, and to my knowledge was never even thanked
4-who would you rather have discussing Martin's release, the full resources of Rebma or me during a field mission? that is just want the enemy wants to have 2 of us occupied while they use whora spawn to recruit. we can't afford it. we can have rebma do it for free.
5- It is good for amber rebma relations
6- his more immediate family should have priority, I have no intention of practicing extortion in a family matter
7-Morwyn gave us a captive her and her tritons gained in the last battle
8-I wanted a prisoner, I got a hostage

these were the reasons I gave to Gerhard. since news has already reached the regent, it is reasonable to assume it has reach his daughter, and the whore. They both are popular, and well connected in Rebma. I have no reason to assume they would do anything benevolent with it. If they think any form of interference would be beneficial to themselves or Amber, they will be proven tragically mistaken. I hope they don't line themselves up for annihilation with all the other barriers between Moire and I. I have a very long battle ahead. I must begin to take the precautions against the covert surveillance I have been suspecting for some time. I consider this breech of privacy is most likely an affirmation of that belief. Given the conduct of the clan so far, I can ill afford to hold out a sense of optimism in this matter. I am a rare case indeed, an amberite born with a super-ego.

My personal struggles have grown more important to me, as I am finding it difficult to care about the greater war due to the increasingly liberal definitions of victory, and the war itself has become too multifacted. being concerned about what chaosites think is like an exterminator weeping over cockroaches.

Posted by at 07:10 AM
December 27, 2002
Fineas' Journal Session 22

The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber


22.

Day 24 PDS 9:00 PM:

I spent most of the day trying to put Tori's information out of my mind and arranging affairs for my new residence in Inakhos. Gold in the right hands works wonders for speeding things up. That and a little shadow shifting has made it possible to actually stay here for some length of time in relative comfort. The local cuisine will take some getting used to, but the people are straightforward in their motivations and the climate is acceptable. I chose a medium size abode, one which indicates some degree of wealth but not so much as to draw unwanted attention. It has a music room, a library, four bedrooms, a large kitchen, a dining room and a sizeable parlor. I will require a couple servants for upkeep, but beyond that I should need no other staff. Tomorrow I begin my search for an assistant and a housekeeper.

Day 25 PDS 2:00 PM:

I approached the man I deemed to be the best source of information. His name is Karl and he is the manservant of the Director of Intelligence for the area. The Director is something of a klutz, but Karl knows his stuff and was willing to set me up with his cousin Olaf. In return for undocumented payments in gold, he will assist me in establishing an identity as a foreign importer on the lam from an unspecified hostile power. He will create a history for me, salt my file with mundane and uninteresting data and insinuate it into the official record. Olaf's job will be to handle my security and personal assistant requirements. I intend to pay him obscenely well to keep him loyal.

Day 27 PDS 3:00 PM:

My house has been established. Olaf has arrived and taken up residence in one of the rooms. I have given him free reign of the house and explained my simple requirements to him. So far so good. I have stocked my library with suitable material and will begin creating a trump of it this afternoon. My first lesson with Galina will be in a few days so I have time to brush up on my cello and violin beforehand.

Day 27 PDS 9:00PM:

Even when I am on vacation fate conspires to run me ragged. A few hours ago I was trumped by mother with a rather disturbing message. She had an unusual visitor who had arrived unannounced through the Well. It was the Queen of Air and Darkness. She had requested a meeting with me to become acquainted and hoped I could come see her right away. There was a definite hint of urgency in mom's voice so I agreed, begging for a few minutes to clean up. I quickly changed clothes, drafted a short letter explaining what had occurred and trumped Jacob. I briefly filled him in on what I was about to do and asked him to open the letter if I did not get back to him in a day or so. I then trumped into the Keep to face the music.

Mother was there and unharmed, though I could tell she was walking on eggshells. The Queen was there, dressed in black and exhibiting some unusual physical characteristics. She had feathers of a sort rather than hair but otherwise appeared human. She had a handful of thugs in evidence. I had no illusion that any sort of feat of arms could get me out of her clutches if she chose to become hostile. Accordingly I treated her with utmost respect without fawning over her. She would not respect weakness, so I showed as little as possible.

Our conversation began with a brief introduction and she asked me for a synopsis of my life up to now. I kept it brief but accurate as far as it goes. Before we got into too much gory detail about my personal life, I began to turn the conversation to her background, function and reason for looking me up. She explained that Benedict was interested in the new crop of cousins and had got her interested as well. She seemed to imply it was a desire to know the family for sentimental reasons. I did not buy it for a second. She obviously is evaluating us for potential usefulness to some scheme of hers. I hoped to divine what that might be so I inquired as to the nature of her power, her function in chaos and her exact relationship to the rest of us.

Her story is that she is the grandmother of Dworkin, forced by an ancient geas to spend her life protecting shadow from entities of the abyss. She explained that the binding power requires an oath to guard shadow and is the last power someone can take if they become an initiate. She is currently studying under Benedict and wants to keep him as happy as possible, hence her visit here. More likely she is discovering that Amberites make better grunts to hurl against the critters in the abyss than chaosians and wants to use or recruit us.

I learned from her what had happened to Bleys. He has been grafted to a parasite that continually keeps him drugged to drive him insane. To help him we will need to separate him from the parasite. He is very dangerous now and the Queen (who prefers to be called Zhartra) thinks only Benedict could safely approach him. Food for thought.

Other interesting tidbits of information confirmed that the unicorn (Amalthea) is our ancestress and also a creature from the abyss. She had an ally, some sort of catlike creature that I took to be the White Tiger reputed to have helped the inhabitants of the Tir, also a creature of the abyss.

I learned that Dad's sword Werewindle had been recovered and was held by a chaosian lord. She did not share with me who that was, but I struck a bargain with her. If she can recover it and present it to me, I will help her on one of the nastier creatures she must face. I will certainly regret that offer, but honor requires me to recover the family heirloom if I can. This seems the only way at present and I will need it if I am going to be afflicted with Logrus masters in every battle I attend.

The most troubling part of our conversation concerned my mother and brother. Both are minor initiates of the Well. According to Zhartra, it will eventually drive them mad as it did my father. She has offered an amulet for each that will use a bit of the binding power to keep their sanity intact. I believe her. I am sure that it will have an additional effect of establishing some amount of control over them and if I did not have a good reason to avoid taking that power before, I certainly do now. I will have to remember not to rely on either my mother or brother should I ever need to oppose Zhartra in the future. I will need to screen Werewindle should she return it to me as well.

Day 28 PDS 12:00PM:

I had almost finished with my trump when I got another trump. Gerard this time. Looks as though the Gryphons are attacking Avalon, the source of Amber gunpowder. I would dearly love to find out how they discovered its location and importance. We obviously have a traitor somewhere in the ranks. In the meantime I need to round up some troops and enter the fray yet again. Galina will have to wait.

Day 29 PDS 11:30AM:

After a hurried mustering of cousins and troops from a variety of sources, we beat back the Gryphon incursion. The bastards got away with some material from the mine before we could kill them all. In the event we snuffed one of the Pattern users and captured a second. They are down to three now, making it more difficult to justify allowing them to hold on to the Tir. We may just have to exterminate them all now and get it over with.

After the fight we had an impromptu meeting of the family to discuss the ethical treatment of prisoners. Between interjections of ďkill them all!Ē from Diego, the more reasonable among us carried the day and decided that depending upon the house involved, we would treat prisoners relatively well. All of this discussion was witnessed by Zhartra. I canít help but wonder what impression we have each made upon her. I decided to test her a bit and suggested she might make a good medium for exchange of ambassadors (and perhaps later prisoners) with each Chaosian House. She agreed to undertake that task with a few minor stipulations. Good! That should keep her relatively busy for a while, hopefully delaying the inevitable recruitment spiel.

Iím off to Inakhos yet again now that the fuss has died down a bit.

Day 34 PDS 6:00PM:

I have spent the last several days getting to know Galina. It has been nice not having to look over my shoulder very much and engage in civilized discussion with someone who has no inkling of my status. I almost feel normal again. Sadly all this must change as I have resolved to at least make her aware of the option open to her if she is willing to pay the price. Tomorrow I will contrive to catch her attention to realize I am more than I seem, much as she is.

Day 35 PDS 8:00 PM:

I have just made Galina aware of how things are, where she is from and what is required to take up her inheritance. She has requested to see Amber and see for herself how things stand. Now she has met Gerard, albeit in an embarrassing way and I can only assume others will soon become aware of her unless I can arrange to maintain her anonymity with Gerardís connivance. May the Unicorn have mercy on my soul.

Posted by at 03:17 PM
December 26, 2002
Cry Havoc Session 22 log

Cry Havoc- Session 22

Toriana and Jacob : Secret Stuff.

Fineas:

Fineas gets set up in a new residence in Inakhos and begins to make contacts with intelligence people. He takes the persona of a foreign importer and works out a deal with Karl (the secretary to the local intelligence director) to employ his cousin Olaf as an assistant. Bribes are paid and Fineas begins making himself at home. He begins to make a trump of his new library.

Thirteen:

Thirteen continues working on his negotiation with Incarnadine of House Helgram. He contacts Gerard to discuss the possibility of providing trumps to Helgram in return for their withdrawal. Gerard agrees to some limited trumps but does not wish to endanger any of Amber's trump artists. Thirteen returns to Glencora in time to oversee the arrival of new armaments to equip his growing forces. During that evening, Thirteen becomes aware of something being undertaken by the enemy. He wakes his people and discovers three groups of interlopers approaching at high speed. Thirteen directs Dara to evac much of the new equipment and forces to prevent their discovery by the attackers. The remainder stay to defend against the attack.

Diego:

Diego trumps Dara and offers her a chance to train with his new improved zeppelin and passes her a few of his customized weapons for use. Dara explains she has already trained sufficiently with Flora's dirigibles but thanks him for the weapons and offer. They briefly discuss the status of the prisoner exchange for Martin. Diego next trumps Moire and discusses aspects of his "Big Plan". He arranges to bring some specialized personnel to Rebma for Moire to meet. He reluctantly concludes his discussion with Moire and pays a visit to Kylikki to relieve some of his pent up passion. He then checks on his plan to gather a vast quantity of moon jellies as part of his mysterious plan.

Fineas:

Half way through his trump of the library, Fineas is contacted by his mom requesting his presence at the Keep of the Four Worlds. Apparently she has had a surprise visitor who has indicated an interest in meeting all the cousins, beginning with Fineas. Fineas deduces that she is referring to the Queen of Air and Darkness and replies that he will come as soon as he has a chance to clean up. Fineas quickly drafts a letter to Jacob alerting him of what has transpired in the event Fineas is taken or killed. He trumps Jacob, handing over the letter and giving a brief explanation before trumping to the Keep. Arriving at the Keep, Fineas is introduced to the Queen and they begin to become acquainted.

Thirteen:

Thirteen's force (which unfortunately includes a number of vampires) is hit by a Helgram necromantic spell. The majority of his vampires lose control and fall upon his own forces. Most embarrassing. He is forced to kill them all except for those who were strong enough to fight off the spell -- Kirsten, Von Klatka, Genevieve and (due to her help) her two minions. Thirteen begins openly using Pattern after he detects sorcerous Haste-spell Highways being used to send a mob of wargs (vampiric werewolves) from the north and a band of vamps from the south. Then a dozen garoux from nearby Shadow Inferno get Logrused in close by. It begins looking a little grim for the Glencora folks who seem to be the main targets of the attacks.

Diego:

Diego takes a number of Rebmans in training to learn basic shapeshifting. They have a difficult time learning close to Rebma so he brings them out in shadow for instruction. They have varying degrees of success. He spends a lot of time keeping them from killing themselves but in the end they are beginning to gain some measure of control. The next step is to get his moon jellies gathered into tanks, a trick that requires a little shadow walking to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. When he is done Diego brings a pet hound to Kylikki and alternates overseeing the beefing up of Vulnavian defenses with interludes with Kylikki. When he is satisfied with the progress on the undersea tunnels and other fortifications , Diego hies himself off to Dom Daniel to begin the establishment of his school. He has chosen an island currently guarded by a sea serpent as the future location of his school. He begins scouting for ways to subvert or kill the serpent.

Fineas:

Fineas questions the Queen and is sized up in return. He learns that the Queen is responsible for the subdual or destruction of nasty critters emerging from the abyss. She claims to be ancestress to most chaosian houses as well as Dworkin. She denies taking any sides in the struggle and claims to be here at the request of Benedict to learn more about the cousins. She asks a lot of questions about Fineas' background and mentions that the power of the Well is dangerous to one's sanity, particularly at higher levels. Apparently both Jasra and Rinaldo have become initiates of the well and the Queen has a way of stabilizing their sanity through the use of Binding-force amulets of her construction. Fineas indicates he has no desire to become a Well initiate at this time but will make sure Rinaldo is made aware of her offer. After the discussion turns to the abyss, Fineas asks the Queen's help in recovering Werewindle. It has apparently been found by "pit divers" and is held by a chaosite. In return for assistance in combating an occasional abyssal monster, she will secure the sword for Fineas. A deal is struck.

Thirteen:

The werewolves arrive and begin tearing up Glencora. Gertruda temporarily loses a leg in the fight, Jurgen loses a hand. Everyone gets a little beat up and the Glencorans lose more people. Most of the werewolves are killed but four extremely full ones stagger out of the village to try and escape. Badger is hurt pretty badly and is evacced. The wargs and vampires arrive and begin causing more havoc.

Diego:

Diego produces substantial numbers Blood Creature parasites and insinuates them into the prey of the prey of a few large fish which are sent to be eaten by the serpent. His plan works and the serpent begins a slow agonizing death. So much for its ability to eat magic. He briefly tries to negotiate with it but it is too violent to reason with. It dies and Diego sets his propaganda machine into motion. He quickly claims the island and begins importing workers to tunnel out the school. While work is underway, he pays a visit to the Bright Lady, the genius loci or shadow god of Dom Daniel, to show his respect and stake his claim. She welcomes the death of the monster and Diego's occupation of the territory.

Fineas:

Fineas concludes his interview with the Queen and returns to Inakhos. He quickly trumps Rinaldo and Jacob to fill them in on what transpired. Rinaldo indicates some interest in Werewindle and Fineas agrees to make it available to him when needed once it has been secured. Fineas relates the amulet offer and discussions about the Well. He then finishes working on his trump of the library and begins his lessons with Galina.

Thirteen:

The fight continues. At last the vampires and wargs are killed or driven off. A third of the Glencorans are seriously wounded and five are dead. Thirteen evaccs them to Lynxia. Scrounging up a force, Thirteen quickly counterattacks Corianopolis, sending his own garou in to ravage the city. He finds that the Helgrams have mostly pulled out, but not before arranging the previous fight as a way to show they are to be feared. One Hellmaid is dead from the scout force. Thirteen learns that the Helgrams have developed a spell to ignite trump cards and used it to isolate the scouts while they were attacked. Thirteen contacts Gerard to update him on the situation and begins setting up a new government.

Diego:

The hollowing of the island continues. Diego installs the moon jelly tanks as a filtration system and as a visual ornamentation. He sets up a new coin making machine to take advantage of the ley line nexus. When work is well advanced, he contacts Otaru and offers an affiliation/alliance with his school to advance both their interests in the political arena of Dom Daniel. Securing a cautious agreement, he then turns his attention to modifications of his new zeppelin design. While working on his scrying platform, Diego begins to think about his approach to seducing Moire. He begins to realize that his approach has been somewhat counterproductive. He begins to sulk heavily and decides to ask Llewella for advice. He contacts her and skirts the issue repeatedly until she at last figures out what he is getting at. She advises that he direct his passion elsewhere, or at least stop trying to buy her affection with Amber state secrets.

Fineas:

Fineas is trumped by Gerard and informed of an immediate crisis. The Gryphons are attacking Benedict's men in Avalon trying to seize the Amber gunpowder. A large force of large red anthropoids is besieging the main keep and possibly seizing the mines. Fineas comes through and quickly gathers what forces he can, also trumping every cousin he can find for help. Remans, Oscray, Expendables, Clackers, Samurai, Dragoons and Diego's Zeppelin of Death are all brought to Avalon as quickly as possible, largely en masse by Gerard using the Jewel of Amber. The Queen of Air and Darkness offers limited help in defending Benedict's men. Forces are allocated and the counterattack begins. It soon becomes clear the main Gryphon effort is at the mine, so the family converges there to try and kill or capture the Gryphons. The enemy realizes they are in deep doodoo so they begin withdrawing with as much raw material as they can haul. The Amberites dog their every step causing them to abandon all but a small amount. In the end the majority of them get away, but another Pattern using Gryphon is captured (Savaton, the diplomat) and one killed, along with a Logrus master dead and another captured. Diego Trumped in Morwyn and some tritons to help when the fleeing Gryphons went aquatic. A minor amount of raw material is taken by the Gryphons.

Joint Turn:

Gerard claims the prisoner and begins a family discussion on the treatment and disposition of prisoners. Diego repeatedly shouts "kill them all!" but is eventually overruled by the rest of the family. It is decided to spare prisoners where appropriate in the event some of us are captured in the future. Some discussion regarding spheres of responsibility is undertaken, but no concrete assignments are decided. The Queen of Air and Darkness listens in to all the discussions but does not partake until Fineas inquires whether she would be willing to undertake an ambassadorial assignment. He suggests letting the Queen contact each house and oversee the deployment of ambassadors in each direction. She reluctantly agrees but demands the right to screen the ambassadors for survivability. They will not be family members but should be at least BP initiates in order to get any real respect. At the conclusion of the discussion, she takes the opportunity to talk with Thirteen, Diego and Rinaldo.

Diego's interview is somewhat awkward given his dim view of all things chaosian. He holds his tongue for the most part but manages to give Zhartra a feeling for his talents and personality. Thirteen's interview is also amusing given his belief that this is all a simulation. The Queen obviously considers "adjusting" Thirteen's outlook but decides his delusion is not harmful at the moment.

Fineas:

Fineas returns yet again to Inakhos and eventually makes personal contact with Galina. Over a period of a few days, he gradually reveals to her that she has living family, explains the violent nature of the universe and tells her of her parentage. At first she is dubious so he arranges for her to meet Gerard. He forgets Gerard's trump answering technique and Galina gets a first hand experience of his strength. She becomes a bit more convinced of the truth of things and an arrangement is made for her to visit Amber to decide if she wishes to join the family or remain in safe obscurity.

Thirteen:

Thirteen oversees the return of troops to their origin and checks on the other Helgram infested shadows. Although apparently quiet, Dara thinks they are still occupied by Helgram. They discuss and finally undertake the creation of a shadow path all the way to the Dancing Mountains for the garou to follow.

Posted by at 02:56 PM
December 23, 2002
Diego's journal session 22

I have been staying away from Gerhard's demonic monkey house, however avoiding that place is a battle in which I will never be able to claim total victory. Now I guess I am giving amber that epithet prematurely, as now Gerhard's Demonic Monkey House Hotel Bar and Grill (chaosites half price) is more suitable. I can't believe they voted to "play nice" in our treatment of the captives. the phrase "men of amber" is even more ironic now. I may be the only regenerating shape-shifter in the group, but it is clear I am not the only one of us who can leave his testicles at the bar with impunity. They let a chaos queen who intimated threats to Moire listen in on a family meeting! The whore of amber even gave her a trump. could we be bending over any deeper? sacre dios!

Ever since attuning to the jewel, my dreams and daydreams have become more lucid. I had one dream bring back a memory that had been suppressed for years. When I was a young teen-ager, My older brothers had prepared a typical sibling rivalry trick on the boat a was using. they intended just to leave me adrift, but their was an explosion as engine caught fire, and rapidly spread. My mother observed me from the beach, and used her magic to bring my briefly unconscious body to the shore. this I remembered, and I remember seeing her burnt body on the beach. what I didn't recall was waking up in her arms while she was sobbing, telling me how much she loved me, as she got hotter and hotter cooking from the inside holding me tighter and tighter. I had burn marks from where her arms had been. later I found out that father had made it so she couldn't use her magic under penalty of death, because she used it to conceal her fling with Corwin. she used it to save me. one parent died that day, and took a huge part of the other with her. for many years the wounds would return whenever I was shape shifting under duress. it is not uncommon for old wounds to resurface from time to time, if you rush things, but this one was unusual. I have decided to keep it, at least for the time being, much to the alarm of kylikki.

I now know what the most valuable possible thing is.. peace of mind. so any gift amber can bestow upon me will never equal the infinitude of good nights sleep it has taken away. when Gerhard's neglect as a monarch intersects with his neglect as a parent, a weak point emerges that may be the destruction of amber. He had best show his spawn the meaning of respect soon, because my patience is not infinite, nor am I willing to enter battle with enemies on both sides. Not to mention what I am reading between the lines of what the queen of air and flatulence said about whora. Even the way people speak here is unsettling to me, I much prefer talking to the benevolent literally minded people of my home. This partially explains why my well couched comment to the tramp was picked up on.

Gerhard seems to be morally opposed to limits. people are good because they have limits, clackers are good because they have numerous limits, however my feeling grows that many of the immortals from rebma, amber, and especially chaos are like a herd of damned swine who refuse to leave their slop. Immortality is just a longer time to get a critical mass of unforgettable, unforgivable psychological scars, then expunge them via active and passive osmosis on your shorter lived brethren. They might refer to a superior ability to make judgments based on experience, but judging people who only live a lifetime with the emotional baggage of ten lifetimes does not strike me as justice. There comes a time to end it, and charge into the unknown, not letting death's door hit you in the ass. I pray a have the courage when my time comes.

The barometer of when to hear death's sweet cattle call should likely be how jaded you have become, not being able to enjoy the simple joys of men..forever trapped in an ornate cage of your own design composed of paranoia, and delusional self-importance. I guess that means... bottoms up...
una cerveza por favor

Posted by at 03:07 AM
December 21, 2002
Session 21 - Jacob

It was a restful thing, sitting around their dead cousin and talking about family -- almost like a wake, Jacob thinks -- but there were things to do.

By the time Jacob steps through onto the sand, Fineas has mostly finished burying the body.

Itís not inconspicuous. Since Fineas generally achieves exactly what he sets out to accomplish, Jacob can only assume that hiding the body wasnít the point so much as disposing of it. He also decides, in the whiskey-bleared succinctness that amounts to his current logic processes, that it is none of his business.

Stepping around the hand that juts out of ground and dropping his duffel, Jacob looks out over the sunset-painted beach, rotating the neck of a bottle between the fingers of his other hand. ďLooks like another complication has cropped up,Ē he says after several seconds. When he isnít angry about something, Jacob takes his own time with speech; to a cynic it might appear that he is first calculating the odds that whatever he is about to say would get him struck or shot -- not the calculations of a paranoiac, simply a little wool-gathering by someone who currently had the time to do the math.

Fineas thinks that isnít the case; Jacob doesnít consider (or likely care) whether his words will start a brawl, he simply wants to pare the final product down to the smallest possible package. In Jacobís world, something too large to carry in a saddlebag isnít worth having. Planting his shovel into a patch of sand that he knows doesnít have any part of the body under it, he takes a seat on a driftwood log. ďHow bad is it, and who does it affect?Ē he asks, knowing the Jacob appreciates it when the questions heís posed allow him short answers.

Jacob sits down across the body from him and hands over the bottle halfway into the explanation. Fineas doesnít feel the whiskey go down for the most part and doesnít feel particularly drunk by the time the bottle and Jacob are finished. Oberon, part of him, living as a poltergeist in their crazy great-grandfatherís head is sobering news in more than one way, apparently.

After a bit more talk, they call Thirteen and have him come through. He brings an entourage that he sends off down the beach, and Dara, whom he doesnít. The four of them continue to talk, handing around more bottles as the sun dives into the nameless ocean behind them. They build a campfire next to the dead man under the sand and talk about their family well into the dark hours.

By midnight the bottles are empty and they have a plan. Fineas finishes up with the shovel and joins them. Jacob is looking back at the smooth mound and the blackened circle next to it.

ďWho was he?Ē he says, his eyes flat and incurious.

ďOne of Corwinís,Ē Fineas answers, not looking back. Strangely compelled to further explanation, he adds, ďhe needed to die.Ē

Two small vertical creases appear between Jacobís sun-lightened eyebrows and his eyes move to Fineas' own. ďOf course he did.Ē His gives his head the smallest of bemused shakes and with that they leave the beach.

Posted by Doyce at 05:13 PM
December 18, 2002
13's Debriefing - Session 21

Transmission start....

The negotiations with Glencora went on for more time then I would like to
think about. She kept wanting to know about my power and why the "earth"
liked me so much. She didn't seem to be buying the whole "I-was-sent-by-
the-powers-of-light" shtick. She finally agreed, but insisted that she
wanted to know more about the difference between the Pattern powers and
the Logrus powers. Glencora is very perceptive, Hopefully I can keep her
curiosity at bay before I have to tell her anything important. Who knows
which of my allies could be a spy for the Hellgrams.

Next I talked to Boris and Ivan about places inside of Corialanopolis in
which a large army could be brought into. They told me that they could
think of a few city squares or the hippodrome. The hippodrome had been
used as a place of rebellion before, shortly after the Hellgrams had shown
up. The Hellgrams had crushed them with great efficiency. I was not very
happy about the Hippodrome and asked them if they knew of anything about
an arena or ampatheater. They knew of the ampatheater and they
described were it was and passed the info in to the rock. I looked over
there info and found that there were not many places in the city that would
be very good. The hippodrome offered good protection if we could take it
and secure it in a quick and efficient manner.

I thanked them and went in search of Badger, Sabine, and Dara. It was
time to go and gather some more troops. We had need of artillery, archers
or musketeers, an air defence, some more ground pounders. Part of the
reason was to give some more training to Dara (who was lacking in
technique), and to see if Badger and Sabine could learn to focus their
Broken Pattern better. While we are waiting for Sabine and Badger to
arrive, Dara reports on what her Hellmaids have been up to. The hellmaids
had reported been spied on, several attempted poisonings, kidnapings and
other things typical of the House of Hellgram. I was beginning to really
enjoy these people. They made feel at home.

The search goes fairly well. I can tell that I am going to have to spend
some more time studying the histories of various militaries, as well as
having Sabine learn the things that SJG had already taught me. Badger and
Sabine had some trouble with the navigating part of things. It would seem
that the Broken pattern does not allow for focused and defined searches.
You must know exactly where you are going to, and not search. A slight
flaw in the power...good to know. The first group we found were a shadow
of 1400's inglander Archers and some knights. The had been decided to
pack it in after there king had died. Showing up in a glow of light and gold,
I made them and offer of gold and transportation away from the Borbon's.
The Knights and Lords wanted to distribute the gold, but instead I divyed it
up to the men. This made the Nobles a bit angry (I could tell that they
were going to take a delivery fee out of the mens share), But the men were
very happy. The Nobles got even more upset when I told them that Sabine
was going to lead them to where I wanted them. Sabine soon put this right
when she took the head off of one of the least liked knights. They all fell
into line and were headed back to Glencora.

Next on the hit parade was the Artillery. Nice big mortars with exploding
shells. Explosives that would work in that accursed shadow that is. Not to
much of a hassle. Really. After a days rest we were able to find a crooked
Commander of a depot and captured some Gattlings and Mortars. The
carriages, horses, and some troops that haul it all. I also was able to get
some personnel that would be able to teach how to use them. Badger lead
them back to Glencora.

Working with Dara was both fun and painful. She kept trying to do things
like she had seen the Logrus Masters do things. I studied that, Just to
know a little bit about how Logrus worked would be a big advantage. Next I
had her work on searching for things, and how to feel other powers and
scan for things. When she was a little bit more comfortable on the how to
part of the exercise I let her look for something that would be able to take
out the Razorbeaks. We ended up in airy cloudy world. Dara had found
some sort of airborne Jellyfish. She said that she had seen these back
when she was a child in Chaos, and tried to find something on this side of
the universe that were similar. They would do fine. She told me that she
was going to take them to a shadow nearby to the Hellgram shadow where
these things would be able to live and feed until we actually needed them.

After some searching I was able to find some powder that would work in
the Hellgram shadows. I have wagon loads of it "sent" to Glencora for some
samples of Chaosian blood.

When everybody got back to Glancora I typed up a report for #2 informing
him of all my preparations, accomplishments thus far, allies gathered, and
my attempts to negotiate with the Hellgrams to just leave. When I was
finished I scanned about for any logrus use...detecting none I trumped #2.
Not exactly want I wanted to see...A full frontal of #2 with the Royal
Scepter more or less at hand. Several of the daughters of Agher were also
present. I smiled and did my best not to show surprise or shock and turned
up the charm a bit. Considering his position he was very chatty. I wanted
to sigh off as soon as I could, but he wanted to get a brief briefing of the
situation, When I was done he told me that bad things had happened and
that I was to contact Jacob as soon as I was able. I thanked him for his
time and told him that I give the report to SJG. He nodded and was gone.
Thankfully. Though I wish that I was able to record all of that so that
some day I could share it with Tori.

I trumped SJG and gave him the report and a longer version of the
briefing. He said that he would look at it and make recommendations as
needed. He also told me of Fineas' success in Shandora. Bully for him.
Now it was only the Hellgrams, and the Gryphon's to worry about.

With that done I gathered Sabine, Dara, Badger and Kirsten and I trumped
Jacob. He told me that he needed to talk, so he pulled us all through. He
and Fineas were standing around something that Fineas had been burying.
Jacob looked at everybody and said "this is a family matter everyone
except Dara get lost". He told us about his and #2's experience with the
mythical Dworkin, Some papers that Tori had, and some sort of super
weapon. He also told us about Corwin, Blayes (Insane), Benedict (shacked up
with Great-grandma) and some other little tid bits that Tori had bragged
about. He tried his best to make sense of the history as Tori had imparted
to him. Not much of it made sense. Sabin came up and told me that the
were going to head back to Glencora. I told her that I would catch them up
when I could.


Next Jacob trumped Tori and demanded the papers so that we could take a
look at them. From the sound of the conversation from our end...Jacob
would have hell to pay when Tori caught up with him. First we took the
papers back to Amber and compared them to the info that we had from the
Tir Tarngir Library. Some help but not much. Fineas told us that Flora had
access to computers and had been helping him with the Tir Tarngir Library,
so we should get her help. Jacob wasn't to happy about this, but anything
helpful would be good right now.

Fineas told us that we were in the Shadow earth. Flora helped and Dara
filled in a lot of blanks. The best that we could figure was that it was a
design for a "Madness Logrus Master Bomb". Not anything that any of us
wanted to deal with. Jacob Trumped Tori to let her know what info we had,
but she was in a snit and told him to take it back to the "Jewel Safe" in
Amber. Fineas was tasked with Helping Flora cleaning any files off of the
computer system. I talked to Flora about where she had gotten her Gurka
troops. She provided a file on them and everything that I would need to
now to find my own. She told me that I wasn't going to be allowed to get
them from this Shadow, but someplace similar would be fine by her.

When I got back to Glencora Dara Briefed me some more on the history of
the Family and of Chaos. Not at all like #2 had told me. Much, much
weirder. When she was done with her history lesson she told me that one
of the Hellgrams by the "name" of Incarnadine had made a deal to talk to
me and see what I had to offer. Fine I'll meet with her, I kind of wanted
to see what they would be like anyways.

We met in a shadow not far away and a Cafe. She was sitting behind a
table (the only one with a long tablecloth) and did not rise to greet us.
Dara whispered that most Chaosians can not fully mimic our appearance.
We greeted each other and Dara introduced me to her. When the food
arrived I had to do my best to nonchalantly get rid of the poisoned items
off of Dara's plate and drink. I found it odd that she would not be able to
sense this. Perhaps some more lessons when we had the chance.
Incarnadine did not provide much except that Blays was available to us as a
bargaining chip. Not much of a starting point. We talked at length for and
hour, trading threat and counter threat, but getting nowhere. I was in need
of a few clarifying points and needed to talk to #2 about them, so I
excused myself from the table (whispering to Dara not to eat or drink
anything while I was gone) and headed for another part of the room to
Trump #2.

Transmission end....

Posted by Stan at 11:26 PM
December 17, 2002
Headline News - Session 21

La Cita

"Prince Diego Does Damage Control: He heals Amber's needy"

The Times

"Lord Feldane Streamlines Amber's Business licensing system"

"A Value Added Tax Discussed for wartime fiscal needs"

"The Regent Gerard brings Prince Diego back in line"

Le Progres

"Active war makes for active profits on the Street of Silks"

"The Royal Girls show great taste and nice baubles in night on town in Rebma"

The Herald Unicorn

"I'm so drunk! The Rebman mating call"

ShadowWord

"Prince Fineas Rumored to be taking over the Tir Tarngir front from Prince Diego"

The Shipping News

"Rebma aids in shipping lane patrols"

" House Chantris makes Trade Deals with L'Emporor Bono and Price Eugen"

Die Tageszeitung

"Pricess Toriana and HRH Morwyn do the town big time in Rebma"

"His Healing Hand: Prince Diego Raises the bar in service to Amber"

Gazeta Mercantil

"Lord Feldane has the Noble trade houses eyeing profits"

The Royal Way

"HRH Morwyn proves that she has the right stuff: Taking the rains in Rebma"

"Prince Diego Outshines his cousins by helping Amber's unfortunate"

Posted by Stan at 03:51 PM
December 16, 2002
heh heh heh

I love the scene where half the family gathers around the shallow grave of a liquidated cousin to discuss family affairs and drink enough to take the edge off the terror. No one bats an eye or asks who Fineas was burying. A heartwarming scene of increasing family solidarity. And completely spontaneous.

Posted by Trimmer at 09:37 PM
Session 21

Where oh Where is Everyone?

  • Thirteen is in Glencora.
  • Fineas is at his estate.
  • Jacob is in Texorami, sailing.
  • Toriana is spying around the Tir moon.

Thirteen continues negotiations with the high witch Glencora. Glencora can tell that Thirteen is alien, like the 'new powers to the south', but that the earth welcomes him while it hates them. Dara is also welcomed, mostly; she gives them twitches. Thirteen is looking for a map of the area and the rulerís castles.

He meets later with Dara to talk about Helgrams and what they are going to do now. The hellmaids are trying to get the details on what is going on but it is not going as well as it could. Dara says it is typical Helgram runaraound. He meets with Dara, Badger and Sabine about rounding up more troops. They decide to head out all together. He is looking for medieval type troops in need of rescue. Thirteen begins to negotiate with the leader of the troop. They come to an arrangement. He goes and finds the gold to bribe them with and personally distributes them to the troops.

--

Fineas packs up some gear and puts someone in charge of his estate while he will be gone. He takes a day to run errands and get everything up to snuff before leaving. He also checks in with the guy he has watching Lirazel.

Fineas then departs to Shadow Earth; he trumps there, meeting up with Floraís people. He is trying to gather information on Oberonís book. They have been able to determine some jokes that were hidden in the books. Fineas is looking for a gunrunner, Jan van Eyck, son of Eric . He has to fly on a plane for the first time.

--

Jacob is sailing and getting information from Tananda. She tells him about the new gun that the enemies in Johrom have like a ray gun. He asks about how magical shields work against them and discovers that Flora ran Tananda through the broken pattern.

Jacob trumps Gerard. He answers and they discuss the Chinaways Helgram skull and what to do with it. Jacob also asks what the best use of his time might be. He suggests Jacob might be able to assist Thirteen and that he have Kelamon trump him instead. They discuss the issue of Tir, then something happens and they are both Trump-sucked (tm) to Somewhere Else.

--

Tanitheel has Toriana look at an area for making a trump. She calls several times for her to look at areas, then they both come back and report to Gerard about the areas they saw. SECRET STUFF HAPPENS.

Thirteen sends a force of troops back to Halloween land. He is now off to find archers. He finds archers and he and Sabine go back to Glencora. He tells Dara to use her own abilities that he has now taught her to go get an air defense. He will tag along so she will not be alone on her first mission after the training sessions on recruiting troops. They find airbag like creatures, very similar to some creatures familiar to Dara in Chaos, that will work for, literally, songs, music. He steals some mortars and works on getting some powder.

--

Fineasís plane lands. He has read some articles on a serial killer that is causing some havoc. He rents a taxi to transport him from place to place. He is in Germany tracking down the serial killer -- easy as Flora's people have a magical tracer on the creep. Fineas surveys the alleged hangout for the killer.

After a period of time a van comes out of the hideoutís basement. Fineas uses pattern to make the car not function properly. The driver gets out and goes inside with the broken belt. The other 3 people do not get out of the van. Eventually they get out of the van and Fineas does get a shot but the guyís ear is all he hits. Looks like he got only his ear. Fineas reloads and shoots again and the shot goes through him. Fineas tries to fire again and the goons try and drag the guy away before he be shot again. The third shot doesnít hit him because he had to go through someone else. The fourth shot is going for the gas tank on the van. The van does explode and Fineas has to move to see what happened and the guy is crawling towards the hideout. The fifth shot is another headshot and the main target is down.

Fineas trumps back with the body and disposes of the body. He goes back to Floraís people to let him know that the task has been successful. They break out champaign and celebrate the victory; they'd wanted to kill the man themselves for decades.

--

Jacob and Gerard are facing a big beefy guy behind a desk that looks like Oberon... Gerard says, "Father?" and the man checks his big, Oberonish hands and looks horrified; he concentrates... he morphs to young Oberon... then to a young Dworkin... The guy throws some papers at them that turn into origami birds and fly to Gerard and Jacob and tells them to get out of there now, that Toriana would explain... and they are Trump-blown (tm) back to Castle Amber. Jacob trumps back to the boat and then goes back to the castle with Tananda. Gerard and Jacob get together for a stiff drink and trump Toriana and try and see what is going on. They find out that a bit of Oberon is in Dworkin. Toriana let him know that. The papers are something Dworkin was working on and he said they were for Toriana.

Jacob is about to lose his temper with all the information he has been given in the last few minutes. Gerard starts to lose his temper with Toriana and she is able to stop him cold with a guilt trip (tm). Jacob tells Gerard that things just keep getting worse. Gerard begs to differ, pointing down the hall where bikini-clad Tananda had walked by. Gerard calls in Rinaldo to man his desk and Trumps the sea-giantess Hrona for a date. Jacob trumps Fineas and goes through to him. Toriana tries spying but Jacob, the poster child for paranoia, brings up pattern defense. Pushing through it would be very obvious. Toriana trumps Flora and asks for her help but she suggests Llewella.

--

Thirteen trumps Gerard, who is very annoyed when he answers. Gerard updates Thirteen on what is going on with Dworkin. Thirteen says he will brief Sir John on the goings on. He updates Sir John on the state of Halloween. Thirteen trumps Flora and asks about the Gurkhas and if he can acquire some. She gives him a trump to go to Earth and get some Gurkhas from a nearby shadow of Earth.

Thirteen checks in on Kirsten. She is sparring and seems to have more power. Genevieve seems to be stronger then Kirsten. They both then go drain a cow to recoup.

--

Fineas is just wrapping up serial-killer corpse disposal when Jacob trumps through. He tells Jacob whose corpse it is. Jacob then retells in short version the Dworkin story for Fineas. Thirteen trumps Jacob and begins to spill everything in front of Dara, Kirsten, Badger, and Sabine. Jacob asks him to bring alcohol with him and Dara comes through the trump to. They discuss the situation with Oberon and Dworkin.

--

Jacob annoys Toriana purposely with repeated trumpings; she gets pissed off and finally just gives him the papers and tells him to figure it out himself. The four (Jacob, Thirteen, Fineas and Dara) go off and Fineas makes a copy for his/Flora's people. They make use of Flora's already-assembled crypto computer geeks and Ancient Thari experts. They do not get much off the papers other than information about logrus users and some sort of 'madness bomb'. It details Dworkin's reverse engineering the effect and deducing that it involved driving a logrus master insane -- much more insane than usual -- and binding them up as a walking talking madness bomb.

They discuss the strange power and how it connects to the queen of air and darkness. Dara explains there were some very early attacks on on Amber (many many years ago). They only got 2 of 3 leaders.

They decide they have to get the papers back somehow to Toriana. Jacob takes the papers back to the castle. He trumps Gerard and tells him they made progress on the papers. Jacob has to get in touch with Flora to find out if her people who were working on the paper analysis are trustworthy. He also tells her where the papers are for her to work on. Flora agrees to take care of any security risks on Earth.

--

Toriana hits Heinrich with the news they are going on a mission similar to the last mission. They are going to look for a Source. Flora is willing to help her find the Source or at least a Source. It is foggy and everything is vague, side effects of Flora concentrating on finding something without having any idea what it looks like. The search leads them to the Dancing Mountains. Flora and Toriana (and everyone else) are shot with sleep darts. They awake with hands tied and talking with great-great-grandmother. She says there is a price to pay for attuning this power and she doesnít think either of them would be willing to pay it. She chats with Toriana about how things are going in Amber and her agreement with Benedict. She demonstrates both the binding power and some kind of non-magical fadeaway trick.

--

Thirteen and "Incarnadine" Helgram have their lunch meeting on neutral ground. She wears a beautiful mostly 0ohuman form, though her feet remain hidden. They discuss what the intention of Amber is as far as invading Chaos and recovering relatives. Thirteen and her talk about the negotiations for one relative with a cousin who rescues people. She wants trumps or something of substance in payment for abandoning the Amber side of things. Thirteen and the lady exchange taunts about killing each other. She wants to give him Bleys.

--

Fineas is using an atlas to determine where he wants to go because he has no trumps of the area. He trumps as close as he can and around a bit to throw people off his trail. It seems like the 1820ís or 1840ís. He is looking for Galena in shadow. He flashes some money and some musical talent. She has nice teeth for someone in that era. She is a healthy good-looking woman. The underworld seems to be in contact with Galenaís maid. The maid is also selling the information to a government agent. Fineas raids the office and night and reads all the files.

--

Jacob talks to Ahzvan who is getting better at broken pattern. Jacob is going to have to meet Ahzvanís mother to talk She is trying to do human customs to make him feel more at home. They are looking for someone to take out the communication relays for circumvention of the power transferal required for the Johrom 'big guns'.

--

Heinrich is feeling bad about getting caught. Toriana sets him straight about who captured them. Toriana lets her hair down and parties the next night. Morwyn joins her and they go out and have a good time -- a very good time -- and catch up on gossip. They make a plan to go find Corwin tomorrow and also make a wager that basically comes out a draw. Toriana -- extremely drunk --trumps Fineas to let him know about Diego's 'use' of Tor Hendrake in exchange for a date with Moire. Fineas is on the dark-side of nonplussed about this information.

Posted by Jackie at 09:08 AM
December 12, 2002
Amber contribution number #3

Welcome to the most assured place to have a good time in Amber, outside of the street of silk veils.... all the town is wondering what the 2 tall oversized towers are going to be used for.

Welcome the chateau Diego
currently employing crews numbering in the hundreds, no expense has been spared in rendering the princes country estate one of the most distinctive addresses in all of Amber!
Designed for maximum hospitality, the main manor, and accompanying cottages, and cabanas can accommodate as many as 80 visiting dignitaries. while staying they may enjoy one of the many pools, horseback riding, the sumptuous gardens, private ecological preserve with zoological facilities, arboretum, games rooms, steam baths, or more. There is even a small medical facility, If they should injure during their stay, where prince diego performs some of his many acts of charity.
The overall design themes reflect the Prince's fascination with both nautical, and natural life withe liberal use of organic forms, and flowing water meeting with gothic.
in the publicly accessible part of the compound is an art gallery, and a performance hall that will feature entertainment from the prince's own musical ensembles, as well as lectures on a broad array of topics, currently scheduled are several on medical topics, a vulnavian cooking demonstration, and shadow sea faring communities, as well as performances form local troupes
also accessible to the public is the art gallery featuring works the prince's personal collection with ghost art, and native works from across shadow. attached to the gallery is a small gift shop stocked with items for all budget where all proceeds go exclusively to the war effort.

The tour wagon will start leaving twice daily within the next three weeks, advance appointments can be made by contacting The vulnavian offices in town.

Posted by at 05:33 PM
December 11, 2002
Dara's Primer on Cosmology and Ancient History

Uncle and Cousins:

Here are a few basic facts as taught to youngsters in the House of Hendrake.

In the beginning of history, the Serpent made a stable zone in or on the edge of the Abyss. Within the stability, shielded from often violent changes of the Abyss (changes that include the nature of time, space and matter) It grew stronger. It 'manifested' (dreamed?) the Logrus.

Later It spawned other creatures. Now, creatures out of the Abyss -- usually called Great Old Ones -- are each unique and are seldom designed for reproduction. The Serpent had to invent methods. All of them seem to involve putting a little of Its own life into the spawn. The greater of the spawn are usually called the Elder Kindred or Elderkin. The Unicorn and her brother, the Cat are Elderkin, as is the Mother of Dragons and many others. The lesser spawn include khrazall and many other kinds of demons, and our ancestors the first lords of chaos. There are many theories why the Serpent should produce offspring. Servants. People to talk to. Food. In any case, our ancestors were the last. They were also the first ones able to traverse the Logrus and use its power. With their help, the stable zone, the Courts to be, expanded. Occasional intrusions by Great Old Ones were repulsed, often at great cost. Some of them were bound and their power harnessed to further expand the Courts. Some of the Elderkin also became problems and were killed, bound or driven into the Abyss. The lords of chaos grew numerous and powerful enough to handle most things themselves; the Serpent rested. Lords of Chaos assigned to 'sing' It to sleep eventually became the founders of the priesthood.

Much later Dworkin and the Unicorn stole the Eye of the Serpent, AKA the Jewel of Judgment (probably a strange Great Old One itself and probably the tool used to manifest the Logrus) and created the Pattern. Matter became 'heavier', harder to manipulate but more enduring. Shadow sprang into being. Dworkin and the Unicorn retreated to the farthest reaches of the new space, made children and founded Amber, Rebma and Tir Tarngir. There were wars.

Dynasties came and went in the Courts. Records were lost. New Houses replaced older ones. Things passed into obscurity and legend. So, no, I don't know any details about how this madness-projecting technique worked or what the results were when it was used.

An important point to remember is that there are dangerous things scattered around Shadow and the Courts that have been bound for ages. Some of the Great Old Ones are supposed to be terribly powerful and overwhelmingly alien --and from a person raised as a Hendrake, that means something. There is said to be a cabal or gang that checks on the bound monsters and keeps them safely imrisoned. The Queen of Air and Darkness (whose commonest name, among Hendrakes, is Zhartra) is sometimes thought to be one of them.

The Church of the Serpent That Manifests the Logrus adds a lot of planning and detail to the Serpent's spawning. If you check really old Books of the Serpent against the newer ones, you'll see that much of the detail is of relatively recent vintage.

Posted by Trimmer at 08:18 PM
An Unsolicited Assessment from Fineas to Gerard

Assessment of the Tir Tarngir Situation


The Situation:

House Gryphon holds the Tir Pattern by virtue of control of the existing political rulers. Physically they have at least five Pattern wielders left under their control and an unknown number of Logrus wielders. Presumably they have a strong contingent of Broken Pattern as well. Their relative strength in the Courts is unknown at the moment, but I feel it safe to assume they are players in the coming struggle for the throne there.

From a military standpoint they have the potential to field huge armies. They have a number of inherent advantages in that they know the terrain and political situation by now and have enough power wielders to command several fronts at once (much as we have been doing).

The Danger:

If we wish to maintain our independence from Chaos, it is imperative that the Gryphons not be allowed to claim the Chaos throne while holding the Tir. If they succeed in grabbing both, they will become nearly unstoppable without an extreme alliance between Rebma and Amber. We can prevent this in two ways. Either we can boot them all from the Tir or we can make sure they are crushed in the Chaos civil war. In the long run, House Gryphon must either be convinced to denounce chaos altogether to make the Tir their new focus or we must kill/convert all their Pattern users to make them retreat to Chaos.

Possible Approaches:

If we choose to allow House Gryphon to be sovereign over the Tir, we must cut their ties to Chaos. This will require making nice with the Pattern users in particular while arranging the removal of the Logrus masters. Perhaps an alliance with Hendrake could be used to put down the Gryphons in chaos and hopefully kill off their ties by killing the Duke. We could use Dara as an intermediary with Hendrake to negotiate the alliance while one of the family makes overtures to the Pattern Gryphons. In other words work to kill off all their Logrus users while sparing the Pattern users.

If we choose to boot out the Gryphons altogether, we must begin a military campaign capable of destroying them. This will require killing or capturing all the remaining Pattern wielders early on as they are capable of recruiting as quickly as we are. Drawing off as many of their forces as possible to the chaos civil war will help. Some sort of deal could be worked out with Basilisk help to make sure Gryphons are ganged up on in Chaos. All family members will be required to concentrate on this front for us to be successful. Any surviving Morganna descendents should be located, contacted and assisted to put them back in control.

Recommendations:

Ambassadors should be sent to both Hendrake and Gryphon under guise of peace negotiations. The ambassadors should not be of the blood to prevent a hostage situation from arising. They should be expert in intelligence gathering but must be kept ignorant of our overall plan and military dispositions. Military preparation and intelligence gathering operations should continue unabated.

Rebma should be involved as little as possible. The fewer contacts Queen Moire has with the Gryphons, the less likely unwelcome interference will be. The temptation for Rebma to gain control of the Tir and therefore get the upper hand in Amber/Rebma relations must be avoided.

We should make our decision about which approach to use based upon intelligence received from the ambassadors and other sources.

Posted by at 01:05 PM
December 09, 2002
Flora's report on the Queen of A&D

The Queen of Air and Darkness (henceforth "QAD") managed by some means to track Toriana, 11 of her people and me to our temporary camp in the midst of the Dancing Mountains. She managed to dart our entire group with an extremely fast-acting sedative, possibly single-handed; I saw no evidence of anyone but her. There may have been magic or some power involved in concealing her and controlling some ambient fog. QAD revived Tori and myself, bound but not too uncomfortable. She wore a mostly human form, dressed in black leather or light armor. She seemed to be holding the rest stop from changing (something Tori had been doing before), as everything in the DM tends to do, with the 'Binding' power. She was armed with several knives, a medium sized sword sheathed at her back and four double-barrelled springbolt type dart guns with small magazines and 20' barrels of sturdy steel. QAD insisted Toriana desist in her quest for the source of the Binding power and claimed that acquiring it would entail an unbreakable Geas to perform some job; it sounded like a recurring duty of some sort. QAD claimed to have come to an agreement with Benedict: she keeps him for up to 5 years and they part friends, more than that and he becomes more and more unfriendly. She indicated that she wouldn't press her luck much beyond 5. She asked about the new members of our family, saying that both she and Benedict were interested. She evidently watched the Battle of Tulun and found it entertaining. She claimed that Dworkin had convinced her that the King of Chaos had transgressed or exceeded his authority in laying his geas on the entirety of the Houses of Chaos (spendthrift use of the power being the crime, I think, rather than the geases per se), and that she had eliminated the king as a result. When QAD left, she demonstrated an ability new to me: she faded away like a photographic trick, with no feel of magic or any other power I could detect; the effect took a full second and a half and appeared to require concentration. Given her speed in the recording of her fight with Benedict and this teleport trick, I believe she didn't need any assistants to dart us. I can't be sure if she used magic or not. I didn't feel any and the magical environment changes so fast in the DM that I didn't even consider trying any myself. She uses a trained or bound crow as a messenger and a distraction. QAD did not come off as arrogant or unhinged.

Posted by Trimmer at 09:41 PM
December 08, 2002
Fineas' Journal Session 21

The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber


21.

Day 19 PDS 7:30AM :

I trumped Ky-Tung to house sit for me while I hunt down Jan Van Eyck and put a slug through his brain. Of course I did not tell her what I was up to, merely that I had urgent business in shadow later and I wanted someone to keep the brownies busy. She seems to relish the thought of playing mistress of the manor and I certainly don't mind indulging her. Things are good between us, but I have a lurking fear that I may have to either break off our affair soon or risk losing her to the Broken Pattern. It would not be fair to her to lead her on about our future. The bottom line is I don't want to marry a woman who will die of old age long before I get my first gray hair. Either she must take the Broken Pattern to extend her lifespan or we should just end our affair in the near future before she becomes too dear to me to say goodbye. I dread broaching the subject.

I have an appointment with Feldane this morning to discuss his bug collection. I had made the promise earlier when I shanghaied Tanitheel from him and I want to get it over with. Hopefully he has an adequate liquor supply to keep the subject interesting.

Day 19 PDS 11:30AM:

I'm done at Feldane's and it was less painful than I expected. He is a bright fellow and the discussion turned to various natural insect venoms and their antidotes. Potentially useful information and after a while I got into the spirit of the discussion. The superb wine helped. Next stop; Flora's shadow Earth and checking on my ciphering project.


Day 19 PDS 8:30PM:

I got a trump to Earth via Aunt Flora and got an update from our specialists. They are finding some hidden information, but so far none of it has been of serious nature. Mostly hidden jibes, jokes, etc. They are still working so perhaps they will find something more interesting. I learned that Van Eyck had escaped prison yet again with the help of his female lawyer and had fled to a nation called Germany. She is dead of course. He is currently residing in a city called Hamburg, running some kind of illicit gun and drug smuggling operation. Coincidentally there have been a number of murders of women matching his prior exploits in that area. It will be a kindness to put this mad dog down. Due to my unfamiliarity with this shadow, I have arranged local transport. An airliner is what they call it. Very interesting.

Day 20 PDS 6:00PM:

I arrived in Hamburg and established myself in a hotel. Flora's agents have supplied me with gear and the latest intelligence. I have managed to take up a position outside Van Eyck's warehouse and am waiting for him to emerge. If he does not show within a couple days I may have to resort to different methodology.

Day 20 PDS 9:30PM:

Van Eyck is dead. It was not one of my better efforts. I had hoped for one clean merciful shot but in the event I had to take four shots at him, one at his van and one at a guard. He emerged from the parking area in a tinted window vehicle, accompanied by three or four men. I used a little Pattern to cause the alternator belt to break as soon as it emerged. One man ran back to get a replacement, but the others stayed in their vehicle for far longer than I had hoped. Eventually they emerged and I took my first shot. I incorrectly anticipated Van Eyck's first movements and only blew off his ear when I had been aiming for his temple. My second shot hit him in the torso, but did not appear to be fatal. He was drug behind the van by a bodyguard, so I shot through him into my quarry once more. My next shot exploded the gas tank of the van which served as an admirable distraction while I shifted position to get a clear shot. I finally got the clean head shot and dropped him for good. I retrieved the body and trumped out before the local officials could arrive.

Day 21 PDS 11:30AM:

I was just finishing my burial of Van Eyck on a deserted beach in another shadow when I got the tingle of a trump call. It was Jacob, so I took it. He asked to come through, so I pulled him in. He was obviously a little perturbed and was taking hits off a bottle of whiskey when he looked down to see Van Eyck's hand poking from the sand where I had been tamping down with a shovel. I gave him a very brief explanation and he seemed OK with the fact I had just offed a potential family member. He proceeded to fill me in on a few new bits of information that had come his way. It seems he had been in trump conversation with Gerard and got pulled in to an office where he saw Oberon sitting. Only Oberon wasn't Oberon, he was actually Dworkin. Except Dworkin had part of Oberon in his head as part of the fix that repaired Dad's damage. I took a swig from Jacob's bottle and listened to more. Apparently there was some grave danger to all of us and the whole thing had been plopped into Tori's lap to spearhead. I drained the bottle.

Jacob wanted to tell everyone, so he next trumped in Thirteen. Thirteen brought quite the retinue with him, including Dara. We more or less told the hangers on to take a midnight stroll along the beach while we talked. None mentioned the body I had been burying. We talked at length about the situation, brought in more booze and had an impromptu beach party complete with bonfire. Very surrealistic when you think about it. I somehow think Van Eyck might have been amused in his sick way.

By the end of the night, Jacob had gotten some papers that supposedly described the danger from a very petulant Tori. We trumped back to Amber to translate what we could, but it was soon apparent we would need help. We took a copy to Earth and put my numerologists and cryptologists to work. Quite some time later we had some interesting results.

Translation is not yet complete, but we have information implying the Chaosians have developed a sort of logrus based madness bomb. It appears to be devastating in effect but requires the sacrifice of a Logrus master to create. It also requires the strange power wielded by the Queen of Air and Darkness. Peachy.


Day 22 PDS 7:00AM:

We passed our translation to Amber for relay to Tori since she seems unwilling to take Jacob's trump now. If she won't take his, she sure as hell won't take mine. She probably already knows the information anyway, but I want to make sure we have all bases covered. I briefly considered bringing in and informing Diego, but decided that all of Rebma did not need to know this information just yet.

Late yesterday I made my way to Inakhos to research Galina. I have learned she is teaching at the University so I plan on enrolling in her class today and observing her up close.


Day 23 PDS 11:00 AM:

I have met her and learned a few things. For one, she has three or four students in love with her. Evidence of Caine's charisma no doubt. She is talented (of course), relatively attractive and is definitely of the blood in my opinion. I watched for any sign of surveillance and have identified two watchers. One is the fellow employed by Amber and the other is a low level secret policeman. I plan on tailing the policeman to find his office and burgle it tonight. I would like to see their files on her.

Day 23 PDS 11:30PM:

The break in was easy. Her file was there and I learned a few things. She takes her pacifism seriously enough to allow rioters to beat her up a while back. She healed completely and quickly. She had at least one affair recently but has turned down at least two marriage proposals. I sense she is stricken with the same fear as I, outliving any spouse. Perhaps she can be approached using that knowledge.

Day 24 PDS 2:30AM:

I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight. I am too agitated now. I was preparing to retire for the night an hour ago when I got a trump call from Toriana. A very drunk and naked Toriana. She proceeded to inform me that Diego had turned Tor over to Moire in return for a dinner date. Dara had mentioned that negotiations were in progress to release Martin, but I had assumed that they had been initiated by Diego. Apparently this is not the case and I am quite wroth at Diego right now. The fellow absolutely thinks with his dick. What a waste of resources. I could see it if he were getting troops or ships or trumps or anything useful, but a dinner date? I can only hope Tori is playing a joke on me. I had noted the missing library globe had been returned a couple of days ago and my opinion of Diego had climbed accordingly. Now I just don't know what to think. If this latest gossip is true, I hope she can keep it to herself. We don't need the family becoming the laughingstock of the news rags

Posted by at 10:56 PM
Journal, Toriana - 20

The World of a Princess
Journal 20

I have been thinking a lot about the creature I released and that a family member bound it. Flora helps me with the unusual coin it gave me, and she tells me what it is and what it does.

I do ultra secret stuff and discover that Bleys, Benedict and Corwin are the only olders who are alive. I guess Bleys is crazy and we should not go anywhere near him. Corwin made his own pattern and has fallen from sight since then. I know where Benedict is.

Jacob calls and he needs help. I go and help him and he has me hold a gate open for him and he is going to kill anyone who tries to hurt me. I guess this is a big plan everyone had and no one wanted my help except Jacob. Oh well that leaves me more time to do my own thing.

Jacob eventually has mom come hold the gate and has me fend off any logrus users interfering. We do get everyone through and mom goes back to Amber quickly. I am off to see what havoc I can make. I look for large gatherings of enemy troops and the first one I throw a fireball with a coin. This is really big fun. There do not appear to be any logrus users at this point or they are keeping low key and not using their power. I go around finding gatherings of enemy troops and have some fun with sorcery.

Things are going really well for me until I spot 1 really big guy and 2 other guys coming at me at an alarming rate. Hinrick shouts at me to get out but the big guy got his hands on me. Hinrick shoots him in the head and he releases me for a second and I trump away with Hinrick in hand. The troops are surrounding the big guy and his goons and are attacking them but the troops are being wiped out quickly.

The big guy pulls out a coin and starts to activate it. I attempt to do something but think I am not going to have time. The ring is so much quicker to access and I have time to blow up the coin he is using. There comes a huge wave of energy and people are twisted and come out abnormally. A cannon blast then has a shot at the big guy before I can act again and he is blown away because he has no magic left. Did I mention that he was huge?

I find out later this is the guy that had Julianís skull for a cup. Chinaway or something like that. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Posted by Jackie at 11:43 AM
Journal, Toriana - 19

The attempt to rescue Benedict failed miserably but there was an energy power there that I did not recognize and I want to know how it works and how to control it. If I do not know how to control it we will never get Benedict back and I want to know how to control it should I encounter it in the future. This is the energy used to bind the houses of chaos to the will of the king.

Gather Henrick and the normal entourage and trump off to find more of the energy so I can learn to manipulate it. We spend our nights in Lynxia and then trump back to where we were the day before. We find this weird tree that is all knotty and strange. We go back to lynxia to prepare.

I spend an annoying twenty days making the item I know I need to store the energy. I spend another 4 days recovering from what I had to do to make the item. This ends up being an iron colored ring. We trump to near the tree and and I find a root that is a ways away from the stump of the tree itself. I take a small amount of the energy from the root of the tree about what I had from Larizal. When I get that amount we trump away from the area.

I study more of the energy and the material. It appears to do some binding and unbinding. I think I could put a gais on someone if I had more of it.

Posted by Jackie at 11:20 AM
Journal, Toriana - 18

I have decided that we will be attempting to rescue Benedict. I am starting to gather the items I believe that we will need. I discuss what we will need with dad, and he isnít really very helpful with that. I trump Jacob to see if he is willing to help with this and he is not sure what he can add but is willing to help.

Diego sent perfume and jewelry. I guess he assumes that makes up for always asking for help but honestly I am royalty in one shadow and a princess in another and if I wanted jewelry I would get something a touch more tasteful. I am not some shallow shadow jezebel that you can get to forgive you for being inconsiderate by buying things for her. Whose kid is he anyway? If you want to get on my good side stop always asking what I can do for you and perhaps ask what you can do for me. Maybe some woman should kidnap and torture him so his issues with women would at least be founded.

This is the day when Diego has his party. I guess he wants everyone to be impressed because he has spent a fortune (because that is what he thinks makes people like you) and invited everyone. He gives a lame speech and takes a swipe at Flora, which is just deplorable in front of commoners, and devoid of class to do infront of anyone who is not family.

We are attacked by one of the Chaos houses and manticores. I trump dad to see what he wants me to do and he wants me to get the jewel. I run to get the lower jewel and see what I can do to help. I head to the castle roof with Henrick. I use the jewel to attack a manticore and what I did was use it to control him and get him to attack one of the other manticores. I hold the winner of the battle still until it dies.

I try and help Jacob with his battle but I am not able to. They are just moving a little to fast. A logrus tendril comes into view and I attempt to destroy it but it is gone too fast. It looks like the tendril brought in a centipede. I trump to Flora, who is in the battle, and try to help. The chaos lord jumps into the water and Moirwynn and her people take it from there.

Posted by Jackie at 11:06 AM
Journal, Toriana - 17

Diego again needs a favor and he is very luck that I am a nice person, because a lesser person would get very tired of continually doing favors for someone who never does anything but call them a brat. Does he not know that the servants tell me when he is calling me names, let alone the stuff he says about Flora. I am not sure where he is from but it is obvious that he did not have enough female influence or was not taught proper respect for women.

I talked with Larizal about Benedict and what happened the weird light that washed over everything. She is certain the King of Chaos is dead and the gais has been lifted. She also gave me a capsule that showed what happened to Benedict the last time he was seen by family.

I go find dad and I get a trump from Moire. I gather everyone in the castle and explain what she said about the king being dead. I also inquire about Daraís parentage. I figure if Benedict is alive she will be needed in a rescue effort. She is willing to submit to a DNA test to find out for sure. I have the data sent to the lab.

I wait for the results and work on a couple more trumps. Dara is Benedictís daughter is the confirmation from the lab. Gerard has the capsule and I figure if he wants her to see it he will show it to her.

Jacob trumps and he wants a favor, a trump of some shadow. Itís Jacob so I donít mind. He is there when I need him to be unlike some people who are just all about what you can do for me. Henrick gets the security we will need in order and we then trump to Jacob. I donít think this is a dangerous mission and it might be nice for the bodyguards to let their hair down and party a bit.

Posted by Jackie at 10:34 AM
Journal, Toriana - 16

Dad called me and wanted me to talk with Flora. I am still trying to figure out what is going to happen given recent events. Flora and I have a conversation if I can call it that and I get more insight then I perhaps ever wanted. She suffered so much at the hands of the Chaos lords. I have pictures in my head that I will never get out.

I returned Diegoís trump as he called when I was talking with Flora. He wants a teleport-blocking spell when I have time to do it. I then trump Jacob and give him a couple coins and try to talk to him about Flora because I am certain that he has the wrong idea. He really doesnít want to listen at this point.

I get trumped to the Tir and start to reinforce the teleport barrier the castle sorcerers have erected. I do not have long before the attacks will start coming. A logrus user and a pattern user attack me but I was able to keep the barriers up as the Chaos lord has just burned. The barrier is eventually not under attack anymore as the pattern user has fled and I scour the castle looking for someone to take out. I find a Chaos lord and pull a coin and mind link him. Game over for him and we have a prisoner who knows what is going on.

I delivered the prisoner to the dungeon. I get a trump from Moire and it seems Diego has taken it upon himself to share everything we get from the spy with her. I have to deliver the full report because of course Diego only makes the deals but is not so great on the follow through.

Posted by Jackie at 10:21 AM
Diego's dairy session 21: The perils of Hatching season

It was late when I got down with dealing with the battle aftermath, and I was beat, but I still wanted to show kylikki some of the island, so I bribed walter, my projectionist, with a gold coin, and set her up for our own private midnight screening of Snow White. I feel asleep on her shoulder shortly into the feature, but she seemed to love it, I think I might have a gorgeous blossoming viking cinema aficionado on my hands. She was even humming "Heigh-Ho" when I took her out to my private beach early the next morning to practice some skeet shooting, with just us and some clackers. I want her to be able to defend herself from everything but me. In short order the situation turns into a wonderful tussle in the waves causing us to dispense with the adult clackers for discretion

however I forgot it was hatching season.....

soon after we were too involved to notice promptly, We had at least 300 curious baby foot high whitish pink clacker hatchlings coming out of the woods to see what is going on, without the adults to keep them at bay. To make matters worse, in characteristic clacker fashion, they start trying to win approval by emulating our actions. there are crabs on top of each other, crabs thrusting pelvises in the dirt, crabs rolling around on their back kicking out their powerful hind legs by the score, and chattering all the time. I leap to the boat to get some covering for her, as she starts to cry, and I can barely toss her a sundress, before I am nearly doubled over laughing hysterically, making the matter worse. Then I shift myself for modesty, and try to explain that clackers don't work that way, and that is a people thing to do. I think 2 understood. Once she got dressed she started laughing. we had a nice breakfast, and then I set out for some trump time. what a gal.
I love my crabs- and this is a banner hatching season, I hope we find battles for them in the next few months.

I discovered talking to gerard can not be entirely like dental surgery ( with a pint of good spiced rum in me). He, and kelamon seem to somewhat trust me. If they considered me a threat they wouldn't have given me magic coins, amber gun powder, and, anti-shapeshifter drugs to research, I don't feel as paranoid now that I have these items under research in my facilities. I feel like I can breath. I do regret my agreement with gerhard has prohibited me from anonymously publishing my second song of disdain for whora, a simple evocative round called " If you've got no legs, don't come crawling to me." I am greatly pleased by the continuing saturation of the first slut of Amber opus. I have been feeling more creative lately, probably of all the left brain/ right brain contortions for Moire...

Those who have run so quickly to suckle the sour toxic venom that doubtlessly flows from flora's bosom, even when taking sides wasn't required, might be suprised to learn that their dear aunty whora has become the gold standard for my new behavior towards Amber. One of their local newspapers ran a headline that said "Diego insults his betters" after I expressed my sentiment towards my former aunts universally repellant conduct. My response was.... " If by better you mean doing nothing to enhance the prosperity or security of the kingdom for a millennium, then insulting the people your neglect requires you to recruit! simply put... Senora insulted with the bull, and Senora got the horns. " So I have decided that I will follow her lead, in order to appear more appealing to the contradictory values of the local populace. Besides Having major actions taken on my front without consulting me has exceeded my patience. Too many people depend on me, for me to dance with the devil while partnered with people who fail to see my worth nor afford me common courtesy. apparently here it is a lesser sin to personally impale your troops and suck out their souls then it is to hold people accountable for their behavior In Amber.

I have had just under 2 months experience with amber in my exisitence. It got off to a good start with adultery, then moved on to abduction, and torture, recently getting around to deception, and necromancy. I would not be suprised by genocide popping up on the list in the future. In comparision, I have known the wise and kind people of Mapungubwe for 300 years with two incidents of petty theft to report.

The new policy requires as little as possible presence in amber, and I am moving most of my experienced personnel to other fronts, I will keep the house for testing, and business. I will still be expected to contribute something. out of the choices of battle, espionage, recruitment, or research, I have chosen recruitment, because I would likely have very little support if injured or captured in battle, research would have to be shared, then could be used against me, and espionage is too dangerous without someone potent to watch your back.

so then who do I recruit? The ideal troops for my new goals are specialists that have little direct combat ability, and offer huge potential long term gains. If they take a good amount of time to recruit, all the better. this latest batch fits the bill nicely. I plan to use them extensively. I hope to get in as much research in on the side as possible. I already have my first coin making machine, sharing only what I deem safe.

later in speaking with gerard....
I tried to convey the fact to him, that the jewel of amber is a good way to bring family back, and that it is ironic that his nepotism, in the form of only having torriana attuned to the jewel, is keeping us from rescuing family.

Posted by at 09:50 AM
December 05, 2002
13's Debriefing - Session 20

Transmission start....

Things were going worse for Kirsten this time. I must have been too big a leap in
power going from Yohannes to Varnai. I sat and thought happy thoughts
like #2 taught me...trying to produce the outcome that I desired. Kirsten
was still thrashing though, and looking a bit gaunt. This can't be good. I
have one of the Castle Yohannes servants go and get some blood from a few
of the feeding cattle. Kirsten had eaten about eight pints already.

Sabine gave me the evil eye over this. See doesn't seem to think that this
is a good idea. I've told her that Kirsten is now part of the team. I take
care of my team members, and make sure that they are rewarded when
actions warrant it. Just like she could have died while walking the broken
pattern, Kirsten could be killed by this. That which does not kill us makes
us stronger.

Still, Sabin is not happy. She seems to think that I have been under the
influence Derkon. That the kindly, though now slightly drunken,
Necromancer has too much sway over me. I have a come back, but I don't
seem to think that mentioning to her anything about the "Power of the
Triangle" would gain me any points right now. She goes off to talk to
Badger.

I've tried to tell Sabine about my background but she doesn't seem to get
it. The Village is just too weird for her to comprehend. And I don't think
that she likes the implication that I do not think that any of this is real.
The conversation would go something like this:

"Do you love me?"

"Of course I love you...their is no other in the universe"

"But you don't think that I am real"

"Well no, not really. But it is nice to know that you are out in the universe
somewhere"

"Screw you and the Trump you came in on"

And that is the rub. The Village taught me not to trust anyone. Even if
they were going to be around awhile. One day they might betray me, or just
disappear.

In fact the concept of a Team is against what the Village is about. But I
did it. I do it now, and I did it then. I made sure that those under my
command were taken care of. Who knew when I might someday be put
under their command, or they might be the ones running the mind games on
me. I always liked the feeling that by being nice to someone might work out
in a positive manor for me in the future.

Ahhh. Some more blood. About five gallons of the stuff. Kirsten started
in on it like someone dying of thrust. I trumped Fenmore and asked him if
he could talk to Col. Sir Bors for me and get at least four pints of Chaosian
blood. Fenmore is a little taken back by this request, told me that he will
look into it.

The two Swan maids come (Hilda and Gilda) in and informed me that they
were ready for their next assignment. I instruct them that over the next
week they will need to go to several places. First off to Castle Von Klatka
to deal with that Vampire. Then to Castle Zherevyev to make a deal with
that Vampire, and finally to Glencora to deal with the earthy Rebmen-want-
to-be's. Though out of all of these, Glencora is the key. The others I
could just destroy and not have that much problem, but Glencora was the
breadbasket of the entire river valley. Badger and Kirsten have told me
that their troops are pretty good as well. Good horsewomen and good earth
mages. Glencora will also be a good place for a staging area. Troops could
be brought in and made ready without much of a drain on resources.

Alexander came in and crossed himself, He wanted me to know that the
Magyar Horsemen were just about ready. They have almost adjusted to
this reality and have been drilling with the Svitz troops. Good. I thank him
for the update and he leaves shaking his head.

Kirsten is done with the blood. She seems older, and a bit bigger. Her skin
is not as ashen and it looks fuller. Good. But soon she started to rampage
around again. Hmm, I am bleeding from a gash on my face the length of my
hand. Well, who knew she could do that. I guess that that must be the
"wound from a distance" power that she and Fandril had talked about. Not
a bad power, but I think that I will have to bend it to a more practical, less
threatening (to me and mine) use. Maybe I should influence her so she
would be inclined to use it against a mutual enemy instead of "just anybody".
There...it has stopped.

A trump call. It is the Colonel, and he has my blood. He notified me that
He really does not want to know what I am going to use it for, and hands it
through. I thanked him and ask him while I've got him on the line, I had a
progress report for him and the Regent about the Helgram front. He
thanked me and signed off.

I walked over to the IV stand and hooked up the Chaosian blood and waited
for it to take effect. Think good thoughts...think good thoughts. I Fumble
through my Trump deck and found Dara's card. I focused on it, and waited
for her to answer.

When she answered I could see that she was in the Lynxia hospital. She
told me that her Hellmaid would make a full recovery. I talked to her about
a plan to lessen our load against the Hellgram's. It mainly dealt with
allowing them to take as many of the Uber-werewolves in the next shadow
over, back to Chaos. She informed me that the Hellgrams were way to
cagey and would see that as a trap. But, if done properly, in the traditions
of chaos, some of them might go. She would send a few of her Hellmaids in
to check it out and see if a deal could be made. I thanked her for her
assistance and signed off. Looking over at Kirsten I could tell that she was
finally resting peacefully.

Great!

I left the Crypt and made my way to the courtyard. I found Ivan and Boris
there. I told them that they needed to try and come up with a place in
Coriolanopolis that was big enough to bring an Army into. They hemmed and
hawed for a minute, but said that they would think of some places that
might work. I thanked them and gave them a two memory rocks. I told
them that when they had a thought up a few place that would work to try
and think of them in as much detail as they could and give me the rocks.
They went off to the battlements to work on it.

It felt good to be in the sun again and I found Sabine and Badger enjoying
some wine, cheese and bread in a nice sunny spot. They were working on her
Broken pattern training. Badger had her working on hexing spells, and she
was doing quite well. Sabine was glad that I was done working on Kirsten,
and could now get back to what I should really be focusing on. Sabine likes
that excitement of the chase, the close fight, but large unwieldy campaigns
tended to make her fussy. at least that is what I like to think.

The next few days went well. Kirsten continued to gather power and
strength. I put my influence in when ever I could. The Swan Maids
reported in from Von Klatka's and all went well. Von Klatka's area and
militia were several times better then Yohannes' was. Von Klatka was very
eager to join when he saw the head of Varnai. We worked out a deal (Same
standard one that I offered Fandril) and the Swan Maids moved on to
Castle Zherevyev.

The Vampire Zherevyev was a lot more alert and prepared then Varnai or
Von Klatka. She captured the two Swan Maids and had them Trump me.
The trump contact threw her for a bit of a loop, but she dealt with it. I
(and the crew) went to meet with her. I entered the first room of her
Castle and was struck by the overwhelming sense of death. I thought it
best to stay right there. Looking over her lands I could tell that things
where better here then the other places I had been. Good "cattle"
husbandry. She also has a keen military mind.

After she had looked over Varnai's head and talked to Von Klatka,
Zherevyev saw that it was a good deal for her and took it. She also let on
that she was very worried about the "feeling" evil that she had felt from
the south. I had to take control of myself when the two vampires started
to complain about a great evil that was not them. Both Von Klatka and
Zherevyev told me that they had been approached by minions of the south,
but that they were willing to join up with me since I (with help from the
crew) had defeated Varnai.

Next on the Tour of this hell hole of a shadow was the witches of Glencora.
These are the type of women that I would love to introduce to my male
Cousins. Fineas, while being amused and disgusted by them would charm
them out of their knickers. Diego would haul one of them off for either
experiments of what passes for sex in his universe. Jacob....ahh Jacob.
They would see him as the bad boy of which all other bad boys are but a mere
shadow. He would be the project that they could not resist...a fixer upper
that would keep them busy till the end of their days. And they would love him for it.

For the most part Glencora is dirt Rebma...it makes my skin crawl. First the
run around...I'm used to that now. I can see why Jacob's approach has such
great appeal. Next, interviewed by the assistant. Toward the end of the
day the Head Witch came out and tried to seduce me. She declares that
the "earth" loves me, not like the "others" which the earth hates. I told
her that I was a representative of the "Realm of Light". Not far from the
truth...or at least as we like to see ourselves. Really we are not much
different from our enemies. The thing is, we just have different batteries.
After a long interview the Head Witch agreed to join, though she was
concerned with the size of our forces. Nothing that a little bit of shadow
searching can't fix.

Later, Dara trumped me and told me that she was ready to come back, and
would I be a dear and pull her though. After she stepped through she
reported to me that things are going well between the Hellgrams and her
Hellmaids. Her representatives where loving the treatment that they were
getting and that we should have word in a few days.

Good. Now to strengthen the hammer.

Transmission end....

Posted by Stan at 11:17 PM
December 04, 2002
Jacob's Journal - 20

After helping Grivís folks with the broken pattern, I hied the trinket back to Amber and starting moving ships along to Shandora.

Once I got to Shadora picked up some powder and sicced Zariel on the local elementals to get 'em organized for recon, then got hold of Tori to pitch in on the Logrus- and magick-futziní duties that I'd taken on. Fin hadnít asked her about helping out but the way I figure it two heads working together are a lot less likely to get blown off than one.

Found out during the divvying up of troops that people are goiní to some lengths to keep Flora and me seperated. I appreciate the effort, but I donít much like that itís because people think I donít like her. Granted, I donít trust her and I donít think sheís worth much, but I donít really care enough about her to dislike her. Relative to what Iíve heard about the rest of her generation I reckon sheís about normal -- I suppose I just donít have much use for most of them. She defends herself by saying everyone else was a shitheel too -- just ainít any way to carry yourself.

That said, I feel a hell of a lot cozier when I can keep my eye on people. Makes me wonder if I shouldnít head out Johrom way next and Ďjoin the effort.í

The problem with my job for the fight was that no one was messing around with their sorceries and hoojum much, so I got hold of my horsemen and decided to try a little flanking manuver with a nice big trump gate out behind some of the enemy cavalry. That got us some attention, but Tori and I kept the interference to a minimum until the horses got through and started wreaking havoc. Tori was exchanging love letters with some wizard across the way and seemed to have it in hand, so I lit out to see what other harm I could do.

I got the oscray scrambled and brought them through on another flank. No logrus that time, but a couple slugs came my way and someone took a shot at Zariel when I sent him around to take a look at things.

Touchy sumbitches: Iíve got me a big olí gate open with troops pouring through and they take a shot a little olí air elemental (alright a big damn air elemental, but nowhere near the shine coming off that gate). Second time in eight days Iíve underestimated a chaos lord. Not a good habit to get into.

Now somewhere in the shouting and communications something I say gives Tori an idea. Seems that by this point one of the Chaos Lords is after her with a certain measure of passion and all the damn Hendrakes are using coins to boost whatever theyíre working on, so when he opens a powered up teleport, she cooks the coin and leaves him stark naked in a field of fluttering butterflies.

Magic run amok is a sight to behold, and butterflies donít do much in the way of stopping cannonballs.

Turns out of the fellah was the main Hendrake commander. Too bad for him, but good for us -- the rest of the Ďdrakes run after he dies. I didnít get much in the way of satisfaction this time Ďround but Iím still walking on both legs so I canít rightly complain.

I sent the oscray back with gear and glitteries -- raiding the dead beastmen turned into a quick way to get some decent firearms for them to train on before I get them some guns a bit faster than muzzle-loaders. The horsemen are off to Carnival for some carousing. A bunch of them got caught in the Chinaway backwash and need some sorting out, but Iím trying to make em comfortable til then.

After I got the boys taken care off I took Tananda off for a sail. Iím spending a hell of a lot of time out on the water for someone that likes his powder to stay dry, but I suppose itís in the blood.

Lesse: Tori says a couple more of our damned uncles are still alive. Donít know whether to laugh or cry. As I see it Benedict and Corwin are doing us a favor by staying away -- better useless and gone than useless and underfoot -- but it might be worth thinking about just shooting Bleys: sounds like the bastardís gone crazy and picked up powerful unhealthy knack for godhood to boot.

Course that's assuming a shooting would kill him, which I doubt.

Theyíve got legends floating around that the familyís descended from a Unicorn. From what Iíve seen I think itís a hell of a lot more likely that great-grandaddy took a poke at a cockroach.

Posted by Doyce at 11:33 PM
December 03, 2002
For the docks area:

Jasmine's House of Tattoos
A tiny hole-in-the-wall with dirty windows; yet Jasmine is a tattoo artist of renown, able to charge considerable amounts for her talents. She is a largish woman of indeterminate middle age with stringy brown hair and is usually found in her shop, seated on a worn couch in front of a low table covered with needles, dye pots, etc. She pays local urchins to keep her appraised of the arrival of new ships at the docks. Her clientele consists primarily of officers and the occasional seaman who has managed to save his earnings for a piece of her artistry. Jasmine uses potent liquor as a painkiller when she works and occasionally hears things not intended for her ears from her drugged clients.

Posted by Jackie at 10:01 PM
Prisons

The Black Halls
This forboding pile is placed at the northeast corner of the block of buildings comprising the city courts, intended to hold criminals awaiting trial under the guard of the court bailiffs. Occasional jail breaks from this facility have been attempted; those with no inside aid fail miserably. The bailiffs are reasonably skilled with weapons.

The Grey Keep
A dozen miles off the coast from Amber City a rocky crag pushes out of the sea. Atop it crouches a forboding edifice known as the Grey Keep where criminals are taken following final judgment. From the Grey Keep (an old fortress that now serves as the city's prison) the tumbril rolls at the end of each month -- the traditional day for executions. It is said that there has never been a successful escape from the Grey Keep itself, although on occasion a convicted and condemned felon has been snatched from the tumbril and spirited away; entrance through the formidable gates of the dismal pile of streaked grey stone usually sounds the final knell for malefactors - in most cases they are simply never seen again.

The actual dungeons of the old fortress, where the poorest of the long term prisoners are incarcerated, are on the lowest two levels. A number of prisoners are lodged in the towers and upper levels (some in relative comfort, since they have fair amounts of money to spend). Such debtors as are currently held are usually kept on the ground level.

Turin Caye is the commandant of the prison. A short and fairly rotund fellow, he has an almost satanic mien which belies the air of general incompetence his round little body proclaims. Turin is one of the best commandants the prison has had in many years; he is, in contrast to his appearance, both competent and humane and has made life a little better for the prisoners - while he does not believe in coddling criminals, neither does he believe in torturing them.

Posted by Doyce at 09:53 PM
Headline News - Session 20

La Cita

"No word yet on Helgram Front"

"Victory in Shandora - Hendrakes driven back to Chaos"

"Chinaway's head presented by Princess Toriana to Regent Gerard as Trophy"

"Julian's head to be given State Funeral"

"Amber City planning Council approves gas lamps for city streets"

"Outshadower Minstrel killed in riot starting in Bloody Carl's: Cause attributed to a slanderous song about Princess Flora"

The Times

"Amber still in dark about the Jesby and Helgram fronts"

"Chinaway killed in Hendrake defeat in Battle of Tulun"

"Song Defaming Princess Flora Banned in Rebma by Queen Moire"

"No movement seen on the Tir Tarngir Front"

"Amber's Nobility positioning itself for Broken Pattern attunement"

Le Progres

"The Girls do their part: Cut rate prices for the Victor's of Shandora"

"Rinaldo's War: Prince Rinaldo's view of the Shandorian Campaign"

The Herald Unicorn

"Prince Fineas quickly leads Amber's forces to Victory in Shandora"

"Is Prince Fineas to be put in charge of all the fronts in the war with Chaos?"

"Regent Gerard, Prince Fineas and L'Emporor Bono review Victorious Troops in Arden"

"Fightin' Flora in Shandora: She shows why she is large and in charge in Johrum"

ShadowWord

"Should Prince Fineas be made Field Marshall of Amber?"

"Why Prince Fineas' troops would follow him to the gates of Chaos"

"Stray cannonball kills Chinaway"

The Shipping News

"The Planning Council of Amber City approves the expansion of warehouses in the Halles"

"Reports of Piracy drop as the Amber Fleet gets back to full strength"

Die Tageszeitung

"Would House Jesby be conquered already if Princess Flora Didn't Have to keep bailing out her Nephews"

"Princess Toriana Kills Chinaway"

"Prince Diego Holds his own: Proves the Tir Tarngir wasn't a Fluke"

"The Brother/Sister tag team: HRH Princess Morwyn and Prince Diego work wonders in Shandora"

Gazeta Mercantil

"The Street of Silks Auction brings in 20k+ ducet's for war effort"

"Designer Cinzina's New Fashions inspired by the new Royal's"

"Fashion week in Amber a big hit this year"

"The return of Princess Flora means the return of Glamour"

O Povo

"Prince Jacob shows that he has the "right stuff" in Battle of Tulun"

"Troops under the command of Prince Jacob kill Chinaway in Cannon Barrage"

"Nuveau Bayle Race won by Lady Adriana of House Miramon on the Horse "House o' Fire""

"Young Noble's are said to be looking for the Writer and Publisher of "Yo mama es puto Polka""

Posted by Stan at 12:39 PM
December 02, 2002
Battle Report

Battle of Tulun Report


The Situation:

The Hendrakes were arranged in a wide arc around Tulun and were in the process of reducing the surrounding fortresses. A handful had already fallen. The southwestern force was comprised of mixed beastmen and thralls numbering about twenty thousand total. They were in the process of investing the peninsula forts with the aim of cutting off the possibility of resupply of the city via the sea. The next force to the north of the river was made up of thralls exclusively. They were being used to reduce coastal forts and to prevent sea support of the peninsula forts. North of the thralls was a large force of zombies protected by roving mercenary human cavalry. They were just filler in the Hendrake line and were probably going to be used in a wave attack against Tulun itself. Beastmen were attacking the heights north of the city and were in the process of reducing those forts. Finally to the east were large numbers of Tandu patrolling the approaches to the city and assisting in the destruction of the eastern forts.

Amber Forces Used:

Initially the city was held by 45 thousand Franc troops under tactical command of Bono. In addition, 2500 samurai were positioned out of sight for emergency use and some few thousand militia were armed with pikes and minor firearms. Jacob contributed two hundred legionaires for sniping duties to the city defenses.

To the south, Diego committed approximately six thousand clackers divided into two assault groups positioned to counterattack the peninsula assault. He had a number of naval vessels committed and reserves of his human warriors available if necessary. In the event they were not required.

Flora was in command of the largest segment of the Aquitaine army, numbering about thirty thousand troops total. She utilized special Johrom forces including a number of very effective multi barrel weapon teams capable of rapid firing.

Prinz Eugen commanded fifteen thousand Aquitaine troops along with his personal guard. His force was a bit light on cavalry support so he was placed in the middle of the line.

General Luis commanded twenty thousand Aquitaine troops on the left flank with heavy emphasis on artillery. As the battle progressed, it was necessary to support them with fifteen hundred of Jacob's Persian horse archers and a large force of Oscray.

Rinaldo commanded twenty thousand janissaries from the Sultan on the eastern front, supported by naval forces along the coast.

The Battle:

The order to advance was given at 6:45AM. Good progress was made on the west and all three Aquitaine groups reached their initial goals on time. Flora's group reached hillock number one meeting only light resistance and set up to receive the Hendrake counterattack. Eugen's group reached hillock number two and dug in to repel counterattack. Luis seized the ruined town and quickly emplaced his cannon to shred the zombie forces at a distance.

On the east, Rinaldo had difficulty getting his doped up troops to move quickly and they emerged from shadow about thirty minutes late. They proceeded unhindered along the coast for several miles with only minor probes from the Tandu.

By 7:30 all western forces were engaged by substantial Hendrake forces. We benefited by a certain degree of surprise and were able to destroy portions piecemeal especially on Flora's front. The enemy made adjustments and began forming cavalry to threaten the left flank. At this point, Jacob intervened with assistance from Toriana and intercepted the Hendrake cavalry with Persians before they could properly form up. At this point the first Logrus use became evident and Toriana began to receive direct attention from Hendrake snipers.

By 8:00 it was apparent the Hendrakes had stepped up their tempo to capture the peninsula forts. I gave the order to begin the envelopment and Flora moved forward while Diego emerged from the sea to hit the Hendrakes from the sides. Naval assets moved up and began to place fire on the enemy within range.

On the north side, the cavalry engaged the zombie mass and began to hit major Hendrake commanders. Toriana triggered a mana coin cook-off on Chinaway who was attempting to reach her. It opened an opportunity to identify and fix the chaosian commander. Heavy fire was called down upon him and resulted in his destruction. Shortly thereafter, various teleports were detected and the enemy formations began to lose their cohesiveness.

The peninsula fort held on and the attackers were eventually crushed, resulting in the capture of Tor. The Tandu scattered in the east under pressure by Rinaldo and a portion of Bono's troops. At the end, the thralls who were still alive broke from Handrake control and all enemy formations were surrounded and destroyed.

Lessons Learned:

Each major power user needs a dedicated bodyguard to prevent disruption during critical power struggles.

Teleport blocking techniques covering larger areas need to be developed. Far too many enemy commanders are escaping.

Local technological superiority is key.

Enemy commanders have effective means of battlefield communications that we must learn to disrupt. The death of Chinaway was relayed to other Hendrake units far too quickly for mundane means to have been employed. Sorcery jamming needs to be developed. In this case it happened to work to our advantage, but in general it will not.

Human intelligence needs to be improved with regards to future campaigns. We need to recruit disaffected chaosians to improve our knowledge of enemy dispositions prior to a battle.

The political situation for each chaosian house needs to be understood. We had learned that Chinaway was the driving force behind the Hendrake incursion. His removal was the single most important factor in our victory. We need to understand the Helgrams, Gryphons and Jesbys in order to determine the most efficient manner to convince them to return to chaos short of complete eradication.

Posted by at 04:25 PM
December 01, 2002
Fineas' Journal Session 20

The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber


20.

Day 14 PDS 7:30AM :

The Hendrakes reached the environs of Tulun two days ago. I have kept Bonoís men restricted to the city proper where their numbers will not be evident. I have assigned Flora to the right wing of the Aquitainian army, Prinz Eugen to the center and kept the left wing under the Aquitain commander Luis. In a short while they will be stepping off, hopefully appearing at once and with surprise. On the east side my brother has taken command of twenty thousand men and will be driving into the Tandu forces that are scattered across that area. I have positioned Diegoís clackers on either side of a peninsula overlooking the bay to cut off the enemy assault there. Ships are at standby to assist both Diego and Rinaldo when the time is right. I have Jacob as a roving hit man, tasked to do as much damage he can to enemy commanders. Numerous Broken Pattern initiates are ready, split between the armies. I anticipate having to adapt my plan as we go, so each group will be in trump contact with me as the battle progresses.

Earlier this morning, I sent up a little surprise for the pesky razorbeaks. We have strung thin high tensil line between the buildings in town and have already succeeded in killing a few of the miserable birds. More amusing was the hot air balloon packed with explosives and shrapnel I sent up to draw them in. As expected, they attacked it en masse and the resulting detonation and feather cloud was quite a spectacle.

Looking around the table at my aides and officers, I raise a toast to victory and an end to this miserable war. I give the order for all fronts to advance.

Day 14 PDS 8:30AM:

It is very different leading a battle from the rear than fighting it amongst the men. I must rely on the talents of so many people when I desperately want to do everything myself. Our scouts are reporting the enemy movements, there is no sign of overt Logrus use (they appear to have learned from past encounters) but my instincts are just screaming at me to grab a rifle and go add the weight of my lead to the fray. I must not do this and it is perhaps the hardest lesson I must learn from this whole affair.

Floraís force has moved smartly and seized the right hillock overlooking the fields surrounding the peninsular forts. The enemy has split off a large force of thralls to challenge her. The numbers and terrain look to be in Floraís favor there and I have no fear she will hold. I am somewhat more anxious about Eugenís force in the center. I purposely gave him the smallest and least experienced force, knowing of his reputation of doing more with less than anyone else around. So far he is holding, having taken the other hillock. More thralls are moving against him and that is the point I am most worried about. Luis has moved quickly and seized a ruined town where he is making his stand protecting Eugenís flank. A number of roving mercenary cavalry appear to be massing to hit his cannon, so Jacob is bringing in his Persians to play with them. This should be interesting. In the east Rinaldoís men are behind schedule. I should not be surprised. Rinaldo was forced to coerce them with a variety of recreational drugs to get them pumped up for the fight. Consequently they are a little slow to get moving but should serve to pin the eastern forces until things are settled in the west.

Day 14 PDS 9:45 AM:

Things are hopping now. Jacob has apparently called upon the talents of Tori to open the trump gate and all hell is breaking loose over there. The first Logrus is being used, but so far things seem to be under control. Luis and Eugen are holding and Flora has made mincemeat out of the thralls attacking her. I ordered her to advance upon the beastmen investing the peninsula forts. Things are getting dicey there, so Diego has given his clackers the orders to attack and ships are in position to pound the ground around the forts. Things are still a little confused, but it appears that great slaughter is being wreaked upon the enemy there. Rinaldoís men did not lure the Tandu into the other peninsula, so I ordered them to attack head on to keep them busy.

Day 14 PDS 10:00AM:

Logrus is being used on every front now, but so far it has not been sufficient to blunt our attack. Jacobís Persians are doing nicely and it looks like Tori has decided to indulge her latent talent for destruction. The zombies are taking the brunt of it. It looks like that area will see the first Hendrake vs Barimen encounter in personal terms. Flora has cut off the peninsula so I feel confident that part of my attack is working to plan. Diego and his troops are in the thick of it and are acquitting themselves well. Several men-of-war are pounding away at the beastie boys and no enemy reinforcements are in evidence. So far, so good. I have Bonoís men ready to move quickly onto the attack should an opportunity present itself.

Day 14 PDS 10:10AM:

It appears as if Tori has drawn some interesting attention. Luis contacted me asking permission to fire upon what appears to be an enemy commander. A very large and strong enemy commander. I told him to concentrate his heavy guns on the bastard and ordered every available Pattern or BP user to think appropriate thoughts. He reported a direct hit, blowing the bastard into pieces with a 24 pounder.

From what is being described to me, it looks like a coin or two went off in that area. I hope Tori was not caught up in it. Gerard would have my nuts on a platter if she snuffs it or is captured.

Jacob has led a force against a body of beastmen moving towards the hill forts. That fight is still developing.

The peninsula fort is still holding and it looks like we will carry the day there. Both Flora and Diego are doing well and we may capture a Hendrake or two there.

Rinaldo is slowly advancing but not rolling over his foe. I may need to sally forth to give him a hand soon. I have given the order for twenty thousand of Bonoís men to be ready to move in a few minutes.

Day 14 PDS 10:20 AM:

We appear to have won. Enemy commanders are bugging out from all over the battlefield. Rumor has it the big burly bastard we blew into little pieces was Chinaway. Enemy resistance is still active, especially amongst the Tandu and beastmen, but the remainder are crumbling. I sent out Bonoís cavalry with some infantry support to assist Rinaldo. Flora and Diego are still attacking the peninsula force but the end is not in doubt. I poured myself a slug of whiskey and congratulated the Prince of Tulun on keeping his city.

Day 14 PDS 4:00 PM:

Chinaway is presumed dead. We have captured one Hendrake lord, believed to be Lord Tor. The remainder of the Hendrakes have fled the shadow from what we can tell. We are chasing down scattered Tandu and beastmen. I have ordered every last one of them put to death. We are sparing the thralls who appear to have emerged from their mental slavery. What few mercemaries we captured will be interrogated and likely turned over to Eugen for his judgment. We lost no family members, no major commanders and relatively acceptable numbers of troops, with the exception of Jacobís Persians. They took a hard blow when Chinawayís coins cooked off courtesy of Tori. Still, the Oscray and surviving Persians are being feted in Carnival by a grateful Jacob. We are planning on a nice crab feast on the peninsula. Diego has asked for Tor as his prisoner and I have granted that in recognition of his vital contribution. Flora will be returning to Johrom to continue her work there, but I made sure to warmly thank her for her help as well. Tori is OK and quite pleased at having been instrumental in Chinawayís demise. I thanked her as well and learned that she has been learning more about our surviving family. More about that later.

Day 15 PDS 9:30AM:

Mop up is continuing and will be for some days to come. We are moving with a strong force to reclaim Chandora with Eugen in the van. Tori will help shut down the necro gate and with that we should be able to stabilize this shadow entirely. I sent dispatches to Gerard to keep him informed and invited the Prince of Tulun to Amber in order to spread the good word about what we did here. We may need good press to help our efforts in Johrom and elsewhere.

Bono and I discussed appropriate awards, ceremonies, etc for the troops. I am learning a great deal from him about how to keep an army happy, loyal and useful. He has indicated a desire to build his strength a bit before committing to his own campaign. I suspect he is stalling, having seen the eternal city and developing a taste for our company. My hope is to install him as an ongoing source of middle technology armies for Amber in shadow. If I can make him emperor again and perhaps instill some sense of responsibility into bettering his subjects, he should prove a valuable resource for the future. We shall see how events have altered his expectations out of life.

Now, about Toriís information. She has claimed to have learned the fates of Corwin, Bleys and Benedict. She warned me that it would be better to leave Bleys alone. He is apparently insane, extremely powerful and wandering free in Chaosian shadow. Great. This will bear some thought. I think it unwise not to at least try and channel him into some secluded shadow, preferably a slow time shadow, where he can recover his wits in peace. I know I would hold a grudge if I were left to rot by my own family with no attempt to mitigate my condition. I have not learned the details of Corwinís fate, though she said he had indeed created his own Pattern and implied that is where he might be found. Benedict we already know is in the tender care of the Queen of Air and Darkness. Iím not sure what to do about that except open a channel of communications with her and negotiate his eventual release.


Day 18 PDS 10:00AM:

It appears things are under control for the nonce. I have asked Gerard for a short break from my military duties and he consented. We discussed some of the bastards and I revealed to him my desire to remove one of them from the toils of life. He seems to concur and I have undertaken his planned demise as my next project before some Helgram finds him and puts him to nefarious use. I will not rely on Floraís agents to do the deed. I plan on doing it personally. At least that way I can make sure it is done humanely and competently. If any repercussions are to be had from Corwin for removing his mistake without his permission, I accept them.

Gerard and I agreed there may eventually be some hope to find a place for Galina. She will be my next stop after the serial rapist/killer is taken care of. It is not believed she is aware of her heritage, so I must be careful in how I approach her and to what extent she is educated about the true nature of the universe. She intrigues me from an intellectual point of view and I look forward to meeting her.

Posted by at 11:59 PM
Diego's Journal 20

I am laying in bed a devout marine biologist in a newly discovered undersea kingdom with a very attractive woman. The Woman has the bite marks of at least five different species all over her body, and their all mine. To add to that, the bed is completely surrounded by treasure chests pulled from 2 sunken colonial armadas, and they are here because we have overflown my newly purchased hotel with the huge amount of sunken salvage.
you would think I would be happy.

I guess it is true what they say about idle hands..

....and me without a research project.
The woman, kylikki is capable, desirable, bright, and adaptable. If she is trustworthy, it is a near unbeatable package. she may well deserve more then some one who is highly conflicted, and clearly deserves more then I might be able to offer her. At first during our intimate time together My cries of Moire were interpreted as m.o.r.e. , and she was always willing to oblige, but now I find myself comfortable with her.
I found that parenting was nothing but a series of infinite adaptations within the confines of establishing respectable young people. My instincts tell me she would make a great mother. I need offspring, to continue the family tradition, if not of leadership, then of research, and heritage.
Moire offers much, but will require time. I do have trouble about the degree to which she seems to practice politics, and favors opulence. For the last ten years I have lived in a cave, sleeping on an old army cot, and drinking from a wooden cup that my boys made for me. I don't want the wealth she could offer me, but the security. the power she has over me is supernatural, but I don't suspect it's origins extend much further then my own biology- I've checked. I need to know more about her, and work towards her, before I can make a lasting decision in this matter. In a way she has been my only friend since this whole ordeal began, and in addition to healing her sister I have done 2 dozen other things to please her, in very trying times for me, but she can be so very distant. On the good news side I am seeing cracks in her iceberg.

Fear- I don't like not being having my whole concept of personal power turned upside down, and the fact that several of my "family" seem to have little ethical restraint makes he process terrifying. when fear rules the day good decision making processes become vastly more difficult

As suspected, interference from peers, and this unimaginable desire to accommodate the enemy has made it difficult to achieve my goals in Gryphon held territory. I would of rather had the lizard front, but now that johrom has become whore-rom, I find that unlikely. I don't have the troops or support I need from amber to make serious advances in my charged territory, and I cannot commit sufficient resources away from guarding my homeland to a front with so little third party commitment. So I have been focusing on my big plan here in dom daniel. In the end I gave up the ghost on the Gryphon front because of too much interference, and the simple fact that I didn't have the troops to do the job.

Gerhard tried to talk to me about the Flora situation, I will not have a lecture on that vile odious bloodsucking harpy. If you didn't learn that it isn't a good idea to triffle with people's emotions after 5 years of rape in hell, you just aren't going to learn to respect anything. I officially disowned her, and suggested that in the future his ambassadors treat people with an iota of respect. I took an oath to defend amber in exchange for him doing the same for my home, not to be treated like a subordinate. I have more years of experience as a regent then he does, and I have the added bonus of being able to break the three sylable barrier. Gerhard seemed to be upset that our tiff leaked to the press, and made us look bad. If gerhard would properly curbed the press corps dogs, and for that matter, the nobles, he would not have this problem. I am not speaking as a matter of injured personal pride but as a practical matter of war, people need motivation, and there needs to be more security, not a bunch of fat noble yentas with too much time and money spreading celebrity gossip when good people are dying.

the battle was passable, and I got some much needed research subjects. I am also looking forward to the matter of researching amber gun powder as well as anti-shapeshifting drugs. I also look forward to hosting lewella, and moire in the very near future, a the recruitment of a very exciting new army. I also wil be attending to our new captive, and I can only smile....

Posted by at 01:36 AM