The various possibilities brought up vis a vis Who Killed Delwin and Sand were, near as I remember:
*Dworkin's ideas as told to Jacob. All framing the Jesbys unless that Jesby was one of them.
Zhartra is checking on the two Chaosite Binders now.
The Babysitter is in charge.
I am not happy about this at all.
At least Gerard Trumped me to let me know without me stumbling into Amber in obliviousness. Well it will be interesting, that's for sure. I can see Benedict having all of us come to the Castle and conduction interviews to see what we can do. Maybe a Resume so that he can reassign us to things that we would be more suited to doing. But, an amusing thought has occurred to me...maybe Diego will have to actually start doing something. Something other than burying people in gifts.
The other day was a bit on the mixed side. Sabine and I had a good time at the Marcus' wedding/coronation. Good food and good dancing. Toriana was nice to me and called me by my name. All good. I'll have to tell Mother about Diego bringing all of Dantay's Concubine's to the affair (5 women and 1 guy, Mother would have something to say for sure). On the down side, The heads of Sand and Delwin (Tori explained that they were our Aunt and Uncle, and that had been helping Zhartra) were found in a box. This really put a damper on things, Emotions were running high between several folks. And it looks as if the Amber rags rumor's about Diego's and Toriana's animosity were correct.
The box contained papers (in code), a really nice spell rack bracer, and of course the preserved heads of Sand and Delwin. Diego was in a big hurry to haul the box off, so after we all had a look, we let him. Fineas, Tori, Jacob, and I talked about some guy that Tori had been tracking. We all got a good impression of him through a sketch that Tori provided us. We all agreed to meet up in a few days time to try and make head or tails of what is going on with the heads.
Back in Purgatory, everything is starting to fall in to place. I have found some contact's and hope to make some good head way in a weeks time. I trumped Mother and Told her about everything that had happened at Tir, Seems that she kind of liked Delwin and Sand, or at least did not hate them as much as the rest of the Family. Though, she did snort herself off of her chair when I told her About Deigo. As she was laughing she mentioned "over compensating" and the word "Beard". I not to sure about the latter, but I do understand the former.
Iain and Rhyoko are doing a good job in Oykot and Yendis. Iain said something about "never trust a man who keeps pigs" as he lead me though a pig feeding area. I replied "but you had better trust a man who keeps Vampires"...He turned a lovely shade of pale at this. Ahh, the things I can say when Sabine or Zherevyev are not around.
When I brought Kelamon through to Yendis she told me that this would be the last trumps that she would be doing for a while. I asked her why, and she told me that she was going on a vacation for a while. Tori and Flora would be picking up the slack for now. I told her thanks for her effort, and that I have really appreciated what she has done for us.
One thought that I have is...I wonder if Gerard and Kelamon are going on vacation together. The burden of more work might make Tori grumpy, but the fact that her parent's might be getting back together would make her ecstatic.
But, The Babysitter is in charge now. The wheel has turned....
I thought I would try a novel approach in attempting to decipher the mixed messages fineas has been sending out. I thought I would send a missive to his mother. In personality, I am going to make the assumption that she is somewhat like a heavily maternal version of my grandfather. It is the only model I have that seems to make sense and would result in the personalities of her offspring. I would have preffered to have any queries answered directly, but I have learned that even being partially direct is only likely to result in failure in amber.
so with out the advice of my grandfather, I am attempting to read between the lines. I have little doubt that she consulted with one or both of her offspring in forming a reply, because it appears that under their consultation she agreed to become known to amber at large to begin with.
I am not thinking that her reply gives me the reassurances I needed. Even taking it more literally, It still reinforces my frustration with peoples constant under-estimation of my worth. I often feel more like a used car salesman then some one bred to be a prince with a copious litany of accomplishments. I miss lively conversation, I had naively hoped for a lively correspondence. I might not be making unfair assumptions on limited data, but circumstances dictate these unfortunate guessing games. If bleys were to take the throne, at least I could indulge in some repartee. In either case now it is like talking to one of two granite slabs, but they are granite for very different reasons. Without Moire I find myself lacking in high caliber conversation in this fearsome new existence. I miss it.
Castillian (heavily paraphrased from the 7 Seas rule book)
while it is easy to describe Castillians as "cold" or "distant", it is easy to see why they distrust foreigners of any sort. Castille has been invaded many times in her history and her occupations have been long and bloody.
Castillians value education, and even the tiniest hamlet has demanding schools, and a library as fully stocked as they can muster. generally speaking they are among the best educated people in Europe.
but they are also a passionate people. they love music and la familia. the family is centered around the mother. the Castillian veneration for the maternal figure is great.
they are passionate, but the influence of religion had engendered "a passion for precision" a sound perfectly encapsulated perfectly by the Castillian guitar.
A Vital Organization
Over the centuries, several official organizations have fulfilled vital roles in the administration of Amber. The city guard and the rangers are well known. The press organizations flourish and have been previously detailed. But none have served as faithfully and without complaint as the organization I am about to detail. Without further ado, allow me to present The Amber Sanitation Authority!
Established early in Oberon’s realm, the Amber Sanitation Authority is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of all city sewers, the removal of garbage from the city and the general cleanliness of the streets. The Authority has three divisions, each concentrating on one facet of the public service. The overall position of authority is vacant at the moment, so each division is reporting seperately to the Regent.
The most visible and prestigious of the three divisions is the Department of Streets. It is currently overseen by Quibly Marlenson, a member of a historied family long associated with public service. Quibly is a slightly built man, slightly balding with a receding chin and a thin but well trimmed mustache. Quibly takes pride in the cleanliness of the city streets, employing forty individuals on a rotating basis to sweep the major thoroughfares, remove graffiti and unauthorized handbills and keeping the gutters aboveground unblocked. Also of prime importance is the personal appearance of his employees. Quibly has a rigorous program of inspections to make sure his men maintain a respectable appearance when in the public view. He personally designed the uniform used by his department and is scrupulous about standardizing equipment. Broom handles shall all be of uniform length and thickness. Trash receptacles shall be replaced if dented or damaged, and so forth.
The second division is the Department of Waste Management. Being slightly less prestigious, this department is currently under the supervision of Arnold Barker, a commoner of steadfast devotion to the realm. Arnold’s men collect the refuse of the city each day in large wagons and haul it to a long warehouse type building at the edge of town. There his men activate a large trump mural and pass the garbage through to the shadow once belonging to a noble family that ran afoul of Oberon in years past. The trump shows a stately castle by a pristine lake. What it does not show is the massive landfill in the other direction, slowly poisoning the surrounding countryside. It did not pay to piss off Oberon in the good old days. Arnold holds the trump open until his men finish, a sometimes arduous task. As a result, Arnold has developed a considerable mental endurance over his years of service.
The final division is the one least glorified but has perhaps done more for the security and stability of the realm than all the other organizations save the Rangers. The Department of Sewers is responsible for keeping the underground sewers clear of debris, enemy infiltrators, the destitute, various monsters, thieves and smugglers. The Department is officially run by Avos Bently, another member of a fallen noble house. In practice, Avos manages the care of his men above ground but leaves the actual running of the sewers to Valmont the Gray. Valmont was once court magician to Oberon but was caught in a minor betrayal. Oberon spared his life, banishing him to the sewers twelve centuries ago. Valmont is a Broken Pattern Initiate and was once quite powerful. Now he is a couple miles south of Dworkin sanity wise but he is completely and utterly devoted to his sewers. Over the centuries he has slain more spies and infiltrators attempting to use the sewers than any ranger or guard in the King’s service. He managed to capture and train a handful of otherwise inimical creatures that somehow found their way into the sewers and he uses them to help kill interlopers. Over the years he has become quite physically imposing himself as well, being stronger and quicker than the average castle guard. Below the city streets, Valmont is King. Avos has conveniently forgotten to tell Valmont that Oberon is no more and since Valmont lives in his sewers he is none the wiser. The rest of the men content themselves with minor maintenance, leaving the dangerous work to Valmont and his critters whenever possible.
She leaves her townhouse at about 6:00am, earlier for press run days. On Press run day's she leaves at about 4:00am. She walks to the Offices of the Royal Way with her husband and their dog Jigg's. On Press run days she also has a bodyguard accompany them with a lantern. She changes her routes to and from the office Daily.
Standard Amber fair.
Only able to observe her in public places. She is personable to most but quite tart to those that have angered her. At midday she makes her rounds of clients, friends, and a lunch with news business friends. She is usually accompanied by a bodyguard, who also has some Old Citadel badges. She doesn't suffer fools easily, and will do her best to verbally stomp them in to the ground. Her townhouse and the Royal Way offices seem to have wards on them
Adeo: Food of Kasfa. Quite trendy. Great food. If you are somebody you can get in there.
The Laughing Unicorn: Traditional Amber food. A place that has been in operation for generations.
Works long hours, Especially on press day. Normal day, 6:30am to 6:00pm with a two hour midday break. On Press run day, 4:30am to 7:00pm with a one hour midday break.
If discreetly possible collecting assorted bodily samples:
Up to Randy.
Any observable medical data:
None, But we broke into her doctor's office and…Up to Randy. She has been known to spend a week in Lynxia once a year at a spa. Her Doctor is Dr. Ferneau.
Any interesting conversational details:
If we weren't spying on her we would have loved to have talked to her…
Currently it is Horse Racing season in Amber, and she always has a large crowd of friends in her section of the Stands.
She has an obligatory standing Party once per Quarter. The out of town guest travel to Amber City and are put up at her townhouse or nearby inn's. There is a party circuit amongst the Nobility and the Wealthy in Amber, and the Wodeshouse's is one of the highlight's of the season.
During the midday break. Varies. No real pattern.
As stated elsewhere, Jackie Collins and Tina Brown
Background and History:
Ms. Wodehouse was born 137 Years ago in Amber City.
She is the Daughter of Granville and Bianca Wodehouse. She has an older sister by the name of Lady Avril, and a younger Brother by the name of Bernard who died in the defense of Amber Castle in the Battle of the Stair. Her Father Granville was killed in a duel with Brand over an unfavorable article that he had published about him.
Lady Embeth is married to Capt. Sir Reginald Pierce, DSA, OO (Ret.). He gained his current Title for being one of the few to have survived the Battle of the stair. They have two Children, a daughter by the name of Anna, and a son by the name of Allister. Both Children currently serve in the Royal Guard.
Avril is married to Major Sir Thom Frut, DSA, OO, OU. (Ret.) of the of the Baylesport Frut's. This Union has produced four Children, Daveed, Julio, Isobell, and Monique.
Bernard is survived by his Wife Sara (remarried), and their son Bernard, Jr.. Bernard, Jr. is currently serving in the Amber navy aboard the ship A.R.S. Vengeance. Bernard introduced Embeth to his friend Capt. Sir Reginald Pierce back when they had just graduated from the Academy.
Embeth is the Tenth Wodehouse to be in charge of the Royal Way. It was founded by Penreth Wodehouse during the early part of King Oberon's Reign. The Royal Way was the second and the last publication to receive a Royal Charter (The Times being the first).
The Wodehouse's have traditionally eschewed any hint of being of the Nobility since the Day's of Penreth, but Embeth holds the Title "Lady" only because of her Husband. Penreth Wodehouse felt that being beholding to the Crown made reporting on the Family suspect. She does not use her Title in public dealings.
Embeth holds the Medal's Distinguished Service Award, Civilian (DSA), and the Order of Oberon (OO) by her on right. The DSA was awarded to her by King Oberon for her service to Amber, and the OO was later conferred to her by Oberon because of her willingness to keep the Royal Family in line, and her steadfast support of the Crown.
In her day to day dealings she prefers to be referred to as Ms. Wodehouse. Her children have also taken the name Wodehouse simply because of its cache.
She has done every job there is at the Royal Way. From being a copy girl when she was young, to rebuilding the presses. She knows every aspect of the Royal way forward and backward.
Her family has been accumulating money for centuries. Over half of it is equally invested in all of the major trading houses. 10% of it is invested in safe investments in the Golden Circle Kingdom's. She is very charitable with her money, sometimes giving a majority of the profit from a month to a worthy cause.
Friends and Associates:
Ms. Wodehouse is on good terms with Princess Flora, and has charmed Regent Gerard in the past. She also is friendly with Princess Llewella. She find's Prince Fineas to be charming and delightful, and holds no grudge against him or Prince Rinaldo for her father's death at the hands of Brand.
She knows Prince Benedict, and HRH Morwyn enough to send them little cards in remembrance of important anniversaries.
In Amber her Friends and Associates include:
Monsorat de Froi
In the GCK's:
Baroness Liliane de Cellejon y Ruudkild of Kashfa
Gillian Latoria of Rebma
Corina Coppin of Rebma
"Why do you need to Feng Shui the fucking box?"
"That Doesn't sound like a "woo-hoo" good idea to me..."
Fineas - In his Mansion in Amber
13 - Purgatory
Toriana - Amber to Benedict
Jacob - Remus (?)
Diego - Amber talking to Galina
-After a meeting with Galina, Diego leaves for Vulnavia. Talks to Kylliki about
starting up a household together. Maybe in Tir Tarngir.
-He talks to Sorak about her people.
-In his lab, Diego creates some more sniffer "Schweinhunds".
-After completing this task he trumps Rinaldo. Rinaldo is "busy", and tells Diego
he will get back to him later. Diego next trumps Llewella. She is busy fighting
people. Explosions can be heard in the background as he ask's her for some
"Rebman spell racks". She tells him that she is busy and that he should just go
to Amber and ask Elmore, or for one (another explosion). Before she signs off
he offers her some of his "Slugs" and "Sniffers". She tells him that Morwyn or
Martin would be glad to except his gifts for her.
-He ponders the Mirror power, and which Family member might take it. He finds
out that either Martin, or Morwyn might be the candidates from Rebma.
-Talks to Rinaldo Again. Talks about the Family and Jasra. Gives Rinaldo a note
to give to Jasra.
-Trumps Banedict, and brings him through to Vulnavia. Makes plans for a dinner
tate-a-tate with him. They discus weapons. He offers Benedict the crown of
Amber, and pledges to back him if he takes it. Keeps digging. Talks about
Kelamon and finds out that she is on her last assignment for Amber, after that
she going back to Rebma for some much needed rest.
-Diego talks to his captive Rabman Trump artist Kendall.
-Talks to his Mom about Llewella, and it is agreed that Llewella can visit her at
the keep of the four worlds (Kot4W).
-Jasra talks to Fineas about taking back Kashfa in a coup. Kasman is an evil
bastard that is being cruel to her friends.
-Talking to Jasra has put Fineas in a foul mood. He trumps to Inokus and starts
several trumps just to clear his head. He moves on to Galina's home shadow
starts to feel better, and remembers Marcus' and Rhanda's wedding and heads
off to Franc to talk to Bono about the right gifts. Bono sets Fineas straight and
gives him some goodies from Itallee. Fineas also siphons off some of the former
Franc and Inglesh Noble's, political prisoners, and military types (rejects). Bono
also asks Fineas if he can provide better health care and healing techniques.
Fineas agrees to help.
-Goes back to Amber and watches Ky Tung get ready for the wedding for several
-After Flying to Otoyk 13 meets with his Operative Rhyoko and finds several
place to make trumps. He gets a hold Kelamon and brings her through. She also
says she will make a few Trump sketches of Rhyoko.
-Trumps Dara and lets her know about the wedding and coronation in Tir Tarngir,
and that Mirelle has been disinvited. Dara, Badger, Mirelle and 13 spend some
-13 talks to Rhyoko about leads in Nopin, and she tells him that there really
doesn't seem to be much going on chaos wise in Nopin. Several years ago there
were serpent type cults but that they had died out. She provides him with
several leads to follow when he gets back, and will take him to these places.
-Back in Rupmul Alauk, after hearing the news of the wedding and coronation in
Tir Tarngir, Sabine decides that she need a new set of robes befitting her new
Broken pattern status. The two of the head of to Dom-Daniel, 13 catches up on
-Tori talks to Benedict about Trumps. He mentions to her that Kelamon will be
providing less support to Amber now that the crisis is almost over. This will
mean that Tori and Flora will have to take up the slack as the Court Trump
-Tori give Benedict (Secret) funny trumps. They seem to have different fronts
from what they really are.
-Tori heads off for the wedding and coronation in Tir Tarngir before she
completes her trumps for Benedict.
-Finds out Who is going For Whom to the wedding and coronation in Tir Tarngir.
P. Vialle for K. Corwin, and P. Martin is going in place of Q. Moire.
-Gets a hold of his Court "guy" [insert name here] and gets duded up to the
-Procures new big, heavy, and shiny Gladius. Heads out for Tir the only quick way
he can figure out at the time. He pulls out the trump of the Tir moon cave that
tori had given him and trumps there. Once he steps out of the cave he trumps
Rinaldo and completes the journey.
-Has his "guy" Antoine set up as his new Tir Tarngir "guy".
-Jacob talks to Veala and Marcus. They all get along splendidly. He is heavily
armed...so is Veala.
Ta Da! it's the Wedding/Coronation!
-Toriana shows up stag, Jacob shows up stag, Fineas brings Ky Tung, 13 Brings
Sabine, and Diego brings all of the Dantay's Concubines.
-The Basilisk's show up unexpectedly. Marcus askes if this is ok. Non of the Amberite's or Rebmans have any objections. They later claim to be providing security for the Shindig.
-Wedding goes off with out a hitch.
-The White Tiger and the Unicorn both show up in Human form to "bless" the
-Zhartra also shows up.
-Coronation also goes off with out any problems. The whole Family is really
jumpy right now.
-Introductions are made for both sides (much greeting and hand shaking).
-Diego bring's up the Mirror power. It is decided that the Rebman's and
Amberites should be made aware of it's uses. A tour is made. Jacob, Tori,
Diego, Martin, Vialle, Flora, and Dara all go on the tour. Fineas and 13 decline to
go. Rhanda's Father Rhastoferas leads the tour.
-Tori lay's on the charm as she compliments Flora on her victory in Johrom and
- Big Mid Session Shocker! Delwin and Sand's heads are found preserved in a
big wooden box. The box was found in Jesby airship wreckage. After 13 and
Tori give it a good going over they have the following info:
The box is From Johrom, and of Jesby design. There is a taint of Hellgram
about it. inside the box are (besides the two heads) a uber-spell rack of a
mysterious metal, and Papers in a coded language. The heads are well preserved
and could have been lopped off years ago.
-Diego is chomping at the bit to haul the box and it's contents off to Vulnavia to
investigate the contents. So much so, that as he is digging around in it's
contents Tori almost bites his head off. Jacob comes to Diego's defense and
calms Tori down.
-Tori and 13 share (SECRET STUFF).
-Diego hauls the box and it's contents (sans Uber-rack) off to Vulnavia. He also
pesters Veala for several samples of the special shapeshifting plant, and she
gives him two potted live ones. Before Diego leaves 13 suggests to Diego that
Dara and he go over the coded papers in a few day's time. Diego mumbles
something and leaves.
-Tori passes out sketches (empowered) to Jacob, Fineas, and 13. None of them
have any idea of who this "guy" is.
-Zhartra hauls off Rinaldo to be the new replacement for Sand and Delwin.
-Tori and 13 Discuss the "guy's" magic stylings.
-As everybody is getting ready to move on, 13 gives Jacob and Tori props for
their work in Johrom. 13 and Jacob discuss Johrom and the
-Flora Discuss' Johrom with Jacob.
-Tori leaves. Jacob leaves.
-Fineas (SECRET STUFF).
-Fineas, Ky Tung, 13, and Sabine stay, dancing and partying, until a polite period
of time and leave. of course doing all of the correct thanks you's and such.
-Goes to the (Kot4W) and does things involving Trumps.
-Sends an unconscious Gwyneth along with P. Douglas, P. Dierdre, and P. Vialle
back to Avallone.
-Deals with all of his Concubines now that he is back in Vulnavia. Talks to Sorak
about her people and what he can do to help them.
-More treasure hunting with Draake and Sorak's people.
-Diego has a conversation with Kendall in which Kendall confess' that when moire
feels that he has suffered enough being Diego's pet Trump artist, he can come
-Galina arrives and he wines and dines her. He takes airship flying. She likes this
-Deigo has a meeting with Doc.
-Showers Galina with gifts, and pumps her for info on her home shadow, Her
feelings on various Family members, and if she is going to take the Mirror Power.
-Fineas has a meeting with Gerard about Kasfa, Kasman, and Jasra. Gerard
trusts Fineas judgement and tells him to moderate Jasra's wrath in Kasfa. He
also tell Fineas that he is going on vacation and that Benedict will be in charge in
-Fineas trumps his mother and tells her about the Coronation, the Wedding,
Delwin and Sands heads, and Gerard's approval for her plans in Kashfa.
-Fineas asks to see his mothers enemy list and finds that Rinaldo has already
trimmed the list quit a bit. Fineas trims even more off.
-With the killer of Sand and Delwin still out there, Fineas and Jasra discuss the
Defenses of the Kot4W.
-Fineas leaves the Kot4W and trumps back to Amber. He meets with Ky Tung
and tells her about the heads and Kashfa.
-As Gerard is packing, Fineas asks if he can barrow the Jewel of Amber and
Attunes Ky Tung to the Broken Pattern. She survives and sleeps a long time.
-Leaves Antoine in Tir Tarngir.
-Gets Zhartra Trump from Tori. He Talks to her about Delwin and Sand. He
threatens to go and talk to Dworkin/Oberon (Dwoberon) on his own. She relents
and the well out to a beach in Flora's Earth shadow. The walk up to Dwoberon
and start up small talk, and have some Pizza and Tequila Shooters.
-Rhyoko takes 13 to one of the places that raised some interest to her in her
searching. 13 does a small scan of the place and it is radiating slight, but well
tended magic. 13 Walks up and asks to see the Abbot, and is refused. He
tweaks the abbey's wards and is let right in. After some time 13 is still not able
to convince the Abbot, and decides that a trip to Amber is in order. This does
-Gives Benedict the trumps he wanted.
-All the people heading for Avallone get there.
-Talks to Benedict about Zhartra, the Coronation, the wedding, and finds out
from Benedict that he is in charge while Gerard is on Vacation. Tori is miffed
that she had to hear this from Benedict, but does her best to not show it. The
conversation continues on to the subject of Diego. Tori tells Benedict what she
really thinks about Diego (and she really, really believes this). Benedict is
shocked, since he thinks that Diego is an upstanding fellow.
-Researches the Heads. Duplicates the papers, and sends the originals back to
Sir John Gaunt.
-Does some more stuff with the heads. Sucks up their DNA. Does some
checking up on the spies he has following Embeth Wodehouse.
-Goes to his Amber estate and announces his plans to create a free medical
-Trumps Benedict again and asks him to have diner with him. Finds out about
Gerard's Vacation and that Benedict is going to be in charge. Can. Not. contain.
Joy and Happiness. Diego almost starts to dance while on the trump contact
with Benedict. Benedict once again agrees to have dinner with Diego.
-He finds D. Tanitheel in the Castle and talks to her about Tir Tarngir. He also
talks to her about the possibility of recruiting more Ganeshens.
-Knowing that Zhartra might call in her chips with him in the near future, Fineas
goes off in search of "HERO" types and recruits them.
-Talks to his Mother about the Coronation, the wedding, Sand and Delwin's
heads. Mirelle tells him that they were probably the nice members of the
Family possible in the Family. Dara, 13, Mirelle and Badger get all their ducks in
-13 Heads to Yendis. He trumps Kelamon and she makes place trumps and
sketches of Iain.
-Gerard Trumps him and tells him about the up coming vacation he is going to
take. Gerard also tells him that Benedict is in charge until he gets back. 13
fears the babysitter even more.
-Plays with the Uber-rack. Finds it's wards and how it works. Decides that
Jacob and 13 are best suited in finding where the metal comes from.
-Talks to Zhartra and Dwoberon and Delwin and Sand.
Jacob - Earth, Having Tequila Shooters with Zhartra and Dwoberon on a beach.
Toriana - Rebma.
13 - In shadow Purgatory, Yendis.
Fineas - In a HERO shadow with friends hauling around a cyclops penis.
Diego - Dancing and in his happy place in Vulnavia.
press release (sent to all media outlets except the chaosian way)
It appears that there is some confusion as to the role of the hospital to be built on the grounds of my estate. It is a non-profit facility that will work in conjunction with my educational organizations towards research as well as servicing the continuing medical needs of veterans, and the less fortunate.
The native population has in no way been excluded, in fact they already comprise a majority of the construction and support staff. Any medical talent that wishes to apply may do so. please direct any further suggestions and questions to my office. (D-)
now back to my notes...
I had requested that the regent have Galina contact me at her earliest convience in excess of 10 days ago. I could read further justification for my paranoia into having to chase her down myself, but then expecting gerard to exhibit a simple courtesy grows more and more like expecting a common housefly to aid me in my trigonometry.
still he does leave too many questions answered for my taste, chiefly among them
1- can I trust you?
2- Why are we better then the chaosites, if we act this way?
on another note...
I simply fail to understand why anyone would consider me a megalomaniac. there is nothing in my history that bears witness to it, and even of there were, there is still a complete lack of motivation and attempting control. Why would I have the slightest desire to take over high maintenance, well defended territory in a low magic area with a tragically dated form of government? It must be that I have acquired an air of authority over the years, or more likely there subconscious longing for order on the part of my detractors. maybe there is yet another cabal in need of squashing.
I will have to talk to gerhard to get the jewel again. I will say as little as possible because talking to inert masses is a clear sign of madness, and I'm not there...yet.
I believe lunch with galina went well. I will ask to take charge of some of her pattern training.
As to the coronation matter...
I had planned to send just an ambassador, but I felt the former concubines needed more reassurance, and I was unsure If I could get a plant If I stayed home. I was able to return the native courtiers. The only job we have for courtiers in Vulnavia is called customer service. I am glad to have the rest remain aboard.
A few noteworthy events happened, perhaps the most so is the continuing infantile conduct of Torriana. I have tried to be patient and generous with her, but I really have no idea what she hopes to gain from such conduct other then removing support from her over indulgent father. she can put on a facade of gracefulness from time to time, but that fact that she is a foul mouthed little gremlin at the core is clear. I have no doubt that she has made my objectives in Rebma more difficult.
fineas was surprisingly polite, and supportive. Most resistance assassins I have worked with were alarmingly courteous as well. Jacob must have been between bouts of his severe mental illness, as he actually made sense. I would have enjoyed the company had I not seen so clearly the degree that they can ignore the golden rule.
I will learn the mirror trick. It will be very helpful in several of the shadows I am engaged in. I have some interesting plans for what I can do with it.
I am not entirely happy about events, but The wedding appeared to have the blessing of the unicorn, confirming my opinion that the primordial forces of the universe are somewhat misguided. I can turn the tides of oceans, but fate and the thick skulled spawn of oberon are another story. let's all pray for a tablu rasa in the Tir.
seeing a prelude to nuptial bliss reminded me of my predicament . there was an attractive woman at the wedding who peeked my interest. I will seek her out the next time I must visit.
I return with my research to discover benedict has temporarily taken the throne.
I have a reprieve from the gorilla who clipped the wings of science-!! ding dong the witch is dead-!! mazel-tov, I am dancing the I can breath again jig-!! I have blissful, if naive, images of gerard choking on a chicken wing in a bold print hawaiian shirt on an anonymus tropical beach somewhere.
Progress in Dom daniel is going well. I was able to release 100s of taster sea slugs to detect chaosites into the mountain, and I feel a little bit better about security there. The place will require some personal attention in the near future, but it is still running somewhere between numbers 3-10 on my ever growing list of things to do.
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
Day 51 PDS 11:00 AM:
I trumped mother to discuss Llewella's interest in meeting her. She indicated that she would be more than happy to receive Llewella as a visitor. She then proceeded to unload on me with regards to Kasman and his latest persecution of her remaining friends in Kashfa. She informed me that she has decided to take back her throne and expected Rinaldo and I to help. Great. I promised to confer with Rinaldo and the regent to get sanction to intervene in Kashfan affairs.
After our conversation I was in a pissy mood so I decided to take a break and spend a little time working on trumps of Marcus in Inakhos. Boris was kind enough to point out the few bugs that had been planted since my last visit, so I put some music on the turntable and have been painting off and on all morning.
Day 51 PDS 7:30 PM:
I realized the coronation and wedding were imminent so I took a brief trip to Franc to obtain something tasteful in the way of a wedding gift. Bono was quite accommodating. I picked out some fineries and art objects, then discussed his progress in consolidating power. He inquired into trade arrangements, so I directed him to Liam to preserve the Miramon monopoly I had promised.
I contacted Ky-Tung next and invited her to the ceremony. She went into a mild panic and had me take her to Lynxia to get new attire for the occasion before going to the Tir. I sometimes forget the extra preparation required by the opposite sex, but I am sure she will forgive me.
Day 52 PDS 11:00 AM:
Coronation Day. The wedding was brief, the coronation less so. Lots of dignitaries including the White Tiger and the Unicorn. I kept a relatively low profile but was able to discuss Kashfa with Rinaldo. He still has contacts there so he will be doing the investigation of the political situation. There was a very slight disturbance which turned out to be the discovery of a disturbing bit of debris from the Jesby wreckage.
After the ceremony, several of the family were called to a small room where the debris was displayed. It was a small chest, containing two preserved heads that were identified as my missing relations Sand and Delwin. They were reputed to be responsible for maintaining the bindings in our end of things. Zhartra was trumped in immediately and made aware of the find. She was manifestly unhappy with the vacancies in her organization. I sort of volunteered Rinaldo since he had indicated a need to take the binding power in any case. He went off with Zharta soon thereafter to begin his initiation. I am not sure who else will get stuck with the job. I would prefer it were not me. Tori spoke up about possibly having a lead on who might be responsible. She provided simple sketches of a man she claimed had been messing around with Sand and Delwin's people. It was no one I recognized. The remains were given over to Diego for examination in Vulnavia.
I foresee being called upon in the near future for a monster hunt. So much for helping Thirteen to any great degree. The first thing I will need is a retinue of assistants. I broached the subject of the Broken Pattern to Ky-Tung after some soul searching. She eagerly took the offer and will be walking it later today after I can arrange it with Gerard.
Day 52 6:00 PM:
I can breathe a sigh of relief. Ky made it through the initiation. I thought I was going to have a coronary before she was done but she had no real trouble. She is sleeping it off now. Soon I will have to teach her how to use it. I intend to bring her with me as my back up when Zhartra calls for help.
I took the time to speak to Gerard about Kashfa. He has given the OK to assist mother as long as the bloodshed can be moderated. I let her know shortly thereafter via trump. She was already in Kashfa, plotting away in some inn. I gave her my conditions for help (minimal bloodletting) and she accepted. We went over her death list and I trimmed it down substantially. I advised her to let Rinaldo's agents finish their reconnoitering before striking. I hope she listens.
Day 53 9:00 AM:
I went from Kashfa out into shadow to seek more monster hunting assistants. I decided I needed men with proverbial balls of steel so I sought out a classical bronze age magic shadow, rife with heroes and monsters. I have come across a score of men in dire straights with a twenty foot tall cyclops. I am about to jump into the fray to help them and make a favorable impression. Wish me luck.
"Fin wins big in Tir Tarngir!"
"P. 13 Gathers his forces in Lynxia for final push against the Hellgram's"
"Amber's population shut out of job opportunities at P. Diego's new Medical Center"
"P. Gerard goes on sabaticle, leaves P. Benedict in charge"
"P. Deigo to open Hospital on his estate, locals concerned about current health providers longevity"
"P. Benedict takes the over the "Reigns" of State"
"With the war as good as over, what is going on in the Courts of Chaos?"
"P. Diego's new venture may "tax" Amber's services"
"P Marcus of house Gryphon and P. Rhanda wed in ceremony linking the old and new Ruler's of Tir Tarngir"
"P. Delwin and P. Sand found dead in Tir Tarngir wreckage"
"P. Martin enjoys his new found Freedom"
"P. Rinaldo is the new point man in Tir Tarngir, will Caridwen be the new Lady of Amber?"
"From Lady of the Evening to Princess of Tir Tarngir: Why P. Vayla loves us"
The Herald Unicorn
"P. Jacob is foot loose and fancy free at Tir Shindig"
"Security is tight and cautious at Tir corination"
"P. Fineas Win's again!"
"The Family continues to mend its fences: P. Flora and P. Jacob, P. Toriana and P. 13, are all chummy at Tir bash"
"What changes will P. Benedict bring to the Amber Government now that he is at the helm of the Ship of State?"
"P. Diego to open medical center on his Amber estate - Free medical care for all"
"P. Diego's Magic school to put "Old Schools" to shame"
"P. Brings Vulnavian medical expertise to Amber Medical crisis"
"P. Galina and P. Diego confer on Amber ways"
"P. Galina readies herself for the test of her life"
"P.Diego slams "The Royal Rag" in passionate statement"
"P. Toriana has the glow of Confident Maturity about her at Tir Tarnger Wedding/Corination"
"L. Sabine shows off her new status at Tir Tarngir Coronation"
"P. Dara share's her impression of Inferno"
"P. Dara tells of her experience with P. 13's mother Mirelle"
The Royal Way
"P. Flora reveals the complete scope of the Johrom victory"
"P. Diego seeks new way's to weaken Amber's economy"
"An interview with P. Benedict on his new Responsibilities"
"P. Flora and P. Llewella pledge to aid Amber's new interim ruler"
"As P. Gerard prepares to leave Amber for a short time - Let's stand up and give him a great big cheer and our undying thanks!"
"We must be doing something right - P. Diego's latest tirade against the RW and it's Editor"
"Tragedy Strikes! P. Delwin and P. Sand found dead"
"The latest Fashion trends of the Ladies of Amber revealed!"
It is good to know of your existence.
As a reward for exposing yourself to the family, and assuming the risks that your generosity could have potentially entailed, please allow me to reciprocate your offer of hospitality. enclosed is an invitation to attend the open house at our facilities in Dom-Daniel, or you may arrange for a personal tour. I have enclosed some information about our facilities and objectives there. I am also pleased to extend an offer of Vulnavian hospitality you may avail yourself of at any time, as your doubtlessly busy schedule permits. also let me express my curiosity in your facilities. I know little about them , as I have refrained from sending any operatives in, as a courtesy I customarily extend to family members. only disaster would result If individuals were to disrespect the homelands of their own kindred.
Additionally in the spirit of this respect, let me assure you that you may call on my considerable aid in the security, and defense of your home.
D- (royal seal of vulnavia)
The World of a Princess
Jacob needs my help with a little task of his. When I said we should just start a storm and ruin their plans I was really half joking. He took this idea and ran. He is really the planner guy I am just going to get permission to take the jewel and meet up with him later. Dad insists that if I take the jewel that I have to take Benedict with me. Oh well I guess Benedict is as good of a bodyguard as anyone is.
Jacob and I commandeer a zeppelin and head out to sea for our big adventure. Benedict is very silent on the whole matter. I am sure there are thousands of places he would rather be. So quiet it is very eerie. Jacob and I unleash the wave we have been envisioning. I think it might be a might bit bigger than we had anticipated. Bad luck if it hits the main land, my only comfort that these are not good people they have conspired with horrible people.
We decimate the army and it is almost a complete victory. A few get away but Jacob assures me that this battle was a victory. Benedict I really can’t read him well. He is like steel. Smile for crying out loud. Anyway I am due to report to dad on the comings and goings of this night. I give him a report in a secured area.
The battle was tiring and I am due for a rest. I take the night to rest. In the morning a package from Diego arrives. I set it aside I have no time for childish pranks. I call Zhartra because I am ready to finish up the duties she needs to finish up. Alright so maybe I am still a bit tired and perhaps a touch crabby but what I really didn’t need to hear was Zhartra asking me about how her relatives faired. No she was not talking about my family she was talking about the other side. This is the point where my temper was lost and I pushed her buttons because she had just pushed mine. I am fairly certain this was our first and last discussion about her extended family and the outcome of war. I will now need some time to consider if I will continue to be useful to her out of kindness.
Strange times call for strange measures; surely nothing gets much stranger than the things I’ve done to push the Jesby’s out of Johrom.
To begin with, I trumped Jelerak for some advice.
Now, the last time he and I saw eye to eye, it was over the sights of a gun, so I wasn’t expected much in the way of a warm welcome; the wizard didn’t disappoint, but he’s no-nonsense and didn’t mind my getting to the point. The deal I proposed was simple: his insight into the hoo-ju that the Jesbys were cooking up in Johrom in exchange for some doo-dads I didn’t have any use for anymore. He didn’t seem much interested until I threw in a chance to watch Tori and myself reap the whirlwind – that got his attention.
I made arrangements to describe the Jesby layout as best we could when he arrived in Johrom but it turned out to be unnecessary – he had some sort of witching-glass that let him scry the place out on his own – useful toy, that.
After hemming and hawing for a bit, he announced that, as I’d already guessed, the city was mined to the gills with incendiaries and they’d geared their Black Road Opening spell to pull energy off a lot of fiery deaths. This worked out for us as far as it went; we’d already planned to drown the damn island and all the rat-bastards that had empty-headed notion to side with the Jesby’s to begin with. The problem, which I’d missed and Jelerak was smirking about, was that the Jesby could re-write the damn thing to handle drowning death before the wave ever hit.
I simplified the problem: with only one thing to worry about, the Jesby’s could handle themselves. The easiest solution was to give em more than one thing to worry about.
It started with the Jewel of Amber, which Gerard had given us under the condition that Benedict come along to safeguard it. (This is the sort of ‘oh no not the Briar Patch’ condition on a deal that I like to have.) Using it and several of Tori’s coins, I pulled up the Mother of all Elemental Bindings – with a couple dozen massive xorn to help out with one part of the plan and the same number of electrically-apt air sprites for another, we were set to go.
We (which is to say myself, Toriana, Benedict, Flora and Jelerak-as-observer) took a zeppelin out over the ocean – in this, Toriana is the muscle and I’m just providing a little steering here and there – with the xorn kicking in, we precipitate an undersea quake big enough to get our tidal wave rolling. In the meantime, we’ve ordered the Johrom forces to hit the Jesby perimeter with everything they have so as to keep their troops occupied. Jelerak takes a peek at the city and the Jesby begin modifying their ritual to take advantage of the impending death-by-water.
They were very good at what they were doing. Perfect.
About half-way through their work, Flora releases a complicated little spell that simulated a Trump Gate opening on the far side of the island – it doesn’t stand up to too much inspection, but it does draw a couple off the Logrus masters off their tasks to check it out. Those remaining have to really push to get their spell rewritten – they make it with only a minute or two to spare before we drown the island.
That’s when the air sprites start cooking off the incendiary bombs that they’d helpfully stored all over the city. With the spell rewritten, it didn’t do them anything but harm, and between that and the Johrom pushing in, half their forces were dead by the time the wave hit. I think we got three of every four before the remainder managed to limp away… I’d say if they keep up their plan to attack the Tir now, they’re too stubborn to live anyway.
Everything basically worked as we planned, which immediately made me suspicious, so I stayed at the site of the battle for a day or two more to make sure everything was as good as it was likely to get. Normally I’m all for a good fight, but this one left me feeling a little cold – it was a solid plan and it fired off just right, but there isn’t much satisfaction in this Hand Of God sort of thing.
After, I checked out how my boys were doing with Santi and made some plans to pick out a few more watchers in the near future. I’ve some plans that’ll require some extra eyes and ears.
Fineas called me later to let me know that the Jesby had shown up at the Tir anyway. I didn’t need to hear the rest – way I figured it, I already knew how it had panned out.
Mont du Crete (or 'Monty Creet') used to be one of the hot up-and-coming mages of Dom Daniel. Everyone knew he was one of the most naturally talented and dedicated mages in the younger generation.
Then ol' Monty took a dare from a fellow classmate to say 'his' [ed: Jelerac's] name three times while standing outside the protection of a summoning circle, and ever since then Monty hasn't been much good to anyone.
Mont is only in his mid-thirties, but he looks twice that. He's a nice enough chap and always friendly to anyone who comes into his shop -- whether he's imagining them or not (people who know him have gotten used to his tendency to talk to people that aren't really there... and to run for cover if he starts casting a spell).
Generally, Monty only gets business from people who don't know any better (like visitors from other Shadows who piss off the locals enough that they recommend him to them). His artifacts and tomes of knowledge tend to look a great deal like yard-sale junk and worn-out department store catalogues from far-off worlds, but sometimes he actually has something worth trading (although he's probably using it as a footstool).
Please tell me/remind me...
1) What sort of gadgets/weapons/defensive amulets/armor your characters normally carry.
2) What sort of security is in place at:
Toriana's mansions in Rebma and Lynxia
Vulnavia Isle, V. Palace
Diego's Dom-daniel school and the hq
Diego's abode in Lynxia
13's temp hqs in Luala Kumpur, Nydsee and Kyoto.
Something for Jacob to run into. :)
Using what appears to be a natural ability to blend chameleon-like into rock formations, the winged gargoyle has become the scourge of travelers throughout the Borderlands. The creatures seem to prefer to horse as a main course and are generally quite difficult to deal with. It is probably fortunate that the beasts are not numerous, for few weapons have proven effective against them and the only tactic that has shown any sort of success can be summed up as ‘Run, as fast as you can.’
Translator ring number 33.
I could teach them to talk the languages, but that would take time I do not have. So I have settled on Translator rings for the lot of them. And as a free extra I'd toss in an anti-Ty'iga shield.
Just before leaving Qweentoe, I sent the most adaptable of the people from the Village (as well as working duplicates of everything taking from the Village) to the Arden ranger station with a note from me explaining everything. I also trumped Fenmor to let him know of their impending arrival. I put the woman I knew as 375 (but who now insists on being called Wendy Frith) in charge of the move.
The others I split up in to three groups: One group was sent to Toekay-o, another to Sydnee and the last one came with me to Kouala Lampoor.
The reasons for all this movement became necessary after an incident while scanning. They were able to lock on to a passive scan. The Hellgram's had not been able to do that before. The reason they were able to do that became clear with the disappearance of Boran. I had hoped that he had just gone off to help his "Other Employer", but this did not turn out to be true. He must have been captured by the Hallgram's in Kouala Lampoor. I had left Dara in charge with him, some rangers, and couple of Hellmaid's. Based on what I found this morning in the Castle, Dara decided that it would be better to go off and get drunk with Jacob, and Martin than to do as I had asked her. She could have waited a day to go and meet the Family (That was the plan at least). The People with Boran must all be dead.
Translator ring number 34.
In the morning while waiting for Dara and Mirelle to wake up, I went to Lynxia to pick up all of those that had needed to visit it over the last several weeks. Jurgan, Gertruda, Kirsten, Zherevyev, and Badger were all as fit as a fiddle. A few of the Glencoran's were eager to go back to Purgatory, but most wanted to stay and learn. The asked me if it was ok, and I looked at the Director, and he nodded his approval.
Before heading out this morning I had tried to get a hold of Boran, but no luck. He did not come a crossed as dead, but merely drugged or unconscious. Dara looked sheepishly about this, but we moved on. The two people with Hangover's (Mother and Dara) decided to volunteer to go and check out the Shadow Path from Inferno to the Dancing Mountains to see if the Hellgram's were moving back to Chaos or not. Dara would later Trump me and ask if the could help out Badger's people in Inferno. Better them than me...I really wanted no part of the place.
Back in Qweento, Tenoch asked if we could get rid of some bad people he referred to as "Drug Lords". He told us that this would help us get a hold of their electronic money laundering services, ID's, bank accounts, and local weaponry. It was a fairly easy task accomplished by Myself, Sabine, Jurgen, and Gertruda.
Translator ring number 35.
Other bit's of entertainment this morning (Besides watching Dara and Mirelle get on to their horses), were Diego's gifts. Now as I may have said before, this just was not done in the Village.
But here they were.
All bright and shiny.
I checked them all.
Every last piece.
This only got me riled even more. I could understand if he was sending me something as punishment for what he may have perceived as cowardice in the mostly useless retreat from Tir, but there was nothing here. On the ride out I talked to Sabine, Kirsten, and Zherevyev about it.
Sabine was of the opinion that it was harmless, and that he was trying to get in my good graces or wanting a favor in the future.
Kirsten said that he wanted in my pants and that I should be careful not to have my back towards him in the future.
Zherevyev gave Kirsten a dismissive look and agreed with Sabine. She thought that he may be trying to curry favor with me, since what she had been hearing while in Lynxia was that he was having trouble with several of the other family members.
Later, when we were all settled (and Dara check in), I asked the same of her and Mother. Dara understood my dilemma (having lived in Chaos until just recently) and my fears. She too agreed with Sabine's assessment. Though she felt it would be a good idea to keep the practice of thoroughly checking all gifts from any member of the Family.
Mirelle, quite independently, came to the same conclusion as Kirsten, and laughed herself off of her horse.
So, based on this input, I can safely say that I have several possible conclusions in regards to Diego's Gift:
1. He is Gay and wooing me based on the custom's of his Shadow. Low probability, but worth keeping in the back of my mind.
2. Having angered several members of the Family he is seeking me as an ally based on the custom's of his Shadow. A much higher probability.
3. He is buttering me up for a future favor. One which I will feel obliged to give him based on the large pile of stuff he gave me. This, I would think is the highest probability.
4. He is trying to kill me, but is sending innocuous gifts so that I will lower my guard. Always a probability.
Translator ring number 36.
The Boran search did not go at all will. But, I would say that this is the reason they were able to locate our operation in Qweentoe. The Hellgram's had taken everything about our operation straight out of Boran's mind. I sent 2 people that I had known as 67 (now none as Iain "Bricktop" Mason) and 142 (Ryoko "Bignose" Seto) to Sydnee and Toekay-o respectivly. Things are going well.
Translator ring number 37.
I trumped Holrune and talked to him about Boran and "He-Who-Shall-Not- be-named". Holrune didn't know that Boran was working for HWSNBN but would pass on the info about him through safe channel's. I caught up on the news from Dom-Daniel, and Holrune mentioned something about weird going's on in a shadow called Vashti. Something to worry about later.
Fineas trumped me and told me the good new on the out come of the coup in Tir. Marcus was going to wed Rhanda (daughter of the cat, from the sounds of it). I asked him if he would be willing to take over one of the Purgatory operations and He said that he would think about it, but would get back with me when we could discuss it face to face.
Everything is just clicking along wonderfully!
Translator ring number 38.
At an early age, Clark Babbage, Jr. was placed in the custody of a group of scientists by his father who had great plans for his son. Clark studied under great masters of all disciplines of science: medicine, chemistry, electricity, engineering, archaeology, and others. He also developed his body as well as his mind by studying the martial arts and other hand to hand combat skills. He became fluent in numerous languages, an expert at ventriloquism, and a marksman with all types of weapons.
When WWI broke out, Doc joined the Army, where he became a combat ace flying biplanes in missions against the Germans. He was shot down, captured, and sent to a POW camp where he met Bunk, Spam, Renny, Johnny, and Long Tom. Doc and his crew organized a prison escape, and made a pact that they would form a group to fight evil and crime when the war was over.
Doc saved a lost race of Mayan descendents from exploitation and slavery, and in return was given access to the tremendous hordes of gold owned by the tribe. Doc used this fabulous wealth in his fight against evil.
Despite Doc's choice of professions, he seldom took the life of a criminal if he could help it. Usually the gang of criminals would meet their doom as a result of their own greed and evil plot. The fate of the criminals Doc captured was quite different. They were taken to a secret hospital in up-state New York and given a delicate brain surgery by Doc that erased their memories. A staff of attendants would then re-train the criminal to be a contributing member of society.
Doc was a huge man. Six foot eight inches tall, he weighed 270 pounds, golden eyes, skin with a slight metallic bronze tone, a physique he maintains by performing a 2 hour routine of exercises each day. These exercises consisted of pitting one muscle against another. At the same time, he is exercising his mind by performing complex mathematical calculations in his head. He also develops his other senses with the use of apparatus of his own design.
The Babbage Code
Let me strive every moment of my life, to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
Diego has been a colleague of Clark's for 15 years developing multiple medical patents together
taken heavily from..
Making Melee STR + WAR and Mental PSY + END was an experiment. It's worked OK but it is a bit off. I think it bugs Doyce the most. We could readjust it to WAR + 1/2STR and PSY + 1/2END. To compensate a bit you could lower your ENDs and STRs by 5 each and add 5 each to PSY and WAR.
The main relative changes: Tori is a little more powerful, Mentally, and weaker in Melee. The top Warfare types are closer to Gerard in Melee; they drop somewhere between 15 to 35 points but he drops 55. (Yes, Gerard can lift 1100 lbs one-handed.)
Otherwise, it's just some number-crunching and changing the multipliers on spread sheets.
As we're doing fine now we'll only change if everybody wants to, or if some want to and others don't care. So please vote YES, NO or DON'T CARE.
Rinaldo reports that Marcus & Rhanda offer to train someone in Mirrormastery in exchange for trainging in Trump Artistry. They want two people trained and are making the offer to both Amber and Rebma -- they don't want either court to feel slighted. That is, they want both deals to go through. If one court declines the offer will remain open.
To: Diego, King of Vulnavia and Prince of Amber
Many thanks for your kind offers.
We welcome your advisors and your books. Thankfully, Tir Tarngir is blessed with fertile lands and productive farmers. No agricultural aid will be necessary, but we thank you for your concern.
We have some information concerning House Chanicut which we will gladly share with you personally, Amber and Rebma. Unfortunately, we don’t have the kind of tactical details that would be most useful to you or them. Gryphon and Chanicut are only peripherally in conflict at present.
Live samples of the plant Vayla used to suppress her shapeshifting ability will be included as guest gifts at the coronation for the representatives of Amber and Rebma.
We are certainly interested in acquiring Trumps and, eventually, a Trump artist’s instruction in that discipline.
In regards to the former concubines, we can arrange for them to be welcomed back to their homelands in positions of rank and wealth. It is a family courtesy to protégées of a cousin and Prince of Amber. I’ve learned that Sorak’s case may be far more difficult. The Kraath barbarians killed the vast majority of her race. There are probably not enough of them left to populate even one of their cities, which are now in ruins. We have ordered an inquiry into just how many survive. Moreover, we cannot yet afford to lose the Kraath. We anticipate further trouble with Gryphon or other houses of the Courts and may well have need of expendable but somewhat effective cannon fodder. (We do not at present anticipate any long term association with the Kraath.) Perhaps you could find a suitable new homeworld for Sorak’s people, one similar to the old but lacking barbarian hordes and blessed with greater fertility, either here in our area of interest or in your own, whichever you prefer . We will gladly aid you in separating the remaining captives from the Kraath for relocation to more congenial surroundings.
The territories in question are clearly in the Tir Tarngir sphere of influence. They are not, however, ruled from here. House Gryphon made agreements with various rulers for the use of armies or navies. Whether or not we will take over all of those agreements is a matter currently under discussion.
Please accept our invitation to the coronation ceremony.
Marcus of Tir Tarngir
The True Life Adventures of Fineas of House Barimen
Prince of Amber
Day 49 PDS 11:00 PM:
I find myself basking in the glow of a job well done tonight. The stench of cordite still clings to my skin but my skin is whole and that is what is important. I almost feel like I should have had a religious experience. You know, the life changing kind that everyone talks about in fairy tales. An hour ago I met the White Tiger, brother to the Unicorn and therefore my great grand uncle. He apparently has sired a race of were-cats who occupy a realm outside normal shadow, or at least they have the ability to move from place to place in this realm. It is reachable through enchanted mirrors found throughout the palace complex.
My other great ancestor Zhartra will be saddened to learn that I shortened her list of descendants by a couple more tonight. I slew two more Gryphon lords during a several hour running battle through the palace complex. My rangers put a serious dent in the sub commanders as well. I and Vayla found occasion to put one of the younger Flora spawn to dangerous work, luring the Gryphons out with his fledgling Pattern use. Powell is his name and he is a brave and cheery lad. Luckily he survived the ordeal and I look forward to seeing more of him. After four hours we had driven off all surviving Gryphon loyalists and a great show was made of unmasking the chaosians in the court. The White Tiger made his appearance with a female descendant and proclaimed Marcus as the rightful heir to the throne (after marrying Rhanda of course).
Marcus is much like I imagined him, except shorter. It is apparent he and Vayla are close, Savaton less so. Rhanda claims to be descended from both the White Tiger and Morganna of the ancient royal family. She and Marcus will marry soon, shortly thereafter to be coronated as the new emperor of Tir Tarngir. Rhanda is toting around the Jewel of Tir and is apparently attuned to it. I will need her help to drive off the Jesbys if their force makes it this far. No word on that yet.
Day 50 PDS 9:00 AM
The cleanup in Tir continues. I trumped Gerard and Jacob last night before I rested. The Jesbys have fallen on hard times in Johrom but a sizeable fleet escaped on a feeble black road. They should arrive soon. I learned that Rhanda did not know how to use the Jewel so I took it upon myself to instruct her. She trusts me little as yet. She is now brewing up a nasty storm with some elemental additions. If Jesby shows they are in for a real treat. Marcus and I got acquainted. He should do well if he can get organized quickly enough. I have to remind myself that he is a ruthless man when I chat with him. His half brother's body is barely in the ground and he shows no remorse at the necessity of killing him whatsoever. He grilled me on a variety of subjects, mostly concerning security and likely servants. He showed an unwelcome interest in Tanitheel and her people. I shall have to watch that he does not pursue that interest too avidly.
Day 50 PDS 12:00PM
The Jesbys arrived. They have been crushed utterly, though Rhanda over exerted herself and had to be taken away to rest. The White Tiger spoke with me a bit more and wished me to convey his greetings to his sister. I explained that I had never seen the Unicorn and frankly did not expect her to come at by desire. Nonetheless I shall drop by the grove when I return to Amber to at least make a nominal gesture. Rinaldo has arrived and is busily making points with all and sundry. I suspect he has designs on Vayla, so I will return to Amber soon and give him space to operate. I have people to brief and other plans to set in motion now that this one has come to fruition.
Day 50 PDS 1:30PM
I gave a lengthy report to Gerard and Benedict upon my return. Gerard is very pleased with developments and allowed me to directly inform Queen Moire. I am surprised he did not do so himself. I wonder at the ramifications of that. First I wanted to speak with Flora so I trumped her and gave her the full report. She agreed to make an appearance at the wedding and coronation provided Benedict escorted her. He agreed. It was time to move on to the next stop.
I trumped Queen Moire directly and was allowed to report to her in person in short order. I gave her the full report, leaving out nothing other than the limits of Rhanda's knowledge of the jewel. The mirrors were of great interest to her as I expected. I also broached the subject of trump tutors or artists for Marcus. I have a suspicion she plans to send Gwynneth, but I may be mistaken. I used the opportunity to request permission to establish a residence in Rebma. Moire granted permission. I have no doubt the site will be well seeded with intelligence gathering tricks but that is precisely what I want. Moire asked me my impression of the Florians so I gave her the best estimation I could. After a few more pleasantries I begged off to continue my rounds.
Llewella was next. I found her deep in shadow making a shadow path from Rebma. We had a long conversation that somehow turned to my parentage. She stroked my ego a bit before hitting me up to meet Jasra. I have to admit I enjoyed it though I could sense what she was up to. I promised to broach the subject with Mother when I saw her next. Llewella seemed pleased and I left in a good mood. At least until it was time to trump Diego.
He answered with curt politeness, a sure sign he is pissed at me about something. Probably not bringing him in on the deal in Tir from the beginning or maybe busting a cap on his ill bred half brother. Either way, he deserves to know everything so I gave him the full report. He kept his cool, which is an improvement of sorts. Perhaps he is learning to adapt finally.
I continued on to Thirteen who asked if I could offer any assistance against the Hellgrams. Apparently Baran has gone missing and Thirteen can't find him. I told him I would help any way I could and had a few suggestions about how to proceed in Purgatory.
Between killing folks and scheming with Marcus, I have been thinking about the Hellgrams a great deal. Why are they still poking around our territory? They can't hope to overthrow us now. It must be because they can get things from our shadows that give them an advantage in Chaos. Things like big nasty garou are obvious, but what could they want in a shadow like Purgatory? Then it hit me. Hellgram is an information gathering house, much like Basilisk. They must have an enormous amount of raw data coming in from all their agents throughout chaos and shadow. A technological shadow like Purgatory offers the wonder of computer processing. Computational theory, information system architecture, data sorting algorithms, all these things could be a breakthrough for a culture steeped in a tradition of manual data analyzing. Dump the scribes and conjured processing creatures with their own personalities and agendas. Utilize high speed technology to sort that intelligence data.
I could see Hellgrams infesting the academic institutions of Purgatory, learning the science of computers. They could be establishing a data processing center there or simply learning how to create a magical analog of their own for use in chaos. The place to seek Hellgrams is not the halls of political power, but rather the places where information and technology are concentrated. Universities, think tanks, corporations involved in data processing and software developers are the places to look.
I will need to sit down with Thirteen and get a better picture of Purgatory. Together I am confident we can do some serious damage to Hellgram aspirations.
Congratulations on your recent victory against the Gryphon abomination.
I hope we can work together within a set of common objectives.
I have been operating in the gryphon held lands that once belonged to the people of Dante's concubine known as Sorak. I have pledged to restore order there, please do not interfere, or optionally your aid would be welcome. Additionally please do not consider any non-economic action in the lands that belonged to any of his former concubines outside of the Tir, where I have similar agreements. I am however open to discussions as to the ultimate governance of these territories with the provisos that some semblance of pre-invasion life be restored, and some elements of self rule be introduced.
I would also ask that the concubines native to your new territory be allowed to return, and allowed to live free and prosperous lives.
As the prince of Amber with the largest independent economic interests, I find myself in a position to aid you in your stated objectives of economic independence.
I currently am experiencing a considerable agricultural surplus that I could easily arrange to provide you with during your transitional period. I also have up to a dozen operatives that could serve you well in an economic advisory compacity, and several dozen excellent tomes on macro-economics, and business operations you should find seminal, including one I authored myself on zeppelins their use in combined supply chain management . Please consider the enclosed current discounted price list for the products we export avialable as needed in future endeavors.
I would request the shape-shifting potion used by alexia, and any information you have in relation to house chandicut. I believe joining the agreement to destroy house chandicut you would greatly further the peace you desire with both Amber and Rebma.
you might also want to request copies of the trumps we had made between our first and second gryphon encounters at the Tir be made available for your use.
there are additional ideas and technologies I could share from my time as commander of our invasion forces that were scheduled to retake the Tir, including improved airship designs, provided we can reach a mutually productive conclusion in these prior matters.
D- (royal seal of Vulnavia)
(slightly different copy delivered to rebma)
Kashfa is currently ruled by Regent Kasman, who staged a successful coup against the highly unpopular Queen Jasra (highly unpopular among the nobility, at least) during the Patternfall War. Kasman claims to be searching for the legitimate heirs of King Menillan (who died mysteriously and was succeeded by his new wife Queen Jasra) but every good prospect has disappeared or turned up dead. He initially had the support of the nobility but has grown more despotic over the years. The commoners dislike him for his several useless and costly attempts to take the Keep of Four Worlds and kill ex-Queen Jasra. He fears the return of Rinaldo or Fineas, Jasra's sons, who were young and charismatic enough to gain the common peoples' romanticised adulation. Since they've become Princes of Amber, he's really worried.
Marcus, ringleader, Emperor
Vayla, Marcus' trusted lieutenant/big sister, formerly known as Alexa [vayla]
Savaton, the diplomat
[Illyan, Komarra and Tharn are all dead.]
Powell, newbie, game enough to act as bait for Vayla and Fineas
Devera, newbie [deh VEHR a]
Liana, newbie [lee-onna]
[4 newbies died in the takeover, 2 had been loyal to the Duke]
[Marcus claims that all of Flora's remaining genetic material in Gryphon hands has been destroyed and that there are no more little Florians being speed-raised in Chaos.]
Teague/Tiglath, Logrus master who's thrown in with the Florians
Alit [aleet], Broken Pattern initiate who's thrown in
Morganids/Shroudlings of the Redcloak family:
Rhandalissa/Rhanda, Jewel of Tarngir initiate, Empress
Rhastoferas [ross-toh-fehross], father of Rhanda, leader of the Redcloaks
Rhundimas, nephew to Rhastoferas [roondeemoss, rune]
Vestalla, aged cousin of Rhas
Pramas, Vestalla's grandson [prom-oss]
Saia, Pramas' young daughter [sigh-ah]
Mangold, hermit cousin of Rhas
Nicola, cousin of Rhas
Ashtrakhan, young son of Nicola [ashtrah-kon, ash]
[Shroudlings can shapeshift into black-furred cat-people. They can do nifty tricks with mirrors.]
Tir Tarngiran ranks:
Emperor/Empress: Marcus and Rhandalissa
Prince/Princess: hypothetical offspring of the Emperor and Empress
Duke/Duchess: 1) ex-Gryphon sibling of Marcus who sided with him in his coup, 2) Shroudling of the Redcloak family who is committed to being active in the Imperial family business
Count/Countess: Redcloak who is not actively helping the family business
In local terms these would actually be something like "Celestial Duke", Celestial Countess", etc. to differentiate between the new, divinely-approved dynasty and the ordinary dukes, counts, barons, etc.
I know with the powers at the disposal of many people around, that inconceivable amounts of money are a trivial matter, but I still like the sound of an economy well greased, and being able to pamper the right people.
with all the wealth I have been importing i have created a 1.2 percent drop in the global precious gems market, and a 2.3 percent drop in the worldwide gold market but, now that The ships have started coming in, I can feel no guilt.
we have the parts to double our air force, commercial naval fleet and military land transport abilities. We can double our agricultural storage, We have most of the troop support materials needed to take sorak's shadow, and start on kylikki's. There are firearms for every vulnavian citizen that wants one. I ordered packards to be given to our elected officials to attract more talent. It would take pages to detail all the advantages Vulnavia is experiencing.
Dom daniel is doing well to spite reduced resources, it should be ready in time for the opening. sorak has redoubled her efforts after I returned some of her people to her, and increased her bonus program as well as the victory fund for her race.
Unless I make something happen, Vulnavia will have warehouses overflowing with untapped resources for months before my existing population base can even get around to using everything from just he first series of shipments. Having Clark's fabulous brain trust on site, or aiding is going to be vital.
I was surprised by the degree to which kylikki indulged herself during her week long new york shopping spree. When i pulled her and her escort through the trump she brought a luggage rack full of items, she had a steamer trunk full of records, an elephant gun, a machine gun, a souvenir steering wheel I didn't ask about, and a crate of champagne. additionally she has 2 cars, a truck filled with mostly clothes, as well as a truck full of furniture on an incoming boat. I was really taken aback when she wanted to go to the firing range, and learn all about the new weapons she bought. At the firing range It became a volatile mix of Kylikki, bing crosby, champagne, guns, custom printed flora targets, and stuffed animals I had painted some time back to look like choasites.
It wasn't long until my potent Castilian biological autopilot took the helm. It is good to see kylikki acting more confidently, treating her situation as less transitory, and enjoying herself.
I have given several people the gift of broken pattern
the 4 africans I have worked with for at least 19 years each, and they have served as my personal body guards for many of those years
the 2 Drakke have signed on to join their new settlement here , and started lives as what passes for solid family men in their culture.
The shaman have been working for me for years in stockpile shadow, and have intermarried into our country.
the priestess is a gift to mapungubwe, and to work on jointly defending our territory.
good solid people, and a huge boon for what I need to do.
I was almost feeling good again
Then I got a trump
given the timeless reasoning of our esteemed regent in making secret assassination of family members state policy, it is not surprising that he now has discovered vicariously justifying the rape of his own sister as the wisest course of action in our foreign relations. by enacting this madness, he in effect opens the collective bowels of amber on all that our ancestors fought for. The diabolical sale of a pattern down river was done wholly without my knowledge, for that I am grateful. The enemy doesn't need to send spies, we betray ourselves. At this point I see the war as a puzzle where we all come into the room, and rearrange the pieces without informing the others.
Amber logic is giving a pattern away on the basis of wishful thinking while gaining nothing else then a vague absurd possibility of being able to think optimistically about the loss of one of the three most powerful places in the universe- truly a new level of abomination even for gerard. I haven't seen such a monstrosity since I added too much electricity while crossbreeding a javelina and a wallaby. this is an elevation for whore spawn, and more frighteningly... possibly for a whore.
we would have been better off enacting my plan for the tir, that was glibly rejected in favor of this abhoration. God and Oberon are dead.
how do I deal with this catastrophe?
how do I cope with the diabolical new political reality created by a regent who can't draw lines regarding people's behavior or motivations?
I love it when a plan comes together...
aha! oh the humanity!
it is clear I am an outsider in amber - amen, but the price I will pay remains unclear.
gerhard is becoming a better liar, and better at keeping secrets, thusly he is of vastly less use to me as regent. I am seeing the correlations between the way amber is run, with the management of organized crime with all the secrecy and codes of silence. Amber could be a legitimate established government, even a monarchy is preferable to the Mafia, but in truth Amber would have to work it's way up to be the mob, because at least the mob makes considerations for family. An interesting side note is that from time to time I enjoy a lively correspondence with a mafia don I helped imprison. I agreed to look after his children, and protect them if he paid for his crimes. His son has a new identity, and is close to graduating our medical academy with honors. Now there is a father who could control his child.
It is clear gerard values the appearance of legitimacy more then actual legitimacy.
I am alarmingly comfortable with the fact that he doesn't trust me, I loose sleep over the fact that I can't trust him, because he is between me and them.
given these two variables I find it difficult to believe that he was spurred to his characteristic inaction with the information I relayed to him in relation to Jacob's criminality. new inquiries with new sources are required.
I need to see Moire or strangle some real chaosians. of the 3 dozen things I have done for the queen this last fiscal quarter, separation is the most difficult.
Jacob begins with a turn chock full of secret stuff. It is later revealed he has made a deal with Jelorak for consultation about the Jesby Black Road problem.
Assists Jacob and obtains the Jewel of Amber for use against the Jesbys. More secret stuff involved. Together they come up with a cunning plan.
Diego successfully attunes Clark (aka Doc) to the Broken Pattern using the Jewel to insure his success. It is tiring so Diego rests a bit and contacts his man Garcia with instructions find out more about the doings of House Chanicutt. He then changes his mind and orders Garcia to begin seeking out Bleys so that he can be healed of his madness. Garcia balks a bit and asks for an escort of special Afrikans to help him through the dangerous areas. Diego promises to get him a proper escort shortly.
In the meantime Diego continues his personal mission to save as many of Sorak’s people as he can He seeks out and ambushes small groups of the vile aliens and manages to free three more slaves. His explorations lead him to an enemy held automated weapons factory which he stakes out until a caravan leaves. He ambushes it and obtains a fair amount of the local weaponry. He returns with his booty and the rescued slaves and has Clark begin studying the weapons that were captured.
Prince Thirteen begins in Qito with his mother and Dara. They decide to check on the situation in Inferno. He learns that some of the garou have been leaving the shadow as expected, presumably to the Dancing Mountains and beyond. Returning to Purgatory he continues his passive scanning of the shadow to detect enemy activity. He “bumps into” a Logrus scanner doing the same thing so he quickly discontinues before he is pinpointed. He discusses the possibility of using a psycholink spell to communicate for a while, then discovers that Baran of the Hand appears to be unreachable. Dead, hiding, who knows. This worries him greatly. Until he can inquire with Jelorak, he decides not to assume Baran has been captured.
Thirteen has a long discussion with Dara about the gifts he received from Prince Diego. Thirteen is confused by the custom and looks for Dara to help him figure out Diego’s motivation. Dara is nearly as clueless about such things as Thirteen, but they come to the conclusion it was probably done in good faith.
Fineas embarks on his Gryphon Safari in Tir Tarngir and a lengthy running battle develops in the palace compound. During the fight Fineas is introduced to a species of cat people that move from mirror to mirror in an alternate realm. They are assisting Marcus with his coup and are a great help in outmaneuvering the Gryphon defenders. It turns out one of them, a descendant of both the White Tiger (the unicorn’s brother) and Morganna’s branch of the family is promised as Marcus’ bride and future Queen of the Tir. Her name is Rhanda and she bears the Jewel of Tir.
At the end of the day Marcus’ faction is victorious. Fineas and his five rangers kill two Gryphon lords in the fight. The White Tiger makes an appearance with Rhanda, unmasks the Gryphon imposters before the court and announces the rightfull Ascension of Marcus and his bride as the next rulers of the Tir. There is much rejoicing. Fineas reports the success, sends his wounded rangers back to Amber and is joined in the Tir by Rinaldo a short while later.
Diego makes arrangements with a Rebman trump artist for a few sketches. He gathers more of his followers and returns to Amber to run them through the Broken Pattern. He initiates one Drakki, 2 enhanced Afrikan warriors and three of their Shamans before he becomes to tired to continue. He heads to his manor in Lynxia to rest up again. He summons Kylikki from her New York shopping spree and imposes upon Clark to pressure BDR for 2000 of his troops. He spends some quality time with Kylikki while Clark works on getting the troops.
When he is refreshed, Diego enhances five more of his warriors for the Broken Pattern initiation. He sends them to Garcia for his escort, then turns his attention to creating his new creature, the Brape. A cross between sniffing ape and boar, it is intended to sniff out vile shapeshifters much as the weir do.
After a long day of questionable genetic practices, Diego contacts Morwyn and grills her about what happened with Toriana. Morwyn confesses she got drunk and divulged some of the thing Diego had been doing. A discussion of the awkwardness of her half brother trying to sleep with her mother ensues. She tries once more to advise him against continuing his courtship but he ignores the advice.
Jacob & Toriana
The dynamic duo make preparations for mass destruction in Johrom. Lots of coins are burned off in various preparations, including the summoning of a large number of elementals tasked with the ignition of the Jesby incendiaries. They take a zeppelin far out over the ocean where the Jewel is used to precipitate a massive undersea quake. The quake in turn creates a monstrous tsunami aimed at the Jesby island. The Jesby’s begin modifying their ritual to take advantage of the impending death by water as Jacob had hoped. Once their ritual was modified, Jacob and Tori unleash hell. A magical struggle ensues and fully three quarters of the Jesby force is obliterated or driven away either by raging fire or the engulfing tsunami.. The remaining one quarter succeeds in slipping away on a weak black road towards Tit Tarngir. Toriana returns the Jewel to Amber and then trumps Fineas to let him know the results of the fight. Jacob tries to divert some of the collateral damage on the allied Jesbys and sticks around for cleanup.
Concerned with the disappearance of Baran , thirteen tries to locate him by searching for the links to his Hand. No luck. He begins a search of strange events on the local computer internet and soon comes to the conclusion he is being outflanked so to speak and decides to vacate Qito. He sends his more adaptable Villagers to the ranger station for further training and begins to disperse his operation to Tokio, Kuala Lumpuur and Sydnee before the Hellgrams can strike. Number 142 is put in charge of Sydnee and Number 67 is put in charge of Tokio. Thirteen heads to Kuala. Before leaving Qito, he purges the city of a number of the underworld slime both to cover his tracks and to reward his local man for his assistance. He takes the IDs, currency and other assets to ease the travel difficulties within Purgatory.
Fineas has a long meeting with Marcus, Vayla and Rhanda. The future of the regime is discussed as well as the impending attack from Jesby. Fineas instructs Rhanda on the use of the Jewel of Tir, including its ability to insure successful initiation of Broken Pattern. She begins to summon an appropriate storm to greet the Jesbys on their arrival. Assistance to the new realm is discussed, particularly in the setup of a trade empire and what sort of armies to recruit for its defense. Marcus inquires into the origin of Tanitheel and Fineas prevaricates to maintain her privacy. The coronation/wedding is set for the near future and invitations are discussed. Fineas agrees to try and convince Flora to lend her presence to the proceedings.
Diego continues his discussions with Morwyn and asks if she can wield her influence to calm Toriana down. Morwyn agrees to try. Diego presents her with one of the recently captured guns (non functional in Rebma) and leaves on other errands. His next stop is in Amber where he tracks down Galena in the midst of her physical training and issues an invitation to visit Vulnavia. Galena agrees to a short visit on the morrow. Diego then makes arrangements for even more Broken Pattern initiations, rounds up the troops obtained by Clark from BDR and readies for a more forceful incursion into Barsoom to continue his crusade for Sorak’s people.
Tori contacts Zhartra and has a short and unsatisfying conversation with her, precipitated by Zhartra’s inquiry into her descendants in Jesby. Toriana then reports to Gerard about everything that has transpired in Johrom before heading to Dom Daniel to continue her investigations into the events in Delwin’s keep.
Jacob makes the rounds checking on all of his various agents and re-assigning a few to train with Santee. He seeks out a couple new ones to fill some gaps, picking a couple of females for the job. He is contacted by Fineas and told of the result of the Tir expedition.
Thirteen stealth trumps Dara to discuss Purgatory. He learns the wizard council in the other shadow is beginning to see things to Thirteen’s satisfaction. The garou continue to dribble out into shadow. All is well except for Baran’s disappearance. Thirteen contacts Holrune for help in making inquiries of Jelorak. He gets caught up on Belkin news and learns of the strange infestation in shadow Vashti. Thirteen then trumps Kelamon to arrange for place trumps of each of his new centers of operation. She agrees to help but is unwilling to do the travel herself. Thirteen will have to contact her when he reaches the desired destination.
Fineas watches the final battle against Jesby as they arrive on the black road. With the Jewel of Tir, Rhanda wipes them out in spectacular fashion. Fineas take his leave and begins briefing all the family on events one at a time, stopping by Gerard and Benedict first. He then contacts Flora, Queen Moire, Llewella, Diego, and each of the cousins in turn. He tells them of the strange mirror power and of the upcoming wedding/coronation. Then he goes home to sleep.
One cannot step through the worn stone archway that borders this small circular clearing without knowing they have entered another, older time. A thin mist flirts with your ankles in this place, and lush grass softens any footstep. A large stone, whose rough surface bespeaks centuries of undisturbed sleep, stands in the center of the area. The phases of the moons are carved upon its surface, each oriented toward one of the cardinal directions. The whole scene creates a surreal sense that is simultaneously calming and frightening, heightened by the feeling that the air here almost seems to vibrate with an ancient power.
This is not a place that knows the civilities and considerations of a modern time: it is too old, too solid, too close to the true dark nature of mankind to be swayed by the vagaries of society and fashion. History indicates this place stood before the City was; it is only instinct that tells you it will remain long after the city fades.
I figure this works out well enough for the grounds of some Church of the Unicorn cathedral, either in Amber or in one of our ally Golden Circle Shadows.
An old, ivy-draped stone wall separates the Cathedral grounds from the hustle of the city that surrounds it. A broad courtyard stretches out from the westworks of the Cathedral, its flagstones worn smooth by centuries of traffic. To the north and south of the cathedral stand the abbey graveyards; their rows of somber gray tombstones rising from a carefully manicured lawn of intense green surrounded by low, wrought-iron fences.
The Cathedral itself rises far above the grounds. The bell-tower above the main entrance stands some 300 feet in height, while the Cathedral proper soars to over 100. Massive buttresses rise up on all sides of the structure, some affixed to the walls, others supporting its weight via delicate flying arches cut from granite. Statues and carvings of adorn the stonework, haphazardly arranged amongst a disturbing number of hideous gargoyles situated along the roofline to ward off evil.
The Cemetery Quiet permeates the sacred grounds of those buried within the Cathedral demesne, flowers left in tender remembrance adding a much-needed brightness to the somber scene spread before you. A large willow stands sentry in the midst of the silence, its branches brushing protectively over the nearest gravestones that dot the area. A small cobblestone pathway wends amongst the stones and many statues, most of which are carved from white marble, depicting angels that seem to reach out to you, beckoning you join their peaceable throng.
Cemetery by Night Darkness envelopes you as your steps lead you within the wrought iron gates of the Cemetery. Moonlight sweeps the gravestones, throwing them into an eerie relief against the misty darkness. Fog swirls about your ankles, your footfalls echoing softly upon the cobbled stones as small insects imbue their soft vocals to the surrounding air, creating an atmosphere of peace even in the darkness. Stone angels stand sentinel, their marble bases hidden by tightly bound ivy.
The way I felt, death by poison would have probably been a hell of a lot more painless than the hangover, so in the end I opted to take Flora’s cure-all pill on the theory that if it didn’t make me stronger, it might at least kill me.
After it kicked in I headed to Johrom to get a proper briefing from Ahzvan while Flora got herself put together. According to the scouts, there’s a lot of communication traffic in the area held by Jesby, and most of it is moving back towards their home island. Some people came in via Logrus and it sounds like their might have been some sort of internal fuss going on. I had Itzamna stealth up Zariel and got Tori to pop in and teleport him over into that area so he could scout around a bit.
Zariel’s off and in the air without a hitch. While I waited on our rendezvous time I go over some maps of the area we’re talking about and get an idea of what’s going on. Zariel says the Jesby seem to be readying for a major move -- all their big ships are stripping off their guns and regearing for troop movement -- the ships they have on their perimeters wouldn’t stop a bluebottle fly. According to Zariel they’ve got some kind of major summoning circle in the center of the main town, ringed with lots of fire and necromancy symbology, and they’re planting bombs around town.
Right about then Flora gets a call from a spy in that town who needs extraction -- while she’s pulling him through someone latches onto him with a Logrus tendril (never a good thing in my experience) and something odd happens with the trump -- some kind of actual doorway opens up in the air, not like a trump gate at all, and suddenly we could all see through to the other side.
And shoot through, I should also mention; that was really the important part. I fired over Flora’s shoulder, capped a couple of their guys and tried to get the Logrus master to put his head down for a bit while she hauled out her man. When everything was said and done all our people were on the right side of the hole and vice versa. The hole closed up in a snap and Flora went into some kind of convulsion; like I said, Logrus is never really a good thing.
Her spy lets out that the Jesby fellahs are gonna kill everyone in the capitol to open up a road that’ll lead to their new target -- they’ve apparently decided that Johrom’s a little too tough to chew on and they want a piece of the Gryphons over in in Tir Tarngir instead.
I have to admit that at this point I was torn -- the Jesby’s were leaving, which is what I wanted (sure, sacrificing a city to do it, but it was folks that nobody else really seemed to like much anyway), and now I find out they’re going after the Gryphons to boot -- well I tell you that’s the sort of weasel-on-weasel fight you gotta wish both sides could lose. I figured to give em a little kick in the britches to see them on their way and wish em luck under my breath.
Before I got things rolling that direction, though, I gave Fineas a call to see if there was any way we could turn this situation to advantage. (It just makes sense -- if I want to know about spells and the like, I call Toriana; if I need to see how to turn a situation around my way... well, we’re all experts at something, I suppose.)
I must be living right, because that was just the call to make. Fineas pulled me on through all urgent-like and lets me know he’s been working an alliance deal with the Pattern-users in the Gryphon camp: which is to say us coming in on their side when they decide to oust their Chaos kin and ally themselves with us... problem with the plan is that it’d be real tar in the gears if the Jesby showed up at full-strength and ready to go, so I’m asked kindly if I can figure out a way to hinder their exit.
That’s the kind of information that can put a different light on things. Problem is, with more light you can usually see better, but all that really does is show you how hard the road’s gonna be.
So, the plan changes, and I need to gum up their all-fired powerful road-making spell, make it harder for them to leave in a group, and cause them some losses if possible.
The causing losses part I can handle m’self, but when it comes to gumming up a spell, I know I need to trump Toriana.
Like I said, we’re all experts at something.
The World of a Princess
Zhartra might be very schooled in the ways of warfare but when it comes to mental skills she is either weak or faking it. We take a look around Delwin’s keep but there is little evidence to find and we searched hard. Someone really cleaned up after themselves. We decided to go check out Sand’s castle instead. Zhartra will go there and trump me when she arrives.
While she is off to the next stop I am going to stick around here and reset people’s minds back to before they were messed with. Zhartra is really not impressed with my desire to free these people. I think that is why she left. I trump Heinrich and let him know what I am up to. He seems to get touchy when I do this stuff without him.
Zhartra trumps me back again and she is at Sand’s castle and it looks like the same story as Delwin’s castle. Grandmother starts to get on me to make myself useful and I use the same trick on her that I do on dad when he starts that crap. It worked and she decided that perhaps I should rest a bit.
When I wake up I start to try and reset Sand’s people as well. I seem to get fragments from the people who I am correcting. I don’t see the face but I can tell the same person did this. The same guy hit both places. It looks like he had less cleanup time after this one or he just got careless. We gather the information from the scene that we can. Set a few people right again so they can run the castle.
While we are leaving the castle we are stopped by a group of local mounted lawmen. I am finally able to talk them down. Kindly Zhartra decided to let me do the talking. I think she’s pretty intimidating and perhaps that is not what we need right now. I turn on the charm that I save for times like these and it works perfectly. They not only believe us but they will take us to see one of the creatures that the intruders were riding.
It seems The Regent thinks the royal way is more valuable then I am to the war effort, I Hope he tries sending them into battle with their ink blotters, and typecases in leiu of my undervalued resources.
I think the chemicals I have been taking, and a general lack of sleep have tendered my dreams vastly more lucid. I dreamt the entire misbegotten clan was chasing the enemy across shadow when we stopped by a charming local stream.
Torriana was to spoiled and self absorbed to be stuck by it's simple beauty
Whora observed her reflection
Jacob though it was a good occasion to take a piss on the local flora, and fauna
Fineas pondered diverting it's natural course it a friendly village so he could be hailed as a hero while depriving the other villages of water
Gerhard tripped on a stone, and nearly drowned in 3 inches of water until someone (not I) pulled him out
Benedict didn't think it would impede troop movement
Reese was scared of his own reflection, and ran away
Dara stayed in the bushes
I determined the mineral bacteria ratios , and deemed it to be healthy. I thought of boating with my boys, I thought of a picnic, I thought of the local ecology, I thought of low scale hydro-electric power. I thought.
our fearless moral compass without a magnetic north
How a such moron could have no shame, and still possess even an autonomic nervous system?
If he hadn't been the epitome of cosmic scale ineptitude and neglect
If he hadn't allowed his daughter to run all over creation with a chaosite to the degree that it apparently troubles even Jelerak.
If he hadn't began a constant series of chaosite loving reforms
If my vital research and the disposal of booty I earn in battle didn't have more strings attached then a marionette
If the regents ill-breed daughter could avoid treating her elders with disrespect
If he hadn't destroyed my ability to trust him by making the secret assassination of family members state policy.
things would have been difficult, but then...
I tried to pick up the pieces in good faith. I swallowed my pride and really tried to work things out. I brought up a host of concerns in a constructive manner.
I attempted to politely bring up the issue about prince Jacob's wholesale necromancy with the regent, Prince Jacob having refused to be reasonable in the matter, and accept my offer of compensation. apparently one prince's ineffective sadistic dabbling in the degenerate arts is equal to a single comparatively humane voyage of scientific discovery on a single enemy in defense of the realm, at least in they eyes of one spit gargling imbecile. He says he has dealt with the problem, and considers the case closed, but it is his typical solution of ignoring the problem, and leaving Amber at risk. You can read the text for your self.
" I suggest that Jacob's souls and troop remains be properly interred (laid to rest) in their home shadow because thousands of people know about it, and all it takes is one of the souls to escape and get captured by the wrong person to give the entire family a huge black eye, and damage even more recruitment possibilities.
Besides they have not been used in months. Even if their containment is 100 percent effective, the souls are still unusable because again they are not an effective weapon versus magic, and souls will escape during their use, and each one of those enraged souls has a story it is eager to tell that is damning to Amber.
It also might go a ways towards being able to access more africans for amber related assignments"
I have given him three easy chances to regain some trust, before a situation arouse where he needed my help, he has ignored all of them in favor of his chronic moral back peddling, buttressing of a crumbling status quo, and inertia, all while he shameless holds out a hand asking for my aid.
I just wish he would marry Lirazel, and get this vomitous chaosite loving out of his system in a manner that won't leave us shoveling his shit for millennia.
Cross your fingers.