Hi There everybody!
Blue goo here, and boy am I busy.
It's been awhile since I've had any of the big boy (or girls) visit me, but today I got a doozy.
Sheesh this one darn near freeze dried himself. Not to sure how he did it, but some of the folks around the ward are talking about "Elderkin" and such.
Nope. I have no idea what those are, but they can't be good.
Ohhhh. The pretty Purple haired chica has come up to my tank and seems to be concentrating on a card of some sort. She looks worried. Nope, nope now it's bit on the scared side. Hmmm, now it's changed to determined.
The freaky, scary sidekick of purple haired chica is busily wrapping her face around the sides of my tank!
Back off freak girl!
Yeesh, and I thought lord Mojo was freaky...well lord Mojo was freaky, but this was starting to get personnel with freak girl.
Yeah that's right, follow your mistress purpled haired chica right on out of here.
* * *
Well after several hours, my patient is doing better. He hasn't gained conscious yet, but I'm doing a damn good job of healing him.
* * *
The pain, the pain. Please, for the love of the Unicorn make it stop! If I ever get my hands on the redhead destroyer of Thari, I'm going to give him the blue goo enema of which all other blue goo enema are but mere shadow.
The redheaded pain in the ass has been going at for aver 6 Hours now, and I don't think I can take it anymore. I mean ear stub boy probably couldn't hear anything if he was conscious, but I've got to live through this abomination of Thari being read at me until the redhead stops.
Maybe if I can build up enough momentum I can thwup my way out of this tank and drown him!
Oh! Oh! Oh thank the merciful Unicorn, a truly dazzlingly beautiful woman has shown up and is sending the red read away. I'll remember you red if I ever get my hands on you.
Pretty woman is also looking worryingly at a card. She seems to be mumbling something. She takes a seat and starts to read a book.
* * *
Well, my patient has recovered enough to moved to a normal medical ward. Too bad because I really enjoyed the company...but I'll be looking for that redheaded-poetry- reading-freak for some future good times. Ohh yeah!
Sabine decided that I was in need of a vacation. I really had no idea what this was There was no such word as "vacation" in the Village vocabulary. She told me that "We" need a break from all of the work we had been doing. This of course puzzled me because I had found all of this so far very Entertaining, but she had looked a bit frazzelled as of late so I asked her to find some things that might be fun to do.
Before I left, I Had some things to take care of:
- Kirsten needed to be fixed. I took her to Jacob and had him bind her. She wasn't too happy about that, but the fact that Jacob's blood has a part of the process, and that his blood "aged" her up to her late teens more then made up for this (When I took her to weir for some training she kept showing off her breast's for any body who would look).
-I went on a mission to find and retrieve Augustus's wives and children. This went very well. He is very pleased with his "station" in life, and agreed to keep things running smoothly in Limbo. I also promised to take a few of his children to Amber to be educated.
-I put Derkon and Badger in for Knighthoods for their service to the crown. Token's really, but I've been told that they carry some prestige with them. So that's good.
-I talked to Zherevyev about going for Broken Pattern. This both scared her and made her very happy. It is unknown if she would survive or not, but she feels that she has lived a long time and this would either be a new adventure, or the paying off of a life debt. She wanted me to take her back to her home to train and to get ready for the Test.
-Jurgen and Gertruda were given a little well deserved leave. I put them in for promotions.
-Finally I made deals to with the troops that I recruited to go home, but to make themselves available in the future if I needed them.
-got everything situated in Purgatory. Johnothon is working out well, Bricktop is going to keep an eye on things, and we have a trump of the Helgram contact. Life is good.
So, time to do nothing.
Sabine called it skiing. It was very odd...but fun once I got used to it. the better I got at it the less I needed to use my powers to aid me. Sabine was a natural, and she later told me that she had done this a few times before. As the days went by, I only need to use probability to make sure that people were not in my way, and to make sure that the ski patrol folks were looking the other way when I went down the hill.
I learned this a bit late in the game when I got a Ticket for "Skiing out of control" The woman would not see my point of view that I was perfectly in control the whole time and that I was not a danger to anybody. Luckily, the court date is a month away...so no biggy.
A few day's later Flora trumped me and said that she was setting up a training session with modern equipment in her shadow and that everybody was invited. Diego had not responded, but she didn't mind to much about this.
People came and went. The training went for about a week. Sabine was really enjoying herself. She was pushing her abilities to the limit. Mom was giving everybody a run for there money in the "I'm the biggest git" award.
Mom tried everything, including firing the Boys while riding a motorcycle. It took her several times (and lots of cuts, bruises, and broken bones), but she succeeded.
She had a grin a mile wide when she finally pulled it off.
Dara showed up for a few. Her and mother caught up on all of the things that had been going on since Inferno.
Later that day SJG showed up for the fun. Later he joined my up on the veranda to some nice cool long necks. We talked about the possibility of Zherevyev walking the pattern. He figured that if Tanatheel made he couldn't see any reason as to why Zherevyev couldn't.
Good to know.
While staggering back to the Spa portion of Flora's little set up looking for Sabine, I find my Mother. She informs me that sabine has gone off to the "isolation" room for some quite time while cocooned in blankets and wraps and all sorts of oddities. Mother was fussing at the masseuse, and told herr to step aside and ordered my to take her place.
I am going to have to work with her on the concept of boundaries.
The reason that she did this, I feel, was as some sort of a test...to see if I would balk, or argue, or whatever odd test of loyalty crossed her mind at the time.
We discussed the disappearance of Deigo, and his orientation. It was decided that Benedict had denied him some boon and that Diego had gone off to sulk for awhile.
The next morning Sabine and I left to go back to Amber. We decided to stop over in Dom-Daniel and meet people that she gone to school with. The made us a great dinner.
The next morning I met with the leaders of the August moon school to let them Use my royal seal as part of there charter. This was to lend some importance to there standing. I also donated money to both the Old citadel and the August moon schools.
Also while staying in Dom-Daniel we kept hearing the oddest stories about Diego. He lives on at least in Memory here. Sabine had a wicked thought an said that we should take over his old hotel. That was some funny stuff. We went to go check it out.
Casa de Deigo was filled with treasure and bad taste. The treasure was divided between Amber, The Old citadel, and the August Moon schools. The bad taste was sent packing with the servants. On a lark we went over to check out the "burning Crab School's" fortress of solitude. Sadly, where the coin machine had been, was note saying that it had been confiscated by Amber Security. Too bad, it would have made a fun acquisition.
Sabine wanted to hang out with her friends for a few more days as part of her vacation. I went to check in with Benedict as to what was new on the radar scope. Trumped him and after several hours discussion with him and Rinaldo, it sounded like either Brand or Deirdre had escaped from the Abyss and were having fun at our expense.
A whole lotta things have been blowing up lately.
Diego seems to have gone off in a pout, and is not responding to trumps.
Zhartra was ripped a new one...sending Jacob in to a panic.
Uncle Bleys has recovered. It would seem that the soothing ode's penned by Oberon so many years ago have a healing effect on the flipping loony.
And Kirsten was unhappily bound.
I guess I'll talk about Kirsten first. She was not happy about Jacob binding her. In fact when he trumped her back to me she was fairly pouty. She wasn't even happy about the fact that Jacob's blood/binding had brought her up to at least to the appearance of a young woman in her late teens. She did not take any solace from the fact that she would have been killed if she wasn't bound. It did make her think, but not happy. She did perk up a bit as she trained in the Mirror-verse. I could almost see the gears turning in her head at the possibilities of the Mirror-verse.
Spent some more time in the Mirror-verse. It's seems that our dear sweet cousin Diego has yet again dropped the ball. He was supposed to have been fully trained and explored this hellhole. But no. That would have interfered with some quality ass kissing from the Amber public, or some such nonsense.
Galena is our guide on the Great Mirror-Verse expedition, or maybe it should be called the "Lost World". Things were just clicking along until we got a hold of something. We tracked it down and lo and behold another Helgram. They are everywhere. And yes we did not negotiate the Mirror-verse with Incarnadine. We will have to kick their asses all over again here. Tori was able to get some good info out of the Helgram. This was of course passed on to Flora.
But all of this started off with Jacob trumping us in a full bore panic over Zhartra being almost killed. Tori and I did a few magic tricks to keep her alive till we were able to get her back to Lynxia. This was when we learned that Diego was in a snit. He was not responding to trumps. If he had showed any sort of talent, besides the ability to piss off random members of the Family, or pine after Moire, I would have thought that he was responsible for Zhartra's current condition. Tanaitheel was brought in to work on Zhartra, and this is when the Great Mirror-verse expedition moved out.
Well, things have been hectic as of late.
No real way to beat around the bush.
First off that Wayward cousin of ours, Diego, disobeyed Gerard (again) and rescued our Uncle Bleys. I called him on it in the Family meeting. He seemed to feel that he deserved the praise and adulation of the Family with his "Selfless" deed. And yes, that is why Tori and I were forced to baby sit the crazy nutter later that Day.
Flora is in charge now. She seems to want to make a good impression on her brothers. She rules with an Iron Fist. It would seem that the fear of being a failure has driven her around the bend. I get the feeling that after years of playing the harmless little kitten, she needs to prove that she was really a tiger all along. I really hate to say it, but she is a bigger hard ass then Benedict.
So much is going on that I have not had any time to spend with Sabine...that is outside of the mission aspect of things. I shall have to try and tie up loss ends and make some time.
Benedict has finally grown a heart...and it is Dara shaped. After seeing her broken and busted in Lynxia, he hauled Badger, Gerard, and mom off on a genocidal tour of Inferno. Hopefully for his piece of mind much slayage will be had by all.
Tori and I seem to be getting along much better...after getting off on the wrong foot all those months ago. We were able to get the Hellgram's to agree to leave Amber controlled shadow. Though I don't really trust Incarnidine's word, I do have a healthy respect for the Helgram's.
I talked to Jacob about binding Kirsten. He seems to think that he will be able to do this and tells me that he will need to work on the wording but after that all should work out.
And lastly, the Regent Flora has decided that everybody needs to be trained on how to navigate in the Mirror-verse. so I'm off for training.
My cousins and I seem to be getting along better nowadays
Tori, Fineas and I really did a number on the Helgram's. I know that Fineas wasn't really happy about the outcome, but I felt it was the best chance to get them back on their side of the border. Yesterday was tons of explosive power, tomorrow might be worse with the added bonus of the Logrus masters. No having stolen parts of their research, achieved the release of Baran and the Hellmaid's, and getting the Helgram's to leave is a very good day.
When we got back to Bricktop's headquarters Baran and the Hellmaids were delivered per the agreement. They were all very stoned out of their gourds. Tori tried to figure out what Baran had told them, but she too was soon overcome by the lingering effects of the Drug. Even though his capture was really Dara's fault, I was not in a position to take it out on the current regent's Daughter. But Baran had pissed off Tori (and every other female out here including Kirsten), and he had provided the Helgram's with way too much info. I told him that he had fullfilled his contract to Amber and would be returning to Dom-Daniel shortly. As a Postscript: baran body parts are selling briskly in Dom-Daniel. Tori picked up bits for Sabine, Dara, Mom, Genevieve, and even Kirsten.
Badger led Tori and I to some sort of shapeshifting minor power in Inferno. Tori wanted to have it guarded, and I took a sample to play with…or maybe a little carrot for Kirsten. It has been a lot of fun hanging out with Tori. She is quite masterful with magic, though I do see a lot of the Helgram magic in her stylings.
I do find myself fascinated by the Helgram's. Each time I meet Incarnadine it is almost like the Helgrams are family. It's as if I understand them better…well better then some members of my Family. We made a deal exchange "ambassadors", and Tori and I had some thoughts as to who that should be. I think that Chaos must be like a larger version of the Village.
Today I met with Benedict for the first time since he has taken on the chore of Regency. He wares it with some misgivings. He was shocked to hear the Dara had been injured by the Garu in Inferno. I could see a small hint of fatherly concern breaking it's way through the hardened steel shell that is Benedict. He said that he would look into some non-family people for the exchange with the Helgrams.
Talked to Jacob about Binding Kirsten…it seems to be the only humane thing to do. I don't want to turn her loose back in Limbo again (Somebody would just have to deal with her in the future like Dara and I did with Varnai), and Genevieve has already done to much in keeping her in line to put her in that position permanently.
On a lighter note: Fineas, Jacob, Rinaldo and I had some good times rounding up a bunch of black spheres.
It is amazing how cooperative people get when you have lifted them off of the floor by their throats.
Freddy's guard was in Contact with Freddy via a mastoid. Great. After pounding him against the wall of the elevator until he unconscious, I relieved Freddy's guard of his ability to communicate. I tossed the guard over to the bullet pocked concierge's desk and put on the Mastoid, and pulled out trumps of Gertruda and Jurgan.
"Hi Freddy, this is Prince 13 how are you doing I get the feeling that you do not want to talk to me How sad for you"
Freddy went on a great lengths to tell me about some sort of league that he was trying to thwart and that he thought that I was part of it. I told him that he was really quite insane and hung up.
Jurgan and Gertruda wanted to know if I had any grenades on me, and I told them that I had been wishing the same thing just moments ago.
The Elevators started to come down again and we made our way to the safety of the Planters. The Doors opened and a large explosion rocked the lobby. I have tired of toying with Freddy. In the blinding flash that happened next I recall the stories Fineas told of Toriana during her exploits against the Hendrake's. After the dust has settled, I Trump Toriana and ask her if she is busy and would like to help. She jumps at the chance and I pull her, Chungo, and Heinrick though. I offer her a pistol, and she tells me...
"If I'm in a situation where I actually need to use a Gun we are all in a world of hurt".
I brief her on the situation and pull Kirsten through from Oykot. Tori and I checked out the Penthouse and sensed heavy magic in use. I set about ripping the magical wards and shield down and Tori blows up Teleporter that was just starting to operate.
The elevators were out of the question, so we decided to make a run up the stairs. Everybody was making a good show of it except for Chungo (but he was making up for it with some really funny quips).
They had made it up to the roof top. We could hear a helicopter starting to fire up. I tossed a chair through a window and levitated up with Jurgan and Gertruda. Tori went via the stairs with Heinrick, Chungo and Kirsten. The guards and the Helicopter were quickly taken out. Tori grabbed a hold of Freddy's mind and made him walk over to me and hand over the Item that he had been trying to Teleport away. It looked like a crystal hard drive of some sort. We ask him what it is and he tells us that it is a magical data encrypter. A magical device that emulates a Computer. He was making it for Master Starwind.
The fact that Freddy mentions the name of Master Starwind is unfortunate since he shows up in the Chaosian Magi-bubble communication device and kills Freddy and all of his minions before going poof.
The next bit of fun occurs when Master Starwind remotely blows up the building. Tori Trumps all of us to safety in Arden. From Arden we trump back to Bricktop and start to look for the three geeks. We are able to find one of them by the name of Johnathon still alive. We are able to get his info from him a get a good idea of how it all works.
I trump Flora and ask her if we can use her research center in her shadow to go over this and the Sand Delwin thing. She tells us that she has no problem with this. She give Tori a trump of the place and we head out. When we get there I try and trump Fineas and he is not answering. Tori trumps Jacob and pulls him through.
After a while, when we had gone over all of the info that diego had provided and looking over all the info once Flora people had had a chance to go over it with a fine toothed comb, we discovered that it was all a clever ruse to throw us off the trail.
Back to square one.
Jacob tells us a little bit about what Zhartra has he and Rinaldo doing...and it sounds like she has the two right men for the job.
Fineas trumps me back and I pull him through to go over and add to the stew of information that we have cooking.
After spending some time getting all of our ducks in a row Everybody except Jacob goes back to Purgatory. We have decided that the "guy" that Tori had seen was our number one suspect and to ignore the planted evidence. Jacob takes off to go and do some Zhartra tasks.
Back in Purgatory we track everything back to the city of Prewtna. We teleport in, have a big fight, loose our quarry, and get a Magi-bubble tsk-tsk-ing from Incarnadine. Fineas, being in a bit of a cheeky mood, explodes her bubble with Werewindle.
From the Desk of Prince 13
to The Times via The Press Gang, LLP
The recent attacks on Prince Fineas, are from my point of view, unwarranted. He has been a steadfast supporter and standard bearer for Amber and the Family. His lists of accomplishments thus far are unsurpassed and should be celebrated in all corners of the Kingdom. In my humble opinion, Prince Fineas is the First among equals.
As to the comments upon my conduct of the war, I hope that future events speak for themselves.
In closing, I must dash, a good many Hellgram's to kill.
Best regards, 13, Prince of Amber
I shall have to remember to pack Grenades into the space area. A slight oversight on my part. Kind of like when I neglected any sort of offensive spells. That which does not kill us makes us not only stronger, but wiser.
I have come to this conclusion late in the day. It started well enough, following a lead provided by Iain I found myself at the University of Technology Yendis. I cast about trying to track small magicy bits down. I had narrowed it down to an apartment building and what looked like a engineering building. I flipped a fifty cent coin and made my way to the dorm. As I got closer I was able to figure out that the spells that had been cast were of the very small category.
I moved back to the what I thought was an Engineering building. The building turned out to be an IT building (building no. 10). Walking in was very easy. Eluding the CCTV system was a little bit of and exercise, but a fun one. I made my way up to the third level and tracked the spell casters down. They were in a computer lab trying to teach a Sprite to decode something on the computer. The Sprite was held by the spell. The three geeks were of the usually geeky sort. One tall, dark and commanding. One very short and questioning. And the last was blond and Fey.
I made my way to an office just down the hall and started to magically lock them into the room. First off so I could have time to observe what they were doing, and secondly so I could see what they would do in a panic. The first part became mostly boring after a few hours, and the second part provided entertainment right up until early the next morning.
When they figured out that they had been sealed into the room magically, they at first panicked, and then they called "Freddy".
This is what has me in the pickle that I current find myself. Freddy and his friends swept in to the building like a para-military force and fled. I was able to follow them with some clever tricks. The trail led to the Ana Grand right on the south side of the Yendis Harbor. Very swank.
I walked in and was set upon by some sort of snooty frenchman by the name of Jean Luc. He introduced himself as his title; Concierge. After several minute of me telling him to call "Freddy's" room, with an audble sigh he finally relented.
I introduced myself as "Paul-Devon" of Amber moving. Speaking of moving, you should have seen how quickly they got people downstairs to shoot at me. This was when the desire for Grenades hit me. It took a while to take out my attackers using spells. I pulled out the Boys to fire through the elevator doors as they retreated. I was able to stop one of them. I pointed the Boys at him and told him to hand me the Mastoid gently but quickly. When this was done I coldcocked him. I lowered the hefty gun at Jean Luc and told him that there had better be no police on the way. He whispered "oui" and looked like he was about to go and do something useful for a change.
One thing that I heard as the others were fleeing up the elevator shafts..."he's one of the Opposition". An odd statement for a Hellgrim to make, and the fact that there are no Logrus tendril's currently zeroing in on my position. These must be some more "allies" for me to make. A bit harder now that I've cocked it up.
Out of Jean Luc's vision I pulled out the trumps I was going to need in the next few minutes. Jurgan and Gertruda (both currently in Rupmul Alauk)...Probably Zherevyev rather than Kirsten...And I might need to bring in the Big Gun...Tori.
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....
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.
Gifts, Hoo-haws, and Gee-gaws
Everything has been checked. No bugs. No wires. No spy devices of any kind. No coins that will turn into bugs. No gems that contain poisonous gas. Everything checks out ok.
Based on my Education at the hands of Duchess Lornaya Chantris, I must send a note of thanks To Diego. This is easy enough to do, and to have it sent via the next outgoing Vulnavian ship.
But it is curious, as I have done nothing to deserve such a boon. Also curious is the fact that there is no note or message to explain the large heap of goodies. The money is easy enough…put that back into the Coffers of the Royal treasury. This simple act seems to please Gerard very much. Why Diego did not do this himself only adds to the mystery. Maybe the news articles and rumors have some truth to them after all. The silver I had distributed to the weapons makers for our use. This donation to the cause has made both Count Emrys Feldane, and Sir John Gaunt very delighted.
The Gems I had shipped to Nampara. Some of them would nice little trinkets for Sabine, and the rest will be good for bribes and greasing some future wheels.
But as to what to think of Diego's act of generosity I really have no clue. Gifts were not done in the Village. Mostly because they would end up in the ocean shortly after receiving them.
No one trusted them.
The Gifts or the Gift giver.
I will need to talk to those who are used to dealing with gifts for some input. Ideas as to why Diego did this and the correct course of action to follow in the aftermath of the gifts.
The hoo-haw seems to be Fineas' new toy. It glows like the midday sun. It is chock full of Pattern energy and has a lot of power. There is a feeling of intelligence about it. I would love to get my hands on for a few minutes and see the how and why of it. My guess would be that it is an extreme use of Pattern user blood. I cannot fathom the amount used. Gallons would be a good starting point. I did offer to make a Shielding scabbard form him so he is less of a beacon out in shadow. He seems unconcerned. It must have some ability hide it's self.
Dara was a dear and taught us a little trick that she and the Hellmaid's use. Very handy.
The Gee-gaw is that my Mother did name me something after all. Paul-Devon. This should make Toriana very happy and put an end to her Reese fixation, unless of course Reese really is a Pooka of hers. Any delusions after this are really her and her Fathers problem. Mother also seems pleased with Sabine, though she is concerned with fact that I maybe sleeping with the rest of the Universe it seems. Mother comes across like dour Jacob.
Benedict is an odd sort. You can see the babysitter residing behind his eyes. Though I feel that this is something he is loath to do. Good.
He seemed pleased with how I am dealing with the Hellgrim's, and only made a few suggestions. One of which was to deal with the Garu shadow first. I really have no desire to deal with it at all, putting it off till the end when some other event might make it moot.
I walked away From her. It was the only thing I could think of to do. I threw down the STEN and walked away.
I could tell from her voice that she was stunned by this.
She asked where I thought I was going. I told her to the Shadow Purgatory and the city of Queento since the Hellgrim's where my responsibility to defeat.
She was still in a state of shock.
"Well where's the bastard Oberon?" she asked.
"Died Saving the Universe, or maybe part of him is living on in Dworkin's mind, I'm not sure that Jacob understood what was going on completely."
That Hit her like a two-by-four...
"But what about Brand?"
"Eric, Bleys, Corwin, Caine, Dierdre...."
"Dead, Dead, unknown, Dead, Dead..."
Shock and horror crept acrossed her face.
"...Gerard, Flora, Llawella, and Random"
"regent gerard is in Amber, Flora in fighting the Jesby's in Johrom, Llawella is recovering in Rebma, and King Random died in Gerard's Arms after the defeat at Patternfall.
More shock and more horror.
"You are welcome to come with me Purgatory while I get things set up and then we can go to Amber."
In stunned silence she climbed into one of the trucks.
In Purgatory Boran was now in charge...Dara having gone back to Amber for some unknown reason.
I got in touch with Tenoch to get things set up in Queento in regards to the Crew I hauled in from the Village. He wanted more gold, but was willing.
Boran told me that he had found out a few things, but really needed to have more support from the rest of the crew. I told him that I was heading back to Amber and would round everybody up and bring them back here.
Merrille and I trumped back to Amber via Gerard's trump. Gerard was shocked to find out that Mayoral thought that there was a royal warrant on her head, but told her that if there was it would be reminded.
As Gerard filled her in on what she had missed out on in the last 3 decades, she slowly got drunk and passed out.
I summoned a page (Her name was Micah) and had a room made up for dear old mom. I carried her up stairs to her room.
Sabine and I partook of the Castles bathing and massage facilities and got ready for the party that was been held this evening.
Tori had found Benedict...The babysitter had been found. I am not to happy about this, but I will pick his brains for info and tactics on how to deal with the Hellgrim's.
Also here were Three more of Corwin's kids. Douglas, Vialle, and Dierdre. Not very original our uncle Corwin.
Llawella was up and about now. This was a good thing.
And a curious woman by the name of Galena. She had been found by Fineas.
All good words. The fact that Sabine was right is a tad unsettling, but I'll get used to it.
So this is real. All of it. Sabine is real. The Village is real. The actuality that I am some sort of super human. All of it is real. The fact that the Village was some sort of Prison that my Mother dropped me off at. The sign out side the gate must have said "Free Daycare" or some such thing like that, And she just wondered off and forgot where she left me. This last bit is important, but we will get back to that later.
It is freeing in a strange way, similar to the time that #2 told me that "He was not our Babysitter". This was not the Village, where everything you did and said was watched and recorded. At the point that #2 uttered those words I knew that I could go out and do anything I wanted, in any way that I would feel comfortable about (within reason, of course). I could deal with my cousins in a manner that would profit me the most (again, within reason). If Toriana were to refer to me now as Reese…pow right cross to the jaw. It is a good thing not to have Babysitters.
But back to REAL. Sabine, Kirsten, Zherevyev, Badger, Gertruda, and Jurgan…all real.
Toriana - Real. Arrrgghh. Start smaller, less scary.
Amber - real. Ok, that works.
Diego - Real. Just as scary as Toriana.
Rebma - Real. That’s just plain wrong.
Clackers - Real. As in real tasty! Grin…snort…I crack me up.
They can all really die (as well as me). No reset - Game Over. This is now both a gift and a curse.
Freedom is another good word.
Freedom from the Tyranny.
The Tyranny of the Village.
This is not a computer program designed to test my loyalty. I am free to really do what I want to do. The lessons of paranoia well serve me well, but now I have the Freedom not to have it be the driving force behind my decisions.
The Babysitter is dead.
This is another good word.
I felt great satisfaction when I handed the Village #2 a Walther and told him.
"I'm the new #1, and it would be much easier for everyone concerned if you resigned instead of having to be fired"
He left the room and a muffled pop was soon heard from outside.
Another Satisfying sight was when the Village headed for the sky in a big orange glowing cloud. Kind of a two sunrises vision. I love the smell of cordite in the morning.
But right now is a bit different.
A woman who claims to be my mother is standing 100m away from me holding a bow. She has managed to keep my guns from firing, and has pinned Kirsten to a tree with 5 well aimed shots. She calls herself Mirelle and thinks that this is a good time for the mother and child reunion. I have managed to unpin Kirsten from the tree and gently hand her to Zherevyev so that they can go to Lynxia. The one claiming to be a mother has tossed a Card to me, and has challenged my legitimacy.
Where is Sabine anyway. Think woman, think. Gun shots, coming from where I am. And yes, I did shoot at Mirelle. If you try and kill my people you should expect to be fired upon in kind. That’s why my STEN doesn't work right now.
It is time for explinations. And yelling. Damn I wished STEN would fire...
You know things are going badly when your level of frustration reaches a
point when Jacob's approach to adversity seems level headed and rather
decisive. I have reached this point. There are heavily warded Hellgram
Logrus users a mile away and it is going to be a pain to get to them. I had a
Thought of taking on of these Jet liners and crashing it into the Building,
But Zherevyev and Sabine gave me the evil eye and got very angry at this
Note to self: In future just go and do it and don't discuss it with my
portable consciences. Just a thought.
But that was yesterday Today we took a lovely train ride down the coast to
a beach town by the name of Langet. Kirsten and Zherevyev are hiding out
of the sun. They told me that they had found some tasty native men that
they are lightly feeding off of. Boran is chasing the skirts, with some
success. I guess gold does wonders to change poor girls minds.
An hour ago Sabine hit me with the Whole "we need to talk" thing. It had
started to bother her that I do not think that this is real. She didn't want
to be with anybody that thought that she was an illusion, And she really
didn't want to be sleeping with anybody that thought that she was an
illusion. She really has no idea of what a computer is but she knows that
one did not make her. I was going to inform her that according to the
books from the Tar Tarngir Library all she really is somebodies imagination,
but I didn't need to have her even more pissed off then she was right now.
She told me that my belief was making me vulnerable to illusion attacks
(except for the fact that one can detect that). She cast a spell on me...and
I was back in the Village. exactly where I thought I should be. Wasting
away, Nobody taking care off my body. Sabine seemed really pleased with
herself. She no idea what I had seen, but said that a simple spell like that
would put me in harms way. I pulled one of the thought transfer gems from
my pocket and passed to her. Her face blanched, and she started to shiver
a bit at what she saw and felt.
When she was done I handed her Tanitheel's Trump card and told her to
make the arraignment to go to the Village. She perked right up and took
the card to talk to Tanitheel. Could it be possible that this is real? Yes, it
is in the realm of the Possible. I have adjusted to stranger things over the
past several months. But if it is real, things are going to have to change.
Right now I do not know what, but something. If it is real I'm going to kill
#1 and take over the Village. It would make a nice little research center. I
will put #7 out of his misery. But number one on the list is that the next
person that calls me Reese is going to get their ass kicked from one side of
Amber to the other. That will feel really good.
Will I be more careful? Hmmm, Unknown. I've seen lesser minds die in
computer simulations and die in real life as well. So not much of a change
needed there. I will have to start to take life more...more leisurely. If this
is not a test, I can go even farther into the "I'm not your babysitter" mode.
Take a page or two out of the wastrel Diego's book.
For those that want to be caught up on my goings on, and not spend so much
time in my newly curious mind, Here you go.
This new shadow is Purgatory. A shadow similar to Flora's Earth shadow (I
wonder if they have Gurka's here?). We (Myself, Sabine, Zherevyev,
Kirsten, and Boran) arrived in a wide spot in the road called Vina Punta.
After we got our bearings, and figured out what was up, we traveled north.
First by truck to Potosi. Next, by Train to Las Pahz, and on to Qweentow.
This city had the best mix of things we needed. Low security measures on
communications, and easy feeding possibilities for Kirsten and Zherevyev.
On the way we had to keep upgrading our security papers to fool the next
set of foolishness at the next border.
We hired somebody who called himself a hacker. His real name was Tenoch
and he introduced us to the wonders of the network of this shadow. Prior
to this I spent my time reading the outrageous tabloids for hints of the
Hellgrams. These were helpful, but you had to do a lot of manual sifting.
Very time consuming. The computer systems were not much different then
the ones back home. I adapted easily, but Sabine and Zherevyev took some
time learning. Kirsten grew frustrated and helped others look for things.
Boran also tossed out good ideas every so often. We found little bits of
things that sounded like Hellgram activity, but no big glowing you are here
I spent the next day just letting the shadow wash over me and taking it all
in. Then a flash...and another...and another. I worked out the location and
started to triangle it. Got it. I grabbed the Atlas of this shadow and tried
to match everything up. It looked like the City of Koalua Lompour. Tenoch
made reservations for us on a sub-orbital transporter.
I enjoyed it, great fun. Nobody else was to happy with the experience.
Koalua Lopour was a sprawling jungle city. We rented a automobile and
made our way to where I felt the flashes. We followed it out to the ocean,
and tangled in the Mangroves we found some bodies that looked as if they
were hacked apart by Logrus Tendrils. So we had found the Hellgrams.
Back in town I spent some time trying to feel the city. Taking it all in, I
soon felt a huge presence of a magically shielded building. It was soon gone,
but I had the location fixed.
Sabine and Zherevyev quickly shot down my idea of flying one of the large
jets into it. It's what, I felt, Jacob would do. This I think, was the start
of Sabine's mood. Yes this is where it began.
The dinner with Incarnadine went nowhere, so Dara and I left. We went
back to Glencora to get things in order. I spent the next day getting all of
the new "recruits" used to the vagaries of this shadow. Looking back on it
all, I can see now that the Hellgrams were just testing me to see what I
was made of. The more I dealt with them the more like family they seem.
The attack came that evening with The werewolves (Gareaux) from the next
shadow over, coming at us like lightning bolts. They were brought in via
logrus on the north and south. I had Sabine and Badger take the majority
of the army out into shadow so that we could hide them, and make taking
them into Coriolanopolis easier.
The battle was long and hard fought. Badger and Sabine came back and
helped but Badger was mauled by one of the Uber-werewolves (Gareaux).
Several of Dara's hellmaids were also wounded. When the battle had
settled down Dara trumped her operatives that she had sent to treat with
the Hellgrams. They had fought a running battle and were very banged up.
Some had been poisoned, and none of the were in anything near good health.
Dara had the gleam of vengeance in her eye, and wanted some Hellgram
heads on a few pikes. Badger all of the rest of the wounded were sent on
The assault on Coriolanopolis the next morning was a bit of a let down. I
had gathered some Gareaux of my own and turned them loose on the city as
a distraction. Sabine was not very happy with this (I will be paying for this
for a while), but Dara was happy. And then it hit us, as we entered the
Hellgram strong hold, they had left. They had left behind a mocking letter
hoping to meet with Dara and me some time in the future. Dara was beside
herself with rage.
I gathered up the Gareaux and took them back to there shadow. I did my
best to impart upon them that the next time I show up I will again lead
them to great hunting. They were very satiated and didn't seem to want to
commit one way or the other. Dara reported to me that her hellmaids told
her that the Hellgrams had developed a spell that blocked Trump, and that
was how they were trapped. One bright spot at least...something to
Pope Alexander wss in his prime in this place. After the burning of a few
heretics Coriolanopolis settled right down. I contacted #2 and reported to
him all that has transpired and focus on the Hellgrams ability to block
trumps with Spells. This troubled him, though he is glad that the Hellgrams
had left the first of the three shadows.
The next day Fineas trumped me and informed me that the Gryphon's were
attacking the shadow from which Amber's gun powder is extracted. To
arms, To arms. The battle went our way from the start. Two of the
Gryphon's were slain outright and the rest were sent packing without any
samples of the gun powder. Though, they must have gotten a sample from
somewhere, or at least found out about this shadow from someone. Either
Lirazel, or maybe a Rebman traitor.
The next bit is very odd. First off #2 wanted to have a standard way of
dealing with Chaosian prisoners. The Rebman contingent (Morwyn and
Diego) were of the opinion that the only good chaosian is a dead Chaosian.
Fineas and #2 were of the opinion that if we treated our prisoners well and
made trades, that it would bode well for any of us that may got captured in
the future. Theie argument carries the day, though Diego wonders off in a
sulk. There are several plans to deal with the Gryphon's. The one that wins
is to try and woo them (the Pattern users) to our cause.
The next bit of oddness is the woman Zhatra. By my count she claims to be
our Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother. She also claims to be
gaised to "save" the universe. No discussion on how and/or why. She had a
nifty fade in/out power. She is related to the Unicorn and the Tiger.
Fineas and #2 propose that she be our go between with Chaos to try end
this war. She grudgingly agrees.
As I am getting ready to leave and take my troops back to Coriolanopolis,
Zhatra comes up to me and conducts an interview. The only thing that I can
see is that is an Icon, or and interface with the real world. I give her the
answers that they would want to hear. After about ten minutes she smiles
and fades out.
On the way back to Coriolanopolis I make a detour for the troops. A R & R
shadow to get there morale back, Or at least show them that more of this
could happen in the future if they keep up the good work.
The negotiations with Glencora went on for more time then I would like to
think about. She kept wanting to know about my power and why the "earth"
liked me so much. She didn't seem to be buying the whole "I-was-sent-by-
the-powers-of-light" shtick. She finally agreed, but insisted that she
wanted to know more about the difference between the Pattern powers and
the Logrus powers. Glencora is very perceptive, Hopefully I can keep her
curiosity at bay before I have to tell her anything important. Who knows
which of my allies could be a spy for the Hellgrams.
Next I talked to Boris and Ivan about places inside of Corialanopolis in
which a large army could be brought into. They told me that they could
think of a few city squares or the hippodrome. The hippodrome had been
used as a place of rebellion before, shortly after the Hellgrams had shown
up. The Hellgrams had crushed them with great efficiency. I was not very
happy about the Hippodrome and asked them if they knew of anything about
an arena or ampatheater. They knew of the ampatheater and they
described were it was and passed the info in to the rock. I looked over
there info and found that there were not many places in the city that would
be very good. The hippodrome offered good protection if we could take it
and secure it in a quick and efficient manner.
I thanked them and went in search of Badger, Sabine, and Dara. It was
time to go and gather some more troops. We had need of artillery, archers
or musketeers, an air defence, some more ground pounders. Part of the
reason was to give some more training to Dara (who was lacking in
technique), and to see if Badger and Sabine could learn to focus their
Broken Pattern better. While we are waiting for Sabine and Badger to
arrive, Dara reports on what her Hellmaids have been up to. The hellmaids
had reported been spied on, several attempted poisonings, kidnapings and
other things typical of the House of Hellgram. I was beginning to really
enjoy these people. They made feel at home.
The search goes fairly well. I can tell that I am going to have to spend
some more time studying the histories of various militaries, as well as
having Sabine learn the things that SJG had already taught me. Badger and
Sabine had some trouble with the navigating part of things. It would seem
that the Broken pattern does not allow for focused and defined searches.
You must know exactly where you are going to, and not search. A slight
flaw in the power...good to know. The first group we found were a shadow
of 1400's inglander Archers and some knights. The had been decided to
pack it in after there king had died. Showing up in a glow of light and gold,
I made them and offer of gold and transportation away from the Borbon's.
The Knights and Lords wanted to distribute the gold, but instead I divyed it
up to the men. This made the Nobles a bit angry (I could tell that they
were going to take a delivery fee out of the mens share), But the men were
very happy. The Nobles got even more upset when I told them that Sabine
was going to lead them to where I wanted them. Sabine soon put this right
when she took the head off of one of the least liked knights. They all fell
into line and were headed back to Glencora.
Next on the hit parade was the Artillery. Nice big mortars with exploding
shells. Explosives that would work in that accursed shadow that is. Not to
much of a hassle. Really. After a days rest we were able to find a crooked
Commander of a depot and captured some Gattlings and Mortars. The
carriages, horses, and some troops that haul it all. I also was able to get
some personnel that would be able to teach how to use them. Badger lead
them back to Glencora.
Working with Dara was both fun and painful. She kept trying to do things
like she had seen the Logrus Masters do things. I studied that, Just to
know a little bit about how Logrus worked would be a big advantage. Next I
had her work on searching for things, and how to feel other powers and
scan for things. When she was a little bit more comfortable on the how to
part of the exercise I let her look for something that would be able to take
out the Razorbeaks. We ended up in airy cloudy world. Dara had found
some sort of airborne Jellyfish. She said that she had seen these back
when she was a child in Chaos, and tried to find something on this side of
the universe that were similar. They would do fine. She told me that she
was going to take them to a shadow nearby to the Hellgram shadow where
these things would be able to live and feed until we actually needed them.
After some searching I was able to find some powder that would work in
the Hellgram shadows. I have wagon loads of it "sent" to Glencora for some
samples of Chaosian blood.
When everybody got back to Glancora I typed up a report for #2 informing
him of all my preparations, accomplishments thus far, allies gathered, and
my attempts to negotiate with the Hellgrams to just leave. When I was
finished I scanned about for any logrus use...detecting none I trumped #2.
Not exactly want I wanted to see...A full frontal of #2 with the Royal
Scepter more or less at hand. Several of the daughters of Agher were also
present. I smiled and did my best not to show surprise or shock and turned
up the charm a bit. Considering his position he was very chatty. I wanted
to sigh off as soon as I could, but he wanted to get a brief briefing of the
situation, When I was done he told me that bad things had happened and
that I was to contact Jacob as soon as I was able. I thanked him for his
time and told him that I give the report to SJG. He nodded and was gone.
Thankfully. Though I wish that I was able to record all of that so that
some day I could share it with Tori.
I trumped SJG and gave him the report and a longer version of the
briefing. He said that he would look at it and make recommendations as
needed. He also told me of Fineas' success in Shandora. Bully for him.
Now it was only the Hellgrams, and the Gryphon's to worry about.
With that done I gathered Sabine, Dara, Badger and Kirsten and I trumped
Jacob. He told me that he needed to talk, so he pulled us all through. He
and Fineas were standing around something that Fineas had been burying.
Jacob looked at everybody and said "this is a family matter everyone
except Dara get lost". He told us about his and #2's experience with the
mythical Dworkin, Some papers that Tori had, and some sort of super
weapon. He also told us about Corwin, Blayes (Insane), Benedict (shacked up
with Great-grandma) and some other little tid bits that Tori had bragged
about. He tried his best to make sense of the history as Tori had imparted
to him. Not much of it made sense. Sabin came up and told me that the
were going to head back to Glencora. I told her that I would catch them up
when I could.
Next Jacob trumped Tori and demanded the papers so that we could take a
look at them. From the sound of the conversation from our end...Jacob
would have hell to pay when Tori caught up with him. First we took the
papers back to Amber and compared them to the info that we had from the
Tir Tarngir Library. Some help but not much. Fineas told us that Flora had
access to computers and had been helping him with the Tir Tarngir Library,
so we should get her help. Jacob wasn't to happy about this, but anything
helpful would be good right now.
Fineas told us that we were in the Shadow earth. Flora helped and Dara
filled in a lot of blanks. The best that we could figure was that it was a
design for a "Madness Logrus Master Bomb". Not anything that any of us
wanted to deal with. Jacob Trumped Tori to let her know what info we had,
but she was in a snit and told him to take it back to the "Jewel Safe" in
Amber. Fineas was tasked with Helping Flora cleaning any files off of the
computer system. I talked to Flora about where she had gotten her Gurka
troops. She provided a file on them and everything that I would need to
now to find my own. She told me that I wasn't going to be allowed to get
them from this Shadow, but someplace similar would be fine by her.
When I got back to Glencora Dara Briefed me some more on the history of
the Family and of Chaos. Not at all like #2 had told me. Much, much
weirder. When she was done with her history lesson she told me that one
of the Hellgrams by the "name" of Incarnadine had made a deal to talk to
me and see what I had to offer. Fine I'll meet with her, I kind of wanted
to see what they would be like anyways.
We met in a shadow not far away and a Cafe. She was sitting behind a
table (the only one with a long tablecloth) and did not rise to greet us.
Dara whispered that most Chaosians can not fully mimic our appearance.
We greeted each other and Dara introduced me to her. When the food
arrived I had to do my best to nonchalantly get rid of the poisoned items
off of Dara's plate and drink. I found it odd that she would not be able to
sense this. Perhaps some more lessons when we had the chance.
Incarnadine did not provide much except that Blays was available to us as a
bargaining chip. Not much of a starting point. We talked at length for and
hour, trading threat and counter threat, but getting nowhere. I was in need
of a few clarifying points and needed to talk to #2 about them, so I
excused myself from the table (whispering to Dara not to eat or drink
anything while I was gone) and headed for another part of the room to
Things were going worse for Kirsten this time. I must have been too big a leap in
power going from Yohannes to Varnai. I sat and thought happy thoughts
like #2 taught me...trying to produce the outcome that I desired. Kirsten
was still thrashing though, and looking a bit gaunt. This can't be good. I
have one of the Castle Yohannes servants go and get some blood from a few
of the feeding cattle. Kirsten had eaten about eight pints already.
Sabine gave me the evil eye over this. See doesn't seem to think that this
is a good idea. I've told her that Kirsten is now part of the team. I take
care of my team members, and make sure that they are rewarded when
actions warrant it. Just like she could have died while walking the broken
pattern, Kirsten could be killed by this. That which does not kill us makes
Still, Sabin is not happy. She seems to think that I have been under the
influence Derkon. That the kindly, though now slightly drunken,
Necromancer has too much sway over me. I have a come back, but I don't
seem to think that mentioning to her anything about the "Power of the
Triangle" would gain me any points right now. She goes off to talk to
I've tried to tell Sabine about my background but she doesn't seem to get
it. The Village is just too weird for her to comprehend. And I don't think
that she likes the implication that I do not think that any of this is real.
The conversation would go something like this:
"Do you love me?"
"Of course I love you...their is no other in the universe"
"But you don't think that I am real"
"Well no, not really. But it is nice to know that you are out in the universe
"Screw you and the Trump you came in on"
And that is the rub. The Village taught me not to trust anyone. Even if
they were going to be around awhile. One day they might betray me, or just
In fact the concept of a Team is against what the Village is about. But I
did it. I do it now, and I did it then. I made sure that those under my
command were taken care of. Who knew when I might someday be put
under their command, or they might be the ones running the mind games on
me. I always liked the feeling that by being nice to someone might work out
in a positive manor for me in the future.
Ahhh. Some more blood. About five gallons of the stuff. Kirsten started
in on it like someone dying of thrust. I trumped Fenmore and asked him if
he could talk to Col. Sir Bors for me and get at least four pints of Chaosian
blood. Fenmore is a little taken back by this request, told me that he will
look into it.
The two Swan maids come (Hilda and Gilda) in and informed me that they
were ready for their next assignment. I instruct them that over the next
week they will need to go to several places. First off to Castle Von Klatka
to deal with that Vampire. Then to Castle Zherevyev to make a deal with
that Vampire, and finally to Glencora to deal with the earthy Rebmen-want-
to-be's. Though out of all of these, Glencora is the key. The others I
could just destroy and not have that much problem, but Glencora was the
breadbasket of the entire river valley. Badger and Kirsten have told me
that their troops are pretty good as well. Good horsewomen and good earth
mages. Glencora will also be a good place for a staging area. Troops could
be brought in and made ready without much of a drain on resources.
Alexander came in and crossed himself, He wanted me to know that the
Magyar Horsemen were just about ready. They have almost adjusted to
this reality and have been drilling with the Svitz troops. Good. I thank him
for the update and he leaves shaking his head.
Kirsten is done with the blood. She seems older, and a bit bigger. Her skin
is not as ashen and it looks fuller. Good. But soon she started to rampage
around again. Hmm, I am bleeding from a gash on my face the length of my
hand. Well, who knew she could do that. I guess that that must be the
"wound from a distance" power that she and Fandril had talked about. Not
a bad power, but I think that I will have to bend it to a more practical, less
threatening (to me and mine) use. Maybe I should influence her so she
would be inclined to use it against a mutual enemy instead of "just anybody".
There...it has stopped.
A trump call. It is the Colonel, and he has my blood. He notified me that
He really does not want to know what I am going to use it for, and hands it
through. I thanked him and ask him while I've got him on the line, I had a
progress report for him and the Regent about the Helgram front. He
thanked me and signed off.
I walked over to the IV stand and hooked up the Chaosian blood and waited
for it to take effect. Think good thoughts...think good thoughts. I Fumble
through my Trump deck and found Dara's card. I focused on it, and waited
for her to answer.
When she answered I could see that she was in the Lynxia hospital. She
told me that her Hellmaid would make a full recovery. I talked to her about
a plan to lessen our load against the Hellgram's. It mainly dealt with
allowing them to take as many of the Uber-werewolves in the next shadow
over, back to Chaos. She informed me that the Hellgrams were way to
cagey and would see that as a trap. But, if done properly, in the traditions
of chaos, some of them might go. She would send a few of her Hellmaids in
to check it out and see if a deal could be made. I thanked her for her
assistance and signed off. Looking over at Kirsten I could tell that she was
finally resting peacefully.
I left the Crypt and made my way to the courtyard. I found Ivan and Boris
there. I told them that they needed to try and come up with a place in
Coriolanopolis that was big enough to bring an Army into. They hemmed and
hawed for a minute, but said that they would think of some places that
might work. I thanked them and gave them a two memory rocks. I told
them that when they had a thought up a few place that would work to try
and think of them in as much detail as they could and give me the rocks.
They went off to the battlements to work on it.
It felt good to be in the sun again and I found Sabine and Badger enjoying
some wine, cheese and bread in a nice sunny spot. They were working on her
Broken pattern training. Badger had her working on hexing spells, and she
was doing quite well. Sabine was glad that I was done working on Kirsten,
and could now get back to what I should really be focusing on. Sabine likes
that excitement of the chase, the close fight, but large unwieldy campaigns
tended to make her fussy. at least that is what I like to think.
The next few days went well. Kirsten continued to gather power and
strength. I put my influence in when ever I could. The Swan Maids
reported in from Von Klatka's and all went well. Von Klatka's area and
militia were several times better then Yohannes' was. Von Klatka was very
eager to join when he saw the head of Varnai. We worked out a deal (Same
standard one that I offered Fandril) and the Swan Maids moved on to
The Vampire Zherevyev was a lot more alert and prepared then Varnai or
Von Klatka. She captured the two Swan Maids and had them Trump me.
The trump contact threw her for a bit of a loop, but she dealt with it. I
(and the crew) went to meet with her. I entered the first room of her
Castle and was struck by the overwhelming sense of death. I thought it
best to stay right there. Looking over her lands I could tell that things
where better here then the other places I had been. Good "cattle"
husbandry. She also has a keen military mind.
After she had looked over Varnai's head and talked to Von Klatka,
Zherevyev saw that it was a good deal for her and took it. She also let on
that she was very worried about the "feeling" evil that she had felt from
the south. I had to take control of myself when the two vampires started
to complain about a great evil that was not them. Both Von Klatka and
Zherevyev told me that they had been approached by minions of the south,
but that they were willing to join up with me since I (with help from the
crew) had defeated Varnai.
Next on the Tour of this hell hole of a shadow was the witches of Glencora.
These are the type of women that I would love to introduce to my male
Cousins. Fineas, while being amused and disgusted by them would charm
them out of their knickers. Diego would haul one of them off for either
experiments of what passes for sex in his universe. Jacob....ahh Jacob.
They would see him as the bad boy of which all other bad boys are but a mere
shadow. He would be the project that they could not resist...a fixer upper
that would keep them busy till the end of their days. And they would love him for it.
For the most part Glencora is dirt Rebma...it makes my skin crawl. First the
run around...I'm used to that now. I can see why Jacob's approach has such
great appeal. Next, interviewed by the assistant. Toward the end of the
day the Head Witch came out and tried to seduce me. She declares that
the "earth" loves me, not like the "others" which the earth hates. I told
her that I was a representative of the "Realm of Light". Not far from the
truth...or at least as we like to see ourselves. Really we are not much
different from our enemies. The thing is, we just have different batteries.
After a long interview the Head Witch agreed to join, though she was
concerned with the size of our forces. Nothing that a little bit of shadow
searching can't fix.
Later, Dara trumped me and told me that she was ready to come back, and
would I be a dear and pull her though. After she stepped through she
reported to me that things are going well between the Hellgrams and her
Hellmaids. Her representatives where loving the treatment that they were
getting and that we should have word in a few days.
Good. Now to strengthen the hammer.
The next Morning we took stock of our situation. We discussed the
possible Razorbeak problem. Right now, none had been seen or felt. I had
an idea of finding a creature that ate only Razorbeaks, But Badger said that
if the Razorbeaks were in this shadow full time everything in it would have
been eaten. Good point. The Air Mages of Alonzo said that they could set
up a detection ward and kill them with magic. This would be very in keeping
with the region and wouldn't raise any alarms. Good, make it so. They went
off to set something up. Next item on the agenda was finding some good
light cavalry. I would take that on since Badger and Sabine might have
some trouble with it. They decided to take on the problem of getting some
more supplies. I swear this is the one consuming problem of this
campaign...not enough food. Boran, Jurgan, and Gertruda would take one
platoon of Rangers and a two platoons of locals to investigate Fandril.
The next time I talk to Flora I need to ask her where she found her Human
Gurka troops. They would be really handy right about now. But, ever
I was able to find what I was looking for in either a nearby shadow, or some
other part of the current shadow. They called them selves Magyar's and
the were fantastic on horses. Could fight as good as I had seen outside of
amber. They were mercenaries, which was perfect really. There were four
groups of 1000 I would have wanted to get all four, but that would only
raise the bidding, so I set my sights on the best and the third best groups.
Before the bidding I wondered off to find a wagon train of people that
were hauling wagons full of gold back to somewhere. Using my weapons and
a lot of magic I was able to drive off the defenders and hauled the booty
back to the auction.
The bidding was tense but using my abilities I was able to persuade
everybody that they really wanted the second and forth groups. I paid the
Clan elders their gold and Briefed my new recruits. They were a gung-ho at
first but this waned after a few shadow shifts. I was able to convince
them that they were almost to where I needed them. This brought up
honor issues and they toughed it out.
When we got back to Castle Yohannes, I turned the troops over to Pope
Alexander for indoctrination. He was in his element. Sabine and Badger
were successful in finding more food stuffs. It should last us about a
month. I would need to get the Glencoran's on board soon. When Boran,
Yurgan, and Gertruda came back we discussed the how best to take on the
Fandril's. Boran wanted to know if we had made them any offer yet. "No"
I told him "we had rebuffed several of there probings...and killed several of
their patrols that had wondered into our area, but we hadn't made him any
offers". We needed to do this quick. I trumped SJG and asked him if
Tanitheel was available. "No" he said, "but if you need flyers I could give
you two Swan Maids". Well it was better then a poke in the eye with a big
fist, so I told him that the Swan maids would do fine.
I gave them one of my trumps and told them to get as near as they could to
Castle Fandril and trump me so we could make a quick approach. While they
were flying to Castle Fandril, Yurgan, Gertruda, and myself worked and
trained the new recruits.
The next day the Swan Maids trumped me. They were in a good position. I
had Badger and Sabine get everybody together and we started to send
them through. In the end, Standing outside Castle Fandril were Boran,
Kirsten (under a parasol), Badger, Sabine, Yurgan, Gertruda, Pope
Alexander, 500 of the Swiss Merc's, 2 of the Air Mages, the two Swan
Maids and me. I challenged Fandril to come out and treat with me. He
came out and was shocked at the army that I was able to sneak past his
defenses. He wanted to challenge me to a fight. I asked him what kind of
fight he wanted to do and he thought about it and said "magic to first
blood". Fine, I prepped all of my shield and we went at it. He was no match
and gave up quickly. He tried to make sure that I was not a Vampire, so I
took of my shirt and stood out in the midday sun. This seemed to placate
him and he got down on his knee and pledged his loyalty to me (I had him
kiss Pope Alexanders ring...this seemed to make both of them very happy).
Afterwards Boran gave a little demonstration of his power. He could make
his hand huge, and disembodied. This seemed to unnerve some people, and
other were wanting to know how he did it.
The core Group (Badger, Boran, Sabine, Kirsten Yurgan, Gertruda and now
Fandril) went into Castle Fandril to discuss our next move. Varnai was the
next target. Fandril and especially Kirsten talked in awe and fear of the
Vampire Varnai. He was 9 feet tall, weighed several tons, had ghost army's,
could not be killed by any of the standard Vampire killing modes, loved
running water, could wound anybody he could see (line of sight, any
distance), and was out hunting day and night. Herumph. Ghost army's
sounded right up Derkon's alley. I trumped him.
He was nursing a large drink and shaking a bit. His aura was very dark,
almost a dark as Jacob's the last time I saw him. I told him of the Vampire
and the Ghost Army's and he shuddered a bit, but agreed to help. He would
need to get some things together...so would I please trump him in about an
hour. Sure, no problem.
Next I trumped Dara to see if she was free to help. She said that she was
in Shandora helping a bit, but was at a point that she was beginning to feel
uncomfortable...she was close to breaking her agreement to not attack the
Hendrake's. She sent a message to Fineas telling him that she had done all
that she was capable, and would now fulfill her agreement with me. I pulled
through her and several (50) of her Hellmaids (Badger, Sabine and I all
noticed that about 12 of them were now broken pattern users). Kirsten
filled us in on the theoretical ways to kill Varnai. Most of what Kirsten
theorized about, sounded like we could do with Pattern hexing and
When Kirsten was done I trumped Derkon to see if he was ready. He was
and I pulled him and one of his assistants through. Kirsten started to make
a real good crawdad imitation (she put her arms up and backed up to the
wall) when Derkon came through. This is the first time in a long time that I
had seen her so freaked out. Good, nice to know.
I sent the Swan Maid off to find a place to trump everybody through. in
the mean time Dara and I had a Pattern contest to see who was better...I
won (either she was holding back, or I am actually better then her). It was
decided that I was going to be the person that was to keep Varnai and his
powers pined down using Pattern Probability and hexing. The next day the
Swan Maids trumped me and told me that they were in position and ready to
go. I sent through everybody including Fandril and a couple of his Mages.
The hunt took us to a ruined city. The entire place was a wasteland.
Nothing was alive...except us. Derkon dealt with the ghost's (I had asked
him to collect them...this produced another prolonged shudder). I was
tracking Varnai using a combination Pattern and magic. The air Mages were
making sure no Razerbeaks were present. So off we went. Dara and her
HellMaids cornered Varnai and took him with no losses and only light
damage. Kirsten, Fandril, and the Air mages were at once in awe and fear
of what they had just witnessed. Dara took Varnai's head while the rest of
us chopped and burned the body and I had the Swan Maids scatter the ashs
in a large area inbetween here and Castle Fandril. I collected a vial of Blood
to give to Kirsten to see how it might improve her abilities.
I trump everybody back to Castle Yohannes. I take Kirsten down to the
Basement and chain her to the wall. She was a bit scared and started
begging me not to kill her. I told her that I had a gift for her, and held out
the Vial of Varnai's blood. She licked her lips greedily as I unstoppered it.
She opened her mouth wide and I dribbled it in. She started to shake and
act like a wild child. I pulled up a chair, hoped that the chains would hold,
and started to think happy thoughts about her and her new powers. Hoping
that they, though her, would serve me well.
The next morning I assembled my group and headed to Nampara to use the
Trump painting of Dom-Daniel. The City of Dom-daniel was shrouded in the last hint of twilight as the Rainbow Hue's fell away from us as we stepped into the court yard of the Old Citadel School.
We went to the predetermined meeting place and found Boran almost
cowering in the corner. He greeted me and immediately launched in a long
winded and meandering apology for something involving Tori, Jacob, and
Gwyneth. It really made no sense, so I stopped him and made him start
over and explaining things as he went along. The long and the short of it is
that; while employed by another Mage (for whom Gwyneth was contracted
to do work for) he was sent to find out what had happened to Gwyneth.
After searching several of her properties Boran and his Employer came
across Tori messing around in one of Gwyneth's Palaces. When they
Confronted her about the whereabouts of Gwyneth Tori attacked them.
During this attack Tori Trumped in Jacob for support. The battle was a
stand off, With Jacob and Tori retreating through a trump. Boran's story
sounded like pure Tori...Attack first ask questions later. I chuckled at
Boran (which made him a bit more nervous) and the others joined in
(knowing glances all around). I told him that what was between His
Employer, Him, and Gwyneth was his own business. Being a "Gentleman" I
had no need to know who Employer was or what They did...as long as it did
not interfere with his contract to Amber. Boran told me that there was no
conflict and was willing to hear what I had planned.
I started off by telling him that the urgency had lessened since the death
of King Swayvil. This was a bit of a shock to him. I hadn't realized that
the news had not traveled to Dom-Daniel yet. I filled him in on the details
and what Dara had passed onto me. He said that he would need to contact
his other employer about this and would I mind waiting. I told him "no", I
wouldn't since it would give me time to pass this info onto the more useful
mage schools in Dom-Daniel. I visited Old Citadel School and the Autumn
Moon School (Badger and Sabine wanted to be the ones to give everybody
the good news at their Alma Mater) since they had been the most helpful in
the fight with the Chaosians.
Everybody Met back up at Aix. Boran picked up the tab while we discussed
the Hellgram's and their Shadows. Boran had no problem with the battle
Back at Castle Yohannes I got everybody introduced and Settled. Pope
Alexander was very interested to meet with Boran. It was decided that the
Air Wizard at Castle Alonzo should go first. They would be granted a
chance to join of course, but if they did not, we would take them out. I put
Yurgan and Gertruda in charge of this operation. Boran and Kirsten were to
help. The Plan in sequence 1) Alonzo (Air Mages, 2) Fandril (fire wizard), 3) Varnai, 4) Von Klatka (Vampire), 5) Zherevyev (Vampire), and then make a deal with the Glencoran's (Uber-Gaian-Matriachial-Theocracy) to
supply our push to Coriolanopolis.
Sabine nudged me and said that we were now fashionably late for Diego's
Investiture. Good, no need to be nice after his treatment of Flora. I don't
care how much your horns are up, there is no good reason to want to have
sex with your Aunt.
As Sabine and I were cleaning up and getting dressed for Diego's big Gala,
Every alarm in Amber seemed to go off at once. I put my traveling clothes
back on and went to find SJG. He said that there was a Logrus attack in
the City of Amber. I made my way to the Armory and got my Boys Anti-
tank rifle and bullets and ran to the roof.
Toriana was there and a thought crossed my mind about winging her with a
shot but it soon passed. I had a Page bring me a chair, a cigar, a small table
with a nice brandy. I started to scope the city for a good target. I could
see several very large lion things that several of my family members were
fighting. Too much movement for a clear shot. Sabine, Badger, Chungo, and
Elmore showed up to strengthen the Castles magical defenses.
Finally..in a window I could see a Demon getting ready to shoot a crossbow
at somebody not in my field of vision. *BLAM* one more for good
measure...lower...*BLAM* I took off the Bastards arm and most of his
shoulder as I watched him fly across the room. He stared to shift as he
leapt out the window *BLAM* (a large hole in the brickwork) and he was
gone. Tori took an interest in what I was doing and took out a Trump card
and talked to somebody that I could only assume was down in the city. The
last words I heard from her was "pull me through" . Peace at last.
When everything was dying down Badger, Sabine and I made our way to the
remains of Diego's Gala. Diego was nowhere to be seen of course (Probably
off sniffing Moire's Throne), But Rinaldo and Fineas were there putting on
a good show for the Masses. Fineas was a treat to watch as he glad-handed
the Nobles and made small talk with the common folk. No wonder the Press
liked him so much.
While I was walking around I noticed two Clackers that were dead. I pulled
out my location Trump of Castle Yohannes and wrote a little note saying
that this food was a gift of Prince Diego and that everybody should enjoy.
Sabine gave me a nudge and told me that I was being naughty (with a wink)
as I shoved the bodies through. Sabine told me that she hoped that it was
gone by the time that we got back there sine she felt that eating Clackers
was only slightly less disgusting then Kirsten's cows.
We continued to party with Fineas' babe d'jur Ky Tung, his very inquisitive
Aide-d'camp, and Rinaldo until very late. We (Sabine, Badger, and me) went
back to Nampara to sleep.
The next morning I met with Mariana to see how she was doing in her new
position. I told her that she had done a wonderful job with the House and
that both she and Fritz were doing well with the Thari. They were both
almost to a point that they wouldn't need the translator spell any more.
They both would have a slight Shandorian accent (hers stronger then
Fritz's) but that would be fine. Not that anybody in the family had my
accent (Tori's was almost nasally from her time in Rebma, Diego's sound like
some of the more swarthy people of the Village. The ones who kept blaming
everthing on somebody named Franco. Jacob's was a long slow drawl.
Sometimes we thought that he would never finish a sentence. Fineas' was
similar to mine, but with a bit of a wink to it). I told her that as soon as
whatever passed for School around here started classes she should sign up
Fritz, My treat. She seemed very pleased with this. In her excitement she
told me that If I could swing it, she would really like some Brownies to help
out around here just like Fineas' Manor had. Who knew that Fineas'
recruitment of the Tir Tarngir Brownies would come back to haunt me like
this. I told her I would see what I could do as soon as I had some free
We trumped back to Castle Yohannes later in the afternoon as soon as
everybody had recovered from the Gala. The place was in a state of
excitement. It seemed that the Clackers went over very well, and they
were wanting more if I could get them (all things being possible...why not).
Yurgan, Gertruda and Boran briefed me on the taking of Castle Alonzo.
They didn't want to surrender and fought it out. Boran's hand was slightly
hurt and he was nursing it. The castle was taken with ease, and we even
gained a few of the apprentice Air Mages in the bargain. They had the
foresight to see how things were going and came over to our side.
After last nights questioning of the Gryphon prisoners I really didn't have
the strength to make it to Nampara, so Sabine and I decided to stay in my
room in the Castle.
There was a knock at the Door. I ignored it. The knocking happened again.
Better get up make this damnable knocking stop. It was one of the Castle
Pages and he informed me that the Regent wanted to talk to me ASAP. I
found some clothing and followed the Page back to the Regent. He was
working out and when he saw me he told me that I shouldn't be drinking so
much. I mumbled something about making shadow paths and questioning the
Gryphon prisoner Kirron.
He shrugged off this info and told me that he was wanting the younger
members of the Family to attune to the Jewel of Amber. He told me that
it had some interesting powers and it could control the weather in Amber.
This didn't sound very useful to me, though I made noises that made it
sound like I was excited about the prospect.
I told him of my plan to Make a shadow path from the Helgram area to Tir
Tarngir in hopes of setting those two houses at each others throats. #2
chuckled at the notion and gave me his approval to proceed.
I headed off to the Bathes to clean up and found Sabine already enjoying
the facilities. I told her that Badger and I were going to give some On-
the-job-training for her Broken pattern ability today. She sounded pleased
and told me that she was going to go and get ready.
On the way out we stop and check up on the Coin maker. There are two
coins ready and as Sabine fishes them out of the shielding box, I do some
minor fixing and tweaking on the machine and start it up again. Jurgan and
Gertruda sniff around to see if anybody has been here or not.
Badger and I give Sabine some training as to what to do and we start to
make our way to the Werewolf-Helgram shadow when I sense that we are
being followed. I take over the patch construction and try and do my best
to cover up the path and circle around to try and capture our tracker.
The plan almost works. We come in behind them, but they are able to shape
shift in to a flying thing and get away without taking much damage.
When we are sure that we had rid ourselves of our follower, I make my way
to the Helgram end and start to make the path strong and real. This is
going along well when Gerard trumps me to tell me that Rinaldo's
Investiture is soon and he was pulling me through to attend. We all came
through and got ready.
The investiture wasn't all that interesting except for Fineas' date and the
Fact that King Swayvil died. Prior tot the Death I talked to Dara about
what her plans were for the future she was vague but said that she would
talk to me about it later.
King Swayvil's death came to amber as a wave. Odd things were happening
in the Villa that Lirazel was staying at. Toriana and Fineas went to go and
investigate. Later I would find out about the Death at the impromptu
celebration back in Amber City.
I talk to an excited Dara and she told me that The Geas was lifted and
things may be getting back to normal. Chinaway may keep up his attack on
Amber but the other houses would be heading back to Chaos to lay claim to
the Throne. She also told me that she would be willing to help me out
against the Hellgrams if I needed it. I thanked her for the info and
continued on with the party.
Before retiring for the Evening I go downstairs to the Dungeon and Pay a
visit to Kirron and Alcazar. Alcazar seems really keen to part of a prisoner
swap. He also gives me some info on the Queen of Air and Darkness. She
sounds like somebody I would rather not deal with thank you very much.
Kirron on the other hand just spews forth more of his houses superiorness,
but soon he confides that Chaos will be in the grips of a Civil war and not as
interested in attacking Amber until the new King had been crowned.
I left them thinking that something good might be coming to them if they
were helpful and headed back up stairs to our bedroom.
I woke up before the sun made it over the ocean. Something about this
place has me more on edge than I normally would be at home. Not that the
level of watchfulness is any higher here...It's just done in away that I don't
seem to be able understand. People watching you, taking notes. Ever
present electronic devices recording everything. That was what was normal.
Unblinking, Non-judgmental machines taking in, sifting, and filing away every
little detail to be used later. That was the Duty of the #2. To sort, to
sift To judge.
Not so here. The Judges are my new Family. The new Number Two doesn't
seem to have any duties. He has told me as much. "I am not here to be you
and the rest of the Families Nanny." he had told me. Or at least he will tell
me so. That was what the Dream showed.
They have no regard for resources. I have seen the 4000 in the dream. On
spikes. What a waste.
So He Doesn't want to be the Nanny. One could interpret this many ways.
I choose to see it in a more liberating way. The most freedom I have ever
felt. I will choose what orders to obey and which ones can be ignored (we
will se what the computer program does about this). No Nanny means no
intervention. Well, except for the Brat. He'll be the Nanny when it comes
to her. Or maybe, more aptly, the Nursey. After the Jacob/Morwyn affair
the sky seems to be the limit. A slap on the wrist, a pat on the back, and
off you go.
Sadly the only one of My family members that I find myself trusting is the
one that the whisperers tell me not to. Things about his blood line. Things
that do not matter to an outsider. But, I do feel that Fineas can be trusted
like any equal back in the Village. Face to face and never turn your back
Jacob though, has proven to be the surprise in the bunch. Who knew that
inside that gruff, silent, loner exterior was a sociopathic whack job. When
the contracted Necromancer has to go off on a several day drinking binge
just to get the screaming out of his head you know you've really done
something. No wonder the Remen troops were in fear of him and would not
disobey his standing order. Fineas mentioned in passing that Jacob was a
sunburned-crackhead-freak. I am beginning to see that he has gone way
The Brat is still the Brat. The universe seems to be unable to punish her
for her arrogance. But, from what I've been hearing, the whole of Rebma
is just like her. It makes ones skin crawl just thinking about it.
The newest Member of our happy little band of brothers is Diego. He
seems to be his mothers son. He and the Brat have a lot in common.
Hopefully for him, Tori doesn't find this out. In a moment of what some
would call a lapse of reason, Diego confided to us (Fineas, Rinaldo, and
Jacob) the reason he hates Flora is because she made him horny.
I am insulted that He pouted like a little girl over that fact that Jacob and
I decided that his little party with the Gryphon's was not worth our time
and effort. Though I can see why Fineas did it. His Propaganda machine
must be kicking in big time over the "Glorious fighting withdrawal from the
House of Gryphon". He played Diego masterfully. Allowing Diego to fuss
and fret over every little detail, While he himself had a straight forward,
no nonsense plan to kill as many Gryphon's as possible. Nice.
My mistake, I have forgotten Fineas' Brother Rinaldo. I can picture these
two in my mind. Two little red headed kids telling their mother "he hit me
back first" with an evil gleam in their eyes. They both have the same
preoccupation with there mother, Some have said that this leads to
unheathly lifestyles...since they are both of the blood, maybe they are
One begins to wonder about their Mother. She bore the both of them from
the same father. This would seem to be an oddity among the younger
generation. The elders didn't seem to have enough time (as their Father
did) to procreate. And the fact that they have not brought her to live in
the comfort and glory that is the "One True City". Either they are
embarrassed by her, or she has something to hide. She seems to be a
mistress of Trump. At least as good if not better than Kelamon. An other
Rebman exile? Somebody else that upset Moire's delicate sense of
propriety? This will have to be figured out.
But now back to our story....
I woke up to the sound of knocking at the door. Sabine kicked me and I got
up. It was the Page Matt with a request for my presence from the Regent.
It also included a request to see Sabine. It was time for her testing to see
if she was ready to take the Broken pattern. We got ourselves presentable
and headed to his rooms.
He was in the middle of a work out when we entered the room. When he
was done with his rep he got up and went into his Bedroom and came back
with a pretty gem on a chain. He asked Sabine to approach him. She had
goose bumps as she did so. He held the gem up to his eye and focused on
her for a few minutes. He said that she looked ready, but he wanted to be
sure that she was physically capable since the walk would kill her if she
wasn't. SJG walked into the room as if on que and put Sabine through her
paces. After about an hour (#2 had gone back to his exercises) SJG
pronounced Sabine fit enough to Walk the Broken Pattern. #2 clapped and
told her to go and get some rest, and that we were going to his fathers
private Broken Pattern. Sabine was worn out but she had a vital glow about
her when he told her this.
Sabine headed to the baths, then to get a massage and then straight to
When she had left I handed #2 the copy of the family tree that I had
been able to cobble together from the Tir Tarngir library. We talked about
all of the implications of a whole other branch of the family. He said that
he would take a look at the library when Rinaldo got it put back together
He then asked me if I was going to help Diego in his defence of Tir Tarngir.
This was a very large bolt out of the blue...not that much different from
asking me what I was going to do with My wife Toriana. I told #2 that
Rinaldo, Fineas and I had tried to talk Toriana into taking command of that
new front, but that she had balked, so we had decided to abandon it after
we had liberated the library. I confessed that I did not know that Diego
had and kind of military experience, or the desire to participate in the war
with chaos. He told me that he was going to help Diego even if nobody else
was, and that he was not the Regent to be our baby sitters. He was
starting to get into his grumpy/sulky mood...time to get out of the Castle
and find some useful things to do.
I made my way downstairs and talked to Dante's concubines for a while. No
real info except for wild lying about the Gryphon's power and military
force. Like sex slaves know anything useful, but Cousin Diego seems to find
them valuable, so I won't do interrogate them as strenuously as I
should...they'll be his problem now. Speaking of problems...where was
I tracked down Kirsten. She was subtly impressed with Amber, but she
complained that there was nothing to "eat". I told her that it was her lucky
day, and that we were going to solve this problem of hers. She looked a bit
fearful, and balked a second when I signaled her to follow me out to the
stables. I started to quiz her about her need for blood; what she got out
of it, what she needed from it, What it felt like for her to drink
somebodies blood, and how she felt afterwards. She thought it odd that I
was asking her these questions, but soon she was in full gab mode. The
first place that I shifted us to was a nice pasture with some grazing
animals. I told her to try one of these and she got off of her horse walk up
to the nearest one and bit it's neck.
She lapped at it's blood for a while but had a dissatisfied look on her face
and said "it's fine".
"No" I told her "tell me if this is what you were describing to me or not".
She replied "not".
I asked if the creature being sentient played a big part of the "food"
She thought about it for a few seconds and decided that that must be part
of the need. She smiled as she got back into the saddle. I had to think on
this for a second. Then I got a flash. What if I found something that was
sentient and wanted to be eaten. That this was it's whole reason for
existence. No guilt for anybody getting eaten, no worry about her taking
out somebody because she was hungry. No need to kill her before she had
out lived her usefulness. And if Jacob was given command of the Helgram
front, Somebody he could relate to. Who knows what powers she got from
her elder Yohannes, Maybe she could Jacob a run for his money. Enough of
that, we were off to find some cattle that were begging to be eaten.
It took awhile, but I was soon able to find a shadow that was almost Village
like, but they were masters of genetic manipulation. Shadow Rateotu was
yet another eye opener for Kirsten. I was able to make a deal for 150
sentient-talking bovines. Kirsten said that they would meet her basic needs
and we headed back to Castle Yohannes with the herd in tow.
On the way back I had an interesting thought about the Gryphons and the
Helgrams. Neither one knew what the other was up to, except for what the
Basilisks were feeding them. I needed to start some strife between them.
I could haul a pack of the werewolves from the shadow next door to Tir
Tarngir. The Helgrams may or may not know that the Gryphons had taken
Tir Tarngir. Hauling the pack would set up a slight shadow path. With some
tweeking a little bit later it would be a full fledged Patterny shadow path.
Would the Helgrams follow it, and what would they do to the Gryphons when
they got to other end....
When I got back to Castle Yohannes I got everything there squared away
and headed off to set this new plan in motion. It was hard work using most
of my skill, but in the end I was able to have a pack of the Werewolves
follow me to Tir Tarngir. Man am I tired, time to go back to Amber to
In Amber there was much rejoicing. Several Gryphons were captured and
awaiting questioning in the dungeon. Tori was busy with the Logrus master
that they had captured leaving the "Normal" one for me. We bantered back
and forth. He knew that I was the "good cop" so things went pleasantly.
When the drugs were just about to drag him under I tried Tori's trick that
she had used unsuccessfully on Lirazel. I made contact with his mind and
plunged inside. It was a weird feeling, so it took awhile to get everything
focused. He was starting to close off his mind so I went after the info
nobody in the family had; Who were Flora's children.
For the most part they seemed to be inexact copies of us. Kamorra was
Fineas', Tharin were Jacob's , Illeane and Sabaton was Diego's, Vaila was
the Brat's, and Marcus was mine. It get there physical and mental images
and the Nexi back from Tir Tarngir. Now time for sleep...
We decided that Jacob was best able to capture the Gryphon woman and sent
him on his way.
Well this whole battle must of been Toriana's idea. No one else could have
come up with a plan this incompetent. A success, but at a high cost. No info,
no intel, No nothing. Just kill, kill, kill.
As I made my way back down to the bottom of the tower, I ran into a fellow
that introduced him self as Rinaldo, Brother of Fineas. He claimed to know
nothing either, since Fineas had just pulled him through a trump contact just
a few minuets ago. I asked him where his brother was and he told me he was
down at the Gryphon Palace.
At the bottom I found Ivan and Boris collecting jewel encrusted sex toys. I
handed them some weapons and armor that I had found and bid them to follow
I confronted Fineas about the Cluster fuck, and he told me that none of this
was in the plan. The plan was to sneak in and capture on of the Gryphon's and
sneak back out. He wanted to question one of them before making a big
assault. Good man. But, he thought that either Jacob or the Brat came up
with another plan and that was how we got to where we were.
We decided to plunder the Palace for anything useful. I was looking for
anything that was patterneny or Magical and Fineas was looking for paperwork.
We found more paper than items.
We found that Jacobs troop had captured some of the Gryphons sex slaves.
I could see no use for them, But the Remen's refused to follow my orders. I
was this close to gutting the sergeant, but Fineas stepped in and hauled the
sex slaves back to Amber for Col. Sir Bors to question.
Ahhh, the Library. The Library of which all other libraries are but a mere
shadow. The operation to haul off this booty lasted for four days. The most
interesting find was a copy of a history that contained a family tree. there
were all sorts of names that #2 had not mentioned. The most interesting was
the line of Queen Morgana of Tir Tarngir (that must be where we are). We
were working our way through the book when Rinaldo stormed into the room.
He had had a run in with our dear sweet cousin Toriana and was still trying to
work off the head of steam that he had built up. After a few minutes Toriana
came in demanding to know who Rinaldo was and what we were doing. I told
her that we had taken a vote and that she was to be put in charge of Tir
Tarngir/Gryphon front. She glared at me. Fineas dropped the boom on her
about her attitude, personality and everything about her that was so
disagreeable. It was moment that brought a tear to my eye. Toriana turned
the same color as her hair and trumped out.
As I stated before, the Library took four days to move. I brought in Sabine
and Badger to help with the defenses of the castle (Kirsten was also brought
along). Diego showed up when things were almost finished and told us that he
had decided to defend the Castle from the Gryphons. Sounded like a suicide
mission to me. I had Sabine and Badger work on setting up the Castle wards
and make the defenses workable. When they were satisfied that everything
was in working order we headed back to Amber.
When we got back to Amber I worked on a few need to tasks and when I was
done with that I met with #2. The meeting went well, After some confusion
on #2's part he told me that he would check to see if Sabine was ready to
take the Broken pattern. We also Talked about Jorham and the Hellgram zone
and what my next task would be. This brought up the fact that there is a
severe stepping on of toes by the Princlings, and the we need to have a family
meeting to make some decisions as to what are focus should be on in the near
future. I brought up my views on the Tir Tarngir fiasco, and that Fineas' plan
should have worked if it was allowed to continue to its logical conclusion. He
thanked me for my input and I was dismissed.
Back to the salt mine.
I've just finished talking to SJG about getting some garrison troops for Castle
Anthrax. He said that they were pretty thinly spread and that the new
recruits were not up to the usual high Amber standards, but that they would
do for what I needed. He told me that he would be having Finmor at the
"ranger station" gather up a hundred or so and trump me when he was ready.
I also asked for 20 liter's of blood (Kirsten is whining about being hungry
again). He gave an odd look and told me he would see what he could do. I
thanked him and signed off.
My first concern was the Vampire's returning Patrol's, Second was getting
enough supplies to make Castle Anthrax's garrison functional. The first was
pretty easy since most of the returning patrols had frag'd their leaders once
the Vampire's Thrall had worn off. I was about to work on the Second when
Badger informed me that the Castle's and holdings Wards were starting to
fail. Kirsten told us that they were bound to the Elder Vampire and with him
New number two. Kirsten wanted to just use the peasants like her
predecessor had done, but I was not to comfortable with that notion. Having
built Several ward stones, all we needed to do was make a larger version. One
problem was the lack of any lay lines in the Shadow. It was decided to use one
of the two coins that we had to power it. Next Sabine, Badger and I rode the
boundaries and set everything up. There was probing coming from all sides.
I was attacked by one of the Fire Mage's toadies and was easily able to take
him out. When the wards were back up, the probing ceased. The new wards
were much stronger then the old ones....that ought to confuse our new
neighbors just a bit.
Next on the list was to procure supplies. I rode out into shadow with a
mixture of the Gurka's and Castle Anthrax's patrol's. I did my best to try
and conceal my pattern usage this near to the Helgram's, so it took awhile to
find a group of Farmers taking there goods to a market town. We waylaid
them and took everything back to the Castle. About a third of it I gave to the
locals and the rest went to the Castle (it should last a better part of a year,
longer if the amber troops bring their own provisions).
When I got back Finmor trumped me and sent through to me the promised
hundred troops, 20 liter's of blood, and about a weeks worth of provisions for
each. I thanked him and greeted the troops and told them all about their
duties and the lay of the land.
I went to go see Kirsten next with some of the Blood. She was almost in a
torpor state and I gave her a little bit of a pick-me-up (a vial of Lord
Alcazar's blood). She perked really quickly, and I gave her a few of the liter's
to feed on. She was very greatful and thanked me for them.
I trumped Princess Flora and gave her her Gurka's back and thanked her for
their use. She told me that everything was going well and as soon as Jacob
showed up, things in Jelorum ought to be put right straight away. I again
thanked her and wished her good luck on the Jacob thing (Fineas seems to be
right about his assessment about our Cousin Jacob).
Kirsten spoke up then telling us that since she now had some of the memories
of the Elder, she knew where a map of the area was, and she went to fetch it.
looking it over after she had brought it back, we noticed that it was a long way
to the Capitol. I trumped Tanitheel and found that she was in the bath ( why
is every woman that I had trumped recently been naked?). I gave her a few
minutes and trumped her back. She was in a better, clothed situation and
more comfortable when I restarted the request. I told her of my plan to have
her fly to the Helgram's Capitol and then trump me and see what the situation
is from there. She told me that she was willing to take the risk so I pulled her
About a day later she trumped me and pulled me through. This City was much
better off then Shandora, Jelorum, or Hunoc. Not Bad. We found a little
niche to duck into and I stealthfully started to scan about (Tanitheel shifted
to look like an old woman). Very little Necro power...But there were two Logrus
tendrils probing around where Tanitheel had pulled me through. So the
Helgram's were aware of trumps, and their power signature. Interesting...they
are going to be much harder to deal with then the Hendrake's. I felt it
prudent to move a few blocks away from the Tendrils. When we had found a
new place to do some recon work, it turned out to be an ambush point for a
threesome of very unskilled footpads. Their leader attacked me and I cut him
in half. This really made an impression on the other two (Ivan and Boris) and
they joined up with our "Gang". I started again to probe the Capitol. The
Logrus tendrils were still going over the area where I had been.
Systematically going over everything. All was going well until The Brat
"We need you!" Her acidic voice purred.
"What are you trying to do kill me, your father gave express orders not to
Trump me." I barked at her. Her face gave no sign of knowing, or caring.
"we NEED you NOW!" was her reply.
I did a quick scan...sure enough the Tendrils when now just out side of the
building. Damn and Blast.
I grabbed Tanitheel, Ivan and Boris and pitched them through to Toriana. A
tendril attached it's self to my foot and I was able to cut it off and make it
to wherever we now were.
The Brat pointed up to the really large moon and the glowing lay lines that
came from it to the large castle on the hill. She told me to make sure to keep
anything from leaving the moon and turned and left. If the whole thing hadn't
been so interesting, I would have left for Castle Anthrax that moment. To
Toriana's retreating back I yelled "why don't you just destroy the Lay lines?"
She laughed and continued on her way. There were large numbers of troops
running around (hopefully ours). they looked as if they were getting ready to
assault the Castle.
Jacob saw me and came up and asked me what I am doing. I told him and his
response was very logical "Who are you going to listen to...the warfare Queen
or me". Good point. At least his idea was much more fun. I met up with
Fineas and he was going to go to the right when he got into the Castle and I
was going to go to the left. I found a spot in a room full of sex toys and told
Boris and Ivan to stay put (fineas' eyes got really large and he started to
blush at the sight of the sex toys). They nodded vigorously and went to the
A few minutes later, Jacob was lit up like a bonfire...By drawing the enemies
fire he gave Fineas and I a good advantage in the battle. As I made my way
through the castle I noticed that the symbols and colors were that of House
Gryphon. So the three of them had found the last Major house.
Tanitheel and me had made our way to the center of the castle. I could see
a large tower in the center where the Lay lines terminated. It was surrounded
by several other smaller towers. The cardinal point towers had walkways to
the larger tower. I asked Tanitheel if she thought she could carry me up to
the main tower. She said "sure"...and proceeded to make herself more
We were just about to clear the line of smaller towers when Tanitheel let out
a cry. I looked up and my face was soon covered with blood. Tanitheel had
been shot with an arrow by someone in the large tower. I grabbed my magic
rope and sent it out to grab the passing smaller tower. It attached it's self
and I reeled us in.
I pulled the arrow and cast a quick heal spell to try and stop the blood flow.
The next thing to do was to Trump her to Amber. When that was done I
Trumped SJG and told him the situation, he told me that Fineas had just
trumped him and verified that Amber powder worked wherever in the universe
I was. Though it would seem very un-Fineas like not to have tested things out
prior to attacking. So this whole thing must have been the Brats doing. May
her father roger her to death....
When SJG had passed through my weapons I made my way to the walkway that
led to the big tower that I saw while falling. Down a few floors and over...yee-
haw there it was. Now up the stairs, I could her gun shots ringing out...must
be Fineas. Yes, sounded like his Barrett. Onward up the stairs. I hear a loud
crashing sound from up above and someone crying out in pain. For some reason
the entire top floor (and walls) was covered in ice. I got to the a point were
a gondola had crashed onto the floor, A woman armed with a bow was dragging
a wound man off of the roof. I fired in there direction...missing the woman
but nailed the man and she dropped him. I ran over to the edge getting there
just in time to watch her fall into a cloud of Air Elementals and Pattern shift
Somebody has some explaining to do for this cluster fuck.....
The day before had gone well. I had spent some time working with my Jelorum
Merc's and drilled them in some more modern military practices. They took
to this like ducks to water. Later that night, after Sabine had done her best
to wear me out, I started to have a slight headache. It got worse, and worse,
and then I noticed that it wasn't a headache, but a really weak but urgent
trump call. Against better judgement, I responded.
It was Badger, and he looked to be in a spot of trouble. He was naked and
sitting on a very large tree branch. I could hear snarling in the background.
He apologized and said that he needed my help. He was in the area that the
Helgram's had occupied and things were not looking too good for him right now.
I wasn't to happy to hear that the Helgram's had a "zone" of control.
He said that he would give me a few minutes get dressed and gather a few
items. He trumped me back when I was better prepared and pulled me
through. He told me that the snarling came from the werewolves that were
at the base of the tree he was in. Looking down, I could see that they were
the size of the Taxi's back home. He went on to describe the area of shadow
that the Helgram's controlled and the only thought that came to mind was
Omicron....Anyway, The shadow in question comprised of everybodies worst
hellmouth/gothic nightmares. Vampires, Zombies, Were-creature's up the
bum. Not a place to bring your mum for a nice day at the beach.
The next question was where were his clothes. He told me that he had to shed
them to befuddle the were-creatures that were chasing him, and that he had
lost a few of his trumps, but had kept mine. He'd planned for contingencies
though, and had burned the lost sketches with a prepared spell.
He told me that he new of a safer shadow, and that it was closer to the
Helgram's power base in this zone. So, using his descriptions, and pattern
shifting we found ourselves near a medieval hovel. I went out and borrowed
some appropriate clothing (having learned in Jelorum) for Badger and myself.
He took me to a shack that he had taken over (the locals were convinced that
a weird old hermit now lived there, and were willing to leave it alone). I had
Badger guard me while I worked on opening my senses to the Shadow. I could
sense a center of Necro energy about 10 miles to the south (badger confirmed
that that was were the Vampire Count lived). There were two areas of magic
nearby; one was Fire based and the other Air. The rest of the areas were
ruled by other Vampires. Badger confirmed these findings and told me that
the neighboring mages were of a low caliber and even I could take them on.
I also noticed that there were no lay lines to speak of in this shadow.
During my pattern searches I was able to find a cave that was suitable for a
trump location (secluded and out of the way). I trumped Princess Flora and
found her en flagrante...this did not seem to bother her to much (I guess that
Flora really did have a thing for that lizard guy). I told her that I had found
a good place for one of the trumps, and I was going to check out the garrison
town to find another. She told me that she would be ready in about 5 hours
time (Jelorum) and if I would be needing anything to let her know now. I
thought for a second and told her some good troops would be a good idea and
anything else I could procure on my own. Badger chimed in that he had lost
most of his trumps, and humbly asked her if she would see fit in finding
replacements. She giggled as she signed off.
I Trumped SJG and got the items I would be needing and started the walk to
the town. On the way one began to notice that all of the peasants were under
nourished, almost bled dry. We got a room in an inn and I trumped Sabine who
brought Jurgen and Gertruda with her. Sabine joked about "what kind of hell
hole I had brought them to this time". She blanched when Badger and me told
her. She had thought that Shandora was the worst place in the Universe...she
After a while Flora trumped me and told me that she was ready, and to find
a place to bring her troops through to. We left the inn and went to a place
that the locals called a fairy circle and brought her and her troops through.
she had about 50 short little well tanned men that she called Gurkas with her.
they seem more then willing to fight anything. They didn't even flinch when
they heard what they would be up against. Onward to the castle!
The town peasants fled to their hovels as we made our way to the castle. It
was just before midday, the perfect time to go vampire hunting. From what
I was able to discern from my probing, there were maybe a dozen of them in
the castle. Using ropes and ladders we were able to easily over power the
small castle garrison and we made our way to the crypt. We were greeted by
the head vampire and his minions, he was babbling on about how they were
going to drink our blood, and so on, and so on. The fight started and they
where no match for a Princeling, a Princess of Amber, a major wizard, a minor
wizard, Two weir and now about a dozen Gurka's. We had killed all of them
except a small girl vampire and the leader when I gave him the chance to yield.
He continued to blather on about how he was going to destroy us, but the girl
became submissive and I struck the Elder vampire. He was starting to cast a
spell when I ran him through with a sharp pointy stick. He did not turn to dust
as one would have expected from the mythic stories.
The Girl introduced herself as Kirsten and told me that she was hungry (as she
was eyeing one of Flora's Gurka's) and in need of blood. I tossed her the
Dying husk of the Elder for her to feed on. I've seen dogs be less greedy
with stew bones then she was with the Elders body.
After she had finished her "feeding" she told us that she had gained
knowledge from the elder and was willing to share. Badger, Sabine and I came
up with a bond spell so she could pledge herself to myself and Amber's Cause.
She was willing to do this and take on our Cause.
Flora said that this place was really starting to creep her out and she was
going to return to Jelorum. She said that she was going to leave the Gurka's
here until I was able to come up with a more suitable force to guard the
Castle. She also agreed that the castle would make a nice place for the second
trump in point for this shadow and set about finding a good spot to paint.
When Flora had completed her trump, and we had secured the Castle and
surrounding town, she told us that she was leaving and that she would provide
training on the Jelorum's that I had recruited and get together with Azvan's
crew to see what could be done there.
After having taken care of my obligations to Holrune, Derkon, Jurgen and
Gurtruda. I talked to Sabine about what she might want for her services to
Amber's cause. She told me that she had found my pattern tricks frightfully
useful. I told her that #2 had been quite adamant about the fact that only
Family members could walk it, but that a shadowite could attune to a Broken
I trumped Sir John Gaunt and asked him about broken pattern. He told me
that he personally found it very useful, but one needed to be ready, otherwise
it would be just as fatal as the real pattern. He informed me that he would
pass on to #2 that I was requesting that Sabine be tested for her ability to
take Broken Pattern. I thanked him and signed off. The news filled her with
both joy and dread.
I also offered Broken Pattern to Holrune and Derkon. They looked like they
really wanted to say yes, but they had a hint of fear in there eye that
betrayed their decision.
When everything was in order and ready to go, Derkon reported that Jacob's
bloody Persian troops were revolting (yes, they stink on ice). We talked about
the logistics of the situation and I came to the decision that they were
Jacob's problem and gave Derkon one of my Trump sketches of Jacob and
started to walk to Jelorum.
When we got to Jelorum, I received a trump call from Lady Kelamon. She handed me
a trump of our Contact Azvan.
After some tricky bits with the natives I was able to procure the appropriate
clothing and a translator device. I set about finding some suitable places for
making some trumps, and gathering a small but effective military force. Azvan
and his people (Tananda and Chumley) showed up. He was happy to see me and
informed me that these are his people, and if I wanted troops to let him do
We went to meet with one of the local tribes that were willing to help. A huge
lizardman stepped out of the crowd and Azvan attacked him. I was about to
help him when I noticed that both Tananda and Chumley were staying put.
Well we'll see how this turns out I guess. It would seem that this is how
Azvan's people greet each other after long absences. All went well, but their
are some negotiations that are going to need to take place. Azvan told me he
would take care of it.
Back in town I trumped Flora and told her that I have reached my destination
in Jelorum. She seemed to be having a picnic with our cousin HRH Morwyn of
Rebma and tells me that she will be ready shortly and to be ready to receive
her trump. After about an hour I get her Trump call and pull her though. She
is a quick study and gets her "picture" of the areas in question. She then asks
me if I would be willing to spar with her. This was a very odd proposition
coming from her, and Sabine shot her a look. "No, no, no....I mean fight. It's
been a long time since I've fought anybody of our abilities". I agreed, I mean
she couldn't be any better then SJG. Boy was I wrong. She was a bit better
then me, but with the aid of Jurgen we gave as well as we got. The fight
seemed to also be of interest to Azvan's people, who were quite impressed.
They agreed to my terms and would need a few days to get things in order.
Flora decided to stick around (one of Azvan's people interested her), and I got
the money needed to secure the deal.
The next morning, having declined the big night out with Chungo and Elmore,
I woke up refreshed and functioning, Sabine on the other hand responded with
a groan when I nudged her. I prepped an anti-hangover spell for her and let
her sleep a while longer while it took effect. I found one of the second floor
maids and asked her to bring us some breakfast and some hot water. When
she had returned with the requested items, she told me about Fineas'
prisoner. I ate quickly, cleaned myself up and proceeded to the basement.
I found Col. Sir Bors on the way down stairs and he told me everything that
he knew about her capture. We found her in the new standard Chaosian
confinement cage. Bors then told me that she had heal since last night...that
would have to be taken care of soon enough. She didn't say anything as we
(two guards, Bors, Jurgen, and I) took her to the newly renovated
interrogation room. She was strapped down and I asked her who she was and
which house she was from. She did not answer, so I rebroke one of her legs.
She asked who I was, and I told her.
"She wasn't a very good spy if she didn't know who Prince Fineas was". and I
rebroke her arm.
She then told me that her name was Lirazel of house Basilisk. It had the ring
of truth about it. I then hooked up some drugs and the anti-shapeshifting
poison and she told me that if I continued that their would be dire
consequences if I continued. I let the drugs flow into her for awhile when I
noticed that she had managed to shapeshift them right back out of her
system. The anti-shapeshifting poison was having no effect whatsoever.
She told me that we could make a deal, but if I continued I would be
responsible for the destruction of Amber.
In hindsight, my knowledge of shapeshifters consisted of the Weir and
Tanintheel, so I was grossly unprepared for what happened next.
Seeing that my way of dealing with things had not worked out as planned, I
trumped Toriana (remembering what she had done to her would-be kidnapper
in Dom-Daniel). Toriana was more than willing to help, almost giddy. It would
seem that she really likes to show off her abilities. Lirazel squirmed as
Toriana approached and made contact. Toriana muttered under her breath
that Lirazel was resisting, so I punched Lirazel hard to distract her. As
Toriana started to make contact Lirazel began to secrete fluids and gases,
Toriana said that Lirazel was trying to kill herself. Right after that Bors and
the two guards keeled over and started to have seizures. I started CPR on
Lirazel and yelled at Toriana to get us out of here. Toriana asked me where
I wanted to go and named several places, and I told her Anywhere as long as
it was not in Amber. As we commenced to leave, I told Jurgen to go and seal
off the Dungeon from the rest of the Castle.
We appeared in what must have been Rebma, based on all the water all around.
Lirazel regained consciousness and repeated her offer. (BLOODY, BLOODY
BUGGER) Based on what little I knew about shapeshifters she could have
blown herself up leaving us with no option but to watch the Castle die. She
must really want to deal. The Poison must have been a Binary. She had a week
to spread the first part, just in case of her capture. Damn and Blast! There
was only one way out. Since I was doing a pretty good job of being the bad guy
here, and Toriana was having too good a time being the insane heavy, I needed
to bring in someone that would be able to pick up on what was going on and run
with being the White Knight. That left Fineas. I looked at her and told her
that "I should have let you and the Guards die".
I trumpdd Fineas and provided him with enough clue's so he would know where
to take over. Right off the bat Fineas managed to distract Toriana by putting
the fear of Queen Moire into her, and she trump the Queen to let her know
what is going on. Fineas was a wonder to watch in action, he led Lirazel down
the garden path and in to the high walled paddock. Lirazel was going to find
herself in the same position as Dara. Lirazel told us more about King Svayhill's
Geas the Geas that her own house had put upon her. When a deal was reached
(Lirazel would cure those effected and we would put her under house arrest,
Also Toriana, Fineas and I promised not to torture her any more. He also got
her to promise to spead the rumore about Dara being a trator to Hendrake)
we were ready to head back to Amber and Toriana went into a several minute
long dither as to where and who and all sorts of things that were not getting
us back to the Castle. Fineas who looked to have had enough of Toriana dug
out his own trump and we went back to the Castle.
Lirazel was true to her word. Several of the guards were already beyond hope,
but Bors was fine. The inhabitants of the Castle were soon found to be pulling
long centipede's (blood creature's) out of their skin. This was the first part
of Lirazel's Binary, the gas was the second. I hate Shapeshifters. Fineas was
off to tell Lord Feldane and #2 about his deal with Lirazel and the Basilisk.
Lirazel seemed very happy dealing with Fineas...good. Fineas did make a joke
to Lirazel of marrying me to seal the deal and clearing up the Basilisk Geas.
I checked up on Sabine and I found out that since we (Sabine, Jurgen,
Gertruda, and I) hadn't spent much time in the castle we didn't have any of
the damnable blood beasts.
Things to ponder; The anti-spapeshifting poison (ASSP) didn't work, and the
Basilisk were willing to die before they gave up any of there information. I
send the information about the ASSP on to Chungo and Elmore. Next time I
find a Basilisk I should kill them out of hand.
I noticed that my meeting with Duchess Lornaya's man in Amber city is soon
so I take off for the City.
The meeting with Binx went well, I bought the House Nampara (only to find
out later that Gwenyth's trump of Dom-daniel had been removed). When I was
back at the Castle, Kelamon told me that it was in storage and since no one had
claimed I could have it, as long as I was willing to have some of the castle
guard along to make sure nothing "Wrong" happened with it. This was a good
deal and I took it.
Next I met with Duchess Lornaya who had trumped to the Castle to keep the
meeting (the nobles seem to almost live in fear of upsetting the "royal" family).
She told me that Mariana and Fritz were ready to be sent on to take over the
running of Nampara, but that they could not speak a word of Thari ( I found
this odd since I have no problem speaking with anybody since I was brought
here, in Shandora, Dom-daniel, Blekin or Hunac). She told me that a spell
would do the trick, and asked what kind of speech pattern I would like her to
have (again, this was very odd, but come to think off it everybody who had
claimed to have come from different places other than The Village had had
something done with there speech patterns). I told her a good clear mid-class
version of the Amber Thari would be fine. I meet with Mariana and Fritz
afterward. They were a bit scared of the changes in their life but were
holding up well.
Just after thanking Duchess Lornaya for her time and effort and conveying
her back to her Manse, I received a trump from Jacob. He asked me about
Azvan and Jeloram. I told him about the deal that Fineas and I made with him,
and that I was just about ready to go and collect him in Dom-Daniel. I told
him our contact with him in Dom-Daniel was a woman named Tananda. He next
wanted to know about the Chaosian I had Captured and I told him that I
thought that he already know about Lord Alcazar. "No, no, no" he responded
"the one that was spying in that Castle" I told him that that was Fineas'
prisoner and a deal had been cut with her. He muttered something about that
and said "Oh, yeah, that's right I kind of see you and Fineas as the same
person". Nice cousin, next time pay attention to detail.
I continued on about my up coming mission to "map" out the Shadow's that the
Hellgram's, Gryphon's and others were invading, and that Flora would be
providing the trump making part of the exercise. Jacob's face screwed up and
said "You mean she's useful?' Yes cousin. He muttered some more about her
time in Chaos and why she didn't escape earlier. When his mind had cleared
up again, he told me that he would be willing to gather up Azvan and take him
to Jeloram. I told Jacob everything that Fineas and I knew about him and
Tananda and Jeloram. I also told him of the rumor of the new cousin that
Flora had found by the name of Deigo. This also through Jacob for a loop. He
kept repeating "Who knew, Who knew..." He thanked me and signed off.
The list of things to do before I could head out to Jeloram was getting
shorter. Sabine, Jurgen, Gertruda and I Trumped to Hunac to meet with
Holrune and Derkon. I promised them "Shadow of there Desires" for there
service to Amber and I needed to take care of that before moving on. Each
of the mages Taste was quite different and not what I would have thought.
And since both of them wanted secure pathes to and from Dom-Daniel I
stopped in on Herb Mistress Gheen of the OCS to let her know about the
Basilisk's emunity to the Shapeshifting poison, and the need to make a
stronger version (I also left her a vial of Lord Alcazar's blood to play with).
Next, I took each of them out separately and brought them back to Hunac.
Along the way I talked to Holrune about a spell to keep the Chaosians from
burning up and after a few minutes he came up with a super cooling spell
(minor) that should work.
Back in Hunac, with the Tantric Love Fest Blowing through the air, I dismissed
Jurgen and Gertruda to their own discretion and went to the beach with
Tomorrow I will need to see if there is anything that Sabine wants out in
While recovering in Lynxia Sabine and I started to design a Magi-coin
maker. The design was fairly easy, but we would have to finish it off in the
shadow that we were going to leave it in. Later, after we were ready to
start actual production, I worked on the machine while Sabine made some
"coin-purses" based off of Fineas' mothers design.
When we were ready to go, I went looking for Jurgen and Gertruda. They
were mostly healed up and getting a bit stir crazy. We headed out into
nearby unknown shadow. We had to stop every so often so I could try and
pick upon a strong lay line. I finally found one in a off the beaten path
shadow in between Lynxia and Amber. Checking with the Shadow atlas I
could find no reference to it, so it was up to me to "name". Jurgen
suggested "Eichbaumgrossegleichnebenschwarzstrahl". A bit long and not very
imaginative. I asked Gertruda the name of the town that she was born in,
and she told me "Sigmarin, Sir". I thanked her and made a notation in the
Atlas with the new name of the Shadow as "Sigmarin".
While Sabine set about putting the Machine together, I started to make
the final parts to the machine. I summoned the Earth elementals to work
it, the Collectors that would gather the magic, the Capacitor bank to
regulate the energy, and lastly the Refiner to put the energy into the coins.
Everything was automated and it should be able to run for quite a while
without needing to be tinkered with.
With that bit of business out of the way, we continued on our way to
Amber. The Weir needed to check in with Sir John Gaunt, Sabine wanted
to meet with Elmore and I had to see if Chungo had found out anything
about Lord Alcazar's blood. Chungo was more than happy with the results
of his tests, Reading between the lines of his report I could make out that
Chaosian blood had similar properties to ours, but weaker. This was good to
know. Chungo told me that was draining off as much as he could from Lord
Alacazar for his "experiments". I asked if I could barrow a few vials, and
he willingly gave me some. I had plans for at least one of these vials.
Next on my rounds was the Dungeon. I had to see if Marayka had been
released yet. As I rounded the corner I could see that she had not. I
walked up to her cell and woke her up. She stirred and was not looking at
all healthy. The first thing out of her mouth was that if I had returned to
finish my interrogation. I told her that due to the information that she had
given me, and the capture of Lord Alcazar, Lintra's heir, Princess Dara had
been rescued from the clutches of House Hendrake. I continued to tell her
that Regent Gerard had granted her and the Hellmaids amnesty on Dara's
word. Because of this she, Marayka, was to be released to Dara's
guardianship. I opened the cell door and Handed her one of the vials, she
immediately perked up and looked up to me and asked "whose is this?". Lord
Alacazars I replied. That brought a grin to her face. "Come" I told her "it
is time to take you to Dara".
The ride out to #2's Villa was mostly uneventful. Though I noticed that
the Whole time Marayka was trying to "enthrall" me like she would any
Shadowite. I could see the usefulness of such a force....no need to keep a
supply line, just "eat" what you find out in shadow.
Dara was very charming when I met her. We covered a very wide range of
topics. First off she thanked me again for rescuing her from the
Hendrakes. and next she wanted to know about Amberian Culture and Social
Mores. Having just been through that myself with Duchess Lornaya of
Chantris not to long ago, I was more than willing to give her the pointers
that she would need.
The next thing on her agenda was to tell me all about the "Geas" that the
King of Chaos (Svayhill) had put on all of the Houses. She then told me that
the whole war could be put to an end if all of the Amberites would agree to
be "adopted" by her and the House of Hendrake. I found this to be both an
odd and frightening proposal. I could see all sorts of things that could go
wrong with it. I told her I would pass on this information to the
"appropriate family members". We ended the afternoon talking about the
other houses and what they were up to in the war.
Just before nightfall I took my leave of Princess Dara, and rode back to
When I get back to the Castle I have a nice meal Brought up to my Room for
Sabine and I for a "romantic dinner. As we finish up she informs me that she
is going out with Chungo and Elmore for a night on the town at Bloody
Marlene's. Hmmm, new name. I told her to be careful, and she tells me that
no one in there right mind would attack three of the Castle Amber mages. I
chuckled, and informed about the night that Elmore, Chungo and I were
attacked when we left Bloody Able's. Granted they were no match for us, but
their are stupid people out there and of course the Baskalisk'a are still out
there kidnapping people. She promised to be careful and take a weapon.
With nothing better to do, I head out to the Chantis' to talk to Duchess
Lornaya about how I can pay back her house for there help, and to take care
of any dependents that Hans and Franz left behind.
After all the formal greetings the Duchess told me how pleased she was that
the training she had given me had taken root. We chatted about the war and
my participation in it. She wanted to know about Princess Dara and the
Hellmaids. it was a very pleasant discussion. I brought up the her families
help and she told me that they were glad to help. After a little bit more small
talk she did agree that House Chantris would not be apposed to a new Shadow
path to a new shadow. I brought up Hans and Franz, and she told me that
Franz had left behind a wife (Mariana) and child (Fritz). We talked some more
about #2's Villa and how I, being a Prince of Amber, should get a place in the
country as well. She told me about a place called Amalfi and a man in the City
that could find a place for me by the name of Binx. Duchess Lornaya also told
me that if I was to get a country place that that would be a good place to hire
Franz's widow. I thanked the Duchess for her time and left for Amber.
On the ride back to the Castle I wondered if the house with the Dom-Daniel
trump in it was still "Abandoned". I think that the name of it was Nampara.
I'll have to ask Mr. Binx about that.
Later that night Sabine stumbles into my room very drunk, and very giddy. As
she fell about the place trying to get undressed, she told me all about her
night out. The had the Idea to go in disguise and were attacked on the way
back home. After a few spell misfires, they were able to defeat there
attackers handily. With a sort of a power woman pose and chant she passed
out on the bed. Tomorrow I'll have to tell her about going out and drinking
with the BIG DOGS.
The next day #2's Entourage filled me in on the "Great Sea Battle".
Despite #2's appearance the forces of Amber were triumphant! Huzzah!
It would seem that the rescue of Llawella (by the Brat), and her condition,
prompted the Rebman Queen Moire to act. She sent HRH Morwyn with the
best part of their fleet to turn the tide in Amber's favor.
Sabine and I were able to spend some good quality time together while we
healed up. It made for some interesting starting and stopping (ouch! yes
that cut still hurts). When we were not otherwise engaged we made Jacob-
bullets. I worked on some variations (one was a poison infused Water
elemental, and the other was a air elemental Dum-Dum Bullets. Both were
When Sabine, Jurgen, Gertruda and I were fully mended (about a week in
Lynxia, most of a day in Amber) we gathered up all of our stuff and made
our way back to Amber to re-supply.
The situation in Chantrisport was thankfully unchanged. The Handrakes
were still hunkered down in the Capital. We waited till night fall and made
our way to the "middle" passage that Alcazar had talked about. We found it
heavily guarded by Hellmaids, their thralls, Beastmen and the assorted
zombie troops that they liked to use. The Hellmaids were on the top of a
hill screened behind a powerful magical ward/shield. The others were
outside of it and would be easily gotten rid of. I needed a distraction that
would draw the Hellmaids out from behind their protection, so we could
take them out before they would be able to raise an alarm. I ran some
options through my mind and discounted Jacob and the Brat, and decided to
trump Fineas. I told him the situation and he came up with several good
plans when Sabine piped in that Fineas' cannons would be more than enough
to take out the Shield. So we went over the ideas again and Fineas brought
the cannons and some troops through the trump and we set up the assault.
One truly wonderful thing that Fineas provided us was some Chaosian Magi-
coin-batteries. Sabine and I looked them over and nodded to each other
knowing that these would be the next things to try and make.
The ambush worked splendidly. We took all of them, possibly with a warning
being sent out. Fineas and I agreed that when I got some new information
I would trump him again for Phase Two of the operation. Fineas' would stay
behind with the survivors to fortify the position.
The other side of the gate was a vast Savannah. It took the better part of
the day to get to the next gate. Checking our guns we notice that they do
not work in this shadow. I trumped Sir John Gaunt to make a weapon
exchange. Guns for sharp silvered pointy things. The Weir and Sabine
were able to make us appear like the indigenous herbivores.
The next gate was in a stand of acacias trees. I could sense the gate and
we are able to eventually find the guarding force. It consisted of 5
Hellmaids and supporting thralls, and those damnable Razorbeaks from
Shandora. I trumped Fineas with the tactical information, and he told me
that He has a really good idea, and that we should wait for his attack and
take out the Razorbeaks and any escaping Hellmaids. I also trumped Sir
John Guant and asked for use of his "Commando" Rangers. He said that for
this mission that he would authorize it. While waiting for either Sir John
or Fineas to trump me back I got a trump call from Sir John and he sent
the rangers through. The next thing we noticed was a great big gate right
next to the Chaosian gate with maniacal troops pouring through. The
maniacal troops did a doozy on the hellmaids and we took out the
Razorbeaks before they could get away.
But of greater interest was that Fineas must of picked up some tricks from
his suspected Father. Also, he now has some more Magi-coin-batteries with
protective cases (even more fun things to manufacture).
As with before, Fineas and his troops were going to guard the rear while we
poked around on the other side of the gate.
The other side is a hellish mountain blizzard. I quickly trumped Sir John
Gaunt for cold weather supplies. After we were adequately kitted up we
made our way up the path. Around a few bends we see a rather large
structure. Using one of Sabine's constructs I was able to see several
Beastmen guarding the walls. Jurgan and Gertruda started to make us a
snow cave so we did not freeze. Once we were safe from the storm I set
about probing the structure's defenses. Older, weaker wards on the
outside, and several very strong ones on the upper center floors of the
structure. Looked like this was the place that Dara was taken to. I passed
this information on the Fineas.
Fineas told me that he needed some time to set things up, and that I should
do some more probing. Using a combination of air and earth elementals I
was able pin point the room that Dara was in. Also there were up to thirty
Hellmaids and a Chaos Logrus user protecting her.
Fineas trumps back and tells me that he had talked to Sir John Gaunt about
the situation and he had gotten the use of 30 of the elite Royal Guard, and
30 Rangers and mage's. I was to lead a force through the lower reaches of
the building and Fineas was somehow going to create a gate on the same
floor as Dara was on.
The elementals had done a good job on the lower areas and we met little
resistance. The real fight came when Fineas' troop and my troops met up
just out side of Dara's room. The Chaosian that I had detected was
blocking our way and he started to attack us with his logrus. Fineas and I
countered with our Pattern defense, and Sabine tossed some spells his way.
Fineas and I attack him; Fineas went for his knees, and I was going to
cleave his head from his shoulders. He could only block one of us and he
decided that I was the bigger threat, and about a second later he was on
the floor as Fineas removed both his legs and his head. The Hellmaids fell
back to Dara's room and one of them said something about protecting
We burst in to the room and found Dara in her bed being guarded by one
fiend and several Hellmaids. If we where to fight her we would be in as bad
of shape as her by the end of the battle. Fineas started up with his whole
Hellgram spy cover and begins to fence the fiend and demanding that they
surrender. This is a good ruse since it allowed me to extend an offer of
amnesty to her (if #2 allowed it). Fineas told her had been shot by a
Hellgram/Basilisk operative, and we were here to rescue Her. She inquired
about Aglaval, and assuming that that was the name of the Logrus user, I
told her he was dead. This seemed to please her and she told us that she
was tired of being held captive by the Hendrakes.
We offered her safe passage for her and her retinue to see #2 so that he
could approve the negotiations. I asked her about the Hellmaids and she
told us that they would need to be rescued or the Hendrakes would wipe
them out as soon as they found about her rescue. This sounds like
something that #2 was going to have to make a decision about.
The survivors of both sides of the battle leave via Fineas really neat Magi-
coin-battery gate. I am going to have to talk to him about what spell he
used to create it.
In Lynxia #2 signed off on all of negotiations. Dara would be brought back
into the family fold and be allowed the continued use/mastery of the
Hellmaids. She would not be forced to fight her family, the Hendrakes.
The Weir, Fineas, Sabine and I wondered off to get our wounds treated.
After all of the necessary bits and pieces of the plan had came together
Sabine, Hans, Franz, Gertruda, Jurgen, and myself headed off under the
cover of darkness. The other five kept me moving while I set about trying
to find out which shadow gate Dara had fled through. As we were making
our way around the city I was able to find most of the paths used by the
Hendrake's into and out of Shandora. Several had been used recently, so
there was no good way to decide which one was used to haul her out to
Near one of the gates I noticed something amiss. There was something of
Logrus nearby. Gertruda and I spied it as it moved in the tree tops. It
seemed to be tracking us, but then at the last moment it veered off. I had
everybody move to defensible positions, and waited for it to make it's move.
I tried to lure it in buy "painting" a deer with Necro magic. Soon their was a
great scream and thrashing coming from the position that Hans and Franz
had taken. I rushed over to help them. I found them both badly mutilated
by the large bat....at which point it struck me. A vicious battle ensued.
Both of us were evenly matched, and for some reason it seemed to have a
slight grin on its face. We pounded on each other for what seemed minutes
when Jurgen, and Gertruda joined in the fray. When they brought their
full force to bare, the bat thing didn't stand a chance.
With the battle over I had Jurgen and Gurtruda gather up the bodies of
Hans and Franz while I activated a trump and all of us went back to Amber.
The bat thing seemed to have poisoned his spikes because shortly after I
got to Amber and was explaining things to Col. Sir Bors I started to feel
dizzy, and passed out onto the floor....
....Minutes later I was awake again. Sabin and the castle mage Chango had
identified the poison that brought me down and cast a spell through his
antitoxin amulet to neutralize it. They moved on to Gertruda and Jurgen,
who had also collapsed. Hans and Franz's bodies had already been removed
from the Chamber, and the Royal Guard had trussed up the Bat thing just
like a Holiday goose, taking due care to avoid the thing's many poisoned spikes.
We took it (him?) down to the Dungeon to a nearby cell to the Hellmaid
Marayka. Col. Sir Bors and I start in on him in very subtly at first but soon
we have to get forceful with him. First we were able to find out his name:
Alcazar. He was a minor logrus user/prince(?) of the House Hendrake. We
were able to confirm a great deal of what Princess Floramel had told us
several nights ago. But we did find out a few new nuggets of information.
-Dara was on the outs with House Hendrake and was sent to prove her
loyalty to them in Shandora. This loyalty test was ended by Fineas' good
-She had been given the boot by her Father's House (Hellgram) as well.
Both cases due to the aid she had provided to Oberon during the Pattern
-She had been taken to a Shadow of healing via the centermost of the
-He (Alcazar) had been trying to scout out a way into Chantrisport to try
and rid us of our one toehold in the Shadow.
-And the last bit was the most enlightening. Chinaway Hendrake had
decided that the new way that they were going to gate into Hunac was to
"love" there way in. It was to be some sort of great Tantric love fest that
would use some of the weak points in Hunac to bridge the gap. They would
first start with a Necro feint and go straight into Tantric city.
After we had milked the last bit of information from Alcazar, we had him
put into small ventilated briefcase cage for safe keeping. Col. Sir Bors
ordered Jurgen, Gertruda and myself to the Kingdoms Hospital Shadow (lynxia)
to quickly recuperate before heading out on the next faze of the Operation. I
made sure the information about Hunac Tantric attack was passed on to
Jacob and Fineas.
Shortly after getting to the Hospital Shadow (a weird place with young men
running around in short Toga's). #2 made his grand entrance with a large
beam of wood protruding from his gut. I hope that the "great sea battle"
went better than #2 looked. If not, looks like I made the right choice.
After #2 and Flora ended their touching reunion, Fineas gave me a nudge
and pulled me aside. He told me that he was concerned about the Hellmaid,
and the fact that the Hendrake's could come looking for him for shooting
Dara. He'd come up with a plan, to torture somebody else in a nearby cell
and have them scream out that Dara was taken out by one of the
Hellgram's. I told him I would help out as best I could. He had the better
Actor's in the realm rounded up and auditioned for the perfect torture
victim. We were to do the deed in the morrow.
When all was set, #2 rounded up all of us and told us that he was going to
need us for some great naval battle against house Chanicut. Fineas begged
out of it saying he had something to take care of for tomorrow. So, #2
took Jacob, Kelamon, the Brat and I out to where his Fleet was. He told us
all about the Chanicut forces, and produced several giant women who
seemed to be more than just Allies (they went by the name of "The
Daughters of Agheer" (Hefring, Hrona, Duva, Kolga, amd Bara)). Two of
them (Kolga, and Hrona) were groping and kissing him all over, but the Most
fun was watching Toriana stomp her little feet and throw a little hissy
about #2's Hussies.
I could hear Toriana say under her breath in a little girls voice "....but
Mommie's here Daddy, Don't let those women fondle you when Mommy is
The only other thing about the day cruise that was of any import was the
exchange of information with Jacob about his Uber-bullets for my silver
plating technique. This would come in handy. I spent the rest of the day
making as many as I could. When Gerard was done "negotiating" with our
new allies, He told us it was time to go back to Amber and hear what Flora
had to say about her imprisonment.
Flora's information backed up what Col. Sir Bors and I were able to drag
out of the Hellmaid Marayka. There were Four things of note:
1. That the House that had held her captive (Gryphon) had been claiming
large victories against Amber. He haven't even heard of them.
2. Corwin had claimed to have created a "second" Pattern just in case. This
might fit in with the Gryphon claims. If they had been going up against
"Pattern" user's they wouldn't necessarily be able to tell the difference
between the two. Or, it could just be that the Queen of Rebma, Moire, has
had here own private war going on.
3. She asked about some thing called Tir-Na Nog'th. A copy of Amber
that was in the Sky. These Sky people could also be the forces that the
Gryphon's are running into. Alot of weird things were said to have
happened when the Pattern returned.
4. And last but not least. After Flora had bored everybody to near sleep
with her tail of woe, She asked if we had any questions. I, never the shy
one, and the most bored, Asked her about the Succession to the crown,
Who would now be King. Several interesting things happened next. First
off came a chorus of "Bad Reese, Bad Reese" from the brat (these were
soon Parroted by Jacob. Fineas just looked at me and kept saying "Poor
form, Poor form". Mostly for his audience). Jacob proclaimed #2 to be
"King". This may have been a slip of the tongue, or more likely his wish not
to have the weight of the Crown shoved upon his head. Toriana was the
most predictable...anything that threatened her place in the world would
have to destroyed. Fineas was stone faced (it may have to do with the fact
that he had heard out loud that his Father was the Arch-traitor, and was
hoping to deflect any of our thoughts on that subject away from him).
Flora gave me a slight smile, and #2 had nothing to say either way. When
Jacob called him king, or when I asked who Gerard was "regent" for. This
could mean that he is already corrupt with power, and in need of replacing
by #1. Or he was unwilling to be like his siblings and take the Crown that
all of the Nobles would be unwilling to deny him.
After Flora's speech, I had to get started on the things that I had been
planning to do before our impromptu ship cruise. I was a day behind
schedule because of that.
First off, I went and found Chungo, and Elmore and Talked to them about
the Magical-molecular silver plating that I had come up with in Hunac. They
seemed to feel that this was info that needed to be shared with all of the
Noble's as well. Chungo wanted to know when I wanted to meet with them,
and I told him when ever is convenient. This turned out to be one hour
later. It will take some getting use to the whole "Prince" thing. I hope
never to become like the Brat though. I gave my little lesson and it was
Next on my agenda was to get things together to check out the other
invaded shadows. Also to try and find something about the House of
Gryphon. I tracked down Col. Sir Bors and talked to him about if he could
loan me two of his people for some black OP's tasks. He introduces me to
two of his Wier people Jurgan, and Gertruda, and he made weapon
preperations for us. I have one of the Castle Pages go and find Hans and
Franz and have them brought to the Armory and prepared to leave.
1 Steyr AMR 15mm sniper rifle
3 IMI Desert Eagle .50 cal. Revolvers
3 Colt Python .357 cal Revolver's
2 Boys 20mm anti-tank rifle's
3 De Lisle Carbine .45 APC
Col. Sir Bors said that he would prepare weapons/ammo for each of the
shadows that we were going to investigate. We would have to contact him
for each set of weapons so we would not have to carry them all.
Next I needed a trump maker or access to someone who was useful in
making trumps. I bit the bullet and met with Kelamon and she told me that
Flora was a trump maker and that I should talk to her about my plans. She
provided me with a Trump of Hunac, and one of Shandora (Chantrisport) for
my endeavor. I gather up everybody and trump through to Hunac.
When I get there, I find that Sabine had recovered from the attack, and
was ready to go. I met with Derkon and talked to him about Fineas' plan
for his compensation. A Shadow of his desire, and a secure shadow path to
and from Dom-Daniel.
I brought Sabine a gift of some nice Flowers from Benedict's garden, and a
second Spell rack. I had some of the Hunac's make us some odd little food
for as romantic dinner as best as they could pull off. She seemed to like
As we prepared to leave Hunac for Chantrisport I send off several
"Pattern" birds to take messages back to Amber.
I sent a Skua to Fineas telling him that the rewards plan for Derkon was a
go. and that I was going to contact Azvan about the Jesby's controlled
shadow. Fineas' would have to follow up on this, and I would be in contact
with him later.
I sent a Raven to Azvan's contact in Dom-daniel telling him that we may be
in need of his service's in the Jesby controlled shadow. That he should get
ahold of Toriana or Fineas to make plans.
I trumped Flora and Told her about my plans, and she was more than willing
to help out, especially against the Gryphon's.
I was led through the city under siege to the current leader of the Chantris
defence of the Shadow Shandora, General Gelban.
I asked him if I could borrow some of his mounted rifle troops so that I
could have a look at the Capital. Ever the genial fellow, he agreed and we
had a sip of some schnapps to seal the deal. We headed out just before
dusk, and were spied by one of the Hendrake's flying demons. We
continued on and were shortly intercepted by a company of the Hendrake's
troops. After taking heavy fire, we retreated back to the safety of
Chantrisport to wait for night fall.
While waiting, I received a trump call from the Brats mother, Kelamon. She
told me that she wanted to have a trump setting with me so that she could
make on of me. I'm not very happy about this, but keep smiling anyway.
When she considered the conversation over she handed me two letters and
signed off. The first is a questionnaire from #2 asking what we feel is the
best thing to do about the Amber Armory. The second is the History of
Amber according to #2. A bit light, and uninformative, but at least it's a
Under the cover of dark, things wnt much easier and we got to the city
undetected. This time I took two men that knew the capital and the
surrounding area by the names of Hans and Franz. As we approached the
city we can feel a loud, bass thrumming coming from the center of the city.
Hans and Franz are a bit off put by this, but I sense that it is like a great
engine starting to turn over. With trepidation, Hans and Franz led me
towards the loud "Thrumming". As we were making our way through the
city's square's, court's and back allies I am once again Trumped. I ignored
this one. It went on for a long time but eventually stopped. After I
caought my breath, we continued. Hans and Franz led me to a tall building
within a block of the Main Square. Through my scope I could see what
looked like the last survivors of the city, the Royal family, being lead to
slaughter in a great big glowing sphere. From the training that I received
from Derkon, I could tell that they had built a large Necro-gate and were
on there way to Hunac.
Seconds after the enthrallead Royal family walked to their doom, the
Sphere blew to bits, throwing everybody in the Square to the ground.
When this glorious opportunity presented it's self, who am I not to take it.
With Hans and Franz as lookouts, I preceded to fire at will into the square.
When I was down to one clip of ammo left, Hans pointed out that a group of
mounted demon women were on there way towards the building. We fled
into the street. I was casting my poison balls back at them as we fled.
Franz ducked into a doorway and Hans and I followed. I used a spell to bar
the door, and we ran through to the alley. Two of the Demon women were
in hot pursuit. I fired at one and dropped her and the other one kept
coming. With the last of my ammo I was able to drop the second. She was
still alive. I dragged her over and gave her to Hans and Franz and activated
the Trump of Amber and sent them through. I could hear the some more
of the Demon women on the Floor below me and I fled to the roof top.
When I was safe I Trumped to the safety of Amber.
The Castle Guard had the Demon woman and Hans and Franz pinned to the
floor when I came through. I hauled her up walking towards the Dungeon
and asked one of the guards to go get Col. Sir Bors. When he got there, I
already had her strapped down, and started to put some of my Village
Training to work. Her name is Marayka and she's a Hellmaid, and we found
out many great thing from her about Chaos, the Hendrake's, Dara, and the
When I was through in the Dungeon, I found Fineas being treated to a
Hero's welcome, just back from Hunac. We discuss all the happenings and
make some plans to undermine the Chaosians. We also find out about the
rescue of Princess Flora by the Brat. Her and #2 have a touching
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out into the REAL world....
.....Fineas and I fired simultaneously. His shot hit the target in the upper
chest, and my bolt hit it in the pelvic region. The Demon fell from it's
riding beast. The Target's second in command brought his troops to bear
on our position in a hail of musket fire. Sabine got up and fled to the rear
of the room toward a window. I called to her to get back to Fineas and
myself as he reached for his trump of Chantrisport. I noticed that the
second in command was racing toward the our building. Sabine returned and
we trumped out.
In Chantrisport we regrouped. Fineas had me trump Toriana and ask her to
do something useful for a change I told her bring through Chantris' Army
that was still in the Shadow's Capital city. She grumbled a bit about it, but
Complied in the end. Fineas told me that he had to go and rescue one of
the Chandorans Military leader by the name of Prince Eugene.
When the three of us got back to the Capital city, the Hendrake's have
gone on a destructive rage. The loss of their Pattern user must have
caused them great distress. We had to fight our way through the people
fleeing the city, and were able to rescue Prince Eugene and his troops
without much trouble. The Prince had lost a foot, which Fineas was able to
take care of. We trumped through to Hunac bringing 550 of Prince
Eugene's troops with us.
Once we were safely back in Hunac, I asked Sabine if she found Hunac
suitable for the teaching of Magic. She looked around and said "it's no
Dom-Danial, but it will do". We spent the next several days relaxing,
recovering, and spending some quality student/teacher time together.
After several days Sabine told me that she was going to need a few days to
rest if she was going to be any good in the coming battles, so I headed off
to find Dearkon. I asked him if he had some time to teach me about his
school of magic. He was a bit taken aback by this but in the end agreed to
give me some lessons. Dearkon led me to a local Hunac grave yard and
preceded to teach me about Bone-dancing, talking with ghosts, getting info
from the dead (by eating the appropriate body part) and other little Necro
spells. He commended me on my training, and asked me who has been
teaching me. I told him that Sabine had been doing her best to try and
teach me so far. Dearkon says "hmmm, well Autumn Moon School is very
good with it's technical teaching, but they are a bit lax on the practical
aspect of things. Its a good thing that you sought me out to further your
After spending the night in the grave yard with Dearkon, I felt that it was
time to start on one of the things that #2 had mentioned in his first
briefing, and that was to get some silver. I went to the Island that was
currently housing Prince Eugene's troops and asked to borrow 30 or so
troops for a few days. The Prince was so greatful to even be alive that he
gladly gave them to me. About an hour later we mounted up and moved out.
Using the technic that #2 had shown us to find things that we wanted out
in shadow, I started to look for a lightly guarded silver shipment. After a
fairly short time I was able to locate one just coming over a pass. It was an
easy ambush, and we're even able to find an overland route back to Prince
Eugene's Island (with four tons of silver ingots).
Several days were spent on making really bad silvered weapons, when I hit
upon a way to Magicly duplicate molecular bonding between the steel and
the silver. This has two bonus': one, to stretch out the silver supply (we
were able to send 2 tons to Fangorn), and two, to keep the weapons sharp
with out losing any of the benefits of the silver. At first, the Hunac's
aren't happy about using the new process, but after some mild persuasion
(killing the loudest protestor), all went swimmingly.
When all is going well in the silver smelter, I headed back to check in with
Sabine. She was going to need a few more days of rest. So I told her that
I was heading back to Chandora to try and get done what I had wanted to
do before when we got involved in killing the Chaosian Pattern user. Not
having any Trump of Chandora I decided to hell ride there. I got back to
Chantrisport, and they were just about packed up. I asked to see the Guy
in charge. they lead me to him...
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
So far, for me the most interesting feature of the Mind Control Device has
been the creativity of the programmer. He, or she has introduced some
wonderful creativity to me. Magic, Pattern, Things existing outside of The
Village...all very creative. The latest has been the introduction of
"negotiation". I have had a festinating time watching Fineas negotiate with
people. This is something that simply does not happen in the village. I mean
the bartering of goods for services on such a scale is unheard of. Plus, in
The Village, the fact that nobody is given the chance to refuse a task has
made the goings on of fineas most profound.
It seems from talking to Dearkon that Toriana actually did some work in
Belken. According to him she had recruited several Mage's, and had given
them Trump sketches of herself. Dearkon is happy to help out, but he tells
us that he needs some "items". The fact that he (according to Fineas) is a
"Necromancer", who knows what he is going to bring with him.
As Dearkon leaves, a pretty young thing catches both Dearkon's and Fineas'
eye. Dearkon is the first to approach her, and get shot down. Fineas
decided to give her a go next, and was a bit more successful. He was able
to convince her to talk to her Mistress Petra about joining the Amber
cause. Fineas Turns to me and tells Tanitheel and I that he needs some
alone time with Pheadra, so the two of us should go talk to Baran.
Mimicking Fineas' smooze ability, I cut a deal with Baran. He tells me all a
about his military exploits and Blah, Blah, Blah. When he is done I ask him
what it would take to get him to enlist in the Amber cause. He tells me
that some Trumps would do nicely. I agree (since this seems to be the
standard fare of exchange here) and we sign some papers. Tanitheel is
distracted by something and swatting at it the entire time. Baran and I
shake hands and part ways. I ask Tanitheel what was bothering her while I
was talking to Baran, and she tells me that he had had a magical hand
feeling her up the entire time. Interesting. Tanitheel tells me that she is
ready to return to Amber, and that she'll take the Contract to #2. I thank
her for guarding Fineas' and my backs while we were here in Belkin, hand
her the Contract as she disappears through the Trump.
One more thing that, as I look back on it, seems odd. The concept that a
piece of paper is ever going to guarantee anything. There must be a spell on
it. I'll have to have that looked at when I get back to Amber. Get
together with Cango and Elmore along with #2.
After all of that, I meet back up with Fineas, and Dearkon, who has brought
with him two dragons and a really pale gentleman. Fineas and Dearkon
decide that the Shadows of Sandora, then Fangorn, and lastly Hunac need
to be investigated to see if there is any Necro effects going on in any of
them. Fineas pulls out a trump of our first place of investigation.
Shortly after we arrive at Sandora, we are set upon by what Fineas'
describes as "Zombie-Cossacks". Fineas and I are more than a match for
the three of them. We kill two and capture the third. Dearkon uses the
last one for his necro detect spell, with a little bit of a boost from our
Pattern. He is able to find out that the Hendrake's are very much in
control of this shadow. A large amount of "un-dead" armies are seen to be
scurrying around a "gate" of some sort. While the three of us are spying on
the Hendrake's, and long, black, Snakey thing attacks us. From what little
info #2 provided us on the enemy, we came to the conclusion that this must
be a "Logrus" tendril. Fineas decides that it is a good idea to beat a hasty
Next on our tour is Fangorn. A place of deep dark forests. We meet with
some folks that Fineas had met before, and the tell us that they are waiting
for an individual by the name of Lord Oak. It must say that the people that
are testing my loyalty must of kicked in some new drugs, because Lord Oak
turned out to be a moving, and talking tree. Lord Oak and Fineas talked
about foreign troops to help defend Fangorn, But lord Oak said anything not
of the forest would be attacked by the Forest. We were able to talk Lord
Oak into letting Dearkon check for any Necro incursions into the Fangorn
Forest from Shandora. When Dearkon was done checking (me helping power
him again) he told us that there may be a few spots, and told Lord Oak
where they were. Lord Oak confessed that his "troops" ("sylphs" of all
things) might have some trouble getting to those locations, so Fineas
started to work on making the weather wetter for the Sylphs.
Prior to starting on his promising new career as a weatherman, he contacted
Jacob about something that they had been cooking up in Hunac. Fineas tells
Jacob that he is going to be busy for a while, so he was going to send me
instead. So Dearkon and I get to spend a delightful afternoon with #3
waiting for some yutz by the unlikely name of Eye of the Sun, Lord Akbal.
Things just keep getting weirder and weirder. Toriana takes the time to
make Trump sketches and tell me how her new body guards that Daddy gave
her were much better than me.
Toriana gave EotS, Lord Akbal her little song and dance and he was greatly
pleased at the amount of death that was going occur. He was even happier
that Dearkon could re-animate the corpses so they could fight some more.
Before Toriana, Dearkon and I go on our merry ways, Toriana gives EotS,
Lord Akbal a trump sketch of herself so everybody can communicate better.
My next thankless task is to talk to EotS, Lord Akbal's troops about the
Chaosian Army, and what we feel are the best ways to engage the in
combat. I leave Dearkon to continue his discussion of tactics and
necromancy (much to the delight of the Hunacs) so that I can do some
scouting around in Shandora.
I trumped back to Amber, Collect a few Items:
- A Ninja-To
- A Sterling L2A3 (which I left at Sabin's, sans Ammo). A replacement for
the StEN that I had be come used to in The Village
- A De Lisle Carbine .45 APC (the quietest gun shown to us by #2).
- A quick load, Titanium alloy 200#, Cross-bow
- Several of my newly concocted poisons, all of which contained an
ingredient thought to inhibit Shape-Shifting.
- forgetting my new toy, the poison ball gun
When I got to Sabine's I lingered a while with her, almost forgetting why I
was there. When we got back to a more relaxed state of mind, I told her
about Shandora and what I wanted to do there. She said that she Had a
few Item which might be of help, and went about gathering them up. We
got dressed and ready, and I trumped Fineas, Since I knew that was where
he was going last. He answered in a very peeved voice. I asked him to pull
Sabine and I through. He told me he was just about to Assassinate one of
the other sides General's. Good, I was glad someone was listening to me
the other day. I told him that Sabine and I could help, so he reluctantly
pulled us through.
When we crawled back to his snipping position, he told us that he wanted to
make sure that his shot hit its target. Sabine started to rummage around
in her haversack and pulled out a set of binoculars and told Fineas that they
should be able to penetrate any illusion. He reacquired his target and
thanked Sabine. The binoculars were a godsend, His target was one yard
right and to the back of where he thought that she was. I readied the De
Lisle and Fineas told me that none of my ammo would work here, and not to
use Pattern to make them work, since that would give away our position. He
told me where his target was, and I applied a paralysis poison to a few of
my bolts and we got ready to fire.....(waiting to see if the GM lets us kill a
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
The next day #2 gathered up his misbegotten flock and herded us out
beyond Arden forest. As we walked he had each of us try and do some
Pattern tricks. I was up first and he seemed pleased with how well I did.
next up was Jacob, who for some reason had decided to show off. This
greatly upset #2, who soon retook control of the procession.
We soon arrived without further incident. #2 gave us a speech about the
enemies that we were about to face and their abilities. Jacob piped up and
added some information that he had come by in his wanderings. Next on
#2's agenda was to give the four of us firearm and bow training. Jacob
asked about gun powder and why it did not work here. #2 told us that it
was a very rare element, and was to be used sparingly, that was why we
were out in shadow training.
I was fine with the firearms, but the bow took some getting use to.
Toriana left after the first day. Jacob, Fineas and I stayed for two days
to get as much training in as possible. #2 had us spar with each other. we
were all pretty even, but Jacob won most of the matches, with Fineas in
second. when we moved on to swords the first and last places were swaped.
#2, who seemed excited from watching our fighting, and wanted the three
of us to attack and wrestle him all at the same time. Fineas and I looked at
each other with apprehension, but when Jacob went in a mad rush at #2, we
were oblighed to follow suit. #2 was able to handily defeat us, and thanked
us for our time and went back to Castle Amber for a bath and a Massage.
He asked if anybody wanted to join him, and the three of us all declined.
I had decided that Sabine's place was as good a place as any to get a bath
and a shave. After I was presentable again, Sabine and I set about training
me "magic". The whole thing was like the time when #26 had told me that
the way to seek inner peace was to try and move the unmovable with my
mind. #26 was a bit of a thicky. But there I was with Sabine, and her first
instruction was for me to try and bend the flame with my mind. I pursed
my lips and blew, which only brought a look of disapproval from Sabine. She
told me to take this seriously or leave. I herumpfed and sat down and
focused on the candle flame, and Sabine went out to shop.
Several hours passed and I was beyond bored when Sabine came back. She
looked at me with astonishment, and told me that she had never seen
anybody in Dom-Daniel conquer the flame lesson so quickly. I looked at the
flame and it was actually bent. Nice. At least the computer was going to
let me win some of its games. After a nice dinner (I made a Village
specialty, Terrine of young grouse, potted shrimp, a bottle of Bayles Best,
and finished off with Coffee Meringue). we decided to finish off the
evening in our own wrestling match.
The next morning it was time to meet up with Fineas and take him Dom-
Daniel and Belkin. A good place to start was in the Castle. Rumor had it #2
was spending "some time" with the Amber navy (of course he was). But I
soon found out that both Chango and Elmore were in town with another
mage by the name of Badger. I asked were I might be able to find them,
and I was told that they would be at "Bloody Able's". I asked by which
route one might find "Bloody Able's" and was provided with a map. Not
wanting to look to much like a newby, I memorized the route and location.
The way there was clear and fine. I stepped into the bar and noticed the
three mages drunkenly singing in the corner. I greeted them and asked if I
could join them. They agreed and told me that it might be a good idea if I
had my Wakasashi out and ready on the table. We talked and I ended up
buying several rounds for the four of us, including the Bars only bottle's of
"Bayle's Best". At the end of the evening Badger had agreed to lead Fineas
and I to Dom-Daniel. He also told me that I had to keep his route between
Amber and Dom-Daniel secret. I promised I would. With this I headed
back to Sabine's for a bit of a night cap.
The next morning I went to the Castle to find Dame Tanitheel, and asked
her to come along on the excursion (I sensed that whatever was going on
was a bit dodgy). I trumped Fineas and asked him if he was available to go
to Dom-Daniel and Belkin. He replied that he was, so I pulled him through
to Amber. We met Badger at the Bayles Gate in the east of Amber City,
and proceeded to Baylesport. I found this all a bit odd at first, but it all be
came clear when Badger told us the his route to Dom-Daniel was a Trump
mural in near by house. It was House Nampara, and the house keeper went
by the name of Zacky Martin. Tanitheel mentally took all of this in, since it
was a major breech in the Amber defence's.
We trumped through to Belkin Via Dom-Daniel without incidence. The Dom-
Daniel-Belkin trump was in the OCS. When we all arrived in Belkin, Badger
cast some spells at an obelisk telling us that the local shadow god Bel
needed a "sample" of us to protect us while we were attending the
convention. Badger gave us a who's-who tour of the place and introduced us
to a Mage by the name of Azvan. Before Badger headed off for his own
pursuits, Fineas talked to him about helping the Amber army in one of two
shadow that he and Jacob were seeking to protect. Badger was very
concerned that the Chaosians were going to attack that shadow and agreed
When we met with Azvan everything went swimmingly. The meeting with
him went on for a long time but eventfully Fineas was able to negotiate his
help with only some trumps from Toriana or her mother in the bargin. Our
next stop was going to be a talk with either Derkon, or Holruun.
In my continued attempt to get past the Mind control device, I am sending
this message out in to the world.
Well, last night Sabine left and Toriana decided that we were going to stay
at the Old Citadel School so she can spend some more time with Professor
Otaru. While she was dragging me from the lovely inn that I had spent so
many wonderful nights this past week, she has told me that Professor Otaru
had some information about the Chaosians, and she needed to put on the
charm to get it.
When we got the school everybody fawned over Toriana's Purple hair (not
unlike Miss 138's, though without the mohawk). I can tell that Toriana
loves to be the center of attention, this could be of some use later on.
When Toriana finally decides that it is time to get down to business, she
dismiss' me. I spend the evening watching several of the students cast
"spells" and study their "magic" books, or ohh and ahh over each others
"spell components". I wish I had a good sturdy sap handy. After studying
the situation and deciding that there were no good looking women at this
school, I found my room and packed it in for the night.
"get up, get up, get up. get up, get up" was all I heard as Toriana burst into
my room. I rolled out of bed and started to get dressed, Toriana was a bit
embarrassed as I clothed my naked body. While averting her eyes, she told
me that one of the "magic wards" had alarmed and that somebody was
trying to get onto the school grounds. Hmm, sounds like somebody is just
probing the security systems of this place. Most likely they have already
fled the scene, but I'll humor Toriana and check it out with her.
She lead me through to the grounds to where she thought that the security
breach was. We stepped around a tree and three daggers came flying at me
from off in the distance. I dodged them quite readily, and I am thankful
for the training that I had received over the past two weeks. Toriana
makes a sound of frustration, hitches up her dress and in the blink of an
eye reappears right in the middle of the three attackers. I yelled at
Toriana to come back here, but she cut me off in a snippy tone "they're
only shadow people". One of the assailants took off at a great speed,
Toriana stabbed the one nearest to her, spinning around to grab the third
ones head. Not the most logical of moves in combat, but it seemed to work
for her. I shrugged and went in search of some the daggers that had been
thrown at me.
They were under one of the nearby trees. I carefully picked up one of
them and closely examined it. There was a glossy sheen on the blade, a
poison of some sort. I collected the three daggers and waited for Toriana
to come back. She seemed pretty pleased with herself as we headed back
to the school.
When we got back, we were greeted by Otaru. Toriana tells him that the
three intruders were sent to try and follow her into the school, but she had
taken care of them. I asked Otaru if he knew of a chemist in town that
could analyze the liquid on the daggers. He said that it looked like poison
(isn't he the smart one), and that the School Alchemist Gheen could figure
it out for me. Toriana lead Otaru away as he summoned a student to take
me to this Gheen person.
Herb Mistress Gheen (as she refers to herself as), comes across as a bit of
a thicky, but once focused she is in her realm. After several hours she was
able to discern that the poison on the daggers was a paralysis poison. So
this was to be a kidnapping, not a murder. I asked her if she could
synthesize a bottle of the poison. She told me that she could and provided
me not only with an antidote to the poison in question, but provide me with a
sampler pack of several poisons and antidotes. I thanked "Herb Mistress"
Gheen, and went back to my room.
The events of the evening reply in my head as I wait for the morning. I
have to consider the fact that this was all a bit of a set up. Toriana has
told me that Otaru is the only person that has seen "Chaosian" mages with
the ability to destroy whole worlds. For the past week neither of us was
even given a cross look, but one night at the ye "Old Citadel School" there
is a breach in the schools security. Otaru claimed that this had been going
on for a week or so, But Toriana was able to squeeze some information out
of one of her failed kidnappers that they had been sent to try and grab
her. Why would they have been trying to get onto the school grounds for a
week if Toriana and I had only arrived at the school this evening? Why
does this school not have any Guards, but have the mother of all security
systems? And it was a bit odd that Otaru, the guy who had set up the
wards hadn't even bothered to go check out any of the intrusions. Only one
conclusion, Otaru is working for these "chaosian" people but still wants to
keep his hands clean.
I also find myself pondering all of the female attention that I have
received since I have arrived at Dom-Daniel. During my time with Anais,
Daphne, Ione, Margaux and Sabine I had been able to find out that all of
them except Sabine were being forced to spend time with me at the urging
their Schools Masters. Sabine had let slip that she was an "independent"
without any backing of any of the Schools. When pressed, she told me that
she had been originally taught at the Burning Sphere school, but had left to
seek her way in the universe. I found this to be bit on the odd side for
some one from the weird little "shadow" would actually want to think
outside of the box. More likely she is under the influence of some powerful
patron or organization. Possibly even these "Chaosians" that #2 is so
concerned about. I should endeavor to pursue Sabine and uncover her
The next morning I set out to find this Sabine, but to know avail. Dom-
Daniel is a queer little place, nobody seems to know anything about anybody.
One of the people that I had talked to told me to go and find a "trump"
maker and have them make a sketch through which I would be able to
contact Sabine. #2 had made it known that Toriana was a "trump" maker so
I went back to the Old Citadel School to find her.
She was just finishing up from breakfast. After some small talk about last
night and some talk of another "shadow" by the name of Belkin, I asked
Toriana if she could make a "trump" sketch of someone that I had met this
week. Toriana mentioned somethings about Sabine, whore, me, and pimp
daddy. None of these comments made any sense what so ever. The girl is
just plain odd. Though I'll admit that she did like lording it over me how big
a favor she was doing for me, and how she hoped that this waste of time
was worth it, and that I would owe her big time. After much grousing, and
the slowest amount of time I had ever seen someone take to make a doodle,
she told me to come over and she would show me how to make a trump
contact. Odd, odd, odd, odd. I came over and sat down next to her as I
took the sketch into my hand, She kept her fingers lightly on the other
Until this point in time I had not thought about how invasive the program
that I was being run through was. I, at first thought that the things that I
was seeing and feeling were simply the well applied use of drugs. But when
I was able to be in the mind of a completely unsuspecting person, I had to
rethink this a bit. Who ever the new #2 was, either his manifestation as
Gerard, or maybe not here at all, this new #2 was a person to be feared.
Toriana guided me through this "contact" and slowly the fear and
bewilderment that I felt coming from Sabine's mind eased. We had a bit
of a conversation, and agreed to meet a place in Dom-Daniel she called "the
universal loves to become".
I thanked Toriana and left for this place. On the way I thought about the
"Trump contact". Had Sabine been shocked (as any sane minded person
would) by peoples voices erupting in her mind, or had she been shocked
simply because it was me.
Upon meeting Sabine in "the universal loves to become" Icould tell that she
was please to see me. We talked about her ability of using "magic", It
almost seemed tailored to what I had grown up learning in "The Village".
stealth, covert actions, hiding, and of course spying. Though I do so hate
things when they appear to be fixed. It means that there is a maker, a
guider, a puppeteer, and someone who is looking out purely for themselves
behind the actions. I wanted to learn this use of "magic" that Sabine was
telling me about, and I wanted to see if I could draw the Puppeteer out in
to the playing field.
Sabine wanted to be paid for her work, which I could of course understand.
I told her that I had been unable to secure work credits, But felt confident
that this would not be a problem. She also wanted to know where she was
going to tutor me. I told her that my #2 had shown me how to travel
between "shadows". This had occurred after he had made me walk a glowing
spiral on the floor in an attempt to cure my, as he put it, "my thick headed
stubborn belief that the unreal is real". Sabine's eyes got really big at
this, but I could not decide if this was because she might think me mad, or
because of the mention of #2's "pattern".
We went into town and rented some rather odd bird/fish creatures and I
guided her on a hellride to Amber. We set her up in a flat in the Halles
section of Amber City. I went back to the Castle, and was stopped by #2
and told to make a decision as to my future, would I become a Prince of
Amber or not. I asked what my tasks would be, and he rattled off a laundry
list of tasks that I was already doing. I asked if I would be given Work
Credits. He sighed and replied in the infirmative. This was a not so subtle
test of loyalty. Looking at him standing there glowering at me I knew that
if was to turn down his off that I would be dead on the spot. I of course
agreed to his request.
With that done a gentlemen a hair taller than myself with bright blue eyes,
that weren't that different from my own, and a playfully, but purposely
unkempt head of raven hair walked up to Gerard and I. Gerard greeted the
gentleman and introduced him to me as Fineas, and I returned the gesture.
Gerard told us that the next morning that we two, along with two others
would be made Princes of Amber. He left us and told us to get a good
nights sleep. Fineas and I left shortly after in opposite directions.
The next day was for the most part blissfully uneventful. We four greeted
each other and made small talk. Fineas told me he may have a job for me.
It would have to be better then following Toriana around. We were made
princes, and there was a big celebration.
Since I may or may not still be in contact with #2, I shall endeavor to keep track of the new mind fragmentation device.
Last night whist I preparing for bed, I noticed that there was a new surveillance device in my room. This could only mean that our beloved current #2 had fallen into disrepute and had been done away with. They some times return, so it always pays to do your best for them while they are in charge.
I put my clothes back on and headed to the green dome to find out from the Butler what had happened. He told me that there was nothing going on and to come back in the morning. Good, at least I wasn't to blame for whatever had gone wrong. The night was kind of early, and now that the new #2 was in charge I felt a bit randy, and headed out for #46's place. She was more then ready and willing. I also made sure to say the word that she called "Ann" when I came...It seemed to do
something for her.
Around 2:00 she booted me out into the grey night. I made my way back to my place and shortly after that the power went out. No problem, the Village utility workers would soon put it right. time went by..still no one came, odd. I looked out the window and I noticed all of the power was off to the entire Village. Damn, must be someone trying to make another "escape" (like there was anywhere else besides "the Village"). Soon after I heard a loud explosion. Now I was curious, But to be on the safe side with the Rover's about I decided to keep to my cottage.
Sitting in the darkness, I soon heard the door open. Good, the Utility Worker had shown up, now things would be back to normal. I stood up and greeted them, and was assaulted with a flurry of blows. Blackness.
I awoke in a strange room. Not mine. Very old fashioned furniture. The kind you see in the Old Folks Home. Maybe I had screwed up, or at the very least the new #2, with some help from his new lackey's, was trying to divine the loyalty of the inhabitants of the Village. Looking around the room I could see no surveillance devices, but I did spy a small window. At least I could figure out where I was. I got out of bed (my head now hurt), and made my way to the window. I looked out over a large mountain and some formal gardens. Definitely not the village. They must have perfected the mind control device (UMCD). That old thing has not been used in years. That will teach me...Just because something did not work once doesn't mean that it can't be fixed.
As I was contemplating what was going on, A short, old scar-faced mane entered the room followed by a moving mountain, and a short brunette. The Mountain's voice boomed out at me (ok, so they need to fix the volume on the UMCD).
"I'm Gerard and this file says that you are one of my Nephew's. You are in Amber now, and I want to see if you are worthy.
I politely introduced myself as "#13". The mountains brow furrowed at this
"You" as he pointed at the short Brunette "take him out back and put him through his paces"
The Mountain turned on his heel's followed by Scarface, I told them "be seeing you" as they retreated down the hall. The short Brunette grabbed me and drug me out into one of the Formal gardens I had seen.
The short brunette threw a long metal pointed rod to me. it had a handle on one end with a cup over it, and the other was a very sharp point. She told me to pick it up and yelled "en gard" and attacked. Now Miss Engard was very good at this. It took everything that I had to keep her from hitting me. She did nail me quite often early on but I soon got the hang of blocking her. That night one of the staff nurse' tended to my cuts.
This scenario would repeat it's self for the next few days until I was able to not only keep Miss Engard from cutting me, but I was almost able to hit her at will. The odd thing about Miss Engard was that every time I tried to strike up a conversation with her, she would attack. Quite the opposite of the effect the word "Ann" had on #46.
For a little break Engard decided to show me some of the fauna of this place. We walked over to a giant building far from the castle. We walk in and went over to a stall with a large beast in it. She told me that this was a "horse" and that I was meant to ride it. I asked why one would do this instead of waiting for the Taxi. She gave me an odd look and told me that there were no Taxi's. So for most of the day I was either on top of the beast or somewhere near by it on the ground.
The next day Scarface showed up instead of Engard. And again I was at a severe disadvantage. This too lasted for several days. A few times I was able to tag Scarface. I was bruised, battered and cut to ribbons after a week of this torture, but I had had worse, I would not be broken so easily.
The next morning as Scarface prepared the next day of torture, Gerard showed up. Gerard looked me up and down with a slight grin on his face and said.
"so you think that all of this is a drug induced delusion do you, well I've got something that will put you right".
He had Scarface grab me and drag me down a set of stairs I thought would never end, at the end of which stood a stolid, locked door. Gerard opened the door, grabbed me by the shoulders, pointed to a glowing spiral on the floor, and told me.
"You are going to walk the pattern, if you slow down, I'll kill you. If you stop, I'll kill you. If you turn around, I'll kill you. If you step off, I'll kill you."
With that little bit of encouragement he frog stepped me over to the glowing spiral and placed one of my feet upon it. I looked back over at him, he was gleefully juggling a dagger, and decided the best course of action was to proceed walking. The walk was odd, but no odder then all of the things that I had seen since I had arrived here.
When I got to the end of the Spiral, I looked over at Gerard. He had finished his dagger play and was now tossing some little bit of all right on the glowing spiral. I got his attention and told him "Gerard sir, I'm sorry, but I seemed to have run out of any place to walk". He glowered at me and told me to "visualize being next to me". Of course...the UMCD would have little safe guard bits like this in it. I put my mind to it and found myself standing right next to him. The purple haired bird was still going through the walk.
When the girl got done, she popped in next to us and gave me a smug look. Gerard told us that he had a job for the both of us. He next looked at me and told me that I had to have a proper name, not some damn number, and to run the name by him for approval. The purpled haired bird looked up at Gerard and said "Uu-uuu Daddy, can I name him Huh, can I pleeeease". Gerard gave her a dismissive look, and rolled his eyes and said ok. She looked at me and said "I shall call him Reese". She seemed quite pleased with herself.
So, looking at how things stand #1 is unknown of course (though, Gerard has mentioned somebody named "Dworkin"), Gerard is #2, and the Purpled hair Strumpet is #3 (it seems that she is #2's Daughter), and of course Scarface is The Butler (he has since introduced himself as Sir John Gaunt). I still need to find out who The Supervisor is, and what the rules for the game that we're playing are. Maybe even what game we are playing.
Sir John Gaunt grabbed me and took me to a women named Duchess Chantris. She guided me through all sorts of strange and bizarre protocol situations. Some of them were very close to how things were done in the Village, others were just plain odd. But I soon mastered them all, and was sent to see Gerard again.
I was paired up with #3 whom Gerard told me her name was "Toriana" (why they couldn't just stick with numbers is beyond me. It makes everything so much easier), and went on to talk about some plan of his to make a bunch of "wizards" happy. I was to be Toriana's bodyguard (que some Whitney Houston), and she was to smooze a bunch of "wizards" in to helping Amber.
We went off in to something called "shadow" (I've seen better effects done by #27's drugs), and soon "arrived" at a place filled with the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Toriana blathered on about all sorts of things which were punctuated with "Come here Reese....Lets go over there Reese....Follow me Reese....Say hello to nice Wizard so-and-so Reese". How annoying.
I soon found that I was in much demand with these "wizard's", at least the female ones. When Toriana had decided that she was going to be safe, she dismissed me, and I had the most sex and sex partners in my life (of course #2 was trying a new tactic to break me, I of course played along). When several days had gone by Toriana told me that it was time to go, so we "travelled" back to Amber.
Toriana filled Gerard in about what had happened, and that all had gone well with the "Wizards". They had signed on to help Amber. Toriana left and Gerard told me to go pick a room that had not been sealed or taken by someone else, and to meet him back here for some "Pattern" training.