The middle of the night and there's a knock at my door. Any ire I
had at being awoken evaporated when I saw Vialle's worried expression. I
brought her into the room and quickly got her story of how Random was
gone, un-Trumpable. An old fear gnawed at me as I Trumped Fiona. I
relayed Vialle's tale and brought my aunt through to us. By a process of
elimination, we determined where Random had last been. I kissed Laughter
before we left and knew that I had been unsuccessful in hiding my fears
from her. Would this be the second time I was crowned King of Amber? I
hoped it would not be so, the last time having been so successful.
We arrived at Random's office. I asked Fiona if she had any
magics available. She reminded me that time magic had not survived the
world's end. I looked at Laughter then. What about the talking bones?
While the spell did work, it revealed nothing to us, as the room had been
blocked to magics. My stomach clenched again.
Against my better judgment, I Trumped Kaedric before we plunged
into Shadow. My opposite in Chaos had been relatively helpful of late,
and I had no idea of the limits of his capabilities. He might be able to
come up with something we were incapable of chasing. I Trumped Benedict
and Gerard next, for protection, and began to look for Random in Shadow.
I hoped that with the Jewel's help, I would be able to cut through any
covers laid over his trail. I found myself turning incessantly toward
Amber. He had to be there somewhere.
We returned and I gave Fiona the task of searching Amber for him.
It was then I decided that there was much about the Pattern that I needed
to yet learn, and vowed to take care of that at my earliest convenience.
Who knew to what extent the affinity the Jewel had for me would aid in
For the next six and a half hours I paced and worried. I wished I
could have relaxed for Laughter's sake. The twins would awake soon, and
she hadn't had much sleep that night. Fiona eventually did find Random
tied to an altar in Arden. Perhaps this had been the inspiration for my
kidnapping by the Cult of the King in my future past, for Random had been
ill used that night. He didn't want Vialle to know, either. Poor fool.
How could he not know that Vialle would love him through anything?
I set him upright and was vomited on for my trouble. He reeked of
absinthe and I ignored how good a drink sounded at that point. I turned
him over to Fiona's care once we got back to Amber, and she assured me
that she would have him sober enough to perform Claudio's wedding five
hours hence. I took a long, hot bath, reveling in one of the few reliefs
granted me over the years.
Claudio's wedding passed without mishap, discounting Killian's and
Corwin's arrival. Somehow I knew that Ulysses had provided Killian with
more Trump than I had requested him to. I hoped Killian had spent enough
time in Rebma to be no longer dangerous, but I made him Ulysses'
responsibility, none the less. Ulysses flipped the coin over and made
Corwin mine when the old fart showed up. Touche, mon ami.
Claudio and Corwin were still in a conspiratorial mood, so I
danced with Fiona for protection at the reception. It let Killian get to
Laughter, but she looked like she was able to handle him. I was more
curious about the conversation she seemed to be having with Ragnar at the
the Diary list