I was in my office that morning when a page announced Killian. He
asked for a Trump of Assyssla, the Shadow where his tutor, Cordelia, was
soon to be off to university, if she wasn't already. I smiled, handed him
Ulysses' Trump, and suggested that Ulysses might be able to provide him
with what he needed. I chuckled to myself after he left. When I sent
Killian to Rebma, I had no idea it would turn out so well. Actually, I
didn't think he'd be able to successfully woo any woman, let alone the
poor creature who had to spend the most time with him. I guess there is
more to Killian than I originally thought.
I got a message from Random a little while later, so I went to his
office as requested. When I arrived, he explained that there was a slight
problem, and took me to Bleys' quarters. Opening the door revealed Bleys
frozen within an energy field of some sort. The energy seemed to emanate
from one of the shard rings. Random wanted my opinion. I didn't have
much of one, other than it sucked to be Bleys at the moment. I didn't
think Random wanted that opinion, so I tried Fiona's Trump, but it didn't
animate. I sighed and suggested Mandor, as inappropriate as that might
be. He was the only other sorcerer, besides Kaedric, that I semi-trusted,
based on the fact that he was my father-in- law. Not much of a
connection, I know, but it was all I had to offer, since I didn't think
letting the Crown Prince of Chaos in on this little predicament was
something that Random would consent to. Random looked less certain at my
suggestion than I did. He also mentioned that Bleys' copy of the Book of
the Strangeways was missing, and he wanted me to check and see if Ulysses
still had his copy. I borrowed Random's Trump of Ulysses and used it to
no more effect than I'd used Fiona's earlier, but I did get a Trump call
shortly after that, and it was Ulysses.
I asked him about the book, then waited while he checked. He
confirmed that it was where he had left it, and asked me why I wanted to
know. I told him that Bleys' book had gone missing. He then thanked me
for sending Killian his way, and briefly described how he had been less
than helpful. I wondered how he'd ever cope should he lose his
invulnerability. He went on his way, and I received another Trump call.
This time it was a rather exasperated Killian, who was clearly
suffering from the aftereffects of dealing with an uncooperative Ulysses.
He wanted to know what it was that Ulysses wanted. I told him that I
didn't really know, but suggested that offering him breakfast might be a
A page found me some time later, while I was once again speaking
with Random, and reported that Killian was breaking into Ulysses' room. I
could only guess at how the conversation must have gone, but decided to
let the two of them work the argument out amongst themselves, as I had
other matters to attend to.
Random and I continued our discussion concerning Bleys'
predicament. We posted a guard, and I went to seek out Laughter, to let
her know what was going on. I received a Trump call before I had quite
made it to my quarters, though. It was Kaedric's daughter, Alora, and I
couldn't think of a reason why she would be Trumping me, unless it was bad
news. I didn't have long to wait for confirmation of that, as she
explained, as soon as I had brought her through to a vacant sitting room.
The King, and her parents, had gone missing, and Thelbane was under
attack. Here we go again, I thought. What she wanted of me was a round
of baby-sitting. She didn't want her younger brother in Chaos, given the
situation, and wanted me to keep him in Amber. I consented, trying to
hide my concern for her missing parents. How difficult could keeping an
eye on Ian be? I also offered further assistance, should she have need of
it, in areas where I was more adept.
Alora left to get her brother, and he was handed through to me a
short time later. I was immediately thanked by him for my hospitality. I
wasn't quite sure of the level of sarcasm contained therein, but decided
that I liked the kid. I walked him around the castle for a bit, giving
him the lay of the land. It gave us a bit of a chance to size each other
Killian found us about half way through the tour and went into a
bit of detail about what a pain in the ass Ulysses had been. Poor
Killian. Some of Amber's lessons are harder than others. Although, I did
agree with his request for a Trump deck of his own, so we went to Random
to get his approval. I happened to mention to Killian, in front of
Random, that I doubted there was a Trump of Assyssla in the standard deck.
Random then mentioned that he had one, and would let Killian borrow it.
Yet another crisis diverted.
A page arrived and informed me that Laughter wanted to see me, and
that she was at the stables. I frowned, and got Ian squared away in the
library before heading to the stables with Killian. Mok was there with
Laughter. They said that Ulysses was missing, and the Trumps were
bursting into flames when used. That wiped the smile inspired by the news
of Ulysses' disappearance right off of Killian's face. Laughter wanted
Killian, Mok and myself to go looking for him. I chuckled and scratched
out a quick note to Random describing Laughter's plan. I folded my arms
and started counting as soon as the page left. I didn't quite make it to
one hundred before Random Trumped me and joined us. He hoped I wasn't
serious. I informed him that I wasn't. The only experienced Shadow
walkers we had around the castle were Sky and Isaac. I sent pages for
them and explained the situation when they arrived. I didn't feel
comfortable sending Killian and Mok out together with them not having much
Shadow experience. Sky informed me that she would go and her son would
stay. I had expected as much. They left to prepare and I walked Laughter
I stopped off in the library to check on Ian. He was reading a
Pattern theory book and hadn't noticed me yet. I waited until I was
standing right behind him before asking him how he found the book. Once
he got over his fright, he said he found it rather fine. He also thought
a snack might be nice, so I asked him what he wanted. I think he was
disappointed when he said bats and I didn't look surprised. I didn't want
to share them with him, however.
I was visited by yet another page while Ian munched on his bats.
Ulysses had just arrived in Amber, with a tub, in the main hall. I left
Ian to his snack in the library and headed downstairs. The tub was
apparently due to the fever that was raging through him, and I conjured
some ice up upon Beauty's request.
The rest of the day was uneventful, but the next day started at
about three a.m. Yet another page informed me that Killian had brought a
Chaosite in. I grabbed Song and headed downstairs. Ragnar was there as
well, and asked me about a double-ax symbol when I arrived. It was
apparently attached to the Chaosite they brought in, but it meant nothing
to me and I told him as much. But I did have a sudden flash of
inspiration, or so I thought. I Trumped back upstairs and woke up
Laughter and Random. I took them to Bleys' room. I wanted Laughter to
check and see if there was any sorcery involved. None that she could
detect. I brought Pattern up and tapped into the Jewel. It was energy
from the Jewel that was holding Bleys, so I tried to get my mind around
it. Apparently my mind wasn't big enough. I drew Song and tried to move
the ring that held Bleys. That was the last thing I remembered.
the Diary list