To say that things have changed is, well, an understatement at
best.  I'm in a castle in a land called Amber, where I have been told that
I am the blood of incredibly powerful people.  Me, hired sword.  I think I
took it well.  It's a bit akin to the big fish of the pond finding her way
to the ocean, I guess.  There was a time where I thought I could take
anyone with my, I find myself a weak and pitiful babe in a
land of kings and queens.

	This all began taking a job from Herne, that old bastard.  I knew
one of his "missions" would probably get me killed one day.  A routine
delivery to the sorcerer Orrin.  Graham was with me...

	Ah, Graham.  My mentor, my savior.  I won't forget you.  You gave
me Splinter and Thorn, my first weapons.  We've covered many a mile
together, old man.  I have a way to return to Helene whenever I want, so
I'll be back.  Maybe I'll bring you to Amber some day.

	In any case, upon delivery of the goods (which ended up being
sorcerous material), two knights stopped us at the gate.  They took the
cargo, paid us, and told us to leave, for to meet the wizard was to invite
certain doom.  Suffice it to say that my curiosity was piqued.  The blond
one gave me a package for "the Crown Prince," whomever that was.  Graham
looked worried, so we backed away.  In the package was an unusual-looking
flute, a note in some strange tongue, and a card with a beautiful woman's
picture on it.  As I examined the card, it grew cold.  I dropped it, and
looked at it again.  It began to animate.  This time, I put on my gloves.

	Suddenly, I found myself somewhere other than I had been, in front
of the woman in the picture.  Instinct drew my weapons, but she raised her
hands.  She revealed herself to be Fiona, a magician.  I could tell by her
countenance that she could probably kill me with just a thought, so I
returned Splinter and Thorn to my belt.  We discussed what had just
happened, and then I met the King, Archimedes, a man with green hair.  I
gave him the message (apparently it was for him) and the flute, and then I
was asked to describe Helene to Ulysses, a incredibly handsome man.  He
took my hand, whispered soothing words, and performed some magic.  He then
knew what I knew.

	Strange, after that he was not quite as cordial towards me.  I
wonder what I could have done to offend him, as he was rather nice...

	We returned to Helene through magic and I showed Fiona and Ulysses
the castle.  They looked about, and I told Graham where I had been.  Then,
Fiona and Ulysses wanted to return to Amber, and wanted me to return with
them.  They knew my father.  I said my good-bye to Graham, wiping tears
from his eyes, and we left.

	I met several other people of note.  There was a sister and a
brother, Melanie and Sandr.  They were obviously magicians of incredible
power.  I was envious of their abilities, yet Sandr assured me that being
of the blood of Amber meant that I had some abilities of my own. 
Apparently they have some kind of work to do, so we couldn't speak more. 
I also met Claudio, a dark-skinned man, a warrior, without doubt.  He
seemed to be as overwhelmed about being in Amber as I do, and he tried to
attack Melanie.  Apparently she has a twin posing as her, or something. 
Melanie (who was very nice, though we are very different women) told me
that my father was someone named Benedict.

	At that point, Fiona returned with a tall, stern-looking man.  She
introduced him as Benedict.  Thinking I'd use my new-gained knowledge to
my advantage, I traded barbs with him.  He is my father, this I know.  I
can see it in our countenances.  I must admit, I was a bit upset with him. 
I drudged out a life in Helene for twenty years, living and dying by the
sword, when I could have been in Amber.  I wouldn't have to have been
gang- raped.  It hurt him to hear that.  He apologized, saying if he had
known about me, he would have been there.

	He took me to walk what is called "the Pattern."  Apparently only
those of the blood of Amber can do it.  It was the most difficult thing I
have ever done, but I did it, and I feel... enlightened.  Benedict says
this will allow me to walk through Shadows, or to return to Helene.  He
also gave me new weapons of incredible power, in exchange for mine.  I
christened them "Nevermiss" and "Trueblade," for they are the finest
swords I have ever held.  We left the city in the clouds, and I slept.

	The next day Ulysses explained to me how the cards, the Trumps,
worked.  They are a way for easy contact with others.  Benedict gave me a
set of my own, containing him and various others.  These people are his
brothers and sisters.  Fiona was in there, as well as Benedict.  There was
one of a red-headed fellow named Brand, who I thought was handsome. 
Benedict warned me never to use this Trump, as Brand is the enemy of Amber
and all it stands for.  Later, I found out that Brand is the father of
Melanie and Sandr.  Very interesting.

	Benedict introduced me to two others, Damion and Tristan, my uncle
and cousin.  They gave me Trumps of themselves, and told me to contact
them if I needed anything.  Later at dinner, Sandr talked with me and gave
me a Trump of himself.  I am gathering many allies and acquaintances
quickly in this new land.  Though Benedict is a bit overbearing at times. 
I am an adult, after all.  Been adventuring on my own since age 15.  I can
handle myself.  And the way he glares at anyone who talks to me... ugh!

	Benedict has given me a room in the castle next to his.  I gave
him a kiss before bidding him good night, which surprised him a bit.  I
think I can accept him as my father...  we worked out that day, and he is
a warrior unmatched.  This I know.  He moves with grace, speed, and fury,
and seemingly without effort.  But I find myself thinking about what he
said, about a curse on his blood...  "All you love will be destroyed."  So
far, my life has followed that pattern.  But if I have any say in the
matter, that trend will end.

	I grow weary.  I've asked for new clothes, of yellow and brown,
like Bened... my Father, wears.  Until the morning, then.

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