Laughter's Eleventh Diary, or,
    Passing Time in Avalon with my Twisted Swords and my even More
	          Twisted Cousins: One Woman's Story

	I like Avalon.  I do.  Even if they close down the theatre in war 
time. I'm not talking about the island in Foil, either, I'm talking about 
the shadow that first Corwin, and then Benedict, shaped and ruled.
	But first things first.  I had to stay up all night.  These 
things happen when you have a head injury.  If Dworkin weren't crazy and 
a lot stronger than me, I'd be out for revenge, but sometimes I do think 
things through.  And besides, I'm not yet sure things are not completely 
irreversable.  My head feels fine, for instance...
	Gerard stayed there through most of the night, monitering Corwin 
and making sure I didn't go to sleep.  We had a bit of a chat.  He 
advised me not to use a mace, and I guess his arguments were valid.  But 
there's something more there.  There's something more there as to why 
Archimedes won't drink wine, as well.  These things will not be simply 
laid to rest, but I can't exactly push them...  Not until I get my own 
shit straight.  (ha, ha)  Anyhow, I settled on a long bow-- much better 
than a crossbow, and I rather like the Robin Hood ballads.  If I could live 
in a tree, I would.  In fact, it's a thought...  I like the Manor fine,
and maybe I'll finish the Pattern-garden in the backyard, but for a 
private retreat, it rather fails...  Everyone in the entire damn shadow 
knows where it is.  But a big treehouse tucked in a corner somewhere...   
But not now.  Not until long after this whole thing settles down.  And 
Sequence comes first.
	We rode out after Sandr decided that he could swear no loyalty to 
Random or Amber-- he got to stay home with my mother.  Glad I swore my 
loyalty young and early...  I did the same in Foil, until things fell 
apart, and then stepped in to set things straight.  I wonder, if things 
fall apart in Amber, who steps in for us and sets it straight? Maybe I 
don't wonder...  such thinking leads one down dangerous paths.
	Archimedes led the hell-ride.  He was in the best shape of us 
all, I guess (Jubal doesn't count, after all).  Jubal was weirder than 
usual.  Not as polite?  Just as quiet.  But it wasn't like I knew him 
very well....  Not that I ever believed I knew him, but after you watch a 
guy shape-shift his way through the Pattern once or twice, you get *some* 
sense of it all...  So, Archimedes led the way.  I found Sequence early 
on.  Poor twisted sword...  But not broken.  There is much hope here, in 
spite of it all.  As we rode, I commissioned Ulysses for the Trumps of 
Foil I've been wanting so long, though the payment is as yet 
	We came upon Benedict in the midst of a battle.  Archimedes rode 
down a rather sheer bluff and charged on in.  Between my twisted sword 
and the long-bow, I opted for the weapon that was in order, after 
deciding a lava flow wasn't going to help Benedict out too well.  I think 
I got about 18, maybe 19...  Fair enough shooting, considering the 
conditions...  we were a ways off, and I was trying to send arrows 
through plate armor.  All in all, it made me appreciate the value of 
archery all over again...  If there had been even two of us, instead of 
just me, we could have made rather a dent in the Chaosites... And if I 
had brought more arrows.  Oh, well.  After I'd used up the two 
quivers-full, I watched closely for a while and picked out the Chaos 
leader and sent a lightning bolt through him.  It knocked him off his 
horse.  I sent another...  It incapacitated him, at least.  
Unfortunately, it also drew the attention of a sorcerer who was 
fighting...  he disengaged from the fighting...  I set the magical 
drain spell, and was pleased to feel the spell he sent me get sucked 
away easily...   His next spell destroyed my drain though.  And then,
just as I was about to go invisible, he got me with a Logrus arm.  I 
brought Pattern to mind, and was dropped handily.  Then he started 
destroying the bluff with the arm, so, I lept up on my horse and raced 
for a nearby shadow to pick up a sword from one of the battles we'd 
skirted on the hell-ride.  If I had to meet the idiot head on, I needed a 
weapon.  I never forgot about Sequence for a moment, but the necessity of 
the situation made touching a blade easier.
	I rode back in time to see the Chaosites fleeing, and Archimedes 
riding up the bluff.  Show off.  Poor horse, too.  Ah, well.  We went 
down, the rest of us leading our horses, and met with Benedict.  I 
thought at this point we would tell Benedict what we had hell-rode to him 
for, but no, Archimedes had a *private* message.  Makes me wonder why I 
wasn't doing something useful like riding patrols in Arden with Julian 
rather than tagging along behind His Highness, who is more than able to 
take care of himself, as was just proved by his performance in that 
little battle.
	I started looking around the battle-field, deciding which of the 
numerous hackings on the bodies had been the death-blow, trying to 
ascertain how hard the strike had been, how executed.  It's the only way 
to view the aftermath of a war, really.  If you let yourself think about 
the death or the blood, you'll make yourself either sick to your stomach 
or sick at heart.  Archimedes came over...  Complimented me on my 
shooting.  I complimented him on his work as well.  I explained what I 
was doing...  I mentioned that the peasants would make a fortune off the 
plate armour, when they came to scavenge the remains. Well, what else was 
I going to say?  Not much...  
	Benedict looked at Sequence and suggested reforging...  Later.  
And that we would ride for Amber in the morning, after he wrapped things 
up in Avalon.  So, we rode back to the city, which was quite beautiful.  
We were to stay in a rather nice Inn... I asked the desk clerk if there 
was an open theatre in town, but there was not, due to the war.  War does 
make the arts suffer.  I miss good theatre...  The Amber-drek doesn't do 
it for me.  Then I asked for the nearest swordmaker, at which point 
Archimedes asked me if I ever thought of anything other than my sword, or 
fighting.  And why I didn't just take this one night in Avalon to relax 
and enjoy myself.  I pointed out that the theatre was closed due to the 
war, and had no immediate interest in window shopping, and that as long 
as Sequence was a twisted up mess, I was going to try to fix it.  
Eventually, he caved in, and we went to the nearest smithy.
	The swordmaker seemed appalled that such a thing could happen to 
a sword, and was genial but rather over-familiar until I mentioned 
obliquely that Benedict was our uncle.  He offered to stick Sequence in 
the furnace for me-- I said that would be fine, if I was allowed to get 
some sense of his work first.  He was an admirable swordmaker, so I let 
him try. I didn't have very high hopes, but it was worth an effort. I 
offered to pump the bellows, which he seemed to find odd, though I told 
him I'd made horse-shoes before... Anyway, Sequence barely took on a glow 
even though the fire was much hotter than you need to forge a sword-- I'd 
visited the forge where Calamus took his training.  The swordmaker seemed 
utterly mystified, and rather unhappy.  I thanked him and paid him in 
gold for his troubles-- Foil currency with my tree on it, but gold is 
	We went next to dinner, and we were a rather reticent crew, until 
I told them the story of Sleeping Beauty, and then told them the story of 
*my* Beauty, who will most decidedly not have the same fate befall her.  
I stopped by the sword maker on the way home, and picked out and bought a 
sword to use until Sequence was back to itself-- an act of betrayal, but 
a necessary one.  I will allow Sequence to dispose of this sword has it 
sees fit after it's better.  Perhaps it will not care at all...  
	Jubal had an idea to straighten the sword, but it didn't work...  
and Ulysses recieved what looked like a Trump Call, but I rather think 
it's that other thing that Sandr does sometimes.  I don't really know 
what's happening, anywhere in the world, and least of all in my own 
head.  I sometimes feel like the atmosphere of the shadows we move in is 
not there at all, and that my head is touching the stars; that we are all 
standing silent and still, on a large chess board, waiting for the 
players to make the next move, waiting for the next blow of death to fall 
somewhere near...  I don't know... It's just a feeling I get when I stand 
still and finger whatever sword is at my hilt, and wait for those around 
me to make some sort of decision...  It's how I feel now.