Something terrible has happened. I am no longer in Maron's home.
Not even Damian and Ariel are here, and they never leave me. It feels
like my brain was pulled out through my nose. And I cannot reach anyone.
Not Eve, not Maron, not Odemma. Her Trump does not work at all and I fear
she must be dead. What happened? Father was the only one I could reach,
but he had not the strength to either stop the contact or talk to me.
I tried shifting back to the citadel and not only have I not
moved, but the migraine has gotten worse. I am beginning to realize the
full extent of what must have occurred. The Pattern is gone from my
brain, and none of my place Trumps from Father's universe work. I fear
Cymnea may have won her battle with Father. I wish I could aid him, but I
can no longer get through to him at all. Or anyone else. I have flown
for an hour in this Shadow, and not found anything but that ever-present
fog which I feel I must not touch. I believe I will return to Mother's
Ways. At least that Trump still works. It has been so long since I was
there... I do not expect Mother will be there, since Sylvie said she was
being held in Amber. Of course, that was a long time ago, but I doubt
things have changed. Sylvie said Mother made her bid and failed, and I
cannot imagine they would let her go after that. At least I may be able
to find a change of clothes. Walking around in my nightdress just will
Mother's Ways are a complete disaster. There are orange trees
growing through the floor and cat hair everywhere. I assume they are
remnants of Sylvie's stay here. Mother will be most unhappy when she sees
the state this place was left in. I do not intend to be anywhere in the
vicinity when she does. At least I was able to find some suitable
clothes. Halybard's Ways are also abandoned, which surprises me somewhat.
If Cymnea defeated Father, which she must have for me to be here, I would
expect her armies to have returned by now. Hmm. Vertix's Ways still
appear to be intact. Perhaps they can shed some light on what has
It would seem that most of the damage occurred when Father created
his Pattern. It has only been six years in Chaos since that event. There
is talk of an Amberite Halybard heir, which indicates that Cymnea is dead.
Perhaps Father took her down with him. One may hope. As an added bonus,
Vertix remains unaware of the loss of my Pattern abilities. More
precisely, they believe they have learned that I have either Pattern or
Logrus skills and I saw no reason to correct this. All in all, a most
beneficial exchange. Plus that strange fog has dissipated, so perhaps my
Trumps will begin working properly.
Aleksandr is every bit as weak as Father always told me he was.
It was hard at times as I listened to him not to laugh out loud. Or smack
him for his stupidity. He thinks he was close to Father, simply because
Father spent time with him. I wonder what he would think if he knew how
Father described him to me? He is so deluded, he probably would not
believe it. It is hard to believe we share the same blood. Sometime
during Mother's play for the throne, he actually managed to steal the
Jewel of Judgment. Having thusly ensured the enmity of Finndo, who
currently held the throne, he neither gave it to Mother, his supposed
ally, nor used it himself. Instead, he gave it to another Amberite, one
Ulysses by name, who in turn returned it to Random. Unbelievable. And
despite this, he still managed to anger Random's supporters as well as
Finndo's. It would seem he has a talent for making himself disliked. It
is a skill he shares with Father, but I fear more the residual problems I
will face as his half-sister than those I will face as Brand's daughter.
Aleksandr thinks Father is dead. If it were not for that one
contact I had with him, well after the destruction of his universe, I
would think so too. Aleksandr says that Cymnea killed Father so that she
could ride the destruction to Amber's Pattern. He claims that Maron was
there too. They initially planned to use Aleksandr to destroy Father's
Pattern. I wish they had. Everyone else would still be dead, but I would
rather have Father than this sad half-Shadow. But Aleksandr never
actually saw Father die. Father sent him away. This strikes me as odd.
With Sandr's help, he might have survived. Why send him away? Aleksandr
thinks it was to save him, but I doubt this. Father has never been ruled
by sentiment, and he never spoke fondly of the boy. Perhaps he wanted no
witnesses? I must ask Maron what happened. Since Aleksandr never
actually saw Father die, and Cymnea is dead, that leaves Maron as the only
possible witness. I cannot believe he knew what Cymnea was planning. He
loves Eve. He would never risk her death, nor Odemma's. Aleksandr thinks
he abandoned Eve to die. Aleksandr does not know what he is talking
about. At least he took care of Eve when she turned up in Amber.
Eve is back with her father, where she belongs. From the sound of
it, Maron recovered in much the same manner as I, only without his Trumps.
This explains why he had not come for Eve yet. How ironic that I did not
lose my deck, when I could do without it. He confirmed that he did not
know what Cymnea had planned. He seems to believe she killed Father
though, which shatters my hopes somewhat. He would know for sure. Unless
Cymnea sent him away. He did not know she was dead, and if he had been
with her when Father's Pattern was destroyed, surely he would have been
carried with her to Amber. I should tell him of the contact I had with
Father. For now, I believe I will remain in Amber for a little while. I
wish to learn more about the side of the family that Mother called
inferior, but Father praised so highly.
The migraine has lessened, now that I have slept, but I can still
feel its presence. Aleksandr wants to introduce me to my other Amberite
relatives at the family breakfast, which will be at this inn, since the
castle has become sentient and gone mad. So far, Amber seems far more
chaotic than Chaos ever was. At any rate, I have found some local
clothing to replace Tianen's. It would not do to be walking around in her
clothes if I do not wish to reveal that aspect of my parentage.
Sylvie appears much younger now than when she contacted me. She
got rather upset when I made an oblique reference to it. Which was the
point. Obviously, she has not shown the Amberites her older form. Is she
12 pretending to be 18, or 18 pretending to be 12? If the latter, it is
quite a clever idea. People grant the most amazing amount of leeway to
It seems that Sylvie's father is Ulysses. Poor child. He is
definitely an odd one. He does not think much of Chaosites. Especially
Maron. Apparently Maron and Shandril are the ones who hung him up on Ygg
for nine days. It certainly did not take those two long to hook up again.
I must remember to ask Maron why he did that to Ulysses. Other than the
amusement value. I would especially like to know if they were responsible
for the hallucinations he had. Most of it sounded crazy. Six houses
stealing the remaining eyes of the Serpent? Surely they wouldn't be that
There were many unfamiliar faces at breakfast. Mok, who is
apparently an Amberite, but I have yet to determine who his parents were.
He seems a simple sort and positively leered at me when I was introduced.
If I ever need something from him, it should be a simple enough matter to
Sky, a Rebman from the looks of it. I am unsure as to her
parentage as well. She is obviously a fighter though. Sandr mentioned
her as being the other one who looked after Eve.
Cameron, apparently a cross of Chaos and Amber, like me. He seems
by far the most crafty of those present this morning. He said very little
and listened a great deal. He would not tell me which house he belongs
to, but his answer and general attitude fit that of a Vertix. He is
definitely not a Hendrake or a Halybard.
Archimedes, Cymnea's killer. Another Rebman. I wonder how he is
related to Sky? He seems a great deal more mature than the rest. And I
have to respect anyone who could take Cymnea down. He is the Crown Prince
of Amber, and is engaged to Laughter, the Amberite I encountered in Shadow
several years ago.
Laughter is also the Halybard heir. A child of Fiona and Mandor.
Now there is an interesting couple. Laughter does not seem to have
inherited their craftiness, however. I do not think she realizes the
power she holds as heir. Most of what I told her made her distinctly
nervous. She is trying very hard to find another heir, but I will not
allow Eve to be sucked into that. Fortunately, Laughter's claim is
strongest. And if she refuses, there is always Dara. Or her own
foster-daughter, Beauty, who is apparently the child of her brother,
Roland. She has decided to travel to Chaos to at least check out the
damage to Halybard's Ways. Archimedes, Mok and Sky are accompanying her.
The question is, do I go with them?
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