So, it seems that Sand is free of the Taormin. Thankfully,
Father, or what is left of him, remains inside. Sand ostensibly called me
to seek a way to tell me apart from Abigail, and to assure me that Claudio
does not wish to kill me. The latter surprised me. I had thought that
was settled long ago. As for the former... I suggested the mark Father
left me with. It seems unlikely that Abigail would have that in common
Sand also mentioned Kaedric. I had a feeling she would. The poor
boy has apparently been quite sad of late. What a shame. I feel no
sympathy for him, after what he did to me. He should feel sad. I hope he
cannot sleep nights.
Well, Alek's wedding went off without incident. I am surprised
that Archimedes attended with Maron present, especially since he had told
Alek that he was not coming just a few hours ago. I wonder if he still
holds me in disfavor for that incident of a few years ago? I did not
bother to ask. He obviously did not want to be there, and his initial
refusal hurt Alek quite a bit. What a completely insensitive bastard. It
was a wedding. Everyone else was able to put aside their feelings and
attend. Archimedes' reign is going to have many difficulties if he does
not change his general attitude. Kings can not afford to hold onto petty
grudges unless they have far more power than he does.
Alek continues his attempts to set me up with a man. He seems to
think I will be happy if I just settle down with someone and have babies.
That seems far more likely to cause pain than happiness. Look at what
happened to Edward. And then there is Kaedric... I'm sorry Alek, but you
could not be more wrong. Nadine is a lovely child, and I must admit I
enjoy the time I spend with her, in much the same way that I used to enjoy
spending time with Eve. But I do not want children of my own. I do not
need that sort of vulnerability.
It has been a while since I have thought of Amber, and I have not
missed it. Alek is upset because they have rejected his plan to save the
Patterns. I was expecting this, but I had hoped Archimedes would not so
thoroughly reject him. To be treated so badly after all of the work he
put into Eddie... It is hard for him to accept. Well, at least Maron is
warned of their intentions, and can warn the other universes. If they do
not take steps to protect the Eye, then they deserve to whatever happens
as a result. I will not see my brother's universe destroyed, though. I
will fight them if it comes to that. As for the Atherton universe... I
do not know. I am uncertain as to how I would be affected by the
destruction of that Pattern, but it is not something I would care to
experience again. Once was more than enough for this lifetime.
Four years, and Kaedric still possesses the ability to irritate
me. He knows too much about me. No one, outside of Father, knows all of
the things that he does. It was bad enough that he knew about the
nightmares, but, worse yet, he knows what they were about. Not something
I particularly wanted to share with anyone, least of all, him.
And he knows who my mother is too, thanks to Sylvie's
carelessness. Why on earth did she show Kaedric her true form? She is
been so careful not to show it to anyone. Apparently the resemblance
between us was enough for him to guess the truth. Damn. I do not like
anyone knowing this much about me.
Perhaps that is why he told me about his childhood. A way of
evening things out. It is hard to say. I must admit that his childhood
was far harsher than mine. He is fortunate that Sand found him when she
did. To be sold as a slave by your own mother...
However, dreadful though his past may have been, that still does
not make up for what he did to me. He seemed awfully confident that he
can now tell me from Abigail. Which seems to be at odds with his earlier
statements. If, as he claims, he needed to sleep with me to tell me from
Abigail before, it seems unlikely that he can tell us apart now, based on
nothing more than a night spent together and two additional conversations.
"You have a slightly different air about you." Indeed.
He did give me a few useful bits of information, though. Eddie's
hypothesis about what will happen when you go through the Badlands was
verified by Kaedric's experience. It does not sound like it was very
pleasant. I felt some small satisfaction at that. Abigail is still
nowhere to be found. Kaedric thinks she is hiding somewhere between
Shadow, possibly with Dalt, as he vanished with her. How is she surviving
in that environment? Even as a shapeshifter, it is not an easy thing to
do, and she should not have that capability. Well, if she stays there,
she is not causing trouble. If she emerges, Kaedric, Sand, Claudio,
Eddie, or one of the others that are searching for her will no doubt
notice. And if she emerges in one of the other universes, they are more
than welcome to her.
It would seem that I am not welcome in Amber until I offer some
sort of apology to Archimedes. How amusing that Archimedes could not be
bothered to notify me of this fact. I suppose he planned to confront me
when I returned to Amber. What a shame that I lost my taste for that
place before this came to pass. I have no intention of apologizing, of
course. His behavior that day was quite appalling. If anything, he is
the one who should be apologizing. Not that this will ever happen. It
does not matter. Being denied access to Amber is no longer much of a
threat to me. I lost everything I had, and all the places I had spent the
last half of my life inhabiting, when Father's universe was destroyed.
Compared to that, being forbidden a city is a paltry punishment, to say
I do find it fascinating that there are so many Shadows where
Ulysses and Laughter have killed Archimedes and run off with each other.
I wonder if Archimedes knows of this? I doubt such knowledge would please
him. No more than it would please Claudio to know that Kaedric thinks he
has great potential as a sorcerer. Given his attitude towards sorcery, I
doubt he will ever realize that potential, but it is rather amusing.
The most disturbing bit of news was Kaedric's supposition that
Delwin may be in my mind. Or Maron's. Or in the Eye. I like none of
these options. I find it hard to believe that I could be carrying
Delwin's soul and notice nothing. This must be resolved, and quickly. I
have no intention of playing unwitting host for Delwin until he finds a
better one. He is responsible for the destruction of Father's body, after
all. Perhaps the Taormin could determine for certain if Delwin is present
in my mind.
After much thought, I do not believe Maron's plan is likely to
work, unless he damages his Pattern first, and even then... I believe
there is a better way. It has occurred to me that it might be possible to
separate the universes by using the Eye and the Jewel in conjunction. If
we could set up their energies so that they repel one another, much as the
like poles of magnets do... It might work. I need to talk to some more
expert opinions, though. Even if it could work, there are still any
number of problems to overcome. First, we would need to gain possession
of the Eye. Second, my current initiation to the Eye is not sufficient
for the task. I must either figure out how to deepen my attunement to the
Eye, or else find someone else who possesses this greater attunement.
Neither will be an easy task. But, it is far better than the alternative.
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