"Therefore, those skilled at the unorthodox are as infinite as
heaven and earth, inexhaustible as the great rivers. When they come to an
end, they begin again, like the days and months; they die and are reborn,
like the four seasons."
-- Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
I've always had a deep belief in the principle of economy. Take
no more than you need. Buy no more than you can afford. Show no more of
your power than is needed to accomplish your end. I've thrown bouts and
poker games since I came to Amber, because I don't wish them to know my
At the same time, we all enjoy our chief joy in the exercise of
our vital powers. I killed Finndo - admittedly, with help - because I
wanted to prove I could, and because I was well paid. I did it in secret;
few know exactly the means I chose. It seemed like a good trade. What's
the point in having a strong hand if you never, ever play out the game to
Last night, someone started a new game with me. They found me in
Amber, determined my heritage, and sent someone to poison me. Then, to
make sure, they warned my biological mother, so that she could save me.
That's a whole lot of power. For that price, they can buy quite a
bit. I'm worried. But friendship is based on commonality of interest and
pleasure in the other's company. It is *not* based on the notion that the
other can reach out at any time and kill you like swatting a fly.
It's odd. I had quite forgotten my lineage, really. I hadn't
thought of my biological mother in years. They were all parts of someone
else. I've been walking my own road for years now, and frankly I think
all concerned were happier that way.
Possibly this was meant to remind me of the power of old ties,
reawaken some spirit of Chaos patriotism in me. But truth to tell, we're
all best off apart. I was fostered in Shadow. At heart, I am much more
Keysaar, a Kaim'era of the Braxana, than I ever was a Hendrake born of the
Jezetti. And the Braxana do not have friends. We only have enemies we'll
miss, when we finally destroy them.
So, whoever you are, don't go thinking this is over. This is just
starting. This was Fall, and it was bleak. After a winter's work, Spring
will tell a different tale, I think.
the Diary list