Session 44: "You are not alone in pain, asshole!"

	Archi is contacted by Ulysses and a woman who bears a striking
resemblance to Flora.  Ulysses explains that Perseus has Shapeshifter's
cancer, and that he believes Fiona and Mandor can cure it.  He asks Archi
to enlist their help, because both of them would, if the right person
asks.  Archi contacts Fiona, and gets Laughter to contact Mandor.  Both
arrive, and Ulysses explains that Fiona is to use Primal Order to destroy
the tumors.  Mandor is there to help Perseus survive that which would kill
him, though assisted shapeshifting.  The process will take a week, and
will start in the morning.

	Ulysses chats with Perseus about why he was raised apart from his
sister.  Perseus got the eldest, Flora the next.  They didn't want to get
married or anything, so it seemed the easiest way.  Ulysses disagrees. 
Perseus tries to explain the facts of life before Patternfall.  Apparently
there was some contract, which stipulated that Ulysses would be of Amber
and Flora's son, and Lisandra would be of House Atherton and his heir. 
Mandor suggests that Ulysses get some sleep.  He tries to let Ulysses know
that he knows how he feels, since he didn't know about Laughter for quite
some time.

	Archi wakes up to the joyful sounds of Laughter throwing up.  He
conjures her some Alka-Seltzer, and Trumps Benedict.  Benedict's been
checking out the new Black Road, which goes from the Badlands to Chaos,
and meanders around there for a while.  Since it poses no threat to Amber,
Archi sets Benedict to dealing with the army coming towards Amber.  Then
he borrows Mandor's Trump from Laughter, who is pouting because she has
morning sickness this time.  Archi quizzes Mandor about the war in Chaos.
It started in the demon underworld, in the dust-up begun during the
stealing of the second eye of the Serpent.  House Wickling was founded by
the eldest son of M'Sara and Aethelred, who were the King and Queen of
Chaos during the first Court.  Aethelred also had children with Morgana,
who was the Priestess of the Serpent.  Those three children were Halybard,
Vertix and Barimen.  Wickling mostly hates Amber for existing, and has
absorbed all of the surviving houses into their own.  The house system is
no more.  They currently have enough power to move on Amber, but they're
waiting for something.  If Archi were to remove Logrus from their arsenal,
it would improve Amber's chances.  And magic?  Well, Fiona is better than
any of them.  Job is the Head of House Wickling.  He's about 2,000 years
old, and another one of Cymnea's husbands, from one point or another.  He
is a deliberate and thoughtful sort of man, but his son, Corliss, is
rather rash and easily angered.  Mandor admits that not much of his
information network remains, outside of Amber.  He asks to teach the
children shapeshifting, and Archi is not adverse to this.

	Archi Trumps Fiona next, and explains that Sylvie visited him last
night and pointed out that there are shades of the Jewel, much like there
are shades of the Pattern.  And the attempt of the individual to attune to
the Jewel at the Primal Pattern was echoed in attempts on the other
Patterns.  Sylvie brought back the skull of the one who tried the Fire
Pattern.  The Jewel is of the Primal Pattern, and the reflection for the
Kolvir Pattern is in the crown.  Archi asks about the one Caitlin killed,
who supposedly was a brother of Benedict.  Fiona has been doing some
family research.  There were 15 princes and 9 princesses to start with. 
Osric, Finndo, Eric, Julian and Random are dead.  Random had a sister,
whose fate is unknown.  Archi wants to know who else is out there.

	Melanie wakes up on Kaedric's lap, something she finds just a
little bit awkward.  She claims she's fine, which prompts Kaedric to
wonder if they have to do this all over again.  She admits that she feels
better than she did yesterday.  They discuss whether or not Shadows are
dangerous, and how Abigail can do what she can do.  Kaedric admits that
Brand thought Abigail was Melanie when she gave him the Taormin.

	Awkward moment number two: Sandr wakes up in bed with Caitlin. 
Er.  He's not happy.  Caitlin isn't too upset.  Sandr heaps the guilt on,
then leaves.  Caitlin returns to Amber and finds a note from Benedict,
asking to speak with her about her mother.  Benedict Trumps her and pulls
her through to join him by the Black Road.  He relates how Caitlin's
mother was really Benedict's niece, which isn't normally a problem, but
can become so, in light of Caitlin's choice of sexual partners.  Ya see,
inbreeding in Amber tends to retard Pattern ability.  If you go more than
two generations of 1/4 inbreeding, you end up with a child who's gotta
ride the short bus to the Pattern Room.  Caitlin's response to this is
"So?".  Benedict tries the guilt thing, talking about unfairness of
raising Pattern lame children, but Caitlin parries, as the attack came
without a weapon, and thus, Benedict's warfare didn't help.

	Sandr finds a note from Anton saying, "I probably cannot fight you
for the child, so I am taking her.  Anton."  The computers can't find him
in the Shadow, so Sandr starts looking for him in Shadow.  No luck, but
his Shadows are still there.  The EDDIE recorded that Abigail came and
paid Anton a visit, telling him that Sandr and Caitlin are sleeping
together in Shadow.  She knows how Amberites treat Shadows, and that they
would never let him raise his child alone, but she'll take him someplace

	Sandr Trumps Melanie in Ixaxis.  Kaedric tells her of this, and
she opts to take it.  Sandr relates his tale of woe.  Melanie suggests
seeing what he can find on the backup tapes.  Sandr insults her for being
unfeeling, so she breaks the contact.  She says Sandr is an idiot,
something Kaedric agrees with.  Melanie thinks this proves her theory
about people you care about dying.  Kaedric thinks that Abigail is
unlikely to have stashed Anton and Nadine in Inter-Shadow.  They are more
likely in the Abyss.  Kaedric agrees to help her search there.

	Archi talks to Laughter, and gives her the good news that the
Black Road doesn't pose as much of a threat as he thought.  She finds this
reassuring, and mentions that she has a bit of a spy network of her own. 
Sylvie is in it.  What are they investigating?  She doesn't want to say. 
They discuss baby names.  If it's a boy, Laughter is willing to use
Archi's suggestion of Chance, after Random, sort of.

	Sandr Trumps Caitlin and asks her to come through.  She does so,
but winds up unconscious.  Sandr, having pulled through nothing, begins
shifting Shadow for her.  Something opens up in front of him, that kind of
looks like a Trump gate, and he hears Eddie's voice.  Sandr Trumps
Ulysses, who opts not to answer, being in the middle of breakfast and all. 
Eddie says he knows where Sandr's daughter is, and can take him there, but
they have to hurry.  Sandr teleports to Amber, grabs Ulysses, who grabs
his breakfast, and brings him back to Eddie.  The contact is closing. 
Sandr urges Ulysses to come with him and save his daughter.  They go
through.  Sandr feels something prickly at the base of his skull, and goes
unconscious.  Ulysses senses Primal Chaos, grabs Sandr, and tries to get
out.  No dice.  He finds a child version of Jim and asks him to let them
out.  Nope, can't do it.  She'll kill him.  Ulysses promises to kick her
ass.  Jim tells Ulysses to follow him.  Ulysses does so, dragging Sandr's
bod along as well.  He feels his contact with the Patterns fade after a
minute.  Living Trump doesn't work either.  Ulysses recognizes this place
as the Inter-Shadow.

	Archi gets Trumped by Martin, who says Moire wants to talk to him. 
Something about the Rebman Jewel disappearing last night.  Archi says
good-bye to Laughter and goes through.  He arrives in a bunch of
corridors, and his contact with the Pattern fades after a minute.  His
wedding ring also no longer works.

	Jim brings Ulysses to a central room.  Mandor is there looking
confused, and Caitlin is unconscious.  Mandor got there when going through
a contact from Sky.  Ulysses asks him what to do to help Sandr.  Focus the
Pattern on his head.  Ulysses does this thing.  It takes ten minutes to
clean out all of the Primal Chaos.  Flynn and Vain stumble in at this

	Archi runs into Sky, who got there when Trumping Mandor.  Trump
doesn't work.  She figures that the good news is that Merlin isn't there. 
Then they run into him.  His guess is that this is Inter-Shadow, based on
the few notes he found.  They find the central room, and are joined by
Claudio and Sylvie.  Merlin figures Abigail is behind this.  Apparently
Abigail approached Eddie, pretending to be Melanie, and got to Ghostwheel
as well, since it was investigating Eddie.  Abigail asked them to find an
alternate means of transport through Shadow, and Inter-Shadow is what they
came up with.  Ulysses reveals his earlier encounter with the place, and
blames the whole mess on Merlin.  Caitlin wakes up next to Sandr, and
comments that this is becoming familiar, then realize where she is.

	A slot opens, and a projection of Abigail appears.  She says this
is to teach them a lesson about how Shadows can hurt them.  She observes
that they've been in Inter- Shadow for about 12 minutes, and to keep that
correlation in mind.  Three doors open, one to a forest, one to a beach,
and one to a stable.  They all go through to the forest.  Archi tries his
wedding ring, and finds its mate in a cold, dark place.  Caitlin Trumps
Benedict, who is quite surprised to see her.  When he's hears that she's
with the King, he comes through.  He explains that it's been 126 years
since they disappeared.  Laughter remarried about 50 years ago, and Alaric
is on the throne.  The Eye Patterns were destroyed, and their inhabitants
now form the Gray Rim.  Ulysses figures they can fix things with time
magic, but learns that Alaric turned this off years ago.  Ulysses Trumps
Tianen, but doesn't get through.  Archi asks how Amber has fared.  Pretty
well.  The only casualty has been Beauty.  The curse seems to be too much
for any of Laughter's enemies to resist, and Beauty's been asleep for
about 110 years.  Archi suggests that maybe Ulysses can wake her up.

	Ulysses asks who last saw Dworkin.  That would be Eben, who is
making his way towards them.  Ulysses Trumps there, and finds a woman with
him with greenish-blonde hair.  Eben has black hair.  Sandr casts a
calming spell on them, for no apparent reason.  Eben says he saw Dworkin
30 years ago, when he walked the Primal Pattern and disappeared.  Ulysses
Trumps Dworkin, and is blocked.  He follows the thread to Chaos.  Eben
advises him not to follow, since Chaos is a nasty place to be.  Archi
catches up with them.  Ulysses figures Dworkin knows time magic.  Archi
says Laughter did as well, so Ulysses Trumps her.

	Melanie intercepts the call and checks it out.  She verifies that
this seems to be the real Ulysses, blocks the call, and tells Alaric of
this.  Alaric asks her to take him to them.  She does so, and explanations
are made about the Patterns, the deaths of Sand and Kaedric, and the
destruction of Ixaxis.  Claudio looks unhappy about this.  Bleys is also
dead, killed while destroying the Jesby Pattern.  Alaric wears a sword
called Agamemnon.

	Ulysses grabs a horse and rides for Amber.  Melanie wants to stop
him, but Alaric bids her to let him go.  Ulysses walks the Pattern,
teleports to the Taormin, and uses its Trump bolstering powers to Trump
Dworkin, but he's still blocking.

	Melanie Trumps Nadine and brings her through.  She and Sandr catch
up.  Apparently, Melanie rescued Anton and Nadine shortly after Sandr
disappeared, and Melanie helped Anton raise Nadine.  Melanie asks Sandr
and Archi about their time in Inter-Shadow.  Archi asks Alaric about how
he and his sister are doing.  Then he asks Melanie about the child that
Laughter was carrying.  Melanie tells Archi that the child was lost,
miscarried when Laughter was injured in a battle.  Laughter married
Archi's brother, Kevin.  Archi decides to face his pain, and see Laughter.
Melanie takes them all to Amber via a Trump gate.

	Ulysses Trumps to the Trump suppression barrier which exists
around Amber, Shadow-walks the rest of the way, and pays Laughter a visit. 
She uses Resume True Form on him, which does nothing.  A Pattern ghost? 
Nope.  She asks who's with him.  Everyone.  She hugs him, kicks him, then
Trumps Archi.  Melanie lets the call go through.  Archi comes through to
Laughter, who asks how long it's been for them.  They get updated. 
Ulysses wants Laughter to use her time magic to return them.  She points
out that time magic doesn't work.  This doesn't matter to Ulysses, who is
currently working on a way to get time magic turned back on.  Laughter
gives him Oriana's Trump, but he says he'll talk to her when things are
right, because he doesn't want to see people, then crush them again when
he returns to his proper time.  She hears footsteps, looks pained, and
leaves.  Ulysses tells Archi that Dworkin is in the Courts.  Archi will
help, if Alaric doesn't forbid it.  He is the King, after all.  Ulysses
has an idea and leaves.  Archi removes his wedding ring, so that Laughter
can't share his pain.

	Laughter returns and says she's not sure what to do, although
she's probably doing something illegal right now.  Archi is glad she moved
on.  Laughter isn't so sure.  She leaves it up to him as to whether he
wants to meet Kevin or not.  Vialle is dead.  Their children take more
after Archi than her.  Laughter nervously observes that she's almost as
old as he is now, and says that she'll be upstairs.  Archi says he'll be
around, unless Ulysses drags him off to Chaos.  Laughter wouldn't suggest
that.  Archi says he feels like a ghost.  Laughter mentions that there was
an assassination attempt on Alaric the other day.  Archi says he'll
protect him.  It's not his job, but Alaric is his son.

	Alaric asks Archi what he knows about the Cult of the King.  You
see, they took his soul about 60-70 years ago.  The procedure sounds like
what they did to Archi.  Alaric tells him that removing your soul keeps
you from getting killed, or impregnating anyone, or aging.

	Ulysses Trumps to his Shadow, then sends Hewitt after Dworkin,
promising many cookies as a reward.  Hewitt is Trumped in as close to
Dworkin as possible.

	Caitlin, Nadine and Sandr find a sitting room.  Sandr wants to go
back.  Caitlin has no real problem with remaining here.  Nadine thinks
Caitlin can walk the Pattern, since Benedict's blood was used in the
redrawing.  Sandr is out of luck, however.  Caitlin wants to talk to
Ulysses.  Nadine says this must go through Melanie.  Sandr asks what
Melanie has become.  Nadine explains that Melanie monitors all Trump in
Amber, ever since the Crosswall Wars, where the enemy Trumped into the
castle.  Caitlin Trumps Melanie and asks if she can Trump Ulysses.  Go for
it.  Caitlin does, but Ulysses notices that Sandr is in on the contact,
and refuses to answer.  Caitlin asks Melanie if anything can be done to
push the contact through.  Melanie figures that Ulysses has his resources,
and she isn't inclined to push things just yet.  She warns Caitlin of the
repercussions of tampering with the past, and asks her to keep an eye on


"I detail my plan in greater detail." -- Ulysses to GM

"Let the players screw themselves." -- Wendi
"Or each other." -- GM

"Fiona and I did port parly, well believe I knew she was pregnant." -- GM,
speaking as Mandor to Ulysses

"Can I take this to mean that you'd rather this not happen again?" --
Caitlin to Sandr, referring to their sexual encounter
"We would!" -- Kris, speaking for the rest of the group

"Uh, you are not alone in pain, asshole!" -- Melanie to Sandr

"(Having the children learn shapeshifting) is much better than waking up
in bed as a wolf."  -- Laughter
"Yeah, but you weren't the one waking up next to it." -- Archi

"You see, this is why I wanted to eat my breakfast.  Now I'm trapped and
I'm hungry." -- Ulysses to the group at large

"(Sandr) knew this was a trap, this is why he took Ulysses with him." --
Emily to the group at large

"Why doesn't someone wake Sandr up?" -- Caitlin
"Because none of us need that kind of grief right now." -- Archi

"If we don't all stick together, we'll have to stick separately." -- Dwinn
to the group at large

"Removing my soul, while inconvenient, did save me from a few problems."
-- Alaric to Archi

"Well, (losing your soul) is better than having your testicles removed."
-- Alaric to Archi
"What isn't?" -- Dwinn

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