Session 48: "It's just a little spy network."
Ulysses, the Ty Set, gets the rules of the Ty Dahl from Bill Roth.
Claudio persuades the page who serves him dinner to find Fiona and
Mok, and direct them to him. Mok is found, but Fiona is busy. Claudio
explains about the possibility that Delwin may be in his head. He wants
two mecha to guard his room, and if he comes out without Archi's
permission, they are to shoot him. This is arranged. 15 minutes later,
Fiona shows up. Claudio wants her to put him in Pattern manacles, just in
case. She does this, and Trumps Sky to fetch his ring, since that may
offer him some protection from Delwin. Sky hands it over. Mok tells
Claudio about the Ty Dahl, and he sends someone to find the rules.
Belen, the Head of House Amblerash, and whoever's the Head of
House Helgram (Mer forgot his name, but it's not important) meet with
Ulysses, Lisandra and Archi. Lisandra presents Amber's solution to the
multiple Pattern problems. The Chaosites ask if there any incentives,
like, say, political marriages. Amblerash has a son of suitable age, and
Helgram has a daughter. If Archi can't find matches for them, he can
always suggest another solution. Archi offers Amber's protection and a
mutual non-aggression pact, which they find acceptable. It will be
another three days before Perseus is well enough to deal with the Atherton
Pattern, and the others will be ready within the week. They leave to
Claudio and Mok discuss the Ty Dahl. Claudio reminds Mok that he
walked the Fire Pattern. Mok tells him of a nursery rhyme that he
discovered. It goes as follows:
You may walk the First Pattern
Or the ones of Water and Sky
Or even the Pattern of Earth
'Twas your right since birth
But 'ware who walks the Flame
He'll never be the same
Either to him comes the throne
Or the fate to die alone.
Claudio is not happy about this at all. He and Mok discuss other tests
for Sandr. According to the rules of the Ty Dahl, it must be a contest in
which there is a 50% chance of survival. Claudio suggests a quest. Mok
Trumps Archi, who agrees to listen. Claudio tells him of the poem. Archi
figures he'll just hope that Sandr dies, then. Claudio thinks the poem
means that Sandr has no chance. Archi explains that Benedict was like a
father to him, so if Benedict wants the contest to be walking the Fire
Pattern, he won't go against him without good reason.
Melanie returns to Sandr's quarters, and tells Kaedric and Sandr
that the challenge will be issued tomorrow at three. She suggests that
Sandr talk to Anton. He figures he probably should, and goes into the
bedroom, where Anton is waiting. Anton figures this is his fault, because
when he first learned of it, he wished Sandr was dead. Sandr explains why
he went to Caitlin in the first place. Anton is hurt that Sandr didn't
come to him when he was feeling so upset, but instead went first to
Laughter, then Caitlin. He considers that the breaking of the oath, not
Melanie speaks with Kaedric, who remembers little of what happened
when he was drunk. This earns him no points with Melanie, who thinks he
acted terribly. He begins to conjure her roses, and says he won't stop
until forgiven he's forgiven. Sandr emerges to find the floor covered
with roses, and requests black ones to suit his mood. As he goes back
into the bedroom, Kaedric tosses a black rose in after him. Melanie
eventually forgives him, after he promises to stop doing shit like hiding
Anton confronts Caitlin, and is not happy. He isn't any happier
after talking to her, either. She fails to give any good reason for
enticing Sandr into sleeping with her, other than she wanted him. Anton's
opinion of Amberites sinks even lower.
Caitlin summons Kaedric, and explains that she wants to claim that
she raped Sandr, thus letting him off the hook. Kaedric explains that
this won't work, since rape isn't illegal. Another fine plan, all shot to
Kaedric meets with Archi, with Mandor present as Benedict's
representative, and asks him to remove the Ty Dahl from the books before
someone (like, oh, say, Melanie) challenges Benedict. Bill Roth is
summoned, and this is quickly done.
Sandr asks Tiberius for help. Tiberius says Dworkin's been
talking to them. Sandr decides that Dworkin is his savior, and asks
Tiberius to find him. Tiberius will do their best.
Melanie goes and sits with Eve. Kaedric joins her shortly
thereafter, and offers to try and wake Eve up. He accomplishes this, and
Eve hugs Melanie for a long time. Then she asks if she can leave the
dungeon. Melanie says that's up to Archi. Eve mentions that she has
information to trade. Melanie Trumps Archi and relays this. Archi comes
down to the dungeons. Eve explains that Delwin took possession of her
when she was 17, shortly before Maron's universe was destroyed. What
Delwin did to her body was done in some technological Shadow. She doesn't
think she's even in her own body, but she doesn't know where her real body
is. Archi says he will release her if she swears loyalty to Amber, him,
and Laughter. She does this, and is shown to a guest room. Melanie
explains to Eve the circumstances of Sandr's Ty Dahl, then Eve goes to
sleep. Melanie decides to stay with her, just in case. Kaedric smiles at
this. Melanie has just one word for him: "absinthe." He suddenly
remembers that he needed to talk to Archi about something.
Archi returns to his quarters with some conjured chocolate-covered
pretzels for Laughter, and is rather nonplused to find Kaedric there.
Kaedric tells him that the Cultists were conjuring enough absinthe to
knock Archi out that last time. They go over why alcohol affects Archi
the way it does, and Kaedric thinks he may be able to use shapeshifting
and absinthe to help the personalities mesh, but he's not up to it right
now. He's also spoken with Aelle, and Wickling knows more than they
should, so there is most likely a spy in Amber. Then he mentions that
he's in more trouble than he's ever known. Archi asks if it has something
to do with those missing four hours that Kaedric had mentioned earlier?
Yep. Kaedric asks how Laughter took it when they learned she was
pregnant. Not bad, but then she and Archi had discussed the possibility
beforehand. Archi asks how good a shapeshifter Kaedric is. He can't
remember much of anything from when he was drunk, and figures that Melanie
isn't going to be pleased if she's pregnant. Archi points out that
Kaedric can always use looking for the spy as an excuse to keep busy.
Especially since Archi wants him working on that anyway.
Caitlin goes to see her mother, tells her that it's hopeless, and
cries on her shoulder for a while. They decide to talk to Benedict.
Caitlin Trumps Benedict, and gets Mandor, who is intercepting Trump calls
for his client. Benedict doesn't wish to speak to anyone, especially not
her. Caitlin points out that this may be the last time he speaks to her.
Mandor tells her that for Benedict, his daughter ceased to exist for him
earlier this day. Caitlin breaks the contact and throws Benedict's Trump
out the window.
Caitlin finds Archimedes in his quarters. It's ten at night.
Caitlin asks for permission to speak freely, which he grants. She berates
him for first killing her family, and now killing the man she loves. She
pleads with him to change the type of trial. Archi explains that Benedict
is more a father to him than his own, and he finds it difficult to go
against his wishes. Caitlin points out that this puts a strain on her
oath. Archi points out what he's like when crossed.
Archi gets more visitors at eight the following morning. It's
Bill Roth and Archi's secretary. They inform Archi that the Chaos
delegation is here to watch the Ty Dahl. Actually, they're just outside
of Arden. Archi figures this proves the existence of the spy. He
confirms that Amberites still are to be shot on sight in Chaos, and then
rides out to meet the Chaosites. Alone.
Laughter Trumps Ulysses, and tells him what her stupid husband is
doing. He Trumps to Archi, and berates him for being stupid. Then
Ulysses assembles a bunch of Mok's mecha to accompany them. The Chaos
delegation consists of two Chaosites on horses, who turn out to be Calder
of Wickling, and his servant. Archi allows them to watch the Ty Dahl,
provided they obey Amber's rules.
Eve wakes up, and goes in search of Ulysses. She thanks him for
being kind to her when he thought she was his daughter.
It's finally three in the afternoon. There are three tables set
up for the Ty Dahl, with Ulysses and Fiona at one, Kaedric and Sandr at
the second, Mandor and Benedict at the third. Ulysses has Benedict state
his case. Benedict charges Sandr with two counts of oath-breaking. Sandr
pleads not-guilty. Benedict calls Anton as his first witness, and
confirms that Sandr swore an oath of fidelity to him. Then Caitlin is
called and asked if she is pregnant. Yep. Is Sandr the father? Yep.
Kaedric says that Sandr wishes to make a statement. This is allowed.
Sandr explains why things happened as they did, blaming it all on
emotional stress, and Caitlin seducing him. Then Caitlin testifies how
Sandr was not in his right mind, and that she took advantage of him.
Ulysses takes Calder aside, and asks if it matters whether or not Sandr
was willing. Nope. Ulysses pretends to deliberate a while longer, then
lets the not-guilty verdict stand. Which means that Sandr will walk the
Fire Pattern, as soon as the Patterns are repaired.
Three days pass. Perseus heals. A new Atherton Pattern is drawn,
and Archi is real tired. He also feels like he put a bit too much of
himself into that Pattern. Oops. The old Atherton Pattern is destroyed,
courtesy of Ulysses, using Sylvie's stored blood. Ulysses and Melanie
suffer no small amount of discomfort when their Atherton Pattern imprint
is erased. Archi rests for two days, then draws the Helgram Pattern,
rests another two days, and draws the Amblerash one. That leaves only
Vertix, who no one has been able to contact. Cameron is Trumped and
warned that they are going to destroy the Vertix universe, but he informs
them that the Vertix universe has been empty for days. Archi contacts
Kaedric and tells him to get cracking on that spy thing, since it's
starting to get annoying. Kaedric is sure that the spy is a family
Melanie spends the week watching Eve, and scrying into the future,
to determine Sandr's fate. He dies every time. She also walks the new
Archi manages to repair the Primal Pattern, with the help of
Laughter and Corwin. He feels like he should be dead, afterward. Ulysses
commands that Sandr will walk the Fire Pattern at noon tomorrow.
Laughter is not happy with Archi for risking his life with the
Patterns. She thinks that maybe the only reason he's alive is because his
soul is missing. Archi disagrees, and makes the mistake of mentioning
that he tested his own mortality the other day. She hits him in the
diaphragm, and yells at him. Then he conjures her some more chocolate-
covered pretzels, and she forgives him. They talk about the spy, who
still remains at large. Laughter thinks it's odd that in a week and a
half, Kaedric and Sylvie haven't found anything. She thinks the spy could
be one of them, or Cameron. Archi summons Fiona and Mandor, and explains
the situation to them. Fiona suggests that the spy may be Aelle as well.
She'll investigate the matter.
Noon. Benedict leads the way to the Fire Pattern, via the Green
sitting room this time. Ulysses allows only those involved, and Sandr's
Amber relatives, to watch Sandr's walk. Melanie gives him a hug and
wishes him luck. Sandr sets foot on the Fire Pattern. He feels himself
tested at the First Veil, and realizes that the First Veil on the other
Patterns is so difficult because of this one. The test weighs every time
he disobeyed authority. When he reaches the Second Veil, it weighs every
time he obeyed authority. As he walks along the Grand Curve, he senses a
contact from Dworkin, kind of like a Trump contact. He takes it. Dworkin
admits that the Fire Pattern wasn't the best of tests, but this gives him
more incentive to fix it next time. Sandr says he loves his family.
Dworkin notes that, unfortunately, that's something that Oberon never
respected. Sandr begs Dworkin to save him. Dworkin tells him to sleep
well, and Sandr is engulfed in a shower of sparks. Melanie glares at
Caitlin and Trumps out. Benedict looks at Caitlin, then hands Archi a
Trump that, according to Kaedric, will work wherever he goes. Archi
promises to only disturb him if necessary. Everyone begins to disperse,
leaving Caitlin to stare at the Fire Pattern alone.
"Mok is useless without Fiona." -- Claudio
"Mok is useless *with* Fiona." -- Dann
"Dude, Claudio has a thought. I mean Your Highness. Your Majesty." --
Mok to Archi
"So, (Sandr) slept with Benedict's daughter. This is good for him. He's
gay! He needs to sleep with more women." -- Claudio to Archi
"Anton, I love you more than anything in the universe. I had to leave you
several times to learn this, but..." -- Sandr to Anton
"You're a shapeshifter, your breasts defy gravity." -- Dann to Melanie
"I'm hobnobbing with the most powerful people in the universe, and they
have no more self-control than my two-year old." -- Anton "Guilty!" --
"Have you ever noticed that the older we get, the more paranoid we are?"
"I'm not getting old." -- Laughter
"No, but you are getting paranoid." -- Archi
"Your asses are too close together, and now the warning light is going
off." -- GM to the Dan(n)s
"(Melanie) couldn't wear a corset if she were pregnant, and that would
annoy her beyond belief." -- Kaedric to Archi
"That's rather unfortunate." -- Archi
"What is?" -- Caitlin
"That you love (Sandr)." -- Archi
"Maybe if I blow Ulysses..." -- Sandr to GM
"Uh, the odds of that happening are one in ten million to fuck no!" --
Dann, quoting Mer
"My stupid husband is riding out alone to meet the Chaos delegation, from
Chaos." -- Laughter to Ulysses
"(Ulysses) would grab a muffin, bemoaning the fact that he's once again
missing breakfast, thanks to the bastard that is his king." -- Dann to GM
"It's just a little spy network." -- Laughter to Archi
"So, have you forgiven me for saving our universe, yet?" -- Archi to Laughter
"Don't shatter my bubble of happy delusion." -- Kris
"Are you kidding, I live for that!" -- Dann
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