Session 28: "My god, I'm talking to walls."
Mok tells his friends in Gaia of his adventures. They think he's
nuts, but harmless, so they leave him alone. He jams with a band, then
slows down Gaia and returns to Amber. There's no one in the castle, so he
tries to leave, but the door won't open. He finds Sylvie in the pantry,
looking disoriented. She's confused, but she doesn't know why. Mok is in
turn confused by this. Sylvie says she doesn't know who she is. Mok
tells her she's Sylvie, but she disagrees. He checks this out and learns
that her name is Guinevere. She remembers walking the Pattern a long time
ago and says that she used to be Sylvie, but now she's not. She doesn't
have any cool Trumps, so they decide to get some from the library. When
they reach the second floor, they encounter Laughter, although, naturally,
she's not Laughter, she's Lark. She came from the Pattern, you see. She
just walked it. She was talking to her mother, Fiona before that. Mok
wants to check the Pattern out. Or find Fiona. He skips off (his words,
not mine) to the Pattern room and runs into himself at the top of the
stairs. Or rather, he runs into Bernand. Bernard reveals that he just
walked the Pattern, but Fiona isn't in there. Mok can't go in there
because the castle forbids it. Mok handles this news remarkably well. He
goes to the dining room and asks the castle what's going on. It complains
that everyone left. It won't let him walk the Pattern because he'd leave
if it didn't interfere and he'd die if it did. Sky walks in, only she's
not Sky, she's Diana. Mok suggests that may be enough and that the castle
should stop. It agrees, leaving Mok with three beautiful women and
himself. One wonders why the castle thought Mok would like another one of
Sky's servant finds quarters and begins leading her to them.
Merlin intercepts her and offers her his arm. Sky still thinks he's a
weenie, but she lets him escort her anyway. He takes her out to dinner in
an attempt to change her mind about him. Some people never learn.
Melanie wakes up on a grassy knoll in her nightgown with a
headache and no Pattern imprint. Not a good way to start the day. She
calls for her dogs, but they don't come. She Trumps Eve, but gets no
response. Same with Maron, although he seems to be closer. Brand is
reachable, but harried. He can't stop her but he can't talk to her.
Odemma's Trump doesn't even grow cold. She scouts the area both as a wolf
and in her Chaos form, but can't find anything other than mist. Lots of
mist. Somehow, she gets the feeling it would not be wise to touch the
mist. She flies up and finds that the mist is thinner up there so she
opts to fly instead of walk.
Archi talks with Random. He doesn't think releasing Tianen was a
good idea. Does anyone (besides Ulysses) think it was? Random thinks
Finndo is the one who woke the castle up, and only a Logrus master can
undo it. Archi decides he'd rather be discussing wedding plans with
Laughter, who figures a wedding in Rebma is fine with her. Provided
Random is still getting along with Llewella. He is (for the most part),
so Archi tells Llewella about it. Then he goes to find a hotel, which
just happens to be the one where Sky and Merlin are eating. Archi notes
Merlin looks better (compared to being dead, that's not hard to do).
Merlin doesn't really want to discuss this. Archi asks Sky how she's
doing. Sky explains about her fight with Sandr over Eve, including the
fact that he tried to hurt her but the castle stopped him and she hung him
out the window. She adds that if he does it again, she'll kill him.
Seems to be a popular sentiment in Amber. Archi warns Sky not to make eye
contact with him. Merlin figures that will give you 15 seconds in which
to take him out. Given Sandr's marvelous fighting skills, that should be
more than enough.
"Ulysses" offers to continue Sandr's Trump education. Sandr is
surly and wants to put Eve to bed and do it tomorrow. He complains that
they aren't staying together. Ulysses says he has to talk to Sylvie,
since she knows about last night. Sandr is not thrilled about this.
Ulysses says he also needs to find Tianen and leaves to do so. Sandr
finds Eve and tells her they'll be staying in town. They discuss names
for the kitty Sylvie gave her. Eve wants to name it dog. But in another
language. Like Greek. Which would be Hippas. Don't ask.
Cameron tells the castle that it's being really tacky and
inconsiderate. It hits him with a paving stone. Sylvie gives Cameron a
"you are stupid" look. Cameron ignores her and spats with the castle some
more before tiring of the game. She wants to go to dinner with him, since
Ulysses left her alone. Cameron suggests he may be with Sandr. For some
reason, Sylvie doesn't want to talk about that. They wind up eating at an
inn called the Slaughtered Lamb. Well, it's better than the Moose and
Ulysses gets bored with hanging from Ygg, so he tries to Trump
Sylvie, but fails. A wolf jumps out of the tree, licks his face, and
whines. He looks into its eyes and finds it's Laughter, but not the
Laughter he knows. There's a lot of that going around. He tries to talk
to Laughter, but she goes to sleep and doesn't wake up until dawn
approaches. He asks why she's here. She bites his neck and leaves.
Fortunately for Ulysses, the wound heals in about three seconds. Ygg
wakes up, and Ulysses asks it again to free him. It says it would cost
him a limb, and those who left Ulysses there would be pissed. Ulysses
says he could protect Ygg. And when he's not there, Sandr could do it.
For some reason Ygg doesn't believe that Sandr will be defend it. It
suggests that the wolf who used to be a part of it might help. Ulysses is
less than thrilled with this idea. He complains that she bit him. It
points out that he lived. Besides, if he dies on Ygg, he becomes a part
of it. Bummer. Ulysses manages to convince Ygg to at least have the
nymph sew some leaves into clothes for him.
Mok Trumps himself and sets up a lovely infinite loop. He gives
up on this and Trumps Laughter. Apparently the castle hasn't thought to
block outside Trumps yet, because he gets through. Archimedes wants
Laughter to pull Mok through. Mok argues at first, then comes through.
Unfortunately, he brings all of the Pattern ghosts with him. Merlin's
dinner just keeps getting worse and worse. Mok explains what happened to
him and asks what's up with the castle. He's told that Benedict is the
authority on the subject. Mok comments that Merlin was dead, last he saw.
How very tactful. Merlin says he was a ghost, but he walked the Pattern
and became real. Mok asks the Pattern ghosts if they want to return, but
for some reason they find the prospect of spending their lives trapped in
the castle unappealing. Archi and Laughter suggest that Mok talk to one
of the red-heads about what to do with the ghosts, but Bleys and Fiona are
gone, and everyone agrees that Sandr would be a bad choice. So Mok Trumps
Random, who figures Mok brought them out so he's stuck with them until
they're gone. Lovely. Mok catches up on what's happened while he was
gone. Archi admits that they don't know if the fog in Shadow has affected
their Shadow shifting abilities. Laughter suggests that this would be a
good time to retire for the night. Archi takes the hint and they leave.
Mok asks again if any of the ghosts want to go back to the castle. The
ghosts look at each other and say they must talk. Mok decides to spy on
Merlin asks Sky if she wants to go to the theater. She begs off
(what a surprise) and goes to bed. She dreams she's sitting on top of
Kolvir, but there's no castle and only six stars in the sky. Then one of
them falls to earth, turns into a woman and walks into a tree. The
significance of this is lost on Sky (and the rest of us).
Melanie tries the rest of her Trumps. The one of Tianen's home in
Chaos works. Melanie figures it's better than foggy Shadow and goes
through. No one is there, but the place has definitely seen better days.
There are orange trees pushing up through the floor in several places and
there is cat hair everywhere. Not wanting to wander around in her
nightgown forever, Melanie raids Tianen's closet for something more
suitable. Then she checks out the area bordering Tianen's lands. House
Halybard's lands on one side seem equally abandoned, but House Vertix, on
the other side, is still there. Melanie makes her way over there to see
if they know what happened.
Archimedes spends the night making Laughter happy. She's worried
that she can't contact Beauty, so he suggests they set out for Foil
Sandr asks Eve how she's doing. Unsurprisingly, she misses home.
She says she likes playing "the game," where you shapeshift and chase each
other around. Sandr asks when she last talked to her father, and learns
it was the day before she left. She's cool with staying as long as
Sylvie's around. Apparently she likes Sky, although the blue hair is
weird, as is Archi's green hair. Sandr offers to take her to an
underwater place where everyone has hair like this. Eve is up for it.
They play Chess for a while and then Eve goes to bed. Sandr searches for
Ulysses with the Pattern but can't him, so he asks a guard to tell Random
of this. As if Random will care that Sandr can't find his love muffin.
Sandr can't find Tianen either, although what he would have done if he had
is unclear. He is able to find Sylvie and is happy to know that at least
he can locate somebody.
Cameron and Sylvie discuss her plan, which is to sleep in a tent
in Arden, guarded by Melody and Morgenstern. You were expecting something
else? Sylvie thinks Tianen might be in Chaos and hopes she's not doing
something bad. However, Sylvie thinks she can stop Tianen if she is. She
bases this belief on the fact that she walked the Pattern the previous
night, which she figures gives her a means of protecting herself against
Logrus. Cameron is doubtful and decides to stay with her in Arden. She
curls up by Morgenstern and goes to sleep. Jubal appears, looks askance,
and disappears. Cameron calls him a plonker. Jubal tells him not to
shout in the forest and vanishes again. It's going to be a long night for
Day three dawns for Ulysses. Laughter brings him water and claims
that she doesn't know why she bit him. He tries to persuade her to let
him down. She says Ygg would stop her and she doesn't like fighting. She
points out that his throat healed instantly. Ulysses doesn't see the
point, so she claims she doesn't either. She tells him that maybe if
stays the whole nine days this time, some things won't happen. The last
time she saw him, Archi had no tongue. Then they went to their universes,
her Pattern was destroyed and she fled to Ygg. She's not sure evacuating
the castle was a good thing. He asks her again to free him, but she says
she did that the last time, and they're doing everything differently. She
does come back with a sheet the next day, along with water and some
grapes. She wraps him in a toga and warns him that if you cross more than
two Shadows, you run into fog and fall unconscious. She asks if he'd
become a shapeshifter, if he had the opportunity. He doesn't think so.
She says they'd better stop what they're doing in that case. Apparently
they're trying to enact something in his blood and she thinks that's why
she bit him. Ulysses is less than thrilled by this and asks her to
describe the two who left him. She describes them as a red-haired man and
a brunette woman. He recognizes them as Maron and Shandril. Laughter
thinks Shandril is able to control Ygg through her pendant, which looks
like a swan. Laughter tells Ulysses that has to return to the tree soon,
since she's dying due to the destruction of her Pattern. She's not sure
how Corwin managed to survive. She does offer to keep him company while
he hangs there. He finds this less than comforting. She suggests that
the days would pass more quickly if he was quiet. She also mentions that
she has time magic, so he asks her to speed things up. It will hasten her
death, and it will still seem like nine days to him, but what the heck.
Mok tries to spy on the Pattern ghosts, but they're out in the
open in the graveyard and he can't get close enough to hear them without
attracting their attention. They notice him anyway and tell him the
conversation doesn't involve him. He's concerned that they'll cause
trouble, which will get him in trouble. They say they're considering
finding their own Shadow. Mok decides this is cool and Trumps to the
castle gates. He addresses the castle, gets no answer, and walks up to
the gate. Bad move. The castle slams the gate in his face and breaks his
nose. It's mad because he took the others and he broke his promise and
left. He points out that he's back, but he doesn't think the others will
return. That's OK, it's made more (kind of like the Doritos slogan). It
admits it would have kept him there, because people outside of the castle
are bad. It wants to keep people safe inside of it. You see, Finndo
wouldn't have woken it up if he wasn't going to do something. Finndo,
Osric and Benedict put it to sleep the first time. Naturally, it doesn't
know when it will happen, but it will be soon and has to do with Dworkin.
Mok suggests he could convince the others to return if it would let them
go. It's all for him luring them back, but won't promise to allow them to
come and go, because they must be kept safe.
The ninth day dawns. Laughter looks wasted. She cuts her wrist
and forms a blood bird. Then she returns to the tree. At the end of the
day, Ulysses falls and the fog dissipates. He finds his Trump deck and
goes in search of a shower and a change of clothes in some miscellaneous
Shadow. After nine days of pissing on himself, he needs to. The blood
bird goes with him.
Melanie travels to Vertix and learns that House Halybard and
Tianen's place were destroyed in the Shadow storms caused by the creation
of a Pattern six years ago. Naturally, they don't specify which Pattern,
and Melanie doesn't ask. She also learns that the fog is gone. In
return, she tells them that she came from Shadow, but the fog hampered her
traveling. They observe that they were unaware that she'd taken the
Pattern or Logrus. She smiles but doesn't comment and returns to
Tianen's. She Trumps Eve again and it works this time. Eve was sleeping
but she's glad to see her aunt. Melanie asks if Eve is with her parents.
Eve thinks her Mom's dead and she doesn't know where her Dad is. She asks
Melanie to come through to her. Melanie does so, much to Sandr's dismay.
Melanie explains that she's Eve's aunt. She promises Eve that she'll look
for her father if she goes to sleep. Eve finds this agreeable and goes
back to sleep. Sandr and Melanie go into the hall and get acquainted in
the typical Amber fashion. That is to say they pump each other for
information. Sandr quizzes her about who she is. She quizzes him about
what happened to Brand. Sandr blames Maron for Brand's death and thinks
he's scum for leaving his daughter to die. Melanie doesn't think Maron
killed Brand, since he knew Brand's universe would be destroyed if that
happened, and he wouldn't leave Eve to die. She also learns that Finndo
and Tianen were both imprisoned for their failed attempts to take the
throne of Amber, but both escaped. Sandr mentions his concern over
Ulysses disappearance. Melanie repeatedly suggests that he either go look
for Ulysses or go to sleep. Eventually, he leaves.
Melanie Trumps Maron and tells him that Cymnea is dead, killed by
Archimedes. She also tells him that Sandr claims he was with Cymnea when
Brand was killed and blames him for Brand's death. He tells her he didn't
know what Cymnea was going to do to Brand and only woke up this morning.
He's relieved to hear that she's found Eve, since he lost his Trump deck
in the destruction and had no way to contact her. Melanie wakes Eve up
and passes her through to her father. She also gives Maron a Trump of
herself and says she'll see what she can do about getting him some more.
Maron warns Melanie that she shouldn't walk the Pattern any time soon.
Melanie expresses no desire to do so. Then she goes to sleep.
With the fog gone, Laughter is able to Trump to Foil and ascertain
that Beauty is fine. They return to Amber. Archi Trumps Ulysses and
pulls him through. Ulysses explains what happened to him. They are
incredulous, to say the least. Laughter doesn't seem to like the idea of
a 3,000 year-old version of herself running around as a wolf and biting
Sandr isn't real happy to learn that Maron retrieved Eve. Melanie
gets some clothes to replace Tianen's and accepts Sandr's invitation to
Cameron talks with Caine. Caine wants him to spy on his
grandmother. Cameron breaks the contact when Sylvie wakes up and suggests
they get breakfast. She wants orange juice. Apparently she left her
supply behind at Tianen's house.
The younger generation all get messages instructing them to meet
at the inn where Sandr is staying. Sandr introduces Melanie to everyone.
Mok thinks she's a babe (how out of character for him). Melanie tells
Sylvie that she's changed since the last time they spoke. Sylvie doesn't
wish to discuss this. Melanie asks Archi if he is the one who killed
Cymnea. He admits this. Ulysses tells his story. Melanie suggests he
may have imagined it. Sandr tells Melanie that he warned her breakfast
would be like this. After he babbles some more, Melanie observes that he
didn't sleep much last night.
Laughter mentions that she is getting married to Archi tomorrow.
Melanie learns that Laughter is the Halybard heir and asks when she's
planning to visit her House. Laughter isn't concerned, since it's only
been a few days since Cymnea died. Melanie explains that it's been six
years in Chaos. Laughter decides that she should pay a visit to Chaos.
Archi asks how close Halybard is to Hendrake, and is relieved to learn
they are several Ways away. Laughter tries to think of others who could
be the heir. Eve for example, or Dara. Melanie asks how Laughter
descends from Cymnea and learns it's through Mandor, which causes her to
insist that Laughter has the strongest claim.
Melanie asks Ulysses which houses stole the Serpent's eyes. They
decide the best way to stop the future Ulysses saw is to prevent the eyes
from being stolen. Archi asks Melanie who watches over them. Melanie
reveals it's the Head of Halybard, meaning Laughter. She explains that
the Head of Halybard is also the ruler of the demon underworld. Laughter
is so thrilled to hear this. She decides to leave for Chaos tomorrow.
Archi, Sky and Mok say they'll go with her. Melanie asks what this does
to Laughter's wedding plans. She and Archi decide to get married today.
Ulysses mentions that he doesn't like Melanie's brother. Not
Sandr (the one everyone else dislikes), the other one. Laughter asks who
Melanie's mother is. Archi suggests this is getting a little personal for
breakfast. Laughter is hoping it was Cymnea. Melanie assures her this
isn't the case. Ulysses comments that he doesn't think much of Chaosites.
Archi tells Melanie that not all Amberites feel this way. Melanie learns
Ulysses is Sylvie's father. She asks if Cameron has spent time in Chaos.
He won't say what house he belongs to, asking "Don't you know?" Finding
Tianen is discussed. Sylvie thinks she may be hiding underneath Kolvir.
No one leaps to volunteer to go looking for her down there.
"You mean the door (to the outside) won't open? Oh that's bad." -- Mok to
"My god, I'm talking to walls." -- Mok to the castle
"I'm staying, I'm not going anywhere. I admit, I tried to leave before,
but that was before I knew the walls could talk." -- Mok to the castle
"Besides, I'm not gay, I'm bisexual." -- Ulysses to Sandr
"If we pay the innkeeper enough, he'll let us do anything." -- Sylvie to
the Log list