Session 33: "There's a real fine line between schizophrenic and kicking
Melanie frees Caine and Gerard and updates them on the family
death toll. Eric is added to the list, as his body lies rotting in the
next cell. Finndo apparently didn't believe in coddling his prisoners by
giving them things like medical care. Caine looks clueless and follows
Gerard around, so Melanie figures there's no way this is the real Caine.
She tries Caine's Trump and gets through to someone who looks nothing like
Caine, so he must be the genuine article. She tells him he's been
released from prison and breaks the contact. Then she Trumps to Brand's
study, finding much the same things as Sandr did. She thinks the
childhood journals have been forged, but is not sure about the rest. She
pockets the one about how to become a living Trump. Continuing her quest
for power, she casts a scrying lens into the past to look for the Jewel.
Unfortunately, Dworkin took it from Finndo when he rescued Laughter. Doh!
She also checks on Maron, and notices that he was in the middle of casting
a spell to destroy the party when he was killed. He's such a swell guy.
Archi awakens to learn that not only is Finndo dead, but Ulysses
killed him, with Cameron's help. Archi decides this is more than his head
can handle and goes to bed. So does Laughter.
Ulysses starts drawing a Trump of Beauty, but it animates while
he's still doing the face. Beauty is quite confused, since he left only a
few minutes ago. He pulls his family through. To the other players'
dismay, Hewitt comes through as well.
Melanie Trumps Archi and tells him that Caine and Gerard have been
freed, one of the armies is gone from Amber, the other two consist of
Bridget's troops and the surviving Halybard demons, and, by the way, she
knows where the Jewel is. Archi wastes no time accepting her offer to
bring him to it. Despite his attempts to convince her otherwise, Laughter
goes with him. The boy should just give it up.
Sylvie Trumps Cameron and tells him she won't be coming home. He
doesn't seem remotely disappointed. She breaks the contact in a huff.
Ah, that Cameron charm.
Mok finishes up whatever he was doing in Gaia, puts on armor and
sword, plus some normal clothes. Whether he put the clothes on over or
under the armor is a question nobody wanted to ask. Then he Trumps
someone. No one in particular, just whoever he finds first in his deck.
GMs hate it when you do that, so guess who he picks? Cameron. Didn't
Martin do something similar to Sandr? Cameron, the ever-popular, is less
than thrilled to be woken up. Perhaps he should invest in a psychic
barrier? He updates Mok on the situation in his own unique way, leaving
Mok more confused than when he began.
Melanie brings Archi and Laughter to Ygg, where Dworkin and Sandr
are still busily spreading fertilizer. Dworkin gives Archi the Jewel and
his approval, which mostly consists of "Good luck, we're doomed anyway."
Archi and Laughter leave before Dworkin can recruit them for fertilizer
Melanie tells Sandr that she wants to walk the Pattern, since she
apparently didn't learn her lesson when her last imprint was burned out of
her skull. Sandr figures she may as well do it right and offers to bring
her to the Primal one. He also asks how much she knew of what Maron was
doing before he died, which turns out to be nothing. This apparently is
Sandr's idea of small talk. They reach the Primal Pattern without
difficulty and Melanie begins to walk it. Archi, Laughter and Ulysses
arrive shortly after she starts. There's no sign of the Jewel, but
everyone knows Archi's got it, since the Primal Pattern isn't exactly a
popular picnic spot. Mok Trumps Archi, who tells him to get his armies.
Again. Mok sets about doing so, like a good puppy dog. Melanie finds
Dworkin's Pattern much harder going than Brand's, and the GM reveals that
the further you are generationally from the person who drew a Pattern, the
more difficult it is to walk it. This will no doubt be problematic in a
couple of generations, but hey, it's not our problem. Melanie makes the
center and teleports back to the sideline gang, at which point Archi takes
his turn and attunes himself to the Jewel. This accomplished, he realizes
that he can use the Jewel to block Trump, create and remove Pattern
manacles, remove Logrus manacles, walk the Pattern in the Jewel, control
the tech level in Amber, control the weather, and all sorts of neat stuff.
While he's figuring all of this out, Melanie thoughtfully observes to
Laughter that no one who's attuned themselves to the thing has lived very
happily, if they've lived for long at all.
Archi teleports back to the others and returns to Foil with
Laughter and Ulysses. He questions Laughter about storing the Jewel by
treeing it. Nifty way to keep it from being stolen. Would that the
monarchs in other games had been so cautious. He also asks Laughter what
happened when she was held by Maron and Finndo. She reveals that she
claimed Ulysses was the father of her child. But she was kidding.
Honest. Comparisons are made by the players between
Archi/Laughter/Ulysses and Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot. The resemblance is
Ulysses looks in on his new family, and all is well. At least
until Cameron shows up and drags Ulysses off to talk to him about
something or other.
The dawn of a new day. Archi Trumps Llewella, who tells him that
Moire is thinking of abdicating. Eek. He brings Vialle through, and they
discuss funeral arrangements for Random. Then Vialle proceeds to discuss
Laughter with Caitt. Archi wants no part of this death culture, so he
Trumps Flora. Flora tells him that Fiona is acting like a petulant child,
and demands he remove the problem. Bleys is just drooling, so she'll keep
him for a while. One wonders how this is different from their normal
behavior. Fiona follows a cookie through the Trump contact, then turns
around and punches Flora through the contact. It's just her way of saying
thanks for all of Flora's help. Archi orders her to stand in the corner.
Then he turns her over to Laughter and Ulysses. Delegation or saving his
neck? You be the judge.
Laughter decides she wants to see her granddaughter and dumps
Fiona on Ulysses, figuring he's seen plenty of his daughter already.
Fiona asks if Dworkin did "that" to Ulysses, but naturally she won't
explain what "that" is. After much prodding, she says she's not certain
he's been made a living Trump, since Brand's fountain was destroyed, and
asks him to carry her up to bed. Ulysses decides to put this living Trump
thing to the test and cuts himself. To his dismay, it heals instantly.
He Trumps Dworkin and asks what's going on, but Dworkin denies any
responsibility. What a surprise.
Sandr tells Melanie that Maron is really the savior of the
Universe. Uh-huh. Melanie plays the good news/bad news game. The good
news? Maron isn't dead. The bad news? He's comatose. Another addition
to the Brand vegetable garden. They get to hear Dworkin's end of his
Trump conversation with Ulysses, which makes about as much sense as any
conversation with Dworkin does. Melanie asks Dworkin just how one does
destroy a Pattern, anyway, other than that messy blood method. He says
the best way is to unwalk them with the eye that was used to create them.
Much more effective than the blood method, although that seemed to work
well enough for Cymnea. Unfortunately, this has the side affect of
killing anyone in that universe. And the walker. Unless, you're a living
Trump, of course. Now who do we know that fits that description....?
Archi asks Ulysses to draw him a Trump of Mok. He draws a smiley
doodle, which instantly becomes Mok. Ulysses proudly hands this to Archi,
who sees nothing but a smiley face. He balls it up and tells Ulysses that
it was very funny. Ulysses files this fact away and starts working on the
It occurs to Sky that she's still wearing the Pattern-blocking
manacle that Finndo gave her, and while it makes a lovely bracelet, she'd
really like to take it off. Archi shows off his new Jewel abilities and
removes it for her.
Archi has Laughter untree Vain, who thanks him by trying to
backhand him. Archi easily avoids it, then proceeds to point out why it's
in Vain's best interest to persuade Bridget to leave Amber, seeing as how
Finndo and Maron are dead. Even Vain can see the logic in this. Archi
also explains the story of his life to Vain, who recognizes Archi from his
Shadow's history and notes that Archi should have been dead a long time
ago. Archi introduces Vain to Flynn and then hides from the carnage. Or
tries to, but first Sky must be introduced to Vain as well. What a cozy
nuclear family we have going here.
Ulysses asks Laughter if she thinks his insta-healing is some
aspect of shapeshifting. She doesn't think so, since her wounds usually
hurt before they heal, but says he really should be asking Sylvie.
Ulysses is less than thrilled with this idea and asks her not to reveal
his secret to anyone. Then they argue about whether Fiona will recover.
Laughter explains how she told Finndo and Maron that Ulysses was the
father of her child. Ulysses isn't concerned. Laughter wonders if the
fact that he killed Finndo is bothering Ulysses. You think?
Archi finally gets that Trump of Mok from Ulysses and proceeds to
use it. They spend some time discussing battle plans and such.
Cameron takes Vialle on a tour of the gardens. Then he talks to
him mother about the demon army in Amber. She berates him for knowing so
little. Cameron complains that this is because no one tells him anything.
Rhiannon points out that those of House Vertix don't need people to tell
them things in order to learn what's going on. Hmm, maybe if Cameron
hadn't alienated everyone outside of Sylvie, he'd have better luck.
Sandr augments his fertilizing sessions with some Trump lessons
from Dworkin. Melanie hangs around long enough to realize that she's
heard this all before from Brand and splits. She spends a few days
drawing Trumps and spying on yet another one of Archi's offspring. This
one rules a kingdom near Chaos, and actually seems to have some
intelligence. Must have been a fluke of nature. Problem is, his borders
are getting eaten by the Badlands, some of his people are getting sucked
into other universes, and nasty things are dropping out of nowhere and
roaming his land. I think you can put him down as not being happy with
the new order in Chaos.
Ulysses learns some API shit, namely Pattern lens, from Fiona,
who's much better now, thank you. Mok Trumps him at some point to get a
Trump of Sandr.
Cameron learns some more advanced shapeshifting skills, even
though it means putting up with his mother while he does so.
Melanie offers her assistance to Archi in destroying the Chaos
Patterns, whenever he gets around to it. He says he may take her up on it
later, but first he'd kind of like to get Amber secured.
Archi includes both of his sons in his plans for retaking Amber.
Both are good fighters, but Vain is a bit on the stupid side. Now there's
an understatement. He reminds Archi of Martin when he was young, so there
may be hope for him. Archi also makes use of Sky and Laughter in his
plans. No mention is made of how Ulysses, the nigh-invulnerable, fits
After a few days of solid Trump lessons, Sandr finally gets the
hang of it. Well, some of it. He sketches Melanie first, so he can more
easily pester her, and to his joy (and Melanie's dismay) it works. She
pulls him through and they discuss what he wants to do. He's still upset
about how he was left behind in Foil. She suggest that he either leave or
have it out with them. After the usual Sandr indecision, he decides to at
least offer his help in dealing with the Patterns in Chaos. Melanie
suggests it might be more helpful if he told this to Archi. Sometime
during this, Mok Trumps Sandr, to talk about Trump, of course.
Archi drops in to see his foster granddaughter-in-law. Laughter
is already there, and gives Archi an idea of what he's in for once his
children are born. Archi is still getting used to the novel concept of
being there while your children grow up, as opposed to finding them in
Shadow when they're adults. Laughter has Archi sit in on one of her
Judgment Days, so he can practice being a king. He'll be all set,
assuming he actually holds Judgment Days. They also decide to embalm
Random and bury him in Amber, once they get around to retaking it.
Sandr and Melanie manage to find Archi, at which point Sandr does
the mature thing and tries to hide behind Melanie. Melanie pushes him
forward, at which point Sandr forgets what he had to say and goes on at
length about how he's lonely and not powerful, but he doesn't want to be
exiled. It's really quite pathetic. Archi thinks he's selling himself
short, since most people think Sandr has too *much* power. Sandr offers
his skill at seeing into the future. Archi agrees to give him a clean
slate, but if he does anything while he's sick, there will be
consequences. Sandr whines that he can't control his mood swings, at
which point Melanie hits upon another use for the Jewel: drug control.
Archi is more than willing to allow Sandr's medicine to work in Amber.
Sandr starts to cry. Melanie comforts him, while wondering if maybe he
was adopted. Archi figures Sandr hasn't had nearly enough psychological
torment for one day and suggests he talk to Ulysses. Sandr wants Melanie
to go with him, but she's had quite enough Sandr hysterics for the moment.
She does help him find Ulysses, who's hiding in the nursery with his
daughter. Sandr mentions that he must owe Melanie some 300 favors, but
who's counting? Certainly not Melanie. And if you believe that, I have
some swampland in Florida for you. Sandr offers his apologies to Ulysses,
in a speech that probably rivaled the one he gave to Archi in terms of
pathos, but fortunately I was paying attention to something else. Check
Sandr's diary if you really must know. In the end, Ulysses tells Sandr
that they're still friends, just to get him out of the room.
Archi decides to meditate for a while, no doubt to clear the image
of Sandr sniveling from his mind. This quiet time is interrupted when a
na siogai pops out of a tree. Guess Laughter forgot where she put some of
them. Archi suggests he go home, but he no longer has a home to go back
to, since Laughter kind of exterminated most of his race. Archi brings
him to Laughter instead, a prospect that pleases the na siogai not at all.
Laughter suggests he find those surviving na siogai who are tired of
pretending to be human and offer them the chance to move to their own
Shadow. He says he'll consider it. As if he has much of a choice.
Shandril Trumps Melanie and says she thinks she knows why Maron
isn't recovering. He's a living Trump, you see, a popular occupation of
late. Apparently he became one within in the past five days, during which
he also drew the Halybard Pattern. Seems like Maron's been busy a busy
boy. Shandril thinks that being a living Trump interferes with
Shapeshifting, which normally isn't a problem because you can't be hurt.
Apparently it's something you can turn off, though, and Maron conveniently
did so right before Sky came along. Now the two forces are fighting each
other in his body. Melanie theorizes that moving Maron to a place where
Trump doesn't work will allow him to heal. Good guess. Conveniently,
there are such places in Shandril's labyrinth, so Maron is brought there
where he does, indeed, heal.
"*Ulysses* killed Finndo? What's wrong with this picture." -- Archi to
"Finndo's dead. Random's dead. Most everyone is dead." -- Cameron
"So, how's everything other than that?" -- Mok
"You're a lore master, if ever I met one." -- Mok to Cameron, after his
confusing rendition of Finndo's death.
"They rape your horses and ride off on your women." -- Liam
"Vialle's been crying for at least ten hours? Well, her husband's dead, I
guess that makes sense." -- Liam
"You can take my sister back anytime you like!" -- Flora to Archi,
referring to Fiona
"Fiona, darling. Cookies!" -- Flora to Fiona
"There's a real fine line between schizophrenic and kicking your ass." -- Dann
"Laughter as Queen will be one of those 'I'm guarding the battlements'
types." -- Flora to Archi
"Archimedes knows about (my being a living Trump)." -- Ulysses
"That's good. That means if I talk in my sleep it won't be bad." -- Laughter
"(Ulysses) is either watching his baby, or Fiona, since she's equally
useless." -- Dann
"What do you know about Laughter?" -- Archi
"The Hell bitch." -- na siogai
"The Hell bitch and my wife." -- Archi
"Sorry about that. It's meant as a term of respect." -- na siogai
"Can you go back where you came from and not return?" -- Archi
"I don't like the tree." -- na siogai
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