Session 36: "It's OK if you're not fair, because you can always change the
Archi spends much of the coronation reception dealing with the
various veiled threats, requests for autonomy, etc. Mok's mother, Ismene,
flirts with Archi, which annoys Laughter, so she sics Flora on the woman.
The kingdom of Cador, who backed Finndo, has only sent one of their
younger daughters to the reception, something that the kingdom of
Everlake, the local snitches, are happy to point it out. Representatives
from Dalt's kingdom of Kashfa are noticeably absent.
Melanie sets up an identity for Sandr in Shadow and finds him a
shrink, then Trumps him and pulls him through. He is informed of his
appointment the following morning and left to his own devices. Sandr
wanders around the local Azalea festival in town and adopts a cat that he
finds on his doorstop when he returns. He names the cat Ramses.
Melanie Trumps to Foil and looks around for Lady (Laughter's
second Pattern ghost). She finds her picking herbs by the river, along
with Adrian. Melanie cons Lady into going to Maron's universe, siting the
damage she could do to Amber's Pattern. Adrian decides she wants to tag
along too, since there's nothing left for her in the Amber universe.
Melanie Trumps to Ygg, and then Trumps Maron, who comes through to her.
She offers him Lady as a replacement for Odemma, instead of Laughter. He
is somewhat unenthusiastic about this, but doesn't say no. He reveals
that Benedict is responsible for destroying the Hendrake Pattern, and is
currently heading for the Atherton universe. Apparently he has a Pattern
dampening manacle on his wrist, and a Trump dampening one around his neck.
Maron also suggests that Melanie move the Eye, since it is visible to all
of the universes from Ygg. Melanie fills him in on recent events, and
tells him that Sandr is seeing a shrink. She asks if he's willing to
allow Lady and Adrian to enter his universe. He decides to accept them,
so Melanie brings them to Ygg, and they all depart for Maron's universe.
Melanie retrieves the Eye from its hiding place in Ygg, and Trumps back to
Just as Archi starts to fall asleep, Laughter sits up, announces
that she's hungry, and leaves. As she's returning from her food
expedition, she runs into Melanie, and they make idle conversation. As
they approach Archi's quarters, Melanie and Archi both get a headache, and
the Eye grows hot. Melanie Trumps to Foil. Archi runs out of his
quarters and into Laughter, as the Halybard demons start keening. Archi
realizes that the tree he left the Jewel in is on fire. He puts the fire
out, while Laughter retrieves the Jewel, which burns her as it flies into
her hand. Archi asks if Laughter knows what happened, and learns that
Melanie vanished right before all hell broke loose. He doesn't have
Melanie's Trump, so he decides it can wait until morning.
Melanie checks for any other surprises in the Eye, and finds none.
Not that this means much in this game. She encases it, ensorcelles it,
and buries it far beneath the ground in some Shadow near Foil. Then she
returns to Amber and collapses into an exhausted sleep.
Sandr gets up the next morning and talks with his shrink, Dr.
Edwards. He can't figure out why he's there. Just because he tried to
kill himself... They talk for a while, and Dr. Edwards suggests that he
invite a few people to dinner: a person he really likes and/or a complete
stranger. Sandr can't think of anyone that makes him feel happy, so he
decides to go for the stranger.
Ulysses wakes up and makes arrangements for the afternoon memorial
service for Random. Laughter instructs Archi in the art of being a king.
He also talks with Vialle and Bill Roth about where things were left when
Finndo invaded. Bill fills him in on some past family history, things
like the fact that Clarissa was always badgering Oberon to be King, while
with Cymnea, she was essentially the Queen and Oberon just took off.
Melanie finds a dress for the funeral, then finds Archi eating in
the dining hall. She fills him in on the Benedict situation, and tells
him that Ulysses has Atherton blood. While she's doing this, Sandr
notices that she has a second Pattern (why he didn't notice this before is
beyond me). He asks to speak to Archi privately, and they leave the room,
so Melanie finds a sitting room and spies on them. Sandr offers his hand
to Archi, who balks, not wanting to put his mind at the mercy of Sandr's.
Sandr blathers on about trivial things while insistently holding his hand
out. Archi eventually throws caution to the wind and takes it, at which
point Sandr tells him of Melanie's second Pattern. Melanie isn't fooled
by Sandr's cover chatter, and figures whatever message was just relayed
can't be good. Laughter asks Sandr what could ignite the Jewel. They
discuss lots of possibilities: the presence of Logrus, Pattern, another
eye of the Serpent... They also mention that Bleys disappeared after
Melanie's spying is interrupted by Balin, who notes that he could
use a set of Trumps like the ones that she's holding. Melanie brings him
to the library, but the case is magically protected. Not wanting to
disturb Archi, she Trumps Flora, figuring that she probably has the key,
but Flora doesn't answer. Melanie Trumps Ulysses next, who refuses to
give her the key without Archi's OK. He also tells her that she's a
bitch, because she shares information and knows about his Chaos
background. The fact that she rubbed his face in it doesn't help, either.
Melanie acts offended and breaks the contact. Balin offers to avenge the
insult that Ulysses did to her. The fact this might piss Archi off
doesn't seem to bother him. Melanie manages to dissuade him and Trumps
Archi, who has no problem with giving Balin a deck. She suggests that he
be the one to contact Ulysses with this information, since Flora's boy is
being rather rude to her. Archi Trumps Ulysses, who says "It's taken care
of." and breaks the contact before Archi can even speak. Ulysses then
uses a Trump gate to drop a Trump deck at Melanie's feet. Melanie gives
it to Balin, and gives him an introductory lesson in how to use the cards.
He kisses her hand and offers to escort her to the memorial service.
The memorial service takes place, and security is present in
force. Archi asks if the flying demons can be made invisible, so Laughter
does this. Of course, they can't see each other any more, so they begin
crashing into each other and falling to earth. One of them lands on a
guest. Laughter is mortified. Flora is embarrassed, and wishes Laughter
would stick to fighting. The funeral proceeds without further incident.
Melanie corners Sandr and asks what's bothering him. He
eventually admits that he noticed "the thing" in her head, meaning her
second Pattern, and he finds it offensive. Melanie manages to convince
him that it's a backup, in case something happens to the Amber Pattern,
since she never wants to be without a Pattern again. She asks if he's
told anyone of her second Pattern, and Sandr claims he's hasn't. Melanie
claims she trusts him in this.
Sandr returns to his Shadow, picks up a mathematician, and takes
him home for dinner.
Archi is informed that it's petition day, so he submits to his
fate. Bill Roth and Laughter are on hand to provide advice. Brenner,
Muriel's brother from Rebma, approaches and hands Archi a document that
purports Archi is married to Muriel. Archi says it is false. Brenner
claims Muriel remembers the marriage, but Archi doesn't trust her memory.
Brenner leaves the document with Archi, since he has a copy. Laughter is
miffed that Archi won't show it to her. After the petitions are over,
Archi Trumps Llewella, explains what happened, and asks her to look into
it. He also talks with Bill Roth, then goes to bed. Laughter pouts when
he brings his books to bed with him, since she wants some attention.
Archi does not prove difficult to persuade.
Ulysses Trumps Tianen and shows her the Trump of the woman that
Shandril claimed was Tianen. She denies this, and claims that she doesn't
recognize the woman. Ulysses tries the Trump and finds that it's actively
blocked. Tianen wants him to come through and join her in bed. He is
unwilling to do this, so she eventually comes through to him in hopes of
changing his mind. He asks if she can get the truth from Shandril. She
thinks Shandril will talk to Melanie, since they're friends, and offers to
help if he sleeps with her, which he does. She takes Melanie's form and
talks to Shandril. When she returns, he has to sexually coax the
information out of her. It turns out that Shandril doesn't know who hung
Ulysses from Ygg and made him a living Trump, she just made something up
to get Ulysses off of her case.
Fiona Trumps Archi and Laughter and tells them that Benedict is
now in the Atherton universe. Archi's says he's content to let things
ride, which annoys Fiona, since he's the one who asked her to track
Benedict in the first place. Archi notices that Sylvie is with Fiona.
Sylvie bursts in on Ulysses and blurts out the news about
Benedict, then notices her mother and runs out. Ulysses follows her and
gets the whole story. Sylvie is not cool about her parents sleeping
together. She tells Ulysses about Logrus madness, and how Tianen tried to
slit his throat in his sleep, which means she loves him. Whatever.
Sylvie finds this icky. She pouts that Cameron is ignoring her, something
that just makes Ulysses' day. They go over possible new love interests
for her. Vain is too stupid, and Balin is taken. Ulysses is very
interested in this latter statement, but Sylvie won't say by who, not even
for cookies. She was spying on Balin, you see. And Brenner... Ulysses
opts to take the information on Brenner. Apparently, he sailed to Kashfa
and disembarked there.
Sandr wakes up and hears someone playing his piano. It's Brand.
Sylvie wakes Melanie up and tells her about Benedict's arrival in
Atherton. She is miffed that Melanie already knew that Atherton was
Benedict's destination, but fills her in on Tianen and Ulysses anyway.
Melanie is not any happier about this than Sylvie is. They discuss Balin
and Ulysses' attitude towards Melanie. Melanie reveals that Ulysses is
the heir to House Atherton.
Sandr wakes up and finds that Brand is gone. He Trumps Melanie,
and won't take no for an answer. Melanie gets Sylvie to help her hold the
contact off until she can tell who it is. Once she realizes it's Sandr,
she lets it through. He comes through and orders Sylvie to leave. Sylvie
is furious at being ordered around by him, and storms off to talk with
Ulysses. Sandr blurts out the story of Brand's visit to Melanie. She
comforts him and listens to him freak out for a while. He's not sure if
he should Trump Brand, or wait for Brand to return. He decides the former
will get the pain over with sooner, so he returns to his Shadow and does
this thing, but Brand doesn't respond.
Archi does not go back to sleep after Fiona's call, but instead
goes to the library and finds Balin reading. He and Balin discuss Serii,
Balin's Shadow, and how he met Melanie. Balin says that Melanie pulled
him out as his Shadow was dissolving, but he never saw her before then.
Archi figures someone has to have seen him in order for Melanie to have a
Trump of him. Archi reads about Chaos, then goes to bed.
Ulysses comes by Archi's quarters the following morning to discuss
the Benedict problem. Laughter doesn't think there's anything to discuss.
Fiona can just show them where Benedict is, and then Ulysses can Trump to
him. Ulysses figures sure, OK, and leaves. Archi observes that Laughter
is cranky in the morning.
Ulysses returns to Tianen and gets her to join his little
expedition. Then he finds Sylvie, who starts to say something and then
stops. He sends her to see if Laughter is going with them. She is, and
Archi is coming too. Sylvie relays this to Ulysses, who disagrees with
Archi's presence and goes to Archi's quarters to tell him so. Laughter
Trumps Fiona, although Ulysses tries to block her, and Fiona glares at
Ulysses when she comes through. She says she's taking Ulysses to the
Atherton universe, but Archi and Laughter aren't going. Archi figures he
needs to be there to free Benedict from his manacles. Ulysses takes Archi
aside and points out that leaving Amber now would be stupid. If Benedict
wants the manacles removed, he'll have to return to Amber. Ulysses also
tells Archi what Sylvie learned about Brenner. Sylvie manages to convince
Fiona to let her come with them.
The threesome arrives at Ygg, at which point Ulysses tells Fiona
that, thanks anyway, but he'll make his own way. Sylvie wonders why he's
antagonizing Fiona. Fiona points out that she can put Ulysses right next
to Benedict, but he wants to go to the Atherton Pattern first. Fiona
leaves. Sylvie wants to get her blood supply and destroy the Atherton
Pattern, but Ulysses wants to walk it instead. This pleases Sylvie not at
all. Ulysses Trumps Tianen, and has her bring them to the Atherton
Pattern. He walks it, but Benedict is too far away for him to teleport
to. Apparently the Atherton Pattern has less range than the Amber one.
Ulysses asks the Pattern to take him as close to Benedict as it can, then
brings Tianen and Sylvie through to him. Ulysses spends a day figuring
out all the workings of his new Pattern.
Archi talks to the Everlake people about the Kashfan situation.
It's not good. Dalt isn't exactly pro-Amber, and he has a large army.
The Everlakes will pass along anything else they hear, but they're not
going to go out of their way to spy on Dalt. Archi realizes that he needs
to setup an information network.
"Mok's mother, Ismene, is flirting with you, which is pissing Laughter
off, so yes, (Ismene) is being friendly." -- GM to Archi
"This time everyone's invited (to the funeral)." -- Ulysses
"Not just the assassins." -- GM
"We're not going to have any cherries." -- Laughter to Archi, after the
Jewel burns down the cherry tree it was encased in
"God, you can't make yourself fire resistant? Lame." -- Wendi to Kris
"I have a problem with depression. I tried to kill myself three weeks
ago. So, my sister thinks I need help." -- Sandr to his shrink, Dr.
"When are you most happy?" -- Dr. Edwards
"When I'm in the middle." -- Sandr
"When are you in the middle?" -- Dr. Edwards
"Not today." -- Sandr
"(Dann) hasn't been touched in while. Play with him." -- Wendi to GM
"Why does that always happen to me? Not that specifically, but things
like that? And why do you keep putting ideas like that in my head?" --
Laughter, after the invisible demon disaster
"I won't do that anymore." -- Archi
"If only (Laughter) would just stay on the battlements and guard." --
Flora to Ulysses
"It's OK if you're not fair, because you can always change the rules." --
Laughter to Archi, on how to be a king
"Laughter wants to do the nasty." -- Dann
"She's the Queen, it's the royal nasty." -- GM
"You want (Ulysses) to marry Tianen?" -- Kris
"As long as he's marrying someone." -- Wendi
"I can't violate non-confidences." -- Sylvie to Ulysses
"Laughter may be her own woman, but Archimedes is not the brightest man."
-- Sylvie to Ulysses
"You're not inbred, not until you're children are. And even then, you're
not." -- GM to the group at large
"Would you like to Trump there or Hellride?" -- Fiona
"Are you out of your skull?" -- Ulysses
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