Session 39: "Do not sleep with the living dick.  He *will* get you

	Merlin meets with Archi and gives him Ghostwheel as a coronation
present.  Archi finds his wedding ring, which he'd lost when he was
imprisoned by Abigail, along with an enigmatic note which reads: "Thought
you might need this. -- A Friend."  Archi uses the ring to find Laughter,
who is sitting in a cave, staring vacantly into space (not that this is
all that different from her normal expression).  Archi sets his trusty
advisor to retrieving her.  And so Laughter returns, quite a bit larger
than when she left, and still amnesiac to boot.  She remembers Ulysses,
though.  Hmmm.  Remember that Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot parallel?  Mandor
is summoned to take a look at Laughter and determines that she's under a
spell, which is causing her to re-live her life at a rapid rate.  The
spell will end a week or so after the children are born, which should be
Real Soon Now.  Mandor could stop the spell, of course, but then Laughter
would still have partial amnesia.  Archi decides to let the spell run its

	Claudio tries to figure out what's going on by pestering Benedict,
but has to be satisfied with Caine instead.  Caine is as helpful as he
ever is, which is to say not at all.  Claudio Trumps Archi next, who is a
bit more helpful.  Claudio spends some time in the training room, then
gets Mok to show him how to pilot Mecha.

	Sandr is hanging around Amber, so of course he gets corralled by
Fiona.  They discuss the changing nature of the universe.  Fiona tells him
that the Primal Pattern is being drained and persuades him check it out by
bribing him with a burger.  He walks it and figures there's a drain
between the first and second veil.  Fiona wishes him luck with his
project.  He denies he has one.  Really.

	Caitlin and Graham get a contract from Herne to deliver three
wagonloads of potash to the wizard Arawn.  Potash, BTW, is fertilizer that
blows up real good.  Caitlin is brought in to see Arawn, and instead finds
two men, one with blond hair, one with red.  The blond says "My name is
Legion."  Everyone tries not to laugh.  Caitlin is advised not to see
Arawn, because he'll have her killed.  Caitlin doesn't understand this. 
Legion hands her a bundle and tells her to take it to the Crown Prince. 
Graham thinks they should leave now.  Caitlin checks out the bundle and
finds a tarot card of a petite, red-haired woman, a note, and a flute. 
They leave, but don't get far before they must take shelter from a storm. 
Caitlin studies the card, which grows cold in her hand, so she drops it. 
Then she picks it up and stares at it again.  The woman on the card
appears in front of her, so Caitlin drops the card again, and the woman
vanishes.  Graham didn't see any woman, although he did see a rainbow. 
Caitlin asks Graham to watch and stares at the card again.  This time,
Fiona drags her sorry ass through and asks what she wants.  Caitlin
introduces herself.  Fiona asks where she got that flute.  Caitlin asks if
she knows the Crown Prince.  Fiona explains that there isn't one,
currently, but figures it's probably meant for Archimedes, since he was
the Crown Prince until recently.  Oh goodie, just what he needs, another

	Fiona brings Caitlin up to the infirmary.  Ulysses updates Fiona
on Laughter's situation.  Fiona shows up Mandor by breaking the spell,
while leaving Laughter with all of her memories.  Archi is given the flute
and the note, which says "Rescue is beyond hope.  Watch your back."  It's
written in rude white, a form of English slang that Jubal and Archi used
to use.  Caitlin describes the blond man, who matches Jubal's description,
and the red-haired man, who matches Kalyn's.  She also mentions the
delivery she made.  Archi thinks this Shadow bears investigating.  No
shit.  Fiona agrees, and asks Ulysses to get an image of the place from
Caitlin.  Ulysses kisses Caitlin's hand.  (Geez, aren't two women enough? 
Never mind, this is Ulysses.) Caitlin yanks her hand away and gives him a
burning stare, explaining that not many have done that and lived. 
Ulysses, of course, is only encouraged by this.  Then he realizes who her
dad must be, and backs off *fast.*

	Melanie has a pleasant dinner with Balin, then he leaves to see
Corwin, while she returns to the castle.

	Sandr goes to dinner and is greeted by Mok, who introduces him to
Claudio.  Claudio is most unhappy to learn that Sandr is Jewish, being a
Moor and all.  Sandr and Mok have a geekfest, as Sandr shows off his new
datajack.  Mok explains how they found Claudio.  Claudio wants to know if
Sandr knows Delwin.  Nope.  Of course, Claudio doesn't know what Delwin
looks like, which doesn't help.

	Ulysses takes Caitlin and Fiona to Helene, Caitlin's Shadow.  They
check out Arawn's castle, but it turns out to be warded.  Bummer.  Fiona
dangles the knowledge of Caitlin's father in front of her, so she says
good-bye to Graham and returns to Amber with them.  Ulysses gives her a
Trump deck and a quick how-to on their use.

	Melanie enters the dining hall.  Claudio figures she's Abigail and
draws his sword.  Mok holds him back, while Sandr futility tries to cast
spells at him.  Good thing Claudio was wearing his handy/dandy ring. 
Claudio is told that Melanie is not Abigail, but he asks her about the
fire Pattern, just to make sure.  She's never heard of it, but would like
to know where it is.  Sandr wants to know, too, and tries the less polite
method of psychic domination, but Claudio's ring saves him again.  Mok
decides that maybe the King might want to know about this Pattern, and
goes looking for him.  Claudio decides to keep mum on the subject. 
Melanie inquires as to his parentage, but he doesn't want to reveal that,
either.  Looks like he's adapting to Amber just fine.  He asks if Melanie
knows of Sand.  She offers him a Trump of Sand in exchange for learning
who his parents are.  His agreement is tentative at best, but she gives
him the Trump, anyway.  He can't reach Sand, so Melanie tries and realizes
that Sand is blocking.  Sandr is high on life, or something, and basically
acts like a jerk, so Melanie keeps telling him to shut up or leave. 
Sadly, he does neither.  Mok returns and says Archi is busy.  Actually,
Archi kicked Mok out so that he could talk to Laughter.

	Claudio leaves, tries Sand again, and fails again.  He has better
luck with Archi and goes through.  Archi warns him to stay away from
Melanie (she's so misunderstood).  He tells Claudio of the enemies of
Amber, including Maron, who covets his wife.  Claudio understands this. 
He gives Archi Melanie's Trump of Sand.

	Caitlin enters the dining room right after Claudio leaves, and the
Brand bratlings descend on her like sharks spotting blood in the water.
Caitlin complains that Fiona won't tell her who her father is, so Melanie
kindly informs her that she bears a remarkable resemblance to Benedict.
As if on cue, Benedict and Fiona arrive, and they leave to talk with
Caitlin about stuff the log didn't hear, since other conversations were
going on.  The gist is that Caitlin had a shitty childhood, and Benedict
didn't know about her.  He had a daughter of Chaos, but she died.  There's
this curse on him, you see, and he's doomed to lose all those he cares
for.  Lucky Caitlin.  She decides to stay in Amber (big mistake), so
Benedict brings her to Tir-na Nog'th to walk the Pattern, after summoning
Tristan and Damion to keep watch on the steps.  When she is finished, he
also gives her two new shortswords, called Nevermiss and Trueblade, which
are from Tir-na Nog'th itself.  She decides she's seen enough strange
things for one day, and goes to sleep.

	Ulysses is Trumped by Sand and joins her and her companion, a 6'3"
tall man, with piercing blue eyes and black hair.  He is introduced as
Kaedric.  They need to drain him again, to stop another of Brand's
attempts.  He is drained, as is Kaedric, and Sand foils Brand again.  They
discuss how to stop Brand on a more permanent basis.

	Claudio finally leaves Archi alone and investigates the odd music
he hears, which turns out to be caused by Sandr.  He finds the music less
fascinating than the piano wire, which he wants lots of, so he can do
nasty things to horses with it.

	Melanie joins Sandr and they leave for Intellex.  He gives her the
grand tour, and they discuss the merits of the new arrivals.  They spend a
week or so in Intellex, working on Eddie and a couple of Trump answering
machines.  Sandr also volunteers to be Melanie's power source for the
Fount she's going to create.  She drains him of about 30% of the power she
needs, which lays him up for a weekend.

	Claudio asks Flora for new quarters, since he wants a sitting
room.  She tries to pawn him off on Ulysses, but he's gone, so she's stuck
with the job.  Claudio also sends a page to find Fiona, and several to
find Ulysses.

	Kaedric and Ulysses chat about Maron and Abigail, two people who
most would like to see dead.  Then they return to Amber and have a private
chat that the rest of us aren't privy to.

	Laughter and Caitt chat, while Archi and Beauty play with Oriana. 
Laughter tells Archi that Caitt is having a premonition.  What happened to
Laughter is much like what happened to Elizabeth.  This has something to
do with the prophecy, which says: "And this shall come to pass: the child
of a half-breed child shall be cursed to die, and with death shall open
the Gates of Hell.  The swordsman with the living sword shall bring
nations to their knees, and the wizards of two magicks shall make one land
where there were many.  One land only shall hold dominion, and it shall be
held by whosoever drives the demons back to Hell."  How this relates to
Laughter's poisoning/amnesia/compulsion to spend long periods of time
hanging out in caves is unclear, but Archi will do what he can to prevent
the prophecy from happening.  Assuming he can figure out what it is. 
Beauty decides to remind Ulysses that he has a baby daughter, and takes
Oriana down to see him.

	Claudio learns of Ulysses return and asks to speak privately with
him, so Ulysses takes them to a Shadow where they can talk unobserved. 
Claudio explains that he wants to talk to Sand about his father, so
Ulysses tries Sand's Trump and determines that she's in a Shadow where
Trump doesn't work.  Claudio also asks Ulysses to ward his room so it
can't be spied on by Melanie.  How he learned she can do that is beyond
me, since she's never openly demonstrated that ability, but I'm not
bitter, oh no.  Ulysses suggests he try Fiona.  Claudio also wants Trumps
of Sandr, Melanie, Abigail, Kaedric and Delwin.  Ulysses says he'll need
descriptions of the last two, but he happens to have a Trump of Sandr that
he can give Claudio right away.  Claudio wants to learn how to draw
Trumps.  Um, maybe later.  Claudio asks who the great warriors are. 
Ulysses names Benedict, Corwin, Archimedes and Bleys.  Sylvie Trumps
Ulysses and tells him to take his damn daughter, which she somehow wound
up with.  Oh yeah, her.  He'll get around to it.

	Claudio pesters Fiona next, and asks how he can keep Melanie from
spying on him.  She suggests that he talk in warded quarters, like hers or
the King's.  She'll ward his in the morning.

	Ulysses eventually takes Oriana from Sylvie, who pesters him for a
Trump lesson.

	Sandr and Melanie return to Amber.  Sandr seeks out Archi, since
just about everyone else has bothered him today.  They talk about stuff
that the log didn't hear, and Sandr mentions that he's working on a
solution to the multiple Patterns problem.  Archi does not feel reassured.

	Balin drops by Melanie's quarters.  It seems that Corwin wants him
to join the navy.  He's also been to Rebma, where Vain is living now. 
They try this sleeping together thing again, and this time Melanie doesn't
balk.  Afterwards, Balin, master of soul and tact, asks Melanie about her
father.  She doesn't really want to talk about it, and winds up having
another Brand nightmare.  Nice going.

	Benedict knocks on Caitlin's door early in the morning, and offers
to spar with her.  They do this thing, then Benedict explains who's who in
the family, and introduces her to Damion and Tristan.

	The breakfast role call consists of Archi, Laughter, Melanie,
Claudio, Ulysses, Sandr, Benedict, Flora, Gerard, Sky, Flynn, Merlin and
Mandor.  Melanie and Sandr talk with Caitlin, much to Benedict's
annoyance.  Melanie monitors another Trump conversation between the
mystery duo:

	Female: "Another attempt will be made shortly."
	Male: "Doubtless, and?"
	Female: "Ulysses may not be enough.  It's impossible to do any
more at this distance.  We'll have to go in soon.  Suggestions?"
	Male: "Ulysses, of course.  And I have a bit of an inspiration. 
Hold on."

	At this point, Melanie vanishes.  Claudio manages to grabs her
before she does so, but his ring stops him from following.  No one else
particularly cares enough to try to intervene.

	Melanie finds herself face to face with the mystery duo, who are,
of course, Kaedric and Sand.  They explain that Sand created an artifact
that enhances Trump and sorcery.  Delwin took it from Sand, and tried to
attack Amber, but was subdued by Oberon and Sand, and trapped inside of
something called the Taormin.  Abigail stole it and sold it to Brand. 
Abigail, it seems, was raised by Sand as her protege.  She showed promise
as a sorceress in Ixaxis, but had an unhappy love affair with Kaedric,
which is what led to her life of crime.  Brand is thought to be in
Delwin's Shadow, Hades.  (Of course, what else would it be named?) Melanie
agrees to assist, once she learns that Brand has the Eye of Peace as well. 
They say they'll contact her in a couple of days.  She mentions that
Claudio has been trying frantically to reach Sand, and learns that he is
Delwin's son.

	Melanie reenters the dining hall about five minutes after she
vanished, and resumes eating.  Shortly afterwards, Claudio get Trumped by
Sand.  He asks if Delwin is his father.  Yep.  Can he speak to him?  Nope. 
Can she bring him to Abigail so he can slit her throat?  No, Abigail is
rather adept at hiding herself.  Sand tells him that they are going after
Brand, and asks him to come along.  He says he'll get back to her, and
asks to speak with Archi in his newly Melanie-proofed quarters.  Once
there, he embeds his sword in the flagstone, bloodies his hand on it, and
offers his allegiance to Archi.  Archi accepts it.  Claudio explains that
he'll be helping Sand.  Since she wants all the help she can get, Archi
offers his assistance, too.  Claudio contacts Sand, who tells him to put
his ring back on and she'll Trump him.  Exalted Trump must be nice.  This
thing is done, and Claudio relays Archi's offer of assistance.  Sand tells
him the attack will be in a few days.

	Claudio offers to show Archi the fire Pattern.  Archi is game. 
Bill Roth catches up with Archi and tells him of a petition.  Apparently
the Cult of the King is asking for formal recognition.  Archi says he'll
deal with it.  Claudio Trumps Ulysses and invites him to join the fun. 
Once all are present, Claudio shows them the secret passage, but instead
of a long corridor, there's only stairs leading up.  Song is sent to check
where the stairs lead, which turns out to be Finndo's quarters.  Ulysses
checks the image in Claudio's mind, to see if he was in a Shadow, and is
able to open a Trump to the fire Pattern, but can't tell where in Kolvir
it is.  Melanie detects the Trump opening, but has no better luck in
determining its location.


"Do not sleep with the living dick.  He *will* get you pregnant." -- Emily
to Dan, referring to Ulysses

"I'm not going to sleep with (Balin) right after dinner." -- Melanie
"That's right, you might get gas." -- Dann

"I want you to meet Claudio the Moor" -- Mok
"More what?" -- Sandr

"You're very forgiving." -- Kaedric, referring to Ulysses imprisonment on Ygg
"Well, it's all for a cause.  Although, I suppose you could have clothed
me in such a manner that I didn't defecate all over myself." -- Ulysses

"You're getting a Trump from your daughter.  The one that can hold a
Trump." -- GM
"I had to think for a moment to remember who that was, it's been so long
since she's bothered me." -- Ulysses

"Sandr figures that whatever can wipe out (Melanie) can wipe out him, and
he's eating breakfast." -- Emily explaining why Sandr's not going after

"The Cult of the King is asking for formal recognition." -- Bill Roth
"Give them formal recognition if they join the army." -- Shade

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