Session 40: "I've got a bone to pick with you."
Archi has a vision of Laughter in a tree, but when he checks,
she's fine. Cameron tells Archi that the civil war is over, Wickling won,
Sawall lost and is all but destroyed. Wickling's intentions are unknown.
They've blocked off access to the Logrus and all is quiet, too quiet.
Cameron leaves, and Archi goes over the Cult of the King petition. They
believe the king is tied to the land, yada, yada, yada. Eric is the last
one to OK this, so Archi has his secretary send them a rejection letter.
Among the other papers on his desk, he finds a formal recognition of
Caitlin as Benedict's heir, a death warrant for him and Ulysses from
Finndo, one for Dalt's death, signed by Oberon, Eric and Random, and the
death warrant Archi wrote up for Maron. Archi adds his signature to
Dalt's death warrant.
Sandr and Melanie return to Intellex. Sandr works on Eddie,
Melanie works on their Trump answering machines. Two days pass. Sandr is
warned of something in Purgatory, and checks it out. He finds a
mechanical rat, which sniffs around, then goes back to Chaos. Sandr
decides to strengthen the barrier.
Sand Trumps Claudio, and offers to teach him Shadow shifting.
Well, Archi's already offered... That's fine, so long as it's Archi or
Ulysses. There is a minor distraction, as the game log plays with Kayla,
where I believe they discussed Caitlin. Claudio explores the castle,
checking out defenses and such. He runs into Sky. They fence for an
hour, with him teaching her, since she's not familiar with a sword. Then
they try archery, mostly so Sky can show off how much better than him she
Caitlin and Benedict head down to the stables, where Caitlin gawks
at Sylvie's cat- horses. She opts for a normal horse and is taught Power
Words by Benedict.
Ulysses spends time with Oriana, the daughter he can actually
Archi goes for a walk with Laughter, who seems somewhat more
feminine than Archi is used to. Must be the pregnancy. Discussion is
made of treeing the Jewel again, then Laughter Trumps Fiona, but Mom isn't
answering. Laughter doesn't remember anything about the one who cast that
spell on her. She's also not quite sure how far along she is, but it's
hard to walk. They sit down for a while, and watch Claudio and Sky do
their archery thing in the distance. Then they go in for lunch, where
they are joined by Ulysses, Beauty, and Oriana. Ulysses comments that
Laughter's just about far enough along to feed Oriana, which pleases
Laughter not at all. Claudio sits next to Sky, much to the dismay of her
Claudio Trumps Sand after lunch. She pulls him through and gives
him his first Shadow shifting lesson. He thinks of his bud from Ixaxis,
and they start heading for Amber. Not what Sand wanted, since Shadow
shifting is harder towards Amber. OK. He thinks of Abigail, and is told
to start smaller. The boy's a slow learner.
Caitlin and Benedict reach the edge of Arden, and he begins
teaching her how to Shadow shift. She picks it up faster than Claudio
(now there's a surprise!). Benedict instructs her in how to find Avalon.
Sandr and Melanie spend ten days in Intellex. The answering
machines are finished, more progress on Eddie is made.
Archi spends some time touring Arden and collecting soil samples.
Tianen Trumps Ulysses and comes through. She's found out who
turned him into a living Trump, and is annoyed to learn that he already
knows. She does know where Sand's fountain is, but it's barred. She
might now more, but... Ulysses tosses her over his shoulder and takes her
to bed. All charm and grace, he is.
Melanie feels something odd, a tingling. It feels like the Eye of
Peace. She finds a message on the answering machine from Maron, and
Trumps him. He felt the same thing. They think it was someone attuning
themselves to the Eye, and agree that this is bad.
Sand collapses, so Claudio Trumps Archi and they come through to
the city. Ulysses is drained of all his Trump energy *very* quickly.
Ouch. Laughter is concerned and asks what's wrong. Ulysses uses Pattern
lens to look for Sand, but can't find her. Archi Trumps Ulysses, but the
Trump crystallizes. Ulysses gets the barest impression of the contact,
and tells Laughter to find her hubby. She contacts him through the ring,
and they proceed to the castle.
Maron and Melanie decide to meet someplace other than Amber. She
offers to bring him through to Intellex, but he declines. He does suggest
she bring Sandr with her, wherever she goes. Sandr joins her, and the two
Brand bratlings check out Amber. There's nothing unusual, other than the
Trump drain going out to the Badlands, where it proves impossible to
trace. They decide Amber is the happening place to be and Trump there.
Laughter brings Fiona through. Ulysses wants to break into Sand's
Shadow, to bathe in the fountain and give Kaedric more energy. Too bad
Kaedric's not the one who's draining him. Archi arrives with Sand, who is
brought to Archi's room. Laughter still looks concerned about Ulysses.
Fiona stops the draining of Ulysses, and everyone else troops up to
Archi's room. Kaedric Trumps Archi and comes through. Melanie and Sandr
join the crowd, and tell them of Brand's attunement to the Eye. Kaedric
tells the others that Brand freed Delwin, who took over Brand's body and
placed him in the Taormin. They discuss how to kill a living Trump.
Ulysses mentions that Benedict told him that living Trumps are vulnerable,
somehow, when in a Trump contact. Benedict is Trumped and brought through
with Caitlin. He's briefed.
Melanie is Trumped by Maron, who assumes Balin's form and comes
through. Archi attacks him with Song, and pegs him somewhere non-vital.
Sandr commands everyone to stop, and is roundly ignored. Archi pulls back
to attack again. Claudio points his sword at Melanie, who throws up a
force wall. Maron vanishes. Archi orders Sandr to leave, then Melanie,
when he learns she erected the spell. He's pissed. Sandr leaves right
away. Melanie tries to figure out what's going on, and balks when Ulysses
orders her out, but eventually joins Sandr in the hall.
The others decide on a plan of attack, which consists of: find
Brand/Delwin and attack him until he falls down. They decide Sandr would
be useful bait for Brand, forgetting that Delwin's in control, and ask him
to come along. Sandr, wanting desperately to be useful, allows himself to
be used. Kaedric suggests that Melanie would be useful too, but Archi's
too pissed to even hear of it.
Melanie Trumps Maron and goes through. They figure that Balin
must have really been someone else in that room, and theorize as to which
person it was.
The assault group arrives at a forcefield outside of Brand's
Shadow, which is called Hades. The log is unclear as to who brought them
there, but it was probably Kaedric or Fiona. Fiona conjures disks, which
allow them to pass through the forcefield. Benedict takes out a
three-headed dog, while the others deal with some nasty spiders. There
are various floor traps, which are set off by Archi's singing sword (OK,
Song doesn't *actually* sing, but it sounds cool). They pass by some
walking dead, including Random. Then they reach a river with a ferryman,
which turns out to be, of course, the River Styx and Charon, respectively.
Sandr explains that they gain passage via two gold coins each, and they do
this thing. They reach the other side, and Caitlin notices that just
about everyone she's ever killed is there. The number of Archi and
Benedict's victims is enormous, and they have to walk through all of them.
It's a long walk.
The next river has no ferryman, so Archi conjures a small boat,
and they make it across in a couple of trips. Fiona identifies the river
as the River of Tears, and pockets a few vials of water from it. They
encounter the Furies, who try to nail Ulysses for killing Finndo. Every
time someone draws their blood, a dragon grows. They figure this out
after the eighth dragon or so. Sandr frags one of the Furies with a
fireball, while Fiona gets the other two. Eventually, the dragons are
defeated, and Fiona collects some dragon teeth.
Next up, is the fire river. Sandr parts the river with a force
wall, and they cross, after some silliness involving Archi, Ulysses and
the bones that litter the bottom of the river. On the other side, they
find a locked gate. Archi slices around the lock with Song, and they go
through the door. They are immediately attacked by lots of armed people.
Actually, only the ones near the door are fighting them, the rest are
fighting each other, picking up severed limbs as they go to replace their
own. The group eventually reaches the other side, cuts their way through
another door, then bars it to keep the fighting crowd from following them.
Melanie and Maron decide to try and free Brand of Delwin. They
take a shortcut through the demon underworld and find themselves face to
face with Brand, or rather his body. Delwin freezes them with a spell,
and they begin fighting him through the Eye. Delwin tries to use the
Jewel against them, but Archi stops this. The Amber contingent enters the
room, and there is a flash as the Jewel and the Eye ignite. Melanie and
Maron, being the only ones expecting this, take advantage of Delwin's
surprise and gain control of the Eye. They begin using it to drain the
Trump energy out of Brand. Fiona and Sandr Trump Delwin and attack him
psychically. He responds by throwing a lighting bolt at Kaedric. Luckily
for Kaedric, Ulysses jumps in front of it. Melanie and Maron drain
Brand/Delwin dry, and Claudio proceeds to behead him. A few people notice
Delwin's spirit abandon ship. The force wall holding Maron and Melanie
drops at this point, and Melanie teleports the Eye to her. Archi lunges
for Maron, who Trumps out. Melanie places a spell around Brand's head, so
that Ulysses can't crush it, then Trumps out as well. No one else seems
to be able to Trump out, until Sandr tries. He takes everyone back to
Benedict takes Caitlin aside, and says he is saddened by Brand's
death. He Trumps away.
Claudio goes drinking with Sky and Mok.
Laugher's eyes light up when Ulysses returns. He takes the
Taormin to Fiona, who is unwilling to touch it, lest she be drawn into the
fight that's likely occurring between Brand and Sand. She'll see what she
can do about monitoring it.
Mok tries to convince to Ulysses to join their drinking crew.
There's no babes to boff, so he's not keen on this. The group then tries
to convince Caitlin to come with, and she agrees.
Melanie is Trumped by Kaedric, and answers in her demon form. She
is not happy with him at all. He claims he needed to be sure that she
wasn't Abigail, and he determined that when she slept with him, since
Abigail would never take him back into her bed. He claims that Abigail is
real enough that there was no other way he could be sure, since he can't
detect Pattern, never having walked one. Yeah, right. Melanie doesn't
buy it. He admits that he's actually Delwin's son. She asks if Delwin
got away, and he figures he did. And Brand? Trapped with Sand in the
Taormin, both probably insane by now. The Taormin is with Ulysses, who
should be safe from getting sucked in while the battle goes on. He
suggests that she talk to Sandr, who is not taking Brand's "death" well at
Sandr is sitting and staring at a wall. Melanie Trumps him, but
he won't answer, so she Trumps Fiona. Fiona tells Sandr that Melanie's
trying to reach him. He answers the time and she brings him back to
Intellex. They talk for a while about Brand's death. Sandr claims he
doesn't feel anything, this time. Right, that's why he was staring at the
Ulysses finds himself a house, and sets it up to protect the
Laughter goes into labor, so Archi Trumps Caitt. The whole thing
only takes about two hours, since she's a shapeshifter. She gives birth
to only one child, a boy, with blond hair and Ulysses' chin. Doh! Archi
Trumps Ulysses first, who assures him "It wasn't me, man!" Fiona is
brought through next. She dispels a minor glamour, which makes "Laughter"
looks slightly less like the real thing. She still thinks she's the real
one, though, thanks to that spell, and wants to know what's going on.
Ulysses smacks her to shut her up. Fiona asks Archi if he's had any
images of Laughter. Well, there was that one of her inside the tree...
Ulysses Trumps them to her, after using Pattern lens to find the right one
among all of her Shadows. Fiona untrees Laughter and they bring her back
to Amber. Fiona figures "Laughter" is from a Shadow where she was married
to Archi and had Ulysses' baby. That gets Archi's attention. Ulysses
finds Tianen, makes her dress, and drags her to the faux Laugher, asking
who did it. Tianen can't tell, so it had to be someone with more time
magic than her, which means Dworkin or one of the older Chaosites.
Laughter wakes up and recalls shifting Shadow to a cave, then being treed
by Faeries. She isn't happy. "Laughter" and baby are returned to the
Shadow from whence they came.
"Haven't been thinking of treeing yourself lately?" -- Archi
"No." -- Laughter
"Don't mind me, I'm just going insane." -- Archi
"Is (Sky) doing things I've never seen before?" -- Claudio
"She is doing things you haven't seen before, probably because she hasn't
picked up a sword before." -- GM
"Other than Arden being decimated, things are OK." -- GM to Archi
"Don't shoot arrows when you have a tactical nuclear warhead." -- Dann (I
think) to the group at large
"There's bodies in these chambers?" -- Kris
"No, they're walking around and doing stuff." -- GM
"Armor, what's armor?" -- Ulysses
"That thing that you're balancing on your head." -- Archi
"No, that's the boat." -- Ulysses
"Can you hold (the fire river back)?" -- Archi
"We'll find out. Run." -- Sandr
"I've got a bone to pick with you." -- Ulysses to Archi, while tapping him
with a bone
"Look familiar?" -- Archi
"Yeah, like I know what I slept with nine fucking months ago." -- Ulysses
"This is what Laughter gave birth to." -- Archi
"Oh no. This is not possible. For that would imply that I've had sex
with Laughter, which I have not done." -- Ulysses
"And what does that mean?" -- Laughter, after Archi returns her ring
"It means that, as far as sorcery goes, I'm a schmuck." -- Archi
the Log list