Session 66: "How hard could it be to tear the fabric of reality?"
The story opens with Ulysses. Random is chasing a small boy.
Fiona follows more slowly. After a moment or two, Ulysses can no longer
see the boy, but Random appears to still be able to. Ulysses pauses to
wait for Fiona. Random continues pursuit and disappears at the same point
in the hill that the boy did. Ulysses suggests going back to the house,
going after Random, or coming up with something else. Fiona opts to go
back to the house. Ulysses follows the footprints a little farther up the
hill. They get fainter and gradually disappear. Ulysses crosses the
point where they disappear and loses sight of Fiona. He sees Random,
though. He determines that he is on a Shadow path and steps back. He
tells Fiona of his discovery. Should they go after Random? If they
follow the path they will not get lost. They go after Random. He has
tied up the boy and is brining him back. Random talks to the boy, who is
crying. Ulysses comforts the child. He has Fiona conjure cookies and
milk and unties the boy. He asks the boy if he has eaten. The boy asks
if he is going to be killed. Ulysses says no. The boy says the people
went to look at the Pattern and then they disappeared. Ulysses talks to
Fiona. If they were at the Pattern, they may have gotten "iced." What's
next? Fiona asks the child to explain what happened when everyone
disappeared. He says the people were crazy. He had been playing and fell
asleep. When he woke up, they were gone. People did walk the broken
Pattern, generally the nobles. They need to look for broken Pattern
imprints, but have to bring the Pattern to mind to do so, but can't.
Should they return to Amber? How do they leave? They came in by a
Pattern via Trump, neither of which are currently working. They return up
the hill by retracing their footsteps. The scene changes. They see a guy
in the distance, a shepherd. He has horns and hooves. They continue.
The terrain changes dramatically. The path they are following was laid by
someone powerful. They discuss how the path is working without Pattern.
They see another person. The kid recognizes him and runs to the new
arrival. He disappears. The man is still walking toward them, however.
Ulysses tries to find the point on the ground where the kid disappeared.
Fiona questions him, but she and Random follow. They can't find the boy.
The man disappears. They backtrack to the man. There is a sheer cliff.
The boy is on a ledge below. Fiona magics the boy out and Ulysses tells
him not to go running off. They backtrack but don't find the same place.
The continue. They are heading toward civilization. It does not look
familiar to the child. They see automobiles on a freeway. They keep
walking. The scene doesn't change. There are also flying carpets.
Niccolo requests a meeting with Melanie. She obliges. He informs
her that House Vertix would prefer that Sylvester not be chosen as the
ambassador to Corwin's realm. Melanie says she'll pass this along to
Archimedes' meeting continues. No one is familiar with Atlantis.
Melchior knows of the entrance point. He says that there is a great
library there, and that is where the book is. Archi asks for volunteers.
Benedict speaks up and suggest that they need someone of sorcerous
inclination. Bleys remains silent, then suggests Laughter. Archi says
that since Benedict is coming, he can trust Bleys to behave himself, so
Bleys is coming as well. Bleys suggests leaving in 20 minutes. Benedict
Melanie has a message from Kaedric. There is a message for her in
Ivory. She Trumps Kaedric. He joins her. They retrieve the deck and go
to Ivory. Melanie checks her e-mail and has a message from Theo. She
wants to meet and it is urgent. Melanie is to bring the deck, but they
have an hour. They eat dinner at the Lantern Gardens, then meet with
Theo. She seems nervous and disheveled. There is a magical pulse in the
air. She says a "thing" is causing it, and they can't get near it alone.
Theo throws the cards and doesn't like the reading: The prisoner released.
It does not effect Theo like it did Melanie. Theo opens a trap door.
There is a glowing, red, pulsing light. Melanie's jewel ring pulses in
time with it. She puts the ring in the box that the Trumps were in.
Archimedes leaves with Benedict and Bleys, as Melchior had given
Bleys a Trump. Archi asks about Melchior. Bleys says he is someone who
has the best interests of Amber and Chaos at heart. Archi is suspicious.
Bleys won't say more because he's not at liberty to. Melchior's father
doesn't know of his existence. They arrive at the steps of Atlantis. The
steps descend into water. Bleys says that Atlantis is a rather accurate
reflection of Rebma, but a bit of a tourist trap. The steps are not
nearly as long as those in Rebma. There is a kiosk at the bottom with a
"U are here" sticker. Archi looks for the library and finds it. As they
head there, Archi asks Bleys if he has a brilliant plan to get the book.
Bleys says he is going to apply for a library card. When they arrive,
Bleys tells the librarian that he is looking for a book. The librarian
says that this is a good place to start. Bleys asks for the Book of the
Strangeways. The librarian says it is in the rare book collection and
can't be checked out, but they can see it. They are not going to be left
alone with it. Archi whispers to Bleys that he hopes Bleys has a
photographic memory. Bleys says he does. As they are opening the vault
door to the rare books collection, the Jewel pulses once. Archi ignores
it, not knowing what else to make of it. Then there is an explosion,
knocking everyone unconscious. In Ivory, Melanie is leveled by an
explosion as well.
Killian is wandering the halls of Amber. He finds the armory. He
collects a bow, a full quiver, a spear, and two hatchets, then looks for a
way outside. He finds the armory courtyard instead. Sky is there,
practicing archery. Killian watches. Sky's quiver is never empty. He
contemplates whether or not he can carry Sky over the wall. She notices
him after a time and addresses him as Corwin's son. Introductions? She
says she is Sky. He tells her he decided not to carry her over Corwin's
Pattern. She thanks him. Accommodations? He's not supposed to sleep
outside. Can she help him? He wants to know where the outside is. She
suggests using the front door. Is she happy being Claudio's woman? She
is not Claudio's woman. She left Corwin. Claudio didn't take her. Why
else would Corwin want him dead? Corwin didn't "have" her. She is her
own woman. She has sons by both of them. She had them equally. Claudio
is her man? Yes. She chose him over Corwin. He understands why Corwin
wants Claudio killed. Why is Claudio below a woman? There is more
freedom in this case. She asks if Killian wants to go riding. She could
show him Arden. Sky leaves and goes into the stable. She tells Killian,
who followed, to pick a horse. He's not hungry. She doesn't saddle hers.
He will run. He can ride faster than he can run. She mounts. Killian
runs alongside. They go to Arden and find Morgenstern, who neighs a
challenge. Twenty hounds come running out. They are not Killian's. Sky
tells him not to fight as 20 men come out of the woods as well. They ride
to the hunt when Julian comes back, but Sky and Killian can go alone if
they like. They disappear back into the forest. Sky and Killian hunt.
He out-hunts her. This makes her angry.
Niccolo packs on his last day in Chaos. He practices in his spare
time. He is successful with his project. Learning the Shadow shifting is
harder. He tries to isolate the ability and plans to continue to practice
this. He sleeps and then leaves for Amber.
Ulysses heads toward civilization with the rest of the group.
They arrive at a strip mall. They are in the village of Twin Pines.
Ulysses looks to Fiona for the next step. She's not sure. Perhaps they
are in the "coned" state he mentioned earlier? They need to find out
where they are and if the Shadow knows of Amber. He guesses that kind of
knowledge comes with age. She says it comes with experience, suggesting
that he is lacking in the sexual arena. Ulysses gets mad and says they
should to go to a hotel room and "lay it out," then. Fiona gives him a
withering look, then checks a phone book from a booth and says, "Ah-ha!"
She starts making calls, then takes the lead. She heads for a magic shop,
not waiting for the men. She speaks privately to the man in back, then
suggests a good night's sleep and hires a cab. She's hocked something, as
she now has currency. She rents rooms for all of them. Before Ulysses
goes into his, Fiona kisses and fondles him such that his mind bends, then
goes to her own room.
Melanie wakes up in her bed in Kaedricways. There is a rustling
at the door. It is Alora and Graham. She has no Pattern and a splitting
headache. She feels like she could easily return to sleep. The kids
start to run off. Melanie calls to them. What are they doing? Waiting
for her to wake up. They bring her food. Graham bows to her and calls
her "Your Highness." She asks if Claudio is there. He is with Kaedric.
They went to speak to Swayvill. The children watch her eat. She asks
them what happened. Kaedric said her Pattern went away. Yes, it hurt.
She offers Alora a seat. What else did Kaedric say? That she would be
all right. She has been asleep for five hours. She is to return to sleep
after she eats. They give her fortified wine. Alora is to make sure she
drinks it. Kaedric said so, after she eats. She pretends to sip at it.
Alora is to Trump Kaedric if Melanie is difficult. Alora tells her of her
day with Graham. They were worried. Melanie drinks the wine. It helps
her headache and makes her sleepy. She gives in and returns to sleep.
Archimedes wakes up. It's dark and his head hurts. He hears
breathing five feet away or so. He moves that way, then falls out of the
bed he had been lying on. He lands with a thud and an expletive. He
conjures a Bic lighter through the headache pain. He is in a bedroom.
There is a man sitting on a chair five feet away from Archi. Archi asks
him who he is. Your devoted servant. He says Archi is the living Jewel,
the keystone. Archi tries to call up the Pattern, and can't. He Trumps
Benedict, but Benedict blocks. That's when Archi notices that the Jewel
is gone. He Trumps Bleys, next. Bleys knows that he lost his Pattern,
thank you. He tells Bleys that the Jewel is gone. Bleys wants to know
where they are, so Archi asks the devoted servant. They are still in
Atlantis. Archi asks what happened, and relays the information through
the Trump to Bleys. There was a terrible accident. Rescue crews were
there and recognized him for what he was. How? He had no clothes.
Pardon? The mark on his chest. The devoted servant asks if he can bring
food, and Archi consents. He lets Bleys go and looks out the hall after
the servant. More doors. He opens the curtains in the room. Atlantis
lies beyond. They are above water. He Trumps Laughter to let her know he
is all right. What happened? There was this terrible accident... He
explains. Since they are all Patternless, he plans on getting the book
and returning ASAP. She says that Random, Ulysses and Fiona have not
returned. The servant brings food. Archi asks the servant what function
the living Jewel is supposed to perform. He is the key to the living
Pattern. What is the living Pattern? He says Archi is there to help
them. Archi says the Book of the Strangeways would help him do that. He
tries to look sincere. The servant says the Spirit in the Wall told them
he would arrive, and wants him to sleep now. The Spirit in the Wall will
talk to him when he is more coherent. Archi notices that his shard ring
Killian and Sky finish hunting. Sky offers him a room. Killian
sleeps in the room, on the floor.
Melanie wakes up with someone standing over her bed. It is
Caitlin. Melanie is surprised. The headache is worse. Caitlin
apologizes, then slugs her. When Melanie wakes up, she is in a room. The
Logrus is in front of her. She casts a force wall. She can find no exit.
She can't Trump, as it's blocked. She cannot teleport out. She can tell
where Kaedric is. She still has a headache. The Logrus chases her. She
runs. Kaedric is surprised when she sends a panic message to him through
the ring. She can't tell what the walls are made of. She lighting bolts
the wall. She can find no weakness. The Logrus is chasing her still.
She hears a hissing voice. She continues to blast the wall. Desperation
drives her. The voice is becoming intelligible. "It is time." Melanie
is not happy. She sees the Serpent in the distance. "Why me?" "You will
be our next Queen." Caitlin brought her here because Caitlin is the
priestess. Kaedric is coming, she can tell through the ring. The Logrus
is around her ankle. It is better to walk it willingly. She asks if she
can wait until her headache clears. Kaedric tells her not to walk it.
Melanie does and goes mad. She thinks she's the Serpent.
When Niccolo leaves, Swayvill sees him off instead of Melanie.
Where is the Chief Ambassador? She had congress with the Logrus. It's
about time. Swayvill wishes him luck. Niccolo Trumps to Amber and sets
off to find the King. He finds Flora instead. She is his liaison. The
King and the Crown Prince are on vacation. Swayvill will be disappointed.
They are busy. So, they're not on vacation? No, not exactly. Niccolo
offers the resources of the Courts to assist. After he tells her of
Chaos, Niccolo settles in, leaves a servant to unpack, and wanders the
castle. He finds the ambassador from Kellynth. They speak. He tells
Niccolo of the blank spot in Shadow. It has swallowed their king, and his
home realm. What is Amber doing about it? Well, they sacrificed their
King... Niccolo will make some suggestions, as well. The ambassador
mentions Killian as one of Corwin's. Killian has no loyalties yet.
Niccolo looks for Killian.
Killian awakes and looks for Sky. Killian grabs a page to get
that information. The page takes him to her. He wants to know about
"things." He wants to know of Amber. What is Amber's reason? Defend the
Pattern. Corwin has his own Pattern. Killian has not seen Amber's
Pattern. Sky suggests breakfast. Ulysses' name comes up. A god?
Ulysses might think he is. Niccolo finds them at breakfast and greets
them. Sky is wary. Killian stares at Niccolo. Niccolo sits next to
them. Is the food dead? When in Amber... He wants Killian's opinion of
Amber. It is here. Sky escapes to Laughter and the twins. Killian and
Niccolo continue talking.
Morning for Ulysses. Fiona invites them all to her room. She has
three suitcases on the bed, unopened. There are seven people that could
possibly get them out: God, Satan, possibly Fate or Death. War couldn't.
Time might work. Nature can't. They need to find them. In theory, they
could pray or have a black mass. Ulysses suggests tipping the balance to
attract attention. Fiona's plan is to bring Ulysses' soul to the point of
balance, and then bring Ulysses to the point of death. Why me?! Ulysses
reasons them into using a Shadow person, then dials room service for one.
He yanks the guy into the room and KOs him. Fiona has the right equipment
to scan his soul. "My, aren't you a busy beaver," Ulysses quips. "My,
aren't you a big dick," Fiona counters. Random steps in and makes them
stop, as his head hurts. Fiona begins checking the bellhop's soul. He is
too good. He has to do horrible things before he'll work for their
purposes. They need to find someone in balance. They set up a spell to
do this on a street corner. Ulysses kills the first guy they find, which
causes a ruckus. The crowd is aghast. Death arrives. Fiona sets up a
force wall to stop the cops. Death bounces off the force wall. Fiona
then lets him in. Death takes the soul. Ulysses says they want to talk
to him. They explain everything to Death, who believes them because he
doesn't think he could take their souls. Ulysses says he probably
shouldn't have told them that. Death takes them to Purgatory.
Killian looks for Sky. She is helping Laughter with the kids.
Bea says "Uh-oh" when she sees Killian. Killian wants to walk the
Pattern. It's a long walk. It is a much bigger Pattern than Corwin's.
He stays in the center and meditates.
Archi Trumps Benedict when he wakes up again. Archi wants to get
the book before they leave. Benedict has talked to the spirit in the
wall. It's Dworkin. Archi says his devoted servant wants him to speak to
the spirit in the wall, as well. Benedict is not sure that's a good idea.
The servant is still there. He gets breakfast for Archi. Benedict says
he is part of the living Pattern. Huh? The rings Dworkin gave them.
Benedict's has disappeared, as well. The servant brings the food, so
Archi lets Benedict go, then eats. The servant takes the three of them to
the spirit in the wall. Nothing happens. Archi looks at Benedict and
Bleys. Benedict shrugs and says he was talking up a storm earlier. Archi
puts his hand on the wall. "I want a steak," the wall says. "Why?" "I
haven't eaten in three weeks." Dworkin says he got stuck there in between
bodies, and started the cult for no particular reason. Archi tells him
the Jewel is missing. Dworkin insists he find it, and says that Archi has
been set up. Archi says he'll get the book, walk the Pattern, and find
the Jewel. Dworkin tells him to come back when he wants an explanation.
Archi conjures a steak and leaves it at the foot of the wall, for
Dworkin's trouble. They get the book and return to Amber via Trump.
Melanie comes to. She thinks she is the Serpent. She's also tied
up. She shifts into the Serpent to get away. She feels a needle prick.
She bites someone. Now she is the caterpillar from Wonderland. She eats
the cake to get small, then flies into Alice's ears. Now she's in. She
flies out Alice's nose and escapes. This goes on for months...
Niccolo finds a fast-time Shadow and finishes his training. He
does so and heads back to Amber. He finds Flora. He wants to know why a
spot of Shadow has disappeared with the King. She knows only protocol.
Who is going to deal with it? She asks for an explanation from him.
Kellynth's home has disappeared with the King. Flora suggests propaganda
on Kellynth's part, then invites him to dinner, as he is entertaining.
Random is on state affairs and may or may not be there. She will teach
him of Amber protocol. She takes him to the opera and introduces him to
Cameron, son of Caine. Niccolo decides not to sleep with her. He needs
to find Archimedes.
Death tells Ulysses that Time might be able to help turn back time
to when they entered his world, so that they can exit from there as well.
Death leaves to get Time. Fiona says they still need to work on
navigating. Death returns. Time will help them. They are able to get
out. They are back on the Shadow path. They decide to be careful. Can't
we get to Inter-Shadow? Fiona doesn't know how. They are now in
Archi goes to the Pattern room, and sees Killian sitting in the
center of the Pattern. Archi begins to walk the Pattern. It's much
harder than he remembers it being. He barely makes it through the First
Veil. Killian sees that Archi is almost at a standstill. He teleports to
the beginning of the Pattern, and begins walking it again. He catches up
to Archi and begins pushing him along. Archi makes it to the center, with
the Log list