Though Amber began with the betrayal of Chaos by Dworkin and Oberon, and the excommunication of House Barimen from the Church of the Serpent, the true history of Amber...the very heart of the tale...is the story of Prince Brand.
The youngest child of Clarissa and Oberon, he has been seen as both our betrayer and savior, and in truth, no label can easily contain him. He was ever an enigma to his family, warm and concerned one moment, then cool and indifferent the next, slipping between psychotic rage and repressive ennui with the speed only seen in the most afflicted of manic-depressives. And then there was his ambition...
It all began with the redheads, or so the history books claim. Such narratives are written by the victors, however. This much is certain: two triumvirates were formed, each intent upon the throne. Eric, Julian and Caine took the throne, and Fiona, Bleys and Brand sought to take it from them. They plotted with the Courts of Chaos, marred the Primal Pattern, and arranged the disappearance of Oberon...to no avail. They were betrayed by Brand, or so it was later claimed. Had he grown overly ambitious? We will probably never know for sure.
Prince Brand came into conflict with his siblings, and was imprisoned by Fiona in her prismatic Shadow. Later he was freed by the efforts of Corwin and the family, and immediately set about attempting to claim the Jewel of Judgment that he might alter the Pattern and rule all of reality. At the close of Patternfall, he was stopped by the combined efforts of the family. The war ended when Caine pierced his throat with a silver arrow, and with his dying breath Brand drew Deirdre down into the Abyss with him.
The Patternfall War left a grim legacy for the royal family of Amber; it shattered the family's belief in its own immortality. For in the course of those years they had lost Eric, Oberon, Dworkin, Deirdre and Brand. It was a grim time that followed, for at the close of the war arrived Sand, and though the Unicorn had blessed her and bestowed upon her the Jewel, all knew that her rule would be short and tragic. Her first action was to punish Fiona and Bleys by imprisoning them in stone.
Queen Sand ruled out of a sense of duty fostered by her own personal guilt, for it was her earlier betrayal of Oberon that had spawned his legacy of family strife and mistrust. Though she desired nothing more than to set things right, in the twenty days that she ruled, the family was visited with death after death.
It was Sand's destiny to cope with the dispossessed children of Amber, for in her time came the Sufferers' Guild, a group of disenchanted children of Amber who had vowed to destroy all that their parents held dear. At the same time, other children appeared to claim their heritage. They were many, you see. Katrina came to Amber first, tricked into arriving via the Broken Pattern, duped by her Logrus mad brother Maximillian...who had learned to despise their grandfather Benedict. Lylesberg, son of Brand, deceived Meridian, eldest son of Caine, and sent him to Amber, knowing that his sister Emma would resent his presence.
The son of Brand also aided Victoria in causing mischief for her sister Meredith, for the daughters of Fiona had little love between them. Mirelle returned from the grave and nearly slew Shaenan, son of Corwin and Dara, fraternal twin of Merlin. He was saved, however, by Lucier...the Chaosian ambassador to Amber, who was accompanied by Llateri, later revealed to be the daughter of the Abyss. And amidst all the new faces, Deirdre returned from the dead. It was only later that we learned that she housed Brand's spirit, long since driven mad by exposure to the Abyss.
The Sufferers' Guild destroyed Gérard and Martin, and of their number, Maximillian and Mirelle were captured and turned to stone, while Lylesberg and Victoria were slain at the Primal Pattern. The truth of Deirdre was revealed, but she disappeared before any action could be taken against her, taking myself and Florimel to a Shadow prison from which we eventually escaped. Later we learned that Deirdre had been slain by the Unicorn herself, and Brand sent back into the darker regions of the Abyss.
There Brand had reason to ally with Llateri, whom our history knows as the Dark One, for she intended nothing less than the destruction of all reality. In the last days of her rule, Queen Sand chose Emma, daughter of Caine, as her heir, and journeyed to destroy Corwin and his Pattern, ending the instability created by his creation. While she fought with him, Meredith, daughter of Fiona, repaired the last damage to the Primal Pattern, going mad for her efforts and warping the Pattern in a way that none of us ever understood. Sand sustained fatal injuries in her battle with Corwin, and was never seen alive again.
With Sand's death, Fiona and Bleys were freed from their imprisonment and joined in supporting their new queen. Emma chose Gawain to be her husband, and they bore many children, five of whom would survive to adulthood. Queen Emma ruled for five years and effectively managed the tribulations of her reign. When the spirit of Brand resurfaced again in the form of Brent, husband of Flora, Emma was there to thwart him. With the combined aid of the family, Brand was destroyed again in Kashfa, and his soul was trapped in the Jewel of Judgment. The battle was not without its victims, however, for Llewella died in that conflict, and upon returning to Castle Amber, the family learned that Adrian, son of Florimel, had also been slain.
When Mirelle freed herself from her stony prison, slaying Lilith, daughter of Lucier, Emma's leadership was there to save Amber from her predations. Mirelle was slain by Princess Katrina, who had been appointed head of the Castle Guards by Emma. And it was Emma who consulted with Fiona about Meredith's madness, and together they subdued Meredith that Fiona might take the onus of the Pattern upon herself, and restore her daughter to sanity and her realm to stability. Thus I lost my mother, but regained my sister.
Just as things began to seem settled, Llateri made her move. With the aid of her dark father, she corrupted the Logrus, and thus took total control of the Courts of Chaos. Despil and his family fled to Avignon, where they sought asylum with Florimel, who had fled there to escape persecution in Amber for her involvement with Brand. In Amber, Benedict, who had assayed the Logrus, became her pawn.
The second war between Amber and Chaos was short and brutal, for there were few in Amber to protect her. Benedict had become a minion of Llateri, and it was only the combined talents of Emma and Gawain that enabled us to lay him to rest. Caine and Bleys were gone in Shadow...Julian and Random did what they could to defend their territories while the others attempted to protect the Pattern, but it was a difficult battle. The Chaosian forces came by air, land and sea...and their attacks were devastating. We succeeded in stopping them, but at a cost. Llateri's assault was sudden and terrible...but she was destroyed.
We lost so much at that point. Emma, Gawain, Katrina, Meredith and Shaenan were believed destroyed in the blast that marked the destruction of Llateri and the terrible aftereffect of that battle, and from what Emily and Jacob could tell us of that final battle, so too were destroyed Mandor, Suhuy, Victoria, Derrick, Lucier and the three sisters of Tir-na Nog'th. From that point forward were the connections between Shadow severed. In my dreams, she visits me...my mother...who is now the Unicorn...and Fiona told me the truth of it...that she severed those connections that we might grow strong again.
Unfortunately, many of the Chaosian forces remained in Amber. Separated from Arden, we could not count on Julian's soldiers nor his strategy. We were left with Emma's four children, their nanny Emily, myself, Prince Random, Jacob, Merlin and Mirelle. We were plain and simply not up to the task of protecting Amber, and so, at Jacob's suggestion, we brought back one who was able to help us...Brand. But alas, the Jewel was missing...as it had been in Emma's hands at the scene of the final battle. To this day, I do not know how Emily managed to return the Jewel to us. But she did...and so we did what we had to.
Brand's return marked a new era in history, what we would call the Time of the Reconstruction. His time in the Jewel must have restored his sanity and his power, for the Brand that returned to us was no monster. With him on our side, we could not lose. Through his sage advice we routed the Chaosian forces and reclaimed our lands. The ruins of Castle Amber were cleared, and Newcastle was built in its place.
Emily, Brand and Jacob governed as co-regents until Rhiannon's sixteenth birthday, upon which time she assumed the throne. Her younger sister Branwen had long since assumed the throne of Rebma, with the caring support of Vialle and Random, for Moire died in one of the early skirmishes with Chaos.
The Time of the Reconstruction was fraught with minor wars, for every few years another Shadow would rejoin Amber. It was the work of my mother, you see, restoring what once was. Each time we would face the Chaosian forces again, and we would win. By the time Rhiannon assumed the throne, much of the Golden Circle had been restored, and the restoration was increasing its pace.
Cerridwen recovered Tir-na Nog'th and became its queen. Gérard Nathaniel, who came to be called Nathan, married a Begman noblewoman named Isabelle and became the mayor of Amber City, a job that required little thought, which is just as well, for Nathan was mentally slow. I, Faust, serve as historian of Amber and advisor to the Queen. My link to Fiona is such that I am also revered as a holy man within Amber City. They are not mistaken in this, for I alone can contact my mother.
The Patterns are lost to us. The Patterns of Amber and Rebma are buried under more rubble than we are inclined to move, and Rhiannon wishes it to stay that way. None can access the Primal Pattern now, save myself, for Fiona has forbidden it to all others. Cerridwen claims that her Pattern is similarly gone, though this has not yet been verified. Tir-na Nog'th is a strange place, and few are welcome there, really. Jacob watches over Nathan and Amber City; Emily keeps an eye on the castle; Mirelle works in the Golden Circle, helping to establish medical clinics, doing her small part to aid those in need. Merlin is silent still, his own legacy of pain continues. He lives alone in Begma and avoids contact with us.
There is little else to say, really. There have been no marriages and no births since the last War. And there have been no deaths in the family, either. We are rebuilding, slowly but surely, preparing for what is to come. She has told me, you see, that they are not dead...that they will return. I will say nothing of this to the Queens, for it would change nothing.
Last modified on August 28, 2000 by Kris Fazzari.