Zane, her father (also known as Kurt Whalen) (deceased) -- Son of Swayvill and Tena
Supposed Shadow Earth sculptor and alcoholic known as Kurt Whalen, he lost control one day after he'd been drinking and began to hit his wife, Mirelle, who was eight months pregnant at the time. Mirelle blew his head off with a shotgun in response, supposedly killing him. Unbeknownst to her, he survived, due to the fact that he was really a shapeshifted Chaosite. He later went on to take Chaos by force, with the help of the Serpent, and ruled with an iron fist for over 800 years before being deposed and killed by Nicholas. Ariana didn't learn that he was her father until after his final war with Nicholas had begun, and she never met him, but the fact that both he and her mother were given to bouts of insanity troubles her greatly. Given that he was a direct descendant of the Serpent, Ariana's talent for shapeshifting likely stems from him.
"I know he beat my mother and drank a lot. I'd like to think I'm not like that."
"What am I supposed to do, pretend that the fact that he also abandoned me doesn't hurt just a little? I know he wasn't a good man...But even so, there's a part of me that still aches to think that he didn't want me."
"I know my full bloodline now, and it contains nothing but insanity."
Mirelle, her mother -- Daughter of Oberon and Paulette
Mirelle had the misfortune to find her mother's body after Paulette committed suicide when Mirelle was only nine. This, combined with years of psychological and sexual abuse from Brand, caused her personality to fragment, with the most violent personality coming to the fore when she felt threatened. Some part of her recognized that she was a danger to her infant, who she named Mercedes, so she left the baby to be raised in Shadow. The couple who found the child named her Ariana. Although Mirelle eventually recovered her sanity, her relationship with Ariana is still a bit awkward, leaving Ariana often feeling more like Mirelle's mother than her daughter.
"I think I represent a time in her life that she'd just as soon forget."
"I just want my mother to be whole. Is that so much to ask?"
Devlin, her half brother -- Son of Fenar Borge and Mirelle
Mirelle originally wanted to name him Misery, due to the misery she felt at being married off to Fenar Borge, but fortunately, Ariana talked her out of it.
Lucien Vetch, her husband (also known as Riftvan and Oishin)
Assassin and Head of House Vetch for over two millennia, it has been observed by some that he has changed a great deal since he met Ariana. But the habits of so many years are not easily shed, and there are those who suspect he is merely playing a elaborate game.
"I am loyal to him over Eric, or Nicholas, or whoever else is on the throne, and he damn well knows that by now. Or he should, given that I have defied kings for him before." (August 18, 2994)
"How do you thank someone for giving up five years of their life for you, but putting you through hell in the process?" (August 24, 2994)
"I still marvel at how a man with so much pride and honor could bear to run a house whose very nature is so dishonorable." (February 13, 0)
"Tamaryn once said she thought maybe I could change him, and I used
to believe that too, but now... Even if I could, I'm not sure I have the
strength, anymore." (December 24, 4)
Loryn, her previous life (deceased)
Loryn was a Princess of Faerie, married to Lucien for 500 years, until she was murdered by his father. Ever since Ariana learned that she possesses Loryn's soul, she has struggled to come to terms with who she is, a struggle that only become more difficult when Jack trapped her for a time in Loryn's body. She often holds Loryn up as an ideal, one that she can never seem to attain.
"I have often wondered what Lucien sees in me. I guess I have my answer. He sees his first wife. Or some part of her...I don't understand why I remind him of her. She was tall and beautiful, a Princess of Faerie. I'm rather short and common in comparison. And she seems to have been such a genuinely kind person. I'm sure she never lost her temper the way I do...is it me Lucien loves, or the memory of his dead wife?"
"...I remember her life as if it had happened to me. It's hard to remember sometimes that it didn't." (August 17, 2994)
Tamaryn, her stepdaughter -- Only daughter of Lucien Vetch and Loryn
Ariana often isn't certain whether they are friends, mother and daughter, or some combination of the two. She tends to see Tamaryn as another example of how much better a person Loryn was than she, since Tamaryn was a far less difficult child than some of Ariana's own children.
"She is a better person than I am...and a much better mother." (August 20, 2994)
Jalana, her daughter -- Daughter of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Ariana's first born, only 17 years old, but already possessed of a great deal of sensitivity.
"She is far too much like me. Sometimes, I understand in watching her why I frustrate Lucien." (August 20, 2994)
Morgan, her son -- Son of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Jalana's twin, he has a tendency to brag and has little fear of anything. As Lucien's oldest surviving son, Morgan is the heir to House Vetch, now that Lucien has reclaimed his position.
Shannon, her adopted son -- Son of Lucien Vetch and Sand
Born while Sand was imprisoned for her crimes against Amber, for which she was later executed, Shannon and his twin were given to Ariana to raise as soon as they were born, and she considers them to be her own children.
Vincent, her adopted son -- Son of Lucien Vetch and Sand
Shannon's twin, he began being haunted by the ghost of his birth mother when he was seven, when she began speaking to him in his dreams. He was briefly possessed by her when he was 12, when he was chosen to become an Avatar of Trump, and lived with her presence in his mind until she was finally removed when he was 17.
"Brand merged (Sand) with him, somehow. Vincent has her memories, but she no longer controls him. But he has to have changed. How could he not? To know all of the horrible things she did...it would change anyone. I want to weep with sorrow for the loss of his innocence, and joy that he still lives at all..." (February 26, 0)
"It's one thing to talk about bathing in the Fount of Power. It's another thing entirely to watch your son step into a pillar of flame." (February 26, 0)
"I'm not sure what kind of a future he has ahead of him now, a boy with the mind of an adult and the power of an Avatar." (February 26, 0)
Ana, her daughter -- Daughter of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Ana was conceived due to the energy released when the Jewel of Judgment was shattered, and was exposed to more energy from the Jewel while in utero, when it was reformed. Because of this, she has unusually pale blue eyes, and it is believed that she will have a special affinity for the Pattern, once she finally walks it. Given that she is only 11, this could be a while.
Briana, her daughter -- Daughter of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Of all of Ariana's children, she has the strongest will, combined with the most arrogance. Her will is so strong, in fact, that Ariana had to place a block in her mind after the then five-year-old psychically dominated Ana and her cousin, Hary. At age ten, she is starting to mature enough to handle her ability.
"There can be no doubt that Briana is Lucien's child. If I hadn't given birth to her (an event I still remember far too clearly), I'd swear he simply budded her off of him. She has his hair, his eyes, and most importantly, his attitude."
Grayson, her son and cousin (also known as Doran) -- Son of Brand and Ariana
Conceived of a rape by Brand, then stolen from Ariana by Jack and Chaos before he was even born, he was 60 years old and a complete stranger to her by the time she managed to rescue him. Ariana was devastated by his loss, and is having some difficulty adjusting to her now grown son.
"So now he's probably older than I am. And I'll never hold him, or hear his first words, or see him take his first steps, or any of that. Because he already has. And someone else was there." (August 20, 2994)
"How do you tell your child that his father raped you, and that's how he came to be born?" (August 24, 2994)
"He's only five years younger than me!...It isn't natural. He should be still inside of me, not standing here almost as old as I am." (August 25, 2994)
"Thank the gods Grayson doesn't take much after (Brand). Every now
and then, though, he focuses on something with an intensity that's
downright unnerving, and in those moments I'm clearly reminded of who
fathered him, much as I'd like to forget it."
Bryan, her son -- Son of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Conceived with a great deal of difficulty, at a time when Nicholas had taken steps to prevent Ariana from having more children, Bryan will always occupy a special place in Ariana's heart, both for what she went through to have him, and because he was her first child after Grayson. He was, in many ways, a replacement for Grayson, a son to make up for the son she lost.
Dorian, her son -- Son of Lucien Vetch and Ariana
Ariana's last child, she was pregnant with him when Sand's presence was finally removed from Vincent. Somehow this process resulted in Sand's soul being reborn in Dorian, giving it a chance at the happy childhood that Sand had never had.
Ahab, her cousin (deceased) -- Son of Corwin and Deirdre
Ahab was Ariana's first friend in Amber, and then her first Amberite lover. He insisted on accompanying a mission to fight the Serpent, despite the fact that he was King of Amber at the time, and the Unicorn herself had told him to remain behind. He died during the confrontation in which the Serpent and the Unicorn killed each other. Ariana has never really forgiven him for dying so needlessly.
"Ahab...I wish I could still talk to you, my friend. So much has
changed since you died... How different would things have been if you
hadn't thrown your life away like that?" (August 20, 2994)
Auberon, Loryn's brother -- King of the Seelie Court in Faerie.
"He is my brother. Was my brother. Even if it wasn't in this lifetime, I still can't bring myself to hurt him." (August 17, 2994)
Brand, her uncle -- Son of Oberon and Clarissa
Brand spent years tormenting Mirelle, then moved on to Ariana, simply because she was Mirelle's daughter. At his hands Ariana has been sold to a demon to be sacrificed, was blocked from using magic for ten years, was bitten by a vampire, had information stolen from her mind which was then used to hurt and kill many of the inhabitants of Avalon, and then was raped and had her child stolen from her. Ariana feared he would one day move on to torture her own children in a similar manner, and was rather bitter about the fact that he remained unpunished for so long. When Brand was finally brought to justice, each family member that he had harmed was allowed to administer a non-lethal punishment, and Ariana was the first one called forth. She castrated him. When all his victims were finished, Brand's memory was erased and the Pattern stripped permanently from him by the Unicorn. He recently returned to Amber in his new role as one of the Avatars of Trump, leaving Ariana struggling to decide how to respond to a man who no longer remembers any of the things he did to her.
"After everything he's done, all the people he's killed, or hurt, or...How many times is he going to be allowed to walk away? How many more people have to die before he's stopped?" (August 15, 2994)
"I wish I had known in advance what his final punishment would be. Not that I would have stayed my hand. I had no choice. What he did was...is unforgivable. But if I'd known that they were going to take his memory afterwards, I would have chosen a different blade with which to exact my revenge."
"I imagine there is some irony in the fact that the man who brought
such torment upon me in his old life should do me such a great favor in
his new one. I owe him a debt I cannot easily repay now. The least I can
do is give him a fresh start. For Grayson's sake, as well." (February
Deirdre, her aunt -- Daughter of Oberon and Faiella
Deirdre and Ariana never seemed to get along very well, no doubt party because Deirdre never approved of Ariana's brief relationship with Ahab. She faked her death in Chaos so she could fight Zane's forces on her own, and dump the responsibility of raising her son Ishmael on Fiona, a fact that was a bit of a sore point with Fiona when Deirdre returned.
"I remember all that Ahab told me about her...and I just can't
picture her as being the sort of person that people would be very fond
Driscoll, her cousin -- Son of Random and Dorienne
The first Amberite Ariana ever met, he was the one who brought her out of Shadow to Amber and set her on the Pattern. Initially, Ariana was strongly attracted to him, but that faded over time to just a close friendship. Although their backgrounds are very different, they both have endured their share of tragedy.
"It helps a lot to know that I'm not the only one who's felt this
way, that there's nothing wrong with me because of how I'm reacting. That
someday the pain will fade. If he survived the death of his wife, then
maybe I can survive the loss of my son." (August 23, 2994)
Eric, her uncle -- Son of Oberon and Faiella
Ariana used to like him, up until he got involved with Vixen. His behavior since then has been irrational, at best, most notably since Vixen's disappearance. His attempt to take the throne from Nicholas has put Ariana at odds with him, especially since she was responsible for retrieving Nicholas from Chaos.
"I do feel sympathy for him. I just wish he wasn't going to cause a
Felix, her cousin -- Son of Gérard and Isabeux
One of the first Amberites Ariana met, he is at heart a gentle man, albeit a confused one. He and Ariana clash on and off, initially over what he considered her unladylike behavior, and lately over the fact that he alternately fears and criticizes her family. It didn't help matters any that Ariana's children were in his care when several of them managed to walk the Pattern.
"He can't seem to go five minutes without insulting me or my family
in some way." (August 18, 2994)
Finndo, her uncle and nephew -- Son of Oberon and Cymnea
Presumed dead for centuries, Finndo recently returned as the King of the Unseelie Court, where he held Ariana and Ishmael hostage in an attempt to force Nicholas to exchange them for the Orb.
"I think Lucien was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle seeing him, but strangely enough, I find that I hold no grudge against him for my imprisonment. He never mistreated me while I was there. I was just a pawn." (December 27, 4)
Fiona, her aunt -- Daughter of Oberon and Clarissa
Fiona has never shown a particular fondness for Ariana, a fact that can be attributed to both her impatience with Ariana's many questions and general emotionalism, and to Ariana's choice of husband. Despite the latter, however, Fiona helped to save Lucien's life when he contracted Chaos cancer, something Ariana will always be grateful for. Ariana tends to be a bit wary of Fiona's questions, however.
"Tea with Fiona is dangerous." (August 11, 2994)
Foster, her cousin and stepgrandson -- Son of Felix and Tamaryn
He had a terrible crush on Ariana when they first met, an interest that he never followed up on due to the fact that she was involved with Lucien, who happened to be both his grandfather and, more importantly, his Head of House. After Brand erased his mind, he walked the Pattern and was able to restore his memories of who people were, and the feelings he had for them, but not the events and reasons behind those feelings.
"He must still have some of the feelings for me that he demonstrated
when he first came to Amber. That could be a bit awkward." (August
Gavin, her cousin
Descended from Oberon's sister, he is relatively new to Amber, and still regarded with distrust. His habit of psychically scanning people, and his mysterious cat companion, did little to alleviate this state of affairs, nor did his later experiments with demons.
"Someone will have to talk to Gavin about the impoliteness of what he's doing, before one of the older family members takes offense and smacks him, hard."
"Ever since I learned that he had a demon dwelling in his head, I've found him disturbing."
Gérard, her uncle -- Son of Oberon and Rilga
Ariana has always had a solid relationship with Gérard, although they don't always understand each other. He tends to find her behavior a bit too untraditional for a woman, and Ariana thinks he's too set in his ways. They share an interest in medicine, though, and a tendency to hope for the best in others. Ariana trusts him more than she does most of her aunts and uncles.
Ishmael, her cousin -- Son of Luther Hendrake and Deirdre
Ariana counts Ishmael as one of her closest friends. He has an honesty and a simple outlook on life that she finds very refreshing.
"Part of me wants to trust him, the way I did Ahab. Even though I know that's foolish. The other part of me wants to stay away from him, to keep my distance. Just in case he turns out to have a death wish like Ahab did, as well."
"He is so very much like Ahab, that same earnestness and brashness, all rolled up together."
"...if anyone can inspire immaturity, it's Ishmael."
Laughter, her cousin (also known as Mairsal and Lavender) -- Daughter of Mandor and Fiona
Laughter was Ariana's closest female friend, especially after Ahab's death. Unfortunately, Laughter's long periods away in Shadow put a strain on their friendship, given the difference in their perspective time flows, and then Brand erased Laughter's mind completely. Although walking the Pattern was able to restore her memories of her life up until her first Patternwalk, all of her later memories, including those of her friendship with Ariana, were lost. It was years before those memories returned to her, and her relationship with Ariana has never quite recovered.
"Sometimes I wonder why she even bothers coming back to Amber, since she spends so little time here. I wish I could talk to her about...what's happened. But she's been gone for so long, that I'm not even sure I know her anymore." (August 20, 2994)
"Imagine suddenly learning that you have five children and two
husbands, none of which you remember." (August 25, 2994)
Nicholas, her cousin and Emperor -- Son of Ahab and Kimdyl
Ariana has seen him age from an infant to older than her while she passed only a few decades. This sometimes makes it difficult to remember how much he has changed from the boy who once played with her own children. She originally felt obligated to help and protect him, since he was the only surviving child of her late friend, Ahab, and this sense of obligation was one of the reasons she pushed so hard to retrieve Nicholas when he was trapped in Chaos by the destruction of Ygg. Indeed, without her, he and the others would likely still be there. Unfortunately, Nicholas' actions after he became emperor changed her view of him for the worse, and there are times when she wonders if perhaps she should have left him in Chaos after all.
"I think he'll be a good king, especially once he's had some time to grow into the position."
"Why should I stick my neck out for Nicholas?...I've done so in the past, and see how I've been rewarded?"
Random, her uncle -- Son of Oberon and Paulette
King of Amber for a little over five years after Patternfall, Ariana had several clashes with him, the most notable one being over Sand's punishment when she was first captured. He was named Steward when Oberon returned to reclaim the throne, a position that agrees with him far more than the old one. He and Ariana have been on much better terms since his change in position.
Ronan, her cousin -- Son of Eric and Meagan of Kirkfaldy
A kindred spirit, he appeared to have the same difficulty adapting to Amber that Ariana did early on. Unfortunately, his luck was somewhat worse, and he disappeared only a month and a half after his arrival in Amber. When he was finally located, five years later, it was discovered that he had been captured by Eric's wife, Leto, and turned into a dog. His body has been restored to his human form, but it remains to be seen how long his mind takes to recover. And then there's the matter of his offspring....
"I liked Ronan. He was a good man, and his heart was in the right place, even if some of his ideas weren't very well thought out...He deserves better than to have his throat slit by a power-mad assassin."
"I had begun to think we'd never know what happened to him. But what Leto did to him.... It's horrible. She turned him into a dog. She may have even bred him in that form. And for what? Not for anything that Ronan did to her. No, she did it because she wanted to hurt Eric. What was Oberon thinking in forcing Eric to marry that witch in the first place?" (November 21, 4)
Shard, her cousin -- Son of Julian
A vampire for over 400 years now, Ariana remains one of his few friends, despite the fact that he once lost control and bit her soon after he was made. He is drawn to her for reasons that neither of them understand, but may be related to the fact that he briefly possessed a piece of her soul.
"He wouldn't make me a vampire against my will...He's my friend. I can't believe he would ever hurt me like that."
"It's funny how talking to Shard about my problems can make me feel so much better about them, sometimes.
"We shared a soul once. That's not a bond that is easily
Vixen, her cousin (also known as Tordonia) -- Daughter of Blake and Torene
Kimdyl's assassin was the last person Ariana expected to befriend, and it took more than half a year for her to even speak to Vixen. She was one of the first to do so, however, and despite their differences, they managed to form a tentative friendship. That friendship ended, however, when Ariana learned of Vixen's attempt to kill Leto's unborn child. Imprisoned in stone for over five years, she was eventually freed, but the experience appears to have driven her mad.
"I thought that perhaps my friendship could change her, could show her that there are other ways besides assassination. Obviously, I was wrong. Was she ever really my friend, or was she just using me all along?"
"Ronan never did trust her. I wish I'd listened to him."
Whimsy, her cousin (also known as Dahlia) -- Daughter of Suhuy and Fiona
Born in Chaos to Fiona while Nicholas' group was trapped there for 100 years, Whimsy appears as far from her name in attitude as humanly possible. Ariana feels a bond with her though, due to the similar loss they have suffered.
"I'm not sure how much we have in common, other than our pain. It is too soon to tell. But we share a desire to see Brand dead. Right now, that is more than sufficient." (August 20, 2994)
"Despite what she says, I think we both react to being badly hurt
somewhat similarly. We both try to close ourselves off and isolate
ourselves from others."
Angelique Sawall-Vetch, Lucien's ex-wife
Lucien's last wife before Ariana, she molded herself into the sort of wife she thought Lucien would want, an assassin equal to him in power and skill. But in doing so, she eliminated the qualities he liked in her, and after 500 years of marriage he arranged an "accident" for her. Believed dead for centuries, she resurfaced in Amber after the Chasm was mended, insisting that Lucien return with her to Chaos and resume his position as the Head of House Vetch, and as her husband. After several years, she succeeded in persuading Lucien to return to Chaos and become Head of House again, but was rather displeased when he then informed her that he planned to divorce her. In response, she appeared to immolate herself in the middle of the Court of Thelbane, but in reality she had split herself in two beforehand. The shock of losing so much of herself was more than she anticipated, however, and she has remained comatose ever since.
"Why did this woman have to come back now, after all this time?"
"The sad thing is, I can empathize with her. From the way Lucien describes her, she started off similar to me...The irony is, if she hadn't changed, who can say what might have happened?"
"Lucien said she was just like him, when he wasn't a very nice person at all. So how can I trust anything she says?"
"I will not lose Lucien, not to anyone. If she wanted him so badly, she shouldn't have waited this long to reclaim him."
"I want to like her, or at least to give her a chance without
prejudging her. But it's very difficult to do so, knowing that she may
very well be planning to kill my husband, or take him away from
Cymnea Vetch-Barimen, Lucien's twin sister (also known as Rygat)
Angry with Oberon for sending her sons to their deaths, she took the throne of Chaos after Patternfall and launched an assault against Amber. Trapped in a Trump upon her defeat, she was freed when it became known that Finndo was alive, and has taken up residence in Chaos again.
"It was hard to sit and chat politely with her, after all she put us
through after Patternfall. I mean, she tried to kill me!" (December
Edwin Jesby, Whimsy's ex-husband -- Son of Credence and Claire Jesby
Married in secret to Whimsy, their wedding night ended badly when a genetic defect caused Whimsy great pain and Edwin did not heed her cries for him to stop. The fact that he ran away afterwards, and that the child conceived of that night was stillborn, only served to further the bitterness and hatred that Whimsy felt towards him. In revenge, she chopped him up and left his remains hanging in a meat locker, to be served to his unwitting family. Much to her surprise, he turned up alive and well after the war in Chaos, revealing that the man who raped her on her wedding night, and who she later carved into steaks, was really Edwin's twin brother, Wesley.
"He looks so harmless, it's hard to believe he did what he did to Whimsy. Then again, even Brand was capable of looking harmless, and look at the evil he did."
"I have to keep reminding myself that he's not the bastard that we
all thought he was. An evil twin brother. Gods, that still seems like
something out of a bad novel." (November 22, 4)
Maddy Hendrake, Ishmael's wife
A commoner whom Ariana hired as a math tutor for her children, she and Ariana became good friends, sharing a love of books and children. Although she gave up her job when she married Ishmael, she and Ariana remain close.
"...I really like her. She seems very down-to-earth, which is
somewhat of a relief after dealing with members of my family...I think we
could be friends."
Titania, Auberon's wife
"I suppose he married her because he needed something that came with her. It saddens me that there is no love between them, though." (August 14, 2994)
Unless otherwise noted, all Trumps displayed on this page are the work of Wendi Strang-Frost and are © by her. Please contact her before reproducing them in any fashion. For more examples of her work, check out her web page, her online comic "Johnny Public" or the "Wavedancers" story in Elfquest.
The Trump of Grayson is the work of Lisamarie Babik. The man depicted is actor Tom Hulce from the movie "Those Lips, Those Eyes." If you have any questions about this image, feel free to contact Lisamarie.
The Trumps of Ishmael, Whimsy, Angelique and Edwin are the work of Matthew Richardson, and are actually the combination of several different images. The man in the Ishmael Trump is actor Charlie Sheen; the woman in the Whimsy Trump is actress Judy Davis; the woman in the Angelique Trump is a model for Jonvieve; and the man in the Edwin Trump is actor Alexis Arquette. If you have any questions about these images, feel free to contact Matthew.
All text on this page is © 1997-2003 by Kris Fazzari, with the exception of the attributed quotes.
Last modified on April 4, 2003 by Kris Fazzari.