It's always a bad sign when things go according to my design.  It
means my designs have once again gone wide of the real areas of potential

	Kimdyl is taking pregnancy well, aside from wanting to beat me up
and puking a lot.  It occurs to me that she, like Ariana, might have a
child with Pattern blood.  If so, the strain on her system must be
immense.  I hope she can carry it to term, but if not, well, there are
more where that came from.  I confess to wanting another child.  I do have
a sense of fun, after all, and I hope someone will inherit it some day.

	The work on the sword is done.  I am glad I had two blades to
practice on; working both silver and cold iron into the inlay proved
tricky, and bonding both with the carbon steel that actually makes up
Morglyph's blade was trickier still.  But the final product did not
disappoint.  At this time only Nicholas knows what I have done, and I like
it better this way.  Morglyph is the most fatal device I know how to make,
but it might be best if the limits of that knowledge remain secret for a

	Work in town goes well.  Amberites in general seem to be
retrenching with Oberon back, and I think Trinity and Alexi can capitalize
here.  I, unlike most, can afford to take large cash losses, and that
should put us in a unique position compared to the rest of the banking
industry.  If they're clamming up on venture loans, we stand to make a few
at higher-than-normal interest, and some of those will work for the best. 
The long-term result is that we not only get a start in the banking
industry, we get in touch with some of the most dangerous men in business
- the ones who can try a risky move during trying times and make profits
large enough to pay a nearly usurious loan.

	I still have to talk to Lyss, though.  I can perhaps live with her
choice of Bart; in some ways he complements her.  But he remains of two
natures, and too quick to switch between them.  The obsequious Bart gives
way all too quickly to the one who will rip out your throat.  His temper
may serve Lyss, but it doesn't work well for those of us who test the
limits of people we may have to rely on.  His limits don't test by
conventional means.

	She asked me to be a surrogate father for her once, and for a time
I was.  It worked well for both of us; certainly I try to take care of
her.  But she hasn't needed me much lately.  Needed help, yes, but not
*me*.  And, if she should come to me in the future, I am not sure I can
get around her relationship with Bartholomew.  It serves her little to
have a father she doesn't need interfering or disapproving of her love
life. Best if we cut the knot.

	I've said that before, but I find myself reluctant to do it.  It
is hard to lose your mother and daughter in the same day, even if the loss
is neither total nor final.  I feel it should hurt more than it does,
honestly, but perhaps I have become harder than that.  Or perhaps it is
simply not the sort of thing that hurts right away.

	In any case, it must be done.  Hopefully I've become somewhat
skilled at the various other necessities of my new, if somewhat
unofficial, rank.  I think I have succeeded in making other nobles of the
Court remember that I exist, and, if their reactions during dinner are a
guide, I did not totally unimpress them.  Some of the Lords of Chaos know
me as well, and while my dealings with them have not always been at peak
form, I have not usually embarrassed myself.

	I have hopes of assuming the Throne someday, and I believe I am up
to the task.  I expect the days ahead, until Oberon makes an official
proclamation, to be a continuing test, but one I can pass.  I cannot
express how good it is to feel like I may see some return for my efforts
other than continued life - which I have not valued highly at all times
anyway.  There remains only one dull thud in my ascent.

	Nobody, that is, NOBODY had better address me as Hendrake.

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