Da was surprised to hear that we'd retrieved the King.  He didn't
know it was our duty to do so (Eric seems very poor at sharing his plans
with the parents of those he's sending to their deaths).  Da was a bit
upset because I didn't tell him we were going, though, in my defense, I
did tell Mum.  It's not my fault if they don't talk as much as they should
(I would get backhanded by both of them if I said that to them).  Da was
happy to know of Nicholas' return, happier to know that I'd gone and
returned safely, and happiest to learn of my impending nuptials (parents
are funny that way).

	We spent a goodly portion of the afternoon working our way through
some excellent, and much needed, brandy.  Just because I'm good at
destroying things does not mean I enjoy doing it.  The destruction of
objects has a certain therapeutic value, but I've always found that loss
of life disturbs me.  Here I go waxing morose again...

	Da said he'd talk to Eric about sending the "children" to their
dooms.  I swear, at times I have to remind myself that I like Eric.  He's
only doing his job, I suppose...and for that I cannot fault him.  But ever
since...well, ever since Patternfall, he's seemed so distant.  I dunno.  I
suppose we all have demons to exercise.

	Shit, even I dust mine off and take them running fairly

	Eric should try it.

	We had a state dinner to welcome the King and his party home.
Caine fell back into step as soon as we Trumped into the castle, the
others were less sure of themselves.  Fiona was unconscious at the time,
and Whimsy and Ishmael had never been to Amber.  Strange to think that in
the short time since Ygg's destruction, one hundred years have passed in
Chaos.  I suppose I shouldn't think it unusual - "Murine" was gone less
than a month before "she" returned with my sixty-something-year-old son.

	I can't decide if Whimsy was more defensive during the battle, or
during the dinner.  I seem to have struck a sore spot with her, I hope she
doesn't hold it against me.  Donal came over, and she left.  I'd been
there talking but a minute, and she excused herself.  I was afraid that
I'd said something wrong, or committed some inexcusable social sin...or
that Caine had spoken ill of me while they were abroad.  Ariana said that
Whimsy doesn't like children.  I mentioned it to Caine when I asked him
what I had done wrong.  It is a taboo subject.  I promised him that I'd
not tell anyone else, but with the number of children running through the
castle's halls of late, I fear cousin Whimsy might have a difficult time
of it.  She must have her reasons, and if she wants me to know, she'll
tell me.

	I anticipate being in the dark for some time.

	Anyway, I hope that she doesn't hold Crispin and Donal against me
and Tamaryn.  Daughter of Fiona that she is, I don't know how much time
we'll be spending together, anyway (Laughter being the exception to that).
Who knows how me and Ishmael will get along?  What's important is Nicholas
is back - though I'm not sure how he'll be accepted.  Mum's already let on
that the nobles are kinda iffy about taking him as king, seeing as he's
barely spent any of his life in Amber.  We'll find out soon enough.

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