The Chinese have a curse, "May you live in interesting times." 
Amber is a cursed land, and we, her children, are a cursed people.  We
have lost two kings in as many months.  A man whom I thought was my friend
has had his way with my daughter-in-law, and now she is pregnant with his
child.  I may be a father for the second time, or Bridget might have born
the spawn of the undead.  (She'd be very upset to hear it put that way,
but when you come right down to it, any child of Shard's would be "the
spawn of the undead".)  All in all, it's been a very trying year.

	Da told me that Ahab was dead.  I'd spent the night watching Haris
and Iseult after getting Foster drunk - he'd desperately needed it.  We
were going to lunch and Da Trumps me.  Damn Ahab, anyway.  It hurts.  My
oldest friend is dead.  How do you respond to that?  "Thanks Da, I'll see
you at lunch?  Say hey to Deirdre if you see her."  (Actually, the lunch
part of that was pretty accurate.)  He was my only cousin...for the
longest time I had a family full of aunts and uncles, and *a* cousin.  It
stayed that way up until Patternfall - I remember how odd and exciting it
was to find out that there were other people my age in the family.  But
Ahab was the first.  I can't even imagine what his family is going through
(I hope I never have to find out).  I guess it was inevitable; he'd come
very close several times.

	Practice makes perfect.

	Almost as disturbing as Ahab's death was the service that Bart
delivered.  Did I mention that he was the new High Priest of the Unicorn? 
I personally thought it was a bit unorthodox.  If he was trying to be
confusing and disrespectful, he succeeded.  I've never understood Bart. 
It's good that he's found something to do...I guess.  I mean, declaring a
paper weight a holy object?  Come on. That's as stupid as worshipping a
gourd.  Or a sandal.

	I'm not sure quite what else to say about Ahab.  I shan't ramble
on - he always hated it when I did.  "Not decisive enough," he said.  "Is
there a point?" I'd hear.  We'd a wake for him, Bleys and me.  For him and
the other dead kings.  I'm disappointed that none of his family came -
they could use the release most of all.  We all have to say goodbye in our
own ways, I suppose.

	You will be missed.

	The fun had only just started.  During the expedition to retrieve
the Jewel (the very same expedition that cost Ahab his life), Laughter had
played host to some spell meant to deceive the Serpent.  This spell, once
cast, altered her recollection of her life, and Driscoll took advantage of
these false memories.  I cannot blame Laughter for her actions.  Driscoll,
however...Driscoll I can blame; Driscoll I could hurt.  Some might say
that it is none of my business (my son being one of them).  I cannot stand
by and watch my friends get hurt.  Foster was upset when he
found out that I knew what was going on (that's just like him, tho...  "Oh
no, Dad knows something about my life!  Damn him!").  I had to do
something.  Just because he happens to be three times my senior, does not
mean that I relinquish my right to play protective father.

	Random and Vialle will be such good grandparents.

	Bridget bore a son - we still don't know who the father is. 
Frankly, she looked large enough to be carrying my child, but the labor
was extremely quick, and the child small.  Ariana thinks that those signs
alone are enough to identify Shard as the father.  I've such mixed
feelings about the whole thing - I'd rather the child were mine, than
Shard's.  Realistically, what kind of father can a vampire be?  Nothing
against Shard personally, but there are certain things about his condition
that I don't think will lend themselves to parenthood.  Meanwhile, my
child by another woman throws a wrench into things.  I wouldn't take to it
very well were I Tamaryn.  I suppose there's nothing gained by me second
guessing everyone.  Best let it unfold as it will.

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