AN ALPHABETICAL CATALOG OF LIFE AND ITS INHERENT WEIRDNESS
A is for Ariana.
Ariana, Lady Vetch, isn't unwelcome in Amber, as far as I can
tell. But it doesn't seem as if she'll be residing here anymore, and that
would be poor. She was my first friend in Amber... In any case, it is
her husband who is unloved.
B is for Bartholomew.
What is, exactly, the appropriate thank-you for someone who did
you a great service on the Disc and didn't have to? It's not like I want
to owe Bart any favors. For one thing, I'm sure it's frowned upon by my
father to owe anybody anything if you don't have to. For another, I'm
very wary of owing Bart anything -- there's not just the malingering
business with my sword, either, but the whole aura of wrongness about his
familiar looking just like me. I don't like the thought of little copies
of myself living in anyone's belt-buckle.
C is for Crown Prince.
The scuttlebutt is that Corwin is going to be the Crown Prince.
Not that I have any say in this matter whatsoever, but it seems to me that
if there were anyone I wanted to swear loyalty to, it would not be the guy
who knocked up his sister. Granted, I don't know this story at all, but I
do have a minor problem with swearing loyalty to anyone, actually. I
mean, I don't really want to be in the power of all these ruthless men.
It's definitely an argument for moving to the Disc, not that I can stand
the local politics.
D is for Discworld.
Nice place, as long as you are a human male with a shitload of
magical power and a standing army. But, I have to go back, to talk
to Meander and Looks Twice again, and to give Meander the opportunities
that are his birthright... as well as I can. It's probably not my job.
But is anyone else going to bother? Besides... of the people I've met
since my life began, Meander and Looks Twice have got to be in the top one
percent of "good folks."
E is for Executions.
First it was Sand. Her hair was white, her face drawn. I don't
have a clue what happened to her, but it looked as though she had already
been fittingly punished for the crimes that she had committed...against
me, anyways. In all honesty, I don't know if her punishment fitted her
other crimes. But there is always that viscous streak in me that says
"beheading is too good..." for some people. It is countered by a bizarre
streak of compassion, instilled in me by Caitt. Fortunately, it is not
Second was Dalt. I never knew Dalt. But you have to admire the
zest for revenge that the boy had.
F is for Fiona.
My mother is being married off to a man she doesn't love, and who
doesn't love her. To a man who can "contain" her. This bothers me. I
pleaded her case before Oberon -- gussied myself up in a dress to do so.
There are very few people I will ever wear a dress for. And that is
Ariana, on her wedding day. And Foster, on our wedding day. And he who
makes Fiona tremble.
G is for Gerard.
Oberon apparently beat the crap out of my soon-to-be
grandfather-in-law. To prove it was really him. Yah. Whatever. They
wouldn't recognize him unless he got mean? I guess that makes sense.
Having heard the stories I have heard.
H is for Haris.
Everyone seems to have doubted the wisdom of my asking for Fiona
to bring him to the Disc, but they don't understand.
First, Mandor was almost hypnotized by Haris... While unnerving
in and of itself, I'm the kind of gal who knows Mandor, while he might
like to eat babies, won't eat his own grandson. Yet.
But then... But then, *OBERON* was very interested in him. I'd
seen the look on Mandor's face. It's not a pleasant look. To see someone
contemplating your first-born as some sort of...useful thing. Not as a
cute little (huge, whatever) baby, but as a...future tool? The dread
king Oberon looking at my kid that way... Not an occasion to rejoice.
I is for Ingratiation.
Since I don't know how to ingratiate myself with the new regime,
it may be worth it to become a citizen of Chaos. Then again, it may not.
J is for Jewel.
The Jewel is back together. It once again tried to deposit us all
in places around the universe, just for thinking of them.
K is for Karma.
Having not excised all my karma with Driscoll (not that I've had a
chance to kill Chameleon or anything), I'm a bit worried about it all
L is for Laughter.
Yep... that's me. Did you have a better thought for L?
M is for Mandor.
My dearest dad doesn't seem nearly as upset about this Oberon
thing as he should be. As my mother said, Random was far easier to
manipulate. But maybe Mandor still has Gramble up his sleeve. For all I
know, that old dude is possibly far nastier than Oberon could ever hope to
be. I mean, there's probably a reason Mandor has never introduced me to
Gramble. And it's probably because Mandor knows Gramble would never
suffer me to live for long after the meeting. So, maybe, just maybe,
there's nothing really to worry about?
N is for Nuptials.
Oberon, my grandfather, is marrying all of my unmarried aunts and
uncles off to various Chaosites. Going about fourteen or so steps better
than Mandor and Random were planning to, isn't he?
O is for Oberon.
If he's back from the dead, I wanna know how.
If he's just been out and about, someone oughta tan his hide for
being such an asshole and letting us get all nice and safe and comfy
feeling with Random.
P is for Pattern.
As it turns out, the reason Haris has attracted all this undue
attention, and probably will continue to do so, was that large surge of
Jewel energy that occurred when he was in utero. "He will have a certain
affinity for the Pattern." As will Ariana's unborn child.
Q is for Quit.
Unfortunately, we all, including Ahab, seem to have been sucked
into playing The Game, as Ariana put it when she was first describing Ahab
to me. Except that first description of Ahab was that he didn't play.
Now he's the Royal Executioner.
That is not the task of a man who is outside the game.
Of course, none of us are outside of it, anymore. Not really.
And there is no way to quit.
R is for Rebma.
Moire is giving up the throne in Rebma to be our Queen in Amber,
and Arthur will be the new King in Rebma. This was the deal struck so
that Arthur's life could be spared. I don't know. I've never talked to
Moire, but she's the one who raised Arthur to believe that Corwin should
the King of Amber. I can reserve judgment on all of that for now, but it
S is for Sorcery.
We'll see how that goes.
T is for Toe.
I'm missing one. Uncool.
U is for Usires.
He seems to have left his soul in the hands of a demon on the
V is for Vialle.
If Vialle, a blind woman, can animate a Trump, then Meander, a
blind man, can. I think a little research is called for.
W is for Waiting.
I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Oberon can't be doing such horrid things to his children, like
marrying them all off, without having something equally horrid in mind for
the generation after them. And that's me. And a lot of people I care
X is for...nothing. X is a stupid letter, anyways.
Y is for Yuhus.
That's Suhuy backwards. OK, I was stretching. But in any case,
he's my new step-father in less than a day. This worries me. As well it
should. I'm technically a Helgram when Fiona marries him, and will fall
under his house jurisdiction. He's not going to abuse this, is he? If he
doesn't, that will be swell, but he might get it into his head to arrange
a political marriage or something for me. That's a tad presumptuous, but
well, he's *Suhuy.* Chaos' answer to Dworkin. Only no one has killed him
yet. And he was my father's teacher. And everyone else's, too. Students
can outdo teachers, of course, but... Well, it's in my best interest to
fear the man Oberon considers to be a match for my mother.
Z is simply the name of the answer to all of these things added
up. Z equals A plus B plus C plus D...and so forth.
The long answer is: I'm in a very odd position, what with both of
my grandfathers sitting on the two thrones at the opposite ends of
reality. Fortunately, no one seems to think this position is important,
so I'm not going to either. But I have other connections that, while they
do not make me important, make me involved in at least half the stuff that
will be going down in the future. I have an unofficial title in Sawall,
an official title in Bances, an official title in Amber that's about to be
revoked for an official spot (probably no title) in Helgram -- that spot
is the uncoveted "step-daughter to Lord Suhuy." I have a son by a man who
I am not yet married to, who is going to grow up to have an "affinity for
the Pattern." I have a daughter who should be eight years old but instead
is thirteen, who is not only unwilling to take over the throne of Foil,
but is in love with a vampire. A vampire with Pattern, I might add.
Plus, my best buds and fighting companions are, variously, married to Lord
Vetch, the Royal Executioner, the former Crown Prince of Amber, and Felix.
Felix, is, lucky for him, under the umbrella of protection afforded him by
the fact that Gerard got married to Isabeux some time ago. At least
Foster also has that protection.
The short answer to Z, of course, is that I'm going to be busy.
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