Ariana's log, Chapter 139
"I don't need strategy! I have papier-mâché!"
Thursday, December 29, 4
After a few more days, the I.V. is removed and Ariana starts eating
solid food. She's put on a high-protein diet, with as much food as she
can keep down, to help fuel her shapeshifting. Millicent mentions that
since this is working so well, Lord Vetch has sped up the area where she's
staying. Which Ariana thinks is odd, since the speed of Shadow is
controlled by Logrus, and Ariana knows Lucien isn't very good at it. She
doesn't mention this to Millicent, of course. Sadly, the scrying pool
Lucien set up for her can only show her still scenes because of the speed
differential. Ariana checks on the baby daily, and is relieved to find
that he seems to be developing normally.
Lucien stops by every other day, usually bringing sweets once she's
able to eat solid food. During the first visit, he reveals that Gavin
isn't really involved with Lasker. In fact, he appears to be a target.
Lucien figures Felix must have misinterpreted Lasker's note. Why is Gavin
a target? Because of the control he has in Amber city. Did Gavin seem
confident that he could hold them off? No. Oh dear. While Gavin's
psyche is probably high enough to resist them, he couldn't fight his way
out of a paper bag. Ariana giggles at that image, then points out that if
Tamaryn has changed Gavin into a faerie, the vampires won't be able to
find him. True. Ariana figures they must be finding the current
situation very irritating. Who? Both sides. Does he know what the
current situation is in Amber? No, he hasn't been keeping up with that
end of things. He has a few more things to wrap up with the House, and
then he's going to kill Lasker. Ariana looks relieved and asks him to let
her know before he leaves to do that. All right. How is Vincent doing?
He's still recovering at Jesbyways. Does he have any more ideas on where
Sand might have gone? No. He suggests that maybe she's gone on to her
final reward. Ariana doesn't believe this, but pretends to. Lucien tells
her that Millicent will fetch her anything she might need.
Ariana requests drawing materials from Millicent and passes some of
the time drawing pictures of her relatives in their faerie forms. She
sees a few interesting scenes in her scrying pool, including faerie
Ishmael and faerie Maddy having sex in the woods, faerie Felix throwing
papier-mâché balls at Alexandra, and later Alexandra chasing
faerie Ishmael and winding up unconscious and tied naked to some trees.
Ishmael later frees her when he's human.
Ariana passes another week in this fashion, and begins feeling more
like herself. The high-protein diet seems to be helping. A few days into
the week, Ariana feels strong enough to try walking, with Millicent's
help. She's a bit wobbly at first, but she works hard at improving. Once
she gets the hang of that, Millicent brings her to a hot spring next door
to exercise without putting too much strain on herself.
Lucien continues to visit every other day, and at the end of the week
he spends a whole day with her. Ariana has him help her to the hot
springs and then proceeds to seduce him. He's more than willing to
cooperate. Later on, he tells her that he's been slowing down this part
of the Ways gradually, to bring her back in sync with everyone else. She
asks how he's able to do that. Oh he has his ways. No pun intended.
Actually, he did. She splashes him. He tells her he's afraid the means
would disturb her. How so? There's more to the Ways than she suspects.
They're alive? Essentially. They are a giant blood creature. Ariana is
concerned by this, since his father built part of his Ways. True, but he
systematically destroyed all of those parts. Ah, in that case, she's OK
with it. She asks why he thought it would disturb her. Well, he has
trouble predicting what will bother her. She's bothered by things he
wouldn't expect, and not bothered by things he would. Like how she's
bothered by the fact that he could regrow his head if it was chopped off?
Actually, she's not bothered, per se, she's actually happy that he can
survive something like that, but she grew up expecting that losing one's
head meant death, so there is a negative association with it. She has no
preconception about Ways, really, so learning that it's sentient isn't
that odd. He says that, in that case, if it does happen, he won't regrow
his body from his head. Ariana admits that regrowing his head from his
body would be less disturbing than the other way around. She figures it
would be less taxing, too. Less mass to regenerate and all. Not really.
Oh, right, he'll just take the mass from the ground. He nods. She thinks
that would be a handy trick to learn, someday. He says he's not sure
he'll live that long. Ariana splashes him, then dunks his head under
water. He decides that while he's down there, he'll keep busy. Ariana
has no objections.
The Ways are equalized two days later and Ariana rejoins her family.
The children are all happy to see that she's feeling better. She's
playing with the younger ones when she receives a Trump call from Whimsy,
who wants to know if Ariana can come through to discuss something. Where
is she? In Jesbyways. Ariana leaves the children with Anne and comes
through. Whimsy explains that Claire wanted to test Whimsy to make sure
that she was fertile before marrying her to Edwin. The tester found
something unusual, as did Alexandra, but they don't know what it is.
She's hoping Ariana will have better luck. Ariana lays a hand on Whimsy's
exposed abdomen, and concentrates. What she finds is interesting. On the
outside, Whimsy's an Amberite. On the inside, she's slowly becoming a
faerie. Which means she'll be sporadically fertile, but she'll always
have twins. Faerie twins. Ariana explains this to Whimsy, who isn't
pleased. Ariana adds that she isn't fertile now, but the process should
be completed within another month. Whimsy wants to walk the Pattern to
make herself fertile. Ariana says there's no guarantee that will work, or
that it won't make things worse. There's never been a case like this
before, after all. Whimsy figures that if she does have faerie children,
they won't be able to be near her. Ariana thinks her children will be
immune to the Ward. She doesn't see how they could come to term,
Whimsy asks Ariana to come with her to explain the situation to
Claire, before Claire decides she's failed the test and does something
drastic. Ariana decides to change her dress before meeting the Head of
House Jesby. She returns to Vetchways, puts on more appropriate clothing,
then Trumps Whimsy again and goes through. She asks how much Whimsy wants
her to reveal. Just that she will be able to have children. They are
shown in to Claire, who looks intrigued. Whimsy explains that she
consulted Ariana after she was tested. Ariana explains that while Whimsy
is not fertile now, she will be able to have children soon. Whimsy adds
that they will likely be twins, and she may not be able to care for them.
Claire says that's what governesses are for. Whimsy says that she was
hoping to clear things up before Claire went and contacted House Vetch.
Claire says the consequences of failing the test were never that severe.
She just would have come up with another agreement.
Claire invites Ariana and Whimsy to stay for refreshments.
Afterwards, Ariana asks to look in on her son, Vincent. Whimsy offers to
show her to him. Whimsy knocks on the door, but there's no answer. She
opens the door and they find Vincent sleeping. He's a bit feverish, but
it mainly seems to be exhaustion. Whimsy thinks he overdid it while
helping with the Amber situation. Ariana asks Whimsy to tell Vincent she
stopped by, then kisses him on the forehead and leaves the room. She
assumes Whimsy will be in touch? Oh, probably shortly before the wedding.
When will that be? Florimel is arranging it to be in about three
Ariana returns to Vetchways and finds Lucien in his study. He raises
an eyebrow at her dressy attire, but says nothing. Ariana says she has an
idea, but she's not sure if it's a good one or not. The eyebrow lowers.
She assures him that she hasn't done it yet. What is it? She was
thinking of contacting Brand about the Sand problem. He doesn't see how
that would hurt. Since it's late, Ariana decides to contact Brand
tomorrow. Instead, she entices Lucien to leave the rest of his work for
the morning. Given how nicely she's dressed, he doesn't take much
Friday, December 30, 4
Ariana receives a Trump call from Random in the morning. He smiles,
hands her a note, and breaks the contact. Ariana opens the note, which
reads, "Lasker has been dealt with." Ariana finds Lucien, hugs him, and
comments that she thought he was going to tell her before he went after
Lasker. He hasn't gone after him yet. Then it appears someone else did.
She shows him the note. He looks surprised. She wonders who did it.
He's not sure.
Ariana Trumps Tamaryn to find out how she's doing now that she's been
returned to normal. Tamaryn suggests talking in person and comes through.
How is she doing? OK. She's still dealing with the consequences of
yesterday. Ah yes. Does she know that Lasker is dead? Yes, Felix killed
him. Ariana is rather...surprised. She asks if Felix was a faerie when
this happened? Yes. He brought Lasker to the 'Tween, Lasker hurt him,
then Felix took him to a desert, where he burst into flames. Ariana says
she'll have to thank Felix for that. Tamaryn says he could use that. Oh?
She doesn't want to get into it. Ariana recalls the scenes she saw in
the scrying pool of faerie Felix trashing Ishmael's house, making a mobile
out of the servants, etc., and doesn't ask. She invites Tamaryn to visit
if she ever feels the need to escape. She just did. Oh, who was she
escaping from? Gérard. Ariana winces. She invites Tamaryn to
stay for tea. Tamaryn takes her up on it long enough to settle her nerves
After Tamaryn leaves, Ariana tells Lucien that Felix is the one who
killed Lasker. Lucien asks how. Ariana explains. Lucien says that
explains it. Felix just got lucky. Well, it was quick thinking to leave
the 'Tween for a place filled with sunshine. Lucien comments that it's
amazing how pain can clear the mind.
Ariana Trumps Brand and asks if she can talk to him. Of course. Does
he want her to come to him? No, he thinks he'd better join her. He's
someplace bright. He comes through and says that she's looking better.
She replies that it's amazing what a few weeks of healing will do. She
asks if he knows what happened in Vincent's head after he left. He knows
that she was injured, and that Sand is no longer in Vincent's mind. He
would detect her if she was. Ariana looks relieved. She asks if he could
detect Sand in other people's minds. If it was similar to how she
possessed Vincent, then yes. She explains that she and Sand passed
through the Fount at the same time. Ah, and she's wondering if Sand might
be in her mind? Yes, or in the mind of her unborn child. Brand looks
surprised at that news. He tells her that in order to check, he'll need
to touch her. She knows. He holds out his hand. She steels herself and
takes it. She can feel him brushing the surface of her mind, then go
deeper. It feels like he's running a sieve through her mind, going deep
but only looking for one specific thing. He eventually tells her that he
found no sign of Sand in her mind. And the baby? How far along is she?
57 days. He advises waiting until the baby is six months along before
checking him. Could Sand have gone anywhere else? She could have been
destroyed in the Fount, which is doubtful given her level of Trump.
Wasn't the Fount in Vincent's head? It was, but she stepped into the real
one also. Ariana looks worried, since that means she did as well. Didn't
he say that going into the Fount would drive non-Avatar's insane? That's
bathing in it. Ariana only stepped into it, and he and Vincent pulled her
out pretty quickly. What other possibilities are there? Sand's spirit
could still be lurking without a body. If that's true, then maybe someone
from the Disc can contact her. Amberites' ghosts tend to be tied to the
Pattern. If she is a ghost, and is out and about, she could probably be
summoned in Amber. Who could manage that? Anyone who's highly perceptive
of the metaphysical world could help. Fiona, Gavin, Meander... Ariana
likes that last one. Can Brand tell if Sand's in the Fount? Yes, he'll
do that for her. She thanks him again and invites him to stay for tea,
but he declines, knowing she's still a bit uncomfortable around him.
Ariana Trumps Meander and explains the situation. He thinks he can
help, if the spell works in Amber the way it works on the Disc, but he's
in the middle of a project he promised for Ishmael. Ariana says she can
wait. When would he like her to contact him again? In two weeks or
Ariana returns to Vetchways and seeks out Lucien again. She tells him
the results of her meetings with Brand and Meander and asks him to hold
her for a bit, since she's still a bit tense from talking to Brand. He's
happy to oblige. She's still worried about the possibility that Sand is
in the baby. Lucien admits that it might be a possibility, but he advises
a wait and see policy.
Later that afternoon, Ariana goes to Amber in search of Felix. She
finds him at his workshop in the city, working on a banister. She thanks
him for killing Lasker. He says he was lucky. She heartily agrees. He
admits he was originally planning on leaving Lasker in the 'Tween to
starve to death. Ariana sees how that would appeal to a faerie. Did he
manage to kill any of the others? No, he started with Lasker, and then he
got hurt, so he decided to call it a day. It's being worked on, though.
Ariana figures the rest should be somewhat confused right now, so they'll
be more vulnerable. She thanks Felix again and heads back to Chaos.
Saturday, December 31, 4 - Thursday, January 12, 4
Two weeks pass. Jalana, Morgan and Shannon move back to Amber and
resume their classes at the University, although they do visit
occasionally. Ariana decides not to teach any classes for the winter
semester, since her pregnancy will limit her effectiveness in the martial
classes later on, and she wants to spend more time with her family. She
does continue to supervise the hospital, with Florian handling the
day-to-day tasks, and keeps up her sparring sessions with Ishmael.
Lucien continues instructing Ariana in shapeshifting when he has time,
although his busy schedule and Ariana's pregnancy limit her progress
somewhat. She tells him that if he's too busy to teach her himself, she's
willing to learn from someone else, but he says it has to be him. Is that
a safety precaution, or because there aren't that many advanced
shapeshifters? Yes. Ariana admits she's more comfortable learning from
Brand Trumps Ariana a note saying that Sand's not in the Fount.
Vincent visits Ariana on his way home to Amber. He's happy to see
that she's all right, but really doesn't know how she wound up in his
head, or why Sand was able to injure her. He doesn't seem all that
different now that he's finally free of Sand. Ariana says she's sorry she
didn't figure out a way to get rid of Sand sooner. Vincent says she did
her best, and doesn't seem to be upset about it.
Ariana pays a brief visit to the Disc to see if she's gotten any
responses to her ad there, but no luck so far. Enchantment doesn't appear
to be something they really do all that often. Given the difficulties she
ran into when she tried to find a place to enchant her sword in Shadow,
she decides to table the project until after the baby is born and safely
Lucien tells Ariana that he'd rather she remained in the House when in
Chaos, and assigns her a bodyguard. Ariana asks why she needs one. He
claims it's not so much a bodyguard as a personal assistant, someone who's
familiar with the Courts who can help her out if she needs it. Is her
unfamiliarity with the Courts why he'd prefer her to stick to the House?
Yes. She asks if this assistant is also the instructor he was going to
find to teach her the current customs in Chaos. He says he can wrap both
into one, if she likes. This is fine with her. He assigns a young woman
named Charlotte to the job. Charlotte is about Ariana's height, with
short, mousy brown hair, gray eyes and a soft voice.
Cymnea remains in the Ways, having renounced her Amber titles and
returned to the House. She's seems sane and no longer bent on
destruction, so whatever Heather did to her seems to have worked. She and
Angelique even invite Ariana to tea once a week and both are very
Ariana spends some time learning what the duties of the Lady of the
House are. Essentially, the Lady is responsible for running household
affairs. Angelique offers to show her what to do, or continue running
them as she has been doing. Ariana opts for the former.
Friday, January 13, 4
Ariana Trumps Meander and asks if he's free now. He is, so they go to
Amber. Ariana asks what she can do to help. He says she can sit in the
circle with him. He has her draw some of the symbols on the floor with
chalk while he begins the incantation. He uses a type of binding spell to
call forth just the spirit they're looking for. The spell finishes,
there's a pregnant pause, and nothing happens. Meander is sure that Sand
isn't there. Ariana says that leaves the possibility of her being in
someone else. Oh? Ariana explains her concern. Meander says that if
they can find something of Sand's, he can make a charm of it. Ariana says
she'll see what she can find.
Ariana returns to Vetchways and tells Lucien that Meander found no
trace of Sand's ghost in Amber. He doesn't react much to the news. She
asks if he has anything of Sand's. No. Why? She explains that Meander
can make a charm with it. She decides to check with Random next and makes
Random is able to see Ariana that day, but he doesn't have anything of
Sand's. The pocket Shadow where he kept her was destroyed. What about
her own Shadow? Corilaine? He thinks it's still there. She'll try
there, then. Random tells her to be careful. Ariana says she wasn't
going to go alone. Good.
Ariana returns to Vetchways and tells Lucien what she learned from
Random. She asks if he can spare anyone to go with her to Corilaine. He
offers to go with her himself. She's happy to take him up on that. She
says there's no rush, but he knows it's important to her, so he's willing
to go right away. Unsurprisingly, he knows the way to the Shadow. As a
matter of fact, he knows exactly where the castle is. It's very run down.
Lucien flies Ariana up to the turret and keeps her close by as he leads
her to Sand's bedroom. Ariana pulls some hair out of a hairbrush,
starting when a crow caws at that moment. Then she Trumps them both back
Ariana Trumps Meander and gives him the hair. Meander says that he'll
have to wait for a full moon, which is in a week. Ariana arranges to
Trump him after that. She updates Lucien, seeming somewhat less stressed
than she was before, since at least she's doing something. Then she
thanks him properly for all of his help.
Sunday, January 22, 4
Ariana contacts Meander the day after the full moon. He hands her the
charm, which is a moonstone on a string. Ariana asks how it works. The
stone will glow if Sand comes near it. Ariana decides to wear it at all
Monday, January 23, 4 - Monday, February 13, 5
Ariana invites Mirelle, Grayson, and the mothers of Grayson's children
to visit her in Chaos, but as she expected, they'd rather not. Instead,
Ariana visits them in Amber frequently, bringing Ana, Briana and Bryan
along to play with Devlin and Grayson's kids. She also keeps in touch
with Tamaryn, Maddy and Kira. Grayson continues to be a mostly absent
father as far as his kids are concerned. Ariana decides to give up on
getting him more involved, figuring that he wouldn't be much of a father
figure anyway, given that he's still partying pretty heavily. She lets
him know that she's there if he ever wants advice, and then pretty much
leaves him alone to make his own mistakes.
Tuesday, February 14, 5
Whimsy Trumps Ariana and asks her to check and see
if the changes are finished. Ariana comes through and does so.
Everything seems to have settled into place. Ariana arranges to spark the
ovulation the appropriate number of days before the wedding, then check on
Whimsy the day before the wedding. Whimsy asks Ariana to be one of her
bridesmaids. Ariana is happy to accept.
Ariana asks Charlotte what Angelique's official status is, and learns
she's still considered Lucien's wife in Chaos, since he hasn't divorced
her. So what is Ariana considered? The second wife, or the mistress,
depending on who you ask. Ariana finds this unacceptable, and confronts
Lucien about it that evening in his study. He admits that Angelique
wasn't very interested in divorcing him, so he didn't push the matter,
lest she lash out at Ariana and the children. Didn't Angelique give her
word that she wouldn't harm them? She did, but he hasn't known her in
centuries and he tried to have her killed, so he believes her, and he
doesn't. He asks what she would have him do. She isn't sure. She
doesn't want to endanger the children, but she's not sure that she can
live in Chaos if everyone thinks she's just his mistress. Besides which,
she's not convinced that there's much safety provided by his remaining
married to Angelique, since all Angelique has to do is arrange an accident
for Ariana and she has what she wants. At least if he divorces her, she'd
still have to convince him to marry her again. He says he'll have the
paperwork drawn up, then. That improves Ariana's mood immensely, although
she wishes there was something that could be offered to Angelique as
compensation. Lucien says that the only position she wants is filled.
Does he honestly think she might go after the children? He thinks the
fact that she has a child of her own will inhibit her.
"I'll stop them if I have to fuck everyone!" -- Alexandra to the
"Next time you tie me up, ask first." -- Alexandra to Ishmael
"She cast a fireball at me. She's definitely getting a spanking." --
Matthew R. to the group, speaking for the servants dealing with the faerie
"I don't need strategy! I have papier-mâché!" -- Felix to
"It is customary in our house for new brides to be tested." --
"In what way?" -- Whimsy
"Scantron." -- Liam
"Have you ever done this before?" -- GM
"Well...I've...um..." -- Alexandra
"No." -- Kris
"(Ishmael) has 29 points of good stuff." -- Lisamarie
"No wonder (he) kicked the snot out of (Alexandra). That, and having
superior stats." -- Sean
"We put (the smokers) in the fireplace and open up the flue." --
"Going to put out the fire first? It is December." -- GM
"At least I didn't tie up some lady in the forest." -- Liam
"That was no lady, that was Alexandra." -- Lisamarie
"Flora seems very good at guessing at your personal style." -- GM to
"If I didn't want a man to ever touch me, how would I dress?" --
"Only Whimsy would have to gain weight to become a faerie." -- Sean to
"(The vampires) did not corner me. I went into their trap knowing they
were coming. The fact that my trap didn't work..." -- Gavin to the
Game Logs for Sessions
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All text on this page is © 2000 by Kris
Fazzari, with the exception of the attributed
Last modified on March 20, 2000 by Kris Fazzari.