Crisus is back at the Chaosian embassy, organizing her projects and taking notes.
Dimitri is in Amber, working on his web spell.
Radiance is at his estate in Amber, setting up animal pens.
Edward is in Amber, investigating the latest news of the city.
Life in Amber has slowed down a bit, the kidnapped royal children have been returned under circumstances that are murky at best to the general populace, but they have long since learned to avoid the difficult questions and are content that they are once again safe in the castle.
The Serpent release ceremony is tomorrow and Merlin has requested the Crisus attend as the representative of Chaos, she was planning on going anyway, so this is not an inconvenience. Dimitri and Radiance have not been required to attend but intend to do so anyway.
Meanwhile, Dimitri receives a Trump call from the seneschal of his home shadow, apparently his castle has some unusual visitors and would he please stop by and deal with them. Upon arriving, Dimitri finds six floating spheres, similar to the one radiating Pattern energy he drove off some time ago, when he and Crisus first met. They are hovering in a formation outside his gate, not making any threatening moves, but not leaving either. Dimitri attempts mental communication, as the conventional methods his servants have been trying for hours seem to have no effect. It works, although their minds are alien enough to make the communication sketchy at best.
The general gist of what why they are at his castle revolves around the Pattern. They had encountered another of their people who had had contact with Pattern energy via Dimitri and they wish to do the same. The need is almost compulsive, like a drug to them.
Wary of encouraging Pattern parasitism, Dimitri suggests they try the refreshing alternative of Logrus and Trumps in Crisus, who is just intrigues enough by floating, spherical pattern parasites to fold up her current project and come through. She gives them a taste of Logrus energy and they are polite about it, but clearly if Pattern is their upper, this is their downer and they have no further desire to taste more.
Working with Dimitri they are able to understand more of the sphere’s history. They come from a very abstract Shadow where their sort of energy based life is normal. They exist largely as a hive mind. And at some point they discovered a broken Pattern in their world and some gained the ability to traverse shadow, but the broken Pattern imprint that gives them the ability also slowly kills them. Being a hive entity, they can share the Pattern imprint with another sphere before the first dies, but it is still a costly way to travel.
Dimitri finally relents and gives them a dose of Pattern energy. Three immediately perish in an orgasmic frenzy, which is awkward but doesn’t seem to surprise or offend the remaining three. They are hoping he can work with them to give them the Pattern buzz they so desire, but without the death-gasm that makes it a less than optimal party activity. Uncomfortable and not entirely sure who, or even if, he should help them Dimitri punts the problem and directs them to Corwin’s shadows. Amused, Crisus returns to her Embassy.
Edward does some stuff off camera, secretive bitch.
The night passes uneventfully and with morning it is time for the Serpent release ceremony. Crisus travels with the Amber delegation out of politeness. The ceremony is heavily attended, both by Chaosians and Amberites but it’s a bit slow to ramp up and it’s nearly 3 Amber time before everyone has finally arrived to the non-descript shadow at the edge of the Abyss.
Finally, and very formally, Sara steps forward and Merlin formally thanks her although he’s a bit vague on what for. She looks to Random, who nods formally and then Sarah twitches slightly and falls over. Most bearing an imprint feels a subtle rush of power and then suddenly the Unicorn appears on one side of the gathering and the Serpent on the other. They nod at each other and that seems to be it. Just as most attending seems to tire of waiting to see if either of the Great Powers are going to do anything a bit flashier there is a sudden flash of color and fire and a great spout of matter appears at the edge of the Abyss. The incident is about a half mile away, but visibility is clear and most of the group strain to see what has so politely waited until the end of the ceremony to be disruptive.
At first glance it appears to be several massive matter transport beast crashing off the edge and into the Abyss, followed shortly by what appears to be G’chall’s fleet. While this provides a certain level of closure, particularly for the Chaosian side, mass suicide is not a typical Chaosian trait and most are confused as to what G’chall hopes to accomplish.
Unless he intended after ceremony entertainment, in which case it’s all fine.
Crisus makes a quick inquiry of the Serpent which responds that it has no idea what’s going on but thinks it’s fabulous! Not finding that reassuring at all, she requests that Mandor politely get everyone under cover, which he attempts with limited success.
Adding to the general festivities the Dragon of the Oleia shows up as well. Dimitri attempts to converse with the Dragon (“Bruce” as the Serpent refers to him) and he is willing to talk, but seems more interested in the abstract and his information is not very helpful. The most relevant bits are that things may change completely or in ways distinguishable from the present, although change is inevitable. He does note that while the group present can do nothing to stop it, they can decide its outcome. Essentially he considers this to be primarily between the Serpent and Unicorn and he’s come to watch but trying to stay out of it for politeness reasons.
Crisus has flown to the scene and, once closer, it becomes apparent that what everyone at first took for ships diving in to rescue the matter haulers is more a construction project, the matter haulers are being used as a focus point for a stream of matter/energy/vitae. There are some guards down there interacting with G’chall but the legalities are a little vague.
Crisus Trumps Merlin and requests context, which unfortunately he doesn’t have. They next discuss whether or not they actually object to what G’chall is doing. If he’s building some sort of Abyssian condo it gets him out of everyone’s hair without needing to have an untidy war about it. They eventually decide to take the high road and not only get rid of G’chall but pick up some good PR for the crown at the same time. Crisus is empowered to manage the local situation as Merlin’s representative. Crisus makes her presence as a representative of the crown known and tells the guard to allow things to continue. She then politely monitors the spell G’chall is casting, learning it’s mechanics and intent.
Edward and Jack move from the party down to the events at the edge and scout the surrounding area, but find nothing out of place.
Bored up at the party and with watching Mandor ineffectively attempt to motivate the crowd to come indoors to enjoy the refreshments, flies down to the site as well, taking the form of a bird which is similar to, but notably more resplendent than that Crisus formed. They exchange distant pleasantries.
Jack Trumps Dimitri to compare notes but the general consensus amongst the Amber contingent is that whatever is happening a) probably wasn’t planned and b) is important but c) it would be rude to interfere unless asked.
Apparently not having received the last piece of that consensus and distressed at the slow dying of the matter haulers, Radiance throws a Trump Trap at the most distressed hauler, transporting it to the courtyard of his estate and “saving” it. Keeping the trap together in the Abyss is harder than he anticipated and the effort exhausts him but is ultimately successful.
The effects on the spell are immediate and severe. Robbed of one of its primary focus it begins to destabilize and G’chall is heavily strained attempting to keep it from falling apart. Crisus takes a moment to messenger creature Merlin to request if it is in the interest of the Crown for G’chall to survive this attempt. Receiving a reply that, for now, it probably was, she enters the spell herself and uses her not inconsiderate abilities to help restore the matrix. It is a challenge, but working together she and G’chall are able to restore the working to a stable balance. G’chall is confused to say the least, but too involved in the project to question the sudden and unexpected aid.
Radiance explains to Crisus, who is far too involved in the working to notice, that he was saving the whale and Trumps back to his mother. She off-handedly comments that interfering was probably rude, but her heart clearly isn’t in it and she radiated more approval than annoyance.
Adding the celebrity guest list is Suhuy, who wanders in his cane assisted slow pace to the edge of the Abyss where Jack chats with him. Suhuy seems amiable to conversation and informs Jack that he’s come to help with the working. Jack relays this to Julian who repeats the party line that the Amber contingent is to watch but not intervene, or at least not intervene more than Radiance already has.
With Suhuy helping, the spell is not only stable once more but increasing speed and efficiency. Crisus is reminded that while she is a very good sorcereress, she still has some things to learn. Most notably with Suhuy’s influence is the modification to the Abyssian beachfront is much less sever, perhaps he has a timeshare.
Sarah re-appears at this point, apparently more or less fine and with the spell moving into a boring construction phase Mandor is finally able to usher people inside for refreshments and the party moves into a more conventional swing.
The Amber contingent returns home several hours later after it becomes obvious the working at the Abyss is going to be a long term project.
Radiance, meanwhile, has returned home early and is now stymied about what to do with the massive whale like mass hauler flopped across his now heavily damaged courtyard. He trumps Dimitri and requests assistance. Dimitri things he can restore enough of the things mind to make it viable but it will take time. Radiance tells him to get to it and goes to bed. Dimitri works late into the night and then does the same.
The next morning the mass hauler is in much better shape. Radiance trumps and thanks Dimitri and names the beast “Mac”. He creates a pen for it, gets it moved and begins repairs on his courtyard.
By the middle of the day the work on the spell is done and Crisus Trumps back to the embassy.
Radiance, having arrange the rubble in his courtyard to his liking, spends some time mentally influencing Mac. Unable to manipulate him to kill Crisus, he creates a deep loathing with the hopes of at least inconveniencing her.
Edward returns from Chaos as well and sets up clandestine meetings with his contacts.
Waking up later that evening, Crisus finds a note from Lady Gilda, which says little other than she wishes to maintain their discourse. Crisus returns the note with one of similar flavor. Also awaiting her is a messenger creature from Lord Rhakal, the double agent the Crown had placed in G’Khal’s camp only to be in turn betrayed by him. His missive is fairly predictable, things had not gone as he wished and he now wishes a deal. Crisus returns the creature with a bored inquiry as to why she should bother, as far as she can see, he has nothing of interest to her.
After spending the afternoon with Mac, Radiance discovers that the creature has little interest in staying in Amber and eventually he allows it to leave, with a request that it rough up Crisus on its way out.
Meanwhile, Jack has spent the day speaking with Julian, requesting and receiving some time off to pursue personal matters. He spends a couple of days in Shadow, moving and camping until he receives a “ping” on the special sense that allows him to feel his targets.
Following the sense, he finds a Shadow of Julian’s camp and, easily avoiding the scouts, he finds at the center a man who looks like Caine, but dresses like Julian. And who is also clearly in charge.
Jack observes the camp until sundown, noting some prisoners being brought in and interrogated.
That evening Jack sneaks in and ambushes a guard, taking his clothing. Using this as a disguise, he is able to sneak all the way to the center of the camp and assassinate the earlier observed leader, absorbing his power. It’s quite a rush, apparently he found a juicy one. It also puts an abrupt end to the unnamed man’s valiant attempt to end slavery in the current Shadow, but this is unimportant to Jack.
At the end of the game the characters are as follows:
Jack – Burning down the holdings of the slaveholders in the unnamed Shadow, apparently some of the ethics of the man he absorbed rubbing off on him.
Edward – Infiltrating a fortress, but for unknown reasons.
Dimitri – Resting comfortably in Castle Amber.
Crisus – Resting comfortably in the Chaos embassy.
Radiance – Second guessing his artistic arrangement of the courtyard rubble.