Trumped to Amber. (been away 2 weeks our time)
Feed, Viktor coming in.
Talk with some of the senior military shoveling it in. They found the “spear carriers” (the blue dwarves and werewolves), seem mostly straggling and stranded. They had some magic people with them. The military is cleaning up: guarding natural transfer points and the family is redirecting traffic. So far they didn’t have to engage any of them.
Random Trumps calls me. Asks if there was something or someone over the Pattern. Above the middle, 15 degrees up from the Jewel’s level. I take a look at it: visible that wasn’t without the Jewel. Very energetic. Conical shape narrows to a point. Diminishing light, fading as if atmospheric reentry. Changes, but very slowly. Almost like strobing. Dies down some as I’m watching it.
Very Vita-esque. The strobing seems reminiscent of the direction from which Vitae waves.
I mention to Random about Dworkin, Vitae wave, Meridian and that it must have made it here. I tell Random to Trump Meridian to ask him.
I keep watching. As it dies down, I see what may be a hunched over person. I reach through the Jewel, use the Dworkin/Pattern link to extend a “Jewel Lens” at the person’s center and push it out around him to shield him from the energies. The energies intensify.
Random Trumps Meridian. Says Dworkin stayed in, felt he could leave on his own, Meridian dropped off at the outskirts of the city.
Random and I talk about what I do. Then I start pushing harder. The point moves further away from the Pattern. This seems to be a good thing, so I sit down in Random’s chair and push as hard as I can.
Sand and Radiance, with Viktor
A small camp in a scrub land. 2 person camp site. No people. An armor repair kit that seems to go with Dalt. More other equipment, less attributable, but perhaps the other guy that was in the basement. No beasts of burden, no vehicles. All imported, nothing modified or interfered with this Shadow. No sense of Pattern. Faint sense of distant past Pattern-based travel, clumsy (1 to 2 weeks).
Viktor Trumps Radiance. They catch up a bit, and Radiance brings through Viktor. Viktor manipulates probability. Finds one of Dalt’s daggers in a pile. Finds the “Caine Batman” stuff.
Viktor checks: thinks there may have been one or two others occasionally. Dalt’s 4 Trumps are Logrus backed. This is of this location after the camp is set. A rocky cliff face in likely a desert. A dark hallway. And a Trump of the basement of the Tavern they found him.
Radiance doesn’t recognize the artwork of the Trumps. The backs are very realistic, unusual for Chaos. Don’t recognize material of the Trump. Perhaps bone? Sand tastes it, likely extruded by a Shapeshifter or Conjured by an extremely specific Conjuror.
Radiance opens them as Trump Gates. Desert cliff is hot. The dark one feels like nobody’s there.
They go through: Sand as Batman Caine, Radiance as Dalt, invisible Viktor.
Been at it a while. Energy I’m buffering him from, is resurging. As it goes up, it is harder to resist and the result seems noisier and messier. It may be overlapping the point of contact. Energetic spewing some distance from the object. Will overlap. Building up is coinciding with Vitae Waves.
Going to try and surf out Dworkin, backing off when the waves start to come in, then push out hard when they fade. I get him further out and can distinguish it is a hunched over person, projecting a bubble that causes the sprays.
Then pull him out until I’m the only thing holding him up. Guide him into near the balcony, aiming for on the other side of Random. Looks much worse for the wear, looks like set on fire, run over by a car. Hunchbacked, crazy, beat up. Shaking. Drop him. “Drink!” Random brings him a White Russian.
“He got me! All’s fair!”
Ask about Fire Pattern / Broken Pattern attacker. Dworkin asks about the Oberon. I say the Tir Oberon, explain the Andys, walked off in lands beyond Tir. I start Conjuring food for Dworkin as Random plays acoustic guitar. He checks in with Andy (mental Trump!) says to Trump if need him, when they get back, says Delwin is with him. “Don’t go into the dungeon!”
Random wants to talk to Dworkin about Andy. Why does he breed like that unlike anyone else in the family?
Random and I discuss Tir and its lands outside the moon cycle. Rebma.
Sand, Radiance, and Viktor in Tir
They Trump to the dark hallway: it is in Tir! (in Amber it is daylight, though still full moon)
Radiance gets Trumped by Flora and has to go. He leaves the Trumps.
Sand and Viktor in Tir
Found the mansion of House Berez (sp?), one of the ones that were in collusion. Their rise in prominence coincided with the violence, going back the full 50 years. Early implication of them was Big Mike.
Viktor checks the house. It is in color, daytime, bit washed out, as if a sun is behind heavy clouds. No normal Tir weirdness. Parade coming on in the distance. Sees people moving about. Next room is set up. Society set up room.
Sand checks out the parade: sort of sad looking. Parade made up entirely out of sad clowns and morose looking animals. Can’t tell if they moving or performing. If performing very lackluster. If moving, they’re not carrying stuff, tent, etcetera. Heading towards the square upon which the Cathedral of the Unicorn is. Very nearby. People were going about their way. People not so much watching, but scampering along.
Viktor and Sand check and notice things don’t quite have permanence: objects, environment, people, but only background.
Go to the cathedral of the unicorn. At the entrance there is a statue of Radiance, wearing Amber’s crown. Very traditional. Bronz, enameled. Lists in honor of coronation of Radiance the First. Couple of centuries.
Sand checks Cathedral: as in Amber, but more elaborate, turned up to 11.
The statue is 20’ tall. Viktor climbs up it and chops away at it (3 cuts) to behead it (bronze!). People don’t react much.
Sand and Viktor go up to the castle. Sand Shapeshifts to a flying form and carries Viktor. When they get up, Fiona floats up from the courtyard in a green and gold sorcerous globe (sort of a demented Glinda the Good Witch, but in a Sorcerous First Strike bubble way).
She greets them (though Viktor is invisible). Says they sometimes have visitors that are invisible. Asks how they got here at this time of day. Sand says a Trump. This Fiona looks considerably more hard-bitten. She carries a sword. Sand addresses her as Princess Fiona and Fiona corrects her to: “You may address me as General!”
She says Radiance is a cheerful king but not a good one, may even face an uprising in the city. Viktor asked what happened to King Random. Fiona says Random was killed at Patternfall War and the unicorn passed up everyone and chose Radiance (in our time Radiance was born after Patternfall). Sand asks about it. Fiona says Flora was killed in the war (so war ran much longer). Sand asks her who else visited. Fiona says she could find out but that it would be dangerous to her and she declines. Sand says in another Tir Oberon still rules. Fiona says that couldn’t be, that all versions of Tir she is aware of diverged after Patternfall. (She signals Sand the cut signal to stop talking). Viktor asks and she says those Oberons must be figments of their imagination (and gives Viktor the cut signal to stop talking). Flora died falling in the Abyss grappling with Lord Sawall (one of them, Fiona doesn’t quite recall). They got into Oberon’s funeral procession. Lot of pushing and shoving. Not as bad as what happened to Brand. Brand was pinned to the edge by Caine’s arrows, Deirdre pinned underhim. The Serpent crawled up into him and he trashed off of the edge of the Abyss into it.
Sand asks how they come to exist. Fiona says she’s going to need a lot of Pattern Energy to discuss this. She fills herself with a lot of Pattern Energy. Fiona says there is a danger for someone from that place to think to closely about the subjective and temporary nature of this place. Viktor says “if the dreamer realizes it’s a dream the dream ends.” Fiona says: “Your words, not mine.”
Have Fiona check the Trump. Says the absence of style is on purpose, subterfuge.
Viktor and Sand Trump to the desert cliff.
Sand and Viktor in the Desert
They fly to the top. On top find pieces of equipment from the Thule Necrotic Sorcery. Death Energy batteries.
Sand Trumps me. Tells me about where the Trumps went, Tir, the instance aspect, where Fiona said about multiple Tirs, and I relay to Random there was a Logrus backed Trump of Tir, and the wisdom of Gerard-run family stuff. I ask Random to hang on to Dworkin (I want to know what happened to the Patterns) and go through.
Viktor Trumps Meridian and brings him through.
Sand and Delwin, Viktor, and Meridian in the Desert
I ask Meridian to read back the Vitae. He does. They were brought in by Dalt and werewolves. Batman Caine was organizing this. They have been bringing these in since the invasion failed. Another Caine guy. Metal eye, other milky, dried out. Trails necrotic energy. Dalt remembered him when he was healthier. Meridian checks: not charged since moved here. Not charged since invasion.
One of these batteries is about ¼th of Amy and my combined efforts. Dozen batteries here (probably 4 times or so my throwing weight).
Marked fissures in the canyon wall, not all go back anywhere. Next one goes straight back into a narrower, smaller cave. Nine batteries. Next one find supplies. Devices and ingredients from the Thule ritual magic tradition. The batteries were purely sorcerous. Meridian sets up to drain the necrotic energy into the Vitae. Will take about two days. In must a few hours it will be irreversible, no longer capable of storing energy. Over a year or so to work its way out.
I tell Meridian Dworkin is fine.
I Trump Caine. Says it’s Jonathan, a tech copy of himself. Talk a bit. Exchange threat info. Wants to know where this Shadow is, I pull him through. He checks with Pattern Lens. Has Sand carry him half a mile up. Sees the coast. It’s on one of the Shadow shipping lanes to Rebma. About a mile from the coast.
Meridian pulls Trump of Random, I tell him not to: he’s with Dworkin. He Trumps Fiona. Tells her about the necrotic batteries. She asks for a sample or signature. Meridian brings her through.
Meridian and Delwin in Amber
Meridian Trumps out, checking from the Vitae, start at the docks. Tells the Captain of the Guard.
In the meantime, in the desert, I do a quick test for sympathetic magic. Casings are. Magical batteries are.
I Trump to the Great Hall and casts a scan for the battery. No pings. Though there are blind spots. Personal quarters of Bleys, Fiona, Caine, Amy, Henry. Trump Dmitri for them.
Meridian finds the same and also two dead spots in the city. He goes there.
Dmitri says they are this close to declaring martial art.
I Trump Meridian to exchange info. He goes to the city. I will support Dmitri (he’s a psionic, not a mage), and check on Osric to make certain Andy didn’t mess it up.
Sand and Viktor back in Tir
Looks disused. They go check out the house. People disappear as they look at them. Content of the Shadow is different though it feels the same. Viktor tries to change content of Shadow: hard as in Amber.
At the Cathedral people are doing individually like the weirdest tai chi individually and disappearing. And a procession of monks, coming down the stairs, chanting, two dozen of them, but more in bath robes than proper monk habits. Viktor’s name is in the chanting. No statue outside the Cathedral. Decorations are much more austere. Chants have the word service in it. N.B. Viktor in his service to the Oleai had 2, 3 children. King Clement! Today the day they remember Lord Viktor’s service. Ask Viktor to service them. He tells them today they service themselves. They go to the Palace. (Clement is Fiona’s son, child/lover …). No traffic, just people appearing/disappearing. It is Lord Viktor Service Day.
They go to the Pattern Room. No guards. At the edge of the Pattern, looking at the divot, it is Clement. Clement says Sand was his general in the Great War with Chaos (not the Patternfall War, the Great War). The pond has no fish.
Sand pokes the Pattern with a Logrus tendril. There is a ripple, it runs through the Pattern and the divot is gone. Clement looks sad again. “That means our time is coming to an end.” Talks with Viktor and walks over and steps on the Pattern. He looks like he is having problems, so Viktor pushes him on the Pattern, and walks on it. Viktor pushing him. Walk for a while and Clement: “I hold you back: feel free to push me aside.” They make it to the Pattern. Viktor tells him about the Colony. Viktor shares the destination with his mind. Clement is emotional, PTSD, existential disturbed and it leaks in the contact. Mental groping. Viktor has the Pattern Teleport him to Sand. Sand sitting in an easy chair drinking a martini.
Sand and Viktor Trump back to Amber.