All Roads Lead to Amber
“Carradoc hungers for your blood.”
Antisocial and standoffish, Caius stands apart from his family in both politics and relations. Alone among his siblings, Caius is regarded in Amber as a king in his own right, ruling over the kingdom of Avalon in Shadow. As the eldest son of Faeilla, Oberon has never disguised his fondness for his son. With the prowess of being Hexion’s greatest student, and carrying the vicious blade Carradoc, Caius’s reputation stretches throughout Amber and its Golden Circle as both its greatest defender, and its most dangerous child.
Caius is tall and broad in the shoulder, if only to make his presence that much more imposing. His hair is jet black, and cropped short. His short black beard traces the contours of his chin, and stands out starkly against the paleness of his skin. His eyes are blue and deep set, and he shows some age in the beginning of crows feet around them. He typically dresses in attire that both suits his station and servce for functionality. He wears a black doublet with a long, loose sleeved white shirt, tied at the wrists. His legs are covered with close-fitting black leather, and are tucked into excellent boots. He often wears a long black cloak, clasped at the throat with a silver brooch in the style of a lion, and Carradoc is nearly always belted at his hip. His personal symbol is a argent lion, passant, on a field of sable.
Very few are old enough to remember Caius while he was young, but those who do tell of an ambitious and driven young man. These are traits that, while still present, have become second to his most defining aspect: intolerance. Having left Amber to forge his own kingdom in its image, Caius is nothing short of terse and abrasive to the vast majority of his siblings. While it is known that he treats Rhys fairly, and used to hold a respect for Hexion, nearly all the other siblings could count on him solely for derision and cold anger. He was fast with the blade, and faster still with a cutting, cruel remark. Since the end of the Sorcerer’s Rebellion, a small change has come over Caius, however. There are those who would even go as far as to say he is losing his edge. If he is, it should not be seen as weakness. The lion may be getting older, but his teeth are still deathly sharp.
Avalon, the Kingdom of Ygg
When Caius left Amber to found his own kingdom, it is said he walked through Shadow on the most direct path towards Chaos. He was intent to carve his kingdom not from land that was rightfully his father’s, but to take it from the enemy of the throne instead. Upon that path, he found a great tree, stretching high above the way. There, Caius paused to rest and prepare himself for the road ahead. Drawing his blade, he made to cut a thick shaft of wood from the boughs of the great tree. As he reached back, the tree spoke in protest, and Caius hesitated. The tree told him that it was Ygg, planted by Oberon centuries ago, to mark the point at which Amber’s power would begin. Caius consider this, and struck a bargain with the great tree. If Caius would stand in the path, then Ygg would be forever in the way between Amber and Chaos. And thus, the great kingdom of Avalon was founded.
Caius travelled to a nearby village, and commanded them to build a castle about the great tree Ygg. He gathered the nobles of all the surrounding countryside, and bested all their greatest warriors in combat, claiming their role as champion. He spoke to them of the great tree, and how it stood in the path of any who would travel to his father’s kingdom from his enemies. The people listened, and as Caius told them that he would raise up their kingdom to be great forever, a kingdom of war and glory against an endless foe, a cry went up. They welcomed him as their king, and he took from among their daughters the fairest of them all, Lady Gwynevere, as his bride. Around the base of Ygg, they build battlements and fortifications, until Avalon stood as the great border fortress between Amber and Chaos.
In the centuries that have passed since then, Caius has reigned as their king. Many times, the forces of Chaos have come to the doorstep of Avalon, and everytime, they have been turned back. Caius himself would ride out regularly, able to sense the presence of shapeshifters, and he hunts them with his chosen knights, the Guardians of Ygg.
The Fall of Avalon
Centuries of preparation were not in vain. The Black Road, the vessel of Chaos’s war on Amber, did indeed reach Avalon first. The first battle in Avalon was by far the bloodiest, most vicious fight of the war to date. It was also the most straightforward. As was the destiny of Avalon, the forces of Chaos arrived down the Black Road, to be met by the forces of Avalon. Among the Avalon troops were its king, crown prince, the King of Amber, and the Beast. The battle was truly terrible, and took its toll on both sides. The Duke of House Hendrake lay dead at the hand of Octavius and Caius, but ultimately, the battle was lost. The forces of Chaos engaged the champions of Amber, and snuck behind the enemy to strike at their true objective: Ygg.
The Defenders of Ygg were torn limb from limb by daemons of the Abyss, and Gwynevere herself was killed in a ritual to shatter and destroy the sign of Amber’s reign in Shadow. Word spread quickly among the troops of Chaos, and soon the name of Gwynevere’s assassin was known to all. Lord Cranmore Theradune had proved himself worthy in the eyes of House Hydra with the death of the Queen of Avalon, and the Demon Duke took his place as the Lord Consort of Duchess Pythia. In the aftermath, Caius vanished, his spirit broken by the death of his true love and the destruction of his kingdom. The war in Avalon, however, was far from over. It simply changed. Now, Avalon is known throughout the Black Road as the deadliest stretch of Shadow short of the front line. Throughout the Shadow, the forces of Chaos do not rest easy, as patrols vanish and knights go missing, with only their desecrated remains left behind of the terrible fate found to them there. The destiny of Avalon remains, even without Ygg. It is through there that all of Chaos must pass, to muster to Amber, but it has become a terrible place where both sides fear to tread.
Into the Abyss and Return
When his siblings finally caught up with Caius, he was stuck in a protracted guerilla war against the forces of Chaos in Avalon. Cranmore had turned Ygg into a vast Abyssal construct, and had filled the Shadow with his demonic servitors. After the death of the Duchess of House Hydra, Caius told his siblings that he knew Gwynevere was still alive, inside the construct, that Cranmore had not killed her but done something far worse. Prevented from simply striding into the Abyss, Caius reached there eventually after verbally provoking his older brother, Hexion, into kicking him into it. A weapon of mass destruction was then detonated, as the Amberites escaped.
Cranmore returned to Avalon, and began to rebuild. In the years following the fall of the Black Road, Avalon had become a base of operation for the Abyssal mystics loyal to Duke Cranmore. Their numbers swelled as the brave and the foolish alike came to test their beings against the crucible of the Abyss, and the strongest survived. This proceeded until a surprise attack came from an unseen quarter. The Amberites of Earth, led to Avalon by Tomo and Rhys, launched an assault on Avalon with a plan to retake it from the Chaosites. It was a pitched battle, but one that the New Bloods ultimately could not win. Those who could dived into the Abyssal construct to escape their powerful foes. Those who could not, perished. When Rhys himself arrived, he called upon the power of his own Pattern and the Jewel of Judgement to desconstruct the Abyssal construct, and return Ygg to its rightful place. A reflection of Earth’s Pattern now stood in the spot of the construct, and at its center lay not just Ygg, but Caius and Gwynevere as well, the Amberite embraced around his true love.
Rhys shifted Shadow to place Avalon within Earth’s field of influence, settling it on a terrestrial trojan of a gas giant in his Shadowgate network. There, Caius and Gwynevere recovered from their trauma, and adjusted to the brave new world of Avalon having fulfilled its duties.
- By Gwynevere of Avalon
- Octavius Barimen, Prince of Avalon, King of Amber
- Julia Barimen, Princess of Avalon, Champion of Avalon, Heir Apparent
- Brutus Barimen, Prince of Avalon, currently residing on Earth
Actor: Clive Owen