All Roads Lead to Amber
“I am Oberon. I am Amber. Forever Amber.”
Oberon Barimen is one of the oldest and most powerful beings in Shadow itself. His origins lie shrouded in mystery, and his actions seem larger than life. It is said in the Book of the Unicorn that in the time before the Pattern, Oberon waged a war against the wicked children of the Serpent, who danced about its coils in the Courts of Chaos. In this war, he struck down their king, leaving them broken and weak. Victorious, Oberon walked for ten thousand days, accompanied only by the wizards Dworkin, until he came to a great hill. There, he planted his walking stick, Ygg, and called it to life. “Here,” he declared, “begins my kingdom. Here ends Chaos. By my blood, by the Unicorn, by my will, it is done.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Oberon is tall and broad shouldered, projecting a very presence of power. His hair is brown and straight, cut just above the nape of the neck. A thick but trimmed beard covers his face, and his hair has just begun to gray in the temples and along the chin. He wears fashions that suit his position as the King of Amber, but are timeless in style. He favors greens, and often wears the sword of the kingdom on his hip, even during peacetime. His personal symbol is that of Amber, a unicorn sable, rampant on a field of vert.
Oberon is regal in all things. The kingdom comes first, and he spends most of his time handling matters of kingly concerns. As such, he is at best an absentee father. Getting his attention is rarely a good thing, as he will only spare time for his children when absolutely necessary, or when he’s feeling strangely benevolent. When he does, he is patient but distracted, and when he decides that enough time has spent, he departs without a second thought. On the rare occassion that he gets angry, he acts with speed and overwhelming force. His ire can be likened unto a thunderstorm, and is just as dangerous to be around when it finally finds its target.
Oberon has had five wives as the Queens of Amber. While some rumors persist of marriages in Shadow, such as the ones that produced some of the bastard heirs, Oberon has only ever acknowledged the five Queens of Amber as his wives.
- Cymnea of Eaton: Mother of Hexion and Marek. Marriage was annulled. Her current whereabouts are unknown. Details of Cymnea are vague at best, but she was widely liked and regarded as a natural queen.
- Faeilla of Shadow: Mother of Caius, Rhys, and Amon. Died in childbirth of Amon. Widely regarded as the only queen whom Oberon truly loved, the most commonly held story that she was a simple peasant woman in a Shadow where Oberon passed. They met by happenstance, and it was love at first sight. By the time Oberon brought her to Amber and made her a queen, she had already given birth to Caius. Oberon, and by extension the kingdom of Amber, mourned her passing for a century and a day. A shrine was erected in her honor in the Grand Temple of the Unicorn, and her grave rests in a mausoleum on the slope of Mount Kolvir.
- Clarissa Thessala of Kashfa: Mother of Rosaline and Crystal. Oberon’s marriage with Clarissa was one of the most tempestuous times in Amber’s history, and it surprised few when it ended with her death. She had been married to bring the power of Kashfa into the fold of the Golden Circle, and her and Oberon fought nearly constantly. She was found brutally murdered in her bedchamber, and a quick investigation claimed the culprit to be a shapeshifting monster from Chaos. While she holds a minor memorial spot in the Grand Temple of the Unicorn, she was interred in the royal crypt of her home Shadow. Since the rise of New Kashfa, Clarissa has become an honored figure in their history, if a controversial one, as it was her blood that tied their fate to Amber. A small shrine to her was constructed in their Church of the Unicorn, and wing of their College of Sorcery was dedicated to her honor.
- Rilga Ilesine of Begma: Mother of Jonathan and Bethany. She was a princess of Begma before the marriage to Oberon, and was a firmly nonoffensive presence in court. She was pretty, friendly, and cheerful. People liked her, especially considering Clarissa’s behavior. She vanished from inside her chambers mysteriously, and has never been found. Most people believe that it was the ghost of Clarissa who did something horrible to her. After six years, she was given a memorial in the Grand Temple.
- Paulette Farriere of the Eastern Marches: Mother of Hala and Aiden. Similar in many ways to Rilga, Paulette is trapped in the shadow of the former wives. She isn’t as terrible as Clarissa, nor as lovely as Faeilla, nor as regal as Cymnea. Still, she is an effective political machine, and has been instrumental in the speedy recovery since the Sorcerer’s Rebellion.
Disappearance and Survival
Shortly before the War of the Black Road, Oberon vanished from the realm of Amber. While this went unnoticed at first, it became rapidly apparent within a few days. The nobles of Amber became concerned, and when no explaination was given, they pushed for someone to assume the mantle of leadership in the realm. Oberon’s wife, Paulette Farriere, stepped forward and assumed control of the realm, which lead into a series of rapid succession by her son Aiden Barimen, then Hexion Barimen, and finally Octavius Barimen. The entire time, no word came of the fate of Oberon.
It was not until the final hours of the War of the Black Road where Hexion and Crystal discovered what had became of Oberon. He had been contacted by Cymnea of Eaton, his former wife, and told that Chaos was mobilizing for war. Knowing that he alone could not defeat Chaos, Oberon considered his options carefully. He reasoned that many of his children would turn to him to defeat Chaos, and that many would not even answer a call to war if he sent it out. Better, he thought, to disappear from Amber, and let it prepare for the war on its own merits. He knew Amber would call the strongest of his children to its aid, and that without him in Amber, Chaos would not devote its full strength. Oberon returned, with Cymnea, to the Shadow wherein he had once grown up, and settled into a life of reclusion, waiting out the war with Chaos. When Hexion nearly died in Avalon, Cymnea rescued him through the workings of Logrus sorcery. Crystal arrived shortly after Hexion recovered consciousness trying to take Oberon’s Pattern sword, but was caught by Cymnea. Brought together, Oberon explained his absence to his two children, and welcomed the opportunity to finally be more of a father to them, than a king.
Actor: Angus Macfadyen