[Emerson’s Book Club]
“Emerson du Lac, your reputation precedes you” says the man seated across the table from him holding the book that has been looking for. They’ve been engaged in a terse bit of banter for some time, and they finally have gotten to the crux of the matter. As a side point, it turns out that Dworkin was once one of the greatest lords of Chaos.
“Does it?” asks a smug Emerson comfortably seated in the chair across from man holding “his” book.
“There aren’t many shape-shifters walking through shadow and you weren’t who I was expecting.”
“Let me guess, Crystal?”
“No. This isn’t her style. She sets almost as many traps as springs…”
“Ah.” Emerson sits forward and gets more serious. “If this is a trap, then spring it.”
“This isn’t a trap. You know though, there are consequences to taking things that you have no business doing. Either way, this is one of the most fantastic strings of lies that I’ve ever read.
“I can’t wait to read it.”
“You won’t either, unless you learn to travel through time.”
“I could” said Emerson as he relaxes his posture again.
“No. no, you wont.”
“We like to think that there isn’t anything that we can’t achieve, but there are limitations. It’s sad to see how weak how Oberon’s childern really are…such potential. Did you ever think why you’re looking for these books?”
“I see. Here’s a question for you: what really happened?”
“Enjoy the book” says the enigmatic stranger as he tosses it down on the table and leaves.
Emerson turns to lots of little spiders to scour the titles of all of the books. He has a hunch that there is something special here…spends some time looking for it.
Crystal and Aiden are on one of Crystal’s Airships, sailing full steam into Chaos. After a point, quite unexpectedly, she smells ozone then the ship explodes. Crystal teleports to the forest below and Aiden bails of the edge. Crystal gets to see the ship disintegrate and watch Aiden fall. On the ground, Crystal and Aiden face off against the deadly trio of assassins from Chaos: Apollo, Leto, and Artemis. Crystal manages to kill Leto with her bare hands, Apollo tries to take Crystal out by having booby-trapped himself. Aiden pins down Artemis and once Crystal can limp over, she ends her with Apollo’s gun.
Before the duo can celebrate cheating death, Crystal gets hit from a psychic disrupt. She was assaulted by a powerful logrus master and shuttled away via the tentacle taxi. Millions of versions and shadows of her race trough her mind all focuses on pain. This was a targeted weapon just for her. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a hospital somewhere confused from a million lifetimes of memories (non of which were good) all floating around in her mind.
Back at the crash site, Aiden sees a slightly built woman with pale completion and green hair approaching out of the forest.
“Aiden Barimen” says the woman with a greeting tone that is a little to familiar.
“Inconvinenevce” replies Aiden in the same tone.
“Please, I am not an inconvenience.”
“You interrupted something.”
“It was meant to happen, and who says that it was even me? I am Lady Heres of House Hydra we have more in common than you can imagine.”
“Da’na would say otherwise.”
“She’d say a lot more than that.”
“So what is your interest in this lie, Amberite?”
“I’m looking into some things.”
“You do know that the end is coming. Shadow will cease to exist.”
“Things are indeed changing and things are going to end but you don’t know what that end is. I thought that the black road is bad, but where I step has no color.”
“Well then, I leave you to your walk.”
Lady Heres ‘logruses’ out. Aiden starts walking through shadow…
Octavius, now the de facto King of Amber is back home in Avalon. A lot has changed since he was last here, most notably, the changes brought about from Chaos arriving and taking control. However, currently he is being occupied by pursuing dragon riders. Among them is Herric Hendrake, who is insistent on calling out for some kind of battle about honor or something. Where’s the honor in kicking down the front door and killing everyone in sight and then burning the place to the ground? Casually, Octavius responds to H.H. with pompous replies along the order of how he only takes challenges from one King to another. Mostly because he has other things to do, but also because he knows that it serves to aggravate his pursuer. Eventually, Octavius is left alone and he can go to the safehouse where he suspects that his father is hiding in: and abandoned silver mine. He has Jonas and a few other hand-picked Ardenites along for the ride. They land, and Octavius casually enters the caves alone.
After a fashion of wandering in the darkness (casually) he comes to a gathering area, and gets attacked out of the darkness.
“You asked me to come” he calls out to his unknown attacker.
His assailant breaks off and disappears into the darkness. Octavius continues to pursue a path after who he suspects is his father.
Another ambush attack in the darkness confronts Octavius, resulting in him getting a glorious pimp slap. This time, his attacker doesn’t disappear and as Octavius casually suspected, it’s his father (e.g. Caius).
Octavius mends his dad a bit with magic.
After a silent period, Caius asks “I take it you guys got my message?”
“Yep. Outside are some dragons, Jonas, and few Amberites.”
“Is this all there is?”
“Attrition was heavy getting here.”
“I see, come on, there is something we need to do. We have something to do, I have to find your mother, they did something to Ygg.”
Caius and Octavius emerge out of the mine. Jonas informs them that Amon is here in Avalon. The group flies to the castle which is full of activity. Caius speculates that they’re expecting us. Octavius wonders if this isn’t just status quo for Amon being present. They head to the where Ygg was and Caius’ behest.
[Amon, the Scorpion King]
Amon steps out of the basement of a ruined building in Avalon. He walks in the direction of where Ygg was…where the action should be. Not long after he’s set off, he sees this massive 7-legged scorpion thing harvesting trees and decides to hide in one of the trees it harvests. Sure as he has good stuff, the beast plucks up the tree he’s hiding in and fails completely to notice him. Amon analyses it as he is carried along, looking for weak points. Eventually, Amon finds out that the trees are being collected to clear out a central area with the trees are being gathered into a depot. Getting bored, he hucks a tree at the guards there (House Hydra, and one guy in House Pander). Near instantly, the Pander guy trumps out and the intruder call goes out. Cuddles gets let loose. Seven of the original twenty are gone by the time the survivors think to scatter. Amon decides to chase them down and murder them one at a time. It’s not until the first barrier to the ruins of the castle that he is challenged.
Amon hears a familiar voice: “Well, well, well, what do we have here?” says a polydactyl, red-headed, dark-skinned noble; the lord concert of House Hydra.
“And who are you?” asks a confident Amon. “Are you here to kill me?”
“I’m considering it.”
“Why don’t you kill these guys instead?” Amon points out all of the sentries and guard watching the exchange.
“My soldiers, my daemons; why should I?”
“I dunno. I don’t want to fight you. You seem like a cool guy.”
“But I do want to fight you.”
Amon shrugs. spins cuddles up, and punts him at the bombastic noble. This kicks off a massive boss fight that leads all of the way up to the former sight of Ygg. In the end, Cranmore crushes one of Amon’s ankles, but Amon was able to help himself to one of Cranmore’s lower legs. Unfortunately, Crany is a shapeshifter and was able to regenerate the foot easily.
[Hexian’s Swan Song]
As it turns out, the daemons didn’t attack Amon because they were attacking Hexian. They might as well have attacked Amon because he was completely unfettered by the time he reaches the throne room in the castle. He knocks open the door to the throne room with a skewered corpse and blows up the hall behind him with magic designed to fail. Inside is the Duchess Pythia having a conversation with three Panders and six Hydra house guard. The Pander guys look at Pythia and say you deal with it and they trump out.
Pythia leans forward, “I suppose I should thank you for getting rid of them for me.” She’s making every attempt to be cordial.
Hexian is all smiles, but the sadistic kind and he is quick to take the pleasantries out of this conversation. “No, you shouldn’t be” he replies as he approaches the Duchess, weapon drawn.
“And what are you looking for here in Avalon.”
“Oh, I want nothing from Avalon, but a duke is supposed to die here, it’s destiny. I suppose a Duchess will do.”
“Well, lets see what you’ve got.”
Her six guards rush him, and in 0.7 seconds the six of them die to his naginata. “I hope you have more of them” taunts Hexian, who is still approaching the throne steadily.
“I just wanted to see how fast your reflexes are.”
“Six guards a fight doth not make.”
“I heard you beat Herrick.”
“[This] should be interesting” Pythia draws a sword and charges fast.
She’s fast and better than Herrik with a sword, but she doesn’t fight honorably. There’s some banter about skill and another more vicious exchange both parties going full offence. Hexian realizes that killing her will leave him vulnerable if someone else walks in. Oh well, she dies here and now.
[Caius Fall Down the Hole]
Amon gets tossed through a wall into the courtyard where Ygg once stood, courtesy of (Former) Duke Cranmore. Shortly there after, Hexian tosses Duches Pythia, after severely maiming her, out of a window and into the courtyard.
Cranmore regards Hexian, “ah my former stepson.”
Hexian gives a smile “and your next.”
Pythia feebly implores Cranmore for assistance. Cranmore, looking for a Husband-of-the Year Award, dismisses her by smugly revealing his aspirations to succeed her as Duke. It almost appeared as if he gave Hexian a nod of approval just before he eviscerated her in the cruelest and most painful manner possible in short notice.
Hexian then regarded Cranmore “that makes you a duke now.”
“Good, I’ve been looking one of those.”
“But I know your weakness.” Cranmore gestures to Amon “You wouldn’t want your brother to die?”
“Yeah, that’s not happening. Amon [are] you good?”
“[Expletive] yes! We’re going to end you.”
Amon hobbles up onto his one good leg as Caius and Octavius arrive. Cranmore makes a timely retrograde maneuver (cowardly retreat). The amberites then take notice the Abyssal construct where the tree used to stand. Caius is there looking at the abyssal construct. After some manner of private discussion between Amon, Hexian, and Caius a brawl erupts between Hexian and Caius. Octavius, Amon, and the Ardenites were fighting of the reinforcements from chaos. In the end, Hexian kicks Caius into the Abyss and Octavius teleports Amon, the Amberites and himself out. Hexian declined any help. Rhys then cleansed the site with a short-fused nuke.