All Roads Lead to Amber

Session 30 20110113

[Festive Family Fun Time]

As the Feast of the Unicorn dwindles down, Oberon asks Octavius about his old chambers. Octavius casually remarks that he had as they were not being used at the time but offers them back. Oberon mentions that he’d like to discuss a number of things.

Fun Fact: the arrangement of the Golden Circle has changed. Some smaller shadows haven’t returned and some are in different locations. Kashva is closer to Amber now.

Crystal discovers that her daughter has been spotted with Marek and Circe. She arranges to have a ship take her out tomorrow. Crystal also looks into the current state of affairs of Kashva.

Meanwhile, Circe sets sail for Amber at full tilt through a storm heckriding. She sails hard for four or five days in this manner. Finally, she reaches the lighthouse in Cabra. Octavius hears that the Umbral Stalker is approaching. Octavius casually trumps Circe and asks her if she minds running some other colors. Naturally, she doesn’t, but Octavius casually casts an illusion that has the same effect. Once the ship docks, Circe takes the boat up as tattoos and she and Clarissa trump to the castle gates.

As they enter, Argyle greets them and asks Circe if he should have her rooms drawn up. Circe agrees and dismisses him. Clarissa asks about him and Circe explains that he is part of the scenery and probably came from the place. Eventually they make their way into the great hall. Upon seeing this, Octavius casually (no really) trumps Crystal.

“Crystal, you really want to be in the great hall right now.”

“No, I want to be asleep.”

“No, you really want to be here.”

Oberon says hello to the newcomers but his greeting goes completely ignored. Oberon asks Octavius “has she always been like this?”

“Eh, she’s mostly been awkward.”

Circe finally speaks up; “I’ve been more psychotic. Clarissa, by the way, this is your wonderful grandfather.”

“Bethany, I want to talk to you. You saw the Unicorn. That makes three of us.

“Or six or seven of us.”

“I’m not referring to your problem, Bethany.”

“I’m not either, Father. Aiden and Mandor and Clarissa where there to and…”

“Bethany act sane. Act your age!”

Crystal enters at this moment. “She’s doing that to get under your skin.”

“Mom? Mom!” Clarissa runs over crying and hugs her mother, they reunite and cry.

With tearful, loving eyes, Crystal looks to her daughter and says “I was afraid that you wouldn’t recognize me or I wouldn’t recognize you.”

After a moment, Oberon speaks up. “Bethany, we need to talk. We all need to talk, but not here Crystal. I understand if you want to talk to your daughter. Octavius, do you have a spot where we can go and not be disturbed?”

“Yes. I’ve finally got good at not getting lost in this place” casually remarked Octavius.

Bethany, Octavius, and The Old Man convene in the palace study about a long table. Oberon breaks the ice. Aiden is already there near the fireplace.

“I didn’t come here to take the throne from you.”

Bethany (really Circe) interjects: “you’re the king?!”

Casually, Octavius replies: “for a hundred plus years”.

“Man did they lower their standards.”

“Aiden, care to join us? You where also king” implores Oberon.

“Certainly”

Oberon begins again. “You’ve done well. It’s in good hands. That’s fair enough.”

“What then, if I might ask, what brings you out of seclusion, grandfather?”

“There are things that you need to know, especially you. Dworkin made the original Pattern and he and the Unicorn are my parents.”

Circe interrupts again. “I hear that she is just a horse these days.” She rudely gestures to Aiden. “You did that.”

“The unicorn is more than just a creature; much more” says Oberon with a slight sense of reverence. Recognizing Bethany, he continues; “and yet the Unicorn chose to reveal itself to you.” Looking past her to Aiden; “and you seem to have gone beyond dabbling in something”. Finally looking back to Octavius; and your son will never be able to walk the Pattern.

“But why?”

“He’s beyond the third generation, his blood isn’t strong enough. It takes power that can only be held in the blood of the Unicorn. I was surprised t see that even you survived. I hoped that you where some bastard son” (implying that Gwen was cheating on Caius).

Circe asks “why am I here?”

Oberon replies, “because the Unicorn has only reveled itself to you, Dworkin, and myself.”

“It’s not my fault that the Unicorn is stupid.”

“It’s your failing; you chose to let your madness to rule you.”

“And there’s the fourth…”

Octavius asks, “the forth?”

“The man that should be dead by all rights: Marek.” Replies Oberon.

“He cheats” mutters Circe.

Oberon agrees. “He cheats and he’s insane. No one is that brave. Anyhow, something is very bad is coming. I’ve always been able to see the fate of Amber, it’s a result of being a child of the Unicorn. I wish I could have been a better father.”

Long silent, Aiden speaks up. My childhood was nothing but pleasurable.

Oberon replies to him with this warm and fuzzy fatherly nugget: “’m sorry, but I never meant for you to be born. My sins have become yours, and for that I apologize. There is a storm coming. It is a great and terrible beast, and I can’t see beyond it.”

“When will it come?” asks Aiden?

“It is already here. Everywhere. It knows us. It’s in this castle. I can feel it all around us. Around you.”

Aiden says “we’ll need to know more.”

“Marek knows” says Circe “he said that something changed.”

“I took steps to ensure that nothing would ever threaten my kingdom and I failed. I wish Dworkin was here.”

After a casual pause, Octavius asks another question. “So if the Pattern connects us to the Pattern, would another Pattern be a different link?”

“You’re speaking of Rhys’ Pattern? It’s a different statement of the same expression of the Unicorn from its blood. I used to think that shadow couldn’t exist without the Pattern, but I know that’s not true. Shadow is older than everything, older than the Logrus and now I am afraid now.”

Aiden speaks up. “I’ll attempt to discover more. There’s somewhere I can go.”

“Good luck then,” says Oberon

Circe adds; “don’t get possessed.”

“I am possessed, right now.”

“…oh”

Aiden vanishes.

Oberon looks to Circe. “What do you plan to do? Seek out Marek?”

“No”

“Then you await your destruction?”

“I’ll probably look for someone who can help, like Jonathon.”

Oberon sits straight up. “What!? What did you say? Octavius, what do you know about this?”

Octavius just shrugs. Oberon leaves the room abruptly.

Circe asks Octavius; “so is there anyone that’s dead; is there anything that I should know?”

“Nothing comes to mind. That was more revelation than I usually get.”

[The Unwatched Pattern]

Hexian stroms up the stairs of Tir Na Nogth and up into the city. He heads to the castle avoiding shadows under
his feet. There’s a three-eyed crow looking at him atop the gates of Amber or rather their ghastly reflection.
It leaves him with an ill omen but says nothing and does nothing. In the castle, at the Pattern, he comes
across a little girl, one he’s never seen before, one that is bizarrely cheerful.

She regards Hexian with a mote of curiosity. “Who are you?”

Hexian stops and regards her as an annoying delay. “Someone who has business here.”

“Who are you what’s your name?”

“Hexian.”

“Ohh you’re Hexian. Mommy told me about you.”

Hexian pauses for a moment to inventory his long list of conquests in Shadow and in Chaos. The girl doesn’t
look like on of his, but he bites anyhow. “Great. Do tell me. Who’s your mother?”

“Someone you haven’t seen in a while.”

Hexian shrugs and dismisses her. He walks the pattern and by the time he gets to the center she’s there waiting
there for him.

“Gosh you’re your slow, Hexian.”

“Listen, ghost, I’m in a hurry.”

The girls demeanor changes to a hint of mischievousness “Oh, I’m not a ghost.”

“Oh, so your here because you have things to do too?”

“Yes and all the others are being watched. That’s why you’re here too. Are you a bad person? Bad people go to
the cornfield.”

“Well little girl, it depends on who you ask.”

“I’m asking you.”

“I’ve been justified.”

“Well be off then, justified man.”

[Mr. T Sits Upon a Black Throne]

Hexian goes to Theradune’s throne room down in Chaos. As expected, Mr. T is there sitting on his obsidian
throne. With a smile and thoughts of murder, Hexian approaches the throne, sword drawn.

“I told you that you’re next” yells Hexian.

Mr. T replies “and I have an offer for you” amused and unthreatened.

“I’m not kidding.”

“You’re good, but you’re out of my league. You can hurt me.”

“I hear that a lot.”

“I mean it. You’re hopeless all you think about is clichés.”

“I hear all this a lot.”

“Hexian, here’s my offer: more power.”

“I’m a tough sell and I’m not interested. I want vindication.”

“Only you can do that for your self.”

“Well keep making offers then.”

“I’m offering power, take it or leave it.”

“Leaving it. In fact I’m going to try and kill you now.”

“Please try, you’re going to fail.”

Hexian approaches and goes with a sword-in-the-chest approach but he disappears first.

Hexian pauses for a minute and then gets optimistic. “That was easy.”

In voice only, Theradune replies to easy optimism: “It takes more than that.” Do you know why you can beat me?”

“Because your a coward?”

“No, you lack power; the same thing that I’m offering you.”

Hexian takes to following the voice and then goes about leaving the room to kill everyone in the shadow out of
impotent frustration.

[The Castle Game Room]

Amon goes to visit Torg. He first comes upon one of the new guards down by the Pattern Room.

“Can i help you?" the new guy asks.

“Where’s Torg?”

The new guy gestures with his thumb “in the break room.”

Amon shrugs “show me.”

The new guy leans down the hall and points “down the hall, and to the left.”

Amon nods in appreciation and soon finds himself in a small room lovingly equipped with a plasma hdtv, a
fridge, some entertainment appliances, and a pinball machine.

Torg is on the couch engaged in a first-person perspective shooter video game. When he notices Amon, he greats
him: “hey, what’s up? Want a beer?”

“No.”

“Mind getting me one?”

“Yes…uggh…no where’s the beer?”

Torg nods to the fridge and Amon slides the fridge over to him as hard as he can. Torg casually pauses the
game, reaches in a opens the bottle with part of his sword.

“Amon, so how’s things been?”

“Chill. Anyone been on the pattern recently?”

“Can’t say, classified.”

“Well, I’m going to walk it.”

“It’s not up to you, I’m going to have to make a call.”

Torg trumps Octavius: Amon is looking to walk the Pattern, are you okay with that?”

Octavius answers casually “sure, gimme three minutes.”

Meanwhile, Amon’s infinite patience has led him to the pattern room door. Amon tries to open the door but it is
stuck. Frustrated, Amon goes back into the break room and demands that Torg open the door.

“Hey, if you can’t open it, I can’t open it. Give the wards a minute.”

Octavius trumps Amon: “how’s it going, fancy a stroll?”

A slightly annoyed Amon snaps at Octavius. “What’s with things down here!?”

“Protocols, you know.”

“Sigh. Sure, your kinglyness.”

“Be safe unc.”

“Sure nef.”

Finally Amon gets to the Pattern, walks it, and it is tiring. He tries to get into undershadow and he ends up
in a dark place at the broken remnants of a pattern. He walks the gaps of the broken pattern. It is terrifying
in some ways as one can get trapped depending on the play of lights and one doesn’t know what happens when a
line is crossed….He reaches the center and assumes the lotus position.

[IN THE FACE!!! or an Object Lesson in Why Trump is Bad]

Circe catches up to Crystal and Clarissa who are up on a castle wall of Castle Amber.

Crystal asks Circe: “what did the old man have to say?”

“Nothing I didn’t already know.”

“Care to enlighten your sister?”

Circe makes a face and babbles between her selves. “Marek” slips out.

Crystal asks her daughter, “what about Marek?”

“Well mom, the Amons or Legion used us a bait to lure in Marek.”

“What did Marek say to you before we escaped? Askes Crystal?

Clarissa shrugs, Circe stops babbling and looks at Crystal. “Umm…I dunno but apparently Jonathon and Rosaline
being together is apparently the big bad.”

“Wait he’s back? Who knows about this?”

“I don’t know. Rhys probably does.”

“Daughter, did you ever meet your uncle Rhys?”

“Not that I remember.”

“This might be a good time.”

Circe huffs; “dad doesn’t have the answers.”

Crystal tries to get ahold of Rhys but can’t: her cell phone doesn’t work and her trump doesn’t work. Circe
tries to trump Jonathon. Her eyes glaze over and she twitches and she starts pulling out Amon replicas.

Without hesitation, Crystal knocks the trump out of Circe’s hand with a strike in the face from Heaven and
Earth. IN THE FACE! The strike leaves Circe lays on the ground whimpering. Fakemon stands there with oblivion
and mother and daughter stand ready to attack.

[Hex Rocks the Abyssticism]

Aiden heads down to the Pattern room with the intent to walk on the pattern and since he’s not actually there,
he can do it without impediment. Octavius casually feels his spells being unwoven. Aiden goes back to the
Hydraways to find piles of bodies and so he goes to investigate following bodies like breadcrumbs. It’s not
long before he finds Hexian asking for Cranmore Theradune and cutting people.

Aiden stops him, “why are you here?”

“Looking for Cranmore.”

“He’s in the chamber behind you.”

“Oh, cool. I’ll head in there with you.”

CT speaks when they both enter: “are you done with your tantrum?”

Aiden cuts to the point of his visit. “Have you heard of the king’s return?”

“Yes, but there is no reason to oppose him at this time.”

“Do you also know that the universe is being threatened?”

“No. do you know what and to what extent?”

“No and no.”

“That’s an interesting challenge and this explains why the conclave is meeting in Chaos.” He regards Hexian
again. “Oh, you’re so still here insisting to failing at killing me?”

“…no…”

Aiden looks back to Hexian and then to Cranmore again. “Your death is irrelevant, one day I will adsorb you.”

“Ambitious.”

“No, simple fact, no ambition. Back to the point, I’d like to see if this threat spans through the Abyss.”

“Good. Take your brother, that was my offer anyhow.”

“Why didn’t you say that to begin with? I keep getting these cryptic offers and I stab the people that offer
it.”

“Right, go to the old Logrus and ask the Serpent what it thinks.”

Aiden looks at Hexian as he rips open reality. “Define Pain.”

Hexain looks at…whatever just happened. “I don’t have a good enough definition for that.”

Cranmore cuts himself. “Hexain, call the name of your guide.”

“What!?”

Aiden calmly explains: “you will need a deamon or your form won’t survive.”

“How about Deagon?”

Cranmore asks “are you brave enough to step forward?”

“Ahhhh…what the heck.”

Hexian drops into the Abyss and Aiden follows.

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