All Roads Lead to Amber

Session 34 20110310

[Adien’s School of Awesome]

(Continued from “Hello Uncle”)

“Yes, I am. Tell me; are you afraid of the dark?"

“Nope, mommy says that there’s nothing there that isn’t there when the lights are on.”

“I understand that you have grown, exponentially.”

“Mommy says that I’ve been shooting up every year.”

“I figure that years would be inconsequential to you by now.”

“Yep.”

“There are those that would attempt to stop you from your end goals.”

“Haha they cant stop me!”

“Why?”

“Because they can’t.”

“Why?”

“…”

“That’s what I thought. Where is your mom?”

“She said that she went to the heart of it all, to the web.”

“That’s what I thought and where is your father?”

“He yelled at me and said that I couldn’t have what I wanted.”

“So he’s in the cornfield?”

“Yes. I didn’t want to hear him yell at me anymore.”

“I see. If you need any assistance, keep me informed.”

“Why do you think you can help me or that I need your help? I’m a big girl.”

“No reason.”

“Wanna see what I can do?”

“Interestingly enough, yes.”

Alice demonstrates as reality gets shredded and only Aiden and Alice remain (Da’na appears in Aiden’s head) and all of the shadow is reduced to a card. Nothing but shadowstorms remains in its place. Then a green grassy field forms out of her mind. After a noticeable pause, Aiden speaks up.

“Can you affect the shadowstrom?”

“I don’t know.”

“Can you shape it?”

“I don’t know.”

Alice considers it for a minute and then she shapes and then destroys shadow.

“They screamed a lot.”

“Can you reverse it?”

“Why?”

“So we do it again and again until you’re bored?”

“Oh.”

She tries, and does, but it comes back as a trump in her own image.

“You’ve done it but now you’ve made it in your own image. Have you considered changing your shape?”

“why would I? I’m perfect as I am.”

“To explore your limits.”

“I like me as me.”

“I see. I would like to show you things like my mind.”

“You have a mind? *gasp*”

“Yes, all things that have consciousness do.”

“Mommy told me that when I draw a picture of someone, I can get into their minds.”

“I don’t fit well into pictures.”

“I can draw you.”

Alice proceeds to draw a stick figure likeness of Aiden and it is a trump. Aiden disassociates and the trump dies.

“How did you do that?”

“I’m not relevant.”

“Then I’m going to have some fun.”

“Again, if you need help.”

“Bye!” and she wanders off.

Aiden’s crew is returns.

“What was that boss?”

“A test and you passed.”

“Dude, Carl was sleeping…and he’s…gone is he coming back?”

“I don’t know.”

[Enter the Void]

Hexian finds himself standing in the courtroom of Firegate. It is empty, but plainly, there is a walkway to the Logrus. Enonia is standing there.

“Hello Hexian.”

“How did I get here?”

“Why have you come?”

“Not sure, where chance leads me.”

“What is this chance that you speak of?”

“You’re being more cryptic than usual.”

“Not really.”

“I haven’t seen you in a while, I suppose.”

“Either way, you’re at an impasse, you cannot go back and it will take much to go forward. I’ll make it simple, the only way out is to leave is to cross the Logrus, but you cannot take your armor. What will you do?”

“It’s really the only way out?”

“You can try other ways, but I don’t recommend it. You’re at the last moment of eternity. Leaving it would be bad. Time is not of the essence; take your time to decide.”

“Nice, I’ll talk to you later.”

Hexian turns and walks to the end of the court. Beyond is nothing but the Abyss. His deamon is gone. He walks into the abyss and ceases to exist.

[Death and Rebirth]

Reese closed the door leaving his wife with Tomo’s lance behind. He hated to leave her in so much distress. Nyoko took the news about as well as he had expected. There wasn’t a lot of time to waste. Reese still had the rest of his family to safeguard. Nyoko understood this and set him too it, otherwise he’d still be there with her. He composed himself in the hallway and shadow-stepped to Octavius’ location back down in the infirmary with an unconscious Oberon and Crystal doting over his vitals.

“I’m going to need some time to activate the Patterns, starting with Earth’s and then Amber’s. Once I get Earth’s Pattern up, I’m going to entrench it in shadowstorms to deflect Alice. I’m going to do the same thing for the Golden Circle. It’s my hope that Chaos takes the hint and follows my lead. You two will have to walk a Pattern to get your powers back. Depending on what Enonia is doing it may come down to just us. Octavius, I’m going to give you half of Marek’s trumps. Crystal already has one.”

“Wait, how did you know?”

“I’ve been using a Pattern Lens non-stop for over 100 years.”

“Mind if we take Oberon back to Amber when you go there, Uncle?”

“Care if I use your Pattern before I head to Overshadow?”

“No, the security system will grant you access once I’ve finished reactivating it.”

“No, it’s probably for the best. I’ll be back in less than 30 minutes.”

“Good luck, Uncle.”

“Take care, Brother.”

Reese shadow-steps directly to the main elevator and proceeds down to level EEE. Once inside the Pattern Chamber, he finds that there is no Pattern visible, only traces of it are visable through the Lens. We walks where it should be, leaving a half-luminous pattern in his wake until he reaches the center of it. Once in the middle, he integrates the Pattern to a Primal State, and finds himself in front of a Pattern scrawled in blood, but with no power of life. Once again, he walks it re-writing it in the process. Reese makes some adjustments, most notably no more trump on Earth. Once at the center again, exhausted he looks out across shadow and begins to enact the Swiss defense on all the shadows bordering the shadows connected to Earth, making ramparts out of Shadowstorms. He then takes his free ride back to his infirmary.

Crystal is already gone, and Octavius has prepped Oberon for travel.

“How’d I do?”

“Twenty-seven minutes by my count.”

“There’s no Trump here now, and shadow storms on all sides, you’ll have to come with me.”

“All that in twenty-seven minutes?”

“No, all that only took twelve.”

The travel to Amber, down to Torg’s lounge. Torg glances over from the couch, pauses his game and stands up.

“Well, this is different. You guys look like used dog food.”

Octavius is the first to speak. “The old man got wounded when the Unicorn died. Rhys is here to fix the Pattern, and then I’m going to walk it. How are things here?”

“Things have been quiet, except the loonies have been singing Jefferson Airplane all afternoon.”

“What is that?” asks Octavius.

“Rock music nephew. Was it “White Rabbit”?”

“Aye, Rhys. Over and over again. You okay, you look pale.”

“Beer me, I’ve got a lot to do, and little time to do it in.”

Torg hops to the fridge, pulls a bottle off the door, and tosses it to Rhys like a sixth-year senior in a frat. Rhys catches the bottle and pops the lid off using a Pattern Lens like a church key. After downing the beer, Rhys stands with renewed vigor and nods to Octavius.

“I’m going to walk it and disappear, but it won’t be ready until it looks right. Give me time before you walk it. Once I’m done, I need to be in Earth.”

“Okay, I think I understand. Are you ever going to explain all of this someday?”

“Maybe, maybe not. I’m afraid that you’ll disappear like Tomo if I do.”

Rhys walks over to the Pattern room, the disembodied chanting of Jefferson Airplane echoing distantly in the halls. He boots the doors open with one kick, and the fling open comically, not unlike saloon doors. There is nothing on the far side but a familiar empty room. Rhys repeats the same pattern walking and shadowstorming routine in Amber until it is complete.

[Humpty Dumpty]

Enonia sees the conflict on the Logrus caused by her sister…sisters…? She also notices that Shadow close to Chaos is vastly being re-written by Alice at an alarming rate. Enonia tweets news of it across Chaos and the Chaos Lords gather their numbers. The Logrus masters respond by tossing in shadows in the way, delaying the inevitable.

Back on the Logrus, Tabatha joins the assault on Bethany and Catherine freaks out. Margaritte realizes that one and only one can survive this ordeal. Bethany manages to stab Catherine and knock her off the Logrus. Killing Catherine makes Bethany stronger. Circe accidentally on purpose kills Tabatha to death. Enonia approaches Margaritte.

“So which one of you deserves to win?" asks Enonia.

“Sorry, I’m kinda busy. I’m waiting for my time.”

“You’ll listen to me if I want! I need you to sort this out quicker.”

“Just another minute, there’s a plan I think.”

Bethany takes the bait and runs Circe through, allowing Margaritte to kill Bethany and win.

Bethany blamed Circe for everything: loosing the admiralty, failing on the pattern, and letting her mother do what she did to her. Killing her was all she ever wanted. With only Margaritte left standing, she is whole and complete again.

“This would have been so much simpler if you would have done this along time ago, like I asked. We’re going to fix you and send you on your way but I’m going to show you some things, you’re part of something bigger now.” Said Enonia to the recombined Bethany.

Enonia shows her what she saw from walking the Logus herself: a child being chased by something that couldn’t be seen, running through a house and constantly getting killed in pursuit iteration after iteration. Conflict breads strength, this is the way of the Spider.

She’s done, and in Firecourt standing with Enonia.

She looks to Enonia, “don’t we have a universe to save?”

“I’ll call Rhys” she scorpions him but gets Hector instead.

“Hi mom, I don’t know where Uncle Reese is, Let me ask aunt Nyoko.” (Pause.) “Mom, he’s in Amber. What’s going on? Aunt Nyoko is crying, I didn’t want to ask her.

“Oh yeah, it probably has to do with the death of the Unicorn and the ascension. I’ll be up.”

“What’s Rhys doing in amber?” asks Bethany.

“Probably fixing the Pattern. Lets get back to Earth.”

They take the tentacle taxi back to earth

[Mother]

(Continued from “Amon Hits on a Princess”)

“I do have a lot of questions. How are you still alive?”

“I am not.”

“Is this where we go when we die?”

“All things in shadow have a beginning and an end do destiny.”

“But I ate you, literally!”

“And between you and Legion, I died.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I was a shell of my self, and now I’m here. You put me out of my misery.”

“So…you were right, the Unicorn was my grandparent.”

“The Unicorn was slain.”

“By what?”

“The doom that has beset shadow.”

“Again?”

“Like none before.”

“So what do you do here?”

“I built this city while I waited for you to answer my call.”

“Why did you call me here?”

“At best, things here can only exist for a short time before they fall apart. I want you to stay. You can’t leave. If you do, you can never come back. If Dworkin didn’t have a way of stopping this weapon, then there wouldn’t be a way.”

“So you can pull things here?”

“Yes, if you have a connection, like I did with you.”

“Do you think I could bring people here that I want to protect?”

“By the time they would get here, they wouldn’t be able to be protected. There is someone here who does want to speak to you.”

Tangata gestures to an antechamber and standing there is Faeilla. Amon stands motionless for a minute, and then approaches his mother. He gives her a comfy psychic head-butt and shows her Caius’ and Rhys’ families. She shows him how she and Oberon came together. She was a commoner and found him wounded and nursed him to health and they fell in love. He didn’t influence her at all to follow him but she did. In her memories, he is happy. She also shows Amon her death just Amon, Oberon and herself. She tells him that we both knew that it wouldn’t last for ever, be good to them. “Remember me” were her last words before she dies.

Amon cries.

“What should I do, mom?”

“If you go, you might be able to affect the events up there. If you stay, this will last and you can have a life here. Everything in shadow will be here soon enough.”

“That’s depressing. I don’t know what I’m going to do…wanna get something to eat?”

He meets the Kashvan general Leo, and a bunch of Ardedites who died in the war of the black road.

[The Old Wizard]

Crystal walks Earth’s Pattern and at the center and activates the trump of doom. It kaleidoscopically expands her to a place that is a like a cosmic loading screen. Then there is some with her, its Dworkin.

“Its been a while.”

“You have no idea, child”

“Grandfather.”

“So you know. What brings you here?”

“I came here to discuss something that should not ever have been made.”

“Ah, the child. That was by design…I think. What of it?”

“She’s a bad child.”

“Very bad” the old man smiled with pride at that admission, “and you used one of my trumps. “I was wondering
when someone was going to use one of those. Why?”

“We need to know how to use these trumps and what they do.”

“What do you think that they do? They bring you here and you couldn’t have gotten here if you didn’t already know how they worked!” Speaking of which, one day Rhys and Enonia will be along. They are greater than Shadow and will want more of a taste of the infinite, in time. Real shame about Octavius, though…”

“I’d rather not know.”

“You came here for a reason; it’s all but light and shadow.”

“From whence springs the light?”

“Us; the act of observation, the beauty is in between, too much light and you go blind, to much shadow and you
don’t see anything.”

“But the child, she’s going to change everything. How can we do something about it?”

“Marek asked the same thing. I didn’t like torturing him so much. If I could do it all over again, I’d only change one thing: I’d sleep with your mother so much harder.”

“…Really?”

“Don’t worry, I’ve got my second chance at Marek until Clarissa bails him out.”

“Wait…No. I don’t want to know. The Child?”

“Right, but you’ll want her to appear up here. Then she’ll be a small fish in a big sea up here.”

“I see. We need to get her to take one of these” as Crystal holds up her Trump of Doom.”

“Well, child, that is if you can trust me…”

“Does it matter if I do?”

“I might have designs for her, if you assume that I set all of this in motion in the first place… Maybe I want a better weapon than Legion. Can you afford to take that risk?”

“Nothing good will happen if we don’t do anything.”

“Then what are you still doing here?”

The next thing Crystal knows, she finds herself standing in the same place where she was where when she left in the center of Earth’s Pattern, no time having passed.

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Session 33 20110224

[Aiden’s Reunion]

Aiden walks back into shadow from his jaunt to see the serpent into his newblood holdings. His crew is there, hanging out. One of them mentions that there is someone there waiting for him, and she’s in his meditation chamber. Upon entering, he sees a woman with Ferrari red hair and wearing a simple gown. She smiles when he meets her gaze and it’s a familiar smile.

“I was wondering how long it’d take you to find me” says Aiden.

She began to walk over and said with a wry smile “it took some effort”.

“Why are you here?”

“Our last encounter left me so unsatisfied and I couldn’t let it go. My part in Mandore’s plots is over so I came here to see how I might fit into your plots. Aiden dear, I’ve missed you. Is that so hard to believe? Absence makes the heart fonder.”

“Absence doesn’t make anything.”

“We tiega only enjoy existing, and I’m surprised that I’m filled with this feeling. It’s not pleasant and it feels like time slows down and drags. I’d be willing to do anything to make this torture pass.”

“Bordem?”

“Oh, is that it is called?”

“My plans have become my own now.”

“All the more reason for me to aid in them.”

“Have you felt the presence of the creature wandering through shadow?”

“Why yes. I’ve seen, heard, felt and danced among her shadows.”

“There are a bunch of my relatives interested in how to stop it.” My sister Crystal is considering going to the Overshadow.”

“Interesting; under, over, or regular shadow, it’s all the same to me. What do you plan to do, my dear?”

“The only thing I can think to do, let it happen.”

“What ever you wish.”

“It is not a wish.”

“As you plan, so shall I follow.”

“You are a strange creature.”

“You would know among all others, with the Abyss and all of shadow and I’m still bored. So we still do nothing.”

“No. We seek it out, and I’ll discuss its plans. If I agree, then shadow must end.”

[Patternquake]

Marek and Oberon have a staring contest; Marek in a wheelchair in a hospital gown and pants and Oberon having crossed the threshold. Everything else fell silent. Circe broke the ice by skipping over and hopping into Marek’s lap, causing him a great amount of discomfort.

Wincing, Marek asks; “what’s going on?”

“We need a plan, it’s time for you to plainly disclose what it is that you’ve been working at” said Reese, walking to the front of the group.

“Why not, everyone is here, and I don’t know how much time I’ve got left. A long time ago when I decided to not follow what you and Dworkin had in mind,” he said pointing to Oberon, Dworkin handed me a trump of doom and said that I would need it someday. That day came in Kashva. After I survived the well of Kashva, dad decided to destroy the shadow I was in. I let off my blood curse because it seemed a fitting way to go. I undid Dworkin’s curse which ended the line of Oberon. After that, I had remembered the Trump of Doom and with nothing left to do, I activated it. This found me in overshadow. Time and distance don’t mean the same there. You’ve all heard the riddle: ‘all is but light and shadow’. I used to thing that was referring to the Pattern, but it’s not. Imagine looking at a cave wall all your life and then looking to the side for the first time and see out into the real world. That’s like discovering overshadow. Dworkin was there; the real Old Man, the Crazy Wizard. He was trying to explain it all to
me at the same time he was torturing me. Rosaline was there at some point, and she helped him torture me. He was trying to tell me something and Alice was there too. What is now, what was then going to be. When I saw her, I saw everything thing that I thought she could be: all of destiny into one creature, one thing. She’s self made trump. Everybody with me so far?”

“Not quite” says Crystal. “He left the Trumps of Doom to be used. How do those factor in?”

Before Marek can continue, the clinic lights flicker and the auxiliary power comes on line. Alarms sound frantically and Reese and Tomo hit the floor seemingly crippled. Anyone in the room who has walked a patter knows what is going on: both Patterns have stopped working all together. Panic and chaos ensue. Oberon is the next to go down, only he is bleeding profusely from his chest and abdomen. Reese withdraws the Jewel of Judgment and begins to summon its sign. Octavius casually casts a teleport spell to the Grove of the Unicorn and Caius, Tomo, and Reese accompanies him.

[Healing on the Logrus]

After Rhys, Ciaus, Tomo, and Octavius teleport out, Crystal runs to attend to her father on the floor in an ever-growing pool of blood. Oberon has been nearly eviscerated. The wound is fresh. Crystal nearly panics and puts him on a gurney and hits the medical emergency alarm.

Marek notices before Circe does that she is bleeding out almost as badly as Oberon. Marek applies a tourniquet to her thigh but it only slows down the blood loss. Now the full pain of the wound has entered Circe’s mind and screams out.

“Circe, you don’t die before me.” Says Marek as tries to bring her back into the moment. “You are going to make it through this, do you understand me?”

Marek removes the prosthetic leg and examines the wound. What he sees does not reassure him. “Enonia, if we cut her leg off and throw her on the Logrus, will it fix her or kill her?” Asks Marek in a fit of desperation.

“It might, she’ll likely survive” says Enonia with a flicker of academic interest. “Circe is this what you want?”

“FIXIT! FIXIT! FIXIT!”

Marek draws a sword and looks longingly into her pain swelled eyes. “Circe, I love you.” And without hesitation, he brings down the sword onto her leg and buries it into the linoleum-tiled floor. Blood flows freely from the wound. He then cauterizes it with magic.

Enonia takes her across shadow on a Logrus express taxi to the edge of something massive. She says something in the back of Circe’s mind through all of the pain: “move”. Just as with the Pattern, Circe is thrown on another source of power with no instruction and she starts to crawl on to the web of the Logrus.

Then there are all six of them on the web. Bethany draws Karadoc and cuts Ynahteb in half, giggles and then charges Margritte. Circe goes to attack Bethany. Blades clash and Bethany leans in and says, I’m going to kill all of you.

The web of the Logrus finds Circe abhorrent, weak, and broken. Only one is going to live to see tomorrow.

[Eulogy for Tomo]

They arrived at the Grove of the Unicorn, Caius and Octavius, Rhys and Tomo. Sunlight cascaded down through the holes in the canopy in brilliant rays with otherwise invisible insects and pollen wafting through them from some gentle idyllic breeze. In almost all respects, this day is like all days at the grove: serene; all except for the death of the Unicorn. She lay broken and mortally wounded in the center of her grove, waiting for death. The macabre scene was further punctuated by the absolute silence in the area. Her blood-soaked murderer to-be, Alice, stood over her with a child’s ignorant curiosity at what she had done. With the arrival of the Unicorn’s grandchildren and great-grand-children, Alice gave them a look of renewed curiosity as she discarded the memory of the Unicorn like a broken toy.

Caius led a lone charge toward the girl. He appeared closest, and there was no doubt in his mind now that she had to die. In an instant he blade was drawn and he had closed the gap between himself and her. His blade was leveled to drive straight through her heart. Unfettered, she turned toward him and smiled wryly and then spoke.

“Bad men like you go to the Cornfield.”

And as if initiated by the slightest contact of his blade to her chest, Caius was gone in an instant.

Meanwhile, Octavius had made a frantic attempt to heal the Unicorn in a desperate attempt to save her life. His best efforts at spellcasting where met with failure. Rhys, had begun back on Earth to try and summon up the Sign of the Pattern from the Jewel of Judgment, and restore normalcy of Pattern to Tomo and Octavius while vetoing Trump in the shadow. Rhys cursed himself for not being fast enough to save his brother, and was going to make sure to prevent the same thing from befalling Tomo or Octavius. Tomo stands perfectly still. Her father is too occupied to determine what she’s doing. Seeing his father disappear and feeling some of the Sign of the Pattern rekindle in his sword, Octavius leaps to a charge at Alice.

“You’re another bad man” says Alice. This time, however, there is a glimmer of disappointment before she barely dodges a vicious attack. This bad man is not going to any cornfield.

Frowning, Alice snaps at Octavius; “have it your way then” and she delivers several swift and brutally strikes with pure trump akin to swinging a pillowcase stuffed with a cinderblock. Octavius takes a beating and quickly succumbs to unconsciousness. She stares at him for a moment as she towers over him with the swagger of a playground bully and then turns to survey the rest of the grove.

“Bored now” she says to no one in particular and skips out of the grove past Rhys and Tomo without so much as noticing them.

After the moment passes and they both feel her presence leave the shadow, Rhys and Tomo near simultaneously breathe a deep sigh of relief. They both rushed toward the fallen, Tomo pausing to look to Octavius and Rhys advancing to kneel at the Unicorns head awash in a sea of blood. Rhys put all of his effort and focus into using the Pattern to stabilize the Unicorn and he feels the gesture rebuffed as if the Unicorn wants to let itself die.

“Octavius is going to out for at least a month, but I think that he ought to avoid any permanent damage. How’s the Unicorn, Dad?”

Rhys spoke with a deliberate pause “I don’t know, but I think it wants to die.”

“I know” spoke Tomo with a soft reverence.

Rhys turned to look up at his daughter as she slowly walked over. “How do you know that?” he asked.

“Next you’ll touch her face and look into her eyes, and then you’ll understand. It always happens this way.”

“This is, and always has been the dream that’s haunted you, hasn’t it.”

Tomo just shook her head in a slight yes with a look on the borderline of tears.

As the Unicorn was in apparent agony, he decided to play his part. It was impressive and cruel that she hadn’t died yet. He stroked the Unicorn’s cheek and looked into her bottomless starry eyes and even he was mesmerized momentarily. Rhys was then overwhelmed by the psychic contact. He was flooded with a barrage of emotions, assurance, and gratitude. The last thing he saw before breaking the contact was a singular, crystal clear mental image. The Unicorn wants Tomo to be her successor and giving her the Jewel of Judgment will formalize that wish.

Rhys’ heart broke. His life changed for ever when Tomo was born. Everything he had built, he built with the intention of leaving to her; his little girl, his greatest pupil and his chosen successor. He loved his daughter beyond measure and this is not the future that he wanted for her. Now he was consumed with an irreprehensible rage at his own pride. Rhys clenched the Jewel in his hand with every intention of destroying it. Why? His mind was furious for reason. Why her and not him? This shouldn’t be her burden. His thoughts and rage where interrupted as Tomo knelt beside him and put her hand on her father’s shoulder.

“It’s okay, dad. It’s my destiny and I’m at peace with it. I understand now, Dad. You taught me. Everything is important. Nothing is meaningless.” Tomo’s voice was steady and calm, but Rhys could sense that tears where running freely from her eyes. “This has to happen, for everyone’s sake, or everything will be lost.”

Rhys knew she was right, but he wanted so much to spare her this even if it meant his own death. Nothing he could do with his vast knowledge would help. Once again he resigned himself to his role in this sad opera. He let out a sigh and faced Tomo. The sight of tears left him feel a stab in his heart. He wanted to cry, but didn’t; he tried to smile, but couldn’t. He did manage to take her hands into his and after an immense pause, he gave her the jewel.

“I’m not doing this very willingly. I always wanted you to take over for me. All of it was for you’re sake. I’m crushed that you never know some of the simple pleasures of life that you taught me.”

“Don’t be like that dad. I’m not going to die. You were the best father that I could have hoped for. Lily, Adam, and Mom still need you.” She paused for several moments. ”Are there any final lessons?”

“You’re not going to be my daughter much longer either. There aren’t any more lessons. I think you’ll be the one teaching me from now on.” Rhys then leaned forward, letting the Jewel fall into her hands. He gave his daughter one last hug. “Never forget that your mother and I love you now and forever.”

Tomo took the jewel in her hands and broke it free of its setting. She then took it and replaced her prosthetic eye with the jewel. Rhys watched his daughter become brilliant with light. She stood up calmly and looked down to her father.

“Everything is going to be alright, father. Please don’t worry.”

She looked over at Octavius and his trauma disappeared. She then knelt down and kissed Rhys on the cheek.

“We’ll see each other again.” Where her last words before she was gone.

When Octavius woke up, his head felt like the floor of a stadium men’s room at halftime. He wasn’t sure what he was looking at, but the Unicorn was gone, and Tomo was transforming into a crow right in front of Rhys before flying away. By the time he could move again, the Grove was again the placid place he remembered it as always being. The songs of birds and the breeze through the tree branches could be heard again. The only other noise that Octavius heard was a single sob from his uncle who was kneeling in the center of the grove clutching Tomo’s spear in his right hand and head with his left hand. Octavius didn’t move for fear of disturbing his uncle. He sat a thought about the Unicorn’s passing and his father’s fate. Perhaps he would find Jonathon.

“Octavius.” Rhys finally spoke; his tone sounding slightly off as he stood up. “Are you okay?”

“Yes. I should be alright.” Octavius took this as an opportunity to stand and walk over. He wanted to say something about Tomo, but nothing sounded right in his mind.

“I have to get back to Earth and talk to Nyoko. You can return, if you’d like. There’s probably more to discuss, but if you want to return to your family, I’ll understand.”

“What’s going on with the Patterns?”

“I’ll need to fix them, right now, only I can access their potential.”

“If it’s all the same to you, I’ll go with you back to Earth. Are you going to be okay?”

Rhys paused at that. His smart phone took the opportunity inform him of several alerts. He winced at the reflex to call Tomo. Pulling it up, he sees that Crystal is trying keep Oberon and Marek apart.

“No, I’m not. I just lost Tomo and I might have to go and put down Marek right now.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what else to say. Let’s go, if you’re ready.”

[Marek’s Last Hand]

While Crystal tries to put Oberon together, Marek sees a golden opportunity and walks over to them with his sword in hand and a smile on his face. Crystal hears the malice in his foot steps and quickly moves to put herself between Marek and Oberon.

“Don’t you dare” she threatens.

“Oh no, you hated him just like me. This is going to happen.”

“No brother, I don’t anymore. I did, but I understand him now.”

“You understand!? Let me make you understand something: centuries of planning and centuries more of pain. You can’t know what he’s done to me.”

Crystal tries to make a psychic contact with him with a gaze.

“No crystal, I won’t let you show me. I don’t care about your pain or your reasons. I’M DYING CRYSTAL!”

“Then cheat some more, you’re not doing this, not while he’s defenseless.”

“I can only cheat so much. The deck is running out of cards. But you, you’re free. I’m about out of time and destiny.”

“Killing him might do something for you, but what is it going to do for the rest of us? Why are we even arguing?”

“We’re arguing because you’re standing between me and my sword and dad. So, do you have what it takes?”

“Fine, let’s find out, you arrogant bastard.”

Marek gets three devastating slashes out at Crystal before security and orderlies burst into the room. Crystal managed to dodge all of them, but a floor lamp and IV stand where not so nimble. Seeing the blood, practically every where and Marek with a bloodied sword attacking a seemingly unarmed VIP, the order him to the floor guns drawn. Perhaps he thought that Reese’s employees would dare fire on him, or perhaps he wasn’t worried. Marek cheated the bullets a sure hit with more magic. He’s more adept than he used to be at combat. He ignores Crystal and Oberon for the moment and makes moves against the security forces. The gunfire gives Crystal a chance to assist the orderlies in evacuating Oberon. Once he is out of the room, Marek teleports out of the room. And the gunfire comes to a halt. Room 202 is destroyed in a carnival of red delights.

One of the guards shouts into his radio, “Security breach, code orange; initiate full lockdown, send backup to OR 3, stat!”

“Rodger that, over” comes the calm reply over the radio.

Crystal is out the door on foot in pursuit of her father and the orderlies. The uninjured security personal joins the pursuit.

Elsewhere in the compound, one of the three supercomputers at the heart of the facility takes notice of the security order and decided to review the footage from the area and the rest of the base all together. It quickly identifies Marek and runs a facial recognition algorithm in near real time on all of the bases security camera footage. He is spotted in 0.032178 seconds in a hallway and the passage way is segregated as per protocol trapping him within. After determining that subject has not complied to the audio instructions supplied over the hallway PA system, the computer decides to attempt to subdue him, as per protocol with an gaseous incapacitating agent. Using a metal implement, the subject has managed to overcome one of the barriers and has proceeded to a new hallway bloc. Protocol dictates that encapsulation foam is the next prudent option to be used. The supercomputer sends the signal to inject fast-curing urethane film into the current hallway section.

Marek knows that he is one set of blast doors from the block where Oberon was being taken. He only needs to get in and make one clean hit. Then he will except the reprisal. As he rushed the last door, he summoned the last of his fortitude to rend the doors. He’d never reach it. before then he is swept off of his feet by a torrent of yellow fluff every direction. Before the foam suffocates him, Marek teleports into the next section with what would have to be the last of his sorcery.

On the other side of his spell Marek finds himself a mere three or four meters away from Oberon, Crystal, and a host of doctors and nurses. There was unfortunately a foot-thick transparent wall standing between him and his target. Also, he didn’t account for the position and was sprawled out on the ground. The compression form the foam had burst a lot of blood vessels and he was now pleading from his eyes, ears, and nose.

“Don’t Move!” shouts one of the security guards as over ten men descend onto both of his flanks, all with automatic rifles pointed at him.

Marek was considering how he was going to pull the guards apart and get into the operating room when Crystal exited it. Things weren’t looking good at all. Disregarding the guys with machine guns, he leaned up and regarded Crystal.

“I had to try.”

“I knew you would, but I couldn’t let you kill him when he was defenseless.”

“I made my choices Crystal. I fought for this, for free will, so we wouldn’t have to live his dream.”

Crystal hesitates to speak having been the first to notice the appearance of Reese’s silhouette in the doorway behind Marek. His footsteps are slow and deliberate and anyone sensitive to the Pattern is made aware of its presence in Rhys. Canny observers would notice that the Sign was summoned into the bullet currently chambered in Reese’s pistol. The security guards parted as Reese entered the fold. Marek searched Reese’s face but only saw his own reflection in his brothers glasses.

“What did you think you were doing?” Asked Reese in a quiet and stern tone.

Marek hesitated to speak, and Crystal took the initiative; “he tried to kill Dad with…”

“I don’t remember asking you a [expletive]-[expletive] thing!” shouted Reese looking over to Crystal.

Marek began to speak and Reese looked back to him. “I’m sorry I made such a mess of your place, Rhys. I had to take a shot when I saw the opportunity. You shouldn’t all be shackled down to living to the Old Man’s plans. I had everyone’s best intentions in mind when i…”

Reese discharged his pistol putting a hole in Marek’s shirt directly in front of the Trumps of Doom in his pocket. Marek was knocked back against the ground and fell silent.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue” said Reese with renewed calm in his voice. Now, he held Marek at gunpoint. “You were saying something about ‘best intentions’”.

Marek had never seen his brother this unhinged, and never seen a threat like this from him. He thought of the confrontation in Avalon between Rhys and Cranmore, and re-imagined it.

“What’s the matter? Oh, you were finished? Well then, allow me to retort. What gives you the right as a guest in my house to attack my employees, my sister, and my father!? You’ve gone too far this time and your bull-[expletive] ends right here and right now!”

“What are you going to, Rhys, kill me?”

“WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT?!”

“Nothing, NOTHING already! Pull the trigger already!”

“Not unless you make me. Submit the Trumps of Doom to me and don’t resist arrest. I’ll make you comfortable until your trial or your death, which ever comes first.”

“What? You’re going to arrest me? You’re kidding, right?”

“Say ‘what’ to me one more time!”

“Fine, here are the trumps.” Marek slowly pulled the cards out of a pocket with his right hand and flopped them down on the ground. “Here’s how they work” and before anyone could react, he slapped his hand down on the top card and disappeared.

“I didn’t think the stubborn bastard was going to leave” Said Reese in a more normal tone.

“What do you mean?” Asked Crystal.

“The only way to save him was to force him back to Overshadow, and that’s not something he would do willingly.”

“You weren’t going to kill him or arrest him where you?”

“That was up to him. The Pattern’s are deactivated and Caius and Tomo are gone. I have to speak to Nyoko. Handle this for me.”

Rhys puts away his gun and leaves the room.

[Hello Uncle]

After a fashion, Aiden is greeted by another visitor to his chamber.

“Hello uncle, I heard that you were looking for me.”

View
Session 32 20110210

[A Gift to the Serpent]

Aiden arrives at the old Logrus. A voice from behind him calls out.

“You’ve come. Why?”

“Things have changed.”

“They always do.”

“Agreed. A threat exists that no one understands.”

“And what should I care about an existence that I no longer participate in?”

“That won’t always be true.”

“Then why have you come?”

“I’m looking for tools and answers.”

“And you’ve come here for those tools?”

“Are you aware of the threat?”

“I was.”

“I can give you knowledge, but a price.”

“I imagined so, the gift should be arriving soon.”

“Ah, the daemon skinned one? He’s mine?”

“If you can use him.”

“Agreed.”

Then he is aware of the serpent for a flash of an instant, massive beyond comprehension, yet formless and meaningless. In that he sees several things, like the unicorn and it’s hatred for it, the spider, and something else; then the thing that you’re seeking. A smiling little girl, a being on par with the unicorn or the serpent. As she grows, shadow will loose its destiny. Then Aiden is left back to himself.

“Will you persist without shadow?”

“I don’t need it. I am before shadow, and I will be after shadow is done, but only beings like me can.”

Aiden nods and heads back toward shadow.

[Firegate Express]

Oberon and Crystal sit in the study waiting for Rhys and Tomo. Oberon passes the time with some scotch.

“Father, we will need a trump master to help us figure out how to use these as a weapon.”

“Well, we don’t know how to get a hold of Jonathan and Rosaline is part of the problem. We’d have to get someone from the other side.”

“I might need to travel down there. I might know someone.”

“You’ve made friends?”

“Yes, but I’ll need a ride back. Tomo might have a trick.”

“She’s on her way.”

“Well, I’ll head down to the Pattern room and get down there.”

Crystal makes her way through the castle and greats Torg with a ‘hello stud’ and asks the Pattern to not screw her over for a change. And with that. like a spurned lover, she’s back on the Pattern. At the center, she heads to a bar near Firegate, where everybody knows her name.

When she gets there she finds that it is full of the typical degenerates, knights of chaos and the like. She hits up the bartender and asks if their friend who knows about cards is around.

“If it’s important, you should go and find him.”

“It is, where do I find him?”

“In the courts; let me give you a map. Also ignore the doomsayers, ever since the spider made its last proclamation…”

“I’ll be fine.”

“In Firecourt, there is a lot of shouting and blades are being drawn. It’s a gnashing of teeth between the old guard versus the apologists; the Serpent vs. the Spider. Herrick of Hendrake rolls in and chastises his followers and shouts that there is no time for this. A debate arises regarding the general lack of cooperation.

Crystal keeps a low profile and heads to her destination. In the place marked out is Dutchess Ioggia, Cranmore, and Kored. When she enters, all three turn and look at her.

The duchess makes the blasé comment; “I told you that she was coming.”

“I don’t think we’ve ever met. It’s an honor and pleasure. I am the Daemon Duke Lord Cranmore Theradune. I am curious do you know why one of your brothers tried to contact me with a curious device?”

“That depends, which one?”

“The Pattern Lord, Rhys.:”

“Is it one of these?” Asks Crystal as she withdraws her smartphone.

“No, much larger, but just as curious. So why are you here?”

“There is a common threat here, and I’d like to talk to you about it.”

“Why do I even need you?”

Kored speaks up. “Look dad, no one needs you. Most would be happy if you just walked off a short peer and called it a day, but we all stand to benefit to from some cooperation here.”

“Okay Amberite, what do you have to offer?”

“We have a weapon that my mad old hobbit of a grandfather left behind, like Legion.”

“I remember Legion.”

“Well, the enemy has that now.”

Cranmore asks Kored: “is this true?”

“Yes, actually, all of trump can be monitored by it, and none of it is safe anymore.”

“That explains the device, then. “So Amberite, I’d like to hear what your Pattern Lord has to say.”

“Do you have the equipment here?”

“Yes.”

“Now is as good of time as any.”

[A Casual Family Breakfast]

In the morning, Argyle has Octavius’ breakfast for him, along with reports from the previous night: several aunts and uncles have been coming and going, Amon was spotted running down Crystal, Bethany is still in the infirmary, dire omens cast in the Church of the Unicorn, none of these matters warranted waking you according to master Oberon. Also, Crystal walked the Pattern. Your father and siblings wished to see you before they left for Avalon. Octavius casually thanks Argyle, dresses, and heads out for the day. He swings through the infirmary on his way to see his family. Circe is knocked out and broken and Clarissa is curious to what’s going on. Octavius casually fixes Circe with magic. She wakes up.

“What happened? Where’s the Jonathan? Why am I here and not in the cornfield?”

Clarissa speaks up. “You started to pull an angry Fauxmon through and mom had to hit you in the face to stop you.”

“Well, I found Jonathan. He’s in the cornfield. So what’s the plan?”

“I’m not good with plans says Clarissa.”

“I have to meet my dad”, says Octavius, “I’ll have to get back to you.”

Circe and Clarissa follow Octavius to breakfast. When they get downstairs, Ariel (the Queen and Octavius’ wife) and Tiberius (Octavius’ son) are there along with Brutus, Julia, and Caius. Brutus answers the door, and Julia stops when she sees Circe. She gives her the ‘karradoc’ look.

“Karradoc remembers you” she says.

“Yeah, it would remember the person it couldn’t kill.”

“WOW! Look, bagels!” Blurts Octavius in a futile attempt to distract the dialogue from violence.

Caius approaches Octavius. “I heard you were talking to the Old Man. I’m glad to see that you’ve survived.”

Caius the turns his attention to Circe “so, how’s Marek?”

“I dunno.”

“Aren’t you sleeping with him?”

Brutus gags on his food; “what?!”

Caius continues, “Also, I hear you got the Unicron’s horn cut off.”

Julia gags on her food; “what?!”

“Actually, that was Aiden.”

“Oh. At least you stopped to say good-bye. I really only get to see Rhys.”

Caius looks to Clarissa. “You have your fathers face, and your grandmothers hair.”

“You knew my grandmother?”

“Well, I don’t think anyone really did…but as much as any of us did.”

Caius regards Octavius again. “Tomo is going to come soon to help us get home, but I hear there are problems.”

Circe answers to his query. “Oh yeah, Rosaline and Jonathan had a crazy, flipper-trump baby who sends people to the cornfield and end the world.”

Brutus speaks up. “You are bug-nuts crazy. What about Theridune? I thought he was the bad guy.”

“No, Alice is the problem” says Circe.

“Where is she? Asks Caius.

“Everywhere there is trump.”

“What is the priority target?”

Circe says; “we should talk to Rhys.”

“And the Old Man”, adds Octavius.

“Tomo will be here soon.”

[Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch]

Reese sits in his office, reading the Apocrypha with the Jewel. It’s like an acid trip. The first person to have noticed the Serpent still seems to live, as Dworkin saw it, and the book is written to this person as Dworkin reconciled this for himself. Dworkin getting the eye from the Unicorn somehow this created Oberon. The book seems to have a conciseness and it’s a bit like Legion: sentient knowledge. This makes one think that one can do this, and that Dworkin makes more sense. It is about how an idea can have a destiny. This gives some idea of how Legion works now, that it’s derived from trump. This book is destiny of destiny. Far out, man. And whatever is Alice, is massive.

Tomo finds her father and gets informed that the Old Man wants both of us to go to the Grove. Coffee happens. Enonia approaches with Hector and Anna. But before they arrive, the conferencing equipment happens, Seele style.

The conference is with the new bloods and the opportunists…and Crystal. Kored mentions that there are only three members of the salon left. They discuss the importance of mutual information sharing, and Rhys discusses the nature of the threat in detail. Enonia appears and mentions that the trumps are designed to be used, but not by who or why. Only Dworkin would know their purpose. After their discussion, the only action items are to gather more information before they re-convene.

Tomo goes to fetch Crystal and maybe Kored. Enonia and Rhys go to Marek, and text Hala on their way over.

[Amon Hits on a Princess]

After a fashion, Amon arises from his meditative stance on the broken pattern. Eventually, he notices a pale skinned woman in a purple dress in the chamber.

“Are you okay?”

“I’ve been in worse. How’d you get here?”

“I live down here.”

“What?”

“Its my home.”

“…with the things?”

“You mean the others? I’ve never seen a man like you, or a building like this before.

“You’ve never seen one of these?” Amon gestures to the Pattern.

“No, why are you here?”

“I’m looking for something…”

“Have you found it?

“Ah, no.”

“What’s your name?”

“Amon Barimen.”

“I’m Emilia.”

After that, she takes him off to meet the others. This time he doesn’t hear the growling in the passageways. They get to a city that feels familiar, but its not Amber.

“What’s this place called?”

“Xibalba.”

“Take me to your leader.”

She consents and takes him to a small castle with a familiar motif on the gates: the Unicorn. There, she asks the guards for her father.

“You’re a princess? I’m a prince (wink wink).”

Inside he finds Tangata.

“Hey, I know you from inside my head.”

He smiles, “it’s about time that you showed up.” “Thank you Emilia. I’m certain that you have many questions.”

[Tomo the Taxi]

Tomo finishes scribing the Pattern in Firegate and grabs Crystal and Kored. Oberon appears on Earth. Then Tomo scoops up Caius, Julia, Clarissa, Circe, and Brutus and shuttles them to Earth from Amber. Hala takes the second generation away (sans Octavius and Tomo). Once all the big kids are together, Marek speaks.

“So I heard that you have some questions.”

View
Session 31 20110203

[I Can’t Think of a Chapter Title]

Reese stood in his clinic flipping through Marek’s chart: several broken ribs, bruised organs, internal bleeding, fractures in the extremities, and trauma from head to toe. And yet, his vital signs are stable. He’s week, but alive. What the charts don’t reveal is that he is more substantial than he should be. Somehow he’s using his future destiny to sustain himself now. He cheats and he’s burning his future to do it.

Marek did mention where he has been hiding Dworkin’s first copy of the Apocrypha. Rhys went to fetch it and pick up Hala from Amber as well. Once she was back, he and Marek could talk to her about Trump, the one thing that neither he nor Marek really knew a lot about. As it turns out, Dworkin left 13 trumps of Doom lying around. Marek has been collecting them. He has seven, and Rosaline apparently has five. One was unaccounted for. The group decides to get the perspective of the Logrus.

Enonia goes to the oracles which were born when the spider first came to be.

They see destruction and a child and a monster and an oncoming storm

That which cannont be is

That which was to be is

That which can do and undo all things is

They mention a terrible birth

Enonia make a logrus construct of Suhuy to consult him. They discuss the possibility of an entity becoming greater than shadow, akin to the unicorn or the serpent, but not of them. Suhuy conjectures to Enonia about the act of generating a new Pattern or Logrus does to a person who as changed all of shadow…

Enonia’s phone rings. It is Rhys. He and Enonia talk and she decides to come to Earth.

[The Rundown]

The fauxmon looks at Crystal and smiles. “Hello Aunty.”

“It swings Oblivion at her head faster than Amon ever could.”

“She ducks, back flips over and charges in with a full strength sweep, which stops dead. fauxmon smiles and strikes back, glancing across Crystal. Crystal’s attacks cannot break him. She tells Clarissa to get help, she grabs Circe’s limp body, and books it.

“This is fun Aunty.”

“Last we checked I was your sister unless you’re not Amon.’

“Nope, this is a toy, a puppet.”

Crystal takes a blow and her wrap cushions it but it knocks her back regardless. She gets her footing and throws a flash bomb. Oblivion lashes out in crystal’s direction. Crystal breaks it with her wrap.

“I send these after Marek but he cheats. No one should cheat like he does, it’s not nice.”

“Marek cheats, niece…of…mine.”

“Maybe I’ll take you to mommy, but she doesn’t like you very much.”

“Mommy?…Rosaline?”

“Yes, mommy and she hears everything. You two could talk about all kinds of things.”

“Uh huh…and why would a good little girl be chasing a bad man like Marek?”

“He cheats and he wants to stop me. He’s a bad man, and I send bad men to the cornfield.”

“Stop you from what?”

“Being all, are you going to tell me that I can’t have anything that I want?”

“No, but I’m going to disappoint you.”

She breaks a gold crystal and teleports to Arden. She starts to hellride and she is being perused by one of them. She tears through all of the Ardenite camps yelling ‘long live New Kashva’ and now all of the Ardenites are chasing her. She teleports back to Amber and smacks the one waiting for her with the other piece of Oblivion. The fakemon stops her dead in her tracks.

“Your not a bad person, so I can’t send you to the cornfield, and I don’t want to send you to mommy either, co I’m going to kill you instead. I hope that is okay?”

“Its not okay” bellows Oberon as he cuts it in half with his pattern sword.

“You’re a bad man.”

“I’m the worst” and with that he kills it.

“I had a bad feeling about something, and now I know why. I think it’s time that I speak to Rhys.”

Oberon casts a spell and orders an imp to get a hold of Torg and tells him that he needs to get a hold of Rhys. It comes back with ’he’s playing a video game’.

“What?”

Oberon and Crystal teleport to outside the pattern room. Oberon walks into the break room to see Torg and Grif playing GTA 10.

“Oh hey Oberon…how ya been?”

“Good, how are you? Nice set up.”

“Rhys set it all up.”

“[Is the] Pattern room safe?”

“Considering the change in management, yes.”

“I need your phone.”

Torg reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone and hands it off to Oberon, all without pausing his game.

“I don’t understand the obsession with these gadgets…” mumbles Oberon under his breath.

Oberon dials Rhys off of the phones’ speed dial. It rings twice before picking up.

“What’s up Torg?”

“Not Torg.”

“I heard that you came out of hiding. It’s been a long time, father.”

“We need to talk. I hope you had a good reason.”

“Several, in fact. The point remains that he wasn’t intrinsically the issue. She was. It would have been real helpful to know about her real nature a long time ago. Now things have gotten way out of control.”

“I had my reasons and I though I had taken appropriate measures. That’s why I had those two rules.”

“And yet here we are. A little knowledge about these things would have been but an once of prevention, you know. Also, you have at least three rules.”

“Speaking of which, what have you told your daughter.”

“Everything. To do otherwise would be unthinkable.”

“Is it worth it?”

“You don’t think that having someone else who can protect the Patterns is a bad thing? Besides, the way I see things playing out, she’s the one that will be inheriting any legacy from the Unicorn, not myself.”

“Why do you say that?”

“She dreamt of the Unicorn giving her the Jewel long before she knew what it was or that it existed.”

“I think you should bring Tomo here and we should go to the Grove of the Unicorn.”

“She just assayed Earth’s Integral as first step in even higher order achievements. It’ll be a few hours before I’ll want to disturb her.”

“I wondered if Octavius could even walk Amber’s Pattern, and you tell me that this is possible?”

“Nyoko has walked Earth’s Pattern. I wrested Ciaus and Gwen out of the Abyss daemon-free. There’s a lot that is possible. When Tomo is ready, we’ll head over.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

“All things aside, I’m glad your back, father.”

Oberon hangs up the phone. Hands it back to Torg, stares at the 60-inch display and then mumbles about booze and heads back upstairs. Crystal goes to the infirmary to check in on Clarissa and Circe. Circe has a broken face, nose, and severe concussion. Shapeshifting keeps her from being permanently disfigured.

“It’s not the first time I’ve have had to beat the stupid out of her for doing the same thing” comments Crystal to Dr. Stevens.

View
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.

View
Session 29 20101230

[Rant]

Maybe this is harder than I think. I was supposed to have a recording of the session (as I was home for the holidays) and that failed. As a back-up had written notes were taken on a PC tablet…which only yielded one page with two emoticons and twenty-two words. Awesome. Here’s what I know happened at the last session:

The Shadowstorm ended. Yay! Octavius decided to invite the family up to the castle in Amber to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the defeat of Chaos for the Feast of the Unicorn. Attendance was so-so. Rhys and his family were absent, as was Enonia. Not a problem since Oberon and Hexian crashed it. Rhys didn’t go because I was in Pennsylvania or because Rhys was looking into strange happenings in the very fabric of the Cosmos. Your choice.

I’ll update this when I have better information.

- The Log Editor.

Finally, More Notes:

[An Abridged Method of Story Telling]

As mentioned above, Octavius is indeed hosting a casual, defeating-chaos-celebratory feast which coincides with the Feast of the Unicorn. Incidentally, the boy finally got married. Emerson has changed color from a Rebman blue to white. Also, Emerson claims to be deceased but opts to elaborate on it further.

Circe and Clarissa (the Younger) are sailing about on calm seas aboard The Umbral Stalker to find a lost ship (The Southern Wind). The track it to a pirate’s cove protected with spiky rocks and wrecked ships. The pirates are working at stripping down the Southern Wind like a 16th century Spanish chop-shop. Our favorite pirate, Jameson Herrod is there, he claims the Southern Wind was his to begin with (Editors note: I’m inclined to believe his story) and then he blows it up. He then insights Circe into a rage by referring to her a simply a “payday” and she buys the bait and lunges into him only to find out that he was an illusion and the area around where his image was erupts into explosions. In the wake of the explosions is an Amon clone and a battle ensues. Eventually Circe and Clarissa are victorious when four more appear.

Crystal is heading her way back to Amber, whishing that she had a faster mode of transport. She attempts a trump and a motorcycle currier appears and has her sign for a package. It a trump. She then trumps Octavius. Octavius recommends getting a hold of Tomo for some faster transportation. After a fashion, a spear falls from out of the sky with the purpose an ferocity of a lightning bolt personally hucked by Zeus. Tomo steps around it and greats her aunt. The discuss returning to Amber and Tomo scribes a likeness of a pattern into the ground and tosses the spear in the direction of the destination.

Aiden and his new entourage appear after a deamon-fueled heck ride to Amber. Octavius casually mounted his dragon and went to intercept the local deamon insurgency. Once he realizes that it is Aiden, they head to the castle deamons, dragons and all.

Enonia was discussing the Feast of the Unicorn with her kids when she feels a bad vibe from the Logus. Instead of gong to the feast, she heads to the Logrus to find that it is attracting all of the exalted users to it. After some one-on-one time with the Logrus, she comes to find that some part of the “cosmic puzzle” that should exist now does. The Logrus fears for its well being and for reality itself. The Logrus then shows an image of the Unicorn near death in its grove.
Hexian and Oberon are walking toward Amber via Arden. They notice Jonas’ approach on a dragon. After some banter, Hezxian asks who is in Amber and mentions goint to Tir Na Nogth. Octavius manages to casually give a speech before Octavius and Hexian arrive, as if to punctuate the end. With their arrival, and the dramatic entrance of Tomo and Crystal, everyone who was coming arrives. Avalon is represented by Caius, Brutus, and Julia. Crystal joins the Kashvans, Tomo leaves (?). Amon Joins the Ardenites, Oberon, Hala, Emerson, and Octavius and family sit at the Amber table.

Back battling pirates, Marek appears and allows for Circe and Clarissa to escape. He says that the Amon units are there for him and to pass the message that “it’s coming for Rhys.”

View
Session 28 20101111

[Battle in the Eye of the Storm]

Octavius casually dives into the shadow storm. He is psychically aware of the creation and demise of a great multitude of universes. In the midst of it all is two great wills battling each other. At some point…in a place where space and time loose their meaning…Octavius looses his dragon and he’s sure it’s dead. After what could very well have been an eternity, He finds him self on a blackened red-earth plane. There is one other form on the plane; King Swayville.

“You are Octavius, are you not?”

Octavius casually pulls out a phone and sends a text message:

New Message:

To: Barringer, Tomo; Barringer, Reese; Barrimen, Hala

OMG hey im fighting the king of chaos LOL if you wanna help

The phone’s screen displayed: “no service”.

Octavius casually slips his phone back into his pocket and regarded the figure standing off in the distance. “Yes I am. Octavius, King of Amber, and you are the King of Chaos?”

“Yes. You are the grandson of the man who killed my father.”

Octavius casually shrugs and approaches the other king, drawing his sword and in response, so does Swayville

“You know Octavius, this war will go own long after we’re gone. Do you know where you are? Where are you going?”

“Oh yeah, I sure do.” Octavius pulls out a gun, and casually shoots at him.

The bullet got dodged the two charge at each other and an epic blade fight ensues. Swayville manages to complement Octavius for not being a complete disappointment. Wounds happen. In the eye of the storm, the battle may have raged for minutes or months.

All that there is here is pure will versus will. The kings are exchanging blows and every time they cross, they hurt each other.

“What are you willing to give, king?” Swayville asks of Octavius as they lock blades and the fighting grinds to a halt in a titanic struggle.

“All that I am, all that I have.”

The lock is broken and in three quick exchanges, Swayville is mortally wounded.

“It seams like tomorrow belongs to you." Are the kings dying words.

The eye of the storm breaks and shadow itself is torn asunder. Octavius is ripped through the storm and thrown back to Amber. The black road is gone. Back in Amber, he can feel isolation creep in. Looking toward the forest, he realizes that it is not actually Arden…just some woods. Not even the Golden Pathways are immune to this Shadow Storm.

[Ahoy, off to Adventure]

Circe books it out of the Grove of the Unicorn into the Forest of Arden while carrying Clarissa. Aiden is nowhere in sight having disappeared into the jing. They make it to the lighthouse of Cabra and her boat is waiting there for her. There is a figure walking with a sack over his shoulder out of the light house towards the boat. It’s Marek.

He calls out to her as she runs over. “I figured you’d get here eventually.”

Without stopping to respond, Circe jumps into the boat and he shoves it off from the dock.

“We need to move” he said. “That (pointing to the storm on the horizon), that’s real bad. Is that Crystals daughter?”

Circe nods. Clarissa is still unconscious.

“…so, do you know why the Unicorn saved you?”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to think…and I don’t want to think about it right now, either.”

“So I knew that the Unicorn thing was going to happen since I came back. It’s part of what’s going to happen.”

“Yeah. I don’t like being used.”

“um…who got the horn…?”

“Mandore, Aiden’s master.”

“That makes so much sense!”

“Listen Marek, I don’t want another ‘me’ walking around. I just want to get this girl away from all of this. She doesn’t deserve any of it.” Circe chokes a bit, on the edge of tears.” It was so pathetic to watch the Unicorn walk away like that.”

“You do know why it chose to save you. Dad was the child of the Unicorn and Dworkin…though I don’t know how that works.”

“That is an issue. More importantly, don’t things want to chase you down, are you a liability right now?”

“Not anymore…things are changing…but so far the thing I fear can’t happen…for now. The child of parents both of Pattern can undo Shadow. Thankfully, the blood of the Unicorn and the Sign of the Pattern cannot bear children.”

[Daddy’s Girl]

Gone from Amber, Crystal now finds herself standing in a small room. The Sword is sheathed leaning on a chair. The room seems comfortable. It’s a clear winter day. Moving slowly, she delicately picks up the blade. Disappointingly, it doesn’t un-sheath. The door opens behind her. It’s a serving girl with a basket of laundry. She screams, turns to run but Crystal gets across the room during her hesitation. Crystal grabs the girl and pushes her up against the wall next to the door. Laundry spills onto the floor. Crystal palms the side of the girls head and stares intently into her eyes.

“You didn’t see me. It was a mouse that frightened you. Now run along.”

The girl runs.

Crystal start contemplating her next move. She considers starting to weave a teleport spell. Before Crystal could set any plan into motion the door opens again. This time a tall stately woman with grey eyes and olive skin is standing in the threshold most likely thinking about why the laundry is all over the floor.

Crystal composes herself and seizes some initiative: “Hello your highness.”

The woman slews her head around to regard Crystal.

“You must be Crystal.”

“And where exactly are we?”

“Hmm. You had better ask your father.”

“Perhaps not, I’m rather cross whit him right now.”

“You still you should speak with him.”

“So be it; there are things to be said. Where might he be?”

“With your brother.”

“If you only knew.”

Oberon and Hexian are eating waffles as father and son. In actuality, Hexian is being fed as he is still mortally weak from his run-in with Chaos and a nuke. It’s quiet, mostly Oberon talking. The silence is punctuated with three hinge-rattling knocks at the chamber door.

“Don’t get up” says Oberon to Hexian as he gets up from the table. “I’ll get it. Eat, our you’ll never regain your strength.”

Oberon opens the door to a daughter on the precipice of abject rage.

“What are you doing here?” Asks Oberon in a very confused tone.

“Cleaning up your messes that you’re to busy to deal with.” Crystal’s words where as sharp and accusatory as possible.

Oberon, unfettered and still genuinely confused, continued a line of questions. “Why do you have my sword? Cymnea, really?”

“I found her casting a spell and she had your sword.”

“How did you get here?”

“The Pattern.”

Oberon let out a sigh. “Alright. Give my back my sword; its dangerous. What do you want it for?”

“To finish the battle at Amber.”

“The battle is already over.”

Crystal thrusts the sword into Oberon’s hands “Great. Take your [expletive]-ing sword. I have other things to do. Like fetching my daughter from the monsters that this (points to Hexian) [expletive]-sucking, pig-[expletive]-ing, [expletive]-clown, piece-of-[expletive] who murdered and lied his way to kidnap my child and sell her to the most vile and ruthless [expletive] [expletive]-ing sons-of-[expletive]-s possible!” Hexian made no eye contact and only slowly chewed wis bite of waffle.

[Uncomfortable Silence]

Oberon donned a serious sincere tone. “They don’t have her anymore. She should be back in Amber now. Besides, you’re not going anywhere. There’s a shadow storm, so you won’t make it. You’ll die and I don’t want to lose another daughter.”

New target acquired. Crystal turned back at Oberon. “Funny…now that you mention it.” She throws a note in his handwriting into his face.

“Oh my, you think it’s you? It’s not. Listen, I entrusted the fate of Amber to the three people I trusted and you succeeded.”

Crystal stood slowly defusing. “So it’s not me?”

“No, it’s Rosaline; heck of a way to start a marriage.” Oberon let out another sigh and paused to put his thoughts together. “Lets get this out there. You’re my daughter by Clarissa, Rosaline is Dworkin’s daughter…by Clarissa.”

“Okay…that was a bit much…you’re telling me that I cannot get back to my daughter in Amber that on the brink of destruction?”

“Yes, but I made sure that she was safe. Trust me.”

“You know, its hard for me to trust you after you abandoned us.”

“Do you know what would have happened if I was there? Do you not realize what Chaos is capable of? This had to happen.”

“And you, the strongest of us left us to deal with it?”

“Yes, so you could grow stronger, otherwise you would have relied too much on me. I think almost all of you would have welcomed my death. I tried to be a good king, but I am to blame for most of it.”

“Shadow storms…I have to get back.”

“You have to wait out the storms.”

“If I was there, you (pointing to Hexian) wouldn’t have come to its defense.”

Hexian swallowed hard. “I always came to its defense.”

Crystal had almost for got he was there. She pivoted her head slowly towards him as visions of homicide clouded her thoughts. “Don’t think I haven’t forgotten about strangling the stupid straight out of your soon-to-be-lifeless body. Your mother will cry when she sees what left of you when I’m done, you pathetic [expletive]-licking, waste of -”

“Stop!” Oberon put a hand on Crystal’s shoulder. “Look at you two. Nothing about your state of mind is right. Crystal, you came here thinking that I wasn’t your father.”

“Hoping. Anyhow, my state of mind isn’t going where you want it too. I’m stuck here for the time being with you too –“

“ – and Cymnea, and the surrounding three kingdoms.”

Crystal starred long and hard at her father before deciding that she wasn’t going to get away with any fratricide here an now. “I need to sit down.”

“It’s not that bad, i can show you where i grew up.”

“My childhood -

“ – was the best I could make it.”

“My daughter’s childhood was destroyed thanks to that [expletive]ing failure of a human. One day I will destroy you for it.”

“Get in line after you get over yourself” whispered Hexian as he rolled his head away from is sister.

“Big words from the man helpless in bed in front of me.”

“Go ahead [expletive]; I dare you to try something.”

“Do I need to separate you two children?”

Hexian coughed up some blood and what remaining voice he could. “More to the point, there were plans to keep your daughter safe and return her long before I took her.”

“More to the point, little man, you have made an enemy of me for it.”

“Stop it, both of you. I know I’ve been a piss-poor father, but I try to be better than mine.

“I can’t speak for that,” muttered Hexian.

“You never introduced us,” stated Crystal flatly.

“I had to find out that it was Dworkin. I originally thought that he was a fallen soldier…that didn’t pan out. I had to piece it together and Dworkin had a bunch of other kids but they are all dead. I could go into details

“Don’t worry about it,” dismissed Hexian, “you’re long winded enough.”

“So that somehow annoyed King Cronus and he had all of us tortured and took our lands like the duplicitous bastard that he was. I killed him in our defense. The fall of House Barimen isn’t talked about much…”

“Well, I finally get to hear it from the horse’s mouth. (Crystal)

“…and I’ve never been popular in the courts…”

“And you still aren’t” (Hexian)

“…I’ve broken too many hearts and notes. Sound familiar?”

“So were stuck here until the storm clears? When is that?

“Crystal, it’s over when it’s over.”

“Wait – I’ve seen you control them before.”

“I had the Jewel of Judgment.”

Crystal checks her cellphone. There’s no signal. “Is there somewhere i can go and scream?”

“Come on, lets go see how good you’ve gotten with a sword.”

Oberon hurries a un-satisfied Crystal out of the room.

Cymnea stood near the doorway the entire time, and after Oberon and Crystal left, she walked into the room and went to sit beside Hexian.

“So how are you feeling?”

“I’ve been worse.”

“No, not really. You always bite off more than you can chew. Cranmore would have killed you if he stayed.”

“But he didn’t.”

“There was no plan. You hoped that someone would be there to save you.”

“Well thank you none the less. So how have you been – stuck here with dad?

“I’m the one who took him out of Amber.”

“I see now.”

“It’s not really about love. Cranmore was dabbling in things that he shouldn’t be.”

“Such as?”

“Abysstisism. Look, you need to rest and recover.”

“I know.”

“The Black Road is gone and there is something going on with the Logrus, and everything else is lost to the Shadow Storm.”

“A shame; there are a lot of good places out there…it’ll be nice to be a farmer again.”

“Yes, you were rebuilding the Eatons. I’ll leave you to your rest.”

“Thank you again for your help.”

[Spinning a New Web or the Depths of Treachery]

One million destinies. Uncounted people. Born. Breathe. Die. All in a flicker of time. It’s like trying to fight a fractal as a fractal, until the Mandebrot Set breaks down. Enonia is dimly aware that they are both committing numerous shadows to ruin, and also that Emerson is here…somehow…everywhere. Suhuy is very difficult to strike…substance with out form. Enonia is trying to force a direct confrontation, but cannot trap him in one whilst pulling in allies. No Allies are available. In the end they confront at the site for it is where it all began: Fire Court, the last place you can stand before you set upon the Logrus. Suhuy – still dressed like a priest.

“I was never certain that any of Oberon’s brood could assay the Logrus. Maybe it chose you.”

“It doesn’t choose favorites”, said Enonia, “you should know that.”

“Wai- What is that?!” Suhuy turns and looks in horror toward the Logrus.”

Enonia stabs him through the heart and cuts him in half. At that moment, she gets a trump call. There’s a huge spike of energy from the Logrus. It’s Kored on the line.

“Something’s happening.”

“I know. I just killed Suhuy.”

“No. Something worse.”

Enonia is pulling through the Trump. Chaos is disintegrating everywhere.

Kored regarded Enonia now that they were face-toface. “Do you know what Mandore did?”

“Yes, vaguely.”

“Well, what I’m going to tell you isn’t going to go over well. You know Aiden and that Mandore trained him, right?”

“Vaguely. Go on.”

“And that he got Aiden to cut off the Unicorn’s horn so that he could take it.”

“And I should kill him for that, among other things.”

“I don’t think you can.”

“Don’t. Think.”

“No, I’m sorry. He killed the Serpent. We need you and I’ve been working for him the whole time.”

“And what if I decide that I don’t need you? Mandore can’t kill me because he needs me.”

“You need me because Mandore took the place of the Serpent to go beyond this place. We need you to make a new Logrus.”

“Kored, you’re my brother…” Enonia pauses to land a full strength punch in the face. “…and because you’re my brother, I’m not going to kill you here and now.”

Kored got up as far as one knee. “Enonia i chose you because I trusted you to do the right thing the right way. No one else is powerful or wise enough.”

“If you EVER do this again; if you EVER put my children in danger ever again; this was your ONE time; if you EVER do this again, they will have to make a new word to describe what I’ll do to you. I’m holding you to it. Do you understand!?

Kored stood up and set his nose back into position letting a spout of blood roll down. “Well, I know I chose the right person.”

Enonia gets to it. She has a vision of not a Serpent but a Spider that never finishes spinning a web that turns in on itself. The spider was once Mandore. Enonia calls out to the Spider.

“Can you hear me? Can you speak?”

“…yes…”

“Well then, what do you want me to do?”

“…you already know…spin a new web for us…”

And with that she gets to it.

[Emerson Discovers Himself and Playstation]

H.P. Lovecraft can not explain the horrors of what Emerson experiences as he is torn apart in an infinity of ways upon the onset of the shadow storm. Eventually, when the storm is fully established, what was Emerson goes about exerting his psyche into an ever-coherent unity. He rolls down the un-tethered Black Road, consuming it; consuming everything but the Abyssal construct at Avalon. He goes about this until everything is noise and fury and white.

Nothingness.

He wakes up from an unintelligible nightmare in a dark wet room with an IV in his arm. He is in a dank stone cell. The IV is empty. He’s really tired, really hungry, and not really sure who he is and where he is. Beyond the room is a dank dark hallway. It looks familiar…similar to castle amber but not. The door is not locked. He wanders out. In a neighboring cell, he finds a man bouncing a ball in the chamber.

Emerson calls out to him, “who are you?”

The man replies, “Rodger. What do you want?”

“Why are you hear?” asks Emerson.

“I upset a queen of Amber…Paulette.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll be back.”

“Thanks.”

Emerson goes to the end of the hall in a haze and a bit of a stupor. There he finds a guard in an alcove.

“Oh hello, you look a little different than I remember, but you’re wearing clothes this time.”

“Who are you?”

“Torg is my name. What do you want?”

“Who am I? You seem to know.”

“You’re name is Emerson. Here, have a beer.” Torg reaches down to a plastic bucket packed with ice and beer in glass bottles. With his bare thumb he cracks of the bottle cap and lets it fall to the floor with a metallic ‘tink’.

“Okay” responds Emerson before he takes a swig of from the bottle. It’s cold, full flavored with a strong taste of hops and a subtle hint of orange. “Who is Rodger?”

“I have no idea, why do you ask?”

“He’s an emaciated man, bouncing a ball in a cell down the hall.”

“Oh yeah, the war. Hey Riff, I’m going to feed a prisoner, watch the door.”

“Sure. What if an Amberite comes by?”

“Stop them…”

Riff comes over, “where’d you get the beer, I thought we were out”?

“Rhys just brought some. You’d know, if you’d step away from the Playstation™ for a while, you’d know these things.”

Riff notices Emerson standing there. Some Amberites where so weird. He’d never seen anyone look so confuse from drinking a beer. “Hey Emerson, you hungry?”

“Probably…”

“Come on then.

Riff walks them around to a room with a flat screen LED TV mounted on the wall with a couch in front of it and a Playstation™ controller on one of the cushions. The coffee table in between the two has a half dozen assorted empty beer bottles on top and a bowl of salsa with a bag of chips next to it. A full-sized fridge hums dutifully in the corner. Torg is rummaging through the fridge putting together a plate of different foods. He off-handedly hands Emerson a cold burrito. Once he finishes with the plate, he looks over to Emerson.

“Take me to this ‘Rodger’, will ya?”

Emerson nods while he chews. They walk down the hall to Rodger’s cell. Torg opens the cell and tosses him the plate and a beer.

Rodger chows down, and magically remembers how long it’s been since he’s been in here.

“W-where am I?

Torg chimes in: “Castle Amber, if you want, we have a Playstation™.”

“Um…cool?”

They go back to the guardroom, both Rodger and Emerson eating on the go.

Rodger breaks the ice: “so, what are you guarding?”

“The Pattern”

“Ah, I know of that…it’s important, I guess.”

“Yeah. Old Man Oberon hired us a long time ago to guard the Pattern. Most people that get down here can mop the floor with us, but we haven’t died yet, and it’s a good gig. If you both wait around long enough, some one will be by to explain everything.”

“I don’t have the time.” says Emerson.

“Oh, you’ll have the time” smiled Torg as he hands him another beer.

[Settling in for the Storm]

Amon gets woken up abruptly to the sensation of water in the face.

“Hey wake up!”

“Who are you!? Why did you wake me up?”

“Jonas, dude. Are you broken again?”

Amon was silent for a second. It hurt a little to take a deep breath. “Probably.”

“I got good news and bad news.”

“Bad first.”

“I have no idea where we are.” I’ve been trying to get us back to Amber.”

“You’re lost?”

“We are a bit, yes.”

“We you and me?”

“There’s one more of us. Listen bro, talk to her.”

“Is that the good news?”

“What good news?”

Julia is out in the middle of a calm river winding through the wilderness of somewhere. She is up to her waist in the water spear fishing. Amon stumbled up out of the leaves on his broken body.

“I see that you’re awake” remarked Julia walking to shore with the day’s catch.

Amon yawned and stretched. “Whats up?”

“Apparently you are.”

“Yup. How you been?”

“Where’s my dad?”

“Umm…I dunno?”

“You where there; when I got there, it was glass.”

“Okay, long story short, the Abyss.”

“Why is he there?”

“I want to see a smile. I’ll trade that for information.”

“Uncle Amon, why is he in the Abyss?

“He went looking for your mother…sort of…where’s my smile?”

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“Okay…who don’t you like the most?”

“That’s along list: Cranmore, Swayville, Steve…”

“Steve!? Who is Steve?”

“He took my candy…when I was like eight, and I’ve carried that ever since. …Hexian, Circe…”

“What’s wrong with her?”

“She’s psycho and Karadoc hungers for her blood.”

“Come here niece, lets fix some of that anger with a hug.”

“Amon…NOW!”

“Fine…one of your uncles kinda kicked him into the Abyss.”

“Which one?”

“The one on your hate list…”

“Which one?”

“There’s more than one!?”

“I never finished the list.”

Amon tries to make a psychic contact because he doesn’t want to say it, so he trys to make a ‘knowledge head-butt’. She dodges it and then she sulks off into the woods. Little did either of them know just how long they’d have to argue about it.

[Everything According to Plan]

Octavius is battling Swayville, Enonia has just killed Suhuy, and Cranmore is all occupied. Everything as predicted. The time had come. Rhys left Torg in good order and headed straight back to Earth. He handed Nyoko and Tomo the proverbial keys and set of for level EEE. It was time to ensure that Earth would weather the storm. Once the doors where closed behind him on EEE, they’d never open again. There was no need. The time had come to scribe a unique pattern every bit the equal of Amber’s and no one could interfere now. After the storm subsides, he’ll be in position for the events to come…

View
Session 27 20101028

[Hit and Run]

Some time past what was once Avalon, the Umbral Stalker sailed upon a naval battle between Amber and her allies versus a large force of pirates. The ships captain could not be bothered with combat, so instead of taking up arms, she just ran the colors of Bethany the Black, and readied the super-gun on her ship. All of the vessels from both sides scattered out of the way like kids playing street hockey yielding to a Buick. Apparently, it is maritime law in Amber to get out of Bethany’s way. In any case, it’s a good idea. Captain Jameson thought about taking advantage of the confusion, but all it earned him was a vengeful strike from the mega-cannon. As the Umbral Stalker pressed on toward Amber, Jameson was left sinking with several of Amber’s ships moving to rescue the pirates or, finish the job.

[Pick Up the Pieces]

When Crystal had come to, she was no longer behind the wheel of the DMC-12, her enigmatic companion was. He was behind the wheel and cruising down a well maintained costal highway. After a stilted silence, Crystal took a breath but she was interrupted before she could even begin.

Reese handed her a PC tablet from out of the Jing. “You’ll want to read over this, all the important information is in side.”

Crystal shot a suspicious glance at the driver and started to glance over the material. Meanwhile, Reese made a call on the center consol’s screen. After two rings a young women of Asian descent appeared on screen.

“Look what the cat dragged back. Hello Aunt Crystal.”

“Who’s that?” asked a curious Crystal.

“Your niece, my daughter, Tomo” said Reese as he punctuated the commentary with a rev matched downshift. “What have I missed, sweetheart?”

“Arden is taking a beating, things look fine here.”

“Who’s in Arden?”

“Where are we, where’s Arden?” asked Crystal.

“It’s in the file.”

Tomo continued, “Doc Oc, The Destroyer of Worlds (Emerson), and Amon.”

“No big names from Chaos?”

“Not yet.”

“Good, there’s time. We’re approaching access W7, can you have a train waiting?”

“Already there. See you in twenty.” The screen when back to the GPS map.

The car approaches a road gate in front of a security door built into the mountain side. Beyond it there was a train full of empty flatbed cars and the pair drove onto the closest one and the train slowly pulled away from the empty station. After a few dozen meters, the tunnel opened up to a massive underground cave.

“Look up the file named ‘The Pattern’. It’s what you saw in Marek’s sword and you’ll be seeing it very soon. There’s nothing to worry about, you’ll do fine. Though, if you don’t take it seriously, it will kill you.”

“Wait…what?”

After a lot of answered questions and some debate they arrived in the Pattern Room, level EEE. In the bottom, Tomo and Hala were waiting. Hala managed to trick Crystal into psychic contact (she always falls into traps). After rifling through her mind like a rolodex, she clears out some of the clutter and with a smile she brings Crystal to her senses. Sensibly, Crystal reaches for Hala’s neck but is thwarted with Hala sneaking forward a grenade. Only Crystal flinches, reconsiders, and considers the Pattern properly.

Crystal walks the Earth Pattern and then after a large dinner, Rhys informers her of the state of current events. She’s still confused, but commits to memory everything that he tells her on faith that it will all make perfect sense in the morning after they go to Amber.

In the morning, they take to Amber, and go straight to the Pattern. Rhys brings an iced cooler of craft beers for Torg and the guard. Before she assays it, Rhys hands her a shoulder bag with her equipment and some other supplies. Crystal walks it to its center. Before she disappears, she thanks Rhys. Rhys feels a powerful force step off of the Black road. A grin forms across his face as he disappears back to Earth. Rescuing Crystal was a good way to kill time until this moment. A class five shadowstorm was coming, and he had the perfect project ready to weather out the storm.

[Hydra and Hendrake in the House]

The skies over Arden darken and the draconic cavalry of House Hendrake descend. House Hydra returns with genuine nights and chaos born sorcerers. Octavius casually makes a retrograde maneuver with the troops and personally engages the dragon cavalry. The gauntlet is auto casting pattern explosions. The logrus users are trying to prematurely set them off to stem the danger. Enonia starts to strip logrus off the enemy and makes Octavius more effective. The Amberites hold the line, for now.

[Meanwhile in Arden…]

…Amon is keeping deamons off the battlefield by intercepting them in Arden with the Ardenites. This goes well, until he faces off against an eight-legged bearcat. The chain comes out for the first time today. The battle rages back and forth. Then it grabs the chain, pulls him in, grabs with the front, and rakes with the back. The monkey occupies the four other legs. Eventually, they break off each other with all parties very wounded. Amon pursues, trumps Hala at random. She gives him a pink grenade (no pin) and he hucks it, and mames the gracklefox. He’s getting very dizzy at this point. The beast goes for a killing blow, but Jonas comes in riding a dragon and steals the kill. Amon bites out its eye and he passes out.

[De-Horned]

The Umbral Stalker arrives in Amber. Circe and Aiden take Young Clarissa through the city and Circe leads them all to the Grove of the Unicorn. As they’re looking around, Clarissa screams, Circe looks at her, and she stabs Circe with a poisoned knife. From the edge of the grove, a nobleman in fine dress comes out. It is Duke Mandore.

“I couldn’t have planed it better myself.” He says.

“Interesting” remarks Aiden.

“Well, well, well, I went to all that trouble to kidnap her and I assumed that it would be Amon or someone else, but to get you here right here that’s better than I could have imagined!” At the precipice of laughter he walks over to Circe laying on the ground, bleeding to death. “You’re dying, baring a miracle. It’s nothing personal; you’re just a means to an end to bring a balance to the equation.”

It was then that the unicorn appears. Mandore looks first at it, and then to Aiden. Aiden draws a sword.

Mandore commands: “don’t kill it, mame it. Cut of the horn. When it goes to heal her, because you won’t let your own granddaughter, will you? Aiden, you’re here for this purpose. This is why i brought you out of the Abyss.”

The unicorn walks over to Circe.

“I’m not worth that much.” protests Circe; blood running out of her mouth.

The unicorn nuzzles against her.

“Dara, finish it.” Commands Mandore.

Clarissa grabs Aiden’s ankle and dominates him. Circe tries to intervene but the Unicorn protects her. The swing comes out and the horn clatters to the ground.

Mandore grabs it. The blade (Manifest Destiny) and it disappears. The poison lifts.

“Dara release him.” Commands Mandore, and she does.

The unicorn turns, nuzzles Clarissa and limps into the woods.

“I’ll be going now, you both have a war to win, good luck!” Cackles Mandore as he moves to exit.

“Sensei, you forgot something. Your poison knife” says Aiden as he thrusts it into Mandore

The blow is blocked by logrus defense.

Mandore smiles. “Keep it.” With that, he calmly leaves.

[Riders on the Storm]

Enonia feels what Rhys felt four sections in the log ago. She knows that it is Suhuy that has arrived. He enters and calls to Enonia. Rhys feels the call too, specifically to him as well. He doesn’t trust it and answers the call with Pattern Defense. Suhuy is on the field dressed as a high priest of Chaos.

Enonia is there to greet him. “So you would make you stake in this? You know I can’t let you pass.”

“I would have it no other way. It almost saddens me that you’re a child of Oberon.”

“You need to come to grips with your fear of us. The student will surpass you; first you, then the King, then Mandore, then the bastard who raised me.”

“We can fight this forever, Enonia.”

“It’s nothing personal, but it has to be to face what’s coming.”

“The Doom, The Broken One, The Forgotten Child. Maybe you’re strong enough if it is you that is to face her.” Suhuy pauses, looks at the field of battle surrounding them. “Shall we?”

The field of Camlin shatters into a thousand planes as the two unleash upon each other, no holds bar. A massive shadowstorm starts in the field and grows.

[The Prodigal Son Returns]

Hexian wakes up. He is very weak. He has a tan and hurts in a lot of places. He can’t remember anything after kicking Caius into the Abyss. As he’s waking, a servant girl comes in.

“Oh you’re awake, I’ll tell the master.”

“Stop. Who is master? Tell me or ill kill you.”

“Um…I’m across the room…please don’t kill me..?”

“Name?”

“It’s supposed to be a surprise.” She bolts before he bothers to ask.

After a fashion, Oberon walks in.

“Oh…I can’t kill you…”

“No you can’t, but I do suppose I owe you an explanation.”

Breakfast arrives.

View
Session 26 20101014

[The Battle Arrives]

When the first of Chaos’ Hordes arrives, Enonia is the only Amberite present to command Amber’s forces. The Armies of Amber total 500,000 men and are boosted by 500 Kashvan sorcerers and their 1,000-man guard. Defenses are drawn on the Field of Camlann, a site that has hosted numerous battles in the past. The archers have no problem laying to waste the first couple of waves. By the fifth wave, Enonia unleashes her Nightmare Child. So far, the forces of Amber have suffered only a few casualties.

Meanwhile, out in Shadow, Octavius places a casual trump call to Amon, who answers, and the pair teleport to the Castle Gate of Amber. Upon assessing the condition of Amon, Octavius casts a spell of healing onto Amon which also starts to make his skin burn. Octavius casually takes off for the front lines and Amon hobbles for the castle infirmary. Along the way in, Amon Trumps Emerson, who appears. Once in the infirmary, they opt out of Octavius’ healing magic, which stops the burning sensation (funny coming from Octavius…).

Octavius arrives casually at the front lines, casting spells, and Enonia hands over the reins of command to him. The fight drags on into the night as monsters get bigger and bigger, and actual troops, red eyed denizens of not-so-nice shadows, keep rolling in. By the end of the day, Amber’s forces have suffered 1000 casualties.

After a day and a half of fighting…the first deamons arrive. The first truly horrible one is a 40’ segmented beast with faces that are vaguely anthriod and it is covered in talons and scythes. As it lumbers across the field of battle, it belches forth swarms of burning flies. Enonia tries to bind it only to discover that it’s five-in-one and designed to thwart attempts ad binding. It’s one of Cranmore’s pet projects. Enonia sunders it to a pocket shadow and hucks it deep into shadow. The daemon is long gone but the hucking made the Black Road stronger.

With Amon re-assembled, Emerson goes to help out holding the front lines. There he consumes and transforms into a digging creature that deploys a “hose” to reach way out to the sea to divert water into the newly dug moat. Amon goes to meet up with the Ardenites with pattern weapons courtesy of Octavius.

After three days, the first ranks of House Hydra reach Arden. The road is in full form.

[The Barimen Identity]

Crystal leaves her house armed to the teeth in a fortified matte-black classic Charger. Right now, her only lead is Dr. Carlson, so she’s going to head back and nab him during his commute home. Using the power of the internet, she’s able to e-stalk him. When the moment is right, she clips him in traffic, spinning out his beige Japanese sedan. Feigning helpfulness, she helps him out of his car. Once his guard is down, she breaks his cell phone and throws him in her trunk.

Later at a favorite deserted gravel pit of hers, she interrogates him. The threat of torture is enough to get him to start spilling his beans. He tells her that he was under threat from a government agent to keep her under sedation. He only has a phone number and a description: tall, dark hair, sinister glasses, and he wore white gloves. After two solid hours of berating, she cuts him loose with a veiled threat about the Doctor’s children. She hits the highway.

[Head’s Up]

Aiden interrogates the (re-animated) head of one of the slain logrus users while Circe and Kored see to their wounds. The head tells them that they were guarding her in the ruins to the east. The ruins turn out to being a crashed space hulk. The damage looks as if it were dropped down from orbit.

The three enter the ship and start working toward a brig or someplace where they’d keep a little girl. In the ship, and a possible reason for its crash, they find a hole burned into the wall via acid. Then and there, Circe looks up and sees a metallic spider thing up there and it shrieks at her. She shoots it, spraying acidic goo everywhere. The goo builds more out of the bulkheads after a short time. They bolt. Aiden increases their probability in finding the girl. They run past a tight door only to find a barricaded passage. Beyond it, they find a hovel and the bed is still warm. Before much more gets said. Kored has a gun put to his head and a hand with nails on his throat.

He got nabbed from out of the shadows by a girl in rags. She demands to know who everyone is. Aiden introduces himself, and his companions. There is some uncomfortable discussion as to who Circe is at that given moment. After a bit of convincing, they all shadow walk to Circe’s boat. Once they arrive at Circe’s boat, the girl stops. Circe talks her onto the boat by telling her that she’s not in the kidnapping business, she’s in the killing people business.

Once they finally get her aboard, Aiden tired to make psychic contact and tries to touch her, and she spikes his head off the deck and she bounds across the ship and pulls out a knife. Aiden says he’s trying to get questions about ‘survival’ and that Circe needs to take her to the Grove of the Unicorn. Circe says that she’s been there and it was pretty interesting. Aiden adds that it will be more interesting this time. Kored goes to the stern castle to raise the colors of house Pander. Clarissa climbs up into the rigging and Aiden heads down below…meditating.

[Back to the Future]

It took a long time, even with the Jewel of Judgment, but he had finally found her. Looking at her psyche through the Lens was like looking at her through a kaleidoscope. She was on a shadow of Earth. The shadow was on the other side of Avalon, but it wasn’t all that different. The biggest difference was that things here made sense using action movie logic instead of real-world-boring. This will be fun thought Rhys. He handed over the keys to Tomo and put himself in a Delorian DMC 12 with the time travel options and a refined V-10 instead of the committee built PVR engine that the real thing came with.

Crystal thunders into Houston’s downtown. It is past midnight, and the highway are next to vacant. Before long, she notices that she’s being tailed. It becomes so blatant that the driver is going out of his or her way to make it obvious. It’s a distinctive car as well, lots of sharp angles, silver color. The other driver switches on his dome light right when she’s looking back. It’s man who matches Dr. Carlson’s description. He waves a gloved hand while sporting a very sinister smile.

Spooked, Crystal takes the chase into the city and up to the top of a parking deck. She spins around the car exposing the passenger side and hops out, taking cover behind the front wheels. When her tail turns around the corner at the opposite end he parks the car and slowly opens the gull-wing door and gets out.

Not hesitating, Crystal empties a pair of machine pistols into the enigmatic man who slowly approaches her. None of the bullets so much as scratch him. The second volley of fire involves bigger bullets and more of them with a grenade on top.

After the smoke clears, there’s no sign of the man.

“You missed.”

Crystal spins to the right to see her target casually leaning on the C pillar.

“Who are you?! What did you want from me?!”

Crystal back steps to in front of the car with an uzi pointed toward the man.

“Who am i? I’m Dr. Barringer. A better question is who are you? What’s your name? Where were you born? What’s your mother’s name? Who is your father?”

(Silence)

“You can’t tell me, can you?”

“Shut up! You did this to me! “YOU PUT SOMETHING IN MY HEAD!”

“There’s nothing in your head. I’ll tell you who you are. Your name is Crystal Barimen. I am your brother, and who ever did this you, wanted you out of the picture. You’re like me; very hard to kill, and this was the simplest way to keep you under control. Tonight, that ends.”

“How do I know that I can trust you? What if this is another trap.”

“You can’t, and you won’t. However, you’re also out of leads. If you want to figure this out, shut up and get in the car.” Dr. Barringer nods to his car.

“Who the [expletive] is in there?” She asks as a tattooed hand waves out the window.

Seeing an opportunity, Crystal drops a flash bomb and splits.

“Your timing is fantastic, Marek! Could you have appeared ten minutes ago, or ten minutes from now? I almost had her convinced.”

“Who?”

“Crystal. Her mind got scrambled by some kind of Logrus shenanigans.”

“Really? Did you ask Enonia about that?”

“Yup.”

“And…”

“She was dodgier than normal, so she knows more about it than she can or wants to reveal; the usual. What’s up with you?”

“I need to know where the other things are.”

“The things that you were looking for about the other thing you can’t talk about?”

“Those are the ones.”

“I don’t know off the top of my head. The trump users in the family have come up with one that I know of, but Hala might have one. She finds things that she shouldn’t all of the time.”

“Hmmm…I’ll keep that in mind.”

“So…how are things going?”

“Meh…somewhere between so-so and not well.”

“Anything specific that I should know about?”

“Well, I wouldn’t want to be here soon.”

Crystal comes walking out of the shadows with a gun aimed at the two.

“Just who are you people, and what the heck where you going on about just now?”

“We’re your family.” Said Marek with a ridiculous grin on his face. “Do you mind pointing that thing at him? I’m not all that bullet-proof.”

Marek slowly steps out of the car with his hands up. “Can I show you something?” He asks.

Crystal nods. “Slowly.”

Marek slowly draws his sword which has the Pattern forged into its blade. Once Crystal sees it, she is transfixed by it.

“I should know what that is, shouldn’t I?” She asks with out looking away.

“If you’d come along, I’ll explain it all. You can even drive.” Says Rhys as he tosses Crystal the keys.

“It’s probably time for you two to go anyhow.”

“Alright…but I’m putting this gun away.”

“Have it your way, just get in.”

Rhys takes Marek’s seat and punches the date on True Earth into the dash. Crystal gets in and looks over all of the electronics in the car. She notices the facsimile of the Pattern in the flux capacitor. Marek had already disappeared into the Jing.

“Which way do I drive?”

“It doesn’t matter; just floor it.”

“Where are we going?”

“To the future. To some truth.”

Crystal floors it right towards the edge of the roof and the instant before they would hit the edge barrier, there’s a flash of light and they’re gone.

View
Session 25 20100930

[Nukes Ahoy]

Hexian feels the push from the radiation ever so briefly before everything goes white.

[Chaos Marines]

Ten space marine knights of chaos surround Circe in a 60’ radius semi-circle. They are reinforced by three Logrus Sorcerers. Kored bolts as fast as his legs will carry him. Circe tosses a blanket up in the air and gets riddled with auto cannon rounds. She runs for cover shoosts back, but the logrus users stop the shot in mid air. She’s behind cover, but they return fire where ever her head peaks out. The bullets start coming from the side. She’s getting flanked. Thinking fast, she uses a piece of her surrounding environment to bonk one of the flanking marines and she shoots him causing a nasty wound. Then she breaks cover to run down one of the flankers gets shot twice, finishes the guy. She then teleports to behind the hill that the marines are retreating toward. There is a lag in the teleport…and she pops in…flanked…on a hill. Before she gets massacred, she shoots a dude and tosses him back into other people. Grenades come loose and they send her flying, full of shrapnel (some of which st
icks into the bone). She grabs a wounded man as a human shield. There is a delicious crunch of bone and metal as she charges tossing her new shield at a ‘fresh’ marine. Another grenade gets lobed at her. A piece of bulkhead conveniently grants cover and the remaining five close in.

All of a sudden, they start firing at something else. Aiden appears, and they are shooting him to no effect. She scatters them with a grenade toss and hooks around terrain to get to them. Aiden gets green with flame and pivots a marine and points him toward another guy. Circe then grabs and kicks one (with the pattern leg) to death. There’s an explosion and guns jam and explode. Aiden ironskins to dodge shrapnel. Meanwhile, Kored killed the logrus users. Circe and Aiden finish the others with ease. Kored has one of the heads…mostly alive, and it knows where Clarissa is…

[Riders on the Storm]

When Octavius teleported out of Avalon with everyone, he teleported with a very non-specific, GTFO type of teleport. This type of spell works fast and is adaptable for use across shadow, but it is not very specific as to where you end up at. For example, Octavius appears in front of a lightning-soaked storm…he’s closing in on it….check that…falling into it, casually. Before much else happens, his dragon rights itself, and catches him. Octavius flexes Pattern to dissolve the storm. below, he sees a clash of four armies (lion, dragon, stag, ram). He casuall approaches one arbitrarily (lion). He requests to speak with their leader, a guy named Greyson; he explains a story which makes a neat parallel to how the houses of chaos interplay.

After a nice meal of food-for-thought, Octavius trumps Amon.

[This ‘Ought to Make it onto Youtube]

Amon finds himself on top of a stone pyramid, curled up at the base of an altar (but not on it). He sits up, and remembers that Cranmore broke his leg something fierce. Looking about, he sees a sign posted up here. He then rips sign down off of a plastic post and makes a crutch out of it. Looking about, he sees that this place is a close shodow of Earth and is infact a tourist destination. Feeling hungry, he slides down the ‘mid and he’s greeted by the security guards. They berate him about his behavior and then notice his compound fracture leg. The one guy vomits in his mouth a little and the other calls for an ambulance and bid him to sit.

Amon argues with them for sport, claiming that he has to go home and kill some people. Tourists are busy taking pictures of the exchange with their digital cameras. Exasperated with the argument, Amon asks one of the guards for a sandwich.

[Crystal’s Unfamiliar Ceiling…Unfamiliar Everything]

Crystal wakes up to an unfamiliar ceiling. More than that, she doesn’t know who she is, really, or what led to her being here in this place. It’s clear that she’s in a hospital. The Smell of phenol and what floors are waxed with make that clear. She also feels compelled to leave. Groggily, she rips off the heart monitor and sits up. As she’s standing up to get out of bed, an orderly walks in, sees a coma patient getting out of bed and runs to get Dr. Carlson. Shortly there after, two orderlies and the guy from before dash into the room, one is brandishing a large needle.

They call her Ms. Torus. They tell her that she’s safe, she’s in need of a shot, and she’s in the Brookside Hospital. She tries to remember why she knows the name of the place. The two orderlies rush and grab her, the third makes play for a shot with the needle. Instincts kick in. She leans back and plants both feet into the needle guy with a solid boot, putting him across the room. The orderlies try to keep her from getting leverage. She smashes a knee and hip tosses the other into the first. They both go limp.

Crystal grabs the clip board off the door: Christine Torus, car accident off a cliff. It’s bad…not expected to come out of a coma…broken bones, drain bramage, died three times on the way here.

Why…how am I still alive? She asks herself.

No time to think…escape. She slips over to the linen closet and grabs some dirty scrubs. She sneaks into another room and pulls off a heart monitor from another patient to distract the nurses. Once the nurses’ station is abandoned, she gets her information from the computer and gets an address. Then, she makes a move to vacate the premises.

On the parking lot, she pulls out some goodies that she vaguely remembers grabbing for some reason. She spies easy prey and moves to break into a car. In under a minute she hotwires the car. There is a huge commotion in the hospital, so she leaves as discretely as she can.

After a six hour drive to the home address she ditches the car a few blocks away. She remembers that there is a paranoid method to enter her house via the back door. she left the frond door booby trapped. Who is she? In her basement, by a workbench she finds Spanish blue prints for a building – government building in Guatemala. The basement is filled with supplies for mischief. While down looking around, she realizes that she got car bombed and that there was no accident. She goes upstairs finds guns and fresh clothes. The person that lived here traveled all over the world as an assassin and overthrew governments, all for hire.

[Obi’s Kids: On the Move]

Octavius hellrides to people that he knows and need his help the most. Mostly he’s collecting people scattered from his teleport before he returns to Amber.

Aiden heads into chaos deeper with Kored and Circe.

Enonia heads to Amber.

Rhys looks for Crystal from the side of the pool. He finds her stuff and evidence of a hideous logrus knot, but not her.

[Arden]

Dark clouds gather in Arden and rain starts to fall. Lightning. The sky starts turning black. The Black Road begins to enter Amber. The collected forces of Amber gather to defend the realm without their commander.

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