Shades of Amber

To Rescue A Princess
Session 14 (By Ilayne)

The stories, as told today, bring news of victories for the men and women of Amber’s third generation. News of His Majesty Mordecai’s great triumph over the nightmare world known as Hunger, where beasts assaulted Amber herself through tears in reality, with his brave companions, Grayson, Dominic and a handful of valiant men of the Wolf Guard. News of Duchess Morgana and her cousins of Fae, Scarlett and Ilayne, successfully fighting back the mystical forest that not only threatened to take over Tintangel, but that reached through shadow as well. But their victories did not come without some cost, and rest and recovery were in order for some of our heroes.

Those that remained were gathered by the Lady Evangeline, on short notice, to aid in the rescue of her mother, Princess Fiona, who had since remained in the clutches of the Eidolon. Those who accompanied her were Julian, Ivy, Merlin, Ilayne, Martin and Naomi. Together they came upon the Eidolon, and were met by hordes of the Shadow Knights within the constructs center. In the face of overwhelming odds, they fought bravely, Julian lending Evangeline the might of Morgenstern, while he and his daughter Ivy, with Martin tried to divert the attention of as many of the Knights as they could.

With many new tactics, not yet witnessed by the party, the Eidolon threw all of its defenses into the battle. Trump gates opened in mid-air, and even upon the very ground its assailants stood upon, leaving some to barely escape its grasp. The purple mist manifested itself, wrapping Naomi up in its clutches and taking her away. Through sheer power of mind, Evangeline commanded the Eidolon to allow her passage, and though it contested, her will was stronger, and she found herself in the very heart of the construct itself, gaining access to it.

There it was discovered that Fiona – and now Naomi – were not the only ones in it’s possession. Three others, unknown but believed to be Sand, Delwin and Dalt of Amber, remained imprisoned within the Eidolon. Still wrestling with it’s primary objective, Evangeline convinced the Eidolon, one by one, to relinquish its quarry. But the release of Princess Fiona, was a battle Evangeline had to focus much of her attention on.

Meanwhile, some members were able to escape, while others simply disappeared. A month has passed for those who found safety, and no one has yet been able to contact any of those who went missing.

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Provocations
Session 13 (By GM)

In Albion Tristan was missing. This, while not uncommon was an unwelcome event for Morgana, who began to organize a search. The situation became even more troubling when word came from Ilayne and Scarlette that the forest itself was advancing on the festival. Thomas, a mysterious man who almost always appears before troubled arrived saying that the forest was coming for Mordred. With Tristan missing the situation seemed dire. Ariah was left with her brother Taim, while Morgana, Martin, Mordred and Thomas sallied forth with armed men to confront the forest.

In the town Scarlette and Tamiina discovered Tristan’s location. He had taken it upon himself to climb the maypole, but had been unable to get down. As Scarlette climbed the pole to retrieve him, screams rang out from the outskirts as toad like creatures came out of the woods, killing all they encountered. Tamiina called forth a blade and took position at the base of the Maypole to as Scarlette climbed.

Upon reaching the top Scarlette took hold of Tristan, and told him to retrieve her trumps from her pocket, in doing so he dropped perhaps half the deck on the ground below. She got word to Morgana through Ilayne who trumped her and took Tristan leaving Tamiina and Scarlette surrounded by the hopping creatures. For a time they fought side by side before Scarlette changed into a vicious troll and the two battled into an alley and made an escape through trump.

Morgana and her group had joined Ilayne at the outskirts where a vicious battle was was taking place. The forest used brownies with poisoned weapons in addition to the gremlin like creatures and strange trees capable of movement. An elvish man shot Mordred in the back from a rooftop but was knocked down by Ilayne’s arrow and a word of power. Morgana made her way to him and took him prisoner, and then the remaining party escaped through trump.

In Amber Dominic used his sorcery to discover that the serpent had come from a dark shadow with still waters and a moon that leered down from above. A ship was readied, and Ivy, Grayson, Mordecai and Dominic prepared themselves to investigate.

While these preparations were made, the earth began to shake. It was not a major earthquake, but in Amber earthquakes are nearly unheard of and caused quite a panic in the city. The adventurers departed on the vessel, shifting shadow towards the offending shadow.

En route, Mordecai received a trump from Edwyn, who brought him back to Amber to show him a disturbing sight. The Harlequin had scratched an image of Kolvir and Amber into the walls of her cell, and with her own blood painted lava pouring down from an erupted peak over the palace walls. She was found in the back of her room in the only surviving chair whimpering, saying she didn’t mean too.

Mordecai comforted her, and chose to release her from her cell and send her off after the missing Jewel of Judgement, perhaps hoping that it might assist in staving off that disaster. He then returned to the vessel, which continued on its mission.

The shadow itself was a bleak place, with savage villagers on islands cooking people who clearly had originated from Amber. Dominic shielded the group from sight with a spell, and they circled the islands looking for whomever was behind the attacks.

A mainland was discovered, with a tall tower and glowing light. Landing a few miles down the coast, they made there way to its gates. The tower was a grim affair, with the bones of people who had clearly been eaten on display. A battle with perhaps fifty tribesmen ended in one of Mordecai’s wolf guard perishing.

It became noted that something was terribly wrong with the shadow when some of Mordecai’s men began to profess hunger as small spider like creatures devoured the corpses of the pygmies. As they struggled to gain entrance to the tower, the moon itself assaulted Dominic, teeth and jaws appearing in the air about him, snapping and attempting to devour him. Grayson was badly injured in an attempt to fend off the assault.

Inside the tower, a strange woman who seemed to know of shadow was found partially eaten. It seemed she had been a prisoner there for some time. She called herself Mab, and was sent via trump to Amber. The remaining guardians of the tower claimed to be servants of the “Devourer” and were quickly dispatched.

At the top of the tower on a pedestal a green gem glowed ominously. With a mighty swing Mordecai hewed into the gem, cracking it open sending lightning and flashes of energy blasting throughout the room. The moon opened its maw and attempted to devour them all, swirling teeth filling the chamber. When it was over the gem was cracked and broken and a strange rift left in the center of the room.

Evangeline made a trump of the location, so it could be easily returned to and the heroes went through the rift finding themselves upon what appeared to be the surface of the moon. Huge creatures abounded in the distance, as well as a great floating citadel. Determining to return better prepared and less injured, they returned to Amber.

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Visitors from Afar
Session 12 (by GM)

Grayson returned to Amber after but a days absence, much more quickly than anyone expected. He came with several new companions, a cranky and possibly insane old man named Lars, as well as a woman named Vivian who claimed to be a missing member of the family. This claim was bolstered both by the fact that she aided Grayson’s shadow walk back and that Princess Floramelle recognized her. Floramelle did not appear to be entirely overjoyed at Vivian’s return, mentioning that she had believed her to be dead long ago.

Dominic did return to Amber, coated in a viscous black liquid and much of his hair and clothing heavily damaged. It is important to note that since then he has shaved his head, and his nose does appear to be broken. Evangeline found herself quite busy with an unexpected visitor, she discovered her great grandfather Dworkin attempting to steal the staff of the Unicorn from her room. The ensuing conversation was somewhat strange, ending in Evangeline and Dworkin’s visiting a hidden lab of Dworkin’s to investigate the staff.

Scarlett spent a short while with lady Dara, discussing her father. The conversation was less productive than Scarlett would have liked, as Dara wished aid in leaving Amber in exchange for information.

Mordecai decided to host a welcome dinner for Vivian, which was quite a success with excellent food and dancing. Tension was visible between Rinaldo and Dominic, both expressing there dislike of each other quite vehemently. Naomi accompanied Edwyn to the meal, much to Merlin’s visible dislike.

Ilayne disappeared sometime before the party, and was unavailable via trump. She had traveled Haven’s doors to one nearer to chaos where she had traveled the remaining distance by trump with Vash. In chaos she was reunited with her mother Thessia of house Hendrake and several other relatives.

Morgana invited the ladies to attend a festival in Tintangel, with feasting and a tournament. This was the first time any other than Ilayne had been invited to Tintangel for some time and it was discovered that Morgana had a young child named Tristan, and that Ariah was being fostered in Tintangel as well. As well as the ladies Martin and Taim were both present at the festivities, as well as King Mordred of Camelot.

The tournament was a grand affair, though perhaps not as much for Mordred. Scarlett, the red knight was the victor of the tourney, defeating Martin in the final bout and taking the title of champion. Mordred personally awarded her the champions medallion.

In Amber a Ranger arrived with news from the city, a strange beast had come from a well and killed a half dozen men. Mordecai immediately gathered a squad of Wolf Guard and headed down to investigate. He was accompanied by Grayson and Dominic as well, who had heard the commotion.

In the city Ivy had arrived, and had surrounded the well in question and reported that it was a serpent like creature. Each of the suspect wells were surrounded by men as the Amberites investigated. A water spirit sent by Dominic into the well triggered the serpent’s rage and it burst forth from the well devouring said spirit. The Amberites engaged quickly, Mordecai unleashing Tempest upon it while Grayson and Ivy laid into it with blades. From a nearby rooftop Dominic aided with his sorcery. The fight was short and furious, ending with the Serpent driven back into the well.

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Another One
Log by GM

Fifteen months after the commencement of the reign of his Majesty, King Mordecai third king of Amber a dinner was hosted in Haven. Morgana, duchess of Wintercrest in Amber had invited most of those whom had been involved in the recapture of Amber from the forces of Chaos. This included, Martin who some call Prince of Amber, and one who is not on excellent terms with the current king.

It seemed the dinner would have an unfortunate beginning, and then spiral downwards from there. Upon Martin’s arrival in Haven, the torches flared red and alarm bells rang, as is the case when a demon or other lord of chaos arrived. The guards attempted to detain him but Lady Morgana intervened. Lord Martin, feeling somewhat unwelcome chose to leave on a trump to destinations unknown.

With a somewhat disheartening beginning, the Amberites got down to the heavy business of eating. But then, what should occur but the invasion of the table by yowling cats, lead by the still vicious “Rascal”, a feral cat whom had survived Scarlett’s apocalypse shadow to find a home in haven. After unseating several dishes and glasses of wine, the cats took guard under various chairs etc.

The party had more in store for it, for after the cats came an earthquake, which finished the destruction of the feast and caused quite a fuss amongst the lords of Amber. It turned out, that an eleventh door had appeared in the room of ten doors, a cracked and rusted thing which implied the existence of yet another Havenite.

It was decided to investigate immediately, so several Amberites headed down the stairs immediately. Through some stroke of ill fortune, or perhaps fate acting against him, the stairs attempted to break apart beneath Mordecai’s feet, though he was much more quick on his feet than the stairs thought and artfully escaped his fate. (It turns out, the King of Amber is a fine dancer as well, though he rarely showcases this talent)

On the other end of this door was a world of ice and glass. Of sharp edges and colors and mirrors reflecting endlessly. What appeared to be a ruined in contained thousands of ancient letters to one Grayson, whom appeared to have never received these missives. A man in diamond armor appeared shortly, who was quickly besotted with the tempestuous Scarlett, offering her a gift of a crystal rose, which is also a butterfly, and a broach. A very confused item.

This diamond knight, whose name turned out to be Landis offered to escort the group to his home. The group accepted and followed him, until on a nearby ridge line two figures were seen. Landis and Scarlett mounted his horse and gave chase, quickly running down a young woman, who appeared to also have wings and the mysterious Grayson. Having found Grayson, everyone returned to Haven, leaving Landis somewhat unsatisfied. The return was not without adventure, as there was a friendly but somewhat disturbed man named Felix who spouted warnings of doom which never came to pass. A crystal dragon, a wall of glass thorns and a thousand crystal hounds.

Grayson was welcomed quite warmly in both Amber and Haven, meeting numerous relatives. This is to say he was quickly overwhelmed by the family of Amber, but carried himself well. Mordecai’s excellenet selection of beers turned out to be irresistible to both Scarlette, and Dominic who celebrated their new-found cousin perhaps a little to vigorously, both sleeping on the fine linens that decorate the tables of Amber.

To travel back in time for a moment, Scarlett also had an interesting day for a falcon arrived with a garbled message from her father, that gave little real information. It appeared that the falcon had been searching for Scarlett for some time.

On the following day, both Grayson and Dominic assailed the pattern. Both were successful, though it is important to note that Dominic did fall face first into the center, and it is speculated that he broke his nose. This speculation is supported by the fact that at the time of this writing, he had not returned to Amber, perhaps being forced away by embarrassment. To be fair though, Grayson has not yet returned either, and in retrospect it seems it would have been wise for someone to grant him a trump, for while all roads lead to Amber, the way to Amber is difficult to those who haven’t attempted it.

From the records of Gavin, historian of Amber

As additional notes, it may be important that a certain tension can be seen between Luthair and Rinaldo. Also, while normally it is seen as crass to investigate the love lives of Amberites, it is perhaps important to note that the brothers Merlin and Edwyn are both courting Naomi, whom had previously been involved with Merlin. As of this moment, the servants and this historian can not say for certain which of these two men hold her heart, though it is a topic of much speculation. Some claim that Naomi does not have a heart herself, and thus neither hold it, but such a thing would be to cruel to write in a history of Amber.

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Interlude
Some time has passed...

Many characters will likely have things they wish to work on, ways they wish to spend their time during this year, while those who are involved with the day-to-day business of restoring Amber will be exceptionally busy. If you would like, in paragraph form (in a player secret), to post a summary of how your character will be spending the time jump, feel free.

  • Edit: Tim here. Since Mordecai is king and what he does is often public, I added a couple of details to Brandon’s adventure log post of things Mordecai did that would be obvious and openly known. In every case I stuck Mordecai’s name in front of my edit so it would be clear who added what.

Fifteen months have passed in Amber since the beginning of the reign of Amber’s fifth monarch, (though he might have a different count) King Mordecai. Many things have occurred during this time, some of which will be detailed below. The information here will be public enough that anyone who put in a little effort could learn.

  • Mordecai: Mordecai I of Amber counts himself Amber’s third king. Dara was a usurper and Random was king pro-tempore.

Amber

  • City
    It has been approximately 15 months in Amber. Fall is nearing its end and winter is rapidly approaching. The city itself is experiencing massive reconstruction, as nearly every building within the city experienced severe damage. Engineers move throughout the city, inspecting buildings and determining which buildings can be repaired, and which must be replaced entirely. On the positive side the palace itself has been largely restored.
    • Mordecai: The king lets it be known that all materials and labor that benefit the city’s restoration are not subject to taxation. Furthermore, any construction company, work gang, or materials supplier that contributes a full year’s effort to the reconstruction shall have their taxes reduced by one fifth forevermore.
  • Church of the Unicorn
    The Church of the Unicorn continues, though the former high priest stepped down after the fall of Amber. A new high priest, Lokien, has been chosen as his successor. A unicorn shrine is being built where the holy staff was sighted.
  • The Dark Unicorn
    The Cult of the Dark Unicorn continues to baffle the Church of the Unicorn, and continues to grow in size. It’s priests move much more openly through the Golden Circle. Whomever heads the organization remains a mystery, though it becomes increasingly clear that there is a head. While many of the tenets of the church of the Dark Unicorn are similar, the cult pushes a much more aggressive stance.
    • Mordecai: The king openly supports the Church of the True Unicorn. His only public statements on the Dark Unicorn church is that he believes the Dark Unicorn to be merely an aspect of the True Unicorn, and that She encompasses all that the Dark Unicorn is, in addition to her other attributes.
  • Strange Occurrences
    While recovery continues it is clear that all is not right. Shadow walking is possible up to the city proper, as opposed to stopping at Arden as they did before. Within the city and the palace itself passageways and roads occasionally lead to different places. On several occasions entire areas within the city and the palace became inaccessible for days. There are areas near the city as well that have gained a reputation of being haunted. Those who approach them find themselves uncomfortable, and it is not safe to be near them alone. People have been known to disappear, or driven mad. Near some of them strange creatures have been encountered, and Julian’s rangers maintain a close watch on those they can. Attempts to fix these occurrences have so far met with no success.
    • Mordecai: The king established a “Unicorn’s Lamp-bearers” organization that keeps track of the records of these strange occurrences, and tries to map them as best they can. They post people near the areas that are worst affected and most reliably bad, warning people away and guiding them around the bad patches. When possible, they also mount rescue operations, though those depend on getting word that someone disappeared to the Lamp-bearers fairly quickly. The Lamp-bearers also have some responsibilities as a general organization of mercy, providing emergency supplies and shelter to refugees from the strange shadow effects, and the poor of the city in general.
  • The World of Amber
    Many Hendrake and Sawall soldiers surrendered during the last few months. It was still necessary to mount campaigns to ensure that the five duchies were securely under Amber’s control, but this task has been accomplished. Most soldiers that did not surrender either fled into the golden circle or took up the often short lives of bandits.
    • Mordecai: The king granted lands to commanders who had particularly good success in their campaigns to retake these duchies, and gave them the power to similarly make vassals out of their subordinate officers. Hendrake and Sawall officers and soldiers were ransomed back to their houses, though Sawall was charged a higher rate of undisclosed recompense than Hendrake. Further, there is a substantial price on the head of any bandits who can be proven to have been sworn to the Chaos forces before the war. The reward is gold crowns equivalent to a year’s pay for a skilled tradesman, and a possible pardon for one’s crimes, depending on the crimes in question.

Rebma

Rebma has returned from its exile, and is once again accessible. The steps of Fialle Bionin have been rebuilt. Bleys returned in time to be present at the birth of his daughter, named Galiana. Rebma was also where Martin went after he departed Amber, and notably Rebma has not reestablished diplomatic ties to Amber.

Golden Circle

The Golden Circle remains unstable, and it appears it will for some time. Amber’s fleets, lead by Luthair are a common sight on the seas and several blockades are being maintained. Eregnor has fallen to Rinaldo, whom mysteriously inherited much of Martin’s forces that survived the siege of Amber.

  • Edit 5/21/11 GM

As Rinaldo’s forces moved on Begma, a riot broke out in the city of Begma that nearly overtook the castle walls. Somehow in the confusion, a group of men garbed as Palace guards infiltrated the palace and killed the King of Begma. These guards were later found dead, throats slit it in the forest.

Characters

Below is a list of some characters and actions that they did. The list is not exhaustive.

(Tentative)

  • Evangeline has spent time exploring the Eidolon’s terminals in person, and grilling Merlin and Naomi about control methods and protocols: SHE WANTS HER MOTHER BACK, DAMMIT! She also wants to complete the repair of the Primal Pattern.
  • Bleys returned to Rebma, where he remains Moirre’s consort. He has not visited Amber.
  • Edwyn leapt into his role as regent, taking great interest in the reconstruction of the city of Amber, as well as restoring the economy.
    • Mordecai: Edwyn is publicly known as a great man of Amber, this opinion comes directly from the King. Courtiers who seem to genuinely like him are better liked by Mordecai.
  • Florimel is currently visiting a golden circle kingdom called Tenair; she has been in residence there for perhaps half a year Amber time.
    • Mordecai: The king commissioned a bard to write a song about Flora’s great beauty and nobility. The bard was a good one, so the song may not be the greatest music ever written but it’s good, and new, and thus is making some headway across the Golden Circle.
  • Ivy founded the Knights of the Briar, whose colors are are black and green. Knights of the Briar were heavily involved in the actions to reclaim the five duchies.
  • Julian was in Arden for perhaps six months after Mordecai’s coronation, he departed with little word, leaving Arden in the care of one of his generals.
  • Kisten disappeared into shadow within days of Mordecai’s proclamation, taking with him what remained of his great eagles, and several ships. While he is sometimes seen in Haven, he has not returned to Amber.
  • Luthair has been using what remains of Amber’s navy to reinforce Amber’s allies within the Golden Circle. He has taken the kraken as his personal symbol, and it’s becoming quite infamous.
    • Mordecai: Luthair is publicly known as a great man of Amber, this opinion comes directly from the King. Courtiers who seem to genuinely like him are better liked by Mordecai.
  • Martin went to Rebma where he stayed for the birth his niece Galiana. When he is not in Rebma he is apparently in shadow, or aiding various Golden Circle kingdoms.
  • Merlin hops in and out of Amber, apparently via trump. He has maintained a close watch on his mother and brother, who are under house arrest in a suite within the palace. It has been noted by many that Merlin seems quite distracted.
  • Naomi is often seen in the company of Merlin, the two appearing to have rekindled an old relationship. She has also spent much time viewing the Pattern, though she has yet to actually walk it.
  • Rinaldo returned to Kasfha to wage war upon the the neighboring shadow of Begma. His mother Jasra is not nearly as active within the kingdom, and rumor has it that she may abdicate to her son.
    • Mordecai: Rinaldo is publicly known as a great man of Amber. This opinion comes directly from the king. Courtiers who seem to genuinely like him are better liked by Mordecai.
  • Tamiina left Amber following Mordecai’s coronation, she is often seen in Haven.
  • Vash finally decided that Naomi was safe enough in Amber, and departed Amber. When he left he claimed he was heading to chaos to see what he could learn.
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The Crown of Amber
Session 10- (By GM)

The sun rose, to a new day in Amber, a dark day. The mysterious clouds hovering above city of Amber rumbled and the bodies of the thousands of deceased began to glow with an unearthly silver light. As the thunder rolled a seemingly eternal rumble above a dark rain began to fall. The rain sparked upon landing, releasing a black vapor burning flesh. Panic ensued amongst the many men still out in the streets and the forces retreated under cover.

Kisten reported from the naval forces that the Black Channel was also glowing, fading away and seeming to flow into the black clouds above the city. At the reserve post upon the western outskirts of Arden the Unicorn appeared to Ilayne and Evangeline. Both Ilayne and Evangeline were healed by he Unicorn and Evangeline gifted a magical staff. Ilayne had a vision, which showed the pattern under assault and a Black Unicorn galloping towards the city.

The Amberites gathered together in a large merchants consortium converted into the armies headquarters. A council was gathered and many were for moving on the palace immediately, using the protection granted by Morgana’s significant pattern powers and the staff granted by the Unicorn. Morgana reported that the shadow itself was becoming weaker as the rain continued to fall. Mordecai however, was insistent that no action should be taken and that it would be best to wait for the rains to end.

Before the rain end the Black Unicorn galloped through the city, and upon the edge of the main concourse stood staring up at the deserted walls of the palace. A vision was granted Morgana when she touched the Unicorn of several Chaosites, including Dara appearing quite anxious.

Eventually the rain did end, and Mordecai’s wolf guard lead the way up the now severely damaged city. Inside the Palace it became clear that some sort of fighting had broken out within the Palace. It appeared that House Helibore had betrayed Dara, unleashing demons upon there own men. Demon hounds battled the Wolf guard within the great hall, though they were mowed down by Automatic weapons supplied by Merlin.

Morgana and Scarlett lead the men upwards through the palace, facing guards of Hendrake and Sawall. A final confrontation in the top floor of the Palace ended with the surrender of Dara to lady Morgana.

The rest of the Amberites fought their way down to the pattern room where two bleeding bodies lay by the pattern, apparently Dara’s children Jurt and Despil. Each of them had a crystal embedded in their chests. A black smear was visible in the center of the pattern. After the crystals were removed, a small amount of life returned to Despil, but Jurt was dead.

The Dark Unicorn urged Evangeline to walk the pattern with her staff. After some conversation, Evangeline bravely undertook this task. Cleaning the dark smears with the staff of the Unicorn while the Dark Unicorn granted her strength from behind. The pattern in Amber was cleansed, and both Evangeline and the Dark Unicorn were transported to the Primal Pattern where the body of Oberon could be seen lying near the center. This pattern was also damaged, though this was not the time to attempt a repair.

With Amber relatively secure, though the area about the city and palace was desolate the long exiled lords and ladies of Amber returned. Mordecai asked Morgana to be his queen, but she refused him, citing her love for Tamiina as a large part of her response. Mordecai announced his intention to claim the throne, with only a few voices of dissent. Prince Martin claimed that Mordecai was no king of his and left Amber, though Mordecai made it clear that his desire was that Martin stay and that even with his refusal to support him Martin would always be welcome in Amber. The lady Tamiina also refused to knowledge Mordecai as king, departing with Martin though she did not leave the city itself, wishing to stay near Morgana.

Mordecai handed out rewards to his favored supporters, including duchies for Luthair and Morgana, and awarding Edwyn with the regency. A few days later Mordecai was crowned King of Amber, with the crown being passed form Havenite to Havenite until Mordecai was crowned by his regent Edwyn.

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Upon All Fronts
Session 9 (By Ilayne)

When we last left our heroes, a cloud had settled over some heads. Evangeline lay in the infirmary, having taken a grave wound to the chest. And Mordecai was not a pleasant man to be around, his mood dark and brooding. A great weight that all members could feel, had fallen upon the man, brought upon by the uttering of an elder’s blood curse.

Tensions in Haven were high, but as expected, it did not stop our heroes’ progress.

Instead of murdering Harlequin, Mordecai chose to bide his time, as he considered fashioning a deal with her that would require her to acquire the Jewel from Mandor, and return it to him in exchange for her life. And deals, some earlier struck, with Merlin came to fruition. Armies were gathered and transported. Behind the scenes, Mordecai strengthened his claim to become the King of Amber, accepting Edwyn as Reagent, and though he declined Luthair’s offer, managed to provide an alternative to the Rebman’s liking, bringing Rebma’s navy to bear for the cause. And thus began the stages of great battle to reclaim Amber.

Upon the sea over fifteen hundred warships gathered to combat the black sailed enemy forces. And with the aid of cannons which worked within Amber’s borders, and a great kraken under Luthair’s command, the naval battle was long and grisly, but the Choas forces fell beneath the onslaught.

The ground forces were met with great opposition as well. The stairs of Kolvir were painted red, but our heroes were victorious, claiming the top as theirs. The forces of Hendrake made an attempt to take back the courtyard, but between the skills of Morgana and Scarlett, the leader was forced back, and Amber’s claim to the top remained throughout the night.

And now, after many long hours of fighting, our heroes make camp in the city of Amber. The reinforcements that the Chaosites had brought were not enough. Now all that remains is the reclamation of the palace itself…

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No Laughing Matter
Session 8 (By Ilayne)

With Naomi rescued, and our heroes recovered, a new plan was hatched. The knowledge that Naomi knew the Eidolon, and more importantly where it was, was brought into light. And our heroes being Lords and Ladies of action, of course decided to make a move.

Trusting Naomi to lead them safely to one of the three locations that housed the Eidolon, our heroes traveled through a disturbing landscape. Across the sky were massive moving images of trumps held in the Eidolon’s grasp. The images depicted the construct’s prey, and left various members of the party feeling more than unsettled.

Despite the great tricks of vision played upon the group, where the distances shifted, and the ground giving way under any given step, the brave members of Haven reached their destination. They ascended the stairs boldly, and found themselves looking down upon the heart of the Eidolon. The great pillar of iridescent tendrils put out a wash of purple light, and our heroes approached the column with little fear — at least, none that was voiced aloud.

With the aid of Naomi, several trumps were wrestled from the grasp of the Eidolon, saving — for a time — the individuals depicted. From there, the goal was to rescue the Princess Fiona, mother of Evangeline. But plans did not go as smoothly as hoped. Some ventured back up the stairs, while the others remained, to lend their skills in rescuing their aunt Fiona.

It was then that the lady Harlequin was encountered. A oddity of a woman, dressed in a multi-hued body suit that befitted a medieval court jester, and with a gleaming blade upon her hip. It was discovered she was employed by the King of Chaos, Mandor, to hunt down and kill the members of Haven, but seemed undecided upon her acceptance of the job. However, Dominic soon learned that to scoff at her apparel however, was a dangerous thing to do, and soon found himself in a duel with a master of the blade.

Leaving Dominic’s leg badly injured, the Harlequin left the first group, only to discover the second upon the bottom of the stairs. And with the news that she was debating still upon whether or not to accept the job to kill those who stood before her, news that Mordecai made quite clear he did not approve of, yet another duel ensued.

Unfortunately for some of the Havenites, and more so for Harlequin, the battle escalated quickly. The command to take the woman hostage was issued, and Ilayne and Evangeline rushed quickly to aid Mordecai, each woman taking a dagger from their ‘elder.’ A wound to the hip for Ilayne, and a terrifying wound to the chest, for Evangeline. And Mordecai, whose patience had worn beyond thin, found a curse of his blood laid upon him as he choked the Harlequin into unconsciousness.

Now our heroes find themselves in Haven once again, tending wounds and nursing soured moods. A darkness has settled upon our heroes of Haven. But it is surely not enough to impede them, to deter them from their goal.

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The Task at Hand
Session 7 (By Ilayne)

All great moments begin somewhere along the line with a plan. And all great plans begin with great legends of men and women. Our tale brings us many of these elements, and begins to weave what may well be the greatest attempt at saving Amber in its long history.

The doors of Haven opened for our once unlikely heroes, each setting off into shadow of their own devices. Once forgotten children of Amber, they had taken their birthright and put it to the most strenuous use imaginable.

Moredacai stayed in a shadow named Khorsgrad, spending his month in a terrible state of long, long days and short nights. His goal, to build a city to house their army, from the ground up in but a month’s time.

Morgana disappeared between worlds, her affections being the source of her success. With a keen eye watching Camelot, she ensured that what had happened to Ilayne’s home, did not happen to hers. And with a deadly sweet smile, the Enchantress of legend procured the loyalty and aid of the Purple Prince, by aiding him in the conquering of the world’s other colors.

Scarlett slipped into shadow, eager to escape the threat of frills and makeup, and return to a more comfortable state of being. Around her, she gathered an adept force, rough and savage men who knew their way around a gun as well as they knew their way with a sword.

Dominic sought out his hidden door, Door 101, and requested a meeting with the Duchess Vinta Bayle, his mother. Their reunion spanned the course of the month, as did a great number of projects started by the Lord Dominic, making as much use of the mechanical army provided to him as was possible.

Ilayne set off along the coast line, discovering a shadow prime for recruitment. After taking command of one of the isles along the coast line, her rule spread a great ways. She spent her month simply gathering soldiers, and a great many of them.

Evangeline sought out a shadow where time progressed much more quickly. Here she brushed up on her own sailing skills, preparing herself to lead their Navy into Amber’s harbor, against the dozen Chaos warships that loomed at the docks.

With their month gone fast behind them, our heroes all made it back to Haven one by one. The decision was made to enact the rescue operation for Vash’s sister, Naomi. It was a dangerous plan, but one that our heroes of Haven met head on. Abruptly, they appeared in the great hall of Prydain, and set upon the guards with a swift ferocity that no mere shadow man – or demon – could withstand.

Quickly, they rushed for the basement, held off by four great Satyrs in plate armor. Through the masterful manipulation by Morgana, their armor turned to leather, and though Arawn and Kolder were close on their heels, our heroes stayed one step ahead. The satyr guards fell, and with Dominic’s enraged fire elemental to block the hall, they slipped down the stairs, barring the steel door behind them.

It was there they met Malificent, through a wall of green fire with phantasmal skulls roiling within it. Attacking the fire with Pattern, Morgana paved a way for her companions to slip through, and a battle ensued. A battle of blades turned into a contest of powers as Tempest unleashed a string of lightning to combat the flow of flames Malificent threw at Moredacai. And a battle of minds between the woman and Evangeline began, which resulted in Evangeline’s head being lit aflame by the same green fire from the hall.

The stairwell behind the combatants collapsed under Morgana’s will, holding off Kolder and Arawn for the last few moments they needed. Ilayne, Scarlett and Dominic battled with the swarm of large spiders that streamed down the walls. And with Evangaline’s brave distraction, Moredacai successfully beheaded Malificent before she could escape, an action hindered by Evangeline’s mind. A great explosion rocked the hallway, taking down both Ilayne and Moredacai, but our heroes escaped with Naomi.

Now, Naomi and Vash are both welcomed in Haven (though begrudgingly by some), and the focus once again turns upon the fate of Amber. Just a few more preparations, and their plan would be ready to enact. How the legends of Haven will fare, next time in Shades of Amber.

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Bits and Pieces
Session 6 (By Mordecai)

It is said by the Rebman people that one day what they thought was an invincible shield was pierced, and not by any mighty wizard, but a mere octopus. In time, the octopus landed in the main square, and became a naked woman. They will be talking about it in the Drowning Mermaid for four or five hundred years hence, at least.

Thus did Ilayne come to Rebma, seeking the ability to walk in Shadow. Introductions were a bit rough at first, but eventually she was reunited with her brother Taim, and given leave by the Queen to walk Rebma’s Pattern. The Pattern of Rebma was very strange in those days, and Ilayne required help in the form of song from several of her cousins who were living there in Rebma.

Though she bade the Rebman Pattern take her back to Haven, it either had a more willful mind than the Pattern of Amber, or could not do so. She found herself in her Shadow of Durance, and was horrified to see that her people were fallen.

Ilayne rushed back to Haven, and requested aid for her people. Her Cousins were reluctant however. They were setting out to check on the status of their cousin Seren, and Ilayne needed to rest in any case. So most set out to check on Seren, while Ilayne gathered her strength.

Seren’s shadow was very strange, a maze of caverns and mushrooms, some diseased, some not. Reports from some of the Amberites who ventured there indicated that pretty much the entire populace of the Shadow were quite mad. Worse, Seren was long dead, or captured, so the Amberites had to return with nothing.

Ilayne, now rested, had changed her mind on the action she wanted help with. Instead of rushing in with forces, she would scout first. So she and Scarlett set forth to see what they could see.

Ilayne and Scarlett did not like to talk about what happened there, after, but they came under attack by demons and were sorely pressed. Only quick Trump action by Evangeline and Morgana, combined with brash heroics from Mordecai were able to save them. Indeed, it was so close a thing that were Scarlett and Ilayne not as mighty as they are, they could not have escaped from that place, even with help.

Tired, and feeling the stress of being thrown together under such intense circumstances at last, tempers began to fray. Scarlett and Morgana began an escallating war of pranks, one that seemed to be heading in an ugly direction indeed.

Through all of this, Domanic remained absent, his cousins began to worry in earnest. Still, without any way to locate him, all they could do was wait, recuperate, and continue to plan their reclamation of Amber.

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