Shades of Amber

New Allies
Session 5 (By Morgana)

The ceremony for the Duchess Morgana of Tintangel to reaffirm her loyalty to her King Mordred of Camelot was attended by a large number of the Lords and Ladies of Haven. The ceremony was short yet tasteful and there was feasting and dancing held afterwards. The Ladies Ilayne and Evangeline spent the evening dancing away impressing the Knights of Camelot with their grace and beauty. Mordecai conversed with the King and Scarlett, while was disgruntled with the required attire, decided to conduct a drinking competition which she won handily. Dominic opted to forego the ceremony and investigate a secret door which led to the home of Vinta Bayle, the last known companion of his father Prince Caine.

Once back in Haven, the group decided to travel to the Golden Circle Kingdom of Kashfa so that Dominic could traverse the broken Pattern and gain some portion of its shadow walking powers. From there the plan was to acquire a ship and set sail for the waters above Rebma. Ilayne was then to descend into Rebma alone, and walk the Pattern there somehow avoiding drowning or being overcome by the pressure in the depths of the ocean on the way down.

The first part of the plan started out well, as the group successfully made it to Kashfa after acquiring vast amounts of gold and riches. Once there the group pretended to be merchants who had been travelling the Golden Circle, led by the stunning yet flamboyantly dressed Dominic. The cousins threw a lavish party sure to catch the eye of the nobility and thereby receive an invitation to a party at the castle. The party was a wild success and the newly arrived merchants were invited to the castle by none other than Prince Luke himself.

The following day, after a successful boar hunt, they traveled to the castle for the party after which they hoped to get Dominic down to the Pattern room. This party, while fun, was less of a success as Prince Luke became very suspicious and inquisitive of the group, especially after a strange conversation while dancing with Scarlett. Mordecai caught the eye of the Queen of Kashfa a beautiful woman named Jasra and left the party with her. After several hours of vigorous lovemaking it was clear to the Queen that these were no ordinary merchants.

Meanwhile, having seen no sign of Mordecai for the last several hours, the rest of the party decided to continue with the plan and get Dominic to the Pattern room. Unfortunately the plan was delayed while Dominic was interrogated by the Prince who was hoping to poke a hole in the merchant disguise. However, he let Dominic return to his room and from there the group proceeded cautiously down to the lower levels of the castle.

Things were proceeding well, until the group reached a guard station. The guards were quickly dispatched but unfortunately due to a miscommunication one was killed in the process. Abandoning all attempts at subtlety the group dashed to the Pattern room only to find that the doorway had been bricked over. Morgana efficiently removed the problem of the bricks and then quickly re-bricked the doorway to give Dominic a bit more time to walk the Pattern.

The group watched as Dominic traversed the broken Pattern amidst showers of sparks, walking carefully in between the lines. Suddenly the door exploded chunks of brick flying in all directions. In the doorway stood Prince Luke of Kashfa also known as Rinaldo son of Brand. Thankfully, due to the quick-thinking of Evangeline, a fight was avoided and an arrangement was made that the King of Begma would have found unfavorable in the extreme. However, in exchange for this service, Rinaldo offered the support of the army of Kashfa for when the cousins decided to recapture Amber. Mordecai and the Queen joined them and the group from Haven along with their new allies watched Dominic finish walking the broken Pattern and then disappear.

The Pattern
Session 4 - (By Game Master)

The heirs of Amber made their way to the golden city to reclaim their birthright. Entering through the tunnels they made there way to the pattern. Prince Bleys of Amber guarded the door to the pattern while they traversed it. Upon reaching the center they asked the pattern to take them to Ilayne, whom had been imprisoned.

Meanwhile in a place known as Prydain, Prince Arawn mulled over what to do with his captive Amberite who called herself Ilayne and his rebellious daughter. Unfortunately, the decision of what to do with Ilayne was taken from him when she was rescued by Arawn’s so Vash. Of course Vash wasn’t trying to rescue Ilayne but rather his beloved sister. But lets not get caught up on the details.

After an angry and unproductive conversation as well as a brief run from the primal chaos Vash left to slow his father’s vengeance Ilayne and Vash went to chaos, to take shelter at House Hendrake. Determining that Ilayne had no idea what sort of reception she would recieve at that house, and remembering that as a child of Amber being caught with her in house Hendrake could end in Vash’s death he opted not to go there and instead brought Ilayne to a nice, safe doorless room to brainstorm what to do next.

This coincided quite nicely with the arrival of Mordecai and the other Amberites to rescue her. The subsequent conversation was quite awkward for Vash, as well as the Amberites who had arrived in a room they couldn’t get out of. Luckily, nobody was killed and everyone escaped through Vash’s trumps.

Unfortunately, Bleys’ being involved on the trumps summoned the Eidolon. Bleys left the group in the hopes it would follow him and this may have been the case. But it also followed the group dispatching ghostly mounted soldiers that chased them through shadow. The soldiers were defeated and the Eidolon itself began to manifest, but through the intervention of Evangeline’s mentor they successfully escaped.

It is important to note that not all of the Amberites from Haven chose to attempt to rescue Ilayne. Scarlet returned to Haven to recover and Morgana asked the pattern to take her to Tamiina. The pattern didn’t have to send Morgana far for Tamiina was imprisoned in the dungeons of Amber. Morgana successfully opened the door to the cell and for good measure rescued her father Julian as well, escaping through the same tunnels through which they’d infiltrated Amber.

Everyone successfully returned to Amber, alive and uncaptured. With the exception of Bleys who for all anyone knows is still fleeing the Eidolon. Vash successfully convinced everyone that perhaps his sister Naomi should not be killed out of hand. A quick visit to Merlin found him friendly, but unwilling to commit to actions against Chaos.

One Door Remains
Session 3 (By Morgana)

The resilient Dominic lay recovering from his chest wound in the hospital bed on Princess Floramelle’s world while the rest of our intrepid heroes continued the search for their remaining cousins. Only two doors were left; one supposedly corresponding to the pendant in Naomi’s possession, and the other to an unknown world. The lovely Morgana, having the best head for fashion out of the group, offered to scout out the situation to determine the appropriate disguises. She encountered an army of large rats in an otherwise vacant city before coming back to inform her noble cousins. It was decided that they would go as they were; dressed in whatever was most comfortable and accompanied by a plentiful assortment of weapons…just in case.

No giant rats were seen as the group made their way bravely through the skyscraper down to the ground floor. The rats were perhaps held at bay by the flaming torch held aloft by the intelligent Evangeline. No matter what world one comes from, it seems to be a generally accepted principle that rats are rather flammable and therefore do not like fire.

The ladies provided excellent cover as the handsome men left the building to investigate the sounds of a vehicle moving speedily through the streets. The men noticed a small group of people, the first signs of life in the abandoned city. But alas, when they approached the humans, it was to discover that they were not alive at all. In fact, it appeared that they were the dead risen again and they hungered to feast on the flesh of our heroes. The undead villains were soundly trounced and the group once again proceeded cautiously onward, toward the sounds of the vehicle and fighting in the distance.

As they made their way through the city, they narrowly missed being spotted by an enormous fleshy monstrosity; an undead abomination, that was heading in the same direction. Following behind the behemoth they arrived at their destination: three large vehicles, one of which was overturned, and a small band of humans fighting against a horde of undead foes.

Our heroes valiantly launched themselves into the fray, selflessly risking their lives to save the small band of survivors. Mordecai’s blade sang as it opened the heavens, calling forth lightening and smiting the enemy. Kisten and Ilayne cleaved and tore their way through to the survivors, narrowly avoiding the surges of lightening. Morgana picked off as many as she could with her silver arrows as Evangeline unleashed the power of her blaster on the abomination, melting not only the foe but a good portion of the surrounding buildings.

As the haze of battle cleared, a new cousin was discovered. The beautiful Scarlet. The cousins quickly made their way back to the door and safety, barely escaping a fresh wave of undead monsters.

Once back in the safety of Haven, it was discovered that Dominic had grown tired of the restrictive confines of his sick bed. He had stubbornly refused the aid of the doctors and determined that he would much prefer to rest in his own bed in Haven than alone in the hospital. He conquered stair after stair, heaving himself from his hospital room on the seventh floor, down to the storage rooms, and then up seven more flights of stairs to reach the main floor of Haven. Such determination is truly inspiring.

As our heroes took a short rest, Scarlet acquainted herself with her surroundings and several others resumed important research in the library. Morgana decided to make a short trip back to her world to obtain a loyal band of servants for haven, but was intercepted by some of her king’s knights. They politely escorted her to the King whom she proceeded to dazzle with her feminine wiles as he in turn seduced her.

Mordecai, Scarlet, and Evangeline, in search of Morgana who had been gone longer than anticipated, enjoyed the hospitality of his majesty. There was feasting, musicians, and jugglers in abundance and the evening culminated in an impressive display of strength and skill as Mordecai and Sir Lancelot sparred in a friendly bout.

All except Morgana returned to Haven to discover Ilayne and Edwin had been attacked by a Chaos lord and Ilayne kidnapped. A note was sent immediately to Morgana who agreed to return to Albion to visit the King and then hastily made her way back to Haven. It was decided that contacting Ilayne’s father Prince Bleys, might be the best way of extracting her from the clutches of her captors. The group hurried to Princess Floramelle’s and were able to bring Bleys to their location through the use of Floramelle’s magic cards.

If only they had a card of Ilayne and could do the same, but alas it is not so. Ilayne’s fate remains uncertain, but not for long as our heroes quickly determine that their next step is to gain the ability to freely traverse the worlds, so that they may find Ilayne and bring her safely home…

Things Begin in Earnest
Session 2 - (By Mordecai)

With our initial explorations and shocks out of the way, we of Haven and Amber sought to become more productive. To that end we had many tasks we set before ourselves. Check on the status of Illayne’s people. Meet with Florimel. Seek out our cousins behind the doors that had not yet delivered us another member, and see why they were delayed.

It was expected that the hardest and most dangerous of these tasks would be the trek to Ilayne’s demon-infested world. Instead, it was by far the least difficult, though there was a little danger. Our journey from the door to Illayne’s refugee city saw contact with small demons but there was no action to speak of. Once we arrived, we were well received by those refugees, and most of the group busied themselves with sightseeing of one kind or another while Ilayne spoke with the leader of the remnant there.

Just as the wait for Ilayne was becoming worrisome, one of our guards approached us, having courageously essayed the stair and demon ruin. There had been some kind of problem, Naomi had infiltrated Haven with Ilayne, and Haven no longer recognized Ilayne as friendly.

At this time, exactly what the right of the tale is, is not commonly known. Ilayne was cursed with demonic features, but even after those were gone, Haven reacted against her. We found some information that allowed us to make an exception for the woman, by publicly declaring that we considered her one of us, but it was overall an uncomfortable and divisive experience.

From there we took a trip to visit Florimel, this time without incident, and much knowledge was gleaned there. It would be too much to write here, and in any case, those that come after will not consider what we learned to be any special wisdom. At this time, however, it was essential learning that we prized highly. We talked long with Florimel, and thanked her profusely as we quit her house to return to Haven, feeling fortified with new purpose.

A task had taken shape, been given priority. We must attempt to essay one of the Patterns, be it in Amber, or Rebma, or in a place called Kashfa. It was I, Mordecai, who suggested that we make the attempt in Amber if at all possible, because of the reconnaissance we would gain at the same time, and because it would put our enemy off-balance.

Such a thing could only be attempted once, for it will rely on surprise to succeed. Therefore our more immediate task was to gather the other cousins from their worlds, or ascertain their fate. Having no way to know who would be behind which door, we chose at random, and the first place we entered in was a place gone mad about colors. We turned the tide in a decisive battle in favor of a purple faction over a green one, and the purple leader was so grateful that he helped us find our cousin there, Ivy. Extracting her from that bizzare place was so easy that we were dangerously overconfident for the second trip.

A world of floating Islands, ships that flew between them, but otherwise normal enough, was the next place found. For those of us from normal worlds it seemed more disconcerting to have these strange elements standing side-by-side with the familiar, than to have a whole world gone mad like the Castle of Colours. Here we had some difficulty making our search, and when we finally located our cousin, Kisten, he was under attack by Chaos forces.

Unfortunately, there was no easy way to prove we were not with the attackers, and the situation escalated to one of violence. Kisten was shot by Domanic, Domanic near-fatally shot by Kisten. Luckily, Domanic recovered of his injuries and Kisten agreed to come to Haven, once he was given a guarantee of safety by myself, Mordecai.

Thus ends another chapter in the more and more tumultuous lives of the youths of Amber. We rest now, gathering our strength before we seek out the last of our brethren.

Welcome to Haven
Session 1 - (By Mordecai)

There may be many interpretations of what began here in the future, written by those who come after us, if we are victorious. If we are not, then we will no doubt be slandered much more openly by our enemies, and their descendants. I have never been one for dressing up events to please a crowd; in fact, it has been one of my great vexations in my long life.

This is a true account of the rebirth of Haven, in the Year of Our Lord 1512. What time they may reckon here in Haven, or in the place called Amber, we do not know. There are many things we do not know, but some we do. Here are the facts.

I am Mordecai. At times I have been Mordecai Eberhardt, at others Mordecai the Wolf, I was known as the Black Jackal of the Belfir Pass. For many years now, simply Mordecai has been sufficient. Those who’s tales merge with mine at the re-discovery of Haven are Ilayne, a boyish woman who’s world cruelly treated her, but who has surprising courage for one of her gender. Evangeline, another outcast, a survivor, who has memories of the true Earth but has them muddied by her long exile. Morgana, yet a third lady, a beautiful woman of a backwater court or some place enchanted, who’s keen mind delights in all the modern things she sees about her. And then Dominic, a good, fighting man who is a bit rough, perhaps, but seems to have suffered a fall in his status from enemies of his family, so that attitude can hardly be faulted.

It was the five of us who came to the place called Haven. Drawn to it by people we had trusted, people who should have been long dead. Each of us bore the sign of Haven, and it was both our guide to the place, and our key to open it. There we discovered many things. Marvels of magic designed to serve and outfit us. A great palace of a place, but empty, forsaken. And many documents, including a letter that told us we were all of one blood. Nobles, of a place called Amber. Hidden away, each of us, so that we might not suffer at the hands of our family’s enemies, nor be used against our sires as they fought.

The news was very grim. It seems that Amber has fallen, succumbed to attack in a war against some kind of force called Chaos. Our family may be entirely dead, save for one lone woman, hiding all this time. If anything is to be saved, it is for us to save it. Most telling of all that there is no support from the outside was the Crown and Scepter of Amber, left for us. No king would leave such behind for so long, so it must be that this King Eric cannot regain it. The third item of Kingship, a great ruby, is lost, no doubt pillaged by some agent of Amber’s enemies.

There is much that is confusing. This Haven leads to many places, worlds of magic or other strangeness. We essayed a journey to meet our hidden relative, and found the natives of that place hostile in the extreme, and armed with wondrous guns of exceptional craftsmanship. Regrettably, we were forced to withdraw. I think perhaps Dominic and I could have essayed the journey, but for the sake of the ladies it was best not to press the issue.

Returning to Haven to tend our wounds, we were assaulted yet again. This time Demons, true, horrific demons from hell, had somehow breached the door from whence came Elaine, without aid of key or guide. We shall have to discover how they managed that trick, and deny it to them. The demons were repelled, and Ilayne was distraught over the fate of her people. Sadly, we could not at that time engage any more of their forces. The demons were brutal and vile, having to be killed several times before they would finally die, and we were too wounded after both our battles to continue.

For the sake of Ilayne, we have agreed not to destroy the door to her overthrown world, but for now the door is barred and we wait. There is tension among us, a testing of our new companionship, but there is camaraderie too. Trust is growing, all the signs are auspicious that we shall join together, and conquer our foes.

Thus began Haven. Thus it rises. God willing, this is the first in a series of tales of how the Chaos was beaten down, Amber reclaimed, and how lost children regained their inheritance.


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