In this chapter, our ‘intrepid heroes’ or ‘audacious villains’ (the viewpoint is of course, up to interpretation), are exposed to many a new place, and in some cases a new face or two. Or faces belonging to those once thought dead.
On the one end of the universe, Ilayne, freshly returned from her traitorous flight from Amber, was awarded one of Hendrake’s three duchies, the duchy of a Thousand Spires, which while as imposing of a name it may have, was in very ill repair. In an effort to distract herself, it was decided that the land would undergo some serious renovations. Taking Mendar, son of Condrad, former High Lord of Hendrake (perhaps this was a passive lash at Gabriel, for not properly recognizing her great feat, but that of course, is simply speculation), the newly appointed duchess dove headlong into renewing demon treaties and imposing heavy levies.
Elsewhere, on the other end of the universe, it is lamented across shadow, the morning that the royalty of Amber (and numerous less important individuals) were awoken to the incessant howling of wolves. It was later discovered that they were not just any ordinary, run-of-the-woods wolves, but werewolves dredged up from the depths of Amber’s tunnels, and positioned in Ilayne’s room. It is rumored that there were over a dozen of them, though again this is simply speculation, as no one was quite willing to open the door and get a head count.
After being rudely awoken, Amber’s finest attempted to meet their day with as much vigor as one can muster after not getting a proper night’s rest.
The lady Morgana attended breakfast with her closest companion, lady Tamiina, only to disappear upon a trump to her sister Ivy, in an attempt to rescue her, Julian and Martin from a treacherous battle. The opposing sides consisted of Amberlash, and what appeared to be the forces of Caine. And through the dragons, vicious magic, gravity-defying blood, and a mystic anti-trump barrier, Tamiina and Evangeline successfully pulled the Amberites from the fight, their mental strength second to none. And, shortly after, following the same procedure, Naomi too was rescued from where the Eidolon had dropped her into shadow.
While breakfast wound up being a stressful affair for some, others finished the most important meal of the day in peace. But the excitement spared none.
Mordecai, shortly after finishing his own meal, received word from the Harlequin that perhaps the Jewel was not so far gone. In a flash, with only a word to a guard and a signet ring shipped to Edwyn, his Majesty departed, bringing with him the princess Vivian to a sight never before seen, unless of course you were Dominic, who was found at the site of Corwin’s Pattern, tied up and overseen by the Harlequin (Mirelle) herself.
Mordecai emerged in a place called Bright, ruled by Dworkin and Bennedict. With an investigation in order, Mirelle was left in the city while Vivian and Mordecai fled bright to prince Eric of Amber. There it was learned that Random had sided with Eric against Dworkin and Bennedict, whom were at war over the Jewel of Judgement, which was discovered to be in Random’s possession.
In Amber, in Mordecai’s absence, Julian and Ivy held a meeting with Vya of house Channicut, in an attempt to assure them of their safety while in Amber, as her dear father, Jenroh, had still not awoken from whatever poison he was afflicted with.
And, on yet another sidenote, Grayson revisited the kingdom of Dedenril, finding quickly that perhaps Lars was a poor choice as a Regent. In addition to Grayson’s Lars problem, Jasra and the empire of Kashfa were only barely avoiding direct assault to the city, having successfully eliminated much of the naval forces. With sorcery infused catapult shots, one of Dedenril’s walls was knocked down, Grayson still standing atop it, perhaps a personal score for the Lady Jasra. Speculation, of course.
Grayson disappeared into shadow shortly afterward. His retaliation? The recruitment of an army of fanatical ratfolk, who served the shepherd of death and the great Hunger. Whether to be the shepherd of such things is better than being the shepherd of sheep is still under speculation.