25 March 2009


What an eventful week. First that sense of power, of being; of Life. That was what walking the pattern gave me in the immediacy, but now it leaves me doubting - hurt and bemused, broken and remade and even now, having supposedly proven myself "real" by completing that walk, it leaves me feeling a fake. Angry, alone and in over my head - and indeed everyone else is too if things really are as they appear.

To cut a long story short dear reader, in case the whole tale does not interest you, I suspect that I am... someone else, yet not entirely; it is complicated, as is everything else around here, it seems. From what I can glean from Fiona, amongst others, it appears that what gave me power, what made me "real" was not parentage as it was for all other Amberites I have met

But to not rush off too far ahead - that is just the latest and greatest of the weird and disturbing events to befall me. The first happened whilst wandering directionless through shadow (I had never shifted before) on the way back from Caercorran. I had somehow come to be in Avernus - I later learned that shadow has history; oh how fate mocks the unknowing - when I was assaulted by cat-like creatures with 4 arms an very, very, nasty blades. I had made the mistake of travelling unarmed (one I shall certainly not repeat), such was the haste of my decision to walk the pattern and the blur of events since then and though I fought hard, I was soon in a less than survivable condition - impaled on a barbed and serrated blade with a dead creature on my back and a dying one in my arms. It was thus Rowland and Malice came across me. I fainted soon after, and when I next remember having consciousness I was in a strange box-like room where everything was white and funny boxes made bleeping noises and connected to me by wires. Then Keats resolved into view - that bastard brother of mine has only tried to outdo me again.

It seemed he had taken offense to my message and sought out another who held a grudge - the demon Wyrdsworth felt jilted, apparently, with my having been to Amber. And so he had dealt my soul into Keats' filthy hands, and had lifted him up far beyond anything that he offered me. It makes me choke and spit to think of it, but somehow the snivelling, conniving bastard sibling of mine finally had what he had always wanted, I was at his mercy, trapped in his mind and ripe for... well, empty threats so far. He wouldn't, or couldn't, act there and then. Instead he delivered a cryptic warning - to me, my companions, and to Amber itself. All of this in some... nightmarish vision of a place. I only escaped through Rowland's intervention, and sooner or later this constant failure and reliance on him must end. It is unseemly and disgraceful.

From there we walked shadow; I had recovered well but not fully from the impaling and they wanted me to rest. We ended up in a shadow of Rowland's choosing, which had but one interesting feature: a painting of the woman in white who appeared on the Trump that seemed to link us three. It was of her, on a throne, and... it was missing something. When I put my eye to it, and let my pen wander instinctively, it appeared as though it had once also shown a boy playing with a crown, so I drew him in. Rowland then tried to Trump using the painting, and knocked himself unconscious in the act; I had drawn Rowland as a child, the woman in white thus revealed as his mother. Cassandra.

There was more to that, but it was uninteresting. We struggled for a plan, but Malice wanted to go back to Avernus to look for her father. As with everything else this week, it turned out badly. Werewolves, long drops and being forced into further deals with the devil. Further exposition on that may be unwise.

But that is of nothing to compare with the revelation that followed. Rowland and I rescued Bleys - an elder, missing for years - from a sacrificial altar the wolves had set up; Malice had been captured too, but seemed to have thrown in with the blasted creatures and their head... Brand, her father. Rowland was livid - they argued - then as things were looking very hairy the whole camp disappeared.

With nowhere else to turn, we managed to find horses and ride for Amber - and let me tell you I do not wish to Hellride again anytime soon - to find King Random had "gone on holiday" and that Fiona was in charge for now. Apparently Random had gotten worried once it emerged Rowland was Eric's son, but this was as nothing compared to the threat that Brand apparently posed. I did not know my history then, but now...

Well, he was supposed to be gone, apparently, though not everyone was surprised by his return. I learned from Fiona that the memories I recalled whilst walking the pattern were not my own - they were Brand's. I had not done it before, and perhaps should never have done so at all, though given what I was told before I did, were that true would I still be here?

It then emerged that when Brand was toppled into the abyss someone - Fiona, would be my guess - stole aspects of his being and hid it somewhere, for what has returned is not whole. This, plus the memories point to me as a vessel, a less than charming thought which supposedly puts my survival in Fiona's best interests... and is there anywhere less safe to be, if the mutterings of the other elders are to be believed?

As to what I do now... I have not the faintest clue.

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