(Two logs sketchily combined here. Mea Culpa. Some minor retconning to match up timelines.)
Vialle’s destination shadow is a Renaissancesque world with lots of magic. They name it Amalfi after the first town they come to. Random has acquired saddle bags full of unmarked gold ingots along the way. V&R rent a villa and V, LR and Will magic up defenses. The local Number One wizard objects to the drain on the ley line (or to their existence) with a cloud of carnivorous locusts; he and his do not survive the mistake. Other local wizards are extremely cooperative after that.
Gaius and Aula move to the city with the best artists.
Little Red goes north and takes a castle for a base, eliminating the nasty sorcerer-Graf there in the process. (Vialle had requested LR confine his experiments to Bad People.)
William finds a nice town fore his work.
Aula and Gaius — see Gaius’ post.
Lisette catches up on her Trump making, starting with Vialle. Then Bel Trumps in and they take an extended vacation. Lisette wants to get married. Bel tells her that Empress is a job and a religious post… the populace would expect the God-Emperor’s wife to be a goddess as well. And being a deity means one is affected by the expectations and desires of his or her worshippers. Lisette is willing to accept the burden. They’ll have to design he cult carefully.
Little Red starts by experimenting with ley lines and finds he can shift one, slowly, by moving a lot of ghosts around. Then he investigates the details of how creating/finding a new shadow: the walk towards it sets up process in the Tree so that when one takes the final step it the details (heavily influenced by nearby shadows) crystallize into reality. Then LR starts the slow process of discovering the art and science of personality alteration by trial and error, one Bad Person at a time. As most lower class Bad People are executed pdq he’s perforce mostly preying on the upper classes where they are not uncommon. After a time the local region is starting to become a better place to live. People come to him from all around to tell him about their own oppressors. The work proceeds. Two years in, he’s got it. Sadly, Pattern based abilities, including Trump, do not survive being gemmed. [FYI, Big Red’s Pattern powers did not survive the loss of his Pattern-ghost body. He could walk one again but they aren’t really designed to affect the Otherworld so he has other priorities.]
William designs, makes, redesigns & improves a wide variety of useful amulets and gadgets. He manages to replicate the ‘Rebma effect’ that protects against drowning, water pressure, cold and pruniness. He starts work on designing a jhereg (Brust’s work is a shadow of Will’s…). Will is pleased with the result.
Moire arrives for a nice, month-long vacation. They have a fine time wining, dining, hunting, gambling… William learns that Moire’s daughter Ellonwy wants a dog. He designs one that combines the best physical features of canines and otters. The only awkward thing is that William would like to have some sort of formal position in Tir fo Thune. TfT does not have prince-consorts in its lexicon. Any child a queen has is, obviously, hers so legitimacy is not a even a native concept. TfTans are used to the ‘position’ of ‘guy (usually) the Queen is banging’. Moire can give him a military or a consulting position…
Vialle has occasional bad days
- the others can feel it many miles away.
William finishes and leaves first. He visits the Pattern Formally Mastered By Vall and finds a Vall-spawn male named Harald there studying Fiona’s posted offer and Trump monolith. William recruits him. Another, female Valler watches from a comfortable distance and later talks, at a distance. She’s Tevya (the admiral who got away) and informs William that she has no vendetta against Amber or Tir fo Thune or Bel. Not a joiner. She prefers to find her own fortune, thank you very much.
Lisette hits eight months plus and Trumps to Earth. Every possible comfort is arranged, every contingency covered. The elementals of Earth are ecstatic.
Little Red eventually (two years and a couple of weeks in) takes the time to interrogate the Vall spawn he gemmed in Amber. The primary useful intelligence is that Bleys was captured. Vall had Bleys’ arms and legs removed and the stumps sealed. They studied Bleys’ Trumps and worked out how to jam them. A carrying case was made up with Bleys’, Fiona’s and Brand’s Trumps affixed along with magical artifacts to block all three and magical batteries to run them. Bleys was watered, fed and hosed off irregularly. Bleys and his case were probably just abandoned when Vall died. Well, shit.
LR Trumps his father, Brand. Brand puts his interest in this gemming stuff on hold. Bleys is still jammed, or at least. Fiona’s brought in. She’s jammed. LR’s technique, even backed by dad and auntie, is insufficient… Brand is not fully in control of his rage and Fi is barely holding it together. LR consults Lisette, an uninvolved Trump Artist. Lis says they couldn’t have her Trump. She comes to them (very pregnant), accompanied by Bel. She breaks through and Brand pulls Bleys — emaciated, dehydrated, comatose — through. After mystic first aid, Fiona has to leave to vent. Lisette leaves. LR and Brand take Bleys to Shadeeza. Fiona joins them. Bleys recovers enough to talk. LR offers to gem him, then take him to the Otherworld for a new body like Big Red. Bleys declines. Fiona leads them on the Starry Path to the Otherworld. LR Trumps BR. Night shows up. Arrangements are made: a expert Maker healer, Kilisandra, plants Bleys, head out, in a mound near the Tree; limb regeneration is a standard procedure. Fi and Brand arrange a pavilion and trade off shifts watching Bleys.
Lisette, back on Earth, is shocked by by the death of Martin, who attacked Girard — and whom Girard killed in turn. No trump fuckery, no magic fuckery, and we can’t gem or speak with dead anybody because all the souls have departed. This is because of a new enchantment on Martin’s sword, which was placed in the last couple of days. Girard reports that when he slugged Martin, it ripped loose some of the shapeshifter-patches inside him, and when he broke Martin’s neck, he passed out. We had to interrogate him by mental contact because he hadn’t come to.
Girard is transfered to Shadizar to recover.
Tracing Martin’s sword, we find the original in a pool of lava that was maintained Oberon-style. There’s something we’re missing . . .
And, of course, all Our Heroes practiced their new Drought of Inspiration-augmented powers and abilities.