Amber: Something Wicked

Session 11 (3 Mar)

the usual suspects…

Will continues to sex Moire, he aquires a new set of trumps…calls for backup! calls
Little Red

Little Red is in Rema, raising earth elementals for guards. Will invites LR to come to an interigation of some child of vall’s…he delays for 3 hours.

Will calls Gaius Furious instead, who decides to quit playing with the rebellion and go abuse vall’s people. He trumps to where Will is in a shadow, where there was a major military battle.
Gaius gets the eyeball for his uniform (roman undress), and meets General Johann Ervin.

Will also calls Lisette to come and interview the Child of Vall. She WAS a bit busy with Bel, but decides to give the poor old man a break, she has to find her clothes so signs off to go get cleaned up and dressed.

Little Red calls Eric since he has the only copy of Will’s Trump, Eric tells him he will call back shortly, then signs off. calls back a bit later, and Eric hands back LR’s trump set that he took earlier. Then LR calls Will to get together with the party, trumps through.

Moire pulls the magic negating headband off Ilrunu (valls kid), who can then concentrate. and questions begin…she tells everything she knows. Lots of info on Vall’s forces, personnel, strengths and (non)weaknesses. LR REALLY wants to stick her (or someone!) in a gem…
lots of discussion of the “blow up” trumps spell….and defense against..

We find out about a supply dump a couple shadow’s away, a raid is planned. The party takes Gen. Ervin, and Moire along to the shadow, the old Shadow Paths are broken, tropical port, one ship steaming away…stopped by Lisette with probability control. We detect a nuke in the port (with a spell) and one on one of the 5 other ships in port. Party then goes after the fleeing cargo ships, one by one, jumping from one to the next.
Ships are captured and Shifted to /German/ ports and short intraworld Shadow Paths to /Leipzig/ and Ervin’s army.

Plans for making an assault on a Battle Node of Val’s ensues, Headin in on a yacht, air elemental spies. Moire is “convinced” to not go along, since her servants are about a second from outright rebellion.
General Ervin decides to not tag along, so the party starts following the chain of shadow paths. Bypassing the minor ports and nodes…

We find the major node, and send in air elementals to scout, they do… then 50 of the enemy’s air elementals come and check on us…we flee after getting an idea of how the place is set up, may have to come back later. Debate ensues as to what we do next.

Will calls Moire about assaulting a magic fortress. She says don’t… Magical defenses, like high tech ones, are best cheaped with Pattern attacks.

We sneak in on the far side of the shadow world, check to see if Bleys was on the shadow (no), then hang spells and conjure elementals and prepare to send in bad vibes at the base. We sneak close, camoflage ourselves with glamours, don goggles enchanted for magical sight, deploy elementals, mind link (surface impressions) by elemental link and pull up easy chairs and start thinking bad thoughts at the base to muck up the whole place…. The goggles let everyone see what’s working or not. We free a huge fire elemental who goes ape doodoo, then the chant of freedom is added in which frees some of the the huge earth elementals supporting the whole base … we feel 3 people using Pattern to get away or outside. (one dies), Gaius shoots one with a blunt arrow, which was a big bat-winged guy. He goes down but doesnt die. Air elementals go after him too, then Gaius and Will take him down with arrows, and LR puts him in a gem. Then we all go after the one that got away,

Gaius tracks the escapee and everyone else follows, he has shapechanged to bird form and is flying just over the treetops through heavily forested shadows — hard do see. He leads us on a wild chase thru shadow before we bring him down. And he gets gemmed too.
We get chased out of the next few shadows by huge arachnids, till we set some huge wasps on the spiders, then we trump away on Lisette’s arachnaphobia… we then go back to the shadow we wrecked the base at and search around a bit for info but everything is ground to dust, burned or buried under megatonnes of rock.

The Crew breaks up for a couple days for R&R, Will heads to Rebma for some fish, Lisette heads off to be De-briefed by Bel, Little Red heads to Earth to catch up with Brand for shadow path training, Gaius heads to Rema for some R&R and to pester his sister for a trump closet.

Will chats with Llewella and Moire about some shadow paths being made, then gets drafted to train some newbs about shadow walking. He gets his shadow paths made by Llewella, which takes a day, then heads back to Rebma. [The paths connect Ervin’s World to the Duke Andred’s World.]

Gaius heads home to bug his sister, who kicks his kneecap. She is frazzled and wants more cocaine from earth. She hasn’t slept in days and coke helps her concentrate.He chats with mom about sis’s health and plots to head out with his sister on a “health” retreat, wolf style. (and as little brother to run her butt off….) playing wolf for a couple days.

Lisette goes and De-pants Bel, pumps him for information. Exchange views on Val’s pattern location, and Val’s mobility and attitudes. She brings Bel up to speed on whats been happening, and what we have been up to. Bel advises that Moire and Julian should exchange info about Pattern Mastery as they’re unlikely to come, hat in hand, to him. Bel later pours her into bed for a week or so of rest. [Vall’s Pattern is in a blasted section of a ruined world. His capitol is wherever he hangs his sword. Bleys is probably with him, rendered incapable of escape by nasty, brutal methods. Vall’s Pattern has been twisted: they have the Thrall Circles effect instead of probability tricks and are both immune to and incapable of Blood Curses.]

Little Red and Brand head out to one of Brand’s hideouts… personal trump deck appears in his pocket, greeted there by big green stripey tigers (like in Arden), in a Burmese looking area. Big palace. Begins training LR on Shadow Paths. Chats with him about returning to his birth shadow, they contact Big Red and then they head there to Recon. In armor. Find the place but it’s been changed [burned, smashed], then they meet a HUGE (3x) hippo, Dances-on-Foes, a Lord of the River who reeks of magic. Who Brand greets and chats with, via trained elemental. Leads the group to a safe place where a few of LR and BR’s relatives are now living. Creates a party atmosphere in the village, meets a bunch of relatives gathered from up-river and hears about something called the “sisterhood” which their mothers were members of. Alot of discussions of the area and local politics… Brand is attacked by Assasins from Yagamar, who are killed by LR and BR. Cross-shadow message drop found and broken. Captive indicates that the Flayer will have the Reds’ families killed. The Reds are concerned. Brand suggests that they either relocate the brothers’ relatives to another world or, if they’re interested, make it theirs. Or one of theirs. LR wants it, BR is happy in the Otherworld and neither thinks sharing is a good idea in the long run. [Yagamar/the Manskinner had the city burned down shortly after abducting the Reds’ mothers. Some of their family members had dreams of doom and about half of them fled the city for a few days, just in case, and survived. So each of the Reds has 20 – 30 cousins, uncles, aunts, etc.] [The Sisterhood is an all-female guild of sorceresses, conjurers and such. They get along better with the River Lords than the male groups do. ]

LR takes over the Shadow as God, gets a kind of disney moment, with big spider things rubbing on him and scary critters gamboling about. The big Hippo Lords are not so happy but LR is willing to work with them, to keep them complacent. (many are collectors of exotic items like books, carvings, music… and all enjoy varying their river-weed based diet.)
LR closes any uncontolled access points from shadow, naturally occuring breaks that Yagamar could use , or sets the giant spider things to guarding those points, hungry giant spider thingies. [The concepts of ‘shifts’ and ‘relief’ are set into the arachnids’ minds. They’re not too bright.]

Lots of parties are going on, and dancing, drumming, singing, much Sex for LR, and BR, AND Brand. [Brand contributes food from his palace. A big party would wipe the locals out.]

Will is quite pleased with his new shadow paths, Gen Ervin suggests Will do SOMETHING about the nomads before someone kills them. The Mammoth Riders are slaves to Will now, and just want to go home! William will have to set them up a place to homestead, and wants them to fight for him if he needs them later, to which they agree. He takes them to a close shadow to Duke Andred’s shadow, so he can find them again.

Gaius and his sister spend a couple days running thru the woods and de-coking her heiny, later back in the capitol he briefs his mom on whats been going on, they talk strategy if Rema gets attacked. Practice sending armies thru trumps as an exercise… Gaius trumps Random and requests a trip to Amber, he chats with Random and tells about the Dreams of Luna/Inanna, then offers to fill in Random AND Vialle, then pleads fatigue and goes to find Grace and hit that hard.

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Session Ten/Will's solo: Shopping

Queen Moire dragged William off to her palace in Shadow Danyel and they shagged their brains out. And talked, dined, and otherwise amused themselves for a couple of days. In Danyel, as in most of Moire’s real estate in shadow, the palace was half underwater, half above. (The founder of the royal line, great-great-x-grandpa, a sea god, had liked the live underwater eating raw fish shit and begat/made a large number of daughters to share in it and entertain him. Perv.)

Moire put forward the proposition that they combine Pattern 101 for her with army acquisition for him. She was going to need a better understanding of what her soon-to-be Pattern initiate subordinates could and could not do. Moire also wanted to try to find out what a Pattern Master could do differently from a normal Pattern initiate. Will accepted and off they went on horseback with 30 royal bodyguards and an extremely modest assortment (by royal standards) of camping gear, armed to the teeth.

William found Moire to be a very talented student. She quickly mastered all of Will’s Pattern tricks and they could then confine their shadowshifting to fast-time worlds. Moire got in some shopping in an Earthlike shadow — a new experience since queens (she said) have things brought to them or made for them.

For his first army Will went looking for an analog of longbow-dominated English armies of the Hundred Years War. Mostly professional, experienced, adaptable and so on. Will impersonated a divine messenger of some sort, proved he wasn’t a demon — unharmed by holy water or signs — and shifted a /British/ army led by one Duke Andred away from overwelming ‘Frog’ /French/ forces. Andred was less than thrilled (why me o lord?) until Will and Moire acquired and forked over a substantial amount of gold coinage. Andred’s army is on retainer.

For their second army Moire suggested they find something already used to fighting something like Vall’s forces. They started shifting and found… an army of WW2 analog mixed European forces, nearly 200,000 strong versus an army of Vall’s forces about 800,000 strong, mostly thralls. They had to watch. Vall’s forces had taken out most of the locals’ ammo dumps and artillery and aircraft, but lost nearly all their usual air support (wyverns and such) and were winning by sheer numbers. The Local commander was very, very good and involved in a fighting retreat through a small city and westward. The thrall-effect felt like a twisted version of probability manipulation (which the Vallites were not using at all) and had three point sources — Vallspawn. Two other vallspawn were acting as battle commander and lieutenant.

Either the shadowshifting that got W&M&Co there or the magic they used to view the battle attracted attention. Several hundred thralls dropped dead, sacrificed for a surge of Mantle of Power type energy, which washed over the rubberneckers and burnt their Trumps up. Will and Moire got away with some minor burns. Moire was Royally ticked: Llewella was going to give her a ton of shit about getting 40-odd Trumps destroyed. “William, darling, do me a favor. Go over there and kill the commander and bring me his head. Or some other body part he or she can’t live without. While I try to do something about all these thralls.”

William took twelve Tritons, everyone armored and equipped with charms against magics and an enchantment doubling their running speed. The first target, two miles away, the subordinate commander, was too heavily armored and enchanted for shuriken, or bullets or shrapnel to have much effect. But the enchantment-rending Unicorn sword in Will’s expert hands, plus pouncing from surprise, took him down pretty easily. The fellows human, Mongol-looking bodyguards left William alone since they took him for another Master - not to be interfered with by the likes of them.

Moire’s ‘boys’ took out an aerial attack aimed at her.

William’s second target was another three miles of sneaking and killing away. This one saw him coming, killed a couple hundred thralls for power, pointed William out as “mine” so that the guards gave him lots of space. And blasted Will. The Unicorn’s sword let William know what to do: cleave the blast. It parted like it had run into an invisible wedge (incinerating dozens to either side) and this fellow was very, very surprised when Will came out of the fire at 50-60 mph and rammed the U-sword through his breastplate and heart… The charms on William limited his damage to a broken wrist, a few broken ribs and lots of bruises. The bodyguards, once again figured that if it hit like a Vall spawn it was a Vall spawn and therefore beyond their pay grade.

Meanwhile, Moire fried one foe’s brain and knocked one out. The last one shifted shadow away when Will killed the commander.

Will and Moire set to making an alliance with the locals’ general (Alliance Grand General Johannes Ervin), making it more likely that the ex-thralls would recover quickly and more completely, and working out how to get ravaged /Europe/ some relief — mostly food — from other shadows. The Alliance would be overjoyed to have allies who could do the things William and Moire could do.

The captured Vallspawn was a woman, Ilrunu. She claimed that Vall’s law was that failure = death, so fuck him. She’d happily cooperate to save her life. Their operations on this particular world were experimental, aimed at learning to deal with high tech opposition. The Trump-burner trick was something that Vall’s researchers had worked out using the Trump deck taken off of Bleys’ corpse. (She wasn’t there, this is what she was told. She didn’t know his name but the description — red hair, deadly swordsman, Amberite — was pretty conclusive.) Moire thought that her researchers could maybe come up with a way to cloak Trump decks so they couldn’t be targeted.

The Vallspawn’s non-thrall forces were mostly Shvenites, Nordic-looking, Mongol-acting nomad horsemen and mammoth riders from another shadow, along with the survivors of their entire tribal confederacy, about 30,000 strong. The Vallspawn commander, Fragarak, treated them something like pet Rottweilers and had dragged them along in spite of them being mostly useless against the locals. They had learned to use local weapons… They wanted to get the hell away from the horrible devils, William and Moire included, and the locals and go back to their old way of life. Not too keen on fighting devils. The locals mostly want them dead.

Then Moire got her daily (Tir fo Thune time) Trump call from Llewella.

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Session Ten: Ruthless

When last we left our Heroes, Little Red awoke to find that William had been drug off by the Rebmans to celebrate their acquisition of a new pattern mistress.  Gaius continued to plot for the liberation of Rema, and Lisette was . . . Lisetting. 

While the key priority is, in fact, continuing to build the Coalition of Elders to defeat 1) Vol and 2) Oberon, the intermediate goal is to free/rescue/re-embody Dworkin, who remains trapped on his pattern.  In pursuit of this goal, Little Red retired to study the Gem of Judgement. 

However, since Gaius hadn’t talked to his mother in . . . like, two whole days . . . which is, yes, 10 days in dog time . . . he assembled a group of sorcerers to punch through the Trump jamming around her.  Lisette joined in, as did Llewella and Florimel — and they made contact with a seriously drugged Claudia, pulling her through to Rebma. 

Claudia reported — muzzily — that neither Oberon nor Corwin is in Rema right now, so Gaius enlists everyone to attack Rema in the hope of controlling it Earth-style before Oberon returns.  This, unfortunately, includes Little Red — who was bright enough to point out that Oberon couldn’t take his Godhead out of the shadow, so it’s still in play.  Oberon trusts Octavia to be a good little girl, so he probably settled it on her, which means that she could, potentially, show up at any time during the ceremony.  Little Red also pointed out that Octavia’s survival is at best a “B” priority for him, so it was decided that she should be Trump-napped before the initial assault. 

Oberon should have taught Octavia to screen her calls.  Turns out she was wearing the mantle of power, but it was emptied by the transition to Rebma.  Various techniques have been applied to Octavia to make her more compliant to Oberon. 

Enlisting Gerard and Deirdre, our heroes prepare to attack Rema.  At the last minute before leaving, Little Red realized that he might, in fact, need to kill more than four people in Rema, so he trumps Yari to ask about his pistol. 

Yari’s running for his life!  Guess where Corwin went?   Guess where we had stashed Benedict and Katsume following the assault on Phaedris’ pattern?  Yep. 

So, new plan!  Gerard and Deirdre trump to the Otherworld via Big Red, then pull the rest of us through.  In an attempt to confuse the were-xiliary troops supporting Corwin, Claudia was given a seeming of Octavia — who ordered the were-troops* to stand down.  Gerard and Deirdre open the ball by shooting Corwin’s horse, which Little Red then disintegrates.  Bereft of cover and unsupported, Corwin is beaten into submission by Gerard and Gaius. 

Katsume and Benedict are evacuated to Rebma.  Katsume lost an arm in the fighting, but the Rebmans assure us she’ll recover. 

The makers were also injured.  They’re unhappy with the direct attack on them. 

Rema falls anticlimactically.  After long and difficult math, it is decided that Claudia (now wearing a permanent seeming of Octavia) will be owner of the shadow. 

Oberon has imported machine weapons from an Earthlike shadow, with various types of shadow-munitions for the upcoming battle.  He’s also imported a mercenary unit to act as cadre.  Octavia has a number of blood-creatures (similar to those the Rebmans use; they’ve been doing the reconstruction of her youth) inside of her.  Final verdict is to keep her interdicted from Oberon until the blood is finished working, then remove the control nodes and begin deprogramming her. 

With that crisis resolved, Little Red returns to the important work of examining the Jewel of Judgement.  The jewel is amazing.  Want to know more?  Examine it your own darn self. 

Lisette called Phaedris to report on the scenario.  No answer.  In a nine-nines similarity to “hey, I do have a trump of a dead guy you can play with” sort of way. 

Julian and Lisette immediately headed through shadow to check on Phaedris.  Unfortunately, she was, in fact, quite dead — Oberon had disguised himself as one of the forest cats of Arden, smashed her skull, dragged her away from the pattern, and torn her to pieces.  Grom (which might, in fact, be spelled “Gram”, which is pronounced, in my book, like the cracker) was near at hand, and Lisette picked it up. 

Grom immediately set out through shadow for Places Oberon Might Be.  The flesh was weak, though — Lisette passes out after only a couple of dozen hours of shadow-sprinting.  Julian called Flora and excused himself.  Flora called Gaius and Little Red to help out.  Between them, they decided to leave Grom here (for a while, with a distinctive henge and a hard-to-open box (NSFW) around it) and head for the Otherworld for more information. 

While Lisette was getting Oberon’s Starry Path privileges revoked, Little Red convinced Yari to teach him the Gemming spell.  Yari warned Little Red that stuffing family members into gems should really be a second-to-last resort, since it’s not the fucking “build-a-body” shop down here.  Little Red promised to be responsible. 

From there, Little Red dropped off into his usual coma, but he thought Gaius went back to Rema, and Lisette went and told Bel the news.  There might have been some daddy-issue-expunging with Bel as well. 

Calvin

The funny thing about this is that “were” in the context of “werewolf” means “man”.  There’s a “troops aren’t human” joke in there, I think.  And this is the perfect place to drop the “were-candlelit dinner for two” meme.  We might want to call Gaius’ race the Lupines or something, since that isn’t so similar to tenses of “to be” and the etymologists among us don’t have inappropriate laughter. 

GM notes:
Grom: well, ‘Gram’ is pronounced grom in Norse and sounds less cracker-y that way. And it’s better than Balmung or Nothung, other of Weyland’s swords, or other names for Gram.

Lupines: OK with me. Mike?

Lisette looked up Night to see if she could do something about Grom. Night could — she sang Grom to ‘sleep’ and tucked the Crazy Sword away in her palace. Then she helped Lisette out with some Trump making by speeding time up in one tower of her palace and then working with her to duplicate the Multiple Floras trick. (Now they know how the Makers do that ‘got your item made up before you got here trick’.) Six new Lisette (one for Night) and Night (three for Night) cards later she was done.
Next she and checked in with Bel and broke the bad news. Bel held a wake for Phraedis and Lisette took advantage of him while he was tipsy and vulnerable.

Deirdre allowed Gaius to carry Greyswandir as Oberon-bait though Oberon was busy infiltrating Arden and murdering Phraedis at the time. She told him she wouldn’t try to draw the thing without checking it over very carefully. Some enchanted weapons were crazy, and Corwin was not all there himself.
Gaius and Claudia spent some time staging the God Oberon’s return to the heavens, leaving his daughter in charge. ‘Octavia’ took a vacation. The Imperial cult was re-worked to aim the power at Claudia. Claudia and her children experimented with Pattern vs Mantle; the two of them could neutralize it very effectively and Claudia had to defend herself with her own Pattern abilities.

Gaius rode herd on the outworld mercenaries, bringing them under Reman custom and law — Oberon had been letting them get away with, literally, murder.
Closer examination of the outworld ammo (which included things very like Gustav Adolf anti-tank rockets) revealed four sets, color coded, for use in different shadows. Oberon left little in the way of notes but some maps indicated that some of Vall’s bases had been mined.
The outworld supplies had come via sailing ships and shadow paths. Claudia broke the end links.

Gaius also practiced the shadowwalking around one world trick and put the wind up some of the new allies (former enemies) Oberon had come up with by terror, blood beast implants, possessing elementals, doubles, etc.

Julian had rode off back in the direction of Arden and, several hours later, Something Big disturbed the Pattern-force. The assumption is that Julian is now Pattern Master there, or dead. Either way the old Trumps of him don’t work any more.

Corwin has a blood beast in his brain that interferes with critical thinking. Eric reluctantly asked Queen Moire for the loan of her Royal Physician.
Eric is keeping Corwin alive largely because they’re negotiating with Bleys — who attacked Amber along with Corwin — to actively cooperate against Oberon and killing a brother might cause apprehension.

Katsume got her arm reattached via Rebman Royal Physician Kynwyl’s blood beasts. Corwin had cut it off.

In the Otherworld the wounded were being attended to at a temporary settlement a few hundred yards from the Tree. The Children of Thunder: Beck, Ulrik and their sister Oreli, who are the Makers’ warmasters, had been called in and were helping set up defenses. Egan and Beck are as strong as Gerard, or stronger, and Heldin a little less. No real attack had ever come at them from the mortal worlds and none of their surveillance or defenses point that way.

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Session Nine: Arden and Amber and Rebma, oh my!

The PCs and Benedict are in Bel’s palace…

Lisette puts the moves on Bel.

Will investigates Bel’s kaffemeister’s process in creating the amazing coffee.

Phraedis wakes up. Phraedis heals her self (with the help of Bel’s power) and heals Lisette’s cooked hand. Phraedis is a super healer.

We talked about how Oberon took out some of the gods one by one.

Phraedis says that if there is anything she can do for us she will. She was trapped as a unicorn for over 4K years.

She lends us the use of the “unicorn” short sword. (My Lady?)

Bel sends two of his kids, Grace and Drake, to accompany us.

Will is given coffee seedlings and some soil.

We trump to Phraedis’ pattern. Benedict steps threw the trump and gets hit by lightning!
(It was Gaius’ Idea to send Benedict in with us.) We send him to the Otherworld to be healed. Phraedis starts to walk her pattern. A Giant pig charges into the Clearing! Some combat erupts and we take out the pig. Then we are ambushed by woodsprites/pygmies! We scare the away and capture one.

A trump goes off 200’ away. Little Red reanimates the pig and Will creates some elementals to create a burn. Phraedis, halfway through walking her Pattern, splits a tree and a greatsword falls out. Gaius picks up the sword — Grom, the Sword of Revenge — and struggles for control. Oberon and Corwin show up wearing plate armor. Oberon eyes the Sword and pulls Corwin back into the woods, “There’s no future in it, son.” Little Red sends the pig at them. Oberon and Corwin run away (the cowards). They use a trump to escape. Phraedis finishes walking her pattern.

We create a feast of the pig and creatures of Arden come to partake. We meet Julian who is very much in awe of Phraedis. Phraedis moves the pattern far away from amber. It may be hard for Oberon to find it. Lisette takes the chain that has a high lvl enchantment on it that eats enchantments.

Phraedis tells us that she sometimes gets dreams from Inanna. Julian tells Eric what happened via Trump. We trump to Amber. Phraedis stays in Arden. We meet most of the family. Envoys are introduced (from Bel).

The forest by Amber is not Arden any more.

Gaius asks Flora how to take over a shadow and how to send people through shadow it. Flora shows Gaius. She also shows Gaius’ sister.

Kat is told about her dad. Kat wants Will to cover for her at her dads lands. Gerard would like to help Kat as well. Gerard trumps through.

Random’s wife has reflections of the moon in her eyes. Discussion about getting Vialle onto the Tir-na Nog’th Pattern.We trump Phraedis and ask about Inanna (Tir-na Nog’th) for suggestions on how to contact Inanna. She suggests sleeping in amber.

Will tells Eric that the Jewel of Judgment might corrupt him.

Our Dreams – someone is walking the pattern (Vialle), her skin glowing with runes. A Moon eyed women in a crystal room, looking up to Amber-the-planet - a view much like photos of Earth from Earth’s moon. She is tied to Vialle. Gaius’ dreams are most vivid and detailed.

Will talks to the Moire (queen of Rebma) about Vialle. There is a small cult of the moon goddess in Tir fo Thune, and a larger one in rural Amber. The moon goddess sent Vialle to the Rebmans. Moire has had dreams as well. Moire threatened Will that if something happens to Vialle as a result of his meddling, it would be bad.

Will talks to Lir. Lir says if his bones are smashed a successor could appear. He wants to make sure that Oberon is dead first. He could change the criteria of a successor if he is taken to the pattern room. He tells Will to bring Eric and Moire and Flora to him. They come and Lir asks Eric if he is an enemy of Oberon and he says yes: they are at war. Lir asks Moire to swear she will fight Oberon “to the knife” in return for being allowed to both walk Lir’s Pattern and become its mistress; she does.if she will support the war. Lir gives Moire the pattern and she agrees to help. Lir will do a ceremony to let her take over the pattern. His bones are now placed on the pattern and Moire walks it. The break the bones — Gerard is called in as the tritons can’t get that close to the Pattern — and Lir disappears. Moire, a little crazy with the power of Creation running through her (just as Our Heroes experienced), manages to give some useful orders before grabbing Will and planting one on him. Will goes off with Moire.

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Session 8: Slumming w/ Bel

- Continuing in Bel’s Shadow. Session Date – 1/7/12

Present in the Flesh – Lisette, Gaius, Little Red
Present in Spirit – William
Also tagging along – Uncle Benny

Going to the baths in Bel’s Shadow after enjoying the hospitality of Ogi in the city of Kartera. Finishing up with baths, Benedict comes and informs us that the local authority is on the way, because they knew we were here – or found out. Doesn’t know how – maybe because of the Starry Path hell-ride. Officials are officially arriving. Troops hang back, archers are very competent. Wearing hats with sun-disk motif on it. Male and Female comes to us. Male tall blond – Mr. Smooth – mover and shaker in politics. Other is Grace Jonesish – seven foot two, nine foot metal staff. Both appear to be children of Bel. Girl is tall and lean, but appears very strong.

Greeted by guy in a very political and threatening fashion, and the girl pipes up as well. INVITED to meet with Big Guy. Apparently having an escort of Night and Benedict opens doors. Looks like standard insult stuff, Lisette has an idea on where she stands.

Little Red defends his necromantic interrogation techniques, Thoughtful Grace (girl) likes them alive and breathing. Drake (guy) also introduces himself.

Escorted to Palace – Defensive on the outside, but on the inside – makes baroque look ‘chintzy’. Impressive throne room. 6’4" blond, well put together – muscular, looks akin to young sun-god. He and Benedict do the whole war god – master warrior presence bigger dick contest – but in a civilized fashion – (close according to William).

“Your Majesty” preferred title. Not happy about Oberon or Vall. We sympathize with his displeasure. Benedict admits to being under compulsions and geasa to not question matters as they stood. William remarks that as we are being covered by lots of archers, they are all world class (as an aside)

Asks us about Inanna, “Night says that she is alive, but hidden, and we know her pattern is clear.”

Informed him that Night has ‘doubled’ herself.

We do the share the bread and salt ritual. Takes us all to the blue study, (NOW with less archers!!! actually 100% fewer archers). Sheng Yeen is the asian looking gentlemen, warfare based, strong, stocky wrestler type. Other looks Greek, 6’2", lean, greyhound, warfare, but mainly swordsman – Komun. Bel breaks out the booze. No chocolate!!! Lisette has ideas for new imports.

First Mother’s curse – “Upon beings of our origins, the Goddess of Motherhood laid a curse on any of us who would kill our own children. It’s not always effective.”

Wants us to find Inanna. Mother Night might be able to help determine if she is close or far from her own pattern. Might want to ask (Mother Night), no, tell her that He regrets what happened, and will not be interfering with the ‘other world’ (Underworld – Source of the Tree). He is barred from coming back and Night barred him from the Starry Path. He shares a border with Vall – which is fortified, but if Vall is sending armies elsewhere, it might be more porous.

Brand knew Phraedis was the Unicorn. Discussion of Oberon and his plans. Gauis has mandated that he is going to get it back from Oberon.

Structure of the Universe – War between the Gods – Destroyed ‘Heaven’, Mortal Realms were torn up and were remade. Tree damaged, but not too bad, nothing that couldn’t be repaired. (Bel analog for Baldur)

We introduce ourselves – and an odd occurrence happened when Bel picked up the Trumps that Lisette showed – he turned his Mantle of Power ‘on’, set it to All-Seeing Sun (aura kicked up to something like 500 watts of sun lamp), and could not only actually establish a connection, he could detect the blood it was made with and get a bit of an empathic link through it, with Florimel (the subject) and barely with the maker — Dworkin, who was immobile and trapped. Connects with Florimel in the normal Trump fashion and introduces himself. Hands trump to Lisette, and the following one sided conversation ensued, “Yes – mother, yes – yes – of course, no, not bad. Yes – he’s still here. No – I won’t. MOTHER!”

His power was evident, but not being pushed through the link.

Explaining about parenting and makers and heritage. Also explaining about genealogy and Little Red’s concerns about parenting and defects and the like.

Four are half-brothers – Vall, Bel, Oberon, & Dworkin. Three are unrelated excepts ancestrally Lir, Inanna, and Phaedris.

There might be a way to get Phraedris here to break the compulsions on her.

Plan A – Build Trump of Phraedris – Using Lisette as an intiator with Little Red as an extra power source and to use the Solidify Trump Contact power word, and Benedict with Gaius for catching Unicorn and pulling through Trump. Whereupon Bel should be able to remove most of the compulsions and forced shapeshifting.

Plan B – pretty much alot like plan A, with the exception that Lisette Builds a Trump of the Unicorn’s Pattern, we all Trump through, hunt down the Unicorn and then go through to Bel. If Will can get a pass from King Eric to chase the Unicorn around Arden.

Trump needs – Phraedris, Phraedris’ environs, Bel

Bel and Benedict go about a work out as it had been a very long time since Bel had anyone on his level to spar with; with quarterstaffs and swordplay Benedict could be slightly better, but in wrestling, Bel was stronger. Drew a crowd, William was rivited. Meanwhile Lisette is eating, shrinking and then working on making a Trump of Phraedris and the environs.

The martial display inspired a bunch of sparring with observers eager to try out moves they’d seen, William among them. Gaius and Gracie wrestled, which was appropriate foreplay for two very strong, “shifty” individuals; hot sex ensued.

Little Red – talking sorcery shop with Drake. Big Red the skull and gem comes up. Drake looks up references to another thumb-joint sized, red, glowy gem of power quietly notorious in godly history… gives power over the weather and lightning… Little Red has heard about the Jewel of Judgement. Apparently Jewel was from one of the ‘asshole’ god kings. When such an artifact is created, especially from the remains of such an individual, it does retain some of the personality of the individual.

Drake and Little Red are sharing memories and experiences, Drake is having a severe mancrush on Little Red, especially with all the neat things he has experienced. LR has a complicated spell for banishing fatigue while Drake prefers to use pharmaceuticals. Drake really really really wants to see the tree. LR will ask about progeny and them being able to see Otherworld.

Lisette finally gets her audience with Bel for a portrait seating. (Trump of Bel) Sensory probe apparatus is NOT in effect, especially so Lisette can get a more accurate ‘capture’ of ‘who he is’ rather than who he is with his mantle of power. So as she is working, a long line of curious looker on’s go by to see the little girl painting on the big card. So 2 hours later, she is done.

Gaius and Gracie – hour 6 – and still going strong. More perfect pairings may not exist.

Bel wants to send Drake and Little Red to Earth, Gaius and Gracie will interview Flora, and see about opinions about the other family members in a confirmation of the interviews that have been happening with Benedict and Lisette.

Lisette gets to know Bel whilst doing the portrait, finds out his interests. Riding, song, dance, hunting, companions, and expands the world. Finding shadows and doing trade between, but also takes suggestions and the like.

Lisette gets in contact with Flora and informs her of what is going on – Benedict out of funk, new people that we have met seem to be very nice, and not a tool like Oberon. Was informed of the latest that CORWIN has escaped!!! All indications are it was via Trump, none of the guards were suborned. Surmise right now is that Oberon was the architect behind his breakout. Gerard and Julian have walked the Pattern in Tir-na Nog’th. Embassy plan is changed; Grace and Drake, escorted by Gaius and Little Red, will visit Amber, meet King Eric and make preliminary deals.

Drake upon being chosen, was very curious as to what to wear and how many servants to bring. Little Red suggests whatever and one, respectively.

Trying to retrieve the Unicorn and break the geasa that keep her in that form, unable to speak and whatever else Oberon bound her with.

The Unicorn is curious and allows the contact. Grab-snatch (Gaius is primary) – heal (Bel uses his Mantle powers to stun her and drive the blood creature out of her brain — looks like brain matter till it writhes around in his hand while burning) – break curses on Unicorn (all the watchers get sunburns and tapestries catch fire). Now we have a naked frothing bloody primal maker that is being cleansed by elementals and then packed off to the ‘recovery’ room.

Night arrives in fine fashion on Frostmane a couple of hours later – sweeps in, summoning a Mantle from her temple in Kartera – examines Phraedis, gives her and Bel approving grandmotherly kisses, removes the compulsion on Bel, and says that the tree might take longer, but he is free to use the roads. Tells Bel and our protagonists that they had exceeded her fondest hopes. And sweeps out again.

Phraedis is more than likely going to sleep around the clock.

Going with Bel to the border. He went to fetch something that can take us all; unlike Mother Night, he can manage only one mount and its riders at a time. Comes back with an elephant. A really big elephant that talks and moves pretty darn quick. It’s not the brightest thing, but sufficient for our purposes. Approach the barrier and find that we can’t find Amber – or shift to it. Taking to the star path again they can bypass the barrier but from the other side. Now we can’t find Bel’s home. The starry paths move through the third plane, where Heaven used to be, and bypass the barriers.

Back to Bel’s castle – not thinking that he can manage multiple mounts and riders on the Starry path.

We also attempted to contact Dworkin, and consequently after preparation, i.e. put Lisette in non-flammable, climate controlled armor, got out into a non-flammable area. Bel powered up and followed the Dworkin blood trace again with much more force, Lisette in contact him by touch with an un-gauntleted but blessed hand. Lisette rode the contact int the Trumpiest place around, Dworkin’s Trump Pattern, contacted him and came to find that he has been beheaded and placed next to his pattern – by our favoritest grandfather and all around fun guy – Oberon. Lisette had to break off the contact when it got shaky. She ended up with second degree burns on her hand despite the blessing.

So now we are coming up with a plan to retrieve him. And it will work. Maybe – sorta, we’ll have to get on to figuring him out.

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Session 7: Divine Visitations

December 17th 2011

(Gaius catch up..)

Oberon shows up in Rema, (secretive, Nana chases everyone out but a loyal retainer, spends hours closeted alone) a nosy Gaius gets scent information from a ventilation shaft, smells Nana, the servant, AND Oberon.
 Smells the stink of Power also, and heads off to warn Mom, who is not pleased. Advises Gaius to head for the hills, she must stay to protect the people’s interests. Also she exhorts Aula to go at once with her art instructor and their supplies. Gaius calls Flora in and gets HER advice and has her stand by to pull him out if things get TOO interesting at the “Royal Announcement”. 
Next day the announcement is that Oberon has Returned! has Rejuvenated NANA to youth and has her under his thumb, he is also sporting a shiny, new Mantle of Power. Oberon announces that he will be forming the legions to battle an as-yet-unnamed opponent (Vall), and Gaius steps forward and throws down a gauntlet in challenge. Flora takes action and YANKS Gaius out of the throne room, she also has a few choice words for him too.

(Gaius is retconned into the Rebma stuff with the rest of the party… Pattern walks by Flora AND Benedict, etc…) (Full group… cast is Gaius, Lisette, Little Red, and William)

Meeting set up with Eric, King of Amber. Lisette and Flora chat about Eric, his (and their) plans and expectations. Flora trumps Eric in and introductions are made. Short histories of the new generation are given, and blood tests are arranged for those who’s fathers are unknown (or merely suspected).
Turns out William is Eric’s son, and they go have a private chat, when they return the pattern control is discussed and Eric arranges to walk the Tir-na Nog’th Pattern, to free him of the compulsions. Eric does a better job of controlling his rage than either Flora or Benedict. His pleasure at having a son might have something to do with that. Then Eric and William head to Amber to be introduced around. Will meets Random and Vialle briefly and spends hours talking with Eric and Deirdre.
Lisette and Little Red go have a chat with Martin about working for Oberon, was used like the rest of us. Did have more info on the abductions of the younger generation, and some about Vall’s forces. [Only knew of our four, Big Red and Katsume were a surprise. Vall’s forces tend to curse a widening area of an invaded world — Black Circles — and turn all the people within into mind controlled, fearless, short lived, stupid soldiers, who were used up wastefully.

The Rebman royals want to go see the dwarves they’ve been hearing about so a trip is scheduled with Gaius and Benedict going along. Benedict, very testy since his mental chains were removed, decides early that the group is moving too slow and challenges everyone to keep up, takes off Hell-riding on his super-horse, forcing the Rebmans to assume bird form, and Gaius into Wolf.
 Since we are coming by shadow walking the Dwarves already know we are coming and we are met by a crowd. Benedict is pissy but the Rebmans are greeted and a tour is provided, everyone troops off to see the “World Tree” again. This time it is discovered there are 7 standing stones around the tree, each being an ancient Maker who is connected to the tree somehow. We get a cosmology on ancient history and how the Universe runs. We are invited to meet the “Eldest” an ancient Maker who is also one of the standing stones but has discovered how to be in 2 places at once. Definitely interesting!

She has a Fairytale castle in Black, she is introduced as Night (goddess of the Night) Benedict is interested in security concerns (the Makers have roaming defensive forces, and Night can scry anywhere every night), Gaius in her Goddesshood (Luna!!h) and Twinning, Gaius runs out of questions and call Lisette in (with permission), she brings in Little Red and introductions are made. Little Red is religiously ecstatic, and has a billion questions, he also trumps in William who is introduced. Turns out the 7 Patterns are endpoints of the Creative flow of the universe. And Night can teach us how to Find the Patterns.

A trip to one of the patterns is suggested and Night takes us to Bel’s Pattern..(awesome Starry Hell-ride up the Tree) (Star Trick 5 pts) a Italian style Castle/ Medieval Village and Yari and Night depart, leaving the cast to snoop around and find out who Bel supports. Sneak into town, conjure clothing and blend in, Little Red conjures Translator Elementals, and we start gathering info. Benedict goes off on his own to evaluate the place militarily. First stop a bar! Begin questioning the locals, wind up being taken for slumming nobles. Go and stay with a peasant family and begin getting the lay of the land. Bel has 20 to 30 kids locally, and three or more mistresses at any given time.
Doesn’t seem like the kids are pattern initiates from the descriptions of the peasants.

Further plans will have to wait, since Lisette wants a BATH, we all troop to a roman style bath-house and Gaius feels right at Home!

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Session 6: An Orderly Progress

Florimel called a meeting with Our Heroes, minus Gaius who didn’t answer his Trump, plus Big Red. (Big Red had, evidently, learned to assume the form of a big eagle. He came through when assured by Flora that she could keep him stable while on Earth.) She was going to have to tell King Eric about Oberon and, since Amber was facing a serious threat from Vall, about being able to make Trumps. Eric had Trumps of them… who wanted to meet the King? What should she not tell him about them? Default was ‘not much of anything’.

Plus, Flora said, they should tell The Redheads, particularly Bleys, that Oberon was still among the living. Maybe stop the war. Before Eric chained her to an easel. She didn’t want to talk to Bleys. Or Fiona. Brand, however, was often less annoying and they were all close so he could tell them.

Flora tried to Trump Brand. Odd interference. Lisette helped…. faintly, “Help me!” Our Heroes sprang into action and found themselves twenty yards from the Arden Pattern (!), the Unicorn (!) who stood up and slipped away, and Brand, Auschwitz level emaciated and chained to a big megalith. The massive chain and manacles sucked all the magic out of 30’ circle: William and Lisette picked the locks but broke nearly all their lockpicks doing so. Lisette and Little Red got the feeling that the Unicorn had been keeping Brand alive somehow. Lisette Trumped Flora and briefed her. Five minutes Flora Trumped Lisette back from her private clinic and they took Brand through to a fully equipped, magically enhanced facility and crash team.

They contacted Benedict next and found that he was busy leading his army against the Hellmaids and their flunkies in a pitched battle. He’d welcome help… Sure! Please Trump Katsume then and go to her. They did that. Kat stopped her sneak-through-shadow cavalry flank attack maneuvering to pick them up. They got dropped off at the top of the ridge Kat & Co. were about to charge down.
Lisette Trumped her warbow and arrows and started sniping the enemy. LR cloaked his area and started conjuring. Will, very frustrated by his chest wound, started hexing the enemy forces coming in contact with Kat’s group.
Will was the first to note the flight of 200 or so wyverns with riders who started circling the field in preparation for something…
The aerial troops moved to simply kamikaze straight at Benedict himself. Each mount was in the half-ton range…
Between Lisette’s archery, LR’s air elementals and William’s Patterny maledictions there was a ten wyvern pile up in front of Benedict’s position, a dozen more impacting the ground and most of the rest disorganized enough to get picked off by, mostly, Benedict. (Pop! pop! pop! pop! of arrows going trans-sonic, followed seconds later by big thumps as dead or dying wyverns landed on Hellmaids or their slaves.)
Battle won handily. Our Heroes are now very popular with the Avalon army. Benedict gets his briefing. Will and LR help out with the mop-up and get some OJT Officer Training. Lisette goes home to make Trumps.

(Off camera: Benedict visited Earth and talked to Brand and Martin. Each agreed to not escape and not make trouble.) 

Upon returning:

William was bummed to find out that Flora’s Regeneration Beds do damned little for Amberites. Great for mortals…
-The Reds, Big and Little, talked with Brand and found out that he is indeed their father. Their surprised and pleased father. Good healthy boys, successfully walked the Pattern and students of the Art as well. He remembered their mothers fondly though he hadn’t believed them about carrying his children -
that was before Martin walked the Pattern and made it clear that things had changed. When he went back to Shadeeza to check they had disappeared. Upon learning of the Flayer and all, Brand went quiet for a while. He asked if they meant to deal with Yagamar. He’d be happy to help. Unfortunately the only thing he could do at present was give advice and maybe make a Trump ‘sketch’ — a single use Trump — of Shadeeza as a full Trump was beyond his stamina.
On other subjects: Brand had suspected Oberon was alive and was investigating. He was caught near the Arden Pattern. Didn’t know why Oberon hadn’t simply killed him. Yes, Phraedis — the Unicorn — had been keeping him alive for weeks by force of will despite the lack of food or water. (Brand was now a member of Team Phraedis.) Phraedis hadn’t said a word. Brand speculated that she was wearing that shape against her will and that some of the rituals of the Unicorn Cult were secretly designed to keep her bound. He was aware of the Otherworld and had walked the Patterns of Tir-na Nog’th and Rebma as well as Amber’s. TnN was naturally clean of geasa,

-Lisette and Martin. Martin apologized. He had’t known about the brainwashing. He said that Oberon, the King, had singled him out for a Terribly Important Mission to Save the Family and was really, really persuasive. The other Oberon minion was named Lola (this week); a good shapeshifter and, according to Oberon, disgruntled Vall-spawn. Martin had scouted some of Vall’s forces. They tended to turn huge numbers of locals into mind controlled (and stupid) cannon fodder. Lola’s description of Vall-spawns’ survival-of-the-nastiest childhood made LR’s tales of Yagamar’s academy look not quite so bad.

Lisette and Florimel got together and turned Flora’s Mastery of Earth to Co-Mastery with Lisette. The aware (maybe, for a moment) Gaian Chorus of Elementals were quite happy to havbe a native born daughter take up half the power. Animals (and elementals) tend to gather around to worship Lisette if she lets them.

Gaius Trumped to Flora’s Secure Entrypoint. He had much to tell. (Read of this retcon in Session Seven)

While prepping to contact Eric Florimel’s inability to remember/be interested in the Otherworld and such came up. Little Red said that Brand vouched for the Rebman Pattern. Lisette pushed hard for Flora to Do Something Now. Flora gave in but said it might not be easy, Queen Moire didn’t like her, or any Amberite but Llewella, very much. Except for Benedict. Lisette Trumped Katsume and she badgered Benedict into walking Rebma’s Pattern. Benedict made a call.
Our Heroes, Flora and Kat accompanied Benedict to Reb—Tir fo Thune as his Plus Six. Breathing underwater was weird. Queen Moire, they noted after a while, sported a modest Mantle of Power. TfT’s folk were pale to brown or green skinned, with straight or curly black, brown or green (or tinted) hair. Mostly topless, lots of straps with loops or bags to hold things. Guards armed with knives, short swords and rods with smooth, unfaceted blue-green gems on the business end. They knew about the geasa on Amber’s Pattern. Festivities were interrupted to take Benedict and Florimel down (down, down) to the Pattern room immediately. Benedict walked it first. He stood at the center for a long time, stony faced, thinking. Florimel was also succesful.

Moire threw a party: banquet, music, entertainment. The Tftians were very, very friendly. Our Heroes found that, despite massive and pervasive use of magic, living undersea sort of sucks if you’re not a native. 

Moire assigned Royal Physician Kynwyl to do what she could for Will. K patched him with a creature/prosthetic/superbandage made from her own blood. She explained. With Amberites, Blood Creature patches and prosthetics were quickly absorbed/integrated. She said that most of her family are shifter-healers. Kynwuyl also said that the Very Friendly Rebman women were, to an extent, looking to breed more potential Pattern initiates. 

Our Heroes told something of their adventures. Results:
- Moire offered to get Little Red some help with Combat Magery.
The Tir fo Thuneans had only vague stories of something like the Otherworld. Llewella had never gone there. Why go deal with some dwarves in the stick when she had Royal access to the Conjurors of her home. Plans were made to visit the Otherworld.
They met the Ghost of Lir and viewed his huge, draconic, crystallized bones. (Lir is respected in Moire’s realm, not worshipped.) Lir spoke to Lisette and Flora mentally, saying they should look into what happened to the previous set of Oberon’s children. Flora realized that this is another thing that got Geased into the Not Important file and had a talk with Benedict. Oberon’s rep for villainy continued to grow.

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Session 5: We Have a Cunning Plan

We are trying to figure out ways of forcing a trump contact. We decide not to walk Flora on the pattern yet. We trump to Rema. The priest volunteers to be hypnotized so we can feed false information to tell the enemy. We think it is better to practice trump assaults. We decide to practice in the other world (dwarf land). So we trump Yari and ask him if we can go to his land. He says yes. We trump through quickly to the courtyard with the pillar in the other world. Little Red has the dwarfs create him a gas powered gun and gets an armored jump suit made out of osmium with colored checkers in safety orange and florescent purple. Will gets made a dwarf suit of leather armor. We practice trump assaults on Big Red first. We teach Big Red how to use trumps and we all practice. Using sorcery and energy surge helps in busting power through one card.

We trump to Earth. Lisette wants to help Mom take over the business. We visit Deniz she is happy learning to speak her mind. We get trumps of a secure location on Earth. Aula is taking back art supplies and teachers to practice art. Lisette goes through a ritual to take over part of earth. Little Red creates a box with earth daggers around him with an air pocket for fresh air (to protect against trump assaults). Flora’s people will help cut gems for Will. We take Deniz out to dinner. Will takes drivers training in a number of different vehicles. Lisettte drives on the autobahn. Flora hugs Lisette and says she misses her and was concerned when she was captured.

We trump back to Rema. We have the priest trump the Bad Guy and ignore us to tell him about the crucified guy. We make our trump assault and push our way through! And then the mayhem issues! We find out it is Oberon! We are out matched! But we manage to escape as well as capturing Martin. Lisette trumps to Rema. Will trumps to Earth (and bleeds a lot). Gaius Stays behind after Oberon leaves to investigate the area. Little Red trumps Eric during the battle and gets “invited through”. Little Red tells Eric most everything (except the trumps). Eric took all of Little Reds extra trumps except the one to Earth. Lisette takes Martin to Earth and talks with Flora and Will. Gaius trumps to Rema with some of Oberon’s blood. He talks with his mom privately. She thinks Oberon is using them as a tool. She does not like to be a tool and they might fight Oberon. Little Red trumps to Earth and tells Flora that Eric took some of his trumps.
Oberon is going to fight 2 Brothers. One is Vall and he does not want him to know that he was still alive (Gaius’ info).

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Session 4: The Plot Thickens....

All were present –
Little Red, Lisette, Gaius and William.

Starting with William -

He starts in England, trumps Little Red… Little Red answers – inquires about botany experiments. Explained it’s being horticultured. Informs him about the fact that parents can’t remember Outworld. No idea what anyone else is doing, but that everyone is hanging with the were’s. William has been doing work on narrowing down who the enemy is. He has apparently eradicated an agent – who was spying on his movements in his home shadow.

It’s a balmy summer evening in England – after an ice age, in other words, not that warm. William is mounted on a horse. Wants to call in others, contacts Lisette. Lisette is busy making trumps of different people. Claudia approached and was negotiating for making Aula a Trump Artist. Lisette explained the difficulties and the time involved. Quick trip to Earth – after a change of clothes went to Florence. Introduced to modern manufacturing technology – getting tutored by art instructors.


Little Red and William were talking shop – some of it more horrifying that others. LR thinks William is a trifle squeamish. William doesn’t ‘DO’ torture. Getting back into contact with the others. Trumps Gauis, and brings through. English woods. Horses not liking Gauis.

Lisette comes through – looks about – informed that going to Italy. Twists shadow to Italy. Finding horses is not difficult. Lisette tries out the Rema trump and sends Gauis back to get his damn horse.

Low profile is the name of the operation. We are warned that if we are going to be overt, then we can stay in London and stay away from his mother. We asked who his mother was, and got a ‘None of your business!’ LR and Lisette came back with, “Well how do we know who to avoid?”

Since we are going to Veniccia – horses not good. Going to shift to a gondola.

TAKING a gondola through shadow. Come upon a burning, Turk-populated version of Veniccia, a naked young woman swam up to the gondola – as fully clothed, drowning folk called her a whore – and we took her in. Smattering of dialects that she speaks, after being conjured clean (which freaked her out) and got a conjured blanket (also freaked her out). Comfort the girl who is known as Deniz. Apparently gunpowder is only half as effective here, we found out when Gauis put a grenade into a would-be gondola hijacker’s chest. His brother took umbrage, so Lisette threw a knife into his throat.

Lisette pulls an outfit out of a closet trump, and while William shifts to our final destination, adapts all our clothing to the current shadow. Lisette is looking exotic and foreign. LR is attempting to fit in. William dressed in good quality, but not flashy garments. Gauis is just being big – and threatening – wearing the better part of a couple of wolves. Deniz is dressed in common clothes. Need shoes for all – keep us about an inch above the crap. We are making our way to Williams’ town house.

Apparently people are looking for William, and he recognizes that some guy is waiting in the cafe’, signalled and other stuff is happening. Place has been hung with spells. Guy takes off down the street, Gaius has been sent to fetch.

Gaius is galumphing after….. will corral the guy – maybe.

Lisette is going after the guy at the counter cafe’.

LR and William are going after the guy sitting at the table who is apparently coordinating activity.

William does have backup in the form of ‘Sticks’, one of his ‘enforcer/buttonman/soldier’ types. Main guy was attempting to break a spellstick, William negates it by throwing a dagger into the guys hand.

Lisette runs into the cafe’ and prevents the guy tending bar from leaving. He looks into her eyes and basically gives up. Lisette covers his hands and initiates contact. She berates information out of him. Apparently there is another guy that spells the sitting one, he will point him out – aside from the fact that the bastards never paid, they always come in disguise.

Gauis takes out the running one, fairly easily.

LR stops the ring from sending its message. William recognizes the guy, another ‘professional’ but not as good.

Runners were sent to different addresses. Message number ‘3’. Message ‘1’ is ‘We got him’, Message ‘2’ is ‘Flee’, unknown what Message ‘3’ is. Urchin is not quite away. Urchin was able to be coerced into coming back and gave the Message to Lisette, ir read, ’He’s back, come right away’.

LR disables the wards that were ‘add-ons’ – or attempts to. Waiting to hear what the guy was doing, and where he was going. He was going for the ‘spooker’ – assuming that meant the mage on contract?

We get things prepared. The runner was armed up – we removed them.

We were waiting, and then a cannon popped in and fired, it was ‘snuffed’, but it was of limited effect. A second cannon popped in with a muffled, armored fellow, but William managed to keep him from firing the cannon by capping him in his armored head. Someone was watching. Professional – attempts to leave the area nonchalantly. William shoots him in the leg with his AK-47. Gaius is furry, so can’t go get him without causing a panic.

Sticks gets him, wraps up leg – LR has the dead guy get the other dead guy. The wounded guy is spilling his guts. Pretty much a schmuck for hire. Promises from a Demon Lord. He would get Milan. Rule of the Day – Never trust Demon Lords, or those who claim to be.

Found ‘shot in the face mage’s house – found a magic box. ‘SITFM’ was a teleportation specialist, and more than likely the source of the teleportation sticks. Been to all the houses. Box was of the magical variety. Found some woodblock porn – but that’s about it.

William is converting the ‘Shot in the shin guy’, also known as Benito the Stump, to his ‘business’. According to William – this is all business. Except for the cannon guy – that was personal.

Benito is also the other guy who watched at the cafe’. Guido, was the guy that Gaius chased down. Guido might not make the second cut. Lisette takes him aside and tries to assess his capabilities. He’s not that good for much of anything, discussing the clergy, but ultimately we decided that he would be a great bosun, or bosun’s mate – he likes holding peoples’ heads under water and beating them with sticks.

We send him to the navy with an intense hatred of the Turks and the French.

Deniz and Lisette go shopping with SITFM’s money.

LR and William work on the box, get it open, and find a single trump. Not going to use it. Male, broad big, looks fairly powerful. Style is not readily identifiable, it is Dworkinesque in its intensity and looks to have the same level of detail that he puts into his trumps.

An option that might not ever be utilized is Lisette goes toe to toe with him to brute force him with the rest of the crew to back her up. But we’ll explore other options first.

Gaius is following a scent from his attacker – identifiably female scent this time, he’d only caught a second of her in between Questing Beast and Dragon shapes before, but now he is certain she was in the area. William’s gambling den was her focus for awhile at least two days ago.

Deniz and Lisette are buying clothes.

The mystery woman who seemed to be Francqish, seemed to be lower nobility. Investigated William’s gambling house – cased the joint. Found all the passages, she gave off no aura, or anything else for that matter. Lisette has a good mental image, but since the woman is a known shapeshifter, it is malleable.

William talked to employees, and got them taken care of. Still nervous as far as things go, since William showed up with more muscle that they’ve ever seen before. He also picked up a pretty strong magic user along the way. And then of course Gaius all seven feet of him. Still – the natives were restless, William needed to do or say something. He is meeting with the Black Hand master of the city.

LR spends a lot of Williams money on a high class courtesan. LR is playing genteel games, and getting it on with the Courtesan.

Deniz is wanting to be owned, and pretty much is regulated to William as the default prospect. The other group is going out for dinner, coffee and gelato. Dressed up in fashionable clothes, silk and lace.

Apparently we (the group) are celebrity, so people are gawking at us as we dine. Good food and good wines, dining well. Even Gaius has enough. No assassination attempts, much to our disappointment. William and Deniz are discussing her fate in this place. Lisette pipes up and gets Deniz to Earth to indoctrinate into Flora’s Academy. There she will train up and get to the point where she will decide what to do with herself over and above the far-fetched and fanciful dreams of her society.

Lisette goes in Deniz guise to the meeting with the other dude in the Black Hand. Neutral restaurant, good food and the questions start.

Want to know where he was, why people are firing cannon in the middle of town, and what is up with the new associates. Mostly the identities of who is attacking him.

William tells him what the guy needed to know – Satan impersonator coercing employees. Not that immortal god like beings would burn his organization down just to get to us.


Now going to Rema to see if there are unattached trumps in Rema. Lisette cannot track, because she doesn’t ‘own’ Rema, or even have an interest in it. LR is going to hang a spell to get a feeling of where the other trumps are that are not ‘known’. While doing that, Lisette will be making Trumps. She just needs to get away from LR so as not to disturb him while he’s crafting the spell.

Lisette makes three more imperial sets, Gaius’ Mother, Grandmother and Sister. Coordinate some with the Imperial’s to get the Empress back and forth, but since she’s making Trumps for them and Gaius, they do what it takes to make it happen. William is reloading ammunition, and doing practicing of doing it better, sparring with werewolves. LR devised a spell for locating Trumps over a wide area and arranged to get power from some guys from the Imperial Thaumaturgy College. Gaius is prowling among the College wizards and manages to wind some folks who are being nervous and not really in a good way.

Found two spare trumps, One in the First Temple of the Imperial Cult, the other is in the Upscale part of town. Gaius is backing the suspicious guys into a corner. Arrests the two guys, who pretty much agree to go quietly. Otherwise – lots of guys are after brownie points. One is an Underpriest of the Imperial Court, the other has quarters in the the Upscale neighborhood. They will be held in Anti-magic areas, and then go search houses.

Lisette felt the ‘trump’ wave that went off, and then got back with the rest of the group with the other trumps. Parse out the other decks. Going off to search the residences of the ‘traitors’.

Apparently he has no imagination – same damn box with same damn traps on it. Physical traps are the same, magical are more set up by the owners of the box. Two more trumps of the same guy were in the box. God Oberon is in the Trump (what the Priest thinks). Duped into spying and reporting back to the God of the movements of the Royal Family. He is firmly convinced that he is looking after the Family’s best interest. Actually believes it himself. Actually kicking himself when Gaius was abducted.

The other guy, was aware of the Priest, but he was in it pretty much for the money. Very mercenary in his pursuits – well-adjusted sociopath. Lisette goes into his head to get this information. Octavia is going to have her top guy going back in after Lisette is done. He’s a really nasty piece of work. Claudia has him crucified, with College to keep the immediate area magic and elemental free until he finally expires. Lisette gets all the information on where his stuff is. Turned over to the Imperial college and confirmed by the other guy that goes into his brain. The Priest is mortified by this, and turns over his apparatus to the Imperials.

Trumps are deemed God-Blood use only, all others that are not specifically cleared are to confiscated. Called an Imperial Resource.

Claudia is currently the record holder for ‘youngest child of Oberon’ technically she is only 20 years old, Amber time.


Going to attempt to get Flora to walk the pattern to see if she will then remember ‘Overworld’. Tir-na Nog’th or TNN, guarded a little better since the incident. Lisette is going to have to ‘convince’ her a little more to get her to walk the pattern.

She does, however not know who is on the Trump. Cannot ID him, but does rule out a number of possibilities….

Stay Tuned for more developments – Same Amber Time – Same Amber Channel….

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Session 3b: William Visits His Mum

William readied himself for a journey back home to Will’s World. He selected a high end boutique jewelry store and exercised a mix of mundane skill, Conjuration (to take down power on the target’s block) and probability control to loot the place thoroughly. He now had many samples of advanced gem cutting technique to use as wealth, bribes and gifts for his mother and others. Added to his collection of guns and ammo and his potted Otherworldly plants it was clear that at least two horses would be necessary. Florimel’s minions, as per orders, gave him three sturdy, nondescript horses. They were untrained in shadow walking — Katsume and Lisette had explained how to psychically soothe horses’ discomfort about sudden changes in scents and sounds — as the limited supply of trained horses, mules and one camel were Florimel’s or Lisette’s personal mounts.

Lisette Trumped Will and his beasts to a location well away from Earth and he set out for home. Between specifying no trouble and acclimating the trip stretched out to three days. Will arrived via the hunting park on his mother’s country estate and was nervously but professionally welcomed and made comfortable by the servants. (Will was rather frightening unusually polite and tipped really well.) Will’s mother, Lady Anne Devray was not in residence as the social season was still winding up in Londin.

Will took most of a day to let seamstresses work on some court clothes, to test his ammunition (black powder performance near identical to on Earth, cartriges maybe 10% more energetic), and to have some of the plants transplanted into the garden with strict instructions and a sizable tip for the chief gardener. He rode out late in the day and arrived at Lady Devray’s Londin town house at mid evening. Mother was out socializing. Will got cleaned up and set off for the first of 3 or 4 likely parties. Anne was attending the second, one informal enough that the Will’s dress and deportment got him in despite the lack of an invitation.

William’s mother greeted him warmly (by chilly Anglish standards), introduced him around and eventually found a spot to talk privately. Anne was fine, pleased with herself for deflecting the Prince Regent’s recent boorish but dangerous attentions off to someone more suited to his usual tastes, a very pretty, very young and quite stupid girl with ambitious parents. (Anne herself looked like a Hollywood-beautiful mid-thirties.) William owned himself more than fit and come bearing presents and opportunities. The remainder of the evening was fairly dull for William; a bit of his reputation as a duelist was circulating and even the stupidest of the noble bullies present managed to control themselves.

Will and Anne rode out to the estate the following day. Will inquired about his father and showed her the Trumps of Florimel’s brothers. Anne identified “Richard” as either Eric or Corwin — it had been decades and the two looked much alike. The Trumps intrigued her, something tickling her magician’s senses. Will gave her an edited account of his recent adventures and revelations. Anne was skeptical; she checked him out for mind bending enchantments: nothing. He had her Trump him from across the room. Then he took her on an excursion, riding off into the woods and eventually to a cliff overlooking a valley with a Mongol-like encampment and unfamiliar vegetation. Anne sat on a fallen tree and worked implications out for a bit. One: smuggling opportunities! Two: gadding about to other worlds would be extraordinarily dangerous for a good-looking woman without a very substantial bodyguard. Time to get back.

Returning, they saw from the wood that the mansion now had visitors, twenty of the Regent’s Guard, half of them inside terrorizing the staff by the sounds. Will and his mum were spotted and seven of the guardsmen mounted up and rode for the woods. William took a few minutes to incapacitate them without being seen. He went back to observe the mansion and saw the troop’s leader, Lord de Gheere, leading them towards the woods. William and Anne mounted up and led their pursuers on a chase through the woods and out of the shadow to a large clearing that was obviously unearthly. De Gheere, the Prince Regent’s top henchman, ordered a stop, thought for a while, told his men to stay put and rode slowly over to Will and Anne waving a white handkerchief. Faced with the threat of being left in an alien world, de Gheere folded. The Prince Regent had accused Lady Devray and her son with high treason and ordered their arrest. De Gheere obeyed though he’d been concerned that the PR was acting strangely. Faced with sorcery of this magnitude he sold out his patron and gave Will a lot of good information on how to get into the PR’s palace unseen. Will took de Gheere with them back to his home world and marooned the guardsmen. De Gheere set off for his own estate with the guardsmen in the wood (who hadn’t seen their attackers) with an eye, he said, to leaving for the Continent.

Lady Anne calmed her servants. William gathered some tools and rode to Londin. The Prince Regent died quietly of natural causes in the night. He’d been influenced by an amulet. Will traced the influence to the PR’s confessor and questioned him. The confessor, a magus of moderate power, was in league with the Demon Prince and President Focalor who had set him three years ago the task of watching for William should he visit Lady Devray. He’d been informed that William had evaded capture by the incompetent Italians. When William showed up in Londin the confessor seized his opportunity to please the Dark Master and arranged for William to be captured. He’d catastrophically underestimated William’s capabilities. He had a sigil to contact his superior in Focalor’s service. That exhausted the confessor’s useful knowledge. He died more painfully than the PR. William ghosted away.

With the Prince Regent dead the throne fell to Princess Catherine, an intelligent and willful woman who had come of age two years ago. The PR kept finding excuses to delay crowning her. Next in line were two male, more malleable cousins. Princess Catherine had some loyal supporters but the smart money was on the first cousin to be king after she had an unfortunate accident. At Anne’s urging, William interfered. He popped out of nowhere to thwart a hastily arranged assassination attempt on Catherine the next day by killing most of the assassins himself. Catherine knew a good thing when she saw it an offered him the post of bodyguard and security consultant. A few more deaths — some blatant, some inexplicable — and the cousins’ less committed supporters deserted in droves. Nobody was saying openly that the Princess’ bodyguard was the Black Hand’s — and Europe’s — top killer but they did whisper it a lot. Most could add Mistaken Arrest Warrant Against William and Anne + Dead Prince Regent + William Backing the Princess = Get the Fuck Out of the Way. Catherine was the legitimate heir, so that was something even though she was a woman. William selected the best of Catherine’s supporters to run her security and found a couple of pros that could be bribed and terrified into signing on.

William left, shadowshifting (vanished!) for Italia. Lady Devray was extremely pleased with being one of Queen Catherine advisors. Catherine was pleased overall that the frightening William was gone but the threat of him remained. Everybody else could suck it.

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