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.)
William was bummed to find out that Flora’s Regeneration Beds do damned little for Amberites. Great for mortals… 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.
-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 -
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.