Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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Amber log...


Ramius heads back from his discussions with Mandor. Uther goes off to make preparations for dealing with the hunting demon. He asks Gideon whether the Trump sketch for the surviving assassin (there being none, of course, for Victor) should be kept out of the hands of the delegation from Chaos. Gideon's opinion is that it should be, since Fiona is still interrogating the prisoners. Uther returns to the delegation's quarters with the other five Trump sketches.

Borel opens the door to him, and sends him in to talk with Ramius and Sahnuan. Sahnuan seems fascinated by the Trump sketches, and Uther asks if it might be possible to ascertain who the artist was from the style of execution, but Sahnuan says that he can't tell who it was. Ramius wants to know when the trip to Eregnor is scheduled, but Uther points out that the matter of the hunting demon is still outstanding, and must be dealt with first. He asks Ramius if he has a gold coin; Ramius looks flustered and says that he has a credit card, which perplexes Uther. Eventually a gold coin is found and handed to Uther, along with the sketches, with which Sahnuan has now finished. Uther returns to his quarters, and Ramius sets about preparing spells.

In the library, Joseph, Tremayne and Lucien are reading the Potted History of Eregnor, which turns out to be a place that is heavily wooded, between Kashfa and Begma. Once upon a time in Eregnor there was a Golden Age of Chivalry and Noble Religion. A schism took place, ending with religious fanatics in power, and a woman, Deela, in control. Declaring herself to be the "Chosen of the Gods", she destroyed many temples, and became "The Desecratrix". Her troops then started raiding Begma, particularly shrines to the Unicorn. Amber sent a small troop under Oberon, and Deela was captured and taken back to Amber in chains. Unfortunately, she escaped. Five years later the troubles started again. This time Amber sent a larger force, captained by Bleys, who caught Deela and killed her. Things in Eregnor improved after this, and Oberon visited: at that time the Hall of Martyrs and the Paladins were instituted.

Two hundred years later, with Oberon now dead, the raids restarted under Dalt, the son of the Desecratrix, quite possibly by Oberon! Amber sent in a moderate force led by Benedict, who defeated Dalt. Dalt then allied with Luke, and ran up against Merlin. Eventually Merlin managed to broker a peace deal with Dalt, who repudiated the fanatics. Dalt is now the titular King - in effect, the absentee landlord - of Eregnor.

They decide to contact Dalt, with whom they've had friendly, if brief, relations in the past. Joseph contacts Dalt by Trump, and he agrees to spare them a few minutes from mopping up the last remnants of the Vortex beasts from Arden, and says that he'll arrive shortly.

Ramius, wandering along a corridor, meets Dalt, whom he doesn't know, and after a brief chat they head to the library, where those assembled explain to Dalt what's been going on. Dalt gives them a few more details on the Hall of Martyrs, and tells them that so far as he's concerned he has no objection to them going to Eregnor, though he'd like them to damage the infrastructure as little as possible. Joseph check that it's OK with Dalt to contact him while they're there if anything unexpected arises with which they're unsure how to deal, and Dalt says that that's fine, too. He suggests that, since they want to arrive incognito, their best strategy would be to turn up as a group of free traders.

Harry talks with Darius about what should be done with someone called Leopold, a middle-aged out-of-towner, who has arrived on a ship via Begma, and has been collared by the Powers That Be for asking questions. He's on a quest, seeking the greatest knight in his land, one Sir Francis, who is needed to reunite the land. Darius leaves a message that he'll be back at the castle in a few hours, then Trumps with Harry to the harbour, from where they go to meet Leopold. Leopold tells them that his king, Louis, advised him to come to Amber in his search for Sir Francis. Darius agrees to help in finding Sir Francis, and he and Harry return to the castle, where they go to the library and tell people what they've found out.

Tremayne leaves the library to go to the War Room and discuss matters with Gideon. He tells him about Sir Francis and the fact that it may well be the same Sir Francis which the Amberites encountered while they were dealing with the invasion of the duplicates, and, if it is, that he's now a 'guest' of Chaos. Gideon says that Chaos is unlikely to let Sir Francis go, but there's always a possibility that a deal might be struck, and therefore Tremayne may want to discuss the situation with the delegates.

Ramius and Joseph have each been given a coin, enchanted by Uther to locate the demon. They use these like dowsing pendula: the coin swings in the direction of the demon. The coins begin to lead them in the direction of the servants' quarters...

Tremayne goes to the Chaos delegation's quarters, where he meets Marekha. He tells her about Leopold and Sir Francis. She suggests strongly that this matter shouldn't come to Lord Borel's attention, and that Leopold should be kept strictly out of Borel's sight. What she can do, though, is to arrange a communication with Sir Francis. Tremayne returns to Gideon and reports this success, and mentions the complication with Borel.

Ramius, Uther, Darius and Caine, forming one group in search of the demon, meet up with Tremayne, Lucien and Joseph, the other group. Tremayne tells the others about his meeting with Marekha; Ramius embarrasses Tremayne somewhat by telling him that Marekha likes him. They all head towards the servants' quarters, following the enchanted coins. Ramius' group arrives in the kitchens, where the cook tries to feed Caine, but is told not to because he's working. Lucien, Tremayne and Joseph come in from the other side of the kitchen. The coins are pointing downwards, tugging towards a large wine cellar.
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