Saif visited Cauldron secretly, working on the Shadow structure to align it with Corwin’s Argent Pattern and thereby remove its connections to the Empire. This went smoothly. The Shadow was attached to Argent’s Circle, and he made some explanations to the populace.
Amara gave Kayleb a tour of Telluria, including a secluded area not in her quarters, suitable for a Trump location.
Kate was on display around the Castle being visibly loyal.
Kayleb offered to be on display diplomatically, especially in a capacity to remind provinces that have had Ways repaired of the continued attention of the Imperial Family. He made a visit to a working Way on such a province, and ambled around looking busy while focusing his attention on Fiona, to get her attention.
Saif instructed his people surrounding the Imperial administrative building/embassy to allow the small garrison to hunker down.
Flora’s official response to the disappearance of Cauldron was attributing it to a final defiance and betrayal by Saif, that he had destroyed the Shadow.
Kayleb sent a free-floating Trump message for Fiona, “What will it take to get your attention?” On returning to his quarters, the Guysel appeared and chastised him for the continual flares. She suggested that to find Fiona he needed to look at “a different aspect of his vortex.” His current attempts, being confined to his aspect, would find no receiver. She offered to help him find a wider perspective, by making him a Paragon. This would link him to a Court of the Knot, and draw on the Vortex’s power. She revealed that her previous Paragon had been Caine. Kayleb accepted readily, and experienced a mind altering “brief taste of the infinite.”
Saif discussed with Corwin the possibility of contacting Benedict. Word arrived that Llewella’s dirigible fleet was nearing. Saif contacted Llewella, and from their conversation ascertained that her goal was his capture, conquest of the Shadow secondary, and that they were aware they were cut off from Amber. The implication was that they had been on Cauldron when it was linked to Argent, and had traveled to Argent largely unaware of how they might reach Amber again.
Kayleb took advantage of his new perspective to make a Trump of the Amber Embassy on Cauldron that worked despite the Shadow’s alignment with Argent. He visited the Embassy, and discussed the situation with the administrator and garrison commander. He constructed a Trump of his workshop that functioned within Argent’s sphere. He brought a requisition for firearms to the Castle armory, and set processes in motion to supply the garrison on Cauldron.
Kayleb reported his findings to Flora, and was asked to make a working Trump of Martin (whose army was accompanying the dirigible fleet). He complied, crafting it with built in eavesdropping.
Amara tasked some of her research boffins with investigating Trumps, using some examples that Saif provided. Their initial disinterest faded in the presence of the actual article. She also set up production of Amber-functioning gunpowder.
Kate snooped around the Castle. She overheard Flora’s conversation with Martin, coordinating an attack on Argent from the dirigible fleet with invasion of Cauldron through the Trump gate to the Embassy. She also sought to visit the Emperor with the pretext of giving him a physical exam, but was forced to make an appointment for some weeks later.
Kayleb Trumped Corwin, informing him that Cauldron could still be reached by Trump. He also passed along a recording of the conversation between Flora and Martin. Kayleb asked to hear the sales pitch of the Children of the New Year, setting an appointment for later.
Saif contacted Amara about acting as an intermediary with Llewella. Fully aware of the stupidity of the exercise, Amara Trumped to the exterior of the flag-dirigible, and broke in through a window. She snuck through the interior, coercing some details of the layout out of one staffer, and then deciding that infiltrating directly to Llewella was not worth the risk, left the documents detailing Project Harmony with another staffer.
Kayleb spent some time refactoring the iTrump to accommodate his new perspective. He also delivered working Trump sketches to Llewella, and she asked him what he knew about Project Harmony. He detailed what he knew.
Saif received information about Benedict’s location, and traveled there. Arriving unannounced, masked as Reluctant March, he approached to parlay. Benedict allowed it, warning that he was obligated to attempt capture. Saif asserted his loyalty to the Empire if not the Emperor, asked him to look into Project Harmony, gave a few details, and narrowly escaped.
With the dirigible fleet closing on Argent’s center, Kayleb arranged contact between Saif and Llewella. He also gave a Trump contact to the Shadow of Falling Anvils™ to one of Corwin’s men, to hold open in case it was needed. Saif met with Llewella in person, alone. She offered to cancel the invasion if Saif and Corwin surrendered themselves to her, with her guarantee of safe conduct. Saif conveyed the offer to Corwin, who agreed, and they surrendered themselves to Llewella. The dirigible fleet began to travel back to Amber.
Scuttlebutt around Amber suggested that Llewella was being coy with Flora about handing over the prisoners, arguing over jurisdiction.
On the flagigible, Saif was questioned by military investigators about his actions. He answered honestly, while including in his responses connections to Project Harmony as much as possible.
Kayleb delivered copies of the Project Harmony file to Benedict and Bleys marked “FYI.”
Kate contacted Llewella, assessing her mental capacity amidst a banal conversation that Llewella cut very short out of boredom. Kate’s judgement: Llewella was no slouch, but not in Kate’s league.
Kayleb offered to help Llewella delay resolution on the jurisdiction questions.
Kayleb also spoke to Bleys about the Harmony packet. Bleys said it was interesting but not alarming, given that it didn’t seem to be imminent, and that the consequences for him personally would just be boredom.
Random issued a direct edict for Llewella to hand over the prisoners. Llewella stormed into the Castle, and was kept waiting before being allowed in to see Random. Kate approached her, but Llewella cut her off. Kayleb attempted to eavesdrop, but was cut off when Llewella entered the Emperor’s presence. She did not emerge. The guards around the emperor’s quarters were described as “freaked.”
Half a day later, Llewella still had not appeared. An announcement was made that she had returned to her fleet. Kayleb attempted to contact her, but could not, nor locate her with Trump.
Kayleb Trumped Corwin, and offered to help remove him from captivity, apprising him of Llewella’s disappearance. Corwin agreed, and Kayleb brought him to his workroom, and then to Telluria.
An undercaptain from Llewella’s staff brought Saif a Trump, saying that he had been given orders when Llewella left. Saif took the Trump, used it, then Trumped to Telluria and contacted Amara.
An official announcement was made that Llewella’s transport had suffered an accident en route back to her fleet, and that she had been killed.
Saif met up with Amara, and made a sketch of Kayleb.
Kayleb went back to being publicly, visibly loyal.
Kate continued surveilling Random’s office.
Kayleb passed to Saif and Amara their own iTrumps. Its preset Trumps of locations and persons function independently of the alignment with Amber or Argent. The Trump-drawing app is still Amber-centric.
Saif contacted Corwin, and got his help making a working Cauldron Trump.
Kate mentally assesses Flora. Conclusion: no slouch, but not in Kate’s league.
Saif discovered that the entrance to Forge was under the Empire’s control, and they were actively seeking to open it. He instead travelled to a place in Shadow the dirigible fleet had passed, and located his discarded vestments.
Amara and Corwin engaged in a friendly, if rigged, drinking contest, accompanied by one-sided flirting.