Shadows in the Lee of Empire

Session 7
Not so lucky...

A week has passed since the attack on the Cathedral. Aid has begun arriving at the City from the provinces, and the Emperor has been building loyalty on the sense of outrage that has resulted from the atrocity.

A new relative, Michael, has appeared and sworn his loyalty to the Empire. He is now in command of the air forces, replacing the late Llewella. The Emperor has been seen much in his company, and with Martin, who is sporting new but less splendid armor. They are clearly planning a major campaign.

Corwin has been blamed publicly for harboring Saif, and the message from the Empire has been that Argent must pay.

Kate has thrown herself into the work of dealing with the casualties of the attack.

Saif contacted Duke Balor, Julian’s son. Balor accepted copies of Saif’s apology, and an additional personal offer for the Emperor, offering to turn himself in if the Empire acknowledges Project Harmony, and forswears it as a personal plan of the late High Inquisitor. Balor agreed to distribute the apology, and pass along the note.

Amara conferred with Corwin about the defense of Argent. Corwin has ordered evacuation, and worries about Kayleb’s Trump abilities, as well as the massive disparity of forces. Amara sought a disguise, to preserve the illusion that she died attacking Martin. She got a Trump of Argent, so that she can return from Telluria, and went home.

Telluria had been altered, Shadow-wide, such that its technology no longer functions. Only the station where Broken Pattern research was conducted, and a few items based on that, still work. The power level involved was very high, likely involving the Jewel. Saif determined that undoing the damage was beyond his capability, and would likely require the Jewel itself. Meanwhile, the disaster was well underway, devastating the Shadow.

Tyber Trumped to Chaos, seeking Mandor to offer any aid he could. The usual Chaosian weirdness ensued. Mandor was unsure how to use Tyber. They discussed Tyber’s origins; Tyber recalls his home Shdaow/Way was Kazan, but was unsure of his House. Mandor recalled no such place. Tyber conferred with Kate, and they shared uncertainty about how to proceed.

Saif spoke with Balor to see how his offer had been received. Balor indicated that there had been no response, and offered a rough pep talk/dressing down given Saif’s fatalistic attitude about surrendering. Balor’s take was that the offer would not be accepted.

Kate visited Shadow Earth to pursue her secret project (dun dun dunnn) and wrap up her mother’s affairs. She gained access to all of Flora’s resources there.

Balor Trumped Saif, saying that the Unicorn had spoken to Julian, and instructed Julian to pass a message to Saif. The message was that Saif needed to clean up his family’s messes. As a result of the appearance of the Unicorn, Julian had withdrawn Arden from the Empire, and was preparing defenses.

A reptilian creature, Serpentine, even, spoke to Tyber from a toilet, chiding him that “Son of the Unicorn, it is time to take your responsibilities seriously.” Tyber went to consult Mandor, who had no insight into why the Serpent would address him so. Tyber also consulted Kate, who was likewise mystified.

Imperial troops reached Argent, unleashing an overwhelming assault on the capital. Saif and Amara briefly assisted the defense, before it was overwhelmed. Two figures fought a ferocious battle atop the flag-dirigible, which crashed, but the attacking forces crushed resistance quickly.

Saif and Amara contacted Julian, and took refuge in Arden. Saif settled in to make a Trump of his clone-brother Egon, while Amara explored the defenses of the Forest.

Tyber sought resources to research the Children of the Unicorn, eventually finding a Fount of Knowledge in the form of four female children rooted in a mound. He received some general information from a very Chaosian perspective, including that the Children of the Unicorn were quite numerous, and synonymous with the Royal Family of Amber.

Saif contacted Kate, seeking her help in using the Trump of Egon. She joined him in Arden and accepted the Trump, but then attempted to drug Saif with a hypodermic. Thwarted by his armored vestments, she threatened him with a gun (was this the secret project?). Amara interfered, disarming Kate. Kate disappeared, and Trumped away.

Kate attempted to use the Trump of Egon. She encountered some resistance, but after overcoming that found herself in contact with the Emperor. He invited her through. Despite the warnings of her instinct for self-preservation, she accepted. The Emperor took the Trump, then attacked Kate with his sword. Kate became invisible, but was unable to avoid a serious wound. She Trumped away to New York, to a hospital. Before losing consciousness, she Trumped Saif, telling him that the Trump had led to the Emperor.

Saif passed the news of Egon possibly impersonating the Emperor along to Julian. He asked that if possible, word be passed to Kayleb, asking him to make an independent Trump of Egon for confirmation.

Tyber spoke further with the Fount, trying to piece together his past. After sharing his memories, the Fount noted that it sounded like the experiences of several individuals. Tyber attempted to Trump Kate, finding her in a drugged haze. The Fount told him she seemed to be wounded.

Saif went for a walk in Arden, in hopes of contacting the Unicorn. It did appear, and showed him an image of Tyber. Scratched into a tree, because woodcut is the Primal Art Form.

Tyber wandered the Ways to the Logrus, and found the portal to it blocked by a rockfall that seemed more than physical. He Trumped Amara and Saif to join him. Amara’s scans were inconclusive, confused by the nature of the blockage and the general Chaos. Pattern-sight showed the nature of the blockage to involve Primal Order violently wedged into Chaos.

Tyber led Amara and Saif to the Fount. Saif used Trump to Psychically bond with Tyber, to share his memories. His memories did feel fragmentary. The dream visions were more consistent, and Tyber was able to share the most recent of them; a memory of standing at the Logrus and focusing on the Jewel, while someone invaded his mind and pulled out his essence. It appeared that Egon might have attacked Random while Random was preoccupied working through the Jewel.

They met with Mandor, passing on this information, and seeking help with healing Kate. They Trumped her, bringing her through, and Mandor melded with her to accelerate her healing, also conferring to establish her position in regards to the Empire.

Finally, Mandor undertook to modify Tyber’s armor with Logrus, and succeeded in opening the visor.

The face in the helmet was Random’s.

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Mea Culpa
Recently distributed across Cauldron

A handwritten note recently found in many locations across Cauldron:

From the hand of Saif Bariman, once Imperial Governor of Cauldron
To all citizens of the Empire, particularly the residents of Cauldron

Several days ago, I attacked the Cathedral of Amber, causing a tragic loss of life among innocent citizens. This was a criminal act for which I am solely responsible, and I expect and accept that I will pay the price for it. I do not seek forgiveness, and know that no explanation will diminish the enormity of my wrong, but perhaps one will help make sense of the tragedy.

I have recently learned of a plan by the Grand Inquisitor, called Project Harmony, that would involve destroying many worlds. I feared that the gathering at the Cathedral was to initiate this plan. That I was incorrect is itself shameful, but in response I displayed a monstrous disregard for innocent life. The potential disaster I hoped to avert is no excuse for the actual atrocity I committed.

Since I have engaged in such evil, I know I can not be part of the process of reconciliation that the Empire clearly needs. I hope that the security concerns that lay behind Harmony, and the Inquisition in general, can be addressed while preserving the Empire as we know it, and the worlds beyond.

I will soon submit myself to Imperial justice. Let that be the end of recrimination. May it bring the victims of my crime some solace.

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Session 6
Two birds with one meteor

Saif and Tyber were enjoying a bucolic idyll on a remote agricultural world within Telluria. Saif was primarily occupied with wallowing in his recent failures, Tyber with boredom.

Kayleb was experimenting with paintings that had enough Trumpness to function as one-way spying devices.

Saif was visited by a whispered chanting that only he could hear. Pattern-sight revealed a faint trace of magical energy accompanying the sound. The whisper built to a crescendo with a voice saying “My Lord, we seek you!” When the sound vanished, Saif arranged a teepee at the site, in case it occurred again in the same location.

Kayleb had some characters step out of his paintings. Addressing him as Paragon, they stated a need for his services. “That envisioned by the King, while not pleasing to us, is displeasing to those we oppose.” They asked him to kill Corwin, to make way for the King’s plan (presumably Harmony).

Amara visited Saif and Tyber in the teepee, to discuss the possibility that Llewella might still be alive, and if so, in need of/deserving rescue. While they were discussing this, Tyber passed out. He came to having had a vision, of a red-headed man interacting with the Logrus, apparently harming it. Tyber had a vague sense of recognizing the man, as one who had done him harm, and would again. Tyber was able to confirm that the red-headed man was not Bleys, Brand, Luke, or Kayleb, but he did share some characteristics of the Royal family.

Saif contacted Corwin to see if the Children had any contacts with Chaos. Corwin confirmed that they did, December being of Chaos, and that things were normal there at the moment.

Saif attempted psychic contact with Tyber to share the vision, but was blocked by his armor. He mulled asking Kayleb or Kate to break through, but put off the decision.

Saif shadow-walked with Tyber and Amara to a nearby non-technological Shadow, and manipulated it to increase magic sensitivity. Amid flying deer, he flailed around trying to recreate the energy of the earlier contact. He got flashes of images of an occult ritual, cowled figures he did not recognize, but could not establish communication. A short time later, though, they made contact with him, greeting him as Lord Brand reborn, and pledging their readiness to act on his behalf. Saif recognized their leader as a member of the minor Amber noble house Malcom. He probed the leader’s mind to form a psychic impression, and assay his state of mind. Conclusion: malevolent fanatic. Saif asked them to be ready to act.

Amara Trumped to Corwin, to ask him about The Knot, something she had learned of while on the magic-amplified Shadow. She had received a warning to protect Corwin from the Paragon of Shadows, The Deceiver.

While Amara was talking to Corwin, a Trump gate opened, and Martin emerged in full Bronze Dragon regalia. Flora stood behind him in the gate, smirking. Amara threw Corwin aside, fending off Martin with her lightsaber. Finding his skill greater than her own, and his armor highly resistant to her weapon, she resorted to a Pattern grenade.

After recovering consciousness, she found Martin nearby, carving his way through Corwin’s guards. She tried her gun, and found Martin’s armor proof against that as well. Martin responded with a thrown dagger, which injured her slightly. Amara responded with another Pattern grenade.

After recovering consciousness again, she tried Trumping Corwin, but found Trump blocked. Once Martin moved away, she was able to Trump Tyber, and brought him through. They moved to confront Martin. His armor resisted their attacks, though electricity gave him some issues. Their combined efforts slowed the struggle, but Martin still held a distinct advantage.

Saif ordered his Brandite minions to attack Flora, with the caveat that success was a secondary goal to the attackers dying in the attempt, and leaving no connection to the rest of the cult.

Brilliant November appeared and unleashed a magical assault on Martin. His armor absorbed the energy effortlessly. He taunted her “Anticipated,” and knocked her unconscious with a thrown dagger. Amara approached while he was distracted, using a piece of tapestry to hold a grenade against him. He took the opportunity to cut off her legs.

The explosion further dismembered Amara, as Tyber discovered when he dug through the rubble. She did not appear to be bleeding, not being a biological entity at all. He was able to Trump Saif, and hand Amara in her several pieces through. At Amara’s instruction, Saif took her to her quarters, and she revealed that she had three spare bodies there. She began the process of transferring to one.

Tyber did not find Martin under the rubble, but did find a few small pieces of his armor. He passed one to Corwin for analysis, and another to Amara.

Kayleb contacted Tyber, offering to help with the attack. Tyber mentioned his vision, and that Kayleb might be able to overcome the barrier of his armor. Kayleb used Trump to access the memory, and then made a quick sketch of the red-headed man. Kayleb did not recognize the red-head himself, but forwarded the sketch to Saif.

Saif immediately recognized his fellow-clone Egon, whom he thought he had killed during their time as part of Brand’s experiments on Cauldron. So far Saif has been careful to avoid speaking Egon’s name.

Fiona was murdered in the infirmary in Argent. She was found with one of Martin’s signature blades through her forehead, with a note saying “There’s nowhere you can hide.”

The boffins of Telluria expressed bafflement over the fragments of Martin’s armor. Their discussion with Amara began with the position that a countermeasure to it was beyond their capability, but ended with them agreeing to design some sort of unreliable, localized doomsday device. Amara also posted alerts on all of the Elders of Amber, and any dirigible sightings.

Corwin updated Saif on Fiona’s death, and asked him to look into how Amber was able to freely Trump into Argent. Saif asked December to get in touch. Amara and Saif then relocated to Argent.

The Brandite cultist attack against Flora succeeded famously at its primary goal of killing the attackers. They caused some casualties, left no evidence, but were (as intended) tentatively recognized.

Saif Trumped Kayleb, and asked directly if he were responsible for Trumping attackers to Argent. Kayleb denied performing those Trumps, and noted that once he had proven it was possible, replicating the feat was no longer extraordinary. Saif concurred. While they conversed, Tyber intercepted a flying dagger directed at Saif. Kayleb identified the symbols on the dagger as being associated with classic Amber sorcery.

Saif received a Trump from December, and went through to meet in person. They found many points of agreement, though little direction for action. December did not recognize Egon from the picture of Tyber’s vision, and could not offer any insight into what relationship the events in the vision might have had to the weakening of the Logrus. Egon’s involvement was news to him, though.

Tyber received a Trump from Caine’s agent Blue, warning that Flora, Random, and Martin were in the Cathedral of Amber, energy was building, and something was happening.

Saif sent the Brandite cultists to attack the Cathedral. Their leader warned that the Cathedral’s wards meant that at best they could achieve destruction in the surrounding neighborhood, not harm to the Cathedral itself. Saif directed them to do so.

Saif and Amara gathered remaining explosives from the defense of Argent, and packed them into the Tellurian Shadow-travelling troop transport. Amara hacked the guidance system to convince it to pilot on a collision course with the Cathedral. Coming from a very great (in orbit) height, the impact caused vast devastation in the city.

In the aftermath, it was announced that Flora had been killed. Random and Martin were seen in public in the days following. Random seemed unharmed. Martin was not wearing his accustomed armor.

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Session 5
Two down!

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.

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Session 4
Helping

Amara met with the Seneschal. She asked if she was needed to look into the attack on Caine, and told no. The Seneschal also asked her not to investigate the chemical composition of the ammunition used in the dirigible attacks, and the accelerant used in the dirigible yard fire.

Kate did her rounds of the patients in the infirmary. She was reminded by Amara of her conversation with Saif about moving Caine. She Trumped Saif, who then Trumped Tyber to ask if he was willing to participate. Tyber agreed, so Saif maintained a Trump connection with him. Kate brought Tyber to Caine’s room, telling the guards that she might need him to restrain Caine. They gathered some supplies from the room, and Tyber carried Caine and the supplies through to Saif in Cauldron. Kate stayed behind to gather more supplies and preserve the illusion that Caine was still present. [Strike 1!]

The guards noticed Tyber and Caine’s absence almost immediately. Kate was able to shift suspicion entirely to Tyber, and a highly secretive alert and search began.

Saif and Tyber moved Caine into Forge. Saif set time’s passage to be very fast in relation to Amber [Strike 2!], then stepped out into Cauldron to communicate with subordinates and Kate [Strike 3!]. While Tyber was alone with Caine, Caine entered cardiac arrest. Despite heroic efforts on Tyber’s part, Caine died. From Tyber’s perspective, it was some 11 hours before Saif returned.

Saif returned to Forge to find Caine dead, and his body slightly mauled by Tyber’s attempts at resuscitation. Panic and hysteria ensued. Kate was brought in at some point. Saif set time on Forge to be extremely slow relative to Amber, to preserve the body.

As they bandied about various (mostly ridiculous) responses and plans, Tyber had another conversation with his invisible cloaked friend, who suggested using the Jewel of Judgement to make a Pattern Ghost. The invisible friend had fairly detailed knowledge of the Jewel’s location, not to mention the inner workings of the Jewel and Pattern Ghosts.

Kate decided her best option was throwing herself on her mother’s mercy. She Trumped back to Amber, and confessed everything to Flora. Kate suggested blaming the Children of the New Year. Flora preferred blaming Saif. Kate then suggested blaming Kayleb. Flora still preferred Saif.

Saif and Tyber meanwhile took a Hellride to someplace out of the way. En route, Tyber was contacted by an unknown person (Caine’s agent Blue). At their destination, Saif mentioned his preferred option was to talk to the Children of the New Year, and see if they were involved in Project Harmony, and if not, take refuge with them. His plan to contact them was to attempt to repair a Way. Tyber was disinclined to contact the Children, Trumped back to Amber, and turned himself in.

Tyber confided Saif’s plan to Flora in his (quite polite) interrogation. Flora suggested that Tyber could also testify that Saif was responsible for several other incidents, including the dirigible yard fire, the attacks on the dirigibles, and the murder of the Pontifex. Tyber agreed to testify.

Saif picked a random Way to repair, and made a half-assed start on it. The masked fellow first encountered, the one with the Pattern blade, appeared. He introduced himself as Gentle April. Saif asked about the aims of the Children; April said their primary focus was curtailing Imperial aggression, especially Project Harmony. Discussion to establish trust followed, but the clincher was a sudden attack by Imperial forces on Saif. April used a different-Pattern power to transport Saif and himself away.

Kate sought comfort in food, but Flora was able to lure her back into court life before her dress size was seriously threatened.

Amara reached Telluria, and reported on her observation of Amber. The establishment there is generally dismissive of the “witch doctors” of Amber and their tiny even if cross-dimensional Empire. Amara asked about a civilian project to build Shadow-travelling troop transports, which was funded by multi-planetary financiers; officially the project was not illegal, though odd.

Gentle April took Saif to a country estate of a Lord Amarand, located on Argent, ruled by King Corwin. April also revealed himself to be Corwin.

A tribunal was convened in Amber to try Saif in absentia. Tyber testified, but declined to follow Flora’s script, testifying only as to events he witnessed. Flora was disappointed; Tyber returned to imprisonment.

Kate dithered about helping Tyber, but eventually managed to slip him a Trump sketch of Central Park on Earth. Tyber used the sketch, and hid out in the park.

Flora asked Kate about the possibility of Amara’s involvement in Tyber’s disappearance. Kate didn’t support the proposition, but did give Flora a Trump of Amara.

Flora Trumped Amara, and (rather delicately!) asked if she had been involved in Tyber’s disappearance or Caine’s disappearance. Given Amara’s entirely credible denial, nothing much came of it.

April and November visited Saif to discuss their common interests, and establish a basis of trust. Unfortunately, this took the form of allowing November (Fiona) to make mental contact and impose a simple restriction against discussing the Children. With that, Saif was welcomed into the Children under the name Reluctant March.

The details of Project Harmony were discussed. The Children understand it to be a plan to use the Jewel to restructure the nature of the Pattern’s interaction with Shadow, so that all Shadows would more accurately reflect Amber. In effect, this would cause existing Shadows to be erased, and impose conditions that would allow Amber to take over Shadows much more easily.

Kate gave Tyber a new set of Trumps, but other responsibilities (ie parties) prevented her from helping further.

Tyber Trumped Saif, and they discussed events in Amber (the trial) and shared interests with the Children. Tyber agreed to consider working with them.

Amara also Trumped Saif, and discussed making common cause with the Children. Fiona listened in, and agreed to consider it. Fiona admitted the Children had connections with Telluria already.

Amara was contacted by a Barren August, and they discussed more details of the Children. The Children are responsible for the project to build the Shadow-travelling troop transports. Various interests are represented in the group, with the primary shared goal being stopping Project Harmony. Some of the Children also want Random dethroned. Some want the Logrus restored. August gave Amara her Tellurian contact info, where she goes by Samantha Santone.

Corwin transported Saif and Tyber to Telluria, and left Saif with an Argent-based Trump of himself.

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Session 3
Typical Day In The Office For Caine

Kayleb passed along some details of his conversation with The Guisel, including the rhyme.

Amara shared some details about her home Shadow, Telluria, including their possession of a technological means to travel between Shadows, and that much of their technology functions across Shadow.

Dr. Kate received a message from the Cathedral inquiring if her investigation into the Pontifex’s death might have used sorcery, as their wards had been triggered. This prompted a visit to the Cathedral, where Pattern sight and Amara’s tricorder scan could not pick out any energy signature from the background. Kayleb’s painter’s eye determined that the scene had been composed by someone with a particular flair for the dramatic. Kate noticed some new scuffs in some dried blood, where someone had recently stood to perhaps view the crime scene. There did not seem to be any attempt to alter the evidence. The use of sorcery for concealment in the Cathedral seemed odd, given that detection of the sorcery would be expected; perhaps the sorcerer did not particularly fear the consequences of eventual discovery. There was a brief sense of a trace of Logrus, perhaps from the shapeshifter who had emerged from the Bishop’s body still following.

There was an alarming attack on the Castle, where a number of people with concealed weapons rushed from the public areas to Caine’s office. Many guards were killed, and Caine was badly wounded. The attackers appeared to be lower-class residents of the city, but acted with no regard for personal safety, and with singular focus on reaching the goal without appearing to coordinate after beginning the attack. Many of the attackers showed signs of poorly-maintained health.

Kate took charge of Caine’s surgery and treatment. He appeared likely to survive, but be incapacitated for a considerable time.

Kayleb scanned the mind of the sole surviving attacker, and found his mind to have been emptied, with some residual traces of a Trump-like effect.

An Inquisitor at the scene questioned Kayleb about why he involved Amara in the investigation of the attack.

Speculating on a connection with the attack, Saif, Amara, and Kayleb went to investigate the dock offices of Murdoch Craven, as Caine had requested. They observed an active private building with very ordinary workers, with little public-facing facilities.

At the end of the work day, Saif and Amara ventured inside, with Kayleb observing from the street. While Kayleb was concealed as a street person, a mysterious stranger approached him to point out some errors in the disguise. The stranger claimed to be a member of Caine’s network, Agent Blue. This agent was interested in a particular energy signature associated with the attack on Caine, the murder of the Pontifex, and Kayleb himself. Kayleb suggested that this energy was associated with Tir-na Nog’th and the Hall of Mirrors, and established a method for further communication.

Inside the office, Saif and Amara were stymied by a loyal and conscientious employee of Murdoch Craven. Amara was able to surprise and overcome the guard, allowing Saif to scan his mind, which revealed little of interest. The contents of the conference rooms and offices revealed some theoretical logistics plans, oddly devoid of details that would indicate their purpose. Documents outlined a plan for large-scale management of resource distribution, developed in an oddly compartmentalized way. Apart from the frustratingly obvious benefits of security, the compartmentalization of the plans could lend itself to implementation by a collection of agents who did not need to coordinate with each other, much like the attackers sent against Caine.

Kate joined in a further investigation of Craven’s public offices. With Kayleb again on watch, Kate opened the door to the building. Amara broke an interior door, making complete secrecy impossible. Some consideration was given to using arson to conceal the break-in, but this plan was discarded. In the offices, more strangely compartmentalized plans were found. In the largest office, a secret compartment contained a file labeled “Project Harmony” which confirmed that the various plans were aimed at replacing Empire-wide transport and logistics in the case of some unspecified interruption, particularly with shipping but still utilizing Ways and dirigibles. Saif took this file and a small selection of others.

Saif discussed these findings with Flora, who asked Amara to delete her images of the plans. Flora stated that these were an internal Imperial matter, and emphasized that they should be disregarded. In the morning, Kayleb and Kate were separately called in by Flora, asking them to ignore this “personal matter of Random’s.”

Saif subsequently brought Kate to Cauldron to discuss the possibility of moving Caine from the Castle infirmary to Forge, to speed his recovery.

Kayleb supplied Amara with a set of Trumps. They discussed Flora’s instructions, but also the oddity of the Empire outsourcing such a task.

Saif invited Amara to Cauldron as well, to seek her help in moving Caine. Amara was resistant, unwilling to risk Telluria by an act of apparent disloyalty.

Saif was unable to contact Kayleb by Trump.

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Session 2
Obligatory shitstorm on Earth

Amara investigated a dirigible crash site on Caradoc. She found evidence suggestive of some sort of artillery attack, originating somewhere within a 3mile by 3mile zone, which included a section of coastline.

Kate spoke with Flora about Amara, and Random’s interest in Telluria. Flora wasn’t able to shed any light on the Emperor’s interest in the Shadow, which is quite remote from the Empire, but did confirm his trust in the emissary. Kate also mentioned her dissatisfaction with Kayleb’s preoccupation with personal matters during the early stage of the dirigible yard disaster… the phrase “whoring while the dirigibles burn” was used.

Tyber, in the castle infirmary dealing with his wounds from the masked figure’s Pattern blade, encountered a mysterious cloaked figure. The figure seemed confused as to its own identity, or even objective existence separate from Tyber, but claimed to have attempted to help in the fight, and mentioned a secret passage to the firearms armory. Tyber confirmed the existence of the passage, and had a conversation with Flora about the visitation and passage. Flora advised caution, and suggested maybe speaking with Bleys.

Saif met with the Pendragon Onslow to discuss the damaged Ways, and evidence suggesting his involvement in the dirigible yard attack. Onlsow seemed genuinely ignorant of the attack, and could think of no unusual overtures made to him regarding the Empire.

The Seneschal passed on some details on disruptions to other Ways throughout the Empire. They are widespread, and do not immediately suggest a pattern of targeting specific provinces. Response has been somewhat casual, various family members contributing to repairs as available, particularly Bleys. The dirigible attacks have followed a similar (lack of) pattern.

Saif set out to repair a damaged Way in Cassia, one of the larger affected provinces. It had been conquered by Bleys, in IY35. While in the stables preparing to depart, several mysterious persons clad in trench coats and fedoras apprehended him. They spoke with an odd speech impediment, and attempted to abduct him. Trump access was blocked, and they used darts to attempt to subdue him (though they seemed willing to do more lasting harm as well). He was drugged and knocked out attempting to escape, but the abduction was prevented. The assailants vanished without being apprehended.

Amara analyzed the scene of the abduction attempt, and recorded the signature of the toxin on the darts, and the footprints of the abductors (who apparently wore manufactured dress shoes). There were no signs indicating how they arrived or departed. Several guards and a stable hand were found knocked out. There was no trace evident to Pattern-sight of what blocked Trump, or how the assailants escaped.

Amara received a request from an Archbishop Marcus (no relation?) of The Church of the Unicorn for a meeting. She elected to defer until after the trip to Cassia to repair the Way. First, an older dirigible attack site was examined, which showed evidence of similar artillery attack, indicating a launch area that included a river.

While Saif was repairing the Way, a rabbit-suited masked man confronted them. He was joined by a second figure, a small female in a purple and gold mask. She addressed him as “Brilliant May” and he addressed her as “November.” They claimed to represent the Children of the New Year. “November” shunted Amara away through some Pattern-based power, stranding her in a featureless white room-sized space that her technology assessed as being the boundaries of the universe. Tyber was trumped in to help. “May” employed levitation sorcery to neutralize Saif. “November” blocked subsequent use of Trump. With no way to counter “November’s” abilities, they agreed to abandon that Way. Moving on to another, they were eventually able to repair it.

Kayleb found himself facing difficulties using Trump powers, which seemed to be based in his own inhibitions. He attributed this to failing to meet the terms of his agreement to provide The Guisel with a lock of Flora’s hair. He consulted with Saif on the feasibility of using Trump gates to supplement damaged Ways, concluding that it would probably be prohibitive, given the personal power required to maintain gates. He also recalled something about 12 masks (details?)

Flora agreed that “November” was likely Fiona in disguise: small, arrogant female skilled in Pattern. Flora suggested that her assistants could be Fiona’s children, explaining their Pattern abilities. Flora also warned Kate about the cloaked figure possibly influencing Tyber.

Saif reported on the repair efforts to the Seneschal, Flora, and Caine. Caine had a personal request for him to investigate the waterfront offices of a merchant named Murdoch Craven. Saif’s sources indicate that Craven is known to be a supporter of the Empire, a noble landholder with mercantile interests on the side. He has no holdings in Caradoc particularly, and his waterfront office for his shipping interest is not his primary focus.

Amara had a meeting with the Archbishop Marcus, a scholarly older fellow. Marcus claimed to have an issue best examined by an outsider: a message from a Bishop Manchester in Caradoc, that something possibly treasonous was going on there, possibly military mobilization in the castle. Amara agreed to look into it.

Kayleb manipulated some servants to retrieve some of Flora’s hair from a hairbrush in her chamber. He confirmed that the hair had the type of connection to Flora required for the Trump-related magic he had been investigating. He offered the hair to the portrait from which The Guisel appeared to him, and the hair disappeared. He found that his self-interference in his Trump powers was relieved.

Kate had a dream of a stealthy assassin stalking through the Cathedral of Amber, and slaughtering Pontifex Alexander on the altar. After the murder, the assassin seemed to change behavior as if becoming a different person, removed their mask, revealing Flora. Awaking alarmed, Kate travelled to the Cathedral and learned that the Pontifex had in fact just been murdered in the manner she dreamed. The crime scene appeared to have been cleaned by someone knowledgeable in forensics. She was able to find some bits of black wool consistent with the assassin’s garb from her dream. There was a faint unusual scent in the bedroom. The church staff were shaken by the murder, especially the overtones of a dark rite, but reassured that Kate was taking the matter seriously.

Kate planned a trip to Shadow Earth to analyze the evidence. First she discussed the dream and murder with Flora, who was dismissive of the dream’s significance, and asked to be kept in the loop about the evidence.

Amara travelled to Caradoc to speak with Bishop Manchester, but was informed that the Bishop had died that night in his sleep. Her scan of the body indicated a toxin present which could have induced cardiac arrest. After bringing Kate (with Saif and Tyber) in to help investigate, they decided to take the body to Earth for further examination at Mass. General.

Kate commandeered an autopsy theater at the hospital, and sent samples off for analysis. The results, indicating non-(Earth)human origin, triggered some alarm. The tests did confirm the presence of a toxin that could trigger cardiac arrest.

Kayleb received some guidance (source? Missing from notes!) that he should go to Earth as well, eventually arriving at the same hospital at a highly coincidental juncture.

Kate’s autopsy was interrupted by an explosion at the hospital, which cut power in the operating theater. Persons claiming to be security attempted to apprehend those in the theater, but Kate determined they were impostors. Kayleb Trumped them (with the Bishop’s body) to the hospital entrance. Complications ensued with genuine security personnel. They escaped via Trump to the Tir-Na Nog’th stair.

A stream of matter emerged from the Bishop’s body, transforming into a fancy fellow in a mask, who emitted a faint trace of Logrus. Before the masked person could remonstrate, Tyber attacked him. The masked shapeshifter became insubstantial and fled.

[edited for spelling of Guisel]

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Session 1

Our story begins with a party, celebrating the Province of Cauldron’s centennial of joining the Empire. Present were various lesser luminaries of the Court, including Julian’s son Duke Balor. Balor kicked the evening off by questioning Amara as to why Telluria would want to join the Empire.

The desultory celebration was interrupted by a distant explosion, which appeared to be from the direction of the dirigible works. Tyber departed for the site immediately. Amara, Kate, and Saif followed shortly, at the request of the Emperor (via the seneschal).

The entire dirigible yard had been devastated by the explosion, and was a raging inferno. Tyber investigated the site quickly, and surmised that the cause was unlikely to be accident. He located a bunker that might have been used for shelter. Once the others arrived, they were able to help open the bunker, and discovered an unconscious occupant.

Kate coordinated rescue efforts for those who had survived on the outskirts, and Kayleb was brought in to make a Trump gate to Rebma, to extinguish the fire. Between that and what little the fire brigade could do, the blaze was contained.

Amara noticed an anomalous substance in the bunker, and also on the survivor’s hands. Kate was able to awaken the survivor, and superficial questioning revealed duplicity on his part. Very little interrogation was required to get him to reveal responsibility for the explosion, along with assertions of the inevitable triumph of Caradoc (a Province) and the Pendragon Onslow (its governor). The prisoner was handed over to the Inquisition.

After updating the seneschal, our protagonists were tasked with investigating the cause of the incident. They requested further information about ships known to be at the yards, personnel records, and other background.

In the evening, Kayleb experienced an odd visitation from someone called The Guisel, accompanied by animated paintings. There was a cryptic offer of knowledge in the form of a rhyme, and the offer of further insight for a price.

The Inquisition’s interrogation of the prisoner, Bael, showed him eager to volunteer information about the plot of Caradoc to militarize, and form alliances with other Shadows. He had clear memories of being instructed on these plans by the Pendragon Onslow himself. The anomalous substance detected at the site and on his hands was an explosive/accelerant used to trigger simultaneous explosions via varied fuse lengths. Kate enjoined Flora to treat the patient as humanely as possible.

The investigation moved to surviving personnel of the dirigible works, starting with the off-shift supervisor. Mr. Tanner was very nervous at the attention, and did not seem to be concealing guilt about the incident. Trump surveillance of Tanner supported his innocence but not his peace of mind.

Tanner mentioned a colleague who had been out sick, Humphries. He turned out to be genuinely ill, and ignorant of the sabotage. Trump surveillance of Humphries speaking to Tanner also supported their innocence.

Bael’s residence had already been searched by the Inquisition. It was formerly tidy, perhaps obsessively so, and revealed little apart from traces of the mysterious substance Amara had detected at the site.

The investigation moved to Caradoc, via a roundabout route which resulted in their carriage shadowshifting into a ballroom in the palace. A brief survey of the capitol and palace revealed no signs of military buildup. Ruffled feathers were soothed, and the Pendragon indicated that the Ways to Amber were being disrupted.

Saif and Tyber moved to a nearby closed Way to investigate that, while Kate and Amara returned to the Pendragon to further unruffle, and get more background.

While Saif attempted to repair the Way, a masked individual appeared, and began using Pattern very expertly to undo the repair. Tyber engaged the masked man, who also displayed considerable martial skill, and that his sword was infused with Pattern. The masked man escaped Tyber’s onslaught by Trump, and work was resumed on the Way.

The Pendragon Onslow discussed the current crisis with Kate, revealing that several Ways had closed recently, and that other Provinces were experiencing issues as well. Messages to the Empire had gone unanswered, and some dirigibles had been shot down.

Kayleb experimented with sympathetic magic, with several Inquisition prisoners as subjects.

[edited for spelling of Guisel]

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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