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  #46  
Old Feb 24th, 2023, 01:42 AM
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Morgan takes a sip of wine before replying. “Amber would have been far too dangerous for me. I was hidden away in Shadow, in a place much like Shadow Earth. I think that our cousin Martin was the first acknowledged child of our generation to be brought to Amber.”.

She looks over at Rilar “I think it must have been different for you - knowing your heritage, with Amber only a short journey away. But I’d wager that your mother kept you away from Amber until the power struggles were over.”
  #47  
Old Feb 24th, 2023, 11:06 PM
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Rilar samples one of Victor’s dishes and points to it. “This is exquisite if you like seafood. Yes, it was quite different for me. Mother kept me close to her through the crisis. Only after things settled down did she allow me trips to various Shadows to experience what they offer.”

He takes another bite from a different platter before continuing. “Before I walked the Pattern, she sheltered me in many ways. But, still underwent training and guidance for one with noble relations such as ourselves. Though I found myself drawn to artistic endeavors more than court politics.”

After sipping from his chalice, “Do you have a proclivity for anything special?”
  #48  
Old Feb 25th, 2023, 12:57 PM
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Morgan tries the dish - a little tentatively, but smiles and takes a little more.

“I’m really trying to find my place, right now. I’m still getting to grips with the powers the Pattern gives us. And wondering what it means. Mother knows more, I’m sure, but she isn’t telling. Some day I’m going to push myself and see how far I can get from Amber. I don’t want to mess with politics and I hope it won’t mess with me. But I don’t think either of us can control that.”
  #49  
Old Feb 26th, 2023, 12:36 AM
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“Agreed. Being part of this large family means politics and danger will always follow us.”

The discussion continues through dinner. While the subjects change, the interest in each other’s experiences doesn’t.

As they partake of some pie and cake, Rilar asks, “What is your favorite memory from being in Shadow?”

“For me, it was the adrenaline rush of being able to perform feats better than those around me. I know it sounds vain. But, being an artist, life wasn’t really death defying. In one Shadow I raced cars, performed martial arts maneuvers, and got in simulated gunfights. It was exhilarating and a wonderful escape from the duties of court back home.”

He goes quiet for a moment before becoming somber.

“Then I got shot and nearly died. That was a wake up call, that someone, or as you suggest, multiple individuals, wants us dead. Now it is real and no longer a distant reflection of a life far away.”
  #50  
Old Feb 26th, 2023, 11:06 AM
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“I think it wasn’t any particular thing, but realising that I had the freedom. To go to all the places I had ever wanted to go to, and more - anywhere I could imagine.” Morgan answers Rilar’s question.

She looks at him, after his final words. “Are you sure that it wasn’t a local matter. Somebody powerful you offended? Mafia or the like? It would be a strange coincidence, but there’s nothing that points to someone from outside that Shadow. And your mother is not known for having enemies in the family”
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Old Feb 27th, 2023, 12:16 AM
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“Mother shared with me after my injury that while nothing had been proven, others in our generation have also had incidents. I was just counting my attack among them. But, can’t be certain.”

He pauses momentarily. “Maybe we should check back with her after we finish dinner to see if she has gained any insights from the body of the construct that attacked you?”

Rilar then reaches into his suit’s jacket. “And I have a surprise for you.”

He produces a card. “I found a Trump of myself stashed away inside the villa. This way we can return Mother’s card and you may keep this one. Hopefully that satisfies your prior conditions?”
  #52  
Old Feb 27th, 2023, 07:56 AM
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“Thank you. That more than meets the terms of the agreement” Morgan replies, accepting the Trump. She briefly tries it out, just to be sure, settling for the first twinges of contact. Then, she lays it down. “One problem with gowns - nowhere to put anything.”

“Unfortunately I have no way of contacting Mother - we’ll just have to head back to Amber in the morning.”
  #53  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 12:22 AM
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“Forgive me. I am a little unclear about who we are referring to when each of us speaks of Mother. For me, that is Llewella. And I’m guessing Fiona for you, if I correctly recollect Mother’s lessons about our family tree.”

When they finish their meals, Rilar offers to assist Morgan to her feet.

“I can get us to the Crystal Goblet Bar in Amber tonight. We’ve only been here for what would be several hours in the city. Or, I have a Trump that will take us to Rebma, and we can speak with Llewella about what has transpired since your arrival in Fal Nevin.”

He asks Morgan, “Would you like to depart tonight? It should be early evening in either city. Or we can depart in the morning, which would have us arrive just over an hour later into their evening. These time differences are one joy of spending time in Shadows.”
  #54  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 03:58 AM
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Morgan feels a trump call incoming.
  #55  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 07:06 AM
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“It’s my mother who supplied the Trump and is examining the construct” Morgan answers. Then she holds up her hand - “Wait, this might be her”. She opens her mind to the contact, with a degree of caution.

Last edited by PaulK; Feb 28th, 2023 at 07:06 AM.
  #56  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 03:02 PM
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It's Fiona. "I've examined the golem and have news. Come on through if you're ready, or call me back when you are, but don't take long. If Rilar is sufficiently healed, he's welcome to join us."

When the two eventually get there, whether now or a little later:

Fiona's workshop in Amber is much as Morgan left it, except the golem has been dissected like a disassembled robot in some sci-fi show from the most modern of Earths--large, light and airy, with high windows and glowing globes providing light on demand, and cluttered with an array of arcane and artistic objects.

After greeting the two curtly with a mere "Morgan, Rilar" --she doesn't seem to stand much on ceremony or make much effort to be polite--she says as she points at the pieces on the slab, "You will note this golem is handmade, not manufactured in some higher-tech shadow. The skeleton is assembled of dense wood and bone, the connections of leather and bronze, the muscles and skin of rubber and clay. All of this is magically animated. To be able to walk, keep balance, swing a sword and so on, reveals a tremendous sophistication. Therefore I believe the animating factor was some other creature--either a demon or other entity of spirit, or perhaps a psychically connected person--rather than some intrinsic principle or algorithm. Much easier to control remotely, than to make it completely autonomous. Morgan, this thing came at you with relative skill and competence, right?"
  #57  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 05:07 PM
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“It is” Morgan tells Rilar, “do you wish to come through, or rest up some more and join me later?” Whatever Rilar’s decision, Morgan accepts transport to Amber.

There, she listen’s to her mother’s findings. “It did. With skill beyond that of a typical Shadow-dweller, even a trained fighter. But it went limp immediately when the Trump connection was severed. Perhaps the Trump was the channel for the control?”
  #58  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 06:41 PM
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"Doubtlessly, the trump principle was involved. There's as wide an array of trump applications as there is any other form of the mystic arts, and while Pattern or Logrus are helpful in its employment, they are not strictly necessary. Even shadow sorcerers can employ trump principles, if they are taught or somehow discover them. All this I figured out within an hour of dissection. The rest of the time, I've used in tracking down who might have made such a thing. It's not beyond the arts of many in Amber and the Courts, but that is all purely speculative. The only lead I have is from Bleys, who tells me he ran across such a thing in a shadow called Beldenhaft, which is far out in Shadow--more toward Chaos, really, where the wild things grow. Enchanters make them there, as defenses against monsters. The wealthy buy them and keep them as guards, mostly. He had few details--this was decades ago, he said."

She crosses to a table, pours herself wine, waves at it for the others to pour for themselves if they like. "So, it looks like you have two possible threads to pull--Beldenhaft, or that shadow Earth where Rilar was shot."

Last edited by David VanDyke; Mar 24th, 2023 at 12:37 AM.
  #59  
Old Feb 28th, 2023, 10:14 PM
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Rilar doesn't hesitate to accept Morgan's invitation to go to Amber with her.

Fiona’s workshop impresses him. He considers speaking up, but chooses not to interrupt Fiona as she talks about what she has discovered.

He ponders the two options for a moment, half expecting someone else to arrive, before speaking.

“I doubt we will find much evidence at the place where my attacker shot me. I never saw my attacker, nor injured them. Mother has the hunting rifle’s bullet that followed me through my Trump contact with her. I can retrieve that and bring it to your workshop, if that would help.”

“My suggestion, since we are already in Amber, is to look into the bomber and the asbestos maker. I’m curious how much of a delay this material provided the explosion. It's possible that this could tell us when the bomber planted the bomb so we can search for a witness.”

Last edited by David VanDyke; Mar 24th, 2023 at 12:39 AM.
  #60  
Old Mar 1st, 2023, 07:17 AM
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“I need to go somewhere to change - since I can’t manipulate Shadow here.” Morgan begins. “But after that, investigating the bombing would be a good start. The explosive is also an issue - where did that come from, and how did the bomber know it would work?”
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