A Bride for Merlin
Session XVIII, 1 September 2000
Merlin, with Gracian and Seonaid in tow, takes Julia to...?
Kalto, Anakara, the twins, Keliith, Fendrith, Audrey-Manette, and Shandor are left behind. Keliith starts sneaking off, and Audrey-Manette follows him. Trying to decide what to do, Keliith suggests finding Julia.
Kalto offers to play chess with Shandor. Shandor loses despite handicaps.
Duke Flark summons Ghislain. Ghislain is sent to KH!, a shadow in the Iron Wastes, to begin a survey of some of Jesby's holdings there. Before departing he consults with Tlon. When done he is to prepare two reports, one complete, and one containing "declassified" information.
Seonaid has been focused on pumping energy into Julia. Eventually she notices efforts made by a red squiggle to encapsulate the source of damage within her. She feels a strange affinity for this squiggle. Eventually she hears a voice say, "You can let go now."
Julia seems stable, in a bed with Seonaid sitting next to her. The man speaking, next to her, seems to be Prince Corwin, in what seems to be Shadow Earth attire. Merlin is standing with him, as is Gracian. The bedchamber seems comfortable, with light streaming in through the window sheers.
Gracian theorizes that Corwin is his father, and would be Seonaid's grandfather. This is discussed briefly, Seonaid observing Merlin more than would be usual. Gracian's genetic analysis is mentioned and reviewed. Corwin identifies the second postcard (the one Gracian found hidden behind a mirror during the previous game session...) as "that bitch", someone that Merlin doesn't recognize. Corwin replies that this person is Clarissa, the mother of Fiona, Bleys, and Brand.
Seonaid asks if all this information is correct regarding her lineage and all the family relationships. Corwin suggests there is one sure way to find out. Merlin points out that the Pattern could erase Seonaid access to Logrus powers. She asks Merlin about that and he suggests consulting Suhuy.
Shandor wins a game of chess... with Kalto's queen's side denuded as a handicap. After a few hours, Fendrith asks after Seonaid. Kalto says that Merlin can be trusted. He asks Shandor what he wants to do.
Shandor suggests seeking an update on Julia's situation. Fendrith hates waiting, and suggests going for a visit, offering Shandor a lift. Shandor tags along, to keep an eye on Fendrith.
In shadow, Audrey-Manette and Keliith spot Fendrith flying, and decide to follow him.
Ghislain and Tlon depart, investigating the shadow KH!. They meet with the local Seneschal. While here a rocky, well-defended form suits the environment best. Tlon shows Ghislain the secret ways he is aware of. They continue surveying, eventually finishing up and heading home.
Seonaid starts wondering about what happened to Julia. Merlin asks who brought her in and then decides to contact Fendrith. He brings Shandor and Fendrith through to a Mediterranean-style villa, part of a small town. Rose bushes surround the villa, each with silver roses. He informs Fendrith that he has some questions, and places Shandor under obligation to keep anything he learns here secret, even from Flark.
They are taken in to Julia's room. Shandor discovers that the Corwin here is but a copy, powered by a Pattern construct. From Fendrith, everyone learns that Jasra and some form of Brand were the two fighting with Julia. This form of Brand is similar to this form of Corwin. Shandor discovers that Corwin's Pattern is in the back yard!
Fendrith is questioned, and it is revealed that the battle involving Julia took place at the Keep of the Four Worlds.
It is explained that removing the taint within Julia would involve erasing Brand's Pattern.
Seonaid learns a lot she would have known if she only watched more TV. When she eventually comes to the point of understanding that she should try walking the Pattern. Merlin contacts Suhuy, asking him to step through. Suhuy offers Shandor a Chaos Cloak, which really makes Shandor more comfortable. "Take care of it, and it will take care of you."
Keliith and Audrey-Manette arrive at a mountain valley, cresting over the Mediterranean village. They sense an icky evil in the direction everyone else went, down in the valley. Arriving at the Villa, they find the people seem to be inside, and the icky evil seems to be in the back yard. Keliith knocks, and asks to see Seonaid, and the servant lets them in, announcing them to Corwin.
Corwin asks Seonaid if she is expecting anyone.
They are shown in, and Seonaid rolls her eyes at Keliith. "What are you doing here Keliith?"
"Looking for you."
"I suppose we should send him home?"
Audrey-Manette silently ponders the fact that Corwin was supposed to be guarding Dara. She says nothing.
Corwin asks Keliith if he can keep a secret. Seonaid considers this as Keliith ponders a reply. Corwin continues, "If either of you learn information here that is not public knowledge, there are people out there who would be willing to hurt or kill you to get that knowledge. Do you want to stay here?"
Audrey-Manette is worked into admitting that she wants to stay here, and both indicate they aren't going anywhere.
Corwin says, "Okay, kid." Seonaid doesn't object, after all, as Keliith has never betrayed her trust. Shandor has some reservations, but won't question the decision of those who have already allowed him to stay.
Suhuy is questioned about the nature of things regarding Seonaid and Corwin's Pattern. When Merlin took the Pattern, he was proven wrong in his theory that they were antithetical.
Seonaid decides that she should then try it in the morning, and with Suhuy's recommendation, retires to dinner and afterward a room for a good night's rest.
Suhuy loans Audrey-Manette and Keliith Chaos Cloaks. Suhuy makes Audrey-Manette's into a beautiful lady's cloak. Keliith makes his own into a bomber jacket, figuring out the 'trick' of it without instruction from Suhuy. Suhuy claims that Keliith will give him a heart attack someday.
During dinner, Shandor discusses one TV drama that suggested that someone who made a Pattern might be invulnerable. Corwin admits to loosing sleep over the idea that Brand might be so empowered, but nobody really knows if that is true.
It is revealed that the 'true' Corwin is still watching over Dara. It is noted that construct-Amberites (such as construct-Corwin and construct-Brand) can "self destruct" and reform near their own Patterns.
During dinner, Audrey-Manette attempts to flirt coyly with Merlin. Merlin is typically clueless. Corwin is highly amused.
Shandor gets a bad feeling while thinking about dropping some Primal Chaos on a Pattern. He also notices Audrey-Manette's vamp act, a threat to his sister's chances.
After dinner, Seonaid goes to bed. Shandor corners Audrey-Manette about her intentions toward Merlin. Audrey-Manette is practical and evasive, leaving with no resolution of the issue. She heads outside in the direction Merlin went, assisted by Keliith, who seems to be helping her out.
Shandor goes to talk to Suhuy in the Library. Suhuy suggests looking at the Pattern may cause blindness. Shandor refills brandy for Suhuy and whines about having three Patterns about in this multiverse. Suhuy discusses a straightforward plan for sacrificing Luke to eliminate the third Pattern. It has some downsides, including pissing off Merlin. Another option is to have someone else do all this, thereby leaving themselves secure.
Suhuy is reading Roger Zelazny's chronicles of Corwin's saga. Shandor joins him, with a copy Suhuy produces.
Keliith looses Merlin's trail, and asks to borrow money to go play poker in a nearby bar. Audrey-Manette loans him money, and within an hour Keliith pays her back, double. Keliith convinces her to hang around with him, much gambling follows. They do not dance, but he suggests someone for her to dance with.
After an evening, Shandor hears Keliith return with a loudly clinking bag of coins. Shandor has finished his book, and goes on to Merlin's saga, finishing by dawn.
Shandor realizes from the novels that Fiona found Corwin's pattern for Merlin... How did she know?...
Merlin and Corwin brief Seonaid and Gracian on walking the Pattern.
Afterward, Seonaid goes to take the Pattern. Gracian opts for further study, including an observation of this attempt. Shandor, Audrey-Manette, and Keliith stay behind, at Suhuy's recommendation.
Shown Shandor's Soul Gem, Suhuy expresses concern over its usual use to drain people of their souls, rather than preserve them.
Keliith has wandered off, and Audrey-Manette searches for him, everywhere in the house except the back yard. On a hunch, she finds him at the casino, with another big pile of money. She joins him after reporting that he is okay.
A foot on the Pattern and the sparks come dancing about her legs. She remembers being an infant, and playing with two fluffy cats. She also has memories of a furry and tusked four-armed critter, a demon nanny, "Nana" Skuurg. Many more memories flood.
As she completes the journey, a contact is forced. She sees a red haired, one-eyed man armed with a crossbow, aimed straight for her heart.