A Bride for Merlin
Session XXII, 10 November 2000
(GM's Note: This takes place immediately after the end of the previous game, with no lapsed game-time. In other words, we merely pressed the Pause button earlier, and have now pressed the Resume Play button... ;-)
"Okay, if the King told you, the King told you. But personally, Iím very disappointed in you," Flark tells Shandor
In Thelbane, Flark, Feng, and Shandor are looking in on the shifting, mutating Ghislain. His altered appearance seems a little older, broader shouldered, more muscular than Ghislain, with a beard and moustache. The features are sufficiently similar that this alternate form might be that of someone to whom Ghislain is related. "Heís been like this ever since he was trapped by the automated defense mechanisms. Apparently something in the interrogation may have snapped Ghislainís mind."
Flark asks Shandor to continue his investigations, and relate what he is not forbidden to relate.
Shandor feels he recognizes the alternate form Ghislain is shifting into. He looks somewhat like Ghislainís father. Shandor is given a trump of Feng, in the style of Ghislainís. Felara and Laan have the other two.
Shandor has permission to investigate in Baron Fengís territory, provided he trumps Feng first.
Shandor goes to talk to Despil to try to identify Ghislainís alternate form. He fills Despil in on the situation and shows Despil a sketch. Despil identifies this form as Ghislainís elder brother, Robaird, now deceased. Shandor lets on that he has been searching for Cjereg. Despil asks to be notified as soon as Cjereg is found, but refuses to say why.
Despil is also interested in the "power monger" Nethozhen, whom he accuses of corrupting Shandorís brother.
Despil relates information about the "Holocaust", an industrialized effort to extinguish a mass number of people, which incidentally released psychic energy in tremendous quantities. A Thaumaturge could harness this. Then magnify this by several thousand orders of magnitude. Nethozhen wanted to do this to every demon in Chaos at once, creating a power that would have rivaled the "elder gods" themselves.
Despil encourages Shandor to cease and desist, lest people suspect he be about to repeat his brotherís mistakes.
(No, no, heís going to learn from them... -Tom Damon)
Fendrith wakes up to see Lord Kalto and Prince Corwin looking over him. He deduces he is now down the hall from Julia. Corwin says, "Youíre going to be my guest for a while. I hope this is not as much of an inconvenience as you might at first think. You will be here pretty much for the same reason Julia is staying here."
"What a revolting development this is."
"I don't know for certain if you are restricted to the same radius as Julia is, because of your more unique physiology. How did you find him?"
"Just lucky I guess," Fendrith says. "We found a Trump of his realm. Itís at the Keep."
Corwin says, "I think we need to put this under lock and key. It may be the place you were looking for."
He asks for a Trump of Seonaid.
Audrey-Manette and Seonaid go to make a library for her. While planning, Seonaid gets a contact from Anakara. They chat a little. Seonaid mentions making a library. Anakara says that Kalto procured something for Seonaid and hands it through (a packet of commissioned Trumps).
Keliith interrupts to say that Fendrith has gone exploring. Keliith has found an armory, and has discovered you can summon Djinn in a nearby shadow. Ifrits can be summoned from the pool of lava.
Keliithís disappearance to go tell Mom about the Spikard is rather magical, similar to the Keepís power, but not the same. Audrey-Manette notices that Keliith seems to be concerned about something.
Julia trumps Seonaid, asking after her. Sheís up and about now, but confined to Corwinís hamlet. Seonaid promises to visit. She includes Audrey-Manette in the conversation and Julia hands to Seonaid and Audrey-Manette each a set of three trumps (one of Seonaid, one of Audrey-Manette, and one of Julia).
Audrey-Manette requests trying one of Keliith, and Julia admits having trouble. The image seems to keep shifting between wolf, young boy, and young man. She shows the sketch of the young man, indeed a young adult version of what is clearly Keliith.
Audrey-Manette suggests that Seonaid take the new info to Anakara.
[Seonaidís packet: 6 trumps of herself; 1 of Kalto; 1 of the entrance to Kaltoways; 1 of Anakara; 1 of the Ways of Minobee; 1 of Anakaraís fast-time high magic tropical resort; 1 special of both of the twins (they canít be drawn individually); Fendrith; Shandor; and Duke Flark in full regalia.]
Audrey-Manette trumps Julia Barnes. "Yes, Audrey-Manette," as the contact is established.
"Do you have a trump of me?" Audrey-Manette asks.
"Oh, wait, youíll need one of the Keep, wonít you. Iíll work on it."
Seonaid gets yet another trump call. This time it is Fendrith. He brings her up to date, especially about that Trump. [Seonaid gives Fendrith: Kaltoís contracted trump of herself.] Fendrith mentions a hatred for Brand.
Audrey-Manette is brought into the conversation, and suddenly realizes that Keliith has vanished with a spikard and the only Trump of Brandís realm. Fendrith asks about using the Fount, and Audrey-Manette is concerned regarding his injury and her lack of research.
Seonaid contacts Anakara. She mentions wanting a family meeting, and comes through to find Keliith there. Keliith asks whatís up, and Seonaid bluffs.
Keliith lets spill, "I thought you mentioned a family meeting." Seonaid tries very hard not to blanch, admits this, and Anakara sends Keliith off to find Kalto.
Seonaid spills buckets to Anakara about Keliithís recent abilities. Eventually it is noted that Kaltoís mother is related to Dara (she's a cousin). Thus, in theory, Kalto, Keliith, and the twins could have Pattern. She also mentions a eugenics-breeding program at the end of the PatternFall War.
When Keliith returns with Kalto, Anakara sends Keliith back for the twins. Kalto is brought up to date, and Keliith returns with the twins.
Keliith, when cornered with all the evidence, shifts into his young adult form. "Iím trusting all of you to keep this a secret..." He has a sword, a high-tech blaster, similar to Kaltoís armaments. Heís dressed in practical outdoorsman (SCA) style garb. "...There have been numerous times when I have been more effective in my assumed public persona of a little kid than I would be in my true form." Removing a glove he shows a signet ring for House Minobee, identifying him as an agent of Duke Minobee.
Kalto asks how long Keliith has had that. Keliith only says, "A while..."
Seonaid broaches the subject of the Trump of Brandís realm, and an assault. Keliith mentions bringing Merlin and Suhuy in on this. The whole family goes to visit Maximillian, the King's Chamberlain. Max suggests including Princess Florimel, the current Ambassador from Amber, and adds that Prince Benedict is also available.
Suhuy and Benedict arrive.
Seonaid bemoans her lack of understanding on how to deal with the problem of Brand. Benedict is nonplussed until brought up to speed by Merlin. With mention of the "unacceptable" solution of using one of Brandís relatives to erase Brand's Pattern, Benedict says, "That depends." Suhuy contemplates replacing Brandís Pattern with a re-drawn one. The Jewel of Judgment/Eye of the Serpent is mentioned.
Seonaid asks Benedict what Amberís interests would be in the matter of Brand. Benedict seems amiable. Seonaid presents the thinly veiled suggestion of dealing with Brand directly. Merlin contacts Random.
Random is brought up to date.
In a blue crystal cave, someone is pacing, saying, "Somebody's gonna bleed for this..."
Merlin, understanding Seonaidís request, asks Random for Julianís help... This ends up not happening, but they get the go-ahead from Amber, and Benedict will be a military advisor and direct commander of the Amber forces. Fiona and Bleys will lend assistance, under Benedictís command.
Merlin shoots down the idea of using Luke to erase Brand's Pattern. Seonaid figures out the Amberites were discussing eraser fluid and reposes the question to selection of a new artist.
[At this point, Jager is playing Random, Tom is playing Benedict, and Amy is playing Anakara]
Random gets word that Fiona and Bleys have not been answering their Trumps. Dworkin arrives. Random discusses using a progenitor of Brand to erase his Pattern.
[Still present: Merlin, Maximillian, Random, Benedict, Suhuy, Dworkin, Kalto, Anakara, Seonaid, Kiri and Kara, Keliith]
Discussions go in circles. Random attempts to contact Bleys. No go. Dworkin says Bleys and Fiona have gone to visit Clarissa. Keliith produces a Trump of Clarissa, asking if this is she. Benedict confirms that. Suhuy shows the Trump of Brandís new realm. Benedict wants it and Suhuy declines.
Dworkin goes to fetch Clarissa, Fiona, and Bleys, returning with all three.
Clarissa says to Benedict, "Itís been a long time."
Benedict says, "Not long enough."
Random gives Bleys and Fiona their assignment to Benedict, to erase Brandís Pattern.
"And if we should have a prior commitment?"
"That would have to be set aside."
Clarissa interrupts, "Even if that commitment is to their mother?"
"So tell me, what do you have them doing then," Random asks.
"They are helping me on various projects."
Merlin mentions that Clarissa, as she is still a Dowager Duchess of Helgram, is supposed to be in "protective custody" (along with all the other nobles) here in Thelbane. He asks Random for Benedict, Fiona, and Bleysí assistance in guarding her.
Seonaid goes with Merlin to discuss things he placed under seal. She discusses the Barnes, and Sylviaís recall. Merlin figures that Clarissa has been a player for longer than heís realized. They return to the group.
Merlin asks Clarissa about Saelavatha, and requires her presence.
"Sheís been in storage. It would take me a while to thaw her out."
"Bring me Juliaís mother, ASAP," Merlin insists. He sends Suhuy and Clarissa to do this. Benedict, Bleys, and Fiona are placed on standby.
Merlin gives thanks to Kalto and family, and dismisses them.
Merlin calls in Lord Kalten Hendrake. "We hereby direct you to assemble the Hosts of Chaos. We go to war."
Seonaid retires to the Keep to assist Audrey-Manette in her research.