A Bride for Merlin
Session XXXVIII, 28 September 2001
Seonaid is in the ways of Minobee with Julia, Anakara, Kalto, and Harry Barnes. She must deliver Julia to The Keep of the Four Worlds, and then report some information to Merlin.
Shandor and Lorgath are at the Chaosian Embassy in Amber.
Fendrith and Flark are in Castle Amber, preparing for a Jurt hunt.
Flark and Fendrith arrive at the Chaosian Embassy, quickly joining Shandor and Lorgath. Together the happy quartet mosey along toward Fiona's laboratory.
Lorgath takes Shandor aside, "You trust the Duke? As your physician, I think I should go along, just in case."
"Come along," Shandor agrees, "you might learn something."
Fendrith offers to conduct recon about Corwin's pattern and to attempt to track down Jurt. The rest of the group leaves for Fiona's laboratory with Flark.
In Fiona's lab, Bleys has joined his sister and Flark's company. Fiona examines Shandor's condition with a handheld mirror-like device. Spontaneously, Fiona plucks the mirror-amulet from Shandor's lapel and crushes it beneath her foot.
"Don't bring one of those into my lab again," Fiona insists.
"That, and my problem, came from the same source," Shandor explains.
Meanwhile, Fendrith patrols Corwin's villa. He begins following Jurt's trail from this point. Many shadows later he arrives at Fortress Gantu, one of the heavily guarded entrances to Daraways. Fendrith recognizes this place, having been here before.
He begins recon, landing. This is when the grass begins to wrestle with him. It grows longer, thicker, trying to tie him down. A little flame and he breaks loose, flying some distance away.
Trying again, he begins a perimeter sweep. There's little doubt, Jurt is in the Fortress somewhere. Approaching the castle, he notices thunderclouds imposing themselves between him and the castle.
A tornado of lightning forms, blocking his advance. Fendrith retreats out of the area, returning to a nearby public place. Here he lies low for a while.
Seonaid has taken Julia and Harry Barnes to the Keep of the Four Worlds by teleporting. "Merlin asked me to keep you safe here for a while." She assigns them guest quarters near each other.
When she has an opportunity, she trumps Merlin in private, except for the presence of her bodyguard. Merlin is reminded that "Sylvia" hasn't made an appearance yet, and Seonaid explains her plans to remain here and see to Julia's safety.
Seonaid spends some time with Julia and Audrey-Manette's library, preparing to defend the Keep should it come under attack.
The draws Audrey-Manette's attention, who asks what's up. Seonaid explains the threat to Julia, and asks for her help in defending the keep, should anyone attack.
Esmerelda arrives, whereupon Audrey-Manette concedes that, yes, she will be sticking around a while.
"Lorgath, what have you got on Shandor?"
"I'm three inches taller, and a much better dancer."
Fiona says, "I'll have to work on this... you should leave me a forwarding address."
While they wait for Fiona and Bleys to solve Shandor's issues, the trio decide to seek out Fendrith and help him in his quest for Jurt.
Flark attempts to contact Fendrith with Mister Squiggly.
Fendrith is contacted. Flark does not attempt to rearrange Fendrith's mind, but instead asks for the results of the recon.
Jurt's last known whereabouts remains Fortress Gantu.
Shandor leaves a missive for Fiona, and then Tela, Flark, Shandor, and Lorgath join Fendrith.
Wherever they go, there they are. This time it seems to be a cantina in The Bazaar. Here they consider, however briefly, plans to infiltrate Fortress Gantu.
While they talk, Shandor notices the image of Despil beckon to him from a mirror in the cantina. Shandor takes a shot, "Excuse me for a moment, I've got to go get fucked in the ass."
Fendrith bites, "Just what do you mean by that?"
Shandor explains, "I've been summoned. Didn't you see him in the mirror?" Flark offers to accompany Shandor, but Shandor feels that it wouldn't be wise.
Flark hatches a plan, taking over the mind of a convenient waiter. Eventually this poor sap walks up to the bar and acts insane, starting a brawl that ends up breaking the mirror, among other things.
Civility among the patrons descends into chaos quickly from that point. In the midst of things, three assassin demons attempt to kill Shandor.
Lorgath turns one into shish-kabob. Fendrith leaps, claws and teeth, at another. Flark tries his own variation on the Lorgath method. All three are reduced to smoke in short order.
Lorgath recognizes these assassins as creatures created of raw chaos by individual Logus masters. Once the crisis has passed, Lorgath fills the others in on these details.
GM: That's not an undocumented rule; it's a feature.
Lorgath teaches Flark how to make instant demons... "You get a lump of primal chaos, then etch away with the Logrus anything that doesn't look like a demon."
Flark: "I have special dimensions prepared for people like you."
Lorgath shifts into the form of one of these demon servants, to accompany Shandor to his meeting with the ass-reamer. Shandor denies the assistance and chooses to go alone.
Lorgath follows discretely anyway.
Shandor arrives at Despilways. Despil steps out from one of the mirrors and hands Shandor a new broach. Then he vanishes once more.
"Fucker," Shandor muses silently.
The mirror mutters, "I heard that," in Shandor's head. "Let's just say I have my reasons. I might share them with you, eventually. But in any case, family first, I must finish discrediting an elder relative, then I can publicly return."
"Well, will I at least get ample warning before any demons pop out again so I can duck?" Shandor asks.
"I haven't sent any after you, it was probably Jendo, unless there is a third player involved," Despil says. "Someday, if I feel you are trustworthy, I may teach you about them."
Lorgath remains outside during this, unable to gain access to Despilways. Despil indicates that Shandor could step outside now and rejoin his friend, who is lurking about the entrance.
Lorgath sends two notes, one to the tabloids saying Despilways is haunted. The other to Merlin's secret service that it's not haunted, but rather 'occupied'.
Flark and Fendrith discuss Jurt and Daraways. It seems he's unassailable as long as Dara is in control of the place. They consider ways to get Jurt to leave the Fortress Gantu.
Shandor tells Lorgath, "He wasn't fooled in the least." He now wears another mirror-amulet.
Seonaid asks Harry about Sylvia... what she was like and such.
"Very attentive and loving... doted on Julia... she was a good cook, an effortless housekeeper... I dearly miss her."
Seonaid retrieves the photograph of Sylvia, sharing it with Audrey-Manette, attempting to produce a trump. Ultimately, Audrey-Manette's attempt fails, but Julia succeeds.
The three of them end up trying it, and end up with a connection to a sense of nothingness. It's a connection of sorts, but nobody is at home at the other end. There's a trace of a presence here, but it seems inactive or inactivated. Nothing they do gains them any further information, and then the connection is severed by something external.
Seonaid fights this, using the powers at her disposal to try to figure out what's going on. This ends up with her blacking out.
Lorgath arranges to talk to Wei Tchun (head of the Shadow-Master's Guild) through traditional channels.
Other contacts are made, as Lorgath looks for a security specialist currently employed by House Chanicut. The reply comes back, simply, "Why?", from Saavish, Duke Chanicut. A meeting is arranged with the Duke, as soon as is appropriate.
Plans continue to develop on how to breach Daraways in a multi-pronged penetration. Once inside, such security specialists will help assert control over the fortress and surrounds.
Flark researches the legalities of using the Helgram, Hendrake or Sawall entrances, and the repercussions of the assault. In short, if they find Jurt, then they will be okay; if they do not, they are screwed.
The decision is made to undertake this covertly, using troops provided by Flark that would self-destruct upon capture.
Lorgath wryly asks Shandor's broach for assistance.
Fendrith mentions contacting Seonaid, flipping through his trumps. He attempts a contact... and gets PAIN. (PAIN! OW! PAIN! OW! OW!) He shuts down the contact.
"Um, I've got to leave right now... I think Seonaid may be in trouble. I can't raise her on the trump." He departs by flight, seeking Seonaid.
Fendrith arrives at the Keep, landing and entering to seek Seonaid, who is in the infirmary. Audrey-Manette and Julia are watching over her.
"What happened here?" he asks.
"We were trying to trace down Sylvia. Julia and I shielded... Seonaid didn't. She's been brain-fried." Audrey-Manette looks quite concerned.
He looks over those in attendance, "She seems to have the best possible care here. Is there anything I can do?"
Julia says, "We're waiting for her to recover, to snap out of it."
Fendrith shares the state of the Jurt hunt with Julia and Audrey-Manette. "How do you feel about the King's pronouncements regarding Jurt, Julia?"
"With time we can work it out and smooth things over," she replies.
"You obviously would like to seem him come out of this alive?"
"I'd thought as much." Fendrith decides, "His best chance may be to be taken into custody."
"There's no warrant for his arrest, he's outlawed. Anyone who wants to can kill him; his best bet is to stay hidden," Julia explains.
"So you think this will all blow over?"
"For your sake, I hope you're right."
The Hit Squad awaits a meeting with Lord Chanicut. Lorgath attends, "Your Grace, thank you for meeting with me on such short notice. I apologize this was necessary, I wish to brief you on my request and hope you agree on my reasoning."
"We believe Jurt and Dara are holed up in Fortress Gantu. In order to bring them to Justice, and to entrench myself within the Sawall hierarchy, I propose we aid Jesby's blood feud. Flark may pursue this secretly or publicly. It is my understanding that the Jesby entrance will be used. His Grace has considered that if we do this and secrecy is maintained, you may have privileged knowledge of use to you."
The Lord says, "If this is covert, I will provide a shadow master, but he will owe me a favor in court in a matter that will not negatively impact House Jesby."
"I will present your offer to him."
Shandor takes some time at the Ways of Sawall to bring the guards to alert on the Gantu border. Should Jurt appear, they are to shoot to kill, then sever his head from his body and keep the pieces in two separate iron-lined coffins.
Shandor tosses the broach into the null-chamber.
Shandor tendrils Lord Kalto and asks for a trump of Ambassador Tomias. Kalto says his house may have one, but asks why Shandor needs this.
Shandor does not explain, and Kalto says he'll see what can be done.
Shandor then retires to bed.
Flark reviews the specifics of the plan, consults with his advisors, and retires to the Ways of Jesby to consider things.