Phil and Zorehn: The way of wyverns
Phil gets a warding tattoo from Fiona, to prevent his skin breaking again if he does something reckless like damage the hedge maze in the King’s gardens.
This does mean blows will hurt more instead of cutting him though.
Zorehn wakes up in a field, again.
A four armed person riding a wyvern throws him an amphora of wine, and it smashed on the ground in front.
The next amphora, he catches, and the wyverns circle upward.
He first sends a weasel to Phil to ask how to fight wyverns, then realising an answer is not forthcoming, trumps Random.
“well throw something back?”
He throws a rock, piercing a wyvern’s wing, and they fly off.
Phil awakes with a weasel on his chest carrying a note.
He tries to tie a reply on, but the weasel bites his finger and runs off.
Lots of pain, but no blood.
He reads the note to Fiona, whose room he was unconscious in, and she contacts Zorehn through the orb.
He responds with a trump, apologizes for wasting her time as he’d already seen off the wyverns, and she sends Phil through.
In a vineyard, they disturb the peasants by having 4 arms between them instead of each.
And putting the caught amphora down seems to scare them even more – but there is no understanding of each others’ speech.
In the open, they are set upon by a large flight of wyverns, and arrested.
The wyverns fly them along the black road to a camp where they are directed to a tent that feels very wierd and uncomfortable to Phil, but does not bother Zorehn, who concludes it’s like the veil and steps through.
Inside is not a tent, but a vast cavern, in which a distant dragon takes off and flies toward him.
Behind is an empty fog, Phil can see him but not communicate.
As the dragon approaches, Zorehn tries to teleport out, and to make a trump call. Both are countered by the dragon’s power words.
Finally, he resorts to pushing through the difficulty and summons a weasel.
This makes the dragon very angry, it speaks of bringing anathema into this place, and the rebel Dworkin.
Finally, the dragon states that Zorehn was sent here by a neutral party, and banishes him far through shadow.
For Phil, the gate at the tent has snapped shut, leaving just a normal tent.
The wyverns and their riders halt and catch fire.
After burning the rest of the camp at Fiona’s suggestion, he sets out through shadow to find Zorehn.
This leads him to Kalenwic – the place where universes intersect, but a sniper shoots his horse from under him, also hitting him in the leg but not breaking the skin.
Random and Aron: Eyes on the road
After visiting the war room, Random is summoned by the King, and ordered to take Aron to find his father and sister; and to return with all three. However, he is not to tell Aron where they are going.
Alone in the palace, Aron wanders the gardens, noting the light construction so the courtyards can be easily cleared for defending the castle. This is a fortress, not a home, and in particular not his home.
Looking for Random, he finds Caine in the war room.
“Your father is a proven traitor and rebel, your mother was last seen tearing apart the farm where you grew up. So I don’t see why I should tell you anything”
“My father is not a traitor”
“No.. .your father is not a traitor, but he’s stupid.”
“What’s his excuse? I didn’t know she was a shapeshifter, the second time around.”
“I think she’s my twin.”
“There’s conflicting witnesses on that.”
Caine offers to set things up so Aron can make a difference, but can’t do it out of altruism so Aron will owe him. He says it will take a couple of hours, and shows Aron the door.
Aron trumps out to unicorn grove instead.
Whatever was being set up is pre-empted by Random with an urgent mission from the King.
Aron contacts Caine to let him know he’s been sent on a mission and he won’t be around for Caine’s minions to find.
Caine disapproves, and hands Aron a human eyeball on a silver fork.
Aron hands the fork to Random, “present from Caine”, and Random casually eats it.
Aron can’t believe he actually ate the thing, but says nothing.
Random can’t believe Aron would visit the unicorn grove lightly.
An hour later, Random is projectile vomiting. “What’s a little poison between friends”
Caine approves, and gives Random a smug lecture about cannibalism.
Riding on, we find ourselves following a green and gold bird alongside a tarry black road like we’d previously seen in Arden.
Random used the plausible lie that nobody tells him anything anymore because of Osric to keep the mission secret.
Something is wrong with the horses, so Random dismounts and continues on foot. Aron shifts his horse into one of the carnivorous chaos horses he saw previously, and finds himself yanked elsewhere.
The horse is now plodding down the centre of the black road.
Aron opens his mind to discern the direction of the road, and hears an unfamiliar voice “come closer, my child”.
The horse won’t obey his commands or leave the road, so he shifts it back to a normal horse. This does not go well for the horse, and Aron tumbles into the sticky grasping black grass.
In chaos form, the grass obeys his will enough to let him wade and force a path to the edge of the road.
As he returns to human form, Random finally catches up on a hard push through shadow.
Aron speculates that the road would be the fastest way to get where we’re going – which while true if we had been sent to negotiate peace with Chaos – is a terrible idea.
Skirting a camp that the road widens to accomodate, we stumble into the middle of a battle.
Our arrival shifts the odds in favour of one side, and the other soon breaks into a rout.
Behind the troops, we find Benedict’s command tent, which makes Aron angry and apologetic.
Benedict reveals he is fighting with Lintra, Hendrake’s general, and she has more troops can he can muster.
There’s an argument about bringing Benedict’s daughter back to Amber, which only Random thinks is a good idea. He also thinks bringing Mireille to Amber would be a good idea when challenged by Aron. Benedict points out where she’d fall if the King decides to enforce the purity of the family bloodline.
Parley is discussed, Benedict suggests capturing one of them and beating the meaning of parley into it.
Outside, Random calls Caine to report in.
Aron simultaneously calls Lintra to arrange a parley.
Zorehn: Neutral territory
Zorehn wakes up in a field, again.
He is being nuzzled by a (thankfully not carnivorous) cow.
A short distance away, Rhett is watching over him.
Rhett spells out to Zorehn exactly how he betrayed Finndo, and how he should have protected him.
Rhett reveals that when he created his isolated universe he wanted a messenger to carry information back and forth. For that purpose, Zorehn was made, and the teleportitis cannot be cured without unmaking either him or Rhett’s world.
The weasels can be cured but it would mean inducting Zorehn into Rhett’s power source.
Zorehn argues the case for his own destruction.