It was time to explore – I was here for a reason, a purpose.
I spent an hour travelling along the most well-worn path, going to find whatever it is I was meant to find – but about an hour later I could’ve sworn I was going round in circles, being sure I’d seen these trees before, I could also have sworn I was further into the forest.
Obviously this place was unusual, and possibly connected to Eric, so – time to give him a Trump call…
He never had a home, and the only place he thought of, outside of Amber, is both sentient and has powerful guardians so it’s likely the intruders didn’t get into the place.
I thought I’d spend one more hour investigating the place and about half hour later found some clearing with no incoming footprints, but the corpses, or at least the pieces of corpses, of about a dozen of the intruders – with no footprints around the area.
I spent some time investigating the area until I could feel myself being watched and when looking over I saw the eyes of a wild animal.
A large wild animal.
Some sort of very large, very miserable looking wolf.
And, whilst I was keeping eye contact on the wolf I could sense several more pairs of eyes coming up on me.
Now, breaking eye contact is unlikely to go well, and, as far as I know, the only way to get a Trump call active is to focus on the card, so the only way I could ask for help would be to try the magical orbs that Fiona loaned Aron and me.
I tried to reach out to the orb with my hand and mind, and focussed on reaching Aron.
It seemed to have worked because there was a whoosh and a thump from behind me and when I said hello I heard the friendly voice of Aron greeting me, before the unfriendly “voices” of the wolves joined in as they leapt at us.
Luckily Aron was able to defend us whilst I Trump called Eric for a way out.
He retrieved us as I tried to explain that we didn’t want to slaughter the guardians as they’d been protecting the place from the intruders.
Eric seemed surprised that Aron came back with me, so we suggested he speak to Fiona.
He said he would do so, and then Aron and I went for a walk.
A long enough walk to head out of earshot of anyone.
We took the opportunity to investigate the orbs we were given – I could reach his, but he couldn’t reach mine.
Interestingly I could reach his through his, when I had ownership of it, and he had ownership of mine – the orbs are tied to us, bound not by ownership but something else.
When I reached his my colours, grey and red, were shown. The colours of Finndo.
We also discussed how it was odd that the army camp hadn’t moved on, that Benedict (the great tactician) couldn’t be healed and was held in chains in a tent, that people had been attacked via Trumps but yet they were willing to give out new Trump packs to Aron and myself, that Trumps were dangerous but they still used them rather than the magical way that Fiona constructed for Aron and myself, that Osric was gracious and safe when Aron and I spoke to him, that the only person who attacked me via Trump was Fiona, that my colours seem to be those of Finndo, that we are not being allowed to talk to the people we need to, that those who are family to the King were not willing to travel through the small reality shifts that Aron and I were able and willing to do so.
Our grievances were many and varied but Aron wisely counselled that we keep this distrust to ourselves.
We decided we should maybe look at the wrong end of the deck and maybe speak to people we’ve been told not to trust.
I decided we should try to call the King, after all I was told to find him.
I called the King – the connection was that shifted/distant call, similar to when I spoke with Osric, or when I called Fiona from beyond the shift in reality. He appeared to be in some distress, some form of magical battle, that the metaphysics of the world were under attack, but he seemed to be comfortable speaking to me and understood the offer of assistance but that Aron and I were better suited to assisting from “this side”.
Aron and I spent some time talking about how the faults in reality might be explained, how people can walk to places that neither of us can, and that there is some sense of “distance” that doesn’t make sense to us – I suggested it might be like the concept of “up” to an ant, who got lifted aloft by a bird. This distance would be like walking along a piece of paper and the intruders are able to fold the paper – those who know how to walk along the paper know the distance is a large amount but to those who don’t understand the paper the two points that touch when folded are right next to each other.
Aron also suggested that perhaps Osric was trying to create a new central world, a new Amber, and was trying to hook up/tie together existing worlds to the new place. Those worlds with a figurehead were able to “fight back”, so those figureheads were attacked.
We needed to understand more about these faults, these folds. Perhaps if we knew some more people who could help us understand these faults. We needed to perhaps find some minor members of the family who would not be missed. Unfortunately there aren’t may of those. There are many people on the Trumps, but it’s not easy to get someone to just sit through and explain everyone.
All conversations to get information would be likely to end up with us having to have a conversation with Fiona & Bleys, so we decided to start it on our terms.
Aron and I approached Fiona, and let slip that I had spoken with the King. We had a conversation about the risks of Trump calls, and how to attack via Trump conversations, and how to defend ourselves from them Trump attacks. Certain fears of ours were put to rest, but more questions were raised.
Fiona was pretty confident she was better than me, which is almost certainly the case, but I’ve noticed that she gets tired very quickly and all I would need to do is outlast her.
Still, I learned a basic way to attack and defend, as well as some other tricks she used against me.
I agreed to let Aron get some training and, as I’d heard Phil had arrived, I went to speak to him. He was not looking at his best, after going up against a wyvern, but I talked him into helping us investigate the tear in Aron’s city and we agreed to meet later.
I went back to find Aron being trained by Fiona,
I decided to intervene, calling Fiona on my own Trump card – Fiona seemed delighted at my interfering. She seemed to threaten my safety so I tried to explain that currently I was the only person to have been able to directly contact the King. Fiona pointed out Deirdre had been contacted by the King, but, when I asked some further questions, Fiona admitted that Deirdre got broken shortly after – strengthening my point that perhaps her harming me wouldn’t serve her interests.
It was agreed I’d bother the King, again, in order to find out where he was, which I did (in a cave was the information he wanted me to pass on), and he also pointed out that I had been incredibly loyal toward him and that he was sure Fiona wouldn’t harm me during any training. I was sure Fiona got that message.
So, I got Aron to go meet with Phil and we agreed to go investigate the fault in Aron’s city.
Phil only knew the way to the farm, but Aron was sure the fault was there, too, so off we went.
And, when we got there, there were several naked white and blue ladies ready to attack us, so we left.
We took a more circuitous route to the city and Phil told us the fault looked like some glowing colours that hurt his head – yet another difference in what people see.
We attempted to see if Phil could interact with things across the barrier, but that didn’t work.
We had a few more things to try but before we could get to them Phil walked over and shoved his finger across the fault and promptly sort of smeared out and vanished.
I guess it’s just as well we didn’t try this with one of the minor nobility or something.