Amber: The Next Generation

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Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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The diary of Zurehn - Chapter 1

Not long after my 16th birthday, in fact it may have been my 16th birthday (as I now know, time is sometimes a strange concept in some of the stranger worlds) I woke by a barn in a farm.

Or, rather, a place I came to know as The Farm.

I woke to find a horseless carriage, known as a “car”, partially controlled by a strange fellow who I later found out was called Random.

Random managed to avoid me, but crashed into the barn (releasing chickens, even though Aron swore there weren’t even any chickens in it this time) where we found Aron (yes, again, I didn’t know who Aron was at this point).

The car was letting off steam.

Talking of letting off steam Random wanted more to drink.

Not only for himself, but offered around a hip-flask of alcohol at least until it was shot out of his hand by some type of assumed magic projectile.

Whilst we were trying to work out what was going on – I was trying to work out where I was and what I needed to do to beat this place, Aron was trying to work out or who I am, and Random was trying to work out how to get more to drink – a large (at least in height, he was also surprisingly thin, like a rake), loud farmer enquired as to what we were here to do.

The farmer came along and asked if I knew why I was here – he was not willing to tell me what I needed to do to win and only the answer “I don’t know” was good enough to finally be given my “quest”. The apparently simple task of going “to go drinking with Random (and Aron)”. Of course it turned out to be harder than I thought. Of course it did.

On the way we drank many hip flasks and travelled through many worlds, before drinking and the rest of the adventure is best left to those who are good at story-telling – I do know Aron never got drunk, Random – who can tell? Me, I don’t believe I got drunk, but I was trying to match Aron beer for beer and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy at all!

Come the end of the evening I believed I was the most sober, it’s unusual for me not to be, so I wrested control, it wasn’t hard, from Random to try driving his contraption.

Of course I crashed the car, and it seems Random came out the worst of it, but all three of us were up and apparently “fighting fit” a lot more quickly than the normal people I meet, Aron seemed to be in an even more fit state than I!

Suffice to say when I next woke I was in a new world, with a new fight to win.

AddendumZurehn

Much later I returned to The Farm to try to learn more about how Aron could out-drink me, to better know my strengths, and weaknesses, and, in turn, teach him about tactics, a skill I felt I had some prowess. His father, who I still didn’t know was any more than a farmer, caught some of my lessons and took the chance to tell me just where i was wrong. Unusual that a farmer could out-think me (there have been many worlds I have “beaten”), but I have learnt many times that one should never under-estimate the apparently meek. This is how I came to learn more about who The Farmer was.

This farmer was Aron’s father, a good starting point.

I then even later found out Aron’s father was The General – which explained why he could out-think me tactically, highlight flaws in my plans or point out new ways of thinking. It didn’t explain why he never had a sword on or around him.

I then, even later still, found out he was Ben. This later reveal of his identity explained why he felt confident that, as “scrawny” as he is, he was unbreakable, especially on his Farm. It also explained why it’s possible that Aron could not only match my drinking ability, but out-do me. (Maybe I should have let him drive? But he seemed in awe of the mechanical monstrosity that was the car.)

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The diary of Zurehn - Chapter 2

Some(?) years(?) later I woke up to an orgy of writhing flesh. Too much flesh for one person, or so I at least originally assumed. A mound of seething, pulsating flesh with several heads and limbs and the like.

Looking around there was a smoking man.

He was asking where I came from, and when I said I was brought here, but wondered where “here” was I was told that “here” was two places.

This smoking man spoke to an invisible person called Ben (who, at this time I didn’t know was the farmer from before) and confirmed that the problem would be fixed soon enough.

The writhing flesh was apparently the result of combining the worlds (shadows?) of a dancing troupe and troupe of acrobats.

The man wanted to know what I could do to help fix this world.

I asked how he combined worlds and the man demonstrated, moving his hands and taking us to a broken nothingness! It wasn’t just the blackness of a closed space, but literally nothing – I felt empty and for the first time I was unsure that I was where I was meant tone.

He didn’t seem at all happy with this, and blamed the nothingness on me, although it wasn’t meant to be my answer, just a question to glean information – so I asked how we get new worlds.

The man grinned and I was asked to close my eyes.

I closed my eyes and awoke in a marble hall – at least that was where we were after I woke, but I was slightly more groggy than usual and with an unusual headache. I never usually have this when I sleep to new worlds.

Around this marble hall there was a variety of people from a range of different places. Some were familiar to me from my adventures so far. At one end were the “I have a club and just cleaned my loin cloth” type (easy to outthink, even if not always to outfight), and people in interesting and shiny clothing that completely covered their body, including a solid glass bubble over their head (who I hadn’t met by then, but I believe now to be “space suits”).

I wasn’t sure if this marble hall was a new world to defeat, or just another aspect of the old one, which I assumed had the task of helping the smoking man fix his entertainers.

I needed to find the smoking man and find out if we were done!

I think I saw Random and Aron, but they were busy talking to people, going off for some time – returning with a new look for Aron (all white, a quite surprising change of looks) and an even bigger smirk and shaded glasses on the face of Random.

I think I saw a gorilla?

I think I saw a guy who was only in Black and White, not the sheer white of Aron, who at least had his ruddy complexion still, but someone whose very self looked distinct in this place of bustling colour. I met him in a later adventure, where I found out his name was Phil Rake.

Addendum:

Some time later I was in a sheer black and white world – Phil Rake’s world!

It seemed to be a world where there were constant criminal plots, with devious and complicated solutions, but I was quickly able to solve a locked room murder and presented the solution to Phil. That night I felt confident when I went to sleep, sure I’d beaten the world.

Then I woke in a room with spikes. The walls moving towards me – the motion was what woke me.

Scribbled along the one wall in what looked to be blood was the words “think your way out of this!”.

Think my way out of out? I couldn’t even think my way in – how was I moved here? How did the walls move? Where did the spikes go? Nothing made sense!

For the first time in a long time I was unsure.

Not just unsure. Afraid.

Not just afraid – actually pants-wettingly terrified for the first time in many, many years.

I could feel my brain shattering in interesting ways.

It was even more off-putting than being nowhere, before we got to the marble hall.

The nothingness was empty, but this place was full of danger and it wasn’t even that large a place.

I was actually rescued from the terror by Phil Rake – perhaps he felt that he owed me for solving his case?

The situation made me resolve to learn more how to defend myself.

Addendum 2:

I felt I owed Phil, so I set out to take on his nemesis. He apparently had a beef with Conrad, who was the gorilla I saw at the party. Or at least he was sometimes a gorilla. Anyway, I decided I should set up a trap for Conrad.

I knew I couldn’t fight him toe-to-toe, that’s never been my style, not that I’m knocked down for long, but it wouldn’t serve the purpose I wanted to achieve.

The answer seemed obvious – use a similar trap that was set for me, for Conrad.

Putting him in a room with no escape. Making his mind as broken as mine was.

Making him scared for his very sense of self.

So I did so – I don’t know how he got out, because I know I didn’t rescue him, and I don’t see why Phil would.

Addendum 3:

I found out the truth! Thinking about who could let Conrad out of the trap I set, and realising the easiest way would be to get me to do it, it occurs to me that the spike trap I found myself in was actually set by Phil! I was betrayed! He set me up as some kind of “aimed gun” (thanks to Random I’d learned what a gun was) and fired me against Conrad. I am not entirely sure what the result of these new feuds will be, I can only contemplate whilst I try to fight the new worlds that come my way.

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The diary of Zurehn - Chapter 3

I woke at the foot of a bed in an opulent room.

A room with The King in it.

He told me, quite clearly, that I was “dimension hopping and it was causing a problem”.

I tried to explain myself, that it wasn’t under my control – that I was doing what I could to learn how to win in every world/shadow and to get better!

I got as far as “I was…” before he interrupted to ask me if he was unclear.

“No!” was all I could utter before I was dismissed through the door.

I left with my new task. A task unlike any I’d previously faced. I needed to find a way to stop this “dimension hopping”. All I could think about was to do all I could to never sleep again. It would probably break me, but how can you disobey an order from The King?

Luckily, not long after, I met Bleys who reassured me that there actually was someone who could help!

My choices were a brother who was intermittently and frequently not very helpful, and a younger sister, Fiona, who simply required politeness.

Obviously I chose the sister – I may not always know the perfect etiquette, but I can usually defer appropriately.

He spoke to a piece of card, which spoke back, and after a quick discussion I was taken through? the card to a room on fire! I was told to “not move” so I remained stationary as Fiona and Bleys moved a magic pentacle somehow inside out and managing to expand it so it spread out, so as to protect more of the room and the contents (including us!) within it.

A brief chat with Fiona led me to learn that my means of transport was a matter of discussion amongst the Elders, perhaps up to the level of The King, and perhaps unknown even to The King!

Things that are unknown are worrying.

Worrying things tend to get handled with destruction of the unknown.

Fiona and Bleys reassured me that travel through the card wasn’t the dimension hopping in question, and I wouldn’t need to worry about angering The King through its use.

I also learned that Fiona’s house was A House, and not a shadow – I still don’t understand these words but I’m getting closer to an understanding.

After a brief picnic, Bleys and Fiona cleared the house, using the expanding and modifying pentacle.

I was asked for my thoughts on what happened and I clearly identified that the room, and the house as a whole, had been set ablaze simultaneously. Usually there’s some sort of ignition point, a spark, some way that the fire starts before spreading but here everything appeared to have ignited at the same time, everywhere, all at once.

Fiona gave me a new quest, to identify who caused this.

She identified it as “an enemy”, but luckily no name – so my new mission is to find who did this, and, at the same time, find how I’m “dimension hopping”.

I hope that the project will count enough to mean I don’t need to stay awake to fend off my magical sleep “jumping”. And hopefully I can solve why I’m hopping, and stop it, before it happens again. It would seem to be a waste of the time I’ve spent learning how to beat worlds if I am to be destroyed by The King for being out of place.

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Episode 1
Previously in the worlds of infinite shadow (and elsewhere)...

Dramatis Personae:
Aron, a simple farmboy and knight of the realm
Conrad, a dread necromancer and respected teacher
Phil Rake, a noir et blanc detective
Lord Random, a hellraising hellrider
Zuran, a troubleshooting oneiromancer

In which…
The best way to increase your flock of chickens is to drive a wagon through the barn.
A gorilla makes a poor ambassador.
Travelling by telephone turns out to be both simple and practical, thanks Syd.
Conrad gives a practical demonstration on the dangers of summoning.
Brand gives a practical demonstration on the dangers of merging realities.
White on white, a courtly joke at a youth’s expense, or does Bleys know more than he lets on?
Trueborn and by-blows meet the family on equal terms.
Random, Rake and Aron learn that the health benefits of pixie juice are overstated.
A bodyguard is the only person to injure his charge.
Sparring teaches something to everyone involved, even observers.
A test of pattern is set, but passed.
Was asking a monochromatic man to change the color of grass a cruel jest or a simple test?
A king is mildly annoyed. Everyone still has their head, so it was only mildly.
Tired of being crow-pecked, the necromancer flips the bird so he can flip the bird.
Arson runs in the family, Fiona is not sure whether to be amused or excited.
A trail runs cold, and cold again in shadow.
Even from ambush, human scale is briefly competent, then dead.
An exhausted torturer is not murdered in his sleep.

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The diary of Zurehn - Chapter 4

I was able to finish talking to Fiona at the ruins of her house and we confirmed my missions.

Fiona let me know that I am now in Amber, which is the reality that is the realest.

1) She believes if I find out who my forebears are it will help me with my dimension-hopping problem. Because the other solution would be death.

The suggested first port of call is perhaps Brand – the smoking man who set the party, and made the mistake of smoothing together the acrobats and dancers.

(So I now know Bleys, the fancy man, Ben(edict) the farming General, Brand the party man, and the one who switches from helpful to antagonistic, and back, over time).

2) We’ve concluded the fire was set magically, but that still would have required someone to have skulked around all night setting some magical marks for the fire to start everywhere at once.

In either case Fiona’s suggested speaking to her sisters, and they would be most likely to assist me.

And to speak to those I was directed to the castle – I just hope to avoid the ire of the king.

Bleys gave me some Cards – one each for Bleys, Brand and the castle.

I got to the castle, through the card, grabbed a steward, and tried to find the sisters (and found that Fiona is a Princess).

So, presumably Fiona is the daughter of the King, and her sisters and her brothers are likewise children of the King.

And the suggestion is that I may be related to one of them, possibly.

I saw some sort of family tree and, seeing a princess out near Random, asked to speak to Florimel.

I had no letter of invitation but she was still gracious enough to meet with me, and she asked my name.

A brief introduction later I was paraded on her arm (strictly speaking she as on my arm, but that’s not how it felt) to somewhere more private and I politely explained that there were two puzzles which it was hoped would fascinate her.

I explained about the fire at Fiona’s and Florimel thought that as surprising as Fiona was the most senior sorceress of note, but Florimel carefully explained that if I assisted Fiona cold pretend to be grateful in the future.

I also carefully explained, in third person, that there was a person dimension hopping and that finding the ancestry could help, and that this puzzle was of interest to many up to the King.

Floriml suggested I should take some ornate fabric material, or rug, or similar, or a magical item, as a means of aiming for a gracious greeting with Brand.

She suggested that I would walk with her whilst she found someone to assist me in this new quest.

So, whilst in Amber, I seem to be mounting up several missions, quests, questions to answer – and hopefully these will assist me in not hopping any time soon.

I got placed in Florimel’s room when Random came along and assured me that I should go with him to find the rug.

I left a nice flowing letter thanking her for her time, and attention, and apologising most sincerely for having to depart so suddenly.

Random had to leave – after reassuring me that I’d be safe with him – leaving me with Aron.

We were going shopping and headed to the docks when we saw some sort of invasion from a ship that was docket.

Several troops on the side of Amber headed up by Gerard, who allocated Aron and I some 40 troops and told to take a gangplank.

I figured we should take the troops, perhaps give Aron 10 troops to be more mobile if necessary, and go after the gangplank we were allocated – with an aim to take out the troops, and the gangplank if necessary,whilst we wait for Prince Gerard to turn up with the rest of the troops.

Gerard turned up and we stormed the ship.

I carried on leading the troops to ensure no other invaders left the ship, and sent Aron to go speak to Gerard.

We made sure the place (ship and docks) was cleaned up of all invaders.

After the fight Gerard invited us to the captain’s cabin and sat us down, wanting to know if there was anything else – I told him of the blaze at Fiona’s and Gerard seemed unsurprised.

Then Gerard was struck by some invisible feeling, flinging his cards in the air, and saying Ben was in trouble – collected his cards, spoke with Eric, and then stormed out.

Aron wanted to speak to Ben, even though I got the impression that was a bad idea – so offered to use Bleys’ cards to contact either Bleys or Brand.

Aron tried to call Ben and stumbled in pain – I rescued him, and we spoke to Bleys.

Fiona has disappeared. Benedict is … somewhere?

We were able to agree to speak to Brand and we did so, and Brand told us:

Phil is his son (and therefore has to be taken off my revenge list).

I make a good patsy to appear to be his son.

My parent is one of a list of people, and if I can find out who I can perhaps stop hopping.

There is some crazy shit going on and Brand thinks he can help.

We had a chat – I managed to get a set of cards, and we agreed we’d go off to save the World!

Oh, and the King is missing.

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Episode 2
Previously in infinite shadow, and elsewhere...

Guest starring:
Caine, prince of amber, commander of the fleet, and totally not the spymaster
Deirdre, prince of amber and warrior
Eric, prince of amber, Benedict’s second, and at least as trustworthy as Random
Fiona, prince of amber, and chief mad scientist.
Flora, prince of amber and femme fatale.
Gerard, prince of amber, and commander of the castle garrison
Julian, prince of amber, mask-faced and white armored ardent defender of arden.

In which:
Trump decks are given from fathers to sons.
Zurehn explores the family tree, and goes for a stroll with Flora. (Lots of courtiers now wish to kill him)
Flora appears disappointed to discover Phil is family.
We thought there wouldn’t be stealth. Also apparently one or more of us sucks at it.
Random springs a chaos trap, and throws the brunt of it onto Benedict
We thought there wouldn’t be stealth. Also apparently you shouldn’t try to hide from Julian in the heart of his domain.
A simple shopping trip turns into a military expedition
Amber is invaded by ship! Aron cuts a path through the enemy (at least that’s what people are saying)
A blue-scaled creature as strong as Gerard was the focus of the portal.
Part of Random’s and all of Benedict’s mind are trapped in another dimension. Fiona’s reaction is “ooh, time to do Science!”. Eric is barely affected by the contact.
There is a family war council.
It is revealed that Oberon is willing to reshape reality to his will when he decides he wants another son. But he didn’t bother to warn his children about it (or only his daughters paid attention). Hence the slew of grandchildren at the same time.
Zurehn is unclaimed, it is suggested he might be Osric’s – which is tactically interesting to Deirdre.
Deirdre is quite happy to risk Dworkin’s wrath by breaking into a cabinet to provide Zurehn with a trump deck.
By the way, Oberon has gone missing too.

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Episode 3
Previously in Amber and among the adversary's personal shadows

Introducing: Osric, the adversary.

In which:
The properties and limitations of trump are tested.
The armoury is requisitioned for the good stuff.
A military expedition is undertaken with all the careful forward planning of a shopping trip.
Friends are kept close, enemies closer.
Shock and awe is all sound and fury but signifying nothing.
Shit rolls downhill. Sorry Random.
The monochromatic man shows his true colours.
With sufficient time and patience, a whole series of shadows can be detached and shielded from intrusions.
If it looks like a trap, and smells like a trap, it’s probably a trap.
Breaking a tower in a toy city is taken as more of a victory than it looks like. But the tower does have the front door to Osrics sanctum.
A shot in the dark proves effective, at least in focusing ire in one specific direction.
The chance to parlay is denied to the one who needs it most.
Even the Enemy can show good manners.
Deirdre doesn’t enjoy being in charge, but can’t face the thought of Corwin leading a glorious defeat.
Deidre debriefs and gives a history lesson.
Random gets a medal! On second thoughts, not that one.

Apparently Finndo is keeping everyone else busy wrecking things too.

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The diary of Zurehn - Chapter 5

So we needed to get set up to save the World!

Whilst the others went to get some weaponry they were proficient in, and information they thought we needed, I decided I’d try and get some chain armour to wear underneath a shirt. I got something silver and flowing, – it’s not going to save me from anything too disastrous, but it’s at least a start. I also picked up a couple of shivs – some small stabby daggers I could hide in my clothing. It won’t win any fights against a sword or crossbow, but in a tight spot it’ll be better than nothing.

I then took stock of what I thought were my missions:

My retired mission:
0) Deal with Phil – no longer possible, as he’s protected by someone powerful

My current missions:
1) Find out who set fire to Fiona’s House
2) “Save the world”
2a) find out where the invaders are invading from
2b) find the King
2c) Help Ben
3) Find my heritage/parents

We were led by Random to Gerard – where, after a brief discussion about our origin, we were able to borrow some horses.

We were able to meet up with Conrad, who everyone else had left behind, where I was able to start trying to make peace. I didn’t name Phil as the person responsible, because of his protection, but I at least laid the groundwork.

We rode off, with Conrad on a metal horse, but when we got to a city all chaos broke loose and Random led us away.
I had to break Conrad’s horse and stayed with him whilst the other 3 ran away.

I managed to sneak back to the city, with Conrad, and got him a horse, we were able to speak to Random, get him up to date, and suggested we have Phil with us to hep investigate.

We got Phil through, I told Conrad it was Phil that set us up, and helped disguise Phil with some bits and pieces, with Conrad doing a magical disguise.

We found out that the city was in lockdown under the orders of Charm, the Big Man, and reported back to Random.
Phil suggested we head to the trading post, and got the OK from Random, so we headed off.

Phil seemed to be aware that the trading post is important, and where there’d been before.

We were able to check in and got an agreement to move in – we used Conrad to throw up some silencing magic, and some digging magic to get us past the gate.
We found a portcullis – rather than dig again, and make a hole visible from within the city I got Conrad to put down some more silence and lifted the portcullis so we could get past.

We spiralled our way carefully to the central keep, looking out for guards.
We sent Phil out to check to make sure there was nothing else we needed to look for – he’s an investigator, and investigating the city seemed like a nice use of his skills.
Conrad started picking out the magic – something I’m not that familiar with, but I know enough to show an interest and maybe step up to do something if a crisis happened.

There were a couple of flashes of light as Conrad was unpicking the magic, I was able to warn him of them, but all the interlinked magic seemed too hard to be got through.

We spoke to Random and he said he’d be getting us help in the morning – Phil, Conrad and I sat tight.

In the morning I spoke to Random and was told to wait 5 minutes. Less than a minute later the tower sort of magically exploded and we saw Random and Aron running to what remains.

Phil and I stood outside, whilst Random shot in to the hole at the foot of the tower, and leapt in, followed by Aron.

Moments later Random jumped out of the hole and demanded we left, I called Deirdre and she pulled us through.

We debriefed – and during the debrief it was made clear that through the hole was Osric, the person that might be my father. The possible answer to my heritage, but I was specifically told I was not to try to contact Osirc and that it was my fault I left when I did.

So I may be related to Osric, but who knows, and I’ll have to wait for Fiona.

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The Chronicles of Random
Chaan el Sheikh

After the big family meeting thing had the staff round up my crack team of rag-tag misfits (Aron, Z-man, Phil) and called through to Gerry to save us a long ride out through Arden.

Gerry didn’t want breakfast. Or coffee. The guys tried to trick me into getting punched in the face. Those guys, seriously. Always a riot. Anyway, borrowed some horses, rode out. We’re
going to try and find out where this army came from. Sent the horses back and traded up to some new ones we found on the way, the usual deal. I’d prefer a car, but I’m guessing that won’t fly where we’re going. [Note to self: Flying cars. Investigate].

Did the schlepping horses through the trees thing for a bit. Tracked down that sorceror guy (Conroy? Comrade? Conrad?) we left behind just before the Big Fiasco. He was no longer being followed around by a metal ostrich. He’d made himself a fire-breathing metal horse instead. Seriously. A fiery metal horse. Now I owe Jules an apology about that dig about overcompensating.

Explained he could not take that with us as we’d bring the giant army that almost killed us down on our heads. Didn’t go down well. Explained in smaller words. Still no dice. Considered shooting him in the face but Brand wold probably get upset as he’s one of his creations, or something. Maybe he’s art. Had to compromise and let him ride on ahead. Far, far ahead. Deniably far ahead.

Followed shadow path (which was weird – didn’t travel for long but went way past any of the normal skies). Did not pass through enemy camp as expected (which was weird, but convenient enough, so probably a horrible trap). Found small city on a plain. Sorceror-guy was (and I just want to record, for the record, that I bothered to sober up for this suicide mission) riding around the city on his fire breathing horse terrifying the locals while disguised (with magic, I assume) as the four horsemen of the unicorn-damned apocalypse. Tried to make the best of it and pretended to panic like the locals, signalled him to move off and keep attention off us. He grinned clippity-clanged straight over to us.

Straight over. With everyone who wasn’t screaming and panicking looking right at him.
I think I made a noise adequately transcribed as “Hnnnnrrrggnnngh”.

I get no respect. None of my brothers or sisters have to put up with this shit. Decided not to get into it while within sight of possibly the enemy stronghold and just rode off into shadow: Better than dying in a hail of arrows followed by a cavalry charge.

Could not shake the sorceror for a while, eventually Z-man and Phil decided to go back to the city with him. Figured that was a shame, they seem like nice guys. Even if Z-man can’t drive drunk at all.

Decided to scout out shadow nearby with Aron while the city calmed down. Called in to Deirdre with situation. She took it well, all things considered.

Spent the day checking out the local shadow approaches. Someone had twisted up all the local shadows, impossible to walk in by accident, difficult to do it on purpose, but found a way round. Got a call from Zed saying the city was locked down. Asked him to keep checking it out and call back in another 6ish hours.

Called back by Zed. Phil wanted to know if they should stay at the gate or go investigate the local trading post which wasn’t locked down. Was having a bad day so told him to Prince it up a notch and just take charge of the situation over there. They discovered it was the encampment we’d originally been expecting to find. Which put it on the wrong side of the city, which meant our enemy could just up and change shadow paths at will.
Not good, but good to know.

Eventually got into the city through the sewers. Z called in and said they’d made it too.
Genuinely surprised, as last I heard Captain Firehorse wanted to ride in and declare himself God-King of the place, so had assumed they’d all die horribly on the nearest altar.

Told them to play it cool and get eyes on the leader of this place (Chaan – Zed and Phil found that out, same name we got from the guy we interrogated before the Big Fiasco) and/or whoever’s puppetting him. Said we’d do the same.

Called in to update Deirdre, got same orders back.

Place turned out to be kind of a dump, city wise. Just a glorified fort with the Obvious Tower of Trapped Trappiness in the middle. Time passed. I don’t know magic and Aron said neither did he. Couldn’t get to the tower, so waited and watched. Saw Phil go by once. Got a report from Zed saying Captain Firehorse said he thing was totally magically sealed up and impregnable. Sadly, as no other experts available, had to accept his assessment. Phil said they’re getting supplies from outside, no way the city could have been self supporting.

Called in, woke up Bleys, he had a quick look and said support would be there in the morning, and call just before dawn. Napped.

Morning: Gated in Bleys and La Grande Fromage Magique herself. Got a call from Zed, told him to hang fire for 5 minutes and call back. Fi informed me we only had 3, so we might as well go Now!, cracked the wards and blinked out with Bleys.

Decided thinking wasn’t going to help at this point and charged in, with rest of gang bravely following far enough back to see if I died. Fired through jet-black doorway and then dived through, plan was stab first and ask later. Doorway turned out to be a portal with Osric (boo!) on the other side. He’d just been shot in the shoulder (woo!) probably by some incredibly dashing, brave and skillful Prince of Amber. He seemed upset.

Tried shoot again but no dice in whatever shadow I’d just popped to. Ran for it back through the portal. Tried to stop Aron heading in as I dived out, but couldn’t.

Rest of group (well, Zed and Phil: no sign of the Man Who Would Be God-King) still bravely guarding the empty square outside against an attack from the rear. Gave general order for disorderly reteat to Zed, grabbed Phil since I didn’t know if he had cards yet, started blinking out. Zed blinked out first. No sign of Aron. Decided I’d been brave enough for one day, had the info we came for, blinked out.

Bleys went back for Aron once briefed. Amazingly, Aron still alive. Having thought about this since, assume Osric put some kind of horrible delayed effect curse in him, although he says not. Clearly also been mindwiped.

Went to debriefing. Turns out it’s not just the Oz the wizard. It’s also his strategically shaved ape Finn. Kind of what we thought, would have been nice to be wrong.

Got a medal off Deirdre! Ok, it’s not an official medal till Dad or Ben says so, but I’m counting it: I shot Oz and mostly got away. If Corwin did that he’d write a damned ballad about it. Oh, wait, he did write a ballad about it. Brand tricked me into humming it in front of Eric once and I ended up hanging from a flagpole all night. Good times.

PS: Stop reading my diary, you nosy creep.

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