*****GAME ON*****

In a far away Shadow, distant from both Amber and the Courts of Chaos...

A half-dozen dragonflies lift off of a planet, carrying the last hope of an ancient civilization. They swarm towards a giant spiderweb, hovering in space. And inside the dragonflies, their inhabitants sing one last song. A song of warriors, and a song of impending death. The spiderweb glows, and launches a blast of energy towards the planet. The pilots look dismayed for a moment, but that is quickly replaced with an expression of grim determination.

The dragonflies' tails raise up, like that of a scorpion, and they close on their target, as wave after wave of energy pass them by. They release their payload towards the web, knowing their task is futile.

But something happens. Something different, something that wasn't supposed to happen... Space blurs for a moment, and the darts hit their mark. The web is crippled by the hits, and the central command unit takes a direct hit, venting it into the cold vacuum of space.

The doomed look back on their planet, and while crippled, it will yet live.

And they smile.

Meanwhile, on Amber...

A bird sails through the skies, delighting in riding the thermals through the azure skies. And suddenly, in mid-beat, it drops. Before it hits the ground, it is dead.

The scene shifts to Kord: what are you up to, at the moment?

Kord is relaxing under a tree on amber, looking out over a still lake pondering what next to do to alleviate the boredom that gnaws at him.

Kord has several ideas come to mind and they are promptly tossed as done before, As you gaze out over the stillness, pondering the many Shadows you could be playing in, you feel a rumbling from the ground. Almost like an earthquake...but those only happen in shadows...

Kord slowly stands up and scans the horizon. In Amber, everything is peaceful and serene.

Kord: “Hrmmm.... odd. Did I really feel that?” Kord looks around for evidence of an earthquake.

Well...there are a few fallen leaves around the tree. It could be natural, but it also could be the result of the tremor.

Kord ponders

Kord: “Well, could be nothing, but at least its more interesting than nothing.” Kord gets up to go find another Amberite to see if they noticed anything

There's a lot of Amber, and not a lot in the way of Amberites...how do you plan to search for them?

Kord heads to the nearest bar

You approach the local tavern. It's populated by commoners of all stripes - dockworkers, carpenters, masons, serving wenches...everything you could possibly want. Including the absence of nobles waiting to tell you what to do or who you've upset lately.

Kord goes to the bar tender and orders something palatable and listens to the ambient chatter with an ear out for shaking or tremor or some such

Well, as it so happens, the tremor is the talk of the town. Apparently it has upset some projects, which (in turn) has upset some people.

Kord: “.... So it did happen....”

Kord listens for any more details as to cause, doesn't expect much more than rumor, from commoners at any rate.

Of course, there are a million different explanations being offered, from an invasion by Chaos to the nobles plotting the destruction of the commoners (begging your pardon of course, your Lordship). And, of course, every explanation in between.

Kord: “Of course.”

Kord thinks to himself

Kord: “The nobles are probably just as clueless as everyone else.”

Kord: “I wonder if the Shadows still look the same.”

Kord decides to Shadow walk through a few shadows to look for any evidence of tremors there

It's hard to tell...close to Amber, things look much the same on cursory inspection.

Kord has nothing better to do, and would rather learn details on his own, so he decides just to stroll for a while, maybe flip it up at random with a hellride or two.

Hmmmm...random isn't the sort of thing that comes to mind when one Hellrides. That's more of a Chaos thing. But, that's OK. What detail would you like to fixate on, to bend reality around?

** The closest building at hand **

All right...that'll take a bit, so I shall switch to Tybalt. What would you be up to, at the moment?

Tybolt is within Shadow, at a high class brothel, sitting in a lounging robe of blood-red silk and brocade gold dragons. It compliments his blood-red hair and the gold catches highlights on his emerald green eyes. He sits against a chair, observing the hungry looks on the faces of some of the whores glancing his way when they think he cannot see them. He twirls an ink brush over his fingers, right to left, left to right, sipping at a glass of wine.

Around you, the people dance and whirl and play their little lust games. To one such as you, they are as transparent as a pane of glass. And yet, things do not seem quite right. There's something...off...about the whole place. And then you feel it...a tremor hard enough to shake the decorations off of the walls. As the shaking subsides, you can hear the little cracks and pops of the foundation coming to a new rest.

Tybolt blinks. Looking around. Oh, bother, he says. He was rather enjoying the games. I suppose I'll just have to go and get dressed now, and before my bath, he says, to no one in particular.

On the plus side, it doesn't appear that anyone's paid a great deal of attention to you. They seem preoccupied with running out in various states of undress. The foundations crack ominously once again...

Tybolt casually pulls on his tan doe-skin pants and leaves the lounging robe open, revealing his rather impressive, if thin physique, gathers his parchment and his brushes and ink into his traveling case, and makes his way out of the brothel.

As you step out, the building creaks once more, and a huge split runs up the wall. Not that it matters, there are certainly more places like this in this particular shadow.

Tybolt: "Of all the damned luck. Now what in blazes was that about?”

Kord: your peaceful Hellride is interrupted when the building you were focusing on suddenly develops a rather impressive crack in its walls. You admire the power in such a thing for a moment, and then are dumped quite unceremoniously into a shadow you're not sure you recognize.

For starters, there's a bunch of naked people running around it.

Kord hrmmm... well at least I have interesting scenery

And...oh yeah, that's definitely the Pattern of an Amberite standing there. Not like it's hard to miss...the only relatively collected person in the crowd.

Kord looks in the direction of the Amberite and starts to walk towards... him?

Yep. Unless you miss your guess, it's that bastard son of Brand's. It's refreshing to see that the traitor heritage wasn't passed down, even if his father WAS a little odious.

Kord recalls the name of Tybolt and calls out

Kord: “Enjoying yourself? I take it there was a tremor here as well then?” *motions to the crack in the wall*

Tybalt: You see before you a rather disreputable-looking scion of Amber. From what you recall, he's the grandson of the King, and none of the patriarchs in that family were really known for individual greatness *that* much.

Tybolt tilts his head to the side, red locks tumbling freely over his shoulder to his waist.

Tybolt: “A tremor or perhaps the orgy up on the third floor. Who can tell?”

Kord grins

Kord: “I see, I suppose it may interest you to know that this little shake-up has caused a bit of a fuss back in Amber, but I imagine you're just as clueless about the cause as the rest of us”

Tybolt smirks.

Tybolt: “I suppose the riffraff is all a flutter, but honestly, my interest in this incident falls along the lines of what caused my day to be so rudely interrupted by a building falling around me.”

Kord: “Well I've looked around a bit, So far plenty of effect but no sign of cause.”

Tybalt: you feel what could be best described as a tugging at your mind. You instantly recognize it as an attempted Trump contact.

Tybolt closes his eyes on the sensation of someone trying to contact him. He tries to identify who is trying to contact him.

Unfortunately, with Trump, you never know who's trying to contact you until you open up the lines of communication...

Tybolt: "Oh bother. Well, I suppose..."

"Tybalt. I hope I'm not interrupting anything," the voice says with a slight tone of condescension. It's Gerard, all right...one of the King's brothers.

Tybolt: “Sadly, you're not. What ever can I do for you, my dear Gerard," Tybolt says, his voice dripping with every ounce of sexual allure he possibly can for the fun of it.

"The King requests your presence at Court. Apparently some thing's come up. Of course, I'd be more than happy to persuade you to show up, if you don't think it's worth your time." Rather than sounding flirtatious, he actually sounds more than a little threatening.

Tybolt: "Oh Gerard! How you play at my heart! I can never deny you or my beloved King when you call, as you well know. Oh, and should I bring along Kord? He appears to have been strolling nearby. How Irony plays games with us all." He says, his tone remaining as deeply sexually suggestive as before.

"Might as well bring him along, too...he is still one of the family, and Random would be a little upset if his grandson snubbed him." His voice takes on a note of disgust. "I suppose this means Martin will be there, too. Ah well, maybe I can scare him into being responsible for once in his life."

"Make haste, Tybalt. I'd be upset if you kept the King waiting..." And just like that, the contact is broken.

Tybolt chuckles playfully.

Kord raises an eyebrow

Kord: “anything interesting?”

Tybolt: "It appears our present is required at court."

Tybolt: “Something interesting truly must be afoot”

Kord: “Hopefully something more than "what the hell is going on"

So, I presume you're opening a Trump Gate to Random's throne room?

Tybolt adjusts his pants so that they hang just within decency on his hips. He opens the robe a bit wider and makes sure his hair looks silky and pretty. He reaches for his bag and pulls out his deck. He takes out his Trump of the throne room.

Tybolt: "This shall take us directly to the throne room. Make sure you're prepared," he says, concentrating his energy on opening the gate.

Kord nods

After a few minutes of intense concentration, you begin to feel the doorway between worlds open up. You can almost hear the electric hum as a door of crackling energy opens up before you.

Tybolt: "After you," Tybolt says, voice sounding a bit ethereal, concentration not wavering

Kord steps through the portal

And...the scene shifts to another Shadow, quite distant from Amber as the crow flies (so to speak!). The world is painted in shades of grey. In fact, it is accurate to say there is no colour in this Shadow. There are, however, a half dozen burly men surrounding a figure in a trench coat, a voluptuous woman by his side. And in the hand of the trench coated figure - an artifact, of some sort. The nondescript, yet highly valuable kind...

The biggest of the six speaks first. "We've got you cornered, John. You might as well give up the artifact now, before we's forced to take it from you." He grins and looks to his fellows. "Yeah, an' we'd really hate to have to take it from you. People get hurt that way. Hurt bad."

Senan looks around the important nick nack under my arm Dame at my back, she was going to betray me alright I could practically feel the gun at my shoulder blades. I had been running around all day, a normal man would have been run raggid.. I however was fine. I looked at them from under my fedora smokes in my mouth, it trailed white into the the air. I knew their moves before they did.

Senan: “Sorry Boys I can't let you have the nack...”

"We're real sorry to hear that, Johnny. Real sorry."

Senan: “No you aren't..but you will be Tony...”

The six men pull out truncheons. "One last chance. Give up the Dagger of Ra."

Senan I throw the dagger into the air and for me it's slow like molasses I then duck down under the bullet that came at my back letting it take out the guy in front of me, My body moves knocking down the guy with the shot gun taking it from his hands and knocking out the guy beside him then throwing him into the two guy across the way. I leap up into the air, then I grab the Dame from behind letting the dagger fall into my hand it's me and Tony, I smile.

For Tony, it's like watching a bird swoop down and devour five snails before they even realize it's over. He raises his hands in the air. "OK, Johnny...ya got me..."

Just then, you feel an itching in the back of your head. Like a migraine's forming, only less painful and a million times more annoying.

Senan will raise an eyebrow.

Senan: “Now Tony you have two choices.. You can go turn yourself in or I will do you like I did your boys.. capish?”

Senan narrows his Green eyes which is hard to make out in this shadow but Tony gets the concept, and I pour intimidating into him.

Tony looks confused. "Uh...sure thing, Johnny...I'll do that..."

Senan makes a scurry along motion. Senan looks to the Dame.

Senan: “Your No Good for me.”

Tony runs off, like someone set his pants aflame. The itching sensation gets worse...

Senan will turns dramatically and head out into the back alley where he knows no one is around and will light his next smoke and then concentrate on the sensation.

You have a feeling of ice and fire, and the silky voice of your aunt Flora speaks in your mind...

"Dear nephew, it seems there's quite the stir at the castle...Random's been calling for people all day. I know your father won't show, but you would do well for your line to at least make an appearance..."

Senan: “hello Aunty Flora. Sorry for not replying right away i might have been shot and that's always messy. I'll skip the why do you cares because you are so damn good at sweet talking me why not save me some travel time and pull me through?”

You feel the pull of the Trump dragging you through and between shadows, and before you know any different, you are in the throne room of King Random. Coincidentally, a pair of nobles step through a Trump Gate just as you arrive...

For now, the Court is in somewhat of a state of confusion, and Random (predictably) hasn't shown up yet.

Senan has Serious green eyes and slicked back black hair a rolled cigarette in his mouth and a navy blue Fedora on his head, he has on a long clack man's over coat and a navy blue three piece suit with thin white lines. a gold watch on a chain is nessalled in his pocket.

Kord has a rugged lumberjack look, full beard and a head of dirty blond hair. His clothes are nothing to speak of, mostly neutral coloured traveling clothes.

Senan push his Fedora up on his head a little and looks around.

Senan: “Thanks for the lift Aunty.”

She smiles and nods politely to you. "Thank you for not being difficult."

Senan: “Not point in waisting both our time.”

Kord looks around the Court for any cracks in the walls.

Tybolt takes down the gate and sighs a bit. He begins to look around for Gerard in the clutter of bodies, feeling a need to announce his presence. He shakes his head a moment to clear his head and get his long hair out of his eyes.

Tybolt: “Where could he be,” he muses to himself.

Senan puts his hands in his dress pant pockets keeping his eyes open. Smoke still in his mouth.

A hammering sound comes from the doors to the throne room. As you turn, you see a very large man standing by the doors, having apparently hammered the floor with his halberd.

"All hail His Majesty, King Random!"

Senan: <· Hushed ·> “Do i salute or or something?”

Gerard then takes the handle of the huge iron door in one hand and pulls it open, as easily as if it were made of paper. Behind it is a relatively small, unassuming man. He wears a fur-trimmed cape and crown, like something out of Renaissance nobility. He smiles and nods towards the crowd, then makes his way to the throne.

Senan takes off his hat at the very least it's polite.

Tybolt bows as the King goes by, hair falling but remaining out of his face. He also winks flirtatiously as soon as he catches Gerard's eye as he straightens.

He sits down, and the iron door clangs shut behind you.

Senan will put his hat over his heart and bow if everyone else around him does.

His voice rings out clear and true, and there's a note of genuine admiration behind it. "My family, together once again. Well...most of it, anyways." {Everyone around you seems to be treating him more or less like their little brother - which, to most of them, he is}

Kord ** I guess following protocol is the thing to do in this case ;-> **

"I imagine you can already guess why I called you here."

Senan smirks a bit I never got to visit Amber on my first buzz by and i do mean buzz I hit the pattern then I was gone. I was starting to take a shine to him.

"Er...no, sorry, no deaths to report. No, I'm talking about the earthquake."

Senan places back on his fedora since didn 't seem as formal as I originally though and let my stance get a bit lax.

"I've spoken with some of the masters of the Pattern among us, and - yes, of course I mean Corwin - ahem, and I have been advised as to the source and probable cause of such a thing."

Tybolt_ listens with all respect. He tends to be very respectful to the King, lest people confuse his actions with that of his father's treachery.

Senan scowls a little at the mention of my father but doesn't actually say much letting himself relax again as quickly as possible.

"It appears that some...er...alterations have been made to Shadows connected in one way or another to Amber, and for some reason, those changes are propagating to us, rather than pushing the Shadow further away.

"It goes without saying, we believe this to be the forerunner of another invasion attempt by the Courts of Chaos."

Kord thinks to hiself ah good, something to do

Senan will blow smoke up into the air being careful not to blow it on anyone.

"As we eldest need to stay here and prepare for - and fight - this invasion, I...uh...I'm forced to ask the youngest among us to investigate this matter more fully, in the shadows affected.

Tybolt An eyebrow raises quizzically. Interesting development to the day, this.

"Senan...Kord...Tybalt...we need you to investigate the shadows - find out who is truly causing this, how they're doing it, and stopping them at all cost."

Senan takes the smoke from his mouth.

Senan: “My rates are 25 a day plus exspenses.”

Kord quirks up the corner of his mouth and cracks his knuckles

King Random looks puzzled for a moment. "25...?"

Kord: “Any leads on where to start?”

Senan nods in a fake serious manner.

Tybolt manages not smile at Senan. He simply bows his head deeply, and places a hand on his hip, pushing his robe back, revealing more of his otherwise bare torso. He nods at Kord. A wise question, he thought, although it hardly mattered.

"Yes, well, I can provide you a trump contact to the one shadow we have tracked down. Obviously, we will keep looking, but you would have to take care of much on your own."

Kord: “No time like the present, You have that trump here?” *looks to Tybolt and Senan* “assuming you two are ready?”

Senan: “Well I'd like to get filled in a bit more only thing I know about chaos is there a shady bunch I'd like to get the shinny before heading out know what I'm dealing with.”

Senan motions his hat to Kord.

Senan: “You seem to know the dance better then me I'll follow your lead.”

Tybolt: "Personally, I'd like to go an get dressed. I cannot say I dressed for the occasion when I got up this morning," he motions to the fact he's still in a silk lounging robe and doesn't have on any boots.

The king nods. "I will have the trump card sent to your chambers. I wish you all luck on your journey."

Senan nods to this.

Tybolt nods his head and smiles. He smiles at Gerard in an especially friendly manner. By your leave, I shall adjourn to my rooms and make leave straight away once in appropriate attire.

Gerard nods and opens the door effortlessly.

Kord: Excellent. Well I'm assuming Tybolt can hold on to that card as we set off, I'm assuming it won't talk too long to dress?”

Behind you, the court descends into its usual cacophony of wild speculation and heated debate.

Senan goes to stand with Kord as his smoke starts to get low.

Tybolt goes to dress in his chambers, taking off his silk robe and putting on a white silk shirt, tying the sleeves but leaving the ties at his throat open. He adds to his a velvet-lined black cloak, his makes his hair stand out boldly. he addes a special a belt, which can hold his deck, his brushes and several bottles of ink where a gunslinger might hold weapons and bullets.

Tybolt pulls on his knee-high boots, places his deck, ink and brushes in the appropriate places, then heads back to the others. Shall we? He says, taking the taking the trump from the one offering it.

Kord: *to Senan* “Well, there's not much more to the Chaos Court than being a bunch of nasty usurpers with any number of tricks. Seems to be mostly play it by ear kinda folk. That looks to be something you can handle eh?”

Senan nods to this biting on his smoke a bit.

Tybolt pulls on his knee-high boots, places his deck, ink and brushes in the appropriate places, then heads back to the others. Shall we? He says, taking the taking the trump from the one offering it.

Senan: “yeah seems like my line. Senan Huran by the way. Most folks call me Johnny Heart.”

Kord nods

Kord: “Kord, son of Martin”

Tybolt: "And I'm Tybolt or Ty," He says.

Kord: “Nice to meet ya”

Kord: “We are going to possibly get dirty you know, hope you brought a change of clothes”

Senan offers his hand.

Senan: “I guess your my cousins.”

Tybolt chuckles. He takes Senan's hand, thinks back, and shakes it as he has seen in some other Shadows.

Kord: “Ain't we all” *grins and shakes Senans hand*

Tybolt: "As for my clothes getting dirty, I can always make more," he says with a devilish grin.

Senan will shake hands one at a time.

Senan: “hey is there anyway we could get some of those cards? You know to keep in touch?”

Tybolt takes the trump and concentrates all his attention on opening the gate. Hopefully, he will have had enough time to bounce back from the gate he just opened.

Senan whistles having never used one of these before.

You walk through the created Gate, and feel yourselves pulled through limitless possibility.

As you're coming to your senses, you hear a horn sound out. "Get outta the road, ya damn crazies!" As you gaze around, you see tall towers made of concrete and glass, and you're standing on a paved road.

And then the traffic seems to stop, and you hear the sound of dozens of radios being turned up.

"...again, a message from President Kennedy." The sound of papers shuffling. "My fellow Americans. Today, the nation is one step closer to war with the Soviet Union."

"We have recovered intelligence showing the Soviet Union unloading nuclear missiles into Cuba."

"I have solemnly sworn to defend this country against all foes, foreign and domestic. And I pledge to you this day, that the Soviet Union will not be allowed to continue this act of aggression."

"I reiterate. If we are attacked or are otherwise provoked, we will retaliate with *all* of our military capabilities."

"Thank you."

*****GAME OFF*****