Fri May 10 11:07:07 1996
Subject: [AM] First meetings
Scene: A table at Bloody Bob's
        Zachary was immensely enjoying a perfect order of fish and 
chips.  Each time he had it, he was amazed to find it better than the 
last.  It only it wasn't so filling; he could only manage two full 
servings this night.  He sipped casually on a glass of wine, a 
beautifully engraved short sword lying beside his glass on the table.  
Bloody Bob's, though well known for it's food, was also well known for a 
haven of the less than noble.  Suddenly, he felt a slight itching in the 
back of his mind.  A contact?  But from who?  He opened his mind to the 
Trump call.  "Who is there?" he asked.  "Who calls?"
        "I don't know," a voice whispered.  Soft and eloquent, and full 
of need.  "Help me ... help me."  The young woman he saw shimmering 
before him he did not recognize.  Beautiful, though.  He reached out to 
her, clasping her tentative hand, and pulled her through.
        She stood before her, confused and disoriented.  "Who are you?" 
he asked, hoping not to upset her any further.  He wondered again who 
she was, and how she managed to get a hold of his Trump.
        "My name is Laura.  I am ... of Amber, I'm told.  But I don't 
know who I am.  I was directed to find Amber ... the True City.  I don't 
know what that means, but my mother left word that I must try.   Can you 
help me?"
        "This is Amber."  Zachary assured her, then suddenly found his 
arms full as the young woman promptly fainted.
        Laura?  No one he had heard of.  It then occurred to him the the 
bar had quieted down, and a number of eyes layed upon him and the girl 
in his arms.  He hadn't quite wanted to flaunt the power of the Trumps 
before them, but his sudden concern for this Laura overrode him.  
Strange that.  Something told him she was more than just a shadow.  He 
sheathed his short sword, and motioned a barmaid over.  "I shall move to 
one of the rear rooms.  Another wine and a glass of water."  He gave 
sharp looks to those around him, and they quickly went back to their own 
business.  Lifting the young woman into his arms, he made his way to the 
back of the tavern, slipping in through one of the doors there.  Once 
inside, he sat her gently into a chair.  The young slip of a barmaid 
arrived, placing the water and wine on the table.  He nodded to her, 
indicating he wished some privacy.
        Zachary turned his gaze back to the woman, barely an adult by 
the looks of it.  He concentrated on her features, examining her with 
his eyes.  Hmm, he began to wonder if she wasn't such a stranger after 
all.  She did look familiar to him, but wasn't sure from where.  What 
had she said?  Her mother had left word?  No, could it be?
        He looked over her clothes, but there was certainly nothing 
extraordinary about what she wore.  His eyes suddenly noticed a rather 
lovely broach she wore over one breast.  A stylized bow and arrow, quite 
glittering and beautiful in the light of the lantern.  Then it struck him.
Scene: Walton School athletic field, Manhattan, Shadow Earth
        The string became taunt, the flight of the arrow just barely 
grazing her cheek.  Her gray eyes stared hard before her.  The string 
gave a high twang of release, the arrow whistling gently through the 
air.  A solid thwack as the arrow stopped it's flight, piecing the 
centre of four circles layed upon each other.  A eruption of applause 
sounded around her, but her eyes remained on the target for a moment 
before pulling to the side.
        Moments later, the announcement came.  
        Later, Laura politely accepted the congratulations from her 
peers and teammates, but hurriedly changed to meet the one who's opinion 
counted the most.  Her father.
        She rushed out of the change room, slinging her carrying case 
over her shoulder.  Outside, she found her father smiling, standing in 
front of a limo.  With a gleeful smile of her own, she jogged over and 
received a large hug.  She then noticed the young man standing beside 
her father.  "Just marvelous, dear!"  Paul Danzinger gushed.
        "Thank you."  Laura replied.  "Though I didn't feel quite up to 
par today."
        "Listen to her."  Paul laughed, turning to his youthful 
companion.  "You wouldn't think she had just broken her own record in 
winning the competition."
        The young man laughed quietly.  Laura gave a mock pout.  "I just 
meant I know I could have done better."
        Her father's companion took a step forward.  "You shot 
wonderfully.  It has been a long while since I had ever seen anyone 
shoot as accurately as you, especially one so young."  He reached out 
and shook Laura's hand, an eyebrow raising slightly at the touch of her 
hand.  There was something about this one ...
        "Oh, forgive my obtuseness.  Laura dear, this is a friend of 
Johnathan's, the director?  Zak Random, this is my daughter, Laura.  Zak 
is in town for a couple of days before heading off to San Francisco for 
a gallery opening."
        The two continued to shake hands.  A chord was struck within 
Laura.  Something about this man just seemed to be familiar, but she had 
never seen him before, she was sure.  With pleasant banter, and a 
business account, Paul cheerfully escorted the two into the limo and off 
to a scrumptious lunch.
Scene: The private chamber at Bloody Bob's
        Zachary splashed a slight bit of the cool water on Laura's face, 
and after a moment she moaned, her eyes opening.  "It's not a dream."  
She murmured.
        Zachary lightly dabbed the water from the young woman's face.  
"It is no dream, good lady.  Here."  He said, offering her the glass of 
water, which she drank almost immediately.  "You could more accurately 
say that your past life was more a dream than this, but I'm sure you 
wouldn't want to discuss metaphysics and the like right now."
        Laura gave him a slightly bewildered look.  "No, I had thought 
not.  Are you hungry?"
        "A little."  She said quietly, examining her surroundings more 
        Zachary rose from his seat and looked out the door.  After some 
murmured words, he closed the door and returned back to the table.  "I 
have not had the chance to introduce myself.  I am Zachary."
        "Laura Davega."  The woman said automatically.  "But I had 
already told you, right?"
        "You did at that."  Zachary replied with a smile.  "I remember 
it now, for we had met before, a few years ago."
        Laura eyed the man, and then the vague recognition bloomed into 
realization.  "You?  But ... but you don't look any older than you were 
        "I have aged, though not as you're used to, I'm sure."  A knock 
fell upon the door, and soon two young women entered, carrying a tray 
each, laden with food and drink.  They quickly put things out on the 
table, and left.  "Please, eat all you like."  Zachary said, indicating 
the food before them.  He wasn't hungry, but decided that he could 
nibble on some bread to help put her at ease.
        Tenatively, Laura picked at the food before her.  Certainly 
nothing she was used to, but the smells overpowered her, and when she 
took a bite, so did the flavour.  "It's wonderful."  She said, digging in.
        Zachary merely nodded, and reached to fill his goblet, then 
offering her some wine as well.  He let the young women eat in silence, 
surprised at the appetite she had.  Soon her hunger subsided, and she 
again eyed him.  "So ... this is Amber?"
        "You have arrived in the city of Amber, yes, through 
unconventional means.  We will talk about that soon, I'm sure."
        Laura was silent for a moment.  "Where exactly is this?  Why 
does everything look like we're back in the Renaissance or something?"
        It was Zachary's turn to be silent.  Just how much should he 
tell this girl?  Was she only a creature of Shadow, as beautifully 
formed as she was?  Or something more?  Well, he was not to know sitting 
here.  "Perhaps I should escort you to the Castle.  You are most welcome 
to stay, but I don't think this tavern is the best of places to talk of 
such things."  To emphasize his point, shouting and a smashing bottle 
from the common room drew both their attentions.
        "No, perhaps not."  She agreed, a bit fearful.
        Offering the young woman his cloak, Zachary led Laura out of the 
tavern, stealthily avoiding the small brawl in one corner.  Outside, 
they began walking along the streets.  Laura's eyes looked everywhere in 
wonderment, Zachary's eyes remained on the shadows.  Their walk remained 
uneventful, and soon the two were standing before the two huge doors 
leading in to Castle Amber.
        "I've never been in a real castle before."  Laura said, trying 
to see the whole castle at once and failing.
        "It is a bit late for a tour, but I would like to talk with you 
a bit more, if you please."  Zachary asked, walking up the steps to the 
doors.  Two guards opened the doors for the two, and they walked into 
the grand hallway.
        "Magnificent."  Laura breathed softly.
        Zachary smiled.  He had grown up with all the surroundings of 
the castle, and he always was amazed at other peoples reaction to it.  
He supposed he was just used to it.  After a brief pointing out of 
rooms, he led Laura upstairs and to the Library.  He always felt most 
comfortable there, and if she asked certain questions, it would be good 
to be near his books.
        He opened the door, stepping aside to allow Laura to step in.  
Four lanterns lit the room, sending a warm red glow about everything.  
With equal wonder, Laura wandered into the Library, glancing at the 
multiple bookshelves, and the set of drums at the far end of the room.  
"Please, have a seat."  Zachary offered, closing the doors behind him.  
Until he knew more about the girl, it seemed best not to raise a stir.
        Just then, another contact scratched at his mind.  'Again?'  He 
thought.  "I'll just be a moment."  He said to Laura, "Like you have 
done to me earlier, someone has contacted me."
        Laura watched as he stepped to the side, but remained quiet.
        Zachary opened his mind for the second time that evening.  
"Who's there?" 
        He saw her before him, ghostlike, and yet so real.  She appeared 
quite startled.  "My name is Karina, my father told me to search for my 
heritage thru the cards." 
        Another one?  Very strange indeed.  "Who is your father?"  
Zachary asked.  
        "Prince Corwin of Amber."  The girl replied, a bit unsure of 
        Zachary laughed in surprise.  "My, my, you will be a surprise." 
He reached out his had to her.  "Come, grasp my hand, my dear cousin. 
Come to Amber."
        In a rainbow ripple, Zachary pulled his cousin through.
Scene: A darkened wood
        With a quiet hiss, the arrow flew through the night air.  The 
barbed tip was blackened, a slick liquid disguising it's normally cool 
gray exterior.  The shaft was of hard wood, solid and straight.  Two 
feathers, one green, one white, circled as the air pushed against them.  
The arrow impacted against white, soon replaced by red.
NRPG: Okay, finally!  This helps bring a couple of characters together.  
I'm unsure as to when Kyle and Julianna arrive in Amber, but I'm sure 
we'll meet everyone soon enough.  Hard to miss a new face at the 
breakfast table :)
The last bit is setting up a possible thread for everyone to follow in 
the near future. 
                           ///          /// 
                           \ //        /  /           
      Christopher           \ ////   _/  /     Zachary, Librarian of
      Ackney                 \_  ////    /     Castle Amber, son to
                              \___/    /       King Random       /         \_      
                             /,)-_(  \_   \     
      AT 1Asada03.2300       (/   \\ /\\\\         <\
                                   //               >\
                                    '               >/
        "It was a very foul blow, about four