Fri May 10 11:07:10 1996
Subject: [AM] In the Library
        Laura's eyes were everywhere as they walked the path that led up 
the great mountain.  High above her she could see the towers of Castle 
Amber.  That was what Zachary had called it.  Below her, as she looked 
back, the City of Amber grew small.  As the climbed higher, she could 
see the surrounding countryside, the Great Sea, mountain ranges, 
forests, valleys, rivers, lakes and streams.  It was lush and beautiful, 
though she had a sense it could be treacherous and hostile to the unwary.
        "Is this the only way to the Castle?" she asked.  "It'd be 
easier by car, wouldn't it, or even easier by helicopter."
        Zachary smiled in the dim light of the moon.  "You'll find no 
cars or choppers here, Laura.  We travel by foot, horse, or ship."  He 
considered the time in the Shadow she had come from.  Yes, she would 
understand.  "Electrons have no charge in Amber.  Therefore the flow of 
electrons through a conductive wire does not produce a current."
        "No electricity," she said thoughtfully.  That would be an 
adjustment.  "I guess I needn't worry about having left my hair dryer 
        Zachary chucked softly.  Laura seemed to accept the changes she 
was facing with an extraordinary ease.  It made him wonder... as he had 
wondered briefly when he touched her hand years before.
        "It is called Mt. Kolvir," he told her.  "There are several 
paths.  This is the main path, the easiest to traverse.  It is the one 
the horses use.  You'll become familiar with them all after a while.
        "Zachary," she said as they neared the top.  "You said you've 
aged, but not as I know.  If I'm like you, does that mean it'll be the 
same for me?  I won't grow old like normal?"
        "What is normal in Sha..., where you came from, Laura, is not 
necessarily normal here, as you will learn.  If you are like me, then 
yes, you will stay young for a very long time."
        "I think I kind of like that idea."
        They had reached the top and Zachary led her into the castle.  
It was breathtaking, and she had a longing to explore it, all of it.  
She noticed immediately that it was lit by candlelight and warmed by 
blazing fires in uniquely fashioned fireplaces.  Apologizing that it was 
too late for a grand tour, Zachary led her to the Library.  Laura gazed 
in awe.  She felt instinctively that this might be the first place of 
her learning.
        "Please have a seat," Zachary offered.  She did as he bid and 
was trying to think of what question she wanted to ask first when he 
said, "Like you have done to me earlier, someone has contacted me."
        Laura watched, fascinated, as he stepped to the side but 
remained quiet.  In a very short time she saw him extend his hand.  
Someone is looking at his picture in a deck of cards, like I did before, 
she thought.  One thing she definitely wanted to know more about was 
those cards.  They fascinated her.  Unconsciously, her fingers seemed to 
be holding an imaginary pen and it began making drawing motions.  Laura 
wasn't even aware of it, but Zachary noticed, just after another young 
girl was standing next to him.
        Laura looked at her.  They were a study in contrast, her pale 
blondeness against the new girl's waist-length jet black hair and 
sparkling green eyes.
        "Please sit down, Karina," Zachary asked her.  "I am Zachary and 
this is Laura who came here much as you just did."
        The girls exchanged hellos, friendly but cautious.  They both 
felt a little awkward, but Zachary's calm friendliness put them a little 
more at ease.  Laura noticed him looking at the silver rose locket 
around Karina's neck.  Her own eyes were drawn to it also.  She had seen 
much fine jewelry in her life, but the artistry of that piece was unlike 
anything she'd ever scene.
        "That locket would seem to show that you are who you say you 
are, Karina.  It speaks loudly of my uncle, Prince Corwin.
        "My father," Karina replied.  "My father, whom I do not know."
        "You know his name," Laura said.  "That is more than I know of 
my mother.  Zachary, there is so much I want to learn.  I want to know 
about Amber.  I want to know what my place is here, what it means for 
me.  I want to know who my mother is."
        Zachary chuckled.  "If you are indeed a daughter of Amber,  you 
have more to learn than you can imagine, Laura, but you have plenty of 
time to learn it."
        "Yes, well, I mean to make a start as soon as possible.  Will 
you help me, Zachary?"
        "Yes, I'll help you, Laura.  You do have the impatience of a 
royal, that's true.  You will need to learn of Amber, it's royal family, 
and its history."
        "I'd like to spend some time each day here in the library," she 
replied.  "May I?"
        "I want to go exploring," Karina added.  "And learn about my 
        "I'd be pleased to have you here.  It will be a good start.  I'm 
afraid I don't know which one might be your mother, though.  Since your 
royal parent is one of the princesses rather than one of the princes, it 
may be slightly easier to narrow down.  There are only four:  Fiona, 
Llewella, Flora, and Dierdre.  What do you know of your mother?"
        "Well, not much."  Laura glanced at Karina.  She wasn't sure she 
wanted to tell too much in front of the other girl.  There was so much 
she didn't understand, but she did know that things were different here, 
very different.
        Zachary read her look easily, and smiled.  She seemed, if she 
was really one of his cousins, to have the family trait of mistrust.
        "I don't think it can do any harm to tell us what you know, 
        "All right."  Her hesitation was outweighed by her need to do 
whatever she could to find out who she really was.  Laura reached into 
her pocket and brought out the letter her father had left for her.  It, 
her pin, and the deck of cards were all she had brought with her from 
New York.  She handed the letter to Zachary who studied it closely, then 
read it aloud.
        "It doesn't help much, I'm afraid, except to show that your 
father believed this woman was what she claimed to be.  Vanessa Dare.  I 
do not recall any of my aunts having used that name, but I will check 
the records in the morning to see if there is any mention of it   You 
take after your father in looks, Laura, so we have no help there.  
Karina, though, does look like Prince Corwin."
        "Sure I do.  He's my father.  I know it.  Say Zachary, I see 
those drums in the corner.  Can I play them?" 
        "I would wait a bit for that, Karina, until after you have met 
King Random, seeing as they are his."
        "Oh my.  Well yes, I'll wait.  Are there any other musical 
instruments around though?  I play a lot of them.  I'd love to find a 
flute if I could.  I don't want to miss practicing."
        "Yes, Karina.  I'm sure we can find you an instrument in the 
        "And clothes," Laura added.  "I'll need clothes.  Do I need to 
go into Amber to buy some that are right for here, and if so, what do I 
use for money?  Or can I get some clothes right here in the Castle?"
        "We'll talk about all of this and more in the morning, ladies.  
This has been a long and strange day for both of you."  He stood up.  
"I'll show you to some guest rooms and I want you both to get some 
sleep.  I will meet you tomorrow either in the Dining Hall or here in 
the Library.  If you cannot find your way, or find me, use your trumps."
        Laura and Karina rose from the chairs and followed Zachary out 
of the Library.  Laura took a look back before the door closed behind 
them.  She knew that she would want to spend many hours here.  He led 
them along the corridor to adjoining rooms, and told them his own 
chamber was not far along the same corridor.  He would be available 
should they need him.
        Laura bid him goodnight and said the same to Karina.
        "See you in the morning, Laura," she answered, then disappeared 
into her room.  Laura did the same and was delighted with the large room 
with its enormous featherbed with four carved wooden posters rising to 
the ceiling and covered by a canopy.  She noted that though there was no 
electricity, there was modern plumbing and she had her own bathroom.  
She would have loved to explore further, but a sudden yawn told her that 
she was exhausted from a day that had begun so differently from how it 
ended.  She quickly undressed and climbed into the big bed.  It was only 
a few minutes after she closed her eyes that she was asleep, wondering 
just before she drifted off what the new day would bring.
Laura Davega
Laura of Amber
NRPG:  Kat:  Please feel free to add anything Karina wants to say.  I 
didn't want to write too much for her until I know her better.
Nathan:  I think Kyle is somewhere in the Castle talking to his father, 
but Laura won't have met him yet, of course.
Jason:  Don't think Juliana's arrived yet, has she?