Wed Jul 31 13:13:05 1996
Subject: [AM] Rendezvous
>       "I'll meet you in the Crime Lab after breakfast, Zachary."  
>Not even bothering to stifle her yawn, she turned to her two other 
>cousins.  "Goodnight, Julianna, Karina."
     Julianna nodded without comments as Karina returned the tidings, 
and she watched silently as Laura started up the main staircase to the 
residential apartments.
     Such an impetuous one she was, she thought with something that was 
almost an internal sigh.  She had not been in Amber for all of one week, 
and already she believed herself capable of taking on anything...
     Ah, the foolishness and naivity of the young.
     If the circumstances were not so dire, she might have found it 
almost refreshing.
     However, now was not the time for it.  Whatever the force that had 
saught to bring harm to the unicorn was, it was threatening the very 
fabric of infinite shadow, and the substance of Amber and Choas as 
well.  This was not a game, a test to evaluate the capacities of her 
young, and inexperienced, cousins; no, this was a situation of a most 
grave nature, and the involvement of the younger cousins in it could 
have disasterous consequences.
     Zachary had been right; their inexperience 'twas not their fault. 
However, it was a fact that neither cousin had experience in shadow 
shifting, short of their recent hellride, or any first hand knowledge of 
any shadow excepting the one they had respectively been born in.  
Indeed, they had only walked the Pattern of Amber a few short evenings 
ago, if that...and they claimed to be ready for this?
     Laura and Karina simply did not understand.  They could not 
understand. They had no comprehension of the forces at work here...
     That could all of their undoing.
     Zachary's voice brought her out of her thoughts.
     "My apologies, Zachary," she answered.  "I was lost in 
     "I had simply asked if you had any thoughts on what we witnessed 
today," he repeated.
     Julianna glanced at him for a moment, removing her gaze from where 
it had rested on the main staircase, and half-smiled at him.  "Some, 
cousin...but all at this junction is purely speculation."
     "Agreed," he said with a nod.  "With luck, we should uncover 
something about that arrow tomorrow.  And Dad'll probably want to ask us 
what happened out there..."  He trailed off, thinking back for a 
moment.  "An entire shadow wiped out, just like that..." he added, 
shaking his head to himself. "If I hadn't seen it-"
     "It is more than possible, Zachary, as you know well know.  I have 
seen it done before."  She looked off, back up to the second floor and 
the apartments of the elder Amberites.
     She looked back to him.  "Whatever or whomever is behind this, they 
have no concern about the state of shadow, or Amber.  Such a blatant 
show of power will have consequences beyond what we experienced; indeed, 
the entirty of shadow, and especially the shadows surrounding the one 
destroyed, will be severly affected by its destruction.  I would not be 
in the least surprised if a few of the Elders felt the destruction did, most probably, some of those in the Courts."
     Zachary didn't answer.
     A moment of silence fell between the two before Julianna spoke 
again. "Cousin, I feel that I must admit that I question the wisdom of 
allowing Laura to retain the arrow we escaped with, our only piece of 
evidence thus far."
     Zachary raised an eyebrow.  "Why?"
     "Perhaps I have been of the royal blood for too long, but forgive 
me if I find it more than coinicidental that the attack upon the unicorn 
occured scant days after her, and Karina's, arrival in Amber."
     "You must be joking..."
     Julianna just looked at him, her expression advising him that she 
was not.
     "You said yourself that she was inexperienced," Zachary countered. 
"How could she have possibly succeeded in not only tracking down the 
unicorn, and shooting it, not to mention succeeding in destroying a 
shadow as well, when she can barely shift shadow?"
     "Zachary," Julianna said after a moment, "whilst you are too young 
to remember it yourself, I am certain that you have heard, or at the 
very least read in Corwin's Chronicles, of Dara.  Never underestimate 
anyone.  Ever."
     "However," she added, after allowing her words to sink in, "as I 
mentioned previously, this is simply conjecture, based in no extent upon 
fact.  Please disregard it as you see fit.  It is time for me to retire 
as well.  Perhaps I shall see you in the morrow, cousin."
     "Good night, Julianna," Zachary responded, frowning slightly at the 
strangeness of Julianna's parting statement as she ascended the 
staircase to her apartment.
     Julianna's black velvet cloak fluttered and flared ever so slightly 
out behind her as she strode gracefully down the hallways of Castle 
Amber, passing several of the Elder Amerite's chambers as she made her 
way to her own apartment.  Unlike the majority of her younger cousins, 
Julianna's own residence in the majestic Castle Amber was on the second 
floor, as opposed to the third, a fact which demonstrated her advanced 
age in comparison with that of her cousins.  And like many of the 
apartments on this particular floor, hers would remain unoccupied for 
great lengths of time, tended only by the occasions servant who would 
stop in to ensure that the Lady's possessions did not gather dust as the 
years passed.
     She paused her quick pace as she passed by a door, glacing at it as 
she passed and noting, with interest, the familiar flickering of 
candlelight flowing from the between it and the stone floor.
     Another possibility, she thought to herself as she passed by the 
door and continued.  Save Dworkin, who had not been seen for at least a 
century, and Oberon, who had apparently sacrificed himself many years 
previous (or so he would have had us believe, she added to herself), 
Fiona was most probably the Amberite with the greatest control over the 
stuff of shadow.  If anyone could have destroyed a shadow out of hand, 
it could have been Fiona.
     Then again, any with a intimate comprehension of the Pattern had 
the ability to destroy shadow, if they set their will to the task.  Even 
she herself had the potential for it, and the knowledge necessary to 
complete it.
     She arrived at her own apartment, and slipped inside.
     However, she did not ready herself for bed.  Rather, she lit 
several candles about the room, locked the door, and seated herself in 
the chair at her desk.
     She took a deep breath, and cleared her mind of all thought.
     Her mind now a blank slate, uncluttered by random thoughts and 
emotions, and one with her inner self, she called the Pattern to her 
mind. Intricately she drew its curves and twists in her minds' eye, 
forming it as she had done thousands of times before, and would continue 
to do for thousands of times more.  She watched it crackle with energy 
as if a living creature, blue-white fire coming alive as it followed the 
final few turns, and culminated at the centre.
     She commenced her walk.
     The sparks danced as she walked the Pattern of her mind, tracing 
its twists, until, after perhaps a minute or so, she reached the centre.
     Abruptly, the Pattern around her dropped, falling as if suddenly 
caught by gravity's pull.  She glaced down in her minds' eye, and saw 
the pattern fall for a moment, before slowing to a halt, leaving her 
staring at it in its grandeous entirety.
     The blackness around her began to shimmer with the incandesence of 
the Pattern, and within moments, her environment began to change...
     She was in the hallway outside of her chambers.
     Or rather, that was what she preceived.  For walking the pattern of 
the mind was not an out of body experience...rather, it allowed one to 
peer beyond themselves, to see things others could not...
     To shift and alter perceptions.
     Once again, the scene melted away to replaced by another, one which 
Julianna wished to see at the present moment.
     Laura's chambers.
     She gazed at her youthful cousin for a few moments, watching as 
Laura attempted to sleep.  She turned in her bed, causing Julianna to 
instinctly freeze.  However, after a moment, she was confident that she 
had not been detected.  It was unlikely that Laura's abilities were 
sufficiently strong enough to allow her to detect her older cousin's 
presence, but still, Julianna wished to avoid another unnecessary 
confrontation by her headstrong relative.
     She turned, and in a moment found what she was looking for atop 
Laura's desk.
     The arrow.
     In her minds' eye, Julianna approached it, and looked intently at 
the weapon that had very nearly been the death of the unicorn.
     Once again, she began to shift her perceptions, looking...
     An hour passed.  Julianna, oblivious to anything besides her 
purpose, failed to notice.
     Another hour passed.  She knew there had to be something, some 
     There is was extrodinarily faint...
     It was gone.
     No, it was back again.
     Julianna raised a mental eyebrow.
     Yes, buried deep within the scorched and blackened arrowtip that 
had penetrated the unicorn, she could barely sense the feint stench.  It 
had most likely been a part of the ichor which had tipped the arrows, 
the poison which had virtually burned the wood and metal it had been 
drenched in.
     Now, it was all but gone.
     The Logrus.
     Julianna pulled back, somehow expecting this, but fearing her 
discovery all the same.
     The question was, why?  The Courts realized just as well as did the 
Amberites that the Unicorn, the Serpant, the Pattern and the Logrus were 
all, somehow, innately connected to one another.  There even some in the 
Courts of Chaos who reversed the unicorn, much as many of those in Amber 
did and still do.
     She needed an answer, and, more specifically, an expert.  She knew 
little of the Logrus, and what she did know was tainted by the biases of 
those around her and, admittedly, herself.  She would need to speak to 
someone with a firsthand knowledge of these things.
     She knew just the person.
     Without so much as even a note, or a word to anyone, Julianna 
called the pattern once more around her, and in moments, was standing in 
the centre of it once more.
     She focussed her thoughts for a moment.
     Then she was gone, leaving only a empty chair and three lit candles 
to mark her passing.
NRPG: Well, there you are...another twist, as promised 
Troy, welcome to Amber :)  Julianna is only a part time character for 
me, so I post infrequently at best, but I'll do my best to keep up.
Julianna will be gone for a little bit, and then she'll pop back.  That 
will be in my next post, depending on what Zach and Laura discover in 
their investigation.
Lady Julianna,
Mistress of Pattern & Duchess of Amber
aka Jason Kee