Sat Aug 24 15:31:19 1996
Subject: [AM] First Lesson
Scene: Throneroom of Castle Amber
        "Another nephew?  Boy, I had no idea my brothers and sisters 
were so prolific."  King Random smiled upon his throne.  He sat relaxed, 
one leg up over an arm of the throne.
        "Potentially."  Zachary corrected.  "He used the Trumps to 
contact me, and a letter left for him suggests ancenstry to Amber, but I 
haven't yet tested him.  As to prolific, just look to Grandfather."
        "True, true."  Random agreed readily.  "But then that was over a 
few millennia."
        "That is true, but Grandfather was only one man.  There are 
nearly twenty known Princes and Princesses of Amber directly related to 
King Oberon, never mind their own descendents throughout Shadow."  
Zachary countered.
        Random gave a hearty laugh.  "Teach me to try debating with you, 
Zak.  You learn too well from your mother."  He said, giving a friendly 
glance to his Queen.
        "He's just more attentive that you are, dear."  Vialle shot 
back, a playful smile on her lips.
        Random sighed with a shake of his head.  "As to the other 
business, I shall alert Benedict and Julian of the troubles you've had, 
and Fiona too, I suppose.  Destroying a shadow in an attempt to kill the 
Unicorn is not to be taken lightly."  Random's mood darkened with the 
topic change.
        "Not to raise suspicion, but I fear that Dalt may be involved.  
But what concerns me is why he would emblazon each arrow with his own 
symbol.  Perhaps someone is trying to make it look like Dalt was the 
perpatrator."  Zachary said thoughtfully.
        "Unlikely.  Dalt always was pretty blatant, and he would love 
for us to know that he was the one to kill the Unicorn, had he 
succeeded, of course."  Random argued.
        "I'm also concerned about Karina's sudden disappearance.  She 
was the one who had discovered the Unicorn, and now she has ventured off 
to the Courts.  I wouldn't think her capable of such actions, but more 
experienced people than I have been as easily fooled."  Zachary said.
        "The Unicorn seemed to trust her, at least by your account."  
Vialle reminded her son in a calm voice.
        Random stood up.  "Perhaps she was just as she seemed, as 
strange as that may sound for an Amberite."  He stretched and gave a 
yawn.  "I'll get the word out nonetheless, and I'll let you find out if 
we have a new Royal mouth to feed."
        "Of course Father.  I will see you at dinner with the news, 
then."  Zachary replied, and took his leave from the throneroom.
Scene: Library
        "Impatient as ever, aren't you?  Will I be forgiven if we start 
your lessons right now?"  Zachary had never actually taken on a student 
before, but didn't see why he wouldn't be able to teach Laura of Trump.  
He was well versed in the fundamentals.  Still, she made for quite an 
excitable model.  Those Aunts and Uncles he had managed to catch long 
enough to draw were very calm and composed next to this young girl.  And 
young she was, in almost every sense.  But despite that, she had within 
her and intelligence and brightness that belied her brief years on her 
shadow Earth.
        "Oh, yes!" she cried eagerly.  "And you can tell me what 
happened with Ryan after I left.  Did you test him?  Is he really Lord 
Benedict's son?  And what will we do next about the threat to Amber?  
Have you talked to the King Random?  Will you tell Ryan about it?"
        "One question at a time."  Zachary smiled, still amazed at the 
young woman's exuberance.  It was a strange thing to see amongst the 
family of Amber.  "As to Ryan, he is indeed a child of Amber.  As to his 
parentage, I can only guess, I simply do not have the equipment to do 
DNA traces.  But my guess is that Ryan is indeed a child of Benedict, 
the resemblance is remarkable, and considering the time Ryan came from, 
I would not be surprised if Benedict had indeed visited that Shadow."
        "How wonderful!"  Laura said happily.  "He must be so 
overwhelmed with everything, I know I nearly was when I came here."
        "It does take some getting used to, I suppose.  Here, sit 
down."  Zachary escorted Laura to a chair at one of the study desks in 
the Library.
        Laura sat down gracefully, a deck of Trumps lying before her.  
"Before we begin, I will tell you that I have told my father of the 
troubles, and he has taken things in hand.  I would presume that we will 
discuss it at dinner, and Ryan can make his own decision as to what to 
        "I see.  Now, for my lesson."  Laura said in anticipation.
        "I want you to examine the Trumps before you.  Not to make 
contact, just to concentrate on them.  To get a feel for the cards, and 
the power within them."
        Laura picked up the cards, turning the deck over slowly in her 
hands.  The bottom card showed an old, bent man, bedraggled yet not 
without the air of nobility.  His eyes glowed with a fierce light, 
bright and possibly crazed.  "Who is that?"  Laura asked.
        "Our great-grandfather, Dworkin."  Zachary replied.
        "The creator of Amber?"  Laura asked rhetorically.  She examined 
the card closely, the cards cool in her hands.  "He drew this deck."  
She said after a moment.
        "He did.  Most of the Trumps of Amber have been drawn by him, 
though the more recent ones have been done by Fiona.  Now it has fallen 
to me to draw the new cards."  Zachary explained.
        "I recognize the work, it is like the cards I have."
        "Each Trump artist has their own style, just as artists of other 
works do.  It would have been interesting to see how Picasso would have 
drawn Trumps."  Zachary mused.
        "The Trumps are always cold, is that the power within them?"
        Zachary nodded, despite being behind her.  "Yes, partly.  But 
the first lesson does not involve Trump.  It is to get an understanding 
of the cards themselves.  To see how they are constructed, how they are 
drawn.  Trump artists do not imitate, they create by reproducing what 
they see.  Once you understand how to create, it is a simple matter to 
produce your drawings."
        "But I know how to draw, it's a passion of mine."
        "True, but that is not what I mean.  Anyone may reproduce an 
image, it takes a strong will to make it something more.  You will also 
find that I am here only to give guidance.  You will be the one to 
learn.  The ability is within you right now, it is only a matter of 
finding it."
        Laura nodded, still looking at her great-grandfather.  "How do I 
start?"  She asked.
        "You must first make your own drawing.  It can be of anyone, 
though it is best to try to draw someone you care for.  The closer the 
connection between you and your model, the easier it will be to draw the 
details necessary for a Trump.  Concentrate on your work, and let 
nothing distract you.  When you have done that, come back to me and we 
will continue."  Zachary's voice fell to silence.
        "I'm hungry."  Laura said, suddenly realizing she was starved as 
her stomach growled it's protest.
        "I am not surprised."  Zachary replied as Laura turned to him.  
"Have you gained insight?"
        "Insight?  What do you mean, from what you said?"  Laura 
understood what her cousin had told her, but she didn't think she had 
any clearer understanding of what Trumps actually were.
        Zachary shook his head.  "You had been staring at the Trump for 
nearly three hours."
        "What?  It's only been a few minutes ..."  Laura noticed that 
the room had darkened noticeably, the blue sky outside turning red as 
the sun began to set.
        "That ends the first lesson.  Now, how about some dinner?"
        Still trying to figure out where the time went, Laura nodded and 
rose from her seat.  She placed the Trumps back down on the desk, then 
allowed her cousin to escort her to the dining hall.
Scene: Dining hall
        The food lay out before them in scrumptious heaps.  Steamed 
vegetables, succulent meats, hot bread warming beside each place 
setting.  King Random and his wife were already seated, though both only 
drank from their gobblets, not having yet reached for the food before 
them.  Within moments, a young, rugged man appeared at the doors, 
glancing about him in slight amazement.
        "Ah, Ryan, please come in."  Zachary went over to the new 
arrival.  The crown-prince led Ryan towards the table, followed on the 
other side by Laura.  "King Random, I would like to introduce your 
newest nephew.  Ryan, this is your uncle and King of Amber, Random."
        Though still suspicious of kings, his years fighting against one 
in his own Shadow had not been erased by his short time in Amber, Ryan 
still bowed respectfully.  Besides, if all that Zachary had told him was 
true, then everyone here was family in one way or another.  "I am 
honoured to meet with you, sire."
        Random put on his best royal face.  "And I you, young Ryan.  
Please, be seated and enjoy a fine meal.  I would love to here of your 
time in Shadow and how you came to be amongst us here."
        Zachary showed both Laura and Ryan seats right next to the King, 
and he went around to sit by his mother.  "Yes, please, I am sure you've 
had a most interesting life."  The Queen said as well, shifting to look 
at him with her sightless eyes.
Apologies for the time it took to get this out.  Welcome to the family, 
Troy, the fun will start up soon, promise :)
Judi: Was the first lesson anything like you expected?  I'm making this 
up as I go along, as Trump has never really been explained, so feel free 
to do with it as you will. :)
                           ///          /// 
                           \ //        /  /           
      Christopher           \ ////   _/  /     Zachary, Librarian of
      Ackney                 \_  ////    /     Castle Amber, son to
                              \___/    /       King Random   /         \_      
                             /,)-_(  \_   \     
      1Asada21.1800          (/   \\ /\\\\         <\
                                   //               >\
                                    '               >/
        "It was a very foul blow, about four