Sun Jun  1 16:19:32 1997
Subject: [AM] The game is afoot
Scene: A forest in Shadow
        Dalt hunkered down in front of the fire, putting his hands out 
to warm them.  This is what he lived for, the war against Amber.  A new 
army formed, stretched out in the tents surrounding him.  Even with his 
bastard of a father dead and gone, it did not matter.  Amber was the 
blight, a reminder of his own wretched beginnings, the sole purpose of 
his existance was it's destruction.  It was why he now sat in the 
encampment, surrounded by soldiers he did not even know nor care about.
        "The reports are true."  A voice said, calm and slightly rough 
to the ear.  Dalt glanced over his shoulder to his man-at-arms, graying 
red mustache and hair accentuating his dark looks.  The sword at his 
side clanked quietly as he strode to the fire, his only weapon by 
appearances.  Dalt knew of at least two others he hid on his person.  
"The children of Amber have returned home.  It was a number of them that 
interferred with the Unicorn."
        Dalt's face turned dark.  "The Unicorn, it is dead?"
        The other man stood on the opposite side of the fire.  "We do 
not know.  Amber still stands."
        "Pfah.  Does a carpenter's work rot when he dies?  Does a 
jewelers gems turn to dust?  I want that beast dead."  Dalt scorned.
        "If it is still alive, it will take some time before we can 
locate it again, now that it has been warned to the danger against it.  
It would be better to turn our attention to these new Amberites.  Why 
would they arrive now?"
        "You tell me, Borel.  Reinforcements?"
        "Quite possibly.  But it seems strange.  By your own account, 
your previous attacks hadn't warranted such from Amber's Defender.  
Perhaps they are planning something, and need them to accomplish it."
        "Or perhaps it was just blind chance."  A hollow voice carried 
to them.  A third figure approached, clad in darkened robes, blacker 
than what seemed possible, the folds of his robes lost in the inky 
darkness.  Dalt could not help a shiver that ran down his spine.
        "Coincidence always seems so implausible when talking of 
Amber."  Dalt said after a moment.  His hands suddenly did not feel as 
warm as they had been.  He cursed his luck, having to work with both 
these despicable persons.  Borel from the Courts.  If not for the mans 
tactical mind, Dalt would have scewered him long ago.  But he was 
obsessively loyal, of which Dalt welcomed.  A pale shadow of the man he 
was, who in turn paled to Benedict.  That cursed Benedict, the thorn in 
his side.  And once again, he was there to protect Amber.
        Dalt turned to gaze at the robed figure.  How he hated this man, 
how he made Dalt nervous to the core of his body.  He had come to Dalt, 
finding him in shadow, and telling him how he could defeat Amber.  He 
knew how to find the Unicorn, and how Dalt could kill it.  Such a 
tempting offer Dalt could not resist.  It was the robed one who had 
found Borel, made him Dalt's right hand man.  He had not told anyone his 
name, if indeed he had one.  There was a presence about him that 
surpassed all conventions.  Perhaps he did not have a name.  He had, 
from the first day they met, been the Robed One.  And how Dalt grew to 
hate him almost as much as Amber.
        "You may let me deal with them, then, if you are so frightened 
by their presence.  You continue your search for the items.  If you 
succeed in turning Benedict from his beloved Amber, then you will have 
already won that battle."  The Robed One spoke, voice cold and sounding 
from beyond the grave.
        Dalt bit back a reply.  "We will resume our search in the 
'morrow.  And you are more than welcome to the brats of Amber.  I have 
my sights higher."
        "Which is why you always fail."  The Robed One replied, turning 
from the fire.  Both Dalt and Borel gave dark looks after him.
Scene: The Library in Castle Amber
        The three watched Orbus leave in silence.  Zachary sighed and 
sat back in his chair.  "Well, it is clear that you are safe for now.  
Why do not the two of you get changed, and I shall have some food put 
together for us.  I would like to ask a few more questions, but they can 
        Laura stood first.  "Shall we meet back here then?"
        Zachary nodded.  His eyes followed the flawless form of his 
cousin out the door.
        "At least keep your mouth closed before you drool, Zak."  Brandi 
        Zachary turned to his cousin, cheeks blushing red slightly.  "I 
guess I need to get out a bit more."  He joked back at his expense.
        "I guess I'll go 'freshen up' too.  And make sure there's plenty 
of food, I'm starved."  Brandi flashed a smile and then was out the door 
as well.
        Zachary let out a second sigh, leaning even further back.  It 
was clear that Orbus had made an enemy, and one with some power too.  
And now it was possible that he had dragged two cousins into the web 
that was closing around him.
        Zachary tried to clear his mind, a lot had happened in so short 
a time.  Karina had disappeared to the Courts of Chaos, but he could not 
imagine Merlin waging some campaign against Amber.  Julianna had 
disappeared into Shadow as well, and that was a cousin he knew little 
about, despite knowing her the longest.  Had she just departed to avoid 
all of the happenings here?
        Brandi was surely still hurting over the loss of her home.  
Zachary couldn't know the depths of her loss, but he did sympathize.  
Knowing her, she was surely looking for the blood of those who did it, 
and Orbus' friends from shadow seemed the most likely target.
        And Laura, beautiful and intelligent.  Incredibly so for one so 
young.  Still feeling the child amongst the rest of them.  But it seemed 
that she gained the respect of her comrades this night, certainly not an 
easy thing to be done.
        His thoughts turned back to the Unicorn.  Everything seemed to 
revolve around her, or at least the current troubles with Dalt.  Were 
the six fingered men part of this, or an entirely different conspiracy?  
There was no way to tell, so it was best to assume that they were.  
Orbus also seemed to know a lot more than he told, which was no real 
surprise.  But it did make Zachary wonder just how much he knew of the 
attack on the Unicorn.  He couldn't imagine any Amberite wanting to hurt 
such a wondrous creature, but Dalt was proof enough that there were 
those who would, never mind Brand.
        He shook himself from his thoughts, suddenly remembering that he 
had yet to order food for the three of them.  A hungry Brandi was not a 
pretty sight.  He rose quickly and summoned a servant.  She curtsied 
before him and listened intently to his order.  She blushed as she 
hurried away from him.  Yes, it had been a while since he had left his 
books and thoughts.
        He hummed to himself as he went back into the library, to await 
the return of his cousins.
NRPG: Well, it took a mighty crowbar to get this post started, but once 
I got going, it just poured out :)
Mainly I wanted to introduce a few villains to have fun with 
Also, I've been asked to ask all of you to put Kat back onto the mailing 
list, her e-mail address is
Hopefully she will be coming back to play with us ... but at the very 
least she is an avid reader of our group, and doesn't want to miss a 
post :)
And just to be sure, please remove Mike Thurlow from the list, I believe he's listed at now.  Anyway, I'll send out the new 
cast of characters, and you can adjust your lists from that.
                           ///          /// 
                           \ //        /  /           
      Christopher           \ ////   _/  /     Zachary, Librarian of
      Ackney                 \_  ////    /     Castle Amber, son to
                              \___/    /       King Random   /         \_      
                             /,)-_(  \_   \     
                             (/   \\ /\\\\         <\
                                   //               >\
                                    '               >/
        "It was a very foul blow, about four