Sun Jun  1 16:19:43 1997
Subject: [AM] Storm Crow
18/04/97 23:01
The Evening Before Laura's Lesson
        Zachary, Crown Prince of Amber, sighed audibly as he leaned back 
into his high-backed chair.  Having bid him good night, Brandi had 
recently departed the sitting room, leaving him alone with his thoughts.
        Quietly, he took a small sip of his wine and rested the goblet 
on the arm of the chair.  At the moment, there were simply too many 
possibilities.  If, as he and the others suspected, Dalt had indeed been 
involved in the assault upon the Unicorn, it was evident that he had 
assistance.  And as he'd explained to Brandi and Laura, anyone with the 
ability to not only detect but mount an attack upon the Unicorn was a 
force to be reckoned with.
        The question was, he asked himself as he took another sip, who?  
Who would gain by the Unicorns death.  Who could?  And who had the power 
and resources to locate her against her wishes?
        And, more importantly, why?
        He stared intently at the blood-like liquid of his goblet, 
stirring it absently as he pondered these, and other, questions.  So 
lost was he in this quandry that he neglected to notice a stirring at 
the entrance to the chamber.
        "Zachary.  I am not disturbing you, I hope?"
        Rent from his thoughts by the unexpected voice, he deftly raised 
his head to identify its source.  Instantly, his eyes locked with those 
of the cloaked figure standing across from him.  Dark pools which seemed 
almost infinite in depth.
        "Julianna," he stated simply, his voice betraying a subtle hint 
of surprise at her sudden presence.
        Julianna allowed herself a slight, crooked smile as she 
gracefully slipped into the sitting room and pushed back the hood of her 
black velvet cloak.  "You sound surprised to see me, cousin.  Did you 
perhaps believe I had departed Amber for calmer waters, so to speak?"
        Zachary grimaced slightly at the ease with which his elder 
cousin had read both his expression and his voice.  "The thought had 
occured," he admitted.
        "And not without cause," she finished, gliding to a nearby chair 
and pushing her cloak back over her shoulders.  She was fully aware of 
Zachary's knowledge of her conspicuous absence during the Patternfall 
War so many years previous, and no doubt her cousin had wondered if her 
truancy at that particular time had been planned and intended.  After 
all, in the intervening years since she herself had done little to 
allieviate such questions, even under direct accusation, and if one 
assumed that this had been the case, it would follow that one might 
believe that she might absent herself again once danger threatened.
        "However," she continued after a suitable pause, "to depart now, 
under these circumstances, would be foolhardy.  If the wellbeing of the 
Unicorn is at stake, which appears to be the case, the existence of all 
Shadow is in potential jeopardy."
        "Not to mention Amber," Zachary added.
        "Yes.  Of course."
        "Then I'd best update you on the events that have transpired 
since your departure."  With a nod from Julianna, who remained standing, 
Zach proceeded to tell her of Brandi and Orbus's respective arrivals in 
Amber, that attack on Orbus in Arden, and the subsequent ambush that had 
been laid outside Bloody Bob's.
        "I see," Julianna commented neutrally once the tale had been 
told. While her face had remained impassive as he'd brought her 
up-to-date, Zachary knew his elder cousin well enough to know that the 
wheels were turning even as he spoke.  "Do you believe these attacks to 
be related?"
        "It would seem so.  Unless, of course, we are simply meant to 
believe that they are.  However, Orbus seemed definite about the 
connection between the two, and I am inclined to believe him."
        "And Orbus.  You mentioned that he has since departed?"
        "Earlier this evening," Zach confirmed.
        "Did he give any indication of his intended destination?"
        "No."  He paused for a moment.  "Then again, neither did you."
        Julianna almost smiled at Zachary's skillful broaching of the 
subject of her whereabouts during the last several days.  He, of course, 
had known better than to ask such a question directly, and realizing 
that she was probably questioning the motivations behind Orbus's abrupt 
departure, as she had Karina's, had verbally maneuvered her into a 
position where she would have to bring up the subject of her own 
activites less they appear suspicious.
        Yes, Zachary had indeed learned much from the Lords and Ladies 
of Amber since her last extended stay.  He had learned how to play the 
game, and evidently play it well.
        Somehow, she found this a tad saddening.
        "I required time away from Amber," she explained vaguely.  "To 
explore a possibility.  In fact, Zachary, the discovery I confirmed 
during my absence is the primary reason I sought you out immediately 
upon my return."
        "Yes.  Based upon the information I obtained during my 
investigation, I am of the belief that the poison utilized in the 
attempted assassination of the Unicorn was empowered by the Logrus."
        Zachary's eyes opened widely.  "The Logrus?  But how..."
        "I do not know for certain," she answered.  "After we retrieved 
the arrow from the Unicorn, I detected a faint trace of the Logrus 
embedded deeply within the remains of the arrowhead.  Given my own 
inexperience with the primal force of Chaos, I needed to discuss the 
possibility and ramifications of this with someone more intimately 
familiar with the precepts of the Logrus than myself.  After seeking one 
such individual out in Shadow, he assured me that such a thing was 
indeed possible; if one is skilled enough in its ways, one can instill 
the power of the Logrus into a material item, much in the same way that 
objects may be imbued with the Pattern, thus granting them preternatural 
        "Furthermore, my acquaintance informed me that personal items 
carried when one traverses the Logrus can likewise be imbued with its 
power. Given the potency any poison would require to harm the Unicorn, 
he believes that this probably was the case.  Of course, it is also 
possible that it was the arrow and not the poison which was empowered 
with the Logrus...the poison, perhaps, was an added measure of ensuring 
that the intended task would be completed.  However, given the level of 
damage the arrow sustained, it will be impossible now to know for 
certain, and in either case, I believe that the implications should be 
        "Then the Courts are involved," Zachary concluded.
        "It would appear so," Julianna agreed.  "Or, at the very least, 
one of their number both familiar and skilled in the Logrus."
        Zach sighed and took a long draught of his wine.  "Well, this 
would seem to support the theory that Dalt isn't working alone."
        "Agreed, cousin.  In any event, I do not believe that Dalt has 
either the foresight or strategic ability necessary to stage an assault 
such as the one upon the Unicorn.  Nor do I believe he has the skill 
required to obilterate an entire shadow, let alone several.  It would 
seem evident that he has allies of considerable power.  In the 
Courts...and perhaps in Amber."
        Zachary raised an eyebrow.  "What are you saying, Julianna?  
That we have a traitor in our midst?"
        "I am not saying anything, cousin," she replied evenly.  "Simply 
suggesting that, perhaps, a certain amount of discretion may be 
advisable is all."  She paused before she continued.  "Unless there is 
any additional information you feel it imperative that I know, cousin, I 
believe I will bid you good evening."
        Zach nodded quietly, still absorbing what Julianna had both said 
and suggested.  "Good night, Julianna."
        "See you in the 'morrow, cousin," she said, giving a slight bow. 
Then, as silently as she'd arrived, she was gone, leaving Zachary left 
alone, once more, with his thoughts.
NRPG: Wow!  First post since July!  Aren't you all amazed! :)
This is hardly one of my best posts, but I wanted to get Julianna back 
into the swing of things and 'splain what she'd been up to.  As one of 
the eldest cousins, I know she's met Brandi, and she's probably met 
Orbus as well as some point.  However, she is an itenerant visitor to 
Amber, and is really only here for the time being due to the current 
Figured I'd drop a few suggestions as well...just some ideas to work 
with if people like.
Keep up the amazing stuff!
Lady Julianna
Mistress of Pattern
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...
 Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion...
 I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
 All those moments will be lost in tears in rain. 
 Time to die."                        
                                       - Roy Batty, BLADE RUNNER