Subject: [AM] Entering the *REAL*
>"Sarah, allow me to introduce Zachary, Crown Prince of Amber, and most
>probably your cousin.  As I am."
"How did you do that?" Sarah asked, incredulous. "How did you come here 
out of...out of thin air!?"
Laura smiled reassuringly. "Through the trump. The card in your hand, 
that is."
Sarah looked down at the card, then at the two people in front of her. 
"What on earth is going on here?" she demanded, frustrated. She was at a 
complete loss for words, and didn't like the feeling a single bit.
Laura cast a glance at Zachary, and he stepped foward. "Allow me to tell 
you. You are an Amberite, a possible relative of mine. Laura, I am sure, 
has told you of Amber." At Laura's nod, he continued. "Amber is....oh, 
how do I put this. Amber is the *REAL*; all other places are shadows. 
Just as this world is a shadow."
"Hold on a minute," Sarah demanded, then softened her voice a bit. These 
people seemed to want to help her; and anyway, she was intrigued. "Wait 
a minute," she started in a more civil voice, "are you saying that there 
are more...more realities out there? That you can travel them at will?"
Zachary paused, then nodded. "That's not it exactly, but yes, that's the 
ghist of it. We travel on what is known as the Pattern. Using it, we can 
go to virtually any reality that exists. And believe me, no matter what 
you think up, it is real."
"So, why visit me?" Sarah asked, keeping her voice civil. These people 
struck a chord in her that she hadn't felt in years. And the simple 
mention of Amber, that *REAL* as Zachary had put it, sent a shock 
through her. She knew, instinctively and fully, that that place was her 
home. This plane was just a temporary dwelling.
"Well, mainly because you called me via that trump in your hand. A 
rather crude attempt, but quite effective."
Sarah started to take umbrage, then realized he was just stating a fact 
and forgot the emotion. "You mean, you felt it when I concentrated on 
the card?"
"Yes," he answered simply. He looked about to say more when Laura 
called, "Is this you?"
Sarah turned to see the woman eying pictures on the wall.  She drew 
nearer and saw Laura pointing at one in particular. "Yes, it was when I 
was about 15." 
"Zach, is that who I think it is?" Laura breathed out, pointing at the 
man next to the younger version of Sarah. 
Zachary moved closer, eying the picture, then drew back surprised. "It 
is! But why would he come here?"
"What are you talking about?" Sarah asked hurriedly. "Do you know him?" 
It was one of the few pictures she'd had of the red haired man, with she 
and him side by side. Her parents had destroyed most, but she'd saved 
this one picture from a fiery death.
Laura was about to say something but Zachary, before she could utter a 
word, stated, "Yes, we know him. He's on our world. He's one of my 
"He is?" Sarah stared at the blond man before her, noting that there 
were some familiarities between the two. "Yes, I suppose you two might 
be able to pass off as relatives. But who is he?"
"His name is Bleys, and he's one of the royal family of Amber."
"Royalty!?" She could certainly believe that. She still remembered him; 
he was a charmer, with a self-possessing air and a teasing smile. He had 
paid attention to both she and her mother; however, Sarah had many times 
been the subject of his intense stare. He'd left without saying goodbye 
when he and her mother had been caught together, and she'd never been 
able to ask him why he'd appeared.
Zachary nodded. "We believe you might be royalty as well. But we won't 
be sure until we test you."
"Test?" For some reason, the word didn't sit well with Sarah.
"Don't worry, it shouldn't hurt," Zachary reassured her. "So," he 
stated, changing the subject, "ready to enter Amber?"
Sarah held back a minute, not really sure. Yet there was still the pull 
towards these people, the undeniable need to go to this place..."I'm 
"Good. Now, if you'll just stand here, and hold my hand, and concentrate 
just a bit..."
Sarah closed her eyes, not really knowing what to expect. She felt a 
little jerk, and stepped instinctively; then Zachary's voice said 
happily, "Sarah, welcome to Amber."
Sarah opened her eyes, and every sense was assaulted with sheer beauty. 
She gasped, oblivious of the smiles of the other two, and stated with 
utter finality, "It's beautiful!"
"That is is," Laura agreed quietly, looking around contentedly.
Zachary looked around a bit too, but there was a hint of a frown on his 
face. "It's a little later than I'd thought it would be. We should 
probably get back."
It was then she heard a wicker behind her, and turning saw two of the 
most glorious horses standing behind her a short ways off. "They're just 
as beautiful as my father's prized horses!" 
"They're two of Amber castle's best," Zach informed her, watching her as 
she headed to the horses.
"Zach, how are we going to get home?" Laura whispered to her blond 
companion as Sarah looked the horses over. "There's three of us and two 
"You and Sarah can take the horses back to the castle. I'll trump there 
and make all the arrangements. Perhaps you can fill her in on some of 
the background on what will be her new home."
"Sort of like what you did for me?" Laura said, smiling. 
"Exactly," Zachary replied, smiling back. He removed a card from his 
pouch, closed his eyes in concentration, and with a little flutter of 
wind he was gone.
"They're glorious! How did.....Hey, where's Zach?"
Laura turned to see Sarah heading back her way. "He headed back to the 
castle to prepare for your arrival. He said you can ride Rainpuddle. You 
*can* ride, can't you?"
Sarah snorted. "I've broken horses since I was five, been competing 
since three; practically born on a horse. In answer to your question, 
yes, I can ride."
A little put off by the woman's brusqueness, Laura headed over to 
Tovarich and mounted skillfully. She watched Sarah mount Rainpuddle next 
to her, noticing as she calmed the horse, letting her get a good whiff 
of her new rider before vaulting expertly into the saddle. "Listen," 
Sarah stated in an apologetic voice, "I'm sorry I sound so....bad. I'm 
not usually like this; it's just all this is new, and, well, I'm kind of 
"Don't worry, all's forgiven," Laura reassured her. "Now, Zach wanted me 
to show you around a bit, so I'll give you a brief history on the way 
home. Sound good?"
"Sounds great! I always have liked history."
NRPG: Okay, Sarah's in Amber. Hope I got everyone right. Btw, Sarah's 
shadow is a little faster than Amber time; so, since the group was there 
for what I'd say was about thirty minutes or so, they were gone from 
Amber for about three hours. Don't know the mechanics so can't say for 
certain; but that's why Sarah is so old Amber time.
Submitted by
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The Dragon Queen
Sarah Matthews, Amber