From: Allen Veazey 
Subject: [AM] Those Norsemen had it right...

The binoculars were ice-cold, as if his Logrus-sending
had snatched them right off the neck of an Eskimo.
Orbus wiped at the lenses as they fogged up. His
companions laid with him on the low hill, peering
intently on the mostly one-sided battle below.

"I think uncle Benedict is heading the wrong
direction," he said.

"That's them?" Zachary asked.

"The flags show a lion rending a unicorn. Pretty obvious."

"So why are they here? I thought you said that there's
no military significance to this place," Sarah asked.

"Be damned if I know....wait. Look." He passed the
glasses to Zachary. "The attacking army. See? They get
killed, then they get right back up. Those defenders
they kill get right back up with them."

"They're building up their army," Zachary breathed.
"What's that thing near the back?"

"What thing?"

"It's near...yes, that's Dalt. Couple of others with
him, and some thing that's hovering close by. Some
kind of sphere."

"Let me see." Orbus called up his Pattern-vision and
stared. "I can't make it out, it's like I can see it
but it isn't there. Maybe..." Switching to his Logrus-
vision, he blinked. "Damn."

"What?" Laura asked.

"Chaos. Pure chaos. It hangs over the battlefield like
a miasma. These things, whatever they are, they reek
with it."

"And the sphere?"

"I still can't make it out." He extended his arms into
the Logrus hanging before him, reaching, extending...
he stretched a line of it's essence forward, probing.

He reached the sphere, touched it...

And screamed.

The next thing he knew, he was being unceremoniously
dragged along the ground, and Zachary was slapping his
face. In his still-active vision, the Prince of Amber
was darkly highlited with power, Pattern-essence, while
Sarah and Laura were-

"What-" he said.

"Come on, Orbus, get up! They're following. You alerted
them, somehow. What did you see?"

Orbus shuddered. "Nothing." He rose to his feet. "Nothing
at all. It's a hole in the universe. Absolute,
impenetrable nothing. Those around it referred to it
as 'Ragnarok'." He shuddered again. "It feeds. On
everything. What could stop it?"

"We'll worry about that later, right now we're going to
get out of here." Zachary pulled out a card, and
within moments they stood before Benedict.

"Thigga. They're at Thigga," Sarah said breathlessly.

Benedict's forehead creased as he pondered a moment.
"Very well." He turned to give orders.

Orbus saw it all as if in slow motion. Benedict turning,
raising his arm, the flash of movement, and the dagger
plunged into his back. Benedict's legendary reflexes
helped him turn, avoid the worst of the blow, but
the damage had been done.

Laura stood over his body, a creamy smile of satisfaction
on her face even as her outline began to blur. "Perfect,"
she muttered. The word echoed even as her body vanished.

Orbus groaned. "I should have known. I should have known!"

Zachary knelt to help the fallen Benedict, then looked
up angrily. "You knew she was going to do this?!"

"No, no. My Logrus vision was still before me when you
woke me up. I saw that same chaos-effect around Laura.
I thought it was an after-effect of the blow." Orbus
knelt, too, and examined the wound. "He's in shock
already. This is bad. Doesn't look immediately fatal,
though. How recent is your medical training?"

"Not too long. You just finished your residency, right?"

"Yes. What do you say we get him back to Amber?"

"Not a bad idea, considering Dad's going to have to
be told as well."


Orbus sank back into the couch, not really having enough
energy to grasp the drink at his side. He sighed. It
was good to relax, but still there was that part of his
mind that was eating away at him...

"How did it go?" Sarah asked.

"He's stable, that's all I know for sure. We got the
dagger out. It shouldn't be too hard for him to recover,
though, given our constitution."

"That's good to hear, Orbus," Random's voice announced
from the stairwell.

"Hello, Uncle Random. Forgive my not genuflecting, but-"

"What I'd rather have is an explanation." Random crossed
the room and sat on the couch. "Let's talk about Laura."

"Honestly, I have no idea. Why would I know, anyway?"

"Let's just say rumors run rampant in this place, and
I might have heard that you know more about Laura than
most people."

"Perhaps. But she never mentioned this. It's not like
her." Orbus felt his face redden.

"Zachary told me there was some kind of chaos-effect you
saw. Care to elaborate on that?"

"Like what?"

"Like, did it come from the Courts."

"I don't know."

"Yes, you do."

Orbus shook his head tiredly. "No, I don't. And for the
record, I'm not protecting Laura *or* the Courts. I just
don't know. What little experience I've had, what I've
learned from Jacinth's mind, none of it covers this.
It doesn't have the feel of the Pattern or the Logrus.
Just...chaos. Pure chaos."

"I heard that Brand mentioned the abyss.."

" Brandi, yes. As if it was some kind of separate
entity. But that doesn't make sense, the Logrus controls
chaos." Orbus looked confused. "Doesn't it?"

"I thought you would know."

"No, I don't."

"You're a sorceror. So find out." Random left.

Sarah looked at him. "He didn't look happy."

"Uneasy lies the head, and all that." Orbus let his
head sink back into the cushion, and closed his eyes.
He let his mind drift. Chaos....abyss...Brand...


He opened his eyes. Coincidence? Could it really be so
simple? Amazing, the power of free association.

"Ghostwheel? Ghost? Are you there?" he called.

Suddenly, Ghost's spinning hoop appeared. "How did you
know I was watching you?"

"I didn't, I was just hoping. Would you transport me
somewhere, please?"

"I suppose I could. Where?"

"The site of Corwin's pattern."

"What's going on?" Sarah asked.

"Come!" Orbus barked, extending his hand. Sarah
joined him as Ghostwheel's hoop settled over them-

-and they were there. Orbus watched as a figure immediately
started climbing up to them.

"Uncle Corwin. Or maybe not Uncle Corwin, as you prefer."

"Orbus! It's been a long time," Corwin called. Or was it
his Pattern-ghost? It didn't really matter.

Orbus noticed that his uncle kept his hand clapped to
his sword's hilt. "Not to worry, Uncle, I'm not a threat.
I just wanted to confirm a mystery."

"Which is?"

"Chaos. It exists, through everything. When Oberon drew
his pattern, it imposed reality on the chaos, but
chaos still remained. It's like Oberon's reality is an
island adrift in a sea of chaos."

"Hardly a new argument, nephew."

"No, it's not. But I've heard rumors that Chaos is it's
own entity. And that's bothered me, because the other
great powers manifest themselves. The Logrus a serpent,
the Pattern a unicorn."


"First, what's your Pattern's symbol, Uncle Corwin?"

"It doesn't have one. It's relatively new."

"I thought so. But if Chaos-the Abyss-has a manifestation,
it would have been around nearly forever, right? Something
innocuous, something that's been around all this time."

"What are you driving at?"

"Something that in legend, reaches everywhere, for chaos
is everywhere, beneath the surface. Something that you,
yourself, unwittingly brought close to your own pattern.
Who knows where else it lives and exists, throughout the

Corwin drew a breath. "You mean-" his eyes followed
Orbus', to the branch that he had planted when he
drew his Pattern.

"Exactly. Ygg. The world tree. Yggdrasil."


 Okay, so now Benedict is down and we've got another
power player...just adding my own bit of chaos :)

Allen  Veazey