Session notes: 06-09-06
A high speed training montage ensues, at the end of which, we are all competent with the powers that we have. Ohanzee has become competent with her shapeshift and Logrus abilities. Tyler has had time to complete his personal Trump deck and is comfortable using the Pattern. Wu Fang, of course was already practiced with his own capabilities, but now he has the advantage of being intimately familiar with what the other two can do.
This takes several months of subjective time. Several training exercises take place to make sure that the defenses are capable of repelling incursions from folks with different abilities. New protocols and procedures are developed to ween people off of the compromised Worldgate network.
Tyler's personal trump deck has a card for each of the PCs, cards for Merlin and Martin and a couple of himself. He's given cards of himself to Wu Fang, and Ohanzee.
Ohanzee's bodyguards and entourage are settling into a routine. There's a certain amount of flirtation as well - it seems that the guards offer other "services" as well and they're vying to see if they can, at the very least, figure out what she thinks of as sexy.
The various guards are rather biased toward Rebma and are trying, subtly, to make it attractive to both Ohanzee and Tyler. Tyler is trying to figure out some of the history and cosmology of the situation. He learns that Amber is the pattern, while Rebma and Tir are the first reflections. Rebma has a stable population. There are rumors about Tir's population, but nothing can be confirmed. Especially since there's no way for immigration to work out...
While trying to learn about the differences between Rebma and Amber, Luther lets Tyler know that there are a set of works written by a member of the family named "Corwin" purporting to explain his view of the universe, history and cosmology. Parts of it have been labeled as blasphemous by the Church of the Unicorn and access to the books have been restricted.
Herne the Minstrel provides a family tree of the known decedents, as well as the various insets for people who have survived the pattern, but whose ancestry is not known. Tyler fits in there somewhere, as does Behata. A great deal has to do with who has been acknowledged and who hasn't.
Tyler has a certain amount of interest in getting ahold of a copy of Corwin's books, but there's a few snags. Grabbing a copy via Logrus will probably encounter wards. Merlin may be useful as a way of getting the books, but dealing with him has its own difficulties.
Wu Fang's servant Shen has returned. He feels quite guilty about his failure to destroy the attacker at Florimel's home. Wu Fang forgives him, and accepts his apology. He refuses to mete out any obvious punishment.
Ohanzee is curious about Pattern vs. Logrus interaction, but there's little we can do without putting each other at risk. Her curiosity deals mostly with what each Realm can do, Amber, Rebma or Chaos. Her bodyguards will not prevent her from visiting any realm she wants to go to, but they do let her know that they will flat out resign if she insists on going to Chaos.
Wu Fang has a bit of practice traveling in the shadows near the Golden Circle. Those shadows can give some idea of how things work in Amber and Rebma without getting so close that it could be taken as a declaration of allegiance. The only danger, as Wu Fang points out, would be encountering an agent who might recognize us. But it's likely we could get away with it with relatively little vulnerability. We have rather a list of possible Golden Circle shadows that may be possible locations to visit.
Ohanzee can practice her shapeshift as a part of her disguise. She practices new people each morning on the way there. She's hoping to startle her maid, but Egidia is rather unflappable.
Wu Fang is quite curious about Tyler's plight. The creatures who attacked his shadow are of interest to him. Tyler is planning on moving his people to someplace that can handle the tens of thousands of refugees. He's holding off to make sure that they're not being observed right now. He explains it as being a consequence of having a person of interest that people are on the lookout for.
Tracking people through shadow is a bit of a concern. Traveling slowly and cautiously makes it easier to hide tracks, hellrides leave a bit of a trail. Ohanzee's method of travel is almost impossible for Wu Fang or Tyler to follow. If they concentrate, they can see where she left a shadow or where she arrived, but there's no "trail" in the shadows between the two.
Ohanzee is adapting to the pack animals. Actually, it's more along the lines that they're adapting to her. The longer she has with a creature, the better she can do with it. Horses are still difficult, and mules don't work well for hellrides. They're too slow. The term "heckride" is coined.
Eventually, we depart toward the Golden Circle. The new dialing protocols are sufficient to get them to Skull Island, where we are able to meet up with Wu Fang's ship, the Sia-Lian. Tyler can get the group into the general vicinity, but Wu Fang's familiarity with the area means that he's going to be the one making the final decision on our ultimate destination.
We sail in to a place with political intrigue, with weapons and military technology similar to Amber. The shape of the city and the business of various quarters are the same. The port is practically identical, and the court will be a reasonable facsimile, but the things that Wu Fang aren't familiar with will be only vaguely the same.
Ohanzee is most interested in the people she'll be interacting with. This is something of a problem. The place as a whole will have a similar disposition, culture and mores, but the individuals themselves will differ. First though, we'll need a cargo. Ohanzee hasn't figured out her maximum capacity, so she decides to try to haul in a cargo with the Logrus. After a little debate, she reaches out for some finely woven silk rugs with tribal patterns she's familiar with. And rolled up. That's important.
The fibers aren't exactly silk. And the colors aren't exactly... well... expected. But the hold is fairly quickly filled. Our costumes and appearance needs less alteration. We are exotic rug merchants from distant lands, who is to say our mode of dress is anything other than that normal for our role?
Shen suggests that we speak with people's servants if we wish to find out about how things are run. Tyler agrees. "We should go to the nearest public-house. That is the centre of country gossip. They will likely tell us the name, of every important person from the master of the castle to the lowest scullery-maid."
As we sail into harbor, we are met by a pilot ship. We pay our docking fee and a small bribe to get a reasonable berth.
Business as usual.
There are a number of handouts giving information on locations for doing business and seeking entertainment. It's a combination of Port Authority and Chamber of Commerce. There's lists of rules and regulations, spells and powers forbidden within the city limits. "Lotus" users are requested to identify themselves and register. Presumably they mean "Logrus" but there's enough wiggle room to give an excuse for completely ignoring the rule.
We find a nice quiet inn where we can get a good handle on local gossip and see the city run itself.
Corpse Eating ≠ Corpse Heating, but both are forbidden.