Session notes: 07-21-06
Ohanzee wakes up back at the inn, feeling better. She's got some of her bodyguards, but the rest of the folks have headed off to dinner with the merchant. She freshens up a bit and heads out to see what's up. Luther left word as to where the others were going, but arriving this late to dinner would likely be rude. She's got a couple options for faster, less elegant food. On the way out, she runs into the rest of the group.
Megumi and Tyler brief Ohanzee on the dinner and conspiracy with Lady Green. We're not sure if she's mistaken our Merlin for the one from her own Shadow or if she knows she's found Merlin Actual. Megumi has the sudden realization that there's an infinite number of Lord Merlins out there in Shadow... Yes. Well.
We get ready to take up positions in and around the chapel. Wu Fang positions himself on the roof, Megumi uses her abilities to conceal herself inside the chapel. Ohanzee and her minions lurk on rooftops in the vicinities. Tyler and Wu Fang's ninjas take up positions in the rafters of the chapel itself.
Tyler encounters a masked figure in the ambush position that he'd chosen for himself. A quick fight ensues. Tyler makes fairly short but non-lethal work of the fellow with a bit of collateral damage to the plaster and lathe ceiling. Behind the mask, the figure looks like an exceptionally scarred version of Luther. Tyler lets Merlin know about the fellow, then takes over his mask and his ambush position.
Merlin waits for Madam Green, with a few minor modifications to his attitude and body language. He lounges, managing to look both dangerous and decadent. Before too long, the Lady arrives, dressed in cloak and looking completely obviously like she's on her way to an assignation.
As soon as she arrives, she rushes in and pretends to embrace and kiss Merlin, as a cover to the hissed inquiry, "What are you doing here?!?"
Merlin manages to lead the conversation around and get some information. It seems that Jocasta Green is expecting the Merlin she knows to be in disguise, at the very least. She seems to be part of some conspiracy, awaiting a signal of some type. It is slightly worrisome that this Merlin is less vicious and focussed than the one she's expecting. She has some information about people who are traveling and who may need to be interrogated and possibly executed.
After the interview is over, Ohanzee wants to follow Jocasta, but her bodyguards manage to dissuade her. Maydi is dispatched to follow and report, as is one of the ninjas. Megumi begins tidying up the chapel, with assistance from Shen and Herne. There is a bit of debate over what to do with duplicate Luther...
Eventually, Tyler and one of the guards drag Shadow Luther off to a dockside tavern. He fakes being drunk to get a room "for his buddy to shleep it orf." After the first couple of robbery attempts, word gets around that we're not people to bother. They taper off rather quickly once Tyler begins throwing the unconscious robbers down the stairs.
Megumi and Merlin discuss the situation that's been unearthed. Merlin isn't necessarily thrilled with the idea of staying and exploring the conspiracy and intrigue that we've found. At the very least, he's not going to be hanging around in this shadow when he's not needed. He bids farewell and goes to visit some friends he knows in the shadow next door.
Ohanzee consults with Sareneh about what herbs and such would be most useful for interrogation. Sareneh is dispatched along with Zil and the appropriate herbs. Ohanzee and a group of her guards return to the chapel to help tidy up.
Shadow Luther wakes up before Sareneh and Zil arrive. He wants to know who Tyler works for, and what's going on. Tyler has similar questions for Shadow Luther, and the conversation quickly reaches an impasse.
Ohanzee, Wu Fang and Megumi talk about our Merlin for a bit. Megumi cautions Ohanzee to not underestimate Merlin's ability to be subtle. He's walked a very fine line because of the whole shadow breeding program and the Chaos war, and he's managed to survive unharmed so far.
Sareneh and Zil arrive with the appropriate herbs for interrogation and forgetfulness.
Megumi's work in the chapel has increased the presence of the Unicorn. Ohanzee can feel something of a change as well. She asks Megumi if she could bring up the One Spirit - the Logrus - to sense what's going on. Megumi lets her know that it would be... rude. Even though Ohanzee is a child of the Unicorn, the presence of the Logrus would be disruptive, especially in a place that she has helped to purify.
Ohanzee is concerned that she may have to give up her beliefs in the One Spirit, but Megumi lets her know that's not necessary, but that it's likely she'll modify her attitude as she gets to know more.
Tyler and the guards rejoin the group at the chapel and we adjourn back to our lodgings. On the way back, Wu Fang asks Ohanzee what she's learned from all of this. "That I'll never be allowed to have fun until I can beat up all of my bodyguards." In a more general sense, she's learning about how a conspiracy is structured and motivated, and how it can be investigated and possibly manipulated.
She is concerned, though, about the idea of meddling in the destiny of a Shadow. Should we use this as a plaything? Is this right? There's a general consensus, from Wu Fang and Megumi at the very least, that there's very likely nobody sufficiently powerful to stop our meddling here, and that the morality of interfering is up to her. There is likely some power here - probably an incomplete reflection of the Pattern, but our role here is unclear. Now that we know there's an opportunity for learning, it's up to us to choose our sides based on the lessons we want.
Ohanzee decides that we should stay and see how the conspiracy progresses, and how the ruling family rules before we pick sides. Tyler has some concern about how it might look if it were discovered that someone in Ohanzee's position was practicing overthrowing an Amber-like court. Our option for learning more about the family would be to come in as scholars and do comparative research on the history.
The next morning, Tyler shares some of his fears with Wu Fang and Megumi. How did Amber manage to win the Chaos War? They were outnumbered, outgunned, and attacking a diffuse enemy in their own home territory. Either they completely underestimated Amber, or someone was setting up a rival and it all went horribly terribly wrong.
Tyler's current operating theory is that someone out there is having a bit of 'buyer's remorse' about how things turned out, and that they're preparing to strike en-masse. His evidence is sketchy so far - but the creature who attacked at Flora's is the same type of thing that took over his home shadow, and it has been tentatively identified as a Chaos creature. This means they've got a base somewhere outside the Courts that they can use to stage their operations. Megumi and Wu Fang seem to think that the current arrangement of hostages and deterrent force will prevent that sort of thing, but Tyler suggests that they may still want to stage an information gathering raid at some point in the not-too-distant future.
To help with our scholarly guise, Ohanzee reaches out with Logrus into Shadow to find boxed up books - the dustier the better. Megumi had suggested creation myths, so Ohanzee is looking for six crates of books. Her first reach is for books in transit, preferably on a boat, someplace not in this Shadow. She reels in a crate of books in an unknown language.
Wu Fang goes off to continue his mercantile pose while Tyler, Megumi, Ohanzee and three of the bodyguards head off to the local house of scholarship to try to negotiate an exchange of information. He can't currently translate the books, but possibly, with help, he'll be able to find something which can help. House Fardriel is the record keeping house, with a fair share of obsessive compulsive book collectors.
Lord Gideon Fardriel is in charge of acquisitions, and he agrees to meet with us. A little bit of discussion and the sight of the texts is enough to get an in to his study. After that, Tyler meets Gideon's cousin, Elsebet. She has some familiarity with the language and she and Tyler fairly quickly set to work on a rough translation of the content of the text. Gideon gets into conversation with Megumi and Ohanzee, and Megumi quickly steers the conversation into recent history with a look at tracking down the condition of the local royal family.
The local variations are numerous. Random and Vialle have retired to Rebma. Gerard has married and has two young children, not old enough to take the pattern. Back during the war, The Companion's Guild was purged by Eric because of their potential support for Corwin. Corwin was having a scandalous affair with Magda. The local Corwin died trying, but failing, to repair the pattern. Oberon succeeded in the repair, but at the cost of his life. Dierdre survived the battle in Chaos, but is still recovering from her wounds. There was a great deal of facial scarring. Brand is dead.
As far as the Shadow Luther's history, there are no records of a female relative dying on the pattern, but it's possible that she was blotted from the records if she claimed to be a member of the family and failed.
Ohanzee looks into the laws, to see if the pattern was used for execution. There is a law allowing people who claim to be members of the Royal Family to attempt to walk the pattern, but if they fail, their surviving family will be exiled. There are records of people having snuck in and walking the pattern, sometimes successfully. Ohanzee also looks into local laws and customs to get an idea of the flavor of the Shadow.
Merlin the Outlaw seems to be filling in Dalt's role in this shadow, but only after Patternfall. His mother was executed, and there's no good record of who his father is, but they do record that he has both Pattern and "Lotus".
Flora is missing, but there are references to her great grief at her brother Eric's death. Julian and Caine are great supporters of Gerard as King. Fiona has been sent off to be the Ambassador to the Courts, and nobody trusts her. Lewella is kind of stuck here and not allowed to return to Rebma. Bleys is the madman in the tower - the events of their Patternfall war drove him mad. Gerard managed to track him down and capture him, but not before he did serious damage to the neighborhood.
The texts that Ohanzee found are some sort of fiction - the equivalent of someone's Manga stash. Tyler goes to work on the steps necessary to allow them future access to the place. Flirting with Elsebet helps.
-- EOF --