Session notes: 06-23-06
Ohanzee is feeling ill and will be staying in the inn. Perhaps something about the shellfish disagrees with her shapeshifter metabolism?
The place we are visiting is definitely Amber, but also definitely not, according to Wu Fang. Tyler hasn't had enough experience with either Amber or Shadow to know for sure. On the other hand, chatting up the servants and such could always prove useful. We get a general lay of the land, in a political sense.
Word has gotten out about our cargo. The head of one of the mercantile houses, Elton Green, has arrived to make a deal. He seems to want to buy the cargo outright, but he isn't being obvious about it. There's an Elton Greer who is a textile merchant in real Amber. Perhaps this is an analogue...
Elsewhere, Megumi has finished with her obligations and sets to work tracking down Ohanzee and her party. That means flirting with Martin for a while. They gossip back and forth with a few flirtatious remarks and double entendres thrown in for good measure. Eventually though, Merlin offers to personally escort her to her destination. Unfortunately, it's an offer that Megumi can't easily refuse. He takes her into the Rebman castle gardens, and begins shifting shadows using the Logrus. They pause en-route for Megumi to dry herself off and for Merlin to Logrus-grab some luggage and changes of clothes for her.
Remarkably, the clothes he comes up with are flattering without being slutty. There is some talk about hair styles and how he managed to get so dry so fast. He offers to take her someplace where she could try being an otter for a while, but Megumi declines.
Wu Fang and Tyler are relaxing in the inn, playing darts. Wu Fang's ninjas are doing some spying. They've determined that Gerard is fairly beloved king, far more "suitable" than any of the other contenders. They've also gotten the home addresses of most of the important servants. In mid- dart throw Wu Fang gets a trump contact. It's Merlin, with Megumi. He brings them through in a rainbow sparkle.
Merlin is curious about Tyler's progress with learning Trump, and how things may have changed since he walked the Pattern. Tyler, unfortunately, didn't really have anything completed to compare with, apart from the "horribly flawed" Worldspan gateway network.
Megumi is rather taken aback by the idea of the gate network, a distress which doesn't lessen when Tyler and Merlin try to explain it to her. The idea of a Trump device which doesn't require the mental focus of the user is somehow appalling to her.
Tyler asks about the progress on the assassin investigation, but nothing has really made it into Megumi's area of knowledge. Merlin reminisces a bit about some frequent assassination attempts that he's survived. So far, it's been happening every year for the past 20 years or so and he's not that concerned about it.
The rest of us are slightly appalled by that.
Eventually, we arrange to meet up with Elton Green, with a view to creating a trade relationship that could be parlayed into political contacts. This would not only be good practice in the political arena, it could also prove lucrative in the long run. Merlin needs some minor disguising, or at least a fake identity. This shadow's version of the war with Chaos has left some hard feelings, and he could be at risk.
The coach takes us into a fairly fancy part of town. The houses are still a bit tight together, which indicates an old neighborhood that has had the houses begin to overwhelm their lots. Shen is explaining the mercantile class to Tyler. Our visit to the house of Green is enlivened a bit by an impromptu tall tales contest. Tyler and Wu Fang fabricate a perilous ocean journey to the far off Isles where the natives weave these colorful cloths from purest Ni-lon, using a process developed by the great weaver Paul Yester.
In the midst of this, Tyler notices that Lady Green is making subtle hand gestures, attempting to communicate with Merlin in some form of code. Obviously, his disguise isn't quite as effective as we might wish. On the other hand, he seems completely oblivious to her attentions. At least up until Tyler clues him in via a surreptitious Trump contact.
After that, a quiet shift of attention takes place, culminating in a plan for Merlin and Lady Green to meet later that evening in the family chapel. Tyler and Wu Fang's ninjas make plans to conceal themselves in the area, just in case things go badly and Merlin needs help in a hurry.