Session notes: 06-10-20
Megumi and Ted are in Rebma, the others are in a Shadow Rebma. Megumi would like an appointment to talk with the queen. Martin wants to meet with her too, once she's rested up and dealt with Ted.
Ted is underwater. Very strange. Fish swim through every so often. It's not particularly warm, but not terribly cold either. His watch is still not working, not that it would tell anything remotely close to the correct time. Megumi has found quarters for Ted in a guest room in her suite.
Ted is also having governmental issues. He's a bit baffled. He's from a republic and now he has to deal with being in a monarchy. Of course, the fact that he's apparently part of the ruling elite may be something of a mitigating factor.
Both Ted and Megumi get some sleep.
Ted wakes up. He's not on the bus. He's not in an asylum. He's underwater!
Ted realizes that he's in the guest room in Megumi's suite. Breakfast has been provided. Odd stuff, but with some recognizable foods as well. Megumi joins him for breakfast and checks on how he's doing.
The only thing that's disagreeing with him so far right now are existential matters. Nothing he ate, no motion sickness issues. Megumi suggests that he should walk the pattern soon - perhaps half an hour after eating.
Ted has questions though. He wants to know something about what he's in for, politically, before he walks it. The political ties are secondary in many ways. It's the metaphysical aspects of things. There's a presumption that if you walk in Rebma then you might swear allegiance afterwards.
Walking the Pattern in Amber would involve introductions and potential delays, as well as tossing him into the political maelstrom without further ado. Walking the one here, now, gives him the opportunity to learn and practice before getting into trouble.
Ted wants to send a polite note to the King at any rate, letting him know that walking the Rebman pattern wasn't intended as an insult.
"Well, if you want to send a message to the King, his son is here."
"You met him earlier. You remember when we were sort of being handed from one person to another? He was the end here. And in addition to being the King of Amber's son, he's also the grandson of the Queen of Rebma."
The extremely wide family tree is discussed, as well as the kind of knotted succession. Megumi sends a page to Prince Martin to let him know that Lord Theodore would like to talk to him before he walks the pattern. Martin sends back that he will be able to join them in about an hour.
Megumi does a sketch of the family tree while they wait. There are a lot of knots and burls as well as a couple people who are listed as relatives of unknown ancestry.
Part of their discussion touches on the possible sources of Ted's ancestry. The subject of Brand is broached, and rapidly discarded, but it does lead into a quick summary of his actions and a brief history of the war thirty years ago.
There's also the problem of the strange woman who was following Ted. Megumi thinks that the woman probably had no personal stake in his kidnapping, so there's no point in holding a grudge.
Martin's arrival helps rearrange some of Ted's worries. He is, quite bluntly, told that if if he wants to live, he should take the pattern right away. Megumi is also warned that, as a matter of balance, she shouldn't bring back any more new ones if at all possible.
Ted is brought down to the pattern chamber. Megumi tells him what to expect at various points on the Pattern. Her instructions have an air of experience about them, and Ted realizes that she must have walked the Pattern herself. She asks him not to reveal that particular tidbit of information, since she hasn't made it public, and he promises to comply.
Ted contemplates what precautions he can take before walking this strange glowing thing. He takes notes, does a sketch of the pattern, asks about a place to practice. But eventually he notices Megumi's impatiently tapping foot and commences walking.
In Shadow Rebma, Wu Fang and Tyler begin making plans for dealing with Gareth and Pavel when they arrive. Wu Fang begins laying the groundwork for a wine tasting soiree. Tyler finds a couple of places where drinking contests are known to happen, and which ships have been known to Shanghai new crew members.
Megumi calls to warn Tyler that she'll be returning with Ted in tow. Tyler lets her know about the incipient arrival of Martin's brothers and she asks him to warn Ohanzee's guild member guardians. Tyler does so, and they begin preparations of their own.
Tyler returns to his quarters on Wu Fang's ship and discovers that something has gotten into his room and died. Widely. He activates the ship's silent alarm, and checks out the room's reflection in his sword blade before heading in. He quickly sees that the remains match one of the beings from his home shadow. He calls Wu Fang in. They have two problems right now - how the creature got here and who sent it. Before they determine that, they should probably call up Ohanzee and make sure that this isn't part of some wider attack. This time, the trump contact fails.
With the crew locking down the ship and preparing defenses, Wu Fang and Tyler set out for the part of town that Ohanzee was in when he last talked to her.
Ted has finished walking and transports himself over to Megumi, who has taken the opportunity to resupply herself with clothing and her bow and arrows. Ted is exhausted and needs to get some rest, so she calls Tyler.
On the dock just outside the ship, Tyler gets a trump contact from Luther. Ohanzee is fine, but rather incommoded at the moment. She was near an entertainment sorcery when Tyler's earlier trump contact arrived, and the interaction was... inconvenient. Tyler probes for a bit to see if they are under any duress, but Luther signals that everything is ok. He fills Luther in on the events on the ship and he promises to take precautions. Luther asks Tyler to brief Zil so that Zil can fill Luther in on it.
Moments later, Tyler is contacted by Megumi. She is ready to return with Ted. Tyler brings them through and quarters are quickly found for Ted, who promptly collapses.
Tyler, Wu Fang and Megumi commence poking about with the remains. Megumi can see that there is a taint upon the creature, something that saps spirit energy. But it is not Logrus. Megumi thinks she can dispose of it fairly quickly if it has been concentrated into a single space, which Wu Fang thinks his ship can handle. There is, however, some concern that the taint of the exploded creature could affect the ship itself.
This leads to the question of who was the actual target of the attack. Was it Wu Fang's ship instead of Tyler? If so, then why did they use a creature that Tyler could recognize? And how did it get here?
Megumi consults her gull spirit, which is able to determine that the rules here had been changed for long enough for the creature to arrive, and then were changed back. The shock of that change would probably not have been enough to kill it. That remains a mystery. Having determined what they can on their own, they call in Zil.
Speculation bounces back and forth that the creature is homing in on some sort of connection, either to Tyler or to something he brought from Refuge Base. There is some concern that this could be the result of some sort of occult connection to Tyler, possibly from an unknown child or sibling. Tyler is certain he has no children, but given that he had no idea of his Amber ancestry, it's highly likely that he does have unknown siblings. Eventually new guest quarters are found for Tyler. Wu Fang, Tyler and Megumi head their separate ways and retire for the night.
Ted wakes up. He's not on the bus. He's not in an asylum. He's underwater!
Granted, he is inside a submarine, but there's water inside the submarine, which seems rather unfair. His clothes are cleaned, repaired, pressed and on a hanger behind his door. He doesn't remember taking them off, but he's probably just too tired to remember it.
He heads out in search of breakfasts and meets Varrin, a crewman who welcomes him to the ship and offers him breakfast. When something close to a Western Omelet is mentioned, he says "That! That's perfect." Varrin tells him that it will be brought to him immediately.
Megumi wakes up and goes looking for her page, Pierre. He's been following Herne around and learning how to write. Megumi insists that he must learn it, since there's no other way he could infiltrate or manipulate the nobility. And besides, he'll also be learning how to fight.
Wu Fang and Tyler learn that Ted is awake and mosey on over to his quarters for breakfast, collecting Megumi along the way. Ted has questions about what exactly he can do now that he has the Pattern, and Tyler and Wu Fang give some simple demonstrations of affecting probability. Ted exclaims that this must be how Megumi managed to find the motorcyclist, and the leather jacket she gave him.
This elicits a raised eyebrow from Tyler. Ted realizes what he just said and promptly commences kicking himself. Megumi asks Tyler not to reveal this particular tidbit of information, since she hasn't made it public. Tyler agrees that it could be very awkward, given her position in the Church.
Ted's faux pas is forgiven. Tyler remarks that it's almost a reflex to share any great revelation. "For example, there's the story of the three men awaiting execution by guillotine. The first two are freed after the blade gets stuck on the way down. The third, however, is a brilliant inventor, and when he puts his head in the stocks, he looks up and says, 'Oh, I see what's wrong!'"
Wu Fang and Tyler offer to train Ted in the use of Pattern. Tyler also demonstrates Trump, and asks permission to draw one of Ted. Several of the other major powers are discussed as well, including sorcery. Ted is skilled with slight of hand and similar stage magic, so he's very interested in this. We explain that seeking out a sorcerer is one of the reasons we came to this place, but that so far we've had little luck.
Megumi offers to contact the Guild and see about bringing in a specialist. When she hears that Ohanzee's bodyguards have been saying that they're "spread a bit thin" she comments that if she'd known she would have taken care of it while she was still back in Rebma with Ted and Martin. Tyler offers her his trump of Martin. She, reluctantly, calls him and explains the situation. He agrees to send the reinforcements in due course.
Ted is told that soon enough he'll be meeting Ohanzee. Megumi says, "Ohanzee is a very nice person and despite what she may say, I don't think she has actually eaten anyone."
Ted finds this less than comforting.
Ted also asks about clothing. He's noticed the variety of styles worn by Tyler, Wu Fang and Megumi, as well as the uniforms of the crew, and his own outfit of work boots, jeans, shirt and leather jacket might not exactly blend in.
Tyler reassures him that his clothing is unlikely to draw much attention here on the docks, especially since this place sees ships from all over. Wu Fang lets him know that the crew can find something more appropriate for him if he wants to venture out further into the city.
Ted asks if there's anything he needs to know about the local laws, especially since Tyler is carrying a very serviceable sword and Megumi has her bow. He is told that he should claim to be married. Tyler explains about the local queen seeking an heir, and that due to his unfortunate natural honesty he had an "Oh, I see what's wrong!" moment of his own, and has been registered as an eligible bachelor.
As far as weaponry goes, they fill him in on the current state of heightened alert due to the attack. Ted wonders aloud if there's anything else that we haven't told him about and Wu Fang says, simply, "Yes." Ted is told that he should carry some weapon that he's comfortable with. He requests a .45.
Tyler explains to Wu Fang and Megumi that this is a particular model of gunpowder projectile weapon, and explains to Ted that things like that are notoriously unreliable in Shadow. Ted's second choice, a spear gun, would be slightly better, provided that the elastic band remained functional. The simpler a weapon is, the less likely it is to fail when the laws of physics change; thus items such as the bow and the sword.
Ted explains that his skills are less focused on fighting ability and more related to things such as opening other people's locks. This intrigues Tyler, both because Ted's expertise may be useful in determining how the creature got into his quarters, and because he may be able to help construct a set of handcuffs or similar devices to help keep Pavel and Gareth busy for a while after they've been Shanghaied.
Plans are made, and the fearsome foursome prepare to go out in search of a locksmith, or at least a locksmith's shop.
- EOF -