Session notes: 07-03-16
Ohanzee has done some work on getting an Urchin:
Paris - Ohanzee's Urchin
0 points baseline Urchin.
Ohanzee has been splitting her time between learning Sorcery and helping guard Martin as he recuperates. She's got the basics down, so now she needs to work on a list of spells... She's up on deck with Martin and Merlin when a pair of tiny seabirds come flying in. They flock around the deck, trying to attract attention - and obviously succeeding.
Martin recognizes that they are creatures with a touch of power in them. He recognizes it as water magic. Martin lets them land on his hand where they pass along a message to him. They know where Megumi is, and probably Helice as well. Ohanzee trumps Tyler to tell him about it.
Tyler stays behind in Valhalla as Wu Fang, Ted and the twins leave. His plan is to loiter long enough to find out what Jemethiel is up to. Ted and Wu Fang need to find someplace to hide Pavel and Gareth. The current thought is a casino type shadow where they can continue their revels in a slightly more refined setting.
Tyler visits for a while with Jemethiel. She says that she was just there to practice her dancing in a safe environment - it being difficult to apologize to someone for accidentally sucking out someone's soul if they don't regenerate afterwards. They discuss a bit of their backgrounds. Jemethiel learned to dance in order to defend herself. Tyler explains that his military background is for similar reasons. He also lets her know that she and her father made the genealogy buff who was with them feel a bit nervous. She explains that her father was never recognized as a member of the family and hasn't been back to Amber for a very long time. Right now he's off somewhere doing research on how to regain his face. It was stolen from him by something... powerful... which is probably out there wearing it now.
As they talk, Tyler gets a Trump call from General Teed. He's just checking in right now. There have been a few incursions out there - nothing serious or large, but a few more small things in the distant bases. One of the gate technicians has a few thoughts on the possibility of filtering things, and Tyler thinks he can work with that. As that conversation ends, Tyler gets another call, this time from Ohanzee. She shows one of the seagulls to Tyler and tells him that they seem to be a message from Megumi.
Tyler excuses himself, and asks permission from Jemethiel to draw a trump of her. She accedes and bids him goodbye. Tyler trumps to Ohanzee, who fills him in on the seagull situation.
Wu Fang and Ted find a comfy casino with a good "All you can eat" buffet which the Amberites are likely to demolish with great rapidity. They are settling down and sharing a meal when Wu Fang gets a call from Aunt Florimel.
She wants to know about how Ohanzee is doing, if she's learning the appropriate things. Dancing, at the very least. Wu Fang assures her that she is getting a good education, although he admits that Flora is the superior tutor for many, many things.
When that contact ends, Tyler Trumps Wu Fang, and lets him know that they have news in seagull form. Wu Fang bids farewell to the twins, rounds up Ted and the various minions, and trumps back to the ship. The gulls are thrilled to see Wu Fang and fly around him, chirping his name. They land on his arm and he makes psychic contact with them. They have a sort of mental map, and Wu Fang sets sail in the direction the gulls indicate. Tyler begins prepping the weaponry. There's no indication that they'll need it - but no indication that they won't, either.
Wu Fang modifies one of the birds and sends it back with the message, "We're coming."
Megumi gets the message and contacts the appropriate people to arrange a reception. They don't want anyone to get killed, on either side. She recommends a straightforward parlay, but they seem troubled that Merlin is with us. They don't know which way he'll jump in this situation, and the worst case scenario involves the destruction of the shadow they're in, along with a lot of the neighboring shadows.
Megumi suggests, "Merlin is curious. He'll do pretty much anything if it's interesting at the moment."
"Ah, but the one thing he's not likely to do is betray Martin. He gave up the throne of Amber in favor of him. Dara gave it up in favor of Oberon... which just gave me a frightening thought. No... None of her children were born at the right time."
"That is a frightening thought."
"Yes. I think I'll forget I ever had it. Would you be willing to go out there and suggest the parlay?"
Megumi agrees. They provide her with a magically propelled boat to go meet the ship.
Wu Fang's ship has been moving through smaller and smaller waterways - all deep, but more and more narrow. The shorelines move in until we're passing through a tunnel in a glacier. Up ahead a light appears. Wu Fang sends Shen out to scout and sees that it is a small boat with Megumi aboard, standing up.
Shen greets her and Megumi passes on the invitation to parlay. Shen doesn't detect any imminent hazard from the boat, and returns to Wu Fang to pass along the message. Megumi's ship comes alongside and she boards, at which point the little boat dissolves.
We determine that she's uninjured, and she tells Martin that Helice is well also. We adjourn to a conference room to talk further.
Megumi's captors - the two she spent time with - are family members, Elaine and Burke. Their father either desires the throne, or at least a more equitable distribution of risk. Whatever that means.
Wu Fang wants to know the terms of the parley. They would rather talk than fight, but what if we don't like what we hear? Are we free to leave?
Megumi notices that Merlin has a blue glow around him. He says, "I'm just making sure that I'm ready with my negotiating position." It appears to be a Trump effect, and he's ready for a rapid departure.
This meeting is simply a preamble to the main parley, setting the sort of ground rules we might have for a future meeting, and giving the background on the situation.
Megumi explains that every source of power needs to be fed. If someone of the blood is taken to the primal Pattern before they are attuned to one of the lesser patterns (the ones in Amber, Rebma or Tir Na Nog'th) they become the food for that source.
This is what almost happened to Ted. Indeed, a lot of the children out there who aren't well connected or who aren't acknowledged are likely to be taken up on Kolvir and fed to the Pattern. There is a cult of the Pattern who search in shadow for suitable candidates for this. Gerard is the current high priest of the Pattern cult. He's exempted his children and Eric's children from the selection process.
Megumi's patron wants to find an end to the current situation. She doesn't like seeing her descendants sacrificed. Oberon had less of a problem, and found some advantages to the arrangement.
We agree, in principle, that the whole arrangement is bad and needs some kind of overhaul. Unfortunately, the Pattern needs to be fed, otherwise reality will very likely collapse.
At any rate, we need to find neutral ground to have a future meeting - the tree Yg seems good. Megumi agrees to return with the proposed meeting place. Wu Fang points out that we need secondary plans for what to do in case of a double-cross, and potential plans for springing the hostages in case things break down. He proposes that Ted, Tyler and Megumi attend the meeting while he, Martin, Merlin and Ohanzee investigate what sort of defenses there are around Helice's prison.