My name is Zule and I am going to die. I know this, as does everyone else. I have either the fortune, or misfortune to walk among the mighty. This is not something that everyone can claim. The path my life has taken, once simple and clear has become tangled. I am a simple man, my word is my bond, my honor is my life and my service is through the blade. Within the next few hours, I will join these princes of Amber against a mighty foe. A deity known as the wolf, who threatens to destroy the universe.
I am not afraid to die, or at least I wasn’t. I am the least of the men who surround me, the only one whom was not born with the power to move from world to world. But none shall doubt my bravery. Still, when the tale is told, my name will not be in it. I will perish in a strange world of enchanted forests, far from the world that gave me birth. None will hear of my passing, and I suspect it will be largely unremarked. I am not afraid to die, but I don’t want to be forgotten. Merlin, the son of one of the princes has agreed to deliver this missive before the battle starts. Perhaps, my story will live on through this.
It was but yesterday that I was brought to the great city of Amber. One of the men of Amber, a man named Ezekiel with whom I have only spoken a few words had allowed his child to grow alone, in dark circumstances. Somehow, within a mere two days this boy had grown from two years of age to a strapping young lad. Some dark magics brought about by the storm had caused him to age. This Ezekiel had allowed his son to weather the storm without shelter, and the other Nobles of Ironwood judged him harshly. As they should, it is a man’s duty to protect the weak.
It is hard to not be impressed by the City of Amber. A great golden city of tall spires and arched bridges. As I traveled through it I felt as if I had entered the fabled realms of faerie. I am not a word smith, so my description will fall short. I will simply compare it to the most beautiful thing I have yet to see, the Lady Yazmin. If ever a city was built to contain a treasure, Amber was built to hold the fair Yazmin.
But all was not well in Amber, and during the late hours in the morning I learned that the beauty of Amber hides a dark heart. I had left my chambers to examine a commotion, I had heard that rebels against King Delwin had attacked the day before and I thought they had come again. The servants spoke of foul weapons and violence and an attempt to kill his majesty. I strode out to aid in the defense against what must be another attack, but I quickly learned that instead the lady Yazmin was being put in chains. I could not stand for this outrage, and I leveled my sword, prepared to battle the men of Amber. They were many and it was but I, but a lady must have a champion. The lady though, she asked me to stand aside. My weapons were taken, and my hands shackled, but what matter the fate of one such as I, compared to one such as her. My heart cried out as she was dragged away, I had failed.
The dungeons in Amber are not unlike other dungeons, and I quickly learned that I would not escape. I prayed to every power that I knew that the lady would be saved. And then I received a contact, a trump. A trick of these Amberites to speak over great distances. Zythanimaerius, whom had found me in shadow wanted my aid and offered my freedom. But my freedom was as nothing while my lady was imprisoned, and instead I asked the boon of freedom to save her. The mad prince Brand, whom cannot be as bad as I have heard for he heard my plea forging me weapons out of air and giving them to me. Properly outfitted, I freed myself from the prison and set forth to rescue Yazmin.
I was prepared to die in the attempt, and the soldiers of Amber tried their best. But I am a knight and will not be killed by a man at arms, not with justice on my side. I called out for this King Delwin to meet me in combat, or for any lord of Amber to face me, but my challenges went unmet. I could not find the Lady in the Dungeon, and was forced into a store room. But Zythanimaerius contacted me once again. I would not have come with him, but he swore that he would aid in the rescue of the lady, so I went with him. To my shame I abandoned my lady to her fate.
The plan was, to summon the Wolf using some ritual. Then, using an enchanted forest to trap her we would fall upon her and steal the dark gem called the Eye of Torment. Many came to lord Zythanimaerius’ call. Prince Bennedict, whom with one arm is said to remain the greatest warrior who ever lived. Then others came, a Prince known as Corwin and his son Merlin. The great Prince Brand of Amber to whom I still feel a debt. Ezekiel was there as well, and the Marshall of Amber, lord Dalt of Amber. It was from Dalt I learned that the lady Yazmin had been freed. It was as if a weight had been pulled from me. Both Zythanimaerius and Ezekiel attempted to confirm this with Trumps, but she did not answer them.
No, she answered me. And even though I knew there was little hope for me with such a great woman, a man cannot wish his heart to still as much as he might hope. As the card came to life before me, I knew that I was blessed. I nearly cried tears of joy at the sight of her, I am not ashamed to admit it. I went to her then, and embraced her. Then her father threw me into a wall.
I will speak no ill about the man from whom sprang the greatest treasure of Amber. He is Caine, Prince of Amber. And that is all I shall say.
Seeing two great warriors there, Myrrdin of Chaos and Roland of Amber I took the opportunity to request their aid in this endeavor, for both of them had acquired weapons from the Black Cathedral for just this purpose. I was disappointed on both counts. Prince Roland claimed that it was his duty to protect Lady Sophia as they investigated a strange mystical power. To protect the ones one loves is a noble goal.
But Prince Myrrdin…the man is a rank coward, of the worst sort. He knows not the meaning of the word honor. I knew as I spoke to him, that he could slay me out of hand. For he is an immortal son of Chaos. But it is not skill with a blade that shows a man’s honor or bravery. And I did not flinch away from his threats or his bullying. It is easy to threaten one whom is no threat to you. Like a bandit who kills unarmed serfs for pleasure, this Myrrdin of Chaos preys only on those weaker than himself, and I refused to back away from his torments. I generally disregard gossip as a source of information, but the whispers must be true. His own house was destroyed while he hid in fear in the tower of Ironwood, cowering behind its stone walls. And the things that the Acolytes murmured, that he had slain an unarmed woman upon the altar of the Black Cathedral I had ignored to that point.
Now, I had realized that I was going to die. There is no shame in a death faced boldly. And I had the chance to say farewell to my lady. Upon one knee I expressed my affection and begged a favor of her. And in her grace, she bestowed it upon me. I wished her safe and well as she boldly investigated this enchantment, for Nalath of Chaos had said that it could be dangerous. I fear for her.
Upon returning to Zythanimaerius several other princes of Amber came, Prince Bleys and Prince Caine among them. Zythanimaerius has detailed his plan, and I can see skepticism on some of the Amberites faces.
I believe the time will come soon. The worst is that I will not know the fate of my brave lady’s investigation. I watch the princes of Amber argue, they are brother’s and the tension is high. Merlin is sitting with me, for he does not truly belong in this group. He is not a fighter, but I can see his desire to be counted.
I do not know how to end this, for I do not often write. It is not to anyone, though I intend it to be delivered to Yazmin. I will not write goodbye, I have never liked goodbyes. They are sad, and I would not like to be responsible for sadness. While I would like my tale to be remembered, I do not want it to be one of tears, but of joy. I have no regrets in my life, I have fought for what I believed in. I have seen wonders few have been allowed to see. And I go into my final battle with the favor of my lady upon my hilt.
I am truly blessed.