Tears of the Lost

Chapter 6 - Gambit
Log by GM

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.

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Chapter 5 - Uninvited Guests (The Nethermore Storm)
Wherin our heroes are forced to defend their pastries from uncouth aggression.

(Scribe’s Note: This document was entered into the Ironwood historical documents by the Speaker of Chaos, one Highlord Nalath of Rhial. The conversations within do not seem to be accurate in tone, though they may be in content. Those of us at the Scribe’s office felt it best not to irritate the Highlord by questioning his rendition of events.)

Breakfast

It was nine o’ clock in the morning, which was far too early but was depressingly becoming a recurring event in the life of a man who had otherwise known that time as the moment when the party would really be stripped down to just the most dedicated revelers, or else end. There were two reasons to be awake at such an hour. The first was the fact that the Council of Ironwood had decided on the devilish time as appropriate for breakfast, and there was much that could be missed by not attending.

The second was jelly doughnuts.

The conversation at breakfast was rather ordinary that morning, which was unfortunate in that it helped bring on a desire for sleep, but good, in that Highlord Nalath felt it calmed his madness a bit. It should be noted, with some acclaim that he checked his mirror only four times during the meal, though it cannot be said that the meal was not interrupted.

Before we arrive at the interruption however, it is worth providing a sample of the ordinary conversation, so as to distinguish it from what followed after.

Stirring Conversation

“Would it be possible, my Prince, to pass the ice-grape preserves?” Inquired Highlady Sophia of Prince Roland. As she asked, she smiled, and it is not for this historian to say if the smile was coquettish, but it is also not his place to say that it was not thus.

“With good will, my lady.” Replied the Prince, in his usual smooth and dashing manner, though spoilt a bit, this time, by the small bit of egg that was caught in his whiskers.

“Is there anything pressing, this morning?” Asked Nalath, eyeing the last two jelly doughnuts with a strategic gaze. “If not, I would fain take a day to see my Lady Coral, who is still ensconced with her family in Begma.”

“ME FORK SAUSAGE.” Came the bearlike growl from Ezekiel, his mighty hamfist tightly clenched around a serving fork. He proceeded to follow his statement with the described action, reaching across Lady Gilva’s plate while she (and the rest of the table) pretended not to notice.

“Not besides the matters we always have pressing, nothing I believe, that will not wait at least a day.” Always a woman of action, Gilva’s speach was direct, but not blunt. She honed it, one might say, as a warrior hones a sword.

“Excellent. Perforce, I can always be reached by the Trumps, and I do not believe it will be too long a dalliance.” Sinuously, covered by the distracting flourish that accompanied his words, Nalath claimed the second to last jelly, thus bringing the issue of the last doughnut to a head.

“We require recovery time, in any event.” Declared Wren, shifting as if to alleviate the pain of her broken arm, but no one at the table was fooled. Her good arm was now a few inches deeper into the table, within striking distance of the doughnut. “Though I fear I will be wounded for some time, even with the best of care.”

Roland frowned at Wren’s cunning gambit, shifting forward while playing a sympathy card. Not to be outdone, he turned his chair slightly and leaned against the table, giving himself some key additional reach. “Yes, that seemed like a nasty business, from your tales of that black cathedral.”

Logrus Trouble

It seemed to be Sophia’s turn to establish a forward position on the doughnut, a move that all but Nalath (who was in the throes od jelly ecstasy) dreaded, for she was well known for her sly dougnut-capturing ways. However, instead the lady appeared to be turning a bit green, or perhaps purple. It is difficult to say with the Chaos-born.

It was then that Nalath’s arms began to move, and the power of the Logrus stirred within him. Everyone but the Bear looked on in shock, wondering if perhaps Nalath was preparing to take the last doughnut by force of Logrus, and if it would be permissible to answer a double-doughnut grab with naked steel.

However, the affliction appared to be spreading, as lady Gilva and lady Sophia both began their own Logrus summoning as well. Nalath managed to halt his, though the experience was clearly costing him dearly.

Consternation filled the room, and the Amberites sought answers from the Chaosians, but they were unfortunately consumed either with some strange Logrus working, or resisting it. It was then that Lady Wren spied a dreadful storm in the direction that the Logrus power was reaching out, and moved as best she could to the window to observe it, dread growing in her heart.

It was not long (though it seemed so to those afflicted) that the Logrus trouble was resolved, but poorly on all accounts, as the power of the great twisting power was greatly drained, stolen for some dark use.

Even as dreadful as this mystery was, it had to wait to be investigated, as the storm was quickly becoming a more pressing issue. Lord Nalath identified it as the same sort of storm that had attended the finale of the War of the Black Road (Called in some places by the name Patternfall) and that the very sanctity of Ironwood and the Immortals within was now in danger.

Much frenzied discussion occured, and it was settled that allies must be called, and as much care as possible must be taken to protect Ironwood. First, however, everyone had persons and places elsewhere that needed to be bulwarked against the storm. Nalath went to Rhial, and by all accounts was harrowed there by his attempt to defend as much of his family Ways as he could from the Storm. Servants, agents, and favored companions were gathered to places of safety, mostly Amber, or Ironwood.

Anathama

It was at this time that Lord Zythanimerius was called upon by the Council to aid them, and refused. Having spurned their request so soon after making his own demands, he was declared no friend of the Council, to be cut off from recieving aid in any of his own dark endeavors for so long as his arrogant attitude remained.

Brand

The Amberites remembered how their people had survived the last storm, by the power of the Eye of the Serpent (which they call the Jewel of Judgement), and so they summoned the Eye’s current wielder, Prince Brand. By flattery and praise, they convinced him to spend his energies in the defense of Ironwood.

As the final preparations were being made, the castle was made secure against the physical winds. Lord Myrrden strode forth to watch over the castle guard, while Lady Wren went to the Chapel of the Unicorn to seek guidance and aid.

The Storm Strikes

Neither of them found their efforts in vain. Wren recived some sort of warning, while Myrrden beheld dark shapes upon the wind. By Trump and page the word went out, We are under attack!

The Council marshaled it’s forces at the base of the fortress to defend the main doors, and gathered themselves in their high tower to withstand the beasts that could fly. Much might be said about the bravery of the demons and men that fell on the lower levels, but they were not the only defenders that day.

With terrible power, a great hound-like creature with leathery wings tore its way into the Council room through a window. Aghast, the Council formed up to defend their home, their place of power, their dougnut.

“To arms, faithful Council members!” Cried Roland, striking a most dramatic pose.

“Yes, we’ve done that.” Growled Myrrden, who had indeed drawn his sword already. “Try hitting them.”

Roland flashed Myrrden an irked look but let it pass, letting the remark kindle his rage against the enemy, which perhaps was crafty Myrrden’s aim the entire time.

“Where is the enemy, Wren?” Asked Nalath as he was pulled through a trump. His answer came in the form of two hundred pounds of charging, slavering hound, as the beasts beset the group from all sides.

Many were the spells cast, the swords that flashed, the tables thrown. Early in the battle the Bear leaped out the window, grappling with a hound in the most savage manner, snarling and frothing at the mouth as he rent the creature with his very teeth.

Roldand displayed caution, cutting down his foes but ultimately suffering little in the way of wounds. Sophia’s energies were spent in an amazing display of athletic swordsmanship, while Wren was vallient but too badly wounded from the Cathedral to contribute overmuch.

Nalath and Coral stood together, and tragically fell together, overwhelmed and off balance from the moment they entered the room. Indeed, it was a dark day in Ironwood, with scarely two of the Council still able to stand when the smoke had cleared.

Alone and forgotten on the floor, admist the ruins of the great Ironwood Table, the treasure of Ironwood was smote asunder. Bright red sprang from a terrible gash and pooled on the floor. The last jelly doughnut, alas, ruined.



Epilogue: Marcus arrives and we are all appalled at Ezekiel Snakebear.

The aftermath was difficult for everyone. Even the Bear, who had somehow become a snake, and come through the battle with no wounds, had his own suffering to endure. For into the hall the next day came Marcus, of House Rhial and House Snakebear, with a tale of two decades of woe.

Abandoned by his father in a dire hell-shadow, beset by the storm and abandoned through all of his formative years, his anger was easy to understand. The rest of the Council rushed to help the boy, but there was little comfort to give when his own father remained cold to him, haughty, and unwilling to admit his gaping fault.

So it was that the wounded members of the Council made their way to Amber. As with breakfast, there were two reasons. To see the state of Amber after the storm, and to give the much-abused Marcus a chance at his birthright and a better home.

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Chapter 3 - We're here to Rescue You!
Log by Brandon

The counsel of Ironwood begins yet another expedition into the Fragments, this time to rescue those who remain trapped behind. While Nalath, Wren and Coral cast the great spell to return to the Fragments, from Thelbane the Wolf herself came to watch. Surprisingly civil, she simply observed the spell, expressing interest in the Crow not escaping the fragments. She was also very interested in Werewindle, which Sophia still had. For several days smoke had been billowing out of the Scabbard, the pattern blade reacting strongly to something. During this encounter the Wolf followed a trump, presumably discovering the location of Ironwood.

Upon reaching the fragments, the Counsel found that Yasmin’s father Caine was getting married to a Nivalis, the queen of the Nephilim, binding an alliance between Nephilim and Seraphim. After attending the wedding, the spell was once again cast allowing the Counsel and select individuals such as Caine, Martin, Coral’s parents to escape the fragments. A shapeshifter who took Ezekiel’s form also escaped this way.

In Ironwood it was learned that Ezekiel was now a father. His son Markus was two years old, having been raised in a fast time shadow. Ezekeil found his demonic horns somewhat off putting.

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Chapter 4 - The Black Cathedral
- Log by Wren

Our adventure starts with a mass trumping by Zythanimaerias. In an attempt to gather all of his cousins and their Chaosite companions, Zyth began his spree of trumps. After some convincing and a fair passage of time, the group was finally assembled. Their goal? To find and claim weapons Zythanimaerias simply dubbed ‘God Killers.’ His search had lead him to a desolate place.

A great stretch of barren, sun-baked land rolled out before the group, and off in the distance lay a great, dark cathedral. The final destination, where they might find their weapons capable of slaying creatures equal in power to the Unicorn and Serpent themselves.

Unable to stealthily approach the cathedral, the group trekked forward, soon discovering a pack of great hellish hounds en route to them. The creatures were fast, strong, and bent on killing the invaders upon their territory. And they met the party with a great clash, bowling over several individuals. Swords at the ready, and spells being cast with great speed, the party managed to stave off the beasts, though not all were uninjured in the attack.

The group, minus Wren, marched onward to escape the return of the hounds. Presented with three doors upon the Cathedral’s front steps, the group filtered through separate entrances, expecting to meet on the inside and continue deeper into the building.

But this was no ordinary place, the extent of that they soon found out.

Nalath, Yazmin, Roland and Zule found themselves in a past time, watching Prince Corwin wage battle against hundreds of demonic creatures with his men of Avalon. In an attempt to aid the prince, the adventurers bravely set forth. The enemy force was strong, and Yazmin took shelter from a giant tree-like demon, and an ogre in a nearby building, which soon collapsed. Nalath, Roland and Zule, who at the revelation to Corwin that Roland was Eric’s son, followed suit into another building, Nalath narrowly escaping death as Grayswandir pierced his shoulder.

Sophia, Zythanimaerias, and Myrrdin found themselves overlooking the famous battle against the Moon-riders of Ganesh. Upon spotting his son, Bennedict abandoned his retreat to rescue his son from certain death. Such a dramatic turn of known events, that Zyth did not want to risk changing the course of the battle. Through extreme bravery shown by both Myrrdin and Zyth, and a streak of genuine cleverness from Sophia, the trio fought towards Bennedict. Sophia, stealing herself a Moon, hovered overhead, and made herself quite the nuisance to the enemy forces, a daring and risky move, which in the end saved both Myrrdin and Zyth from being over-whelmed.

As each group reached the conclusion of their window into the past, they found themselves teleported back to the cathedral, all still injured, but alive and reunited. Upon having Wren rejoin the party, and shaking off the effects of their time travel, the group pressed forward, finding themselves set upon by great gargoyles, protectors of the cathedral. The party managed a fairly quick escape, Wren leaving a foot behind, and slipped ever deeper into the cathedral.

Despite the trials they had been through, the group came upon the altar, to find an Acolyte. She answered their questions, and even held back the Memories of all those claimed by the Cathedral, eventually calling for the Undying Maiden, an immortal woman named Maive. After some speaking, it was determined that for a small price, she would allow them to speak to the Sleeper. The price, one of the immortal men had to sleep with her daughter Mab, ugly and cursed as she was. Zythanimaerias, though unwilling, eventually agreed to the task at hand, and while the others found rooms, he was escorted away.

The next day, the group gathered and traveled down into the very deepest parts of the Cathedral, to meet the Sleeper. A woman, by the name of Titania, who bore an eerily strong resemblance to the late Lord Oberon, who was determined to be the creator of this place. The place was to hold her, and any items that Oberon felt needed to be kept locked away. A place that Delwin the Lost once frequented. And while their were very few ‘God Killing’ weapons to be had, the group found themselves armed with something that could prove to be much more dangerous; Information.

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Chapter 2 - The Great Spire
log by Brandon

The situation in Chaos was continuing to devolve so our heroes bravely decided to infiltrate the Ways of Jesby in an attempt to rescue Merlin so that Corwin would not be forced to support house Jesby’s attempt to capture the Logrus.

The expedition consisted of Ezekiel, Nalath, Wren, Zyth, Sophia, Yasmine, Coral and Dashell. The first attempt to shadow walk into the ways ended in a shadow of destiny set up as a trap by Corwin. Through the quick use of sorcery and shadow walking the adventurers escaped the trap and reassessed. They traveled to the Great Spire that was the physical representation of the Ways of Jesby upon the edge of Abyss. While ascending the thin spiral stairs, Yasmine located a secret entrance.

After passing by several traps with relative safety (Ezekiel’s back received deep slashes after looking through a trapped peep hole), Yasmine became overconfident and after avoiding an apparently simple trap was nearly killed by slashing blades and a deep pit leading to white flames.

The tunnel eventually lead out into the Ways of Jesby. Ezehkiel began behaving strangely, his wounds apparently poisoned with some sort of hallucinogen. Nalath wrapped him in sorcerous chains and headed off, quickly joined by the rest of the group with the exception of Zyth who was unwilling to abandon Ezekiel to his fate.

Zyth and Ezekiel were both identified as invaders by the mystical protections of the ways, and were chased by both mundane soldiers and explosive orbs of sorcery. Zyth used the pattern to eliminate the alarm, however Ezekiel was unable to do so. In a wolf guarded garden Ezekiel narrowly avoided the orbs until finally being trapped and fleeing via trump to Ironwood.

Zyth thinking that Ezekiel had perished grew quite angry and headed off into the Ways, presumably to assist with the rescue of Merlin. He encountered a mysterious sorcerer claiming to be from a place known as Nethermore who attempted to slay Zyth with dark powers. Through unexplained mystic means Zyth combated the dark powers and was victorious.

As this was happening the rest of the expedition headed deeper into the ways, using a mystic sonar to attempt to locate Merlin. There was a tension fraught encounter with Corwin, who recognized Werewindle after Sophia bumped into him in the hall. After learning they were attempting to rescue Merlin, Corwin who was apparently under some sort of surveillance allowed Wren to stab him and the expedition to escape.

Heading into a warren of cave like tunnels Coral and Wren’s spell lead them to a spherical chamber with a metallic orb in the center. Gravity behaved oddly, allowing the entire chambers floor which was riddled in tunnels to be traversed. As odd Scorpions began to come out of the passages Sophia tossed Yasmine onto the black metal orb, and then through a spell by Wren and Coral the rest of the group floated upwards.

Through great bravery and some stupidity Merlin was rescued from the inside of the orb, the scorpions were evaded and the expedition returned home to Ironwood.

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Chapter 1 - The New King
Log by Brandon

Zythanimarius, distraught over breaking his ancient vow created a trump of the Wolf, and activated it. The trump behaved oddly, taking on a life of its own and sending Zyth into a realm of darkness. Seemingly without body he moved through the black appearing within a familiar seeming environment. The temple of the wolf.

Unmoved by his apologies, the wolf threataned Zyth’s life, forcing him to lay down upon an altar. With her claws she tore open his chest, removing a black gem from within. As Zyth writhed in agony she licked his wounds, closing them, and left him upon the altar. When Zyth finally freed himself he fled the temple, taking refuge in a familiar shadow.

Elsewhere in Ironwood, the Council determined to speak with Delwin and gain a measure of the man before declaring their opposition to his reign. Delwin received the council warmly, expressing his respect of the members and declaring his support of the Ironwood project, going so far as to suggest that his sister Sand might visit the council to represent the thrones interest. He further offered the hospitality of Amber which the Council quickly accepted.

Finding Floramelle in residence, Myrrdin and Nalath took the opportunity to meet the woman many claimed to be the most beautiful lady in all the universe. For some time they exchanged gossip upon a balcony sipping Delwin’s finest wines.

In other ares of Amber, lady Wren and and Sophia met Delwin’s son Dashell. As regal as Delwin was, Dashell was exactly the opposite. Clearly unfamiliar with politics his eager manner quickly endeared him to the pair who introduced him to the rest of the council. Ezekiel found him less charming, particularly upon finding that his missing trumps were in Dashell’s possession.

Later that evening in a pub in Amber city, the nobles of Amber and Chaos relaxed. Ezekiel managed to turn the folk music of the establishment into something approaching Rock and Roll. As drinks flowed freely everyone took a well earned rest.

And then Prince Brand arrived, with a customary lack of explanation dove into portents of doom and destruction. The Eye of Torment had been removed from Zyth, where it apparently had been being stored and the Wolf was on the move in chaos. According to Brand if something wasn’t done shortly, the houses of chaos would fall. Something needed to be done to stabilize the situation, but before he could explain his plan he became panicked, tossing his pattern blade Werewindle to Sophia and disappearing, leaving a flash of rainbow colors behind.

Concerned with this news, the Council returned to Ironwood with Dashell, intent on staving off disaster by rescuing Merlin from Jesby thus eliminating there hold on Prince Corwin of Amber. Roland and the Council were also convinced that perhaps Delwin was not too terrible a choice to currently reign in Amber. Especially with a son so uninterested in politics…

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Chapter 8 - Resurrection
Log by Brandon

On an island fortress in a red sea the Counsel of Ironwood was formed. For the first time in history Amberites and Chaosites came together and formed an alliance of sorts. There mission, to foster greater cooperation between Amber and Chaos in the dark times ahead. Roland, Wren and Yasmine took positions for Amber, while Sophia, Gilva and Nalath were chosen for the chaos representatives.

One of the counsels first actions was to travel to chaos with the intention of investigating Merlin’s incarceration by house Jesby. After witnessing a duel in Thelbane that proved High Lord Jenroh of Chanicut had not perished in Amber Nalath, Coral and Wren took the opportunity to cast an investigative spell into the Abyss, which was successful in locating one of the Fragments.

With the use of Coral and Wren’s spells the Counsel willingly entered the Fragments. By chance the spell brought them to a disturbing location. A cairn of next to a crater concealed the remains of Prince Brand of Amber, apparently the crater being where Dierdre and he had landed.

As the council investigated the site, Yasmine got word of the location of King Random of Amber who had been missing for some time. Apparently, Amber that had fallen into the Abyss was mostly fallen to the worshipers of the Crow and the Wolf and Random was being held by an unknown party in a section of the city in danger of being overrun.

Retrieving what gear had been abandoned in Amber, the Council along with Princess Fiona followed Yasmine and her agents into the city. Along the way they were accosted by cultists who in a fit of mass suicide summoned what appeared to be the Wolf of Zythanimarius’ religion. Zyth bravely held the Wolf’s attention as the rest of the rescue force continued on, freeing Random from a warehouse. Random was in poor condition so they returned to the castle.

Zyth fared poorly in his encounter with the Wolf, whom had taken a female form. This confused him and he broke a centuries old oath to not harm women, stabbing the Wolf but to no avail. Zyth fled to Prince Martin of Amber who was aiding in the evacuation of the city to a different fragment. The wolf followed and the encounter ended with both Zyth and Martin losing an eye each, but the Wolf was dispelled before it could slay Zyth.

In Amber, Random was rescued but Fiona confided that the Jewel of Judgement was missing and a mystical search by Nalath was begun with the Logrus. In a sock drawer in Zyth’s chambers the Jewel was found in a cunningly locked box. Ezekiel, who had some experience with this sort of thing picked the lock, returning the jewel to Fiona.

With the city nearly fallen, the Council returned to the entrance they had forged into the abyss via trump to return to Chaos. When the Jewel was brought into proximity of the Cairn it unfortunately triggered a mystical trap. Fiona collapsed to the ground apparently asleep, and all those who did not flee shortly followed. The Jewel, flashing red floated to Brand’s remains, which were mystically re clothed in flesh.

The newly resurrected Prince Brand, returned those who had not fled to the Council of Ironwood, and then disappeared Jewel of Judgement in hand.

Thus ends Volume 1 of Tears of the Lost.

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Chapter 7 - A Change of Scenery
-Log by Wren

We return to our heroes to find them ensuing upon a great trek through shadow, led by Lady Wren. Their goal, a place to establish their Embassy.

The shadow walk brought them through many an interesting place. Along the way, a great stone giant was encountered and, with credit going to Lord Myrrdin, convinced to accompany them on their journey. Other shadows were much less hospitable, however, as burning shards of metal rained heavily down upon the group.

Trumps were tested, and it was decided going just a bit closer to Amber would not have been a bad choice, considering the situation at present. However, the shift came at a cost. And that cost was dragons.

Set upon by three black dragons within a shadow with an Amber ocean, our group scattered. Immediately, Coral disappeared from sight, and around Nalath appeared a great, blazing prism in the darkness. Wren, Yazmin and Myrrdin both sought cover behind nearby boulders as mist began to roil outwards, surrounding the group. Lady Sophia took Alvin and rushed towards the native foilage. And Ezekial took the simple option of running.

It was discovered that the dragon flame devoured magic, thus making life in general for any caster quite miserable. And, it was also discovered that the foilage was mobile, and sentient enough to reach for things unfortunate enough to stumble into it. Lady Sophia cleaved her way free, saving Alvin in the process. And between the magic users, Martin and Myrrdin, one dragon was slain, another deciding that an exit was a better plan.

Ezekial however, was much less fortunate. Trapped in a steam vent, he had heat below, and a dragon maw above. A trump was necessary, and he found himself in the great hall of the ‘true’ Amber, in the company of Delwin, Sand, Mirelle, and a chained Llewella. Despite his best attempts to escape, his plans were thwarted, and he was forced to call upon Zythanimaerias for aid. In exchange for their public promise to not oppose Delwin, Delwin let both men go free.

And we leave our heroes in their newly found, dragon-free shadow, the site of the soon-to-be embassy.

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Chapter 6 - A Disease and a Curse

[Log by Sophia]

Exhausted, battered, and in some cases needing medical attention, the party resumed their journey toward the city of Glitter and a source for answers. Sophia joined the expedition and brought them disturbing news of a village of giants near Amber that had been slaughtered, the bodies feasted on by an entire murder of crows and a holographic Zythanimaerius preaching from atop the pile of corpses. Along with her also came the news of increased worshipping of the Wolf and Crow in surrounding villages.

With such unwelcome news the adventurers hastened their way toward Glitter only to be ambushed while pursuing a fleeing Nephilim through one of the circles. The Ambushers, who were professional, had an elven cast to their features and wore grey and burgundy. They were quickly dispatched although not before several of the party were grievously wounded. Several ambushers were able to escape, however one was retained for questioning.

The expedition decided to turn back in order to recover and gather more forces. When they returned to the city, they discovered that the strange blood disease that Zythanimaerius, Myrrdin, and now Wren were afflicted with had spread. Throughout the city the rioting continued as people were became infected and food remained scarce.

The Princess Fiona brought word to the adventurers that walking The Pattern should break the curse that was upon them. It was decided that those of Amber blood would journey to Rebma to try the Pattern there, while the Chaosites traversed the Logrus in the hopes that it would have a similar effect. The Amberites were able to make it to the Pattern room and cleanse themselves of the curse despite the fact that they were discovered and pursued by Delwin’s forces, and despite one terrifying moment for Zeke before Zythanimaerius informed him that he could breathe the water in Rebma.

The party members are currently making their way toward the designated meeting place where they plan to establish a base of operations and formulate a plan of action.

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Chapter 5 - Doomed
-Log by Wren

Mostly prepared to leave, our Amberite and Chaosite adventurers gathered. Some additional measures, Trumps, were discussed, and left to Zyth. However, he found his work post-poned as his companions Tint and Grix took off in an unusual fashion. Following, he discovered a scene that boded ill for both he and the world that they were trapped within. The Crow and the Wolf were coming.

Unaware of Zyth’s bad news, our heroes congregated at the site of the Last Circle, eager to depart and find a way to escape their distant prison. Prince Julian had constructed a walled defense around the Circle, should anything decide to come ‘pay a visit.’ After some final preparations, the group activated the runes, and were gone.

Upon arriving, the party attempted to scout the area, by various means, finding themselves surrounded by mist. Their investigations were stalled when blood began to pour from Zythanimaerius’s eyes, though there was no source for the bleeding. The blood proved to be mystical in nature, as it began to grow and crawl towards each member, attaching itself to Lady Wren and spreading outwards across the ground. It was discovered that Logrus had some sort of effect on it, but in that discovery, Lord Myrrdin too, was afflicted similarly to Zyth, blood streaming from his eyes.

With a look through his mask, Lord Nalath revealed a marker of doom that loomed over both men’s heads. Some drastic preventative measures having been taken, and the situation being mostly under control, it was decided that perhaps it would be best for both Zythanimaerius and Myrrdin to… distance themselves from the others. Just in case, of course.

Local greenery shied away from the Doomed men, and horses would not let them come near, so the two boarded one of Nalath’s brilliant creations, a Greater Filmy, as it was the only mode of transportation that accepted their presence.

Finding the next circle, the group moved on. Well, most of the group, as Myrrdin remained in the Filmy, and thus was left behind. Which, could have fortunate, if not for two events. The first, being the wave of death and decay that assaulted the remainder of the party on the other side. What once was a city was now a morbid graveyard. Bodies were impaled on spikes, days dead. The entire city was desolate, save for the crows that circled overhead.

The second event however, involved Wren and Zythanimaerius, in their attempt to retrieve Myrrdin, who did not come through behind them. Reactivating the circle, the two were assaulted by a force of humanoid bird creatures. And after a vicious, out-numbered fight, the three returned, battered and bloodied, but alive.

Disturbed by the scene of carnage surrounding them, the party did a mass exodus of the city, and were unbothered for some time in their travels. However, Lady Coral, acting as a scout, spied a gruesome scene ahead of them, calling for their pace to increase. What greeted them ahead was a flock of winged women, and two Nephilim playing a nasty game of catch with a young Seraphim boy, his mother left dying on the ground below to watch.

In a great rush, the party descended upon the group. Wren made a dash for the boy and his mother, when Nalath and Coral aimed their attacks upon the two Nephilim. Myrrdin and Ezekial distracted the Harpies, while Lady Yazmin picked off that group from a distance. The rescue attempt was a partial success, the mother dying, and several members of the party being pretty badly battered. Or impaled, in Ezekial’s case.

Separated and exhausted, the party took refuge in a cabin of Nalath’s creation. Their rest was cut far too short however, as Grix rose the alarm, calling that a shadow had come and whisked Zyth away in the night. Confusion settled over the group when Zythanimaerius returned with a freshly broken nose, but no memory of what had happened.

It was decided that security measures were in definite need of strengthening, and that rest was no longer an option. And so now, our heroes continue onward on their trek for Glitter, and a way out of this fragmented world.

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