Random, I shall tell you of me,
In the black night I howled at the burden of a father that was a god.
Was Oberon a god? He thought he was. He told me he was. But I saw the nasty creature bleed.
I tell you all my brothers, you are not gods. You may be archetypes, lodged into a place that trashes the cosmologies of a billion shadow realms but that does not make you gods. It makes you role models; a role you are less prepared for then divinity.
I swing a sword against the futility of Amber and what do I receive in return? Broken chips of stone, gray and black, those tell of all the failures of man, of all the losses of Amberites.
Does Patternfall cleanse your guilt? No. You caused it. Your blood mars it still. Brand may have swung the knife but you are all invested in the culture that drove him to it. If he was frailer of mind or more driven of spirit he has paid his own price in blood. Your turn will come. I have paid much of mine and expect one day to pay more. One day each of you will bleed for the cause. Oberon has seen to it.
I sit here in the snow-covered mountains of Beleriand, a card chosen at random in honor of the king, and I do the king's bidding. What do I write? I write my article of submission, my tome of obedience, my document of adherence. He ordered me to write this if I hoped to be reunited with felicity. I do not have the slightest idea why he thought that was a thing i wanted. I left for good reasons.
Perhaps I have been harsh. Let me be more mild.
Who rants so against Amber?
I am Delwin. I am a true son of Amber, born in wedlock, son of Lora, also known as Harla in Thari, a righteous woman wronged by a bitter and unjust king.
My mother told me on her deathbed not to attack Amber, to leave Oberon alone.
So I let my legions go home and I returned to my painting. My sister fled, angry, into shadow. So now even she is not here to assuage my woe, not that we ever obeyed Oberon's law when we lived under his disapproving scowl.
So I brew myself a pot of dark tea and I mix into it powders that cause sleep.
So I rest. Yet waking I rage anew.
There was a day when the injustice of Oberon could no longer be born and my sister Sand and I left Amber and absented ourselves from our kindred. We emptied our rooms and left Oberon to ask shadow where his queen had gone, leaving him to his chambermaids, his quarrelsome brood, and shadow-whores.
My mother entered a nunnery of the Unicorn. That she could be devout to the end is the only reason I do not dedicate my life to spilling my blood on the primal pattern.
My mother was a good woman. That is the reason she faired so poorly amongst the ladies of the nobility of Amber. She had her intimates. She loved them each deeply. She was visited by some of them in the House of Green Will, the Nunnery of the Unicorn she spent the last years of her life. I will never forget the kindness shown her by Dame Margot, who had served as her Chief Lady in Waiting during her brief reign as Amber's queen. She was charming, friendly, and not apologetic for the shabby way Oberon and his children treated her.
You and Gerard visited her as well. Perhaps in the end it is this act of kindness on your part that brings me back to Amber. Afterwards you and I traveled together for a long while, hitting card-clubs and dance joints till I tired of such places. Does that surprise those of you who read this? In a country called the United States of Antherica is a city; New Velri City, and a place called Neal's Diner that has a great card club down stairs. I got interested in flying planes there and the jet age was just starting. So I found a shadow near by with a similar epoch but a faster timeline. You went off to cast placards against fate and I took to the skies over Korea in sweet little jet fighters. Each to their own.
Mother chose a shadow with a very fast time relationship to amber so that her death would be registered quickly in Amber, and yet she could live out her life in a reasonable amount of time. Sand and I stayed with her till the end. When she died she was adamant with her children. Her last words were, "Strike not at the kingdom for a harm to it will cause uncounted tragedies. The Unicorn does not deserve your hatred and I deserve your obedience. I will sleep, easy, if you obey me in this one last thing. Sand, Delwin, oh my...the light..."
That was it. That was Lora, known as Harla ; Duchess of Gretilion, Countess of Answo, Dame of the Golden Birch, and Queen of Amber. May she cast shadows of wisdom amongst royalty because her husband is unable to do so.
They tell me that he lays with the Ancestors of Darkness. I'll believe it when I see it. I will believe it when I see his cold, dead, corpse. Till then, he merely hides, biding his time to reclaim his throne. Doubt this not my liege.
So. Just so.
What more of me do you want, brother?
I was born in the maternity room at the St. Oberon University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Oberon once told me that to the best of his knowledge I was the only Amberite whose birth was videotaped. Lucky me. Yep, that's me there, all covered in bodily fluids. Thanks pa. I was told that he feared for my mother's health, she being as frail as she was. Sand was the second birth, making me a few minutes older. For reasons not clear Oberon did not video Sand's birth.
I was raised in Castle Amber. My sister Sand and I we the youngest of a brood of creatures to whom kindness is foreign. That others came after, some ages later that were kind surprises me. How Random and Gerard visited a Queen who died before their births is another question.
Still, time and blood and rage has mellowed me, If i am not angry now perhaps it is for the best.
So i lay my sword before thee, Random, and give my fealty.
Prince Delwin of Amber, Duke of Gretilion