Diners of Amber addendum
Diners of Amber Addendum- Conversations from Bleys of Amber-Jeweled Amber Campaign
Here is the Addendums to the Diners of Amber Article. As I got to add more, and found that I might enjoy telling a few tales about places represented on the cards, I decided to go all out and make an additional book.
Included with the addendums about the various locations is a Content Addendum. Such as it is.
When Jeweled Amber had a Geocities page this article was well linked to the Diners of Amber page
Compilation of Locations
|Cards and Places of the King Random's Deck|
|1 The Lighthouse of Cabra||2 Castle Amber||3 Neal's Diner||4 Aglevar's Kitchen||5 Sea View Garden, Amber|
|6 Oracle of Mandalay||7 Gutsedvem||8 Racsir Isle||9 Tombs of Amber||10 Brolic's Tower|
|11 Lou's Market||12 Braldig's Tinkery||13 Vine River||14 Wala Heights, Taxorami||15 Mandalay|
|16 Castle Arden||17 Adrian's Dramaturgy||18 Vale of Rocks||19 Phil's Diner||20 Church of the Unicorn|
|21 Jeweled Road, Diega||22 Halzir, Taxorami||23 Berlin Train Station||24 Vale of Flowers||25 Big Tree|
|26 Braldu's Retreat||27 Oracle of Drisna||28 Calrabon, Eurth||29 Salisgir, Unari||30 Fantalin, Thelusia|
|31 Ang Ri||32 Beleriand||33 Falri, Mandalay||34 Fane of Zila||35 Ganras Galleries, Vies|
|36 King's Retreat||37 Gerard's Hunting Lodge||38 Oracle of Night||39 Tower of Grief||40 Tir Mar Gala|
|41 Moondance Cafe||42 Rebma||43 Sardis, Ny, NY||44 Gugenhiem, NY, NY||45 Footman's Garage. Ny.Ny|
|46 Alrus, Begma||47 Church of the Serpent||48 Lighthouse of Hiemnal||49 The Garden||50 Vulsar Base|
|51 Jack Rabbit Slim's||52 Domain of the King Bar & Grill||53 Milliways||54 St. Masvir of Arkens Links||55. The Stone of Skulls|
|56 Willie's Tavern||57. Camelot||58. Field of Gold||59. Twilight||60 Nu Yark, Nu Yark|
|61. Moins||62 Forever Gate||63. Paris||64 Vagalorat||65. Temple of Resolve|
|66. Tomb of the Ancestor's of Darkness||67. Rebmaras||68. Calmir||69. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon||70. Gilley's Club|
|71. The Newsstand.||72. Frank's Burgers||73. La Bisalta||74. Mc Hood's Roadhouse||75. The Blighted Land|
|76. Hasik Station||77.Lisel’s Teahouse||78. Talosaril||79.Adzikis in Winter||80. Café Americana|
|81. Kizabat, Ancona||82. The Mall at Caladoon||83. Red Dog Hall||84. Oz||85. Big Tanax|
1 The Lighthouse of Cabra
' Castle Amber
Neal's Diner, New Velri City, Ruthar, United States of Antherica
I was speaking to Sergeant Garry Gavno, a Calro member of the elite Amber Guard, and a frequent pattern guardian, about Neal's Diner. He gave me the scoop on what they did to Sveldt.
The story is that Constance Kieln, a very tough Dreanan man of the House of Brolic, despite the name, who holds the rank of Captain in the Amber Guard, was one of the first Amber Guards man to do service under Random at the card club beneath Neal's. He was a sergeant then. He and several guys got the tattoo on their upper arm, and Sveldt thought it a very funny little device.
At a later time, while getting some other tattoo work done, Sveldt made his little insult. Constance dragged Sveldt directly to Amber, to the compound that the Amber Guard calls home. 30 guys, led by Julian, took him deep into shadows where monsters dwell and beat the living hell out of him for a couple months. They put a band of healing on him and fed him to a passel of lions and tigers and bears, oh my, who could rip him to pieces but not fast enough to keep the healing band from repairing him. So they ripped him up as fast as he healed for about a month. They then unceremoniously dumped him back at home, short three days.
That is as good an object lesson as I can imagine for those who desire to cross the Amber Guard.
Also, Dreanans do not take insults well. Dour bunch they are.
Sea View Garden, Amber
The breakfast nook of Amber....
Sea View Gardens casts shadows of elegance. It is Flora's crowning achievement. Each of us are archetypes and this is the expression of hers. The floral displays are exquisitely balanced for height, thickness, color combinations and scent. The food is a complex menu spanning simple fair such as bagels, cream cheese and lox, cold cereal, and oatmeal to crescents, crepes, and mind-boggling other concoctions common across shadow.
Some piece of minor sorcery and structural design do keep it fairly difficult to eavesdrop.
There is a piece of etiquette that has developed in Sea View that bears mention. While one may see a vast number of people at Sea View one does not walk up and just talk to them. First one catches the eye of the person you would have conversation with then make a tiny gesture, a quarter twist of a hand, indicating you would like to approach and sit. The response in the affirmative is for the respondent to motion with of opening and closing an upturned palm. A negative response is back and forth sweeping motion with the hand. The only counter to a negative response is to rudely ignore the desires of the respondent.
Flora is very unhappy about the fact that a number of conflicts have broken out here harming the flowers.
By the way, thinking that Sea View Gardens is a better shortcut into Castle Amber then arriving through the Castle Amber trump is a bad idea. While you may get away with it once or twice, because Flora does not stock violent toys in abundance, it should be noted that Flora is often here holding court, and she is not someone to piss off. There is also a fair chance that the diners on the verandah might be violently annoyed if their lunch is disturbed. Fair warning.
The Oracle of Mandalay
I ought to snicker. Really.
Imagine putting this card in the deck. Its an instigation to get lost in shadow and never return. I only mentioned a few places i liked before but don't just look them up. This is a world. It has cities, realms, wildlife, forests, oceans, islands, and millions of people that fled other realms to live here with the tens of millions of natives.
Everyone here seems to have found their 'niche'. Unlike most worlds this place somehow subtly directs people onto the correct path to achieve whatever it is that is their heart's desire. It means that if you wanted to be an architect you become one, if you want to be in the circus you do it. If you love sex you end up a sex worker in one of thousands of establishments in this world where such work is respected. If you want to do nothing all day, you win one of the million lotteries, win big at poker, get a huge settlement, or otherwise get your hands on big money.
This is a black zone world though. There is a fair turnover in roles here and death occurs. There are gladiatorial games, wizards duels, and drag races.
There is a elaborate gladiatorial combat system that is an obsession on this world. It also spills out into Chaos. Topping this is a group of 150 Lords of the Games who gain their seats by a bloody death. A complex ranking system leads one from the lowest levels of Warriors fighting in clubs all over the world to Gladiators, fighting in regional arenas to Lord Gladiators fighting in the Main arena in Guro, Gutsedvem.
I am a Lord Gladiator until i decide which of the 150 Lords of the Games i want to kill. After that, well, this is a BZTP world after all.
For more on the Gladiatorial League see the tome Harness of Blood
The Tombs of Amber
Mirelle turns out to be plenty alive despite the wishes of the sons of Rilga. Deirdre turns out to have survived her plunge into the abyss but was so traumatized that her mind was damaged. She now holds the form of the wolf and is bonded with Fleece. I could make doggie-style jokes I suppose but let us just take them as read. Brand is alive too, and in distress deep in the abyss. Gosh, what a pity. I no longer believe that Finndo and Osric are dead but I have no proof to the contrary.
Eric is still dead. I checked.
I recently purchased a little plot of land on the slope of Kolvir. Well, purchased is not the right word, but you know what I mean. I am currently designing my own tomb. Corwin had the right of it. It is always best to be prepared.
New News. Yes, Osric and Finndo are both alive. Amberites are tough to keep dead. Even the dead ones have their plans.
More Good News: Brand is footloose and fancy free. can no on rid me of this troublesome brother.
I am not sure calling these Tombs is appropriate. Call them abstract portraits in stone.
I was not going to talk about the Brolics, also called the Dreanans, but since Dworkin has me going to all the trouble of creating a whole new volume I guess I can heap some shit on my least favorite Golden Circle Kingdom.
Dreana, ruled by the House of Brolic, tends to breed true a depressingly hostile mindset. The world itself is heavily forested. Wood is one of their main exports.
Dreana provides something like 1/20th of the military of Amber, enough to make them a common presence in Amber. They are a fair skinned, dark-haired race as a rule with a shocking blotch of blue hair every so often. They have a heavy distinctive brow and a tendency towards square jaws. Their eye colors tend to change on a monthly basis based on the individual's current food intake. Weird. The Blue, those with blue hair, have deep light blue eyes, a more elfin stature, dramatically better balance and eye-hand coordination. Someone mated with something different somewhere in the ancient past. Dreanans tend to encourage the Blue to travel offworld.
They are fiercely pro-amber, and rumor has flown for a thousand years that the kings of Dreana, Lords of House Brolic, would jump like a cat if a Grand Ducal coronet were ever dangled before them. Trading in the royal crown of Dreana for an Amberian Grand Ducal coronet might make them citizens of Amber but it won't make them any more pleasant. Apparently the sticking point involves details of fealty and the acts of submission required to convert a sovereign realm into a part of the Kingdom of Amber. It figures that it would take a thousand years to get the Dreanans to bend q knee.
A disproportionate number of Dreanans become sergeants in the Amber military because they want to pick fights so often they need muzzles and the officer corp can provide this. The run-of-the-mill Dreanan is boring, loudly depressing, loudly pessimistic, mean-spirited, combative, and miserly. They rarely go in for the arts because they tend to be stupid and uncreative too.
If this seems a bit harsh then you go check them out yourself. Better yet, consider the following.
They export a dazzling variety of raw gems because the people in this shadow never developed the craft of stone cutting or adornment. Thus gems have no value in Dreana except as export items. After 12,000 years they still have not got the idea that gems look cool, and make great additions to daggers, crowns, rings, and other pretty things. Not that they would notice; 'Pretty' is lost on them. They have no tradition of jewelry beyond crowns and circlets, signet rings and household badges, unit insignia and pilgrims tokens. They wear crowns and circlets but they are nearly all the same. There are 12 levels in the Dreanan aristocracy and each level has a distinctive style of coronet. All dull, all plain, all made from silver. In a shadow with massive amounts of Mithril, far beyond normal proportions, these people make their circlets out of common silver.
I personally believe the reason the Dreanan's have not joined the Kingdom of Amber is that they can't figure out how to divest themselves of the 12th step of their coronets. I once had an argument about this with the King of Dreana. He refused to understand that he could simply start calling the King's Crown, the Grand Duke's Coronet. I pointed out to him that the Ducal Coronet and the King's Crown top the Dreanan scale of 12. He could swear fealty and then the ducal coronet and the Grand Ducal coronet would top the Dreanan scale. He argued that it was called the King's Coronet and asked how could he call it anything else. I asked if he wanted it to be a princely Coronet but he pointed out that the Dreanan scale does not recognize the rank of prince, except as a non-Dreanan rank. I wanted to shoot myself to end the argument but gunpowder does not work in Amber.
The crack about not recognizing princely rank made me think he was insulting me but you can usually tell when a Dreanan is insulting you because their lips quiver and they start throwing punches. I think he was just being stupid. I give them this; they don't go in for long drawn-out shouting matches. If they generate the brainpower to insult you they are ready to fight and throw the first punch. I hate to admit that this is one of the virtues I admire in the dreary dreanans.
The Dreanan social system allows advancement but is as rigid as any caste system in all shadow. As any historian will tell you, caste systems lead to social and technological stagnation and a lack of incentive to improve living conditions, develop medical advances, and expand mercantile activity. They also devalue historical study leading to 'unsound' historiography and a development of religious systems based on mythic characters. That’s the Dreanans to a tee!
I think the House of Brolic eventually conquered this world because someone in Brolic said, "Hey, lets make our duke's coronet a little bigger than everyone else's!" Thus are nations created in the stupid shadows.
They use the Amber currency system because despite vast gold, silver, and Mithril reserves, they never developed a metal-based currency or a currency of any form. Before Oberon and Finndo came to this shadow regional warlords stole whatever they wanted from each other and raided the subsistence farmers for their chow.
Understandably they do not go in heavily for mercantile trades and have developed a practice of hiring Calro merchants to sell their wares. In 12,000 years they have not gained the talent of double entry bookkeeping.
The Calro who have served the Brolics over the millennia have made themselves unbelievably rich, husbanding resources with skill, and flooding Amber markets from time to time. One must admire the Calro who have created this immense fortune at the same time that one can shake one's head about casting pearls before swine.
A brief comment on money and the Dreanans. Since the usual Dreanan is confused at best about money and oblivious to it at worst, you can cheat a dreanan outrageously. You can charge nearly anything you want for worthless junk and most dreanans will pay it. You can convince them a one room apartment in the harbor district of the city is worth the same as a manor in the hills because its close to the water and the water is great. Despite having vast amounts of mithril in their world they frequently mistake mithril ingots for silver ingots and pay for a bottle of Bayle's with mithril. They don't even think of asking for change or saying something to the bartender like; "Start me a tab." I know this having seen it done. I told the bartended to start the Amber guardsman who made the mistake a tab. A couple of months later heard that the same guard was shocked to be asked for payment despite having drunk 'for free' for months. I laughed so hard i gave the establishment a very large amount of mithril and told them to never charge the man again.
However. The Dreanans are not all stupid. Remember, shadow has vast diversities. If you are cheating one and they say something like, "Hey, i think you are cheating me." Flee immediately. If they figured it out that far, you have only a moment to escape before they lay hands on you and pummel you to pulp. Conmen beware, the Dreanans are willing to beat you senseless and take the punishment for lawbreaking if they think you needed killing. They don't kill lightly though. If you cheat them they may only break your arm bones. Each and every one. Each and every one every time they see you, for the next thousand years. Persistent and determined are our dour friends in brown and blue.
There are no native musical styles. The people of this shadow never conceived of a need to record the legends of their ancestors in any format other than long, dreary, unbelievable recitations of facts, odd magical occurrences, and gossip. No bardic performers, musicians, or minstrels, theater or drama, Dreanan histories read like laundry lists and are heavy on genealogy, light on details. Off-shadow historians classify Dreanan histories as 'unsound'; a technical term for worthless.
The history of Dreana is so crammed with vicious warfare that the architecture of the world developed a siege mentality that is unbelievably stout. The Tower of Brolic is but one example of thousands of incredibly stout fortresses, albeit the pinnacle of such edifices. This is what brought Oberon and Finndo to this shadow in the first place. They were looking for theories of castle construction and they sought in shadow for a place where local conditions created strong fortifications. Once Oberon and Finndo found a household they could manipulate they helped the vicious weasel in charge of it to conquer the world. This was the great Duke Agnot Brolic; a more miserable bastard 'sound' histories have rarely documented.
A note to the Dreanans who read this. There are beginner classes in business theory and trade at most of shadows universities. Universities are those places people go to learn things. I mention this because the Dreanan have no universities themselves. Education is a family affair and many families never bother. Some ship their kids off-world to get an education, especially if they are Blue.
To their credit, most dreanans sent offworld to attend universities never return home to live. They may visit home, or gain posting in the Dreanan embassies in the GCST worlds, but any Dreanan smart enough to survive college and avoid the military realizes how miserable their homeland is and spends much of the rest of their lives staying away from it. Dreanan ex-patriots have done well in many different endeavors including, art, business and science showing that despite their origins these people are intelligent, and capable after a little eye-opening experience. Even some that have not had such enlightenment have done well and raised to the command levels of the Amber Military.
Dworkin told me once that the problem with this world has more to do with the parameters that Oberon and Finndo used to find the place. That they looked for a place that siege-mentality had dominated the growth of the people in the shadow. Sure, blame it on cosmology.
Maybe the Dreanans can be forgiven for their dour ancestry but not for failing to adapt over the 12 thousand local years since the House of Brolic signed the GCST in 1202.
I mean come on guys. Bang some sticks together and pick up the beat. Even military music would be an improvement.
Lou's Market, New Orleans, Earth
Braldig is a great guy as long as you have a strong stomach and a steady nerve. It is rumored that Braldig is a shadow of Dworkin. Figures. Aries Colbresi, Dean of Treasures at Fantalin and holder of the Oberon Professorial, a powerful sorcerer and one of the most benevolent and capable minds in Amber's service, is also known to be a direct shadow of Dworkin. Makes ya wonder, eh kinsman?
Erasmus has one of the greatest Constant action machines in existance. But not the only one by far. Just the greatest one built a piece at a time. Others i have found are bigger, but came in to being by the forces of chaos and creation.
Add this in the region of new data discovered by Sweet-as-Vinegar Maylon Hendrake and her bloody Heirs and Spares genealogy of Dworkin. It turns out that Josef, born Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain, is a son of Oberon. Imagine that. And while his allegiance to Amber is in place his trump shows the green bar of those in the sway of Mandalay. Dworkin assures me this has more to do with Vine River's location in shadow than Josef's personal allegiance. Sure. He has a blood son as well, Red Cloud.
Wala Heights, Taxorami
Mandalay.. hmmm. Its a dare. Adrien turns out to be a son of Oberon and a long time resident of Chaos. He has contacts deep in shadow and some kind of affinity with the natural forces of shadow, apart of the sentient ones that seem to take care of themselves. I hesitate to call him the Arch-druid of Amber but the term is not far from the mark. Adrien is part of some deep game from the beginnings of the creation of Amber and i can't get Oberon of Dworkin to tell me a damn thing about it.
Julian and I have made some peace, as have many of my siblings, since Patternfall. So let me temper my comment on Castle Arden. I do understand the need for security.
I do check my cup when he hands me a drink. I trust he won't poison me, but i don't think he is beyond putting a scorpion in it or a freeze-stone. Haha... Who knew he had a sense of humor? I think its a mark of the success of Random's reign that we elders are starting to be comfortable enough to play practical jokes on each other again.
This entry will be unusual and hopefully helpful.
I ran into a group of Rahz Ferso fans in the Harbor district of Amber. Outside Thin Whip's actually. They had read my article and came after me to avenge Ferso's killing. Frankly i am surprised he has fans that can read, little lone find their way to Amber. 8 of these guys though they could kill a Prince of Amber. SO i scattered them across shadow in veils with the most diverse natural laws i could imagine. If any of them find their way back I'll squire them..
Vale of Rocks
Recently Random knighted Phil for his service to Amber. Our monarch sure loves his cheesecake.
The Church of the Unicorn, Amber
Jeweled Road, Cantal, Diega
I recently spoke to Benedict about this card and he said something amusing. That he said something amusing about anything is worth mentioning.
He said he thought the card to the Jeweled Road is in the deck so Random can find his way home when drunk.
Another strange thing about the card is that its fast. Really fast. Most place trumps open a gate in a few moments that you have to walk through. This card pops open with a snap and almost draws the viewer in. If one is wounded, drunk, disoriented, or distracted you can glance at this card, almost casually, and it pops open a narrow path and sucks you in. I discovered this recently and was amazed at the deck having something so useful.
It has recently been pointed out to me that in both the regular notation on this card and in the above Addendum entry i failed to actually comment on the road itself, thus making the reader curious about it. This has caused a great deal of research and paranoia. Usually reading while paranoid is amusing but i am assured that enough real conspiracies exits in Amber that creating the illusion of one concerning such a massive thing as the Jeweled Road is just mean.
So hear me all yee searchers of woe.
The Jeweled Road is a massive construct stretching from Amber to Chaos.
Through out shadow exist an innumerable variety of shadow trails created by equally innumerable methods. Most of my siblings in our youth spent some time traveling to create a network of trade routes in to and out of Amber. Some of these travel to and from Golden Circle worlds, some to places where we find items of worth in Amber. A similar situation exists in the Black Zone worlds. Also, enclaves of multidimensional connected worlds have webs of roads that can be traveled in a dizzying number of ways.
Basically, there were a lot of roads.
Next was a massive project begun at the behest of a young monarch of Amber, our Good King Random, to bring Amber the Nation out of the dark ages into at least the renaissance. This included a massive re-pavement program and an upgrading of services project featuring the creation of an extensive sewer system, running water plumbing and resurfacing of the streets and highways of amber with puzzled stone. All the streets of Amber were covered by puzzled stone well out into shadow and as far as Diaga. Houses were retrofitted with flush toilets and running hot and cold water. Sea routes were dredged. Streets were lighted by glow globes that required no maintenance. Cities created after Patternfall, the most notable being Garn, bear little resemblance to Amber save in kitschy architectural allusions, and street names. Garn looks more like a well conceived and planned Los Angeles than the magically created quaint fairytale city like Amber. Puzzled roads were part of their building as were magically produced electricity and advance plumbing.
Toll stations were established, as were frequent tiny villages just to help the weary traveler. Inns, taverns, repair stations as well as vehicle depots to help travelers from one tech level move his cargo along into another. I have enjoyed seeing computer parts being shipped by oxen teams...
So then comes Ygg, Adrian, and the Mark of Mandalay.
All acts of grand creation change things in unexpected ways. The Jeweled Road was one of these. The Mark of Mandalay was made using a number of different colored stones crushed to powder and used as a material component. Amber had just been repaved in highly puzzled stones. The powers of creation dragged these two things together and pulled on the road systems throughout shadow and created one long highway with Mandalay in the middle, and a massive Vales on either side of it.
So now many of the shadow trails have tendrils to the Jeweled Road and hence to Mandalay, Amber and Chaos. Sorcerers and drovers, merchants and corporations that had limited access to a few neighbor worlds now can trade their wares in the big cities.
The road itself is 30' wide and impervious to most damage. It can't be pried up, blown up, or bitten off. The time ratio is fast too. The little villages and way stations are at the same time ratio. Its as if the travelers can take a leisurely trip and lose nearly no time getting to whatever off ramp they are trying to get to.
I commented on how willing the card is, drawing the viewer in. Once there they can get to places of healing and commerce fast or slow, at their choice. They can also use whatever travel method they like till they exit the road onto local traffic. So if you pick up a load of teak planking and transport it on a diesel 18 wheeler you can drive it from Jakarta all the way to Zilla or Amber before having to transfer the load to local conveyance. Neat Trick..
The road can be walked from Amber to Mandalay in 10 days. From Mandalay to Chaos in 5 days. It takes 2 days to clear Mandalay. Call it 17 days from Amber to Chaos on foot if you avoid being distracted. 10 days by Horse. A good Hellride can make it in 5 days but the rider will be a wet mess by the time the ride is finished. A casual trip might take a month. Now everyone can make the trip. Lucky us.
The Berlin Train Station
Vale of Flowers
One quick comment on the Vale of Flowers. When the Jeweled Road was created at the time of the
I just learned something about this place. The only way for magic to work in this realm is if you are wearing the Jewel of Judgment! Nice Trick, my liege. Of course discovering that was an uncomfortable surprise for me.
I recently discovered that this shadow has a cosmological oddity worth noting.
Braldu's is meant as a place of rest, and sleep is one of the most common activities. It is also a place of solitude. For some reason it is also a place immune to boredom. The nature of the realm is that what ever you choose to do with your time you really enjoy it and get plenty of relaxation out of it. Bodily functions move toward peak performance. If you are hugely fat and come here to exercise you really enjoy it, get maximum relaxation, and the time it takes to burn the fat is nearly cut to a 1/20th of the time.
If you come to read you can devour tome after tome without rest. If you came to paint then your mind tosses up visions that simply must be transferred to canvas.
After it all you feel like you have been asleep for months and had just woken up refreshed and ready to face the day, month, or year.
Pretty clever. Nice place to do magical research.
Oracle of Drisna
More and more I find myself thinking a lot went on before I was born that no one bothered to tell me about. The restaurant called Oberon's Fire is significantly named. It is not simply an homage to Oberon. It seems during his nasty-stomping days a huge bunch of nasties almost got the better of Old Oberon and the boys. They had to fight tooth and nail against a massive number of beasts and in the end Oberon was forced to use the Jewel of Judgment as a fire focus to destroy them. He was young though and the power of the jewel got away from him. Nice to know he was not always perfect.
So he became a immolated burning torch as the jewel fought to consume him and he fought to extinguish the fire. To quench it he threw himself into a massive pool of water, which burst into steam. The fire of the Jewel of Judgment was scoured off Oberon and remained in the pit. It has remained there ever since, never flickering. So the meat cooked over the massive barbecue pit is prepared by master chefs who know how to cook meat over a primal fire drawing its fuel directly from the Jewel of Judgment across vast expanses of shadow-veils. Cool trick. Nice fire.
By the way. Oberon's Fire is run by a great man named Aggus Fet Arman. He is a great guy and a cook of unparalleled talents. He has been a general in the armies of Calrobon and served at Patternfall leading troops. He retired to take up full time his hobby of cooking. he is an amazing cook...
He has an aged pepper sauce that is possibly the best condiment in shadow. Many a lady of Amber has rolled her eyes when someone mentions it in conversation, since it tends to distract the attention of all the male in attendance, who consider it some sort of holy material. I don't know if its holy, but its worth the attention. Its a sort of, well, it tastes like.. uh... well... its a pepper sauce of the blackish red variety. What it contains is a state secret that Aggus Fet Arman guards with his life. I once heard him say he didn't even make it on Calrabon.
Hmmmm a clue....
29. Salisgir, Unari
This idyllic place has fallen out of favor of late. The association with Doria has soured its romantic appeal. There are a number of small private shrines here. Most to the unicorn of course. It was at one of these shrines Doria committed suicide. Luckily while she died, her death was not a final one.
Trust Dory to ruin a perfectly good paradise.
Just a tad on the geography of this realm because one of the cousins, Vance of course, made a trip there and did something unusual. He brought his companion, not unusual, and two jet speeders with their camping gear. It had never occurred to me, nor anyone else it seems, to explore more then a few days horse ride from the spot the card delivers you.
The Great Gorge is certainly the most well known place. Within 500 miles of it on either side is a east/west ridge of vast waterfalls. Above it is a lush plain stretching further then we cared to explore when love was on our minds. It seems that a thousand miles north of the divide is a mighty lake, fed by an even greater snowy mountain range. This volcanic range dumps lava north, melting the snow that falls year round. A very dynamic water system, a friend of mine told me when i described it.
This lake blooms a dozen rivers each miles across to flow down toward the Divide. They splinter into smaller streams that create the waterfalls.
South of the divide is the verdant forests, woodlands, and meadows that we have all come to love and to love in. Six hundred miles to the south the rivers start reuniting as they bunch into a vast collections of lakes braced by a third ridge of low mountains and hills. These are more rock-piles then mountains and they trickle the water down to a beach unlike any i had seen before. They show an active water system having washed away light soil from hard stone.
A new areas for fun have been found.
The Beach is about 2000 miles long and at most 20 miles deep from the Third range to the crystal blue sea. The rives flow into the ocean creating fresh water trickles into a lightly salty sea. The beaches vary between white, gray, blue, pink, coral, golden, and black sands. Its very impressive.
What Vance found was a region of numerous white water rapids of great complexity from the First ridge to the Second Ridge. He and i recently ran a few and i think i may start charting the good ones.
The rock climbing at the Third Ridge is challenging as well for freehand work. There are caves worth exploring in all three Ridges.
And of course the beach.
When Vance and I showed all this to Random his comment was "There goes the neighborhood"
For centuries that we elders knew of it an informal rule has been build nothing permanent here. Tent, yurts, Tippies, Vardo wagons, and such were the norm if more then a blanket was needed. Random has codified this now. He has rulled no digging, not building, except for Unicorn shrines.
I think he knows something we don't.
There is a tavern called Bent Copper's Drop, near the White River in Fantalin. It is a college tavern. I could tell you some stories about that place, believe you me.
I would like to write those tales out, but i tear to think of them. Days of youth when you believed in impossible things like truth, justice, loyalty, honor, majesty, duty, and spoke deep pacts against anyone who soiled these things. But in time they were soiled. All of them. Truth is in the eye of the beholder, justice can be bought, betrayal has a market value, honor falters, kings are just men, duty is as much an anchor as a it is wings, and pacts can be negotiated if you know the right wizard.
So we grow out of such belief in absolutes and accept that these things exist not as glowing points, but as points on a tape measure. Things with starts and conclusions. Hopefully, things that can be regained. Then in our elder days we come to believe in them again, but this time, with a touch of wisdom, and a sad smile for those in the first bloom of youth, clutching these ideals to their breasts.
Above is the original,below is the New.
I recently had to go here for purposes not necessarily pertinent to this article. Once there I went through a series of trials and tribulations which included an encounter with a weapon-master. This guy used a weapon he called a Deathwheeler. It was a pike on the back end, and on the front business end was three rows of curved knives. 4 curved up and forward, 4 curved down and backward, 4 in the center curved right and 4 in the center curved right. A pike point stuck straight forward. The knives spun somehow. The damn thing looked deadly as all heck. They have ones that don't magically spin. They have armies using it. Scary...
It figures on of us would find this place.
On the topic of Travel Guides and fictional characters.
Doria was the main person disadvantaged by the use of these books. But others are there too. Some people are collecting the various versions of us and trying to figure out which ones were most accurate. Many of us have hunted down these books and devised defenses accordingly. Be forewarned.
Fane of Zila
The Fane of Zila turns out to have some very tricky rules and the place is massive in the extreme. It is a disorganized mishmash of cathedrals, basicilas, and churches. It seems that the forces of chaos and shadow casts a powerful shadow of the finest examples of each religion's temple into the fane. This means that even if a prime temple is destroyed it's shade is here. That does not mean the mad priests of Zila can't go adding and changing things. Some forgotten temple, massive in size was taken by the priests of Zila and converted to the Cult of Amber. When Chaos legalized the Amber cults, they inadvertently added a massive basilica, originally a Temple of Benedict created in shadow, that now houses the great Amber Cults. This has had some strange effects on shadow and I am afraid to say it may be making gods of us all.
I think I will take some time to decide if this is a good thing.
Ganras Galleries, Vies
Oh, the things that I could say about this place! Let us just say this is a very chatty place, filled with very chatty people, who have sources of information from Budapest, to Peking, to Los Angeles, to Johannesburg. They also have contacts from Amber to Avalon, Mandalay to Chaos.
Since most Amberites are familiar with earth history, being frequent guests there, it happened like this.
Napoleon demolished Europe by 1805. Ignoring Russia he sent armies to take Scandinavia just to get people used to the cold. After this every soldier in his army learned to deal with cold weather and eventually were able to invade Russia, from Finland, if you can believe it, and conquer Russia in 1812.
This meant that by 1815 everything in Europe from the Orkneys and Ireland to Italy and the Low Countries, Russia to Spain and Portugal was now France. Not subject nations, they were provinces of France with new, or at least, renamed aristocracy.
Africa was not very organized anyway so all it took was some missionaries, some assassinations and a judicious use of patronage and military might to take Africa from Cairo to the Cape of Good Hope. An impressive act of barbarism paired with the acquisition of an impressive Grand Duke made short work of Africa. Napoleon met a young Shaka Zulu in 1807. Soon the young man was a colonel of the French Army, fighting in Algiers and Egypt. In 1816 when Shaka's father died he went to take control of the Zulu nation. He took along about 20,000 seasoned French/Algerian instructors and enough weaponry to destroy any stone age people that reared their ugly heads. Within 15 years the Zulu, loyal French citizens everyone, had conquered Africa and Shaka Zulu was not only a Marshal of France but a Prince of the realm.
With Europe, Africa, and Russia to draw troops, China, southeast Asia, and Australia had little hope but the acquisition of Feudal Japan in 1819 was a serious blow to the future of Asia. Japan had roundly trounced most of China, Southeast Asia, and had nearly exterminated the Australian aborigines by the time Russia/French/Zulu troops arrived Peking in 1825. By 1830 dissident movements had been squashed, transportation issues dealt with and the standard of living in Europe, Africa and Asia was uniform and high.
From 1806 French spies had been fomenting disunion in the United States and with French support the Confederate Army rose in 1832. This death blow to the United States meant that Canada, Mexico, and the United States were divided into 8 separate regions and were completely pacified by 1839.
South America fell in 6 months. Moving troops around and visiting all the new provinces there took Napoleon 2 years. It was in Panama, where he laid out the plans and dug the first shovel full of dirt on a future canal, that he caught malaria and died.
It didn't matter. He had a son ready, a grandson in uniform, and a great-grandson in diapers.
It especially didn't matter that he died because he didn't. He merely rejoined Benedict's General Staff. The fix was in from the start.
Polynesia is still a hold out but so little government lives there than it is not worth mentioning. Besides, they need some place to send troops for practical experience.
Gerard's Hunting Lodge
Oracle of Night
Hale thee to the Oracle of Night. There to find fates bitter path and red the river runs.
Tower of Grief
Tir Mar Gala
Do not come here if you are evading escape and want a place to plan. You fall directly into a dreamless slumber once the stair fades away.
Sardi's, New York, New York
The Gugenhiem, NY, NY
Footman's Garage. Los Angeles
46 Alrus, Begma
47 Church of the Serpent
48 Lighthouse of Hiemnal, Kashfra
49 The Garden
At the time of the writing of this part of the article the Ambassador of Chaos was Despil of Hendrake and Sawall. He is a genial, friendly man, genuinely pleasant and complementary not to mention very funny with a kingsize sense of humor. He served as ambassador to Amber from the brink of Patternfall,5200, to 5253, when he was replaced by the lemon-bitter Maylon Hendrake. Despil was treated shabbily by chaos who deemed him to have become to comfortable in Amber. They believed he had 'gone native.'
Of course he and his mad brother Jurt abjured their fealty to Chaos in the Hendrake Cult Hall of Benedict and swore fealty to Random and Amber. So I guess they were right.
Random and Maylon are not in the habit of sharing coffee at Sea View.
50 Vulsar Star Base
51 Jack Rabbit Slim's
52 Domain of the King'
'53: Milliways-The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
54. St. Masvir of Arkens Links
This addendum is written after a grueling game of golf between Adrian and Random. I was Random's caddy,
55. The Stone of Skulls
56 Willie's Tavern
Why this card is in the deck I do not understand. Personally I think it is a threat.
58. Field of Gold
60 Nu Yark, Nu Yark
This is the second city of Rebma. The Kid Sister of Rebma.
62 Forever Gate
65. Temple of Resolve
66. Tomb of the Ancestor's of Darkness I'm not kidding. Not teasing. Don't go here.
The Primal Realm of Calmir and the Kangular of Calmir
The Primal Realm of Calmir was created in the dim ancient drapes of time in the unchallenged Chaos and stood for uncounted eons.
Calmir was a royal realm lead by a High Lord. 9 High Lords ruled Calmir during its tenure. As the enemy of Chaos it drew the numerous attacks throughout its life. The capital city of Calroos was a grand city of 3 milllion inhabitants in a rich culture that survived for many generations.
The Kangular, the primal construct of the realm, cast 512 eigenstates out from its center. Adapts of the Kangular were able to time travel down the pathways of the eigenstates. Adapts were not able to time travel in Chaos, nor in Paragon, nor, most likely, in Amber. Although the lives of Calmir and Paragon did overlap, both realms had been long destroyed before Dworkin's creation of Amber.
The Dominion of Calmir spread down 175 eigenstates from their earliest births to their ends. It spread down 159 in one form or another. The Soldiers of the Dominion were familiar sights in many other realms..
Chaos brought jealous bloody red war to the eigenstates and a vast, vain, proud, treacherous and in the end futile war took place.
In the end. High Lord Swayvil of Chaos, having slain the High Lord, and most of the princes and princesses of Calmir in battle, dragged the dying High Lady Escheziria over the Kangular and sacrificed her. This darkened the kangular, dropping the eigenstates, killed billions to the billionth power of inhabitants and ending the Primal Realm of Calmir.
The last surviving son and the last surviving Daughter of Calmir survived by hiding in Paragon during the final event. Ranvir Calmir, youngest son of Ganruuk and Kubresea Calmir and his sister, Laeessas, hid first in Paragon till it fell then fled into the Abyss steps away from pursuing chaos lords. With the rise of Amber they snuck into Amber and hid amongst its shadows. First in the shadows nearest Chaos, being familiar in many ways to them, till they discovered the existence in the shadows of Amber realms that were similar to the fallen realms of Calmir.
The Kangular of Calmir
The Kangular is a primal construct. Created in the dimmest early days of Chaos. It is a construct that casts shadows along a finite path of possibilities. 512 basic frame eigenstates radiate out from the Kangular. Off each basic frame are a vast number of offshoots caused by traumatic events within the realm or by the actions of those attuned to the Kangular.
Adapts of the Kangular can travel back and forward in the timeline of the eigenstate. Can detect offshoots and travel into them. They can back off time around them to a very small degree. General actions near them personally, Assults, accidents. Many Kangular adapts skilled in alchemy and sorcery use the time effect to reverse effects caused in research.
69. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
70. Gilley's Club
71. The Newsstand. This place has a vast collection of periodicals despite the rise of different types of more accessed media. If you must you can link in your tech devices for a small fee. Among this plethora of magazines are a series of comics called graphic novels. They are a step between comic books and novels designed for people who can read but like the pretty pictures better. The availability of certain titles in the serialized works is spotty at best. Just as well. Among them I recently found a title called “The Red Prince.” Disturbingly they turned out to be a comic based on my own recent adventures. Now I know the whole deal about fiction/travel guides. And I know that many of our adventures find their way into fiction works in shadow. But I am not comfortable to have them available to collector at some place you can get to by trump.
Is there no privacy?
72. Frank's Burgers
73. La Bisalta
74. Mc Hood's Roadhouse
Gunpowder and Steam Locomotion. Tallin Gum and Wind Power. Sandill and Flow Crust.
Its all the same. Weapons and movement of cargo. Its about the confluence of violence and commerce. Everywhere you go. Guns make the trains run faster.
75. The Blighted Land
Caine brought me here once. He said he wanted to find a world that had taken consumerism and militarism to the extremes. Someplace he could get a vehicle built for dangerous work. He found it. I spent a bit of time learning the hows and whys of this place and it makes no sense at all. It is a conflict of paradoxes.
This world is one of the most stupidly violent worlds I ever found, and i've looked, but it keeps you on your toes.
76. Hasik Station
This shadow is somewhere in the middle and has no clear evidence of any influential sways. There are clean, happy realms near chaos, dirty industrial ones near Mandalay, and overcrowded messy places near Amber. In this galaxy there are hundreds of empires, nations, corporations, conglomerates and other funky arrangements. They all have vast trade arrangements and complicated political situations. There are several competing religious movements, an untold number of races and a fair amount of weirdness. This is a technological world where several powerful forms of magic systems work.
The only clue to where this realm is in the swirling muck of shadow is that one of the vastly popular religious/cultural movements is a form of the Amber Cults.
This is not the Amber Cults as shown in the Fane of Zila. This is a vast collection of largely inaccurate portrayals of Amber, Mandalayan, Chaosian, and Avalonian peoples. The following is called The Cults. Capital T. It has all the main people in it. Random, Benedict, me. It also has Swayvil, Hendrakes, Helgrams, Lastis, and a host of chaos folk. It has references to all of the Lords of Mandalay. It also, shockingly, includes many nobles of Amber. Feldanes, Chantris, Norwolf, etc. There is a whole girly following of the Kesht family. As if we really need that.
The thing is, and its why i write about it, is that many of the stories carry details from my own articles on the family trumps, the nobles of the various realms, and collections of information most of which came to light after Patternfall opened actual relations between Amber and Chaos. The Amber Cults began after Patternfall, true. Before Patternfall many of us in Amber had either no experience with Chaos itself or only a few brief encounters. One of the reasons that the cabel Fiona, Brand and I formed was dangerous is that we sought out Chaos for knowledge, power, and alliances. Much to our peril and regret.
There were no embassies, no tourist visas, no fostering programs, no Jeweled Road, and no skips to the home country to have tea with the kinfolk.
The Amber Cults were suppressed for a time in Chaos because of the danger such worship risked for the Lords of Chaos. Recent events have made that prohibition somewhat pointless.
But The Cults is different. It’s a cross between a wide spread Amber Cult that includes Mandalay, Avalon and the Courts, and a daytime soap opera. With some hero-worship, fantasy romances, outright obsession tossed in for the sake of confusion.
It sort of pisses me off.
Its not bad enough that we have real dirt to worry about. Now we have to worry about big budget movies featuring love affairs between Amberites and Pattern ghosts and superheros and other such nonsenses. Makes being an archetype very difficult.
'77.Lisel’s Tea House
Well it comes as no surprise to me to find that this calm and benevolent woman is admirably able to defend herself. It should surprise no one who is familiar with Amber that this woman has a past. She hales from an Amber where she once sat the throne of Amber. She bears a mighty strong Shade Imprint and a respectable Broken Pattern Imprint. She is also a skilled adapt of Mal at Riess wizardry as well as a few dozen other magical disciplines. She told me recently that her Amber was destroyed in the distant past of my own Amber and that she once traveled with Oberon, though entirely platonicly. I'm not buying it. I knew Oberon.
That she sat the throne of her Shade Amber in an ancient epoch scares me. I think she is a shadow of Finndo. Her fall then would be an echo of Finndo's brief and turbulent reign and his own fall.
In her travels she was once an Arch-druidess and when her world was destroyed she didn't leave her love behind. Adrian is attempting to lure her to Mandalay but she isn't interested so far.
When i told her i was writing a blurb for her trump card she told me exactly what I could say about her without pissing her off. She looked at my Akilowan Black Tea leaves and told me I would not over step my bounds with her because I would not like purple bursting boils on parts of my body meant for sharing.
She’s right, but I'd hardly call that high art fortune telling.
Of the many animals that travel with her the most dynamic is the Cat Shaharazar. A large black and white beast with an extremely good nature. Do not be fooled though. This cat speaks many languages, if not aloud, and knows a few spells as well. I get a scratch that it may bear a imprint of a distance shadow of the Logrus but was told by him to not investigate.
So why is she living in a over-sized mobile-home with milk cows, goats, yaks, cats, two hobbits and a leprechaun?
Her companions are friends who are for the most part on the lam. Antil was once a druid and a devout follower of Lisels in times of war and he followed her into self-exile. He really knows his teas. He can do coffees too but they are not really to his taste. Also, he does not drink any form of alcohol for reasons he won’t discuss.
Largo is a fine cook and can make a fine feast out of meager pickings. He was clearly some kind of warrior once, as can be felt from his language and his references. He is clearly knowledgeable about knives and their tending. He might know something of the burglar trade. Perhaps the assassin trade as well. He now tends the multitudes of pots hanging all over the vardo, growing herbs and vegetables of all kinds. He has an obsession with Spam, eating it regularly, but won’t serve it to others.
Vonny the leprechaun is a frightened creature with a problem. Quiet, haunted, and uncommunicative. She efficiently tends the animals, the array of herbs, and the tea pot fires. She avoids conversation at nearly all costs save a yes,sir. or a No, ma'am or I'll get Lissel, Sir. Let it go at that. If you catch her eye, even for a moment, you will sense as i did that this poor dear has suffered greatly. She long ago fled to Dame Lisel for protection from a suitor who would not take no for an answer and he fathered two children on her despite her protests. I can understand her reluctance. Who wants Yog-Soth as a boyfriend? If Lisel can make the old beast look elsewhere for paramours it makes me think she is uncommonly skillful.
She also has a bunch of cats, goats, yaks, mules, and a variety of both caged and free birds. Wherever she goes animals flock to her, understandably.
This desolate place is a vast desert landscape is in a region under a very crowded sky.
79.Adzikis in Winter
So this world took a serious walloping.
First, a series of massive earthquakes associated with a great global shifting of tectonic plates, probably an effect of Patternfall, caused about 20% of this world’s lands to crumble into gravel and sink below the sea. Much of these were in the tropical regions, but one major chunk was in the arctic region.
The cataclysmic earthquakes and the subsequent disruptions of the oceans and weather systems caused a massive storm spanning most of the equatorial regions. This caused a general cooling of the world’s oceans. Due to the oceanic currents cooling, and other related effects, the general temperature dropped as much as 40 degrees around the world. This meant that even equatorial regions, used to balmy temperatures of 100, 110, and 120 suddenly were dealing with 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Unfortunately for this world, the regions 25 degrees north of the equator and 30 degrees south of the equator had only about 5% of its landmass after the earthquakes. Several archipelagos sprinkled around the central belt of this world survived the big shaking but volcanoes erupted and spewed ash into the already turbulent atmosphere.
The areas 25 degrees to 45 degrees north and 30 degrees to 50 degrees south had almost 70% of the landmasses. Temperatures plummeted. Worldwide populations suffered dramatically. The long cold winter set in for good.
One major effect of this global calamity is that about 50% of the world’s population of animal and plant life perished, including people.
Go Brand. Chalk up another shadow screwed by my mad, sad, and ought to be dead, brother.
Adzikis has much to recommend it yet. They have survived a terrible tragedy on their world and by embracing life have become at once one people, regardless of appearances, and embraced creation of life. The change of the world’s name is a sign of their resiliency. Before the big shaking the place was called Adzikis. A poem about the new world called it Adzikis in Winter. The name stuck and became a rally point for the survivors.
Despite the massive destruction, many elements of the growing industrial age survived. But their development was diverted down unusual paths. Intercity transportation occurs on a well-designed maglev rail system. Yet most travel in the city is on foot, bicycles, hoverboards, or in horse drawn carriages. Some magtrav wagons and vehicles exist but they are mostly used for official governmental travel and for cargo. There are some magtrav bus systems. Mainly on long cross-city and regional routes.
The common people have a type of repulsion/hover technology that i'm fairly certain was imported from offworld. An extremely common sight is someone walking with a floating cart behind them carrying groceries and such.
The Sugar of Adzikis
This world has a plant called the Sweet Flora. Really. The Sweet Flora. There is no linguistic reason for either word, or for ‘The’ to be put in front of it. It’s just spoken of that way.
“Hey, Jed, what’s that plant over there? It sure smells good. “
“Well, Zeke, that’s The Sweet Flora.”
Linguistically it is pronounced ‘thesweetflora.” In Thari it comes out as The Sweet Flora and that’s the common pronunciation. You’re not kidding anyone, sister.
This is a plant like a sunflower. Tall and thick stalked, with a gigantic pale yellow flower with bright purple seeds in the middle. It blossoms when the sun rises and follows the sun through its passage.
The lower stalks sprout bulbs the size of cantaloupes that contain an unpleasantly sweet sap of a dark yellow color. The roots are comprised of a deep straight taproot and a collection of tubers like potatoes right below the surface. It grows in all climes though it prefers temperatures around 40 to 50. It seems that there are aficionados’ that can tell what temperature the flower was grown in by tasting its various produce. Snobs. What I do know is that if you plant a sprouting of this it will grow in frozen tundra as easily as cool tropics of this world.
It does not, however, transplant well into other shadows. Funny thing that.
The flower can be harvested in several ways. First off the stalk and its taproot are generally left alone for a couple years. The stalk may be two feet across. The stalk and taproot are harvested after 5 years worth of seeds, leaves, petals, bulbs and tubers.
The leaves, which grow big and thick, are used as a paper product, mulched and pressed into sheets. This is not terribly efficient and is usually only done for certain religious ritual reasons and for stylistic reasons. There is a type of poetry only written on Florimel Paper. I kid you not, it’s called Florimel Paper. Do you wonder who found this world first?
The leaves can be dried and cut and seeped in hot water and makes a very nice tea. It is the base of a wide variety of floral teas.
The leaves can also be cut into chunks and chewed to produce a slightly hallucinogenic and euphoric effect. A lot like cocoa leaves. This process is extremely common in the industry though frowned on and is thought to be a drug of the lower classes. It is also a bit disgusting, involving large oily wads of chaw and lots of sweet tarry spittle. It does, however, get around and is often found at fashionable soirées in a modified form.
Usually the tubers are harvested in warmer weather. They have a texture like potatoes and can be used like them. That is if you like your mashed potatoes to taste like pureed maple candies. That said, there is an extremely large volume of culinary lore that uses the Flora Tubers. Many of the dishes are extremely tasty if a bit too sweet for my taste.
The bulbs can grow to be 8” to 12” in diameters and can be harvested year round. They grow quickly. A clipped bulb leaves a stem attached to the main stalk that can be replaced in 10 to 15 days in a cool and watery climate. This is the main source of sugar on this world. The sap is easy to process and easy to store. It does not freeze in survivable temperatures, becoming a slow and thick syrup. Barrels are filled with the rendered sap and shipped off for refining. The bulb husks are considered a perk of the growers and harvesters and has plenty of culinary uses. These uses do not rise to the level of respectability though. Still, the husks are used in a variety of methods similar to tamales. It is also a main ingredient in fertilizers on this icy planet.
The flower petals are easy to render into both sugar and scents. It has a very strong and pleasant smell. The seeds can be roasted and eaten whole; shell and all. It is nutty and sweet. A common preparation of flora seeds is roasting them and coating them in ginger sugar. A clove and pepper coating is also quite good. seeds are also ground into a flour and used accordingly.
Flora seeds and petal are often used to flavor the filtered pure alcohol made from the bulb sugar. Sort of floral rum. Also quite tasty.
One last comment on the Sweet Flora.
In the front article I commented that a base alcohol could be made by filtering the pruno-pure alcohol made from almost any vegetable matter through a scented charcoal. This is the charcoal made from the woody stalks of the Sweet Flora plant.
A bit time consuming, and not the easiest way to make alcohol, it is still a common practice, with a wide following on this make-do-with-less & waste-nothing world.
Recycling is not as fanatical here as on Taxorami, though it is an ever-present activity, but the Adziks would understand and admire the Taxorami thriftiness.
80. Café Americana
Ya, this one is my fault.
I come here to drink in a sultry environment.
Rick Blaine, an American expatriate, who fled Paris a step ahead of the Nazis, runs this place. In Casablanca he took over a residential palace turned restaurant and began selling booze and America. He has a distinctive staff including a black piano playing genius named Sam, a German headwaiter, a Russian bartender, and a host of others. The trade in alcohol and dancing is brisk, as is the trade in human smuggling as refugees from Europe attempt to flee to any neutral country, preferably Spain, Portugal, or America.
Time is wonky here for a particular reason. Situated in a world where America has not quite joined the war effort, Café Americana must hop around a bit to stay current. There is a period of about a year between the fall of Paris on June 13, 1940, and December 5, 1941. So give Rick and Sam a month to flee Paris and arrive in Casablanca. A month to wallow in misery, and another to take over a failing restaurant-palace. Opening in October of 1940, the place became very popular quickly.
When I came here I had sought a place where Ricks was well established but not reaching the end of its run. In the fictional presentation I first saw Rick’s Café in he sells the place on December 6th, a few moments ahead of his arrest for murdering a Nazi officer. In this version the officer mysteriously disappeared when Rick had a solid alibi.
The officer was actually eaten by a dragon, but that’s not pertinent to this trump, just a hobby of mine. Feeding Nazis to monsters.
So the time is stretched a bit till Rick and the police captain Louis Renault join the war effort when the United States invades Africa in November of 1942. After that the shadows get wonkier.
So this trump tends to jump around to this particular epoch and so sometimes I get there and Rick knows me and sometimes he doesn’t. Things like that keeps a prince on his toes. The irritating thing is that since Dworkin swiped this trump from my deck, now anyone with a penchant for champagne cocktails can come mess up one of the most interesting watering holes in the desert.
81. Kizabat, Ancona
82. The Mall at Caladoon
Caladoon is a major trade city on the world of Trentarn. Its lodged in a very high tech world and the most amazing technologies can be found there. Oddly enough a lot of this tech works up to and even in some cases, into Amber. The personal computer has not quite made it to Amber but some of this stuff does make it to Thelusia. Hence the reason why a vast number of the Empire of Amber’s governmental agencies are situated in Thelusia. (see Thelusia’s Addendum for more on that.)
The nation of Turna, of which Caladoon is a major industrial center, has large urban areas and lands on 4 of this worlds continents, three gigantic space stations in the circling Trojan points, and several large regions on each of the 3 inhabitable planets in this solar system. It also operates several dozen gigantic colonies on planets reached by massive hypergates. Construction facilities in the orbit of these outlaying worlds are massive.
They do not have warp capacity in this shadow but I have brought ships here to scope out distances. The natives would be horrified to find that despite the perceived connection with the hypergate-reached worlds, they are nowhere near each other. Lose the Hypergates and these planets will not communicate with each other again in a hundred thousand years. Even if someone imported starships from Vulsar Base the distances are prohibitively huge. Some of these colonies are not in the same galaxies.
Luckily, the hypergates are stable.
Back to the Mall at Caladoon.
This place has everything. Literally everything. It is a shopping center so large that it has rest areas for overnight shoppers. It has hotels and residential areas for visitors from all over their shadow.
83. Red Dog Hall
85. Big Tanax
The Cousins: Fifty years after Random assumed the throne of Amber her made a startling decree. He ordered all of his siblings to produce the childreen they hid in Shadow. Merlin was around a lot in those days, as was Martin. Jurt and Despil, Merlin's brothers, sons of Dara and Great grandchildren of Benedict had both moved to Amber. Despil as the Ambasador to Amber from Chaos, and Jurt as Thin Whip, patron of a disreputable rave bar in the industrial district of the City of Amber. By this time we also knew about Dalt and Rinaldo and Coral. Dalt was a sibling of Random's of course as was Coral, but Rinaldo was a child of Brand. We had also heard rumors of a child of Eric's names Derek and Warrick, a child of Coral and Corwins.
The final straw was Rebma sending Rene, a erudite aristocrat, to Amber as its Ambassador then casually announcing he was the son of Moire and, oh yes, Corwin.
Random had a cow. Not literally, he didn't shape shift well at the time.
So Random had a fit and drank a bunch. Then he called us all together and said this:
"Ok folks. Its time to shake the trees. Out there in shadow are our children. Some hate us, some love us, some don't know about us. Its intolerable. Its dangerous. I cant have siblings and kinsman come rambling into Amber , pissed at all creation and out for blood. Its had on my nerves and hard on the battlements.
I know some of you have kids you have been guarding. I know there are siblings of ours out there in hiding. Thats over. Bring them in. I want to meet every branch of the family tree. I don't care what grudges they bear and i don't care if they run off into shadow never to return after i interview them.
So, go get them. Fail me not"