If I'd died without hope of grace clause
"Caine, I know you meant no harm bringing me to Amber. I do not regret my service to you. But how will I know what would have happened if i had died at home? Would I have seen Adrienne in Heaven? Georges? My grandchildren? My parents? My aunts? Coming here is like I died without hope of Grace."
Sir Gilbert Motier, Knight of Amber, Baron Lafayatte. Moments before his execution was to take play for treason to Amber. Pardoned and Exiled by King Oberon.[]
A contemplation on the complex reactions of removing one to Amber and leaving their life behind.
It pulls from shadow in many ways.
So imagine you are living your life on earth. Navy Seal, Special Forces. Combat veteran. Martial Arts expert and instructor. Husband, father.
Throughout the course of your life you had run into a man whose combat credentials are better then yours. You liked him, became friends with him. Your wife tried fixing him up with her friends and he always politely declined. A confirmed bachelor. Married to the Corp.
Life goes on and you retire after a long eventful military career. Finances are secure. The grand kids are all fine.
The tragedy strikes. You wife dies suddenly. A sickness. Soon after both children die for different reasons. Maybe a couple of grandchildren too. After a long life such sadness is tragic. Maybe more then you can bear. But your hope is that one day you will be reunited with them in heaven.
So this man comes to you. You can't believe the look of him, fit, hard, not exactly young but certainly not your own 70 years. You thought he was older then you.
He asks if you will take a ride with him. He has a couple of new horses out at the ranch and was going to give them a good work out. YOu figure a nice ride sounds good. A little sunlight for your darkness.
So when you get there he has two horses, well stocked with supplies. Your friend mounts and starts riding without a word. You follow.
Shadow is vast and one realms's fiction is another's real life. But what about the afterlife? Religion seems to be a constant across the multiverse but how is it expressed and how is it delivered? Suppose you live on a world and subscribe to a religion that tells you that after you die your soul goes to a perfect place where you are reunited with your dead relative, at least the ones you want to see, in a place without want or pain? Of course, they can't prove such a place exists but the religion tells you to have faith and that all you can do.
So you die. Do you go there? Does something else happen? Are you recycled in a higher form, a higher rank, a richer family, a better gender?
The problem is that in an infinite universe these all might happen. In a realm a person might believe in those things and after their passing he might go to just such a place. Or he might not. He might be one tiny shadow difference away from a realm where an identical him might go to a perfect place but he is left to float into the stars devoid of thought. But the proximity between the shadows was enough to cause the religion and its tenets to prosper despite not having a real connection to the heaven it espouses.
The Clause The situation has arisen many times over the centuries but not more striking then in the case of Gilbert Motier. Caine had met Motier on a shadow earth and afterwards sought him out of similar shadows.