Nu Yark Kadal Tower Journal
Nu Yark Kadal Tower Journal.
The Arcology's daily dalliance with news of the tower. Know your neighbors, Know yourselves.
Anonymous Posts-Where the weird relax. Submissions needed Weekly.
Some Thoughts from a traveling sorceress...
There is something about this place that seems heavenly. That's not the right word... Otherworldly.
That's strange... Maybe its because I was born where horses were the fastest mode of travel. Well there were wizards, and when those tormented souls came among us to torment Doretea and I we little knew how far their teachings would take us. If we had told two of our tutors in the craft that one days they would be great wizards, able to control the forces of the world at a whim, and yet they would be enslaved servants to an evil beyond comprehension, and as it turned out, beyond our world, they would little have believed us. So it goes.
I went mad early. I was less a student and more a plaything for one of those monsters. I began speaking in many voices and knowing many lives, as if I caught their souls, after a time of torment and madness. He and I were foes from then on. After I sunk an ensorcelled knife in his knee he never walked well again and no magic would heal him.
To tell you who I am would require I knew the answer.
I will tell yu this. Nu Yark is a place where many from the vast shadows between Chaos and Amber are cast from the realms they know to one with ways beyond belief. Here the billions of natives feed off each other and we from elsewhere are hardly oddities by comparison. As an immigrant, I found my past sins made me fit in well.
I was enslaved by a Lord of Chaos in priestly guise and his wife, my virgin sister. We rose an empire. We ruled with terror, we reveled in fear. But I never knew joy. It was always terror. Pleasure was when the terror only hurt a little. In time the people of the world rose up, followed a leader who was impervious to our hell of magic and they put us down. Unable to kill us, they buried us alive in enforced sleep. There we lay for centuries.
But in a land of dark sorcery it was inevitable that a dark sorcerer would try to mine us for our secrets. When one plays with demons like us, one plays a high risk game and one pays ones debt with blood and souls. One came. Carefully, he mined. He studied, he wished to learn from my sister and my sister wanted her freedom. When she broke free my nine companions and I helped her keep her husband in the ground. For a time.
I'll not boor you. Their were wars. There was an empire. And one day the Lady walked away from it and from us. She had to. She was Named and her powers fled. For a time.
She took up with vagabond mercenaries. And again she raised an empire. More wars. More magic. More death.... In the end... well, is there ever really an end?
One day, when something of peace of a sort was achieved, the God of War and his drunk brother came and claimed my sister and I. He came as a tall but mild seeming man in oranges and browns and his brother in finely made red and silver doublet and hose, tainted with spilled drink and remnants of food spoiling his finery and his appearance. To say they did not seem threatening would be an understtement. they also came bearing not a blade between them.
The God of War told us that he had recently discovered we lived. He talked to us like children.
We were immortal sorceresses and mistresses of Empire! We had ruled the world for five hundred years like goddesses! My sister and I, never really friends, raised our combined might against this lone warrior while his laughing drunken red headed brother watched and drank from a silver flask. We who had stood battle in armor and blade for centuries bore our blades against him and the God of War slapped them aside with a baton. We worked together, an unfamiliar sensation, and he stood silently and tapped our blades aside as if we were squires.
Time passed and we never came near touching him. So we moved back. We summoned our wills. We summoned demons to devour him. We summed the fires of the suns, the waters of the oceans, the stones of the earth to destroy him. The skies darkened as lightnings cracked to smite him. The howling of storms and the howling of demons and the howling of our elemental fury filled the air with a riotous din. We showed our proud might to this presumptuous godling!
He turned his head andsaid, “Do I have to do everything, Bleys?”
The Red Drunk stood unsteadily, taking a drink from his silver flask. Looking at our hell falling upon them, he casually waved his hand. A giant glowing symbol of a kind unfamiliar to us appeared before him. A spell flew from it and all our forces were gone. We stood under dark skies as it began to rain in the sudden absence of noise.
The God of War stepped forward and looked into our profound shock. “I do not know what names you go by in this realm but I know what names you were christened with when you were born in the depths of Chaos. You are Doria, born first.” He pointed to my sister. He aimed his for finger at me, “and you are Desri, born next. You have a older sister named Maylon and another whose name is unknown. Yet.”
My sister howled, “How dare you presume to to make such claims and to bring war to our world! What hell did you come here from?”
“I came from no hell, child. I came from Amber”
The drunk chuckled, “Now, lets not be hasty, Ben. Amber is kind of a hell for some of us.”
Looking aside with a short scowl, he spoke, “I am Benedict of Amber. This is one of my brothers, Bleys. You will go by those names I gve for now till we know what better to call you. Our king has asked us to collect the lost stragglers of our family so we find ourselves here to collect you. I have reason to believe that the two of you are my daughters. It is good to see you are not defenseless. We will see that you add to the knowledge gained in your childhood.”
I started to tell him our childhood was far in the past but I was wrong. My childhood had just ended when the red haired drunk looked in my eyes and my will was clamped like a sparrow in hand. Even the will of the Dominator never held my mind so tight. A whisper in my mind told me to relax and rest.
I awoke in a bright place and I felt no fear. The little terrors that haunted the corners of my mind, the many voices were silent. A servant left immediately and a forceful looking woman came in with what smelled like cooked meat but of a kind I did not know.. She was tall, sturdy, and clearly used to being obeyed. I knew that kind, my sister was one. I tended to rely on fear.
“Its good that you are awake. My name is Dame Margot and we are going to be good friends, dear. Princess Fiona or Prince Bleys will be here in a moment to discuss your magical issues. Now, I imagine you are hungry. Lets satisfy what we can.”
My anger rose, that of a trapped crow. “Where am I? Who do you think you think you are to treat me like a child? If you think you can hold me against my will you will find I have powers aplenty and can wield them to your destruction! Unless you wish to do battle I'm leaving now!!!.”
“First, I'm Dame Margot, and sweetness, if you are a child or not is yet to be proved. As for your powers I'm sure you are a very scary monster but those Hello Kitty pajamas kind of spoil your fear value! Now, would like me to take this platter away? I can.”
I looked down and saw that I was wearing vividly pink Flannel pajamas with pictures of rainbows and unicorn and hearts and flowers and repetitions of a white faced bloated cat. I didn't understand the symbology and I am sure you dear readers won't either. But they looked juvenile in a way no clothes I had ever worn had. There was something deeply disturbing and childish about them. My anger rose.
I was about to tell her what to do with the platter and damn her to the hell of crows when the smell filled me. Hot... a loaf of hot thick bread fresh from the oven. A jar of mustard, a bowl of pickles. I knew these things but food was always a chore to me. Tasteless if not foul. Till then. She filled a split roll of bread with meat and mustard.. chunks of some cheese..
I ate. It was as if I had never tasted food. I was ravenous, as if starved from birth. As if every feast in my life had been cold porridge and rotted muscle.
I was eating my 5th sandwich. I was experiencing senses denied me my whole life.
In walked a stooped balding man whose appearance screamed wizard pretending to be slovenly gutter trash. I knew the kind. With him was a strikingly beautiful red haired woman in a tight red and green gown.
The wizard looked over my platter and picked off bits of beef and olives.
The woman spoke.
“Well you gave us a bit of a puzzle. Lets take a look at you now.”
“Take a look at me how?”
I was about ready to strike her for her attitude but she produced a small glowing magical symbol in the air, similar to the giant one that had dispelled all the magics my sister and I could muster. I withheld my wrath out of confusion and something of awe
She looked me over, gazing through the symbol floating in the air, the size of her palm. The man beside her looked as well and i sa the same symbol floating over an eye like a monocle.
“Desri, my name is Fiona. I'm your aunt. This is Dworkin. He is your great grandfather.”
Looking at them I asked, “Really? I don't see the family resemblance.”
“I don't imagine you would. Our genetics are tricky. Especially yours. We will go into detail later but for now i'd like to discus your magical problems.”
I wasn't sure what to say, figuring she would tell me.
“You had a Logrus-based necromancy spell embedded in you. It was very poorly implanted. It was designed to allow you to gain the memories of the dead and to learn from them. Ideally it would have integrated the memories with your own but having been flawed it made you speak in the voices of the dead and gain only a fraction of their knowledge. I'm willing to bet it made you hear voices in your head all your life too”
This woman knew my darkest secret and the fear that drove me.
“And how did you find that out? Is that glowing sign some...” I stopped mid sentence.
Its a moment I'll never forgot. If for no other service, this moment made me willing to serve Amber.
I had spoken several times. And in the same voice. I stood up, surprising them.. I started reciting. I spoke speeches I had given, dialogs I remembered. I started saying random words in random orders..
It was gone.. The howling in my mind. I was speaking in one voice.
“Is...is.. is this my voice?”
Dworkin walked over close, raised a symbol that looked like fiery snakes in an orgy of orange light.
“There are residual effects.. I think the spell is fixed. But it only delivers memories at the time of death.. Short term... partials.. Still, Fiona, it might be useful. Regardless, she has a Logrus imprint for some reason and a flawed usage of her shapeshifting ability. That will take some fixing.."
The bent wizard pursed his lips in a interested scowl and said, "That means someone controlled her shape while forcing her through the Logrus, probably when she was a baby. It can be done but it's like juggling badgers and broken glass while riding a unicycle in a lava flood. Someone must really have had his ass wired really tight to make it happen twice. Doria has the same thing but somehow assimilated it better. Its probably why she managed her magics so much better in their homeworld. My guess is Desri was first, being younger, and the chaosian figured out the failures before trying with Doria.”
I walked to fill myself a glass of water. There was much I needed to know. Sitting on the edge of the bed I squared myself to these two.
“I desire information and clarification. “ I said, trying to marshal my forces in the room.
Fiona laughed. “And you will have it.”
Time passed. Years really.
I attended school; Fantalin in Thelusia. I was the crazy death-goddess of Khatovar and now I was going to school with a backpack full of books.
I met my kin. I met King Random. I spent time with my father. My father, Prince Benedict of Amber. There were adventures and dangers at the Center of the universe. Benedict took me to a place where he taught warriors in a Nasty Place.
Dworkin and Fiona taught me. Benedict trained me in the blade. I learned to shift my shape, control the powers. I learned high order sorcery. I walked the Pattern of Amber, a tale in itself.
I slept with a couple of uncles, a couple of cousins, and a number of nobles including a group called the Urien Pack. Sex was different then on Homeworld and while I enjoyed it it was a means to an end, passions cold in the service to my ambitions in this new place.
Everything I was, every thing I had done, everyone I had killed, was forgiven.
I didn't know I needed forgiveness and would have been insulted if it was suggested I did. But when it was given, I cried for a week.
The woman that walked out of that tear-stained room was not the one who had been one of the Ten Who Were Taken.
I was no longer Soulcatcher. What I had been had been wiped away by the passage through the Pattern of Amber and the royal decree of King Random.
I had a clean slate. All debts paid, all crimes forgiven. And it would stay that way if I behaved. That would be tricky. I was unpracticed at behaving.
I was Desri of Amber.
I had walked the pattern. I had learned that I could go anywhere. So I did. Since then, I have learned things. I wandered among shadows, trained this new skill, used new powers. I even returned to my homeworld and saw some old friends. When I left, it was a strange transition for me.
In time, I found myself here. Nu Yark, Nu Yark.
I bought a luxury apartment in this arcology. Ten rooms, a palace of technology inconceivable in the world of my birth. If nothing else...This place is clean.
End Entry One
- More to come. Check back for the further ramblings of Desri, Lady of Amber.