Brand's Rational to Carissa
“Why? I could lie.. But at this point there is simply no point in it. If I lie you'll leave and frankly I need the company. I did it for three reasons. The first was to explore an esoteric theory concerning who can walk the pattern. The second was because I wanted something to hold over Gerard. And the third, for security. “
“I see you don't believe me. Understandable. Let me explain. You see, few of my brood of siblings have delved as deeply as I have into the powers of creation. Oberon was long on demanding loyalty and short on encouraging magical research. Frankly he damn near lost his cheese when he learned how much Bleys, Fiona and I were learning from Dworkin and Aries. Dworkin disappeared soon after he found out.“
“In retrospect it makes sense. Look at Oberon's first brood; the Monsters. Fleece; a creature of Chaos with great power and essentially a dog's intelligence , Adrian; the most normal of the Monsters but hardly the poster-child for magical restraint, Clymnea; ah...the less said aloud about her the better, Av Reet; the god of the Djinn, Eater; the incarnation of ruin, Hinarik; a necromancer with godly powers of evil, Vox; the Mistress of Dragonkind , and Nalshik; the Spider Queen. Oberon had little control over them and one of his greatest fears was that they would come for Amber. They have vast magical powers and only their own arrogance and personal distractions have kept them from turning on us.
With Oberon's second brood he tried hard to keep them from the study of magics. Finndo did of course gain great powers, but Osric, Benedict, Orsolla and Borlak were only lightly taught magical skills. Eric, Corwin, Deirdre, Caine, Julian and Gerard hardly had more magic knowledge then a few cantrips and some shadow magics. He found it better to not teach them magic. We had to learn elsewhere. Some of us paid dark prices for that knowledge. Maybe some force in us drives us.
“And consider the siblings of mine that Oberon chose not to allow near the center of things. His reasons were often that he feared their powers or their desire for power. Delwin; a madwand with obscure magics and possibly the greatest Trump artist Amber has produced, Elwine; a wizard of epic proportions, and possibly the worst two of the lot, the Adask sisters Nina and Emile; who nearly ruined Amber during a brief three year residency long before Bleys, Fiona, and I were born.
“In exploring things I spoke with many instructors and practitioners. One belief is common, nearly universal; A person must be of a certain maturity to walk the pattern as well as of Oberon's blood. The belief is that the pattern fights you and if you make a wrong step you are destroyed. Yet, in most the shades I've seen nearly no-one has failed.
Why is that? If its so hard there should be piles of grease smudges and big gaping holes on our genealogical charts! But there aren't! So I consumed several gallons of Old Mink, a 170 proof alcohol made from psilosibin mushrooms, which tastes vile but delivers a considerable wallop. While drunk and tripping, I attempted to walk the pattern. The search for knowledge and a suicidal nature drove me. I never should have survived but I did. I tried several other experiments and what I came to believe was sobriety and maturity were not technically required to walk the pattern. So did I survive walking the pattern while blind drunk because the pattern wanted me to succeed or was it so ingrained in my blood that I could not fail?”
“Secondly, Many of us had children in Shadow. None of us saw fit to admit it during the reign of Oberon. Only Martin, Duncan, and Arloxedra were known of publicly. Secrets are power after all. While in Chaos I had seen early excerpts of what would eventually be completed by Maylon Hendrake as the “ Heirs and Spares” papers. It listed many of my unknown siblings, much to my shock. Even better is that it had nieces and nephews.
“Now we come to you. The story of my finding Martin is well know but I found you first. I was trying to find a way to control, redraw, or edit the Pattern of Amber. Destroying it was never a consideration. “
“I found you first; a child of Gerard's that was only 3 years old. I took you and led you to the pattern. I walked ahead of you, leading you on behind me to see if the pattern would guide you or destroy you. I was certain it would guide you. What I found was that it not only guided your footsteps, it did not provide resistance. You walked it without noticing the difficulty. The pattern WANTED you to walk it. I realized the pattern was a sentient construct with its own goals and motives. That information was worth the risk at the time. And knowing a secret of Gerard's might have come in handy some day. One never knows when one might need a navy or a militant brother. “
“Lastly, when I walked you through the pattern, I was able to see how the pattern empowered you. It gave me a sense of your magical signature. Knowing that information intimately lets me defend myself against pattern-based attacks should you choose to do that. Of course I had no idea what you might become. I suspect you still don't know. That uncertainty was a good enough reason to take what defenses I can. After completing my experiment using you, I returned you to your bed and whipped your memory.”
“Anyway, I eventually decided to edit the pattern and engrave a new arcs in it. My belief was that if I could keep Martan in place, drain his blood, and begin inscribing immediately I could add new arcs that allow me great powers of Order and Chaos. I had a engraving tool I felt was equal to the Jewel of Judgment. I trumped Martin, stabbed him, and began the work. “
“I was very mistaken. It had never been my desire to destroy the pattern but one the primal pattern was marred there was nothing I could do. My engraving tool would not edit the pattern. In fact it disappeared. The damage to the pattern damaged Dworkin, revealing his connection to the pattern, and it scoured me as well. I went somewhat mad. It never occurred to me I might destroy the entire shadow-wide universes. But after the damage was done that was all I could think of... Madness. Oh I'm guilty of many things, arrogance being the worst, but only the damaging of the pattern made me crazy enough to do what I did.”
“My cabal mates of course turned on me and imprisoned me. Corwin saw to my release from bondage. And the rest of the Patternfall War occurred. Eventually I was transfixed by an arrow and took lovely Deirdre into the Abyss with me. What befell me there is another story.”