Mixed Content Storage
Just a place to store mixed content in process
- 1 Michael Watson-Jeweled Amber
- 1.1 Format
- 1.2 Larengar-Braldig's Tinkery
- 1.3 Adzikis in Winter
- 1.4 Woven Logrus-a shadow of the Logrus
- 1.5 Skill System
- 2 Introduction to "Off the Road"
- 3 This Space Available-b
- 4 This Space Available-c
- 5 This Space Available-d
Michael Watson-Jeweled Amber
World of Larengar
Tech level: Early to mid 2000s equivalency.
Population: 11 billion
System: 3rd planet of 12. 3 moons. Only easily habitable world in the system. Several large habitable space facilities and a number of moon based habitations.
Government: A loose confederation of 32 regions or associations. Larengarian, Orbital, Lunar, and Garalian.
Culture: While there is a wide variety of different cultures specific to regions and associations there are a few similarities. There is a strong sporting ethic. Warfare ha been largely focused on the sporting communities. Recycling is something of a common activity. Most dwellings have some form of water filtration system either individually or part as community efforts. Languages are considered recreational. Collections and collection of memorabilia is a fanaticism worldwide.Erasumus Braldig is an example of an extreme form of Collection Mania.
Aspect: This world has developed a rigorous set of rules for military conflict that emphasizes victory to acquire goals in a world totally explored. A planetary Congress mediates disputes. Most conflicts are structured events, in specific locations with pre-established victory conditions. Military adventurism is highly discouraged and in many way is no longer practical.
Main City: Gorsali, the Capital of Region Four. A transportation hub offworld and major shipping center for commerce on the sea, air and road.
Braldig's Tinkery-A Business in Larengar.
Propriater-Erasamus Braldig. The Tinkery is a essentially a junkyard and recycling facility. Its a massive valley outside the city proper surrounded by industrial and commercial business. He takes in junk, sorts, recycles, refurbishes and resells. Thousands of rooms and sixteen square miles throughout the vast complex in workshops, storage, display rooms and museums. The place is likely have have a little bit of everything. From piles of swords and furniture to boats, planes and military hardware. Proprietor- Erasamus Braldig. A cantankerous, foul mouthed man guy who is unequaled in simple tinkery. He is a person that casts shadows of nasty old cusses. He makes his own gin, drinks it straight, eats his beef raw, and you can piss off if you don't like it. He doesn't give a tinker's damn about what anyone thinks of him. He is that tinkerer and he keeps his damns close to the vest. He can fix anything.From crossbows and fountain pens to rocket ships and laser rifles. If it hums, clicks, spins, ratchets or arcs he can make it better. The price is putting up with his insults. Amberites are not known for their patience in that area.
Employees-There are numerous encampments throughout the sixteen square miles where people live in various states. Some places look like homeless encampments, some like trailer parks, some like planned communities of tiny houses. They sport food production facilitates, hydroponics, recreational areas and even schools and sporting facilities. Erasumus says he knows everyone, and he may but the motivation for the employees is to help him make the place run. Man of these encampments are connected to certain areas;Vehicle Repair-Vehicle Parts, Furniture and home goods, Paper/Plastics and recyclables, Weaponry, Household Goods, Construction materials.
Danos Dors- Community leader, schoolmaster, Manager of the Paper/Plastics Recycling area.
Swapper-A youngish man raised at the tinkery who runs equipment from one zone to another. A frequent source to find things among the clutter.
Treeny- A young woman knowladgable about the Device. She is almost always tending it. Often around Erasmus, getting him food to dilute his intake of gin.
Khonas Braldig-Erasumus' son. He handles the business and the books. An infrequent presence at the Tinkery, he handles the books from his estate on Lunar One. A notable non-collector. The Constant Motion Device: Braldig has a hobby that is really an obsession. He created and maintains the most massive constant action/Rube Goldberg device I ever saw. Balls run down tube, flipping cards, that throw switches, lighting lights, cooking food, changing temperature, lifting levers, and swinging wires. Every action with a half-dozen equal and opposite reactions, no energy is lost. It spans the facility and elements of it are always in view as one wanders the place.
Erasumus may be a shadow of Dworkin. Possibly even one that once had an Amber of his own, now fallen. Might have a shadow of the pattern somewhere in his compound.
Erasumus has insight on how things works and would be a good source for explanations about things found in shadow. Possible Stats:
Psyche:133, Strength: 70, Endurance: 30, Warfare: chaos rank
Powers: Advanced broken pattern, Advanced Sorcery, advanced Conjuration, High Compelling, Advanced trump Artist, Limited Shapechange.
Adzikis in Winter
World: Adzikis in Winter 'Ac tanu Mat ren Adzikis e Anoa'
Tech level:late 1980s
Population: 2 billion
System: 1 planet in a system with a cool bluish yellow sun. The rest of the system was devastated by an effect of the Black Road. Adzikis in Winter.
Main City: Cadaselmis
This world was once a vibrant and thriving world just nudging into a high technological age. They had discovered a type of magnetic reaction between three different type of stones that they had developed into a rail transport system and a wide variety of other technological devices. Oceangoing ships filled with well-dressed travelers plied the many seas and the cosmopolitan ports were thriving with their commerce. Manned flight was common but expensive and usually reserved for government personnel and cargo shipments. There were nation states with a variety of conflicts in a gun age that relied on archers as well as rifleman. Communication satellites had been placed in orbit and the computer age was taking off like wildfire. Theoretical physicists and engineers were figuring out that the several moons could be reached by devices just outside the current state of technology, but in a few decades it was possible to explore the heavens.
In small isolated enclaves were people that the vast populations considered nuts and wackos just because they claimed to be able to use magic and called themselves wizards and witches. They were objects of scorn and mocking comedy. Unknown to the masses though, they practiced high order sorcery as well as listry.
Then catastrophe struck.
Investigations suggest several things occurred at the same time and they are why this place is cold and peaceful. First a series of earthquakes, then dramatic cooling and a global winter. And since disaster breeds the best and worst things in the nature of man they had great efforts to save populations and devastating warfare over surviving resources.
This occurred over 200 years ago in their time. They adapted. They embraced the cold. They reordered their priorities.
They became poets.
Embracing their pain, they began to cherish life, and love, and art, and creativity. They began to prize ingenuity and invention. They developed poetic forms and languages for specialization in certain areas. One language, Aurol, was chosen as the language of business. Another, Untalis, became the language of anger. Feloso became the language of friendship and community. Ac Tanu became the language of love. Each language had its forms and its poetry. Once each language had served different races and nation-states, but the effort of recovery made them decide to use language differently. Now there was one universal language with subsets selected to be used for specific needs.
One language, Tufoli, became the language of food and drink. Here is where their genius really blooms.
Since they were embracing life and suffering extreme deprivation at the same time, they learned how to use what they had well. Spices were used to cover bland and uncertain meats. Sugars were used to fill caloric intake so baking became almost a religion. They eat all kinds of things sweet. They discovered that they could make a respectable alcohol out of almost any vegetable refuse and that by filtering it through specially scented charcoals got a nearly tasteless base alcohol with a variety of slight scents to cover the harsh base taste. Mixing sugar with it helped too.
More about sugar below.
There is a vibrancy to a world turned into an artists retreat. One where militarism has been abandoned. Where arguments between nations are solved though sports, cooking contests, intellectual quizzes, and acrobatics. They have a form of international athletics that are followed by millions. I found people here amazingly forthright and direct, yet capable of great serenity. Its enticing, and dangerous. Its a process in development and only a world wide acceptance that violence is bad keeps the course pure.
What damaged this world and the effects of the Black Road War
So this world took a serious walloping. It happens in shadow if you look. But there may be more to it then a series of natural disasters.
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. Billions died. The long cold winter set in for good.
One major immediate effect of this global calamity is that about 50% of the world’s population of animal and plant life perished, including people. 3 billion out of 5 billion lost in days. Suffering and starvation in the first 10 years cost the planet a billion people. The 10 years after the disaster warfare cost the planet another half billion. In 10 years the population of the planet went from over 5 billion to under 400 million.
Yet Adzikis has much to recommend it. 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 mag-lev 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.
Solar power systems are the most common power source as well as thermal dynamic power.
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. There are a wide variety of heating systems but most people have adapted to colder weather.
Nearly all agriculture on this world is hydroponic and communal. Most of it is also large scale and managed for the communal betterment of the population inside mammoth buildings. However, nearly every dwelling has small enclosed hydroponic systems used to recycle water, waste products, and air while growing herbs and small vegetables. These small hydroponic systems are remnants of the systems used at the time of the cataclysm by the survivors. In time the efficiency and productivity of these household systems may have been key to the populations survival. As such, the systems are as much decoration and art works as they are sources of food and clean air.
-Battle of Grusaka Dell-
It all seems natural as catastrophes go, if a on a massive scale. But it occurred at the time of Patternfall and there are tales of small battles fought by the wizards that make sense if they had a tiny piece of the Black Road come here to light things off. I can get no one to confirm it, but i have a strong suspicion that the appearance of the Black Road and the battle by wizards to eradicate it may have started the calamities that effected this world.
The Sugar of Adzikis and the Sweet Flora
This world has a plant called the Sweet Flora. 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.
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. It can be done just takes some doing. It is grown in large quantities at Vulsar Base.
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. It makes a reasonable paper, like a poster board.
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 tea blends.
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 which is why the harvesters get them. Still, the husks are used in a variety of methods similar to tamales. They are also a main ingredient in fertilizers on this icy planet.
The flower petals are easy to render into both sugar and scents.
The sugar has a very strong and pleasant floral smell. It can be used in any preparation sugar can in most universes. A refined and strained form is nearly identical to unscented white sugar. 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 a ginger sugar. Clove, rosemary, and pepper coatings are 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 a floral rum and 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 drinkable, 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 Taxonomist thriftiness.
This world was going to be a part of a campaign centered around Flora. And the battle of the black road, the wizards stopped the world from being consumed, but it might be hard to explain to the survivors on this ice block of a world.
Woven Logrus-a shadow of the Logrus
A Woven Logrus is a shadow of the Logrus.
Like Broken Patterns of Amber or Shade Patterns of Amber, which include a little less Order then the Pattern, a Woven Logrus contains a little less Chaos then the Logrus.
The Logrus is a constantly moving initiation that requires excellent skill at shapehanging to assay. Different shapes being required for different moments in the passage through the construct. A Woven Logrus has sections of the construct that are stable, not requiring constant shapeshifting to assay. The percent of divergence from the true chaos of the Logrus is called its degree of "Knotting" or how "Knotted" it is.
There are few items with Logrus Inscriptions, the very immutable nature of the perfectly chaotic logrus works against them. However, Woven Logrus items are more common, as inscribing the woven section is more possible to retain its powers on an artifact. The greater amount of woven section the more powerful the artifact.
Spells must be crafted specifically for a Woven Logrus since it differs from the regular logrus so dramatically.
Gutsedvem has the best known Woven Logrus. It is 88% "Knotted" and can be assayed by someone skillfully using a shapeshifting artifact since the construct does not attempt to effect items carried by the walker.
-Powers of the Woven Logrus-
- 25 pips Basic Woven Logrus Imprint: Frame can hold 12 spells of any power level with great power.
- 40 pips Advanced Woven Logrus Imprint:Frame can hold 18 spells of any power level with great power.
- 80 Pips Master's Woven Logrus Imprint: Frame can hold 24 spells of any power level with great power.
- To assay for a 'Basic Imprint one must have have the power of shape-change in order react to the changing nature of the construct. Using an artifact only works if the degree of Knotting allows for an item to not be tampered with in the attempt.
- To assay for an Advanced Imprint one must have the power of shape-change at an advanced level.
- To assay for a Master's Imprint one must have shape-change at a Master level.
Rationale on Skills in ADRPG One of the base concepts in the game is that if an Amberite wants to know how to do something he can go out into shadow and learn it. Drive a car, pilot a plane, juggle, do sleight of hand, cook pasta right, build a house, manage a elephant as a mount. They find a shadow and find someone to teach them. Do it awhile, and they can manage it. So Amberites and their ilk can have a wide range of things they know how to do if the need arises. However; Learning a skill is not Mastering it. It isn't even being an expert. It isn't necessarily being really good at it. Its being able to do it.
I allow my PCs and NPCs to allocate points toward mastery of a skill.
- 1 pip makes them an expert, but there are lots of experts at things in shadows.
- 2 pips makes them great, but there are lots of people who are great at things.
- 3 pips makes them rare, and there are long lists of people with rare abilities.
- 4 pips makes one a virtuoso.
- 5 pips is a nearly unique skill coming along once in a generation.
- 6 Pips are for the people in shadow who are the very best at some skill.
Example-Sewing I can sew well. I've made some excellent looking costumes off and on for 30 years. I might, possibly, have 1 pip in sewing. But i'm not an expert. I know experts. Nearly all of them would fall in the 1 to 2 pip zone. Someone who has worked for years in a sweatshop sewing clothes all day is solidly a 2 pip seamstress.
- A professional costumer who makes their living sewing and creating costumes for theaters, TV, and movies is a 3 pip seamstress.
- An academy award winning costume designer is 4 pips.
- Edith Head is a 5 pip costume creator.
Example-Guitar Learning how to play the guitar, even spending a couple years in shadow getting good with it, doing shows even, does not make even an Amberite able to show up Jimmy Page on stage. Nor Carlos Santana, Brian May, Muddy Waters, or Johnny Lee Hooker. Certainly not either Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton.
- Rolling Stone published a list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. The list is daunting. So call anyone on that list having at least 3 pips in Guitar. This would translate to playing most stringed instruments similar to a guitar, like mandolins, balalaika, Sitars and ukuleles at a 2 pip level, and probably even pianos and harpsichords at a 1 pip level. Familiarity and expertise might also translate to being able to play any musical instrument at least a little. So i'd call anyone on the list at least 3 pips.
- Anyone in the top 20 might be 4 pip guitarists.
- 5 Pip Players: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendricx, Eric Clapton, Kieth Richards, B.B. King, and George Harrison are all 5 pip players.
- Carlos Santana is # 20 on that list and I would put him in the 5 pip zone personally but maybe he is a 4 pip player, a nudge away from being a 5 pip players. Just waiting for one more perfect solo to join the 5 pip players.
Example-Horsemanship Most Amberites know how to handle a horse if it was some part of their past. Care and feeding, grooming, riding, even racing. Certainly riding them in battle is something they probably can do if they are a militant character.
- But if they put a pip into Horsemenship they have invested part of their life and interest into specifically being well versed in dealing with and riding horses.
- 2 pips might mean they are knowledgeable with breeding, training, and teaching.
- 3 pips is circus and trick riding level. Its masterful cavalry combat expertise.
- In my games Benedict may be the best warrior but Julian has 5 pips in horsemanship. He spends a great deal of time in the saddle every day. He is amazing at managing breeding for the horses his rangers use. Benedict comes to him for advice on horse and animals. Julian has melded his combat style firmly into treating his horse as a partner as well as a weapon. And most of all, he found and befriended the greatest horse in shadow.
Thari is the base language of Amber as well as Chaos. As Amberites travel they pick up languages pretty easily. If they spend a significant amount of time in a shadow they can learn a language well enough that the casual listener might not detect they are a foreigner. But even a few years does not make them experts in the nuances, the history, or the development of a language.
- 1 pip makes a person an expert in dialects, accents, and variations. Colloquialisms, slang, and jargon come easy to them.
- 2 pips makes one speak like a native. Few detect their speech as learned.
- 3 pips is a scholarly understanding of the language in it historical context. Able to to expound on the detail of the language with native scholars.
Skills & Roleplaying
The thing I impress on players though is that the more pips they put in a skill the more it needs to be represented in their role playing. The higher the points, the greater the obsession.
- 1 Pip in a skill like card magic/poker tricks, means the character probably always has a deck of cards on him.
- 2 pips means he often has a deck of cards in his hands.
- 3 pips means he may not realize he has a deck of cards in his hand and is going through card passes and riffs while talking about other topics.
- 4 pips include the behavior from 3 pips but also include using them as weapons and to punctuate conversations. A 4 pip skill dominates the PC's life.
- 5 Pips.....is obsessive.
- 6 Pips is Unique
Players express themselves in these skills. A person with a pip in motorcycle and a pip in pool means that they are more likely to ride a motorcycle then a horse and are more likely to be found around a pool table if someone goes looking for them.
It gives a lot of spin in character creation and development. It has given players a chance to think about what direction they want their PC to go. In general they have spent 2 to 4 pips either in one skill or in a small collection. More then that starts making me question their devotion to a particular skill. I generally don't allow more then one 3 pip skill at the start. As game play goes on if they make a particular effort at using that skill I may at some point let them take a 4th pip. I've yet to let a PC allocate to a 5 pip skill. They would have to be really dedicated to making it a big part of who the PC is, how he reacts, and what people think of them.
Random nearly always has a deck of cards or a set of drum sticks in his hands. He has 4 pips in card tricks/card magic and 3 pips in Drums.
Skills from the GM point of view
The other thing the skills are good for, from a GM point of view, is it tells me what kind of scenes and scenarios a PC might be interested in.
- 1 pip in motorcycles means down the line they run afoul of a biker gang.
- 1 pip of poker tricks and they might get in a big card game with high power cheats.
- 3 Pips in Sculpture means their home will be filled with their work. They will be fiercely protective of their work space. They might be interested in a series of games to find powerful materials to work or powerful tools. Also, they might have to deal with powerful thieves stealing their favorite creations.
Since as a GM i have a general idea what skills the elders have it gives me a hook for getting the PCs involved. A PC is fanatical about horses with a 3 pip skill, then he might work well with Julian. 2 pips in cooking? Maybe she and Flora would get along. A pip in guitar, maybe she and Corwin can sing duets. So i learn a bit about the player's interests in what they hope to see in what is their game too.
1 Pip Skill Skilled Amateur An expert in a particular activity.
- College level or semi-pro baseball player. (Athlete)
- An experienced guitar player. The difference being between people saying "He plays guitar" and "He's a guitar player".
- An dedicated amateur race driver/street racer. Motorcycle racer. Jockey. A dedicated amateur and enthusiast.
- A small room professional card or coin magician. Better then a kid's birthday party magician
- A semi-professional artisan. painter, sculptor, carver. A good sense of the art, it process, its commercial aspects.
- A fine and talented church choir singer. A college level music student.
- A low level bard.
- An amateur expert pool player. Good enough to hustle drinks and pocket money at any bar with a pool table.
- A 3 and 4 ball juggler. Skillful enough to impress people juggling balls, oranges, soup cans.
- General Practitioner Doctor
- Linguist. Ability to speak in a language and effect dialects, accents, variations, slang, and jargon with natural ease.
- Mechanic Ability to fix a machine with skill. An experienced mechanic.
2 Pip Skill Professional A professional in a particular activity
- Minor and major league baseball player. (Athlete)
- An professional guitar player making his living regularly with his playing.
- A professional race driver/street racer. Motorcycle racer. Jockey.
- A big room professional card,coin, and stage magician. Magic Castle member.
- A professional Artist. Painter, sculptor, carver, artisan able to make a living with their craft.
- A fine and talented church choir soloist. Professional singer.
- A medium level bard.
- A professional pool player. Able to hustle big money and win big tournaments.
- A juggler making a living at juggling almost any items with skill and patter.
- General Surgeon. Specialist.
- Linguist. Speak a language well enough, and with enough diversity and control that they are considered a native speaker. Few detect their speech as learned.
- Professional mechanic and expert on the control and repair of a mechanical device.
3 Pip Skill Celebrity A extremely well respected professional in a particular activity
- Major league baseball player. All Star. MVP. Big money professional. Reggie Jackson, Wade Boggs, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Cap Anson
- An professional guitarist, one of the best ever. Top 100. Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Carl Perkins, Glen Campbell, Buddy Holly.
- An professional race driver. Motorcycle racer. Jockey.
- A big room professional magician. Magic Castle Performer.
- A professional painter, sculptor, carver, artisan able to make a living with their craft. Georgia O'Keefe, Renior, Edward Hopper, Max Ernst
- Professional Opera singer. Stevie Nicks, Joe Cocker, Annie Lennox, Willie Nelson, Don Henley, Art Garfunkle.
- A high level bard.
- An professional pool player. In danger of being killed for hustling pool. A name able to win world class tournaments.
- A professional juggler able to juggle a baseball, a chainsaw and a mop while talking and singing.
- Surgical Specialist. Plastic, Transplant. Vascular. Trauma. Cyberware Implantation
- Scholarly understanding of the language in it historical context. Able to to expound on the detail of the language with native scholars.
- Developmental Mechanic and Mechanical device inventor. Understanding of a mechanical device from base principles to finished design.
4 Pip Skill All Star A nearly incomparable talent. Famous or extremely well regarded world wide.
- Major league baseball player.(Athlete) All-star. Hall of Famer. Yogi Berra,Roberto Clemente, Cal Ripkin, Tris Speaker, Sandy Koufax, Pete Rose
- An professional guitarist. One of the best ever. Top 20. Prince, Johnny Ramone, Bo Didly, Brian May, Frank Zappa,Carlos, Santana, George Harrison.
- A world class auto racer. Motorcycle racer. Jockey.
- A world class professional magician. Las Vegas residency magician. David Blaine, Apollo Robbins, Criss Angel,
- A world class artist famed beyond their time. Georgia O'Keefe, Renior, Edward Hopper, Max Ernst
- A well known world class singer. Professional singer. James Taylor, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Patsey Cline, Prince, Nina Simone
- A 23rd level bard. A Crowned Bard.[]
- An professional pool player. Too well known to hustle pool. A name expected to win world class tournaments.
- A Celebrity juggler able to juggle a baseball, a chainsaw and a mop while talking and singing.
- Research Surgeon. Multiple Specialty.
- Language Authority Considered and expert in a language. A worldly acknowledges authority on a language, the culture it serves.
- Innovating Mechanical Inventor and theorist
5 Pip Skill Legendary A extremely well respected professional in a particular activity
- Legendary baseball player. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Randy Johnson, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Willie Mays, Stan Musial
- Undisputed renowned guitarists. Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendricx, Eric Clapton, Kieth Richards, B.B. King, and George Harrison
- A legendary race driver. Motorcycle racer. Jockey. Mario Andretti, Bill Shoemaker, AJ Foyt,
- Legendary magicians. Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller,
- A historically renowned Artist. painter, sculptor, carver, artisan able to make a living with their craft. Salvador Dali, Michaelangelo, Leonardo di Vinci,
- A legendary professional singer. Stevie Nicks, Joe Cocker, Annie Lennox, Willie Nelson, Don Henley, Caruso, Pavarotti
- A Thrice Crowned Bard [] Venki, Beor, Fortunadas.
- An professional pool player unable to get a game from someone unwilling to lose. Willie Moscone, Effen Reyes,
- A legendary juggler able to juggle an alligator, a tiger, and a hamster while singing Opera and tightrope walking.
- Epic Surgeon. John Heysham Gibbon (first open heart surgery), Christiaan Barnard (first heart transplantation), Calow Bruce-Nu Yark- (Creator of experimental cyberware.),Tristan Reese (Vehicular and Manufacturing Equipment interface cyberware implantation), Adrian of Mandalay (Surgical Power Crystal Implantation)
- Language Final Authority-Creator of a cohesive language-Linguistic theory. JRR Tolkien-Elvish/Dwrvish. Ferdinand de Saussure-Developmen of Linguistics and symbolism. Noam Chomsky- Universal grammar, Tolknor Scripter-Psychohistory of Language
6 Pip Skill Unique
- Understand Technical Systems-Visionary Tinkery-Erasamus Braldig
- Hone Blade Edge-Mama Aglevar
- Slieght of Hand-Conf of Tosa
- Mathematics/Phyics/Psychohistory-Tolknor Scripter
Off the Road with Bleys of Amber. An Introduction: Recently I had a very strange conversation with myself and we came to a decision.
I was sitting in a cafe near the river Taliwal in the city of Nenton, in the world of Antheris. This particular cafe serves a lovely blueberry tart and has a collection of coffees from seven of the worlds Antheris admits that its connected with. So it has a variety. This morning mine was Cassarat Tree coffee, a heavy dark brew made from bean and bark shavings, just slightly adulterated with cream and brandy.
I was sharing breakfast with myself. Three of my selves in fact.
Who am I, your humble correspondent? Well, I go by many names in many places but to cut to the meat of the matter I am Prince Bleys of Amber.
Yes, that Bleys...Tried to conquer Amber, fought my way up Kolvir, redeemed myself at the Battle of Patternfall, saw Brand and Dierdre fall into the Abyss, saw the Unicorn come from the Abyss with a wounded Deirdre draped over her back and the Jewel of Judgment on her horn, swore fealty to my brother Random as King of Amber, entered Chaos as a conqueror behind Prince Benedict, returned to Amber with the rest of my kin. I go by Bleys.
And that brings me to my breakfast guests.
One was Prince Blays of Amber. He too tried to conquer Amber, fought his way up Kolvir, was redeemed at Patternfall, but he watched Brand and Deirdre lost in the Abyss before he also saw the Unicorn with the Jewel tap Random as king. In time he too returned to Amber with his kin. He goes by Blays
Another was Prince Blaze; Amber, Kolvir, Patternfall, Brand falling alone and then he swore fealty to King Julian, the Unicorn's choice. he left his family as they entered Chaos and decided to travel in shadow for an eon to let things settle down. He calls himself Blake Fisher.
The last was Princess Bleyes; Fought her way up Kolvir only to be captured, imprisoned and have her eyes burned out beside Prince Corwin. While Corwin escaped, she remained imprisoned until eventually she was freed from the dungeon when King Random granted her pardon in exchange for her fealty. She still has a little double vision and a sensitivity to bright lights. She calls herself Brandy Amberton.
This wasn't our first meal together. We have run across each other several times and have come to enjoy each other's company. Few understand the trails and tribulations, the ultimate failures and the new state of affairs in our various Ambers better then we do, regardless of the details. Its the kind of conversation only shadow-travelers can understand.
Those around us think we are quadruplets of a sort. We let them take a few pictures.
You might ask what we have in common? Besides hat size, inseams and food preferences, all of us have had our ambition to rule in Amber absolutely stomped to pieces by the coming of a new undoubted king. All our scheming and cabals ruined and cast aside. Crimes and betrayals, stabbings in the dark, all forgiven. We are no longer rebels, traitors, conspirators or fugitives. We are firmly in fealty and are good servants of the crown.
We know as well as any of our kin that there are uncounted variations of ourselves and uncountable numbers of outcomes for them. We are four of the possible shades of Amber. We argue which one has primacy but in the end it's really not important. None of us rules our Amber. In time, you will hear from all of us as this journal continues.
We were at loose ends. Told by our kings to behave ourselves and find something to keep us busy.
As each of our Ambers experienced different outcomes after Patternfall, each of the four Bleys' took different routes. In time you'll read how different our paths have been but since at the moment this is my journal let us stick to my path.
To say I was crushed is an understatement. I had a thousand years of ambition destroyed. How does one contest the ruling of the Unicorn? I wanted to stay close to home just to see how things developed. I had friends in the theater scene in Amber so I spent time with them during that first year. Acted a little. Wrote a play. Sponsored a couple theater companies. Attended parties nearly every night, the royal on the scene, the eligible bachelor. The tragic figure in a show with a cast of millions.
One night there was a gathering of royal kinsman, nobles of Amber, royals and ambassadors from Golden Circle kingdoms, nobles and notables from realms along many a shadow trail from Amber, as well as an unusual collection of people from across shadow, all to welcome the new ambassador to Amber from Chaos. The Ambassador was Lord Despil Sawall, of the line of Benedict that produced Dara and Merlin.
It was a fine affair in the castle great hall with King Random and Queen Vaille the center of attention. That night Prince Benedict, the victor of Patternfall, attempted to bid adieu and return to his orchards and his retirement in Avalon.
It was a quiet exchange, with Random giving Benedict permission to abandon his duty to Amber at his will and return to obscurity leaving his homeland to the wolves of shadow that would surely test the new king. He was casual about it, telling Benedict to feel free to leave and to please remember to send him some apples out of Avalon. Random turned his back on Benedict and the little fink walked up to me and asked if I had been enjoying the spring weather?
I was not the only one who saw the quiver of anger on dear Ben's lips. A less observant noble took that moment to address him, since he seemed to be standing alone, and received the full force of Benedict's silent ire. I believe the man pissed himself as he moved quickly away.
Ben stepped over and accepted the baton and the office of Marshal of Amber, commander of all its military forces in the name of the King. It was clear that Random had secured the safety of Amber for the next hundred years at least. Those of us who harbored secret yearnings and ambitions saw them fall before Random's guile and Benedict's blade.
I became a drunk. Time passed faster that way. A decade in Amber passed in a blink of an eye it seemed.
Oh I was useful to the crown. Ambassador, diplomat, swordsman, and other useful functions for a failed claimant to the throne on his best behavior. I even took to the field when there was a need for a slightly drunk warrior prince.
In time I started traveling. Without direction at first, taking ship, horseback, walking. Telling the pattern to send me anyplace. Whenever I returned to Amber I was full of tales of new worlds, wonders, and peoples. It was a game at first, to twist the tail a little of the wandering prince thrust into the role of king.
But a strange thing happened. I liked traveling. I'd find a trail that didn't need my nudging to lead me someplace new. I would meet people, see things, taste new foods, drink old wines.
Soon I was taking people with me. Julian joined me on a hunting world. Gerard and I went to a world rich in fine waters and people who traveled them. Benedict and I explored a shadow where faster-then-light starships might provide Amber with a new line of defense with a ready space fleet. Flora and I took in grand high theater in a world where it was the highest of arts. I even took King Random to a realm where card players were international celebrities and they had poker faces like granite. I found diners that served the perfect Denver Omelets, Ruben Sandwiches, Oysters on the half-shell, and sixty ounce steaks.
I had become the tour guide of Amber.
I started writing my experiences in a journal I kept in the Library of Amber. There my kinsman could merely ask Arloxedra, Eric's bookworm of a son, to show them the latest entry. Then the next time I was in town I found them asking me to show them the path to some out of the way place I found in some world of which they had never heard. The king even gave Arlo a standing order to bring my 'Off the Road" journal to him every time I made a new entry.
So I decided to cut out the middleman. I will no long maintain a private journal just for my kin.
Neither will the other three Bleys' who find themselves tour guides as well. We will provide our reviews of the worlds we find to our respective versions of the Amber City Gazette where it can be read by everyone, and our observations may be cast out into shadow to be published in any number of other formats under innumerable different names. Our kinsmen will just have to pick up a copy on their own and pay a copperwing like everyone else.
May you the reader find these worlds entertaining. May we four Bleys prove of service to you, as well as to our crown and kingdoms.
Prince Bleys of Amber.