Game log 1
We began with Ran’choth [reflection of light from a perfect pearl] pour !sensation of fine sand!, preparing for a party, attempting to find appropriate clothing. Lord David brought him to Bandy, a renowned tailor, who did his best to accommodate Ran’s tastes and desires, but in the end simply offered something pret a porter, and Ran adapted himself to it.
At the party Flora organized to welcome Lord Ivo back to Amber, many of the court’s minor luminaries were on display, though few of the elders. The guest of honor, Ivo, seemed uncomfortable with the attention. Ran inquired as to what sort of celebration would suit him better, suggesting a more martial theme, which Ivo averred. Ivo stated he prefers farming, for subsistence, and some speculation ensued as to how a farming-based celebration would work.
A man named Daron welcomed Ivo back to the court, on whose behalf was not clear. Daron was not himself a lord, and did not offer further explanation.
King Random made a speech officially welcoming Lord Ivo, and also introducing Saif as a member of the Blood. He seemed preoccupied with avoiding a supplicant, Lord Corey of Chronos Keep in Lyonesse.
Interrupting Random’s speech, a glowing sphere appeared in the middle of the gathering, depositing a naked man, carrying a note. The man seemed somewhat confused, reading from the note an announcement that he was of the Blood, and claiming his birthright, concluding with veiled and possibly second-hand insults against Princess Llewella and “The Weasel.” The naked man, whose name was revealed to be Victor, was given over to Marcus and Fiona.
Fiona and Ran examined Victor, with indeterminate results beyond establishing his reality. Afterwards, Fiona was overheard to whisper “Bleys” to Random.
Saif was approached by a Carter, who congratulated him on his recognition by the Court, but didn’t explain himself.
Lord Corey caused a stir by shouting to Random “Why won’t you help with these zombies??” but when no zombies were immediately evident, panic was averted. Random diverted Lord Corey to Saif, who gathered some details of the man’s complaint. Corey was the heir to a keep on a Golden Circle Shadow, and felt his parents and many others had become zombies, due to abnormal behavior. He provided Trumps of his parents, the keep, and the Chancellor, Michel Deltemps. Random also provided a Trump of the Shadow Lyonesse, to help with investigation.
The party never really regained its momentum after the interruptions of the naked man, and then zombie near-panic. Afterwards, Victor was given quarters and freedom of the castle. Saif departed to prepare for investigating Lyonesse.
Marcus and Ivo engaged in religious and philosophical discussion, which was still probably more fun than the party. Marcus also introduced Ivo to Kevin, Random’s younger son, something of an artist and recluse.
Ran accompanied April, a singer at the party, to the White Pony for further conversation and congress.
Victor captured an intruder approaching his room, who gave his name as Ben Kenobi. After an inconclusive interrogation, the intruder was sent away. Later, Victor was accosted in his room by an androgynous bag-headed moppet, which had cryptic warnings and a disturbing presence. Afterwards, Victor took a walk, but not down memory lane. He had some recollections, of loading bodies on a vehicle, of having to breathe water on another occasion, but no coherent memory of his past.
In the morning, Ran encountered kitchen staff behaving oddly. He absorbed one, determining that the person had been psychically dominated briefly.
Saif sent a creature to scout Chronos keep, determining that the normal operations of the place seemed to be ongoing, but that many of the inhabitants displayed a peculiar lack of emotional response. Saif gathered some other minor members of the Court to possibly assist with investigating the keep: Ran, Victor, Ivo, and Marcus.
While Saif was sharing the details of the Lord Corey situation, a servant deliberately and bafflingly splashed Ran with water. Ran’s examination, and Ivo’s psychic contact, indicated that the servant had also been psychically dominated. Ivo escorted him to the king.
Marcus mentioned that Kevin had paintings of each of the people present, and suggested we visit him, since Kevin’s art was sometimes oracular. Kevin had paintings of each with an animal, as well as a somewhat abstract battle scene. Victor asked Kevin for a painting of where he came from, and Kevin agreed.
Ran suggested that the behavior of the servants and those in Lyonesse might be connected.
Marcus, Victor, Saif, and Ran Trumped to Chronos Keep. Guards approached, behaving oddly. Ran attempted to investigate one, causing the others to attack. Victor and Marcus easily defeated them, and the damage revealed them to be automata. Ran’s investigation showed a partial biological basis, but that they were largely mindless.
The Chancellor of the Keep, Michel Deltemps, emerged with his wife, and offered hospitality. When the nobles grew impatient with his evasiveness, he offered to lead them to the Lord, but instead brought them to an ambush. The nobles Trumped back to Amber, with the Chancellor prisoner.
In the course of interrogating Chancellor Michel, a Trump of a location was confiscated. He claims it is a location in Lyonesse of sentimental significance to his wife and himself. He also had a ring which linked to the automata.
Michel admitted to replacing most of the guards of Chronos Keep with automata as a cost-cutting measure. He also admitted to replacing the Lord, Moxley, in order to forestall Corey’s inheritance, claiming that Corey was incompetent to rule. He also implicated a toymaker, Terence, as the supplier of the automata, and as urging Michel to replace more people. The Chancellor claimed to be afraid of the toymaker, and also repeatedly asked that his wife be left alone.
Informed of these developments, Random recommended passing matters to Lord Corey, as the rightful heir.
Marcus visited Kevin again, who turned out to have a picture of Terence the toymaker ready. He had also completed the picture of where Victor came from, which was a scene of Victor restrained, with someone sawing off his arms. Kevin asked for paints from a particular Golden Circle Shadow.
Saif, Victor, and Ran met with Lord Corey at the White Pony, eventually joined by Marcus. A man named Jester Haste also introduced himself, claiming to be a psychic from Eastwind Keep on Lyonesse, with a shared interest in matters in Chronos. Jester Haste offered some information on the toymaker’s whereabouts.
Corey was informed of his parents’ replacement, and given a bracing harangue by Victor, encouraging him to take an active part in protecting his own interests.
Saif, Victor, Marcus, and Ran returned to Chronos Keep by Trump, and were immediately confronted by guards. They fought their way to Lord Moxley’s court, capturing the Lord and Lady automata, which Saif deactivated and sent to Amber as evidence. The toymaker was not present at the court, so they proceeded to his workshop.
Ran and Jester Haste infiltrated the workshop. Marcus, Victor, and Saif approached normally, and were greeted by an animated teddy bear. After a brief, awkward interrogation, which indicated the toymaker was not aware of the actions blamed on him by Michel, the toys were antagonized by Ran’s attempt to probe the toymaker. A battle ensued, and eventually a toy opened a Trump gate, pulling the toymaker and Ran through. Saif seized the Trump gate to prevent it from closing, allowing Victor and Marcus to follow. The destination turned out to be filled with more combative toys. Ran achieved a stalemate by enclosing and threatening the toymaker.
In the following negotiation, it was revealed that the toymaker was in fact an automaton himself, created by the First Toy, Bruno. It was Bruno who had manufactured the replacements that the toymaker was unaware of. By offering Bruno and his kin a Shadow of their own, further hostilities were averted. The toys left Lyonesse, to dwell on a Shadow isolated from Trump by Fiona.
With a brief detour to get samples of Kevin’s paints, Ran was able to provide a significant quantity.