KHARMAINEíS DIARY PART 10. by Gadge.

 

Weird. Very weird.

 

Letís start with the party. A happy gathering of various peoples - not Illya, she stone-bound me after I tried to cajole her into coming, so I started to talk to the rest of my family. When I got to Astus, it turns out what I had was interesting news; Astus suggested I avoid the dinner, but Benedict, Lorenzo et al all thought I should attend, with Astus no less, so they could check out Osricís house. Astus then came through, and started making all these cautionary preparations.

 

They were only sort of needed. Nora from house Tipareth burst in at one point, made a fool of herself but was revealed to be stronger than my spells, and then left. Why she did that, I donít know - some Chaos thing, I suppose. The only allowed gate-crasher was Lotharis from house Nitzach. The only minor slip-up, besides Lotharis leaving early, involved dessert, after I tried to keep Noraís anger-fuelled requests (my head on a plate, for example) on a lighter level. We return to the castle; Astus and I appeared to go our separate ways but in fact both go to Random.

 

NOW is when people deign to tell me about some sphereís destruction that will, nay, had already happened. I know they like to keep secrets, but not telling me of the potential destruction of the universe is just plain ludicrous. Sometimes I donít know why I bother. . . but that was sort of another matter. However, Dworkin appeared to be a bit too sane, desirous of his power back, and when Random, Lorenzo and I went up to Oberonís room he was arguing with him, and stone-bound his son. Dworkin then asked Lorenzo what had happened, but sent me to my room, which meant I still didnít know what was going on, as I couldnít hear Lorenzoís version of events. I came back down again a little later though, and congregated with my family, who were in Amber ever since they were sent out of Chaos as a precautionary measure. Moon was still sticking around; he turned out to have stopped Dworkin from fiddling in Astusí mind, and had actually given Dworkin Ďa right good kickingí. I ran up to check on the aftermath . . .

 

Astusí mind had turned out to be the battlefield, so he was looking a little stunned. Moon went to find Dworkin, as he was at some fount thing, and went to give him another good kicking. He also went to fetch Lorenzo, and Random reappeared as well. . . and *finally*, Astus confirmed something I had hoped all along. Moon *isnít* Brand - heís a trump amalgam of Brandís memories, as well as some of Astusí, etc. - basically, a combination of some of the most unstable minds in our multiverse, as well as millions of shadow people. Oh, and his trump energy is connected to the fount in some way. Oberon then entered the room, and whatever he had originally done to Dworkin, whatever that was, he couldnít redo. Or whatever.

 

Then. Random was reasserted as King, Astus doubted Oberon, Moon said he and Dworkin were Ďrealí, Lorenzo mentioned a special cauldron that could redo shadow, and Astus summarised - we had a dislikeable Dworkin, a strange star configuration, and some destruction throughout Shadow. Whew. Then Astus pulled through Benedict, Dara and 5 chaosites, and began filling Benedict in. Astus also tried expressing his fear/distrust/something of reality; it turned out, he thought Random was dead, or something - and his fears, and doubts, were assuaged by a little reality definition-changing. I have no idea - as I said, no-one tells me anything around here. Oberon decides heís going to try and edit Dworkin out of being a worry, and Lorenzoís going to try and redraw the Primal with this cauldron. Of course, everyone ignores my question, about Dworkin and his connection with the Primal. Typical men. Or more correctly, typical men of my family.

 

Lorenzo then talked about stuff that went completely over my head. Grange points? Brandís Pattern? All I really know is that Marcus then was pulled through. In the end, Oberon, Astus, Marcus, Benedict and possibly Moon were to fix Dworkin, while Lorenzo redrew the Primal and his father Caine, and I, looked on. Astus trumped Illya, and told her among other things that Julienne had recently been in House Omega, or Osricís house. I reminded Astus to tell Illya where Suhuy was, as according to Marcus - a silver box like where Dworkin was. Talk goes on about spikards in crowns, which Bleys has. Dworkin is to be made happy in his cave, and not want to leave. Just before we do our separate things, some gratifying news - Astus agreed that Llewellin, aka Astariel, needed a good thrashing. I want to take part.

 

So Lorenzo, Caine and myself set out to fiddle the Primal. Lorenzo had to end up walking the Pattern backwards. I didnít know you could do that. Still, Lorenzo accomplished his feat, Caine was his usual smilingly obnoxious self, and we returned to Amber, fate of Shadow unknown.

 

 

Now this is where the fun started. It seems all a dream, but a couple of things fix it in my mind - the feeling that I accomplished a universal benefit, and the trumps of Jenny and Taranis. They donít fade. So it must have happened.

Apparently it was all children of Fiona, Bleys or Brand. I only counted one daughter of Fiona, while there were two sons of Bleys and three daughters and a son of Brand. Evidently they came in turn, but what happened to me happened to us all; an imprisoned Bleys trumped me, told me that two children of a Brand were planning to rewrite history so that Brand won - and he wanted me, that is, us, to observe and to see if the consequences helped them (he and Fiona) out - if it did, then that was good. If it didnít, we, including the children of Brand, would work to fix the problem. I agreed to go through, planning to stop whatever it was - I gathered later that some of my compatriots/multiversal cousins had other ideas.

There was Jenny, daughter of Fiona, a green-eyed quiet type with long red hair. There was Taranis, daughter of Brand, a willowy woman with a silvery sheen and a distinct, though not permanent, transparency. There was Ricardo, son of Brand, with small cropped black hair, deep-set green eyes and a distinct look of Brand. There was Artemis, daughter of Brand, petite, golden-haired athlete with a delicate, though deadly-looking, golden rapier. There was Quinn, son of Bleys, with his green eyes and black pony-tailed hair. And there was the fated Tamerlaine, son of Bleys, with dark red curls, a gold earing, red sash and a keg. We combined together, and encountered Ariel, female, and Uriel, male, the children of Brand who wanted to help his, somewhere, actually succeed in his quest to destroy the Primal by spilling actual life-blood, instead of just normal blood, of Martin. We ended up armouring up, and all going through their gate to the Primal, and then we stationed ourselves among the rocks to see what happened.

 

Three times, I counted, some form of Uriel went through the passage. The first time was apparently him, the second time was a false Benedict, and the third time was a young version of himself. But Iíll come to that later. There was a minor skirmish between some of our group with members of Benedictís soldiers; then Benedict himself appeared, carrying a book, while Brand sat in the centre while talking to Martin over trump - and I was surprised when he was attacked. I would have been more surprised if I hadnít, when trying to stop the attack, using my power words, dived out of the way down into the Primal Patternís surrounding caldera - and fallen head-first 90 ft. into Dworkinís cave. I trumped Taranis, who I knew had left, and didnít want Martin to die - and then trumped Jenny, who I knew not to be involved, and returned to the caldera.

As far as I could see, Quinn, Tamerlaine, Ricardo and Ariel were directly attacking Benedict - and Ariel was very good, as were Tamerlaine (though he was at a distance originally) and Quinn (ditto). Artemis was also probably attacking, while Jenny was right out of it and Taranis was providing support for Martinís life elsewhere. I had a trump of Jenny and one of Taranis, and Taranis had one of me.

I did manage to have an effect; Brand was looking like he was about to pull through Martin, while Tamerlaine looked likely to go and kill Benedict, Quinn and Artemis were both off near the fight but contributing with missiles, and Ricardo and Ariel both looked near-death, after a very close encounter with Benedict, who was in the same state. As Tamerlaine charged Benedict, I Pain Attacked him - and so Benedict stabbed him. Then Tamerlaine Pain Attacked Benedict, which rather disgustingly, made him convulse, though he kept a firm grip on the blade. I believe Tamerlaine died there, although I doubt he still is dead, after what happened. Quinn ran forward and grabbed the book Benedict had dropped; I ran towards him and tried to see it as well. Quinn was going to walk the Primal, but a grown-up Uriel stood in his way. So Jenny to pass us through to Taranis, and then returned to see Brand trying his own blood on the Pattern, and a young Uriel running to grab another book identical to the first. Benedict hadnít wanted Uriel to get his hands on the book - and the only other active participant was Artemis, who tackled the boy, grabbed the book, and then went back through with me to Taranis, who had taken Martin to a strange realm of her own device. And then she and I went through to check on the dying/dead; Tamerlaine had died, while Benedict was only just alive and Ricardo a little more so. The last thing I remember of the realm we were in was seeing Brand disintegrate on the Primal. Then I was back.

 

All in all, a curious adventure - more so as there were no discernible reflections of my family. Still, weird is weird, and Iím forgetting quite a bit of it now. Perhaps for the best. Still, I wonder what would happen if I tried the trumps. . .