Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Change of Heart

When I awoke from my slumber, I found out that Samba had made it back as well. It was time to go ahead and head back to Amber, but there was preparation to do first. I prepared more hawks, and hounds, while Samba healed himself. I also empowered my armor and weapons, hoping that would help if we ran into the creature again. After about a week, we started out again. The journey was uneventful, and after meeting my troops in my shadow, I decided to go near the border with Andrevo's shadow to see if I could contact him, at least by messenger. My troops had informed me our "engagement" was public knowledge, and I was, at the very least, curious to see why he had chosen that path. We camped near the border, and I soon received a message from the Mayor of Dubrovnick, asking for my attendance at a festival in honor of our engagement. I returned my message back to Andrevo directly, telling him I wished to speak. Soon, I received a trump contact, but I refused, wary of who it might be. After a while, a messenger returned, with a message that said, simply, "3." After receiving two more contacts, I relented on the third, and spoke with Andrevo. After questioning, he complained he had no choice but public announcement of our engagement, after I told his family. I told him it was the only way I could think of to pass a seemingly innocent message. The conversation started to become heated, with me asking him to ask his mother why she felt it necessary to remove my leg, and almost kill me. He then asked me why she would want to do that, and I stupidly answered it was because I shot Agnes. After that, our link fell dead. I sent a messenger asking him to let me explain, but there was no response, trump or otherwise. Somewhat dejected, I slept.
The next morning, I decided to try and trump him, and was able to contact him. Asking about our conversation earlier, he simply said he had finished talking. I explained the situation of Agnes' injury, and he seemed somewhat satisfied. At least that was out of the way, for now. I told him that I would be returning to Amber, but I would find another way to talk to him. He told me about some of the information he'd found out...that Brand was active, that he had found some of the residents of Amber that was...I told him of our "adventure" in Chaos. We soon bid farewell, and Samba and I headed off to Amber, at the head of my troops. When we reached Forest Arden, I left most of my troops there, and took only an honor guard with me. Samba told Paki that he wished to walk the pattern, and Paki said he would sponsor him, if I did not. I volunteered that I would lead Samba to the Pattern, and we continued on inside the castle. I took Masamba straight to the Pattern, and let him in. I watched him place his feet upon it, and slowly walk towards the center. When he finally reached the center, he reached into his pockets, pulling out his imp and a dagger, and then slit the imp's throat, spilling its blood upon the pattern before disappearing. Dumbfounded, I watched as the blood sizzled on the pattern, the light blinking out and leaving the room in darkness.
Desperately trying to maintain my calm, I reached into my pocket, pulling out Andrevo's trump. He answered, and I told him what happened, the words spilling out of my mouth.. We discussed options, from trying to frame some sort of creature, to simply telling the truth. He ventured that it might had been Brand's doing, and we both concluded that there was not much that I could say that would exonerate me in Fionn's eyes. As we talked more, we came to the conclusion that in order to fight Brand's influence, Agnes was needed. Now, I'm not even sure why I reached that conclusion, but it was the start of a change. I told Andrevo that I could get to Agnes, if he could get me away. He offered me sanctuary and we plotted, there in the dark, and soon the plan was formed. I vowed to contact him when I was ready.
Reaching out for the mind of my falcons, I told my men that I wished them to leave, and sent my honor guard to join those in the forest. On my word, they would engage the enemy, then flee into shadow, continuing on to Dubrovnick, where I would meet then. I then stepped out of the Pattern room, locking the door behind me. I continued down the hall, walking into the room where Agnes was kept. As the guards told me they could not release her drugs without another present, I calmly removed Agnes from the various tubes and monitors, and calling to Andrevo, took his hand, stepping through to Dubrovnik with Agnes. I had cast the die.

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