Excerpt from the Journal of Lukas Barimen:
Where was I? Oh yes, the trip to the library. Or libraries, as it turned out. After the chaos of finding the Lady Fantine murdered — with careful pains to make sure that she couldn’t be revived — Harley suggested we pay the library at Castle Amber a visit. I would have wanted the chance to visit with my father, too, in her place, and it made a logical place to catch each other up on what we’d missed out…even though we’d just been separated a short while. Events are moving that quickly.
I’ve still got my uncle out tracking down information (funny, isn’t it, that I call him my uncle here, even though we always use given names or rank in person?), and the palace and city guards have been instructed to relay the results of their investigation to me, so we’ve got that as a possible future source of information. Then there’s Javert of House Lion, who may be acting outside his jurisdiction by being here, but his hunt and ours seem to share common threads, so perhaps we can be of use to each other.
But back to the library. Apparently Robin had a nightmare — a vision — and she and my sister chose to share it with Harley, who in turn shared it with us. She saw Dworkin, who told Robin that Necroud was free and trying to destroy the Pattern. Suhuy forged a weapon from Dworkin’s flesh and blood, and the weapon was with the Archer, the Soldier, the God, and the Wolf — both parts of the weapon would be needed, and the traitor’s granddaughter should be avoided. We learned later that he was referring to Zarurra.
After we shared that, we each did some of our own research. I’ve always been fond of history, so I looked into the background of the Zinyini. Particularly with Necrod’s involvement, I’d hoped a study of his primary worshipers might provide some insight. For all their previous conflicts, though, their current peace doesn’t have any obvious challengers.
Jodunn researched Fantine herself, while Coy and Harley focused more on the forensic evidence, determining that the bullet used was exceptionally well designed, with an emphasis on damage to the target and accuracy. It was also teleported for the majority of the trip, though we’ve yet to determine precisely how.
As we were doing our reading, there was the beginning of some kind of flash of light. I don’t know how Coy could have responded to it so quickly — I’d barely realized that something was wrong by the time he had the Logrus raised and extended through not one but two different gateways that had opened and teleported us out of the immediate area of the trump gate. Ash kept us all aware of what was going by projecting the trump contact — a handy talent, that — while the Librarian from the Library at the End of Time explained that he was summoning us.
I don’t trust the Librarian at all, something that was reinforced by a woman we met not long after who didn’t share her name (that sounds sinister, but we only spoke with her briefly, and we didn’t give our names, either.) Whatever ends he? it? may be pursuing, though, we got information, and right now, we need far more of it than what we have. The Librarian told us there were forces arraying against us, and that we were currently operating below their notice. I can’t help but hope that remains true until who know who and where to strike, but something tells me with all the Powers that are already noticing us, that won’t be the case.
The Librarian had us gaze into the Abyss to see a vision that might give us some guidance on what will come. I held the Pattern to me and gazed in, since it served as protection against the nature of the place, offering the others the chance to see what I did via trump, so that they could share at least some degree of the protection that I had.
What I saw…the Vale of Garnath in flames, with silver and gold dragons flying overhead on strafing runs. My grandfather, armed and armored, riding against the Amber guard, while my grandmother floated behind disintegrating any of them who came close. My father was with them. Then I saw King Malcolm with the Jewel of Judgment, and I heard the sound of lightning lashing out against them. I can’t imagine what could bring my father and grandfather to turn on Amber, but whatever it may be, I know that I have to stop it.
Jodunn saw a different vision — the royals of Arklight fighting against beings with powers like his, but fighting for the Rahnian Sphere, and wiping out the Zinyini along with our Corwin’s Calayan troops.
The Librarian told us that the enemy would come through the Hedge Maze, come through the Hill of the Endless — to the Library, and that our visions were what would happen if they got in. It told us that we needed to find Lady Molly of House Fox.
After that, the Librarian left us to our search, which is when we met the woman. She also told us that everything written here was a lie, because it was based on previous universes, so would be similar to this one, but not necessarily the same.
And that’s where we are now. We’ve just found three books on Lady Fantine…one a biography, one a case file, the third done more in a pop-culture style. Harley warned us about spoilers potentially causing major problems…I’m not quite sure that applies to the story of a Fantine from a different universe, but admittedly, I don’t know enough about things like that to safely say it wouldn’t, either, so I’ll play it safe for now…and it sounds like they need me for something, so I’ll have to continue this update another time.
Excerpt from the Unwritten Journal of Coy VonThistledorf
So by adding a small amount of finely granulated magnesium to the flash powder, you get a much brighter initial burst to disorient your audience… wait… where was I, ah yes, the library!
That was an interesting encounter to say the least. Just as the finalization of study was wrapping up, I noticed a strange movement in my peripheral vision. A full grown male coyote was sitting on the floor looking at me with an almost forlorn look. “Well,” he said. “You probably don’t know this, but I got a lot riding on you in this upcoming event kid, you are the best choice; so what are you going to do about this?”
I looked around in confusion and began to gleam an understanding of what he referred. A trap was being set up around my friends and I at an incredibly slow rate. I could tell someone was trying to teleport us away from the castle library. “It isn’t functioning at a slower rate foolish boy, I am allowing you a few seconds to come up with something to save yourself,” replied the animal. “Notice your friends are still moving, just at a fraction of their normal speed, and you better think of something quick. I can’t keep this up all day.” I needed to get out of this trapped room, I needed to save my friends, I needed to track who was trying to teleport trap ME, and I wanted to leave a nasty surprise for the bastard that tried to trap a Master Escape Artist. This is going to be tricky I thought to myself;
Step One: conjure to me the deadly hungering spectral residents of castle Amber;
Step Two: reach out with my magic to teleport my friends and I out of this closing room, while leaving my newly invited guests;
Step Three: Summon my inner reserves of will to reach out with the Logris and wrap a slender tendril around a ghost to keep a tracking leash if you will;
Step Four: While using the Logris, separate a second tendril to follow the path of magic back to the source of the trap.
I turned to the coyote and said with a wicked grin, “Want to see a new trick? It should be pretty amazing, you know, if I live through it!”