I’ve spent so much time in the palace libraries in the last two days that I don’t think I ever want to see another book again. I’m also pretty sure I never want to read anything about the Weir ever again, stuff of nightmares that is. At least now I have a better idea of what can and can’t be done and what will and won’t work against them.

Yes, I’m talking about the Weir again, you’d think that was all that my life involved at the moment, and that’s not true, but it’s become the most pressing matter. Yes there was the daring and unexpected rescue of someone who turned out to be Brand, an imprisoned Prince of Amber and Emil’s father. And, yes, there was also the whole underwater city thing, breathing as per normal and a matriarchal society and if I had more time I’d bore you to death with details of the amazing things I saw on my tour with Hagen. Or I could tell you what Luce told me about being a Trump artist and how amazing that is, how incredibly useful it has become. The light in my room just now is prefect for drawing, though I’m yet to learn how to create more than single use trumps, but single use ones are useful enough and its good to have these, they give me some measure of peace.

It sounds the stuff of the fantasy novels I used to read as a kid, simply unbelievable, except it is real. Realer than anything I’ve ever experienced.

But back to the Weir. A few days ago (was it really only a few days? It seems so much longer), Hagen came to me asking for assistance with a matter he and Luce were investigating. Someone, a person they called an Honoured Dead, had escaped prison and was in Amber city. Long story short the Honored Dead are soldiers who’ve fought the Weir but who have been “tainted” by them. They’re locked away in prison rather than being killed (as a civilian who was Weir tainted would be) as an honour to their service to Amber. Seems rather a dangerous policy to me. Whatever. One had made it’s way to Amber and we were to find it and deal with it. Which we did, recruiting Emil and Sioned to help us kill it, for you need to kill these things if they escape, it’s how the Weir spreads. Both Sioned and I were injured, not disastrously, and were healed in short order. Job done.

We were all then to make our way to where the Black Road had appeared in the Vale of Garnath, but with a detour to Sioned’s home of Rebma first, not entirely sure why, just that Hagen had business there. Another long story short, Madoc, brother of the Queen of Rebma, informed Luce that there was a problem with Weir taint in Rebma and he thought it was coming from the palace. I could sense that wrongness, that deadness in the air (well, the water in this case, so very weird) but couldn’t pinpoint it. Madoc was afraid it was the Queen herself, so we, in an idiot move I’ve no doubt, raised Pattern around her. Nothing there that I could see, but Luce ordered me to leave immediately, so I grabbed a random trump and off I went. And didn’t that lead to all the fun with Brand?

The four of us, Sioned was nowhere to be found, she disappeared just after killing the dragon (see, fantasy stories I tell you), met up briefly two days ago, as Luce had some news for me, though he seemed keen the others were there. News that lead to the study frenzy over the last two days. Close to 40 hours awake now, but my dreams are growing odd and unfriendly, so sleep is not something I want, and to be honest need, right now. I’ve gone for longer without, one of the benefits of being psionic I guess, being able to compartmentalise your own brain. PTSD, sleep, humanity, anything you can think of can be locked down and shut away, for a while at least.

But now, the light has faded, the knowledge is gathered and the art is done. It’s time.