Despil’s Journal Day 5
I am healed enough in body but my mind is an inferno of rage and confusion.
Perhaps writing will help me channel it.
The last few months have been a hell ride.
I had felt for a while now that our manic focus on the destruction of Amber was counterproductive. It is possible (indeed probable, now that I have spoken to some Amberites) that most of those with patterned blood have no idea of how Amber is distorting and damaging the multiverses.
Then Brand appeared, an Amber Prince, strolling into our courts like he belonged there. Something about him made my teeth ache, he spoke far too much but said very little and always seemed filled with excuses. When I tried to caution people against trusting him I was shut out of discussions and sent to guard a box in a tower. A clever little set up from Brand and a trap on several levels. Also my punishment for questioning my superiors.
Ah, but I am still alive, my troops paid the ultimate price for my indiscretions. Crucified down the black road while I was saved by more Princes of Amber. The last of my company died as we fled to this potential haven. The sulphurous air of that shadow burned my lungs, my throat raw and bloody as I sang the last one home.
And now I have a debt to pay. I will send Hagen as much information as I can about the situation here. Of all the many players in this terrible game I’m inclined to trust him the most.
Enough reminiscence, I must gather information and find my way in this new court.
Today I will wear a face of resolve.
Despil’s Journal Day 8
I am so tired.
My scars ache in this new climate and each multicoloured dawn is heavier. The algorithmic kata I perform in that strange morning light no longer brings me peace.
It is clear to me that I am a curiosity in this court and I know the role well enough to play the part correctly.
Sometimes, while smiling pleasantly at some prattling young noble, my mind’s eye flashes to the battlefield. That last, desperate slaughter. My mouth floods with metal and my heart races. I struggle to keep my face pleasant while my muscles tense.
Perhaps my heart will kill me before the conspiracies of fate.
Would that I were a prince of Amber. Arrogant and heedless. Rolling through shadow like a plague.
They are not all Brand.
Hagen, Luce, Emil, seemed different. Even if Hagen is playing me for a fool and he uses the information I gave him to betray me what does it matter. I am sick of this life of ashes.
Today I will wear a face of sorrow.
Despil’s Journal Day 15
My liege lord wanted to go hunting today. I suspect he wished to see me in combat to ascertain how useful I would be, however I don’t think he’d seen a shapeshifter of my calibre let loose before.
When I had finished with the fire angel he threw up.
I’ve heard nothing from Hagen to indicate that my letters made it through. I don’t know what the time differential is between here and Amber. Perhaps I should wait another month for confirmation.
Meanwhile I must recalculate my spell algorithms and adjust my matrices to compensate for the probabilistic shift in this area. And heal. That fire angel got lucky too many times for me to relax my training.
Today I wear the pelt of my favourite beast.
Despil’s Journal day 17
My wish to live a quiet life has apparently been disregarded by whichever deity is pissing on my life right now.
They are training me up for something.
The day after my Lord took me hunting I was visited by a flint eyed woman in a uniform. She grilled me for a while on my abilities, my education and everything I knew about Amber. I was never one to play coy games of politics so I told her all I knew and some of what I suspected.
The rest of the day was filled with texts, tomes and instructions. I was given access to a restricted area of my lord’s library and told take whatever I thought was “helpful”.
Helpful for what?
My query was answered by narrowed eyes and a curled lip. But after half an hour my lord slipped me a reading list.
And those texts … Oh my sweet Ladies of Sorrow what do they have planned for me?!
Despil’s Journal Day 18
I am so filled with terrible knowledge. I feel like my skin will split like an overripe fruit.
What is real?
This thought is framed incorrectly.
It should be a statement not a question.
That is real.
The word “real” is like the words “loyalty” “trust” “justice”. They are constructs brought into being by an application of will.
However, as with all things, infinite potential in one frame is bound by conditions in another.
Conditions which some cultures call Armageddon, Ragnarok, the End Times, or as they call it here “The Gyre”.
And they use it!
Oh goddesses, they use it for
I hear footsteps, they are coming for me