Highness Julia,

I’m sorry I haven’t thought to contact you earlier, and we did not have time for more than a quick chat at the ball (which really wouldn’t have been an environment best suited to this discussion in any case). In thinking over the ways in which a pattern grenade or flash bomb could be constructed, I have three hypothesis to offer so far.

In formulating these ideas, I have taken time to research the nature of pattern, although I fully admit that my knowledge on this subject is not the best, and much of the theoretical work I have been doing so far would benefit greatly from input from someone with better knowledge. But as this matter is between us for now, I have not sought yet to include anyone else in this work.

Primarily the purpose of a proposed bomb or grenade would be to create blast areas of pattern among the enemy ranks once the device is triggered. Possibly combining this with some kind of shrapnel or sorcery element, whilst outside the scope of what I have been formulating, is not unconsidered. Tangentially, I believe further exploration of any workable theory could lead to applications in defensive artifact construction, such as pattern shield wall. But that is outside this scope and as such, I have not devoted additional thought to this area outside the purely hypothetical.

The following hypotheses are formulated to contain the required elements within a small, hand held, easily stored, carried and thrown artifact item that is capable of withstanding external pressures without triggering the final effect prematurely. I have discussed with Lara items from her shadow which serve a similar, but a less sophisticated use. These items are primarily cylindrical or spherical in shape, with additional mountings to attach clips, or hooks; and are generally made of robust materials. The triggers for these items seem to vary between the purely mechanical and ranged “digital” (I am unsure as to the exact nature, but after having Lara explain it to me, it seems similar to a ranged psychic trigger of some kind). There are also a number of larger incendiary items that we briefly looked at that it would probably not be too difficult to adapt any workable theory to, although additional work would need to be done around concepts of volume adaptability and exponential growth of target areas.

Hypothesis 1:

To contain and compress a version of Pattern within a device. Triggering the device would allow the pattern to expand explosively thus effecting anything in it’s blast radius. A simple outcome, but possibly the most complicated to create, as would require extensive research in to ways to raise, compress and contain Pattern in a static bubble until released. If such an outcome could be achieved, this could provide for a powerful front line weapon.

Hypothesis 2:

Utilising a trump element to bring those within a blast radius directly in to contact with a raised defensive pattern. Or the reverse, the trump element channels the raised defensive pattern in to an area of combat. A way to use raised pattern as a ranged combat tactic. Would require at least one princess/prince of Amber with significant endurance to be present on the field, and likely dedicated to this endeavour.

Hypothesis 3:

Constructing a core material imbued with pattern that expands explosively once the outer shell of the artifact is triggered to release it. Possible core material could be one that remains in a solid or highly viscous state until triggered and is then rendered in to a explosive gaseous or rapidly expansive low viscosity wave. This option could allow for long term storage and use of artifacts in shadow by non-Amberites.

I do look forward to hearing your thoughts on this, as I’m certain that you would have some much more interesting ideas, and the thoughts I have had can be significantly improved upon.

Sioned rch Bran.

P.S. You looked seriously kick-ass at the ball! I wanted to say as much, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate in front of the Feldane girls. They are heaps of fun, but don’t really have a whole lot of boundaries. I inflicted them on Gerard, and he didn’t seem best pleased with me.

Serious question. Were the scorpions in your necklace conjurations, or actual scorpions?