The Death Pattern

Having seen their comrade disappear, the group tries to figure out what to do. Suddenly Dworkin appears with a tube.. of.. Lowen. He pops it open and sprays the contents across the pattern. It looks like black flames are now flicking out of it. Dworkin is happy Jericho finished the experiment for him, as he had been to afraid to do it himself.

Jericho decides to start walking the pattern. It is difficult to push forward, but as he does, the path behind him seems to become easier. Passing the veils is actually easier than usual. "Son?" Jericho hears. "Father?" he replies. Eric asks why everything is so dark. Jericho explains the situation. Eric is irate to find out that Corwin killed him. Jericho continues his journey.

Reaching the second veil, Jericho finds himself very tired. He recalls a similar feeling during a week-long battle he had ages ago. Ahead he sees ghostly figures of people he's killed, starting with the most recent ones. He receives a trump from Natasha. She expresses her concern and shares Dworkin's suggestion that Jericho's loved ones should be here. Jericho says that he wants Benedict and his mother, Helen of Troy.

Natasha trumps Benedict, who appears to be sneaking into combat. In a foreign language, he tells someone to fall back. He comes through. She also contacts Helen and brings her through.

Isabelle runs onto the pattern, determined to help Jericho through his challenge. Natasha reaches to grab her, but she darts by. Dworkin commands Natasha to also get on the pattern, but walk slower. "Faster, Isabelle!" Eventually the three on the pattern each reach a veil at the same time. Dworkin coordinates with Gerhardt to engineer a reduction in the ambient resistance.

Each one reaches the center and chooses their destination. Jericho goes to his mother. Isabelle, seeing that he is ok, seeks R&R at the spa. Natasha travels to Dworkin… but doesn't appear next to the Dworkin nearby. Benedict trumps away. Dworkin exits via the stairs, mindful to avoid Silas' traps. Gerhardt stayed to investigate the door. The rest of the group boards the Envoy and heads to Castle Amber.

Natasha appears in what seems to be Dworkin's bat cave. She asks him what happened, since she expected to appear somewhere else. Then she blacks out.

Silas is notified that Natasha has appeared at some point. He checks the surveillance footage and finds that she appeared to be there the whole time. He confirms that no one entered the surveillance room. One screen showed the scene from which she just came. Dworkin was on that screen, as well about a dozen others… Perplexed, he proceeds to her room to check on her. She has been drugged and put in her night clothes. Silas inserts a tracking device in the hilt of her sword.

Natasha wakes up and explains her side of the story. She originally asked to go to Lowen, but the pattern could not take her there. Her second request was to go to Dworkin.

Are there really now 7 Brands, 5 Oberons and 2 Dworkins? There must be at least 2 of him since the one at the death pattern did not know about the one that threw Silas like a missile. The bat cave screens suggest many more.

Natasha sends a bird of her desire to find Lowen. Attached to it is a trump of her so he can have someone trump her. The bird won't come back until it finds him.

In her home spa, Isabelle enjoys a session with her kitty masseuse, Antonio. She notices his hackles rise. A mirror sits in the corner of the room, showing no reflection at all. Isabelle orders a servant to cover it and removed it from the room. He does so, mentioning that if it matters, this phenomenon has occurred in every mirror and reflection in the castle.

Having the smartest brother in the world, Isabelle immediately calls Gerhardt and interrupts him from his work, as usual. Begrudgingly, he leaves his research and comes to investigate. He uses his pattern lens….. Reflections appear again, and as they do, Gerhardt and Isabelle catch a glimpse of something. "As the mirror wakes up", they see a fair-skinned, black-haired woman wearing a dress in several shades of purple. She runs off the side of the mirror and out of the room. Isabelle turns the mirror, but she doesn't see the woman again.

In a trump contact with Jericho, Random notes that there is a warrant for Helen's arrest. Given some time, he can have it expunged. Jericho tells Silas, who arranges for a detour.

Upon arriving in Amber, the group learns that the Oberon rescued from Ygg was murdered. His throat was ripped out. It seems there is a need to ensure the identity of everyone; a way to make sure everyone is who they say they are. A bigger concern is the potential that a clone could be used to gain intel from the source person.

In their periscope goggles, Gerhardt and Isabelle are able to follow the woman as she goes outside and into the mausoleum. She leads the way to a central patio inside the mausoleums and seems to be waiting for them, waving. Gerhardt asks if they can talk, but she dives into the pond. There is no ripple, but her arm extends back out, beckoning. They take her hand and go through.

The woman introduces herself as Rhanda. She explains that she is from this place, "the other side". She has been watching Isabelle and the family. She blocked the mirrors because an assassin or kidnapper was coming for her. "How did you know that?" Isabelle asks. "I have my own pets," she replies ambiguously.

She runs her hands over the mirror and it ripples slightly, then turns into a portal back to the real world. Gerhardt asks…

There is a creature that only exists in its own reflection. In that form, it can be in multiple places at once. The only ones that are contained are held by the royals. No one has ever killed one before.

Silas tries to trump Isabelle and gets no response; the card doesn't even become cool. He tries Gerhardt and the same thing happens. Concerned, he reaches out to Bleys, who does answer. Bleys dismisses his offspring's apparent disappearance, but tries to help Silas reason through it. "Did you ever consider that maybe she doesn't want to talk to you?" says Bleys. Silas says, "Well, no."

Moving on to a new line of questioning, Silas asks if there is a way to tell if someone is a clone. Bleys says there is, but then Silas clarifies: without cutting open their brain. Silas asks if Bleys can check the body of Oberon. Bleys says he will do it, but first he is going to Erewhon to check on his children.

Back on the Other Side, Gerhardt asks what Rhanda saw in different parts of their adventures. "There are places that are between places, and then there are places," she notes.

Silas and Jericho try to figure out how to identify clones. Random explains that several of them did the autopsy and decided that the safest thing to do with the body was to cremate it. There are still enough samples on which to run tests.

Aspects: Jericho - Mother's Love, Gerhardt - Inspired

J:4 , I:5 , N:8 , G:3 , S:4

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