Let's Make a Deal

Merlin and Lowen are out in the deep dark shadows conducting experiments. Merlin says, "Whatever you do next, don't move!" Gerhardt, Natasha, Jericho, Isabelle, and Silas are all in Amber. Jericho is with Eric. Suddenly, a rainbow hue envelops all but Merlin and Eric and each hears their name whispered. And then they are whisked away!

tvd-recap-all-my-children-18.jpgAppearing together in a cavern, captured inside a magic circle, the group surveys the room. The circle is carved in the floor with runes and a septogram and includes the full names of each of them. (Fate point to everyone but Elodie). They have all of their gear, except for magic items, which are strewn outside the circle. One corner of the cavern glows with the light from a bubbling lava flow. About half the cavern is adorned with gold and a gigantic black dragon, Netherwing. He has summoned the group to offer them a chance to make amends for the destruction they wreaked against his city, Dragon's Port, on their previous visit, during their conflict with the Sorcerer Kings. The city remains under attack by unkillable goblins and their triceratops steeds.

Eric and Merlin contacted Benedict about the disappearances. Benedict spread the word to the rest of the family, including Elodie, who he told to be careful. Elodie is still with Finnegan at the Pub of the Beginning and End. Finnegan plies her with questions about what happened. When he learns Gerhardt is one of the taken, it becomes much more important to him. "I've gotta keep him around!" he explains. She tries to comfort him, explaining that Amberites are "durable". She pulls out trumps of her friends to see if the cards feel normal, and they do. However, she can't make the connection. After she shares all the details of what Benedict told her, Finnegan looks worried. "I wonder if a Namer got them." The only Namer he knows of on the Amber/Chaos side of things is a dragon… Netherwing.

Silas opens dialogue with the dragon, who is quite smug about the whole ordeal. "I'm going to go over here and take a nap." Netherwing saunters over to a pile of gold and plops down. Jericho demands that Jonathan, one of the dragon's kobold guards, wakes up the dragon. "Absolutely not! His eminence would eat me!" After the group establishes that they can't push out of the circle, that inanimate objects can pass the barrier, and that the barrier domes over above their heads, Jericho attempts to see if someone can be brought into the circle. He harpoons Jonathan and pulls him rapidly back toward the circle. Jonathan splatters messily outside, but his clothing comes through.

Silas tries to open a portal to undershadow, and instead ends up transporting there directly. There he finds the dragon to be awake and amused. "That's a neat little trick," Netherwing mused. The Amberite offered to apologize, as the primary offense seemed to be offending the dignity of the beast.

Gerhardt examines the runes inside their cage. It looks like this has been in the works for about a hundred years.

31e9d77629a2e7d49099c084ddb71e49.jpgSilas tries to return, but only partly succeeds, appearing ghostly and insubstantial. The group tries to figure out what to do. Silas reaches out to Jericho, and upon touching, Silas' form wavered. Netherwing now approaches, amused that no accord has been reached.

Elodie decides to cast trumps to see if she can determine anything more about the situation. Whatever her friends are facing, it lies beyond the Abyss towards the furthest reaches of sanity. At the end of the Void Sea lies Dragon's Port, home of Netherwing. As luck would have it, Finnegan has an icon of a shopkeeper in the market there.

In Dragon's Port, Finnegan comments that a lot has changed. A massive black wall has been built around the city, topped by spikes, many of which bear the still living severed heads of goblins. Elodie checks her trumps again and can't get through but senses the group is nearby, in the direction of Netherwing's cavern lair. She contacts Benedict to inform him of the situation, describing in full detail the gruesome remodeling job. "We have an 'in' in the fairy court. Let me see what I can do about getting the goblin issue resolved," he tells her. He sends Martin through the trump to help Elodie and Finnegan. The three of them approach Netherwing's lair. His kobold guards confirm that the other Amberites are inside and let them pass on the condition that they not interfere. Elodie reaches the circle and confirms that the others are unharmed.

Netherwing and the group continue negotiations. Monetary remuneration and other compensation are agreed upon. Each of them is to sign a formal apology. Those bearing the greatest responsibility for the damage, Silas, Lowen, and Isabelle must additionally agree to a favor to be named at a later time. (Fate point to be given then.) Jericho, standing on his status as a prince of Amber, only agrees to pay the dragon and flatly refuses to apologize. Lowen delays signing in support of Jericho. Netherwing releases his other four captives, who begin working on their promised reparations. He also restores Silas' solidity.

Netherwing invites Elodie to land on his hand, says he knew her mother in Paris before she was born, and gives her a magnificent diamond necklace. The center stone has a tiny flaw the color of her eyes.

Benedict arrives with the Master of The Hunt, who is, incidentally, not Narc any longer. They are going to call off the goblins of the wild hunt. Isabelle will address the triceratops issue with a three pronged approach: herding them home, sterilizing the ones that won't go back, and hunting the few remaining ones. Silas hunts down the bees and returns them to undershadow. Lowen decides he might be of more use to Jericho on the outside, and signs the apology.

Silas learns that Eric has raised an army to liberate his son and is now camped just past the border of Chaos. He informs Jericho by slipping a note into a sandwich that he passes through the "cage", though the subterfuge is wholly unnecessary.

Hoping to prevent a massive diplomatic incident with Chaos, Elodie asks if there is any service she can offer the dragon in lieu of Jericho's apology, which leads to a quiet conversation between the two. "Is he worth it?," he asks. "Probably not, but … he's family." Netherwing hesitates, then says, "I'd like a relationship with my daughter." He eventually admits that she is his daughter. Flora had been overwhelmed when she learned he was a dragon and made him promise not to approach Elodie. Elodie is only too glad to finally have a relationship with her father. Netherwing shifts into human form and claps, releasing the final prisoner. "You can thank her," he says, nodding toward Elodie. Jericho glowers at her and walks off silently.

Silas asks Netherwing if he will teach him Naming. The dragon agrees to take him as an apprentice if he will lay aside all other commitments and stay as his apprentice for ten years. Silas isn't willing to abandon his duties in Amber for that long.

Natasha asks the dragon if he might know a cure for Eric's (im)mortal wound. Netherwing says he will need the arrow and Eric in person to see if he can heal the death curse. "I've got good news and bad news," he tells Jericho. The dragon explained that the death curse could be transferred, but someone was going to die. He teaches Eric the necessary ritual.

In a private conversation, Jericho and his father discuss offering Corwin or another family member to receive the curse. "Deirdre is less useful," Eric says. They decide the best course of action is to find replicants of Eric.

Lowen receives a trump call from Merlin, who is freaking out about having lost his friend and cohort. It turns out that the shadow in which they were working… imploded into a singularity. Merlin had activated his Ghostwheel prototype, but it had been unable to find Lowen. He thinks he's found a suitable shadow to house Ghostwheel's machinery, but now needs to return to Berkley to work on his dissertation.

Deciding that the replicant warehouse would be the prime location to snag their sacrifice, and that it should probably be dealt with anyway, the group heads to Cirso's shadow, adjacent to Erewhon. The skies are not friendly, but that does not deter the mighty Silas. They soon arrive at Uncle Cirso's and find the warehouse closed and locked down.

As Jericho approaches, he is greeted with exploding singularities and other implements of doom. He calls Eric and warns him that he is about to open the gate. Gears and mechanical gadgets whir into action. Silas approaches the now visible door and rings the bell. More whirring, then a mechanical-sounding, "Please say your name." Rockets pop out and aim, awaiting the answer. He begins, "I am Silas, Ambassador of Amber and Special Pleni—". Rockets launch, abruptly interrupting the recitation of titles.

Silas instantly ducks into undershadow, unscathed. He's able to enter the castle from there, and moves through the castle to the basement where he sees a large ominous door guarded by two automatons. He trumps in the rest of the group (everyone is present except Elodie).

Elodie stays with Netherwing, having further things to discuss. The diamond necklace has powers suggesting that it is his Icon, though he doesn't use the term, and Flora will remember it. About telling Flora she had met him, she said, "Oh, I figured I'd just show up wearing the necklace. Completely casual." He laughed and said it wouldn't remain casual for long.


The rest of the group pushes open the ominous doors, which are neither locked or trapped, revealing hundreds of replication chambers. Some are quite damaged. Gerhardt finds that there is a similar configuration in adjacent rooms, going down about four levels. The control module has been destroyed, but he is able to make out enough of it to see that it does not function like the one in Bleys' basement. At the base of it is a copy of the pattern, the main connection for the whole thing. Upon further inspection, it bears a closer resemblance to Corwin's pattern than the real one, though it does not appear to be designed for walking (though this does not mean it cannot be).

S:R, I:5, J:4, E:R, G:3, N:7, L:6

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