The Shadow and the Flame

Session 7.1 & 7.2 Breakfast Natter & Michael and 'Sail get Metaphysical...

Summaries of Email play

I condensed some 60 pages to 3… so if I skipped important stuff sorry! Did my best to be representative, but also wanted it to be quickly readable. Please edit as needed.

All characters bar Tomascal were technically at the Breakfast Natter 7.1 the document was large and convoluted so I split it into Character Stuff and Plot related Discoveries for ease of reference.

Only Michael and ’Sail were talking in private in 7.2; so its OCC record, unless you were eavesdropping, or asked ’Sail or Michael, or were told by them after the fact. Quite a bit of what passed in that session was related IC to everyone bar Tomascal at the start of Session 8.

7.1 Breakfast Natter

Time: Shortly after Session 7 end, a week or so into the month gap between Session 7 and 8
Place: Gallowgate Lad
Present: Garridan, Michael, ’Sail – and nominally Pieter and Nyx as well
Scene Setting: Breakfast on the Ship

Overall the scene plays out as a discussion whilst the Ship prepares breakfast, its early morning – all named characters above have been invited to breakfast in the Library – Tomascal has buggered off again to the best of anyone’s knowledge.

Character dispositions

- Sylvia (with glee) and Michael (with much embarrassment) ask ’Sail’s permission to remodel the ship so they can have a double bed and room. ’Sail is surprised the ship has not already done it as that is part of its core functioning, to provide what is needed

- There is much piss taking of Michael’s embarrassment about relationships by ’Sail and Garridan, exacerbated by the fact that ’Sail is clearly in a dressing gown and Garridan clearly believes in being open about the two of them

- ‘Sail has been ’home’ she has bought two new dresses and come back with coffee, fruit and pastries which are breakfast (Sylvia wants a fry up though, and the Ship provides)… she is off kilter through the discussion

Several dynamics are clear through the conversation
- Michael and Sylvia are in a serious relationship, and are both extremely protective of each other
- ’Sail is overwhelmed but hanging in there, desperately trying to come to grips with the metaphysics and questions they are facing

- Michael and Sylvia are concerned about ’Sail, they think she may be under the influence of Theydon Bois or worse, she gives them (and anyone at that breakfast) free access to her mind to check for influences, none are found, but ’Sail was clearly stressed by her time in the Shadow

- ’Sail speculates at length, but this stresses out Michael and Sylvia because of the cost of revelations to Michael, however there are many crossed wires in the conversation and its abandoned for safer ground

Discoveries

Michael and Sylvia have been off in the Mausoleum at Shatterlight, and Michael has visited the Labyrinth at the base of the Stair – they have discovered much, but cannot tell everything just yet. Michael is under serious bonds and has paid serious prices for the information. He has also become THE Master of the Stair – he is yon big daddy now.

- This is the 7th Cycle, the previous 6 referred to themselves as being the 6th Cycle. Previous cycles have lasted some 12 000 years. This is the start of the 7th Cycle.

- The Dwimmerlaik are reduced to corrupting others in the stair since the Cauterisation of the Stair at Finestere via the sacrifice of 10 000 Masters of the Stair (Sylvia has strong opinions on this, backed by Michael, they are scathing of the previous 6)

- There are only 32 Masters of the Stair left

- Previous 6 were bound by the 6th heavily, prevented from saying anything; also the idea that they were heavily controlled by the ones that came before them and so they are trying a hands off approach as well (Michael thinks they should not be forgiven for holding back so much)

- Dayle prophesied the fall of Shatterlight, it will happen and the previous 6 will die defending it, it will happen – probably soon because its a huge psychological blow to the defenders of the Stair
They are doing this to distract the Dwimmerlaik from us, buying us time to move behind the scenes and find another way to end the cycles of destruction.

- Michael and Lucien have talked. Michael found Lucien’s sword and traveled to the center of the Labyrinth, there he found a “Son of a Power” who had been waiting to reveal much. Michael lied to Lucien though and told him there was nothing in the center of the Labyrinth… he needs to talk to this Power again before more can be explained

- Michael as THE Master of the Stair commands 1001 Knights, souls who died in the Labyrinth and now defend it from attackers – but they are lost, they maybe in Drake’s Citadel – which is in the Labyrinth. Drake gave the location of it to Michael when they went on the Ashen Path.

- Several events have accelerated this Cycle:
1. Tom going to the Lighthouse on his own
2. Michael finding parts of Lucien’s Sword – going to the Labyrinth
3. Going to Finestere
4. Michael opening a door to the ’Lad whilst they were in Shadow, and subsequently at the cost of personal pain having to destroy the part of the stair he created out in shadow – which may have been seen as a incursion
5. Garridan taking on the Mind Garden and ’Sail bringing a Spearship into it

‘Sail speculates that the Cycles have Chiral points, of which the 6th is one of them, and that these chiral points are bound into the ’Primal force’ and hence are indestructible… examples are discussed, little is agreed on beyond the objects themselves which are:
- Michael’s Sword
- The Gem/Shard of the Lighthouse
- Pieter’s Sword
- The Gallowgate Lad

‘Sail argues that Tom – despite an almost universal lack of trust, as he is clearly telling half truths, even if he was ’hag ridden’ to the lighthouse – that Tom should be back within the group and trusted, because he is clearly linked strongly to the 6th, and has contained his spirit if not more… and its bad that we had no chance to talk to the spirit in him, but there may be other opportunities that won’t exist unless we work with Tom.

There is discussion as to how Tom managed to get him vomited out of Garridan. ‘Sail speculates the only way this would be possible is if he utilised her True Name. This obviously shits up Garridan and Michael who suspected as much – and there is discussion on how to circumvent such control over her, but its all after the fact. Garridan believes she is locked in a ’wyrd’ with Tom.

‘Sail by virtue of being ’precocious’ is being hunted. But she is safe as long as she is near Michael. There is discussion of her relationship to the ‘Lad… ’Sail is clearly very much emotionally attached to the ship as a concept of ’home’ – however she admits beyond knowing its functions she has little idea how it works…

7.2 Michael & ’Sail

Time: a day or so after the breakfast natter
Place: ’Sail’s quarters in the observation deck of the ’Lad
Present: Michael and ’Sail – private conversation – other characters can feel free to read, but its only IC if you eavesdropped somehow

Michael has been back and forth between the ship and ‘other places’… ’Sail has mostly kept to her Quarters or the Library

Uncontested knowledge between them:

Michael can finally tell her what he found at the center of the Labyrinth clearly
- There is a man in a box, dreaming the Stair… creating it. His name is Corwin. He is from Amber, an alternate reality.
- He has a Sister, called Fiona. She is the Red Haired Woman. Fiona is the ruler of Order, an alternate reality/dimension. She is from Amber.
- Corwin is guarded by his Son; Merlin. Merlin is a doggy fucker – but all this information comes from him, as to wake or kill Corwin would end existence as we know it. Merlin claims to be guarding his father, and once to have been the King of Chaos – an alternate reality/dimension.

The Stair was an attempt by Corwin to create an Egalitarian universe as Amber is not. Corwin created the Stair in the Abyss between Chaos and Order. Now the Stair encroaches on the other realities. This has pissed off Fiona and it is she who wants destruction of all that is the Stair. It is she who said ‘It must not be’.

The Nyx (a plural) were created as part of an accord between the Stair and Shadow, they were to police the balance, remove ‘trouble makers’.

The power of Chaos and Order causes tidal movements in Shadow.

Fiona is causing the Dwimmerlaik’s unquestioning hate.

’Sail’s current demeanor is due to the exertion of her time in the Shadow, and her uncertainty over her roll. The ’Lad was under attack whilst they were there and she and Dayle expended much to keep it safe, hence she has little recollection of what took place whilst they were out there.

Contested ideas and Questions arising from their discussion:

‘Sail thinks the Mind Gardens are a manifestation of Corwin’s dreaming of the Stair – either a direct attempt to copy, or as a side effect, or indeed the mechanism itself

She thinks the Power that Corwin uses is the Primal Force and hence its indestructibility in the Cycles

She believes that there is no way to ‘insulate’ the Stair against Fiona’s influence (tried before and failed, to enormous a task) BUT that killing or circumventing Fiona directly may work (ie. suicidal take down of Fiona OR destroying the Cariarch’s throne which may be a mechanism of control)

She believes the spirit of the 6th is a manifestation of Corwin and therefore is indestructible and that it maybe possible to summon it still even though Tom left it to be destroyed by Fiona. It probably knows how we can circumvent Fiona, if not how to kill her.

As a completely MENTAL idea ’Sail suggests calling Merlin a liar and waking up Corwin, however the two of them universally agree this is a terrible idea – but ’Sail felt the need to come up with three options.

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