in the Shadow of Greatness


May 7, 2002


reprinted from the AML

I'm often surprised at the value of accepting Corwin's view of Amber and the Pattern as the embodiment of Order....but that's another thread.

Even if the Pattern is literally "Order", and not just 'more organized' than what existed before——why would we put such a label on the Unicorn? Why should we 'define' the Serpent as Chaos? I don't see a direct relationship between the Tools of the Great Kingdoms, and their Patron Spirits.

Putting such labels on these beings is part of sucking the mythic might out of them.

Brilliant minds rarely forsee the actual application of their theories.

In the Eternal City campaign, 'Weapon Amber' was a Chaosian project based on principles that Dworkin theorized. House Nemirab was much involved in the investigation of this project. Without outlining the entire three hundred year history of the project... it failed horribly. Needless to say——the theory produced something totally unexpected by the inventor.

Did the Unicorn know what was coming?

In the greater sense, Amber's existence does not imply something wrong with the Courts, any more than Corwin's Argent Pattern implies that there is something wrong with Amber's Pattern. Creating the automobile didn't invalidate the horse. Making 'motion pictures' didn't nullify the novel. It's easy to get locked into the base assumptions of Corwin's amber-centric view and then quibble about his little errors in memory. Step back a bit and wonder if the Courts and Amber aren't actually closer than they appear.

If you tried to scribe the beauty of a soul with blood, lyre, and lightning—-might it not end up looking like a drunken wandering line? (Like someone trying to draw a snowflake with a mouse and a paint program?)

So one speculation to the above is: Dworkin pursued a theory of use to the Courts in increasing its power. That theory became the 'travesty' of the Pattern. It was NOT planned to realize as it did. The "thought" of the Pattern was a principle not excluded from Chaotic thought and theory.

Implementing that theory without full understanding of the applications created the 'Order' that is so replusive to the Courts. Chaos hoist on its own petard.

Filed under : Amber at 07.05.2002