in the Shadow of Greatness


October 10, 2005

Fae Khans :: Paris summit

GMs journal

Cassandra and Xhimena put their heads together on an issue dealing with Family and Fae and potential threats on many fronts.

It seems that:
1. The Loathsome is yet active working against Amber. There are a great number of deaths ongoing in shadow Glantri. Particularly among students and professors of the Neuromantic department. Benedict's long-standing policy on this sort of thing: consistent attacks on important shadow crossroads are attacks on the legend of Amber itself.
2. The Loathsome may be controlled by Clarissa, Queen of Embre, who has for centuries been imprisoned in her shadow. Concerns in Amber are how close she may be to figuring a way out of Oberon's imprisonment.
3. Since the Loathsome is part of a long-standing defense pact with the Fae, Cass wanted to trade the info back to the Khans to let them know that the oaths with the Loathsome may be corrupted. Cass also wanted to establish more bonafides for Xhimena, and more protections for Mal and Matisse against the Sorrowful Hand vendetta.

The Fae only trade for their skills and support.
So Cassandra sets the price for her info: assistance on-call to put down the Sorrowful Hand.

Beyond all of the above, there are clear feelings in Amber about Clarissa. The ex-Queen has treated even her own offspring badly enough, and tortured other captured amberites for the secret of unlocking her prison.

Fortunately? No one has info from Oberon on how he sealed Embre. Hence, Clarissa is still locked up and seeking a way out. Her revenge simmers waiting to boil over.

And on top of this background, the Loathsome attacked Darrheabarr, manipulated Dastard, and tried to do something nasty to Tremerule. Yet the Loathsome has a centuries-old treaty with Darrheabarr. His moves seem to have no sense or profit, unless he is not choosing his actions. Now these patterns make much more sense associated with Clarissa than with the Defender against the UnBrood, who is also sworn to protect the Fae.

It would suggest that Lora was assassinated by Clarissa, through the Loathsome. The entire civil war brewing in Darrheabarr finds a shadowy path back to Clarissa's jail.

Cassandra had a long info barter session with all of the Fae Khans one on one in Paris. Cass took them on as individuals to get a better feel for possible future relationships. Still worried about Xhimena's future with these old sharks, Cassandra only had Xhimena present for the three Khans that have extended friendly overtures to Xhimena. In effect, those Khans that already know The Witch is but a ten-year old girl got to have a sit down that included her.

How did Cassandra do?
She pissed off the senior Khan in an ego clash.
Got taken to the cleaners by one Khan, who gained most of the info without pledging any deal.
She did a good job with five of them, getting something for something.
Cassandra got pregnant directly as a result of the last Khan stirring more than politics.

Considering that the age and experience of the Khans is closer to Benedict than Cass, I say she did swell.

And the GM learned a lot about the Khans, too.
The personalities and motivations of the Khans as a group that works together even as they work separately was very apparent. Each meeting was a bit creepy in a different way, and Cassandra was surprised by much of what she learned about Khans that have not made overtures to Xhimena as yet.

And Cassandra learned that the proper title for Xhimena is Faixhi: "Xhi, Power Above All Others".

It became obvious that while the senior Khan has good support from the other Khans--that support has holes in it. The oldest, Khan Shi, did not agree to help and did not deal for the info. That was the ego clash Cassandra ran into. Cass has small use for Shi-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.

Yet the senior Khan has great powers to work diplomacy with the others. The story of the clash between Cass and Shi is far from over.

GM's end result:

The Fae are older and weirder than the Chaosi. They are not as powerful as they rely on magic a lot. They reproduce even slower than Chaosi. Depending on how this all shakes out, they may turn into indirect allies of Amber against Clarissa, or whatever Clarissa is cooking up offstage.

Cassandra gets a qualified success out of this encounter, yet she angers and inflames the senior Khan. That's going to cost down the road.

And the Khan Fa Lo Shu found Cassandra easy to outwit and Cass doesn't even realize she lost that one. Still, Cass swings five out of eight Khans, plus Khan Sy Ming of the Mer getting very friendly after asking for, and getting, private time with Cassandra.

Hmmm. Let's count it at six of eight for now until we see what Sy Ming is up to.

Filed under : Amber at 10.10.2005