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Started in May 2008, By Design has evolved, grown and changed, but is still going strong 27,000+ post later. Based on Roger Zelazny's works and using a modified Amber Diceless RPG framework, By Design continues to tell the stories of the new world shape of shadow following the Patternfall War.
If you're interested in joining, drop me a line here, or visit By Design for more details. www.AmberByDesign.org.uk
The History as it is generally understood to have passed:
In the Beginning
Oberon founded Amber with the Pattern as its focus. Amber flourished. Oberon proceeded to marry Cymnea and fathered three sons: Osric, Finndo and Benedict. He then fathered a son, Eric, to Faiella before dissolving the marriage to his wife, Cymnea, and marrying Faiella. Some time passed during which the eldest brothers, Osric and Finndo, were killed defending Amber. Corwin, Caine were then born, with Faiella finally dying the birth of Deirdre.
Remarrying, Oberon chose Clarissa as his next wife and from that union came Fiona and Bleys before Oberon's attention wondered and a union with Moins, a princess of Rebma, resulted in a daughter, Llewella. His attention now fully diverted, he divorced Clarissa and recognised Llewella as legitimate, much to Eric's consternation, although sometime later a reunion with Clarissa resulted in Brand.
Dybele, a beauty out of shadow, was to be Flora's mother. Julian and Gerard were next to a woman named Rilga and finally Random was born to Paulette.
More Recent History
The histories of Amber become more involved at this point as Deela the Desacratrix set herself against Amber and while Oberon defeated her army, she escaped. Oberon set Bleys to rid Amber of her menace and he excelled himself by doing so.
Soon after, the Moonriders out of Ghenesh attack Amber and Benedict proves his military prowess beyond any doubt as he single handedly holds a pass above Arden against the Moonriders till help arrives. The Moonriders are defeated though Amber and Arden are plagued by strange attacks originating out of Shadow.
And at this point things take a turn for the worse as it would appear the family turned on itself as Brand and Corwin are seen to have argued, Eric and Corwin fight out in Arden and Corwin vanishes.
After some time, a search is started involving many of the family, but Corwin is no where to be found. Suspicion falls on Eric, but there is no proof. Eventually he is thought to be dead and a memorial is held in his honour.
Further attacks out of Shadow continue to plague Amber and when Oberon vanishes without a trace, Bleys and Eric argue over the throne. Bleys leaves and Eric seizes control of Amber.
Out of the blue, Random returns to Rebma with Corwin. Random is sentenced for some offence to the crown and is said to have married Lady Vialle as a result. Corwin walks the Pattern in Rebma and travels to Amber where he confronts Eric in the Library before leaving.
A few months later, Bleys and Corwin return with a military strike force intending retaking control of Amber by force! There attack is however blunted by Amber's army and navy before the assault on Kolvir. Bleys is lost during the attack, his body never found. Corwin however makes it to Amber only to be captured by Eric's forces.
Eric takes the final stand, forcing Corwin to crown him before burning his eyes out and throwing him in the dungeons. It it rumoured that Corwin crowned himself before being forced to crown Eric, but he was in chains so it is probably not true, and further rumour speak of a terrible curse he uttered as his eyes were burned out.
Sometime later, Corwin escaped the dungeons of Amber. Many rumours abound as to how he did this but soon after, things take a turn for the force the family as a whole. Benedict is forced to confront the Hellmaidens in Avalon and looses his arm prior to the first appearance of the black 'road' which appears to stretch through many Shadows and take many guises, only a portion of which can be described as a traditional road. In all cases though, where the blackness passes, shadow is warped and resists the Pattern.
Corwin resurfaces about a year later and after a confrontation with Benedict in Avalon, leaves. Benedict was clearly upset by the confrontation though little is said of it.
Shortly thereafter, the battle with the creatures appearing on the black road at the foot of Kolvir begins in earnest. Eric is the first first Royal casualty of this war and falls during the battle where Corwin appears with a armed force bearing automatic weapons... weapons that should never have worked in Amber.
Corwin takes control of Amber only to have Caine appear dead only a day or two later with the implication that Corwin himself has killed him! Corwin covers this out without too much trouble though Gerard and Corwin argue - over what is unclear. Caine's burial goes forward without further incident.
The elders gather for a meeting as they have news of their brother Brand who they successfully rescue although he is been badly wounded. Gerard takes control of Brand and nurses him back to health. At the same time, Corwin spends a night in Tir-na Nog'th and returns with a metal arms which he gives to Benedict - it is a exceptional piece of craftsmanship.
Several days later, a commotion occurs as Corwin orders the Patterns to be guarded and the military to be put on high alert. Benedict is set to guard the Pattern in Tir-na Nog'th and ends up confronting Brand who is said to have gone somewhat mad - possibly due to his imprisonment. Brand flees before he is captured, but not before the Jewel of Judgement is retrieved which Brand had somehow stolen from Corwin.
Oberon Takes Control
Oberon's return puts things in sharp relief, but gives order to what was becoming a rather Chaotic situation. Orders are given to each of his sons and daughters but the most important order is clear. Amber is going to war! All Amber's forces are mobilised and clearly more are being recruited in shadow and in a matter of days, the troops are on the move - their destination, a staging area a short way from a place called Chaos!
The Patternfall War
The Patternfall war, or so it is called by those in the know, is named that not because the Pattern in any way fell, but because of the resounding defeat suffered by Amber at the hands of Chaos. The greatest general Amber has ever known faced the Might of Chaos and... was betrayed. Betrayed to Chaos, Betrayed by Infighting and mistrust between siblings, Betrayed by the Incompetence of his Commanders.... Betrayed. Who was to blame? Fingers have yet to be pointed as Amber's decimated forces flee the battlefield, saved at the last by the oncoming storm, a wave of destruction that forced a halt to proceedings. With Chaos retreated behind its defences and the storm thrashing overhead as Corwin deflected the storm from the remnant, the Amberites were able to use the respite to lick their wounds and flee.
And so, with some returned or returning to Amber, some in shadow raising a new army to defend Amber and some remaining to scout and spy on Chaos, the reeling Amber - now once again in the hands of King Eric raised miraculously by his father prior to his own death, struggles to put aside animosity and intrigue and face the united forces of Chaos who must surely be preparing their counter offensive.
Let the game continue!!
- Location: Northern Ireland
- Thanks: 13 given/3 received
- Playing: AmberDRPG, Cortex Plus Drama, Starwars: Edge of the Empire
- Running: AmberDRPG, Cortex Plus Drama
- Planning: AmberConNI 2014!
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