In this journal, I, Prince Roger of Begma, Duke of Amber through my mother, Queen Coral of Begma and Princess of Amber, record a chronicle of some matters of importance. If you come into possession of this journal, but do not already know the key to making the text below plain, it would be best for you to turn this journal over to one of the aforementioned courts. Failure to yield to Us what is Ours will be dealt with most harshly. Consider this your warning.
What is the difference between a good killer and a good warrior? Humanities. Art, history, philosophy, poetry, music… I am a good killer. Only history will tell if I had enough of that other stuff in me to be a good warrior and a good man.
On my travels, I stumbled upon an intriguing musician on Earth named Lindsey Stirling. She played an instrument that I'd never even heard before, the electric violin. The beauty, power, and emotion of her music moved me. The violin, of all instruments, is said to be the one that's closest to the human voice. Now imagine that, amplified, distorted, and with that rock growl… a cybernetic opera.
Seeking a virtuoso of the electric violin in deep shadow is what led me to The Green Squirrel. It sounds like the name of a rustic tavern on the side of a dirt path rutted from wagon wheels and scarred from shod hooves. But it isn't. The Green Squirrel was a beast, as tall as I, that resembled naught else but a green colored squirrel, writ large. For the hefty price of peanuts, pecans, millet, dried fruit, baked goods, and other sundries, The Green Squirrel took me into his cozy home, and began instructing me on the finer points of the electric violin. Every few days, I'd walk through shadow to market, enjoy the company of a blue haired nymph I'd befriended, and return with sacks of goods for our meals and The Green Squirrel's larder (he was readying for winter the easy way, by getting me to do most of the work). Most of the rest of my time was consumed by music.
Then one day, in the middle of practicing Thunderstruck by AC/DC, while the Squirrel kept time on the drums (you'd be amazed at what he could do with pair of double bass drum pedals) I got a Trump contact. Without thinking about it, I set down the violin, and answered. Instead of someone saying something, I got blasted by such a powerful psychic blast, that it literally sent me flying across the room. With an explosion of drums and cymbals, the Squirrel fled his home, his tail a bottle brush, lashing in anger and terror. I honestly cannot remember in the aftermath, whether I was foolish enough to extend a hand to the blasted bastard that shotgunned my skull, or whether he somehow reached through the Trump contact and pulled himself through. I just knew that I'd been attacked, and as I tried to shake it off, I came up to my feet to give some back, and there he was.
"Oh, are you alright? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you. Terribly sorry, I didn't realize you were so delicate," insults atop of attack, "I'm Mandor."
He said it like I was supposed to know the name. Like anyone would naturally know the name, I'm Pavarotti, or I'm Liberace. You don't know who I am? Seriously? Did you grow up under a rock..? Ah, I see… A nerf herder.
Insufferable. I thought that maybe I should nominate him for The Upperclass Twit of the Year award. Well, I'd been attacked, by some numb-skulled twit, who'd given only the most meager explanation as to why, and was as maximally condescending as he could be. So naturally, I attacked. And as much as it pains me to admit, he swatted away my attacks with minimal effort.
So, the man gave a more sincere sounding apology, explained that he was some Grand Poopah from the Courts, and that he was a friend of Amber and the king, and yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, out of one corner of his mouth, he announces that he's my ally, and out of the other corner, announces that he's my enemy. That's how I've always seen The Courts, as enemies. I'd always been warned off of venturing too deep into Shadow, for fear that I might come in too close of proximity to The Courts, and I'd end up dead, if I were lucky. And the man (if that, indeed, is what he was), then tried to mollify me with a bottle of God-knows-what. I kicked it into his face.
So Mandor finally got to the meat of the matter. I was needed. Me. By The Family, that Amber was in trouble, and that I'd best check in. Then he departed. I grabbed my shield, a few things, and was off shortly myself. Mandor's bottle was still on the floor, and if I'd had a tail, it would have been as angry as the Squirrel's as I walked away, immediately shadow walking, to put distance between me and whoever that Mandor person was.
I brought myself to a salt plain, and did the only sensible thing I could think to do. I pulled out the sole Trump I own, called home. Mother pulled me through when I asked, and I explained what had transpired. Well, it turns out that Mandor is an ally to the family, and they did need me, and so forth. At least Mother (and Uncle Blaise, of all people) seemed amused by it all, and seemed to think that I hadn't angered Mandor, since I "was still alive".