Historical background

The Past | The Present | The Future

Tapestry begins 2000 years after the the War of Mind and Heart, final battle of the Balance War, the climactic end to my last campaign, "Reflections in the Mind's Eye".

The Past

An ancient demon sorceror, Cirophsoph, leader of the Discordian, had the grand idea that if he regained the power of the Mind's Eye, that artifact taken by the Unicorn to create Amber, he could kill the Serpent. Then, taking advantage of the Serpent's madness (caused by losing the Eye), take the Heart's Eye, and remake the universe into a realm of primal Chaos, where he would rule as a god in the Serpent's place.

But the Mind's Eye had been shattered at Amber's inception, fractured into four pieces when the Unicorn broke it to keep the Serpent from regaining it. This also fractured the primal Pattern, creating four Elemental planes, each with it's own Primal Pattern, and piece of the Eye; the four Jewels of Judgement (fire), Life (water), Truth (earth) and Dreams (air).

5,000 years passed, and the Balance that had shifted with Amber's creation continued to wobble slowly out of control. Amber grew into a great power, and her children walked the shadows. But they were tainted by the madness that had infected Oberon, perhaps caused by the Serpent's insanity and the Unicorn's shame for her role in the Serpent's fall.

Their pettiness and games led to Patternfall, which further deteriorated the balance of the great cycle. And through it all, Cirophsoph watched, waited and schemed.

Cirophsoph began his campaign in earnest when he discovered Brand's daughter Bailey had walked all four of the elemental Patterns. He pursued her for five years, capturing her once, though she escaped. He also found Caine's son Quentin in shadow, and reprogrammed him as an assassin, intending to use him to kill the Amber sorcerors, Bleys and Fiona. But Quentin also escpaed, and eventually was returned to Amber by his younger brother, Benjamin.

During his search for Quentin Benjamin also found Gerard's daughter Gwynhwyfhar, who had been lost to the Black Road at age 7.

With the return of Quentin and Gwyn, who joined Corwin's daughter Genevieve and Benedict's son Christopher, the forces of Order (who had not been blind to Cirophsoph's manipulations) began to make their move. Gabriel was one of the children of the Unicorn and Serpent. It was he who led the Unicorn to his realm beyond the Tir, the Place Where No Shadows Fall, to hide her from his insane father. And it was he who began gathering the lost children of Amber, those sons and daughters of Oberon's sons and daughters, who in growing up away from Amber, had avoided the taint that marked their parents.

He befriended Genevieve, and led the cousins to diferent pieces of a propesy written by Dworkin in one of his lucid moments. And slowly, the cousins put together the early history of their land, and what they must do to save it.

But Cirophsoph was also gathering allies. Dara, Merlin's mother, was quite amenable to assisting Cirophsoph in Amber's downfall. And Osric's daughters Anna and Isabelle, hidden millenia ago by Finndo, had little love for their ancestral home and were more than willing to use their talents in Ciro's cause.

As the cousins began to realize the true scope of what lay ahead, and their role in it, the Balance War continued to progress around them. Gwyn, who had joined the Church of the Unicorn, was proclaimed High Priestess after High Priest Cadaes Vauhn was murdered by Cirophsoph's agents. She discovered that Cadaes' son Jenner, an excommunicted priest, was not only an Amberite (Fiona was his mother), but a member of the Sentinels, a remnant of the original Church of the Unicorn lead by Gabriel. It was Jenner's belief in Gabriel's words (that the great war between Amber and Chaos must happen to keep Chaos from falling into civil war, and thereby faling prey to Ciro) that led Gwyn to break the church and force the War of Mind and Heart.

Dara, using her grandson Evander's blood to break the Primal Fire Pattern, created an immense black road that cut to the very heart of the Vale of Garnath, destroying a large section of Arden. It was this road that brought the Chaos armies to the great battle with the Maerturi, the martyr race destined to keep the Chaos forces from the Place Where No Shadows Fall, on the other side of the Tir.

And so came the the War of Mind and Heart. On the surface, it was Chaos attempt to regain their former glory and place, but on many deeper levels, it was about the various power struggles going on in both ends of the universe. Instigated by Vanden Sawall to bolster his weaking position as Emperor, it was all that held Chaos from outright Civil war since Patternfall. Ciro, who wished this Civil war so he could regain the Eye and pick up the pieces after Chaos fell to itself, did whatever he could to avoid this war, and expected the Amberites to unwittingly assist him in their attempts to save their homeland. But little did he expect the second generation of Amberites to actually make sure the war became a reality, going against their Elders, and doing the unthinkable; returning his Eye to the Serpent.

When the Mind's Eye was reformed during the War of Mind and Heart, and the Elemental Planes were once again made one, the upheaval was immense. Amber, having the most reality, remained, but parts of the other realms, were either obliterated, or incorporated. Ivory, once Amber's mirror inthe Realm of Water, eventually became a Golden Circle Shadow. The Merge, as it became known, also destroyed the Hall of Mirrors, killing Dworkin.

And while the Eye was restored to the Serpent, returning his sanity and restoring the Balance on a cosmic scale, some of the events that had led to this had darker consequences for the realms of Amber and Chaos. Furious that Random had named Martin his heir, Moire, caught in a spiral of madness after Random had died repairing the Primal Fire Pattern, destroyed the Faiella-bionin, forever cutting conact between Rebma and the surface worlds. The cataclysm created a huge tidal wave that would have destroyed the city had Bleys not deterred it, at the cost of his own life. Unfortunately, Caine was on the water during this, and was lost to the wave. And both the Vale of Garnath and a large portion of Arden took the brunt of the wave, flooding and becoming a dead, shallow sea, later named the Sea of Sorrows.

Geraint was crowned King ten years later, and for a time, life was queit. Gwyn and Jenner rebuilt the Church

Some 50 years after the Great War, Jakob and Dara, with the assistance of Anna and Isabelle, led a surprise attack on Amber using the Ebon Road. In what came to be called the Unexpected War, the valient efforts of Jenner and the Guardians, as well as the fledgling Paladins, repelled the advance, but not before the destruction of the Castle or the deaths of Julian, Gerard and Benedict.

Now, Amber is a far different place. The Castle lies in ruins, and no word has been heard from Rebma since the Faiella-bionin fell. Trumps can no longer reach Chaos, and the Tir's Pattern is the only one accesible, Amber's being buried under the ruins of the Castle.

The Present

The Future



  • Note 1: A Vesperstine Tenebros, Ciro also had a personal vendetta against Quentin, whom he had planned to use as an assassin for Bleys and Fiona, after giving Quentin both an immunity and sensetivity to magic. Quentin espaced, though, and was returned to his family before Ciro's plans could be realized.

  • Note 2: The Mind's Eye was the Serpent's left eye, stolen by the Unicorn to create the Primal Pattern. Shattered when the Unicorn broke the pattern, it became the four Jewels: Judgement, Life, Truth and Dreams.

  • Note 3: Melusine was the last child Swayville fathered. Daughter of one of his mistresses, she was take by Dara at birth and handed over to the Cabal. He had no more children, due to the fact that Dara had been slowly poisoning him for almost two centuries. It was this that lead to his death.

    Melusine had found Christopher in Chaos and begged sanctuary from the Cabal of the Viper, which was hunting her down. In an effort to repair the damage done when Quentin murdered their High Priest, Christopher had turned the girl over to the Cabal, never knowing she was the only blood heir of Vanden Swayville, and the rightful successor to the Empire of Thelbane. And so when Swayville died in the years following the War, Chaos fell to an albeit short war of sucession, in which Dara managed to place her son Jakob, Merlin's twin, on the Imperial throne.

  • Note 4: Many scholars believe that Moire's sudden psychological problems were a reflection of damage done to Random's mind when he repaired the Primal Fire Pattern.


    Last modified 4/6/99



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