Visitors arrive in Arden: a caravan with two amoung the crowd who are “above average.” Anastasia and Indigo send a ranger to question their intent. When Adagio, the leader of the caravan, asks about the Unicorn, Anastasia invites him to lunch with her and Indigo.
At lunch, introductions are made. Adagio turns out to be the son of George de Saint Marc, one of Isidor’s brothers trapped in the Pattern. He had been locked in shadow after being evacuated from the old Amber, but was freed after having a dream/vision about The Unicorn. The other person of interest is Sascha, a servant of “the lady,” also a resident of Old Amber. Anastasia says she will introduce Adagio around, but he would be wise to disavow his parentage; and gives him summary of the " official" history about Isidor, his family, and the new Pattern.
Indigo and Anastasia then take them to meet everyone. They run into Hayden as they are leaving Anastasia’s room, running naked in the halls. He chats for a moment, unabashed, before continuing his pursuits. Most of the rest of the introductions are uneventful, although when they go to meet Jacob, he informs them that Bjorne and Ida have separated, and he is close to finding Ida.
At Hayden’s suggestion, Anastasia arranges for a family dinner, so that everyone will have time to get to know each other more thoroughly. Before they introduce Adagio to Tamati, Anastasia insists on more info about Sascha. He ends up taking them to his shadow via the Abyss, and Anastasia discovers it’s a shadow of the Old Amber. Satisfied that Sascha can be trusted to some extent, they meet with Tamati in Forest Arden. He wants to make more concrete plans for taking care of the Pattern, but Anastasia and Indigo are uncertain. They decide to try and gather some support from other Amberites.
Right before the dinner, Tamati trumps Anastasia and tells her that Hayden has decided to “invite” Oliver and Dmitri in order to force a show of support. After some discussion, during which Anastasia and Adagio realize they don’t really have a choIce of not going without making serious waves, Sascha decides to go, and Indigo decides to just be fashionably late. Oliver and Dmitri are brought into the room in chains; Dmitri is missing his teeth, as well as his hand, his leg, as well as both his eyes; Oliver seems well physically, but his mind is gone. Elouise tries to help Oliver, but gets frustrated, and eventually storms out. Adagio asks Hayden if he may assist Dmitri, in the spirit of generosity, and Hayden assents, but warns him that Dmitri will not appreciate his effort. The entire table seems to brace themselves for the results. When Dmitri is let free so he may eat freely, he stabs the Giant (sitting next to him) with his spoon before he is subdued. Shortly afterwards, Anastasia begs off dinner sick, and stays the night in Rebma, inviting Adagio to join him when he leaves after her. Indigo says there is a security problem, and begs off as well, but Sascha stays for a while.
The next morning, they start to seek others for support. They contact Elouise first, who is willing to go along after she confirms what they have to say by studying the Pattern in Rebma. Next, they go to find Ice at Anastasia’s insistence; she thinks she may be with Ida. Indigo uses trump to approximate their location, and then Anastasia shifts into Hayden and uses his mastery of the Logrus to take them there. When they arrive, there is a bright flash of magic: Anastasia / Hayden is immediately injured and Indigo is bull rushed off the side. While Anastasia is putting up a trump defense, and shifting back to herself, Sascha is killed, but returns in a different form a moment later. There is a standoff on the deck. Then Indigo is thrown up onto the deck, and Bjorne follows after. After a “discussion” during which Bjorne berated Anastasia for coming as Hayden, he agrees to discuss what they claim with Elouise before making a decision to join them; Ice still wants nothing to do with Anastasia. They arrange the meeting between Elouise and Bjorne.
After some time, they all meet. Elouise says she will help, but she insists on putting Sandrah in the Jewel, as she is slowly going insane, and rescuing Oliver. Ice says she will join, as long as Anastasia cuts out the family stuff until afterwards. Bjorne will help as well, but he wants to put the twins in the Jewel. After some thought, Anastasia assents. Elouise takes the Jewel and is able to put Sandrah and the twins inside.
They make plans to break Oliver and Dmitri out the day after the next full moon, so Hayden has to wait to make a new Marshal if Anastasia is discovered, although they will try not to involve her or Tamati, so they can maintain their ties in Amber for the time being. Anastasia says that they shouldn’t tell her anything, so her ignorance will pass muster with Rupert. Indigo and Sascha go off to plan while Anastasia returns to Amber. When she returns, she finds out Oliver is set to be executed.
Oliver and Dmitri are rescued the night before the execution is scheduled. During the course of the attempt, Indigo and Sascha find out that Rupert and Anahera have been plotting against Hayden; the rescue is booby trapped, and they end up killing Hayden. Sascha captures Wilda, against the wishes of Rupert and Anahera, and she turns out to actually be Selkie, once again. When they return to Arden with Oliver and Dmitri, Indigo calls for Anastasia to heal them.
She finds out Oliver is merely in his primal form, and is quickly able to restore him. When he awakens, he reveals he was in on Rupert and Anahera‘s plot. Dmitri is much harder; Indigo obtains his eye and hand so they can be restored with him, and he won’t be blind when he awakens. When Anastasia thinks she won’t be able to do a lot without his cooperation, they awaken him. Anastasia tells him what is going on, and he makes a whispered reply. When Anastasia leans closer to hear him, he bites her – Adagio immediately knocks him out again with sorcery.
They decide to try and get Vasili, hoping it might calm down Dmitri some. Indigo trumps him, and returns with a pool of decaying flesh; Anastasia is able restore him to just a skull before Adagio says they won’t be able to keep Dmitri out much longer. They awaken Dmitri again, and he jumps back like a cornered animal. Anastasia tries to offer to help him and Vasili further, but Dmitri insists on having the skull, and then he backs away, disappearing into Forest Arden.