Death of the Unicorn

What's in a name?

"Dear Perfection" and Indigo don't seem to go together...

Time drags on, and Jacob wears down the pirate fleet little by little, but there is no attack on Amber. After a couple of hours, a rider appears in Arden. Anastasia sends a ranger to question the stranger, and it is Ice, riding Fire. The ranger questions her purpose in Arden, and she refuses to answer him. When he insists, saying that he speaks in Anastasia’s name, she slays him. Indigo decides to go into Arden to question Ice herself, so she drags Elouise in to stay on guard with Grimnir. Anastasia sends an imp to accompany Indigo.

Indigo goes into Arden to meet Ice, who says she is there to duel her for the right to bear the name Indigo. When Indigo questions this, Ice tells her that she was orphaned as a child after her mother disappeared, and the pirates found her wandering in shadow and told her she was an Amberite. They tutored her, and snuck her into Amber to walk the Pattern, but told her she could not use her given name, Indigo, as there was already a warrior of some renown bearing that name. She therefore chose to be called Ice, after her companion, Fire, but pledged to seek the one with her name and claim it back.

At Anastasia’s insistence, Indigo asks her more about her past. She reveals that Fire came to her shortly after her mother disappeared, and they have been steadfast companions ever since. With this information, Anastasia starts to think that Ice might be the daughter, Indigo, that she raised with a shadow of Eric after Solomon cast her and Indigo into shadow, destroying their minds in the process.

Indigo and Ice determine terms for the duel, and they begin. While they’re fighting, Anastasia sends the imp over to Fire, where she is able to use it to determine that Fire is, indeed, forged of her blood. She merges the imp with the creature, that she might learn more about Ice from it. She learns from it that the homoculous she sent after her daughter was transformed by shadow into the creature it is now as it got farther and farther away from Anastasia’s influence. By the time it had reached Ice, it was its own creature. It befriended her, and became her constant companion. As Anastasia is learning of her daughter, Indigo and Ice continue to duel. They are almost exactly matched, and the duel continues for hours, ranging through the shadows surrounding Amber.

While the duel is ongoing, Grimnir and Elouise wait at the treasury for the expected attack, with candles set by Elouise to ward the area. Grimnir shows the violin to Elouise, who explains that it used to belong to Dworkin himself. After some time, Grimnir notices that Elouise has started walking the Pattern in the Jewel. He begins to as well, and when they meet in the middle, Elouise tells him that her wards indicated someone was watching them, but she could think of no other way to convey that information to Grimnir. They discuss the intricacies of sorcery and the Pattern as they wait… and wait… and wait. Finally, tired of waiting, Grimnir decides to join Jacob, hoping to draw Dmitri out somehow.

When Grimnir gets to Jacob, he tells him about the violin, and Jacob suggests he show it to Vasili, who is currently attached to the figurehead of his ship. Grimnir flies over and shows Vasili, eliciting a chuckle, then returns to Jacob. A short time later, Vasili calls out to him to discuss terms. They decide to meet on the shores of Amber, with both parties bringing whoever they wish to fight with. Jacob and Grimnir prepare, and as they are leaving the ship, Jacob launches a parting shot at Roderick, who was commanding the pirate fleet in Vasili’s absence. The spear flies true, hitting Roderick and knocking him into the water. It does not, however, pierce his skin, instead just bouncing off. Jacob nods, knowingly.

Indigo and Ice continue their duel, fighting to a draw at the top of Mt. Kolvir, both exhausted and wounded. Indigo tries to tell Ice that her mother is in Amber, and wishes to see her, assuring her safety. Ice doesn’t believe her, and returns to the pirates. Indigo trumps to Anastasia.

While the duel was concluding, Jacob and Grimnir arrive on the beach. They have with them the violin case, a large chest, and several of Jacob’s men. Dmitri is there, along with Ida, Selkie, Ice… and Elouise (with the Jewel given to her for safekeeping by Grimnir) and Anahera, both captives. They also have most of the treasury of Amber with them. As Dmitri approaches under a flag of truce to discuss terms with Grimnir; Anastasia, Indigo, and Hayden arrive via a trump gate, along with many soldiers and palace guard.

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orcwarrior krhinehart

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