Collegia Arcanum

Having completed his business at the Embassy, Jerod departs with the funerary packet tucked away in a pocket for safe keeping. His first order of business takes him on a short trip to the market's edge near the docks where he first arrived. A good steed for the trip back to Westport he figures. The trip by boat will take too long and Jerod knows he can shave off time by hellriding such a short distance. Enough to allow him to take a look around and still be able to finish his business for Corwin.

The selection of the steed proves to a bit more time-consuming than expected however, though owing mostly to the desire of the vendors to obtain as great a profit as possible, and for Jerod to discount their sometimes extravagant claims proffered for the various beasts in their possession. Eventually however Jerod finds a horse that he considers suitable for the rigours ahead, a black stallion with white patches and hooves and just the right amount of independence. Once selected, another round of bidding begins anew, a process that Jerod finds most enjoyable as his opponent for this time turns out to be quite good at what she does, a slightly older woman who names herself Therese. Her initial probing to determine how well he responds to female wiles are met with the polite indifference one would expect from a lady of the Rebman Court, with even the vaguest hint of condescension that she would lower herself to such standards by needing them.

Once acknowledged, the main bidding begins and a pleasant match of wits and appraisal ensues culminating in the eventual purchase of the animal. Jerod passes over a bag filled with the agreed upon amount of gold and arranges to have the animal delivered to the Rebman embassy in his name. The gold matters little to him even as it seems to others that are watching to be a sizable amount, though not out of line for the quality of the animal. He knew he could have simply paid the first price she had proffered but that would not have been nearly as much fun. And what better way to find out how people behave in a land than to barter.

So it is sometime later that Jerod finds himself walking in Gateway proper. His passage through the Triple Arches was in itself enjoyable as he watches the mingling of travelers and locals and for a few moments he stood to one side, watching as the people swirled about each other according to their own rules of conduct. The Way of the Mage was easily visible to those who had seen it before, and Jerod set off once more, the Tower of the Silver Stars visible in the distance.

"The Way of the Mage" Eric's voice whispers. "Remember it well, even when you are not one."

Jerod nods to himself as he remembers it, the cult of behaviour that defined a mage and also helped to guide their survival. It was different from the average person, even those with great political or social power. It made them in some ways closer to the Princes of Amber than anyone else. Mages harnessed great power in ways that seemed to transcend mortal understanding. Some held mastery over the physical elements and these were the most commonly reported in stories and fables, the wizards with their sheets of flame or thunderheads bristling with lightning. They tended to be more visible and flamboyant, recognizable in many ways even to the uninitiated.

But just as dangerous were the ones who focussed their talents in more esoteric areas, to the summoners who cast out magical tendrils to bring forth creatures to do their bidding. Or those who dabbled in arts of illusion and mentalism. Those were more subtle and tended to carry themselves more quietly with robes and clothing more somber, less intense but just as revealing to those who recognized the signs. To hold such power, regardless of its focus demanded ways of living and acting that defied normal ways. One's entire mindset could become consumed by such ways of thinking and acting. To be able to affect your world so directly and with such profound implications would come with a great price. Interaction with others not of the magical realm could sometimes be interesting. How does one deal on the same level with someone who can adjust not only whether your castle is even standing or not, but whether you even believe you are standing in it?

As he walks Jerod watches and appraises, seeing the movement in the crowd of those in power, retainers in attendance for those wishing to appear noticeable. Others moving quietly and with purpose on their own way, yet avoided by some who recognized danger when it walked past. Each in their own world, their tiny bubble of power and careful not to interact with the others around them. Bubbles of power rarely remained stable when in contact with each other. Safer for everyone if they remained apart and isolated.

Thus Jerod makes his to the Collegia Arcanum, flowing past the bubbles of power that moved through the city. One might perhaps have thought he too was a bubble of sorts, but Jerod wonders about that. There was power in this city, the kind that could level mountains and lay waste to regions, that could deceive whole nations with illusion and tricks of the mind. He remembered the offer Thalia had made concerning training and there was something of value to be considered there for in its way it had certain uses.

But in many other ways it was meaningless to him. Despite all their power, a mage lacked the mastery of reality that he bore, that all his family bore. He knew he could stop the magic here. The reality of this place made the magic possible and he could change that. It would most likely kill him to undertake that great a shift in the fabric of reality, but he knew he could do it. So who had the greater power, one wonders.

Jerod smiles. Some things were better left untouched. That too was the Way of the Mage.

With that in mind and the moon beginning to appear in the early evening sky, Jerod enters the grounds of the Collegia and makes his way inside to the grand offices of the Chancellor. A staff member comes forth to greet him and inquire as to his business, to which he replies that Jerod, Prince of Amber, Duke of Rebma, Ambassador of King Corwin of Paris, representative of King Random of Xanadu, son of the late King Eric of Amber, had come to speak to the Chancellor.

And he watches to see how the bubble he introduces is handled.

The Chancellor is a woman of middle years. She is striking without being beautiful.

It occurs to him that many of the mages of Gateway must either be related or else they simply look very similar to each other.

"You honor us with your presence," she says, without preamble, "and so far from Westport."

"You honor me with a need to monitor that presence." Jerod replies with a smile. "I would have hardly expected such attention. My father or my uncles and aunts most certainly."

She returns his smile. "Paying attention is a pre-requisite for living successfully with Power in Gateway. Many did not learn that lesson in time during the recent incursions."

"I am led to believe that they were rather unpleasant circumstances." Jerod offers soliticiously. "Let us hope that with the forces of Chaos defeated, these incursions will have subsided.

"I was wondering if you might be able to direct me towards Thalia. I understand she was here a short time ago, arriving aboard Prince Bleys' personal ship."

"Yes. She headed North, to investigate the black tides. She considered them a threat to Gateway. It is likely that she went into danger or even to her death." Her voice seems devoid of emotion.

"How unfortunate. My sympathies to you should such an even turn out to be true. Let us hope otherwise." Jerod replies gravely. "Her good friend Lord Conner must be distraught at the thought of that." and he frowns. "Although, he wasn't too distraught the last time I spoke to him. Perhaps his mother's inheritance makes him of sterner stuff.

"I was led to believe the tides had passed. Are you saying they persist?"

"They no longer advance, but there is a swath of destruction where they were. Thalia decided to go there. Against my advice. However, this is Gateway. 'Magicians cooperate most closely when far apart.' I do not count on her in our plans, but it will be a pleasant surprise if she survives."

"With the army victorious against our enemies, the tides should not re-appear." Jerod says. "Should such a thing happen would be good to know. For everyone."

"Even if the tides are gone, there is much that may have been freed in the chaos. The northlands were never populous, but they were somewhat civilized. If we get word that the tides have returned, we will notify our friends."

She folds her hands onto her lap. "But you did not come to Gateway strictly to enquire into my niece's investigations."

"Ah...well, not directly. Thalia had made mention the last time we had a chance to talk about sorcerous training. It has a vague appeal to it, and I thought to inquire further but I think I will await her return to broach that subject." Jerod says with a slight smile, with just the right amount of court blandness to fit the moment, emphasizing slightly his comment enough to believe that there is little doubt that she will not return, but only when.

"Partly I am here to shall we say, unofficial greetings from his Majesty Corwin of Paris. He is at present somewhat busy dealing with affairs of state regrettably and is making sure to appoint his ambassadors to those states who would deem themselves...friendly...most carefully. Of course, even a general ambassador such as myself would take steps to stop by the Collegia, as part of good relations."

She smiles back, aware of the compliment but not overly flattered. "Your King Corwin will certainly find that there are those interested in trade with his Kingdom in various parts of Gateway. Goods from Amber take a ... rather circuitous route to Gateway at the present."

"The other part of my visit is of a personal nature. I am looking for information concerning my grandfather, on my mother's side. I am led to believe he hales from Gateway."

This raises her interest. "Really? What was his name?"

"I have only his Rebman name." Jerod replies. "Gaius Drusus. He was adopted into the family of Scipio, a venerable name in the Kingdom. My grandmother informed me that he was a mage of some skill, a poet as well, and a formidable warrior. But his name was never given to anyone. I thought perhaps he might have been one of those who ventured from your hinterlands in search of something...better."

Jerod was going to use a different word but apparently decides against it.

She nods. "I do not know the Rebman name, but the North has always been a wild place, where anyone with magical talent could take whatever place he could carve for himself. Do you know why he left Gateway? or when?"

She looks up. "Do you have anything of his that we might enspell?"

"This." Jerod says, tapping the spear that he leans on. "I would trust that the spell does not damage the item? Such as this comes from only the best of gravers. Even the Queen makes polite requests of their services. T'would be a pity for it to be damaged."

She nods and holds out her hand. "I will take precautions."

Jerod passes the spear over.

The Chancellor takes it from him, although she somehow never quite seems to touch it. She places it on the table in front of her and looks at it, again coming very close without touching it at any point.

"The carvings are recent. Rebman. Well done, but if you look closely at the surface, this has been carved down from an older thing. See how this arch has areas that look more weathered? Part of that was on the original surface."

She turns the spear, or in any case the spear turns. "Those carvings you'll have to have examined in Rebma. The spear, though, is from the tusk of a great beast of Gateway. Some would call it a dragon's bone. It isn't, though.

"But it is from our northern wastes."

She looks at him. "I don't know if it would help you, but I could cast a spell on it to make it tug towards it origin.

"I shouldn't, though. It's not always safe for the magically gifted, and I do not want to anger two Kings and a Queen by sending you to your death."

"You might be surprised on that last part." Jerod says to himself mentally, though he smiles outwardly.

"What risks are involved?" he asks.

She shrugs. "It is a wilderness with predators natural, magical, and human. It is outside our law and our reach. It is uninhabited by men and has all the risks of any unknown.

"It is where our wildest mages go. Not all of them return.

"If you insist on going that I should do what I can to help you. For your own good."

Jerod smiles. "A tempting offer. One that I shall take you up on..." he says. "...but at another time. My duties at the present do not permit me to indulge in personal...excursions.

"Once those duties are completed, I shall return. Perhaps I might even have the good fortune of finding Thalia up there."

The Chancellor rises. "Do come back when you have more time. I would be pleased to see you again before you left on a trek into our wilderness."

"I shall be sure to do so." Jerod replies. "I return to Paris first before attending to Rebma and Amber. I would be willing to carry a message to their rulers, should the Chancellor be so interested."

Once we have the Chancellor's reply, Jerod returns to the Embassy. He will have the same message for the Ambassador, before he retires to bed.

Both decide to send written missives via [Jerod] to the assorted Royals (The Chancellor to Random and Corwin, the Ambassador to Moire). Do you open them?

Can he?...:)...the usual requirements of not getting detected tend to get involved, especially where the Chancellor is involved. I doubt seriously if there's anything earth shattering in the letters of course, though the Ambassador's words will be much more interesting.

Jerod can try. There's some risk. He thinks there's more risk with the ones from the Chancellor.

*chuckle*...exploding thermo-magical devices are not on the menu for today.

And a question...given that he's in Shadow, and given his ability with Pattern, if he has opened a letter already, assuming he studies it carefully enough, can he find the entry again, in its unopened state but otherwise intact and accurate down the level of reality it possessed?

Just curious...:)

So, murder his double in a nearby shadow, take his courier packet, and hope the contents are identical? You can't tell if they're the same without opening them.

Either that, or head to the high tech shadows with replication technology...

The morning will have him chasing down Amber's Embassy.

He finds it readily enough. It's not very impressive. Neither is Ambassador Vector.

[Did Eric deem Gateway to be a punishment outpost as well? With a name like Vector, one gets the distinct impression of a bad episode of Battlestar Galactica (most of first series wasn't all that hot of course...second series is much better)]

[Not that you recall. But it is a long way away.]

Jerod has minimal interest in the embassy...sufficient to find out what is happening, how they have survived during the intervening period out of contact with Amber and to advise them of the state of affairs (ie: King Oberon is dead, may the Unicorn forever grant him eternal rest, Random is King, all praise to the King, yada, yada, yada). Beyond that, and getting messages, he's back on the trail to Westport and Rein. Things to do, paths to lay (stories to post when appropriate timing is reached).

They take the news and pass along the petty complaints (mostly about funding) and compose messages (probably about funding) for the King.

With regards to minimal interest, Jerod rests his case (or sachel bag as the case may be).

He will hellride as appropriate, sufficient to cut time off the journey. He's not interested in wasting a lot of days travelling through the intervening area, if he can avoid it of course. Shadow shifting too close to the target can always be tricky. He doesn't want to overstep.

Jerod does so, and, after a suitable trip, is approaching Westport. How does he approach the city?

The wonderful thing about being Jerod is the ability to find stuff whenever you need it, especially in shadow and if one should happen to be missing something, such as the banner that was used during their original approach to the town. So, should Jerod not have it on him, he'll find it prior to becoming visible to the town defenders.

Remembering their previous approach, Jerod makes sure to approach from a non-northernly direction if possible (a recollection of the barbarian wastes comes to mind), with sufficient time for him to be visible for the guard to notice and send out their party.

The banner is attached as per the previous usage.

Ctesippus meets Jerod just outside the city. He seems pleased to see Jerod. "Welcome back, Ambassador Jerod. I hope your journey was satisfactory?"

"As well as can be expected, good Ctesippus." Jerod replies. "I am still here and in possession of all my faculties. I will take that as a good sign for the future. I trust all is well at this end?"

"Quite well, Ambassador. Your man Rein has thing well in order. He seems a natural leader. Why, did you know that he has some natural magical talents? He'd have been amazing, if he'd been raised here."

"Lord Rein is a man of many talents." Jerod says, making a mental note to himself. "You would be advised to listen carefully to what he has to say. One never knows when a gem of knowledge might decide to make itself shown."

Ctesippus nods.

"Please bring me up to speed on current events while we ride in. I would gather your opinion of our situation before further discussing it with Rein. Are there difficulties that you foresee arising?"

"None, Ambassador. Did your mission to the Gate go well? I know that several of the merchants are looking to finalize arrangements with Lord Rein on the basis of your return and departure." He leans closer to Jerod and lowers his voice. "Confidentially, we're quite looking forward to more trade coming through Westport."

"Indeed and I am sure that King Corwin is most eager as well to further such a relationship as no doubt both sides would prosper." Jerod replies, not bothering to mention the Rebman embassy nor the visit to the Chancellor. If Ctesippus' master cannot scry upon the Chancellor to garner his information, Jerod's not likely to provide it for him free of charge.

"It sounds as though the merchants of Westport are chomping at the bit to begin. I daresay we should proceed at once then, lest we begin to hear the unfortunate gnashing of teeth. Lead on." Jerod says.

Ctesippus does so. As they pass the Eastgate, he leans in and addressed Jerod. "Has Lord Eleftherios discussed sending a diplomatic mission back with you, my Lord?"

The guards on the gate are definitely quite interested in Jerod's presence.

In Jerod's experience, the interest of any guard at a gate signifies one of two possible circumstances.

a) the person they are interested in is important and they have been ordered to keep an eye out for them so that others in the city can be notified of their arrival.

b) the person they are interested in is "wanted" and they have been ordered to keep an eye out for them in order to facilitate something unpleasant happening to them.

Jerod keeps an eye out for the latter.

"There have been no deliberate discussions." Jerod says, picking out a guard captain or NCO and "staring them out" for a moment to see how they respond.

He sucks in his gut.

Eeew...Jerod's not eating anything for the rest of the day. And he hopes they can clean up the implosion effects from that one...

"Has your Lord made any mention of such interest?"

"Rumors run rampant, Ambassador. After all, if you're taking good back to Paris, it only makes sense to send our own Ambassador with you. And an honor guard, of course." He pulls his horse up outside the dwelling where Jerod left Rein about a week ago.

"Of course." Jerod says, dismounting when Ctesippus does. "I'll be curious as to the honour guard that your lord might send. The last one I had come back with me when I visited somewhere new was rather ...impressive. They were most interesting to deal with." remembering a conversation about how to deal with the Land of Peace pirates by burning them along with their ships after debilitating them with a nasty plague.

"I may suggest that Lord Eleftherios send my father's brother's son. It would be mete."

Rein walks out of the guest house. "Prince Jerod! I heard that you were here!"

"Hmm...and here I thought I was being very quiet." Jerod replies with a smile. "I must remember to be more aware in the future."

He grins. "Oh, was that the quiet flag you were carrying in? People do take notice of such things. It's not an opera, where you sing at the top of your lungs about how you're sneaking about."

"Visual cues..." Jerod says with a grin and a snap of the fingers. "I must have missed that class.

"Are you hungry? I haven't eaten anything recently and I'd like to hear how things are going?"

"Of course. Come in, they've gotten used to feeding me at odd hours. I've had more meetings with merchants in a week than I'd like to have in a year." Rein leads him into the guest house and they find a table in the common room.

A server takes their order and while they're waiting, Rein describes his activities since Jerod's departure.

Jerod puts in an order suitable for an Amber Prince, then motions for the servant to hurry up if they should show any sign of concern that it might be too much.

After that, Jerod listens carefully to Rein's report, not interrupting unless a point requires some clarity to be understood. Once Rein has finished, Jerod begins to question him in detail concerning each of his meetings:

a) the relative value in Rein's opinion of the individual and their offerings
b) their connection to Westport and to Lord Eleftherios
c) the relative value of Ctesippus during these discussions, pros and cons of having him around
d) issues or concerns with regards to dealing with each merchant
e) possible cabals or groups that might form or have been formed amongst these individuals, keeping in mind the general magician mindset that Gateway possesses.
f) Lord Eleftherios' relative level of independence from the merchants in question - how dependant, or not, was he from them? Did they operate with any level of impunity or did he keep them on a tight leash?

Rein has quite a bit to say about all of these issues. For all that he's not Barenthkov's equal as a musician, he's not a bad choice for a court musical position: he clearly knows his way around politics. He identifies several merchants that might specifically be useful to Corwin, and discusses the pros and cons of each at length. While he can't answer every question Jerod puts to him, he has a good answer most of the time.

Ctesippus, Rein thinks, got promoted to the captaincy of the guard because he didn't have the magic to take on a "better" role, and he's capable of doing it. He's marginally useful as a native guide, but not really a courtier.

Jerod likes to hear that and tells Rein that. A really good courtier tends to also have their own agenda and the political savvy to put it forward. Bad courtiers are much easier to deal with.

Rein agrees, but he's conscious of the downside as well. You'd think they'd at least try.

Needless to say, it is likely to take awhile. Jerod makes sure to order seconds from the servant once a good part of the first order has been dealt with.

Rein eats a hearty meal, but nothing to match what Jerod is packing away. He's seen Jerod's father and uncles at the festal board, so he's not surprised, but the locals are clearly impressed.

Once Jerod is reasonably certain he's got a good idea as to where the best opportunities appear to lie with where Rein has been going, he makes mention of Ctesippus' comment, making sure of course that the good gentleman is not there to here it.

"Our assistant was inquiring whether we were planning to take an ambassador back, with an honour guard. He was figuring to nominate ..." and Jerod makes sure to get it right..."his father's brother's son."

"He's young, he's well-connected, and he's not married. They do a lot of alliance by marriage here. I don't think he's well-enough connected to look at the royal family for a match, but he'll try to marry into the Parisian nobility--you just watch him," Rein says.

Jerod nods, knowing all about that old routine, though thankfully having avoided it. "It sounds just like home...only with glamours. I'll see about speaking with our host and lord of the city to see if he's interested in an exchange program. We can always agree to the idea of the program and just defer the transfer until its more convenient if we don't like who they're sending."

Jerod pauses for a moment before continuing. "He also mentioned that you appeared to have some magical talents of your own. Did something happen?"

Rein shakes his head, confused. "Nothing that anyone said to me, anyway. It's not the first time I've been around magicians; I was Corwin's squire while he was King of Avalon. They never said anything there to suggest I was a magus; but perhaps their magic was different." He shrugs.

Jerod nods again. "Did you trump Corwin? If you're being monitored, that might have been interpreted as a kind of magic."

Rein shakes his head. "Corwin didn't give me a card." He's mildly puzzled, but it doesn't seem to be a matter of significance to him.

Once Rein has a chance to answer, Jerod thinks for a few moments, running the reports through his head to be sure there is nothing outstanding that he needs to ask about before he begins onto the next step in their efforts to get the trade and path going.

But Rein's comments concerning Avalon pick at Jerod's memories for a moment and he decides to indulge himself.

"What was Avalon like?" Jerod asks. "I've heard about it, read reports and stuff. The battle at the Falls was required reading, as it were. But I've always wondered what it was like. The situation with Dad and Corwin...well, that would have made a visit kind of tough."

"The true Avalon fell before you were born. Corwin told me Benedict found a place near it and stayed there as Protector for a while, but it wasn't the same." Rein's voice takes on a nostalgic tone. "When Corwin brought me there, I was a boy, but I left a man. Before the troubles at the end ... I'm sure you had to read about that." He shrugs. Obviously it's a difficult topic.

Jerod nods. "Oh yeah." he says briefly. It is not an easy topic for anyone.

"It was a lot like Amber had been when Corwin's mother was Queen, or so some of the older men from Amber who came during its heyday said. I'm not so old that I remember. There was laughter and song and wine and women and magic. On feast days we fought at tourney in the afternoon and Corwin wouldn't sit down to eat until some wonder had happened. And it would, Jerod, it would." He smiles. "I miss it still, and I'm sure Corwin does as well."

Jerod listens silently, wondering where such days and places had gone to...and why they had disappeared. What caused things to go so bad? Was it just ennui? Malice or contempt or just plain bitterness? Or something else?

"Where does it go, I wonder?" he says, mostly to himself. Then he pushes away the plate with the last bits of food still on it before looking over at Rein. "So much wasted, for nothing.

"Let's pick our lucky merchants so we can get an idea what we'll be bringing back, and how many ships we might need." Jerod says finally, moving back to the present time, if somewhat reluctantly. "Once that's finished, I'm going to visit Eleftherios."

Rein and Jerod choose a set of merchants whom they feel can offer the best suite of goods and political utility for Paris. Rein asks Jerod for any instructions he may have toward the next step in preparing for their return, and goes off to implement them.

Jerod advises Rein to acquire ships with established crews rather than those that have been cobbled together at the last minute. They'll need enough to handle whatever their set of pet merchants can cover. Jerod will want to interview the captains of the ships and inspect them prior to departure but will trust Rein to conduct the initial assessment first, taking care to weed out anyone he doesn't feel comfortable with.

If any of the crews that are available have had experience travelling to Amber or Rebma (or one of her Seaward Shadows), that would be very good and he should look at them very carefully. In any event they will need to be able to handle themselves in a foreign port without causing trouble and with recognizing possible business opportunities and working them accordingly.

Most of the sailors who crew Gatwegian vessels have some foreign experience. It's the nature of the shadow. He'll look for men with Amber or Rebman experience in particular, but most of the sailors seem to have the lack of parochialism that Rein associates with Amber sailing men.

Will the merchants be going or will they send factors? Rein is to ensure that whoever goes has suitable accomodations. Jerod and Rein get the best, of course.

The merchants will be sending factors for the initial voyage. The factors tend to be younger brothers, second sons, and the like. Not exactly expendable, but not the strongest in the line.

Jerod also recommends that some currency be quietly spread around not only for those who are not being chosen initially, to soothe hard feelings and get them to prep for future trade missions, but also to acquire both factors and intelligence operatives as might be needed in the future. There is a value in acquiring agents in Westport - they will not be under as much surveillance as they would be in Gateway and the Gatwegian customs and behaviours can be studied in more detail here by agents to be used in Gateway city prior to their insertion. In this area of agent acquisition, Rein is to be very discreet. A few good ones that are quiet and smart are better than a lot of questionnable ones.

If Rein does not have sufficient cash to do the latter, Jerod will arrange to have non-descript coin and gemstones become available to cover his needs.

Oh, and find a good gift for Corwin and for Random. Jerod will find something for Moire and his mother.

Rein will need cash to handle the agency matters and the gifts for Corwin and Random. He has a pretty good idea of Corwin's taste, of course.

Jerod arranges for additional gold and other suitably valuable items to become available. Always just enough to suit his needs and always in the right form to allow for ease of disposal by the recipient (ie: gold dust, raw large nuggets, coins without significant markings, cut but unattached gemstones, etc).

What are Jerod's instructions about magicians among the factors? Not to mention as possible agents?

Mages would be quite good...if they could be trusted. Problem is that in acquiring agents one must be careful where loyalties lie and the inherent chaotic nature of Gatwegian wizards does not lend itself to stability. However...even that can be an advantage if properly utilized.

For individuals who are already trained mages, Jerod wants individuals who are "friends". The approach is not to become a turncoat or otherwise do things that might be questionnable, but simply as individuals who can keep an ear to the ground (or to the wind as the case may be). Someone who can pass along valuable information but certainly not dangerous or treasonous information and always for fair compensation. This would be both understandable and from a ethical perspective far easier to swallow...fewer qualms for such an individual to deal with and therefore less likely to report anything that might get said.

It's also how long term agent handling is performed in the real world - getting someone acclimatized to dealing with you on a regular basis makes them far more likely to be willing to help you later...and also gives you opportunities to arrange blackmail or extortion options should those become necessary.

For individuals who are not already trained, but who may have substantial talents awaiting training, Jerod proposes sleeper recruitment, with both monetary options available and the possibility of more advanced training amongst Amberites. Gatwegians may be powerful wizards, but Jerod would presume (as would his player) that the legends of Amber Princes and their sorcery would serve to give an option to recruitment...after all, it's one thing to train with a really good's something else to be able to get training from the best in the universe.

Rein takes all these instructions, follows up on a few questions until he's sure he has Jerod's instructions down pat, and heads out to follow them.

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Last modified: 15 November 2005