"Me parece conocer a Ud." It seems to me I know you.
"No es Ud. un contrabandista?" Are you not a smuggler?
"Y Ud., señora, no es la amante And you, Señora, are you not the lover
Del alcóholico poeta of the alchoholic poet
Que se paseaba sin cesar Who moved around ceaselessly
Sin rumbo fijo por las cornisas?" Aimlessly over the rooftops?
"Voló porque tenía alas." He flew because he had wings.
"Y Ud. Continua terrestre." And you remain earthbound.
Me gustaría haberla entregado I would have liked to have delivered her
como india viuda a un gran brasero, like an Indian widow to a great fire
No podríamos quemarla ahora? Could we not burn her now?
Resultaría palpitante! It would be breathtaking!
        - Pablo Neruda, from Sobre Mi Mala Educación

"I am Dara… Dara of Amber, Queen Dara. I hold this throne by right of blood and conquest…"

History tells us tht in the beginning there was Chaos from which all things came, the abyssal egg Akasha, daughter of the Serpent. Then the mad painter Dworkin Barimen, who had in his mind a vision of a completely different sort, blinded the Serpent and stole its eye and with that eye drew a Pattern, the embodiment of Order and Stability. The Pattern founded Amber, the City of the Unicorn, and with its creation Shadow sprang up in between with all her layers and idiosyncracies. But there were those, both in Amber and in Chaos, who were not pleased with such a solution, and so the Game began, the endless jousting of the Pattern and the Logrus for domination of the worlds.

Then came Brand the Betrayer who used both the Pattern and the Logrus in his quest for power. Brand slew his nephew Martin and in so doing came near to destroying the Pattern itself. King Oberon was forced to give his life in an attempt to repair the damage done to the image of Order, but his effort failed, and the winds of Chaos rolled on. Brand came upon Corwin a little after his creation of his own Pattern and stabbed him as he lay resting, stealing the Jewel from him and letting his blood flow out, destroying the beauty he had created. At the Pit things went ill for the defenders, and the army of Amber under the leadership of Prince Benedict cut through the ranks of Chaos. From his shadowed and twisted throne King Swayvill waited and watched for the arrival of the Apostate.

But Brand proved equally untrustworthy to his Chaosian allies, and he perished in the Abyss along with his hostage the Princess Deirdre. Corwin, who had survived his wounding and made his painful way to Chaos, was driven mad by the loss of his beloved sister. Suddenly, a creature of white and purity came up from the Abyss, bearing the Jewel of Judgment, which had been lost with Brand. Upon the horn of Unicorn was the Jewel then borne to Prince Benedict, with the intention that he redraw the Pattern before the Chaos storms were able to traverse the length of Shadow and destroy everything that had ever been.

But there was no one save Corwin who now knew the way to do such a thing, and defeat tasted bitter in the ashen faces of the survivors from Amber.

But then the Queen arrived from the City of Chaos and she said, "Among the children of Chaos it is still remembered how to utilize the Eye of the Serpent. You must give me the Jewel, while there is still time." And the Jewel was given into her hands and she attuned to it, then drew the Pattern that now exists, and Shadow sprang up again in between.

Prince Gerard died in the Amber that had been, along with mad Dworkin Barimen and the late king Oberon. At the Pit perished Deirdre and Brand.

As the centuries passed, only Benedict and Julian could remain true and loyal to the Queen. Benedict is the Warlord of Amber, known throughout as the Shogun, or simply Silverhand. Prince Consort Julian, the Queen's current lover, spends most of his time indulging in his favorite "sports," and his Wild Hunt is feared throughout all of Amber. Random was captured in an early uprising, but only after challenging and slaying the Queen's son Merlin. Recently released from his punishment in the Zoo in a prisoner exchange, Random is considered to be extremely dangerous and anyone who captures or kills him will earn the love and gratitude of the crown of Amber.

Llewella found that the new vision of Rebma reflected in the starfilled sea was one of darkness and danger, a phosphorescent palace of cages and sorcery. Some say that the loss of her land of birth and her entire Rebman family drove her mad, and others who hate her more say that she was cruel to begin with. It is enough for the chronicler to record that the current Queen of Rebma, bride to the Fisher King, has done nothing to restore Rebma to its prior nature. What she will do now that her husband Arad has been killed is difficult to say.

Centuries after the death of Deirdre, Corwin remains mad, and while his whereabouts are unknown, loyal subjects of the queen will report any sightings to her ministers, for the good of Amber, and for Corwin's own safety.

Caine now dwells in the Courts of Chaos, where he is accounted a Prince.

Florimel was exiled into Shadow after being suspected of an attempt on the life of Princess Iliara. Rumor has it this is an elaborate ruse to allow Florimel to watch out for Fiona and Bleys in relative safety.

Of the Red Witch and her brother nothing new is known save that their army has been driven back by Amber, and it is thought they once again hide in Shadow, nursing their old injuries and the desire for a power now denied them.

Chaos herself was ravaged by the destruction and new creation of Order, and in the battle at the Pit many of her sons and daughters were slain. All those responsible for the travesty concerning the deal with the Devil known as Brand were executed, including King Swayvill, who was implicated strongly in the disaster. Gramble Sawall rose to the throne of Chaos. It was not long after that the mysterious wasting disease fell upon King Gramble, and the power came to Mandor, who is called the Drawer of Nets and the Puppetmaster of House Sawall. King in all but name, Mandor remains the power in the Courts despite current power plays by the remaining powerful houses: Jesby, Hendrake and Chanicut. Helgram had been so deeply entwined in the treachery that the House was disbanded and many of its nobles destroyed.

All of Chaos is now confused by the sudden disappearance of Mandor and Caine, at much the same time, leaving much room for a talented upstart to climb the social ladder.

Background Story for Games of Words [Please read if you intend to join]

Many of the Trumps designed by Dworkin are still in existence, however as they depict mostly people and places long gone they are not usually used. Iliara designed a new Trump deck based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. She included, for her own reasons, a few images rarely used except in divination as well as the images of the leading lords of Chaos.

0. Corbin aka Blackbird. The Queen's favorite son.
1. Bleys, also The Necromancer
2. Fiona, also The Red Witch
3. Dara, Queen of Amber
4. Benedict, or the Shogun
5. Mandor, the Puppetmaster of Chaos
6. Tazrial, son of Lady Zara Hendrake
7. [Marcus] Commodus [Julianus], also known as "King of Pain" by some; son of Julian
8. Sanjuste, also Saint Sangremains - the Inquisitor, son of Dara
9. Corwin, the Mad
10. Random, the Prisoner
11. Florimel, Princess of the Shadows
12. Merlin, son of Dara and Corwin, deceased
13. Prince Consort Julian
14. Iliara, Court Bard, Artist and drawer of Trumps, daughter of Dara
15. Caine, Prince of Chaos
16. Amber Undersea
17. Llewella, Queen of Rebma
18. Lost Angles
19. The Fisher King, Lord of Rebma
20. The Zoo
21. Amber

King of Cups. Adonis, of the Courts of Chaos.
Queen of Cups. Nocturne, daughter of Bleys
Knight of Cups. Chiron, son of Brand, deceased

Queen of Wands. Lyra, daughter of Fiona

King of Swords. Wraithe, Lily's vampire servant and lover
Queen of Swords. Lily Barimen aka "Lily of the Valley," Queen of Blood and Bone, daughter of Random
Knight of Swords. Gabriel, son of Merlin
Page of Swords. Kierstina, daughter of Corbin
Nine of Swords. Two, servant to Lily
Two of Swords. Deliah, servant to Lily

Games of Words is currently accepting applications. If you're interested, please make sure you've read everything on the website and then send me a character concept as per these instructions. Come see how to apply.
You can read the rules first.

Note: The information on the past history of the Realm and the characters is what is generally known in Amber. You may discover as time goes on that things are not as you were led to believe.