I like to think I’m starting to get Amber City back on its feet. Through a combination of Oberon’s actions and Eric’s, the City was in a pretty sorry way when I took over as Lord Mayor. And being collateral damage in the Family in-fighting didn’t help either. Amber deserves to be a Creation Class City, and I’m hoping that I will have the time to restore it to that position.
HD – How do you manage your relatives who misbehave in Amber City.
I think most of them are beginning to appreciate that if they go too far, I’m going to have a sense of humour failure. And they have got better at calling the constables for back-up.
HD – “What was the worst incident you can recall?”
There have been a few, including at least one incident of cold-blooded murder and another of arresting a dowager duchess just because she complained about the behaviour of some of the Family.
HD – “What happened with your son, Artur? There was an incident and now he works as a bartender in the Boar’s Head.
I’ll admit, I was pretty bloody angry when I heard about it. We had a robust exchange of views, and came to an agreement that he’d give something back to the City.
HD – Do you think that it is better to be boring and honest or exciting and naughty?
It all depends on the context. Sometimes it’s good to let your hair down. But the important thing is knowing when it’s appropriate, and when it isn’t. Family members acting like frat boys doesn’t give a good impression. Me, I’m probably boring and at least attempt to be honest.
HD – How has Aspasia’s entertainment district impacted Amber City? Has it made it naughtier and/or been good for the revenue generation?
It’s early days yet, but it certainly seems to be bringing more business into the City. I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be a successful venture for all concerned.
HD – Who are the biggest frat boys who create negative impressions?
I imagine you can figure that out for yourself, if you follow the Amber news (smile)
HD – Who is your most favourite cousin? Least favourite?
That’s one of those loaded questions that doesn’t have a right answer (chuckle)
HD – Which one would you least likely invite to Tenterden for tea?
Ian smiles. That’s still a loaded question, just phrased differently.
HD – How do you get along with your Twin Brother John?
We have a pretty decent relationship, both working and personal. I just wish that we’d had a chance to know each other as kid. I would have loved to have had a brother growing up.
HD – How are you similar and different?
We both had our trials and tribulations growing up. I guess the biggest difference is that my mother didn’t tell me anything about Amber, Chaos or Shadow, whereas Bleys made sure that John had a proper Family education. So I guess the big difference is that I was brought up thinking I was human, and he was brought up knowing he was more than that. And for whatever reason, now I do know, I’m much more likely to be hands on with dealing with problems, while he is more of a planner.
HD – Do you have any unresolved issues from the Eric of Amber reign?
I lost a lot of family and close cousins during the Civil War. Family I never had the chance to know or meet. And while some of them were actively fighting on my father’s side, more of them were completely innocent of everything but being of Helgram blood. That is something I’m never going to forgive those responsible for, even if Caine’s death gave some manner of revenge.
HD – Who else needs to be sought for justice or at least truth and reconciliation?
Truth and reconciliation means neither of those things. There are people who I’m pretty sure were involved in the bloodletting against the Helgram-descended members of the family, and who deserve to be punished for that. The problem is proving it.
HD – How is your ritual work doing in relation to other magical researches? What makes yours different than others?
I was a ritual magician long before I ever knew of Amber or Chaos. Sorcery doesn’t really exist on Tenterden, so it’s the tradition I was brought up in. It’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve been able to stretch my knowledge of it, and see how it can work in relation to the other arcane abilities I’ve come across since I was enlightened. As far as what makes my ritual style different, it’s a blend of various different traditions, the fact that I was always a natural at it, and a lot of patience.
HD – How reliant are you upon components? Are they rare and hard to find?
About the only “components” I use, if you can call them that, are the candles, chalk and incense style paraphernalia that are the stock in trade of any ritualist to give a formal framework. That can be helped by adding a focus specific to what I’m looking for or what I’m doing: say a map as a connection for finding things. But nowadays, I find I need the framework a lot less than I used to.
HD – Can you tell us about Rebma and the Cabra Shelf. Llewella had been saying you did by black magic and blood ritual
The only blood involved in that ritual was that of the participants. And that action was taken in light of Random’s first attempted coup, in which he was firmly backed by Llewella and her Rebman cadre, who declared war on Amber in support of him. In addition, it was them who made the first move against a civilian target. First he pummelled Amber with hail stones large enough to kill and cause significant damage. And when that didn’t break our spirit, he was going to send a hurricane on Amber to try to cause more damage, both to the people and place. I have no regrets about what I did.
HD – Did you have an environmental assessment? The environmental watchdog organization VertPax has called for all rituals to now have environmental assessments. Can you comment?
What a bloody daft idea.
If you’re trying to rescue someone who’s been kidnapped, or find something that’s lost, and time is of the essence, who on Earth is going to wait three weeks for an environmental assessment? Ritual magic doesn’t work like that. Neither does sorcery.
HD – Who is Ix?
I believe he’s the keeper of a staircase somewhere in the Abyss, but as yet my knowledge of the Abyss is sorely lacking.
HD – What is a staircase doing in the centre of the Abyss?
I have no idea. I guess it’s something that’s left over from before the Logrus was drawn.
HD – What is the greatest threat to Amber? As far as Amber is concerned, in my view the major threat is the combination of Corwin Random and Llewella, and their ambitions in Amber’s direction.
HD – Is Princess Deirdre and Karm part of this group? What of the children of these four?
It’s hard to really understand the motivations of Princess Deirdre, and the reasons behind the refounding of House Karm. Personally, I have no problem with “Karm” as an overall group. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have problems with certain of its members.
As for the families of Corwin and Random, I think the recent Corey family meeting should have made it clear to most people who follow these things just how much of a threat some of those individuals are to Amber. But it was reassuring that certainly some of those present sounded as if they had more sensible heads on their shoulders.
HD – What is the greatest threat to Tenterden?
Tenterden is just a private Shadow which isn’t part of the greater game. Apart from the few High Bloods in my immediate family and in Germany, it’s not an aware Shadow. The concept of other worlds doesn’t go beyond the stars of its own universe.
HD – What do you mean by aware?
A world that has knowledge of Amber, Chaos and other Shadows. One that knows it’s merely one universe within a far more extensive multiverse.
HD – How are relations to the Empire of UT?
Personally, or between Amber and UT? For my own part, it’s not a place I particularly want to go. But then, different people have different likes and dislikes.
HD – Would you travel to UT as a tourist?
I can’t offhand think why I would.
HD – You are a critic of the Antilla Railway – why is that?
I think it’s a security threat looking for somewhere to happen. A man-made Black Road that could potentially be used by anyone to invade pretty much anywhere. I have no intention of letting it anywhere near any of my territories. It just worries me that someone who is supposed to be as strategically aware as Matthew of Antilla is happy to make the same mistakes again.
HD – Prince Benedict was upset at the destruction of the Black Road by Oberon. Would you agree with King Oberon’s decision?
Completely and utterly. That thing caused untold problems.
HD – Are the Twins banned from your territory in Tenterden? Do you watch them in Amber City?
Tenterden is closed to all Family members, except as my guests. It’s a place I can go when I need some time away from the hurly burly of Amber. As far as Amber City is concerned, sure, I keep an eye on them. But no more or less than any other member of the Family. As long as they don’t cause trouble, and disrupt the life of the City, then they have as much right to be there as anyone else. In fact, I recently had a discussion with them about the potential of bringing a couple of Professional Sports teams to Amber.
HD – The Twins serve as instructors at the Imperial High Blood Academy in their spare time (The Borstal). Would you continue the tradition of the Helgram Academy doing athletic events with their teams?
I can’t think of any reason not to. There was an unfortunate incident at the last CRF game between the two, but that was due to the actions of a son of Caine who wished all Helgrams harm, rather than either the High-Blood Academy or its teachers..
HD – Is Bear worship allowed in Tenterden? What do you think of them?
The Bears aren’t any more gods than any of the rest of us. They’re just four more members of the Family, so personally, I don’t consider them worthy of worship any more than I would consider Justin Bieber worthy of worship. The disturbing thing is just how fanatical their Cult is: recently there was an incident in Amber when the Cultists were stealing the cutlery off the plate of one of the Bears. And I think that fanaticism is going to be a problem down the line.
As far as Tenterden’s concerned, I have no intention of even mentioning it there, let alone introducing it.
HD – Finance Officials accused the Bear Cult of disregarding tax procedures and Barry the Bear though with no authority over the small church in Amber was put on a tax watch list. Do you condone this, which some call religious persecution.
It would be inappropriate for me to comment on an ongoing Treasury investigation.
HD – Do you listen to the Bieber?
Gods no. He’s a jumped up brat with limited talent, who’s probably going to be the next one found dead in a hotel room after a drink and drugs binge.
HD – Rumours are he could be an Amberite? If so, what’s your best guess of who he would belong to?
HD – Creeping Matthewism is called the greatest danger to Creation by Lucius. Is that true?
I’d love to know what “creeping Matthewism” actually is. It seems to be one of those terms that gets bandied about very easily. However, given that the term was coined by Lucius, and there is a fundamental disagreement between his totalitarianism and Matthew’s more liberal views, it strikes me as little more than a fraternal pissing contest. As far as I’m concerned, there are far greater dangers, including the Lynx, interlopers from other Continuums, and radical Rilgaism.
HD – Do you think Radical Rilgaism is being moderated by Prince Rambault?
I certainly think he’s been a more moderate influence on his grandmother. Of course, her being stabbed and put out of action is also likely to have had an effect.
HD – Did you kill the Lynx Lord Immelman personally?
I had help.
HD – Did he have benefit of a fair trial?
Did my grandson have the benefit of a fair trial when he was vivisected by the Lynx?
HD – How do you get along with the self-proclaimed Loyal Leader of the Opposition – Rambault
Probably the best way of putting it is we have our ups and downs. I may not always agree with him, but he brings a valuable alternative perspective to the Court of Amber, and I respect him for that. Every government needs an Opposition to keep them honest and tell them when they’ve gone too far. And I certainly agreed with his reservations about putting up a statue of Gaius in Amber City. I consider that to have been huge mistake, as it was just rubbing salt in various barely-healed wounds.
HD – Why would you call that a mistake? Is Gaius a war criminal? If so was he as bad as Caine and Eric?
I don’t believe he went round murdering Caine’s and Eric’s children. But he certainly has as much blood on his hands as far as cracking down on the mortal enemies of the regime he served as they did. Did he deserve being put to death in the way he was? In honesty, I don’t believe anyone deserves that. But making him a hero? Definitely not. It seems like a move guaranteed to piss of the North, where many of his purges were undertaken, and just now we need to break down the barriers between us, not erect more.
HD – What do you see are the future plans for Tenterden? Will the doors be opened?
It will continue in its own way, and we’ll see what time does for it. But no, I have no intention of opening it up. As I said, everyone needs somewhere to retreat to when Amber gets too much.
HD – Do you feel Amber is unstable right now?
There is a solid group of us who are trying to make damned sure that it isn’t.
HD – What is your favourite scotch?
HD – How is Johnnie Walker Blue Label?
A waste of good 25-year old single malt.
HD – Who is your least favourite relative?
Now Caine is dead, that’s a toss-up between Random and Llewella, given their attacks against the innocent citizens of Amber. I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of Julian, either, but as long as he follows his brother Gerard’s lead and continues to protect Amber, then that’s fine by me.
HD – Should Random and Llewella stand trial for their crimes?
Both of them have attacked innocent Amber citizens. In Random’s case during his attempted coup, and in Llewella’s case when she sent a tsunami against the unarmed Saltspray Islands, killing a number of people whose only crime was to want to come to Amber to make a better life.