Gavin’s current journal is a fresh spiral-bound notepad. Written on the front cover’s inside are a collection of names. Gavin writes in pencil, never in pen.
Kesh’itra – out where matter starts to give way to light
Dancer – Kesh’itra’s nightmare steed
Time, Date Uncertain
I think that was the farthest out from Amber I’ve ever been.
There’s something almost addictive about hellriding so far out in Shadow. There’s a point you reach where the changes stop being gradual and start compounding on each other, and things become more and more alien. The sorts of things you take for granted, like how light works and what things do when you interact with them, start to work in ways that challenge the mind. And the more everything changes from what you’ve learned to expect from reality, the farther you want to go – to see which of your own ideas is next to get tossed aside, to see the next surprise. If it weren’t for Kip’s friendly reminder, I might have wandered right into a place where I wouldn’t have made it back out. Somewhere where light and matter get scrambled, or where the way your own component parts don’t hold together the way you think they should. Not to mention wandering right into places effectively owned by Chaos.
Met Kesh’itra – gazelle-ish, lizard-ish Logrus user (!). Encountered her and her steed Dancer out along the Shadow current (Kip didn’t let me go any further). She was apparently scrying using the Logrus when I encountered her, something I didn’t know you could do without some pretty amazing control over the Pattern. There’s a lot I don’t really understand about things this far chaosward, but it’s fascinating stuff to watch.
Dancer – Kesh’s mount. Seems a little nicer than Kesh, but that may be just me. Fits a description right out of a book for the Nightmare.
(I want to call her Kesh, I overheard Dancer call her that. But that might be an affectionate nickname, and I’d rather not go tossing around peoples’ pet names if I can help it. Especially if they’re wielding Chaos.)
I was a little concerned that Kesh’itra’d be irked about an Amberite out this far (and maybe in her domain, as Kip reminded me beforehand) but she seems friendly enough. Of course, she might just have been more concerned with Anomalous Shadow-Crossing Currents than some clueless tourists. The current was what we’d ended up following out, as far as we could safely travel; apparently it’s only been there for a little while. I’m betting that she’s probably irritated about it crossing through her own personal Shadow or somesuch. I’d hate to have a major trade route suddenly appear outside my front door; that’s the sort of thing you want to be warned about beforehand.
Kesh’itra would like to have any information about where the Current passes that she can’t see into, but that’s in the direction that we couldn’t enter without falling apart at our seams. Still, something to keep in mind. I’d like to wander around the deep ends of Shadow again some time, and the adventurous part of me wants to forge ahead, but I need to keep myself from being overconfident. And I really don’t need to develop the hobby of tourism in places where most folk aren’t big fans of Amber. I got awfully lucky meeting Kesh, and not someone with a grudge.And I’m lucky Kip’s still hanging around, because I have this habit of ignoring when reality is starting to bend over backwards – those helpful signs that tell you the bridge is out ahead.