A Meeting with Prince Devlin

[I don't have the beginning of this thread. Kendall also had a prior conversation with Devlin that is entirely lost, and contains the original reference to a bachelor party.]

"Have you see the Serpent in person?"

"Yes," Kendall replies shortly. "Once."

A small creature, who looks part feline and rabbit to Devlin, comes crawling into view on stone railing of the balcony. Its front paws having more in common with a monkey then a cat or rabbit's, as it grips the stonework, happily chirping to the pair. The Qur scampers over to Lord Kendall, to await if the Master chooses to share of his drink.

K's eyes had gone distant for a few heartbeats, but he comes back to the present when he sees movement. He makes an inviting gesture to the creature with one hand. "And have you been graced by a visit from your unicorn?" he inquires of Devlin curiously.

With his invitation, the Qur crawls into Kendall's lap to await his Master's request for tasting. Looking across the table at Devlin with wide cute eyes, purring gently as it watches the going-ons.

Devlin watches the exchange with amusement before responding to Kendall's question. "We hang out now and then," his response a little less jovial than the typical Dev Kendall's come to know. Dev idly taps his fingers on the chair. "Been a little while since last meeting."

Kendall offers the critter a taste of wine, rubbing it lightly behind the ears.
He gives Dev an enigmatic look, comprised in part of puzzlement and wry
amusement. "I presume I should not be surprised to hear an Amberite refer to his
holy creature with such… familiarity," he says at last.

"Better to cozy up to one's faith, than to be in fear of getting too
close to the truth of it. Sounds to me like you have a fear of commitment or
difficulty following through with your life," he suggests with a soft tone.

"You don't strike me the type to be in politics for the long haul," Dev adds.

"Really." Kendall draws out the word a space, letting it hang for a moment
before continuing, his expression curious. "What would make you suggest such a
thing? One might argue that, as a denizen of the Courts, I will be engaged in
politics throughout my life."

"And as a living organism one could argue that we all are politicians
vying for our desires and needs." Devlin shrugs. "Still, maybe someday you
will be in it for real. Your soul's not in it now." He raises a hand.
"Nothin' wrong with the impression on my end. In fact… it's a relief. But
I do know something about finding your way in life. Finding what you feel
you were meant to do."

Kendall laughs quietly to himself, looking down at the Qur in his lap for
several heartbeats. When he looks up again, he has mastered himself again, but
still looks curious and speculative. "What do you feel you were meant to do
then?" he asks.

Devlin replies, "Get off the damn sidelines and take responsibility for
the course of the universe."

"No false modesty from this quarter, I see," Kendall observes dryly.

Devlin shrugs. "Why wait around for others to have all the fun?"
He sips from his drink again. "Besides obvious symbolism of heraldry or
language differences, how does one recognize another in the Courts of
Chaos to be from a specific House?"

"Typically there are what one might call conventions of dress and speech that
are specific to each House. There are also less obvious nuances of… of
behavior, I suppose," Kendall pauses for thought. "I believe Captain Briar
mentioned something called 'body language'."

Dev replies, "Yes. Some study it to determine the most likely outcome of
a social interaction. Usually business negotiators, military types, and
television evangelists."

Dev can practically hear the unspoken question written on Kendall's face.
'What are television evangelists?' But he takes a sip of his drink instead.

"I'm curious to study the differences as I'm planning a trip to Chaos.
It would be astute of me to observe the proper protocol and avoid lame
moments. Do you know anyone I could chat up about getting versed in
observing Chaos 'body language?'"

He chuckles, shaking his head. "It is an art that could consume an entire
lifetime," K replies. "I am uncertain where you might find the, ah, abridged
version. May I ask your purpose in visiting Chaos?"

"Business," Dev responds. "Going to study with family there."
"By the way, wanted to inform you that my bachelor party has been
postponed. So you can fill that slot up with another social engagement with
the Queen," he says.

"Oh," Kendall replies, and looks genuinely disappointed. "That is a pity. It
promised to be most educational. Will your, ah, marriage still be proceeding?"

"I hope that the marriage will proceed in the near future," Devlin responds.

"And who was— ah, is the desired mate?" Kendall asks curiously.

"The Lady Madeline. And she is most desirable, for an Amberite. Do
Chaosians share the same perceptions of desire and beauty and truth as what
you've observed in Amber?" Dev says.

"Ah, yes, the delightful Madeline," Kendall remembers. "I am uncertain how
truth fits into the scheme of desire and beauty, but certainly such things
are experienced in the Courts. It seems desire is often dependent on other
factors than external appearance, however. Availability is periodically a
confounding factor. Many are attracted most strongly by those things they
cannot have."

"Some might view life as an attempt to realign either ourself or others so
that desire and obtainment connect," Dev muses.

Kendall drains his glass, and sets it down on the end table. The
servant appears again, to quickly and efficiently refill the Chaos
Lord's glass, then also offers to top off Dev's.

Devlin waves off the offer politely.

The servant bows, sets the half-empty bottle back on the table. Turning to
leave, he notices the Qur sitting in Kendall's lap, and sends his master a
questioning look. Kendall shakes his head minutely, and the servant departs.

"Some might," Kendall agrees. "For a loyal child of Chaos, life is
viewed as an attempt to align ourselves with our House's wishes, and
to find the best way to serve our House's interests."

There is a long pause before Devlin responds, "Have you ever questioned
the intentions of your House's interests? their legitimacy, or your position
within those interests?"

Kendall also is silent for some heartbeats before answering, his hand becoming
still on the Qur's head. "Is it so very anathema to Amberites to consider the
best for one's House, to serve one's family, that the idea of our loyalty is
inconceivable? We, I am not a slave to my House. Naturally I have my own
desires and ideas, which I am allowed to indulge insofar as it does not
conflict with my father's needs and plans."

Dev sits up. "Perhaps you did not understand my question. To hold
opinions is one thing. Have you ever questioned your House's intentions? Not
as a philosophical meditation between you and your inner beliefs, but as an
action with you as an initiator? And please do not assume that while the
brashest of my family maintains a reputation for creating schisms that we as
a whole cannot fathom or practice the craft of loyalty. There are a handful
of names I could drop which would counter each example you could provide.
Innovation is never easy to accept when you are left behind doing the same
thing day in and day out."

"I… see." Kendall considers for four heartbeats before continuing. "It is simply that you are not the only
one to seem to suggest that loyalty to the House implies slavery to the House's whims. You did not
intend that, so it was my error."

Dev studies Kendall for a moment before shrugging. "Not answering a
question might be saving face for you, or a silent admission of guilt."

Dev puts his glass down. "Thanks for the beverage. Enjoy your stay in
Amber."

"I'll keep my eyes open for a suitable body language specialists after I
get to Chaos." He rises in preparation to leave.

Kendall watches Dev stand, not rising yet himself. "You might consider
it purely my shortcoming, as I fail to grasp the significance of the
question," he replies with an edge to his voice. "Still, if you wish
assistance while in the Courts, I would be willing to provide as I am
able. Perhaps a letter of introduction from myself or the Ambassador
would prove helpful."

"I would appreciate such a gesture," Dev responds. "Should I return in
an hour?"

"Hm," Kendall stands, appearing briefly at a loss, glancing at the tall
grandfather clock standing in the hall. "I do not believe I will be here in
an… hour. Would it be feasible simply to send it to you with a page?"

A nod to confirm. "Works for me. Have it sent to my Uncle Brand's location
in Chaos. I'll be heading there soon."

"Oh." He looks surprised. "You are leaving that soon? I am sure a letter
could be drafted within the Turning before I depart for dinner. However, I
would not be here. Perhaps I should leave it instead with a servant for you
to take as you leave," he suggests.

"You could just Trump it to Chaos and I can retrieve it from someone in
Chaos once I arrive. Don't wanna trouble you. Who's your date for dinner?"

"Captain Briar," Kendall replies. "The matter of the letter should not
prove so complicated. However, I do not believe trumping it there for you to
retrieve would be optimal." He looks around, and the servant appears in a
doorway. "Writing supplies," Kendall requests. "Also, is the Ambassador in
his rooms at present?"

The Servant gives no answer that Devlin detects, but Lord Kendall seems to
had gotten his answer. After a dismissal, does the servant leave to gather
the requested supplies.

"Briar. Eric will be pleased. Well you kids have a good time tonight,"
Dev responds.

"I hope to," Kendall replies absently. Then his attention returns to
the here and now. "Please wait briefly, and I will write a letter for
you before you leave."

Its not long, maybe 50 beats of Devlin's heart before Lord Brisbane strolls
into the room. Dressed in evening robes, the symbol of House Chanicut on his
collar. A book in hand, as if just disturbed from a enjoyable read. Behind
the Lord is the Servant sent away with the writing box, and a very competent
looking warrior by the name of Adalf, who holds in his hands a bronze tube
with glyphs. From its looks, a Furnace Gun that could burn everyone in this
room into ashes. Now the question is, will it work in Amber? But that
question is somewhat overshadowed, by why would such a Lord who is known for
his politeness would feel the need to show such firepower to a guest.

"Tis a pleasure to meet you again, Prince Devlin." Ambassador Brisbane says,
walking over to the pair. The Qur in Kendall's lap, utters a warning chirp
and scampers away.

Dev bows politely within his station as a Prince of Amber to am
Ambassador from Chaos.

Brisbane returns the Prince's bow with the proper respect.

"The pleasure is all mine," Dev responds.

Kendall also bows to Brisbane, then stands respectfully with his hands clasped
behind him, almost a parade rest. "My apologies, sir. It was not my intention
to disturb you. However, Prince Devlin has plans to visit Chaos very soon, and
I offered to provide a letter of introduction."

"Yes, I have been already informed of the Prince's traveling plans."
Brisbane answers, his voice too neutral to read."And of what, is this letter
a introduction to?" He asks, as the Servant hands Lord Kendall the writing box.

Devlin waits for Kendall to answer this question given that there seems
to be some sort of Chaos hierarchy involved. Inwardly, Devlin is a wee bit
pleased to have shaken things up a little. So he is being patient watching
for now until he needs to flex his metaphysical muscles.

Kendall accepts the box, and indicates the servant should wait on
further orders. "Simply to request he be given all due courtesy, as
his position merits," he replies. "It may be that there are some who
would doubt his identity."

"I would then suggest a Scarlet Envelope." The Ambassador replies, as Devlin continues
to wait patiently.

Devlin watched the exchange. "True, we wouldn't want to use the
periwinkle one," he jokes. "I could just wipe out a Shadow or two whenever
anyone in Chaos wanted to see my credentials."

Kendall looks askance at Devlin. "Is your purpose in Chaos to bring
destruction?"

"My purpose in Chaos is to learn all that I can and then make a decision
about what should stay and what should go," Dev comments. "If a letter is too
difficult to come by then I will make other arrangements once I arrive."

"The letter is not difficult," Kendall replies, frowning in puzzlement at Dev's
reply. "Though the question of what you mean by deciding what should stay and
what should go might be. Would you please clarify?"

"No, thank you," Dev responds politely. "If the ambassador has already
been alerted to my travel plans, perhaps he also knows the rest of my
itinerary in Chaos. In which case, it would be redundant to repeat the
details here and now."

Kendall looks curiously at Brisbane, wondering if any details are forthcoming.

"He wishes to throw his lot in with the Traitor Brand." Brisbane answers.
His words so empty, even the Abyss would find little to consume.

Devlin smiles with pride.

"Pride was also one of his many mistake." Brisbane counters.

"I'll be sure to relate your pleasantries to my Uncle, and to the House
of Channicut in person. Good day to you both." Devlin prepares to leave.

"In the end, you both will fail." Brisbane says, then turning to
Kendall. "You may escort your guest out. It seems, he wishes to leave
without his letter after all." Returning his gaze to Devlin."Good Cycle,
Prince Devlin of Amber."

Devlin chuckles and smiles. "On the contrary. A letter of introduction
would be appreciated, if one could be produced within the hour," Devlin
remarks.

Kendall, quietly watching the other two trade barbs, nods first to
Brisbane and looks like he'll be happy to show Dev out. At Dev's
correction, however, he seems to sigh, then goes back to the writing
box to select a piece of parchment, envelope, etc, and begins to write.

After a little while, he finishes with a flourish of the pen. The letter is
quickly sealed and placed in an appropriate envelope supplied by the
servant. Turning from the task, Kendall offers the letter to Devlin with a
small bow.

Dev accepts the letter and bows in kind to Kendall. He thanks everyone
for their assistance before departing to head to his quarters and make sure
everything is ready for his travels, including sending his usual servant to
get his horse ready and add provisions.

Once the Amber Prince is gone, with the guards and servants, Brisbane turns
to Kendall."Unbridled youth, uncontrolled passions and desires." He shakes
his head as if, disappointed."Even if the Princess Fiona is incorrect, and
it isn't his desire to help the Traitor Brand to claim the Throne. I expect
that one to cause much trouble within the Royal Court for himself and
others… it could be for the best to inform House Hendrakes and allow them
to kidnap him for their breeding pits."

"I suppose that would be best." Kendall isn't to thrilled about mention about breeding
pits, just as a general principal. "Though I must admit that interacting with an Amberite
who appears to be comfortable with the politics of the Courts is refreshing. Some of the
others give the impression of holding their own politics as morally superior, which can be tiresome."

"It is a feeling, you need to get use too." His uncle answers."All believe
that their way is superior to yours. Their view is so much clearer then
yours… the walls they build, confine yet give comfort. No one wish to be
proven wrong, yet we all are wrong in the Serpent's Gaze."

"Would you say that is a common failing in the Courts, too?" Kendall
asks curiously, looking disturbed at the notion.

"Of course not… for they have House Chanicut to hold the mirror for them."
Brisbane says with a good-nature chuckle.

Kendall smiles in appreciation of the jest, but does not reply to it. Instead he turns and gives Brisbane a bow. "In any event, I apologize for disturbing you, sir. It was not my intention."

"You need not concern yourself about it, Kendall." His Uncle replies."It was
for the best."

He nods. "If you would excuse me then, please. I should ready myself for my next appointment."

"Fair Cycle then…" His Uncle intones, and with a respectful nod of his
head takes his leave. A servant remains, just in case Lord Kendall has
anymore requests.

[maybe a note here from Briar, received while in his room, cancelling the outing.]

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