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Amberway II
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Where were you while your Dad was in captivity?

Why did your Dad leave you to go attack your aunts and uncles?

Riley was staying with a group of faeries. They were short and they had gossamer wings and they were faeries in that sense, and not in the sense that you are thinking.

You should really try not to think that way all the time. It is unbecoming.

These faeries lived near the ocean, on a plateau overlooking beautiful cliffs. Riley enjoyed staying with them since they were nice and they threw fun parties, but he was also thinking of leaving them since they were mean and if you ate their food or accepted a gift from them, you would become their slave.

So Riley was standing at the cliff when his friend Mehitabel walked up. Mehitabel was a local girl, and not a faerie at all, but she had eaten a cookie given to her by a brownie, and so she lived with the faeries full time now.

Riley had known Mehitabel.

Riley liked to call her Cookie, and Mehitabel let him. Cookie was a smart young girl who knew much about the world. She knew almost everything except that you should never eat a cookie given to you by a brownie.

"Riley, you are thinking of leaving us, aren't you?" she said, because as I said, she knew quite a bit.

"I am." Riley shifted uneasily and drew a pattern in the dirt with his toe. "I am thinking of leaving because I am afraid for my father. He is no longer in jail."

"I'm sorry," said Cookie, for she was quite wise and did not assume that this was a good thing as you might have, for she knew that Riley had figured out that his father was up to no good and that his father would surely be doing no good now that he was free. "When did he get out?"

"I don't know. I have been too occupied here, among the fae, dancing and drinking and, well,... you know." And he blushed because she did indeed know. "Before today I hadn't tried my father's card for a whole month!"

Cookie gave him a hug, because she is a much better judge of character than you are.

It was then that Brand arrived. Neither had seen him walk up, but he was standing right there.

"My, my, who is this lovely lady, my son?" is what Brand decided to say.

"Her name is Coo-, well, actually her name is Mehitabel, Mehitabel, this is my father."

"Hello, Mr. Washington," said Cookie, who was smart enough to know not only that Brand's last name was not Washington, but also that sometimes it is a good thing if people don't realize how smart you are. "Would you mind staying with us for a few days?"

Brand smiled, and perhaps he smiled too largely, as a cracked man might, but then again perhaps not, "I am afraid that I have an appointment that I must attend to in the next day or so, but I can stay for a bit and rest here." Did I mention that Brand was wearing a patch over one eye? No? Well, he was.

Cookie then said, "I'll go get us a picnic basket, and then the three of us can have lunch on these cliffs and you two can catch up while I am gone. Any requests?"

Brand said, "I find that lately I mislike birds, but anything else will do."

Riley started to reply but Cookie said, "Should I just get you your regular turkey, Riley?" despite the fact that Riley didn't have a regular sandwich and in any event preferred corned beef.

Riley thought that even though he would be leaving here soon, he might get the chance to know Cookie a little more, and decided that in light of that possibility, he might as well just go along with her, and thus said, "Yeah, ok."

Cookie went to get them food and Riley and his father talked and caught up with each other. Brand told Riley about how his father, Riley's grandfather, had wiped out the Pattern and then tried to fix it. He told Riley that it probably hadn't worked, at least not well, and that now that he had the jewel, he knew that he would be able to fix everything and make everything right.

Riley didn't like the sounds of things, but had to admit that if things were messed up, and they were, that someone should try to fix it. Brand said that Riley's half-uncle Corwin had agreed, for he had tried to make a Pattern, but that Corwin was not very bright and surely his Pattern wouldn't work.

Riley just sort of nodded.

I imagine that you have a bad impression of Riley, but you are wrong. Riley is quite intelligent and he knew what Cookie was up to. He also realized that his father was planning on fighting his brothers and sisters. Riley knew that his father was strong, and wise, and powerful. And Riley knew that the Jewel of Judgment was something powerful, but Riley was afraid that his father would be hurt if he followed his plan, so he didn't stop Cookie.

Cookie returned with the picnic basket and laid out the blanket and all of the food. She didn't want to appear too eager, so she cut up the watermelon.

They ate the watermelon and enjoyed it, since it was quite good.

They also drank the lemonade and enjoyed it since it was quite good and they were each somewhat partial to lemonade.

Cookie then doled out the potato salad and the sandwiches. She had a pastrami on rye. Riley had a turkey club. Brand had a roast beef sandwich.

Something must have seemed odd to Brand, for he asked Cookie if they could switch sandwiches, claiming that he was not partial to roast beef despite the fact that he was indeed partial to roast beef.

But Cookie is smart, remember? She agreed to the trade and bit into the roast beef.

Brand bit into the pastrami, but spit it out instantly.

"What is wrong, Mr. Washington?" asked Cookie as Riley just chewed on his turkey club.

"This pastrami tastes odd, or perhaps past its time. How does it taste to you?" asked Brand, who you would say was too suspicious for his own good except that you have probably already figured out what Cookie was up to. Cookie had gotten the pastrami and the roast beef from Tina, a faerie deli owner. Anyone who ate either one would become a slave to the faerie and unable to leave this place. If she could just trick Brand into eating of one of the sandwiches, he wouldn't be able to go and fight his brothers and sisters.

Cookie bit into the pastrami sandwich and chewed it well. She swallowed, for she was already bound to the faerie, and said, "I am sorry sir, but it tastes quite fine to me."

Brand looked at her and shrugged and took the sandwich back. As he raised it to his lips, a large storm loomed to the west.

Brand put down the sandwich. "Oh no, the storm approaches much too quickly. I must go to Chaos without delay." He looked down at Riley, who was still sitting.

Brand must have decided that it would be better if Riley didn't come with him to the big fight, as the next thing he did wouldn't make much sense otherwise.

What he did next was this: He struck Riley and then Cookie, knocking each of them unconscious despite the weakness of his blows. He then focused himself upon the jewel and did two things with it.

The first thing was to protect this shadow from the storm.

The second thing was to attune the jewel to Riley. This is not the same as if Riley had attuned to the jewel, but it meant that if anything would happen to Brand, the Jewel would go along with Riley.

Then he left.

* * *

Riley woke up before Cookie did and left her there.