MMIIThe Continuing Story of Dexter, Prince of Amber, Steward of Arden, Horselord of Kharev (continued)
This important historical account of the heroic life and times of Dexter of Amber continues thanks to the uncovering of a heretofore lost cache of information on the semi-mythical figure of Dexter.
When we last left our historical account, Dexter had just left his brother Galen and headed into the Veil..
Across the Veil
Prince Dexter's training served him well within the veil, and he fought all manner of terrible beasts and endured all manner of hazardous terrain. After a mighty trial, he emerged safely on the other side of the veil, where he allowed himself to be taken by guardsmen.
The guardsmen led Dexter to a castle in a land called Navarre, where he was brought in front of a man named Corwin, who claimed to be the Corwin of the stories. Dexter introduced himself as the father of Oberon and son of Martin. Corwin claimed not to have seen Martin recently.
Dexter was treated fairly well in Navarre, aside from Caine attempting to read his mind, and Corwin promised assistance in Dexter's mission of trying to find his father. One of Corwin's granddaughters was assigned to the task.
A Nice Expedition
Dexter and his companion travelled around Navarre in search of Martin with little success. Eventually they decided to head toward Hendrake in case Martin was headed in that direction. They enjoyed their time together andrelaxed on the walls of a fort guarding the only pass through to Navarre. While on the walls, Dexter spotted a trio attempting to cross the pass and recognized the trademark gait of his half-brother Carton.
Dexter and his companion rushed out to meet up with the trio. A brief conflict ensued between Alexandria and Deter's companion, but Dexter and Carton settled everything diplomatically. Alexandria and Akihara headed toward Hendrake and the last, large Navarrean fort that they were unaware of, Dexter's companion headed off to warn Corwin and Caine, and the Princes Dexter and Carton headed off in search of their father.
Doom Walks the Earth
You may now tremble in mortal fear at the thought of the Princes Dexter and Carton travelling together across the placid countryside of Navarre. Many towns and villages were changed forever during this trek and, although her tale would not intersect with the prince's for quite some time, it was a suspicious nine months following this time that Genevieve the Dark was born to a peasant woman in one of the towns that Dexter and Carton passed through. Although it has never been settled, it has always been this historian's opinion that the curse of Genevieve was the daughter of Carton, and not the noble Prince Dexter.
A Gargoyle Screams
The two princes found their way up into the mountains and discovered a mournful gargoyle. Prince Carton claimed that the gargoyle was none other than King Martin and Prince Dexter believed him! The two approached the gargoyle in a show of friendship, hoping to tame their father and encourage him to shift back into his human form. Unfortunately, the gargoyle mortally wounded Carton.
It was at this point that Dexter saved the life of Prince Carton, an act of pure kindness that the evil Prince Carton would never show any gratitude for.
Prince Dexter calmed the beast enough to allow him to leave with the wounded Carton and eventually even tended to his wounds. Had Dexter not removed Carton from the gargoyle's lair, it would surely have eaten the ungrateful wretch, which would have caused Martin all manner of trauma once he regained himself.
Two Opportunities Lost
While Carton was still recuperating, during which Dexter could certainly have killed him, Caine came to visit the half-brothers. Dexter and Carton led Caine up to the gargoyle's lair, where the gargoyle immediately slew many of Caine's retinue. Soon Carton was cowering in the back of the cave while Caine locked Martin's eyes in a psychich conflict. At this point, Dexter knew that he was being faced with his best, and perhaps only, opportunity to kill Caine easily. However, Dexter felt that saving his father was more important than killing Caine and so he let Caine live. His father managed to escape.
Dexter and Carton parted company without any great loss of life or tragedy. Dexter headed back to the fort on the border with Hendrake to wait for his father to arrive and Carton headed to Castle Navarre in order to join forces with the evil Caine.
Dexter eventually left the fort to hunt down Martin. He found Martin nearing the veil in an apparent attempt to enter it. Dexter made contact with the gargoyle beast, for Martin was still wearing its form, just prior to Corwin sundering the veil, sending Dexter and his father flying in the aftershock.
Dexter spent quite some time taming the gargoyle beast and interesting it in shapeshifting into more and more human forms while leading it back toward Amber. Eventually he was contacted by the Lady Dierdre.
Back to Amber
Dierdre trumped Dexter and Martin closer to Amber. Dexter and Martin then headed directly for Amber, accompanied by Grace, Mistress of the Seas. Once they had made it back to Amber, Martin was encouraged to walk the Pattern and regain his memories.
Martin summoned back all of his children for one big meeting. Everyone's story was recounted and Martin was introduced to Oberon. Everyone split up, with the majority of Dexter's siblings and half-siblings attacking Caine without inviting Dexter. Dexter eventually caught up with his siblings and half-siblings at an odd fort where he managed to fish pre-Martin Amberite warriors out of the abyss. The group decided to head for Hendrake in order to gain intelligence, but Mirabelle refused to go with Dexter along and so Dexter left. Dexter hunted down Caine then with the hopes of finding out what Caine was up to and perhaps talking with him. Unfortunately, Caine was unwilling to talk and Dexter wasunable to kill Caine before Caine took over his mind.
An Unwitting Thrall
Dexter became Caine's unwitting thrall, although its effects were not felt until after the greatest betrayal of all.
The Greatest Betrayal of All
Dexter returned to Amber to find that Martin had kidnapped his son, taken him to a fast time shadow, and deprived Dexter of the first two years of Oberon's life. He further discovered that Martin intended to deprive Dexter of the next twenty years as well. Dexter recovered his son and attempted to escape the evil, insidious Martin's clutches, but to no avail. Despite not actually catching up with Dexter, Martin was able to trap Dexter and Oberon in a Hell Dimension.
The Hell Dimension
Dexter raised Oberon as well as he could in the Hell Dimension, cursing his father's name every night. After twenty years, Martin returned and gave a Trump of Amber to Oberon. Oberon brought his father out of the Hell Dimension with him.
Back in Amber Again
Martin had allowed Dexter and Oberon to reach Amber just in time to meet Corwin's assault on the Castle. Although Dexter at this point wanted nothing more than to join with Corwin and help him, Corwin was uncommunicative. Dexter was distracted by fighting off a Trump contact attempt just long enough for Corwin to chop Oberon's arm off. Dexter gathered up his son and a horse and headed out toward a shadow with good medical services. Fortunately, Dierdre was able to provide a Trump of just such a shadow and Dexter was able to save his son's arm.
The Effect of Being Caine's Thrall
Dexter soon received another Trump contact and brought through a number of wounded and dying, including his half-sister Marshall Caitlin, from their battle in Navarre with Caine. He learned from them that Caine had been killed. This activated Caine's hidden instructions for Dexter and Dexter returned to Amber and bled on the pattern.
Martin was grievously wounded, both physically and mentally by the damage to the Pattern, although Dexter found it hard to care. Dierdre informed Dexter that he would have to be the one to restore the Pattern since he was the one who bled on it, although obviously Dexter would have to heal first. Dexter was returned to the hospital shadow where he filled everyone in on current events and found that weird pseudo-Rangers were attacking all of shadow. Until this point, the theory had been that only Dexter could restore the Pattern. The fiend known as Dulane put forth an alternate theory that Oberon could also restore the Pattern, although it was obvious to Dexter that Oberon would simply die in the process as Oberon was completely unskilled in the ways of the Pattern, never even having walked it. Upon Dexter's return to Amber, Dierdre proposed that Oberon restore the Pattern and Dexter assured her that she would have to kill him first. Dexter had had enough of his elders thinking they could endanger his son and take his son from him and was prepared to kill both Dierdre and Martin if they didn't start behaving themselves. It should come as no surprise that Dexter would prefer death to allowing them to take such advantage of him.