The adventure picks up with most of the characters in the place of the Pattern in Amber. Ausencius is oddly missing, though folk in the castle are still talking about how the guards followed womanly screams only to find him, alone, in an alley.
The Pattern’s magic still appears disturbed to those who view it with sufficient psychic perception, but there is no visible mark on it. Much discussion ensues among the younger royals.
Locke, Dmitri, Jorel, Nexa, and Terrance decide to take a ride out to Kolvir slopes. They adjourn briefly to their quarters and elsewhere in the castle to gather provisions, equipment, and whatever else they might wish. Ray retires to his quarters, claiming a need for rest. At the stables, Nexa was refused a horse, as a result of her abandoning the last one on the slopes of Kolvir. Declining to invoke any royal privilege, she rides double with Jorel. Terrance leads them to the Primal Pattern, using the image Fiona passed him to guide them through the last layer of shadow to the true Amber.
The Pattern sits in the base of a bowl, as if the top of Kolvir had been sliced off and the result hollowed out. Picking their way down the slope, the group finds the primal Pattern unmarked, but showing the same disturbance as the Pattern in Amber.
A tunnel leads away from the Pattern into the mountain. At its mouth is the Guardian, who claims Dworkin had asked him to keep an eye on things. He doesn’t expect to be there long, perhaps 100 years more. He’s at least 500 pounds, 10 feet tall, with four arms and truly fearsome teeth. His reach and strength appear formidable.
Locke finds a knife on the ground. It is of excellent workmanship: damascened steel, blue and green enameled hilt, emerald set in the pommel. Terrance extracts from the Guardian the information that someone dropped it here after failing to get past the Guardian. Locke shows the Guardian a photo lineup, which reveals Caine as the visitor. Locke attempts to view the Guardian through his Pattern-sight, but stops when warned not to threaten the Guardian with magic.
Nexa walks the Primal Pattern. While doing so, she feels a breeze, as if she was being pushed slightly off-balance. She also experiences visions, flashes of ribbons of force and a brief picture of an office with a desk, bookshelves, and a skull.
Terrance climbs the side of the bowl to look out at the sea. After Terrance, Dmitri does, too. Both see a calm, sunny, sea. Jorel watches, getting grumpy and sweating through his skull.
Raymond, in Amber, sees the mother of all storms coming. While he awaits Trump contact near the stables, the storm hits the castle. Fist-sized hail mixed with rain, darkness to rival midnight, howling winds, the works.
Locke tries to view the Guardian through his image of the Pattern while in Trump contact with Raymond. The Guardian uses a power word to disrupt Pattern magic, Locke escapes to Raymond, completely drained of energy but otherwise luckily unharmed. He and Raymond quickly retreat inside the castle to rest up. Once dressed in his smoking jacket and supplied with one of Raymond’s margaritas, Locke casts a Trump scrying. He sees Caine reversed, Dworkin, Fiona, but no clear message.
Nexa teleports from the center of the Pattern to the foyer of Castle Amber and then brings Terrance through via Trump, horses in tow. Vialle arrives at that moment accompanied by guards—she is not happy to find horses in here. She informs Nexa and Terrance that they have lost stable privileges and that the foyer better be clean when she next returns. They leave the horses in the care of the footman at the door, who looks on, stunned.
Dmitri, still at the place of the Primal Pattern, tries a Trump scrying. He sees Caine reversed, Random, Terrance, and Nexa. Very murky. Dmitri also tries various Trump contacts. Jorel watches him, at one point ready to club him unconscious if one of the Trump contacts goes awry. Eventually he makes a Trump call to Llewella and is brought through to Rebma.
Dmitri walks the Pattern in Rebma and finds the experience incredibly draining, far more than the last time he walked the Pattern. He feels buffeted, finds it hard to balance. Eventually he completes it and all but collapses.
At one point, Jorel receives trump contact from Benedict. He reports and is told to be wary of beasts borne by the shadow storm.
Back at Castle Amber, Locke and Raymond head to the dungeon, and they ask about Corwin’s old cell. The guard leads them there, but stops first to visit Ausencius’ imprisoned assailant. The guard remarks the story of the soldiers hearing womanly screams but finding only Ausencius. The group finds Ausencius’ assailant dead on the floor, unmarked. They send the guard to report the death with instructions to preserve the body (method unspecified) and proceed down the hall to Corwin’s old cell. They use the picture on the wall to Trump through to Dworkin’s office.
In the office they see a work table with a large device on it. Close inspection reveals shifting ribbons swirling around a snowglobe-like model of what might be Amber. They see black sparks coming from it, hitting the pictures on the wall. The pictures appear to be Trump: one of a huge tree on a green hill, the library in Castle Amber, and a view of Tir Na Nogth as seen, distorted, from Kolvir. Locke removes the pictures and faces them against the wall. Raymond searches the table, finds only puzzling tools (Dworkin has apparently failed to leave the Ikea-style drawing of how to operate the device). Locke looks at the bookcase, remains puzzled. Eventually, they bring Nexa through via Trump and compare notes. Locke tries a process surge power word on the device and gets painfully zapped (he’s now down one nipple).
Meanwhile, Terrance ascends to the Astronomy tower to view the storm. Nexa ventures to the library and talks with Flora, who tells her of shadow storms and the concern that this may be one. When finished talking with Flora, Nexa joins Raymong and Locke.
Terrance heads to teh office of the commander of the castle guard. The guard is on alert but is not actively responding to any threat. Rather, they are watchful for threats that may arise from the storm or elsewhere. During some apparently overtaxing Trump contacts, Terrance falls down the stairs, drawing odd looks from the guards. One of the Trump contacts was Caine, who assailed Terrance’s mind, held him immobile, and warned him to “Stop meddling.” Terrance felt very lucky to have escaped.