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Amber: Ramius' background - Ed's journal
sobrique
sobrique
Amber: Ramius' background

As closely as I can reckon it, I was some 27 years old when I left the shelter of the Courts.
It was about that point that I started to come to the attention of some of the older Lords and Ladies, and shortly afterwards I had my first experience with being poisoned.

It's a fairly normal part of life in the Courts, but I decided that it wasn't part of a game that I wanted to be playing.

After speaking with a few members of my adoptive family, and with a couple of my closer friends, I decided that I needed to seek an education. I spent some few years wandering shadow, looking for one to call home. I eventually settled on one with a relatively advanced technological paradigm, and fairly restricted magical paradigm. The shadow in question was known to it's inhabitants as Kailash.

My tuition started with a university level education. Actually, over the course of the following few years I returned to University several times. The fact that I aged relatively slower than the inhabitants of the shadow, meant that I had to move on periodically in order to avoid someone noticing that I didn't look more than a little older than I had in a photo taken 40 years ago.

Over the course of the time I remained on Kailash, I re-entered the educational system 7 times. Each time, of course, using a new identity. Such a thing is relatively straightforward when you are a sorceror in a place where magic is virtually unknown. Each time, I studied a different subject, although each were around my primary interests of physics and chemistry. I even went as far as obtaining doctorates a few of the times.

It's a fascinating thing being on the leading edge of scientific research. OK, so maybe their discovery processes wouldn't have been quite as rapid without my interefering, but they'd have made them eventually.

4 of the times I had to start again, I used a fairly standard cover story.
3 however, are directly thanks to Haemalith.

Haemalith was a companion during my childhood. At the time I didn't understand his nature, but knowing what I do now, I realise that he was somewhat above the 'average' demon. When very young, we played. As I got older, the nature of the 'games' changed somewhat. I quickly learned that to wrestle with a shapeshifter was just a good way of getting dumped on the floor repeatedly. Fighting with a sword, whilst marginally more effective, was just a way of prolonging the same end result. I don't think it was ever with malice though

He visited me from time to time, to keep me up to date with news, and just to renew our aquaintance. He had something of a perverse sense of humour though, and despite the fact that he was more than capable of assuming a discrete form, he took an almost perverse delight in playing the 'demon boogie man'. Of the few things I regret doing, giving a copy of a couple of texts about 'satanic pacts, and demonic bargains' is probably amongst them.

There's nothing quite like the very image of the devil, showing up at university, marching to your lab and announcing: "Ramius. It is time. Time to fulfill our pact." followed by swiftly teleporting you in a puff of sulphur to really disturb your collegues.

Actually, I think that was mostly covered up, but it did get turned into another book ten years later.
I won't say that Hamealith was malicious exactly, but he did find great amusement in shattering the conceptions of the scientists I worked with. "Tweaking" a chemical reaction in order to convince the scientist in question that 'cold fusion' was possible was a little cruel.

Haemalith, in his natural form, was 12 feet tall, red, horned and winged. He was sufficiently fluid in his shifting though, that I don't think I ever saw him in quite the same shape more than once.

I did like the bastard though. Whatever his faults, he was very enthusiastic about so many things. Each time he came to visit, became a whistle stop tour of the world as it was since last time, during which we'd push our endurance to the limits rushing around.

In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure why he visited me. I'm well aware that he was sufficiently resilient to traverse and survive in almost any shadow, but Kailash was definitely not a 'demon friendly' place. There is a reason most demons may be found in the near vicinity of the courts.

Perhaps it was to serve as a reminder, that my life wasn't simply a matter of research in a nowhere shadow.

Whatever the reason, he was an _avid_ fan of opera. Couldn't get enough of it, even to the point that we'd spend consecutive days, persuing timezones, watching opera.

Over the time spent there, I did somewhat establish certain protection mechanisms. Re-establishing an identity can be challenging, but if you've already got input into the mechanisms, then it's relatively straight forward. Kailash had a shadowy cabal, who gave advice and support to governments. Always faceless, I managed to influence the state of affairs gradually over an extended period. After all, it'd be a pity to have funding for the project I'd been working on cut behind my back, after all.

I do feel a certain tinge of regret for all little things I started working that I left to fall by the way. There was a rather marvelous idea of a sorcery weaving to 'ping' the physical laws of a place. Sort of a dimensional map of mass/energy states, and the transition boundaries between them. Ironically, the source for this was somewhat linked to the 'Magic of Shadow' lynchpin of a standard sorcery spell form. I never got as far as finishing though. Half way through I was interrupted by the aforementioned 'demonic claim' and I ended up having to abandon most of my research. I'm not entirely sure what my fellows would have thought, had they seen my scribblings on the subject. Assuming they managed to follow them at all of course.

I'm still vaguely convinced that 'quantum structure' hold some manner of commonality across all shadows. Occasionally, I've had insight that makes me think I can understand it, but shortly after it slips away once more.

Now of course, I've been dragooned into bimbling around Amber. I suppose it's a vaguely interesting diversion for my real work, but it is a diversion.

I doubt now, that I'll be able to arrange enough uninterrupted time to work through my project. In all honesty, whilst the interest remains, the enthusiasm is diminished. After all, what point is there in understanding the universe, when at the same time, there's people able to re-shape it at will.

Such is life.
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