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Corwin

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Corwin

I knew the me I shaved and this was the guy behind the mirror. Green eyes, dark hair, dressed in black and silver, yes. I had on the cloak and it was slightly furled as by a wind. I had on black boots, like Eric's, and I too wore a blade, only mine was heavier, though not quite as long as his. I had my gloves on and they were silver and scaled. The clasp at my neck was cast in the form of a silver rose. -- Nine Princes in Amber

And the man clad in black and silver with a silver rose upon him? He would like to think that he has learned something of trust, that he has washed his eyes in some clear spring, that he has polished an ideal or two. Never Mind. He may still be only a smart-mouthed meddler, skilled mainly in the minor art of survival, blind as ever the dungeons knew him to the finer shades of irony. Never mind, let it go, let it be. I may never be pleased with him. -- The Courts of Chaos


Corwin told his story to his son, standing on the edge of the Abyss, when it seemed that Amber's victory was assured. The fortunes of war are changeable, indeed. Does he know, in his new home, what has befallen his old one?

Touched with a hint of the alternating mania and depression that characterized Brand, Corwin spent much of his youth making enemies, most notably, and most tragically, his full brother Eric. The two, more similar than either would admit, contended with each other for primacy from youth, a struggle broken only by one or the other's absences in Shadow. Corwin for a time amused himself in his Shadow Avalon, whence came the chemical that, in Amber, turned into gunpowder.

His career took a long haitus when Eric exiled him, injured and amnesiac, to Shadow Earth, where, over the centuries, something changed in Corwin. Whether for good or ill, he softened--though soft for a Prince of Amber is still tempered steel. As the events that would lead to the PatternFall War were set in motion, Corwin regained his memory, and, with Bleys, mounted an assault on Amber, where Eric had established himself. He failed, though gloriously, and was blinded and imprisoned by the newly-crowned King Eric for his trouble.

In Corwin, the remarkable regenerative capacity of Amber's Royal Family had reached its pinnacle--somewhere in the dark, in less than five years, his eyes grew back, and he escaped and fled into Shadow, where he proceeded to have a series of adventures, not the least, but possibly the most enjoyable of which was fathering Merlin by Dara. Corwin sought out his old Avalon to find the jeweler's rouge that the alchemy of Shadow changed to an explosive in Amber, and returned to unseat Eric. He instead found a war with Chaos, and Eric dying of wounds sustained in battle.

Their long contest at last decided by death, and Corwin the victor by default, he took up Regency of Amber amid the distrust of his family. Oberon, escaped from Chaos, reappeared, and the Amberites united under his leadership to undo the damage to the Pattern and stop the threat posed by Brand. Oberon gave his life repairing the Pattern, and Corwin, on his way to the Courts and worried as Shadow was rocked by Shadow Storms, paused to draw his own Pattern, a feat which nearly killed even the unkillable Corwin.

Corwin may well be the reason Amber has not fallen completely. His Pattern, now lost in Shadow, ensured that Order was not gone from the universe after the first Pattern was destroyed. The man himself disappeared into the Shadows cast by his Pattern. The last to see him was his son--no one knows if Corwin yet lives. But he has been counted dead before.

(Those wishing to know the tale as told to Merlin of Corwin's return from Shadow Earth, and the resulting intrigues, may consult the records in the Castle library, though the reader should beware they contain the flaws of both memoir and oral history, and thus are approximately as reliable as the combined memories and biases of teller and scrivener both. -Larissa)

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Page last modified on November 22, 2006, at 02:47 AM