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Tir-na Nog'th

“I had come to the place where ghosts play at being ghosts, where the omens, portents, signs, and animate desires thread the nightly avenues and palace high halls of Amber in the sky, Tir-na Nog’th.”

-Sign of the Unicorn

Upon Kolvir’s highest peak, three windswept stairs lead into nothingness. For much of the year, they serve only as a stunning vantage point overlooking the city and world beyond. But when touched by moonlight, they merge with a spectral stairwell leading up into the sky. On the nights of the full moon, these wisps of glittering moonlight solidify into reality. Those brave enough to ascend this railed staircase will soon find themselves in one of the most beautiful and mysterious wonders Amber has known; Tir-na Nog’th.

As Rebma is Amber’s reflection in the sea, Tir-na Nog’th is its moonlit reflection in the sky. However, the city of silence and silver is actually something much more than a mere reflection. It is all that Amber has been, could become, and never will be. Possibilities and imaginings intermingle amongst the quiet streets and moonlight boulevards. Time becomes fluid within its walls, offering glimpses of the future and the past. It is indefinable and ever changing, as if the city were Amber’s dream, a fragment of its soul.

Although a visitor might find the silvered cityscape familiar, Tir-na Nog’th is truthfully more reminiscent of Dworkin’s ancient Amber than its current incarnation. Additionally, the city appears to change subtly depending on the visitor, as it tries to accommodate itself to mimic their unspoken desires and wishes. It draws on memories and muses, altering the landscape to match the visitor’s perspective of the city. For this reason, traveling to the city in groups can become confusing, as people’s perceptions overlap. It is not unknown for members of a party to suddenly disappear as they walk down a ‘remembered’ street that no one else can see.

The city is populated with stranglings and ghosts who go about lives that were and could have been. They stand in doorways, weed their gardens and wash their windows, laugh and talk on benches, all without making a sound. Under normal circumstances, they cannot see visitors to the city, remaining forever distanced from the real world. For this reason, Tir-na Nog’th can be cruel for those who mourn or have regrets. Many visitors will encounter lost loved ones in the city, existing as if they’d never died. Visitors may even meet their doppelgangers here, playing out a life they’d only dreamt of. These specters remain forever out of reach, being nothing more than moonlight and shadows.

Should a visitor utilize some form of Pattern or Logrus Manipulation (such as drawing a Pattern Blade), the stranglings begin to solidify and take on more human coloration. It is as if the visitor has crossed over into that version of reality and can interact with it. However, this can be dangerous because any physical contact will result in a form of psychic backlash, stunning and even harming the visitor. Corwin suffered this fate when he attempted to embrace his lost love, Lorraine.

Castle Amber looms over the city like a wraith. Inside the castle, and indeed in any building within the city, the moonlight becomes indistinct and aimless, without form or reason. The shadows are absolute like gaping holes in the air itself; a hole you could fall into and never be seen again. Although no one has tried entering a shadow in Tir-na Nog’th, all visitors have an instinctive desire to avoid them. As with the rest of the city, Tir-na Nog’th’s Castle Amber is one of antiquity and dreams. The Pattern supposedly can be found in the old Pattern Room beneath the moonlight version of Kolvir. However, since the PatternFall War, no one has ventured to the city to find out if the Tir-na Nog’th Pattern still remains.

Nor is it likely that anyone will in the near future. Prime Minister Mandor, for whatever reason, has declared the city forbidden to outsiders on pain of death. On every full moon, a small garrison of loyal troops gathers atop Mount Kolvir to prevent passage to Tir-na Nog’th. Because this is the safest route into the sky-city, no one has ascended the stairs in almost a century.

Although the ascent to Tir-na Nog’th is now perilous and guarded, there is one danger in the city that outweighs all others; falling. The city’s stairs and streets are only completely solid when exposed to full moonlight. Although visible and tangible in any intensity of moonlight, the ground will soften and dissolve quite rapidly unless under direct and intense illumination. A visitor will literally sink into the street and then fall out the other side, plunging thousands of feet to the ground or ocean below. Even a stray cloud passing in front of the full moon can spell disaster for brave explorers. For this reason, it is imperative than anyone visiting the city maintain a Trump contact with someone on the ground to allow for an expedient retreat.


Page last modified on October 23, 2006, at 02:57 PM