Thursday, 13 January 2022

The First Amber Court

Before it was an Empire, the Court was a Kingdom, an Ideal, a warren of rooms in the Crypt of an unbuilt Cathedral, and before that, a room, panelled in Amber, the birth point of the concept, and the conspiracy which begat that strange devising.

 "What is known was once suspected, and what suspected was once known." - Kausker Wood.

 Yet this we think we know; K-----1 the Duke of Lataam, possessed a chamber2 panelled in amber, and it was here, shortly after the 'Miracle of Hoögst' that the first secret meetings3 were held, and the germination of the Amber4 Court began.


Apocryphal image of the Amber Court in its Late Period
From 'In the Memories of Stars'

1.      On Redactions

 Mind-plague and Cursethought still hover round the record of these times, especially of the later wars of the Amber Court, the Otherworld Wars and the Red Shift, such that only the most pure of our order are permitted to read, write or even consider these matters. The more conservative amongst my order would happily launch a Mnemarchy Crusade to conceal or destroy all records - so greatly do they fear the contagious notions, the "vermin tales", of the Red Shift - that they may spill over, hide themselves in nearby concepts and thereby slowly and subtly re-infect the Lords Causality.

 Here no such redaction has been made. The son of Duke K----- of Lataam, he who would become "The King Beneath the Mountain", "The Twice-Redacted King" and "Lord of the Amber Court", possessed such power over the Lords Causality that, along with many of the higher-ranked members of the Amber Court itself, his name may not be directly written, remembered or considered. This enchantment, or alteration, was, and is, so powerful that it has overflowed even to the identities of that individuals parents and nearby relatives. All we can say of Duke K---- was that his name began with K. His name is written in some of our records but neither I nor any conscious being may read or comprehend it.


2.      On The Chamber

 A room  in the Ducal palace or fortress of Lataam panelled in amber and fossils. A twin-walled room, silent due to its inner amber walls, paved with polished trilobites. Servants and guards moved behind the amber panels, in the space between the walls  bearing lamps.

 The shadows of strange insects, curls and spatters of ancient catastrophe and that of one creature something like a mouse, along with the warping and shifting of light as it smoked, more than shone, through the wavelike  thickness of the amber walls and was refracted through the carvings, passed across their features of those who met within. Both the sound and nature of the occupants was disguised. The vague shape - but not identity, of those within could be perceived, and nothing heard.


3.      On The Meetings

 One door lead to the dukes apartments and the other to the hedge maze in the garden - a petty labyrinth - but many early meetings were held during parties and gatherings and being "lost in the maze" was sufficient reason to excuse an absence. The great variety of guests and the double-disguise of a masked ball, along with the covering social camouflage of a hist of petty intrigues, clearly sufficed to disguise both the participants, and even the very existence of the meetings themselves.


4.      On Amber

 The room was an assembled treasure of the Dutchy of Lataam - partly inherited from the lost Dutchy of Latöm - partly received in dowry on the marriage of Lady Z----- of Frost to Duke K-----. Duke K----- dedicated himself to collecting such amber treasures for much of his life, finally completing the room roughly 15 years before his death.

Born of strange places were they, torn from seams and tipped from fossilised trees on shores left bare by suboceanic shock. The treasures of tribal kings, smoke-stained, ancient even to them. The amber panels dated from many ages and even the panels themselves were composite elements of a composite room.

 Duke K----- allowed re-carving for a more coherent whole. The leering, primitive ancient carvings of the amber mixed and jumbled, overwritten with the forms and shapes of many faces. The ghosts of those primeval forms remained hidden in the shifting yellow light, waiting only the just-so crossing beams to reveal themselves again, and beneath these overwritten patterns watched the still-more ancient emissaries of deep time - the only witnesses to a new era of hope and fear.



  1. I like the idea of Mnearch Crusade. Something about the footnotes being longer then the main text reminds me of House of Leaves, in a good way

  2. Lutyens's design for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral?

  3. Now I am very curious about "The Twice-Redacted King".

    Also like very much big footnotes, because then I can go and re-read the initial sentence with somewhat different understanding.