"Relative Difficulties" Characters

The images used on this page are result of hours of painstaking work by David Cooke, who scanned and altered them where needed so we could make use of them. Thanks must be given to those players who sought high and low to find just the right image for their character, and to Rachel Poxon who almost single-handedly printed out, cut out, glued together and plastic-covered every single "card" numerous times over to provide all the players with Trump props, bleeding for the cause on several occasions.
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Old Ones and Elders


The master of the Pattern remained a central figure in Amber all through the family's troubles; several times he was affected by the dark powers at work, while at others he defended the Primal Pattern against invasion. He also served as a tutor to those who sought to wield greater power than they had already.


As far as anyone is aware, Oberon remained dead throughout the whole campaign, never once returning from the grave or retirement to take a hand in things.



The secret, long-lost twin of Deirdre, Arathon had lost his memory and gained a strange, almost allergic reaction to the Pattern; just approaching one made him fall unconscious! When he was eventually carried around the Pattern by Rylan he regained his memory, revealing his link to the family and later the fact that he was the father of Intruder. After a peculiar courtship he married Bethal and they had two children, Pen and Morgan. He was a very old friend of Michael, from before he lost his memory. He died slaying the Prantor, a terrible beast that had escaped from it's place of confinement in Chaos.


Although he suffered several injuries and setbacks, Benedict remained steadfast and loyal to Amber, if not actually to Random personally. When he was affected by the taint of the Dark Unicorn he must have been sorely weakened, because Omega managed to knock him unconscious with one blow from a big club.


Bleys did his part when he deemed it appropriate. He is, alas, most well known for the week-long torturing session he inflicted on Andreas while under the influence of the Dark Unicorn; he slowly flayed and healed him until he got bored and left him in the dungeons.


Brand, incredibly, remained very dead.


Caine frequently varied between villain and good guy; he rode the Dark Unicorn into Amber and announced himself king long, long ago, but he later helped against other threats on several occasions. He remained a mystery throughout the whole campaign, mostly because he never seemed to to anything.


Busy with his own Pattern world, Corwin only ventured into Amber to aid his family against the direst of threats. During the episode with the Dark Unicorn his Pattern became the refuge of those fleeing the tyrannical rule of the corrupted Random. He was a drinking buddy of Bethal; they would often enter a battle of Endurance versus shapeshifting. These events usually took place on his fishing boat; Michael visited Corwin there several times for the fishing, and it was Corwin who introduced them to each other.


Dalt put in only a few appearances; neither GM seemed entirely sure what to do with him.


Sand's brother, Delwin was the leader of the Dark Spikard faction right up until his death at the hands of some young upstarts. He took several people under his wing and into his cause, giving them Spikards and sending them off on missions. When he died his acolytes mostly broke their alliances and sought their own paths.


Deirdre died when she went over into the Pit with Brand.
Or so everyone thought.
Corwin petitioned Dworkin, or perhaps even the Pattern itself, to rescue her. Somehow, in an extraordinarily rare set of circumstances, the Pattern caused Corwin to be sent back in time to catch her as she plummeted over the brim into the Abyss.
Since returning from the apparent grave she chose to lay low. Other than this remarkable reappearance she is known as the mother of Rylan; the father was Danesh, captain of the Amber Royal Guard.


Eric remained dead but not forgotten.


Once thought long dead, Finndo returned from the world created by his twisted Pattern, said to be constructed from the remains of his brother Osric. His children caused havoc before they were defeated; the son only known as Thrud was powerful enough to simultaneously fight Corwin and Bleys when they had swords and he was unarmed, while one of his daughters, Hel, had enough mental juice to twist Fiona around her little finger.


This infamous sorceress spent much of her time offering magical advice and assistance to Random. In the past she was responsible for some very nasty schemes and killed Achilles' wife in full view of the court. She escaped, leaving her son Lyam to carry the can for her, but she returned eventually after everything blew over and was welcomed back with open arms. Who understands this family?


Flora spent most of her time in Amber, keeping up with court gossip. She was transformed into some kind of vampiric creature while under the influence of the Dark Unicorn, but her devouring of the castle staff was overlooked.


Big, strong and reliable, Gerard remained Amber's Admiral of the Fleet throughout all the difficulties that beset his beloved homeland.


The aloof Master of Arden remained mostly unaffected by the various conflicts raging in Amber, Shadow and Chaos. His two sons, Achilles and Lyasin (by different mothers), gave him many headaches for different reasons.


Llewella remained active in Rebma, though she did stay in Amber while under the influence of the Dark Unicorn. She is also the 'grandmother' of Andreas, having seen to his upbringing in Rebma before she went into Shadow.


Osric spent a great many years hidden away in Chaos. The tales saying that his brother Finndo made a Pattern out his remains appear to be incorrect. At some point while in his new home he fathered Bethal; all that was finally discovered about her mother was that she was a Chaos noblewoman called Elaine.


Random, despite many coups and dark influences, retained enough of the respect of the people and (more importantly) his family to remain the King of Amber. He has been a good king and has successfully weathered many conflicts to become the man he is today. Many say the gentle influence of his wife Vialle is responsible.


Delwin's sister, Sand was his opponent in the Spikard War, even before it went 'public'. She effectively orchestrated the struggle against him and his minions. She took time out from this labour to get very drunk with Martin and suggest an experiment of sorts; Andreas was the result.


Younger Amberites


A daughter of Finndo, raised in the world of his twisted Pattern, Hel had enough psychic power to outclass even Fiona. She went into hiding when her father and her siblings were defeated, but resurfaced bearing a Dark Spikard at the height of the Spikard War. She was eventually knocked into the Abyss by an axe-blow from Michael.


One of Caine's daughters, Jennifer was quite secretive and was eventually revealed to possess an ability that is best described as "very Power Craze". Other than striking out at angry family members for no real reason she did little that was not sanctioned by her father (or so it seemed).


Lando was Lyasin's half-brother; they had the same mother (Corwin's daughter Elizabeth). He was one of Delwin's subordinates, gifted with a Dark Spikard. He dogged Lyasin's every move for ages until he was casually executed by Rylan for the crime of 'annoying him'. Lyasin was rather put out by not getting the chance to get his own back on his nemesis.


The son of Jasra and Brand, Rinaldo remained in Kashfa for the majority of the campaign, doing his best for his homeland.


The son of Fiona, he showed some prowess in magic but seemed contented to serve as a kind of assistant and messenger for his mother, even going as far as to take the rap for her when she was not to be found after a particularly nasty deed. A year or so of heavy training with Gerard seemed to put him right.


Martin spent much of his time keeping out of harm's way in Shadow. He is generally held to be the official Crown Prince of Amber. His only major personal revelation was that he was Andreas' father; Sand was the mother.


Max was another son of Benedict. He spent much of his time acting as assistant and courier for his father.


Merlin became king of Chaos after some kind of conflict with individuals unknown. His mother, Dara, stepped down (or was put aside) from some kind of regency to give up the throne to him. His father was Corwin, to whom he bore more than a passing resemblance. He proved to be a strong king, surviving numerous disputes and disagreements to come out on top. Even the infamous Saron Incident could not topple him from the throne.


Michael is of 'Native American' descent. It is not known who his Amber parent is, but most presume it is Gerard. After the death of Arathon he and Bethal spent some time together; most people make the assumption that they have since gone beyond mere friendship.



Achilles (played by Mat Henry)

One of Julian's sons, Achilles was first encountered long ago up in a tree, trying to escape the dogs his father had apparently set on him; the dogs were slowly tearing the tree apart below him. He was quite a nice fellow until his wife (one of Caine's daughters) was killed right in front of his eyes by Fiona. Even worse, she was pregnant at the time. He went through a 'bad patch' (it involved torturing masochistic Shadow people, including children) before a spell of serious psychoanalysis solved all his problems. He is well, but has not been seen for a long time.

Andreas (played by David Cooke)

Raised in Rebma by 'Granny' Llewella, Andreas walked a Broken Pattern and went into Shadow. He developed a friendship with Intruder that stood the test of several suspicion-spawned mind rapes on his friend. He investigated the limits of the power of Broken Pattern before moving on to the Real Thing. The surprise son of Sand and Martin (he is something of a Rebman throwback, with green-tinged skin he hides with a tan), Andreas also trained under Benedict, becoming one of his most trusted lieutenants. During the visit to Chaos before the Saron Incident he met Yvonne, then the heir to House Channicut; after a brief courtship they married, though the honeymoon was delayed by the search for an antidote for a poison delivered by an assassin's crossbow bolt.

Bethal (played by Rachel Poxon)

Bethal was discovered in Shadow with no memory but possessing power over the Logrus. She spent much of her time with her Amber relatives before her studies into Logrus with Suhuy caused her to be named as a Sage, a Logrus and magic advisor in the Courts Of Chaos. As such she became chief assistant to Suhuy, mostly involved in watching over a number of strange and powerful beasts kept in the farthest reaches of Chaos. She discovered that her father was Osric, who had been in Chaos since his apparent death long ago. After badgering her father and several noble ladies in Chaos (including Dara) to find out who her mother was, Osric finally revealed her mother was called Elaine, but she never found out anything more than that. She met Arathon in Chaos and married him soon after, before anyone knew who he was. They had two children, Pen and Morgan. After her husband was slain by the Prantor, one of her charges that escaped, she struck up a friendship with Michael that may have gone further. Of all her relatives, she liked Rylan the least; she never forgave him for stabbing her while under the influence of some dark power.

Harry Angel (played by John Hunt)

Harry was one of the sons of Benedict. He appeared in Amber one day dressed and acting as a stereotypical World War Two bomber pilot and saying something about 'coming in on one engine'. He stayed around long enough to annoy a few people before 'going back to the war'.

Helkin (played by Chris Duke)

Helkin was a member of House Hendrake. He became involved with some people from Amber, but as far as anyone knows he bore no Amber blood. He was noted for being easily manipulated; Mandor particularly appeared to take pleasure in making him his personal puppet. After teaming up with Omega during the Saron Incident he turned crown's evidence to evade serious punishment before vanishing, never to be seen again.

Intruder (played by Karl Fordham)

Intruder was a master of Trump and occasionally showed signs of being a borderline psychotic. A sorcerer and Trump Artist, his greatest achievement was his construct. Originally just a simple Trump construct used for spying on people, it was given Pattern, Logrus and magic as well, evolving into 'Orthorian' before finally transforming into Guinevere. He struck up an odd friendship with Andreas; they complemented each other very well. Despite the fact that Andreas mind raped him on two occasions, suspecting him of wrongdoing against his family and Amber, they remained friends and a lethal team. He finally discovered his father was Arathon over his mother's grave in Amber. This made Bethal his step-mother, a relationship both of them found quite amusing.

Lyasin (played by James Rose)

Lyasin was the son of Corwin's daughter Elizabeth and Julian; they met at a party and were not aware of each other's identities. Later it was much too late. He preferred the outdoor life to hanging around in towns. He explored the limits of Power Words, pushing them further than anyone else had thought possible. He is also famous for two particularly memorable deeds. The first was performed by a double that had taken his place; that double suddenly turned bright red and exploded in the throne room, almost taking Random and several other people with 'him'. Only quick action by Intruder and his construct saved the king and much of the furniture. The second was that he once set his hellhound (a gift from his father) on a pickpocket in full view of the clientele of Bloody Jim's, before telling it to take the unfortunate thief outside and eat him. To this day Lyasin claims both witnesses and hound misinterpreted his instructions. Lyasin eventually took to exploring Shadow.

Lomax (played by Chris Duke)

Lomax was a skilled shapeshifter who got embroiled in Amber's latest crisis when one of the Dragonfolk flew through his latest orbital battle-station. He always seemed a little gullible and was manipulated into doing things normal people would not even think of doing on a number of occasions.

(Chris Duke played Lomax after Helkin)

Rylan (played by Robin Richards)

Rylan was Deirdre's son; his father was Danesh, of the Royal Amber Guard. A slightly creepy fellow, Rylan was the most skilled practitioner of the Pattern arts of his generation. He received much tuition from Dworkin on this subject and also used the Pattern to enhance his magical abilities. Despite the fact that he was possessed and/or manipulated by dark powers on several occasions and attacked a few members of the family he never suffered any kind of retribution, unless you count a serious lack of trust from his peers. He had the irritating habit of solving other people's problems without asking them first. He had a son, James, by a long-dead wife; he also married one of the Dragonfolk, Ibacus, with whom he had a daughter, Diane.

Syrex (played by Glen Elliot)

Syrex was quite probably the most powerful member of his generation. He could do things with his prodigious shapeshifting ability others could only dream of. When he had done so much double-dealing that no-one trusted him anymore he 'vanished', only to return as 'Omega'; his shapeshifting meant he could maintain the charade even when walking the Pattern. His masquerade was finally discovered when he was taken before Merlin after the Saron Incident. His name is now spoken with either awe or fear; he is known in Chaos as the Beast of Saron, a kind of bogeyman used to frighten unruly children.



Belyn Pendaran

Pen, as he was known to close family and friends, was the son of Bethal and Arathon. He grew up fast, at least as far as everyone in Amber was concerned; he and his sister Morgan were raised in a 'fast time' Shadow near Chaos. Little can be said about him, as he kept mostly to himself.


The daughter of Rylan and Ibacus of the Dragonfolk, Diane had a troubled childhood. This was mostly due to the fact that she went through it very quickly, reaching maturity in a very short time (a few weeks is the best guess). This, apparently, was due in some way to her half-Dragon heritage. She remains a mystery to all.


James was Rylan's son by a previous marriage; the mother died some time ago. Despite all of Bethal's warnings about Rylan and his family he somehow became involved with her daughter Morgan (presumably very much behind her back). Everyone was surprised when they got married, most of all Bethal. They were later attacked by an unknown agency; Bethal took the two of them to Chaos but Merlin was unable (or unwilling, some say) to help. Morgan died, but James somehow survived.


Morgan was Bethal's daughter by Arathon. She, like her brother Pen, was raised in a 'fast time' Shadow near to Chaos. Under unknown circumstances she came into contact with James, the son of Rylan; sometime later they were married. When they were attacked at James' father's vineyards in Amber her mother took the two of them to Chaos. Unfortunately Morgan had lost her protective shapeshifting ring and was in even more danger than before. Merlin apparently refused to aid Bethal and her daughter and son-in-law; as a result Morgan died, though somehow James survived.


Other Characters

Bill Roth

Bill Roth eventually took up a position something akin to 'personal legal advisor to the crown'. He did not take much part in the family's problems and power games.


Guinevere was the final incarnation of a Trump construct created by Intruder using a computer based on his own neural patterns. It was given the ability to tap into Pattern and Logrus by Andreas and Yvonne to combat House Saron's own construct; it subsequently evolved to full sentience and named itself 'Orthorian'. After a brief period of time 'lobotomised' and downgraded into a car park monitoring system (a form of punishment) it developed a new manifestation; a beautiful woman known as Guinevere. After a brief time in this form the construct was destroyed by Hel, Delwin and some minor agents of the Dark Spikard faction, but it's mentality lived on the manifestation. She had some of its powers too, though limited to 'Trump-like' teleportation to any place she can see or has been to.


Ibacus was a member of the royal family of the Dragonfolk. She met Rylan on an official visit to Amber; some time later they were married. They have one daughter, Diane. Since her marriage she has not been known to use her true dragon form.


The mother of Rinaldo and wife of the infamous Brand, Jasra remained out of the limelight much of the time. She did, however, take Lando, one of Delwin's acolytes, under her wing after his death.


"Muffin" was the child name of one of the Dragonfolk. A very young blue dragon, she was put into the care of Bethal after she did such a good job with " Swampy".


"Swampy" was the child name of a red dragon who happened to be one of the Dragonfolk. Being a red dragon, he was also royalty. He spent much of his early years as Bethal's pet, running around like a Labrador in a dragon's body, chasing small coloured balls and the like. When he eventually matured he grew from dog sized up to full size (a good six hundred yards long or more) practically overnight (actually it was about a week), becoming fully sentient in the process. He never quite overcame the desire to chase coloured balls though.


Trix was a talking 'prism cat' sent to act as a kind of bodyguard for Bethal after " Swampy" left her care. She was a fair-sized white housecat and appeared to be generally useless except for good conversation until she successfully took a full barrage from a Spikard meant for her charge. She might have survived, but not without some serious heat exhaustion.


Random's wife and Queen of Amber, Vialle is a quiet, gentle woman who is usually held responsible for the mellowing of her husband in recent years.


Yvonne was the heir to the title of House Channicut in the Courts of Chaos. She met Andreas and Intruder during the Amber visit to Chaos; she was a valuable ally during the Saron Incident, adding her power to the construct later known as Orthorian (see Guinevere). Yvonne and Andreas became close during this time; they announced their wedding sometime later. Their wedding was fraught with peril; she was struck down by a poisoned bolt from an assassin's crossbow, but she was taken to a 'slow time' Shadow until an antidote was found. During the Spikard War she aided her husband's associates track down her older sister, Naomi, who was the true heir to Channicut. She had gone wandering in Shadow and was found eventually, bearing a Light Spikard, which helped to turn the tide of the War in their favour. She and Andreas have yet to have children, something that has worried them for some time.



The Dragonfolk

The Dragonfolk of "Wildshadow" are creatures from that part of Shadow where the 'normal' laws begin to break down and matter and energy run riot. They somehow feed in this rampant source of energy. They have two forms; their natural form is a massive dragon (usually six hundred yards or more long) while they can also take on human form. Long ago Oberon signed a treaty with them; Amber would not encroach on their domain as long as the Dragonfolk did not violate Amber's territory illegally. Since then the two groups have remained on cordial terms, their alliance strengthened by occasional meetings in Amber or a more neutral location.
Their old king now leaves much of the governing of their people to his eldest son, the plainly named Colin, who is known as one of the few entities capable of beating Gerard in an arm-wrestling contest.
They start off life as small, unintelligent dragons the size of a dog, until they rapidly increase in size upon reaching maturity.

The Rangers

The Rangers of Arden are, in effect, Julian's personal army; they guard the main land route into Amber. Some have other responsibilities; they oversee the breeding of the hellhounds and the more normal hawks and eagles used as Julian's eyes throughout Arden, while others may serve as scouts and spies for the regular army.


The Courts of Chaos

Dara, House Sawall

Dara was at one time some kind of queen in Chaos, though most histories describe her as a regent, holding the throne until the ascendance of her son, Merlin. She then went into seclusion, acting from behind the scenes and manipulating the players of the political game in Chaos to assist her in her schemes. She descended deeply into Logrus Madness once when she was pressed too hard by Bethal's insistent questioning over whether she was her mother or not.

Despil, House Sawall

The youngest of Dara's sons by Lord Gramble, the head of Sawall, Despil was a face not seen much in the political scene in Chaos.

Gilva, House Hendrake

A warrior maiden of this most martial of Houses, Gilva is a childhood friend of Merlin. She remains a friend to Chaos' beleaguered king.

House Barimen

When Dworkin created the Pattern, his old House in Chaos was purged and dissolved; those that survived quietly joined other Houses. With the ascendance of the House of Amber in Chaos, in the form of King Merlin, the House has been reformed.
Three individuals have come forth to take up stewardship of the House, governing all the members of the House (the three of them) in the stead of it's true master, who is presumably either Merlin or Dworkin. No one knows exactly where these three came from originally; they are almost certainly not members of the Amber royal family.
The twins Erland and Borric are a quiet pair who are studious and some might say secretive. Borric showed some particularly intense interest in Bethal for a time, while Erland remained in the background.
Ravianne was the de facto leader of the three, a mysterious woman who kept House Barimen's doors open to all, despite the fact that no one was interested in visiting.


Incertes was a 'professional duellist'. That is to say that he picked fights or acted as a champion for people who wanted someone dead. He appeared to have no affiliation with a particular House, or perhaps no one would own up to him being in their House. Strangely, he became rather friendly with Andreas.

Jurt, House Sawall

Once said to be the dire enemy of his older brother Merlin, Jurt has not been seen in Chaos or anywhere else for a long time.

Mandor, House Sawall

Mandor remains the primary manipulating force in Sawall, rivalled only by Dara, his step-mother. His clever manipulation of Helkin is said to be his greatest work to date.

Morris, House Nalveer

Morris was one of the contenders for the title of his House, a fervently anti-Amber Chaos House. When his opponents planned to do away with him he arranged to be protected by Rylan, using him as a shield; attacking Morris while he was in Rylan's care was tantamount to declaring war on Amber. While safely hidden away in Shadow he is said to have arranged from afar the coup that brought his faction into power in House Nalveer; he later returned to his new position as head of the House to the chagrin of his many enemies (those that survived anyway).

Naomi, House Channicut

The eldest daughter of the head of House Channicut, Naomi lost herself exploring in Shadow, leaving the onerous position of heir to her sister Yvonne. During her travels she acquired a Light Spikard, which she used to turn the tide of the Spikard War. She then took up the reins of House government when her father retired.

Pavell, House Sawall

Pavell could be politely described as personal secretary to King Merlin. Most of the time he seemed to be little more than an over-worked and neurotic 'gopher'.

Suhuy, Keeper of the Logrus

Suhuy was the head of the Sages of Chaos as well as Keeper of the Logrus. He advised Merlin on important matters regarding the Powers and spent much of his 'spare' time training Bethal in the more potent aspects of Logrus until she became a Sage herself and was made his personal assistant.