Vestiges of Chaos
The early history of Amber is mostly lost, or is perhaps known to Oberon, who has not seen fit to share that history. What is known is that Amber was once a crude fortress atop the mountain Kolvir. Over time, Amber expanded from a crude fortress to a citadel to a fantastic and lovely city that spread down the flanks. There, Oberon ruled and had a succession of wives and lovers that bore him a grand lineage of children.
What is known to be true is that Oberon and his children have the power to walk the Pattern. It is a very difficult task, and will kill anyone without the proper endurance, psychic qualities, and bloodline. Even gazing upon it leaves the weak in a stupor. Walking the Pattern confers the ability to shape Shadow. Walking the Pattern also gives the walker the ability to cast a blood-curse, usually at the death of the Patternwalker. Additionally, walking the Pattern allows the walker the ability to instantaneously teleport from the center of the Pattern to anywhere else in creation.
Amber has little agriculture or manufacture but her ships sail every sea of Shadow, and they trade everywhere for anything. Those of the blood laid down semi-permanent trade routes to the closest, richest Shadows long ago. These pathways became known as “The Golden Circle” and became a trade route between Shadows so that even the people uninitiated in the Pattern could travel between a small number of Shadows. The seas of a double-dozen worlds are in every captain’s head. Many of Amber’s citizens, noble or otherwise, spend some time in the Navy or Merchant Marine traveling, learning the paths of The Golden Circle, and making their fortune.
Outside of the City
At the foot of the Kolvir lies the sea. The Lighthouse of Cabra is several miles out to sea from the city, and marks the seaward entrance to Amber. The other side of the mountain is dominated by the mighty forest of Arden. If Amber is the first city, the one from which all others take their shape, then Arden is the first forest. Majestic trees, some of which have trunks the size of houses, grow in grand profusion. The Grove of the Unicorn is in Arden. That is the place that Oberon first saw the beast, and where the peculiar chain of events that led him to adopt the Unicorn as the patron of Amber began. Past Arden there is the Vale of Garnath where the River Oisen flows. Arden and the Vale are surrounded by lower mountains.
Rebma is a mighty undersea city just offshore from Amber. It’s often regarded as the First Shadow. A magical stairway leads from a stone monument near Kolvir to this undersea kingdom.
There are three stairs carved into the summit of the Kolvir. They form the base of the Grand Stair of Tir-Na-Nog’th, sometimes called the “moonshadow of Amber” or “Amber’s Id”, and considered the Second Shadow of Amber. On nights when there is sufficient moonlight, a silvery, shadowy, ghostly reflection of Amber forms in the night sky. People that ascend the stair say that they see ghosts, portents, omens and the twisted reflections of their most secret desires. This city also contains a working copy of the Pattern. Anyone who is in the city when the moon sets, or when clouds block the moon drops to the sea, which is nearly a mile below.