3

Merlin went to a place where he met something to which he said "you are me, with a lobotomy and orders to kill". In that place there was a "pattern ghost" Corwin who fought the logrus ghost Borel (Berel?) and won again. It was a place very hard for either the pattern or logrus to reach.

I think it had a hard white stone floor.

What was the name of that place?

It was really hard for either the pattern or the logrus to reach that place. Their best option was to send emissaries: ghosts. The ghosts fought each other over and over and over. This suggests that this hard to reach place either had very high value to gain, or very high risk to protect from.

Merlin was able to drive a car there, for a while, I think. I don't think he was able to be reached (or reach) by Tarot.

I got the sense that Merlin, as a non-ghost, was quite the oddity there.

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TL;DR - Merlin went to a land "which lies between the shadows", inaccessible to the Pattern and the Logrus, but not their higher-order (or higher-chaos) progenitors, the Unicorn and the Serpent. The place is never given a specific name.

All quotes are from Knight of Shadows, end of chapter 3 and into chapter 4.

Merlin wakes up after having been knocked out by Corwin (or someone doing a remarkably good version of him):

There was no color anywhere about me. Everything was black, white, or some shade of gray. It was as if I had entered a photographic negative. What I presumed to be a sun hung like a black hole several diameters above the horizon to my right. The sky was a very dark gray, and ebon clouds moved slowly within it. My skin was the color of ink. The rocky ground beneath me and about me shone an almost translucent bone-white, however. I rose slowly to my feet, turning. Yes. The ground seemed to glow, the sky was dark, and I was a shadow between them. I did not like the feeling at all.

Some time later, Merlin tries to call upon the Logrus and gets knocked unconscious; as a side effect, the Logrus was apparently able to enhance Frakir, the semi-sentient strangling cord Merlin carries. Frakir is able to share some new knowledge with Merlin:

Why was [the Logrus'] time here so limited? [Merlin] asked.

It is the nature of this land, which lies between the shadows, that it be mainly inaccessible both to the Pattern and the Logrus.

A sort of demilitarized zone?

No, it is not a matter of truce. It is simply that it is extremely difficult for either of them to manifest here at all. That is why the place is pretty much unchanging.

This is a place they can't reach?

That's about the size of it.

Merlin is supposed to choose a set of armor (Chaos or Pattern) and guard it, but chooses not to choose between them, and is generally irreverent towards the process, leading to visitors:

...I felt their gazes upon me, the Unicorn of Order and the Serpent of Chaos. It was not a pleasant feeling, and I retreated until the altar was at my back.

...

The Unicorn reared; the Serpent drew itself upward. I dropped to my knees and looked away, their gazes having somehow become physically painful. I was trembling, and all of my muscles had begun to ache.

It is suggested, Frakir recited, that you play the game the way it is set up.

So, in summary:

  • The Logrus is a construct of Chaos, and Chaos is embodied by the Serpent
  • The Pattern is a construct of Order, and Order is embodied by the Unicorn
  • Both the Logrus and the Pattern exist at the poles of the existence of Shadows
  • Shadows are the states of reality imposed by either the Logrus or the Pattern
  • The colorless land lies between Shadows, and is hard for the Logrus and the Pattern to touch
  • However, the Serpent and the Unicorn (also being outside the dimension of Shadows) can touch it, and have chosen to use it as a testing ground outside the interference of their avatars (Logrus, Pattern)

Merlin is special to this game, as he finds via this interchange with the Unicorn and the Serpent. It's not clear if that made him more stable in this dimension; since everyone else we see is a Pattern or Logrus ghost, there's no one to compare him to.

"What's so special about my case?" [Merlin] asked.

Yours is a dual heritage, combined with great power.

"I never wanted either of you for an enemy," I stated

Not good enough, came the reply.

"Then destroy me now."

The game is already in progress.

"Then let's get on with it," I answered.

We are not pleased with your attitude.

"Vice versa," I answered.

The thunderclap that followed left me unconscious. The reason I felt I could afford total honesty was a strong hunch that players for this game might be hard to come by.

  • Which story was that? – Mithoron Aug 5 '18 at 19:31
  • @Mithoron added citation, thanks for reminding me :) – gowenfawr Aug 5 '18 at 19:36
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Are you thinking of the place of the second pattern that Corwin scribed out in the wild shadows in Courts of Chaos? While Corwin is taking the Jewel of Judgment to the Courts of Chaos, Oberon is killing himself to renew the primal pattern in Amber, he [Corwin] scribes a new pattern while waiting out a shadow storm. If I remember rightly it's a desperation move because he's worried the whole world is falling apart and hopes his pattern can hold some order together. In the end Oberon succeeds and Corwin's Pattern serves only to badly affect the balance between chaos and order by artificially extending the influence of the Pattern. The Pattern and the Logrus both try and fail to destroy the place later on because it has upset the status quo, it's the site of several battles between the primal powers, several ghosts, the Ghostwheel, and the power of Merlin's Spikard.

The other place it might be is the home of the Ghostwheel, if memory serves that's shrouded in a white ground fog but I don't remember there being any battles at that location.

  • not that one. He was with "ghost corwin" and there was "ghost borel", and "ghost merlin". He had to fight a copy of his younger self in that strange dimension. I got the sense that Merlin's second pattern shattered shadow and made a whole lot of places that neither folks from the original pattern nor from logrus could reach. I think that was why it was important to the original pattern to assure Merlins bloodline with the assistance of that young noble lady, possibly Merlin's second cousin. – EngrStudent Aug 5 '18 at 18:01
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    @EngrStudent I don't remember that particular battle but I don't think Corwin's ghost can go very far from his personal pattern, unless it's his pattern ghost in Amber in which case maybe either Tir-na Nog'th or the Hall of Mirrors. The noble will be Coral, according to the Amber genealogy chart I made she's one of Oberon's get which makes her Merlin's aunt. – Ash Aug 5 '18 at 18:07
  • @EngrStudent I don't think Merlin ever makes a pattern. – Ash Aug 5 '18 at 18:15
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    @Ash EngrStudent may be thinking of the time that Merlin repaired a pattern... as I remember, it ended with a bang. – gowenfawr Aug 5 '18 at 20:01
  • I think the original pattern wanted a copy of Merlin's bloodline for access into and gaming around the second pattern made by Corwin. I'm not talking about Tir-na Nog'th, but I remember the story of Benedict there. @gowenfawr seems to have found the answer. – EngrStudent Aug 5 '18 at 23:09

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