IMC :: the big bad :: Amber genre

Corwin tells you straight off, “Never trust a relative.” And previously, I talked about villainous opposition.
So there might be four classic sources of opponents in Amber genre, you’ve seen these many times:
1. Brand is back from the Abyss
2. Sand and Delwin plan to set spikards against Amber
3. Finndo and Osric have been plotting, not dead yet
4. Courts of Chaos declares war, breaks treaty

So in my own campaign so far, these are villains I’ve used to avoid the general specifics of the above:

  • Chaosi vendetta against the Fiona/Bleys betrayal @ Patternfall (personal vendetta, does not break treaty)
  • Chaosi apprentice to Dworkin’s original work in Chaos
  • Chaosi assassin who briefly impersonated Deidre during Patternfall
  • Son of deceased Osric
  • Son of deceased Eric
  • Chaosi ex-lover of Oberon
  • Son of Deela, brother to Dalt
  • various dragons (more threats than adversaries but they can do both)
  • various primal monsters (as above)
  • original Enemy of Courts of Chaos
  • various Chaosi vendetta of Chaosi killed on vendetta (recursive expanding !argh!)
  • Hall of Mirrors is dangerous
  • Keep of Four Worlds is dangerous
  • Jasra wants vendetta (even beyond Caine)
  • Rinaldo wants vendetta (as above)
  • Enemies of ‘your mentor Elder’ want to take you out before you learn too much more
  • various undershadow monsters (alien threats)
  • dark things out of shadow (alien threats)
  • something wants to kill your friend (small scale)
  • something wants the power you have inherited (power or safety?)
  • crusader: based on history, all Amberites should be killed
  • Chaosi exiles (they don’t care about the treaty)
  • former wives of Oberon, one isn’t dead but you wish she was

Generally, the list includes small scale villains that are personal. A sticky villain is the best.


  1. Hmm. Why not Rebma? We know Moire had a hate-on for Eric that was almost as big as for Random, who made her daughter commit suicide. Seems like that one should be obvious.

  2. Those are both good questions.
    Since I’ve known for a while that Faiella’s legend would tie back to the Rebman stair (and the stair to Tir), I’ve been ‘saving’ the mystic Moon and Moonriders. I have seldom seen a Moonriders myth that I thought was scary and yet very down to earth in a Warfare way. My feeling is that the Moonriders should validate the Warfare conflict.
    Usually the Moonriders reveal ends up having some sort of advantage that Benedict, Eric, Corwin could not beat off (like arcane might.) This is one of the slippery slopes of Amber games; magic pwns warfare.
    I try to work against the grain of that whenever possible (Zelazny makes that tricky, he loved upping the deus ex arcana.)
    I agree, Moonriders is a good one. I still haven’t had to use it.
    This is another ‘saved’ category. IMC, Rebma and Amber have already done the ‘sibling’ rivalry down through centuries. Moire’s anger in the canon is just the latest angst of a long story.
    Like an echo of the Amber family, Rebma, the sister city to Amber, is competitive and yet linked to Amber. IOW, the frictions with Rebma have threatened Amber at times in similar ways to the inner dynamic of the royals.
    Rebma needs Amber. Amber needs Rebma. But they are not ‘Eric’ and ‘Corwin’. They haven’t done the “go for each others’ throats” yet.
    They are more like ‘Fiona’ and ‘Llewella’ in that there is sharp-eyed consideration of who is going to come out on top. This is a dynamic that creates/binds more stories than I could get out of Rebma as Villain.

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