How to determine the king or queen of Amber

To the last Man

The last one standing is king. Usually this also requires that person attune them self to the Jewel of Jugement after walking a Pattern with it. Blood usually damages the Pattern in this Crown System, but the Jewel can often draw a new Pattern. There is also often an auction for birth order and the major positions within Amber Shadow. This version follows the book mythos nearly identically.

The Bit System

The Jewel of Judgement fractures into a piece for each Amberite. You can trade them or get half of them by killing the holder of the bits. Bits can't be made smaller than 1/2. You forge a crown by walking the Pattern with a number of bits, that crown is said to be an "X bit crown." Forging a larger crown breaks smaller ones as there can only be 1 crown. The person who has the crown at the end of the the fourth play block rules Amber.

The Three Artefacts

The Myth:
It is said that before there was an Amber, there was a King: a man who fought to bring unity to his people and to others. He was courageous, outspoken, charismatic, and soaked deeply in the blood of his enemies. Nothing could stand in his way. When his empire was complete and he was at last satisfied, he chose Kolvir as the seat of his new kingdom and carved the Pattern beneath it with his sword.
Soon the armies of Amber spread to other worlds, conquering and claiming all in their path. And yet there was resistance to the King and his promises of order, resistance strong enough to claim many lives. The daughter of one of his enemies saw what would come of this war, and gave herself to be hostage in order to have words with the King. She was clever enough to gain an audience, strong enough to argue with him, and patient enough to convince him. To strengthen both their kingdoms, she married him; as Queen, she took his sword and carved a Pattern and a kingdom of her own beneath the waves.
Prosperity reigned, for a time, and the family of Amber grew. But the children were divided on the subject of their inheritance; the question of who would rule their mighty empire fueled a fire in their souls. The King and Queen tried to guide their children--who they loved, each in their way--but the heirs would not be bidden, and their vendettas blossomed into civil war. Yet even as their empire burned, the King and Queen could not bring themselves to fight their own children and all appeared lost.
One night, the royal sword disappeared and a new Pattern appeared in the sky. The heirs put aside their differences to climb the stairs and examine this wonder; and they all died together when a cloud passed over the moon. The next morning, a young man bore the sword back to the King and Queen. He was a child of the King’s indiscretions, but acted to preserve the kingdom when no one else would and in a way that showed resolve above all others. The Bastard placed himself at the mercy of the royal house, and they made him their heir.
For the King and Queen recognized that he would be needed just as much as they in the times to come.


The Archetypes:
As time has passed, the King, the Queen, and the Bastard have come to represent different aspects of the royalty of Amber. They've become ideas used to describe and explain-- the way you can use red, green, and blue to describe a color. They've taken root as a common cultural metaphor. Amberites talk about them as though they were real people-- tell stories about them as if they were Anansi or a Catholic saint-- but no one believes that they control anyone's destiny, and if anyone thinks they were real it was a long, long time ago.
Each has both positive and negative qualities associated with them, and none of them is considered more fundamentally important than the others; even the Bastard is paid public homage in Amber. Royal ceremonies usually involve their iconography in one way or another, as does the heraldry of most of the royal house. There are public shrines to each, but there are also many folk-stories which have grown up about Amberites both royal and common besting the Three in various ways. By tradition, no one describes themselves as The Bastard (or the King or Queen in the sense of the Three); but everyone has a little bit of The Bastard in them.
The King represents strength, confidence, forthrightness, charisma, and courage. He leads by example, and he leads from the front. He is also impatient, inflexible, intimidating, and narrow-minded-- children throwing tantrums are often referred to as Little Kings. He is associated with the Sun, Earth, the Army of Amber, the magic of Power Words, and the power of the Pattern. His symbol is the sceptre, and his Pattern lies deep in Kolvir.
The Queen represents intelligence, wisdom, patience, perception, and compassion. She sees amicable, bloodless solutions to every problem and can explain the rightness of her cause so that even her bitterest enemies must agree. She is also slow to act, honest to a fault, pacifistic even in the face of violence, and unwilling to declare any cause as lost. She is associated with the Stars, Water, the Navy of Amber, the magic of Sorcery, and the power of Trump. Her symbol is the crown, and her Pattern lies beneath the waves of Rebma.
The Bastard represents ruthlessness, adaptability, guile, sacrifice, and pragmatism. He works from the shadows, finding efficient and creative ways to defeat his adversaries. He is also selfish, untrustworthy, flighty, and amoral; his support is only ever temporary, and the consequences of his presence always unexpected. He is associated with the Moon, Air, the Black Guard of Amber, the magic of Conjuration, and the power of Shapeshifting. His symbol is the jewel, and his Pattern hangs in the air in Tir na Nog.


History:
There’s a recorded line of Kings and Queens of Amber going back fifteen thousand years, and it is known that there were more before then even though their names have been lost. Dozens of monarchs have reigned in Amber, comprising more or less an even split between men and women. Not every ruler married, and in recent generations almost none of them have. The methods by which the throne passes have been highly variable.
Relations with the Courts of Chaos have also been highly variable. There have been at least two century-long periods where a sort of inter-reality Renaissance has occurred with the accompanying exchange of cultures; there have also been over a dozen major wars and innumerable skirmishes.
Oberon has ruled for around 700 years and is considered one of the more successful--if not pleasant--rulers of Amber. He took the throne during the last great war with Chaos, and managed to stop it almost single-handedly-- but not before destroying huge swaths of Shadow. Both Amber and the Courts have been quietly rebuilding since then, neither challenging each other nor attempting diplomatic relations. Oberon has no queen at present but has had several (and more mistresses) during his reign; each queen has either formally renounced their royal claim, died, or disappeared.
The current government in Chaos is a theocractic royalty entangled around the Logrus, and their current Primarch is of indeterminate gender but vituperatively anti-Amber. Suhuy, on the other hand, has been quietly teaching Amberites Logrus for decades, “Because I always honor the hubris of my enemies.”


Miscellanea:
There is no mention of Dworkin in any history, nor any mention of the Primal Pattern.
Bleeding on the Patterns doesn’t do anything; in fact, several successful family assassinations have taken place on the Patterns.
There are a number of non-royal Trump artists scattered around shadow, and Oberon made sure at least a few of them were available to teach his children.
The royal paraphernalia has four parts: the King’s sceptre, the Queen’s crown, the Bastard’s jeweled amulet, and the family sword. Each is supposedly passed down from the original founders of the kingdom. Usually they’re only broken out for ceremonial occasions, but this has varied from monarch to monarch. Oberon personally carried the sword with him at all times.
Amber does have three military branches. The Army is by far the most numerous, the best hand-to-hand combatants, and essentially fearless. The Navy is the best armed, the best strategists, and the most conversant with magic. The Black Guard is the most skilled, the sneakiest, and the most independent-- also the smallest, for good reason. Recently the Army and Navy have mostly been used to quell the occasional rebellion in near-Golden Circle shadows; the Black Guard has primarily been employed outside Amber’s immediate surrounds on various secret missions for Oberon.

Blood, blood, blood

WHAT MAKES THE JEWEL GLOW?
"It is with a great and terrible conscience that I have called you all here. As you see, I have decided that now is when I may die. Physicians have been useless, the Pattern has not cured this ailment, and Shadow offers no insight. So, it is fallen to me to choose an heir." he pauses, spits, and then continues talking, "I choose none of my children. I choose war. You shall settle this as my family did. You shall settle this with blood, blood, blood. By making the jewel glow you prove your right to rule, and that all others must bow to you. You have until it is finished to decide on the new King or Queen of Amber. Blood, blood, blood..." With Oberon's passing the jewel fractures into 3 pieces, and disappears.
There are 3 variations on this mechanic, the first one follows. The Jewel of judgement must be charged by the PCs with 3 deaths. Each PC has a different "kill count" marked on their card, preferably with stickers/GM signature. The jewel itself is required to be on your person/vicinity when doing the killing or you don't get a charge. When you have gathered 3 charges, you must take the Jewel and walk the great Pattern of Amber.
Second: The PCs have to charge a segment of the Jewel retrieved from walking one of the three patterns of Amber. Each segment must be charged with 3 PC deaths. Having more than one segment on you allows you to charge them simultaneously. If you kill someone who has a Jewel segment on them, you get the jewel and it has one charge. After charging the jewel you have to walk the Great Pattern with the charged Jewel to reforge the Crown. Jewel segments with charges cannot be given to other players, but uncharged segments may be passed back and forth with no consequence.
Third: The PCs have to charge a segment of the Jewel retrieved from one of the 3 throne rooms. Each segment can be passed around as much as you want until they are charged by a PC death. If you kill someone who has a Jewel segment on them, you get the jewel and it is charged. After charging the jewel and collecting the 2 other parts, you have to walk the Great Pattern with the charged Jewel to reforge the Crown and become the King/Queen.