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Steed's Journals


Steed Picture


This is a series of journals, diaries, and tales based upon John Steed, Prince of Amber. Please forgive me if he isn't portrayed as accurately as expected. He behaves a little differently in Shadow Cineverse Earth (Many thanks to Craig Shaw Gardner for the concept of Cineverse from the "Cineverse Cycle".)... To get a rough idea what it is like in the Cineverse Shadow Earth, the rules are simple but strange - see Movie Logic.


New: If Steed was in a Top Secret RPG universe, with or without magic. It includes data from Allen Hammack, developer and editor of Top Secret. Statistics of Steed and other Cinematic spies are included.


If Steed was somehow in the AD&D or Palladium universe, various magic spells would be explainable as a natural usage of Pattern (unless Pattern was blocked). This is Specialist Wizard: Dimensionalist - from AD&D "Player’s Option: Spells & Magic".  Although the Pattern abilities are very similar in nature to those used by a Psionic in AD&D. In the GURPS books, Steed would be considered as a Cinematic Spy or a Wizard Spy.


One thing is consistent. Steed has fun, amuses us with his wit, and his flirtation with women and danger. In short, he defuses situations, allowing the atmosphere to develop over the course of an adventure, while his partners take care of the main confrontation of the plot. In other words, he recruits others to do the dirty work and enjoys watching the action as the story develops. I attempt to portray this aspect as closely as possible.


But first, there is a misconception about Steed and drinking. Steed is a confirmed gentleman's club man. In his youth, Steed attended Eton. And in one of the Avengers episodes, "The Charmers", he visits a tie shop to find an old school tie for a very old and very exclusive school sporting club (and very non-existent) - "The Old Erassables". When asked what the club did, he stated that it was a club of fencing and tottering - implying they fenced and heavily imbibed (and there was most assuredly wenching as well). Although he most certainly made it up, it is not beyond the bounds of reasonability that he would have been a leading member of such a club. He was also blackballed from an exclusive school club, "The Boodles", presumably a gentleman's club for the more refined and proper members of Eton.


He is an excellent fencer, Steed states: "He was killed with a foil, my weapon is a saber." He fights with a saber in many episodes of "The Avengers", shunning a gun as a dirty little weapon. He is however very proficient with one, as well with most rifles and shotguns. But he always returns to the saber, truly a modern day Scarlet Pimpernel.


Scarlet Pimpernel from GURPS book


His capacity for drink also explains why he did so well in becoming a member of the Hellfire Club in "A Touch of Brimstone". He downed a pitcher sized flagon of ale, then politely asked for more. "It was a long drive out here." Indeed a very appropriate club for Steed; if only they weren't an "overthrowing the government" organization, they would still be active, with a permanent member. Another club, The Danger Makers, existed for those who were addicted to the adrenaline rush or danger - each member had a code or society name taken from mythology, that their dangerous exploits were of heroic or mythic proportions. Steed and Mrs. Peel infiltrated the club - her code name was Diana and his code name was Bacchus - go figure!


Steed was once quoted as saying in "K is for Kill": "Beer is for the thirst, but wine (especially a fine wine) is for the senses."


Quite likely, such gentleman's clubs do exist in the Amber community - where Steed is a member, along with most of his uncles. Gérard or Bleys are most likely the club's founders. All of this commentary implies that Steed drinks a lot. Quite the contrary, he only "tastes" a lot - but rarely drinks enough to affect his judgment or abilities. If he drank as much as people (and viewers) thought he did, he would be more like The Thin Man. A series of excellent movies that I always enjoy watching, noticing many similarities between The Thin Man and Steed. The Thin Man starred William Powell as Nick Charles, Myrna Loy as his wife Nora Charles, and their dog Asta. See more in my Thin Man page.


I have to admit that if I drank as much as Steed did, then "I" would have a problem. But enough rambling. The following are Steed's journals that I wrote. The story lines were directed by the game-masters indicated. Others are in work and mentioned in my Amber page. They will eventually be moved to this page.


New feature! Download all of Steed's Journals in Text format. (563k)


A Conspiracy of Silence by Jeremy Stock - A one on one investigation in Castle Amber; the disappearance of a Royal Guardsman. The suspect? Other Guardsmen!


Above Top Secret - by Jo Ann Spencer - Steed and his party uncover a conspiracy that involves every Amberite who was on Shadow Earth. And what 'they' have in mind for us.


ATS - Amber Library Group discussions - The Amber Library Yahoo! Group is where conversations between characters that appear occasionally. References are made to the Above Top Secret tale.


Age of Ragnarok by Jeremy Stock and Brad Foreman - Amber is falling, Chaos is reclaiming their property. Bloody hell!


Corwin's Pattern In Jeopardy by Stratton Liberty.


Dreams Made Flesh by Paul Weimer and Felicia Knight Olson - Adventure/Mystery. Last night is a fog in your mind. You don't remember too much...something about King Random, and something about going up to Tir on his behalf -- and you can't even remember why or for what reason. The funny part is, you don't remember coming back down, but there you are, waking up in your rooms in the Castle. Your rooms look pretty much the same...but why are you suddenly sharing a bed with someone you have never seen before? And why is everyone insisting that Amber lost the war? And surely the person sitting on the throne can't be the monarch of Amber, can it? And why do you remember things differently and no one else? Have you come to a different Amber? Have things somehow been changed? Or perhaps what you recall, the Amber you remember, was only a fantastic dream...and THIS is the reality?

Author's note: This journal was the first I worked on when I returned from Ambercon 2001. There "will" be a road trip to Chaos after this session... I hope the GM's will coordinate a scenario for those who accompany Steed, for Dreams Made Flesh (Revisited) - through email or other means.


Duty, Honor, and Country by Stephanie Itchkawich - The Amber and Chaosian exchange program. But why? Some 'leftovers' from the Patternfall War have to be dealt with.


Frozen Mirror by Stephanie Itchkawich - It's winter evening in Castle Amber. On his way to a small party, Steed sees an image of a beautiful lady in the stairway mirror. He examines the mirror, with catastrophic and painful results.


It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Amber by Paul Weimer, Felicia Knight Olson, and Karen Francis. Comedy. OK, folks here we go again! Oberon is on his deathbed and the fate of the Realm is in your hands. Are you up to the adventure, excitement and the insanely difficult challenges that face you? The clues are ludicrous, the places bizarre and the people just plain weird -- and you're the only sane one of the bunch. Your parents and the other Elders have gone AWOL and the Jewel of Judgment is nowhere to be found...unless you find it, and then of course, you know where that always leads.... Get your hunting gear on; it's the greatest scavenger hunt of all time! Resemblances to a well-known epic comedy movie are intentional and recommended to the players for getting into the "spirit" of the affair.

Author's note: The GM's LARP'ed a host of Elders. Paul did not one, but "two" excellent dramatic death scenes, passing Jimmy Durante's single performance in "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World". And yes, a bucket "was" involved! Karen captivated and mesmerized the author with the style and flair of her "superb" performance of the divine Mrs. Emma Peel in black leathers. Sigh! Bravo to all!


Or the World May Die by Jo Ann Spencer. Nothing lasts forever. But when everything you know is gone, how do you begin again? A shared-world adventure for six young Amberites and Chaosians. Heavy on the angst and Merlin Chronicle references. Thanks to Carla Arnoldi, I am including Sylvie's Story, Sylvie's perspective.

Author's note: This journal was the second one I worked on since Ambercon 2001. It will become the "last" part of Steed's history (when he retires from "this" Amber)! Can Steed change the look of the future? Count on it! Thanks, Jo Ann! Amber lost so much, but gained more. This world will be worth revisiting. Future players would be impressed, "we" were! I was so enthralled with it, I stayed up for hours afterward, to write more details for Steed's journal; I didn't want to forget "anything". Angst? Look it up in the dictionary and you will find Jo Ann's games highlighted with endless footnotes. I hope that Jo Ann will coordinate a scenario for next Ambercon, of Or The World May Die (Revisited). If you want to see a whole new take on Amber in the future, this "is" it. Another version of the story will be written for Jinx.


Return to the Fold by Cal Westray (A brief attempt at starting a group).


Scions of War by Rob Justice. A tale of possible Patterns. A mad scientist who performs experiments on himself to transform into a 'Living Pattern!'


If you are interested in a long term campaign that explains a lot about Steed's history and his entanglement in the Cineverse:


Esprit de Corps by Rain Donaldson (Volume I) Chapters 01-11.


Dressed To Kill by Rain Donaldson (Volume II) Chapters 01-12.

The corresponding Journals of Scout Carter and the Doctor are found in Amber Writings:


"Revenge doesn't have to sacrifice civility. I will bring justice down upon your sorry head without stooping to your level or soiling my impeccable clothing." -- Dr. Will Miller


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R. Cal Westray, Jr.
Revised: September 18, 2013.

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