Kat was my character in an Amber game we played from late 2000-early 2001. For a while I had a page that said very little about the character, since an Amber game is all about the control of information. With the demise of the game and my realization that I will never run the character again, I figured that I might as well put the whole story here on the webpage. Comments would be appreciated, if only to say 'Wow, that's a detailed story for a game that ran a month.'


aka Kat, aka Kat Castellan, aka Agent 003

Absolute Age: 70ish
Height: 5'10" in his shoes
Weight: 175

[Trump Sketch]

PSYCHE: 3rd [15]
STRENGTH: 4th [2]
ENDURANCE: 1st [32]
WARFARE: 4th [11]

ALLIES (see below) [6]


TOTAL: 115

Character Story


Kat does not know where he was born or who his parents are. He was raised in Shadow, in feudal Japan on a Shadow Earth. He was an orphan raised to be part of the household staff of Master Shimada, a rich, eccentric lord. The master paid special attention to Kat's progress-- whether because the lord recognized his potential or because the lord knew of some birthright, Kat does not know.

Kat learned calligraphy, served for a time in the house guard, and excelled at these and other tasks. The lord slowly trained him in the art of painting Trumps. Shimada was certainly not a native of that Shadow, but Kat does not know exactly who he was. Kat now suspects that he may have been a craftsman in the school of Dworkin.

As Kat reached his mid-twenties, he was sure that Trump could be used as more than a way of reaching people and places. He asked about further applications, but the master would hear none of it. Kat experimented on his own time. After several false starts and years of work, he completed the Bid Marker. He presented it to his master and was shocked when the older man flew into a rage. Master Shimada was furious with Kat for disobeying an order not to pursue these matters and, in his fury, banished Kat to a Shadow very close to Chaos.

The Shadow which Kat calls Purgatory was hot and barren. The inhabitants lived violent, unpleasant lives. Worse, there were horrible monsters that lived in the desert. These most often left the humans alone, but would rush in and attack at the slightest exercise of Psyche. Kat, exiled without his Trumps, could not escape that place. If he attempted to draw even a Trump Sketch, the monsters would attack and force him to flee for his life.

Kat lived perhaps two years in Purgatory-- it was hard for him to tell, because there were no appreciable seasons. Caine, hell-riding on some business of his own, happened through the Shadow and was attacked by one of the monsters. Kat came to Caine's aid and the two together were able to defeat the abomination. Kat related some of his story, and Caine agreed to shift Kat to some less damning Shadow. Kat asked many questions during the trip and learned about Amber, a subject about which Master Shimada had said little. They travelled together as far as a Shadow Earth, where Caine was contacted and subsequently left by Trump.

Kat moved to New York City and got a job as a graphic artist. He used his Trump to visit Amber several times; he wandered the city, learned what he could there, and avoided the castle. He suspected that Master Shimada had some connection to Amber and feared what might happen if the master learned that he had escaped his exile. Kat spent five years in New York.


After a wild party and while still under the influence of who knows what, Kat drew a Trump Sketch of the fictional character James Bond. When he sobered up, he used it to make contact with the secret agent who inhabited what Kat calls Shadow Bond. Kat passed through the Trump and was embroiled in a dangerous adventure, helping Bond defeat a villain who aimed to hold the world hostage. Kat rather enjoyed the adventure and returned to Earth New York just long enough to set his affairs in order before moving to Bond England.

Kat lived happily on Shadow Bond for 30 years. He eventually became an agent in Her Majesty's Secret Service and attained double-o rank. He would often swear off espionage to pursue art or beautiful women, only to be called back by the need of his adopted country. Kat was on such a hiatus when he was approached by Caine. The Amberite had sought for Kat in shadow, in hopes that the younger man would paint Trumps for him. Kat agreed.

After a short time, Caine invited Kat to Amber. Caine reassured him that Master Shimada, whoever he was, would not be able to exact any vengeance. Kat was still somewhat worried about the safety of his Shadow, which always seemed to be threatened by some overblown villain or other. While he was visiting Amber, however, the Berlin Wall came down. Kat took this as a sign that things could get by without him and agreed to spend more time in Amber.

Kat has served in Amber for five years. He maintains an apartment in the City of Amber but still spends several months a year in Bond. The more service he provides to the Crown of Amber, however, the less value he sees in serving the British Crown.




Kat is quite sure that he is real and not the stuff of shadow. He is not sure whether that means he is a scion of Amber, distant progeny of Chaos, or perhaps something else altogether. He is curious about walking the Pattern, but is not willing to gamble his life on an Amberite pedigree. Given his understanding of Trump, he considers 'something else altogether' to be a real possibility.


Personal Shadow [1]

Bond resembles Earth in many respects, except for its somewhat more advanced technology and the high adventure enjoyed by a few of its residents. Kat suspects (correctly) that magic does not work at all on Shadow Bond.


Combat Training (cross shadow environmental) [5]
Psychic Resistance (cross shadow environmental) [5]

Anywhere in Shadow, Kat will meet a seductive and exotic woman who finds him irresistable. Kat only noticed this recently while travelling from Amber to Shadows in the Golden Circle. He suspects the effect is related to his long stay on Shadow Bond, but perhaps it was the reason he was drawn to Shadow Bond in the first place.


During his apprenticeship, Kat was directed to copy many cards from his master's Trump deck. These cards have the sign of the Unicorn on their backs The cards that Kat has made since escaping exile exhibit more of Kat's personal style and bear his sign of the Tsunami on their back.

a. After escaping exile, he made Trump Sketches to recover his earlier deck. The deck includes the usual depiction of Amber itself, Dworkin, Oberon, and a regal woman with flowing blond hair and a wreath of flowers.
b. Since becoming an agent of Amber's Crown, he has added cards for Caine, several other agents, Julian's daughter Ambrosia, London on Bond, the Bid Marker, Triple Threat in its Buddha form, himself, plus several locations in the city of Amber including a cafe near his apartment and a spot in the Ardennes.
c. In return for providing Ambrosia with a Trump of her Shadow Centaur, she gave him a starship in that shadow. He has several Trump of places there, including the Captain's ready room onboard his ship.
d. Since the adventure began, Kat has added Bleys' Trump of the Throne room and Corwin's Trump for himself.

He leaves most of the cards in his apartment in Amber– his usual travelling deck contains the cards for Caine, himself, Triple Threat, plus a couple for Amber.


Powered by Trump (minor magic) [2]
Able to mold Stuff [1]

Kat was sure that Trump could be used as more than a way of reaching people and places. The Bid Marker was his proof of concept. At the mental direction of its bearer, it can provide or transform mundane attire and equipment to match context or whim. The bid marker is a token, about the size of a half dollar. It incorporates itself into the wearer's ensemble as a pendant, amulet, or other ornament. In designing it, Kat could not find a way to make a Trump which was not a Trump Image– so, one side bears a Trump Image of Kat seated in meditation at the edge of a pond, with a footbridge in the background. The other side bears Kat's personal sign of the Tsunami.


Powered by Trump (minor magic) [2]
Alternate Shapes [2]
Double Damage [2]

This is Kat's personal weapon, which he made while living on Shadow Bond. It was made as another proof of concept, this time to exploit techniques for making Trumps which were not Trump Images of anything. Although Kat calls it his Triple Threat, it changes into several forms. All the forms are golden in colour and bear Kat's personal sign.

1. A short sword with a basket hilt, decent for thrusting but optimized for parrying.
2. A heavy spear of the sort used for hunting wild boar.
3. A small, easily concealed knife, serviceable either for cutting or for throwing.
4. A .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol. When it adopts this form, it is loaded with a clip of ammunition that fires on Shadow Bond.
5. A plain ring, sized for Kat's ring finger.
6. A statue of the Laughing Buddha with arms upraised and holding a platter. It is three feet tall, heavy, and rather cumbersome.