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Amber : The Moonriders Out of Ghenesh[4/28/2013 11:11:34 AM]

This page describes the Moonriders out of Ghenesh as they appeared in the 'Now These Her Princes Are Come Home
Again' game. The Moonriders are mentioned only once in the Amber books, in chapter VII of 'Nine Princes in Amber'
when Bleys is fighting his way up the stairs to Amber and Corwin compares his fighting performance to that of
Benedict when he fought off the Moonriders out of Ghenesh. However no details of them are given, so what is here is
entirely out of my own head. But I think it works.
This page is divided into the following sub-sections:
The Origin and History of the Moonriders
The Powers of All Moonriders
Advanced Moonrider Abilities
Other Powers
Moonrider Creatures and Weapons
Moonrider Symbols
Example Moonriders
Moonrider Names
Click on the section headings to return to the top of the page.
The Origin and History of the Moonriders
The Moonriders are the embodied night fears of the inhabitants of Ghenesh, a very old, very real 'shadow' which
existed even before the Pattern was drawn and is, in fact, older than Amber itself. Ghenesh is a cold, autumnal world
of perpetual twilight and night, with a large, bright moon, and a high level of both reality and magic, running about
three time faster than Amber. Most nights were frosty and clear, with many bright stars.
Ghenesh was originally inhabited by a race of humans. The first Moonriders took their substance from the fears of the
human populace mixing with the magic, moonlight and shadow of Ghenesh. Their fears gave a little power, which
created a rough form of the things they feared; these acted so as to generate more fear in the humans by their actions,
which made them more powerful and so the vicious circle began...
Most of the powers and abilities of the Moonriders derive from this. For the same reason they are not at all nice
people. They are cold and emotionless, only roughly human beings, and worship the moon. Being essentially fear,
embodied, they enjoy making people afraid; it is the only thing which makes them smile.
As creatures of moonlight and shadow they are not made of matter but of some mystical non-material substance -
essentially, they are fear. When injured they bleed moonlight, not blood, and if they die their corpses bleed away as
moonlight until only shadow is left, which flows into the ground and vanishes.
The Moonriders actually feed on fear, and require it to survive. They also like to have moonlight, which helps to
sustain them but which is not actually necessary for them. As long as they have these things, only violent death can
kill them.
As they evolved and grew in power they spread to other shadows, first along the shadow paths which led out of
Ghenesh, then accidentally as they used and expanded their intrinsic powers. The high level of reality of Ghenesh
allowed them to survive and function in other shadows (as magical items Empowered by Amberites can), and also
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allowed them to move between shadows under their own power. They became night fears elsewhere too, increasing
their power still further. After a little while, they began spreading themselves consciously, 'farming' fear to feed their
own powers. When they became worshipped as dark gods of the night they had essentially become rulers of those
Obviously they ruled by fear, using their power over the populace to increase their fear, and their own power, still
further. Among other things, they rode as a 'wild hunt'.
Because they need the fear of mortals to sustain and increase their power, they conquered and expanded.
Eventually, as their influence in shadow increased, their sphere of influence came in contact with that of Amber as
they began to expand into shadows of the Golden Circle. War was almost inevitable, and when it came was fierce. But
in the end, they were defeated by Benedict at the pass above Arden in the darkest day of winter. Once their strength
was broken they were hunted down and exterminated by Benedict and his forces, starting with those who could
reproduce and carrying on with the rest.
Now a stray thought of Oberon while redrawing the Primal Pattern has brought them back to life, knowing what
happened to them, and not happy about it (a side effect of Corwins curse, perhaps, or because when re-drawing the
Primal Pattern, Oberon somehow had to recreate them in order for the new multiverse to be correct)...
In appearance all Moonriders look very similar. They are tall, thin and pale-skinned, with Elfin features, night-black
hair and silver-pupiled eyes. They are handsome, but sexless - it is impossible by looking to determine what sex they
are; to men they look more male, to women they look more female. Under their clothing they have no orifices at all.
They can see at night as well as humans do in daylight, but because of this are almost blind in daylight, and cannot see
colours. They wear medieval-style clothing in monochrome colours (black, grey, silver), usually decorated with ornate
Their voices are a cold and sepulchral whisper; it is very hard for them to shout.
Physically and mentally they are far superior to normal shadow dwellers, and even non-royal Amberites. However they
are, in the main, inferior to the Royal Family of Amber one-for-one. They have the advantage in numbers over the
Royal Family, however.
Their native tongue is not a shadow of Thari, and thus not generally understood by Amberites (Benedict may know a
little). However, some of them do speak (have learnt) Thari and many shadow tongues as well.
They tend to live in the temples raised to them by their worshippers. These are Grecian-style temples in black stone,
with many pillars, usually in at least two layers, to create much criss-crossing of moonlight and shadow. These
temples are usually on the edges of leafless, autumnal woods. They would prefer them deep in the woods, but there are
limits to what their worshippers will do...
In general they prefer not to kill their foes, only to cause them fear and pain, and conquer and subdue them to their
collective will, when they will make suitable worshippers and sources of the fear on which they feed.
They are led by Gorgon (a Mage), and Erebus (a Warrior), the oldest and most powerful of their race. Gorgon is the
only Moonrider who really deviates from their racial 'look' - although tall, thin, elfin and pale-skinned, Gorgon
actually looks old.
They are also known as 'The Whispering Gods' by the human inhabitants of Ghenesh and other places. ("The
Whispering Gods have returned," they say).
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The Powers of All Moonriders
All Moonriders have these Basic Abilities, which effectively cost 35 points in total:
NIGHT VISION (0 points) - They see as well in darkness as humans do in daylight, but are almost blind in
daylight, and cannot see colours at any time.
SEMI-MATERIAL NATURE (5 points) - Because they are to a large extent not physically real, they are
harder to hurt than material, tangible creatures, and harder to hurt than their appearance might indicate
(equivalent to the 1 point 'Resistant to Normal Weapons' quality); they do not have vital organs. This
aspect of their nature also means that they do not suffer from disease, and do not age. Because of where
they are from, they are highly resistant to normal cold. They bleed moonlight, not blood, and if they die
their corpses bleed away as moonlight until only shadow is left, which flows into the ground and vanishes.
SUSTAINED BY MOONLIGHT (5 points) - As creatures of moonlight and shadow they cannot eat or
breathe normally; instead they are sustained by moonlight and will starve without exposure to it on a
regular basis. As a whole, their race is sustained by the fear of those they have subjugated, but this is not
something which has a short-term effect. Because of this, and their overall semi-material nature, they do
not breathe, and are unaffected by many environments which would be hostile to material beings (e.g.
high or low pressures and hard radiation).
HEALED BY MOONLIGHT (5 points) - Likewise, as long as they are exposed to the direct rays of the
Moon, they heal much more rapidly than most creatures (equivalent to the 2 point 'Rapid Healing' power).
MOVE THROUGH SHADOW (20 points) - When moving through dappled moonlight and shade fast
enough to lose sight of ones surrounding, and for things to blur together, the Moonrider can, though
mental exertion similar to using the Pattern, guide themselves through shadow to a desired destination
which is similarly dappled with moonlight and shade; this can even be to somewhere inside if the play of
dark and light is right. The speed needed to do this can be achieved by sprinting; doing it on horseback is
easier. Their speed of shifting through shadow is roughly equal to that using Pattern (for the same Psyche
and Endurance), but obviously has a much more limited range of destinations.
Using this power, Moonriders cannot do anything other than move through shadow to a location lit
similarly to their starting point. They can ride for a destination with specific properties, as Pattern users
can, including ones allowing them to recover things for which they have paid points, but they cannot
manipulate probability or anything else which Pattern users can do.
Like the Pattern, this ability will not work any closer to Amber than roughly Forest Arden.
Moonriders cannot lead others through shadow. They can carry things which they are physically touching
through shadow (actual physical contact is needed; dragging someone on a rope will not work), up to an
amount limited by their Psyche (though, Psyche for Psyche, much less than an Amberite with Pattern can).
Advanced Moonrider Abilities
These are all abilities which any Moonrider can learn, but which are not intrinsic and must actually be taught them.
They must be learnt in the order of indentation. Things at the same level of indentation can be learnt in any order. In
total these advanced abilities cost 55 points.
INVISIBILITY IN DARKNESS AND SHADOW (5 points) - With practise a Moonrider can learn to manipulate the
substance of its body to the extent of becoming one with night-time level darkness and shadows, allowing them
invisibility with the use of some concentration. If any part of them is illuminated, even by moonlight, it becomes
Amber : The Moonriders Out of Ghenesh[4/28/2013 11:11:34 AM]
visible (though the rest of them will not).
BECOMING ONE WITH THE MOONLIGHT (5 points) - With a concentration and teaching the Moonrider can
learn how to merge their body with beams of direct moonlight, becoming as intangible and impossible to hurt as
moonlight itself. Of course, in this state they cannot physically harm others, either. If any part of them goes out
of the beams of the moon it will return to solidity (though the rest of them will not, and the now-solid part will
not fall off or any similar thing).
If a Moonrider uses both of the above at once, in an area of mixed moonlight and shade, they can be invisible in
the shadowy parts, but solid there, and visible but intangible in the moonlit parts.
COMMUNICATION VIA MOONLIGHT AND SHADOW (10 points) - The Moonrider equivalent of Trump
(roughly). If properly trained, a Moonrider can communicate via the commonality of all moonlight and
shadow. The Moonrider has to search to locate an area where the fall of moonlight, in combination with
shadows, hints at the form of another Moonrider. By concentrating on the Moonrider they wish to contact
they can slowly reach out, in a similar way to the Trump (though considerably more slowly), and if the
target is also in an area dappled with moonlight and shadow, make contact with them. Each then sees a
ghostly form of the other, and can talk back and forth normally. This link cannot be used for transporting
physical items, but is useful for communication at pre-arranged times (though differing time flow rates
between shadows can cause problems with this).
ADVANCED COMMUNICATION (10 points) - With the extra training, the Moonrider can
communicate more quickly and more easily (up to the level of normal Trumps). They can also sense
who is contacting them, and make contact from areas which are less than ideal, requiring less hints
of a Moonriders form to concentrate on.
CREATING FORM FROM MOONLIGHT AND SHADOW (15 points) - With the right training the
Moonrider can build creatures and items out of moonlight and shade. The Moonrider has to search to
locate an area where the fall of moonlight, in combination with shadows, hints at the form of the desired
object. The Moonrider then concentrates, and the form which could be there slowly forms in reality.
Essentially anything can be formed in this way, both living things and inanimate objects. These things are
not magical, but real. This creation does not take the same length of time as magical Empowerment of a
similar item, instead it always takes one moonlit night. However, the power of the item (the numbers of
points worth of Qualities and Powers which can be invested in it) is limited by the Psyche of its creator, at
a rate of roughly 1 point of Power or Quality per five points of Psyche.
REPRODUCTION (5 points) - The highest ability of creating form, and how the Moonriders
reproduce. The Moonrider can not just create creatures and items from moonlight and shadow, but
new Moonriders, whole and complete. This too takes an entire night of work, but is immensely more
draining than just Creating Form from Moonlight and Shadow. The Moonrider with this ability is
able to control the reproduction process to the extent of creating a new Moonrider with the aptitudes
they desire (e.g. proto-warriors, proto-mages etc.). This an utterly exhausting process. Even a
Moonrider of Corwin's Endurance would require a full day's rest after doing this; one of Amber
rank would require about a month to fully recover.
EXPANDING THE BORDERS OF GHENESH (5 points) - The highest Moonrider ability, the
power to slowly change the environment of a shadow to the Moonriders ideal - that of
Ghenesh. With concentration and weeks of effort the environment of a shadow can be
permanently altered to an autumnal state, with leafless trees, cold twilight days, large bright
moons, and very long, cold, clear frosty nights. This process also weakens the barriers
between the shadow and other similar shadows, forming shadow paths between them.
Other Powers
Moonriders cannot learn to create Trumps (though they can use them). They also cannot learn shapeshifting.
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They can learn conventional magic (Sorcery, Power Words and Empowerment, though they rarely bother with this
last, preferring to use their unique real version of this). Their magic tends to use moon-based spells and effects.
Animate Moonlight Shadows - creates illusory moving shadows and flickers of movement.
Bring the Shadows to Life - does what the name implies; the animated shadows have Psyche, Strength and
Warfare of Chaos Ranked and Endurance equal to the casters Psyche. They can be destroyed physically, or by
anti-magic such as the 'Magic Negation' power word, or a 'Dispel Magic' spell.
Call the Beasts - summoning and control of creatures of the night (one type at a time).
Call the Tide - calls the Moon's tides, giving a crude form of telekinesis.
Call the Wind - calls an intense gust of wind to strike the target.
Fear - induces fear in the target, of intensity determined by the difference in Psyches.
Heal with Moonlight - gives an injured Moonrider a concentrated infusion of moonlight, healing them much
faster than normal. This will have no effect on beings which are not Moonriders, and normal healing spells will
have a greatly reduced effect on them.
Hide from the Moon - invisibility in moonlight.
Moonlight - illuminates an area with a light equivalent to bright moonlight.
Moon Madness - stupefies a target with a dazzling stroboscopic flash of moonbeams; essentially the same as the
'Stone Binding' spell.
Move Through the Forest - allows the caster and other people selected by them, plus their mounts, if any, to
travel through woodland at full speed, regardless of how dense or tangled the undergrowth may be. Obstacles
which are part of the forest simply move aside in front of the travellers, and move back once they have gone
Ride the Moonlight/Ride the Darkness - Teleportation from one moonlit area to another, or one completely
dark area to another, within the same shadow; as the normal Teleportation spell with an extra lynchpin
specifying whether moonlight or darkness is to be used.
See What the Moon Sees - a scrying spell, allowing the caster to see as if from where the Moon is to anywhere
the moon is shining.
Sleep - as the 'Quell' spell; puts the target into a normal sleep.
Burst of Magic
Burst of Moonlight I (like the 'Light Strobe' Power Word)
Burst of Moonlight II (like the 'Life Force' Power Word, but only for Moonriders)
Burst of Psyche
Burst of Speed
Burst of Strength
Draught (a momentary small gust of wind)
Induce Fear
Life Force (rare among Moonriders)
Magic Negation
Momentary Blindness
Momentary Chill (like the 'Neural Disrupt' power word, but it's cold)
Momentary Weakness (what it says)
Process Snuff
Psychic Disrupt
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Weaken Structure
Moonrider Creatures and Weapons
Many Moonriders use horses created, as they are, from moonlight and shadow. These are thin, angular and evil-
looking steeds whose feet have claws, not hooves, and whose teeth are those of a carnivore. In colour they are black,
with a dark silver metallic sheen, glittering solid black eyes and silvery claws and teeth.
A typical horse has the following abilities :
Double Speed 2
Resistant to Normal Weapons (as for Moonriders) 1
Rapid Healing, in Moonlight Only 1
Combat Training (sub-Amber Warfare) 1
Extra Hard Teeth and Claws 1
Follow Shadow Trail (with limitations as for Moonriders) 1
Total Points Cost = 7
Elite Moonriders usually have horses which are superior to this, such as the following:
Engine Speed 4
Double Vitality 2
Amber Stamina 2
Extra Hard Claws and Teeth 1
Resistant to Normal Weapons (as Moonriders) 1
Rapid Healing, in Moonlight Only 1
Combat Mastery (Ranked Warfare) 4
Follow Shadow Trail (with limitations as for Moonriders) 1
Alternate Form (Invisible in Darkness) 1
Alternate Form (Insubstantial in Moonlight) 1
Total Points Cost = 18
These latter steeds are incredibly rare, as they can only be created by the most powerful Moonrider enchanters (those
with a Psyche of 90 or more).
Elite Moonrider Warriors carry one of the Moonswords, magical long-swords. These are the greatest weapons of the
Moonriders, although they can be wielded by anyone with a Psyche greater than that of its Moonrider owner.
Their blades poison the soul Mould Shadow Stuff 1
And are ice-cold Mould Shadow Stuff 1
They are the sharpest of the sharp Double Damage 2
They only cut that which their wielder wishes Alternate Form - Selective Intangibility 1
They shatter the weapons and armour of their foes Hard Wired Power Word - Weaken Structure 2
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Total Points Cost = 7
The normal weapons used by Moonriders run to long-swords, knives, spears, and bows, plus large rectangular shields
(which are slightly curved rectangles about 2 by 4 feet in size).
There are also Moondogs, which are large wolf-like hounds which resemble the moonsteeds in colouration. They are
as formidable as J ulian's stormhounds. A typical moondog has the following abilities:
Double Speed 2
Combat Reflexes (Amber Warfare) 2
Doubling Damage 2
Resistant to Normal Weapons (as Moonriders) 1
Total Points Cost = 7

Also, Moonriders cannot move anything through shadow other than themselves and their steeds. So, they either recruit
locals by fear or bribery (fear for preference), or they create armies out of moonlight and shadow, troops which are
mindless, but able to fight. There are several versions, all of which come in Horde quantity:
Combat Reflexes (Amber Warfare), no armour, normal weapons 6 points
Combat Training (sub-Amber Warfare), Extra Hard Weapon, Resistant to Normal Weapons 9 points
Combat Training (sub-Amber Warfare), Double Damage Weapon, no armour 9 points
Combat Training (sub-Amber Warfare), normal weapons, Resistant to Firearms 9 points
The first version is the most common, as it is the most easily created.
They resemble Moonriders, but are less finished somehow - cruder, and they vary in shape as the areas they are
created in are clearly not perfect for every one of them which is created.
Moonrider mages can also create similar 'instant armies' by empowering (for example) a mass of trees into mobility.
Moonrider Symbols
The Moonrider's symbol is that of a half-moon, one half silver, the other half dark grey (as if illuminated by
Earthlight). This is found on their temples, and on the their shields (which are slightly curved rectangles about 2 by 4
feet in size) and battle-banners. Each individual Moonrider has a personal symbol, a vaguely Chinese-looking
ideogram, which, on their shields, is emblazoned under the half-moon symbol. The pictures below show two examples
of this:
Amber : The Moonriders Out of Ghenesh[4/28/2013 11:11:34 AM]

Some other Moonrider personal symbols:
Some Example Moonriders
Typical Moonriders are built on 40 points with the basic Moonrider powers (35 points worth) for free. Their basic
statistics are all at Amber level, but they can buy these down to Chaos level if they wish (not many do).
Psyche Amber Horse 7
Strength 10 Weapon 2
Endurance 1
Warfare 20
Psyche Amber Invisible 5
Strength 5 Insubstantial 5
Endurance Amber Horse 7
Warfare 16 Weapon 2
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Total Points Expenditure = 40 Total Points Expenditure = 40
Psyche 35 Creating Forms 15
Strength Chaos
Endurance Amber
Warfare Amber
Total Points Expenditure = 40
Psyche 10 Sorcery 10
Strength Amber Insubstantial 5
Endurance 2 Spell Rack 2
Warfare 11
Total Points Expenditure = 40
Psyche 35 Creating Forms 15
Strength Chaos Reproduction 5
Endurance 1 Invisible 5
Warfare Chaos Bad Stuff -1
Total Points Expenditure = 40
Psyche 51 Creating Forms 15
Strength 1 Reproduction 5
Endurance 11 Invisible 5
Warfare 6 Insubstantial 5
Sorcery 10
Power Words 15
Spell Rack 2
Total Points Expenditure = 120
Psyche 10 Invisibility 5
Strength 15 Insubstantial 5
Endurance 10 Sorcery 10
Warfare 40 Horse 18
Spell Rack 2
Moonsword 7
Stuff +1
Total Points Expenditure = 120
Psyche 21 Invisible 5
Strength 10 Insubstantial 5
Endurance 10 Communication 10
Warfare 41 Power Words 10
Moonsword 7
Stuff +1
Total Points Expenditure = 120
Psyche 15 Horse 7
Strength Amber Armour 1
Endurance 5 Moonsword 7
Warfare 70
Total Points Expenditure = 105

Moonrider Names
All Moonrider names have an Ancient Greek feel to them.
Adrastus Aegisthus Aeson Agenor Alcibiades
Alcmena Alecto Amphion Astraea Atreus
Atropos Bane Cadmus Castaly Clotho
Diemos Diomed Dionaeus EREBUS (Co-Leader) Euryalus
Amber : The Moonriders Out of Ghenesh[4/28/2013 11:11:34 AM]
GORGON (Co-Leader) Gyges Lachesis Leucosia Ligea
Megaera Nessus Palamedes Phobos Pylades
Sciron Sinis Sinon Syriscos Talus
Teiresias Telegonus Telemachus Telemon Themis
Thersander Thyestes Tisiphone Typhon Volscens

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