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300 years ago Oberon wandered off into Shadow, presumably in search of another future ex-Mrs. Barimen.  His children, noting his prolonged absence, searched throughout Shadow for him.  For a little while, anyway.  Then the cabals formed and the fight for the throne began.

Princes Benedict, Gerard and Caine defend Amber from the dangerous affections of  her more ambitious children.  In the Red corner, Bleys and Fiona. In the Black corner, Corwin, Deirdre and Random.  In the really Black corner, Eric and Flora.

But forget about them.  After nearly 100 years of searching for Oberon, Julian got the feeling that the king was not going to return.  Whether by his own choice or because something had befallen him he was unsure.  But unlike his father's whereabouts, Julian could see clearly what was going to happen once it was officially established that he wasn't coming back.  In order to avoid the family intrigues and protect his beloved Arden from the coming storm, Julian withdrew entirely from Amber and claimed Arden as a separate but equal country, consisting of all parts of the forest in all Shadows.

Julian's actions were seen by many as a figurative mooning of Amber and her royal family, a sentiment with which he wholeheartedly agreed.  Joining him in his newfound kingdom was Brand, who considered himself neither fit nor interested in the throne of Amber or the walloping that he was sure each of those involved in the fight for it would eventually receive.

The kingdom of Arden has flourished for 200 years under the benevolent rule of Julian, Master of the Hunt and Lord of Eternal Spring, and tonight marks the beginning of their bicentennial celebration, sure to be one for the record books.