Trump of Melanie Melanie Chanicut

"Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead." -- Benjamin Franklin

Table of contents

"If you are going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it." -- Leo Rosten

Associated Links

"Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them." -- Louis Nizer

General Description

Daughter of Prince Brand of Amber and Selena of Chanicut, member of the Chanicut Council of Nine. She made the mistake of earning Swayvill's disfavor, and awakened to find Chaos much changed from the Courts she knew. The question before her now is, how best to take advantage of this?

"Beware, lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow." -- Aesop

Physical Description

Melanie is about 5'8" tall and statuesque in build, with eyes that match the color of leaves in spring, and curly red hair that hangs past her shoulders when loose, but is usually worn piled stylishly on top of her head. Her complexion is very pale, and she obviously doesn't spend much time in the sun.

"I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect." -- Edward Gibbon

Clothing Style

Melanie's clothing is elegant and refined, in the fashion of a 19th century lady, complete with gloves and parasol or fan. She favors colors of light green and royal blue, and carries no weapons openly.

"Goodness shouts. Evil whispers." -- Balinese proverb


To the casual observer, Melanie appears to be as elegant and refined as her clothing suggests, carrying herself as a lady of culture and breeding. She tends to be somewhat aloof, and there are those who would even go so far as to call her cold (or a few more unflattering terms). In truth, she is capable of rather strong emotions, but she has learned to be quite good at concealing them. And repressing them. She is interested in power in all of its forms, and is willing to sacrifice a great deal to get it, especially if the sacrifice involved is someone else's. She tends to have a slight air of superiority about her, as if she knows some marvelous secret that she isn't sharing just yet.

"I never cease being dumfounded by the unbelievable things people believe." -- Leo Rosten

Personal Symbol

A coiled snake Melanie's symbol is the snake, representing shrewdness and transformation. She chose it primarily for the first meaning, having always thought of herself as a rather shrewd individual. Given her experience with Swayvill, however, the latter meaning has come to be especially apropos.

"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon." -- Susan Ertz

Personal Colors

Royal blue and light green.

"The cemeteries are full of people who thought they were indispensable." -- Georges Clemenceau

Official Titles

Lady of House Chanicut, Countess of Stratford on Corinth, Viscountess of Skeltland, and Baroness of Mothsby.

"Be good and you will be lonesome." -- Mark Twain


Melanie was born in Skeltland during the reign of Emperor Swayvill.

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." -- Joseph Stalin


Skeltland: The Ways of House Chanicut in the Courts of Chaos.

Spindlekeep: Name of both the Primal Plane in which the Spindle resides, and the keep which protects it.

"I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses." -- Johann Kepler

Quotes about Melanie

Blethius, Avatar of the Pattern, former Avatar of the Spindle

"She is plainly her father's daughter, but no daughter of Amber. In choosing her mother's heritage, she has allied herself with my nemesis. I will forgive her slight trespasses, out of memory for her father and his work, but no more than that."

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Brand (deceased), son of Oberon and Clarissa, Prince of Amber

"Beautiful and daughter has grown into quite a woman. Even in her anger, there is a certain coy sensuality to her that surprises me, inflames me. In a way, she reminds me of Emma, so willful, so eager to be made to submit."

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Cerridwen, daughter of Gawain and Emma, Queen of Tir-na Nog'th

"Cunning and skilled, graceful and charming. She is everything I wanted to be when I was younger, the kind of role model that my life was missing. And now that I have reached some measure of power and control, I find her in my life...a welcome reflection of the reality I always craved. I value her conversation and the ease with which we understand one another. It is a good thing to have an equal with whom one needn't compete."

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Dara Helgram Sawall, great-granddaughter of Benedict, former Head of House Helgram

"A charming young woman who came into trouble through no advent of her own, but rather through her father's foolish politics. She served her time and returned to us with a poise that belies her patience and good manners. Chaos would do well to have more young women such as she."

Derrick, son of Delwin and Sarah Chanicut

"The only Chanicut matriarch who could prevent me from securing the House into its proper position. She is a tricky one, indeed, but before too long she will be no threat at all. Let her wipe the drool from my mother's chin while I bring Chanicut into the prominence it deserves; her spellcraft will not protect her from the likes of me."

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Edgar of Karm (deceased), son of Swayvill and Flora, representative of the Avatar of the Abyss

"A pretty little puppet with grand dreams and sparkling eyes. She has not her father's madness, and therefore she is limited. But she could accomplish a great deal, if given the right direction. So divinely suited to my purposes."

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Emily, daughter of Gawain and Katrina

"I wonder if she realizes how much she has her father's eyes...that same cool calculation that hides beneath the sparkle of intellect. But she lacks her father's madness...or seems to. No madwoman could conceal herself that well. Of course, the same could be said of me. She bears watching."

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Faust, son of Mandor Sawall and Fiona, former Regent of Amber

"Amiable, but altogether too interfering. Melanie has a habit of turning up where I least need interference, or spectators, for that matter. Thankfully she is reasonable, and discrete. I look forward to fulfilling my debt to her, and being done with her for good."

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Momus Jesby, Head of House Jesby

"Elegant and charming...graceful and perfect...she is a rose amidst the weedy garden that is the state of Chaosian womanhood. She could be a Duchess...a Empress, ruling as an iron fist in a velvet glove. I would give nearly anything to possess her, save for, perhaps, my pride."

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Nessarose Chanicut, daughter of Stead and Elinore, Head of House Chanicut

"Every bit as cautious as Sarah, and perhaps much more cool and aloof. The extent to which she is indifferent to politics and uninvolved in House machinations indicates either of two possibilities: that she is an apathetic fool, or that she is playing a far deeper game than the Houses. I do not believe her to be a fool."

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Sarah Chanicut, Empress of Chaos

"She has learned the lesson of caution without losing her pride or self-respect. She could follow the path that I did...perhaps more, given time. Who would have thought so much from a child of Amber?"


Selena of Chanicut (deceased)

"My daughter stands to rule two great lands, Amber and Chaos. She has been trained to rule, and been given the patience to wait for the right opportunity. Only Fate can block her from power, and with parentage such as hers, even Fate can only limit her for a time."

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Selena of Sawall, Melanie's reflection

"To describe her in less than glowing terms would be a slight to the self. Let us say that she is the only woman for whom I would settle for only half of all known reality."

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Shaenan, son of Corwin and Dara Helgram Sawall, Emperor of Chaos

"Queen to bishop's four. Check. 'Twould be a shame to sacrifice so useful a piece, but that is how the game is won, after all."

"We are inclined to believe those we do not know, because they have never deceived us." -- Samuel Johnson

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The excellent Trump of Melanie/Selena is the work of Wendi Strang-Frost, and is © by her. Please contact her before reproducing it in any fashion. For more examples of her work, check out her web page, her online comic "Johnny Public" or the "Wavedancers" story in Elfquest.

The Trumps of Brand, Cerridwen, Edgar, Emily, Faust, Momus, Nessarose and Shaenan are the work of Matthew Richardson, and are a combination of several images. The man in the Brand Trump is actor Val Kilmer, the woman in the Emily Trump is actress Gillian Anderson, the man in the Momus Trump is actor Kevin Spacey, and the men in the Shaenan Trump are musician Ashley MacIssac (background) and an unknown Gap model (foreground). If you have any questions about the above images, including who the models in the remaining Trumps are, feel free to contact Matthew.

The Trumps of Dara and Sarah are the work of Philip Brenner, and are a combination of several images. The woman in the Dara Trump is actress Anne Heche. If you have any questions about the above images, feel free to contact Flip.

All text on this page is © 1998-2001 by Kris Fazzari, with the exception of the attributed quotes.

Last modified on January 15, 2001 by Kris Fazzari.

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