"You and your fucking thought experiments."
"He sat in a comfortable looking black leather chair, staring at a monitor, typing on a keyboard in a curious style where he used his entire right hand but only the index finger of his left. He wore plain blue jeans and a comfortable looking turtleneck, and while his short black hair and trim goatee were well-groomed and cut, he had the three-day cheek stubble of the man who does not shave unless he is leaving the house. His eyes were dirty green, not quite hazel, and his face unremarkable if also not ugly. The desk at which he sat was messy and cluttered with all manner of compact discs and books, many laid face down to mark the place irregardless of damage to spine. A computer tower sat by his feet, and a fat gem with the Pattern spinning merrily inside it laid atop it. The gem and him were like a mule with a spinning wheel; nobody knew how he'd got it and damned if he knew what to do with it."
One of the very first things Merc did upon the assembly of the family in the library was to summon the Jewel of Judgment to him and start doing tricks with it. Several people screamed, Travis fainted, and Rod nearly had apolexy.
One of King John's first acts was to order Merc to return the Jewel to the vaults and let it STAY in the vaults unless explictly given permission. Merc was less than pleased with this, but the order seemed popular with the rest of the family.
Merc is one of the psychic juggernaughts of the family, equal to Alan in raw strength and only slightly worse in skill. He is the second best swordsman of the family, lightyears above most, although David still beats him up and down the ring when they spar. He vies with Mike for the number four slot as a tactician, and seems to have an edge in the series of wargames the two frequently play. He and Dan sit atop the strength hill for most of the family, although he's only average as a martial artist and mediocre for the family in will and endurance.
Merc has fairly average Pattern skills, although he's studied the molding of Shadow in advanced levels. He carries a short sword with an enhanced edge, and uses it very efficiently. He is able to do incredible things with the Jewel of Judgment, or would if King John would ever let him take it out of the vaults.
John appointed Merc as Royal Tinkerer in change of giving the King all the comforts of home under Amber world laws. Merc keeps pointing at things he can improve in Amber by reshaping it with the Jewel, but Rod has said that this would cause 'Pattern Indigestion' and so John forbids it. Several people suspect Rod says this merely to frustrate Merc.
Merc is one of the great slackers of Amber, and spends a lot of time hanging out around the castle or going off into Shadow to indulge his every whim. People frequently grab him to serve as a bodyguard, especially Alan, and he is usually happy to tag along and beat down any threats. He has launched two spikard expeditions (three including the Great Castle Hunt), all of which ended in utter disaster.
He would like people to LET HIM USE THE FREAKIN' JEWEL ALREADY.