Mike Loader

Tea-Lord of Amber

"Do we really have to fight the Moonriders of Ghenesh? They're so... loud. Can't we just give them some of the Golden Circle? No? PUNK ASS BITCHES! They _would_ have to attack just when I'm in the middle of... yeah, right, okay, lemme just finish this cup of tea and I'll be right down... fucking Shadow scum... look, we need to start hiring people to do this for us... yes, I KNOW that's how Rome fell! All right, all right!"

His Trump

"He sat on a rock at the top of an alpine pass, dark forest below him and a city far in the distance by a river. Spread out before him was a sandwich of cheese and bread, a plate of biscuits, and a steaming teapot. The man lifting a cup to his lips with obvious pleasure was gaunt and bent, hooded of eye and sharp of feature. A brimmed hat shielded his eyes, and he wore hiking gear in his colors of green and grey and black, and a short, broad triangular blade hung at his belt, and the Pattern was upon it in glowing traceries. His heavy cloak was pinned by a badge bearing his ensign, the White Cat. His barely-seen eyes were bright and his hands were long."

Traits and Aptitudes

Despite looking like a stick figure with extra stick, Mike is capable of defeating the entire family minus Dan in unarmed combat at the same time. This is partly because he is five times stronger than most of the others, partly because only Dan is faster than him without a weapon, but mostly because only Dan and Andrew are actually strong enough to do more than annoy him with their punches. Nerve gas tickles his throat, he doesn't seem to bleed, his skin is apparently fireproof, and he sometimes forgets to sleep for months at a time. While his mind is not very strong for the family, it isn't very weak either, and his will is even stronger than Sean or Dan's. He is a noted tactician, although not quite at Dan or Alan's level, and not even close to David's. He is the worst shot in the family.

Mike is an initiate of the Pattern, and has deeply delved into the lore of using it for Defense. While many family members have more knowledge of the Pattern overall, only Rod passes him in this specialized area. He bears Stormcrow, the Patternblade of Air, which is a triangular blade on a half-gauntlet used to augment punches. Combined with Mike's strength, things hit by Stormcrow usually don't get back up again. Most just make a career change to 'fine spray'.

As Grand Admiral of the Fleet, Mike has mostly embarked on a program of shipbuilding and the reformation of the tiny Naval Academy. He is known to have badgered various of the artificers of the family to collaborate on superdreadnought design, although he hasn't laid a keel yet. The Navy has lagged somewhat behind the Army, in large part because Mike is more lazy than David.

For the most part, Mike has seemed content to wander off into Shadow for weeks, mostly sailing the rivers and wandering the river valleys of infinity. He will then return to Amber and be a lazy gossip for a few more weeks, put in some work on the Navy, and leave again. He has shown vast reluctance to expose himself to any sort of violence or danger, and avoids 'adventures' like the plague. Unfortunately, he is probably one of the best suited of the family to play bodyguard, and so has been grumpily dragged off on several risky ventures to serve as the insurance policy.

Either Mike or Mercutio is the second-best chainsaw in the family after David. In general, Merc will win every match decided by 'touches', and Mike will win every match decided by who falls down first. It is unknown which would prevail in a serious fight; although everyone agrees it would be extremely messy.

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