What do Deirdre's black armor, Corwin's repeating rifles, and Liar's Poker on weekend's have in common?
Yep. You find them all in the Castle Amber Armory.
Deep below the main floor, in the thickest and oldest areas of the original stonework of Castle Amber, rests the Castle Guard and Armory sections. The foundations to the Castle are piecework survivors of the several edifices that Oberon erected on this spot over the centuries.
Historically, setting aside the original fortified keep of Amber that sat approximately where the kitchen of the current castle is today, the long history of the Castle started here in the levels below the current moat. The stairways down into the mountain were cut and carved from the rock of Kolvir. But the Armory walls are built up of native ground stones from the surface area, mixed with some of the deep stone pulled out to finish the original larders and graineries of the foundation work.
Day to day, this level also has the only barracks functions that are actually in the Castle. The regular barracks is not on the crown of Kolvir, but outside the Castle and lower on the slopes. Good-natured rivalry between the Royal Guard and the regular Guard sometimes forces the regular line troops to comment on the proximity of the water and sewage cisterns that lie next to the Armory and Royal Barracks in those lower levels.
Such are the jests of competing military units.
Today the major Amber graineries are located some distance from the Castle and military and other secure storage is a large function of the place. As an adjunct, the accumulation of trophies and personal bric-a-brac of the Royals is a more mundane part of that storage. Which begs the question: What sort of things get relegated to the underpinnings of Castle Amber?
Art pieces that didn't stand the test of time, gifts that were too valuable to ignore (but not important enough to display), tax records, surveys, Shadow curiousities. Things too painful to keep near, but too valuable to throw away, as is the case with Deirdre's personal weapons and armor. There is also some library storage of material that doesn't fit on the shelves. Personal effects of family members that are no longer expected to ever return to Amber. King Random didn't even want to start looking into all the crates and nooks and dusty shelves when he assumed the crown. He hasn't detailed anyone else to mess with it, either.
I was allowed to walk thru and stare and wonder.
And did I discover any unsuspected treasures in my stroll thru the vaults? Not exactly.
But I did get to see the crates of Benedict's collection of swords. The armor that Morgenstern's grandsire used to wear when Julian hunted the lesser dragons of Arden. Gerard's famous blade of war hangs prominently down there in the barracks. I saw the racked and numbered repeating rifles that Corwin brought to bear against the forces of Chaos.
I saw the stout wooden table where the Liar's Poker game begins every weekend.
Maybe these things are unnoticed treasures. Maybe not. The vaults under the main floor give you that sort of feeling.