After Patternfall, the Pattern-based reduction of Amberite fertility was temporarily disrupted, and many of the Elders unexpectedly found themselves to be parents.
Flora, little minx that she is, set up a shadow of her own desire where there were plenty of adventures for her child to encounter once sie was old enough to enjoy them. It has castles and pirates and faeries and all kinds of fun legendary creatures Flora encountered in her sojourn on Shadow Earth -- but nothing really dangerous.
When Random and Vialle became concerned about the safety of their child, she offered to place the heir to Amber there as well. Flora has also offered the babysitting service to several others of her sibs (not including Caine or Gerard). Flora now has a number of the Elders seriously in her debt.
Flora also visits the shadow on a regular basis under another identity, where she participates in the rustic games of the children like Marie Antoinette in her "village" acting out her shepherdess and milkmaid fantasies. In addition to the debts that her fellow Elders owe her, Flora has gained the love and affection of a number of the will-be movers and shakers of the next generation.
Some time later, Caine made the mistake of playing one game too many with Random and was banished. Gerard thought Caine was unfairly blamed for the fiasco and has arranged for him to have a ship in Shadow, where Caine now claims to be a pirate acting against the enemies of Amber.
Caine is furious at Random, and he's plotting revenge. He has managed to follow Flora on one of her many trips to the children's shadow, where he now spends a lot of time and effort trying to determine which one of the brats is Random's. He has another nefarious scheme in mind, one that will require a child of Random's blood and may even bring down Amber.
Flora has heard from the now-adolescent children about their battles with the mysterious pirates, but she still hasn't made the connection between the banished brother who lost his left hand in a duel with Benedict and the hook-handed pirate captain ...