“What do you seek?” Old lady Marigold asks, slowly shuffling a stack of ancient looking cards.
Glancing at each other, Grim takes the lead and steps forward, “Fame and fortune.”
“And success, of course” adds Henry.
Quietly muttering an incantation, she holds out the deck. “Draw one card if you will, and show it to me. Let us see what role each of you will play.”
Everyone in the room takes a single card from the deck and shows it, once by one, to the diviner.
Phylas draws first, holding up a card depicting a coiled blue dragon, clutching a bleeding, wounded orb.
“The Tyrant” She says, “a card for a ruler, overseer, or head of household who does more harm than good for those he purports to serve, sometimes without even realizing it themselves. Be mindful of the decisions you make as even good intentions can easily go wrong.”
Grim come up to the table to draw next, a card bearing the likeness of two men, almost identical, one with a knife held behinds his back.
“The Twin, a card of duality of purpose or identity. Divided loyalties. A choice lies before you. One that will test you to the core. Life and death hang in the balance.”
Milo takes the next card. A puppet show featuring a knight fighting a dragon for its treasure is shown.
“Ah, The Theater” Marigold continued, “Just as the audience cannot control the play acted out before them, a prophet cannot control the visions he sees. Some things are outside of our control, whether we want them to be or not. The truth of a situation is often discovered too late.”
Finally, Henry come forward to draw his card, a woman of water and a man of fire stand together, holding a small child of mixed heritage.
“The Marriage. A union of people, ideals, or kingdoms. The result of this union is powerful indeed, but will it serve for good or evil? Once wedded, the two cannot be parted. This is the card of permanent change.”
Taking back each of the four cards drawn, she once again shuffles the deck and places nine cards in front of her, face down, in a square.
“First, let us look to the past.” She says as she turns over the left column of cards.
The Crows, Three thieves wearing crow masks, sitting around a table piled with gold.
The Teamster, A small man in a mask, riding the back of a large orc, whip in hand.
The Foreign Trader, A well dressed foreigner, holding valuable trade goods in his hands.
After studying them for a few moments, she looks up at you.
“I see a powerful driving force here, one that cannot be ignored. Relentlessly pushing at events, the purpose of this effort remains unknown. Whether it acts for good or ill in unclear to me.”
“Now let us look into the present.” She proceeds to turn over each card in the middle column.
The Avalanche, A mighty earth elemental, forcing its way down a mountain side.
The Trumpet, A winged archon blowing a trumpet, a bloody spear in its hand.
The Courtesan, A three-eyed woman, peeking out from behind an elegant, white mask.
“Here I see a powerful, headstrong woman. A woman in a position of authority that must be dealt with carefully. How she is treated will have far flung repercussions.”
The next set of cards is turned over.
The Rakshasa, A finely dressed man with the head of a tiger sitting leisurely on a slave’s back.
The Demon’s Lantern, Three will-o-wisps floating above a swamp pool containing a corpse.
The Peacock, A beautiful bird, with the head of a cockatrice.
“In the future I’m seeing bonds and enslavement, but these are destined to be thrown off. I also see trickery and deceit. There are traps ahead that may be misleading in their nature or purpose.”
Gathering up the cards, she makes eye contact with each of you.
“The cards can tell me no more. It is now up to you whether to take these warnings and advice to heart. The cards never lie, but the truth they tell is not always the truth you expect.”