Instruments: Tarot(This game uses the Golden Dawn version but you can easily use others), 2d10
This is a short game about the trials and tribulations of a lost ship looking desperately for land. The prompts are completely open to interpretation using only the tarot cards to guide you.
Game Content WarningsThese are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.
Playthrough Content WarningsThese are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.
Word Count: 1,232 Played: Nov 2, 2022
A/N: The instructions use the Golden Dawn tarot set, I'm using the Rider-Waite-Smith and substituting Page for the Princess.
Card: 10 of Cups, Reversed: Burdens, Things coming to an end, water, religion, emotions
Roll1: 3, Failure
Roll2: 1, Failure
The sea took half of our supplies today. Something chewed through the hull and sprung the tiniest, but deadliest of leaks. All tack went moldy and fell apart. The crew grows restless and they say the sea demanded a sacrifice and this is what she took. Maybe she’ll be placated for now.
Card: The Tower, Upright, Courage, Sudden Realization.
We passed by a lighthouse today, and I’ve never been more relieved to see a small sliver of land. I cannot fathom why there’s a beacon out in the middle of the ocean, so far from everything. When we docked I didn’t think anyone lived on the island since it was so overgrown with weeds and vegetation. But as I traveled further inland, up to the little cottage, there was a garden.
Despite my clothes I must have been seen as a trespasser since a little old woman burst out of the cottage brandishing a pan as a weapon. She was dressed in the robes of a priestess and nearly struck me down before I begged her for hospitality.
Eventually she relented and even gave me a loaf of bread to eat. She snorted and laughed at me when I told her we needed directions. She pointed to the east, but said we’d never make it. We’d angered the sea--she’d seen it in the sky and the stones on the path.
I thanked her and left quickly after going back to the boat. I hid the bread from the rest of my crew, and told the navigator to set sail for the east.
Card: Strength, Upright, Courage, power, Control
We came across a flotilla today. We were blessed that they were friendly and not the marauders that I had seen in the distance. We were also blessed that they were not a navy of any country.
They were travelers with no home but the ocean and they welcomed us aboard their ship, as long as we shared in the merriment, and share we did.
I drank the last of the Crimson Boar Wine with their elder, who, although did not like it, still appreciated the vintage. Suffice to say I had the entire bottle myself.
Fortune has smiled upon us, and I am beginning to think that the priestess was a liar. None of the travelers believed in prophecy or signs, so none had any ill omens to pass onto us. This did well for the spirits of my crew.
They pointed us east southeast and to follow the Lover’s Constellation to find a port.
Card: 3 of Wands, Reversed, Passion, Creativity, Inspiration, inner conflict, how you feel
Mixed Success, +1 Spirit
I’ve been reading back over the logs, and wonder one day if I should publish them. Although I may need a ghostwriter to gussy up the language and make it more fanciful for the readers.
I doubt the long dry logs of “There’s nothing but water” “more water” and “saw a ship” will be very entertaining for people to read. Perhaps they can add something more exciting like a ghost or two.
It needn't be the full truth as long as we place a well seen label stating it’s fiction.
Ah, but on a more purposeful note, nothing but water today.
Card: The Sun, Reversed, unhappiness, loneliness, broken promises
I’m sick of the faces of my crew. A fight broke out today and we lost another member, Rikki Mcalhaney. They were about 35, and of ill temper. The crew told me they were playing cards and accused them of cheating.
They had no way to prove it and it escalated to knives. The others were only scratched, but Mcalhaney ended up with a knife in their belly and so we offered up the body to the sea.
I gave the crew the excuse of a sacrifice to the ocean, but truely, I worry that if things grow too desperate they may turn to human flesh. The ocean was a prevention.
Card: 4 of Pentacles, Upright, Prosperity, Self-Sacrifice, Material Gain, stability, fixing things,
Mixed Success, +1 Spirit
Still nothing here but the waters.
The crew found some supplies tucked into a back corner and reinforced the hull where it had previously been leaking.
I’m certain unless a storm hits us then we won’t be sinking. The sails are still in good condition, wine, rum, and drinking water is still good, but I fear the food is growing low again.
May we find land quickly.
Card: Seven of Swords, Reversed, intellect, strength, rationality, A decision, sacrifice
Mixed Success, +1 Spirit
GOD DAMN IT ALL. I HAVE CURSED US. The water’s gone fowl and we have nothing but the booze. I cannot have a drunken crew manning the ship.
A rat was found floating in the water. I know it’s gone fowl, but I cannot throw it overboard. If things become too dire then we shall have to drink it, but for now I have forbidden it.
I’m starting to have horrid nightmares of my crew turning on me, cutting open my veins and drinking from me like some sort of vampirish creatures.
I fear this sea will never end.
Card: The Chariot, Reversed, Defeat, Dispute, Losing something in the last moment.
I am still fortunate that they allowed me my log and quill, though I fear they may burn it upon reaching shore.
There is no delicate way of putting it. I have been deposed as captain, stripped of my office, clothing, rank and dignity, and placed in the brig.
They say I am to blame for all the misfortune, that I alone have angered the sea. How preposterous!
The damned fools hardly know how to run a ship. I’ll give them 3 days before they are begging me to be back in command.
Card: 9 of Cups, Reversed, Intuition, Love, and inner peace, Solitude, nightmares,
I… I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. I can hear them talking about me. They think that I’m a burden. They think I am a waste of food and water.
I can hear them talking. I… Every time I shut my eyes I think I see them in the shadows. I don’t know what to do. I can’t defend myself. They are coming for me. My own crew has lost themselves.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. May the sea punish those who are traitors and villains.