Instruments: 1d20, 1d6
In It Is Written you are an oracle reader, reading a spread for a client you think might be your true love. Can you convince them too or will they leave you forever?
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: 922 Played: Nov 6, 2021
Every year when spring arrives the city of Oncrest celebrates not falling into the sea. The city is situated high above the cliffs that overlook the ocean deep below. This is an unofficial new-years festival for the city and many people consider it a time to make a fresh start.
Each year the wealthy move further and further away from the edge and people make bets on which building will fall, if any. The poor of the city will often squat in some of these condemned buildings until the festival comes around again.
This is the only time of year where people flock to the edge and celebrate in the condemned streets. The more daring people will venture closer and closer, not caring if the ground gives way beneath their feet.
People also use this time to seek out blessings from priests and predictions from pattern readers. They say a skilled reader can tell the future from anything. How many forks a person has in a drawer, how many birds on a roof, or how many seeds in an apple. But I like to do things in ways people expect. They are paying me for a show as much as knowledge and so I use the standard deck for festivals like this.
But he was different. I knew the signs when he first stepped through the door. 8 buttons on his shirt, two red piercings on his ears, a hummingbird tattoo on his right hand, and a look that made me forget to breathe.
He sat down at my table, placed his hands in his lap and looked at me expectantly, eyebrows raised and a tight smile on his lips. I startled, having forgotten everything in this moment and smiled back at him. I felt lost until he spoke, asking me about the future, asking if he should leave this city once and for all and I knew that I needed him to stay.
The card depicted a young woman, her hand pierced and a large drop of blood falling into darkness. This card represented passion and desire. He shifted in his seat, uncertain and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him as I felt my own heart start to race.
This card depicted a small cottage, at night, the windows lit, and the silhouette of a family inside. It represents stability and tradition. I pointed to the card to emphasize that it was about knowing what he already has and the assurance in familiarity.
This card depicts an older man in armor holding a helmet in both hands and a broken sword at his feet. It represents duty and steadfastness. He placed his hand on his chin as he thought and stole a quick glance up at me. I emphasized how needed he was in this city and his obligations to those who live here.
This card depicts a heart, deep in a vault surrounded by gold. This card represents cherishing what you already have. I told him to think of all the things this place has to offer, all the memories and I paused before mentioning to think of the new things this old place could offer. He smiled at me.
This card shows a rotten fruit fallen from the ground at the foot of a large orange tree with large blossoms. This card represents over exertion. I warned him this wasn’t a card that meant he should settle, but one that offered caution to any foolish project. He nodded thoughtfully, stealing glances at me again and again.
This card depicts the constellation The Lover’s Monster, a sad story of someone turned into a sea monster and abandoning their partner. It represents a separation or departure. I tried my best to assure him it didn’t mean a literal departure, but he wouldn’t take his gaze off the cards as he drummed his fingers on the table.
This card depicts a large wolf knocking on a door with a glowing lamp. This card represents compassion. I asked him if he knew the story of the supplicant? The one whose duty was to ease and give love to creatures shunned by others. He shook his head and I told him that the card meant he should be open to accepting all ideas and people.
The house card returned, another sign to stay. I smiled at him as I placed the card in front of him on the table.
“Familiarity and stability doesn’t mean stagnation,” I reminded him as he stood up from the table. He held out his hand for me to shake and he held it for longer than normal as he stroked the back of my hand with his thumb.
I handed out the house card to him, insisting he take it. He smiled at me one last time before leaving my tent. I knew that he would find me again.