Instruments: Tarot Deck
You are a hero for hire, floating between parties, exploring dungeons and journaling your experiences.
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Word Count: 895 Played: April 30, 2022
The Environment: Nine of Swords, Reversed Perseverance, A world after a ravaged war.
The People: Queen of Wands, Reversed Protection Devastation Competence, People who are rebuilding and recovering
The Aspects: The Five of Cups, Reclamation and Rejuvenation, Balance and Opposition, to heal you must destroy
Outside Yourself: The Queen of Swords, Cold Hearted, Greedy, Had to make too many sacrifices and is willing to destroy without a second thought.
Name: Alday Light-Correctly, a healer from the south of Errentol, from a small nameless hamlet.
Health cannot come without sacrifice and the world must be put to balance. I heal by destruction. From the mundane effigies, made in clay, baked and then shattered, returning again to the earth, to grass uprooted and trees withered. From animals great and small, slaughtered to heal the mortal wounds of man, and at its apex, a parent dead and a breathing child.
As the world around us was destroyed by Gods and Men, it too will rise again from its death. And long since I have sacrificed my heart for the skills to mend it.
Card: Knight of Swords, Impulsive, Inexperienced
We met in a tavern, as most parties do. My services tacked upon the wall next to all others:
Healer for Hire: No Questions, Efficient, No Refunds
They approached me, bright-eyed, smiles and youth.
Card1: 3 of Wands, An Apprentice Sorcerer frustrated at their own limitations.
Card2: 8 of Swords, An ex-soldier, the oldest and most experienced
Card3: Justice, A defector and … they claim to be skilled in metal and mechanics but the gods had removed knowledge of such Desecration that I cannot hear the words they speak.
Card4: 4 of Cups, A priestess of the Mother Mountain, seeking all connections as her religion demands
Card5: 2 of Wands, An oracle reader, one who is afraid of all the signs they cannot unsee
Location: Destroyed City
Card: The Sun, Depression, powerlessness,
One of the largest cities in the world, destroyed in the war, even its name destroyed.
The streets are lined with the parallel rails of destruction and every building has become a sepulcher and monument to the unyielding cycle of death.
We are fortunate that it no longer stinks of rot and smoke but I wonder how much of the earth under my boots is composed of blood and bone.
The defector looks troubled but says nothing. Could I care then I would be more troubled by the other’s unempathetic excitement.
Goal: Search the unearthed tomb of the Irrevocable Queen to find a divine artifact said to be housed inside.
Card: Page of Swords, haste, empty promises, all talk
I had not heard of this artifact in all my years and when questioned they skirted around the answers with promises of riches.
I questioned further where it was and they had no answers to satisfy me, only saying it would be obvious when we reached it.
We ventured deep past broken buildings and deep wounds in the earth. I do not think this tomb exists but I held tight to my beliefs in not asking questions. It does not matter, as long as I am paid in full for my services.
The buildings around us shook and fell. They were not steady even after these long months. Around us the dust stirred in our presence and before us one of the many towers of the dead city fell and crumpled. It sent a shock wave through the ground and stone pieces through the air.
It took six clay effigies to heal us from the scrapes and scratches of the flying debris. We were fortunate that none of us were caught under it. The lack of nature in such a place will be a hindrance to my abilities.
We found a way around the tower and slept for the night under a pitted roof.
They came upon us in the night. Six starving scavengers, all ribs and bone and menge. The soldier, still strong and full of youth, despatched them without any effort.
The oracle seized the opportunity to read the viscera and bones wept when they read our future and could not be consoled for the evening. They would not speak of what they saw and would not sleep the rest of the night. And I too could not sleep for the sounds of crying.
Around the tower we went in the morning to find nothing but a shattered pathway. The oracle clung to the priestess and begged us not to venture further. They screamed this was no place for us and it would spell our doom to try to advance on troubled earth.
They screamed the land was sick. They screeched the city was cursed. They howled that none would live.
The priestess could not connect with them. The soldier could not order them. The sorcerer said we should leave them. The Defector said we should listen.
And I, still unable to care.
They made the decision then to listen to the oracle. They had hired them for a reason and we trudged back through the broken city, caring more for our lives than a treasure I doubted existed.