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Forums » General Roleplay » Summer Soiree: (Tent of Requirement)

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Autumn was the season of endings. Summer was the season of opportunity. Kara focused on this mantra as she nervously glanced around the inside of her tent. Declan had done a good job of setting up. The area was small but did not feel cramped or cluttered. The lighting was dim without being murky, and the air was pleasantly scented with just the right amount of sandalwood and gardenia.

Kara adjusted the outfit he had insisted she wear. It consisted of a flowing white dress and a shawl of deep violet. Her dark hair was more carefully styled than she would have even done for the prom she skipped in High School. A pair of intricate braids pulled some up and away from her face while the rest had been made to fall in wavy locks down her back. Woven into those locks were dangling charms and small, brightly colored, feathers. A fine silver chain interworked to the braids suspended a deep blue sapphire the size of Kara's thumb in the center of her forehead, just above her brow line. Declan assured her it looked "mystical" and "enigmatic", but it made her feel like a heavy bead of sweat was just out of her sight. She had to consciously force her hands not to swat at it in irritation.

Those hands were also covered in rings of different designs. The left hand practically dripped with copper bands worked into different alchemical symbols and runes of protection. Her right hand bore a set of silver rings all interconnected by silver thread along the back of the hand to a bracelet studded in yet more charms. While a part of her enjoyed the idea of all the different enchantments and spells she could hide there, the entire set up was ludicrously impractical. The various rustling and tinkling sounds of the jewelry and bracelets and bangles were like a chorus of tiny bells accompanying her every movement.

"I feel like some kind of cheap carnival stereotype" Kara complained. She started to put her hands on her hips, but the imposing stance she was trying for felt cheapened by her ornamental choir.

Declan looked up from where he was crouched behind a heavy looking wooden chest. He grinned in his characteristic, lopsided fashion and pushed the dark glasses higher on his nose.

"That's the entire point. Everyone will need to see what they expect when they walk in, otherwise they'll just turn right around. You have to set the right atmosphere." Here he gestured to the rest of the decorations around the tent. Shelves of crystals and various esoteric statuary. Appropriately faded posters depicting various ideologies from around the world, and the Pièce de Résistance, a gorgeous crystal ball mounted atop a sculpted pair of hands at the side of the center table. "You'll be attracting people from all over. You need to meet the broadest expectations possible." He said and rose from his kneeling position to wipe his hands on his pant legs.

"There we go. That should be able to process everything you'll need." He said. Kara glanced down at the back of the chest. It was a mess of cords and metal. Glowing crystals shone dimly from the clutter and she could feel the hum of energy, like a song just outside the scope of hearing. Declan pushed the chest back into place at the back of the tent and just behind Kara's chair at the table. The plain front of the chest blended seamlessly into the rest of the decor and the lid would lie easily within hand's reach for Kara even while seated. It would open a small Crossing as soon as she lifted to lid and produce whatever item she needed from the massive collection back at home.

Kara let out a slow breath and tried to calm her nerves. This was risky. It was the most exposed they had ever been, but it was necessary. The items she and Declan had amassed over the last few years needed to find proper owners and the energy and power in trade would be vital to the final step of the ritual. She was going to need to trust that the Totemic Pneuma they had befriended in Lost Oak knew what it was doing and that no enemies would be attracted to them, only allies.

"Okay." She said, moving quickly to the small statue of a Nunnehi just inside the tent entrance. It hid another device inside, similarly powered by magic as the chest. Before she could lose her nerve Kara rotated the drumstick in the Nunnehi's right hand so it touched the drum nestled between the Nunnehi's legs. "Here goes nothing." She whispered.

The device activated without any outward sign. The only indication Kara had that it functioned was a distinct popping sensation in her ears as the tent and its interior left their realm to enter a state of limbo. Kara turned and walked over to seat herself behind the table in anticipation. Declan had vanished. He would have disappeared the moment the device was operating, left behind. The Pneuma was in charge now. It would reach out, across the multitude of realms and realities to find those of worthy hearts. The ones in need of help, support, or guidance. Nascent heroes subconsciously in search of a cause, a purpose, or a goal. Friends deserving of a prize, a hint of magic in their lives. Once found, the Pneuma would draw the tent to their world and call the selected soul to find it. It could appear anywhere that matched the season reflected by the Pneuma. Summer. Opportunity. Adventure. The shining time of chances before winding down to the cool endings of Autumn.

Maybe it would be a summer fair, just at the end of a line of other fortune tellers. Perhaps at a warm beach, sandwiched between a surfboard rental shop and kiosk selling sunglasses and tanning oil. It could be noticed out of the corner of an eye after the last school-bell of the year or down an unfamiliar path at camp.

Wherever it appeared, it would always be near to the selected individual. Veiled in just enough mystery to bring them close and invite them in. As soon as they left, the tent would be gone, on to the next worthy recipient. If the previous principle happened to look back, only vacant grass or undisturbed sand would be left. Save whatever prized magic item had been bequeathed to them.






OOC: Welcome to this 2021 Summer Soiree Activity! Any and all characters are welcome. If you could please include where your character was and what they were doing when they notice the tent, that would be greatly appreciated!

Also, at some point your character will be prompted to focus on a concern or problem they are facing. Please utilize some form of internal character dialogue for this as though Kara may be capable with magic, I myself am not and cannot actually read minds. Your character will also likely need to draw tarot cards at some point. For this interaction please utilize the appropriate number of D100 rolls.

I will do my best to respond within 24 hours, but the truth is it may be closer to 48 depending on life and the level of interest in this event. If things get truly convoluted or complicated, I may have each character move to a 1x1 message system after their initial post here.

Looking forward to lots of summer fun!


XOXO
Cassie
Summer, a season feared by so many Nyctorans and heralded by few. One soul in particular hated the season more than most and he soared in the sky, over the City of Fire, enduring the scorching rays of the Sun Goddess, Solarium, as he eyed the circular scar within the land below. The streets were empty compared to normal. Most of the Nyctorans roaming about were of the day or light elements though plenty of humans ran about to tend whatever tasks their elite masters had given them for the day.

The excess of light was the very reason Nasr was here instead of happily hiding within the shadows of Carrion Forest. Well, there was one other reason but first...he dove closer to the city, circling the Sunstone Tower, a beautiful or accursed crystal tower which glowed like the sun. Only Luminaries, a humanish race of exceeding beauty with the tail and head crest of a white peacock, lived here which filled his heart with a rush when he let out a harsh caw. Those who heard it or saw the raven-like shadow either ran for cover or glared at this dreaded shadow with a single wish, May Solarium burn your darkness from this world

Perhaps stirring the Luminaries up first wasn't a good idea. Unilas guards, A humanish race with the features of a unicorn, followed from the ground as he slowly spiraled around the city towards the outer rings. His cackle joined in the song he sang to watch others run in fear. Didn't they know the light of the sun would burn away every imperfection especially those of the evil darkness? Pah! If they couldn't be bold in the midst of summer, when their goddess was the most powerful, then they deserved what he gave them for everything she had done.

By the time he had made it to the outer rings, where the markets and slums were, there was a stampeded of Unilas guards after him. "Need to lose them before I can snag some food. Kid will be waiting" A few shimmering feathers fell from his wings as they fluttered faster. Some goods such as herbs, crystals, food, and more flew into the air as he soared nearby the shop keepers, nearly giving them heart attacks. Screams filled the air along with the common chant of "Valra!". Each one drew in more guards and hunting beasts. Nasr soon found himself dodging light magic and doubling back after almost flying into a guard's face.

"What was I thinking!" He screamed in his head, heart begging to break free from it's prison. "I should have known better than to think Solarium would let me ruin her season! I promise to Lumerin if I make it out alive I will remain in my home for the next week...or MONTH! I will only visit to bring the kid food!"

A caw escaped with every frantic breath now as he raced about, hoping to snag at least one morsel of food to drop off before he vanished. Suddenly a strange scent found his nose. It was pleasant, like some of the incense he burned at home but it was like nothing he had smelled before. Despite that, something familiar hid under it. Human? It seemed familiar yet even this hint of human was tinged with scents beyond comprehension. What was this? Was it a cruel joke from Solarium herself or a mercy granted to him by Lumerin. Whatever it was, he followed the scent and found it became a bit too much for his nose. If he could cringe in the raven form, he would, but it was perfect and held a welcoming feel. Everyone knew Valra despised strong scents even if they were 'pleasant' on the average nose. With all haste, he turned into the tent, tucking behind a flap and changing to his true, human-like form. A simple, black cloak hid him well though, and one might assume he was human.

Every breath was restrained as he listened to the thundering steps draw close and rush by, his heart mirroring there pace and sound. " Where did it go!?" One of the guards yelled as they ran past.

Once all fell silent, Nasr slumped over with a sigh. " That was too...too...a-CHOO!!" He lurched upright, rubbing his nose with a hand which looked more like the foot of a raven. The scent of the place tickled his nose relentlessly. What strange things resided in this tent. Magical trinkets, runes, and markings were a familiar sight but these were of foreign design and...seemed excessive in quantity. If not for the scent of human, he would be sure a Levias owned this place...then again, perhaps a Levias did and had their human...His eyes fell on a figure sitting behind the table in the middle, causing his heart to sprout wings.

" Whaaaa!!!" A caw blended with his shout as he jumped and staggered back. He slapped one hand over his mouth and stood motionless, staring at the human. "Please do not call the guards...please..." His hand was lowered as he whimpered the plea in his head, standing straight and forcing his body to remain still, hiding the fear within. A skill he had worked on since he was a boy. " You startled me there" Another glance was taken around the place. No matter how familiar some things appeared, the whole tent felt wrong. Even the magic made his dream form itch with...unease? Excitement? Tough to say but it was not the same magic Nyctoria held at all.
Kara Marshal (played by fullmarvelalchemist) Topic Starter

Nasr Varethar wrote:
Summer, a season feared by so many Nyctorans and heralded by few. One soul in particular hated the season more than most and he soared in the sky, over the City of Fire, enduring the scorching rays of the Sun Goddess, Solarium, as he eyed the circular scar within the land below. The streets were empty compared to normal. Most of the Nyctorans roaming about were of the day or light elements though plenty of humans ran about to tend whatever tasks their elite masters had given them for the day.

The excess of light was the very reason Nasr was here instead of happily hiding within the shadows of Carrion Forest. Well, there was one other reason but first...he dove closer to the city, circling the Sunstone Tower, a beautiful or accursed crystal tower which glowed like the sun. Only Luminaries, a humanish race of exceeding beauty with the tail and head crest of a white peacock, lived here which filled his heart with a rush when he let out a harsh caw. Those who heard it or saw the raven-like shadow either ran for cover or glared at this dreaded shadow with a single wish, May Solarium burn your darkness from this world

Perhaps stirring the Luminaries up first wasn't a good idea. Unilas guards, A humanish race with the features of a unicorn, followed from the ground as he slowly spiraled around the city towards the outer rings. His cackle joined in the song he sang to watch others run in fear. Didn't they know the light of the sun would burn away every imperfection especially those of the evil darkness? Pah! If they couldn't be bold in the midst of summer, when their goddess was the most powerful, then they deserved what he gave them for everything she had done.

By the time he had made it to the outer rings, where the markets and slums were, there was a stampeded of Unilas guards after him. "Need to lose them before I can snag some food. Kid will be waiting" A few shimmering feathers fell from his wings as they fluttered faster. Some goods such as herbs, crystals, food, and more flew into the air as he soared nearby the shop keepers, nearly giving them heart attacks. Screams filled the air along with the common chant of "Valra!". Each one drew in more guards and hunting beasts. Nasr soon found himself dodging light magic and doubling back after almost flying into a guard's face.

"What was I thinking!" He screamed in his head, heart begging to break free from it's prison. "I should have known better than to think Solarium would let me ruin her season! I promise to Lumerin if I make it out alive I will remain in my home for the next week...or MONTH! I will only visit to bring the kid food!"

A caw escaped with every frantic breath now as he raced about, hoping to snag at least one morsel of food to drop off before he vanished. Suddenly a strange scent found his nose. It was pleasant, like some of the incense he burned at home but it was like nothing he had smelled before. Despite that, something familiar hid under it. Human? It seemed familiar yet even this hint of human was tinged with scents beyond comprehension. What was this? Was it a cruel joke from Solarium herself or a mercy granted to him by Lumerin. Whatever it was, he followed the scent and found it became a bit too much for his nose. If he could cringe in the raven form, he would, but it was perfect and held a welcoming feel. Everyone knew Valra despised strong scents even if they were 'pleasant' on the average nose. With all haste, he turned into the tent, tucking behind a flap and changing to his true, human-like form. A simple, black cloak hid him well though, and one might assume he was human.

Every breath was restrained as he listened to the thundering steps draw close and rush by, his heart mirroring there pace and sound. " Where did it go!?" One of the guards yelled as they ran past.

Once all fell silent, Nasr slumped over with a sigh. " That was too...too...a-CHOO!!" He lurched upright, rubbing his nose with a hand which looked more like the foot of a raven. The scent of the place tickled his nose relentlessly. What strange things resided in this tent. Magical trinkets, runes, and markings were a familiar sight but these were of foreign design and...seemed excessive in quantity. If not for the scent of human, he would be sure a Levias owned this place...then again, perhaps a Levias did and had their human...His eyes fell on a figure sitting behind the table in the middle, causing his heart to sprout wings.

" Whaaaa!!!" A caw blended with his shout as he jumped and staggered back. He slapped one hand over his mouth and stood motionless, staring at the human. "Please do not call the guards...please..." His hand was lowered as he whimpered the plea in his head, standing straight and forcing his body to remain still, hiding the fear within. A skill he had worked on since he was a boy. " You startled me there" Another glance was taken around the place. No matter how familiar some things appeared, the whole tent felt wrong. Even the magic made his dream form itch with...unease? Excitement? Tough to say but it was not the same magic Nyctoria held at all.



This third tug felt a little longer than the previous ones. Kara had plenty of time to arrange herself at the table and watch the walls as the tent arrived at its destination. This time they did not change or shift, though the air took on a different quality. It felt warmer and thicker than she was used to. It almost had a gritty sensation like char or soot. She lit another gardenia candle to try and combat the feeling, breathing in its clear, bright scent.

She could hear chatter and ambient noise from outside the tent. The rise and fall of voices and background sound very similar to some of the more crowded markets she had visited in Kadath. Kara was tempted to lift the wall of the tent and see where she had arrived this time, but resisted the urge. The Pneuma had been very clear that the little protection and cover it could offer would be mostly eliminated should she leave the tent.

Suddenly a commotion arose from the general clamor. Angry voices and the sounds of metal. Kara's senses caught the distinct tang of spellwork. It had a distinct edge to it, unlike the powers she had previously employed. She was definitely in some Otherly Realm. She opened and closed her right hand, wishing vainly that she had brought at least one weapon. But the Pneuma had been firm in this regard. To ensure the best matches to her intent, its aura could not be tainted with objects of violence.

The din grew closer and without warning, a cloaked figure rushed into the tent and crouched behind the flap. Moments later, shouts and the scrape of metal armor and weapons were outside the tent. Kara felt the exertion of the Pneuma as it reinforced the energy surrounding the tent and a heartbeat later the cries had moved past and were beginning to fade. Whatever force was pursuing this figure, it had successfully been led away.

The figure slumped in obvious relief and muttered something to itself that ended in a massive sneeze. Kara couldn't help but blink in surprise as the force of the expulsion drove the figure upright and swept the hood from its head. An angular face with young features was revealed. The figure appeared to be male and reminded Kara of some of the Avians she had dealt with in Kadath. Though he lacked the beak and amount of plumage common to them. Perhaps he belonged to a more humanoid tribe. His hair was dark black as were the feathers Kara could see. If she had to guess she would have placed him among the Corvidae ancestry. A rook maybe or Crow or Raven.

His eyes widened as he caught sight of her and he let out a squawk that lend credence to her Corvid theory. He spoke something and seemed to shrink into himself as he staggered back. Kara frowned and held out her palms towards him in what she hoped was a placating gesture. Moving in slow, deliberately clear motions she reached over to a small tuning fork carved from moonstone. She struck it gently against the crystal orb beside her table. It made a single clear note echo ever so softly in the air. Kara placed the fork upon the table near her where it continued to hum in defiance of the fact that it rested on a solid surface. The vibrations would continue until she stopped them with her hand. The note faded out of hearing and the words the man before her was speaking faded into English.

"You startled me there." He said as he straightened. Kara smiled and indicated the chair before her.

"Apologies my friend. Please, have a seat. None shall find you while you are here. Tell me of yourself and let us see what aide the cards can lend." She said soothingly. The fork would translate her spoken words to whatever language it was he spoke.

"Could we start with your name?"
Quote:
"You startled me there." He said as he straightened. Kara smiled and indicated the chair before her.

"Apologies my friend. Please, have a seat. None shall find you while you are here. Tell me of yourself and let us see what aide the cards can lend." She said soothingly. The fork would translate her spoken words to whatever language it was he spoke.

"Could we start with your name?"

The instant the tuning fork was pulled out, his eyes fixated on it. That stone...it looked like moonstone yet...lacked the gentle blue glow. Perhaps it was ancient or had been denied a bath in Lumerin's light for too long? Did moonstone ever lose its glow? The tone it sang interrupted his thoughts but her words brought relief.

Cards? Now that was a new one indeed. Hopefully it was nothing like Shulgir yet while he tried to figure out how cards would help, the strange tone of the fork continued to ring in his head. It soon sank into his dream form, sending a shudder through his body.

" Nasr" He replied while stepping forward. " I am Nasr of the Varethar clan" A seat was taken and he finally sighed with relief. It seemed this place was a wise choice to hide at least for now.
Kara Marshal (played by fullmarvelalchemist) Topic Starter

By now Kara was beginning to fall into a sort of routine. The role of mysterious fortune-teller was coming more easily. This newest individual was definitely different than those she had met until now, but seemed friendly enough. She smiled as he took a seat.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Nasr. My name is Kara. And I have been brought quite some distance to meet you and to provide you with choices and opportunities." She said and reached up to a wooden box that rested on a wire shelf between two candles. It was of medium size, similar to a jewelry box, but more long and rectangular. A little shorter than the length of her forearm. Kara placed it on the table side opposite the large crystal ball and opened the lid. Nestled inside on a bed of dark green velvet was a deck of cards. She slipped them out and closed the box again.

Kara set the cards in the precise center of the table, equidistant between the two of them. They were approximately double the size of normal playing cards and made of an unusual material. Cool to the touch and reminiscent of ivory, yet flexible like high quality cardstock. Kara had no proof, but she suspected they were made from the flattened scales of a Wakwak. A particularly hideous flying beast that had a reversing effect on things around it. If the rattle of its scales was loud, it meant the creature was far away, and if the sound was soft, then it was close, swooping in for the kill. Similarly these cards seemed to bend fate and auras in ways that should not be possible.

"I found this Tarot deck in the wreckage of a drowning city. The people there were losing a war against some outer being all in yellow. The energies of that place had long since been cut loose, rampaging free and infecting all they touched as if desperate to find any means of escape. I was unable to save the previous owner who used them to avoid danger and keep himself safe. He was old and stayed behind to allow myself and his family to escape. He gave them to me just before our Crossing closed." She leaned towards Rene, her hands cupped around the deck of cards, and spoke in a soft voice. This part of the act was becoming a little easier with repetition, but Masanori's calm expression was still clear in her mind's eye every single time.

"It's larger than average Tarot decks, but works in much the same way. It's a mirror of sorts. A window into the energy and path of the querent. It is not meant to predict the future, but rather to offer suggestions. Possibilities." Kara said and withdrew her hands, leaving the deck there, alone.

"These possibilities are for you Nasr." She continued, giving the same speech she had before. "Should you decide you want them. They are not free, nor are they assured. Like all things worth having, they will take some measure of payment, sacrifice, and work. I am merely here to present the opportunity. The choice. If you do not wish to see, then you are free to go with no ill will or consequences. Should you wish to proceed, you must follow through. You will receive the guidance and the boon the cards provide, but will have to pay the fee. I cannot promise it will be light, only that it will be fair." Kara said.

"The decision is yours. You may decline the opportunity and walk free back into the market. I will raise no alarm and call no attention to you. Or, you may take up the cards and shuffle them while focusing on a question, need, or desire."



OOC: And now we get to the technical fun part :) Should Nasr decide to take up the cards, he will notice that their backs are a blank slate grey color. As he shuffles and focuses on his question/desire/problem/request, a pattern will begin to emerge as his energy mixes with the cards. The pattern is completely unique to every character, so feel free to describe whatever is most appropriate for him! Once the pattern has filled in completely, the shuffling is completed and please make 8 separate D100 rolls for your reading (discard any repeat numbers). Kara will describe which cards have been chosen and lay them in their appropriate spaces!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask either here or in a direct message! I want to be sure the process is completed smoothly for you!

XOXO
Cassie
Kara, an interesting if not foreign name. He nodded his head in acknowledgement with a gentle smile. If brought from a great distance, perhaps she came from a land he had to visit? It would explain the unusual name but it failed to explain why she brought here to meet him. Was it a trick from the Luminaries after all? Capture him once his guard was down? Their scent was near impossible to wash off though and there was no trace of it here. An answer to prayer then, a gift from Lumerin himself.

His eyes followed her every movement as she grabbed the box and revealed the cards within. How strange, were they like the prayer slips and enchanted tags of the Varvatra and Mranuvas, both a kitsune-like race with drastically different cultures? This proved wrong as he continued to listen. A city drowned, the cards used to protect a soul then passed along, it felt...too familiar still they were set between them with a promise of guidance.

Of course there was a price to using them. The mystical and magical gave nothing for free even if it flowed through one's veins. Any wise soul might turn away and continue their base life, avoiding a potentially steep price. What was it though? Perhaps it varied on one's results or who used them? They became all the more terrifying as he reached out to them, wariness heavy in his eyes. Tarot...terror...the words were close and seemed ironic at his talons trembled just above them. Would the price be a portion of his soul, enslaving him like with Shulgir? Nothing could be worse than the price of that accursed game and maybe...maybe they held the answers he had been searching for, for years.

Finally, his hand slapped atop the deck, finding the cool texture pleasing, and pulled them close, fingers and thumbs feeling their smooth edges as he tried to figure out how to shuffle them. His talons were sure to shred the sides. " A mirror?" He said sofly, rolling his thumbs to press the sides against the cards, a trick he'd seen the foxes use many times over. " I hope the suggestions are more pleasant than the reflection"

The first attempt to shuffle the deck resulted in them scattering across the table. Eyes wide, he gathered them up with a sheepish grin and chuckle. " S-sorry about that...I..." Once gathered, he tapped each side till they were perfectly aligned again. A few tests were made on how they bent and flipped before he finally felt confident enough to avoid the mistake again. The sound and motion of the cards folding together held a soothing appeal, capable of pulling Nasr's mind away from the stress of the world yet whatever power resided in them refused to let him forget. This is what they would help with...right?

The grey backs began to swirl like smoke as his thoughts flew towards his question, a desire more like, forming the shape of a raven, flying through the smoke with every card flipped past his fingers. " Perfection! Perfection! Light and purity, this is all I hear since they hunted my kind down and for what!? More slaves and fresh blood to keep their precious pedigrees healthy" The smoke became swirling darkness with hints of a crystalline forest shimmering just beyond. "You are the sin in this world! Darkness, evil, something never to be seen so we ban you from setting foot into the paradise we built but we need you monsters to keep everything perfect. Hypocrites! By their demand I fly to the city to perform the deeds they refuse to stain their hands with, paid with the blood of the most innocent!" The cries of the infants returned like tormented souls, nearly drowning out his thoughts. How many of their hearts had he fed on? It shredded his own heart to pieces but what were the options?

Crimson filled the back of the cards now and the raven dove into the bloody waves as he closed his eyes. His thoughts scattered for a moment but something dragged them back to the core of what he desired. "I look deeper to find this 'paradise' built on fear and suffering...even my own. A human infant, now a boy, left to die among the dead. For me to take him home would mean the death of us both. I must leave him on the streets and look after him from afar. He deserves better and so do many others! I will tear out the hearts of the Luminaries! Make them feel what they are doing but..." The skull of a dragon appeared on the backs of the cards, it's empty sockets glowing with eerie green flames. "We are all pawns in their game of perfection. I am forced to do little or nothing, watch as the suffering continues and I must do my part in it. They have plans for me...a Grand Demon they call me and have already infused the first of three demons in my soul for this. Fear...my fear of them, my fear of having to kill another soul be it child or adult! They used it against me and they will use my hatred towards them and their acts to add Rage! The harder I fight, the more I play into their hands, becoming the monster they want...NEED me to be"

He leaned back, eyes still closed, and sighed. "I cannot help anyone when I am the demon taking their life. The Luminaries will probably slay or seal me when I have done what they needed and take the role of savior, sealing the loyalty of everyone. I am trapped...like I was so long ago..."

The cards held a different picture on their back when he opened his eyes. " Aiyee!!" Nasr recoiled, screeching the chair back while his hands were pulled into his chest. A nightmare was painted clear as day before him, split between four panels. One held the image of the High Luminary, glowing bright with pride as he clung to the hair of a female Valra who looked to be in pain. In the opposing corner, the woman's body lie on the ground with a tiny child, perhaps no older than 3 or 5, leaning over her broken body with tears in his eyes as he stared at the one towering above. Next to that one was the image of a shadowy were-raven with a purple light pouring from it's eyes and mouth. Behind this shadow resided many, weak, imperfect, all cowering or taking cover behind the large bird. Demonic was the best way to describe it's stance and expression as it stared at it's opposing corner where a Luminary, standing before the sun stood, pointing an accusatory finger at it. A game piece in the image of this bird, similar to what one might use in chess, was held in the other hand of the Luminary who was moving it across a grand board.

A mirror indeed with both his past and the dark desires of his heart laid bare for all to see, weaving his complex thoughts into a single image. " That...that is...terrifying" He said shaking a talon at the cards. Hopefully it all would be worth revisiting such a dreaded scene. At best, they offered fun nightmare ideas for those who were weak of heart or acted too pure for their own good.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 88.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 6.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 79.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 67.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 73.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 48.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 4.
rolled 1d100 and got a natural 17.
Kiran (played by Leighoflight)

A hot summers day at the market in the city centre, packed full of people buying, selling, some stealing and others just enjoying the festivities and people watching. Making his way through the crowd with relative ease, being able to see over the top of most people, Kiran made his way back home.

He’d got everything he needed plus a few extras on the side that weren’t necessary but purely bought out of impulse, such as a couple of pastries from the baker. Having no intention to share them with family but rather to eat them on the way home.

To most the doctor was considered overdressed, the scorching sun bared down on all and there he was in a white, long sleeve shirt, black waistcoat and black trousers complete with knee high boots. It wasn’t because he was cold, if asked he would say he was suffering with everyone else in the heat. However it was just a habit of his.

His attention was dragged away from his breakfast by a tent.
Not just any tent, this one looked completely out of place and yet no one seemed to take any notice of it apart from him. Curiosity got the better of him mainly because it appeared he was the only one that had noticed it. Wandering over he leaned down to step through the doorway. “Hello?"
Kara Marshal (played by fullmarvelalchemist) Topic Starter

Nasr Varethar wrote:
Kara, an interesting if not foreign name. He nodded his head in acknowledgement with a gentle smile. If brought from a great distance, perhaps she came from a land he had to visit? It would explain the unusual name but it failed to explain why she brought here to meet him. Was it a trick from the Luminaries after all? Capture him once his guard was down? Their scent was near impossible to wash off though and there was no trace of it here. An answer to prayer then, a gift from Lumerin himself.

His eyes followed her every movement as she grabbed the box and revealed the cards within. How strange, were they like the prayer slips and enchanted tags of the Varvatra and Mranuvas, both a kitsune-like race with drastically different cultures? This proved wrong as he continued to listen. A city drowned, the cards used to protect a soul then passed along, it felt...too familiar still they were set between them with a promise of guidance.

Of course there was a price to using them. The mystical and magical gave nothing for free even if it flowed through one's veins. Any wise soul might turn away and continue their base life, avoiding a potentially steep price. What was it though? Perhaps it varied on one's results or who used them? They became all the more terrifying as he reached out to them, wariness heavy in his eyes. Tarot...terror...the words were close and seemed ironic at his talons trembled just above them. Would the price be a portion of his soul, enslaving him like with Shulgir? Nothing could be worse than the price of that accursed game and maybe...maybe they held the answers he had been searching for, for years.

Finally, his hand slapped atop the deck, finding the cool texture pleasing, and pulled them close, fingers and thumbs feeling their smooth edges as he tried to figure out how to shuffle them. His talons were sure to shred the sides. " A mirror?" He said sofly, rolling his thumbs to press the sides against the cards, a trick he'd seen the foxes use many times over. " I hope the suggestions are more pleasant than the reflection"

The first attempt to shuffle the deck resulted in them scattering across the table. Eyes wide, he gathered them up with a sheepish grin and chuckle. " S-sorry about that...I..." Once gathered, he tapped each side till they were perfectly aligned again. A few tests were made on how they bent and flipped before he finally felt confident enough to avoid the mistake again. The sound and motion of the cards folding together held a soothing appeal, capable of pulling Nasr's mind away from the stress of the world yet whatever power resided in them refused to let him forget. This is what they would help with...right?

The grey backs began to swirl like smoke as his thoughts flew towards his question, a desire more like, forming the shape of a raven, flying through the smoke with every card flipped past his fingers. " Perfection! Perfection! Light and purity, this is all I hear since they hunted my kind down and for what!? More slaves and fresh blood to keep their precious pedigrees healthy" The smoke became swirling darkness with hints of a crystalline forest shimmering just beyond. "You are the sin in this world! Darkness, evil, something never to be seen so we ban you from setting foot into the paradise we built but we need you monsters to keep everything perfect. Hypocrites! By their demand I fly to the city to perform the deeds they refuse to stain their hands with, paid with the blood of the most innocent!" The cries of the infants returned like tormented souls, nearly drowning out his thoughts. How many of their hearts had he fed on? It shredded his own heart to pieces but what were the options?

Crimson filled the back of the cards now and the raven dove into the bloody waves as he closed his eyes. His thoughts scattered for a moment but something dragged them back to the core of what he desired. "I look deeper to find this 'paradise' built on fear and suffering...even my own. A human infant, now a boy, left to die among the dead. For me to take him home would mean the death of us both. I must leave him on the streets and look after him from afar. He deserves better and so do many others! I will tear out the hearts of the Luminaries! Make them feel what they are doing but..." The skull of a dragon appeared on the backs of the cards, it's empty sockets glowing with eerie green flames. "We are all pawns in their game of perfection. I am forced to do little or nothing, watch as the suffering continues and I must do my part in it. They have plans for me...a Grand Demon they call me and have already infused the first of three demons in my soul for this. Fear...my fear of them, my fear of having to kill another soul be it child or adult! They used it against me and they will use my hatred towards them and their acts to add Rage! The harder I fight, the more I play into their hands, becoming the monster they want...NEED me to be"

He leaned back, eyes still closed, and sighed. "I cannot help anyone when I am the demon taking their life. The Luminaries will probably slay or seal me when I have done what they needed and take the role of savior, sealing the loyalty of everyone. I am trapped...like I was so long ago..."

The cards held a different picture on their back when he opened his eyes. " Aiyee!!" Nasr recoiled, screeching the chair back while his hands were pulled into his chest. A nightmare was painted clear as day before him, split between four panels. One held the image of the High Luminary, glowing bright with pride as he clung to the hair of a female Valra who looked to be in pain. In the opposing corner, the woman's body lie on the ground with a tiny child, perhaps no older than 3 or 5, leaning over her broken body with tears in his eyes as he stared at the one towering above. Next to that one was the image of a shadowy were-raven with a purple light pouring from it's eyes and mouth. Behind this shadow resided many, weak, imperfect, all cowering or taking cover behind the large bird. Demonic was the best way to describe it's stance and expression as it stared at it's opposing corner where a Luminary, standing before the sun stood, pointing an accusatory finger at it. A game piece in the image of this bird, similar to what one might use in chess, was held in the other hand of the Luminary who was moving it across a grand board.

A mirror indeed with both his past and the dark desires of his heart laid bare for all to see, weaving his complex thoughts into a single image. " That...that is...terrifying" He said shaking a talon at the cards. Hopefully it all would be worth revisiting such a dreaded scene. At best, they offered fun nightmare ideas for those who were weak of heart or acted too pure for their own good.


Kara carefully took the deck from where it had been left. She gathered the few scattered cards gently back in, preserving the final order after Nasr had completed his shuffling.

"They are not meant to be terrifying. Nothing they show is ever set in stone. Simply a metaphorical reflection. What they reveal are hints and insights. possibilities." She said and drew the top card.

"This first card is a representation of you Nasr." She placed it on the table. It showed two figures on a plane of stars. They seemed to be emerging from a single point and reflected one another. "Gemini. The literal card of reflection. It suggests a duality or even a splitting of the soul." She said. The next card went across the bottom of the Gemini card.

"This represents your struggle. That problem that most occupied your focus as you shuffled. The thing which holds you back from your desires." She said and turned over the card. It showed a regal man seated on an opulent throne. Crimson robes adorned him and he held a mighty looking staff. It seemed to radiate power even from the lacquered medium. "The High Priest. He is the bridge. A connector. One who unites mortality to the divine. Him showing here suggests that something has captured or enslaved the duality of your spirit. That some form of moral or ethical servitude is preventing you from your goals." Kara lifted the next card and placed it in a new position opposite the first two.

"These next six cards will represent each of your vital chakra. Those parts of your soul are tied to your abilities and will offer different roads to freedom from what holds you back. None will promise success, only show that which may have greater chance. The first of them represents the chakra of your third eye or your mind." She revealed the card. The colors shone with brilliance. A raging conflagration on a deep background. Crimson and orange and yellow.

"The element of fire. Representing passion, drive, and courage. It indicates the need to push forward mentally. To burn through whatever barriers you may have placed there. This card is saying the key to your success is through singular focus and commitment." She said. Another card entered play below it.

"This card represents the chakra of your voice." Kara turned over the card. A beating heart was depicted, pierced by three slender blades. In the background, a storm raged. "The three of swords is the card of remorse. It is saying a path to success may lie through you communicating your sorrows with the correct person. That through this you can find a relationship that would otherwise be lost." She said before pulling the next card.

"This will represent the chakra of your heart. Your feelings and emotions." She said and flipped to the image. It showed a figure in a nightgown seated in their bed. It was unclear if they were preparing to retire or if they had just awoken. Above them, the wall supported nine swords of varied makes and forging. Scimitars, Khopesh, Broadswords, and more. "The nine of swords." Kara said. "The card of the mind at night. A card of great potential. It is saying that whether you are consigned to nightmares or the swords cut through to new dreams will depend on your treatment and connection to family and friends. That you must be discerning in your choices. Arm yourself instead of allowing them to fall in judgement." She said. The following card was one of the ones that had been returned to its position with such care.

"This is for your navel chakra. It represents your health and safety. Your physical ability." Kara showed an image of a young man in armor. He was seated on a horse and held an orb in one palm. Etched on the orb was the sign of a star. His helmet was open and his armor neither shone nor was sullied by dirt or blood. It was armor of function. Of one that wore it for protection and cared for it in order to achieve the most from it. Not one wo took pleasure in its luster nor one who was negligent. "The knight of pentacles. The card of practicality and stubbornness. It is indicating that the path to your success will come as a result of dogged hard work. Through determination and training, you may succeed." She said. Only two cards remained in the reading. She lay the penultimate one before Nasr.

"This represents the chakra of your loins. Romantic connection. Desire." On the card was a woman of clear wealth and regal bearing. She more lounged than sat straight and her throne consisted of piled pillows and cushions. A crown of twelve stars rested upon her flowing hair and she wielded a heavy looking scepter in her hand. "The Empress. This card is a figure of authority." She indicated the stars in the crown and scepter in the Empress' hand. "With dominion over time, growth, and life. She is the seed of ideas yet unformed." Kara said. "She is telling you that there is unformed potential in this area. That you may find the key to your success here."

The final card was placed on the table, joining the now impressive array. The air seemed to hum with potential. Kara almost thought she could see the weaving hints of finding connection and allies and courage.

"This last card represents the chakra of your spine. This is your personal power and ability." She said and showed it to him. A tall building of stone looked up at Nasr from the card. Flames leapt from windows up high and lightning was striking the roof. Figures fell down the side and a naked couple fled from the door. "The tower is the card of sudden and irreplaceable change. It is saying that you will find success and liberation through destruction. That your power can evoke this change." Kara said. She felt drained. Energy pulled from her to interpret the different energy Nasr had left in the deck. A translation of more than just their language. She rolled her neck and felt the bones pop as tension was released.

"These clues and hints are not all the cards have for you. You will receive a boon, something to aide you in your choices. But first, the cost must be paid. Place your hand upon the crystal ball." Kara said and gestured to the large orb resting upon carved palms by the table. The hands blended into a stone plinth seamlessly and where carved of shining marble.




OOC: And here we come to the part involving cost. Sadly, nothing in life is ever free, and all things worth having involve sacrifice. As the reading is always a lengthy post, I think it appropriate for you to have control over what is given up or lost. Overall this event is meant to be fun and positive, so unless you are interested in taking your character in a drastic new direction, I would suggest refraining from imposing anything truly debilitating such as sight or hearing or being able to feel happiness.

This is meant to be a gentle take on the "Cost of Wishes" trope in stories, movies, and other literature. Some suggestions of interesting sacrifices could be: The ability to nap during the day, being able to see the color purple, now needing to wear glasses, speaking with a stammer, the memory of a favorite novel, or something along those lines. Be creative! The relative power of your gift will correspond directly to the power given up. A little "Equivalent Exchange" in action! ;)

Once the sacrifice has been made, a final post from me will determine the gift and end Kara's portion of the scene. Though you are encouraged to add a final post showing the direction and thoughts of your character. The gift is yours to use in all later stories if you wish, or can simply be fun proof of the summer activity.
At her words, he lowered his hand and sat forward. She had warned when he first came here they were just possibilities yet...Whatever fear the back of the cards dredged up was washed away by curiosity and intrigue once the first card was revealed. Gemini? A fun sounding word but he dared not allow himself to be distracted.

With every card flipped and every explanation given, Nasr began plucking at the scales on his hand and his talons. He had said nothing yet they seemed to line up in haunting ways. Had he really handed another fragment of his soul over? The open statements proved it was better than Shulgir, choices instead of a set fate.

By the last card, his mind was racing with old and new ideas while dream form trembled though, he was unsure if it was due to fear or something else. Whatever it was, the cards could no longer hold his attention when Kara spoke of a boon beyond the hints and clues. He lifted his gaze and followed her hand to the crystal ball. A unique shape for a crystal to hold but how would it affect it's magical properties? Just touch it? A hand was stretched out and lingered over it for a second before he rested it on top. He had payed some heavy prices in the past, how bad could this be?

Darkness, like black smoke, flowed out of his fingertips and into the crystal ball until it was full, the shroud of his inborn element abandoning him. Under the sun or within light magic, he would find it burned more than before, taking with it his dark color and making him ravenous. More food, perhaps a constant need for it, would now be required to maintain himself during the day. On the amusing side, he would be the first color changing Valra even if it was a sign of nutrients or calories literally burning away.

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