Arcana

The Daemon Arcana:  A deck of demon-summoning cards created in another reality.  The deck is used by wizards to wage war via the playing of card games, the hands and rounds of which are echoed by real world havoc wreaked by the summoned horrors.

The deck has another effect, too.  By seducing its players with the rush of power each play or gambit gives, it makes them addicted to playing the games and over time kills and devours their souls.

The deck was acquired by the Ereonis brothers during their first journey through the dimensional vortices, several years ago.  It came to Aeldreth with them, but was banned as “enemy magic” by the Aeldrethian death goddess, Caillech, Keeper of the Gates.  For public safety, Jeneyeru Nightwise secured the deck in the vault of the Grand Hall of the Guild of Wizards and Magi.  However, something appears to have gone wrong with the Guild’s security.

The deck has five suits:  Blood, Pain, Reason, Fire, and Abjuration.  They are named for the nature of the sacrifices each suit demands to summon their creatures.  So far, the brothers have only found cards from the Suit of Blood in circulation in Raurugia, where someone has been selling them off, piecemeal.

Suit of Blood:

2 of Blood:  The Chained Hearts.
Description:  Two bloody hearts bound in iron chains, against a stormy sky.
Power:  Binds hearts in every sense of the term, from emotional obsession to inflicting heart attacks.
Status:  Obtained by Peino Starhand as loot from the sinking of the Reputation.  Delivered to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

3 of Blood:  The Blood Larvae.
Description:  A knot of tentacled monsters intertwined.
Power:  Summons one or more giant, otherworldly, blood-draining parasites.
Status:  Obtained by Jean Lafitte III as loot from the sinking of the Reputation, delivered to Peino Starhand as a show of good faith, who then delivered it to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

4 of Blood:  The Tearing Gibberers.
Description:  Three emaciated old men, their faces obscured by hair and their claw-like hands, huddling in a darkened cell.
Power:  Summons one or more demons that spread panic and madness by a touch.
Status:  Sold to a buyer by a fence who worked for a street gang in Sesus; stolen from said buyer by Lotye O’Tulver; then delivered to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

5 of Blood:  The Flesh Revenants.
Description:  Skeletal Death laughing over the dead rising from graves.
Power:  Summons demons in the form of screaming skulls that have the power to animate any corpse or even piece of dead meat.
Status:  Found by Ionas Farseer in the pocket of the Sesan fence after he was murdered by the client for whom the gang was selling the cards; delivered by Ionas to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

7 of Blood:  The Mountain Ghost.
Description:  A suit of armor bearing an array of weapons, standing atop a mountain.
Power:  Summons an automaton in the form of an animated suit of armor, an otherworldly machine of war.
Status:  Sold to a buyer by a fence who worked for a street gang in Sesus; stolen from said buyer by Lotye O’Tulver; then delivered to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

10 of Blood:  The Holy Screaming Automaton.
Description:  A robotic figure made of machine parts, screaming in horror or agony.
Power:  Has the power to inject a ghostly power into any kind of machinery; another alien war machine.
Status:  Found by Ionas Farseer in the pocket of the Sesan fence after he was murdered by the client for whom the gang was selling the cards; delivered by Ionas to Jeneyeru Nightwise.

Queen of Blood:  The Dragonness.
Description:  A giant sphinx-like monster with the torso of a woman, body of a lion, and three scorpion tails, seated upon a crumbling desert temple altar.
Power:  Summons a demon of destruction with the power to instill terror in people’s hearts.
Status:  Used by an assassin to kill a man in the Grand Navigators; taken by Ruili Windwolf when the assassin was apprehended; currently held by Ruili Windwolf.

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