Empire Tarot

Empire Tarot is a variation on classical tarot with a different deck and highly regimented orders of cards and their drawing.

The subject of an intense subculture, Empire Tarot is an ancient form of divination practised by a select group of “readers” who are believed to possess “the sight”.

The Culture of Empire Tarot

Those wishing to know the future, the “seekers”, may purchase a reading of their yet-to-be from a reader.

By custom, Readers of the Empire Tarot may only be paid in Coins of the Realm, which are the ancient heavy gold coins minted and used by the Empire as currency until the adoption of the Empire Sovereign as the main form of currency in 1527.

The earliest versions of the Empire Tarot began in the late 1200s, during the reign of Eleanor III.

They were a favoured diversion amongst courtiers. Initially, Tarot readings started merely as fun but took on new weight with the prediction of the Darkness and the Famine of The Long Winter during the reign of Eleanor IV. After that, special readers were thought to possess greater Sight.

The Tarot gained even greater authority during the reign of Eleanor VII, who established the role of Diviner Preeminent.

It is also custom that a Tarot Reader accepts at minimum 3 Coins of the Realm—one out of respect for the journey that the Reader has taken along The Path to arrive where they are now; one out of gratitude to the Reader for sharing their Sight with the Seeker; and one as a blessing for the Reader’s future as they continue to walk The Path.

While the Empire itself has shifted away from the use of the Coins (first to the Empire Sovereign, and now to the Common Sovereign as adopted in 2015), readers of the Tarot are by nature a superstitious lot who believe that the old coins carry great power within them.

Readers may choose to charge more than the requisite three coins if their Sight warrants it.

The Cards of Empire Tarot

The Cards of Empire Tarot number a total of seventy-six. They are broken into five sections: Light, Locus, Object, Spirit, Nature. Each card informs the way in which the next is to be viewed with the entire array of the seeker’s draw providing potential insight into the state or future of the seeker’s life.

The Light Cards

A common refrain is: “With what kind of light shall we see what is revealed by the reading?”

  1. Dawnlight
  2. Sunlight
  3. Twilight
  4. Moonlight
  5. Starlight

The Locus Cards (8)

A common question is: “What is the physical environment suggested by the reading? Where is the place that has a heavy influence on you?”

  1. The Home
  2. The Market
  3. The Tower / The Dungeon
  4. The Road
  5. The Temple
  6. The Auberge (Roadside Inn)
  7. The Library
  8. The Forgotten Place

The Object Cards (13)

  1. The horn
  2. The blindfold
  3. The sight glass
  4. The dusty book
  5. The faded image
  6. The walking stick
  7. The empty cup
  8. The box
  9. The dagger
  10. The wand
  11. The ring
  12. The chain
  13. The cornucopia 

The Spirit Cards (21)

  1. The Pretender / Masked Figure
  2. The Architect
  3. The Lover
  4. The Confidant
  5. The Jailer
  6. The Witness
  7. The Stargazer
  8. The Sorceress
  9. The Mother
  10. The Soldier
  11. The Idiot / The Fool
  12. The Tempter
  13. The Wastrel
  14. The Pugilist
  15. The Child
  16. The Heroine
  17. Death
  18. The Pestilent
  19. The Judge
  20. The Prudent
  21. The Shade

The Nature Cards (34)

  1. The Mountaintop
  2. The Lonely Outcrop
  3. The Granite Abyss
  4. The Tunnels
  5. The Rock Fields
  6. The Volcano
  7. The Alpines
  8. The Cave
  9. The Ice Caves
  10. The Desert
  11. The Desert Oasis
  12. The Cactus Fields
  13. The Ocean
  14. The Grassy Beach
  15. The Pebbled Island
  16. The Rocky Island
  17. The Whispering Straights
  18. The Salt Marsh
  19. The Lakeshore
  20. The Forest
  21. The Forest Glade
  22. The Treetopped Hill
  23. The Silent Pond
  24. The Tempestuous River
  25. The Gentle River
  26. The Reeds
  27. The Expansive Plains
  28. The Bog
  29. The Jungle
  30. The Rainforest
  31. The Frozen Lands
  32. The Sky World
  33. The Star Belt
  34. The Shadowland
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