Episode 44: Many (bad) Things

Well, that is a curious artifact. Curious indeed. Though my companions might call it something more vulgar. At first, I was skeptical of Skoll the Fantastic’s assessment. But the promise of great reward at even greater risk? That’s a far too vague and alluring description to responsibly discard the Deck of Many Things. Without hesitation, I reached over Paul’s shoulder and plucked a few of the intricate playing cards from the top of the deck, and although nothing happened, my fate would turn out to be one of the better outcomes of the evening. It was obvious to me that this was no ordinary magical deck of cards. It was just an ordinary deck of cards. Had anyone been interested in playing a little Vignaton Hold’em, I might’ve stuck around, but no takers. I headed to bed disappointed, bored, and with a minor feeling of unease.

Poor Skoll. Poor, poor Skoll. And I mean that literally. With the first card he pulled, all of his belongings exhibited an unworldly orange candescence. His pack, his armor, gold, and even his ancestral hoop nipple rings shined bright and warm. But the light didn’t last, and his possessions grew dim to reveal that they were all now charred and black. They maintained their physical form just long enough for Skoll to realize the severity of his fate. All of his wordly possessions crumbled to ash in front of his eyes. The soot at his feet was all that remained.

With seemingly nothing left to lose, Skoll drew a torrent of more cards. Perhaps he was under the mistaken impression that liberating one hundred fifty people gave him some kind of karmic advantage. No so! Though few details of Skoll’s misfortune are readily apparent to the rest of us, he didn’t seem to be thinking clearly midway through his spree. After his initial run, Skoll was dazed and confused, and dirt poor. More on Skoll in a moment.

Paul’s luck was arguably worse, the damn fool. He should’ve stopped when he was ahead, and devilishly handsome. I don’t know what all happened, but when I got out of bed to take a robot leak, I peaked my head back in the tent and saw him, staring… staring at the black cards in his hands, yet his eyes were fixed a thousand yards away. That deck must’ve had some juice in it after all.

Well my interest was piqued. Why should Paul and Skoll suffer all the torment? I just had to join in on the fun. And boy, what fun it was! I didn’t get my soul stolen or anything! I retreated back to bed with new a box full of gems in tow.

Word on the street is that after I returned to bed, Paul pulled a very bad card. A very, very bad card. Skoll apparently followed suit (well not literally) and promptly disappeared with the deck in his hands.

Or so I’ll find out in the morning.



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