The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
"This is the deck that rekindled my love of divination." ~Cerridween Sprinks

A Black Rose-Painted Deck

"An artist gifted one of [House Nalfein's] noblewomen with an elegant deck of paper-thin, teak cards. Painted upon one side of each wooden card was the ebon rose of the House, while the other had elaborate images of various flowers and plants that could be found throughout the whole of Elanthia. It is speculated that the gift was intended to be a means of divining the future from an artist of House Loenthra. The noblewoman, however, scoffed at the thought that anyone but she could predict, and facilitate, her own future and thus the deck took on an entirely different purpose. [...]

It is believed by many true practitioners of the Art that a Black Rose Deck could still provide a true prediction if properly employed, but there isn't a Nalfein alive that would give it any credibility."

- As written by Seledwyn Var'Taliesin in Divination: A Comprehensive Guide

A Prelude to Discovery

You wander the bustling streets, the sounds of the outdoor markets drowning out the sounds of nature. Your foot falls hard on the cobblestone road as you hurry down an alley, away from the market and towards your destination. You open the large wooden door of an unremarkable facade and are greeted with the creak of old rusting hinges. The door closes behind you with a thud and suddenly all of the noises of the market are quelled and you are left with the calm serenity of silence.

Slowly as your eyes adjust to the indoors, you catch the faint scent of incense. You are able to confirm this a moment later when your eyes adjust enough to notice wisps of scented smoke originating from a nearby burner. The air is light with the scent of jasmine but thick with smoke wisps, each ebbing and flowing in the room's currents as if caught in some unknown mystical dance.

In the back of the room a woman wakes from her meditation and notices your arrival. She greets you with a warm smile. The depth of her eyes hints at an other-worldly thirst for knowledge. Despite this, she exudes a calm air of acceptance and faith. This is who you have come to see. This is Cerridween.

As you approach, she gestures for you to take a seat on the cushioned floor. You notice a low table positioned between the two of you. Upon that table rests a ceramic tea set and a deck of over 200 paper-thin wooden cards, each one exquisitely painted with an elaborate black rose upon its back.

It is only when Cerridween speaks that your attention refocuses to your hostess and you notice just how starkly her deep red hair contrasts against her darker Raven feather themed attire. Her violet eyes flit down to her black rose-painted deck before settling on you.

She opens her mouth and her melodic Elven accent pours force, obvious to those with keen enough hearing to notice the lilting tones.

"Be welcome, friend. This is a place of sanctuary and I am a guide dedicated to bridging our realm with the spirits."
"Before we can begin I must inform you that this process is not instant and that the knowledge we discover here together may be difficult to hear. As your guide, I will strive to help make sense of the spirits message and afterwards I will provide you with a trinket of our time together."
"If this sounds acceptable and you wish to continue, please affirm by accepting this tea and sharing your name with me."

She pauses, smiling to reassure you. Steam rises from the fragrant tea as you consider your next course of action.