The Sooth Deck
In the Actuality, those interested in presaging the future often turn to a simple tool with a complex nature: the Sooth Deck. This deck of 60 cards, broken into four families of fifteen cards each, can be used to divine the past, present, and future. It is often played atop a diagram of the Path of Suns, with the nature of each sun potentially influencing the nature of the card played on it.
The ways of magic are extraordinarily complex, and the nature of reality that a vislae sees is different than what others see. Vislae see the magical connections between all things. And these connections are not static, but ever changing. What someone else might see as just random chance, the vislae knows to be the result of powerful forces at work. It’s one of the things that makes magic never entirely predictable, nor entirely safe, because the more the vislae tries to harness magic, the more it changes, reshapes, or squirms out of reach.
The Sooth Deck is a way to codify these connections. When the Jackal card is played after the Eternal Mountain card, a vislae can see the skein of reality changing in a way that only they can understand.
The deck is an important part of the game of Invisible Sun. The cards have three levels of functionality.
First, each card has a set of straightforward mechanical elements. It can be used in lieu of dice if desired (and doing so is assumed when playing in a side scene). More important, certain uses of magic cause a card to be revealed in the middle of play. Played on one of the eight suns, this affects things on a short-term basis—usually making magic more or less difficult to wield. Played on the Invisible Sun, however, the card’s straightforward effect is far more long-lasting. This becomes known as the Testament of Suns, and the resin icon in the game displays that card for all to see.
Second, the cards bear beautiful but darkly surreal imagery. Each has a wide variety of meanings and interpretations, a complex weave of interactions. The books (and the app) will have easy-to-use guidelines and suggestions for these interpretations. This is left intentionally open-ended, however, so that GMs can use these meanings when and if they want to. The Sooth Deck is never intended to become burdensome, but always to enhance the game.
Last, the cards, with their imagery and extensive array of possible interpretations, can be used by the GM simply as inspiration—an idea generator. The four card families are the Secrets, the Notions, the Visions, and the Mysteries. Each has a number of associated factors—items, animals, and elements. Of the fifteen cards in each family, five are “royalty cards” with special meanings that are more dramatic, so while Imprisoning Ice and Untrustworthy Mirror are interesting cards, if the Vizier or the Alchemist comes into play, everyone’s going to take notice.