Courting Luck

Fate’s a Fickle Friend

LocationTileKym-Nark-Mar 3rd, 111

We found out we were being tracked, today! Xerx’ses had the idea several weeks past to do weekly inspections of our items, to make sure that we weren’t being followed or tracked, or monitored by the Agent in any way. It slipped my mind until today. But, now that we know how we were being monitored we can fight it.

When CrIsis stayed at the Tri Arcanum Guild in Wisdom, they had Location Tiles sewn into their backpacks. Cava, Xerx’ses, and Overkill’s backpacks had tiles, and we can assume that Roggan’s tile lies at the bottom of the ocean near Timiro, and Tyvernos’ tile is what gave Oric and him away to the Agent’s Forces. Upon close inspection of the symbol, I noticed that it was Gantrium. I was taken aback.

We decided to write to Master Kel’ed, who was the one that showed himself as a follower of the Light, and Master of the Guild besides. As a student of the White Ash, I of course learned of the Tri-Arcanum. I often wished to travel there to learn from their masters, though I suspect that I wouldn’t be admitted within the walls.

Until we receive word, we’ll keep the tiles on us. Or until we get to Troker where we can give off a false trail.

After the initial excitement, the day passed without incident for me, rest of CrIsis had an adventure with our guides at an Eandroth caravan. I stayed back with our belongings, worried that the Caravan’s acquisitions team was currently looking for new avenues of requisitions. The Dragon’s Egg I carry would make even the staunchest treasurer waiver.

The Dwarven Pirate companion of Overkill was caught by the Caravan in a theft, so he was forced to work penance. From what I heard, Overkill tried to convince them to release him with some other payment, one of which was the cutting of his beard! Now, from what the lore says, a Dwarf’s beard is his pride, not just figuratively speaking. It is a symbol of his honor and his reliability. A Dwarf removing that would be like an elf accepting a tattoo of “Thief” on his forehead. The ruthless reptilians refused the offer, and we were left with three of our nine guides.

Kym-Nark-Mar 4th, 111

I have seen luck manifest day by day and year by year, but never have I seen it so prevalent as in the last week!

The day started out normal, and deceptively peaceful. We awoke with the sun, with those on watch getting breakfast ready, and breaking down camp. Our priest started into his normal sunrise devotional, and invited us all to participate. Everyone decided to join, except for me and Iana. And that’s when luck touched our world.

I thanked Indaris for the invitation, but declined – I have my own rituals. Iana wanted to go with me. After all, I had recently understood her communion rituals, so she wanted to understand mine.

We went to my bedroll, where I had cleared out a spot and leveled it. I grabbed my dice and explained ‘Carriages’ to Iana, the game of fates played at taverns for coin. For years I have had this ritual, my way of seeing what the fates have in store for me for the day. Almost every time I have rolled really well or really poorly the day seems to follow suit. For instance, during the days in the mountains that we made triple time, I always got impossibly good rolls. When I seemed to be protected by the gods in the Jungles, I rolled the best roll I ever have during the communion. And when my father fell ill I rolled the ‘Dyval’s Dice,’ all ones, signifying arrow’s targets on you.

Bone_DiceI explained omens and basic numerology to my Elven student, and let her look over the dice. My dice are actually a very good set, perfectly balanced so as to not bias toward any one roll. When they are loaded they really take the fun out of things! (This is to say that I have a set of loaded dice as well, but I only take those out when I am going to lose big if I don’t! Haha.) When asking the Gods for guidance, it’s blasphemous and stupid to try to guide them toward the answer you want. You’ll get the answer you want, but it’s not going to be the one you need.

As I explained my reliance on Lady Luck’s fickle whimsies, I could see laughter behind Iana’s eyes. But there was also an understanding. I commune through testing fate, and she communes through ecstasy, both of which are very uncommon religious practices for the Pantheon of Ra. That connected us on a deeper level than ever before.

I explained to her how I cleared my mind and body of everything before tossing the dice. We washed our hands and faces, a symbolic gesture to show no worldly intervention and to promote a ‘clean’ roll. I sat cross legged in the dirt in front of the cleared area, and started to breathe deeply, inhaling the clean air – the nothingness – and exhaling my troubles, worries, and preconceptions. With each breath, I relaxed a muscle, starting with my feet up to my neck. With my elbows propping my torso, and chin propping my neck, I released my hold on the earth.

I sat for an eternity there, floating, feeding my cares and worries to the abyss, feeding my aches and pains, feeding my hopes and dreams. My will was not my own, but Black Fate, and White Luck, like light and shadow, forever battling but the one needing the other. I took in a deep breath, as much as I could hold, and exhaled with a prolonged ‘Ha.’ My eyes snapped open, and I tossed the dice, palm facing down, and fingers splaying as if to smooth the air. The dice tumbled and popped. Four of the five dice came back with five pips, and the fifth kept running. It cleared the rolling field, and ventured into the uncertain territory of the uncleared area. It hit a tumbleweed’s stalk, clinked on a rock, and came to rest on a three.

In Carriages, the two best rolls are Thirty and Twenty-Five. Thirty is called ‘Carriages,’ because the five dice each with six pips resemble carriages in a caravan, and the sign for wealth in that game. Oddly enough, though, in the Lady Luck’s signs it was the most neutral of the rolls. It means that your Good will be great, and your Bad will be terrible that day, year, or lifetime. Twenty-five is called ‘the Wealthy Merchant’ because the five pips on each dice are arranged like a diamond. In the Lady Luck’s signs, it means a joining or a gathering because they are like two cups placed bottom to bottom gathering all, good or evil, which makes it also a neutral roll.

A Twenty-Three however, rolled by four fives and a three, is one of the best rolls in the Lady Luck’s signs. Three is the symbol of Fortuna, a cup for receiving much. The upward cup is Fortuna Major, and the downward cup is Fortuna Minor. The cup was facing up. My heart skipped a beat. That meant that I stood to gain much this day. I explained the roll to Iana, and she clapped her hands in excitement. I remembered that feeling that I saw in her face, when I first started courting Luck.

Iana took up the dice, and I could see her working her way through the exercise I taught her. There were subtle differences, though, as her psionic meditation habits kicked in at the edge of awareness. I could see her slight frame relaxing, and her chest heaving in unburdened calm. Her eyes snapped open, and her hand released the dice. Before they hit the ground, I knew that they would come up bad – a suffocating wrongness clenched my chest. The dice weren’t tumbling, and were going to stay where they hit, and like great slabs of lead dropped like a giant they slammed into the dirt, unmoving. As the dust puffs cleared, Iana’s eyes fell on her dice, and the childish, gleeful grin slid off her face. There were only a few rolls I told her about, and she’d rolled one – The Dyval’s Dice.

My heart went from stopped to rushing. I could hear it in my ears as her gorgeous, haunted eyes locked with mine. Her lips parted, ready to say something when we heard from across the camp, ‘TORNADO!’ I looked to the skies, and there to the west was a funnel cloud rushing toward us, stretching itself to the earth. The next ten minutes passed like they were water through a sieve; running to get out of the way of Nature’s Wrath, tripping, grabbing onto a rocky outcropping, swiping for Iana’s Luckless hand and coming up with Overkill’s beard. The next minute passed like a boulder through the eye of a needle.

Xerx’ses and I searched, and the biggest piece of her we could find was her blasted unFortunate, Luckless hand I had tried in vain to grab. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I cradled the bloody appendage, gore and tendons streaming from the wrist to caress my arms. ‘Even in death she comforts me,’ I thought. But yes, the gods still showed their favor, and though fickle, Lady Luck’s favor fell upon CrIsis once more – Iana was resurrected. The Ranger offered a scroll to the priest to save Iana’s immortal soul.

Indaris whispered a prayer as he read the magic scroll, and a replica of Osiris’ Heart appeared above his head, showing the Father’s Love for all of his children. Though the body was gone, her spirit remained, and I might have imagined it, but the Psionic’s fingers gripped my hand. Against all odds, the Dyval’s Dice were overturned by the Gods, and Iana’s body was restored from her hand. It was amazing to watch, for none of us had seen anything like it. Her body started to appear, or grow, from her wrist to the soles of her feet. Indaris whispered to me, ‘Thank Isis!’ to which I responded, ‘I shall definitely thank her, the Lady Luck.’

We had just enough time to aid our brothers that survived Air’s Torment before Luck’s fickle favor fell upon me for the entire group. A legend and myth crashed through history and landed in our laps. The sense of humor is something I admire in Lady Luck – the Legend tried to kill us.

It was a Dwarven relic from the days of the War called a Dwarven Juggernaut. It barreled from the desert toward us, manned by Dwarvlings and undead warriors. I suggested we run, just before a hawk circling above us spotted our group. There was no escape, and from the way the earth was rumbling I thought we were going to die. Iana’s fate spelled death, and she lived, mine spelled fortune, and so was I to die? The juggernaut was stopped by a well-placed carpet from the Minotaur, and its inhabitants were dispelled by our Priest’s Turn Dead.

Of all the times I thought to use it, the impotent spell finally does its job.

We cleared the rubble, and Overkill, Cava, and Sir Quixis assessed the damage to the vehicle drawn by Luck’s Favor. While they worked on the wooden parts, Xerx’ses and I looked over some of the dead, and realized that one of them was not dead yet. He died shortly after we found him, clamoring for the Vampire God but his necklaces intrigued the war wizard. He touched the clasp of one of the amulets and disappeared. Cava exclaimed loudly, and I am surprised that Iana’s ears didn’t turn red at the curse. It was the teleporting amulets all over again.

We healed our injuries, and revived our Dwarven Captain, who by his fortunes still hasn’t succumbed to Azar, and we made our way to whatever realm Xerx’ses was sent to. Indaris stayed back, to protect our backs. We hit perfect darkness, and our friend’s voice kept moving around the room, though he says he never stepped one foot in any direction. The Captain’s ingenious notion to use the Finger as a compass toward Xerx’ses’ holy ossal club saved our necks. We finally overcame the adversity, and our Paladin’s faithful words to his god shone light upon us and we found ourselves back at the Juggernaut.

Life is never boring, as Lady Luck’s consort.

Power to Osiris, Glory to Ra.

>>Journal entries from Kym-nark-mar 3rd through 4th in the 22nd Year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II, from Azariel, Apprentice Alchemist. Acolyte of Osiris and the Lady Luck.<<

First Picture Credit: Gaitkeeper
Second Picture Credit: www.tumblr.com
Third Picture Credit: www.notjustjunk.com
Fourth Picture Credit: Jim Reed!
Last three: Wikipedia

 

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