SONN DATHRI, LINMARK – A series of violent murders has left the major port city of Sonn Dathri in a state of panic. The murders – six of them in total – have been directly linked to a rare set of complete fortune-telling/playing cards.
Commodore Derl Severan, who spearheaded the investigation, said the evidence was conclusive. “Our investigation, in every case, uncovered definitive evidence that clearly pointed to this deck of cards as the catalyst for these murders,” said Severan in an official statement.
The report, which numbered a full 66 pages, outlines the chronology of the events in detail.
The string of events, according to the report, began just nine days ago when Jass Rorrick, a merchant sailor from Ovaka, acquired a version of The Undertaker card in a game of chance. This card was purportedly the final card Rorrick needed to complete the full 33-card deck. The cards are commonly collected for use in gambling, and this appears to mark one of only a handful of instances where a full deck has been composed.
Rorrick was murdered within the hour for possession of the coveted deck by Yogan Brightwater, who was later found to have been present when the final card was acquired.
Over the course of the next nine days, Brightwater, along with four other individuals, were all killed for possession of the cards. In every case the perpetrator was subsequently dealt the same fate. The cards in question have not been recovered.
The entire incident has sparked speculation by spiritualists who claim the deck is cursed. One such individual, who declined to be named, points to the fact that the final card was The Undertaker. Is it simply an unlucky coincidence, or is there something to the mystical theory?
One skeptic says no. “It’s quite clear that these events are in no way to be attributed to some supernatural cause,” said Gairen Tulf, a scholar based in the area. “This is simply a case of envy gone awry. Such a rare possession as this deck is sure to attract unsavory characters. In this day and age, that is not something to be bragging about.”
“The Undertaker card is filled with traditional Galwyndorian symbolism surrounding death. First, there is the prominent skull beneath a road leading to the gates of the Underworld. On either side of the skull are two coffins with skeletons inside. Beyond the gateway lies Vulvarith, the mountain of the dead, situated beneath a raven in flight and the crescent moon. To either side of the word top coffin are snakes, which according to legend are the creatures said to usher one from the realm of the living to that of the dead. It is card number 11, which represent the 11 stars of the constellation Gagnus, who is said to be the first person in the world to die. The inner rim is composed of a traditional Traevian Maze, which represents the wandering nature of lost souls trying to navigate the underworld. Finally, at the top is another coffin and skeleton, which represents the belief that upon death, everyone ends up the same.” – from The Usirad Grimoire