Find the Mortality and Discord cards. Place them face up on the table.
Sort cards into decks: Journeys, Artefacts, Class & Soul, Perils, Promises, Wounds, Talents.
Shuffle all the decks.

Travellers, you enter my tent, filled with smoke and feathers.

Lay out all class and soul cards. Instruct the travellers to each choose one of each.

I sit here before you, surrounded by my elements.
Your party seeks its future. A quest that bids them to distant lands is shrouded in mystery.

Search the deck of Journeys for a locale and an encounter. These two cards show the locale where the travellers begin their journey and the encounter where they will find what they seek. Lay the locale at the beginning of a timeline and the encounter at the end. Describe these briefly to the travellers. Ask them to explain how they came to this locale to find the Oracle and what they seek from the encounter at the end of their journey.

Nod and Say:
I see now the importance of your quest.

Lay out six random talent cards and five random artefact cards.

What is it you bring with you on this journey?

Ask the travellers to each choose one talent card for themself and describe it. Then ask them to each choose one artefact card for themself and describe it. Instruct the travellers to each put their cards together with their class and soul cards to form a character deck. Ask them if they would like to use names, and if so, what are they?

When the travellers have explained themselves to your satisfaction ask them if they would like you to begin the reading proper. If they say agree, begin.

How The Tale Is Told

The oracle turns over cards from the deck of Journeys, laying them out and telling the tale of what is to come. The oracle, though, cannot read the souls of the travellers and thus must ask often “what will you do?”.

The travellers answer with their intention and the Oracle continues the tale, telling of the outcomes of such actions.

If the outcomes are trivial or obvious, the Oracle's words are enough, but when they are not, the Oracle asks "Does this outcome matter to you?"
If the traveller says no, the narration continues. If the traveller says yes, the Oracle plays a hand.

The Oracle forms the hand by taking the current Journey card and then looking at a number of cards from the Peril deck equal to the number of Journey cards the players have already overcome, considering each one, and, if they are able to foresee that card's value as a reasonable outcome for the situation, adding it to the hand, placing any others aside.

The travellers offer cards from their decks, explaining how they aide in the approach being taken in the situation at hand.

The Oracle accepts the players' cards into the hand if the explanation is convincing or rejects them.

Only one approach may be made as a hand at a time, if multiple travellers are presenting cards for resolving the situation in different ways, one must be chosen to be played first, with cards that aide that approach only. Other approaches may be taken in later hands if needed.

The Oracle shuffles all the cards together and presents them face down to the traveller.
The traveller chooses a card at random. If it is a cyan card, things go well and they narrate how so based on the card chosen. If it is a red card, things go poorly and the Oracle narrates how so based on the card chosen.
After the hand all Perils are shuffled back into the Peril  and all other cards are returned to where they came from, deck and the fortune telling continues.

If any travellers contribute cards to a hand that was not started by their own approach, the discord peril card is added to the hand.

If a card in play is marked +Peril and the situation matches the trigger, an extra Peril card must be added to the hand from the Peril deck, which is it reshuffled back into after the hand.

If a card in play is marked +Promise and the situation matches the trigger, an extra Promise card must be added to the hand from the Promise deck, which its is reshuffled back into after the hand.

When a locale is revealed, it's peril or promise conditions remain in play until another locale replaces it as the travellers move on.

If a character is injured in their future foretold, they must draw a wound card and add it to their character deck. If they already have two wounds, they must instead take the Mortality wound card from the table or whichever traveller possesses it. If it is taken from another traveller, that traveller draws a new wound.

Wound cards must always be offered to the Oracle when their player contributes cards to a hand. The Oracle will accept or reject them based on whether or not they would be a hindrance in the current approach.

If a character gains some kind of important benefit they will continue to possess, such as equipment, an ability, or a companion, they draw a promise card which will stand in for that boon. Similarly if they gain some ongoing penalty for which a wound is not appropriate, they draw a peril card which will stand in for that issue and must always be offered and explained for hands, as if it were a wound. If a traveller loses something represented by a card, they should lose the card as well.

The play of fortune telling, challenges, and hands continues until the situation indicated by the Journey card is resolved.

Play continues in this way until the ultimate fate of the travellers is revealed. They must then choose as to whether or not they shall embark on their quest at all.

When the Oracle goes to draw from the deck of Journeys, if there is less than an hour left to play, they should instead move to the final encounter.

As you play, bring the fiction into focus. Ask questions to establish the specifics of your world and then continue to abide by the answers.
Who is the god you pray to and what is their domain? Does your armour make you look fancy or intimidating? What do you have to do to cast spells? Do these people care for merchants? Why is that a secret?

When choosing cards, travellers should be ambitious but respectful of the decisions of the Oracle who should be ruthless, only allowing cards that make sense in the fiction.




Character - Class
The Strategist
Ability: Exploit an opening unseen by others.


Character - Class
The Broker
Ability: Provide supplies needed in hand.


Character - Class
The Savant
Ability: Seize the initiative by unexpected means.


Character - Class
The Priest
Ability: Listen, hear, and understand spirits, gods, and mortal folk.


Character - Soul
The will and desires of creative spirit tortured by the bounds and limitations of flesh.


Character - Soul
That which resists an existence of suffering with naive hope and bullish defiance.


Character - Soul
The chimera of the noble and the beastly, ruled by fear and love.


Character - Soul
An intricate dance of thoughts and emotions, swaying to some cosmic song like the sea lapping at the shore.



A friend or servant:

  • Animal
  • Human
  • Other

Skilled in:

  • Hunting
  • Hauling
  • Healing

(choose one of each)

I Studied The Blade

Contend with foes of any size or number with weapon in hand

Sharp Eye

Strike distant foes as though they were near


Transform into a beast of the wilds


Unleash your primal rage upon obstacles and foes


Shape energies, twist forms, summon creatures, conjure tools


Sway minds, fool senses, wake what sleeps, sense beyond sight


Pick marks, locks, and pockets

Silver Tongued

Manipulate folks with words and feelings

Bare Hands

Wield your body like a peerless weapon


Enrapture an audience with your art.

  • music
  • dance
  • poetry
  • painting
  • other

(choose one)


Find paths, sustain bodies, predict weather, move freely

Strange Tongue

Speak intelligibly with:

  • animals
  • plants
  • foreigners

(choose one)


The Sturdy Blade

The strength of steel and the bite of skill.

+Promise when you engage foes in combat face to face.

The Ancient Tome

A repository of knowledge, sacred, forbidden, or lost.

+Promise when you spout secrets.

The Bow

Strike true before a distant foe can retaliate or escape.

+Promise when your enemies cannot reach you.

The Amulet

A symbol of power, recognised by all.

+Promise when you invoke your authority.

The Deft Blade

A piercing blade made for accuracy and finesse.

+Promise when you strike unprepared foes.

The Bottle

A simple vessel filled with a valuable fluid.

+Promise when you drink deeply.


A Pack Of Beasts

Journey - Encounter
One would be enough but even a few may prove too many.

You notice one and then many, making to circle you.

+Peril while you are surrounded.

A Swarm

Journey - Encounter
Too many to count, all moving as one.

The swarm rears up and then snakes towards you.

+Peril while any flesh is exposed within the swarm.

The Monstrous Beast

Journey - Encounter
A strange creature, its shape and dangers unfamiliar.

It raises its hackles and growls toward you.

+Peril when you face it one on one.

Spirit Without Flesh

Journey - Encounter
A soul stripped of body: small thoughts, old habits, and petty resentment.

The spectre flies at you in a rage for sins real or imagined.

+Peril when you come into physical contact with it.

Flesh Without Spirit

Journey - Encounter
With no soul to guide the body, instincts and hungers rule flesh.

The splintered bones and whatever binds them shambles in the dark.

+Peril when you mistake it for the living.

Forces Of Justice

Journey - Encounter
Mere men but armed with steel and law.

You are being detained.

+Peril when you have commited a crime.

Dark Sorcery

Journey - Encounter
Students of magic lured by the promise of power.

A mage makes their demands clear.

+Peril when you have no magical protection.

The Raging Elements

Journey - Encounter
The elements themselves have desires of their own and venture forth to fulfill them.

The elements tear scenery asunder in undirected fury.

+Peril when surrounded by the element at hand.

Goblin Mischief

Journey - Encounter
Chaos made flesh, with opposable thumbs and teeth.

Green skins, wild eyes, and war cries spring forth from the shadows.

+Peril when you take a direct approach.

Surprise And Treachery

Journey - Encounter
Ambush creates a weapon of preparation. Harmless if forewarned, lethal in ignorance.

You notice hidden movement in the scenery around you.

+Promise when you have prepared ahead of time.

Theft And Banditry

Journey - Encounter
Those outside the law are neither bound by it nor protected by it.

Bandits offer you a choice: your money or your life.

+Peril when you invoke authority.

The Tavern

Journey - Encounter
A place of drink and company and rest.

Regulars and strangers look up with suspicion as you enter the bar.

+Peril when you draw attention to yourself.

Rocks Fall

Journey - Encounter
Death from above, without mind or malice.

With little warning, precarious stones fall toward you.

+Peril when you are not armoured.


Journey - Encounter
A position of privilege bought long ago with blood and coin.

A noble from horseback issues unreasonable demands.

+Peril when you are common, or look it.

The Woods

Journey - Locale
Shadows of boughs and canopy turn day into dusk and night into blindness.

Through the trees a silhouette moves out of sight.

+Promise when you reap nature's bounty.


Journey - Locale
Shadows concealing crevasses, tunnels, and whatever lurks within.

As you twist through the caverns, you quickly become lost.

+Promise when you have a light source.


Journey - Locale
Outsiders are welcome, but not necessarily embraced.

Two farmers block the way as you enter town.

+Promise when your reputation precedes you.


Journey - Locale
Busy streets and bustling crowds provide cover for quick fingers and quicker blades.

In the press of bodies you feel a knife move at your belt.

+Peril when you act outside the law.


Journey - Locale
Sheer drops wait for all but the most surefooted.

As you step forward, the way ahead of you crumbles and falls.

+Peril when you move quickly.

At Sea

Journey - Locale
Weather, waves, and what's beneath conspire against a worthy vessel.

A dark swell tips the vessel and you are thrown overboard.

+Peril when you are weighed down by heavy possessions or armour.

Open Plains

Journey - Locale
Wide rolling vistas and gentle breezes carry sights and sounds over great distance.

You spot a group of other figures in the distance, off the beaten path.

+Promise when you keep watch for danger.


Journey - Locale
Sun on sand fools the eyes, luring fools and hiding peril.

You spot an oasis offering respite in the distance.

+Peril while in direct sunlight.


Journey - Locale
Swirling snow and open ground sap life from warm bodies.

A gale attempts to toss you from your feet.

+Promise when you have a source of warmth.


Journey - Locale
Murky waters ripple as vines choke your way.

In the muck something mysteriously wraps around your leg.

+Peril when waterlogged.


Journey - Locale
Salty men move questionable cargo.

A swarthy smuggler eyes you suspiciously.

+Peril when you stick your nose where it doesn't belong.


Journey - Locale
Life and death flourish in the undergrowth, poison and cure side by side.

Bushes nearby rustle toward you.

+Peril when exploring without guidance.


Journey - Locale
Broken buildings tower overhead, the corpse of some past empire.

Masonry above you cumbles and topples toward you.

+Promise when digging up the bones of the past.

Peril Cards


One weak link causes the chain to break.

Failure and Dispossession

Something important is lost in the mess.

Failure and Injury

Bodies are hurt in the fracas.

Failure and Separation

The party is split by the drama.

Failure and Warning

You notice bad signs while assaulted by the trouble in front of you.

Failure and Escalation

The situation only gets worse.

Failure and Disablement

Bodies are forever changed by conflict.

Great Failure

The cost of failure is far more than you imagined.

Great Compromise

You achieve part of your intent, but at great cost.

Success with Dispossession

Something is lost, destroyed, or used up in achieving your goal.

Success with Injury

You manage the task but you pay in blood.

Success with Separation

You are drawn apart in the process of things.

Success with Warning

Signs of more trouble after a moment of victory.

Success with Escalation

You get what you wanted but things only get worse.

Success with Disablement

You achieve your goal but your body will never be the same.

Partial Success

It’s not everything you hoped for, but it’s something.

Near Miss

You get close, but no cigar.

Promise Cards


The gods smile on your intentions and grant you your desires.


Luck is fickle but it shines for you today.


Your hard work and skill pay dividends well.


Circumstances are in your favour because you made them that way.

Great Success

You strike a vein of victory.

Great Success

Your obstacles are little before your inner fire.

Bountiful Success

You gain greatly from your moment of glory.

Bountiful Success

Your efforts pay out in abundance.


A Scar

Skin torn and reformed into twisted knots and curls.

A Flesh Wound

Blood and flesh and sinew, cut and pierced and torn.

A Destroyed Arm

Your good arm is whichever is left.

A Destroyed Leg

A problem for locomotion without a prosthetic.

An Organ, Pierced

A spanner in the mechanisms of life.


A rattled cage and a shaken bird.

A Loss Of Blood

The water of life, drained from it’s vessel.

A Missing Eye

With one good eye it’s hard to grasp the depth of the problem.

A Shattered Bone

Scaffolding turned to splinters, all stabbing at what they once supported.

A Broken Rib

A spear in the chest, hidden there by the gods and now turned against you.

Cut And Flayed

Skin opened to expose flesh to the sting of the air.

Internal Bleeding

A body filled with blood in entirely the wrong way.

Teeth Lost

A visage marred but only when it shows itself.


Last breath leaves living lips.


The Big Sword

A mighty blade that takes great strength to wield.

+Promise when you fight a gargantuan foe.

The Little Sword

A nimble blade to turn away the press of blades.

+Promise when you parry away strikes.

The Scythe

A tool of harvest, dangerous in skillful hands.

+Promise when you reap many small bodies.

The Staff

A humble stick, an extension of it’s wielder’s arm.

+Promise when you defend yourself with focus.

The Mace

An edge is not needed to bruise flesh and break bones.

+Promise when you smash into pieces.

The Knives

Smaller blades for the most intimate work.

+Promise when you pierce the unguarded.

The Axe

A tool that knows that nothing is built without destruction.

+Promise when you cleave wood or flesh in twain.

The Hammer

Blunt force precisely applied.

+Promise when you strike the head.

The Spear

A polearm with a simple pointed end.

+Promise when you hold foes at reach.

The Whip

Split tender flesh and seize with finesse.

+Promise when entangling things.

Heavy Armour

Plates, scales, and chain that deflect the sting of steel.

+Promise when you endure many blows.