On March 19th Ava @avasilurian very kindly offered to do a tarot reading on any character that I chose. I decided that Abrina would be an interesting choice and duly sent the following information. Note that this is the ONLY information that I provided Ava with and I didn’t mention that I was running a Kickstarter or that the character was appearing in an adventure.
Indeed, Ava is from outside the gaming community so one of the reasons for my silence was I’d have had to explain the whole RPG thing and this was my first contact with Ava I thoughtless rather than more information would probably be welcome!
So, this is what I sent her:
How about for my angst-ridden but morally bankrupt vampire woman who betrayed friends, family and lovers in an attempt to save herself? What was it in her background that created the moral fault line in her that ultimately cost her everything?
She replied with the picture at the top of this article and continued thus:
King of Swords represents your MC (Main Character). Big into the intellect, sharp wit, truth-teller, blunt, guarded, cold, distant, doesn’t shy from a fight.
Maybe it all came from the ‘vampire’ word in my description, but this is eerily accurate. Abrina is currently very much blunt, guarded, cold and distant and you will see why from the next card and my comments. She’s also always up for a fight – very specifically because she can come back from the dead and yet can’t escape her location. That has bred a violent tendency that built on her natural predisposition for violence. Her sharp wit comes through biting sarcasm and her intellect is there in an unhealthy ability to see the hypocrisy in people and contradictions in life.
The only thing I’m not seeing in Abrina is a storyteller. Unless it’s her recounting the failed attempts of prior parties which she might use as a taunt for the current one.
Recent past is just below, 5 of Wands: there was a BIG fight that occurred in your MCs life that she is still reeling from. Maybe the rest of the cards will help illuminate what the fight was.
This ties directly into her history – Abrina, as outlined in the introduction to her in the adventure, is trapped in the role of host of the challenge tomb. She was a contestant in a prior one but after slaughtering her own party in a mad attempt to escape she was turned into a vampire magica and condemned to eternal servitude. Her actions not only destroyed her past but condemned her future.
Longer-term past to the left, is Justice. There has been a reckoning in the past. A brush with the legal system. Something taken away, could have been unjust. Something your MC is still fighting against.
This is an area I have only really drafted in my head. This result though prompted a chain of thinking that I'm very happy with. In short, her family lost their lands and titles, unjustly in her mind, and hence she set out to win her fortune. By doing that she could then restore the family to their rightful position.
Potentially there were sacrifices along the way although that's still something I'm working on. I do think that setting off as an adventurer came at personal cost to Abrina and in some ways sparked the darkness inside here which grew over time. A very useful part of the reading.
Up top is the Hanged Man in the position of what is going to happen if nothing changes (status quo). That is hanging in limbo. Your MC is frustrated with lack of progress. Stuck. Annoyed. Trapped.
This is genuinely fascinating that it should come up given that a core part of the twist at the end of the story relates to her being stuck and what she is trying to do to change that. I can’t say more without spoiling the ending but this is a spot on card and reading for her!
To the right is your Page of Wands, which is the path to the future. Can indicate getting into a dangerous line of work (firefighting). Might be what your MC decides to do to reconcile her past.
Amazingly this is again a direct fit. Also, again I can’t go into the details without spoiling what I hope the DM’s will particularly enjoy reading when they receive the adventure but I will say that reconciliation is built into the ending as is a potential new line of work for Abrina…
Then I asked more about the conflict on the bottom three cards. This is what I see. Your MC fell in love but was abandoned and she is tortured as she sees her love happy and celebratory and it hurts her still.
Pretty close and even worse than expected from the conflict you see. Abrina was in love, romantically and emotionally with her party and she abandoned them. If she sees her love ones happy in the afterlife then this is only a further torment for her as she currently cannot truly die and indeed by her own moral reckoning she has forfeited any right to a happy place in the afterlife through her actions. Her victims – i.e. her party members – would be granted eternal rest. So however it goes she’s lost out. She is very much still feeling the pain.
That’s what the cards were chatting about! Take what seems fitting and trash the rest.
Well, I have to say, I sent my message to Ava thinking it might shine a different perspective on the character which I could use to build even more detail into her. What I got back was a match for almost all the points I’d already imagined and/or written – amazing!
The additional piece regarding her past is also interesting and I’m going to make use of it in the future as I am planning a short side adventure with Abrina later in the year. (Rutus gets all the attention at the moment as he returns in the next challenge tomb adventure due out on Kickstarter in May.)
All in all it was a most interesting exercise and I am very grateful to Ava for her time. She does these for folks when she has the time and she does them for free - you will find her on twitter @avasilurian and the Kickstarter runs until the 5 April 2020
Until next time, stay healthy and happy gaming!