And again

Sep. 6th, 2010 10:25 am
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Old post:

One of these days, I should really get an Elder Scrolls icon.  It might have to be of Sheogorath.

Anyway, I don't want to abandon this idea completely, at least not yet. Today, we're taking a look at which suits I'll be using.

Okay, joking. No one's using horse armor for anything, though it is tempting to use it for the Knight cards. Hmm.

Anyway, tables were helpful before, let's have another table!

Wands - keeping this as StavesThe first thing you're given when you become a mage is your staff. It is your weapon, and although you are certainly capable of casting spells before acquiring one, they all look really cool and definitely carry the suit's traditional theme of creativity, sudden inspiration, beginnings, and passion. As an apprentice, you must show that your desire to become a mage is more than just talk: if you want to say you can throw fireballs or make people walk off bridges, you'd best be prepared to study and practice! As a random thought, I'm tempted to make Archmage Traven the King of this suit. This suit represents the season of spring, and I believe it is fitting to have a newly cut, live branch represent it here.
Cups - keeping as Chalices The season for this suit is summer, and I think the connotation of many of the scenes in the RWS deck (of cups) have a "summery" feel—nostalgia, love, emotional and relationship turmoil (exacerbated by the heat, some would say), and in some regions, the only season in which bodies of water are not frozen over. Look at the Ace of Cups and tell me it could be any other season except this one! Anyway, the cups provide a nice contrast to the previous suit; whereas a wand can be a found object, chalices have a very specific setting: houses of nobility, or in religious rites. I'm tempted to have some of the pip cards use the various media drinking vessels (i.e. clay, pewter, silver) depending on a card's individual meaning, but that's minutiae at this point. Chalices it stays.
Pentacles - Septims are too obvious and boring. Going with Red Diamonds. I DISAGREE WITH MOST TAROT PEOPLE ON THE SEASON OF THIS SUIT, AND IT IS BASELESS, EXCEPT FOR THIS: When I look at the Knight of Pentacles, I see the majestic oak garlands and think of autumn. Most people associate the pentacles with winter, but as you'll see in this cell and the next, I believe the swords are more "wintry". Anyway, this Knight's horse is the only one with all four hooves on the ground—it is standing completely still. I compare this non-motion to the energies of the earth at this time: people have completed their harvest, are hunkering down for the coming winter months, and are wrapping up all outdoor chores in preparation. Why red diamonds? Well, other than the jewelry store of the same name (which fits nicely with the industry/work-related theme of this suit), I remembered that these diamonds appear on wayshrines, and on anything associated with the Nine Divines. This suit's element is earth, and while I could go into the Persephonic relationship between earth and autumn, I find the most immediate and obvious link to be the wayshrines. Scattered around Cyrodiil, they are like the axis mundi between the upper realm and Nirn. While I'm really considering using a wayshrine for the Wheel of Fortune card, the diamonds found upon it and all Aedra iconography works well here. The only challenge may be finding appropriate images for the pip cards... but I always love a challenge! For the Ace card (a source of struggle in my last chart), the full suit of the Crusader armor works well. Or maybe the priory. Hm.
Swords - Keeping as Swords, or possibly Blades?Ah the Swords. I've had such trouble with this suit; at first I believed it better to associate it with the element of fire, rather than air. And now, again, most people find this suit has the energies of autumn moreso than winter. Again, I disagree, because I see autumn (and spring, for that matter) as seasons of change, of transience. Of course, no season lasts forever, I get that, but for some reason, a sword changing into a staff makes more sense to me than a pentacle ever did; the shape is similar, and so are the connotations: authority, application of study in the real world, etc. The only difference again, is that a staff can be a found object, while a sword requires smithing. How fitting then, to progress from winter back to spring—forged back to found. Anyway. I'm flirting with the idea of renaming this suit to Blades in honor of... what else? The Blades, the sort-of Secret Service that protects the Emperor. The lesson with this suit is that a sword, like words and logic, can cut two ways: one to defend, one to inflict. Using Jauffre is tempting for the King of Blades (that sounds badass, doesn't it?), just as it's fitting to use Baurus for the Knight. But what of the Queen? And how does the King relate to the Ace, Umbra? I want to keep the court cards to be people, rather than D/Aedra, so this will take some thinking. Maybe the Bosmer named Umbra, holed up in Vindasel would be a good Queen. Yes... but there must be another person. The Captain of the Leyawiin guard? Whatsername Draconis?

In further entries, I plan on making one table per suit, or maybe I'll do one per number (i.e. a table of all the 2s, 3s, 4s, etc.).

Another note about the art style: I want this deck to have the same beautiful engraved "framing" you see on the loading screens; I think it's beautiful and not too distracting. The art itself I want to look like the loading screens: sepia-ish (but not too watery and faded-looking) and definitely of line-drawings... I've seen decks with computer graphics and even poorly-shooped photographs and they look awful.


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