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Back to the Dead Man's Gambit

Who's Who in the Dead Man's Gambit

Well, this is just a little side project, suggested to me by haren. She thought it'd be interesting to have little write-ups about the folks that became the 75 cards of the Dead Man's Gambit. With that in mind, I open the gates to the Who's Who, and let you guys fight over it. :)
I might add a couple of cards (a starter deck? ha ha ha) a little later, when I have time, but for now, anyone who wants to put one in, go ahead and do so. I know Exalted probably doesn't use suits and numbers as we do, but figured I'd organize them that way for now, anyway. And since I expanded the deck to be usable as Tarot, too, there's an extra "suit" that includes 2 jokers and 21 other cards.

Diamonds, Suit of Rogues

Six of Diamonds - This card shows a laughing man, clutching a bag glimmering with jewelry, with six daggers flying towards him. Stories claim that the individual bound within was formerly a card sharp and catburglar, who made a "little wager" with an Abyssal; when he tried to welsh on that wager, he found his lifespan short indeed, and his soul forfeit as payment. - Ashande

Ace of Diamonds - This card depicts a bloodied fist with gold rings on each finger severed below the wrist. The soul forged into it belonged to the head of one of the many criminal syndicates working in the underbelly of Nexus. He was betrayed by his own bodyguards and dismembered by guard dogs. Upon his arrival in the Underworld he attempted to rebuild his power base in the new Shadowland of Thorns, only to be betrayed once more by his Abyssal lover, who forged him into this card of ill fortune and betrayal. - Odin

Hearts, Suit of Lovers

Two of Hearts - The soul who eventually became the Duece of Hearts was once a gorgeous and carefree man, spreading his love about so often as to bring entourages of suicides wherever he went. On occasion of his death - bludgeoned by an irate husband - he was offered the Malfean's Bargain, but through some quirk of fate, refused. As punishment, his ghostly face was mutilated and he was forged into this card, which depicts a horrendous beast surrounded by adoring women. - Ashande

Five of Hearts - This crystaline seeming card shows a tearful lady sitting beneith a tree while five hearts hang from the branches. The card moans little, only giving forth choked sobs and crying at times. Unlike many of the cards, this one was forged of nothing that was once human, for a dryad had been made into it. She had an affair with a young Exalt and threw him away... in a fit of pique he laid a curse on her, a curse to feel love and always loss. She had many loves, who would while the years away under her leaves till they would die, again and again. In sorrow, she attempted to die, but her essence was captured and forged... the purity of her heartfelt pain refined further into a shimmering image of bittersweet beauty. - haren

Queen of Hearts - An elderly woman laying in repose and covered in rose blossoms forms the image of the Queen of Hearts. Her peaceful face makes no sound, but the roses around her have teeth under certain lights and their rustling sometimes sounds of words and predatory snarls. The elderly woman in the card did not imagine that the roses of the Underworld could do her any harm, not after a life as a Wood-Touched Dynast, but she learned otherwise when a Shadow-driven Dragon Blood turned her prized roses against her and delivered her be-thorned body to his Abyssal lover for forging. - Telgar

Suicide King of Hearts - Once a lonely and forlorn man, the King of Hearts was finally given a taste of love when he met a mysterious woman in a graveyard. He and she met there every night for a year and exchanged vows of love and eternal devotion. On the first day of the second year, the woman told the man she had at last found peace and was even now slipping into Lethe. Mad with grief over losing his love, the man drove his knife into his own skull and roamed the graveyard, hoping for Lethe to take him and grant him his beloved in another life. The Deathlord that forged the Dead Man's Gambit had other plans and stole the man's soul, forging him into the Suicide King of Hearts. His card shows a gray man of middle age and handsome, but ruined, appearance. The knife embedded in his skull sometimes howls seperately from the rest of the card. - Telgar

Ace of Hearts - This picture shows a number of beautiful young women laid across the background, a single rose set over a hole torn in each of their chests. An immaculately dressed young man holds a beating heart, with only the tips of his fingers stained. The man shown was a noble citizen of Halta who charmed many women into coming home with him, only to never leave. For at least a week, their bodies and fear... their pain sated his foul needs, till he met with an accident. To this day there is a play written about his great love and kindness, in twist of the greatest irony. - haren

Clubs, Suit of Warriors

Queen of Clubs - Depicted on this card is a beautiful female warrior, hefting a war maul in a triumphant shout; if one looks closely, however, one sees the bull behind her, and his horns sticking out of her stomach, as if piercing her. This card is rumored to have once been a Bride of Ahlat, who proved unable to keep to her vow of chastity. When her infidelity was discovered, she was put to death, and quickly reaped by an Abyssal who felt a mind for treachery would serve his deck well. - Ashande

King of Clubs - The first card of Dead Man's Gambit to be forged, the King of Clubs was once a Priest of the Unconquered Sun who became a potent Ghost after his death at the hands of an enraged Solar who had been slighted by one of the priest's prayers when he placed her name after that of her rivals in the Recitation of Heroes. Still loyal to his patron god, the old priest gathered quite a following in the Underworld and succeeded in creating a large cult of Sun-Worshippers until the Deathlords arrived. After unsuccessfully opposing the expansions of one of the Deathlords, the Priest was soulforged into the King of Clubs, carrying his holy Sun Orb in one hand, a broken sword of gold in the other. His card sobs through the prayers he screamed out during his torturous forging. - Telgar

Spades, Suit of Death

Two of Spades - This card shows a woman with two blades drawn, one driven through the chest of a bloodstained murderer, the second chops through the neck of a farmer as his family cries behind him. The soul that was forged into this card was a judge who never let let mercy, kindness, or forgiviness into her judgement. She gave horrible punishments to the wicked as those who were driven to crime by terrible circumstances. The vengeful families kidnapped her and left her bound at the edge of the nearest shadowland, where the ghosts of her victims came to bring their own justice. - haren

Six of Spades - The card shows a handsome young man with swords carefully driven through his ribs, passing through his back forming a sort of triangular wing-like shape. Even though his body suffers this mutilation, his visiage is a beautific and peaceful one. The soul who had the pleasure to be made into this card was a doctor who lived during a terrible plague that ran through his land. His family fell ill, and he could not do anything to cure them. So to ease their suffering, he killed them in a gentle manner. He went through the land doing this time and time again, making it seem they died naturally. One to be victim, in fever-ridden madness choked the breath from his body, leaving him to his future fate as this card. - haren

Jack of Spades - This handsome young man refused to see his own beauty die and resorted to means most foul to preserve his appearance. Legends in his home of Great Forks say he purchased hundreds of virgin slaves from the Guild and used their souls as barter with the Malfeans and Deathlords to gain immortality. Another story says he drank their blood to gain what he sought, but in all the tales he killed them mercilessly. His final goal has, in fact, been reached. Within the his card, the young man has a form of immortality and his visage is perfectly preserved. That is all of him that remains, for in the soulforging, the rest of his body was flayed and multilated by the Deathknight who created the card. The image of his perfect face is surrounded by the muscle and bone that were torn from him, twistied into a series of bloody infinites. This grim card is the Jack of Spades. - Telgar

Gods, Suit of Arcana

Mouth of Peace: II - This card shows a noble Dragon-Blooded Immaculate, who joyously speaks as others about her commit suicide to know the joys she has seen. This woman had attempted to cause a coup within a shadowland. What she could not see, is that she was just sending her "followers" faster into the hands of the Deathlord. When their ghosts spoke the truth of this betrayal to her shackled form, her soul was broken and soon after this card was forged. - haren

Usurpation: XVI - This card is a strange one, as it slowly changes. It sometimes shows one of the Anathema with the mark of the Unclean fleeing the noble Dragon Blooded. Other times, it shows the same Unclean battling a strange Anathema unknown to the stories of the overthrow of the demon princes. At these times, it shudders slightly and will give a whine of hate, for the card was composed from two souls. The first was a Solar ghost too proud to accept the gift of the Malfeans. The second was a Sidereal who was captured investigating the Great Contagion and broken to the Deathlord's will after seeing their might and how they evaded fate with ease. - haren

First Joker, Calibration This solid black card represents the chaos and wild fortunes of Calibration, and as such no one is sure of the nature of it's soul. It is rumored that it may even contain the soul of the Scarlet Empress herself, but such a theory is based off little more than idle speculation. - Odin

Last Joker, Autochthon Another monochromatic card, the white joker represents the trickster-artificer Autochthon, though he may be largely forgotten in Creation. The anonymous soul forged into this joker is oddly stagnant, as if worn and tattered from many successive incarnations. - Odin


I think it might be a good idea to start tagging any cards people add with their names; that way we know who's posted what. Added the ones I knew. - Ashande

Good idea. I tagged mine. Odin