Each Talis card has a suit and a number. Each card also has a specific porientation and game use. Descriptions of these follow.
Talis cards have six suits of 10 cards each: Flames (orange), Winds (white), Waves (blue), Leaves (green), Beasts (brown), and Fates (purple). These suits represent the elemental forces of the universe: fire, air, water, earth, animals, and the Powers, respectively. Each of these suits is represented by a different character type: dwarves for Flames, elves for Winds, coastal society humans for Waves, halflings for Leaves, barbarian humans for Beasts, and gods for Fates. The Seeker card represents all six suits.
Each suit is number, from 1o (an ace that stands for 1 and 10) to 9. Each number has a specific figure representing it. These are detailed in the lists that follow.
The organization of each card when placed is important. If the card is right-side up to the dealer, the card's orientation is light; if it is upside-down to the dealer, the card's orientation is dark. This orientation affects the meaning of the card.
Every Talis card has a special game use that adds a new twist to familiar card games. Sometimes, the card's orientation affects its game use.
The sash that accompanties the Talis deck can be used to store the cards and to organize a reading. The seer lays it out with the tassels to his right. The symbols on the sash represent the four elements, eternity, the past, the present, and the future. The side away from the seer represents challenges; the side nearest the seer represents supporting forces. Cards are always placed from the left to the right. The 55th card of the Talis deck represents the Seeker, the one seeking an answer that the reading is being performed for. It is placed at the start of the reading.
The sash is as wide as the shortest dimension of the card, and is five times as long as the longest dimension.
The following list details each card number and its significance in terms of suit, orientation, and game use.
DRAGON/ORB cards represent both great beginnings and great challenges. These cards depict a Good (Metallic) and an Evil (Chromatic) dragon in conflict around a dragon orb of might.
Game Use: Played as a DRAGON, this card CONQUERS any card except the CHAMPION. Played as an ORB, this card nullifies any DRAGON card.
PEASANT cards represent the common man and his relations with the beasts of the world.
Game Use: PEASANT cards can MELD with all other cards.
STEWARD cards represent those who tend the land and master the fields.
Game Use: STEWARDS can STEAL other cards.
ARTISAN cards represent craftspersons plying some trade or art for the love of beauty.
Game Use: ARTISAN cards can TRADE for other cards.
SCHOLAR cards represent students of lore and the lessons from the past.
Game Use: SCHOLAR cards REVEAL other cards' identities.
WARRIOR cards show warriors defending their home.
Game Use: WARRIOR cards can PROTECT a hand of cards.
MAGE cards represent mastery over the elements.
Game Use: MAGE cards can cause play to SKIP a player or can force a CHANGE (discard one card and draw another).
LADY cards represent matriarchs of their people.
Game Use: LADY cards PRESERVE peace, negating an action.
LORD cards represent the lords of the lands.
Game Use: LORDS can COMMAND, increasing the value of each of his suit's cards in a hand by one.
Each of the ten Fates cards represents two distinct gods. This displays 20 gods of a pantheon. Traditionaly, the CHAMPION (6 of Flames) and/or the FAITH card (8 of Winds) also may depict a particular god from the pantheon. The 2 of Fates through the 6 of Fates also show as a ruling card over the five lesser suits.
DRAGONLORD/CHAOS: The chief god of Good opposes the chief god of Evil. The orb in the center of most ACES is replaced by a bisected light and dark moon.
Light: Order, consequence, mercy, control, beacon
Dark: Chaos, self-service, evil, deceit, rampage
BALANCE: The god of Wealth opposes the god of Greed. It is the Fate of Beasts.
Light: Wealth, freedom, peace
Dark: Greed, slavery, betrayal
GROVE: The god of Nature opposes the god of the Wilds. It is the Fate of Leaves.
Light: Nature, bounty, abundance
Dark: Wilds, bestial nature, chaos
SEA: The god of the Sea opposes the god of Violence. It is the Fate of Waves.
Light: Sea, creation, passion
Dark: Violence, repressed rage, jealousy
WISDOM: The god of Wisdom opposes the god of Knowledge. It is the Fate of Winds.
Light: Wisdom, hidden treasure
Dark: Superficiality, numbness
WEAPON: The god of Smithing opposes the god of Destruction. It is the Fate of Flames.
Light: Forge, tool, shaping
Dark: Vengence, weapon, destruction
WIZARD: The god of Change opposes the god of Illusion.
Light: Change, transformation
Dark: Illusion, phantasms, missdirection
EMPRESS: The godess of Life opposes the god of Death
Light: Life, blessings, beauty, abundance
Dark: Decay, disease, weakness, barrenness
EMPEROR: A great Hero god opposes his arch Enemy.
Light: Hero, justice, general
Dark: Bane, enemy, raveger
The SEEKER card has no light or dark side. It represents all of
the suits, and the person for which a reading is being given, or
a question answered.
GAME USE: The SEEKER card is a wild card.
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Lay the sash out with the tassels to your right. Place the Seeker card in one of the cells, depending on the time in question; it goes where it seems most relevant to represent the person being read. Lay cards in the empty cells above then below, proceeding left to right (so 7 cards dealt). Consult the meanings list.
Sash decides light or dark; the side away from the seer uses the light reading (supportive) and the side toward the seer uses the dark reading (challenges).
Shuffle cards, spread them out in an arc, draw three and lay them face up. Count how many are light aspect.
|3||Prospects are positive, good fortune.|
|2||Prospects are hesitantly positive.|
|1||Prospects include some ill fortune.|
|0||Prospects are definitely negative or harmful.|
S F 5 8 a A 4 t 0 1 2 6 9 e S 3 s 7 10 H
Remove the Seeker card and set it aside; it is unused. Place the sash in the position indicated, and start putting down cards in the numbered pattern. Every time a Fates card comes up, place it on the other side of the sash and replace its spot in the pattern with another card.
The Fates now represent overall outside influences to the choices the character being read is going to make. The card in the 0 spot represents the most imminent consequence of the character's present actions, and the 8, 9 and 10 cards represent possible futures.