January 2023: Tarot Cards for Creative Inspiration
Happy New Year, HT Peeps! I hope you have lots of creatively spooky fun in the New Year!
Character: Ten of Pentacles. This character was selected at an early age to serve the future Queen. As a child, they were the Queen’s primary playmate; as a young adult, they were not only the Queen’s beloved companion, but served as an assistant as the Queen made the transition from a child to an adult herself. Once the Queen reached the age of maturity, and assumed the mantle of power, this character, by way of their lifelong training, became not only the Queen’s most trusted advisor, but the Queen’s consort as well. While this character enjoys a life of luxury as the top member of the royal court, their life is not without hard work and sacrifice. This character is now responsible for managing the Queen’s entire household; arranging not only the Queen’s meals, wardrobe, and social calendar, but also organizing political meetings with other heads of state, overseeing strategic diplomatic negotiations, and assisting in other key duties where needed. They are the public face of the Queen herself, and, as such, their conduct must always be above reproach.
Setting: Knight of Swords (Reversed). As is the case with many societies that are governed by an elite ruling class, there’s always the risk that someone is waiting in the wings; sowing dissent, engaging in underhanded machinations to usurp the throne, or even going so far as to arrange an assassination of said royal, and take the seat of power for themselves. However, in this situation, the person with the eye on the throne is anything but subtle. The Queen’s younger sibling, still in their teens, is not content with merely entertaining themselves with intrigue and deceit behind the scenes. They are also not content with the match made for them by the Queen’s consort, in order to obtain a military alliance to protect the kingdom’s Southern border. The sibling wishes to remain at court, where things are always a whirlwind of excitement, dress balls, and where the finest food is served and where the drink is always flowing, and they despair at the thought of being exiled to a remote rural outpost. This sibling has capitalized on their blood connection with the Queen, and uses that status to extort favors and demand constant attention and tributes from the elite guests that frequent the palace. They not only insist on holding center stage, they make no secret of their plans to one day sit on the throne themselves.
Conflict: Ten of Swords. The Queen’s consort and the Queen organize a ball in honor of the heir to the lands in the South. The match is called off, as the Queen’s sibling gets not only rip-roaring drunk, but blatantly insults the heir before they disappear with another they’ve chosen to spend the evening with. The Queen is furious. After the ball ends, and the guests have departed, the Queen has her palace guards evict the sibling from the grounds, but not before she strips her sibling of their titles and land. The ostracized sibling remains not only bitter and jealous of the Queen, but their wrath grows even stronger the longer they spend in penniless exile. They vow revenge, and set in motion a plan to poison the Queen and seize the crown for themselves.
Climax: Queen of Cauldrons. It’s the new year, and the Queen is hosting a lavish celebration at the palace. Gifts and tributes are arriving from all over the kingdom, including a bottle of rare wine that contains the poison intended for the Queen and her consort. As it’s the Queen’s favorite, she orders it served immediately. The poison does its work, and the Queen collapses. The consort rushes to her side. Above them, on the table, the consort’s glass of wine has fallen over and is dripping onto the floor. The consort permits themselves the smallest of smiles as they lovingly trace the jeweled filigree of the crown. The crown which will soon be theirs.
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“Bringer of Nightmares and Storms.” Horror writer Willow Croft is usually lurking deep in the shadows of her writer cave, surrounded by formerly feral (but still fierce!) cats for company. Visit her here: http://willowcroft.blog, or check out her other services here: https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/.