Madame Polshka paused long, waiting for Lucien to change his mind if he wished. Indeed, the Renier's reading was the darkest and most damning the raunie had ever seen. His quest for Jacqueline doomed to failure. His nemesis, a Darklord. Though there was no emotional sentiment or sympathy on her own part, her husband - the Captain of the Tribe - had seemed to like this particular giorgio, and she trusted and loved her husband. So she did Lucien a last favor - she waited. And waited.
At last, she overturned the final card - Lucien's ultimate fate.
A hero stood confidently, sword at the ready to defend or attack as needed. The sun's ray gleamed on his hair and silvery plate mail. A wolf's head, raven, snake, and rat decorated his quartered shield.
ULTIMATE FATE: THE HERO
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Madame Polushka slowly looked up from the card as Lucien did, and their eyes locked.
"No wonder my husband likes you. He likes underdogs," she mused. "Sometimes, I think he has a woman's intuition," she smiled in jest.
"This card represents Good Fortune. Victory is certain, no matter your ultimate fate. That is, if you follow my advice. You will have your trials, but in the end, you will defeat the darkness and evils of your past, present, and future - wolf, snake, raven, and rat alike. Though you might not kill the Darklord, you will defeat or evade their machinations, but only by leaving the Trader that will betray you live long enough to become your ally against the Darklord. If such comes to pass, you will avenge yourself of your nemesis. Perhaps, you will even slay the Darklord..."
"...Know this, giorgio." she said intently, leaning forward. "Though victory is certain...it may not come as expected. Beware!
She left Lucien to sit and ponder. The sight of the card had lifted his heart, filled him with hope. Madame Polushka yawned, for it was late, then began clearing the table of the cards. She stood, a hint for Lucien to leave her, as if it had all been a routine business transaction to her, instead of a prophecy that Lucien would live with till the end of his days.
There was a knock at the door. With Madame Polushka's nod, Lucien opened it. It was the Captain.
"We are finished," she told the Captain. "He will be a hero, against all odds. If, he heeds the wisdom of the Tarokka Deck.
"Come from the vardo then, giorgio", the Captain. Lucien did as was told, still taking in the full ramifications of his foretold future. The Captain led him by the dimming camp fire, late in the night, and sat down beside him.
"You seek vishnaad, giorgio," the Captain said, making conversation. "Your future is dark, but you will avenge, becoming a hero after endless trials. Vishnaad, indeed. In our tongue it means Dark Blade, meaning exacted revenge.
"I will name you, then, Dark Blade," the Captain said with a reassuring smile, "and perhaps you will be known as such through out the lands", nudging Lucien with an offered mug of a licorice-smelling liquore.
"It is brogga. You will sleep well, and have prophetic dreams. They may help you piece together more of the mystery of my wife's prescient sight."
Lucien sipped at the brogga, which was warm, tasteful, and went down smoothly, relaxing him.
That was when Lucien noticed the knife in the Captain's hand.
Treachery, Lucien thought. But the Captain did not bear the blade at Lucien. But instead, he sliced his own palm as he rose to his feet. Others vistana still awake around the camp fire started watching intently.
"Stand, giorgio.," the Captain said loudly, so all present would hear. "Rise. Take out your own blade, and do the same to your own palm, so that the wound will leave a scar. And you will no longer be known as giorgio to the Equaar tribe of The Vistana. By blood rite, I will make you giogoto.
All was silent except for the crackling of the dying fire, all eyes on Lucien.