Railog Playing Cards
There are a wide variety of decks found in Railog, some used for divination, some for entertainment and some for both. The “standard” deck of playing cards consists of eight suits, each with eight number cards and four face cards, for a total of 96 cards. The suits, the symbols of the suits, and the colors used for the suits vary, as do the face cards. That said, a typical deck will have an alak, arl, deiskatun and arlas for face cards. Many omyr decks use an amri instead of a deiskatun, though the primary distinction (other than in name) is the amri is often equipped with a nahrang rather than a deiskatun’s staff.
Although early omyr decks were made from leather scrapped thin and tattooed before being hardened they were made from stiff paper soon following its introduction. Most of those early decks were only used for divination with only small quantities ever being made.
A variety of card styles can be purchased from DriveThruCards
The number cards are, naturally, numbered in Railog fashion from 1 to 8 with the suit symbol placed in the card’s corners with the suit symbol repeated on the face a number of times to match the card’s number. Some decks use standard arrangements and orientations for the symbols while others do not. Many decks use a background wash varied by suit to set off the numbers and suit symbols, but with the advent of the printing press cards that have a neutral background came into use. A sampling of number cards from different decks is shown below.
The face cards vary significantly from deck to deck. The classic Getha-pattern decks use the profile of an omyr holding a weapon, but this varies and in the thynadi decks the face cards are abstract patterns. The constant is having four face cards per suit with the most common ranks being alak, arl, deiskatun and arlas. In larin decks the equivalent ranks are yamir, arl, um and arlas. The rank and suit of face cards is indicated in the card’s corners with the suit’s color. A sampling of face cards from different decks is shown below.
As already mentioned, although there are always eight suits to a deck the selection of suits varies considerably. Usually they are grouped into so-called “gener” and “larer” suits though this is not always the case. These notions are similar to that of yin and yang, naturally arising from the dualistic philosophy prevailant in Railog. The color of suits may be distinct or arranged in pairs. Color pairings may bridge the gener/larer divide. Some common suits are described below.
This is the god of wind and sky. The symbol for this suit is a stylized representation of a cloud. Its color is white or silver. Arlios is opposed by Umath and paired with Yll. This is a gener suit.
This is the goddess of farm and field. She is a peaceful goddess of prosperity. The symbol for this suit is a stylized representation of a hay stack. Its color is green. Heimur is opposed by Vait and paired with Meth. This is a gener suit.
This is the god of destruction and earthquakes whose minions erupt from crevices that open in the ground to harrass and attack omyr and larin. The symbol for this suit is a crevice. Its color is red. Kron is opposed by Thrim and paired with Rblus or Vait. This is a larer suit.
This is a concept, a pejorative used by omyr to insult someone. Someone who is larfu is big and strong, but slow, awkward and stupid, naive and deceived. The symbol for this suit is a maul. Its color is brown. Larfu is opposed by Sitar and paired with Railog. This is a larfu suit.
This is the god of the sea whose eye is painted on the prow of ships to enable them to see through the dense mists that cover the Misty Sea. The symbol for this suit is Meth’s stylized eye. Its color is blue. Meth is opposed by Rblus and paired with Sitar or Heimur. This is a gener suit.
This is the goddess who personifies the entirety of the world. She is understood as the earth goddess and mother to all. The symbol for this suit is a square that represents the four corners of the world. Its color is brown. Railog is opposed by her sister Raimon and paired with Larfu. This is a gener suit.
This goddess is sister to Railog and appears as a silvery disk in the sky that turns like a spinning coin and traveling from here to Ylansi, the sideways world. The symbol for this suit is a bisected disc representing her when fully turned to Railog and the remaining visible edge when turned to Ylansi. Its color is white. Raimon is opposed by Railog and paired with Thrim. This is a larer suit.
This is the god of fire who is feared more than revered. Fire is an important part of life providing warmth and used in cooking and crafts. But it is also dangerous, inflicting burns and destroying homes and towns. At the annual Fire Festival the priests bless each omyr’s firestone. The symbol for this suit is a stylized fire or a ring. Its color is red. Rblus is opposed by Meth and paired with Kron or Vait. This is a larer suit.
The sitar, a beast with enormously powerful hind legs that it uses to sprint in great leaps and bounds—and to turn 180° in the blink of an eye, is the favored mount of omyr and represents speed and agility. The symbol for this suit is a stylized representation of the defining hind leg. Its color is blue. Sitar is opposed by Larfu and paired with Meth. This is a gener suit.
This is the god of cold and darkness, rising each sunset from Yll’s death and dying in turn at dawn. The symbol for this suit is a sun wheel. Its color is black. Styj is opposed by Yll and paired with Umath. This is a larer suit.
This is the god of storms and war symbolized by a silver lightning bolt. He is defender of omyr, particularly form the kronin. The symbol for this suit is a lightning bolt. Its color is white. Thrim is opposed by Kron and paired with Raimon. This is a gener suit.
This is the god of caves and closed spaces. The symbol for this suit is a stylized representation of a cave entrance. Its color is brown or copper. Umath is opposed by Arlios and paired with Styj. This is a larer suit.
This is the god of greed and betrayal. It is said that it was his counsel that turned Jai against his brother Terlta. The symbol for this suit is a stylized representation of a dagger. Its color is grey. Vait is opposed by Heimur and paired with Kron or Rblus. This is a larer suit.
This is the god of sun and light, rising each dawn only to die at sunset. The symbol for this suit is a sun wheel. Its color is yellow or gold. Yll is opposed by Styj and paired with Arlios.