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These cards are traditionally used for playing games of chance, skill, and bluffing, and are popular among people of all social classes in Gallinea.
Some cards are also used for divination purposes, usually adding an additional set of Mysteries to the normal 52-card deck.
Although most countries have their own variants on deck configuration, the most common type of cards are the Diegan standard deck. This deck originated in Diega, Ondala, but during the Third Ondalan Tribunals all forms of gambling were outlawed. Many less-than-pious Ondalans left the country to seek their fortune elsewhere, many of them joining the Ekalian trading fleets and spreading the Diegan deck around the world.
A Diegan deck consists of 52 cards. Each card has a suit and a rank. There are 13 ranks in each suit, and four suits in the deck.
The modern Gallinean names for the Diegan suits are Poignards, Calices, Batons, and Sols, as shown on the table below.
The ranks within each suit start at Ace, then 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 -- the pip cards. The remaining three cards per suit are known as the court cards -- the Cavalier, the Prince, and the Monarch. The Monarch is the highest ranking card in the deck, although some games favored among the lower classes invert the traditional ordering.
It's common within Elara to decorate court cards with the images of the current local rulers, and sometimes neighboring rulers as well. If the local equivalent to the Prince is female (often the consort of the Monarch), a card painted with her image is known as the Princess and replaces the Prince in the deck.
Behind the Scenes
The Diegan standard deck is obviously directly analogous to the real-world French playing card deck used throughout many countries, including France and the United States.
|Diegan Term||English Term|
TQC Success Table Cards Deck
Bold Pueblo has created a set of playing cards designed by jim pinto with art by Eleanor Ferron which not only feature TQC NPCs as court cards, but have success tables for specialties on the pip cards. These cards are usable as normal playing cards in addition to being a pocket reference; the cards contain both Diegan and English (French) symbols.
The Poignards (spades) suit represents Gallinea, the Calices (hearts) suit represents the Asrian church, the Bâtons suit represents Albia, and the Sols suit represents Ondala. The characters featured on each court card are shown in the table below.
|Cavalier of Poignards||Gabriana Secouriste, Queen's Cavalier|
|Prince of Poignards||Carolus, Prince-Consort of Gallinea|
|Monarch of Poignards||Mariana II, Queen of Gallinea|
|Cavalier of Calices||Martine Deveaux, Mercenary and Spy|
|Prince of Calices||Farrazin, Guardian of the Faith|
|Monarch of Calices||Isabene de la Justicia, Bride of the Sun|
|Cavalier of Bâtons||Duke of Bedyngford, Lord-Ambassador to Gallinea|
|Princess of Bâtons||Fionna, Queen-Consort of Albia|
|Monarch of Bâtons||Edgar II, King-Regnant of Albia|
|Cavalier of Sols||Ginevra de Hiedra y Obispo, New Cordera Fleet Captain|
|Prince of Sols||Don Rodolfo, Majordomo of Diega|
|Monarch of Sols||Ximena IV, Queen of Ondala|
These cards will be available for purchase soon.