The tarot in this particular story comes from MelWong's interesting deck over at the Exalted Wiki.
Sesus Oramakos strolled down the streets of Greyfalls, feeling a pleasant sense of mild drunkenness and glad to be out in the fresh air. This late at night, the streets were all but deserted, giving him the sensation of being alone in the world.
It wasnâ€™t a sensation that he minded, especially in the warm summer air. Just for a moment, to be free of the many burdensome responsibilities of his position was a blessing from the Dragons. He knew that he was more than capable of handling all the details required to match his dream of taking control of House Sesus (though not for many years yet â€“ he was ambitious, but not foolish enough to challenge the elders of the House), but sometimes he wondered if he might have been happier as an outcaste, riding freely across Creationâ€™s borders.
On the other hand, he reflected, fingering the fine silk shirt that he wore, there were advantages to the Dynastic position as well. He had no serious desire to trade his life of luxury and power for one of privation and uncertainty. It was merely a case of the life that one did lead seeming more romantic than the life that one didâ€¦
â€œTell your fortune, milord?â€
Jolted out of his thoughts, Oramakos glanced over. Sitting under the cover of an awning, a young, raven-haired woman sat cross-legged on the ground, her blue robes spread out around her. A small table sat before her, with an set of cards lying on it. Oramakos raised an eyebrow, approaching her. â€œRather late for fortune-telling, is it not?â€
â€œNot at all, milord.â€ The woman inclined her head. â€œThis is a very safe neighborhood, and many are those leaving the bars with a bit of coin theyâ€™ve won and an inclination to believe in a kind destiny.â€ She smiled faintly. â€œThough I do not think you fall into such a group.â€
â€œI do not.â€ Oramakos considered the woman for a moment, and then searched his pockets for a sufficiently small jade coin, dropping it on the table. â€œVery well, then. Tell me my fortune.â€
The woman nodded, holding out the deck. â€œShuffle it and return it, if you please.â€
Shrugging, Oramakos did as she asked, handing the deck back to her. Quickly giving it a second shuffle, she dealt out the first three cards. â€œThe Nine of Fire, reversed. The Seven of Water, also reversed. Andâ€¦ Malfeas. Also reversed.â€ She looked upwards. Great changes lie in wake, of your own making. Over the next week, you will take action to destroy all that you hold dear.â€
Oramakos blinked. â€œYouâ€™re new to this, arenâ€™t you?â€
â€œHow so?â€ The woman carefully laid out three more cards, looking a bit concerned about turning them over.
â€œTraditionally, one promises good fortune to the client.â€
â€œThat would be a lie.â€ The womanâ€™s voice was expressionless as she turned over the next three cards. â€œThe Yozi. The Deathlord. The Wyld, reversed. A very powerful and clear combination. You will die tonight.â€
â€œI will dieâ€¦ tonight.â€ Oramakos raised an eyebrow.
â€œThat is correct.â€
â€œAnd then Iâ€™m going to take action to destroy things I love.â€
â€œRight.â€ Oramakos shook his head. â€œI think you need a new deck of câ€”â€ His words cut out. To a casual observer, if there had been one on the deserted street, his sudden sway could be taken as the result of one too many of the local brews. Certainly, only those closest to him might have noticed the razor-sharp strands of hair that had scythed outwards from the fortune-tellerâ€™s head, slicing cleanly and instantly underneath his eyes and into his brain. Bleeding tears, he fell forwards, and she reached up to stop him inches from the table.
â€œNow, you shouldnâ€™t blame the teller for the fortune.â€ Glancing about, the fortune-teller stood, easily hefting the Dynast as she did so, and pulled him back into the shadows. Reaching downwards, her fingers became claws, and strange, greenish-silver tattoos bled out through her pores, chasing each other across her skin as she prepared to feed.
Moments later, Sesus Oramakos stepped out from the shadows, the last of his tattoos slipping back underneath his new skin. Pausing by the fortune-tellerâ€™s table, he glanced over the spread and shook his head. Leaning down, he quickly gathered the cards, sliding them into a fold in his armor and surreptitiously checking his lips for traces of blood. Quietly, he chuckled.
â€œFoolish boy. One should always listen to prophecy.â€