Dishonored – Game of Nancy
We will be sticking with a deck from a video game. This one is from the Dishonored series, the deck is actually used by characters to play the Game of Nancy and has the rules with the deck. The major arcana is set up differently than the standard Rider Waite commonly seen.
Note: With this reading there might be spoilers for the game Dishonored because of the characters on the cards.
Spread: The Outsider’s Mark
In the game The Outsider gives his mark unlocking wisdom and power, but with no direction on how to use it. With this I decided to make a spread to match this aspect. The cards used were only the major arcana and the court cards.
Each card will have a little background on the character to give a reason why it affects how the reading goes. Also in the game there is a rat plague that is destroying the city, some do not care, others have fled, and there are those dying.
- V – The Witch: Vera Moray “Granny Rags”
- XVII – The Drowned Man: Farley Havelock
- XI – The Hermit: Piero Joplin
- Jack of Rats: Lydia Brooklaine (Servant)
- VII- The Lady: Lady Boyle
- Queen of Rats: Thalia Timsh (Aristocrat)
- II – Lust: Madame Prudence
V – The Witch: Vera Moray “Granny Rags”
Character: She was a wealthy aristocrat who became a practitioner of black magic and descended into madness. While she appears on the surface to be vulnerable, destitute, and senile, her true and darker nature lies underneath. A powerful and partially immortal witch who employs supernatural powers that were granted to her by the Outsider.
Meaning: At the bottom The Witch holds up the rest either knowingly or unknown to them. Either way because she is below them they do not know what power she truly has.
Interpretation: Never underestimate what you are able to do, even if others above you do not see what talents you have.
XVII – The Drowned Man: Farley Havelock
Character: Once an admiral in the navy, he was discharged for refusing to sail under the command of the Lord Regent. He created the Loyalist Conspiracy with the aim of reinstating the rightful heir to the Empire, Emily Kaldwin, to the throne. After his plans come to fruition he takes the mantle of Lord Regent and betrays those that helped him.
Meaning: In contrast to The Witch, The Drowned Man is not willing to accept being below others. He needs to be on top or will end up drowned and will do whatever it takes to get a leg up.
Interpretation: Do not let others push you down to benefit themselves.
XI – The Hermit: Piero Joplin
Character: A natural philosopher, an inventor and a member of the Loyalist Conspiracy. He is the youngest person ever to graduate from the Academy of Natural Philosophy. Though not marked by The Outsider, Piero is watched over by and gifted ideas by The Outsider.
Meaning: Hidden away The Hermit accepts that he is part of this but on the outside. With this though he is able to gain knowledge that others wish to have.
Interpretation: Not all knowledge can be found, sometimes you have to let it come to you, but the question is the cost of being alone.
Jack of Rats: Lydia Brooklaine (Servant)
Character: Living a very colorful personal life. She mentions that she dates “rough” men and that all have been to prison. She is a very forward and blunt woman, which occasionally puts her at odds with others. She is respectful to leaders, but personally neutral toward them. Regarding marrying a noble and becoming “A Lady” she says that she would “rather die of the plague.”
Meaning: As the Jack of Rats she is accepting what she is, of all the spread she is the lowest of status, but rebukes need for a higher place.
Interpretation: Things may be chaotic around you, but right now just holding on takes strength and you might have to stand up for what you believe in, even if it lowers how people might see you.
VII- The Lady: Lady Boyle
Character(s): Lady Boyle refers to Waverly, Esma and Lydia Boyle, the three sisters and heiress of the Boyle family. (In the game they randomly wear the same outfit in either Red, White or Black so even though the card shows a woman in white, it can be either of the three) Waverly is noticeably more paranoid and serious than either of her sisters. Esma is the promiscuous sister who’s sexual activities and untidy habits frequently put her at odds with her sisters. Lydia is mysterious and musical; she is one of the greatest musicians in all of Gristol, a skill she has cultivated in the absence of sociability or great beauty.
Meaning: The Lady turns out to be three women all wearing matching masks. They play this as a game to blend in and force others to guess who each one is. But they all are different and have their own strengths but get lost because of their game.
Interpretation: As we all wear masks in different ways, it is best to let people know who you are under them. Blending in only goes so far, if taken to its extreme you lock away your true self from those who might know you best.
Queen of Rats: Thalia Timsh (Aristocrat)
Character: A young woman she is greatly interested in the social scene of the upper class, attending lavish parties at the estates of wealthy families. She holds her social status with pride and looks down on her family for interacting with others of lower class. She largely behaves in an underwhelmed manner – reacting neutrally when she is threatened with death she reacts with some sadness, but is otherwise detached.
Meaning: As the Queen of Rats, she does not care about that around her that does not help her directly. This causes her to become so cold that even close to death her actions are dull.
Interpretation: Like wearing a mask to hide the true you, not caring about others also pushes others away. We all care about different things but focusing just on how to better yourself without thinking of those you harm is not the way to do it.
II – Lust: Madame Prudence
Character: The proprietor of the Golden Cat brothel and bathhouse. Before becoming a madame, she was a streetwalker and “wore naught but filth,” but she ascended to the position of madame. She is not very kind with the courtesans running a tight ship, ensuring the satisfaction of her guests over her employees.
Meaning: Lust sits atop this spread. In contrast with The Witch who is holding things up while others look elsewhere, the Madame feels correct at the center. She got to this position through hard work, yet the work she both did and does is not one people would consider respectable. Still, she knows where she is, even if others would rather not accept it.
Interpretation: Look at where you have come from, learn from the good and bad of it, do not forget it, but overcome it and use it to be better. It is better to know who and where you are than to let others hold you down, even if they do think less of you.
The spread overall says to focus on yourself. There are caveats doing this. Others might not like who you really are, but wearing a mask, grasping for things outside of what you need and becoming disconnected are not going to help you. If needed pull yourself away from others and focus on what fulfills you (not makes you happy). Also know that sometimes you will be the one who has to hold up others without thanks because you have the ability to do it.
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