There are forces in this world that we’ll never understand. But we tell the stories none the less.
If you’re gonna be a Sky Jack you’ll have to learn Illimat. There are plenty o games to play with cards that suit people just fine. Sky Jacks have seen the world though, we don’t settle for just any game.
Illimat is the world’s game. Before the first sailor left port under the banner of a nation there was an Illimat waiting for them on a new shore. Like bowls, bags, and bows Illimat’s something all people of the world share. In the cities, you might find some university type who’ll try to tell ya that it came from some long dead nation and spread, but any Sky Jack can tell you that’s nonsense like the sailors knew before them. And the proof is in The Luminaires.
Just about every drunk who’s spent a late evening at an Illimat has found themselves staring at the cards at the corner of the mat musing on what they’re supposed to be.
If you’re lucky, like I was as a lad, you’ve heard some of the tales. The poor fellow who married a bird and chased her away, the maiden and the changeling who died for their love, or the lad who chased revenge into the belly of a whale.
A lot of folk around here think of these as “just stories” but let me tell you, leviathan and skyships are just stories until you see one right in front of you.
It’s hard to say what luminaries really are. Some folk think of them as gods, and I suppose that’s true enough for a few. The Forest Queen certainly has all the power and wrath of an ancient god. Others say they’re spirits or shades of folk that once lived. The Soldiers match that description true enough. It’s an all too human folly to try and find yourself in something that ain’t even remotely shaped like a person. The only concern The Island and The Butcher have for humanity is as prey.
There are lots of things the Luminaries could be. I find it most useful to think of them as stories that sort of, insist on themselves until they become true. Sky Jacks are allowed a certain amount of superstition. If you want to think of Luminaries as gods, spirits, or fates you be my guest. It’s certainly less complicated.
They might be known by other names in other tongues, but they are something shared by all of Spéir. Even if you never heard the tales, you know the stories. They are as present as the game, and they give it life.
But enough talk, throw down an Okus and let’s see if you can curry favor with a luminary tonight.