World Building: Fortune

A card game (similar to poker) for two to eight players:
Play begins with the dealer giving each player five cards. The players have the option of discarding one to four of these cards, which are replaced with other cards. Then each player antes in – putting a predetermined amount in the pot. Players are, again, allowed to discard. Then the first bets are placed, based on what the players have, what they believe their opponents have and what they believe they may get. Play continues in this manner for six more turns – allowing players to discard three more times. After this, it becomes a game of bluff and counter-bluff. The players retain their cards and must convince their opponent that they have the better hand. At any time after this point, a player may concede, losing their previous bets and the ante. The last player standing wins. At times, it comes down to two players. One may challenge the other, forcing them to show their hand. At this point, the better hand wins. If, at some point, someone receives the Deiva, they must announce it and they win the pot. If they fail to announce it after the final discard, and they are discovered to be holding it (as in a challenge) they concede the pot. Sometimes a card or pair of cards, most often the Fae, are declared wild. These can stand in for any other card in the deck, except for the Deiva.

Trump: Five cards in order from among the trump cards
A Proper Family: Lord, Lady, Rogue and Maid, of the same suit
A Family: Lord, Lady, Rogue and Maid, of any suit
A Proper Run: Five cards in order, of the same suit
A Run: Five cards in order, of any suit
Four of a Kind: Four of the same card
Three of a Kind: three of the same card
Two pair: two sets of two of the same card
One pair: two of the same card

Among fae, Fortune is played for much higher stakes. Often the loser is forced to concede anything from their freedom, to the freedom of someone else, to a portion of their territory, all the way up to their very life. In this case, the challenger chooses the stakes. If the challenged wins, then the challenger walks away with nothing. If the challenger wins, he gains the stakes. Only seldom will the challenged make counter-stakes other than those that force the challenger to leave and not return.

When fae play fortune, they also manipulate the cards through their magic, casting glamours and breaking them in the course of the game, so that it appears they have a better hand or reveal the true hand of their opponent. Often, a fae will only concede if they near the end of their strength.


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