Performing a Harrowing

Before you conduct a reading, set the stage for a dramatic encounter. Clear the table and place the deck in front of you.

The reading is conducted in two parts: first you’ll perform the choosing, and then you’ll perform the spread.

The Choosing

Ask your subjects – those who have come to you for a reading – what they seek.

Phrase the request in a form of a simple question, then decide which of the six abilities best suits that question:

Strength: War, Battle, Honor Dexterity: Trouble, Children, Entertainment Constitution: Health, Home, Pain Intelligence: Money, School, Literature Wisdom: Ancient History, Morality, The Gods Charisma: Love, Family, Politics

Remove the nine cards of that ability you have chosen from the Harrow Deck and shuffle those nine. Spread the cards you chose face down in front of you. Have your subjects each pick one card. The chosen card has a messae for that person about his current place in the world and in relation to the question at hand. Using the descriptions on pp. 12-23, interpret each card to define that subject’s role for the upcoming series of events.

If this card should appear in the spread that follows, it applies most strongly to the person who chose that role and should be interpreted accordingly.

The Spread

Once each person knows his role, shuffle all the cards together (including those just chosen) and then lay out a spread face down. The spread is laid out in a three-by-three grid of nine cards.

When interpreting the cards, each one’s placement in the spread determines whether it relates to the past, present, or future. The placement also tells the harrower if the card should be interpreted in a positive, unclear, or negative light. This table shows the placements and their alignments and meanings.

Alignment | Lawful | Neutral | Chaotic

Good | Positive Past | Positive Present | Positive Future

Neutral | Unclear Past | Unclear Present | Unclear Future

Evil | Negative Past | Negative Present | Negative Future

Any cards in the top (good) row are interpreted in a positive light, while cards in the middle row are unclear, and cards in the bottom (evil) row are interpreted negatively. Likewise, the lawful column represents the past, the neutral column denotes the present, and the chaotic column signifies the future.

Reading the Cards

Turn over and read the cards one column at a time. Each column relates to a different period in the subjects’ lives.

The Past: The left column refers to past actions or events that affect the current situation. Your subjects might think they know what happened in the past, but what they know can change.

The Present: The middle column refers to actions or events that might happen now or in the very near future that affect the current situation.

The Future: The right column refers to actions or events in the future that might happen to the subjects. The future can change, of course, but the results give insight into what might be.

Turn all of the cards in the past column face up first. Examine the cards according to the rules below, selecting one or more cards to interpret. After you finish with the past, turn over the cards in the present column. When you finish with the present, go on to the column representing the future.

Select the cards to interpret in each column by looking for role cards and cards that relate to their placement in one of three ways, called matches.

Role Cards: Whenever a role card that was chosen by one of the subjects appears in a spread, it must be interpreted, because it is of great import to that subject.

True Matches: A true match occurs whenever a card appears in its “correct” placement in the spread (that is, in the placement corresponding to the position of its alignment symbol on the card).

Opposite Matches: An opposite match occurs when a card appears in the placement diametrically opposed to its alignment.

Partial Matches: A partial match occurs if a card matches only the correct column or row but not both.

Performing a Harrowing

Rise of the Runelords VA Bookkeeper