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Item is a pack of 78 cards, measuring 10.5 cm x 18 cm. Thickness of each card is no thicker than the kind of paper stock that normal playing cards come from. Each card seems to be made out of some kind of photonic crystal that constantly shifts and changes color, while the edges are normal paper card-stock. We can’t seem to separate the paper surface from the photonic crystal without tearing — the paper seems bonded to the crystal through some undetermined process.

Design-wise, the cards are, for all intents and purposes, classical Tarot de Marseille cards, with 22 Trumps and 56 Suit cards. The Trumps are numbered from 1 to 21, with the Le Mat card un-numbered, as per the usual, and card XIII (the D-Card) unnamed.

The most interesting feature of these cards are that they seem to shift and change with no apparent power source. The card design primarily stays constant — changing tones and mood to suit the image itself — but the card images seem to shift based on who touches it. Some of the guinea pigs junior researchers report seeing significant figures in their history appear as the players in the trump cards, while the suite cards seem to illustrate life events and realistic representations of the subject’s life situation with a rather eerie realism.

The cards don’t have a visible power source, like I said, but leaving them in a light-proof room with no visible illumination causes the cards to revert to a blank state — power conservation mode, perhaps? However, when touching those cards, or even looking at them and concentrating, the cards begin to shift and change — weakly at first, but then with increasing movement and vividness.

When we press-ganged persuaded Junior Researcher L, who scored unusually high in Ganzfeld and Zener tests, the cards began to emit light in the dark, as if the card surfaces were additive light displays (brightness levels similar to modern AMOLED displays). Running the same tests in fully-lit environments with JR L showed no difference from JRs who scored low in both Ganzfeld and Zener. Effect doesn't seem to work with any other researcher, junior or not.

UPDATE: I’d like to strongly advise that we terminate the employment of Junior Researcher K, based on the design that appeared once K touched the 5 de Épées. The other figures depicted in the cards, JR N and I, aren’t talking.

UPDATE: Also, we advise caution to researchers who touch trump card XIII, XV, XVI and XX, and suit card 3 and 10 de Épées. Some of the images are… disturbing, to say the least.


Steampunk Nusantara: S.E.A. Steampunk

October 2010

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