The magician finished braiding his long, black hair; equipped his black top hat; and grabbed his deck. He opened it and shuffled the cards within. He drew a hand of three—8, jack, and king. He inspected them—this was no ordinary deck of cards.
On the 8 was a carefully painted scene of a dark forest. Sneaking through the trees was none other than the wendigo—a frightful, bipedal monster with a deer skull for a head, bright white horns, and deep, black, empty sockets where its eyes should have been. A malicious agent of chaos and death.
The jack was the fearsome hydra—a nine-headed serpentine dragon, with an awful temperament. The painstakingly detailed art of the card depicted terrified soldiers fleeing from the beast, as the souls who were unfortunately too slow to escape were devoured whole.
And finally, the king was none other than a majestic thunderbird—a legendary eagle-like creature capable of summoning storms with the flap of its wings.
The magician sighed and a look of discontentment flashed across his young face. These cards had grown stale. Yet, there was never an opportunity to fetch any more. There were only a few myths left that still clung to the hearts of the masses and each one would require quite a long trip. Nessie was all the way in Scotland and Sasquatch, while being closer, likely wouldn’t be higher than a 4 or 5. Or perhaps that was just his own bias. And besides—his enjoyment isn’t what ultimately mattered. If they still managed to enrapture hearts despite the modern era of disbelief, then who is he to take that from the people?
But in spite of this, he knew that if either one of them ever made a move against humanity, or if something else suddenly popped in to say hello, he would have to be there…be there to keep the lines clear.