We just had an awesome “Last breath” roll.
Our Bard, a woodsman with a loving family and good village life (in a village being stalked by a werewolf) was slain in a confrontation with the aforementioned werewolf.
As the battle continues, and the rest of the party drive the wolf off (But fail, once again, to kill it), the Bard stands on a dark shore, with a black marble table, and two matching chairs. in one sits a dark-robed figure, with no face visible. “PLEASE, HAVE A SEAT”. the figure says. “YOU HAVE A GOOD LIFE. A LOVING FAMILY, AND WELL-RAISED CHILDREN”. The figure says, reaching into it’s robe, and taking out a deck of Tarot cards “IT IS RARE TO SEE ONE LIKE YOU ARRIVED SO YOUNG” He takes three cards from the deck. he turns over The Wheel of Fortune “A GOOD LIFE, AND LIVING.” he turns over The Emperor “WELL DISPOSED AND DILIGENT CHILDREN” and he turns over The Lovers “THE LOVE OF YOUR FAMILY. YOU MAY STRIDE THROUGH MY GATES, HEAD HELD HIGH, OR”
he turns the cards over, and shuffles them “YOU MAY CHOOSE ONE CARD, AND KNOW THAT PART OF YOUR LIFE WILL FOREVER FALL TO RUIN. YOUR FAMILY WILL DRIFT APART AND ABANDON YOU, OR YOUR FORTUNES WILL SOUR, AND LEAVE YOU IN PERPETUAL POVERTY. OR ELSE YOU WILL WATCH YOUR CHILDREN BECOME LAYABOUTS, OR PETTY THIEVES, OR PRODIGALS.”
Meanwhile, the party has driven the werewolf away, and the ranger falls to her knees, shouting to the goddess Frigga to save him, bring him back, “he’s my only family goddammit” (she is the bards half-great great aunt). her player has taken “god amidst the wastes”, and is petitioning her deity, so I tell the bards player to pick one of the cards, and take it out of the stack, and reshuffle.
While the Bard sweats over whether to take the card, or walk through the gates, the Wizard realizes… he is standing next to a portal to the feyrealm, says “ritual to bring him back, while he still hasn’t passed through the gates?” and I give him “well, you’ll piss off the fey beyond the portal, and you’ll annoy death” . He accepts.
On the shores of the black gates, I ask the Bards player “When you get pulled back, are you reaching for a card, or standing up from the table?” and he says that, when the threads of silver light wrap around him, he was reaching for the top card. “I’LL LEAVE THE TABLE SET” death says as the bard is drawn back from the black gates