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"…now the Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica shall come forward, and consult the Emperor's Tarot to establish the agenda."
"Let it be done," the chant rang out.
The ancient psyker, hunched under the weight of his arcane technology, stalked forth onto the floor. Circled by the spiteful eyes of the other eleven High Lords, and that grim statue of the Emperor's effigy, he drew in his breath. At his waist, he unclasped a small box. He could have commanded it to automatically shuffle, for each psychically-attuned card could play the role of any other, but the demands of tradition bid him take the slow path.
Drawing out the packet of liquid crystal wafers, he set them out on the small, flat-topped podium. He split them into stacks, cut them twelve times each for the High Lords and once for the Emperor of Mankind, and gathered them back together.
Then, with another intake of breath, he drew the first card, placing it delicately on the ancient tabletop.
"The Emperor of Mandatio!" cried the sycophant, and the cheer went up. In the Council of High Lords, the Emperor was always the first card to reveal itself. On that card, a wizened figure locked in a prison of gold, the Overlord of the Imperium, the Master of Mankind. Whose divine overwatch surveyed and foresaw…