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Cavalier of Swords

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Dec. 17th, 2008 | 09:45 pm
music: Talking Heads's True Stories : Puzzlin' Evidence
posted by: shatterstripes in silicon_dawn

A random draw brings me to the Cavalier of Swords.

Cavailiers - "knights" or "knaves" in many other decks, but I wanted a clear one-letter abbreviation - are associated with energetic, active Fire, while the Swords are associated with planning, detached Air. We've already seen this combination run the other way in the King of Pentacles; here we have the flip to his flop.

The Cavalier of Swords is definitely full of action. All of the Cavaliers are active, and part of how I denote this is splitting the card into three panels - these guys are so damn busy Doing Stuff that they have extra narrative hooks. This one is active, yet very intellectual; he's using a thin sword designed for precision pinpoint attacks, relying on his speed and his skill at parrying to defend himself. He's dressed like quite the swashbuckler; he's as likely to score points on his opponent with an insult as with the point of his rapier.

He rides a giant crow, high above a gathering storm in the evening sky. If you look closely you can see him waving his sword.

Seen close, he's slim and elfin, androgynous even. He reaches out from barely-visible flames, palm down - he's not asking, offering, or demanding anything. Perhaps he's about to steal something. He's no cat burglar, despite his litheness; his outfit demands to be noticed, with its bold yellows and maroons against black, his tri-colored hair (black/yellow/orange) and the feathers in his immense hat.

Perhaps he grows up to become the King of Pentacles, spinning stories about the wild adventures of his youth. Or perhaps he misjudges, gets into something he can't clever his way out of, and dies tomorrow.

To use a comic-book metaphor, this guy is Spider-man. He lives on his wits, reflexes, and luck.

As always, if you have anything to ask about this card, or want me to talk about another one, let me know.

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