Now, I actually don't need to create the entire deck before starting Part 5. And I actually had gotten a good start on many of the cards—just not all of the ones I needed for, oh, page 1. Two of those needed and not done are shown here. The other two, the ones not needed, were, naturally, already done.
These cards are based on the Tarock (or Tarocco) deck that I was first introduced to by a friend who had recently returned from studying and teaching in Vienna [link 1 (below)]. Beyond being intrigued by these new picture cards and enjoying the card game he taught a group of us (Königsrufen, I think) I was extremely fond of his anecdote about the variants of the rules of the game. Paraphrasing a decade after the fact:
"Every state in Austria has there own particular rules on how to call and bid. And every district within a state has yet another take. So does every city in the district. And every coffee house in the city. And every table in a particular coffeehouse."
As this neatly summed up my view of human politics and tribe identity, I knew right there and then that the cards most commonly used in the world(s) of Dicebox would be the Tarock. Redesigned, of course.
The images on the Trumps of the Tarock or Bourgeois Tarot are split into two scenes, a rural and urban interpretation of theme of the card. [link 2] I decided to go instead with a "two sides of the same coin" approach. Many of them are shaping up to be depicting a civilization vs. nature or insider vs. outsider aspect, but not intentionally so.
I do take my cue from the traditional card themes as well as the general theme of a set of cards. In this case, 6 through 9, it's the four times of day defined as Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Night. I then decided on activities likely for each time of day. As I develop a set of cards together, they aquire their own sub-theme, the one for these being the action of animals vs the actions of man.
Though this is all I need to get cracking with Part 5, this isn't the final art for the cards; that'll be when I ink and watercolor the pencil art. I will execute the whole deck this way whether or not they appear in Dicebox proper. That's because I plan to produce decks of these cards partly as an incentive when Book 2 is ready to go to print. (Though my decks will be will be the full 78 cards of the Bourgeois Tarot instead of the truncated 54 of the Tarock [link 3].)
2 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarot_Nouveau#Trumps
3 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapp-Tarock#Cards