{Wassail on itch.io }

Off into the woods with ye, and listen to the trees.

This is a game of trees, spirits, hearty drinks and cartomancy. Let the forest reveal its innermost secrets to you, and discover its future.

This is the free version of the game, for a small price you can get it in epub and pdf format from itch.

The epub and pdf versions contain a couple of extra sections; one is a basic recipe for a warm cider wassail, the other a brief introduction to reading pairs of Lenormand cards. Buying it also helps support my work, and will help pay for art for a print version in the future.

The materials

To play this game you will need the following:

* A flask of warm wassail
* A cup for each player
* A deck of Lenormand cards
* 2 - 6 players

The ritual

First find The tree .

Next do The blessing .

Now listen to The history .

Then read The future .

The tree

At night move through a forest with friends; making lots of noise to shoo evil spirits.

Find the oldest tree.

Lay a ring of cards around its base.

The blessing

The players each pour a cup of wassail and form a ring around the tree.

One person reads the following out loud:

Wise old tree, we do come Wassail to thee.
Do root go deep, bough go high, do green leaf blot out the sky.
Take this gift and grow you well, good health to all your kith and ken.
Shew to us you history, tell us, do your future be.
Bless you tree of wood so old, grow you well your roots may hold.

Now pour some of the wassail from the flask onto the roots of the tree.

Together raise your cups, shout “wes hail” and take a drink.

The history

The tree will now reveal secrets from the forests past to each player.

One at a time players approach the tree and takes a pair of cards.

The order in which you take these cards is important, it dictates the order in which the pair should be read.

Look at the cards.

Think about what the tree might be trying to tell you with them.

Think about what secrets were revealed before, and how they might relate to these cards.

Do these cards represent a significant moment in the forests history? Do they tell you about someone, or something, that lived there? Maybe they are a continuation of a secret already revealed.

Share with the group what it is that these cards reveal.

The others may ask clarifying questions about the secret but should not try and influence the story themselves.

Players repeat this until everyone has read two secrets.

The future

The tree will now reveal to the players what it thinks the future holds for the forest.

One by one each player removes a card from the base of the tree without looking at its face. Keep doing this until only two cards remain under the tree.

These two remaining cards represent what the tree expects the future holds in store for the forest.

Turn over these cards and together talk about what you think the tree is trying to tell you.

Let what the tree has already told you inform what you think the tree is telling you.

Is it a warning? Maybe a blessing?

Thank the tree and return home.