Legend of the Wizard Laird
A gothic Lenormand inspired by the Scottish folktale of the Laird of Skene
About the deck
The starting point for this deck was a conversation with an old colleague from Aberdeenshire about the local legend of the "Wizard Laird" - Alexander, the 16th Laird of Skene. She explained how she'd grown up beside the Dunecht estate hearing the many folk tales about the Laird: the sale of his soul to the Devil in Padua in exchange for necromantic knowledge; his appearing without a shadow; his constant familiars (a raven, a crow, a jackdaw, and a magpie); his midnight race with the Devil across the frozen Loch Skene; his bewitchment of the dancers at a nearby ceilidh such that they danced with bleeding feet until morning; the rumours of a monstrous prodigy hidden within the Castle of Skene.
I've always been fascinated by ancient folk tales, so I couldn't resist the challenge of creating a new deck inspired by these tales. While obviously the constraints of Lenormand's structure wouldn't allow for a direct translation of the narrative into a deck, I hoped to design a deck which captured some of the dark, gothic atmosphere of the legends. I had already considered a deck with some kind of Scottish theme, and the Wizard Laird provided me with the necessary 'hook' to hang the deck around.
In terms of style, the Wizard Laird deck sees something of a return for me to the approach taken by the Tyldwick Tarot and the Malpertuis Lenormand: it's been some time now since I worked with this more 'painterly' style, but it felt absolutely appropriate for this deck and I've enjoyed revisiting the techniques I used for those two earlier decks.
As with most of the decks I've designed, progress on the deck in the early stages was initially quite fast but then - as I've now found generally to be the case - slowed down quite dramatically. I imagine that it's inevitable when designing a deck that the first cards come easiest, while the last ones tend to be the hardest to get right. I'm now in the process of making final amendments to those cards which I'm still not entirely happy with. I'll be posting updates here as and when I complete the final card designs.
The design process for this deck has also been slowed down somewhat by my own difficulty deciding upon a card size for the deck. When I sought advice from readers and collectors on this question, the answers I received were almost exactly 50:50 (which didn't really help me!). For every person who insisted on a larger size (so as to appreciate the artwork better), there was another who insisted as strongly on a smaller card size (so as to make the cards easier to shuffle and spread). After much deliberation, I finally decided to make the deck available in two different sizes. This has, of course, doubled the amount of design work necessary to complete the deck
I'm still in the process of deciding how the deck will be packaged (the deck will certainly include a detailed booklet, but no decision has yet been made on the box format) - but I'll be posting updates on this once I've decided on a final approach.
The Legend of the Wizard Laird deck has been designed in two different sizes:
a larger edition (70mm x 120mm) and a smaller bridge size edition (57.5m x 89mm). I've yet to decide the size of the print run, but I'm anticipating that each edition will be printed in a limited run of 1000 copies.
The deck will include a full-colour printed instruction booklet (LWB) outlining the history of Lenormand, background to this specific deck, sample spreads and card meanings.
I'm currently exploring packaging options and will post updates here in due course once I've decided the format of box in which the final deck will appear.
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All images © Malpertuis Designs Ltd 2018.
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Please note that this deck is not yet published. I am hoping to have the deck published by Spring 2018.
Deck prices are dependent on the packaging options I decide upon and will be confirmed nearer publication.
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