Hinata's Deck Box
This article is a WIP created during World Anvil Summer Camp 2022 and contains incomplete sections. Please stay tuned!Hinata encountered her Deck Box during her first foray into the Aethrelian-powered realm of minds. She wandered into a dreamscape by accident. While walking into the first dream she attended, she discovered a wolfKynd woodworker in the midst of creating in her sleep. During the wolfKynd's dream, Hinata watched her build the box from start to finish, from each fitted slat to every meticulously etched groove of the design. Hinata's presence and focus for such a duration on the object imbued the dream as well as the item with excess magic. When she woke the box was no mere memory but instead had manifested as a real, magical artifact in the corner of her room nearest to her bed.
CompositionIt is constructed of a hardy, variegated burgundy wood, treated with waterproofing and longevity preserving materials, and is intricately carved on every surface. In the beginning, it was a 2 foot by 2 foot by 2 foot square structure. Originally it opened from the middle where two of the sides folded outward, each panel nearly a quarter of the base box. Over time, however, it has spontaneously increased in size as if preparing to hold more items within. No one knows what prompts this change, but over the course of 500 years it has grown to a solid wood display cabinet with many different doors and drawers of various shapes and nearly one hundred narrow shelves. Standing six feet tall, twelve feet long, and two feet deep, the Deck Box currently takes up the length of Hinata's room, one wall entirely covered by the magical construct.
InteriorInside, Hinata keeps every card she encounters, as she discovers them, as well as every card which appears there due to the magic within Aethrelia. Wanting to prevent artifacts from manifesting in her personal space again, Hinata tried a variety of interactions with dreamscapes, from the duration of her stay to how much she allowed herself to focus on particulars, to how much she interacted with the mind she'd entered. Eventually she opened her Deck Box and was astonished to discover cards had manifested within. These seem linked to her travels, whether physical or mental or spiritual. Entire decks or individual cards populate the narrow shelves at random. Sometimes cards appear in the dreamscape itself for her to claim as she explores minds and worlds via her Aethrelian-powered journeys. Regardless, all of the cards she encounters become attuned to her and are made part of Hinata's Collection. She frequently can be found shuffling through the cards in the Deck Box to admire the beautiful art as well as wonder at their meanings. During her readings with her Blank Deck, only cards that she has collected have ever been drawn to her hand. She continues to grow her vast collection of cards into the magical cabinet but with its recent growth it is merely half full, and she doesn't expect to fill it anytime soon. Both Hinata and the Ardalu in charge of her guardianship are curious to see at what point the cabinet will grow again.
Dangers & PuzzlesDays passed in her physical reality while she occupied her first dream, and the Ardalu suspect Hinata nearly got herself trapped there. Had the wolfKynd continued creating instead of finishing with a flourish that knocked Hinata out of the dream, she could have remained forever spellbound, watching the intricate carvings of the Deck Box until the end of time. Or, perhaps, until the wolfKynd perished. And no one knows what would happen if she were still inside someone's mind at the time of their death. Would she lose her mind to the dream? Find herself trapped in an extended coma? Be kicked back into her body naturally? Or would she perish alongside the one she visited? It seems that will be a mystery to solve another day.