Trumps of Winter
Grand Tsar Buresk the Dragonslayer, the Mad Tsar
The Tsar who split apart Lokva with the Disastrous Draw.
Tsar Buresk Obarsevich Tyurinov was an impressive man in his prime — tall, broad, and sinewy, with a rich red-brown mane and beard. As a prince, he was the picture of heroism — but after his coronation, he grew wilder and more fearful, wasting away yet still strong.
Buresk Obarsevich was one of the two sons of Grand Tsar Obarsy Burekivich Tyurinov. Both were born late in Tsar Obarsy’s life, and they had no siblings but one another. The two were the best of friends and the most dedicated of rivals, ever trying to outdo one another at the various arts of swordplay and hunting. The two princes set out together to hunt the black dragon Tozhoris, but only Prince Buresk survived the encounter. He had the corpse of Tozhoris brought back to Valgrad and put on display, and soon thereafter his aging father stepped down and installed Buresk the Dragonslayer as the Grand Tsar of Lokva.
Buresk married the same year as his coronation, and soon thereafter his daughter and heir was born. But Buresk was not the hale, confident man he was as a youth. Over the years, he grew more and more capricious. The servants whispered that he was haunted by the ghost of his brother; the scholars spoke quietly of the death-curses of dragons, and how likely it was that Tozhoris still ate away at Buresk’s mind. He became a poor tsar, issuing stern punishments to villages too unlucky to pay taxes and opening the treasuries on one whim after another. In all this time, he seemed to care most for one thing: a legendary deck of cards, painted by Vilivin the Dreamer, taken from Tozhoris’ hoard. He sat awake with the deck before him night after night, never quite daring to turn over the cards.
Finally a challenger arose to depose the Mad Tsar. Prince Casivir marshaled an army and rode on Valgrad, promising all who would hear him that he would shed no blood save those who struck directly at him. Hearing that Casivir was not only turned against him, but also cheered on by his subjects, Buresk grew increasingly fearful. When Casivir was at the gate, the Mad Tsar turned to his prized possession — and turned over all the cards, heavenly and hellish, at once.
The Disastrous Draw was the last act of Mad Tsar Buresk the Dragonslayer. To this day, his legacy is a ruined capital, a nation divided — and the rise of those who hold the Trumps.