Leaders are distinguished from other Black Card members by a card game stage name (such as Poker or Blackjack). These card game names can be of any game of any origin, so long as it's a known game and it uses the standard playing card deck.
The Face Cards
Otherwise known as the Face Four, these members not only take the reins of an act, they also contribute to the organization outside of performances. These people are also responsible for handling major decisions and changes. (The Ace of Spades is also included in this group due to it's high value in a standard deck, despite it not being a face card.)
- Spades the Husky (Ace of Spades): Spades is very much like her own individual team. She's the one who keeps track of all of the The Black Cards' funds, and her precision with blades allows her to perform various acts for the audience.
- Domino the Quoll (King of Diamonds): Domino is the group's tactician in a way. He's the guy that plans everything and sort of forces his input into every situation. He takes place as the main musician and artist of the group.
- Jack the Weasel (Jack of Clubs): Though most often referred to as Jack, his complete stage name is Blackjack. Considered the outcast and shocker of the group. Jack's performances are very horrifying and almost bone chilling to watch as they show out scenes of gore and the likes. But it is all fake, right?
- Poker the Antelope (Queen of Hearts): Karma (view Stitches under former members)'s replacement member, Poker is the newest addition but has quickly become a fan favorite. He specializes in animal taming.
Aces are leaders in performance acts but have little to no say in decision making.
- Solitaire the Mink: (Ace of Diamonds) After Bridget (view Mirage under former members) was kicked out, the group sought out a new illusionist, that being Solitaire. Like his name suggests, he's a solitary person, and is able to perform on his own, though he is part of the magic act. He is ocassionally let into the Face Four's meetings as he's a valuable business partner.
- Diplomat the : (Ace of Clubs)
- Casino the : (Ace of Hearts)
- Candice the Meerkat: Candice is a pyrokinetic and takes part in the magic act.
- Nikolai the Elephant: Don't feed him peanuts.
- Nobody the Saboten: A saboten that was taken from his natural habitat to be used in The Black Cards's act.
- Gareth the Bull: Gareth is the stocky/clumsy member of the group. He's a very nice guy and loves to help people in the group. Though he's naive and is a huge fan of Domino. He is notably both the group maid (cleans after performances and takes care of the members), but he is also the groups only technician.
- Clown Animatronics: Clown robots that are currently maintained by Jack. They are all made to look like penguins and perform silly acts.
- Mirage the Husky: An illusionist and former member of the magic act, she was removed from the list of members and was fired immediately after one of her performances went awry. She is now apparently with The Nazar. Her stage name was Bridget, taking from the card game Bridge.
- Joker the Snake: An engineer, he originally created the clown animatronics that are used in the circus acts. He was a good friend of Jack in his former life and brought Joker into the Black Cards. Unfortunately, Joker died under 'mysterious circumstances'.
- Stitches the Living Doll: A main member of the group that was subsequently left behind after her questionable activities, Stitches once was in charge in the puppeteering acts and also worked with the Clown Animatronics. Though she did not tarnish The Black Card's reputation like Mirage did, her personality and actions behind stage ultimately led to the other main three agreeing to fire her. She was the former Queen of Hearts, her stage name being Karma.
The Black Cards have their own sets of rules and policies to live by, all made by Domino.
- Do not travel without the group.
- Do not fight or kill any members.
- Do not fight your viewers/any consumers.
- Do not have verbal disputes between consumers.
- Members are not to eat the concessions.
- Do not converse with anyone during performances.
- Save any conversations after performing or during travel.
Base of Operations
The Black Cards function as a traveling circus show. They use several stage and concession sets that are transported by trucks. These trucks also happen to function as quarters for the minor stars of the show, with one of these truck having been adjusted to house Nobody while keeping him alive. The major stars stay in one "first class"-styled truck. This setup allows them to easily prepare for upcoming shows and also allows them to stay on the move whenever they may get in trouble.
The group's attire isn't very strict, though the colors black and white are required. Everyone must wear something appropriate for whatever they must perform. Depending on the act they're associated with in particular, they must also wear the proper colors and the proper accessories that show they're part of said act.
- Red: The blades act. Because this is run by Spades, members are also required to wear an accessory that appears like the spades symbol. Sheathes are often necessary, but not always depending on the person.
- Yellow: The puppet act. Though it's the puppets and animatronics that are performing, the puppeteers are still required to wear hearts and the color yellow/gold/tan.
- Green: The firearms act. Led by Jack, those that participate in this must also wear an object similar to the clubs symbol. Holsters are a must as well.
- Blue: The musicians act, and can also be considered an alternate color to the magic act as well. With Domino managing this, people must wear something similar to a diamond. This does also apply to those that are magicians, despite Domino not necessarily leading it.
- Purple: The main color for the magic act. Again, people of this act are required to wear an accessory similar to a diamond.
Each member's uniforms undergoes a judging process before it is decided that it's acceptable to wear. Anything relating to playing cards is encouraged for obvious reasons, as are patterned fabrics that are comfortable and won't get in the way of performing.
Makeup is usually worn during performances and is often extravagant. This isn't necessarily noted as a must, but everyone is always seen wearing it regardless (this may be Domino's doing).
These acts are not in order (aside from the opening act coming first and the closing act coming last, of course).
- Opening Act: The beginning of The Black Card's performance starts as a combination of all upcoming acts, and introduces the main members to the audience. This is usually run by Domino, who is also the announcer.
- Music Act: Led by Domino, this is performed all throughout the entirety of the show.
- Blades Act: Led by Spades, this act involves various dangerous activities with a variety of blades, including knives, swords, and more. The finale is performed by Spades herself.
- Crystalline Act: Led by Domino, this act involves the Quoll to perform rhythmical noises as he jumps around a large parkour course. The performance attracts audience attention as it it quite high flying. The music made as the crystals clang and clash together is something to behold. The finale is performed by Domino himself.
- Firearms Act: Led by Jack, the performance involves various firearms (none pointed at the audience, of course) and is often described as gruesome. The tension is often high among the audience, and the finale is performed by Jack.
- Puppet Act: Once led by Marionette, they no longer have a leader, but manage themselves as a team. The act involves the animatronics, puppets of all kinds, and "living puppets" (living people with their limbs being controlled by their partner). The finale is performed by the animatronics.
- Magic Act: Though supposedly originally assigned to Domino (hence the outfits' color), they are like the puppet act in which they lack a leader, but work as a team. Their finale was once performed by Mirage, who was replaced by Solitaire after she was fired.
Once originally known as the trademarked Cards & Canvas, the now infamously famous circus crew known as the Black Cards didn't have such infamy at the start.
It all began with Leo and Jerry Card, two talented lemurs that decided they had a knack for the unknown arts of entertainment. Together the two created Cards & Canvas, both being cards and the playing field being their canvas. The idea originated after the two took great pleasure to going to theme parks and circuses of the likes. They wanted to create a easy working entertainment establishment that welcomed new talent and kept audience attention.
From what started as a little family owned business blew up into a huge entertainment enterprise. Before the twin lemurs knew it, they spent less time out doing stunts, and more time signing contracts and creating very large business revenue. The two Card brothers were filthy rich and led generations of following family members into the business.
After the two lemurs passed away with several million credits still hardened into their business, sooner or later the family just stopped owning the fine Cards & Canvas traveling circus park. It was instead co-led by the great grandson of Leo named Gerome and an old family friend. The two renamed the traveling circus into Deck of Cards Ent. Many fans were displeased with the name change but acts were still entertaining.
It was at the point of Gerome's control that the company was making the most revenue off of entertainment practices. The new hired blood (Spades the Husky, Domino the Quoll, Jack the Weasel, Mirage the Husky, Marionette the Serval, etc.) was very popular among fans. They had all sorts of merchandise for the new cast members and shows were as stated before, bringing in loads of revenue. The business was at an all time high!
Mirage was an incredible fan favorite. She was described as having the most realistic plays, fans would go roaring for the young husky. This however did not last. During a performance using hex magic, Mirage ended up killing the groups former engineer assisting her, Joker the Snake.
After long fought court cases, Gerome listed the death as a mystery when in reality he knew why and how Joker died. He abruptly fired Mirage under secrecy. After not seeing Mirage on stage and with the rumored death of former member Joker; the traveling circus was under heavy duty fire by conspiracy theorists, fans, and critics alike.
Revenue was at an all time low and veteran workers were just suffering with low income and even worse working conditions. Some months at a time there would be no acts or anything. There was no new blood entering the circus either, so old acts got dry and fans refused to come any longer.
As his old family friend retired and quit during the murder case, Gerome was looking into retirement as well and considered selling stock before closing and shutting down the doors to Deck of Cards, a decision that would leave the wrong people angry.
Recreation & Cutting Loose Ends
After a huge workers outcry on the state of the business, Gerome went into hiding in fear of his own workers catching wind of his possible retirement with business profit. A trio of former employees banded up and dragged Gerome into a distant desert. They each tortured and threatened the old lemur until a slender quoll sealed his fate by forcing him to commit suicide.
With the death of Gerome, many were in a state of shock as to what would be the next step for Deck of Cards. The traveling circus was recreated a year afterward once former members put in their money as a one shot way of recreating the business to better themselves and future workers.
Amazed at the news, old fans just couldn't resist jumping on the possible chance of new Cards acts. After hitting a major success with the reunion event, the old employees developed an online poll for fans to take to display what they would like for oncoming plays and a new business name as well as a new uniform.
It was decided by fans and staff that the new name to the traveling circus would be The Black Cards. Led by the four main members Domino, Spades, Jack, and Karma; the circus was finally running financially well. New acts and auditions were accepted into the circus and made the whole business fan friendly as well as worker friendly.
Despite its rugged, dark, and mysterious past, the now new Black Cards are just as popular as the old Cards & Canvas days, bringing many old fans in a reminiscent fashion of how the old traveling circus used to be. It didn't take them long to start branching out into new practices, such as fashion, as well, increasing reveunes even further. New Ace Solitaire was brought in by Spades and Domino to replace Mirage as part of a business agreement. Though there was initial opposition to replacing the fan favorite, he was quickly accepted as soon as he performed live, dazzling the audience.
Marionette had always been known to be the oddball of the leads; where Jack had always been blunt, Spades calm and collected, and Domino knowing what to say, she always appeared poorly spoken. To many it always seemed as if she had something to hide, which her coworkers quickly caught onto, as did fans. Many people around her did their best to avoid her, finding her mildly creepy and suspicious. However, she appealed to a certain crowd and was talented in her own way, and so, she was tolerated.
Solitaire, during one off season, was hospitalized after he was found collapsed in front of his bedroom door. Karma was the one to call in EMS, but something about her seemed off, at least to the other leaders. It didn't take Spades much longer to find herself in the Queen of Hearts' room, discovering plush dolls in the making of her and several of the other Black Cards members, and a completed Solitaire. Though there was no signs of any sort of magic, she knew what she was seeing. Horrified, she takes his doll and informs Domino and Jack, however before they could notify the police, Karma breaks in, having noticed the missing doll, and threatens to reveal the truth as to what happened with Gerome and Mirage to the public.
After an hour of negociations, they all come to an agreement: Karma would have to hand all the dolls over to them and leave the circus (and by extension, leave the entire circus group alone), and they wouldn't hand her over to the police or force her to publicly resign. However, Solitaire's doll couldn't be destroyed like the others, lest they wanted him to perish as well. He's now forced to keep it under guard for the rest of his life, or until they somehow find a way to stop it's effects.
A New Queen
Following the departure of Karma, the group was in sudden need of a new Queen of Hearts, though struggled to find another puppeteer, particularly after the Ace of Hearts refused to take on the position of lead. Unable to find a new leader in time, the circus had to put their tour season on hold, angering and having to provide compensation to their ticketholders.
With each tryout the leaders started to lose more and more hope, until a gerenuk comes along, proposing a new idea as a whole - scrapping the puppets and replacing them with animals. Though initially opposed to the concept, the Face Three were shocked with his tryout performance and flawless execution, and recruits him immediately. Spades would later openly admit that she regrets hiring him quickly as possible, stating that her dejected mindset led her to quickly jumping on the opportunity without thinking about the consequences. Still, after spending months training and coordinating the new program, it turned out to be a hit with the crowd. Though some fans missed the old Queen, others welcomed the new with open arms.
Poker was a rather strange one; they might've not hired him had they gotten to know him better before asking him to join. He would always change the subject if asked about his history, something that would raise any employer's red flag, but nonetheless, he has fully integrated into the group as a leader, and isn't leaving anytime soon. Still, with a new, relatively normal Queen and a completely revamped suit, The Black Cards now continues on moving forward, ready to perform and reach new heights.