Shadow former noble weakness
I live in the middle of nowhere. My pet wendigo is a very good boy.
2023.06.02 16:59 Dead-Bowl-4572 I live in the middle of nowhere. My pet wendigo is a very good boy.
Blood Moon Rising
The Appalachian Mountains loomed before me like dark sentinels, their ancient peaks shrouded in an eerie mist. The wind whispered through the trees, carrying with it the secrets of the forgotten. I tightened my grip on the shotgun in my hand, my knuckles turning white. Beside me stood a creature of legend, my pet wendigo, Milo. Its eyes glowed with a hunger that matched my own, its presence a twisted comfort in this desolate landscape.
We had been hired by a desperate family, a last resort for them. Their ancestral home nestled deep within these unforgiving mountains had become infested with eldritch demons. Creatures born from nightmares, they tore at the fabric of reality itself, preying on the weak and the unsuspecting. The family, driven to the brink of madness, had sought out our unique services, knowing that only the unholy alliance between man and wendigo stood a chance against these abominations. The family called them 'demons', and in my experience with real demons, these were not the real deal, but rather another undiscovered species of cryptid.
The moon hung low in the sky, casting an otherworldly glow upon the land. It was a blood moon, a harbinger of the horrors to come. We trudged through the thick underbrush, guided by the faint cries of the family's lost souls. Every step brought us deeper into the heart of darkness, the air thick with a sense of impending doom.
Suddenly, a guttural growl pierced the silence. I raised my shotgun, readying myself for the onslaught. The wendigo beside me crouched low, its elongated limbs poised to strike. From the shadows, a grotesque figure emerged. Its skin was a sickly gray, stretched taut over emaciated bones. Its eyes glowed with an unholy light, pulsating with a malevolence that sent shivers down my spine. It was humanoid, but barely resembling a living creature as its limbs contorted and twisted while its head snapped and clicked, its jaws drooling with hunger.
Without hesitation, I pulled the trigger.
The shotgun's blast echoed through the night, tearing through the creature's chest. It let out a shriek that curdled my blood, but still, it advanced. The wendigo leaped forward, tearing into the demon with a ferocity that defied nature. Its razor-sharp claws ripped through flesh and bone, leaving nothing but a mangled corpse in its wake.
We pressed on, our mission clear in our minds. We were here to cleanse this unhallowed ground, to rid it of the evil that had taken root. But with every step, the horrors grew more twisted, more grotesque. The demons crawled from the shadows, their forms shifting and contorting with each passing moment. They were nightmarish amalgamations of flesh and tentacles, their faces a mockery of sanity.
The shotgun became an extension of my arm, each shot a prayer for survival. The wendigo danced through the chaos, its hunger insatiable. Limbs were torn asunder, bodies rent in two. The demons howled in agony, their unearthly cries carrying through the night, a symphony of terror.
Hours turned into an eternity as we fought our way through the hive. The family's cries grew louder, their desperation fueling our resolve. Finally, we reached the heart of the infestation, a cavern bathed in an ethereal glow. The demons swarmed around us, their numbers seemingly endless.
But we were not so easily defeated. The wendigo's hunger had become a burning fire, an insatiable rage that consumed everything in its path. I fired round after round, my aim true, each shot finding its mark. The demons fell before us, their grotesque forms disintegrating into nothingness.
And then, as quickly as it had begun, it was over. The last demon fell, its dying screech echoing through the cavern. The wendigo stood before me, its chest heaving, blood dripping from its maw. We had triumphed, but at what cost?
I turned my gaze to the family, their eyes filled with a mix of awe and fear. They had witnessed the horrors unleashed upon their home, and yet, they were alive. The wendigo had saved them, had saved us all.
As we made our way back through the Appalachian Mountains, a new dawn broke on the horizon. The blood moon sank beneath the earth, its malevolent influence waning. The world seemed brighter, the air sweeter. We had faced the eldritch demons and emerged victorious.
But I knew, deep down, that the horrors we had faced would forever haunt us. The Appalachian Mountains held secrets that would never be spoken of, nightmares that would forever linger in the recesses of our minds. We had danced with the darkness and survived, but at what cost to our souls?
The wind whispered its final farewell as we disappeared into the fading mist, leaving behind a trail of blood and broken dreams. The legend of the man and his pet wendigo would be whispered among those who dared to tread these haunted mountains, a testament to the horrors that lay hidden beneath the surface.
And as the world moved on, ignorant of the terrors we had faced, I knew that the night would come again. The blood moon would rise, and once more, the man and his pet wendigo would be called upon to face the unspeakable.
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2023.06.02 16:47 Aware-Needleworker87 Vide Talking To The Moonshade Order Members After They Were Defeated By The Eight Travelers (HUGE SPOILERS FOR OCTOPATH TRAVELER 2)
This post is heaily inspired to Malswrld's videos about Greek/Norse Gods after they were killed by Kratos.
"Oboro, Ori, Claude, Harvey, and Petrichor are in a room sitting in a circular while Trousseau and Tanzy are sitting in a corner depressed as they prefer not to sit with actual cult members (especially since they're the reason why both of their lives are screwed, meanwhile Arcanette is late), waiting for Vide all the while Dark Night is playing on the speaker".
Ori: ...Can't we just change the music to something more cheerful like, Hinoeuma (Day), Brightlands (Day), or anything else outside of Dark Night?
Claude: Well we got Invitation To Darkness, Torrent of Evil, Those Who Deny The Dawn, and Vide The Wicked God.
Ori: That's it? Aren't there any more songs to play?
Claude: We are the Moonshade Order after all, all the songs we listen to are ..."dark". Anyways why are those two here? I don't think I remember they were invited in this meeting.
Oboro: Tanzy and Trousseau are too embarassed and depressed to meet their friends after you and Arcanette ruined their lives so Ori had to bring them here just so that they won't be alone.
Claude: Not gonna lie, they look like a cute couple-
Ori: Zip it, Claude.
Claude: Oh come now, Ori, if you're going to be rude, direct that to Harvey.
Harvey: I don't want to. Talking with you lot is just a waste of time. Also where's Arcanette, I think we only have a few seconds left before Vide enters the room.
Petrichor: She says she's going to be late though I don't know what's the reaso-
The door slammed after Vide opened the door and everyone became silent with the music automatically pausing. He walks around the room staring at each person, and then Vide says his first sentence.
Vide: ...Fuck you all. That's the only thing I like to say to some of you. The reason why I called all of you is because of how much some of you screwed up. Firstly, Ori. You are a disappointment to me, to your brother, and to the Moonshade Order.
Oboro: With all due respect Lord Vide, I underst-
Vide: Silence, Oboro! Also, Ori why did you easily fell for that country boy's idealism huh!? Wasn't it the reason you and Oboro joined the order is because you two became war orphans? This cult is built out of nihilism and despair, and yet you chose to taint it with his idealism. Shame on you, child. Shame on you.
Claude: Laughs softly
Vide: Hears Claude's laugh then looks at him. Speak of the devil. Secondly, Claude. You are a disappointment to your family and to the Moonshade Order. If D'arqest is still alive right now, he would not just disown you, he will KILL YOU!
Claude: I-I-I mean, why should I participa-
Vide: SILENCE Claude. You should've just accepted on becoming my vessel, and I could've just consumed Solistia sooner, but nooooooooooo. You have other plans, and that is by becoming the Zeus of the Octopath series. I gave you my blood and this is how you'll repay me?!
Claude: But I did try making an heir-
Vide: And you did. Centuries later, only for you to become suicidal for some reason and wait for someone to kill you. Thirdly, Harvey.
Harvey: If there's something you want to say then out with it.
Vide: ...My apologies. I still cannot comprehend that you, a scholar with a normal life and normal job, joined the order just because you became a sore loser-
Harvey: Sore loser?! How dare you-
Vide: See, that's the problem on why you lost. I don't mind you joining the order if it would help the order on reviving me, especially after you kidnapped his wife and daughter who are members of the Lumina bloodline, but by the gods you just have to provoke your ex-colleague by bribing the judge on giving him a life sentence instead of an execution. Congratulations, Harvey. You just got killed for your pettiness 5 years later.
Harvey: Shouldn't you be grateful that I found the One True Magic?
Harvey: ...Laughs hard I'm sorry what? The One True Magic? I think we should call it the One Fake Magic because the only thing that's true about your discovery is that all of that hard work that you made were completely pointless. Turns out all you need is some love, but given the nature of our group, that discovery could've likely been impossible. The only things I could praise you for is your determination and the creation of the Darkling.
Vide: Next is Petrichor.
Petrichor: What is it you want to say lord Vide?
Vide: Forget it. There's literally nothing to talk about you other than you turned Roi into a monster and for fighting the Creatures of Legend where you harmed the two of them, the former physically and the latter emotionally and one killed then has its own carcass sold.
Petrichor: Gives Vide a "what the hell" look
Vide: Looks around Where's Arcanette?
Ori: She says she's going to be late.
Vide: By the way, who are those two? Points at Trousseau and Tanzy
Claude: Just two depressed strangers sitting at the corner.
Trousseau: We wouldn't be in this mess if you didn't appear in our lives. How are you holding up Tanzy?
Tanzy: I'm not getting better.
Arcanette finally arrives at the room
Vide: Oh? It seems you just arrived in time. Or should I say, Mindt?
Tanzy: Looks at Arcanette then starts having a ptsd flashback and panic attack
Trousseau: Hey, calm down! Listen just stop screaming!
Trousseau keeps trying to comfort Tanzy in the background
Vide: Anyway, Arcanette I have noticed your actions as leader of the Moonshade Order and I am very impressed.
Arcanette: Please do not praise me lord Vide, I only do what's important for our mission.
Vide: Please do not be flattered, you managed to disguise yourself as a nun at Flameschurch for years, orchestrate the genocide of the Kal people and turn Kaldena into a monstrous mess and fool an Inquisitor named Temenos.
Arcanette: Hehe, I do not deserve of such praise lord Vide.
Vide: Also every plan you take is flawless. Vide's smiling face turns frowned Almost flawless.
Oboro: Brace for impact everyone.
Ori: Alright, looks like I got my popcorn ready.
Vide: I want to ask you something, just one question.
Arcanette: What is it?
Vide: Sighs HOW THE FUCK DID YOU TURN INTO A MORON!?!?
Vide: WHAT. WERE. YOU. THINKING Arcanette?! What made you think facing the travelers head-on is a great idea?!
Arcanette: I-I wanted to see their reac-
Vide: DUMBASS BITCH. Do you know what you could have done after you doused the Sacred Flame at Flameschurch? You could've gotten away scot-free! Lead the order in the shadows and when the travelers succeeded on defeating me, you can just repeat the same the process more carefully this time. Hell, maybe you could assassinate them one by one just when they thought it's finally over but nooooooooo. Instead, you lost all your braincells for no reason and think it would be great to TAUNT TEMENOS!
Arcanette: Immediately starts getting teary-eyed
Vide: You know what that man is capable of, you even tried to warn Ori about how much of a threat he is when investigating. I want you to answer this one question. Was it worth it? Does taunting white-haired Sherlock Holmes then getting bombarded with Foreign Assassins, Battle-Worn Shark, Heavenly Disrupt + Alephan's Wisdom + 9 Elemental Atk. Up buffs, One True Magic + Alephan's Wisdom + 9 Elemental Atk. Up Buffs, Drastic Measures + 9 Physical Atk. Up Buffs, Brand's Blade + 9 Physical Atk. Up Buffs and Lionheart's Axe + 9 Physical Atk. Up Buffs feel worth it to you?
Arcanette: Becomes a sobbing mess after all of the points Vide made N-n-no.
Vide: ...Now that that's over, in conclusion most of you screwed up for whatever reason and because of that we lost on covering Solistia in darkness. So farewell to you guys because this is the only time I would to people like you. Except Oboro, he's cool.
Oboro: Oh? Well, I appreciate it lord Vide.
Harvey: Hold on, why him?
Vide: He managed to manipulate Hikari into obtaining the Darkblood Blade without screwing up and willingly sacrificed himself so I can free myself so that's win in my book.
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2023.06.02 16:36 BasilCorrect3799 Games with bow mechanics like shadows of mordor/war and horizon zero dawn
I really enjoy games with bow mechanics like shadow of mordowar and horizon zero dawn, but I like the mechanic of charging the bow and hitting weak points with the bow. Especially with horizon zero dawn and the different types of arrows you can use, but there has to be other games with similar mechanics I can sink my teeth into.
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2023.06.02 16:35 ProvenStrange The Ultimate Disguise
I’m not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but I don’t know where else to go for help. I know that after I describe the events that just happened, the ones involved may come looking for me. I have decided it’s worth the risk though. I’m still pretty shaken up, but I’m going to do my best to recall everything exactly as it happened. If something similar has happened to you or anyone you know, and you could advise me what to do next, I would really appreciate it. It might actually save my life.
Last night wasn’t the first time I had been woken up by a sound coming from the wall behind my bed. It sounded like something LARGE and HEAVY sliding along the other side of the wall. It was especially odd, because I didn’t think there was anything on the other side of that wall. I thought I had heard it several nights before this one, but was never certain if I had dreamt it or not. This time though, I knew I was awake. I was lying in bed next to my husband, Jason. I had my eyes closed, while trying to fall asleep. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fight Jason and I had a couple hours before. He told me in the five years we had been married, he had never seen me like this— a complete shell of the person I once was. He told me that I had let my paranoia completely consume me. I could tell he was deeply concerned, but also frustrated with my lack of effort to dispel it. I knew that even if I was honest about what I was worrying about though, he would not understand.
I slowly sat up in bed, straining to listen for another sound. Maybe it was some kind of animal? It sounded much too large to be a raccoon though, and bears are not common in our area. As I slowly leaned in closer to the wall, my heart jolted as I heard a very loud, THUMP THUMP. It sounded like a deliberate pounding on the other side of the wall, almost as if it was trying to get my attention.
In a low whisper, I immediately called out to Jason as he slept next to me. How could he have slept through that? He didn’t even stir, so I called his name again and tried touching his shoulder. He continued to sleep like a baby. I was about to call his name one more time when I remembered that my paranoia was the main reason for our fight earlier. Would he even believe me? I sat in the dark for a few more minutes before deciding to get up and investigate myself.
As I made my way downstairs, I caught a glimpse of a photo of the two of us from our honeymoon. Although it was from only five years ago, Jason and I looked so much younger. It was probably due to the fact that we were smiling so big. I have been trying so hard to be that happy girl in the photo for him and for me, but recently, I haven’t even come close.
I decided to start my investigation of the mysterious sound with the garage, since it is located directly under our bedroom. I flipped the light on and scanned the room from wall to wall, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Everything looked the way it was supposed to. Our car was parked out on the street that night, so the garage was just a large, echoey room. Gardening tools, storage containers, cleaning supples and various pieces of sporting equipment packed the shelves along the far wall. There was also a small stockpile of food and water Jason liked to keep just in case of a disaster. Remember, being paranoid is my thing though…
I made my way over to the shelves to see if anything could have made a noise like the one I heard. As I was halfway across the garage, I heard a loud SLAM come from above me. My eyes darted up to the attic door in the ceiling and the pull string that dangled from it. The string was slowly swaying from left to right.
Great. That’s normal, right? I never realized that our bedroom shared a wall with the attic until now. I thought hard about running upstairs to get Jason’s help. That would be the most logical thing to do, but just as I was about to do that, I had this feeling. I had a very faint idea of what could be the source of the disturbance, but knew that it would defy logic. I also knew that based on the five weeks we had been together, if there was even the slightest chance that my suspicion was correct about the source of the noise, Jason would not understand— nor would he even be willing to help me deal with it. If I was going to be able to protect the both of us, I knew I had to deal with this myself.
I walked over to the attic door and grabbed the pull string. With a loud CREEEAAAAK the door slowly swung down. I grabbed the ladder attached to the door and unfolded it down to the ground. I directed my attention back up to the ceiling, and stared into the black hole that was the attic entrance.
My eyes strained to make out anything inside, while I waited for something— anything to come out of the darkness. I turned to the shelf next to me and grabbed a flashlight. After pointing it toward the black hole in the ceiling, I still couldn’t make out anything, so I contemplated my options. Less thinking, just do, Mel. I knew that if I waited any longer, my thoughts would scare me into complete paralysis, so I began to climb. With each step, the ladder let out a painful creak. This ladder was as old as the house, and I have no idea if it was ever inspected. The way it would bend under my very minimal bodyweight made me realize the very real possibility that it could give out at any time. We really need to have this thing inspected…
The black hole grew bigger and bigger with each step. I held my breath the whole time, ready for either the ladder to crumble beneath me or something to emerge from the darkness. Thankfully, neither of those things happened. Once my head breached the attic opening, I remembered to breathe, and drew in a large breath of stale, musty air.
I scanned the attic with my flashlight. It wasn’t really a room— more just a storage space between the ceiling of the garage and the roof of the house. The ceiling formed a triangle with the highest point being only five feet tall. As I slowly panned my flashlight across the space, its beam revealed various objects in storage— an old dollhouse, a large shop vacuum, a full-sized scarecrow, a snow shovel, a vintage suitcase, a pair of kayak paddles, several boxes, and lots of Christmas and Halloween decorations. The holiday decorations appeared pretty unsettling in the beam of the flashlight…probably because a lot of them had faces that were looking back at me. The witch especially gave me the creeps with her pale, green skin, hands covered in warts, and open mouth full of yellow teeth. Oh and don’t forget the random Christmas elf’s detached head just resting on top of a box with its single, beady eye reflecting back at me! Why does it only have one eye?? Why is its head not with its body?? Why do we even have this thing??
After doing a full scan of the space with my flashlight, I reached behind me to turn on the attic light. The second the light turned on, I jumped as I heard the sound of movement coming from the pile of junk in front of me. I held my breath and stared long and hard, while looking for any sign of movement. THAT WITCH BETTER NOT MOVE, I SWEAR. After a long minute of waiting, nothing had moved in the slightest.
Just as I was letting out my long awaited exhale, a loud, “BWAK BWAK BWAK,” erupted from my right side. I whipped my head around to reveal a plush toy of a chicken lying on the floor on its side.
“BWAK BWAK BWAK,” its electronic voice box cried out again. I looked around, wondering what could have caused it to go off. The floorboards beneath me creaked as I crawled my way over to the plush chicken and picked it up. I stared into its black, soulless eyes. There was something about this chicken. It felt too personal for some reason— almost like it was a taunt. Then, I heard the sound of movement coming from the pile of junk again. I looked back and could have sworn one of the objects had moved. Was it the witch? The scarecrow? I couldn’t tell for sure.
I waited several seconds before directing my attention back to the chicken. That’s when I noticed something behind it. About 4 feet up from the floor, there was a very small hole in the wall about the size of a pea. I put my eye up to it, and my stomach lurched. Through the hole, I could see right into my bedroom. I couldn’t see the bed so well, but I could make out pretty much anything at eye level. Whoever or WHATEVER was in the attic could have been watching us this whole time. From inside the bedroom, the hole was positioned just under one of the framed pictures hanging on the wall. The shadow from the frame must have concealed it all this time. I could feel my heart rate begin to drastically accelerate. I turned back to the pile of junk, since whoever or whatever was in the attic with me must be hiding somewhere in that pile.
That’s when I noticed what had changed. Earlier, the scarecrow was sitting upright with its back against a box, but now it was slumped over with one hand extended out toward me. And was it closer?? I stared at its still, faceless head hidden in shadow beneath the brim of a wide, black farmer’s hat. I looked for any sign of life in its body, which wore a red flannel shirt covered in hay and stained khaki pants with patches on the knees. I began to hyperventilate. Come on, Mel! If you have a panic attack now, you are done for!
I slowly backed away from the scarecrow until I heard a loud CRUNCH under my feet. I looked down and saw that I had stepped on an empty plastic water bottle. I gasped in horror as I noticed several other empty water bottles along with empty food cans and a pile of blankets resembling a makeshift bed. SOMEONE WAS LIVING IN OUR ATTIC.
Before I could react, I heard fast stomping coming right toward me. I looked up and saw the scarecrow LUNGING for me. I fell onto my back with my eyes closed, and braced for the inevitable. I heard the sound of movement, the creaking of the ladder, and then all was silent. My eyes slowly opened. The scarecrow had vanished.
I crawled over to the attic entrance in the floor. The garage light below had now been switched off, so the way down was nothing but a black void. I grabbed the flashlight and pointed it down into the garage. I let out a gasp as I saw the scarecrow standing directly at the bottom of the ladder facing up at me. I wanted to scream, but nothing was coming out. It stood there perfectly still…almost too still for a person to be inside of it. Was this a person?? I waited and waited until…it CHARGED at the ladder, making its way toward me.
I frantically dove toward the pile of junk and grabbed a paddle to defend myself. When I turned back to the ladder, the scarecrow was gone. There was only the rickety ladder and the black void below me. I gave myself a few seconds to catch my breath. If I was in fact dealing with what I suspected I was dealing with, I had a right to be scared out of my mind. I also knew that I couldn’t let it get to Jason first. Whatever this thing was, I had to stop it.
After taking a deep breath, I made my way down the ladder. I held my flashlight in one hand and the paddle in the other. I made sure to alternate the flashlight between the steps below me and the rest of the garage. If the scarecrow was able to knock me off the ladder, I would be done for. When my feet finally touched the concrete floor, I wanted to let out a sigh of relief, but I knew the fight was still ahead of me….or maybe behind me. It was so dark, the scarecrow really could have been anywhere.
If I could just make it to the door to the house, I knew I could flip on the light, spot the scarecrow, and charge it with everything I had. I walked as fast as I could toward the door, whipping my flashlight in all directions. I only got halfway through the garage when I heard a loud squeaking noise to my left. I knew I wasn’t getting the chance to make it to the light switch. I slowly turned my flashlight to reveal the scarecrow slumped over and sitting on an old, red Radio Flyer wagon.
This was it. I knew that the element of surprise was all I had.
I charged at it with everything inside of me. I swung the paddle again and again with all of my strength. I wouldn’t let this thing ruin the life I had worked so hard to obtain. I didn’t stop swinging until the scarecrow was completely facedown on the ground. My rage turned to fear as I slowly sensed something was off. I realized the scarecrow’s torso had become completely separated from its legs during the beating. My heart nearly stopped when I finally realized that there was nothing inside of the scarecrow but hay.
I poked its body a few times before I noticed a trail of straw leading away from it. Wherever this trail led to, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. As I followed the trail of hay with my flashlight in one hand, I shakily held my paddle in the other, ready to strike again. The trail curled away from me until it ended at A PAIR OF BARE HUMAN FEET. I let out a quiet scream as I tilted my flashlight up as fast as I could and—WHAM! I could barely make out the image of a metal baseball bat whirling toward my head before everything went black.
I woke up only a few seconds later on the garage floor with my head throbbing in pain. My vision was fuzzy, but I could see there was a shape standing in front of me. It was backlit by the light of my flashlight, which had rolled away from me. It took a few seconds for my eyes to focus on the pair of bare, dirty feet in front of me, covered in hay. As I slowly tilted my head up, I could see those feet were attached to a pair of legs wearing tattered pants. Those legs were attached to a body with two arms— one holding a metal baseball bat. The body was attached to a head, and on that head, was a face. It was exactly the face I feared I would see. It was the face of a woman with the exact same face as me— the face of Melody Bennett.
“No,” I gasped. “How did—“
Melody stared at me with rage in her eyes. Pieces of hay covered her hair.
I turned my head to the side and looked at the scarecrow’s lifeless, empty body next to me. Then, I turned and looked at Melody’s hay-covered feet.
I have to admit it now. Wearing the scarecrow as a disguise was a brilliant strategy. She really took a page from my book of deception and used it against me.
“Your life was mine,” I began to cry with eyes full of fear. “I took it from you.”
“I’m taking it back,” she declared and raised her bat high.
I tried to let out a scream, but it was too late. She was already on top of me. Whaling on me with the speed and aggression of a wild animal. She struck my head with the baseball bat again and again. With each blow, I could feel my face start to change out of the face of Melody and back into its natural form. First, my mouth morphed away, followed by my nose, and then my ears. Just as she was about to swing what would have been the killing blow, I threw my hand up and grabbed the bat. Both of us were now struggling for control of the bat. That’s when I could see my true face reflected in Melody’s eyes. My two eyes were wide and bulging, completely filled with terror. My other features were completely gone. Smooth skin was now in their place. I looked into Melody’s eyes as we struggled with the bat. This was a woman that would stop at nothing to take back her life and be rid of me. I wasn’t going to win this fight. I had to escape.
My fear somehow gave me enough adrenaline to throw her off of me. I knew I only had a second before she would be on top of me again, so I booked it out of the house as fast as I could.
I didn’t stop running until I was across the street hidden in the shadows of a neighbor’s tree. I turned back to see Melody standing in front of her house blocking any hope I had of going back there to her beautiful, lovely life— a life, which she had taken for granted until now. She had the last five weeks to think about it as she was living in the attic. All that time, she watched helplessly behind the wall of her own bedroom as I, an imposter wearing her face, tried my best to pass as her. She had all that time to watch me, study my weaknesses, and devise a plan to take her life back.
From across the street, I watched as she took in one last big breath, smelling the fresh air and appreciating the world she had once taken for granted. She slowly exhaled before walking confidently back into her house and locking me out for good.
I can’t tell you how frustrated I am that this one didn’t work out for me. I thought for sure that I had killed Melody before I had replaced her. I thought for sure that I was going to get to live in her place forever. I won’t make the same mistake again. Next time, I will make sure the person I am replacing is actually dead.
I know most of you reading this will probably think I’m just a normal person making this story up to scare you. I was counting on that. You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that there are many like me living among you.
To those of you that are like me, please let me know if you have had a similarly frustrating experience. Besides the very obvious mistake I already mentioned, what can I do differently next time? If you have any advice or know anything else I did wrong, please tell me.
I just want to find a nice life and be happy like everyone else. Why does it have to be this difficult?
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2023.06.02 16:25 Important-Lead-6512 Why do leftists keep coping about them having better equality and them being the "good guys"
The amount of leftists bragging about communism or socialist libertarianism being the greatest ideology doesnt make sense, one of the greatest communist states that ever existed, which is China, is more Auth capitalist than communist. The Soviet Union took every opportunity to get pepsi or some other corporate stuff from the US in to the country. I really cant find a great communist state where everyone prospered, agreed with the government or stuff. All the equality loving socialists had equality as good as a feudal state, "middle" class living in the cities and every else is just tyranny and ignorance of the great great government they mald about saving the people and the workers rights. You ask a socialist: Did the government that had a AuthLeft party in control infring on peoples rights? Was it worth killing about 100 million people in the last century to achieve your great state of socialism/communism or whatever for it to fail anyway? Look at the spanish civil war, the Republican side was extremely disoriented, lacked any support other than the russians who wanted to test out their medieval quality weapons and army, the anarchists who wanted to claim a territory of their own so they joined, and got as many victories as you could expect, which is practically nothing since they failed anyway and destroyed the already failing government even harder. Or the russian civil war? Yeah, great army. They claim it was a brilliant soviet victory, but if the whites had the main city centers and industrial sectors, you would see how that would end. You can call this a "rant" but im genuinly confused about the malding they keep doing when all the historical and real evidence shows that communism aint that great, and greed, a natural human trait, just makes it obsolete. There will always be elites in any country that will control it and live out in great luxury. Look at russia, former communist state, in a war they're losing, weak economy but extremely rich elites and the politicians as corrupt as you expect them to be. If i got something wrong please correct me, id like to discuss with anyone. To be honest i get some aspects of anarcho capitalism are very radical, but if you look at anarcho communism, thats probably as good as ancap seeing that for communism you need a proletariat leadership, workers that wouldnt mind the harsh conditions that an ancom state would need to achieve just to get a state of their own (most likely by violent means) even if they do lets say get into power by election, what to do than? Its highly individualistic, which i find weird because communism is collectivistic? People are all equal, share and care but if ancom says its "individualistic" than how does it work? There will be no incentive to go share or not start a business, well that wont happen because you will most likely get beaten to death or something. When you have an ancap society, you will get to do anything if you can understand a simple thing as the NAP and not doing dumb shit, you're free to go do whatever, live in a forest and proclaim it as private property, use creativity and knowledge to get in a higher class, the lower class will be people who refused to go up the knowledge ladder and will work to improve the higher peoples lives, because they worked hard and deserve to live well, on the other hand, you cant be sure if your gonna live in comfort in ancom or communism, because what if the states that exist sanction you or dont support you? Now what, you gotta be self sufficient, the soviet union tried that and you know how that ended, but the US greatness is just that, people who worked hard and got up the knowledge ladder got to live good, being served by the people below, but everyone had private property and the rights to defend. In communism your oppresed and you must live under the constant surveillance, same for ancom, the other people can now do whatever they want, theres no government, no oppresion, so you can start doing whatever and go live out but you cant have private property, thats everyones property, you cant stop someone from making a state and saying fuck you to everyone else, because they're free to do whatever, whats stopping them? You live in an anarchist land so that means anyone can do anything and if you try to stop them your an authoritarian and if you group up, that gets bigger, you get a leadership, a defense force, and woah, youve just made a socialist state. The leftists might say "but what about corporations taking over every part of your life" well the NAP exists, you're free to say fuck you to the corporation and the others agreeing to this will see they've infringed on it and they're free to join you, that balances it out, no monopolies or anything, because the individual with the other individuals working towards the same goal, to make their own lives better. Thanks if you read this, its quite long i know and as i said feel free to correct me or anything, if you want to have a debate feel free.
submitted by Important-Lead-6512
to Libright_Opinion [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:15 smackooroos Every episode of family guy from seasons 1-8 ranked.
- From method to madness
- And the wiener is…
- Road to the multiverse
- Lois kills Stewie.
- Meet the quagmires.
- Brian wallows and Peter swallows.
- 15 minutes of shame
- To love and die in dixie.
- Death lives.
- Blue harvest.
- Stewie loves Lois.
- Death is a bitch.
- Brian in love.
- When you wish upon a Weinstein.
- Road to Rhode Island.
- Untitled Griffin family history.
- Brian sings and swings
- Back to the woods.
- Stewie kills Lois.
- North to north Quahog
- Road to Rupert
- The man with two Brians.
- The courtship of Stewie's father
- Screwed the pooch.
- Fish out of water.
- Chick cancer.
- Brian & Stewie.
- I dream of jesus.
- Patriot games
- Road to Europe.
- Tales of a third grade nothing.
- The Cleveland Lorretta quagmire
- Peter's daughter
- Something, something, something, dark side.
- Hell comes to Quahog.
- A very special family guy freakin' Christmas.
- Padre de Familia
- The thin white line.
- The fat guy strangler
- Mother Tucker
- Peter Griffin: husband, father… brother?
- Peter's two dads.
- Prick up your ears.
- Fox-y lady.
- Da boom.
- Hannah banana.
- Family gay.
- Family guy viewer mail #1
- Stuck together or torn apart.
- Road to Germany
- Long john Peter
- The splendid source.
- Don't make me over.
- It takes a village idiot… and I married one.
- Saving private Brian
- Stewie & Stu's excellent adventure
- Breaking out is hard to do.
- Baby not on board.
- Barely legal.
- Believe it or not, Joe's walking on air.
- Sibling rivalry
- Bango was his name oh!
- The tan aquatic with Steve Zissou.
- Model misbehavior
- Ocean's three and a half.
- Deep throats
- Stewie B Goode
- One if by clam, two if by sea.
- Fast times at buddy cianci jr high
- Brian: portrait of a dog
- Quagmire's baby.
- He's too sexy for his fat.
- Family goy.
- You May Now Kiss the... Uh... Guy Who Receives
- We love you, Conrad.
- Brian the bachelor
- Emission impossible.
- Jerome is the new black.
- I take thee, Quagmire
- A hero seats next door
- Partial terms of endearment.
- Brian goes back to college
- Peter's got Woods
- The father, the son, and the holy Fonz
- Go, Stewie, GO!
- Let's go to the hop.
- Brian does Hollywood.
- Fore, father.
- Mr. griffin goes to Washington.
- Not all dogs go to heaven.
- Dial meg for murder
- Mr. Saturday night
- No Chris left behind
- E. Peterbus Unum
- Big man on hippocampus.
- The former life of Brian.
- Lethal weapons.
- Brian's got a brand new bag
- Death has a shadow.
- Brian Griffin's house of pain.
- Spies reminiscent of us.
- Three kings.
- Peter's progress.
- April in Quahog.
- Business guy.
- Boys do cry.
- Extra large medium.
- Whistle while your wife works
- No meals on wheels.
- Airport 07'
- The perfect castaway
- The story on page 1
- Quagmire's dad.
- Wasted talent.
- Ready, willing, and disabled.
- If I'm dyin', I'm lyin
- The kiss seen around the world.
- Blind ambition
- Jungle love
- Love, blactually.
- Bill & Peter's bogus journey
- Peter, peter, caviar eater
- Love thy trophy
- Damnit Janet
- A picture's worth a thousand bucks
- Play it again, Brian.
- 8 simple rules for buying my teenage daughter
- There's something about Paulie
- Chitty chitty death bang
- Mind over murder
- The juice is loose
- I never met the dead man
- Running mates
- The king is dead
- Holy crap
- The son also draws
- I am peter, hear me roar
- Movin' out (Brian's song)
submitted by smackooroos
to u/smackooroos [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:02 Diligent_Pen_281 A poetic prophesy
If you recognize this poem, don’t read past it.
Down in The Land, in the bay of the Thunder, A tribe from the depths, their peace torn asunder. An old man of heaven, who yet casts the line, Found deep ‘neath the waves, a tree smothered in brine.
Enter in through, with the key from The Mask, The doorman lies leery, sealed tight in the cask. Breathing is hard, where water’s a grave, Yet gifts from the past, from gasping can save.
Once underground, with the sun bright on both sides, Find you The Widow, with tears in her eyes. Give then my word, which I spoke long ago, She’ll send you away, to the land of the snow.
A man of metal and stone, whose heart melts as glass, Has given the way, by breathing his last. Through the shadows and smoke, from the man of them both, Fight your way through, but beware ye the growth.
The puzzle is easy, when know you the key, The key is my friend, the one you set free. In vaulted cathedral with roof deep below, The sovereigns lie buried, with eyes yet aglow.
Turn, turn, Turner again, One for the sinner, two for the sin. If you have heeded, and gaze cast is straight, Follow his vision to find you the gate.
A Coils, a Kiss had no will of their own, But cast free from the shackles, they fled with dark, evil stone. Now these stones that they carry, like deep seated mistrust, Are now themselves keys to halls coated in dust.
Touch not a goblet, sit not on the throne, Or wake you the ire of beast naught but bone. Yet wake him you must, for beneath is the way, Enter with haste, if you wish see the day.
A path made of gold, swathed all in linen, Fled down at great speed, by gnashing teeth driven. Traverse it yet careful, or find it your last, But when dawn has come, the trouble has passed.
Fear ye The Father, the Herald of Swarms, For guards he the way, with The Brother of Storms. Separate from me, you must defeat or persuade, Or so ends it here, your righteous crusade.
There ‘round the light, your prize binds them true, Yet releasing them now, you cannot undo. The risk, the reward, the chaos set free, The God to combine, the final decree. ————————————————————
I am running a high level (19, will go into epic boons), high fantasy (flying islands and all) campaign for a high number of players(seven). This poem is part prophecy, part road map to aid the heroes in putting back together the shattered pieces of god. It’s a big deal.
Now I do know what most of this means already but I was looking for ideas on what the other bits could be alluding to. Here’s what I have nailed down: * “The bay of the Thunder” refers to a location called Thunderbay Ocean. * “The key from The Mask” is a pendant that a PC carries, it was his father’s, his father was “The Mask. * “Gifts from the past” I intend that whichever item they pull out that I forgot an npc had given them can suddenly help keep from drowning in some way, if it’s entertaining and makes sense. * The entire stanza about the sun on both sides, The Widow, the word, and the snow I have nailed down. * The next stanza is wholly referring to NPCs, the “man of metal and stone” is a warforged general, who will sacrifice himself if he is rehabilitated, or else must be killed. The “man of shadows and smoke” is the Fey Lord of smoke, mist, and shadows, and “the growth” is a remnant from an ancient arch Druid sloth-guy. Ideas about how these last two could have left “barriers” and such would be cool. * The Warforged name is Glaive, in order to get through a door they must insert a Glaive into a slot and turn it. In a long forgotten cathedral, the ancients have been awoken and reanimated, I don’t know who these ancients were, but I know the villain who brought them back. * Next stanza refers to a statue of someone named Turner needing to be rotated. Your guess is as good as mine. * “Coils” refers to a PC (his title was The Constrictor’s Coils) and “Kiss” refers to an NPC (her title was The Kiss of the Cobra King). They then fled their society and have pieces of the body of Merrshaulk, the former god of the yuan-ti who was turned into a massive dark statue that encircled the earth. The statue has broken (because in my world the earth has shattered due to a mad geomancer, causing tectonic plates to rise, creating floating islands and continents) the yuan-ti seek to reconstruct the statue of Merrshaulk to free him from his stone prison. These shards are somehow a key I guess. * Whenever they get through, they need to be careful not to wake something I’m thinking undead tarrasque. But it slumbers on top of the way out so they must wake it. * They flew down a massive ornate tunnel chased by the undead something and other undead from earlier in the dungeon. There are tons of traps, it will be difficult. But at dawn they escape. * The last two paragraphs I kinda got, “The Father” is a PC’s lost dad, diametrically opposed to the players, same as “The Brother” the PC’s brother. They need to get past them to access the final piece. * The final piece is a piece of the shattered god, a chain that binds all the true forms of dragons. Since the event I call “The Great Cataclysm” there have been no dragons, but we know that’s because they have been bound to their humanoid forms. Removing this chain will grant them an immensely powerful piece of god ti use to fix him, but will also allow the dragons to access their true forms once again. There are some twists here, the mounts of The Harbingers of the Apocalypse are dragons. This will release them. And they can choose to release only metallics or chromatics, if they want, but a PC is a chromatic so they know they aren’t all evil…. Either way if they take the chain the Mounts are released.
Okay ideas, feedback, and clarifying questions would be so appreciated!!
submitted by Diligent_Pen_281
to DMAcademy [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 16:00 Yappi1486 Happy 3rd Anniversary Everyone! Here is the summary of the 2 Central Saga & Western Saga Banners
To summarize the Central Saga Banner: 1a) Rocbouquet [I’ve Had Enough of This!]
is a powerful & tanky Dark/Lightning staff jammer.
|Passive 1 ||Goby Hook Switch, when attacking with Shadow attacks, grants oneself Attack Boost 20% for 3 turns and recovers own BP (+2). When attacking with Lightning attacks, grants oneself Defense Boost 15% for 3 turns and recovers own HP (very small effect). |
|Passive 2 ||Flash of Revelation II, recovers own BP (+2) at start of battle. When landing a Weak attack, recovers own HP (very small effect) and recovers own BP (+1). |
|Passive 3 ||Intrinsic Staff IV - When attacking with staves, attack damage increases 20%. When attacked by an attack that would cause Resist, reduces damage taken by 40%. When attacked by an attack that would cause Resist, 37% to evade enemy’s attack. |
|Skill 1 ||Graceful Cup, Recovery/One Ally. Recovers target’s HP and grants the target 5% Defense Up (1 - 0BP when fully awakened, costs 1LP). |
|Skill 2 ||Lightning of Darkness, S powered Indirect Single Foe Shadow+Lightning attack. When the attack hits, grants the target Attack Down by for 1 turn (10% - 15% at max rank 99). When the attack hits, reduces target’s STEND/DEX/AGI/INT/WIL/LOV/CHA (10% - 15% at max rank 99) (10 - 8BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Goby Spark, A powered Indirect All Foes Shadow+Lightning Attack. When the attack hits, removes target’s INT buffs. When the attack hits, chance to reduce target’s INT (25% - 30% at max rank 99). [Critical: Aquatic, Fish] (15 - 12BP when fully awakened). |
Very good damage while having the ability to debuff and lower the attack damage of targets. Has a wide variety useful inherits with her older styles, though ideally would be to inherit Shadow+Lightning spells like Lightning Crash, to fully benefit from Passive 1.
2a) Macha [Star Train Now Departing!]
is a powerful Earth/Heat attacker.
|Passive 1 ||Macha’s Fluke, After activating an OverDrive attack, Crimson Sunflare will be activated. Crimson Sunflare, S powered Indirect All Foes Heat+Sun attack (Activates using Rank 1). When landing an attack with an Attack type skill/spell, 37% chance to activate Crimson Flare+ (Activates using Rank 1) Crimson Flare+, SSS powered Indirect Single Foe Heat+Sun attack (Activates using Rank 1). |
|Passive 2 ||Divinity, at start of turn - Grants oneself Morale Up 25% for 1 turn. Grants oneself Guard Up 25% for 1 turn. Recovers own BP (+1) |
|Passive 3 ||Fired Up VII, grants 40% damage boost. |
|Skill 1 ||Rock Summon, D powered Indirect Single Foe Blunt+Pierce Attack. 25% chance to recover user’s BP (+4) (1 – 0BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 2 ||Flame Bash, C powered Indirect All Foes Heat+Sun Attack. Before attacking, increases user’s INT (20% - 30% at max rank 99) (8 - 6BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Saga Magical Train, A powered Indirect All Foes Blunt Attack. When the attack hits, grants the target Sundered* for 2 turns (11 – 8BP when fully awakened). *Sundered: When attacked, inflicts 10% Defense Down. |
More offensive and slightly less damage mitigation compared to the previous style. Chase is good but depends on RNG. Ideally to have access to Divine Tree for inheritance onto her for no LP costs heals. Skill 1 is also very good for generating BP. Skill 3 -Saga Magical Train with Sundered can be interesting with multi-hit skills.
3a) Matriarch [Illusory Nightscape]
is a powerful Spear support.
|Passive 1 ||Intrinsic Spear IV - When attacking with spears, attack damage increases 20%. When attacked by an attack that would cause Resist, reduces damage taken by 40%. When attacked by an attack that would cause Resist, 37% to evade enemy’s attack. |
|Passive 2 ||Resolve of the Mighty, Recovers own BP (+1) at start of battle. Recovers own BP (+2) at end of turn. |
|Passive 3 ||Fired Up VII, grants 40% damage boost. |
|Skill 1 ||Paean of Tranquillity, Support Fast All Allies. Grants all surviving party members Defense Boost 20% (4 – 3BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 2 ||Saga Balloon Sanctuary, B powered Fast Indirect All Foes Sun attack. Before attacking, all surviving party members Attack Boost (15% - 20% at max rank 99) (11 – 8BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Round Slicer, SSSS powered Direct Single Foe Pierce attack (13 – 10BP when fully awakened). |
This Matriarch has been greatly buffed compared to her JP counterpart and is excellent in terms of both defense and attack. Not only does she have long legs (115% AGI), both Skill 1 & 2 are now Fast. Has the capability to cast Paean of Peace or Paean of Victory every turn, though she cannot cast Paean of Heartthrob on turn 1. Arguably her best style.
(Note: there is no need to rank up Skill 1 - Paean of Tranquillity)
Overall, very good value in this banner on its own and all the more if you have access to their previous styles for inheritance.
To summarize the Western Saga Banner: 1b) Jo [Tough Work to Get Some Squid]
is a powerful & tanky Cold/Heat staff attacker.
|Passive 1 ||Climax - Fills up own OverDrive gauge at start of battle. When OverDrive gauge is full, grants oneself Morale Up 40% for 1 turn at start of turn. When OverDrive gauge is not full, grants oneself Guard Up 35% for 1 turn at start of turn. |
|Passive 2 ||Resolve of the Mighty, Recovers own BP (+1) at start of battle. Recovers own BP (+2) at end of turn. |
|Passive 3 ||High Protect Tension, 30% damage mitigation and 20% damage boost. |
|Skill 1 ||Fresh Squid, E powered Indirect Single Foe Heat+Sun attack. Recovers user’s HP (small effect) (2 - 1BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 2 ||Ice & Fire Giant Squid, B powered Indirect All Foes Heat+Cold attack. [Critical: Aquatic] When the attack hits, grants the target Morale Down 25% for 2 turns (11 - 8BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Glacial Ray, SSS powered Indirect Delay Single Foe Cold+Sun Attack. [User Limit: 5 times per battle] Grants the user Damage Block for 2 turns (13 - 10BP when fully awakened). |
1st style that starts battle with full OverDrive Gauge. She has All Foes Morale Down, like Club Fuse previously and access to Damage Block without LP cost is good.
2b) Polka Lynn Wood [Shucho Chef]
is a powerful Heat/Slash tank/support.
|Passive 1 ||Skills of a Chef - When being attacked, damage taken reduced by 30%. Grants oneself Flame Ward at start of battle (Effect: permanent in battle) Flame Ward, E powered Indirect Single Foe Heat attack. Nullifies Heat attacks. On OverDrive attacks, grants one Kuroge Wagyu Counter* for 1 turn. *Counter attacks with Rising Kuroge Wagyu when being directly attacked (Activates using Rank 1) |
|Passive 2 ||Thrifty Teaching - When landing an attack, recovers own HP (very small effect), and recovers own BP (+1). When recovery actions are made, grants oneself "End of Turn: Recover HP" (very small effect) for 5 turns. |
|Passive 3 ||Latent Bloom: Defense - Attack’s damage increases by 20%. Grants oneself Defense Up 10% at start of turn (Max 5 times per battle) |
|Skill 1 ||Hearty Steak, Recovery/One Ally. Recovers target’s HP. Grants the target “End of Turn: Recover HP” (very small effect) for 5 turns (3 – 2BP when fully awakened, 1LP cost). |
|Skill 2 ||Flaming Flash, S powered Indirect Column of Foes Slash+Heat Attack. (9 - 7BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Rising Kuroge Wagyu, SSS powered Indirect Fast Single Foe Heat Attack. Grants all surviving party members Attack Boost (25% - 30% at max rank 99) (12 – 9BP when fully awakened). |
Tankier than Rag Robin, Chef Polka will need Still Blade Phoenix inherit to function fully as a tank, not just for party heals but also to taunt. With Passive 2 - Thrifty Teaching, Chef Polka will also have more BP recovery for Still Blade Phoenix usage. Less offensive as compared to Rag Robin, though the Attack Boost stacking on OverDrive can be fun.
Without Still Blade Phoenix though, he is still a tanky party buffer and healer, useful for Remembrance Battles.
3b) Liz Lynn Wood [Storm the Castle!]
is a tanky Cold bow defender.
|Passive 1 ||Aim for the Top! - When being attacked, damage taken reduced by 30%. Grants oneself Frost Ward at start of battle (Effect: permanent in battle) Frost Ward, E powered Indirect Single Foe Heat attack. Nullifies Cold attacks. On OverDrive attacks, grants one Water Wall Counter* for 1 turn. *Counter attacks with Karatsu Water Wall when being directly attacked (Activates using Rank 1) |
|Passive 2 ||Technical Switch - When attacking, recovers own BP (+1) When attacking with skill attacks, increases own DEX/INT by 20%. When attacking with spell attacks, recovers own HP (very small effect). |
|Passive 3 ||Latent Bloom: Attack - Damage taken reduced by 25%. Grants oneself Heat Up 10% at start of turn (Max 5 times per battle) |
|Skill 1 ||Guarding Bow, E powered Indirect Single Foe Pierce+Cold attack. Grants the user Guard Up 25% for 1 turn (1 – 0BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 2 ||Aqua Bash+, B powered Indirect Column of Foes Cold attack. Increases all surviving party member’s WIL (15% - 25% at max rank 99) (5 – 4BP when fully awakened). |
|Skill 3 ||Karatsu Water Wall, SS powered Fast Indirect Column of Foes Cold attack. Grants all surviving party members Defense Boost 50% (12 – 9BP when fully awakened). |
Very tanky with Aqua Bash+ for party WIL buff spamming. Of course, being a bow style, makes her valuable and good to have. Also very interesting with OverDrive counter, with possiblity for Defense Boost stacking.
Another banner with good value, especially if you have access to the previous styles. On their own, still good though Polka's value will be diminished.
May Everyone have a wonderful 3rd Anniversary and also great luck on your pulls!
submitted by Yappi1486
to SaGa_ReuniverSe [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 15:37 Extermis3 Hi Polyheads for NPCs resetting to vanilla
Having difficulty narrowing down what's causing my npc head replacer mods to no longer work and subsequently hair replacer. They work fine right off the bat, however the moment I hit a loadscreen the changes are reverted back to their scuffy forms. And yes, this was a new game.
I'm pretty sure it's a load order problem or perhaps I've added one too many of the same type of mod, I'm just looking for some input - corrections I can make and possible solutions
My mod load order below as used with MO
"0003","+","Creation Club: ccQDRSSE001-SurvivalMode"
"0004","+","Creation Club: ccBGSSSE037-Curios"
"0005","+","Creation Club: ccBGSSSE025-AdvDSGS"
"0006","+","Creation Club: ccBGSSSE001-Fish"
"0007","+","PapyrusUtil SE - Modders Scripting Utility Functions"
"0008","+","Address Library for SKSE Plugins"
"0009","+","Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch"
"0010","+","RaceCompatibility with fixes for SSE"
"0011","+","ENB Helper SE"
"0012","+","Enhanced Volumetric Lighting and Shadows (EVLaS)"
"0013","+","Particle Patch for ENB"
"0014","+","Water for ENB"
"0015","+","Bright Waterfall Fix for ENB"
"0016","+","Less Distracting Blowing Snow Effects for ENB Particle Patch"
"0017","+","Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent Voice"
"0019","+","Crash Logger SSE AE VR - PDB support"
"0020","+","XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended"
"0021","+","BodySlide and Outfit Studio"
"0022","+","DynDOLOD Resources SE"
"0026","+","VioLens - A Killmove Mod SE"
"0027","+","DX Daedric Reaper Armor - UNP"
"0031","+","Brighter And Infinite Torches"
"0032","+","A Quality World Map"
"0033","+","Lightning During Storms Sse (Minty lightning)"
"0034","+","Skyrim 202X by Pfuscher - Formerly 2020 Architecture"
"0035","+","Skyrim 202X by Pfuscher - Formerly 2020 Landscape"
"0036","+","Folkvangr - Grass and Landscape Overhaul"
"0037","+","Skyrim 202X by Pfuscher - Formerly 2020 Update"
"0038","+","Leafeater's Whiterun Tree Overhaul SE"
"0039","+","Majestic Mountains Main"
"0040","+","High Poly Project"
"0041","+","Cathedral Weathers and Seasons"
"0042","+","Obsidian Mountain Fogs"
"0043","+","Enhanced Lights and FX"
"0044","+","Moonstone Castle SE"
"0045","+","Frankly HD Dawnguard Armor and Weapons"
"0046","+","Frankly HD Imperial Armor and Weapons"
"0048","+","ElSopa - Iron Weapons Redone SE"
"0049","+","Campfire - Complete Camping System (Supports Skyrim VR)"
"0050","+","Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement"
"0053","+","Immersive Armours - SSE CBBE BodySlide"
"0055","+","Gecko's Nordic Ruins Textures"
"0056","+","Spell Perk Item Distributor"
"0057","+","Chooey's Choice Requirements"
"0062","+","Serana - Chooey's Choice"
"0063","+","Immersive Sounds - Compendium"
"0064","+","Eleanor The Forgotten Dragonborn - Fully Voiced Follower"
"0065","+","Mirai - the Girl with the Dragon Heart"
"0072","+","Daegon - Custom Fully Voiced Elf Follower"
"0074","+","Raeza SE - Follower Adoptable patch"
"0075","+","Raeza SE - Adoptable patch"
"0076","+","M'rissi's Tails of Troubles SE"
"0077","+","Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer -CBBE-"
"0079","+","Fluffy Khajiit CBBE 3BA"
"0080","+","Feminine Khajiit Textures (Grey Cat and Leopard) [CBBE]"
"0081","+","Ohmes-Raht (Half-Khajiit) - Fluffy CBBE 3BA"
"0082","+","MaariSkin for Half-Khajit and Default skin"
"0083","+","HDT SMP beast race tail"
"0084","+","SG Female Eyebrows"
"0085","+","Bijin Family Bodyslides - CBBE"
"0086","+","Bijin NPCs SE"
"0087","+","Bijin Wives SE"
"0089","+","Bijin Warmaidens SE"
"0090","+","Bijin CBBE textures"
"0091","+","Ultimate Bijin Fix (AIO or Seperate)"
"0092","+","Remiel - Chooey's Choice"
"0093","+","The Pure - CBBE"
"0094","+","Pretty Female Idles"
"0095","+","Botox For Skyrim SE"
"0096","+","High Poly Head SE"
"0097","+","Expressive Facial Animation -Female Edition-"
"0098","+","Expressive Facial Animation -Male Edition-"
"0099","+","Expressive Facegen Morphs SE"
"0100","+","RS Children Overhaul"
"0101","+","Immersive Children SE - child mortality and burial and animation fixes"
"0102","+","Prince and the Pauper SE"
"0103","+","Prince and the Pauper SE - RS Children Patch"
"0104","+","Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - RDO SE"
"0108","+","SkySight Skins - Ultra HD Male Textures and Real Feet Meshes (4K2K HIGH)"
"0110","+","Nether's Follower Framework"
"0111","+","KS Hairdos SSE"
"0112","+","KSHair For All Vanilla NPCs"
"0113","+","Immersive KS Hairdos"
"0114","+","KS Hairdos - HDT SMP (Physics)"
"0115","+","Bijin All-In-One - Hair Physics Patch (KS Hairdos - HDT SMP)"
"0116","+","HDT-SMP (Skinned Mesh Physics)"
"0118","+","FSMPV - FSMP-Validator - HDT-SMP XML Schema"
"0119","+","Project New Reign - Nemesis Unlimited Behavior Engine"
"0121","+","Modern Brawl Bug Fix"
"0122","+","CBPC - Physics with Collisions"
"0123","+","Skyrim Together Reborn"
"0124","+","Face Discoloration Fix"
"0125","+","Achievements Mods Enabler"
submitted by Extermis3
to skyrimmods [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 15:34 _SmoothCriminal The ballad of a fallen DPS during progging
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and disgusting websites that I explored,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my basement door,
"'Tis some scrub," I muttered, "tapping at my basement door,
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak of December;
And my dying gaming chair wrought its ghost upon the floor,
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow,
From my smartphones surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost score,
For the rare and radiant parse whom Yoshi-P wanted more,
Purple parse here, forevermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each blackout curtain,
Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors I never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some scrub entreating entrance at my basement door,
Some scrub entreating entrance at my basement door;
This it is and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Mother," said I, "or Father, truly your nuggies I implore;
But the fact is that I was progging, and you gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my basement door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door;
Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken and the stillness gave no token,
And the only words spoken was the whispered phrase, “Purple parse score?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back, “Parse score!”
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the basement turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely there is something at my windowsill;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore,
Let my chins be still for a moment and this mystery ignored;
’Tis a scrub and nothing more!”
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flitter and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my basement door,
Perched upon a bust of Sokken just above my basement door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy DPS be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Fanfest encore,
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Mogstation store!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living, sweaty neckbeard,
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his basement door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his basement door,
With such a name as “Nevermore.”
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered,
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other PFs have flown before,
On the morrow he will leave me, as other PFs have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
Startled at the stillness broken by a reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is only spam and nothing more,
Caught from some unhappy master, released to an unmerciful disaster,
Just like the bluebird whom the stars she explored,
Followed fast and followed faster 'till her songs did burden bore,
Of ‘Never—never, more’.”
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight, I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, bust and door;
Then, upon the waifu figurines and used stockings, I betook myself to thinking,
As if he embodied the despair from wipes in his very core,
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing,
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease, reclining
On the pillow's crusty lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose crusty-smelly lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
He shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air growing denser, perfumed from an unseen censer,
Swung by cat girls whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Scrub,” I cried, “thy God, Yoshi-P, hath lent thee—by these cat girls he hath sent thee,
Respite—respite and despair from thy memories of the grey parse score;
Quaff, oh quaff these wipes and forget this grey parse score!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Role-player!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!,
Whether WoW sent thee, or whether venue tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted,
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore,
Is there—is there balm in the Quicksands? Tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Role-player!” said I, “thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by Yoshi-P we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, as a poor and edgy Eorzean,
It shall clasp a sainted DPS number whom the devs name the purple parse score,
Clasp a rare and radiant DPS number whom the devs name purple parse score.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Be those words our sign of parting, troll!” I shrieked, upstarting,
“Get thee back to twitter and tiktok, I implore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,
On the pallid bust of Sokken just above my basement door;
And his eyes like the all-seeing Zuckerberg that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor,
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
submitted by _SmoothCriminal
to ShitpostXIV [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:58 Miserable-Ad-5573 Respect Alfred Pennyworth (DC Comics: Earth One)
submitted by Miserable-Ad-5573
to respectthreads [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:49 Tigreal Magic Chess Patch Notes v361.1 - Adv. Server
Attack Increase with 6 S.A.B.E.R. Heroes: 150% >>170%
Base Attack: 280 >> 295
Skill 1: Attack Increase 65 >> 100, Magic Power Increase 130 >> 200
Boon to the Weak: If you lose with less than 14 damage taken, the next round grants 1 >> 2 chance(s) to refresh the shop. If with more than 14 damage taken, the next round grants 2 >> 3 chance(s) to refresh the shop.
Back from the Dead: Cooldown 3 >> 0 round(s), Cost 2 >> 0 Gold
Star Fall: Stun Duration 4 >> 7
Gluttony: Cooldown 4 >> 3 rounds
Power of Shadows: 8-16 >> 14-20 Gold
Dubi's Gift: New Equipment Attribute: +1500 HP
submitted by Tigreal
to MobileLegendsGame [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:46 Jurgen_Leitner Perk Ideas
Hello my good fellows,
I think it is fun to create perks, just for fun, for imaginations sake. Forwardly I strew about such pale illuminations so as to encourage your as to encourage your own (dear reader) building of such imaginary perks. Think of it as a sort of creative writing idea. It really would be lovely if more perks were added to the game, and not even as part of killer dlc but just for free. For funs sake
One must wonder, if perhaps even the devs might one day even take a liking to one of the ideas.
I apologize for if this is all very weird. I am, as it currently stands, for the writing of this --- most wondrous of papers --- very, and (really rather indubitably) stoned .
That is to say feel free to reword any of my perks in order to get clearer wording, whilst maintaining the core idea, For your own comprehensions sake.
What follows are some of my own attempts at creating perks.
Hex: Unseen Machinations Whilst this hex towers upright, glowing vulnerably in darkness this perk is active. Whilst working on a generator survivors are effected by the oblivious status effect. They remain oblivious for 3/4/5 (based on perk level) seconds after leaving the generator.
This would essentially function like fearmonger but inflict oblivious, it would be a hex for balance as I think otherwise it would be too strong.
Hex: Devour Light Whilst this hex yet stands, the shadows grow thicker, the killer more illusive. When a survivor is rescued from a hook at least 24 meters away, Devour Light gains a token.
1 Token- Your terror radius is reduced by 6/7/8 (based on perk level) meters
2 Tokens- Your Red Stain is hidden
4 Tokens- You become undetectable
I really quite like the mechanic that hex: devour hope has as it requires you to not camp hooks in order to gain more power. Whereas devour hope makes you more lethal over time this perk makes you stealthier. I think it would be quite good on killers like Myers, who would get a lot of use out of it with just one token. Myers needs a little love anyways so I don't think this perk would be too op
Fog-Lurker The first time each survivor is hooked gain a token up to a maximum of 2/3/4 (based on perk level) tokens. For each token the maps fog slightly/moderately/greatly (based on perk level). Thus each token increases the fog more until eventually the map is shrouded in a dense black fog. Whilst you have at least 2 tokens you are unaffected by fog (meaning for the survivors the map would be coated in a thick fog, but for the killer the map would be quite visible).
I like how the first time hook perks subtly encourage you not to tunnel survivors. I think offerings like murky reagent are quite fun, and fog can add quite a bit of mood and scare factor to the game. This perk gives killers the edge by giving them a visibility disadvantage. How devious! You would probably need to make the fog gradually thicken over 10 seconds or something so its not jarring.
Cycle of Anger Survivors giving you the slip builds your temper, until you cannot contain your rage in in a fit of bloodlust! Only for your temper to grow once more.
At the start of the match you have 6 tokens, Patience is active, and Rage is inactive.
Patience: Whenever a survivor performs a vault action while in chase you lose 2 tokens.
Once you have 0 tokens Patience deactivates and Rage Activates
Rage: You gain bloodlust 30/40/50% faster. Whenever you gain bloodlust 1, you gain 3 tokens.
Once you have 6 tokens the next time you would gain a token instead Rage deactivates and Growing Temper activates.
this perk would allow you to catch survivors much quicker after getting looped by survivors for awhile. By only tokens when you reach the first level of bloodlust, this perk effectively makes it so that you get faster bloodlust for 2 chases, after someone vaults you in chase a chase 4 times. This perk plays with bloodlust which is a mechanic that not a lot of perks engage with, so it might be too strong numbers-wise I'm not sure. Currently you reach bloodlust level 1/2/3 after 15/25/35 seconds, with this perk at max rank it would make it so you get bloodlust level 1/2/3 after 7.5/12.5/17.5 seconds of chase, or at least that's what I intend it to do.
Moment Of Restraint When you are crouching you make no-noise, and leave no pools of blood.
When you chased by the killer for at least 2/3/4 (based ---of course--- on perk level) seconds this perk deactivates, and remains deactivated for an additional 25/20/15 (based on perk level) seconds after the chase ends.
This perk is deactivated whilst you are exhausted.
This would give an alternative to Iron Will, that does not run into old iron wills problem of being too useful in chase, and instead is only useful for hiding from a killer that has not yet spotted you. Not leaving pools of blood whilst crouched is a really cool idea I reckon, and I don't think it would be too op since it forces you to be crouched, and thus slow. It could be quite useful paired with urban evasion. eg. you are injured working on a gen, you hear the killers heartbeat., you with your increased crouch speed you crouch behind a nearby rock, the killer does not hear you or see you blood spots so he does not find you.
Show of Skill You dazzle them not with your bursts of speed, but with the perfection of your play.
After being chased by the killer for 7/6/5 (based on perk level) seconds this perk activates. Whilst this perk is active you break into a skillful chase moving at 101/102/103% movement speed. additionally gain 9/10/11% vault speed, and pallet drop speed.
After you have been out of chase for a cumulative time of 10/15/20 seconds this perk deactivates.
When this perk activates you become exhausted for 90/80/70 seconds.
This perk cannot activate while exhausted (if it has already been activated and you are exhausted the exhaustion does not deactivate the perk)
This perk would be a good exhaustion perk for skillful survivors that think they can loop the killer for 5 gens. Often the extra distance you get from this perk would be pitiful compared to a normal exhaustion perk would grant you. I can imagine it being favored by those who like resilience and the old vault speed builds. It would essentially be an improved vault speed build at the cost being an exhaustion perk. 3% bonus speed might be too much, maybe something like 1% or 2% would be more balanced. For something that lasts the entire chase idk. Regular exhaustion perks tend to give 50% bonus speed for 3 seconds so in order to gain the same amount of bonus distance with this perk the chase would need to last 50 seconds. Idk could be super unbalanced. I'd rather it be too weak than too strong.
Boon: Ward of Protection A boon that protects against lost progress.
Press and hold the Active Ability button on a Dull or Hex Totem to bless it and create a boon totem. Soft chimes delicately ring out in a radius of 24 meters.
All generators gain this effect if they are within the boon totems radius.
They are blocked whenever the killer comes within 3 meters, and receive 30/40/50% less damage.
This perk lets you protect your gen from regression perks, and blocks the killer from kicking the generator. It might be a little annoying for the killer, but on most maps this would only effect one generator. So honestly, it might be a bit weak.
Hex: Cycle of Torment Whilst the corresponding hex totem is standing Cycle of Torment is active
If Cycle of Torment is cleansed then both Incessant Pain and Sweet Release are permanently deactivated
At the start of the match You have 9/6/3 tokens, Sweet Release is active, and Incessant Pain is deactivated
Incessant Pain: While active your basic attacks inflict broken, broken lasts until hooked, downed, or the hex is cleansed or cleared by Sweet Release. Whenever a survivor loses a health state you gain 2 token.
Once you have 6 tokens Incessant Pain deactivates, and Sweet Release Activates
Sweet Release: Whenever a survivor is loses a health state lose 3 tokens. Once You have 0 Tokens, all broken survivors lose their broken status, this perk deactivates, and Incessant Pain activates.
This perk would allow you to have at most 3 survivors that are all broken. It might be insanely strong. It is balanced by being a Hex, and having a reset via sweet release.
And Finally, my triumphant final perk for this post
Triumphant Finish You have a knack for the cinematic, as the game reaches its breaking point, anyone could die at a moments notice, you play your final trump card. Sealing their fate.
When a survivor is rescued from a hook at least 24 meters away, Triumphant Finish gains a token.
When 8 Tokens have been gained Triumphant Finish Activates for the rest of the match.
When Triumphant Finish Activates all windows and pallets are barred to survivors by the entity, all survivors are exposed, and you gain the ability to kill survivors by your own hand.
If a survivor is killed before Triumphant Finish Activates then Triumphant Finish is permanently disabled.
This perk would force you to play extremely fairly, no tunneling, and no camping hooks, as a result its reward is incredibly impressive, instantly closing all loops, breaking all pallets, and effectively resulting in an incredibly quick end for the survivors if they do not quickly escape
Anyway that's all for now, what are your thoughts one these, do you think they would be cool in the game! It's a fun exercise to create imaginary perks, that would hopefully be balanced. I'd imagine it must such a fun job to design and balance perks for behavior. Feel free to design your own perks in the comments or whatever (sorry I'm kinda new to reddit) What are your thoughts on these perks
submitted by Jurgen_Leitner
to deadbydaylight [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:27 resurrective Chapter 20 - What is love?
A laugh, what does it mean for a person? A sign of amusement? A mark of contentment? Maybe, a reaction to a quirky comment or action? Perhaps…
But now, all that echoed throughout the burning lands was a guffaw of despair and torment. It belonged to Eve, the future queen of the entire Confederation of Demons. And right now, no trace of royal dignity was to be seen within her. The woman was pulling her white hair, kneeling in her sphere at the sight of the mass-murder.
The snow of death, the sprinkled ash of white and purple fell upon the ground, taking hundreds of lives. Gramgrim, the strongest and the fiercest formation underneath the authority of Me-ua now perished like slugs under the salt. Orcs, dogs, trolls, deer, lions, crows, fiends, mind-flayers, tigers, boars, even a cult of bulls-necromancers – the brigade included many different races, men and women of different backgrounds and upbringings, their tamed beasts and familiars, slaves and draft animals. Looking at the southern organizations, consisting of various Ma-zok tribes was always fascinating. Especially, when none of them could withstand the divine plague, sent as a godly punishment for defiling the holy land of kokuyoku.
Was there any way to save themselves? Yes – they simply never should’ve come to the village. Now, though? Well, not even Panakea’s blessing could save Keyaruga from death, so why should any of them survive?
Such was Eve’s wrath; such was her sorrow, enshrined upon this wretched world.
“Fascinating.,,” Keyaruga muttered, looking underneath him. He couldn’t help but to feel glee. After all, hundreds upon hundreds of high-leveled demons perished, blessing the whole party of five with new levels to enjoy (or hate, in Ellen’s case). Strange, though. Normally, a party couldn’t be larger than four people (not that a mortal had control over it anyway; people could travel in however big assemblies, as they pleased, yet experience was earned only by parties of four), but the group stuck together pretty well. Was it another of Caladrius’ gifts, she just didn’t bother to share? Well, whatever the case…
“I know, it’s not a reason for joy… but we can definitely use all that power in our future battles.” Freia mused with a trace of regret in her voice.
“Uh-huh. Good thing to get stronger before we go after the demon king.” Setsuna supported, trapped in a conflict between joy at reaching her new threshold of power and fury for losing Visou.
“Of course this would happen… This always happens with those people and places I care for or love… I shouldn’t have taken this damned bracelet…” Keyaruga growled, looking at the yorkama talisman on his right wrist. Yet, when he was about to rip it away…
“Don’t do that.” …Ellen stopped him. For the first time in this nightmarish day she was thankful for her new powers, as they allowed her to stop her ‘brother’ from an act of utter stupidity. “It’s not your fault. Look, they came here, seeking Hakuo’s rival! Your sympathy has nothing to do with that, stop dealing in superstitions!” The Apostle of Caladrius attempted to reassure the lad. But alas…
“It’s my fault. Like Visou… like Alban… like Karman… It’s all been my fault.” …the man just wouldn’t listen.
“No… it was mine…” The crimson-haired cutie whispered, yet once again – no reaction. “Hey, brother, see that breached wall behind Mil’s house? I see traces there. Could you, maybe?..”
“Yes… Oh, Ellen, thank you!” Only when she pointed out the obvious, did the man finally wake up from his trance. Just in time to hear…
“KILL!!! KILL THEM ALL!!!” …this. Eve still couldn’t really master her raging emotions, and even the fact that no creature remained alive in the burning village stopped her in any way.
“Hm, I am saddened to inform you, little one, that there is nobody to slay here. And even if there were, I am unable to maintain the offence. I need to feed and regain my strength now.” Caladrius admonished, descending on the earth. “However, down the north road, you may find other survivors. Just make haste; they do not have much time.” The harbinger of plague informed the group, putting the white sphere on the ground. The barrier had faded just as all poisonous ash did as well, coincidentally.
Keyaruga, Setsuna, Eve, Freia, Ellen, Kelly, Patty – all could finally walk properly again. Not really a big perk, when all you’re finding yourself among the still burning remains of a ruined village, though.
“O pluvia clemens, benedic nobis tua gratia recreativa.” Fortunately, they had the Hero of Magic at their side. And so, the first thing Freia did was to cast a simple rain spell. A critically important move, especially when their raptors were getting panicked by the fires.
“Now, if you excuse me.” And what would horrify any sentient being was how gruesomely filthy Caladrius turned out to be. The very first thing she did when the party had finally landed was to grab some dead slimy bastard, and just swallow him whole, like some sort of a pelican.
“Hey! Hey! Hey! He-e-ey!!! The hell are you doing?!” The younger princess yawped, consumed by her anger. Not because she was disgusted, though… “You fucking munched him with all that armor and shit?! What’re you even thinking of?! We need that!”
“I do not care, Apostle. Unless you are willing to strip them yourself, your whining is of little concern to me.” The deity replied dismissively. Even if her plague faded without a trace, the diseased corpses were still a delicacy for Caladrius.
And here I thought Ellen was slandering her about this part. Thought it was just a nice joke. Apparently, not, Keyaruga mused, witnessing the same vile spectacle as his girls did.
“Well, I’m willing as hell! You can buy an entire village for one of those!” The young lady snarled, turning one of the corpses over, just to untie the leashes that held a cuirass in place. When people die, their rectum can’t hold feces anymore. The stench of death, dung, decay, the earth, wet and softened by the rain – so much filth among the corpses, and yet, the warlady felt overjoyed looting the corpses of their fallen enemies before tossing their naked bodies toward her hungry patron.
“Keyaruga, I think, we should…” Freia softly spoke, pointing at the breach on the northern side. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic about defiling the dead, so maybe…
“No, I’m going alone.” Sadly, the healer wouldn’t let anyone accompany him in this quest. Even the golden egg had to leave his back right now. He knew who he was pursuing. And what he would do to his enemies, once he’d reached them. “Setsuna, Freia, hold this, and stay here, and watch out for Eve, and… Well, you may also help Ellen with looting.” The lad spoke, completely ignoring the rain that fell upon his head.
“Uh-huh, got it.” The gray-haired girl agreed, putting the straps holding their unborn ‘child’ on her back. Strangely enough, the ice warrior was more than happy with pillaging the corpses. With her arms being covered in the frozen gauntlets, the girl could easily strip the fallen brigadiers to Ellen’s obvious delight.
“I… think I should bury the villagers.” Freia, on the other hand, grabbed a shovel somewhere. Instead of defiling the dead, she wanted to properly inter the remains of the poor black-wings… until their bodies were eaten by their own god.
“Whatever you wish… Just don’t forget to cut off their wings.” The man ordered, tossing away everything from Kelly’s saddle. He needed speed, not sustainability.
“I see… feathers… magic catalysts…” The sorceress instantly understood what the hero wanted from the fallen villagers. To be honest, that sort of cruelty paled compared to what their enemies sometimes allowed themselves. It didn’t make the pink-haired girl any happier, though.
“Wait!” Finally, just as Keyaruga was about to climb on his reptile steed, he got a companion in the form of the queen-to-be. “I’m… going with you!..” She spoke wearily, yet her tone wouldn’t brook any denial.
“You shouldn’t, Eve. You’re too drained as it is, I can’t risk you now.” That didn’t work on the new hero, though. The red-eyed lad knew, what kind of atrocities he was about to commit. What’s worse – he was looking forward for them.
“No… You know I can’t be killed that easily.” The white-haired woman insisted, allowing herself to climb in the saddle no matter what Keyaruga wanted. “Also, those are my people we’re talking about.”
“Alright…” The man nodded, giving one last brief look at what travesty was currently occuring on this holy ground: hundreds of corpses, two enthusiastic looter-girls stripping them before feeding them to the goddess that was primarily supposed to guard this place from such tragedies, and the strongest mage in the world, cutting off wings with her wavy dagger. All gave him a brief look. “Girls, lady Caladrius, you stay here! The raptor we’re taking will go faster carrying only two of us.” The healer admonished, silently praising himself for not including the plague incarnate in the ranks of his lovers. Wouldn’t that be awkward?
“Uh-huh. Good luck, you two.” Setsuna waved her armored hand, happily proceeding with robbing the corpses.
“Yeah… thanks. We’ll need it.”
The forest had been defiled. A trace of bodies, both kokuyoku and their ruthless persecutors, marked a path for the hero and his queen. Faster! Faster! The man smacked his reptile with his heels, struck against the ribs, pulled every bit of speed from poor Kelly. So much so, that even wild scavengers, who came to feast on the corpses, just fled from the massive raptor. And yet, it still wasn’t enough…
“Hey, Keyaruga!” Eve spoke, holding onto the hero’s torso with her trembling arms. “Why are you even helping us? Why… do you even bother, if they die no matter what we do?” The queen-to-be asked melancholically. Right now, she tried to find at least some meaning in her existence, just to not fall into a pit of nihilism and despair.
“It’s because… I have power. I can make a difference. And because I want to do so.” The red-haired lad responded, navigating a path through the woods with his jade eye. His status elevated him above the rest, giving the man many abilities, some considered to be… unnatural. For example, he could easily alleviate Kelly’s fatigue from constant galloping.
“Power, yes?.. The onslaught… it began when Caladrius was playing with us… But instead of putting an end to this hell, she’d go on, and on, and on… And even when we got out, she never told us what was going on. When I asked her to bless you, I was scared… and discomforted, and… whatever other words you have for discomfort. I thought it was because of the trial… Thought it was over… Then… I looked at myself, my own actions, here and in the past.” Eve shared the burden of her guilt with Keyaruga. The white-haired woman couldn’t help but blame herself for everything that happened. If she didn’t ignore her feelings, if she had checked on her wings a little earlier, if she… “If I… If I just could…”
“Was that what you saw in your challenge?” The healer wondered, trying to get his companion out of this ruinous obsession over what nobody could prevent, or even predict.
“Ugm… Who did you meet there?” Did he fail? No, not really. But instead of giving him an answer, the queen-to-be countered with a question of her own.
“Many, many people… I don’t want to talk about it now.” Unfortunately, though, Keyaruga just couldn’t bring himself to reveal what he saw, heard… did with his own hands.
“I… I see…” Eve murmured, getting a message from the lad’s depressed tone. He too carried much pain in his soul, and that vortex of suffering could never be dissipated by shutting down just some of his emotions. To completely silence this pain, Keyaruga would have to become something else entirely, something inhuman, incapable of either hate or love.
“More important, Eve, I want you to sharpen your senses. Maybe, you can trace magic better than me.” The hero suggested, as his right eye rolled around in his socket. The forest was wide and thick, and his sight wasn’t as all-seeing as he’d like it to be.
“I’ll try.” Eve whispered, trying to focus her attention on the ambient mana. Maybe, if she was just diligent enough, she could trace her living brethren? Maybe, all wasn’t lost just yet? Maybe… “You know, Keyaruga, you’re not the guilty one in all of this… If Mil didn’t let everyone in, if I wasn’t saved by your goddess, if our goddess wasn’t just like Ellen says she is… than none of this horror would have happened.” The lady in red deadpanned cautiously. Now that she knew of her ‘future’, how it might’ve been without this self-conflicted man at her side, the kokuyoku scion could clearly tell – her grandfather was just like Keyaruga and Ellen, he wanted the best for his people… and that turned Visou into a deathtrap. After all, Hakuo wouldn’t have sent Gramgrim here if Cornar had come to him with the valuable bounty that was the black-wings’ princess.
“I’m sorry…” The healer uttered, still unaware, just how much of a monster Eve’s first husband really was, and how much she owed him for showing, how the love should even look like in the first place.
“You really shouldn’t be, Keyaruga.” The black-winged prodigy responded sorrowfully. She felt the lad’s distress: it was in his voice, his posture, his way of breathing… “You can’t just carry the burden for everyone else. I tried… and I failed.” Eve spoke, trying to dissuade her defender from thinking he was able to hold the whole world on his shoulders, when, in reality, it was simply impossible. “Don’t do that. You’ll break.” This calm phrase was spoken serenely, and yet, it was a cry. A cry for help, for understanding, for letting go.
“We don’t need Caladrius.” But Keyaruga just couldn’t release himself from this burden. Even now, when riding over the forest floor, covered in disfigured corpses, most of which were charred whole, seemingly by lightning, the man couldn’t stop thinking about Eve, her troubles, the tragic price her ultimate power might demand from her.
“Why?” The lady in red asked, attempting to follow the new line of conversation which her companion had turned to. Why would he even be scared of it? Didn’t Ellen bargain two free casts for her? Ellen… How could this capricious princess be able to extort such a valuable gift from the harbinger of plague? If Eve had done something like this in the first world… then there wouldn’t be the second one.
“She’s… too frivolous, arrogant, she’s thousands years old, yet all I see is an old snobby child with no backbone. We can’t be sure she’ll maintain her promise, and I really, really don’t want to see you wither away.” The man said with that seemingly careless voice of his. “If you need someone dead, I’ll be there for you.” He added grimly then. Eve was too soft, even now, she still couldn’t deal with the moral compromises necessary, and there were going to be a lot more of them on the way toward the Obsidian Throne.
“Hah… You really do want me to fall in love with you?” The queen-to-be noted somewhat playfully. Her mood was still sombered, but even so, there was always a light in the darkness.
“Heh, aren’t you already? I can tell – you’ve changed, so that you could keep up with me, especially in the bed.” Keyaruga followed this little funny road, and retaliated with a joke of his own. But… was it really a joke, though?
“Yes… Yes, I have.” Apparently, not. “I can’t force you to become your old self, but I had a chance to change myself.” Eve explained, lowering her head. She couldn’t keep up with the man last night – he was just too big for her. That’s why, the girl had to go, the queen-to-be had to become a woman, and fast.
And so, there could be only one thing to ask at this point.
“So, do you want to fuck, once this is over?” The hero unceremoniously inquired from his companion. After all, they were already past all those earlier insults and attempts at shaming from Eve’s side.
“Yes, I do! I really, really do. I want you to ravage me, so I wouldn’t go mad.” The Me-ua kahul responded with a plea of sorrow, hate, loathing, and regret. There wasn’t anything enticing in this request, but… it was so humane.
“Of course. I will.” The man promised. Despite everything, despite this day supposedly belonging to Ellen and Setsuna, he wouldn’t refuse her, no matter what. And Eve felt that resolve in the man.
“Also, I won’t stop using Caladrius. We need her, Keyaruga. We need her… to establish our authority. Then… maybe, I won’t have to lose anyone again.” The queen-to-be spoke wearily. She wanted to reach Hakuo, wished to murder this monster once and for all with her own hands, instead of waiting till some disease finishes him. She wanted to bury this king’s legacy once and for all, so that his blood would never poison her life ever again. Eve Reese desired revenge. And Keyaruga would never feel worthy of discouraging his queen. And yet…
“Alright. But you have to promise me one thing – one time. She gave us only two times, and I don’t want you to overreach any further. Everything else I’ll deal with personally. It won’t make a difference to me anyway, my hands are already dirtied enough as it is.” Keyaruga all but demanded. The gods had put them in a tight little cage, where only those who kill more than others, were worthy of wielding great power. Right now, the man wasn’t sure his party was enough to challenge Hakuo’s rule. Even Eve, drained by Caladrius, managed to overpower her ‘heroic’ adversaries. Too bad they left her exhausted for Keyaru to finish the job. Speaking of that…
“But… why would you even bother? Don’t you just want to… make another redo? To fix everything, to save those who you couldn’t save?” The lady in red asked the lad. He was never too secretive about the circumstances he was in, and how the world ended up as it is. Still, each time he spoke of that, pain and loss broke through his armor of callousness.
“No. Just as you said, I have people to live for now. Freia, Setsuna, Ellen, you, Eve – I can’t imagine my life without you. And if I just flee into the past, then what’s even the point of us having this little chat right now?” The healer quarried in response. He was sure of what he was talking about now. Or, rather, trying to convince himself and Eve of that.
“Haa… Right…” For better or worse, the woman just exhaled and dropped the topic. To believe it would mean disregarding Keyaruga’s deep painful wounds, any further prying risked opening them up again. “I think we’ve got something.” Fortunately, right in that moment, Eve noticed a track, something to spot her brethren, where the trail of bodies had just ended.
“What? Where?” Keyaruga asked, now looking around.
“To the left from here. I feel my brethren coming to me from this side. They’re… fighting. And dying.” As the lady in red spoke, pointing in the direction the flow of souls was coming from, the rider pulled the reigns to stop his steed. He then jumped off the saddle.
“Shit, I must hurry!” The hero snarled, pulling the saber out of its sheath. A contradicting statement, seeing as he would be much faster mounted. But no… “Keep your eye on Kelly! I can’t risk the two of you!”
“You want to go alone?” The woman astounded, reaching for her companion. Alas, he never faced her.
“Yes! Our enemies are strong, Eve. And I’m not sure if I can properly protect you. Stay here; cover me with your magic.” Keyaruga urged sternly. He wasn’t a healer, nor a competent defender whatsoever. The hero was a murderer, and nothing could convince him more than the trial he completed just an hour ago.
“Hold on! I won’t let you go alone.” Nevertheless, the kokuyoku scion too wasn’t the same after that challenge. She flapped her wings, and numerous black spheres left her feathers. One, two… ten, twenty… Twenty-three shades now flew around the man, ready to assist him in murdering whoever threatened their kin. “They will protect you.”
“Ah… thanks.” The red-haired man uttered, looking at the fallen black-wings. Right now, they rather reminded him of insects with the way they dashed around. “We’ll be on our way, then.” Still, it didn’t stop him from getting ready to sprint forward to save whoever was left of the kokuyoku-zok and to punish their oppressors.
“Promise you’ll be back! Promise you’ll save everyone!” Eve ultimately asked, looking at her dead brethren. Shying away from them was a luxury, and now she had no time for such things.
“I will, Eve! Take care!”
And so, he ran off, to the site where the last bit of fighting was happening. Him, twenty-three shades… against the elite forces of Gramgrim, the only remaining fragment of the horrifying battalion; now, though, the time had come to end this warband once and for all.
Faster! Faster! I must be faster!
Keyaruga lunged through the woods, he jumped across logs, climbed the hills, passed a few ravines along the way, just to finally reach yet another battlefield. Mil was there, the wizened magician firmly held his staff. All bloodied, his robe torn apart, the old man still fought on.
“Masanna tanouti! (kill everyone)” A massive rider, carried by an even greater armored warg tackled Mil and his defense line of mostly women spellcasters, and a few strong men among the refugees.
“Usegi! (run) Usegi-i!!!” Mil yelled, getting ready to ward off the seemingly countless hordes of bloodthirsty invaders, preferably – all on his own. The thought of death never scared the magician, as he already looked in its eyes, and they were gentle.
“Mil-murnaz! (elder Mil!) Katunj pora bornul non! (we have nowhere to retreat!)” An armored old woman yelled, preparing her grandiose fire blast. None of them would abandon him. Only seventeen of them remained against a group of forty-seven raving cutthroats, knowing all too well, they wouldn’t be able to pull through. And yet, none of them would go down without a fight. If they did, they would be slaughtered, and after that – their kin would follow.
“SUNI-I-I-I!!! (DI-I-IE!!!)” The bruised elder snarled, imbuing his wooden staff with an element of lightning. One swing, one smack – and the monstrous wolf fell down, wriggling in the shocking agony, along with its master. One down.
“Globus igneus!” The armored hag next to him yelled, sending a massive fireball into the troops. Seven perished, four else – scattered. Yet, those who fell were mercilessly crushed underfoot by the four brutal tiger-riders – no regards to their allies, and even less toward the foe. Five men and two women from the black-wings stood up to meet them with their spears, staked into the earth… It didn’t work – the demons breached their line, gutting everyone in the reach of their decorated cleavers.
“Katunji! (retreat!) Konato wor marmori! (protect the children)” Mil commanded, tossing two hardened feathers into the enemies. Too close to him, but… it didn’t matter. “KURLINA-A-A!!! (FUCK YOU!!!)” He yelled, detonating the enchanted quills.
An explosion, a shockwave, the trembling of the earth. Kokuyoku were mercilessly pushed further, practically hunted like animals, and yet, their prey had claws and teeth. The blast was mighty, it broke Gramgrim’s formation, allowing the defenders to flee, to run, to… live a few minutes longer.
“Kha-a-a… Ha-a-a… Agh…” Mil helplessly wheezed, pushed to the trunk of the giant oak. His bones were broken, the old man had lost all feeling in his legs, hands, and… No, he knew what he was getting into. “Gh-h-h!.. Ugh… E… va… ma…” Even when some tall goblinoid thug impaled him with a spear, the only thing on the mind of the dying sorcerer was his granddaughter, and all those he tried to save. Tried, but…
“I’VE COME TO SAVE YOU!!!” Keyaruga roared, engaging a bat-like swordsman, lunging toward the fleeing defenders. Just in a few hundred meters away, the refugees were running from the pursuers. It was honestly a miracle to see them keeping such a substantial distance, even though the enemies had carnivorous mounts. It seems, like they were rather enjoying chasing their prey.
“GHA-A-A!!!” Nevertheless, the fencer retreated from the hero, picked up a lance from the roasted wolf-man, and tossed it into the hero. The latter dodged, then pointed in the direction of his adversaries.
“Tania wor tanouti! (kill them!) Orn wor shef na! (don’t be concerned about me!)” And just like that, a cascade of shadows materialized to shred the enemy flanks and rear. The raging dark spirits now flew all across the surviving hunters’ ranks, ripping and tearing, stabbing and shredding the yelling warriors, as they tried to damage the ethereal vengeful apparitions. Could it be worse? Oh yes! Someone began simply sniping them from afar, numerous beams of piercing light took lives of so many, the Gramgrim’s morale hit the bottom.
Still, that didn’t mean they’d stop fighting. Certainly not! The bat-demon just met a shade with a wide swing from his reddish greatsword – an instant later, this spirit was gone. An adamantine blade – Keyaruga couldn’t just let him roam around – the man tossed a dagger from his sleeve, but no. The warrior just easily deflected it with a sneer. Before the lad could go on, he crossed those twenty meters with merely two jumps, ready to cleave the hero’s head in one rapid sweep.
The man ducked, right leg forward, balance toward offence. A slash was aimed toward the leg…
“Ghhh!” And it failed – the healer got a knee in his chin for that. After all, how can a thin saber cut through the metal greaves underneath the surcoat? Discombobulated, the man was about to get a downward cut to his shoulder.
“A-A-A-A-R-R-R-R!!!” Fortunately for him, another shade saved Keyaruga the trouble by backstabbing the fencer. Well, she just impaled him in the right armpit. Did that stop the berserker? “ULMO-O-O!!! (BITCH!)” Well, certainly not. Even if his one limb flopped uselessly by his side now, the warrior firmly grabbed his sword with his left hand, turned around, and slammed the spirit with the pommel, sending herto in the afterlife for sure!
A perfect chance to dispatch the swordsman, right?
Wrong! Barely had Keyaruga reached out to give the adversary one fatal touch, when another massive tiger-like brute attacked him with his massive claws. Slash, swing, up, down – the bruiser-armorclad was fast, his attacks – relentless. The lad was forced to retreat, elope, block – anything and everything to not get smashed. Each time he blocked a hit with his saber, his elbow would dislocate. No matter, Georgius healed in less than a second. No matter, just get…
“Tokalbarne! (got you!)” Alright, now that was surprising. The lad felt the trap, but proved too slow to escape the massive tail. Distracted by the tiger, he let himself be trapped by a lamia, which now not only enveloped the man’s entire body, but also unceremoniously licked his cheek. Was it the end?
“A-A-A-A-a-a… Ha-ha-HA-HA-HA!!! TUYOBU, TONA!!! (harder, mommy!)” Clearly not! Even while being crushed by the mighty snake tail, Keyaruga laughed, intimidating his foes with the undying audacity within his immortal body. “USHI INAV… MUNA CABNEI!!! (YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD!)”
“Nan-! A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A!!!” The lamia groaned in pain. A moment later her body began to swell, to bloat, and to rupture in a gruesome spectacle of blood and gore. Could Keyaruga do it better? Certainly, but he had no time, nor wish to figure out the half-shake’s anatomy, and where her heart (Is it just one?) lied.
Either way, one down, the shades did their job too, keeping the rest of the Gramgrim goons busy, often even ending them. They were forty-seven? Well, now they were just nineteen, and the monsters’ corpses didn’t actually do wonders for the battle spirit of the remainder either.
Keyaruga couldn’t care less, though. He got out from the lamia’s mortal grip, covered in blood and viscera, only his clean white teeth shone brightly.
“E-eh…” The tiger-brawler was shaken by the view. He reached toward the woman, unable to believe his eyes. Was she his lover, or something?
“Die!” No matter, whatever the case, the Hero of Healing dashed toward him, pushed his armored left arm against his chest, and then, the purple hue killed the man for good. His aorta just ruptured from the defiled mending spell.
Then, more beasts, some of which were mounted, lunged toward him. Two tigers, a massive deer, a swarm of eight snakes, and even a giant black bear. The warband reasoned that the fastest way to get rid of shadows was to kill the man. Well, they were wrong.
“Saltare et aurugine ventis!” At this point, he didn’t really care about the melee, that’s why, instead of engaging in anymore close-quarter fights, the lad simply called upon a mighty firestorm, a burning tornado of wind and blaze, which not only killed the animals, but also moved on to the rest of the crumbled Gramgrim troops, razing trees, ma-muana and ma-zok alike, charring their flesh and drowning their screams in the mercilessly loud crackling of magical flames.
I guess, that’s what I’m getting for not min-maxing my physical stats and speed before going melee. Well, no matter. Now that they’re dead… Wait, Mil?
“MIL!!!” Keyaruga yelled, running toward the old mage. He… was already beyond saving. Fifteen shades gathered around the hero, as he looked at the impaled man, and his decapitated green-skinned murderer who had been killed next to him. “Muna sagri. (You may leave)” And so, the healer sent the shades away. Quite in time, actually, as they were already flickering in and out of existence anyway – Eve was losing her mana. Finally, the lad was all alone. “Alright, old daredevil. You deserved a nice funeral.” He pulled the spear out of the corpse, and put it on his shoulder. It wasn’t much, but at least, he would be sent off properly.
Time to go, I guess. Now, let’s reunite with Eve, and then…
“A-A-A-A-A!!!” Another change of plans. The lad heard a scream. Two voices, in fact, both females. The man looked around and saw the bat-swordsman, dragging a mother and her child by their hair, completely disregarding their wails of pain whatsoever.
“What, do you really think taking hostages will save you?” Keyaruga scoffed, taking a step toward the cowardly combatant. Quite surprising really, seeing how good he was with that greatsword of his. But, well, two more, two less – the black-wings were doomed either way, right?
“Keyaruga-maran!” Maybe so, but those weren’t just some unknown refugees – they were Mayala and Brin. When the man saw them, he halted his movements completely.
“Good humie! Stand right where you are, or they die!” The cutthroat threatened. It seemed he had already healed the wound left by a shade with a potion. And now, instead of running away, he intended to use the captured family to extort the hero. For what purpose, though?
“Oh, great! Finally, someone, who speaks a human language!” Keyaruga wouldn’t be swayed by that. Why would he, actually? As it stood now, he could simply send a spell of light through the mother or the daughter, run closer, heal them…
Why should I even care? It’d only hurt for a moment, nothing really…
“Good! And stay there, little shit.” Well, turned out, it worked. The healer lowered his saber.
“Or what? You kill them? See those burning pines, pal? I just killed all of your friends. By the way, Gramgrim is no more. I bet Caladrius has already eaten all of their corpses.”
“Hah, no shit, clever boy! Then where is she?! HE-E-EY!!! CALADRIUS!!! OVER HE-E-ERE!!! See?” Sadly, the bat-fencer remained completely unfazed by the news. He still had an advantage – Keyaruga seemed to care for the weeping family, and that was his weakness. “Drop your sword, then get on your knees, or I’ll take their fucking heads!”
“How enticing…” The man wondered with a nervous grin. He spun his weapon once, and pointed it to the ground. Mayala and Brin looked at him, their black eyes conveyed terror and distress. And still, there was a glimpse of hope. Keyaruga could do a miracle. He would save them, just like he saved the girl from the terminal rabies. “Will you set them free if I surrender?”
“Yau! (yeah!)” The swordsman grinned, drawing his reddish blade closer to their necks. “Drop your iron!”
Ha-ha-ha-hah! Oh, what should I do? What should I make?
“Hey, I’ve got a better idea. How about I kill myself?” And just like that, the healer pointed his own weapon at his chest, sowing dread in the hearts of the hostages and careless amusement in their captor.
“What? He-heh! Go ahead, humie, I’ll watch!” The bastard chuckled, slightly lowering his massive blade. This nasty glee grew only greater, when…
“Heh, I’m serious!” …the red-eyed lad plunged his own saber through his chest. To deep, in fact, that only the handle now stuck out from his torso.
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You’re fucking hilarious!”
Three reactions, one of terror, one of tears, and the last one of irrepressible laughter – Keyaruga spat a chunk of blood, such a wound could never really kill him, and yet, it allowed for a safe movement. One, two, three steps – as long as he pretended to limp forward like a dying fool, the enemy would never stop him from approaching. He liked the view, liked seeing the man bleeding and coughing his own lungs out. He even…
A beam. A beam of white energy just flew right besides his head. It took a moment for the cutthroat to get, what was going on, but when he did, when he understood, that some distant caster could take off his head…
“YOU FUCKER!!!” Then, the cowardly warrior grabbed his greatsword with a two-handed grip, swung it at the terrorized family… “I’LL KI-!” …and died. The last thing he saw, felt, and tasted – was the trident that pierced his neck and head from the back.
submitted by resurrective
to RedoOfHealer [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:25 SharpShark222 Bloody Game 2 (aka. Game of Blood) - S02E11-12 (ENG SUB)
The previous episodes: (E1-2
You can view these episodes on Viki
. Consider doing this to support legal streaming sites. If this is not an option for you, you can use GoPlay. View their info post
or join their discord
for more details.
If this post/account gets nuked again, you can find resources to help acquire a local version of the episode(s) at our site
Season 1 showed intimidating gameplay in extreme situations, opening the door for a second set of challengers to compete in the heat of Bali. In this season, including various survival program winners, the top 1% of Mensa members with an IQ of 156, graduates from prestigious universities, someone who got a perfect score on the college entrance exams, and a legendary basketball player, people who are smart and have good physiques from various fields gather and compete for survival. The tension of survival builds up as the players become more vigorous while they try to figure out what others are thinking and their weaknesses. Who will be the winner of this bloody competition?
- Dex (Former UDT, Member of S1)
- Fujii Mina (Actress)
- Ha Seungjin (Former Pro Basketballer)
- Hong Jinho (Former Pro Gamer, Poker Player, Winner of 'The Genius')
- Hyun Sungjoo (Poker Player)
- Kerrigan May (Rapper)
- Knucks (Dancer)
- Lee Jinhyeong (University Student, Scored 100% In The 2019 College Entrance Exams)
- Park Jimin (Announcer, Member of S1)
- Pi (Streamer, Participated in 'Money Game')
- Shin Hyunji (Model)
- Xitsuh (aka. Seo Chulgoo, Rapper)
- YunB (Rapper, Winner of 'Survival Men and Women')
- Yurisa (Model, 156 IQ, Mensa Member)
submitted by SharpShark222
to koreanvariety [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 14:05 Glad-Resolution-5789 My Story - Got hit a few nights ago
Throwaway account, but wanted to share my story because I need to get it off my chest, it's been a turbulent 72 hours.
A few nights ago, I stupidly decided to go on omegle cos I was bored. I was pushing through people when this cute girl popped up and started chatting. I was feeling dumb and horny so I didn't see the warning signs like her mic not working so she wanted to chat through text. Things got spicy, and we were heating up when her webcam glitched (I know, red flag number 1), so we quickly moved to insta where as soon as I added her I knew something was up.
The messages quickly moved into "I HAVE VIDEO OF YOU AND I WILL LEAK TO YOUR INSTA FOLLOWERS IF YOU DON'T DO WHAT I SAY" followed by a harrowing video of his desktop with the video of me playing next to a browser open with a bunch of my instagram followers. Needless to say I fucking froze and went into a pure state of cortisol fueled adrenaline, the kind I'm sure you are all too familiar with.
I panicked, he face timed me and I quickly went to my roommate who was luckily still awake at the time. I confided in him what had happened, and in my state of panic I stupidly agreed to send him $600 to delete my video. He made me wait up until the money went through, and after realizing it would take longer than expected he told me to go to sleep and he'd call me in the morning.
He woke me up at 6am after the worst sleep I've had this year, to a video of him demanding more money to fully delete the video. I began to cry and break down, as he'd actually drained the last of my savings being jobless and on government payments and I pleaded with him to show mercy, but he insisted I find another way to pay him.
After realizing I had no other cards to play, and literally no more money to give, I decided my only course of action was to block, report and crack down my social media privacy/security and wait to out to see what happened. I did, messaged every person in my recently messaged on insta saying I'd been scammed and to not open any random messages or request, and just to report and delete them. I then knew all I could do was call some sexual abuse counseling hotlines and wait it out.
It was a rough couple of days that followed, I felt sick to the pit of my stomach, nauseous, anxious, terrified and just mentally and physically depleted. I'd never felt anything like this before, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I stopped eating, wouldn't talk to my housemates, became a shell of my former self.
It's been 3 days now, and I haven't heard anything since. I've been feeling a bit better, but I've noticed I've become unbelievably paranoid. I have a bad anxiety disorder, so I'm already prone to these feelings but I'm finding it incredibly difficult to trust strangers, to not think anything of it if someone looks at me for a second too long, and to not freak out if I get a random phone call. I've had moments where I was convinced they'd tracked my IP address and were coming to kill me, that they've got my phone number and would find me and hunt me down, or they're just waiting in the shadows for the right moment to strike and leak the footage. (This afternoon at the pub, I got a random call from a stranger in my city and it completely changed my mood from relaxed to wired and anxious as I was terrified at which unknown person had my number and why were they contacting me. )
This has been, with no exaggeration, in the top 5 most completely fucked up experiences I've ever had in my life, and I've had a dad whose committed suicide, a close cousin who died at 18 in a car crash and an older brother who died of a brain aneurysm. I feel shaken to my core, absolutely terrified of what the future holds and sexually violated like I never thought I would be. I saw a disgusting, abhorrent side to humanity and it's shaken the foundation of my belief in human kindness and decency. There are some true to earth cunts in this world.
Will everything be ok? Are there people really out to get me? I feel like my psychologist is going to have a fucking field day with this one. Needless to say I will not be making this mistake again, I hope every finds solace in relating to my story or can offer me some reassuring advice, because I'm honestly a different person after this experience. And not for the better.
Thank you for reading, I hope you're doing okay and I'm so sorry if this story is all too familiar to you.
submitted by Glad-Resolution-5789
to Sextortion [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 13:47 Lisbian Taken from /IAmVerySmart, presented without comment
Is this how iamverysmart
works: shoot first and ask questions later? or kill everyone and let God sort everything out? I come to Reddit and pour some deep feelings and thoughts because it is one of the few places where I could, where it fit, where I could improve others and start making a change in the world or show by how it was wrong. u/Physix_R_Cool
posted this because he could not correct me. I almost never get corrected on my comments, many attempts but failures. Everything I write is deliberate. I spend a huge amount of time in dictionaries [of many kronolects and languages] so I know where words come from, what they meant, which were lost, and how the world corrupts them. My reform spelling respects Great Vowel Shift and original languages; I also leave out the Norman yogh in words; you can find the last two spellings in the etýmologhic stems.
So explain the problem and talk about your fears past the "ho ho ho my" and mockery. I was banned from Physics
by tyrants who don't care about the truth, and how it's much more important than saving people's feelings. I talk suchly to fulfil a need, a very deep one. As a living being (No, I don't consider myself human, but do consider myself very alive.) I take up and roam through whatever and however much space I'm given and seeing, even if it's inner or madeup space. If I am hindering the needs of others on this website, they have not formerly expressed their needs. They often meet me with rashness and, because they have some power and I have none but my words because I am a forever visitor, they would cut me off in some way rather than talk in kind. Somehow I respect engagers for this, because they make an effort to understand, rather than handwave or run or flagrantly insult. If one could not choose which and whom to respect, and preferred to respect all or none, then one could not properly treat or assign worth, work, and time for the subject, which would hurt one's goals. It's not about waiting for another party to make the first move, but treating as one sees and goes.
How do I define who I am? I am like nobody other in the world now or ever. Most couldn't know what life is like with a IQ over 170, to be different to and fro every age-peer group and to find everyone of every profession and background to be beneath you and beset with lackwitted, mistaken, misspoken, and assbackwards soloicistic trash, scum, and crooks. How almost every statement everyday by everyone in this postEnglish Norman Conquest Commonwealth drives me mad. How I am the only person in the world who knows what is wrong with it and with everything. What makes me better than any random wacko on the internet or on the street is that I can explain specifically what one has done wrong, where this one is even the standard of common sense or custom if only by fiat but not self-scrutiny. To make the world a better stow one must get rid of the trash. I want to incite some riots and revolts besides the dozens of other things. I post on the internet to shut up opposition, who are mainly miseducated.
Something I promise is that if everyone thought and behaved like me, the world would be perfect, someday. This is because I try to take advantage of everything I have to have more, and so I get what I want. Others do not so they're not getting what they want. This group looks like it's divided between people who would choose either fight or flight, but not both. Many on Reddit, admittedly being awkward with people and socialising, prefer not to take advantage of the fact that we are living, reading, and talking beings and so do not fulfil the means to the end by using like for like. As if I were a weed that's grown too much they go behind and cut me out, instead of telling me what they want and fear of me, why, and how, if they can. Their approach has many qualifications. What about nonbilious arrogance, variably correcting, or specifically being? If one does not give the limits, there are none, and whatever one has planted will go and grow forever. And it will have no idea what you say if you say you meant otherwise.
I'm wronged everyday by the rubbish people say and do, and can't stand them. Any preface put in my corrections is a waste of time, obvious to me by the sheer lot I must always do. I have known everything the ilk here were to tell me, and expected such a sorry solution. Civility and polity are a problem, grounded on liges and brainwash. I have many skills, and socialising is one of them. However, I do not use what I should not. Niceness, respect, and generosity must be earned. People do not know that, and blindly treat each other as how they'd like to be treated, rather than how they deserve to be treated. I don't go to social functions because it's a waste of time; I've much better things to do like plot the end of mankind, mores, and the daily lies that plague my experience. I pick who can accept me, and when, because I can. I won't ever identify with such a blind and sweeping label as "socially[-]acceptable." I fully intend to be the reincarnation and revenge of Hypatia of Alexandria and William James Sidis.
And even now, so many refuse to read my appeals. My comments are not to bother but to correct. I do not offend unless I've been offended, more, and nearly everyone offends me. Is it because you lot hate feelings or meanings or anything put eloquently? Do you also not use maps, manuals, or menus and just act on your own? Right now many are lying about me, and threatening the victim rather than the offenders who attack me. Not that I'm not used to being abused like this, by people who have no idea what they do and who don't care.
In any case, I expect neither flames nor thankfulness from my corrections. But I still expect people to imagine something that isn't real from something as unassuming as "it's -> its," from their weak and flaky constitutions. You many should know that what I expect doesn't make it good or bad, or right or wrong, neither does what anyone else expects. People's actions or reactions, no matter how many and many people they come from, are no reasons in and by themselves to establish a standard. If they cannot back themselves up with reason, they have nothing.
I have already thought of everything that all those here have, and they needn't be told to me. As such, I expected everyone to reply as they have and furthermore increase my contempt for the sheer and unending ignorance, meddling, and self-trapping of mankind.
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2023.06.02 13:44 badfantasyrx It's Free Game Friday again!! Head to Lovecraft/Castlevania territory with Skautfold!
What is the Fog? Why does it want to consume you, to link to you irrevocably, and what made you sign the contract that binds you together?
Defeat, abject defeat, leaving you prostrate in the face of your laughing enemies forced your hand - but it restores you to your former glory, and the challenges that lie ahead will only boost your skills in combat, and your strength of mind.
You awake at the Berlaii Manor, thou Nameless Warrior, to slay the King and disperse the sentient fog he's summoned. The Manor lies cloaked in its foul embrace, driving the inhabitants to madness. Their maunderings are your guide and their innocence your burden.
Gal, the developer, drew from the survival/horror genre, especially titles like Resident Evil, Dark Souls and Eternal Darkness to create the noir landscape and its people, with his own creative twists. His world? The faux historal Angelic Empire of Britannia, year 1897, at the above mention Manor. Exploring its secrets plunges you into a world of creativity, and violence, and gives you the drive to uncover their story. Their understanding of their role in society is a foreign one to Americans and givens the game a centuries old look and feel.
Vitae is your healing potion, drawn directly from the bodies, and you carry your trusty Iaito Can and Waltham A9. I was surprised by the inclusion of a hand gun, the the kick and carry are reminiscent of the archebus era, so its doesn't jar you out of the atmo.
The Lovecraftian edge, noted by reviewers, is drawn from the notion of the alternate timeline - in this world Britain put down the American rebellion, and all has fallen under its growing shadow.
Ironically the inhabitants, giving it depth and color, are occasionally unkillable. But unlike its Soulslike cousins, Skautfold lets you wait them out. Only the Mansion and its secrets matter. Only defeating the fog. Hack and Slashing your way through is
another option, and a great vent for when you get frustrated by the more simple game mechanic of outlasting plaguebearers and bosses.
The first installment in the Goth Series, Shrouded in Sanity sports a Freeware version, also available on Steam - so there's no reason not to give it a go!
Check it out!
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2023.06.02 13:42 thegamerjedi Mythicals
(I've had this concept for a while and wrote a few versions for the first episode, settling on this version, I haven't wrote a lot so would love feedback on this, I want to execute this idea as well as I can)
Mythicals Ep1: The world's worst thief
Narrator: Welcome to the continent of Nova.A continent made up of seven separate islands with each one of having its own unique,biomes,climates,properties and laws.But this continent isn't perfect.40 years ago a strange race called mythicals appeared.They were similar to humans in every aspect except one.They had strange abilities called Zanes.With these Zanes,the power went to the mythical's head and they tried to take over the continent,starting a race war between the humans and mythicals.The humans won the war through sheer numbers.Mythical population dropped 75% and are now discriminated and oppressed by humans.
A young man is seen running along a white stone road.He had short,straight,black hair,wide red eyes and pale skin.He had a dirty grey trench coat,a black shirt with tears in it,black ripped jeans and grey boots.
Narrator: Meet Hiroshi Kita,an 18 year old,down on luck,mythical thief.
Hiroshi turns around and spots three people dressed in medieval knight armour chasing him.He smiled and continued running,soon running into an alleyway,the knights running in and cornering him.
Hiroshi: Come on guys,can't we talk this out?
The first knight draws a sword and slashes at Hiroshi.Hiroshi's chest becomes transparent as the sword goes through him.His chest turned back to normal as the sword left his chest.
Narrator: Hiroshi Kita,his Zane is called Umbra.It allows him to turn his body into a shadow form,the only issue is due to not having much mastery over this Zane,he can only transform one body part at a time.
Knight 1: He's a mythical!
The second knight took out a large axe
Knight 2: This will knock my mythical kill count to 15!
The second knight swung his axe down but Hiroshi quickly dodged backwards,the axe slams into the ground.Hiroshi smiled and jumped onto the axe handle.
Hiroshi: Thanks for the help fellas
Hiroshi jumped off the axe and onto the first knight's head,then the second one and then the third one before jumping towards a window sill.The third knight pulls out a revolver and quickly shoots at Hiroshi's head.Hiroshi turns his head into a shadow before climbing through the window,turning his head back to normal.The knights look up at the window sill,knowing they won't reach.They start leaving.
Knight 3: Who's gonna tell Akuhei?
The other two knights put the fingers on the helmet where their noses would be.
Knight 3: Come on guys,when did we start doing that?
Meanwhile Hiroshi made his way to a sewer cover in a dark alley.He smiled and lifted the cover up before climbing in and closing the cover.He walked through the sewers before reaching a metal door.In front of the door was a giant man.
Hiroshi: Hey,Duke,you gonna let me in?
Duke looked down at him and shook his head
Duke: Only the best thieves in the continent are allowed in here and as we all know,you've been ranked as the worst thief in the continent,so unless you can get a big score,you're not in so scram.
Hiroshi sighed and started walking away,leaving the sewer.
Hiroshi: Asami might know something about a big score,they have connections all over the continent.
Hiroshi ran off and soon entered an abandoned theatre outside the town.He looked around and saw someone on stage with short pink hair,pink eyes,a masculine body and peach skin.They were wearing a white tank top and black shorts.Hiroshi smiled and jumped on stage.
Hiroshi: Hey Asami!
Asami smiled and quickly hugged Hiroshi
Asami: Hold on a sec,you only come here when you want something,what do you want?
Hiroshi sighed,smiled and scratched the back of his head.Asami gained an annoyed expression as they crossed their arms.
Hiroshi: Ok,to be completely honest,I need to know about a big score.
Asami: How big?
Hiroshi: Big enough to get me into the largest thieves guild in the continent?
Asami: Going big aren't we?Well I can only think of one place nearby…
They walked past him,transforming into a femine figure as they did,their voice becoming more femine as well
Asami: Would be the nearby Mythical Hunter's Headquarters but you wouldn't be mad enough to do that,right?Right?
Hiroshi: Thanks Asami!
He quickly ran away
Asami: He's gonna get himself killed.
Hiroshi located the Mythical Hunter's Headquarters and climbed over the walls at nightfall but quickly went unconscious before he could get over the wall.He woke up in a dark room with someone standing in front of him.They were tall with shoulder length brown hair,narrow green eyes and light brown skin.They were wearing a black tank top and grey cargo pants.Hiroshi was bound by rope at his ankles and wrists.
Hiroshi: Who are you?
Daichi: Name's Daichi Gushiken and you're staying here while I go stop the Mythical Hunters.
Hiroshi: But why did you capture me?
Daichi: Can't have a lowly thief like you getting in my way.Some of these guys are strong enough to topple towns.
Hiroshi: Then why fight them,just run!
Daichi: Because if they aren't stopped,they'll try to topple the human government.
Hiroshi: Won't that…
Daichi stared down at Hiroshi as Hiroshi's eyes widened in shock.
Hiroshi: That will start another war!
Daichi: Exactly, and now you understand why I need to stop them.
Hiroshi: But how can you stop them alone, do you even have a Zane?!
Daichi: Nope, I'm just a regular human.
Hiroshi: How do you expect to win against people with Zanes that could take down entire towns if they wanted too!?
Daichi: Well, I've got methods.If humans won the war against the Mythicals, why can't I beat one?
Hiroshi: The humans won through numbers!Everyone knows that!Try them on me and see if you win!
Daichi shrugs and unties Hiroshi. Hiroshi stands up as the both of them put their fists up. Hiroshi throws the first punch, aiming for Daichi's head. Daichi slides to his left before kicking Hiroshi in the back of the knee, causing Hiroshi to fall onto one knee. He then elbows Hiroshi in the neck, knocking his opponent to the ground.
Daichi: What's your name, thief?
Hiroshi: H-Hiroshi Kita.
Daichi: Well Hiroshi Kita, listen to this message from Daichi Gushiken. Stay away from Mythical Hunters unless you want to get hurt,so leave the saving to everyone else.
Daichi leaves Hiroshi on the floor as he leaves the room. Hiroshi clenches his fists before slowly getting back up a few minutes later, wiping tears from his eyes as he ran out of the room. Meanwhile, Daichi had infiltrated the Mythical Hunters HQ. He was sneaking through hallways as he took out any knights in his path, soon reaching a large wooden door and pushing it open. On the other side of the door was a large man, muscular build with crimson hair,narrow eyes, peach skin, and sharp pointed teeth, wearing black tracksuit bottoms.
Daichi: You're dying, Akuhei Heru.
The man turns around and smiles.
Akuhei: Well if it isn't the famous fighting champ. Come to try and take down the strongest fist fighter in Nova?
Daichi: Not only will I try, I'll succeed.
Akuhei: You think ye worthless human body with ney a Zane can beat me perfect form with the fourth most powerful Zane in the World?!
Daichi quickly punches Akuhei in the gut, causing him to stumble backwards.
Daichi: Never underestimate the power and dedication of the human spirit.
Akuhei: Ye be training, this should be interesting!
Akuhei swings his arm at Daichi and sends him flying into a wall, cracking the wall and causing books to fall off a bookshelf. Daichi falls to the floor and before he can get back up, Akuhei grabs him by the neck and slams him against the wall again. He lifts him up higher with his right arm as he walks over to a desk. He goes to swing Daichi down on it but Daichi quickly pulls a knife out of his pocket and stabs Akuhei in the arm. Blood trickles down Akuhei's arm as he drops Daichi. Daichi lands on the desk and looks up. Akuhei goes to slam his left fist down on Daichi. He quickly rolls backwards off the desk as Akuhei slashes it in half. Daichi stands back up only to see a fist flying towards him.
He quickly ducks as the fist hits a set of steel armour behind him, the punch flattening the chest piece. Daichi quickly grabs the sword from the set of armour and goes to swing it at Akuhei's right arm. Akuhei rips the knife out of his right arm and swings it at the sword. As soon as the knife connects, both blades shatter. Daichi stumbles back as Akuhei just steps towards him and smiles. Akuhei lifts both fists up and swings down towards Daichi. Daichi rolls to his left as the fists hit the ground, cracking it. Daichi quickly rips a piece of wood off the desk and stabs it into Akuhei's left arm. He quickly grabs another piece of wood and stabs Akuhei in the back of the knee forcing him to fall down.
Daichi (in head): This is my chance to end him!
Daichi quickly runs and shoulder bashes into Akuhei, making him over and falls out of a window, shattering the glass. Daichi slowly gets up as blood trickles out of the side of his mouth. He turns to leave when suddenly a piece of glass flies into his leg, Daichi falls forward and onto the shattered desk, causing some pieces of stray wood to stab into his shoulder. Daichi yells out in pain before looking out the window and seeing Akuhei climb through.
Akuhei: Did ye really think that I wouldn't grab onto an edge?!
Akuhei limps towards Daichi as Daichi tries to desperately crawl away. Trying to grab onto anything to pull himself forward. Akuhei grabs his leg and a red glow emanates from his hand. Akuhei's injuries heal before blood spurts out from Daichi's arms and knee.
Narrator: Akuhei Heru.His Zane is called Contagin! If he manages to touch anyone he can transfer any injury,illness or ailment to the person he touches!
Akuhei: Ye really thought ye could beat me!?
Akuhei lifts Daichi by the leg and throwing him through the doors he came in. Daichi lands on the ground as blood trickles out of him.
Akuhei: Ye are as foolish as ye are weak!
Hiroshi: Back away!
Suddenly Hiroshi smashes through a window and kicks Akuhei in the head, causing him to stumble back against a wall, his nose begins to bleed as he smiles and glares at Hiroshi.
Akuhei: Perfect,yet another lamb for me to slaughter!
Daichi: Run you idiot!
Akuhei throws a punch at Hiroshi's head but Hiroshi quickly turns his head into a shadow and the punch goes through. Another punch connects with his stomach which sends him into the air. His back hits the ceiling before he starts falling towards the ground. Akuhei smiles and quickly punches Hiroshi mid air and sends him flying down the hallway. Hiroshi lands on the ground and tries to slowly stand up, he was coughing up blood.
Akuhei charges at Hiroshi and quickly kicks him in the gut. Hiroshi slams into the wall as the wall cracks. Akuhei grabs Hiroshi and throws him in the air before sending a barrage of punches at him before grabbing his leg and slamming him into the ground. Blood trickles out of Hiroshi's mouth as he coughs.
Glass shatters and Akuhei quickly turns around. He sees a hole in another window and Daichi laying there next to it. Akuhei charges towards Daichi but something suddenly wraps around his leg. He looks down and sees a rope with a kunai tied around his leg. He turns around and sees Hiroshi still on the ground while holding the rope. Akuhei smirks and quickly swings his leg forward. Sending Hiroshi flying and out of the window in the room Akuhei and Daichi were fighting in as the rope snaps.
Hiroshi(in head): Is that it? Is this where I die? Not even getting close to my dream? I don't want to die here but I can't do anything to save myself, I'm too hurt.
Tears swell up in Hiroshi's eyes as he falls towards the ground. His eyes close as he feels himself land in someones arms. He can feel himself be gently placed on the ground and his eyes open slightly. His vision is blurry but he can make out the shape of a woman looking over him.
Hiroshi: An angel?
Hiroshi passes out due to his injuries. Meanwhile Akuhei gets surrounded by vines which pin him to the ground. The faint sound of footsteps can be heard and the vines vanish. Akuhei stands up and looks around only to see Daichi is gone.
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2023.06.02 13:41 BlueFishcake Sexy Sect Babes: Chapter Sixty Five
“It’s not very iconic,” Jack mumbled to himself as he watched the frame of the newest variant of Crawler come together.
Though calling it a ‘Crawler’ was a bit of a misnomer, given that the vehicle didn’t actually crawl. Instead, it would move about on treads. Like a normal tank. Which, while practical, were rather boring to look at.
To make matters worse, Shui would be taking just over half of the iconic older variants of crawler that did actually crawl with her on her journey North. Doing so would allow her force to be entirely mechanized – or horseborne in the case of the cultivators – reducing a journey that would normally take months into one that would take weeks. Plus, a mountain pass is actually a location where the mechanical legs might see some practical use,
Shui was certainly pleased about the extra support. While Jack wouldn’t go so far as to say she was giddy, there was certainly a degree of ‘pep’ to her steps as she rushed about the city organizing her new ‘army’. Even the mortal elements, which he got the feeling were normally an afterthought in these kinds of engagements.
She’d be taking fully one third of the militia that An had arrived with a few weeks ago. Ten thousand men and women. As well as fifteen cultivators – who Jack had made sure came from differing Sects. A move that would hopefully keep her from getting up to mischief by turning them against him.
Ideally, he’d like to say that was why she was taking a contingent of homegrown Jiangshi ‘natives’ – for a given use of the word. The reality was that she was taking the militia because the alternative was a force of spear wielding sect troops, which would be like feeding meat into a grinder.
Which might have been just fine for the Empire, but mortals actually had some innate value to him. To that end, those sect troops still in the city – all fifty thousand of them - were going to be re-equipped and retrained as part of his new Ten Huo army.
Which was why five thousand militia members would be sticking around to train them in turn, while the remaining fifteen thousand returned to the very important task of guarding Jiangshi.
Which was a priority, given that An had all but stripped the province bare of soldiers to create her rescue force – and if they didn’t return soon their absence would be keenly felt. Of course, this all relies on the Sects giving up their personal armies without a fight,
Jack thought. Here’s hoping my most recent lesson in who holds the biggest stick will remain stuck in their mind when I make that announcement…
“Perhaps.” Elwin said from beside him, returning his thoughts to the mundane nature of his latest construct. Not that you’d know it from looking at Elwin. The elf’s arms were crossed as she watched with no small amount of awe as his workshop’s many pneumatic arms worked to bring the tank to life. “That will change though. I have oft found that the iconic nature of a soldier or weapon only grows with their success. And to hear little Lin go on about this machine, it will be very successful indeed.”
Jack hummed, conceding the point. Both Lin and Huang were down in his workshop with them – the two seemingly near inseparable these days for some reason – both huddled over a data-slate as they chatted animatedly about something related to the design.
They were a mismatched pair to be sure, but it seemed that Lin had chosen to take the former princess under her wing. Which was rather ironic, given that she was the goat-kin and Huang was the dragon-kin.
“Do you think Shui’s realized that she won’t actually be spending much of her time up north building her fortress?” he hummed.
“I would worry for her intelligence if she didn’t,” Elwin opined. “And the fact that she’s not battering down your door to demand changes to the manifest she’s been provided suggests she has.”
Jack hummed in agreement. He didn’t doubt that Shui had already noticed that her little taskforce was almost entirely devoid of building materials or craftsmen. Not that she’d want to be lugging stuff like stone or timber halfway across the province when there were plenty of natural resources at her destination.
Still, she’d want craftsmen trailing along with your supply chain though.
As well as nails.
To hear his advisor’s talk about them, you wanted nails by the barrel. To that end they had some. Gao, Ren and An had stressed that no army should ever be without things for even a moment, but they weren’t present in nearly the quantities required to build a mountain fortress like the one he hoped would soon block off the only remaining route into the province – if you ignored the ocean.
Which both Imperials and Instinctives were seemingly content to do.
No, the Pig-kin had probably known from the moment the plan was presented to her that Jack would be waiting for her to arrive at her destination before he flew over in his suit and built a fortress basically overnight.
That thought made him feel better about his decision to put her in charge of the job. It was an important job after all, sealing off the last ‘free’ entrance into his small empire. I’ll probably want to head back to Jiangshi first to resupply basic building materials when I do head over there,
he thought as he made a mental tally of what was currently floating around in his inventory. The thought made him sigh. The sooner I get a train network set up the better.
There was just so much that needed to be done…
He shook his head as he refocused on the task at hand, which was creating the prototype of the new Kang Barrel. A name that had created nothing but confusion for his underlings, but tickled his funny bone.
Not least of all because he hadn’t been the one to come up with the joke.
His microbots were. And while the fact that his microbots were currently capable of making jokes terrified him to his core, he couldn’t deny that they were good at them.
Because truth be told, he’d never wondered why tanks were called ‘tanks’. Though, to be fair, he never wondered why half a dozen other things were named as they were.
As it turned out, the reason tanks had been called what they were was because they’d been smuggled to Europe – or the irradiated zone as it was now known – disguised as water tanks.
Thus, Barrels had seemed an apt name for his own variant – even if no one but him got the joke.
Hell, that just made it funnier to him.
“So, how are things coming with your apprentices?” he asked the elf.
Smiling, the woman was about to respond when Ren rushed in, looking more frantic than usual. Which was a rather impressive feat given that she’d spent the last few weeks effectively running his city for him and was normally operating somewhere between totally overwhelmed and barely hanging on.
“Where are your formal robes, master!?” the merchant all but hissed. “I told you the ceremony would be starting in a few hours!”
Jack glanced over at a nearby clock.
“Ah… I knew I was forgetting something.”
Not that it mattered, he didn’t care what Ren said about tradition.
He was going in his armor.
“With that, I present your new magistrate,” an older man called out to the crowds below.
The male cultivator was actually the oldest looking cultivator Jack had ever seen. The man was a craftsmen, a well respected one. And he was also the one who had been in charge of creating the staff that ostensibly controlled the city’s runic defenses.
And keying them to Jack.
That wasn’t how it had gone down – and the other man had made it abundantly clear what he thought of this change in tradition.
Jack didn’t care then and he didn’t care now.
Which was why he ignored the other man’s stinkeye as he stood up from his throne and strode over to the balcony.
“The Empire has abandoned us.”
His first words were solemn, yet they rolled over the crowd below without trouble. A feat accomplished by a few carefully positioned loud speakers.
Which might have been why, despite the distance between him and the throngs of… not quite human mortals and cultivators below, he could almost hear the audible intake of breath that followed his statement.
Criticizing one’s superiors really wasn’t done in the empire, by virtue of the fact that said superior was usually your superior because they were entirely capable of lopping your head off. If they weren’t, you’d be the superior.
Again, certain parallels between the Instinctive hordes and the Empire leapt to Jack’s mind.
“The Empress has abandoned us. Time has dulled her edge. Corruption has infested her courts. Lethargy pervades her armies. And now, like an ape grasping for a branch as it plummets to its doom, the Empress pulls tight on her outer provinces in a desperate attempt to arrest her fall.”
It helped that what he was saying was mostly true. Or so he assumed. Because he’d yet to meet a system of power that wasn’t at least a little corrupt.
Silence was the only response he received to his words though.
Which, again, was to be expected. While the Empress wasn’t a ‘goddess’ in the religious sense of the word – the empire as a whole was surprisingly secular in that regard, focusing instead on something Jack would have described as Pseudo-Buddhism – she was also one of the founders of the Empire.
Again, not someone you criticized for long before you found yourself suddenly a few feet shorter from the top down.
Fortunately, Jack had a secret weapon.
“Yet Ten Huo only grows in power!”
That was the signal for the doors to the palace to open, and from them cart after cart of sizzling pigs, cows and whole chicken were wheeled forward. Prepared by the palace’s chefs, they’d done an incredible job with the task they’d been given. Even from his position up high on the balcony Jack found the smell intoxicating as it wafted up to him.
Fortunately, the line of sect troops guarding the front of the palace held steady as the crowd almost unconsciously surged forward at the sight of such a feast. Really hope no one’s going to get crushed in that,
That was why he had a few cultivators on standby who would use directed burst of killing intent anywhere the press of bodies got too tight. The effectiveness of which Jack had been a little dubious of, but it was apparently a tried and tested method for ‘delicately’ dealing with unruly crowds.
Personally, Jack would have preferred to use his own troops, but Ren had quite reasonably pointed out that when it came to keeping crowds of agitated mortals in line, none were better than the personal armies of the sects.
…Or the Imperial army – but most of them were dead now.
That didn’t mean he’d come completely unprotected. His own troops had emptied out the palace of all courtiers and Sect guards hours ago in preparation for his speech. A feat that would have been impossible mere days ago, but it seemed that his little display to the Sect leaders had the effect he’d intended it to, because the cultivators present on the premises hadn’t even made a single peep of complaint as they were ordered out by a bunch of mere mortals.
Albeit, mere mortals who had An commanding them.
“We must cast off the shackles that have for so long held us back!” Jack announced. “This is not about power. Not about greed. Or pride. It is about survival!”
This time he got roars of approval – though whether that was down to his words or the food that was now being passed out to the crowd, he couldn’t say.
It didn’t really matter. It was about the optics of the thing. When people looked back on this moment, they would remember the cheering. And that would mean it had to have been a good thing, right?
“Ten Huo must grow. Must cultivate it’s strength. Must power through the troubles ahead,” he roared. “Which we have. Through our guards. Through our walls. Through our cultivators. And through our gonnes. Through those things we broke the back of the horde and slew their false dragon. And it is through the power of those things that we might beat back any foe that might threaten our home.”
He raised his fist high – and at the correct moment, his Red Dragon armor flared into being, the feathers atop fluttering proudly in the wind. “Ten Huo forever! Against all that might come! Together we are strong!”
Perhaps it was just his imagination, but that time the cheers felt more genuine. A chant even started.
“Ten Huo! Ten Huo! Ten Huo!”
“To that end, I intend to correct some of the failures of the old regime! Firstly, I shall be cutting the mortal guard force of our city’s sects down to one tenth their current size.”
That caused a stir, not just from the cultivators who were stood on the nearby pavilions, but from the rearmost ranks of the sect guard that were currently holding back the crowd while simultaneously handing out food.
Which made sense, he was currently discussing their livelihoods. The only thing that separated them and their families from the desperate crowds in front of them. Because while the city wasn’t quite close to starving as a result of the recent hostilities, it was true that a great many households were now tightening their belts.
Service in the Imperial Army or Sects provided some degree of protection from that reality.
“And from those men and women, I shall forge a new force. A grand Ten Huo army to rival that of the decrepit Empire. Well trained. Well armed. Professional soldiers. An expansion and revitalization of the Jiangshi militia that saved this city all those weeks ago.”
That seemed to silence much of the hesitation that had formed in the sect troops. The crowd though was all for it, whooping and hollering at the idea of more troops of the ilk that had so captured the city’s love with their arrival into it.
“I do this not out of contempt for the sects but out of love. With this I free them from the responsibility of policing the city. Of dealing with the mundane details of the mortal world. I free them to focus on their one true goal; the pursuit of cultivation and immortality.”
More importantly, it would make a coup significantly less likely to be successful later down the line. Or at least, less viable. Because as potent as cultivators were, they were still just individuals. They had more in common with fighter craft than infantry. They could take ground and destroy targets, but they couldn’t be expected to hold it without support.
Support Jack fully intended to cut out from under them while claiming he was doing them a favor. And while he could certainly see some idiots in the pavilion nodding along with the idea of ‘freeing themselves from the need to deal with mortals’, most of the leadership was rightly frowning at the thought of losing their ability to project power into the city.
Without mortal soldiers to form a buffer around them, they would effectively be besieged within their compounds.
Yet even as he could see them slowly considering raising some form of stink over it, he could also see them glancing over to the empty seat in their lineup where the Silver Paw sect might have stood.
No, they might make a perfunctory fuss, but they’d do as he told them. This was the ideal time for him to make a move like this. It was almost expected.
To be sure, he knew some would cause some form of trouble over this move, but that trouble would be a lot easier to deal with when he tripled the number of soldiers he had at his command within the city.
Down below, Jack could see the distant figure of Gao – and a small application of magnification showed the man was looking rather pale. Which made sense, given the massive task Jack had just slammed down in front of him. An, for her part, looked positively giddy about the whole thing. Ren just looked… tired and unsurprised, as if more work appearing on her lap was just to be expected where Jack was concerned. Elwin looked disinterested in the whole thing, which was par for the course.
Lin and Huang were… nowhere to be seen? Huh,
For just a moment he was worried something might have happened, but a quick glance at the trackers attached to them – via some ‘gifts’ of jewelry – showed the pair were back at his compound. In the same room even.
Very close. Probably caught up in some science experiment,
he thought with a small smile.
“Yet what is a mortal army without a core of cultivators?” Jack continued. “Am I to demand a tithe from the sects that have already given so much? To both me and this city?” He shook his head. “Nay.”
He stretched out his arm, and with perfect timing a dozen figures dropped from the windows of the palace, landing perfectly behind the sects guards in a crouched position.
They were clearly cultivators – yet they didn’t look like them. For one thing, they were armored. From head to toe. Gleaming steel armor that was inlaid with protective runes.
It wasn’t as comprehensive as metal plate would be. Gaps existed to allow for great locomotion from the user. Yet it was still more armor than any cultivator would ever be caught wearing.
Because in the local parlance, armor was a sign of weakness. A lack of confidence in ones skills and cultivation.
Or at least, that had been the case until Jack showed up.
The next thing about them was that they were uniform. Perfectly so. Only the weapons were different. Some had glaives. Some had swords. Others axes. The only commonality there were the revolvers at their hips.
He didn’t doubt they looked absurd to the cultivators in the pavilions, each of them dressed differently to their fellows, with only a small adherence to their sect colors to mark their allegiance. Because cultivators didn’t do uniforms.
They were warriors. Heroes. Not soldiers.
Or at least, they weren’t, Jack smirked.
He raised both arms high above his head.
“I demand nothing of the sects, for volunteers have already shown up to be part of this great army. Ready to give their lives. Their souls. Their very identities to protect our great Ten Huo!”
Jack slammed his fist down onto the banister, letting the loud thud echo across the courtyard.
“I present to you, the Steel Paw!”
For the first time since they had arrived, the mystery cultivators stood up, their blue cloaks fluttering in the winds as they pulled back their hood to reveal not faces, but helms.
Helms shaped like a snarling tiger. First
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2023.06.02 13:28 dverbern An unbroken chain of the exponential ... leading to you.
Not one of your direct ancestors, going back to the origins of life on Earth; died childless / without offspring.
Fascinating logical statement, I think!
One the one hand the statement talks of an incredibly unlikely series of events - billions of years of living organisms on this planet somehow each surviving long enough to reproduce and for their direct progeny to also achieve that most noble of goals. To have this chain of events over such a vast period of time leading directly to each of us as individuals - it's almost unfathomable in its majesty.
On the other hand, the statement is unsurprising, obvious even. How so? Well, the condition that the statement describes is an example of the 'observer selection bias'. Essentially it means this - no matter how unlikely or contrived the set up is; if it represents a precondition for something like one's existence, then it's not surprising, because it if weren't the case we wouldn't be here to be talking about it.
I didn't originate any of these ideas. I'm not sure exactly who I read that used this statement about our ancestors, but it belongs to a tradition of similar kind of statements that are sometimes known as the 'Anthropic Principle'. I think the scientist Brandon Carter was known to introducing a 'weak' and 'strong' version of this principle, which revolved more around the existence and fundamental nature of the Universe and us as living beings.
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2023.06.02 13:24 HotFoxedbuns Humility Month is Back!!!!
Last year a friend and I hatched an idea called Humility Month. We came up with the idea as a way for us as Christians to be a light in a world full of darkness. Light does not need to fight darkness, it simply needs to shine.
In this spirit, let's shine the light of humility this month of June.
So why is humility so important? Humility is what God favours:
James 4:6 - But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”
This is also said in Proverbs 29:23 - A man's pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honour.
And Matthew 23:12 - For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
And Proverbs 3:34 - He mocks the mockers, but gives grace to the humble.
One of my favourite scriptures is in 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29
Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast in His presence.
In everything, God must get the glory. Our salvation is predicated not on anything we can boast about in of ourselves. Contrary to the way the world thinks, this is actually something to take refuge in. We are aware of our own imperfections and shortcomings. The world's answer to this is to basically ignore them and even to celebrate them as good. But rather we are those who will look to Christ and His perfection and glory and elevate and celebrate Him. This is the ultimate result of humility, not merely the making low of oneself but the exaltation of the one to whom all honour and glory and praise belong: Jesus Christ. And we see that He also exemplified this kind of extreme humility as is perfectly summarised in Philippians 2:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God has chosen to use humility as the vehicle for His blessings and favour to be poured out on all of those who assume this mode of being. The humble recognise that God is God and that they are not.
So let's sing with Stuart Townend the great chorus:
I will not boast in anything
No gifts no power no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
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