James avery heart ring

Engaged at 10 years old..

2023.05.30 12:18 eddies-friend Engaged at 10 years old..

Engaged at 10 years old.. submitted by eddies-friend to BitLifeApp [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 11:46 CompletelyPresent CHOOSING introverted hobbies is a social death sentence...

As someone who's experienced many great highs and lows socially, I can say with full confidence this one determining factor.
Note that this will be difficult to accept for people, but in your heart-of-hearts, you know it's 100% true.
The hobbies you choose in life definitely affect your social life and social skills.
Things like binging shows constantly, video game addiction, and ironically, some forms of social media addiction, all serve to STIFLE and DIMINISH your social skill and potential.
The reason is simple: You ONLY improve at something by doing it.
By choosing (that part's important; it is purely your choice how you manage your time) hobbies w/ zero in-person interaction, you're CHOOSING the path of the hermit. FACTS.
Please believe that I've experienced this in my own life.
When I led a podcast at work or was in the Navy, I was extremely social.
When I got deep into Elden Ring or binging repeated shows, I was creating no social opportunities, and my social anxiety increased.
These are two of countless examples.
So, what do you do? You're the captain of your free time, so make sure to choose hobbies that force you to interact with people. Instead of buying a new game, join CrossFit or Karate. Instead of binging, take your dog to a popular park and interact with people.
You must create those opportunities if you want to improve socially.
submitted by CompletelyPresent to socialanxiety [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 10:41 ProfileLimp572 Special for the fans of Behind the Bastards

Guess what! The guys from stuff they don't want you to know are making their way to iHeart Land for their next event. (Bell rings) Are you ready to get schooled? Then head to iHeart Land on Roblox to join Ben, Matt and Noel from Stuff they don't want you to know as they celebrate teacher appreciation day all week long. They've got the scoop on the most important people in our lives, our teachers. (Crowd cheers) Tune in to State Farm park in iHeart Land on Roblox, as they educate us about our educators. Join the fun starting Thursday June first at 7pm Eastern. After the show, stick around and check out all the exiting things iHeart Land has to offer . Suit up in your virtual red polo and khaki, and head to the state farm neighborhood. Make sure you find Jake from state farm to complete fun quests that level up your gameplay and help you earn rewards. Head to state farm park in iHeart Land on Roblox Thursday, June first at 7pm Eastern. Event available for a limited time only, you can't miss it! Visit iHeartRadio.com/iheartland to start playing today!
submitted by ProfileLimp572 to copypasta [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:59 SpiritedSomewhere7 My 31F BF 39M is watching young girls on Tiktok

Me 31F and my boyfriend 39M have been together for 5 years. About 2 years ago I caught him watching some pretty revealing videos on tiktok which really upset me. It was a bit of a hit to my confidence and made me question the physical side of our relationship as I prior to catching him I thought that we were quite invested in eachother and had no reason to 'look' elsewhere. It cause a bit of insecurity from my end but we talked it out and he simply stated that his friend James sent him those videos because he single and bored and it's was the so called flavour of videos that he was into that month and he didn't really watch them, justed opened them, saw what they were and crying laughing face emojied the video so James would know he watched it and that was it. He promised me that it was all from James's side that he wasn't sending James anything of that nature back and that he had no interest in what was getting sent because he was happy with where we're at. After that I let it go and didn't question it further. Last night I was using his computer for some editing, and saw a messanger message pop up from James. It was another tiktok link followed by heart emoji faces. For some reason I had a really unsettled feeling but tried to ignore it. For context, things have been a little strained between my partner and I, he's travelling often for work and our communication patterns have started to change (from his end). It's been been called out but he hasn't made any effort to rectify the situation. A little later that night, I ended up opening the tiktok and it was once again two teenage girls grinding up on eachother in different levels of undress. By that stage my partner had also viewed the message but instead of a crying laughing emoji there was a heart eyes emoji. That was my proverbial breaking point I started going through all of their messages. There were tonnes of videos between two of them sending each other videos of young girls, undressed(not naked), in provocative poses or doing provocative things. Obviously it's nothing full on as it's on tiktok but the three things that are really getting at me are 1) That he's lied because he's actively sending James these videos too 2) the reactions and commentary surrounding these videos e.g I'd f** her and & f** me she's so hot followed by love hearts and heart eye emojis (this is from both of them) and 3) the age of the said girls in these videos. My partner and his mate are both a year off 40 and theses girls all look like they're between 16-25. There's just something about this situation that not sitting right with me. Yes I understand that I'm not innocent in all of this by snooping through his messages but this has really got me on edge. The lying about not being an active participant is one thing but then the age of these girls is also another, coupled with how distant he's been, this is really causing me great concern. Am I just being super paranoid or could there be something more to this? And yes I do realise that some of you may find the fact that I'm getting upset over him just viewing these videos and commenting as an over reaction but I can't help how I feel about this. TLDR: my BF 39M and his mate are sharing, watching and commenting on young girls on tiktok in provocative poses/states of undress and I can't help but feel disgusted by it.
submitted by SpiritedSomewhere7 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:34 Angueee Last year’s book challenge

Last year’s book challenge submitted by Angueee to PHBookClub [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:22 AuSSie-HellCat Week 2: October 2023 - GEW: Riot & Unleashed

Week 2: October 2023 - GEW: Riot & Unleashed

GEW: Riot

Match 1 - HoB vs Heart Brekkers (Tag Team Tournament Round 1)
From the moment the bell rang, The House of Black displayed their dominance. Buddy unleashed a flurry of strikes, combining his precision and martial arts expertise to keep The Heart Brekkers on their toes. Brody King, a force of power and intensity, used his sheer strength to overpower his opponents.
As the match progressed, the rivalry between the two teams intensified. The House of Black showcased their unity and ruthless aggression, delivering devastating moves that left The Heart Brekkers reeling. The crowd was captivated by the sheer intensity and skill displayed by both teams.
In a climactic moment, The House of Black unleashed their signature finisher, culminating in a pinfall victory over The Heart Brekkers.
Winner: House of Black by Pinfall (3.5 Stars)
Announcement from William Regal
As you all know, the GEW World Heavyweight Championship is the most prestigious title in the world of professional wrestling. And to determine the next challenger for this illustrious championship, we are organizing a number one contender match!
This match will feature three of the most dominant and formidable wrestlers in the industry today. First, we have the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus, whose brute strength and explosive power have taken him to the top of the mountain before.
Next up, we have the Almighty Bobby Lashley, whose sheer athleticism and grappling prowess make him a force to be reckoned with inside the squared circle.
And last but certainly not least, we have the Rainmaker, Kazuchika Okada, one of the greatest wrestlers in the world today.
These three titans of the ring will clash in an epic battle, and the winner will earn the right to face the current GEW World Heavyweight Champion and claim the ultimate prize. This match will take place next week at Beach Bash with the winner facing rather Bryan Danielson or Santos Escobar at the next PPV.

Match 2 - Toni Storm, Bayley, & Zoey Starks vs Britt Baker, Jaime Hayter, & Dakota Kai
At the start of the match, both teams were equally matched with each other. Britt Baker, the GEW Women's Champion, and Toni Storm started the match and put on an incredible display of technical wrestling. Soon after, Bayley and Jaime Hayter were tagged in, and the pace of the match increased, with both women throwing each other around the ring with incredible force.
The match started to get brutal when Dakota Kai was tagged in and immediately attacked Zoey Starks, throwing her into the steel ring post and pummeling her with kicks and punches. Starks fought back, but Kai continued to dominate her.
The match turned into a brawl as all six women fought inside and outside the ring. Bayley and Hayter fought in the crowd while Storm and Baker battled at ringside. In the ring, Starks managed to tag in Bayley, who took control of the match, delivering several devastating moves on Kai.
Bayley hit the Bayley-to-Belly on Kai for the victory. After the match, the heels attacked the faces, but they were eventually cleared from the ring, leaving the winners to celebrate their victory.
Winner: Toni Storm, Bayley, & Zoey Starks by Pinfall (4.75 Stars)

Match 3 - Money Inc vs Aussie Open (Tag Team Tournament Round 1)
In an explosive tag team encounter, Aussie Open, comprised of Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, clashed with the experienced duo of Money Inc. The match showcased the agility and power of Aussie Open as they executed high-flying maneuvers and devastating strikes. Despite a valiant effort from Money Inc, Aussie Open emerged victorious, securing the pinfall and leaving the crowd in awe of their impressive performance.
Winner: Aussie Open by Pinfall (4 Stars)
Backstage Segment
[The camera cuts to a backstage area, showing us what happened last week moments after LA Knight walked out on Grayson Waller during their tag team match. Grayson Waller is visibly frustrated and pacing back and forth when The Miz approaches him.]
Grayson Waller: [angered] Can you believe that, Miz? Knight just left me hanging out there!
The Miz: [calmly] I know it's frustrating, Waller, but we need to stay focused. We can't let this tear us apart.
Grayson Waller: [agitated] How can you defend him, Miz? He abandoned me in the ring! We were supposed to be a team!
[Just as Grayson finishes his sentence, LA Knight storms into the scene, looking equally furious.]
LA Knight: [pointing a finger at Grayson] You wanna know why I left, Waller? Because you're nothing but dead weight!
Grayson Waller: [getting in Knight's face] Dead weight? You're the one who couldn't handle a little adversity and decided to walk away!
[The tension between Knight and Waller continues to escalate as they exchange heated words, getting dangerously close to physical confrontation. The Miz steps between them, forcing them apart.]
The Miz: [firmly] That's enough! Both of you need to calm down and think about what you're doing. This isn't the time or the place for this.
LA Knight: [still seething] No, Miz! I've had enough of both of your incompetence. I don't need you two dragging me down anymore.
The Miz: [leaning closer to LA Knight] You think you can just walk away whenever things get tough? Well, let me remind you of something, Knight. You signed a contract when you joined The A-List Experience. That means you have a responsibility to be a team player, no matter what.
[LA Knight hesitates, realizing the weight of The Miz's words.]
LA Knight: [gritting his teeth] Fine. But don't expect me to forget this, Waller.
Grayson Waller: [defiantly] Likewise, Knight. We'll settle this, one way or another.
[The tension lingers in the air as The Miz steps back, his gaze shifting between Knight and Waller. The scene ends with the three members of The A-List Experience standing apart, their unity shattered, and uncertain about what lies ahead.]

Match 4 - Cody Rhodes vs Shinsuke Nakamura
The bell rang, and the two locked up in the center of the ring, both trying to gain the upper hand.
The crowd was firmly behind both wrestlers, as they executed their signature moves flawlessly. Nakamura's striking ability was on full display as he landed a series of hard kicks and strikes to Rhodes' body. But Rhodes was resilient, using his technical prowess to stay in the match.
The match continued back and forth with near falls and high impact maneuvers from both competitors. As the match wore on, it became clear that Rhodes had a slight advantage, gaining momentum with every passing minute.
In the end, Rhodes landed his finisher, the Cross Rhodes, and pinned Nakamura for the three-count.
Winner: Cody Rhodes by Pinfall (5 Stars)

Match 5 - Chad Gables US Title Open Challenge
Happy Corbin comes out to answer the challenge, looking confident and determined to take the title from Gable.
The match begins with both competitors feeling each other out, trying to gain an advantage. Corbin manages to take control early on, using his strength and size advantage to keep Gable grounded. However, Gable uses his technical wrestling skills to counter Corbin's offense and get back into the match.
As the match continues, Gable picks up momentum and starts hitting some impressive moves on Corbin. Corbin tries to fight back, but Gable is relentless and keeps the pressure on. In the end, Gable catches Corbin off guard with an ankle lock, surprising Corbin and securing the victory.
Winner: Chad Gable by Submission (4 Stars)
Post Match Segment
The arena erupts in cheers as Chad Gable celebrates his hard-fought victory over Happy Corbin. Gable's music blares through the speakers, and he raises his arms in triumph, basking in the adulation of the crowd.
Suddenly, the venue plunges into darkness, and an ominous silence fills the air. The lights slowly begin to illuminate, revealing Jay White and The Gunns standing at the entrance ramp, wearing sinister smirks on their faces. The crowd's reaction shifts from confusion to a mixture of boos and jeers.
Jay White and The Gunns make their way to the ring, their eyes locked on Gable, who stands in the center, his victory high replaced by a cautious readiness.
Jay White: Chad Gable, congratulations on your victory. You showcased some skills out there, but let's be honest, it was nothing compared to what The Bullet Club is capable of.
Austin Gunn: That's right, Gable. You may have won your little match, but now you're stepping into the lion's den.
Chad Gable: If you're here to fight, then let's settle it right here, right now. I'm not backing down from any challenge.
[The crowd roars in support of Gable, cheering him on as he stands tall in the face of The Bullet Club.]
Jay White: Oh, Gable, you're brave, I'll give you that. But this is not about a fair fight. This is about sending a message, about teaching you a lesson.
Suddenly, Jay White signals to The Gunns, and the three members of The Bullet Club pounce on Gable, delivering a ruthless beatdown. Gable fights back, but the numbers game overwhelms him.
Security personnel rush to the ring, desperately trying to separate the brawling individuals. The Bullet Club members finally retreat, leaving Gable lying on the mat, battered and bruised.

Match 6 - Undisputed Era vs Ricochet & Mustafa Ali (Tag Team Tournament Round 1)
In an electrifying tag team match, the powerhouse duo of Undisputed Era, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly, collided with the high-flying tandem of Ricochet and Mustafa Ali. The match was a showcase of contrasting styles, with Ricochet and Ali relying on their aerial agility while Undisputed Era utilized their technical prowess and cunning strategies. Despite Ricochet and Ali's relentless offense, Undisputed Era displayed their tag team chemistry and resilience, countering their opponents' every move. In the end, it was a well-timed double-team maneuver by Undisputed Era that secured the victory.
Winner: Undisputed Era by Pinfall (4.5 Stars)
- Match 1: House of Black def. Heart Brekkers
- Match 2: Toni Storm, Bayley, & Zoey Starks def. Britt Baker, Jaime Hayter, & Dakota Kai
- Match 3: Aussie Open def. Money Inc.
- Match 4: Cody Rhodes def. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Match 5: Chad Gable def. Happy Corbin
- Match 6: Undisputed Era def. Ricochet & Mustafa Ali
- Regal announces matches for the TV Special in two weeks
- We see exclusive footage from last week with a confrontation between the A-List Experience
- The Bullet Club beat down Chad Gable after his match

GEW: Unleashed

Match 1 - Carmelo Hayes vs Wes Lee
The match started off with some technical wrestling and chain grappling, with both men trying to gain the upper hand. Carmelo Hayes was able to get the first near fall of the match with a deep arm drag, but Wes Lee quickly countered with a series of impressive kicks.
As the match progressed, both men started to show their high-flying abilities, with Hayes hitting a stunning springboard cutter and Lee countering with a beautiful shooting star press. The crowd was on their feet, cheering for both competitors.
But it was Carmelo Hayes who was able to come out on top, hitting a thunderous DDT and following up with a swift roll-up pin, catching Wes Lee by surprise and securing the three-count for the win.
Winner: Carmelo Hayes by Pinfall (4 Stars)
The GEW crowd roars as Carmelo Hayes stands victorious in the ring, having just defeated his opponent in an electrifying match. Hayes takes a moment to soak in the adoration of the fans, raising his arms in triumph.
Suddenly, the lights dim, and a familiar theme song begins to play. The crowd's cheers turn to boos as Seth Rollins strides out from the backstage area, mic in hand. Rollins wastes no time and heads straight to the ring, his eyes locked on Hayes.
Rollins steps into the ring and stares down Hayes, who looks back at him with defiance in his eyes.
"I've been watching you, Carmelo," Rollins says. "And I have to admit, you've impressed me. You've got talent, there's no denying that. But let's not forget who the real champion is around here."
Hayes raises an eyebrow. "I'm well aware of who the champion is, Seth. And next week at GEW: Bash at the Beach, I'm going to take that title from you."
Rollins smirks. "Oh really? You think you can beat me? You might be a rising star, but you're not ready to step into the ring with someone like me."
Hayes steps forward, his eyes blazing. "I'm more than ready, Seth. I've been training my entire life for this moment. And I'm going to prove to everyone that I deserve to be the GEW International Champion."
Rollins laughs. "We'll see about that. But just remember, Carmelo, when you step into that ring with me, you're not just facing a champion, you're facing the future of this business."
The crowd cheers as Rollins drops the mic and makes his way out of the ring, leaving Hayes to stand alone, his eyes focused on the GEW International Championship.

Match 2 - Zoey Starks vs Jacy Jane
At the start of the match, Jacy Jane attacked Zoey Starks, but Zoey quickly recovered and started dominating Jacy with quick strikes and high-flying maneuvers. Jacy tried to fight back with power moves, but Zoey was too quick for her. Zoey finished the match with a devastating dropkick followed by a running knee strike, leading to the pinfall victory over Jacy Jane in a quick match.
Winner: Zoey Starks by Pinfall (3 Stars)

Match 3 - MCMG vs Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano (Tag Team Tournament Round 1)
The match was a display of technical prowess, high-flying maneuvers, and hard-hitting strikes. Both teams showcased their chemistry and determination to secure the victory. However, it was the seamless coordination and innovative offense of Motor City Machine Guns that proved to be the difference-maker. In the end, a devastating double-team finisher from Shelley and Sabin sealed the win, earning Motor City Machine Guns a well-deserved victory over Gargano and Ciampa.
Winner: MCMG by Pinfall (4 Stars)
- Match 1: Carmelo Hayes def. Wes Lee
- Match 2: Zoey Starks def. Jacy Jane
- Match 3: MCMG def. Gargano & Ciampa
- Rollins confronts Hayes before their title match next week
submitted by AuSSie-HellCat to HellCats2KUniverseV2 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 08:02 tyronpiteauvl Jason Fladlien – Prosperity Algorithm Download

Jason Fladlien – Prosperity Algorithm Download

Jason Fladlien – Prosperity Algorithm Download (10.23 GB)
What You Get?

A Prosperous Purpose

It’s hard to be “at ease” if you’re not living authentically. And the opposite of ease is dis-ease. And dis-ease becomes disease without purpose.
Lack of purpose leads to increases in heart attacks, strokes, premature death, and a whole host of mental illnesses.
With purpose, all things are endurable, and prosperity is possible. In this session you’ll discover:
  • The “flirt with purpose” exercise to immediately up-level your life quality
  • The “mini Einstein” exercise to get more joy out of each hour of your day
  • How to use “linguistic judo” to better shape your actions to your purpose
  • The concept of micro-purposes to get results while you work out your true purpose
  • The MEGA MODEL – the ultimate purpose-unconvering exercise is now at your fingertips
  • How to tap into purpose hall-of-famers to draw inspiration to your own purpose
  • The biggest mistake people make when trying to find their purpose (and what to do instead)
  • The 10 sources of purposes (at least one of these will make the world more right for you)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
“Ships in harbor are safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
John A. Shedd
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Mark Twain

The Structure of Freedom

Freedom is not a lack of structure. Nor is structure a lack of freedom. These forces must coexist in harmony if you want prosperity. This session shows you how. You’ll discover:
  • Zone thinking vs. binary thinking (Most people do one of these and suffer. Do the other and prosper.)
  • A simple question that, once you ansewr it, will give you a clue on what you can immediately do to gain an instant surge in prosperity
  • Why modern society now makes it impossible to enjoy true prosperity without doing this
  • The 4 areas of your life you must put conscious structure around (without it, you’ll feel the world is chaotic and spinning out of control)
  • The power of micro-rouines and how to use it to re-wire current behavioral limitations into more empowering actions
  • What “cognitive load” is and how to offload it so you can be happier while thinking less
  • The value of “schemas” and why it may be the single greatest advantage you can have for thriving in the modern world
  • The “folding up” method to get big results quicker than many think possible
  • Why you should intentionally schedule chaos (you’ll love this psychological hack!)
  • How to make it so natural that the right resources become available to you at the right time in the right amount (a game changer!)
  • Why will power is not a factor in your prosperity or success (sorry, it’s not YOU)
  • Structure hacking and how you can make even putting on your socks and shoes supercharge your prosperity (sneaky and weird and oh-so-effective)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“What you practice too often, you use without thinking.”
Robert Jordan
“Spontaneity: flexibility within a routine.”
Marty Rubin
“The stability of the structure is directly related to the security of the foundation.”
Blake Higginbotham
“His eagerness had turned into a routine; he embraced her at the same time every day. It was a habit like any other, a favorite pudding after the monotony of dinner.”
Gustave Flaubert
“Freedom without structure is its own slavery.”
David Brooks
“You need to struggle with the rules more than a bit before you throw them out.”
Richard Rohr

Adaptivity & Flexibility

If you want to thrive, you must be able to act assertively with incomplete and contractive information. In this session, we show you exactly how to do that. You’ll discover:
  • The three-word phrase to use to magnetize you to what you want, and exactly how to get it
  • The most common “bugs” your brain has, and how to re-write the “code” of your brain so your operate in prosperity instead of in scarcity
  • The only three things you need to consider in order to adapt to prosperity (want a better result? It always involves one of these three things!)
  • The curse of knowledge, and a simple exercise to sidestep this trap which keeps most people unhappy (and greatly disrupts their relationships)
  • 4 cognitive distortions that likely dominate your life right now and keep you from getting what you want
  • 11 powerful “reframes” and why knowing these is key to your happiness (it’s less what happens to you and more about the types of meaning you attach to it)
  • How to gain rapport with yourself (which is more important than trying to gain rapport with others!)
  • The “%” exercise, and how it can break you free from ruts and limiting beliefs that otherwise would put a lid on your prosperity
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
Albert Einstein
“…some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end…
Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner
“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides.
The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”
Robert A. Heinlein
“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Tenacious Persistence

Show me a hero and I’ll show you persistence. When you pair purpose with the proper type of persistence, miracles can become reality, which is what this session is about. Here you’ll discover:
  • “Dimensionalizing” persistence… how this one exercise can make all the difference from turning procrastination into unstoppable action
  • The five questions to ask yourself to unlock a near infinite about of potential to put forth into any project and endeavor you wish to pursue
  • The “inner eye” strategy to know exactly how persistence can manifest for you – do this and you’ll find many previously near-impossibles become now effortless.
  • How to pair self-compassion wih persistence to blast through obstacles that would otherwise prevent you from reaching your dreams
  • Turning compulsions into magical forces of achievement; what you used to think was weakness may actually become your greatest strengh
  • How to tap into the latent energy of distraction and transform it into prosperity
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Often it is tenacity, not talent, that rules the day.”
Julia Cameron
“Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
James A. Michener
“It’s not the length of my stride. It’s the fact that I’m walking.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

The Virtues of Adversity

Most of us have experienced major trauma in our lives… yet few of us are taught how to heal our traumas. Fewer still learn how to turn trauma into prosperity – which is what you’ll discover with this session. You’ll find out:
  • Why we’re self-programmed to play the role of a victim… and how to re-pattern this survival instinct and turn it into a thriving-instinct
  • What the Trauma-Cycle is and how to break free from it, so your past no longer limits your future
  • A daily adversity we all face that, unbeknownst to most of us, places such a burden upon us that it makes it hard to just get through the day (and how to easy it is to set this burden aside so it no longer weighs you down)
  • How to break the VICTIM-STATE and replace it with the FLOW-STATE. Within each adversity is opportunity, and here is how you seize yours
  • Why you should leave behind labels such as good/bad and positive/negative and step into these prosperity labels instead
  • One question you can always ask yourself to improve your mood and enhance your prosperity
  • The key difference between your brain’s frontal lobe and the amygdala, and why it has everything to do with whether you rule the day or it rules you
  • The one thing you must do every time you experience “failure” – do this and you can “fail” your way into prosperity
  • You can re-write the past; and how you must if you want to achieve ultimate prosperity
  • The single biggest lever for turning adversity into prosperity (and one of the most major life lessons that most people are never taught)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”
Edgar Allan Poe
“Pain and death are part of life. To reject them is to reject life itself.”
Havelock Ellis
“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.”
Sherrilyn Kenyon
“Difficulties come not to obstruct, but to instruct.”
Brian Tracy
“Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; adversity not without many comforts and hopes.”
Francis Bacon

Strategic Leverage

You can get way more out of what you already have. This session will show you how. Specifically, you’ll discover:
  • The ten-word sentence that can completely change your life (you’ll see prosperity that almost everyone else tends to overlook)
  • How to use fear, chaos and lack of confidence in a way that actually serves you, instead of having it hold you prisoner against what you want
  • The “Ultilization Method” that makes stepping stones out of stumbling blocks
  • The positive double-bind technique: how to set up situations where even when you “lose” you actually win
  • The relativity-hack and how you can use it to make anything either significant or infinitesimal
  • How to “start where you’re at” – the reason most fail is they don’t like where they want to go with where they currently are!
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Music happens between the notes.”
Claude Debussy
“If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you never tried before.”
Mae West
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
Pablo Picasso
“To be a successful person you often have to create a strong foundation with the bricks others throw at you.”
Rod Judkins

Wonderful Unfairness

Most people wish and want for things to be fair and don’t realize how disastrous that is to their happiness and wellbeing. The seeds of prosperity can’t be planted in the soil of unfairness. Here, you’re shown what to do instead. Specifically you’ll discover:
  • How much more you can accomplish when you unburden yourself of unfairness (and how to go about doing so!)
  • A three-word phrase that can immediately take the sting out of any challenging situation (and eventually allow you to find the path to prosperity through every day, normal interactions)
  • How to apply the 80/20 beyond just productivity (laser-point it at prosperity and see how it’s so unfair that you can, in weeks, get what takes most others years!)
  • What an “ecology check” is and how it can liberate you from the pressure and stress that get in the way of YOU being the best YOU that YOU can be
  • 6 common words you should never ever use again (don’t think them much less speak them)
  • The magic of BINDING so that when something “bad” happens to you, immediately two good things happen to you.
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“I decry the injustice of my wounds, only to look down and see that I am holding a smoking gun in one hand and fistful of ammunition in the other.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough
“…our world did not fall because we did not believe in fairness…
our world fell because it could no longer support the enormous weight we had put upon it, in the name of fairness.”
Leot Felton
“The only thing that makes life unfair is the delusion that it should be fair.”
Steve Maraboli

Serendipity & Luck

It seems we miss out on a really important piece of the prosperity puzzle if we only focus on our own personal characteristics. We can, and should, also focus on – and influence – luck. Serendipity. Chance. Fate. In this session you’ll discover how. Plus:
  • Why seeking explanations almost always suppresses our ability to flourish and prosper
  • The real reason most things happen to you, and how knowing this can give you a taste of heaven on Earth (hint: it’s not the reason most people think)
  • What the new-found science of epigenetics can reveal to us about our prosperity-code (prepare to be astounded)
  • The misconceptions of luck and how you can be “lucky” no matter what (you’ll be shocked and delighted and what luck actually is and what more important what it isn’t!)
  • How to attune to luck so that even back luck becomes good luck, and good luck becomes great luck
  • A startling revelation about success from the foremost expert in the world on studying the “lucky” (your heart will beat with joy when you hear this)
  • How luck and intuition go hand and hand. (Want to have razor-sharp intuition, to zoom in and just feel the right course of action? Here’s the secret…)
  • Why luck in skill are not in opposition but in harmony (even merely flirting with this delicious paradox can transform your wealth and prosperity)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Acknowledging the role of luck is the secular equivalent of religious awakening.”
David Roberts
“It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.”
Lois McMaster Bujold
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
Dalai Lama XIV
“Luck is the residue of design.”
John Milton
“Kindness is the key that opens the door of favour and beautiful surprises.”
Michael Bassey Johnson

Marketable Expertise

Expertise is essential to prosperity. It solves the money part, and it goes hand in hand with purpose. Where does your expertise reside? You’ll find out in this session. Plus, you’ll discover:
  • How to find something that is in demand, and how to become well known for it (we cut through the noise and get straight to heart of what matters!)
  • The expert conundrum – what it is, how to sidestep it and by doing so how to accomplish more in 1 year than most do in 10
  • Linking and multipying ‘lesser’ expertises to create an unstoppable, world-class mastery on subjects that people will gratefully pay large sums of money for
  • The “Schema of Expertise” – knowing these 7 levers of expertise is like having a treasure map to a chest that contains all of life’s treasure maps
  • How to naturally gravitate to “The Essential” – because when it comes to prosperity, knowing what not to do is more important than knowing what to do
  • How to become well-known in just 4 steps (because success, once revealed, is easier than failure)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
“Essential truth spoken concisely is true eloquence.”
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
“Often a sign of expertise is noticing what doesn’t happen.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“A wise shoemaker sticks to his trade and maintains a mouthful of nails.”
Jimmy Breslin
“Who you know only gets you in the door; what you know gets you the keys to the house.”
Gina Greenlee

Perfect Imperfection

If you suffer from perfectionism, this is your session. Specifically you’ll discover:
  • The two types of perfection: which to seek and which to avoid like the plague (most have it backwards!)
  • Why most of us are avoidance-motivated and how that puts us at direct odds with prosperity (and a better motivation to use instead)
  • The true power of “labels”, and the harmful way most people use labels to hurt themselves and those they love most (and how one quick fix can change everything)
  • What to do if you meet the clinical definition of HSP (highly sensitive person) – there’s an easy “rules tweak” for you that takes little effort but makes life oh-so-much better
  • How to push the mute button on stress, pushing it to the background so you can focus and thrive and feel wonderful along the way
  • The language patterns around setting healthy boundaries (and why boundaries are a must if you wish to unlock true prosperity)
  • Where imperfection excels, and beats the pants off of perfection Every. Single. Time. (you’ll love this)
This session is available to download in audio format and is accompanied by a PDF of the presentation slides as well as an exercise.
submitted by tyronpiteauvl to everycourses [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:50 smartdhyanaseo Smart Dhyana Ring: Elevate Your Fitness Journey with Stylish Precision

The power of Smart Dhyana, the ultimate fitness tracking smart ring designed to revolutionize your fitness journey. This innovative wearable technology seamlessly integrates into your lifestyle, providing accurate and comprehensive data on your health and wellness. From tracking your steps and calories burned to monitoring heart rate and sleep patterns, the Smart Dhyana smart ring empowers you to optimize your workouts and achieve your fitness goals. With its sleek design and advanced features, Smart Dhyana is your trusted companion in unlocking your full potential and embracing a healthier, more active lifestyle. Experience the future of fitness tracking with Smart Dhyana.
submitted by smartdhyanaseo to u/smartdhyanaseo [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:44 ThrewAwayApples It’s honestly unbelievably frustrating that you can’t have max hearts and stamina. I don’t understand why it’s like this.

It’s only off by 2 hearts regardless. It’s not like people could have “stamina build” with 10 rings of stamina, or heart builds with only one ring of hearts. Not it’s this weird bs where you can only get 3 rings max (fine) and almost all hearts. It’s just weird and frustrating UI choice. Just … why 😭
submitted by ThrewAwayApples to tearsofthekingdom [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:41 Gold_Introduction747 The Mom Mimic

This story takes place in 2007. My sister and future brother in law had just my nephew and moved into a rental home. The home was newer and located in a newer neighborhood. I was asked to babysit my nephew one evening. My sister and brother in law wanted to have their first evening out since baby arrived and I was happy to babysit.
I came over and my sister went over some details and mentioned that she had a load of baby clothes in dryer. She asked if I had the time to take out the clothes and fold them. They left to enjoy their evening and 30 minutes after I hear the dryer sound letting me know it was done drying. I scooped up my nephew and placed him in his crib. I went to the laundry room and took the clothes out and folded them. I placed all the clothes in a basket and placed the basket on the changing table. I took my sleeping nephew out of the crib and placed him inside his bassinet in the living room. I watched tv quietly for awhile until I heard a loud bang come from the nursery (the room we were in earlier). I peeked into the bassinet and my nephew was still sleeping soundly. I quietly made my way over to see what made the noise and opened the door to the nursery. The laundry basket I had placed on the changing table was now on the other side of the room on the floor upside down. The neatly folded baby clothes looked as though they had been tossed around. I quickly just picked up the basket and clothes and brought them back to the living room to re-fold. I was confused by the whole situation but didn’t want to ruin my sister and brother in laws evening and decided just to not mention the incident. Rest of the evening went smoothly.
A few months went by and my sister asked if I could babysit for an evening. I agreed and this time my mom joined my sister and brother in law as they were going to a casino. My nephew had been napping prior to their departure and my sister said he would need to be fed when he woke up. My nephew woke up thirty minutes after they left and I brought him to the kitchen and placed him in a chair as I prepared his bottle. (Before I go into what happen next, my name is Angelina yet everyone calls me Angie. My mother particularly only used my full name when I was in trouble or angry with me. All in all it’s rare to hear my full name being used.) Suddenly, I hear my mom yelling angrily from what seemed like the nursery “Angelina, come here now”. I yelled out “just a second, I’m in the middle of making the babies bottle”. Then again I hear my mom call out “Angelina COME HERE NOW” but now sounding like she was in the master bedroom. Frustrated and confused I yelled back “What is going on? One second…” I picked up my nephew and went into the master bedroom talking on the way to what I assumed was my mom asking “What was going on? Why are you so upset? What happened?” and walked into an empty room. I looked around and my mother was no where in the master bedroom. I looked in the nursery and empty as well. I looked throughout the rest of the home (guest bedroom, bathroom, and garage) and eventually checked the driveway for cars and only seen my car. I came back inside and called my mom. I said “Hey! Did you guys come back and forget something?” and my mom answered a confused “no…why?” to which I responded “I just heard you a bit ago…you sounded upset?” and she responded “I don’t know what you’re talking about…we’ve been on the road for over 30 minutes now.” My stomach immediately sank. Once again, I didn’t want to ruin their evening and just told her it must have been the television (even though it was off the entire time). After I hung up, the doorbell immediately rang. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest and I quickly walked to the door. I immediately almost opened the door without checking thinking that my mom was just pulling a prank and she was going to be at the door. I paused for a moment and decided to look out the peep hole. No one was outside. I opened the door to peek out to see if there was any cars in the driveway and still seeing my car. I instantly got this overwhelming sense of dread. No one was visibly outside and from where that house was located you could clearly see the street in both directions.
I never mentioned any of these incidents to my sister until she moved out of this rental home. As I was helping her move, I noticed that she had moved my nephews crib into the master bedroom. I asked her why she had moved the crib into her room (more to see if my nephew had any sleep issues). What she told me was completely unexpected. She said around Halloween, she had bought a black light and had plugged it in the nursery room. The room instantly lit up with what she described as a huge concentrated stain in the middle of the room with hand prints going up the walls. She immediately just felt very uncomfortable and moved the crib into her bedroom that night.
I told her what had happened the first time I watched my nephew and she opened up that strange things were happening in the house and was the main reason she was moving. She was experiencing lights flickering in the home, the doorbell ringing and no one was at the front door, and hearing voices. She said the landlord offered to lower the rent if they signed a year lease. She said the landlord told her that he was having issues keeping tenants in the rental and that she was the only tenant who stayed the longest. She refused the offer and moved.
I always wondered if anything happened in that home and wish I did investigate the home further. I absolutely hate that whatever was in that home mimicked my mother’s voice.
submitted by Gold_Introduction747 to Ghoststories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:31 KingMcnuggets I'm (40M) having boundary issues with my ex (39F)

Sorry for the long post. there's a lot of info to cover here.
About 4 years ago I reconnected with an old friend from my past. At the time I had been single and living along for a LONG time. She started hanging out at my place and being flirty, so on, so forth. We end up sleeping together one night and a relationship formed after that. At first everything was amazing. We were travelling, I was making new friends and for the first time in my life I feel like I found true happiness. Fast forward 8 months later, we decide to move in together. I thought it was rushed at first, but with my newfound happiness, I figured "hey, this can only work out well". Because of geographical reasons, I move into her house.
For the next year and a half things were going pretty well. we were travelling, having the time of our lives and had spoken more than once about marriage and kids, and the whole future. We were both on the same page. We had problems, there were little arguments, but never any fights. So when the housing market was great, I sold my house. Planning to buy myself a car that I've wanted for a while, and propose. I shouldn't have told her the last part as she now had it in her head that the day I sold that house I was going to buy a ring.
At this point were 2ish years into the relationship (\~16 months of us living together) I noticed she didn't seem to be as happy as she used to be. The smiles and laughs we used to share just didn't seem to be there anymore. She was constantly stressed out by work. It was around this time I noticed there was a drinking problem. She would get loaded and come home late, make excuses for where she had been, treat me like I was "putting her in a box" and then pass out. Next morning, she never seemed to understand why I was upset with her, she didn't remember a thing. If I questioned where she was or what she was doing, she said I was just being jealous. One night, it escalated. She was supposed to be the designated driver for a few of her friends. She ended up being brought home in a uber that night by herself because she got completely hammered and high. To the point she was laying sideways across a toilet with vomit running down her. When I went in to check on her, I found a bag of coke on the floor. This isn't something I'm OK with and I made that extremely clear. that night I snapped a picture of what I saw when I opened the bathroom door. I showed it to her the next morning, she didn't recall any of it. And seemed to be mortified by how she acted when she was drunk and on coke.
She swore she wouldn't do coke again, and the blackout drinking would never happen again.
For the next few weeks she started getting better. The drinking was tapering off and she started to seem happy again. One night, she seemed upset. so I asked her about it. She admitted to me that she had run up a LOT of debt and because she was ashamed of it, she didn't tell me, just went out and got a debt consolidation loan to pay it all off. Of course I was less than pleased that she didn't come to me with this problem, and instead went to her sister. Her rational being that this wouldn't impact my finances so what does it matter. Ok, I said, I can understand the sentiment there and let it go. She was handling the issue. Fun fact, it 100% impacted my finances as I now had to pay for essentially everything except for her half of the mortgage.
Eventually she decided to get a new job, and she bounced around a few of them. Finally landing at the company she worked for when we first started dating. Problem is, she wasn't prepared for the amount of work, which over the next few months started to wear on her more. She would come home complaining and angry, which would kill any good mood I was in. Pretty soon after that, the sex started to go downhill as she was always mad. But I thought "ok, she's in a rut. I've been there before, what can I do to help". I got to the point where I was doing EVERYTHING around the house. I'm doing the cooking, cleaning, taking care of the outside of house, the dogs, the cars. Everything. I figured she'd be less stressed if she didn't have to come home and deal with any of this shit, maybe it would get us back on track. But after a while, I started feeling like she was taking advantage of me. When I would bring these feelings to her attention, she would say it's my "demons", and that I had voices in my head making me think things that aren't real. To the point she wanted me to see a therapist...so I did. after Covid lifted, he couldn't be my therapist anymore (out of state thing) and said "I can refer you to someone else if you want to talk, but you seem to be fine".
I was willing to deal with the issues and the therapy because I truly thought I was going to marry this women, I did and still do love her with my entire heart. That said, I didn't want to marry someone that doesn't have their shit together, so I put my proposal plans on hold and basically spent the next 2 years trying to get her to do the things she was constantly saying she would do. But she never did, so I never proposed.
Fast forward to a month ago, she decides she isn't happy (Thanks, in part, to the neighbor next door who's divorcing her husband for the same reason). She wants to break up. Even her friends tell her it's a mistake and she'd regret it. Not to make rash decisions, but she had already decided she fell out of love with me. She wanted to do a separation. I was willing to try, but in all honesty, I didn't want to. But again, I love her and was willing to do what it takes. we had decided I'd leave that weekend and be gone for a month. But during the week, we changed things to I would be leaving on a Thursday (may as well start now and get this shit over with). So Wednesday night, she goes out to a bar with her cousin and gets drunk, comes home 2-3 hours after she said she would (this has been a HUGE issue for us in the past), and got mad at me for being upset that on our last night together before the separation, she wanted to go get drunk with her cousin. She said that I never told her I was leaving Thursday, but I did. Then she saw that I was looking at houses in the area. While that may seem quick, she hadn't given me any idea of how long of a separation this was actually going to be, and it kept changing.
That Friday I took off work and packed all of my stuff, everything I owned into trucks and moved it out of her house with the exception of a piece of furniture that I simply cannot lift and will have to hire someone to get out. I told her I'd get it out when I could. she was fine with that. I moved into my mothers basement. Still thinking this could be salvaged, I stopped looking at houses. We went out to dinner one night that week and I thought we were going to work things out. She kept saying she just needed time to "work on herself", she could offer me nothing in the way of hope as far as how this relationship would work out. So I kinda looked at it as "if she's taking care of herself, I need to do the same"...So I started looking for houses again. I found one, bought it, and in 1 week, I take possession of it.
We spent 2 weeks not talking at the behest of her sister and mother that said we need a clean break. After that we started talking again, I went over to her house to collect some mail. She kind of randomly said during this separation that sex didn't need to stop as "we both have needs". I talked to a few friends (coincidentally that I met through her, that all seem to be thinking she's in the wrong here), and almost every one of them said NOT to take her up on the sex offer. With the exception of 1 friend that said "hey, it's familiar, may as well take it while it's being offered". So when I went to get some mail from her house later that week (I was in the neighborhood visiting some friends) she offered to cuddle. I'm a big cuddler, and I've had a rough month since she essentially threw me out of her house. Even knowing it was a bad idea, I went along with it because I was desperate for the normalcy and affection that I used to get from her. As you can probably imagine, cuddling didn't last long and admittedly, we had some of the best sex that night we've ever had. Here's the issue. As I suspected (and lied to myself about) I can't separate sex from intimacy's. They are essentially one in the same for me. I've never been a casual sex person. BUT, It was fun, she enjoyed it. Neither of us regret it.
A few days later (last friday) we're at a "celebration of life" of sorts for a friends dog. This is the first time she and I have interacted in front of ALL of our friends. I was alright, till she pulled up in her car. I broke. The glass shards holding me together all fell apart and she could tell I was having a panic attack. She and I walked around the other side of my car for a good 35-40 minutes and talked while I kind of composed myself. She assured me she was in the same boat, just not showing it. It bugs me she can simultaneously be the cause of and solution to my panic attacks. We ended up parting ways as she was going out with her cousins for the evening. I stayed with the friends and managed to wake up at a different friends house the next morning. I'm still not sure how that happened, I guess I had a little too much to drink (Don't worry, I left my car)
Over the past few weeks she's been sending me pictures of things she's doing around the house. All the things I've been asking her to do for years. All the things that, had she done them in a reasonable amount of time, I 100% would have proposed and married her. But she waited until I was gone.
So here I am now. We haven't really talked since that night (Friday), I've been short with her when she does message and I know she can tell. The truth is, as much as I hate it, whenever we talk, I break down. When I see her, it physically hurts. And it's not just in the moment, it takes days to recover. Tonight I was at a friends house (who lives down the street). She drives by and rolls down the window. She asked if it would be alright if she came down for a beer. It's not my house, I'm not saying no. And I told her I'd be leaving in a few minutes anyway. As soon as she pulled away, this friend's wife said that she absolutely still wants to sleep with me, but wants no attachments.
On the way home (I left before she got there), I was pissed. Angry as hell that after 4 years of my life, After destroying every semblance of happiness that I had, she had the audacity to think that I'd just stick around for her pleasure. As if my feelings don't matter at all. Part of me wants nothing more than to take her up on the offer, sleep with her and feel normal again. But I know if I do that, it's going to cause nothing but pain for me as she obviously just wants the benefits of a relationship, without the work involved. The other side of me is just saying to blow her off completely. But how do you write someone off that meant the world to you for the past 4 years?
So to the original question...Am I out of line with any of this? or knowing that if this is going to hurt me, I shouldn't do it? I'm tired of feeling worthless and doubting myself. but more than that, it kills me that she doesn't even seem phased by the fact that she just destroyed my self worth and everything I thought was true.
Sorry for the long post, This has been building for weeks and I'm legitimately lost.
Any help appreciated.
submitted by KingMcnuggets to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:28 Allichun Games that are anime style that aren't visual novels?

Hi gamers!
I'm looking for some recommendations for games that have more of an anime style to them that are fun to play and have a good story. I enjoy RPG, action-like games that aren't shooters and tactics games as well. Some rogue-likes are fun too.
I'm not interested in visual novels because I don't want to read for a long time.
I'll admit that I'm a bit of a degenerate and I enjoy games a lot more when I like what the characters...While this isn't necessarily always the case, it is what I'm looking for right now.
Here's a list of games that I have played and enjoyed:
While I do enjoy looking at pretty/cute lasses, I am currently searching for some pretty/cute lads to look at while I play too. Currently I have access to a PS5 and a Switch.
A killer soundtrack is also a bonus! (Love love love the soundtracks from Nier, FE and FF!)
Any suggestions that I could check out would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!
submitted by Allichun to gamingsuggestions [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:18 Adam-best August Black Gold Filled Heart Ring This is a beautiful ring that really sparkles and shines. The blue stone in the center is gorgeous and the smaller accent stones along the side enhances the beauty of the main stone.

submitted by Adam-best to BestDealsOfTheDay_ [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:02 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Chapter 189 - Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure

Cover Art!
Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.
Abused by her parents, thirteen-year-old Frances only wants to be safe and for her life not to hurt so much. And when she and her class are transported to the magical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the self-titled Demon King, Frances is presented with a golden opportunity. If she succeeds, Frances will have the home she never had. If she fails, Frances will be summoned back to the home she escaped.
Yet, despite her newfound magic and friends, Frances finds that trauma is not so easily lost. She is dogged by her abuse and its physical and invisible scars. Not only does she have to learn magic, she has to survive the nightmares of her past, and wrestle with her feelings of doubt and self-loathing.
If she can heal from her trauma, though, she might be able to defeat the Demon King and maybe, just maybe, she can find a home for herself.
Teaser: The Traditionalists last stand...
[The Beginning] [<=Chapter 188] [Chapter Index and Blurb] [Chapter 189 on June 5 or now on patreon]
The Fractured Song Index
Discord Channel Just let me know when you arrive in the server that you’re a Patreon so you can access your special channel.
The first sign that something wasn’t quite the same about the Greenway was when Frances, Timur and their company spotted horsemen in the far distance. They would have assumed this was Thorgoth’s scouts, but these horsemen retreated toward the Greenway and entered into the broken fortifications.
So the group entered into the Greenway fully armored and armed, ready for a fight. They rode into the underground highway, travelled for a full second day and saw nothing the matter.
Then they entered Kairon Aoun.
The ancient goblin city of Kairon Aoun had been built as a defensive city facing north. As such, the city in the great cavern it was carved out of was stepped into four tiers. To access each of the levels, the attacker would have to fight their way up a ramp that ran up the side of the rammed-earth foundation of each tier.
Every tier’s edge was also faced with a brick curtain wall with machicolations built into the ramparts. This was so that stones and other objects could be dropped, wherein they would fall down the steeply stoped sides and slam into the attackers. Many of these ramparts had fallen into disrepair when Morgan, Hattie and Frances had last passed through here.
Except, the moment Frances and her company rode through the Greenway and into the city, they could see it was alive with activity. New ramparts were being built atop of the old. In the distance, they could see old houses had been demolished and cannon batteries had been set up. Holes in the walls were being patched.
“What’s even lighting this whole thing?” Tara whispered.
Morgan pointed at the ceiling. “The ventilation shafts provide some light. I’m not sure how they ended up lighting the entire place up, though.”
“Combination of mirrors through said shafts and a goodly amount of torches,” said Timur. He glanced at Frances. “Did you know about this?”
“No I did not, let’s hope they recognize us as friendly. Colonel Tara, we’ll take the lead,” said Frances, touching her heels to her horse.
The gatehouse on the lowest level, which was protected by a low, thick wall, now swung open and a wing of cavalry rode out, Erisdalian and Lightning Battalion standards flying high.
Timur immediately recognized the troll that lead the group. “Aloudin! It’s me! We’re back!”
Captain Aloudin, eyes wide, broke his horse into a gallop. Riding ahead of the cavalry, he only stopped so that he could slap his hand into Timur’s. “Your Highness, it is good to see you. Though, you really ought not to take such risks! Who are these new arrivals?”
The prince chuckled, squeezing his friend’s hand tightly. “One of those rumored orphan brigades who decided to defect.” Timur gestured behind him. “This is Colonel Tara, who risked her life along with her troops to help us escape.”
Riding up, Tara unsheathed her saber, which she presented it to Aloudin, only for the troll to gently push it back to her.
“There’s no need for that, Colonel. We do things quite differently around here.”
Tara sighed, returning her blade to her scabbard. “I’m beginning to see that. Makes me wonder why I didn’t try to leave earlier.”
“The first step is always the hardest,” said Frances. She shook Aloudin’s hand as well. “What’s going on here, Aloudin? I know our long term goal was to fortify Kairon-Aoun, but we hadn’t the manpower to spare.”
The captain pursed his lips before they twisted into something between a grimace and a smirk. “We got some important news and new orders. I’ll show you. Follow me.”
One thing that Ayax and Elizabeth hadn’t accounted for when they ran up into the attic was the lack of a water source, and any way to dispose of waste.
So by the next day of their hiding, the trio stuck in the attack were wearing cloth masks, thirsty as hell, and hoping the odor wasn’t going to alert anybody.
“This shit stinks,” Leila growled.
Elizabeth touched a hand to Leila’s cheek. The girl’s color had returned and after some very reluctant healing by Ayax, she was now able to sit up. “You’re right, but I think you’re much better now.”
“I feel better.” Leila staggered to her feet, pushing the covers off of her. “Does Janize know you found me?”
Ayax snorted. “We told her while you were napping. She’s pissed.” The troll walked over. “Do you think you’re ready to move?”
“I take it you’ve come up with something?” Leila asked.
Elizabeth pursed her lips. “Yes. You need to convince Janice we need to launch the attack now.”
“Excuse me what? Are you insane? We haven’t—” Leila rubbed her sweat-matted hair with her bandaged hands. “Wait, how long have I been captured?’
“ A week. You were out for one of those days,” said Ayax.
“Then you’re right. Darius will have to make a move now that he knows I’ve disappeared. Wait, Janize doesn’t—Of course she doens’t. She’s cautious by nature. Get her on the mirror right now!”
“You could use please,” said Elizabeth, handing Leila her mirror.
“Janize, there’s no time. You need to barricade yourself in a safe place with as many guards as possible, perhaps the throneroom and get the attack started by tonight.”
Frowning, the queen’s eyes narrowed as she stared at the mirror with a mixture of confusion. “Love, we haven’t finished preparing—”
“There’s no time! Darius and Scarlet know I’ve been rescued. They’ll attack as soon as they get everything in order because they know you can move to arrest them!” Leila put her hands up to the mirror. “Love, they’ll stop at nothing until you’re dead.”
Janize’s eyes widened and she whispered, “What did they—”
“It doesn’t matter, Janize. Please, you need to issue the orders now!”
The queen exhaled slowly. “Alright. Ayax, Elizabeth, are your forces in place?”
Elizabeth, relaxing a little, smiled. “Martin and Ginger found a way to get to the Water Tower and to deploy reinforcements into the palace. We still need your troops to ensure the Water Tower’s guns are silent and for the main gates of the citadel to be opened to us.”
“It will be done. How are you getting out of Darius’s mansion?” Janize asked.
“When the attack takes place we’ll break out and support the attack,” said Ayax, arms crossed.
Janize pursed her lips. “Then we are going for tonight?”
The three exchanged a glance and all nodded.
“Go for tonight,” said Elizabeth. “Good hunting.”
“Good hunting.” Janize leaned forward, peering intently through the mirror. “Leila, stay alive. No matter what they did to you, you’re still mine you hear me? I still want you by my side.”
Leila blinked. She blinked again furiously and pressed her bandaged hands to her eyes. “I…Janize, thank you.”
Janize smiled. “I love you, dear. See you soon.”
Ayax had turned from the exchange. When the mirror was shut off, she let out a long, shuddering exhale.
“You are terribly lucky to have her,” she said.
Standing up, Elizabeth took Ayax’s elbow, squeezing it gently. The troll placed a hand around Elizabeth’s side, hugging her tightly.
Leila could only bow her head. “I know.”
“Because I probably would have killed you if it weren’t for her,” hissed the troll. She swallowed. “And not because of our agreement.”
The Otherworlder looked up. “Why then?”
Biting her lip Ayax stammered, “I couldn’t kill someone who doesn’t want to hurt me when they have a loved one. There’s no…no justice in that.”
With that, Ayax walked to the corner of the attack. Elizabeth gave Leila a look. “When you’re ready, we ought to call George and the Otherworlders, give them a heads up and communicate our plans.” Elizabeth then ran after Ayax, interweaving her fingers with the troll. They left Leila standing in her corner, in her own thoughts.
Half-choking, her hate-filled grunts punctuated by hacking coughs, Jessica followed Ginger down the sewer.
“I hate you. I hate you so fucking much!” she hissed.
Half-gagging herself from the smell, Ginger glanced over her shoulder and shrugged. “Hey, I just suggested it to you. You wanted to help rescue Leila.”
Two middle-fingers was Jessica’s response along with a chuckle from the Erisdalians that were part of Jessica’s unit and new band of comrades.
Ginger joined them in their chuckling. She knew she could rely on Jessica and the rest of her group. Besides, their attack was going to be much easier than what her fiance was going to be doing up high.
Taking cover behind a slightly holed house, Martin examined the area in front of the citadel.
The Lightning Battalion’s batteries had been keeping up a very long barrage. Mortars and long cannon had pounded the makeshift defense line of houses on Castle Way. After hours of bombardment, they’d breached the line.
The result was flat, rubble-covered broken ground that led up to the moat in front of the citadel and main palace within. They had no hope of knocking down every house. Houses still stood on the flanks of the Citadel, covering the road that led up to the castle’s side gate. There were also a number of houses standing on the main approach, though, this actually was better for their plans. The remaining stone foundations of the houses and charred remains in the gap would be able to cover the advance.
The bigger problem was the walls in front of them were mostly intact and the gatehouse’s drawbridge was up. Their mages could cast smoke or illusion spells to screen their approach, but that would do no good if the drawbridge was still up and the gatehouse in enemy hands.
Martin breathed in and out slowly. No, they were entirely reliant on Janize keeping up her end of the bargain.
Sitting in the throne room, Janize steepled her fingers, eyes focused on the steps to the dais.
Was her decision correct? Was she making the right choice? Had she considered everything?
Those thoughts ran in her head as she studied the carpet. The sounds of her guards and knights preparing the throne room and ensuring the main entrance was secured echoed in her ear. Yet she did her best to ignore them.
If she went through with this, she knew she’d never sit on Erisdale’s throne again. Her brother would be the last to sit on the throne and then it would be House of Conthwaite, the house of a knight and later, his offspring with a common soldier.
How had it come to this? Why had she put herself here?
The image of a fierce Otherworlder came to mind, along with the litany of decisions she’d made. Siding with Darius, rejecting the Alavari as monsters, falling in love and then realizing where she’d gone wrong. The news of the dragons in Thorgoth’s employ.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad. Maybe there was still hope. At the very least, she still had Leila.
The Otherworlder, George marched up to the dais and bowed. “Your Majesty, we’re ready to open the gates. The Water Tower’s received their orders.”
Janize sighed. “To think that there was a route to the citadel through the sewers.”
George chuckled. “At least we’re making them suffer for it.”
The queen pursed her lips. “Tell me, George. You fought against Ayax and Elizabeth at Lehrbach. You sided against them. All the Otherworlders here sided against them. Why are you willing to fight alongside them once again?”
The teen—no, young man looked away, towards the windows that lit the hall.
“I think after a year of fighting with Darius in earnest, we all realized we’d made a mistake. We’re not from your world, but we learnt enough in our own that this… what Darius was doing is wrong and no different from the worst villains from our world. We weren’t fighting Alavari, we were fighting other humans. We just…didn’t know what to do about it. So when you and Leila told us about the plan, and that we would have a chance to actually fight Thorgoth, to protect people from a world ending threat, we all jumped on it.”
Janize snorted. “You’re going to have a heck of a time convincing the other Otherworlders.”
George sighed. “We all know that, but hey, they are going to need us. I mean we are going to be fighting literal dragons.”
“That is true.” Janize closed her eyes and nodded. “Carry it out, George. Get those gates open and signal the Water Tower.”
George saluted. “Yes, Your Majesty. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.”
Through her spyglass, wrapped warmly in her bright orange cloak, the Erlenbergian mage, Ophelia Voidsailor watched the coast with her spyglass.
Despite the years Erlenberg had fought Alavaria along the northern front, and through all the naval battles on the eastern coast, Ophelia still wore orange. It’d become her calling card of sorts and she knew it gave the crew of her ship comfort to see her strut around. Honestly, she was getting a little tired of the color, but she liked the attention more.
Beside her, looking through his own spyglass, the one-eyed Eustace Windwhistler glanced at the sky. “It’s about time,” said Edana’s brother.
“I know—I see it!” Ophelia exclaimed. Before her eyes, the Water Tower, the main obstacle to the Erlenbergian fleets advance, had lowered the red banner of the traditionalist. A blue banner was being run up and more blue flares were being fired into the sky by some mage.
Eustace looked through his spyglass and nodded. “Signal to the fleet! Follow my lead. We are attacking!”
Flags ran up and down on the galloen Stormcaller, which had been named as such much to her namesake’s consternation and embarrassment. Behind Eustace and Ophelia’s warship, the long lineof Erlenbergian ships of the line ran flags up and down in acknowledgement. The entire line then followed the Stormcaller as it swung starboard toward the bay.
Underneath the Water Tower, Ginger found a ladder had been dropped into the sewer. Gingerly taking the rungs, she climbed up and was helped up by several red-uniformed harbour guardsmen. A petite woman with a musket slung over her shoulder handed Ginger a clean rag.
“Wow you stink, but I’m glad to see you. Captain Belinda of the Harbour Guard.”
“Ginger, yes, that Ginger. Are Darius’s troops reacting?”
“They are indeed. Several regiments have filed out of the Citadel and are making their way here as we speak. How many have you brought?” Belinda asked.
“A whole regiment of crack musketeers are behind me to help you secure the tower. The Erlenbergian fleet is landing marines. We’ll be fine, I’m just worried about the main assault,” said Ginger. She wiped her face and hands. “Show me the battlements. I’ll get my soldiers set up along with yours.”
“This way,” said Belinda, guiding Ginger out.
Ayax and Elizabeth silently crept down the drop-down attic stairs. Behind them, carrying a spare wand, Leila limped as quietly as she could. They could hear shouting in the mansion and the scurrying of people on the lower floors.
The trio paused to quickly grab a drink of water from a nearby pitcher left by the servants for any houseguests, before continuing on. From what they could tell, someone was having a heated discussion in the foye.
As they got closer to the staircase, they soon could figure out who.
“Janize is making her move and the Lightning Battalion must be close behind. The Erlenbergian fleet is moving in and the Water Tower is not firing on them.”
“There’s no need to panic—” “Scarlet, your fucking plan has accelerated Janize and the Lightning Battalion’s timetable! We’re fucked. We’re all probably dead.”
There was a sharp intake of breath. The three heard Scarlet growl, “Alright, I was…overly optimistic that the Lightning Battalion and Janize would split due to that report, but we only need to secure Janize and the Citadel and our position will still be quite strong.”
“I disagree, but Janize won’t have long. My troops led by Vulpina are converging on the throne room as we speak. Otherworlders or not, she can’t hold for long.” Darius chuckled dryly. “We might all die in the attempt to oust her, and hell she may be killed, but we won’t let her have the last laugh.”
Ayax turned to the two humans with her. “Liz, Leila, go. I’ll try to pin them down here.”
Elizabeth blinked. “Wait, but Ayax—”
“Liz, if we lose Janize, we’ll lose the civil war. You got to go.”
Elizabeth briefly closed her eyes and nodded. Grabbing onto Ayax, she drew her troll close to her and into a brief, fierce kiss. “Come back to me, alright?”
Ayax managed a smirk. “Always.”
Elizabeth turned to Leila. “Let’s go—what are you—” The Otherworlder had knelt on the ground her head bowed.
“Ayax, I’m sorry. I promise you can do whatever you want to me after you save Janize, but please, let me save her first,” said Leila, she lowered her head, but Ayax quickly grabbed her by the shirt and yanked her up. It was easy as the girl was still very light.
“This is not the time. I accept your promise, but we’ll talk later. Now go!” Ayax hissed.
Nodding, Elizabeth grabbed Leila and the pair took off in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Ayax took a deep breath and walked up toward the balcony overlooking the foye.
Darius was pacing, whilst Scarlet was biting her finger, one hand gripped tightly around her staff.
“What if they breach the gatehouse?” Scarlet asked.
“There’s no way that force assembling outside can breach the gatehouse. They’ll need—”
“Earl Darius, Master Scarlet, I have waited a long time for this moment.” Ayax leaned casually against the railing, noting the fine, polished grain. “Do you know who I am?”
Darius, eyes staring up at her, took a step back. “Ayax the Blackgale.”
“Daughter of Allaniel the Valorous, who you had murdered,” Ayax hissed.
Scarlet ripped her heavy cloak off and gripped her staff in both hands, which had a number of rings on the fingers. Her eyes narrowed at Ayax. “So it was you who rescued Leila. I thought you would kill her.”
“You certainly tempted me, but she was just the instrument. It was you two who had my parents killed.” Raising her staff, Ayax growled. “Prepare to die.”
Scarlet waved the earl off. “Darius, go, deal with Janize. I can handle her.”
Darius arched an eyebrow even as he grabbed the main door’s handle. “Are you sure?”
Scarlet smirked. “She’s no Frances Stormcaller. Just an angry little troll.”
“I’m a pissed off troll.” Ayax leapt over the railing, throwing several spell cards at Scarlet. The woman waved her hand, magical rings activating to form a barrier. The cards slammed into it, sparking and banging. It would have knocked her back, but the barrier dissipated the force.
No matter, Ayax landed nimbly on the carpet and whirling her staff, slammed it into Scarlet’s barrier. Darius had run for it, slamming the doors behind him. Ayaxs’s blow sent Scarlet smashing through those closed doors, nearly throwing her onto Darius.
The Red Order Mage picked herself off the grown, dusting off her robes. “Ah I see the familial resemblance now you monster. You and your adoptive ‘cousin’ are just fucking irritating.”
Ayax was about to quip back, but found herself pursing her lips as a thought ran through her head. “You know, if you were just a little nicer, just a bit more understanding, you could have gotten along with Frances. It’s really hard to not get along with her.”
Scarlet’s snarl faded and she grimaced. “She wouldn’t have been my student, but Edana’s. Now are you going to kill me, Blackgale, one of the people who helped murder your parents, or are you going to talk me to death?”
Ayax flinched, feeling the swirling vortex of power bubble in her very core as her fury sparked. At the same time, a serene, piercing idea just echoed through her head. It was not really a revelation, more of an observation she’d noticed about Leila, Darius and now Scarlet.
“You all are awfully insistent on dying. Why don’t you all just…give up? Live?” Ayax asked. The pair were circling now, ready to let loose with spells at any sign of weakness or an opening.
Scarlet snorted. “Would you let me and Darius live?”
Ayax paused, watching Scarlet continue to circle. When the troll didn’t move, only followed her with her eyes, the mage stopped and tried to circle in the other direction. Still Ayax didn’t move, she just remained still, staff at the ready.
“If you all surrendered and submitted to a trial, I would,” said Ayax. There was still turmoil, rage, roiling in her heart. Yet, she was starting to feel another emotion that calmed her, despite how odd it felt.
The Red Order Mage blinked, before she sneered. “Then you are a naive fool.” She twirled her staff, the ends bursting into flame as she sang. Fireballs tore toward Ayax.
The troll dodged, not flamboyantly. She just stepped out of the way, shuffling and stepping from side to side. No fancy shielding required, no complicated jumps needed. Scarlet cast, and continued to cast. Whips of crimson magic were followed by cobblestones torn from the road. Ayax had to briefly block those with a quick shield, before twisting out of the way.
Shifting her grip on her staff, Ayax pulled her weapon to her side, as if she was drawing a sword. Crying out a string of Word of Powers, she whipped it across.
The staff suddenly extended, dark-blue magic lengthening it until a incredibly long, thin rod of magic crashed into Scarlet’s side. It sent her tumbling through a hedge and onto the lawn of Darius’s mansion.
Leaping over said hedgerow, Ayax rolled to a perfect landing on the other side. Scarlet had staggered to her feet, wiping blood from the scratches on her arm and face. She was already wincing as she touched her side.
Ayax thought she would be taking pleasure from this. Well, part of her was. She was happy she was kicking Scarlet’s butt. Yet, the part of her that was choosing to be calm, to think and be a good person felt an entirely different emotion.
Pity for how pointless this whole battle was, pity for how this woman and her allies had hurt so many and seemed so unhappy with their lives. There was disgust and anger, and yet when Ayax thought about what she had, and what Scarlet lacked, she found that anger seeping away.
“Scarlet, this is your last chance. Surrender now,” said Ayax.
“To you? Not to Edana Firehand, or even Frances Stormcaller? But to their lackey? A second-rate battle mage?” Scarlet spat on the ground and raised her staff again. “I’d rather fucking die.”
The troll sighed. “So be it.”
Author’s Note: Ayax is getting ahold of her anger. It hasn’t been easy to figure out how her feelings changed but I decided to approach it from the idea that she’s matured as a person and has started to take more perspectives, something that she’s always struggled with.
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2023.05.30 06:23 Queenoffunkytown If you could write an episode what would it be?

I come up with plots to episodes all the time in my head but if i could write an episode the main plot would be Big Bob gets sick/hurt (non life threatening) and Bob has to go take care of him in the hospital he takes Gene along for support. They would argue at first with Bob trying to do his best to care for his dad and Big Bob being stubborn. Then would have a heart to heart moment maybe talking about how Bob is scared and dosent want to lose his dad and they talk about how the loss of Lily effected Big Bob and how he raised Bob and how that translates to how Bob raises his only son, Gene. I think this could be a really nice cats in the cradle moment between the three of them. The sub plot would be Teddy has to attend a big event with Kathleen like a wedding and Linda, Tina, and Louise talk him to the mall to find an outfit. The girls would all have their own idea on how Teddy should dress. Tina would want something like how they dress in Bridgerton outdated but romantic seaming, Linda would think he should go in like white linen suit because she thinks its swave and elegant and louise would want something like James Bond. The wackyness that would playout would balance well with the semi morbid/serious tone of the main plot.
Anyways, if you could create an episode what would it be?
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2023.05.30 06:08 Sweet_Author8515 My mom hands me a pasugo, here is my unnecessary detailed clapback

My mom hands me a pasugo, here is my unnecessary detailed clapback
My mom told me that complaining without knowing is an excuse. This was in response to me mentioning that Felix Manalo is not the “bird of prey” in Isaiah 46:11, but is rather King Cyrus II. So, she handed me a pasugo (an INC publication, aka waste of trees) telling me to read the article “Cyrus the Great and the ‘ravenous bird’”. Of course she handed me the pasugo rather than knowing how to respond to me. This stuff is not preached in INC. They just make articles and videos for all their members to point to, so they make sure they spread a controlled, constructed, and uniform message. Since she gave me this article, I’ve decided to break it down. This is the reason I left INC, since it is one of the few verses the INC uses to validate them as “the one true church”. If the idea that a prophesied Asian messenger (Manalo) is disproven, then it is enough to dismiss the INC as a prophesied true church.
TL;DR is at the bottom :)
[1] INC Article: (iglesianicristo. ws/My%20GM/GM-2021/GM-2021-08.pdf)
Cyrus the Great and the ‘ravenous bird’ By Jensen DG. Manebog
The author is primarily a writer, not a historian or Hebrew expert. First of all, the author of the article is an educated writer and teacher. He is not formally educated in the Bible, or in Hebrew, which is a large part of his following argument. Neither am I. But rather than cherry pick proofs to support an argument, I start with the evidence to come to a conclusion. Here are some of his writings if you’re interested:
INC articles:
iglesianicristo. net/category/our-beliefs/page/2/ iglesianicristo. net/number-dont-make-a-religion-true/ pasugo. com.ph/a-mission-no-less-than-great-noble-and-heroic
[2] INC Article:
In the Book of Isaiah, one messenger of God was likened to a ravenous bird: “Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:11 King James Version). The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) is of firm conviction that the fulfillment of this prophecy of God is none other than Brother Felix Y. Manalo (1886-1963). Detractors of the Church, such as teachers and defenders of some other religions, expectedly refute it— claiming that the fulfillment of the prophesied “ravenous bird” is Cyrus the Great. Also called Cyrus II (590-529 BC), he was the Persian conqueror who “founded the Achaemenian empire, centred on Persia and comprising the Near East from the Aegean Sea eastward to the Indus River” (britannica.com).
Context! Context! Context! This entire section of Isaiah is about the prophesied defeat of Babylon (shown both before and after the Isaiah 46:11 verse). I didn’t think I would be telling other adults how to read a book, but here I am. Just like the story of Adam and Eve, we read it all the way through. In previous verses, like Isaiah 45:1, Cyrus is explicitly mentioned. This is in the surrounding context that he is prophesied to defeat Babylon and to bring salvation to the Jews, as they would be able to return to their homeland after Babylon is defeated (also mentioned in Ezra 8 1-32. Cyrus is in Ezra 1:1-6).
Before the 46:11 verse - Isaiah 45:1 KJV, about Cyrus:
1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never to shut again. This is what the Lord says: "I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains.
After the 46:11 verse - Isaiah 48:14 KJV, about Babylon:
14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The Lord hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
To think the Bible would be like, “Hey I’m talking about my man Cyrus and how I’m sending him. Oh and here’s a quick shoutout of one to three verses about an Asian man over 2000 years from now. Okay now back to Babylon!
[3] INC Article:
The argument Some of such teachers use the works of Bible scholars and commentators for their contention. One of these is Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers (biblehub.com) which suggests that the “ravenous bird” in Isaiah 46:11 is Cyrus, explaining that the “sun-rising” or “east” from where the messenger would come “is, of course, Persia,” and “the ‘far country’ probably represents Media,” one of the kingdoms Cyrus has conquered.
Other Asian churches use this verse to say they are the true church. A vast majority of circles agree that 46:11 is uncontestedly referring to Persia. I can only find the several Asian “true churches” to suggest otherwise. Another one, for example, is a South Korean cult using this verse for their South Korean Jesus named Christ Ahnsahnghong, who also claims to be the only true church (https://wmscog.com/christ-ahnsahnghong/from-the-east/). If they can use it, so can other Asian churches of this kind.
[4] INC Article:
Others further try to prove that the “ravenous bird” or “bird of prey” is King Cyrus by pointing to The Living Bible, which literally includes the name “Cyrus” in Isaiah 46:11, thus: “I will call that swift bird of prey from the east— that man Cyrus from far away. And he will come and do my bidding. I have said I would do it and I will.”
Historically, King Cyrus’ banner was a golden eagle (a bird of prey, ravenous bird ;), as used in the Achaemenid Empire (as noted by Persian archaeologist, A. Shapur Shahbazi, “DERAFŠ”; [Xenophon, Cyropaedia 7.1.4] https://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/derafs#prettyPhoto). Other translations use “eagle” in the 46:11 verse. In any case, an eagle is a bird of prey.

Golden Eagle Banner
There is a biblical pattern of other monarchs like Cyrus are compared to eagles or birds, because of how swiftly they act or attack. Why would Felix Manalo need to be portrayed that way? Could he even move that fast?
Some verses about these other monarchs:
Jeremiah 48:39-40 They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. 40 For thus saith the Lord; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab. Jeremiah 49:22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. Ezekiel 17:2-3 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the house of Israel; 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar: Ezekiel 17:7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine did bend her roots toward him, and shot forth her branches toward him, that he might water it by the furrows of her plantation. Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
[5] INC Article:
Others further try to prove that the “ravenous bird” or “bird of prey” is King Cyrus by pointing to The Living Bible, which literally includes the name “Cyrus” in Isaiah 46:11, thus: “I will call that swift bird of prey from the east— that man Cyrus from far away. And he will come and do my bidding. I have said I would do it and I will.” A paraphrase of the Bible The Living Bible is a paraphrase of the Bible by Kenneth Taylor. It must be noted that “a paraphrase attempts to tell the reader what the passage means” and thus is more of a commentary on the text of Scripture than it is an accurate rendering of what the text actually says” (blueletterbible.org). Indeed, to say that the “ravenous bird” in Isaiah 46:11 refers to King Cyrus is “more of a commentary,” for the name Cyrus (Koresh) cannot be found in Isaiah 46:11 in Hebrew manuscripts, such as the Westminster Leningrad Codex (biblehub.com). Even in the Orthodox Jewish Bible, the phrase that is supposed to read “that man Cyrus from faraway” (in The Living Bible) is simply rendered, “ish [the man] that executeth My etza (cousel, purpose, plan) from a far country”—that is, no mention of “Korest” (Cyrus). Those who use The Living Bible to jump to the conclusion that Cyrus is the prophesied messenger in Isaiah 46:11 commit a big mistake, for they did not heed the warning given by that version itself, in its preface: “There are dangers in paraphrases… For whenever the author’s exact words are not translated from the original languages, there is a possibility that the translator, however honest, may be giving the [is a possibility that the translator, however honest, may be giving the] English reader something that the original writer did not mean to say.”
The article misleads readers by claiming their source says “Cyrus” is more of a commentary, since he is only explicitly mentioned in The Living Bible**. But they are not just using TLB to “jump to the conclusion” that Cyrus is the subject; they are using THE BIBLE. People do not only point to TLB for evidence that Cyrus is the bird of prey. He is not mentioned by name but the context is enough. Cyrus will even be mentioned in footnotes, commentaries, and even other translations like the Message BIble, Amplified Bible, and The Voice (translations which INC uses).
And if they are dissing TLB as a source, why does INC use it on their website when discussing resurrection (iglesianicristo. net/sharing-in-christs-resurrection/) and the true church (iglesianicristo .net/tag/true-church/)? And seemingly attacking others who also would use a translation that is in their favor? Hippocrickkkk…
Even the blueletterbible.org source cites that the bird of prey in Isaiah 46:11 is figurative of an invader. What did Manalo invade? (our pockets)
Side note: in the last paragraph, a part is repeated in my printed copy, but not in the digital copy. Was no one proofreading this beforehand?
[6] INC Article:
The prophecies fulfilled in Cyrus In the Bible itself, Cyrus did not claim that he was the prophesied “ravenous bird.” Instead, he introduced himself as the fulfillment of other prophecies: “Thus says Cyrus the king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!” (II Chr. 36:23 New King James Version ). Notice that Cyrus did not say that he was the “ravenous bird.” Rather, he said, “All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me”—a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 45:1: “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him” (NKJV). Cyrus also stated, “He [God] has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem.” This, in turn, corresponds to the prophecy in Isaiah 44:28: “He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ And to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’”. (NKJV). These prophecies were fulfilled in Cyrus when he conquered kingdoms, such as Babylon. “After Cyrus freed the Jews from exile in Babylon in 538 B.C., they returned to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple” (nationalgeographic.com).
If the standard is that you have to claim to be the prophesied “ravenous bird”, where is Felix Manalo’s written claim that he is the “ravenous bird”?
Also notice that this section has the most complete Bible quotes, because Cyrus and his prophecies are biblical, whereas Felix can’t be as easily cited in the Bible (or at all).
[7] INC Article:
The place of origin of the ‘ravenous bird’ In Hebrew manuscripts such as the Westminster Leningrad Codex, the “east” in Isaiah 46:11 from which the “ravenous bird” will come is “mīzrāḥ” (biblehub.com). Concerning the term “east” in the Old Testament, the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia explains: “...Kedem is used in a strictly geographical sense to describe a spot or country immediately before another in an easterly direction … on the other hand, mizrach is used of the far east with a less definite signification (Isa 41:2, 25; Isa 43:5; Isa 46:11).” (biblicalcyclopedia.com)
The last part of the definition really contradicts INC’s point. “...mizrach is used of the far east with a less definite signification” means exactly that. It is just an unspecified east direction, not the modern version of the Far East. Just because the phrase “far east” is in there, they think they got us! The term “mizrach” that INC tries to relate to the far east and to the Philippines is used OVER 70 TIMES in the Bible. They never claim all of these verses are talking about the Philippines or even Asia.
Here are some examples of mizrach (from biblehub’s lexicon) used in context to refer to something that is clearly not Asia. For context, the actual language in Isaiah 46:11 in Hebrew is “mimmizrach” (https://biblehub.com/lexicon/isaiah/46-11.htm). “Mizrach” is “east” and “mimmizrach” is “from the east” (mim is the masculine preposition “from”) (https://www.hebrew4christians.com/GrammaUnit_Seven/The_Preposition_Min/the_preposition_min.html#:~:text=The%20Preposition%20Min&text=The%20preposition%20min%20).
Josh 17:10 - mimmizrach is used to describe Issachar, which is a place near the Mediterranean Sea (middle east today)
Southward it was Ephraim’s, northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was its border. Manasseh’s territory was adjoining Asher on the north and Issachar on the east (mimmizrach).
Psalm 107:3 - mimmizrach is used to say that the Lord delivers people from every direction
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east (mimmizrach), and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
Daniel 11:2,44 - mimmizrah is used to describe the prophecy of four kings of Persia
2 And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. 44 But tidings out of the east (mimmizrach) and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
Exodus 27:13 - mizrachah (form of mizrach) discusses the east side of a court area
The width of the court on the east side (mizrachah) shall be fifty cubits.
2 Chronicles 5:12 - mizrah used to describe the east end of an altar
Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
Here are all the other occurrences of the word if you are crazier than I am: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/strongs_4217.htm.
Because mizrach is used in these other examples to not refer to Asia, as Asia wasn’t even a though in these biblical writers’ heads, the instances that mizrach appear are not referring to Asia.
And once a pick-and-choose church, always a pick-and-choose church, because after this definition provided, in the same source, the NEXT SENTENCE says kedem and mizrach are used without preference: “In describing aspect or direction, the terms are used indifferently (comp. kedem in Le 1:16, and Jos 7:2, with mizrach in 2Ch 5:12, and 1Ch 5:10). (https://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/E/east.html)
Here’s a graphic from this same reddit about this topic: https://i.redd.it/exposing-the-iglesia-ni-cristo-cult-dishonest-tv-journalism-v0-gcwtpuwyzob81.jpg?s=f6782a6051a6e46699b859396ae4be6088649c25
Here is where INC shoots itself in the foot. They mention Cyrus fulfilled his prophecy by conquering kingdoms and was given nations. In Isaiah 41:2 it mentions a person who is given nations and ruled over kings. This is in the context and fits the definition of what they think Cyrus fulfilled. BUT it uses the word “mizrach” as his origin. Cyrus and mizrach are compatible.
First, INC concedes that Isaiah 45:1 is about Cyrus (because his name is in the verse, duh):
“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have [a]held— To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
INC lists Isaiah 41:2 as one that includes the word “mizrach”. Let’s look at the verse:
“Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to His feet? Who gave the nations before him, And made him rule over kings? Who gave them as the dust to his sword, As driven stubble to his bow?
Sounds a lot like Cyrus, huh? Even according to INC, “These prophecies were fulfilled in Cyrus when he conquered kingdoms, such as Babylon”. Especially since this is in the chapters about Babylon, this is clearly about Cyrus. The two verses both use the same Hebrew words for “subdue”, “nations” and “kings”. And they both use the same word for “east”—mizrach. Obviously Manalo wouldn’t fulfill this prophecy of ruling over kings or giving them dust to his sword, so it is referencing Cyrus. And in referencing Cyrus, it uses mizrach. So mizrach can be used in the context of Cyrus.
[8] INC Article:
Notice that the “mizrach is used of the far east.” Obviously, Cyrus did not come from the Far East—for his origin, Persia, and even Media, are in the ancient near east (encyclopedia.com; courses.lumenlearning.com). The Hebrew word used for the “east” to refer to Persia is not “mizrach” but “qedhem” (kedem) (Aid to Bible Understanding, pg. 478).
INC is misleading and comes to an incorrect conclusion when quoting Aid to Bible Understanding**.** The INC article states that the Hebrew word to refer to Persia is qedhem, not mizrach. The exact same source they cite (https://archive.org/details/aidtobibleunderstanding1971/page/n479/mode/2up) says that mizrach means “rising” (as in the sun) and not any sense of “far east”, since Hebrews used the rising of the sun to determine their direction. Qedhem is generally east or east in relation to something else. The source lists examples of qedhem used with “the lands of Moab and Amon, the Arabian Desert, Babylonia, Persia, Assyria and Armenia. It does NOT say that mizrach was never used for these places as well. The same source in a later paragraph also says Isaiah 46:11 is a reference to Cyrus, who comes from the east, out of the sunrising. Clearly this source is not saying that mizrach was never used in reference to Persia, but INC makes it seem like they are saying this. If only INC would read all of their source material, like I dunno, the Bible.
[9] INC Article:
Pertinent prophecies also specify the place of origin in the Far East of the “ravenous bird” as the “islands of the sea” (Isa. 24:15 New International Version). Unlike Cyrus, Brother Felix Manalo is undoubtedly from an archipelago in the Far East. The Philippines, where he began preaching God’s words, is “almost at the geographical center of the Far East” (Asia and the Philippines, p. 169) consisting of 7,641 islands (worldatlas.com).
There are other “islands of the sea” than the Philippines and the Hebrew term also refers to “coastlands”. The INC deliberately uses a translation that says “islands” rather than “coastlands”, which would be an acceptable translation. The Hebrew word used here is “ ‘i ”. As Aid to Bible Understanding states, ‘i is “not restricted to a body of land smaller than a continent and completely surrounded by water … but also designates dry land or coastland(s)” (https://archive.org/details/aidtobibleunderstanding1971/page/n851/mode/2up). So it’s not a perfect translation to English.
Here is Isaiah 24:15 NIV:
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.
Like earlier, the “islands” or “coastlands” is likely Media, off the coast of the Persian Sea. Besides the obvious coastlands near the Mediterranean Sea, there are islands in the Bible, none of which are in Asia. Most of them with one exception are in the New Testament (in Greek). These are the islands of Cyprus (Acts 13:4-6), Cos, Rhodes (Acts 21:1), Crete (Acts 27:7), Cauda (Acts 27:16), Malta (Acts 28:1) and Patmos (Rev 1:9). The island in the Old Testament is Arvad in Ezekiel 27:8 and Genesis 10:18. This island city is now called Ruad and is off the coast of Syria (https://bibleatlas.org/arvad.htm). So yes, the Philippines contains islands, but so do other places in the world.
[10] INC Article:
The mission The man likened to a “ravenous bird” was tasked to bring God’s righteousness near to the stubborn-hearted who are far from righteousness (Isa. 46:11-13). God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17) and to bring it near is to “preach the gospel” and “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).
INC tries to make “righteousness” the same thing as “the gospel” just so that Cyrus doesn’t fit the prophecy. If the definition doesn’t fit your narrative, change it! This part slams a bunch of verses together to try to connect the dots between the ravenous bird and the preaching of the gospel. The verses Isaiah 46:12-13 NKJV mention righteousness:
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not [a]linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
INC goes all the way to the New Testament to cherry pick Romans 1:16:17 to manufacture a direct connection between righteousness and the gospel.
Romans 1:16-17 NKJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Here, righteousness is IN the gospel, but righteousness is NOT the gospel itself. It is clearer in an INC video, where they state that God’s righteousness IS the gospel (youtube.com/watch?v=MdLq0MFDBe4). Instead, righteousness is justice, suggesting a standard or norm (Aid to Bible Understanding, https://archive.org/details/aidtobibleunderstanding1971/page/n1411/mode/2up). And the last verse, Isaiah 46:13 means “my righteous judgment is approaching - that judgment which involves vengeance on my enemies, mercy and deliverance to my people” (Pulpit Commentary, (https://biblehub.com/isaiah/46-13.htm). Righteousness needed to be brought near because the people needed to be saved from Babylon. It does not necessarily include preaching the gospel. Thus, Cyrus still fits in. And that last random Mark verse? What is marky mark doing here?
[11] INC Article (the last part, I promise)****:
Notice the stark contrast: Whereas Cyrus’ God-given role was to subdue nations, the man likened to “ravenous bird” was commissioned to preach the gospel or God’s words for man’s salvation. In fulfillment, Brother Manalo did exactly that. Despite ferocious oppositions primarily form the dominant religions in his time, he devotedly taught the pristine gospel truths recorded in the Bible. For instance, he taught that the Father is the only true God (John 17:1, 3; I Cor. 8:6), showing in the process that the so-called Trinity is unscriptural. He preached that faith without good works is dead (James 2:17, 14, 22) and that man should enter Christ’s fold or flock, which is the Church Of Christ, in order to be saved (John 10:9 Revised English Bible; Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation; Eph. 5:23). The legacy Against all odds, Brother Felix Manalo carried out his divine mission to teach God’s pure teachings for man’s salvation in these last days. This he devotedly fulfilled until he breathed his last on April 12, 1963, full of years and momentous accomplishments. The words that he had performed are the very proofs of his commissioning as God’s messenger. Both Cyrus the Great and the “ravenous bird” were entrusted with God-given mission. The Perisan king conquered earthly kingdoms for the Lord, while Brother Felix Manalo subdued false faiths by revealing God’s wisdom that leads to salvation.
Comments (I’ll make it short, I KNOW THIS IS ALREADY LONG. STOP JUDGING ME)****:
The rest of the article lists some teachings of Manalo’s that are beyond the scope of the Cyrus discussion, so will not be mentioned here. And in the end, they always make it about Manalo. Since there is no prophecy about Manalo that shows up randomly in verses about Babylon and Cyrus, or in any verses in general, Manalo can be dismissed as the messenger they make him out to be.
***************************************************************************************WTL;DR,BTPIAKOLSIS (Way Too Long; Didn’t Read, But This Part Is Also Kind Of Long So I’m Sorry)
Felix Manalo is most obviously not referenced in Isaiah 46:11, or Isaiah in general, simply because of the context. This entire section of Isaiah is about the prophesied defeat of Babylon (shown both before and after the Isaiah 46:11 verse), carried out by King Cyrus II. Other Asian churches also use this verse to say they are the true church from the far East, like followers of the South Korean Jesus, Christ Ahnsahnghong. “Bird of prey” or “ravenous bird” can also be translated as “eagle” from Hebrew. It is correlated with King Cyrus because his banner was a golden eagle, as used in the Achaemenid Empire. There is also a biblical pattern of monarchs like Cyrus being compared to eagles or birds because of how swiftly they act or attack. There is no reason that Manalo would need to act that way. As for the “far east” claim, the Hebrew word is “mizrach”, which in fact does not mean “far east”. The article even quotes that “mizrach is used of the far east with a less definite signification”. This means it is just an unspecified east direction, not the modern version of the Far East. The same word is used over 70 times in the Bible and in each case does not mean the Far East, even other places near the Mediterranean Sea. The word “kedem” that INC says means “immediate east” is used without preference with “mizrach”. INC would agree that Isaiah 41:2 is about Cyrus, because of how Cyrus subdued nations, but it uses the word “mizrach”. Lastly, they claim that Manalo fulfills the Isaiah 46:11 prophecy because the righteousness in the verse is the same thing as preaching the gospel. However, they incorrectly think that righteousness is the same thing as the gospel. Preaching the gospel isn’t necessary for there to be righteousness. Therefore, Cyrus fits the bill for this prophecy.
Isaiah 46:11 refers to King Cyrus II, and not to Felix Manalo.
Have a good day :)
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2023.05.30 05:36 skeriphus On the Nature of Sorcery: Chapter 0.2 — Tea Time.

Motivation — A Close Reading of Tea Time

"I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking: maybe six feet ain't so far down?"
Nimander Golit
Chapter V of Weathered
2002 BS
Click Here for the Introduction to the essay series.

Prelude to the Close Reading

Why, hello there, again. It’s been a few weeks but I promise that this endeavor is still moving forward. For those that don’t know, this essay is a part of a collection I’ll be putting together which investigates the Eleint, their blood, and sorcery within the Malazan shared secondary universe. We’re still laying down our foundations, and today we’ll be covering a sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 of Toll the Hounds.
My intentions were to cover all of the scenes in a single post, but that has proven itself to be difficult. As such, I’ll cover the first scene in this sequence in this post. There’ll be one or two follow-up posts.
There are ten scenes that are in this sequence:
  1. Nimander 1
  2. Desra 1
  3. Desra 2
  4. Skintick 1
  5. Desra 3
  6. Nimander 2
  7. Desra 4
  8. Kedeviss 1
  9. Nimander 3
  10. Kedeviss 2
I’ll be approaching these scenes (including the one discussed today) through a few lenses.

A ringing of bells.

In his musings on writing, Erikson discusses the notion of a bell. I’ll let him speak for himself.
In the scenes we’ll be looking at, some of the bells that I believe are used are (and not all of these are represented in this first particular scene):


Particularly the genealogy of continental philosophy that led to Sartre’s existentialism and the shared/adapted/bifurcated philosophies of his contemporaries (such as de Beauvoir, Camus, and Merleau-Ponty). This wasn’t my initial intention when I decided to use this sequence of scenes as a launch pad into my collection of essays. However, the beauty of close-reading is that you go into a text with a hypothesis seeking evidence and support, and then end up with new insights.
Some of the concepts that will be brought up are:

Genre conventions as grammar.

Particularly, we’ll look at Erikson’s use of genre conventions from the likes of Gothic literature and Weird Fiction — namely the Sublime, cosmic horror, and the Weird — as the subtle language used to convey tension that is congruent with some of the other subtexts. If these grammars are subverted, we’ll try to point that out too.
We will later delve more into Malazan’s literary genealogy in other essays, but I want this lens to be present during the reading to see how Erikson aligns or subverts these genre conventions.
We’ll be using Professor Michael Moir’s YouTube lectures on Weird Fiction as reference.

What the fuck is happening?

This is a question about plot that I will answer at the end of all of the scenes, but keep it in mind as we go through. It has less to do with existentialism and Gothic literature and more on what Gothos was trying to do during these scenes.

Pre-TtH Context

We first meet Nimander and his siblings (unnamed) in House of Chains on Drift Avalii. By Bonehunters, they had left Drift Avalii and ended up at Malaz City, where they then joined Tavore Paran’s fleet while fleeing Malaz City. In Reaper’s Gale, we find the siblings had been ‘adopted’ by Sandalath while they traveled to Lether with the Malazans. Phaed wanted to kill Sandalath. Nimander stopped Phaed from killing Sandalath. Withal (Sandalath’s husband) throws Phaed out a window. The murder is taken as a suicide. The siblings intern Phaed and then meet Clip, who offers to lead them to Anomander in Black Coral via Kurald Galain.
This gets us to Toll the Hounds, where Nimander is being haunted by Phaed. They’ve left Kurald Galain and are now on Genabackis (but not yet to Black Coral). Nimander fears the future meeting his father and the rest of the Tiste Andii. The siblings and Clip ‘stumble’ on Morsko, where Clip is curious about its cult of the Dying God. A ritual takes place there. Nimander and Skintick are nearly enthralled, but are saved by Aranatha (and thus Mother Dark herself). The group then find Clip, who is in a coma. They collect him, and set off in a wagon to follow the Dying God’s priests to Bastion. Along that journey, the siblings stumble upon the High King, Kallor, who reluctantly chooses to not kill them and instead travels with them.
The sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 that we’ll be discussing follows some time after Kallor joins the siblings.
Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, let’s dive into the first scene.

Nimander 1

Rum-induced memories.

We start this sequence thrust into Nimander’s introspection on ‘rage’ as a breaking of a vessel, impossible to fix. He recalls Deadsmell’s musings that ‘rage in battle’ was a gift while the two drank rum. Rum that awakened memories once ignored by Nimander.
(Note: in Scene 2, we’ll see Desra’s view of Nimander, and we’ll see that Nimander’s ruminations on rage here are what inform Desra’s view of him, and not in the way that Nimander’s doubt imagines.)
In the previous post, we discussed memories and their decay. So much of this series and the lore surrounding it is driven by the memories of ancient beings. Nimander is younger with respect to ancient beings (but ancient nonetheless), and even he struggles with his memories. Perhaps this is a result of the traumas he’s experienced with respect to his being in diaspora and perceived abandonment by his father (a symmetry itself with Rake’s — and the Tiste Andii as a whole — relationship with Mother Dark).
He recalls the rum lighting “a fire in [his] brain, casting red light on a host of memories gathered ghostly round the unwelcoming heart.” He reminisces on the time after Kurald Galain (but before Drift Avalii) and his father’s emotional indifference. He recalls the pranks him and his kin would pull on Endest Silann; the arrival of Andarist and his arguments with Anomander. It is unclear what the arguments were — if you’ve read Forge of Darkness, you might be able to infer what’s likely, but I’m curious if the argument is Andarist asking to take the siblings and Anomander refusing, or Anomander asking Andarist to take the children and Andarist was reluctant? Was the argument about Anomander thrusting the Hust blade, T’an Aros/K’orladis (i.e., Vengeance / Grief), onto Andarist or did Andarist already possess the blade? We don’t know exactly to my knowledge, but it’s fun to speculate.
Regardless, Nimander recalls, like a certain inscribed hearthstone, there was peace. Andarist was to take them all through a threshold, a portal elsewhere (as mentioned, portals end up being a rung bell, so pay attention). Nimander remembers Endest’s weeping as the children were pulled through a “portalway into an unknown, mysterious new world where anything was possible.”
Andarist raised the Tiste Andii children on that portal’s other side, on Drift Avalii. We know (or can infer) that this was a task to protect the Throne of Shadow, but Nimander and his kin didn’t understand this as children. But Andarist led them with his pragmatism, he ensured they learned how the world was. With our knowledge of Kharkanas, this is so powerful. We know Anomander’s hubris was abused as a motivating factor for Hunn Raal’s despicable acts. We know that Andarist likely lacks children of his own in response to this, and so his taking on guardianship over the children of his brother — that very same brother that rejected Andarist’s grief in favour of vengeance (and materialised in the T’an Aros/K’orladis dichotomy) — is a stark, challenging, and ultimately selfless decision.
But this pragmatism created child soldiers. The collision of reality’s necessity to survive and carry out the duty of protecting the Throne of Shadow came at the expense of what little remaining childhood innocence Rake’s brood still had (even as a people on the run, exiled from their home due to a sociopolitical schism). Andarist became a stern teacher, juxtaposed to the echoes of Endest’s gentleness. “The games ended. The world turned suddenly serious.” Nonetheless, the Tiste Andii siblings grew to love Andarist.
Nimander continues his introspection:
See a bored child with a stick — and see how every beast nearby flees, understanding well what is now possible and, indeed, probable.
This reminds me of a general rule of advice: ‘never fuck around when a child has gun.’ Tiste Andii or not, children can be cruel especially when mixed with unknown doses of trauma and violence. Regardless, I want to call attention here that this notion of children and beasts are each bells rung. To Nimander, Andarist “unleash[ed] them, these children with avid eyes.” He “had made them good soldiers,” ones that know rage.
Vessels broken.
As such, from his own experience, Nimander suspects that the Dying God is a child. He speaks to the dialectic between gods and their worshippers (another bell rung):
The mad priests poured him full, knowing the vessel leaked, and then drank of that puerile seepage. Because he was a child, the Dying God’s thirst and need were without end, never satiated.
The group stumbles on desiccated bodies staked among fields: dried up, tapped of their libations. This speaks to a particular exploitation between mortal and god, symbolised literally as worshippers feeding a god to then become the harvested. This perpetuates the Dying God’s power to accumulate more worshippers via addictive kelyk. The language here shows that the Dying God has stumbled upon a sort of cheat code, an exploitation of the god-mortal dialectic that allows him and his priests to arbitrage power. Like a cancer that, via the law of large numbers, is equipped with the mechanisms to divert a body’s resources to it while it slowly destroys the body.
The scarecrows being in fields is such a perfect choice of this analogy: things to be harvested. A product, a commodity — a thing with both use-value and exchange-value, for our Marxians out there. I believe Erikson has said that he was thinking of oil here, and that is fine by itself, but I do like the mirroring to Eucharistic transubstantiation in Catholicism (due to my being a very-very-lapsed Catholic). Especially with wine, an extremely addictive substance, transcending into God’s blood to cleanse us as cannibalistic sacrament.

Dal Honese burial practices.

Nimander sees these fields as “bizarre cemeteries, where some local aberration of belief insisted that the dead be staked upright, that they ever stand ready for whatever may come." This makes him recall some shipwrecked Dal Honese on Drift Avalii. He thinks on the ancestor cult and burial practices of Dal Hon: literally constructing their homes with their dead in the walls as both material and essence, the building stretching out with additional rooms as time moved on and kin died.
This reminds me of the Neolithic proto-city, Çatalhöyük, found in Anatolia within modern-day Türkiye where ancestors have been found to be buried beneath platforms in living quarters. See: Chapter 6 of The Dawn of Everything by Graeber and Wengrow.
With or without intention, I like to view this ritual via an existentialist lens, particularly Sartre’s notion of the Look. To Sartre — in contrast to other phenomenologies — being is in flux, some path of a given chaotic double-pendulum switching to and from poles of being-in-itself***\**1* and being-for-itself***\**2*. The Look, to Sartre, is a sort of symmetry breaking — a realisation by being-for-itselves that decentralises it, the sudden awareness of its being an object, an Other, to Other consciousnesses.
A heuristic often used to showcase Sartre’s notion of the Look (or Gaze) is that of a voyeur peeping through a keyhole into someone’s room that hears a noise down the hall. Regardless if that noise is from another person (another being-for-itself) or not (say, the house settling), the subjective voyeur suddenly objectifies themselves, collapsing the chaotic pendulum from being-for-itself (nothingness as "no thing-ness") to their facticity — their being-in-itself, their thing-ness — whose meaning to Other being-for-themselves is relative to a separate centre than the voyeur’s own.
To Sartre, the resulting anxiety experienced snapping from subject to object is a proof against any nihilistic approach to solipsism. The fact that we can Other our own being-for-itself means that we can also recognise being-for-itself external to us since those we Other too can Other us as we Other ourselves. The reflexivity as a result of the Look is evidence against solipsism to Sartre.
As a result, this Dal Honese practice is a cultural self-burdening via Sartre’s Look by literally having your ancestors clay-filled bodies decentralise your subjectivity and externalise you as an object that can be judged by its facticity. This results in a sort of collective Dal Honese being-for-others, Sartre would argue. This isn’t inherently good or bad to existentialists, but it does necessitate a calculus that discerns if the living descendants are authentically expressing their freedom with each moment they accept this practice, or if they are living in bad faith.
Regardless, though, this is a haunting of the Past. This haunting isn’t something that is only important to existentialism or other philosophical traditions (such as post-structuralism — see: Derrida’s hauntology), but to the genre conventions and tropes of Gothic horror and its descendants (such as cosmic horror, weird fiction, and their influences on sword and sorcery, etc.).
There are mappings (some more subtle than others) between the Sublime and the existential anxiety and dread experienced in phenomena similar to the Look. The experience of looking upon the vastness of the sea, of stumbling upon an ancient statue, of learning of the size of the universe — which are described as the Sublime, the Weird, or Eldritch in some literary traditions (e.g., Romantic, Gothic, Horror, the Weird, etc.) — are the same experiences that are often analysed in continental philosophies using words such as angst/anxiety/despaiabsurdity/alienation.
Nimander goes on to further expose the relationship between this Dal Honese ancestor cult and inter-tribal conflicts that lead to deaths and stolen bodies that leave physical voids in Dal Honese architecture. He muses how this physical representation of wounds begets a cycle of vengeance (a cultural tradition, a product of facticity and bad faith): “blood back and forth,” he says. He mentions that this cycle is what pushed the shipwrecked Dal Honese from their homes, an act of revolt and perhaps even authenticity to Sartre. Eventually the Dal Honese recovered and “paddled away — not back home, but to some unknown place, a place devoid of unblinking ghosts staring out from every wall.
I love that Erikson has this whole little short story in this scene, especially in the contrast of its being some rum-induced reflection by Nimander on his own past’s haunting of him and his siblings. Moreover, these Tiste Andii are travelling with Kallor, the Undying Unascendant: a being-for-itself that literally manifests the past’s haunting on the present — a man cursed, jaded, who carries the past with him wherever he travels. All of these together show that one’s freedom can have one flee (even be redeemed — which balances with other plotlines in TtH), but that doesn’t necessarily — nor sufficiently so — annihilate the past.

Finding a tower.

After this, Nimander’s reminiscing is interrupted by his hearing Kallor nearby (like a footstep in a hallway). Kallor comments on the use of the corpses and notes that the flora “[is] not even native to this world, after all.” Nimander replies that the corpses are being used for saemankelyk. The mention of the plants not being native to this world should orient the reader back to the Weird, especially since it brings upon a sense of unease, an Othering — the house settling that again serves to reduce both Nimander and the readers to our thing-ness
‘The past’ versus ‘the present’ versus ‘the future’ (and their hauntings of one another) bubble up again with some banter between Skintick and Kallor about the state of things. Kallor states ‘nothing changes.’ Skintick counters ‘it keeps getting worse,’ to which Kallor claims is but an illusion.
I find this dialogue to be a comical little conflict between Kallor’s perceived-postmodern, nihilistic judgement of the state of things being inert versus Skintick’s pseudo-Rousseauian, inverted-Hegalian, modernist grand narrative of things getting worse.
Again, it alludes to a haunting of the past on the current generation. Interestingly, this is a trend within the Book of the Fallen in general: not as an espousing of the ‘old vs. young’, but Erikson’s decentering/challenging/deconstruction of that binary. Think of Raest in GotM; Menandore, Sukul and Sheltatha in RG; Karsa in HoC; the Witness trilogy. He does this via a sort of Ancient's Hubris colliding with its differences to the Present’s Ingenuity, and this being dual to the Present’s Naivety colliding with the Ancient Wisdom.
Kallor eventually hits a sore spot with the Tiste: he brings up Rake. Unlike the Dal Honese whose freedom had them flee the cultural practices of letting their ancestors haunt both literally and figuratively, Nimander and his siblings were pulled/pushed away from their father (and people) as children — by what very well could be their father’s request. The Tiste siblings are haunted by Anomander’s active absence. Their continued distance from their father isn’t an act of expressing their freedom against an Ancestor’s Gaze — it isn’t an act of revolution — it is their facticity and a source for their Othering of themselves. We often see this from Nimander’s POVs up to and including this sequence.
Kallor sniffs out this weakness and presses upon the wound. Nimander gets flustered and retorts. To which Kallor responds:
'Anomander Rake is a genius at beginning things. It’s finishing them he has trouble with.'
Damn, Kallor.
Also, I didn’t need my ADHD called out so harshly, dude. What the fuck.
Without diving into what Erikson was dealing with while writing this book, this hits hard for Nimander, and is an interesting commentary nonetheless. His father, Anomander, is the leader of a diasporic people who’ve been without home, without a centre, for 400,000 years. I think Kallor’s words hurt Nimander so much because the Tiste siblings don’t know Anomander’s current plans nor have they experienced the "settling-down" from the unveiling of Kurald Galain in what is now Black Coral. They are unaware of Rake’s teleology for his people, for himself even. Regardless, we see again and again that Kallor isn’t just a strong skirmisher, his words cut nearly as well as his blades.
Kallor goes on to confirm that he knows Rake before the group notices a ruined tower among the alien plants and scarecrows. Kallor says its Jaghut. Kallor trudges forth indifferently, pushing corpses out of his way as he bee-lines it to the ruined tower. I don’t think such a sequence of action has ever described Kallor’s whole raison d’être and modus operandi so well: just a man seemingly indifferent to the corpses in his path as his will pulls him forward.
We get a small interaction between Skintick and Nimander that reveals Skintick’s acuity in reading Kallor’s take on Rake. Kallor sees their father as an equal (it isn’t just the readers that need to be keen to subtext, characters do too).
Skintick offers the idea of sicking Kallor on the Dying God, hoping he “decid[es] to do something for his own reasons, but something that ends up solving our problem.” I like the use of “deciding to do something for his own reasons,” as this aligns so well with authenticity in existentialism (and the absence of some absolute morality for authenticity).
As Nimander approaches the tower behind Kallor, both Nimander and the readers get a great sense of horror, the weird, the uncanny, and the sublime with how Erikson describes the scenery:
Drawing closer to the ruin, they fell silent. Decrepit as it was, the tower was imposing. The air around it seemed grainy, somehow brittle, ominously cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.
The highest of the walls revealed a section of ceiling just below the uppermost set of stones, projecting without any other obvious support to cast a deep shadow upon the ground floor beneath it. The facing wall reached only high enough to encompass a narrow, steeply arched doorway. Just outside this entrance and to one side was a belly-shaped pot in which grew a few straggly plants with drooping flowers, so incongruous amid the air of abandonment that Nimander simply stared down at them, disbelieving.
Nimander notes an incongruity of this place — its aesthetic of abandonment juxtaposed with a curated garden. “The cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.” This evokes a certain unsettledness to Nimander (and thus, the reader). These genre conventions are sources of tension and anxiety, similar to non-diegetic violins building up to a real or false jump-scare in a slasher flick.
Arrogantly, Kallor chooses to go out of his way and insult the presumed Jaghut within the tower. Classic Kallor. The Jaghut replies “nothing changes,” resulting in Kallor shooting Skintick and Nimander a “pleased smirk.”

Tea time, but before falling into a rabbit-hole and not after.

Before Kallor can announce himself, the Jaghut lists off Kallor’s titles, his facticity. Kallor’s reputation precedes him and there’s an asymmetry here in which the Jaghut knows who Kallor is but Kallor doesn’t yet know who the Jaghut is. This is our first hint that this meeting isn’t serendipitous, and is instead an intentional interaction with regards to the plot. And if this Jaghut knows of Kallor, does he know those who Kallor travels with? Who is this Jaghut’s intended audience among those options?
I also like the play here with facticity: the Jaghut lists out things about Kallor, but is Kallor some sum of those thing-nesses? How many are true, how many are manufactured myths? It’s an act by this Jaghut to Gaze upon Kallor, to show to Kallor that he’s being seen. It’s a deliberate tactic to destabilise and decenter Kallor: an offensive.
We as readers are informed of Kallor’s limitations from the Azathanai curses via Draconus, K’rul and Nightchill, but these limitations on Kallor don’t necessarily restrict his freedom until Kallor allows them.
We get a flash of Jaghut humour and guest rites — this ancient dismisses Kallor while inviting everyone in for tea. Interestingly, Erikson has this Jaghut use the proper noun of ‘Others’ which lends me to think that an existentialist lens hasn’t been the worst pick (not that ‘Othering’ is strictly existentialist by any means).
So, we’ve had corpses drained dry for kelyk, alien plant-life, a ruined tower of an unknown age stumbled upon beyond the urban, a preternatural creature to Nimander and his kin (something they’ve maybe only witnessed a handful of times) and then we get this description:
The air of the two-walled chamber was frigid, the stones sheathed in amber-streaked hoarfrost. Where the other two walls should have been rose black, glimmering barriers of some unknown substance, and to look upon them too long was to feel vertiginous — Nimander almost pitched forward, drawn up only by Skintick’s sudden grip, and his friend whispered, ‘Never mind the ice, cousin.’
Ice, yes, it was just that. Astonishingly transparent ice–
I love this. First: “it was just that” screams “no it isn’t” to anyone paying attention to the words Erikson is using to make the reader uncomfortable. We know: Jaghut + Ice = Omtose Phellack. The atmospheric setting here is directly being called out in not just a sublime way, but his description has an added layer of horror to Omtose Phellack.
Erikson uses “vertiginous,” giving both Nimander and us a sense of vertigo, being decentred and unoriented. This isn’t too different from descriptions found in works like Vandermeer’s Annihilation or other New Weird authors. This ice wall calls to Nimander, draws from him feelings of unknown when he’s caught himself staring for too long — emphasis on staring.
For all intents and purposes, this ice wall is a thing, a being-in-itself, neither active nor passive. But its effect on Nimander is similar to the Dal Honese ancestors’ Gaze — this ice wall objectifies him, calls to him, evokes his being-for-others, and emotionally alienates him. The pull Nimander feels is his submitting his being-for-itself with the freedom of those that Gaze upon him. A justification of his facticity, his bad faith. This will be important later.
Eventually we get this awesome line from the Jaghut host:
’Once, long ago, a wolf god came before me. Tell me, Kallor, do you understand the nature of beast gods? Of course not. You are only a beast in the unfairly pejorative sense — unfair to beasts, that is. How is it, then, that the most ancient gods of this world were, one and all, beasts?’
There’s so much going on to unpack in this paragraph.
Later, again, we get this Jaghut saying Others as a proper noun, and then the Others are called Tiste Andii.
‘Ah, and what of the Others with you? Might not they be interested?’
Clearing his throat, Skintick said, ‘Venerable one, we possess nothing of worth to one such as you.’
‘You are too modest, Tiste Andii.’
‘I am?’
'Each creature is born from one not its kind. This is a wonder, a miracle forged in the fires of chaos, for chaos indeed whispers in our blood, no matter its particular hue. If I but scrape your skin, so lightly as to leave but a momentary streak, that which I take from you beneath my nail contains every truth of you, your life, even your death, assuming violence does not claim you. A code, if you will, seemingly precise and so very ordered. Yet chaos churns. For all your similarities to your father, neither you nor the one named Nimander — nor any of your brothers and sisters — is identical to Anomander Dragnipurake. Do you refute this?’
Above, the Jaghut goes on to describe genetics, but also calls out the fact that they are children of Anomander — dude definitely knows more than he’s leading on, that’s for sure, and is winking directly to us readers, seemingly going over the heads of both Kallor and the Tiste. Also, the bit about chaos in blood will come up again and again in later scenes and later essays.
Moreover, we see that the Jaghut says that which he scrapes "contains every truth of you, your life, even your death" — our genetics are facticities, among our thing-nesses. "Yet chaos churns," the Jaghut rebuts. That chaos in our blood is a source of our "no thing-ness," from which we may express our freedom against the determinism of genetics — of facticities — and transcend.
For each kind of beast there is a first such beast, more different from its parents than the rest of its kin, from which a new breed in due course emerges. Is this firstborn then a god?’
I love this for two reasons. One, it speaks to a criticism of the assumption that a prime-mover is necessarily divine. But, through the existentialist lens, it’s a challenge and criticism of the presumed Authority of Genealogy. Jumping back to the early musings on ancestry: if ancestors haunt us and dictate our facticity as a result of suppressing our being-for-itself, then where does that chain of dictating/suppressing end? And is that terminus also an Authority above all generations below it just due to its being something new, something sufficiently different from its own genealogy, its ancestors ‘behind’ it?
I also like the subtext of trauma as hereditary here with the double entendre behind ‘beast’, we can think of this Jaghut as asking if the primordial source of generational trauma has authority over its descendants? What does this dialogue mean for Nimander and his siblings and their place with respect to their father and the rest of the Tiste Andii people? Does this inform an analysis of Nimander’s chaotic double-pendulum between being-in-itself, being-for-itself, and his being-for-others?
A huge thing I would like to point out here, too, is that neither Skintick, Nimander, nor Kallor have used the Tiste Andii’s names, yet this Jaghut knows them by name. Kallor could deduce they were Rake’s children, but he didn’t know their names. Even though Skintick showcased an acuity to subtext when considering Kallor’s opinions of Rake, he doesn’t catch onto this subtlety. This Jaghut not only knows of Kallor, he knows of Nimander and his siblings. The evidence that this meeting isn’t serendipity continues to build.
‘You spoke of a wolf god,’ Skintick said. ‘You began to tell us a story.’
‘So I did. But you must be made to understand. It is a question of essences. To see a wolf and know it as pure, one must possess an image in oneself of a pure wolf, a perfect wolf.’
‘Ridiculous,’ Kallor grunted. ‘See a strange beast and someone tells you it is a wolf — and from this one memory, and perhaps a few more to follow, you have fashioned your image of a wolf. In my empires, philosophers spewed such rubbish for centuries, until, of course, I grew tired of them and had them tortured and executed.’
This sequence of dialogue is fantastic and reminds me of arguments foagainst the strong/weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis/es. We see the Jaghut musing on a seemingly prescriptive Platonic idealism that Kallor interrupts with a more descriptive, pragmatic, empirical framework in which he follows with a jest of torturing and executing philosophers (remind me to never live in the Kallorian Empire).
Kallor speaks as if his words contradict the Jaghut and show the assumed idealism to be wrong. But, by Kallor’s own argument, the Jaghut’s words of ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ are just as empirically contingent to one’s memories as ‘wolf’ is. The combinations of signs and symbols language users use give flesh to those signs’ and symbols’ own meaning — but bury that meaning beneath the flesh by doing so. The concept of a ‘perfect wolf’ (i.e., ‘perfect’ + ‘wolf’) emerging from one’s own contingency with the notion of ‘perfect’ and ‘wolf’ is entirely possible without that imagined ‘perfect wolf’ being actually some idealisation, i.e., some Platonic Perfect Wolf.
The Jaghut responds with laughter to Kallor’s absurdity: both in his misinterpretation of the Jaghut’s musings as well as the nature of Kallor’s brutal reaction to those that question things he finds to be rubbish. This pairs well with Skintick’s future POV in this sequence, but the contrast between Kallor and this Jaghut is entertaining nonetheless. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish when Kallor is telling the truth about his brutality or if his mutterings are just words congruent to his reputation.
The two then have a pissing contest. We find out the Jaghut was in disguise — I don’t have the evidence or time here to say, but there are ideas that this particular Jaghut is a d'ivers and it is fucking awesome even if untrue. The discussion here points to some T’lan Imass’ Jaghut War. It being the Kron, I’m inclined to wonder if there is a relationship with the bones Karsa stumbles upon in HoC (where he and his war party find Calm).
Skintick squatted to pick up two of the cups, straightening to hand one to Nimander. The steam rising from the tea was heady, hinting of mint and cloves and something else. The taste numbed his tongue.
Don’t take candy from strangers tea from Jaghut, people.
We find out that Raest is this Jaghut’s child. We find out that this Jaghut took on 43 T’lan Imass and a Bonecaster, killing them all. This is a threat rallied back against Kallor’s assertion that he’s killed Jaghut.
Teeth bared, Kallor bent down to retrieve his cup.
The Jaghut’s left hand shot out, closing about Kallor’s wrist. ‘You wounded that wolf god,’ he said.
Oh shit. What follows is one of the first times I can recall that Kallor is scared. Contrast with his earlier treatment of Rake as equal.
'Oh, be quiet, Kallor. This tower was an Azath once. Shall I awaken it for you?’
Wondering, Nimander watched as Kallor backed towards the entrance, eyes wide in that weathered, pallid face, the look of raw recognition dawning. ‘Gothos, what are you doing here?’
‘Where else should I be? Now remain outside — these two Tiste Andii must go away for a while.’
The revelation: the Jaghut is none other than the Lord of Hate himself, Gothos. You can understand why Kallor, always so arrogant, submits to Gothos and listens to his instruction.
Immediately after the reveal, Skintick and Nimander succumb to the effects of whatever extra ingredient Gothos had slipped into their tea. We get this final sequence:
Nimander’s eyes were drawn once more to the walls of ice. Black depths, shapes moving within.
He staggered, reached out his hands–
‘Oh, don’t step in there–’
And then he was falling forward, his hands passing into the wall before him, no resistance at all.
‘Nimander, do not–’
Again, the readers eyes are drawn along with Nimander's to the icy, abyss-like, objectifying, Gazing threshold. Here's where the sublime and the weird really flavour the setting in this scene.
There's a bell’s echo here from the start of this scene: this sequence starts with Nimander discussing the uncertainty related to moving through a portal with Andarist away from the rest of his kin, a breaching. During these final lines of this first scene, we get a tension between us and the unknown, between what has happened and that-which-is-to-come, between what we’ve imagined about Malazan’s cosmos and some contorting of those assumptions. What’s beyond the veil decentres not only Nimander in its draw and pushing him to being-for-others, but it decentres the readers too. Hic sunt dracones, terra incognita, the sublime, the enigmatic, the terror. We’re made to feel small and inconsequential by this icy threshold.
It isn’t mysterious because it evades our Gaze like other fantastical things (e.g., many renditions of some archetypal tricksters found within various folklores), instead it invites our Gaze eventually since It Gazes back (almost Nietzschean).


Calling back to the genre conventions, this extended scene is one that definitely plays with the established conventions of Gothic literature and its descendants. Constantly, Erikson hits us with tension sewn into his choice of words in Nimander’s ruminations, his angst associated to diaspora, the notion of Dal Honese ancestors gazing upon their descendants from clay walls, absent ancestors that too haunt the same, the fields of scarecrows as desiccated (and harvested) bodies of worshippers, the alien plant-life, the ancient Jaghut tower, the ice threshold. Each of these (and those unmentioned) add onto to the dissociation (de-centering) of both Nimander and us, the readers. Each of us seem small and inconsequential to the dynamism of the cosmos: everything we know, including that of what we already know about the Malazan universe (and our own) can be challenged. We’re each just travellers who have stumbled upon a shattered visage in the desert that reads: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
This stands in contrast to — almost a revolution against — the modalities one can garnish from the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment that favour an almost religious rationalism and positivism. This is why I believe (and hope I have shown) that the existentialist (and those schools of thought peripheral to it) lens is apt. The genealogy of Gothic literature serves as a grammatical sandbox that gives way to exploring the things that existentialism tries to frame in its study, such as the dread and anxieties — the nothingness (no thing-ness) — of being.
Not only are the Dal Honese clay-filled ancestors present to alienate the reader by entertaining a certain ‘exoticism’ (by the readers’ juxtaposing such practices against what we consider ‘normal’ — here's where Sartre is applied to White or Male Gazes), but they are there as conduits for understanding how Nimander is affected by Others, by their Looks — his siblings, his absent father, his dead uncle, Kallor, Gothos, and the icy threshold — even if this ‘othering’ is one done only by Nimander onto himself (the house settling perceived as a footfall). This becomes more important in the scenes that follow.
So, how does this relate to the Eleint, dragonblood or sorcery? If you want to know now, please read ahead in the text — i.e., he future scenes in this sequence in Chapter 8 of TtH — you’ll find out. Otherwise, I’ll attempt to provide more clarity in the follow-up post(s). Until then, I just want put forth some questions:
Beyond those questions (which align with my grander narrative shared in this collection of essays) — in regards to the plot, I think it is smart to continue asking, ‘why has Gothos ensured that Anomander’s children and Kallor would stumble upon his tower?’
1 the facticity of what can be understood as objective states ascribed to things, including social constructions — thing-ness — e.g., how things are thrown into the world, a mode of existence that simply is, the contingent being of ordinary things, such the language(s) one speaks, one’s occupation, etc.
2 the mode of existence of consciousness that stands in contrast to being-in-itself, “no thing-ness”, that which negates being-in-itself
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2023.05.30 04:41 billylaflemme I'm (27M) not really sure why I am getting so anxious about thought of proposing to (26F) girlfriend of 3 years.

27 year old guy here. In a relationship of 3.5 years, and we have lived together exactly two years now. Possibly a lot to unpack, and I think it's mostly a "me" problem.
My girlfriend really wants to get engaged, and my head is saying that's the right idea. My gut is making me anxious though.
So about me, this is my first real relationship. I did date other girls before, but my GF is the first girl I've brought home, first girl I've had sex with, etc. I definitely found my confidence and stride later on.
I think we do have a very good relationship. My girlfriend is absolutely my best friend. When I'm with her, I feel at home. I'd be absolutely shitting myself if I could never talk to her again, or hold her again. Just random stuff like texting her while I'm at work, kissing her on the cheek, etc. I do believe we are quite compatible, even for random little things like we are both allergic to pets. I truly think this girl has the most incredible heart, and she's one of the nicest and most level headed people I've ever met.
There are some things that aren't perfect, but I think that's every relationship. I would say that my girlfriend is way less motivated than me, and it's irritating sometimes. I'm very active, and my GF is much more of a homebody. But not necessarily a dealbreaker.
In terms of sex life, I'd say it's okay but not great for a while. My GFs libido has been struggling for a while, but gotten a little better. We maybe do it once every 1-2 weeks. Admittedly, I've been watching porn which definitely doesn't help.
So, back to the topic. I actually think engagement is a good idea. It's spending the rest of my life with my best friend. It's allowing us to move forward, and start thinking about buying a house, etc. Also, I honestly don't feel like I'm that young anymore, it's not like there's a million single girls out there my age. So why mess with the great relationship that I already have?
But when it comes to pulling the trigger and buying the ring, I'm seriously getting queasy and very anxious. I am not sure what might be causing the anxiety, but here are some possible ideas. It probably comes down to a feeling of the 'spark' missing, or some kind of avoidant commitment issues
- I'll meet random women who I randomly have a crush on, or think "wow, she's cute." This is probably a natural thing, but it's scary that I don't feel those kind of sparks for my girlfriend at home all the time. It's maybe because I didn't "sow my wild oats." And I'm not saying I should choose that, and I think it's a dumb choice. But the instincts are there, somewhere deep down. And I hate that I compare my GF to other women sometimes
- I'll find that I just randomly get annoyed by certain things that she does, and it causes me to feel negative about the whole relationship.
- Maybe just a general feeling that I'm afraid of the next step of commitment, sharing our finances, having a wedding and baby shortly thereafter.
I am truly torn up about this, and feel like if I let her go, I'll probably regret it for the rest of my life.
At the same time, I don't know why my stomach is in knots over this.
TL;DR: 27M having difficulty pulling the trigger on buying the ring for my 26F girlfriend.
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2023.05.30 04:38 Karilyn113 "Hits Different" is the Antithesis of all her love songs

A Deep Dive into Parallels in Taylor’s Song "Hits different"
I have been listening to "hits different" repeatedly since it was put on streaming and I believe it is one of the songs that has the most parallels with other love songs (especially from Reputation and Lover).
Let's analyze it:
“I washed my hands of us at the club / You made a mess of me”
This verse represents the end of a relationship. The end of this relationship is a contrast to all the songs where she thought it was going to be forever.

“I pictured you with other girls in love / Then threw up on the street”
Here, the narrator knows that his ex-partner will eventually move on and have another romantic relationship. This fear of him being with someone else is reflected in other songs:

Also, we have an indication that the author tries to solve her problems with alcohol. This has been explored in other of her songs, for example:
This is me trying: "They told me all of my cages were mental so I got wasted like all my potential."
“Like waiting for a bus that never shows / You just start walkin' on / They say that if it's right, you know / Each bar plays our song / Nothing has ever felt so wrong”
The relationship now seems to have no salvation for the author and she finds no signs to prove her wrong. Their bond is no longer as strong as before. In contrast with other songs:

“Oh, my, love is a lie / Shit my friends say to get me by / It hits different / It hits different this time”
The relationship is different and the one she has felt the most of all she has had, we find references to this in other songs:

“Catastrophic blues / Movin' on was always easy for me to do / It hits different / It hits different 'cause it's you”
Her partner is compared to blue on other occasions:

“I used to switch out these Kens, I'd just ghost / Rip the band-aid off and skip town like an asshole outlaw”
Taylor mentions how easy it was before to switch from one relationship to another in contrast to what it is now. She uses the word "Ken" to refer to a generic man.
Don’t Blame Me: "I've been breakin' hearts a long time, and toying' with them older guys just playthings for me to use."
“Freedom felt like summer then on the coast / Now the sun burns my heart and the sand hurts my feelings”
This phrase has the clearest parallel with "daylight", when before she mentioned light as something that had given her happiness or hope, now it is something that harms her.

“And I never don't cry at the bar”
This is another object that used to be something good and now it is not. Before, the bar represented the place where she had met her lover.

“Yeah, my sadness is contagious (my sadness is contagious)/ I slur your name till someone puts me in a ca I stopped receiving invitations”
Her sadness can be contagious not only because of her strength, but because she writes about it in songs that make the public feel the same way. In this part, she also mentions being drunk in a car and thinking about the other person in a state of unconsciousness.

“I find the artifacts, cried over a hat/ Cursed the space that I needed”
Objects that make her think of the other person have been mentioned in other songs, as well as places:

“I trace the evidence, make it make some sense / Why the wound is still bleeding?”
Taylor tries to find the reasons why her relationship ended and why it is so hard for her to overcome it. The end of her relationship as something impossible to overcome, is something she has mentioned previously:

“You were the one that I loved / Don't need another metaphor, it's simple enough / A wrinkle in time like the crease by your eyes / This is why they shouldn't kill off the main guy”
Direct declarations of love and thinking that the person is "the one" (the main guy) are also present in her other works:

“Dreams of your hair and your stare and sense of belief”
Taylor mentions his eyes in multiple songs, his hair also seems to be present, as well as his personality which she seems to admire.

“In the good in the world, you once believed in me”
Her ex-partner supported her and saw the good in her.

“And I felt you and I held you for a while / Bet I could still melt your world / Argumentative, antithetical, dream girl”
In this part, Taylor acknowledges that she knows her partner also loved her:

“I heard your key turn in the door down the hallway/ Is that your key in the door?/ Is it okay? Is it you?/ Or have they come to take me away? / (To take me away)”
In this verse, she shows how she still has hopes that her beloved will return, in addition to demonstrating that her mental health is deteriorating after the break-up of the relationship. The intensity of this relationship was such that she was willing to do anything for him:

There are surely a million more parallels that I have not mentioned, so feel free to add any you want! Thanks for reading this long post!
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2023.05.30 03:57 Mech_Engr_17 James Allen Referral Code Needed!

I am looking to purchase a James Allen engagement ring to propose very soon, and am in need of a referral code for this. Does anyone have one they can send me? Thanks in advance!
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2023.05.30 03:57 Proletlariet Captain Gundam

"Attention! I have been granted special dispensation to use firearms in defense of Neotopia. Lay down your weapons at once!"
Before a perpetually peaceful world, when Neotopia was attacked by an evil force who wished to destroy all organic life, they needed a saviour. This saviour came in the form of the secret organization of the Super Dimensional Guards, and in particular Captain Gundam, A robot authorised to use any means neccesary to protect his world. While initially insisting on keeping his activities a complete secret, the actions and support of a local boy named Shute helped activate his Soul Drive, a special contraption in his chest that greatly increased his abilities. The two would work together in the newly formed Gundam Force, alongside Gundams from other dimensions whose homes had already fallen to the Dark Axis, seeking to protect harmony in the universe.
Captain Gundam, after being greatly injured, was later repaired and had some upgrades made to his exoskeleton. Besides from a new ultimate attack, it's unclear how much this affects his abilities otherwise. All feats obtained in this upgraded body are marked with 'UP' to distinguish them.



Lifting / Throwing



Blunt Force











Beam Saber

Option F

An optional extra pack attached to his back while equipping his armour, giving him greater flight capabilities

Option Z

In the final battle, Captain equips Option Z, an experimental jet-like add-on which takes the place of Option F.


In-Built Equipment and Robot Abilities

Soul Drive

The 'most vital unit inside of Captain Gundam', the Soul Drive activates in response to strong emotions of friendship with Shute. This massively increases Captain Gundam's abilities while active. While it's unlikely that his durability also increases in this state, such feats have nevertheless been included in this section just in case they do. He can sense what Shute's doing through his soul drive and even have it activated through his actions when he's nowhere nearby, with this actively healing him from a previously incapacitated and highly injured state. For the majority of the series he can only activate his Soul Drive when synchronized with Shute, but in the final battle he draws on his memories with him to activate it stronger than it had ever been before while Shute was trapped.
While he was still alive, albeit in an unconscious state after having his Soul Drive removed, based on Commander Sazabi's defeat it can be speculated that destroying it would instantly kill Captain Gundam.






An enhanced form first seen given to Captain while he was alive but unable to act fully consciously due to his Soul Drive having been removed, this form gives Captain a large amount of extra gear on top of his standard combat armour which, among other things, allows him to transform into a vehicle.

Captain System

With his Re-Equip Ring, Captain Gundam can activate Captain Mode, using his Soul Drive to access the programming of all the robots in Neotopia. Like this, he deactivates the control devices on all of them, freeing them from the Dark Axis' mind control


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2023.05.30 03:54 Funny-Education2496 James Cameron's upcoming reboot of The Terminator: How will he do it?

One thing Cameron is well-known for is pioneering the use of cutting edge technology to create dazzling, often never before seen visual effects in his films. Well by now we've all heard he is going to make another Terminator movie, and so I've been thinking about how the various generative and other AI could help in this endeavor.
My first thought was that it may be a blend of live action film involving living actors, and an AI generated "young" Ah-nold. Another possibility comes from the movie Tron Legacy. If you remember, Jeff Bridges looked magically young again. Eventually we learned the actor had been outfitted with a head rig that allowed the special effects people to project his face as it looked when he was young onto his now older face. So, that would be another approach.
Then there is what Peter Jackson did for the character Gollum in Lord of the Rings, having actor Andy Serkis wear a suit covered in electrodes, allowing the visual effects people to later project the artificial Gollum onto him.
In my mind, what has suddenly gotten James Cameron interested in making a new Terminator movie is that he is aware of some things that can be done with the new AI technology, things we may not even be aware of. That would be in keeping with Cameron's history. I'm sure Arnold will be involved, it's just a question of how they will make him look young again. Considering that if Cameron can convince a film studio that he can deliver them another Terminator 2, let's say, I doubt there will be any budgetary limitations.
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