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Experience the Magic of Monsoons in India's Hill Stations: 7 Destinations You Can't Miss!

2023.05.30 13:05 Sundayforeverstays Experience the Magic of Monsoons in India's Hill Stations: 7 Destinations You Can't Miss!

India is a country that has become even more enchanting during the monsoon season. The monsoons bring a respite from the scorching heat and transform the lush green hills into a breathtaking spectacle. India's hill stations, nestled amidst the Western Ghats and the Himalayas, become a paradise during this time, offering a unique and mesmerizing experience to visitors. In this article, we will explore seven captivating and the best hill stations in India where you can truly immerse yourself in the magic of the monsoons.
1. Munnar, Kerala:
Located in the Western Ghats of Kerala, Munnar is a haven of tranquility and natural beauty. The monsoons drench the tea gardens and spice plantations, creating an ethereal ambiance. The mist-covered hills and cascading waterfalls add to the allure. Take a leisurely walk amidst the tea gardens, breathe in the refreshing scent of wet earth, and witness the symphony of raindrops falling on the leaves. The picturesque landscapes and the pleasant weather make Munnar an irresistible destination during the monsoons.
2. Lonavala-Khandala, Maharashtra:
Situated in the Sahyadri Range near Mumbai, Lonavala-Khandala is a popular hill station renowned for its scenic beauty. During the monsoons, the entire region transforms into a lush green paradise. The misty valleys, gushing waterfalls, and iconic vantage points like Tiger Point and Rajmachi Point offer breathtaking views. Take a hike to the mesmerizing Bhushi Dam or explore the ancient Karla and Bhaja caves. The cool monsoon breeze and the captivating landscapes of Lonavala-Khandala will leave you spellbound.
3. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh:
Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is a timeless hill station that becomes even more enchanting during the monsoon season. The rain-washed forests, blooming wildflowers, and mist-covered mountains create a dreamlike ambiance. Take a stroll on Mall Road, explore the colonial architecture, and savor a hot cup of tea while enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Don't miss visiting Chadwick Falls, where the cascading water gushes down amidst lush greenery, providing a spectacular sight.
4. Coorg, Karnataka:
Known as the "Scotland of India," Coorg in Karnataka is a breathtaking hill station that comes alive during the monsoons. The verdant coffee plantations, misty hills, and cascading waterfalls make it a perfect destination for nature lovers. Trek through the enchanting trails of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, visit the mesmerizing Abbey Falls or simply relax amidst the aroma of coffee in a cozy homestay. Coorg offers a rejuvenating experience, immersing you in the magic of the monsoons.
5. Darjeeling, West Bengal:
Perched in the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal, Darjeeling is renowned for its tea gardens and the iconic toy train. The monsoons add a touch of mystique to this hill station, enveloping it in a veil of clouds and mist. Wake up early to witness the mesmerizing sunrise at Tiger Hill, visit the famous tea estates, and take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lush greenery and the cool monsoon climate make Darjeeling a must-visit destination during this season.
6. Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra:
Located in the Sahyadri Range of Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is a charming hill station known for its captivating landscapes and pleasant climate. The monsoons transform this place into a paradise with lush greenery, foggy hills, and cascading waterfalls. Explore stunning viewpoints like Arthur's Seat and Wilson Point, which offer panoramic vistas of the valleys below. Indulge in the famous strawberries and enjoy a boat ride on the serene Venna Lake. The misty atmosphere and the romantic ambiance make Mahabaleshwar a perfect destination to experience the magic of monsoons.
7. Nainital, Uttarakhand:
Nestled amidst the Kumaon Hills in Uttarakhand, Nainital is a picturesque hill station known for its emerald-colored lake and lush surroundings. The monsoons bring a refreshing transformation to this enchanting town. The rain-washed forests, blooming rhododendrons, and misty mountains create a mystical atmosphere. Take a boat ride on the serene Naini Lake, explore Mall Road, and visit the beautiful Nainital Zoo. The tranquility and natural beauty of Nainital during the monsoons make it an ideal destination for a rejuvenating getaway.
Monsoon Activities and Experiences:
Apart from the breathtaking natural beauty, these best hill stations in India offer a plethora of activities and experiences during the monsoons. Here are some notable ones:
1. Trekking and Nature Walks: The monsoon season breathes new life into the forests and hills, making it an ideal time for trekking and nature walks. Explore the verdant trails of places like Munnar, Coorg, and Shimla, and immerse yourself in the lush surroundings. Spot exotic flora and fauna, listen to the melodious chirping of birds, and rejuvenate your soul amidst nature's wonders.
2. Waterfall Rappelling: The monsoons bring several gushing waterfalls to life, providing the perfect backdrop for adventure enthusiasts. Many hill stations, such as Lonavala-Khandala and Mahabaleshwar, offer exciting opportunities for waterfall rappelling. Strap on your harness, descend the cascading water, and feel the adrenaline rush as you conquer nature's forces.
3. Boating in Lakes: The monsoons add a certain charm to the lakes in hill stations. Take a leisurely boat ride in the serene lakes of Nainital, Udaipur, or Ooty, and witness the surrounding beauty come alive with the touch of rain. The misty atmosphere and the tranquil waters create a serene and romantic experience.
4. Tea Tasting and Plantation Visits: Hill stations like Munnar and Darjeeling are famous for their tea estates. Visit a tea plantation during the monsoons to witness the tea leaves glistening with raindrops. Engage in tea-tasting sessions to savor the flavors and aromas of freshly brewed teas. Learn about the tea-making process and gain insights into the rich history and culture associated with tea production.
5. Ayurvedic Spa and Wellness: India is renowned for its Ayurvedic practices that promote holistic well-being. Many hill stations offer Ayurvedic spas and wellness centers where you can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Indulge in therapeutic massages, herbal treatments, and yoga sessions amidst the tranquil surroundings of the hills.
The Charm of Monsoon Cuisine:
Monsoons in India are not just about the captivating landscapes; they also bring a unique culinary experience. The hill stations during the monsoons offer a delectable array of local delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From piping hot pakoras (fritters) and steaming cups of masala chai to piping hot momos and bhutta (roasted corn), the monsoon cuisine is a delight for food lovers.
In places like Mahabaleshwar, you can indulge in fresh strawberries, served with cream or in the form of jams, during the monsoons. Coorg offers a unique gastronomic experience with its traditional Kodava cuisine, where you can relish dishes like pandi curry (pork curry) and akki roti (rice bread).
The monsoons also bring out the flavors of piping hot soups and stews, such as thukpa in Darjeeling and hot and sour soup in Shimla. Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to savor local street food like vada pav in Lonavala-Khandala and momos in Darjeeling.
The combination of the monsoon ambiance and the tantalizing flavors of local cuisine create an unforgettable culinary experience during your visit to these hill stations.
India's hill stations are truly magical during the monsoon season. From the misty tea gardens of Munnar to the foggy valleys of Nainital, each destination offers a unique experience that will leave you spellbound. The lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and the refreshing aroma of wet earth create an ethereal ambiance that is hard to resist. Whether you seek tranquility, adventure, or simply a rendezvous with nature, and also the hill stations in Uttarakhand have it all.
As you embark on your journey to witness the magic of monsoons in best hill stations in India, be prepared for occasional showers and carry appropriate rain gear. The off-season crowds allow you to immerse yourself fully in the beauty of these destinations. Remember to respect the local culture and environment, and leave behind only footprints.
Experience the joy of sipping hot tea while gazing at mist-covered hills, taking leisurely walks amidst lush green landscapes, and witnessing the grandeur of waterfalls in full flow. Discover the enchantment of India's monsoon-drenched hill stations, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
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2023.05.30 10:49 WinterSavior One step closer to that AI Art

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2023.05.30 10:19 Rupalithakur120 The Best Time to Witness the Enchanting Beauty of Spiti Valley: Weather and Tourist Season Guide

The Best Time to Witness the Enchanting Beauty of Spiti Valley: Weather and Tourist Season Guide
Are you planning a trip to the mesmerizing Spiti Valley? Look no further! Spiti Valley packages offer the perfect opportunity to explore this hidden gem nestled amidst the rugged mountains of Himachal Pradesh in India. To make the most of your visit, it's crucial to choose the right time when the weather is favorable and the tourist season is in full swing. In this article, we will guide you through the best time to witness the enchanting beauty of Spiti Valley, along with a comprehensive Spiti Weather Guide.
Spiti Valley, with its awe-inspiring landscapes, ancient monasteries, and rich cultural heritage, is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Choosing the right time to visit is essential to ensure a memorable experience. When it comes to exploring the Spiti Valley package, the ideal time is during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-October. This period offers pleasant weather and clear skies, allowing you to witness the stunning beauty of the valley in all its glory.
During the summer season, Spiti Valley comes alive with vibrant colors as the snow melts, revealing lush green meadows, blooming wildflowers, and glistening streams. The roads leading to the valley, which are often inaccessible during winter due to heavy snowfall, open up, allowing visitors to explore its hidden treasures. From picturesque villages like Kaza and Tabo to iconic monasteries such as Key Monastery and Dhankar Gompa, there is no shortage of sights to behold.
The weather during the summer months is comfortable, with daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). However, nights can be chilly, with temperatures dropping to as low as 0°C (32°F). It's advisable to carry warm clothing to stay cozy during the nights. This period is also perfect for adventure enthusiasts, as Spiti Valley offers a plethora of activities like trekking, camping, and mountain biking. Whether you choose an easy trek or a challenging one, the raw beauty of the Himalayas will leave you spellbound. The famous Pin Parvati Pass and the Chandratal Lake trek are popular choices among trekkers visiting Spiti Valley. For thrill-seekers, river rafting in the Spiti River is an exhilarating experience.

As the summer season comes to an end, the weather starts getting colder, and the tourist season begins to wind down. However, if you're looking for a unique experience, you can plan a visit to Spiti Valley during the autumn months of September and October. This period offers a different perspective on the valley, as the landscape transforms into a canvas of vibrant autumn colors. The clear blue skies, combined with the golden hues of the changing leaves, create a magical ambiance that is truly awe-inspiring.
During winter, Spiti Valley is covered in a thick blanket of snow, making it inaccessible for most tourists. The harsh weather conditions and sub-zero temperatures make it challenging to navigate the mountainous terrain. However, if you are an experienced mountaineer or an avid winter sports enthusiast, you can embark on an expedition to Spiti Valley during this time. It's important to note that the facilities and accommodations in the valley may be limited during the winter season, so it's advisable to plan well in advance.
To summarize, the best time to witness the enchanting beauty of Spiti Valley is during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-October. The favorable weather conditions and the opening of roads allow you to explore the valley's treasures to the fullest. Whether you're captivated by the scenic landscapes or intrigued by the cultural heritage, Spiti Valley promises an unforgettable journey. So pack
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2023.05.30 10:13 JoshAsdvgi THE CREATION


A Kato (( Cahto )) Legend

The sandstone rock which formed the sky was old, they say.
It thundered in the east; it thundered in the south; it thundered in the west; it thundered in the north.
"The rock is old, we will fix it," he said.
There were two, Nagaitcho and Thunder.
"We will stretch it above far to the east," one of them said.
They stretched it.
They walked on the sky.
In the south he stood on end a large rock.
In the west he stood on end a large rock.
In the north he stood on end a large, tall rock.
In the east he stood on end a large, tall rock.
He made everything properly.
He made the roads.
He made a road to the north (where the sun travels in summer).
"In the south there will be no trees but only many flowers," he said.
"Where will there be a hole through?" he asked.
At the north he made a hole through.
East he made a large opening for the clouds.
West he made an opening for the fog.
"To the west the clouds shall go," he said.
He made a knife.
He made it for splitting the rocks.
He made the knife very strong.
"How will it be?" he considered.
"You go north; I will go south," he said.
"I have finished already," he said.
"Stretch the rock in the north.
You untie it in the west, I will untie it in the east."
"What will be clouds?" he asked.
"Set fires about here," he told him.
On the upland they burned to make clouds.
Along the creek bottoms they burned to make mist.
"It is good," he said.
He made clouds so the heads of coming people would not ache.
There is another world above where Thunder lives.
"You will live here near by," he told Nagaitcho.
"Put water on the fire, heat some water," he said.
He made a person out of earth.
"Well, I will talk to him," he said.
He made his right leg and his left leg.
He made his right arm and his left arm.
He pulled off some grass and wadded it up.
He put some of it in place for his belly.
He hung up some of it for his stomach.
When he had slapped some of the grass he put it in for his heart.
He used a round piece of clay for his liver.
He put in more clay for his kidneys.
He cut a piece into parts and put it in for his lungs.
He pushed in a reed (for a trachea).
"What sort will blood be?" he enquired.
He pounded up ochre.
"Get water for the ochre," he said.
He laid him down.
He sprinkled him with water.
He made his mouth, his nose, and two eyes.
"How will it be?" he said.
"Make him privates," he said.
He made them.
He took one of the legs, split it, and made woman of it.
Clouds arose in the east.
Fog came up in the west.
"Well, let it rain, let the wind blow," he said.
"Up in the sky there will be none, there will be only gentle winds.
Well, let it rain in the fog," he said.
It rained.
One could not see.
It was hot in the sky.
The sun came up now.
"What will the sun be?" he said.
"Make a fire so it will be hot.
The moon will travel at night."
The moon is cold.
He came down.
"Who, I wonder, can kick open a rock?" he said.
"Who can split a tree?" "Well, I will try," said Nagaitcho.
He couldn't split the tree.
"Who, I wonder, is the strongest?" said Thunder.
didn't break the rock.
"Well, I will try," said Thunder.
Thunder kicked the rock. He kicked it open.
It broke to pieces.
"Go look at the rock," he said.
"He kicked the rock open," one reported.
"Well, I will try a tree," he said.
He kicked the tree open.
The tree split to pieces.
Thunder and Nagaitcho came down.
"Who can stand on the water?
You step on the water," Thunder told Nagaitcho.
"Yes, I will," Nagaitcho said.
He stepped on the water and sank into the ocean.
"I will try," said Thunder. He stepped on the water.
He stood on it with one leg.
"I have finished quickly," he said.
It was evening. It rained. It rained. Every day, every night it rained.
"What will happen? It rains every day," they said.
The fog spread out close to the ground. The clouds were thick.
The people then had no fire. The fire became small.
All the creeks were full. There was water in the valleys.
The water encircled them.
"Well, I have finished," he said. "Yes," Nagaitcho said. "Come, jump up.
You must jump up to another sky," he told him. "I, too, will do that."
"At night when every kind of thing is asleep we will do it," he said.
Every day it rained, every night it rained. All the people slept.
The sky fell. The land was not.
For a very great distance there was no land.
The waters of the oceans came together.
Animals of all kinds drowned.
Where the water went there were no trees.
There was no land.
People became. Seal, sea-lion, and grizzly built a dance-house.
They looked for a place in vain.
At Usal they built it for there the ground was good.
There are many sea-lions there. Whale became a human woman.
That is why women are so fat.
There were no grizzlies. There were no fish.
Blue lizard was thrown into the water and became sucker.
Bull-snake was thrown into the water and became black salmon.
Salamander was thrown into the water and became hook-bill salmon.
Grass- snake was thrown into the water and became steel-head salmon.
Lizard was thrown into the water and became trout.
Trout cried for his net. "My net, my net," he said.
They offered him every kind of thing in vain.
It was "My net" he said when he cried.
They made a net and put him into it. He stopped crying.
They threw the net and trout into the water. He became trout.
"What will grow in the water?" he asked. Seaweeds grew in the water.
Abalones and mussels grew in the water.
Two kinds of kelp grew in the ocean.
Many different kinds grew there.
"What will be salt?" he asked. They tasted many things.
The ocean foam became salt.
The Indians tried their salt.
They will eat their food with it.
They will eat clover with it. It was good salt.
"How will the water of this ocean behave?
What will be in front of it?" he asked.
"The water will rise up in ridges. It will settle back again.
There will be sand. On top of the sand it will glisten," he said.
"Old kelp will float ashore. Old whales will float ashore.
"People will eat fish, big fish," he said. "Sea-lions will come ashore.
They will eat them. They will be good.
Devil-fish, although they are ugly looking, will be good.
The people will eat them. The fish in the ocean will be fat.
They will be good.
"There will be many different kinds in the ocean.
There will be water-panther. There will be stone-fish.
He will catch people. Long-tooth-fish will kill sea-lion.
He will feel around in the water.
"Sea-lion will have no feet. He will have a tail. His teeth will be large.
There will be no trees in the ocean.
The water will be powerful in the ocean," he said.
He placed redwoods and firs along the shore.
At the tail of the earth, at the north, he made them grow.
He placed land in walls along in front of the ocean.
From the north he put down rocks here and there.
Over there the ocean beats against them.
Far to the south he did that.
He stood up pines along the way.
He placed yellow pines.
Far away he placed them.
He placed mountains along in front of the water.
He did not stop putting them up even way to the south.
Redwoods and various pines were growing.
He looked back and saw them growing.
The redwoods had become tall. He placed stones along.
He made small creeks by dragging along his foot.
"Wherever they flow this water will be good," he said.
"They will drink this.
Only the ocean they will not drink."
He made trees spring up.
When he looked behind himself he saw they had grown.
When he came near water-head-place (south) he said to himself,
"It is good that they are growing up."
He made creeks along. "This water they will drink," he said.
That is why all drink, many different kinds of animals.
"Because the water is good, because it is not salt, deer, elk, panther, and fishers will drink of it," he said.
He caused trees to grow up along.
When he looked behind himself he saw they had grown up.
"Birds will drink, squirrels will drink," he said. "Many different kinds will drink.
I am placing good water along the way."
Many redwoods grew up.
He placed water along toward the south. He kicked out springs.
"There will be springs," he said.
"These will belong to the deer," he said of the deer-licks.
He took along a dog. "Drink this water," he told his dog.
He, himself, drank of it.
"All, many different kinds of animals and birds, will drink of it," he said.
Tanbark oaks he made to spring up along the way.
Many kinds, redwoods, firs, and pines he caused to grow.
He placed water along.
He made creeks with his foot.
To make valleys for the streams he placed the land on edge.
The mountains were large. They had grown.
"Let acorns grow," he said.
He looked back at the ocean, and at the trees and rocks he had placed along.
"The water is good, they will drink it," he said.
He placed redwoods, firs, and tanbark oaks along the way.
He stood up land and made the mountains.
"They shall become large," he said of the redwoods.
He went around the earth, dragging his foot to make the streams and placing redwoods, firs, pines, oaks, and chestnut trees.
When he looked back he saw the rocks had become large, and the mountains loomed up. He drank of the water and called it good.
"I have arranged it that rocks shall be around the water," he said.
"Drink," he told his dog. "Many animals will drink this good water."
He placed rocks and banks.
He put along the way small white stones.
He stood up white and black oaks.
Sugar-pines and firs he planted one in a place.
"I will try the water," he said. "Drink, my dog."
The water was good. He dragged along his foot, making creeks.
He placed the rocks along and turned to look at them.
"Drink, my dog," he said. "I, too, will drink.
Grizzlies, all kinds of animals, and human beings will drink the water which I have placed among the rocks."
He stood up the mountains. He placed the trees along, the firs and the oaks.
He caused the pines to grow up. He placed the redwoods one in a place.
He threw salamanders and turtles into the creeks.
"Eels will live in this stream," he said. "Fish will come into it.
Hook-bill and black salmon will run up this creek.
Last of all steel-heads will swim in it.
Crabs, small eels, and day-eels will come up.
"Grizzlies will live in large numbers on this mountain.
On this mountain will be many deer.
The people will eat them.
Because they have no gall they may be eaten raw.
Deer meat will be very sweet. Panthers will be numerous.
There will be many jack-rabbits on this mountain," he said.
He did not like yellow-jackets.
He nearly killed them. He made blue-flies and wasps.
His dog walked along with him.
"There will be much water in this stream," he said.
"This will be a small creek and the fish will run in it.
The fish will be good. There will be many suckers and trout in this stream."
"There will be brush on this mountain," he said.
He made manzanita and white-thorn grow there.
"Here will be a valley. Here will be many deer.
There will be many grizzlies at this place.
Here a mountain will stand.
Many rattlesnakes, bull snakes, and water snakes will be in this place.
Here will be good land. It shall be a valley."
He placed fir trees, yellow-pines, oaks, and redwoods one at a place along the way.
He put down small grizzly bears. "The water will be bad.
It will be black here," he said.
"There will be many owls here, the barking-owl, the screech-owl, and the little owl.
There shall be many blue jays, grouse, and quails.
Here on this mountain will be many wood-rats.
Here shall be many varied robins.
There shall be many woodcocks, yellow-hammers, and sap-suckers.
Here will be many mocking-birds and meadowlarks.
Here will be herons and blackbirds.
There will be many turtle-doves and pigeons.
The kingfishers will catch fish. There will be many buzzards and ravens.
There will be many chicken-hawks. There will be many robins.
On this high mountain there will be many deer," he said.
"Let there be a valley here," he said. "There will be fir trees, some small and some large.
Let the rain fall. Let it snow. Let there be hail. Let the clouds come.
When it rains let the streams increase, let the water be high, let it become muddy.
When the rain stops let the water become good again," he said.
He came back. "Walk behind me, my dog," he said.
"We will look at what has taken place."
Trees had grown. Fish were in the streams.
The rocks had become large. It was good.
He traveled fast. "Come, walk fast, my dog," he said.
The land had become good. The valleys had become broad.
All kinds of trees and plants had sprung up.
Springs had become and the water was flowing.
"Again I will try the water," he said. "You, too, drink." Brush had sprung up.
He traveled fast.
"I have made a good earth, my dog," he said. "Walk fast, my dog."
Acorns were on the trees. The chestnuts were ripe.
The hazelnuts were ripe.
The manzanita berries were getting white.
All sorts of food had become good. The buckeyes were good.
The pepper-nuts were black. The bunch grass was ripe.
The grass-hoppers were growing. The clover was in bloom.
The bear- clover was good. The mountains had grown.
The rocks had grown. All kinds that are eaten had become good.
"We made it good, my dog," he said.
Fish for the people to eat had grown in the streams.
"We have come to south now," he said.
All the different kinds were matured. They started back, he and his dog.
"We will go back," he said. "The mountains have grown up quickly.
The land has become flat. The trout have grown. Good water is flowing.
Walk fast. All things have become good. We have made them good, my dog.
It is warm. The land is good."
The brush had grown. Various things had sprung up.
Grizzlies had increased in numbers. Birds had grown.
The water had become good. The grass was grown.
Many deer for the people to eat walked about.
Many kinds of herbs had grown. Some kinds remained small.
Rattlesnakes had multiplied. Water-snakes had become numerous.
Turtles had come out of the water and increased in numbers.
Various things had grown. The mountains had grown.
The valleys had become.
"Come fast. I will drink water. You, too, drink," he told his dog.
"Now we are getting back, we are close home, my dog.
Look here, the mountains have grown.
The stones have grown. Brush has come up.
All kinds of animals are walking about.
All kinds of things are grown.
"We are about to arrive. We are close home, my dog," he said.
"I am about to get back north," he said to himself. "I am about to get back north.
I am about to get back north.
I am about to get back north," he said to himself.
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2023.05.30 07:53 BurningSnowman000 Old bags

Found these deep in grandparents basement
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2023.05.30 07:38 StatisticianAware776 Today wasn’t bad

Today wasn’t bad
After 3 hours of gaming and declining bad orders finally the last 3 1/2 hours paid off my time 🥹🥹 I maybe lucky to be in a good area where everything is for 1-5 miles away but I had my fun as well 😅😅
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2023.05.30 07:30 Street-Accountant796 Post-Scarsity isn't Post-Suffering 46

Trigger warning: Mentions of abuse
First Previous [Next]()

POV: Milko

I didn't know how Mateo did it. Forgave so easily. I was not that good; not that benevolent.
The way I saw it, the galaxy was a cruel thing tenanted mostly by uncaring inhabitants who willfully caused pain and suffering to other beings, or at least felt no concern for the hurt they dealt or tolerated.
Whenever I thought about my father - the begetter of children he never saw as people but merely expendable commodities - I started to seethe and sulfuric, slender ringlets of smoke drifted menacingly from my nostrils.
It's not like I didn't try to be better, I really did. Those hours trying to get help from him to my mother bleeding to death in front of me spawned a darker me. The hours sitting in my mother's and siblings' blood with the quiet of their deaths screaming in my mind, those hours depleted something vital in me.
I am able to forgive if not forget. I forgave the commander when he intentionally hurt me with the gravity change. I forgave the IASO for her antics in our initial interview. But my sire? I didn't think so. Other Coltavalke? I didn't feel like being a member of that particular gang.
So how is Mateo ok with Ouer, the Eoan teenager?!? Her entire species was guilty of the most horrible acts against sentients and sapients. I understood not blaming the kid but how did he stay in the same room without being overwhelmed with disgust and fury?
Well, Mateo was befriending the monster lookalike and I was there to support him.
We were behind the door of the youth habitation unit belonging to Saša, Ouer's guardian for the moment. An almost breathtakingly handsome, young Deblom male opened the door.
Deblom male: Yes? Who're you here for?
Milko (after shaking his head slightly to clear her thoughts): I'm Milko, a Coltavalke, and this is Mateo, a human. We're here for Ouer.
Deblom male: Who?
Mateo: It's ok, we're on the list of approved visitors.
Deblom: Great for you.
His handsomeness was waning in my eyes. There's no beauty in the galaxy to make up for these manners. Still, I tried again, politely. I tried to keep smoke from escaping but keeping it in was making my eyes water.
Milko: This is Saša's habitation unit, isn't it?
Deblom: Maybe.
Mateo: Is Saša here?
Deblom: Don'tknow.
Or care, it seemed. He was leaning to the doorframe at an increasingly alarming angle. His eyes were half closed in a way he probably thought was sexy but came across as exhausted and dull. Suddenly I saw Ouer in the room behind the obtuse Deblom.
Ouer: Are you here to see me?
At the sudden sound of the low gurgling Eoan nightmare fuel of a voice, the Deblum guy exceeded his maximum lean angle and unceremoniously plonked on the floor. It was very satisfying to see him blinking several times like a confused Huuq.
I held Mateo's hand and we curtly stepped over him to our new friend.
Milko: Good...
Mateo: ...morning,...
Milko: ...Ouer!
Ouer: You came! You actually came! That guy kept telling me you didn't mean it as a promise. He said nobody would think twice betraying the likes of me!
Saša (stepping into the room from some smaller room in the back): Who said that?
It took him about half a human second to find the Deblom guy on the floor wearing an obnoxious smirk. He was lying in a weird pose on the floor, one leg bend up, opening his crotch area in a way that would be obscene if it weren't so utterly ridiculous. Saša sighed.
Mateo: Saša, we came to take Ouer to play in the private shore area. One of our friends is already there. If Ouer wants to come, of course.
Saša: This is just having some good-natured fun together, kids only?
Milko: "Young people", please, not "kids"! Sir.
Saša: Of course. It was just a slip of the tongue.
Mateo: Then yes, sir, just us. If we happen to start discussing some legal stuff, we'll inform everyone. It's not the idea, though.
Saša: Ouer, do you wish to go?
Ouer: Oh, yes, yes, please!
Saša: Use the lift at the end of the corridor. Tierpe, c'mon, let's go discuss this in my office. Up, up, up: other people need to use that threshold. It's not there purely as a background for your pin-up poses!
Mateo: We have a friend, Caleo. Please, be very careful with him. He very nearly died a few days ago. He is aquatic, small, and cute.
Milko: He used to be enslaved, his entire life until now. And his slavers directly caused his condition. He had never seen a bath, not to mention a beach. He wasn't taught anything. He didn't even have a name until Mateo gave him one.
Mateo: We were there when he woke up, and feel very protective towards him. He doesn't know how the real world works.
Milko: He has known no kindness.
Mateo: He has never had anything, not even the basics.
Milko: They didn't give the enslaved children even a glass or a mug to drink from. A bowl on the floor if they were really lucky, mostly just some used water was splashed on the floor for them to lick.
Mateo: I took a bath with him on our spaceship. He - an aquatic child - had never before been immersed in water!
Milko: Sorry to rant on you. It's not like you did anything to him.
Mateo: The injustice of it, the sheer agony these kids endured...
Milko: just gets us very riled up.
Mateo: Partly because of our own trauma and enslavement. Which was not that bad.
Ouer: Not as bad?! You almost died. Your sister did die. You were tortured and eaten for months until you rescued yourself!
Milko: Not to mention the slave work we were forced to do at the space station, Mateo.
Ouer: Aren't you still having physical problems you are here to fix? And the degree of enslavement and torture is not some competition! What one person might not even remember might be extremely traumatic to another. And it doesn't mean they're weaker or anything.
Mateo: Wow, Ouer! That was well put! Race you to the elevator!
Milko: No fair! My legs are short!
Ouer (whisking by Milko): Well I don't have legs at all, just one muscular foot!
Really wouldn't have thought it possible but despite Mateo's head start the legless mollusk won the race. Soon we were at the private shore. It was - of course - an artificial beach with one-third sand and two-thirds water. The HOTCHI-station had several of these as well as other environments to help with rehabilitation after surgeries or hospital stays.
It was perfect for our purposes. Ouer wasn't guilty in any way of the previous attack on the HOTCHI station. But his physical form would trigger horrendous memories in several patients and many of the staff here. We decided public areas were to be avoided, for now.

POV: Ouer

I couldn't believe it. All my life I had been hiding, knowing exposure to others would only bring suffering and death. Our species was hated for good reason and our form was disgusting.
And here I was, on the very station our hated warriors had desecrated in acts more vile than anywhere else. But I was allowed to move around and meet people! And now someone - two someones - wanted to do something incredibly nice to me!
Their friend had never been immersed in water in his life. Mateo and Milko seemed to find this especially condemning since the child was of an aquatic species. Like me.
I didn't know if I should tell them that I hadn't even ever seen enough water to submerge in. I wondered if it would make me look too pitiful.
"Shore." I knew what the word meant. I had seen a low-resolution picture of one. I almost hyperventilated thinking I'd get to see one in real life. It was artificial, I knew that. But most things in space are.
We stepped in the omnidirectional hover-lift. The lift had minimal friction as it hovered magnetically in the shaft. The ride was smooth, as were the transitions from vertical to horizontal.
But the best part was the interior of the lift. Even though the travel only took some minutes there was ample room and an abundance of seating options. This was a hospital and the convalescents were given every opportunity to do things and not just forlornly lie on a bed.
One side was for mammals with seats that conformed to different kinds of people. On the opposing side were perches and nests for avians. That section also had branches and caverns for insectoids.
And the back wall, directly where you looked when you entered, was the section for aquatic and amphibious species. With a push of a button, you could get either freshwater or saline water in different concentrations.
You could get totally underwater, sit in a seat partially underwater, or get water osmotically just by holding onto a bar with a partially permeable membrane. I used the last method. These humans, they think of everything. You could even add small molecules of nutrients of your choice to the solution. It was so refreshing after so long in the relatively dry spaces the Terrans preferred.
In truth, when the elevator ride was over I kinda wishes it had lasted longer. But the siren song of a shore was too enticing to ignore.
The elevator chauffeured us right outside our private shore. The door faded out to let us pass into a corridor. A small cephalopod child was impatiently waiting for us.
They were mostly diaphanous with a blue tint, possibly for sun protection. Some parts of them were darker blue, presumably for more protection against harmful UV and galactic cosmic radiation.
They had no hard external shell or internal bone, three hearts were visible, and their delicate tentacles were curling and uncurling with excitement.
Caleo: Mateo! Milko! Is the shore here? Right here? I feel weird but good weird. Is that normal? Who is that with you? Are they nice? I'm feeling sooo good weird!
Mateo: Slow down a tad, Caleo! Good weird is probably excitement. Excitement is a really good feeling, right?
Caleo: Yes, good, good! Good weird excitement! A good, new word!
Milko: Caleo, this is our new friend Ouer. She is an Eoan, of the good ones. Ouer, this is our friend Caleo. We don't know the species' name, though.
Ouer: Very good and exciting to meet you, Caleo. My parents taught me how to recognize many sapient, aquatic, and amphibian species. You know, not to... accidentally mistake them for a food source. Caleo is an Urtsas. They are masters in camouflage.
Mateo: Wow, thanks, Ouer! Did you hear that, Caleo? Your people are called Urtsas!
Milko: Later, it would be really great if you, Ouer, could tell us what else you know about the Urtsas. We hope to eventually contact Caleo's people, maybe even some relatives.
Mateo: But now, behold the shore!
The large door dissolved into the air and revealed the paradise within.
Warm airflow with tiny drops of salt water caressed me tantalizingly, practically propelling my body toward the shore. I felt directional warmth and light. It looked like the ceiling wasn't there. Instead, it looked like the sky, incredibly high above. And the warmth came from a light yellow ball in the sky. I looked at Mateo, incredibly. He lifted his shoulders for a moment.
Mateo: Our cradle has one white-colored yellow dwarf star. I'm told this is an approximation of how it looks seeing it through Earth's atmosphere. It looks yellow.
Ouer: You're told? You haven't been there?
Mateo: We were six when our detestable uncle decided to kill us slowly by selling us to an Eoan ship as food. The few years with him before that weren't any better. We weren't let outside much, and he had newspapers glued to cover the windows for some obscure reason. I must have seen the Sun, but don't recall.
Milko: I'm not even sure if there are beaches on our planet. The space station we grew up on definitely didn't. This will be our first time experiencing this as well! Let's go!
These two were candid when talking about their frankly horrible past. But they were not wallowing in the wretchedness of it all. They looked towards new, positive experiences with their heads held high. They had their severe trauma. I had seen that myself. They just seemed to grasp whatever positive experiences they encountered with all manipulation extremities. And then share it others.
The floor transitioned into fine sand. There was a rockier part but I wanted to feel the sand under my foot. It was so much finer than the coarse rubble my family had to acquiesce with. Rubble made from ground, non-metallic spaceship salvage.
I reveled in the sublime experience of the smooth sand, the sunshine, and the glorious breeze. Only it was cut short by excited, high-pitched squeals. I turned around at couldn't help but laugh.
Now I knew my form was monstrous. That was the day I found out my laugh was a sound causing instinctual, instantaneous horror in other beings. Had it only been Mateo - whose association with the sound was in all probability horrific. But no. Equal terror had engulfed also Caleo and Milko, who had never heard it before.
Mateo recovered first. He had stepped in front of Milko protectively and was extending a hand to yank Caleo to safety as well. Milko had dropped her head. Something was coming out of her nostrils, something gaseous, burning, and sulfuric. Also, some sort of chitin plates on her back were raised.
Caleo had frozen mid-squeal. Half of his tentacles were pointing up at varying angles, clearly just thrown sand up in the air. A few were digging sand out of his gelatinous body, and the rest had been threading the sand, making him half-sink inside the sand dune.
I couldn't help it. It was all so hilarious. I fell backward into the sand and roared in laughter. As I said, Mateo recovered first.
Mateo: That... that eldritch sound came from you?
Milko: Eldritch?
Mateo: Right. It's a handy word for something otherworldly, eerie, and unnatural that inspires immediate fear.
Milko: A good word working hard to convey a lot of meaning.
Mateo: Quite. Ouer, was that your laughter?
Ouer: Well, yes. Caleo looked so adorably funny, I couldn't help it!
Hardly had I said that when something sandy and sticky with way too many thin tentacles jumped on my unsuspecting and unprepared soft part. It was my turn to squeal shrilly. Except it came out more like a feeble yelp due to the tentacles pressing on my air-breathing organ.
I was stunned for a moment. A good thing I was. The child was obviously not attacking with menace but incredibly with joy. They were laughing in a way that distantly mimicked mine! Seeing that my other two friends' alarm converted into hilarity as well.
The sand was fun but the smell of salt water and the sound of the water moving rhythmically soon became irresistible. When we arrived at the point where the water started we all just looked at it in wonder. It was magical. It was soothing. Peaceful. Awe-inspiring. Home.
In the shallow, the water was turquoise and moved further into the sand and then back again in a gentle, slightly froth-edged movement. The water seemed to sparkle in the light of the sun. I was hypnotized.
Mateo: Those are waves! They're beautiful!
Ouer: Yes, that's the word I was looking for: waves!
Caleo: Ayeeeij!
We turned to look at Caleo who was waddling towards the water. He stopped at a place where the water was only a few centimeters deep.
Caleo: Ooooh, I like this moving water! And I like the water-sand that moves under me! C'mon, you slow people, come try this!
That was all the rest of us needed to join the kid. Mateo had quickly taken off most of his clothes and was wearing short pants. I had to fast intake a large amount of air when I saw the scars on his body.
I would never, ever, in any circumstance belittle anyone's trauma again like I did when we first met. How - just how - had he survived?
He joined Caleo in the shallow water, lifting his legs like a decapod crustacean, trying to bring wet sand up with his toes and throwing water on himself - and Caleo who happened to be near him. Caleo retaliated by sucking water in through their body and then squirting it on Mateo's face in a stream. A war ensued, one with water, wet sand, and laughter as weapons.
I looked at Milko. She stood timidly at the fringe of the water, just letting the very tips of her feet touch the water. She felt my gaze and looked a little embarrassed.
Milko: I don't think our planet has surface water in any meaningful quantities. We have mountains and meadows, valleys and small mountain brooks. And rocky desert galore. I'm also not sure if my form is compatible with floating.
Mateo: Neither is Ouer's. You could always dive and just come back up for short periods to take some air.
Milko: Brother, you don't swim either!
Mateo: No. But I can always stand and walk in shallow water. And I can sit in the water!
And that's when he plopped down to sit. The water splashed everywhere, even on Milko. I got some, too. That's when Milko charged right in front of Mateo, made herself as wide as possible, and splashed him really well when she plopped down to sit.
Mateo cleared the water from his face and laughed. But that was the moment the dragon girl had waited. She lifted and struck the water hard on her long, prehensile, and powerful tail. Mateo got a good spurt of salt water into his open mouth.
By then Milko had sprinted away. Mateo gave chase. But the two were laughing the entire time. It was just play.
I went to the shallow and let the waves wash my lower body. It was almost overwhelming. Caleo approached me and tapped my shell with one thin tentacle.
Caleo: I know. More water than you can understand. I had no words. I couldn't think, just feel.
We stood there together for several minutes, two aquatic beings, pondering things too big for our brains.
Caleo: Wanna go deeper?
Ouer: I'm afraid I go underwater completely and my gills won't work. I have never needed them before.
Caleo: Don't worry. Even if they don't work, you can hold your breath until you get up again.
Ouer: You are very smart.
Caleo: No, I'm dumb. No one says it here, but my owners did. All the time.
Ouer: They weren't your owners, Caleo. They were criminals, kidnappers, and slavers. Slavers of children, which makes them the worst of all slavers.
Caleo: What is kidnapping?
Ouer: Take a person away by force or by lying and not letting them go.
Caleo: They didn't do that. They bought my egg and made me. So I was theirs to do what they liked with.
Mateo: Is that what they said? They were lying to you. They didn't make you, Caleo. Your parents did.
Caleo: But maybe my parents gave ... sold...
Milko: That doesn't matter. Stolen, bought, kidnapped, cheated, found, incubated, whatever. You are a sapient being and sapient beings cannot be owned.
Mateo: Ouer was right: they didn't own you. They were illegally keeping you imprisoned, they hurt you and they forced you to work for them. They are scum.
Caleo: Scum?
Mateo: You know how trash comes to the surface of water? If you have really dirty, trashy, smelly, horrible water, what comes to the surface of that? The most horrible of the horrible? That is scum.
Caleo let out a peal of surprised laughter. We all joined. Then we all went a little deeper into the water. Caleo suddenly disappeared from view to our alarm. But soon I could see them swooshing here and there, propelled by their tentacles. I pointed them to Mateo and Milko.
I approached the deep carefully. The more of my body I got under water the better I felt. The buoyancy of the water made me feel a lot more graceful. A lot less monsterlike.
At some point, I realized I was getting oxygen from the water when my gills were still above it.
Ouer: Mateo and Milko, why am I breathing water without my gills?!
Milko: I read about this. Many beings like you can breathe through your skin. And your gills double as a sort of mouth.
Ouer: Mouth?!? You're not serious!
Mateo: It's true. If you are in a body of water that has food particles, your gills trap those small particles. You are quite remarkable, Ouer!
Ouer: Can you come with me to the deep water? I'm a little apprehensive still...
Mateo; I would love to ... but ... I don't know how to swim...
Ouer: Oh, I'm sorry I asked.
Mateo: It's nothing. I doesn't matter.
Caleo: Ouer! Ouer! Ouer! Come and swim with me!
Mateo: Go on, Ouer! Go have fun!
And fun I had! I started to feel like these people could be trusted. Mainly because they genuinely wanted to give me and Caleo a wonderful day. And they asked no questions or even hinted that I should now reciprocate somehow.
I slept so well after that day. I only wondered if our planet used to be like that. I also wondered if my parents experienced water like that.
And slowly I started to feel some hope for the future. Maybe my people could find a watery home. Live and not only exist.
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2023.05.30 07:22 Blueheat That's some interesting pay, I'll take it!

That's some interesting pay, I'll take it! submitted by Blueheat to uberdrivers [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 07:00 AutoModerator Self-Promo Tuesday! [May 30, 2023]

Hello everyone!

It's Tuesday on StardewValley, which means it's time to promote your artwork, merchandise, streams, or YouTube channels. We allow **one comment per person.**

Just a friendly reminder that self-promo is only permitted in this weekly thread and not as submissions to the sub.
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2023.05.30 06:56 forgot_about_her I romanced my boyfriend with homemade bread, and life feels like a video game.

So when my boyfriend (21m) and I (F19) started hanging out more (predating) I was heading back into a baking phase that had previously let up like three months ago. I wanted to make him something, even though gift giving had never been one of my love languages. So I baked him a loaf of bread... and then another... and then one more for good measure. I had baked this man three rustic loaves of bread, that I gave to him before one of our dates.
When asking him what date made him really feel that he wanted to start a relationship with me, take a guess what date it was? That's right, the date that I had given him three loaves of bread. A coincidence? Maybe. It was a really great date. Honestly made me feel like I wanted to start dating him too, but I like to think the bread had something to do with it too.
I had started playing stardew valley around Christmas time, and I wasn't much of a gamer at the time, honestly, I'm still not, but I really liked the concept of romancing somebody you were interested in with things that you make. So this is when me and my mom started making the joke that I was romancing my soon to be boyfriend just as I was in the video game with Harvey, the meek, and honestly very sweet doctor with an amazing mustache.
So guess what I did? That's right, I baked him more things so I could romance him.
Things like Lemon curd cookies, a vanilla bean cake, chocolate chip scones, an iced lemon loaf, and strawberry cookies with cream cheese frosting. I romanced the absolute living hell out of him with my amateur baking skills.
And it worked, he asked me to be his girlfriend a month or so later. And even though I'm in a relationship with him, I still bake him things almost weekly, and now even his mom looks forward to my baking, and I sometimes make things specifically for her.
Tl;dr: I gave my boyfriend baked goods so he’d fall in love with me. And it worked.
If you want to express interest, or get someone to become interested in you, try making something for them. You could win them over with either the treat, or the gesture:)
submitted by forgot_about_her to happyrelationships [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 05:48 The_Alloquist [A Lord of Death] - Chapter 48

[←Chapter 47] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 49→]
The blade forging left Sorore exhausted, the failure left her frustrated, and the cold gave way to fear as the night drew closer. As day faded into dusk, she reflected on a morning that had been as full of ups and downs as the mountain paths they’d travelled. The very fact that she had been able to use magic, that it had crashed from the realm of fairy tales and church warnings into the very real everyday occurrence was already an earth shattering experience.
Then she’d moved water with a thought, seen monsters fall from the sky, and watched the paladins cleaving them in two. Her head spun with the strangeness of it all, the sheer onset of fanciful things blurring and mixing together with reality. She began to wonder what else might be true, of the fairy tales in the myth she had heard on the seas in her father’s ship. Of the old folk stories of Erratz, often dismissed as nothing more than old wive’s tales.
A new world had opened up before her, and she wasn't sure to be fascinated or terrified of it. Certainly the paladins didn't want any part of it, and they certainly didn't want her to be involved. And from everything she knew of the church scripture, they were absolutely right. She felt the danger, the power of the matter, and knew that it was only a small fraction of what it could do. She even felt a certain degree of fear towards the masked man in the black robes, as respectful as he had been as a tutor.
At least he didn't use a switch to reminder of when she had failed.
But even in the murk of her disquiet in that moment, she also felt a smouldering frustration underlying it. The knife had been hers, her project, her duty, and she had resolutely failed to craft it. Part of her shifted the blame elsewhere - it was a new technique she had picked up over the course of an afternoon. Efrain himself had said as much, even going as far to say that he hadn’t expected her to do it.
Now that was something she didn’t like at all. When people expected her to fail, despite all her efforts.
However, that resolution meant little now, given that she had been excused from the effort. At least now the mage had the basic shape to work on. She let her hand drift on the rough stone walls of the church. Thousands of individual perfections, many thousands of years old, the stone functioning despite it. Perhaps it would be enough, the basic, overall function, but she recalled all the pittances and channels carved in her vision of the knife.
She knew what was driving the doubt. It was curiosity, that sticking bug that clung to her, despite all her prayers to the contrary. She just couldn’t seem to shake it, despite the ‘assistance’ of church teachers when it reared its head particularly high. She had expected the snap across the palms from Efrain when he drew that piece of wood. It had been a relief when he’d tossed it over his shoulder.
The thought was an unworthy one, she immediately considered. She should’ve been grateful to the various priests and scholars who’d spent years teaching the twins. Some had even prepared their entire lives, just on the chance they’d meet the beloved Bequeathed. If they were strict, then so be it, it was for the sake of preparing her and Frare for their duties.
The church was once more a buzz of activity as people prepared for the night ahead. She and Lillian found their way to the altar, attracting only minor glances. The villagers clearly had gotten used to their presence, although some offered a respectful and perhaps wary gaze for Lillian. One of Frare’s eyes opened as they approached, but he quickly returned to his half-rest leaning on a pillar. Aya was still very much asleep, chest gently rising and falling under the furs where Sorore had left her.
Sorore sat on the wide steps, put her chins on her hands, and began to think. It was a rather dangerous proposition, considering her recent failure. She had a tendency to ruminate on them, and often her twin would find her staring plaintively before loudly disrupting it. This time was no different, as before anything but impotent frustration could boil over, he plopped down behind her back.
“Stop that,” he said, “I can hear your teeth beginning to grind.”
She leaned back to lie upon his lap, despite the admonishment she heard in her head about proper sitting position. His eyes were closed again, and she followed suit, letting the minutes wile away as night crept into the word. She was shaken out of this reverie by a loud pop and Aya’s yelp. The girl was both mid yawn and bright red as both the paladins and the twins turned to look at her. She insisted that she was fine, and took to straightening her clothes subconsciously.
It was a mere temporary distraction for Sorore, who was largely engrossed in considering the knife. Rather than merely wallowing in her problems, she was invested in its function. She could almost see the stone parting before her, revealing the source of that smothering cold behind the door. Maybe if she had tried one more time, maybe if she reduced the complexity of the form, then increased when she got the basic shape. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
It was all of very little use. She was inside her head once again, at a complete loss of what to do. Maybe, within the grand archives of Angorrah, the answer was contained in a dusty scroll. Some offhand fact or technique of forging, long forgotten in the darkness of the shelves. But these were several weeks of travel away, and she wasn’t sure that she’d see the next sunrise. So then, what could she do to get them to bridge that gap? Just one more day, that’s all they needed, to hold out until the next sunrise.
Nothing. That was the simple truth of it - she was a lost little girl in a small village surrounded by terrible things. The thought was not a comforting one, and she wriggled, trying to nestle deeper into the legs of her twin. Aya by that point had come to sit down beside them, looking greyer as the dark came on. No wonder, for she knew she all felt the chill roll forward as the fog waxed in the night.
Another meal of common fare came and went, though Sorore noted that many soldiers were taking care with it. Perhaps it was common practice, to relish what very well may be your last meal. For her part she found it rather difficult to keep it down, the coming dread of the hours ahead offsetting her appetite.
The faces of the paladins had settled into that implacable, stoney cast once more. They quietly rebandaged their injuries, readjusted their armour, and set to sharpening their great blades with long deliberate strokes. Sorore idly thought that their sleeping faces were significantly more pleasant, if rarer to see. Thus it was that they crossed over into the late afternoon, where the light was quickly fading.
“I would like to take one last little walk,” Aya spoke up, “before… you know.”
The paladins looked up, their eyes twisting with barely veiled misapprehension at the request.
“My lady…” Lillian began.
“We can’t,” Niche said, “Not now. Not so close to dark.”
“Just barely outside the door,” said Aya, “Just so I can see something other than the church. Just to stretch my legs.”
The paladins looked at each other, looked back, and set their faces.
“Well, I suppose it can be accommodated,” Lillian said, “only just outside the church, and only for a few minutes.”
Her tone warned of dire consequences if these conditions should not be strictly adhered to. The children all collectively nodded and the party of five set out past the doors. The barricades within the church had grown in size and strength, at least as far as Sorore could judge. The villagers, under the supervision of the soldiers, had proven diligent in the daylight hours. She could only hope that it would be enough for the onset of the creatures, should they breach the church.
She had a dread certainty that it would indeed be breached, sooner or later. Though she hadn’t heard of any specifics, whispers of just how many of the things lurked outside were passed around. It was a small stroke of fortune that the windows were narrow and ensconced in stone. The last thing they needed was one of the flying beasts to crash through the glass.
The faint red-pink cast to the grey outside was beginning to fade into blackness as the sun shrank. Occasionally, the banks of fog would strip away, revealing the abominable silhouettes standing still past the wall. They would close just as quickly, removing any clarity, and leaving only the icy fear in its place. The remaining soldiers and villagers watched them with anxiety and exhaustion.
The garden around the front of the church was almost non-existent. Most of the flowers had been trampled either in preparation for or during the course of the battle. The only things left relatively untouched were the central beds around the side of the church, which grew produce for its tenants. Some trees still stood, showing minimal damage from the fog and its creatures.
The five ducked under the boughs of the closest one to the doors. The additional chill brought by its shade was a trifling concern at the present. The green, muted as it was by the overcast sky beyond, was a lively anchor in the cold, dead mists. Such was the comfort of the place that Soroe let herself lean back onto the bark of the tree and eyes drift closed.
The trunk was solid, a comforting sensation that seemed to offset the malevolence of the fog.
Enough so that Sorore began to wander the netherworld of half-sounds and sights that characterised pre-sleep. They all wandered with her, some staying, some peeling off, guided by their own demented logic. Little and less was coherent, but it took her away from the horrible reality of what lurked a few hundred steps away all the same.
She fell deeper into this other-state, letting the visions wash over her as the real world slipped away. Time became a mercurial concept, which led her to question when exactly everything had settled. But settled it had, into a hazy blackness which the eye could not pierce. There, in the distance, a bright ribbon of twisting warm color glowed. A piece of fresh-forged metal perhaps, the day’s task going straight to her head. Or maybe it was the remnants of another dream that day, one that was already a blurry memory.
From a great distance, she heard a crash, unmistakable in its ringing clarity. A forge hammer singing out a song of its own, for now merely a rhythm. It shifted in tone as it rang out through the abyss once more, adding progression, then melody, all written in singing steel. Sorore’s fingers began to drum out the sequence on her thighs as she felt it reverberate through her. Then, with a sliding screech, she was left alone in the half-dream, with nothing but darkness remaining.
Still, the bright memory of the song remained, and in the darkness another voice took shape. It was a deep, rich, and handsome sound, that spoke of a confidence of such immensity that you were convinced its wielder could do anything. Sorore had never heard the likes of it before, either on the docks, or in cities, or on the open waves.
“Come now,” it said, “this little thing is giving you trouble?”
Sorore’s eyes slowly open, pulling her from the dreamscape back into the dreariness of the real. Aya had her knees pulled to her chest, leaning back into the trunk. The paladins, tired but alert, scanned the endlessly shifting banks of fog.
Sorore had a fleeting impression that the answers were just beyond the pale mists. Maybe something would come through, parting it like thin curtains, and impart the inspiration she needed. Or maybe a whole set of schematics will drop into my lap from the sky, she thought with dark irony.
The vision was quickly fading into the abyss of forgetfulness. Perhaps Aya had shared it once more with her, but she was in conversation with the paladins. Not wanting to interrupt, Sorore looked at her outstretched legs. Past them were a handful of leaves that had fallen despite the summer of the valley, with a couple long decomposed to nothing but their skeletons.
She reached out to grasp at the leaves, looking at the yellow-grey veins that raced across its surface. The large ones spread from the central stem and the hundreds of smaller capillaries that interconnected them. Holding up to the sky, she screwed her face, trying to discern the details of this piece of nature. After a few moments of tepid stillness, the clouds parted for just a moment, letting a ray of sunlight lance down to catch their hill in its beam.
For a second, the leaf seemed to glow, shimmering like metal catching glare.
And Sorore had her inspiration.
With that, she sprang to her feat so fast that one of the paladins almost jumped. Both looked around with questioning and slightly alarmed expressions. Sorore didn’t have much of an answer - in fact her mind was going so fast that she could hardly even articulate the solution that had been revealed to her.
“The- the- the-” she said, snapping her fingers, trying to put words to the idea, “I know what to do. I need to find him.”
“Find who? The mage?” asked Lillian.
The fiery certainty of the thought sent Sorore tramping out onto the grass, leading to calls from the paladins to slow down. She didn’t bother to wait for them, consumed by this need to find the mage, the knife, to try again.
The forge was more or less empty, save for the few labourers packing up the tools and ferrying them into the church proper. With a furious set of questions, she gleaned that he’d vacated the premises some time ago. The paladins called for her to stop as she doubled back, but she couldn’, not now.
The scenery seemed to blur as she rushed through the church doors, past the bustling barricades, and to the captain’s tables. A somewhat perturbed Damafelce told the young girl that Efrain had been seen entering the door at the end of the church. With that, Sorore broke out into a run, past the altar, through the door and down into the darkness of the Catacombs.
She stepped out onto the sand floor, the members of her party at her heels as she tried to seek out the path to the black wall. She stumbled more than once as she felt her way along in the darkness, fortunately with no skeletal interruptions this time. Down the stairs and into the long corridor she came, the smothering cold increasing as she pushed forward.
As she had surmised, Efrain was there, just about to start whatever process pried apart the stone. The tip of the blade was raised, pressed into the stone above his head. He turned at the approaching footsteps, cocking his head at the lack of isolation. Sorore didn’t even wait for him to say something, instead thrusting out her head for the crude metal knife.
“ I know- I can- I can do it now,” she said, breathless from the long run from the surface.
Delicately, Efrain removed the metal from the stone, and looked down at her. There seemed to be a questioning quality to the look, at least as far as she could read the emotionless mask. He looked at the cat, then back to the girl, and then to the rest of her party.
“How?” he said, “ If I let you undo this, we may not have enough time to recreate it before the attacks begin.”
“Leaves,” she said, putting a hand on the wall to steady herself as her lungs complained, “it- was the leaves.”
“The… leaves?” he said, “ All right. Stop, take a few breaths, and start from the beginning.”
And so she did, explaining how she sat under the bows of the trees, the half-awake dreaming, and the skeleton of the leaf.
“I got it. I was trying to build the whole thing out myself, all at once,” she said, stumbling over her words, “instead of letting nature do what it wants. The metal wants to come together - I don’t need to force it into its final shape. I just need to build a- a-”
She snapped her fingers at the air, trying to reach past this new blank as Efrain regarded the knife.
“You want to build a frame,” he said, “and let the metal fill in the rest of the empty space.”
After a moment’s hesitation, he turned over the knife, hilt first, to the girl.
“Well then,” he said, “let’s hope you know what you’re doing.”
She did, or at least she hoped she did this time. Within moments, the metal was flowing over her hands like a cold stream, but instead of trying to sculpt it, she began to spin filaments outwards. Like the skeleton of the leaf, little veins of metal stretched outwards, stopping abruptly, and folding back into themselves. If it had been hard before, it was now brutal, the smothering cold dragging at every attempt to shape the material.
Hands trembling, sweat beginning to bead on her forehead, she managed to split the metal into dark fingers. All she had to do was resist gravity and prevent it spilling over the imaginary bounds of the shape. From those dark fingers, snaking vines spread out and connected with each other. Slowly, slowly, branching and arcing, they filled in the skeleton she’d created and fused.
The final product wasn’t altogether too different from what they’d created during the afternoon. The shape, a heavy chisel tip, tapering out to twin furls like a plough, a longer tang. Sorore, half blind by stinging salt, didn’t fail to notice swirling furrows spreading across its surface. She had no idea how she’d managed to etch those designs, or perhaps the metal remembered, just as the stone did.
“Well,” said the mage at last, “suffice to say, I am impressed. Now, hold it up.”
She did so, despite the exhaustion of her arms, the tip wavering as his finger touched its point.
There was a rush of something, extending over the surface of the blade, stopping just short of her hand. It was like a coat of mail had been pulled taught, the links aligning at the same time, snapping together in a regular structure. From the tip of the chisel, down to the tang, the metal shuddered and settled. By the time it disappeared under her grip, it was rigid as any steel tool.
The mage gently took it from her, holding the blade up to that little flickering light above his head. Flicking it this way and that, he seemed to find whatever he was looking for, and pressed the tip to the wall. Sorore, despite her fatigue, was practically exploding with excitement. She’d done it, not only conquering the task, but she was about to see what was behind those dark walls.
Then, before he pressed the blade into the stone and drew it down, he paused.
“Paladins,” he said, voice quiet, “it would be best to take the children back into the church.”
Lillian frowned and put a hand onto her hilt as she stared at the door.
“What?” said Sorore, aghast, “ But I-”
“No buts,” said Efrain, “we don’t know what’s behind this door. It may be dangerous, it may not. But I strongly suspect it’s not something you would want to see. Very well done, little one, but this is something I should deal with on my own.”
The tone of academic authority was not an unfamiliar one to Sorore. But unlike in virtually all other occasions in her life, she attempted to object. Before she could speak more than a few words, Lillian took her by the shoulders, her mind apparently made up. All three of them were carted up the stairs as barely contained rage began to bubble up inside her.
“Do you think we should…?” said Niche, gesturing to the surrounding stone.
“No, not yet,” Lillian said, “putting aside everything else, we still might need him.”
Niche nodded and said no more.
They had made a steady pace, overtaking half the hallway as the scream of metal on stone echoed out. It was followed by a grating rumble as presumably the doors opened. If the temperature below the surface was cold when they came, the resulting drop was freezing. The mist that rose up behind them whispered things in long mournful sighs as the surroundings began to buzz with what must’ve been magic.
Then, from up the stairs there was a long, terrible wail.
[←Chapter 47] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 49→]
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2023.05.30 05:02 Elon_is_musky Had my first UE cancellation today!

Had my first UE cancellation today!
Picked up a Panera Bread order & about 5 mins later it got cancelled. Great luck cause they got a lemon drop cookie that I thought sounded good. Other food was broccoli mac & cheese, a Mediterranean bowl, veggie sandwich, tomato soup, a side of bread, & chips that I ate in the car. Never had Panera before so at least I can try it for free! Out the $8 that it listed for the tip, but for $40 worth of food I call that a fair deal.
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2023.05.30 04:45 InTheSkyCity 5/28/23 (I think they woke the dead.)

“Final, timezone. Time's up, time off. Had it been, final. Turnin' up, tie in all. Heaven all wrecked, ooh. Done had it with this reign, mhm. It was written, so I read. Three stacks on the bed. I think they woke the dead.”
“Think they woke the dead, mhm. They can't keep me on the meds, doctor won't. But they, won't slow down my bread, uh. It's so many less, I think they woke the dead.”
“I think they woke the dead.”
So the shit I was supposed to do yesterday? I decided that it would be better if I did it today instead.
The barbershop I usually go to was full today and tomorrow it was closed, so I decided to return to one I used to go to. It was a Mexican barbershop. I was pretty uncomfortable for some reason. I noticed my legs shaking at times when I was on the chair.
I just have issues with my identity sometimes. I speak Spanish terribly, I don’t really have that accent anymore, and shit I’m not even that connected to my culture. My friends and family have joked about how I’m whitewashed, they’re not wrong, but it hurts. I did a pretty good haircut out of it though, I think I’ll return in the future.
I later went to the grocery store with my brother to get some grub for our viewing of the Succession and Barry finales. I decided to pick up my meds at the same time. I honestly should’ve picked a different location. The Target in downtown would’ve been a better idea since its close to my jobs and my college. I didn’t really thought of that until later on, I should change it.
I want to change it since they didn’t even have my meds ready… My doctor made the order like a week ago, so they had me tucked up. My insurance also had me fucked up by not giving me a bigger amount of my meds, which does worry me. They might think I don’t need it. I’m good for another thirty days, at least.
I then went to my moms place, played with my sis for a bit (she ofc was upset about losing a game, I let her beat me easily though in rock paper scissors), and got to preparing for the finales of Barry and Succession.
I was actually getting a little heated once HBO wasn’t reloading properly. But fuck once the finale of Succession played, it was amazing. Wonderful ending to a show I’ve been keeping up with for years. I never had a show leaving me with suspense like that before, well since I first watched breaking bad anyways. But wow! That was something else.
My brother and I then watched the finale of Barry. I was kinda in the middle about it, especially with the last part. But I thought it was a good ending to the show after thinking about it.
Im starting to run out of TV shows to watch, which is kinda crazy to think about. Im currently watching Boardwalk Empire, I’ll probably check out The Righteous Gemstones afterward. God, I’m addicted to HBO.
I ended up coming home around 10:30 PM. I used the shower head to blast my face and hair to remove the cut hair that my barber didn’t bother to clean off me, but that’s fine I suppose.
Song Of The Day: Kanye West - Wake The Dead
“Just like David said. Grindin' for the bread. Designin' for the blessed, uh. There's so many less, I think they woke the dead. Doctor won't, ah, ooh-yeah, doctor won't. Ooh-yeah. Doctor won't, three stacks on the bed, doctor won't. I think they woke the dead.”
“Final, timezone. Time's up, time off. Had it been, final. There's so many less, I think they woke the dead. Time stopped, my loss. All they wish, my loss. Every stop, that's your loss. It's so many less, I think they woke the dead. Final, time's off. Time's up, time off. Had it been, final. It's so many less, I think they woke the dead.”
One of my favorite scrapped Kanye West songs. It was produced during the Jesus Is King sessions, it was reworked for Donda: With Child, but that never fucking came out. I was so fucking hyped when he tweeted those tracklists around May of 2020, only a few of those songs ended up in the final album lmao.
It actually might’ve been the first that I’ve heard from him when it comes to his leaks. According to Last.Fm, I’ve listened to it 446 times. The most streams I have on a song. I’ve listened to this song for about 15 hours in total. It would help me like when I was in a bad space, I haven’t really listened to much of it during this year, I guess that’s a good thing.
I seriously contemplated making the Song of The Day L to the OG, but maybe it would be better as a bonus.
submitted by InTheSkyCity to u/InTheSkyCity [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 01:21 Birdy_Cephon_Altera After analyzing 2 million tweets for brand sentiment nationwide, the winner for the most beloved consumer brand in Texas is....Pizza Inn? Wait, what?

After analyzing 2 million tweets for brand sentiment nationwide, the winner for the most beloved consumer brand in Texas is....Pizza Inn? Wait, what? submitted by Birdy_Cephon_Altera to texas [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:30 AutoModerator Welcome!

We will be going LIVE on Twitch for Canny Valley Endurance! Please subscribe to our channel if you like our content, and like our videos, and share with your friends.
Twitch - KingKahuna Games
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We are not new to gaming, but we are new to streaming. We are just learning, and always look for how to learn from others.
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2023.05.30 00:08 alex0mac17 [H] $60 Panera Bread [W] 75% Cashapp

$60 egift card for Panera bread
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2023.05.29 23:45 JoshAsdvgi THE CATSKILL WITCH



When the Dutch gave the name of Katzbergs to the mountains west of the Hudson, by reason of the wild-cats and panthers that ranged there, they obliterated the beautiful Indian Ontiora, “mountains of the sky.”
In one tradition of the red men these hills were bones of a monster that fed on human beings until the Great Spirit turned it into stone as it was floundering toward the ocean to bathe.
The two lakes near the summit were its eyes.
These peaks were the home of an Indian witch, who adjusted the weather for the Hudson Valley with the certainty of a signal service bureau.
It was she who let out the day and night in blessed alternation, holding back the one when the other was at large, for fear of conflict.
Old moons she cut into stars as soon as she had hung new ones in the sky, and she was often seen perched on Round Top and North Mountain, spinning clouds and flinging them to the winds.
Woe betide the valley residents if they showed irreverence, for then the clouds were black and heavy, and through them she poured floods of rain and launched the lightnings, causing disastrous freshets in the streams and blasting the wigwams of the mockers.
In a frolic humor she would take the form of a bear or deer and lead the Indian hunters anything but a merry dance, exposing them to tire and peril, and vanishing or assuming some terrible shape when they had overtaken her.
Sometimes she would lead them to the cloves and would leap into the air with a mocking “Ho, ho!” just as they stopped with a shudder at the brink of an abyss.
Garden Rock was a spot where she was often found, and at its foot a lake once spread.
This was held in such awe that an Indian would never wittingly pursue his quarry there; but once a hunter lost his way and emerged from the forest at the edge of the pond.
Seeing a number of gourds in crotches of the trees he took one, but fearing the spirit he turned to leave so quickly that he stumbled and it fell.
As it broke, a spring welled from it in such volume that the unhappy man was gulfed in its waters, swept to the edge of Kaaterskill clove and dashed on the rocks two hundred and sixty feet below.
Nor did the water ever cease to run, and in these times the stream born of the witch's revenge is known as Catskill Creek.
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2023.05.29 23:28 ralo_ramone An Otherworldly Scholar [LitRPG, Isekai] - Chapter 7

As the pack of Black Wolves swarmed the Wendigo, Elincia and I crawled behind the ferns trying to get away from the fight. Part of me knew I was being a burden to Elincia. With her night vision and elvish agility, she could probably break through the circle of Black Wolves.
The fight intensified, the chaotic barking of the wolves was deafening and the screeching cries of the Wendigo filled the valley as it clawed and crushed the lesser monsters in its wake.
Suddenly, a Black Wolf landed in front of us. Elincia's eyes were wide open and her face blanched, devoid of the little color it naturally had. The Black Wolf was wounded, its hind legs broken and its ribs exposed like white knives protruding through its skin. Elincia nocked an arrow but she wasn’t fast enough. The wolf let out a long howl before the arrow landed between its eyes.
Elincia’s eyes reflected pure and distilled terror as the Wendigo leaned over the ferns, just by our side, with its eyes fixed on the corpse of the Black Wolf. For a brief moment, the moon lit up the body of the monster. It was a tall bipedal creature with leathery slate-black skin. Its limbs were long and gnarled, and ended in long brackish claws. Its face was covered by an ivory deer-like skull. The slits in the skull revealed two bloodshot eyes that surveyed the surroundings with ill intent.
The System description said that the Wendigo was once a powerful shaman who got turned into a monster by corrupted mana. A shiver ran down my spine as I wondered what kind of unholy metamorphosis had created such a creature.
The Wendigo waded the fern bed, just above our hideout. I could hear the Wendigo’s heavy breathing above my head. The smell of rot was almost unbearable. Elincia covered her mouth with both hands as the creature’s arm touched the ground a few centimeters from my leg. I changed the weight of my body and tried to fold my leg. A twig broke under my hand.
[Awareness]: You have been spotted.
The Wendigo’s eyes snapped directly to Elincia and before I realized what I was doing, I pulled the trigger, shooting point blank directly into the creature’s head. The muzzle flash lit the forest for an instant and my ears rang. The Wendigo stumbled back, burying its claws on a tree to not fall. The creature clung there as the blood poured from its shattered skull.
“Gottem!” I yelled, thinking the Wendigo was as good as dead.
Elincia grabbed the neck of my jacket and pulled me back through the ferns just as the Wendigo raked its claws in a deadly arc just a few centimeters from my face. The creature screeched in anger.
“How in the flying spaghetti monster is that fucker’s alive?!” I said as Elincia pushed me behind a boulder, out of the Wendigo’s reach.
“I don’t know what spell you just used, but stay put.” The woman yelled but her voice came muffled under the insistent ringing in my ears. Luckily, [Awareness] helped piece together what she had said.
Without waiting for any confirmation she turned around and ran through the forest, putting some distance between herself and the Wendigo. Elincia’s bright emerald eyes shone behind the bushes as she nocked an arrow and pointed at the creature. I noted a surge of mana emerging from the woman's body and the arrow head shone with a silvery gleam. She let go and the arrow whistled with an unnaturally high pitch, burying deep into the wendigo's calf.
Piercing Arrow. [Identify] Basic archery skill that improves the projectile’s piercing capacity.
The Wendigo’s screech rocked my spine and I knew I needed to put an end to the fight quickly. If the creature had enough defense to withstand a point blank shot, it should also have similar offensive capabilities.
Ignoring Elincia’s commands, I peeked over the boulder. The forest was pitch-black and the skeletal figure of the Wendigo blended with the trees.
“Come on, Robert, use your head.”
I hoped Elincia’s night vision didn’t make her eyes too sensitive to bright lights.
Pushing the mana out of my body I conjured a cold blue flame in the palm of my hand that illuminated the forest around me. Shredded corpses of a dozen Black Wolves covered the landscape.
The Wendigo stopped in its tracks and turned its head towards the flame of mana in my hand.
Without hesitation, I raised the muzzle of my shotgun and fired. The spray of metal shredded through the Wendigo’s spidery arm, leaving it hanging from a single tendon. The wound was gruesome but it wasn’t enough to stop it. The Wendigo glared at me and crossed the distance between us in a heartbeat.
With no time to reload, I dropped the shotgun and reached for my knife.
My hand closed around the handle of my knife and set my mana free. A swirl of shining blue particles surrounded me and turned the small knife into a blazing shortsword that lit the forest around me.
[Swordsmanship] injected information directly into my brain. Distance, speed, trajectory. The Wendigo tried to tear me apart but I sidestepped to the right just in time to dodge, then, I hacked diagonally but the mana sword bounced off the Wendigo's healthy arm, leaving only a small scratch.
It was harder than the Elder Black Wolf.
My mana sword was enough to cut the skin of the creature, I only needed more power. I poured even more mana into my knife turning it into a blue beacon in the dark casting the shadows of the forest away. The mana blade grew until it was the length of a two handed sword.
Blood stained the Wendigo’s cracked skull and its wounded arm flailed around lifelessly. It might not be weak to buckshot but it was weak to magic. And I had a lot of magic. The Wendigo followed me with its gleaming red eyes. Its movements were cautious but I didn’t let my guard down. I had to fight defensively. If the monster reached me once, it was over.
Suddenly, an arrow bounced off the Wendigo’s skin. The creature seemed to forget about me because it turned around and bolted towards Elincia. Just as the Black Wolf had attacked me back in the ravine, the Wendigo seemed to prioritize the weaker combatant.
“Run, now!” Elincia yelled at me. She stood her ground, nocking a second arrow and aiming at the three meter tall creature running her way.
“You run!” I replied as I ran behind the Wendigo while [Awareness] fed a stream of information directly into my brain. I couldn’t let it reach Elincia.
There was no time to retrieve and reload my shotgun and no time to experiment with [Mana Manipulation]. I remembered my new skill. [Stun Gaze].
Without even reading the skill’s description, I looked at the Wendigo and activated [Stun Gaze]. The spell hit the creature and bounced back at me. A stabbing pain shot through my eye, and into my brain. I let out a grunt of pain and pressed my free hand against my face.
Skill failed! Wendigo Lv.39 cannot be stunned. [Identify] Your level is too low to perform this action successfully.
[Stun Gaze] seemed to anger the Wendigo because it tried to stop its frantic race towards Elincia, stumbling on its ruined arm and crashing against a tree. I pumped even more mana into my knife and the blade got longer, broader, and heavier. Part of my brain wondered why a mana blade could have weight if the mana itself was weightless, but the wounded screech of the Wendigo silenced my thoughts.
I couldn’t allow fear to paralyze me if I wanted to save Elincia.
[Awareness]: Frightened status, resisted.
I let my mana flow free, further increasing its length until it was hard to wield. Suddenly, I felt as if I had been thrown into an ice-cold pool. A shiver ran down my spine and I knew I couldn’t sustain my technique for long. My mana pool was getting dry.
You have obtained Mana Depletion (Advanced). Temporary
I ignored the system prompt. The Wendigo towered over me and tried to reach me with its sharp claws. I blocked with my mana sword and with a furious strike, I shredded the Wendigo’s claws. The creature staggered back as I waved the sword around like a giant torch on its face.
Another shiver ran down my spine, threatening to lock my joints in place, and I knew I didn’t have much mana left at all.
I used [Stun Gaze] again and braced for the pain. The spell ricocheted back at me and I felt a stabbing sensation in my eye. This time, the Wendigo froze for a millisecond, just enough for my [Swordsmanship] to find an opening. I slashed downward from left to right, putting all my strength in a single attack.
The blade sliced through the Wendigo’s skin, meeting more resistance as it went deeper into the creature’s body until it lodged deep within its chest. Instinctively, I tried to retrieve the sword but it was stuck. I closed my eyes and waited for the Wendigo’s claws to shred my body. But the blow didn’t arrive.
Dark crimson bloom of blood stained the Wendigo's hide, illuminated by the fading light of the mana blade. The Wendigo produced one last weak screech and fell to the ground just as the light of my blade failed.
Level up!
Level up!
Level up!
Level up!
Level up!
You have obtained Mana Depletion (Critical). Temporary
My vision blurred and my legs faltered, the only thing that kept me on foot was the mana sword stuck in the Wendigo’s spine. When my last speck of mana was burned, the blade disappeared and I fell back but before I could hit the ground, Elincia caught me.
“We fucking did it!” Elincia said with a frenzied smile on her face. Then, she wrapped me in a tight hug that pushed all the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t help but notice how strong her arms were.
If I had to guess, she had leveled up a couple of times.
I didn't want the embrace to end but Elincia pushed me back and helped me sit on the forest bed. The moonlight shone a hole in the canopy, casting silver sparkles on her hair. She smiled enthusiastically and patted my back with a little too much strength.
“I swear I thought we were dead, but then you raised the metal thingy and bam! One arm less! You were pretty cool out there.” Elincia beamed. Her chest went up and down at an alarming rate and she had to take a moment to calm down. “I think I’m still a little deaf.” She added with a smile from ear to ear.
Leveling up was a hell of a drug.
“Praise me more.” I rasped as I let out a weak laugh. Both my body and my mana pool felt like a piñata at a children’s party.
Elincia’s expression suddenly became serious and a shadow of embarrassment flirted with her face. “Thanks for not ditching me back there, and I’m sorry if I was too harsh with you. You are a good man, Robert Clarke.”
I didn't know how to answer. It had been quite a while since I had received a compliment and my brain was too tired after being overfed by [Awareness]. I mumbled something unintelligible. Not even [Master of Languages] could help me to find the right words, however, I didn’t have to search more because a sudden prompt slapped my field of vision.
New title acquired!
Hot for Teacher. [Identify] Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad, I’m hot for teacher.
“I’m not a pathetic dude who falls for the first girl that talks nice to me…” I stuttered as my consciousness slowly slipped away. The edges of my sight slowly blurred.
You have obtained Denial Lv.1. Temporary.
“Oh, fuck off.”
Elincia’s worried face floated in front of me. “Rob? Are you okay? If you talk in your weird language I can’t understand.” She said with a hint of panic in her voice.
It might come off as judgmental and foolish, but I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It seemed too frivolous to me. No matter how cute, funny, and caring Elincia was, there was no way I was falling for her. And there was the fact she had a kid and, probably, a husband.
You have obtained Denial Lv.2. Temporary.
I wanted to fight back, fight against the idea I was falling in love, but my mouth couldn’t move anymore. The world around me darkened and my body became too heavy to sit straight. Elincia tried to keep me awake, first softly hitting my cheeks then shaking my shoulders. I tried to growl but no sound came through my lips.
“Rob? Rob? Don’t close your eyes, Rob.” Elincia said.
But I was so tired.
Elincia frantically searched her pouch for a small vial of translucent liquid. She pulled the cork and smelled the contents. Whatever scent she was looking for, it seemed to make the grade. Elincia opened my mouth and poured a drop beneath my tongue. I felt the effects of the potion spreading through my body, filling the hole inside my mana pool if only a little bit.
The last thing I heard before losing consciousness was Elincia’s concerned voice.
* * * * * *
I woke up with the first rays of sunlight next to the remains of a campfire. More specifically, my [Awareness] skill awakened me with a stream of information filling my brain. The sound of the birds, the position of the sun, my bodily condition. I ignored it all. I felt drained. If a creature wanted to eat me I couldn’t do much to defend myself.
No. I had made the decision to stay in this world, now I had to face the consequences of my actions. Begrudgingly I opened my eyes just to find Elincia sitting on the other side of the campfire, by her side there was my shotgun and my knife.
“Morning.” I greeted, stiffly sitting up and taking a long sip from my water bottle.
“Morning, hero.” She greeted me with one of her mischievous smiles. However, this time I noted a hint of mistrust in her voice.
“Something happened?” I cautiously asked. After receiving that silly title from the System I had dropped like a sack of potatoes. I glanced at Elincia, searching for answers, and I couldn’t help but notice both my weapons were on her side of the campfire.
“Look, I’m not accusing you of lying or anything, but you are not a Scholar.” Elincia said with a conflicted tone. “After what you did to the Wendigo last night I know you have a fairly high level. What are you really? A Runeblade? A Spellblade?”
“What do you mean?” I asked cautiously.
Elincia’s bow rested on her lap.
“Killing a Wendigo isn’t a feat a low level Scholar could achieve, I’m not that dumb. So tell me what those skills were.” Elincia replied pointing at my weapons. “Your explosive spell pierced through the Wendigo’s skin but Scholars can’t learn Elemental magic. Much less such powerful spells. Same goes for your [Mana Blade]. That’s a Spellblade skill, not a Scholar skill.”
I stretched my back and drank another sip from my water bottle while [Awareness] filled my brain with information. Elincia’s accusations revealed that she couldn’t peek into my status screen. It was a relief to know the System had some sort of privacy settings in place considering my last title, but privacy also made things more difficult.
“The artifact you have next to you is called a shotgun. It is a non-magical item that shoots high speed metal pellets created by a… Tinkerer.” I explained but Elincias facial gesture still showed doubts. “You probably tried to use it but it doesn’t have ammo in it. You can’t shoot a bow without an arrow nor can you shoot a shotgun without one of these.” I added pulling one of the remaining two shells from my pocket.
“Explain.” She said.
Next, I proceeded to explain how to operate the shotgun. Elincia opened the barrels and I explained how the explosive powder sent the pellets through the barrel at ridiculously high speeds.
“I’m not going to perform a demonstration because I only have two shells left. Without ammo, a shotgun is as good as a club.” I said as Elincia tried the mechanism without a shell inside the chamber. Bow and arrow safety might be similar to trigger discipline because Elincia kept the muzzle away from any of us and only put the finger on the trigger when she was going to shoot.
“What about the [Mana Blade]? There is no way your knife is a magic item, no matter how much mana I poured into it I couldn’t make it work.” Elincia continued with the interrogation.
“What do you mean? That was [Mana Manipulation].” I replied, summoning a small mana knife in the palm of my hand with the leftover magic power I had. Elincia’s mouth gaped.
“You are mana depleted! You are not supposed to be able to do that!” The half-elf woman jumped on her feet. “You can’t materialize a magic blade without the proper skill!”
I shrugged my shoulders and shaped a second mana knife.
I already suspected that my mana pool was something out of the ordinary and now I knew to what degree. The amount of mana I had was probably thanks to the System. The thought of telling her about my world crossed my mind. A world without magic, without classes, and without skills. A world where one had to practice for years and years to become minimally proficient at any task. I wanted to tell Elincia about the marvels of the modern world but I feared she took it as the words of a madman.
People who claimed to have traveled to other dimensions were deemed crazy back on Earth. In these lands it couldn't be much different. For Elincia, a systemless world might sound like a thing from fantasy.
In another situation I would’ve dismissed the allegations calling them baseless, however, deep down I wanted Elincia to believe in me. I scratched my chin, deep in thought. Actually, there was something I could try that might prove that I was a Scholar.
I used [Identify] on her.
Name: Elincia Rosebud, Half-Elf (Light-Footed, Night Vision).
Class: Alchemist Lv.26
Titles: Governess, Wild Child, Bad Reputation, Loner, Copper Alchemist, Favorite Teacher (5).
Passive: Archery Lv.3, Tracking Lv.5, Farsight Lv.1, Foraging Lv.5, Purify Water.
Skills: Potion Crafting Lv.3, True Shot Lv.1, Piercing Shot Lv.1.
Elincia’s potion pouch hit my face before I could react, breaking the skill contact and vanishing her character sheet.
“Hey! Are you identifying me?” She said in an unusually high pitch.
The half-elf cheeks were fiery red, contrasting with her usual paleness. While her hand searched for another projectile to throw in my direction, I pondered about my findings. Elincia’s skills and passives were fairly low level compared to her class level. It was possible both numbers were independent from each other. Class level might rise by gaining experience from monsters while passives and skills might grow by mastering said skills.
A twig hit my forehead, crashing my train of thought. At least I had discovered the etiquette regarding identifying other people. Despite the fact I would’ve died of shame if someone saw my titles, I tried to identify Elincia one more time as vengeance for the twig.
“Okay, okay, okay! You are a Scholar, I believe you! I’ll fulfill my part of the bargain. I’ll take you to Farcrest.” Elincia said, trying to regain some composure. She was still red as a beet. “But that doesn’t mean I completely trust you, hero.”
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Discord Royal Road
submitted by ralo_ramone to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 22:51 thebookofleviathan Panera Bread Doodle

Panera Bread Doodle submitted by thebookofleviathan to doodles [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:53 SilenceInTheSnow BMR/TDEE and Weight Loss Help

This post is going to contain a lot of technical detail, so if there is anyone willing to read through and give me some advice/knowledge, I would greatly appreciate it.
I am currently on a pretty hefty weight loss journey, having started at 315 pounds in October 2022 and I have currently lost roughly 75 pounds (fluctuating between 240 and 242 over the last few days). I changed my diet, my mental eating habits (portion control/eating times/etc..) and have been doing a pretty heavy workout routine since January, which I'll lay out below along with my rough daily caloric intake.
I'm struggling to understand BMR, TDEE and how it lines up with pounds lost. Now, I also realize that losing 75 pounds in 7 months is fairly extreme (to my understanding), but the way I understand BMR and TDEE is that BMR is the bare minimum calories your body needs to operate based off weight/BMI/etc. Based on my Samsung Watch 5 health ready and my BT Scale that reads BMI and body fat, my BMR is between 2095 and 2121 (2095 from Samsung Health and 2121 from the scale).
My understanding of TDEE is it is the minimum calories required taking daily exertion in to account. Given that I work out 7 days a week (mostly cardio, 3-4 days of muscle work) I calculated TDEE based off both moderate (x1.55) and heavy (x1.725) to get 3287/3658 respectively.
My workout routine is as followed: Daily workout (5 rest days since January 2nd, and one of those still contained a couple long walks (2+ miles) and over 13000 steps for the day.) With 50-60 minutes of high intensity treadmill (15 incline, 3.8-4.0 mph) with estimated calorie burn (based off PF treadmill reading) of 1100-1200 calories (the treadmill only goes up to 999, so.. estimating). 3-4 days a week, I do 3 100 rep sets on the ab machine, alternating sets between 40-60 pounds (1st set 40 pounds, 2nd set 50, 3rd set 60). I also average roughly 16000 steps/day.
My current diet (I have been sticking to eating the same thing as often as possible because, while boring, it helps me keep track of calories easier and keep on track better because I have it planned): Breakfast (roughly 8am): Kitchen Cravings Chef Salad (140 calories) Hidden Valley Ranch packet (180 calories) Croutons (estimated 40 cal.. not listed) 3 pieces of string cheese (240 calories total) Total: Approximately 600 calories
Dinner (roughly 6pm): Ham sandwich 4 slices Krakus brand polish deli ham (300 cal) 2 slices Kitchen Cravings Italian bread (160 cal) Knife of Miracle Whip (overest. 80 cal) 2 pieces Renards String Cheese (170 cal) Total: 710 cal
2 cans of Monster Ultra Violet: 20 cal
Rest of liquid intake is water.
Occassional snacking: Approximately 200-400 cal
Average daily intake: 1730.
Men's Multivitamin and B12 vitamin every morning.
So if my understanding and estimating is correct, I should lose roughly a pound every other day.
Can someone with a bit more knowledge tell me if I am understanding this all correctly? And the eating is not a permanent, just currently using it as I work towards my 200 pound goal weight. After that, it will change to a more "maintaining" and muscle building caloric intake, aiming more towards my expected 3200-3600 need.
Thank you again for anyone that can help educate me.
Edited to add stats: Male, 35, 6'1". SW: 315 pounds. GW: 200 pounds (between 200-220 after beginning muscle work). Occupational activity: Mostly stationary. Roughly 5000-7000 steps per shift, moderate and occasional lifting between 40-100 pounds, non-repetitive.
submitted by SilenceInTheSnow to WeightLossAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:15 Busy_Attention_4828 Trouble launching ridgeside

Trouble launching ridgeside
Im getting this when I try to launch. The cut scene at the bus stop won’t start but I have the new recipes and items to be shipped in the collection tab. Any help would be super appreciated as I’ve never played with RDV. Or a link to the discord sever, the only link I found doesn’t work haha
submitted by Busy_Attention_4828 to RidgesideVillage [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:02 Busy_Attention_4828 Any experienced modders know what this means (never had it before)

Any experienced modders know what this means (never had it before) submitted by Busy_Attention_4828 to StardewValleyExpanded [link] [comments]