Best blades and sorcery nomad mods
2021.11.01 04:05 coltonhouse_95 BladesAndSorceryNomad
2018.07.30 22:33 404_GravitasNotFound Blade & Sorcery
Official subreddit for the VR game "Blade & Sorcery", a physics based combat sandbox developed by KospY and the Warpfrog team. The game is currently Early Access with a full release ballpark of Q4 2023.
2022.06.27 20:21 theflyingbaron Blade & Sorcery: Nomad
Official subreddit for the VR game "Blade & Sorcery: Nomad", physics based combat sandbox developed by KospY and the Warpfrog team. Nomad is a standalone sister-title to the PCVR game Blade & Sorcery. Although technically released, Nomad is still benefitting from receiving game content updates similar to the EA PCVR Early title.
2023.05.30 07:02 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Chapter 189 - Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure
Cover Art! Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.
Abused by her parents, thirteen-year-old Frances only wants to be safe and for her life not to hurt so much. And when she and her class are transported to the magical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the self-titled Demon King, Frances is presented with a golden opportunity. If she succeeds, Frances will have the home she never had. If she fails, Frances will be summoned back to the home she escaped.
Yet, despite her newfound magic and friends, Frances finds that trauma is not so easily lost. She is dogged by her abuse and its physical and invisible scars. Not only does she have to learn magic, she has to survive the nightmares of her past, and wrestle with her feelings of doubt and self-loathing.
If she can heal from her trauma, though, she might be able to defeat the Demon King and maybe, just maybe, she can find a home for herself. Teaser: The Traditionalists last stand...
] [<=Chapter 188
] [Chapter Index and Blurb
] [Chapter 189 on June 5 or now on patreon
] The Fractured Song Index Discord Channel
Just let me know when you arrive in the server that you’re a Patreon so you can access your special channel. The first sign that something wasn’t quite the same about the Greenway was when Frances, Timur and their company spotted horsemen in the far distance. They would have assumed this was Thorgoth’s scouts, but these horsemen retreated toward the Greenway and entered into the broken fortifications.
So the group entered into the Greenway fully armored and armed, ready for a fight. They rode into the underground highway, travelled for a full second day and saw nothing the matter.
Then they entered Kairon Aoun.
The ancient goblin city of Kairon Aoun had been built as a defensive city facing north. As such, the city in the great cavern it was carved out of was stepped into four tiers. To access each of the levels, the attacker would have to fight their way up a ramp that ran up the side of the rammed-earth foundation of each tier.
Every tier’s edge was also faced with a brick curtain wall with machicolations built into the ramparts. This was so that stones and other objects could be dropped, wherein they would fall down the steeply stoped sides and slam into the attackers. Many of these ramparts had fallen into disrepair when Morgan, Hattie and Frances had last passed through here.
Except, the moment Frances and her company rode through the Greenway and into the city, they could see it was alive with activity. New ramparts were being built atop of the old. In the distance, they could see old houses had been demolished and cannon batteries had been set up. Holes in the walls were being patched.
“What’s even lighting this whole thing?” Tara whispered.
Morgan pointed at the ceiling. “The ventilation shafts provide some light. I’m not sure how they ended up lighting the entire place up, though.”
“Combination of mirrors through said shafts and a goodly amount of torches,” said Timur. He glanced at Frances. “Did you know about this?”
“No I did not, let’s hope they recognize us as friendly. Colonel Tara, we’ll take the lead,” said Frances, touching her heels to her horse.
The gatehouse on the lowest level, which was protected by a low, thick wall, now swung open and a wing of cavalry rode out, Erisdalian and Lightning Battalion standards flying high.
Timur immediately recognized the troll that lead the group. “Aloudin! It’s me! We’re back!”
Captain Aloudin, eyes wide, broke his horse into a gallop. Riding ahead of the cavalry, he only stopped so that he could slap his hand into Timur’s. “Your Highness, it is good to see you. Though, you really ought not to take such risks! Who are these new arrivals?”
The prince chuckled, squeezing his friend’s hand tightly. “One of those rumored orphan brigades who decided to defect.” Timur gestured behind him. “This is Colonel Tara, who risked her life along with her troops to help us escape.”
Riding up, Tara unsheathed her saber, which she presented it to Aloudin, only for the troll to gently push it back to her.
“There’s no need for that, Colonel. We do things quite differently around here.”
Tara sighed, returning her blade to her scabbard. “I’m beginning to see that. Makes me wonder why I didn’t try to leave earlier.”
“The first step is always the hardest,” said Frances. She shook Aloudin’s hand as well. “What’s going on here, Aloudin? I know our long term goal was to fortify Kairon-Aoun, but we hadn’t the manpower to spare.”
The captain pursed his lips before they twisted into something between a grimace and a smirk. “We got some important news and new orders. I’ll show you. Follow me.”
One thing that Ayax and Elizabeth hadn’t accounted for when they ran up into the attic was the lack of a water source, and any way to dispose of waste.
So by the next day of their hiding, the trio stuck in the attack were wearing cloth masks, thirsty as hell, and hoping the odor wasn’t going to alert anybody.
“This shit stinks,” Leila growled.
Elizabeth touched a hand to Leila’s cheek. The girl’s color had returned and after some very reluctant healing by Ayax, she was now able to sit up. “You’re right, but I think you’re much better now.”
“I feel better.” Leila staggered to her feet, pushing the covers off of her. “Does Janize know you found me?”
Ayax snorted. “We told her while you were napping. She’s pissed.” The troll walked over. “Do you think you’re ready to move?”
“I take it you’ve come up with something?” Leila asked.
Elizabeth pursed her lips. “Yes. You need to convince Janice we need to launch the attack now.”
“Excuse me what? Are you insane? We haven’t—” Leila rubbed her sweat-matted hair with her bandaged hands. “Wait, how long have I been captured?’
“ A week. You were out for one of those days,” said Ayax.
“Then you’re right. Darius will have to make a move now that he knows I’ve disappeared. Wait, Janize doesn’t—Of course she doens’t. She’s cautious by nature. Get her on the mirror right now!”
“You could use please,” said Elizabeth, handing Leila her mirror.
“Janize, there’s no time. You need to barricade yourself in a safe place with as many guards as possible, perhaps the throneroom and get the attack started by tonight.”
Frowning, the queen’s eyes narrowed as she stared at the mirror with a mixture of confusion. “Love, we haven’t finished preparing—”
“There’s no time! Darius and Scarlet know I’ve been rescued. They’ll attack as soon as they get everything in order because they know you can move to arrest them!” Leila put her hands up to the mirror. “Love, they’ll stop at nothing until you’re dead.”
Janize’s eyes widened and she whispered, “What did they—”
“It doesn’t matter, Janize. Please, you need to issue the orders now!”
The queen exhaled slowly. “Alright. Ayax, Elizabeth, are your forces in place?”
Elizabeth, relaxing a little, smiled. “Martin and Ginger found a way to get to the Water Tower and to deploy reinforcements into the palace. We still need your troops to ensure the Water Tower’s guns are silent and for the main gates of the citadel to be opened to us.”
“It will be done. How are you getting out of Darius’s mansion?” Janize asked.
“When the attack takes place we’ll break out and support the attack,” said Ayax, arms crossed.
Janize pursed her lips. “Then we are going for tonight?”
The three exchanged a glance and all nodded.
“Go for tonight,” said Elizabeth. “Good hunting.”
“Good hunting.” Janize leaned forward, peering intently through the mirror. “Leila, stay alive. No matter what they did to you, you’re still mine you hear me? I still want you by my side.”
Leila blinked. She blinked again furiously and pressed her bandaged hands to her eyes. “I…Janize, thank you.”
Janize smiled. “I love you, dear. See you soon.”
Ayax had turned from the exchange. When the mirror was shut off, she let out a long, shuddering exhale.
“You are terribly lucky to have her,” she said.
Standing up, Elizabeth took Ayax’s elbow, squeezing it gently. The troll placed a hand around Elizabeth’s side, hugging her tightly.
Leila could only bow her head. “I know.”
“Because I probably would have killed you if it weren’t for her,” hissed the troll. She swallowed. “And not because of our agreement.”
The Otherworlder looked up. “Why then?”
Biting her lip Ayax stammered, “I couldn’t kill someone who doesn’t want to hurt me when they have a loved one. There’s no…no justice in that.”
With that, Ayax walked to the corner of the attack. Elizabeth gave Leila a look. “When you’re ready, we ought to call George and the Otherworlders, give them a heads up and communicate our plans.” Elizabeth then ran after Ayax, interweaving her fingers with the troll. They left Leila standing in her corner, in her own thoughts.
Half-choking, her hate-filled grunts punctuated by hacking coughs, Jessica followed Ginger down the sewer.
“I hate you. I hate you so fucking much!” she hissed.
Half-gagging herself from the smell, Ginger glanced over her shoulder and shrugged. “Hey, I just suggested it to you. You wanted to help rescue Leila.”
Two middle-fingers was Jessica’s response along with a chuckle from the Erisdalians that were part of Jessica’s unit and new band of comrades.
Ginger joined them in their chuckling. She knew she could rely on Jessica and the rest of her group. Besides, their attack was going to be much easier than what her fiance was going to be doing up high.
Taking cover behind a slightly holed house, Martin examined the area in front of the citadel.
The Lightning Battalion’s batteries had been keeping up a very long barrage. Mortars and long cannon had pounded the makeshift defense line of houses on Castle Way. After hours of bombardment, they’d breached the line.
The result was flat, rubble-covered broken ground that led up to the moat in front of the citadel and main palace within. They had no hope of knocking down every house. Houses still stood on the flanks of the Citadel, covering the road that led up to the castle’s side gate. There were also a number of houses standing on the main approach, though, this actually was better for their plans. The remaining stone foundations of the houses and charred remains in the gap would be able to cover the advance.
The bigger problem was the walls in front of them were mostly intact and the gatehouse’s drawbridge was up. Their mages could cast smoke or illusion spells to screen their approach, but that would do no good if the drawbridge was still up and the gatehouse in enemy hands.
Martin breathed in and out slowly. No, they were entirely reliant on Janize keeping up her end of the bargain.
Sitting in the throne room, Janize steepled her fingers, eyes focused on the steps to the dais.
Was her decision correct? Was she making the right choice? Had she considered everything?
Those thoughts ran in her head as she studied the carpet. The sounds of her guards and knights preparing the throne room and ensuring the main entrance was secured echoed in her ear. Yet she did her best to ignore them.
If she went through with this, she knew she’d never sit on Erisdale’s throne again. Her brother would be the last to sit on the throne and then it would be House of Conthwaite, the house of a knight and later, his offspring with a common soldier.
How had it come to this? Why had she put herself here?
The image of a fierce Otherworlder came to mind, along with the litany of decisions she’d made. Siding with Darius, rejecting the Alavari as monsters, falling in love and then realizing where she’d gone wrong. The news of the dragons in Thorgoth’s employ.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad. Maybe there was still hope. At the very least, she still had Leila.
The Otherworlder, George marched up to the dais and bowed. “Your Majesty, we’re ready to open the gates. The Water Tower’s received their orders.”
Janize sighed. “To think that there was a route to the citadel through the sewers.”
George chuckled. “At least we’re making them suffer for it.”
The queen pursed her lips. “Tell me, George. You fought against Ayax and Elizabeth at Lehrbach. You sided against them. All the Otherworlders here sided against them. Why are you willing to fight alongside them once again?”
The teen—no, young man looked away, towards the windows that lit the hall.
“I think after a year of fighting with Darius in earnest, we all realized we’d made a mistake. We’re not from your world, but we learnt enough in our own that this… what Darius was doing is wrong and no different from the worst villains from our world. We weren’t fighting Alavari, we were fighting other humans. We just…didn’t know what to do about it. So when you and Leila told us about the plan, and that we would have a chance to actually fight Thorgoth, to protect people from a world ending threat, we all jumped on it.”
Janize snorted. “You’re going to have a heck of a time convincing the other Otherworlders.”
George sighed. “We all know that, but hey, they are going to need us. I mean we are going to be fighting literal dragons.”
“That is true.” Janize closed her eyes and nodded. “Carry it out, George. Get those gates open and signal the Water Tower.”
George saluted. “Yes, Your Majesty. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.”
Through her spyglass, wrapped warmly in her bright orange cloak, the Erlenbergian mage, Ophelia Voidsailor watched the coast with her spyglass.
Despite the years Erlenberg had fought Alavaria along the northern front, and through all the naval battles on the eastern coast, Ophelia still wore orange. It’d become her calling card of sorts and she knew it gave the crew of her ship comfort to see her strut around. Honestly, she was getting a little tired of the color, but she liked the attention more.
Beside her, looking through his own spyglass, the one-eyed Eustace Windwhistler glanced at the sky. “It’s about time,” said Edana’s brother.
“I know—I see it!” Ophelia exclaimed. Before her eyes, the Water Tower, the main obstacle to the Erlenbergian fleets advance, had lowered the red banner of the traditionalist. A blue banner was being run up and more blue flares were being fired into the sky by some mage.
Eustace looked through his spyglass and nodded. “Signal to the fleet! Follow my lead. We are attacking!”
Flags ran up and down on the galloen Stormcaller, which had been named as such much to her namesake’s consternation and embarrassment. Behind Eustace and Ophelia’s warship, the long lineof Erlenbergian ships of the line ran flags up and down in acknowledgement. The entire line then followed the Stormcaller as it swung starboard toward the bay.
Underneath the Water Tower, Ginger found a ladder had been dropped into the sewer. Gingerly taking the rungs, she climbed up and was helped up by several red-uniformed harbour guardsmen. A petite woman with a musket slung over her shoulder handed Ginger a clean rag.
“Wow you stink, but I’m glad to see you. Captain Belinda of the Harbour Guard.”
“Ginger, yes, that Ginger. Are Darius’s troops reacting?”
“They are indeed. Several regiments have filed out of the Citadel and are making their way here as we speak. How many have you brought?” Belinda asked.
“A whole regiment of crack musketeers are behind me to help you secure the tower. The Erlenbergian fleet is landing marines. We’ll be fine, I’m just worried about the main assault,” said Ginger. She wiped her face and hands. “Show me the battlements. I’ll get my soldiers set up along with yours.”
“This way,” said Belinda, guiding Ginger out.
Ayax and Elizabeth silently crept down the drop-down attic stairs. Behind them, carrying a spare wand, Leila limped as quietly as she could. They could hear shouting in the mansion and the scurrying of people on the lower floors.
The trio paused to quickly grab a drink of water from a nearby pitcher left by the servants for any houseguests, before continuing on. From what they could tell, someone was having a heated discussion in the foye.
As they got closer to the staircase, they soon could figure out who.
“Janize is making her move and the Lightning Battalion must be close behind. The Erlenbergian fleet is moving in and the Water Tower is not firing on them.”
“There’s no need to panic—” “Scarlet, your fucking plan has accelerated Janize and the Lightning Battalion’s timetable! We’re fucked. We’re all probably dead.”
There was a sharp intake of breath. The three heard Scarlet growl, “Alright, I was…overly optimistic that the Lightning Battalion and Janize would split due to that report, but we only need to secure Janize and the Citadel and our position will still be quite strong.”
“I disagree, but Janize won’t have long. My troops led by Vulpina are converging on the throne room as we speak. Otherworlders or not, she can’t hold for long.” Darius chuckled dryly. “We might all die in the attempt to oust her, and hell she may be killed, but we won’t let her have the last laugh.”
Ayax turned to the two humans with her. “Liz, Leila, go. I’ll try to pin them down here.”
Elizabeth blinked. “Wait, but Ayax—”
“Liz, if we lose Janize, we’ll lose the civil war. You got to go.”
Elizabeth briefly closed her eyes and nodded. Grabbing onto Ayax, she drew her troll close to her and into a brief, fierce kiss. “Come back to me, alright?”
Ayax managed a smirk. “Always.”
Elizabeth turned to Leila. “Let’s go—what are you—” The Otherworlder had knelt on the ground her head bowed.
“Ayax, I’m sorry. I promise you can do whatever you want to me after you save Janize, but please, let me save her first,” said Leila, she lowered her head, but Ayax quickly grabbed her by the shirt and yanked her up. It was easy as the girl was still very light.
“This is not the time. I accept your promise, but we’ll talk later. Now go!” Ayax hissed.
Nodding, Elizabeth grabbed Leila and the pair took off in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, Ayax took a deep breath and walked up toward the balcony overlooking the foye.
Darius was pacing, whilst Scarlet was biting her finger, one hand gripped tightly around her staff.
“What if they breach the gatehouse?” Scarlet asked.
“There’s no way that force assembling outside can breach the gatehouse. They’ll need—”
“Earl Darius, Master Scarlet, I have waited a long time for this moment.” Ayax leaned casually against the railing, noting the fine, polished grain. “Do you know who I am?”
Darius, eyes staring up at her, took a step back. “Ayax the Blackgale.”
“Daughter of Allaniel the Valorous, who you had murdered,” Ayax hissed.
Scarlet ripped her heavy cloak off and gripped her staff in both hands, which had a number of rings on the fingers. Her eyes narrowed at Ayax. “So it was you who rescued Leila. I thought you would kill her.”
“You certainly tempted me, but she was just the instrument. It was you two who had my parents killed.” Raising her staff, Ayax growled. “Prepare to die.”
Scarlet waved the earl off. “Darius, go, deal with Janize. I can handle her.”
Darius arched an eyebrow even as he grabbed the main door’s handle. “Are you sure?”
Scarlet smirked. “She’s no Frances Stormcaller. Just an angry little troll.”
“I’m a pissed off troll.” Ayax leapt over the railing, throwing several spell cards at Scarlet. The woman waved her hand, magical rings activating to form a barrier. The cards slammed into it, sparking and banging. It would have knocked her back, but the barrier dissipated the force.
No matter, Ayax landed nimbly on the carpet and whirling her staff, slammed it into Scarlet’s barrier. Darius had run for it, slamming the doors behind him. Ayaxs’s blow sent Scarlet smashing through those closed doors, nearly throwing her onto Darius.
The Red Order Mage picked herself off the grown, dusting off her robes. “Ah I see the familial resemblance now you monster. You and your adoptive ‘cousin’ are just fucking irritating.”
Ayax was about to quip back, but found herself pursing her lips as a thought ran through her head. “You know, if you were just a little nicer, just a bit more understanding, you could have gotten along with Frances. It’s really hard to not get along with her.”
Scarlet’s snarl faded and she grimaced. “She wouldn’t have been my student, but Edana’s. Now are you going to kill me, Blackgale, one of the people who helped murder your parents, or are you going to talk me to death?”
Ayax flinched, feeling the swirling vortex of power bubble in her very core as her fury sparked. At the same time, a serene, piercing idea just echoed through her head. It was not really a revelation, more of an observation she’d noticed about Leila, Darius and now Scarlet.
“You all are awfully insistent on dying. Why don’t you all just…give up? Live?” Ayax asked. The pair were circling now, ready to let loose with spells at any sign of weakness or an opening.
Scarlet snorted. “Would you let me and Darius live?”
Ayax paused, watching Scarlet continue to circle. When the troll didn’t move, only followed her with her eyes, the mage stopped and tried to circle in the other direction. Still Ayax didn’t move, she just remained still, staff at the ready.
“If you all surrendered and submitted to a trial, I would,” said Ayax. There was still turmoil, rage, roiling in her heart. Yet, she was starting to feel another emotion that calmed her, despite how odd it felt.
The Red Order Mage blinked, before she sneered. “Then you are a naive fool.” She twirled her staff, the ends bursting into flame as she sang. Fireballs tore toward Ayax.
The troll dodged, not flamboyantly. She just stepped out of the way, shuffling and stepping from side to side. No fancy shielding required, no complicated jumps needed. Scarlet cast, and continued to cast. Whips of crimson magic were followed by cobblestones torn from the road. Ayax had to briefly block those with a quick shield, before twisting out of the way.
Shifting her grip on her staff, Ayax pulled her weapon to her side, as if she was drawing a sword. Crying out a string of Word of Powers, she whipped it across.
The staff suddenly extended, dark-blue magic lengthening it until a incredibly long, thin rod of magic crashed into Scarlet’s side. It sent her tumbling through a hedge and onto the lawn of Darius’s mansion.
Leaping over said hedgerow, Ayax rolled to a perfect landing on the other side. Scarlet had staggered to her feet, wiping blood from the scratches on her arm and face. She was already wincing as she touched her side.
Ayax thought she would be taking pleasure from this. Well, part of her was. She was happy she was kicking Scarlet’s butt. Yet, the part of her that was choosing to be calm, to think and be a good person felt an entirely different emotion.
Pity for how pointless this whole battle was, pity for how this woman and her allies had hurt so many and seemed so unhappy with their lives. There was disgust and anger, and yet when Ayax thought about what she had, and what Scarlet lacked, she found that anger seeping away.
“Scarlet, this is your last chance. Surrender now,” said Ayax.
“To you? Not to Edana Firehand, or even Frances Stormcaller? But to their lackey? A second-rate battle mage?” Scarlet spat on the ground and raised her staff again. “I’d rather fucking die.”
The troll sighed. “So be it.”
Author’s Note: Ayax is getting ahold of her anger. It hasn’t been easy to figure out how her feelings changed but I decided to approach it from the idea that she’s matured as a person and has started to take more perspectives, something that she’s always struggled with.
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2023.05.30 07:00 AutoModerator IMPORTANT NOTES + RULES - *MUST READ*
This is a page designed for those who use the Pomodoro study technique.
The basic idea here is to create a community where we posted our planned sessions, and come back and comment upon completion (or any other way you want to keep yourself accountable).
You can also use this to find 1-1 accountability partners, but if you choose to engage in that please note that I as mod am not liable for anything that might happen as a result of that. Rules:
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You are capable of anything you set your mind to :)
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2023.05.30 06:49 Aware_Platform_5525 Mount and blade 2 banerlord
good, a question how can I translate a mod? should i do it directly or what? I have to create something that is complicated or simple, my purpose is to translate the mods that I use from English to Spanish since I speak Spanish and I don't know much English, if someone could explain it to me or send a YouTube video explaining it or a forum I would appreciate it , the mods that I want to translate are from mount and blade 2 banerlord
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2023.05.30 06:49 dlschindler Terror Of Leaving The Rude World Behind
Lies are so polite. Honest people have no friends. Nobody wants the truth, not when the lies are what make them happy.
And when the truth, the rude truth, dispels those safe and happy lies, there is a very special kind of horror. I experienced it as terror, as I was forced to learn all about the truth of the real world.
I've spent years as a therapist, delving into the depths of the human psyche and trying to help those burdened by their own demons. My practice has seen its fair share of troubled individuals, but none quite like the three patients I currently attend to. Each one possesses a unique darkness that sets them apart from the rest of my clientele.
First, there's Thomas, a middle-aged man whose words cut through the air like a razor-sharp blade. His brutally honest nature spares no one, as he revels in frankness. He spews forth his bitterness, never holding back his cruel rudeness. It's as if he derives pleasure from watching others squirm under the weight of his words.
Then there's Emily, a woman of few filters and even fewer boundaries. Her honesty is a double-edged sword, slicing through the facade of social niceties with surgical precision, with scathing candor. She has no qualms about revealing uncomfortable truths, making every session a tense dance of revelations and discomfort.
Lastly, there's Jacob, whose coldness could freeze the warmest of hearts. His icy demeanor and calculated words chill the room whenever he speaks. He thrives on manipulation, using his intellect to exploit vulnerabilities and leave emotional wreckage in his wake.
These three patients have tested the limits of my own resilience, forcing me to confront the darkest corners of the human psyche. Little did I know that soon I would encounter a terror beyond anything I had encountered within the confines of my therapy office.
In the dimly lit room of my therapy office, I listen to the unsettling confessions of my three patients. As their therapist, I've grown accustomed to their brutality, their unfiltered honesty. But it's in the aftermath of my aunt's funeral, on that fateful night when my car stalled in the desolate darkness, that I would come face to face with a horror beyond comprehension.
The funeral of my beloved aunt weighed heavily on my heart as I made my way back home, the clock ticking past midnight. Exhausted and emotionally drained, I navigated the winding roads that cut through the barren countryside. The night wrapped around me like a suffocating shroud, and a sense of unease settled deep within.
Suddenly, my car sputtered and came to a halt. Panic coursed through my veins as I desperately tried to restart the engine, but to no avail. With a sinking feeling, I realized there was no cell signal in this desolate stretch of road, leaving me stranded in the oppressive darkness.
I stepped out of the car, the chill of the night embracing me like an unwelcome companion. The moon cast an eerie glow on the silent landscape, emphasizing the desolation that surrounded me. I had no choice but to abandon the safety of my vehicle and venture forth on foot in search of help.
As I walked, the world around me transformed. The familiar countryside gave way to an unfamiliar path, lined with gnarled trees that seemed to whisper secrets in the wind. The air grew heavy, laden with an otherworldly presence that sent shivers cascading down my spine.
After what felt like an eternity, I stumbled upon an exit sign, its rusty metal gleaming faintly in the moonlight. With a mix of trepidation and hope, I followed the arrow, hoping it would lead me to some semblance of civilization.
As I passed through the exit, a peculiar town emerged from the shadows, shrouded in an unsettling silence. The streets, devoid of life, stretched out before me like a labyrinth of forgotten dreams. Inky pools of darkness clung to the corners, stubbornly resisting the feeble rays of the rising sun. It was as if the town itself had been tainted by a sinister force, refusing to surrender to the light.
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a cracked storefront window, and a shiver shot down my spine. The glass distorted my features, twisting them into a grotesque mockery of myself. Before I could fully comprehend the sight, whispers reached my ears—inhuman voices murmuring in the shadows.
Words like "truth" and "bringer" slithered through the air, chilling me to the bone. It was as if unseen entities were aware of my presence, aware of my role as a dispenser of truth in my profession. The weight of their attention pressed heavily upon me, filling me with a sense of foreboding.
As I cautiously explored the desolate streets, I encountered a townsperson—a perfect mirror image of one of my patients. Seeking assistance, I approached a townsperson who bore an uncanny resemblance to Thomas, my patient known for his brutal honesty.
With a polite smile adorning his face, the townsperson greeted me. "Good day, sir. How may I assist you?" His words dripped with an unsettling charm, a stark contrast to Thomas's usual abrasive nature.
"I'm in need of help. My car broke down, and I require a tow truck or a mechanic," I explained, trying to maintain my composure despite the growing unease within me.
The townsperson's smile remained unwavering as he replied, "I'm terribly sorry to hear about your predicament, but unfortunately, our town is quite isolated, and the services you seek are not readily available. You see, there's no mechanic around, and our tow truck is currently out of commission."
His response sent a chill down my spine, for I knew that Thomas would never shy away from speaking the unfiltered truth. The stark contrast between the patient's brutal honesty and the townsperson's polished lies made the conversation all the more disturbing.
Undeterred, I pressed on, determined to find a solution. "Is there a place nearby where I can make a phone call to seek assistance?"
The townsperson's expression remained placid as he nodded. "Of course, we have a public phone booth just around the corner. However, I must warn you, the line seems to be down at the moment. Perhaps you can try later."
A sense of unease gnawed at me. The deception in his words was palpable. I couldn't help but wonder if this facade of politeness was merely a thin veil concealing something far more sinister.
Growing hungrier by the minute, I decided to inquire about a place to grab a bite to eat. "Is there a restaurant or a café nearby where I can find some food?"
The townsperson's smile widened, his eyes gleaming with an unsettling glimmer. "Ah, I'm afraid all our dining establishments are currently closed for renovations. You won't find anything open at this hour. I apologize for the inconvenience."
Every word he spoke felt like a twist of the knife, the pleasant tone mocking my desperation. It was as if the entire town conspired to deny me even the most basic assistance.
As I ventured deeper into the enigmatic town, my desperation intensified. Seeking aid for my stranded car, I approached a townsperson who bore an uncanny resemblance to Emily, my patient known for her scathing candor.
She greeted me with a disarming smile, her eyes glinting with a deceptive warmth. "Hello there, stranger. What brings you to our humble town?"
Feeling a sense of unease, I mustered the courage to explain my predicament. "My car broke down, and I'm in need of assistance. Is there a mechanic or a service station nearby?"
Emily's smile remained fixed, her voice dripping with saccharine sweetness. "Oh, how unfortunate. I'm afraid our town is quite secluded, and we don't have any mechanics or service stations here. It's such a pity, isn't it?"
Her response sent a shiver down my spine, for I knew all too well the biting honesty that usually emanated from Emily's words. The stark contrast between her usual cruel rudeness and the townsperson's polite deceit heightened the unnerving atmosphere.
Undeterred, I decided to probe further. "Is there a place nearby where I can make a phone call to seek help?"
Emily's eyes gleamed with a chilling delight as she nodded. "Why, yes, there is a phone booth just around the corner. However, I must warn you, the line has been acting up lately. It seems luck is not on your side today."
A knot tightened in my stomach, the realization of their collective deception growing clearer. This town had woven an intricate web of lies, and each encounter served to deepen my unease.
Growing weary and famished, I sought information about a place to satisfy my hunger. "Are there any restaurants or cafés where I can find something to eat?"
Emily's smile widened, revealing a hint of something unsettling beneath the surface. "Ah, I'm afraid all our dining establishments are closed for a private event. They won't be open to the public for quite some time. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."
Her words sent a chill coursing through my veins. The townsperson's demeanor was an unsettling reflection of Emily's uncensored honesty, twisted into a sickening semblance of pleasantness. It was as if the town reveled in tormenting me, taunting my helplessness with their deceptive charm.
As I continued my journey through the mysterious town, a sense of foreboding weighed heavily upon me. Seeking aid for my broken-down car, I approached a townsperson who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jacob, my patient known for his cruel rudeness.
A twisted smile spread across the townsperson's face as our eyes met. "Well, well, what do we have here? Another lost soul in need of help?"
My heart skipped a beat, for the malicious glint in their eyes mirrored Jacob's usual sadistic pleasure in causing pain. The contrast between his usual brutal demeanor and the townsperson's chilling charm sent a shiver down my spine.
Summoning my courage, I explained my predicament. "My car has stalled, and I require assistance. Is there a mechanic or a service station nearby?"
The townsperson's smile grew wider, revealing rows of unnaturally sharp teeth. Their voice took on a sinister tone as they replied, "Oh, dear traveler, how unfortunate. Our town is quite isolated, you see, and the mechanics here have a penchant for breaking more than they fix. It's best to avoid their services, if you value your life."
A surge of unease swept through me, the words sinking deep into my core. The townsperson's perverse enjoyment in my misfortune left no doubt that they relished in the suffering of others.
Refusing to succumb to fear, I pressed on. "Is there a place nearby where I can make a phone call to seek help?"
Their laughter, low and menacing, echoed through the empty streets. "Ah, a phone call, you say? How quaint. Our town isn't one for modern conveniences. The phones here... well, let's just say they have a mind of their own. They tend to connect you to places you never wished to reach."
A chill ran down my spine, the revelation leaving me trembling. It was as if the town itself conspired to keep me trapped, severed from any means of outside assistance.
Growing increasingly desperate, I inquired about a place to find sustenance. "Are there any restaurants or cafés where I can find something to eat?"
The townsperson's eyes gleamed with a sinister delight, their voice dripping with malice. "Ah, food... sustenance for the weak. I must warn you, stranger, our town's cuisine is... unique. It caters to more peculiar tastes, if you catch my drift. But fear not, for we have delicacies that will make your skin crawl."
My stomach churned at their words, the realization that this town reveled in the macabre sinking in. The contrast between Jacob's cruel rudeness and the townsperson's wicked charm only served to heighten the pervading sense of horror.
With every interaction, I could feel the town's grip on reality loosening, and the true nature of its inhabitants unveiling itself in unsettling ways.
With a sinking feeling, I realized that the veneer of politeness in this town concealed something far more malevolent. The contrast between my patients' cruel candor and the townspeople's twisted facades served only to deepen the sense of dread that hung heavy in the air.
Questions burned within me, demanding answers. I demanded honesty from these townspeople who insisted on politely lying about their inability to help me. Their deceit extended beyond the realm of car repairs and basic necessities—it seeped into every corner of this enigmatic place, where even the simplest requests were met with pleasant but false assurances.
Driven by my thirst for truth and growing frustration with the townspeople's deceptive façades, I delved deeper into the heart of this enigmatic place. With every step, the atmosphere grew heavier, and an air of impending doom seemed to hang in the murky shadows.
Unbeknownst to me, my relentless pursuit of honesty had begun to unravel something dark and ancient. Ominous portents manifested in the form of flickering streetlights and whispers that danced on the edge of my consciousness. The town itself seemed to pulsate with an unseen energy, as if it were a living entity responding to my unsettling inquiries.
As I caught glimpses of my reflection in broken glass and shattered mirrors, my own visage twisted and contorted. It was as if the very act of seeking truth had tainted my soul, leaving visible scars on the surface. Each crack in the glass seemed to mirror the fractures within my own psyche.
The inhuman voices that had whispered before grew louder, their words filling my mind with their sinister presence. They spoke of a bringer of truth, a harbinger of revelations that could shatter the delicate equilibrium of this town and unleash untold horrors upon its unsuspecting inhabitants.
I was drawn to confront the townspeople once more, hoping to break through their veneer of politeness and unearth the hidden truths they guarded so fervently. However, as I ventured deeper into their midst, a chilling realization took hold—an entity lurked within the shadows, feeding off the collective denial and deception of this town.
As the day wore on, the sun began its descent, casting elongated shadows that danced upon the desolate streets of the eerie town. Doubt and unease gnawed at the edges of my sanity, but I refused to succumb. Determined to find a way out, I continued my search for assistance, unaware of the horrors that awaited me.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a figure approaching. As they drew nearer, a cold sweat broke out across my brow. The person who stood before me bore an uncanny resemblance, mirroring my own visage. It was as if I were looking into a grotesque reflection of myself.
I stammered, my voice trembling with disbelief. "Who... who are you?"
The doppelgänger grinned, their eyes gleaming with an otherworldly light. "Ah, my dear visitor, it seems we share more than just an appearance. I am but a fragment of the truth you seek."
Confusion gripped me as I struggled to comprehend their cryptic words. "What truth? What do you mean?"
They leaned closer, their breath chilling against my skin. "This town, this facade, it is a sanctuary. A sanctuary that hides a truth so abhorrent, so unspeakable, that the collective acknowledgment of it would grant it unimaginable power."
My mind reeled, the fabric of reality fraying at the edges. Was this some twisted delusion or a glimpse into a sinister reality?
Refusing to believe their words, I clung to the remnants of my sanity. "No, this cannot be true. You're just trying to deceive me, to keep me trapped here!"
The doppelgänger's grin widened, their eyes devoid of empathy. "Believe what you will, but know this: by revealing the truth, you risk damning not only yourself but all who inhabit this wretched place."
A chill wind swept through the town, whispering haunting melodies that seemed to echo the doppelgänger's words. Shadows swirled, tendrils of darkness creeping closer.
Fear and desperation mingled within me, tearing at the fragile threads of my sanity. I had ventured too far, dared to seek answers that were better left unspoken.
Before I could react, the doppelgänger was engulfed by the encroaching darkness. Their form contorted and twisted, morphing into a grotesque, malevolent version of myself. The horrors I had encountered in this town had taken physical shape, manifesting as a twisted caricature of who I once was.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting the town into a suffocating gloom, the other townsfolk emerged from the shadows, their distorted visages revealing the true extent of their malevolence.
Driven by their anger at my disruption of their carefully constructed facade, they advanced toward me, their polite words of harmlessness contrasting grotesquely with the weapons they brandished.
Terrified, I turned and fled, the haunting cries of the mirror versions of my patients echoing behind me. The town had rejected me, casting me out into the night, a lone survivor grappling with the lingering doubts of my own sanity.
Days later, when a kind soul finally stopped to help me on the desolate road, I searched for the town on maps and GPS, but it had vanished without a trace. A chilling realization settled upon me: the town existed beyond the realms of conventional reality, a dark pocket where truth and sanity intertwined, forever questioning the limits of human comprehension.
As I drove away, the memories of that nightmarish encounter etched deep within my mind, I vowed never to speak of the town again, burying the chilling secret deep within the recesses of my soul.
submitted by dlschindler
to joinmeatthecampfire [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:49 JaneDirt02 Been learning. Been loving
Wow what a game. Just wanted to ramble from the perspective of an aoe2 vet with no aoe1 experience. Played through the custom exodus campaign to get my feet wet, learned a basic BO to get to tool age and been trying out every faction against extreme ai ever since. have not gotten past bronze age yet, so factions with late bonuses like elephants have not been appealing. XAI is way easier to fight than in aoe2, and I win most of the time, despite not really knowing what Im doing (spam chariots!). this game feels much faster than aoe2, which makes it more intense I think. Slingers seem very hard to counter once they mass, so staying in tool age for slinger all in seems very effective. Killed opponent once in nomad without either of us leaving stone age! Built next to each other and started making clubs asap and got to twelve on food to maintain tc and clubman production, which was fun because that would never work in aoe2. So far I almost never use gold, and stopped even mining for it past what I need for upgrades because chariots just seem to do everything I want. I would play cav more but they eco switch to get 80 gold per unit feels clunky so I just keep making chariots, and If i'm that far into the game then I'm winning anyway. Historically, chariots were costly to build and maintain, so centralized states like the egyptians and hittites has the best access to them, but this game has them as trash units which is odd to me. Maybe If I can get late game someday I can play with heavy cav and feel the difference. Definitely my trouble is in transitioning to the next age, and there being more than three is constantly tripping me up (3 times now I am ready to drop an academy or build cav right when I hit iron age only to realize that I need bronze still).
/rant. Thanks everyone who helped keep this game alive to this point
submitted by JaneDirt02
to aoe [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:48 Ok_Professional_9667 Gearing after 6.4 simplified please
I just completed 6.0 endwalker and now want to get into savage raiding for the first time . So i just want to know which is the best way to obtain gear that is needed to enter savage . People in my fc suggested that I just do the msq get to new dungeon and farm distance gearswt and use that to get voidcast ex weapon while farming tombstones of comedy and processing through the normal raid to get unsung blade token for weapon
submitted by Ok_Professional_9667
to ffxiv [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:46 Ender_TD cursed story 💀
submitted by Ender_TD to cursedcomments [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:46 ZapHP I tried to be respectful and still got removed (don’t go over and spread hate)
2023.05.30 06:25 yomommawearsboots $90k budget 4 door what should I get?
What car should I get? Budget is around $80k-90k and needs to be 4 door for work. Looking for: -fast, sporty, good handling -very luxury -CarPlay. -mid sized sedan -manual preferred but good automatic is fine. -would prefer lightly used for best value but less than 5 years old. -not terrible depreciation. -good looking/timeless design. -responds well to mods, won’t to go crazy but simple bolt ons/tune. Want to keep it reliable. -exhaust sounds good. No hybrids, 4 cyl, or EVs.
Current cars: -2012 CTS-V sedan manual (DD) -2014 Porsche 911 (fun) -2001 Honda S2000 (fun) -2020 Lexus LX 570 (family/dogs).
Background: I have owned BMWs and I am comfortable DIY, I do all my own maintenance and repairs. I would be planning to sell my CTS-V even though it kind of kills me. I want something a little nicer and more modern inside. Massaging seats would be awesome.
I’m in the south so don’t need awd but I would appreciate being able to put the power down without crazy tires/drag radials.
I’m kind of leaning F90 M5 Comp, G80 M3, or the CT5-V Blackwing manual but the G80 is so ugly and the Blackwing is real hard to get in manual and seem like they are over $100k even used. Also the Blackwing doesn’t look great IMO but better than the M3. Also I am a turbo guy…my current V supercharger is great but I just love turbos.
Also kicking around used Panamera Turbo S (cross truismo is sweet), Mercedes E63s, Audi RS7, or RS5 (but never been a fan of Audi, they are boring styling IMO). I would love an RS6 avant but seem way too expensive for my budget.
I love the look of the F90 M5 but depreciation will proly be brutal knowing my previous BMWs.
If I didn’t need a 4 door for work reasons I would order a Lotus Emira but they waitlist is insane I’ll proly never get one.
I only drive like 10k miles per year and love driving in the twisty mountain roads nearby.
Thanks in advance!
submitted by yomommawearsboots
to whatcarshouldIbuy [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:25 SomeWizardGuy69 Spinatia super commandos
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These three form a strike-team to complement my 3-man group of Army-Type Spinatios and I’m quite proud of the “Buster” type in particular. submitted by SomeWizardGuy69 to 30_Minutes_Missions [link] [comments]
Some lore/explanation that doesn’t fit in the caption limit:
The cannon and knife on the Harvester serve as backup armaments, the “hair” can generate an invisible protective force field, and the Harvester unit gains its name due to it’s pilot’s tendency to bring back enemy technology for study and reverse-engineering.
Extra pieces are from these sets: Fantasy weapons(scythe handle, main gun) Witchcraft weapons(scythe head) multi wing booster(“hair”) Sengoku weapons(beam-shot muzzle) Rabiot weapons(rifle sights) and Forsteri 02(grey waist pieces)
The Slasher’s pilot was taught under the same trainers as the Knight-Type Spinatio pilot and therefore emulates them in weapon choice and fighting style. The rounded shoulders provide a greater range of motion for the mech, allowing it to perform greater feats of dexterity. The “hair” of this model acts to call back to their tutelage and houses enhanced sensors.
Extra pieces used: Rabiot weapons(sword blade) multi wing booster(“hair”) Forsteri 02(sword hilt, waist pieces) red Portanova(shoulders)
The Buster is heavily equipped for a Spinatia unit but compensates via the booster anklets it’s sports on it’s legs. The two different shields mounted on either shoulder can protect from differing kinds of attack. The Maxion shield provides protection from ballistic and physical attacks while the modified Byron-make shield has been outfitted with energy-diffusing alloys. The bayonet has been coated in the same metal that makes up the Slasher’s sword, while the tail canon has been modded with a camera for increased accuracy. The “hair” serves as a surprise weapon, as the tip is a modified miniature beam gun. It isn’t powerful enough to be relied on for consistent damage, but it can pierce even the hulls of capital ships.
Extras used: Option parts 1(rail gun, boosters, sub-arm) fantasy weapons(bayonet cannon) red commander armor for Portanova (shoulders, left shield) EAV Mecha Dog Ver(“hair”)
All in all I’m very happy with how theses have turned out so far. I hope to have all my commandos to be as kitted out as the Buster but for now I’m happy with her as the heavy.
2023.05.30 06:18 Heilos If we end up winning the Stanley Cup, I'm promising a Reddit Gold gifting spree thread later
I'm 100% serious about this. Ya'll have been incredible over the years in this sub in cheering on our boys, being super welcoming, memeing it up through the good and bad moments ect. I wanna give back to the community in the ultimate form of celebration the best way I can: getting as many people as possible dripped out in gold.
WE'RE HEADED TO THE STANLEY CUP BABY! GO KNIGHTS GO!
(I hope the mods are ok with this idea. If not or if it goes against any rules i'm not aware of, feel free to delete this post!)
submitted by Heilos
to goldenknights [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:01 phol1o GotD is a great dungeon, no buts.
GotD is by far the best dungeon in my opinion, with all the lore, weapons, armour etc. as a lot of people have agreed with.
I got a pretty quick first clear on day 1 but was still able to take in all the little details (in particular spotting the dreadnaught from far whilst descending between 1-2) which made it that much better. I know it’s only week one but I can’t see myself getting tired of this dungeon any time soon as I did with duality and spire.
Now to address the elephant of this week, I honestly do not understand the complaints about boss health, especially regarding solo.
Solo and solo flawless runs are the pinnacle endgame experience regarding dungeons, comparable to day one contest mode raids, so it was never meant to be ‘easy’. It requires a good level of effort and optimising, build crafting etc, as it should.
I hate to say it, but if it’s taking 10 phases, then there is obviously something that can be done differently, which is the exact same experience when it comes to contest mode. If the damage isn’t there, look at your load out and mods. If survivability is an issue, look at your play style and again, mods.
Additionally, it’s not like those who cannot successfully get a solo/solo flawless clear are missing out on anything game breaking. You get an emblem to show off your achievement for solo flawless, as you would contest. When it comes to solo, sure you need it for the seal, but outside of that dungeon seals are among the easiest to complete and can be done start to finish in one day if you really wanted (and a little bit of rng when it comes to loot). Solo is the only difficult triumph for the seal so if it takes you a few hours and 15 phases I think that is fair compared to the time gated raid seals which will take you weeks.
TLDR: I don’t understand why people complain about boss hp. Solo flawless is comparable to contest, and is meant to be a challenge.
submitted by phol1o
to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:01 AutoModerator ☼Daily DF Questions Thread☼
Ask about anything related to Dwarf Fortress - including the game, utilities, bugs, problems you're having, mods, etc. You will
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submitted by AutoModerator
to dwarffortress [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 06:00 AutoModerator [Weekly Thread] I think I might have Sjogrens
By request, all prediagnosis questions will be limited to a weekly thread.
Rules for this thread:
- If you think you have Sjogrens please see a doctor.
- Please remember that nobody on this subreddit is a doctor, and therefore none of this advice should be taken as fact unless otherwise verified.
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submitted by AutoModerator
to Sjogrens [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 05:57 Oonoroi A comprehensive guide to the Occult
Hello, I've been working on revising an old magic system to fit with a new story, and I wanted to get some feedback on if my system works well or not. It's a long one, but feel free to hit me with any questions/comments/criticisms about it! Please excuse the inconstent capitalization though, I'm working on it.
An Occultists’ Guide to Boundaries
All of reality is built on boundaries. A boundary is a metaphysical container for both the physical matter and the concepts defining an object. For example, imagine for a moment a ball sitting on a table. Now imagine an invisible skin, wrapped tightly around the entire surface area of the ball, encapsulating all the information and properties of the ball. Now imagine that invisible skin suddenly disappeared, leading the concepts that once filled it to just drift away. They might be infused into the table, making it ‘bright red’, or ‘round’. They could get into the air making it ‘bouncy’ or ‘safe for children ages 2+’. The stuff that makes the ball would still be around, but the ball itself wouldn't. For an object to exist, it must be distinct from the things around it. Without boundaries separating ‘thing’ from ‘thing’, the whole universe would be just one big ‘thing’.
This is the basis of Occult practices. Being an occultist starts with the manipulation of boundaries, as the space within them is where magic is performed. That is why, when an occultist begins their studies, the first power they gain is usually simple telekinesis, as manipulating the position of a boundary is good practice. We tend to call those who never move past that stage ‘espers’ or ‘psychics’ or something of the same effect, and even though they are just scratching the surface of what the occult can do, they can get to be fairly powerful.
A basic, widespread (but not universally applicable) law of boundaries is that they have a natural resistance to being manipulated, which is in most cases tied to the surface area of the object. An interesting application of this is that there is functionally no difference in trying to telekinetically move a cardboard box and a solid steel cube of the same size. However, when it comes to destroying a boundary, the difficulty of doing so is all in the ‘complexity’ (this is hard to define, but it will make more sense later) of the object. Stronger occultists will be able to destroy or create more complex phenomena at larger scales.
Since the creation, destruction, and manipulation of boundaries is a fundamental skill for occultists, many different exercises have been devised to help expand a beginning practitioner's skill in doing so. One popular one is trying to destroy the boundaries of small objects, such as playing cards or snack foods, and quickly capturing all the escaped concepts by creating a spherical boundary around them. This can lead to some delightfully non-euclidean objects, especially when you destroy and re-capture the concepts of two different objects into one boundary, but it is a very dangerous way to practice. One could end up not capturing the concepts in time and end up turning themselves ‘easily tearable’ or ‘appetizing to ants’ without the knowledge of how to reverse that.
The analogy of a weightlifter in training may be the most appropriate since an occultist’s ability will grow like a muscle over time, only one that doesn’t plateau in strength. But like any muscle, they will get tired if they go on too long, which will greatly increase their chances of causing an accident.
Reality and You
Reality is everything that is real. Every object, entity, or phenomenon that exists and is not fictional is a part of reality. If you can measure it, it's real. There aren’t very many other ways to describe this, but humans generally have a solid grasp of what is real and what is not due to being real themselves. However, not all parts of reality are equal.
All magic happens inside a boundary wherein reality is measurably degraded. There is a special, magical, and incredibly complex machine that can measure the ‘level’ of reality within a boundary. The baseline level, the level wherein everything that isn't the occult takes place, was set to be 10 on the Non-Reality Scale (the NRS for short), and anything below that is magic.
But why would one want to degrade reality? Hypothetically, when someone is pouring themselves a cup of water, they would prefer a fresh, clean glass, to one that hasn’t been washed in years. This is because they want to avoid contamination. Spellwork has the same idea, where to pour what they want into a boundary, the occultist first has to ‘wash’ everything they don’t want out.
That is not to say that less reality is always better. A reality that is too low level can mess with spellwork, or cause a dangerous accident if the boundary is flawed. This is because to complete the final step of the casting, one must reintegrate their degraded reality back to the baseline (that is, if they want anything more than an intangible illusion). The extent to which one would want to degrade reality fully depends on what they want to do with the boundary they are creating. For example, one did not want to use it for drinking, but it would be perfectly fine to use it to water a houseplant. And most people would not be bleaching out a clean cup before drinking from it, even if it has a bit of dust in it. In the same way, in most cases, an occultist does not need to purge absolutely everything from their boundary, and will instead want to selectively degrade reality to a certain level.
Mana, the Soul, and Concepts
A Concept is the abstract idea of the matter within a boundary. For example, the boundary of the ball I described earlier contains the physical matter of the ball, but it also contains the Concept of the ball. The Concept can be imagined as an index of every piece of information about the ball, with each piece being called an Attribute. Attributes of the ball’s Concept could include its weight, size, bounciness, flammability, or any other property that one could measure from the ball. Being a Concept and being an Attribute are not mutually exclusive, and it is relative to what the caster is referring to at the moment. Technically, all Concepts are Attributes of the Universe, which contains everything, so it's best to think of each Concept as a part of a greater whole, which is in turn made of smaller parts. With this comes the idea that a concept cannot be created or destroyed (of course, there are those annoying exceptions), only constructed and deconstructed.
The basis of spellwork is simple. Create a boundary, degrade its reality, fill it with a bunch of Attributes to form the Concept of the phenomena you want to create, reintegrate reality, and presto, you have a spell. This process is fundamentally the same for most spellcraft, making a well-practiced occultist very versatile. However, it is the complexity within each of these steps that requires research to understand, skill to navigate, and training to pull off.
Every living thing has a boundary, and every living thing has a Concept. Except for living things, we tend to call the Concept a ‘soul’. There is no real difference, and there is a constant debate over what has a soul. Bacteria are generally deemed soulless, robots and magically animated constructs have been rhetorically argued to have souls, and there is debate around what stage of birth or death does the soul of a corpse become just a Concept. But it is generally agreed that living humans have a soul, and within the soul, there is an Attribute called mana. Mana is the fuel that is required to perform anything to do with the occult. Manipulating boundaries, degrading and reintegrating reality, and working with concepts all require mana.
Almost everyone starts with a very low amount of mana. Most humans only have enough to perform small miracles in moments of great stress, such as a parent being able to lift a car to save their child or a firefighter obtaining enhanced perception in a burning building. Mana, however, can be grown over time like a muscle. After continuous depletion of one's mana reserves, the maximum amount that can be ‘refilled’ during rest increases.
There is a widespread standard for measuring how much mana one has. It requires a half-inch diameter, clear glass marble enchanted with a Concept that causes it to output light in a manner directly proportional to the amount of mana poured into it. An occultist can push as much mana as they can into it and measure the irradiance of the light produced by the marble with a photometer to find their maximum output.
Besides mana, the soul also contains Attributes for one's familiarity with other Concepts. Concept familiarity determines how well an occultist can summon, read, or build a concept. Familiarity is gained in several different ways. For example, an occultist skilled in the art of pyromancy may be a grad student who’s spent many sleepless nights studying thermodynamics and exothermic reactions, a person from an icy village who spent a lot of time near the fireplace as a child, or a serial arsonist who thinks fire is incredibly beautiful. All of these people would be familiar with the Concept of fire. In other words, research, experience, and passion are all equally valid ways to gain familiarity with a concept.
There are three ways to get a concept into a boundary. The first way is to summon it, using one's will to draw in a concept and use it directly during spellwork. This is generally considered the best method for any occult performance for various reasons, as its only real downside is that it requires a very high level of familiarity with the Concept one is trying to summon. However, it requires no material components to pull off and does not produce any backlash (an important idea that will be explained later). This is why most mages choose to spend their life within one field of similar Concepts, increasing their familiarity with a small group of Concepts, trading some versatility to be able to pull off Concept summoning efficiently.
On a side note, there is the popular idea of the ‘four elements’ system of magic. While the idea of earth, air, fire, and water being base elements of the universe has no real truth to it, the fact that they are things one commonly interacts with and are fairly visual makes them perfect for summoning.
The next way to obtain a Concept is through reading. This method takes an object that has a desired Concept or Attributes, destroys its boundary, and adds said Concept or Attributes into the spell. Reading allows an occultist to work with a Concept that they aren’t familiar with, although they should have some level of familiarity if they want to work with it safely. Unfortunately, reading requires you to destroy a material component and leads to backlash. The result is that spellwork done with Concept reading needs more preparation than summoning, and may require rare or expensive materials. The amount of material destroyed, however, does not matter when trying to read a Concept, so long as it is enough that the occultist can reasonably focus on it. For example, if one was trying to read the Concept of gold, the casting will be the same with a few specks of the stuff as with an entire bar.
The final method, Concept building, is the least. Building requires a mage to take several different Concepts and use them as Attributes to construct an entirely new Concept. For example, the Concept of ‘the superpower of human flight’, which doesn’t exist naturally, could be built using the Concepts of ‘weightlessness’ and ‘propulsion’ and ‘human will’. Building has all the drawbacks of reading compounded, so it is very rarely used and requires great skill. But the power to make fiction reality, even more so than any other type of magic, is incredibly appealing, and many occultists spend their entire life trying to bring a permanent concept into the world.
Concepts are not completely objective. For example, a modern person likely associates the color black with things like death, darkness, or despair. In ancient Egypt, however, the color had a more positive connotation, being associated with fertility and festival, since black soil, not white, is where one could grow the crops. Concepts work similarly, and different ones can have different meanings to different people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is completely unknown how modern magic continues to work with so many different ways of looking at the same Concept.
And Now for the Bad: Backlash
Once again, imagine a ball sitting on a table. Remember how I said destroying its boundary could lead to the table and air around it lead to the table and air around it obtaining some of its properties, or as we now know to call them, Attributes? This is also how I described some of the side effects of improperly doing the ill-advised boundary exercise from the boundary section.
Both of those are simplified examples of backlash.
When an occultist performs a Concept reading, they are picking out the Attributes they want and exposing the rest to outside reality. If left uncontained, the rest of the Attributes will diffuse into other nearby boundaries, giving the caster’s surroundings (and likely the caster themself) properties that they likely do not want. This is a backlash. Worse, as the free Attributes look for a new boundary, they randomly and chaotically deconstruct themselves into simpler Attributes (for example, the attribute ‘fire’ may deconstruct into ‘heat’ and ‘light’), multiplying the number of Concepts diffusing over time, increasing the scale and chaos of the event.
The resistance of an object's boundary to being destroyed scales somewhat on the complexity of the Concept it contains, and therefore, more complex objects that would cause bigger backlashes are naturally harder (as in they require more mana) to destroy. This acts as a sort of natural safeguard for the occult, stopping just any aspiring wizard from accidentally rending cities uninhabitable or wiping large swaths of land off the map.
Be they geometric shapes or runes in an unknown language, the main purpose of a magic circle (or any shape for that matter) is to contain and safely dispose of backlash. Over time, occultists have found ways to take common aspects and successfully break them down into their most harmless components, allowing them to be dissipated safely, and history has provided a good base for the backlash of just about any spell to be properly contained, with a bit of research. A very skilled occultist will be able to properly command backlash to harness it and enhance their spells, controlling the decay of Concepts to find simpler Attributes needed for the main spell or to set off smaller secondary spells to support the original.
Another way of dissipating backlash is with somatic action, or using one’s body in the same fashion as a magic circle. The danger of this should be clear, but it allows the caster to dissipate backlash without having to prepare a magic circle.
Reintegration and Types
The last part of any occult spellwork is normally the easiest. You just have to stop trying. For sorceries and rituals, firing off a spell is just like firing a bow. If creating a spell boundary is notching the arrow, and gathering Concepts is pulling back and aiming, then the final casting is simply letting the arrow fly as it will. There is some skill involved with the speed and grace of an occultist's mental disengagement, but for the most part, reality itself will do most of the job as it brings one's Concepts back to a level 10 NRS and makes the phenomenon ‘real’. This means that after one creates their fireball, all they have to do is bring it into existence and define its parameters, and throwing it costs no extra mana on your part. That also means that a fireball, once thrown, cannot be altered or taken back unless one creates a completely new boundary to counter it.
I mentioned sorceries and rituals. Those are two of the three ‘types’ (not to be confused with ‘schools’) of the occult.
The first is sorcery, the stereotypical form of magic. Sorceries use summoned Concepts and don't require materials or magic circles or somatic actions. If you see a wizard concentrate for a moment, and something weird happens afterward, you saw a sorcery.
Next are rituals. Magic circles, material components, somatic gestures, and multiple casters are all hallmarks of this type, and it includes anything that creates a new boundary but isn't sorcery.
Lastly, there is enchantment. Enchantment either creates an instant phenomenon on another material, or a permanent artifact meant to be used repeatedly. The idea is, that the spellwork one does is not within a completely new boundary, but is done by adding or removing Concepts from a pre-existing boundary. For example, an occultist could permanently add an ‘unbearably cold’ concept to the blade of a sword, or instantly change the enemy's skeletal system to be ‘highly combustible when submerged in blood’.
Schools and Applications
There are quite a few ‘schools’ of the occult, general categories occultists put spellwork into. Schools can include things like ‘divination’, ‘necromancy’, or ‘war artifice’.
An example of a specific school of magic is called ‘name sympathy’. Almost all human souls have a ‘name’ Attribute, as it is standard practice to name your children in modern times. One’s name generally is one of their most prominent Attributes, so it is not a difficult task to target a person by using just their name. This is where the school of name sympathy shines, using traces of one’s person to find out their name and affect their soul directly. Sometimes this is used for good and is especially effective when used in conjunction with the ‘healing’ school of magic. Most times, though, it's used for magical murder.
Immortality is not a school of magic per se, since it is just one Concept, but that concept is so hard to build that it takes as much research and effort as any real school. The thing about immortality is that it is very hard to balance. The human body is made up of millions of small parts, all of them living and reproducing and dying constantly. Sure, one could just enchant themselves with the Concept of ‘life’ and apply their mana, but that would immediately give them cancer in every organ. And since there are no real immortal creatures to read the Concept from, in practice, an occultist seeking immortality has to build the Concept from the ground up, and doing so has taken so long and has been failed by so many that most believe that it's completely impossible.
An occultist may completely copy a concept into another boundary. That is called conjuration, one of the other greatly researched struggles of the occult. In most spells, the physical material attached to the Concept within the boundary is left out. When an occultist tries to completely recreate an object with mass or energy, (for example, if you were trying to use gold to make more gold), they are trying to add more matter to the universe than there originally was. And they will accomplish this, thoroughly breaking the law of conservation of mass. However, reality hates when its laws are broken, and it will attack the conjured object, destroying it completely within moments. The whole problem with conjuration is trying to make it work long enough to be applicable for anything more than its primary use for split seconds of attack or defense in the middle of battle, especially given how mana intensive it is. A promising line of study has involved trying to create an equal amount of ‘dark matter’ at the same time as the actual conjuration, balancing out reality.
All About Artifice
Artificing is another application of the occult, but it is an expansive field that warrants a section of its own. It is generally defined as using enchantment to permanently imbue an item with a Concept.
Artifacts are the most accessible way to use magic. Unlike sorceries and rituals, which require magical knowledge and practice to use, the only real requirement for activating an artifact is to push mana into it yourself. And since everyone with a soul has at least a small amount of mana, anyone can pick up an artifact and use it with minimal training. A good example of this was the ancient Greek phalanx, which was not only the name of the military formation, but also what they called the combined magical gear used by the people in it, comprised of animated spears that automatically targeted vital points, shields that inflicted magical fear, and helmets that stopped arrows in their tracks.
Potions are another example of artifice, though technically they belong to its subschool, alchemy. A potion is any ingestible, magical liquid that gives a beneficial effect to the drinker when they apply mana to the unmetabolized quantity of it within their bloodstream. Solids versions of this concept are called boluses, and gasses are generally deemed too hard to work with. Potions can only be activated by the drinker, meaning there are not many ways to create alchemical poison without convincing one's victim to course mana through their own bloodstream.
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2023.05.30 05:52 ScoobyBSnackin Volatile Flow would be a great permanent addition in a different form
As an artifact perk it's one of the best and probably one of the most loved. If it was made a fragment, mod, weapon perk, or something permanent it'd be a fantastic addition. The game doesn't currently have many ways to activate volatile rounds (specifically the rounds) outside of the fragment and Gyrfalcon's hunter, so another option for them would be a great boon.
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to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 05:50 TEKNOnaut WTS - Chaves Ultramar T.A.K. Tanto Flipper Knife in Black G10 & Microtech Ultratech Hellhound Signature Series Tactical Standard with Two Tone DLC Blade Finish (119-1 TS)
PRICE DROP - SEE BELOW
Plenty of other pictures: https://imgur.com/a/s8x3FsV
The video was taken for a previously listed post.
Good evening! I'm still relatively new here, so please bare with me as I will do my absolute best to follow the rules according to my understanding. Feel free to let me know if I get anything wrong, need to update or change anything. Thanks!
These knives are both brand new and have never been carried or cut with. One knife is a manual while the other is an automatic OTF. The buyer is SOLELY RESPONSIBLE to know and understand their local laws and if they are permitted to purchase or carry these. I take ZERO responsibility for that.
Chaves Ultramar T.A.K. Tanto Flipper Knife in Black G10
- SV180 PPGS OBO - Please be sure NOT to include anything in the notes section.
Microtech Ultratech Hellhound Signature Series Tactical Standard with Two Tone DLC Blade Finish (119-1 TS)
- SV490 PPGS OBO - Please be sure NOT to include anything in the notes section.
Sale is preferred, however if you have any of the following knives BNIB or LNIB I’d most likely be interested in working out a partial trade deal…
- Spyderco Smock (specifically interested if you have one with the Meton Boss FRAG milled black Zirconium scales, matching button, and backspacer)
- Spyderco Techno 2 Titanium
- Spyderco Shaman Black M4 Natural G-10 BladeHQ Exclusive
- Chaves Ultramar Liberation 229 Silver Bullet M390 Drop Point (Non-removable skull clip)
- Chaves Ultramar Liberation Street Black M390 Tanto and Natural G-10 BladeHQ Exclusive
- Reate EXO-K Karambit Black Aluminum
- Black PVD- Zero Tolerance 0223
- Gerber GhostStrike
Additionally, while I'm new to selling in this community, I'm in NO WAY new to buying and selling online. I'm very active in other communities such as the Dixxon Flannel groups on Facebook, the GAFS community here on Reddit, as well as I have countless sales history on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Mercari and OfferUp. If at at any point in time you'd like to see my corresponding profiles on those platforms to verify my legitimacy and reliability, feel free to ask and I'll be happy to share.
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2023.05.30 05:49 FoundiPhoneNepean Sinding the Pacifist
I spent an inordinate amount of time this evening trying to do Ill Met By Moonlight as a werewolf, siding with Sinding and taking out the Hunters as a two-man wolfpack. Buddy must have used it all up on that poor kid because I could not get him to fight. He did alright the first couple of runs, although those Hunters are a lot tougher than UESP makes them sound, especially on Legendary/Survival. But after I had died a couple of times, he stone gave up the ghost on every reload. The best he could do was fight until the first Hunter, Rissing, was dead. Then he would just switch off.
Sometimes the Hunters would keep targeting him while he stood there, although eventually they would turn on me after which I had zero chance. More often, the Hunters would all aggro on me, leaving Sinding to Switzerland his way through my repeated death cams. One thing I noticed was that if I stood right next to him, I would hear that radio static buzz that you typically hear from frost damage - no idea what was causing that.
Finally I left the cave and rode all the way to Rorikstead to get my man Erik tha Slaya, and stayed in human form to take the Hunters on with him. We went through them like butter while Sinding passively observed, trailing after us like a lost puppy. Needless to say, retrieving his hide at the end was deeply satisfying, though rather bittersweet.
Is this a known bug? UESP doesn't describe what happened here. Similar thing happened to Vilkas at Driftshade Refuge - he just stood there and let the Silver Hand go to town. Am I the only true werewolf in Skyrim?
Playing on PC, Steam, AE, no mods.
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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
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 05:39 alurry [US] [Selling] Entire 4K SteelBook Collection (300+)
I am selling my entire personal collection. 95% of these were purchased new by me. Immediately after purchase I put them into the plastic protectors and haven't removed them since. None are heavily damaged (bending, major dents, multiple large scratches, etc.). There may be tiny dents, scratches, and the odd spine slash here and there. When you are ready to purchase I will let you know if I see any noticeable damage, however minor or major.
These are all used and opened and none contain the digital code or j-card. The vast majority contain all the original discs but a few might be missing the regular blu-ray. Most discs have never been played but I have watched a few once or twice. No issues while playing any of them.
I will ship for free via Media Mail. If you would prefer I ship using First Class or something else we can work out an extra fee. I would prefer to use PayPal F&F but will accept G&S if you insist. I will ship with the plastic protector (or with the slipcover that originally came with the SteelBook) and I will ship securely in a box with lots of bubble wrap (see picture below).
Prices are somewhat firm but it's hard to say what a lot of these are worth so feel free to make an offer. The more you buy the better deal I can give you. 10% off (possibly more) if you buy 2 and it only goes up from there. I would prefer to keep most of the collections together for now but could sell individually for the right price.
). If you want more assurance I have 224 transactions in DigitalCodeSELL
(check my post history). I can also link you my eBay page if that is allowed. 3.6K items sold with 100% positive feedback.
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| |Game of Thrones Complete Collection (4K) | ||SOLD |
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|It (HD) ||Amazon.it ||#022 ||$30 |
|Friday the 13th (HD) ||Amazon.it ||#023 ||$25 |
|Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (HD) ||Amazon.it ||#025 ||$50 |
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|Ant-Man (4K) ||Zavvi ||#047 ||$40 |
| |Iron Man 2 (4K) | || ||SOLD |
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|Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4K) ||Zavvi ||#050 ||$40 |
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2023.05.30 05:36 skeriphus On the Nature of Sorcery: Chapter 0.2 — Tea Time.
Motivation — A Close Reading of Tea Time "I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking: maybe six feet ain't so far down?"
Chapter V of Weathered
2002 BS Click Here for the Introduction to the essay series.
Prelude to the Close Reading
Why, hello there, again. It’s been a few weeks but I promise that this endeavor is still moving forward. For those that don’t know, this essay is a part of a collection I’ll be putting together which investigates the Eleint, their blood, and sorcery within the Malazan shared secondary universe. We’re still laying down our foundations, and today we’ll be covering a sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 of Toll the Hounds
My intentions were to cover all of the scenes in a single post, but that has proven itself to be difficult. As such, I’ll cover the first scene in this sequence in this post. There’ll be one or two follow-up posts.
There are ten scenes that are in this sequence:
- Nimander 1
- Desra 1
- Desra 2
- Skintick 1
- Desra 3
- Nimander 2
- Desra 4
- Kedeviss 1
- Nimander 3
- Kedeviss 2
I’ll be approaching these scenes (including the one discussed today) through a few lenses.
A ringing of bells.
In his musings on writing
, Erikson discusses the notion of a bell. I’ll let him speak for himself.
In the scenes we’ll be looking at, some of the bells that I believe are used are (and not all of these are represented in this first particular scene):
- Past versus present — ancestors/parents vs. living/children
- How others see us, and how we see others
- The word ‘beast’ and its many meanings
- The words ‘child/children’ and their many meanings
- The relationships between gods and mortals
Particularly the genealogy of continental philosophy that led to Sartre’s existentialism and the shared/adapted/bifurcated philosophies of his contemporaries (such as de Beauvoir, Camus, and Merleau-Ponty). This wasn’t my initial intention when I decided to use this sequence of scenes as a launch pad into my collection of essays. However, the beauty of close-reading is that you go into a text with a hypothesis seeking evidence and support, and then end up with new insights.
Some of the concepts that will be brought up are:
Genre conventions as grammar.
Particularly, we’ll look at Erikson’s use of genre conventions from the likes of Gothic literature and Weird Fiction — namely the Sublime, cosmic horror, and the Weird — as the subtle language used to convey tension that is congruent with some of the other subtexts. If these grammars are subverted, we’ll try to point that out too.
We will later delve more into Malazan’s literary genealogy in other essays, but I want this lens to be present during the reading to see how Erikson aligns or subverts these genre conventions.
We’ll be using Professor Michael Moir’s YouTube lectures
on Weird Fiction as reference.
What the fuck is happening?
This is a question about plot that I will answer at the end of all of the scenes, but keep it in mind as we go through. It has less to do with existentialism and Gothic literature and more on what Gothos was trying to do during these scenes.
We first meet Nimander and his siblings (unnamed) in House of Chains
on Drift Avalii. By Bonehunters
, they had left Drift Avalii and ended up at Malaz City, where they then joined Tavore Paran’s fleet while fleeing Malaz City. In Reaper’s Gale
, we find the siblings had been ‘adopted’ by Sandalath while they traveled to Lether with the Malazans. Phaed wanted to kill Sandalath. Nimander stopped Phaed from killing Sandalath. Withal (Sandalath’s husband) throws Phaed out a window. The murder is taken as a suicide. The siblings intern Phaed and then meet Clip, who offers to lead them to Anomander in Black Coral via Kurald Galain.
This gets us to Toll the Hounds
, where Nimander is being haunted by Phaed. They’ve left Kurald Galain and are now on Genabackis (but not yet to Black Coral). Nimander fears the future meeting his father and the rest of the Tiste Andii. The siblings and Clip ‘stumble’ on Morsko, where Clip is curious about its cult of the Dying God. A ritual takes place there. Nimander and Skintick are nearly enthralled, but are saved by Aranatha (and thus Mother Dark herself). The group then find Clip, who is in a coma. They collect him, and set off in a wagon to follow the Dying God’s priests to Bastion. Along that journey, the siblings stumble upon the High King, Kallor, who reluctantly chooses to not kill them and instead travels with them.
The sequence of scenes in Chapter 8 that we’ll be discussing follows some time after Kallor joins the siblings. Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, let’s dive into the first scene.
We start this sequence thrust into Nimander’s introspection on ‘rage’ as a breaking of a vessel, impossible to fix. He recalls Deadsmell’s musings that ‘rage in battle’ was a gift while the two drank rum. Rum that awakened memories once ignored by Nimander.
(Note: in Scene 2, we’ll see Desra’s view of Nimander, and we’ll see that Nimander’s ruminations on rage here are what inform Desra’s view of him, and not in the way that Nimander’s doubt imagines.)
In the previous post, we discussed memories and their decay. So much of this series and the lore surrounding it is driven by the memories of ancient beings. Nimander is younger with respect to ancient beings (but ancient nonetheless), and even he struggles with his memories. Perhaps this is a result of the traumas he’s experienced with respect to his being in diaspora and perceived abandonment by his father (a symmetry itself with Rake’s — and the Tiste Andii as a whole — relationship with Mother Dark).
He recalls the rum lighting “a fire in [his] brain, casting red light on a host of memories gathered ghostly
round the unwelcoming heart.” He reminisces on the time after Kurald Galain (but before Drift Avalii) and his father’s emotional indifference. He recalls the pranks him and his kin would pull on Endest Silann; the arrival of Andarist and his arguments with Anomander. It is unclear what the arguments were — if you’ve read Forge of Darkness
, you might be able to infer what’s likely, but I’m curious if the argument is Andarist asking to take the siblings and Anomander refusing, or Anomander asking Andarist to take the children and Andarist was reluctant? Was the argument about Anomander thrusting the Hust blade, T’an Aros/K’orladis (i.e., Vengeance / Grief), onto Andarist or did Andarist already possess the blade? We don’t know exactly to my knowledge, but it’s fun to speculate.
Regardless, Nimander recalls, like a certain inscribed hearthstone, there was peace. Andarist was to take them all through a threshold, a portal elsewhere
(as mentioned, portals end up being a rung bell
, so pay attention). Nimander remembers Endest’s weeping as the children were pulled through a “portalway into an unknown, mysterious new world where anything was possible.”
Andarist raised the Tiste Andii children on that portal’s other side, on Drift Avalii. We know (or can infer) that this was a task to protect the Throne of Shadow, but Nimander and his kin didn’t understand this as children. But Andarist led them with his pragmatism, he ensured they learned how the world was. With our knowledge of Kharkanas, this is so powerful. We know Anomander’s hubris was abused as a motivating factor for Hunn Raal’s despicable acts. We know that Andarist likely lacks children of his own in response to this, and so his taking on guardianship over the children of his brother — that very same brother that rejected Andarist’s grief in favour of vengeance (and materialised in the T’an Aros/K’orladis dichotomy) — is a stark, challenging, and ultimately selfless decision.
But this pragmatism created child soldiers. The collision of reality’s necessity to survive and carry out the duty of protecting the Throne of Shadow came at the expense of what little remaining childhood innocence Rake’s brood still had (even as a people on the run, exiled from their home due to a sociopolitical schism). Andarist became a stern teacher, juxtaposed to the echoes of Endest’s gentleness. “The games ended. The world turned suddenly serious.” Nonetheless, the Tiste Andii siblings grew to love Andarist.
Nimander continues his introspection:
See a bored child with a stick — and see how every beast nearby flees, understanding well what is now possible and, indeed, probable.
This reminds me of a general rule of advice: ‘never fuck around when a child has gun.’ Tiste Andii or not, children can be cruel especially when mixed with unknown doses of trauma and violence. Regardless, I want to call attention here that this notion of children and beasts are each bells rung
. To Nimander, Andarist “unleash[ed] them, these children with avid eyes.” He “had made them good soldiers,” ones that know rage
As such, from his own experience, Nimander suspects that the Dying God is a child. He speaks to the dialectic between gods and their worshippers (another bell rung
The mad priests poured him full, knowing the vessel leaked, and then drank of that puerile seepage. Because he was a child, the Dying God’s thirst and need were without end, never satiated.
The group stumbles on desiccated bodies staked among fields: dried up, tapped of their libations. This speaks to a particular exploitation between mortal and god, symbolised literally as worshippers feeding a god to then become the harvested. This perpetuates the Dying God’s power to accumulate more worshippers via addictive kelyk. The language here shows that the Dying God has stumbled upon a sort of cheat code, an exploitation of the god-mortal dialectic that allows him and his priests to arbitrage power. Like a cancer that, via the law of large numbers, is equipped with the mechanisms to divert a body’s resources to it while it slowly destroys the body.
The scarecrows being in fields is such a perfect choice of this analogy: things to be harvested. A product, a commodity — a thing with both use-value and exchange-value, for our Marxians out there. I believe Erikson has said that he was thinking of oil here, and that is fine by itself, but I do like the mirroring to Eucharistic transubstantiation in Catholicism (due to my being a very-very-lapsed Catholic). Especially with wine, an extremely addictive substance, transcending into God’s blood to cleanse us as cannibalistic sacrament.
Dal Honese burial practices.
Nimander sees these fields as “bizarre cemeteries, where some local aberration of belief insisted that the dead be staked upright, that they ever stand ready for whatever may come." This makes him recall some shipwrecked Dal Honese on Drift Avalii. He thinks on the ancestor cult and burial practices of Dal Hon: literally constructing their homes with their dead in the walls as both material and essence, the building stretching out with additional rooms as time moved on and kin died.
This reminds me of the Neolithic proto-city, Çatalhöyük, found in Anatolia within modern-day Türkiye where ancestors have been found to be buried beneath platforms in living quarters. See: Chapter 6 of The Dawn of Everything
by Graeber and Wengrow.
With or without intention, I like to view this ritual via an existentialist lens, particularly Sartre’s notion of the Look. To Sartre — in contrast to other phenomenologies — being is in flux, some path of a given chaotic double-pendulum switching to and from poles of being-in-itself***\**1
* and being-for-itself***\**2
*. The Look, to Sartre, is a sort of symmetry breaking — a realisation by being-for-itselves that decentralises it, the sudden awareness of its being an object, an Other, to Other consciousnesses.
A heuristic often used to showcase Sartre’s notion of the Look (or Gaze) is that of a voyeur peeping through a keyhole into someone’s room that hears a noise down the hall. Regardless if that noise is from another person (another being-for-itself) or not (say, the house settling), the subjective voyeur suddenly objectifies themselves, collapsing the chaotic pendulum from being-for-itself (nothingness as "no thing-ness") to their facticity — their being-in-itself, their thing-ness — whose meaning to Other being-for-themselves is relative to a separate centre than the voyeur’s own.
To Sartre, the resulting anxiety experienced snapping from subject to object is a proof against any nihilistic approach to solipsism. The fact that we can Other our own being-for-itself means that we can also recognise being-for-itself external to us since those we Other too can Other us as we Other ourselves. The reflexivity as a result of the Look is evidence against solipsism to Sartre.
As a result, this Dal Honese practice is a cultural self-burdening via Sartre’s Look by literally having your ancestors clay-filled bodies decentralise your subjectivity and externalise you as an object that can be judged by its facticity. This results in a sort of collective Dal Honese being-for-others
, Sartre would argue. This isn’t inherently good or bad to existentialists, but it does necessitate a calculus that discerns if the living descendants are authentically
expressing their freedom
with each moment they accept this practice, or if they are living in bad faith
Regardless, though, this is a haunting
of the Past. This haunting isn’t something that is only important to existentialism or other philosophical traditions (such as post-structuralism — see: Derrida’s hauntology
), but to the genre conventions and tropes of Gothic horror and its descendants (such as cosmic horror, weird fiction, and their influences on sword and sorcery, etc.).
There are mappings (some more subtle than others) between the Sublime and the existential anxiety and dread experienced in phenomena similar to the Look. The experience of looking upon the vastness of the sea, of stumbling upon an ancient statue, of learning of the size of the universe — which are described as the Sublime
, the Weird
, or Eldritch
in some literary traditions (e.g., Romantic, Gothic, Horror, the Weird, etc.) — are the same experiences that are often analysed in continental philosophies using words such as angst/anxiety/despaiabsurdity/alienation
Nimander goes on to further expose the relationship between this Dal Honese ancestor cult and inter-tribal conflicts that lead to deaths and stolen bodies that leave physical voids in Dal Honese architecture. He muses how this physical representation of wounds begets a cycle of vengeance (a cultural tradition, a product of facticity and bad faith): “blood back and forth,” he says. He mentions that this cycle is what pushed the shipwrecked Dal Honese from their homes, an act of revolt and perhaps even authenticity to Sartre. Eventually the Dal Honese recovered and “paddled away — not back home, but to some unknown place, a place devoid of unblinking ghosts staring out from every wall.
I love that Erikson has this whole little short story in this scene, especially in the contrast of its being some rum-induced reflection by Nimander on his own past’s haunting of him and his siblings. Moreover, these Tiste Andii are travelling with Kallor, the Undying Unascendant: a being-for-itself that literally manifests the past’s haunting on the present — a man cursed, jaded, who carries the past with him wherever he travels. All of these together show that one’s freedom can have one flee (even be redeemed — which balances with other plotlines in TtH), but that doesn’t necessarily — nor sufficiently so — annihilate the past.
Finding a tower.
After this, Nimander’s reminiscing is interrupted by his hearing Kallor nearby (like a footstep in a hallway). Kallor comments on the use of the corpses and notes that the flora “[is] not even native
to this world, after all.” Nimander replies that the corpses are being used for saemankelyk. The mention of the plants not being native to this world should orient the reader back to the Weird, especially since it brings upon a sense of unease, an Othering — the house settling that again serves to reduce both Nimander and the readers to our thing-ness
‘The past’ versus ‘the present’ versus ‘the future’ (and their hauntings of one another) bubble up again with some banter between Skintick and Kallor about the state of things. Kallor states ‘nothing changes.’ Skintick counters ‘it keeps getting worse,’ to which Kallor claims is but an illusion.
I find this dialogue to be a comical little conflict between Kallor’s perceived-postmodern, nihilistic judgement of the state of things being inert versus Skintick’s pseudo-Rousseauian, inverted-Hegalian, modernist grand narrative of things getting worse.
Again, it alludes to a haunting of the past on the current generation. Interestingly, this is a trend within the Book of the Fallen in general: not as an espousing of the ‘old vs. young’, but Erikson’s decentering/challenging/deconstruction of that binary. Think of Raest in GotM; Menandore, Sukul and Sheltatha in RG; Karsa in HoC; the Witness trilogy. He does this via a sort of Ancient's Hubris colliding with its differences to the Present’s Ingenuity, and this being dual to the Present’s Naivety colliding with the Ancient Wisdom.
Kallor eventually hits a sore spot with the Tiste: he brings up Rake. Unlike the Dal Honese whose freedom had them flee the cultural practices of letting their ancestors haunt both literally and figuratively, Nimander and his siblings were pulled/pushed away from their father (and people) as children — by what very well could be their father’s request. The Tiste siblings are haunted by Anomander’s active
absence. Their continued distance from their father isn’t an act of expressing their freedom against an Ancestor’s Gaze — it isn’t an act of revolution — it is their facticity and a source for their Othering of themselves. We often see this from Nimander’s POVs up to and including this sequence.
Kallor sniffs out this weakness and presses upon the wound. Nimander gets flustered and retorts. To which Kallor responds:
'Anomander Rake is a genius at beginning things. It’s finishing them he has trouble with.'
Also, I didn’t need my ADHD called out so harshly, dude. What the fuck.
Without diving into what Erikson was dealing with while writing this book, this hits hard for Nimander, and is an interesting commentary nonetheless. His father, Anomander, is the leader of a diasporic people who’ve been without home, without a centre, for 400,000 years. I think Kallor’s words hurt Nimander so much because the Tiste siblings don’t know Anomander’s current plans nor have they experienced the "settling-down" from the unveiling of Kurald Galain in what is now Black Coral. They are unaware of Rake’s teleology for his people, for himself even. Regardless, we see again and again that Kallor isn’t just a strong skirmisher, his words cut nearly as well as his blades.
Kallor goes on to confirm that he knows Rake before the group notices a ruined tower among the alien plants and scarecrows. Kallor says its Jaghut. Kallor trudges forth indifferently, pushing corpses out of his way as he bee-lines it to the ruined tower. I don’t think such a sequence of action has ever described Kallor’s whole raison d’être and modus operandi so well: just a man seemingly indifferent to the corpses in his path as his will pulls him forward.
We get a small interaction between Skintick and Nimander that reveals Skintick’s acuity in reading Kallor’s take on Rake. Kallor sees their father as an equal (it isn’t just the readers that need to be keen to subtext, characters do too).
Skintick offers the idea of sicking Kallor on the Dying God, hoping he “decid[es] to do something for his own reasons, but something that ends up solving our problem.” I like the use of “deciding to do something for his own reasons
,” as this aligns so well with authenticity in existentialism (and the absence of some absolute morality for authenticity).
As Nimander approaches the tower behind Kallor, both Nimander and the readers get a great sense of horror, the weird, the uncanny, and the sublime with how Erikson describes the scenery:
Drawing closer to the ruin, they fell silent. Decrepit as it was, the tower was imposing. The air around it seemed grainy, somehow brittle, ominously cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.
The highest of the walls revealed a section of ceiling just below the uppermost set of stones, projecting without any other obvious support to cast a deep shadow upon the ground floor beneath it. The facing wall reached only high enough to encompass a narrow, steeply arched doorway. Just outside this entrance and to one side was a belly-shaped pot in which grew a few straggly plants with drooping flowers, so incongruous amid the air of abandonment that Nimander simply stared down at them, disbelieving.
Nimander notes an incongruity of this place — its aesthetic of abandonment juxtaposed with a curated garden. “The cold despite the sun’s fierce heat.
” This evokes a certain unsettledness to Nimander (and thus, the reader). These genre conventions are sources of tension and anxiety, similar to non-diegetic violins building up to a real or false jump-scare in a slasher flick.
Arrogantly, Kallor chooses to go out of his way and insult the presumed Jaghut within the tower. Classic Kallor. The Jaghut replies “nothing changes,” resulting in Kallor shooting Skintick and Nimander a “pleased smirk.”
Tea time, but before falling into a rabbit-hole and not after.
Before Kallor can announce himself, the Jaghut lists off Kallor’s titles, his facticity. Kallor’s reputation precedes him and there’s an asymmetry here in which the Jaghut knows who Kallor is but Kallor doesn’t yet know who the Jaghut is. This is our first hint that this meeting isn’t serendipitous, and is instead an intentional interaction with regards to the plot. And if this Jaghut knows of Kallor, does he know those who Kallor travels with? Who is this Jaghut’s intended audience among those options?
I also like the play here with facticity: the Jaghut lists out things about Kallor, but is Kallor some sum of those thing-nesses? How many are true, how many are manufactured myths? It’s an act by this Jaghut to Gaze upon Kallor, to show to Kallor that he’s being seen. It’s a deliberate tactic to destabilise and decenter Kallor: an offensive.
We as readers are informed of Kallor’s limitations from the Azathanai curses via Draconus, K’rul and Nightchill, but these limitations on Kallor don’t necessarily restrict his freedom until Kallor allows them.
We get a flash of Jaghut humour and guest rites — this ancient dismisses Kallor while inviting everyone in for tea. Interestingly, Erikson has this Jaghut use the proper noun of ‘Others’ which lends me to think that an existentialist lens hasn’t been the worst pick (not that ‘Othering’ is strictly existentialist by any means).
So, we’ve had corpses drained dry for kelyk, alien plant-life, a ruined tower of an unknown age stumbled upon beyond the urban, a preternatural creature to Nimander and his kin (something they’ve maybe only witnessed a handful of times) and then we get this description:
The air of the two-walled chamber was frigid, the stones sheathed in amber-streaked hoarfrost. Where the other two walls should have been rose black, glimmering barriers of some unknown substance, and to look upon them too long was to feel vertiginous — Nimander almost pitched forward, drawn up only by Skintick’s sudden grip, and his friend whispered, ‘Never mind the ice, cousin.’
Ice, yes, it was just that. Astonishingly transparent ice–
I love this. First: “it was just that” screams “no it isn’t” to anyone paying attention to the words Erikson is using to make the reader uncomfortable. We know: Jaghut + Ice = Omtose Phellack. The atmospheric setting here is directly being called out in not just a sublime way, but his description has an added layer of horror to Omtose Phellack.
Erikson uses “vertiginous
,” giving both Nimander and us a sense of vertigo, being decentred and unoriented. This isn’t too different from descriptions found in works like Vandermeer’s Annihilation
or other New Weird authors. This ice wall calls to Nimander, draws from him feelings of unknown when he’s caught himself staring for too long — emphasis on staring.
For all intents and purposes, this ice wall is a thing, a being-in-itself, neither active nor passive. But its effect on Nimander is similar to the Dal Honese ancestors’ Gaze — this ice wall objectifies him, calls to him, evokes his being-for-others, and emotionally alienates him. The pull Nimander feels is his submitting his being-for-itself with the freedom of those that Gaze upon him. A justification of his facticity, his bad faith. This will be important later.
Eventually we get this awesome line from the Jaghut host:
’Once, long ago, a wolf god came before me. Tell me, Kallor, do you understand the nature of beast gods? Of course not. You are only a beast in the unfairly pejorative sense — unfair to beasts, that is. How is it, then, that the most ancient gods of this world were, one and all, beasts?’
There’s so much going on to unpack in this paragraph.
- He’s called Kallor a beast, but says his doing so is unfair to beasts (damn, this ice orc just roasted Kallor).
- It calls back to Nimander’s thoughts on children wielding sticks and beasts fleeing as a result. With or without knowing it, this Jaghut is calling Kallor a child, too, in the pejorative sense, unfair to children.
- He says the first gods were beasts, but does he mean these early gods were explicitly Beasts (in essence, not the pejorative sense) or that they were beast-like akin to the pejorative sense used on Kallor (or some combination of both)?
- Interestingly, we know that this wolf god is possibly an Azathanai d’ivers from FoL — with this knowledge, would Fanderay and Togg count as a Beast-as-literal-beast beast-god?
Later, again, we get this Jaghut saying Others as a proper noun, and then the Others are called Tiste Andii.
‘Ah, and what of the Others with you? Might not they be interested?’
Clearing his throat, Skintick said, ‘Venerable one, we possess nothing of worth to one such as you.’
‘You are too modest, Tiste Andii.’
'Each creature is born from one not its kind. This is a wonder, a miracle forged in the fires of chaos, for chaos indeed whispers in our blood, no matter its particular hue. If I but scrape your skin, so lightly as to leave but a momentary streak, that which I take from you beneath my nail contains every truth of you, your life, even your death, assuming violence does not claim you. A code, if you will, seemingly precise and so very ordered. Yet chaos churns. For all your similarities to your father, neither you nor the one named Nimander — nor any of your brothers and sisters — is identical to Anomander Dragnipurake. Do you refute this?’
Above, the Jaghut goes on to describe genetics, but also calls out the fact that they are children of Anomander — dude definitely knows more than he’s leading on, that’s for sure, and is winking directly to us readers, seemingly going over the heads of both Kallor and the Tiste. Also, the bit about chaos in blood will come up again and again in later scenes and later essays.
Moreover, we see that the Jaghut says that which he scrapes "contains every truth of you, your life, even your death" — our genetics are facticities, among our thing-nesses. "Yet chaos churns," the Jaghut rebuts. That chaos in our blood is a source of our "no thing-ness," from which we may express our freedom against the determinism of genetics — of facticities — and transcend.
For each kind of beast there is a first such beast, more different from its parents than the rest of its kin, from which a new breed in due course emerges. Is this firstborn then a god?’
I love this for two reasons. One, it speaks to a criticism of the assumption that a prime-mover is necessarily divine. But, through the existentialist lens, it’s a challenge and criticism of the presumed Authority of Genealogy. Jumping back to the early musings on ancestry: if ancestors haunt us and dictate our facticity as a result of suppressing our being-for-itself, then where does that chain of dictating/suppressing end? And is that terminus also an Authority above all generations below it just due to its being something new
, something sufficiently different from its own genealogy, its ancestors ‘behind’ it?
I also like the subtext of trauma as hereditary here with the double entendre behind ‘beast’, we can think of this Jaghut as asking if the primordial source of generational trauma has authority over its descendants? What does this dialogue mean for Nimander and his siblings and their place with respect to their father and the rest of the Tiste Andii people? Does this inform an analysis of Nimander’s chaotic double-pendulum between being-in-itself, being-for-itself, and his being-for-others?
thing I would like to point out here, too, is that neither Skintick, Nimander, nor Kallor have used the Tiste Andii’s names, yet this Jaghut knows them by name. Kallor could deduce they were Rake’s children, but he didn’t know their names. Even though Skintick showcased an acuity to subtext when considering Kallor’s opinions of Rake, he doesn’t catch onto this subtlety. This Jaghut not only knows of Kallor, he knows of Nimander and his siblings. The evidence that this meeting isn’t serendipity continues to build.
‘You spoke of a wolf god,’ Skintick said. ‘You began to tell us a story.’
‘So I did. But you must be made to understand. It is a question of essences. To see a wolf and know it as pure, one must possess an image in oneself of a pure wolf, a perfect wolf.’
‘Ridiculous,’ Kallor grunted. ‘See a strange beast and someone tells you it is a wolf — and from this one memory, and perhaps a few more to follow, you have fashioned your image of a wolf. In my empires, philosophers spewed such rubbish for centuries, until, of course, I grew tired of them and had them tortured and executed.’
This sequence of dialogue is fantastic and reminds me of arguments foagainst the strong/weak Sapir-Whorf hypothesis/es. We see the Jaghut musing on a seemingly prescriptive Platonic idealism that Kallor interrupts with a more descriptive, pragmatic, empirical framework in which he follows with a jest of torturing and executing philosophers (remind me to never live in the Kallorian Empire).
Kallor speaks as if his words contradict the Jaghut and show the assumed idealism to be wrong. But, by Kallor’s own argument, the Jaghut’s words of ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ are just as empirically contingent to one’s memories as ‘wolf’ is. The combinations of signs and symbols language users use give flesh to those signs’ and symbols’ own meaning — but bury that meaning beneath the flesh by doing so. The concept of a ‘perfect wolf’ (i.e., ‘perfect’ + ‘wolf’) emerging from one’s own contingency with the notion of ‘perfect’ and ‘wolf’ is entirely possible without that imagined ‘perfect wolf’ being actually some idealisation, i.e., some Platonic Perfect Wolf.
The Jaghut responds with laughter to Kallor’s absurdity: both in his misinterpretation of the Jaghut’s musings as well as the nature of Kallor’s brutal reaction to those that question things he finds to be rubbish. This pairs well with Skintick’s future POV in this sequence, but the contrast between Kallor and this Jaghut is entertaining nonetheless. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish when Kallor is telling the truth about his brutality or if his mutterings are just words congruent to his reputation.
The two then have a pissing contest. We find out the Jaghut was in disguise — I don’t have the evidence or time here to say, but there are ideas that this particular Jaghut is a d'ivers and it is fucking awesome even if untrue. The discussion here points to some T’lan Imass’ Jaghut War. It being the Kron, I’m inclined to wonder if there is a relationship with the bones Karsa stumbles upon in HoC (where he and his war party find Calm).
Skintick squatted to pick up two of the cups, straightening to hand one to Nimander. The steam rising from the tea was heady, hinting of mint and cloves and something else. The taste numbed his tongue.
take candy from strangers
tea from Jaghut, people.
We find out that Raest is this Jaghut’s child. We find out that this Jaghut took on 43 T’lan Imass and a Bonecaster, killing them all. This is a threat rallied back against Kallor’s assertion that he’s killed Jaghut.
Teeth bared, Kallor bent down to retrieve his cup.
The Jaghut’s left hand shot out, closing about Kallor’s wrist. ‘You wounded that wolf god,’ he said.
Oh shit. What follows is one of the first times I can recall that Kallor is scared
. Contrast with his earlier treatment of Rake as equal.
'Oh, be quiet, Kallor. This tower was an Azath once. Shall I awaken it for you?’
Wondering, Nimander watched as Kallor backed towards the entrance, eyes wide in that weathered, pallid face, the look of raw recognition dawning. ‘Gothos, what are you doing here?’
‘Where else should I be? Now remain outside — these two Tiste Andii must go away for a while.’
The revelation: the Jaghut is none other than the Lord of Hate himself, Gothos
. You can understand why Kallor, always so arrogant, submits to Gothos and listens to his instruction.
Immediately after the reveal, Skintick and Nimander succumb to the effects of whatever extra ingredient Gothos had slipped into their tea. We get this final sequence:
Nimander’s eyes were drawn once more to the walls of ice. Black depths, shapes moving within.
He staggered, reached out his hands–
‘Oh, don’t step in there–’
And then he was falling forward, his hands passing into the wall before him, no resistance at all.
‘Nimander, do not–’
Again, the readers eyes are drawn along with Nimander's to the icy, abyss-like, objectifying, Gazing threshold. Here's where the sublime and the weird really flavour the setting in this scene.
There's a bell’s echo here from the start of this scene: this sequence starts with Nimander discussing the uncertainty related to moving through a portal with Andarist away from the rest of his kin, a breaching. During these final lines of this first scene, we get a tension between us and the unknown, between what has happened and that-which-is-to-come, between what we’ve imagined about Malazan’s cosmos and some contorting of those assumptions. What’s beyond the veil decentres not only Nimander in its draw and pushing him to being-for-others, but it decentres the readers too. Hic sunt dracones
, terra incognita, the sublime, the enigmatic, the terror. We’re made to feel small and inconsequential by this icy threshold.
It isn’t mysterious because it evades our Gaze like other fantastical things (e.g., many renditions of some archetypal tricksters found within various folklores), instead it invites our Gaze eventually since It Gazes back (almost Nietzschean).
Calling back to the genre conventions, this extended scene is one that definitely plays with the established conventions of Gothic literature and its descendants. Constantly, Erikson hits us with tension sewn into his choice of words in Nimander’s ruminations, his angst associated to diaspora, the notion of Dal Honese ancestors gazing upon their descendants from clay walls, absent ancestors that too haunt the same, the fields of scarecrows as desiccated (and harvested) bodies of worshippers, the alien plant-life, the ancient Jaghut tower, the ice threshold. Each of these (and those unmentioned) add onto to the dissociation (de-centering) of both Nimander and us, the readers. Each of us seem small and inconsequential to the dynamism of the cosmos: everything we know, including that of what we already know about the Malazan universe (and our own) can be challenged. We’re each just travellers who have stumbled upon a shattered visage in the desert that reads: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
This stands in contrast to — almost a revolution against — the modalities one can garnish from the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment that favour an almost religious rationalism and positivism. This is why I believe (and hope I have shown) that the existentialist (and those schools of thought peripheral to it) lens is apt. The genealogy of Gothic literature serves as a grammatical sandbox that gives way to exploring the things that existentialism tries to frame in its study, such as the dread and anxieties — the nothingness (no thing-ness) — of being.
Not only are the Dal Honese clay-filled ancestors present to alienate the reader by entertaining a certain ‘exoticism’ (by the readers’ juxtaposing such practices against what we consider ‘normal’ — here's where Sartre is applied to White or Male Gazes), but they are there as conduits for understanding how Nimander is affected by Others, by their Looks — his siblings, his absent father, his dead uncle, Kallor, Gothos, and the icy threshold — even if this ‘othering’ is one done only by Nimander onto himself (the house settling perceived as a footfall). This becomes more important in the scenes that follow.
So, how does this relate to the Eleint, dragonblood or sorcery? If you want to know now, please read ahead in the text — i.e., he future scenes in this sequence in Chapter 8 of TtH — you’ll find out. Otherwise, I’ll attempt to provide more clarity in the follow-up post(s). Until then, I just want put forth some questions:
- Are the Eleint actually dragons in the usual fantastical/conventional sense, or are they something different, something alien, something terrifying, something that evokes horror?
- If meaning-making (and, as such, essentializing) — according to my reading of existentialism — is a choice of ascribing/burying the Real with its facticity, what does this mean for K’rul’s warrenification and the birth of sorcery? What does this mean for aspecting, particularly for the Eleint and the Azathanai?
Beyond those questions (which align with my grander narrative shared in this collection of essays) — in regards to the plot, I think it is smart to continue asking, ‘why has Gothos ensured that Anomander’s children and Kallor would stumble upon his tower?’ 1
the facticity of what can be understood as objective states ascribed to things, including social constructions — thing-ness — e.g., how things are thrown into the world, a mode of existence that simply is, the contingent being of ordinary things, such the language(s) one speaks, one’s occupation, etc. 2
the mode of existence of consciousness that stands in contrast to being-in-itself, “no thing-ness”, that which negates being-in-itself
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2023.05.30 05:33 CartmantheWizardKing The Ranger looking dirty at the lake.
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Got her just how I want. RSI Smartcap, white knuckle off-road sliders, decked system, diode dynamics fog lights, Baja designs ditch lights, and the best mods ceramic coating and UV resistant window tinting on windshield and front windows. submitted by CartmantheWizardKing to RangerNext [link] [comments]