Josie maran get even sun milk
2014.02.01 02:10 OzkanTheFlip 2ChainzHolyGrailPoopOnMyChest666HailStanNoScopedSixFeetUnderTheBStandsForBroadus
The B Stands For Broadus
2023.05.30 05:37 nicebrah Have any of you received a citation for tinted windows in California?
I effed up.
I got my front windows tinted and they’re a lot darker than expected. The installer showed me a sample glass with 25% and it didn’t look dark at all, so I assumed getting 30% was a safe choice. Boy was I wrong.
It’s not as dark as the factory rear windows but it’s definitely dark enough to where the interior is hidden if the sun hits it in a certain way.
The installer said “these types of cars” never get ticketed for tinted windows and 30% is not even that dark so I shouldn’t worry. But I still don’t want to get a ticket and then have to pay more money for another tint.
So have any of you fellow Californian Tesla owners been ticketed for their tinted windows? If so, how dark is your tint?
(For those of you that are curious, I purchased XPEL PRIME XR PLUS.)
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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
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:
- Facticity and transcendence; Authenticity and bad faith
- The Look/Gaze and being-for-others
- The Absurd and Revolution
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-itself1
. 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 not only a soletaken Eleint, but a d’ivers Eleint, which I think is fucking awesome even if it isn’t true. 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 05:35 PsychologicalSun3548 It does get easier.
I myself just got out of a on and off relationship of 4 years. I have been on this sub before at times when the I thought the relationship was over and I felt that pain everyone here is now feeling. I have been there. I know what it feels like. I know how the sun no longer shines like it use too. Colors don't seems a vibrant as they use too. Cant even listen to music as it brings up memories and emotions, not even being able to go to places you use to go to bc all it does is bring up the good times. Its hard to see yourself getting passed all that, but let me tell you regardless if you see it or not, regardless if you don't think it will get better or it will. It will. You have no choice in the matter. How long it last can be up to you but eventually it fades and as scary as that sounds. I would much rather be in the position I am in now than the one I was when I was on this sub a couple years ago. I just want to say that its only temporary and regardless of how scary it sounds everything is going to be okay. That much I can promise!
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2023.05.30 05:15 ExplodingKnowledge Venting About Formula in Canada
My wife can’t breastfeed, so we formula fed our first — which was expensive but manageable. We had some minor supply issues due to COVID but we could always find at least enough powder to last until another shipment came.
Now with our second COVID isn’t affecting supply chains nearly as much as it was, so I can’t believe the absolute GOUGING and lack of supply of formula in my city.
I have to go to 3-4 stores just to find the right kind of formula, then I have to spend nearly $80 (double what they cost 2 years ago) on pre-mixed bottles that last half as long as a half-priced refill of powder. So for seemingly no reason other than to line the pockets of Galen Weston Jr. , I have to spend almost 4x as much to feed my baby as I did 2 years ago.
That’s not the worst part, the worst part is that I can’t even order directly from Enfamil, and no online retailers ever have them or anything else in stock. So 2x a week I have to drive around multiple stores just to maybe get lucky and find ONE BOX of overpriced formula and it’s not even the powder.
I’m defeated. Thank goodness he’ll be drinking milk in just a few months, which is dirt cheap by comparison.
Rant over, thanks for reading.
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2023.05.30 05:14 AmericanClassic7 51 [M4F] #Lakeland, Florida - Attractive, right wing, dominant man seeks younger, fit, conservative woman for traditional relationship and marriage
How are you?
You know how you want to be bowled over and think, whoa, I think I've found my exact match who just fits me so well, it's like we're made for each other?
Yeah, let's find out.
We're not talking perfection or anything, just a really great match that makes our lives seem like our own little Heaven on earth. At least we try and make it that way every day.
With that in mind, here's who I am and what I'm looking for.
- I'm attractive and keep in shape. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, but most women have described me as attractive, some have said handsome, more than a few have said hot. I'll take it. And some not so much. They probably needed glasses ;)
- I'm confident and assertive without being an a-hole or a d-bag.
- I work hard and smart. I don't like to waste time. Unless it's intentional in a sit on the porch and enjoy the evening air kinda "wasting" time.
- I believe a man should provide. Am I going to shower you with gifts and you be my little sugar baby? NO. Will I work and provide while you stay home if that's your dream (as long as staying home involves you working and doing your part)? Yes. If you want a career, will I work with that and we split household duties? Yes. Will I surprise you on occasion with a thoughtful gift or something I think you'll cherish? I will. But if you're looking for a life of luxury and a meal ticket, I'm not your man.
- I'm funny and witty and have a great sense of humor. I should do stand up. I have my moments and I'm fairly certain you and I will share many belly laughs and tears streaming down our faces moments. Or seeing that cute little smile cross your face because I blurted out something you found funny, witty, endearing or even a little crazy in a good way. I'm cool like that.
- I'm a Christian and my faith is important to me.
- I'm a good blend of thoughtful and considerate but won't put up with your crap and will put you in your place.
- I'm on the dominant side and will lead you well. Not the overbearing, you be my doormat and I'll degrade you as I wipe my feet on you. I mean, I could be, but I'm not sure how well you'll keep my feet clean. We seem to have names and titles for everything. Hard dom, soft dom, this or that. I'm just dominant. In the best way.
- I'm right wing. Conservative. A little populist. Traditional. Old school. However you want to say it.
Here's what I want in you:
- You're fit and attractive. Not in a if I squint my eyes and the sun hits you just right you look kinda ok, but cute! Attractive. Hot. I find your face and body appealing. I mean, give me something to work with. I do like a woman with a flat or toned stomach. I could love you to no end and be committed like no other, but I can't get it up for a chubby or fat girl. Sorry. We all have our things. Please be committed to keeping the best body you can and staying in shape. Whether that's healthy(ier) eating, working out, whatever it takes. Just don't let yourself go and be a woman who loves looking good for her man!
- You're naturally obedient. Or submissive if you prefer that term. You're a woman who when your man makes a decision, you support and obey it. You treat your man's word as law.
Now, a quick note: I like a woman who shares her ideas and opinions and sees if something holds water when I say what I want done. Not in a sarcastic tone or questioning way, but tactfully and politely. If there's something you wrestle with, let me know. Ask if I've considered this or that, or give me a different perspective to consider. Or just as good, offer an alternative. Say I want to obey you and I will, but would be ok if I... (fill in the blank with your alternative idea) to try and get that same result for you?
Something like that. And if you're the quiet type and just want to obey without much input, I can work with that.
- You're a Christian and/or very open to learning and following what God says in the Bible. It'll be our guide, our road map for living our lives.
- You are very, very pro-sex. You can be a virgin or very experienced. If the former, you have no hang ups about sex because I won't be in a dead bedroom. Hopefully you have a very high sexual drive. That's relative, as what's "high" to one person may not be to another, but you're committed to meeting your man's needs.
Note: Be willing to talk about sex and answer any number of questions. Ask any you have. Sex is essential in a great marriage, and we need to know if we're compatible with our desires and preferences and what we expect or are looking for. If you're less experienced or a virgin, no worries. There are still things to talk about.
- You're looking for a serious and long term relationship. Marriage, eventually. Because I am.
- You're on the conservative side politically. Great relationships can be had with each other on opposite sides, but it does make it harder and more work.
- You love to please and cater to your man. It makes you feel good to serve and help and find ways to do things that makes your man's life better in every way.
This is getting long and you're not reading fast enough.
You should already be thinking of what you're going to say to me and stand out from the other women.
Hints: I love honesty. It's essential to me. I love longer replies (not just the first ones, but any). Not every one has to be some mini-novel but you get what I'm saying. I love details. I mean, I don't need the "I had this sandwich at 12:32 and it didn't sit well with me, and my boss has this habit where he walks the hall and I keep my door partially open so..."
More like you just fill me in who you are, what you believe, what you like or love, what you want in relationships, anything. "I love swimming, I try to go 2-3 times a week and mountain biking is almost my thing. I went on this trail the other day and it was..."
Or "OMG you described me to a T. You mentioned being obedient and loving to serve my man and I'm like, hey, if he only knew! I'm throwing up a hand here and making my way to the front of the line so you notice me because (fill in the blank with things you love to do)
OR the super honest route:
"You know what, there are prettier girls (I'm doing ok in that area, though ;) and I don't have all of what you're looking for but I do have (list the things you have) and most would probably win if you compared us in some of the things you listed, but I can say that no one will outwork me, no other woman will be as committed to you, or do her best to make your life better in whatever way I can, or love you like crazy (we'll get there) or not let myself go and try and look good. Those things I can control. So if you're looking for an "average" girl but who can offer extraordinary in some ways, and treat you like a king, you may want to write me back. We could have the best relationship!"
You get the idea.
I work odd hours sometimes.
So if you write me (and you should), don't disappear if you don't hear from me right away, or even in a few hours. I will find you. I will write and we'll begin our first chapter in what is hopefully, a wonderful romance that fills us with joy, love, happiness and a peace because we've found that right match for us.
Message or chat. Hit that button and tell me about you. Age and location and anything you want to share. Be willing to trade pics very soon.
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2023.05.30 05:06 AJNadir The Runebound Sage - 12
Finding monkeys proved fairly easy. That didn’t come as much of a surprise, as Noah had practically been drowning in the mangy monsters when he’d first been shunted into Vermil’s body.
After just a few minutes of creeping through the trees, he spotted a red-furred monkey hunched over the blood splattered carcass of another monkey, savagely tearing into it and ripping large chunks of flesh free.
It shoveled them into its mouth, letting out an incredibly uncomfortable combination of moans and grunts as it fed. Noah didn’t even bother to hide his disgust. He stopped in his tracks, keeping a few trees between him and the distracted monster, and channeled one of his Wind Runes.
An arc of energy swirled between his fingertips and leapt out, scything past trees and connecting cleanly with the back of the monkey’s neck.
The monster pitched forward and fell prone on top of its meal, the stump of its neck pumping blood out onto the ground. A rush of energy slithered through Noah’s veins and up his spine.
Noah immediately brought forth his Vibration Rune. It flickered, indistinguishable from what it had looked like before. If killing the monkey had done anything to make it grow in strength, he couldn’t see the results.
“Lovely. I sure hope these things aren’t endangered, because I think I’m going to be killing quite a few of them.” Noah closed his palm.
No matter how many he had to kill, at least it was better than sitting around and doing nothing. That was one thing he’d never do again. Better to try and fail than to be stuck wasting even more time.
He knelt by the dead monkey and used one of its hands to saw at a claw. A few minutes later, he ripped it free with a grunt. Noah wiped the blood off on the monster’s thick hair and hefted his makeshift dagger, nodding to himself.
It was time to hunt.
Five more monkeys met similar fates and fell to Noah’s Wind Runes. He was tempted to test out Ash, but Wind felt like a much better tool for his current opponents. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Hours ticked by as he stalked the denizens of the forest, and the sun trekked through the sky, making for the horizon. Noah’s streak of good luck finally came to an end as he reached a small clearing in the burnt trees shortly after midday.
Something had ripped the trees in the area apart and thrown them all to one side, leaving jagged stumps protruding from the ground everywhere. Four small monkeys sat in a semicircle around a huge one that Noah recognized all to well from its enormous claws and butt-ugly face.
A Slasher. The same monster that had killed him several times shortly after his arrival. A mixture of fear and anger mixed in his chest and Noah instinctively ducked behind a tree, pressing his side to the brittle bark.
He waited a moment before peeking out again. The monsters didn’t seem to have noticed him. The Slasher just stood before its smaller fellows, grunting unintelligibly and occasionally waving its hands around. Are they intelligent? That’s an unsettling thought. Might take a moment to get over that. Okay, I’m over it. Bastards went for me first. Enjoy waiting in line, assholes.
Noah flexed his fingers. He unhooked the gourd from his waist and padded back in the way he’d come for a minute, hiding the gourd at the base of a large tree before returning to the clearing.
He wrapped around the clearing to get behind the back of the Slasher. He hadn’t fought the monsters in a group yet, but that didn’t change the fact that the huge monkey was still the most dangerous of the lot.
Wind slithered around Noah’s palm and formed into a vibrating crescent moon before his palm. He took aim and let the spell fly at the monkey. Not waiting to see if it connected, he formed another disk and launched it before dashing back into the trees.
A raged screech followed by a gurgling howl told Noah that his attacks had struck. Thundering footsteps followed by a loud crunch gave the additional information that they hadn’t struck quite well enough.
Noah swore under his breath, pumping his legs as hard as he could as he dipped and dove through the forest. Trees cracked and shattered behind him as the monkey gave chase, hollering in fury.
It was gaining on him. Noah couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu as the distance between them steadily closed. He could hear the calls of the smaller monsters growing closer. Noah caught a flash of one of them swinging through the trees to his side.
He spun, firing a blade of wind at it. The monkey dropped to the ground, dodging the attack, and lunged for him. The smart move would have been to dive to the side or try to avoid the blow.
That was likely what the monkey had been expecting. Instead, Noah stepped toward it and whipped his elbow up into the monster’s nose. It let out a screech and staggered backward, momentarily stunned.
Noah slammed his palm into its face and unleashed a blade of wind point blank. Blood sprayed and it fell back without another noise. Energy flooded into Noah, but he was already running again.
Three more monkeys. Two small ones and one wounded Slasher. Noah spun behind a tree, raising his hand and firing a blade of wind just as the Slasher barreled clean through a thin tree, sending fragments of wood flying everywhere.
Its furry neck was matted with blood and its beady black eyes burned with hatred and pain. The monkey opened its mouth, revealing rows of jagged yellow fangs, and let out a howl. Noah’s spell caught it in the chest, carving a thick wound across it.
It screeched and lunged at Noah. This time, Noah got the feeling that trying to punch the monkey out would just result in getting shredded to ribbons. He dove away, landing in an awkward roll.
Something popped in his arm and he swore in pain. Noah rolled over, raising his other hand defensively just as the Slasher arrived before him. It raised its hands, screeching in victory. I saw the other monster do this too. It’s going to slash down with both hands.
Noah rolled to the side. Dirt whumped behind him as the monkey’s claws slipped clean through it and its palms hit the forest floor. His arm throbbed in pain, but Noah ignored it. He raised his other hand and fired a blade of wind into the surprised Slasher’s neck.
Its cries finally went silent and it crashed to the ground beside him, dead. Noah shuddered, adrenaline coursing through his veins with such intensity that he could hear his heartbeat.
Energy filled him and he staggered to his feet, scanning the surroundings. There were still two monkeys left, and he still remembered what happened when he celebrated a victory too early.
Noah turned in a slow circle, his eyes flicking at every faint rustle of wind through the cracked trees. His chest rose and fell with heavy breaths and he held his hand before his chest, his teeth bared.
“Come on,” Noah snarled. “Where are you?”
A powerful blow slammed into Noah’s back and he staggered forward. He staggered to the side, but too slowly to avoid a clawed hand as it raked across his back. Noah screamed and fell to the ground, desperately twisting around to see the monkey lunging to rip his face off.
Magic swirled and a blade of wind caught the monster in the neck. Its corpse slammed into Noah, knocking him to the ground. The wounds on his back screamed in pain and Noah snarled, shoving the creature off him.
Numbness crept along his body. He tried to stand, but his legs wouldn’t work properly. He slipped in the growing pool of his and the monster’s blood on the scorched ground and fell back with a groan.
With a feeble, shaking hand, Noah grabbed his makeshift dagger. He dragged himself back across the ground with it, pushing himself against a tree to prop himself up. Every breath came shallower than the last, but Noah kept his dagger raised before him.
“One more,” Noah wheezed. “Come on.”
Seconds ticked by and Noah’s hand dipped. The world grew darker and his vision narrowed to a pinpoint. Strength left Noah’s limbs. His last action was to toss his dagger as hard as he could – which, at this point, was just half a dozen feet away from him.
A tiny flicker of motion in the edge of his fading eyes was the last thing he saw before he slipped off.
Noah’s soul peeled away from the body, lifting into the air. He stared down at the bloodied corpse beneath him and scrunched his nose. The final monkey was behind a tree, staring warily at his body.
“Well, not a bad run by any means. A definite improvement over the previous one. And – oh, goddamn it. Please stop that. Don’t eat my face, that’s disgusting.”
The monkey couldn’t hear him. And, even if it could, Noah suspected that his request would have fallen on deaf ears.
Greyish black energy wound around his neck. Noah didn’t even blink as it yanked him away.
An instant later, he sat up with a ragged gasp. His head pounded with a violent headache, and the gourd rested on the ground beside him. Noah pushed himself upright using the trunk of the tree, leaving his gourd on the ground.
He instinctively tried to call on his magic, but it was for naught. The Runes were completely inaccessible for him, and judging by previous experience, they’d remain that way for several hours.
Noah massaged his temple and trudged into the forest in the direction of his corpse. Even if he didn’t have magic, he needed to get his clothes back or he’d be returning to Arbitage with everything on display.
He repressed a pained chuckle. That’s one way to get fired.
Several minutes later, Noah stopped walking. Loud crunches came from where he’d died, and he didn’t need to use much imagination to know what they were. Noah crept forward, watching the ground to make sure he didn’t step on anything too loud.
Luckily, the monkey seemed distracted with what it likely assumed to be the prize of its patience. It was hunched over his body, letting out faint hoots as it ripped him apart. Noah’s dagger rested on the ground where he’d thrown it.
Moving as quietly as he could, Noah walked up to the dagger. He scooped it off the ground and the monkey paused, looking up from its meal as its ears finally picked up on the noise.
It was too late. Noah plunged the blade into its ear, twisting it savagely before ripping it out and slamming it into the base of the monster’s skull. The sharp claw bit through the dense hair and the flesh beneath it.
The monkey slumped, dead before it even got a glance at him. Noah shoved it to the side and grabbed his clothes from his corpse, doing his best not to look at his now mangled face. He ignored the blood soaking into his shirt and pants as he pulled them on and turned, heading away without a second glance.
He collected his gourd, still fighting the violent headache pounding in his skull, and climbed into a tree to wait for his magic to return. Despite the pain rippling through his body and the fog in his mind, Noah’s heart thumped with excitement. He was starting to really enjoy this.
Also, read ahead on RoyalRoad
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2023.05.30 04:54 CntrldChaos Fully loaded EUV Premier question
Showed up to a local Chevy dealer to see if I could look at a bolt and maybe even drive one. They had a fully loaded 2023 EUV premier that was traded in two days ago that hadn’t gotten listed on their site and has 4800 miles on it. I got to drive it and felt like it was a car I would buy but wasn’t sure I needed the super cruise or the sun and sound packages. Ultimately they offered $34,899, $599 doc fee, 28.25 title fee, and the $2,973 taxes for my city. Total $38,500 and pickup is in two days.
The cars 3 year warranty started in February 2023 and I wasn’t going to get the tax break due to financial limit. I lost the free charger install but am in a rental home anyways. Seems like getting it asap and a decent discount was worth it so I bought it. Was this a good deal or was it a mistake? Anything I missed?
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2023.05.30 04:52 mislabeledgadget A 2000s Revival Guide
Since the 2000s are in, with some people attempting to revive the 2000s, as a geriatric Millennial, here is my early-mid 2000s Revival guide for younger readers out there. Feel free to add to it.
- Living without smartphones wasn’t just about jumping on the computer instead, it was a completely different lifestyle. We weren’t yet consumed by the internet and being digital connected.
a. We had to be okay with getting lost. Most people didn’t have constant access to a map while driving. Google Maps for the computer wasn’t even released until 2005. I personally didn’t have a GPS until 2007. You had to learn the streets through repetition, reading the signs, recognizing landmarks and knowing which way the sun sets. Sometimes you had to stop and ask for directions.
b. We had to be okay with being lost. Even though there was Google and other search engines, not everything was a Google search away. It wasn’t just that you didn’t have constant access to all knowledge and information, it was that we weren’t yet conditioned to expect that. You learned through teachers, you read books, magazines and newspapers, you joined clubs and heard alternative viewpoints, and you established a worldview that you could defend.
c. We lived in the moment. If you were watching TV, you watched it. If it was time to sleep you would go to sleep. If you were playing video games, you’d get into it. Where ever you were, that was your entertainment. The phone wasn’t there to save you from boredom, it simply was a communication tool to either call or text basic sentences.
d. Unless you were carrying reading material, your eyes were open to your surroundings. It meant taking in the view, whether the city, nature, people watching, etc.
- We didn’t consume on hyper drive. Consumerism was as much about the experience as it was the product.
a. If at the mall, you were as much there to socialize and people watch as you were to buy something. It was expected and it wasn’t startling to talk to people or be talked to.
b. We consumed at a more moderate pace. The 27in TV I bought in 2002 was $800. Laptops couldn’t really be purchased for $200 yet. Extremely cheap clothing was more of a fad and not the norm yet. Plus we didn’t get paid as much. Anyone remember $1 flip flops from Old Navy though lol?
- Speaking of consuming, there was five ways I consumed music. CDs, mp3s, XM Radio, and broadcast radio, and then music video channels. But it meant enjoying the same music for longer periods of time.
a. That mix CD might be enjoyed for whole year and rotated with other CDs. But it was a process to download a burn CDs, and it was trial and error getting good quality MP3s off the internet. We didn’t consume music at the pace we do now with streaming.
b. Buying CDs meant enjoying and appreciating the whole album, appreciating the cover and the album art. You truly were able to appreciate the artist more. This is a habit I carry to today. If I like a song, I’ll go listen to the whole album and listen to more albums by that artist. But I still miss the physical product and the album art. Also you had to take care of your music. CDs would get scratched if you didn’t.
c. Radio whether XM or broadcast was still a thing, and sometimes you just relinquished control to the DJ. You learned to enjoy new music as it was presented to you, and weren’t just able to skip past it. Same goes for MTV and music videos as well.
- TV was more about channel surfing and giving something a chance. There was only so many things you could watch and for the most part you couldn’t skip past it. But we weren’t conditioned to judge everything so quickly. We accepted that what we were watching was curated by someone else. We also couldn’t really skip commercials, so a lot of people who be exposed to the same commercials.
a. Renting movies was also a whole experience, usually done with friends, planned ahead. It was a actual movie night, probably with food. Television was an experience, not just deposable entertainment. I watched 5 seasons of Lost with my college buddies.
b. News was also consumed a lot on TV, before News tv became extremely toxic. I learned a lot watching CNN headline news. I also watched the towers fall live on TV. I was glued to the TV for the invasion of Iraq.
c. Many shows became cultural phenomena simply because a lot of us watched the same thing out of lack of choice. TV was curated to your age group not necessary you. Most of us millennials grew up watching the same MTV, Nickelodeon, and TGIF.
- A lot of life felt more analog. Cell phones weren’t digital signals yet. Even cars gripped the road a bit differently than they do today. But you appreciated the nuanced feel of much of life. Not everything was so perfected and it was okay, it built patience and confidence and awareness. To get on the internet meant actually sitting down at a computer, and right around the turn of the 2000s, many times it was still dial up. Also early broadband was still slow. Wi-Fi wasn’t widely available yet and when it was available, it was unreliable.
- Not everything was personal curated and fine tuned to your preferences. Netflix and Spotify wasn’t there to spit out music according to the algorithm. The internet wasn’t watching your every move to suggest the next product. Customizing your MySpace page, decorating your room, your car and your laptop was about the extend of personalization.
- Not everything was grey and boring as it’s become today. Consumer tech and clothing was widely available in the whole spectrum of the rainbow. Home decor bordered on gaudy. Cars could just as easily be orange as the could be purple. Not everything was updated from their 80s and 90s decor yet.
- You lived and learned, made stupid mistakes and made a fool of yourself without the fear of exposure you have today. A lot of life wasn’t recorded or under surveillance. They just became gossip and funny stories among friends.
Feel free to add more.
submitted by mislabeledgadget
to 2000sNostalgia [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:42 Chicklet45368 The Positive Vibe Thread!
So, I know that the last few posts I've made have been a little critical and sounded unappreciative of the dev's hard work.
And, I thought it would be nice for people to discuss the positives for them personally from what we have seen so far and what has been confirmed as in the game.
Positives for me (that has not lessened any since the original announcement):
- World Customization! The fact that we can place lots any where we want made my brain go into overdrive thinking about all of the cool venues I wanted to have. So I figure even if we can't make multi-purpose venues, we should be able to place them really close to each other to at least give the illusion of them being part of the same building. Or maybe even making the lot huge to accommodate various
- Open World! What good is a cool looking world if your immersion is broken because your whole story line gets interrupted from hitting a loading screen just to visit that local dive next door to your house!
- There's a Beach in the Base game! Even if there's no swimming or water activities in the beginning, we already know you can dig for shells and troves and sun bath from the very beginning!
- So many modes of transportation! There's a bus! And skateboards, bikes, motorcycles and cars! That are ALL FUNCTIONAL! None of this fake vfx like some games!
- Laundry is in the Base Game! I know not everybody enjoys the little realistic mundane activities for their characters in games, but it is something that I enjoy. So the fact that laundry (a part of every single person's real life) is in the Base Game and we don't have to wait years for it, is amazing!
- So much Gym Equipment in the Base Game! So many things to make an awesome gym already in the game!
- Customization options! I can tell you how fantabulous that is for me! That will limit so many mods I'd have to try and find, just being able to set things a certain way.
- 10 Traits/Background Settings! I actually wonder if I'll use them all (ok I'm sure I'll eventually get over the shock of getting to choose so many per character)
- Individual Money! And they showed that ATM Machine, I'm wondering if there will be some sort of banking system.
- Observables! I can't wait to see what everybody observes and how it affects game play. I'm hoping that when we are not playing our main character and they see something while we're not controlling them, that when we go back to playing them that observable is mentioned and effects certain game play randomly!
- Material/Colorwheel! OMG! Between this, the open world, and the freely placed lots, I became obsessed! I can't tell you how many times I've cussed and ranted and raved about the crappy mismatched swatches in TS4, which requires me to hunt for CC. But, with a colopattern customization capabilities that will help eliminate a lot of basic furniture CC for me personally!
- Shopping in Base Game! Who would have ever thought that would be possible!
- Hotels, Salons, and Restaurants in the Base Game! I just can not wait to see what this whole entire hotel system is all about!
submitted by Chicklet45368
to LifeByYou [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:38 Karilyn113 "Hits Different" is the Antithesis of all her love songs
A Deep Dive into Parallels in Taylor’s Song "Hits different"
I have been listening to "hits different" repeatedly since it was put on streaming and I believe it is one of the songs that has the most parallels with other love songs (especially from Reputation and Lover).
Let's analyze it:
--- “I washed my hands of us at the club / You made a mess of me”
This verse represents the end of a relationship. The end of this relationship is a contrast to all the songs where she thought it was going to be forever.
- Lover: "I've loved you three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all."
- All of the girls you loved before: "I want to show you how forever feels like."
- King of My Heart: "Is this the end of all the endings?"
--- “I pictured you with other girls in love / Then threw up on the street”
Here, the narrator knows that his ex-partner will eventually move on and have another romantic relationship. This fear of him being with someone else is reflected in other songs:
- Lover: "And I'm highly suspicious that everyone who sees you wants you."
- Delicate: "Do the girls back home touch you like I do?"
- Gold rush: "I don't like that anyone would die to feel your touch."
- End game: “I don’t wanna be just another ex love you don’t wanna see”
- Need: "Fear is the nightmare I had, you were with someone else, you forgot about me"
Also, we have an indication that the author tries to solve her problems with alcohol. This has been explored in other of her songs, for example: This is me trying
: "They told me all of my cages were mental so I got wasted like all my potential."
--- “Like waiting for a bus that never shows / You just start walkin' on / They say that if it's right, you know / Each bar plays our song / Nothing has ever felt so wrong”
The relationship now seems to have no salvation for the author and she finds no signs to prove her wrong. Their bond is no longer as strong as before. In contrast with other songs:
- Lover: "All's well that ends well to end up with you. / Can we always be this close? Forever and ever."
- Paper rings: "Honey, without all the exes, fights, and flaws we wouldn't be standing here so tall."
- Long Story Short: “But if someone comes at us this time I’m ready”
--- “Oh, my, love is a lie / Shit my friends say to get me by / It hits different / It hits different this time”
The relationship is different and the one she has felt the most of all she has had, we find references to this in other songs:
- ...Ready for it?: "Every lover known in comparison is a failure."
- King of my Heart: "'Cause all the boys and their expensive cars with their Range Rovers and their Jaguars never took me quite where you do."
--- “Catastrophic blues / Movin' on was always easy for me to do / It hits different / It hits different 'cause it's you”
Her partner is compared to blue on other occasions:
- Lover: "My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue."
- Delicate: "Oh, damn, never seen that color blue."
- Gorgeous: "Ocean blue eyes looking in mine, I feel like I might sink and drown and die."
--- “I used to switch out these Kens, I'd just ghost / Rip the band-aid off and skip town like an asshole outlaw”
Taylor mentions how easy it was before to switch from one relationship to another in contrast to what it is now. She uses the word "Ken" to refer to a generic man. Don’t Blame Me:
"I've been breakin' hearts a long time, and toying' with them older guys just playthings for me to use."
--- “Freedom felt like summer then on the coast / Now the sun burns my heart and the sand hurts my feelings”
This phrase has the clearest parallel with "daylight", when before she mentioned light as something that had given her happiness or hope, now it is something that harms her.
- Daylight: "I've been sleeping so long in a 20-year dark night and now I see daylight, I only see daylight."
- Evermore: "in the cracks of light I dreamed of you."
--- “And I never don't cry at the bar”
This is another object that used to be something good and now it is not. Before, the bar represented the place where she had met her lover.
- Delicate: "Dive bar on the East Side, where you at?"
- So it goes: "Met you in a bar, all eyes on me, your illusionist."
- Cornelia Street: "Drunk on something stronger than the drinks in the bar."
- Invisible string: "A string that pulled me out of all the wrong arms right into that dive bar."
--- “Yeah, my sadness is contagious (my sadness is contagious)/ I slur your name till someone puts me in a ca I stopped receiving invitations”
Her sadness can be contagious not only because of her strength, but because she writes about it in songs that make the public feel the same way. In this part, she also mentions being drunk in a car and thinking about the other person in a state of unconsciousness.
- Cruel Summer: "I'm drunk in the back of the car and I cried like a baby coming home from the bar."
- The Great War: "cursed you as I sleep-talked."
- Death by a thousand cuts: "I get drunk, but it's not enough cause the morning comes and you're not my baby."
--- “I find the artifacts, cried over a hat/ Cursed the space that I needed”
Objects that make her think of the other person have been mentioned in other songs, as well as places:
- Cornelia Street: "And I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends I'd never walk Cornelia Street again."
- All Too Well: "And I, left my scarf there at your sister's house and you've still got it in your drawer even now."
--- “I trace the evidence, make it make some sense / Why the wound is still bleeding?”
Taylor tries to find the reasons why her relationship ended and why it is so hard for her to overcome it. The end of her relationship as something impossible to overcome, is something she has mentioned previously:
- Cornelia Street: "That's the kind of heartbreak time could never mend."
- Don’t blame me: "If you walk away I’d beg you on my knees to stay."
- Death by a thousand cuts: "But if the story's over why am I still writing pages?"
- New Year’s Day: "Please, don't ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere."
--- “You were the one that I loved / Don't need another metaphor, it's simple enough / A wrinkle in time like the crease by your eyes / This is why they shouldn't kill off the main guy”
Direct declarations of love and thinking that the person is "the one" (the main guy) are also present in her other works:
- Cruel Summer: "I love you ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard?"
- Invisible String: "And isn't it just so pretty to think all along there was some Invisible string tying you to me?"
--- “Dreams of your hair and your stare and sense of belief”
Taylor mentions his eyes in multiple songs, his hair also seems to be present, as well as his personality which she seems to admire.
- Gold Rush: "What must it be like to grow up that beautiful? With your hair falling into place like dominos."
- Peace: "Your integrity makes me seem small. You paint dreamscapes on the wall. I talk shit with my friends it’s like I'm wasting your honor."
--- “In the good in the world, you once believed in me”
Her ex-partner supported her and saw the good in her.
- Dress: "Even in my worst times you could see the best of me."
- Call it what you want: "My baby's fly like a jet stream high above the whole scene, loves me like I'm brand new."
- Dancing with our hands tied: "I’m a mess but I’m the mess that you wanted."
--- “And I felt you and I held you for a while / Bet I could still melt your world / Argumentative, antithetical, dream girl”
In this part, Taylor acknowledges that she knows her partner also loved her:
- I Think He Knows: "He’s so obsessed with me and boy I understand."
- So it goes: "But I got your heart skippin', skip-skippin' when I'm gone."
--- “I heard your key turn in the door down the hallway/ Is that your key in the door?/ Is it okay? Is it you?/ Or have they come to take me away? / (To take me away)”
In this verse, she shows how she still has hopes that her beloved will return, in addition to demonstrating that her mental health is deteriorating after the break-up of the relationship. The intensity of this relationship was such that she was willing to do anything for him:
- Don’t blame Me: "For you, I would cross the line, I would waste my time, I would lose my mind."
- Peace: "And you know that I'd swing with you for the fences sit with you in the trenches give you my wild, give you a child."
There are surely a million more parallels that I have not mentioned, so feel free to add any you want! Thanks for reading this long post!
submitted by Karilyn113
to TaylorSwift [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:26 TheSmogmonsterZX The Daughter that Follows - Chapter 27 - Reunited - Part 2
Disclaimer: Registered trademarks and copyrights are properties of their rightful owners. As this series jumps realities very often it is hard to track that info. DM, the Digitalman, the Scion of Variable is a creation of my good friend who does not use Reddit and is used with permission. The Pokémon Lucario is © The Pokemon Company.
“To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.” Euripides The Daughter that Follows Chapter 27 Reunited Part 2
Anna woke up in a mostly bare room, the only decorations were a few pictures of animals and dinosaurs that her father had collected. Rio was sitting and meditating, facing the rising sun. Anna watched her for a few minutes before standing to get ready. “Anna...”
Rio asked, some small fear was hinted at in her mental voice. “What happens to me when this is over?”
Anna paused, she was slightly confused by the question. “What do you want to do?” Anna asked.
Rio herself emanated some confusion and fear. “I don’t know. My parents will not be happy I took off the stone or that I evolved.”
Anna hugged Rio. “Well you can stay with me and my dad. Like I said, I adopted you.” “I’m serious Anna.”
Rio sighed. “So am I.”
Anna pushed the thought. “As far as family is concerned, you’re a part of mine.”
Rio let a low contented rumble escape her, then stood and walked out.
A few moments later Anna walked out into her father’s small, but comfortable living room. He had apparently upgraded from a trailer to an on site home. Dr. Wu had also apparently insisted he do so, if only because the trailer had recently lost a roof to a mysterious glowing phenomena.
“So I got eggs, toast and if you can beat Rio, bacon.” Alan laughed. “No one beats me at bacon.”
Rio smiled and yipped.
Anna laughed as she took a few scoops of scrambled eggs with a few slices of toast and bacon. Alan joined the both of them and sat smiling. “So how’s V?”
“Probably driving Salem insane.” Anna nodded.
“Not hard.” Alan chuckled. “Once we’ve had the time to relax and reconnect, I’m gonna head out, you give me a week then you follow.”
“What, no objections?” Alan laughed.
“I’m going to get my people together during that time.” Anna smiled.
“You have people now?” Alan laughed.
“Uncle Stephen.” Anna nodded, “Endara, a few others like SideEffect.”
“Jesus!” Alan jumped up and looked around. “Sorry, the fact that he exists outside of Dross City has always left a permanent fear of him just finding me.”
Anna stared and nodded at her father. “I’d say I’d invite Wraith’s variant but I don’t think that’s a smart idea.”
“No Agatha or Danny.” Alan pointed at her, “They’ll be targets.”
Anna nodded, “Oh, I know. I might get Shepard...”
Alan burst into laughter and a glint of maniacal glee glinted in his eyes. “You leave them to me.”
“Kratos?” Anna asked.
“Go ahead.” Alan smiled.
Anna shifted, slightly uncomfortable at seeing her father become slightly unhinged.
“Don’t worry, I’m not gonna rip apart the multiverse, I just know more than a few Shepards I can call on for help.” Alan sighed. “Trust me, please. “
Anna nodded, then perked up. “OH! The Spider-Men!”
Alan smiled, “You get the ones you met, I’ll get the others.”
“The others?” Anna asked.
Alan sighed, “Look, the less I have to explain about the Spider-Verse and the lunatics there, the better.”
“Spider-Verse? Anna laughed.
“Don’t laugh, it’s a serious thing in their section of the multiverse.” Alan explained. “Keeps all their worlds held together.”
“Through a web, right?” Anna smirked.
“The Web of Life.” Alan nodded.
Anna stopped as she realized her father was serious. “You mean that, how does that work?”
“Reality is as deep as we can perceive, and the Spiders heroes in that part of the multiverse cna perceive just that much deeper than most others.” Alan explained. “The fact that the majority are absolutely fueled by doing the right thing is a benefit those realities don’t even realize they have.”
Anna stared and blinked.
“They’re more powerful than most realize and the ones who do, usually think they’ll break at some point.” Alan laughed and closed his eyes with a sigh.
When he opened them though Anna saw something different in his eyes. A mist of white just beyond the iris seemed to be there and it called to power deep in her. Anna gasped.
“I think we both know that though.” Alan smiled. “So, you’re gonna be heroism.”
Alan looked at Rio. “They got a spot for you yet?”
Rio shook her head.
“Give’em time.” Alan laughed.
Rio grasped her Megastone and nodded.
“Think I’ll go pick up Release.” Alan laughed. “See if he wants to go for one more adventure together.”
“I think he’d love that.” Anna smiled. “Bonds beyond life and death.”
Rio nodded as she looked at her own megastone.
“Exactly.” Anna smiled. “So what’s happening today?”
“Today, I’m either going to be working with a very picky pachy, or Billy’s going to give me a call.” Alan sighed. “Tuesdays.”
Anna nodded. “I’d like to help, either way.”
Alan nodded and smiled, then a dark though clouded his joy. “Anna, what else have you fought? I know the Heartless, the Organization and Atropos’ goons.” “And Stockman.”
Alan nodded. “He’ll be handled. Trust me.”
“What’d you tell Perfection last night?” Anna asked.
Alan smiled. “I gave a good friend an idea for a magic lesson for his student.”
Anna paled. “You didn’t.”
“Alex needs to learn.” Alan smiled.
Anna shook her head. “Well other than them, borg-Reavers, but only at a distance.”
Alan nodded with a look of worry. “I remember that story.”
“Draal...” Anna said with a murderous glare.
Alan telekinetically moved the sharp knives he owned back into their drawers. Rio stared at Anna with a look of concern.
“While I completely agree, I can’t help but feel maybe I should be the one with that much anger towards him.” Alan gave a nervous laugh.
“He kept showing up and insisting he wanted to help.” Anna hissed.
“Yeah, I’m Tiger Dropping him into a star.” Alan growled.
“Wouldn’t that hurt?” Anna asked.
“Tiger Drop negates all damage.” Alan smiled, “Not that you’d get that. Please tell me you don’t get that? I don’t want to have to kill a Majima.”
Anna stared at her father and shook her head.
“Good.” Alan smiled and nodded.
“Rio?” Anna asked. “I have no idea.”
“Then there’s Dinal.” Anna said. “If I ever see her again, I’m gonna nuke her.”
Alan nodded. “Not if I see her first.” He smiled.
“I don’t think the Scareek can follow me but I think I made them think humans in that reality were psychic.” Anna explained as she continued, ignoring her father's prodding.
“Damn.” Alan laughed, “We can try and fix that after.”
Anna shook her head. “I kinda should have died. Perfection saved me but made it look like I did.”
Alan stared at his daughter. “Well then they get a wonderful news flash because if Perfection’s involved there’s a plan at work and someone is getting f’d in the a.”
Anna snorted at her father’s phrasing. “No saying hi. MAybe let them see us?”
“You feel guilty.” Alan smirked.
“I...” She sighed. “I messed up big.”
Alan nodded. “Then we’ll see what we can do.”
“Oh!” Anna slammed her fist. “Sindri and Odin!” “Right, Thor is back there too.”
Rio added. “He isn’t a monster anymore.”
Alan paused and looked at Rio. “I have a distinct memory of my barriers being casually obliterated.”
“He’s changed, for his daughter.” Anna explained. “To be better.”
Alan looked at Anna and nodded. If there was one thing he could understand it was that. “Kratos okay with him?”
Anna nodded. “They’re trying to make everything as peaceful as they can, but Sindri and Odin are working with Atropos.”
“Damn.” Alan hissed. “They weren’t kidding.”
“They’ve been keeping you informed, haven’t they?” Anna asked.
Alan nodded as his phone went off with a K-pop song. He answered the phone and watched his daughter fall out of her chair laughing.
“Yeah, I can be ready in an hour. Got my kid with me, she’s got the skills to help keep one of them calm.” Alan said in a serious tone.
Anna popped back up and shoveled food into her mouth as fast as she could.
“Trike herd and...” Alan paused as he wrote it down. “They made another I-Rex?” He sighed as he clearly received confirmation. “We’ll take the Rex, you guys can handle the herd and if we have to put this one down we can do it quickly.” He ended the call and nearly tossed his phone across the room.
“It’s not a normal dinosaur is it?” Anna asked.
“Made in a lab, originally to be a more ‘exciting’ dino.” Alan hissed. “Raised it and it’s sibling without other interactions.”
“Oh god.” Anna gasped.
“It went berserk once it got out, and it’s extremely smart. Part Raptor and rex with some squid thrown in to help it cloak.” Alan explained. “This one was specifically raised to be a weapon but it’s a juvenile, it can have a chance.”
Anna nodded. “I can keep us safe.”
Alan smiled. “I don’t doubt that. You keep us safe I’ll get in her head.”
Anna smiled as she again shoveled food into her mouth.
Alan laughed. “Eat, get your gear.” “May I stay?”
Anna nodded. “Are you sure?”
Rio nodded, “This area allows me to meditate with ease.”
Anna nodded and finished her meal, then ran to get ready. (T)(D)(T)(F)---(T)(F)(T)(W)
Hours later Alan was staring at Anna’s gear, she was dressed in her red hoodie, a shirt that had a t-rex with grabby arms, torn jeans and steel toed boots. Of course under all of that was some of the best light armor that the Sixth World could afford with some bonuses only a very mean man could obtain for his goddaughter.
“Punk.” Alan nodded.
Anna smiled. “Sheena is
a punk rocker.”
Alan rolled his eyes, “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given your sisters.”
Anna giggled. “At least Arlina was a proper lady.”
Alan burst into a fit of raucous laughter then stopped. “Oh, you’re serious.”
Anna blinked. “What was she for you?”
“Rebellious adult daughter who only listened to dad when she and her boyfriend caused more trouble to explode from tiny issues.” Alan smiled. “And a loyal daughter who went out of her way to protect her dad.”
Anna smiled. “She really was brave.”
Alan nodded. “Always was. She’s smiling on you kiddo.”
“All right.” The pilot said from the front of their plane. “We’re getting to the drop zone.”
“Awesome.” Alan smiled.
“Drop zone?” Anna asked.
“We’re jumping!” Alan smiled with a deeply disturbingly happy laugh as he handed his daughter a parachute and hit a button that opened the rear of the large plane they were on.
“We can fly!” Anna shouted.
Alan nodded as he put on his parachute, smiled and walked to the edge. “God I love a good jump!”
Anna watched as her father leaped out of the plane. Anna shook her head and dropped the parachute, ran forward and dove forwards as Hong Long roared to life around her. She looked over to see her father shaking his head, his parachute was still not deployed. He leaned into his dive, much to Anna’s shock. She and Hong Long Lurched forward, careening towards the ground, faster and faster. She watched her father’s parachute open two thirds of the way down. Then she felt the world pull on her less and Hong Long slowed down as a purple energy wave washed over them both. Then she passed her father’s parachute and he was no longer in it, he was now rocketing towards the ground.
“CHEATER!” Anna roared as she tried to push Hong Long’s power forward. She focused hard and grit her teeth as she watched Hong Long’s scales and mane turn golden, and they plowed straight through the field and past Alan, straight to a landing position on the ground.
Hong Long coiled and sat up straight to howl in victory.
A few seconds later Alan landed with just a flutter of the ragged edges of his now dull blue jacket. He looked his daughter and her tulpa over, then nodded in approval.
“So this is what Sayain energy does to your dragon...” Alan observed.
Hong Long nodded happily.
“Okay then.” Alan smiled, “Let’s see how much you’ve learned.”
Anna stared at her father. “What?”
“Find our target.” Alan smiled.
“I thought I was our defense.” Anna crossed her arms.
“Kid I can make a barrier that it takes a God of Thunder to break.” Alan snorted. “And I want to see you work.”
Anna gave a huff but closed her eyes to try and focus. She reached out as far as she could, which was admittedly a lot farther than it used to be. She could now reach out close to seven or eight kilometers. She felt nothing but random animals skittering and hunting, but nothing abnormally aggressive. She looked at her father and shook her head.
“Really?” Alan took a breath. “Can’t reach that far I guess.”
Anna nodded. “About eight kilometers at my highest focus.”
Alan nodded, “Well then we’re heading that way.”
“Is it that way?” Anna asked.
“Maybe!” Alan smiled.
Anna rolled her eyes but followed her father, pulling Hong Long back into her being. She was also really regretting wearing her hoodie as they had landed in a jungle, likely near the border of Central and South America. They walked for hours before Alan finally stopped and paused.
“What’s wrong?” Anna asked.
“What do you hear?” Alan asked.
Anna stopped and heard nothing. The animals had gone silent.
“There’s a predator nearby.” Alan said.
Anna focused and felt a mind focused on them. It was watching and stalking from above.
“Do they hunt in trees?” Anna asked,
“No.” Alan sighed, “They don’t.”
“Then what’s hunting us?” Anna asked as a tremble of fear rolled down her spine.
“Something that’s about to make a horrible mistake.” Alan sighed. “This one doesn’t belong here.”
“NO!” The voice of Ragnis bellowed as he appeared high in the trees and tossed the stalker to the ground. He then followed the creature and lopped its right arm off at the shoulder. “It doesn’t.”
Alan pulled the arm to him and with more than enough force to turn the bones in the arm to mush, launched it skyward where it exploded in a brilliant explosion about a minute later, well above the atmosphere.
The creature laid on the ground, clearly in shock. Alan wrenched a metallic mask that was covered in bones, off the face of the green-blooded stalker. Anna saw the crab-like face and flinched, she remembered the movie this creature was from.
“This is a yautja.” Alan explained.
“I thought it was a Predator.” Anna asked.
“That’s the name of the movie.” Alan said. “These guys can be a pain or a threat.” He bent down to inspect the alien’s face.
Anna felt something hungry approaching and pressed herself against a large tree.
Ragnis moved and pulled a trident from his back which he used to pin the creature to the ground through its gut.
“Bad-blood.” Alan nodded and pointed to a burn on the alien’s forehead. “He’s been disowned by his clan for breaking sacred rules. Likely hunting young prey or unarmed prey.”
“And he’s not from the neighborhood.” Ragnis scoffed. “Honestly, she tried this? I’m bored.”
“Get him out of here, will you?” Alan asked, “We have an Indominous Rex to find.”
“Dad.” Anna nodded towards where she felt the large hunger coming from.
“Well, enjoy the hunt!” Ragnis said as he winked and vanished with the hunter.
Alan focused ahead and nodded to Anna. “Now you take the defensive.”
Anna nodded and stood next to her father. She felt another set of eyes looking at her, then another set of eyes and she froze for a moment.
“There’s a second one, dad.” Anna hissed.
“Of course this one’s social with a sibling.” Alan nodded. “Okay, so we need to take one each.”
“Dad?” Anna looked at her father.
“What have you fought?” Alan asked. “You stood up to Daleks. To Dinal. We just need to calm them down.”
Anna nodded and focused, not bringing Hong Long forward, she did not want to be seen as aggressive to whichever of these dinosaurs ended up benign her opponent.
She watched for a few minutes and then the jungle blinked and nodded at her. Then jaws caming rushing at her and her father and they each went a different direction.
\\\\ First Previous
/// Next SPOTIFY LIST!
S: So clearly I did not finish this over the weekend.
S: But like half my plans didn’t pan out so I was mapping the depths of Hyrule.
Wraith: The last one was so stupidly hidden.
Perfection: And now we have a Biggorn Sword Sword.
Wraith: I have to admit the fuse system is hilarious.
Perfection: Now if Only we could sword-chuck.
Wraith: No! We are not going back there!
DM: Everytime we go there there’s one less Black Mage in reality.
Perfection: Look, I can’t help it if he pisses Wraith off.
Wraith: SPINE-ECTOMY! (rage fueled sputtering)
S: Right, well the fight will continue into the next chapter with two I-Rexes.
submitted by TheSmogmonsterZX
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:20 justiceforctown Enough is Enough
This is an absolute outrage and disgrace. I have never witnessed or seen any community dedicate this much time and effort to get an innocent streamer canceled. I have never seen such an incompetent team of moderators ranging from this subreddit to various discord servers and even EA officials themselves. ALL OF THIS so you pricks can laugh behind your keyboards and computer monitors eating your oreo mini's, PB&J sandwiches with the crust cut off, sliced green apples and sipping your choccy milk from a MOTHER FUCKING CARTON. Once again, I am not a hacker and do not promote or condone cheating in any video game but after everything I have been going through on battlefront for over A YEAR, do you really think I or anyone is going to complain that somebody somewhere shows up one day and offers to do something about my MASSIVE stream sniping issue? I have tried everything from switching servers to appearing offline to hiding my screen until the match starts. Somehow, they are literally handcuffing me to themselves and forcing me to endure a painful gaming/streaming experience. Let me clear this up right now and force it through your thick fucking skulls. I did NOT on my own volition go out and find someone willing to use cheats for me. I am also not currently instructing anyone to bother other streamers in the community as me and my followers are BETTER than that. You people really need to start taking up your gripes with the ACTUAL hackers in this game and not me. One of my followers is simply doing it on his own accord and I am simply staying out of the way. I'd hate to break it to you all but the screenshots, videos, and claims that have been posted are either out of context, fabricated, or just straight up fake. For instance, one of the most popular FAKE screenshots going around right now is from 2019. You all have failed to notice that my discord account isn't even that old! I am only streaming because of the pandemic lockdown 3 years ago. How can you be so stupid not fact checking any of this so called "evidence" against me? You let this drama continue with more and more posts misinforming the community. There are now multiple social media accounts impersonating, slandering, and making statements to create a delusional fantasy about my public image. To add on to this nonsense, you let those people post their videos HERE. How dare you accuse me of taking down MY VOD to hide any evidence! I took it down because you did EXACTLY what I knew was going to happen. How much of a loser can you be screen recording somebody's stream and then uploading it to YouTube effectively STEALING their content and falsely incriminating them? So enjoy getting a copyright strike. Every single discord server that I am in with some of them having nothing to do with battlefront or let alone star wars is UNDER ATTACK because of YOU, yeah YOU irrational, emotionally compromised, negative community members that ALLOW this toxic drama to continue. How dare you assist in the cyberbullying of somebody that has nothing to do with your problems. This is video game for fuck sake! How far are you willing to take this? I have seen my actual government name (First and Last) being passed around in various chats. It will only be a matter of time before my location is figured out. I am telling EVERYONE right now, that if ANYONE comes to MY property and tries to hurt me I will defend myself! I just want to stream and play battlefront in peace and this is what I get? Don't stream snipe me, don't bring toxicity to my chat, my discord server or any other my social media dms or any of my friends for that matter. Don't impersonate me or try to slander and misinform the community about me. If you don't like me then just don't fucking watch me! This game is going to be 6 YEARS old this November and you all have nothing better to do? Has the battlefront community resulted in practicing tribalism? Some of you people are OBSESSED. It's cringe, it's concerning, it's making me and my followers feel UNSAFE. It's all quite simple, you just don't agree with it. I condemn everyone negatively involved in this to the fiery pits of the very hell doom that awaits you scum of the earth! You have pressured several of my friends to temporarily cut ties with me because of how you POISONED their minds with your lies and swindling. I will not be bullied any longer. I AM going to keep playing BF2 and streaming it as well and there's not a damn thing any of you can do about it. I do not deserve any of this. All you people think you are doing something right when this is all just an organized systematic witch hunt to oppress an innocent person you are having a tantrum about. Final warning to everyone, stop this now before it goes too far.
submitted by justiceforctown
to StarWarsBattlefront [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:19 hellodaily what is my colleague trying to order? halp 😂
2023.05.30 04:17 Chrystolis22 Daedalus's Odyssey
Taken from the journals of Daedalus
When one's lifespan is measured in millennia… it's easy to get bored.
Vampires are one such species. With the potential to live indefinitely some, of course, eventually can't handle it and go insane. Not being able to stand that time will always tear their loved ones from them. Being immortal can take its toll on the psyche.
Many others see the horrors committed in the galaxy and become reclusive. Choosing isolation over the seeming unending cycles of violence and upheaval.
Others still grow eccentric. This last category can be difficult to tell from the others as eccentricities take many forms.
In lieu of a known planet of origin, unified culture, or any hierarchical structure of any kind I will instead delve directly into some vampires I've met myself. Lady Zabrina
The first Vampire I'll discuss here is Lady Zabrina. Originally born a Kaltar, she was christened by Marqués Vermilion to help guide her people on a new world after almost being driven into extinction.
Lady Zabrina has seen many horrors even before becoming a vampire. So despite her young age (74 at time of writing) her eccentricities were already apparent.
We first noticed when we learned that the bush art outside the United Species headquarters was changing frequently. Lady Zabrina had been using her new blood magic to speed up the growth of the plants there. It turned out that gardening helps her deal with the trauma of the events on C'ultrina prime.
That the art in question tends to be of a decidedly lewd nature? Well the United Species Council decided to look the other way when they realized how much money she saved them.
Lady Zabrina's primary residence is on New Kalmir. The planet where the majority of surviving Kaltar are trying to rebuild their culture and society. The planet is named after the old capital city of the Kaltar empire before… well before it was destroyed.
Lady Zabrina has seen what's left of their once capital. Her new body's superior regeneration allows her to bear the frankly absurd levels of toxicity left in that gods forsaken place.
The art she created after seeing that place is, haunting to say the least. Most of it hangs in the memorial hall on New Kalmir. That piece however… of the twin Suns of C'ultrina prime struggling to pierce the smog of the corroded remains of what once was her city… It hangs in my abode as a reminder of what we did. High Lord Alaric
High Lord Alaric is unique among Vampires. An accomplished politician, he is an autonomous member of the United Species Council. Staying separate from the Council in this manner allows him greater autonomy in his dealings in the galaxy.
With every species on the Council also having one or more vampires among them, this has proven quite effective at rooting out corruption in various governments. Vampires being decidedly longer lived than other species are much better at considering the longer term effects of people's actions.
This has helped prevent bloody civil wars, take down terrorist organizations, and even aid civil rights movements against authoritative governments. As long as there are 2 vampires in existence there will always be someone to nudge society in the right direction.
That said I have heard whispers of discontent even still. Murmurings that the High Lord has forgotten the present for the sake of the future. It's certainly not a hard story to spin given how little is known about him.
Even myself with my privileged position among vampires. I cannot trace Alaric any further than 400 BC. I use that dating convention as it is when Marqués Vermilion of Earth was christened by the High Lord.
For those paying attention yes that makes the High Lord Alaric the oldest known Vampire in existence. Possibly even older than the supposed oldest species in this galaxy the Humans. For as it stands dear reader… nobody knows his species of origin. Marqués Vermilion
Now, while it is true that the more well adjusted excentrics among vampires will try to maintain normal relationships. Many more do not outside of those needed for work or their hobbies.
An exception to all of this is Marqués Vermilion. For reasons I frankly don't understand, she is always happy to adopt children from any and all species.
During her many millennia of life she has been a mother to countless orphans the galaxy over. Sometimes even being the first to find new precontact species.
The Kaltar and C'ultrina are a more recent and memorable example of this. Here she is credited with saving the Kaltar from complete extinction at the hands of the C'ultrina. Long before most of the galaxy knew either existed.
She has by far the single largest and most diverse family of any known individual. Which is no small feat when you consider how many trillions of people, and hundreds if not thousands of species exist.
As you may have guessed by now reader, not all her children are vampires. While many are, it's a burden not meant for everyone and she takes care in choosing which of her children gets the choice.
Despite her love for her children, in all other aspects she is the typical Vampire. Reclusive, aloof, and intimidating. The Marqués appears to most to be above everything. Save for the children she values so highly. Daedalus
I might as well talk about myself dear reader. Yes I too am a Vampire. Originally a nameless C'ultrina drone in service to the Sub Queen now known to history as Icarus.
A quite ironic name Marqués Vermilion gave me, if you know your human mythology, and yes that means she is my mother. That I, a lowly drone, gets the honor to lead the C'ultrina in their second chance… I still can't quite believe it.
Hence why I'm writing this journal of sorts. I must learn all I can if I am to save my people. It will be a long and difficult journey spanning millennia I'm sure.
There's so much to do and yet almost infinitely more time to do it in. The human phrase "hurry up and wait" comes to mind. An inane and frustrating turn of phrase… but apt considering the length and breadth of the task before me.
I am grateful for this chance, this opportunity to be better than those who came before me. Though there's a pit in my stomach that I get to benefit when so many millions have died. To gain my independence as the lowliest of the low and the honor to be chosen to save the C'ultrina… I am the architect of our future, I cannot let it go to waste. Hi everyone! Not entirely sure what I'm doing with this yet or if it will become a series but it is directly connected to the short story I posted a couple days ago.
The goal here was to expand and show off a bit more of my universe and explore the role that vampires play within it. I hope y'all enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it! 😄
submitted by Chrystolis22
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:14 Sparky_McDibben First Time CyberPunk Red Adventure
I'm going to be running a 1:1 CPR game for my wife soon. This will be a one-shot that will hopefully lead into a full campaign. As such, I want it to be the coolest version of Cyberpunk that I can, so I can hopefully stop running D&D 5E. Ergo, I figured this community would be a good one to proofread my intended design and offer suggestions. I've got thick skin; all advice in good faith is good advice to me. Context:
We've never played RED before, though my wife is a fan of the Cyberpunk 2077
game. She is interested in taking the Nomad role out for a spin, so I grabbed the Nomad pregen off the R. Tal website. I've spent the last few days reading the book cover to cover and running some mock combats with myself (you are allowed to make one (1) joke about me playing with myself before I inundate you with compliments - you have been warned!).
However, she's going to want to create her own character if we decide the system's worth playing, so the pregen character won't be played after this session. Adventure Summary:
Arasaka's back in town, baby! A small team of Arasaka employees have infiltrated back into Night City and set up a small covert base in the Unreclaimed Perimeter. Their goal is to locate and kidnap small children who exhibit certain neural mutations that allow them to be used as "Suns" - so-called because they resist Black ICE programs like R.A.B.I.D.s. By kidnapping and training them, the Corporation can start re-building the Internet with a complete monopoly. To this end, Arasaka mercenaries took out the local gangers, buying off some and murdering the rest. The bought-out gangers are now working local security for the Arasaka base.
Arasaka's forces consist of the bought-out gangers (stats as boosterganger, CPR,
p 412), Arasaka mercenaries (stats as security operative, CPR,
p 413, fanatically loyal and will fight to the death), and a single Arasaka cyber-ninja (stats as security officer, CPR,
p 415, fanatically loyal and will fight to the death). Setup:
Player's caravan has just arrived on the outskirts of Night City. The leadership has asked her to grab a couple of local edgerunners and secure the perimeter, just to make sure nothing unpleasant has set up shop in the area while the caravan was peregrinating.
She'll have two NPCs with her, a Solo (Rebekah, mid-30's, gymnast, favors melee weapons and krav maga, which I'm using as reskinned karate) and a Netrunner (Whestley, 13 year old Black kid with a mullet and a gap in his teeth). These two are bullet sponges so I can use more mooks and also a way to show off how important hacking is to the setting. I run these guys like Dragon Age
's companions, so they're not taking spotlight from the PC, but rather enabling them to get through obstacles they wouldn't otherwise be able to. Scene 1:
Briefing from caravan leadership, introduction to her companions. Head out into the perimeter in her car. Build paranoia by:
- Highlighting that there used to be other minor gangs in this area, but someone's cleared them out recently (info from Rebekah)
- Mentioning that the local data streams are all being misdirected to avoid giving away a single destination, indicating that someone is using a lot of data traffic, and that the user has resources to cloak their presence (if there's a better way to phrase this in-world, let me know; info from Whestley)
- Finding a recent site of murdered gangers; nearby is a dead merc (no roll to notice)
- Weaponstech DV 9 to see that the merc is carrying an Arasaka WSA autopistol
- Reveal Object DV 13 to notice the Arasaka logo tattooed on the dead merc's neck
- Free frag grenade, plus 140 eddies (mercs carried bribe money to recruit local gangers)
Someone is out there, with suspected ties to Arasaka, and looking to secure the location for some purpose that may be inimical to the Nomads. If they report in, the leadership tells them to follow up and find out what exactly is going on, but that they'll have a few outriders mounted up and ready to go if the team runs into trouble. Scene 2:
The team goes on the hunt. There are a few ways to try tracking these guys down. The player might ask Whestley to trace those data streams, or they might start asking any of the remaining residents if they know anything about these newcomers. Alternatively, they might hide out and simply observe.
Whestley can't locate the base without unmasking those data streams, which requires a network key from a merc commo device. Never let an NPC solve a major problem for the player.
The locals know where the base is, but they also know that the mercs send out patrols. Lately, those patrols have consisted of a few local gangers who spend more time at Pat's (nearby saloon) than on actual reconaissance. Those patrols pass by about once every four to six hours.
Hiding and observing, the PCs watch the patrol stop to hassle the nearby residents; apparently these guys want the remaining residents to vacate the neighborhood. When the residents refuse, one of the patrol starts beating a little old lady, which should be a fairly good indicator that this dude is Not A Good Guy.
(To be clear, this patrol is three of the bought-out gangers in a dune buggy; with surprise and luck, they won't even get a shot off at the team). Revelations:
Regardless of how they handle things, the crew at least knows where the base is, even if they try to just tail the patrol back to the base.
If they jump the patrol, they grab a commo device, a base pass, a dune buggy, and a crude map showing the base's location, in addition to two shotguns and half a dozen grenades. In addition, all three of the patrolling gangers are sporting brand-new Arasaka WSA autopistols.
Whestley can use the commo device to accomplish 1d3 exploits getting them inside (since I'm not learning the actual Netrunning rules until I have a PC who wants to use them, I'm basically going to give Whestley a limited-use "hack" that can remove a single tech-based problem), as well as pinpointing the base entrance.
If they save the old lady, the locals will be happy to tell the team about a few kids who've gone missing in the area; one turned up a few weeks back dead in a ditch with needle marks and surgery scars. Scene 3:
Assaulting the base! The team can do some light recon on the base perimeter. They find overhead drones (spotting for the automated grenade launcher), an automated grenade launcher (more than enough to total any vehicle that comes within 400m), and a gateway to the subterranean base (which can only be opened by a base pass).
In addition, there's three gangers sitting near a campfire, playing Go Fish.
They won't be fooled by disguises; they know each member of their gang by face (PCs know this).
A ventilation shaft cut into the side of the base gate lets the PCs avoid engaging the defenses, though the drones will still spot them unless they take some effort to counter thermal imaging.
Skills and relevant information:
- DV 15 Basic Tech: "That's a VTOL-capable base gate; there might be a ventilation shaft that could be another way in!"
- DV 11 AV Tech OR Aero Tech: "Those drones carry thermals; they're going to see us coming unless we counter that capability."
- DV 13 Electronic Security: "The base pass also emits a friendly IFF signal, which will prevent the grenade launcher from firing until someone overrides it." (the obvious source of an override code is the three gangers outside)
- DV 17 Wilderness Survival: "There are some escaped designer birds roosting nearby. Panicking them into taking flight could trick that grenade launcher into spuriously firing, or potentially crash one or two of the drones." (DV 15 Animal Handling to trick the launcher, DV 20 Animal Handling to down those drones; +3 to roll if succeeded on Wilderness Survival roll first)
- DV 15 Perception: "Fresh divots in the sand here - something only recently took off from the base gate - an AV?"
Inside, most of the Arasaka mercs are away on a snatch and grab, so once the PCs are past the gateway, resistance is sparse. There are secondary cameras inside the gateway, so the Arasaka cyber-ninja knows they're coming 5 minutes after the team enters the complex. If the gangers are still alive on the surface, they will head down the base gateway and try to pin the team down in the hangar.
Once inside, there are four main areas: the hangar, the labs, the barracks, and the command center.
The Hangar is the first one up, and is mostly empty. There's three slots for AVs, two of which are empty, and a launch area in the middle. Two small offices adjoin the launch area, and a door leads onward. There's a lot of gas the Nomads could use, along with an AV that's been left with its engine in mid-rebuild. A small map of the base is located in one of the offices, drawn on Arasaka-branded notebook paper. The computers are for maintenance and solitaire, and have limited hookups to the rest of the network (if they take 10 minutes, Whestley can gain 1 exploit).
From here, there are two paths forward. One leads to the labs, one leads to the barracks. In the barracks, two Arasaka mercs are dressing rapidly (half armor). The team can refill on ammo, and there's one dose of speedheal available. Two flashbangs are next to a poster of a J-Pop idol singer. The team can proceed to the command center, the labs, or go back to the hangar.
In the labs, there are four children being run against a single R.A.B.I.D program. Whestley is appalled, and one of the kids dies in front of the PCs, thrashing in the grip of malicious code. Whestley can spend 3 exploits to lock the RABID away from the kids, long enough for the team to unhook these kids and get them out.
Also in here is a cyberdeck chip that gives Whestley 1 exploit, a dose of speedheal (in case they missed the one in the barracks), and a laser katana (as Heavy Melee Weapon, allows the wielder to add their DEX stat to damage dealt for 1 minute per day).
As soon as the PCs either save the kids, or decide not to, the cyber-ninja strikes. Accompanied by two mercs, the cyberninja goes for Rebekah first. The ninja tries to break the legs of any kid they manage to unhook, the better to slow the party down. The mercs are very careful not to fire if the kids are anywhere near their targets, so they may close to melee range.
The ninja and the mercs fight to the death.
Once the ninja and mercs are dead, an alert is triggered - the other mercs are only 15 minutes out and returning fast!
In the command center, the PCs can find all the relevant documentation for the project...locked behind an Arasaka-created infinity code that requires a code-key to decrypt (only found in the Arasaka HQ in Tokyo). If the ninja has not previously struck, they will attack the PCs as the PCs enter this area (see the labs for details on the cyber-ninja battle). Aftermath:
Once the Nomads are apprised of the threat, they "Nope!" right the f*** out of there. It's not their problem and they want nothing to do with Arasaka, dead kids, and Black ICE experiments. Anything the crew discovered gets turned over to NCPD.
submitted by Sparky_McDibben
to cyberpunkred [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:12 Reclusa137 The Nest
We've been traveling for about a week, taking the less trafficked route Natasha and other traders of her ilk use. Where the grasses are tall and at times brush against us gently.
Some of the grass and flowers are now seeding and being replaced by others, bunchier and shorter, and requiring less water and more sun as summer makes itself felt across the prairie.
Open camps and low fires are the norm these days as wildfire is a constant threat. Not without it's benefits, as camps are easier to break and the mounts have plenty to eat.
About midday we notice smoke on the horizon. First real sign of anything. We approach cautiously but soon realize the fight is long over. Arrows and a few spears are left behind. This was an ambush. The wagons have been stripped of their goods, but it is obvious these were cargo haulers for traders, and Natasha recognizes the decorations on the spears. The concern is plain on her face, she is very worried at what this might mean.
Most of us thought it might be bandits or possibly even centaurs by the unshod hoof-prints scattered about, but no Natasha tells us, these are humans, and they are beyond their borders. She explains there are two tribes along this area, an aggressive huntegatherer society. Mobile, and territorial where strangers are seldom welcome. And the peaceful tribe, the polar opposite. They are farmers and traders mostly. And this is their land. So now it becomes clear why Natasha is so worried, could they have been overrun in the last year?
The next morning, Natasha announces she will be splitting off to check on the peaceful tribe. Aaron quickly chimes up that he will follow her and after some discussion Callion, Guthlac, and myself agree to follow despite the resources to be had in the city should we stay with the circus. I give Giddy the opportunity to say goodbye to J.J., the striped horse, and meet up with the others.
It's a beautiful partly cloudy morning with a little breeze. We approach by a seldom used path. Grass has grown up to and in between the ruts, but the dirt is packed enough to keep the trail visible. Meter high grass as far as the eye can see, with the now normal hillocks rolling along the prairie. The grasses just beginning to fade from green under the early summer sun.
To our right on one of those hills two figures can be seen. Watching. Natasha warns us to just keep moving, and don't engage with them. We find a relatively flat area and settle in for the night. Aaron counts about dozen circling but the watches are pretty quiet.
When we get to the camp of the peaceful tribe, Natasha is greeted by a man who looks as if he owns the place, and maybe he does. We are introduced and taken to a circle near a cooking fire. We are fed traditional food of the tribe, a flat and fried bread, along with a stew of game with squash and beans.
It is here we first hear of the creatures they describe as " those who eat us in the night". Flesh eaters are not unheard of, most beasts eat what they hunt.
We get to do a little trading and hear tales of the warriors in the group, and we pass into sleep.
I awake just after dawn to the sounds and smells of food being prepared. Mostly portions of what was not finished the night before, but just as good this morning, distracted as we were by Natasha and her findings in the night sky. They tell her that a meeting with the aggressive tribe isn't a bad idea, so she arranges to have a peace offering be brought along.
We gather ourselves and ride out to where the aggressive tribe can clearly see us and she raises the offering into the air. One of the watchers approaches and another disappears. We are escorted to the war chiefs camp. A rough and ready gathering of mostly men living in stick and hide tents. Easily setup and put away befitting their nomadic lifestyle.
This time a man comes out of a large tent and greets Natasha. Seeing the object he takes us inside the tent and we are presented to the war chief of this band.
The chief and Natasha go through some ceremonial greetings and having been presented the offering he agreed to to speak with us.
We sit and tea is given to us. A light floral taste sits on top of an earthy finish. Refreshing and mildly soothing. Given the constant on the move life of these folks this I imagine is perfect.
We hear the war chief explain how the "eaters" have been attacking, hunting really, the tribe. Scouts, a testing party, then they come by the hundreds. The tribe moves, the eaters send out a few scouts to find them, then they attack in waves again.
Finally they had to move onto the other tribes land and still they are harassed by the scouting groups. Soon they will be attacked again.
We also learned that they dragged off all the dead, even their own. Cannibals.
Natasha chastised the man for killing traders on the borrowed land, where trading is protected. He chaffed at first, but acquiesced and agreed to stop. The little gnome woman is really a force of nature when need be.
The next morning we learn three guards have disappeared. A guide, took us out to the spot where they should have been. Large boot tracks were found and Callion spots some blood in the grass. So they didn't just walk away.
The war band did have a shaman, but he proved less than effective in battle, as most of his magic relies on having sight, so he was sent away. In a bid to find and speak with the shaman Callion provided our guide with a direction finding dagger.
And while the man knew the shaman, and did know what a metal dagger was, he had no personal experience with magical devices. And as soon as the dagger began to spin the man panicked. Callion had to convince him it was not possessed, and would not hurt him.
This did take a little doing, but the task was accomplished. We learn the obvious. The shaman headed straight, more or less, to the high chiefs camp. I don't blame him, I wouldn't want to be out here among the cannibals either. So we pack up our gear and make the five hour journey there.
Once we arrive we are escorted to the high chief who points out the shaman. The meeting goes well and we learn what the cannibals look like. Average build, white, blind eyes, rags for clothes, sharp white teeth, scaly skin, and they use metal weapons. Well not cannibal zombies. Not sure if I would prefer that.
The last major fight the tribes warriors killed hundreds of them, but the waves of creatures kept coming.
At first light we ride back and by noon we arrive back at the warriors camp. A group of five creatures had attacked in the night, three were felled, the other two broke and ran. A larger group of creatures will attack tonight with out fail now that they have been found.
We devise a plan to find the creatures camp, divide and conquer. We will attempt to draw a large portion into an area and hit them with an immobilizing cloud of funk. And Natasha will use the surrounding grasses to ensnare another portion, while we pick off the rest.
The creatures being blind puts us magically at a disadvantage like the shaman and a fair amount of discussion was had.
We get lucky and only about ten creatures come out to attack tonight. The funky cloud was a great success, disabling their sense of smell they froze and milled about unable to find escape. Natasha's spell worked like a charm as well and we had the advantage in the first moments. My magic missiles helped but didn't score any kills, yet. The others are having better luck and suddenly we are left with only one.
As planned we ignore it and let it get free. It grabs the nearest dead body and bolts. We wait just a moment before giving chase, keeping it just in view.
After a run of about a mile it disappears. A diligent search is now on. Without any trees or bushes to hide in, there just anywhere to go. A moment of thrashing the grass a yelp goes out and Natasha has fallen into a six foot hole. Aaron leaps down and hoists the gnome up, before pulling himself out as well. A little panicked she urges us to leave quickly.
We race back to our steeds and ride out to where the war chief has set up his new camp. There Natasha divulges the cause of her alarm. She could hear the voices and sickening sounds of the creatures. We have found a nest.
submitted by Reclusa137
to EdmondWoodhole [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 04:08 ronj1983 How to deal with scammers 101.
2023.05.30 03:59 TwoBits0303 So which is it?🤔
2023.05.30 03:54 Ukrainer_UA 4:54 EEST; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 461st Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Part three in our series about the ideas, values and dreams of fallen defenders of Ukraine. These are the words of the Heavenly Regiment. + Discussion + Charities
| || | submitted by Ukrainer_UA to ukraine [link] [comments]
🇺🇦 Слава Україні! 🇺🇦
Hello Reddit, we are Ukraïner
, a non-profit media aimed at advocating authentic Ukraine, unexpected geographical discoveries, and multiculturalism.
The below is another selection from an article we published recently.
You can find Part 1 here
and Part 2 here
The Words of the Heavenly Regiment, Part 3
Our defenders sometimes seem to do something beyond human capabilities, so skillfully liberating the lands from the Russian invaders, who greatly outnumber us in terms of resources. Ukrainians rejoice at every victory, at the same time remembering what a huge price they pay. Every life of those who died defending the freedom and independence of Ukraine is priceless, worthy of eternal memory and honor.
The modern Russian-Ukrainian war began 8 years ago and has already claimed many lives of soldiers loyal to our country. First, the Heavenly Hundred appeared on the Independence Square, and now it is the Heavenly Regiment. We will always remember their courage to defend Ukraine's independence thanks to their ideas, values and dreams that continue to live on in their words.
We include below a selection of quotes from the Heavenly Regiment. Their words guide us to understand where we are going, and why, and what we are fighting for, with the invaders.
Andriy Verkhohliad Andriy Verkhohliad. Major Battalion Commander of the 72nd OMBr of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
A representative of a new generation of commanders of the Armed Forces, who at the beginning of a large-scale war already had extensive combat experience. He was born into a family of military personnel. He graduated from the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy.
Two weeks after his graduation (in the spring of 2016), he arrived in the war zone, and in October of the same year he took part in the defense of the city of Avdiivka in the east of Ukraine.
He died in battle on June 23, 2022.
"I always follow the rule we were taught: do as I do. The commander must lead by example. A soldier, like me, has two legs, two arms and a head. Shells and bullets don't care what rank I have - captain or soldier. Maybe that's why I myself want to check everything, whether everything is clear, whether there are passing paths, whether everything is arranged. Only after seeing everything with your own eyes can you calmly say: work, boys."
Pavlo Nakonechnyi Pavlo Nakonechnyi. Coordinator of the public organization "Call of Yar"
He was born in Cherkasy. Graduated from Mykhailo Drahomanov National Pedagogical University. In the spring of 2020, together with like-minded people, he created a public organization "Call of Yar", which is engaged in the patriotic education of youth, conducting educational events, popularizing the historical region of Kholodnyi Yar and its heroes, and also closely cooperates with the 93rd OMBr "Kholodnyi Yar".
Died on June 18, 2022 in battles in the southern direction.
"The Call of Yar" is the meaning of my life, the living embodiment of my ideals, dreams and values. This is the development of an alternative society where young people can take responsibility. I dream that there will be dozens of people in "Call of Yar" who will proportionally increase the scale of our work and light the fire of Kholodnyi Yar in people's hearts. I will be happy to see how responsible young people form a generation with a completely different approach to life. And one day, through the years, it will be nice to know that it was you who stood at the origins of this unstoppable movement that is gaining momentum."
Yevhen Olefirenko Yevhen Olefirenko. Junior Lieutenant Platoon Commander of the 1st Special Purpose Brigade named after Ivan Bohun
Born in Kyiv. Historian by education. He studied at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Uppsala University in Sweden.
After the start of the war in 2014, he purposefully prepared for the defense of Ukraine: he studied at the National University of Defense, mastering military specialties. He joined the army on the very first day of the full-scale invasion.
He fought near Mykolaiv, was a grenade launcher and mortar operator, and trained foreign volunteers who defend Ukraine. His unit defended Lysychansk to the last. Yevhen managed to get his platoon out of the semi-encircled city unscathed.
Died on July 7th in battle near Bakhmut.
"We have to prepare for a difficult and long war. It's either them or us. Only one can survive.
It is Russian culture itself that is the source of chauvinistic sentiments that over the centuries incited Muscovite aggression against their neighbors.
Therefore (Russian culture) must follow the ship."
Ivan Marchuk Ivan Marchuk. Commander of the "Volat" battalion of the Kastus Kalynovskyi regiment
Belarusian, born in the city of Brest. At the age of 19, he joined the French Foreign Legion. Having a serious military education, beginning in 2015 he defended Ukraine in the ATO zone [Ed. note - "Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone": the area of Ukraine where defense against the first phase of the Russian invasion has occurred since 2014]. After the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, he became the founder of a regiment where Belarusians who decided to defend Ukraine from the Russian invaders could serve.
Died on June 26th, 2022 in the battle for Lysychansk.
"How can it not go away? Even then it was clear in what direction it (Russian aggression) would go, but there were hopes that it would not turn into something full-scale. The ATO was a noble cause in terms of protecting brothers from illegal aggression. Most of all, when I came to the ATO zone, I was surprised by how people are ready to sacrifice themselves, but do not demand anything in return for the sake of their country, how they help each other.
Source: interview for Radio Free Europe, which was recorded the day before his death.
Oleksandr Hryanyk Oleksandr Hryanyk. Serviceman
A native of Kyiv who served in the Azov regiment for 6 years - mostly near Mariupol, where he was a senior machine gunner. He resigned in January 2022 to live a civilian life, but from February 24th he again stood up for the defense of the country. At first, he could not get to Mariupol, so he went to the Territorial Defense in Kyiv. He took part in heavy battles in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel.
On March 27th, Hryanyk voluntarily flew to surrounded Mariupol. He was seriously injured at the Azovstal plant, but refused to evacuate in order to give his place to civilians.
Oleksandr heroically defended Mariupol to the last.
He died on May 8th.
"Sasha's parents are from Luhansk region. This is another reason why he fought - he was outraged by this injustice, that there are places with which you have so many memories, and you simply cannot go there. And he wanted all Ukrainians to have the opportunity to return to their native places."
Source: Olga, Oleksandr's friend
: Daryna Mudrak Editor-in-chief
: Nataliya Ponedilok Editor
: Kateryna Lehka Photo Editor
: Yuriy Stefanyak Content Manager
: Anastasiia Zhokhova
The 461st day of a nine year invasion that has been going on for centuries.
One day closer to victory.
🇺🇦 HEROYAM SLAVA! 🇺🇦
- u/Jesterboyd is a mod for ukraine and local to Kyiv. He is currently selling t-shirts raising money to buy some very interesting drones. Link to donation
- United24: This site was launched by President Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be allocated to cover the most pressing needs facing Ukraine.
- Come Back Alive: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and social reintegration of veterans.
- Trident Defense Initiative: This initiative run by former NATO and UA servicemen has trained and equipped thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.
- Ukraine Front Line US-based and registered 501(c)(3), this NGO fulfills front line soldiers' direct defense and humanitarian aid requests through their man on the ground, Ukraine's own u/jesterboyd.
- Ukraine Aid Ops: Volunteers around the world who are helping to find and deliver equipment directly to those who need it most in Ukraine.
- Hospitallers: This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
- Humanity: Co-founded by u/kilderov, Humanity is a small team of volunteers securing and distributing humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable populations in temporarily occupied Kherson Oblast. Kilderov and his friends were under occupation in Nova Kakhovka in 2022.
You can find many more charities with diverse areas of focus in our vetted charities list HERE.
2023.05.30 03:47 Fearless_Figure2771 A helpful ghost
I am writing in because I believe Alejandra and Lauren both once asked for a helpful ghost story. Well I have a very helpful ghost story and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my grandmother who has passed due to cervical cancer.
I (29) female live in Minnesota, I grew up in a small town 45 minutes away from the twin cities. My grandma passed away when I was 12 in 2007, it tore my family apart. I know everyone thinks they have the best grandma in the world, but she truly held the family together. To this this day we can sit around telling stories about her and laugh and cry about her life (which was taken way to soon). One of my favorites is her sitting on the porch at the cabin with her cup of coffee and cigarette, smoking and feeding "Dicky" the squirrel peanuts and whistling to her favorite bird; the chickadee.
It was my mom's mother and it destroyed her, my father at the time had to tended to her. My sister, who was 16 then, leaned on her friends. And my brother, 14, hid in the shop working on his dirt bikes, four-wheeler etc. Leaving me to have raging hormones and sense of being utterly alone. I lost friends, grades became bad, and unfortunately started to self harm.
In my Junior year, so 2011(making me 16/17 at the time), I started to date my ex (his name was Chad , that should have been my first red flag) he truly used my naivety to use me, he'd take my car during school to go work on his uncle's milk farm or burn cruising with friends. He'd steal my money out of my wallet or my weed out of my purse. He'd take my dad's beers for parties and I'd get into trouble for it. And not to mention all the times he cheated on me. Overall it was a horrible experience, the worst part was when he talked down to me. Now looking back, I know that I only stayed because he'd always love bombed me and it was my first relationship, thats why I thought I was so in love with him.
Now that I've painted a picture of where I was in life it might make more since of what happened.
One cold January night after our big and final break up, I was supposed to work but work had called me off. So my parents believed I was working and I took advantage of this. My friend Kari and I were just driving around, smoking, laughing, singing and just overall having a great girls night. The guy she had been talking to wanted us to go to the parking lot where all the teens hung out when there was nothing to do. I thought I was safe because Chad never like to hang out there, but unfortunately he was there, with the girl he had cheated on me with. This one hurt more then the rest because it was not only physically, but he had told her how in love he was with her and I was nothing compared to her. (It was much easier to get into flip phones and see what people received and sent)
I broke down. I told Kari I had to go, she said "only if you're going home" and I said "yes, I'm going home." That truly was the plan. Yet right when I was about to pull out of the parking lot he flagged me down, I don't know what made me talk to him. Maybe the hope of an apology or some form of explanation. Nope. It was belittling and mocking, the few line that hit home the most was, "I mean look at her, maybe you could be as good as her if you'd just loss a few pounds." And "we used the condoms and handcuffs you had bought me" and "my dog loves her more then she loved you."
I sat there listening silently and decided that this man had stolen the light from me, so not even the bightest person could spark that light that I once had.
It was time for an exit plan.
I don't remember much, I remember Kari's new guy pulling him away, Kari trying to get into the car, but me driving away. My phone was going off from Kari blowing it up but I shut it off. I just remember driving threw blurred lines from the tears and the falling snow. And suddenly I was at the bridge where my friends and I jumped off that summer. It was safe enough to jump off during the summer, but winter; I highly doubted it. This bridge was in the country, in the middle of nowhere and no one drove through here but to go to and from their house; and since it was winter and with it snowing; it was a safe bet no one was going to find me fast enough.
I pulled out a notebook from my backpack, and wrote something quickly out for each family member, telling them it wasn't their fault ect. Telling Kari she owed no remorse for not being able to stop me. Because if it wasn't tonight, it was going to be another.
Slowly I walked to what I believe my was my fate. When both feet were plated firmly to the steel and I looked up. Asking for a sign. Any sign from the universe to please show me someone cared for me. I heard it then, a chickadee whistle. In the middle of January, in Minnesota, at 10pm at night. That was my sign. Just one singular chickadee call.
I got down from the ledge and went back to my car. Burned my note, cleaned up my face, blew my nose longer then I'd like to admit. Then I turned my phone back on, missed calls from Kari and my sister (who Kari had informed what happened) I called both back explaining I just "needed a minute" because how was I supposed to explain it all without scaring them of my plan? I then thanked the heavens for my grandma and put my car in drive.
I can't say my live took a 180 from that night, I still dealt with a lot of struggles. Yet I never gave Chad the time of day again, I promised grandma to never let a boy dictate my life, I was my keeper. My soul still had fire. I never let someone else turn that light off again.
I unfortunately still dated a few assholes after him as well. Although I never let myself cry over any of them for more than a day.
Today I am happy. I found the man that ignites my fire and wants my light to burn as bright as the Northern star. My fiance and we have a two year old daughter, she is both of our worlds.
My family and I have grown closer and never will forget Grandma Sharon. And I always whistle back at a chickadee when I hear one.
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2023.05.30 03:46 mike2102 Nudism euphoria
As a self-proclaimed nudist, I can say that there is nothing quite as liberating as embracing your nakedness and letting it all hang out. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
One time, I was at a nudist resort and I decided to take a refreshing dip in the pool. As I dived into the cool water, I felt an unparalleled sense of freedom - the kind that can only come from being naked in public. I swam lazily around, enjoying the sensation of water rippling over my bits and bobs.
Suddenly, I heard a commotion coming from the other side of the pool. I swam over to investigate, my curiosity piqued. As I got closer, I realized that a group of people had gathered to watch a man do an impressive cannonball into the water. And, as I got even closer, I realized that he was completely naked.
Now, normally this might be cause for alarm or at least mild concern, but in this nudist community, it was just another day at the pool. I smiled to myself as I watched the man climb up to the diving board, his dangly bits on full display. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and leapt into the air, letting out a whoop of excitement as he cannonballed into the water.
The crowd around me erupted into cheers and applause, and I found myself joining in. It was a moment of pure joy - a celebration of the human form and the freedom to simply be yourself, without shame or inhibition.
As I floated on my back, looking up at the blue sky overhead, I knew that I had found my people - a group of individuals who were unapologetic about their bodies and eager to embrace life in all its naked glory. And, as I basked in the warm sun after my swim, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the sense of community and acceptance that comes with being a nudist.
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2023.05.30 03:27 Bxdayy Do I have POTS?
I’m sorry this will be long. I know that there are a lot of people who post their symptoms and ask advice on here, and I’m not sure if that gets annoying for those that have it (sorry), but I don’t have anywhere else to turn. I’m currently in a situation where I do not have health insurance and can’t pay for even a check up.
I’ve only recently found out what POTS was, and when I researched it, it just seemed like everything fit. But I also doubt myself a lot and have been told by doctors and family that I probably just have to lose weight (which maybe? I am overweight).
I’ve always had issues with heat exposure since I was little. If I’m in the sun, playing, running, or just sitting, I get a raging migraine and start throwing up. When I was in high school, I started getting dizzy and feeling like I’d black out (black spots in vision) in my showers, or have a “panic-like” attack (especially on my period). I have been treated for anxiety and depression and the attacks in the shower aren’t from panicking, I just get dizzy, my heart beat feels weird, and I can no longer catch my breath.
More recently, as background, I was in a car accident and hurt my back which has affected my mobility. Separately last summer I was given the wrong dose on some SSRI’s and had serotonin syndrome for a bit. This caused fast heartbeat, dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, and basically I couldn’t even stand up without almost passing out. So I quit taking that medication and got a bit better.
I used to be more mobile and active, and now I can’t do anything without excessively sweating, my heartbeat rising, and feeling extremely weak/dizzy/nauseous. I drink a lot of water but will still feel thirsty. I’ll get shaky if I don’t eat or drink enough. I’m also exhausted and nap a lot even from going to the grocery store or working my desk job.
I’ve been taking my bpm where I’ll start at 65 sitting down and then it’ll jump to 120 standing. I’ve hit 148 taking a shower. But I also know others that have pots have hit way higher numbers, are usually underweight, and actually “pass out or feel faint” more often.
Basically, does it sound like I’m reaching? Am I just overweight, is it just the pain from my back limiting me? I don’t know I just feel like shit all the time and I don’t want to claim that I have something so serious that people deal with and I don’t. My family just thinks I’m lazy and out of shape, so maybe thats it? Help :(
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