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2011.05.24 00:59 SlackOverflow Hot Springs, Arkansas

For all things related to the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the surrounding area.
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2023.05.30 23:58 JoshAsdvgi The Cruel Stepmother

The Cruel Stepmother

The Cruel Stepmother

Once, long ago, when the Blackfeet Indians dwelt on the Canadian prairies, a poor Indian and his two children, a boy and a girl, were living near the bank of a great river.
The children’s mother had long been dead and they had long been left to the care of their father.
Their father did not think it was right that they should grow up without a woman’s kindness, and he decided at last to take another wife.
So he went far away to a distant village and there he married a queer woman of another tribe.
Soon times grew hard in the North Country, and it was very difficult to get food.
The family lived for many days on roots and berries, and often they were very hungry because there was no meat.
Now it happened that the woman the man had married was a very wicked witch-woman, who was capable of doing many evil deeds.
She had no love for her stepchildren, and she treated them very cruelly.
She blamed them for the lack of food in the house, and beating them soundly, she said, “You greedy brats; you always eat too much.
It is little wonder that we cannot keep the house supplied with food.”
The man saw his wife’s cruelty to the children, but although it made him sad, and at times angry, he did not interfere, for he thought the woman should rule her home.
One night in the early spring, as the man slept, his first wife appeared to him in a dream, and said, “Hang a large spider web across the trail in the forest where the animals pass and you will get plenty of food.
But be good to my children.
Their cruel stepmother is planning to kill them.”
And she told him where to look for the magical spider web.
The next day the man found the large spider web, and he went far away into the forest and hung it from the trees over the trail where the animals passed.
That evening when he went back to the web, he found many animals entangled in its meshes, for it had magical power.
He killed the animals and brought them home, and that night they had a good fat supper of roast deer meat.
Day after day, the magical spider web gave him great numbers of rabbits and deer, as the vision of his dead wife had told him in the night, and from that time on the family did not want for food.
But the man’s success in hunting only angered his witch-wife.
She had now no cause for complaint against the little children, and she could no longer scold them and say that because of them there was no food in the house.
Her hatred for them grew stronger each day, and at last she decided to kill them and to kill their father as soon as she could.
Their father was going away the next day to search of wood to make arrows for his bows, and she thought she would have a good chance to kill them while he was gone.
Then she would kill their father when he returned.
So she laid her plans.
But that night the vision of his first wife came again to the man as he slept, and it said, “Your present wife is a witch-woman.
She plans to kill the children tomorrow when you are away, and when you come home, she will kill you, too.
You must kill her while there is yet time.
Remember my little children.”
When the man awoke in the morning, he was much alarmed because of the story told him by the vision of the night.
He no longer trusted his witch-wife and he decided to get rid of her.
But he feared she would attack the children before he could prevent it.
So when the witch-wife went out to get water from the stream to make breakfast, he gave each of the children a stick, a white stone, and a bunch of soft moss, and he said, “You must run away from here and stay away until I can find you, for you are in great danger.
You will find these three things I give you of great use.
Throw them behind you if any evil thing pursues you, and they will keep you from harm.”
The children in great fear at once ran away into the forest.
Then the man hung his magical spider web over the door of the house, and sat quietly inside waiting for his wife to come back.
In a little while she came home, carrying a pail of water, but she did not see the web with its fine strands hanging across the door, and when she walked into it she was at once entangled in its meshes.
She struggled hard to get free, but her head was inside the door while her body was outside, and the web held her fast around the neck.
Then the man said, “I know now that you are a cruel witch-woman.
You will beat my children no more.”
With his stone-axe he struck her a mighty blow which completely severed her head from her body.
Then he ran from the house as fast as he could and went towards his children, who were watching him not far away.
But the man was not yet done with the cruel witch-woman.
As he ran from the house her headless body, freed from the spider web, ran after him, while her severed head, with eyes staring and hair flying, followed the children, sometimes bumping along the ground and sometimes rising through the air.
The father thought it would be well to go in a different direction from the children, and he went west, while they went east.
The children were very frightened when they saw the horrible head behind them, slowly gaining upon them.
Then they remembered their father’s magic gifts.
When the head was close upon them, they threw their sticks on the ground at their backs and at once a dense forest sprang up between them and their pursuer.
The children said, “Now we will rest here for a while, for we are nearly out of breath.
The wicked head cannot get through that dense forest.”
And they sat on the grass and rested.
Soon, however, the head emerged from the thick trees.
The children got up and ran as hard as they could, but close behind them came the severed head, rolling its eyes and gnashing its teeth in a great frenzy, and uttering terrible yells.
It was very near to them, when the children again remembered their father’s gifts.
They threw the white stones behind them, and at once a high mountain of white rock rose between them and their enemy.
They sat on the ground and rested, and said, “Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do?
We have only one means of safety left, these little bits of moss.”
The wicked head hurled itself against the mountain, but it could not get through.
A big buffalo bull was feeding on the grass near it, and the head called to him to break a road through the mountain.
The bull rushed at the mountain with all his force, but the mountain was so hard that it broke his head and he fell down dead.
Some moles were playing in the soft earth near by, and the head called to them to make a passage through the hill.
So the moles searched and found a soft earthy place in the midst of the rock and soon they tunnelled a hole to the other side of the mountain, through which the head was able to pass.
When the children saw their pursuer coming out of the moles’ tunnel they cried loudly and ran away as fast as they could.
At last, after a very long chase, the head was almost upon them, and they decided to use their last means of protection.
They threw the wet moss behind them, and at once a long black swamp appeared where the moss had fallen, between them and their wicked follower.
The head was going at such a great speed, bumping over the ground, that it could not stop. It rolled into the swamp and disappeared into the soft mud and was never seen again.
The children then went home to wait for their father.
It was a long journey, for they had run far.
But their father never came.
Months and months they waited, but he did not come, and they grew up to be great magicians and very powerful among their tribe.
At last, by their magic power, they learned what had happened to their father.
Their stepmother’s body continued to follow him as he ran towards the west.
It followed him for many days.
Then by his magic power, which the vision of his dead wife had brought to him, he changed himself into the Sun, and went to live with his wife in the sky-country.
But the old witch-woman also had magic power, and she changed herself into the Moon and followed him to the land of the stars.
And there she still pursues him.
And while he keeps ahead of her and she cannot catch him, night follows day in all the world.
But if she overtakes him she will kill him, and day will disappear and night shall reign for evermore upon the earth.
And the Blackfeet of the plains pray that he will always keep in front in the race with his former witch-wife,
so that there may be always Night and Day in succession in all the land.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 23:20 Carrie_Boo PLEASE HELP ME!! I'm being stalked by something nonhuman... PART TWO

Part One:
https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/13v4lju/please_help_me_i_think_im_being_stalked_by/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Part Two:
It came again. Last night at exactly 10pm.
I don't even know how I'm going to tell you what happened. Or why I'm telling you. I guess I'm just hoping that somebody somewhere will help me to find a way to make it stop.
I packed my bags last night, shortly after writing to you guys on here. I thought that if I could get away from this place before 10pm, I would be able to find sanctuary away from this 'thing'. It took me ten minutes to grab everything that I own, shove it in a suitcase and throw it in the back of my truck, but deep down I knew it wouldn't let me leave.
The tyres on my banged out fiesta had been slashed completely. All four of them! Ripped to shreds like a beast had used them as a chew toy. There was an overwhelming smell of petrol as I walked around the car, desperately thinking of what I could do. Not wanting to admit the real and present danger of the situation I was in, I retreated back to the cabin and searched for my phone. It wasn't much use as I hadn't been able to get any signal at this place for the last three months. It really was an 'unplugged' adventure.
There's a land line in the Main Reception!
Resisting the urge to cry, I forced every bit of bravado I could muster up inside and walked slowly to the Main Reception building, giving every faint noise my complete attention.
The door was locked.
In my haste to leave my cabin today, I had totally forgotten that the season was now at an end and that all of the teens would have been packed on to the coaches earlier this afternoon ready to depart their woodland adventures. This would only leave myself, Roger and Pendle, as skeleton staff for clean up and pack away.
Maybe Roger will have a key?
Walking to Roger's cabin would be no small feat. He preferred to be sited in the more secluded area of the forest, away from the 'reckless, annoying brats' as he called them. Making the journey to his cabin would take at least half hour and there was no obvious path through the trees. It was already 9.30pm and that would mean that I would be getting there just before that 'thing' comes. I know Pendle, our caretaker, didn't sleep on the grounds on the night. He preferred to make an hours commute down the mountain to the little shack that he called home. He was dead against staying overnight, even when we were short staffed and he was offered double pay to be Night supervisor. I thought that was weird at the time, but now I'm wondering if he knows more than he is letting on?
I grabbed my torch and decided that I'd walk to Roger's cabin. I would be safe there and if I was quick, I would get there in good time. Roger wasn't a big man, but he was still company and if I needed anything, I needed company.
About ten minutes into the walk through the overgrown pathway to Roger's cabin, I began to feel myself trembling. The air seemed to be cooler in amongst the trees and I found myself making small clouds of steam with every breath. I folded my arms in front of me and cursed myself for not dressing more appropriately for the cooler temperatures. My ripped jean shorts and vest top were more suited to a summer beach party than a late night hike and I looked like one of those ladies that would offer to wash your car at a service station for charity. It's funny, even when you're in the midst of the most dangerous situation you've ever been in, you still find yourself judging your own aesthetics.
As I walked deeper into the forest, I started to feel like the trees were getting closer to me, enveloping me in an abyss of darkness. They seemed to be growing larger, making me feel small and isolated in their shadows. I quickened the pace, noticing that it was now getting closer to that dreaded time.
Then, in the distance, I saw a welcoming orange glow from the window of Roger's cabin. For a moment I felt safe. Untouchable. And I smiled.
I ran the last 150m or so and began frantically knocking on Roger's door. It didn't take long for him to open the door and pull me inside, with a look of deep concern on his face.
"What's going on? Are you Ok? What's happened?' He blurted out questions with such urgency and such genuine concern, that it made me cry. I seriously opened the floodgates and grabbed on to him with every bit of strength that I could find within me. I didn't realise just how much these past few occurrences had exhausted me. Now that I was safe, I didn't want to explain, I just wanted to stay safe.
Somewhere along the line, Roger had realised that I wasn't ready to divulge the reasons as to why I had turned up hysterically at his cabin door at night, and he stopped asking questions and just hugged me. I wanted that moment to last forever, however my eyes deceived me and began to search Roger's lounge area for a clock. And when I found it, that all too familiar sharp stab of fear penetrated through me. It was 10pm.
Roger must have felt my body tense up completely as he grabbed my arms and held me outstretched in front of him.
"Please tell me what is going on. I can help you", he said in such a calm, soothing voice. He forced a smile through the worry as his eyes pleaded with me to let him in.
Just as I was about to explain, there was a sudden loud bang from the kitchenette area.
"IT'S HEREEEEE, IT'S HEREEEEEEE......." I shrieked as I grabbed on to Roger's arm and pulled him towards me.
Another loud bang drove through the silence. This time from down the hall.
"Oh God, Roger, you need to HELP MEEEEEE!"
An even louder bang came from the bedroom...then another...then another....until bangs surrounded us, each from different areas of the cabin. Sometimes on the wooden walls, then on the windows, then on the roof. It was as though a buffalo stampede was encircling the house and even running over the roof.
I screamed and held on to Roger so tightly as he began to shake and look in the direction of each bang. Then there was one final bang and the front door flew open.
It was the 'thing'. He stood right in front of us and stared, as if he was calculating his next move. His head twitched rapidly from side to side as a foamy substance fell slowly from his drooping lips. His pale, elongated face almost shone through the darkened background of the forest behind him and I found myself staring at his long, thin limbs and his spiny stature. I didn't dare move a muscle as I felt Roger's grip on my arm become tighter.
The 'thing' glided slowly towards us until his face was mere inches away from mine, then he quickly shot his head in Roger's direction and slowly opened his mouth. An extremely high pitched scream-like noise was unleashed from the blackness of his mouth, making Roger fall to the floor in fear.
I just stood there. I didn't help.
I didn't help as the 'thing' raised it's long bony arm and then thrashed down against Roger's skull, tearing away a strip of flesh from his forehead that dangled around his eye socket.
I didn't help as Roger screamed, as the second blow ripped his eye ball out of the socket and tore away two of his fingers that had been used as a shield from the attack of the unnaturally sharp talons.
I just stood there as Roger crawled on the floor, gargling on his own blood and gripping his neck after that humanoid creature had buried it's nails into his throat and scraped through his jugular.
Before he died, he looked up at me. He looked right into my eyes and it looked like he was asking 'why?'
I just screamed. And screamed. And screamed.
The 'thing' didn't even look at me. It just turned away and glided out of the front door. Before it exited completely, It raised its arm in front of it and I could hear what sounded like a slurping noise. I didn't even want to think about what it was doing, but I'm sure that what I heard was that humanoid freak sucking Roger's blood off it's claws.
Then it was gone.
I don't know how long I stayed there, but I must've said sorry a hundred times. I didn't mean for this to happen. I didn't understand why it was happening. I still don't.
But I do know that I can't get anyone else involved in this nightmare. I need to deal with this myself. I can't risk anyone else getting hurt.
But maybe Pendle knows something?
submitted by Carrie_Boo to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 22:58 Yaroph What pokemon looks in zelda totk engine

Imagine a world where gamefreak improves and uses the totk engine to make the future of pokemon. Beating the league would still require 6 badges but all arenas would grant one type mastery to do things like Breath of the Wild.
Exemple Normal type: mastery of cutting, you can cut with "realistic" mechanics to cut anything that can be cut to create complex boards or shapes.
water: controlled water flows (like avatar) imagine doing a combo with the ice type to create solid shapes
psy: move pokemons and objects by thought like ultrahand in totk (without the attachment)
dark type: traversing and "surfing" shadows, imagine climbing a cliff creating shadow on a wall using a cut tree
combat: create powerful kinetic impulses as in the power of botw
dragon type: possible bullet time, manipulate time a little
insect: can allow you to sneak into hollow woods or other "small holes" and can throw webs that slow down and stick objects together "like ultrahand)
steel type: can attract and repel various metals and magnetize them to stick them together
fairy: can drop spores that make pokemon passive and pass through intense light (provoked by glass) and godrays
the rest remains logical, ground: can dig the earth / fire: create fire / plant: create a flow of plants (like water) / rock can climb
many of the actions can be similar, so as not to make the player feel like they have to have every type on their team
to avoid this need as much as possible, an item like the pokemon ranger spinner could make its return in order to control a pokemon in the wild if necessary
each arena would be type-related puzzles in addition to being fights, much like in the old games
submitted by Yaroph to pokemon [link] [comments]


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Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine has finally ended the box office blues. It will be a close call, but based on the estimates, the year's biggest opener remains Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with its $187 million start. Nonetheless, Wakanda Forever's $180 million opening is a huge one, being the biggest ever for the month of November (beating the $158 million of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), the second biggest of the year, and the 13th biggest of all time (though it could go up or down a few slots once the actuals come out). It led an overall weekend box office of $208 million, which is the fourth biggest of the year and the biggest by a long shot of the past four months, with no other weekend since July 8 -10 even going above $133 million.
This isn't the $202 million opening that we saw from Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine in February 2018, nor should we expect the amazing legs that were able to get that film to an astonishing $700 million. With that said, expect it to perform strong throughout the holiday season, likely repeating the five-weekend number-one streak that the first film had, and it shouldn't have any trouble becoming the second highest grossing film of the year so far, beating the $411 million cume of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The audience response is strong, with the A CinemaScore falling below the first film's A+ but bouncing back from the B+'s earned by Doctor Strange 2 and Thor: Love and Thunder, which ranked among the worst for the MCU. improvement over the recent franchise installations,with the aforementioned films coming in at 74% and 64% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes, both at the lower end for Marvel films, while Wakanda Forever's 84% ​​​is closer to franchise norms, though not meeting the high bar set by the first Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine's 96%.
The sequel opened to $150 million internationally, which Disney reports is 4% ahead of the first film when comparing like for likes at current exchange rates. Overall, the global cume comes to $330 million. Can it become the year's third film to make it past $1 billion worldwide despite China and Russia, which made up around $124 million of the first film's $682 million international box office, being out of play? It may be tough, but it's not impossible. Legging out past $500 million is plausible on the domestic front (that would be a multiplier of at least 2.7), and another $500 million abroad would be a drop of around $58 million from the original after excluding the two MIA markets. It'd be another story if audiences didn't love the film,but the positive reception suggests that Wakanda Forever will outperform the legs on this year's earlier MCU titles (Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder had multipliers of 2.2 and 2.3 respectively).
As for the rest of the box office, there's little to get excited about, with nothing else grossing above $10 million as Hollywood shied away from releasing anything significant not just this weekend but also over the previous two weekends. When Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine opened in 2018, there was no counterprogramming that opened the same weekend, but Peter Rabbit and Fifty Shades Freed were in their second weekends and took second and third with $17.5 million and $17.3 million respectively. That weekend had an overall cume of $287 million compared to $208 million this weekend Take away the $22 million gap between the two Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine films and there's still a $57 million gap between the two weekends. The difference may not feel that large when a mega blockbuster is propping up the grosses,but the contrast is harsher when the mid-level films are the entire box office as we saw in recent months.
Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine, which is the biggest grosser of the rough post-summer, pre-Wakanda Forever season, came in second with just $8.6 million. Despite the blockbuster competition that arrived in its fourth weekend, the numbers didn't totally collapse, dropping 53 % for a cume of $151 million. Worldwide it is at $352 million, which isn't a great cume as the grosses start to wind down considering its $200 million budget. Still, it's the biggest of any film since Thor: Love and Thunder, though Wakanda Forever will overtake it any day now.
Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine came in third place in its fourth weekend, down 29% with $6.1 million, emerging as one of the season's most durable grossers and one of the year's few bright spots when it comes to films for adults. The domestic cume is $56.5 million Fourth place went to Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which had a negligible drop of 5% for a $3.2 million sixth weekend and $40.8 million cume., in fact )
, which isn't surprising considering it's the only family film on the market, and it's close to grossing four times its $11.4 million opening. Still, the $72.6 million worldwide cume is soft given the $50 million budget , though a number of international markets have yet to open.
Finishing up the top five is Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine, which had its biggest weekend drop yet, falling 42% for a $2.3 million seventh weekend. Of course, that's no reason to frown for the horror film, which has a domestic cume of $103 million and global cume of $ 210 million from a budget of just $20 million.
The one new specialty title of note comes from a filmmaker we don't typically associate with the specialty box office: Steven Spielberg. The Beard's semi-autobiographical family drama Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles to $160k, a $40k average. The film expands to 600 theaters the day before Thanksgiving, and it has the potential to break out in a way that none of the other of the season's awards contenders have. We're also seeing very solid numbers from Watch ‘Filmmakers for the The Machine, which grossed $1.7 million this weekend for a seventh place finish, bringing its cume to $5.8
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2023.05.30 22:12 goob3r11 Little guys, Southeastern PA

Little guys, Southeastern PA
After spending 5ish minutes leaning against a rock I was covered in about 20-30 of these little guys. I also found some more on a nearby tree. They are between 2-4mm in length.
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2023.05.30 21:12 MjolnirPants Jerry and the Goddesses: Part 33

Part 32 on HFY
"I think I found it," I said, knowing that Inanna and Sarisa could hear me. A second later, Sarisa popped into existence next to me. "Huh," she said.
The map she'd shared with the rest of us showed a single row of houses fronting the natural area, but I could clearly see the roof of a building, set far back from the homes amid the trees. A wide driveway with the single white line they used here to differentiate traffic lanes emerged from between two properties with a gate closed over it.
A sign hung from the gate, unreadable with all the bullet holes in it, but the operating hours at the bottom were unmistakable. This wasn't another home, but some sort of public-fronting establishment. "I definitely have no knowledge of this building. I think you've got it."
"Will you get the others?" I asked. Sarisa smiled and vanished again. A few minutes later, Gary and Kathy emerged from around a corner with Sarisa.
"Where's Ana?" Gary asked as they approached.
"She peed herself," I said.
"What?" Gary face scrunched up and I laughed. "You heard me."
"Well, how the hell did that happen?"
I shrugged. "The usual way, I guess. She's been telling me about getting tired and feeling confused on a repeating schedule and having to make an effort to return to her usual health. I suggested she try staying hydrated, because it sounded like dehydration that she was describing. So she started hydrating and..."
"And she forgot to go tinkle," Gary grinned. I winked at him, and then noticed Sarisa giving me a look. I responded with a "what do you expect?" gesture, and she sighed and shook her head. Sarisa never liked it when I told little white lies, even though it turns out she's told a few, herself.
Inanna emerged from the closest home, then. She was still in the same khakis and unbuttoned-most-of-the-way outfit she'd worn in, but she was dry now. "It wasn't pee," she announced.
Gary looked back and forth between us, eyebrows raised. "Okay...."
Kathy suddenly smirked and turned away. Well, damn, that was quick. I had to remember not to underestimate her.
"It doesn't matter," I said, "Look." I pointed to the gate. "That has to be the museum."
"Well, whatta we waitin fer?" Gary asked and walked over to check the padlock on the gate. He gave it a quick look, then took off his pack and dug around for a second, producing a pair of smallish bolt-cutters. He lined them up on the lock's hook and, with a quick jerk, brought the jaws down on it. The padlock fell to the ground with a clatter and Gary opened the gate wide enough to walk in.
We all followed him in through the gate and he pulled it shut and used a rock to wedge it in place. Up the long drive, we found a small parking lot and another shot-up sign. But this one had the words "museum" and "north" still readable in Armenian printed on it, so if we'd had any doubts during the walk up, they were gone.
Inanna simply magicked open the locked front door and we walked in. We split up, wandering the halls and searching the various rooms an exhibits. I moved down a hall with prints of medieval paintings of vikings and little placards describing the circumstances of the original painting as well as the events portrayed. The first three doors I found were bathrooms and a closet. The last entrance had no door in the frame, and it led to a room full of weapons.
A few actual viking-age and earlier weapons sat in glass cases in the middle, with reproductions bolted to the walls. Apparently, the museum was family-friendly, because foam versions of the weapons were stacked in an umbrella stand in one corner.
As I was returning to check another hall, I heard Kathy's voice "I think I got it!"
I followed the sound through a few rooms and found her and the others gathered around a small glass display case on a pedestal in the middle of a room whose walls were bedecked with paintings, both ancient and modern, of Norse Pagan religious subjects. Squeezing between Inanna and Gary, I saw it.
It was just like the last one, except the teeth were arranged slightly differently.
"So can we just, like, take it?" Kathy asked Sarisa. Sarisa shook her head, "Not without interfering with the magic. We have to share secrets again."
We all looked around at each other. This was actually getting more difficult, as we were a pretty tight group. We simply didn't have a lot of secrets. I broke the ice.
"When I was in my junior year, I stole three books from the college library, because they wouldn't let me check them out."
Kathy snickered. "I bet that's the worst thing you've ever done, too."
I turned towards her. "They were three volumes of a history of video games. The nineteen eighties through the two-thousands. I still have them in my closet." Kathy laughed and held out a hand for a fist bump. I gave it to her, unsure of why that would be fist-bump-worthy until she said "I figured they'd be dense academic works on some obscure aspect of history. Or maybe porn."
"The second volume covered erotic games," I admitted, "but there weren't a lot of titillating images, unless a screenshot from Custer's Last Stand is the sort of thing you find sexy."
I felt an easing in the tension of the room which I hadn't recognized until that moment. It had worked. Inanna spoke up next. "I'm keeping the baby," she said.
Everyone looked at her. Sarisa spoke first, "Sister, that is possibly the least-secret secret I've ever heard of. I don't think any of have had any doubt that you would keep the child you made with the man you love."
Inanna turned to me, "Did you know?" I shrugged. "I never really considered that you'd end the pregnancy. It would be very out of character for you."
"And you're okay with that?" she asked me? "Of course," I replied immediately. "Why wouldn't I be?"
She wrapped her arms around me and leaned her head against my chest. I smiled. This was nice, Inanna showing affection without being all grabby.
"I'm going to have to think about it for a minute, then."
Gary took a deep breath. His face clouded for a moment, and then he cleared his throat.
"I killed two civilian boys in Rukha, in Afghanistan back in 2001 to stop them from alerting Taliban in the region. We were moving through some fields, coming down into the valley from the north. We needed to get to a high point that sort of split the valley, to call in some JDAMs on a couple Taliban positions down in the valley. We didn't see the boys at first, they were hiding in some bushes or something. But as we got close, they broke cover and ran. I didn't even hesitate. I knew if they made it into town or to someone with a phone, the locals would fill the streets to gawk and the Taliban would abandon their positions.
"I saw them running, had just enough time to recognize the threat, and then I shot them both in the back. Neither one was armed. Neither one was older than about twelve." His voice was rough and raw. It was obvious he was digging deep for this.
"I still sometimes have nightmares about it," he added, and then he closed his mouth and stared at the ground. I felt the tension ease a bit more.
Kathy put her hand on his shoulder and he reached up to pat it. "I abandoned my best friend throughout middle school, Maryann, because she wasn't popular enough to suit me when we got to high school," she said.
"When we started as freshmen, we both made a bunch of new friends. She had a harder time of it, just because she wasn't as sociable as I was, but she was my friend, so she kinda tagged along as we became the 'in-group'. But some of the other girls didn't like her. Maryann listened to different music than most of us, and liked different actors and dressed different. It was super petty, I know, but at the time, those things seemed important." She laughed ruefully, "Like listening to Shinedown somehow made her a bad person. Anyways, it got worse over our freshman year. When we started sophomore year, I decided to cut her loose. So I told my mom a boy was harassing me, and she changed my number. A couple of the other girls did the same. We gave each other our new numbers, but not Maryann."
Kathy sniffed and I could see moisture in her eyes.
"She just seemed so confused at first. None of us were willing to just tell her that we didn't want to be friends, so we made excuses. I told her my phone was turned off, and said that I had plans every time she wanted to hang out. When she finally figured it out, she didn't even get angry. She just, like, vanished. She stopped coming to school, and stopped eating at the diner where we always used to get burgers after school.
"After a couple of months, I started to get worried about her. So I went to her house and knocked on the door. Her mom answered and told me that Maryann didn't want to talk to me and that I should go. And that was the last I ever heard from her."
Sarisa put her arm around Kathy's shoulder and squeezed her. "It's not too late," she said, then Kathy turned into the hug and they embraced. I heard Kathy take a few shuddering breaths, and then she pulled back. "I know. And I plan to go to her, as soon as this is done. I won't take no for an answer, this time."
The tension eased further. Only the goddesses remained. Inanna had, predictably enough, managed to sneak a hand down my pants while Gary was talking, but her fondling was subdued, more of an idle fidgeting than her usual concerted attempts to arouse me. The thrill of being touched by a goddess remained, however, which is why I was keeping my mouth shut.
Sarisa broke the silence. "I slept with Astoram, once."
"What?" I choked out in unison with Inanna. Inanna jerked her hand free and spun to face Sarisa.
"I thought you said that night with Jerry was your first time."
"It was... Listen, it wasn't actually me who slept with him, but an avatar of mine who lived in my temple in Mohenjo-daro. I was experiencing everything she did, but I wasn't in control of her actions. The truth is, I wasn't even paying her much attention, and she had long since grown into her own being, making choices that sometimes surprised me. Astoram came to her in a manifestation. He pretended to be distraught after Loki had foiled one of his schemes, and he seemed to think the avatar was me in a manifestation. He played at humility, confessed that he was always jealous of how smart I am and just generally seemed remorseful, and possibly not such a bad god, once you got past his public facade.
"The avatar had been quite lonely, and had grown quite human, having lived among them for so long. So she was moved by his words and..."
"And threw him a pity fuck," Inanna said.
Sarissa nodded, "And she threw him a pity fuck, yes. Of course, that was his plan, all along. He impregnated her. He was so livid when he found out she wasn't me that I had to have Krast pin him down until he swore not to hurt the avatar. Even then, I was still so concerned for her safety that I sent her to Scandinavia to bear her son in peace."
"The avatar, that was Aelfrida?" Inanna asked. Sarisa nodded, and Inanna turned to me. "Jerry, now you three are the only people alive who knows the name of Grendel's mother."
"The baby was Grendel?" I asked, surprised. Sarisa nodded again. "Yes, and he was a lovely creature for a very long time, until that drunkard, Hrothgar built his little party shack and drove the poor thing insane with all the noise." She shook her head sadly.
The tension eased more. It was barely there. All eyes were on Inanna now. She gave us all an askance look, as if she didn't like being the center of attention.
Yeah, right.
After a moment's silence, she turned back to me and wrapped her arms around my waist. She leaned her head against my chest again and spoke, not looking at anyone.
"I've thought a lot about what we're doing and what it might entail, from a practical perspective. I've communed with Ixy on it, as well, as he's the oldest of all of us. As best I can guess, the actual method which we're trying to learn is not to kill Astoram, or even to put him back to sleep. It's to cut off his manifestation from his divinity. It would open his domain for grabs by the rest of us. I'm sure Ixy plans to seize as much of it as he can, the moment we succeed.
"I can't think of any other method of defeating him that's even remotely possible. Sarisa, you know we've discussed this." Sarisa nodded. I knew, too. I'd heard them talking about it a few times, and had a general idea of their logic. It was complex and sometimes irrational, but if you squinted just right, it sort of made sense.
The gods' divinity wasn't who they were, but a natural product of living beings interacting with the universe and each other, that occasionally grew into something so coherent and powerful that it took on a life of its own. As best I understood, Ixy was the first god. He came into being when human ancestors began really differentiating themselves from the other animals with their cleverness, a sort of reflexive kickback against said cleverness. Every time an animal did anything, a trickle of energy was added to Ixy's domain, but every time an especially smart animal followed its instincts, he got a huge jolt of power.
Eventually, all that energy coalesced into the nightmarish entity that Ixy can be if you don't know him. Because those ancestors were smart and they contributed so much, Ixy developed a literal mind of his own. A simple mind, about as intelligent as your typical chimpanzee, but with the social bonds of a dog.
As time passed and humanity evolved into its modern state, that growing intelligence that it brought flowed towards Ixy. But Ixy didn't want it. Ixy liked being Ixy. So he sequestered these little disembodied minds off from the rest of himself. And things continued like that for a very long time.
But humanity was only just beginning to get clever. As tribes and clans took hold, complex social behaviors developed, and those behaviors differentiated themselves from the primal energy that defined Ixy. One by one, these energies, these divinities, grew dense enough to power a god on their own. The minds that Ixy had sequestered were not comatose or unaware, and they saw this happening. Eventually, one of them escaped and tied itself to a divinity. They became the first generation of the gods. Hunting, bloodlust, simple lust, hunger, loneliness. Base concepts that all of humanity knew.
This first generation eventually experienced the same fate as Ixy, only without the entirety of the animal kingdom feeding them a steady drip of power, they grew weak as the energies split apart. To offset this, they emanated; breaking off parts of their own minds to take command over the diverging and clumping divinities that had once been entirely theirs. As these emanations seized their own divinities, they became the second generation of gods. Sarisa and Inanna were both second generation gods. The second generation was supposed to serve the first, but after some time, they rebelled.
The first generation was gone; slain somehow in a great war that had been wiped from the minds of all survivors, even the gods themselves. Only Astoram remained of their number. Sarisa and Inanna had discussed how that might have happened, even before Astoram's awakening, and the consensus they had established was that one or more of their 'sibling' gods had learned how to separate a god from their divinity.
Once that was done, then there would be little left but the mind, unless said god had been manifesting. In that case, they would survive not as a disembodied mind, but in whatever form they had taken. And that was what we planned to do to Astoram. What it wasn't, however, was a secret. I looked down at Inanna, who glanced up and caught my eye. When she spoke, I knew she was speaking to me.
"If we succeed. If we find a way to strip Astoram from his divinity, then after we've defeated him, I want to be stripped from my own. I want to live whatever remaining life I have in this body with you, Jerry."
Holy fucking shit.
----
As a reminder, this whole story is available at JerryandtheGoddesses.
submitted by MjolnirPants to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 20:59 EchinaceaPuff Finally I was working on my response again to OutbackAnimations's analysis... (So far I wrote more stuff about Robot Flower, Foldy, and Stapy) (mainly Stapy)

What this is about, so a while ago OutbackAnimations posted this art for me of some of my favorite characters, and analysis of them in the comments. I planned on writing more than my brief initial response to the analysis, but I had other stuff I needed to do, and even when I had time, I did not end up doing it... But now with much more free time, I figured I should work on the response more. This is already kind of long, so I plan on making another post(s) later about the rest of the characters. I recommend that you read OutbackAnimations's analysis for more context of this, as it is written directed to them and their analysis. I figured that it would make more sense to type this on a separate post.

Robot Flower: I already wrote a little about Robot Flower in my other response, but I am glad you understand that she would panic in the BFB 7 scenario. Some people seem to hate characters for stuff they did in emotional situations. And something else about Robot Flower, is that in TPOT 4, she thinks that she is a plant, and Tree questions whether she counts, and later she seems to believe him. Robot Flower is quite helpful, it might appear that she just does what others tell her to do, but like in BFB 7, she disobeyed Golf Ball's order to not mess up the signal. Sometimes she seems a bit gullible... like in TPOT 5, she fell for what TV was saying, about destructing the fish machine. (Although, it is hard to know for sure if TV was actually trying to trick Robot Flower or if he legitimately wanted to prove a point to the others left on TSToE about their treatment of machines.)

Foldy: I already mentioned this earler, but again, thank you for understanding that characters should not be expected to act rationally in emotional situations. And about a loss that she would not recover from for a long time, when Two says "Tapy" but Foldy mishears it as "Stapy" and then Basketball corrects her, how Foldy gasps when she thought she heard "Stapy," and her disappointment when she realized the truth... To show how she still missed Stapy after all this time, that may have been part of how I became quite interested in Foldy. I remember hoping that she could have some development, like we could see deeper into how Stapy's elimination affected her, and I was thinking maybe Basketball could teach her to be less sad about Stapy, to teach her how to cope. In that scene in TPOT 1, Foldy only gasped, she never actually mentioned anything about Stapy, yet Basketball understood. That Foldy thought Two said "Stapy." And Basketball is sort of the leader of TSToE. Before TPOT 2, I had my hopes up for Foldy's future as a character—I thought that maybe Stapy and Foldy could be reunited. But then TPOT 2 came along, and my hopes kind of got shattered. But I have not given up hope. Apparently Sam said that the EXITors would appear in future TPOT episodes. Perhaps the door in the EXIT leads to the eliminated TPOT contestants. And I get that we have not seen the EXITors since TPOT 1, but I am thinking that maybe TPOT 6 will be the episode we finally see them. It will probably be the episode for the meetup, and maybe jacknjellify wants to do something special for it.

Stapy: Yes his personality seems pretty consistent. It kind of seems as if, he likes to avoid situations he might find stressful, or that he would rather procrastinate, or run away from his problems, or something. In BFB 1, when Fries is angry at him and Foldy for playing rock-paper-scissors, he says "What's wrong with a little RPS so we can stress less?" Showing that he is not merely playing rock-paper-scissors because that is more "fun" than the challenge, that he does not want to be in a stressful situation. Which is shown more when he says that he would love to be of assistance. His procrastination is not merely because he wants to have fun. And he also seems not very careful sometimes, like in BFB 1 but also in BFB 5 and 8.
In BFB 5, at first he is concerned about if the plane would be able to hold his weight, but after the members of his team go to the other side of the plane, he makes fun of BEEP, saying that they needed to learn about weight distribution, not exactly focusing on the challenge. He did not seem to take into account that, even though one problem may be solved, the challenge is not over, other things might happen. And then he staples the plane. He blames it on his "stapler instincts." I do not know whether it was actually involuntary or if he was just using at as an excuse. He used his "stapler instincts" as an excuse in BFB 10, when trying to persuade the viewers to let him rejoin. The BFDI Official Character Guide says that he will blame his "stapler instincts" to describe why he failed a task. Trying to take away his responsibility for his actions.
In BFB 6, he was not very careful either, looking at Donut when the Twinkle challenge was about to start, questioning since when did his words become so powerful. Donut had explained how the Twinkle worked, yet he was still looking at him.
And then... BFB 8. While that episode does bother me, I do not necessarily agree with what I have seen said by at least one other person that his "cheating" was out-of-character. According to Fries, he knew the answer to one of the questions. And some of the questions were very simple, like what was the past tense of eat. So if he knew answers, why did he make the fake buzzer instead? Why not just answer them? Was he not confident in himself, was he afraid of messing things up, was bearing the responsibility of making the team win stressful? Maybe he wanted to make the fake buzzer so that he would not have to be afraid with coming up with a wrong answer. But then again, someone on another team could have messed up. But maybe it would have still looked as if he were helping, and that another team's wrong answer was "not his fault." And how, when it was down to Free Food and iance, he then actually tries to answer the question but gets it wrong. And then Bubble gives the right answer, but due to the fake buzzer, Donut did not count it. Did he realize that he now needed to take the risk in order to keep Free Food safe? Reminds me of BFB 5, thinking that things will be fine, but then later realizing that they were not...
Also, was Stapy's "cheating" technically cheating? Donut never said that making a fake buzzer was against the rules. Hosts often do not give clear rules. Also, Donut said to buzz the buzzer when one knows the answer, but he never technically said that pressing the buzzer was required to be safe, he just said that one needed to get one question right in order to be safe, which Bubble did. Other characters, like Pen, have cheated multiple times, yet people do not seem to hate them much for it.
Also in BFB 11, the EXITors get back some exam that they had taken. Stapy just put "4" for all of the answers, and he ended up getting five out of six questions right, the best out of everyone in the EXIT. He did not put anything for the bonus question, which was simply asking for his favorite number. (Maybe he thought that was unnecessary if he put 4 for the answers?) He seemed to have an understanding of how Four worked, seemed to expect him to have "4" as the answers. And how he did not answer the bonus question, maybe he was feeling confident in himself. Like BFB 5 and BFB 8. Sometimes it seems as if, while Stapy is capable, he is not always interested in trying his best.
And then... Consider his relationship with Liy. As we see in BFB 2, Foldy has a strong disliking of Liy. In BFB 5, Stapy suggested to Foldy that they smile big after Liy was eliminated, which they did. At first in BFB 10 and 11, Stapy and Liy's relationship was not very positive, such as with Stapy teasing Liy and Liy hitting Stapy twice. But then... in BFB 16, they seem to be getting along a little better, as well as in TPOT 1. But what will happen when—if—Foldy finds out about this? Will she be hurt? Angry? But... why would Stapy be friends with Liy if he knows that Foldy hates her? Has Stapy considered the risk of what might happen if she found out? Does he think that he will not see Foldy again? Or does he think he has some time to worry about that? This whole friendship with Liy thing, perhaps he wants to be nice to her, but again, this seems rather uncareful.
If we ever get to see Stapy again, perhaps he could have an arc of learning to be more careful, learning to accept stressful situations, learning to take responsibility for his actions. Perhaps it might help him to learn if Foldy does not respond well if she finds out about his sort-of-friendship with Liy.
Stapy seems to be quite clever sometimes; like with the fake buzzer in BFB 8; he not only came up with the idea but also figured out how to actually make it. And the BFB 11 thing, with putting "4" for the answers. Also, in BFB 16, his plan of stacking those recommended items was rather specific.
It is unfortunate that many people seem to mostly just consider BFB 8 for their opinion on Stapy. Yes, he can be a little rude sometimes, like when he called it "lame" that Marker did not know how to play rock-paper-scissors, and maybe the thing about Firey Jr. in BFB 16 (speaking of which, I do hope they can have more interaction in the future), but he also can be caring. What you said about the cakes in BFB 9, and stuff like standing up to Four in BFB 6 (he was still rather murderous back then), after he mutilated Foldy. And then he suffered for this, what with Four zapping him.
I agree with what you said about his friendship with Foldy saving Foldy from elimination. I have seen it said that Foldy is "nothing without Stapy." I get that sometimes Foldy may come across as "dependent" on Stapy or something, but that does not mean a character is bad.
And, about how to improve your opinions, I guess you should pay attention to what a character does, and notice the patterns, the connections, in their behavior, the different things they do. I am not saying you have to memorize everything they do in every episode, but try to be at least somewhat familiar with what they do. (Though I am not too familiar with what some of my favorite characters yet) Some of my favorites were not actually originally based on much thought of their personality. And then over time I learn more about their actual personalities. I could probably think of more on how to improve your opinions. But if there is a character you like, then I advise that you look more into their personality, to see some stuff that may be overlooked by the majority of the fanbase.
I plan to at some point write a response to what you said about the other characters.
submitted by EchinaceaPuff to BattleForDreamIsland [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 20:38 FatalisticBunny Joss Turnberry, Lord of Turnfield, Lord Justicar of Casterly Rock, Half-Maester

Discord Username: Freed#4998
Character Name and House: Joss Turnberry
Age: 28
Appearance: https://imgur.com/a/b4jDwiy
Gift: Diplomat
Skills: Scholar(e), Courtly(e), Zealot
Talent(s): History, Poetry, Religious Scripture
Starting Title(s): Lord of Turnfield, High Justicar of Casterly Rock
Starting Location: Opening Event
"Dragon" Name: Amarei Lannister
"Dragon" Size: Human Sized
Family Tree: https://www.familyecho.com/?p=G9I7T&c=12gd6fwm88o&f=662835079214238246
Alternate Characters: None Yet

Timeline

179 AC: Joss Turnberry, second son to Lord Alyn Turnberry, is born to the Lord Turnberry and Cersei Algood. He is a quiet child, and does not often cry.
180-190 AC: Joss is a very bookish child, and incredibly eager to learn. He takes to trodding after Turnfield's Maester, and often serves as his little assistant.
191 AC: At the recommendation of his maester, Joss is sent to study at the citadel to become a Maester, as his brother Daven is set to inherit Turnfield.
192-199 AC: Joss studies hard at the Citadel, focusing primarily on History and Religion. He has a knack for it, and is one of the Citadel's most promising students.
200 AC: Alyn Turnberry takes Damion Lannister on a hunt to secure Rohanne Lannister's ascension as Lady of Casterly Rock. Daven Turnberry is attacked by a boar on this hunt, and he takes a wound that later becomes infected. Rohanne Lannister rises to power, and names Alyn Lord Justicar of Casterly Rock.
201 AC: Daven dies of an infected wound. Because Liela is married to Lord Marbrand and Joss has not yet finished his chain, Alyn makes the decision to call Joss back to Turnfield to become his heir. With some reluctance, Joss returns and begins to aid his father in his duties.
203 AC: Alyn passes, abed with his wife (and ostensibly a few of their mutual companions). Joss ascends to Lordship of Turnfield, as well as inheriting his father's position as Lord Justicar of Casterly Rock, for which he is, admittedly, better suited.
204-207 AC: Joss continues to serve Lady Rohanne Lannister as one of her closest advisors, accompanying her to the opening feast.

Archetyped NPCs

This is an official Freed pass. Joss Turnberry needs no NPCs.
submitted by FatalisticBunny to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 20:16 dwredbaker Our name must be guarded before all as the most important treasure we have~D. W. "Red" Baker


Ecclesiastes 10:1-3~"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool."
"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour"
I hate flies, but dead ones in certain places is even worse.
  1. Apothecary is one that prepares and sells drugs for medicinal purposes, the business now we call druggist, or pharmaceutical chemist.
  2. Here is a poetic, proverbial, and very powerful metaphor to emphasize protecting one's reputation, especially so one who is known for wisdom and being in a place of honour.
  3. We only wish we had been taught this great lesson while still in our youth. But, yet knowing this all important truth, it is not easy to let this slip and fall into some type of sin whereby we give place for other to speak evil of our name and the God that we serve.
"So doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour"~All it takes is a little folly, just as flies are so small yet cause so much stink if in the apothecary's ointment!
Though God forgives all sins, yet the damage is done, and cannot be reversed! It generally has lasting effect on so many people.
Proverbs 22:1~"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving kindness than silver or gold."
Your reputation is an asset far more important than anything you can buy. The respect of others and their affection for you is an asset you should pursue with great zeal. Your character is a precious treasure that you should enhance each day by wise choices.
What do people think, when they hear your name? Do they think graciousness, godliness, diligence, and faithfulness? Is your name sweet to their ears and thoughts? How do they speak of you to others? Are you often praised in your absence? Do others crave your company? Do they want to honor you with affection, gifts, and service?
Or is your name a bitter thought? Do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they try to avoid you? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct? Do they pass over you for invitations or assignments, because you are more irritating than pleasing?
You cannot ignore these questions and be wise. Your reputation and relationships are a great measure of your life. Stop and examine your reputation with others. What others think of you is a far more accurate picture of your life than what you think about yourself, for you have an obvious bias to distort facts in your favor, and you have a deceitful heart that is deeply infatuated with yourself (Pr 16:2; 20:6; 21:2; Jer 17:9; Gal 6:3).
Some people are used as well known examples of specific virtues or all virtues. Others are used as examples of poor character and problems. How is your name used? Are you spoken about affectionately and respectfully, or critically and negatively? Many have no outstanding virtues at all, so they pass through life without any honor or favor, which shows a lack of diligence and priority in pursuing godliness and virtue.
What is a good name? It is not your parents’ choice of a distinguished combination of syllables that sounds sophisticated, classy, or pleasant. It is not merely being named after a respected ancestor. Your bare name has no value at all. Solomon used “good name” as a metonym for a good reputation. He exhorted his son to emphasize having a good reputation with God and good men as one of the chief goals of life (Pr 3:4).
What is loving favour here? It is not giving love and favour to others, but rather receiving love and favour from others. It is obtaining affection and respect from other virtuous persons. It is obtaining their acceptance and approval of your life. Of course, reaching such a position requires you to carefully rule your conduct to please others. It requires consistent righteous behavior to hold the esteem and trust of others (Eccl 10:1).
The proverb has an ellipsis, which is missing words that shorten the sentence and give it boldness. The second clause may be read, “And loving favour is to be chosen rather than silver and gold.” These words taken from the first clause are important to fill out the whole sense of the proverb. A comparison and choice is being taught in both clauses.
In each case it is your choice. You can choose a good reputation and the loving approval of others. It is your choice. Both should be a priority. Both are more important than other measures of success. Circumstances or discrimination are excuses for foolish or lazy men who have not properly pursued these important goals. A wise man will pursue both.
What is the lesson? You should put great emphasis on your reputation and relationships. While many men chase financial and professional success with all their might, Solomon exhorted his son to value his reputation and relationships higher than these other goals. He wanted his son to grow in favor with God and men, and he ranked the importance of this achievement as more valuable than great riches (Pr 3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52).
How do you measure by Solomon’s lesson? How important is your reputation to you? Is it more important than any amount of money or success? Do you work harder to improve your name than to get ahead financially? How much do you value the esteem and respect of good men? Do you regularly examine your conduct to be without offence? Do you go out of your way to make sure each thing you do is done very well for all concerned?
God measures you by what others think. You cannot please God and offend good men at the same time. It is impossible. If you are pleasing God and keeping His commandments, you will please others (I Sam 18:14-16; I John 5:2). And your family and close friends do not count, for it is your reputation before good men that is the key. You can easily tell a person’s character by the number and kind of friends he has. These facts do not lie.
Of course, others’ opinions are not your only measure, or the most important (John 5:44). But they are a measure. You foolishly deceive yourself to approve your life and conduct, if good men and women have a low regard of you. Joseph and Daniel were highly regarded even as captives in foreign lands by their excellent spirits and blameless lives.
Demetrius had a great name and reputation of the apostles and all men (III John 1:12); Timothy was highly regarded both before and after he met Paul (Acts 16:1-2; Phil 2:19-22). This high measure of a good reputation in the world is a necessary qualification for the bishops of Jesus Christ’s churches (I Tim 3:7). How do you measure up?
A good reputation before the world is possible, but some ungodly men will not appreciate your righteousness (I Thess 4:12; I Pet 2:12; Dan 6:3-5; Luke 6:26). Solomon primarily intended good and wise men, who know the heart and will of God and measure other men by godliness. Compromise or friendship with the world is a trait of sinners (Jas 4:4).
Your opinion of yourself is quite worthless. It is usually contrary to fact. People with good reputations generally think poorly of themselves, which keeps them humble and sensitive to others; but those with bad reputations think themselves quite desirable, leading to offensive arrogance. The difference between humble modesty and self-righteousness is a large part of a good name, which is built on low self-esteem.
Your great goal is to grow in “loving favour” with God and men, as did Samuel and the Lord Jesus Christ (3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52). This happens when you keep the two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. The “loving favour” of the proverb is how God and others treat you, which you can choose by living a consistent life of godliness and love toward them. An excellent spirit will cause others to love you.
So great are these goals – your reputation and esteem by others – they should exceed any other goal. Men work long days of hard labor for many years to get rich, but building a good name and reputation are more important. If you had a choice between a good reputation and precious ointment, which was of great value in Israel’s very dry climate and provided much personal pleasure, you should choose the good name (Eccl 7:1).
Consider your funeral (Pr 10:7). The memory of just men is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot. How will you be remembered? How long will you be remembered? Will your memory bring pleasant thoughts to hearts? Or will most cringe and be relieved? The number of persons, and their character, and their reaction at a funeral say a great deal.
You have two names. Your first name is your personal name, a unique identifier among the billions on earth. How you live and treat others creates the reputation of your first name. God gave you that name at birth with a blank reputation. What have you done with it since? You have either enhanced it or damaged it. With a single word, your name, reactions and thoughts are triggered in others. What are those thoughts?
Your second name is your surname or family name. How your family lives and treats others creates its reputation. Do you promote your family name? Or are you letting it decay? Do others desire to be with your family? Or have they been offended enough to back away? Do others want to marry into your family to obtain an interest in a good name? A good surname takes consistent godliness from many different persons.
David had a great name in the Bible. His name was much set by in Israel (I Sam 16:18; 18:30). Though Saul was king with a princely son, Jonathan and the nation loved David, for he was better than any other (I Sam 18:1-16). Everyone wanted to be with David, be like David, or be married to David. He earned this by being gracious, humble, and wise at all times. God chose this man, though a sinner, as an example of a great name in Israel.
Blessings at Solomon’s coronation included having a name greater than his father David’s name, which was easily the greatest in Israel (I Kings 1:47). Even God compared all later kings to David, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart. What a goal! How do you measure up, reader? Good fathers will want their sons to exceed them in reputation and loving favour, for they will know the many mistakes they have made.
Nabal was the opposite. He was churlish – overbearing, harsh, and difficult (I Sam 25:2). His name meant fool, and even his wife said he was a fool (I Sam 25:25). He was a man of Belial – wicked and profane. The Lord let him think about dying for ten days before killing him, so David could marry his beautiful wife right after his funeral (I Sam 25:39).
Consider Joseph. Though a slave, he earned the loving favour of God and Potiphar by his exemplary conduct (Gen 39:1-6). Though charged with attempted rape, he earned the loving favour of God and the jailor (Gen 39:19-23). Though a long-term prisoner, he earned the loving favour of God and Pharaoh (Gen 41:38-45; Acts 7:10). Anyone who says their circumstances or past have poorly affected their name is just making excuses.
Consider Daniel. Though a captive eunuch from a strange, small country, he earned the loving favour of God and Ashpenaz, the prince of the eunuchs in Babylon (Dan 1:9). Though living a public life for many decades, his enemies could not find a single error or fault by which to accuse him to the king (Dan 6:1-5). What a role model for young men!
What can you do to build your name and reputation and win the loving favour of others?
Everything you do every day contributes toward your reputation and the favour of others. No matter how small or large, the accumulated effect of your words and actions combine to give God and men an appraisal of your character and faithfulness. Therefore, it is your solemn duty and privilege to keep your heart, lips, and feet with all prudent diligence.
Graciousness is the greatest trait for a good name and the loving favour of others, for it can win the friendship of kings and cause women to be always honored (Pr 22:11; 11:16). It is the perfect combination of gentleness, kindness, humility, and cheerfulness that makes men and women charming and delightful. How gracious are you?
Men love those who help build their lives (Pr 27:9,17; Ps 141:3). Are you a tree of life to others (Pr 11:30; 15:4)? Do they benefit by being around you (Pr 9:8; 25:12; 28:23)? Do they seek you for help? Would you help fellow prisoners like Joseph did? Or your captors like Daniel did? Or a lustful king like Esther did? Or many widows like Dorcas did?
Is your speech a healing balm, a sarcastic whip, or a foolish noise? Men love pleasant and good words that are kind, gentle, friendly, and helpful (Pr 12:18; 16:24; 18:21; 25:11). Is your speech always gracious with only a slight saltiness of rebuke to it (Col 4:6)?
Charity never fails! If you learn and apply the fifteen phrases describing true love (I Cor 13:4-7), your name will blossom as a beautiful flower. If your name is not great and your friends are few, it is evidence you have not learned true love. Charity never fails!
Just a little folly can spoil a reputation quickly (Eccl 10:1), so you must avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thess 5:22). And you must quickly make amends for offences (Matt 5:23-24). Ruling your spirit constantly is necessary to stay virtuous (Pr 16:32). Paul took extra measures to make sure he could never be accused of dishonesty (II Cor 8:21).
Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and well received most anywhere, knows the wisdom of this proverb. He teaches others, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”
John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in human history, said, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit – a reputation, character.” He also said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This latter idea agrees well with Paul (Ro 12:17; II Cor 8:21).
If you are young, you have an advantage. Your reputation is still being formed, and you should apply yourself with all diligence to make it the very best before God and men. If you are young, you have not made as many mistakes as older persons, meaning you have less to live down. Choose today to make this proverb a high goal and live according to it.
Have you blown your reputation already? Do you think it is too late? It is never too late, if you will repent before God, confess your sins to him, confess your faults to others, and make amends or restitution for any wrongs you have done. David recovered his reputation after terrible sins, and so did Zacchaeus and Peter (Luke 19:1-9; Gal 2:9).
Your name and reputation are daily choices, and you should choose to build them and preserve them more than any other project or goal. You can change your name and reputation, so consider it a blessed privilege, duty, and a high priority for your life. Rather than emphasizing exercise, diet, and sleep to build your body, which has little value to God or men, exercise yourself unto godliness and loving others (I Tim 4:7).
Husband, do you love your wife enough to help build her name and loving favour with others? Parent, do you understand the importance of this proverb as a goal for your children? Diligent efforts should be made every day to make sure your family name and that of each family member is clear of offence. What a wonderful family objective!
If you have taken the name of Jesus Christ as a Christian, it is important that your name and reputation give honor to your religion and its Leader (II Tim 2:19). Be like those of Pentecost, who grew in favor with all the people (Acts 2:47; Phil 2:14-16). Let your life adorn the doctrine of God with glory and beauty (Titus 2:5,8,10). Be like those nameless brethren endorsed by Paul as “the glory of Christ” (II Cor 8:23).
Jesus of Nazareth grew in favour with God and men during his youth (Luke 2:52). He was most gracious in conduct and speech (Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22). Because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God’s loving favour blessed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Heb 1:9). His name is above every name by many measures. Choose to have a perfect name, even as His name is perfect in heaven and in earth. ( J. R. Crosby a friend of mine )
submitted by dwredbaker to OldPaths [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 20:16 1260noggin New Hydraulic Breaks, Bottom Bracket, and Crank Set - HELP

Hi everyone,
I’m new to mountain biking but know enough about it to have an idea of what I’m talking about. I just got my first actual mountain bike - yes, it’s from Walmart - but I purchased some hydraulic breaks, and a new bottom bracket and crank set because I know that these are going to be the first to fail me on the trails.
I took my bike out this weekend to my local trails, did every type of trail, including my trails version of a “double black Diamond” which had jumps, wall rides, huge sharp berms, rock gardens and more. I took it out expecting it to fall apart on the first ride, and I was massively shocked to find out that this may be the one single bike from Walmart that was put together correctly and held up to what I put it through. Everything worked well - breaks and of course the bottom bracket were the only two that I predicted wouldn’t do great, and they didn’t. Pretty sure I already blew out a piece of the bottom bracket and the breaks just didn’t stop fast enough.
Here’s my dilemma: I’ve never worked on a bike outside of a slight tune up. You know, making sure bolts are correctly torqued, breaks aren’t rubbing, no indexed head sets, etc. I got the breaks and the bottom bracket/crank set, and I’m as little overwhelmed. Is there any advice or maybe videos that anyone can suggest that would help me? Idk what tools I even need or how to properly route the cables for the breaks since it’s all internally routed.
Thank you for your help!
EDIT: I’d rather buy tools and learn how to service my own bike rather than spend the $250+ on a bike shop doing all of this… both places quoted me $80 for bottom bracket replacement and $80 PER BREAK on a new break set up and bleed? It truly can’t be that hard, and for a days worth of my pay I’ll just do it on my own.
submitted by 1260noggin to mountainbiking [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 20:02 Centumviri Welcome to Green Valley: 4 Bumpkin Quest Adventures

Welcome to Green Valley

Four Merry Jaunts Through in the Bumpkin Quest Campaign

It’s a big world filled with far off folks who have far off problems. In the quaint farming town of Hills Furrow that has certainly not been the case. Here life is simple, local, and paced by the seasons. There ain’t been a need for “Venturers” and their ilk since your Papaw was just a sprout. However, the winds of change are blowin, and things are about to git just a bit more exciting round these parts.
Welcome to Green Valley, The down-home home of Rural Fantasy Misadventures and Grass-Roots Shenanigans. The Valley is Filled with Colorful Characters, Brimming with Odd Ball Neighbors, and has more than a few Local Yokels. Welcome to Bumpkin Quest. These adventures are intended to be a series of silly adventures that all go awry in some way or another and stir up trouble throughout a peaceful little village that has in many ways been overlooked by the troubles of the world “outside”.
CHAPTER 1: Green Tide CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent CHAPTER 4: High Society
ADVENTURE MECHANICS - Target Character Level: Commoners - Level 1 - Target Party Size: Four Players - Average Adventure Playtime: 1-2 Hours - Tone: Rural Misadventures
I’ve also put these adventures into a PDF that includes our Bumpkin Quest: Campaign Guide which fills in the details of Green Valley pretty thoroughly. The quests are simple enough to be run in any setting you choose, but if you're interested in more the Guide as over a dozen Custom Maps, 70+ NPCs, Location Descriptions, 20+ Local Legends, and Scores of Adventure and Event Ideas. You can grab the PDF Free at the link above.

Hills Furrow

At the center of the Valley sits a patch of small grassy hills, through which the Slow Water meanders through. Built into these hills is the Village of Hills Furrow. Celebrated by everyone living in The Valley and boasting a whopping population of almost 150, Hills Furrow is the center of commerce and social importance. Well, at least as far as the locals are concerned. Realistically it would be less than a blip on the grand scale of things, a mere kernel of wheat in the silo of civilization, but to those who live here, there is nothing quite like living in the “city”.
The Village itself, like the Valley, is predominantly Halfling, and their fancy dwellings are burrowed into the hillsides as often as possible. These dwellings have been family owned for generations only becomeing available if there are no heirs to pass them along to. Other folk live in well kept two story shingled buildings, most of which house a business on the lower floor and house the Shopkeepers and their families above their workplaces, though a few live in nearby homes. There aren’t many “rental” spaces in town, as property is usually bought up quickly by the Halfling Families, but there are long term options at either of the Inns in town.
Hills Furrow: Locations 1) The Crocked Crow (Inn and Tavern) 2) The Dancing Lamb (Inn and Tavern) 3) The Moaning Toad (Tavern) 4) Granny's Groceries (General Market) 5) Get Nailed (Hardware and Distilery) 6) Gimdurh's Hammer (Smithy) 7) Brenra's Mechanicals (Tinker) 8) Hjoldren's Home Goods (Carpenter) 9) Standard Industries (Office) 10) Fit to be Dyed (Tailor) 11) The Last Loaf (Baker) 12) The Cloudy Cleaver (Butcher) 13) Nature's Medecine (Apothecary) 14) Sheriff's Office 15) Green Valley School House 16) The Waterwheel 17) The Windmill 18) The Undercloak Estate 19) Truefoot Burrow 20) The Meadows Family Hill
The people themselves are hospitable and friendly enough, but they do not really trust outsiders. Folks from foreign places are good for trade, news, and little else. Those that come through are treated well enough as long as they don’t wear out their welcome. Locals, well, that’s a bit of a different story. The city and area doesn’t operate under a written caste system or social structure, but there is clearly a pecking order, and family heritage matters a great deal to folks in Hills Furrow. Most locals, whether they’ve gotten an education or not, can easily be classified as simple. It isn’t that they are slow of mind or unintelligent, but more that they are unconcerned with matters the outside world considers important. This sentiment has created a general, but friendly, dislike between those that consider themselves Highfalutin and those that clearly are not.
Well now that I've given you the fifty cent tour. Shall we get on to adventure?

CHAPTER 1: Green Tide

We will open our journeys in the Green Valley at Green Tide, the annual celebration of Winter’s End. This adventure is designed to give a tour of Hills Furrow and introduce them to the locals. It will begin with some chores around their house to prepare for the festival and end with a battle involving an enchanted broom. If you did not do Session Zero, this chapter may take a bit longer as we get to know everyone and their characters.

ACT 1: Pre-Festival

The locals spend the week cleaning out their houses and farms. They gather old junk and unused items to be used later in the festival. They also begin preparing what food is left from winter to be used in a celebration and feasts.
Things to do! - Have the Players clean up junk around the house - Have them Find something strange (Perhaps used for a later mystery?) - Have them Decorate their Broom - Have them run a Household Errand (Meet an NPC)

ACT 2: Sweeping Day

A merry festival celebrating Spring cleaning and putting the past behind them. They form a parade, with one member from each house carrying a brightly decorated broom and using it to symbolically “Sweep Away Winter”. The rest of the family marches their winter’s trash and unused goods down to the Fairgrounds. The goods are often traded, while the trash is piled in the fire pit to await burning later. The entire day is filled with fun outdoor activities. Households also symbolically bring their problems to the bonfires to burn them later.
Things to do! - March in the Parade - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals
EVENT: I Love a Parade
The parade will march North from near the Cross Roads in the South up around the hill and back again to the South where it will head for the Fairgrounds. There isn’t anything particularly challenging about this event, but it would be a wonderful place to start leaning into or building local rivalries.
EVENT: Never Seen a Broom Do That… As they come into the home stretch of the Parade one of the local’s Brooms will animate and take off. It will chase folks around the parade. The players can attempt to stop it, but the broom will flee soon after being attacked. It will fly up into the air, attack a flock of geese, and chase them off until it can’t be seen anymore. They can go and collect a fallen goose if they wish. I highly recommend giving it a motorcycle type sound as it flies around hitting folks. Maybe even going as far as giving it a rough gravel angry voice and letting it insult people.

ACT 3: Winter’s End

Winter’s End is a Combination of Groundhog’s Day and Fasnacht, this day gets a little wild. The Festival kicks off at dawn with the Great Gopher Hunt. Gophers are well known spies for The Voice of Winter and thus need to be hunted before they can tell The Voice to delay Spring. Gophers themselves are quite tasty, and are notoriously bad for crops, so this works out economically all around. Throughout the rest of the day families continue to contribute to the Bonfire Pile which often gets quite large. At dusk a large effigy of The Voice of Winter is placed on top of the pile. Once the sun has fully set they light the fire and burn the Effigy. Folk usually dress darkly during the day and brightly at night. After the burning they feast on sweets and treats that were made from goods saved up from winter storage.
Things to do! - The Great Gopher Hunt - Carry Junk to the Bonfire - Meet more of the Locals - The Fairground’s Activities
EVENT: The Great Gopher Hunt The Hunt begins at dawn and takes place all over the Valley. Locals race to collect as many Gophers as possible. It is easiest to kill the Gopher, but there are some that find that distasteful. Instead they live trap the critters. It is a bit tougher to do so, but an option should your players wish. This is most easily played out as a series of appropriate Skill Checks, in which the higher they score the more gophers they obtain.
EVENT: Trash Removal They may find some locals willing to pay them to help cart junk down to the bonfire pile. Not a lot of skill involved in this, but it is a great opportunity to meet locals, and you could throw a runaway cart at them.
Fair Activities They will probably want to take part in Fairground Activities. Players love these types of challenges. Here are a few ideas you can build on. - Axe Throwin: Basic attack rolls on a Round Target. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Bow Shootin: Basic attack rolls on Moving Targets. Higher scores equal Higher points. - Pig Chasin: Catch the greased Pig! Medium DC Challenge requiring three success before three Failures. - Mud Wrastlin: Nothing says bumpkin like a good Mud Wrastlin Pit. Contested Skill Challenges. - Sausage Eating Contest: Increasingly difficult DC Challenge. Eat till you puke! Can also be Pies or Ribs or Little Fish… you know whatever someone wants to stuff dozens of in their gullet. - Tug O’War: Team Strength Challenge. Three to Five Contested Rolls with opposing teams. - Gopher BBQ Cook Off: A Hard Culinary Challenge to see who can BBQ the best Gopher! - Races: Foot and Mount Races based on Three to Five Contested Rolls. I usually include a few odd mounts like a Giant Chicken or some such nonsense.

ACT 4: Day of Ashes

The Day of Ashes is a day of rest, recovery, and reflection. Locals take the ashes from the bonfires and rub their hands in them to symbolize the end of a hard year’s work and hardships of the past. The day ends with a large family feast, typically Pork. Activities this day are light, but many folks head to the Temple for the Calling of Spring Blessings. They put on their fancies and head down to ask forgiveness for over-indulging in the festival and for worship. Well sort of…
Unfortunately, a lot of folks take this as an opportunity to peacock about and practice their one-upmanship over other locals. If you’re looking for inspiration for their outfits look to older photos of the Kentucky Derby. Over the years this troubling practice has caused more than one fight to break out after the service.
*Things to do! * - Go to Temple and Meet More Locals - Pick a Local Patron!
EVENT: Temple Services
The majority of the town comes to Temple on this day. The service is usually longer, and a bit more “Where have most of you been all year?” But otherwise it is a call for the Divine Blessings to touch their crops and protect their lives. It ends with a ceremony in which the locals put their hands into the ashes from yesterday’s bonfire. Once services end they will head outside, where the trouble will begin. Two of the wealthier families will get into it with each other. Starting with a couple of veiled insults, probably before service and continuing afterward. If one of your players is from a local Rich Folk family then they can be right in the middle of it all, otherwise they will have to pick a side. This choice will determine their house Patron moving forward. Tension will increase until folks start drawing up sides, and then someone will throw a rotten tomato at one of the House Matrons. That will blow the lid off the incident and a yokel brawl will break out. For comedy purposes I recommend the instant appearance of several food carts filled with expired products, and maybe a six year old hustler selling big sticks for wacking folks with. As the locals brawl call for perception checks. Who ever rolls highest begins to hear… The Broom returning!
ENCOUNTER: Stick In The Eye
The broom returns ready to whoop some ash. It will be absolutely bent on cleaning anyone and everyone who is even the slightest bit dirty! If it successfully attacks a character they will have to make a Strength Saving throw or be knocked to the ground and swept clean by the broom. As this would be an awful omen for the year folks are terrified and will be running around screaming. Absolute mass hysteria. If the players were lucky enough to hear it coming they can avoid being surprised by the broom. Otherwise the broom will get a full round to attack before they have a chance to do anything. They’ll have to beat the broom into submission any way they can before it sweeps the whole town into chaos!

CLOSING

After defeating the broom things will settle back down again. Bumpkins are quick to return to normal when things go awry. However, they will have gotten the attention of one of the Wealthy Families in the area and be offered jobs. Which family is really, based on what will work best for them and you as the DM. For gags you might be tempted to have the Yokels pick them up, but that is a hard bit to sustain, and you may be better served keeping them on the side as a comic foil rather than up front. Completely up to you. The session should end with them being invited to meet their new patron tomorrow someplace important.

CHAPTER 2: A Cartload of Chickens

After successfully defeating the Enchanted Broom, our Bumpkins have gained the attention of a possible local Patron. This individual has summoned them to a nearby farm to discuss future work. That work includes proving themselves capable and not just lucky.

ACT 1: Meet the Boss

In this Act the players will meet with their new patron, one of the Family Heads, who that is entirely depends on their choices from the last game. This entire side branch is designed to flavor the background of the campaign, but if you’d rather just have them stay freelancing and independent that’s fine as well. There is also the possibility of “competing” offers should they have second thoughts for any reason. Once they arrive at the meeting spot their Patron will ask them some questions about their ambitions (Class Goals), they will then hand them off to their new “boss” who will assign them their task. They will take them to a nearby barn.
NEW NPC: “Boss”
Needs a fitting name for the Family they work for...
Character wise, what we got here is a standard “Ranch Foreman” character. They’re tough, A little mean, and completely loyal to their employer. They almost certainly chew tobacco (by the handful), have a tattoo of the Ranch’s Brand, and know where all the bodies are buried. They also have a huge and obvious scar on the side of their head where a Giant Chicken pecked a hole in their skull, so they’re not as bright as they used to be, not at all truthfully. Nor are they actually the Foreman anymore, but no one has a heart to tell them. They’ve been quietly downgraded to Chicken Handler, which is something they seem to remember quite well, but the brain damage keeps them from realizing all that. They can be found wandering the Farm giving strange orders to other Hands. These Hands nod politely and then go back to what they are doing.
Things To Do! - Meet Their Patron - Discuss Their Future - Meet Their New “Boss”

ACT 2: Chicken Dance

Boss will lead them into the odd looking barn. This building is filled with Giant Chickens. These two-three foot fouls have extremely exaggerated features, spiky looking beaks with sharp tooth like edges, big darting eyes, bumpy cracked skin, long gnarled talons, and dirty mottled feathers. They’re more beast than bird. But, they’re good for eatin! These creatures should have a stat block similar to an Axe Beak. When the players enter into the Barn the Chickens will go nuts, obviously deeply bothered by the intrusion. Boss will throw in some deer haunches and the birds will tear them apart in a feeding frenzy. They will then put on a Chicken Suit and begin a flapping dance. (Google Magnificent Riflebird) It should be absolutely captivating and the chickens will become mesmerized, watching every move. Boss will then load two dozen chickens onto a large wagon and lock it. They will have the players push the wagon out while he keeps the Chickens calm. Once outside they’ll hang heavy tarps on the sides of the wagon, and remove the suit. He will then explain to them that they need to keep the tarps on the wagon, and keep the birds well fed, or the chickens will get restless and become violent. When they do need to interact with them someone will have to wear the suit and dance to keep them calm. The bigger the person in the suit the better. Boss will then give them a Map of Green Valley and instruct them to drop off two chickens at each of the outer settlements. They have two days to get this done.
Things To Do! - Head into the barn - Witness The Dance of The Chicken - Push the Wagon out - Get the Costume and Delivery Instructions

ACT 3: Bumpy Roads

They will be off to deliver the Chickens to various locations. There is no specific order to this delivery, they just need to pick a route and go. If they’re short on time they can take the country roads that lead between the outer settlements, but these aren’t as well kept as the main roads are. Whatever road they take and wherever they decide to stop for the night there are problems they will encounter along the way. You can make them random or pick the ones that best suit your players. Most of these should at some point require someone putting on the suit and dancing for the chickens to keep them calm. I would also increase the difficulty of each event. If they fail a dance the Chickens will become restless and start attacking the cart until they are calmed down. Too many failures and the wagon’s cage will break and the remaining chickens escape. They will then have to be rounded up and the cage repaired.
Things to Do - Decide the delivery route - Deliver the chickens - Keep the Chickens calm
Possible Road Events 1) Rough roads cause problems 2) Yokels attempt to see what’s in the cart 3) Bad Weather swamps the road or scares the chickens 4) Pack of Coyotes causes trouble. 5) Chicken Rustlers! Protect the Flock! 6) Wagon breaks and needs repair 7) Cows in the road, someone’s herd is out. 8) Broken Bridge, not gone, just broken

ACT 4: Final Delivery

They’re now closing in on the final delivery. Something needs to happen here to cause them to put the suit on. Or maybe they never took it off! I love that idea, that one of your players just loves the suit and wants to be a chicken… lol… Anyway I’m a fan of having them need to get out of the suit for some reason, maybe a bathroom break, or they stand on a fire ant hill, or a snake slithers up their leg. You know something silly and fun. BUT the zipper is stuck! So they’ll have to try and unstick it and fast! Whatever happens they’re going to get shot at by some hunters looking for a big score who have mistaken the flailing caused by the stuck zipper to be the chicken attacking. After dealing with the Hunters they can go ahead and make the final drop. And head home.
Things to Do! - Head for the final delivery - Get shot at! - Deliver the last chickens
ENCOUNTER: That’s a BIG Chicken!
Having two hunters in the field is more than enough to cause a problem for the players. The hunters will almost certainly surprise the players, but you can allow them a perception check, if they succeed they’ll see the hunters just before the muskets go off. It would be OK to down the Chicken Player here if the hunters successfully hit it. They’ll have healer’s kits on hand because, well, this seems to happen to them a lot out here. After the initial attack the players can decide to attack back or try and talk the hunters down. A basic Bandit or Scout stat block should do will for the hunters. If you’re looking for a bit more mayhem, if the hunters miss the players you could have them hit the cage, and you know, bust it open. This may be especially tempting if they
POSSIBLE ENCOUNTER: Big Ol' Frog
So there is a giant frog hiding in the mud down in the creek. If a player takes cover behind the banks there is a good chance that the frog will attempt to nab the player as a snack. If it is successful in grabbing a player with its tongue it will immediately head down river, and they'll have to chase it to get their friend back.

CLOSE

When they return, Boss will reward them. How much will depend on how successful they were delivering the birds. If they did a descent job, they will be paid two day’s wages each. If they were completely successful they can have a bonus. However, if the wagon is in bad shape they might have some money deducted. After they’re paid out, they will be dismissed, and told to expect a new assignment next week.

CHAPTER 3: Marvin the Magnificent

After successfully delivering chickens Boss is going to trust them with a more important task. Their employer has requested an item to be created by Marvin the Magnificent. This is a farming community so having enchanted Farming Equipment is extremely desirable. Marvin has done a lot of basic enchantments over the years, but this new one, an The Stone Skipper, a plough whose blade goes ethereal while in contact with stones too large to push away, has really put him to the test. He needs some help with the final enchantments. The players will have to travel to the Ethereal Plane and hit the Blade of the plow with large rocks. But there’s a problem, they’re going to have mischievous Ethereal Sprites attempting to stop them! If they’re successful, which they should be, they get to take the plough for a test drive, and deal with the strange side effects of the enchantment. Angry goats that blink in and out of existence.

ACT 1: To the Tower

They’ll be summoned out to the Ranch where they’ll meet with Boss again. Once there they will notice a large pile of bent and dinged up plows. Boss will explain to them that a recent land acquisition has become problematic. The Fields are filled with large stones just under the topsoil and they’ve damaged a lot of Plow Blades. The Smithing costs are getting out of hand and so their Patron is looking for an alternate solution to the problem. He is sending them to help Marvin the Magnificent, who has taken the job, but run into some complications and needs some help. They may ask about Marvin. Or perhaps the fields that were purchased, so be ready to answer these types of questions. Once they’re done here they can head to Marvin’s Tower, which is just north of town.
Things to Do! - Meet Boss again - Ask some Informational Questions - Head for the Tower
NPC: Marvin the Magnificent

ACT 2: Marvin the Magnificent

As they approach the tower they should see an explosion at the peak of the structure. It should look similar to a fireworks mishap. When it clears there will be no visible damage to the tower, But Marvin will plummet to the earth just off to the side of them, landing in a small pond. He will then come charging out of the pond, laughing hysterically, and riding on a large turtle. Once he gets a few feet away from the pond the turtle will disappear and he will tumble to the ground right in front of the players. He will leap up quickly and turn toward the players. “Behold Travelers, You stand in the presence of Marvin the Magnificent! And everything you have witness was mostly intended!” He will then strike a cool pose with his wand pointed to the sky! “Now why do you approach my tower!?”
Once Marvin finds out they’ve been sent about the plow he will become more nervous looking. “I see, well follow me. We have work to do.” He will then start walking toward the tower… his boots squishing out water. This should give them a little time to ask a few questions. Marvin will be a little subversive about what they need to do. He will attempt to frame it very mysteriously, saying things like “All will be revealed soon.” and “Save your questions! All Answers await us… in the future!” If they ask him about what they witnessed outside, he will tell them he was working on a mount summoning spell designed for lakes and rivers.
Things to Do! - Head toward the Tower - Meet Marvin - Ask Questions

ACT 3: The Cabinet of Mysteries

The inside of the Wizard’s Tower will be far more mundane than they likely expect. At least on the first floor. It will have a sitting room, dining room, and kitchen, as well as a few odds and ends about. Nothing special at all. The second floor, are Marvin’s personal quarters and some room for study, but it is the third floor, where Marvin will lead them, and it will be more of what one would expect in a Wizard’s tower. There will be books shelves, arcane equipment, and storage for components. In the middle of the room will be a tall cabinet.
:
Marvin will explain to them that the Cabinet is a transportation device, and that he will need them to enter into it with a plow that he has recently enchanted. They will be taken to the Ethereal Plane, and once there they’ll need to take the plow outside and begin hitting it with large field stones. There is a large pile of stones just on the north edge of the tower. They’ll have to do this quickly, before the “others” show up. Who are the others? Hard to say, but there are things that live in the Ethereal Plane that don’t like intruders. The idea is to imbue the Plow with Ethereal Powers so it can pass through large stones while plowing fields. Once they return with the Enchanted Plow, Marvin will have them load it on a cart, pulled by a very smart Donkey, and send them on their way.
Skill Challenge: Enchant the Plow This skill challenge will require five successes before they’re incapacitated by the others. However they decide to do it, they’ll have to successfully hit the plow with five large stones. Failures will result in strange indiscernible entities attacking them. They do minimal damage but could knock people out if there are enough failures.
Things to Do! - Move Through Marvin’s Tower - Enter the Cabinet - Enchant the Plow

ACT 4: Blinking Goats

Upon returning to Boss with the Plow they will be happily greet and paid. Their Patron will be there and will be very pleased with their success. He will ask them to demonstrate the plow’s abilities. Once they get set up out in the field and begin plowing something weird will happen. Every time they hit a stone and the plow’s power activates an Ethereal Goat will manifest and kick or ram the plow, and then disappear. It will feel very similar to what they encountered in the Ethereal Plane. They’ll have to find a way to deal with the manifestations.
ENCOUNTER: Ethereal Goats These goats should function very similarly to Blink Dogs, but I would trim the HP and AC a little to put them in line with the party’s. They will be intent on breaking the Plow not the party, although they will attack the party if they can’t get to the Plow.
Things to Do! - Deliver the Plow - Drive the Plow - Defeat the Ethereal Goats

CLOSE

Once defeated the Boss will come over to yell at them, but the Patron will find the entire thing amusing and more importantly, another impressive demonstration of the player’s skills. He will invite them to the “House” for an important party next week.

Chapter 4: High Society

They've definitely been noticed now and have impressed with their ability, unconventional as it may be. They are invited to their patron's home, but not as guests. Though, they might think they were actually invited as guests! They have been brought in to help work the event held out at the Party Field. They will have to gather party supplies, help put up the tent, and then serve the actual guests. During the evening’s entertainment a hypnotist “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will mesmerize the crowd and attempt to rob them all. Hopefully the players don’t fall victim to her schemes. And if they do oh well, they’ll be entertained all the same.

ACT 1: Special Delivery

The players arrive at the Patron’s very nice property. They will be greeted by a properly dressed servant with a clipboard, the Party Planner. The Planner will be rigid and direct. They will immediately begin tasking them about. If they mention that they were invited to the party the servant will laugh “You didn’t think you were a guest? Oh dear, how embarrassing. You’re the help! It is still a great honor to be tasked to help at the Party, but you’re not guests. Now as for your current task. Head into town and gather these supplies. Bring them to the field by noon.” After the instructions are given the servant will go back to their tasks and expect the players to do the same. They will have three stops; The Crocked Crow for Food and Beer, Get Nailed for the Tent and Spirits, and Shalana Proud-Breed’s Tailor Shop to pick up the Dry Cleaning. Feel free to make any and all of these go sideways! Its a good place to toss in some shenanigans as well! They should also be introduced to Dr Hypnotika and her associates.
Things To do! - Go to their Patron’s Home - Meet the Party Planner and Dr Hypnotika - Run their Errands
NPC: Dr Hypnotika
Dr Hypnotika and her group will perform for the party. Hypnotica is a Tiefling Mezmerist and illusionist. She has an obnoxiously high charisma and some pretty serious skills to back up her claims. However, she uses those skills to beguile her guests, robbing them blind while they are under her spells. She wears a fine robe with a bedazzled headwrap. She has dark upward spiraling horns, light purple skin, and matching eyes. She wears a monocle and walks with a ceremonially carved staff depicting the "Struggles of the Universe". She is extremely persuasive and even more deceptive. Even if someone were to grow suspicious she can easily talk her way out of trouble.
NPCs: Clapper and Bob Hypnotika brings with her two assistants. Clapper the suit wearing Kenku who will perform wondrous displays of mimicry and slight of hand, and her strongman Bob the Kobold. Bob wears a leopard print strongman's outfit and is amazingly swole, particularly for a kobold, and capable of lifting upwards of 400lbs. Bob doesn't do much else other than get hit with things. in the act.

ACT 2: Put up the Tent

After they finish running their errands they will be tasked with putting up a large party tent. This Act is an ongoing Skill Challenge and should have a constantly distracted feel to it. First they have to unpack the tent. Then they have to realize some pieces are missing, they’ll have to form a solution to that problem. After that wind should cause some problems as the tent is at least being pulled up. This is a great moment for some wondrous tom-foolery.
Things To do! - Unpack the tent - Deal with missing parts - Secure the tent during the wind gusts

ACT 3: Put These On

After they finish putting up the tent they’ll be sent to the Servant’s Quarters to bathe and change. They’ll get a little time to explore and snoop if they wish. Afterward they’ll be tasked with helping in the kitchen, but unfortunately the cooks are going to have been playing a drinking game all afternoon and are no longer fully capable of doing their jobs. This would make a great moment for some sort of mini-game where the players have to determine whether or not the cooks are doing the right things. Once the dinner has been completed they will have to serve the guests. This is a good place to insert gossip and help them meet a few other folks.
Things To do! - Get changed for the party - Deal with the drunk cooks - Serve the guests drinks and food

ACT 4: An Evening to Remember

At some point in the evening things are going to start sliding downhill. Some of the locals will have become extremely inebriated and will need to be encouraged to leave, or just moved off to the side as they’ve already passed out, before the show begins. Once the show begins the locals will become fixated on the goings on. “The Great Dr Hypnotika” will have put an additive in the drinks for the that will make everyone more susceptible to her powers of persuasion. Once the show starts she will have them all doing silly things, those who drank have disadvantage on saves against her powers. She will end the show asking the guests to display their most valuable treasure, a with a hypnotic pattern and then send her assistants out to collect those treasures. The players will have to “do something” about the thieves.
Things To do! - Deal with Drunks - Watch the Show - Stop the Criminals
ENCOUNTER: Hypnotika's Gang This encounter doesn't have to be a fight. If Hypnotika is caught she may claim it was all part of the act and simple return the valuables with a "no harm, no foul" type attitude. This will be he go to in an attempt to avoid a fight, but if the character persist in some kind of retribution or punishment the situation will devolve into a combat. Hypnotica herself is an Illusionist Wizard but is low on spells after the show. Clapper is a low level rogue and Bob a Barbarian, and should play out as such. Even with Skills they are combat adverse and will be looking for an opportunity to flee rather than fight. They do have a getaway wagon out front that they'll be headed for if things go south.

CLOSING

We’re assuming the Bumpkins at least attempted to stop the robbery. This will draw a lot of attention to them. Their Patron will be well pleased with them, and let them know they will be getting much more important jobs in the future. The guests will also take note and will begin treating them all a bit better. They’re all essentially Folk Heroes at this point for secondary backgrounds. Their Patron should reward them with something very nice as the party kicks back in. They will need to finish out the nights work of course.

Quest-line Closing

Congratulations! Your Players have completed their first Quest-line! Hopefully it was a delightful experience. But now that they've finished what comes next? Well, here are some ideas.
*Reward Them! * They've been doing some rather Adventurous things lately, and therefore should now have a Class Level under their belt, so the real D&D world now opens to them! Maybe it is time for some real adventuring gear. No more sticks, stones, and burlap sack armor.
Folk Heroes? There's a good chance that the Valley is Speaking the News about them and their exploits while drinking in the taverns. They may have even earned the actual Folk Hero Feat! Maybe someone would be interested in giving them a task!
Simply Go Exploring! There are a lot of places in Green Valley that we only dipped our toes into. You could have them head down to Stinkmarsh, or maybe climb up the cliffs of Longridge. The world (Well, the Valley) is wholly open to them.
Explore Local Legends There are lots of local legends they can look into! Hopefully they search out something that isn't too far over their heads!
Continue Working for their Patron It would be an easy DM go to simply to have them continue working for their current Patron. They've probably been impressive enough fo a family to be interested in keeping them on.
Establish Themselves as Adventurers! Maybe they want to set up a Adventurers for Hire business? This "Heroes Guild" approach is really appealing to a lot of players and absolutely plays into Bumpkin Quest. Just remember, this is a place of low key problems that locals make really big deals out of. So the idea of slaying dragons shouldn't really be on the table... that is until an actual dragon shows up! Which one day absolutely should.
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2023.05.30 19:51 scarsellaj Tottenham Hotspur: Twenty-Three Years of Failure

February 2001: It’s a bright new era for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. After years of mediocrity and flirts with relegation in the 1990s, a new ownership group is taking over from that cheapskate Alan Sugar. Meet your new overlords in English National Investment Company and your new chairman, Daniel Levy! Its sure to be a great start of a beautiful journey!
May 2001: Finishing 12th is not what you would call ideal. No European football. Not to mention bowing out in the FA Cup Semis and League Cup third round. Enjoy this new manager in Glenn Hoddle.
2001-02 : Sol Campbell signed with our eternal rivals in Arsenal! Levy didn’t offer him a new contract? What?? Doesn’t he know those Gunner clowns can’t be taking our players like that? We also finish 9th but made the League Cup final. It helps having the return of our goal scoring phenom in Teddy Sheringham. Adding Gustavo Poyet helps too. Still no European football.
2002-03: The best way to fight back into the elite is to have more goal scorers right? Welcome Robbie Keane from Leeds United! A crafty piece of business on our end! Him and Sheringham power us to…10th place. The fuck? And third round exits in the Cups…
2003-2004: Glenn Hoddle is underachieving! Get rid of him. David Pleat can surely handle the task at hand. Nope, we finished 14th…and still no trophies. But hey check out our shiny new forward in Jermaine Dafoe.
May 2004: Sol Campbell becomes a key contributor to Arsenal’s Invincibles season and wins the Premier League title. Does it feel cold?
2004-2005: Here’s our new manager in Jacques Santini ~goes 5-4-5~ ok never mind. Here’s our REAL new manager in Martin Jol, much more quality. He’s got the gusto and know-how to guide us to 9th and no trophies. At least Jermaine Defoe was the club top goal scorer…and Ledley King is coming into his own.
May 2005: Our other eternal rivals Chelsea win their first Premier League thanks to that outlandish manager Jose Mourinho and oligarch Roman Abramovich. All they do is buy players whenever they please. Pfft, that won’t be sustainable, they’ll come back to Earth eventually.
2005-06: Martin Jol has been a massive improvement to our fortunes. No trophies yet but we’re back in Europe. It’s good to be back in the UEFA Cup, think of the tv revenue. 5th place is a nice finish. Robbie Keane and newcomer Mido carried us to this spot. We should be keep them around for a while. Bringing in experienced talent like Edgar Davids and this young defensive midfielder in Tom Huddlestone helps. And check out our new record signing in Jermaine Jenas.
2006-07: Michael Carrick is a great defensive midfielder but Manchester United want his services. Here, take him. Edgar Davids is also much too old to be playing Premier League football. Our loss is also our gain with 15 million quid in the books. Let's invest that into a brand-new world class striker in Dimitar Berbatov. And Carrick's replacement in Didier Zokora certainly helps us...but we finish 5th again. No tropies either...at least European football?
2007-08: Jermaine Dafoe and Mido are gone. We need to replace them. Darren Bent seems like a good idea. But who the hell is this young left-back named Gareth Bale? Why is he worth 14 million pounds? Whatever, we need depth, he probably won't be much. Snap up this Jonathan Woodgate guy, too, someone has to help Ledley King here!
Oct 25, 2007: So you sacked Martin Jol at halftime against Getafe because reasons? Maybe if you stopped selling all his good players the division wouldn't have started. The fans are not pleased about this at all. Smooth them over with Juande Ramos from Chelsea.
League Cup Final 2008: All this leads to an 11th place finish, but fear not - YOU WON THE LEAGUE CUP! The first trophy since 1999, a true triumph. Certainly Spurs can aim higher now right?
2008-09: Juande Ramos is a fraudulent piece of shite that doesn't deserve to work in North London. We've promptly canned him for the legend that is Harry Redknapp. Just look at him inspire us to...8th place. We made the League Cup Final broken glass window and we've lost to Manchester United. And sold them Berbatov because money. This is shit. Enjoy this new midfielder signing in Luka Modric. He'd only become one of the best players in the world, nothing too crazy. Oh and Robbie Keane is back. So is Jermaine Defoe! Yay?
2009-10: A full season of Redknapp ball has led to a glorious prize! 4TH PLACE! Tottenham Hotspur will be playing under the lights on Tuesday and Wednesday! Play the music....THE CHAMPPPIONS! All it cost was loaning out Keane, selling Bent, and bringing in Peter Crouch. What a team we have forming. This Aaron Lennon kid is turning into quite the player. Oh and that Gareth Bale kid we paid a premium for? Yea, he's playing left winger now.
2010-2011: Champions League football requires Champions League talent. Quickly, let's eye up cheap deals for Rafael van der Vaardt, Sandro, and William Gallas. The attacking front of Crouch, Bale, Defoe, van der Vaardt, and Roman Pavlyuchenko powered us to 5th. It’s been a tough test balancing these nights. But did you see our massive victories against both Milan teams? I think we'll be back here in no time. Is it really a bad season without winning any trophies?
2011-12: A critical season. Harry Redknapp's contract is set to expire and Daniel Levy hasn't really been known to give coaches pay raises unless they merit it. Unfortunately, Peter Crouch is too old to keep around. Off to Stoke City with you, lad, thanks for that night at the San Siro. Bringing Emmanuel Adebayor from the exile of Manchester City should be a like-for-like swap. It all powers us to finish 4th again! HUZZAH! Another season of Champions League revenues! But still no Cups to take home.
2012 CL Final: Unfortunately, Chelsea did something incredible and won the Champions League in the most chaotic final in recent memory. Thus, for finishing 4th, you get Europa League football...god I hate Chelsea.
2012-13: Gareth Bale is becoming an elite winger without elite help. We've also decided to do something ridiculously unpopular and sell Luka Modric to Real Madrid for huge money. van der Vaardt is also out the door to Hamburg. The revenue brings in Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, and Jan Vertonghen. Under the plucky Andre Villas-Boas we finish 5th and go back to Europa. But our Cup showing was even more abysmal this season. Gareth Bale potted 21 goals...oh god he's next to go isn't he?
2013-14: The worst day has come. Gareth Bale has been sold to Real Madrid. He's joining up with Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo. The money reinvested brings in Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, and the meme known as Roberto Saldado. Andre Villas-Boas' tenure was short-lived. Tim Sherwood is a former Spurs lad, surely he can lead us to greatness. If you call 6th place and no trophies greatness.
CL Final 2014: Luka Modric and Gareth Bale become key contributors to Real Madrid's Decima in the Champions League. Bale also scores one of the best goals of the campaign in the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona. The fans are pissed at Daniel Levy and ENIC.
2014-15: We've been knocking on the door of the elite English teams for a few seasons now. Time to put up or shut up. Tim Sherwood, you are not that guy pal. Mauricio Pochettino, welcome to Spurs. Here's the plucky academy kid in Harry Kane. Please get him firing, our striker woes are well-known. You want to sell Gylfi Sigurdsson and Sandro for this League One prospect in Dele Alli? Ok if you say so. Who the hell is Eric Dier and why do you want him? Culminating in a fifth place finish and League Cup final. Harry Kane scored 21 goals though...whoa.
2015-16: Defense needs an upgrade. Let's buy this experienced Belgian in Toby Alderwaiald. Him and Vertonghen played together before, surely it will work. We also need a left winger. How about Hueng-Min Son? He's been torching defenses for Leverkusen, he can surely do it here. The top teams are having a down season, now is the time to strike. We can smell the Premier League title in our grasp.
Final Matchday 2016: They finished third in a two-horse race after Leicester decided to have the greatest sports story ever play out in real life. It seems like a missed opportunity, but there is plenty to build on. Poch's team is coming together. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose are molding into elite fullbacks. The Belgians and Lloris are brick walls. Harry Kane is becoming a world-class striker. He even won the Golden Boot! They just need a little bit more to get over the trophy drought.
2016-17: Ok this is the year. We made it back to the Champions League, but this will be the last year at White Hart Lane. It's much too old for this modernizing football club. We need a really big stadium to bring in that sweet matchday revenue like our rivals. And I'm talking REALLY big, the best in all of England. It would be nice to fill it with some Champions League revenue and some silverware no? Well, seems like we finished 2nd and didn't win any Cups...AGAIN. But hey, Harry won the Golden Boot again! Dele Alli took serious strides in becoming a generational talent. Progress is progress amirite?
Final Matchday 2017: Chelsea win their 4th Premier League title since Abramovich took over. At least you finished above Arsenal again...that's a win isn't it?
2017-18: Kyle Walker has been sold to Manchester City because we like money over glory. Don't worry, we have a solid replacement with Kieran Trippier. We'll use the Walker money to bring a new defender in Davinson Sanchez from Ajax and right winger in Lucas Moura from PSG. Oh and for the hell of it, here's Serge Aurier from PSG too. Glorious depth. We still don't have a reliable backup striker, but how about a cheap deal for the aging legs of Fernando Llorente. He was good in a past life right?
Nov 1, 2017: By God, we've done it. We've slain the evil empire in Real Madrid. It's hard to believe a team of this size and caliber could scar the kings of Europe. Surely the only way is up from here.
March 2018: Nope, the knockout stages pit you up against a thunderous Juventus team that makes you their English bitch. Giorgio Chiellini goes on to make one of the most overused memes in all of football Twitter. "Iz di history of di Tottenham..."
Final Matchday 2018: Respectable 3rd place finish behind Manchester United lads. Too bad no trophies to go with it. Sigh... what else is new? We finished above Arsenal again...yay? Meanwhile, Kyle Walker is part of the Centurion Manchester City team...I need more liquor.
2018-19: Harry Kane is starting to get impatient. He needs to start seeing some silverware soon. Hueng-Min Son is emerging as a top forward in the league. Dele’s dropped off a bit but it’s just a blip, nothing to worry about. Jan and Toby are rock-solid at the back. We have a plucky solid squad, filled with some high-end talent but we didn't get any reinforcements in the summer...what the fuck? You do realize squads transition every season, ENIC? Where's Poch's reinforcements? Why did you sell Mousa Dembele mid-season, he was still useful! Oh dear god, what have they done? Oh that’s right…the new stadium. It’s still not done yet is it?
UCL QFs 2019: This is massive test. We managed to beat Barcelona in the group stage, and cake-walked through Dortmund in the Round of 16 but this is a new beast. We're up against the defending PL champs in Man City. Harry is hurt but we've got Sonny, Lucas, Chrisitan, Dele, and Fernando to make up for his goals. A huge pen save by Hugo on Aguero keeps us in the tie. Son puts us up 1-0 in the first leg. Going to the Etihad without Harry, it's a tight affair. Son and Sterling trading goals, Fernando kneeing in the go-ahead, Bernardo Silva pulling one back, 4-3 Man City, and seeing out the final whistle. Away goals take us over the line. Onto the Semis!
UCL SFs 2019: This Ajax team downed Real Madrid. They're gonna walk all over us. At least in the first leg. The second leg is a masterpiece. Lucas scored not one, not two, but THREE away goals to push us to glory! Gas up the bus boys, WE ARE GOING TO THE UCL FINAL!!!!
UCL Final 2019: What the actual fuck? How was that a handball on Moussa Sissoko??? IT HIT HIS BLOODY SHOULDER! You gifted this match to Liverpool, UEFA! (This is the moment that broke Tottenham Hotspur) And why the hell didn't Lucas start the game? After that fantastic hat trick? I don't care if Kane was fit to play, this is massive managerial blunder. Maybe this is the summer things start to change. All we got for this was a runner-up medal. At least we finished 4th in England. BUT STILL NO MOTHER FUCKING TROPHIES! writer proceeds to smash his laptop in the process
2019-20: The UCL Final should be a springboard for another potential title charge. Poch is calling out ownership for not wanting to give him signings. They only fumbled the Paulo Dybala signing, surely we can still trust Levy and ENIC right? Here's Giovani Lo Celso instead and Tanguy Ndombele to shore up the midfield. Here's our replacement for Danny Rose in Ryan Sessegnon. Unfortunately, Chrisitan Eriksen wants out and we let his contract run down. He leaves in January for basically nothing. Results are starting to flounder so Poch, pack your furniture and get out of our house. Meet our new manager: Jose Mourinho, the Special One. Just nobody tell Daniel he's been sacked infamously by both Chelsea and Manchester United for being a toxic presence. At least the new stadium is ope---ah fuck, it's COVID. An injury-plagued campaign culminates in a 6th place finish, but still no trophies. Another finish over those Gunners though! Why aren't you fans happy? We can't spend money, don't you see we didn't get any matchday revenue???
FA Cup Final 2020: Even though we finished above them, Arsenal take home an FA Cup with a squad arguably much less talented than Spurs. It was also against Chelsea...who finished above you. Can someone drive me to the nearest cliff please?
2020-21: A full season of Mourinho-ball. Tensions are starting to run high. Kane is pissed at the direction we're going. Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier are gone. Dele Alli forgot how to play football under Jose. We need a new center-back...too goddam expensive. Let's convert Eric Dier to CB and have play back there, what's the worst that can happen? Fans aren't happy at all. I know the solution: you kids remember Uncle Gareth?? He's baaaaack! Sure, he's in his early 30s and a shell of himself but he's won 4 UCL titles and scored that fabulous bike kick in 2018. He's still class. Here’s a bunch of mid table players in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Matt Doherty, and Joe Rodon to supplement the team.
March 2021: Europa League is quite winnable. Surely nothing bad will happen like you losing to a team who's manager is in prison for tax fraud. breaking glass sounds you fumbled a 2-0 agg lead to Dinamo Zagreb...who's manager was in prison for tax fraud. You're fucking pathetic you know that?
April 2021: Jose Mourinho is a dinosaur of English football. Look at him playing park the bus tactics while we can't defend score. Let's get rid of this cancer before it spreads. Who cares if it's six days before the League Cup Final against City? Why can't Ryan Mason see it out?
EFL Cup Final 2021: It's not a blowout loss, but it's clearly an overmatching. City run rampant on Spurs as they lift the trophy they basically own at this point. Fans are calling for Levy's head. In fact, they were calling for it as early as the FA Cup loss to Everton in the fourth round.
Final Matchday 2021: Jose refused to play Gareth Bale. Looking back that was a terrible decision. Bale and Kane power us to a 7th place finish. We finish above Arsenal again. It's a successful season in ENIC's checkbook. And there's still European football to play. Harry Kane wins another Golden Boot and the Golden Ball for most assists. We have to keep him around.
May 2021: Kieran Trippier and Christian Eriksen become key contributors to Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan's respective title wins. In other news, Juan Foyth wins the Europa League with Villarreal while on loan. Does that sound familiar?
CL Final 2021: Chelsea find another way to win another Champions League title, despite sacking a manger midway through the season and having misfiring forwards. And it was against Man City…who we beat every now and then.
2021-22: We need a director of football to help us match up to our rivals better. Fabio Paratici built Juventus in the most dominant club in Italy, surely he can replicate that in England. No we won't hire Paulo Fonseca and his 7 assistant coaches, way too much payroll. And no, you can't hire Gennaro Gattuso for his derogatory comments. Wait, where the hell is Harry Kane? Ahh I see he wants to be sold to Man City. HA! Doesn't he know he just signed an extension? Son has too, so if Harry wants to play hardball let him. Quickly, hire Nuno Espirito Santos as our fail-safe. He's not what we wanted but we fucked up so we're fucked now. Wait, how can we be so critical of ourselves? CHECK OUT THIS GLORIOUS STADIUM!!!!
Nov 2021: Nuno is terrible, he's lost 5 in a row. Who cares if we beat Man City on opening day? Get him out NOW! Get Antonio Conte in. It's another former Chelsea manager to restore our standing in the club.
Final Matchday 2022: HUZZAH! After a turbulent season, losing to wifi-password named clubs in the Conference League then getting kicked out of it for COVID reasons, Conte calling us out in the media multiple times, we galvanized ourselves to a 4th place finish. We're back, and it's thanks to the Juve rejects in Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski, and Rodrigo Bentancur. Son won the Golden Boot, a true testament to his development at Spurs. Back on track. But still...no trophies. Another finish above Arsenal...they should just make a team award for that at this point.
2022-23: A full season of a happier Conte should lead us to silverware. Let’s not dawddle, start making signings. Richarlison always victimized us at Everton, let’s bring him to back up Kane. Yves Bissouma did the same at Brighton and we do need a batter box to box midfielder. Him too. Ivan Perisic on a free for Conte’s wingback. Surely our defense is fine in the hands of Romero, Dier, Clement Lenglet, and Ben Davies. And Djed Spence because reasons.
April 2023: It’s been a terrible season. From having our best start to a season since 1967 to bottling game after game after game. Tepid football, lack of inspiration. Despite small triumphs like winning the Champions League group stage and mugging Manchester City of points again, they have failed miserably again. Son’s form is gone. Richarlison doesn’t know how to score. The defense is wide open. It implodes after giving up 3 goals to a bottom table Southampton after being up 3-0. Conte is furious, criticizes ownership again, and is canned back to Italy. Fabio Paratici was also banned by FIFA for cooking Juve’s books. To make it worse, Arsenal was leading the top of the table and almost won the title. Thank the football gods for Man City and their oil money franchise. That means nothing as the season prolapses, we fall out of European contention, and finish 8th. No manager, no director football, toxic fanbase crying out for changes. I have now developed heavy drinking. "ZE DON'T WANT TO PLAY FOR SOMETHING IMPORTANT! 20 YEARS THERE IS THE OWNER AND NEVER WON SOMETHING!"
UEL Semi-Final 2023: Did I mention this gets worse because it does. A couple seasons back, Spurs swapped Erik Lamela and 25 million for promising Spanish youngster Bryan Gil from Sevilla. Gil was never favored by Nuno or Conte, with the Italian basically exiling him from the team unless he had no other choice but to play him. Gil would be loaned back to Sevilla where he assisted Erik Lamela's game-winning goal in stoppage time to book Sevilla a place in the Europa League final. I want to drink bleach...
Twenty-three years of failures and memes, Tottenham look like a lost club. All the shiny toys, but nothing to show for it. Champagne expectations with a beer budget. Does the ownership really value profit that much? Daniel Levy always insists his goal every season is to win a trophy. But how do you do that without attracting top talent? They squandered a window in 2019 and can’t remake the glory. They've made signing after signing that are inconsistent or not at the level to win trophies. It feels like they value cheap deals rather than actual talent. It's killing the club. Kane has been a legend at the club but he’s ready to move on. I don’t blame him, his career is incomplete with some hardware. But the future looks bleak. What will Spurs do next? Will they do a full rebuild and risk the possibility of no European football? Or will they try to win at least one trophy before Kane's contract is up?
submitted by scarsellaj to UrinatingTree [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 19:32 widowoftheravenwatch Adarys of the Twilit Flock, Sellsword

Adarys of the Twilit Flock, Sellsword
Discord Username: GreyOrith#2452 (lilywright)
Character Name and House: Adarys
Age: 39
Appearance: Tied-back dark brown hair, golden brown skin, hooded dark eyes, and a tall and lithe build.
Gift: Duelist
Skills: Swords (M), Water-Dancing, Footwork
Talent(s): Weaving, Rope-Making, Brewing
Starting Title(s): Sellsword
Starting Location: Dragonstone
Family Tree: Mother: Voreya, Father: Irren
Alternate Characters: N/A
Adarys was born in Lys to two commoner parents, Voreya and Irren in 168 AC. They worked for a shipping company and were often out at sea, and from a young age they earned their sea legs.
Past their adolescence they would be drawn to the temple of Yndros of the Twilight, finding comfort in the teachings and fluid nature of expression, riding the line between and within both feminine and masculine appearance and roles. Around this time, they would begin to serve as a sellsword for hire for a Magister in the city, being taken into that service. At first they were little more than a member of this garrison, indistinguishable from any other grunt. But there was a man, the personal guard of the Magister, Garrio, who saw potential in their build and temperament to train them as a water-dancer.
They would spent a handful of years within this guard before their life would be turned upside down when a rival Magister had theirs killed and many of the sellswords they served with died in the assault, including Garrio. They would no more solace in Lys and sought freedom and opportunity in the lands of the West and would sail for King’s Landing.
Opportunity was aplenty as the Red War was just beginning. They were hired on as a sellsword under the Crown, taking all they had learned and applying it to battle. It would be here that they met at the time, the Crown Prince Maelor. They would serve him during the years of the Fourth Dance and their contract did not end when the war did. They had latched onto the benefits of being employed by the Crown, after all what was a Magister compared to a King?
In the years that would follow, while Adarys did not have the vows of a Kingsguard, they served as a watchful protector all the time, a hired killer to be deployed if called for by His Grace. In time, the money began to mean little to them. Others offered better deals, attempting to take their contract into their own employ but they were always refused. The King was more than that to them, he was also a reliable friend. In his possession is one of their coins, with the symbol of a flock of birds around a crescent moon. A favour, to be cashed in—no questions asked, for taking them in and giving them a new chance at life.
It was in this time that they took a young courtier, Nesela, also a foreigner in the capital under their wing. They opened a large tavern in the city, the Bird’s Nest, where they settled. While no company of sellswords follows them, they have their own little group which they refer to as the Twilit Flock, after their god that they still treasure. The tavern is not only renown for perfectly average drinks, but also a safe haven for those who feel othered.
Timeline
168 AC – Born
185 AC – Serving the Magister and training as a water-dancer
186 AC – Sailing to Westeros and serving in the Red War
190 AC – Continuing to work for King Maelor and their working relationship also becoming a friendship
194 AC – Gives King Maelor their favour coin to be cashed in at any time
205 AC – Opening the Bird’s Nest Tavern and meeting Nesela
Family Tree
Mother: Voreya, Father: Irren


AC

Discord Username: GreyOrith#2452 (lilywright)
Character Name and House: Nesela
Age: 20
Appearance: Black curly hair, dark brown skin and eyes, curvy build who dresses in bright colours
Gift: Thrifty
Skills: Underhand (e), Courtly
Talent(s): Quilting, Pottery, Stained Glass Art
Starting Title(s): Courtier
Starting Location: Dragonstone
Family Tree: Mother: Serynea, Father: Tychidos
Alternate Characters: N/A
Nesela was born in 187 in Myr to Tychidos, her father and her mother, Serynea who was a sailor from the Summer Isles. They would not stay in Myr for long, instead sailing back to her mother’s homeland where she would grow up in the beautiful fair islands of endless summer. It was an easy upbringing, as she was always well behaved and courteous. They taught her to be careful and intelligent with her money, as it was what could give her both freedom and control over her life. She had a longing to see the world and her place of birth once again.
She would spend time sailing between several free cities, Myr, Tyrosh and Lys most of all. She had always been fascinated by sellswords even if she possessed no martial talent of her own. So instead she would build connections and friendships alike.
Seeking new shores, she came to King’s Landing looking to build something and create connections and inroads within the city and court. A mercenary, Adarys would take her under their protection and offer her guidance in this venture. Together, they opened the Bird Nest Tavern which she splits her time between running and spending time in the court of the Red Keep, enjoying the gossip and learning of this land that is new to her.
Timeline
187 AC – Born
188 AC – Her family returns to the Summer Isles
203 AC – She begins to travel around to various Free Cities and building connections with Sellswords there
205 AC – She arrives in King’s Landing and establishes her tavern
Family Tree
Mother: Serynea, Father: Tychidos

Archetype NPCs
Braedon of Flea Bottom – Skill: Riding
Smallfolk King’s Landing citizen who wishes to be a knight and rise to greatness, a frequent patron of the Bird’s Nest
Wyneara – Skill: Medic
An older woman who rents out a room at the Bird’s Nest and takes in the weary and those who need her assistance in discrete medical matters

Adarys
Nesela
submitted by widowoftheravenwatch to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 19:21 peop1 A humble attempt to put the vaccine injury hypothesis to rest

[Edited to add this TLDR:]
First, a question for the vaccine injured: Where is the evidence, other than your personal experience? Ever wonder why not a single immunologist has come out to champion your hypothesis? (Which, btw, more often reads like received fact than theory when you bring it up).
For years, people swore that ulcers were caused by stress. It made sense. It always seemed to be worse when they were stressed. They were wrong.
For decades, people swore that miasma - bad air - caused cholera. It often happened when the air was thick. It made a lot of sense. They were wrong.
For centuries, people swore that impiety was behind their illnesses. In Europe, they relied on prayer to get better. In the Americas, ritual sacrifices. It seemed to help. They were wrong.
Might you be wrong?
nO tHiS hAs tO bE vAcCiNe rELaTeD
Why?
Why must it be vaccine related? Why can’t it be due to an unbelievably infectious, often asymptomatic, bat-borne, immune-depleting and metabolism-dysregulating novel SARS coronavirus that 90% of everyone caught as of the onset of Omicron?
bEcAuSe mY sYmpToMs sHoWeD uP aFtEr gEtTiNg tHe jAb!!1!
Yes, that may very well be. And if you catch a common cold now, it will likely knock you clean out - that’s what SARS CoV-2 does. It hay-wires our immune system and causes mad inflammation.
aNd sO dOeS tHe vAcCinE!
Where's the evidence? What part of mRNA vaccines could even do that? Do you even know? I ask again: Any immunologists in the house to back you up? No. Wanna know why? Because it makes no physiological goddam sense!!!!
yOu’Re jUsT gAsLigHtiNg mE!
Sure, just like I gaslight Goop, Dr Oz, Dr Phil and bloodletting. This is not gaslighting, friend. This is calling out bullshit. There is a BIG difference.
I am not CLAIMING you aren’t sick. I’m not claiming your symptoms didn’t appear after your jab. If COVID messed up your immune system as much as it did mine, it isn't impossible that the vaccine might have triggered some dormant sequelae. We do not know. We do know that arteries stiffen and the brain is impaired after even mild COVID infections. You might not notice that immediately, if at all. So no, I'm not claiming the vaccine didn't put you in a bad spot. But I AM claiming that your need for your Long COVID to be entirely vaccine-induced is highly suspect.
NOTHING in the medical literature even HINTS at the possibility of these vaccines being able to trigger LC - not without COVID first doing the very heavy lifting.
If I’m wrong? I'd be stunned, but I'd owe you a sincere apology. But if you’re wrong? You’ve been contributing to the paranoid anti-science populism that’s been leading us off a cliff since Andrew Wakefield's fabrication about Autism.
Here's an article of interest, published a little over a month ago in the Lancet: Confronting the evolution and expansion of anti-vaccine activism in the USA in the COVID-19 era00136-8/fulltext). It's important reading because although the Lancet was behind Wakefield's original sin, they also retracted it. That last part is crucially important. It's part of the scientific process. Half the world simply never got the memo.
The truth matters. I mean the ACTUAL truth. Not RFK Jr's ill-informed, uneducated gut feeling.
And I get your anger. I’m angry too. WTF is this life I’ve been left with? This isn’t living! If I thought some unscrupulous megacorps had willfully maimed me, I’d be on the warpath too. But I’d need scientific corroboration. Not circumstantial evidence, not just a series of coincidences, not a plethora of official looking threads from "the ethical doctor" or that retired British nurse who passes himself off as an MD (because of his PhD in education) and speaks so well with his underlining of bullet-point print-outs while going off on unsubstantiated tangents (Ivermectin, anyone?), No, I'd need Proof with a capital P. Cause them be some mighty big claims with some mighty big implications you been making at every chance you get.
Give me mechanisms underlying your injury. Cause we're getting a pretty good idea of the mechanisms underlying mine, and the vaccine simply can't do that. Even at the best of times, these vaccines' efficiency wanes in a matter of weeks. But they crippled you? Damaged your endothelium? Really?! Really.
Give me some molecular biology. So far, all I see is your personal story, an army of Twitter trolls, a popular and well-orchestrated right-wing narrative, and a few rogue MDs who can’t point to a single shred of hard evidence. Not good enough.
We are at war. COVID is the enemy, NOT Moderna and Pfizer, slimy as they may be.
I got jabbed and boosted. I also got COVID. Guess which one fucked me up? Wait - don’t tell me. I already know what you’re going to say.
And it’s really starting to piss me off.
We are all Long haulers here. How we got here should matter less than how we get out. We can lynch the Wuhan lab techs and Moderna miscreants if and when it comes to light that there was an international conspiracy. But we have nothing to gain from that sort of conjecture now. Those doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies you so love to hate on? We’re gonna need their help if we’re to beat this thing. And I don't know about you, but getting healthy again supersedes everything else in my book.
You're being played, alright, but not by tHe mEdiCaL eStAbLiShmEnT. They are late to the game and have been far too dogmatic regarding Long COVID, but there is a quantum leap between that and thinking that they know the vaccines are dangerous and are pushing them nonetheless. My partner outranks all of us, medically. She got jabbed, boosted. She's never had COVID. She's fine. Oh, and she also understands how vaccines work. Fundamentally. Deeply. Intimately. So yeah, I trust her 30 years and 50 000 hours of training more than your "dO yOuR oWn rEseArCh".
She's as pissed off as anyone by the "vax and relax" shift in public health policy (pushed by McKinsey Consulting, no less), because the vaccines were not good enough. Masking, ventilation, testing and isolating the sick was the only safe approach. But it wasn't convenient. As always, humans going the easy route instead of the right one. Don't ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence.
Do you also require detailed proof of how the earth is not flat, or do you still trust experts' take on that? Cause this is the same. Damn. Thing. This is like asking how climate change is a thing if it still snows in January. You're just indicating how out of your depth you are and making logical-sounding conclusions based on a faulty understanding of the underlying science. And more and more people are buying into it. To succeed, liars don't need to convince you of their lie, they only have to make you doubt the truth.
It's unfortunate that you find the timing of your onset suspect. I’ve been looking - hard - for credible evidence about what you claim. It's just not there. Educated guesses are welcome: there's a lot we still don't understand about this disease. But educated guesses require a minimum of education. You can’t just throw around the words “spike protein” and call it a day. There is no run-away replication from a vaccine. That’s not how they work.
bUt eVeN dR VaUngH sAiD
Was that before or after he charged you 1000$ for a treatment that's costing me 45$ based on readily available and entirely generic anticoagulant drugs? Before or after he said masks were crippling kids? I'm grateful he's making TT available to people. I'm not impressed by his ethics, lack of rigour, and sales pitch. No more than by IncellDX for that matter. Great business model. Important service. Highly questionable ethic$.
I'm on TT because of the science underlying it. It's still just a hunch, but a good one. So we're trying it. Vaccine injury though? That's not based on a hunch - it's based on rumour. Fear. Distrust. Lies.
In the absence of understanding, we tend to revert to superstition. And vaccine hesitancy is based on one incredibly damaging myth that is spinning out of control. Even here. And that worries me for the future. Vaccines are likely going to be our only way out of this pandemic. If it's sterilizing and not everyone needs to be jabbed for me and my loved ones to be safe? I'll care not at all that your paranoia made you put your life at risk. hermaincainaward will simply get an uptick in nominees. But if it's one that requires a minimum amount of adoption to work, collectively? We're all going to have to have a serious sit-down. I'm tired of other people's ignorance putting my loved ones at risk. *Insert obligatory reference to the Climate Crisis*. If everyone knew the science of what's coming (soon), they'd be a lot more motivated in acting, aggressively, immediately, collectively. The truth matters.
So yeah, this post is going to make a lot of suffering people angry. And that sucks. But it's a helluva lot better than just letting anti-science disinformation keep gaining ground, post by post, comment by comment. Someone has to fight back and scientists are always too incredulous to react: "do people actually believe this nonsense?" They do, Doc. They really do. And every one else has become too scared of the backlash to speak out.
Mods, you’re going to have to take a stand at some point. There are enough haunts for conspiracy nuts on Facebook, Twitter, Discord and Reddit. I came here for help. For moral support, for potential treatments, for peer review. By peers that have better judgement than to just assume a vaccine they don't understand is what plunged them into hell and then agitate against hard facts.
That misguided agitation does not bring me comfort. It makes me despair. Science is our only hope and here we have a growing segment of our community dismissing the science in the name of anecdote and political bias. You think the vaccine did this to you? You're entitled to your opinion. You're not entitled to spreading lies as though they were hard fact. At least have enough humility to qualify your broad statements with "I worry that" or "is this even possible".
To those activists who insist on doubling down, give me some valid authoritative medical evidence or STFU. I can be swayed, but not by rants and baseless supposition.
We’ve got some serious work to do and your misdirected rage is not helping.
submitted by peop1 to covidlonghaulers [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 18:12 MyloOrdell The Child's Plea

The warm air surrounding me was still as I gazed up at the moon that peeked through the purple and pink clouds, mist rising up from the ground beneath my feet. Crickets chirped in the nearby bushes, adding to my experience of that summer evening. Other than that, everything was dead silent.
I looked back down at the rows of decaying gravestones in front of me, the tops of them illuminated by the remaining light of the fading sunset. Bits of tall grass sprouted up from a few of them. This graveyard hadn't been touched in years; but for some reason, I had wandered into it.
I suddenly felt an eerie sensation creep up from behind me. I turned around, only to see some sort of black smoke dissipate into nothingness. Confused, my heart beat a little faster.
"Help me," a disembodied voice said. It didn't come from any particular direction, as if it were surrounding me. It almost sounded like a child's voice, speaking through radio static. "Help me, please," the voice said again. I frantically searched around the area to locate the source of these cries for help. I looked down, and found it.
A shadowy figure stood before me, visible only because the dim lighting from the sky and the moon was just barely bright enough to light up the area behind it. It was the size of a seven-year-old child. Parts of it glitched and then froze, as if it were a broken TV screen.
"Please, help!"
Oddly, I was calm. I should be scared of this thing, I thought to myself. Despite the shadow's unsettling appearance, there was nothing threatening about it. It only seemed sad.
I knelt down to get on what would be eye level; if it had eyes, that is. "What's wrong?" I said. It glitched and didn't say a word. "Why do you need help?" The shadow was still silent for a bit. Then it spoke.
"He's coming for me."
"Who? Who's coming for you?"
It suddenly vanished. The sound of quiet, unsettling static seeped into the air, slowly growing louder and louder. Soon, it was nearly deafening. Another shadowy figure materialized a little further away from where the first one had appeared. This one was taller, the height of a grown man. A feeling of dread swept over me as I stared at the mysterious figure. This one definitely was not friendly.
It stood there, silent and motionless, and the glitches that riddled the child-sized shadow seemed even more violent on this one. This had to be what the first one was talking about.
"Who are you?" I said. The shadow remained silent, the only noise coming from it being the static. I asked again, but it still said nothing. It only continued to stand there, completely motionless.
Suddenly it lunged towards me. I quickly took several steps back; but in my haste, I tripped over a rock and fell to the ground. Just as the shadow was over top of me, it vanished into a cloud of smoke. As the smoke dissipated into thin air, the static subsided. Once again, the only sound around the graveyard was that of the crickets.
I picked myself up off of the ground, and looked around to find the child-like shadow. At first I had difficulty finding it, but then I found it sitting at the base of a nearby tree. It looked like it was crying.
"Hey, what's wrong? He's gone now," I said as I approached it. It started crying loud enough to hear.
"Please! Don't hit me!" It screamed.
"I'm not going to hit you, don't worry." Seeing the poor thing scream like this broke my heart.
"It hurts! Leave me alone!" It continued to scream these few sentences, as if it couldn't say anything else. I sat down next to it.
"Hey, it's okay, I won't hurt you," I said. It stopped screaming, and cried a little bit quieter.
"Help me, please!"
"I want to, but I don't know how. What do you need me to do?"
The shadow stopped sobbing, stood up, and pointed towards the rows of gravestones. "Help me," it said more calmly. I didn't know what to do, but it had to have something to do with one of those gravestones.
The shadow vanished once again, then reappeared beside a gravestone a few rows down. I hurried over to it. "Damian Haine" was written in the center, above the birth and death date. He had passed in nineteen-forty-two.
"Who is this?" I said. The shadow paused for a moment, as if it were thinking about what to say.
"Dad! please stop," it finally replied.
"Is this your father?"
It glitched and went silent, as if it couldn't answer. Everything this small shadowy figure had said so far seemed like some sort of a recording. Maybe it can't say yes? I thought to myself. That would make sense, since it only repeated things that it had already said, and answered in sentences that only partly fit the question.
I glanced over at the smaller gravestone next to the father's. "James Haine" was carved above the line that listed his birth and death date, which was nineteen-thirty-five to nineteen-forty-two. Him and Damian Haine were buried the same year. I pointed at the stone and looked at the shadow.
"Is this you?"
It glitched, and kept silent. It still couldn't say yes. I had an idea.
"Say 'help me' again if this is you," I said.
"Help me."
"Okay. And is the other shadow your father?"
"Help me," it said again. Sadness filled my heart as I realized that the two of them were the ghosts of the father and the boy, and the boy had been screaming for him to stop. The few phrases that it cried repeatedly were possibly what he said before he died. His ghost had been being chased by the father's ghost for decades.
"Listen, I promise I'll try my best to help. Can you try to show me what I need to do?"
At this, the ghost sat down next to the father's gravestone. It reached its fingers out to where the name was written, and moved them across it in a rapid side-to-side motion. I was confused.
"I don't understand," I said. It pointed at a rock the size of a tennis ball, and then did the motion again. I still didn't know what it meant.
All of a sudden, static crept into the air for a second time, slowly drowning out the sound of the crickets. The child's ghost started crying again.
"He's coming for me!"
"It's alright, I'll try to protect you," I said as I reached my hand out to touch its shoulder; but my hand phased right through it. My hand went numb the second it passed through.
"Please! Don't hit me!" the ghost screamed just before disappearing once again.
I regained feeling in my hand, and frantically glanced around to see if it had reappeared somewhere. It had; right in front of the father's ghost.
I rushed over to the both of them in hopes that I might be able to stop the ghost of the father from hurting the boy's.
"Dad! Please stop!" it screamed this and repeated the few other limited phrases it could say. I jumped between it and the father's ghost, which took a step forward.
"Leave the boy alone!" I shouted as I tried to shove it back with my hands; but electricity-like pain shot through them the second they phased through. There seemed to be nothing I could do to save the ghost of the boy as I watched the father's raise what looked like its fist.
I had an idea. I bolted away and towards the father's grave. On my hands and knees, I grabbed the stone beside it and hastily began scratching away at the name on the gravestone. I soon had scratched off two letters of his name; but his ghost noticed.
It was now looming over me. I tried to ignore it and just kept going. A searing pain shot up and down my spine all of a sudden as the ghost passed its hands through my back in an attempt to stop me. I winced and briefly dropped the rock. But I quickly picked it back up again and kept going despite the pain. I now had erased several more letters before the ghost passed its hand through mine, making me drop the rock again. I yanked my hand back, the pain subsided, and I picked the rock back up again.
I was almost done. I just had two letters to go; but the father's ghost had one more trick up its sleeve.
Suddenly I was blinded. All I saw was TV static. My heart pounded out of my chest, terrified that I might not be able to see ever again. But either way, I had to finish what I started.
I ran my fingers along the gravestone, found the letters that were still left, and kept vigorously scraping them away. The sound of the static was so loud that I couldn't even hear the sound of the rock scraping against the stone.
Finally, my vision returned, the static fizzing out of existence. The chirping of the crickets also returned, for a second and final time. The sun had now completely set.
"Thank you," the child's voice said clearly, no longer through the radio static. He finally said something new. I had been successful.
submitted by MyloOrdell to scarystories [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 18:00 SpaceGangrel Diablo IV - Review Thread

Game Information

Game Title: Diablo IV
Platforms:
Trailers:
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 90 average - 98% recommended - 72 reviews

Critic Reviews

Ars Technica - Aaron Zimmerman - Unscored
Each class has a gimmick-or "specialization"-that unlocks as you progress through the game. The Barbarian, for instance, can lug around a huge arsenal of weapons and gains "expertise" with each as you use them, granting buffs and special effects. The Necromancer can choose between different types of minions or sacrifice them to extract their power. The Rogue has three specialization options, one of which is a WoW-like combo-points system. Every class has its own personality and quirks, and they're all a blast to play.
CGMagazine - Brendan Frye - 10 / 10
Diablo IV's dark allure combines ingenious design choices to create an extraordinary Diablo that we couldn't have dreamed possible back in 1997.
Checkpoint Gaming - Elliot Attard - Unscored
Whilst Diablo IV could have done more to advance the genre or perfect its writing and tone across the entire experience, there’s no denying just how impactful this release is, especially for those of us who grew up alongside the series.
ComicBook.com - Adam Barnhardt - 4.5 / 5
Diablo 4 is perfect for both franchise mainstays and newcomers alike. The lore of Sanctuary expands drastically while the game, story and all, is large enough to keep new players busy. The game is built to allow the developers to scale it with ease with battle passes and seasons for a new generation, but it's nowhere close to being empty.
Console Creatures - David Pietrangelo - Recommended
Diablo 4 is an impressive and massive conquest of demons, loot, exploration, and wildly fun mechanics. It's already clear that this game brings tons of new content to the franchise and handles it incredibly well.
Destructoid - Timothy Monbleau - 8 / 10
Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
Dexerto - Sam Smith - 5 / 5
Diablo 4 is a mighty sequel, but it can feel more like a grand buffet of tasty demon-slaying treats. It offers something for everyone but misses out on that acquired yet curated taste of the older entries. This doesn't take away from Diablo 4 representing the next evolution in the series. It is a stellar sequel – and one that works hard to appeal to every fan of this beloved franchise.
DualShockers - Emma Ward - 8.5 / 10
Your favorite Action Role Playing Game is back and bloodier than ever. Diablo 4 improves upon nearly every core gameplay mechanic from Diablo 3 while introducing a few great quality-of-life features that make this journey to Sanctuary the best yet. While some of the quest systems seem dated, the main story is delivered beautifully, breathing new life into the series.
Everyeye.it - Antonello Gaeta - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Diablo 4 is a canvas on which developers could, over the next few months, paint a true masterpiece.
Fextralife - Fexelea - 9.3 / 10
Diablo 4 is an excellent game and a fantastic next step for the ARPG genre. Smartly melding Open World and Online elements with traditional dungeon crawling and loot farming, this game will become the favorite time-sink of millions for years to come.
GAMES.CH - Steffen Haubner - German - 89%
The irresistible gloom is now no longer opposed by hurdles in the form of confusing item and skill management. We enthusiastically throw ourselves against Lilith's hordes and once again sink hour after hour into perfecting our character. Overall, however, there could have been a bit more innovation.
GGRecon - Joshua Boyles - 4.5 / 5
Diablo 4 has taken everything that fans love about the ARPG format and elevated it to new heights. With a fascinating world to explore, a strong cast of characters, and purposeful combat, it sets a new standard for the genre.
The wheel hasn’t been reinvented, and is remains to be seen how the series will adapt to a live service model. Nevertheless, anyone picking up Diablo 4 at launch will find themselves playing a very strong package with plenty of promise.
GRYOnline.pl - Hubert Sosnowski - Polish - 9 / 10
What are we getting? An excellent game that reeks of a game-as-a-service, with tons of satisfying content. Diablo 4 looks like the best hack’n’slash on the market. The best h’n’s for me, a guy well versed in three previous Diablos, Divine Divinity and a bit of Grim Dawn.
Game Informer - Marcus Stewart - Unscored
While it remains to be seen how the experience handles the incoming flood of players once the lights are turned on, I think Diablo fans, old and new, are in for a treat.
GamePro - Kevin Itzinger - German - 94 / 100
With Diablo 4, Blizzard has created a genre masterpiece that does almost everything right.
GameSpot - Alessandro Barbosa - 8 / 10
Diablo IV's surprisingly moving and engrossing story encapsulates gameplay systems that have learnt all the right lessons from entries past.
Gameblog - French - 8 / 10
Diablo 4 is extremely generous. A clear evolution of the franchise and a real comeback.
Gamer Guides - Nathan Garvin - 8.5 / 10
With a compelling new antagonist, a serviceable, character-driven story, and a familiarly satisfying gameplay loop with an incredible amount of depth, Diablo 4 is a worthy entry into the franchise that threatens to burn away many hours of your life.
GamesHub - Emily Spindler - 4 / 5
Diablo 4 is a behemoth of a game, boasting a gothic world that goes beyond the engaging hack-and-slash gameplay loop.
GamesRadar+ - Josh West - 5 / 5
"After sacrificing nearly 100 hours of my life to Diablo 4, I've barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer"
GamingTrend - Cassie Peterson, Ron Burke - 100 / 100
Diablo IV represents a massive shift for the series, moving to a more inclusive and open world that is somehow as inviting for new players as returning veterans. Complexity is mixed with flexibility to create a game that is sure to consume you for hundreds if not thousands of hours. Diablo IV is the game we've been waiting for, and a return to form for the Blizzard team.
Geek Culture - Jake Su - 8.6 / 10
The worry remaining is that the balance needs to be struck well in order to maintain Diablo IV as a viable and long-lasting adventure that doesn’t lose its freshness or that the incessant rush to get more powerful gear becomes a chore rather than a thrill. At this juncture, there’s much for players both old and new to dive into, making combat and exploration exciting times, all while pushing the story forward in a new chapter for Sanctuary. The hope is that this will last, and that Blizzard will continue to support the game in all ways. After all, Lilith is coming, and all hail the Mother.
God is a Geek - Mick Fraser - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 may not be the huge leap forward some were hoping for, but it still offers an incredible adventure through a dark, compelling world.
Hardcore Gamer - Chris Shive - 4.5 / 5
Based on the franchise's history, Diablo IV has large boots to fill, but does an admiral job of meeting this longtime fan's expectations.
IGN - Travis Northup - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 is a stunning sequel with near perfect endgame and progression design that makes it absolutely excruciating to put down.
IGN Spain - Álex Pareja - Spanish - 9 / 10
Diablo IV is tremendously addictive, its combat is formidable and the character building is excellent. More MMO than ever in a new path for the saga.
INVEN - Jaihoon Jeong - Korean - 9 / 10
While the fusion of Diablo franchise and the open world sounded rather unfamiliar at first, the game has succeeded in capturing the charm of both. You can't say the game is perfect as of its initial release, Diablo4 still is one of the strongest quarter view action RPGs.
Kakuchopurei - Jonathan Leo - 90 / 100
[Diablo 4] looks and feels great to play, it's full of content without being way too overburdened with systems and age-old mechanics, it's accessible but also gets really hard and challenging for action RPG standards, and it's really great with more people in your party, with a good amount of classes to play around with and tailor to your playstyle. A highly-polished loot-filled gateway drug for newbies and veterans alike; not terribly innovative but incredibly fun to get into.
LevelUp - Luis Sánchez - Spanish - 7 / 10
Diablo IV remained stuck in the past while trying to find innovation without generating friction with fans who have played the franchise for over two decades; It feels like the ghost of Diablo Immortal continues to haunt the halls of Blizzard. The game is more of a reinvention of the classic experience, focusing on a games-as-a-service format to ensure another decade of content for Diablo.
Marooners' Rock - Andrew Peggs - 9.2 / 10
Diablo IV has done a good job of delivering an exciting and enjoyable storyline and providing hours of exciting entertainment, whether playing alone or with companions.
Merlin'in Kazanı - Samet Basri Taşlı - Turkish - 90 / 100
Diablo IV has successfully brought everything we wished to be in the 3rd game and has the potential to be the best game in the series.
Multiplayer First - Vitor Braz - 9.5 / 10
Do yourself a favor: ditch your reservations and step into Sanctuary as soon as you can. It’s likely going to be literal hell during the launch queues, but you’ll have a beautifully grim and visceral adventure ahead, one where every leveling up sound will feel like music to your ears. Enjoy it to the best of your possibilities because an action-RPG of this caliber may only arrive in another decade or so, and missing out on Diablo 4 would be something that may just reserve you a spot in hell.
Niche Gamer - Jonathan White - 9 / 10
It ain’t perfect, but provided they continue the course Diablo IV is currently on, this might be the game that bridges the gap and makes Diablo the most accessible and ultimately the most fun it has ever been to players from any background.
Oyungezer Online - Can Arabacı - Turkish - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV is definitely one of the best games Blizzard has ever made. And possibly the best story they've ever told.
PC Gamer - Tyler Colp - Unscored
An exciting, modern version of Diablo is in here—I can see parts of it poking through the surface—but I'm starting to lose patience waiting for it to show its face.
PCGamesN - Lauren Bergin - 10 / 10
Diablo 4 embodies the essence of what makes Diablo so great, taking the best elements of its predecessors and sewing them together to create an ever-changing, ever-evolving chimera that we can't wait to play for years to come.
PSX Brasil - Paulo Roberto Montanaro - Portuguese - 85 / 100
Diablo IV is, without a doubt, a great success that takes the best of its previous iterations, especially Diablo II, and takes advantage of the potential of an intense open world. With mechanics refined for today, hundreds of hours of gameplay, and the promise of an aggressive post-launch content, this game is the ultimate in the eternal battle between evil and… the other party.
PlayStation Universe - Neil Bolt - 8 / 10
Diablo IV takes the series to new heights, but also spends plenty of time covering familar ground. The compelling rush for loot is as strong as it has ever been, and visually, the game is spectacular. It doesn't exactly feel like a massive leap from Diablo III yet its focus on the series' core strengths ensures that's likely more than enough for long-time fans.
Polygon - Alexis Ong - Unscored
More busywork doesn’t lessen the series-signature lootfest appeal
Press Start - Harry Kalogirou - 9 / 10
Diablo IV is an unquestionable win for Blizzard and one of their foundational franchises when it needed it most. An unrelenting commitment to vision, redefined Sanctuary, never-ending player progression, and excellent boss fights are just a few of the reasons Diablo IV isn't held back by uneven pacing and recycled content.
Prima Games - Daphne Fama - 9 / 10
Diablo IV is a game with a deeply involved combat system, a complex and well-established world, and all the hallmarks of my next gaming obsession.
Pure Xbox - Liam Doolan - 9 / 10
You can see why it's taken Blizzard over six years to get this one out the gate when you look at the end product. Diablo 4 is a natural evolution of the series with its new open-world design and gameplay, enhanced social and multiplayer experience, and a live service that promises to keep players returning to the world of Sanctuary for years to come. These strong foundations and scale of the whole experience, combined with the five unique classes and seemingly limitless customisation options for builds, should keep even the most diehard demon slayers busy for a very long time. With all of this in consideration, Diablo 4 is a must-play if you're a veteran of the series and it's a great starting point for newcomers. We can't wait to jump back in! Now, fingers crossed we just don't have another 'Error 37' at launch.
Push Square - Khayl Adam - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 is the true successor to the bad old days of action RPGs and oozes quality in its frenetic combat and deep, engaging character development. It tells a complex, gritty narrative set in the darkly beautiful world of Sanctuary. Even better, it provides a solid foundation for years of Diablo content to come.
Rectify Gaming - Rebecca Ellis - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV will usher a new generation of action RPGs into the modern era with its brilliance.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Alice Bell - Unscored
Diablo IV is a beautiful, frictionless grey toybox that puts nothing in the way of you playing it for hours and wondering what you've done with your life.
SIFTER - Adam Christou - Worth your time
Diablo IV offers a strong opening impression. It has a rich, detailed story campaign, filled with spectacle and gore. Its combat and game-feel is so satisfying. The classes feel distinct and play quite differently from each other. It feels so good to burst down screens of demons with spells and swords. Will it live up to other competitors in the ARPG space? It’s too soon to tell, but what’s here so far is extremely promising especially for players looking to enjoy an impressive horror story.
Saudi Gamer - Arabic - 8 / 10
So far, the Diablo 4 experience has been nothing short of very good, the story has been very interesting and it finally returns to what distinguished the series in terms of storytelling before the release of the third installment. The game offered a very solid base of content, activities, addictive gameplay, and a variety of character-building ways that any Action RPG should offer. This is knowing that there are some important issues that appeared at the beginning of the experiment as we mentioned in the full review.
Screen Rant - Carrie Lambertsen - 4.5 / 5
Ultimately, Diablo 4 is a must-play experience for any fan of dungeon-crawler ARPGs.
Seasoned Gaming - Ainsley Bowden - 9.5 / 10
Diablo 4 is a masterpiece. It's the culmination of decades of ARPG refinement and evolution, and it manages to pay homage to the IP's legendary namesake while successfully integrating modern RPG elements.
Shacknews - Josh Broadwell - 8 / 10
Blizzard opts for refinement over innovation with Diablo 4, but it's still a devilishly good time.
Siliconera - Kazuma Hashimoto - 8 / 10
Diablo IV features a compelling antagonist in Lilith, and while it tries to present more interesting ideas into the series by the way of story, it ends up retreading old ground in more ways than one.
Sirus Gaming - Kimberly Mae Go - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 presents an epic and visually stunning adventure, enveloping players in a cinematic journey through its immersive open-world. While some areas, like repetitive dungeons and class imbalances, leave room for improvement; Blizzard has laid a solid groundwork that sparks excitement for further exploration of the vast realm of Sanctuary.
Spaziogames - Marcello Paolillo - Italian - Unscored
Diablo IV is a smooth-running action RPG with a beautiful gothic atmosphere and a fascinating open world, aimed even at those who have never touched a chapter of the Blizzard franchise before.
TechRaptor - Austin Suther - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV might just go down as one of Blizzard's best games. It delivers exciting and accessible ARPG gameplay, a stunning world and engaging narrative to experience, and so many activities to keep you hooked for hours on end.
TrueGaming - Arabic - 9 / 10
Diablo IV brings you a captivating story, a lot of freedom in your class building and a massive world full of monsters to pulverize and dungeons to explore that will keep you playing for lots of hours to come.
Twinfinite - Zhiqing Wan - 4.5 / 5
An incredible looter experience overall. I cannot overstate just how satisfying it is to play Diablo IV on a moment-to-moment basis, and with so much replay value to be had from its various classes and build possibilities within those classes, Diablo IV feels like a true return to form for the series.
VG247 - Connor Makar - 4 / 5
It's a damn good entry to the series as a whole, and will give the vast majority of its players a bloody good time.
Wccftech - Alessio Palumbo - 8.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a return to form at a much needed time for Blizzard. It delivers incredibly fun hack and slash action combat, a greatly improved skill system, and a ton of things to do, not to mention the best story told in the franchise yet. It also looks awesome, sounds great, and runs well (except for rare instances of traversal stuttering).
We Got This Covered - David Morgan - 4.5 / 5
Diablo IV tows several lines masterfully, be it in its mechanical complexity or the moral ambiguity of its plot. Its greatest achievement, however, is being a great Diablo game.
WellPlayed - Ash Wayling - 8.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike. It invites you to lose yourself in a world of darkness and embark on a thrilling journey filled with relentless battles, captivating storytelling, and a hauntingly beautiful audio-visual symphony. Just ignore the extraneous limb reaching for your wallet.
Xbox Achievements - Dan Webb - 85%
Diablo IV boasts a new look, with its new open-world and online format, but at its heart, it’s very much a classic Diablo experience. A little old-school still, sure, but the core combat is still as fun and addictive as ever, and there’s RPG mechanics for days to sink your teeth into. What’s not to love?
XboxEra - Jesse Norris - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a triumph. It fulfills its promise, combining the aesthetics and feeling of Diablo II with the fantastic gameplay of III. It is dark and gory, featuring a meaty campaign and endgame that should delight fans of the series for hundreds if not thousands of hours.
ZTGD - Terrence Johnson - 9.5 / 10
Diablo 4 is a massive game dropping in a year chock FULL of massive games. 2023 has already seen Nintendo’s behemoth drop by way of Tears of the Kingdom which has been dominating charts and peoples’ times. Now Diablo 4 is going to come bursting in and demanding that same type of time commitment with a sprawling game world to explore on foot or horseback. Between dungeons, world events, side quests and even the main quests players will never be too far from something interesting to inspect or kill in Sanctuary. Diablo 4 feels like a wonderful homecoming, with its darker tone and sublime cutscenes which Blizzard has always been wonderful at; the whole game just feels like a love letter to us fans who have waited so long to return to Hell and defeat its denizens once more.
submitted by SpaceGangrel to Games [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 17:56 SillyObjectives Brambles

I’m learning to let you go but the memories of you around me are like thorns on the pathway, snagging my skirt and drawing little gems of blood. Singularly, a nuisance.
But in abundance, they hold me back. Worse, I may bleed to death.
I need to start cutting back the vines, love.
I have tucked away your Christmas gift I still had wrapped and waiting on my desk and I may need to give away the one I spent days making with my hands.
I took the Fox Squishmallow I slept with off the bed, and found a hidden shelf for all the graphic novels and manga I read because of you.
I cleaned the little thrifted fox statues out of my houseplants and boxed up my Super Grover Halloween costume.
I am contemplating selling the tickets I have to see bands I only know because of you- shows I could have taken you to in another life. I put away their vinyls I had been slowly collecting.
I donated the knee high and frilly socks with bows I have been gathering to tease you with and hid all the soft lingerie and baby tees and booty shorts and little skirts and cat ears I spent money on because every time I saw them I wanted to purr for you and make you happy and I don’t want to wear them for anyone else.
I unfollowed every spicy subreddit, writer, artist, and human being making content that made my skin warm at thoughts of what we could do together.
I stopped reaching for the voice notes, pictures, songs, and videos you sent me when I have alone time and my body misses you.
I am trying to let go of the version of me that you owned because nobody else ever will ever meet her.
I cancelled my pre orders and library holds on books you recommended and un-liked all the podcasts and artists and musicians and authors you ever suggested.
I stopped my playthrough of Tears of the Kingdom.
I deleted any social media platform I would be tempted to reach out or look for you on and moved every photo in my phone that even remotely reminded me of you to a locked Google Drive along with all the letters on my Notes app.
Every watermelon lip gloss is thrown out, and I asked my boss for a re assignment so I never need to take your exit, be near the school, or go to that Walmart or that parking lot near Shoppers again in my life (did you know you have driven past me twice while I was working?)
I won’t ever go near your house again if I can help it, so my eyes won’t be drawn to my parking spot.
I stopped actively trying to remember the sound of your voice and picture your eyes and smile when you looked at me.
I removed Bo from my Netflix history, I stopped my re-watch of Letterkenny and removed Adventure Time from my purchases.
I will never watch It’s Always Sunny or finish Shoresy.
I will not go to the places I know that you enjoyed where we may cross paths- that one theatre, those particular waterslides, beaches and amusement park your family likes, or the main waterpark in your city.
I’ve stopped making the vegan recipes I was learning so I could take care of you, and I gave away the hoodies I thrifted because they made me think of you.
Every dress you ever touched me in has gone to storage.
My nightly walks won’t happen where the giant magnolia tree I love blooms any more, and I will never ever go to that trail we parked at again.
And even still, you’re there.
Someone’s smile yesterday made my voice catch at how much it reminded me of you.
I heard the first notes of a song at the beach thinking it had to be one of yours.
I found a rock that looks like the one I gave away.
I’m travelling to see K and I keep thinking about how much you’d love that and all the things we would share. How much I would tease you.
I bought a new soap that smells so similar to your neck the last time I saw you that I had to donate the whole bottle after the first use, and rewash myself immediately so the memory didn’t linger.
I tucked my hair behind my ear at a meeting and for some reason it reminded me of the way you do it and it punched my gut so hard I lost my train of thought.
I’ll never get away from them all. I don’t want to.
I knew you so shortly when measured in time, but it feels like our hearts walked together a lifetime. We knew one another immediately.
I spent a year basking in your love and drinking you in. I tried to learn as much about you as possible while together and did everything I could to keep you close to me while apart but now I need to slowly disentangle myself from those habits so I can breathe.
I don’t want you gone entirely, I just need some peace so I can start to let go if I never hear from you again (which I assume is the most likely outcome.)
I love you. I love you so much it hurts. It shouldn’t hurt. It has hurt for too long. I know it hurts for you, too.
I want this memory to stay a sweet one for both of us, if memories are all we will ever have.
submitted by SillyObjectives to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 17:51 ClerpClerptheHorned WaPo: The Second Amendment Allows a Ban on the AR-15, a Rebuttal (Post II of II)

Sorry for the delay; life gets busy, I had a big event this past week and made the news, but I also should have been able to take the hour to get this put 10 days ago. Anyway... A few weeks ago, an article was published via the Washington Post advocating for the ban of “assault rifles” within the context allowed under the Second Amendment (May 14th, 2023 by Noah Feldman, Bloomberg). It made an appearance more than once on this subreddit. While I flooded this Firearms with an argument against a recently published Vox article over the past week, this response will hopefully be merely Two parts. Same disclaimer as my previous posts: please forgive any errors or anomalies as I am copying/pasting/typing on my phone.
Part 2 – Leaping to Conclusions, and Failing to Stick the Landing
Unlike my previous series, I will be able to close out this article with only a pair of posts, and not over half a dozen of the blasted things. In the first post, I highlighted the author’s contention and position that the classic historic and judicial evidence supports the Second Amendment being ONLY for the preservation and effectiveness of the militia. This collectivist right interpretation is still espoused by many who support gun regulation, though it was dismissed with the Heller decision. However, the author of this article is holding to the collectivist theory, which would then deny a personal right of self defense to be protected by the Second Amendment. Which brings us to where we left off with the last post; if the militia is supposed to be able to supplement the standing army, and are supposed to bear firearms reasonable to be used in military service, are people able to own military-style weapons – not only semiautomatic rifles, but machine guns, RPG launchers, predator drones, and the like,” then?
Having accused Justice Scalia of performing the academic equivalent of fitness which is challenging flexibility in declaring the Second Amendment defends a personal right to self-defense, the author has twisted themselves up tightly enough it will take some insane mental gymnastics to escape defending the right of the people to keep and bear military arms! To be fair, I am actually somewhat impressed by how they attempted to argue.
The article references Miller, Heller, and Bruen in the same paragraph, quoting the Second Amendment protects “the sorts of weapons… in common use at the time,” Justice Scalia’s statement people can be prohibited from carrying “dangerous and unusual weapons,” and Justice Thomas’s endorsement of an “enduring American tradition permitting public carry,” stating the judicial process of the Second Amendment had become “an ad hoc rule” due to the latter decisions. But, after spending the first half of the article arguing against the Heller and Bruen decision, the author somewhat attempts to play both sides of the field. By applying “an ad hoc rule” of their own, the author makes the determination a weapon (or arm) cannot be banned if it is for a military benefit (useful for the militia), in common use, AND which is readily carried on the body for self-defense.
This is not stated implicitly, but explicitly. “Today, the Second Amendment applies to all weapons that ordinary people carry on an ordinary basis for self-defense.” The final part there, again, is reflective of Judge Frank Easterbrook’s decision to end the stay of Illinois’ AWB, where he stated there lacked sufficient evidence to show AR style semi-automatic rifles are used commonly enough in self-defense scenarios to justify the people continuing to own them. So it is not within a vacuum these conclusions are arrived at. And to repeat a point, Justice Thomas had already determined interest balancing schemes are not to be used for the Second Amendment as it is a Civil Right. It is not justified to further restrict a liberty of a person due to the misuse of said liberty by another. Prominent figures from Cesare Beccaria to Thomas Jefferson to Lysander Spooner all argued against removing guns from the law abiding due to the actions of the criminals. Also, there is NO reference to an arm being both “dangerous and unusual” in this criteria. Potentially, one could argue an arm is impossible to be dangerous and unusual if it is in common use, so it is a weaker critique against the argument, I will admit. But that also means an arm or weapon being common, such as 25ish million AR style rifles, is considered outside of dangerous and unusual.
But even if the above definition is assumed correct within historical tradition, founding heritage, and judicial jurisprudence, there exists more major, critical problem with using the aforementioned criteria to allow the banning of certain firearms. I believe this is an absolute lynchpin which can bring down a lot of gun regulation arguments if it became wide spread, and is a two point problem for anti-gunners: the article’s criteria for banning a firearm is written in a manner which recognizes both the right to bear arms OUTSIDE THE HOME as well as for the purpose of self-defense. After arguing for at least the past 15 years the right to self-defense was made up, and ridiculing Bruen as falsely extending the Second Amendment to carrying arms outside the home, the author stipulates an arm must be viable for BOTH self-defense and being carried on one’s person outside the home to be protected by the Second Amendment.
While the author is a Law Professor and not a member of Congress or a regulatory body, the argument can be construed to fly in the face of most everything the pro gun control group espouses. The phrasing of the argument gives me fits of happy giggles, because of how easy it is to deduce weapons should be both viable for self-defense, not merely militia or military service, and also able to be readily carried and concealed on one's body. This resigned agreement shrouded in an attack is massively beneficial, because of all the unstated and enumerated context which goes in to reaching the conclusion an arm is for self-defense and for concealment. It vindicates Heller as well as Bruen, two cases which have received endless ire from gun control supporters.
Additionally, the article closes by stating the AR-15 is a weapon of war, and more appropriately to be used by "a well-regulated militia – not for ordinary people to carry for ordinary use.” But this again works against the author. To quote the Supreme Court decision gun grabbers fall back on, the Miller decision, Justice McReynolds wrote the “obvious purpose [of the Second Amendment is] to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such force [the militia].” Consequently, the Second Amendment “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” What better way to assure the populace is ready for military service in times of National or Regional crisis than to be familiar with the design and operation of a firearm closely related to a service weapon? In order to assure the effectiveness of the militia, the people must themselves be effective, competent, regulated (in the sense of skilled and drilled, to be clear), and practically dangerous.
This article is a microcosm of many gun control arguments. Each individual piece has merit, for the most part. As a whole, however, the arguments fall apart. They want ARs to be controlled to the point of it being banned 'for public safety,' but handguns are the most commonly used weapon for murder in the US. They opposed Heller and Bruen, yet try and ban ARs arguing they are not used for self-defense or able to be readily borne outside the home. They argue Miller should be the true precedent for gun laws with the purpose of the Second Amendment being arms used for the national defense, but then oppose the AR as being too much like a weapon of war. They claim police are terrorists to black communities, but want them to be the only persons armed. They claim the government is tyrannical, but also endorse the government forcibly taking the privately owned arms of nearly 100 million people, leaving the country largely defenseless from those same tyrants. I the end, most every argument made by the author can be referenced to founding documents, legal precedence, or their own arguments to demonstrate gun control really is not logical, feasible, legal, or moral.
Very little of what I say will come as a surprise to those reading this, but let's hope these unconstitutional regulations by the ATF and legislation by Illinois, California, New York, etc, will bring the gavel of the Supreme Court down in declaring the NFA, state bans and registration schemes, and hopefully the ATF itself, are unconstitutional.
submitted by ClerpClerptheHorned to Firearms [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 17:46 BigBraxEnergy Briony Brax - Lady of Hornvale

Discord Name: tealeafy4767
Name & House: Briony Brax Age: 24
Appearance: Briony is a large-framed woman with pale skin. Her hair is light blonde and her eyes a particular shade of auburn green. She often wears ostentatious dresses of purple silk and drips with as much jewelry as she can carry at one time.
Gift: Gossiper Skill(s): Deceiver (e), Burglar (e), Assassin Talent(s): Gaslighting, Creative Nickname Giving, Singing Negative Trait: Obese
Starting Title(s): Lady of Hornvale, the Biggest Unicorn (if you’re a hater) Starting Location: King’s Landing Alternate Characters: Daena Waters
Family Tree: https://www.familyecho.com/?p=T7WPY&c=tjrcbqzhhb&f=235262889631321585

BIOGRAPHY

Briony was born in 183 AC to Cadwyn Brax and Teora Banefort. A few years later in 187 AC, Briony’s younger sister Margot was born. Briony grew up as the spoiled eldest daughter who was as greedy and selfish as a magpie. She had always been a larger-framed, huskier child who grew into an even bigger young woman: an abnormality for her immediate family. The difference was so notable that when she was a child, Briony overheard some sneering servants calling her the ‘fattest unicorn alive.’ Little Lady Briony went crying to her father, who had the servants’ tongues cut out and banished them from Hornvale.
As a result of this experience, Briony grew paranoid that servants and nobles, friends and foe alike were slandering her name behind her back. Thus, she decided that the best defense was an offense. Briony began to engage in gossip, realizing that pointing the finger at someone else meant less attention was given to her (Gossiper). The rumors of her early years were innocuous, but as she grew older and smarter, her methods turned cruel. Not only did she begin to make up rumors simply for the pleasure of watching chaos ensue, Briony realized that a little bit of set up could go a long way in framing someone just so (Deceiver (e), Burglar (e)). She spent years growing up dangling her money over servants and smallfolk who would work as her agents.
Cadwyn Brax was a cruel man himself, and there was something he saw in his eldest child that reminded her of himself growing up. Thus, Cadwyn treated Briony with more favor than he did Margot. Many times, he would lament Briony not being born a boy for Cadwyn was committed to elevating the status of House Brax, and the lack of a male heir grated upon him. Without a male heir, Cadwyn would focus his fathering efforts upon teaching his squire, Robb Reyne, the lessons that he had wished to impart upon a son.
House Brax received its opportunity for regional glory when Margot Brax was married to Addam Lannister in 206 AC. The whole Brax family knew of Addam’s reputation as a drunk wastrel, but a drunk Lannister was still a golden lion after all.
206 AC also marked a year of turmoil between the Brax patriarch and Briony, for Cadwyn had decided it was high time for Briony (24) to be married at last. Cadwyn had in mind a match, which Briony did not favor. But Cadwyn was adamant upon his pick. Briony had seen her younger sister, Margot, forced into an unhappy marriage with Addam Lannister, and feared for what would come of her own match.
Briony understood her father was stubborn, but resolved to have her way in life, as was her right in her eyes. So she put into practice a plan to ensure that she would never be at the mercy of any Brax man. A few moons before the events of the Rosegold Festival, Cadwyn Brax died from a fishbone becoming lodged in his throat (Assassin). Briony had the chef killed for their negligence and made her first decree as the Lady of Hornvale: to ban the consumption of fish in the castle.
Now, as the reigning Lady, Briony intends to honor her father by continuing to elevate the Brax name and stature.

Auxiliary Character: Margot

Appearance: Margot is a thin young woman standing at around 5’6”. Pale skinned, Margot sports long light blonde curls and auburn-green eyes. Whenever she is in the same room as her husband, Addam Lannister, there is a frown upon her face.
Character Name & House: Margot Lannister (nee Brax) Age: 20
Gift: Ruthless Skill(s): Burglar, Cautious, Saboteur Talent(s): Complaining, Criticizing, Well Read on Romance Novels
Starting Title(s): Addam Lannister’s wife Starting Location: King’s Landing
Margot Brax was born in 187 AC as the youngest daughter of Cadwyn Brax and Teora Banefort. Her elder sister Briony always made herself the center of attention. Cadwyn Brax was a cruel, cold man, instilling an unkind streak into Margot, which remains to this day (Ruthless).
Often cast off to the side, Margot found solace in reading books. The types of books her mother liked to keep around, however, were all romantic tales of chivalry and love between knights and ladies. From a young age, Margot hoped that like these stories that she would be swept off of her feet by a dashing, handsome young knight.
More often than not, Margot found herself manipulated by Briony into doing her sister’s bidding. More of a follower than a leader, Margot picked up some tricks of her own from carrying out Briony’s wishes, including petty theft and even a case of arson, which the sisters blamed upon a traveling hedge knight (Burglar, Saboteur).
When Robb Reyne came to Hornvale to squire under Cadwyn Brax, Margot finally met someone who was kind to her. Someone thoughtful who seemed to value her opinion. She came to trust Robb, and part of her even dared to hope that one day her father would marry the two of them.
At the top of 206 AC, Margot’s world fell apart when her father announced that she would be married to Addam Lannister. She knew his reputation and knew Addam to be the furthest thing from a brave knight. Despite her tears and protests, Cadwyn forced Margot into the marriage.
Margot was miserable, stuck in a marriage that neither party seems to have wanted. She began to write letters to Robb, sending them to Jeyne, the keeper of the Golden Sunset Inn in The Arch between Casterly Rock and Castamere (Cautious). She took every opportunity she could to see Robb, and forget her marital troubles.
One of her happiest memories was stealing away with Robb at the Rosegold Festival; an event that ended in tragedy. Margot discovered she was pregnant not long after, eventually giving birth to Tyrek Lannister at the end of 206 AC. Not long after she gave birth, Addam brought home his bastard twins: Kennos and Perianne. Though they are under the care of a maester of Casterly Rock, Margot resents their presence, and believes that Addam brought them to the castle to torment her.
The fall from grace of the Reynes has left Margot heartbroken. She remains in communication with Robb, hoping that one day they will have an opportunity to be together. In the meantime, she at least has Tyrek to love.

Archetyped NPCs

Alan Hill - Swords - A sworn sword for Briony Brax. Alan (28) is a Jast bastard who was raised in Hornvale. He is grateful to House Brax for his livelihood and remains loyal to the newly risen Lady Briony, even if he may disapprove of some of her more questionable doings.
Maester Uthor - Alchemy - A younger maester arrived to Hornvale in 206 AC who appeared conveniently when the old maester of Hornvale passed away in his sleep. Maester Uthor is a devoted flunky of Briony’s who she consults regularly.
edit: typos
submitted by BigBraxEnergy to FieldOfFire [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 16:48 F0REM4N Diablo IV - Review Megathread

Diablo IV - Review Megathread

To serve is to sacrifice!

Game Title: Diablo IV
  • Xbox Series X/S (Jun 6, 2023) - early access available June 1
  • Xbox One (Jun 6, 2023) - early access available June 1
Trailers:
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Review Aggregator:
OpenCritic - 89 average - 100% recommended - 49 reviews

Critic Reviews

Ars Technica - Aaron Zimmerman - Unscored
Each class has a gimmick-or "specialization"-that unlocks as you progress through the game. The Barbarian, for instance, can lug around a huge arsenal of weapons and gains "expertise" with each as you use them, granting buffs and special effects. The Necromancer can choose between different types of minions or sacrifice them to extract their power. The Rogue has three specialization options, one of which is a WoW-like combo-points system. Every class has its own personality and quirks, and they're all a blast to play.
CGMagazine - Brendan Frye - 10 / 10
Diablo IV's dark allure combines ingenious design choices to create an extraordinary Diablo that we couldn't have dreamed possible back in 1997.
Checkpoint Gaming - Elliot Attard - Unscored
Whilst Diablo IV could have done more to advance the genre or perfect its writing and tone across the entire experience, there’s no denying just how impactful this release is, especially for those of us who grew up alongside the series.
ComicBook.com - Adam Barnhardt - 4.5 / 5
Diablo 4 is perfect for both franchise mainstays and newcomers alike. The lore of Sanctuary expands drastically while the game, story and all, is large enough to keep new players busy. The game is built to allow the developers to scale it with ease with battle passes and seasons for a new generation, but it's nowhere close to being empty.
Console Creatures - David Pietrangelo - Recommended
Diablo 4 is an impressive and massive conquest of demons, loot, exploration, and wildly fun mechanics. It's already clear that this game brings tons of new content to the franchise and handles it incredibly well.
Dexerto - Sam Smith - 5 / 5
Diablo 4 is a mighty sequel, but it can feel more like a grand buffet of tasty demon-slaying treats. It offers something for everyone but misses out on that acquired yet curated taste of the older entries. This doesn't take away from Diablo 4 representing the next evolution in the series. It is a stellar sequel – and one that works hard to appeal to every fan of this beloved franchise.
Everyeye.it - Antonello Gaeta - Italian - 8.5 / 10
Diablo 4 is a canvas on which developers could, over the next few months, paint a true masterpiece.
Fextralife - Fexelea - 9.3 / 10
Diablo 4 is an excellent game and a fantastic next step for the ARPG genre. Smartly melding Open World and Online elements with traditional dungeon crawling and loot farming, this game will become the favorite time-sink of millions for years to come.
GGRecon - Joshua Boyles - 4.5 / 5
Diablo 4 has taken everything that fans love about the ARPG format and elevated it to new heights. With a fascinating world to explore, a strong cast of characters, and purposeful combat, it sets a new standard for the genre.
The wheel hasn’t been reinvented, and is remains to be seen how the series will adapt to a live service model. Nevertheless, anyone picking up Diablo 4 at launch will find themselves playing a very strong package with plenty of promise.
GamePro - Kevin Itzinger - German - 94 / 100
With Diablo 4, Blizzard has created a genre masterpiece that does almost everything right.
GameSpot - Alessandro Barbosa - 8 / 10
Diablo IV's surprisingly moving and engrossing story encapsulates gameplay systems that have learnt all the right lessons from entries past.
Gameblog - French - 8 / 10
Diablo 4 is extremely generous. A clear evolution of the franchise and a real comeback.
Gamer Guides - Nathan Garvin - 8.5 / 10
With a compelling new antagonist, a serviceable, character-driven story, and a familiarly satisfying gameplay loop with an incredible amount of depth, Diablo 4 is a worthy entry into the franchise that threatens to burn away many hours of your life.
GamesHub - Emily Spindler - 4 / 5
Diablo 4 is a behemoth of a game, boasting a gothic world that goes beyond the engaging hack-and-slash gameplay loop.
GamesRadar+ - Josh West - 5 / 5
"After sacrificing nearly 100 hours of my life to Diablo 4, I've barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer"
GamingTrend - Cassie Peterson, Ron Burke - 100 / 100
Diablo IV represents a massive shift for the series, moving to a more inclusive and open world that is somehow as inviting for new players as returning veterans. Complexity is mixed with flexibility to create a game that is sure to consume you for hundreds if not thousands of hours. Diablo IV is the game we've been waiting for, and a return to form for the Blizzard team.
Geek Culture - Jake Su - 8.6 / 10
The worry remaining is that the balance needs to be struck well in order to maintain Diablo IV as a viable and long-lasting adventure that doesn’t lose its freshness or that the incessant rush to get more powerful gear becomes a chore rather than a thrill. At this juncture, there’s much for players both old and new to dive into, making combat and exploration exciting times, all while pushing the story forward in a new chapter for Sanctuary. The hope is that this will last, and that Blizzard will continue to support the game in all ways. After all, Lilith is coming, and all hail the Mother.
Hardcore Gamer - Chris Shive - 4.5 / 5
Based on the franchise's history, Diablo IV has large boots to fill, but does an admiral job of meeting this longtime fan's expectations.
IGN - Travis Northup - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 is a stunning sequel with near perfect endgame and progression design that makes it absolutely excruciating to put down.
INVEN - Jaihoon Jeong - Korean - 9 / 10
While the fusion of Diablo franchise and the open world sounded rather unfamiliar at first, the game has succeeded in capturing the charm of both. You can't say the game is perfect as of its initial release, Diablo4 still is one of the strongest quarter view action RPGs.
Kakuchopurei - Jonathan Leo - 90 / 100
[Diablo 4] looks and feels great to play, it's full of content without being way too overburdened with systems and age-old mechanics, it's accessible but also gets really hard and challenging for action RPG standards, and it's really great with more people in your party, with a good amount of classes to play around with and tailor to your playstyle. A highly-polished loot-filled gateway drug for newbies and veterans alike; not terribly innovative but incredibly fun to get into.
Merlin'in Kazanı - Samet Basri Taşlı - Turkish - 90 / 100
Diablo IV has successfully brought everything we wished to be in the 3rd game and has the potential to be the best game in the series.
Multiplayer First - Vitor Braz - 9.5 / 10
Do yourself a favor: ditch your reservations and step into Sanctuary as soon as you can. It’s likely going to be literal hell during the launch queues, but you’ll have a beautifully grim and visceral adventure ahead, one where every leveling up sound will feel like music to your ears. Enjoy it to the best of your possibilities because an action-RPG of this caliber may only arrive in another decade or so, and missing out on Diablo 4 would be something that may just reserve you a spot in hell.
Niche Gamer - Jonathan White - 9 / 10
It ain’t perfect, but provided they continue the course Diablo IV is currently on, this might be the game that bridges the gap and makes Diablo the most accessible and ultimately the most fun it has ever been to players from any background.
Oyungezer Online - Can Arabacı - Turkish - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV is definitely one of the best games Blizzard has ever made. And possibly the best story they've ever told.
PCGamesN - Lauren Bergin - 10 / 10
Diablo 4 embodies the essence of what makes Diablo so great, taking the best elements of its predecessors and sewing them together to create an ever-changing, ever-evolving chimera that we can't wait to play for years to come.
PSX Brasil - Paulo Roberto Montanaro - Portuguese - 85 / 100
Diablo IV is, without a doubt, a great success that takes the best of its previous iterations, especially Diablo II, and takes advantage of the potential of an intense open world. With mechanics refined for today, hundreds of hours of gameplay, and the promise of an aggressive post-launch content, this game is the ultimate in the eternal battle between evil and… the other party.
PlayStation Universe - Neil Bolt - 8 / 10
Diablo IV takes the series to new heights, but also spends plenty of time covering familar ground. The compelling rush for loot is as strong as it has ever been, and visually, the game is spectacular. It doesn't exactly feel like a massive leap from Diablo III yet its focus on the series' core strengths ensures that's likely more than enough for long-time fans.
Polygon - Alexis Ong - Unscored
More busywork doesn’t lessen the series-signature lootfest appeal
Press Start - Harry Kalogirou - 9 / 10
Diablo IV is an unquestionable win for Blizzard and one of their foundational franchises when it needed it most. An unrelenting commitment to vision, redefined Sanctuary, never-ending player progression, and excellent boss fights are just a few of the reasons Diablo IV isn't held back by uneven pacing and recycled content.
Prima Games - Daphne Fama - 9 / 10
Diablo IV is a game with a deeply involved combat system, a complex and well-established world, and all the hallmarks of my next gaming obsession.
Push Square - Khayl Adam - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 is the true successor to the bad old days of action RPGs and oozes quality in its frenetic combat and deep, engaging character development. It tells a complex, gritty narrative set in the darkly beautiful world of Sanctuary. Even better, it provides a solid foundation for years of Diablo content to come.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Alice Bell - Unscored
Diablo IV is a beautiful, frictionless grey toybox that puts nothing in the way of you playing it for hours and wondering what you've done with your life.
SIFTER - Adam Christou - Worth your time
Diablo IV offers a strong opening impression. It has a rich, detailed story campaign, filled with spectacle and gore. Its combat and game-feel is so satisfying. The classes feel distinct and play quite differently from each other. It feels so good to burst down screens of demons with spells and swords. Will it live up to other competitors in the ARPG space? It’s too soon to tell, but what’s here so far is extremely promising especially for players looking to enjoy an impressive horror story.
Saudi Gamer - Arabic - 8 / 10
So far, the Diablo 4 experience has been nothing short of very good, the story has been very interesting and it finally returns to what distinguished the series in terms of storytelling before the release of the third installment. The game offered a very solid base of content, activities, addictive gameplay, and a variety of character-building ways that any Action RPG should offer. This is knowing that there are some important issues that appeared at the beginning of the experiment as we mentioned in the full review.
Screen Rant - Carrie Lambertsen - 4.5 / 5
Ultimately, Diablo 4 is a must-play experience for any fan of dungeon-crawler ARPGs.
Seasoned Gaming - Ainsley Bowden - 9.5 / 10
Diablo 4 is a masterpiece. It's the culmination of decades of ARPG refinement and evolution, and it manages to pay homage to the IP's legendary namesake while successfully integrating modern RPG elements.
Shacknews - Josh Broadwell - 8 / 10
Blizzard opts for refinement over innovation with Diablo 4, but it's still a devilishly good time.
Siliconera - Kazuma Hashimoto - 8 / 10
Diablo IV features a compelling antagonist in Lilith, and while it tries to present more interesting ideas into the series by the way of story, it ends up retreading old ground in more ways than one.
Sirus Gaming - Kimberly Mae Go - 9 / 10
Diablo 4 presents an epic and visually stunning adventure, enveloping players in a cinematic journey through its immersive open-world. While some areas, like repetitive dungeons and class imbalances, leave room for improvement; Blizzard has laid a solid groundwork that sparks excitement for further exploration of the vast realm of Sanctuary.
TechRaptor - Austin Suther - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV might just go down as one of Blizzard's best games. It delivers exciting and accessible ARPG gameplay, a stunning world and engaging narrative to experience, and so many activities to keep you hooked for hours on end.
TrueGaming - Arabic - 9 / 10
Diablo IV brings you a captivating story, a lot of freedom in your class building and a massive world full of monsters to pulverize and dungeons to explore that will keep you playing for lots of hours to come.
Twinfinite - Zhiqing Wan - 4.5 / 5
An incredible looter experience overall. I cannot overstate just how satisfying it is to play Diablo IV on a moment-to-moment basis, and with so much replay value to be had from its various classes and build possibilities within those classes, Diablo IV feels like a true return to form for the series.
VG247 - Connor Makar - 4 / 5
It's a damn good entry to the series as a whole, and will give the vast majority of its players a bloody good time.
Wccftech - Alessio Palumbo - 8.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a return to form at a much needed time for Blizzard. It delivers incredibly fun hack and slash action combat, a greatly improved skill system, and a ton of things to do, not to mention the best story told in the franchise yet. It also looks awesome, sounds great, and runs well (except for rare instances of traversal stuttering).
We Got This Covered - David Morgan - 4.5 / 5
Diablo IV tows several lines masterfully, be it in its mechanical complexity or the moral ambiguity of its plot. Its greatest achievement, however, is being a great Diablo game.
WellPlayed - Ash Wayling - 8.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike. It invites you to lose yourself in a world of darkness and embark on a thrilling journey filled with relentless battles, captivating storytelling, and a hauntingly beautiful audio-visual symphony. Just ignore the extraneous limb reaching for your wallet.
Xbox Achievements - Dan Webb - 85%
Diablo IV boasts a new look, with its new open-world and online format, but at its heart, it’s very much a classic Diablo experience. A little old-school still, sure, but the core combat is still as fun and addictive as ever, and there’s RPG mechanics for days to sink your teeth into. What’s not to love?
XboxEra - Jesse Norris - 9.5 / 10
Diablo IV is a triumph. It fulfills its promise, combining the aesthetics and feeling of Diablo II with the fantastic gameplay of III. It is dark and gory, featuring a meaty campaign and endgame that should delight fans of the series for hundreds if not thousands of hours.
submitted by F0REM4N to XboxSeriesX [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 16:07 TheBlackUnicorn Everything that went wrong in my four years of owning a Tesla Model S

Hi everyone! I posted earlier about my decision to buy a Toyota Tacoma to replace my S (I have not traded the S in, I got the Tacoma yesterday and I'm currently waiting on repairs from Tesla before I sell the S).
I suggested in the comment thread that I'd do a post about EVERYTHING that went wrong with that car. So let's buckle up because here we go.
I bought the car CPO from Tesla in June of 2019, it is a 2016 75D/"Standard Range" S. The car is a relatively rare build because Tesla upgraded to Autopilot 2 hardware in October of '16 and removed the free unlimited supercharging perk in January of '17 (or roughly around that time). My car came down the line in November of '16 so it's one of very few Ses that has both these features. The first time I took it into the Service Center I was told by a technician (who does not drive a Tesla as his personal vehicle) that this particular run of Ses was one of the best batch he'd ever seen. Oh boy let's see how great this batch is.

Heated steering wheel

The first thing that went wrong with the car was actually broken from the time I bought it, but I didn't notice for a few months because it was the heated steering wheel. Winter '19/'20 set in and I realized the steering wheel wasn't warming up. I took it in for warranty repair and they found it was simply unplugged, this was free.

Trunk latch

In the summer of 2020, amid the COVID lockdowns, one day the trunk failed to latch and was stuck open. I tried pulling the emergency release but that did nothing. I scheduled a mobile appointment (which I will give Tesla credit for, very few car companies make housecalls), and the technician was also unable to get the trunk to latch. So I scheduled a service center appointment and had to drive with the trunk open for a couple weeks, this made an annoying beeping noise and prevented me from using ANY cruise control, let alone "Autopilot" (or "Full-Self Driving", I actually got grandfathered into the offer to upgrade from EAP to FSD for $3000 so I pulled the trigger on that, I have not requested the FSD Beta because it looks like a death machine to me).
Amazingly during my drive to the service center the trunk magically fixed itself. I wasn't about to turn around and go home since I figured the part could still be faulty, so I asked them to look at it anyway. Since they didn't see anything wrong they charged me over $500 to replace the components. This was my first repair bill.

First collision repair

A couple months later I was rear-ended by a teenager and she did a bunch of damage to the back of the car, this was one of my most seamless issues with the car, I took it to a local collision repair shop and they had it back to me within 3 days, all of these costs were paid by insurance.

MCU2 Upgrade

At some point I took the car in for them to replace the MCU (the 17" touchscreen) with the newer one so I could get Netflix and YouTube on my center screen. This was an optional service center visit, though the original MCU was REALLY starting to chug on newer Tesla software. The replacement cost $1600 and they did not put in a new AM/FM radio (that would have been an additional $500 and I don't listen to the radio much anyway). I was actually kind of happy that I could have the option to upgrade this tech, but if MCU2 winds up being as sluggish as MCU1 was when it was just 4-5 years old this seems like an extra non-optional cost.

12V Battery Replacement

In the summer of 2021 I got the error "12V BATTERY LOW SCHEDULE SERVICE NOW". That seemed really urgent, so I went on YouTube and searched for this error and found out that James May got the same issue. TL;DW the 12V system is powered primarily by a DC-to-DC converter from the main battery, but when the main battery disconnects there's a small 12V (like one you'd use in a motorcycle) that is needed to power on the actuators that connect the main battery. If the 12V goes flat the car is bricked and, because the 12V is under the frunk and the frunk is electronically actuated, the only way to get to the 12V to trickle charge it is to partially dismantle the car.
In fact, I was lucky to get a warning at all some Teslas have had this happen with no warning and in fact it was a software update that even added the warning. And in fact a lot of early Teslas failed within a year because for some reason they charge and discharge the 12V like mad. I hope they've improved this since this blog post, but anyway this is a serious design defect.
Tesla did the right thing here and got me into service the next day AND I got the car back within 90 minutes. This is the fastest turnaround time I've ever seen from them, however I'm fairly certain that if my car was no longer under warranty (meaning they would not be responsible for paying to tow it to the service center) I would not have gotten such white glove treatment.

Suspension issue

In 2022 I read the book Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors by Ed Niedermeyer. From this book I learned about whompy wheels and learned a rumor that many Teslas were built with cheap aluminum suspensions that tend to fail. China forced Tesla to do a recall on cars built in the US and exported to China.
I frantically drove to my local tire shop and asked them to look at the suspension, they reported that it looked to be in good condition but that there was a leak in the hydraulic fluid that Tesla should repair under warranty. I took the car to Tesla and they had it for SIX DAYS during which I had to rely on their Uber vouchers (Tesla only recently started doing loaners in my area, it might be because I live in a very obscure remote place called New York City /s). They reported to me that nothing was wrong with the suspension and returned the car, completely filthy since they'd left it parked under a tree.

Windshield replacement

In late 2022 I decided to save some money by replacing my wiper blades myself. While the blade arms were out one of the springs came loose and smashed into the windshield. It took me about a week to get the wiper back on, I tried every tool in my toolbox and eventually just took it to the tire shop where they put in a vice and got it to reconnect. They did this for free. Over the winter of '22/'23 however the damage to the windshield escalated into a crack. This is mostly my own stupid fault, I probably could have prevented this crack from growing with a cheapo Amazon glass repair kit, but none of the other cars I've ever driven have had something this nuts happen.
I took the car to a local glass repair shop and the owner told me I needed a full new windshield. He called Tesla to confirm the part number and order it, they did not pick up the phone. I was out of the country for about a month so I left this to pick up when I returned. I just went to SafeLite since I assumed they had more staff to pester Tesla to send them the windshield. Dropped off my car, they called me and said they had to wait a couple weeks for the windshield to ship. About a week later I dropped off the car AGAIN and they replaced the windshield.
This cost me another $500 out of pocket and the rest (about $700) was covered by insurance.

Door replacement collision repair

On March 7th 2023 a kid jumped a stop sign and crashed into my driver's side door, he put a huge dent in it and the door handle got stuck in the presenting position. Because he was not the policyholder* his insurance could not establish that he had permission to drive the vehicle and said they would not pay for the repair, so I again had to go through my insurance meaning I couldn't get a loaner.
It took Tesla TWO WEEKS to ship a new door to the only local Tesla-certified collision repair center in my area (this was about a 30 minute drive and I had to Uber both ways since there was no nearby public transit). When I got the car back there was an obnoxious amount of wind noise, I found they had misaligned the new window with the weather stripping. I brought the car back to them and they tooled around enough to get the wind noise down to a lower level, but it is still not gone. I did find I could jam some paper into the weather stripping and shim it up to prevent a little bit of noise.
This was a $500 out of pocket cost (which I may get back through insurance arbitration) and the cost to the insurance was a whopping $4700!

The HVAC filter, radars, and AC

Now we come to the straw that broke the camel's back. I noticed in the manual recently that my car is due for a replacement of the HVAC filter. They're fairly cheap on Amazon, so I figured I'd try doing it myself again. My wife talked me out of this due to what happened with the wiper blades. Additionally the HVAC system has a desicant bag that needs to be replaced periodically (like one of those sillica gel packets), and that requires a special machine.
So I scheduled a service center visit, they informed me my car was also eligible for a free upgrade to the autopilot cameras. I dropped off the car and for the first time in FOUR YEARS they gave me a loaner, a lease-return Model Y that presumably they couldn't find a buyer for (this car was a complete shitbox but that's a whole other story).
They said they would take FIVE DAYS to do this quick 30 minute job of replacing the HVAC filters. I also tried phoning them to ask if they could take a look at the wind noise from the previous repair, there was a message on the phone that told me I need to do all communication with them through the app. I messaged in the app, they did not respond.
Amazingly I got the car back after just FOUR days, but I was informed they did not look at the wind noise because it wasn't on the original list of things, and I would need to book ANOTHER appointment and wait ANOTHER two weeks for that. Replacing a $30 HVAC filter and a dessicant bag cost me a whopping $460!
After I got the car back, however, I realized that they did not merely "upgrade" the Autopilot cameras. They removed the Autopilot radar. I know they did it because now my follow distance bottoms out at 2 and I now have an 85mi/hr Autosteer speed limit. By the way, unlike the 3 and Y the Autopilot follow distance control in the S is a physical click-knob. So I can click it to 7,6,5,4,3,2 and 2. Like they replaced the bottom position with a second "2".
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
The HVAC is now blowing hot air. Every time I turn on the AC the car blasts me in the face with hot air and the compressor goes nuts. I assume this means the coolant is low (since it seems to have some ability to cool but is struggling a LOT).
So that's the end of our story. That's everything that's happened to this car so far. And where are we now? I have an appointment with service to fix the remaining problems and YESTERDAY I bought a 2020 Toyota Tacoma which GET THIS has a radar adaptive cruise control! No fancy "Autopilot" or "Autosteer", but it has lane departure warning which is enough to keep me awake on a long nighttime drive.
The biggest open secret about "Autopilot" and "FSD" is that they're mostly off-the-shelf components. Rather than building a self-driving car what Tesla actually did was take standard driver-assistance cruise control features and mash them together pretending they're something magical.
*This was a frankly ridiculous claim on the part of his insurance since his mother was the policyholder and the police report documents that she was sitting in the passenger's seat at the time of the collision. So I guess their position is that she was in the process of being kidnapped.
If you ever get into a crash like this make sure to take out your phone, take a video, and say "Do you have his/her permission to drive this vehicle?" If they say no just turn to the police and say it's a stolen vehicle and it needs to be impounded.
submitted by TheBlackUnicorn to RealTesla [link] [comments]


2023.05.30 15:54 Jiale88996 Comprehensive Car Insurance: What to Look for in a Policy

Comprehensive Car Insurance: What to Look for in a Policy
Car insurance is a must when financing your new car. One type of car insurance coverage that provides extensive protection is comprehensive car insurance, most lenders will require you to add this coverage option along with collision coverage to lend you the money for your new vehicle.

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In this article, we will explore the key aspects to consider when choosing a comprehensive car insurance policy.

Introduction to Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance is a coverage option that will protect your car against non-collision damages. Unlike liability insurance, which covers damages caused to other people's property or injuries in an accident you are responsible for, comprehensive car insurance protects your vehicle from non-collision damages.
The takeaways

  1. Comprehensive car insurance provides extensive protection: Comprehensive car insurance coverage goes beyond liability insurance and protects your vehicle from non-collision damages caused by theft, vandalism, natural disasters, falling objects, and more.
  2. Factors to consider when choosing a policy: When selecting a comprehensive car insurance policy, important factors to consider include deductibles and premiums, coverage limits, additional benefits and riders, the reputation and financial stability of insurance providers, the claims process, and understanding the policy terms and conditions.
  3. Importance of comparing quotes: Obtaining quotes from multiple car insurers and comparing coverage options and premiums is crucial. Providing accurate information to each insurer and selecting the same coverage limits and deductibles will ensure you receive specific and comparable quotes.
  4. Tips for reducing premiums without compromising coverage: To lower insurance premiums without sacrificing coverage, consider increasing deductibles if financially feasible, installing security features in your vehicle, maintaining a good driving record, bundling policies, and inquiring about discounts for safe driving or multiple vehicles insured.
  5. Regular policy review and renewal: It's important to review your comprehensive car insurance policy regularly to ensure it meets your evolving needs. Understanding the renewal process allows you to make necessary adjustments, shop around for better rates, and maintain optimal protection.

Understanding the Coverage Provided by Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance typically covers damages resulting from theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and hails; falling objects like tree branches, rocks or debris, and other non-collision incidents. It also includes coverage for broken windshields and windows, as well as damages caused by hitting an animal. This coverage can be especially valuable for individuals living in areas prone to severe weather or high rates of vehicle theft.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy

Before selecting a comprehensive car insurance policy, there are several important factors to keep in mind.

Deductibles and Premiums

Deductibles are the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before the comprehensive car insurance coverage starts to work. Choosing a higher deductible can help lower your premiums, but it's important to ensure that the deductible amount is affordable for you in case you must file a claim.
For example, if you set $250 on deductibles, your car insurer believes you will end up filing a claim. That claim will be higher than a normal claim. In that case, your car insurer will try to obtain the money they must pay to repair your car before that accident happens. That’s the main reason why low deductibles will always make you pay more premiums.
You may be interested to know more about deductibles in the following post:
How to Choose the Right Comprehensive Coverage Insurance Deductible

Coverage Limits

Review the coverage limits offered by different insurance providers. When you have comprehensive insurance, you can choose the coverage limit for your vehicle. Higher coverage limits ensure that you will be adequately protected in case you suffer a serious problem such as, your vehicle ending up flooded in the middle of the street, letting you have no choice but change the entire engine of your vehicle. You must be sure about the amount of coverage you need and select coverage limits that align with the value of your vehicle and potential risks. For example, you wouldn’t select 100/300/100 for an old cheap vehicle that is not worth $3,000.
You may be interested to know more about coverage limits in the following post:
Understanding Comprehensive Coverage Car Insurance Limits

Additional Benefits and Riders

Some insurance companies offer additional benefits and optional riders that can enhance your coverage. Some of those benefits may include roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement in case of car theft, and coverage for personal belongings inside the vehicle (). Evaluate these additional benefits and determine if they are worth your needs.

Evaluating the Reputation and Financial Stability of Insurance Providers

You must check the reputation and financial stability of those car insurers before choosing one of them. You must always check Best Business Bureau for any car insurer, you will also be able to check what other policyholders think about them and how that car insurer handled their claims.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is also a good place to research how good a car insurer is. You only have to look for that car insurer’s complaint rate. In a nutshell, any car insurer that has a score higher than 1.0 means they receive more complaints than average, in the other hand, if you find the car insurance you want to purchase is lower than 1.0 means the opposite.
You should look for car insurers with a strong and long run in the insurance industry, some brand new car insurers will may you offer really cheap comprehensive insurance policies, but that may end up really costly for you in case you file a claim. Check for positive customer reviews, but most importantly, for negative customer reviews. No matter if you choose Best Business Bureau or NAIC, any car insurer’s complaints there are all verified and you can also check what car insurer replied to that complaint. Finally, car insurers with strong and stable financial strength will be more likely to fulfill claims promptly and provide reliable customer support.

Exploring the Claims Process for Comprehensive Car Insurance

Consider the ease and efficiency of the claims process. Look for insurers with a streamlined claims procedure and good customer service, you don’t really want to feel ignored when trying to file a claim, and you always want that claim process to be quick, and you don’t want their adjuster don’t treat you like a thug when asking you several questions about the accident.
You may be interested to know more about the claim process for comprehensive insurance:
What to do if your Comprehensive Insurance Claim is Denied
The importance of documentation in comprehensive insurance claims

Importance of Reading and Understanding the Policy Terms and Conditions

Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the policy before purchasing comprehensive car insurance. Pay attention to exclusions, conditions, and any limitations on coverage. Being aware of the policy details will help you know the benefits or drawbacks of your policy, and avoid surprises during the claims process.
You may be interested to know more about understanding your policy in the following post:
The Importance of Transparency and Clarity in Comprehensive Insurance Policies

Comparing Quotes and Obtaining Multiple Insurance Policy Options

Obtaining quotes from multiple car insurers will help you to compare coverage options and premiums. You must select the same amount of coverage limits and deductibles in each of those quotes, remember, you must request 5 or 6 quotes at the same time, this way you will be able to do a small research.
Another important part when comparing quotes is providing the most accurate information to each car insurer, this way you will get the most specific price for your comprehensive car insurance policy.
You may be interested to know more about comparing quotes in the following post:
How to Compare Comprehensive Coverage Policies

Assessing the Customer Service and Support Provided by Insurance Companies

Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any comprehensive car insurance policy. Consider the reputation of the car insurer in terms of customer satisfaction and the availability of support channels. Check how helpful their customer service is, that can greatly simplify the insurance experience.

Reviewing Common Exclusions in Comprehensive Car Insurance Policies

It's important to be aware of common exclusions in comprehensive car insurance policies. These may include wear and tear, mechanical breakdowns, intentional damage, or damage from illegal activities. Some common exclusions are the following:

  • Arson
  • Racing
  • Staged accidents
You may be interested to know more about the comprehensive car insurance exclusions:
What is Not Covered in Your Comprehensive Car Insurance?

Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Comprehensive Car Insurance

Several factors can influence the cost of comprehensive car insurance. These include your driving record, age, location, your vehicle’s make and model, and even your credit score. As we all know, 2023 has been a big shot on every comprehensive car insurance premium, so continue reading to know how to reduce your premiums.

Tips for Reducing Premiums Without Compromising Coverage

If you're looking to lower your insurance premiums without sacrificing coverage, consider the following tips:

  1. Increase your deductibles if financially feasible.
  2. Install security features, such as alarms or tracking systems.
  3. Maintain a good driving record.
  4. Bundle your car insurance with other policies, such as homeowner's insurance.
  5. Inquire about discounts for safe driving, low mileage, or multiple vehicles insured.
You find more tips to know how to reduce your premiums in the following post:
How can I Lower My Comprehensive Insurance Cost? 8 Practical Tips

Importance of Regular Policy Review and Updates

You should review your comprehensive car insurance policy regularly to ensure it still meets your needs or not. Everyone’s life circumstances change over time, such as buying a new car or moving to a new area. That may require updates to your coverage. Stay in touch with your car insurer to make necessary modifications to your policy and maintain optimal protection.

Understanding the Renewal Process for Comprehensive Car Insurance

As your policy approaches its expiration date, you must understand the renewal process. Review your coverage, check if you need to make any changes in your policy, or consider shopping around for better rates. Renewing your policy is an opportunity to reassess your coverage needs and make adjustments accordingly.

Conclusion

Comprehensive car insurance offers robust coverage for a wide range of risks and damages. When choosing a policy, consider factors such as deductibles, coverage limits, additional benefits, and the reputation of insurance providers. Be proactive in reviewing and understanding the policy terms and conditions, comparing quotes, and evaluating customer service. By taking these steps and staying informed, you can select a comprehensive car insurance policy that provides the protection you need.
Read more in my blog.
submitted by Jiale88996 to Insurista [link] [comments]