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Simplify Your Life with Smart Home Automation: 10 Must-Try Tips and Tricks

2023.06.02 00:24 ashleyharrisca Simplify Your Life with Smart Home Automation: 10 Must-Try Tips and Tricks

Simplify Your Life with Smart Home Automation: 10 Must-Try Tips and Tricks
smart home automation
Home automation is revolutionizing the way we interact with our homes. Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, we can now control various aspects of our homes with ease, including lighting, security, entertainment, and energy management. By integrating the Internet and electronic devices, smart home automation offers unparalleled convenience, efficiency, and enhanced security.
This blog post will introduce you to the fascinating world of automation. I will answer common questions and provide valuable insights into its many benefits. You will discover how intelligent automation devices can simplify your life, increase convenience, and even help you save money on your household bills. I will also share a collection of cutting-edge automation solutions that you can easily implement in your own home. So, if you are interested in learning more about Residence automation, keep reading!
What is home automation?
Smart Home automation is the use of technology to control and automate household tasks and systems. It can include everything from controlling your lights and appliances to managing your security and heating systems. These systems can be as simple as a single smart light bulb or as complex as a fully integrated system that controls every aspect of your home.
The Benefits of Simplifying Your Life with Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology offers a multitude of benefits that can greatly simplify and enhance your daily life. Here are some key advantages to consider:
  1. Streamlined control at your fingertips.
  2. Energy savings made easy.
  3. Security and peace of mind.
  4. Safety alerts when you need them.
  5. Stay connected, no matter where you are.
  6. Personalized comfort is just a tap away.
  7. More time for what truly matters.
  8. Seamless integration with your smart devices.
  9. Tailored automation for your lifestyle.
  10. Enhance your property's value with automation.
Essential Smart Home Devices and Systems
Here are some essential smart home devices and systems to consider when setting up your smart home:
  • Smart hub: A smart hub is a central control unit for your smart home devices. It connects and integrates various devices, allowing you to manage them through a single interface or voice command.
  • Voice assistant: A voice assistant, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, enables hands-free control of your smart home devices. Simply speak commands to control lights, thermostats, entertainment systems, and more.
  • Smart lighting: Replace traditional bulbs with smart bulbs or switches. These can be controlled remotely, scheduled, and even dimmed or customized for different lighting scenes, providing convenience and energy efficiency.
  • Smart thermostat: A smart thermostat offers precise control over your home's temperature and energy usage. Adjust settings remotely, create schedules, and take advantage of features like geofencing to optimize comfort and save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Smart security system: Invest in a smart security system that includes features like cameras, motion sensors, doowindow sensors, and smart locks. These systems allow you to monitor and secure your home from anywhere, receive alerts, and grant access remotely.
  • Smart entertainment: Enhance your home entertainment experience with smart devices. Consider smart TVs, streaming devices, and sound systems that can be controlled wirelessly or integrated with voice assistants for seamless operation.
When choosing smart home devices and systems, it's important to consider your specific needs and priorities. For example, if you're looking for a way to save energy, you might want to prioritize smart thermostats and smart lighting. If you're looking for a way to improve your home security, you might want to prioritize smart security systems.
It's also important to choose devices and systems that are compatible with each other and with your preferred voice assistant. This will ensure you can easily control all your smart home devices from a single interface.
With a little planning, you can create a smart home that's both convenient and secure.
10 Tips for Creating a Smart and Efficient Home
Creating a smart and efficient home not only enhances your lifestyle but also helps you save energy and increase convenience. Here are 10 tips to transform your home into a technologically advanced and environmentally friendly haven:
Tip 1: Automate Your Lighting for Energy Efficiency and Convenience
Enhance energy efficiency and convenience in your smart home by automating your lighting. With smart bulbs or switches, you can effortlessly schedule lights to turn on/off, adjust brightness, and create customized lighting scenes for any occasion. Motion sensors can also detect empty rooms and automatically switch off lights, minimizing energy waste. Take control of your lighting with voice commands or smartphone apps, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. Embrace automated lighting to save energy, simplify daily routines, and set the ideal ambiance in your home.
Tip 2: Streamline Your Entertainment System with Smart Controls
Transform your entertainment experience by streamlining your entertainment system with smart controls. With smart devices such as smart TVs, streaming devices, and sound systems, you can simplify the way you access and enjoy your favorite shows, movies, and music. Control your entire entertainment setup using a single remote or voice commands through your smart assistant. Seamlessly switch between streaming platforms, adjust volume, and even dim the lights for the perfect movie night ambiance. By integrating your entertainment system with smart controls, you'll eliminate the hassle of multiple remotes and enjoy a more convenient and immersive entertainment experience.
Tip 3: Enhance Home Security with Smart Cameras and Alarms
Boost the security of your home with the help of smart cameras and alarms. Smart security systems provide a range of features to protect your property and give you peace of mind. Install smart cameras both indoors and outdoors to monitor your home remotely, receive real-time alerts, and access recorded footage from your smartphone. Combine them with motion sensors and doowindow sensors for comprehensive coverage. Integrated alarms can sound off and send notifications in cases of suspicious activity or breaches. With smart security solutions, you'll have advanced tools at your fingertips to deter intruders, keep a watchful eye on your property, and ensure the safety of your loved ones.
Tip 4: Simplify Your Daily Routine with Voice-Activated Assistants
Make your daily routine more seamless and efficient by integrating voice-activated assistants into your smart home. With popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can control various aspects of your home using simple voice commands. From setting timers and reminders to checking the weather or news, these assistants are designed to streamline your day-to-day tasks. Adjust your smart thermostats, turn on/off lights, play music, or even order groceries without lifting a finger. Voice-activated assistants bring convenience and hands-free control to your smart home, allowing you to focus on what matters most while effortlessly managing your home environment.
Tip 5: Optimize Energy Usage with Smart Thermostats and Climate Control
Maximize energy efficiency and comfort in your home by leveraging smart thermostats and climate control systems. These intelligent devices enable precise temperature management, which reduces energy waste and lowers utility bills. With the ability to create schedules, adjust settings remotely, and even learn your preferences over time, smart thermostats optimize heating and cooling based on occupancy and external factors. Some models integrate with weather forecasts and occupancy sensors to fine-tune climate control automatically. Additionally, energy usage monitoring features provide insights into consumption patterns, empowering you to make informed decisions for energy conservation. By optimizing your home's climate control with smart technology, you can achieve a more sustainable and cost-effective living environment.
Tip 6: Manage Your Home's Appliances and Devices Remotely
Take control of your home's appliances and devices from anywhere with the convenience of remote management. With smart home technology, you can remotely monitor and control various appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, and more. Check the status of your appliances, adjust settings, and receive notifications or alerts right on your smartphone. Forgot to turn off the oven before leaving? No problem. Simply access your smart home app and switch it off remotely. Remote management not only offers peace of mind but also allows you to optimize energy usage, troubleshoot issues, and ensure that your home is running smoothly even when you're away.
Tip 7: Create Personalized Scenes and Routines for Different Activities
Enhance the ambiance and functionality of your smart home by creating personalized scenes and routines for different activities. Whether it's a cozy movie night, a productive work session, or a relaxing evening, smart home technology allows you to set up pre-defined scenes that adjust multiple devices with a single command. Dim the lights, lower the blinds, and play soothing music for a relaxing atmosphere, or brighten the lights, set the temperature, and activate your home office devices for a productive work environment. With routines, you can automate a series of actions to occur at specific times or trigger them with voice commands. By tailoring your smart home to suit different activities, you can effortlessly create the perfect ambiance and streamline your daily routines.
Tip 8: Monitor and Control Your Home's Energy Consumption
Take charge of your energy usage and promote sustainability by monitoring and controlling your home's energy consumption. Smart home technology offers energy monitoring capabilities that provide real-time insights into how much energy your appliances and devices are using. By identifying energy-hungry devices, you can make informed decisions about their usage and find opportunities for optimization.
Additionally, smart plugs and power strips enable you to remotely control and schedule the power supply to specific devices, ensuring they are not left on standby unnecessarily. With the ability to monitor and control energy consumption, you can actively reduce waste, save money on utility bills, and contribute to a greener future.
Tip 9: Enhance Your Home's Safety with Smart Locks and Doorbells
Elevate the security of your home with the help of smart locks and doorbells. Smart locks offer convenient keyless entry, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors remotely using a smartphone app or through voice commands. You can also grant temporary or permanent access to family members, friends, or service providers without the need for physical keys.
Paired with smart doorbells, which include features like video cameras and motion sensors, you can see and speak to visitors at your doorstep from anywhere using your smartphone. Receive instant notifications and record video footage to enhance your home's safety and deter potential intruders.
Tip 10: Simplify Your Shopping Experience with Smart Home Integrations
Enhance your shopping experience and add convenience to it through the integration of smart home technology. Numerous smart home systems seamlessly connect with popular online shopping platforms, revolutionizing the way you manage your shopping lists, place orders, and even automate recurring purchases.
With the help of voice-activated assistants, you can effortlessly add items to your shopping list as you run out of them or think of new ones. The list becomes easily accessible on your smartphone whenever you're ready to make a purchase. Some smart refrigerators are equipped with built-in cameras that capture images of your groceries, allowing you to remotely view your supplies while shopping.
When integrated with smart speakers and displays, you can effortlessly browse products, compare prices, and make purchases using only your voice or a few taps. You can even set up automated delivery schedules for essential items, ensuring you never find yourself running out of household supplies.
As we wrap up our exploration of the advantages and recommendations for simplifying your life through smart home automations, it becomes evident that this technology opens a world of possibilities for convenience, security, energy efficiency, and overall home enhancement. By integrating intelligent devices and systems into your living space, you have the power to revolutionize your daily routines and elevate your lifestyle.
If you're prepared to embark on the next phase and transform your home into a smart and visually stunning haven, consider teaming up with La Scala. With our extensive expertise in smart home integration and design, we can assist you in crafting a seamless and aesthetically pleasing smart home environment. Get in touch with us at 604-606-1888 to discuss your specific requirements and explore the vast array of possibilities. We also extend an invitation to join us for a coffee talk at our La Scala experience center, where you can personally witness how smart home technology can enhance your living space.
Embrace the future of smart homes and unlock the complete potential of convenience, security, and comfort. Let La Scala be your trusted partner in making your home truly extraordinary.
submitted by ashleyharrisca to u/ashleyharrisca [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 00:07 kxm90 was it abusive of me...? (TW)

was it abusive of me...? (TW)
To tell the narc that his abuse has lead to me being very suicidal?
5 months post breakup and no contact... he reached out. He was apologetic... said he wanted to "give me the answers i seek and the time i deserve." then suddenly started flipping things on me after calling out his abuse... saying we clearly shouldnt communicate as its not "healthy" and if all i want to do is "yell at him," that he "doesnt have to engage with that." there was no yelling... It was all over text and there werent even any all caps.
I just wanted him to take accountability for everything he did to me. He said "i take accountability for hurting you" But he wouldnt even read the long messages spelling out the specific abuse... i feel like you cant apologize for what you wont even bother to try and understand. "Im sorry for how i handled everything" doesnt show any comprehension of the toll it took on my life.
So he went from "i know im a POS, im so sorry for what i did to you, im being sincere" to "i dont have to engage with you/we shouldnt communicate/im not going to keep running in circles apologizing/you'll hate me forever, it wont change anything" as though IM the unhealthy one. I wanted closure. But because i wouldnt accept his blanket apology, he turned it around on me...
And now im questioning myself because he ignored me when im telling him how much excruciating pain he has put me in... to the point of researching methods to end my life.....
which feels like yet another rejection/discard/betrayal. I was crying on video to him, expressing that i just wanted him to comprehend what he did and actually have real remorse. And he just stopped opening my messages entirely. How can they claim to love you and then ignore you when youre visibly in agony?
I honestly think he got angry at me for telling someone we were ever together in the first place. He kept me a secret for 4 years. So once it got back to him that i opened my mouth to someone... his tone completely changed and he wasnt apologetic anymore, and was scolding me for "people being in our business."
Im so angry at myself for responding to his text in the first place. I knew better. But i wanted him to understand what he did to me. I wanted him to know that i finally know what he is. And now i just gave him another opportunity to destroy me.
I have never had issues with mental health before narcissistic abuse. And now i feel like hes treating me like im crazy...
was i being abusive in telling him his abuse made me suicidal?
I understand narcs use threats of suicide as a manipulation tactic but i was not threatening or trying to manipulate him into something... i was explaining how the abuse ive been through has put me into this state of mind... but now that he has ignored me, stopped opening my messages at all like i dont exist... im wondering if i was being abusive in stating that at all
I also realize they dont want to be called out on their abuse so ghosting me could just be him avoiding shame.
I know i shouldnt have attempted to get closure or expect an abuser to admit theyre abusive.
Ive just been so powerless and when after 5 months... he reappeared again to tell me he "hopes im safe" when he is the reason i have been unsafe for so long and nearly took my own life.. i was so incredibly triggered and wanted him to know that i finally see underneath his mask... what he really is.
But this is what narcs do.. they make you feel crazy and second guess reality.
Im sitting here feeling guilty and wondering if calling him out was abusive in itself.
Any thoughts...?
Note: this was a couple weeks ago. I have since stopped trying to contact him and blocked him on all socials.
submitted by kxm90 to NarcissisticAbuse [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 00:00 Fooo346 Love for Dark Souls 2

Dear fellow followers of the Chosen Undead, let us gather today to celebrate the greatness of Dark Souls 2, the pinnacle of the series! To those who dare to criticize this masterpiece, heed my words and let the truth of its brilliance shine upon you.
First and foremost, let us praise the impeccable level design of Dark Souls 2. From the majesty of Majula to the treacherous depths of the Shrine of Amana, each area is meticulously crafted and interconnected, inviting exploration and discovery at every turn. The diversity and intricacy of the environments ensure that no two locations feel the same, constantly keeping us on our toes and ensuring a fresh experience throughout our perilous journey.
But what truly sets Dark Souls 2 apart from its brethren is the glorious enemy variety it offers. Whether you're facing hulking giants, menacing knights, grotesque creatures, or cleverly hidden traps, the challenge is ever-present, demanding adaptability and strategic thinking. The foes we encounter are not mere obstacles but living entities with unique behaviors and patterns, forcing us to learn, to evolve, and to triumph.
Oh, the pacing of Dark Souls 2! It is a symphony of tension and release, meticulously orchestrated to keep our hearts pounding and our senses heightened. The ebb and flow of the game's rhythm, punctuated by challenging boss battles and unexpected encounters, ensure that we are always engaged and immersed in this dark and mysterious world. It is a dance between danger and respite, a masterpiece of game design that few titles can rival.
And let me address the infamous Giant King. Nay, my fellow Undead, there is no need to grind him relentlessly for three-quarters of the game! Dark Souls 2 provides us with countless paths to choose from, each offering its own unique challenges and rewards. It encourages exploration, experimentation, and the forging of our own destinies. The choice is ours, and it is a testament to the game's brilliance that it allows us to shape our experience as we see fit.
Now, let me address Dark Souls 3, the so-called masterpiece that it claims to be. It is nothing more than a hollow imitation of Bloodborne, a desperate attempt to cash in on the success of its sibling franchise. The incorporation of spells feels forced and out of place, failing to capture the essence of the Dark Souls series. It is a cheap imitation, lacking the soul and originality that we deserve.
In conclusion, my fellow worshippers of the Sun, let us cherish Dark Souls 2 for the masterpiece that it is. Let us embrace its level design, enemy variety, and impeccable pacing. But most importantly, let us respect the opinions of others, for it is through open-mindedness and understanding that we can truly appreciate the breadth and depth of the Souls series. Praise the Sun, and praise Dark Souls 2!
submitted by Fooo346 to DarkSouls2 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:46 shamanowl888 What I learned Today- The Mind Follows Where the Body Goes

Recently, I've endeavored to approach my spirituality with Healing being my main focus.
I believe firmly that this coincides with my intense interest in necromancy, and naturally my affinity towards Death. My unique spiritual DNA, I think, has to do alot with my own personal tower moments. Times in my life where I faced the deepest ravines of my personal shadow, where my ego was cut with a scythe; albeit, allowed to regrow again over time. Friends, honestly, I used to be thick in the gangs, the drugs, and that lifestyle which guarantees never tomorrow. The past, my past, was an eclectic mix of many different social circles.
My path was walking through fire the whole time. Whether self-afflicted, or a casualty of war, it is a miracle I am alive. I testify to Santa Muerte always watching over Me.
I know my addiction is in the past, and I don't mean to always thread it in my reflections.
In deepest conviction, I feel and believe it speaks alot about where you are today ... when can use the past as a focal point for real change. It's like all of the sudden, when I got serious about who I am, where I want to go, and how to become who that man is (the one I visualized for so long, the one I needed to be to myself), the one I visualize in daily meditation; all the sudden... the low notes were transposed into a symphony. I have a real family now, I am going to be a Father. I am a rising pillar in the local recovery community. I've been able to be of spiritual assistance to human family that I meet along my journey. To Be this far and look back, it is humbling. Silently I admit, absolutely, a sign post of the turn around is the Spirits. Belial for sure, Lucifer, Paimon, Abaddon. Absolutely, integral, is Santa Muerte. For real, she is so powerfully with Me; I feel a new level of peace and comfort never before felt in this lifetime.
I feel in my heart, the reason I am sharing all of this previous information, is to help explain to you why I feel it's worthy to share today's experience. All of my sharing, has nothing to do with "my" genius, rather this story stands as a testament to the power of Santa Muerte.
Today I woke up at 5Am, meditated on "restoration" for an hour. I dropped my Sananga eye drops into my eye, slowly breathing and accepting the sting of the medicinal sananga eye drops. Sananga is a power filled medicine imported from Brazil. These eye drops utilize subtle energetic medicine to slowly decalcify the pineal grand. Sananga clears the "panema" from the eyes, panema being an indigenous term to reference "dark energy" or stagnant energies which disinhibit our true vision. Our true vision perceives not only the 3 Dimensional, but also the 4 Dimensional and higher; or in a sense, the fullness of the astral plane and spiritual dimensions.
I dropped the Sananga, and I jogged to the park which was 2 miles away. I was going to be a little late unless I sprinted, so I ran without stopping. The whole time I kept thinking "don't be a bitch" and I hauled ass. My friend, like I said, they are a military veteran and a bad ass so I have the utmost respect for their time and the quality of who they are as a human being. When I arrived at this meeting spot, we dapped up and stretched, and then we got too work.
We ran. It wasn't too difficult for me, and at the same time, I'm thinking about the warrior I was honored to train with today and I'm doing self-talk. "mother fucker, you will not stop" and I'm thinking of how I lost a good friend who struggled with addiction to a fentanyl overdose last weekend. I'm thinking of my future family. I'm thinking of how I want to be as ripped and fit as my little brother who is finishing his training in bootcamp right now. I want him to come home and be proud of me, and I want to earn the respect of everyone I meet; Not by talk, rather through actions. There is an undeniable power that comes with being a ripped beast-mode mother fucker. That is Me and who I am becoming.
The summary of that paragraph is "self-talk" and how I used mental images and strong emotions, both negative and positive, to propel me inside of this flow state as I surpassed the previous mental limitations I had placed on myself, and I broke through that fucking ceiling like a raging bull. There were a couple times we stopped, and during those times I was able to connect with my Brother whom I have the utmost respect for. It was during these moments, the camaderie was built and deeper rapport established. So "Here is my message from Ma - Self Talk is EVERYTHING!"
We are repelled and attracted; on an etheric, mental, subtle level it is important to understand the self, and how the self is pushed away from people, places, and things, and attracted towards pleasurable people, places, and things. You are the one in control of writing the programming regarding what attracts you; I used to be moving towards temporary fleshly desires, and now I am strongly attracted towards beinga beacon of hope, laughter, and love; Do not be fooled, I am not love and light. I am very much in touch with darkness, however through this internal understanding of the shadow I am growing into a spirit within a body who accelerates and enhances the energy of those around me, whatever their path may be.
What Am I repelled from? This would be what has cost me tremendous pain, shame, and dissappointent. What I've overdosed on ten years ago, the drugs which have cost me brothers and sisters - yeah, it's thick where I come from, and the pain is deep. I am repelled by that which would create me to become a hypocrite and disrepect towards Santa Muerte whom has granted me family, safety, peace, love, life, and wisdom. What that looks like, is a glutton for pain who disrespects his family and future daughter by choosing to step away from HIs most perfect self. If you pause and think about what I said, consider what that looks like... Reaistically, I am liberal and maybe you could say "Dutch" in the sense that I don't judge, and me personally, I have done a line of cocaine or two and been cool. As long as you got your fucking priorities straight and you're honest with your "god damned self" you know? It's the repulsion from becoming a straight drug fiend, a liar and thief who denys the self and chooses a false projection to subsist on fake pleasure. I enjoy drugs for inspiration, within moderation, with the exceptions of opiates. I avoid the hard shit in general, this writing is all keeping it A- to the motha fuckin real.
I grew up some of my life with the Hood, and also had the privilege of a middle class lifestyle at the least. When I was 18, I left the midwest and went out west to Nevada/Salt Lake City and I got a real taste of the streets. I was a rebellious, hustling psychonaut hellbent on the truth. I was also susceptible to magicians whom claimed to be "Divine and Chosen", having been raised in a very strict and very abusive religious enviroment. All of this submersion into the reality of the world, and the streets, from the Hood and the homeless shelters and the deepest crevices of societies underbelly (even rubbing shoulders with traffickers of drugs and humans on bulk, never NEVER advocating for that shit.... never really judging as such a young man, practically a teenager even, yet never advocating... just observing as a demonic creature witnessing the world...) all of this immersion, this modern baptism into Darkness, it served to broaden my horizons and open me to the possibilities of healing myself.
See when I started out on this spirtual journey officially, doing dedications and witch craft spells for wisdom and knowledge, more than sex and money, this all began a process which I believed altered my quantum reality. My initial course of reality was shifted, and I made choices more in line with "chaos" than the order predetermined and set for me. How I got to this point was willingly embracing "tower moments" only now, looking back, it is coming full circle and I am able to provide real support to those around me having been throught that darkness, and most importantly support to myself.
So In retrospect, today's run of 7 miles was also an "offering", a sort of proposal to my personal God and Ma, respecting them and inviting them into my spirit. Movement can be a great way to transmute the personal struggle and internal state, and with this in mind, I am also encouraging you to get up and become active. Find a way to participate in creative acts, and co-creation; reflect, encourage, and inspire.
I feel like maybe this post was a bit adhd, so I want to leave you with a few thoughts. No Matter Where You Are At, Santa Muerte Accepts You. She wants to see you Shine, and become all that you are. If you love yourself, or maybe you are struggling to love yourself, do you love Ma enough too ask Her to change you? She will create circumstances in your life, move people around, and you will be faced with temptations and challenges. Maybe even losing things. Where there is loss, there is room to grow. So have hope. Be strong. Life is so fucking temporary. Who you live as, beginning today, that is what counts. When you die, choose to face your God, Goddess, Deities, Self ; choose to face that with clean hands and an open heart.
Today I ran alot of miles, it was more than that. My personal achievements are very, very small in the grand scheme of the cosmos. I believe we are small fractals of the greater cosmos at large, therefore our choices everyday contribute to a small movement that is great when collective, a diretional change towards a better future for our children, and a better earth. If nothing else, we can say that we lived as Gods. Hail To Thee! Hail ThySelf! Hail Santisma!
submitted by shamanowl888 to santa_muerte_2021 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:36 Smokeya Unofficial InsaneUO News

Today we got new stealables in over at insaneuo. Various signs have been added to the already growing in game stealables list. Here are a few images of stealables found by others so far 1 2 and 3. It is also crafters month over on insane where we are getting some love for our crafters. Recent addition of resource boxes which weigh almost nothing and can hold all our valuable resources for easy transferring around and storage with the click of a button make doing bods simple which your bods points can be banked to save towards runics, 120 crafting powerscrolls or whatever else youd like to use them for. If you dont already play on insaneuo you can check it out over at insaneuo.com or join the discord to find out more.
Recent patch notes were mostly QoL changes such as a different animation for discord so that its easier to tell apart from a monster healing itself, wider ranges on some spells and lifespans of things showing in real time instead of in game time. The shard gets regular updates like this mostly based on the feedback of the players which is very nice.
As of right now the elections for governors are going on in the cities across trammel. If youd like to participate and are already a player on the shard be sure to select your city and throw your votes in toward whatever city your a citizen for so we can start getting stat bonus's from all the cities up and running. If youd like to throw your name in the hat theres still a few cities with no gov running yet at all and the ones that do have them probably wouldnt hurt to have a lil competition either.
submitted by Smokeya to ultimaonline [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:27 constantsecond-guess Hidetsugu and Kairi casting Hurkyl's Final Meditation

When my [[Hidetsugu and Kairi]] death trigger reveals a [Hurkyl's Final Meditation]] from the top of my library during an opponent's turn, do I need to pay the additional 3 generic to finish casting it?
I understand that additional costs must be paid even for spells being cast without paying their mana cost, but the wording is slightly different than say [[Thrill of Possibility]] and I just want to be sure.
submitted by constantsecond-guess to mtgrules [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:25 Ready-Bat-8824 May 2023 Hilaria’s IG Recap = 18 Posts or “The peasants demand more sexy IG workout videos!”

May 2023 Hilaria’s IG Recap = 18 Posts or “The peasants demand more sexy IG workout videos!”
The latest iteration of the Baldwin PR plan is so simple it would take world-class clowns to mess it up: let Alec take center stage on his various social media platforms to drive home the point that he still has star power. Have “Hilaria” cut waaaay back on her posting and keep it light and fluffy with zero impromptu press conferences in statement sweatshirts. Maybe if the two people involved weren’t mega narcissists, this plan would have had a shot in hell. But here we are to puzzle over and enjoy the fact that these two cannot figure out how to fake being likable people. So, while the Reddit peasantry has been living life and commiserating over our sleuthing, Emperor Alejandro II and Grifty Guest Baldwin have been busy showing their true colors and likely burning through yet another PR team.
Hillary’s IG Stats
Hillary’s IG Posts Compared to Alec’s (not counting his three Twitter accounts, podcast IG, and Facebook)
  • April 2023: Hillary 16 posts & Alec 35 posts
  • May 2023 Hillary 18 posts & Alec 67 posts
Pictures of the kids
  • Hillary = 50 (multiple pix per single posts)
  • Alec = 21
  • Most exploited/photographed kid = Romeo (featured in 23% of combined parent posts)
  • Least exploited/photographed kid = Marilú (featured in .08% of combined parent posts)
  • It’s actually an excellent thing both of these wingnuts are posting fewer pictures of Carmen bc the ones we did see were sad and disturbing: a 9-year-old in bright red lips and nails, short shorts, and skimpy tops, preening in the hallway mirror exactly like her vapid mother. Just, no.
May 1 – May 15: Wrapping Up Rust & (Kinda) Following the PR Plan
Also Hillary's babies: nails, ring, brows, lashes, cheekbones, lips, & breasts.
Calling her one of the many forgotten fifth Beatles isn't it, sir.
That popped knee is the hardest working Baldwin.
  • Vulture published a puff piece entitled “Alec and Hilaria Against the World” (wut) that was egregiously ass-kissy but also hilariously poorly timed on the heels of Alec forgetting a whole ass kid. The IG comments excoriated Vulture and the author, Reeves Wiedeman. My favorite comment was: “Alec and his bat shit crazy wife have done more to unite people from all over the world and from all walks of life than the UN.”
Maybe Wiedeman should have asked, y'know, the world why this is so.
  • Jared is back on the IG rotation and those poor fried strands are hanging on for dear life.
Good thing they're prepared to quench their thirst.
  • Alec celebrated Mother’s Day by shouting out the following people in this order: mother Carol, sister Beth, sister Jane, daughter Ireland, “my wife, Hilaria, and all the mothers out there.” He sounded loads more enthusiastic talking about his priest who died.
  • He concluded his lackluster mini speech by whispering, “being a mom is something I’ve observed lately up close and, ah, it’s quite something.” What in the Jungian mother-complex is he talking about? Someday I will write a lengthy analysis of Alec’s mommy issues and how Hillary fits in.
May 16-31 Matilde’s PR Plan Goes Out the Window
Hillary: \"no espoon para me, grathias.\"
  • Then, she slapped some free Italian sunglasses on Hillary while she was holding Ila and snapped a pic that she and the sunglass company posted on their respective IG pages and restricted comments rapidamente. I’m no marketing expert but this seems like…less than optimal branding? All quiet on the Matilde front for the rest of May.
Hopefully one of the nannies is enjoying her LE REVEs.
  • Romeo’s birthday party was Hillary’s first May grid post (i.e. stuff she wants to feature permanently, unlike stories). She posted 8 pictures and Romeo was only in two of them, probably because she was distracted by crafting a caption to align with her PR posting guidelines (Hilaria is a RELATABLE MOM, Hilaria can LAUGH at their KOOKY MISADVENTURES). Mostly she comes off as semi-literate and trying entirely too hard: “Anyone else’s kid tries to buy a giant piñata at party city?!??... Carmen dressed [us] in white and red strips with jeans.” Madam, lots of kids like piñatas and the word is “stripes.” Dr. Kathy, please considering asking your daughter to pay you back for all the years of tuition you paid only to have her pretend that her “multi” brain can’t quite grasp English syntax and spelling.
  • In the most fortuitous of coincidences, Alec and Guest Baldwin attended one red carpet event in May (for an organization they donate to, claro) and Ireland announced the birth of her daughter, Holland, that same day. The pix Hillary posted versus the few Alec posted were a delight to behold.
Nothing wrong with the pic on the right. Sad she thinks her worth is attached to a filter.
  • As Hillary exclusively told People magazine that night in reference to Ireland’s baby, “we’re so excited, we’re just so excited, you’re going to make me cry!” I bet she cried as she realized that her live action remake of Beauty and the Beast (iykyk) was overshadowed by sweet Holland’s birth announcement.
For once, Alec is all of us. Jesus, lady, give it a rest.
  • So, what’s a step-abuela to do? How to acknowledge the birth but keep the focus on the ostrich feathers? Simple – feature a picture of Alec and Hillary all dressed up literally clinging to all the kids to force a family picture. Now, Alec doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to SM but Hillary knows – what most people would do is repost the original post. It’s already public and it keeps the focus on the person you’re celebrating. But Hillary celebrates others by saying “happy (event)” then making the accompanying picture about her.
That grip on the little baby thigh : (
  • Consequently, Ireland’s new baby got one post from Abuela Hillary that featured Alec, the kids, and her, and Alec posted one picture of him and baby Ireland with the caption “my first baby had her first baby.” Hillary hasn’t liked or commented on any of Ireland’s grid posts about Holland. To put this in perspective, in May Alec posted about Rust 8 times, The Beatles 5 times, and his excruciatingly boring podcast 4 times. Are they happy about the baby? I’m sure they are. Do they know how to show that in ways that don’t involve Alec and Hillary being the main characters? No.
  • Perhaps felling particularly edgy after that drive to the PEN America Literary Gala where Hillary pouted about her red-carpet thunder being stolen by the coincidental timing of the birth announcement and fussed over her feathers, Alec lost his shit in the most Alec way possible: berating a server trying to do her job and speaking to her in a wildly demeaning and condescending manner.
  • According to what the server told Page Six, she was trying to serve the head of the table where Alec was standing and chatting with another guest. The server said, “I’m sorry, sir, but we’re going to have servers walking through the tables here in a minute.” Alec: (very agitated) “So when is it a good time to talk to my friends?" Server: speechless. Alec: “do I have to explain it to you?” Server: “No.” Alec: “Well then, step aside.” Later her coworkers told her he was “calling her a peasant.”
  • He didn't deny the interaction, but he did deny calling the server a peasant. He is despicable for talking to anyone this way. The fact that the media picked up this story as opposed to fawning over Hillary’s dress or her pose with the inspirational placard was chef’s kiss gold.
I absolutely believe Alec knows about sociopathy.
How you say...comedy gold?
  • All in the same day, the Undynamic Duo was seen in wild, Alec bashed Martha Ross (the ordacity), Hillary celebrated Ilaria’s 8 months of life by posting a carousel of 6 grid pix, one of which featured the true stars of any Hillary Lynn production: her “lactating” breasts. Where’s that bottle of Gatorade from the elevator pic?
Santa Híláríá de la Leche Materna Falsa.
  • Then came the video that launched parodies, articles, and posts galore: Hillary’s Humpty Dance (no offense, Digital Underground). Just as she posted herself filtered and angled to showcase an anatomically improbable tiny waist and claimed it was about her pants, or posted a shot of her cleavage and claimed it was about her kid’s 8-month birthday, here she was writhing around in her Victoria’s Secret bra and tiny tank top to garner compliments but pretending she’s invested in giving wellness advice.
  • All this accomplished was getting people talking about her yet again as “angry Alec Baldwin’s cringey wife who faked an accent and a heritage and now is doing (insert her antics here).” The subsequent loss of followers was icing on Hillary’s (zero calorie zero flavor) cake.
The creepy eye contact, dear Lord.
  • Celeste Barber (“We call this workout The Horny Teenager”) and Anna Roisman (“This ejercicia will help your back!”) NAILED their impersonations by capturing what makes Hillary so absurd: she has no self-awareness and no sense of humor - a mix that makes most of what she posts repeatedly miss the mark.
  • Her lil’ combo of hip thrusts and side-to sides, modified pushups with bewbs overflowing, and some leg flailing inspired fabulous comments. One person on Celeste’s page noted: “It might seem strange but this is how they work out in Spain,” and one on Anna’s page quipped: “I’m now pregnant with a Baldwinito after watching this.”
  • This cringefest was Hillary asking people to praise her for being skinny and sexy (ahem). Body positivity is great, but it is gaslighting when she (or any influencer) claims “anyone can look like me if they hydrate and do these simple exercises a few minutes day.” Hillary has disordered eating, exercises for hours daily while women of color raise her kids, and gets high-end cosmetic procedures to plump, fill, tuck, suck, brighten, and tighten. The shameful part is not that she does this stuff, it’s that she lies about it – poorly.
22 comments = .000022% of her followers.
  • MichWho tried to show up for Hilz after the humpy yoga debacle by posting this terrible picture that u/Queefer_Sutherland captioned “Easter Island Moai doing Munchausen Mami dirty” and I thought I had died and gone to pepino heaven.
Mich, girl, that witchy ship has sailed.
  • Of course, PeePaw had to weigh in on Tina Turner’s death by posting a throwback video of the two of them on SNL (he was the least interesting thing about that not so funny skit) and then stealing photographer Brian Hamill’s post about her. Quotation marks are free, Zander.
  • Then it was back to the PR plan with Alec posting a cut and paste tribute to his mom on the one-year anniversary of her passing, pictures of him and the older boys getting haircuts, and a pap walk with Alec finally, FINALLY, in sensible footwear for a man with hip and alignment issues and Hillary reluctantly sporting her “relatable mom jeans” (size 2 for all the fat, infertile Karens wondering, size 4 only when she’s hugely pregnant) and her insufferable “Keep Calm and Foca Playa” hat.
I spy with my little eye...
I like the ring of \"outrageous embellishments.\"
  • For last post of the month, Hillary chose a picture of her and Alec in the hospital as he recovers from hip replacement surgery which she claimed was “a long time necessary.” If ever we needed Cher to smack someone and yell, “snap out of it!” it is now.
Losing the fake accent has been a long time necessary, too, Hilz.
  • In the end, Hillary’s eyebrow fucker-upper* summed it up perfectly by commenting “Glad and happy all went well. Send him a speedy recovery. P.S. Your Brow’s! Brow’s Game Strong.” Wonky apostrophes aside, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Hillary’s blowout, lash extensions, micro bladed brows, and plumped lips are the stars and Aleek is a bit player. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
*Forever in love with this term coined by u/-graphophobia-
submitted by Ready-Bat-8824 to HilariaBaldwin [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 22:46 MjolnirPants Gary and the Nightmare: Part 2

Part 1
Percy handed Gary the list and he looked it over, then handed it to Inanna. She glanced down and quickly counted the locations on it.
"Yeah. I'll get a wizard and two security operators to each one. Percy, Beth, can you guys call them and let them know? I don't want any surprises when a weirdo and two heavily armed mercs show up at these people's homes."
Percy and Beth both nodded. "Yeah. Is there anything else you need from us?"
Gary and Inanna glanced at each other. Both of them knew what they needed, but neither particularly liked it. Gary gave her a slight nod. He'd say it. He squared himself up to Percy.
"You an' yer wife should go find a different place to sleep tonight. But not Suzanne."
"Why not?" Beth asked as Percy winced, understanding.
"Because," Gary explained. "We need her here to make sure this thing has something here to target. We don't want it following you guys elsewhere, expanding its territory."
"You want to use her as bait?!" Beth gasped. Gary held up both hands, but Inanna stepped forward.
"We will keep her safe, I promise. Gary is a retired green beret, who's since been imbued with a perfect, and I mean literally perfect, knowledge of all combat arts to have ever existed, in addition to being a powerful sorcerer in his own rights."
Sorcerers were what most of the world knew demigods as, Gary knew. It was yet another effect of Sookie's show, which had chosen that word as it was 'less confusing' than demigod.
"I'm a sorcerer as well, in addition to being a former goddess. My earliest memories predate the construction of the pyramids, and I've seen these kinds of spirits before. I know how to handle them."
Beth and Percy glanced at each other uncertainly.
"I swear on my life, on my husband's and daughter's lives that I will die before I let anything happen to that girl of yours," Gary said. Percy looked at him so Gary fixed his eyes on the other man's, letting him see the sincerity in his declaration. After a moment, he looked at Beth, who felt the weight of his gaze and met his eyes.
Percy nodded. Beth sighed and took his hand.
"Okay," he said quietly. "Let me go talk to Suzanne."
Inanna and Gary hopped out of Old Bess at the nearby park. "I think this will work," she said. Gary looked around, noticing a few people. Some teenagers, hanging out at one of the picnic pavilions, smoking cigarettes and chatting and playing on their phones. A couple of mothers, sitting on the benches, watching their kids as they played on the playground, or else hanging around the two obvious fathers, smiling and chatting.
"It does seem to have a similar vibe," Gary said. He glanced at the sign and noted the lack of posted hours. There was no obvious place to lock the gate of the fence that surrounded it, either. Both were good signs, meaning that any cop driving past would be unlikely to disturb them. Of course, it also meant Gary might have to chase people off later, but he was confident in his ability to do that.
"We'll have to do the ritual here first," Inanna said. "At sunset would be best." Gary nodded. He pointed to a flat area of grass between the pavilions and the playground. "That gonna be big enough?"
"Yup," Inanna confirmed.
"Now for the real question," Gary asked, turning to face her. "Are you up for this?"
Inanna sighed. "I mean... I know that I have all my bases covered, but the difficulty I'm still having doing magic is worrying. But honestly... Gary, this is mostly on you. I've upgraded my buttplug to conceal magic and heat, and the ring I have for Suzanne will do the same for her. The illusion is on you to power, I'll just be shaping it. If something goes wrong and the spirit attacks us, I'm sure I can fend it off long enough for you to teleport back and take over."
Gary winced. Inanna had always been someone he'd known as a powerhouse, both magically and physically. She still was in the latter category, but a spirit like this required one to imbue their body with magic to fight it. And Inanna had been open about her difficulties using magic ever since she'd been taken by Sarisa.
The sad truth was, she was weak now.
Her body healed far more slowly than those of the other demigods. Her ability to draw magic from her wells was increasing as she practiced daily, but it was still nowhere near what it was. Even compared to human wizards, who had to draw in trickles of magic from their environment to power their spells, she was a lightweight.
Sure, she could beat the tar out of a whole bunch of normal people, even trained fighters, even all at once. Her martial skills had been untouched. But normal people were rarely the kinds of threats the Group dealt with. She'd moved over to Investigative services for that exact reason. Her magical senses still worked just fine. She could investigate, and her prodigious knowledge of all things supernatural helped her a lot in that regards.
Speaking of her prodigious knowledge...
"So fill me on on this spirit," Gary said. "I know ya didn't want to talk about it in front of them, but we're alone now."
Inanna gestured to an empty table under one of the pavilions and they both walked over and sat.
"Okay, so this is a bugbear. They're actually an offshoot of the Yokai, but clearly they don't look anything like them, so-" She stopped as she noticed Gary giving her the stink eye.
"Uh, most Yokai are kinda like pig-men. Bodies of men, but with really thick chests and faces like wild pigs. It doesn't matter. Bugbears can change their form at will, and they often choose forms designed to engender terror. In this case, I think this one is going off Slenderman."
"That's the one the internet made up, right?"
"Yup. It's an obvious choice. Slenderman steals children, bugbears feed on children's deaths. So dying in fear produces a lot of energy, and this energy is a bugbear's favorite nourishment. They sniff out children living in fear and give them nightmares to 'fatten them up', so to speak. Then, when they've become scared enough, they strike, ripping the fear and soul out. That's what causes the torn heart tissue. The body's desperately clinging to the soul, but the fear is giving the bugbear enough strength to kill."
"So they eat souls?"
"No, they eat the fear that's clinging to the soul. There isn't much that can even damage a soul."
"Jerry's got one in his sword," Gary pointed out.
"Yeah, well, that's Jerry. I have no idea how he did that, and I'm not sure I want to know."
"I'm scared to ask," Gary admitted. "Mostly because I know he'd answer." Inanna laughed.
"So what do I need to know as far as weaknesses and strengths about this thing?"
"Well, they're not particularly tough, as I recall, but bear in mind that I was a goddess, the last time I dealt with one. That being said, I don't foresee you being unable to take it down. They don't have any particular weaknesses, except fearless resolve. Children have chased them off before, by confronting them that way. You can physically injure it, so long as you're flooding your body with magic, which I think you'd be doing as a matter of course, right?"
"Ayup. Being able to benchpress a Buick does come in handy in a fight." Inanna nodded.
"Good," she said. "Specific strengths are that they can get in your head. Like, real easily. And they have a certain degree of precognition. That being said, they're not intelligent, though they can speak."
"So what advice do you have?"
"Hmm," Inanna said, rubbing her chin. "Don't plan to keep it out with a mental shield, because it'll slip right around it. Instead, let it in, then confront it with fearless resolve. I don't think that'll be an issue for you. Inside your head, you can hurt the thing. In fact, it's more vulnerable there than physically, because it can make its form incorporeal, which makes fighting it tricky. Fire was the preferred method, back in the day. If you fight it physically, I strongly suggest using a wet blanket on it, right off the bat. That will keep it from going incorporeal entirely, but its ability to do so is very deeply seated, so it'll still be able to thin its form out as a tactic."
"Make my bullets pass right through it?" Gary asked. Inanna nodded and tapped the tip of her nose. "Like I said, fire works. I know you figured out how to throw a fireball, so that. Your sword and shield should be pretty effective, too. The magic in them should bypass its abilities, and you can ignite the blade, in any event.
"If you fight it in your mind, it's much simpler. Just don't be afraid, do be determined and beat the shit out of it. It'll put up quite a fight, because it knows how to work in a mental landscape, but I'm sure you can handle it."
Gary nodded. "All righty. Sounds good. So we're agreed that this is the place we'll redirect the thing to?"
"Yeah. We don't want to leave the sort of magical carnage behind in that house. All sorts of spiritual creepy crawlies might spring out of it."
Gary stood. "Let's go explain the plan to them, and then we can get started." Inanna stood as well.
They pulled back into the park just before sunset. The ritual at the house had been completed. Suzanne was sitting between them, her foster parents gone to spend the night with one of the other foster families, safe and sound under the watchful eye of a wizard who knew what to look for and two hardasses from the security division, just in case.
"Awwright, now you just wait right here, Darlin'," Gary said to Suzanne. He unclipped his troll doll and handed it to her. "This is Tootsie. Now, he may not look like much, but he's a real shit-kicker, you hear me?" He finished with a wink that made Suzanne smile briefly.
"He'll keep you safe. We're gonna be right out there, working some magic. You'll be able to see us the whole time. I'm gonna lock you in, but leave the windows cracked. If anything bad happens, you just go ahead and scream at the top of your lungs, and we'll come running, and lay down some justified hate on whoever's doing you wrong. Assuming, that is, that Tootsie ain't ground 'em into sausage by the time we get here."
Suzanne took the troll doll with another quick smile. "Okay," she said.
Gary and Inanna got out.
There was a young lady still in the park, all by herself. She was talking on the phone and sipping some kind of iced coffee drink from a Starbucks cup.
"Want me to ask her to leave?" Inanna asked.
"Naw, I got this. Ya might wanna listen though," Gary said with a mischievous wink. He walked over to the bench the girl was sitting on and sat next to her, leering. She recoiled a little and pressed her phone to her shoulder.
"Can I help you?" she asked, her voice snobby.
"Are you from Mississippi?" Gary asked. "Cuz' yer the only Miss whose piss I wanna sip."
"Fucking pervert!" the young woman cried with a disgusted expression. She quickly stood and hurried out of the park, chased down the block by Inanna's laughter.
"You were right, I'm so glad I listened to that."
"Heh," Gary chuffed. "Last time I had to do that, I just rubbed my beard and told her that her kids were cute. Real fucking cute. Worked just as well, though. I think I like this way, better."
Inanna shuddered and shook her head sadly. "Gary, if I didn't know you were a teddy bear, that one would disturb me." Gary chuckled as she began to undress for the ritual. She peeled her shirt off to reveal a surprise; she was wearing a bra. After kicking off her shoes, Gary got a another shock when she peeled her pants down to reveal a pair of underwear.
It was lacy, tiny underwear with a string instead of a back, but still.
"Sheeit," Gary said. "Never thought I'd see you wearing drawers. Or an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder, neither."
Inanna chuckled. "Well, Jerry rubs off on me just as much a I rub off on him. And we rub each other off plenty. Besides, things got a little weird when Swaim and Aaina became friends. Both of us ladies in the house have taken to wearing underwear, the past year or so."
"How's she doing? She still having nightmares?" Gary asked. Inanna pulled her bra off and then her panties followed, and she neatly folded all of them and placed them on the bench next to Gary.
"Yeah, she is," she said with a wince. "I think they're getting less common. But it's still most nights."
"Can't blame her," Gary said. "She got blooded by accident. Has reason to believe one of the men she killed maybe didn't deserve it."
"She's got a lot of guilt over both," Inanna said. "But she's open about it, which is good. Her and Jerry have gotten a little closer, if you can believe that's possible."
"I hardly can," Gary quipped. Inanna nodded. "They've been having long talks on the back porch from time to time. They seem to be helping."
"You got yourself a damn fine man, Inanna."
"I really did," she said with a wistful sigh. "And I can't fuck his brains out tonight, because we're busy."
"I feel that," Gary said, picturing Chris' face, contorted in ecstasy in his mind. Oh well. They'd just have even more fun, tomorrow night.
"I asked Sookie to come over," Inanna went on. "She's the only one he'll fool around with when I'm not there."
"That don't make you jealous none?" Gary asked. Sookie regularly hit on Chris, and though Gary knew Chris would never betray him, he still felt a twinge every time she did.
Inanna shrugged, an evil grin spreading on her features. "It does, but a little jealousy hurts less than the thought of giving him the slightest reprieve."
Gary barked another laugh out. "I feel a pang of pity for him, from time to time."
"Don't bother. He protests all the time, but I know he loves it. Hell, when he lost his memory, the first thing he did was run off and start a sex cult."
"Point taken. So that's what it is, then? You think he's got a bigger libido than he lets on?"
"Oh yeah. Even when we first met, and he was acting terrified. He begged Sarisa for help, and instead of trying to calm me down, she offered to make sure he could keep up with me, and he jumped at that opportunity. And he's only gotten a bigger appetite, since. He's just too shy to admit it."
Gary shook his head. "Girl, I swear, I don't really get where you two are coming from. But I love the both of yas, and ya both love each other, and that's all I need to know."
Inanna smiled and kissed him on the forehead. "You're the best, Gary," she said.
"Ugh, girl cooties," Gary responded with a wink.
Inanna walked over to the open space and spread her arms, so Gary dug into his wells and began to push power into her. She paced around, muttering to herself and waving her arms around. Gary didn't really get what she was doing, but he could see the effects. She was leaving a complex weaving of magic behind her. It was magic that felt like a home, full of warmth and love, but with an undercurrent of fear. It was a home in which something horrible had happened, and a family was trying to move on, relying on each other to do so.
When she finished the first weaving, she began to move again, this time around a smaller area. Gary saw the result with both his physical and magical eyes, this time. A child's bed, with Suzanne curled up in it. It was a masterful illusion, something that probably even Yarm couldn't match, thanks to Inanna's incomparable experience.
Gary continued to feed her power as she took her time, getting every detail right. When she finally seemed satisfied with the bed, she stood and quickly wove the last part. A trap, that would bring any spiritual being that triggered the magic back at the house to this place. The illusion she had woven would keep it here, thinking it was still in the home, long enough for Gary to kill it.
"Okay," she said. Gary noticed that she was dripping with sweat, despite the cool night.
"Took a lot out of ya?" he asked quietly as she held a hand out to him. He produced a towel from hammerspace and handed it over.
"Yeah, thanks," she dried herself off, then sat on the bench. "I'm gonna let my core cool off a bit, or I'll just sweat through my clothes."
"Take your time," he said, glancing over at Old Bess, where he could see Suzanne holding up the troll doll and speaking to it. She seemed contented enough.
"God, that kills me," she said between deep breaths. "I can't wait for Jerry to figure out what's wrong with my magic. Getting it back the human way is such a pain in the ass."
Gary put a hand on her knee in comfort, thought twice about that, and then moved it to her shoulder.
"Got me excited there for a second," Inanna said with a wink.
"Heh. As I understand it, the last time Jerry thought you and I might bump uglies, that turned into quite the shit-storm."
"Yeah," Inanna sighed. "I was a lot more insecure back then. Plus, the fact that it was Sarisa..."
Gary bit his tongue, thinking of more recent events. Inanna glanced at him, then narrowed her eyes.
"What," she demanded.
"Nothin," Gary said. "And just cause you know it ain't actually nothing don't mean you can pry it out of me, so don't make shit weird."
"Oh for fuck's sake," Inanna said. "Come on, Gary. I know about the bro code, but just... Fuck."
A light bulb veritably lit up over her head. "Wait, is this about Avarisa?"
Gary looked away.
"Ahh," Inanna said with a sigh of relief. "I already knew about that." She chuffed a laugh. "Imagine Jerry trying to keep that kind of secret."
"Heh, good point. You okay with it, though?"
"Well, I mean, it bothers me a lot more than the thought of him sleeping alone or slamming Sookie up the shitter, but I mean... He thought I was dead. And she was... Well, she couldn't resist. I hate to say it, because I think I mistreated her, but I'm kinda glad she's gone. It's easier, this way."
Gary nodded. "Well, I'm glad you knew, I guess."
"I made myself look like her, a couple weeks ago," Inanna said. "He wouldn't touch me till I changed back."
"Fuckin' hell," Gary laughed. "I guess that sounds like Jerry."
Inanna stood and gave herself another wipe down with the towel. She picked up her bra, pulling it on and adjusting herself. It took a lot of adjusting, because there was a lot to adjust. Then she pulled her panties on. She quickly got her pants, shirt and shoes back on, and then adjusted her gun to sit comfortably.
"Okay, let's get back before it gets too late."
"Ya forgot yer buttplug," Gary said mildly. Inanna laughed.
"I can't believe you didn't notice just now, but I've been wearing it all day, Gary. Come on, I thought you knew me?"
submitted by MjolnirPants to JerryandtheGoddesses [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 22:43 dark1859 brewscape (a brewing overhaul)

brewing is one of those fascinating relics of a bygone era, back when there wasn't a potion for literally everything and booster potions were either rare due to low production or rare due to ingredients being costly/rarely traded in favor of other potions
This update would make brewing a little more relevant and give some new life to TB.

general changes (quality of life)

brew changes

changes to make brews more useful, they would retain their boosts, places that sell most normal sources of ale probably should have a daily limit to how much can be bought.. all ales would last for 5 minuets upon consumption and you can only have one effect at a time, consuming another ale will override the previous ale's effects
brew changed effect mature boost why
Cider Cider now slightly boosts the yield of product awarding .25x extra xp for every extra product harvested doubles the chance to instantly harvest a patch (stacks with skillcape) cider is an extremely early cooking item that few if any make due to the pain it is and the fact that pigswill exists. this would make it incredibly helpful for low levels and Irons training.
dwarven stout when afking ensures your activity bar never falls below 10% and refreshing has a small chance to auto bank all held ores in your ore box when refreshing your activity bar below 30%, if your bank is full it goes to your furnace instead makes it useful for long mining sessions as it has a chance to greatly extend your stay and makes afking... more afk
Asgarnian Ale increases combat accuracy by 2%, missed attacks still do a very small portion of damage increases special attack accuracy by 5% giving a cumulative total of 7% not a huge boost but very helpful for weapons like FOSA, SGB, and various dragon specs who can easily splash if you dont force ingenuity. useful when fighting stacked odds as a low level
Greenman's ale when mixing potions it has a 10% chance to automatically finish mixing all potions in inventory with the xp awarded in a chunk when mixing bombs you have a 5% chance to save ingredients makes herblore faster, makes the worst part of bomb making less costly long term
Wizard's mind bomb has a 2% chance per attack that consumes runes to save runes, teleports and fast teleports via home teleport have a 10% chance to not consume charge/runes casting support spells has a chance to not drain lifepoints, cost runes, or a very small chance to not trigger a cooldown i was having some trouble making something for this one, but i think enhancing travel and making lunars a little more helpful for melee/range is an okay tradeoff
dragon bitter slightly boosts adrenaline gains from attacks (2%), note if fury of the small is active this effect does not stack special attacks consume 5% less energy/adrenaline dragon bitter really has no use currently, this allows it to free up an archeology perk slot and makes it useful for players heavily investing in EOF specials or using legacy mode (those few of us out there)
moonlight mead decreases damage taken by 2% (stacks), heal 1% more off of food, expensive spices stack with this items effects. note that AD can override this items effects if you hit cap decreases damage taken by 10% and heal 2% more off of food moonlight mead is a bit of a nostalgia item for many who trained in canifis, this gives it a solid place as a support item boosting healing and damage reduction
axeman's folly increases woodcutting speed slightly, increases bird nest value (clues drop from nests now, tier depends on tree tier with elder and magic dropping elite/master, yew for hard etc..) logs incinerated by the adze or superheat form restore a small portion of prayer points (maybe 2%?). Increases the chance to get birds nests makes woodcutting a little faster and makes powerleveling woodcutting with super heat faster for yak tracks and training. makes woodcutting a potential source of clues.
chef's delight food that is burned will be destroyed for 15% of the xp you would have gotten from cooking has a small chance to instantly finish cooking all food in inventory makes lower level cooking less painful, has a chance to speed up your xpph
slayer's respite increases damage to slayer monsters you're on task for by 2.5% increases damage to slayer monsters that arent your current target (5%) this item is kind of okay as is, this just helps it not get powercreeped
pigswill When consumed decreases summoning charm loss by 10% (roughly saving 2-3 charms per 27 slot inventory) stacks with spirit gems slightly decreases special move scroll use costs(roughly 3 points per cast) pigswill and cider are kind of one and the same save for total levels boosted, this makes it a little more unique and work for summoning.
submitted by dark1859 to runescape [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 22:09 ka_ha Why I find P5R's battle system to be a lot more interesting and in cases more complex than Press Turn SMT's (imo!) [ESSAY INCOMING]

(For context, I started with Devil Survivor and P3P before branching out to mainline SMT through 3,4 and if... a while back and didn't play P5R until the PC release last year)
I feel the challenge battles in P5R are really underlooked (because they were paid for some reason originally) because it really got me to appreciate the actual systems in place due to the 'no all out attacks' rule that I don't see many people highlight when talking about it's combat. They pretty much made me retroactively love P5R's battle system and even P3P/P4's to an extent and approach battles in all these games very differently:
Downing and its multiple interactions with other elements
The 'down' status is a large part of what elevates the battle systems in the modern trilogy of Persona games to be so dynamic - it's extremely versatile as an ailment: it makes the enemy more vulnerable to attacks, can be built towards an all out attack or can be ignored to leverage the extra turn towards something else, including baton passing. Normally most players would default to spamming all outs because all the games heavily encourage it, but using the extra turn to use a regular move often does more damage, especially towards downed enemies, the trade off is the move might be single target only, or take some SP to use.
What really makes the 'down' ailment shine though is how enemies recover from it, which is when they get their turn:
- Baton passing:
This means spamming weaknesses that you've already exploited a particular enemy in a round WILL NOT BE REWARDED with an extra turn. So the exact number of enemies determine how much you can 'pass' to another via baton passing: 3 enemies = 3 passes max assuming each 2 person baton pass chain only hit one 'undowned' enemy weakness. But these chains only start on specific party member's turns corresponding with the weaknesses each enemy has. If an enemy has weaknesses that multiple party members can hit with (often the case w/ Joker and a party member), there's a decision to be made about which party member should get to hit the weakness and pass depending on how close the party member's turn is to the enemies' and the exact order you want moves derived from a pass to be executed in (order matters a lot as shown later on).
If multiple enemies share the same weaknesses you can extend baton passes by where extension depends on how many enemies are would still not be down after all the theoretical desired 2 person baton passes are done. All this needs to established before you command party members or an incorrect chain may lead to moves not being able to be used in the player's round. This section's approach isn't the only one, and all out attacking weaker enemies will often do just fine, but this is for maximizing damage, which is frequently helpful against stronger 'red' enemies.
I prefer this over SMT's usual rhythmic pattern of strike weakness/pass, attack or heal, strike weakness/pass for max damage (w/ buffs frontloaded). There isn't an incentive to think ahead too much there because there's no real downside to striking weaknesses like in Persona where you can't get extra turns from the enemy.
- It also means undowned enemy numbers are treated as a 'resource' of their own (that replenish on enemy turns):
This is where knocking all enemies down depletes the resource for the turn, but all out attacking replenishes the resource. So even if it isn't as effective against stronger enemies, as long as another party members can strike enemies' weaknesses after, it'll be worth it for the extra turn.
Enemies that get up to attack on their turn are vulnerable to be knocked down again, leading to situations where you can choose not to all out attack a fully downed enemy group or down only some enemies to go for extra attacks instead as damage. And when a downed enemy gets back up to attack, you get the benefit of a possible extra turn by downing it again if you can - or even trigger an all out attack for doing so if all other enemies are down at the time, or you're able to down the remaining enemies before they all recover. This is on top of the damage done before the enemy got back up. This rewards checking and learning the turn order of the enemies.
(Turn order, particularly in P3P, isn't a rigid 'player round, enemy round' setup like the press turn SMT games do and explicitly show via icons: not all players or enemies get to have a full round uninterrupted, allowing for cool shit like what's above and just spice up encounters in general.)
- Downing also overlaps with all other status ailments:
Some of these ailments like shock and sleep have the enemy stay downed after the enemy turn due to the enemy not being able to move, which can really put a wrench in trying to get extra turns if all out attacks are banned like in the P5R challenge battles.
What all of this means is that even if you know all the enemies' weaknesses, they're just stepping stones to pull off unique tactics - there's substantial depth behind it.
Status ailments all feel unique, with 'persistent' ailments that stay for a few turns and 'temporary' ones that are removed once a technical exploits the ailment of that enemy. So with the temporary ones. considerations are made on when to apply them so that they can be exploited and and be replaced with other disabling ailments quickly before the enemies' turns.
- Timed buffs:
These incentivise you to use them at a time when they're actually needed and your next 3 upcoming turns will utilize said buff the greatest, such as utilizing Tarukaja buffs just after a person's already charged to power up 2 consecutively charged attacks instead of just 1 when charging twice during the attack buff.
- Buff stacks:
Buff stacking in Persona increases duration only, and I find that more interesting than a permanent extra %increase/decrease to a stat for the rest of the battle like in SMT (since enemies don't use Dekaja/kundas till late game) because it rewards only when you utilize the extended turns given effectively. In the SMT games, because (de)buffs have a lot of stages (SMT3/4 had 4!), (de)buff spamming is encouraged with tougher enemies and feel like a formality since the designers obviously inflated all stats, such as attack power for 'tough' bosses. This reason for this is that it's a given the player will 'balance' the boss themselves with these debuffs as they're permanent. This leads to less dynamic play as repetitive rote setup is frontloaded.
So when I'm using (de)buffs in Persona, it's not random or for the sake of it - it's based off of what I know an enemy can do, and the addition of single target (de)buffs also poses a decision on who needs a (de)buff the most based on their abilities. It all feels intentional and immediate.
- Timed buffs (cont.):
Buff durations also make each buff move on each party member feel unique: a target all buff used by a specific party member will wear off on the buffer and the party members after first before an enemy's turn, a few rounds later. So if you want to have a defensive buff like Marakukaja to last longer on a frail party member, making a conscious effort to use the buff after that member's turn rather than before is rewarded. However if you want to utilize an attack buff immediately, buffing near the start is more beneficial. Debuffing rarely has the issue of uneven wearoff since they attack in a group some the the time, distinguishing themselves from buffs.
(It's also really nice when you get to baton pass a party member's turn to an attacker that would've had their attack buff wear off that round, but they get to keep that attack up as it isn't technically their turn yet.)
Efficient All Out Attacks
All out attacking/Holding up an enemy group requires a flat commitment of certain amounts of SP from the same party members, but I noticed that target all spells like Maragi use up more SP than just using Agi twice. So there's a small benefit to eliminating specific enemies weak to those down to a certain number (like 2) without using Agi/Maragi first to be more SP efficient downing all enemies with 2 x Agi after.
Ok I'm done now
Add P5R's trait system into the mix (honestly more conditional Pokemon-style abilities should've come sooner) with planning ahead to maximize benefits of downing, buffs, charges and ailments, and incentive to cram these moves in the last few moments before and after individual enemy turns - and I feel the combat in P5R is the best I've ever seen in a menu based RPG next to maybe Pokemon. With customization before battles, SMT5 and DeSu2 are still king, but the moment to moment tactics in P5R are stronger.
It's a shame all these elements mostly disappear with story boss battles (partially why SMT still has the better boss battles) though Atlus has been improving in this aspect as some bosses in P5R are reworked to have weakness/ailment vulnerabilities in their fights eg (Madarame).
I really hope they keep on adding onto this battle system in Persona 6 and have challange batlles inbuilt, maybe have enemies use different attacks whist not getting up when they're down or some shit that like that. Or have all out attacks be banned, maybe modified SP costs for select enemy battles to teach players about the system better and not have 'Okumura moments'
I just felt like writing all this up since a lot of people still seem to regard Persona's battle systems as 'diet/worse SMT' when they're just different approaches, and I don't even mean in terms of difficulty. The Press Turn system has a few issues itself that Persona 3P-5R seem to consciously avoid that I was kind of surprised about.
There was still a bit more I wanted to talk about regarding the Press Turn system, dizzy ailment in P3P etc, but that would make this longer than it already is. Maybe I'll expand on that in the comments.
submitted by ka_ha to Megaten [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:40 Spacevikings1992 Zada, Hedron grinder

So, I have a commander deck piloted by Zada, if I also have a mirrorwing dragon, if I cast a single target spell at either, does the other then trigger again essentially giving me two copies of each? Thanks!
submitted by Spacevikings1992 to askajudge [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:33 MzObim87 Craft Every Item Achievement

So I’m at 98% complete for this achievement and I don’t even know what else I need. I have every single whirligig, crafted every single potion/spell, all shed items, all the magical gems, all the clothing items…I’m at a complete loss 😩
Anyone know if I possibly may be missing something? Other than marrying Westley and Amira, this is the last achievement I need. Any and all help is greatly appreciated 💕
submitted by MzObim87 to wyldeflowers [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:32 Traumatized_Waffle The Emissary - Part 3

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Thomas's voice filled with disbelief as he stared at the multitude of screens scattered across mission control. The words displayed on each one spelled out a chilling truth: Loss of Communications.
"What do you mean he's GONE?" he exclaimed, his tone a mix of shock and desperation. He turned to Samantha, one of the mission directors, seeking answers.
Samantha's voice mirrored his urgency as she replied, "Exactly as it sounds! One moment, the Emissary 1 was there, and then a blinding flash lit up the entire western hemisphere. And then... the ship simply vanished!"
A wave of uncertainty swept through the room, mingling with the growing panic. Amidst the chaos, a voice cried out, "Could it have been an attack?"
The room fell into a hushed silence as everyone contemplated the grim possibility. Another voice, filled with unease, spoke up, "We can't say for certain, but what other explanation could there be?"
The atmosphere in the crowded mission control building grew increasingly tense as the weight of the situation settled upon them all.
"Quick! Someone get on the Deep Space Network and try to establish a lock on Emissary 1's telemetry!" Jacob's voice boomed, commanding the attention of the room. He, one of the chief technicians responsible for the Emissary 1's operating system, furiously pounded away at his workstation, driven by a mixture of urgency and determination.
Responding to his call, the room swiftly transformed into an organized arrangement of technicians and mission directors, each taking their positions at their respective workstations. The air buzzed with focused activity as they began coordinating with one another, their collective efforts aimed at unraveling the mystery of the Emissary 1's fate.
Throughout mission control, a palpable sense of purpose pervaded the atmosphere. Underneath the surface of worry and uncertainty, there lay an unyielding resolve to discover the truth and find a resolution. Each person, driven by a shared mission, channeled their skills and expertise into the urgent task at hand.
The room plunged into a renewed state of panic as one by one, the workstations confirmed the grim reality. There was no telemetry, no engine wake, no trace of the Emissary 1 to be found. A suffocating silence settled over the room, heavy with fear and uncertainty. It was in this disheartening moment that the ominous red phone began to ring, its shrill sound cutting through the air like a siren.
Samantha sprang into action, rushing toward the phone with a mix of trepidation and determination. She swiftly lifted the receiver, holding it against her ear, as the room held its breath, their collective gaze fixed upon her.
The voice on the other end of the line conveyed urgent information that sent shivers down everyone's spines. Exotic energy, unlike anything ever witnessed before, had been detected at the precise moment of the blinding flash. The gravity of the situation deepened as Samantha relayed the words to the room.
"That was a representative of the United Nations. They are now treating this as a hostile encounter," Samantha's voice trembled slightly, mirroring the growing anxiety in the room. Gasps and worried exclamations echoed through the space, punctuating the rising tension.
Samantha paused, allowing the commotion to subside, before continuing with a weighty tone. "We have thirty minutes to ascertain the status of Emissary 1 and its pilot. If we can't, or the answer is anything other than 'alive and well'... they're prepared to launch a nuclear strike against the alien craft."
A stunned silence fell over mission control, the gravity of their predicament sinking in. The room teetered on the edge of chaos, emotions swirling in a turbulent mix of fear, urgency, and resolve.
In the face of the mounting pressure and dwindling time, Thomas stepped forward, his voice filled with determination and a touch of realism.
“We have to do something. We've come this far, we can't succumb to despair now! The world is counting on us, Deckard Conroy is definitely counting on us!", he declared, his words carrying a resolute but measured tone.
His rallying cry resonated with the weary souls in the room, rekindling a glimmer of hope. The technicians and mission directors exchanged glances, their expressions shifting from resignation to a newfound determination. They rallied together, forming a united front against the impending doom.
With renewed vigor, they poured over the data once again, dissecting every piece of information, searching for the slightest clue that could unveil the fate of the Emissary 1. The minutes ticked away, but their resolve remained unyielding.
And then, amidst the sea of despair, a flicker of hope emerged. The screen lit up with fragments of telemetry, a faint signal amidst the vast emptiness of space. Excitement rippled through mission control as they worked tirelessly to amplify the signal, desperate to establish a connection.
Just as the screen displayed a clearer image, capturing a glimpse of the Emissary 1's survival, the clock reached its final countdown. Sirens blared, their shrill wails piercing through the air, as a sense of impending doom settled over the room.
Eyes widened as a nearby silo erupted in a fiery plume, launching a nuclear missile into the sky. The world map, positioned prominently in the center of mission control, began to illuminate with a cascade of red dots, indicating missiles being launched all across the globe.
A mixture of disbelief and horror washed over the room as they grappled with the realization that the nuclear strike, once an abstract threat, was now a harrowing reality. Panic gripped everyone, turning the celebration into chaos.
Amidst the turmoil, Samantha dialed every UN number she could think of, even though she knew it was pointless now.
Everyone watched in disbelief as all the red dots on the global map converged on a single point in orbit. Somebody in mission control screamed, pointing upwards at the sky through the large bay windows set in the front of the building.
Several fiery blooms erupted all at once, so bright that they were visible from the ground. The horrifying spectacle unfolded for several minutes, the explosions in orbit unleashing atomic devastation.
As the explosions ceased, mission control fell silent. Everyone in the building had come to the same conclusion. The alien ship was destroyed, and with it, any chance of finding Emissary 1.
Samantha, tears streaming down her face, whispered softly, "Poor Deckard… I can’t imagine what he must be thinking right now…"

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A/N: I know this chapter is a bit shorter, but I figured a chapter focusing on Mission Control during the moments after out Astronaut was forcibly yeeted across the universe would provide good context! Hope you all enjoy
submitted by Traumatized_Waffle to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:26 WormiestBurrito [Online] [D&D 5e] [Sat/Sun, Time Varies, PST] Experienced DM looking for 1-2 more players to fill out a campaign.

Hello Everyone,
I am an experienced DM (10 years or so, multiple 3-20 campaigns) running a weekly D&D 5e campaign that usually takes place on Sat or Sun, PST (time can vary). The game is run via a mix of Roll20, D&DBeyond, and Discord. There are currently 3 players and we're 4 sessions into the campaign, I'd like to fill the game out with 1-2 more players. New or experienced players are welcome (we have 2 new players in the game currently).
A bit about the campaign:
My expectations for players:
If you're interested, leave a comment here and I'll DM you. I will be talking with prospective new players via discord and choosing whoever seems like they'll fit best.
EDIT: Lots of replies, so it'll take a bit to get to everyone. Just a heads up!
submitted by WormiestBurrito to lfg [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:24 maxamillion1357 Help with my uber-macguffin

Hi all! Looking for some advice on designing a macguffin/the quests for finishing the macguffin for my players in this campaign. It's a knife with three gemstone slots, each gemstone has a different property, and I'm struggling to think of a good setup for the gem of structure. This will probably be a bit long, so there's a TL;DR at the end.
The story until now: They had a few sessions in a nice opening town with a wizard (Emanuel) who was a bit of a pompous dick but gave them quests to go kill kobolds and gave them nice loot for doing so. After a few more sessions, they return to the town and find that a bunch of mind flayers have invaded the town and are crying for "Slosder" to come out and play. They actually managed to kill a mind flayer (6 players at level 3), which I was not expecting. But then more started coming, wizard comes out and burns a bunch of high level scrolls to get rid of the mind flayers. Wizard hides the players in his tower, tells them to find "Sheldygrath" to the south, and goes out to fight the mind flayers.
When the players awaken, the kobolds are rummaging around the tower trying to find useful stuff. Players help the kobolds out with some stuff (murdering some flail snails in the sewers, and figuring out a way for the kobolds to continue farming mushrooms now that the town is no longer providing feces), and they give back two items they had stolen from the wizard tower: a large eye on a metallic yellow stalk and a knife with three gemstone slots in it.
Planning for the future:
As of now, the players do not know much about any of these items. The knife is the primary macguffin, based on an ancient illithid artifact: The knife that can cut the past. The wizard was making this to enable time travel to when the Elder brain was still an ulitharid and slay it.
The knife is only the crudest physical scaffold for the spell. It requires three powerful magic energy sources in order to function: 1, a gem of magical energy to fuel the spell; 2, a gem of magic focus, to enable the spell to select a target; 3, a gem of structure, to provide a magic scaffold for the spell alongside the physical scaffold.
Plan for gem of power: rescue a beautiful dragon from a vicious princess. Royal family has captured the eggs of a dragon (haven't decided what type of dragon yet), and each family member wears a magic ring which can destroy the eggs when triggered. Hence, the dragon is compelled to obey the royal family. They free the dragon or otherwise harness its power, and they get the power gem.
Plan for gem of focus: One player is in a death cult whose God was eaten by Yeenoghu (Gnoll demon lord). Death cult is gradually being corrupted, and once they figure out some way to free the PC's god, they will be granted the gem of focus.
Plan for gem of structure: Acquire underpants, ???, profit. Please help.
They are about to run into some chaotic good hags who can help direct them towards the appropriate quests. If they go all the way south to the "Doom Zone" to find "Sheldygrath", they'll learn that there is this batshit crazy Beholder who got his eye cut off by the wizard wayyy back in the day and has since been spying on him and gathering intel on him. Between the hags and Sheldygrath, I think I'll be able to nudge people towards the appropriate quest lines.
(And no, none of my players have played Enter the Gungeon so they shouldn't know that I'm ripping it off)
TL;DR: What's a good setup/quest for my players to find a magic gem with the property of stabilizing magic spells?
submitted by maxamillion1357 to mattcolville [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:24 ShadowRiku667 Narset, Enlightened Exile + Twinning Staff

Hello all!
A buddy of mine and I had a question, and a local judge told us this doesn't work so I thought I'd seek a follow up here. He asked me how does the interaction between [[Narset, Enlightened Exile]] and [[Twinning Staff]] works. I thought that since Narset is casting a copy, it should trigger the first part of Twinning Staff's ability "If you would copy a spell one or more times, instead copy it that many times plus an additional time.". According to the judge it would not trigger. Sadly my friend didn't ask for an explanation and came to me for one.
Is there a difference between "casting a copy" and "copying a spell"?
submitted by ShadowRiku667 to EDH [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:24 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio. [Repost]

The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week.
Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family.
“Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static.
Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left.
Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones.
Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing.
If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger.
Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others.
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat.
What is that?
“Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over.
“Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a towering ridgeline.
“Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet?
Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled.
“Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.”
“You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.”
“Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke.
What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp.
I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it.
You are here.
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark.
This way, kleineun.
My ouma’s voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows.
This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down.
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose.
They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me.
I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .”
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later.
Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind.
Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on.
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse.
You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning.
The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself.
My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere.
The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man TV series as a kid.
Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—”
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear.
Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark.
The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock.
Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike, that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs.
This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth.
They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun.
Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was.
A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, with a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
submitted by RandomAppalachian468 to u/RandomAppalachian468 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:22 KamchatkasRevenge Out of Cruel Space Side Story: Of Dog, Volpir, and Man - Ch 221

Sir David
Far across the Capital city from the impromptu Sarkin wedding feast Sir David and Ariane were walking around the Imperial district, hand in hand, lazily enjoying the light breeze and the warm sun as they played tourist.
Sir David couldn't help but glance over at Ariane constantly, both to enjoy her, and to listen to her next piece of interesting information.
One place he had some mutual hobbies with Ariane was in history, and Ariane had devoured human history and mythology by the truck load once she'd gotten access to the Tear's internal comm net. Her reading speed and retention rate was truly something you had to see to believe.
She'd also proved she was quite crafty in the arts and crafts sense. After she'd found out about the minotaur of Greek myth, she'd set herself to work designing some new outfits that mixes ancient Greek and traditional Agela fashion, then partnered with Mama-san the Pavorus tailor aboard the Tear to produce them.
The result in this particular case was a stunning white dress that was just sheer enough in some places to be more than a little distracting, while not being at all lewd or erotic. Or anything but conservative by galactic standards.
Sure, with a slit in the skirt to her upper mid thigh, and some actual cleavage, she was showing off more skin than an Apuk girl might on average, but anything more than a micro bikini could be considered 'conservative' by galactic standards. Paired with her usual concealed shifter belt which showed off her waist and the sheer intensity of her curves in a delightfully subtle way, she'd then left her bountiful golden hair curly and put it up with a pair of pins.
The total effect between the colors of her body, her rich caramel skin, the blue of her eyes, her shining golden hair, and the various whites and creams of her not quite toga made her look the part of an actual goddess of Greek myth. Ari was an absolute gem of a woman, and was just as beautiful in sweat pants as she was all done up... but Sir David certainly appreciated the results when Ariane took the time to get all gussied up.
It was only due to David's sheer force of will and decades of self discipline that he wasn't all over her like a teenage boy on his prom date to use an American idiom. The temptation alone was... intense. The desire was strong.
Sir David wanted to hold back. For his own sake. For Ariane's sake. He wanted to build a bond in more than mutual physical desire... and he had to remember what being... touched... was like. How to touch. How to accomplish the physical parts of being a lover.
He could hear Mary scolding him for ignoring her when she'd told him to seek out someone else to help keep his life fulfilled and happy... letting what were once well developed skills in how to be a partner, how to be a lover, how to be a friend in a context outside the military, atrophy deeply. Then again, could Mary have known just how badly her death was going to hurt him? She'd have likely scolded him for that too, but still. He just couldn't give the old girl up... and with Ariane around to stand next to the ghostly love of his life, and not in place of... well. Maybe Mary would forgive him for waiting just a little bit longer to find the right woman.
That more women could quite easily follow was... something that was becoming somewhat intriguing to David. There was, after all, near limitless potential in the galaxy.
Perhaps he was talking to Jerry too much about such things in the Ward Room after the female officers had mostly left for the evening, but the man made a persuasive, if somewhat self-serving argument in the name of plural marriage in the galaxy. Sir David himself didn't have a religious or moral objection to such things, and considering he already had more or less agreed with his... girlfriend for lack of a better term. Fiancée perhaps. That she would be his second wife per galactic terms, to respect the mother of his first children made the question of a third or fourth wife seem... much easier than simply considering a second. If the right woman showed up... why not?
"Oh! David! Look!"
Before David can be completely shaken from his thoughts he's been dragged through an ornate gate set into a stone wall into a garden. David's eyes wander the place and automatically map out the details. They're just passed through a stone wall onto a platform resting on what appeared to mostly be a natural hill, with a small set of steps leading down to the actual ground level and the stone path that ran through the grass.
The garden itself is quite large, and beautifully crafted with paths, not just of stone but within the plants themselves winding naturally through the stunning blooms and leading towards what appeared to be an altar at one end of the garden and a large set of stairs at the other.
The stairs lead up to a balcony, over which loomed a fortified building some distance behind it. David recognized it as an old fort, in a style endemic to older Apuk architecture that David had seen a few times with Ariane so far this morning while touring the Imperial district.
David makes his second sweep of the area, now looking for even more fine details this time around. Looking up a bit higher finds ten statues lining the area, each paying homage to a larger statue of a woman in armor behind the altar.
She was posed with a warblade that was nearly as long as she was tall, and she appeared to have been very tall in life, regardless of how the sculptor had scaled her up. Still, the detail in the sculpture was remarkable. The warrior woman's smile warmed the garden that was clearly a memorial like she was standing there with them that moment, no matter how long it had been since her death.
Ariane sighs with pleasure at both the exquisite sculptures around them, but also the skillful display of horticulture, taking a brief moment to sniff a vibrant blue bloom before pulling up her guide book.
"Let's see... Yes, this is the Memorial Garden of the First Battle Princess. Hmm. Some warning in the Apuk language I can't read, where's the... ah! Here we are!"
Ariane grins at her success at finding what she was looking for and starts to read the contents of the page to David.
"Princess Mira'Tok Crownborn was the title that she ended her life under many thousands of Centris standard years ago at the dawn of pre-space flight modern Apuk history. Mira'Tok was the first to receive a crown directly from the hand of the woman who would become the first Empress of Serbow, and is the predecessor of every battle princess to ever wear a crown."
The Agela woman's eyes glimmer as she continues to read, clearly excited by both the history and the craftsmanship around them.
"The statues displayed around her are her ten companions, her battle sisters... and there's a twelfth statue behind her, of the Sorcerer Dus'Kvun, her husband. Not to deemphasize him, but rather their display rotates with the Princess being displayed forward by day, and her husband by night when bioluminescent plants from the dark forest naturally light the garden up! Seems the statues automatically rotate into their different positions after sunset and at dawn. The guide suggests this was a commentary on the two halves of martial supremacy on Serbow... and a more traditional depiction of both male and female."
David arches an eyebrow and leans over to read over Ariane's shoulder a bit. "Really, she was the first? Interesting... How old is the statue then? It's incredible. Almost like she's about to start laughing and tell us a story about her adventures."
Ariane nods. "She was famous for doing just that. This garden is a few thousand years old, commissioned early in the current Imperial family's reign. Mira'Tok was named a... it's hard to pronounce it, so I'll just translate, a sword saint. So like the kensei from Japan on Earth that we discussed the other day. So Mira'Tok is a religious figure as well as a historical and martial figure. So this memorial garden was dedicated as an official war shrine of the Apuk Imperial military. What's the mean though?"
Ariane flicks through a few more screens, focused entirely on learning something new about the place they'd found themselves in.
"Here we go! As an Imperial War Shrine, the garden of the mausoleum plays host to a variety of ceremonies annually including the Empress praying for the Imperial military, officers being commissioned or promoted, and senior enlisted swearing fresh oaths of enlistment. To be offered or granted permission to swear your oaths in the garden is a significant honor and marks out either a highly distinguished, or extremely loyal individual with many years or service... or the type of fresh face who's on the fast track to bigger and better things. It's not automatic even for battle princesses who take up Imperial military service."
Ariane pushes her communicator towards David, pointing to a specific paragraph. "Ooh, look! Apparently it's not uncommon for the Empress to turn up unannounced and receive the oaths of those permitted to make their oaths in Mira'Tok's mausoleum personally."
Sir David raises an eyebrow at that. "Dear God, I don't think her majesty ever surprised anyone to take their oaths of service personally... though she did knight me and award me my Victoria cross personally, as was the standard of the age. To take an oath of service personally like that from her warriors. That's truly special for those Imperial officers and enlisted who are privileged to offer their oaths like that I'm sure. To make oaths of loyalty and service personally to your liege. Ye gods and little fishes, it's right out of a fairy tale!"
"I know! Isn't it great?" Ariane clearly suppresses a squeal, doing her best to remain respectfully calm in this sacred space.
Suddenly however, a concerning thought struck Sir David.
"Say, Ari, are there any issues with us being here as outsiders? This is, as you say, sacred ground."
Ariane puts her nose back in her communicator and reads through a few pages quickly.
"Well it says this shrine isn't considered super popular to visit because it's small and somewhat out of the way, though many warriors make pilgrimage here to entreat Mira'Tok's blessing and invoke her courage, so this part of the war shrine is proudly open to the public. Though offworld visitors are of course asked to be respectful to the gardens and the spirits of the Princess, her husband and her shield sisters. In fact... as a warrior yourself you should be able to access the inner shrine if you'd like. There's apparently some rare artifacts related to Mira'Tok, and there's usually a few Wardens, retired senior members of the Apuk Imperial forces, around who are always happy to chat with a fellow warrior. While they nominally guard the shrine, apparently they also give regular discussions and talks about the history of this place, the Imperial military, and Mira'Tok. It's by appointment only, but they also only need like thirty minutes notice."
David nods, looking around again and admiring some more of the sheer effort that had gone into this beautiful little slice of serenity in the capital.
"Sounds like we should register for one of their talks if they wouldn't mind an audience of two. Heh, registering for a tour from wardens of a tower in the capital city of an Empire. It's so familiar it's almost a touch nostalgic."
David gestures upwards at the tower that was clearly the inner shrine.
"It's just like the Tower of London back home in some ways, right down to the wardens. The Yeoman Warders of the Tower back on Earth are all retired senior enlisted military personnel. Next you'll tell me they keep a local species of black bird here. Still, this other part of the shrine, the inner shrine, I can gain access to it? But you made it sound like you couldn't? Why's that?"
David gazes over at the now blushing Ariane.
"No such luck on the black birds. As to the inner shrine... It. Ah. Access to the inner shrine is limited to warriors and their... well. It says husbands but considering you're the warrior I'm sure they'd make exception for your spouse but we aren't married and I-"
Sir David leans over, cups Ariane's cheek and chastely kisses her on the lips, a mark of affection Ariane eagerly returns with a loving sigh.
"Maybe I'm not so worried about that any more. Forgive an old man his foibles my dear... besides. I'd say you're at least my fiancée, and I. Well I don't want to presume, but I'd be. It."
David feels his tongue tangle a bit as he remembers he hadn't expressed a lot of his feelings on this subject to Ariane yet.
"I... Ari. I'd be a fool not to marry you. I think I might have done you a great disservice in not being more clear about that. I ah. Yes. It's. You're to be my wife. If you'll have me of course... Bollocks that came out wrong."
Ari looks back at David, her long lashes fluttering as she gives him a coy smile.
"You're impossible sometimes you know that?"
"I'm unfortunately aware."
"I love that about you. I suspect Mary did too. Yes David. I'm going to be your wife. You're going to be my husband. There's no need to ask, it's set in the stars and has been from the moment we first made eye contact when you came to rescue me. Because for all your desire to take it slow, I've utterly failed to honor your desires and I fall more and more in love with you with every passing minute of every passing day. How can I not? I'm a girl who loves fairy tales after all, and here at last is my gallant knight to carry me away. I do prefer the human style role swap honestly. Much more fun to be carried off on horseback by you instead of carrying you off. Makes me feel all delicate."
The first kiss was nice. The second kiss was like nothing else David had ever experienced in his life apart from kisses with Mary, and in that second kiss he wasn't worried about having to remember how to be a lover to someone anymore.
Ari's lips warmed him from the tips of his ears down to his toes, making him melt just slightly as they embrace among the flowers, which seem to bloom all the more brightly in the face of such a passionate act of mutual affection, turning up to the couple ever so slightly as if they were the sun itself.
Then the spell is broken by a sharp wolf whistle and a leering cackle from nearby.
"Hey sister, care to share some sugar?"
Three well dressed Apuk, with what David recognized as gang markings peeking over their collars or out of their sleeves saunter through the gate, slowly spreading out.
"Told you girls I smelled a man. Cute too... So what's the slice sister, you the first wife?"
"S-Second. I'm his second wife." Ariane stutters for a second but quickly gets more confident in her tone, her powerful body tensing.
One of the toughs, a woman with poorly maintained reddish purple locks, looks at the senior tough, a woman with vibrant green hair that's clearly much better taken care of.
"...Why are you asking? We just want to have a little fun right? Make this trip up to the Imperial district worth it?"
"Yep, and all the better if sister here is willing to share. Might even make some easy credits girlie."
Ariane tenses a bit more, as her cheeks color with what David recognizes as anger. Then he notices Ariane's hand subtly going towards the controls for her shifter belt.
"Did you seriously just ask me to whore my husband out to you dirtbags?"
"Hey now, dirt bag's a mean way to put it!" The gang leader's tone takes on an oily, play acting hurt tone as the three women begin to spread out a bit more. "Might just hurt my feelings, and you know girls, when my feelings are hurt there's just about only one thing that'll really quench the fire it starts in me."
"...Bout a liter of this bitch's blood boss?" Says the redhead again, leering at Ariane as she speaks.
The gang leader's smile gets extra toothy, making her look like she was part Cannidor for a moment.
"Yep, and a couple rounds with old boy over there while she bleeds out on the stone. Hey. Call some more of the girls over, I think this might end up being a grand old time."
First Last
submitted by KamchatkasRevenge to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:39 CornerCornea YA Romantic Fantasy Horror: Moon Goddess

Looking for critique and input. Trying to meld my favorite genres together for the first time. Thanks for any help!

There were marks that ran from her ankles to her elbows. They kept her face fair for the parades. She was starved, this much I could tell from the way her clothes hung from her arms.
There was no determinate feature but I knew she was royalty by how she endured the omega lycans who brought her here. Ravenous, wild creatures whose manes were unkempt and their names forgotten in the sand, having been unable to return to their human forms long ago.
Still, they knew she didn't belong in Ember Canyon. Bringing her to the castle instead. A sign of their humanity that I have not seen in more than 500 years. They could have eaten her. But instead they chose to bring this tribute to their king. How could I not show them my teeth in return?
And as my eyes wandered to wonder, I found myself questioning, after nearly 10,000 years since the Akasia wars, what of this peace will humans do with it?
"Lord Ignictus, it seems the child is from the neighboring kingdom of men." Nail my advisor for over two mankinds, was ever cautious. A necromancer who could taste the shift in the air with his forkeded tongue. Calculative as ever as he gazed upon the tiny creature before us.
If he had lips they would have curled as he withdrew at the sight of the young woman extending out her arm to one of the heathenous beasts and it purred beneath her fingers.
It was then that I realized, that these beasts that had been circling her, snarling, baring their teeth in my hall until my guests were parted. Had not come here for me.
They were here for her.
"Approach," Nail declared.
One of the wolves snapped at the air between them while the others circled closely behind.
Nail raised his hand in a plume of blue smoke and ended the distance between them. The magic splintering across its snout. The beast growled and snarled back angrily the hairs on its neck stood ferociously.
"Enough," I commanded as Nail withdrew his reach back into his robes. And appeased as the beast snorted from his nostrils, and retrieving itself behind the woman.
Her hands brushed the beast's face where Nail had struck him. The blue magic still on his fur, danced across her hands, bursting across her skin in sparks of electric lesions that made her skin glow red. Yet her face never changed, never wavered at the pain.
I looked at Nail.
"Lycan hide is mainly magic resistant. My lord. Though it seems to retain my spellcasting."
"He'll be fine," she spoke. Rubbing the last of the magic away from beneath her palms. As a human specie she had no magic of her own. Or resistance to it in any natural manner. In fact, my encounters with her kind showed that they were nothing more than soft, unarmored, unclawed, short toothed bags of flesh.
"You will not address The Dark Lord Ignitcus until spoken to human," Nail hissed beside me.
"What is your name woman?"
She approached slowly and bowed. Her head low a thousand times by practice. "I am lady Alune of kingdom Eir. I have come to ask for your protection."
There was howling amongst my guests. Bickering and growling amongst those present as well. Nail flicked his hand and a raven appeared. The bird was cold and rigid, with dry empty hollows for eyes having been gouged out and singed by the advisor eons ago.
"There are humans afoot my lord," he leaned in and whispered. "They are at the edge of our territory."
"How many?"
"Three on horseback. And a druid following closely behind." The raven's face twitched. "There could be more of them hidden in that druid's magic."
"Send a minion horde to remind them of where they are. And an emissary, not one of the grunts to greet them."
Nail nodded and turned to the eyeless raven and breathed out from his mouth a dense gas that filled its beak. He then crushed the raven between his fingers and it turned into a cloud of smoke. Blowing the remainder in his hands at the court. The haze traveled amongst the angry demons like a confectionary satisfying a sweet tooth. They quelled and would not be able to speak for several breaths.
The castle thundered with my voice, "Demon kind have warred with humans since the first Make. Siding with the Gate Keepers since the great wars. Coming here, I have every reason to kill you and no reason to spare your life. So what makes you think that I would be a choice for protection?"
"Because I am to be the princess."
The demons broke the spell with jesters and laughter.
"I am to be wed to the king's son, the Prince of Eir. But I have run away. And very soon a hunting party will come for me. They will be led by the King's eldest. Prince Calvern. He is said to be fearless and without defeat. The Angel of Novagrande. And he will enter your nation and demand that you return me in order to keep the peace between our two lands."
Nail stepped forward and the wolves bristled their necks, "How. Dare. You." There is anger etched into his face, lines of magic surging through his body.
"I am sorry my lord. I am merely stating what will happen. It is up to your to accept or deny them."
"This creatures means to put us at war, my liege." Nail opened his hand, and it glowed red with fire. "Let me end her now before she sets the world ablaze."
"Calvern," I breathed. "He make demands, from me?"
"Yes my lord."
"In my lands," I laughed. I could see the gleam appearing upon the eyes of my kingdemon as the thirst for blood silenced their other depravities. "They wish to come here. And make demands," I addressed them. Stepping off the throne in one stride and faced her. The omega lycans cowered around her, all except one. It faced me at the chest high. Its fangs bared, but its tail down with closed eyes.
"Nera," she said.
Slowly the wolf retreated. Fangs still bared.
I stood before the lady, towering over her shoulders as if my shadow were curtains. She was so tiny compared to me. Her waist easily able to fit in one hand. A thousand years ago, I would have grabbed her and crushed her between my fingers simply for being a human in my realms. Less now for the way she looked at me, unwavering. Uneducated in the danger she was in. Unaware of the power I held, and the brittleness of her bones.
However, unlike the others. She did not come in screaming and begging for her life. She came into my lair willingly.
"There will be none who take from me. But I believe. You already knew that." I stared into her eyes, letting the fire burn as if to consume her, to make her yield. A gift from the first fire given to me by the Earth, that would consume any as I let it rage. I could see sweat running down her face as the temperature grew, yet she never broke gaze. Anymore and she would be blind, I was sure of it.
I turned and ordered Nail to, "Tell the troops to wait for me. I will go greet this Prince and remind his people why this country has no walls on its border."
"My liege," Nail pleaded. "It is a necessary task to set examples for the humans to follow in their predecessors. A following of fear to not enter your lands. However, this is a prince, and not a mere commoner. Any confrontation will become personal to their king. Even more if he were to be greeted by the Lord of the castle, and mistreated. But perhaps if one of the minions slayed him, it would be more beneficial."
"Am I the Lord of this castle now? Or the ruler of these realms?"
"Forgive me," Nail withdrew. "I shall send word." He paused, "For the time being. What shall I do with the girl?"
"Leave her."
"Not to the dungeons?" Nail turned to stare at the beasts that had gathered around her. The one she called Nera whom he had struck and bared its teeth, nestled closely to her legs to keep her warm. "Not to the dungeons then my Lord."
I shrugged my shoulders and brushed them, removing the conjuration seals. Hell armor, crafted with the iron of the blood from my enemies appeared. And from the darkness, I plunged in my hand, and withdrew my sword Shimmer. Hammered by dwarves from the heart of the Earth's core. It weighed over ten pillars.
"Let us meet this prince," I grinned.
submitted by CornerCornea to fantasywriters [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:31 Ok_Doughnut5464 Arcane Anomalies

I have a question, Unless I'm over looking it there is not automatic rule about AA being released. I know in the show it was when a spell interacts with delirium it triggers. I have a wild magic sorcerer and I'm wondering how to rule him slinging spells willy nilly around the battlefield where there is delirium present.
submitted by Ok_Doughnut5464 to dungeonsofdrakkenheim [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:30 ChippersNDippers Bought my first console in many many years, here are the games I played (1 year or older)

I'm an old man as far as Reddit goes (41). I grew up on JRPGs on my NES/SNES, back in the day. Lots of video store rentals of FF6, Chrono Trigger and random terrible JRPGs that I played as it was summer and I had no money but a lot of time (Beyond the Beyond and Tecmo Secret of the Seven Stars, I'm looking at you).
I had the worst year of my life this past year. Lost a ton of money to a successful business tanking, lost my marriage and lost my wife. I literally was ready to just throw in the towel on life.
Luckily, I got a lot of help and life has taken a new path and new opportunities. That being said, I am fairly broke and I have a lot of free time and a need to have some low-stakes distractions.
These past six months, the Switch really helped me have fun and pass the time while working on my mental health. Video Games can become addictive and can take over someone's life, but playing a lot of games have really given me a good distraction when the walls felt like they were closing in.
All these games are over a year old, so I figured they are fair game
Live A Live - What an unexpected gem. I had no idea that there would be enough interest in an old Japan-only release to have them clean it up and re-release it with full translation for an English audience. This is the kind of thing I dreamed of when I read my EGM back when I was a JRPG fanatic.
This really took me back to my younger days with my SNES. The game looked beautiful, most of the story arcs were really well done and diverse, the combat was a bit so-so but everything else was very polished and fun.
I sat and played through the game over the course of a few weeks. The final 'final' boss was a treat and I loved how the stories all culminated to tell an over-arching narrative. It was also delightfully weird in all the right ways. My favorite character was 'cube', hardly any combat skills but my little robot buddy had a heart of gold.
Fire Emblem Three Houses - This was the first title I picked up and it kept me busy for two months of midwest winter. This is the type of game I didn't even know I needed in my life.
I played through the game 4 times to get each of the endings and enjoyed playing on the hardest difficulty (I did use NG+, not quite the masochist required to start fresh without those boosted benefits).
I've read a lot in my life and I was impressed at how well the narrative was crafted. I was genuinely surprised at some of the twists and turns to the game. The opening anime intro had me invested in the story right away.
The grotesque human/technology 'monsters' hit an HP Lovecraft vibe that hits a very specific spot for me. Sure, some of the tropes were a bit 'meh' but each of the main characters had their own arc that was very satisfying. They also did a really smart thing by completely changing how each main character acted if Blyeth was with them or chose another route. It really helped sell how important you were to the narrative.
My favorite path was Silver Snow as I felt like it was the path I would likely take in the 'real' world. I also thought it told the perfect story of a religion coming to terms with itself and the destruction it can bring upon the world...even with the best of intents. I didn't get to makeout with the leader due to some missed choices but I can't deny that she was a very well done thirst-trap pope vibe.
A+ game, sad to see there is nothing else like it but also glad I got to have the experience.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild - I always found Zelda games to be a bit too hard for me to find them enjoyable. Rather than bash my head against a wall, I just used a guide for each of the legendary beast puzzles and found myself having a fun time.
I fought all the bosses with my own wits but just never found much enjoyment by figuring out extended puzzles. I loved the technology betrays the creator stories and BoTW really hit on those notes really well.
I know people say Tears is the better of the two, but I found BoTW to be the far superior game with the more interesting main baddie and the more interesting story of technology turning on those that created it. That is a story I'll take over most other stories.
I know everyone says it's a 10/10 masterpiece...but for me, it's a really fun 8/10 game. I liked the darker notes and wanted more of that but I also understand Zelda has a light-hearted feel to it and can never go down a path too dark for its audience.
And...that's it!
submitted by ChippersNDippers to patientgamers [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 20:23 WildwoodWander Invisible Magic

This is just a basic magic system I came up with on the spot, but it sounded like a really cool idea, so I wanted to share it. I don't plan to use it for anything, so if someone wants to take this system as a base and work off of it, feel free.
Magic is Invisible
In this [non-existent fantasy] world, magic is everywhere and mages are even taught how to wield it in specialized schools. However, there is one catch; magic is invisible, and can’t be seen by the mundane. When a spell is cast, it’s completely unseen. Only the effects of the spell will be seen.
For instance, if you were to cast a spell that created fire on a piece of paper, you wouldn’t see the magical fire, but you would see the paper burn. And if you were to put your hand near the fire, you’d feel the heat. Another example would be creating a barrier: you won’t see the barrier, but you’ll see the arrow hitting it and either breaking or getting stuck in it.
When using magic, casting is the most important step. Everything, from how the spell acts to its power is affected by the casting method. Casting requires absolute concentration, and it must be maintained to hold the spell. You also need to keep your method of casting focused on the target. But what are the methods of casting? There are two primary categories that casting falls into: Hand Casting and Focus Casting.
Hand Casting uses the hands, and is the most natural, powerful form of casting. This is because the magic is able to quickly and effectively travel out of the mage and manifest into a spell. However, this power comes with the downside of being fairly limited in range. Not necessarily in distance, but rather, how the magic can be emitted from the caster. The magic’s range is limited to the casting point on the hand, with the range spreading out in a cone from that casting point.
How the hand is used to cast also affects the magic. Using an open hand and casting from the palm is the most basic method. If you want more accuracy and distance, casting from the tip of the finger is better; and if more strength and scale are needed, then casting with two hands is the best method.
Focus Casting, on the other hand, uses an object to cast the spell. This comes with the downside that your spells will be weaker or less effective. However, the upside comes in range. Where Hand Casting is limited to that cone, depending on the object used, Focus Casting can have a broad range. Using a wand may be less effective than pointing with a finger, but the spell's casting range is more focused in a line, rather than a narrow cone, giving more accuracy. Using two hands may give you a much larger protective barrier, but using an orb for casting will allow you to make a radial barrier that wraps around you.
Runes, Enchantment, and Magic Objects
One specialized form of Focus Casting is Runic Casting; which involves writing or engraving runes onto objects to enchant it and give it a magical effect. Runic Casting is limited solely to the object with the runes on it, but whatever effect is given to the object is permanent, and the object becomes magical. Once something has been enchanted with Runic Casting, the runes will disappear as if they were never there, and the enchanted object becomes invisible as it is now magical.
Magic Objects will permanently hold the effects of their Enchantment. Some enchantments are passive: like enchanting a spellbook or crystal to float; while some require active use: such as a crystal ball showing images of the future when touched.
Eyeless Mages
There is one way for a mage to see magic. This is to replace the eyes with enchanted glass eyes that will allow the mage to see as if they were their real eyes. In addition, since the new eyes are magic, they can see magic. However, this comes with the fact that the mundane will see that mage as “eyeless”, only empty sockets where eyes once were.
This practice is considered taboo to many, mainly due to the nature of the enchantment. While having a mage that can see magic can be useful, many are put off or scared of the look of Eyeless mages. The only Eyeless mages with respect often wear masks, veils, or other such accessories to hide their eyes.
submitted by WildwoodWander to magicbuilding [link] [comments]