Jacob dutton family tree

The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 14

2023.03.29 11:00 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 14

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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.

Chapter 14: Yearning For Stars
Rextros the Black Scar was, incredibly, a man noted for his black scar.
It was his symbol as a survivor. And more importantly, as a winner. He may have a scar, but the man he'd last fought had two broken arms and a big enough gap in his front teeth that he now whistled in between speaking.
Over the years, he'd fought with the best of the worst, turning bars inside out and alleys upside down. As a D-rank pugilist, he regularly left a reminder that of all the mean sods to ply their trade in this land, he was the meanest of them all.
And his reward? His own cozy little forest hideout, complete with a gambling table, a drinks bar and semi-loyal goons. It was everything a good little outlaw wanted. Except that he never wanted to be an outlaw in the first place.
He wanted to be a pianist.
“... Damn … !”
Rextros the Black Scar had no wish to lead his own group of bandits. A cold tent in a damp forest? A dirty camp filled with the stench of a dozen guys who didn't bathe, even though there's a river right next to them?
These weren't the dreams of a normal lad growing up on a farm. But he knew that working the land wasn't for him. His hands were made for more than sowing seeds and milking cows.
It was for playing nocturnes beneath the moonlight, his soul reaching out to gently sweep across the keys faster than his fingers did.
However, that dream wasn't to be.
Once he was old enough that he could no longer sneak his way into fancy bars and ply his budding skills on the pianos reserved for the famous, he knew he had to buy his own. It infuriated him that pianos were the playthings of the nobility. He couldn't even walk into a piano workshop before being tossed out. It was a closed circle for the rich and the few. And that lit a fire in his belly.
So what if the fancy lords and ladies couldn't stomach the thought of a mere peasant like him dirtying their favourite pastime? It wasn't them he'd play for.
Rextros the Black Scar would play for the people.
And he'd play a piano he could move with his heart as much as his hands—a St. Liane baby grand in mahogany red, rolled straight out of the Royal St. Liane Workshop in the middle of the royal capital and onto the bustling street outside.
That was the dream.
A dream which had slid further away with each passing day. The crowns he'd earned from his fights were barely worth the silver needed to hire a sister to stitch himself back up afterwards. And all the callouses on his hands were suddenly around his knuckles and not his fingertips.
Then, like a twisted angel summoned from the lowest abyss, that's when she appeared.
“Rextros the Black Scar. What a dreadfully dull name. It's as if you picked it out from a book of villains. Couldn't you have gone for something more original? The Black Etude, perhaps?”
“Hah? You picking a fight? And what's with that get-up? You hard selling for a casino? I don't gamble, so find someone else to fleece.”
“You say that, but isn't every day a gamble with the law to you? Honestly, however are you going to acquire the funds to buy a St. Liane of all things? You couldn't have picked a more expensive thing even if you tried. Greedy much?”
“... Who are you?! How do you know …”
“Hey, hey, hey. Wanna hear about a get rich quick scheme? Super reliable! Everyone's done it! And don't worry, it has nothing to do with gambling. Unless you want to?”
“D-Don't mess with me, woman! Who are you?! Keep away! I'm no fool—”
Rextros clenched his teeth as he recalled the memory.
He was no fool … Except that he was.
“... Damn … it … all! ...”
He crashed his fist down against his small table beneath his tent.
He'd stopped doing that lately. Firstly, he'd gotten used to the idiocy of his underlings. Secondly, it spilled his crowns everywhere and picking them up from the grass was a pain. If he ever wanted to buy that immaculate St. Liane, he'd need every last crown this rotten venture in poor decision making could get him.
So … how did it all go so wrong?
First it was the type of jobs. They'd started easy. Shaking down couriers and breaking into warehouses. Then they got harder. Not because the couriers got wiser or the warehouses tougher.
It was because he'd pieced together what he'd been stealing—and why.
He'd left in the middle of his last job and never looked back. Not because he had no regrets about running. But because he'd feared he'd see the face of that girl in her casino get-up looking right back at him.
The thought sent shivers running down his spine.
But maybe that was just because of the cold.
A forest. A cold, damp forest. This wasn't much better. But it was easier. Merchants used this road. He left the farmers alone. And the trolls. But the merchants? They took extortion as a business expense. And every now and again, a wandering nobleman and his family would come to hunt, forgetting that they were more likely to be found by the death beetles before they found a deer.
Was it kidnapping? Sure. But he was doing them a favour. The ransom reward was his just earnings. And what a reward they always were.
He was close. So close.
One last gig. One last merchant. One last idiot.
He knew this camp wouldn't last. But it didn't need to. He was so close. Then he could abandon this damp lifestyle and these stinking men and play ballades beneath the acoustic roof of the Reitzlake Grand Bridge.
That girl with a huge gob, haughty expression, fine clothes and dark hair without so much as an inkling of dirt on it was his ticket to freedom. That sword alone looked like it could be traded for any piano he wanted. He was even glad the idiots hadn't taken it from her. If they had, he likely would never have seen it.
Now he wished they'd just tried mugging her and suffered the consequences for it. Their dead bodies weren't likely going to reveal where he was.
“B-Boss … what was that? Who was she? Why did we have to give everything over?”
Rextros smashed his fist against the table again. This time, a cloud of dust came up as a crack appeared.
“Shut up! Shut up, all of you! I'm thinking!”
One by one, his underlings looked at each other with differing amounts of confusion and resentment. They didn't understand. They didn't know.
That girl, that ticket to freedom, was a poisoned bait. She'd come with one purpose and one alone. And that was to remind Rextros that so long as he lived, his obligations remained. He knew it. He'd dreamed it.
And now he feared the consequences of his flight.
But what could he do? That girl's message was clear. No matter where he ran, he would never be allowed to wander freely again. Every crown he stole wasn't his to keep. He wanted an out. But how could he? He'd seen too much. Not on purpose. But that didn't matter. He wasn't as blind as the rest.
And that was a problem.
“Boss! What's going on! That was everything! It was our pay, our weapons, you gave it all away! Who was she?!”
A problem like losing the loyalty of his men.
Forget making back his losses. He'd lose his life if they all turned on him. And he knew for a fact that the knives and daggers they carried were still on them, hidden in their boots and their clothes.
As every pair of eyes turned black, Rextros clenched his fist.
There was only one thing he could do. It was … It was dangerous. But it was his only choice. Not just to make it out of here alive. But to escape with it tomorrow, too.
He had to silence that girl.
Before she could reach her mistress, she had to be dealt with.
That way, he'd have time. That casino girl had to only suspect. Otherwise, she'd be here herself. Despite his fears, he knew she wasn't truly omnipotent. More importantly, it'd mean he'd have the money to flee. Even with just the crowns, he'd have enough to survive. More than enough.
He had to deal with that girl … and yet, if she was anything near as strong as that monster ...
He had no choice. Not if he wanted to survive. Even if she matched him as a fighter, he had to deal with her. Then, he'd get out. Lay low. Flee the kingdom. That St. Liane was beyond his reach. But there were others. A Zelronto, perhaps. Lacking in finishing and incomparable with the tonal brilliance of a St. Liane, but bearable nonetheless.
It was time to leave these idiots behind.
But not without using them one last time.
“Shut up! All of you!”
“But Boss—”
“That girl. She was here on behalf of the Adventurer's Guild.”
The looks of rebellion were quickly replaced by panic.
Rextros smiled internally to himself. It was every outlaw's worst nightmare. Those that weren't him, of course.
The Adventurer's Guild weren't like knights or soldiers, who'd make so much noise looking for them that they could pack up and leave without so much as leaving an empty bottle behind.
Adventurers were hunters. Hunters that got paid absolute jack for the work they did. And that meant they did their jobs for reasons other than crowns.
In short, the worst type of people.
“She wanted to cut me a deal. All our gains for a day to leave. Except that won't matter if she's dealt with first. Go get her. Now.”
A few of the men shifted. Most were just confused.
“B-But if she's an adventurer, why didn't we just jump her already?”
“Fool! I was watching the treeline! You guys can't stand sentry even if I peel your eyelids off! I had to make sure there was nobody else! Now you see why I'm the leader and you idiots are not!”
“B-Boss!! Then, then that means ...”
“She's alone. Probably thinks she's stronger than all of us. Some brat that just got promoted to E-rank and thinks they're hot stuff. You know what to do.”
“Yes, Boss!!”
Rextros sighed as the underlings shot off, their hidden daggers being pulled from whatever sorry part of their bodies they hid them in.
It was going to be close. That girl … the sword she had. Only an extremely capable swordswoman would dare wield such a weapon. To be anything less was to invite every rogue within spitting distance to try and steal it from her, alive or dead.
Even so, she was alone. She had to be. The way these people operated demanded it. He had fourteen men under his command. Idiots to the last, but idiots with brawn and no discipline. If they all hurled themselves at her, there was simply no way she would be able to defeat them all.
And if so few made it back that he could claim all the loot for himself, then so be it.
Rextros smiled. Perhaps this wasn't such an unfortunate meeting, after all. He'd been meaning to consider a way to leave his goons in the lurch. If someone could deal with them for him, then all the better.
He simply needed to be ready to make good on his escape.
It was at the exact moment that Rextros the Black Scar thought this that his feet suddenly left the ground.
Letting out a scream, he flailed uselessly at the air as he was suddenly flung against the back of his tent, taking it and also a tree with him as he went hurtling down the mound he'd pitched his makeshift throne on.
An enormous, ear splitting explosion drowned out his scream. Or at least what sounded like an explosion. He couldn't be sure with the entire forest groaning in pain. Leaves, branches and trees bent wildly as though slapped by the force of a thousand hurricanes. And yet Rextros instinctively knew that it could have been worse.
The source of that explosion was further away. And it was not aimed towards him.
If it had, he wouldn't be in a position to feel breathless with shock.
Sweat ran down Rextros's face as he crawled up from the dirt. He was lucky. He'd narrowly missed impacting with the tree that now had its roots torn from the soil. Looking around, all he saw was carnage. Bits of the camp were everywhere. And the forest was groaning even louder than before, as though it now had to right itself after being struck by the hand of a god.
Or perhaps a goddess.
That girl … it couldn't be ...
His entire body shaking, Rextros thought about the idiots he'd sent after her. They'd only just left. They … They were probably okay. Even so, could it possibly be a coincidence that she'd set the entire forest on its knees the moment he'd decided on his treachery?
What … What kind of power was this?
That was not the power of some D-rank punk like him. It was beyond that. The sort of power that only named legends past the point of being human possessed.
Had that girl lived a warrior's life, in solitude, training her swordsmanship on some distant mountaintop to achieve that level of destruction?
Rextros now knew he couldn't stay. Not even if all the copper, silver and gold in the world was made available to him. It was time to flee. Right now. Away from this kingdom, filled with more monsters than anyone as insignificant as him had the right to know.
And then maybe, just maybe.
When enough time had passed—he'd be able to take over the farm, and go back to milking cows and tilling fields.

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2023.03.29 10:53 Cheesebaron Financial advice from your family

Discussing crypto with family is an often discussed topic in this sub.
Today, however I want to turn things around! I don't want to discuss how you talekd about crypto with your family but rather what advice or 'wisdom' your family gave you.
My personal favorite my parents used to say was: "Money doesn't grow on trees."
I like it because it is almost true since Dollar notes are made from cotton which grows on shrubs and most other currency is made from paper, originating from trees itself.
What wisdom or anecdote was shared in your family and did you follow it?
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2023.03.29 10:53 Busy_Advertising1637 I need help creating my family tree

So, i’m from Poland and can’t find any information about my family tree. Ancestry isn’t helping and find a grave (which i have used before when making over family trees and is a very good tool to find relatives) isn’t helping either. In fact, there is only 20 people with my last name in the big region in Poland called ślaska (silensia) where i live(d).
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2023.03.29 10:00 rayhollyx The Caffeinated Motorcycle (Spiritual Journey)

It's late. And it's that time again for me. And I have been pondering something for a while. A motorcycle to me represents not just a mode of transportation.
In my 5 years of being Free of Caffeine, 3 of those have been spent riding a motorcycle. At the time, I was actually looking at "Groms" because I wanted to take a ride around my block along the dirt embankments during the Covid Lockdown. I settled for a $1200, 40 year old, 250c instead.
If you would have told me, approximately 2 years later, I would be riding this small bike 40 miles into the local mountains, at an elevation of 5,000 feet, I wouldn't have believed. Albeit, at the time, it took baby steps. And a lot of balls.
In some respects, I had to "build up" to a feat like that. Some men, who have been riding for years, find these journeys just another walk in the park. For me, venturing up a mountain on a 250cc bike that weighs 270 pounds is basically a test of stillness. The ability to be mentally still. To be one with the mind, breath, and surroundings. A similar trip, 30 miles into barren wilderness with just 2 bottled waters soon followed.
With Coffee, came darkness.
I've lost something since I decided to partake. I did an experiment to see if it would help with dexterity, focus, weightloss, etc. The veil of spirituality soon became clouded. I no longer could see. In the midst of my experimentation, we went to the mountains for a family get-togther and a wedding. I brought my 40 year old beatup, 250cc. When I arrived, I found myself on some twisty trail-like roads being chased by 1,000 liter sports bike. I pulled over. The next day, hail, ice, and fog hit my visor, and for the first time in 3 years of riding I had a panic attack and pulled over to the side of the road. That was in January.
A week ago, I got the flu and was bed ridden for 5 days. I decided this would be the best time to quit Caffeine. My spirit was longing for that sense of power and peace it had once lost. These past 3 months have been bathed in a darkness I do not understand. A darkness that, under scientific standards, have been dubbed "Beneficial to health, prevention of Alzheimers, antioxidants, dexterity, focus etc." - I've read the wikipedia entries. I've seen the scientific testimonials of Caffeine's benefits.
But deep in the recesses of my mind, the fogged lens on my helmet, the sleet hitting me in the face, and the cold, mountainous road that induced a panic attack remained. Was it the sleep-aid and both caffeine that did it? The darkness bathed me. Stubbornly, angrily, I gripped the handlebars shaking, in the rain, and forced myself to ride 10 miles to the nearest gas station, visor barely visible. A 10 minute ride of absolute fear of death. Pulling over to the side of the road as I was battered with fog, sleet and rain.
As I went through having the flu, and continued the detoxifying of removing Caffeine from my mind, laying in bed with headaches, and aches, occasionally I would go for a drive, and walk around for a bit. Something strange dawned on my decaffeinated brain, which had been free of it's grasp for a few days. The trees swayed in slow motion as the sun set behind me. I stopped at a local church in my small town, and marveled at it's beauty and simplicity. "Caffeine is a psychoactive" they would say. I recall, passing through it's field of energy upon partaking it. Everything became elated. It is rumored ancient monks in the Arab world discovered Coffee and used it for spiritual purposes, to pray and meditate more stringently. I reflected on this as my reality was surreal, in the haze of fighting the virus, headache, yet bathed in a calm nostalgic serenity of my spirit once again at rest.
No hot liquid, to disturb my senses in a fervor to twitch, or move "for the sake" of moving. Or clean my room, and detail my toilets, and obsess over the minuscule smudged on my bathroom mirrors. Just the simplicity of the breeze, and my slowly decaffeinated mind passing through this vortex, this, once visited psychoactive experiment.
Today marks roughly a week now, and even though there is fatigue lingering from the overworked adrenals of chasing the morning high of first 40-60mg of tea, and "feeling tired still."
The peace is returning. The bags under my eyes are clearing up. And a warm lingering began manifest; and I was called once again to the familiarity of my home town, the side roads, and dirt trails I've been venturing since the Covid lockdown previously.
To Cultivate peace?
It is strange to me the better I've become at cultivating peace and clearing the mind, the more capable I feel of the daring feats. Culture would say the opposite. Things, like the X-games and Extreme Motocross have some thinking the way to go is "Monster Energy Drinks, Red Bulls," etc, to get there.
And maybe there is short term elation.. until the lack of sleep catches up with the cells..

A few days ago, I had a shitty headache and a deep feeling of drowsiness. The brain was signaling for it's fix. I took a nap, and got back on the road. Driving down the highway, the heavens and sky opened up to my perception for the first time in 3 months. "Oh yes. I forgot." I thought.
I was ever grateful to stare into the heavens, doing a steady 65MPH in my beat up old car. The sky, the clouds, and the sun beckoned me into heaven once again, blissfully. It makes me wonder the legitimacy of monks who claimed they used this for spiritual elevation, the scientists who tout the benefits of its effect on mind, and the 60% of the population that scramble, and fight, for a drop of it's black essence in their bloodstream every morning. Is this the proverbial "spice" that has been spoken about in "Dune" Novels?
The image of a Tree, and an old worn out bench some kids dragged up on some hill called to me again. Suddenly the idea of getting back on my bike, and riding to the spot for a peaceful study was very appealing. I'm passing through some kind of vortex, but I'm not sure what that is. Can it be, maybe even 5mg is the sweet spot? or has it always been 0g? My sense of smell returns. The pollen of Marches sun emanates to my nose as those sweet honey-smelling flowers hit me.
My natural state. Not afraid. Welcomed, to the saddle. Warmth emanating my backpack, my study books, my boots, and the blissful freedom of riding again all of a sudden seemed so appealing.
What was this black cloud that passed before me, in this experiment ? The nervousness, the ill temper, the road rage, the impulsivity. For the sake of progress? Because our ancestors supposedly doused themselves with "mead" as peasants for the king and their courts, before the caffeinated Renaissance that took Europe in the 1600s? I guess that is for the individual to find out..
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2023.03.29 09:52 JamesonRhymer 6 Dates to Marry- THIRD DATE: Your date decides. Who would you rather ELIMINATE?

This is part 3 of a week long game we started early in the week.
Part 1: https://www.reddit.com/useJamesonRhymecomments/123swtw/about_6_dates_to_marry_first_date_the_picnic_who/
Part 2: https://www.reddit.com/useJamesonRhymecomments/124em91/6_dates_to_marry_second_date_disneyworld_who/)
But to recap, I’m fixing you up on a blind date with 6 people. Each day, you will eliminate the contestant you are least interested in. At the end of the week, we’ll see who democracy has chosen for you.
Yesterday, the sub eliminated Penn.
You called Penn up to break the news, and thankfully they were understanding.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Redditor. I rather enjoyed our chats. You’re a great hang, but I understand. I’ve been single for a while so what’s a little while longer? I’m sure I’ll find the one soon and I hope you do too. Thanks for two great dates- you’re top notch.”
For the third round, your dates are taking you out to someplace that they love and you’ll get to experience a bit of what makes them tick.
Select the person you’d like to eliminate and tomorrow, you will go on a fourth date with the remaining 3 people. You can also revisit the links up top to review the first and second dates if you want to refresh on your previous experience with each of the remaining prospects.


“Hey there’s an open window. That’s perfect, let’s go in!”
Jessen leads you through a busted out window into the cement decay of an abandoned building that looks like it hasn’t been inhabited since the 70’s.
“Are you sure this is okay?” you ask.
“Totally! I do this all the time. I love finding new abandoned buildings to explore and see what I find. It’s like modern archeology. My parents don’t know though, so don’t say anything if you meet them.”
“Sure. How did you get into this?”
“Mmm. That parts kinda weird. But long story short, I used to cut myself a lot when I was really depressed. I’d come to places like this because nobody was here. But don’t worry, that’s all in my past now. These days I just explore and mess around. You can throw a brick at a wall or break a window and who cares. It’s just fun. Wanna try it? Take this rock and throw it at anything.”
You take the rock and half-heartedly throw it at a cinema poster on the wall.
“See. Who cares, right? Wasn’t that fun?” Jessen then walks over and kicks a small filing cabinet over.
“Take that, you stupid filing cabinet!” Jessen says laughing. “I’ve been trying to learn to look at the bright parts of life. But sometimes it feels good to kick over a filing cabinet.”
You guys spend an hour or so there talking about life. You learn that Jessen is a receptionist at a dentist’s office, but doesn’t really like the job, but also doesn’t know what else they’d do. Money is not an issue because they live at home and their parents cover a lot. So for now, Jessen is just killing time in life.


You’ve found yourself at a nice park on the outskirts of town. Sitting on a bench facing a large green area, Brux hands you some fabric and a needle and begins teaching you how to knit.
“It’s a little tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it,” Brux assures.
“So you knit here a lot?”
“When I can. It’s super peaceful and I like the fresh air.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m surprised you’re into knitting. You don’t seem like one of those fashion-obsessed types.”
Brux smirks lightly. “You calling me a slob?”
“No, no, I-“
“Relax, I know you didn’t mean anything by it. Some things are more about the process than the result.”
“I guess you have a ‘point’ there!” you say, making a mock stabbing gesture toward Brux with your needle. But in a flash, Brux drops everything, grabs your needle hand, bending it behind your back, and shoves your torso toward your knees. After a second, they release their grip and apologize profusely.
“I’m so sorry!! It was a total reflex, I didn’t mean to do that! Please forgive me,” Brux says with a heavy blush as they help you back upright.
“Okay sure…but you need to tell me what’s up. Last time we met, you Houdini’d my wallet out of my pocket without me ever feeling a thing. Today you Bruce Lee’d me into a pretzel in the space of one second. I get that it was a reflex, but not a lot of people have that reflex. What’s the deal here???”
“It’s actually just from work.”
“I’m a stunt double. I work on films and stuff. My specialty is martial arts, so I stand in for a lot of the female macho types.”
“What?? Why am I just hearing this?”
“I don’t like to tell people because then they get all weird and start asking about celebrities and whatever. But I’m not a big red carpet type. It’s just a job for me. My parents put me in martial arts from an early age and I got scouted at a tournament and so I started taking film gigs because…money. But it’s not my identity. Sitting here on a bench with my yarns and good company is more my speed.”


And now for something complete different. After the blast you guys had at Disneyworld, this was a total contrast.
“Alright, we’re here!” Blue says as they park their SUV in a space beside a mountain. “This is the best hike in town!”
Blue then takes a swig of their energy drink and belches loudly as you guys open your car doors to get out. That burp sounded way louder than it needed to.
“Wow, you’re a rugged one, aren’t you?” you comment.
“I guess! I do a lot of camping and hiking and all that.”
Finally! That was the perfect segue to bring up that burning issue that’s been in the back of your mind. Sure, Blue was a sculpture-ready work of art, but that first date…
“Oh, so you do a lot of outdoor stuff? I guess that skill came in handy for that, uh, accident at the picnic the other day. I’m so glad you weren’t sick or anything. I was worried.”
“Accident? I didn’t have an accident. I took a dump. Just like everyone does- and a fat one at that!” they said with a comically exaggerated wink and a click of the tongue.
“But right behind a tree?” you say, trying to force a laugh so things don’t get too awkward.
“Life’s too short to hold onto energy. You see the peak on that mountain? That’s the challenge. You see this apple and granola bar? This is energy. Energy in, energy out, keep moving. Anyway, I grew up in a house with a dad and three brothers. We were always outdoors. But I’m kinda the high-fiber, water guzzling health nut in the family. My dad always jokes that my dog should carry a plastic baggie for me when we go out! But anyway, I’m human. I poop. Who cares. Now let’s get going- I’m about to take you on the best hike of your life and I can’t wait to see the smile on your face!”
Blue lets out a roar as they grab your hand and drag you toward the trailhead.
One thing about Blue you noticed is that they are always overflowing with energy. But they were a great hiking guide and knew all about the types of animals and plants you encountered. Blue shared lots of survivalist info and you could tell they were a master of the outdoors. You knew from previous conversations that they were a department store model and cashier at Abercrombie & Fitch, but you learned today that they’re in training to become a wilderness survival guide specializing in beginners who, as Blue described, “have never experienced the pure awesomeness of nature”.


You didn’t even need a car. Naeve had you meet them in a rougher part of town and you set out down the street on foot. Soon, you understand why Naeve told you to dress down a bit. Naeve as usual is wearing thrifted indie clothing, so no change was necessary for them.
“I want you to meet some of my buds around here.” they say as they led you to a tent up the way.
“This is Jim. He’s the funniest guy you’ll ever meet.”
Jim is a homeless guy with a friendly smile. He’s been homeless since the Pandemic and Naeve occasionally brings him food when possible. Over the next couple hours, you accompany Naeve, meeting the homeless of all walks of life. You learn that Naeve was homeless for a few months, but they didn’t even seem to mind it that much. Now they live in a rent-controlled apartment near the homeless encampment but still stays in touch with the others and does everything possible to encourage local restaurants and grocery stores to donate food that’s about to go to waste. Naeve also participates in local activism to help reduce homelessness in the city and pass socially focused legislation.
“See, that’s what I call a perfect exchange,” Naeve said. “We had a great time, met some cool cats, and it didn’t cost us a dime. People today waste too much money. The world is already free entertainment!”
One thing you notice about Naeve is that they don’t need good looks to feel confident. They may be on the lower end of average, but they have a knack for relating to anyone and matching their energy. They kept you included in all the conversations and by the end, you felt really knowledgeable about a portion of society you didn’t know anything about.
Who do you want to eliminate?
If you hit the bell, I'll let you know tomorrow when Date 4 happens with the remaining 3 people ;-)
View Poll
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2023.03.29 09:11 CrimsonCloverwriter Chapter One : This must be the place

Hi everyone, this is the first chapter of my debut novel. For information and links to other chapters click the link down below :
Reddit - Dive into anything
The Great One sat on his throne, gazing longingly into the hearts of man. Something was coming and he could feel it. Destiny riding on a white steed, like the tales of man long ago, coming to uncover his secrets. He could see it all, the wall, the castle, and the so-called gods that built it all. The ego of these creatures was laughable, if only the Great One could still laugh. He could still speak sure, but only through means not of man’s common means. Vocal cords were a commodity long since lost in this place.
As the Great One observed the coming destiny he could feel the approaching storm, in a hail of flesh and blood, the only things that the Great One lacked. He would never give up, never retreat to these things as they approached, for this was the Great One. He looked back to the castle, viewing the scene in its entirety, and he felt something like happiness enter him.
Divinity. That is what connected the walls surrounding Dundis castle, not stone or metal, this was not a mere wall but a divine gift from ones above. Divinity sealed the wall, made it whole, the walls sealed together without mark or blemish, something no man could ever replicate. The wall had stood for a century, and would likely last ten more, there was no weakness, no flaw in design. 50 metres tall the wall was unscalable, unbreakable. No man could break the wall, it was the Vaunghe empire’s crowning gift, their wonder of the world. Those that were hired to clean the wall’s dirt and grime were heralded as the truly faithful, and all longed to help the gift of the gods. And yet despite this the Alizian’s watched, standing with armies around the great wall, waiting to breach its crust and destroy the core.
The Vaunghe had watched their foes throw everything they had, hundreds of men attacking the steel doors of the wall to no avail, an attempted archer attack quickly squashed by the wall's height. The Alizian military was strong, a blend of the Alizian warriors and Strolim blacksmiths made for a truly terrifying army. The army was so terrifying that the Vaunghe inside the castle doubted there were any more Vaunghe troops left, this was the end to a long battle between man and man. Even the soldiers left weren’t particularly important, just those lucky enough to guard the king and a few trainees. But the Vaunghe felt their luck running out.
The food supplies had run low, even if the nobles weren’t in the castle there was no chance of resupply. The few men who had eaten in the past few days stood alert, gazing down from the ramparts at the enemy. The soldiers knew they had to either surrender or fight, but the Vaunghe were passionate people, they could never leave behind their identity in favour of life. So the men waited, bows and arrows at the ready, for the next attack. Heavy items such as ingots and chairs lined the rampart, ready to be thrown off at a moments notice.
They had waited in this position for many cycles, and as day turned to night, and night turned to day the Vaunghe were exhausted, finished with whatever feeble attacks these barbarians had planned. They could throw whatever armies and arrows they wanted at the wall but it would remain unphased, forevermore. When the Alizian’s next attacked they would be met with the last strength of the Vaunghe, and it would be a story remembered for milenia by man and the gods.
As the morning sun rose over the wall, the enemy was revealed in all their glory. Even from so high above the Vaunghe could see the glint of silver from the Alizian military. The bright greens of the Alizian armour created a dazzling sensation that they were one with the grass, which blended in so perfectly with their clothes. They stood in their thousands, armed with whatever they could find, and even on the wall the men could see him.
The slaughterer, the murderer, the man, the myth and the legend Osmund stood alone on an overlooking hill. The fiend was well known by the Vaunghe, he was likely the greatest foe that had come from the opposing sides. Vaunghe generals often fled at his coming, or surrendered first, but rumour had it that Osmund gave no mercy. Overseeing his army to destroy everything that was left, the Vaunghe soldiers knew today really was the end. The figure on the hill moved closer to his army and screamed. The battle-cry of the Alizian’s shook fear into each of the Vaunghe atop the rampart, being so loud that it even reached so high.
The hundreds of troops began to move in sync, forming three individual groups of soldiers, with 10 metre spaces between each. Each contingent comprised six hundred men, easily dwarfing the 82 Vaunghe soldiers that were left. But the Vaunghe were not afraid, at least not afraid of a breach anytime soon. These walls were built to withstand any damage, no man could breakthrough one.
Between the troops was movement, indeed there seemed to be movement down all three rows of men in blue. The Strolime empire had finally revealed themselves, with their short stature and mental prowess the Strolime were gifted inventors not expected to appear on the battlefield. And yet here they were, almost one hundred of them hauling forth three large metallic objects. The sun bounced off of these objects into the Vaunghe’s eyes.
None of the men had ever seen objects like these, seemingly composed of pure metals and on wheels. Some thought they were a testament to the gods, some holy objects, others believed it to be some new invention from the Strolime, however none of them could say anything for certain as they were pushed closer and closer to the wall. The Strolomites stopped in their advance, approximately 20 metres away from the wall. The purpose of these objects had yet to dawn on the men, although one of the younger men on the rampart claimed he could see small objects poking through the metal, which was now aimed at a forty-five degree angle towards the wall.
As the Strolimites halted their advance many began to move away into the safety of the Alizian wall, likely afraid of any precautionary Vaunghe archers. One of them, a rather short and plump soldier, stayed with the object, placing a hand on it and turning to the wall. It was a fleeting moment, but for a second it seemed the man was gazing at the Vaunghe soldiers in shame. One last condemnation to the ones that began this war, before it would all come crashing down. But then the moment passed, and the short man moved as the rest did, doing a slight zig zag to avoid arrows.
And now, just as quickly they had come, the Strolomite’s were gone in the ranks of the Alizians, still waiting in their groups for something, and then they came. Three figures, two women and a man, moved between the lines just as the Strolimites before them. These three wore no armour, only the greens of Alizia upon their tunics. They stood beside the objects and began to reach their arms into the underside of it. Before the Vaunghe’s eyes the objects began to turn slightly, aiming even more directly at the wall.
One of the Vaunghe had enough of this display, and raised his bow. There were low winds on this day, and he was a good enough shot to reach at least one of the Alizian soldiers. He aimed his bow, finger on the drawstring, and released. It is likely that this arrow would’ve drawn first blood in this battle, however the arrow never reached its target.
In the split second before the release of the bow, the Vaunghe noticed the smoke billowing out of the bottom of the devices, the flames that shot out, and finally they noticed for not even a fraction of a second the object that shot out of the metallic thing, something white and red that hit the wall in an instant.
The wall shook, and the following barrage of these objects shattered any notion of divinity. Crashing and crumbling the rampart was launched, sending soldiers flying everywhere. The Vaunghe beside the wall were subject to the falling rubble, both the crumbling stone of the walls and the miscellaneous objects they had left upon the wall. All of the objects crushed the few Vaunghe left, save for the few sickly starving soldiers left inside the castle’s inner walls.
Down went the walls, such a harsh strike against the wall that nothing stood in the path of this monster. The roaring splattered through the castle, the screams of the falling wall waking the King himself from his slumber. Such a vast creation had fallen in seconds before the might of the Alizian’s, and now there was nothing left but to watch the battle unfold.
Smoke flooded the inner walls of the castle, casting the few remaining into fits of coughing and blindness. The walls finished their crumbling, and yet the roars didn’t stop. These were not the roars of the wall but the war cries of the soldiers outside, and they began to get louder, echoing through the walls of Dundis and into the ears of the weak nobles and soldiers.
Through the smoke they came, weapons raised and charging the weak. The few that tried to fight were slaughtered, cut down by a sea of green soldiers. Those that were choking, sputtering or raising their hands in defeat were spared, hauled through the hordes and into one of the stables facing the inner wall. They were to be tried and jailed, for no human regardless of their crime should be killed. It is simply not the Alizian way.
Out of the one hundred and fifty two people who were in Dundis, forty two had died in the wall’s destruction, and a further eleven were detained by the Alizian military. There was nothing that the Vaunghe could do, save for locking their doors, shield themselves and hold out for as long as possible. The Vaunghe forces built barricades in their castle, locking away the Alizian combatants for as long as possible. And during all of this Osmund waited. Waiting for his time to end this war, this travesty of battle that had gone on for too long, and that time finally came.
* * * *
Osmund stood alone atop the hill, and watched the madness unfold. The walls crumbled at the face of these weapons with no more effort than a straw house, and the plumes of smoke assaulted his men, although not to the extent of the inner wall. After a few moments of sputtering and choking the men cheered, for this was the moment that they had been waiting for, the end of such a long war now in the Alizian’s favour.
The Vaunghe capital was in shambles, their military long crushed underneath Osmund’s almighty power, and all that was left was the King. Hiding behind his walls as if he didn’t deserve this loss, this final failure in his life. Osmund was willing to spare as many people as he could, it was the Alizian code, but there would be no mercy for the King. This wasn’t one final battle between two great armies, that conflict happened weeks ago, this was the last breaths of a psychotic monarch being silenced amongst the last of his troops.
Osmund gazed longingly at Dundis, the ruined walls and advancing soldiers and doubted. He felt something was off, something was very wrong with all of this. His heart began to thump, as Osmund’s eyes turned every way to understand what was wrong, what abnormality was here. It grew and grew, Osmund began to shake at what was about to happen, nothing was right here Osmund should be somewhere else helping someone, there’s something wrong here something very-
Peace. Osmund’s heart stopped thumping, body stopping its perpetual shaking. He looked again to the marching troops, now almost entirely inside the walls, and looked back to his back, and the reserve Strolomites that now stood. They were cheering, marvelling at the success of the assault, and how the god’s gift had saved so much effort on their part.
Such strange creations composed of metal and flame, Osmund marvelled at the power the gods possessed. These devices were so unique in design Osmund doubted if any army could defeat them. The large red tubes they released could easily destroy an entire village by itself, but with one hundred of them an entire valley could be bathed in flames. Something truly abnormal in this world, something so parallel to the code of battle that no army would ever think of it.
The Vaunghe were once considered to be the greatest fighters, with the tournaments they created bringing forth the greatest warriors from throughout the land. Their dedication and power were unmatched in ferocity and violence, some called the Vaunghe the standing due to their unmatched will to always get back up. Osmund recalled his days in the tournaments, those peaceful days when he was not yet a hero to people, but a simple military man. He was still only Osmu back then, and yet even those of the time knew he would be something special. As Christoff used to say, ‘Ozzie you’re going places, big ones’. Osmund missed Christoff, It had been so long since their last meeting, and all Osmund wanted was to meet again one last time.
Osmund’s assistant came to him, a younger Strolomite by the name of Gizmu. Gizmu was rather muscular for a Strolomite, a strong figure contrasting his associates' plumper bodies, and stature was fairly tall for one of his people at 6’5 ft tall. Hazel hair protruded through a blue helmet, and for the first time Osmund considered what his assistant could look like. Gizmu was one of the many Strolomite’s who refused to show their face until military success, a tradition that Osmund respected. He had no doubt that Gizmu's true face would one day be revealed to him, as the man possessed genuine prowess in the fields of agriculture, something sorely missed in the modern military.
“Osmund, your team is preparing now, they’ll come soon. I advise you to prepare your armour sir, as it won’t be long before you’re sent in.” Osmund sensed mild concern in Gizmu’s voice, but didn’t pursue it.
“Thank you Gizmu, my friend. I’ll begin my preparations, tell the guests to meet me here when they are fully prepared. And do ensure they understand that there is still risk of injury on this mission, ensure each of them wears their armour.” Osmund’s voice was deep and echoed his long life, commanding a sense of authority amongst all Alizian forces.
Osmund left the hill, passing the cheering Strolomite’s and the peasant farmers who supported the army, and entered the rows of tents. They stretched out on either side, one for every four soldiers, until he reached his own tent. Entering Osmund was surprised to discover a fellow commander still asleep in his bed, snoring away peacefully.
Osmund removes his upper clothing, the clean tunic falling to the ground. While removing these clothes Osmund kicks the sleeping man in the leg, which doesn’t actually amount to anything rather than halting his snoring. Osmund kicks the sleeping soldier again, this time in the buttocks, which does a far better job of riling him. The man looks around wide-eyed, before settling onto the sight of the giant Osmund.
“Hey, why'd you kick me? I almost had a bleedin’ heart attack don’t you know not to meddle with a sleepin man?”
“Don’t you know that you were meant to be on the battlefield at the crack of dawn? I don’t know what kind of promotion you’re expecting when you aren’t even going on the battlefield. Do you really want to be Balmun forever?” Osmund spoke coldly, now reaching for his chestplate.
“Well no sir. But the thing is I actually have a very cunning plan, I thought of it all myself.” A smile falls upon the man’s face, whose head bears an uncanny resemblance to a potato.
“And what is that?” Osmund halted his preparations briefly.
“Well if I say I was there but didn't actually go, who’d think I wasn’t? I can just sleep through it all until the battle is won and no one would be the wiser.” Osmund puts a hand onto Balmun’s fleshy shoulder.
“A fine plan, if I wasn’t your commanding officer you buffoon. By the gods I believe some divine creator mistakenly put a turnip in your head instead of a brain because no noble’s son has ever been as frankly idiotic as you have. You’re coming with me to the battlefield, and I suggest you get dressed or you’ll be facing the last of the Vaunghe army with your flopping cock dancing for all to see.” Balmun stood and began to slip some clothes on, as Osmund completed his own set of armour.
Osmund’s armour bore the mark of a noble family, some rich fools who wanted their family crest to be associated with a bloody conflict and a dangerous murderer. Osmund wore it because of the armour’s quality, customfit to encompass Osmund’s 9’5 ft tall body, something no other armour was able to achieve. Osmund’s height was always an oddity, reaching far above the average 8ft heights of most Alizian’s, and making him one of the tallest figures in the lands. It was this height and his skin’s colour that earned him the name of the black death, which he wasn’t particularly fond of due to the mention of his skin. And even then Osmund certainly didn’t feel like a black death, whatever that was meant to be, rather he felt like death itself. Osmund was to be fifty years old by the end of the week, and it showed on his body. The hair that was left on his head was grey, and while still possessing an impressive form Osmund’s body was not in its prime, he was old.
Osmund looked at himself in the full body mirror, grabbing his longsword and leaving the tent, dragging a half dressed Balmun with him. Back through the tents they travelled, back past the now eager Strolomite’s and atop the hill where Osmund’s infiltration team stood. In any other battle Osmund would’ve despised the one that left this group with him, a collection of subpar and mediocre soldiers with all the military future of an Otter in a stew. But then again Osmund’s battle history did feature a lot of important people dying under his watch, so perhaps this was for the better.
The force began with Edmun, a cross between a prostitute and a noble who unfortunately takes more from the noble. An egotistical brat, as well as a greedy goblin of anything that isn’t bolted down, Osmund had borne the unfortunate duty of his company for months, since the initial assault on the capitol. The man could barely hold a weapon, save for slight skill with a flail of all things which he wore by his side. It was a gold plated flail as well, specifically made for beating in the heads of the poor Vaunghe soldiers stupid enough to get close. Blonde hair obscured blue eyes that spoke to his red-light mother, in fact for a noble’s son Edmun had all the appearance of an incestuous dullard. The man had survived by pure luck, and was the only casualty that Osmund wanted his side to suffer.
The Enick twins Humun and Eumun were up next, named after their family crest of the god of alcohol Enick. In contrast to Edmun these were a pair of real soldiers, Osmund had seen the fruits of their labour many times. They were great at the art of flanking, Humon’s greataxe paired alongside Eumun’s spears proved to be an unbeatable combination. The only issue that Osmund had with the pair was their… peculiar relationship. While the two were great fighters, whenever they were together anything else became impossible to comprehend. Osmund had once caught the pair attempting to seduce a goat wearing a knight’s helm, and while they were drunk there is still clear evidence of idiocy amongst them. The pair were identical in appearance, burly figures of 8’5ft, short cut black hair and overgrown beards stretching down their faces, however the distinguishing feature between the two was Eumon’s cleft lip, which gave his speech a lisp.
Josmu was far more a scholar than a soldier, although Osmund enjoyed his presence greatly. Since they first met the pair had hit it off, often discussing each other’s lives in Alizian taverns across the kingdom. A gifted archer, Josmu was the son of two aspiring poets and enlisted into the military voluntarily to assist in the war efforts. Osmund had a great deal of respect for the man, and hoped that the two would one day have a drink together, and ruminate on the past once more.
And then there was Jumun, a gifted soldier and one of the few Osmund thought could take him in his prime. Long strands of red hair ran down her rough face, a pointed nose and peculiar eyebrow shape giving her a perpetual look of disappointment. At a height of 9’2 ft she stood almost toe to toe with Osmund, in fact there were many aspects about her that reminded Osmund of himself. The first was her attitude, she treated every war as a tragedy of its own, and yet she would never fail to perform against her enemies. Skilled in most weapons Jumun’s life had been long and arduous, her worn out armour covered in patches and dents. Osmund had offered her a new set of armour once, to which she vehemently refused, telling Osmund that she wished to end the war in the armour she started it in. Currently she held a single large sword nearly identical to his own, and Osmund predicted that she couldn’t wait for the battle to be over.
The group stood facing the smoking walls, watching the now descending Strolomite’s retrieve the three gifts from the gods. Pushing them back up the hill would take tremendous strength and a long time, which is why nearly double the number of Strolomite’s assisted in the endeavour. Osmund cleared his throat, prompting the looks of the team. All of their eyes were of Balmun, who was somehow already panting after a 2 minute drag through the ground. Osmund released the man and pushed him towards his new comrades, to which he sulked.
Osmund could see through the smoke of the ruins now, noting the strangely high number of bodies present from Osmund’s view. It appeared that there were more forces than originally estimated, as it was initially guessed there were around one hundred and fifty soldiers inside. Judging by the number of corpses inside those numbers clearly forgot to account for the possibility of trainees inside of the castle. This may be a slightly larger fight than initially predicted, although even supposing there were another hundred or so trainees locked inside rooms there were things Osmund could do against that.
“Alright then, good to see that some of you actually bothered to wake up today, Balmun, and I think we all know that this mission is going to end the war.” Balmun raised his hand.
“Yes Balmun?”
“Sir I have a very cunning pl-”
“Shove your plans up your slacker buttocks, you idiot. Now then, I’m gonna say this once, because quite frankly the more chances I give Balmun to interrupt the more likely I’ll butcher myself with this sword. Now then we are the backbone to the forces, our mission is to help take individual points of conflict from alternative points. We will accomplish this with the leaked maps of the castle gained from Vaunghe intelligence. Now then, originally it was believed that we were dealing with only around one hundred and fifty troops, but it looks like someone didn’t remember the number of rookie troops that are trained here, so we could be looking at a few more troops than expected.” Osmund saw the hand raised but tried to ignore it. The man with the potato for a head seemed adamant however, and raised his hand higher. When that didn’t work he raised both arms.
“By the gods what is it?”
“Well sir, what kind of weapons do you think they have?” Osmund stopped in his tracks, not expecting anything even related to an actual important question. A smile formed on his face, it seems that even fools can think every now and again.
“Decent question my friend, we can probably expect the basic mix of swords and axes, likely shields also, but we may have one or two archers running around however it’s unlikely any survived the wall’s collapse.”
“That is good Osmund, once we take a few down I need a weapon, I like the swords myself.”
“What’s wrong with your sword?”
“I left it in the tent sir.” Osmund cupped his hands into his face, cringing against the stupidity of this man.
“Listen…. just everyone follow me please, I mean by the gods man. Come on. Listen I don’t think we will need any armour with us today, we have the single thickest piece of meat just over there as we speak.” Osmund points towards Balmun, who turns to see what everyone is looking at. Without another word Osmund begins to walk down the hill towards the castle, muttering things that even the gods consider a little racy.
* * * *
The ruins of Dundis stood firm in their strength, with the ruined walls blemishing what was once a grand fortress that none had penetrated. Tall spires protrude from the shapeless stone complex. Along the gateway was a path leading directly into the Dundis entrance, which stood slightly ajar. Fragments of the wall had crushed many parts of the outside, with simple wooden stables and trees crushed by the weight of the plummet of the debris. The architecture that remained spoke to the complexities of the Vaunghe, as spiralling patterns adorned the walls of the castle, interlaced with rare jewels that coated the walls. The Vaunghe were so fortunate with minerals that one could find them coating their walls, despite the fact that no one other than a fellow Vaunghe was ever meant to see such a thing.
A veil of embarrassment and determination clashed as the group descended the hill, weapons at the ready. The group had reached the ruins of the wall now, debris coating the grass and the bodies that were surely there. Even destroyed Osmund still felt some of that divine power the Vaunghe always babbled about, he felt the strength in the walls and not for the first time wondered why the gods would bestow such a gift upon such a vile group.
The group began clambering through the ruins, over the cracked pieces of stone and through the divine walls final remains. There was a smell here, the remnants of smoke colliding with the smell of blood, but there was a third smell, one that Osmund knew well. It was the smell of inevitability, heavy in the hair. That which is unlikely to happen always will happen, and when it does the smell adds to it all, the smell of fate and destiny runs through this place.
Inevitability hides everywhere, in the trees and the skies, carried by the wind through it all. From nature it was born, but in man it thrives, the building’s will one day fall, the kingdoms will fade away, and everything will one day lead to something else. From every beginning comes an end, and each end becomes a beginning, this is how it has always been. This place thought itself against such things, and inevitability infected its walls, creeping along slowly rotting the once great walls into a hellish nightmare. Now the bubble has burst, and the smell of inevitability crowds the world, taking over everything.
Moaning. A low whimper. A cry for something. Calls for assistance. A terrified yell. Osmund approaches the source of these noises, his team close behind. At the source of these screams is a Vaunghe soldier, somehow alive after the rampart’s collapse, covered in piles of stone and smoke. His outstretched hand reaches towards Osmund, who in turn takes it.
The man mutters something, sputters blood, and begins to fade. As he does, Osmund moves towards the rocks, feeling against it. Somehow the rocks aren’t as heavy as they should be, and Osmund slowly moves the rocks. The first and second rocks move, and after some struggling Osmund moves the third rock, revealing a bloody leg, spurting forward. Osmund realises how the man survived, the remains of a metal box squashed around him. As the rampart fell the man landed inside, narrowly missing an immediate demise. Now he sat, bleeding in and out of consciousness, and moaning for help. Osmund put his hands around the man, slowly lifting him, and moving forwards into the inner walls.
There are running medics here, and as they see Osmund’s approach they run to him, taking the injured man and placing him onto a table. The man may survive, they told Osmund, however his bleeding may take too much from him. As Osmund turns to leave he hears the voice, the message of the man.
“T-t-th-than-” It was shaky, interrupted by coughs and convulsions, but bore strength, and Osmund felt the ghost of a smile play upon him.
“It wasn’t an issue.” And with that Osmund left the tent, admiring the surroundings in focus for the first time. Eyes bore into him from his party, and yet no one said anything, they couldn’t. Many had called Osmund a monster in his time, they had seen him do bad things to bad people, and yet none would call him a monster, for there is no such thing. Osmund is not some black death, he’s another beast entirely.
For the first time Osmund admired his surroundings, the inner walls were now filled with wreckage, and looked back to the tent. It was amazing how quickly the medics could establish tents, the battle had occurred for less than an hour and already there were three tents established side by side. Besides the wounded Vaunghe soldier were three other injured soldiers, each seeming to be hit by a minor injury likely from the smoke inhalation.
The captured and surrendered were lined up against the castle's wall, being carefully monitored by over sixty members of the contingent. There were only around twelve or thirteen of the captured, smoke-covered and sputtering. On the ground were bodies, those rookies that tried so valiantly to protect what they cared for. They now lay, looking up to the sky blindly.
Osmund saw the bodies and felt his stomach turn. The desire came back. The shaking returned, alongside it the painful sharp stabbing thoughts. Everything changed, he forgot who he was. What kind of person would approve of this, what even was Osmund was he real or fake, how is he even conceiving things like this. What is reality and why is it real, why can’t he understand-
Silence. Peace. Osmund returned to himself, the shaking never happening at all. He looked down at the bodies and continued to walk. There was nothing he could do for them, not anymore. The eyes of his group bore into him, shattering something that had broken a long time ago. He raised his hand and motioned for his team to follow, leaving this travesty of death and life behind.
Footsteps. Osmund turned to their echoing sound, the way they bounced through the place was unbelievable, the way it echoed between the walls and the castle structure itself. Through open castle gates he ran, a messenger in green, sword in its scabbard and now approaching Osmund. The man tripped on something, a large rock of some sort, before standing, dusting himself off and reaching the group.
“Osmund, we have hit the enemy’s points of defence.” The man was young, maybe twenty, and no more than twenty five.
“And? Where are they?”
“There are three fronts, the first is in the scout’s tower where a group of Vaunghe are amassing weapons and barricades fast. We can no longer enter the tower, as the amount thrown down makes common entrance impossible. The second location is the garden, where we believe the last of the nobles and the King himself are. We’ve faced harsh opposition from the enemies, who have formed a wall of shields to protect the door. Finally we have the guard’s quarters, where a few amount of Vaunghe are in active combat as we speak, although that will likely be taken without need for intervention.”
“Good job soldier.”
“Thank you sir.”
Osmund removes a slip of paper from his garb, and admires it in the sunlight. It was a complex map of Dundis, including the secret passages and escape routes of the entire place. It cost the annulment of many Vaunghe men and women, but was worth all the effort. Consulting the map Osmund noted the existence of an escape passageway inside of the tower. It was obscured behind a wall, thus explaining the lack of windows on that side.
“Report back to your commander that we’ll begin with the tower, there are several clear passages into an alternative staircase. Launching a pincer attack we’ll defeat the enemy and allow for the redistribution of forces. By that time I expect the guard’s quarters to be taken, allowing us to completely overflow any opposition protecting the garden.”
“Yes Osmund, I will inform her now.” And with that the young warrior ran back through the castle’s long iron gates.
And thus, the final battle was upon them. Osmund looked upon Dundis, the last symbol of the people who had taken everything from him, the ones who had slaughtered so many innocents, so many that Osmund cared for, and now the end was finally in sight. But it didn’t feel like the end, Osmund could feel no conclusion approaching, it felt like something else, as if this was all leading into something more, some grand massacre the likes of which Osmund had never seen. There’s a darkness ahead, something far worse to come than the echoes of a fallen monarchy, and as Osmund stands he can feel it inside of him, gesturing sensually, awaiting his return to the beginning. In a mental prison of nonexistent existence lies the mother, a slight smile on her lips. She awaits the grasp of Osmund forevermore.
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2023.03.29 09:06 fictionwriter95 View the mural in the menu?

So I just finished the game for the first time, and I noticed that now in the home menu, the walls behind the desk (which were previously blank) now show the mural from the playthrough I just finished. I'm wondering if there's a way to view the mural from the menu, sort of like in the CoD: Black Ops menu where you could break out of the chair and go play Zork on the computer behind you.
Also, is there a list of all the possible outcomes for the family tree? The wiki just has the subheading "Family Tree" but no content under that subheading; it's literally just blank.
submitted by fictionwriter95 to Pentiment [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:04 gujratpackage Dwarka Somnath tour Package from Rajkot

Dwarka Somnath tour Package from Rajkot
Dwarka and Somnath are two of the most sacred and important pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India. Located in the state of Gujarat, these two cities attract thousands of devotees from all over the world every year. If you are planning to visit these two cities and are looking for a tour package from Rajkot, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will discuss the Dwarka Somnath tour from Rajkot.
Day 1: Rajkot to Dwarka
The tour will begin with your arrival in Rajkot. Our representative will receive you at the airport or railway station and take you to Dwarka. The distance between Rajkot and Dwarka is around 230 km, and it takes about 4-5 hours to reach Dwarka by road. After reaching Dwarka, you will check into your hotel and rest for a while. In the evening, you can visit the Dwarkadhish Temple and attend the evening aarti. The Dwarkadhish Temple is one of the four holy abodes of Lord Krishna and is one of the most important temples in India.
Day 2: Dwarka sightseeing
On the second day of the tour, you will explore the city of Dwarka. After breakfast, you will visit the Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, Gomti Ghat, Bet Dwarka, and Rukmini Devi Temple. The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, and it is believed to be the first one among them. Bet Dwarka is a small island situated off the coast of Gujarat, and it is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna lived with his family. The Rukmini Devi Temple is dedicated to Rukmini, the wife of Lord Krishna.
Day 3: Dwarka to Somnath
On the third day of the tour, you will leave Dwarka and proceed towards Somnath. The distance between Dwarka and Somnath is around 240 km, and it takes about 5-6 hours to reach Somnath by road. After reaching Somnath, you will check into your hotel and rest for a while. In the evening, you can visit the Somnath Temple and attend the evening aarti. The Somnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India and is considered to be one of the most sacred temples for Hindus.
Day 4: Somnath sightseeing
On the fourth day of the tour, you will explore the city of Somnath. After breakfast, you will visit the Bhalka Tirth, Triveni Sangam, and the Prabhas Patan Museum. Bhalka Tirth is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna was accidentally shot by an arrow while he was meditating under a peepal tree. The confluence of the three rivers Hiran, Kapila, and Saraswati is known as Triveni Sangam. The Prabhas Patan Museum houses various artifacts related to the history and culture of the region.
Day 5: Departure
On the fifth day of the tour, you will check out from your hotel and proceed towards Rajkot. Our representative will drop you off at the airport or railway station in Rajkot, and you can proceed with your onward journey.
In conclusion, the Dwarka Somnath tour Package from Rajkot is a perfect way to explore the two most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus in India. The tour will take you through some of the most sacred temples and historical sites in the region, giving you a glimpse into.
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2023.03.29 08:57 lemonandlemons [SP] The Reunion

After eighteen long years, I stepped foot on the grasses of the forest of my hometown. As I walked through the dense forest, the sound of rustling leaves and the chirping of little birds surrounded me. I was overwhelmed with the odd feeling of nostalgia. After some time, I reached a glade. This place is filled with both the best and the worst memories of my childhood.
When I was young, I would come here with my little sister, Aria. It was like our secret place, where no one could hurt us. We would wander around, carve stick figures on the trees, and lie down on the grass and stare at the navy-blue sky. Living with an alcoholic father was not easy. But this place was our haven. Spending a few hours there, under the twinkling stars, surrounded by the trees, reminded me that the world was not as inhumane as my house portrayed it to be.
Aria loved exploring. When she was young, she would run after the bees and insects flying in our garden. She also had this weird obsession with shiny objects. Thinking about how she would stare at mum’s ring with her dumbfounded eyes and how her lips would take the shape of a circle in adoration of the white stone always makes me chuckle.
I found teardrops rolling down my cheeks as I walked up to a tall tree and found a drawing carved out on its bark. I was twelve when I had carved out the stick figures of my sister and me holding hands. The worst event of my life played again and again in my mind. We were right here. I remembered how happy I was in the calm before the storm.
The day was March 13, 1997. I was just thirteen, and Aria was seven. I distinctly remember sitting reclined on a tree. Aria was lying on the grass next to me. A cool breeze blew through my hair as I stared at the twinkling stars and the glimmering full moon. That is when I saw five orange lights moving high above the sky. They were moving together in a V-shaped formation with one in the middle and two on either side. It looked like they were all a part of one massive aircraft, which moved very slowly without making any sound.
“Hey Aria, look!” I said and turned towards my sister. But she was not there. I looked forward and saw her far ahead, running towards the lights in the sky. I shouted, “Wait!” But she didn’t stop. I sprung up and ran as fast as I could through the forest, dodging the trees in my way. A flash of bright light pierced through the darkness. It was there for just a few seconds.
My brotherly instincts told me to run faster and faster. My heart was racing as a feeling of dread filled my mind. I looked everywhere, between shrubs, behind trees and rocks. I looked up into the sky to search for the orange lights. They were gone. Aria was gone too.
Aria was the only reason I smiled, the only person whom I considered family. For the next four years, I was all alone in battle, fending for myself, fighting with my father and picking up empty bottles from our living room floor. By the time I was seventeen, I had had enough. So, I packed my bags and ran away to the town nearby. “I let her run away. Where did she go? What were those strange orange lights?” These thoughts haunted me every second of my life, constantly reminding me how bad a brother I was. I always thought I would never return. But then my father’s death forced me to come back here.
I sat against the same tree I did so many years ago and replayed the same moment thousands of times in my mind, trying to change the situation so that Aria would still be sitting next to me. While I was deep in my thoughts, I saw a flash of light in the sky. Then, I heard an animal walking behind me.
I turned around and saw a figure. It was not an animal. A human silhouette grew bigger and bigger as it walked towards me. I was amazed to see the girl standing in front of me. She was thin and withered, her lips were gray, and her skin was pale white. She had cut marks on her arms and right cheek. Her hair was shaved off. But I recognized those sweet brown eyes and that small button nose immediately. That was my sister.
She was staring at me. She had recognized me. A small smile formed on her face. I was overwhelmed by happiness, confusion, excitement and relief. I tried to say something, but I couldn’t find the right words to express the emotions that had taken over me. She came closer. I ran towards her with my arms extended out and hugged her tightly. We stood there for a long time, oceans of tears flowing down our eyes. During that time, I didn’t want to know what had happened. My sister was snuggling in my arms, and she was safe. That is all that mattered.
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2023.03.29 08:41 Muted_Brick_8012 25F looking for an online friend in LA area.

25F currently feeling lost after ending a 3.5 year relationship with my best friend. With him I have zero friends and an estranged family (except for my mom).
my favorite band is Tigers Jaw, I love going to concerts, eating ramen, trying new restaurants, working out at the gym, watching tv shows, going to the movies, watching the sunset at the beach and going to Joshua tree and hiking spots near LA.
message me if you’re interested :)
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2023.03.29 08:41 CharacterPolicy4689 concept for open-source modular generic/universal domino-based TTRPG

I have a stupid idea I've been working on. I've been inspired by a couple playing card/tarot-based TTRPGs lately and it seems to me like dominoes are a super underused medium for role playing games. Unlike cards, they don't wear out. They're as cheap as dice. And they're everywhere.
They also have a pleasant physicality. I remember watching a video of a professional domino tournament a while back and one thing you notice is, when playing a domino, domino players will frequently wind up and audibly slap the domino audibly to the table. It's like a scorpion going off. It's hilarious. I also like how they can be balanced on edge.
Mathematically speaking, they're pretty versatile. Summing the two sets of pips results in a fair-enough approximation of a bell curve, while picking just one half of the domino obviously gives you the uniform distribution comparable to a single die (good for rolling tables). I'm still mathing through all the possibilities (subtracting the higher number from the lower number, etc) but imho it's not surprising that dominoes can do most if not all of the tricks dice can, with the added benefit of arguably easier calculation.
Dominoes can be arranged in a grid pattern to create maps/interior locations according to simple procedural rules, both square-grid and hex-grid (by arranging the dominoes in a brick pattern) of varying degrees of regularity- from almost entirely random, to repetitive, to complex. They can be laid end-to-end to generate plotlines and histories for worldbuilding. Spinners employed in cross and star formations can even be used to generate alternate histories for multi-dimensional plotting, and trees can be formed for genealogies (zoological, familial, technological, and so on), or even skill progression trees. They can also be used to form networks to simulate cities, the walls of dungeons, or the red strings connecting clues in a corkboard, or even stacked (although the theme one might apply to such a stack eludes me for the time being. Mining?).
As for resolution systems, "roll and keep" I think, for obvious reasons, seems the most natural. You draw a certain number of tiles, a number which might vary according to stamina or whatever, and resolve it by picking a certain selection of pips. I think a dice pool style resolution works beautifully with dominoes, specifically something set-based like one roll engine. I also like the idea of having blank ends constitute botches, which "yes, but" successful plays much like the variety used in Cortex Plus.
I would love to hear your thoughts as to what I've worked out so far. I'm afraid it's too broad, but because there are so few domino-based RPGs on the market, I really want to make this into a bit of a swiss army knife. I'm honestly considering simply slicing the concept into a series of one page RPGs, then collating them all and publishing them in that fashion.
submitted by CharacterPolicy4689 to RPGdesign [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:19 QuirkyRefrigerator80 Marriage Advice - lonely and sad in my marriage

I will probably have to delete this post eventually. I need life/ marriage advice.
I constantly think about divorce. I'm in my early 40s and been married since my mid 20s.
I am so unhappy. My husband doesn't respond much to me in conversation. He is a quiet guy and not a big communicator. My therapist has asked more than once if I think he is on the spectrum.
We have different outlooks, and religious beliefs (which causes a lot of tension - that's a whole other story. We were both raised in a high control religion, which I don't believe in anymore, but attend to support him), I'm not close to his parents who will need an awful lot of financial help from us in the future, we have a dead bedroom (years of dead bedroom) and I'm just so so lonely.
The upside he is the nicest guy in the world. Just lovely. He is kind, sincere and would do anything for anyone. Gentle and mild.
If I leave my husband I won't just lose the life we have, but my friends and family. I will be shunned due to the religion.
I have tried to talk to him about communication with me over the years, and making more of an effort to connect. Its just lost on him.
Should I try to book in therapy and make this work, or are there too many obstacles?
I'm not afraid to start again. I'm still young-ish in my 40s and can support myself financially. It will be tight but I'll manage.
If its obvious to you please let me know. Sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees.
submitted by QuirkyRefrigerator80 to Marriage [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:18 AvidReader77 [QCrit] Futuristic Dystopia - THE DOPAMINE EFFECT (61K/First attempt)

I am extremely nervous to finally start talking about my novel to other people. I am done with my first draft and already editing it. Since I will be seeking representation when I am ready, I thought it was a good idea to start polishing my query letter as well. It follows below:
Dear [Agent],
Jacob Kruger is a twenty-nine year old man with the same problem everyone in the world has – he can’t feel happiness. After a disastrous pandemic caused by a unique bacteria, humans lost the ability to produce dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphin: the happy hormones. Depression hit everyone everywhere, for no one was able to feel joy anymore.
To save the day, Joy Corporation, a company owned by a trillion-dollar family, synthesized the four happy hormones into injectable and orally available drugs. The invention saves humanity, as suicide rates were going through the roof after the pandemic. The drugs allow the users to temporarily feel the desired effect for some time, depending on the dosage. Do you want to exercise? Inject some dopamine beforehand or you will have no motivation for it. Do you want to make love? Use some oxytocin to prepare otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it.
Happiness is now a product – people have to pay so they can feel.
Hundreds of years pass by, and Joy Corporation is the most powerful entity there is.
Living for decades in a declining society, where no one other than the wealthy population can afford to feel good all the time, something unexpected happens to Jacob. After being offered the position of test-subject for Joy Corporation, he accepts it in a heartbeat. What he didn’t count on was the side effects – one in particular, that nobody saw it coming. Jacob’s brain chemistry changed and he is now the only human being on Earth capable of producing the four happy hormones naturally.
What seemed to have been a blessing, ends up opening his eyes for a much bigger truth. A secret right under everyone’s nose, but that nobody can see because everyone is too worried about affording a little bit of happiness every day. What Jacob decides to do with his new gift can change the history of humankind.
I am querying for my novel, “The Dopamine Effect,” a Futuristic Dystopian complete at 61,000 words. It will appeal to YA audiences, as many of the problems faced in the story – power, corruption, happiness, love and inequality – are themes such audiences tend to get hooked on (The Hunger Games is a good example of it).
I live in the United States and like to travel around, but I am currently in the state of XXX. I love pop culture and works of art that makes me question existence and life itself. I also love page turners, which is why my work tends to follow that format. You can contact me through email, or if you prefer, my phone number is XXX.
submitted by AvidReader77 to PubTips [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:04 ProfAelart How does your family tree look?

Do you all romance and include the established lore sims in your own families? Or rather random townies?
submitted by ProfAelart to Sims4 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:03 ccroy2001 Weird Cloud around the Moon!

Weird Cloud around the Moon!
Hi, I am on a family vacation near Yucca Valley, California. I have never seen clouds like this!? Pixel 6a night mode. Bonus Joshua Tree bloom.
submitted by ccroy2001 to Pixel6aUsers [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:55 prestige_park_grove1 Prestige Lavender Fields – Luxury 2,3 BHK Flats

If you're looking to move into a beautiful new apartment, you should check Prestige Lavender Fields. This new development is located in Whitefield, one of the most sought-after areas in East Bangalore.
The 1 BHK unit at Prestige Lavender Fields Apartments provides ample space for a single person or couple. It features a bedroom, bathroom, and living room with spacious closets. The kitchen is fully equipped with modern appliances and has a dining area that opens to the balcony.
These apartments are designed to maximize efficiency. They offer plenty of storage space and have individual resident-controlled Energy Star heating and air conditioning.
You can find a variety of floor plans at Prestige Lavender Fields, from one-bedroom to three-bedroom units. All units include balconies & terraces, an attached garage for four cars, and fire safety systems to ensure your safety.
These apartments are located in a prime location, making it easy to access major schools, hospitals, and shopping malls. You can also take advantage of many other amenities, including a fitness center and community pool.
Prestige Lavender Fields Apartments offers a mix of premium 1 BHK, 2 BHK, and 3 BHK apartments. These high-end homes are built to the highest standards and designed to provide an unparalleled level of convenience and coziness.
The 2 BHK unit at Prestige Lavender Fields features a foyer, combined dining and living area, kitchen, 2 or 3 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, and a balcony. This floor plan is ideal for couples, families with small children, or those who like to entertain guests often.
This residential enclave is located in Whitefield, one of the prime suburbs of Bangalore. It has favorable surroundings and is home to top job parks, educational institutions, shopping malls, and hospitals.
This residential complex is currently in the pre-launch phase and will offer a variety of sizes, layouts, and features at a range of price points. This makes it an excellent opportunity for those looking to make a permanent move into a new home.
If you’re looking for a large, luxury apartment, Prestige Lavender Fields might be the perfect place. This luxurious development is designed by the renowned real estate company, Prestige Group, and offers plenty of first-rate amenities to its residents.
Moreover, these apartments are located in a high-demand area of Bangalore that is well-connected to job zones. They’re also within a short distance from some of the city’s biggest tech parks and incubators.
The 3 BHK unit at Prestige Lavender Fields has a foyer, combined living and dining rooms, a kitchen, and either one or two balconies. It’s perfect for a single professional or student who wants to enjoy a happy life in a beautiful home.
The 4 BHK unit at Prestige Lavender Fields is perfect for single people or small families. It features a foyer, combined living and dining room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen/utility room, and either one or two balconies.
The apartment complex is located in a prime area of Varthur, and it is just steps away from top technology parks and incubators. It also offers excellent amenities, which is why it is so popular among home buyers.
This pre-launch real estate project is expected to sell out quickly when it is finished. It is surrounded by reputable shopping malls, retail options, movie theatres, food courts, beauty salons, entertainment centers, kids zones, hotel chains, banking institutions, and more.
The complex features a wide range of amenities and services, including a clubhouse, swimming pool, senior citizen area, health care centers, sports courts, badminton court, mini theater, party lawn, and tree-lined pathways. It also provides residents with a reliable water management system and an uninterrupted power supply.
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2023.03.29 07:54 RehnWriter Who Keeps Sending Me Those Damned Postcards!?

Who’d ever be afraid of postcards?
After all, it’s nothing but paper, right?
That’s how I’d have reacted if you’d asked me that question about a month or two ago.
It all started back in April. I’d just returned from the grocery store and checked my mail. I do it less than frequently. The only thing that ever finds its way there are fliers, random advertisement or the occasional bill.
That day though, as I stood in front of the big outdoor mailboxes of my apartment building, there was something else. Amongst a handful of fliers that had accumulated over the past week and a half, I also found a postcard.
After I’d crumbled up the annoying advertisements, I checked the postcard. Its front showed a pair of cute kittens and a ball of yarn.
When I turned it around, wondering who it was from, I found a postal stamp, my address written in fine letters, but no message. At least I thought so until I saw a single smiley face drawn where one would usually find a message.
I stared at the card for a bit, more amused than confused, wondering who’d sent it.
Without thinking much, I pocketed it and went inside. After I’d put away my groceries, I added it to a small bulletin board in my hallway where I’d put up all the postcards I’d received from friends and family over the years.
I’d forgotten it soon enough, if not for another one that arrived a week later.
This time the motif was a sprawling forest with the sun rising in the distance. When I turned it around, it was the same thing. A stamp, my name and address, and another silly little smiley face.
“What the hell?” I brought out before I shrugged. Back inside, I pinned it to the bulletin board and went on with my day.
A few days later, another two postcards arrived. One showed a couple of balloons flying through the air, the other what I assumed to be an important historical building. Once again, neither of them contained a message. Instead, both of them showed the same lonely smiley face.
By now, I couldn’t help but frown. This was getting creepy.
This time I didn’t bother to put the cards up on the board. In the trash they went, without a moment’s hesitation.
And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder what was up with this. Why’d anyone sent me those cards? Why not add a message instead of that stupid smiley face? Was this supposed to be a joke?
I didn’t find any answers to my questions, but the next time I checked my mailbox, I found another batch of postcards inside.
They depicted random motifs, were all addressed to me, and each one sprouted another smiley face.
This time, I wasn’t confused or puzzled. This time I was getting angry. Who the hell was sending them? In my anger, I tore them to pieces right then and there and grumbled up the remains.
Then I stopped and looked around to see if the perpetrator was nearby. Maybe this was all someone’s elaborate joke to see how a random person would react to something like this?
Then I shook my head. It wouldn’t do me any good to grow paranoid about a couple of silly postcards. And they all had a postal stamp, so they’d arrived via mail, anyway.
And yet, the next day, I found myself in front of the mailboxes again, checking it even though I told myself to not let it go to my head. But wouldn’t you know it, I found another one. The same was true for the next day and the day after. Each day, a new, cute little postcard arrived, address to me and sprouting another random smiley face.
Who the hell was doing this? Those cards, the shipping, it all cost money, didn’t it?
That’s when I wondered who it could be. I didn’t exactly have friends and what few old ones I had I hadn’t talked to in years. The next thing that came to mind were past relationships, but I hadn’t dated anyone in years. The only nasty break-up I could think of was with Lin, and that had been almost a decade ago. No, as much as I racked my brain, no one came to mind.
I went online, asked about it on Reddit and other similar sites, but most of the answers I got were silly jokes. What few serious replies I got suggested it might be some sort of marketing campaign, a social experiment or someone tricking random people to see how they’d react.
Great, that didn’t help me one bit. So much for the information age.
Each day, I thought about the damned cards more and more and each day new cards arrived.
Eventually, on my way to the grocery store, I ran into the mailman who’d just started on his delivery on our block.
“Hello, excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?”
The man turned to me and gave me a puzzled look before he nodded.
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Well, for the past weeks, I’ve been getting those weird postcards in the mail. Do you by any chance know something about it? Maybe other people receive them too and I was wondering if there’s some sort of, you know, promotion or something.”
For a moment, he stared at me again.
“Haven’t heard of anything like it.”
“Yeah, but those damned cards keep arriving. By now it’s two or three a day and I was wondering,” my voice trailed off.
“They are like, landscapes, animals, greeting cards, anything basically.”
“All right,” he brought out in a strangely suspicious voice. “Do you live here?”
“Ah, down the road, in number sixty-eight.”
“Tell you what, buddy, I’ve no clue if I delivered any postcards, there’s a ton of mail and even more mailboxes. I’ll keep my eyes open though.”
From the way he held my gaze, I knew he wasn’t doing anything like keeping his eyes open. No, I could tell he was uncomfortable about the entire thing and just wanted to get over with. I sighed, nodded, and went on my way.
The next morning, while I put on some coffee, the same curiosity overcame me again. I put on my shoes and made my way outside. Wouldn’t you know it, another pair of postcards had found its way into my mailbox.
In an onset of fury, I tore them apart, cursing to myself, and threw their remains down in front of the mailboxes.
Once done, I found one of my neighbors, an old woman walking her dog, staring at me, a worried expression on her face.
“Ah, sorry,” I mumbled, more to myself than to her, before I hurried back inside.
Great, fucking great. If this continued, I’d be known as the local crazy guy in no time. But really, what the hell was up with those cards?
I had talked to the mailman, of course, but by that point he hadn’t been at my building yet. And he probably didn’t give a shit about a random guy pestering him about postcards. No, if anything, I had to talk to him right here, while he was delivering the damned things.
Yesterday I’d met him at about one in the afternoon. So he’d probably be back shortly after noon.
I tried my best to distract myself with my work, but I soon couldn’t concentrate on it anymore. Instead, I found myself sitting at the kitchen window, watching the street and mailboxes outside, waiting for his arrival.
I sat there for more than an hour, busying myself on my phone, when I noticed the bright-yellow delivery car. In an instant, I jumped up, put on my shoes, and dashed outside.
When I’d made it, he was rummaging through the back of his car, sorting through letters and parcels. Then he made his way to my building with a stack of them in his hands. The moment he noticed standing by the mailboxes, he gave me an awkward smile.
Shit, I told myself, now I’m the guy who’s stalking the mailman.
He gave me a friendly nod, trying his best to ignore me, but every so often his eyes wandered back to me. The way I watched him clearly unsettled him. Shit, I had to do something about this situation.
“Sorry about that,” I brought out, stepping up to him.
He gave me a half-questioning, half-scared look.
“You probably think I’m a nutcase but,” I broke up and couldn’t help but laugh. “All right, shit, now you definitely think I’m a nutcase.”
He joined my laughter, but his had an awkward, hollow sound to it.
“So about the postcards,” I started, but he raised his hand to cut me off.
He went through the stack of letters right in front of me, showing me one after another and then the three parcels.
“Nope, no postcards, same as yesterday,” he eventually said.
“Yeah, when you asked me.”
“Motherfucker,” I brought out.
He gave me another curious glance as he pushed letter after letter into their corresponding mailboxes.
“Sorry, not you. It’s just, I found another batch this morning, so I thought maybe today there were more of them.”
“Well, as you can see,” he said, shrugging.
“Yeah, all good. I’m just trying to figure out who’s sending the damned things,” I said, giving him a little smile.
He gave me another curt nod before he hurried back to his car.
All right, if those things weren’t delivered by the postal service...
And so the biggest question on my mind changed from why to who and especially when.
For a moment, the strangest feeling came over me as I watched the mailman at his car and opened my mailbox again. Maybe he was fucking with me and hadn’t shown them. But when I stared into my mailbox, it was empty.
Back inside, I hatched a plan. They were there every morning, and the mailman didn’t deliver them, so someone else had to be behind it. I mean, they couldn’t just appear there out of thin air. So if I just waited by the kitchen window and watched the damned mailboxes, I should catch the perpetrator.
I found myself an interesting podcast, sat down by the window, and began my watch.
I sat there all afternoon, but all I saw were neighbors checking their mail. None of them touched my mailbox at all. When the sun set, I prepared myself a can of coffee.
When night fell, I was about to turn on the light, but then remembered what I was doing. Whoever was behind this would see me in the window and would just sit tonight out. Hell, maybe they’d already seen me and decided to leave things alone for today.
Still, I had told myself I’d catch the one responsible for this and that I’d watch the damned mailboxes.
And yet, slowly, ever so slowly, hour after hour passed. Soon enough it was midnight, then one in the morning. At two, I grew tired and downed yet another cup of coffee. At half-past three, I almost nodded off.
I slapped myself across the face, downed another cup of strong coffee, and turned the podcast a few notches louder until it sounded like someone was screaming into my ear.
Eventually, morning came, and the sun dawned. I sat there, tired, exhausted, but most of all, discouraged. No one had shown up, no one at all.
For a moment, I couldn’t help but laugh. What the hell was I doing? Why was I sitting here all night just because of a bunch of stupid postcards?
And yet, I kept sitting there, watching the mailboxes for another hour and then another. Somehow, I couldn’t stop. It felt like the moment I’d step away from the window, someone would rush to the mailbox, put the cards in and dash away.
Then I started to think. What if they were waiting for exactly that? What if someone had seen me by the window and was waiting for me to give up, to falter?
My apartment was on the ground floor. I’d be out at the mailboxes within moments. If I was fast enough, maybe I could catch them red-handed.
For a moment I scanned the area nearby, the street and the sidewalk, the bushes and trees, but I saw no one.
Still, just to be sure, just so I wouldn’t miss a thing, I put my phone up near the window where it couldn’t easily be seen. Then I made sure it was pointed at the mailboxes and started a recording.
Once I was sure everything worked, I stepped away from the window. I put on my shoes, grabbed my keys and hurried outside to the mailbox.
I was all alone. My eyes darted around for movement, trying to see if anyone was nearby or hurrying away. All was as quiet as it could be. No one was nearby.
Then I walked up to my mailbox.
My fingers were sweaty as I put in the key and my hand was shaking slightly as I turned it.
It had to be empty, I told myself, it had to be.
But the moment the small mailbox opened up, I could already see them, three postcards. Cute kittens and puppies stared at me from each one. When I turned them around, I saw the postal stamp, saw my address and name and of course the damned smiley faces.
As they stared at me, I felt almost as if they were laughing at me, mocking me. Had someone actually made it to the mailbox in the few moments it took me to get here?
In an instant, another surge of rage came over me and I shredded the damned things. Then I made my way back inside and hurried to the kitchen.
The phone was still pointing at the mailboxes, still recording.
I was filled with the strangest sense of glee, of curiosity as I replayed the recording.
I brought the phone as close to my face as I could, gazing at it. The recording began, showing me the lonely mailboxes.
“Now, where are you, asshole?” I wondered as I continued watching.
Second after second passed with no one showing up, with nothing moving.
Then I saw something and at first I thought I’d caught the damned asshole playing tricks on me before I realized it was me walking up to my mailbox. I watched as I looked around, as I took out the key and opened it and eventually tore up the postcards.
In frustration, I dropped my phone onto the kitchen table and laughed.
How the hell had someone put those damned cards inside? I had seen no one!
Then I wondered if someone had dropped them in before I’d started watching the window. There had been a few minutes after my talk with the mailman. Hell, what if I had actually nodded off and hadn’t noticed it?
What if the damned mailman was behind it? Maybe that asshole pretended not to know anything and the moment I’d left him, he ran back to my mailbox and put the damned cards in? What if...
All right, stop. This is getting ridiculous. You’re sounding like a crazy person. Hell, you’ve acted like a crazy person. This entire ‘let’s watch the mailboxes all night long’ thing was crazy enough.
I rubbed my temples and shook my head. Shit, I was exhausted and all that for nothing.
The moment I fell into my bed I was deep asleep.
After that day, I made it a conscious effort to ignore whatever was going on here. Who knows, maybe that person did it all to get a reaction out of me. Maybe they were watching me, and maybe they’d seen me tearing up postcards and talking to the mailman. Maybe if I stopped caring they’d tire of their antics?
Either way, I told myself I’d better things to do than to worry about freaking postcards.
Still, whenever I was in the kitchen, I found myself at the window, staring down at the mailbox for a little while before I moved on.
I checked my mail occasionally. When I went to the grocery store or when I returned from an evening walk. Every single time, I found postcards inside and every single time there were more of them. They had to arrive in droves by now. At one point, I pulled out over three dozen of them.
It was the strangest thing, dumbfounding even, but I forced myself not to show a reaction. I wouldn’t give whoever was doing this any sort of satisfaction. No, I took out the postcards, closed my mailbox and went inside where I discarded them.
It was about a week later that my doorbell rang in the late afternoon. When I answered it, one of my neighbors was outside.
“I guess those are for you, aren’t they?” he brought out in a slightly annoyed tone when I opened the door.
I stared at him and then at the stack of postcards in his hand. My eyes grew wide, and I almost cringed back.
“Wait, what? No, those aren’t mine, they are,” I broke up, shaking my head.
“Look, no, those aren’t mine, they are-“
“But that’s your name on them, isn’t it? Right here, on every single one of them,” the man cut me off, his voice now more annoyed.
“Yes, I know, but-“
“Then how about you take them off me?”
“I... fuck, all right!”
With that, I ripped the stack of postcards from his hands.
“You know, it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit friendlier,” he brought out, staring at me.
At first I was about to retort something. To tell him to go fuck himself. But then I told myself to calm down. The guy probably brought them here because he thought the mailman had messed up. He was just trying to be a good neighbor in his own way.
“All right, I’m sorry,” I brought out. “Look, there’s something odd about those postcards.”
The guy’s face didn’t change. Instead, he kept staring at me.
“Someone’s been dumping them into my mailbox for weeks. Hell, probably for a month by now. Every day I find those stupid cards inside. Look, there’s not even a message on them! It’s all just those stupid smiley faces. I don’t know why they put them in your mailbox, but maybe they want to fuck with other people as well.”
“Who are... they?” the man asked me in a half-concerned, half-confused voice once my rant was over.
“Shit, I don’t know! The ones who are doing this, who are fucking with me, fucking with you!”
By now the man had grown apprehensive and taken a few steps away from me.
“Look, I’m not looking for any trouble,” he said, raising his hands in a defensive posture.
At that moment, I got an idea.
“Hold on, let’s go back to the mailboxes.”
“Why’d I-?” the guy started, but after a few moments of standing there confused and lost, he followed me.
After a few moments we were back outside, me standing in front of the mailboxes and him keeping a safe distance from who he thought to be a madman. After a quick turn of the key, I opened my mailbox. A flood of postcards descended upon me. The entire mailbox had been filled to the brim. The last ones had been stuffed inside with such force they’d crumbled.
“What the hell?” the man behind me brought out.
“That’s what I thought,” I reasoned. “They probably dumped the rest into another mailbox, into yours.”
“Look, if this is your idea of a joke, then-“
“What the hell kind of joke would that be? Look, there’s got to be dozens in here, maybe hundreds. Why’d I buy all those postcards just to play a joke on you?”
“Why’d anyone?”
This time, I couldn’t answer.
For a few more moments he stood there before he shook his head and left me alone with all my postcards. As I stared at the filled up mailbox, at the postcards who’d rained down on my feet, I couldn’t help but laugh.
This was insane, this was just utterly insane.
Over the course of the next days, things didn’t get better. More and more neighbors showed up at my door. The nice old lady from floor number three, a student from floor number six, and a young mother from down the hallway. Every single one of them would ring my doorbell to hand me a stack of postcards addressed to me that had accidentally been delivered to them.
As quietly and as normal as I could, I explained to them that someone was playing a trick on me. I told them to just ignore any cards addressed to me or throw them away.
They all nodded, but I could see the puzzlement on their faces, the confusion and the apprehension.
I could tell they were all wondering if this was my doing, and I was sure they considered me the local crazy guy by now.
It wasn’t long before even the mailman rang my doorbell. He told me there was a problem, and he had to speak to me for a moment.
When he saw who I was, he frowned.
“You know this is a problem, don’t you?” he asked, pointing at the mailboxes.
“What do you-?” I started but broke up.
Half of the mailboxes were stuffed with postcards.
I couldn’t help but laugh nervously, which prompted an angry glance from the mailman.
“That’s got to be hundreds... thousands,” I eventually brought out.
“Yeah, and I can’t deliver the mail, thanks to them. What are you going to do about it?”
“What am I... what?”
“Well, they are all addressed to you. This is clearly related to you!”
“But, I don’t, ugh,” I broke up in frustration.
By now, another neighbor had arrived, staring at her mailbox.
“Not again,” she brought out as she opened her mailbox and tore dozens upon dozens of crumbled up postcards from it.
As I watched, as I stared at all those stuffed mailboxes, I knew this wasn’t a prank anymore. No, something strange was going on here, something extremely strange.
I pulled out my phone and called the police. I made my report as vague as possible, telling them someone was stalking me and damaging the mailboxes at my apartment building.
When they arrived, I told them about the full situation. They listened intently, but I could see the look on their faces.
The longer I went on talking, the more angry they seemed to get.
I was quick to lead them to the mailboxes and pointed at the general chaos. Their anger dissipated almost instantly and was replaced by confusion.
“And, how long has this... whatever this is, been going on?” one of them asked while his colleague stepped up to the mailboxes.
“I guess, about a month and a half,” I started. “At first it was only a single postcard, but then more and more of them arrived, and now it’s come to this.”
The two police officers did the best to handle the entire situation professionally, but I could tell they were as perplexed as I was.
They asked me if I had any enemies, but I answered I couldn’t think of anyone. I told them I’d tried to figure out who was behind this for weeks, but I had no clue. I even told them of my nightly watch.
Eventually, one of them handed me his card with a phone number on it. They told me they’d take some postcards with them and look into it and they’d have someone to watch the nearby area.
With the police here and them taking action, I was sure this thing would finally end. Stuffing all those mailboxes had to take time, and I was sure they’d catch whoever was responsible.
The next morning, however, I found all the mailboxes in chaos again. Mine was so stuffed, I was surprised the door was still closed. Almost all other mailboxes were in a similar condition.
As I stood there, I took out my phone and called the number on the card the police officer had given me.
He answered, and I told him it had happened again. The man listened, but he couldn’t tell me much. They had someone watching the area, but so far, they hadn’t been able to see anyone suspicious.
The weird deliveries continued, and soon I wasn’t the only one in contact with the police. And yet, they never found out who was behind it, saw no one.
Even stranger, though, were the postcards themselves. None of them showed any label or a hint of a manufacturer. The same was true for the stamps.
And yet, nothing could be done and postcards kept arriving.
Before long people began pressuring the renting company. Something had to be done about this absurd situation. I knew some of them wanted me gone from the building while others wanted them to hire a mailbox security who’d watch it at all hours of the day.
The renting company, however, had a different plan. One day, they sent a maintenance team that took down the entirety of the mailboxes and simply moved them inside into the entry hallway of the building.
When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was to check on the mailboxes. Other people did the same thing.
I think we were all expecting them to be filled to the brim once more. Instead, everything was normal. There were no postcards with my name and silly smile faces on them anywhere.
I could see the relaxed faces of people around me, could hear them sigh in relief and talk about how it was finally over. And I couldn’t help but join in. They were still wary of me, still wondering how I’d spawned that madness, but I didn’t care.
Instead, still smiling, I went back to my apartment. I hadn’t even had coffee yet, I thought to myself.
With quick steps, I made my way towards my kitchen.
For the first time in weeks, hell, in more than a month, the world felt normal again. All I wanted right now was a nice, hot cup of coffee.
All those feelings vanished and changed the pure terror when I opened the kitchen door.
Right there, on my kitchen table and on the floor all around it, I found an uncountable number of postcards.
With a shaking hand, I picked up one of them. On it I found a postal stamp, my name and address and a stupid little smiley face.
And as I stared at it, as I stared at that silly, stupid little face, I couldn’t help but smile myself, smile and laugh about the absurdity of this entire mad situation.
submitted by RehnWriter to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:53 lofetette an interesting name history from my family tree

so in 1910 this lady had a son named Charles. he was stillborn.
the next year, she has another son.
she names him charles anthony. he dies a few months later (chokes on spit-up, very tragic story)
a few months after that, she dies of hysteria due to losing two charles’
several years later, her oldest daughter names HER first born son Charles in honor of her late brother(s).
then, to continue the honor, people in the family continuously named their sons charles.
now, 113 years later, I have roughly 7 cousins named charles, all varying between I, II, III, IV, and V
horribly tragic, but interesting nontheless.
submitted by lofetette to namenerds [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:49 BirdsArentReal22 DNA identifying remains of long buried enslaved SC people

I love this story. That the deceased are being treated with care. And that modern DNA may eventually connect these people with their living descendants, helping fill some gaps in African American family trees.
submitted by BirdsArentReal22 to Geneology [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:47 Queasy-Common9735 20 best fragrance for teenage girls

20 best fragrance for teenage girls
Finding the right perfume is like finding the perfect partner. You are really going to know What are you looking If we are talking about perfume for teenage girls there are many of them.Finding the right perfume is difficult for us especially if we are looking for best oneWhich perfume is best for us depends on us and which perfume we like depends on our choices. The factor which is most important is that what type of scents you likeAre you like fruity one like mango, orange etcIf we talk about our personality wise it is also matter for our personality to choose right one because perfume also describe our personality
Some perfumes are costly so many people can’t afford them but some are not too costly and the best oneIf we talk about the best perfume for teengers in 2023. We are picked some of you
1. Thank you next perfume by Ariana Grande
If you are teenager and looking for best perfume for school/collage and party Then you can go for thank you next by Ariana Grande It is a juicy and fruity perfume which feels fresh and soft & sweet.
2. Princess by Vera Wang
Vera creates this fruity and strong perfume for girls. It is that type of perfume which almost everyone likes. It’s popularity is grown in too short time
3. Viva la juicy by Juicy Couture
Viva la juicy is one of the most favourite perfumes in 2023. This perfume has too much fan following by teenage girls. If you go through it then you will never be regret
4. 1981 by Guess
1981 by Guess is my most favourite classic perfume. If you are going to buy it will be your new favourite one. It is simple and delicious smelling perfume
5. Perfect by Marc Jacobs
Perfect by Marc Jacobs is the right perfume if you are looking for the best one. This perfume is defined by notes of amber, cashmere and cedar. If you are going to search perfect one we highly recommend it
6. Tommy girl by Tommy Hilfiger
This fragrance is released in 1996 after that it has huge popularity in cosmetic field tommy girl by Tommy Hilfiger is a perfume collection for all teenage girls. This fruity Fragrance is the mixture scant of apple tree blossom, mandarin orange, lemon, and Rose. if you buy the fruity one than you have the best one
7. Heat Rush by Beyonce
We all heard the name of Beyoncé. She is the official Queen of music, fashion, and perfume and there is no denying that. This perfume is sweet and the perfect reminder of summer. It has the notes of orchid, mango blossom, orange, and honey amber It is perfect for teenage girls looking for a trendy perfume and will smell delicious all day long
8. Dior J’adore In joy
This perfume is for teenage girls and it is a classic and popular Dior J'adore perfume. Whenever you are going to school/college or your first date it will be your best choice.
9. Lucky you by Lucky Brand
It is the best example of combination of citrus and flower that’s why it is best for teenage girls. It’s a strong fragrance so that it is not for every teenage girl. That is made specifically for those girls who love the sweet floral perfumes. So you should try it once
10. Daisy by Marc Jacobs
It is my most favourite perfume in the list of Marc Jacobs perfumes. This perfume is for teenage girls and young women.it will be completed almost 20 years from now. And now a days it is also popular and mostly recommend for teenage girls
11. Elish Eau De Parfum by Billie Eilish
It is a warm, enveloping fragrance in a combination of vanilla, cocoa, and sugared petals. It is an excellent perfume for young girls. It was very popular in those past years. We highly recommend it because of its notes. If you buy it you will never lose it.
12. MOD Blush Eau De Parfum by Ariana Grande
Ariana is the rising Queen of Perfumes and Ariana herself describes MOD Blush Eau De Parfum as lighter and sweet. And it has two new fragrances. If you are going through it you have no one to deny it
13. Victoria's Secret Bombshell Seduction Eau De Parfum
Victoria’s secret bombshell seduction eau de parfum is the best seller bombshell. It has a light scent with attractive packaging. As we like a bit more grown-up than bombshell this perfume is the best package for it
14. Walk On Air by Kate Spade
For the girl who’s sophisticated, a kate spade fragrance could be a surprise gift of a nice addition to her beauty routine. It still has a youthful, fresh flare great for teens. It has layers of magnolia, lily of the valley, jasmine, and crinum lily. It feels more fresh then the most of. So go for it.
15. Lovely by Sarah jessica parkerVi
Launched in 2005, this perfume has notes of mandarin, rosewood, apple martini,bergamot and lavender. As this name truly smells like that: lovely. It is the perfect package of sweetness and more attractive. The most loved thing is that this fragrance smells much more expensive than it cost.
16. Glow by Jennifer Lopez
It was released in 2002, Glow by Jennifer Lopez is the best budget fragrance. It smells clean and soapy. Lopez created this fragrance 20 years ago and from then this perfume's popularity was increasing day by day and still on. If we talk about prizes this is perfect in budget. While we admire the fresh scent, it is the best one.
17. Fenty Eau de Parfum by Rehana
The name we all know Rehana has once again nailed another category in the cosmetic industry. This fragrance has the top notes including magnolia, tangerine, musk and Bulgarian rose. This perfume is costly for most teenagers but it also smells costly. If you go for it you have to look at your budget first but still you chose this you will always like this one.
18. From Above by Dolly Parton
If you love very sweet smelling fragrances then From Above by Dolly Parton may be your next scent. This fragrance is not for every teenager because it is very sweet smelling compared to others. If you like its smell then you can buy it. It is not much more costly than other celebrities fragrances.
19. Killer Queen by Katy Perry
This fruity pick from katy perry includes top notes of forest fruits,bergamot and plum. This fragrance bottle has the royal shape and smells will also feel like royalty. If we talk about its price then it will be in your budget. You should try it once.
20. Love Rush by Paris Hilton
This fragrance was released in 2004. From then it has a huge fan following and from then this fragrance is the most favourite for millions of teenagers. The top notes in this fresh floral fragrance include italian bergamot, mandarin zest and white apricot nectar. It has great looking packaging. One of the drawbacks of this fragrance is that it’s currently only available on her website. If you like this one you should buy it.
If you are confused about choosing perfume, We described the best fragrance of all time. There are some in your budget and few are not. Here we described in all of their notes and it's on you which one you prefer. They are all time favourites for teenage girls for school, collage, parties, weddings etc. . they all are amazing perfumes. You should go to one of them of your choice.
submitted by Queasy-Common9735 to u/Queasy-Common9735 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:42 TheNewRickard ReactJs & d3Js family tree

I created an interactive responsive family tree with reactJs - nextJs - d3Js.
live link here : https://viscene.vercel.app/family-tree
Want the code? Clone the repo here : https://github.com/Petrando/viscene-share
submitted by TheNewRickard to reactjs [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:42 hotelbodhitree Hotel in Patna Near Railway Station: Hotel Bodhi Tree

Hotel Bodhi Tree is the best hotel in Patna near the railway station. The hotel is easily accessible from the airport as well, which is just a 30-minute drive away. The hotel has well-appointed rooms that are designed to provide a comfortable and luxurious stay for guests. The rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
One of the standout features of the best hotel in Patna Hotel Bodhi Tree is its exceptional dining options. The hotel has restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines to cater to the tastes of all guests. A multi-cuisine restaurant that serves Indian, Chinese, and Continental dishes. The restaurant has a contemporary decor and a warm ambiance that makes it a great place to enjoy a meal with friends or family.
submitted by hotelbodhitree to u/hotelbodhitree [link] [comments]