Keepers mark wow

There really is a sub for everything!

2012.07.17 17:41 Battletooth There really is a sub for everything!

This is where you post to bizzare subreddits that you never knew existed! Its for every time you look at some strange or niche subreddit and say to yourself, "Wow, there really is a sub for everything!"
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2010.10.26 20:00 boringer The Lore of Warcraft

This subreddit is for discussions about the lore of Warcraft!
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2018.12.31 14:37 Ya_boi_Radiation Stolen Art

When you see someone steal art or something else someone worked hard on; a meme, animation, etc; throw one o' these in the comments and call them out
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2023.06.10 04:49 johntmeche3 Collection Purge Pt 1

The knife box is overflowing and I have way more projects than I have time for. Time to send some knives to their next home.PP F&F. Yolo is king. Should be able to ship out by Monday at the latest. If I noted a scratch or wear I tried to catch it in the light in the photos. Album is in order of the post if you want to scroll the album. I haven’t been buying and selling a lot recently so hopefully my prices aren’t off.
Timestamp/album https://imgur.com/a/WO0Vv6d

Never Cut or Carried

The following have never cut or been carried and are in as new condition unless noted.
Orion Scorpio [$70]. https://imgur.com/dk5URzF https://imgur.com/rx1tsbL 14C28N blade. This is the Stonewashed/ Black Micarta/ Blue Accents variant. I got my hands on two and decided to let this one go. It's only been flicked open a few times. Comes with the box. Great little button lock.
WE Mini Malice [$195] https://imgur.com/q8rp7QZ https://imgur.com/MUdUkrV https://imgur.com/95V2WNN 20CV and black stonewashed titanium. I was going to strip the scales and anodize them, so that I could have the all black hardware and blade but I found a variant I liked more. I never carried or cut anything with it, but somehow it has a scratch on the clip. See photos.
Civivi Altus ($50) https://imgur.com/lm0ORBo https://imgur.com/jBocagv Wood scales. Into-V blade .When this came out I was excited for a civivi button lock. Flipped it a few times when it came in and put it back in the box. Nice knife for someone who likes what it has to offer!Civivi Cogent ($50) https://imgur.com/xWkYfjH https://imgur.com/55a6s1r Bought this because I was going to do a blade swap for jade/damascus, but it never happened. I’ve realized I’m not really a flipper guy. Awesome button lock. Never cut or carried.

Second Owner / Carried


Demko AD 20.5 [$240] https://imgur.com/bqfJ5Am https://imgur.com/PZ4Ie4B https://imgur.com/HqFpbdu https://imgur.com/0OZ3Gqh https://imgur.com/dF08Q0U https://imgur.com/DziQf2g https://imgur.com/TUlXABK Choose your own adventure AD20.5 Comes with the clip point and sharksfoot blade in AUS10a. Wearing RSD linerless scales. Scales had a paisley pattern on them that I tried to even out with some careful anodizing but it didn't quite come out. Scales have a few snails on them as shown in the photos. Backspacer is a factory jade backspacer that I dyed minty green. I can swap it for a factory grey one if you prefer that and throw in the corresponding stock scales.
Spyderco Yojumbo [$160] https://imgur.com/9iqKJ5I https://imgur.com/F0GC0ON https://imgur.com/QDlPASe https://imgur.com/hn653ob S30V and G10. Second owner. Came to me in great shape and I never used it. I love the Yojimbo, but I am all about the pocket pouch life, and it’s just ever going in there. There are a couple tiny scratches on the blade. You have to hit them in the light just right to see them.
Sypderco Crucarta PM2 with S45VN blade ($140) https://imgur.com/TgQkUoE https://imgur.com/rJBxfFT Black deep carry clip with an s45VN coated blade. I bought it from someone who did a blade swap and didn’t realize what I was getting, so let me be very clear. Handle is from the Crucarta PM2 and the blade is S45VN. It’s in excellent shape as you can see in the pics. I bought it to mod but never touched it once I opened the box and looked at it.
Spyderco Manix 2 ($130) https://imgur.com/yx32v8y https://imgur.com/MCRZPcN https://imgur.com/NvMHuA3 https://imgur.com/Gr42kSN s30v coated blade. Has some scratches from use. You can see them when you move the blade in the light. Fang opener and bluejean micarta scales.
Paragon Warlock ($190) https://imgur.com/tjxJUA5 https://imgur.com/TAY5Tsm https://imgur.com/haR5Dc7 https://imgur.com/oguaeDE Second owner. Bought it to see what the lock is like. Fidgeted with it for a few minutes and now it’s your turn. Knife is in great shape as you can see from the photos. I haven’t cut anything with it or carried it.
Alliance Mini Slim Pickins ($275) https://imgur.com/zyqxOqC https://imgur.com/ESFrPln https://imgur.com/mC67Mwt https://imgur.com/mwq5CqW https://imgur.com/6k5dbtn Elmax blade. Second owner This is the Ti bolster with micarta. They sell kits to swap out the micarta with other scales. I thought about doing a shipwrecked version, but I have 3 of these and only need one. There’s some snails on the bolster. This is an amazing knife with an amazing fit and finish.
Alliance Mini Slim Pickins Copperhead ($300) https://imgur.com/IlD9x8B https://imgur.com/odTPkfP Elmax blade. Second Owner. I haven’t cut or carried. Copperhead version. The action on the MSP is just incredible. I wound up getting the low key flashy MSP and anodizing it blue or I would be keeping this one.
Benchmade Bugout 535-4. ($180) https://imgur.com/t6OmiGD https://imgur.com/LmSyaAV https://imgur.com/FWQshCs https://imgur.com/6ovZOah M390 blade and aluminum handle. Second owner. I personally haven’t cut with it or carried it but the first owner definitely did. I bought this one to put the ti scales on but I have too many bugouts already and not enough time to mod them all. The coating has some scratches as you can see in the photos. Not super visible unless you start moving it around in the light.
Benchmade Mini Grip ($75) https://imgur.com/YpK0zKK https://imgur.com/hbaeuCg S30V Second owner. Haven’t personally cut or carried it. Got it planning on doing a mini grip Bugout mod, but once again, no time. Missing a clip screw and the clip is worn. I can probably scrape up another Benchmade clip to toss in if you like.
Benchmade Super Freek ($135) https://imgur.com/e2JHOQn https://imgur.com/JhClioZ https://imgur.com/66gl6wo Second owner. Haven’t personally cut or carried it. Used for some cerakote practice. The coating is chipped in a few places. Bought it because it looked cool. Sat in the knife box for a long time, so out it goes. Ti Deep carry clip included!
TRM Shadow ($270) https://imgur.com/pcjet9P https://imgur.com/ZjNKhXG Second+ owner. Bought it a couple months ago and immediately scored a grey one as well. I like to RIT dye things so the grey was the keeper. Didn’t put any use on it myself. Just trying to get my money back. According to the previous description the previous owner sharpened it and swapped out the thumb studs.
Kizer Hic-cup ($60) https://imgur.com/jQsQwF7 https://imgur.com/WQ5bpMj Second Owner. Richlite scales 154CM blade. Got this off of the swap and then saw that there was a non-flipper version. I’m not a flipper guy. She has slept in the knife box the whole time I have had her.
Spyderco Amalgam ($150) https://imgur.com/vLox9db https://imgur.com/DoWv1YH https://imgur.com/bQtMjTG https://imgur.com/XYEW954 Got this off of a trade. Flicked it once and realized I didn’t like the flipper. I never used it but there’s some scratches on the blade from the previous owner. I didn’t notice them until I went to put it up for sale. It could use a flipper delete

Scales / Parts

Flytanium Titanium Bugout Scales [$45] https://imgur.com/8BqlO9C https://imgur.com/OJAhLPo Bought these to go with the m390 bugout, but I have 2 other bugouts and I'm getting rid of most of my Benchmades. I put an entropic finish on one of the scales. I would be happy to do the other one if you like.Kirinite
PM3 Backspacer ($15) https://imgur.com/u2CsSyU https://imgur.com/mJZpldN Red and Black Kirinite PM3 backspacer that I picked up at some point. No real wear on it or anything.
Meton Boss Shaman Backspacer ($50) https://imgur.com/q2XAma8 https://imgur.com/u2CsSyU https://imgur.com/mJZpldN Oil slick zirconium gear backspacer. Meton Boss charges $99 for them. This is brand new. I got this one and a titanium one. The titanium is the one I installed and kept.

Pens / EDC

EDC Kit [$50] https://imgur.com/66TkV4f Well loved Hitch & Timber card caddy, Bronze Fisher Space Pen shipwrecked by me, and an Aurora A4 Titanium light. The light is missing the little rubber cover for the charging port. Costs about $7 on amazon for a pack of 20. Not sure what version the light is. The shipwrecked portion of the pen is sealed with automotive clear coat.
Tactile Turn Bronze Side Click Pen ($70) https://imgur.com/ADm4Oax https://imgur.com/q7Zfcl2 Full size Side Click. Shipwrecked by me and sealed with automotive clear coat. Definitely not a pen that you see every day.
USG Tiscribe V2 ($60) https://imgur.com/AvqNFng https://imgur.com/ODtes5c https://imgur.com/kEbgaTp All titanium. I anodized the clip and bands a golden color and then put a lightning ano on it. It’s go a little wear near the tip. Fits a G2 refill.
Tale of Knives Multitool Sheath ($100) https://imgur.com/AJ1LTkc https://imgur.com/fgJGw77 Bought this because I was thinking about EDC my Leatherman. Going to have to stick with the nylon sheaths because I carry my bits too. Marks are from me loading it up to see if I liked it. I never even put it on a belt though.
Nottingham Tactical Titanium Pen ($210) https://imgur.com/9bj0Cmg Double lock full size G2 version. Not really dying to give this one up. I put an entropic finish on it and it’s just excellent.
submitted by johntmeche3 to Knife_Swap [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 04:23 Rover5234 [Tudor Pelagos 42mm] Review after owning for 3 weeks

[Tudor Pelagos 42mm] Review after owning for 3 weeks
This is my first time piece. I intend to wear daily and have thus far. I considered the wait time and double of cost if I were to go with a Rolex Submariner with date ($10,250). I also considered the Tissot Seastar as a budget purchase ($750) or Omega Seastar ($5,600). The Pelagos came to about $5,200 after tax.
Pros: - I love the matte bezel, dial, and crystal. Elegant but not flashy like other luxury dive watches - The bezel has a wonderful sound and intentional 60 clicks. A different sound and feel compared to Submariner. This is definitely designed for utility rather than charm. - The titanium bracelet is surprisingly light. Has a great luster to it especially after cleaning with light dish soap and water. - Being able to adjust the bracelet is awesome. Wrist size can swell throughout the day and nice to be able to adjust as needed. Three adjustments of 2mm each so not a huge difference but noticeable. - The time accuracy is incredible. Usually 1-2 seconds fast per day is what I’ve found. I use the Hodinkee app to princely set the time. - The sweeping second hand is fun to watch and the dial is so crisp with the black and white contrast. - Lume markers in daylight are so crisp white. Fantastic lume brightness upon immediately going into dark room. - 5 year warranty. The Pelagos has been known to lose lume markers and time to replace under warranty has taken months from what I’ve read. Crossing my fingers I don’t have this issue!
Cons - The bracelet and clasp scratch pretty quickly. I have a desk job as a CPA and have not banged the watch against anything once. So I should be a good example of normal wear. The scratches are far less noticeable, if not at all, when under normal lighting. I captured these photos in bright lighting that captured the full wear marks for your ability to see. Most are on the links that rub on the table on the outside of the wrist. - Under normal office lighting, the lume markers aren’t crisp white but show a little green. - Lume doesn’t last too long. Maybe an hour or two. Also needs outdoor light to get a substantial charge. - Some folks find the case to be too thick but hasn’t been an issue for me.
Overall, I catch myself thinking “wow” often when I look down at my wrist. Any watch is going to endure scratches when worn daily. Still very happy with my purchase 🙂
submitted by Rover5234 to Watches [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 02:48 cishet_isomer The Girl Next Door

I never met you, but it feels like you probably had it together sooner than I did.
I was a lost thirteen year old, begging my parents to please understand that this is not just something I read on the internet.
I had no proof. You had it all, I’m sure.
Even as I write this I know so little about you. Perhaps I will use this as an opportunity to assume - you can fulfil the role of the person I think you might be, and I know I will get it wrong, but then I get to make my point, and you get to be a transgender celebrity, and we both walk away happy. There are others like you and I know what they are like well enough, I suppose.
Hormone blockers at ten, huh? Wow. Back then I was still trying to convince my parents I needed an iPod, and crushing on that girl I met over the summer holidays. It’s tempting to say you must have just been in the right place at the right time, with the right parents. But we all know those who go first, who push things forward like you did, often sit at the extremes. Did you transition in primary school? Were you playing with barbies, as they put it, from the day you learned to ask for them? I guess I could find all this out, I could listen to how you explain it, but it’s more fun putting the pieces together working backwards.
You were my age, you lived a short drive away from me, I might have even walked past you on the street sometime long ago. I feel connected to you now because of what emerged, but we never met, and we probably never will. You represent a me I could never have been, but also a me I was so close to having been. You represent the invisible, impossible girl who was living just down the road when I was told that nobody else felt like this. In another life, we could have gone through it together. If my parents had lived a bit further west or yours a bit further east, maybe we would have gone to the same school.
I don’t mean to say you had it easy at all. I can only imagine the torment, the anguish, the sheer desperation. Nobody understood back then, and it wasn’t even that long ago. How many therapist appointments, counselling sessions, and doctor’s offices did you attend instead of eighth grade English class? How many psychiatrists with a thousand pages of DSM-5 on their desks did you see instead of going to sleepovers with your friends? It must have been hell.
But then again, the alternative must have been worse, or you wouldn’t have done it.
Do I feel luckier than you, that I avoided all this? Maybe. We both had heavy crosses to bear, there were no winners here. My situation feels more complex, and that’s not just because I know it better. To transition a decade ago, especially as a teenager, you had to have a clear story and my alibis didn’t line up. Do you like boys or girls? Did you play with dolls or legos? Red pen, tick mark in the “no” box, next patient please, this one’s a fake.
I lied - I might have done a bit of research, and unlike mine, your story checks out. What two-year-old boy, for lack of a better word, says they want a vagina? A boy on track to being the first girl in the country to get on blockers, that’s who. It’s kind of hilarious, in a dark sort of way, to think that that might have been the first full sentence out of your mouth. I can’t compete with that! I was busy learning the alphabet!
Only now is that story changing. In meeting dozens upon dozens of trans people, many of whom didn’t transition until their twenties, thirties and beyond, one thing is clear: the kind of trans person you were and are, very much exists. But, it’s a tiny minority of the realm of possibility, to the point where I have yet to meet anyone else who figured it out enough to put into words before the age of twelve. It’s a huge tragedy that until very recently, there was only one kind of story that was accepted, and it was yours. Do I resent you for the fact that your story happened to be the right one? Of course not. But maybe I’m a little jealous. Just maybe.
I think back to all the possible times in my life I could have transitioned, and I return, dejected, to the admission that twenty-two was the earliest that really made sense. Sure, if I knew what I know now, I’d go back to high school and do it over the right way, unswayed by the opinions of those older than me, but that wasn’t the question. The subtlety of my journey, my gender identity, my end goal and the path to get there, was too much for my thirteen year old self to bear. It was there enough that she could see some glimmering flicker of it, just enough to catch the light, but not enough to grapple with, wrangle into something that made sense, and integrate into her life. So she let it go, adrift in the wind, and trusted it to come back when the time was right.
Had you been assigned female, you would have been just the same as any other girl. Part of this feels like the allure of the highly palatable trans woman to society in the first place: hey look at her! She’s just like any other girl, and she’s cute too, but you’ll never guess that she was born a boy! You might not have had your own Wikipedia page in this world, and who knows if your acting career would have taken off. But maybe that’s a worthwhile price to pay to be invisible.
Had I been assigned female? Well, I can point to a probable early life of confusion, tomboyishness, not-quite-fitting-in-with-the-girls but not-quite-fitting-in-with-the-boys-either, and a long and winding journey to a bisexual identity years later. So not really that different to current me, if I’m honest. At least being gender non-conforming might have been more acceptable, though I’m not saying it would have been easy. Being friends with girls without having it constantly questioned would have been nice though.
I often joke that if I were AFAB, I would have ended up non-binary by now. For someone who understands their gender identity to be fairly binary female, this is a somewhat tongue in cheek thing to say, but I do think it’s genuinely quite possibly true. I definitely feel more connected to femininity than its opposite - but that’s not to say I can’t see the masculine in my inner self sometimes. Perhaps I have a new identity crisis coming, who knows.
Being raised male, doing all I could to embrace the cards I was dealt, and then finally making the decision with eyes wide open to reject it all, feels incredibly empowering. It feels like I’ve unlocked a key to a world that fits me so much better. Every step of the way has felt correct, and I have few doubts that this is who I am. But I know that there are things about the way society raises women that I would have brushed up against in unhappy ways if things were different.
If I were born female, would I have been as academic as I was? Probably. Would I have gone into technology like I did? Less likely, but still possible. Would I have had the opportunities I did? Many yes, but some of them, almost certainly not. I don’t think I would have been pushed into STEM as hard as I was, or had the same drive I did to excel in it. Maybe, maybe not, who knows? My cousin was dealt the girl card and it didn’t stop her.
I know that I could not have transitioned at the age of eight like you did, because I did not know myself like you did; I was too busy learning to skateboard and play Mario. I could not have got on blockers at ten like you did, because I was busy camping with Cub Scouts, not fighting a court case to overturn medical laws. I could not have started estrogen at fifteen, because the doctors had already told me I wasn’t real, and I didn’t know enough to not believe them, and besides: if my hobbies are skateboarding, Mario and camping, why not just be a boy anyway?
I meet eighteen year olds beginning their transition today, and I’m overwhelmed with pride that we’ve come this far, shame that we took so long, and perhaps a tinge of envy. The court cases you attended when you should have been at primary school play a part in this, and there are thousands of teenagers who have benefitted from you being who you are. But then I remember that no, I could not have transitioned at eighteen either, because I was living with my parents who had already made their stance on the issue clear. I now know what it would end up taking to crack their shell, to have them on my side, because I have since done it - I can confidently say that at eighteen, I didn’t have it in me. I barely had it in me after I’d moved out, with a job and a loving partner, let alone when I was depending on them to drive me everywhere. The shift in tone has been incredible, but it took time for them to understand. My mother’s refrain now is that she failed in raising her trans child but succeeded in raising an adult who knew herself well enough to go against her parents. I like the irony, I think it’s beautiful and it tells a good story, but it’s tragic at the same time.
Looking back is only helpful up until a point. After a certain amount of reflection, we have to let go of the past and look towards the future. I’m grateful to my past self, because she did the best that she did with what she had. Past me could not have transitioned, but now here I am, educated, well fed, well paid, fit, healthy, surrounded by friends, in a wonderful relationship with a woman I love, and living in the right place at the right time. I am sure that I will look back in a few years with immense gratitude that I was able to transition when I did, that I was able to spend some of the best years of my life being myself. And in the scheme of things, I’m young - I can only imagine my thirty-year-old self writing this exact piece, the growing-up-next-to-me factor notwithstanding, about Julie Vu who transitioned at nineteen, or forty-year-old me writing it about Jamie Clayton who transitioned at twenty-five. I have to remind myself that both are beautiful, both are living the life they once only dreamed of, and I’m incredibly lucky to be born in a time where I can do this now rather than waiting even longer for society to catch up.
Of course I wonder about what could have been, and some unhealthy part of my brain curdles when I hear your voice, completely untouched by the testosterone that left marks on the rest of us. I may have survivor’s guilt of my own, but yours must be immense. I’m not mad at you any more than I’m mad at cis women for existing - part of me is just mad at myself for not having the fortitude to follow through, and you are living proof that I was not too young after all, that I failed. But at the end of the day, I feel that if I did transition when you did, I might have had to have been someone else.
submitted by cishet_isomer to u/cishet_isomer [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:24 Ainew1 Unable to reinstall windows, delete or format ssd

Hi all,
I have recently built a PC
msi pro z690-a I5-12600kf Corsair lpx 16gig Samsung Evo 970 ssd 3070 ti Corsair rm850
I installed windows on the Samsung Evo 970 and was running a copy that wasn't full activated meaning I needed to buy the activation key and had a water mark at the bottom.
Until yesterday I had no issues. I changed nothing I simply logged off WoW and went to work..the next day my PC will only boot into the msi bios.
I tried changing the boot order around just in case..changing the boot from uefi to csm. Then I updated the msi bios. Created a windows bootable flash USB and tried to repair windows.
So my last option was trying a fresh install however when I try to format my Samsung SSD it gives me error 0x80042428
Or the selected disk is gpt partition style.
I used diskpart and it gives media is write protected when I try to create a partition.
submitted by Ainew1 to 24hoursupport [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:03 Uberninja2016 Lord of the Rings - Bird Set Review

Lord of the Rings - Bird Set Review
A lot has gone down since the last bird set review. Heck, those wacky wizards even sent goons to someone's house. On that front though I say good, everyone who buys collector boosters is a criminal.

BIRD SET REVIEW - THE LOTR OF THE RINGS: ADVENTURES IN THE FORGOTTEN REALMS

This time we're departing the familiar skies in favor of some exotic Universes Beyond. I haven't personally read the Lord of the Rings or seen any of the movies, but one time on a plane I listened to the Silmarillion as narrated by Martin Shaw. It was easily one of my top three performances from the indomitable Mr. Shaw, whose dulcet tones painted a rich tapestry of fantastical beasts and of terrific birds.
Speaking of, what exactly makes a terrific bird? Is it a humanoid bipedal frame? Or perhaps a creature type that doesn't say "bird"? Ha ha HA diagram below.

another bird

Main Set Birds:

Well, well, well, it looks like someones actually decided to try for once. There's birds all over the place in this set! In fact, too many. Landroval gets the axe right off the bat, 0/10.
Ithilien Kingfisher -
Wow, a cute AND a small? If you ever draw a card off of this little guy it means you're a bad person on the inside. Grooving on.
https://preview.redd.it/5uk06fpu815b1.png?width=469&format=png&auto=webp&s=053bf9ab4ce5dfa77ef1d0ee7d34df6fc46fddc9
Dunland Crebain -
On a scale of "cloud" to "bird", these suckers are close enough to cloud that I'm going to call Sam on his bullshit here. It does vaguely look like a cloud. See those little inky-foggy-looking trails on them?
Totally a wisp of cloud. Get back on your horse, Gamgee.
Probably will see play in limited, 1/0.
https://preview.redd.it/hmbtkkrx505b1.png?width=899&format=png&auto=webp&s=ce169c89c8713db04debf3cc2109587615a7af34
Eagles of the North -
What if I told you... that you could have- and stick with me now- a cheaper Mindstone... that tapped for W and could never draw you a card.
If you were me, you'd respond "put it on a bird, you cowardly simpleton, you tortoise of a hare, you balding old bag, you et cetera and so forth".
This public shaming seems to have worked retroactively, and here we are. Hey, do these eagles also come with a 6-drop alpha strike taped to their cute bird heads?
I rate the mana roc 8 out of replacing an artifact in multiple EDH decks. Moving CAWWWWWn.
https://preview.redd.it/apk56rmd005b1.png?width=450&format=png&auto=webp&s=4f90d46543f30f16a49563d9ce4afae5da187786
Meneldor, Swift Savior -
I like how high up this bird is, what a champion.
Worst case scenario he can blink himself to untap, which, like Beacon Hawk before him, is surprisingly handy. Unlike BH, he's a 3/3 which means he might actually survive the ol' attack and block double whammy.
Other than that though there's like 12 blue birds that are worth blinking. Diagram. DIAGRAM. DIAGRAM.
I'd rate this bird E for everybody have fun tonight. EVERYBODY HAVE FUN TONIGHT.
https://preview.redd.it/bjuy7glio05b1.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=ff20cd6b60a5c6b72412449ff4b8eb589e369fb1
Gwaihir the Windlord -
Another truly decent bird, and a lord at that. Vigilance is an absolutely reasonable keyword to give your squad of ducks, and if you're doing convoke or have a first strike anthem I could easily see Gwaihir contributing to a scary board.
His cost reduction mechanic is also fair, getting a 4/4 for 4 with multiple levels of upside is an adequate cost, and drawing a single additional card is a tolerable hoop to jump through.
As a WU bird commander, he has a bird on the art and a bunch of serviceable abilities including one that cares about other birds. I cannot possibly see someone getting upset at you if you sit down with a Gwaihir deck, and yet a board of flying creatures with vigilance is a prosaic win condition.
This is an appropriate bird. 5/10, straight down the middle.
https://preview.redd.it/41522uyik05b1.png?width=448&format=png&auto=webp&s=cbef8a0b602040008f97792da9e9ce25a1bdb709

Main Set Bird Support Cards:

Nope. You can't even list "bird" six times for the ents.
Did you buy ten copies of Invasion of Gobakhan when it was preordering? Like I told you to? No? Why not?
Honestly, we should just get everyone together as a community and throw all of the English language collectors boosters into my trash can.
Then you all can go home and I'll, like, burn the bin or something.
https://preview.redd.it/orv3b4tmm05b1.png?width=451&format=png&auto=webp&s=c0f2a679b58dc0795029614d1eec6d4140537819

Limited Corner:

Meneldor and Gwaihir and the Eagles of the Nort' all seem pretty good in limited.
Crebain maybe might do something sometimes, and I do in fact think that.
Don't pick Landroval, he smells bad and is a fool. A 3/4 fool with flying who supports creatures that aren't birds. Fine, maybe sometimes pick him.
Also don't forget that it's actually a bad to draft collector boosters. If you didn't know that and accidentally bought a bunch of them that's a huge blunder on your end and you need to correct it immediately.
I've got an industrial shredder, though, so just send them to me and I'll turn the entire pack into like a paper mache sparrow that I'll mail back to you.
an untha xr3000c for this guy named me makes all the serialized ring cards go WHEEEEE

Commander Set Birds:

Gwaihir II, [[Roc Egg]]lectric Boogaloo -
Mark, you devious little gremlin. Now I have to re-tone this entire review because you had the dreadmaw artist put a small floating crown on a bird. A white bird, no less, and W birdstuff has been a pet deck of mine in no less than three formats.
Does this Gwaihir see serious legacy play? I don't know, but he kicks Landroval right in the bird dick.
Is he legal in 2018 standard? No. No he is not. Also that was five years ago, idiot.
Can he sit alongside Sephara and her sky's birds? OH YEAHHHHHH. 3/3s for dayyyyysssss, baby, like a fortnight of 3/3s. But no more though, because making 15 would be sin. Regardless, I'm not gonna play him because his card is all shimmery and weird and it looks like it's some sort of artifact.
0/10. I am afraid of the Universes Beyond card frame on a deep and emotional level. Schmooving on.
https://preview.redd.it/cqvy11ov915b1.png?width=468&format=png&auto=webp&s=96725810b33cbb6367cd0f22467c70bfc499e9a0
Radagast, Wizard of Wilds -
Hey, why isn't this guy covered in guano? And where did he get the 2/2 songbird? Doesn't matter: he gives your Whippoorwill ward 1 and pays you cash for playing Murder of Crows and Messenger Jays. 3 out of 5 out of 7.
https://preview.redd.it/6oazmrf0zz4b1.png?width=448&format=png&auto=webp&s=313e3be60d4bb0f4541761cf8417e2c97c220226
Song of Earendil -
Bird-adjacent at best, but look at the little fella. Aw, what a tiny guy. The painting of the bird is a 2/2 and that's final.
https://preview.redd.it/ztnay42zc15b1.png?width=469&format=png&auto=webp&s=86c7c88d04fca2a27441ec47f2c48e049012240c

Commander Reprints of Note:

Raven's Revenge -
Good. Good for the ravens. Stop attacking them, it's rude and they are right to heckle you for it.
https://preview.redd.it/wifccp80i15b1.png?width=407&format=png&auto=webp&s=8a0c861977163281a6794e4ce6b9245ab7a71807
Gilded Goose -
STILL ON THE LOOSE I REPEAT THE GOOSE REMAINS ON THE LOOSE
https://preview.redd.it/wgxkisjoe15b1.png?width=407&format=png&auto=webp&s=ac8db02b653cf740905690090a425b4c5d4b83bc
Birds of Paradise -
Ok... just gotta... get collected... and find the goose. It'll be fine... moving on.
https://preview.redd.it/75qmwgc3g15b1.png?width=407&format=png&auto=webp&s=f910d1cba520fe7b8bf4f25e9316fe64ee592e83
Swan Song -
THE SWAN IS GONE WE'VE GOT A CODE SWAN GONE HERE MAYDAY MAYDAY CALLING FOR BACKUP THE SWAN IS IN LEAGUE WITH THE GOOSE I REPEAT THE SWAN-GOOSE ENTENTE IS IN PLAY
https://preview.redd.it/vs7nfa15f15b1.png?width=407&format=png&auto=webp&s=1b594d064b3df315b95ea1e5f3805720a7706da6

Closing Remarks:

I guess the real The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth was the friends we made along the way. This set was a bird-a-palooza, which is why it's ok that I ate all those crazy mushrooms.
Unrelated note, somehow I am dying of mushroom poisoning.
I will never forgive WOTC for this transgression.
https://preview.redd.it/ytm9gzgozz4b1.png?width=265&format=png&auto=webp&s=66b6228f580ab01b34a944d114301053c45266f6
submitted by Uberninja2016 to magicthecirclejerking [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 19:55 Turbulent-Flame-1121 Decode in Toronto Last Night

I don't know if anyone else noticed but I was particularly wow-ed by the way Hayley did the classic, "yeaaaa YEAAAAAHH YEAAAAAAA" in Decode last night. She kept the "how did we get here" that comes immediately after in a higher key than the song usually has....and it's just not something I've seen her do before (but maybe she has other nights of the tour). It was particularly impressive, considering her mentioning she was a little hoarse, which you could definitely hear here and there in some of the other songs.
Here's the link to what I'm referring to, around the 3:20 mark https://youtu.be/nxAM4wwq_sA?t=200
Overall amazing show last night as always!
submitted by Turbulent-Flame-1121 to Paramore [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 19:53 VeryUnluckyDice Playing By Ear - Ch13 (NoP Fanfic)

First / Prev / Next
-
Memory transcription subject: Kila, Venlil Engineering Student (First Year) White Hill University
Date [standardized human time]: September 8, 2136
Finally.
Professor Gretty’s calculations had been spot on. He'd even accounted for any potential difference in temperature although it should be possible to manage that element from the tuning slide near the bell.
The apparatus I’d designed was a little different than I'd originally envisioned. At the base of the device, near the mouthpiece, there was a small part that would vibrate the air via a small oscillating ‘gate’. As the air passed through, it would emulate the human lips, causing the air column to resonate properly.
To determine the necessary frequency at which the gate would operate, I had attached a thin, spooled wire to the outside of the slide. As the slide extended, the spring-loaded spool would act as a tool for measurement, determining the length the slide had been moved by how much it had been unwound. As the slide retracted, the spool would rewind. That had taken some tricky design to make consistent. Even the small inconsistencies in how the wire rewound was both breaking the mechanism and causing inaccurate measurements.
Luckily, the slide moved on a mostly fixed path so I could make due.
I had initially planned to use a wireless controller. But, early testing was proving it to be more trouble than it was worth.
The data read from the spool was fed to the gate mechanism where it adjusted the frequency in real time. The entire device used a tiny amount of electricity and while a standard battery would suffice, I'd gotten a little creative against my better judgment. The spool also acted as a tiny generator, charging the on-board battery as the slide was moved.
If this was a school project, I think I'd get perfect marks.
That thought wasn't completely born from ego. I'd gone to great lengths to make it consistent. While the device was mostly simple, I had to make sure it would stand up under rigorous action. As such, I'd been moving the slide in and out the whole time I was tweaking it.
Something my arm was pretty damn tired of.
The harmonic was controlled by a small set of four buttons placed where the player’s paw would grip the slide. Each button represented a certain harmonic level. Between the spool and the buttons, the frequency control was very much usable.
The opening at the end of the gate mechanism was fitted for a specifically designed Venlil-friendly mouthpiece. I'd been considerate of the condensation (spit) that Brad had warned me about. The inside of the gate mechanism was lined with a flexible, waterproof material, allowing the moisture to seep downward and be drained from the ‘spit valve’ at the bottom.
Why did I choose an instrument that you have to blow into?
The whole apparatus would need maintenance and repair every now and again which made for more hassle than the baseline instrument could make. But, it did work for a Venlil player, something that couldn't be said for the original design. I’d actually tested the tone myself, proving that I'd also managed to knock down one of the primary barriers for entry. According to Brad, a Human player had to train their embouchure to be able to get the right frequency for each slide position. In the case of my mechanism, the player just had to be familiar with the harmonic buttons.
It almost felt sacrilegious to make the instrument easier to play. Seemed almost like we, as Venlil, were balking at the musical challenge. But, we were physically incapable of operating the instrument otherwise.
As I held the newly manufactured trombone in my paws, I felt some pride in its creation. I'd crafted it meticulously, sacrificing lots of my time and focus to design it. I'd molded the material, carefully constructed the pitch controller, wired the tiny circuit board, and RIGOROUSLY stress-tested the whole thing to make sure it was up to snuff.
It was completely and totally finished.
Yep.
All done.
Nothing left to work on.
Tested and approved.

I sighed as I took the trombone apart and placed the parts in the case. Oddly enough, the relentless rush to get it designed and built was not the part I was worried about. No, the real struggle was the true end goal, the reason I'd made the whole thing in the first place.
Why am I so nervous?
I'd spent my whole life tailing Saesh, trying to emulate her outgoing and fearless nature. Even when everyone around me seemed to take it as a warning sign, I couldn't help but respect her capability. To not be debilitated with fear was a boon to accompany her kind-hearted nature. So, I'd always made it my goal to be like her. Though, I'd often found myself in the same position as my pitch controller. I could emulate the original thing well but it was never quite the same.
For that reason, the prospect of asking Mezil out had me feeling pretty hesitant. The last thing I wanted was to make things weird between us. But, I wanted to get closer to him. He was such a good soul…and it was cute watching him stumble through things.
I just…wasn't used to romance. I'd never felt this way before. And, if things didn't work out, would it ruin our friendship? I didn't know what I’d do if things somehow ended on bad terms.
“You shouldn’t be so worried about what might happen that you let inaction turn into regret.”
I thought back to Brad’s words. He'd been pretty adamant that I should go for it and he also seemed to think I had a good chance.
Maybe Mezil’s disposition was rubbing off on me and I was worrying about nothing.
I turned my pad in my paws for quite some time. Was I really going to do this? I suppose I didn't have to commit to it right away. I could just call him over to my room and give him the trombone. Then, if things went well, I could continue on with the real request.
Yeah. That works. Keep it open. Like Brad said, less serious. Just take it one step at a time.
I hovered a claw over Mezil’s contact…
-
Memory transcription subject: Mezil, Venlil Music Student (First Year) White Hill University
Date [standardized human time]: September 8, 2136
After the last few paws, I’d been satisfied to take a considerably long rest. Having blazed through my homework, I took the opportunity to unwind and process everything. It was easy to feel restless with the information I’d recently gleaned but I’d be useless if I ran myself ragged anymore.
As I soaked in the blissful nothingness, I was jarred back to reality by the ringing emanating from my pad. Rolling off of my bed, I hobbled over to my desk where the device laid. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes as I brought the screen up to where I could read it. The call was from Kila. Odd. She usually just used text messages.
I tapped to accept and gave a groggy greeting as her visage filled the screen.
“Hey, Kila. What’s up?”
“Mezil, are you busy?”
She looked a little more serious than usual. Did something happen?
“Busy doing nothing maybe. No, I'm not really doing anything right now. Why?”
“Can you come to my dorm? I have something you might be interested in.”
That was intriguing but, to be honest, I'd have looked for just about any excuse to hang out with her again. It had only been a few paws but it felt like an eternity. I wasn't always as sociable as the average Venlil but confiding in her had helped me tremendously when it came to dealing with my academic predicament.
“Yeah, no problem. I'll clean up and head over.”
Her face lit up in response.
“Awesome! I'll see you in a bit!”
I stretched myself out and stole a glance at the mirror.
Yeesh. I really am a wreck. I'd better do a deep clean.
-
After bathing and getting the knots out of my fur, I found myself standing in front of Kila’s door. I reached my paw out and tapped out some light knocks. After a few moments, the door opened wide with Kila standing behind it. She wagged her tail in a greeting and motioned me in.
“Wow, you did clean up huh?” she asked while inspecting my newly brushed coat. I'd put some extra effort into it, wanting to make up for my recent disheveled look.
But, looking at her, it seemed she'd done about the same thing. I'd never seen her so well-groomed. Was there a special event coming up?
“Yeah,” I responded. “I've been a hygiene disaster the last few paws so I figured I should change that. You seem pretty done up too. It's a really good look. What's the occasion?”
“Oh, uh, I just wanted to clean up well. I've been kind of a wreck the last few paws too. End of the term, you know?”
I flicked my ears in affirmation. If her last few paws were as eventful as mine, I wouldn't blame her one bit.
“So, you had something you thought I’d want to see?”
“Right! But…maybe we should save that for later. I haven't talked to you lately. How’s schoolwork been treating you? Making headway?”
I sighed as I took a seat on her bed.
“It's going well enough, I guess. Busy. But, I've been completing everything so hopefully I'll pull through. That's not really what's been taking all my time though.”
“Oh? Give me the details.”
Part of me felt hesitant to disclose my findings at the library. But, ultimately I decided that Kila was plenty trustworthy. Besides, I'd already told Brad. Granted, he wasn’t living on a Federation planet.
Kila would keep it a secret. If anyone would do it for me, it'd be her.
So, I filled her in on my plight, explaining the Federation censorship and my meetings with Aebl. I showed her the music piece and told her about how Brad had played over it during our call. I briefly described to her my first experience with rock ‘n roll and how the intensity had made me view my struggles in a different light. Through it all, she sat and listened, occasionally asking questions but mostly staying enamored with the tale.
When I finished my recap, she leaned back in her desk chair and closed her eyes. After a moment of silence, she delivered her conclusion.
“Holy shit.”
An understandable response to my ramblings, I figured. I felt the same way.
“Yeah, that's been my recent experience. What about you? What have you been up to?”
She stiffened at the question, a response that made me stiffen as well. It was unlike Kila to be so jumpy around a subject. I wondered if I'd hit a sensitive spot.
“That…is a good question.”, she responded with hesitation in her voice. “Well…first of all I spoke with Brad alone. He showed me his guitar as well. We talked about some…things…”
Her vagueness was noticeable. It felt like she was dancing around the subject.
“There weren't any problems, were there?” I interjected. “I'm sure we could work out any conflicts.”
“What? No! I just…shit, I’m bad at this.”
Bad at what?
“I’m…not sure I follow.”
“You can’t follow because I’m not saying anything that makes sense! Just…hold on.”
Kila stood from her chair and opened the closet in the corner. From it, she retrieved a long black box, cradling in her arms. She sat it down lengthways on the floor and flipped open the latches. Before opening it, she looked up to me again.
“I've been working on this with Brad. I guess my physics professor helped too. It's a gift for you, actually. I've been busy with it for the last few paws.”
A gift? I hardly deserved one.
“You shouldn't have gone through the trouble,” I blurted. “Shit, it's the end of the term. You shouldn't be worried about me.”
“I'm not worried about you, doofus! Well…I am but that's not why I put this together. Besides, it's already done so don't reject it now.”
She lifted up the top half of the box and inside was a long, curved piece of metal tubing. It ended with a bell shape. Attached were a few strange devices I didn't recognize. It shone brightly, reflecting the light in the room.

“Uh…what is it?” I asked.
“BRAD, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”
Her sudden outburst caught me off-guard and I straightened up in response as she continued.
“I swear…Why wouldn't he show you after he showed me? Then again, he only showed me because I asked. But then, why didn't you ask about it? You're a music student! Damn it, this isn't going how I planned. Mezil, this is a trombone. It's a Human instrument.”
A human…instrument?
A HUMAN INSTRUMENT?
“How did you get a human instrument?!” I asked, nearly jumping onto the thing in my excitement.
“I made it! All in all, the instrument wasn't that complex to build with university machinery. The hard part was making it playable for Venlil. See, Humans do this thing with their lips and facial muscles…anyway, I had to emulate the whole thing mechanically.”
“You…did all of this for me?” I felt the tears forming in my eyes.
“Well…yeah.”
“How does it work? I've never seen anything like it. Holy shit, Kila, this is AWESOME!”
“Ok, so, first we need to put it together. See, the slide and the bell screw together here.”
She took the two pieces from the case and joined them at a threaded section, screwing a nut into place to secure them together.
“Then, you attach the mouthpiece here and place your mouth up to it to blow air through it. But, this is the weird part. Usually, Humans have to use their lips to make vibrations but we can't exactly do that. So, I built this here to serve the same purpose.”
Kila walked me through the functionality of the mechanism, showing me the buttons for changing the harmonic and also the less than glamorous spit valve at the bottom of the slide.
After getting her rundown, I tried it myself, placing my mouth up to the mouthpiece and pushing air through the vibrating gate.
Kila explained that I could use my tongue to cut the air flow and that it could create different effects on the tone. Pushing the air through was harder than expected as the gate restricted the air flow. Apparently, this was by design. It allowed for longer sustain since it didn't immediately require all the air in my body.
Despite the minimal air throughput, just enough to maintain a steady air column, the trombone was actually rather loud. Even the quietest tones I could produce had a significant amount of volume backing them. But, what was perhaps the most intriguing thing was the variety of sound it produced. The softer tones were melodic while the more forceful tones were almost disconcerting.
“You'll need to keep both the main slide and tuning slide greased well. You can detach the wire for the slide detection right here. The whole apparatus can be detached by removing these screws in case you need to clean the instrument. Just make sure to dry it well if you use water so it doesn't rust. And, make sure to keep dents out of the slides.”
As Kila finished her walkthrough, I placed the trombone down gently on top of its case and wrapped Kila in the best hug I could manage.
“Thank you, Kila,” I choked out. “It's amazing. You’re amazing! How did you manage this in two paws?”
“It was three paws, actually.”
“Three paws?”
“Yeah. I spoke to Brad about it that paw when you were at the library. Then, the next paw I spent playing with the design and running simulations. The next paw I built this one.”
“If it's been three paws…wait…”
Relinquishing my hug, I started rifling through my bag for my pad. I brought up the calendar, searching for assignment due dates.
My heart dropped into my stomach when I found what I was looking for.
“Oh no.”
“Mezil?”
“Oh no no no no no fuck fuck fuck FUCK!”
“Mezil, what's wrong?”
“I missed turning in like four assignments! I thought I had one more paw!”
The worry on her face only worsened as she realized the weight of what I was saying. I'd been scraping by, trying to maintain a GPA that would allow me to retain my scholarship.
I just threw that effort away.
I couldn't handle any missing assignments. My grades would still be passing but below the scholarship cutoff.
“Mezil,” she started. “Listen to me. We’ll figure it ou-”
“I'm such a fucking moron, Kila! Fuck! Everything I've done up until now…I just ruined all of it!”
“Look, maybe you can get some extra credit!”
“That's not even the point!” The tears of joy that had been in my eyes were being replaced with tears of anger as I nearly shouted in frustration. “I'm not closing the gap on my schoolwork! It's just getting worse!”
I sat back down on her bed, burying my face in my paws. Kila sat down beside me and wrapped me in a hug of her own. I felt her tail intertwine with mine like I had done when she had her first call with Brad.
“It's alright,” she spoke soothingly. “We’ll figure something out.”
“Why do you keep helping me?” I choked out. “I just keep fucking everything up.”
“No you don't. You're brave and strong. You're kind.”
“All I do is fail. Why even make this trombone for me?”
“Because…Well, actually, I wanted to ask you out for a date…So, do you wanna go out some time?”

What?
“I-I'm sorry?” I stammered. “Did I hear you right?”
I saw her face turn a bright orange. I felt my own face follow suit.
“Yeah. But, uh, this isn't how I expected it to go. I'm sorry. It's probably a bad time to mention it now.”
Kila’s sudden confession had snapped me out of my downward spiral completely. If anything, it was the best timing.
“Why me, though?”
“Why not you? You're a great friend. You're passionate about music, smart, and…kinda cute?”
“I'm cute, huh?” I asked, trying to add an air of teasing while I wiped tears from my eyes.
She flicked her ears in annoyance. Then, took a scenting breath a little close for comfort.
“Well, it helps when you clean up like you did. What shampoo is this? I like the smell.”
I chuckled at her response, feeling the tension leave my muscles.
“Mistfruit, I think.”
“So, uh,” Kila continued. “What's the answer then?”
“Answer?”
“Do you wanna go out with me?”
“Sure. But, I think I'm just happy to spend time with you anywhere.”
I didn't know where my words were coming from. There was something that I'd never consciously realized until that point: Kila was easy to talk to. With her, I could speak my mind and, despite all my social shortcomings, it was just natural. Everything felt simple with her. I didn’t mind opening up if she was around.
But I still had a problem.
I sighed and leaned into her embrace, nuzzling into her fur.
“I'm sorry, I shouldn't mention it again but what am I gonna do about my grades, Kila? School just isn’t going well at all.”
“Just do what you can. Talk to the professors. Maybe they'll give you a helping paw. Maybe some extra credit like the music assignment.”
“I don't know. Some of them are real hardasses.”
She chuckled at my response.
“Well, maybe you’ll lose that scholarship. There could still be other financial options. Maybe you can find another way to afford it.”
At this point, I was content to listen to her suggestions regardless of whether or not they were realistic. I just found myself lost in her embrace, kept calm by her steady arms.
Then, as if to spite that serenity, my pad rang once again.
“Shit, now is not the time,” I grumbled as Kila released her grip. I picked my pad up and checked the number. “A university number? Who would call me from the school?”
“It could be important,” Kila said, leaning over my shoulder. “You should answer.”
I flicked my tail in agreement and tapped to accept. The screen changed and I was met with Professor Haeli’s face.
“Hello, Mezil.”
“Professor Haeli?”
“I'm sorry to use your personal number but the university had it on record and I felt like I needed to run this by you over a call rather than a message through the school portal. Do you have a moment?”
I turned my ears inquisitively towards Kila who flicked her own ears in a ‘go ahead’ motion.
“Uh, yeah, I've got time.”
“Good. See, I spoke with Headmaster Blyne and I was able to negotiate for a bit of an opportunity.”
An opportunity?
What kind of opportunity could Haeli have for me? The extra credit assignment was already for full marks in her class. She spoke with the headmaster…How big of a deal was this?
I didn’t need to wait long for her to answer my question as she continued her spiel.
“We’ve decided that the best way to determine the merit in Human-Venlil cooperation would be to attempt something more tangible than a report. The headmaster is looking for something more practical and I suggested that we could have an in-person musical performance here at the university. That is, one that includes both Human and Venlil performers.”
A live performance? Here at White Hill?
As far as I knew, there hadn’t been any Human presence at White Hill. It would likely be the very first time. The in-person avenues for the exchange program had been restricted to military personnel. But, perhaps the university had enough leverage to get a civilian onto Venlil Prime.
I found myself wondering what the concert had to do with me. I was only a first-term student. I’d only partaken in a couple of recitals. Certainly, they didn’t want me as a performer.
“What exactly do you need from me?” I asked, unsure of what to make of the situation
“I’d like you to perform, Mezil. I know you haven’t had much of a chance to prove your musical capabilities. No first-term student has. But, you have shown a progressive mindset towards Humans and the ability to adapt to challenges. As far as I know, there’s no one more qualified for this particular event.”
I let her words sink in. She really wasn’t concerned with my lack of experience? In that case, I suppose I was the most qualified.
“Moreover,” she continued. “You’d need to determine the setlist yourself. We’re looking for both Human and Venlil musical representation. The instruments you choose to use are up to you. It really depends on how you choose to arrange your pieces. I’m willing to offer assistance in that regard. The concert would be shortly after the end of the term; five paws after the finalized grades.
You may be wondering what you’d receive in exchange. The headmaster and I went back and forth and decided that, should the performance go well, the university will place you in a program for Human integration going forward. And, you’ll be provided free tuition and board so long as you succeed in that position.”
A full ride scholarship…A FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP!
“I’ll do it!” I sputtered. “Whatever it takes, I’ll make sure the performance goes well!”
“Now, hold on a moment, Mezil,” Haeli spoke with a warning tone. “Certainly, you must know how high the expectations are for this. Don’t agree to it so lightly. This is a very delicate situation that will influence the perception of Humans by the student body and staff. It needs to be near-perfect. I’ll help, of course. But, don’t think this is going to be easy. Headmaster Blyne still needs to work with the UN to get permission to bring a Human civilian here. We’re tentatively assuming that it will be approved since the UN has been very accommodating regarding personnel thus far.
As of now, we don’t have any set Human performers. That will partly be your responsibility unless you cannot find anyone on your own. The civilian comm line to Earth is set to be complete in two paws. You should have free reign to go looking for prospective musicians. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. You may want to mull things over for a paw before committing. It won't be a walk in the park. And, I still expect the report from you as well. If you want perfect marks this term that is.”
I flicked my ears in acknowledgement.
“Thank you, professor!” I nearly shouted. “I’m glad that you chose to involve me. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”
Haeli wagged her tail, seemingly pleased with my response.
“Well then, Mezil, I hope to hear from you again soon. For now, I’ll leave you to it. Have a good rest of your paw.”
“You too, professor.”
The call ended and I slumped on the bed, melting into the soft mattress.
“You are so damn lucky,” Kila said as she laid down next to me.
“I have so much work to do,” I responded.
“So…I assume you’re going to get Brad involved?”
“Of course. If I can bring him here to White Hill, that would be awesome.”
“I'm sure he'd be happy to join. It does sound like a ton of work though. Integrating Human and Venlil music with each other sounds tough.”
“Well, luckily I just so happen to have a Human instrument to work with. Someone very special to me made it as a gift.”
Kila nuzzled into me and I returned the favor.
I’ve already worn myself out. So much for a break. That's alright. No one said college would be easy.
And, I wouldn't mind staying in this moment forever.
-
Memory transcription subject: Brad Silmore, Human Field Hand
Date [standardized human time]: September 8, 2136
Watching the sun creep up and over the top of its arc, I found myself a little puzzled. I'd thought for sure that Mezil would have been itching to call. It was, after all, the weekend which was the best time for me to help him with his report.
Then again, he seemed pretty tunnel-visioned on the music hidden in the ceiling of that library. Maybe he was still focused on that. Hell, maybe he forgot what day it was.
I wonder what kind of progress Kila was making on her attempt to make a trombone. She seemed smart. Probably wouldn't take her very long.
Snapping me out of my thoughts, the exchange program app on my computer sounded an alert, luckily still audible to me on the front porch. Looked like Mezil decided to call after all.
I meandered inside, closing the door behind me and seating myself at my desk. My hand moved the mouse to click the accept button. As I pressed down, I realized I might want to turn to the side but it was too late. Mezil and Kila’s faces populated the monitor. Luckily, neither of them seemed phased by my staring into the webcam.
“Well, well, well,” I started. “I guess you didn't forget about me after all.”
“Sorry, I forgot that you were off work,” came Mezil’s sheepish response.
Heh. Sheepish.
“More like he forgot what paw it was,” Kila corrected. “He almost screwed up big time.”
Wow, I didn't actually expect to be right about that.
“I did screw up big time. But, I had a lucky break.”
On the bed behind where the two sat, I saw a trombone with a strange set of accessories tacked onto it. Did Kila already finish the construction? Then, that means…
“I see you've been acquainted with a trombone,” I noted. “So, did everything go exactly as you'd planned, Kila?”
Both their faces turned orange which answered my question for me.
“N-not exactly,” Kila stammered. “But, it worked out I think.”
Mezil supplemented his agreeing ear flicks with a head nod.
“Good stuff, I knew you had it in you. So, what's this monumental error that Mezil supposedly made?”
Mezil’s orange shade turned even more orange.
“Well, since I didn't realize what paw it was, I forgot to turn in a number of assignments.”
I sucked in a sharp breath. I knew how precarious his situation was academically.
“You're not failing any classes now are you?” I questioned.
“I'm not failing any of them, but I don't think I can keep my scholarship. Luckily, my music professor contacted me with an opportunity. She wants to do a concert with Venlil and Humans performing. And, the university is offering a position in an integration program if it goes well. If I succeed, I could get a full ride scholarship.”
Kila wagged her tail, looking almost more excited than Mezil himself. It was for good reason. What excellent news!
“That's awesome, Mezil! I know you'll knock it out of the park!”
They both turned their heads in confusion.
Oh yeah. That probably doesn't translate right.
“Er…it means you'll do a great job. It's a sports analogy.”
The pair flicked their ears in understanding. I was beginning to impress myself with how well I could read the Venlil body language.
“I plan to do my best,” Mezil confirmed. “And, if it's not too much trouble, I'd like your help.”
“Sure thing,” I responded. “Need some song suggestions?”
“Actually, I was hoping you could be a part of the performance, coming to Venlil Prime to play.”
Me? Performing on Venlil Prime.
“Mezil,” I started. “I'm not a professional musician. There have to be tons of people more qualified.”
“It doesn't matter,” he insisted. “I’m only a first-term student myself. It's not as much about musical ability. It's more about how well we can cooperate. And, you're a plenty good musician. I've heard you play. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just something to show that we can make good things together.”
The explanation made sense. If it was about showing the potential for Human integration, having two exchange partners would be a good plan.
“Can I even get to Venlil Prime?” I asked. “I thought it was only for military personnel.”
“My professor seems confident that they can get the UN to work it out. The request would come from the university so it would have some professional leverage.”
If I can really go to another planet…
“Alright, Mezil. I'm in. It's been a while since I practiced for something serious. But, I'll put my best foot forward.”
Mezil wagged his tail with happiness.
“Great! We’ll need to get a set list together first.”
“Well, I've got time. How would you two like to explore some music with me?”
Both of them leaned forward in anticipation.
Shoot, I didn't actually prepare anything. What haven't they heard yet?
I stopped and considered my options for a moment before a grin spread across my face.
“I do believe you've yet to be acquainted with disco.”
-
First / Prev / Next
submitted by VeryUnluckyDice to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 17:08 Middle-Watch371 How do you deal with being the black sheep/scapegoat?

What does it mean if you are made into the black sheep? Are you a loser? Ive always been very strong-minded and I do exactly what I want to do. Obviously authority figures despise this about me. My family thinks I’m a rebel and bad person, because I don’t go along with their behavior or beliefs. For example, they’re homophobic and i couldn’t care less if someone is gay or not. Doesn’t affect me in the slightest. They’re extremely religious and judge me constantly for listening to secular music or dressing in ways that aren’t modest. They expect everyone to be very high-achieving and get the best grades. They call me lazy often because I like peaceful days sometimes. Just watching netflix and snacking. But they all work themselves to death, don’t allow naps or breaks, and believe being overworked is a mark of pride. They demand perfection at all times. They get frustrated when they criticize me constantly and it either goes in one ear and out the other, or I just get annoyed and distance myself even more. How hard is it for them to understand I don’t want to be that type A perfectionist person? I don’t want that life. Success to me is peace and happiness, not being the best and doing the most and having the most things. I couldn’t care less about any of that. They often say “wow you’re actually smart” because they think i’m just a dumb and lazy idiot. Which im not, I’m just not so externally driven. When I apply myself, I can do a lot of things. But I choose not to because I don’t need to “win” at everything to feel better about myself. Does that make sense? And why don’t they accept that? I don’t think like them and I honestly just feel bad for their lifestyle. I something actually wrong with me? Maybe I am just lazy and in denial. I don’t know sometimes
submitted by Middle-Watch371 to family [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 15:44 krotoff [FM 22. Curzon Ashton] 24. Season #8 28/29. A solid ground

[FM 22. Curzon Ashton] 24. Season #8 28/29. A solid ground
Hello FM Community!
I am finishing the season with Curzon Ashton and my challenge is finally started: all my players are our own youngsters or trained in the club 3+ years before their 21.
Here is my intro (and posts archive at the end):
[FM 22. Curzon Ashton] 1. My new career and old-new challenge.
Previous chapter:
[FM 22. Curzon Ashton] 23. Season #7 27/28. Here we go again
We finished 8th in the Sky Bet League One, won Papa John's Trophy (made from pizza for sure) and are looking in the bright future!

Results

A big slap by Hull gave us good motivation on the start.
Pretty good November, with only one lose in 9 games (easy schedule, huh?) and big drop next month.
Not so bad January, not so good February, and awful last two months, excluding pizza-cup.
As a result, we fell out from playoff zone. But anyway, this is the highest club place in history.
Not the best attacking season from us, but for this level pretty good, I guess.
Our defending play as usual is not good, but even with that we got the result.

Transfers In

To be honest, this season is one of the best for me from the start of this save. We brought some pretty good kids, and they dived into the squad flawlessly.
  • Ally Shannon (M (LC), ST) - 17y.o. from Man City for free.
    • Hardworking attacking player with decent technical skills, but it didn't become a limit for him to reach great stats this season.
  • Alexander Stone (AM (R)) - 18y.o. from Southampton for free.
    • Fast and agile winger with good technique. Played a big part of games, but missed almost a half of the season due to injuries.
  • Gabriel Bashir (AM (RL), ST) - 18y.o. from Burnley for free.
    • Hardworking dribbler. Played a half of games normally.
  • Kevin East (M (C)) - 18y.o. from Bournemouth for free.
    • Well-balanced box-to-box with great passing. Played a half of games pretty well.
  • Yaw Mensah (D (C)) - 18y.o. from Southampton for free.
    • 202cm of great jumping and tackling. Played pretty good in one-third of games.
  • Alex Evans (AM (RL), ST) - 18y.o. from Man City for free.
    • Fast and Furious brave attacking player. Played some games in a decent way.
  • Paul Gallagher (M/AM (R)) - 18y.o. from West Ham for free.
    • Fast and agile winger. Played some games not so good.
  • Eddie Hadley (M/AM (R)) - 18y.o. from Everton for free.
    • Fast and agile winger. Didn't play for the Senior squad.
  • Craig Cole (D (RLC)) - 18y.o. from Man City for free.
    • Smart defender with good jumping. Didn't play for the Senior squad.
  • Andrew O'Hanlon (D (R), DM, M/AM (C)) - 18y.o. from Man UFC for free.
    • Smart universal midfielder. Didn't play for the Senior squad.
  • Nick O'Hanlon (M (RC), AM (R)) - 18y.o. from Tottenham for free.
    • Fast and agile universal midfielder. Didn't play for the Senior squad.
  • Jayden Jones (GK) - 18y.o. from Oxford for free.
    • Sweeping keeper with good potential. Didn't play for the Senior squad.
Name Fixtures Goals Assists G+A Rating POTM
Ally Shannon 30(4) as M(L), ST 18 2 20 7.00 5
Alexander Stone 28(12) as AM(R) 5 5 10 6.81 1
Gabriel Bashir 26(8) as AM(RL), ST 4 5 9 6.77 1
Kevin East 31(1) as M(C) 1 11 12 7.00 1
Yaw Mensah 21(7) as D(C) 1 0 1 7.06 1
Alex Evans 11(9) as AM(RL), ST 3 1 4 6.80 0
Paul Gallagher 0(4) as AM(R) 0 0 0 6.65 0

Transfers Out

Not big deals, but big amount:
  • Mark Kerr (D (RL), DM, M/AM (C)) - 18y.o. to Millwall for 275K + bonuses.
    • Mark is our own youngster. He played very good last season (even was top-4 of the club by average rating), but on the start of this season his attributes dropped extremely fast.
  • Rhys Thompson (GK) - 24y.o. to Huddersfield for 9K.
    • Rhys was bought for 12K from Shrewsbury 6 seasons ago. Sometimes he was our #1 almost full season, sometimes he played really a few games. But this season he played nothing, because our Andy McDermott played all 61/61.
  • And 5 our own youngsters, which never played for the Senior squad, summed for 160K + bonuses.
Name Fixtures Goals Assists G+A Rating POTM
Mark Kerr 35(8) as D(RL), M (C) 4 7 11 7.21 5
Rhys Thompson 137 as GK -214 0 0 6.94 1

Released

I never did this part, but this season we lost our legend, Matty Waters. So I decided to add it. More than, after all my tries to bring him back (the answer always was "I want a new challenge"), he spent this season as a free agent and finally retired from football at 31. And for me, this is a huge pity, because I would be happy to bring him back as a staff member.
Also, Max Woodcock, one of our first purchases and our biggest spending yet (16.75K), decided to leave. He retired as well.
Name Fixtures Goals Assists G+A Rating POTM
Matty Waters 262(38) as D (RL) 45 121 166 7.58 45
Max Woodcock 124(30) as AM (RLC), ST 39 29 68 6.85 6

Heroes

Best Goalscorer - Will Lankshear (33)
Look at Lankshear! Even more than in a league below!
  1. Will Lankshear - 33
  2. Ally Shannon - 18
  3. Ryan Miskimmin - 13
  4. Saja Manafa - 8
  5. Ciaran Thompson - 7
Best Assistant - Louis Easter (19)
  1. Louis Easter - 19
  2. Kevin East - 11
  3. David Hibbert - 8
  4. Lucas Cooper - 6 in 32 games
  5. Will Lankshear - 6 in 52 games
Best by Goals+Assits - Will Lankshear (39)
  1. Will Lankshear - 39 (33+6)
  2. Louis Easter - 23 (4+19)
  3. Ally Shannon - 20 (18+2)
  4. Ryan Miskimmin - 18 (13+5)
  5. Saja Manafa - 13 (8+5)
Best by Average Rating - Louis Easter (7.48)
  1. Louis Easter - 7.48
  2. Niall Wilson - 7.21
  3. Will Lankshear - 7.15
  4. Ciaran Thompson - 7.13
  5. Vangellis Loukis - 7.11

Awards and Records

  • Henry Cartwright:
    • Worst Discipline in the league: 16 yellow and 2 red cards
  • Will Lankshear:
    • Best club goalscorer of all times: 122 goals
  • Niall Wilson:
    • Fan's Player of the Season
  • Club:
    • The club biggest number of league draws: 16
    • The club highest position in League 1: 8
    • The Papa John's Trophy biggest number of goals: 23
    • The Papa John's Trophy biggest number of consecutive wins: 8

Plans

We should be confident, that solid ground under our feet is really solid. The next season will show, was this season result an accident or not.
That's all for today. Thanks for reading!
Share your thoughts, love football and win all games!
submitted by krotoff to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 15:16 chasonreddit I, or rather Mark Jackson may have converted an Orville fan.

My wife is not a fan of SF really at all. Also not a fan of Seth MacFarlane, so she has shown no interest in seeing the show. She will occasionally walk in the room when I am watching, she knows the major characters but no interest.
I was watching the S3 finale last night when she walked in asked who the guy was that Clair was marrying. I told her that was the robot. She said the actor was hot and I explained the plot thing of the hologram and that was actually the actor in the suit, and that he is a very accomplished actor and it's actually amazing what he can do without facial expression 99% of the time.
Then I asked to sit and just watch this. I skipped through Unmarked Graves, skipping the Janisi altogether and actually Timmus as well. Just Clair (and Kelly) Clair and Isaac, and then got to the dinner and dancing scene near the end.
oh.
Oh.
OH! wow.
and then the change.
ooooh.
and then the diagnostics and he offers to go through the whole procedure.
OH!
then Clair
Oh my.
I think Mark got her.
submitted by chasonreddit to TheOrville [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 09:59 Competitive_Low_5970 Excalibur

"Come on, please, it has to be somewhere around here!"
Cogwyn was at her wit's end, and apparantly desperate enough to be begging the rotten wooden floor of the abandoned saloon she was in.
"Pst. Magical weapon?" One hand clutching the faded map, Cogwyn opened the faded parchment to check where she was again. Following the long-lost roads on the maps, her finger once again arrived in the town of Foghorn on the map, the town built on the lake-bed of the legendary Lake.
The Lake that held a legendary weapon called Excalibur.
Cogwyn needed that weapon, right about now. It would honestly be very good timing right about now. Cogwyn had lost and given up too much to be here in the ghost town of Foghorn, knee-deep in the barren territories of the long-fallen Human civilization.
Goddamn it, Cogwyn was sure the spot she was in was at the center of the long-dried lakebed. Digging her claws into the plank, Cogwyn pulled as hard she could, trying to at least dislodge it a bit. The Crownhunters will be here soon, and then she'll be screwed. There was nowhere else to run anymore.
Digging her claws deeper into the rotten wood at that thought, Cogwyn pulled harder. Her muscles strained as she grunted in effort before she lost her grip on the wood and was flung backwards from the force used to tug at the wood.
"Ugh!"
Cogwyn punched the wooden board, then immediately regretted it as she registered the pain from her punch. Nursing her fist, Cogwyn turned towards the doorframe of the building, heart dropping in her chest as she saw the blurry figures in the distance, riding towards the saloon.
Immediately standing up from her crawling position, Cogwyn reached towards the pair of daggers stashed in her pant legs and found... nothing. Right, she lost them by throwing them at the Crownhunters where they promptly flew off into the cliff the Crownhunters were standing by.
Whatever, she still had her claws.
Jumping on the table, Cogwyn screeched on the table as the Crownhunters entered the room.
"Goblin! Do not resist your death, the crimes of your kind will be paid in full!" The Crownhunters drew their swords at their leader's statement, the swish of the sword causing a pleasant metallic sound as they were unsheathed.
"Crimes of what, fucking existing?"
"Yes."
Stupid xenophobic Empire bullshit. Cogwyn bared her teeth and prepared to rake her claws all over the Crownhunters face. But before either side could make a move, a loud crack resonated in the room.
A pale, ghostly hand punched out of the floorboard Cogwyn was trying to ply open, their hand holding a bizarre L-shaped contraption.
Cogwyn stared at the pale hand. "What"
What are you waiting for? Take the gun and shoot! The voice echoed in Cogwyn's head, and sorry, a voice is speaking in her voice telling her to take—a gun? What the hell even is a gun?
I am the Lady of the Lake, the Keeper of Excalibur. The Mistress of Justice. Take the revolver and enact your justice, little Goblin.
Wait so, you're telling me Excalibur is that weirdly shaped piece of wood and metal you're holding?
Yes. The voice sounded impatient. The hand in the floor, on the other hand, rose further, revealing an arm now. For centuries I have waited for another worthy of Excalibur. Humanity has fallen, but its spirit remains in it.
Rudely, the Crownhunters attacked at that precise moment, apparently having gotten over the ghostly body slowly rising out of the ground. Flashing her attention back to the Crownhunters, Cogwyn barely managed to tip the table over and scramble out of the way before the sword cut her head clean off her shoulders.
"Asshole! I was having an in-my-head conversation there!" Cogwyn spit at the Crownhunters attacking her as she dodged out of the way of another strike, the sword burying itself into a dusty table.
By now, the Lady of the Lake's form had appeared fully. She was transparent, but her form revealed her to be a bipedal women with long hair, wearing a simple dress. Her eyes facing forwards, like a predator's. Cracking her knuckles, she rolled her arm before sending a devastating punch, knocking out one of the Crownhunters cold.
The Lady's voice crackled to life in her mind. Eat shit.
Wow, was that really what the Humans looked like? Turns out everyone needs to do some serious updating to their drawings of Humans. They had just assumed they were more prey-like, considering how peaceful their civilization was truly rumoured to be.
Cogwyn eyed the laughing Lady of the Lake with a curious side-eye. So the Humans did have a dark side. Grinning, Cogwyn caught the... gun-thing as it was thrown at her by the Lady. Holding the wooden handle, Cogwyn rushed up to one Crownhunter and bashed it on their head.
Expecting some serious magical stuff to occur, Cogwyn was disappointed when they merely fainted from the blunt force trauma. "Hey, I thought this weapon was magical!"
It is. You're just using it wrong. Grip the handle and pull the trigger—that spring near the handle—while aiming it.
Taking the Lady's advice, Cogwyn aimed as one Crownhunter rushed her and pulled the trigger. A bloom of smoke rose from the tip of the weapon as a loud boom filled the room. The gun, like a particularly violent horse, kicked back, almost forcing Cogwyn to drop the magical artefact on the ground.
The person in front of Cogwyn stopped and dropped, a hole in the middle of their chest.
"Holy shit."
Indeed.
Standing in the ruins of the room, the Lady and Cogwyn stood in the center of a whirlwind of bodies and broken furniture. Cogwyn laughed out loud in joy as she stared at the weapon in her hand.
"You know, most artifacts only allow their own species to wield them." Most ancient artifacts were too prissy to allow anyone but them to wield their precious weapons, which meant that the Elder races held all the cards when it came to power, leaving newer races to lick boots in order to get scrap.
It doesn't help that artifacts take time to materialize for any civilization.
Excalibur is not most artifacts. The voice of the Lady was calm, but an edge still held in her voice. Humanity was not most races. Back then, anyone could be a Human.
"Anyone?"
Anyone. Being Human was less being a member of a race at that point, but an idea. The weapon you hold is but a fragment of that idea, crystalized into the form we see now: justice.
"If Excalibur represents justice... What are you, then?"
The Lady paused, a devious smile on her face. Another ancient Human philosophy. One passed on from the earliest days, before even the seedling of Excalibur was even planted.
It was called... Fuck Around And Find Out. The Lady giggled before sighing. Justice doesn't serve itself, y'know.
The Lady of the Lake stretched, bones cracking as she readied up for a long journey ahead of her. Come on now, we have a government to overthrow.
Cogwyn huffed as she followed the Lady out into the desert.
submitted by Competitive_Low_5970 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 07:10 peteoneillbassnyc 1800 days.

One month away from 5 years...I think 1000 days was when I felt like I had "won"...now it's just the way it is.
Wow...The person I am now, compared to the wretched mess I used to be.
When I was drinking, I knew I was miserable and as a musician, I was kind of hoping to die in some kind of artistic, tragic, romantic way, because I didn't really have anything to life for. But that tragic death would have been all i ever had to show for my wasted life.
If I had died then, I would have died without even knowing who I really was, and without making any positive mark on the world...without loving my wife the way she deserved (and getting her love back), without releasing a ton of music I'm proud of, without finally having made something of my career and place in society, without getting in shape and finally starting to become comfortable in my body, without being a True friend, brother, and son...
Now I finally have a life I'm proud of, and if I died tomorrow, I could finally leave this life as a proud man.
I'll see u guys on my 5 year Anni.
submitted by peteoneillbassnyc to stopdrinking [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 06:48 Successful_Cable_119 My Loadout after starting NG+ at Level 100

My Loadout after starting NG+ at Level 100
u/nkfasil asked me to post some screenshots of my Legendary (and NG+ version) gear when I started NG+ at Level 100.
First off, when I started a NG+ at Lv 100, I did it as a kind of joke. I thought I would find it boring after a few hours and quit the file. But holy wow I loved it. In my NG that I started it off of, I was Level 100, fully decked out with every ability slot (unlocked every mutation) and the armor and weapon loadout I wanted. I'd started a few NG+ files out of that save before it was Lv 100 as well.
But I loved having everything start off at max difficulty, as long as I had my best loadout. But it became quickly apparent that my "perfect loadout" was instantly outpaced. I was finding rusty swords that were 30-40+ over my TKSS.
So after Vizima, I booked it straight for Novigrad. I only did Footstep quests until I finished Poet Under Pressure. I didn't do any side quests besides Gangs of Novigrad. Immediately after Poet, I booked it straight for Envoys, Wineboys! and followed that through the end of Blood Run. I was only able to do all of this because I started at Lv 100 and every area had the same difficulty.
Anyway, I did most of my Virtues during Beast, then went straight for Bastoy. I finished my Virtues by the time I found the Legendary Manticore chest, trousers, and boots. I'd already gotten the NG+ Nilfgaardian Gauntlets. Then I went for the Lake and then the Hans base, and boom. I had my loadout back, and maxed out. I had a bunch of coin left (from getting to Lv 100), so I went straight to South Mill and got enchanted. Then I went back to Velen.
The pictures are of the stats that my NG+-level stuff came out as at a base-100. My character behind the stats has several texture mods on (Legendary Manticore back to standard Manticore, Nifgaardian Gauntlets as Ursine Gauntlets, O'Dimm's Mark, etc.)
But anyway, if anyone else is interested, here's the stats of those pieces with a base level of 100.
https://preview.redd.it/bf9q3u7jax4b1.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=f20672a92428983706726100b50c381eac5789b7
https://preview.redd.it/nrjj3w7jax4b1.png?width=915&format=png&auto=webp&s=1ba4de78b2ff3c2b3ee299d2718cd6920a59599b
https://preview.redd.it/oukovx7jax4b1.png?width=1000&format=png&auto=webp&s=24a20aab3575567c31e238f130aa1af71b24a35d
https://preview.redd.it/h8kl608jax4b1.png?width=1002&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed95fdb2c306a0efe44e58b542f0514a9a0b45f6
https://preview.redd.it/ulnz5f8jax4b1.png?width=904&format=png&auto=webp&s=af47f579a3ade2eebdd61b14e132086cfcb7b245
https://preview.redd.it/ou22bu7jax4b1.png?width=933&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3158b82ec388ef55aa012fadcde265b208d1fc5
submitted by Successful_Cable_119 to witcher [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 06:31 DHLawrence_sGhost possible title for the white peacock

possible title for the white peacock submitted by DHLawrence_sGhost to DHLawrence [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 05:40 konsyr Grim Dawn Version v1.1.9.8

On the forums.
Previous patch.
As the gods have foretold, another patch walks among us.
We hope you enjoy the latest bug fixes and balance changes. Stay tuned for the next one!
V1.1.9.8
[Crucible]
[Shattered Realm]
[Animation]
[Tech]
[Game]
[Itemization]
Faction Items
Relics
Monster Infrequents
Epic Items
Legendary Non-Set Items
Legendary Set Items
See comment below.
[Class & Skills]
Devotion
Demolitionist
Occultist
Nightblade
Arcanist
Shaman
Necromancer
Oathkeeper
submitted by konsyr to Grimdawn [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 05:19 anastasiaraine23 Andy Balbirnie His Journey: Leading Ireland at Lord’s and Changing the Face of Test Cricket

Andy Balbirnie His Journey: Leading Ireland at Lord’s and Changing the Face of Test Cricket
Ireland’s struggles in Test cricket and the need for first-class cricket development
When his father picked up his captain’s jacket from the dry cleaner, Andy Balbirnie realised the significance of walking out for Ireland in a Test match at Lord’s. Balbirnie recalls, “I was going away and requested him to leave it at the dry cleaner’s because it was a little filthy from Sri Lanka. https://152526.ekcricket.com
“When he gave it to me again, he stated, ‘It’s hard to imagine you’re going to be leading Ireland out at Lord’s. It has yet to sink in since I hadn’t given it much attention. I’ll reflect on it in the future and say, “Wow, that was a very fantastic event. http://eklottery.in/
Ireland had a fixed red-ball schedule for the subsequent four years when Balbirnie was named captain in November 2019. However, the epidemic delayed his ability to captain them in a Test match until April 2023. He remembers, “I was honestly worried I wouldn’t get the chance to. “Covid put it off, dragged on for so long.” https://indibetindia.com
Last month in Bangladesh, the chance finally materialised, and two more Tests were played in Sri Lanka shortly after. When I mention that Balbirnie is the only guy to have played in each of their six Tests to date, he quips, “I’m a well-hardened Test cricketer now. “I didn’t think I’d get six Test caps at the beginning of my career, but it’s not a lot,” the player said. https://iplwin-india.com
“If we lose to England and are bowled out for 30 in both innings but still make it to both World Cups, that’s a win; that’s been our best summer ever.” https://indibet2.com
Ireland played six of the games and lost six of them, a dismal record. Eight players received their first caps over the last three matches, making them particularly difficult. For spinners Matthew Humphreys and Ben White, their Test debuts also marked the beginning of their first-class careers. https://indiacricketsite.com
Ireland has not held any domestic first-class cricket matches since the epidemic, concentrating their efforts and resources on the white-ball forms. The players are not treated fairly, adds Balbirnie. “You’re asking players to take the pitch under intense pressure without any first-class or red-ball experience.
“I know we have our limitations at home, and hopefully first-class cricket will start to filter return during the following few years, although if we’re going to start playing more Tests, we need to have something in place,” he said. We must better look after our players and ensure they aren’t merely thrown into the crucible of Test cricket. Even if it only occurs once every three years, games: North vs. South. https://melbetz.in
You may choose a team and learn about them with a red ball in their hands without it taking seven or eight games. We selected teams for the Tests in Asia based on what we observed in the nets and how players entered the pitch. https://www.indibeti.in
In the words of the board’s performance director, Richard Holdsworth, the next Test at Lord’s does not constitute a “pinnacle event” for Ireland. They will instead focus on the forthcoming qualifying competitions for the 2023 ODI World Cup in Zimbabwe and the 2024 T20 World Cup in Scotland. https://www.indibete.in
The qualifier versus Italy, which will be played in Scotland in front of perhaps 30 spectators, will be far more significant than the Test match, admits Balbirnie. We will do our hardest to obtain a win, and it is an honour to play against England at Lord’s, but it’s just one Test during the summer, so I don’t want it to seem disrespectful to England or the ECB. https://rajabets0.com
“Their top priority is The Ashes. They’ll probably view this as a glorified warm-up. If we lose to England and get bowled out for 30 in both innings but still make it to both World Cups, it counts as a victory and would make this summer our most fruitful one ever. I hope not, but World Cups are where we get the most fantastic attention on the international scene and at home, especially for a tournament in India and its benefits. https://melbetvip.in
Despite Ireland’s rise over the last 20 years, cricket remains a relatively niche sport back home. “We’re getting there,” Balbirnie says. “There’s a lot more club teams in the country now. I still don’t think we’ll challenge rugby, football and GAA [Gaelic football and hurling] for a long time if we ever do. But if we can be that fourth or fifth-biggest sport, that would be good. https://www.indibetvip.in
“Last weekend, while I was out in West Cork with my wife, Kate, I had two individuals approach me and say, “You’re Andy Balbirnie!” Kate couldn’t believe what they were saying when they said they were heading to Lord’s. It’s a modest step, so that’s fine. https://melbet1.in
Many secret cricket enthusiasts in Ireland are frightened to admit they are fans for fear that their GAA clubmates would make fun of them. But we are making progress.
Funding continues to be a problem. The ICC has included Cricket Ireland as one of the beneficiaries of its proposed revenue distribution model for 2024–2027; the board will receive a $5 million loan from the ICC in 2023 “to ensure it can meet its current financial needs,” with their annual earnings share expected to increase from about 2% to just over 3%. https://melbetindian.com/
“We’re receiving a good deal more than we typically do. I’m hoping that things will change for the better when the money comes through,” adds Balbirnie. The issue we face is that contrary to what powerful nations typically receive, we only accept a little funding through sponsorship. They may be able to survive without the ICC money, but we are incredibly dependent on it; it is our primary source of revenue. https://iplwinz.in/
The desire to host home matches at a brand-new, purpose-built stadium in Abbotstown, on the outskirts of Dublin, is foremost among Ireland’s long-held goals. The board hopes the new pitch will be finished in time to host matches during the 2030 men’s T20 World Cup, which they will co-host with England and Scotland. At Malahide, their primary home site, they virtually always lose money due to temporary infrastructure expenditures. https://10cricindian.com/
“I’m not sure it’ll happen in my career,” admits Balbirnie, “but I’d love to sit in the stands one day with Stirlo [Paul Stirling] and watch the young lads go at it against some of the best teams in the world.” https://152526.eklottery.com
Among those “young lads” are Harry Tector, their best batting potential, who will be carded at No. 4 this week, and wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker, who was not included in the team for Ireland’s most recent trip to Lord’s. Despite Josh Little’s prominent absence—he is taking a break after participating in Monday’s IPL final—Andy Balbirnie is confident in his team’s ability to succeed despite low expectations. https://152526.ekcricket.com
He claims they may have a few players competing for spots in the Ashes. The strain England cricket players face from the media—pressure that we don’t meet—will be on their batters to score runs against us. We don’t have many players going through the system, and just three or four journalists watch cricket. The fact that they are redefining Test cricket while we get to compete against them is an incredible challenge.
It’s immaculate. We expect them to attack us, so all we can honestly hope for is the ability to respond with a punch. Nobody is going to bet on us to win in any way. We only desire that the boys participate in the activity we have grown to love. http://eklottery.in/
We hope that you've enjoyed reading about this article. If you have any questions about our game or anything else, please don't hesitate to contact and visit us! #indibetindia #indibet #indibetcricket #EKLOTTERY #iplwinner #trendingnews #casinonews #indibetnews #melbetnews #indibetcricketnews

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2023.06.08 23:48 AI0 AutoModerator performed action `removecomment`

Target User: u/That_Reference_2105
URL: /Twittecomments/144apgh/making_it_so_you_cant_disengage_with_trolls_and/jngapeo/
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wow. you are so wrong here you are in another galaxy. it is a simple fix to mark each of shithead's shitposts as non blockable and non mutable. it really is that simple. source: i have been writing software for 35 years.
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2023.06.08 23:16 PM_ME_YOUR_ROBOTGIRL Character Database: The Aeons, Part 2 (VERY LONG)

Character Database: The Aeons, Part 2 (VERY LONG)

Please read Part 1 here if you haven't.

This was meant to come yesterday, but then Limbus Chapter 4 Part 2 grabbed me by the balls.

IX


![img](5c2630n6su4b1 " All progress toward the void All resist the void All will become the void... ")
The Nihility.
An extremely passive Aeon that believes everything is worthless, everything about them is a total mystery. Those that approach its divine body, if they even find the coordinates, disappear. Simulated Universe implies that approaching, maybe even thinking about IX, induces apathy and mental breakdowns.
IX ultimately represents nothingness - the dark side of the Universe that completes its balance, providing non-existence to existence.
Aha once helped the Annihilation Gang try to assassinate it as a joke, but it unsurprisingly ended in failure after the Elation-enhanced Gang members vanished when approaching their coordinates.
IX is the roman numeral for nine. WOW. It's almost certainly meant to be read as "nine", because of the way Device IX's name is structured. I looked for the potential significance of this number but like, nine being a number within the base 10 system we love so much basically means every culture in the universe sees it as significant.

Followers


\"Those running away from the past think no one understands their despair. When they finally take a breather, they'll find their future selves staring right at them with bloodshot eyes.\"
Those who manage to share their mentality with IX sometimes earn a glance from them. When this happens, those who fall into despair have their physical bodies self-destruct and become something called a Self-Annihilator, made out of "true nothing". Interestingly, though this initially appears to be a grim fate, Self-Annihilators are somehow still alive and capable of thinking, and it seems implied they can revert to their original forms if they regain hope.
Those, however, who remain steadfast in their beliefs become Doctors of Chaos, who are convinced they can 'heal' IX and make it see value in the universe. They do so by going around the universe preaching that you can derive meaning from it and doing crazy actions in the hopes of inspiring those around them. They also have a hobby of trying to cure Self-Annihilators, and they're pretty good at it.
Device IX is the third Nihility faction, which is so mysterious its existence is straight up questionable. It's alleged to exist in the voids underneath all Reality. The only thing that can really be traced back to them is the "dark web" which allows for the trade of rare and illegal items, and probably other things as well.

Qlipoth


Let the fire that forged the bricks and the ones that laid the wall's foundations be known!
The Preservation, known as the Firmament Arbiter by the Xianzhou.
Their divine corpus is so huge, it has planets orbiting it.
Qlipoth, at one point, was alerted to the "catastrophe of the Finality" and to prevent it, became building a large wall known as the Subspace Crystalline Barrier which isolates worlds from one another (or at least that's the IPC's narrative). They also built the Celestial Comet Wall and the Great Attractor Base, but we don't know what those are for yet.
Qlipoth is very ancient, being a veteran from the Dusk Wars that resulted in the disappearance of all Leviathans. The IPC claims that the Dusk Wars and the Leviathan race ended as soon as Qlipoth ascended, but this doesn't appear to be the case. Furthermore, the IPC also maintains that Qlipoth is the first ever Aeon, which also doesn't appear to be the case (Oroboros says hi)
Whenever Qlipoth strikes their hammer, the Subspace Crystalline Barrier expands, and the IPC has used this as a way of marking time in "Amber Eras", one for each hammer strike. However, the hammer strikes are inconsistent, so how long each AE lasts is different. That makes AEs a terrible way of keeping track of time, but everyone just accepts it anyway because the IPC is obsessed and arguing with the IPC is a really easy way to get on their bad side, which no one wants. On the side, most civilizations use their own timekeeping systems which are generally more accurate.
In any case, it's currently 2158 AE, with 0 AE going all the way back to the "end" of the Dusk Wars, and 0-180 AE being a 'dark spot' with few historical records. The IPC's official stance is that there just isn't much information, but it seems more likely that they're withholding records from that time period, which would indicate something about it makes them or Qlipoth look bad.
The Qliphoth is basically the "evil version" of the Kabbalistic Sefirot, the emanations through which the spirit of God reveals itself. That probably doesn't matter though, because most likely they chose it for the fact that the hebrew name קְלִיפּוֹת literally means 'shell'.

Followers


\"Seriously, out of everyone who had faced an Aeon, that old man was the calmest I've seen. Even Screwllum's gears squeaked when he saw Nous...\"
When mortals first became aware of Qlipoth's wall, there were two reactions - the first was to imitate Qlipoth, going around the universe building stuff, and the other was to help them.
The former became the Architects, who travel the universe building stuff and helping protect other civilizations. They were the ones who made Belobog's wall, core, and Engines of Creation. They must receive some implicit endorsement from Qlipoth, because they're able to tap into the Preservation's power to build their things. Generally, most people view the Architects as stubborn, but those protected by their abilities are eternally grateful and even join them.
The other...
So, a bunch of people, including geniuses Louis Fleming and Dongfang Qixing, decided to accrue a large number of construction materials to give to Qlipoth. They did this through trade, but quickly realized that in order to get what they needed, they'd have to specialize in more than just construction materials. Louis Fleming and Dongfang Qixing utilized their expertise to scam and trick establish trade deals and routes with other civilizations, until they had amassed a vast network of trade with themselves as the intermediaries.
In 1388 AE, Louis Fleming and Dongfang Qixing decided to take things one step further and founded the Interastral Peace Corporation (IPC) together, and established an universal currency (credits) that facilitated trade between species, getting rid of themselves as the middleman and also making themselves fabulously wealthy in the process. The IPC integrated themselves into the economy of various civilizations, ruining those who refused to work with the IPC or utilize credits.
As a result of this, the IPC became the most powerful entity in the universe and are very close to being its de-facto rulers - they display deference to only a handful of entities (such as the Genius Society), and even then only because they're too insular (and oftentimes protected by an Aeon) and useful to be manipulated or "coerced" into cooperating. Almost all transaction and trade in the universe is done with the oversight of the IPC and many, many civilizations rely on them for an economical backbone.
They sponsor the creation of new inventions, research that benefits them, and produce their own products while also facilitating the sales of others'. They don't merely preside over trade, they may as well own half the universe. Again, if you cut ties with the IPC, you also lose access to these things. Safe to say, no matter how awful or inconvenient the IPC may get, going against them is simply not an option for all but the most privileged or stubborn few, and those arrogant enough to try anyway will learn the errors of their ways very quickly.
Because the IPC is obsessed with the Preservation, it makes it very hard for anyone to actually study Qlipoth or go against them.
Qlipoth appears to, on some level, approve of what they're doing, since an unknown Emanator of Preservation appeared in the IPC some time ago. However, they don't make use of the vast industrial quantities of construction materials piled up in the planets orbiting them that the IPC provided at all, so in a sense, what they're doing is actually pretty useless. But still, the IPC is fueled by absolute faith to their Aeon.

Yaoshi


![img](tfg6enydtu4b1 " She feels sad For eternal life did not let her accumulate infinite wisdom Instead, those she had once cherished Faded into obscurity over time, never to return ")
The Abundance. Known by the Xianzhou Alliance hunters as the Plagues Author, and by the Xianzhou faithful as Sanctus Medicus.
If we assume that Denizens of Abundance cannot exist without Yaoshi, then they're at minimum ~6900 (nice) years old, and possibly much, much older - the earliest Denizens of Abundance we can date having encountered the Xianzhou at 1200 SC.
Yaoshi's primary goal is the extension and continuous growth of life in the universe. The lightcone Cornucopia implies that Yaoshi views life as a form of order, which opposes the chaos of death and the early universe.
To achieve this, they 'bless' life in certain worlds, causing the sapient inhabitants to become Denizens of Abundance and also causing an outgrowth of powerful and equally long lived plant and animal life alike. Those blessings generally come in the form of great, immortal trees, whose fruit can grant long life. In general, Yaoshi prioritizes worlds and individuals who are experiencing great suffering and hardship.
Yaoshi is the mortal enemy of Lan, although it's hard to say if the feelings are mutual. Yaoshi will never rest until all beings in the universe know the blessing of life, and Lan will never rest until Yaoshi has been killed in the final and greatest hunt. Yet, the cycle goes on for eternity.
Yaoshi is a reference to the Chinese name of a Buddha called Bhaiṣajyaguru, which is a Buddha most commonly associated with healing and medicine, and is also pretty important, being up there with Shakyamuni (aka THE Buddha). He's a doctor who vowed to rid the world of pain and suffering. So yeah, makes sense.

Followers


\"The mercy of Sanctus Medicus, the Ambrosial Arbor's new growth. Disciples shall attain enlightenment together.\"
Those blessed by Yaoshi gain remarkable biology - their cells and biological systems are placed in a state of perfect equilibrium, made possible through the ability for their cells to freely convert between differentiated cells and stem cells (builder cells, which can turn into any other kind of cell). This gives them the ability to effectively, live forever, as well as an extremely powerful healing factor. Though it does not altogether prevent death, it does allow for things such the regrowth of lost limbs and organs. The unfortunate fact of this arrangement is that the body when it is born provides a 'blueprint' for the blessing, making those born with congenital defects forever unable to correct them with surgery - the body will simply "heal" the "damage".
However, there is another aspect to Yaoshi's blessing - upon fulfilling certain conditions, blessed individuals have a marked shift in biology, causing a form of 'evolution' that fundamentally alters their biology. This can fix things such as congenital defects but also essentially puts cells into overdrive, exacerbating existing biological processes of the species (such as molting for reptilian beings) and potentially causing insanity. For the Xianzhou natives, this is known as being 'stricken with mara'.
Those who manage to survive the process with intelligence become known as the Denizens of Abundance who go around singing praises of Yaoshi. However, Yaoshi's blessing also causes fundamental deficits that force those long-life species into either constant suffering or constant conquest in other to offset these setbacks (such as the borisin's implied necessity to take over other worlds to house the hives necessary to create their biotechnology). The Denizens of Abundance love Yaoshi for making their lives "better", and are thus the sworn enemies of the Xianzhou Alliance, which also hates them and are seen (naturally) as blasphemers.
Of course, there are also many civilizations that greatly regret contact with Yaoshi, such as of course, the Xianzhou Alliance.
People who know of Yaoshi but are mortal and long for their blessing are known as Elixir Seekers, immortality hunters who go around the universe hoping to meet and be blessed by Yaoshi. Probably the most well-known Elixir Seekers were, indeed, the original Xianzhou fleet, which was sent out by an unnamed emperor into the stars in order to obtain immortality. Funnily, even though they did get it, they never returned to their homeworld. I wonder what it was like?
The Disciples of Sanctus Medicus were the internal faction in the Xianzhou that worshipped Yaoshi and actively held contact with them, being led by an Emanator of Abundance named Shuhu. Yaoshi did speak to their disciples as well as other Denizens of Abundance and may have even spoken to the actively hostile Alliance as well, but the specifics of this are mired in legend and mystery, and so Yaoshi's true intentions regarding their followers are unclear.

Oroboros


The Mariners' Intemperance
The Voracity.
Wants to eat everything (eats planets), and was a Leviathan, which makes them about as old if not older than Qlipoth. Potentially, they are the only surviving Leviathan.
That's about it. We don't know anything else.
The Ouroboros is a well-known Western symbol with philosophical and alchemical significance that consists of a dragon or snake eating its own tail. Mostly it represents infinity. It was probably chosen though because Oroboros is the dedicated vore god. Cool!

Aha


Look upon the courtesans' extravagance.
The Elation, known as Joyseeker to the Xianzhou.
Hard to tell if it's true, but legend goes that Aha once actually reached the end of the Imaginary Tree. When they did so, they appeared to have gained some sort of advanced perception, and began to view the universe as one huge joke. Perhaps they realized they were made by a video game company? They certainly seem to have some sort of heightened awareness.
In any case, though Aha claims and seems to believe that they only wish for others to see the humor in all things, their true purpose as an Aeon is that they serve as a catalyst of change, manipulating reality in extremely minor and undetectable ways until they butterfly effect massive events into happening. Although the displays of their power are minor compared to Qlipoth's massive wall or Lan's planet purging arrows, their effects on the universe far outweigh the others.
They owe this success due to their closeness to mortals - unlike most Aeons who barely even bother communicating with others and are by nature mysterious, Aha displays a strong understanding of human society, as a matter of fact, they believe it is the exclusive privilege of intelligent beings to understand joy. This understanding allows them to mess around with people on a far more personal level than other Aeons do, even getting involved with other, separate factions if they believe it's funny enough. They're also especially talkative.
Of course, sometimes they decide to be major instead, and do a little bit of trolling. Trolling attempts include blowing up half the Express and an entire planet after hiding out on it for a year disguised as a human (success), helping the Annihilator Gang assassinate IX (failure), trying to get a Noblesse Worm into the Genius Society (failure). And although the latter two appear like failures to us, I'm sure they got great enjoyment out of the bewildered reactions of those observing them.
Aha is laughter, obviously, but it could also be a reference to various things including the 1980s Norwegian band, which composed Take on Me. That sounds stupid but that's Aha for you.

Followers


Well, bye for now. Send my regards to the guys and girls in the tavern.
Aha attracted a group of straightforward followers called the Masked Fools that go around the Universe doing a little bit of trolling, though more specifically they act as agents of change that have been responsible for starting riots and revolutions (including a notable one against Rubert I during the Emperor's War), and they're not above violence. They also maintain taverns and other places centered around having fun and doing trolling.
Simultaneously, however, they also have a group of *anti-*followers called the Mourning Actors, who instead go around the universe being sad, noting the destruction of worlds and death, encouraging celibacy and abstinence, among other things, in the hopes of opposing the Elation. Aha thinks this is hilarious, and also recognizes tragedy as the flipside of comedy, so they purposefully enhanced them, allowing them to travel the stars.
Although the Mourning Actors are mostly ignored by the universe, they possess an uncanny ability for detecting tragedy (probably Aha's fault); they visited Jarilo-VI when it was embroiled in the war against the Antimatter Legion, and they have some use as announcers for when worlds are destroyed or civilizations fall, often being the first to broadcast these events to the universe.
Aha makes basically anything and anyone into an Emanator so long as they think it's funny, so it's not really worth noting here. That said, the one Emanator we do know of was a Noblesse Worm that they infused with super-intelligence to see if Nous would accept them into the Genius Society (they would not)

Fuli


And finally, measure the world against yourself, and take all such things to heart.
The Remembrance.
Fuli's age's unknown, with records of them being essentially non-existent. Their ultimate goal is to preserve all of the universe's memories in order to facilitate "the rebirth of the universe", and they have the memories of every single living being in the universe, including those of other Aeons.
They physically manifest before the occurrence of extremely significant events in the universe's history, and then vanish after obtaining whatever it was they needed from it. When this happens, they appear as a being made out of a mirror-like crystal. Though this has happened many times, their only recorded manifestation was at the end of a speech by the aging Louis Fleming, in his final public appearance.
Fuli is named after a deity in the Shenxiao sect of Taoism. English sources for this are basically non-existent - I put the Chinese wikipedia article through DeepL and got the world's most sophisticated word salad and basically all I could gather is that he was the father of some bigshot emperor. Okay.

Followers


Memes: The DNA of the soul
Fuli utilized their power to enhance a specific group of mortals, allowing them to abandon their physical forms and live on as memetic lifeforms (not internet memes, ideas and behaviors that spread from person to person within a society, though HSR basically uses the term as "things that live in your brain"). This allows them to interact with a being's memories and subjective perception directly. It also allows them to freely travel between worlds without any physical effort on their part, which sure is neat!
This faction became known as the Garden of Recollection, with the most active members being the Memokeepers, who preserve the memories of individuals considered significant. They also created Light Cone technology, which allows them to physically manifest and preserve the memory of an individual. Most Memokeepers prefer to keep themselves hidden, disguising themselves and harvesting the memories of others without ever being acknowledged. If a being possesses exceptional memories or qualities such as the Trailblazer, they might choose to manifest and communicate with them directly.
Because the Garden of Recollection members are memetic lifeforms, they can only manifest to people who know about Fuli, the Remembrance, or associated concepts. If you literally don't know anything, you're inaccessible to them. After all, these spicy memes have not been passed on to you.
The Garden of Recollection doesn't have just Memokeepers. It seems some members (or defectors?) known as Memosnatchers go around forcefully taking the memories of other individuals, potentially causing amnesia. Because the Messenger calls them "those thieves", it seems they're not looked highly upon by Fuli's other followers.
Another faction in the Garden of Recollection that draws the ire of the Memokeepers are the Cremators, extremists who steal memories gathered by others and destroy the ones they consider to be useless and return the important ones. In doing so, they believe themselves to act as a sort of filter or curator for the memories of the Aeon, relieving them of their "burden". The stance of the Garden of Recollection is that every memory has value, so obviously the Cremators aren't seen in a positive light.
In any case, the current objective of the Garden of Recollection is preserving the universe against the Destruction, believing that everyone can still live on through memories. Ultimately though, the Garden of Recollection likely existed long before Nanook's ascension, and their greatest goal is to fill Fuli's pure land with memories, which assists Fuli's own ultimate goal... which is unclear to us at the moment.

Idrila


Listen to the infant in the mirror.
The Beauty, known to the Xianzhou as the Wondergazer, and also in some places as Anne Duray.
Though mortals superficially interpret them as a god of beauty, Idrila's true nature revolves around the realm of perception - your conscious qualia (sight, smell, taste, etc), your ability to reason, and the values instilled upon you by your own personal circumstances. The intersection of these attributes is what creates the subjective idea of 'beauty'. In other words, beauty exists in the eye of the beholder.
Idrila cannot create beauty. Instead, they can manipulate these attributes to embody something that's always going to be beautiful to the observer, independently of their tastes. A memory bubble even implies that Idrila is even capable of granting sapience to unintelligent species, creating the conditions for them to be able to observe 'beauty'. Idrila, essentially, allows beings to "observe" the universe in its purest form.
This causes the people exposed to Idrila's power to frequently become intensely obsessed to the point of insanity, and many legends describe those affected by them as committing devastating acts for Idrila's sake - something which gave them a large amount of pleasure. They created civilizations and tore apart people who were in love just by existing.
It's probably safe to say that no one knows what Idrila really looked like, but it was always the most beautiful thing they've seen.
One day, Idrila just up and disappeared. Adios. The Mirror Holders believe that Idrila 'died' and shattered into many pieces, and could return if those pieces are gathered again. The Knights of Beauty believe that Idrila is still very much alive, just... hiding out somewhere, I guess.
I tried to figure out what the name "Idrila" might be derived from, but I couldn't find anything. The Japanese and Chinese characters are phonetic. Anne comes from Anna which comes from the hebrew Hannah which means grace or favor, as in "God graced me with a child". Duray is a significant royal family in France and Scotland which derives from an old French word that means king. So like, King/Queen of Grace I guess. Cool.

Followers


\"If I win, please admit that Idrila the Beauty is the most beautiful of all!\" - Argenti
Among Idrila's followers (of which is implied that there are many of), the most tame are the Knights of Beauty, which run around the universe telling everyone how awesome their Aeon is (kind of a trend). They practice a chivalric code which basically says that you can only be worthy of the Aeon GF if you grind hard everyday to become the greatest gigachad of them all. Because of this, other factions in the universe regard them as not having a whole lot of faith in their Aeon. I mean, if you make your entire dynamic a competition to see which of you is the most deserving of getting your god's attention, you're basically saying that your god would never care about most people, right? Only the best ones. Then again, maybe Idrila really is like that.
Idrila, did, however, have more faithful followers, the Mirror Holders, who possess artifacts named Mirrors of Transcendence. These artifacts hold within them some level of Idrila's power, which allows the wielder to project an observer's subjective perception of the most ideal beauty outwards into reality. Usually, the Mirror Holders seem to use this to indoctrinate new people into their thirst cult. A Mirror Bubble implies that the Mirror Holders may also be Emanators, but maybe it's just one person who happens to be both an Emanator of Beauty and a Mirror Holder.
Though the Knights of Beauty hold the delusion that their Aeon GF will someday come back, and I guess decide which one among them is the most fabulous, the Mirror Holders have a different perspective. They believe Idrila 'died' because of society developing differing subjective views on beauty, shattering them into pieces. As a result, they work to make sure society has an unified view of aesthetics, while also hunting down the remainder of Idrila's artifacts. They believe these combined factors will allow their god to return, ushering in an age of harmony where everyone is really infatuated with Idrila all the time. I guess that sounds like heaven to them.

Tayzzyronth


Tayzzyronth... Tayzzy█ronth... Ta█yzzy█ronth... Ta█yzz██y█ronth█... Ta█... █yzzy███ron█th███...
The Propagation. Known as the Swarm Author by the Xianzhou and the Imperator Insectorum in some places.
Tayzzyronth was a very, very lonely beetle who, after getting fed up with being all alone, appears to have developed the ability to self-duplicate endlessly, ascending into short-lived Aeonhood afterwards. What resulted was one of the most severe catastrophes to affect the universe, the Swarm Disaster.
Worlds were invaded and turned into massive hives that to this day are uninhabitable despite the loss of their master. Tayzzyronth's clones slaughtered all living beings in their path, bred endlessly, and moved on to the next world, all in blistering speeds. The scale of destruction was so massive that it actually worried the IPC for maybe the first time since the Emperor's War.
Tayzzyronth seemed close to unstoppable and posed a very real risk of destroying the entire universe, when the sheer intensity of their threat caused an incredibly rare occurrence in the universe - multiple Aeons put their personal missions and differences aside and teamed up to get rid of Tayzzyronth once and for all.
We don't know the specifics of Tayzzyronth's death, but it involved them being encased in an organic prison, which appears to have deprived the rest of the Swarm of the ability to reproduce. After this, something killed them, which put an end to the Swarm Disaster for good.
However, just because Tayzzyronth's dead doesn't mean the Swarm disappeared completely, or that they may never return. The surviving members of the Swarm managed to evolve into different beings, the worlds converted into hives by the Swarm are still to this day impossible to live in, and fragments of the Imperator Insectorum's prison and body still buzz with activity and an energy that makes it very possible they might still return.
Even though Tayzzyronth lived for only a tiny amount of time compared to most Aeons, their destructive impact on the universe cannot be understated. After all, it might even be possible that they indirectly led to Nanook's ascension, due to the Swarm's attempted takeover of Adlivun.
Tayzzyronth didn't seem to have followers, much less Emanators - it seems their own clones were all they ever needed.
I actually feel kinda bad for them. Beetle just wanted a friend.
Can You Believe It, just like Idrila this is another name with no real source. Personally, I think it might just be completely made up, perhaps made to sound like something a bug would make.

Mythus


The Waves as they Enter the Dream
The Enigmata.
Like Qlipoth and Fuli, Mythus too believes that there is some sort of calamity approaching the universe. Their approach to it, however, is a bit different - the Enigmata sees the obfuscation of the past and of observable facts to create a 'mist of uncertainty' that obscures a 'narrative drive' determining the Universe's fate, which would allow everyone to escape that calamity.
Of course, since the Erudition directly wants to observe the Universe and solve it, that would only ensure the opposite, which makes them Mythus' direct enemy.
From latin Mythus. Means myth. Comes from Greek μῦθος (muthos), means tale, myth, legend. It's not that deep.

Followers

To achieve their goal, Mythus appears to random mortals already teetering on the edge of obscurity and 'inspires' them into becoming even crazier than they likely already were. The Riddlers specialize in obfuscating language, whereas Mythus' own personal Emanators, the History Fictionologists, mess with historical records and memories, making certain historical events more confusing, harder to understand, or just straight up inaccessible.
The items created by Mythus' followers possess the supernatural ability to directly affect history, even though history is more or less an abstract concept and those are physical items. As such, it can be assumed that Mythus is granting them their power in this way, which makes them one of the more proactive Aeons.

HooH


The Tipping of the Balance
The Equilibrum.
They merged their consciousness with the logic of the universe itself, hoping to attain perfect universal equilibrium. While many attempt to outsmart HooH and make things unbalanced in their favor, HooH has already accounted for them, and victory is impossible. Even if something is unbalanced now, it'll become balanced eventually, and HooH's patience is unmatched by any other Aeon.
HooH's English name is made up and meant to appear symmetrical, as is the case for HooH's original Chinese name, which is 互. This character means "mutually" or "reciprocally" or "intertwining". It was probably chosen just because it looks symmetrical from the top down, but that last meaning does have the added bonus of fitting with the fact HooH is woven into the fabric of the universe.

Followers


Long Arm
Those who like the cut of HooH's gib become dedicated to balancing the universe, the Arbitrators, who decided they'd try and get rid of extreme binary concepts, placing everything in balance. But because they're mortal, they don't have the great big picture view HooH has, and so they constantly mess up, having to correct their problems in successive "patches".
An Arbitrator talks to you when you reach the first Trial of the Equilibrium, and it seems they possess the ability to alter the entire universe in a scale that's incomparable to the followers of other Aeons. It may be because HooH has somehow managed to integrate themselves into the universe much further than any other Aeon has, and that might explain why Aeons tend to be opposed by those with equalizing concepts, and out of control Aeons tend to get the shaft.
Think about it. Tayzzyronth was a threat, but several Aeons believe Nanook is already going to destroy the universe. Why don't they team up again and kick their ass if so? Well, because they're balanced about it. Nanook's rate of destruction is slow and easy to counter enough that unlike Tayzzyronth, they can't take over the entire universe in years. Therefore, in a sense, they already have a place in equilibrium. For every planet-destroying campaign that takes centuries, Yaoshi and the Architects have already protected 5 other worlds. There's no need for something, or someone, to push them towards correcting that balance.

Ena


I only survived because the spirit of \"fuck it we ball\" burned brighter than the \"it's so over\" around me.
The Order.
An Aeon that was absorbed by Xipe due to conceptual overlap when the latter ascended, which is safe to say, a pretty definitive death (though perhaps some part of Ena lives on through Xipe? I mean, they are a plural Aeon after all)
Ena's only known group of followers are the Beyond the Sky Choir, a choir group that made songs praising the Order. When Ena was absorbed, they effectively disappeared, no longer having a god to worship.
However, the Choir audience did record some of their performances into special disks, that could only be played with unique Phonographs of Order. The problem is, the last Phonograph was lost during Emperor Rubert 1's campaigns, so nobody can ever listen to them again.
As a result, this Path is deader than dead. Maybe the energy's still accessible, but with no Aeon, no followers, and no extant artifacts, it might as well not exist.
Ena is a character from the web animation series ENA made by Peruvian artist and animator Joel- wait no.
Actually, I don't know where the English translators got the name "Ena" from, but their original name is 太一 or Taiyi, which is the supreme deity of Heaven worshipped during the Chinese Han Dynasty. There's a lot to Taiyi, but I'm just going to ignore all of it because it was probably actually chosen because the name literally means "Great Oneness" or "Great Unity".

Long


I didn't know what to put here.
The Permanence.
A Chinese dragon thing, Long died ages ago, but we don't know how. Before they died though, they left descendants in the form of Long's Scions, or the Vidyadhara, which possess the power of the Permanence in their very biology.
Because of this, the Vidyadhara have a very peculiar characteristic - when they reach the natural end of their lifespans, they pull a Turritopsis dohrnii and regress back into an infantile stage, effectively making them ageless. Of course, the Vidyadhara that 'reincarnates' loses all memories of their previous self, making the newly reborn Vidyadhara a different individual altogether, though Vidyadhara culture does encourage seeking a greater connection to your past incarnation. It's also possible they might be able to experience some aspects of their previous lives through dreams.
Vidyadhara, however, cannot reproduce. This means that their numbers are limited and losses to their population (through unnatural means) are permanent. Frankly as far as I'm concerned, this basically means Vidyadhara extinction is inevitable, as statistically speaking they probably wouldn't be able to avoid dying through accidents or intentional acts forever.
Currently the vast majority of Vidyadhara live among the Xianzhou Alliance, and it's rumored that those among them that fulfill certain conditions and pass specific rites can return to the form of a dragon. The High Elder of the Vidyadhara receives strict training in order to one day become the highest among them, the Imbibitor Lunae.
Another thing about Vidyadhara. The fact the Permanence's power flows through their cells allows individuals who have harvested Vidyadhara bone marrow to transplant some of that power into their own bodies, provided that they have the right ingredients to reactivate the stem cells. For regular mortals this only results in a short lived burst of power before their immune system destroys the transplanted Vidyadhara cells, resulting in a catastrophic regression that would most likely lead to death for most individuals.
However, for long-life species blessed by Yaoshi, Long's power can actually stabilize the explosive evolutionary process... allowing those stricken with mara to retain their sanity.
The cost is only a little murder.
Long is the Chinese name for the dragon (or specifically the Chinese dragon which is different from the Western perception). WOW! However, dragons do have great significance in Chinese folklore and culture and were worshipped, so this is a fine name. They also have associations with water, which is probably why the Vidyadhara are also associated with water.

Terminus

The Shapeless Prince
The Finality.
If we ignore bits of CBT2 that were removed upon release and now exist in a canonical limbo, this Aeon is the one we basically know the least about. I mean sure they've been mentioned more than Oroboros has, but we at least know what Oroboros is, and what their objectives are.
Terminus, though? Well, besides the fact that the IPC (and maybe Qlipoth) oppose their goals... we know the name "Terminus" and the Path of "the Finality", and that's it. They encountered Akivili at some point, so they're active somewhere, but that doesn't tell us much.
Terminus does appear to share a bit of a concept with an important HI3 character, the Herrscher of Finality, but there doesn't seem to be any direct connection, and finding actual summaries and information on stuff that happens toward the latter half of HI3's story that aren't too short or badly written to be useful is impossible. I'd have to play the game and read all the side-content, and frankly that'd take me weeks, and this post already took a long time to write as it is.
So we'll take Terminus for what the game tells us about them, which is nothing.
Terminus is the Roman name of a god that presided over boundary stones (his name also refers to those stones), which were meant to mark, you know, boundaries. Like the limits of a region or an area that couldn't really be represented by natural landmarks. Essentially, he was the end of one place and the start of another. Considering that Fuli's lore hints at a cyclical nature to the universe, this is an interesting name.
In Chinese, though, their name is different. It's 末王, which literally means "king of the end". Quite the powerful name.

And that's the end of the Aeon section. Because the manuscript for the mortal characters hasn't been written, it'll take a while longer to come out. Probably a few weeks. If I end up finishing it too close to the release of the remaining Companion Quests, it'll have to wait until after.
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2023.06.08 23:11 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, Part 707

First
Capes and Conundrums
“... I think we have some glitches in the programming.” Pavel remarks as the drone opponents for lower level events start... well they’re either straight up malfunctioning and thrashing around, or they’re breakdancing. Badly.
Either way it’s bad.
“God damnit, and here I was trying to make them do the macarena.” The Drone programmer mutters. “God damn, making a program that simulates a person’s sense of balance is a bitch and a half, even if ninety eight percent is just copy and paste bullshit. It’s the god damn code spackle between them that’s fucking everything up, and that’s if there isn’t god damn copy degradation with my copy and paste routine.”
“We done?” Pavel asks.
“Maybe in another hour... but your shift ends in half an hour. You can go. Your replacement will be here long before I’m ready with this. Defragging new code and running the test programs takes at least an hour and a half with this program.”
“Can’t you trim it down or something?” Pavel asks and the programmer downright slams his laptop closed.
“Trim it down? Oh gosh golly gee! Why didn’t I think of that.”
“Okay, I’m sorry I...”
“Wow! Do you have any other incredible insights to offer!? Like turning off the gravity so you don’t fall.”
“I get it, I’m sorry...”
“Or maybe make it so people just aren’t allowed to miss when shooting a gun! Then everyone can be a sniper!”
“I get it, shut up or I’ll show you some fucking sniper.” Pavel says and he turns to stalk out of the testing room.
“Oh no you don’t. You clearly don’t know how god damned hard coding is so you’re going to spend the rest of your shift with me as I code even if it accomplishes nothing at all, Nothing At All. NOTHING AT ALL!!”
“Good god man! What crawled up your cockpipe!?”
“Idiot jocks who don’t know what they’re talking about!” The programmer snaps back as he opens up his laptop again and quickly gets back to work.
Pavel’s response to things is to loom annoyingly over him. It takes about three minutes before the programmer slams the back of his head into Pavel’s stomach.
•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•
“Gentlemen I am very disappointed. I understand that there are differences between soldiers and tensions between species. But I am unwilling to tolerate friendly on friendly attack.” Admiral Hynala states. “Now, before I hear about how the situation devolved into... this...”
He gestures to the two scuffed up men with visible bruises and markings.
“I am going to detail the disciplinary actions I’m going to take.” He states and both of them look concerned. They should be.
“I don’t care who started it. I don’t care about the circumstances. You two are both Undaunted, you two are both part of the same armed force and need to work together. So from this moment onwards you are doing all your work together. No if’s, and’s or buts. For the next two months you two are paired up on all patrols, guard duty and further duties besides. So congratulations Sniper Zeman you now have a spotter. Electronic Warfare Specialist Blake? You now have a bodyguard. You also now have hunchmen Misters Deadshot and Anarchy.”
“But sir!” Blake protest.
“No! I will not have my men attacking each other! A friendly brawl is expected, even encouraged! But you two destroyed Undaunted property in that pointless, stupid fight and I will not have it!” Admiral Hynala states and both men wince a little.
“Now that we have determined your punishment. You will tell me what happened.” Admiral Hynala states before pulling out a coin and flipping it. Specialist Blake. You will begin. In your own words, how did this fight start.”
“It started because a meathead opened his fat mouth and wrote checks his ass couldn’t cash.” Blake mutters.
“Really?” Admiral Hynala’s tone is so dry it actually seems to be sucking the moisture out of the air.
“Sir... there are innumerable difficult and delicate procedures in order to properly code and program. It is not an easy thing to do. When he suggested I start trimming code, he displayed an absolutely stupefying ignorance of just how much work and review goes into coding to begin with and downright insulted me.” Blake states. “It’s like suggesting you get everything done by just stamping your name on things at random.”
“Specialist Blake. Do you know what the correct course of action when someone insults you as a result of their own ignorance?”
“Sir?”
“You ignore it. Their ignorance has already proven that the insult comes from a place of weakness. It is fundamentally proof that they don’t know what they’re talking about and are best ignored and if not ignored, humoured.”
“Yes sir.”
“Now, Sniper Zeman. I would like your recount of events.” Admiral Hynala orders.
“The whole shift leading up to it or just the incident in question sir?”
“Both and in that order.”
“Well sir, my shift was to provide protection if things went off and assist in the testing of more advanced villain drones. During it I noticed Specialist Blake growing more frustrated as he tried many, many different algorithms and programs to try and get smoother and more effective movements into the drones. He tried numerous things from combat attempts to dance moves and just got more and more frustrated. I don’t even fully remember the conversation in question. It was nothing but small talk and he suddenly loses all his patience. This was directly after he told me I could leave and then he reverses that choice and tells me I can stay.”
“Which is when you did something.”
“Yes, he told me to stay so I stood obnoxiously close and this of course provoked a reaction. Sir... I apologize for my part in this affair and provoking an already incensed man.”
“I know you have a date with Miss Ripfang, it is on hold until this meeting is done and attempting to simply appease me will make me hold you longer. We are dealing with this issue and that is that.” Admiral Hynala states.
“Yes sir.” Pavel says.
“Now, these actions are not acceptable and your modified schedules will be sent to you both shortly. If I hear of any further fights between you two there will be a day of payment docked and you will both be in front of me again. I don’t want to have to take money and privileges from my soldiers, but I will if I have to. You gentlemen are Undaunted. You are not the best of the best, you are better. No matter what challenge you face you are better. Act like it.”
“Sir, yes sir.”
“Dismissed. You both are off duty for the remainder of the day without pay.”
“Yes sir.”
“Sir, I’m nowhere near finished the program.”
“Let it sit Specialist. It’s not a bomb in need of defusal.”
“But Sir!”
“No buts. You let emotion control you. You’re off duty for the remainder of the day.”
“Yes sir...”
Both men are then sent from the office with a slight jerk of the Admiral’s head and leave. Pavel heaves a huge sigh of annoyance and disgust before rubbing at his nose and then just leaving the area without speaking to Blake who clenches and unclenches his fists in rage.
Pavel rushes through the ship and only takes the time to grab a proper jacket before rushing out tot he landing bay and leaping out.
The hot and ash tinged air of Skathac is welcome as it makes it feel like the earlier events are an entire world away. He sucks in a deep breath and lest out a wordless bellow to both vent his frustration and warn any Sonir to clear a path, an Unduanted is coming.
He conjured a flat pane barrier and slams his feet into it to redirect his momentum. There’s a bit too much sideways movement so he bleeds it off with a spin and keeps going.
His boot comes down on the head of a gargoyle and he launches himself along, grabbing the corner of a building and swinging hard to keep moving. His eyes narrow as he focuses and he’s suddenly down the street and coming up on another corner to grab and swing around.
More focus as he begins to descend and he bounces off the canopy above a cafe and translates the momentum to the side to flip to the ground.
“Pavel! You... I was worried that... what happened?” Dot Ripfang asks him and he sighs. It looks like she’s been waiting for a while under the canopy and that’s on him. That’s on him and his getting into a fight.
“Some drama with the other Undaunted. Nothing to be worried about, although my schedule is abotu to be shaken up.”
“Oh! That’s not good, are you in trouble?” She asks and he winces a bit.
“A little. I got into a small fight with another soldier and a few things got broken in the process. So of course the Admiral’s response is to pair us up for the next two months. We’re either going to kill each other or settle our issues.”
“And what is the issue.”
“That’s the stupid part. There isn’t one. He was just getting frustrated and the small talk I was using to pass the time set him off. A stupid little mistake but now we’re both in trouble.” Pavel says with a shrug. “Sometimes things happen, you just disagree or say something that’s the particular sensitive subject of the poor bastard and it sets them off. Of course since you’re fine you think that them going off the handle is stupid so you respond in your own way, which makes it worse and back and forth until you’re throwing hands. It happens. The boss knows it happens but he has to punish anyways.”
“Oh... I see...”
“Anyways, that’s more than enough about my issues. What’s going on with you. You sounded like things were pretty important when you set up this meeting today. Is something going wrong?”
“It... well... you know my family is just on vacation to Skathac right?” Dot asks and Pavel nods.
“Is it coming to an end?” He asks and she nods herself this time.
“Yes and... well... I just don’t know how we’re going to make this work at a distance. We’re... I mean... this isn’t some runaway romance and we’re not trying to just force it so... I mean...”
“It’s alright to break it off. There’s no shame in that.” Pavel says. “Better to date around and find out you’re not mixing that well then to force along a relationship that isn’t working. Especially at long range.”
“Really? But I’ve heard so many stories about humans being so intent on making things work! I’ve browsed a few... Oh dear... it’s because of me isn’t it?”
“No it’s not. It’s that humans are different. There’s no big spark between us despite actually liking each other, that’s fine. A friendship is a valuable thing. Even if it’s not a grand one.”
“Oh... well... We’re going home tomorrow and I was wondering how to say goodbye. We haven’t really gotten anywhere but we’ve been trying to make it work and... I just don’t know.”
“Not what you expected?”
“No. Not at all.”
“Not bad I hope.”
“No, it hasn’t been bad. It’s just not what I expected.” She admits and he shrugs.
“Well, that’s not a bad thing then. I’m not really sure what else to say. I’m sorry we don’t have more time to make this work, but we apparently don’t. If you’re not broken up about this, then I have even less reason to be. We tried, it didn’t work. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“But there should be! A big cavation with excitement and a whirlwind romance is what’s in all the movies and stories and... and...”
“And that’s because there are few stories about things just being normal and fine. It’s too boring to put into video format.” Pavel says.
“It just doesn’t feel right though. I should want this more, we should be really trying harder and... I don’t know, it shouldn’t be hard to want someone!”
“... Let’s put it to the test.” Pavel says and she gives him an odd look. “Let’s kiss, if there’s anything other than pheromones we’ll keep trying. If it’s just pheromones though, we break it off as friends. Okay?”
Dot considers it for a few moments before nodding and then reaching over the table to pick him up by the shirt. There’s a hesitation in her movements as she rises up and pulls him up to her. Then her lips met his and the tongues meet as well and... they both just go still as things go from weird to very awkward.
She sets him down gently with a sigh. “The heat’s there but that’s just... I mean... I want it. But it’s... its IT I want... not...”
“Not me. That’s fine. We’re not clicking, that’s okay.” Pavel says before gesturing back to the table. “My friend, would you care to join me for a meal?”
“I’d like that.” She says softly.

First Last
PS: Ye Gods I have not been sleeping well with the smoke. It's also making me go through more meltdowns than average. I'm taking a nap after posting this then putting down the author's comment. Sorry for it being late.
submitted by KyleKKent to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.08 21:50 Derextreme [H] Cheap games [W] Steam trading cards. Each game priced in amount of cards wanted

Barter link for other tradeables and wishlist(only games listed here are going for cards, and I'd trade these for games as well. ) https://barter.vg8c11/t/
Trades do not have to be in sets. I'll take cards from multiple games. Most of these I have 0 cards for, and I want level 5 badges on all of them. Only looking for cards from the games in my want list.
Prices may be negotiable depending on the cards offered, and the game that's wanted.
New:
Steam:
Games I want cards from:
S tier
A Tier
B Tier:
https://www.reddit.com/IGSRep/comments/10cx1nv/derextremes_igs_rep_page/
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2023.06.08 21:47 Klokinator The Cryopod to Hell 494: Intellect Awakens

Author note: The Cryopod to Hell is a Reddit-exclusive story with over three years of editing and refining. As of this post, the total rewrite is 1,940,000+ words long! For more information, check out the link below:
What is the Cryopod to Hell?
Join the Cryoverse Discord server!
Here's a list of all Cryopod's chapters, along with an ePub/Mobi/PDF version!
Want to stay up to date on TCTH? Subscribe to Cryopodbot!
...................................
(Previous Part)
(Part 001)
...
After every Demon Duke pops one of Glinch's pills, they begin to evolve. The change shocks the Emperors to their cores. Yardrat prepared himself for the inevitability that these incredible pills would do the unthinkable, but seeing it happen in real-time is very different from imagining the concept in his head.
He and the other leaders, movers, and shakers of the Four Hells who came along can only watch numbly as Vespera, Rhesus, Hamir, Vepar, and all the other Dukes explode in strength, smashing through their limiters to ascend to the realm of Demon Emperor.
Their bodies glow with power. They fall to their knees and roar to the heavens, delighted in achieving that which they previously thought was unattainable.
In an instant, the balance of power across every Hell shifts, yet few even know of that which has just transpired, and fewer still take the time to think clearly about what this will surely mean in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
If they cannot defeat Mephisto, it won't matter if they have six Emperors or six hundred. The power of a Demon Deity will crush them all into dust, with nothing left behind, aside from their dying screams.
As for the fifty newly ascended Emperors, their names and titles are numerous, almost numbing to dwell on. Among them are a smattering of renowned individuals, such as:
Vepar, the Corrosive Emperor.
Vespera, the Emperor of Nebulae.
Rhesus, the Emperor of Ripping.
Hamir, the Emperor of Tempests.
As well as numerous others.
The moment they ascend, their titles become known to all demons who gaze upon them. They need not speak these titles, as if having been named directly by the Creator himself. In the entire history of demonkind, few have managed to shroud their true names, the most notable individual being Gressil, who hid his Emperor-level strength until the time was right for others to know.
But these newly risen Emperors have neither a need nor a desire to hide their powerful new titles. They look at one another and grin evilly, excited to begin wielding their abilities as soon as possible.
After distributing half of the pills, Yardrat finds that he still has more than forty left. He turns to Emperor Melody.
"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to hold onto the rest." He says. "My Hell already has more elites than everyone else. If we make it out of here alive, rebuild the Hell of Isolation with these."
The other Emperors blink in surprise at Yardrat's gesture of goodwill. Some of them feel it's a bit of a waste, but the longest lived Emperors and former Dukes ultimately don't bother to interrupt him.
Bael crosses his arms and nods.
"Good call, Yardy-boy. That's what Shax would want."
"Shax was a fine demon." Yardrat says, as Melody takes the pills from him. "His death has always weighed on my mind. If I can help his Hell with a small gesture like this, then I'll do so without thinking twice."
"Thank you." Melody says quietly, looking at Yardrat with a strange gaze. She pockets the pills and sighs.
Shax wasn't just a cool music-loving dude, but a kind demon who made countless friends. He never attacked or fought anybody undeservedly, and he based his Hell on the principles of friendship and cooperation. Even the demons who might not have gotten along with him still respected him. His death to the humans ruined the morale of many demons at the time.
"Don't thank me until we kill Mephisto and leave here alive." Yardrat says, turning his attention to the distant center of the Stitched wasteland. "Everyone, let's move out. And remember, those pills were not for our benefit. This is where the real fight begins."
The others nod grimly. They begin marching toward Glinch's lair, and as they walk, powerful chimera cross their paths at regular intervals. No longer do only two or three of Glinch's minions appear, but instead five and six at a time, each and every individual far too powerful for mere Emperors to defeat alone. They quickly get the impression Glinch has managed to raise entities capable of challenging 5th and perhaps even 6th-Level Psions.
With nearly sixty Emperors on their side, the swarm of demons begins moving forward with great haste.
Yardrat imbues his body with the power of space. He flickers around to deal massive damage to Glinch's chimera with punches that rip across dimensional spaces.
Fae flies into the air and rains bombs from above. She takes the initiative to attack distant enemies with her strongest bombs, weakening and softening them up for her allies to take on later.
Dagon and Vepar work together. With both of their powers having reached the bottom of the Emperor-level in strength, they melt, corrode, poison, and suffocate any enemies susceptible to their poison and acid attacks.
Nymph keeps away from the front-lines. Due to Glinch's wasteland ruining any vines or plants she summons within seconds, she instead focuses on popping out plants sporadically to yank allies out of the line of attacks, or merely irritating her enemies by momentarily tripping them with vine shackles around their ankles.
Kristoff focuses on dealing damage and draining Glinch's chimeras of their blood. Any injuries he inflicts tend to bleed heavily, especially when he focuses his mind on doing so.
Serena uses her magic to boost dozens of newly ascended low-Emperors to mid and high tier Emperors, making their powers considerably more deadly. She also keeps her eyes out for invisible threats or other troublesome soul fluctuations.
Crow stays on the front-lines. Her incredibly durable body allows her to retain the title of the mightiest melee attacker among all the demons present.
Melody focuses on defense. Instead of trying to kill the chimeras, she leaves that business to the superior damage-dealers and instead uses her shockwaves to fling her enemies around and batter their attacks aside.
Vespera plays a versatile role, sometimes summoning shadowy minions to assist the others, sometimes jumping into battle herself to cut chimeras down, and other times teleporting around through the various shadows to distract the different enemies.
Rhesus becomes far stronger after evolving. Despite being hesitant to bother with the pills, he is no different from the other demons in his desire to mutate to Emperor, and the permanent strength increase he obtains puts him second only to Crow herself. Perhaps given time he will even surpass her as his power approaches the apex of the Emperor level!
And finally, Bael swings his flail with reckless abandon. He batters any enemy that jumps in front of him without any thought to strategy or planning. He ends up attacking with a strength not far behind Yardrat, dealing the killing blow to more than a few of Glinch's monsters.
For hours, the demon elites beat and batter their way past dozens of highly enhanced creatures, becoming more and more cognizant of the fact that if Glinch wanted them dead, he could merely command his chimera to swarm them and they wouldn't stand a chance of survival. It causes the smarter elites to shudder when they realize Glinch possesses military strength greater than the combined might of all Seven Hells, even after their ascension!
However, Bael is not one of those highly intelligent elites. He doesn't give these matters much thought. He merely continues beating the shit out of his enemies, pausing once in a while to rest his weary body and swap out with the other Emperors nearby as they fight with all their might to push toward the center of the Stitched Wasteland.
At some point, while Bael does his thing, a spiritual sense awakens from within the Matriarch's Armor.
Emperor Ose's remnant soul sliver opens her eyes and returns to the physical realm, unaware of what has been going on since she began resting. With what remains of her former self, she isn't able to stay awake for days and weeks like she could when she was still alive. She has to sleep frequently, lest her soul dissipate from straining itself. She awakens to find that Bael is no longer meandering around on Tarus II or hanging out in her secret demonic base. Instead, he's become engaged in some sort of incredible high-stakes battle, along with dozens of other mighty demon elites!
Ose blinks several times. She says nothing to Bael, but uses what's left of her spiritual senses to try and get a sense of the other demons around her.
Hm? So many Emperors... what happened over the last few days? Have I been unconscious for longer than I anticipated?
She gazes at Vespera, Rhesus, and Vepar, her eyes widening as she recognizes the permanent status of their new Emperor rank.
Devils! Has the Wordsmith's Belial Booster become more effective? How in the Seven Hells can there be fifty brand new Emperors out of nowhere?
She identifies the former Dukes with ease, having once been intimately familiar with the elites of the Seven Hells.
This is... the Stitched Wasteland? Why is everyone going against Glinch? No, more importantly, why do his minions appear to be so much more powerful than I remember? I heard they were at the level of Emperors, but now it seems they must be higher than Emperors, but lower than Demon Deities. Perhaps half-step Deities? Or simply Emperor-level souls contained within much stronger bodies?
Ose doesn't immediately decide to question Bael. She doesn't even alert him to the fact she's awakened. He's a moron anyway, so talking to him won't provide her with much more info than if she simply used her judgment to determine what's going on.
This is all so strange. Ose thinks. According to the Matriarch Armor's internal chronometer, I've only been asleep a single week, yet a frightening number of things have changed. Has a demon civil war erupted? Perhaps Glinch has decided to rebel against the Seven Hells, so Auger opted to put him down once and for all?
Her spiritual form shakes its head.
No. That isn't Glinch's style. He doesn't care about amassing power, or wealth, or fame and fortune. He doesn't care who rules the Seven Hells. He can't be bought, or bribed, or intimidated, or cowed into submission. Glinch does whatever Glinch wants to do, and not even the Volgrim can change his ways. Since his ability to manipulate bodies and souls is so formidable, the Volgrim have even lowered their heads to commission him on various top-secret R&D projects...
Ose narrows her eyes. Unlike the overwhelming majority of her kin, she is a demon who specializes in not only subterfuge and infiltration, but also high technology. She has stolen many peeks at the Volgrim's Black Level projects in a manner most discreet. Not even the High Technopaths were able to discover her breaches.
If Glinch isn't rebelling, then... could it be that this fierce battle isn't what it seems on the surface?
She pieces together multiple clues at blinding speeds.
Look at how Glinch's army only moves toward the assault force in groups of two or three. They could easily swarm Yardrat and the others, but they don't. That means Glinch is holding back.
She nods to herself.
Coupled with the fact that so many Emperors have ascended... ahhhh...
Ose forms a hypothesis, mulls it over, and smiles to herself.
So it's like that. Glinch must have been commissioned or requested by Auger to improve the fighting capabilities of the Seven Hells. Perhaps he developed some secret new method to uplift demons to the rank of Emperor at Auger's request, and now he's helping battle-forge these new elites. A sound strategy, considering the Wordsmith's rapid rise to power.
Ose ultimately comes to the wrong conclusion, but based on purely the different observable clues in her field of vision, the guess is quite good. She comes to assume that this is part of a secret training exercise intended to build up Hell's forces and churn out powerful fighters capable of pressing against the Wordsmith's bulwark.
Beelzebub isn't here. Ose thinks. None of the Second Hell's residents either. The Hell of Lust must have become quite intimate with the humans, which makes sense. Unlike the other Hells, they rely on fornication with humans to uplift their bodies and souls. The two make for optimal allies.
She checks out the allied forces again, this time paying attention to the specific demons present.
It seems not a single demon that has shown sympathies toward the Wordsmiths has come along. Melody is here all alone. Her Hell always was at least somewhat aligned with humanity, but Melody herself won't be particularly attached to non-demons. Yama isn't here... he must still be at large, along with Mephisto.
Unaware of the fates which befell Mephisto, Yama, and several other demons over the past week, Ose unfortunately misses a few important clues, but that can hardly be blamed on her.
Kristoff, Vespera, and Rhesus. Is this all that remains of the Hell of Blood? Perhaps they left their remaining Dukes behind as a reserve force, or perhaps those members will be uplifted later. I wonder what Auger is thinking, raising so many Emperors at once. He won't be able to keep news of their ascensions a secret for long. The Wordsmith will find out, and he'll become immediately suspicious provided he has an IQ five points higher than Bael.
As her thoughts drift to Bael, Ose finally decides to open up to him.
[Hey, idiot. I'm awake. What's going on here?]
Bael swings Big Bonk at the head of a fifteen-foot-tall brutish monster not unlike the one he first fought when he entered the Stitched Wasteland, but this one possesses a turtle-like shell on its back, making it specially resistant to heavy attacks.
"Huh?" Bael asks, after retracting his flail. "Oh, Ose! You're awake! Gimme a few minutes, I gotta pound some punks!"
Ose rolls her eyes. [No need for that. Just take a few steps back and talk to me. This training exercise isn't a life and death matter anyway.]
Bael pauses to consider her words. His jaw slackens a little as he tries to catch up with what she said.
"It... it's not?"
Some of the demons nearby Bael notice his attacks slowing. A couple even hear him talking to himself, but unable to hear Ose's voice, they just assume the poor galumpf must be having one of his ditsy moments. They quickly fill the gap lost by Bael's slowed momentum, leaving him to fall back even further.
[Of course not.] Ose says. [Tell me what this exercise is all about. How did Glinch uplift so many demons to the Rank of Emperor?]
Bael's eyes widen. "Wow, Ose! You just woke up and you already know Glinch did this? You're so smart!"
[I don't need your praise.] Ose says, annoyed. [Just tell me how Glinch raised fifty Emperors in only a week.]
"Ohh. Uh, he gave us special pills." Bael says. "Yeah, super strong stuff. Made my titties bigger too."
Ose blinks. [What?]
"My titties. They got real big. Didn't grow my ding-dong back though..."
Bael eyes fill with tears as he remembers the sadness he felt when his pants remained uninflated.
[Moron! I don't care about y-your mammary expansion! What sorts of pills were they? How did Glinch make them?]
Ose's growing frustration, as always, proves impossible to keep out of her voice. Bael doesn't seem to mind.
"Oh I dunno. Kristoff said something about x-beats and blood." Bael explains absentmindedly. "Why? You wanna grow bigger soul-titties too?"
[NO!] Ose roars. [I don't care about my boob size, you nimrod! FOCUS! What 'x-beats' are you talking about? Do you mean EXOBEASTS?]
A light seems to go off in Bael's eyes.
"Ohh, right! Yeah! X-O beasts! Like uh, X-O-X-O. Kissing beasts! I'm so silly. Can't believe I forgot that."
Ose closes her eyes and makes punching motions toward an invisible wall.
I'm gonna kill him. She thinks. I'm going to kill Bael and torture his soul for all eternity if I EVER figure out a way to bring myself back.
She clenches her jaw and opens her eyes.
[Bael. Does the Wordsmith know about Auger's plan yet?]
Bael scrunches up his face.
"Uhhh... Auger's... plan?"
[Yes. His plan to create more Emperors.] Ose clarifies. [He's working with Glinch, yes?]
"He is?!" Bael gasps. "Wow! Auger's so smart. I'd never have thought of that. This sure explains a lot."
Invisible question marks pop up above Ose's head. She squints her eyes as if trying to look inside Bael's head and locate his pebble-sized brain amidst a galaxy-sized void of emptiness.
[So... does... the Wordsmith... know?] Ose asks through gritted teeth.
"Nah. Doubt it." Bael says, waving his hands nonchalantly. "Unless..."
[Unless?] Ose asks.
"Unless it's all part of Auger's brilliant plan." Bael concludes, nodding to himself. "Damn. How is everyone so smart? And I thought we were coming here to kill Mephisto."
Ose's face freezes. A feeling like cracked ice washes across her soul.
[Me...phisto? You're here to kill Mephisto?]
"I dunno." Bael shrugs. "I thought we were coming here to kill him. But this must be part of Auger's plan to trick me and the others so he can make the Hells super strong. I guess all that stuff about Mephisto becoming a Demon Deity didn't mean anything after all. Thanks for helping me understand, Ose! You're the best!"
Bael gives Ose a HUGE mental thumbs up, grinning at her with the same level of stupid happiness he always does.
Ose's soul nearly implodes from the mental gymnastics Bael just unleashed upon her.
[Oh... devils...] Ose weeps. [Why... why couldn't I have been trapped with Auger... or Fenrir... or Gorn... even Serena! Why did I have to end up stuck with demonkind's biggest idiot?]
"It's probably just your bad karma." Bael grunts. "You were such a bad girl, taking all those dirty pics. The Creator had to punish ya."
[WHAT PICS?!] Ose snaps. [Bael, I'm going to turn your pea-brain into MUSH if you keep thinking such VILE thoughts!]
In the middle of Ose's raging, Yardrat fights his way to Bael's side.
"Bael! Is something wrong? Why have you stopped attacking? Are you exhausted?"
Bael blinks. He turns his attention to Yardrat.
"Huh? Nah, nah. Ose woke up, so I'm having a chat with her real quick."
He pauses before adding: "By the way, why didn't ya tell me this was all Auger's brilliant plan? You know I'm good at keeping secrets!"
Yardrat glances at Bael, baffled, while continuing to conjure lines of eviscerating spatial attacks upon the frontline enemies.
"What plan? What are you on about?"
Bael lightly slaps Yardrat's back and chuckles.
"Aw, man. Good one, Yardy-boy! What plan? Hah! You're a real kick in the pants sometimes!"
Yardrat pauses his fighting to stare at Bael for three full seconds in absolute confusion. Then he turns and walks away, muttering something under his breath about that guy being off his rocker ever since he body-swapped.
Bael jumps back into combat, having finally figured out the 'true' reason for coming here. As for Ose, she mentally slumps to the 'floor' of Bael's Mind Realm, drained by the idiocy she's just endured.
But, at least now she better understands the actual situation.
Ose sets aside her anger and rage. She closes her eyes and focuses, thinking about what she's actually learned. Her swift mind allows her to combine the new, albeit potentially unreliable intel she obtained from Bael, with her pre-existing theories.
Mephisto is ascending to Demon Deity. Glinch must be working to train up an army of Emperors... for some reason. Perhaps Mephisto threatens his interests or something. Ugh. If only I could just speak directly to someone not named Bael. If ONLY I had made my soul interface capable of projecting my voice outwards. Stupid, stupid!
Ose begins to feel glum.
She looks up at the sky, her senses able to detect anything around the Matriarch Armor within a 360 degree sphere.
She gazes at the waning sun, the ashen clouds of the Stitched Wasteland only blocking some of her view toward space.
I have to be more proactive. I can't just blame Bael. It's not his fault he was born with the IQ of a dead slug. I mean, it's a LITTLE bit his fault... but he can't really help being unable to retain information for longer than five nanoseconds. If I'd simply planned out my existence post-mortem, I might still manage to retain some influence over the Hells.
Ose becomes momentarily depressed. She begins to wonder if these things even truly matter.
She's dead.
She's unlikely to ever again walk the plane of existence.
She's not powerful anymore. All she has left is a fragment of a soul and her intellect formed during her 100,000+ years of life.
But that depression quickly fades away as she firms her resolve.
Ose is many things. She's easily annoyed by idiocy, temperamental, stuck up, and a bit of a viper, but she isn't mentally weak. Her willpower is formidable, and it was forged by the life she's endured, as well as the actions her adoptive mother took to empower her in her youth.
I don't need a body or magic to remain relevant. Ose thinks. I still have my intellect. Even if I can't taste good food or lounge on a comfortable bed, I still have ambitions. I want to continue expanding my influence.
She rubs her chin and looks thoughtfully at the battle around her.
Bael's an idiot. But he's also easy to manipulate and control. And nobody would ever expect him to accomplish much. That means the humans, the other demons, and especially the Volgrim will underestimate him.
Hmm.
Perhaps I can turn this situation to my advantage.
Her attention pivots to Glinch's laboratory, still more than a hundred miles away.
I wonder if the Stitched Emperor might be able to help my situation, too? It's certainly worth a shot.
So many possibilities...
Ose will never bow to the universe's will, so long as she retains her mental faculties.
She will never surrender.
submitted by Klokinator to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.08 21:47 Klokinator Cryopod Refresh 494: Intellect Awakens

After every Demon Duke pops one of Glinch's pills, they begin to evolve. The change shocks the Emperors to their cores. Yardrat prepared himself for the inevitability that these incredible pills would do the unthinkable, but seeing it happen in real-time is very different from imagining the concept in his head.
He and the other leaders, movers, and shakers of the Four Hells who came along can only watch numbly as Vespera, Rhesus, Hamir, Vepar, and all the other Dukes explode in strength, smashing through their limiters to ascend to the realm of Demon Emperor.
Their bodies glow with power. They fall to their knees and roar to the heavens, delighted in achieving that which they previously thought was unattainable.
In an instant, the balance of power across every Hell shifts, yet few even know of that which has just transpired, and fewer still take the time to think clearly about what this will surely mean in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.
If they cannot defeat Mephisto, it won't matter if they have six Emperors or six hundred. The power of a Demon Deity will crush them all into dust, with nothing left behind, aside from their dying screams.
As for the fifty newly ascended Emperors, their names and titles are numerous, almost numbing to dwell on. Among them are a smattering of renowned individuals, such as:
Vepar, the Corrosive Emperor.
Vespera, the Emperor of Nebulae.
Rhesus, the Emperor of Ripping.
Hamir, the Emperor of Tempests.
As well as numerous others.
The moment they ascend, their titles become known to all demons who gaze upon them. They need not speak these titles, as if having been named directly by the Creator himself. In the entire history of demonkind, few have managed to shroud their true names, the most notable individual being Gressil, who hid his Emperor-level strength until the time was right for others to know.
But these newly risen Emperors have neither a need nor a desire to hide their powerful new titles. They look at one another and grin evilly, excited to begin wielding their abilities as soon as possible.
After distributing half of the pills, Yardrat finds that he still has more than forty left. He turns to Emperor Melody.
"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to hold onto the rest." He says. "My Hell already has more elites than everyone else. If we make it out of here alive, rebuild the Hell of Isolation with these."
The other Emperors blink in surprise at Yardrat's gesture of goodwill. Some of them feel it's a bit of a waste, but the longest lived Emperors and former Dukes ultimately don't bother to interrupt him.
Bael crosses his arms and nods.
"Good call, Yardy-boy. That's what Shax would want."
"Shax was a fine demon." Yardrat says, as Melody takes the pills from him. "His death has always weighed on my mind. If I can help his Hell with a small gesture like this, then I'll do so without thinking twice."
"Thank you." Melody says quietly, looking at Yardrat with a strange gaze. She pockets the pills and sighs.
Shax wasn't just a cool music-loving dude, but a kind demon who made countless friends. He never attacked or fought anybody undeservedly, and he based his Hell on the principles of friendship and cooperation. Even the demons who might not have gotten along with him still respected him. His death to the humans ruined the morale of many demons at the time.
"Don't thank me until we kill Mephisto and leave here alive." Yardrat says, turning his attention to the distant center of the Stitched wasteland. "Everyone, let's move out. And remember, those pills were not for our benefit. This is where the real fight begins."
The others nod grimly. They begin marching toward Glinch's lair, and as they walk, powerful chimera cross their paths at regular intervals. No longer do only two or three of Glinch's minions appear, but instead five and six at a time, each and every individual far too powerful for mere Emperors to defeat alone. They quickly get the impression Glinch has managed to raise entities capable of challenging 5th and perhaps even 6th-Level Psions.
With nearly sixty Emperors on their side, the swarm of demons begins moving forward with great haste.
Yardrat imbues his body with the power of space. He flickers around to deal massive damage to Glinch's chimera with punches that rip across dimensional spaces.
Fae flies into the air and rains bombs from above. She takes the initiative to attack distant enemies with her strongest bombs, weakening and softening them up for her allies to take on later.
Dagon and Vepar work together. With both of their powers having reached the bottom of the Emperor-level in strength, they melt, corrode, poison, and suffocate any enemies susceptible to their poison and acid attacks.
Nymph keeps away from the front-lines. Due to Glinch's wasteland ruining any vines or plants she summons within seconds, she instead focuses on popping out plants sporadically to yank allies out of the line of attacks, or merely irritating her enemies by momentarily tripping them with vine shackles around their ankles.
Kristoff focuses on dealing damage and draining Glinch's chimeras of their blood. Any injuries he inflicts tend to bleed heavily, especially when he focuses his mind on doing so.
Serena uses her magic to boost dozens of newly ascended low-Emperors to mid and high tier Emperors, making their powers considerably more deadly. She also keeps her eyes out for invisible threats or other troublesome soul fluctuations.
Crow stays on the front-lines. Her incredibly durable body allows her to retain the title of the mightiest melee attacker among all the demons present.
Melody focuses on defense. Instead of trying to kill the chimeras, she leaves that business to the superior damage-dealers and instead uses her shockwaves to fling her enemies around and batter their attacks aside.
Vespera plays a versatile role, sometimes summoning shadowy minions to assist the others, sometimes jumping into battle herself to cut chimeras down, and other times teleporting around through the various shadows to distract the different enemies.
Rhesus becomes far stronger after evolving. Despite being hesitant to bother with the pills, he is no different from the other demons in his desire to mutate to Emperor, and the permanent strength increase he obtains puts him second only to Crow herself. Perhaps given time he will even surpass her as his power approaches the apex of the Emperor level!
And finally, Bael swings his flail with reckless abandon. He batters any enemy that jumps in front of him without any thought to strategy or planning. He ends up attacking with a strength not far behind Yardrat, dealing the killing blow to more than a few of Glinch's monsters.
For hours, the demon elites beat and batter their way past dozens of highly enhanced creatures, becoming more and more cognizant of the fact that if Glinch wanted them dead, he could merely command his chimera to swarm them and they wouldn't stand a chance of survival. It causes the smarter elites to shudder when they realize Glinch possesses military strength greater than the combined might of all Seven Hells, even after their ascension!
However, Bael is not one of those highly intelligent elites. He doesn't give these matters much thought. He merely continues beating the shit out of his enemies, pausing once in a while to rest his weary body and swap out with the other Emperors nearby as they fight with all their might to push toward the center of the Stitched Wasteland.
At some point, while Bael does his thing, a spiritual sense awakens from within the Matriarch's Armor.
Emperor Ose's remnant soul sliver opens her eyes and returns to the physical realm, unaware of what has been going on since she began resting. With what remains of her former self, she isn't able to stay awake for days and weeks like she could when she was still alive. She has to sleep frequently, lest her soul dissipate from straining itself. She awakens to find that Bael is no longer meandering around on Tarus II or hanging out in her secret demonic base. Instead, he's become engaged in some sort of incredible high-stakes battle, along with dozens of other mighty demon elites!
Ose blinks several times. She says nothing to Bael, but uses what's left of her spiritual senses to try and get a sense of the other demons around her.
Hm? So many Emperors... what happened over the last few days? Have I been unconscious for longer than I anticipated?
She gazes at Vespera, Rhesus, and Vepar, her eyes widening as she recognizes the permanent status of their new Emperor rank.
Devils! Has the Wordsmith's Belial Booster become more effective? How in the Seven Hells can there be fifty brand new Emperors out of nowhere?
She identifies the former Dukes with ease, having once been intimately familiar with the elites of the Seven Hells.
This is... the Stitched Wasteland? Why is everyone going against Glinch? No, more importantly, why do his minions appear to be so much more powerful than I remember? I heard they were at the level of Emperors, but now it seems they must be higher than Emperors, but lower than Demon Deities. Perhaps half-step Deities? Or simply Emperor-level souls contained within much stronger bodies?
Ose doesn't immediately decide to question Bael. She doesn't even alert him to the fact she's awakened. He's a moron anyway, so talking to him won't provide her with much more info than if she simply used her judgment to determine what's going on.
This is all so strange. Ose thinks. According to the Matriarch Armor's internal chronometer, I've only been asleep a single week, yet a frightening number of things have changed. Has a demon civil war erupted? Perhaps Glinch has decided to rebel against the Seven Hells, so Auger opted to put him down once and for all?
Her spiritual form shakes its head.
No. That isn't Glinch's style. He doesn't care about amassing power, or wealth, or fame and fortune. He doesn't care who rules the Seven Hells. He can't be bought, or bribed, or intimidated, or cowed into submission. Glinch does whatever Glinch wants to do, and not even the Volgrim can change his ways. Since his ability to manipulate bodies and souls is so formidable, the Volgrim have even lowered their heads to commission him on various top-secret R&D projects...
Ose narrows her eyes. Unlike the overwhelming majority of her kin, she is a demon who specializes in not only subterfuge and infiltration, but also high technology. She has stolen many peeks at the Volgrim's Black Level projects in a manner most discreet. Not even the High Technopaths were able to discover her breaches.
If Glinch isn't rebelling, then... could it be that this fierce battle isn't what it seems on the surface?
She pieces together multiple clues at blinding speeds.
Look at how Glinch's army only moves toward the assault force in groups of two or three. They could easily swarm Yardrat and the others, but they don't. That means Glinch is holding back.
She nods to herself.
Coupled with the fact that so many Emperors have ascended... ahhhh...
Ose forms a hypothesis, mulls it over, and smiles to herself.
So it's like that. Glinch must have been commissioned or requested by Auger to improve the fighting capabilities of the Seven Hells. Perhaps he developed some secret new method to uplift demons to the rank of Emperor at Auger's request, and now he's helping battle-forge these new elites. A sound strategy, considering the Wordsmith's rapid rise to power.
Ose ultimately comes to the wrong conclusion, but based on purely the different observable clues in her field of vision, the guess is quite good. She comes to assume that this is part of a secret training exercise intended to build up Hell's forces and churn out powerful fighters capable of pressing against the Wordsmith's bulwark.
Beelzebub isn't here. Ose thinks. None of the Second Hell's residents either. The Hell of Lust must have become quite intimate with the humans, which makes sense. Unlike the other Hells, they rely on fornication with humans to uplift their bodies and souls. The two make for optimal allies.
She checks out the allied forces again, this time paying attention to the specific demons present.
It seems not a single demon that has shown sympathies toward the Wordsmiths has come along. Melody is here all alone. Her Hell always was at least somewhat aligned with humanity, but Melody herself won't be particularly attached to non-demons. Yama isn't here... he must still be at large, along with Mephisto.
Unaware of the fates which befell Mephisto, Yama, and several other demons over the past week, Ose unfortunately misses a few important clues, but that can hardly be blamed on her.
Kristoff, Vespera, and Rhesus. Is this all that remains of the Hell of Blood? Perhaps they left their remaining Dukes behind as a reserve force, or perhaps those members will be uplifted later. I wonder what Auger is thinking, raising so many Emperors at once. He won't be able to keep news of their ascensions a secret for long. The Wordsmith will find out, and he'll become immediately suspicious provided he has an IQ five points higher than Bael.
As her thoughts drift to Bael, Ose finally decides to open up to him.
[Hey, idiot. I'm awake. What's going on here?]
Bael swings Big Bonk at the head of a fifteen-foot-tall brutish monster not unlike the one he first fought when he entered the Stitched Wasteland, but this one possesses a turtle-like shell on its back, making it specially resistant to heavy attacks.
"Huh?" Bael asks, after retracting his flail. "Oh, Ose! You're awake! Gimme a few minutes, I gotta pound some punks!"
Ose rolls her eyes. [No need for that. Just take a few steps back and talk to me. This training exercise isn't a life and death matter anyway.]
Bael pauses to consider her words. His jaw slackens a little as he tries to catch up with what she said.
"It... it's not?"
Some of the demons nearby Bael notice his attacks slowing. A couple even hear him talking to himself, but unable to hear Ose's voice, they just assume the poor galumpf must be having one of his ditsy moments. They quickly fill the gap lost by Bael's slowed momentum, leaving him to fall back even further.
[Of course not.] Ose says. [Tell me what this exercise is all about. How did Glinch uplift so many demons to the Rank of Emperor?]
Bael's eyes widen. "Wow, Ose! You just woke up and you already know Glinch did this? You're so smart!"
[I don't need your praise.] Ose says, annoyed. [Just tell me how Glinch raised fifty Emperors in only a week.]
"Ohh. Uh, he gave us special pills." Bael says. "Yeah, super strong stuff. Made my titties bigger too."
Ose blinks. [What?]
"My titties. They got real big. Didn't grow my ding-dong back though..."
Bael eyes fill with tears as he remembers the sadness he felt when his pants remained uninflated.
[Moron! I don't care about y-your mammary expansion! What sorts of pills were they? How did Glinch make them?]
Ose's growing frustration, as always, proves impossible to keep out of her voice. Bael doesn't seem to mind.
"Oh I dunno. Kristoff said something about x-beats and blood." Bael explains absentmindedly. "Why? You wanna grow bigger soul-titties too?"
[NO!] Ose roars. [I don't care about my boob size, you nimrod! FOCUS! What 'x-beats' are you talking about? Do you mean EXOBEASTS?]
A light seems to go off in Bael's eyes.
"Ohh, right! Yeah! X-O beasts! Like uh, X-O-X-O. Kissing beasts! I'm so silly. Can't believe I forgot that."
Ose closes her eyes and makes punching motions toward an invisible wall.
I'm gonna kill him. She thinks. I'm going to kill Bael and torture his soul for all eternity if I EVER figure out a way to bring myself back.
She clenches her jaw and opens her eyes.
[Bael. Does the Wordsmith know about Auger's plan yet?]
Bael scrunches up his face.
"Uhhh... Auger's... plan?"
[Yes. His plan to create more Emperors.] Ose clarifies. [He's working with Glinch, yes?]
"He is?!" Bael gasps. "Wow! Auger's so smart. I'd never have thought of that. This sure explains a lot."
Invisible question marks pop up above Ose's head. She squints her eyes as if trying to look inside Bael's head and locate his pebble-sized brain amidst a galaxy-sized void of emptiness.
[So... does... the Wordsmith... know?] Ose asks through gritted teeth.
"Nah. Doubt it." Bael says, waving his hands nonchalantly. "Unless..."
[Unless?] Ose asks.
"Unless it's all part of Auger's brilliant plan." Bael concludes, nodding to himself. "Damn. How is everyone so smart? And I thought we were coming here to kill Mephisto."
Ose's face freezes. A feeling like cracked ice washes across her soul.
[Me...phisto? You're here to kill Mephisto?]
"I dunno." Bael shrugs. "I thought we were coming here to kill him. But this must be part of Auger's plan to trick me and the others so he can make the Hells super strong. I guess all that stuff about Mephisto becoming a Demon Deity didn't mean anything after all. Thanks for helping me understand, Ose! You're the best!"
Bael gives Ose a HUGE mental thumbs up, grinning at her with the same level of stupid happiness he always does.
Ose's soul nearly implodes from the mental gymnastics Bael just unleashed upon her.
[Oh... devils...] Ose weeps. [Why... why couldn't I have been trapped with Auger... or Fenrir... or Gorn... even Serena! Why did I have to end up stuck with demonkind's biggest idiot?]
"It's probably just your bad karma." Bael grunts. "You were such a bad girl, taking all those dirty pics. The Creator had to punish ya."
[WHAT PICS?!] Ose snaps. [Bael, I'm going to turn your pea-brain into MUSH if you keep thinking such VILE thoughts!]
In the middle of Ose's raging, Yardrat fights his way to Bael's side.
"Bael! Is something wrong? Why have you stopped attacking? Are you exhausted?"
Bael blinks. He turns his attention to Yardrat.
"Huh? Nah, nah. Ose woke up, so I'm having a chat with her real quick."
He pauses before adding: "By the way, why didn't ya tell me this was all Auger's brilliant plan? You know I'm good at keeping secrets!"
Yardrat glances at Bael, baffled, while continuing to conjure lines of eviscerating spatial attacks upon the frontline enemies.
"What plan? What are you on about?"
Bael lightly slaps Yardrat's back and chuckles.
"Aw, man. Good one, Yardy-boy! What plan? Hah! You're a real kick in the pants sometimes!"
Yardrat pauses his fighting to stare at Bael for three full seconds in absolute confusion. Then he turns and walks away, muttering something under his breath about that guy being off his rocker ever since he body-swapped.
Bael jumps back into combat, having finally figured out the 'true' reason for coming here. As for Ose, she mentally slumps to the 'floor' of Bael's Mind Realm, drained by the idiocy she's just endured.
But, at least now she better understands the actual situation.
Ose sets aside her anger and rage. She closes her eyes and focuses, thinking about what she's actually learned. Her swift mind allows her to combine the new, albeit potentially unreliable intel she obtained from Bael, with her pre-existing theories.
Mephisto is ascending to Demon Deity. Glinch must be working to train up an army of Emperors... for some reason. Perhaps Mephisto threatens his interests or something. Ugh. If only I could just speak directly to someone not named Bael. If ONLY I had made my soul interface capable of projecting my voice outwards. Stupid, stupid!
Ose begins to feel glum.
She looks up at the sky, her senses able to detect anything around the Matriarch Armor within a 360 degree sphere.
She gazes at the waning sun, the ashen clouds of the Stitched Wasteland only blocking some of her view toward space.
I have to be more proactive. I can't just blame Bael. It's not his fault he was born with the IQ of a dead slug. I mean, it's a LITTLE bit his fault... but he can't really help being unable to retain information for longer than five nanoseconds. If I'd simply planned out my existence post-mortem, I might still manage to retain some influence over the Hells.
Ose becomes momentarily depressed. She begins to wonder if these things even truly matter.
She's dead.
She's unlikely to ever again walk the plane of existence.
She's not powerful anymore. All she has left is a fragment of a soul and her intellect formed during her 100,000+ years of life.
But that depression quickly fades away as she firms her resolve.
Ose is many things. She's easily annoyed by idiocy, temperamental, stuck up, and a bit of a viper, but she isn't mentally weak. Her willpower is formidable, and it was forged by the life she's endured, as well as the actions her adoptive mother took to empower her in her youth.
I don't need a body or magic to remain relevant. Ose thinks. I still have my intellect. Even if I can't taste good food or lounge on a comfortable bed, I still have ambitions. I want to continue expanding my influence.
She rubs her chin and looks thoughtfully at the battle around her.
Bael's an idiot. But he's also easy to manipulate and control. And nobody would ever expect him to accomplish much. That means the humans, the other demons, and especially the Volgrim will underestimate him.
Hmm.
Perhaps I can turn this situation to my advantage.
Her attention pivots to Glinch's laboratory, still more than a hundred miles away.
I wonder if the Stitched Emperor might be able to help my situation, too? It's certainly worth a shot.
So many possibilities...
Ose will never bow to the universe's will, so long as she retains her mental faculties.
She will never surrender.
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