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Chapter 5/Introducing the Kyte-Sen-Koo: Ghost Warriors of the Wet

2020.10.26 22:37 cottonwisper Chapter 5/Introducing the Kyte-Sen-Koo: Ghost Warriors of the Wet

Chapter 5
“What are you, a child? Think about it! Hey, Luc, do you figure they’re going to just hand the keys to the O.E.C. to a bunch of guttersnipes like us?” Cato replies to Stokley’s question by tossing another to Lucius with a chuckle.
“Not in this lifetime. I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. You’d have to be a real rube, to believe that,” the strapping older boy replies. “Thank you very much. I’ll take the free ride, the money now, and just as soon be on my merry way.”
Zander chimes in with his best impression of Torpid Tide’s infamous lisp laden rat-catcher, “Me neither, I don’t think so. You know what ole three-fingered Mingy the Mink used to say, ‘Whenever anything theemth thoo thathtyy.”
“What?” Burdy asks, interrupting the older boys.
“There’s always a trap on the other side ready to slam its teeth shut on whoever’s fool enough to be screwing around in its jaws,” Zander snaps his reply a few inches from Burdy’s face.
And with that, they saunter off satisfied. Lucius, Cato, and Zander, eldest of the potential heirs, all select the path of easy money and an escort to the port of their choosing. Baradta A’tDarab and several faetorians descend with the smirking youths into the depths of the Mother.
****
The older boys having departed, Burdy, Jem, Puck, and Stokley pester their officiators for any information concerning the Community, the Oroboro Exchange Cartel, and the Commodore while they await Baradta’s return.
“When do I get my own zombie wasp?” Burdy asks, a gleeful smile spreading across his face at the notion. “I can’t wait to have my own zombie wasp so she can eat everyone that’s mean to me and fly me anywhere I wanna go. Weeeeee!” Pointing his index finger in the air, he hops up and down in a corkscrew pattern on the benches next to Jem. Landing on the ground, he reaches out to pat the imaginary creature by his side, whispering something sinister into her ear and giggling at her reply.
“What are you talking about ‘she?’ Anyways, you ain’t getting a zombie wasp, dummy! You’ll be lucky if one of those things doesn’t eat you first, head-first. I hear they like the taste of live brains,” Jem remarks. “Too bad he won’t find a meal waiting inside your head.”
“Huh, why not?” Burdy asks.
“How do you know? Don’t act like you’re some kind of expert all of the sudden just cuz you’ve been to the Pantheon a few times,” Puck croaks from the corner bench, both paws, per usual, stuffed under the opposite armpit. “And besides, zombie wasps are all female, everyone knows that!”
“What do you know, you can’t even find a washrag? Look at ya, you probably have the same dirt from two years ago. What do you think those fleas are your friends?” Jem retorts, pointing a finger at a suspicious spot, prompting Puck to jump up and chase him around the benches.
“Well, well, well, looks like ya’ll got just the right kind of spirit!” Baradta chuckles, surprising the group as he returns sooner than promised. He leads an ancient scribe, swaddled in robes of deep purple. A score of native men trail in their wake.
“I’ve got some very important people for y’all to meet.” Baradta carefully helps the fossilized little scribe into an oversized throne-like chair made from lacquered Bloodwood, almost black in some places and red as a wound in others, depending on where the light strikes.
I can’t decide if that chair is beautiful or needs a bandage.
After situating the elderly scribe in his seat, Baradta turns back around, “There’s an old Oroboro sayin, ‘A man’s only as good as his swarm.’ You won’t know what that means right now. I can tell you this though, every one of ya starts building your swarm today. These legends right here will be the first, but, hopefully, not the last, of yer Kyte-Sen-Koo.”
“Wow!” Burdy swoons.
Baradta allows the boys a few more moments of appreciation before continuing, “The team you leave with will probably save your life many times before you’re ever capable of returning the favor. You should remember that as you struggle to learn their language, adapt to their customs, or think they’re just plain weird and don’t wanna learn what they teach ya. It and they will keep you alive out there in the Wet. And believe me, I speak from experience.”
Primal and obscure designs sprawl over the scalps of two separate clusters of shaved skulls in the back. Their tattoos depict images too complex for the naked eye to discern at a glance, at least from afar. Spiral scarification burns pattern the cheeks of four lurking faces in the front. Two others next to Baradta wear black masks covering the upper third of their heads, without eye-openings; their pale, ivory skin shimmers here and there.
I wouldn’t mind switching into whatever it is they’re wearing. Anything is preferable to this sweat mop.
Their attire leaves little to the imagination, but anything is preferable to the perpetually fetid torture garment Stokley’s had to wear while under contract to Happy Hunter.
“Officiators, I’m going to start calling out names.” Baradta inspects the scroll in his hand. “Je-mer-iah For-te, Jem, get on up here.”
“So, they’re going to be my bodyguards and assassins or something?” Jem asks the moment Baratda has finished speaking, pointing at the group with a sideways smile.
Jem’s officiator begins, “I’ve tried to explain to the young sire--”
“I don’t get it. If we’re the heirs to the Commodore, why do we need protection, and why do we have to learn anything?” Jem interrupts.
“Perhaps it might be easier if I asked what you thought the O.E.C. does here on Perelandreia?” the ancient scribe asks from his throne-like chair.
Is he talking to me? Stolkey wonders, sensing the old man’s gaze. Though his eyes remain unopened and his head faces forward, the old man bores into Stokley’s soul from behind those fossilized lids, each one sealed like the ancient, hidden crypt of a doomed and forgotten heretic.
“Um, I don’t know. Send creatures and other stuff from the island back home, right?” Jem replies with a shake of his head and a shrug of his tiny shoulders, as if the old man asked him the dumbest question imaginable.
“Yes, Jemeriah, the O.E.C. owns and operates an export monopoly over all resources and products originating on Perelandreia, everyone knows that.” The tone he conveys carries a strength of mind which contradicts the frailty of his physical appearance. “But where exactly do you think those products originate and how do you think we acquire them?”
“Well, I don’t know. Don’t ya get em from the island? And what do you mean, ‘acquire them?’ Anyway, ain’t that why you hired all the poachers and sailors and such, to acquire them or whatever?”
“If only it were that simple. No, the fortune seekers to whom you are referring comprise the least skilled of our labor force and work exclusively within the Green Zone. And though it has plenty to profitably occupy their time, the wealth of the Zone doesn’t scratch the surface of what can be found in the Wet. Indeed, we are finding new significant resources from its previously unexplored regions nearly every week.”
Puck showers scorn from the back bench: “Guess those sweet trips to the arena didn’t teach you everything, did they?”
“Shut up, Puck!” Jem yells before resuming his conversation. “Well, if the Wet’s so great, why don’t you send teams out there then?”
“We are sending teams out there. But we can’t send those men. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t survive more than a few days. You see, Perelandreia can be fatal to many from the Seven Semi-Continents who remain for too long, except for a select few. That’s where you boys will come in.”
“Wait, you want us to go all the way…out there?” Jem asks, his hand shaking as he points toward the shore.
“Apparently, Jemeriah, you are as quick as reported. Yes, you’ll be heading into the Great Oceanic Jungle, eventually. Have no fear, your departure will be far from immediate. First, each of you will spend time with your team learning about this place and how our operation works on the ground while you get acclimated to the environment.”
“How are we supposed to survive when everyone else gets sick?”
“That’s an excellent question. The answer has to do with the gifts children, even bastards and orphans, can receive from their ancestors, if they’re lucky enough to have them.”
“Huh?”
“Forgive me, Jemeriah, I don’t mean to speak in riddles. Your forbearers possessed an invisible protection against the diseases of the interior which you have also inherited. This makes all of you very special. Because your gift is so rarely found within the peoples of the Seven Semi-Continents, you boys are essential to our work with the nations of Perelandreia. You will help to continue building and maintaining the strong alliance network which facilitates our trading relationships and protects the viability of our long-term existence here.”
“Huh?” Jem queries again.
*****
“Stokley Faruthian,” Baradta announces.
“Right here,” Sclerian answers, stepping forward with Stokley beside him.
“Ah, young Master Faruthian, all the way from Tien-Tay.” As the aged scribe smiles from his seat, the infinite folds of his face summon a genial expression to match his tone.
“That’s right,” Stokley replies, strangely humbled by the old man’s familiarity.
“Master Faruthian, my name is Heliopyron. I am the Apex Officiatus and Keeper of the Cartel’s Cartulary. It has been the responsibility of my department to oversee your education and welfare from before the day you were born. Speaking of that, how was Han-Zen State Home Nine? Did they treat you well, and how about Matron Maggotte?”
“Everyone there hated me, just for breathing and taking up another bed. And Matron Maggotte almost starved me to death when I was six! It would’ve worked too, if I hadn’t started stealing most of my food.”
“Good, very good, Sclerian, make sure you record that. We’ll want to ensure Maggotte gets her bonus this season,” Heliopyron instructed the junior scribe.
“What, you’re going to reward her for trying to starve me?”
“Ah, but she didn’t starve you, did she?” Baradta replies.
“No, but only because I snuck into the kitchens at night while she and her henchman slept and learned to pick the locks, amongst other things.”
“So, ya have her to thank fer teachin ya a bit of craftiness then, do ya?”
“Well, I suppose.”
“I’m sure it may have been painful, lad, but we wouldn’t want our heirs turning into weak-willed, over-indulged, entitled twats who think the world owes em fairness, comfort, and pretty pink pillows made of spider-silk to sleep upon every night, would we?”
By the time Stokley generates a suitable response, Baradta’s bejeweled teeth are already glinting like a hideous rainbow as he and Heliopyron flitter back and forth with Sclerian in Murdesh, one of the island’s native dialects. Stokley has never heard it pass the lips of a competent speaker, though its unique throat ululations are recognizable enough. Professor Pontius, another reason he didn’t starve at State Home Nine, taught him a few words of the melodious language. Even old Pontius, who only possessed those few broken phrases, managed wringing beauty from their tortured employment. The two scribes and the pirate in front of him chirp as if it were their mother-tongue.
Concluding their conversation, Baradta points out four natives, each of whom steps forward as the ancient scribe addresses the youth.
“Stokley Faruthian, this is your Kyte-Sen-Koo. It is true, as Mr. a’Tdarab has said, they will be your swarm. They will also be your shields, your swords, your guides, your teachers, your singers, your bards, your family, and your friends. Although just treatment is its own reward, deal with them fairly and it will return to you tenfold. Each hails from a different clan in the Pi-To-Kai Confederacy whose friendship is essential to the O.E.C.’s interests. Listen closely to their wisdom, their people have survived this place for millennia and know its…er, wonders.”
Four figures assemble in a row facing Stokley. Standing in his chair, Heliopyron flutters his arms in three spirals, in response to which the four natives bow, heads remaining lowered.
“Stokley, this is Kareek. He is of the Bontu, natural diplomats they are. Kareek’s father, Kadik Mo-Ham-Kamree, is First Speaker to Cholom Bassa, the most important of the Bontu Khans. Kareek will be your translator until you become proficient at the various native methods of communication.” Heliopyron’s hand quivers like the leafless limb of an ancient tree as it hovers over Kareek’s fully tattooed head until moving on to the next figure, still bent over in obeisance and awaiting introduction.
Stokley stares at the top of Kareek’s skull, trying to decipher its imagery while his head remains bowed. At the last possible moment a blind widow spider’s iridescent eyes glimmer at him, along with several hundred of her young, from the center of his scalp.
“Here we have Fee-Poy of the Mun. They have among their people the greatest pharmacologists in the known world. For nearly every poison or malady in the Wet, there is an antidote or remedy. They say their gods give certain children Perelandrea’s dark catalogue written into their memory at birth. For what it’s worth, I believe them.” Fee-Poy nods as he raises his head and grants Stokley a look of recognition, his yellow eyes blending into golden skin, a mural of vibrant tattoos depicting jungle scenes canvas the exposed derma of his arms, legs and torso. His shaved head and bare face are bereft of any decoration except for seven tiny obsidian stones embedded below his right eye like a constellation of black stars.
“This is Jebbe, of the Malaresh. His people are the most competent aphid dancers in the world.” A note of whimsy floats in amongst his words, as if he’s summoned the flicker of a fond, bygone memory across eons of time.
“Jebbe’s famous brother, Flyt-Flu-Flee, has captured and broken seventy-two mounts. That’s the most to date that we know of. Pay close attention if he should think you worthy of teaching this valuable skill.” Jebbe nods with a slight grin which the variously sized spiral scarification marks about his cheeks and forehead obscure into a menace.
“And last, but not least, we have Subotai of the Korongal. Of all the nations of the Pi-To-Kai, the Korongal live in the deepest, darkest depths of the Wet, home to a great deal of interesting, valuable, and dangerous creatures. In addition, Subotai is one of the most decorated young hunters of his tribe, having counted coo twenty-two times by the age of fourteen, as his mogo scars attest.” Subotai wears a black, silken mask pulled taut over his eyes and his ivory pale skin shimmers in the twenty-two burgundy striped scars framing the top of his bare chest.
“Now that we’ve introduced the first four, it’s time for you to head to the Sky Stables and meet the last member of your Kyte-Sen-Koo.
********
“OOOOH, you’re an aphid dancer?” Burdy’s enthusiastic voice trails off as Stokley enters the greater din of the Roost’s multi-tiered operations floor. The murmuring mass of officials and shuffling steps of their clerks create a cacophony of corporate cricketdom which evaporates into a cloud of silence within the moving pocket of his vicinity and recommences with his departure.
What are they all looking at? The unsolicited weight of countless staring faces perches on the edge of his mind and hangs until, passing under the bannister of a purple pagoda, several young men in lavender overcoats catch his discerning eye, or he theirs. A few gawkers point in his direction.
Flying Fleet Jockeys! Too bad none of them looks old enough to be Janissary Draven. Whether carrying important messages for anyone willing to pay, transporting the Imperium’s elite, or hunting down notorious bandits in the badlands, the tales of the Flying Fleet and its legendary jockeys nourished him more than the pilfered bread he stole from Maggotte’s pantry. Stokley, like many spirited children of the Seven Semi-Continents, spent much of his childhood nourishing dreams of running away and enlisting in their ranks.
Another of the recumbent flyboys casts an index finger in his direction, quipping something clever enough it sparks a round of laughter from the group. Subotai sniffs the air in their direction and looses an inhuman, sub-sonic growl, silencing the party of chuckling flyboys. Thus cowed, the jockeys resume their prior conversation in earnest.
Soakley, Soakley, Soakley. The sing-song voices of his adolescent torturers finally shut their mouths. Heat flushes his face and an alien sensation floods his heart, empowering him in a manner he’s only known a few times in the past, and never from a person. Floating across the bustling operations area, forgetting about the countless stares and the strangers from whom they emanate, the first taste of demonstrated personal loyalty intoxicates him.
Glancing down from another raised dais, a party of trade executives and honored guests pauses in its deliberations. One wears an indigo kimono undulating around the legs and sleeves and ornately folded through the torso. Dictated by law throughout the Sacred Sargosian Empire, the Heavenly Robes are the exclusive privilege of the Thirteen Lines, the common term for the various offshoots of the imperial family. As the title suggests, they are a common enough species of aristocrat that even Stokley has seen a few in the streets of Tien-Tay, carried aloft in lacquered liters by gilded slaves.
Leaning into the railing without bothering to conceal his interest in Stokley, whose skill at lip reading few ever anticipate, the bearded noble addresses his party, “This one looks particularly strong. What do we think about him?” A spectrum of jewels adorns each digit of his pointing hand as well as three of those stroking the brass bells in his beard.
“No, no, no, sire, you’re mistaking age for size. Look closer and you’ll see he’s a bit over-ripe. The smart money is on the filthy one. If you’d like my advice, the youngest is the pick of the litter though.” An elderly man wearing the pink and green silk toga of an apex level consortium executive waves over the group.
A younger executive adds his opinion, bright orange toga flapping as he hops outside the range of his slave’s fan, “Yes, well, it takes all kinds I suppose. But, does it even matter anyway? I dare say, tis common knowledge, the Commodore’s not going anywhere any time soon. The old creature will probably outlive us all.”
“That doesn’t mean we can’t have our little side wagers. So, cousins, the same conditions I presume?” the baron asks with a sudden flip of his head, jingling the tiny bells in his beard as Stokley’s group passes under their pagoda.
Unable to read any more of the conversation, his new body men usher Stokley into an alcove in the south-east corner of the Roost. “All right, sire, Kareek and the others will take you up to the Sky Stables where you will meet Chit-Chit, your mahout. He will fly you over to the Father. You can start your preparation there. Normally you’d head up to the stables through a separate lift, but it has been out for the past few hours, so you’ll have to take the catwalk up. It’s not the most comfortable route, I’d be the first to admit. But it’s the only option, so out you go.”
“Aren’t you coming with us?”
“Oh, no, no, no, I shall be joining you in three days after notarizing your documentation and managing its secure departure,” Sclerian replies, shaking his head. “I will be there soon to provide any aid you will need. And, as I said before, ‘I’ve never had a Faruthian fail!’”
“Put this on.” Kareek holds up a harness made from hundreds of inter-woven brown leather straps connected by dozens of brass rings and buckles of various sizes.
“See, like me?” Kareek slaps his hands against his chest and presents the harness again.
Stokley manages the complicated series of straps and hoops with help from Subotai, who steadies him from behind while he slides the harness through each leg. Kareek guides him through the process of fastening the many buckles from his legs through his torso and shoulders.
Grumbling under his breath Kareek shakes his spider-covered skull, creating the illusion that some of the spider babies have switched places. Fee-Poy and Jebbe, delayed by a stubborn wheel embedded in the building’s frame, struggle opening the portal. “Subotai, mayocn ngnjydo cosdigkcym,” Kareek suggests.
The others back away as Subotai steps forward and loosens the device with one hard twist. Pressing inwards, the door slides over the adjacent wall. Corresponding gusts of heavy tropical air displace dozens of loose scrolls, soliciting hostile looks from the underlings who scurry snatching them out of mid-air.
Kareek and Fee-Poy clip their harnesses into Stokley’s belt with carabiners and a few feet of black rope. Fee-Poy positions himself in the rear with Kareek on the other side. Subotai and Jebbe lead. A spool of rope over their right shoulders, clicking into the guide wire they step outside.
“Hold here, no look down.” Kareek pats his own shoulder and steps through the portal.
One hand clutches the safety wire and the other grips his guide’s shoulder. Stokley focuses on Kareek’s back and the bamboo catwalk beneath his feet, trying to ignore the gusts of tropical wind buffeting around him. Controlling his natural tendency towards curiosity, he avoids looking down, concentrating on the multifaceted eye tattoo’d on Kareek’s shoulder as they begin climbing the catwalk.
I wonder which kind of eye that is?
“Inside,” Kareek instructs after an eternity of climbing. Subotai opens the circular iron door and pops inside with Jebbe. Leading Stokley in after the first two, Kareek turns back and unclips their harnesses from the guide wire.
Natural light glares from the opposite end the corridor as if from an open roof and an acrid scent permeates the air. Jebbe slams the door, temporarily igniting a swarm of sandpaper chitters from the stables beyond.
Departing the corridor and taking a few steps inside the main floor of the Sky Stable, a massive shadow eclipses the sunlight, momentarily shrouding the floor in darkness. Barreling through the open roof, a gryphon scarab lands thirty feet above, slamming into the iron framing which gives way, swaying inward. The barbs of the scarab’s lava colored forelimbs hook into the structure as if built for the purpose. A pair of figures emerge from the thorax carriage as the creature perches between floors. The first runs to an adjacent fifteen-foot circular stall door and struggles, rolling it open. The other assists the pilot in unlocking his saddle and dismounting from behind the creature’s head. All three unstrap the wicker carriage from the creature’s thorax, attaching it to another set of hooks, guiding the scarab backwards into its stall in an efficient, well choreographed routine.
“This way, we go up,” Kareek says, leading the group to the opposite side of the floor and up several flights of stairs. At the fourth level, they stalk down the platform, passing three faetorean stable hands. Each patiently paints purple poison on the barbed blade of a ten-foot harpoon, none reciprocates Stokley’s interest.
At the end of the platform Kareek turns around and leans in.
What is he? Hey!
Digging his nose into each of Stokley’s arm pits, Kareek inhales liberally. Twisting his face and shaking his head, he pulls away and coughs, wriggling his right hand to Fee-Poy and the others.
“Wait here. They help,” he says. Turning around, Kareek coughs his way to the last stall and knocks several times.
“Like me.” Fee-Poy taps Stokley’s left shoulder, reaching into one of the many pouches at his side after acquiring the boy’s attention. He pulls out a portion of light green plant material, breaking it in half. A pleasant, piney scent tickles the nostrils as Fee-poy slathers the tattooed skin of his forearm with the slimy leaf, handing the other piece to Stokley, who stares at the oozing plant in wonder. Jebbe and Subotai rub pieces on any patch of his exposed skin they can find, slicing sleeves and trouser legs off at the arm-pits and knees and rubbing it into the boy’s neck and the tops of his ears after finishing with his face.
Waves of hot and cold flush from his skin through his chest and into his head. Every cubic inch of oxygen evacuates his virgin lungs, and voluminous inhalations refill them with air of such purity he might float through the open roof. Perception incorporates a dream-like quality; colors pulsate and expand, light folds around moving objects creating a halo around his foreground. The whimsy of a yawn, slightly drowsy and eminently comfortable, sets in.
This feels amazin—
Fee-Poy’s hands clap together three inches from the boy’s ear, pulling him back to the platform. A further shake of his head refocuses his mind though the world still glows in a new and wonderful manner.
“What is this plant?”
Fosi Nagja.” Fee-Poy nods with a grin.
Fosi Nagja?”
“Ayyye, fosi nagja,” Fee-Poy replies in cheer, handing the boy another leaf and putting a pinch in the back corner of his own cheek, nodding with a generous grin. The process reveals eight inlaid front teeth, the center of each has a piece of turquoise carved in the shape of a different, yet detailed, human head, one of which bears a close resemblance to Fee-Poy himself.
Reluctant to offend this new friend upon whom his life might soon depend, he nibbles a small portion. Less pungent in flavor than expected, the bland taste quickly numbs his mouth.
Fosi nagja, Fee-Poy, maama shuuusi.” Kareek grins as he returns from the stall and procures another sample of Stokley’s scent from arm’s length.
“Take this. Give to Po-Po La-La.” Kareek hands Stokley an eighteen-inch fan-like Fosi Nagja leaf at the stem.
Fee-Poy, Subotai, and Jebbe skip ahead to the stall and open the large door, cheerfully greeting the fellow who emerges from the other side, spinning twice, hopping from foot to foot, waving arms, and laughing in unison at the end, squeaking, popping, and clapping in delight.
A trio of ten-inch antennae-like dreadlocks search the air above Chit-Chit’s head in tiny vibrations. Like the back half of his head, he has shorn his face of hair completely, including his eyebrows, the only other decoration is a pair of scarab shell tattoos on his eyelids.
“This Chit-Chit, he Po-Po La-La’s Mahout.” Chit-Chit bows, his hair antennae attempting different angles of ascent as they reach out to Stokley.
Hopping up after his introduction, Chit-Chit grins and clutches Stokley by the wrist, dragging him to the front of the stall. Pointing to the fan-sized foliage in the boy’s fist, he says, “You give Po-Po La La.”
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2020.10.26 18:17 BrotherFluffy Trouble in Toulon, Chapter Ten

Welcome back to Trouble in Toulon! Betrayal's afoot! Dunkerque and the Commander reconciled! What awaits them next? As always you can read it on fanfiction here and view all of my works here. Enjoy!
“And I have your word that no Iris Orthodoxy ship will be harmed?” Algerie cast a furtive glance at the door to the radio room and tried to stay calm. This transmission had gone on far too long, and at some point, someone was bound to notice the outgoing and incoming signals. But she had to secure the terms for her sisters before she could let this go. “No Pawns, no slavery, nothing.”
“Of course, of course,” the confident voice of Littorio reassured her. “As long as they come quietly, they will not be harmed. If they resist, however…”
“They won’t,” Algerie promised. “They’ll come quietly.”
“And the Royal Navy? Won’t they rush to defend their precious Ammiraglio?”
She snorted dismissively and shook her head. “Don’t care. They can surrender or die, makes no difference to me.”
There was a brief pause as Littorio thought it over. “Is Illustrious there?”
Algerie’s brows furrowed in confusion. What did that have to do with anything? “No...why?”
A sad, soft sigh emanated from the speakers, barely audible over the background noise. “I had hoped to see her again. Ah, well. Perhaps I can trade some of the Royals for her if they survive…”
Algerie rolled her eyes. She never understood Littorio’s fascination with that carrier, but at this point, she didn’t really care. As long as it got her what she wanted. “We have an agreement, then?”
Si, si,” Littorio absentmindedly assented. “Although I do have one last question…how do you feel about bikinis?”
*******************************************************************
Of course, while all this was going on, I was on the roof, making up with Dunkerque, and rekindling our relationship. We stayed up there until the stars came out and it came time for both of us to get some sleep, with a promise that we would have at least one more date before the counterattack began.
When I awoke the next morning, I felt a flurry of emotions whirling around inside me. Anxiety for the coming attack, if we could win, and at what cost. Excitement at the prospect of another date with Dunkerque, along with the thought of spending yet another day with her at my side. And finally, relief. She and I had fought, and about something serious, and managed to come out stronger for it. Not only that, but opening up to her was like being cut from an anchor that had been weighing me down. I felt lighter, happier, free.
I idly wondered what culinary joys I would be discovering with her that morning as I rounded the corner to the kitchen, only to find her already there. She had a massive pile of doughnuts on the counter and had just taken a bite of one, closing her eyes as she sighed happily. “Ahhh...sweets can really take a girl to heaven…” When she reopened her eyes, she saw me standing there and immediately jumped, her face flushing beet red. “B-Bernard?! How long have you been here?!”
“Somewhere between the third and fourth Rapture,” I grinned, and as she began to look absolutely mortified, I shook my head and said, “I just came around the corner. I was actually wondering what we were going to make for breakfast as part of our cooking lessons, but it appears you’ve beaten me to it.”
“Ah,” she said, the color beginning to fade from her cheeks. “I thought the cooking lesson would be part of our date tonight.”
I raised an eyebrow at that suggestion. “Not what I was expecting, but I trust your judgment.”
She smiled coyly, stepping closer to me, taking my hands in hers. “A valid concern, but what if I told you the lesson was how to make a romantic dinner for two and the location of the lesson was my apartment?”
My eyes widened at the implication, and my heart began to beat faster. This time, it was my turn to blush. “O-oh. That would certainly cast things in a more...intimate light.”
She gave me an innocent smile, despite knowing damn well it was anything but. “So, no objections then, mon Amiral?” I’m honestly surprised she didn’t bat her eyelashes at that point.
I shook my head an emphatic no, still feeling the hot flush on my cheeks. “None at all. I was looking forward to our date, but now...doubly so.”
Her smile broadened. “Good. That makes two of us. Now, let’s get you some crullers and coffee before your stomach interrupts us for a third time.”
I chuckled as I followed her to the kitchen counter, grabbing a plate and a mug to start loading up breakfast. “I get the feeling the longer I’m around you, Dunkerque, the less I’ll have to worry about going hungry,” I teased. “Gonna have to start watching my weight.”
She laughed her low, melodic laugh as she added a few of the crullers onto my plate. “Oh, I’m sure we can find a few new ways to keep you active, mon Amiral.”
At this point, I’m fairly certain all of my blood had managed to pool in my cheeks, but I still managed to put on my most charming smile and flirt back. “You certainly have a way of getting my blood pumping.”
“Smooth talker,” she cooed, leaning in to plant a kiss on my cheek. “Come now, let’s eat and get ready. We have an assault to finalize.”
******************************************************************
It was, admittedly, damn hard to get tonight out of my head, but once we’d had breakfast and really got into the planning stages, I had managed to completely refocus. The idea of someone being hurt, or worse, sunk, because I wasn’t paying complete attention has a rather sobering effect. I also stopped by Algerie’s quarters and squared things away with her before our final briefing on the assault. She seemed rather eager, albeit a bit nervous. Understandable, given the fact that she was going to be in charge of the scouting force, and how dependent we would be on her as a result.
Once the final briefings and planning had been finished, I released each kansen for the rest of the day, to make any last-minute preparations before tomorrow morning. A large group headed off to the cathedral, to pray for everyone’s safe return and a victory over the Sardegnians. Algerie notably declined, heading off somewhere on her own. Dunkerque headed to the base kitchen, to go make “pre-battle treats” for everyone. As for myself, I stayed in the office, made sure everything had been filed and logged, and that there were standing orders ready in case I didn’t return. Once that was complete, I decided to check up on Jean Bart and Richelieu, suspecting the Cardinal had gone to spend a few moments with her sister.
As it turned out, I was correct, and found Richelieu in the medical wing once more, silently praying for Jean Bart’s recovery. This time, however, she failed to notice me until I quietly knocked on the open door to get her attention.
“I hope I’m not intruding,” I began, “Mind if I come in?”
The Cardinal shook her head and patted the chair next to hers. “Not at all,” she answered. “Please, take a seat, mon Commandant.”
I slipped inside, sitting next to her with a sympathetic smile. “I wanted to come check on you two, see how you were doing, and to give you my thanks for your help yesterday. I owe you one, there.”
A soft smile crossed her elegant features and she bowed her head slightly. “I’m glad I could help. I trust you two were able to work things out?”
“We did,” I nodded. “I think we made a pretty significant breakthrough, actually.”
“That’s good!” Her smile died as she looked back at Jean Bart, still lying motionless in her hospital bed. “Now if only my sister would wake…”
“Still no changes, huh?”
Non,” she shook her head sadly. “Nothing. I just wish there was some way to get through to her.”
I looked at the sleeping pirate and asked, “Have you tried talking to her?”
“Talking to her?” she repeated in a confused tone, “She’s in a coma.”
“I know. But I’ve heard stories of comatose people being able to recognize and remember things that were said around them. Maybe if you say something to her, she’ll come around?”
Richelieu looked over at me, a faint glimmer of hope in her eyes. “Do you think it will work?”
I shrugged. “Couldn’t hurt.”
She looked over at Jean Bart, staring at her for several long moments before speaking again, her voice as soft and as frail as I’ve ever heard it. “...what do I even say?”
For me, the answer came immediately. “Tell her everything you’d say to her if you had only one more chance before she left for good. Everything you’ll miss about her, everything you’re sorry for, everything you didn’t mean, and everything about her that meant so much to you. And then ask that this won’t be the last thing you say to her.”
She peered at me and then nodded slowly. “You sound as if you speak from experience.”
The old pain came back, but this time duller, more muted than before. It was a welcome change of pace. I nodded back and gave her a sad, wry smile. “Something like that.”
She smiled back, echoing the pain in my expression. “Very well, then. I will tell her, and I hope, one day, you will tell me about...your own struggles.”
“One day,” I replied as I stood up. “But not today. I’ll give you two some privacy. Until tomorrow, Cardinal.”
“Until tomorrow, mon Commandant.”
********************************************************
The sun had already set by the time I knocked on Dunkerque’s door, the last red rays fading into the darkening purple of twilight. I desperately wanted to adjust my tie, to make sure I was presentable but with a bottle of wine in one hand, and my overnight bag in the other, I simply had to wait the long, torturous seconds it took for Dunkerque to answer and trust that all was well.
The door opened just enough for my beautiful kansen to peer around it, the hesitant smile on her face blossoming into a full-blown grin when she sees me. “Ah, there you are, Bernard,” she greeted me, fully opening the door to allow me in. “Glad to see you found the place alright.”
I smiled back as I walked in, taking a moment to glance around the apartment before returning my attention to my gracious host. She was wearing a black dress that both flowed over and accentuated her curves, the skirt stopping just above the knee. Atop the dress, she wore an apron emblazoned with the symbol of the Iris Orthodoxy. “Yep,” I absently said, somewhat distracted by her outfit. “The directions were easy to follow, and if I may be so bold, you look amazing in that.”
“You are too kind, mon amour,” she demurred, her eyes glancing down for a moment, then back again as she saw what was in my hands. She gave me a playful smile and said, “And I see you have brought gifts.”
It took my brain a second to catch up with what she was talking about, as enamored by I was by her beauty. “Oh, yes, right!” I softly exclaimed as it clicked into place, earning a giggle from her. I hefted the wine bottle, holding it out for her to take. “Thought about flowers, but I thought wine would be more appropriate, considering this is also a cooking lesson.”
“I think it is an excellent idea,” she smiled as she took the wine, glancing at the label. “Oh, and this will pair perfectly with dinner. Very nice vintage, too…” Her rosy eyes turned back to my hands, gesturing to the bag still clutched nervously in them. “And that?” she asked, her expression still playful.
My cheeks flushed as I lifted it slightly, the once-light bag now suddenly feeling like an anchor in my hands. “O-oh!” I stammered, my nerves beginning to get the better of me. “I, uh...I brought an overnight bag in case things got a little...more intimate...so we could just head down to the docks in the morning together.” Something just occurred to me at that moment, and my heart began to race. “That is if I’m not being too presumptuous…”
She giggled softly and shook her head as she walked over to me, cupping my cheek with her hand as she leaned in for a gentle kiss. “Not at all, mon amour,” she reassured me. “That was exactly my intention when I invited you over, and I think it’s a wonderful idea. Now, put that in the bedroom and come join me in the kitchen. I’ve prepared everything we’ll need for our lesson.”
I quickly made my way down the short hallway to what I correctly assumed would be her bedroom and tossed the bag in, making sure it landed somewhere that neither of us would trip over it later, then hurried back to the kitchen. Dunkerque was waiting for me there with an extra apron in her hands. “You should probably take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves for this one.”
As I hung my jacket over the back of a nearby chair and rolled up my sleeves, I tried to peer around her, to see what exactly was on the menu. She caught me trying to sneak a peek and clucked her tongue. “Now now, Bernard, you’ll see what it is soon enough.”
“Can’t blame a guy for being curious,” I chuckled as I finished rolling up my sleeves. She offered the spare apron to me with a smile and I tied it on, ready to begin the lesson.
“Your patience will be rewarded, mon amour, I promise you,” she replied, her tone leaving little to the imagination as to what that reward might be. “All set?”
“All set.”
“Then let us begin. Have you had popovers before?”
For a second, I thought she was calling the breakfast treat by the wrong name, but I quickly realized she was talking about something completely different and shook my head. “I’ve never even heard of popovers before. What are they?”
“It’s a very light, airy baked good,” she explained, “Sort of like a dinner roll, but eggier, lighter. You’ll like them.”
“You haven’t let me down yet, so I’m willing to go on a little faith,” I said, drawing a surprised, yet victorious, smile from her.
“Only a little?” she teased.
“Old habits die hard,” I shrugged and my smile died somewhat as something occurred to me. “In all seriousness, though, it really is one thing I’ve learned from you and the other Iris kansen-to have faith, but it has been the hardest lesson to learn.”
Her smile changed, becoming compassionate and warm as she nodded knowingly. “I understand. Faith is something that challenges all of us, no matter how devout or how steadfast our devotion is. It is a lesson that we are always learning.”
I bowed my head respectfully to her and said, “Once again, I am so lucky to have such a beautiful and learned teacher.”
She laughed and shook her head, her silvery hair rippling. “Such a charmer. Now, onto our cooking lesson. Have you used a blender before?”
“I have, actually,” I answered, much to Dunkerque’s great surprise. “Margaritas,” I explained, answering her unspoken question.
“Ah. Well, we won’t be making drinks in it, but the principle is the same.” She gestured over to the assembled ingredients sitting around the appliance. “To begin, we’re going to blend the eggs, milk, and butter…”
******************************************************************
A little over half an hour later, we sat down for dinner at the small table in Dunkerque’s dining room. In addition to the popovers, which were still steaming, we had made red smashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and filet mignon. Once again, I was amazed at how easy she had made it look, and how easily I had taken to it. I smiled over at her, and she smiled back, looking stunning in the flickering glow of the candlelight. My wine glass in hand, I held it aloft and out to her as I said, “To a beautiful evening with a beautiful woman. To us.”
“To us,” Dunkerque echoed and tapped her glass against mine. “So, what do you think of the meal?”
I looked over it again and shook my head in disbelief. “I still can’t believe we were able to put this together. It looks amazing, and I’m pretty sure it’ll taste as good as it looks.”
“Let’s find out,” she grinned at me and cut into her filet, holding the morsel of food up to inspect it before taking a bite. Her grin broadened and she nodded approvingly. “Simply heavenly.”
I wasted no time in following suit, slicing into the steak with surprising ease. Inside was a perfect pink center, glistening with juices, and the aroma that wafted up to my nostrils made my mouth water. I took a bite and immediately sighed happily. The buttery, savory, and almost impossibly tender hunk of meat practically melted in my mouth. “Oh my god,” I muttered, “That’s so good.”
Dunkerque merely smiled back and we continued to eat our meal in relative silence until our plates had been cleared. Taking a sip of wine to clear her throat, she was the first to speak up. “Not to bring down the mood, but how are you feeling about tomorrow?”
“A little nervous,” I answered, shrugging slightly. “That plan has a lot of moving parts, and if even one of them is compromised or just outright fails, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble. If everything goes off without a hitch, we’ve just secured the Mediterranean for Azur Lane, possibly for good.” I chuckled softly. “For what it’s worth, I felt confident enough to tell this plan to High Command instead of just going for it.”
She giggled, leaning forward to rest her head on her hands. “And what did they say?”
“They had their concerns, but they trust me enough to let me go through with it.”
“Good,” Dunkerque stated with an authoritative nod. “I think you’ve earned their trust by now.”
“And you,” I asked, “How do you feel about tomorrow?”
She sighed and leaned back in her chair, her smile fading a bit as she searched her feelings. “About the same. Nervous, but hopeful. If we win, we will have managed to fully secure our home, or at least part of it, from the Crimson Axis. Reunited with our sisters, safe in our home ports at last...it was a dream that I almost didn’t believe would actually happen…”
“The Iris/Vichya conflict loomed over everyone, to be honest,” I agreed. “As I’ve said before, we never considered you to be our enemies. Just allies gone astray after a terrible, terrible mistake.”
Dunkerque’s hand strayed to her side, her smile dying completely as she remembered the terrible events of that day. Realizing what I’d done, I quickly apologized. “I’m sorry, Dunkerque, I didn’t mean to make you relive that…”
She shook her head as she smiled softly at me. “It’s quite alright, Bernard. As I have said before, if it is what got me to now, then some good came of it. But enough of these maudlin thoughts,” she declared, getting up from her chair and extending her hand to me. “Would you care to join me on the balcony for some dancing?”
While she didn’t quite seem as though she was over it, I wasn’t about to start an argument with her and further bring down the mood. I smiled back up at her as I stood, taking her hand in mine. “It would be my pleasure.”
She led us to the living room where a massive set of french doors gave us a breathtaking view of the city, all lit up against the night sky. I couldn’t help but marvel at it while Dunkerque slipped from my hand, striding over to an old record player, her hand gently lowering the needle onto the spinning vinyl disc.
“You’ll forgive a girl her eccentricities,” she smiled at me when she saw me glancing her way. “But I think the little crackles and pops add a bit more character to the music.”
“And I think a girl’s eccentricities add a bit more character to her,” I winked, and she blushed as she took me in her arms again. The music began to play, and we began to glide around the small space, looking into each other’s eyes. Despite the smile on her face, and the gentle sway of her body, I could see in those rosy eyes there was something still on her mind, something else she wanted to say.
As I thought of a way to gently broach the subject, she sighed and rested her chin on my shoulder, her arms wrapping around me in a tender embrace. “Bernard, do you think if...if all this hadn’t happened...Mers-el-Kabir, the Sirens, the Pawns, all of it...would we have still met?” she asked, her voice barely above a thoughtful whisper.
The question took me off guard, and I almost lost a step as I pondered it. As much as I wanted to say ‘yes’, to assure her that fate would have brought us together, I wasn’t so sure. “I don’t know,” I answered honestly, feeling the pang of regret in my heart as I said those words. “I want to say yes, but if all those things don’t happen, I’m not sure if we’d even meet… And I don’t like the thought of that. I know it’s been barely a week, but you’ve filled the parts of me that I didn’t even know were missing, and I can’t imagine a part of my life that doesn’t have you in it.”
She nodded, and I could have sworn I heard her sniffle before she spoke again. “I feel the same way. Perhaps I could have been spared such pain, but...if I only was able to meet you in the present because of my suffering in the past, I won't say things like ‘I wish I had met you sooner.’ However, I do hope that in the future, I will always be able to find solace in your embrace.” She lifted her head off of my chin and looked me in the eye once again, her gaze full of hopeful love. “Bernard, can I stay by your side forever?”
“For as long as you will have me, mon amour,” I whispered back. “I love you, Dunkerque.”
“And I love you, Bernard. From now until eternity…”
Our lips met in a fiery kiss, the dance forgotten as we began an embrace of a much more intimate nature…
*************************************************************
The next morning, we strolled down to the docks, hand in hand, our fingers intertwined with each other. More than a few of the kansen noticed something different between us, and we got a fair share of knowing looks, nods of approval, and playful winks. We blushed at the reactions, sharing an embarrassed grin, but still over the moon at our now consummated relationship. We strode up the gangplank, finally releasing each other when the time came to prepare the ship to get underway.
The holotable in Dunkerque’s bridge flickered to life, and I began the checklist to make sure the fleet was assembled and ready while Dunkerque ran checks on her own systems. Once the final preparations were complete, we set sail, Algerie at the head of the scouting force, leading us to what would hopefully be the final battle of the Mediterranean campaign and securing Toulon for the Iris Orthodoxy, once and for all…
A/N-Well, here we are. Almost at the very end. Just one more chapter, one more battle, and this tale will come to its conclusion at long last. But will it be a comedy or a tragedy? Only one way to find out. Until next time, fair winds and following seas!
submitted by BrotherFluffy to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2020.10.26 04:22 EveUnraveled Baptism Anniversary

17 years ago today, I made the biggest mistake of my life. I had recently turned 17, and it was a momentous year. I had gotten my drivers license, and graduated high school, and by October I had qualified for baptism. I would no longer be the only one in my tiny social circle that wasn't dedicated. Not only that, but I was getting baptized before my cousin. My very judgemental aunt had always put the two of us in competition with each other, but I had finally started to win with all these firsts.
I had chosen to do it at the circuit assembly because I was afraid of getting lost at the stadium during the summer convention. There were 4 others my age, but I didn't know them. A couple of young brothers, and two sisters who sat in front of me. During the song, they cried and clung to each other. They seemed to feel an emotion I was missing. I just wanted it to be done. I didn't like the attention on me that way. I wondered if anyone would get me a baptismal gift.
I was the first one dressed and in the pool. I was so quick that the photographs of that day are blurred. In one of them, my recently darkened hair, shoulder length after an awkward haircut a year before, obstructs my face. In the second, I'm still emerging from the water and my hands are covering most of my face-- but not the tweezed too thin eyebrows I had been sporting.
I didn't feel changed at all. I didn't really expect to. But now I could begin my JW career. Of course, we never referred to ourselves at "JWs" then. No, back then we were "one of Jehovah's Witnesses", and strongly judged those who said "I'm a Jehovah Witness". Now I could pioneer, I could even date if I met someone. I mattered now. I thought I did anyway.
My best friend Rachel gave me a gift I'd been hoping for. It was, in true early aughts fashion, a silver chain bracelet with a heart tag that was engraved with my name and the baptism date. Rachel had one just like it, but of course hers was an actual Tiffany's bracelet, and mine was from Something Silver in the mall. But I was so happy to have it. I still have it. It's now tarnished and hasn't been worn in well over a decade and a half, but it's in a jewelry box I never crack open.
My dedication to the organization is like that bracelet. Useless and cheap. It's a reminder of what I sold my freedom for. It was never about God, even though I thought it was. It was about my standing in the congregation and amongst my friends. It was about gaining whatever privileges I would be allowed. It was about proving I was something worthy after years of being a hopeless case because of my parentage. But that baptism was just a cheap knock off of a real one. The bracelet was a shackle. The dedication a sham.
It's now around the one year anniversary I finally stopped going to meetings. I had woken up in July, but stuck it out for a bit for my husband's sake. But I've taken October 25th to be a new anniversary. It's the day I broke the cheap silver shackle and got my freedom back.
submitted by EveUnraveled to exjw [link] [comments]


2020.10.25 13:20 agaggleofducks how to successfully design a multiplayer RPG

I've managed to recreate the holy grail of game design, which is recreating the experience of playing D&D with friends, in a videogame, with friends. I've played every highly selling or well-reviewed RPG videogame that has ever come out in the last (let me check -- oh god, 40 years), and for as long as I can remember the holy land that RPG games have been belly-crawling their way thru the desert towards is recreating the magic of a good session of D&D but over the internet without the need to assemble IRL using videogames instead of virtual tabletops. Many games especially in the last few years have gotten incredibly ambitious with really weird, quirky designs (Divinity, Wasteland 3) in an attempt to make a multiplayer RPG videogame. Every time one of them comes out I round up a group of players and try it out but none of them have succeeded -- mostly they're really convoluted which makes them awkward to play, which removes one of the core aspects of what makes a good D&D session fun; the effortlessness.
But I am pleased to report that I am currently in the process of playing a multiplayer RPG game that is successfully managing to capture the effortlessness of a good D&D session in a multiplayer RPG so well that most of the people playing with me have never played a single videogame or tabletop fantasy game before and it's going great without anyone having to strain against the confines of the format which would ruin their immersion (including me, Im not carrying this, the game is 100% playing Gamemaster for us and its working)
Unfortunately, I can't tell you what game nailed the secret because the game we're doing this with failed to do it correctly and we aren't playing the way it was built to play, so I can't just say "go play this game you've never heard of that discovered the secret Rosetta Stone of multiplayer RPG design", because it didn't, me & my party did, so you're gonna have to bare with me on this one because I'm going to have to explain why the intended design of the game doesn't work first, then explain how we got it to work. Its Wasteland 3 btw
Wasteland 3's multiplayer doesn't work. Firstly because it is literally buggy beyond the point of unplayability but also its design just does not succeed. It's designed as if it were a Mass Effect game where every player is a different commander shepherd with their own personal stories & relationships with the NPCs of the game, so one player gets "control" of the conversation and other players just watch them talk allowing that one player to speak for themselves and theres a button to pass control of the conversation over to another player if both players hit it which lets them now speak for themselves. However, even when the code was actually working correctly, nobody ever did this because no one wanted to interfere with the first player to get control's capacity to tell their story via the dialogue -- there was this tangible sense that nobody wanted to step on eachothers toes so we very quickly settled into just bee-lining our way thru any non-combat interactions so we could get to the fights & everyone could play again, which is 100% not how it should work. Which is especially egregious because the dialogue isn't actually written in a way that requires 1 important character, there is basically 0 personal relationship content to the game, all of the favor & hatred your characters can garnish from the NPCs & factions is towards the party as a whole, so its unnecessary for it to work that way on top of not working. The moment dialogue started, everyone but 1 player picked up their phones. Also, every player controlled their own character's movement outside of combat & dialogue, which meant the moment combat or dialogue ended, everyone scattered like roaches and any content 1 player was interacting with, the others weren't. One player would have explosives skills & perks for disarming mines and another player would find mines but because they were apart the latter would just run over them and then use healing items instead of letting the former disarm them. It's a complete miss as far as multiplayer RPG goes, even if it was coded perfectly and dispensed free beer and money I'd tell you not to play it.
So, we forced ourselves to play as far as we were capable of getting the code to carry us until the game bricked. But as they all chatted around the coffee table, I sat there thinking to myself, the dialogue doesn't work bc of the way it tries to handle multiple players, the movement doesn't work bc of the way it tries to handle multiple players, none of the non-combat content works bc of the herding cats movement system. The character creation works fine, but its the same way as it works for singleplayer, you can create characters at-will at the same level as your party & have up to 6 of them in your party, none of them have to be handled as individuals bc to the NPCs they aren't dealing with Jeff the Ranger and Bob the Ranger, ect., they're just dealing with The Rangers. The combat works fine too, but really, the reason the combat works fine is bc one player gets to take a turn at a time and the others watch them do it while waiting their turn, which is again the same way the multiplayer works. And I realized, wait a second!
The only parts of the multiplayer that work are the parts that work the same as the singleplayer
So I plugged my laptop into the big flatscreen tv, plugged a controller into it, started a single player game putting 0 effort into the character, beelined thru the opening until we got to the part where ur allowed to freely create & delete at-will up to 6 party members, and then I deleted my character, opened up the new character creation screen and handed the controller to the person sitting next to me, saying "make one pass it down".
Here's the rules; nobody takes actions for eachothers characters, so in combat we pass the controller back & forth as we take our turns unless someone just says "skip my turn", outside of combat its treated as whoever has the controller switches to their character and just takes a turn playing as the squad leader leading the rest of us unless someone asks for the controller (we ran into a Reagan statue that murdered someone for being from a commune, all the other players had 0 context and would have moved on but I asked for the controller, consumed every variety of stat-boosting item we had (which I have never bothered using in any singleplayer RPG), used the ability that makes an enemy take increased damage from my ult & blew his fucking head off with a 5,000 damage attack (twice the health of the hardest boss we'd fought thus far) shouting "NOT IN FRONT OF THIS POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR YOU DONT!" triggering warfare with that settlement. If we had all been scattered like roaches nobody would have seen it happen & assumed they were meant to be hostile & missed that I spur-of-the-moment RP'd and in-character shot someones face off as a choice, but bc we were sharing a screen everybody got to see it happen), dialogue we treat it as the squad pulling themselves together into a huddle and making a decision when it matters instead of 1 character talking to an NPC unless one of them wants to (we got to a brothel that we all would have just looted & moved on but one of the players went, "give me a minute", walked the party out of the brothel, hit the "leave party" button which left everybody's characters outside but not the players bc we're sharing 1 screen, then walked back in & talked to, explored the dialogue options for and then paid for and fucked every single NPC in the building while the rest of us laughed our asses off at what is TBF a pretty well-written scene)
and I realized from those two parenthesis'd anecdotes that, this is it. This is It. It works, it's effortless, we all pay attention, we discuss what to do, we bicker, we disagree, we RP, we laugh ourselves silly, when one of us is less interested in content we can let others take charge, when one of us takes more interest in content they can take charge. I've got 5 people who've never played a game with dialogue scouring this game of its content, and I basically never have the controller. I'm not dragging them thru it but are being propelled forward by us having fun playing together & the game COMPLETELY ACCIDENTALLY being an incredible gamemaster.
From this I've discovered what it takes to make a multiplayer RPG that Just Works. 1) 1 screen, 1 controller. Giving each player their own screen & independent control, letting them scatter like roaches, breaks up the party & ruins the socialization aspect of the game. Even if they're all in a discord channel chatting, if they aren't seeing & experiencing the content that all the other players are then its not capturing what it needs to capture, of the completely shared experience.
2) because theres no game master to tailor content at-will, write the game to a party instead of trying to write it to a main character. Yes we were all very impressed that Mass Effect let you fuck your party members, but the thing about Personal Relationships is that nobody else cares; this is a multiplayer RPG not a multiplayer dating sim. To whit, making the party A Squad within a state apparatus on a diplomatic/military excursion has helped Wasteland 3 focus our adventure in a way that a videogame RPG really needs.
3) free-form, at-will character creation & deletion that puts new faces to the party's level. There's a very simple reason for this; nobody should feel like they're having less fun or impact than the other players bc of leveling or character creation choices. Just let people make new characters at will, it fixes all the problems, and allows players to jump in & jump out without ending sessions. A D&D GM can fast-track a new session, but a videogame that gets re-set bc a player left or a player joined means everyone has to sit... thru... the... same... content... again... Also, players might just decide to switch skills -- this has happened in my campaign, one player decided picking locks to get loot we couldn't get otherwise scratches an itch in their brain they didn't know they had & another player (me) decided stacking skills to open combat encounters by insta-killing someone with a silenced sniper ult to the face is fun, and we swapped stats by deleting our characters & re-making them. Yeah, its not hardcore like Banner Saga is, but you didn't click on the title to find out how I managed to play a good Banner Saga game, did you?
So those are the 3 things it took for me to play an excellent multiplayer RPG. And you know the insane thing about it? Those 3 things are super simple. Aside from games telling stories about their main character (which is really just Mass Effect 1 & 3), basically every turnbased RPG I've ever played could have been multiplayer, since the only difference between fallout 2 & the way I'm playing Wasteland 3 is basically just character creation being way more free form
ps, i wrote this on a phone and boy are my thumbs tired
submitted by agaggleofducks to gamedesign [link] [comments]


2020.10.25 04:31 LadySith2020 Feeling alone

So I had a messed up childhood and was raised by an abusive aunt and grandma who were inactive until I was 10. I was very zealous learning about the truth but we moved when I was 14 and I was very isolated and depressed, so I lived a double life.
At 16 I started dating a guy I met in high school. He started to study when we were almost 18 and we got married and baptized together at 18, almost 19.
He had an extreme porn addiction and lied regularly to me about it. I didn’t find out until 5 months after we got married because it was horrible from the start and I didn’t know why. He felt guilty so he’d be cold and distant, or say horrible things to me. He once told me that guys only hit on me because they haven’t seen me naked. He made us go without wifi for many years until I started an art business. He made me set a no Internet restriction on his phone but he ALWAYS found ways around it. He couldn’t even have privileges in the congregation because he couldn’t go 2 months without relapsing. It felt like cheating because he was never interested in me.
I met with the elders many times but it always seemed like I was told to focus on my spiritual routine and he was never held accountable. He would get talked to but thats it. He would swear to my face that he hadn’t relapsed but he was lying every few weeks for 9 years. He was harsh and unloving and critical.
I have health problems that prevented me from going to a lot of the meetings and I didn’t feel like I fit in. I couldn’t pioneer so no one cared to be friends with me or check up on me. Never even got a shepherding call, but I did try to make it to some meetings and all the assemblies and conventions. One time my ex yelled at me for missing 1 hour of an assembly because I was sick. He also yelled at me for seeing a doctor because it cost money.
I left 4 years ago and was DFed but came back and was reinstated within 10 months. I went back to him because during the 3 months I hadn’t lived with him, he was doing really well and we talked about what would change. I changed and tried but he didn’t.
I was so unhappy that my health got worse because he would make me cry a lot. I wanted to die. I had two friends but one was narcissistic and super intense as a JW (always judgmental of what people watched or did). They knew what my marriage was like and said they didn’t know how I did it.
I wanted to leave him so many times but felt trapped because of the whole belief that divorce is wrong or you have to be celibate if you separate. I felt trapped after we slept together and sealed the marriage again when I first left him and things hadn’t changed.
This year I left again and was DFed in February. My ex became close friends with the new CO even though he still couldn’t have privileges or pioneer. Everyone sympathizes with him so I left the state. I’m viewed as the “bad guy” and apparently he’s striving to be a pioneer and doing so well now. It hurts that he got away with everything and I reached out for help so many times but have been shunned.
I would’ve been reproved if I had stayed married. My two friends knew what happened and went out to eat with me the night before it was announced as a goodbye. Then later I found out they backstabbed me and twisted it into me betraying them by getting DFed and they’re the victims.
My grandma texted me when she’s not supposed to and constantly tells me I said I would come back. Then how I’m pleasing Satan and would’ve been murdered in Bible times for what I did and how I have a death sentence in Armageddon if I don’t come back. Every time she texts me I wish I could have a relationship with her but she threatens to cut me off again and guilt trips me into tears.
I’m so bitter about how my ex got away with treating me that way yet I do something and lose everything. I have to start over in a new state and went through a divorce alone. Also lost my income earlier this year due to covid. Not to mention a move. How can people who preach about love just turn their backs on someone? If I was homeless on the street or killed myself they wouldn’t bat an eye.
I’ve been experiencing new freedoms I never have before and I don’t want to give those up to go back. The first time I was DFed was easier because I lived with my ex. But now that I’ve been cut off from everything and everyone left me at the toughest year of my life, I’m too resentful to see past the hypocrisy and judgment of them. When I was reinstated last time, I found out that pioneers were spreading lies about me OUT IN SERVICE.
I like being able to watch whatever I want without people gossiping about something as petty as a movie. I tried weed for the first time this year and it helps with my chronic pain so I smoke regularly and I’m not giving that up. I’ve also made two friends and reconnected with a friend who was DFed this year as well but out for years. Why would I want to give up the few people who have been there for me to go back?
I struggle with feeling alone though because “worldly” people don’t get it. And my grandma brings out the shame and guilt and fear I already have. I feel bad for disobeying God but I can’t go to any religion and I don’t want to give up the things I’m doing “wrong” because they’re the only comfort I have. I also don’t ever want to do the chaperone thing for dating again because you can’t get to know someone with a babysitter or know how they handle problems or arguments. I don’t want to be pushed into another marriage because JWs tend to rush into them.
I feel like I don’t belong anywhere. In the world I have the nagging guilt in the back of my mind and fear that I will die in Armageddon but as a JW I would have to live a double life. I’m 28 and got out without kids, at least. Looking for others to talk to who understand.
submitted by LadySith2020 to exjw [link] [comments]


2020.10.24 23:59 Dalesencier 13 Cosplay Experts Tell Their 3 Favorite Cosplay Character`s

13 Cosplay Experts Tell Their 3 Favorite Cosplay Character`s

13 Cosplay Experts Tell Their 3 Favorite Cosplay Character`s

Everyone knows that great feeling of choosing and making their next Cosplay character costume, are you looking for ideas or inspiration?

Sometimes I think how great it would be if I had a special power to know all someones favorite Cosplay characters beyond the one they are wearing at the time. Well the second best thing is to just ask!

Next time you are at a event I encourage you to ask your fellow Cosplayer for their favorite 3 characters to play. There is always more than one and it is a great conversation starter for exploring and fulfilling curiosity maybe even getting some more ideas for yourself.

Well I asked 13 of my favorite Cosplayers who their 3 most favorite Cosplay characters are.What they told me went beyond face value uncovering more than a love of dressing up and ideas for looking fantastic only. That one character is just the tip of the iceberg. All their replies are given below:

1

Tom - Carbon Costume

2

April - POP CULTURE

3

Heather - The Valkyries

4

Jamie - The Comic Vault

5

Roger - rogersenpaiu.com

6

MaeBerry - MaeBerry Cosplay

7

Matt - Geek-Pride

8

Mikey MacWolff - www.mikeydoescosplay.com

9

Heather - exeliax

10

Chris - Cosplay Chris

11

Stephanie - http://stephanieyanez.com/

12

Mercedes - https://www.cosplaystitchandseam.com/

13

Bianca -Bunny iinchou

1.

https://preview.redd.it/5pmtwkok34v51.jpg?width=206&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e3fd73e4035861b888b3ac81f24677f9732dcad3

Tom loves D.Va, Stormtrooper, Harley Quinn

Tom -

https://carboncostume.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carboncostume

https://twitter.com/carboncostume

https://www.instagram.com/carboncostume/

It also shows the strength of community

Tom wants to bring Cosplay to the masses by educating on how to modify everyday off the shelf costumes into the rare Cosplay characters using just modifications.

"My top 3 are:

D.Va: D.Va has so my varieties to pick, from bodysuit that's as accessible a costume as you can find, to gremlin D.Va who loves Doritos and Mountain Dew, to the intricate Hanbok traditional Korean dress, to the mech suit taped together from cardboard boxes.

Stormtrooper: Stormtroopers are the OGs of cosplay. The humble Stormtrooper shows the depth of cosplay, where you can go from an off-the-shelf costume and still look good, to getting down and dirty with accuracy to screen and lore. It also shows the strength of community, seeing huge battalions of Stormtroopers enjoy the camaraderie.

Harley Quinn: The DC universe has iconic costumes, with Batman and the Joker at the very top. But for me, Harley Quinn takes the last spot. In a stinker of a movie, Margot Robbie's version rose above and left a mark on pop culture. However, the jester version from Batman: The Animated Series, even though it's a less common cosplay, would be my pick."


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2.

https://preview.redd.it/vgyjk2gu34v51.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=449a82174f32e23a50aaa8ffdd0419d6d384ed6f

April loves the people behind the costumes more than the costumes - what a amazing answer!

April -

https://popculthq.com/

@CultHQ

@PopCultHQ

www.facebook.com/PopCultHQ

It's not the characters I like as much as it is the people portraying them.

April is a Cosplayer and owner of PopCultHQ a professional media web page with a focus on the “Three C’s” – Comics, Cosplay and Conventions and does not have a overall favorite explained below.

"I like to see some of the more obscure and lesser known characters, but I can't really say that I have a particular favorite character I like to see Cosplayed. I truly appreciate them all for the time, skill, and thought that went into them.

I love the big flashy Cosplays and huge armor builds. Living with a builder, I know what goes into them. They are spectacular show pieces and frequently a testament to someones skills and devotion to their art. The costumes I enjoy the most aren't always the best looking out there or the most accurate.

They are frequently cobbled together by amateurs who want to show their love of a character and have fun. These are quite often the ones with minimal budgets, time, or knowledge that put together pieces or buy a Halloween costume.

I truly love the look on someones face when you recognize their character and ask for a photo, especially when they've convinced themselves it will never happen because they think their costume is crap. It's not the characters I like as much as it is the people portraying them."


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3.

https://preview.redd.it/00xn6pg344v51.jpg?width=160&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2dfa5d01794cc9f19e06bd4c0a4b39878db4c01d

Heather loves Geralt of Rivias, Fallout vault dwellers, Family cosplays

Heather -

https://thevalkyries.co.uk/?v=79cba1185463

https://twitter.com/valkyriesblog

http://https//www.facebook.com/thevalkyriesonline/

https://www.instagram.com/the_valkyriesblog/

I don't think cosplays have to be like pin point accurate, I like seeing gender bends or blended characters I.e modern versions or punk versions etc.

Heather is the founder and creator of The Valkyries, she is an avid player of games, reader of comics, watcher of films and drinker of brews! Big into horror movies and video games, she is always down for a discussion about why horror movies the god tier of all move genres and a beer! Heather loves Geralt of Rivias, Fallout vault dwellers, Family Cosplays read below:

"So in terms of cosplay, I just like to see some imagination and passion. I don't think Cosplays have to be like pin point accurate, I like seeing gender bends or blended characters I.e modern versions or punk versions etc.

But! My top 3 to see at conventions are always:

Geralt of Rivias- The Witcher 3 is my all time favorite game, so love seeing the white wolf, and with the Netflix show you just get more, often tossing coins which is always a laugh.

Fallout vault dwellers, extra bonus points for power armour or homemade pip boys! I did a vault dweller for Halloween one year complete with homemade pipboy using the fallout 4 app you can get that does a screen. It was a hit!

Family cosplays- so I saw an amazing family doing Alana, Marko and Hazel from the Saga comics series which was incredible!"


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4.

https://preview.redd.it/h0ghi9qe44v51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8107c46bc8a64ad261934c1a1e24d63177684377

Jamie loves Red Hood(as you can see aboove!), Nightwing, Deathstroke and Thor

Jamie -

https://thecomicvault.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Comic-Vault-Blog-171158316766418/

https://www.instagram.com/theccmicvault/

https://twitter.com/_jamie_ryder_

It's given me confidence and serves as a reminder of overcoming adversity in my own life

When Jamie is not geeking out over comics you’ll find him walking the streets of Manchester, England with a novel in hand. He is a DC, Marvel and WWE fanboy and also a short story writer and poet, his stories having been published by Hyperion and Theia, Colp, EastLit Magazine, Liquid Imagination and more. Jamie loves Red Hood, Nightwing, Deathstroke and Thor

"I've only cosplayed as Red Hood but would enjoy cosplaying as Nightwing, Deathstroke and Thor in the future. The reason why Red Hood is my favourite is because I find Jason Todd's story as a survivor relatable to my own journey. From the beginning, Jason wasn't afraid to follow his own path and do what he thought was right, even when it went against what Batman had taught him. He continued to fight for what he believed in and that takes a lot of guts and courage.

When dressing as Red Hood, it's felt like putting on my own suit of armour and feeling connected to the story of the character. It's given me confidence and serves as a reminder of overcoming adversity in my own life and I think that kind of feeling is extremely powerful from a mental health perspective. Cosplaying can become a valuable part of a positive mental health routine."


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5.

https://preview.redd.it/78zg9bao44v51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d483d0c143d727dc7f46b98be582dd53b739ca04

Roger loves Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, Sebastian from Black Butler and Marth from Fire Emblem

Roger -

https://rogersenpai.com/about/

https://twitter.com/TheSenpaiBlog/

https://www.instagram.com/rogersenpai/

https://www.pinterest.ca/RogerSenpai/

Cosplaying them allowed me to meet other people who were into the same series. Some of these people are my close friends today.

Roger a veteran Cosplayer likes to help the Cosplay community sharing invaluable information and guides including creating Cosplay on a budget

"By far my 3 favorite cosplays are: Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, Sebastian from Black Butler and Marth from Fire Emblem. I generally like these characters because they're amazing characters in the actual Anime/video game.

On top of that, all three of them are relatively easy and comfortable to wear (I've had other costumes where they're really uncomfortable after a while). And best of all, Cosplaying them allowed me to meet other people who were into the same series.

Some of these people are my close friends today. So if I had to pick 3, it definitely would be Roy, Sebastian and Marth!"


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6.

https://preview.redd.it/kvhy70zw44v51.jpg?width=150&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=79dc827b307a032231d2278d3929f98a7f3c9fe9

MaeBerry loves Carmilla Movie ballgowns , Ghostbusters (Holtzmann and Yates),Monster High

MaeBerry -

https://blog.maeberrycosplay.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MaeBerryCosplay

https://twitter.com/MaeBerryCosplay

https://www.instagram.com/maeberrycosplay/

Our Ghostbusters (Holtzmann and Yates) cosplay is our most expensive build and likely took us the most amount of time. It was also our first "professional" cosplay, which holds a special place in our hearts.

MaeBerry Cosplay is a cosplay couple based out of Albuquerque, NM specializing in body positive portrayals of LGBTQI+ characters. They love Carmilla Movie ballgowns, Our Ghostbusters (Holtzmann and Yates),Our Monster High

"Our top 3 favorite cosplays are as follows:

1) Our Carmilla Movie ballgowns are our most intricate cosplay to date. We spent so much time and effort in extensive detail for our first, period piece. We were unable to find purple and black striped fabric so we had to dye the many tresses of Carmilla's gown.

The crimping on the bodice of Laura's gown was also tedious with much starch and ironing. Plus, many of the fabrics were hard to soure for authenticity to the time period, along with the desired weight and colors.

2) Our Ghostbusters (Holtzmann and Yates) cosplay is our most expensive build and likely took us the most amount of time. It was also our first "professional" cosplay, which holds a special place in our hearts.

3) Our Monster High cosplay predates our 1st cosplay and was our first group cosplay. We created Robecca Steam and Spectra Vondergeist. The hand-painted corset and bodice for Robecca was extreme detail work by hand and it was our first corset build so there was a big learning curve."


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7.

Matt loves The Space Marine, The Night Elf, Boba Fett

Matt -

http://www.geek-pride.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/GeekPride1

https://www.facebook.com/geekpride1

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/geekpride1/_created/

Boba Fett- One of the coolest bounty hunters in the Galaxy. He may not be a Mandalorian but he’ll jet pack his way straight out of the sarlac pit and straight into your heart.

Matts websiteGeek Pride` offers the latest on comics, television, film, gaming and random geeky shenanigans. Run by geeks for geeks... all of them!

"Over many years of watching Cosplayers craft, make and wear some amazing costumes we at Geek Pride have seen many amazing recreations of great characters from Tv, Film, games and more.

3 of our favourites though would have to be...

The Space Marine( WH40K) - Genehanced super soldiers who’s loyalty is to the Imperium of man and The God Emperor.

The Night Elf ( WoW) - A deadly warrior, trained to kill with blades and Bow.

Boba Fett- One of the coolest bounty hunters in the Galaxy. He may not be a Mandalorian but he’ll jet pack his way straight out of the sarlac pit and straight into your heart."


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8.

https://preview.redd.it/f0mln0pk54v51.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c32977c5bb1f1084f4760fb1046d4258ac2acdb8

Mikey loves - Tenzin, Hestu, Ashnard

Mikey MacWolff -

www.mikeydoescosplay.com

https://www.facebook.com/MikeyDoesCosplay/

https://www.instagram.com/mikeydoescosplay/

https://twitter.com/mikeycosplay

Don't get me wrong, I cosplay mostly for myself because I really enjoy showing some love to my favorite characters, but it's also really nice to make those connections with other fans of the same series!

Mikey is a Cosplayer, crafter, nerd, animal lover, steampunker, gaymer, dancer... all of these words pretty accurately describes his life.On a day-to-day basis you'll most likely find me on the floor of my house in northeastern Ohio either playing video games, painting, sewing, or making goodness knows what.

Mikey loves Tenzin from Legend of Korra, Hestu from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild , Ashnard from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

"Of my own Cosplays, I'd say these are my top three, all for their own unique reasons.

1) Tenzin from Legend of Korra [Photo by Lydia Joy Palmer, https://www.facebook.com/lydiapalmerart]

Tenzin is one of my favorite Cosplays to hang out at conventions in (when we were still having conventions, anyway). He was one of my favorite characters from Legend of Korra and I've always identified myself as an "airbender," so it's a good fit for my personality.

It's also one of the most comfortable Cosplays I have; there's no bulky armor, no big props to carry around, there's not even a wig! It's also nice because it's one of the more widely-recognized characters I cosplay, so I tend to have more interactions with people when I'm wearing it than some of my other, more obscure characters.

Don't get me wrong, I cosplay mostly for myself because I really enjoy showing some love to my favorite characters, but it's also really nice to make those connections with other fans of the same series!

2) Hestu from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild [Photo by Eric Kosino]

Hestu might be my number one favorite of all the Cosplays I've made thus far. It's not overly complicated or detailed, but its just so much fun to wear. My first time playing through Breath of the Wild, I met Hestu and he immediately became my favorite character.

He's just a goofy, dancing forest spirit who helps Link out on his adventures, and so he speaks directly to my soul. The interactions I get with people when I wear him are great, some people just shout "Yahaha!" at me (which is what the koroks say in the game when you find their hiding spots), or ask me to dance for them, which of course I'm always happy to shake my maracas and dance around for people!!

3) Ashnard from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance [Photo by Rose Stierna]

Ashnard is another of my favorites for more technical reasons; it's one of my more impressive Cosplays as far as details go, with embroidered designs on his tunic, a number of unusual belts that I had to make myself, detailed armor pieces, a cape truly fit for a king, and a giant sword with a really cool design.

The cape is one of my favorite parts because it's the type of cape that will keep you warm in a blizzard (though you're likely to sweat when you're inside at a convention). It's made with two layers of velvet and trimmed with faux fur, meaning its about 10lb worth of fabric, but the velvet flows so nicely and it really just makes me feel regal wearing it. My other

favorite part is his giant sword, Gurgurant; prop-making, particularly fantasy weapons, are one of my favorite things to do for cosplay, and his sword is one of the most impressive weapons I've made for myself thus far.

It's pretty heavy to carry around, which when combined with the cape and the armor pieces means that Ashnard is certainly not the most comfortable cosplay to wear for an extended period of time, but whenever I wear it I remember all of the time and work I put into making the cosplay and I'm really proud of how it turned out! Also, it's just fun to be a villain sometimes!

Picking 3 of my favorites out of all the awesome Cosplays out there is going to be a bit tougher, but I'll do my best to come up with a good selection.

1) Cloud & Tifa from Final Fantasy VII Cosplayers: Multiverse Cosplay (https://www.facebook.com/themultiversecosplay); individually Cloud: CorgisandCurls (https://www.instagram.com/corgisandcurls/) and Tifa: Lyssalalaa (https://www.instagram.com/lyssalalaa/) Photo by Madster Photo (https://www.instagram.com/madster.photo/)

I know I cheated a bit on this one, but Multiverse Cosplay comes as a pair and that's just how it is. Not only are they incredibly talented Cosplayers but they're also some of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. Their Cloud and Tifa Cosplays are some of my favorites, partially because Final Fantasy VII means a lot to me and partially because they fit the characters so well and did such beautiful work making their props and costumes.

2) Semirais from Fate/Apocrypha Cosplayer: Nekoyasha (https://www.instagram.com/nekoyasha09/) Photo by Lazy Fox (https://www.facebook.com/LazyFoxMI/)

There are a lot of awesome Semiramis Cosplays out there but Nekoyasha is one of my favorite! I think a big part of it is because she's got a lot of attitude and personality that she serves up whenever she's in cosplay so photos always turn out beautifully, and then she also provides us with a lot of goofy meme photos too!

3) Azura from Fire Emblem: Fates Cosplayer: Lady Reshi (https://www.instagram.com/ladyreshi/)

Photo by Headphone Studios

Lady Reshi always looks so elegant in all of her Cosplays but Azura is one of my favorites! The way the cosplay flows as she moves is awe-inspiring, which works well considering the character Azura is a performer."


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9.

https://preview.redd.it/wfhrrkuw54v51.jpg?width=1365&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=55541f44358db3e34e99327b84be67c6e0f6625f

Heather loves Aika, Eleanor and Eiko

Heather -

http://www.exeliax.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/exeliacosplay/

https://twitter.com/exeliax https://www.instagram.com/exeliax/

I love how these costumes look, but I also adore the characters; being able to wear costumes to represent a series I love is really important to me!

Hello! My name is Heather, known as Exelia!

I live in North East England and has been Cosplaying since 2005. I am self taught and have made over 100 costumes for myself and others. I love making cute, classic costumes, experimenting with different materials and techniques.. and of course, bringing my favorite characters to life!

"I've made a lot of costumes, so it's hard to pick just 3! But if I really have to choose, it would have to be Aika (Skies of Arcadia), Eleanor Hume (Tales of Berseria) and Eiko Carol (Final Fantasy IX). I love how these costumes look, but I also adore the characters; being able to wear costumes to represent a series I love is really important to me!

Aika is from Skies of Arcadia, my favorite video game - it's old and quite obscure. Aika's design is very striking, so my costume is like a visual "hello!" to other fans - it's amazing to meet people who love the game as much as I do!

f the "Tales" Series! I've done a lot of "Tales" costumes and have met so many friends through the community. Eleanor's costume is bold, comfortable and easy to wear so it's a great costume to take to events.

Eiko is from Final Fantasy IX. When I played the game for the first time I loved Eiko and wanted to be just like her, so she had always been a "dream costume" of mine! It was also the costume that took myself and my friend Yuka to Japan to compete in World Cosplay Summit, the biggest cosplay competition in the world which is.. pretty awesome."

📷📷📷
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10.

https://preview.redd.it/zc0uhmyy54v51.jpg?width=718&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=19dbf064d3ca2c23cafc615a1814d964373c03e8

Chris loves Batman, Captain Boomerang and Captain America

Chris -

https://www.youtube.com/cosplaychris/https://www.instagram.com/cosplay_chris/

https://www.facebook.com/cosplaychris88/

It’s always a good feeling seeing people’s faces light up when you’re in these suits. You just have to let the suits do the work and brighten people’s days!

My name is Chris Stanley and I am a Geek from Down Under. I'll be covering all things cosplay, movie reviews, prop building and collectible reviews!

"So my top three characters to cosplay as are Batman, Captain Boomerang and captain America! It’s always a good feeling seeing people’s faces light up when you’re in these suits. You just have to let the suits do the work and brighten people’s days!"

📷📷📷
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11.

https://preview.redd.it/nn4x9yn064v51.jpg?width=88&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1e0978bc10216cfed9463f5680318eb37889e8e3

Stephanie loves Sailor Moon, Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura

Stephanie -

http://stephanieyanez.com/

https://www.facebook.com/StephanieYanezMusic

https://twitter.com/KawaiiStephanie

I'm Stephanie Yanez: Known as an American Jpop singer, Official Song & Music Video w/ Hatsune Miku, Anything Miyazaki, also loves cats, Japanese Fashion and music, and everything kawaii!

"My three favorite Cosplay characters. Sailor Moon, Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, Tomoyo from Cardcaptor Sakura. Have a good one!"

📷📷📷
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12.

Mercedes loves The Wander, Aloy, Carja Blazon Armor, Link from Legend of Zelda

Mercedes -

https://www.cosplaystitchandseam.com/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CosplayStitchAndSeam/

Vermilion Fire, also goes by Mercedes, is always looking to level up her skills in just about anything. She carves wood into swords and shields, makes PVC pipe bows, leather-crafts armor, metal works details, and more. She has won many craftsmanship and performance awards across the Western United States and judged at various conventions and events.VFire founded the Cosplay Stitch and Seam Podcast and Blog to share her love of the culture and creativity in cosplay. Cosplay has been a huge part of her life for making new friends and trying new things. The hobby has helped her become more confident in herself and she seeks out others to help them find their inner strengths through crafting.

This costume pushed my skills to the limit and then some. It was so much fun assembling the over 60 pieces of leather armor and adding on cool "machine" parts.

"Picking three is so difficult! I love silly characters such as Break from Pandora Hearts, but also complex armor sets such as Shiek from Super Smash Brothers Brawl. After much deliberation... My top three favorite cosplay characters could be...

1) The Wander: Shadow of the Colossus. This is also my all time favorite game and I just enjoy stepping into this character's shoes. The game allows for epic scenery and really fun photoshoot ideas, while also being a challenge to create the different bits of clothing. The costume is also one of my most comfortable to wear and easiest to put on, while also looking really well put together.

The sword is my favorite part about this costume set. It is elegant and ancient looking. I did a custom design based on how I saw blade before the remake came out. It is all chipped and worn from stabbing literal mountains but has a magical aura about it. I currently have it on display on my wall in my project space.

2) Aloy, Carja Blazon Armor: Horizon Zero Dawn. This costume pushed my skills to the limit and then some. It was so much fun assembling the over 60 pieces of leather armor and adding on cool "machine" parts.

Capturing the game's aesthetic was so much fun and I technically live in the game's setting, just a few hundred years too early, haha! I got to try new things and in the end, I feel awesome wearing this armor set.

I have never felt more empowered than when wearing this cosplay and the character is really inspiring. Aloy is an incredible individual and I look forward to the sequel!! Plus more armor to create!!

3) Link from Legend of Zelda. This one is cheating because I am including every outfit I have made for Link. I love being the hero character and with Breath of the Wild, I was able to make more looks for my favorite fairy boy.

The Zelda series has always been my favorite and I really love adding simple details, or even complex embroidery, to add character and depth to the outfits. I have been down many lore trails around the zelda series and have a deep admiration for the games and their stories.

Adding a neat little detail to each armor set or piece of clothing that reminds me of a scene or the gameplay just makes my day. I tried quitting making Link builds, but it only last two minutes, haha!

Thank you!"

📷📷📷

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13.

https://preview.redd.it/4mok1k3l64v51.jpg?width=648&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=77a185b8739c94aab65bac0cdaa3530599cbbd48

Bianca loves Setsuka Heel from the Skip Beat manga, Hoshizora Rin from Love Live,My Yang Xiao Long cosplays from RWBY

Bianca -

https://br.pinterest.com/bunnyiinchou/_saved/

http://hotglue-me.blogspot.com/2019/07/rwby-emerald-sustrai-trial-error.html#more

https://www.facebook.com/hotglueMe

Socially awkward penguin learning the art of cosplay one costume at a time...

As someone who was just exploring the community, this cosplay was the turning point for me.

"I love all the cosplays I make because I pour all my heart and passion in every craft I do so choosing top 3 among them is tough but after some deliberation, these three are probably my favorite:

- Setsuka Heel from the Skip Beat manga. She was the very first cosplay that I put together myself. As someone who was just exploring the community, this cosplay was the turning point for me.

I used a lot of unconventional materials in building this cosplay and it got harder to maintain overtime so I had a hard time letting it go once it's already starting to fall apart and beyond repair. Since then I vow to myself to redo this cosplay in the future with a much better craftsmanship.

- Hoshizora Rin from Love Live. Coming from an idol anime, the character itself has many options to choose from but I fell in love with the little devil one because of its aesthetic and details. I live in a place where we don't get much resources unless you buy the entire costume online so I had to start most of it from scratch.

It was a very tedious process but detailing has always been therapeutic for me. Looking at the final photos and thinking about all the times spent working on it makes me really proud of myself.

- My Yang Xiao Long cosplays from RWBY. I love Yang so much and she's my favorite character from the series so I already made a promise to myself that I'm cosplaying all her outfits. So far I already finished two and I love both of them so much.

As someone who's just learning and being self taught, her costumes are a nightmare to begin with, from structuring to detailing and prop-making.

These were the times where I couldn't even picture the endgame because of all the trial and error I had to go through. Completing them was truly rewarding and something I feel really proud of.

Thanks and have a great day."



Wow! What an amazing collection of preferences and insights. This shows there are more characters out there than Wolverine can shake his claws at, Judge Dredd can judge or a Steampunker can show his pocket watch to. So many to learn about and experiment with in your costume.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

What are your favorite Cosplay characters? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Looking for a Cosplay costume idea? how about Steampunk gentlemen or lady see our pocket watches buy here.


https://preview.redd.it/u3fim8yd74v51.png?width=258&format=png&auto=webp&s=248df31877b58ffe77bdfd52ba07af10eb51e3e4
submitted by Dalesencier to u/Dalesencier [link] [comments]


2020.10.24 08:35 cottonwisper The Commodore and the Heirs Ch.2

Chapter 2
Climbing out of the main deck of the Happy Hunter and into the crowded longboat below, Stokley Faruthian finds space on a middle bench surrounded by several scowling youths and a few younger boys. The massive woman begins working the oars and they proceed through through the densely packed poaching fleet. .
Eyes-shut, lifting his head to the afternoon sun, Stokley absorbs its heat through his face. Sailors hail one another, ship bells chime out, water splashes here and there, salty ropes crack and creak, and the cawing of gulls collectively harmonize in symphonic refrain. The natural song of maritime life resembles music for the first time since setting sail.
Sounds like a song of victory. Stokley can’t help but grin in appreciation, ecstatic at his rescue from the bowels of the Happy Hunter.
Bottany Bay teems with maritime activity, as if in the service of an imperial capital rather than a distant outpost thousands of miles from civilization. With at least four score commercial vessels of varying type in this part of the bay alone, picking out most of the dozen from their months-long convoy to Perelandreia would be challenging. The great galleons Gorgeous George, Sleeping Serpent, and Prince’s Pride stand out, but all the others fade into the panoramic mass of white sails and brown decks.
Hundreds of the smaller yawls, jollyboats, gigs, barges, and cutters busy themselves travelling people and items of infinite variety between the land, the fleet, and the Mother’s Myrth, the Oroboro Exchange Cartel’s famed floating command center.
Volcanic rock formations crest the shores of the inlet and anchor hundreds of titanic chains from the east and west ends of the entrepot. Countless cyclopean manacles cut off access to the rest of the bay as well, forcing every vessel through her bustling Thousand Docks.
Cable cars connect the highest levels across hundreds of yards from the five-story commercial structures of the warehouse district to the colorful theatre boulevard. A giant tower dominates the center, with a cityscape of other buildings in-between, their tops all drawn together by a web of wires.
From a distance, she resembles a small, ridiculously overpopulated barrier island, topped by the skeleton of a giant tent, until she seems to breathe. Giving lie to the illusion they constructed her on a geological formation extending out of the water, a periodic pulsation propels each successive section slightly upward before setting her back down again as she absorbs the ocean’s perpetual pressure. Through her suspension system, connecting anchors in the sea floor and elsewhere, the O.E.C.’s on-site headquarters maintains the structural stability necessary for control over this crucial end of its monopoly, with the added aesthetic appeal that she appears to breathe from time to time.
The pushy cawing and squawking of seagulls and other marine birds fade as the longboat progresses further into the cleared lanes plied only by smaller vessels heading to and from the Mother. Multiple sources of whining undulation grow louder and more frequent. Along with a few of the other boys, Stokely turns around in his bench seat, eagerly gleaning a better view.
“Oooh, Jem, look, look! Flying Fleet jockeys! You think one of em is Jannisary Draven?” the youngest of the youths asks his slightly older neighbor, tugging on his sleeve.
“Burdy, you nitwit, do you see any jockeys or saddles? Those are the Thief Catcher General’s drones. Draven’s jockeys ride golden raptorflies, dummy. Everyone knows that!” Jem replies with a sneer, snatching his sleeve away and pointing at the iridescent blue streaks flying through the air. “Do those look gold to you?”
“Don’t call him a dummy! Not everyone’s a cake eater like you!” howls a boy with a voice like an angry kitten and a face that hasn’t seen a rag in some time. “He’s probably never been within fifty miles of a hippodrome, or a raptorfly!”
“Shut up, Puck, nobody’s talking to you!” Jem yells.
“I like cake.” Burdy’s attempt to interject goes unrecognized as the two boys continue arguing. Their bickering fades as Stokley watches the shimmering, sail-sized wings glare in the sun, charging circuits around the Mother at speeds he can scarcely follow, disappearing inside the honeycomb-topped tower looming over the heart of the Mother’s Myrth.
Without exception, all traffic berths at the famed Thousand Docks in observance of the Oroboro Exchange Cartel’s search and registry protocols. They remain at the docks or progress through a series of interlocking canals and inspections until arriving at the Mother’s island-facing end, finishing their journey up-river.
Stokley’s boat bypasses the docks without any of the inspection agents granting a second glance. The inlaid baton held aloft allows their unimpeded progress as agents roll through dozens of other craft.
The Warehouse District, the first site on their tour, seethes with hundreds of color-coded workers teeming in and out of its vast, vibrantly painted buildings. Some carry large sacks while others labor in groups, setting crates into transport barges. Not a single teamster casts a curious eye at the dingy as they float by.
The same indifference finds repetition in the denizens of every district they slip through until arriving at the Courtyard.
Two of the guides tie the boat off adjacent to a large, open-air pentagon. Stokley and several other boys stand, preparing to step out of the longboat, but the large woman’s scowling face convinces them to remain seated for the time being.
The Courtyard shimmers with heat. Hundreds of poachers stand at attention in a dozen square formations, skin glaring wherever exposed to the mid-day tropical sun. Only the top of a blue velvet, Tri-cornered hat and its three gratuitously oversized white feathers are visible as its owner moves about the middle of the massed men like a fat-bird floating atop a glistening body of human flesh.
“Jem, Jem, who’s that, who’s that?” Burdy asks, pointing towards the assembled poachers without bothering to lower his voice.
“That’s the Thief Catcher General, Burdy, now shut up before he notices us,” Jem replies in a furious whisper.
“I’m glad to see that you all have gathered so efficiently, gentlemen.” The Hat floats in further amongst the squared formations. In the breeze, the feathers puff as their plumage paces the lines of gleaming skin.
“Whether you’re a greenhorn, you’ve survived a hunt or two, or you’re on your tenth season, I want you to listen like your life depended on it. Is that clear?”
“Aye, aye, sir!” the voices of all two hundred poachers ring out.
“Now, I know that all of you have come here for one thing, and one thing only, making a bloody fortune! Am I right?!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
This is the Oroboro Cartel! Do you know what that means?”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
“I can’t hear you!!”
“Sir, yes, sir!” they scream, stamping the ground with each syllable.
“I’m sorry, I must be going hard of hearing in my old age?”
ORO-BORO, ORO-BORO, ORO-BORO, ORO-BORO, ORO-BORO,” they roar, stamping their feet in time to every other syllable.
“That’s more like it.” He pauses for a moment and takes a few more steps down the line. “Gentlemen, many of you, no doubt, came from some shit hole village in the hinterlands of the Chaldean Empire. I’m sure the only desire in your heart is to return home and buy your poor mother out of slavery. What a worthy goal that surely would be.” His powerful voice, easily carrying over the entire group while maintaining a restrained quality, indicates its owner has long since grown accustomed to holding the attention of large groups.
“Maybe you’re from the slums of some Achaean city, Hyperion, Attalacea, Morynth, doesn’t matter which, what matters is that your only dream is to get home and buy that geisha you always salivated over, the one that would never look in your direction for fear of acquiring the un-washable stink of your poverty. Boeytheus, I’m talking about you, ya lecherous pig.” The hat’s jest sparks an amiable round of laughter from the crowd.
After allowing his audience a few moments of mirth, the Hat continues, “Many of you have other plans for the riches you will possess should you make it home. I make no judgements on what a man does with the gold he earns, you see. However, there’s one thing all those plans require. Do you know what that is?”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
“And what is that?” He raises his arms over his hat, twirling his bejeweled hands with remarkable grace.
Survive the island, make it home! Survive the island, make it home! Survive the island, make it home! Survive the island, make it home!” They shout in unison, even louder than before, the pier shaking as they stamp their feet.
“That’s right, that’s right. You must make it home. How else are you going to purchase your mother from her master or buy that untouchable geisha?”
A faint, subsonic drone grows apart from the anarchy of other buzzing sounds in the airspace several hundred feet above.
“You, sir, this is your first hunt with us. Is that correct?” the Hat asks, jovial as a rattlesnake.
Stokley and several others stand up in the boat to get a better look.
Wheeeeeeeeeuuuummmm
An indigo blur buzzes the top of the courtyard, the speed and violence of its pass startles the boys back into their seats, though Stokley stands up to follow its flight. The poacher’s colleagues step back in unison, leaving their mate alone with the Hat, marooned in an ocean of space.
“Um, yes-yes, sir,” the poacher stammers as he glances back at his crew, wide-eyed fear apparent from thirty yards.
“I’m sure you know where you’re putting your hard-earned pay.” The Hat places an arm around the man’s shoulders.
“Yes, sir...”
“What is it, spit it out then?”
“My wife and I got six young’ns, we was going to buy the farm she works on back home.”
Wheeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmm
The blur buzzes a few feet lower.
Removing his arm and turning around, the hat takes several conspicuously oversized steps away from the worried man. “Oh, a farm is it? How nice, and what does she grow with the six kids on that farm back home?”
“Well, a bit of everything, really. We’ve got olives, grapes, dates, peaches, some goats, chickens, even a milk co--”
“Peaches, olives, grapes, and dates is it? And how many acres is this little farm?”
“Forty-five acres, sir.”
“Forty-five acres of dates, grapes, olives, peaches, goats and chickens, that’s a lot to look out for all on her own. I’d say you’re going to owe that wife of yours a little lick o’ the old honey pot when you finally get home, eh?” He rotates in a full circle as he addresses the crowd. “What do you all think?” A deafening vacuum of sound inhabits the space that follows.
“Well, um she does--”
“Say, what’s your name, anyway?” Interrupting the poacher, the hat changes tack and heads in a different direction.
“Um, er, um, my name is, my name is, Um, er--”
“Your name is Um Er? Well, excuse me, Um, but that’s gotta be the dumbest name I’ve ever heard in my life. Your daddy must’ve hated the sight of ya to give ya a name like, ‘Um Er.’ When you were spawned, did he take one look at you and say, ‘Um Er, I don’t think that one’s mine, take him back.’” The Hat thrusts an imaginary object away from his torso in disgust, as if returning a turd stained toddler to its parents.
The crowd explodes into exaggerated laughter.
“But I tell you what, Um, it doesn’t matter what your name is. Do you know why?”
“Um, Um, Um--.”
Because you’re dead!”
Wheeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmm
The body of ‘Um Er’ careens forty feet in a blinding flash of neon navy, arriving at the top of a building overlooking the Courtyard less than twenty feet above the longboat. Once stationary, Stokley catches a glimpse of his own reflection in the creature’s thorax. Holding the poacher’s head and both legs using a pair of two-meter pincers, the drone gorges itself on the man’s torso, as if eating a squirming burrito from the middle.
“I’ll never love burritos the same way again,” says one of the older boys as blood flecks across his forehead.
“Oh, Gods, I think I’m gonna be sick,” says another, wrist-thick noodle-like viscera splattering to the deck next to their boat.
Several members of the poacher’s former crew grin; but such is the nature of splitting shares.
The Hat begins the next part of his speech,“Obviously, you have to survive--”
“Ahhhh” the poacher screams in agony.
“Obviously, you have--”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!”
The Thief Catcher General whips off his hat, turns and casts an imperious look at his giant winged agent, who responds by tearing its victim’s head off in a single bite and flying off.
“Now, where was I? Oh, yes, you have to survive. But what is the key to accomplishing that important goal?” The audience remains silent.
“You can start with considering the fine print. Everyone knows the penalty for peculation: It’s codified into the contract you all signed.” He raises an open right hand over his head, pushing aloft a black leather pouch. It tilts off-balance, drawstring sloppily untied.
“Any property of value taken off of Perelandreia without specific license from the O.E.C. shall be considered peculation, punishable by death, post haste: paragraph three, section four.”
After reciting the cartel’s contractually stipulated punishment for thievery, the Hat re-starts his circuit down the line of gleaming poachers. Still holding the dead man’s prize, his re-started momentum rolls backward the pregnant pouch in his palm until caught between index finger and thumb, spilling its iridescent black pearls over his shoulder and onto the deck. Considering the staggering waste, a few poachers peek, but they all remain otherwise placid as a fortune rolls between the cracks in the deck.

submitted by cottonwisper to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.10.22 05:55 AL0411 2021 Video Game Release Schedule

If you're wondering what games are coming up in 2021, we've put them all in one convenient location. This list will be continually updated to act as a living, breathing schedule as new dates are announced, titles are delayed, and big reveals happen. This should help you plan out your next several months in gaming and beyond.
As the gaming calendar is constantly changing, we highly recommend you save this post. You'll likely find yourself coming back to this to find out the most recent release schedule for the most anticipated games across PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. If you notice that we've missed something, feel free to let us know! Please note that games will not get assigned to a month until they have confirmed release dates.

January

Hitman 3 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – January 20
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – January 21
Stronghold: Warlords (PC) – January 26

February

Outriders (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – February 2
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – February 4
Little Nightmares II (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – February 11
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Switch) – February 12
Far Cry 6 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, Mac) – February 18
Riders Republic (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – February 25

To Be Announced

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (Switch, PC)
Aragami 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
As Dusk Falls (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
Away: The Survival Series (PlayStation 4, PC)
Axiom Verge 2 (Switch)
Backbone (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Bear and Breakfast (Switch),
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions (Switch)
Black Book (PC)
Black Legend (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Blood Bowl 3 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PC)
Boyfriend Dungeon (Switch, PC)
Braid: Anniversary Edition (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, Linux)
Bright Memory: Infinite (Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Card Shark (Switch, PC)
Chivalry 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Chorus (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, PC)
Cris Tales (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC)
Cyber Knights: Flashpoint (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)
Deathloop (PlayStation 5, PC)
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC)
Digimon Survive (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Dirt 5 (Stadia)
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Switch)
Dual Universe (PC)
Dustborn (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Earth Defense Force 6Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PlayStation 4, Switch)
Echo Generation (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
Endling (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Evil Genius 2: World Domination (PC)
ExoMecha (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One)
Foreclosed (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Frozen Flame (PC)
Garden Story (Switch, PC)
GhostWire: Tokyo (PlayStation 5, PC)
God of War (2021) (PlayStation 5)
Goodbye Volcano High (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC)
Gotham Knights (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Read reviewGreak: Memories Of Azur (PC)
Halo Infinite (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
Heavenly Bodies (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC)
Hello Neighbor 2 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
Hogwarts Legacy (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Hood: Outlaws And Legends (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4)
Humankind (PC)
Hytale (PC, Mac)
I Am Jesus Christ (PC)
In Sound Mind (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
It Takes TwoJack Move (Switch, PC)
Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC)
Kerbal Space Program 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Last Days of Lazarus (Xbox One, Switch, PC)
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Little Witch in the Woods (PC)
Lost in Random (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Lost Words: Beyond the Page (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Madden NFL 22Main Assembly (PC)
Marvel's Avengers (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)
Read reviewMetal: Hellsinger (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin (Switch)
New World (PC)
No More Heroes 3 (Switch)
No Place For Bravery (Switch, PC)
Operation: Tango (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Panzer Dragoon VRPhantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
Phantom Breaker: Omnia (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Psychonauts 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Read Only Memories: Neurodiver (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Resident Evil Village (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Rogue Lords (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Roguebook (PC)
Roller Champions (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Rune Factory 5 (Switch)
Seed of Life (PC)
Shadow Warrior 3 (PC)
She Dreams Elsewhere (Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
SkateBIRD (Switch, PC, Linux)
Skull & Bones (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Sky: Children Of The Light (Switch)
Read reviewSolar Ash (PlayStation 5)
Song of Horror Complete Edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Read review State of Decay 3 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One)
Stray (PlayStation 5)
Subnautica (Switch)
Read review Subnautica: Below Zero (Switch)
,Temtem (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC)
The Gunk (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC)
The Invincible (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV (Switch, PC)
The Lord of the Rings – Gollum (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
The Outlast Trials (PC)
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (PC)
Tribes Of Midgard (PlayStation 5, PC)
Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Unknown 9: Awakening (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (Xbox Series X/S, PC)
We Are The Caretakers (PC)
Weird West (PC)
Where Cards Fall (Switch, PC)
White Shadows (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC)
submitted by AL0411 to GamingDeals [link] [comments]


2020.10.20 22:18 illFittingHelmet Transcript from Lawson County Deputy ██████'s Body Camera Footage

[Recorder activated at 0245, 09/12/2020. Deputy ██████, using radio number 619, is in the driver's seat of his vehicle. In view, a white truck is seen swerving in between lanes of a long, empty road with forest on the left hand side of the road.]
619: Traffic stop, Nativity road.
Dispatcher: 619, go ahead.
619: I'll be doing a traffic stop on a white Ford F150, occupants unknown due to tinted windows, license plate ███-███. Vehicle is driving erratically.
Dispatcher: Stand by, 619.
[Around twelve seconds pass. 619 is heard taking a deep breath.]
Dispatcher: 619, be advised, vehicle comes back as stolen, out of River Springs, believed to be occupied by the suspect. Caution level 3, suspect believed armed and dangerous, involved in the homicide of the owner of the vehicle.
619: (Off radio) Oh, shit. (619 activates his radio.) Copy. Go ahead and send backup.
Dispatcher: All available units, respond to 619's location. 0256 hours.
[619 activates his emergency lights and brings the truck to a stop. He opens his car door, and exits his vehicle. His sidearm is drawn and aimed at the suspect vehicle driver seat. He activates his spotlight, aiming it at the rear view mirror. A large blood splatter is seen on the inside of the windshield. The suspect cannot be seen at this time from the camera.]
619: (Yelling) Driver! Roll down your window and stick out both of your hands!
[An automatic window is heard rolling down. At this point, two unnaturally long, gray, blood covered hands are seen protruding from the window, and wrap around the bottom of the window.]
619: What the hell...?
[A pale head with long, unkempt hair protrudes from the window. Its neck is very long, and visibly torn open. Its eyes are reflective, and it has no visible lower jaw.]
[The suspect produces a low-pitched drone, through which a female voice is discernible.]
Suspect: Help help help help help please help oh god help me
619: [Audibly screaming] What the fuck?! What the fuck is that?!
[The suspect falls outwards out of the window, revealing a sickly gray body that is completely naked and coated in blood. The suspect gets up and begins to walk towards 619 with its arms reaching towards him. The droning noise begins to increase in pitch, getting higher and more intense.]
[619 screams and fires his weapon seven times while backing away from the suspect. The suspect clutches its body, then drops to all fours and runs into the forest. The camera follows as 619 watches it run into the woods, then he runs to the passenger side of his car.]
619: (Activates his radio) Shots fired, shots fired, I need backup now!
[At this point, Sergeant ███ (623) and Deputy █████ (612) arrive on scene. Camera shows 623 and 612 are both armed with their issued rifles.]
623: You okay, ██████? Where is he?
619: It just -- it ran into the woods, Sarge, I don't know what the fuck it is!
623: Stay cool, stay cool. Is he armed?
619: No, I don't think so, but it's fast.
623: Okay, cover us, we're gonna check the vehicle. Did you hit him?
619: Yeah, like four times. It kept fucking going.
612: Are we going after the guy?
623: Not without drones and dogs. Truck first, guys, let's go.
612: Moving!
[623 and 612 advance on the truck while 619 watches the forest with his flashlight and sidearm. He is audibly chattering his teeth and shivering.]
[Camera pans briefly to the truck. 623 is shining a flashlight into the truck bed. She looks away, disgusted. 612 shines his light inside the bed.]
623: Jesus Christ.
612: What the hell is that, Sarge?
623: Parts. Lots of parts.
[623 examines the cab of the car. 619 continues to cover them, then the camera turns to the forest. His flashlight reveals a pair of eyes watching him, around 100 feet back into the treeline.]
619: Holy shit, oh shit!
[The eyes retreat into the woods. 619 runs to the truck.]
619: This fucking thing is watching us, Sarge. We need to get the fuck out of--
[The camera shows a view of the truck bed. A large cloth is covering several human bodies, whose heads have been removed. Two males and one female are discernible.]
623: (Into her radio) Dispatch, notify Federal. Three bodies found in the truck bed. Suspect is in the woods and wounded, need SWAT and all available woodland search units.
Dispatch: Copy. 0306 hours.
612: What did he look like, ██████?
619: It wasn't human, dude. No damn way it was human.
612: What are you talking about?
619: It's still out there, it's watching us. It... It ran out there, it--
623: Hey, hey, breathe. Come on. We'll check the cam later, get a description like that. But there's no weapons in the car, just blood and... Skin. Pull back to the cars and wait the fuck for back up.
[At this time, a woman's voice is heard. 619 spins and faces the woods with his weapon raised.]
Unknown: Is someone out there? Hello?
612: Hello? Lawson County Sherrif's Department, who's there?
Unknown: (Her tone is stressed) I can't see you, where are you?
619: (Whispering) Stay back, stay the fuck back.
[He quickly walks backwards, the other officers are not on screen. He keeps his gun pointed to the woods where the voice is coming from.]
Unknown: I'm scared, where are you? Just please don't hurt me, I can't see where I am... (Audible sobbing is heard)
623: Ma'am, where are you? Can you tell us your name?
619: No no no, don't fall for it, that's the thing, man!
[619 frantically pans the woods with his flashlight. The sobbing ends abruptly. Then, after several seconds, a loud, continuous scream is heard. The suspect is seen running out of the treeline and directly at 619, with it's arms fully extended and fingers outstretched.]
[Loud yells and multiple gunshots are heard. From the camera's perspective, 619 fires three shots, then falls backwards. The perspective is disoriented, and all that is discernable is sound.]
619: Kill it, kill it! Holy shit!!
623: (unintelligible) --back get the fuck back--
[Yelling, gunfire, and a distinct, droning wail is heard. The wail is cut off, and gunfire ceases.]
[Video feed resumes, the suspect is lying on top of the camera. 619 is trying to push it off, 623 and 612 pull him out from underneath the body.]
623: (Into her radio) Suspect down, I repeat suspect down. We need Federal here now, this is beyond our scope.
Dispatch: 623, can you clarify?
623: Negative.
Dispatch: 10-9 your traffic; did you say negative?
623: Yes. This is beyond our scope. I can't explain this.
Dispatch: Copy... Uh, 0309 hours.
[End video feed]
Autopsy of the discovered bodies revealed that each "body" was comprised of several different, dismembered parts arranged together and placed in the trunk bed. Each part responded to missing person's cases around Lawson County, totalling thirty different individuals.
Each 'person' found was missing the head. Body parts were found for male and female indivuduals, meaning that one 'person' had both male and female pieces, roughly assembled together to form a human shape.
Three fully-intact sets of human skin were found in the cab of the truck. The discovered skin were DNA matches for at least one body part in the found 'persons'. It was discovered that, when measured, each 'person' matched the height for all three involved officers present.
Autopsy of the suspect revealed multiple DNA matches. It was discovered that the suspect was composed similarly to the found bodies - it was several parts from different people, which were then sewn into human skin. It is unknown how the suspect was capable of movement and communication as seen in the bodycam footage. All DNA matches for suspect responded to unsolved missing persons cases dating between 1973 and 2003.
After this incident, all involved officers were brought into FBI questioning. After initial questions and review of video, incident has been transferred to ████████████ and is under current investigation.
submitted by illFittingHelmet to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.10.20 12:51 hellakiddingwithyou The 9 Symptoms With Examples From My Life As A Quiet BPD

  1. Fear of Abandonment My mother would pull over, leave me on the sidewalk and then drive around the block. If I showed any weakness or emotion by the time she pulled the car around, she'd go around the block again. I even was left at church, with no tools to communicate about my vehicle, my mother's appearance. Phone number? Starts with a 5 like the rest of the entire town, after that I don't know. Street address? No idea. I knew/understood their questions, but I simply didn't know the answer. Nobody told me. Anything. Most of my family would rarely announce that they either arrived home or that they were leaving the home. Again, if I was to show emotion, then they'd communicate even less than before. So this developed the Quiet BPD because I internalized how frightened I am from age 0-6. Age 7 I adapted to the situation. I'd notice everyone gone, so I'd make sure all window blinds were closed, doors locked, doors closed. Defensive, instead of an aggressive BPD who might wreck the house or run away from the house. Later, I'd be locked out of the house which didn't bug me because then I'd start burning Hot Wheels cars on the side of the house and everyone would be somewhere without me. I would create car crashes with a lighter and a hammer. The smell of the burning plastic is so vivid in my mind, and such black smoke. Again, defensive, I always had a house key in my shoe, and a cup to drink from that was hidden in the back yard because this situation must have happened twice before I adapted. My dad might say "Whatcha doin?" and I'd respond with the safe minimum of "Just playing" (Lesson: Respond, don't react to toxic people.) but he couldn't hold the conversation long enough for me to say "Where were all of you? Thank god you're back, and I hate you all."
  2. Unstable Relationships I have never known love. Never seen an example, never experienced it. It's a worse feeling than I imagine trying to communicate to an alien that landed in your own back yard and you have this great opportunity. At least with an alien you could make noises, draw, write, use body language, motion. Since I was told to be seen and not heard as a kid, I would never know how to say I love someone. I would not even trust that three word sentence although it has come out of my lips and others close to me. The word love (in use for non-family members) is just so unattainable to me in my mind as far as what my partner would need to be, you know, several months down the road in a relationship with trust, patience, dealing with me as a secretive stage 5 clinger. I've never been called and have never be seen as needy, but it's all in my mind. On a scorecard that only I am allowed to see. And you'll never catch up even after I make mistakes in the relationship. I'll read facial expressions, postures, tones of voice. Whatever I feel becomes the truth to me, and I don't accept outside opinions (in that moment, for that week, for those years of splitting someone) when my mind is made up. So yes, I am incapable of love by that standard. I really understand and trust logic. If I dump an ex, and they catch me during that 2 hours (that my mind somehow determines, hey, whatever happened to that person?) in that one year since we broke up and say what they or I did logically, I'd date them again and it'd be close to a blank canvas. Of course, it has never happened. When I think of an ex, I think it's most loving to leave them be. Stalking an ex? Social media only. Notes on the windshield, slashed tires, hiding in bushes, no interest to me at all. Poetry? Mixtape? That would be my stalking style. But the poetry and the mixtape never get sent to my relationship partners. They aren't allowed to know about my obsession with them. Because I'd predict their reaction and it would never be the level of gratitude I'd expect. And it could be once every 2 years really that I'd think of an ex. They are so far from my mind. I don't want to know about their job, spouse, skiing trip. I get all that stuff from coworkers who I superficially know, so why would I need a repeat? I knew this (in #1) was not love. I'd break up my parents if they were hugging anywhere in the house. I always knew the hug was my dad apologizing to my mother, and therefore not authentic because my mom never initiated physical touch. Tons more to say on relationships. 100% of my exes have made contact with me, and I give them a breadcrumb about what happened, but I will not string anyone along about a reconciliation. This might contradict what I wrote above. Blocking your number? Blocking on social media? Never. Silent treatment is one of my worst traumas, so I won't do this to others. "Get off my phone before I hurt you" is the vibe, I give one warning that the conversation is done. Ghosting? Yes with an indication that I am about to do it. Door is open, but I'm not inside. You can leave a note and have some patience. I have no idea when I will split you back to white. There is no calculation I can give you. To anyone missing a BPD ex, we do think about you but we hate that you're probably having a normal life that we'd never be comfortable interrupting. Too paranoid. Too much rejection. I hoover, just very carefully, and it's rarely romantic. I check in to see if I'm hated and to see if anyone I really caused pain made it out ok. You probably won't know that I am hoovering. I genuinely care, just that it only returns eventually and on a timetable that only makes sense to me.
  3. Unclear or Shifting Self-image Do I like myself or hate myself and does it change? I am emotionally numb so I guess it really is one or the other. I like myself when others near me are happy. I hate myself when I make a mistake that makes others near me unhappy. So this shifts throughout a day. I'll tell you this. The music I listen to when no one is around is always hidden from my romantic partners. It is dark, dreary stuff and it is not on the radio. No one needs to know that. My past? I keep it vague and no one ever cares for a follow up. Maybe they sense the worst. Maybe they just don't want to get to know me. I've always been employed. Hated workplace bullying. Never cared about a high paying job or searching for others. That would mean faking all of this stuff over again at an interview, and then faking it with 100 new coworkers. I hated changing jobs because of fear of new people. Perfectionist at work. Called industrial, cold, but does what needs to be done. If I can't do it, I won't blame others, but I sure will hate myself, even for a typo in an email that probably will go unread. Ideas of what I want in life. I have things like a pension and retirement ahead of me, but I don't feel I'll ever live that long to get them. I have a fear that anyone I trust would be dead at that point when I'd cash in the pension, and I'd rather not claim the thing than go into a bank or office and say I don't know what to do, but give me money. If I ever plan more than 72 hours of my life in advance, it's something huge like a vacation. I have no 4 year plan. Religion? Atheist most of my life. Religious the past two years. An imaginary person is saying I'm ok. Yes, sign me up. That will be better than all of these real people who have let me down. I mirror people on religion. If they say they aren't religious, I'll lie and say I'm not too in order to fit in. There is a reason I love biographies and documentaries. I'm searching for what to do with my life and for knowledge and trivia as well. What am I even supposed to do in life? What have others done? Others that I would never need to ask because they are authors who I don't need to meet. I never want to be in a situation where I feel week for not knowing something. I know BPD that compulsively watch game shows too for this reason.
  4. Impulsive, Self-destructive Behaviors I don't have any of this stuff currently, and the craving to do any of this stuff was always low. Road rage as a kid, shoplifting on the job cost me a job as a kid. I never knew how to get a credit card, so no problem spending. I'm more of a cheapskate or simply don't care about material stuff. Never had a one night stand because I'd never believe someone liked me after two hours. It would all change on the drive home after a date, I'd think of nothing but sex with that person, but never express it until back in person again. Promiscuity and cheating. I was always monogamous. Astonishingly so from what I've heard. I never felt I used anyone, but I felt I couldn't express that I cared for them. For those of you wondering, we can be dependable and loyal for the entire thing. I'll still flirt in public while standing beside you though. I'm so excited to interact with someone new. Don't mess with that or you'll be shown the door. Do accept that, and you will get my attention and some of the best sex you've had twice a day if you can keep up. Pathological lying? Only when I was young. I'd used it to fit in or to avoid socializing. It was this sentence will shut them up or this sentence will show them I'm cool. Totally do not need it anymore. My real life stories sound like lies anyways. I don't ignore the scoffs. I once split a really good friend because he did not believe my lie, and it was from such a nice person who would never hurt me. I never apologized, but he was allowed back to my world. That example was absolutely my epiphany to stop the lying. I've eaten way too much fast food impulsively, and the food doesn't even register in my body, and I know it was empty and bad calories. I don't feel full, I don't feel better after binge eating.
  5. Self-harm Most of my favorite musicians, artists, authors, actors, entertainers have all ended their life directly or indirectly. I'll never tell anyone that though. That would be up to them to piece it together. It took me years to step away and look at the group that I had assembled as my heroes. My best friend's dad ended his life, and then his brothethe son did so too, so this influenced me not to self-harm. I'd rather journal, talk to a family member for hours without allowing them to interrupt me, distract myself by exercise to get anger out. I'd have dangerous thoughts when someone broke up with me, but never for more than a few hours and never more than one day. I rarely have people on deck in case of a break up. If I say there is no one else in the picture, I mean it. My go to things would be candles, music, and movies that would soothe me and never let me down. I'd be careful to never share this music and movies with romantic partners because if I watched a movie together with them and then they left, I'd attach them to my favorite thing and it would be a disaster. I'd have to split the movie!
  6. Extreme Emotional Swings The roller coaster. Well, the poker face will be there, I'll go more silent than usual. But something has happened. I'd say it like this. I would internalize five answers or reasons for the swing, and it would actually be reason number six and then the roller coaster would do the corkscrew 360. I hate it when my intuition lets me down or I ignore it and I get something wrong. Don't ever respond to my question with your own question. Please address my thing and then we can move on. You have skipped my turn and I will feel really emotional that I was abandoned. A crowd of people that I have to be near? No problem. A crowd of people who I have to be introduced to? I'd rather swim in lava then talk about the weather, the traffic, what I'm doing this weekend. I will say the wrong thing every time. It's all on me and I know it. I'll say sorry once in awhile, but I won't be waiting or worrying about your response to me finally apologizing. Yes I know it is overdue, but I don't feel you need to hear it because in my mind I thought you already knew how I am. Online dating. Very anxious. Crippling and super slow pace sometimes until I find someone on there with a personality disorder as well. I'll screenshot the conversations before I'm blocked or unmatched. If unmatched, I'll critique my game for next time. I'll save the photos for self-esteem even though I never met them and am now unmatched. This person wanted me! Never met them though, but that means for me I'm just as attractive as them! Look in the mirror, have a doubt, back to the phone yeah the bathroom mirror is wrong. I can go from totally bored on online dating, to that other person cracking the door a little and then here comes my manipulation. I have to use tricks because I have nothing to offer and do not know how to correctly date. Never knew where to look. The pickup and seduction community helped me. Of course, it was more about how to get sex than anything long lasting. They've helped me get out of a few bad/dangerous situations too, and without the other person really knowing that I sabotaged a relationship with a little drama thrown in. In one text this year, I manipulated someone about their dad, their ex and my loyalty all in the same sentence. This is my playbook. Go try and beat it if you want. It's just a conversation. It's all I know how to do. It's like the manipulation is a shortcut to normal for me. The thing is when a relationship goes from lovebombing, and then that unhealthy start goes to normal, I am already looking for the exit. It is not the person, it is the feeling that there is no more fun or challenge ahead. It's dye your hair time, it's buy some wild clothes time,it's redecorate your room time, but it can never last long. I exit the attraction at the theme park, and I don't turn back wanting another ride. Everything in my past is "ok" or "painful". That is my black and white. "Hell yes" and "hell no" are the others.
  7. Chronic Feelings of Emptiness I once made a dating profile that said "My hobbies are whatever hobbies yours are" or something like that and it got responses. But it was no joke and not cynical. I can never stick to hobbies. Only childish ones. Nothing grabs me. By the time it grabs me, I get bored. Ever heard of fake it til you make it? Your band is my fav band! Followed them since (and then insert decade here to be very vague). (Then go home and study six albums, memorize the lyrics, read the bios of the band and then return to you as an expert without you knowing!) If I want to learn a new thing, I expect to know all the lingo about that thing and have the knowledge of someone doing that thing for the last few years, and I want the knowledge now as if I was 2 years old and hungry. If I don't, I feel embarrassed for craving that thing and will move on to something new. I can fill the void with food a little. Going to a restaurant gives me the feeling that someone is caring about me and nourishing me. I could never be at a restaurant alone. I've dated people older than me who could not cook or balance a budget. There is an emptiness of knowledge. We feel we'd be punished, bullied, laughed at for raising our hand so we sit angry. I loved having pen pals in foreign countries versus growing friendships with people I could actually interact with. I could control the narrative. Pen pals were very important to me and I have told them so. I've met them on vacation, while I wouldn't travel to see friends who went away to college. These people are surpassing me in college, they've replaced me with vibrant people who I could never be, that is scary.
  8. Explosive Anger I know people I suspect have BPD. I do not have any outward anger, but I've tackled people, grabbed them from walking in the center of streets, weapons, on and on. I feel I can mirror their anger when necessary and deescalate from there. Taken injuries that I didn't deserve because I cared and didn't want to be abandoned. I've always fought in self defense. I can avoid confrontation with charisma and negotiating my way out. But when diplomacy fails, I will say or do the perfect thing to hurt someone. I've been studying them, listening, watching and know that vulnerability. Back to logical thinking, I've always faced narcissist romantic partners. They might win 9 battles. That 10th battle? The one I win? It will be more powerful than those 9 combined. It will be near a break up. Near a split. And me personally, I'll be drained afterwards. It is so exhausting for me to rage. I'll never show it to whoever I argued with, but it hurts when I have to cut someone out. It's a psychological attack on them only. It might have several steps. I will practice it. I will prepare. When they are my romantic partner, I am a narcissist's worst nightmare and I've taken down all types. I'm blind to who they are, but when I see the truth, it's going to be an L for them. Examples? I'll remember text messages, phone calls, notes, experiences, and figure out a puzzle of pain to deliver. Only to the worst people to ever screw me over. I've waited years in some cases. I'm always sitting near the chessboard even if they are not. Never strangers, acquaintances, coworkers. Keyboard warriors could be Quiet BPD as well. They'd never do anything in person, just words. I've done plenty of internet trolling, but always in the context of games where there was a competitive edge and intimidation. Never would do a personal attack, but enjoyed causing other types of drama for attention. I'd have accounts where I was an angel the entire time and other accounts that I'm ashamed that I operated for so long as a complete sadist. Facebook or Instagram trolling, never interested because they were real people. Trolling an ex? No, game was over long ago. I feel that your failure without me in your life will be my anger toward you and it is continuous.
  9. Feeling Suspicious or Out of Touch With Reality Tons of amnesia. I can remember expensive vacations and trips, yet only remember the negatives of the trips, my mistakes, my culture errors or faux pauxs, my language errors, getting lost. Places I really wanted to go with people I really liked. None of the joys are there. Your joke is gone, your hand holding is gone, your secrets stay, but I don't have anyone to tell it to so it is safe with me. We have no friends, but it might be interesting. Yay for memories! Not remembering people's names, names of buildings and attractions, but remembering their face, their clothing, their words, the light left in the night sky. Not wanting to get to know anyone except superficially. Pseudonyms, nicknames, all super fun. Dating people for months and both of us agreeing to not act our age for months. My parents gave me my name, and since I mostly hate them, why not start over with a new one? Social media accounts. I could delete half of my friends in one sitting. I hover over the button. I participate in social media to fit in. I have had accounts with numbers so low (that there is no risk, everyone will like my post no matter what) and I'd still have anxiety to add something or send a request. I could have a draft of a social media post, work on it and edit it for longer than I care to admit, and then never even post it because maybe it didn't really happen that way how I am about to showcase it or for any suspicious reason at all. And another day goes by when in reality to everyone else having a fantastic life, apparently on this day, nothing significant happened today. I can remember seeing my partner's phone and my picture as the avatar on the text message screen. Thinking I sent them that photo recently, but it was ages ago. I will ask (manipulate) people to take off their sunglasses when speaking to me so I can read them.
submitted by hellakiddingwithyou to BPD [link] [comments]


2020.10.20 02:38 Martijndebakker Fifteen loosely related tales of the nords

Foreword
I originally set out to write about the laws and rulings in Skyrim and how they came to be, but I also wanted to show the effects of these laws in the land of our frozen neighbors. When compiling these stories and listening to the bards that told them I was blown away by these people, and I decided the focus of my work should instead be telling these stories.
If you are reading this volume for scholarly purposes only I suggest you skip the skewed written texts, but if you're looking to entertain yourself I suggest to pick a story and start reading. These stories are real events as told by the nords I've met on my travels. They can be read individually. If a story bores you, simply move on to the next.
Of kings and flying rulers
Historically Skyrim was ruled by one king and divided in various counties known as holdings or holds. In the very olden days of Skyrim, the counts were powerful mages known as wyrms, and their stewards were known as priests. The wyrms would fly through the air to meet with the king to get his approval for important decisions.
Along came the dragon wars. Kynareth breathed voices and courage into the voiceless nords from atop Snow Throat. Priests and wyrms were shouted to Sovngarde across the kingdom and replaced by warriors with the title of jarl. These jarls had a hard time communing with their king. The written language was still being developed and using the newly acquired thuum to yell very hard across the mountains was too exhausting to carry long conversations with. And so the jarls were given more and more freedom to rule as time went on. The souls of these wyrms can still be seen at night, flying through the air and illuminating the sky.
High King Olaf
Today a hold is a kingdom in itself and a jarl is used interchangeable with king. The king now has the title of High King, a remnant from the time when kings flew high in the sky. Jarls come together in a moot, a gathering, to elect the High King. The emperor never deals with the jarls of Skyrim, only with the High King, who keeps all the jarl's interests in mind. When the High King fails in his duties, a new High King is elected to represent the jarls.
When High King Borgas was slain in Valenwood the moot failed to appoint the capable jarl Hanse as successor. This caused the War of Succession; The Nordic Empire was split in half and the constant inn fighting led to the Direnni reclaiming High Rock and the joined armies of the chimer and dwemer retaking Morrowind. The Direnni were conquering the Reach and were amassing an army to march into the heart of Skyrim. That's when jarl Olaf Mad-Dog rose from the ashes of his lost hold in Morrowind and stormed across Skyrim like a fearsome avalanche. He shouted the dragon Numinex from atop Mount Anthor and looked him in the eye, and the dragon knew he was outmatched. Atop Numinex Olaf Mad Dog flew from city to city and he shouted sense into the jarls of Skyrim. The moot crowned him High King, and united as one, the jarls marched to meet the armies of the Direnni. Olaf Mad-Dog lost his eye in the War for The Reach, and from that day on he would be known as king Olaf One-Eye and the Direnni would never reclaim the Reach again.
The empire of man
Like all loyal subjects of the empire, the nords hold the emperor at the highest authority. The nords of Skyrim have an interesting view of why this is. They believe the Alessian Empire was founded by their chief god Shor himself, going by the name of Pelinal Whitestrake at the time. They say the Nordic Empire and the Alessian Empire were joined in marriage of Morihaus to Alessia and together formed the first empire of man. The nords view Kynareth as the chief of the gods. In Skyrim you won't find a temple of Akatosh, but Kynareth is everywhere. Her breath is the wind, her tears are the rain, her cries are thunder and her anger is lightning. Kynareth is Skyrim, which is why the nords refer to the land as female. Morihaus being the son of Kynareth is therefor the son of Skyrim herself. By marrying Morihaus, Alessia did not marry nord nobility, she married the very land itself.
In reality Skyrim wouldn't be joined with the empire until the reign of Olaf One-Eye in 1E 200. Morihaus' legacy lives on in Skyrim with the city Morthal named after him.
Talos of Atmora
Like all imperial citizens the nords know emperor Tiber Septim was lifted from his grave into godhood by the gods and now watches over us mere man under the divine name Talos. The nords claim to have a long history with Talos, one that starts long before the birth of Tiber Septim. His story starts during the nordic expansion in 1E 240. Talos was known as Wulfharth of Atmora at the time, a great tongue and general who shouted chimer village and orc stronghold to ash. Surprisingly he was still alive in 1E 480 when he was crowned High King of Skyrim and took the title Ysmir, dragon of the north. In 1E 533 Alduin (Whom the nords are adamant isn't Akatosh) appeared and made every nord six years old. Six years old Ysmir Wulfharth picked up the dragon and shook the life out of him. He swallowed the years that fell to the ground and shouted them back into the nords, but shouted so loud he also spit out his own years. He quickly aged and turned to dust, but that wasn't the end of him.
167 years later, the year 700 of the first era, the dwemer and chimer were fighting, and the nords figured this would be the perfect time to rebuild the Nordic Empire, and for that they needed the general that helped realize the first nordic empire. King Ysmir Wulfharth was resurrected and marched the nords to Red Mountain. At Red Mountain the nords were ambushed by the united forces of Dwemer and Chimer. Ysmir Wulfharth shouted Dumac Dwemer King into hell and threw all his people, from Vvardenfel, Skyrim and Hammerfel into Red Mountain so that no treacherous deep elf could ambush the nords again. Ysmir Wulfharth then jumped into Red Mountain and from inside shouted so load that all of Nirn was covered in ash and fire. The chimer armies were buried in ash so hot that even today the dunmer are still covered in it.
Wulfharth would continue to reside in Red Mountain. To keep him inside the tribunal of Morrowind build a fence around him and visited him frequently to make sure Ysmir was comfortable enough not to kill them all. Ysmir Wulfharth would climb out of Red Mountain once when High King Jorunn sang of his sorrow at te hands of the Akaviri. Ysmir swallowed the sea and drowned the invaders in it, then went quickly back to his secret project inside Red Mountain. So impressed were the dark elves and argonians by Ysmir that they swore loyalty to Jorunn, but you can never trust a dark elf or a lizard, so the loyalty didn't last. When the tribunal went to Red Mountain in 2E 800 they found no Ysmir, only a brass god and a note from Wulfharth that said to give it back to him when he named himself Tiber Septim.
Wulfharth had been reborn on Atmora where he took on the name Hjalti Early-Beard. When he shouted the truth of his return from atop High Hrothgar, the sons and daughters of High Rock and Skyrim knew their king had returned, and they joined him in his conquest of Cyrodiil. When he took the throne he named himself Tiber Septim, and the Tribunal kept their word. With the might of Numidium and his voice, Tiber Septim united Tamriel under the new empire of man and ascended to godhood where he took the name Talos.
Ridgurd Redarm, terrorist thane
Unlike the counties in Cyrodiil each hold in Skyrim tracks its crime separate from the other holds. A jarl doesn't send his troops into another hold to deal with criminals, that would be a declaration of war. And a jarl seldom goes through the effort and cost of hunting down criminals without a record in his own hold.
Take for example Ridgurd Redarm, thane of Eastmarch and of Winterhold, at the time the seat of the High King. Despite his title as thane in two holds, Ridgurd was a wanted man in all other holds due to murder, rape, loitering, lollygagging, arson and even leveling an entire district inside the city of Morthal. Tension with Morrowind regarding disputed borders were rising again, and Ridgurd Redarm was a warrior like no other, so he never lost his thanedom. They say he was dragonborn send by Shor to cleanse Skyrim of lesser men than himself, which automatically justified his actions as there is no higher authority than Shor, chieftain of chieftains, king of kings.
A banditry problem
Falkreath was in turmoil and bandit raids kept becoming more frequent and intense, despite jarl Haemar hiring an increasingly large guard force. This guard force however spend its free time raiding settlements in the Rift, and the bandits that were making Falkreath unsafe in turn turned out to mostly be guards from the Rift. After Haemar's passing, his son Haemar the Younger met with jarl Mara of Riften with a proposal that would put an end the raiding. By firing their own guards and instead hiring guards from the opposite hold they planned to put an end to the banditry, as their guards would not think about robbing their own boss nor raid their own homeland. This worked as planned until they learned that both the guard of Falkreath and the guard of the Rift were now raiding the hold of Whiterun. Still, the Rift and Falkreath were save from bandits and the plan was deemed a success.
The Many-Headed States or That Time Skyrim Had Way Too Many Kings
In 3E246, during the reign of Uriel IV, the Imperial Council decreed that "any man without a liege who occupied a castle for more than three months would be granted the rights and titles of that estate". The issue with this ruling is that every property in the hold belongs to the jarl. Although a jarl could never occupy every castle in his hold, another imperial law rules that "every castle, fort and keep without a registered owner and rights are automatically registered as being an imperial fort." This lead to the jarls registering their own title and rights for every castle, fort and keep in their hold. This in turn resulted in every bandit, brigand, raider and rogue wizard that manages to hold a fortress for three months automatically being granted the title of jarl of the entire hold. When High King Hagg issued a moot to discuss what to do about the situation, twenty seven jarls and three high kings showed up. It was eventually decided that the jarls of each hold duel for the position. The contestants that didn't show up would automatically lose their right to the throne, and the jarls would fight each other in the opposite order that they've gotten the title. This meant that the jarls born into the position would have to fight last, assuring they only had to face tired and bleeding opponents. The high king and six other jarls would continue to rule their hold, while the jarls of the Rift and the Pale would be replaced by the bandit leader Jorun Black-Briar and the guard captain gone rogue Whroki Skaal-Killer respectively. When the holds returned to having only one ruler, the jarls quickly changed the registered title and rights from that of a jarl to that of a thane for all the estates outside of their capital city.
Technically not tax evasion
Thanedom is a mostly honorary title given by a jarl. It doesn't automatically come with any rights or obligations, but it is a title that can just as easily be revoked as it is given. This means that a person is expected to uphold a certain behavior that got him the title. Over time, the estates and obligations that came with the title of thane were expanded.
In the hold Hjaalmarch, bordering Whiterun, stood the village known as Friggstead. It had roughly twenty families living there, and relies mostly on farming to sustain itself. Just outside the village stood Fort Dreughbane and living inside for over five months was the beggar Lokir, who suddenly discovered that he had been Thane of Whiterun for two months, and given the duty to protect Whiterun from the dreugh of the sea of ghosts. At the time, not a single dreugh had set foot in the hold for over a century, which is why Fort Dreughbane was abondoned in the first place. Nevertheless, Lokir declared the fortress would be repaired and as was his right he would be collecting taxes from the villagers of Frokistead. Rather than pay the outrageous taxes, the chief's son put a blade in Lokir's gut. The jarl of Hjaalmarch fined the village thousand septims for manslaughter and four hundred thousand septims in compensation for additional damages, the estimated cost of repairing the castle, which, the jarl ruled, could not be executed due to the untimely death of his thane. When the jarl's men came to collect the money, they were told that during Lokir's one day rule as a thane of Whiterun, the village of Friggstead was part of the Whiterun hold, not Hjaalmarch. As such his son had committed no crime in Hjaalamarch. After long debate, the jarl of Hjaalmarch accepted two carts of firewood and a horse as compensation for the trouble. The title was changed to be thane of Hjaalmarch, and all rights and obligations that came with the estate were revoked.
How giants became imperial citizens
In the year 101 of the third era, the giant Groth declared that he was tired of being hunted by the nords who wanted nothing more than to suck on his toes and brew tea from his armpit fungi. He wasn't the only one of his kind and had no issue assembling a band of three hundred or so like minded individuals who had no trouble kidnapping a nord that could both read maps and speak giantish, and all together they marched through the Jerall mountains straight into the heart of Cyrodiil. Meeting little opposition, they camped outside of the imperial city for a month and plundered surrounding villages to feed their war band. When emperor Antiochus Septim was finally able to free his schedule to have an audience with Groth, it was discovered that their kidnapped translator had been killed by a spell thrown by the imperial battle mages.
Three days long the entire empire was frantically searching for a translator, when the giants decided to do it themselves. They marched back to Skyrim, but not without taking a detour through Hammerfel and High Rock since they weren't able to decipher the map. When they finally made it back to Skyrim they were able to do what the empire could not by simply looking in the places an imperial wouldn't think to look. No matter how much I wish I could tell you where that is, I don't know, but allegedly it is full nords that speak giantish there. Anyway, the giant war band, which has grown by another two hundred giants, wrothgarian giant, frost giants and sea giants makes its way back to the imperial city, this time taking the scenic route through Morrowind to avoid the now very agitated joined nord and imperial forces waiting in the Jerall mountains. Determined to stop the giants from causing any more damage to the empire, emperor Antiochus Septim meets the war band at Cheydenhal to discus the terms of his surrender, while actually stalling time for his grand army to be mustered. He was shocked to find that Groth's demands were actually incredibly reasonable and sending a letter could've sufficed. His demands were that giant kin were treated no different than other members of the empire and that there would always be a seat available for them at the Elder Council. The emperor immediately made it official right there and then.
Since that day, giant kin are considered members of the empire, meaning they are protected by imperial law and all imperial laws apply to them as well. This also means that technically giants have to pay taxes as well, but for a number of reasons this does not happen. Foremost being their nomadic lifestyle that takes them from High Rock to Skyrim, the fact that they do not carry money and simply how scary collecting taxes is from angry ten foot tall people that don't speak the language and have no understanding of taxes.
Skald and the frost giant
When Jarl Igrot the Elder and his convoy traveled to his winter retreat, he was shocked to find that in his absence during the warmer months, a formidable frost giant had made his home there. Since neither was planning on leaving, battle ensued, and jarl Igrot and his convoy were clubbed to the afterlife. Jarl Igrot had eight sons and daughters, but no heir. His eldest sons were twins and he did not remember who came out first. He had simply hoped one of them would die before he did so that he wouldn't need to choose. The sons and daughters of Igrot decided that among them, whomever would vanquish their father's vanquisher would take his throne. Eight disappointingly one sided fights later, Dawnstar was left without a royal family. Even more worryingly was that there were no men in the jarl's summer estate without a liege, which meant that the frost giant was the only man without a liege occupying the jarl's estate and thus would be granted his rights and title. The Pale's steward decreed any man native to the Pale that could best this kaarstag man in single combat would be crowned jarl of Dawnstar.
The following four years the steward would collect taxes and manage all stately affairs. The giant proved a formidable adversaries besting warrior and wizard alike. The seven eyed beast slept with one eye open so that no thief or assassin could sneak in. It stomached all poisons, arrows and axes were unable to penetrate its hide and spells were swallowed. The winter estate would be the sight of battle for the next four years, when on the day of jarl Igrot's dead a man rose to the challenge: Skald Who-Really-Hates-Giants. For two weeks he studied his foe, and he discovered the giant had a different eye each night of the week. When night fell on the fifteenth day, Skald snuck in and threw a bag of fire salts in the giants face. Enraged, the monster bellowed and chased after Skald, but Skald had coated his boots in snow wrath essence and vanished into the night without a single footprint in the snow. One week later Skald returned. The fire salts had done their work and an empty burned out eye socket was staring down the hall. When the steward opened the front door of the summer estate for his morning routine, a blood soaked Skald was sleeping there on his porch, next to the massive head of his jarl. Skald's first act as jarl was that the winter estate be burned to the ground. It was so full corpses that the smell reached Sovngarde, and according to Skald, Shor himself send him to clean up the mess.
The Markarth Incident
King Madancah took Markarth and claimed Understone Keep while we were fighting the Aldmeri Dominion. Instead of kicking this daedra worshiper out of the city our emperor decided to wait out the three month period and name Madanach jarl of the Reach. Before official statements could be made however, Ulfric Stormcloak, son of jarl Hoag Stormcloak, retook Markarth for the nords. Ulfric ordered the execution of Madanach and the reachman, although it was jarl Hrolfdir of the Reach who gave the word. Ulfric decreed Talos worship would be legalized and mandatory in the hold of Markarth. Titus Mede II with the taste of Thalmor butt still on his lips send his soldiers to pretend he had anything to do with the liberation of Markarth, but Ulfric would not let them in the city. This obviously raised questions as to who was really in control of Markarth. Ulfric or jarl Hrolfdir? If it was Ulfric who took the city, his men that patrol the streets and it is Ulfric who has taken command, should it be jarl Ulfric instead? Before this could become an issue the emperor would have to actually pay attention to, the Thalmor offered a way out. So emperor Titus Mede II bowed down for another bottom kissing and let the Thalmor take Ulfric out of the equation. Ulfric now sits in prison and jarl Hrolfdir sits on the throne of Markarth once more.
Ash in the snow
Chieftains are legally responsible for a settlement with multiple families. They have to pay and collect taxes, officiate marriage and have to make sure no one under their jurisdiction breaks the law.
After the Red Year the jarls of Skyrim saw a massive migration of house dunmer and ashlander tribes coming their way. The ashlander culture is based on raiding, slavery and human sacrifice and therefor they were not welcomed into the cities like the more civilized house dunmer. The jarls allowed the house dunmer to build a massive statue to the daedric prince Azura and a smaller statue of the daedric prince Boethiah, hoping it would cause more unity among the dunmer and to make it clear to all dunmer what daedric worship was accepted and what daedra they were less lenient towards. Although ashlanders kept causing trouble outside of the cities, winters are harsh in Skyrim and surviving them without a roof over your head is hard. More and more ashlanders would give up their nomadic lifestyle in winter to seek shelter in the city. In the year 12 of the fourth era the jarls declared that ashkhan of these dunmer tribes would be treated by law as chiefs allowing them to punish an entire tribe for a single member misbehaving.
Ash in the water
In 4E 14 an ashlander living in Windhelm uncovered an ancient law dating back to the kings of Atmora dictating that the title of chief can only be appointed to the captain of a ship. Should the appointed chief not own a boat, the person who named him chief is responsible for proving a suitable vessel. This caused a split among the ashlanders that chose to sail the seas and those that chose to stay. The ashlanders that chose to stay sold their ships to the ashlanders that chose to pick up seafaring and over time assimilated with the house dunmer in the city, where they were taxed extra heavily to pay of the jarl's newly acquired depth. The seafaring ashlanders build whole fleets to raid all along the coast of the sea of ghosts, finding a safe haven on and around the islands of Bleakrock and Solstheim.
Legacy of the gays
Marriage laws in the old days of Skyrim were different than they are today. Marriage was between a mother, her partner and their child. As long as lovers did not have a child, they were not considered a married couple. This was to encourage a steady supply of soldiers to defend the hold. When the jarls noticed an increase of orc children in their cities, they changed the law to not apply to orcs, which led to issues with interracial couples. Could they get married without producing a child or not? The rule was changed to instead allow orc chieftains to officiate marriage in their strongholds as they pleased.
These marriage rules did cause issues for same sex couples. It wasn't uncommon for a wife to bed her lover's brother so they could get married. But getting married was impossible for two men, as neither could become a mother. And soon enough a man by the name of Hagurr the Gay assembled one of the largest group of bandits in the history of Tamriel. The movement mostly consisted of angry homosexual men, but as it grew it also attracted many women and heterosexuals. Hagurr's war band named itsself the Men of Mara, but would go into history as the gays. Don't let the name fool you, the gays were not a light-hearted and carefree bunch by any means. They would rampage throughout the holds, plundering what they needed to survive and inspiring fear into the heart of every jarl. It is thanks to the gays that in most holds today marriage is between two childless partners, and that in Winterhold and Falkreath couples can marry if they choose to adopt. Nowadays in Skyrim, gay can either mean very happy and lighthearted or it can refer to a person with same sex interests. For anyone traveling to the frozen north I advice you always pay attention to the distinction.
Banditry to pay taxes
The nords have a unique kind of taxation. Every men in the hold has to pay taxes for using the jarl's resources. These taxes are used to build and maintain roads, sewageand other necessities and to pay the empire. These taxes are however not used to build walls, fortresses or defenses, nor to hire guards. The jarls have a separate tax for that known as protection money. Paying protection money is optional, if a settlement doesn't pay the jarl simply doesn't spend resources on those settlements. The further you are from the capitol of a hold, the less frequent you'll encounter guards and the more frequent you'll see the nords carry their own weapons.
In the build up to the great war High King Istlod ruled that the imperial taxes would be raised, and the pay of imperial troops as well. This forced many nords to join the imperial legion to pay their taxes, but this also made it impossible for many settlements to pay their protection fee. The culmination of capable warriors leaving to join the imperial army on the front line and the jarls no longer sending guards to defend most settlements caused many nords to pick up an easier profession to pay their taxes than legionary; banditry and viking.
submitted by Martijndebakker to teslore [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 19:10 BrotherFluffy Trouble in Toulon, Chapter Nine

Welcome back to Trouble in Toulon! We've seen the Commander pull some pretty stupid stunts and come out alright on the other side, but what happens when he doesn't stick the landing? As always, you can read it on fanfiction here and view the rest of my works here. Enjoy!
Once I had gotten all of the damage reports from the battle, I was very pleased with how things went, overall. A few minor scrapes and scratches for the most part, with Algerie being the most injured, taking some shrapnel from an exploding Pawn that needed a few stitches to fully heal. After checking up with her and letting her know there would be a debriefing amongst the senior staff in thirty minutes, I was stopped in the hall by Vaquelin, who handed me a message from Tartu. I paused to read the short missive, and I couldn’t help but smile as the last piece fell into place. I thanked Vaquelin and patted her on the head before carrying on with the last things to get done before the debriefing.
*********************************************************
After making sure everyone had made it into the office, I got straight to the heart of the matter. “We’ve driven the Sardegnians off, with minimal casualties and no damage to either the harbor or Jean Bart,” I announced, to the joy of the assembled kansen. “Everyone did an excellent job, but I’m afraid this isn’t over. This is the second time the Sardegnians have made a push on Toulon within a week, and I don’t think they’re going to stop because we took out a few mass-produced ships and Pawns. It’ll slow them down, but once they get a new batch, they’ll be back. I’ve got a few options, and I’m always open to suggestions, but first, I do have a bit of news.”
“Just before coming here, we received a message from Tartu…” I reached into my pocket and carefully unfolded the message Vaquelin had handed to me and looked over at Dunkerque, who was seated to my right. I took her hand and looked her in the eyes as I said, “They found Strasbourg. She’s unharmed and under escort now.”
There were audible noises of relief around the room, and you could feel a massive weight off of everybody, none more so than Dunkerque, who let out a shuddering sigh, her eyes welling with tears. Richelieu, who was sitting next to Dunkerque, patted her on the back, gracing her with a genuine smile. As I looked around the room, I saw nothing but happy smiles, all directed at Dunkerque.
Merci, mon Amiral,” Dunkerque finally said as she dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. “That is wonderful news. When will she be here?”
“Not for a while,” I answered apologetically. “The Sardegnians are between her and us, and until we get this situation under control, she’s going to have to stay in Malta for the time being. She’s on her way there now.”
“So, you’re just going to hold her and the others there?” Algerie cut in, a growing note of hostility in her voice. “‘For safekeeping’, I suppose?”
While her tone should have raised a red flag, I simply wasn’t paying as close enough attention to Algerie as I should have. It would prove to be a costly mistake. “Until this situation with Sardegna is under control, yes. Trying to move through the Sardegnian lines has a pretty good chance of her being captured.”
She snorted and folded her arms over her chest. “I’ve heard that before.”
“The circumstances are a little bit different here, Algerie,” I explained. “I’m not holding their health and well-being over your head. I want them back here as quickly as possible, too. But I’m not going to compromise their safety.”
She sighed and shook her head, but seemed to let the matter drop. I waited a few moments for any other objections before speaking again. “In any case, I’d like to move on and lay out the possible options I’ve come up with for this situation.”
With no other arguments, I carried on. “First, we call in reinforcements. Easiest way to deal with the Sardegnians-overwhelm them with numbers and crush them outright. This does have some drawbacks, though. We have to wait for reinforcements to arrive, which gives Littorio time to rebuild her numbers, and moving ships away from their current assignments weakens those positions. Second option is to counterattack now. Hit them while Cesare and Cavour are still too damaged to fight and knock as many as we can out of action. That’ll give us enough breathing room to at least move Strasbourg and her escorts back to Toulon.” I hesitated before offering up the last option. I knew it would be unpopular, and as much as I’d rather not mention it, it was a viable option. “And the last one...we evacuate Toulon.”
As I expected, the room erupted into shouts and objections, and I waited for the outrage to die down before continuing. “I know, I know. But it is a potential option. We can safely move Jean Bart to Alexandria or Malta and continue her repairs, move elsewhere. If we stay here, they’re going to just keep coming and all it takes is a lucky shot for all this hard work to become undone. Besides-”
Algerie never gave me a chance to fully explain, her voice dripping with contempt. “Coward,” she spat.
The room went dead silent. All eyes looked to her, then to me. I stared in disbelief at what I just heard. “You wanna say that again?” I asked, my tone leaving no question as to what would happen if she did.
“I said coward!” she shot back, her lips curling in a sneer. “You want us to run, to leave our homeland just like before with your false promises. And all the while dangling Strasbourg and her destroyers over our heads! Ask for our opinions, but keep in mind the wrong answer means we’ll never see Strasbourg again!”
Some of the other girls moved to speak up, but I quickly cut them off. “You’re out of line,” I growled, feeling a surge of anger. “And coming dangerously close to insubordination.”
“Pah!” Algerie spat, getting out of her chair and slamming her hands on the table. “Crimson Blood and Azur Lane, the only thing different between you is a color swap and a name!”
That was enough. I slowly stood up, my voice icily calm as I declared, “You’re relieved. And confined to quarters until further notice.”
Algerie flinched, the color draining from her face. She cast pleading looks to both Richelieu and Dunkerque, and when neither of them met her gaze, she turned back to me, stone-faced and defiant. I met her gaze, as uncompromising as hers, and after a few more tense seconds, she stormed out of the room, slamming the open office door shut behind her.
I sat back down in my chair and looked around at the remaining mortified group. Richelieu was the first to speak up. “I...I’m sorry, mon Commandant,” she muttered. “I have no idea what got into her.”
“Not your fault, Richelieu,” I smiled softly and waved my hand. “She’s always been a little suspicious of Azur Lane’s motives, and I understand evacuation is an unpopular choice. I’ll straighten things out with her later on today.”
Dunkerque spoke up next, her voice small, but laced with steel. “It is not ‘unpopular’, Commandant. It is unacceptable.”
It was that tone more than anything that got my attention and dropped my heart into my stomach. “Unacceptable?” I repeated.
“We have fought and bled and nearly died for this place. We have gone to war with our own sisters for this land. It is our home, and right now, it is the only part of our country that is still ours. We will not abandon it, abandon our vows. Not now, not ever. For any reason. To suggest otherwise would be both cruel and cowardly.” Those last words hit my heart like an icy spear, and I did not miss the not-so-subtle implications of what she was suggesting if I pushed the matter any further.
I tried to keep my anxiety from showing on my face as I nodded, holding my hands up to ward off any further arguments or admonishments. “My apologies. I will withdraw the option of evacuation, and I will personally apologize to Algerie after this.” Dunkerque seemed to weigh my words before she nodded her assent, and I let out a quiet sigh of relief, falsely believing things were patched between us. I would be swiftly disabused of this notion later. “So we have two options, attack now or wait for reinforcements. Unless anyone else has a third option.”
Everyone looked around at each other, waiting for someone to speak. In the end, it was Richelieu herself who took the initiative. She stood and boldly proclaimed, “I am tired of reacting, of defending. I say we sail forth and show the Sardegnians and their Iron Blood masters the fury and power of the Iris Orthodoxy. I say we attack!”
A chorus of cheers went up around the room, and as I looked around, I saw no sign of dissent. “Very well, then,” I said, leaning forward in my chair and flicking on the holotable. “Let’s get down to planning our assault…”
***************************************************************
Several productive hours later, we emerged with a comprehensive, yet flexible plan of attack that we would be able to carry out in a few days, once the appropriate repairs and refits had been made. I kept the polite smile on my face as I watched everyone file out, my stomach roiling at the confrontation that was coming soon. As soon as the door shut behind Warspite, leaving Dunkerque and me alone, I turned to her and blurted out. “I am so sorry.”
She turned and gave me a cool look, which was honestly worse than her being upset. I think I would have preferred a slap in the face and an angry retort rather than this icy treatment. After a few long moments of eyeing me up and down, she simply shrugged. “There’s no need to worry about me, Amiral. The error in judgment is mine. I simply thought you were better than this.”
With that quiet rebuke, more gutting than any dressing down I’d ever received, Dunkerque strode from the room, closing the door behind her. I called out after her, but it was too late. For a moment, panic gripped my chest, and I waited for the sound of crashing and sundered steel and aluminum that my rational mind knew would never come. This wasn’t going to happen like last time. This isn’t the same situation, I told myself. But for all my rationalizing, my fears would not be allayed. I had to go find her. I had to set things right.
****************************************************************************
I searched high and low throughout that damn HQ, but my own unfamiliarity of both the layout and where Dunkerque may hide left me easily turned around and lost on more than one occasion. In the end, I found myself outside Jean Bart’s recovery room, the soft sounds of her life support catching my ear. The door was open, and I peeked inside to see Richelieu sitting by her sister’s side, her head bowed in prayer. Be it divine influence, good hearing, or sheer dumb luck, without looking up, she simply said, “Come in, Commandant.”
I quietly stepped inside, trying to be respectful of the Cardinal as she continued to pray. “How is she?” I asked, looking over Jean Bart’s charts and monitors as if I could understand what any of them meant.
“They’ve done all they can,” Richelieu sighed, looking up at me with mournful eyes. “It’s up to her now. I pray that she has the strength to find her way back to us.”
“Everyone here says she was a fighter,” I said softly as I took a seat next to the Cardinal. “I hope she’s fighting to come back to you. To all of us.”
“She was very much a fighter,” she agreed before she chuckled softly. “And stubborn as a mule. Reckless, but not without reason. I think you two would get along quite well.”
I sighed, thinking about the reason I had wandered this way. “Yeah, well, she’d be the only one right about now…” I muttered glumly.
“I wouldn’t worry about Algerie, she’ll come around once she’s had time to calm down.”
I shook my head. “Not her. Dunkerque. I think she was really upset by suggesting the evacuation. After the meeting, she said she made a mistake in thinking I was ‘better than this’, and stormed off. Been trying to find her ever since.”
“Perhaps you should give her some space,” Richelieu suggested. “Let her come back to you on her own.”
Again, I shook my head, more emphatically this time. “No. No. I-I can’t. It’s a...uh..thing...personal. It’s a personal thing.”
She gave me a worried look, concern in her eyes. “Are you alright, Bernard?” I think it was the first time she’d ever called me by my first name, and the weight that carried was not lost on me.
“No,” I admitted, letting out a shaky breath as I tried to stay composed. “No, I’m not. I need to find Dunkerque. I need to fix this or let her go. And I can’t...I can’t wait for us to get that space because we may not get that chance if we wait.” I looked over at the Cardinal and pleaded, “If you have any idea where she is, please...tell me.”
Richelieu stared into my eyes, judging my intent, my state of mind, and probably my very soul before she sighed heavily and nodded. “I think I know where you can find her…”
*************************************************************
Sure enough, Richelieu was exactly where she said she would be: on the roof, where we had shared our first night. Also where I was nearly blown up and sent hurling three stories to the ground. She was gazing out at the harbor, watching the sun slowly set, her arms folded across her chest. Not wanting to startle her or yell across the rooftop, I slowly made my way over to her. I’d gotten about halfway before she spoke up, just loud enough for me to hear her. “Was it Richelieu?”
I felt there was no point in lying, and Richelieu hadn’t asked me to keep it in confidence. “Yes,” I answered.
“I thought she would have known me better,” she said, her tone still icy. “I thought she would have told you to stay away.”
“In her defense, she did,” I explained. “I begged her to tell me. I have to talk to you, I have to at least try to put this right, to explain-”
Dunkerque cut me off, her tone harsh. “You have nothing to say that I am the least bit interested in right now.” She whirled around and strode past me, heading for the exit. It was now or never, and for the sake of my own sanity, I put it all on the table.
“Her name was Alex,” I called out to her. Dunkerque stopped in her tracks and slowly turned around with a confused look.
Quoi?”
“Her name was Alex,” I repeated, slowly walking towards her. “The woman I was close to. We started out as neighbors. Adjoining apartments, actually. Neither of us could cook, so we ordered a lot of takeout, which kept getting delivered to the wrong apartment. It happened so frequently that we started just eating together. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were dating.”
I kept going, the words just spilling out of me like water from a burst dam. It felt good to get it out, after keeping it pent up for so long. “Dating worked out pretty well and she even moved into my place. I’m not going to say it was a match made in heaven-we had to work on it, had our struggles and squabbles, but I truly cared for her, and she cared for me. Maybe even loved each other.”
Dunkerque continued to listen, not moving, not reacting, just listening to me with a rapt expression on her face. “When we started getting serious, she started pushing for me to quit the Navy. Do something else with my life, something far away from the ocean. Something safe. I tried to tell her that wasn’t a negotiable point with me. The ocean, the Navy, it’s in my blood, my soul, it’s part of who I am, I can’t just abandon it. She kept insisting and one morning, it turned into a full-blown argument. Things got heated, and she told me I was ‘an idiot who was going to wind up as a pile of hamburger’ if I stayed in the service, and I told her she was a ‘moron who didn’t listen to what I’ve been telling her’. Probably would have kept at it, except she had to go to work that day, so she left, and said we’d talk about this once she was back home and we’d had time to cool off. But…” The memories flooded back in and robbed me of my voice, as much as I tried to find it again.
“That time would never come, would it, Bernard?” Dunkerque asked softly.
“No,” I rasped, the despair threatening to drown me as I shook my head. “She wouldn’t even make it to work. As she passed through the intersection outside our apartment, some kid goes barrelling through it and hits her. They don’t know how fast, exactly, but they figured it was somewhere around a hundred miles per hour. Heard the sound from my apartment, and when I got there, both cars were little more than scrap metal pieces strewn all over the road.” I stopped, taking a deep, shuddering breath as I blinked the tears from my eyes. “That last exchange we had haunts me still, and not a day goes by where I don’t wish to have her back for just five minutes to say I’m sorry. I don’t know if what we had was love or if we even would have stayed together, but...I do know she didn’t deserve to have me calling her a moron being one of the last things she heard on this earth…”
The tears flowed down my cheeks, and I sniffled a bit as I looked over at Dunkerque. “I...I can’t end things on an argument. If you want to hate me, hate me. I am truly, deeply sorry for what I did. I didn’t know, I didn’t understand what I was asking of you and if you want to be released from your vows and go your own way, I don’t blame you. I really, really don’t want to. I want to make this right, I want to be with you. But I’d rather we end it than let the last things we said or did be hurtful. I can’t do that again, Dunkerque. I just can’t.”
“Bernard,” she whispered, reaching out, her gloved fingers lightly brushing against my forearm. “Have you ever told anyone about this? Talked to anyone?”
I wiped the tears from my eyes as I shook my head. “No. At first, I was terrified, I thought people would blame me or hate me. Her parents already blamed me, really didn’t approve of me, and I didn’t want to give them any more fuel for that fire. And as time went on, the war raged on, I found myself running Azur Lane and I just...I never had time to talk to someone outside of the fleet. And so I buried it, used it to drive me forward.”
Realization blossomed in her rosy eyes. “And now, you don’t want to see it happen here with Richelieu and Jean Bart…” She sighed and shut her eyes. “I understand now why you said what you said, but I still don’t know if I can forgive you. What you said-”
“Was unacceptable, I know,” I finished, hanging my head in shame. “If I’d even thought you would have thought less of me for suggesting it, I wouldn’t have. I am so, so sorry for letting you down.”
“Why did you even think asking me to abandon my home would be alright?”
“Because it wasn’t permanent!” I blurted out. “Evacuate Toulon, move Jean Bart someplace safer, regroup with Strasbourg and her escorts and then come back and smash the Sardegnians.”
The answer shocked Dunkerque, who took a half-step back, drawing her hands back. “Then why didn’t you say so?”
“Because Algerie cut me off the first time,” I sighed, “And you wouldn’t listen the second. And after you left, I just kept flashing back to that argument with Alex and it became more about finding you than it did explaining myself. I know I should have waited, should have let you calm down, but I just...I just couldn’t.”
“Is that what you told Richelieu to get her to tell you where I was?”
I emphatically shook my head. “No. God, no. As much of an equitable relationship we have, I’m still her commander, and I don’t want to look weak in front of anyone in my command.”
Dunkerque sighed softly and shook her head, taking my hands in hers, waiting until my gaze lifted to meet hers before she spoke. “True strength is not measured by our capacity to suffer in silence, but by our courage to open up to others, Bernard,” she said, her tone soft and warm. She hesitated as if weighing something important. “That's why... if you ever feel like crying, I am always available for you.”
My heart swelled, almost afraid to confirm what she meant. “Then…?”
She smiled warmly and nodded. “Oui. You are forgiven, all is well. Come here.”
I leapt forward, taking her into my arms and holding her tightly, relief crashing over me in waves. She wrapped her arms around me in return, her hands running through my hair as she whispered reassuring words of support. I melted into that embrace, letting the tears flow until there were no more to shed. We stayed that way for a few moments more before we parted, and I tried to tell her something.
“There’s something else I-”
Before I could say anything else, Dunkerque put a finger to her lips, a playful smile on her face. “Later,” she whispered, moving her finger away to replace it with her own lips in a tender kiss. With such a compelling argument, I followed her lead and kissed her back, enjoying this tender moment, blissfully unaware of what was going on several floors below…
********************************************************
Algerie strode down the hall, trying to keep her expression light and happy. It was bad enough she was out here when she was supposed to be confined to quarters. She placed her hand on the door to the radio room and took a deep breath. If anyone saw her now…
“Algerie?” Merde.
She turned around to find Richelieu standing behind her, a stack of papers in her arms, and a concerned look on her face.
“I thought you were confined to quarters,” the Cardinal stated, and Algerie’s heart raced as she quickly spun a story.
“He saw me earlier today and we got everything cleared up,” she lied, hoping she sounded believable.
For a second, Richelieu frowned and her heart sank, thinking her cover was blown. “Odd. He didn’t mention it to me when we ran into each other an hour ago...but he did look preoccupied.” The blonde shrugged and shook her head, “He probably just forgot to mention it. In any case, I’m glad the two of you patched things up.”
Algerie smiled broadly and let out a huge internal sigh of relief. “So am I. I should have heard him out instead of going off like that. But, what’s done is done and it won’t happen again.”
“Good, good.” Richelieu finally noticed Algerie’s hand on the radio room doorknob and raised an eyebrow.
The white-haired cruiser simply smiled and explained, “The Amiral asked me to change a few of our older codes in case the Sardegnians had broken them as a sort of penance for my rudeness earlier.”
“Ah,” the Cardinal said, “In any case, I’ve got to drop these reports off to the Commandant’s office. I’ll see you in the morning. Good night, Algerie.”
“Good night, Your Grace!” Algerie smiled and gave a little wave before she ducked inside the radio room, shutting the door behind her. She quickly locked it and let out a little sigh of relief, she wasn’t used to this sort of deception, and while she was certainly uneasy about lying to Richelieu, it was all for a good cause.
Wasting no more time, she sat in front of a communication terminal and dialed in an old frequency she’d managed to get from her time with the Iron Blood. Once she was sure she was broadcasting on the correct frequency, she thumbed the microphone and spoke into it.
“To the Sardegnian High Command, this is Algerie of the Vichya Dominion. I wish to negotiate the terms of our surrender and the capture of Admiral Bernard Holland of Azur Lane…”
A/N- Plot twist! And a cliffhanger! Oh, boy! Trying quite a few new things during this run, hopefully, this pays off. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how this works out for our brave hero(and heroines). Until next time, fair winds and following seas!
submitted by BrotherFluffy to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 12:33 CoinEx_Institution RESEARCH REPORT ABOUT OASIS LABS NETWORK

RESEARCH REPORT ABOUT OASIS LABS NETWORK
Author: Gamals Ahmed, CoinEx Business Ambassador
https://preview.redd.it/869fpc2g31u51.png?width=525&format=png&auto=webp&s=53c2deb44b208d058dcd5ebc87b14426b986e918

ABSTRACT

Oasis Network is a privacy-focused smart contract platform for open finance built using the Cosmos SDK. The project prioritizes applications and use-cases that promote data privacy and user confidentiality. It aims to achieve this goal by separating its consensus layer from its contract execution layer while providing a built-in interface connecting the two for privacy-preserving computation. The consensus layer acts as a hub that uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism to secure the network and reach a consensus on transaction validity. The execution layer consists of multiple, parallel runtimes (called ParaTimes) for specialized computation needs that each plug into the consensus layer.

1.INTRODUCTION

The Internet is an amazing platform for innovation, creativity, and free expression. Yet, its empowering design elements, like the end-to-end principle and global interoperability, have yet to be unleashed in truly transformative ways.
Oasis believe in building new technology that can give us a better Internet experience. One that transforms “users” into edge clients, and enables them to take back control of their data, and their digital experiences. One that fully respects individual privacy and autonomy, while still supporting amazing apps and services.
To get there, oasis’s team are fostering the development and growth of a privacy-first, decentralized computational network. A network that will grow and evolve with the inclusive community of developers, thinkers, and leaders who maintain it.
The Oasis Protocol Foundation looks to support projects focused on making that privacy-first Internet a reality. From building privacy-preserving applications, to developing more powerful tools for the network, to improving how it operates.
High-Level Components
At the highest level, Oasis Core is divided into two major layers: the consensus layer and the runtime layer as shown on the figure above.
The idea behind the consensus layer is to provide a minimal set of features required to securely operate independent runtimes running in the runtime layer. It provides the following services:
  • Epoch-based time keeping and a random beacon.
  • Basic staking operations required to operate a PoS blockchain.
  • An entity, node and runtime registry that distributes public keys and metadata.
  • Runtime committee scheduling, commitment processing and minimal state keeping.
On the other side, each runtime defines its own state and state transitions independent from the consensus layer, submitting only short proofs that computations were performed and results were stored. This means that runtime state and logic are completely decoupled from the consensus layer, and the consensus layer only provides information on what state (summarized by a cryptographic hash of a Merklized data structure) is considered canonical at any given point in time.

1.1 OVERVIEW ABOUT THE OASIS NETWORK

Designed for the next generation of blockchain, the Oasis Network is the first privacy-enabled blockchain platform for open finance and a responsible data economy. Combined with its high throughput and secure architecture, the Oasis Network is able to power private, scalable DeFi, revolutionizing Open Finance and expanding it beyond traders and early adopters to a mass market. Its unique privacy features can not only redefine DeFi, but also create a new type of digital asset called Tokenized Data that can enable users to take control of the data they generate and earn rewards for staking it with applications — creating the first ever-responsible data economy.
https://preview.redd.it/26cx04fp31u51.png?width=414&format=png&auto=webp&s=035261484784f97cbada4ef2ebebcba5c57a1911

1.1.1 OASIS HISTORY

Oasis Labs, the core developer of the Oasis Network, was founded in 2018 by University of California at Berkeley professor Dawn Song. The development team raised $45 million from a16z cypto, Polychain Capital, and Binance Labs, among others, to support initial protocol development.
Oasis Network is a privacy-focused smart contract platform for open finance built using the Cosmos SDK. The project prioritizes applications and use-cases that promote data privacy and user confidentiality. Since Oasis uses the Cosmos SDK, it will eventually be able to connect to the broader ecosystem of Cosmos-enabled chains (called zones) once the IBC (Inter Blockchain Communication) Protocol launches.
Oasis differentiated itself by separating its consensus layer from its contract execution layer. These separate layers give Oasis the flexibility to support multiple, customizable runtimes (which it calls ParaTimes). This model is similar to how Avalanches features various subnets or how Polkadot secures and connects independent parachains.
Oasis’ privacy features create a new type of digital asset called ‘Tokenized Data’ that can enable users to take control of the data they generate and earn rewards for staking it with applications — creating an incentivized data economy. By supporting confidential smart contracts, data is kept private while being processed. This provides end-to-end data confidentiality on the blockchain, unlocking potential DeFi use-cases such as under-collateralized lending and prevention of front/back running.

1.1.2 WHY THE OASIS NETWORK?

  • First Privacy-Enabled Blockchain: The Oasis Network is the world’s first scalable, privacy-enabled blockchain. ParaTimes on the Oasis Network can leverage confidential computing technology such as secure enclaves to keep data confidential — unlocking new use cases and applications for blockchain.
  • Scalable, Private DeFi: The Oasis Network’s privacy-first design can expand DeFi beyond traders and early adopters — unlocking a new mainstream market. Plus its innovative scalability design brings fast speeds and high-throughput to DeFi transactions.
  • First to Enable Data Tokenization: The Oasis Network can Tokenize Data, unlocking game changing use cases for blockchain, and an entirely new ecosystem of apps and projects on the network — powering the next generation of privacy-first applications.
  • Rapidly Growing Community: The Oasis Network has a thriving community of close to a thousand node operators, developers, enterprise partners, ambassadors, and nearly ten thousand community members engaged in global social channels.
  • Top-Tier Team: The Oasis Team is made up of top talent from around the world with backgrounds from Apple, Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Harvard and more — all committed to growing and expanding the impact of the Oasis Network.

1.1.3 CONSENSUS AND EMISSION

  • General Emission Type: Inflationary
  • Precise Emission Type: Dynamic Emission
  • Supply Cap: 10,000,000,000.00
1. Supply Curve Details
About two billion ROSE tokens will be paid out as inflation rewards to stakers and delegators for contributing resources to the network.
Not all tokens have been released publicly or will be released publicly by mainnet launch. Due to release schedules and locks, only a fraction of the total existing token supply will be in circulation at the time of its mainnet launch. Tokens set aside for Staking Rewards will be disbursed in accordance with on-chain mining mechanisms, which are calculated based on how many blocks are produced, how many nodes are participating in staking, and how many tokens are staked.
2. Consensus Information
  • General Consensus: Proof-of-Stake
  • Precise Consensus: Tendermint BFT
3. Consensus Details
1. PoS and Validator Committee
Tokens can be self-delegated directly by each node operator or delegated to a node operator by other token holders. While the Oasis Network is designed with a modular architecture (by way of the Cosmos SDK) that can use any consensus system that satisfies these properties, it currently uses Tendermint as its consensus algorithm.
Validators must stake a minimum of 100 tokens to contribute to the network’s security. Each entity can have at most one node elected to the consensus committee at a time. Oasis Labs expects 70–100 validators to participate in the network’s consensus committee at launch. The chance of being selected for the committee will be proportional to a validator’s stake weight (self-staked amount plus delegated stake).
2. Staking Rewards Details
At launch, the network will target an inflation rate between 2% and 15%, with validator reward amounts dependent on the length of time staked. In order to be eligible for staking rewards per epoch, a node would need to sign at least 75% of blocks in that epoch.
The network will only slash for double-signing at launch. Double-signing penalties will result in the loss of the minimum stake amount (100 tokens) and will also freeze the node. Freezing the node is a precaution in order to prevent the node from being over-penalized. The Network will not slash for liveness or uptime at launch. Oasis will also require a 14-day unbonding period should validators or delegators choose to move their staked funds. During this time, staked tokens are at risk of getting slashed for double-signing and do not accrue rewards during this time.
3. Consensus Voting Power
The current voting power mechanism is stake-weighted. This means that the consensus voting power of a validator is proportional to its stake. In this model, the network will require signatures by validators representing greater than two-thirds of the total stake of the committee to sign a block. Note that in Tendermint, a validator’s opportunities to propose a block in the round-robin block proposer order are also proportional to its voting power.

1.1.4 NEW APPLICATION DOMAINS

Scalable, Private DeFi
The Oasis Network is designed to support confidential smart contracts, allowing it to keep data private while being processed. By providing end-to-end data confidentiality on Blockchain, the Oasis Network unlocks new and exciting use cases in DeFi. From under-collateralized lending to preventing front/back running, the Oasis Network can help expand DeFi beyond traders and early adopters to a mainstream market.

Example of how privacy can unlock new markets for DeFi
The network’s cutting-edge scalable features can help unblock DeFi as it works today, fixing the high-transaction fees and slow throughput currently plaguing other Layer 1 networks. Combined, Oasis’ unique ability to provide scalable, private DeFi is expected to make it the leading platform for unlocking the next generation of DeFi markets and use cases.

https://preview.redd.it/y2zbme7x31u51.png?width=946&format=png&auto=webp&s=8348acb6c2ce5a26c8108a5ff449bec9783497ab
Data Tokenization & A Responsible Data Economy
The Oasis Network’s combination of confidential computing and blockchain enables a new paradigm called Tokenized Data. Blockchain allows for logging and enforcement of usage policies with high integrity and auditability. Confidential computing ensures that data remains private during computation and cannot be reused without permission. This capsule of data + policies creates a new kind of digital asset that can be consumed along specific guidelines for a specific fee or exchange of value.
With Tokenized Data, the Oasis Network can power the next generation of privacy-first applications and unlock a new responsible data society. Data providers on the Oasis Network can put their Tokenized Data to use. They can earn rewards by staking their data with apps that want to analyze it or control how their most sensitive information is consumed by the services they use.
Data providers can earn rewards from staking their data capsules.

2. TECHNOLOGY

The Oasis Network separates consensus and execution into two layers, the Consensus Layer and The ParaTime Layer, which gives the network a more flexible (and potentially versatile) design. Separation of consensus and execution allows ParaTimes to process transactions in parallel, meaning workloads processed on one ParaTime won’t slow down or impact another.
  • The Consensus Layer accepts values from its clients (the ParaTimes) and writes these values into the next block of the blockchain. It also manages ROSE token operations and the selection of validators for the ParaTime consensus committee.
  • The ParaTime Layer is where smart contract execution occurs. Each ParaTime can be developed in isolation to meet the needs of a specific application, such as confidential computation and open or closed committees.
Discrepancy Detection Discrepancy detection is the verifiable computing technique that Oasis uses to verify ParaTime execution. It permits the use of smaller ParaTime committees and requires a smaller replication factor for the same level of security, which according to the team, is more efficient than sharding or parachain models. The two key features include (1) random selection of compute nodes from a population to form a compute committee and (2) accepting the results only if all committee members agree. If there is a discrepancy, a separate protocol called “discrepancy resolution” is enabled. which serves as another security parameter.
ParaTime Logic and Tooling Oasis can support various forms of confidential computing technology through its flexible ParaTime system. For example, The Oasis Eth/WASI Runtime uses secure enclaves to keep data private while being processed.
Oasis Network also supports a number of tools and SDKs to assist developers in building applications. These SDKs rely on differential privacy that aims to protect individual data. The platform supports smart contracts in RUST. It also has a ParaTime that offers backward compatibility with Ethereum, which would allow Ethereum developers to migrate existing
contracts with minimal code changes. In addition, developers can build applications using existing Ethereum tools such as Truffle and Metamask.

2.1 THE OASIS NETWORK’S ARCHITECTURE

The Oasis Network is a Layer 1 decentralized blockchain network designed to be uniquely scalable, privacy-first and versatile.
The Network has two main architectural components, the Consensus Layer and the ParaTime Layer.
  1. The Consensus Layer is a scalable, high-throughput, secure, proof-of-stake consensus run by a decentralized set of validator nodes.
  2. The ParaTime Layer hosts many parallel runtimes (ParaTimes), each representing a replicated compute environment with shared state.
https://preview.redd.it/79c58yg341u51.jpg?width=692&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=013f12e97c39d9375fc3f0dad8adadfd7730ef6a

2.1.1 CONSENSUS LAYER

Oasis Core is designed around the principle of modularity. The consensus layer is an interface that provides a number of important services to other parts of Oasis Core. This allows, in theory, for the consensus backend to be changed. The different backends live in go/consensus, with the general interfaces in go/consensus/api. The general rule is that anything outside of a specific consensus backend package should be consensus backend agnostic.
Currently the only supported consensus backend is Tendermint, a BFT consensus protocol. For this reason some API surfaces may not be fully consensus backend agnostic.
  • Each consensus backend needs to provide the following services:
  • Epoch Time, an epoch-based time keeping service.
  • Random Beacon, a source of randomness for other services.
  • Staking, operations required to operate a PoS blockchain.
  • Registry, an entity/node/runtime public key and metadata registry service.
  • Committee Scheduler service.
  • Root Hash, runtime commitment processing and minimal runtime state keeping service.
  • Key Manager policy state keeping service.
Each of the above services provides methods to query its current state. In order to mutate the current state, each operation needs to be wrapped into a consensus transaction and submitted to the consensus layer for processing.
Oasis Core defines an interface for each kind of service (in go//api), with all concrete service implementations living together with the consensus backend implementation. The service API defines the transaction format for mutating state together with any query methods (both are consensus backend agnostic).

2.1.2 RUNTIME HOST PROTOCOL

The Runtime Host Protocol (RHP) is a simple RPC protocol, which is used to communicate between a runtime and an Oasis Core Compute Node.
Transport
The RHP assumes a reliable byte stream oriented transport underneath. The only current implementation uses AF_LOCAL sockets and Fortanix ABI streams backed by shared memory to communicate with runtimes inside Intel SGX enclaves.
Operation
RHP allows two forms of communication:
  • Host-to-runtime where the host (compute node) submits requests to the runtime to handle and the runtime provides responses. All such request messages are prefixed with Runtime.
  • Runtime-to-host where the runtime submits requests to the host and the host provides responses. All such request messages are prefixed with Host.
In its lifetime, from connection establishment to its termination, the RHP connection goes through the following states:
  • Uninitialized is the default state of a newly created connection. In this state the connection could be used either on the runtime side or the host side. To proceed to the next state, the connection must be initialized either as a runtime or as a host. The Rust implementation only supports runtime mode while the Go implementation can be initialized in either mode by using either InitHost or InitGuest.
  • Initializing is the state when the connection is being initialized (see below for details). After a connection has been successfully initialized it will transition into ready state. If the initialization failed, it will instead transition into closed state.
  • Ready is the state when the connection can be used to exchange messages in either direction.
  • Closed is the state of the connection after it is considered closed. No messages may be exchanged at this point.
If either the runtime or the host generates an invalid message, either end may terminate the connection (and/or the runtime process).
Initialization
Before a connection can be used, it must be initialized as either representing the runtime end or the host (compute node) end. The Rust implementation only supports being initialized as the runtime and the Go implementation is currently only used as the host. If one uses the oasis-core-runtime crate to build a runtime, initialization is handled automatically.
The host drives the initialization procedure and it proceeds as follows:
  • The host sends RuntimeInfoRequest providing the runtime with its designated identifier. The identifier comes from the registry service in the consensus layer.
  • The runtime must reply with a RuntimeInfoResponse specifying its own version and the version of the runtime host protocol that it supports. If the protocol version is incompatible, initialization fails.
After the initialization procedure, the connection can be used for other messages. In case the runtime is running in a trusted execution environment (TEE) like Intel SGX, the next required step is to perform remote attestation.
Identifiers
Identifiers for runtimes are represented by the common.Namespace type.
The first 64 bits are reserved for specifying flags expressing various properties of the runtime, and the last 192 bits are used as the runtime identifier.
Currently the following flags are defined (bit positions assume the flags vector is interpreted as an unsigned 64 bit big endian integer):
  • Bit 63: The runtime is a test runtime and not for production networks.
  • Bit 62: The runtime is a key manager runtime.
  • Bits 61–0: Reserved for future expansion and MUST be set to 0.
Note: Unless the registry consensus parameter DebugAllowTestRuntimes is set, attempts to register a test runtime will be rejected.
Serialization
All messages exchanged by different components in Oasis Core are encoded using canonical CBOR as defined by RFC 7049.
When describing different messages in the documentation, we use Go structs with field annotations that specify how different fields translate to their encoded form.

2.2 BENEFITS OF THE OASIS NETWORK TECHNOLOGY STACK

2.2.1 SCALABILITY

The Oasis Network’s impressive scalability is achieved through a cutting-edge set of features that provide faster transaction speeds and higher throughput than other networks. The top-tier performance of the network is largely due to its separation of compute and consensus operations into the Consensus Layer and ParaTime Layer. This separation allows multiple ParaTimes to process transactions in parallel, meaning complex workloads processed on one ParaTime won’t slow down faster, simpler transactions on another. Plus, the network’s sophisticated discrepancy detection makes Oasis more efficient than sharding and parachains — requiring a smaller replication factor for the same level of security.
https://preview.redd.it/mcfto5d841u51.jpg?width=414&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ab08e908d37b9b446a8cfd1ca98d97f2ba511817

2.2.2 PRIVACY-FIRST

The Oasis Network designed the first ever confidential ParaTime with support for confidential smart contracts. In a confidential ParaTime, nodes are required to use a type of secure computing technology called a TEE (Trusted Execution Environment.) TEEs act as a hypothetical black box for smart contract execution in a confidential ParaTime. Encrypted data goes into the black box along with the smart contract, data is decrypted, processed by the smart contract, and then encrypted before it is sent out of the TEE. This process ensures that data remains confidential, and is never leaked to the node operator or application developer
The Oasis Eth/WASI Runtime is an open source example of a confidential ParaTime that uses Intel SGX. Other secure compute technology, such as ZKP, HE, or other secure enclaves, can also be used. In the future we hope to support additional computation techniques such as secure multi-party compute, federated learning and more.
Confidentiality unlocks a range of new use cases on blockchain by allowing personal or sensitive data, such as their social security number, bank statements, health information to be used by apps on the Oasis Network — something incredibly risky on other Layer 1 networks.
https://preview.redd.it/46g0motb41u51.jpg?width=1268&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0a2bd0855ed1b00636d84016c6a1616c4af84a45

2.2.3 VERSATILITY

Designed to support the next generation of blockchain applications, the Oasis Network is incredibly versatile, agile, and customizable. Namely, each ParaTime can be developed in isolation to meet the needs of a specific application. ParaTimes committees can be made large or small, open or closed, allowing for faster or more secure execution depending on the requirements of a particular use case. Nodes can be required to have specific hardware, such as Secure Enclaves in a confidential ParaTime. Each ParaTime can similarly run different Runtime VMs (ParaTime Engines) such as EVM backwards compatible engine, Rust based smart contract language, or a Data tokenization engine. Finally to support enterprise and developer use cases, ParaTimes can be made Permissioned or Permissionless — allowing consortiums to have their own closed ParaTime, or communities to have full decentralized open ParaTimes.
The versatility of the ParaTime Layer allows the Oasis Network to expand and grow to address a broad set of new and exciting use cases, while still maintaining the same core ledger and consensus layer.

2.3 TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Separates consensus and execution into two layers — the Consensus Layer and The ParaTime Layer — for better scalability and increased versatility.
  • Separation of consensus and execution allows multiple ParaTimes to process transactions in parallel, meaning complex workloads processed on one ParaTime won’t slow down faster, simpler transactions on another.
  • The ParaTime Layer is entirely decentralized, allowing anyone to develop and build their own ParaTime. Each ParaTime can be developed in isolation to meet the needs of a specific application, such as confidential compute, open or closed committees, and more.
  • The network’s sophisticated discrepancy detection makes Oasis more efficient than sharding and parachains — requiring a smaller replication factor for the same level of security.
  • The network has broad support for confidential computing technology. The Oasis Eth/WASI Runtime is an open source example of a confidential ParaTime that uses secure enclaves to keep data private while being processed.

2.4 THE FOUR KEY REASONS FOR THE DUAL-LAYER DESIGN ARE:

1. Confidentiality — Oasis’ ParaTimes have support for key management and TEEs like Intel SGX in order to allow for end-to-end confidentiality and data ownership on the network.
2. Versatility & Resilience — Oasis can support a wide variety of use cases without needing to go through hard-forks or large updates.
3. Performance — Throughput issues are reduced or avoided creating a faster Network that is less prone to congestion.
4. Auditability — ParaTime state and execution can be trusted because each ParaTime can be audited and verified independently, without sharing state publicly.
Anyone can build a runtime and add it to the Consensus layer.
Oasis Labs’ Data Sovereignty Runtime will provide a confidential compute and storage layer for developers who plan to run confidential smart contracts on Oasis. This runtime allows developers to “take advantage of confidential computation and secure computing techniques while the blockchain technology is abstracted away.” The potential applications for ParaTimes are extensive: ParaTimes are already being used by teams in the genomics, hospital management, credit scoring, and financial services industries.
Other ParaTimes in development include the SecondState Virtual Machine (SSVM), a fully-featured Ethereum WebAssembly (Ewasm) Virtual Machine.

2.5 CRYPTOGRAPHY

2.5.1 HASH FUNCTIONS

In most places where cryptographic hashes are required, they use the SHA-512/256 hash function as specified in FIPS 180–4.

2.5.2 SIGNATURES

All cryptographic signatures are made using the Ed25519 (pure) scheme specified in RFC 8032.

2.5.3 DOMAIN SEPARATION

When signing messages and verifying signatures we require the use of a domain separation context in order to make sure the messages cannot be repurposed in a different protocol.
The domain separation scheme adds a preprocessing step to any signing and verification operation. The step computes the value that is then signed/verified using Ed25519 as usual.

2.6 OASIS NODE

RPC
Oasis Node exposes an RPC interface to enable external applications to query current consensus and runtime states, submit transactions, etc.
The RPC interface is ONLY exposed via an AF_LOCAL socket called internal.sock located in the node’s data directory. This interface should NEVER be directly exposed over the network as it has no authentication and allows full control, including shutdown, of a node.
In order to support remote clients and different protocols (e.g. REST), a gateway that handles things like authentication and rate limiting should be used.
WHY RUN A NODE?
  • All ParaTimes rely on the security of the underlying Oasis blockchain for their auditability. Running a validator on the Oasis blockchain is a way to support all ParaTimes.
  • Per the design of the Oasis Protocol, running a validator entitles a participant to earn more rewards for helping secure the network than delegation. Validators share inflationary rewards with their delegators but not the transaction fee earnings. The more ParaTimes on Oasis, the more transactions there will be, and the more advantageous it becomes for network participants to run a validator.
  • ParaTime operators will ultimately need to have individuals run nodes on their ParaTime and may look to the Oasis validator list to identify reliable infrastructure providers for support. Those already running an Oasis validator will be well-positioned to be selected to operate those new nodes, for which they may earn additional fees.

2.7 PROTOCOL

Like other parts of Oasis Core, the RPC interface exposed by Oasis Node uses the gRPC protocol with the CBOR codec (instead of Protocol Buffers).

2.7.1 AUTHENTICATED GRPC

Oasis Core nodes communicate between themselves over various protocols. One of those protocols is gRPC which is currently used for the following:
  • Compute nodes talking to storage nodes.
  • Compute nodes talking to key manager nodes.
  • Key manager nodes talking to other key manager nodes.
  • Clients talking to compute nodes.
  • Clients talking to key manager nodes.
All these communications can have access control policies attached specifying who is allowed to perform certain actions at which point in time. This first requires an authentication mechanism.

2.7.2 TLS

In order to authenticate both ends of a connection, gRPC is always used together with TLS. However, since this is a decentralized network, there are some specifics on how peer verification is performed when establishing a TLS session between two nodes.
Instead of relying on Certificate Authorities, they use the registry service provided by the consensus layer. Each node publishes its own trusted public keys in the registry as part of its signed node descriptor. TLS sessions use its own ephemeral Ed25519 key pair that is used to (self-)sign a node’s X509 certificate. When verifying peer identities the public key on the certificate is compared with the public key(s) published in the registry.
All TLS keys are ephemeral and nodes are encouraged to frequently rotate them (the Oasis Core implementation in this repository supports this automatically).

2.7.3 METRICS

Oasis-node can report a number of metrics to Prometheus server. By default, no metrics are collected and reported. There is one way to enable metrics reporting:
Pull mode listens on given address and waits for Prometheus to scrape the metrics.

3. THE OASIS NETWORK TOKEN

The oasis network token: ROSE.

3.1 TOKEN PROFILE

Token Name & Symbol: ROSE
Type: Native
Usage: Payments, Vote

3.2 USAGE DETAILS

The ROSE token will be used for transaction fees, staking, and delegation at Oasis Network’s Consensus Layer.
https://preview.redd.it/golcszag41u51.jpg?width=886&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7b628ab438b99c422712847a47a5f1855a9ec10b
ROSE: A Symbol of Privacy
Historically they have often represented “secrecy”. Dating back to Ancient Greece, the Rose was seen as a symbol for secrets or privacy, used by Aphrodite as a gift in exchange for keeping the secrets of Gods.
In Ancient Rome this symbolism continued and the phrase “sub rosa” or “under the rose” was to mean “done in secret” or “under a pledge of secrecy”. This phrase and the symbol of Roses as secrecy extended throughout history with the British Tudors era where state secrets were decided in a room with a large rose hanging from the ceiling.
This fits well with our vision for the Oasis Network, which seeks to power the next generation of blockchain use cases through its unique capacity to support confidential computing and private data on the ledger.
Full Report
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to oasislabs [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 12:04 BuckGB King Arthur: Knight's Tale Kickstarter Campaign Live

You probably know NeocoreGames as the team behind The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing and Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr. However, prior to becoming a studio known for its action-RPGs, they also worked on a series of turn-based Arthurian RPGs.
And now, it looks like NeocoreGames is going back to its roots with this Kickstarter campaign for King Arthur: Knight's Tale - a modern retelling of Arthurian legends with a dark fantasy tint. The game is described as a tactical RPG with a huge emphasis on moral choices and a roguelite structure. And in order to make it happen, the developers need around $150,000.
Check out the official Kickstarter trailer:
With 24 days still to go and $69,635 currently pledged, the campaign seems to be going strong. Here’s some additional information:
Gameplay Overview
You are Sir Mordred, the nemesis of King Arthur, the former black knight of the grim tales. You killed King Arthur, but with his dying breath, he struck you down. You both died – and yet, you both live.
The Lady of the Lake, the ruler of the mystical island of Avalon brought you back to end a true nightmare. She wants you to go on a knightly quest. She wants you to finish what you have begun. Kill King Arthur – or whatever he has become after she took his dying vessel to Avalon.
King Arthur: Knight’s Tale is a Role-playing Tactical Game - a unique hybrid between turn-based tactical games (like X-Com) and traditional, character-centric RPGs.
Knight's Tale is a modern retelling of a classic Arthurian mythology story filtered through the dark fantasy tropes, a twist on the traditional tales of chivalry.
The story campaign puts a huge emphasis on moral choices, which have significant consequences in a rogue-lite structure, adding extra tension to the tactical and management decisions.
Your Fights
Control a small team of heroes and fight gruelling, but satisfying battles with a deeply engaging, tactical turn-based combat system. - Diverse battle maps - Position yourself, avoid shieldwalls, flank your enemies. Use covers against archers, make use of the terrain, hide in the foliage, surprise your enemies! - Control the battleground - Scouting ahead is important as your enemies could be hiding as well. Use traps, lure and avoid enemy combatants until you can strike safely. - Team tactics - Choose from more than 30 heroes of 5 diverse classes to assemble an efficient team. Combine hundreds of skills and artifacts, but be careful. One misstep and your heroes could be maimed, or worse, killed permanently. - Learn about your enemies - Opposing forces and mythical creatures will try to challenge you at every step. Pay attention to their weaknesses and strengths!
Your Heroes
No one can face the nightmare alone - gather an army of loyal knights, settle disputes and forge your own path - The Round Table reborn - Gather your own Knights of the Round Table and send them on knightly quests. In “Knight’s Tale” these heroes are the most important resources and the most complex gameplay elements at the same time. - Complex RPG-like characters - The character progression system is designed to be as deep as in the traditional RPGs: heroes level upon unique skill trees and the complex loot system provides unique options to fine-tune their tactical capabilities. - Death is always final - Beware! Heroes can die during missions and the treatment of their injuries, curses, diseases takes time. You must manage them at the Round Table accordingly, planning ahead before going into battles. As heroes take time off between consequent missions, management of their injuries and selecting their substitutes are essential components of gameplay. - A question of loyalty - Each hero has a distinctive personality. Settle disputes and grant favors to convince various knights to remain loyal to you. Some of them will observe your decisions closely, and some knights will even have conflicts with each other. It is your job to select heroes that are the best fit for your goals (and each other) at the Round Table. The heroes' loyalty is constantly changing through the decisions made by the player – in certain cases they can ever leave the Round Table and turn against you.
Your Kingdom
Forge your kingdom with steel and faith - restore the order and bring an end to the nightmare unleashed in Avalon - Explore the land of nightmares - “King Arthur: Knight’s Tale” is an imaginative take on the aftermath of the Arthurian mythology, beginning where most tales end. After his last battle, where King Arthur suffered a lethal wound, he has been taken to the magical island of Avalon where he was supposed to gain immortality, but what happens when immortality means that he is simply unable to die? - A terrible force in Avalon - The Once and Future King is now trapped in the realm of Avalon and his pain is slowly turning this magical place into a nightmare version of his own Britannia, populating the land with the familiar and the uncanny. - Your kingdom in need - See the entirety of the land presented on a strategic map, observe all fiefdoms and secret corners, select your missions and explore various places. The people are suffering, the land is plagued by nightmares and the choice is yours: will you be savior or the scourge of this cursed realm? - Camelot reborn - Management in “Knight’s Tale” focuses on rebuilding Camelot and expanding the mystical Stronghold with new buildings that each unlock various upgrades, and also offers different ways to heal up and manage the heroes of the Round Table.
Your Legend
Whatever you do, you will shape your legend, but all your choices will have severe consequences. - Write your own tale of chivalry - Play as Sir Mordred, the former nemesis of King Arthur. Explore the mystical island of Avalon, venture on knightly quests and make decisions in various encounters where you'll need to make moral choices, as in most RPGs, which all have impact on the story and your Morality. - The making of a monarch - The Morality Chart represents your general alignment as a ruler. Your status between Christianity and Old Faith, between Tyranny and Righteousness. Your choices affect values on this chart, influencing both gameplay and narrative. - The weight of decisions - Reloading is not an option in Knight’s Tale – as you make your tough choices, the fun comes from dealing with severe consequences. Based on your decisions, every playthrough can unfold differently, branching in unexpected ways in a non-linear fashion. Planning and choosing differently will result in vastly different playthroughs: your legend is shaped by every action you take. - The end is only the beginning - The end of the campaign opens up new endgame content for the bravest of all: tough new challenges appear on the map with challenging, mythic bossfights and random quests, loot, and character progression ultimately leading to the banishing of Balor, the monstrous god-king of the Fomorians himself.
Beyond the Legend
Witness the Arthurian legend like you never have before - rich in content and presented with the highest graphical fidelity to date. - See the world and the countless legends it harbors - Complete more than 50 unique points of interest on the Adventure Map, including 20 story missions and various side quests, taking place on diverse terrains, from the dark castle dungeons to the forests of the Sídhe. - Tackle them one by one - Challenge 7 enemy factions, fight more than 50 types of enemy units, overcome 10 incredible boss fights throughout your quests. - A spectacular view - The production of "Knight's Tale" relies heavily on photoscanned environments and high-quality mocap animation, all rendered inside a modern PBR engine utilizing DirectX 12, supporting strong, atmospheric effects.
You may also be interested in this update featuring a lore-focused Q&A.
submitted by BuckGB to GameBanshee [link] [comments]


2020.10.19 06:45 MostlyReadRarelyPost How to Make Friends and Put People Under the Influence (Steelshod 437)

Hey there!
I don’t post these daily anymore, so just in case you’re a newcomer and you’ve never seen a Steelshod post before… click here to start at the beginning
This is the latest chapter out of several hundred, and I don’t think it will make much sense without context. This isn’t an episodic story so much as one long narrative.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy yourself, and I’ll see you back here in good time. If not, no big deal. But I think if you start here you’re going to be very, very lost.
Table of Contents – includes earlier installments, maps, character sheets, our discord server, and other documents.
First Previous
Victoria
World map
Here is a general lore doc including character profiles and here is a basic roster showing who’s where, and who is a PC: Steelshod Roster!
Note for Binge-Readers: This is generally live-updated to reflect the current state of the game! Hopefully if you’re binging you can keep better track of who’s going where, because you just recently read about them going there.
Ronald’s Basin
Steelshod hunkers down in the Basin after the events of their meeting with the Collar of Thorns.
They have several wounded after the battle with the fiendwolves, and Agrippa monitors them closely.
The most serious injury is probably Levin, whose face has been badly shredded. Still, he doesn’t seem too upset about it. He endures his bedrest with stoic silence.
The weather is still inclement, with rolling storms and generally pervasive fog, clouds and light rainfall
The shitty weather hampers their efforts to beef up the fortifications in the Basin, but they do the best they can.
However, the day after they returned from the party, they are visited by a moderately-sized group of Wncari.
It’s a few dozen warriors leading a couple carts of goods, and at the head of them is a man named Fearghal.
He was at the party—the one that agreed to come by the Basin for a prisoner exchange.
Steelshod is holding his (wife’s) nephew and three of his warriors, and he wants them back.
He has held true to the tentative negotiations they made during the party, and brought a considerable amount of his clan’s leatherwork.
Early in the negotiation, Fearghal addresses the unspoken tension in the air.
He says he left the party before the fight with the fiendwolves was underway, but he comments to Cyril that he heard about what happened.
He asks if they intend any sort of vengeance.
Cyril just smiles acidly. “Vengeance for what?” he asks. “All of our people survived.”
Point taken.
Fearghal decides to trust that his people will be safe enough here, and the negotiations get underway.
He agrees to trade leather gear—jerkins, bits of armor, belts, and so on—for Steelshod in the exchange.
His people end up staying the night in the Basin, at Cara’s allowance.
This gives them time to fit some of their goods to specific members, at Cyril’s direction.
Privately, Cyril tells Cara that his plan is for them to have some Wncari garb that they might use for some future ruse or disguise—maybe it will never come to pass, but it seems more strategically valuable than a couple hundred silver pieces, and it’s not like they really want to keep the prisoners.
If nothing else, it buys goodwill with Fearghal’s kin, and that’s not to be discounted.
They still hope to undermine Partholon and Dolan, so that perhaps they can make peace between Victoria and the rest of the Collar.
The trade goes smoothly, and a day later Fearghal and his people withdraw back to the forests.
After that, they continue hunkering down in the Basin, healing their wounded.
At this point, Yorrin has an idea. Or more accurately, the idea belongs to ihaveaterribleplan
He decides to roll his Spy Network check to see what he has to play with right now.
He rolls a 19. As you probably remember, Yorrin can nudge rolls up or down 1 point at the cost of damage to Yorrin or some other consequence.
Damage makes no sense here, but I have a great idea for a consequence.
I suggest that if he takes the nudge and makes this a critical, the consequence will be that any Spy Network uses this session will be done either through, or at least with the awareness of, Athos.
To remind you, Athos is the mysterious agent that has been operating against Steelshod’s interests in Victoria.
He probably works for Khashar’s Serpentes
Not a friend of Steelshod’s
But neither is he likely to be a friend of Partholon
Worth it, Plan decides. Athos is a problem for tomorrow, Partholon is the problem of today.
With that decided, he has a huge pool of Spymaster points to work with
He spends a lot of them immediately, to generate a specialist.
He wants this specialist to be particularly focused in two of Yorrin’s skills: Engineering (particularly fortifications), and Endurance.
He wants the guy to have a military background, knowledge of engineering, siegecraft, and particularly how to do such things in adversity
Plan posits a suggestion for the guy’s narrative role:
He’s an older Cassaline that came up in the legions and retired to Victoria a decade ago. He used to work with Ignus, many years ago, and he’s been vaguely aware of Steelshod for a while now. Once he heard they were here, working with Victoria, he decided to see if they needed any help.
Thus is born Luigi Gallo. A skilled Cassaline engineer with a few tiers under his belt.
Luigi rides up to the Basin about a day after the Wncari leatherworkers leave.
He is quickly ushered inside and brought to meet with Cyril, Cara, and Perrin.
When Luigi mentions that he used to work with Ignus, Cyril asks him about the experience.
Luigi says Ignus was always a bit… eccentric. Innovative, but often upsetting his superiors with his experiments.
He always figured Ignus would one day become an eccentric madman, or a genius.
Cyril chuckles, and asks “what is the difference?”
Luigi shrugs, says “Whether your wings melt, I suppose?”
It turns out Luigi was visiting an old friend in Victoria over a decade ago, when he fell in love and decided not to leave.
He has grown quite fond of the place. He says in many ways, despite their pride in having thrown off the Empire, Victoria has preserved more old Cassaline traditions than any other Middish kingdom.
He loves it there. And he has been concerned to see the refugees fleeing the outskirts of Victoria’s territory, the farmers displaced by savage barbarian raiders.
And so he has come to offer his help. They ask how much he wants to be paid, and he shrugs.
He makes a good living drawing up blueprints for buildings, and he has employees to construct them with little input from him.
It is a good living and it requires little of his labor. He is not in urgent need of funds.
And, as mentioned, Steelshod seems to be here to help Victoria, which is now his home.
Perrin and Cyril welcome Luigi into the fold with great pleasure.
He’s nowhere near the engineer Ignus is, or the master of fortifications and siegecraft that Mucker is
But he’s had some classical training, which is better than anyone else here.
He says he’s not likely to be able to help them with large-scale weaponry.
But he spent a good amount of time in the field back in Cassala, and he has lots of experience with simple field fortifications
Trenches, simple walls, etc. And he has plenty of experience doing these things in any sort of inclement weather, too.
The plains between Cassala and Spatalia see heavy rainfall.
That’s good enough for them.
With Luigi’s help consulting, Cyril and Perrin are able to get back to work building up the defenses of the Basin despite the difficulties posed by the storms and rain.
While they continue fortifying Ronald’s Basin, they also send out more scouting parties to try to keep abreast of the Collar of Thorns.
Plan also burns the remainder of his Spy Network to piggyback off of the mysterious one-eyed coin that they were given at the party.
He asks if he can spend the points to ensure that there are a few savvy, competent members of that Wncari clan that are skeptical of Partholon and Dolan’s leadership, and are spreading the word of the more questionable decisions made at the party
Spreading word that Steelshod was assured of hospitality, and then attacked by Partholon’s creatures.
This is a reasonable usage of the power, so no arguments there. There are definitely at least a couple of sympathetic folk among the Collar, as I’ve already indicated.
So I confirm that a couple of competent agents amongst the Wncari are now undermining Partholon’s reputation.
The first forays of scouts return.
They did not cross paths with any warriors, though they occasionally crossed tracks that they presume were small Collar of Thorns hunting parties.
The most notable discovery one scouting party mentions is that they spotted, at some distance, a small Wncari settlement in the forest.
It was secluded, but they got close enough to make out maybe a dozen small, simple shelters and a few people moving about.
The scouts decided not to approach any closer—they saw no sign of warriors, so they decided that either
A) the settlement was essentially unguarded civilians, not anyone Steelshod would be interested in harassing
And/Or
B) the settlement was guarded by Collar warriors waiting to ambush anyone that got too close, well-hidden enough that the scouts could not identify them and therefore potentially vulnerable to them.
The scouts confirm they could probably find the settlement again, assuming it’s not temporary. But Cara says to give it some room for now—she doesn’t see any value in striking at a small Wncari village.
So they continue to send out scouts, trying to find anything of more strategic value.
Agrippa has an idea of something they can try, so he arranges a private meeting with Cyril
And I mean private
Concerned at Partholon’s possible ability to spy at them using supernatural means, he asks Cyril to play a card game with him that he learned from Hubert
While they play, Agrippa produces a sheet of vellum and begins passing notes to Cyril in Cassaline, in which they are both literate.
This way, even if Partholon has eyes on them, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to observe this.
Agrippa makes a few vague strategy suggestions—he leaves the details for Cyril to figure out, he just wants to give some general thoughts he had.
Perhaps more importantly, he begins instituting similar rules for critical information exchanges going forward
For example, when he comes up with a new idea for a defensive engineering project, he discusses it with Luigi via notes.
And Luigi begins writing up plans for executing on the idea.
Cyril wants some mobile defensive structures to be built—he’s thinking of certain anti-horse tools right now… since the Collar of Thorns raiders seem to have a fair number of small, sturdy horses.
And, more importantly, the ideas Cyril has could probably be adapted for use against fiendwolves as well.
To support Luigi, he polls their recruits for anyone with metalworking experience, and gets a few men with some skill at various kinds of crafting. No full blacksmiths, but probably sufficiently skilled to be able to build what Cyril envisions.
A couple days pass.
They brought enough food with them to support their fighting force for a solid two weeks and change, but that time is rapidly approaching
Cyril and Cara want to stay ahead of it, so they decide to arrange a supply run.
Prudence takes one of the ulfskennar—Froyr, one of the quieter of the pack, but a good hunter—as well as Skogg and ten of their hired Victorian woodsmen.
Her orders are straightforward: return to Victoria, secure a fresh supply caravan, and return.
It will take the better part of a day to get back to the city, so they expect her to be gone for several days overall.
Another day, one of their scouting parties has a close call.
When scouting along the forest edge, they catch sight of the edge of a large force of Collar warriors.
At a distance, they reckon it to be about a hundred fighters—the scouting party is about ten men, so they keep their distance and try to observe without engaging.
They think they may have been spotted, but they were able to fall back and not get caught out
The warriors didn’t seem that interested in them—they quickly returned to their previous path, and withdrew into the forest.
They report this event to Cyril and point out where it happened, along the northern edge of the forest, and Cyril suggests that they send another scouting party out to take a look at the northern Cassaline ruin, the “Old Tower” that Steelshod cleared of the Collar several days earlier
Cyril is curious to see if maybe they’ve re-inhabited it.
He sends out several small groups to sweep the region north of the forest, with the two main groups led by Felix and Amos respectively.
Felix and Amos’s teams approach the Old Tower from stealth, and manage to catch the inhabitants with their guard down.
It’s not even a full war party of thirteen—it’s just three men, lookouts of some kind.
They surrender immediately when Steelshod closes the noose on the tower.
Felix catches two of them, and Amos’s group catches the third.
Felix and Amos, of course, go way back… in another life, Felix hunted Amos through the wilds of Chatsworth’s territory.
They engage in some good-natured competition here, each trying to show up the other in how cleanly and effectively they take the captives and scout the area
Although it’s been raining steadily, they do still find some readable tracks in the region
They see the telltale signs of a large force having passed through here, doubtless the hundred-or-more sized group that the scouts saw the previous day of scouting.
It looks like the large force did not come to or from the Old Tower, however
They passed nearby, coming from the north and passing south.
As a reminder, here is the area around the Old Tower
Felix decides they should follow the trail north—they already know the group went into the forest, but where were they coming from?
So they follow the path as it takes them north across the small river here, and then west.
The tracks lead them to the small fishing village situated on the banks of the Ironblood.
This place, Creekside, has been largely abandoned every time Steelshod has passed by
Presumably the inhabitants already fled to Victoria, or were killed by the Collar when hostilities first began escalating some months ago.
But when they arrive in the village this time, they find something surprising.
Corpses, and the clear sign of a battle.
They find not a single living soul, however.
So they examine the whole area in as much detail as they can
Amos and Felix are both expert trackers, so they put their heads together to try to understand what, exactly, happened here.
Here are some things that they find:
Some indication that people were once again sleeping in the village huts, but only very briefly. Cookfires showing a bit of recent use, fresh ash, some fresh bedrolls laid out in the huts, things like that.
The dead have been somewhat ripped up by carrion eaters, but they seem to have been dead for no more than a day, and much of them is still recognizable.
They’re dressed in clothing cut and colored in a Ruskan style, and broadly seem to fall into three categories: men in simple, cheap clothing; men wearing bits of armor, with weapons nearby; men dressed well in sodden, bloodstained finery.
No insignias, flags, badges, tabards, or other markings to identify any noble house or similar, however. Felix decides the three types of corpses are most likely laborers, mercenaries, and wealthy free men. A merchant caravan, perhaps?
They also find various tools left discarded on the ground, most notably several lathes and scrapers along with piles of discarded rotten wood, mud, algae, and other slop.
And one section of the shore has several heavy logs lined up along it leading out to the shallows.
Felix and Amos grew up in the Chatsworth region, near the seaside trading port of Chipspool as well as the hidden away Smuggler’s Cove in Breaker Bay.
Some of these details look familiar to them, and they eventually put together that there must have been a ship that was brought up onto the shore for some sort of repairs or cleaning.
These men died all around where it must have been
But the ship itself is gone now—either some of the ship’s men survived the attack and managed to push off, or the Wncari decided to take the ship themselves for some reason
Felix has their three captive Collar scouts brought forth, and he pressures them
It doesn’t take long for one of them to break
He explains that the Wncari had spotted a ship docked here for several days, and yesterday Dolan sent out a war party of his laochra. They slaughtered the defenders and took the ship.
That’s basically all he knows. He has no clue what Dolan wanted with a ship.
He has been watching from the Old Tower for days now, so he was not involved in the actual war party itself.
The other two prisoners glare at the talker, but Felix gives the guy a gruff thanks.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more they can learn at this point, so they both finish scouting the area and then fall back to the Basin.
Once they get back, they turn in the prisoners and report their findings to the others.
Agrippa suggests that they send a message to Yerevan to tell the bayard what they found, in case Yerevan decides to retaliate with force against the Collar.
Not a bad idea… Bayard Naksava isn’t exactly known for his aggression, but it’s worth a try. They write a letter to send him via a regular courier.
The next morning, before they send out their scouts, the sentries on the wall spot a small group of riders coming in.
Once they get close enough, it’s clear they are a group of warriors of the Collar of Thorns. When they get in earshot, one of them calls out that he’s heard they have some of his kin held captive.
They confirm names—just to get some basic reassurance that he isn’t lying—and then invite him in to negotiate the release of the prisoners.
The guy doing the talking—clearly some kind of leader—agrees instantly, dismounting and leaving his fellows behind.
He says his name is Finnegan.
They bring him in, and ask if he’d like food and drink. He shrugs, says that sounds nice.
They start to take him to one of the main meeting halls.
Felix notices immediately that Finnegan is actively surveying the inside of the Basin, eyes scanning all of the buildings. It looks like he is scoping out the place.
Felix acidly asks Finnegan if he’d like a floor plan.
The Wncar chuckles, says no, but asks if they could take their meal, not in the meeting hall, but in a different building.
He points at the old chapel in Ronald’s Basi. It’s a stone building that dates back to the early spread of the Torathi faith, kept in good repair.
An odd request, but Felix shrugs and agrees.
Soon they are sitting in the chapel, and some basic refreshments are brought.
Finnegan sprinkles some salt on his food and takes a single, deliberate bite of each kind of food they bring him
Then he draws out a flask of his own liquor and pours drinks for himself and the others.
They share in his whisky, a brew that burns fiercely on the way down.
There was some ritual to Finnegan’s eating and drinking, and when it’s done, he pushes the remainder away and begins talking.
He tells them they have two of his men held prisoner, and he’d like to get them back…
But perhaps more importantly, he’s hoping they got his coin
Everyone sits up straight at that.
The Caedian shilling with the eye gouged out—the symbol they got at the party.
Finnegan tells them that he has some distant kin amongst the Cuig Dorn clan in the Caedian hills—one of the clans within Cara’s father’s fledgeling Wncari kingdom.
He’s heard how things have gone for them… for all the Wncari near Caedia
And as far as he can tell, their people gotten themselves a much better situation than the Collar has, and they’ve done it with a lot less bloodshed and death than seems to be Partholon and Dolan’s plan.
At the frank statement, Perrin asks if Finnegan maybe should be speaking a bit more carefully… they’re still unsure of just how much Partholon can observe them.
Finnegan says they should be alright. Aye, they say Partholon can see and hear through the land… but this building is old. Made of stones dedicated to a foreign god. Partholon should not be able to observe them here.
They accept that, and they speak freely with him
What does he want from them? If he is their ally within the Collar, how can they help him?
Finnegan isn’t too sure. He has no desire to ask for them to make any grand commitments to him.
He just wants peace with Victoria. He has to speak carefully around his kin, and he is not confident he can bring even his entire clan with him, much less the rest of the Collar.
But the idea of a deal like the one between Caedia and their Wncari clans appeals to him. Recognition of sovereignty, establishing some sort of borders based on current territory, and so on.
Partholon’s dream of covering the land in the One Forest is madness. Dolan’s dream of conquering Victoria is, as well.
Cyril asks Finnegan if he knows anything about the ship that his people took recently
Finnegan is surprised they already know about it, but he confirms what Steelshod already suspected.
Dolan had his people take a ship from the Ironblood and bring it into the Forest.
They ask if Finnegan knows where the ship is now—he doesn’t, but he can guess. There’s only a few places in the forest where the river Victorians call “Argentum” has decent portage. Much of the river valley that passes between the One Forest is in a deep ravine, but closer to where it reaches the Ironblood there are a few places.
They get Finnegan to mark his guesses on a map.
After that, they try to figure out how many other potential allies they have within the Collar
Finnegan isn’t sure they have many.
In particular—while Dolan is a bit more controversial, Partholon is deeply respected and feared across most of the Collar.
The Taoiseach—the collection of clan chiefs like Finnegan, that are each ostensibly on equal voting footing with Dolan and Partholon—virtually never go against either man.
Partholon in particular.
While the Druid an Fáinne lives, Finnegan suspects that the Taoiseach will continue to listen to him, and only agree to peace if he does.
Which of course sparks a related discussion: Partholon lives, even after he was beheaded.
How?
Finnegan shrugs. He doesn’t really know.
But it is a widely held belief that the Druid an Fáinne cannot truly die so long as he still has Bánánach’s favor.
Steelshod was afraid the answer would be something like that.
Perhaps they will simply need to capture him and imprison him so thoroughly he has no way of escape
Finnegan seems to wince at that… he is not sure that this will break the spirits of his people. Just as likely, it could drive them to greater fervor.
They ask if anyone other than Partholon has met with this Bánánach, the Collar’s Living God.
He says that a few of Partholon’s most trusted disciples, maybe, but none other.
They ask if Finnegan knows where Bánánach might be. He shrugs. No, not really.
Somewhere in the deepest, darkest heart of the forest, surely.
One of the deepest places that most of the Collar are not permitted to go.
He is able to point out a few such places, very roughly, on their map.
All the places he marks are in the South Forest, though. They ask if there are no such places in the North Forest.
Finnegan says, no, there are such places in the North Forest. But he does not think that they are where Bánánach lives.
Speaking about such places, however…
That sort of brings to mind the real reason Finnegan came here to speak with them today.
He explains that the Mac Tíre Ocracha—the wolf creatures they fought—have always been part of the Collar’s lore.
But he’d never heard of them fighting alongside the Collar until very recently.
The old stories were something different.
Stories of a curse that befell hunters that ventured into darkest parts of the North Forest.
Men that disappeared for days, and came back… changed.
Slew their kin, and eventually disappeared or died.
Finnegan says he’d never seen such a man himself—they were just stories.
Until fairly recently, when Partholon came to the Taoiseach and told them that he could grant great power to chosen Laochra.
And those that were chosen, changed, just like in the old stories.
Some say it is a favor of Bánánach, but that doesn’t sit right with Finnegan.
It was always spoken of as some sort of curse, not a blessing.
Clan lore claims that the first Mac Tíre Ocrach was a man named Conall, many generations back. That his resting place is somewhere deep in the north side of the One Forest.
Until now, Finnegan had thought little of Conall. A monster buried out in the woods, his spirit haunting it and cursing those that displease the One Forest.
But there’s more to it than that.
Yesterday, Partholon came to the Taoiseach and told them of his new plan.
He hand-picked a group of laochra—likely men he has changed to Fiendwolves, Finnegan assumes.
Along with one of his close disciples in the Old Ways, one of his druids.
He has sent them deep into the forest
With orders to unearth Conall and bring him back.
Finnegan speaks in a low tone, obviously afraid.
If Conall is real, and if Partholon believes him to be then Finnegan believes it too, then he is a monster.
Whatever this team finds out there… it will lead to more bloodshed. More death.
Finnegan shudders.
This is why he came today.
He wanted to tell Steelshod, so that perhaps they can do something about it.
Cyril says to Cara—and the other Steelshod in general—that this might be better news than they think.
First of all, it likely means that Partholon is uncomfortable with his latest confrontations with Steelshod.
They must have pushed him, scared him, into doubting his ability to defeat them.
Or at least doubting his ability to defeat them without it costing a high price, one that could hamper his other plans.
Cyril can only assume, further, that Partholon had been leaving this off the table previously for a reason.
If this Conall was purely a valuable tool, it seems unlikely he would have waited until now to retrieve him
So perhaps Conall is unreliable in some way, or difficult to control.
That could be good for Steelshod—maybe there’s an inroad there. And it could be even worse for Steelshod—if Conall is actually more dangerous than Partholon already is.
In the end, as unfortunate as it is, Cyril’s opinion is that they have no choice but to try to intervene.
They must try to intercept this group. Interrupt their recovery of Conall.
It is a gamble, inherently. Partholon’s team has a headstart. They presumably know their destination better. They know the forest better. They must know more about Conall, too.
There are many reasons why it could be very dangerous.
But if they leave them alone, then they lose any opportunity to stop it. Partholon presumably gets his new ally, and their situation here gets that much more dangerous.
Cyril sees it as a risk they must take.
Agrippa points out that if they act immediately, they could also be putting Finnegan’s life in considerable danger.
Finnegan isn’t sure what to say about that initially
He hadn’t really considered that angle yet.
But he agrees with Cyril. He came here to tell them so that they’d intervene.
The risk to him...
He’s not sure what to say.
He pauses, and nobody has any great suggestions.
Cara and Agrippa take this lull as a chance to pivot topics for a moment
And ask Finnegan a few more questions about the Fiendwolves.
Has he known any of the men that have been changed? Did their personality change? Did they remain themselves? And, Cara asks, can they change back? They haven’t seen any of them do so.
Finnegan nods. He has known a few. Afric, for one.
Afric remained himself. His memories and personality remained. But he did change. He was more… angry. Violent. Unpredictable.
Yes, they can change back from beast to man. Though, Finnegan says, they are said to not live very long.
Some say it’s a shortened lifespan, others say they can only transform so many times before they die. But Finnegan doesn’t know for sure.
He’s inclined to believe it is somewhat true, however. When Afric went to meet Steelshod, Finnegan says the man knew he was going to die.
His goal was to make an impression, kill the man that killed Partholon, and die.
Felix snorts. “Well, he accomplished exactly one o’ those”
“Nooo,” Cara objects. “He got two of ‘em! He made an impression, and he died!”
Finnegan sighs.
He tells them that, as far as protecting him goes… they shouldn’t.
It’s more important to him that this ends without Steelshod and Victoria wiping out his people
If that costs his life… so be it.
Cyril asks if he’d be willing to fully defect. Not return home, but rather turn entirely.
Maybe they give him a few hours to return home and gather as many as he can, bring them back here.
Steelshod could then protect him.
Agrippa comments that Cyril is turning into a softy.
Cyril shrugs. He is just laying out options.
In his opinion, the best option is that they let Finnegan go back, and remain their double agent.
Then they send out lots of large raiding parties into the forest, with only one of them actually heading for the location Finnegan suggests.
The rest just being a fog cover, groups picking fights with Collar in the woods, so that Partholon assumes they stumbled upon the group sent after Conall.
But this option will likely cost the most lives, for Steelshod and their Victorian troops.
Picking fights in the Collar’s forest is dangerous, especially going in basically blind.
They will lose men, doing this.
Cara floats another idea.
Maybe they just put a knife to Finnegan’s throat.
Force him to lead them through the forest.
Finnegan’s eyes widen, but she keeps explaining.
They make Finnegan lead them out there
When they get close, they slip up and Finnegan manages to give them the slip
He reports back to Dolan and Partholon that he was trying to negotiate the release of his men, and traded Steelshod some scrap of intel... but then Steelshod violated hospitality, took him hostage, and forced him to take them there directly.
Basically: They give him some plausible explanation for the treachery, make it seem like Steelshod forced him
Finnegan likes this plan.
It’s very possible he could still pay with his life… but probably not.
He is a clan head, a member of the Taoiseach. Most likely, he would simply be somewhat disgraced and out of favor.
Either way, he’s willing to risk his life. Much preferable to him betraying them outright and his entire clan potentially paying a heavy cost.
They decide this is the deception they will go with.
Finnegan is pretty stone-cold, and Cyril’s read on him is that he won’t crack short of intense torture.
This is accurate. After all, I basically created Finnegan in a previous session as a response to another Yorrin Spy Network use. He’s their main competent man on the inside, and he has a fair share of covert skills.
Even so, they float few ways they can try to help Finnegan sell it
First, they will give him some intel on Steelshod to feed to Partholon and Dolan. If he can point out that even as he was held captive he tried to notice anything of value, that will help sell his loyalty to the Collar.
They’ll give him some info on their defenses, and their sentry patterns. They can always change them later.
Even better, Agrippa has the idea to further sell it by hitting Finnegan with some of the Black Wizards sorcery.
Specifically, an Essence of Joy that Yorrin left in Cyril’s inventory.
They can genuinely dose Finnegan with that, so there’s no need to make it up at all. If Partholon has any way of checking for the truth of the claim, he will find it to be true.
They won’t be letting him “escape” until they are deep in the forest, many hours later, more than enough time for the dose to wear off.
And so, a short time later, Felix steps up on the walls in plain view of Finnegan’s men.
He has Finnegan with him, hands tied behind him, and he has a blade to Finnegan’s throat.
Felix tells them to fuck off back home, and that Steelshod will be holding onto Finnegan.
Finnegan nods drunkenly, still high on Essence of Joy, and tells his men he’ll be fine.
They shout angrily, accuse Steelshod of violating guest rights, and begin readying bows.
Felix presses the knife closer, the other folk on the walls ready their own bows, and Finnegan sloppily calls down to his men to stand down
One of his men asks what they’ve done to him, and Felix tells them again to toddle off.
But they insist, and eventually Cara relents. She tells them that the Black Wizard—they have heard of him, at least, haven’t they?—has ensorcelled Finnegan.
He’ll do as they say. Cara promises that they’ll let him go when they’re finished with him… as long as these men leave.
Finnegan’s men are reluctant, but they decide they can’t do much for him right now
So they flee, vowing vengeance if Steelshod kills their clan chief.
With that, Steelshod takes a few minutes to assemble a considerable force.
And then they strike out, following the drugged up Finnegan’s lead
As he tries to lead them to Conall’s Rest.
Hey all!
It's been a while. It took a while to meet again, and then it took a while to get the post written up.
This arc has been more twisty than I initially expected, but overall it’s been pretty solid from my perspective. I am still really enjoying the chance to fuck with Steelshod with a powerful enemy that is substantially different from a lot of their more recent foes.
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2020.10.18 23:28 MudassirMEMD Blasphemy punishment in Islam: Sharia, Hadith, and Quran verses

Sharia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_blasphemy#Traditional_jurisprudence
Hanafi – views blasphemy as synonymous with apostasy, and therefore, accepts the repentance of apostates. Those who refuse to repent, their punishment is death if the blasphemer is a Muslim man, and if the blasphemer is a woman, she must be imprisoned with coercion (beating) till she repents and returns to Islam.] Imam Abu Hanifa opined that a non-Muslim can not be killed for committing blasphemy. Other sources say his punishment must be a tazir (discretionary, can be death, arrest, caning, etc.).
 
Maliki – view blasphemy as an offense distinct from, and more severe than apostasy. Death is mandatory in cases of blasphemy for Muslim men, and repentance is not accepted. For women, death is not the punishment suggested, but she is arrested and punished till she repents and returns to Islam or dies in custody. A non-Muslim who commits blasphemy against Islam must be punished; however, the blasphemer can escape punishment by converting and becoming a devout Muslim.
 
Hanbali – view blasphemy as an offense distinct from, and more severe than apostasy. Death is mandatory in cases of blasphemy, for both Muslim men and women, and repentance is not accepted.
 
Shafi’i – recognizes blasphemy as a separate offense from apostasy, but accepts the repentance of blasphemers. If the blasphemer does not repent, the punishment is death.
 
Ja'fari (Shia) – views blasphemy against Islam, the Prophet, or any of the Imams, to be punishable with death, if the blasphemer is a Muslim. In case the blasphemer is a non-Muslim, he is given a chance to convert to Islam, or else killed
 
 

Hadith and Quran sources:

The following are 3 Hadiths where Muhammad gave the OK to kill people who "maligned" him, "disparaged" him, and hurt him with evil statements about his family.
 
1) Sahih Muslim Book 32, 146 - http://sunnah.com/muslim/32/146
TLDR: Muhammad ordered the murder of someone who had said bad things about him, and he even told one of the target's former friends that it was OK to tell lies in order to do it.
It has been narrated on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Who will kill Ka'b b. Ashraf? He has maligned Allah, the Exalted, and His Messenger. Muhammad b. Maslama said: Messenger of Allah, do you wish that I should kill him? He said: Yes. He said: Permit me to talk (to him in the way I deem fit). He said: Talk (as you like). So, Muhammad b. Maslama came to Ka'b and talked to him, referred to the old friendship between them and said: This man (i. e. the Holy Prophet) has made up his mind to collect charity (from us) and this has put us to a great hardship. When be heard this, Ka'b said: By God, you will be put to more trouble by him. Muhammad b. Maslama said: No doubt, now we have become his followers and we do not like to forsake him until we see what turn his affairs will take. I want that you should give me a loan. He said: What will you mortgage? He said: What do you want? He said: Pledge me your women. He said: You are the most handsome of the Arabs; should we pledge our women to you? He said: Pledge me your children. He said: The son of one of us may abuse us saying that he was pledged for two wasqs of dates, but we can pledge you (cur) weapons. He said: All right. Then Muhammad b. Maslama promised that he would come to him with Harith, Abu 'Abs b. Jabr and Abbad b. Bishr. So they came and called upon him at night. He came down to them. Sufyan says that all the narrators except 'Amr have stated that his wife said: I hear a voice which sounds like the voice of murder. He said: It is only Muhammad b. Maslama and his foster-brother, Abu Na'ila. When a gentleman is called at night even it to be pierced with a spear, he should respond to the call. Muhammad said to his companions: As he comes down, I will extend my hands towards his head and when I hold him fast, you should do your job. So when he came down and he was holding his cloak under his arm, they said to him: We sense from you a very fine smell. He said: Yes, I have with me a mistress who is the most scented of the women of Arabia. He said: Allow me to smell (the scent on your head). He said: Yes, you may smell. So he caught it and smelt. Then he said: Allow me to do so (once again). He then held his head fast and said to his companions: Do your job. And they killed him.
See also: http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/84
 
2) Sahih Bukhari Book 64, #185 - http://sunnah.com/bukhari/64/185
TLDR: Muhammad asks Muslims to "relieve" him of a man who said "evil statements" about his family.
…So, on that day, Allah's Apostle got up on the pulpit and complained about 'Abdullah bin Ubai (bin Salul) before his companions, saying, 'O you Muslims! Who will relieve me from that man who has hurt me with his evil statement about my family? By Allah, I know nothing except good about my family and they have blamed a man about whom I know nothing except good and he used never to enter my home except with me.' Sad bin Mu'adh the brother of Banu 'Abd Al-Ashhal got up and said, 'O Allah's Apostle! I will relieve you from him; if he is from the tribe of Al-Aus, then I will chop his head off, and if he is from our brothers, i.e. Al-Khazraj, then order us, and we will fulfill your order.' …
Doesn't this sort of hadith encourage Muslims to defend Muhammad's honor at all costs?
 
3) Sunan Abu-Dawud Book 40 #11 - http://sunnah.com/abudawud/40/11
TLDR: Muhammad said it was OK when a man killed his pregnant slave wife for slandering Muhammad.
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) was informed about it. He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up. He sat before the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her. Thereupon the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.
 
 
Quran 33:57-61:
Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment.
And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.
O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time:
They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy).
What exactly does it mean when it says that Allah "curses them in this world"? Some Muslim scholars have taken this to justify punishments of blasphemers.
 
Quran 5:33
Muslim scholars have also used verse 5:33 to justify the punishment of blasphemers:
The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful
 
Note: These are the Yusuf Ali translations (possibly most popular translation in the world). For other translations you can go to: http://quranx.com/33.57-61 and click the other translations on the top left.
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2020.10.18 11:45 42-pigeons-on-reddit Day 2 of posting entire cosmos epsiode (1980) scripts - ep 2

All my life I’ve wondered about life beyond the Earth. On those countless other planets that we think circle other suns, is there also life? Might the beings of other worlds resemble us or would they be astonishingly different? What would they be made of? In the vast Milky Way galaxy how common is what we call life? The nature of life on Earth and the quest for life elsewhere are the two sides of the same question: the search for who we are. All living things on Earth are made of organic molecules, a complex microscopic architecture built around atoms of carbon. In the great dark between the stars there also are organic molecules in immense clouds of gas and dust. And inside such clouds there are batches of new worlds just forming. Their surfaces are very likely covered with organic molecules. These molecules almost certainly are not made by life although, they are the stuff of life. On suitable worlds, they may lead to life. Organic matter is abundant throughout the cosmos, produced by the same chemistry everywhere. Perhaps, given enough time, the origin and evolution of life is inevitable on every clement world. There will surely be some planets too hostile for life. On others, it may arise and die out, or never evolve beyond its simplest forms. And on some small fraction of worlds there may develop intelligences and civilizations more advanced than ours. All life on our planet is closely related. We have a common organic chemistry and a common evolutionary heritage, and so our biologists are profoundly limited. They study a single biology, one lonely theme in the music of life. Is it the only voice for thousands of light years or is there a cosmic fugue, a billion different voices playing the life music of the galaxy? This blue world is where we grew up. There was once a time before life. Our planet is now burgeoning with life. How did it come about? How were organic molecules originally made? How did life evolve to produce beings as elaborate and complex as we, able to explore the mystery of our own origins? Let me tell you a story about one little phrase in the music of life on Earth. In the history of humans, in the 12th century, Japan was ruled by a clan of warriors called the Heike. The nominal leader of the Heike, the emperor of Japan, was a seven-year-old boy named Antoku. His guardian was his grandmother, the Lady Nii. The Heike were engaged in a long and bloody war with another Samurai clan, the Genji. Each asserted a superior ancestral claim to the imperial throne. Their decisive encounter occurred at Dannoura in the Japanese Inland Sea on April 24 in the year 1185. The Heike were badly outnumbered and outmaneuvered. With their cause clearly lost, the surviving Heike warriors threw themselves into the sea and drowned. The emperor’s grandmother, the Lady Nii, resolved that they would not be captured by the enemy. What happened next is related in The Tale of the Heike. The young emperor asked the Lady Nii, “Where are you to take me?” She turned to the youthful sovereign with tears streaming down her cheeks and comforted him. Blinded with tears, the child sovereign put his beautiful small hands together. He turned first to the east to say farewell to the god of Ise, and then to the west to recite the Nambutsu, a prayer to the Amida Buddha. The Lady Nii took him in her arms, and with the words “In the depths of the ocean is our capital” sank with him at last beneath the waves. The destruction of the Heike battle fleet at Dannoura marked the end of the clan’s thirty-year rule. The Heike all but vanished from history. Only 43 Heike survived; all women. These former ladies-in-waiting of the Imperial Court were reduced to selling flowers and other favors to the fishermen near the scene of the battle. These women and their offspring by the fishermen established a festival to commemorate the battle. To this day, every year, on the 24th of April, their descendants proceed to the Akama shrine which contains the mausoleum of the drowned seven-year-old emperor Antoku. There, they conduct a ceremony of remembrance for the life and death of the Heike warriors. But there is a strange postscript to this story. The fishermen say that the Heike samurai wander the bottom of the Inland Sea still, in the form of crabs. There are crabs here which have curious markings on their backs; patterns which resemble a human face with the aggressive scowl of a samurai warrior from medieval Japan. These Heike crabs, when caught, are not eaten. They are thrown back into the sea in commemoration of the doleful events of the battle of Dannoura. This legend raises a lovely problem: how does it come about that the face of a warrior is cut on the carapace of a Japanese crab? How could it be? The answer seems to be that humans made this face. But how? Like many other features, the patterns on the back—or carapace—of this crab are inherited. But among crabs, as among humans, there are different hereditary lines. Now suppose, purely by chance, among the distant ancestors of this crab, there came to be one which looked just a little bit like a human face. Long before the battle, fishermen may have been reluctant to eat a crab with a human face. In throwing it back into the sea they were setting into motion a process of selection. If you’re a crab and your carapace is just ordinary, the humans are gonna eat you. But if it looks a little bit like a face they’ll throw you back, and you can have lots of baby crabs that all look just like you. As many generations passed—of crabs and fisher-folk alike—the crabs with patterns that looked most like a samurai face preferentially survived until, eventually, there was produced not just a human face, not just a Japanese face, but the face of a samurai warrior. All this has nothing to do with what the crabs might want. Selection is imposed from the outside. The more you look like a samurai, the better your chances of survival. Eventually, there are a lot of crabs that look like samurai warriors. This process is called artificial selection. In the case of the Heike crab, it was effected more or less unconsciously by the fishermen, and certainly without any serious contemplation by the crabs. Humans, for thousands of years, have deliberately selected which plants and animals shall live. We’re surrounded with farm and domestic animals, fruits, vegetables. Where do they come from? Were they once free-living in their present form in the wild and then induced to adopt some less strenuous life on the farm? No. They are, almost all of them, made by us. The essence of artificial selection for a horse, or a cow, a grain of rice, or a Heike crab is this: many characteristics are inherited. They breed true. Humans encourage the reproduction of some varieties and discourage the reproduction of others. The variety selected for eventually becomes abundant. The variety selected against becomes rare, maybe extinct. But if artificial selection makes such changes in only a few thousand years, what must natural selection—working for billions of years—be capable of? The answer is all the beauty and diversity in the biological world. That life evolved over the ages is clear from the changes we’ve made in the beasts and vegetables, but also from the record in the rocks. The fossil evidence speaks to us unambiguously of creatures that were once present in enormous numbers and that have now vanished utterly. There are far more species that have become extinct than exist today. They are the terminated experiments in evolution. These guys, for example—the trilobites—appeared 600 million years ago. They were around for 300 million years. They’re all gone. There’s none left. But in those old rocks there are no fossils of people or cattle. We’ve evolved only recently. Evolution is a fact, not a theory. It really happened. That the mechanism of evolution is natural selection was the great discovery of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Here’s how it works: nature is prolific, there are many more creatures that are born than can possibly survive. So those varieties which are, by accident, less well adapted don’t survive, or at least they leave fewer offspring. Now, mutations—sudden changes in heredity—are passed on. They breed true. The environment selects those occasional mutations which enhance survival. And the resulting series of slow changes in the nature of living beings is the origin of new species. Well, many people were scandalized by the ideas of evolution and natural selection. Our ancestors looked at the intricacy and the beauty of life and saw evidence for a great designer. The simplest organism is a far more complex machine than the finest pocket watch. And yet, pocket watches don’t spontaneously self-assemble or evolve in slow stages on their own from, say, grandfather clocks. A watch implies a watchmaker. So there seemed to be no way in which atoms could spontaneously fall together and create, say, a dandelion. The idea of a designer is an appealing and altogether human explanation of the biological world. But as Darwin and Wallace showed, there’s another way—equally human and far more compelling. Natural selection, which makes the music of life more beautiful as the eons pass. To understand the passage of the eons we have compressed all of time into a single cosmic year with the big bang on January first. Every month here represents a little over a billion years. The Earth didn’t form until the cosmic year was two-thirds over. Our understanding of the history of life is very recent, occupying only the last few seconds of December 31st; that small white spot at bottom right in the cosmic calendar. What happened on Earth may be more or less typical of the evolution of life on many worlds. But in its details the story of life on Earth is probably unique in all the Milky Way galaxy. The secrets of evolution are time and death. Time for the slow accumulation of favorable mutations, and death to make room for new species. Life on Earth arose in September of the cosmic calendar, when our world, still heavily battered and cratered from its violent origin, may have looked a little like the moon. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. In the cosmic calendar, it condensed out of interstellar gas and dust around September 14th. We know from the fossil record that the origin of life originated soon afterwards—maybe around September 25th, something like that. Probably in the ponds and oceans of the primitive Earth. Now, the first living things were not anything so complex as a one-celled organism, which already is a highly sophisticated form of life. No, the first stirrings of life were much more humble and happened on the molecular level. In those early days, lightning and ultraviolet light from the sun were breaking apart simple hydrogen-rich molecules in the primitive atmosphere, and the fragments of the molecules were spontaneously recombining into more and more complex molecules. The products of this early chemistry dissolved in the oceans, forming a kind of organic soup of gradually increasing complexity. Until, one day, quite by accident, a molecule arose that was able to make crude copies of itself, using as building blocks the other molecules in the soup. This was the ancestor of DNA, the master molecule of life on Earth. It’s made of four different molecular parts, called nucleotides, which constitute the four letters of the genetic code—the language of heredity. Each of the four nucleotides, the rungs on the DNA ladder, are a different color in this model. The instructions that are spelled out are different for different organisms—that’s why organisms are different. Now, a mutation is a change of a nucleotide; a misspelling of the genetic instructions. Most mutations spell genetic nonsense, as you’d expect, because they’re random. They’re harmful for the next generation. But a very few, by accident, make better sense than the original instructions and aid the evolution of life. DNA is about a billion times smaller than we see it here. In fact, each of those things that looks like a piece of fruit is an atom. Without the tools of science, the machinery of life would be invisible. Four billion years ago, the ancestors of DNA were competing for molecular building blocks and leaving crude copies of themselves. There were no predators; the stuff of life was everywhere. So the oceans and murky pools that filled the craters were, for these molecules, a Garden of Eden. With reproduction, mutation, and natural selection, the evolution of living molecules was well underway. Varieties with specialized functions then joined together, making a collective: the first cell. The organic soup eventually ate itself up. But by this time, plants had evolved, able to use sunlight to make their own building blocks. They turned the waters green. A number of one-celled plants joined together—the first multi-cellular organisms. Equally important was the invention—not made until early November—of sex. It was stumbled upon by the microbes. By December 1st, green plants had released copious amounts of oxygen and nitrogen into the atmosphere. The sky is made by life. Then, suddenly, on December 15th, there was an enormous proliferation of new life forms, an event called the Cambrian explosion. We know from the fossil record that life arose shortly after the formation of the Earth, suggesting that the origin of life might be an inevitable chemical process on countless Earth-like planets throughout the cosmos. But on the Earth, in nearly 4 billion years, life advanced no further than algae. So maybe more complex forms of life are harder to evolve—harder, even, than the origin of life itself. If this is right, the planets of the galaxy might be filled with microorganisms, but big beasts and vegetables and thinking beings might be comparatively rare. By December 18th, there were vast herds of trilobites foraging on the ocean bottom, and squid-like creatures with their multicolored shells were everywhere. We know enough to sketch in a few of the subsequent details. The first fish and the first vertebrates appeared on December 19th. Plants began to colonize the land on December 20th. The first winged insects fluttered by on December 22nd. And on this date, also, there were the first amphibians: creatures, something like the lungfish, able to survive both on land and in water. Our direct ancestors were now leaving the oceans behind. The first trees and the first reptiles evolved on December 23rd; two amazing evolutionary developments. We are descended from some of those reptiles. The dinosaurs appeared on Christmas Eve. There were many different kinds of dinosaurs. The Earth was once their planet. Many stood upright and had some fair intelligence. Great lizards crashed and thundered through the steaming jungles. Unnoticed by the dinosaurs, a new creature—whose young were born live and helpless—was making its timid debut. The first mammals emerged on December 26th, the first birds on the following day. But the dinosaurs still dominated the planet. Then, suddenly, without warning, all over the planet at once, the dinosaurs died. The cause is unknown, but the lesson is clear: even 160 million years on a planet is no guarantee of survival. The dinosaurs perished around the time of the first flower. On December 30th, the first creatures who looked even a little bit human evolved, accompanied by a spectacular increase in the size of their brains. And then, on the evening of the last day of the last month—only a few million years ago—the first true humans took their place on the cosmic calendar. The written record of history occupies only the last 10 seconds of the cosmic year. Now, let’s take a closer look at who our ancestors were. A simple chemical circumstance led to one of the great moments in the history of our planet. There were many kinds of molecules in the primordial soup. Some were attracted to water on one side and repelled by it on the other. This drove them together into a tiny enclosed spherical shell like a soap bubble, which protected the interior. Within the bubble, the ancestors of DNA found a home and the first cell arose. It took hundreds of millions of years for tiny plants to evolve, giving off oxygen. But that branch didn’t lead to us. Bacteria that could breathe oxygen took over a billion more years to evolve. From a naked nucleus, a cell developed with a nucleus inside. Some of these amoeba-like forms led, eventually, to plants. Others produced colonies with inside and outside cells performing different functions. Becoming a polyp attached to the ocean floor filtering food from the water and evolving little tentacles to direct food into a primitive mouth. This humble ancestor of ours also led to spiny-skinned armored animals with internal organs, including our cousin, the starfish. But we don’t come from starfish. About 550 million years ago, filter feeders evolved gill slits which were more efficient at straining food particles from the water. One evolutionary branch led to acorn worms. Another led to a creature which swam freely in the larval stage but, as an adult, was still firmly anchored to the ocean floor. Some became living hollow tubes. But others retained the larval forms throughout the life cycle and became free-swimming adults with something like a backbone. Our ancestors now, 500 million years ago, were jawless filter-feeding fish a little like lampreys. Gradually, those tiny fish evolved eyes and jaws. Fish then began to eat one another. If you could swim fast, you survived. If you had jaws to eat with, you could now use your gills to breathe the oxygen in the water. This is the way modern fish arose. During the summer, swamps and lakes dried up, so some fish evolved a primitive lung to breathe air until the rains came. Their brains were getting bigger. If the rains didn’t come, it was handy to be able to pull yourself along to the next swamp. That was a very important adaptation. The first amphibians evolved, still with a fish-like tail. Amphibians, like fish, laid their eggs in water, where they were easily eaten. But then a splendid new invention came along: the hard-shelled egg, laid on the land, where there were—as yet—no predators. Reptiles and turtles go back to those days. Many of the reptiles hatched on land never returned to the waters. Some became the dinosaurs. One line of dinosaurs developed feathers, useful for short flights. Today, the only living descendants of the dinosaurs are the birds. The great dinosaurs evolved along another branch. Some were the largest flesh-eaters ever to walk the land. But 65 million years ago, they all mysteriously perished. Meanwhile, the forerunners of the dinosaurs were also evolving in a different direction. Small, scurrying creatures with the young growing inside the mother’s body. After the extinction of the dinosaurs, many different forms developed. The young were very immature at birth. In the marsupials—the wombat, for example—and in the mammals, the young had to be taught how to survive. The brain grew larger still. Something like a shrew was the ancestor of all the mammals. One line took to the trees, developing dexterity, stereo vision, larger brains, and a curiosity about their environment. Some became baboons, but that’s not the line to us. Apes and humans have a recent common ancestor. Bone for bone, muscle for muscle, molecule for molecule. There are almost no important differences between apes and humans. Unlike the chimpanzee, our ancestors walked upright, freeing their hands to poke and fix and experiment. We got smarter. We began to talk. Many collateral branches of the human family became extinct in the last few million years. We, with our brains and our hands, are the survivors. There’s an unbroken thread that stretches from those first cells to us. Let’s look at it again compressing 4 billion years of evolution into 40 seconds. Those are some of the things that molecules do, given 4 billion years of evolution. We sometimes represent evolution as the ever-branching ramifications of some original trunk, each branch pruned and clipped by natural selection. Every plant and animal alive today has a history as ancient and illustrious as ours. Humans stand on one branch. But now we affect the future of every branch of this 4-billion-year-old tree. How lovely trees are. The human species grew up in and around them. We have a natural affinity for trees. Trees photosynthesize—they harvest sunlight; they compete for the sun’s favors. Look at those two trees over there: pushing and shoving for sunlight, but with grace and astonishing slowness. There are so many plants on the Earth that there’s a danger of thinking them trivial, of losing sight of the subtlety and efficiency of their design. They are great and beautiful machines, powered by sunlight, taking in water from the ground and carbon dioxide from the air, and converting them into food for their use and ours. This is a museum of living plants. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London. Every plant uses the carbohydrates it makes as an energy source to go about its planty business. And we animals—who are ultimately parasites on the plants—we steal the carbohydrates so we can go about our business. In eating the plants and their fruits, we combine the carbohydrates with oxygen which—as a result of breathing—we’ve dissolved in our blood. From this chemical reaction, we extract the energy which makes us go. In the process, we exhale carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which the plants then use to make more carbohydrates. What a marvelous cooperative arrangement! Plants and animals each using the other’s waste gases; the whole cycle powered by abundant sunlight. But there would be carbon dioxide in the air even if there were no animals. We need the plants much more than they need us. There are many family resemblances among the organisms of the Earth. Some are very apparent, such as the use of the number five. Humans have five major bodily projections: one head, two arms, two legs. So do ducks—although the functions of their bodily projections are not quite the same. An octopus or a centipede has a different plan. And a being from another planet might be much stranger still. These family resemblances continue, and on a much deeper level, when we go to the molecular basis of life. There are tens of billions of different kinds of organic molecules. Yet, only about 50 of them are used in the essential machinery of life. The same 50 employed over and over again, ingenious, for different functions in every living thing. And when we go to the very kernel of life on Earth—to the proteins that control cell chemistry,to the spiral or helix of nucleic acids which carry the hereditary information—we find these molecules to be absolutely identical in all plants and animals of our planet. This oak tree and me, we’re made of the same stuff. If you go back, you’ll find that we have a common ancestor. That’s why our chemistry is so alike. Let’s take a trip to examine this common basis of life; a voyage to investigate the molecular machinery at the heart of life on Earth: a journey to the nucleus of the cell. First we need a cell. I have trillions, I can afford to donate a few. The casual act of pricking a finger is an event of some magnitude on the scale of the very small. Millions of red blood cells are detoured from their usual routes. But most continue to cruise about the body carrying their cargoes of oxygen to the remotest freckle. We’re about to enter the living cell—a realm, in its own way, as complex and beautiful as the realm of galaxies and stars. Among the red blood cells, we encounter a white blood cell—a lymphocyte—whose job it is to protect me against invading microbes. It makes antibodies on its furrowed surface. But its interior is like that of many cells. Plunging through the membrane, we find ourselves inside the cell. Here, every structure has its function. Those dark green blobs are factories where messenger molecules are busy building the enzymes which control the chemistry of the cell. The messengers were instructed and dispatched from within the nucleus, the heart and brain of the cell. All the instructions on how to get a cell to work and how to make another are hidden away in there. We find a tunnel, a nuclear pore, an approach to the biological holy of holies. These necklaces, these intricately looped and coiled strands are nucleic acids, DNA. Everything you need to know on how to make a human being is encoded in the language of life, in the DNA molecule. This is the DNA double helix: a machine with about 100 billion moving parts, called atoms. There are as many atoms in one molecule of DNA as there are stars in a typical galaxy. The sequence of nucleotides, here brightly colored, is all that’s passed on from generation to generation. Change the order of the nucleotides and you change the genetic instructions. DNA must replicate itself with extreme fidelity. The reproduction of a DNA molecule begins by separating the two helices. This is accomplished by an unwinding enzyme. Like some precision tool, this enzyme, shown in blue, breaks the chemical bonds that bind the two helices of DNA together. The enzyme works its way down the molecule, unzipping DNA as it goes. Each helix copies the other, supervised by special enzymes. The organic soup inside the nucleus contains many free nucleotides. The enzyme recognizes an approaching nucleotide and clicks it into place, reproducing another rung in the double helix. When the DNA is replicating in one of your cells, a few dozen nucleotides are added every second. Thousands of these enzymes may be working on a given DNA molecule. When an arriving nucleotide doesn’t fit, the enzyme throws it away. We call this proofreading. On the rare occasions of a proofreading error, the wrong nucleotide is attached and a small random change has been made in the genetic instructions—a mutation has occurred. This enzyme is a pretty small molecule, but it catches nucleotides, assembles them in the right order,it knows how to proofread, it’s responsible in the most fundamental way for the reproduction of every cell and every being on Earth. That enzyme, and DNA itself, are molecular machines with awesome powers. Within every living thing, the molecular machines are busy making sure that nucleic acids will continue to reproduce. A minor cut in my skin sounds a local alarm, and the blood spins a complex net of strong fibers to form a clot and staunch the flow of blood. There’s a very delicate balance here: too much clotting and your blood stream will solidify. Too little clotting and you’ll bleed to death from the merest scratch. The balance is controlled by enzymes instructed by DNA. Down here, there’s also a kind of sanitation squad comprised of white blood cells that swings into action, surrounds invading bacteria, and ravenously consumes them. This mopping-up operation is another part of the healing process—again controlled by DNA. These cells are parts of us, but how alien they seem. Within each of them, within every cell, there are exquisitely evolved molecular machines. Nucleic acids, enzymes, the cell architecture—every cell is a triumph of natural selection. And we’re made of trillions of cells. We are, each of us, a multitude. Within us is a little universe. Human DNA is a coiled ladder a billion nucleotides long. Many possible combinations of nucleotides are nonsense—that is, they translate into proteins which serve no useful function whatever. Only a comparatively few nucleic acid molecules are any good for life forms as complicated as we are. But even so, the number of useful ways of assembling nucleic acids is stupefyingly large. It’s probably larger than the total number of atoms in the universe. This means that the number of possible kinds of human beings is vastly greater than the number of human beings that has ever lived. This untapped potential of the human species is immense. There must be ways of putting nucleic acids together which will function far better by any criterion you wish to choose than the hereditary instructions of any human being who has ever lived. Fortunately, we do not know—or, at least, do not yet know—how to assemble alternative sequences of nucleotides to make alternative kinds of human beings. But in the future we might well be able to put nucleotides together in any desired sequence to produce whatever human characteristics we think desirable. A disquieting and awesome prospect. We human beings don’t look very much like a tree. We certainly view the world differently than a tree does. But down deep, at the molecular heart of life, we’re essentially identical to trees. We both use nucleic acids as the hereditary material, we both use proteins as enzymes to control the chemistry of the cell, and—most significantly—we both use the identical codebook to translate nucleic acid information into protein information. Any tree could read my genetic code. How did such astonishing similarities come about? Why are we cousins to the trees? Would life on some other planet use proteins? The same proteins? The same nucleic acids? The same genetic code? The usual explanation is that we are—all of us: trees and people, anglerfish, slime molds, bacteria—all descended from a single and common instance of the origin of life four billion years ago in the early days of our planet. Now, how did the molecules of life arise? In a laboratory at Cornell University we mix together the gases and waters of the primitive Earth, supply some energy, and see if we can make the stuff of life. But what was the early atmosphere made of? Ordinary air? If we start with our present atmosphere, the experiment is a dismal failure. Instead of making proteins and nucleic acids, all we make is smog—a backwards step. Why doesn’t such an experiment work? Because the air of today contains molecular oxygen. But oxygen is made by plants. It’s pretty obvious that there were no plants before the origin of life. We mustn’t use oxygen in our experiments because there wasn’t any in the early atmosphere. This is perfectly reasonable because the cosmos is made mostly of hydrogen, which gobbles oxygen up. The Earth’s low gravity has allowed most of our original hydrogen gas to trickle away to space. There’s almost none left. But 4 billion years ago, our atmosphere was full of hydrogen-rich gases: methane, ammonia, water vapor. These are the gases we should use. Taking great care to ensure the purity of these gases, my colleague, Bishun Khare, pumps them from their holding flasks. An experiment like this was first performed by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey in the 1950s. The starting gases are now introduced into a large reaction vessel. We could shine ultraviolet light on this mixture, simulating the early sun. But in this experiment the gases will be sparked, as the primitive atmosphere was, by early lightning. After only a few hours, the interior of the reaction vessel becomes streaked with a strange brown pigment—a rich collection of complex organic molecules including the building blocks of the proteins and the nucleic acids. Under the right conditions, these building blocks assemble themselves into molecules resembling little proteins and little nucleic acids. These nucleic acids can even make identical copies of themselves. In this vessel are the notes of the music of life, although not yet the music itself. Now, no one so far has mixed together the gases and waters of the primitive Earth and, at the end of the experiment, had something crawl out of the flask. There’s still a great deal to be understood about the origin of life, including the origin of the genetic code. But we’ve only been at such experiments for 30 years. Nature’s had a 4-billion-year head start. Incidentally, there’s nothing in such experiments that’s unique to the Earth. The gases we start with, the energy sources we use are entirely common through the cosmos. So, chemical reactions something like these must be responsible for the organic matter in interstellar space and the amino acids in the meteorites. Similar chemical reactions must have occurred on a billion other worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. Look how easy it is to make great globs of this stuff! The molecules of life fill the cosmos. Now, what would life elsewhere look like? Even if it had an identical molecular chemistry to life on Earth—which I very much doubt—it could not be very similar in form to familiar organisms on the Earth. The random character of the evolutionary process must create, elsewhere, creatures very different from any that we know. Think of a world something like Jupiter, with an atmosphere rich in hydrogen, helium, methane, water, and ammonia, in which organic molecules might be falling from the skies like manna from heaven—like the products of the Miller-Urey experiment. Could there be life on such a world? Well, there’s a special problem. The atmosphere is turbulent, and down deep, before we ever come to a surface, it’s very hot. If you’re not careful, you’ll be carried down and fried. So one way to make a living is to reproduce before you’re fried. Turbulence will carry your offspring into the higher and cooler layers. Such organisms could be very little. We call them sinkers. The physicist E. E. Salpeter and I at Cornell have calculated something about the other kinds of life that might exist on such a world. Vast living balloons could stay buoyant by pumping heavy gases from their interiors or by keeping their insides warm. They might eat the organic molecules in the air or make their own with sunlight. We call these creatures floaters. We imagine floaters kilometers across, enormously larger than the greatest whale that ever was—beings the size of cities. We conceive of them arrayed in great, lazy herds as far as the eye can see, concentrated in the updrafts in the enormous sea of clouds. But there can be other creatures in this alien environment: hunters. Hunters are fast and maneuverable. They eat the floaters, both for their organic molecules and for their store of pure hydrogen. But there can’t be many hunters, because if they destroy all the floaters, they themselves will perish. Physics and chemistry permit such life forms. Art presents them with a certain reality, but nature is not obliged to follow our speculations. However, if there are billions of inhabited worlds in the Milky Way galaxy, then I think it’s likely there are a few places which might have hunters and floaters and sinkers. Biology is more like history than it is like physics. You have to know the past to understand the present. There is no predictive theory of biology, just as there is no predictive theory of history. The reason is the same: both subjects are still too complicated for us. But we can understand ourselves much better by understanding other cases. The study of a single instance of extraterrestrial life, no matter how humble—a microbe would be just fine—will de-provincialize biology. It will show us what else is possible. We’ve heard so far the voice of life on only a single world. But for the first time, as we shall see, we’ve begun a serious scientific search for the cosmic fugue. In recent years, we’ve learned much more about the origin of life. Do you remember RNA—that nucleic acid that our cells use as messengers carrying the genetic information out of the cell nucleus? Well, it’s been found that RNA, like protein, can control chemical reactions as well as reproduce itself, which proteins can’t do. Many scientists now wonder if the first life on Earth was an RNA molecule. And it now seems feasible that key molecular building blocks for the origin of life fell out of the skies 4 billion years ago. Comets have now been found to have a lot of organic molecules in them, and they fell in huge numbers on the primitive Earth. We also mention the extinction of the dinosaurs, and most of the other species of life on Earth about 65 million years ago. We now know that a large comet hit the Earth at just that time. The dust pall from that collision must’ve cooled and darkened the Earth, perhaps killing all the dinosaurs but sparing the small, furry mammals who were our ancestors. Other cometary mass extinctions in other epochs seem likely. If true, this would mean that comets have been the bringers both of life and death.
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2020.10.16 04:21 Nocodeyv Arḫu Samnu

Shulmu!
The eighth month of the Mesopotamian year will commence on October 17th at the first sighting of the lunar crescent—waxing at 1% visibility—following sunset. The first official day of the month will begin at dawn on October 18th.
Historically, the orthography of this month-name is confused: araḫsamna, its most attested form, does not render anything intelligible in Akkadian.
Cohen, writing in Festivals and Calendars of the Ancient Near East (2015, pp. 431-33), posits a theory that the month-name was used because of its phonetic similarity to month-names from neighboring cultures, namely the Old Persian month-name vrkazana, and the Elamite month-name markashanash.
In this post I have opted to adopt an adapted spelling: arḫu samnu, a proper orthography for “month eight” in Akkadian.

Day Date Festival Notes
Oct 17 ——— Advent of the eighth month of the year at dusk.
14 Oct 31 Eššeššu All Shrines Day is a personal event during which devotees illuminate the shrines of their beloved Gods and Goddesses and prepare a ceremonial meal for them. This event occurs every month at the full moon.
20 Nov 6 Festival of Babu The earliest day on which the marriage of Babu and Ninĝirsu was celebrated. Other possible days include the 22nd and 29th of the month.
29 Nov 15 Kispū Funerary Offerings are provided for the Blessed Dead. The date corresponds to the day of dark moon. Offerings are given at dusk.

The eighth month is relatively devoid of cultic celebrations, with no major festivals attested at Ur, Assyria, or Babylonia, and only one apiece at Lagash and Nippur, outside of the standard eššeššu and kispū lunar festivals.

The principle event at Nippur is an unnamed festival celebrated at the Tummal, a temple complex in Shuruppak. Most of our knowledge of this event comes from Shulgi, a king of Ur, who might have been the first to perform it.
According to Shulgi R (A tigi hymn, possibly dedicated to the goddess Ninlil), the itinerary for this unnamed festival ran as such:
On the opening day, cultic representations of the Nippur Anunnakkū are bathed; Ninlil comes forth and embraces Enlil, followed by the pair taking their seats upon a barge set adrift upon the Kisala canal of the Euphrates river. Completing its journey, the barge sails into the Mete-aĝi quay at the Tummal complex. Ninlil disembarks and is greeted by An and the Ancestors of Enlil.
The entire company then settled in for a banquet. The day “passes in abundance,” and praises are given throughout the night culminating in Enlil and An decreeing an appropriate fate for Shulgi (i.e., the one who has hosted the banquet).
The following morning Enlil and Ninlil return to Nippur, bringing abundance in their wake. The festival concludes with Ninlil extolling Shulgi’s name, prolonging his days, and bestowing prosperity upon him.

At Lagash, the major festival of the month was ezem-dba-bu11, the “Festival of Babu,” from which the month received its parochial name: itiezem-dba-bu11.
Sumerian theologians credit Babu with decreeing the destiny of Lagash (a city-state encompassing Ĝirsu, Niĝin, Guabba, Kinunir and their satellite villages: Anzagar, Kisurra, Ninashedu, Kalamshaga, and Ḫurim) and legitimizing the rule of its ensi2 (governor).
In praise poetry, Babu is responsible for bringing the me (laws which govern the immutable processes of nature and can establish cultural patterns instrumental to the continuation of civilized life) from the midst of Heaven down to the Earth, anointing the mudbricks used to construct the walls of Lagash with holy cedar oil, and for bringing forth the seed of humanity from her holy shrine.
Of her personality and quality, the Sumerians say that she is well-respected among the Anunnakkū, renders just verdicts in the Assembly of the Gods (ubshukkinakku), and can make one’s name good among the people.
The exact day of the festival is difficult to pin down, with various tablets suggesting the 20th, 22nd, and 29th of the month. The focal point of the festival, however, is Babu’s marriage to Ninĝirsu, namesake and protector of the Lagash state’s capital city, Ĝirsu.
Extant itineraries mention a processional by barge (no doubt set adrift upon the Tigris river); the delivery of bridal gifts to the e2-sila-sir-sir-ra, the principle temple of Babu in Ĝirsu; and a “sacred marriage” ceremony involving the cultic representations of Babu and Ninĝirsu.

Post Script: I feel it is important to note here that the sacred marriage ceremony is only attested in literature, and was most likely symbolic in nature. The current scholarly consensus is that it was never physically re-enacted between living human beings, and neither myself, nor the wider polytheistic community, endorse leveraging any sexual act against an individual for any spiritual purpose whatsoever.
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2020.10.14 06:40 the_trevelyans [Spoilers ALL] Theory - A Convoluted Love Story of Creation, Part 2: A pocket full of dark matter

[Spoilers ALL] Theory - A Convoluted Love Story of Creation, Part 2: A pocket full of dark matter
Hello. Me again.
In my prior post on "The Prime Factors", we've potentially uncovered a magical process with which realms were made. However, the conjoining of the 3 primordial elements to construct these realms -- represented in colors of red (blood), green (fade), and blue (lyrium) -- had also synthesized a Void (black). ** I'm avoiding saying "conjoining of spheres". That'll be so Witcher of me.
If you're wondering if I've considered that the black matter is the Deep Fade as it is also described as a region that's always in the dark, I have and speculated that it's been there within the Fade as long as time. No one knows its location, not even the Dreamers. Hint: because it's where all life begins. (More on that theory later.)

FLIP-FLOP

While the Chantry suggests that the Void is everywhere and within ourselves (Thernodies, 12:5), I found clues that it is not so. In the same codex I cited in Part 1 of my theory, part of Codex: Vir Dirthara: Raising the Sonallium states:
The pages of this book—memory?—describe a heated argument between a group of well-dressed elves inside an elaborately arched pavilion on an island floating in a void*. In the distance, haloed by a* blizzard of light*, thousands of elves are maintaining an elaborate magical ritual that pulls raw essence from the Fade, funneled into a sphere in the air.*
Void (black) - blizzard of light (white)
Also, here's a paragraph from Codex: The Mason's Tale "The Fall", interpreted by Gatsi, the funny sarcastic stonemason in Skyhold:
So, your seven magisters entered, and they came out blighted and not sure which way is up. I'll pass that off to the sculptor trying to represent madness. I mean, towers here, upended over there. You know what kind of force it would take to flip that much stone? It'd do more than burn your beard.
Gatsi didn't say "raise" or "lift" but rather "flip" which is unusual. Both of these codices hint to something science-y.
When the Evanirus were creating realms in the Fade with the 3 primordial elements, they had to "flip" or reverse the natural order and, in turn, produced polarity. [Note: the color schemes is based off of a light spectrum chart.]

https://preview.redd.it/scnobzntozs51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=77e399e4b557cf54dfc3bf5eceb3f777c7612772

POLARITY

Polarity is the underlying essence of the dualistic pairs. I chose these two quotes to explain polarity without having to grasp chemistry or psychology (or I will greatly hurt my head). The law of Polarity states:
Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet.” …. We are the essence of the concept of polarity. Polarity differs from duality in that each pole has the essence of the other contained within it. (Examples: sun and moon, day and night, male and female)
Here's another definition:
https://preview.redd.it/x2yc5iwvozs51.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=42e832274820cd3bc456256a9b19a3bd6e2e9b05
EVIDENCE #1: Lyrium
In the codex, lyrium exists both in the mortal world and in the Fade, and somehow bridges the gap between them. Dagna in DA:I has also said that lyrium and the Fade are linked.
EVIDENCE #2: The Wellspring
The Wellspring is a vast cavern that has its own ecosystem with clouds, local fauna and flora but there’s an unknown light source. Gigantic caverns like this exists in real life but it’ll require a massive amount of artificial light to illuminate the entire cavern.
The Codex: The Wellspring speaks of a tale of how the second son to a king of the deepest cavern have dug through stone to reach sky:
So the second son mined the ground for wealth. Every last scrap of lyrium, every nugget of gold he dug up and gifted to the thaig. But the Assembly, accustomed to abundance, was not impressed. So the second son dug farther and farther into the Stone – so far that he broke through to the other side and found the sky. And this he claimed for his thaig. And the Assemble named him king.
Again, it's not plausible to create a hole as large as the Wellspring to illuminate the entire cavern. I highly suspect that polarity is the cause for sunlight to shine bottom up just as there is a Void in the fade and an Abyss below the earth.
EVIDENCE #3: The Black City
No traveler to the Fade can fail to spot the Black City. It is one of the few constants of that ever-changing place. No matter where one might be, the city is visible. Always far off, for it seems that the only rule of geography in the Fade is that all points are equidistant from the Black City. Dreamers do not go there, nor do spirits. Even the most powerful demons seem to avoid the place.
According to the legend, the Dread Wolf’s betrayal of both camps of gods – the Creators and the Forgotten Ones – was during the fall of Arlathan. It is also said that his action of sealing away the gods in their respective realms prevented the Creators from saving Arlathan, leaving the elves alone and unaided.
Known timeline:
[-981 to -975 Ancient, supposedly] Fen'Harel deceived the gods and sealed them behind the veil
[-981 to -975 Ancient] Tevinter conquered Elvhenan AND sunk Arlathan deep under ground.
[-395 Ancient] The 7 Magisters Sidereal walked into the Golden City to find it empty and tainted
[-186 Ancient] The Maker whispered to Andraste
Based on these dates with the existence of polarity, it's highly probable that Arlathan was in the Fade before the magisters showed up at its gates. I feel that there’s a high probability that the Golden City got so stuffed beneath the earth that it slowly caught the blight. I mean, it took eons from the time the titan got killed to the time the elves sealing the deep roads that it could have tainted the entire city.
No one has mentioned though that when the elves sealed the deep roads, did they leave anyone behind? Food for thought.
--------
There are other examples of polarity but not ones that defies physics but characteristics. Solas makes a point to say to the inquisitor in Trespasser, “Good and evil. Right and wrong.” Other polarities are:
  • Creators / Forgotten Ones – both are gods but one side is “good” while the other is “bad”
  • God of Justice/God of Vengeance
  • Wisdom / Pride (Actually, these are not truly opposites. More like a twisted version)
  • Statue of War / Statue of Peace (Brothers of Stone)

THE DIVERGENT ZONES

The world is immutable. It is why mages have to tap into the Fade for their spells and why the templars can negate magic. There’s a likelihood that anything at a certain level of the earth -- from the Deep Roads to the mountain tops -- are polar opposites of what's above. The point of connection and/or commonality is somewhere between the depth of the Wellspring beyond the clouds and the space pass the floating landmasses in the Fade. That's my best guestamation. I can't imagine running around Thedas like in the movie Inception (unless Bioware introduces it).

POCKET DIMENSIONS

Oh, the bubbles. I've been saying realms all this time because I haven't covered this yet so I'm switching labels now. Elvhenan came before the founding of Arlathan but nothing was noted except prior to the construction of the city. Arlathan is described as a city of wonders and magic, like Disneyland. Even the apples from Arlathan remain as pristine and juicy as the day they were picked...nine ages ago. Nothing ages. (You'll need to pay Xenon 5 pounds for just one bite though, but I heard it'll blow your socks off.)
Ancient memories tell of a city of blue glass spires and enormous green parks, with figures strolling along the pearly, glowing strips as if they walked on solid ground and bodies of lovers colliding in the air in an endless dance. (Get a room!) I feel these are the various dimensions we have yet to see. Even the Crossroads that we did get a glimpse of was losing its glow.
The Crossroads
It’s not the Fade. The runes are elven.. If I had to guess, I would say that our ancestors actually created some sort of tiny world between the eluvians. – Felassan
The Crossroads are a separate dimension beyond the Waking World and beyond the Fade. It is described as one of “places between” pockets within the Fade with their own rules of reality formed by the ancient elves from the fabric of time and space.
You can read more about pocket dimensions here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_universe

MIRROR IMAGES? No

I've looked to see if there's also spacial symmetry, aka mirror images. The only indicator is lyrium veins being in the Fade and in the earth but there's no stone, no fauna, no anything else being mimicked in the Fade that found in deep in the ground. I conclude that there's no symmetry occuring.

OTHER SPECULATIONS

  • One thing that bugs me is that there’s no record, no mention, no little hand written note after the creation of the pocket dimension with the sonnalium as to whether or not the well-dressed elves got blighted by the void, but it seems like they were either going mad and stabbing each other over the color of the roof trimming or they're ultraistic perfectionists wanting to please Sylaise. Oh, and weren't they hovering over the home of the Forgotten Ones? Either they weren't close enough to bother the evil gods or there’s some inconsistencies with either the existence of the Forbidden One or the story of the sonallium. Something is going on. Nevertheless, the dimensions do exists and so does the Void.
  • What if the Evanirus purposely created the Void knowing that it’s the only way to make bubbles? If so, it gives me reasons why the Evanirus knew not to go there until Andruil got so bored hunting mortal men and beasts that she sought a bigger challenge. Still, it doesn’t answer if the well-dressed elves got tainted. Then again, these architects of the grand sollalium do not hold the gift of magic thus they need elves who does to maintain an elaborate magical ritual.
  • I can’t find much details on the focusing crystal found in Gamlen’s House in DA:2 but it’s definitely elvhen by how the frame is sculpted. It's also interesting that it’s a set of 3 glass spheres. Are they some sort of prism in which the user holds it up against sunlight (aka white light) or through some magical osmosis to see a certain color? The image conveys to me that you can overlap the spheres so the user can find the pocket dimension based on the color-combo it focuses on. Or, it could be an advanced binocular. Pretty cool in either case.
Focusing Crystals

REQUEST

I would like to ask for some help. The only elements I can correspond to colors are blood, fade, and lyrium. If you have any ideas what would go with magenta, yellow, and cyan, please let me know and I'll compile all the answers for the next post. There may be no explanation for them except they are tools to overlap a combination of the 3 main ingredients but I'm curious as to what everyone comes up with.
  • Red - blood; physical body
  • Green - fade; spirit
  • Blue - lyrium; soul
  • Yellow (?)
  • Cyan (?)
  • Magenta (?)
For the next post, I'll be covering either the pocket dimensions or the primordial elements. I need to do a coin toss on this one. And the winner is......
submitted by the_trevelyans to dragonage [link] [comments]


2020.10.10 18:57 A35821363 October 15. On this date in 1961, Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir, later a Hand of the Cause of God and Knight of Bahá'u'lláh, married Írán Furútan, the daughter of Hand of the Cause of God and Iran National Spiritual Assembly Member 'Alí-Akbar Furútan.

October 15. On this date in 1961, Rahmatu'lláh Muhájir, later a Hand of the Cause of God and Knight of Bahá'u'lláh, married Írán Furútan, the daughter of Hand of the Cause of God and Iran National Spiritual Assembly Member 'Alí-Akbar Furútan. submitted by A35821363 to OnThisDateInBahai [link] [comments]


2020.10.09 19:46 StuartGT All the answers from the Spectrum AMA with Chris, Todd & Tony

https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/star-citizen-birthday-ama
Will update throughout the AMA
AMA started at 5pm UTC. It's now 6:15pm UTC and looks to have finished. I'll keep an eye on the thread and post more answers if any appear.
Q: What is preventing random FPS AI from appearing on planet/moon surfaces outside of missions or set locations? Is this planned to make the planetary surfaces feel less empty?
Todd: We need some Planetary Nav Mesh work done, we have a fair amount of it completed. Then once that is done we can start to implement it into missions or random encounters. When that is done AI will be able to transition from Ship to Surface smoothly. This will also open us for building creatures (space cow or larger animals) or boids (very small creatures..frogs, birds) to add extra life.
Q: So what's the deal with Theatres of War?
Todd: Currently being worked on and tested, ideally Sean and Rich will give an update to everyone once it is ready for everyone to play.
Q: Death of a Spaceman(https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/engineering/12879-Death-Of-A-Spaceman) was written way back in February 2013. Obviously, there have been some changes since then(e.g. landing zones were planned to have an in-engine cutscene v. now players pilot in manually which is way cooler in everyone's opinion). While this is probably currently undergoing a design rework, could you tell us what you know to be different now, and what some possible plans are? What's changed?
Chris: Later this month there is going to be a Calling All Devs episode on "Death of a Spaceman" with myself and Richard Tyer, Core Gameplay Director (which includes the Actor teams), where we'll go into the current plans, which you' start to see the results of mid next year as we begin to bring in Medical gameplay. So watch for that as we'll go into the current design which is ready for implementation.
Q: How do you envision NPC crew gameplay? From the small solo explorer in a MISC DUR with a couple of NPCs, to the Carrack or 890 Jump owner wanting to solo explore the universe with 5-6 NPCs, to the Javelin owner that may only have 20 reliable friends and need maybe 50 NPCs. We know it's still a few years away but it has shaped the thinking of us all as we build large fleets and think about how we'll structure our future org and solo gameplay. Todd Papy and Dan Trufin and Tony Zurovec have briefly touched on the subject over the past 3 years like it's pretty well thought out but we only get tiny snippets into something that is going to deeply shape the complexity and growth of the living universe. Like on a medium large ship like a Polaris, or Nautilus or 890J with a mid sized crew where we may only have one or two regular friends we play with daily (mostly reliably) but out on weeks long missions into the black without other friends being able to drop in and out. Would the owneemployer be the only one able to give them direction? Will we be able to assign players as team leaders to small groups of NPCs like engineering, bridge, turrets? Will other friends still be able to drop in and "take remote control" of some of the NPC crew to play with us? (sorry that could be interpreted as a separate question but ties into how we will play with friends and NPC crews)?
Todd: First steps are building out the player functionality to those roles (Captain, Engineer, etc) similar to pilots and turret gunners. We currently have some of those AI functions, like flying the ship, but we would still need to build the "glue" for AI, like what they do off duty. The capt/owner of the ship will need a way to set what roles he wants the NPCs to do. The Capt will also need a way to interface with the AI to tell them what they want them to do, like fly to a set location or attack a certain target. We are still planning to allow players to take remote control of the NPCs.
Q: What is the plan for computers and the blades? Currently we only know about using blades for turret automating and slaving, do you have any other ideas currently for what blades could be used for?
Todd: Here is some things that have been discussed that are being thought of for hardware (new blade) or software (loaded on computer or blade), these would be types of ideas that we would bring online over time:
  • Missile Defense System (Combat) - Automatically fires correct countermeasures to avoid being hit by missiles
  • Encryption/Decryption Blade (Data Runner) - Able to keep data encrypted to prevent theft and also provides the means to attempt to decrypt data.
  • Emissions Controller (Combat) - Allows the pilot to set strict limits on emission production, providing additional warnings and shutting down unnecessary systems automatically.
  • Offensive E-War Blade (Combat) - Enhances existing offensive e-war capability, could speed up or strengthen offensive programs/viruses or offer new ones to run.
  • Defensive E-War Blade (Combat) - Enhances existing defensive e-war capability, grants further protection and reduces potency of offensive programs.
  • Mining Blade (Mining) - Speeds up mining scans and provides additional information (pinpointing pockets of ore, mineral density etc.)
  • Salvage Database (Salvaging) - Speeds up scanning wrecks and provides additional information (pinpoints valuable ship items, shows materials contained within wrecks etc.)
  • Criminal Database (Bounty Hunter) - Provides a list of known criminals or unlawful activity and the ability to accept bounties to track them down and bring them to justice.
  • "Hit List" (Pirate) - Similar to the criminal database but to be used by criminals. Bad people can view and accept contracts to take care of people.
  • Enhanced Route Navigation (Trade / Exploration) - Essentially enhanced starmap/navigation options. Lets the pilot know how dangerous the route is that they are taking, enables them to pick routes based on speed, safety or avoiding certain areas.
  • Trade Database (Trade) - Allows traders to view buy/sell prices in different places in the universe while on the move, rather than having to be at a trade station.
  • Shield Management Blade (Combat) - Provides advanced shield control options to allow finer control.
  • Stellar Charting System (Exploration / General) - Makes it easier to discover jump points if/when they move elsewhere, possibly also makes jump travel easier.
  • Item Lock Blade (Combat) - Further enhances the targeting system to allow the pilot to lock onto specific parts of the ship, so they are able to take out individual systems.
  • Cargo Manifest Masker (Smuggling) - Disguises the items in your cargo manifest to allow you to hide contraband from initial ship scans.
  • Internal Security System (Larger ships) - Provides internal ship info, positions of lifeforms aboard the ship and the ability to lock/unlock individual doors.
  • Drone Management Blade (Larger ships) - Allows ships to control on-board drones
Q: what milestones is left to create dynamic missions?
Tony: One of the larger remaining issues relates to the fact that the current mission UI and associated logic aren’t able to deal with real-time parameters and need to be converted from Flash to Building Blocks. This is also related to why more Service Beacons haven’t been introduced, as UI development with the old system is far slower than with the new tech. Quantum is starting to inject some of its simulation data into the back-end services, which the Dynamic Mission Service requires to make these customized missions available, but the first stages involve only a few distinct types of scenarios. Dynamic Events, on the other hand, are routed through the same system and are a bit more mature, and the first demonstration of that tech was last Spring’s Fleet Week, which was activated for only a brief period of time and which existed across all servers. We’re already in the process of constructing more of these dynamic scenarios, some of which are far more sophisticated.
Q: Can we have an update on Quantum and Quantas?
Tony: We’ve spent a lot of time and effort optimizing the simulation and are now doing tests with as many as two million quanta, but it looks like we won’t need more than 100K per system to get the desired effects. We’ve started to connect some select bits of the simulated data to the backend services that feed the game servers, with things like fuel and repair prices, encounter types and frequencies, and Service Beacons first in line. This will have some dramatic effects on the gameplay experience as it’ll mean that previously disparate things like pirate activity, calls for help, and the price of repairs in an area will finally start to feel like they’re all connected.
Q: There are currently 95 systems, 324 planets, 74 moons, 50 space stations, and 76 asteroid formations in lore. In game and interact with one, we know another is pretty far along, and there should be 2-3 systems that have at least some progress based on progress we can see from Squadron trailers.
We have heard that tools can be developed to speed up the process, and you can look at the lore and see some systems are sigificantly easier to develop than others: Gurzil is just an asteroid field, Tanga is 3 hot planets and no landing zone, etc.
That all said it's still hundreds of planets, moons, asteroid belts, and hero zones that you have to go. Even working at pumping out 10 systems a year it'd take you 9 years from tomorrow to get that all out. So without commenting on tools, what realistically is your plan here?
Are you going to develop a large number of systems in tandem by blocking out the simple ones in mass? Are we going to have more dedicated teams working on systems to try and make them faster? Is there a Rate of systems/year at which you are aiming to add these systems or are you planning 1 large drop with many systems at some point? And, how do you make hero LZs faster, because that seems to be the Biggest spoiler here on the progress.
Todd: We are not ready to go full bore on all of the systems. We are building up the tools, knowledge, and people power to be able to deliver the systems quicker.
Can't talk about tools? That is what allows us to build faster and faster as they get refined! That is how we have adjusted building a moon in year to building one in 2 weeks. We have the same goals for Space stations.
A lot of time and work goes into building up the asset packs. Once we have the assets built we can put locations and planets together fairly quick. Putting gameplay hooks into the locations will take time to place and make locations feel special. Obviously the quality and detail level of the solar systems that were initially planned in the very beginning of crowd funding has drastically changed over production of SC. Once we realized the detail level that we could go into with the planets and the landing zones, we wanted to push the limit of fidelity. Comparing SC to the PrivateeFreelancer systems, you are getting exponential amount of gameplay and detail on each planet and moon.
We are trying to build up the team to deliver solar systems in one drop vs the iterative approach that we are currently doing in Stanton.
Q: Out of many gameplay loops such as mining, exploration, cargo hauling and bounty hunting. Which one of these is your favorite, and which one of these do you see to be most fleshed out in the upcoming future? As I've talked to some people, bounty hunting seems to be a joke around the Verse. As currently there isn't a way to utilize the cryopods for example. And catching individual bounties dead/alive is not a thing yet. Are these some of the things that are going to get ironed out once the core gameplay mechanics are finished, and then polish each individual "profession" as it's needed? And congratulations on Star Citizen birthday! This game could not be made possible without you!
Tony: I’m particularly interested in Bounty Hunting. Right now the missions in this area are predominantly geared towards going somewhere and fighting someone, whereas the major enhancements we’ve got planned will make the hunting aspect a much larger part of the challenge. This will be the first usage of the Virtual NPC tech that allows characters to go about their lives regardless of whether any players are in the vicinity, and a new UI will allow bounty hunters to register to receive select bits of information to help with pursuing their prey, like feedback from Comm Arrays, ATC controllers, and NPC informants.
Q: ...pyro?
Todd: Yes!
Q: SQ42 is currently 6 years behind its original delivery target. Over recent years there has been little communication on updated delivery targets for SQ42. The last information available was the estimated SQ42 beta in Q3 2020 on the now abandoned roadmap. That date has now passed and there has been no communication on whether SQ42 has entered beta. As it stands the community has completely divided opinions on the expected release date of SQ42 with opinions varying from that SQ42 is in beta currently to it being 5+ years away.*
You stated in the pledge (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/the-pledge): "We, the Developer, intend to treat you with the same respect we would give a publisher. You will receive regular updates about the progress of the game."
Given the massive uncertainty on the progress of SQ42 within the community, do you feel as though you have been meeting this objective?
Chris: Tomorrow we’ll be launching the inaugural episode of the “The Briefing Room” a show focused just on Squadron 42, which we are planning to do every quarter (3 months) until Squadron 42 releases, where we will address some of this.
We haven’t been happy with how effectively we’ve been showing progress on Squadron 42, as we felt the previous format didn’t do a good job of all in communicating just how much work is going on. The new roadmap format which we’ve been working towards and on since we announced we would be changing it up will do a much better job in show what people are working on at any given time as opposed to just focusing on deliverable features. I briefly discussed our thinking in https://robertsspaceindustries.com/spectrum/community/SC/forum/3/thread/atmospheric-room-system-4-years-late3366441
Squadron 42 is a tricky project to communicate on as we really don’t want to give the experience and story away which can make updating on certain content or features challenging.
We DO give regular updates on Squadron 42, even though we haven’t updated the Squadron 42 Roadmap since the beginning of this year with the monthly reports. The most recent one was earlier this week https://mailchi.mp/cloudimperiumgames/squadron-42-update-143128. We also occasionally have content or feature updates on things that will be in Squadron, as we did with the new Vanduul ships in the Inside Star Citizen Episode: Enemy Mine
We also communicate way more than any other developer or publisher than I am aware of in terms of work and progress on Star Citizen, which is the game “The Pledge” was referring to; We have multiple video shows per week, lore updates, developers regularly engage in the forums, have a weekly newsletter and well as regular monthly reports.
I don’t think the issue is whether we treat our community with respect, as that is core tenet of the entire company, or lack of communication; it’s different people want communication in different forms; some want in depth long talky videos, some want just the sizzle videos with pretty graphics. Some people want huge technical treatises on server meshing and others just want the ELI5 version and finally a lot of people just want to know when a feature or the game will be done.
And I think that’s the crux of the issue; it’s impossible to please all the people all the time, and with a project as complicated as Star Citizen or even Squadron 42 it’s impossible to have iron clad dates due to the huge amount of ongoing R&D.
So yes, I do feel like we have been meeting “The Pledge”.
Does that mean we can’t improve?
No, we can always improve, and if you follow CIG and Star Citizen close enough you will notice that we are always trying new things and tweaking existing processes both in our development approach and structure in how we communicate and share information with all of you. The new Roadmap will be part of this, as will the Briefing Room.
Q: Has there been any progress on the plans for data running and hacking? With the Mercury coming out and the Herald being all but forgotten it seems like at least a baseline commodity transport version of data running would be relatively easy and would add some new options.
Todd: It hasn't been forgotten, personally it is one of the professions I'm looking forward to the most, we just have some higher priority work that needs to be completed first. We are focused on delivering big physical cargo first.
Q: Last year at Citizen Con we saw NPC moving between physics grids and walking out of the Valkyrie. What is the current status of this? NPCs moving in and out of trains (which I guess is the same as the Valkyrie) would make cities feel much more alive in my opinion.
Todd: We currently have a few bugs that we need to work out, that will allow AI to path between ships, planetary surfaces, and man made locations.
Q: Are rivers planned? Thanks!
Todd: Yes
Q: What are the plans to make those systemic missions less repetitive and more engaging?
Todd: Doing what we call mission modifiers and leveraging our unique locations. Take a basic mission of delivering a cargo crate from an outpost to a space station. Add in one or multiple of these basic modifiers:
  • FPS AI that want that crate
  • Ship AI that want that crate
  • A cargo crate that is volatile
  • Pick up is in a hostile location
  • Drop off is in a hostile location
  • List can go on and on.
Q: Hello Chris, Todd, and Tony, I hope everyone is doing well and Happy Birthday Star Citizen! Are there plans to introduce regularandomized "world/universe" events? I understand we have festival related events in game such as Invictus and the IAE, however my question leans more on the action/adventure side of things. Some Examples of what I have in mind:
  1. A Vanduul incursion in Stanton that will spawn a UEE Navy fleet to engage them, and/or that players can join in to form local militia to counter.
  2. For less combat oriented example: Some unknown energy source is disrupting the Pyro Jump Point which is making travel dangerous or impossible, requiring explorers/scientists to find and contain the source.
  3. How about natural disasters? Volcanos, massive hurricanes, sever drought, disease, ect. which require shuttling refugees from the planet to safety using the Starliners or other transports or even medical gameplay.
These are just a few ideas that popped into my head to try to cater to multiple types of gameplay. I am curious if random events like this are planned and if so, if you don't mind sharing an example? Thanks for your time, and stay safe! P.S. I really appreciate the effort put in to make the "developepledger" relationship more transparent. Also for the next citizen con, any chance that it could be hosted in the US?
Tony: Yes, this is a major area of focus. We call these Dynamic Events and there are multiple ones already in progress, and the plan is to ramp up these efforts even more next year. Fleet Week was triggered via this system – a temporary event that was activated across all of the servers. Going forward, though, you’ll see a lot more sophistication in the events. Some of these will be triggered systemically and others will be activated by us manually. Most will allow for customization so the amount of variety with even a modest library of such scenarios will be pretty significant. The ultimate plan is to periodically break up the routine with distinct events that serve to draw a lot of players to a common cause, although they might not always be on the same side.
Q: Chris mentioned the Room System in another post. How in-depth are you looking to go with the management of pipes are resources throughout ships? And will that also apply to Stations and Outposts?
Todd: Pretty in-depth, where you would have to reroute power and/or physically replace an item to keep the ship up and running.
Yes, we are planning on doing the same for Stations and Outposts. Depending on the setup certain functionality might be accessible to the players and some might not be. For example, on a NPC ran major space station, the player probably wouldn't have access to turn off gravity or life support in the common play area.
Q: Would you implement Pyro without server meshing?
Tony: Our current plan is to release both Pyro and the server mesh tech at the same time.
Q: Can you elaborate on the current thinking on how base building is supposed to work? I have a couple of specific concerns and would appreciate it if you could address them:
  1. The Pioneer requires a 6-acre (presumably flat and free of major obstructions) landing area to set down to do her job. With the planets we've seen, while they're vast, the spots that meet this requirement are few and far between.
  2. She also needs to sit on the location where she is to build a base, and with her size, this severely limits the density and arrangements of habs that you can put in a single area. This will make it difficult for an org to build together on a land claim, or an individual to have multiple habs on the same land claim.
If you don't mind a suggestion, a Parasite Craft that hangers in the assembly area of the Pioneer designed to transport modules from the Pioneer to the Building Site and install them would solve these. The Pioneer could land in proximity to the building site without needing to be On the building site. And... Every Pioneer needs a Mule! I bought the Pioneer within 10 minutes of its release. I'm a builder, that's what I enjoy in games, so I was hooked immediately. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Chris: We have some pretty exciting plans on the base building / player settlement front. One of the fall outs of iCache, which we’ve been working on for full persistence of state and location of all dynamic objects in the universe of Star Citizen, is that recording and restoring a building you’ve just constructed is really no different to remembering where you dropped your coffee cup on some distant planet, or which shelf you placed it on in your hab.
Basically, iCache will enable us to allow all of you to settle the stars!
When we first came up with the concept of player built outposts and land claims iCache hadn’t been technically designed, but now we have a system that will have a much higher degree of fidelity in remembering where each building or component is and what state it is in. So rather than just dropping down a singular Outpost, you’ll be able to place down various structures and connect them to things like power generators, turrets, resource collectors, hydroponic domes and so on.
In parallel with this we’ve been working on tools to build settlements or homestead both for our artists / designers (more of a RTS god like view) and players (a first person view).
With this we’ve been rethinking how the Pioneer will work to make her more flexible rather than just spitting out a pre-fabricated outpost we want her to me more of a mobile fabrication facility that would be near your building site. With a Pioneer you’ll be able build these structures without having to ship in the component parts as long as you have a supply of raw materials. You don’t need a Pioneer to build a homestead but if you want to build a decent settlement, or you want to build something relatively quickly as opposed to having to fly in prefabricated components from major landing zones you will want to have a Pioneer, or have a friend or someone that is willing to lend their services to you.
We’re very excited about the gameplay that all of this will provide and can’t wait to see what kind of player settlements sprout up over the huge amount of land area the game has. We will need iCache in and working well before we will see this in the game, so expect to see some updates on this later next year.
Q: I am apart of a very active and authentic piracy org, and we've been making piracy work in the game for a very long time, going back years. We have a very large library of videos that support this statement. That being said, we do not subscribe to the notion that 'piracy does not exist' in the current build(s) of Star Citizen. This has been the general consensus for many years, while we've been in the shadows proving them wrong.
Our main targets are cargo haulers, and now (with 3.11 and onward) ROC miners. We already have the tools and the means to seize someone's ship by force. I will provide a link below to one of our most recent videos doing that exact thing. We were able to take control of the ship, and hold it for ransom. We demanded a sum of money from the owner of the caterpillar, and once he paid, we delivered his ship to the nearest convenient port with his cargo intact. He was able to collect his ship, sell his cargo, and be on his way.
This method of piracy has proven to work time and time again, however unfortunately it requires the cooperation of the other party, which should not be the case in the long run. With the introduction of 3.11, we have turned our attention to ROC miners, as we have tested and concluded that we can remove gems from the cargo bay of the ROC, put it into a box, and sell it at an illegal trade port. In essence, we can sell stolen items from the ROC.
Now onto my question.... In 3.12, your plan is to introduce the push/pull mechanic for large objects, you have also mentioned introducing the tractor beam in the future. That being said, can these future mechanics be used to remove units of cargo off a ships? If so, that will significantly change the world of piracy in SC for the better. The ONE thing that we're missing is the ability to sell stolen cargo. Thank you for your attention.
Tony: Allowing cargo to be manually extracted from ships is high on our list of priorities and will be possible via the tractor beam, but will also require some revisions to the cargo grid system to make it compatible with local storage and iCache.
Q: I think it was phrased in this way because "when" questions aren't allowed but the root concern is very clear as it is also laid out in the sentences leading up to the question at the very end of the comment. This question has been echoed throughout the community for months. He should have - in my opinion - finally addressed the question that stands behind those concerns. That would have been an easy way to finally get rid of those rumours. They stopped updating the chapter roadmap in Q3 2019. The feature roadmap at the end of Q1 2020. Over a year later the roadmap is nowhere to be seen. The regular updates they promised are nowhere to be seen. And the first episode of a quarterly show has taken over 5 months to produce. So no, nothing that he wrote did anything to address any of the concerns. It just feels like they keep on stalling and that does not inspire any confidence in the current management team at CIG.
Chris: "...finally a lot of people just want to know when a feature or the game will be done. And I think that’s the crux of the issue; it’s impossible to please all the people all the time, and with a project as complicated as Star Citizen or even Squadron 42 it’s impossible to have iron clad dates due to the huge amount of ongoing R&D." Emphasis mine.
I answered the question asked, just not the question YOU wanted answered You're not really asking about what is being worked on Squadron 42, you really just want to know when it will be done. The best answer for your question is Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date but instead once all the tech and content is finished, polished and it plays great. I am not willing to compromise making a game I believe in with all my heart and soul, and even though everyone (including me) wants Squadron 42 sooner than later, it would be doing a huge disservice to everyone working really hard on the project and all of you that are looking forward to it to deliver something that isn't great.
The new roadmap will show how we are doing towards that goal and as we get closer to the end it will be more accurate but it will never be a perfect crystal ball of the future as there is always a certain amount of unpredictability in game development, especially when the game is hugely ambitious and has a very high quality bar; Red Dead Redemption 2, Last of US 2 and now Cyberpunk have all taken a lot longer than originally communicated and those projects didn't even announce a release date until very deep into their production, when most of their tech had been resolved.
We still have a ways to go before we are in Beta, but everyone on Squadron 42 is working very hard to deliver something great.
submitted by StuartGT to starcitizen [link] [comments]


2020.10.09 05:27 _-AlphaWolf-_ Help a school student with a project pls

My school wants me n my grp to make a slideshow in full sanskrit so pls even if u ppl do one line at a time or many ppl help I'll be so grateful. . Here is the text:- Festivals
1) BASCON Festival The BASCON festival is the brainchild of an organization called Gumin Rego Kilaju (GRK), which is working for the social and economic development of the area and the Galo tribe in a sustainable and environment-friendly way. It is held on the banks of the confluence of two rivers named Hie and Kidi near the town of Basar in Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is a festival which is held annually in November at a place called Basar which is the headquarters of the Leparada District in the North-East Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is an organic festival that celebrates the tribal art and culture of the local Galo tribe. The festival is a three-day affair and is a community effort with every member of the Galo tribe lending a helping hand. The festival showcases the culture and heritage of the Galo tribe over a three day long cultural extravaganza. The festival is held in the month of November and is an annual event. Various colourful dances which form an integral part of the various ceremonies of the Galo tribe are presented at the festival. These include dances that are performed at weddings, festivals, and other occasions. 2) Nyokum Festival Nyokum is a festival celebrated by the Nyishi tribe of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Word Nyokum has been derived from the combination of two words - Nyok means land (earth) and Kum means collectiveness or togetherness. Therefore, the Nyokum festival may very well be interpreted as inviting all the Gods and Goddesses of the universe, with the Nyokum Goddess as the principal deity, to a particular venue at a particular time. The festival is commonly celebrated by the people from all class and walk of life for better productivity, prosperity and happiness of all human beings. The Nyokum goddess, the goddess of prosperity is invoked for her blessings so that there may be more and more production of food-grains in the next harvesting season, that the visit of famine may be warded off, and that drought or flood may not hamper cultivation, nor should any insect or animal destroy plants and crops. The Goddess is invoked so that the human race may be strengthened and regenerated. All should be free from unnatural death due to accident, war and epidemic. The main prayer structure of the Nyishi is made of bamboo, called the yugang. Alongside the yugang sacrificial animals are tethered which are usually cows, mithuns and goats. Often one finds small chickens hung from bamboo poles of the yugang. The nyubh or the traditional priest specifies the number and kinds of animals for sacrifice, or any other offering to be made. There are no idols in this worship. Neither is there any permanent structure. Besides the animal sacrifice, beer made from millet seeds and rice paste is used.
People turn up wearing their traditional clothes during this time. The men dress in a cotton eri robe draped from the shoulder and reaching the thighs. From their neck hangs a variety of bead jewellery necklaces. Often semi-precious stones like turquoise adorn these necklaces. The men's attire is topped by a bamboo woven cap on the head. This cap is decorated with feathers or furs of wild animals. The beak of the hornbill is a favorite ornament for the traditional cap. The women also dress in their finery of par ej, earrings bead necklaces, topped with a headdress made of finely scaped bamboo. 3) Si-Dyoni Festival Si-Donyi is the major festival celebrated among the Tagin tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern India. It is celebrated majorly in district headquarter Daporijo, in adjoining town Dumporijo and in Taliha, Siyum areas, also in state capital Itanagar, while in other places also it's being celebrated by Tagin community present there. The festival was first conceptualised in the year 1975 by lt.Tatar Uli, who was the main pioneer in inception of Si-Donyi. The other members who bore the responsibilities were lt.Tadak Dulom and Popak Baghe. The festival was celebrated in the same year under their guidance, and since then, the festival Si donyi has been celebrated by the Tagin tribe. The first priest who led the ritual was Dubi Nigam. It is celebrated from the 4 to 6 January every year. During the festival god Si (Atu Si-male spiritual form of earth) and goddess Donyi (Ayu Donyi-female spiritual form of Sun) is being venerated in their spiritual form. Nibu or the local priest presides over the festival by chanting UI (a form of verbal prayers) to the deities, Si and Donyi in particular for the prosperity of the entire community, to stop malevolent spirits from creating destruction towards the people of community and to ask permission for quality crops and health. Sehtu A platform constructed of bamboos and wood, decorated with required leaves and bamboo stuffs (Nyûgé). The entire hymns and chanting and ghayal sacrifice is done around here. Another key component is dancing; dances such as Chungne, Konyi Bokar, Riabu, and Takar Ghene are performed by the groups of men and women in their traditional attires and ornaments. Older males perform Hoyi Penam which is a specially performed to welcome the spirits. While essentially Etțě, a paste made of rice beer and rice powder is smeared on peoples' faces in celebration. The Mithun gayal is sacrificed for the deities marking the end of festival, while celebration continues for weeks. 4) Mopin The Mopin Festival is an agricultural festival celebrated by the Galo tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India in particular of the Galo group of tribes which resides in East Siang and West Siang districts. It is a celebration of the harvesting season held in the Galo months of "Lumi" and "Luki", corresponding to March–April and the new year for the Galo tribe. The Galo tribe follow an animist religion called Donyi-Polo.
Officially the date of the Mopin Festival is fixed on April 5, but the commencement of the preparation for celebration starts from 2 April and thus, after the main event (i.e. 5 April) it concludes on 7–8 April after the visiting of Paddy field which is known as RIGA ALO. In villages, the celebration starts a month prior. The Mopin Festival is believed to bring wealth and prosperity to all households and to the whole community. The rituals associated with celebrating the Mopin festival drive away evil shadows and bringing blessings, peace and prosperity for all mankind. The main Goddess worshiped during the festival is called Mopin Ane. She is as important to the Galos and is believed to bring in fertility and prosperity. Galo people dress up in their finest white traditional clothing for the festival. A local drink called Apung/Poka (an alcoholic beverage popular in the state prepared by fermentation of rice) is generally distributed among the participants in a bamboo cup and a variety of meals are served, made of rice which is known as Aamin which contains meat and bamboo shoot. Revelers apply Ette, rice flour, to fellow revelers' faces. Since rice is the main staple food of the Galo people this is considered a holy ritual that symbolizes social unity, purity and love. Participants perform a local traditional dance called Popir at this event. The main focal point of the Mopin celebration is the sacrifice of the Mithun (also known as Gayal), a bovine creature that is only found in North East India and Burma. After the sacrifice the blood of the mithun is taken back to the homes and villages as a blessing. 5) Murung Murung is the Festival of Prosperity, celebrated by the Apatanis of Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Pahin Konin (egg-examination) by a priest is the first step to performing of Muruing. It is followed by preparation of a special dish, known as Kaji, which is offered to the patient and relatives. If the patient recovers after it, Murung is performed; otherwise it is ignored. By the onset of winter relatives and neighbours collect firewood. Materials including leaves and canes and bamboo are collected a few days before beginning of main event. Mithuns and cows are tethered at house yard. The next step is selection of sacrificial animals after examination of chicken liver by the priest one day before the festival. It is followed by preparation of Subu-sa (cane rope) on the eve of the festival. Firewood stocked and dried in fields is shifted to the house. Soon after, rice beer prepared by clan-members is brought to Lapang is served to guests. During the day relatives and neighbours visit the family on the day. The priest chants narratives and prays for success of the festival. He also performs omen to decide persons to sacrifice animals in the festival. 6) Pham KO Sowai Pham-Kho-Sowai (a harvesting festival) is a popular festival of the Bugun people. It is now celebrated on a fixed date, starting on 10 September every year. Pham-Kho literally means "mountain" (pham) and "river" or "water" ("kho" is a polysemy for any form of water), considered by the Bugun people to be vital components required for women's survival. Cuisine The dishes typical of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh vary within the region, including according to tribal influence (with the influence of Apatanis, Chuki, adi and Nishi) Apong or rice beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh, as an alcoholic drink. There are different varieties of rice beer with different flavours. The staple food is rice along with fish, meat and many green vegetables. Different varieties of rice are available. Lettuce is the most common and preferred vegetable of all, prepared by boiling it with ginger, coriander and green chillies and pinch of salt. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves is a famous snack. Dishes in eastern districts like Tirap and Changlang have some different method in their way of food preparation. Many wild herbs and shrubs are also part of the cuisine. Dried bamboo shoots are used extensively in cooking. Prior to Indian Independence when British policy to isolate the Hill people [[NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency)NEFA]] were in effect, wild birds and animals were a big part of their diet, but modern restrictions on hunting has made them non-existent. Major Cities 1) Itanagar Itanagar is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The seat of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the seat of government of Arunachal Pradesh, and the seat of Gauhati High Court permanent bench at Naharlagun are all in Itanagar. Ita Fort, one of the most important historical sites in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The name literally means "Fort of bricks"(brick being called "Ita" in the Assamese language). The Ita Fort was built as early as the 14th or the 15th century. The fort has an irregular shape, built mainly with bricks dating back to the 14th-15th Century. The total brickwork is of 16,200 cubic meter lengths which have been identified by some scholars with the Chutiya kingdom. The fort has three different entrances at three different sides, which are western, eastern, and southern sides. Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Itanagar is also known for showcasing the rich tribal culture of the state. Gekar sinyi (Ganga Lake) is a beautiful natural lake which literally means confined lake in the Nyishi dialect. It is surrounded by a landmass of hard rock. Primeval vegetation, orchid masses on tall trees and tree ferns contribute to its popularity as a hot picnic spot and recreation hub. Boating facilities and a swimming pool are available at the site. Itanagar features a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa), with dry, mild winters and warm, wet summers. Itanagar is located at 27.1°N 93.62°E. It has an average elevation of 320 meters.
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