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The Boys

2011.11.09 03:03 The Boys

THE BOYS is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes, who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as Gods, abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the super powerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about “The Seven,” and their formidable Vought backing. We are not affiliated with the show on Prime TV in any capacity.

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Being a Saturday morning and me not having any homework I turned my xbox on and played games for about an hour until My step mum shouted me for breakfast. Pausing the game I ran downstairs. As I got to the kitchen I saw the best thing to see on a Saturday morning. A Whopping stack of American style pancakes.
Jerry waited until her passion reached a very high level and then he drove his cock deep breaking the wall and plunging into the tight wet pussy of his sister.
“What?!” Jenny pondered, half smiling and a little embarrassed now.
"i got something to talk to you about" i said as i hung my head low
Freddy walked out of the airport the Californian sun hit his face. Ok so what to do now Freddy thought to him, how about a car. He made his way to the parking lot. In the parking lot Freddy saw a women who looked to be in her mid thirties getting out of a red BMW he watched her throw her keys in her suitcase and that is when Freddy jumped on this opportunity. He paused time and went through her suitcase and found the keys, Freddy thought about doing something to her but he did not want her to notice her missing keys. Freddy restarted time and watched the lady walk inside the airport ready to get on a flight. Freddy jumped into a car and drove away. Freddy heard his stomach rumble and decided it was time for some food he went to McDonalds. Freddy walked up to the counter and saw a cute blonde probably mid twenties.
After a moment or two, she had relaxed her mouth and was getting into the rhythm with me, applying a little pressure with her lips at each pass and keeping them wet. A couple of times her tongue would touch my shaft as she wet her lips and each time . . . my cock would throb with pleasure. She must have noticed this as she clearly tried a few times to lick her lips a bit extra . . . to watch my reaction as her tongue ran over the tip of my cock.
“Signor, I understand your father painted the village painting over there” Candy said pointing, “Please tell us a little about your homeland.”
‘I’m so sorry’ he repeated over and over again, but already he was grabbing his car keys and coat. ‘I’m going to stay at a friend’s house for a couple of days until you calm down’
“So you're telling me this is a room specifically designed to have sex in?”
There was no room for gentleness or subtlety in this encounter, as I found out. I wasn’t even sure if it was possible for me to go faster. After a few minutes, it even began to hurt. To convey how I felt, I reached up with one hand and smacked Megan’s ass, hard. Somehow, she seemed to get the memo and in response, she arched her back harder, allowing me better access to slide in and out without sacrificing comfort. I thanked her by going faster, an action I have no doubt she noticed.
Candy passed right by Kayla on her return from the bathroom and said not a word. Kayla used the bathroom and found the other three teens at the breakfast bar.
"No, she gave me an implant." Dean pointed at his hairless scrotum. "It's like a temporary vasectomy. I didn't want you to have to worry, Zoe, but I didn't want to pressure you so I didn't say anything." He sheepishly added, "and then we got carried away and I guess I just forgot."
The woman had her lips over the man's good sized tool. She was bobbing her head up and down, taking almost his entire shaft in her mouth on each stroke. You could see from the fact that her cheeks were pulled in that she was giving his prick a good sucking while stroking it with her lips. I don't know why they call it a blowjob. It should be called a suck job. He was obviously enjoying it. He kept moaning and telling her how good it felt. After a couple minutes he held her head still with most of his cock in her mouth. You could see his hips jerk slightly several times. The woman pulled off of him, looked at him smiled and licked her lips. Then they got up and headed back toward the beach. As they passed near where we thought we were hiding, he smiled at us and gave us a thumbs up.
"J.t what are you doing? OOHH my god J.T you have to stop!" my sister gasped.
The sensation brought Christy into her own world. Everything else - Jo in her chair, Charlie's hot skin against her thighs, the bed beneath her - melted away and all she felt was Charlie's mouth on her clit. She may have moaned, can't be sure. Her brain short circuited and only wanted one thing now: MORE.
"Thanks, are you alright?" he asked concerned, it wasn't until then that i noticed I’d been crying slightly and my face was blotchy "Fine, i have to go clean..." I trialed off gesturing at the mess on the floor
When we got home all Lucy wanted was to get clean. She took a shower, she took a bubble bath, and her mother helped her douche and gave her an enema too. Then Lucy took another bath and went to bed.
“Happy to help.” I replied.
I did like him talking to me that way. It was driving me crazy to hear his deep voice degrading me for some reason. I just couldn’t confirm it to him because I was really getting into sucking Justin’s cock. He could probably tell by the look of total pleasure I had in my eyes that I liked it, or by the way my hips were now eagerly rising off the floor to welcome each of his amazingly pleasure filled thrusts.
Emmy stands there waiting, eager for him to come pick her up. She looks worried as she sees a couple of older drunk guys stumbling their way down the street. She stands on the edge of the sidewalk, looking ahead and folding her arms, hoping they ignore her. They walk past and instantly take notice. "Hey baby, what you doing out here all alone?" One of them slurs arrogantly.
“You are a funny boy. Perhaps we will be friends, yes?” she still had me pushed up against the wall with one freezing hand but gradually the pressure eased and I slowly turned to face her. “Perhaps more than that, yes?” she smiled and I couldn’t help but shiver. She waited for me to respond but all I could do was glare at her to hide my terror and revulsion.
And she was jerking herself too, to the sight of him. I knew I should feel ashamed, but the forbiddenness of it only excited me more. I shifted, and he almost bolted, which made me smile. Then I rolled over onto my left side. Now I could look straight forward and catch the full reflected lewdness. But what was his view? Looking up towards my lower body, all he could now see was my shapely bum and hips, which are admittedly one feature I am most proud of. With my left hand, I pulled up my left bum cheek, the better to expose my vag and puckered butthole, and reached between my legs with my right hand to keep the strumming going. He could have stared straight up my anal canal from there, which was an astonishingly dirty thought that made me hum with surprise and arousal.
Sasha reached out and ran a hand up my sister’s hard stomach, between her large breasts and caressed her face. She said something in what I was now assuming was Russian in my direction and Natalia translated.
puddling come from the bed.
I was determined that one way or the other those teachers were going to vote for me.
along. The fact that we go to different schools and have different friends doesn't seem to affect our
Zane opened the door and greeted his girls. They didn’t really seem happy.
“You’re right man she’s very hot,” one of the guys said as his hand held one of my breasts and he squeezed it and my nipple. It felt really intense as my breasts were becoming more tender from the pregnancy. The other guy had his hands all over my butt he was squeezing and kneading my cheeks and pulling my butt open.
"Snowhawk-Sun what's going on?" Snowhawk bit her bottom lip. Should she tell Hern she was sleeping with Moonshadow? Snowhawks shoulders sagged.
The whistle blew and I shot. It was textbook. My right knee kissed the mat, I got both hands right where I wanted them one behind each knee…
Taylor then gazed up at him with a grin, let go and took his whole cock in her mouth. Her head bobbed up and down swiftly as she paused ever so often to suck the tip. She pulled her mouth off to stroke his cock slowly again. She leaned in wrapping her large beautiful tits around his cock making it disappear. She bounced up and down, her tits fucking his cock like it was all that mattered. Many people had gathered around and were screaming and cheering. A couple of guys had even taken it on themselves to take a handful of her ass or give it a good slap.
He smiles kind of deviously, “I was hoping you would say that."
Jake really hated this He could almost feel her panic.
Read 49287 times
“Robbie, are you about ready to leave?” Mrs. Fletcher’s eager voice asked from the other end.
She pinched me and I winced, “Not a dream Max. I’m being serious this time. Although I am gonna miss the sex.”
I heard Bella breathe deeply into the phone, “Oh fuck, I love this thing.” More sucking sounds.
Clasping his hand as he reached the front doors, a girl seemingly appeared beside him out of thin air. Jenny Sinclair, her appearance meant nothing to his cold heart, but his opinion was of no concern in the unquestionable fact that she was exceptionally beautiful. She had a well-tanned complexion, bright blue eyes, and long blonde hair. It caught the light beautifully with a deep full golden shade. Her figure was… womanly, to say the least. Were he a normal teenager, Adrian would have gone into a stupor at the sensation of her hand touching his, but with his emotions and desires sealed away, her appearance meant nothing to him.
“It felt good soon enough and he kept pumping his dick into me as fast as he could. Then he moaned and cummed and that was that…”
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2023.03.29 22:46 RingoCross99 The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 4)

The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 4)
Have a blast!
The Adventure Games
By Ringo Cross
Chapter 1: Insight
I stepped into my apartment, placed my back to the door and sighed in relief. Thank God I was home. I hadn’t been for the past few days. I was at the hospital watching over my sister with our parents. Just when we were starting to get our hopes up. Just when we thought she was going to make a full recovery, she took a turn for the worse.
It all felt more like a curse than an affliction. My sister went from a healthy, happy-go-lucky teenager, to a fever-stricken soul, stranded somewhere between the land of the living and nonliving. She had a sudden case of sleeping beauty syndrome. The doctors didn’t know for sure, but they suspected the strange bite on her neck was the culprit. Two neat puncture wounds rationalized away as an animal bite. We all knew what it really was, it’s just that no one wanted to be the one who was crazy enough to say it.
It was like her body was slowly wasting away. Was she becoming undone, or perhaps something else altogether? Eh... Who knows. I did know one thing for sure, it was all too grim and preposterous a reality for my parents to accept. No matter what the doctors tried or how hard mom and dad prayed for her deliverance, she just kept getting worse while acting stranger.
It was like she had been pulled from the world, and we had all been pulled right along with her, into a strange new world that made no sense. Her doctors told us that at the rate she was deteriorating, she didn’t have much time left. God. I wish this was the part where I told you, “I became a superhero and saved her life.” Maybe in my own roundabout way, I did become something of her savior.
The truth is, what happened to her, I... I never saw it coming. Did vampires really exist? I couldn’t tell you how much or how long this question had tortured my mind. I was going to do some serious digging and get to the bottom of this. Because if there was any way to save her; to stop her from fading, I swore to find it.
My phone began to ring. It was my parents. They were at the hospital, keeping vigil at her bedside. I shook my head while thinking about how much of a toll her sudden illness had taken upon them. They were both so virtues and upright. Their faith in God had really been shaken. I turned my phone on silent mode. I-I didn’t want to talk to them. I needed time to grieve on my own.
I wanted a beer. No, I needed a beer. Something cold and inebriating to free my mind from the pain of watching my little sister slip away. I’m surprised I made it this long without dipping into my reserves, I thought to myself as I reached into the fridge and grabbed a cold one.
I just sat there at my kitchen table. Reliving as many memories of us together as I could. There were so many. I... I adored her more than life itself. She could do no wrong. Her smile... it... it haunts me. My God, I never knew pain like this. I had never followed my parents down the “righteous path.” I always considered myself a person of logic and reason. Simply believing in a higher power wasn’t enough for me, neither had it ever been enough to ease the void of loneliness within me.
But after this, how could I not believe in God? How could I explain away my grief? All I wanted was for this to all make sense. Maybe it was her time? Even if it was, why like this? Why so tragic and bitter? There were just too many reasons why I stopped believing. Crazy thing was, right now, I desperately wanted to believe. I wanted to close my eyes, clasp my hands together, and pray for a miracle. I tried but couldn’t bring myself to do so, no matter how strong the desire. There was no God, and a crisis wasn’t my chance to retreat.
I had seen the dark side of faith. The way my parents justified what happen to my baby sister by saying, “God has a plan” made me sick to my core. Just thinking about it made me nauseous. My faith had been stretched to the breaking point a long time ago. This was just the sad culmination of a collision between faith and obstinacy. The explosion went off like a bomb in my head. The pain was truly limitless... I just hoped her death didn’t turn me into a serial killer. I smirked at my own inane, insane thought before downing my beer.
I grabbed another beer to drown my sorrows in. Just then, there was a sudden knock at the door. The slight but unmistakable tapping surprised the crap out of me. So much so, I almost spilled my beer. I figured it was my ex. She had planned on stopping by a bit later to return my key and to pick up the last of her things.
When I looked through the peephole, I saw two people standing there in black suits. The sight threw me off and made me briefly sick to my stomach. Little did I know, I should have followed my gut instinct, but instead, I foolishly opened the door.
“Hello, Mr. Graham. My name’s Agent Adams. This is my partner, Agent Harris.”
Before I could process what was happening, Agent Harris extended her hand and said, “Pleasure.”
“Um... You too, I think? I guess? Hope I’m not in any trouble?” I told her.
“You’re not,” she smirked.
“Who are you guys again?”
“We work for the government,” she said.
“The FBI?” I asked.
“Ugh. Everyone says that. I guess it is the suits,” Agent Adams grumbled. He shook his head in annoyance before adding, “We work for the Department of Homeland Security. DPI for short. It’s the paranormal division.”
“Who again?” I asked him.
“Eh. The Department of Paranormal Investigations,” he clarified with something of an attitude.
“Huh. Never heard of it,” I spoke.
“Can we come in, Mr. Graham?” he asked.
I thought about it for a moment. I didn’t like this Agent Adams guy. He gave off a bad vibe. My first mind was to tell them to kick rocks, but I decided against being so brash and rash just in case they had a warrant. I wasn’t thinking straight. My sister’s woes weighed too mightily on my spirit. Before letting them pass, I did ask to see some identification. I’m not that stupid. Had to be sure they weren’t pulling my leg.
Agent Adams flashed his badge with a slight grumble. Agent Harris had no problem letting me see hers. She was at least pleasant, I thought while examining her government ID. I also wondered why someone so young and attractive had been stuck with someone so old and unattractive. I bet she hated her partner, I thought to myself with a smirk, as I let them pass through the door.
Agent Adams took a seat at my kitchen table without me offering. His partner looked at him a bit perplexed before waiting until I said, “It’s ok. You can have a seat.”
“Thank you,” she replied.
“So, what brings two DPI agents to my home? You sure I haven’t done anything illegal?”
“Hmm... Maybe there is something you’d like to confess, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams spoke.
“I don’t know. Maybe I have an old parking ticket or something minor like that.”
“We don’t handle citations,” he replied.
“Sorry. Dumb question.”
“Apology rejected,” he uttered.
“Uh-hm. Forgive my partner he can be a bit—"
Agent Adams brought his hand to his chin. His abrupt gesture caused his partner to pause mid-sentence and look over at him. The two exchanged glances. He paused for a moment more before saying, “That’s a nice brand of beer. I haven’t had a cold one in a while.”
“Would you like one? I have plenty.”
“Really?” I asked.
“You offered. I accepted.”
“Uh, what about you, Miss Harris?”
“It’s Agent Harris. And no.” She looked over at her partner with a raised eyebrow, “Can you not drink on the job? It’s unprofessional.”
“Fine,” he grumbled before reaching into the inner pocket of his suit coat to retrieve his vape pen.
“Are you sure? Like I said I have plenty.”
“I’m sure. I am the senior agent after all. Probably should set a better example and all,” with a wink he added, “If you survive, I’ll come back and take you up on that offer, Mr. Graham.”
“How do you know he’ll even want to participate?” his partner asked. I could hear the annoyance in her tone. She groaned before telling me, “Sorry about that.”
Agent Adams let out a heavy cloud of steam. He studied me a fair bit longer than I was comfort with. Especially someone like him, whose eyes were grey enough to sting. He took another hit from his vape pen. This time blowing the steam in my direction. His wrinkled face blocked out by the heavy cloud as he said, “Oh, he’ll join, alright. He’s not in any position to refuse.”
“That’s pretentious,” she grumbled.
“Hah. It’s the truth.”
“What the hell is this about?”
“Your sister, Mr. Graham,” he said.
“What about her?” I asked.
“We know what happened.”
“Um. Okay? Creepy.”
“Uh, what my partner is trying to say is that we might be able to help. I reviewed her chart. I think I know what the problem is,” Agent Harris explained.
“What can a couple of government agents do that a team of doctors haven’t already tried?” I asked.
“Your sister. She was bitten by a vampire, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams stated. He paused for a moment to study my reaction before adding, “You seem like a clever guy. I’m sure you already suspected as much.”
“So, they do exist,” I mumbled to myself.
“Yes. The vampire who attacked your sister was probably desperate. He broke what are a set of well-established rules called Blood Codes.”
“Really? Vampires have rules?”
“There’s always rules, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever. And where is this freak? I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on him.”
“He’s already been dealt with.”
“By you guys?”
“By his overseer.”
“Good. I hope his death was slow and painful.”
“It was. Their methods are very draconian.”
“Then what do you need from me?” I asked.
“What about you? Would you kill to save your sister?”
“I would if I had to,” I affirmed without hesitation or reservation. I suppose I only spoke so confidently and assuredly because I thought it was a hypothetical. I mean this was the government after all. They would never ask me to do anything crazy, right? But then again, I would’ve told you you were crazy if you would have told me vampires were a real thing before my sister was attacked by one. Still, his question was odd. And the more I thought about it, the more it disturbed me.
Agent Harris chimed in, “Um, Mr. Graham, I’m sorry. I don’t know why my partner said that. You shouldn’t have to kill anyone. For you, it’s probably more a matter of participation than annihilation. If we did require you to do such a thing, rest assure, we’d provide you with all the materials necessary to succeed. Before you ask, we’re on your side, Mr. Graham. We want you to see your sister once the games have concluded.”
“The games?” I asked.
“Yes. If you enter our game, we’ll save your sister’s life. No questions asked,” she replied.
“What kind of game?”
“The Adventure Games.”
“The what games?”
“Adventure Games,” she smirked.
“What’s the catch?”
“Well, the games could be dang—”
Agent Adams quickly butted in before Agent Harris could reveal the truth. “There’s no catch, Mr. Graham. None whatsoever. Don’t listen to my partner. She can be a bit too detail orientated.”
“The devil is always in the details,” I muttered.
“But not a cure for your sister,” he coldly replied.
“Hey. What is that supposed to mean?”
“What do you think? Do you want to waste time going over the fine print, or do you want to step up to the plate and save your sister?”
I thought about it for a moment. “Eh. How do I know I can trust you to keep your word? I mean the government isn’t exactly super trustworthy.”
“Know what, I like you, Mr. Graham. Tell you what I’ll do. Humph. If you agree, we’ll transfer your sister to our facility, right away. That way she can get a jumpstart on her treatment program before you even set foot in the games,” he checked his wristwatch and added, “We can get her there by midnight. Let’s see... hmm... typical turnaround for blood sickness is what? Maybe a few hours if we play our cards right?”
“Six to eighteen hours is more accurate,” Agent Harris clarified to her partner’s chagrin.
“Close enough,” he grumbled.
Agent Harris ignored him. Turning her attention back to me, she said, “I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first?”
“Give me the good news.”
“Ok. Based on her chart, it looks like her affliction has progressed beyond normal blood sickness. Once we administer the antidote, she should be fine, but there’s always a chance she won’t make it. I’m sure our techs back at the lab will make the process as painless as possible for your sister. This is what I can do for you if you decide to join the project. I promise we’ll have her call you before you leave for the games.”
“Great. Where do I sign?” I asked.
Agent Adams put away his vape pen. “You don’t sign. You signing something doesn’t matter. We’re dealing with information above top secret, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever,” I shrugged.
“There is one other thing,” Agent Harris said.
“The bad news, right?”
“Right,” she nodded.
Agent Harris looked over at her partner. She was careful not to reveal anything more until he nodded his head in approval. Some of the info they had already revealed was pushing the line above top secret into ‘black protocol’ territory, or what agents at DPI called “above top secret classification.”
Agent Adams nodded before quickly returning his attention back to vaping, retrieving the addictive device almost faster than he had put it away.
Agent Harris cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Mr. Graham. Your sister’s illness has progressed too far. We can save her, but she won’t be human anymore. She’ll be a vampire. The transformation is irreversible I’m afraid.”
“Really? A vampire?”
“That is correct.”
“Jesus. I need a smoke,” I said as I jumped from my chair and grabbed the pack of smokes sitting on my kitchen counter. I lit one up and began pacing back and forth like a madman. With a bit of reluctance, I turned to Agent Harris and grumbled, “How fast can we get this done?”
“Now, if you agree.”
“That fast, huh?”
“Yes. We already have a team standing by. One phone call from us and they’ll began the extraction.”
“I already told you, I’m in.”
When I reaffirmed my commitment, Agent Adams looked over at his partner with a smug “I told you so” expression. He stood and extended his hand for me to shake. “Good choice, Mr. Graham. You’re a real champ.”
I shook his hand while glaring into his eyes. “You guys better not be trying to pull a fast one.”
“We wouldn’t. You’re not that important,” he smirked before blowing a cloud of steam into my face. “Goodbye, Mr. Graham. I’m sure I won’t be seeing you around,” he sarcastically added before heading for the door.
I shook Agent Harris’ hand. She removed her shades and told me, “Good luck, Mr. Graham.”
“What do I do next?”
“Pack light and wait.”
“Really? That’s it?”
“Yeah. We’ll be back in a couple of hours to take you to prescreening.”
“Sounds fair.”
“Good to hear.”
“So, what are these ‘Adventure Games’ anyway?”
She placed her shades back on. Her expression distant and cold. “Sit tight. We have to make a few arrangements and finish up some paperwork on our end before I can reveal any information. I’m sure the paperwork will get approved by the time we come back for you. Once this happens, I’ll explain everything you need to know.”
I just stood there dumbfounded by the moment. I could hear Agent Harris discussing Agent Adams’ conduct as they let themselves out and began making their way down the hall. Apparently, Agent Harris was disappointed that he had asked me for a beer. She pointed out that this was an obvious workplace violation, and how he could be terminated for his conduct. He found her chiding amusing and told her he had no intentions on drinking on the job. When he made this claim, she was incredulous and asked what possessed him to even ask in the first place.
I could barely hear them at this point since they were standing by the elevator. But I believe his response was something on the lines of, “I wanted to read his reaction. If he handled himself wisely, I knew we wouldn’t have a problem recruiting him for the games.”
“And if he reacted poorly?” she asked.
“Well then, your little behavioral profile would have been wrong, and we would’ve had a head start on finding his replacement,” he told her.
I closed the door in disgust. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or if they could even be trusted. I knew it too. That cliché feeling had reached all the way down to my gut. My conscience... the good angel on my shoulder was telling me to run.
With a heavy heart, I chose to ignore the voice. My sister’s life hung in the balance. Sometimes in life you had to take risks. My choice to go along with these agents and their dubious claims wasn’t a tough or noble act. It was one wrought from desperation. What were my options? Not joining meant my sister would waste away until it was too late. Phew. This was a lot of pressure. My back was against the wall literally and figuratively.
I let out a long sigh and mustered the courage to begin packing. I hadn’t gotten much sleep either. Hopefully the car ride to wherever we were going would be a long one, and I could get some much-needed rest, I thought to myself as I shoved way too many things into my bag.
Tears escaped from my eyes. I had to stay the course. I had to hear her voice. I finally broke down and prayed to God, asking him to look over me. I still didn’t believe. I don’t know why I did it. I guess out of hope or necessity. My sister meant the world to me, and my parents, I don’t know what they would do if she perished.
Chapter 2: Foresight
The following day was a blur. I was taken to a massive facility that stood in the middle of nowhere. It was on the outskirts of the outskirts. The place was so far removed, they didn’t even bother with a blindfold. There was no elaborate story of denial, or even the whole “we cannot confirm or deny” troupe.
Nope. This was a secret facility where the government housed and did God knows who or what to who or what. From what I gathered, they performed strange experiments on poor sods, such as myself, who had foolishly signed their lives away. I gulped and told myself to shut up. If you think negative things, then you get negative results.
A group of oddly dressed soldiers called “acolytes” escorted me from the transport van to the staging area. I was able to check in with my sister, just like the agents promised. She was doing much better. The thought put a smile on my face and was all the motivation I needed. Now all I needed to do was win, so I could see her again.
Knock on wood, but if something were to happen to me, I didn’t really care. All that mattered was that little sis had finally turned the corner. I swear on my soul. This was more than I could have ever hoped for.
After answering an uncomfortable amount of questions and going through a battery of physical and mental tests, I was given the greenlight by the staff to join the event. This all happened at approximately 1400 hours the next day. I was taken away from the annoying, prodding techs in lab coats. I wouldn’t have mind leaving them behind, along with their invasive procedures if it wasn’t for the soldiers who escorted me to the staging area. They were cold and mechanical. They roughly shooed me to a section of the facility called Bunker 17, as if they were putting a dog back inside its kennel. We arrived at this damnable place, via elevator, twenty floors down.
To my surprise, there were already several people waiting when I arrived. They were all kind of just lingering about not doing much of anything. In front of us stood a pair of massive concrete doors that looked like the entrance to a mini fortress. We were all wearing these odd name tags. The moment made me sick to my stomach. The gazes of suspicion, intrigue, and indifference made me briefly curl up like a shrinking violet.
Hmm... No one told me I would be joined by others. I shrugged and figured as much. I was about to introduce myself when one of the soldiers radioed Command and informed them that we were ready to enter. Command radioed back and told them to give the signal. One of the acolyte soldiers gave a thumbs up, which I imagine they saw on the camera, right above the door.
When he did this an alarm sounded, red strobes flashed all arounds us, and the doors began to slowly creep open. The noise only added to the confusion and bewilderment. I took a step back, sure that the roof was going to collapse with every inch the doors gained. The whole thing was about as unnerving and uninviting as it could get. It looked more like a giant mouth slowly feasting upon the light, warning us to turn back, than an entrance.
We stepped inside only to be greeted by another set of massive doors. These were steel instead of concrete and looked like they could have been placed on the entrance to an impenetrable castle way up in the mountains. I looked back when the concrete doors begin to close. Only when they had fully shut, and we were devoured by the darkness, did the steel doors begin to open their mouth. The inner doors creaked and cranked, making the loudest, most-angriest sound imaginable. The process was excruciating and played on my mind almost as much as it played on my ears.
There was a great deal of radio chatter. The soldiers thrust us through the entrance. When we had all crossed the red line, one of them radioed Command, and the doors began to slowly close behind us. Fight or flight kicked in. I thought about making a run for it, but I could tell that that was bad idea by the way the soldiers were positioned behind the door with their weapons drawn.
I swear I could feel their laser sights more than I could see them in the piercing darkness. There was nothing like a big gun to chop through any language or mental barrier. It was louder and harder than any bull in any China shop would ever be.
I sighed when the doors finally closed behind us. My first thought was, what the hell had I gotten myself into? Followed quickly by, I can’t believe I let myself be talked into this. Before any of us could gather our bearings, the lights began to turn on. Once my eyes had adjusted to the blinding whiteness, I stood around like everyone else, amazed and surprised by the sight in front of me. It was funny in a sense. I was relieved by familiarity as it was the last thing on my mind.
It looked like a well-kept emergency shelter. The floors sparkled as if they had been waxed in preparation for our arrival. The kitchen and dayroom took up the bulk of the space. Before I could really sink my teeth into some good ole fashioned exploration, a voice could be heard over the loudspeaker. The prerecording was that of a woman, who sounded a bit robotic and automated, as if it had been altered to sound as friendly as possible. Which made it even more odd and creepy:
“Greetings, contestants! Welcome to the Adventure Games! These are the inaugural games, making this the very first event of its kind! So, consider yourselves lucky! The games have been lowered in difficulty by our wonderful technicians by approximately fifteen percent in honor of you being the very first souls to be taken.
I’m sure you’re all confused and have a lot of questions. Should I explain? Of course, I should explain! Well, here goes nothing! There are seven of you in total. You have all been locked inside of one of our many, many, many underground shelters! Bunker 17 to be precise. Which is part of the Northeastern Hemisphere Underground Network Systems, or N-HUN for short. That’s right! Your bunker is part of a much wider, global network that is maintained and operated by the New World Government Order or NWGO and members of the New Faith Alliance or NFA.
There are six levels of access in total. To gain access to the lower levels you need a “Marc” card. Which is short for Mark of Identifying numbers. Sorry average humans, only vampires and human personnel critical to the mission are given one. Don’t feel too bad, only high-ranking members of the NFA have access to the lower levels. And only super important people have access to the final level. Take my word for it, I’ve been down to level six and it’s definitely not a place you ever want to be.
I would tell you all about the many wonders, crazy contraptions, odd attractions, and foul creatures we keep below, but then I’d have to release the laughing gas... Just kidding... It’s actually sarin gas!
You have all been locked inside of Bunker 17. We stocked the place with plenty of provisions, so you won’t have to worry about starving to death for a very long time if anything terrible was to happen while you were away like, I don’t know, nuclear holocaust.
The recreational room is also state of the art. All the amenities you need are here. We made sure to provide our contestants with everything imaginable so all you’ll have to worry about is staying alive!
If you were to survive the games, which I highly doubt, then we will do as promised and grant you your wish, via taxpayer expense. There’s nothing the Illuminati loves more than wasting hard stolen taxpayer money on frivolous expenditures like elaborate “stress tests” on bunker sociology to see who’ll break.
All of you came here for a reason. One of you however asked to be here so you could murder everyone else who came here for a reason! Hooray for having zero conscience, our super mysterious serial killer contestant! How do you stop this maniac from murdering you? Why the answer is simple. Figure out which one of you is the murdering maniac and you win! That’s right, the game is officially over, and you can go home and enjoy whatever foolish thing you wished for. Hope it was worth it!
How might you rid yourselves of this psychopath, you ask? Please direct your attention to our voting room. Inside is a small stall, no bigger than an outhouse. At the end of each day, you will go inside, one by one, and vote on who you think the killer is. If the majority votes correctly then the game is over. If there is a tie or lower, then the games continue. Oh, and just to make things fair, the killer will always vote for themselves. This will continue until enough of you vote correctly or everyone besides the killer is D.E.A.D.
♫ Do-do-do dodo! ♫
Congratz subject number 4, Roger J. Pierson III. You have been assigned the master bedroom! Which means you are responsible for reading the daily tasks! What daily tasks you might wonder? Why they’re clues to help you solve the killer-mystery, so pay close attention!
How does it work? Each day Roger will receive a card from HQ, using our spiffy pneumatic system, with direct access to the master bedroom. Our technicians, who helped created this wonderful kill box, call these messages ‘Vital Tasks’. Gather in one place and read them carefully, but only if you’re interested in surviving.
Good luck everyone! Oh, and be sure to have fun while playing. There is a small suggestion box located in the recreational room, next to the TV. All suggestions are anonymous and will help us to not only create a better experience, but even more enjoyable deaths! Salutations! Enjoy your stay at our super-secret underground facility! Thank you for your participation in the Adventure Games! And remember, no matter what happens, you are a valued guest at Bunker 17!”
When the strange announcement ended, everyone just kind of looked around in confusion. It was one of those moments when you question reality. There were seven of us in total. Everyone was wearing a name tag. Each name was more of a twisted moniker than our actual name. I looked down at my own and saw the word “Hero.” I found this odd for a few reasons. The first being I wasn’t a hero. I was your average guy at best. The second, more chilling reason was I did not remember putting this stupid thing on. How it got there was a mystery. I suppose in the thick of the chaos, one of the lab technicians must’ve slapped it on before they rushed me out.
The guy next to me, whose name tag read “Follower,” began to spaz. I tried to calm him, but it didn’t work. He made a break for it, running all the way back to the entrance. “Let me out! I didn’t sign up for this!” he cried and screamed while pounding on the steel slab.
There was a tall, bulky guy, wearing a tank top that barely fit. His name tag read “Bully” and was glued to his chest. He flexed his peck muscles and laughed very loudly and rudely at the young guy. He looked over at me and then everyone else while wildly yelling, “Come on guys! They’re obviously trying to scare us. The lady over the intercom wasn’t even trying to hide how obvious it was with all those corny jokes. What is this supposed to be? Fallout: New Vegas?!” He hooted and chuckled.
“This is stupid,” the woman next to me said. I looked over and saw that her name tag read: “Narcissist.”
“Screw it,” the Follower said after seeing that he was making a fool out of himself by crying and wailing not only in vain but to the amusement of others.
“I want to go home,” a girl sniveled. I glanced over and saw that her name tag read, “Teenager.”
Bully’s laughter pulled me away from the shock of seeing a teenager in a place like this. I cringed when he hollered out “Guys! It’s not real!” as if he wasn’t making yet another useless PSA.
There was this guy leaning against the wall. He watched with folded arms as the Follower finally gave up the goose. I could have sworn he was just standing right next to me, but I could be wrong. His name tag read “the Rationalizer.” He looked over at us and asked, in a very matter-of-fact tone, “So. What do we do now?”
“Let’s go get the message like the lady said over the intercom,” I told everyone with a shrug.
“Good idea,” the Rationalizer said. I think he was being sarcastic when he said it, but who knows. A guy like that was difficult to read.
The seven of us traveled through the kitchen and recreational area. Then we made our way down the narrow hall, towards our rooms. There were two names assigned to each one, except for the master bedroom. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that the Rationalizer was assigned to the same room as me. Seeing my discomfort, he gave me a pat on the back before opening the door to our room.
I peeked inside and saw a very clean but very bare bones living space. There were a few accommodations, just nothing like home. Let’s see, there was a bunkbed on one side, two lockers, and a large dresser on the other. The floor was just as cold, polished, and uninviting as the kitchen and hall. Turns out, the only thing they bothered to make warm and cozy was the recreational room. Oh, and the master bedroom, hate to forget that.
I poked my head in Roger’s room. If I hadn’t mentioned it by now, his name tag read: “the Lover.” He damn near kissed the floor when he saw how magnificent his stay would be. His reaction rubbed pretty much all of us the wrong way. The Narcissist’s in particular. When she saw her room, and realized she had to share with the Teenager, she hyperventilated. Unlike the Lover’s eccentrics, her selfishly induced panic attack put a smile on my face.
“Huh. Looks like they got at least one of our name tags spot-on,” the Rationalizer said while observing her antics and thinking the same thing I was thinking.
Bully nearly buckled over he laughed so hard. Seeing this and that he shared a room with this meathead, the Follower began laughing right along with him. I don’t even think he knew why he was laughing. He saw Bully doing it and just followed along. I shook my head. I did chuckle a bit under my breath. The whole thing was ridiculous, I thought to myself as I turned my attention back to the Lover. There was something about him that was different. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
Was there a faster way to draw suspicion than being called out by name and given something. Not only was it something, but it happened to be the one spacious, well decorated, most comfortable room out of the whole lot. Silk pillows, satin sheets, and a handwoven quilt that was draped over the bottom of a lavish, four-post bed. The posts were shaped into gargoyles. Even his dresser was handcrafted, the wallpaper elegant, and the red carpet fit for royalty. I could go on and on, but I didn’t want my intrigue to turn into outrage. Not yet at least. This all could be a prank like Bully suggested.
Eh. I know I keep harping on the subject, but it was hella unfair. What could I do? Even if I wanted to take it there, what were my options? Try to take the room from him by force? Yeah. That’s smart. That way everyone would think I was the killer for sure.
I had never even thought about killing someone in my whole life. Ok... you got me. The vampire who nearly killed my sister was the only creature. Hearing Agent Adams tell me he had been cruelly dispatched by his masters was sweet music to my ears. My only regret was that I wasn’t there to witness him suffer. If I was, I would have begged the monster behind the mask to prolong his pain for as long as vampirically possible.
“Hey, pal! Hurry up! I’m starving,” Bully shouted, snapping my mind out of its downward spiral of dark, borderline psychotic thought.
“I’m grabbing the card now!” the Lover shouted back before seizing the plastic capsule that was ejected from a long, pneumatic tube system. He removed the card from the red envelope and read what it said:
Task 1. Introduce yourself to the others. State all critical information such as name, age, and reason you’re here. This is very important: reveal if you are human or not. Do not lie unless you are the killer. You may remove your name tag afterwards.”
After he read the card, we all glanced around at one another, wondering if this was indeed someone’s idea of a sick joke. Or perhaps this was a dream we would all wake up from very soon? I prayed for the ladder but feared and respected the former. My thoughts loud and sweeping amidst the awkward silence that had overtaken us.
Bully rubbed his stomach. “I’m hungry. You guys can keep standing around looking stupid if you want. I’m off to see what’s in the fridge.”
“Um. Gross,” the Narcissist stated before she checked the pockets of her stylish plaid topcoat. She gasped in exasperation before yelping in dismay, “OMG. But how? How did they even know?”
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“They must’ve taken it!” she cried.
“Taken what?” I asked.
She looked over at me with an expression that told me everything I needed to know. Then she groaned out the most unimaginative words imaginable, “God. I thought I smuggled my backup phone. I put it in my pocket, it should be here. Screw it. Guess I’ll just die of boredom.”
“Or you could reconnect with your other senses,” the Rationalizer said. He folded his arms and stared at the Narcissist hungrily. If she wasn’t so preoccupied with being preoccupied by nothing, she would have noticed his lecherous gawk.
“Whatever. I hate my life,” she sighed.
“What’s a ‘backup’ phone?” I asked.
“Old people, dude,” the Follower blurted before chuckling to himself at my expense.
“I’m not old. I just never heard of a backup phone,” I explained, my tone a bit defensive.
“My bad, bro. Don’t get mad.”
“I’m not getting mad.”
“Hey. Whatever you say, bro.”
“It’s your other phone just in case your non other phone dies. Tch. Duh. I have followers, you know,” she replied all hot and haughtily.
“Come on guys,” I said before making my way towards the kitchen. Bully was already there, rummaging through the cupboards like a man on a mission.
When he saw us, he looked back and said, “I’m starving, haven’t eaten since breakfast!”
“How are we looking? Plenty of good stuff?” I asked as I made my approach.
“Bingo!” he hooted and rooted, ignoring me like a butthole over a loaf of bread. He made some weird comment about how he couldn’t believe they had sprouted grain bread. And how sprouted grain bread was savage. And how sprouted grain bread aided in muscle recovery. And how sprouted grain bread blah blah blah; all bodybuilding nonsense no one else understood. I understood how rude he was, however. He practically commandeered the counter and began making himself half a dozen sandwiches with the ham that he had snagged from the fridge.
“How are we looking?” I asked again.
“Dude, we’re freaking loaded!”
I opened the large pantry and saw four shelves filled with cans. “Wow. Yeah, you’re right.”
The one guy, who had the master bedroom, the Lover, I believe his name tag was; he cleared his throat and said, “Ok. So, who’s going to go first?”
“First in what?” the Follower asked.
“Introducing themselves,” he hissed.
“Tch. I’m not wasting my time,” the Follower laughed. To be honest, he seemed like a nice kid, but his laugh was maddening. This high pitch chortle followed by a guttural snort or two. Ugh. Just thinking about it made my skin crawl.
“I think you should go first,” I told Bully.
“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?” he asked.
“Because you’re a big oaf.”
Everyone at the table laughed, including the Follower. He stood from his seat, still snorting, and said, “Dude! You have a mountain of sandwiches! You could have at least asked if anyone else wanted one.”
Bully laughed before and after taking a chunk out of his first sandwich. “Whatever. I worked hard to get these muscles. Judging by your appearance, I don’t think you’ve ever seen an honest day’s work at the gym.”
“Ouch,” the Follower nervously chuckled. He slinked back down in his seat and tried to hide as we all laughed at the poor guy’s expense.
Bully looked over at me as if he saw something he didn’t like. Before I could ask if he had a staring problem, he said, “What about you? You seem pretty straightlaced. Maybe you should go first.”
I looked around and saw everyone’s eyes fall on me after he had pretty much thrown me under the bus. I threw my hands up in defeat and told them, “Fine. It’s not like I have anything to hide; I’ll go first.”
The Lover gestured for me to take the metaphorical stage and said, “The floor is yours.”
submitted by RingoCross99 to u/RingoCross99 [link] [comments]

2023.03.17 00:49 SoCuteBear [SELL][CANADA to USA & Canada][PERFUME] TONS of new stuff added! All samples & decants except some Possets


TAT 3 calendar days or less
SHIPPING TO USA: $11 without tracking and $15.75 with tracking. I'm shipping from Canada.
SHIPPING TO CANADA: For samples only, $4. With tracking, it starts at $15. Tracked shipping price in Canada varies by region.
All samples or decants, unless marked as FS.
All purchased new, unless marked as RIS.
ALL PRICES ARE IN USD. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BPAL (all purchased new)
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POSSETS (ALL PURCHASED NEW; unless marked as FS, all are samples from direct or decant from Ajevie that are $2.5 each)
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SORCELLERIE all Sorcellerie are RIS and $2.75 (please note that fill levels range from 20% to close to full, though most are close to full)
STEREOPLASM (YellingCat Decant) $1.5 each
submitted by SoCuteBear to IndieExchange [link] [comments]

2023.03.15 15:38 Juansero29 WIBTA if I [24M] tell my mom [44F] I'm not interested in helping her with her appartment purchase?

I don't live in my homecountry (it's been like 6 years since I left), every year or so I make a 3 week trip back to my homeland to visit my family. Last year, my mom was buying a house because she changed cities. We had an argument over she wanting me to be there to visit her house during and "help" her. I am in no way qualified for this kind of thing and don't know anything about buying real estate.
I was glad to visit her house and happy for her buying it, but she really wanted me to be there and have an opinion on everything from wallpaper to talking about bedrooms, renewal work etc. And I didn't really care nor did I want to spent my vacations doing that. I had also only 3 weeks of vacations and I wanted to spend time with my dad, grandma, friends and other members of the family, also simply relaxing. She insisted on me going with her to buy stuff for her house, I said to her I didn't want to spend time doing this since it didn't interest me, that I'd rather spend time eating with her in a restaurant or doing other stuff. We had an argument over this and she came crying later to me telling me that she was hurt I didn't want to help her with this and making me feel guilty for not being interested in her house. We kind of sorted it out by when I left, but still she was not happy about this.
This year, again, I'm coming back. And this time, for some reason, she's again buying an appartment in the city. This one will not be her main house, but still she's buying something. I'm aware of it and have already had to hear her go on the phone over 3 hours about her appartment, sadly, again... I don't care. I'm happy for her buying stuff and doing her life and all, but like, really I don't care. I don't even want to visit it. She skips other subjects like her well being, her activities and directly back and back again to her appartment... how big will it be, how the bank credit works, where will it be located, etc.
I'm taking the plane in 2 days and I feel kind of anxious that again we will have an argument over her wanting me to do stuff with her for her appartment, and me not being interested in it and rather doing other stuff during my vacations.
So WIBTA if I tell her again that I'm not interested in it, and rather propose her to have some quality time doing other stuff when she can?
submitted by Juansero29 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.02.06 23:29 Broadsiderz Magic Academy Þroskastyrksnám Chapter 1: A Warning Sent, A Journey to Gotland

A Magical Re-Write Chapter 1: A Warning Sent, A Journey to Gotland

Thomas felt the excitement bubble in his chest; tomorrow he’d head off to Gotland, to the Þroskastyrksnám Academy of Magic, and he’d finally be free from his father
He did feel a bit of a hitch in his heart though, he’d have to leave Alais, his sister, here at home with him, she was too young to enrol at the Academy, even though she had a pact with the Greek Titan Gaea, Mother of Earth
“Are you alright Thomas? You look a bit apprehensive” A woman asked him as they walked home together from his school, the aged cobbled streets beneath their feet
“I am; sure, I get to go to Þroskastyrksnám and study magic with you, but I’m also leaving Alais here alone with... him” Thomas explained as he felt his heart sink in his chest, now he spoke the words aloud his excitement vanished as the realisation set in
The woman smiled as she responded
“Don’t worry about Alais, Thomas, she’s got more protection now with Gaea than you had until you met me, she’ll be fine, Gaea will protect her and care for her when your Father doesn’t, besides, if your Father does lay a hand on your sister, it won’t be just Gaea’s wrath he has to face, it’ll be ours” The woman put a caring hand on Thomas’s shoulder, and his heart skipped a beat
How’d I end up so lucky? To meet the Goddess Skaði and to become her Avatar Thomas mused to himself
Skaði giggled slightly as she heard his thoughts, but didn’t respond
“So how was School today? Anything interesting happen?” Skaði asked with curiosity
“Nothing too interesting happened Skaði, but we had a good time in Music” Thomas explained with a smile as he looked at the Goddess
Her Golden hair was mesmerising, it fell down her back with grace and seemed to give off a slight frosty chill under the light of the fading sun, her enchanting icy blue eyes caused Thomas’s heart to skip a beat every time he looked into their depths, he felt such care and love from them, but her most striking feature was her pale blue skin, smooth and delicate though cold; not that Thomas minded, the fact he was an Avatar (Not that Skaði had explained the difference between an Aspect and Avatar to him) to her had changed him as well, his skin became the same shade of pale blue, and his body was just as cold as his patron’s, though that couldn’t be seen because of the Glamour Charm he kept on at all times
The Glamour Charm, a simple enough trinket for an Artificer to make, was most commonly used to give the crippled or amputated more freedom; it was capable of restoring limbs and changing its wearers appearance, though people have reported that the limbs it provides do not give the user any sensation through them, merely allowing their use again though was more than enough for most
“Do tell, Thomas, how was Music?” Skaði joked, but it gave way to sincerity, she did truly care for his wellbeing
“Our teacher, Mr Ugrob, asked us to select an instrument to play, but I think the majority of my class were too scared to actually walk past him” Thomas said with a laugh
“Oh? How come?” Skaði inquired
“Mr Ugrob is the son of the High Chief, and he’s especially large for an Orc; I think if the Music Hall wasn’t as tall his head would scrape the ceiling” Thomas explained
“The Son of the High Chief teaches Music in an Elven School?” Skaði remarked as the pair kept walking
“He said he didn’t want to become the next High Chief when I asked him, he’d rather leave all the politics to his Sister” Thomas explained as he took Skaði’s hand
Stay calm girl, he doesn’t even know you like him yet Skaði thought to herself as her heart skipped a beat
“A-And what instrument did you pick?” Skaði stuttered out as she held Thomas’s hand
Tom looked up at the Goddess confused, then realised that he had taken her hand, and he quickly let go to save himself the embarrassment of explaining it was a subconscious action
“I- Uh, I picked an Elven Flute...” Thomas’s face flushed red as he explained
I hope she doesn’t think I was being too forward... Thomas’s mind raced as he tried to come up with an explanation
“A flute? After hearing you play that Orcish Guitar in your room I thought you’d have picked that?” Skaði said as she felt her heart accelerate; the emotion Thomas was unknowingly putting through the mind link slightly overwhelming her
“I-I thought I’d better pick something that would help me blend in a bit; besides I doubt that the Elves at School have even listened to Orcish Music before” Thomas said as he tried to calm himself down; his thoughts going a mile a minute
“Well did it work out?” Skaði asked as she felt the emotion through the mind link calm down
“I blended in if that’s what you’re asking” Thomas laughed slightly as they walked through the market that was near his home, his heart slowly swelling with dread...
“It’s a shame your classmates are such assholes; I’d really have liked to hear you shred on that Guitar and blow their minds” Skaði said with a laugh as she pulled Thomas closer and put a hand on his shoulder
“Y-Yeah...” was all Thomas could manage to say, his heart rate rising again
He’s so cute when I tease him; I just can’t help it! Skaði excitedly thought as the pair kept walking through the market
“S-Skaði, people are looking...” Thomas nervously said as he felt the gazes of the stall keepers and shoppers burning into him
“Relax Thomas, normal people can’t even perceive me as we have discussed countless times; and even if they could, all they’d see is a frosty mist or a light fog near you, they can’t actually see me” Skaði explained as she tapped her delicate fingers on Thomas’s shoulder, causing him to blush intently
“R-Right... I-I knew th-that...” Thomas managed to squeak out as he looked at the stall keepers, who in turn just looked at him in confusion
Maybe I should actually stop; he looks so overwhelmed I’m scared that he’ll actually collapse Skaði thought as she removed her hand from his shoulder and kept walking, eventually they reached Thomas’s home... and the monster that was within
Thomas’s home wasn’t exactly anything special, it was an Old Tudor design from when the Human’s occupied this land, its brickwork ground floor was a bit mundane when compared to the Elvish Houses on either side, though it’s striking white and timber first floor definitely did stand out compared to its neighbours
Skaði looked at her Avatar, and she could see the nervousness and apprehension on his face; even though he knew she was there by his side, she knew he couldn’t help but feel fear knowing that his Father could be waiting on the other side of the door
“You needn’t be nervous anymore Thomas, I’m here, and you know I’ll protect you” Skaði reassured him as she placed a hand on the doorknob, waiting for his word to open the door
“I-I’m ready Skaði” Thomas unconvincingly croaked out as he nodded at Skaði, who opened the door
The house was, as usual, in absolute darkness, it seemed from the lack of smell that his Father wasn’t home, and Thomas could feel the relief wash over him
“Alais? Are you here? We’re home” Thomas called out as he stepped in, his mood uplifted knowing that the monster wasn’t at home
“Hey Thomas, I’m just in the kitchen” A delicate high-pitched voice called out
Thomas and Skaði walked through the drab living room; a ruined couch and an old Human TV hung on the wall, even though due to their exodus those many centuries ago, it no longer received any broadcasts bar that the Elves emitted, though he knew his Father wouldn’t watch any of that
A small birch coffee table lay in the middle of the room, though as Thomas well knew, his Father used it more as an improvised Poker Table, and on occasion, a bed for himself when he passed out drunk
“What’re you making sister?” Thomas asked as he could smell the aroma; it smelt herbal, almost minty, but it had under notes of wood and flesh, causing Thomas to gag slightly
Her hair was a pure white, cascading down the full length of her body, ending just short of her ankles, her eyes were a burning red colour, though if this was from his Mother or the Pact with Gaea, Thomas didn’t have the slightest clue
Her skin was fare, but it was marked with countless freckles... and old cigarette burns, courtesy of their Father, and as his sister turned around, Thomas saw tears in her eyes
“Where is he Alais?” Skaði asked with a wrathful voice; to do something like this to a child was unspeakable, it made her boil with righteous wrath and fury as she thought of all the countless ways she’d teach that fucking beast a lesson, Alais rushed forwards and embraced both of them
Tom looked into his sisters' eyes, and her tears began to flow freely as she sobbed into their arms
“He-He...” Was all she could croak out through her tears, holding both the Goddess and her brother tightly, not caring for the immense cold the Goddess generated
“You’re safe here Alais, with me and Skaði, I promise; we just need to know where he went” Thomas said reassuringly; his hate for his Father boiling over as it found new depths
“He-He went to the Tavern...” Alais sobbed into Tom’s arms, while Tom simply nodded at Skaði with a face of ‘Go get him and drag his fucking arse back here’
Skaði understood, and let go of the embrace, patting Alais on her head on her way out, the rage she felt in her heart was overwhelming, her frosty aura flaring and becoming much more aggressive as she marched through the living room and out the house, heading straight for the Tavern
The Rain outside froze as it passed the furious Winter Goddess, people at the market moved out of the way of the frosty cloud that angrily marched down the street, noticing the daggers of ice that fell around it
Skaði felt her hate grow and grow, in all the time she was with Thomas his Father’s cruelty was focused on him, and while she didn’t like that at all, it gave her comfort to know that he wouldn’t hurt his daughter, but all that had gone once she saw the cigarette burns on Alais’s arms, now he would pay
Now, it was his turn to scream
Skaði cast a spell with her left arm, making her plainly visible, her eyes were raw as tears ran down her face, and a wrathful scowl on her face warned anyone to not get in her way as she reached the Tavern door and blew it off its hinges with her Icy Winds
Everyone inside the Tavern turned to look at the Goddess, and their blood froze; this was Winter’s Wrath incarnate, her visage was pure hatred, murderous intent flowed off her as the blizzard she generated shook the walls of the aged tavern, she slowly scanned the room and fixed her gaze on one “man”, laughing and joking in the corner, he hadn’t even noticed her come in, and neither had his friends at the table
The Goddess of Winter marched through the tavern, pushing patrons to the floor and barging through others, as she saw her prey, the monster himself just sat there laughing, joking and drinking, not even a hint of sadness or regret on his face at what he had done to his children
Skaði created an Ice Sword and slammed it into the table, splitting it clean in half as she turned her baleful gaze at the man
“WHAT GIVES YOU THE FUCKING RIGHT TO DO THAT TO YOUR DAUGHTER?” Skaði demanded as she looked at his fearful face, but as her words reached his ears, his expression changed to apathy
“I can do what I like to my children, it’s called discipline” he said, uncaring at the pain and damage he had caused his children
In response, Skaði lifted her leg and brought it down with immense force on the “Man’s” knees, caving them in as he screamed out in pain, collapsing to the floor
“HOWS THAT FOR ‘DISCIPLINE’ YOU FUCKING BEAST? YOU BURN YOUR DAUGHTER, SLASH AND STAB YOUR SON; CARVING CURSES INTO HIS CHEST AND YOU HAVE THE GALL, THE FUCKING AUDACITY TO COME HERE AND LAUGH AND JOKE?” Skaði’s words were full of wrath and righteous fury as she clutched the man’s head with one hand, dragging him out of the bar as he pleaded and begged for his life, not that the Goddess of Winter was listening
She dragged him through the market, stall keepers and shoppers watching on in horror as the “man” screamed and cried, the pain from his caved in legs and the blood pouring out of them made them want to reach out and help, but as soon as they turned their gaze towards this living force of nature that dragged him, they all second guessed that idea, and simply stepped back to let her through
Thomas still held Alais tightly, though they had moved to the bottom of the stairs, but as soon as he heard the screaming and crying from outside, he looked at his younger sister and spoke
“Alais, I need you to go upstairs, to your room, and don’t come down until I say it’s safe, do you understand?” His words were soft, not wanting to scare his sister
“I... I understand brother” Alais said through her tears, as she turned and ran upstairs, entering her room and locking the door
Skaði walked in, her leg covered in blood, clutching the monster by his head as she threw him to the floor at Thomas’s feet
“Found him in the Tavern, exactly where Alais said he would be, laughing and joking with his fucking friends” Skaði’s words were laced with wrath and anger, she wanted to finish what she had started, but she knew that if she did, Alais wouldn’t even have a home
Tom looked down at the crumpled heap, and shook his head as he spoke
“You know, all the years you punched me, kicked me, slashed me with blades and broke me mentally, I always thought that you wouldn’t hurt Alais, that somehow and some way she was immune, untouchable to you, but after seeing those burns, I know you’ve been doing that for years” His tone was cold and calculating, not even rage breaking through as he stared at the monster at his feet
Tom reached down and grabbed him by the head, spinning him over so he could stare into his eyes
“If I find out you’ve even breathed next to her, even looked at her wrong in the future, I’ll make what you’ve done to me look like a fucking pleasant dream, do you understand?” Tom stared emptily at his Father’s eyes, the sheer malice he radiated made even Skaði take a step back; he meant this whole heartedly, and he wanted his Father to feel it in his bones
His Father couldn’t even muster any sort of reply, but in his eyes, Thomas could see two things:
Fear, and Understanding
Thomas then just dragged his Father outside and shouted to the market goers
“Take him to a Healing Temple, but if I find out he’s even so much as spoke a bad word about my sister, not even the Royal Guard will stop me from making his life a living hell” He then simply turned around and slammed the door, locking his Father out in the rain
Skaði looked fearful as she spoke
“Thomas, I know you... had a hard time... but I-” Skaði tried, but Thomas simply shook his head
“I’d take all the pain and punishment for Alais, everything that my Father could muster so that he wouldn’t hurt her, but then we found out that he’d done it anyway, scarring her into keeping quiet... I meant what I said Skaði” His tone was angry, but Skaði could detect loss and sadness
Skaði simply just hugged him tightly as they made their way upstairs, to Alais’ room
Tom raised a hand to knock, but found himself apprehensive, he hesitated before he found his courage and knocked gently
The door opened slowly, and Alais was still in tears, which caused Thomas to hold her tightly as he spoke to her softly
“He won’t hurt you anymore Alais, we’ve seen to it” he said, holding back his own tears
“I’ll go wash up, all this...” Skaði gestured to the blood on her leg “It’s not a good look, but I’ll be back to read you a bedtime story honey” Skaði booped Alais nose as she turned, Alais let out a little giggle in response, and it warmed Thomas’s heart
“Come on, let’s pick out a story” Thomas said with as much happiness he could muster, which frankly wasn’t that much, as he walked into Alais room with her
After around fifteen minutes of looking through what books their Mother had left them, they eventually found a story: The Knight and the Dragon, as Thomas settled Alais into her bed, Skaði walked in having cleaned the blood off her leather pants
“I believe you made the promise, my lady” Thomas joked as he held out the book, causing Alais to giggle and look between her brother and the Winter Goddess
“Are-Are you two dating?” She asked with an innocent smile, causing Skaði and Thomas to blush intently
“We- uh...” Thomas nervously said as he looked at Skaði
“We’re uh...” Skaði repeated, it was clear to her that Thomas wanted to date her, to love her as a girlfriend, but neither one of them actually wanted to be the first to admit it
“Do you want me to read this story honey? You’re getting me all flustered” Skaði suddenly joked as she sat on an old chair by Alais bed, trying to subtly change the subject which caused Alais to giggle again, the warm feeling that Thomas felt in his heart being transmitted through the mind link to Skaði
“Once upon a time...” Skaði began
After reading the fable to Thomas’s little sister, she gradually fell asleep in bed, looking content and happy
“We should leave; wouldn’t do us any good to sleep in here, besides we need to pack for Gotland” Skaði whispered to the half-awake Thomas, it seemed that Skaði’s story telling was so good that she even almost managed to make him fall asleep
“Y-yeah...” He wearily replied, as they both quietly unlocked the door and left, Skaði using Magic to lock it from the outside as Thomas opened the door to his room
Thomas’s room was the worst in the house, at least Alais had wallpaper, Thomas was just left with exposed plasterboard and rotten timber, the walls having yellowed with time, and the timbers barely capable of holding themselves together
To compensate, Thomas had a number of self-made paintings depicting various landscapes, such as a solitary snow-capped mountain that was surrounded by lights, to the Forest where he had encountered Skaði those few years ago, though among the paintings of landscapes, one painting stood out, and it held a special place in his heart
It was a painting of Skaði, her beauty captured perfectly, her golden hair winding around her pale blue skin, bow and arrow in hand as she crouched in the overgrowth, aiming at a large boar she was hunting
“You know, you’ve quite the talents for the arts Thomas” Skaði said as she walked into the room, noticing that Thomas was staring at the painting he had done of her
“You think so?” Thomas beamed at the compliment as he turned to Skaði, his cheeks flushing bright red
“Of course, just look at these, I think they’d sell quite well” Skaði continued, genuinely impressed at the artwork on the walls
“Was your... was your Father or Mother in a pact or blessed by an Art God or something?” Skaði tentatively asked
“Not as far as I know, but it would make sense if one of them were...” Thomas pondered; now that he thought about it his talents at all things related to the Arts was suspicious, he was a masterful painter and an excellent musician, perhaps one of his parents or ancestors actually was blessed?
Thomas shrugged his shoulders as he turned to the drawers in his room, opening them and taking out some clothes to pack away tomorrow
“It’s late Thomas, perhaps you should sleep, after all the Airship leaves tomorrow, but we’ll still have enough time to pack” Skaði said as she put an arm around Thomas, causing both their hearts to accelerate rapidly
“Y-yeah, I-I sh-should sl-sl-sleep" he stuttered out at the sudden contact, his mind racing and trying to make sense of what Skaði had just done, the sudden arm on his shoulder and the suggestion of sleeping... she wasn’t.... no... surely not?
Skaði giggled as she saw the gears moving in Thomas’s head, and removed her arm from his shoulder
“What’s wrong? You look flustered Thomas” She teased as she sat on the bed that Thomas had bought for her; she didn’t actually need as much sleep as he did, but it was immensely generous that he’d even think to get her a bed
“I-I uh... I’ll uh...” Thomas continued to stutter as he just looked at Skaði
Gaea’s Plains, every time I look at her, she gets more beautiful... she’s just... wow Thomas thought to himself, his cheeks flushing more
“Sleep now, stare tomorrow” Skaði said with a laugh, pointing at Thomas’s bed
“Ye-Yeah....” Thomas said as he turned to his bed, taking off his clothes as he got in and comfortable, removing his Glamour Charm last, as he always did
“Good night, Thomas...” Skaði said with a yawn, settling in to sleep
“G-Good night Skaði...” He replied, his mind still racing
Gaea’s Plains, I think I’ve actually broken him this time Skaði thought to herself, giggling quietly
The Next Morning...
Skaði was first to wake, which wasn’t exactly uncommon, she sat up in her bed slowly as she stretched, her joints cracking as they normally do
“Oh, this bed fuckin suucks...” she sighed as she looked around the room, the paintings on the wall greeted her, she especially liked the one with the mountain, Thomas had taken such time with it to ensure that the snow looked soft and fluffy, while the mountain itself looked solid and imposing
“How is he so good?” she quietly mused to herself, as she stood up and felt her feet on the rotten floorboards, and walked over to where she’d left her clothes
Time to start the day.... she thought to herself as she looked over her clothes and began to get dressed
Thomas awoke with a fright and sprung to his feet on the bed, looking equal parts terrified and ready for a fight, but all he got instead was giggling from the Goddess
“Ha-Had a rough night Thomas?” she laughed out as she looked at him
“J-Just a bad dream...” he replied
“Perhaps some clothing is in order? Not that I’m complaining....” The last part of her statement slipped out, and her cheeks flushed a bright azure as she looked at Tom a bit embarrassed... but in her tone Thomas could hear a certain amount of coyness
“Clo-Oh shit!” Thomas almost yelled as he jumped down from the bed and quickly threw on some underwear and a pair of trousers
Skaði just stood there and laughed at Thomas’s expense; she’d never seen him move so quickly, or his cheeks glow so brightly before
Tom opened his mouth to say something, but he found he couldn’t, his mind raced with the fact that Skaði had just saw him as naked as the day he was born, but when he looked at her, he couldn’t see disgust in her face, just happiness and... was that attraction?
“Maybe next time you should sleep wearing some sort of clothing?” Skaði joked as she kicked a suitcase towards Thomas
“Never!” Thomas jested in return as he stopped the suitcase with his foot, it comforted him that Skaði didn’t see him as a monster without his Glamour, and it strangely made him relaxed and relieved that she’d seen him naked and chose not to yell in alarm or turn away... but that might’ve just been his... desires talking
Skaði walked past him and sat on the chest of draws that was in front of the window, her hair billowing slightly in the breeze, and the sunlight came through and made it glow, Thomas turned and looked at her, and his heart rate rocketed
She’s... wow... He thought to himself, taken completely by her beauty, and in his mind, he could see her sat there, giggling as she looked at him with loving eyes, and his cheeks flushed azure
“Perhaps you should put on your Glamour as well, wouldn’t do to terrify the people of your hometown” Skaði said as she held out the Glamour in one hand, and saw the way Thomas was looking at her, love and longing in his eyes
Thomas took Glamour slowly and gently from Skaði’s outstretched hand, and placed it around his neck, his form changing so that he could move freely through the streets without being stared at
A cascading black mess on his head formed that seemed to move on its own, guided by an unfelt wind; his eyes were a typical Elvish Green, with flecks of Icy Blue in them
He stood at around 6’8 with his glamour, much taller than Skaði did even with her boots on, the Curses that his Father carved onto his chest hadn’t disappeared though, along with the many wounds he carried from other abuse he had suffered, he did look surprisingly healthy though, he had muscle but not so much that he looked like a Half-Orc, his physique lay somewhere between a well-trained soldier, and a professional athlete
“Better?” Thomas asked Skaði
“I prefer the real thing to be honest” Skaði replied with a gentle smile, and Thomas’s heart skipped a beat; she liked him as he was, without the glamour
“I-I should start p-packing" He stuttered out, which caused Skaði to laugh quietly to herself
“How’d I end up with an Avatar like you? You’re either completely nervous, staring at me longingly or downright malicious, you actually might be the strangest person I’ve ever met” Skaði laughed as she spoke
“Must’ve been my devilish good looks and sharp wit” Thomas joked as he began to pack things into the suitcase, his comment had earned a sock being thrown at him from Skaði’s perched position on the Chest of Drawers
“Must’ve been, couldn’t have been anything else...” Skaði said, her tone somewhat downtrodden as she thought back on how they’d met
“Come on Skaði, don’t do that, you’ll make me cry” Thomas joked half-heartedly as he looked at the downcast mood of the Goddess in his room
Skaði stood up from her seated position and crouched next to Thomas, helping him pack
“Well, we’ve got to hurry up; the Airship leaves soon and we’re going to be late, besides, it’ll be as close to my homeland as we’ve been” Skaði’s tone was full of excitement, she’d longed for home for such a long time, and now they were finally going
“As my lady commands” Thomas sarcastically said as he kept packing, earning another sock to the head for his efforts
A sudden knock came from the door, and Alais walked through, but she suddenly stopped when she looked at the Goddess and Thomas, who were packing for a trip
“A-Are you...Are y-y" Her lip trembled as she began to cry, and both the Goddess and Thomas felt their hearts sink as the rushed over to her, both embracing her tightly
“We-we’re going to Gotland, to the Magic Academy... we told you remember?” Thomas tried to reassure her, she did know after all, but after the events of last night, he wasn’t surprised that she’d have such a strong reaction to them leaving
“Don’t worry honey, we’ll make sure to send you letters every day, and we’ll even send you some new books” Skaði said softly as she looked into Alais’s red eyes, tears forming in her own as she did
“P-Promise?” Alais said softly, and both Thomas and Skaði’s hearts broke instantly, the very idea of leaving became alien, but they knew they had to go...
“I-I-I" Skaði tried, but felt overwhelmed by her and Thomas’s emotions, which he was unknowingly projecting through the mind link
“We-we promise sister, we’ll write every day... I’ll even try to get you a spot in the Academy, so you can come and live with us...” Thomas promised through his tears; though he didn’t even know if such a thing was possible, but it wouldn’t stop him from trying as many times as it took, and if it came to it, he’d disregard the rules and let her come anyway
Alais looked a bit relieved, though the sadness was still etched onto her face, and burned into Thomas’s mind, the immense guilt he felt crushed him, but he knew he had to go...
Thomas guided Alais over to where he and Skaði were packing, and placed her on his bed, letting her watch and listen to their conversation; if it was the last thing he did, he would not let his sister’s potential last memory of him be unpleasant
“Wh-What’s the Academy like?” Alais asked openly
“I’m not sure sister, perhaps our resident adventurer could tell us?” Thomas said with a smile as he indicated with his head towards Skaði, and Alais face lit up with happiness
“You’re an adventurer? Where have you gone? Have you slain monsters? Are dragons real? How many Orcs do you know?” Alais let out question after question, seemingly forgetting her dower mood as soon as Thomas mentioned that Skaði had been on many adventures
“I’ve been all around the world honey, from the Far East Kingdoms all the way down to the South Pole; though I’ve never been to the Conglomerate of Man before, I’d love to go eventually” Skaði said with a smile as she continued to help Thomas pack
“I’ve slain a fair few monsters as well, though those aren’t stories for precious, impressionable snowflakes like you” Skaði said with a smile, as she waved her hand and a single snow flake dropped onto Alais nose, Alais letting out a giggle
“Dragons are real honey, though they’re extremely rare, the one I met was called Avegnallion, he was a great colossal being, almost as tall as the clouds and twice the weight of a castle” Skaði made a wide gesture with her arms as she regaled Alais with her story about the Claw of the East, the protector of what was once called China
Alais listened intently, taking in all the information Skaði could offer about the mighty dragon, staring at awe at Skaði as she told her how she’d met Avegnallion during a hunting trip, and how she had helped the dragon remove the many spears and arrows that the Beastmen of the Wilds had shot into him
Skaði finished her story, and noticed that Thomas had stopped packing and was listening intently to her story, a loving look in his eyes
“Something on my face?” She coyly asked Thomas, who blushed in return
“N-Nothing...” Thomas sheepishly said, and both Skaði and Alais laughed at him
“He’s so awkward isn’t he honey?” Skaði asked Alais, who nodded in reply, almost falling backwards further into the bed she was sat on as she laughed
“Please stop...” Thomas said half-heartedly, he actually did want them to stop teasing him, but at the same time he was happy to see Alais so carefree and happy
Alais recovered from her laughter, and spotted the Glamour Charm that Thomas had around his neck, its bronze pendant had a ruby embedded within it, and Alais looked at it with wonder
“What’s that?” she asked as she pointed at it, Thomas looked at her and his heart stopped; she was pointing directly at the Glamour, and Thomas didn’t have nearly enough time to explain to her what he actually looked like, and he knew that if he just took it off, she’d recoil in terror and fear
“It’s a magical pendant that Thomas got as a gift from one of his teachers, it’s how he can paint so well and why he’s so good at music” Skaði blatantly lied, but Thomas was thankful and a bit upset; she’d just lied to his sister, but not for a bad reason
“Can I try brother?” Alais looked pleadingly at him
“My teacher made it specifically for me sister, though once I get to the Academy, I’ll make you one, deal?” Thomas hoped that Alais would take the explanation and offer, rather than try and snatch the pendant from his neck
“Hmmmmm.... alright” Alais left an uncomfortable pause between her words, it felt as if she knew that both Skaði and Thomas had lied to her, but she seemed to accept their explanation
Thomas and Skaði eventually finished packing, and they got ready to head towards the docks, where their Airship awaited
“Alais, want to come see us off?” Thomas asked with a smile, and Alais practically shook with excitement
“Yes yes yes yes” she repeated many times, as Thomas picked her up and put her on his shoulders as they made their way out the room and down the stairs, leaving straight through the front door
Thomas recovered from his pause and lowered himself slightly so that Alais wouldn’t hit her head on the doorframes on the way out, then all three of them made their way through the old dusty streets towards the Airship
“Alais, has Gaea taught you to defend yourself yet?” Skaði asked tentatively, she knew this conversation had to be had, but she also knew that Thomas wouldn’t like it
“Not yet, but after yesterday I asked and she said she’d tell me tonight in my dreams” Alais said cheerily, completely ignoring the tone of the conversation, and both Thomas and Skaði sighed in relief
“If we ever meet an Aspect of Gaea at the Academy, remind me to hug them tightly and thank them as much as I can for Gaea’s protection” Thomas said with a smile
“That’s a promise love” Skaði said, the last part of her sentence slipping out as it caused Thomas to stop walking suddenly, his cheeks flushing a bright red, almost glowing from the sudden word
Alais noticed it too, and looked between her brother and the Goddess with a smile on her face
“She loooooveessss youuuu” Alais teased as she giggled
Thomas couldn’t even speak, and neither could Skaði, both just looked at each other awkwardly as Thomas began to walk again, and a sudden question popped into his mind
“How come you can see Skaði, Alais?” Thomas asked curiously, as far as he knew only he could see Skaði, unless she wanted to make her presence known
Alais just looked down confused at her brother, as if he was asking the strangest question on the planet
“Dunno, I just can!” Her tone was curious and playful
“I made sure that Alais could see me, Thomas; wouldn’t want your sister to think you mad for speaking to a cloud of mist” Skaði explained with a laugh as they kept walking through the streets, passing other markets and houses
Thomas just nodded as they eventually reached the docks where the Airship lay; he then carefully placed Alais on the cobbled ground and kneeled, hugging her tightly
“I promise we’ll see each other again, either here or when you come to the Academy to live with me” he said as he held her tightly, tears welling up in his eyes
“P-Promise?” Alais responded as she hugged her brother tightly
“We both promise honey; we’ll see you again” Skaði said as she ruffled Alais’ hair
“But we have to go now sister, the Academy is waiting!” Thomas said cheerily as he stood up, though internally it hurt him greatly to leave his sister behind, even if potentially it would only be for a short time
“I’ll wait for your letters, and as soon as I’m allowed, I’ll come and live with you!” Alais said happily, she was relieved that Thomas was going to a good place, even if she couldn’t come with him yet, she turned around and skipped away down the cobbled street, fading into the distance
Thomas and Skaði looked at each other, and sighed; this was the start of a great adventure after all, even though they desperately wanted to bring Thomas’s sister, they knew that the Academy would have to be informed, and they simply didn’t have the time to send a letter off, they had to leave today
Skaði walked up the ramp first, carrying her belongings in a backpack as she stood on the deck of the ship, waiting for Thomas to join her, dragging the large suitcase up the ramp
“I think you might’ve over packed there” she joked as she looked at Thomas, who to her surprise didn’t even look exhausted
“Hopefully I don’t leave it on the ship, that’s my biggest worry right now” he said with a laugh, looking around on the deck, taking note of all the busy crew members hauling rope and shifting crates, though what really caught his eye was the Captain
He stood there and talked with his crew, he must’ve stood half-a-torso taller than all his crew, his towering height made even Thomas’s 6’8 look small, though the way he talked and joked with his crew made him feel at ease; at least he wasn’t some sort of monster or anything
Thomas walked over towards the bow of the Airship, leaving Skaði near the ramp as he explored the deck, and the Captain finished his conversation shortly afterwards, and turned to look at the Goddess, a flash of recognition in his eyes as he made his way over to her
“S- Skaði? Is that you?” The Captain said, his voice was gentle and smooth, almost calming as he spoke
Skaði quickly spun around on her heels, and just stared at him
“Freyr? IT IS YOU!” Skaði declared as she jumped at the Captain, hugging him tightly
“Whoah, what’s all this?” Freyr said surprised, sure he was an old friend of Skaði’s, but he wasn’t expecting a hug of all things
“What’re you doing all the way out here in the Elvish Kingdoms?” He asked inquisitively, it wasn’t common for a God or Goddess to leave their home nation, much less so for one to travel the distance between the Nordic Lands all the way to the Elvish Kingdoms
Skaði in response just held out an arm towards Thomas, who was still exploring the bow with curiosity, and Skaði spoke
“That’s Thomas; he’s my new Aspect, we’re going to Gotland” she explained, and Freyr shot her a curious look
“Aspect? You manged to get an Aspect all the way out here? And why are you travelling with him? Wait since when do you even have Aspects?” He had so many questions, none of this situation made any sense at all, Deities don’t normally even talk to but a select few Aspects, much less travel such a distance to personally escort them to where they wanted to go
“It’s... complicated Freyr, and something I’d not like to discuss in a public setting” Skaði said cautiously, not wanting to upset her fellow God, but making sure that he understood
“I understand, perhaps you should introduce us?” Freyr asked as he walked towards Thomas, and Skaði followed behind him as he made his way towards the bow of the ship
Freyr stood there silently as Thomas looked around on the bow, Thomas seemed to be taking note of the Ship’s construction, the strange way the planks all seemed to be one piece of wood at a glance, and how the masts seemed to be as dense and solid as Iron
“She’s quite the vessel, isn’t she?” Freyr asked, and Thomas almost jumped out of his skin in pure surprise, Freyr and Skaði just laughed
“This jumpy little thing is your Aspect? Come on Skaði, try another joke” Freyr said through his laugher, though now he was laughing alone, he turned to look at Skaði, who did not look impressed; in fact, she looked a rather angry
“Are you disrespecting my Aspect, Freyr?” Her words were not to be misinterpreted, she looked directly as Freyr and he seemed to shrink and shook his head
“Just surprised is all, I meant no offence to either of you” he said a bit sheepishly
Thomas looked at the scene in front of him and he too felt a bit sheepish, the only time he’d seen Skaði like this was when she had defended him from his Father, or more recently when she dragged his broken body back to the house
“Well, I’m tired Skaði, I’ll head to our cabin and get some sleep, let you two catch up...” Thomas said to break the atmosphere as he walked past the God and Goddess cautiously
“Good night, Thomas, sleep well” Skaði said while she continued to stare at Freyr, anger still in her eyes
“G-Good night, Thomas” Freyr said, still nervous from the way Skaði was staring daggers at him
I hope I’ve made the right decision here, leaving Alais alone even though I know she’s protected is making me anxious; what if something happens and I’m not here? What if... No, Gaea said she’d teach Alais, that she’d protect her... I can’t think like this... Thomas thought worriedly to himself as he made his way down to his cabin
submitted by Broadsiderz to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.01.29 16:53 windkirby Animal Crossing Pocket Camp v5.3.0e Update

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp v5.3.0e Update
Good morning, snowy innkeepers. February is the month of love, and who doesn’t love pastels? (No, really, who, we need to mobilize.) If you’ve been jonesing for more pastel pickings since our last fix, you’ll be relieved to know Pocket Camp’s next month has plenty of sugared confections and even some gamer gear to campsite meet times and cabin me-times sapid and stylishly sweet. Big thanks as always to Miranda for help with the banners and tip screens, PanchamBro and Bassieeee for help with the text, and hammilime for help with the seasonal rewards.
  • Version Codes
    • v5.3.0d was 957ac, v5.3.0e is 9ed86.
    • This is a client-side update that should not require downloading a new version of the app.
Twitter preview image for February 2023 in Pocket Camp

  • New Terrain – Winter Birch Trees
    • February’s new terrain options feature a wintertime variant of June 2018 (wow, that’s a blast from the past), with pale-hued, snow-covered white birch trees and a slate-blue chilly river looping around the campsite. This terrain comes with foreground and middle-ground options as well as a log fence option made of birch wood, all available starting January 29th GMT.
Tip screen for the winter birch trees terrain; auto-designer images using the winter birch trees terrain and items from February's main three events; event preview image for Reese's Jam Fest

  • February Seasonal Event – Sweet Treat Valentine
    • Cyrus knows from the occasional angry letter from another animal with a crush on Reese that life’s sweetest things sometimes go best with a hint of salty. For February’s seasonal monthlong campaign, we’ll be completing the Reese’s Jam Fest gardening event, the Colorful Candy Fishing Tourney, and the Gamer Room Scavenger Hunt to collect 30 dipped pretzels each for a total of 90 dipped pretzels available through the month—the perfect salty-sweet snack to remind Cyrus of his missus when he’s hard at work making furniture in the workshop. Be sure to complete each of the three main events in full to earn all 90 dipped pretzels! The higher your dipped pretzel count when the game crunches the numbers, the more seasonal rewards you’ll get from your Pocket Planner including gifts, reissue material, and the unique seasonal rewards, the mini cupcake hat, the dipped pretzel fence, and the grand prize, the sweet treat arch. This overarching event kicks off with Reese’s Jam Fest on January 30th GMT.

  • February Gardening Event – Reese’s Jam Fest
    • Lately Reese has taken to selling her homemade preserves at the counter at Re-Tail so animals with a sweet tooth can nab a jar while shopping for secondhand goods. After all, Reese goes with her hubby like peanut butter and jelly, and nothing rehabilitates the uncomfortable pasts of would-be-unsellable furniture pieces like the possibility they’re strawberry jam stains. It’s all in the name of upcycling! For February’s gardening event, we’ll be planting red- and purple-berry seeds to attract delectable jammerflies—with the swipe of your net, they’ll be toast! Stick enough jammerflies to earn prizes for your own preservatory, from the jammy plaid fruit basket to the blueberry-jam yogurt and giant strawberry-jam jar, to the jam stand perfect for a grassroots streetside operation! Complete this event in full to earn 30 dipped pretzels as part of February’s monthlong Sweet Treat Valentine Campaign—replant your berry seeds often and exchange jammerflies with your friends to complete all the tasks in time! Preserve the right to make your friends jelly when this jam-packed jamboree begins January 30th GMT.

  • Fluffy Friends Collection
    • If you’re in the mood for a raucous pajama party with your animal buds or you’re in the market for an animal hood that will still allow your to style your hair just so, this collection has you covered with four animal styles in four variants each (two colors and two hairstyles) and lounge sets in five pastel colors to ensure your creature comforts. With the pastel sheep wigs, the polar-bear wigs, and many more, you’ll be ready to hibernate through the last weeks of winter in holographic color or while blending in with the snow. If you can’t get enough of fluffy stuff, you can stop walking around in the buff when this collection releases January 31st GMT.
Tip screens for the Fluffy Friends collection and Melba’s pâtisserie cookie
  • Melba’s Pâtisserie Cookie
    • You’d never know it from her mild-mannered demeanor, but rumor has it Melba was raised as the pampered princess of a far-off country before she began living the simple life for unknown reasons. It would explain her nostalgia for the olden days or why she’s opening an old-fashioned pâtisserie straight out of a fairy tale, Koala-Teatime Treats. It’s true that woodland creatures flock to princesses, but it’s a well-kept secret that it certainly helps to have some sweet snacks to entice them near. From the kiwi delight of the pâtisserie display case to the lemon merengue tarts at the pâtisserie counter to the seven-fruit pie you might find if you climb to the top of the pâtisserie tree display, Melba has a wide selection of recipes she remembers from her homeland, made only of the ingredients of the finest koala-tea. Animals from all across the Pocket Camp wilderness have flocked to her little kingdom to taste her treats. Even Merengue is welcome, and no one minds anymore when she sadly mumbles in the corner incoherently for hours about Daisy, the justice system, and a strawberry dinosaur… Talk about a fairy tale imagination! What is she talking about? Nothing a strawberry shortcake can’t fix! Things tend to get fantastical at Koala-Teatime Treats as legends say when the lights go out, Queen Moppina and her girl squad of cleaning supply cuties come to life and wipe the bake shop clean… It’s possible, though, these legends are spread by Melba herself, and a couple eyewitness accounts have arisen of Melba having too much fun dancing with what appears to be a kitchen mop in the odd wee hours of the morning. Of course, others say Melba’s shop is under a curse that will continue conjuring café fortune cookies from now until the end of time… One thing is clear from her flavorful pâtisserie… Melba is much sweeter than her bland namesake might have you imagine… Break your fast with fruit pies of the past when this telltale cookie unfolds on February 1st GMT.

  • Premium Furniture Item – Cupcake Cottage
    • Complete your Candyland campsite with this confectionery cottage fit to house (or feed) any visitor with particular tastes. While you’re unlikely to make your Leaf Tickets back renting out this sugared space no matter how much you charge, this getaway sundae can also feed your campsite for an entire month, or, if Big Top is there, a few hours he’ll never forget. There’s no taste like home when you come to this dessert in the middle of your oasis… available for crafting February 2nd GMT.
Tip screens for the Cupcake Cottage and the Candy Wall & Floor Collection
  • Candy Wall & Floor Collection
    • Are your dog and frog campers unsatisfied by the taste when they lick your cabin wallpaper? Look no further than the sweet designs of the Candy Wall & Floor Collection. The colorful candy wall and floor will amuse any bouche with their interactive palate palette—the lollipops taste like lollipops, and the gumdrops taste like snozzberries (which is confusing, but hey, it’s still a good taste). The white birch-tree wall brings a rustic look akin to the winter birch trees terrain indoors and would pair nicely with the alpine series and Mitzi’s aviary cookie among others, while the sweet-treat wood floor brings a colorful array of wood paneling to your cabin in what is possibly our eighteen-thousandth variant of this floor type. Your dogs’ Bow Wow Wow cries of “I Want Candy” will be answered when this collection releases February 10th GMT.

  • Appreciation Event – My Sweetest Friend 2023
    • In the tradition of many Valentine’s Days and other holidays of Pocket Camp’s past, My Sweetest Friend 2023 will distribute a special item Valentine's macarons into our inventories to gift to a beloved villager. There’s no other use for the Valentine’s macarons, and it’ll disappear from your inventory if not gifted by the end of the event, so be sure to give it to an animal by the end! These appreciation events always involve a cutscene upon gifting the item featuring you and your animal sweetheart as well as an item they’ll give you in return (that you can keep forever) as a decoration; it will also display a personalized letter from the animal when interacted with, with the colo“flavor” of the item and the text message being dependent on the animal personality. (An animal’s personality is an invisible trait that determines the animal’s dialogue when speaking and is not to be confused with their visible theme. If you’re not sure which animals have which personality, you can look up the animals on the ACPC Fandom Wiki or Nookipedia or keep an eye out for personality infographics that are often posted on the subreddit during these events.) Based on color distribution of the past, it’s likely that jock, cranky, and smug animals will gift the blueberry cake pops, lazy and big sister animals will gift the orange cake pops, and sweet, peppy, and snooty animals will gift the chocolate cake pops; but this is not totally confirmed, and it’s possible the colors might get swapped around—we’ll know more when the event begins. Look for more info on this event and for the Valentine’s macaroons in your mailbox when it begins sometime during this update period!

  • New Animals
    • Yet another smaller batch of animals will be coming to the game via a new island at Gulliver’s Ship, namely Monique the snooty cat, Prince the lazy frog, Samson the jock mouse, and Deena the sweet duck. As always, their themes aren’t confirmed, and who will request which special request items are speculations by resident animal décor scholar Soleil (but they’re very likely correct). Look for Monique and Pals’ Island (or a similarly named island) when it can be found through Gulliver’s Ship starting new day on February 23rd GMT.

  • Still to Come for February / Miscellaneous
    • Other upcoming events this month include:
      • Rosy Maple Moth Goals (unpictured) which will see the return of the luna moth at Sunburst Isle, catching which will likely help earn a Melba’s pâtisserie cookie, starting February 11 GMT.
      • Colorful Candy Fishing Tourney which will offer pieces in the style of brightly colored sweets, starting February 12 GMT.
      • Rainbow Lollipop Collection which will offer large handheld lollipops in various colors, releasing February 15 GMT.
      • Fresh Fruit Goals (unpictured) which will involve collecting high numbers of fruits, likely for another Melba’s pâtisserie cookie, starting February 18 GMT.
      • Gamer Room Scavenger Hunt which will offer prizes for a cute, pastel-colored game and streaming room, starting February 19 GMT.
      • Cyber Wall & Floor Collection which will likely offer hi-tech but cute designs to go with the Gamer Room Scavenger Hunt and Baabara’s Fantasia Cooke, releasing February 19 GMT.
      • Baabara’s Fantasia Cookie which will offer items for a psychedelic rainbow garden, releasing February 20 GMT.
      • Street Style Hat Collection which appears to offer several hat and wig combinations, releasing February 24 GMT.
Well, that’s it for now, campers. Are you ready to sink your sweet tooth into February’s offerings, or has the familiar color palette given you a toothache? Stay tuned for a very lengthy sticky comment for the Sweetest Friend 2023 letters and some extra lore on our new quartet of animal campers. We can expect the next update with a little more info on the back half of February’s events around the end of Reese’s Jam Fest. Until then, remember this is a delicate time of year… please refrain from any ill-natured jokes about being jelly… No, I’m not talking about anyone without a sweetheart—I mean sweets-themed animals like Carmen and Merengue who are still without a cookie! (And maybe a home!)
submitted by windkirby to ACPocketCamp [link] [comments]

2023.01.25 20:07 slaytonisland An Aggressive Amount of TW:WIII Ideas

During my last 2 campaigns, I stopped any time I had feedback on something and wrote it down.
This is my curated list of TW:WIII feedback and ideas, some of which could also apply to Total War in general. I sorted them into Campaign, Battles, and Menus ideas.
I'm sharing these with the subreddit to get player feedback, I really have no other expectations than that so feel free to respond to any of these or TLDR this list because it is way too long.


· AI Factions Late Game: For whatever reason, the AI simply does not scale their empires into late game like they did in TW:WH2. This is a multifaceted issue but should be a big priority to fix because currently there is very little incentive to play beyond turn 75 or so when there are no giant empires to oppose you at that point like there used to be. Would love to see scaling AI as a toggleable setting one day as well, but in the meantime let’s get the AI back on track.
· Tag Allied Armies Feature: In addition, allegiance points should be uncapped. https://www.reddit.com/totalwacomments/w1fwwl/feature_suggestion_tag_allied_armies/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
· AI Suicides if Force Marched/Recruiting: The AI seems to override any balance of power logic it has to prioritize attacking the player while in force march or in order to block recruitment. This bias needs to be tuned down because it just results in the AI wiping itself out.
· Armies Retreating Through Zone of Control: Trapping an army against a mountain range or cliffs simply results in it retreating through your own army and going the opposite direction. Armies should be forced to fight if they cannot escape your zone of control.
· Diplomacy Reliability Rework: Should have shorter penalties, and a shorter penalty window after treaties are cancelled. The current system is just too punishing, if you make one little mistake you are basically locked out of diplomacy from all factions for like 20 turns.
· Add “Make Peace With” Diplomacy Option: When your allied factions are fighting amongst themselves, add a “Make Peace” negotiation option that you can give them money etc. to incentivize them to stop fighting each other.
· Champions of Chaos Monogod Variant Garrisons: These should have god-marked units instead of all generic WoC units. As a follow-up, I think DLC units should always be added to garrisons (but not recruitable), regardless of whether the DLC was purchased, as the easiest solution to make sure these issues don’t continue to arise.
· Cathay Feedback:
· Cathay should have mountain climate as green climate. They built the Great Bastion on mountains, have a mountainous homeland including landmarks that reside in mountain climate, and at the moment there is literally nowhere to go outside of the Cathayan homeland that is green climate all the way until you reach the Empire.
· Rework the Great Bastion mechanic: Currently, this basically just has weak, generic Kurgan armies suicide into the walls so you can farm them for money. I completely ignored the “threat” meter and it’s unfortunate that the GB was hyped up so much in marketing but is a nonfactor in how the Cathay campaign plays out. Primary threats like Vilitch and Kholek just go around it, and the armies that do attack it are a joke. This mechanic just needs an overhaul to make it fun and thematic.
· Caravans are a nice feature, but they don’t scale to late game. Pretty easy fix here, just increase the payouts more into the late game. The enemy threats could scale up in difficulty as well. Currently, this mechanic is basically irrelevant after the early game.
· Technology Challenges: I just want to point out that I really enjoyed how the Beastmen rework added “challenges” for their tech tree, instead of “click this button to wait 5 turns for tech to finish.” Maybe implement that more, or partially, as a way to make factions have unique goals and be rewarded for pulling off a difficult objective that you wouldn’t normally go for.
· Wounded Lords Should Only be Recruitable In Friendly Territory: It’s frustrating that you can defeat a LL from a faction that invaded from far away, and if the AI has another army in your territory, they will just replace the Lord with that LL after they are no longer wounded in 5 turns. It would make more sense (and provide a better penalty for getting wounded) to have them “regroup back home” and then get sent out to attack again.
· The AI Cannot Play Beastmen: The AI has never able to play Beastmen effectively with the Herdstones/Bloodgrounds mechanic. They just sit in their home province, raiding here and there and maybe blowing up a city, but never expanding in a significant way or ever becoming a major power. Even when pumping them with money and transferring settlements to them, they still don’t recruit higher tier units or attempt to expand. I want to see AI Beastmen at least achieve a fraction of what they are capable of in the hands of a player.
· Attrition is Overly Nerfed by Difficulty: On VH difficulty, the AI takes a laughable amount of attrition. This unfairly hurts factions like Nurgle or Skaven and many other mechanics in the game that are balanced around applying attrition. Difficulty scaling doesn’t have to be outright removed here, but some middle ground needs to be found so the mechanic isn’t useless.
· Better, More Thematic Campaign Victory Rewards: Campaign Victory Conditions were definitely improved in Immortal Empires, but I think the rewards given are actually a huge driver of campaign completion. They should be thematic; something as simple as giving Skarbrand a Chainsword for short campaign victory is all it takes to give each faction it’s only little unique incentive. But they should also make sense based on the objective. For example, +10 Lord Recruit Rank doesn’t make a lot of sense for a Long Campaign Victory. At that stage, you’ve got maybe dozens of veteran Lords leading your armies. It would make more sense to give “+100% movement range to all characters” to consider doing a full map completion, or some other buff that says, “Here’s why it would be fun for you to keep going.” It would also be a great addition to endgame scenarios to have victory rewards that are unique to the scenario you just defeated.
· “Training” and Unit Experience Boosts are Very Weak: This is particularly noticeable with WoC factions that use the warband mechanic. The experience gain bonuses this game provides have needed buffs for a long time. As an example, it takes 22,000 experience for a unit to reach the max at rank 9. If you apply 100 exp per turn to a unit, it will take them 220 turns to level to the max. The “Training” hero action, and “Inspiring Presence” Lord skill, provide even less than 100 exp. You can simply fight one battle and gain exponentially more experience than these boosts would ever provide. Any time a mechanic in the game boosts unit experience gain, the bare minimum number on this should probably start around 250 exp per turn to have any relevancy.
· Daemonic Cults and Chaos Rifts: This idea is probably a long shot, but Cults could use some more significance and it would be an opportunity to add Chaos Rifts into IE in a unique way. https://www.reddit.com/totalwacomments/wpckmj/feature_suggestion_deeper_dive_with_the_cults/
· Sea Lanes for AI: I hope this was always planned to be added for the AI, because it absolutely should be for the ultimate campaign experience. I want AI Rakarth to try to invade Cathay, Nakai to sail to Lustria, etc. Would be a huge mechanic for replay-ability.
· Revive Monogod Factions: An idea to give Monogod factions one single chance to be revived somewhere in the Chaos Wastes after being defeated. Just thought it would be interesting to banish them back to the Realm of Chaos but give them a chance to return eventually, kind of like how certain factions get resurrected every now and then.
· Forts Should be Added to Supply System: It doesn’t seem like you can increase your supplies in forts like you can with garrison buildings.
· Warriors Of Chaos Resource Buildings: You are forced to build a port on port cities, losing any possible access to unique buffs provided by resources because you can only have one building slot outside of Dark Fortresses.
· Warriors of Chaos Buildings Overpriced: WoC buildings cost a massive amount and many of them provide very weak bonuses. Buildings should be cheaper for a pseudo-horde faction.
· Vassals Refuse to Join Wars: Vassals should not have any diplomatic rights, including refusing to support their parent faction in any wars they enter into.
· AI Daemon Prince Customized: I can’t tell for sure, but I don’t think the AI Daemon Prince actually equips new body parts on the campaign map. Not saying it has to “participate” in the player system, but it should definitely be given randomized body part sets as it gains levels.
· Chaos Rivals Aversion: Khorne/Slaanesh factions don’t have any aversion to each other, and factions that worship the same god don’t have any bonus tolerance to each other.
· Valkia Short Campaign Victory: Should not be winds of magic, even if she can get a spellcaster. Something more Khorne themed would be better, like how Skarbrand gets a chainsword.
· Armour of Khorne not available for Valkia: Axe of Khorne can be acquired for WoC, but Armour of Khorne cannot (which combines for an item set).
· Sigvald Regiments of Renown: Sigvald recruits all Chaos RoR, when he should just have Undivided and Slaanesh RoR
· Undersea Sea Lane Visuals: Purely a suggestion, would be really cool for some caves/grottos to be added to the map where the undersea entrances are.
· Visual Orientation of Dark Fortresses: Minor thing, a lot of Dark Fortresses need to be swiveled around so that their gate faces where they would be entered. Deff Gorge is one of these.


· Increase 35m Auras to 50m or More: Most of the aura effects in battles (i.e., Chaos Warshrine passive) have a 35m radius in which they affect allies. This has always felt too low, and only affects 1 or 2 units (unless inside a settlement chokepoint). I propose increasing this to at least 50m and rebalance if needed.
· Theatrical Battle Recap: Idea for people who enjoy sitting back and watching their battles, but also feel pressured to micro everything perfectly so they miss a lot of the cool stuff that happens. This would be a couple minutes cinematic highlight reel after battles that would do a close-up on sync kills, show units charging into each other, big events like spells landing, etc. Probably a big project to create this type of video generator, just wanted to throw it out there.
· Old WOC Music: Where is the old Warriors of Chaos battle music? Maybe add it to just the WOC/Beastmen tracks and not any Monogod/Daemon factions so they have some musical flair.
· Have AI Control Part of Army: Another idea for micro fatigue, this would be an option to elect certain units to let the AI control during battles. Sometimes in an inconsequential battle, you just want to micro your cavalry for example and not have to worry about every single unit. Just a toggle for players to get a more simulated experience as they learn how to play, or maybe just feel like chilling out every now and then and admiring the spectacle.
· Reinforcement Points: Reinforcement points are often completely scrambled for no reason. Seems like the logic for where reinforcements spawn in could use some work.
· Ambush Battle Intro Camera: The camera in ambush battles faces forward, instead of backwards like it used to with your Lord walking towards you at the head of your army. Previous camera was better so you can immediately see and react to the ambush.
· Increase Likelihood of Chokepoint Battles: Don’t see many of these unless you specifically camp on a bridge or river. I would suggest just increasing the areas of the map that trigger these, because there are a lot of great chokepoint battle maps that almost never get used.
· Add Unique Towers to Minor Settlements: Not going to focus on minor settlements as they are clearly a work in progress, but this is just a visual change. https://www.reddit.com/totalwacomments/yyxlpt/we_already_have_unique_faction_towers_why_not_use/
· Flaming Attacks: Flaming attacks only reduce healing, and only buff against a handful of units that are weak to fire. There are another handful of units in the game with fire resistance that actually make it a debuff to the attacker. Flaming attacks are certainly much weaker than magical attacks, poison, or similar attack modifiers. I propose adding the “Burnt!” (-8 leadership) effect to all flaming attacks, as being hit by a flaming weapon should feel more impactful.
· Valkia’s Gaze of Khorne Is Very Weak: I suggest rebalancing the numbers on this effect to be more significant.
· Hellblade Kills Threshold: 80 kills threshold is too high for this passive to be consistently useful; I would bring this closer to the 40 kills threshold that the ROR Bloodletters have.


· Save “Track” of Skill Leveling: This would work for each generic Lord/Hero type. Have a Lord/Hero that you select, and any matching character types will copy the exact order of skills that you set for that character. We have auto-level which was a great addition, but you have to trust the AI to level correctly and with this option you would never have to mindlessly click through level ups on 20 characters a turn again.
· Character Abilities UI: The character skills and abilities icons on the unit cards are squished together for LL’s who can have dozens of icons, even though there is always plenty of space below them on the card. Yes, you can click the expand button now to read through all of them. This was a nice add, but I don’t see a reason why there isn’t some padding between the icons and 3 or 4 rows of them displayed at once instead of having them all obscuring each other on one single row and having to click extra buttons to actually see anything.
· Character Carousel: The carousel at the top left of the screen that lets you jump to each character was an awesome addition. What would make it god tier is if it would “snap” to each character when you are viewing them. In the late game, it’s hard to tell which of my 40 Lords and Heroes I’m currently looking at and this would immediately make it clear which army a character is attached to.
· Loading Screen Art: Just an idea that factions should have more than one wallpaper on loading screens. Adds some visual interest, and a great opportunity to add fan art into the game.
· End Turn Camera Fine Tuning: Continuing to add options to the end turn camera, such as the ability to skip watching hero movements entirely, and the ability to only spectate specific factions. 99% of the time, I only care about a handful of primary enemies, and I do want to watch where they move but I want to fast forward everything else.
· Balance Pass on Items: In other words, there are a lot of items/banners that are very weak. It would be great to rework some of these so that rarity level is accurate, but more importantly so that there aren’t certain items that immediately get salvaged. Scarecrow banner is an example.
· Keep Adding UI Colors: Self-explanatory, the new colors helped a lot, but they are still very limited. Hopefully the UI will match or exceed TW:WH2’s level of menu variety.
submitted by slaytonisland to totalwar [link] [comments]

2023.01.05 20:33 jedikevinflynn was asked about making a Homelander minimalist wallpaper. thought I'd share.

was asked about making a Homelander minimalist wallpaper. thought I'd share. submitted by jedikevinflynn to TheBoys [link] [comments]

2022.12.26 02:47 StarSilverNEO Tis The Season

This story is based in a alternate timeline story I am writing based on u/SpacePaladin15 's work - its essentially a timeline made of a stupid amount of What If? Scenarios that were bouncing around in my head, so if something seems odd to you, that's probably why. Its been a while since I've written a proper story, so I decided to stretch the writing muscles by writing some one shots in said alt timeline - this is one of them, hope ya'll enjoy my Christmas gift to you
Memory Archival Subject: Surva
Date [Standardized Human Time]: December 24, 2286 (Close to Midnight)
Fat snowflakes drifted past the frost tinted window that looked out onto a fenced front yard, its quaint garden, drying grasses - all but buried beneath feet of snow. The faint lashings of the whistling winds faintly reached Surva’s sensitive ears, which paid it no heed, already pointed in the opposite direction as they tried to pick up any sound that might hint at an impending interruption to her nightly escapade. The soft violence of nature outside helped her stay awake - Venlil usually did long naps in place of long stretches of sleep like most races from worlds which weren’t tidally locked, but she had already impinged on one such period of rest in order to watch a remake of the Incredibles 4 with her human and found herself only slightly wishing the warmth of the air conditioned home weren’t so comforting. What had been a lazy snowfall when she had started had rapidly morphed into a flurry, this portion of the globe tightly gripped in what the humans referred to as “winter”. Venlil Prime didn’t have such seasons, simply Wet and Dry seasons who’s experience were as they were named, and so not being from the north where such weather was common enough, even after her time spent planetside she still found herself in awe at how the weather all but hid the ragged skyline of skyscrapers closer to the heart of the city behind a gray curtain of falling flakes. Even even more to her fascination was what lay amongst said skyline, still visible despite the attempts by the tumultuous weather, a tall dark cylindrical shape which disappeared into the heavens, reaching far above the so called skyscrapers it put to shame, - a space elevator, a feat of engineering which seemed human in of itself, choosing to challenge rather than coexist with the buildings around it, even the angry clouds which tried to coat everything in layer upon layer of white powder, including the elevator itself.
Seeing it from this distance really sold its scale - though she supposed having been on it herself a week ago, the size shouldn’t still be so surprising. An errant fact drifted through Surva’s mind as she finally decided to peeled her gaze away from the crack in the window blinds that had been her post this night, the coast decidedly clear - it was the southernmost of its kind in the States, a fact her friendly neighborhood predator had proudly informed her. Thinking of Stephen made her softly smile as she slipped off the chair and onto the oh so cold tiled floor. She shivered, the fluffy gray fur that covered her entire body standing on end, and lamented the fact that she had left the thigh - or rather for her size knee - length socks that had been jokingly gifted to her by one of Stephan’s acquaintances back in her room, and quickly padded over to the shaggy carpet which dominated the dark living room, only the soft light of a nightlight marking the bottom and top of the stairway to her right giving her something to navigate by as she reminisced. Back then, when she had just entered the Exchange, her thoughts were too clouded with the haze of instinctual fear at the intensity at which the binocular gaze of her now close friend had bored into her to really absorb the knowledge beyond front value, but now she could look past her emotion and see it for what it was - a human who was excited to share something about his homeland with someone from beyond the stars. Too excited, even - even if he changed in how he acted around her as she slowly accustomed to constantly being around a carni- er, omnivore like himself, one thing that never changed was his love to share things with her.
Perhaps then it was then very ironic that another thing that never changed was that he was a stickler for rules, and one of the rules the Exchange Council had shared with all human members was a restriction on certain things they could share with their partners. It was one of the few times his infectious energy had soured in her presence, even if he made sure to dutifully uphold it, perhaps a bit begrudgingly. Which is why she was up at the wee moments of the glorious Earth phenomenon known as night time, sneaking across a predator’s living room to access the largest repository of human knowledge known to man. The dark bulk of the soft couch was her only stop as she snagged the artificial (thankfully) wool blanket that covered it, snuggling it over her own soft body, tail flicking happily at the improved feeling of warmth as she left the full sized Venlil plushy that now dominated the lounging surface to its own devices.
While she was sure Stephen was soundly asleep at this point, she still made sure to make as little sound as possible as she set herself into an office chair that was still not tucked into the desk it belonged to (she mentally grumbled at this) before pulling herself up to the dark display of a desktop computer. Stephen had been really proud of his gaming rig, and had been happy to share access with her once she requested it, only after sharing tidbits about every important piece of its hardware of course. Though she never used it for games, and was very unsure if she ever would, it still made a good source of entertainment in the day and compendium of forbidden knowledge at night. Snuggling into the blanket some more, Surva smugly thought about how the rules didn’t seem to factor in the natural curiosity of her kind when in a new environment - perhaps the humans figured they’d be too nervous to try? She wasn’t quite sure, though then again most candidates for the Terra half of the move had to stay within more tightly monitored temporary residences if they’re actual homes weren’t close enough to their respective liaison. Either way, it was a loophole, and as Stephen’s “handler”, as she liked to call herself, had been so kind as to inform her - Stephen liked rules, but liked loopholes even more, so she was sure he’d just roll with it if she were ever caught.
Mentally cackling to herself, she brushed away an itch at her nose before turning the display on, quickly disabling the holographic features and plunging the screen brightness to a minimum as the already muted system came to life, a barely audible sound of its fans coming to life tickling her ears. As soon as the wallpaper was visible - a collection of robotic looking figures bedazzled in red and green clothing captioned “Happy Holidays from Fortuna” - she gripped the mouse, and dove into tonight's venture into understanding.
Whenever Stephen had neglected to share something with her, she mentally weighed whether or not it was worth losing sleep over before diving into the internet as soon as she was able to. Sometimes she was horrified and desperately wished the nature of what she was getting into was hinted at beforehand (the number 34 still brought about dark visions) and other times she understood why they weren’t shared but wished Stephen didn’t think she needed to be babied so much as to not share it with her. Today she was looking into the longest running mystery of her cohabitation with a predator - his strange mood swings when it came to holidays. She noticed it at first when they were first sharing community celebrations back on the station, then again when he quickly shut down another human mentioning a “Thanksgiving”, then once more when discussing a winter holiday. His mood seemed to shift whenever certain holidays were brought up, but his most visual had to do with something a news reporter referred too as “Christmas”. He had quickly addressed it as simply a “popular winter holiday” before shifting the topic over to her own people’s holidays around that time of year. He consistently declined to talk in depth about the holiday as well whenever it was brought up, quickly deflecting to something else. Additionally, unlike other community gatherings, the shadow over his mood seemed to stick around as the days drew closer to the date of the celebration she managed to get out of him, unlike the few other humans she saw around him, who seemed to be either tired (from work) or excited. He’d even gone to bed earlier than usual tonight. It was too intriguing to ignore, and well worth getting caught over. Ignoring whatever forum tab the browser was already open too, she asked the internet what Christmas was.
What she found was a bit more than she bargained for, worrying even. Apparently Christmas was a mess of a holiday, a hodgepodge of things like she’s found out a great many human inventions were. Assuming Galactipedia (the free internet encyclopedia) was correct, Christmas is generally believed to have taken off as a celebration of the birth of a man called Jesus Christ, from a major religion on Earth. Not one for religion, really, she avoided that rabbit hole and instead followed it to its modern day position - it was still a religious holiday, but for many it came to be seen as simply one for family, or something for corporations to rally around. Apparently there was a historic debate over Christmas as a corporate or social function which may or may not have contributed to the most recent of wars in human history. Apparently the social function idea won out, since despite how wide humanity has cast its net, most of them still celebrate some analog of the celebration, at roughly the same time, regardless of where they were. She paused there, processing what she had read while trying to stop herself from sliding down the slippery slope of holiday-related memes (a major of human export, Stephen had joked) that had inevitably cropped up from her browsing. There was something bothering her about what she had read that a part of her mind told her was the key. Tapping her lips as she browsed ideas associated with the holiday, she had an epiphany, searching up what a normal household looked like during Christmas. Bright, garish holiday decorations framed a quaint looking house presumably somewhere on Earth, wreaths adorned the doors of apartments, human children swaddled in weather apparent clothing built humanoid figures out of snow in a field- she paused on the next image, not quite sure what she was looking at. She knew humans did use prey animals as help of some kind, but wasn’t sure what to make of a cart of some kind, with metal runners instead of wheels, being pulled by several of what were clearly prey animals in an increasingly confusing piece of art. A fat, happy looking human dressed in red and white sat at what she recognized as reins, with a large sack behind him. Alot of the image results which followed seemed to involve him or the animals, and she started to wonder if it was some sort of religious function she had missed until she tried to find a name. Santa Claus. A summary reading of the page on that made her shiver, and quickly checked to see if there was a chimney in sight (there wasn’t) before returning to her browsing. She was rather open to humans now, but she wasn’t sure how she’d react to a stranger entering her home at night and eating her food, or perhaps worst - demanding she leave food for them to eat when they invaded her home. She wondered if he wasn’t secretly some Christmas deity someone had made up - there was a ritual to appease him and everything, and he granted favor to those who acted as he liked during the rest of the year and seemed to curse those that didn’t. The coal had to mean something more than a literal lump of the stuff, right? She mentally added lyrics of “Jingle Bells” to the slowly expanding list of horrific human things she wished she never learned about, and silently cursed her night time vigil - now she could feel that part of her, her instinct, slowly waking up and trying to burn in alarm at her own unease. “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake? How is that supposed to be a happy song?!” She whispered in quiet exasperation.
She delved back into what had been bothering her earlier to try and throw off the feeling of being watched. Having looked around the room earlier, she looked again at the holiday cheer scattered across the image section of the page and it clicked. “Where are the decorations?” She whispered to herself, standing up now as she began to wander the adjoined livingroom and kitchen area of the home in search of answers. No evergreen tree was set up in the corner, no sparkly streamers accenting the roof or stair banister. She slunk towards the kitchen, peeking around the large entry way into the dark, tidy food-preparation area. No milk or cookies set up, no wreath on - she double checked the living room for this - any of the doors. Definitely nothing outside. She stood in the middle ground between the living room and kitchen, a revelation coming to mind. Stephen’s reaction to the holiday. . .was he . . .trying to avoid it? But why? Most humans - as far as she could read - seemed to find it enjoyable. They got gifts, enjoyed time with family, ate food which she refused to look into, and enjoyed the holiday spirit! And yet as far as he could tell, Stephen had not invested in any of those. Well, it's not like anyone can invest into family, a thought in her mind whispered. She mentally latched onto that, rushing back to the computer as quietly as she could. Throwing herself back in the chair, she used that thought to guide another search - through the computer's files.
“Homework? Nah. Program Files? Nope. Pictures. .. “ She whispered to herself. Bingo - a double click accessed a neatly arranged folder full of picture folders. One of them was labeled “family memories”. She hadn’t thought about this the first time she saw it, but now that she was looking at the images again she noticed how the timestamps for all the images were . . .old. None from within the last decade and a half. Which was odd, considering otherwise how frequently they seemed to have been taken. There was even one of what she now recognized as Christmas, Stephen and 4 other humans, 2 females, two males, one of each visibly older than the others. The meaning came unbidden.
Humans were pack hunters, social creatures. Friend making machines. They pretty much had to be to try and befriend a galaxy that seemed to want them dead for simply being built different. Tryi to befriend her when she thought they’d try to eat her if she turned her back on one for too long. She could somewhat remember the soul crushing despair on the unlucky few who were forced from the Exchange due to incompatibility issues even now - it looked like someone had taken something vital out of them simply for lack of companionship.
Was Stephen also. . . in need of companionship?
No, said a voice in her head - he had her! And his friends - and their friends, human and Venlil alike.
But does he really? Said another voice, quieter and more . . .solemn.
As far as she could tell, Stephen didn’t seem to be in contact with his family. . .and not for a long while. She knew that she had been worried for her parent’s health when she had been nominated for the program, and she had been - and still was - in constant contact via various means of communication. She didn’t recall Stephen ever bringing his family up, she’s told him about her siblings but he never really seemed to reciprocate. Now that she thought about it, while he seemed entertained, his eyes seemed almost. . .pained. It would have felt strange then and still felt strange now to imagine that a predator could feel pain from something as simple as social separation but with what she knew of humans, it made too much sense. The holidays were a time for social interaction, and Stephen lacked it on some level.
She crossed her legs beneath her, ignoring the chilled feeling from them having been more exposed to the air than the rest of her, her ears flicking up and down in opposition to one another, something Stephen had referred to as “turning on her blinkers”. Her mind was somewhere else already, deep in thought - how could she fix this? She was not as close as Stephen's friends had to be - they knew him for years, herself scarcely a month. Even if he seemed to care a lot for her, she couldn’t replace what he was missing, could she? Her eyes drew back to the images of holiday mirth from the past - what was clearly a younger Stephen with his siblings dousing his father, dressed as the dreaded Santa Claus, with milk and cookies for whatever reason. Was he being prepared as a sacrifice of some kind? The smile on his face, initially a fear inducing display of canines and incisors and now a sign of contentment - happiness even - told her all she needed to know. It didn’t matter, she decided - Christmas was about being together, and now she was together with Stephen - she should be the answer to her own problem. She brought her paws together, rubbing them against one another mischievously - if Stephen needed to pack bond with someone for the holidays, then she’d be the one to crawl down his chimney- er, make the leap to sooth his soul. And thankfully, she thought as her gaze drew to the still active screen, she had a multi-system wide web’s worth of Christmas to help her do just that.
. . .
The sound of cupboards opening and shutting, drawers being pulled open and shut, and cutlery mingling loudly with tableware almost hid the sound of slow footfalls making their way down the staircase and into the living room which connected directly into the kitchen from which the sounds resounded. Surva paused a moment, her ears twitching as she quieted the little part of her that was currently trying to convince her to take cover in the very enticing darkness of one of the still open cupboards, instead staying her ground as she scrambled to try to at least look dignified for Stephen’s approach.
When the human entered the kitchen proper, he looked unusually disheveled, even for a human who had just slumped out of bed in a manner the coffee contained in a mug he held in his main hand seemed to fail to remedy. Through that, based on the look on his face, Surva could tell he was not sure what to think of the scene in front of him. It looked like a tornado had gone through the kitchen - the stove indicators stated it was warm, but off, with a few pans still set on it but none of the helpful ‘grams which would signify the heat setting being present. The sink was full despite being empty before he went to bed - cabinets and drawers were in various states of being open and closed, mimicking the status of several cooking supplies, including a bag of flour that looked like a gnorl had gotten too it. Finally, to top off the madness, his favorite Venlil - herself - was currently sitting attentively on a stool on the opposite side of the kitchen island/table that laid central to the preparation portion of the kitchen , staring intently on a singular, unbroken, egg propped up in a cup. His eyes then shifted from her to something just to her left, a tablet propped up on its stand close to the sink - precariously so - where a video describing how to make pancakes was currently paused. “Uh. . .good morning?” She said, a tad meekly as Stephen elected to simply sip at his coffee again instead of responding. She knows he heard her, the indicator for the military issue translator visible behind his left ear glimmering , indicating it was picking up her words. But he didn’t say anything, instead drifting his gaze over the room some more, taking in more items he had missed in the chaos of the first pass - blankets that had been packed away in a box under her gifted bed strung across the topmost cupboards, held in place by tape. There was an actual wreath over the pantry door, decorated with a faded bow Stephen had gifted her when she first arrived on Earth. Decorative snow adorned the counterto- no wait that’s just flour. The effects were pretty obvious, but he seemed in disbelief.
Soft green eyes turned towards her as he let out a sigh of acceptance, throwing a hand through his distressed raven black hair as if to try and sooth himself through self grooming. “What is all of this?” He asked in a gentle baritone, the sort of voice you’d enjoy hearing physically in a hug or perhaps reading to you while you tried to go to sleep.
Surva realized she hadn’t really gotten this far, logic wise. “I- uh-” She paused, then looked at the egg, as if asking it for help. It said nothing, of course. “You’ve been moping!” She suddenly let out. He blinked at her, looked like he was about to ask what she was talking about, then slumped.
“That obvious, huh?” He said, turning his gaze from the floor to her. She nodded vigorously, ears twitching in sync as her tail pointed in affirmation to her emotion. “I don’t know how bad your fellow humans are at reading each other's emotions, but you should know by now that we Venlil are pretty sensitive to this sort of stuff.” She continued, gaining steam now that it was out.
“You’ve been avoiding the holidays, haven’t you?” She gently brought up, more to confirm what she knew than anything. He paused a moment, before nodding again. “Because you haven’t been able to see your family?” She tried, since she wasn’t entirely sure what was going on with his home life. His grip tightened on the patchwork mug he held.
“Unfortunately, one can’t book return tickets to the land of the dead.” He said in a tone as cold as the snow that was currently piled outside his humble abode. “Lost my parents shortly after entering college, eldest sibling never checked in after that, youngest literally left the planet and is somewhere on Mars last I heard.” He said, gesturing vaguely as her heart swelled with emotion for him.
“It’s. . .hard, to enjoy times for family when you don’t have one. My friends try but. . .I don’t want to drag them down into all of. . .this” He said, gesturing at himself, then running his free hand down his face and through his prickly, short-cut beard. He seemed to notice that she looked like she was about to cry and cursed himself under his breath.
“Sorry, this is what I m-” “You’re wrong!” Surva cut him off, planting her paws on the table top before her, her tail straight up with exclamation. “Aren’t you the one that told me friends are supposed to help one another? That humans will move heaven and earth for one another?” “Yes. . .after I had to drill the idea into you that friends don’t eat other friends” He said slowly, almost smiling at the memory.
“I may not be human, but you said it yourself that I have enough emotion for one. And I can tell you need this-” she gestured around herself aggressively, then to herself almost in a manner that would've been suggestive outside of this context, the stool below her wobbling slightly in protest to her poorly balanced stance. Stephen began to softly close the distance between the two of them. “Pretty badly” she finished.
“You can’t just avoid it” She said, shifting in place to try and steady the stool instead of cede her stance while it held weight in the moment. His features looked conflicted. “I wouldn’t have been able to befriend you if I decided it would be better to cower and cry that whole time on the Station. Come on, can’t you atlea-” Her words were cut off suddenly as the stool seemed to be done with her shenanigans, dismounting her suddenly - into Stephen’s arms, who dropped the mug in his bid to catch her. It shattered on the ground, spilling the last dregs of its contents.
She looked up at him for a moment, then capitalized on the one weapon the prey species had over humans - cuteness - and snuggled into his warmth, the hastily shod sweater that currently served as a top proving quite comfortable, the faint smells that she associated with the humans serving to calm her. She gazed into his eyes, shifting her head slightly one side to the other in an attempt to focus on one of his own before giving up and just continuing. “Can’t you atlea-” again, she was interrupted by a finger to her lips.
“You had me at the puppy dog eyes” said Stephen, the husk of his dark emotions slowly peeling away to show the loveable “nerd” she had gotten to know. She was so caught up in the moment she forgot to ask what puppy dog eyes were - she’d have to search those up later as well.
“Really?” She said almost smugly, snuggling closer in order to seal the deal with another dose of adorable action. He chuckled softly - musical to her ears.
“Yes, really. To be honest, I guess I just need someone to just. . .talk about this with. If you are willing too, of course. . .” He said softly, looking around at the mess she had made, almost missing the vigorous nodding she gave in place of words, unable to use her tail properly in her current position. He noticed now that it wasn’t the light of the kitchen that had made her fluff look whiter than normal - she was coated in flour, and now so was he.
“Besides, anyone who’d go far enough as to throw themselves to the ground in an attempt to get my favor is worth listening too in my book” He said, gently setting the female Venlil on the floor. “I also needed to save my kitchen, what have you been up too, trying to make a polyjuice potion?” He said, plodding around the kitchen island, eyeing each of her almost alchemical concoctions.
Now forced to crane her head upwards to continue to talk to him, she elected to save her neck and perch on another stool, eyeing the previous one with contempt as Stephen stooped to raise it. “I’m sorry, I saw a photo of you eating some pancakes-” Stephen looked at her suddenly “from one of your friends!” She added quickly, trying to avoid his inevitable questions. “So I was trying to make them. . .I . . .didn’t know they take eggs.” She said, turning her gaze to the untouched egg from before.
“We’ve been over this before - their unfertilized” He said to her, gesturing to it “I’ve told you that, eggs with embryos in them are something most humans will never want to put in their mouths, never mind make a meal out of them” He picked it up and eyed it - she had literally left it untouched. It was still cool from its time in the fridge.
“Well. . .I just. . .well, you know. . .” There had been some heated deliberations for protein intake for all human Exchange candidates, eggs had been one of the exceptions due to the rigorous assurances of their unfertilized nature, and the Council had essentially considered them kosher for the homeworld phase, but even still. . . “I just. . can’t.” Surva said, slightly ashamed at her nature withholding her from helping her friend. He didn’t seem to have heard her admittance to weakness, instead rifling through the pantry and turning around, holding a brown object in his hands. She lapped at the air gently to get a better idea of it - earthy, starchy. . .some sort of root?
“Remember those french fries we ate a couple days ago?” Said Stephen, now fishing out some bread and a toaster from another cabinet, alongside another strange metallic cooking implement she had noticed in her earlier rummagings but couldn’t fathom the purpose for. “Yeah!” Surva loved french fries. “Well they’re made with these - potatoes” He said, slapping one of them on the table before her, before swiftly moving to clear space for the rest of his cooking set up. “Potatoes are the most human of foods, my dad liked to say - stubborn, hearty, and capable of being made into almost anything. . .or rather dish, in the case of potatoes. Even ordinance if you’re in a pinch.” He turned from another cabinet stashed with fruit jams and various spreads. “Since you can’t cook, on your own atleast, I guess I’ll take over the lead for the Christmas breakfast - how does hashbrowns, toast, and peppermint hot chocolate sound?” He said, pulling out more items while simultaneously stacking what she had dragged out in her earlier rummaging to the side or incorporating it into the orchestrated chaos that was his brand of cooking.
Her tail swayed with happiness as he added. “Naturally, you can help.” He said, but she was already tackling his legs and covering those with flour aswell. He put a hand to the top of her head, caressing her fur gently in the way she liked. “You had me at french fries” She echoed, chuckling as he tried to pat off the white powder now clinging to his leg. “I said we’re making hashbrowns” He replied with a smirk, now setting something she would learn was called a waffle maker. Looking at all the cooking paraphernalia he had assembled for their simple sounding breakfast, she was silently glad Stephen had stepped in sooner rather than later.
Plugging the waffle iron in, she watched his eyes gaze at the mug that was now in pieces once more, though not in annoyance or sadness, just a quiet whistfulness before returning his attention to the cooking and asking her to clean it up, but not toss it out. “It’s a surprise for later” He said cryptically as she finished scraping the porcelain into the dust pan.
“And Surva?” He said, she tilted her head in question. “Merry Christmas. . .and thanks.”
Her expression brightened. “Merry Christmas to you too, Stephen.”
submitted by StarSilverNEO to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2022.11.02 07:18 Emotional-Screen6124 pls help me understand why

Hello sorry in advance if my writing isn't that good I'm just dumping everything on here. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything I just hope that this could help someone else out there who feels what I've been going through.
I was born in the 2000s to a poor family that stems from an Arabic country. The first few years in my Arabic country were good and I do have some good memories from that timeline. After a while, we moved to another country due to my health conditions that my country could not help me with. This new place was a free country and the first years due to me seeing the world from the eyes of a child was good. In reality, we were homeless and lived with our cousins and my parent had to pay for us to live there by doing chores. All my life up to that point was bliss.
During that time I didn't have both of my parents next to me. One was in the homeland so that they could provide for us while the other one was in the free world with me.
Eventually, I was reunited with both my Parents. It's important to state that during that time we moved all over the place since we wanted to avoid the cops. After all, we were illegal immigrants. We lied and moved on that was my parent's strategy. I remember so vividly that I was once interrogated by social services if my parents were good. I wish I told them that my parents were horrible ( my biggest regret), I was bribed with a happy meal so of course as a toddler, I followed their instructions.
I started going to school. My first School experience was amazing, I had lots of friends and no care in the world.
Lying was also a requirement by my caretakers. Their argument was that if I lied about my life no one would suspect that we were immigrants. Eventually, my lying evolved into a habit.
Sure I wasn't as rich as the other students but I could lie that I was invited to the queen's birthday or that I was rich just so I could be more admired.
Then came the second school. The first month was fine but it later ended up with bullying. Getting verbally shouted at being called gay (Which will have its significance later on). I didn't understand what gay meant all the way back then but I could deduce that it was a bad word from the laughing that ensued afterward.
From the backlash, I got from my parents and the absence of my teachers I felt hopeless.
Nothing helped. Screaming, crying trying to blend with the wallpaper didn't even protect me. I just felt alone. So I created a friend I escaped.
If there is one small piece of advice I could tell people who were bullied is to stand up for yourself fight then punch if you have to get a bone broken whether it's yours or someone else. I wish I would have stood up for myself, but I couldn't or maybe wouldn't. Strangulation, and verbal abuse being harassed both sexually and physically every day. Coming home wasn't better either. I got pushed down by my brother and verbally abused by my parents.
There was once an instance where I would intentionally get myself hurt so I would be liked by a modicum. But nothing helped, I could not escape my hell.
During this time I also wondered why I was bullied. I would look at myself in the mirror and notice my slightly darker complexion or my black hair and eyes.
My imagination also ran stagnated back then, after all, I could just create a utopia in my head if I didn't like my current circumstantial. Think that's when I started running away from my problems.
I would dream about killing the bullies in school and being born into another family at home every day.
During this period we got into trouble. How we got caught in the spider web is beyond me. But we ran away for a while and hid inside our cousin's apartments. We eventually conquered,
We inevitably took our last adventure. We found a new abode and we stopped being immigrants.
The new school wasn't better the bullying was pretty much constant my escapism blossomed. I did get some friends and they were nice. I even got two friend groups which was a welcomed addition to the escapism. The reason I did get bullied in this school was that my friends were girls.
We, later on, got split not because of the new class system but just from time. I was alone, however many cinereous I ran in my head I always was either pitted or bullied for trying to build bridges. Looking back it was just me avoiding being possibly hurt. (Which don't ever do if there is one thing I learned in this godforsaken world its that nothing goes as planned,)
I started forcing myself into my old companion's relationships so that would not be alone. I would follow them quietly or pretend to know what they were talking about it obviously made me seem weird and unreliable to them. I left them after a while to some boring guys. The reason why was that I stopped being bullied if I hung out with guys more. It was the same pathetic following. I felt hollow.
During this time I started feeling a certain attraction to some guys. I would look at them longer and would want to kiss them.
Maybe I was the fag everyone told me I was. Denial sprung out of my sexual frustration. My family would say that it should be condemned by death and my school would terrorize me with the fact.
Due to my religious heritage, I felt that everything bad that had ever happened to my family was because I was gay. My kid sister died and birth and my little brother became paralyzed and died later on. I felt like a curse. Nothing that was near me would end well.
In due course, I did accept my sexual orientation. Coming out videos one after another would start poring out, it was magical it felt eye-opening (Which looking back now makes no sense since no one should have to come to terms that they are gay. Meaning that it should not matter). A worry also started spreading with the acceptance.
Sure I'm gay but if my parents found out I would be killed. My parents were abusive both physically and mentally. My brother for example scratched the skin of his cheeks because of the guilt and fear my parents instilled in him. Being harmed and watching someone be harmed are two completely different things but can be equally hurtful.
I was mortified and the escapism only took over more. What was I supposed to do? Sure I could call the cops on my abusive family. however, It would lead to me living in an orphanage. I would also somehow have to move out 4 years after living in the orphanage and not end up being homeless without family or close friends. Maybe I would have ended up better if I did that, but there's no need to dwell on what could have been.
I just wanted a release and escape and porn, music, and dreams became that medium. I got addicted and started relying on it every day. It was my scapegoat and for a while, it did make me feel better for a while.
My self-esteem also worsened due to porn but also to the representation in the media. White skinny blond twinks. I felt like I didn't belong in the gay world and rejection followed me on grindr, scruff, and tinder. I felt like a nobody. If nobody could love me how would I love myself? I feel like a creep.
When I got into high school I saw him The perfect guy. He was rich had good grades partied and Wore good clothes. He smelled like a dream and had the body of a magazine figure. He was even blonde and hairless and had the perfect face. I felt so jealous yet lustful for him. He was leaps above me and I knew that we would never be on the same level. When he was shy he was cute but I was creepy. When he was mean he was a boss but I was evil. I felt like I wanted to die watching him. I had a crush on him not because he was hot but because I wanted to be him. I tried dressing like him and acting like him but it didn't work. I even want to get plastic surgery to look perfect like him. I'm starving myself to get his body. I just want to live that fun life of going to university and being pretty and living my best life. Maybe I'm digging a grave for myself and this is why I'm writing this confession. I just want to be appreciated and be my dream guy. I think I might be still running away from myself now that I'm reflecting on it. All my life I've avoided the battle. I know I'll never be him. I feel stood up by god. I sometimes want to just die. I keep thinking that I need to make my struggle mean something, but it's so hard. I don't have the grades to move out, I don't have the self-confidence to love myself. I wish I could get a restart in life. It's so hard for me not to escape and take control. I just want to disappear.
I'm 20 and addicted to porn I don't go to university I have stretch marks I'm overweight I feel ugly and I wish I wasn't.
And I can't even get an apartment since the waiting line is 10 years in my country. I just don't know if its all worth it, although it could be said that there might be a good future for me. I just don't know anymore.
submitted by Emotional-Screen6124 to Advice [link] [comments]

2022.10.14 12:26 cKingc05 BT-42 Confirmed

BT-42 Confirmed submitted by cKingc05 to Warthunder [link] [comments]

2022.10.03 15:35 PWNtimeJamboree The 2022 Falcons Shitty Schedule Wallpaper: Week 4 - The "Homelander Can Do Whatever He Wants" Edition

The 2022 Falcons Shitty Schedule Wallpaper: Week 4 - The submitted by PWNtimeJamboree to falcons [link] [comments]

2022.08.29 01:21 llamapartyofficial wallpaper request

Was looking for a wallpaper for a phone, specifically an HD version of the season 2 homelander laughing type of poster, the paper cutout looking one, but any other wallpaper recommendations are fine as well. I have no talent and can't make one myself 💀
submitted by llamapartyofficial to TheBoys [link] [comments]

2022.08.21 23:48 JimakuNoNadare Rook Fact Sheet (and fan-art!) (Spoilers for: JPN-server events, Card vignettes, Groovied card art)

Name: Rook Hunt Grade/Class: 3-A (classmates among main cast: Leona) Birthday: December 2 (Sagittarius) Age: 18 years old Height: 177cm (taller than Azul/SilveCater, shorter than Trey) Homeland: Sunset Savannah (homeland shared with: Leona, Ruggie) Club: Science Club (club members: Trey) Favorite Subject: Fine Art Hobby: Watching Live Theater Dislikes: His privacy being intruded upon Favorite food: Liver Pâté Least favorite food: Garlic Talent: Photography
(Voted 15th-most-popular-character on the jpn server in a combination of seven different character-ranking surveys held throughout 2021)
Rook refers to himself as "le Chasseur d'amour" (the hunter of love). He enjoys both archery and bow hunting (he has multiple bows and arrows on display in his dorm room) and makes a comment to Ruggie about using his tail as a scarf. He has said he often “chased” animals in his home country of Sunset Savannah, occasionally refers to other students as “prey” and explains to Malleus that “hunting is what I do best”, so it seems he is very much a literal hunter.

Translation of illustration notes: “It’s OK to over-emphasize” - “You usually can’t see his eyebrows. His design is similar to that of slender-eyed characters, but when he is making a normal expression his eyes aren’t actually that narrow, so be cautious there.” - “All of his motions are over the top to the point that they seem insincere” - “Beautiful!!\"
In his Beansfest vignette, Rook assures Trey that, “A true enemy will never loom over you, a menacing glower in his eye. It is he who hovers in your periphery with a smile that you must be wary of.”
Rook assigns nicknames to his fellow students, always referring to house wardens as “king”. Floyd’s name for Rook is “seagull”, while he is often referred to as “weird” by others, and even members of staff have been seen looking uncomfortable around him. Rook acknowledges his own talkative nature and will praise and discuss others for long conversations, but only very rarely shares information about himself. According to Epel, “the more you know about him the more mysterious he becomes”.

Translation: \"It might be better to not put any light in his eyes (laughs)\"
Rook spends the entirety of his labwear vignette audibly longing to hunt Leona, saying, “If those sharp fangs of his pierced my windpipe, I’d be done for in an instant. The very notion makes my heart quiver. I could watch Leona all day and never tire of it. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get my hunter’s blood boiling every time I look at him. I so ache to corner that calm, collected quarry just enough to make him bare his fangs. Oh, to find myself in the position to make him squirm!”
In his PE vignette he asks a few students to play a game of tag—with himself as the chaser—and all refuse.
Rook will occasionally excuse himself to perform “fieldwork”, which Vil refers to as “meddling in the affairs of people from other dorms”.
In the game guide we learn that "He is secretly very well-muscled. He almost never takes off his gloves for everyday tasks (in order to not leave any fingerprints behind). His neck and arms are thicker than Vil’s. When weighing himself it was discovered that he is actually heavier than Trey, and he feigned surprise."

While we do not know whether the gallery of pictures partially hidden by the wallpaper in his dorm room are photos of Neige, the blanket over his bed has most certainly been inspired by the Snow White (and thus, Neige) motif.
Ortho has evaluated Rook’s heart rate, pulse and other vital signs more than once in order to gauge Rook’s level of surprise or honesty, but results always return normal, no matter the situation.
Rook has extraordinarily good eyesight—to the point that he says he has no use for binoculars—and he comments that Vil has “put on weight in the past three days” after noticing imperceivable changes to Vil’s jawline (Vil comments that “Rook reads me more accurately than any scale. Possibly even more accurately than a mirror”).
He is also capable of reading the title of a book held by Epel as he walks through the courtyard, while Rook himself watched from inside the school.
His eyesight is aided by the hat he wears “out of respect for the hunter who served the beautiful queen”, which also cuts down on glare from the sun. He is also adept at tracking the passage of time, able to guess the current time of day within ten minutes.

A very private person, at Rook’s birthday party he is asked the usual question of “is there a memory from any of your past birthdays back home that you would like to share?”, and outright refuses to answer, explaining that “secrets are sweetest when left secret”. When asked about his love for bows, he launches into a poem about their beauty.
Despite how little is known about him by absolutely anyone, he was still selected to represent his dorm at the Spelldrive tournament and as Vice Housewarden.
He follows up with Epel kindly when Epel struggles with Vil’s expectations and rules, but can be similarly strict.
Despite being a member of the Science Club, he takes over for Vil as head of the Film Studies Club when Vil is unavailable. This may be why Lilia tends to refer to him as “Chief of Staff”. We learn in a vignette that he only joined the science club to begin with in order to learn how to make smokes and dyes to support Vil’s filmography projects. For Vil’s birthday, Rook wrote him 100 poems.

According to Trey, “Rook tends to blurt out everything that crosses his mind, positive or negative”.
During an event, Rook tells a story to Trey about surviving on his own for over a month in a jungle at the age of six, where he crafted a knife out of a rock, a shield out of a piece of tree and rope out of grass. He disguised his scent with mud, dug a hole to hide in and camouflaged himself with leaves.
He became trapped in a bottomless swamp for three days, only managing to escape by grabbing onto a warthog that dragged him to safety. Bitten by a poisonous insect, feverish and close to losing consciousness, he trailed after a ghost that led him to the edge of a river where he was found by a search-and-rescue team and reunited with his mother. When Trey asks if he is lying, Rook asks if Trey has a problem with his “nerves of steel” and Trey backs down.
“Beauté, 100 points!”, the phrase that Rook used to compliment every single participant in the VDC auditions, became very popular with twst fans and it can now be found in use by “positive affirmation” Twitter bots, in pixiv tags, the official Twisted Wonderland LINE stamp set and more.

Some great artists for Rook fan-art and more (SFW, no story spoilers)Rook the archerSummertime Uniforms with VilJust a lovely illustrationAnd another lovely illustration
Voice Rook is voiced by Itokawa Youjirou (糸川 耀士郎) . Rook is his first voice acting role. He is a musical theater performer, and his recent appearances include Yotsusuji Kannabi in Hypnosis Mic Division Rap Battle, Suwa in rock musical MARS RED, Kanbe Daisuke in The Millionaire Detective Balance:UNLIMITED The STAGE, Sawamura Eijun in Daiya no A the Musical, Yoshizawa Akira in Escape, Don't Escape and Amami Annojou in Amaku wa Naize!3
Rook’s seiyuu was a guest on episodes 5 and 6 of “Good Boy!”, the Twisted Wonderland-based show hosted on the Disney Games official YouTube Channel. The 6th episode is particularly entertaining, where he tries to guess the English translation of the nicknames of other characters on ENG-server. The full episode can be viewed here.
More seiyu information available here.

Additional Facts SheetsRiddle RoseheartsTrey CloverCater DiamondAce TrappolaDeuce SpadeLeona KingscholarRuggie BucchiJack HowlAzul AshengrottoFloyd LeechJade LeechKalim Al-AsimJamil ViperVil SchoenheitEpel FelmierIdia ShroudOrtho ShroudMalleus DraconiaLilia VanrougeSilverSebek Zigvolt
submitted by JimakuNoNadare to TwistedWonderland [link] [comments]

2022.06.30 04:54 Proper_Lingonberry52 Free homelander wallpaper

Free homelander wallpaper submitted by Proper_Lingonberry52 to TheBoys [link] [comments]

2022.06.13 11:22 Chut_Lee Can I just say how much I like this poster. Is there homelander only desktop or even mobile wallpaper available?

Can I just say how much I like this poster. Is there homelander only desktop or even mobile wallpaper available? submitted by Chut_Lee to TheBoys [link] [comments]

2022.04.03 13:11 Orpherischt THE SLAVERS LAW

🎶 Dear Citizen(s),
Some of you may not yet be aware that the so-called 'Covid-19 pandemic', that has 'been with us' for over two years, is a LIE and a STAGE SHOW - a FAKE - an effective MAGIC SPELL with a PURPOSE (or three).
Amongst many other revelations that the fake pandemic provides us, the audience, is that the World is working as One State, though it still mostly pretends that things are otherwise.
Arguably, one purpose of the pandemic is to ease the citizens into this awareness themselves - the awareness that they are World Citizens, of that Empire that all roads lead to and all laws come from.
Another revelation the pandemic illuminates for us, is the vast and intimidating levels of global compliance and gullibility amongst the general population.
We are in this together, as we stay far apart.
Formally Compartmentalized.
The so-called 'Externalization of the Hierarchy' has left us with living routines that greatly resemble those of the spies that crafted the affair. Masked men and women, ordered about by Alphabet Agencies, surveilling and surveilled, and fearing bugs.
And it's almost as if the people are enjoying the show, and their participation within it.
Superheros wear masks, after all. It's acceptable, surely?
Not counting the hijab, which is unacceptable, but a flimsy pantyliner across your mouth is fashionable Social Currency, and part of a novel ritual liturgy..
In triangular numbers...
And you have, most of you.
We might have suspected it to some degree, but it is shocking anyway, no matter how thick your tinfoil hat was going in - but the slavers knew best. They knew the people well enough to know they would bend the knee. The State prepares each Person for the next level of Statehood.
Person @ PRSN @ Prison ( run by Hoods @ Hods @ Codes )
After some 'experiences' out of doors today (not unexpected but disappointing nonetheless), I must admit my hope for the rescue of the minds (and souls, perhaps) of the masses grows very dim indeed.
The 'New Normal' has become just that.
Another Fiction became Truth, and part of the Foundation of Reality.
Why are you wearing the mask?
Because the Government said so.
Many of those who reject the narrative, and suspect alternative agendas on the behalf of their 'leaders' seem nonetheless to have given in - they will let the fake pandemic be, as it were.
The psychological torture operation has been very successful in generally cowing everyone.
By now, two years later, In many countries, most of the tyrannical and farcical 'measures' that were put in place to 'manage' the fake virus outbreak are being dropped (though all sorts of technological and legislative 'progress' has been put in place and will remain), but in other places, 'enforcement' is still rife.
In my own home country, while the 'State of Emergency' (ie. Emergence of State) is being rolled back, many of the laws and regulations that it constituted are being transferred to become general laws.
In my homeland of security, we have had to put up with masks everywhere, indoor and out, except for in one's own home, since 2020. It is LAW, not merely 'advisories' or 'mandates'. Police-enforced law. Prison if you disobey. That is still in place, though many go unmasked outdoors in contravention if no cop cars are in view. But no-one is complaining or taking any kind of stand against enforced mask-wearing in shops etc.
I am the only person I've yet witnessed first-hand being thrown out of a major 'chain' store for raising the objection that the masks are a form of torture and that the customers and staff are victims of a psychological experiment and enforced transformation that should not be acquiesced to.
That said - it appears from what I've heard of recent developments, that the government plan is to have masks become legally mandatory indoors... for ever.
And certain businesses will never again be allowed to have as many simultaneous customers in-store as they did before the fake pandemic began, and am I sure, some interesting further 'measures'.
Even if these new slavers' laws go mostly unenforced, due to a scripted 'waning of the current pandemic', they are ticking time-bombs, ready to be wielded at the next total eclipse ritual.
They are all paper fictions - the wallpaper of your prison.
The long-term goals of the pandemic no doubt include the aiding of the total reshaping of worldwide 'economics' and governance; involves the deeper integration of technology into the surveillance and control of the citizens, and these are all to be fought by the righteous, but to me the masking requirement and practice is one of the most grievous crimes against humanity.
It is a psychological torture, and after years of it, the vast majority of the population where I live and that I can observe, have utterly capitulated.
And they acquiesced to it not quite realizing just how important their bowing down in this matter actually is.
And these are things that anyone with half a brain was saying very early in 2020, if not earlier.
The people of the world have given over their rights to deal with 'invisible enemies' to crime lords, for the New Church is come. The new Faith hath risen. The Crown-Verse Devil and it's purgatory priesthood.
Good luck, ye masked minions. Witness the documents that decided your fate:
In square numbers (squares are 'blockheads')
They had to do something big, right?
When you are masked due to a fake virus scare, a Crown Ruling Virus (or is it Verse), you have to use your eyes to commune, being otherwise impaired (ie. empired).
20/20 vision.
Do you see?
I hope so. I can't hear your muffled voice.
Most people around the world, were advised or instructed to put a mask on in the year 2020.
If you still wear a mask, you are a devil worshiper.
You worship (ie. work for) your Adversary: the State, your ostensibly-human Slave-masters of the 'World State', and perhaps stranger creatures further up the hierarchy.
If you are still wearing the mask - you fucked up. For everybody.
(I don't' like to use such language, but it has a certain force now and again).
You mock numerology, yet it governs you with a gripping iron fist, indirectly via the priesthood that has fully rolled out the primieval AI, that is,
If you took the vaccine, all I can say is I pity you. I wish I could have got into your brain earlier. You ensured the great division of society between 'human' and 'quasi-human'. The only way I can feel better about it is to presume the Biblical parable of the wheat and tares was finally implemented in my lifetime.
As far as I am concerned the vaccinated are the tares (the terrors who were afraid of fake terrors).
I am "Anti-Vaccine" = 911 latin-agrippa
. which by definition is "Offensive" = 911 latin-agrippa
.. .. as per the Official Narrative.
If you claim religious exemption because of your...
...that is likewise "Offensive" = 911 latin-agrippa
The vaccinated are medical experiments walking 'free' in the open air prison/zoo/farm that is Earth.
I can only hope it was all saline solution, and the experiment was purely psychological - but even then, the results for the heart, mind and soul of mankind are quite undesirable, to put it mildly.
It's the law, see? It's not necessarily what I would prefer. But there you have it.
Society will be divided and conquered, axis by axis, every which way it can be sliced.
Are you fascinated by the pandemic podium people?
Whose law is this:
Somebody doesn't like you.
All those trendy influencers, is the joke.
The Riddler always leaves clues, you see. It's the MO.
What is the code?
Invent an...
... and offer solutions.
Chemical solutions.
After the Alchemical stage play blinds everyone and steals their common sense.
... to ...
... of terrors of every kind.
I say again:
The letters of the word 'coronavirus' can only be re-arranged to make one other word: carnivorous.
Wikipedia front page featured article two days ago:
Operation Mincemeat was a successful British deception operation of the Second World War to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. Two members of British intelligence obtained the body of Glyndwr Michael, a tramp who died from eating rat poison, dressed him as an officer of the Royal Marines and placed personal items on him identifying him as the fictitious Captain (Acting Major) William Martin.
It's a pandemic joke. It's not arbitrary.
There are no coincidences.
The only reason you put on the mask in 2020 is because
This is not random numerology above and below - you must presume the folks running the world and it's pandemic and it's bankers wars know this stuff too - calculating the spectrum of the spells of language is the first thing they would have done with their early digital computers - and the results of that work would be added to the hand-calculated concordances collected over millennia:
See it! See it!
Have you pondered the possibility that accepting the vaccination puts your name on a secret list of 'citizens incapable of making their own decisions'?
And that with each booster, they add another 'confirmation' to the tally?
One might ponder the possibility that 'government oppression, tyranny, or general harm' is not the result of incompetence, or of the greed and malice of the few, but that this harm is THE mandate dictating almost all else to various degrees allowed, temporarily, by the veils it must employ.
If the high-level mandate for the nation states of the world was ...
From 2020 onwards, Be the Devil. Sauron Protocol Enganged.
... then the pandemic is a pretty top-notch performance, I would say.
Sneaky, deceitful, snarky, forceful, violent, two-faced, double-masked, stupid, foolish, cunning, hypocritical, antagonizing, hyperbolizing, condescending, in all the ways the Dark Lord might be.
Your denial is of the Eloi, not perceiving the purposes of the Morlocks, and too self-satisfied to care.
If there is to be a grand showdown between the Coronal Ring of World Tyranny and Aragorn 2.0 and his Rebel Rangers, the 'good guys' can't risk the aid of the vaccinated-yet-repentant, who might be, for all we know, programmable enemies-in-waiting.
There was a movie released not long ago, to great reviews, called SPLIT.
I remain proud of my unvaccinated status, and have no need or desire to lie about it.
What if things change enough, perceptions change enough, that it behooves the vacci-nation to lie and claim that they remain unsullied?
How many vaccinated people will, in future, lie to attain help from the unvaccinated?
Will I ever be able to trust my future romantic partner is telling the truth about such things - or am I deceiving myself with sentimental illusions of possibilities that no longer really exist?
Society denies me a natural-born issue - or at least drastically reduces the possibility thereof.
Either way - at this point we just don't know.
Isn't that great.
It's your fault, masked fools.
Is it my fault?
Would you have listened, if I sat in a toga on the parliament steps and lectured your folly, two years ago?
Divided we fall, they say.
Well. We are divided.
When you...
... you signal that you are subhuman, to the minds that crafted the pandemic.
You hide your light under a bushel, and darkness descendeth.
The Entire Lie is Obvious.
Here is a link to the current regulations (at time of writing) of my home country, for the LOWEST alert level (of the fake pandemic):
I provide a slightly edited version below:
... (WIP. but know this and this)
Wikipedia front page image (re. emerald green language of Az):
submitted by Orpherischt to GeometersOfHistory [link] [comments]

2022.01.25 00:13 silverainn [TOMT][BOOK][1980s-90s]Children's chapter book with 2 human siblings, an overgrown talking dog, and talking cat who came from a floating cat city.

I read this around 1992, probably picked up from a Scholastic book fair in the US. Reading level was similar to Beverly Cleary, which I guess I was reading around the same time.
A brother and sister (I think brother was youngest) move to a spacious new house with their parents, maybe near the beach.
While cleaning up to move in, the brother hears noises in the wall. He peels back some wallpaper to find a hole/tunnel in the wall with a puppy.
The puppy grows to a ridiculous size (hopefully not mixing it up here with something obvious like Clifford). I remember a scene with the dog in the driveway and someone discussing how they can't afford to feed him anymore.
Somehow, the siblings end up in the dog's homeland, which is an alternate universe or something where they can understand the dog.
There is also a cat, and they later visit his home too. His name may have been something punny like Bartholomew, but I'm not certain. Cats apparently live in floating cities in the sky and they spend some time with the cat's mother.
I don't remember the point of the story or even the main plot, just these details.
The book was hardback, with a very light blue book jacket. The cover picture may have been the dog in a driveway. It may have had occasional illustrations but was mostly text. I think I remember a pen drawing of the cat's home with portraits of cats on the wall. It was maybe 2 cm (less than 1 inch) thick with medium sized, full page print.
submitted by silverainn to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

2022.01.23 00:45 silverainn Children's chapter book (1970s-80s, probably) with talking dogs/cats in alternate reality.

I read this 1988-1992, probably picked up from a school book fair in the US. Reading level was similar to Beverly Cleary, which I guess I was reading around the same time.
A brother and sister (I think brother was youngest) move to a spacious new house with their parents, maybe near the beach.
While cleaning up to move in, the brother hears noises in the wall. He peels back some new wallpaper to find a puppy.
The puppy grows to a ridiculous size (hopefully not mixing it up here with something obvious like Clifford). I remember a scene with the dog in the driveway and someone discussing how they can't afford to feed him anymore.
Somehow, the siblings end up in the dog's homeland, which is an alternate universe or something where they can understand the dog.
There is also a cat, and they later visit his home too. His name may have been something punny like Bartholomew, but I'm not certain. Cats apparently live in floating cities in the sky and they spend some time with the cat's mother.
I don't remember the point of the story or even the main plot, just these details.
The book was hardback, with a very light blue book jacket. It may have had occasional illustrations but was mostly text. I think I remember a pen drawing of the cat's home with portraits of cats on the wall. It was maybe 2 cm (less than 1 inch) thick with medium sized, full page print.
Thanks for any help!
submitted by silverainn to whatsthatbook [link] [comments]

2022.01.07 02:42 duke_of_nothing15 Homelander vs Iron Patriot Wallpaper

Homelander vs Iron Patriot Wallpaper submitted by duke_of_nothing15 to DeathBattleMatchups [link] [comments]

2022.01.05 04:07 romansapprentice Almost all the women this season are acting super immature and self conscious

Tbf so are most of the men lol, focusing on the ladies today though.
One woman literally pulls her boyfriend's phone out of his hands so she can read it...refuses to let him tip a woman out of jealousy...another is upset because the man doesn't have her as his phone wallpaper...another is upset that after a 12+ hours flight he didn't give her enough "cuddles" and proceedes to call a gift he got from her from his homeland trash...another is upset because her boyfriend is daring to do business with the opposite gender...walking up to men and asking them if they're dangerous or not, as if someone about to assault you would just tell you that...There's definitely stuff I'm forgetting.
I just feel like I'm watching a bunch of teenagers trying to figure out a first relationship, not a bunch of grown people. I get that this show now tries to find the biggest train wrecks they can, I guess it's just crazy to me how some.adults can't realize how unhinged their behavior is.
submitted by romansapprentice to 90DayFiance [link] [comments]

2021.12.20 15:41 Rumbleskim [Games] World of Warcraft (Part 2: Burning Crusade) - A tale of legendary loot, lawsuits, space goats, gay elves, and pedophile guilds

This is the second part of my World of Warcraft Hobbydrama series. I recommend reading the first part, which covers Beta and Vanilla, before moving onto this post. But if you don’t want to do that, you should have no trouble understanding anything.

Part 2 - Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft’s first expansion ‘The Burning Crusade’ released on the 16th January 2007, to enormous hype and acclaim. Other MMOs had released expansions before – most notably EverQuest had already released twelve by that time – but nothing to this detail, and scope. Players journeyed to the broken planet of Outland, the original homeland of the Orcs.
The continent had scorched red deserts, storm-beaten cosmic hellscapes, spiked mountains straight out of a medieval torture fantasy, and even a drained sea full of giant mushroom cities. But by far the most popular new area was Nagrand, a relative paradise with floating islands and calm music. BC truly offered every kind of experience, and it was clear that a lot of thought had been put into making it as alien as possible.
WoW had a huge catalogue of lore to fall back on, so it would be almost a decade before Blizzard had to start coming up with new concepts from scratch. Players had heard of Outland before, and many of its leading characters were old faces. That only added to the excitement.
BC cemented the idea of what a WoW expansion should contain: a continent to play around in, many new raids and dungeons, ten new levels, and a new class or race.
Even though many people look back on BC with a critical eye, WoW continued gaining new players throughout the expansion, and it revitalised the existing audience, so it’s hard to say it wasn’t a success. Everything from the level design to the writing to the end game was a step up from Vanilla. Its most iconic dungeons are fondly remembered today – such as Karazhan and Black Temple.
But don’t worry; there was plenty of drama too.

The Space Goats and Gay Elves

Burning Crusade gave us not one, but two races, and both of them managed to piss off some section of WoW’s playerbase.
The Horde were going to get Blood Elves – a race of civilised, fancy, sexy snobs. This made no sense to a lot of players. They were a Horde after all. They were meant to be savage and bestial and gruesome and primitive. The delicate Blood Elves had no place among their ranks, and would be better suited to the Alliance, they thought. Sure, the Blood Elves were sort of ‘evil’, but they weren’t the right kind. They were the ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ kind of evil, not the noble, misunderstood kind of evil from the Evanescence songs.
I’ll try to give a VERY brief explanation of the lore so that we can pin down exactly why they’re evil.
It started with the Trolls. A small group of trolls settled near the ancient Well of Eternity (a fount of infinite power at the centre of the world), and used it to fuel their rise, gradually turning into Night Elves in the process. Stuff happened, the Well of Eternity went boom, and the continents of WoW were made. A small group of Night Elves took a vial of water preserved from the Well of Eternity and used it to create the Sunwell, which gradually turned them into High Elves. Stuff happened (it does that a lot), the Sunwell went boom, and the remaining High Elves found themselves desperately addicted to its power, but with no substitute. They found an alternative in Outland, using demonic energy which turned their eyes green and gave them a somewhat evil disposition. They renamed themselves Blood Elves in honour of the people who died when the Sunwell went boom, which was most of them.
So long story short, they’re evil because they used evil energy – which should have satisfied the crowd who wanted the Horde to be the bad guys (since using that same evil energy is how the Orcs turned green). But on the other hand, the Blood Elf men were wonderfully, stupendously camp. And that really was a deal breaker.
Here we can see a prototypical conversation on the topic. In a 2014 poll, 36% of MMO-Champion users considered Blood Elf men to look/act ‘gay’.
I love Belf Males casting animations and thinking of using my free 90 boost for a belf priest. However, they do seem a bit gay e.i. there emotes/stance
Don't get me wrong, I'm not the slightest bit homophobic. Just curious of your opinions.
There were users who pointed out the deception here.
You might not be afraid of homosexuals, but you have a strong enough stigma against them to both stereotype them as well as avoid being associated with them... Which means you're pretty much afraid of homosexuality.
So it is, indeed, homophobic. :P
Here’s another
For christs sake how homophobic and sterotypical are you.
Does it look like a bear? an otter? a twink? a jock? a cub? metro? chubby? or you know the infinite spectrum of body types that gay people can be, just like straight people.
What the hell is wrong with you? The fact that this is even a "dilema" for you pretty much tells me all I need to know about you.
And another.
Gay? No, but, I've known a lot of homosexual people that are of many different body types, attitudes, etc, so I tend not to really pay any attention to the stereotypes.
Feminine/"Metro"sexual? Yes. They're characterized as prissy and vain, which is an attribute most commonly seen as gay, however, I've known more straight men that act like that than gay.
And also… whatever this is.
Well, if my Blood Elf Rogue looks gay, then it's because he is gay. Well, more omnisexual. He still remembers that one night where he got drunk and tried to mount one of those statues in Dalaran in the horde area. You can still see the dent.
This is just one conversation on one forum. During the period of Burning Crusade’s release, the topic was everywhere, and held a lot of controversy.
After all, they had perfectly sharp eyebrows, almost impossibly beautiful hair, fine chiselled jaws that looked a bit like Brad Pitt if you squinted and turned your head a little, with the most elegant cheekbones, a gorgeous slender frame with just a hint of pec poking out from their v-neck robes, an absolutely flaming swagger, cat-like delicate eyes, and such kissable lips, God…
“Wait,” several million young men cried out in unison, just quiet enough to avoid waking their mothers upstairs. “Do I want to fuck a blood elf? No. No, it’s not me! I’m not gay! I’m manly as fuck! It’s Blizzard’s fault! How could they do this to the Horde!?!”
Anyway, they were not the only ones unhappy at the evil actions of Blood Elves. There were others who insisted they were too evil to be allowed to join the Horde (who were, lest we forget, honourable in their savagery). This debate tended to spiral into long, drawn out arguments about collective responsibility and the subjectivity of demon magic. The Blood Elves we played never used upper-level demon blood, they said, only demonic pests and mana beasts – the equivalent of rats and lesser rodents. They were practically vegan.
Then there was an angry contingent of Alliance who proposed that they should have Blood Elves, rather than the Horde. The High Elves had long been their allies, with continuous calls for them to be added as a playable race, and the whole idea of Blood Elves had clearly been contrived to create an excuse to alienate them from the Alliance. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Blood Elf women were a lot better looking than human women, and would no-doubt look even better gracing a table at the Goldshire Inn.
The had some fair arguments. For example, Blood Elves traditionally spoke the same language as humans, known as Common, and frequently talked to them in non-game material like the books, but due to WoW’s rules on cross-faction communication, they would never be able to communicate with humans. The response to this was that there is no evidence all Blood Elves spoke Common – maybe it was just officers, delegates and diplomats – and players happened to control Blood Elves who didn’t. But also, Blood Elves could be Paladins. Up until their introduction, only Alliance races had been Paladins, never Horde races.
In retrospect, perhaps they were simply afraid of monster Blizzard had unleashed.
Indeed, before long Blood Elves became the most popular race in the game, with Blood Elf women in number 1 and Blood Elf men in number 2. It was a golden era for ERPers. The Horde finally had a race they could wank off to, and they took to it with gusto. On RP servers, Silvermoon City became the Horde hub for any and all roleplay. While the Wayfarer’s Rest Inn was its heart, almost every single building became the home of this guild or that guild. Silvermoon was so out of the way that non-Roleplayers never bothered going there, so it was the only city in the world wholly dedicated to Roleplay.
But that would not be the last we heard of our metrosexual blood boys. In 2015, Blizzard decided to update the models for them, and players quickly noticed that the new models were a lot more masculine. They had thicker frames, bigger muscles, and better posture.
A Community Manager by the name of Nethaera confirmed that the change was done to make Blood Elf men look more intimidating and manly, which drew heavy criticism. To those who played Male Blood Elves, their waifish figures were part of the charm. Hell, they had actually become very popular among feminine gay men. They were furious that Blizzard was forcibly bulking up their characters, citing a culture of machismo and stereotyping. Defenders of the change pointed out that by making Blood Elf frames more similar to humans, less work was needed to make sure that outfits didn’t break or tear. Also a lot of WoW’s promotional art has historically been done by Sam Didier, who always portrayed Blood elves as quite muscly, so there was a precedent for it.
Regardless of their controversy, Blood Elves were here to stay. The true irony is that by the standards of Final Fantasy 14, the new MMO on the block, Blood Elf men are positively masc for masc. The gays would win in the end.
So we’ve gone over what the Horde got, but what about the Alliance?
The new race given to the Alliance was the Draenei, a motley crew of tall goat-people with blue skin and tentacles. They arrived in Azeroth on a crashed space-ship made of giant crystals, led by a 25,000 year old prophet who could see the future, and guided by giant floating light gods. The community found them a jarring addition, more sci-fi than fantasy, and there were complaints they didn’t really fit with the aesthetics or themes of WoW. No matter how you look at it, Burning Crusade was audacious.
Of course, Blizzard never skimps on the lore, and they had plenty of backstory in Burning Crusade. The cliff notes are these: The Draenei had originally been Eredar, a race of powerful aliens who lived on the planet Argus and mostly stood around smelling flowers and praying, until they were corrupted by an even more powerful alien Sargeras, who himself had been corrupted by some particularly capricious Old Gods, who were, at the time, trapped under the surface of Azeroth. A small group were able to escape the corruption of the Eredar and named themselves Draenei. They fled to a planet full of Orcs and Ogres, which they called Draenor, where they set up shop for a while alongside the Orcs. But the Eredar found them and weaponised the Orcs against the Draenei. Stuff happened. The planet exploded, becoming Outland, and the surviving Draenei then fled to Azeroth in their space-ship, while the Orcs built a giant inter-dimensional gateway called the Dark Portal, through which they would go on to invade Azeroth, which made a lot of people angry and has widely been regarded to be a bad move.
Got all that? Good.
Chris Metzen apologised for the difficulties in the new lore, which contradicted the old law in more than a few ways. He dismissed the idea that the space ship was sci-fi, because space-ships fly through space, and the Exodar didn’t fly, it teleported, which was totally different and not at all sci-fi. After all, mages teleported all the time, and no one went around calling them sci-fi.
For some reason, this perfectly flawless logic didn’t convince players.
It didn’t help that no one quite knew how to pronounce this race’s name. In Warcraft III (the game which preceded WoW), it was pronounced ‘dra-neye’ with an accent on the first syllable. But in an official forum post in October 2006, it was ‘dran-eye’. Lead designer Scott Mercer used the pronunciation ‘dr&’ni’, and community manager Tseric (remember that name) claimed it was ‘dray-neye’, and another lead designer pronounced it as rhyming with ‘man eye’, and all this didn’t exactly fill the community with confidence.
In the end, the Draenei would never capture the attention of players the way the Blood Elves had, despite the fact that – as many noted – the female Draenei more closely resembled female Blood Elves than male Draenei. A spectacular example of the sexist dimorphism of WoW’s character design.
Unlike Silvermoon, Roleplay never really took off in their zones, and their little corner of the world remains largely empty. They would see a brief resurgence in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, as well as in the final patch of Legion, but that’s all.

The Issue of Flight

During Vanilla, the world was strategically dotted with flight masters. Every time a player interacted with a new flight master, they unlocked the ability to fly from that point to any other flight master on the map, for a small fee. And in a world where the alternatives were walking or a very slow ground mount, flight paths were considered cool.
One of the most consequential changes to come with the Burning Crusade was the introduction of flight.
It was a huge promise, but no simple task to deliver. Blizzard couldn’t just give players the ability to move vertically. Vanilla’s zones were not designed with flight in mind, and that allowed Blizzard to cut corners. When designing a building, tree, or mountain, they never bothered creating the whole model as a single object, they would only create the parts the player could see, and leave the rest behind. From the ground, everything would look complete, but when viewed from above, the illusion would become clear. The flight paths had been carefully planned to avoid revealing anything.
Outland was the first part of the game designed to maintain its structural integrity when players flew above it. And at first, it was incredible. The ability to fly cost 900 gold, and a flying mount cost another 100, which made it incredibly costly at the time. On top of that, players could only fly once they reached max level. But it was a worthy sacrifice. The moment players first took off from the ground and flew around Outland, it was like a whole new game had opened up to them. Players could let the world fall away, sweeping over monsters or natural obstacles without a care. The floating islands of Outland which sat tantalisingly out of reach were now easy to visit, and a lot of max-level content in Outland was only doable with flight.
But after a while, the cracks started to show. Players began to voice their concerns on the forums, and in the game, that the community aspect was disappearing. The chance encounters and group activities that had kept WoW’s world so exciting became a rarity, because everyone was in the sky. The change was even more pronounced on PvP servers. Players would idle in the safety of the stratosphere, where nobody could find or touch them. And the long, perilous journeys from one end of the continent to the other suddenly became a breeze that took no more than a few minutes to complete. This had a massive impact on the social fabric of the game.
“The world feels a bit more populated when everything is at a slower, smaller scale,” says Hazzikostas. “You can see someone next to you. They’re not 50 yards above you. So there’s no question that adding that extra dimension has the effect of making some of our cities feel a bit emptier.”
Wow’s Developers often compared flight to Pandora’s Box. No one predicted the consequences of adding it, and once it was there, it became such a pivotal tool that it was extremely difficult to remove in future expansions. Once players had flown, they would need to fly everywhere. They couldn’t go back to flight paths. They were now a crutch. And often they were badly planned so that they took inefficient, slow routes. But as long as players could fly, the game would suffer. Ever since this reality became clear, WoW’s playerbase has been fiercely divided on the issue. It’s a dilemma which would infect every MMORPG in the industry going forward.
Blizzard continued integrating flying into new expansions. Wrath of the Lich King prevented players from flying until they had out-levelled all but the final two zones – both of which were built with flying in mind. The next expansion, Cataclysm, had flying baked in from the start. The plus side was that this gave Blizzard a free reign to design the most extreme geography and architecture they could imagine, because none of it had to be traversable by foot. Flight was so necessary to those zones that when players died, their ghosts would appear on flying mounts, presumably because otherwise it might be impossible to reach their corpses to revive.
After that, there was a gradual attempt to phase flying out, with controversial results. We’ll get to them in a later post.

The Bot Lawsuit

Like every MMO that came before it, WoW relied on grinding. That’s the term we use to describe repetitive, low-skilled work in order to gain resources, experience, or gold. One form of grinding might be running between five pre-determined points in an area and clicking a piece of ore every time it appears, or killing the same animal over and over for its skin. Grinding is generally awful and easy to automate, which led to the rise of ‘botting’. Players would use programmes to do the work for them.
The bots were sold to normal players, but most of their customers were sweat shop workers – a topic we’ve already covered. One such bot creator was a certain Michael Donnelly, whose programming skills birthed the WoW Glider. It sold for $25 online, with the option of a 5$ subscription that provided additional functionality. The Glider website included this:
"Getting a bunch of characters to 70 is a pain. Getting money to equip them is a pain. Doing big instances, Battlegrounds, raids, and generally socializing in the game is fun. We use the Glider to skip the painful parts and have more fun. Someone suggested we sell it, so.."
Blizzard reached out to Donnelly’s company (MDY Industries) to ask them to stop. MDY Industries responded by pre-emptively suing Blizzard, to which Blizzard responded with a counter-suit in Feb 2007. They claimed he had infringed upon their copyright, broken World of Warcraft’s End User License Agreement, and made more than $2.8 million in the process. By knocking the game’s economy and gameplay out of whack, he was costing them money.
"Blizzard's designs expectations are frustrated, and resources are allocated unevenly, when bots are introduced into the WoW universe, because bots spend far more time in-game than an ordinary player would and consume resources the entire time,"
For the most part, the lawsuit is a long, tangled jumble of legalese. If you want to read about it in detail, you can do so here.
There are two parts to Blizzard’s case. The End User License Agreement (EULA) part and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) part. The EULA is the agreement players make upon buying the game, and the DMCA is a US law which ensures that owners retain control of their works.
Blizzard argued that the EULA prohibits bot use and therefore if a player used Glider, they were breaking the EULA, which constituted copyright infringement. They held MDY responsible for distributing the Glider in the first place. The court agreed that the bot broke the EULA, but did not agree that it was breaching copyright.
This was a major win for DMY, because it hugely reduced the potential penalties Blizzard could seek against them. However, Blizzard won the DMCA argument. The court found that since Glider was specifically designed to evade Blizzard’s control over their client, it broke the anti-circumvention laws in the DMCA.
Much smarter people than me have gone into great detail on the precedents set by this decision, and how they would affect games going forward. But if all you want to know is the outcome, Blizzard demanded $6 million in damages. Donnelly couldn’t pay that, so the judge granted Blizzard all the profits made from the WoW Glider. Blizzard didn’t think that was enough, so it asked for Donnelly’s entire life savings and even the title of his car. The judge declined. For a company with a value in the hundreds of millions, this came off as a bit malicious.
As usual, the forums had a lot to say. There were the hard working ‘sweat of the earth’ resource farmers who had felt the bots cutting into their profits, and they supported Blizzard wholeheartedly. But at the same time, some players pointed out that bots made the experience better, and may have kept customers from ending their subscription with Blizzard out of sheer boredom. By using a bot, they were able to play the parts of the game that appealed to them, and skip the annoying bits. Blizzard argued that the bots caused them to lose subscribers, when the actual result may have been the opposite.
Blizzard would go on to sue many creators and distributers of bots, and would use patches to try and undermine them. But whenever they destroyed one, two more took its place. Botting is still a common thing in WoW to this day – and it’s present in every other MMORPG. It’s a simple fact of life.

The Broken Mod

This particular fiasco takes place on World of Warcraft’s forums. Players have dozens of different places to talk about the game nowadays, but in the early years, the official forums were the place to be. The moderators were known as ‘Community Managers’, and tended to be a lot more up front and personable than the ‘unseen hands’ who patrol most modern social media. Even so, they were vastly outnumbered by the overwhelming userbase. Keeping it in order was an impossible task.
There was one CM who stood out from the others. He was known as Tseric. At first, Tseric would rebuke players who had broken the rules, or respond with frank honesty about their suggestions. He was friendly, hilarious, and respected, though he didn’t put up with bullshit.
After two years on the job, however, it was starting to get to him. In May 2007, tweaks to the Enhancement Shaman class left them severely underpowered, and players took to the forums to make their anger known. Tseric was there to read their posts, console the weary and confront the abusive. It was too much for any man. When one user created a thread called “Tseric = Dou chebag”, Tseric responded.
At least I don’t circumvent the profanity filter to try and call someone out.
I guess you can’t help it. You’re an e-thug.
This sparked a controversy that soon spiralled out of control. You can read the whole thing yourself, but to summarise, users started asking about where they could report Tseric for inappropriate behaviour. Tseric replied ‘Good luck with trying to get me fired, or whatever…’ It reached the point where Tseric was complaining about his job in the form of poetry.
Can't help it.
Posting impassionately, they say you don't care.
Posting nothing, they say you ignore.
Posting with passion, you incite trolls.
Posting fluff, you say nonsense.
Post with what facts you have, they whittle down with rationale.
There is no win.
There is only slow degredation.
Take note. It is the first and only time you'll see someone in my position make that position.
You can be me when I'm gone.
It was remarkably candid for a Blizzard employee. This only riled up the playerbase more, and strengthened the calls for Tseric to be removed. He lashed out, describing how ‘a group of beligerent and angry posters can drive people away from this game with an uncrafted and improvisational campaign of miery and spin-doctoring.’ Some players began to support him at this point, and it was certainly clear he was suffering. The sense of banter was gone, and Tseric had fallen into despair. A lot of users took Tseric’s side – they were sick of the behaviour on the forums, and were thrilled that someone at Blizzard had finally acknowledged it.
Understand that this moment will be fleeting, and that there is a hard crash of self-esteem to follow. You'll try to feed it again, and fill the void, but it will never be enough.
You've backpeddled into the troll excuse. You have no point. You have no meaning. You have no significance.
You will be forgotten.
The thread was deleted after that. But the abuse continued. Trolls are like sharks – even a drop of blood is enough to draw them from miles around, and Tseric was a wounded animal thrashing in the water. His rant went viral, drawing attention to Blizzard’s moderation, to the toxic environment on the forums, and to Tseric. After one final post, he was never heard from again. Blizzard quietly announced that he had left the company, though they declined to state whether he quit or had been dismissed.
And so ends the ballad of a broken CM.

The Pedophile Guild

Let’s move on to something a bit more juicy. In September 2007, one of World of Warcraft’s most famous guilds hit the spotlight – Abhorrent Taboo. They were an ERP guild on the server Ravenholdt, who marketed themselves on scandal. You could entertain any and all proclivities among their ranks, but the biggest draw was politely described as ‘extreme ageplay’.
And yes, that probably is exactly what you think it is. We’re talking about pedos again today, folks.
While ageplay is legal, it’s not the best sign if someone is into it. Very quickly, Abhorrent Taboo found themselves in forums, and plastered over Digg. This all suited Abhorrent Taboo just fine. They were actually branching out to other servers. And when they did, their Guild Master introduced themselves on the server’s local forum with this charming statement.
"Role-playing is legal. Even if you are role-playing something that would be considered deplorable and highly illegal IRL, it's still just role-playing and isn't subject to any form of disciplinary action. Negative publicity is still publicity. Make a Digg or website about how sick we are. Report us to PervertedJustice. All it does is bring in more members. In fact, the Digg the guy on Ravenholdt made about us was so effective, several people signed up for WoW just to be in our guild. The bottom line is: We're allowed to do what we do on any server we please and no one can do anything about it."
The guild also posted their recruitment policy, which explained exactly what these ‘highly illegal’ activities were. "NOTE: Be advised that we frequently ERP in guild chat and often engage in even potentially offensive kinks such as (Extreme) Ageplay, Bestiality, Child Birth, [something that is censored by the WoW forums so I can't tell what it is], Watersports, or any other kink those playing may wish to explore. If you are easily offended or upset by others using kinks you may not personally enjoy, this is not the guild for you. Furthermore, we are a guild based on freedom of love and sex. Monogamy of any kind runs counter to this, and so, all sexually exclusive relationships are prohibited." The guild denied insinuations from a whistle-blower that they purposely avoided checking the ages of applicants.
The behaviour of the guild was so extreme that other erotic roleplayers started investigating, and they quickly came across real under-18 players roleplaying sex with adults, the youngest of which was a 12 year old girl. As soon as this got out, the WoW forums exploded in talk. Everyone kind of knew there was something like this going on in the game, but most hadn’t seen such a blatant display of it before.
[Guild] [Lilith]: See, what pisses me off is… I can’t decide who to defend when people call us pedophiles
[Guild] [Celenia]: Do elaborate.
[Guild] [Genidaron]: Just say, we are not, then leave the forums
[Guild] [Lilith]: I want to defend us. But I also want to defend the pedosexual community.
[Guild] [Genidaron]: I put on my robe and wizard hat, and cast level 3 eroticism
Lilith would later clarify that she meant to defend pedophiles who are only attracted to children, but who do not molest them, and that she herself hated kids. This was, as we say in the entertainment industry, ‘a bad look’. The whole fiasco quickly drew attention from Blizzard, who forced the guild to disband. Their statement on the forums boiled down to ‘it’s gone, now please never speak of this again’.
This topic is no longer suitable for conversational purposes. We understand there is immense interest in this subject due to the changes that it may cause on your server. However, this matter is not one Blizzard takes lightly in any way, shape or form, and we do not wish to have this topic continue circulation.
Those who were part of the offending guild should not post information sent to you on this forum or any other, as it is prohibited by our forum rules to discuss such matters.
Let it finally be said that we appreciate those of you who brought this particular issue to our attention and that we will continue to follow up with this matter in the future to ensure the safety of all parties concerned.
Of course, getting out of a bind was something the members of Abhorrent Taboo enjoyed greatly, so they were up and running again almost immediately under the name ‘Vile Anathema’. The Guild Master, Lilith, suggested that they were given a free reign to reform because one of their members was a Blizzard employee, which caused another huge stir. After all, reforming so publicly under a name which was almost identical to Abhorrent Taboo was almost like a challenge to Blizzard.
I promised I wouldn’t give out their name, since they could lose their job. But let’s just say that not everyone at Blizzard is as uptight about what we do as the people who banned us.”
Whether Lilith was being truthful or stirring shit (probably one of her many fetishes), we may never know. But this incident once again raised a conversation in the wider WoW community about extreme ERP, and whether it was ever acceptible in the game, even when contained to private channels. A lot of players wanted it gone completely – they considered any pornographic chat to be too much. But other players were more even handed. Some ERP was innocent. And who decided what counted as ERP, anyway. A lot of players chose to blame the parents.
You know who's to blame? The parents of this 12-year-old for letting their kid play an online game which clearly states in its ESRB that content may change online. Parents -- please be parents, and don't leave the job up to video games.
Was a simple romance erotic? What about a kiss?
There were also legal quandries. Is it the player’s responsibility to verify the age of another player before performing erotic roleplay? What if the other player lies? Does the responsibility lie with the user of the platform, or the platform itself? Should video game age verification be more complex than simply ‘clicking’ if you’re above a certain age?
For once, World of Warcraft was not leading the conversation. The epicentre of all this nonsery was Second Life. And that’s how we got ‘Aschroft v Free Speech Coalition’, which confirmed that criminalising virtual child pornography was unconstitutional in the USA. However ageplay was explicitly banned in other countries, specifically Germany and Israel. Since these game worlds were accessible world-wide, the result was that every player had to adhere to the laws of the strictest nation.
If one country banned something, it was banned throughout the digital world. This whole thing prompted further discussions about where virtual worlds stood in relation to real-world countries. A number of American political minds were concerned that this could be used to ban otherwise legal speech, during a period where the online world was becoming ever more dominant. And that risked causing the opposite problem – a tort.
The proposed solution was to split players up by country, or even by province/state, and enforce separate rules for each, so that every player could be guaranteed the maximum possible freedoms under their local laws. Obviously, this never happened. But it could have, and perhaps the precedent would have changed online gaming forever. Blizzard elected to avoid splitting up their playerbase, and chose instead to tread the fine line of legality, dealing with issues as they arose.
That turned out to be a bad decision, because as we have seen (and will continue to see), Blizzard is terrible at dealing with sensitive issues.

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