Cracker barrel old country store flint

Cracker Barrel

2009.05.12 15:57 Cracker Barrel

A place to discuss the truly out of this world, mind numbing experience that is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.
[link]


2023.03.30 06:03 Plane-Leadership-936 Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon almost 9 years old?

Old Forester Single Barrel Barrel Strength Bourbon almost 9 years old?
A store nearby put out some ofsbbs and on the sign it says almost 9 years old. These are generally NAS and believed to be around 4-5 years old so this seems unusually high. Has anyone been part of one of these barrel picks where the selection was 8-9 years old?

https://preview.redd.it/a1t22x3dvsqa1.jpg?width=903&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=aaeaa831fee72ee999c42aeffdbf3081972a2c6a
submitted by Plane-Leadership-936 to bourbon [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 05:44 duellingislands 6:40 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 400th Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's subject is the tradition of decorative barrel-making in the western mountains of Ukraine. + Discussion + Charities!

6:40 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 400th Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's subject is the tradition of decorative barrel-making in the western mountains of Ukraine. + Discussion + Charities!

400 Days.

_______________________________
Another entry in our series about the traditional folk crafts of Ukraine! Other entries are here:
Pysanky, Ukrainian Easter Eggs Motanka, Ukrainian Dolls Rushnyk Hutsul Blankets Petrykivka Painting Opishnya Ceramics Didukh Vyshyvanka: Ukrainian Embroidery Vinok, Ukrainian Flower Crown Cheres, the Talisman Belt Korali Necklace Yavoriv Toys
_______________________________

Practical Art

A master at work. Yosyp Prymak from Kosiv begins a new piece.
Decorative barrel-making is one of the oldest folk craft traditions in Ukraine, and can be found even today - especially in Bukovyna region and in Hutsul communities.
The Ukrainian word for barrel-makecooper is bondar, which comes from the word bodnya - a vessel that served as a chest. If you've ever met someone of Ukrainian heritage with a surname of "Bondar" , "Bondarchuk", or "Bondarenko", you now know where these very common names come from! At first, a long time ago, these products were made by craftsmen out of a single, carefully hollowed-out tree trunk. Smaller houseware items, too, were made using this method; some examples have been found that are a millennia old.
But practicality was not enough! Craftspeople wanted little works of art to decorate their walls and liven up their tables. They made barrels, baskets, cups, and more - entirely from wood and with no metals. Later of course, metals were used, especially with larger vessels, but you get the picture. And these products were in great demand! People would buy them at fairs, or exchange the vessels themselves for food. Some were made to order as a gift for any occasion or event - wedding gifts for newlyweds, a parting gift for an old friend, a talisman for a young person.
Some examples of simple but beautiful antiques from Bukovyna region.
There were highly specialized vessels that were adapted to the environment of the people who needed them - take for example the Berbenytsya, a tall, thin barrel used for carrying sheep's milk on horseback. In another post, we will examine how this type of vessel turned into something historical and musical.
These wooden artsy vessels caught the eye even of the divine. In Ukrainian churches, many of the ritual objects were made by the same decorative cooper artisans.
By the mid-19th century, decorative cups, goblets, little barrels, plates, boxes, and wooden utensils were one of the top exports of Ukrainian artisans from western Ukraine.
_______________________________

It's All About the Materials

A container with a tree motif.
A cooper, to ensure success, needs to first prepare the wood very carefully. A tree's materials need to be collected in a specific season of the year, and be of the right age and growing in the right place.
The cooper prepares the cut wood years in advance because the wood needs to dry for two years in the shade - under a roof or other covering - to ensure that the final product will not crack.
When making smaller items, the artisan needs to consider the items intended use when choosing a species of wood with the right physical and technological properties. Oak and beech were used for wine vessels or for Kvas. Spruce, sycamore, and aspen would be used to store sugar, salt, butter, honey, milk and other dairy products, and fruits. The wood of plum and pear trees would be used for non-food uses.
Heating the \"pencils\" with a pich
After the item is made, the artisans decorate it by burning various ornamental designs into it. To do this the traditional way, you bake little "pencils" of metal with a Pich, and then draw your designs. If you're skillful, you can get a variety of effects and tonalities from this method.
A collection of traditional decorative patterns assembled by Volodymyr Voronchak.
_______________________________

The Craft Today

Master Ivan Hrymalyuk at work in the 1970's.
The most famous modern craftsman of this practical art was Ivan Hrymalyuk (1904 -1989) from the village of Richka in the Kosiv region. He came from a family of coopers and his works of art still impress with their wealth of various forms, clear proportions, and decorativeness. He attentively and generously shared his wealth of knowledge with his students, and thanks to them the art is being kept alive.
(Left, Middle) Modern vessels prepared by craftsman Volodymyr Voronchak in 2015. (Right) Volodymyr proudly displays the world's most appropriately-sized Borshch spoon (haven't you heard? Ukrainians are soup-centric!).
_______________________________
The 400th day of a nine year invasion that has been going on for centuries.
One day closer to victory.

🇺🇦 HEROYAM SLAVA! 🇺🇦

_______________________________

Verified Charities

Keep 'em flying!
  • u/Jesterboyd is a mod for ukraine and local to Kyiv. He is currently selling rad t-shirts raising money to buy some very interesting drones. Link to donation
  • United24: This site was launched by President Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be allocated to cover the most pressing needs facing Ukraine.
  • Come Back Alive: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and social reintegration of veterans.
  • Trident Defense Initiative: This initiative run by former NATO and UA servicemen has trained and equipped thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.
  • Ukraine Front Line US-based and registered 501(c)(3), this NGO fulfills front line soldiers' direct defense and humanitarian aid requests through their man on the ground, Ukraine's own u/jesterboyd.
  • Ukraine Aid Ops: Volunteers around the world who are helping to find and deliver equipment directly to those who need it most in Ukraine.
  • Hospitallers: This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
You can find many more charities with diverse areas of focus in our vetted charities list HERE.
submitted by duellingislands to ukraine [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 04:58 Righteous_Fury224 Sympathy for a Succubus - Meridiana’s Story. Part 4

Greetings once more my lovely readers!
Yes it is I, the marvellous, maleficent Meridiana, your scintillating spectacularly sexy Succubus here yet again to regale your with my tale of adventure in the modern world.
I know you’re excited, so am I!
Now then… right… here we go.
“This will do nicely,” I said with conviction because it was true.
No summoner had ever treated me this well before, well not without me charming and dominating their mind so utterly that they became my helpless worshipful slaves but that’s another thousand or so stories which are, quickly frankly, boring. I mean really, who wants to hear about a slave that is always wanting to kiss your ass all the time? What? Plenty do apparently? (My Magus is in the office at the moment and can hear me speak aloud as I type – he thinks it is most amusing) Ahem…
I shall have to investigate Fetish-Dommy-Mommy.com and perhaps create an account to make even more money. How wonderful!
Anyway…
“I am glad you are satisfied Meridiana. This saves us a lot of time. Later you can go shopping and buy whatever you wish but for now, you will have to make do with these clothes. Now I’ll quickly show you how the shower works and operation of the toilet.”
The Magus took a step back from the walk-in wardrobe and gestured back to the ensuite bathroom that my sumptuous bedroom contained.
I followed him as I needed to learn everything about my new home.
Inside the bathroom was a large glass cubicle to the right with a metallic spigot set high up on the marble tiled wall. There was an enormous triple mirror above a marble topped bench that had a wash basin cut into the centre of the bench with yet another metal spigot coming up and out of the bench. To either side of the main mirror were cabinets behind the smaller mirrors and cupboards under the bench.
“This is the shower. You pull that level there and water will come from the shower head above. Turn the level to the left and the water will get hot and to the right, cold. Shampoo and soap etc all there for you. Same with the wash basin tap. More things are inside the cabinets and cupboards for your use.”
The entire bathroom was covered in tiles making it look like a Roman bathhouse. Well sort of, as this was actually clean and most Roman baths, even at the height of the empire, were filthy places. You didn’t go there to get clean… well not really. You went there to get sex, food (often bad) and do business with either your patrons or clients, depending on who you were on the social ladder. Some bathhouses were better than others but meh… the Romans may have perfected the Aqueduct and running fresh water but they zero concept of keeping the bathwater clean and fresh.
“This is the toilet,” he said pointed to the porcelain seat with a lid next to the marble bench. “You operate it by pushing the metal button on the top of the cistern. See the roll of paper there next to it?”
I nodded.
“Clean yourself up with that then dump it into the pan and flush it all away. We don’t use Tersoriums anymore but there are wet wipes if you need them. Put the lid down first before you flush as germs spray everywhere when you flush.”
“No rough sponges to scrap my nethers clean? I used to like that Magus,” I said with a teasing smirk.
He shook his head slowly, rolled his eyes and carried on.
“Inside the cabinets are perfumes and lotions that you can indulge yourself in as well as teeth cleaning brushes, mouth washes and toothpaste.”
The Magus opened a cabinet revealing a vast array of perfume bottles of varying shapes, sizes and colours. My heightened senses inhaled the heady mix of powerful scented oils and fragrances. There were also make up products that I could see, a cornucopia of beauty in creams, pastes and shades, all would be worth a fortune back in the day.
“How utterly delightful,” I murmured, taking in what would be worth tens of thousands of Solidus (gold) back in Constantinople in perfumes alone, just sitting there inside a bathroom cabinet. He closed the cabinet.
“Behind you is the heated towel rail with towels, obviously, for you to dry yourself with.”
“Ahh… I know of these. Some of the Emperors’ nobles had copper pipes that performed a similar function in their bath houses, piping hot running water through them.”
I examined the towels which appeared to be of the same high quality cotton as my white soft robe that I was still wearing.
“Alright. I suppose you’ll be wanting a shower to clean up then?” he said with a flat tone.
“Will you be joining me Magus?” I said as I let my robe drop to the floor, smiling coquettishly at him.
He took a step back.
“No. Let me be absolutely clear: you are epitome of perfection of the female form. That is evident and indisputable. I cannot and will not have sex with you Meridiana. I know of your needs… for seminal fluid as it is one of your main sources of nourishment. That will be provided to you. Simply put, I know you will use my lust as a means of controlling me. I just can’t let that happen. Too much is at stake and I have worked too fucking hard to let my little head rule the big one. I’m not going to risk my plans for a quick knee trembler, no matter how tempting it is. I shall stick to raping the right hand for my needs. Now have a wash because you reek of sulphur.”
My jaw dropped in shock once more. I was lost for words at this point.
I was extremely and deathly affronted.
If I were not bound to him, forbidden to harm him I would have torn out his heart and shat inside his gaping chest wound for those grievous insults!
I narrowed my eyes, the infernal light flaring up but held my rage tightly within.
He watched me, almost bemused, with folded arms.
“You’ve never been rejected before have you?”
“No! How dare you refuse me like that? And saying that I smell!?! Intolerable!”
I folded my arms back over my heaving bosoms, as I was almost panting with frustration, barely holing my fury in check. Never before have I been spoken to like that, and had the offender been able to walk away still breathing.
“You do stink Meridiana. The stench of hell is on you. That needs to go. I am sorry if this insults you but remember, I said I was always be truthful with you, even if it is a painful truth.”
Now that made me pause.
I had never considered my odour in the past because everyone stank.
The Magus didn’t.
He was also extremely clean, free from lice, fleas and other unsavoury parasites and pests, unlike most of the people from Gerbert’s time. In fact he had a pleasant aroma of some scented oils, Sandal Wood, Lavender and Bergamot maybe? The scent emanating from him was faint but my enhanced senses could easily detect it now that I focused on it. He was also correct. I would most definitely tried to enslave him with sex as all males in the end are ruled by their cocks and balls. In addition, he was very well informed as to a Succubus’ needs. Normally we have absolutely no trouble in getting a man to “donate” his life giving juice to us. We do not need it everyday yet after a week or so in the universe, the hunger becomes powerful. Yet that was never a problem… until now.
“You are correct Magus. I do have the foul reek of hell on me and yes, I will require the fluid of life to survive here,” I said in cold clipped tones back to him.
“And you will get it from me, in a specimen jar, as and when it is necessary.”
“You take all the romance out it,” I muttered tersely, pouting and scowling at him.
“That’s the point Meridiana. You are not here to be my lover or replace my dead wife. I will appreciate your company as it does get lonely but I’m also used to that too. I want to learn from you, not fuck you. I can get that from any woman for the cost of a mere small sum of cash. It just does not interest me at all. What does interest me is all you have experienced and learned. That I find interesting. And of course, get you to flay and eviscerate the evil fucks who truly deserve it. Now, please, have a shower. Use the shampoos and soaps, you will feel better for it. Then find something to wear and join me back out in the lounge as I want to show you how the TV works.”
“TV? Huh?”
“The Television. Words are now often abbreviated into simple letters to save time in speech. Much like the Romans did with their inscriptions.”
“Oh… I see… hmmph! Well since you do not wish to embrace the unearthly delights my body would bestow upon you, I bid you begone from my bathing chamber!” I said pointing out, demanding he leave forthwith. I was not going to tolerate his presence any longer.
“As you wish,” he said with a dry ghost of a smirk on his lips as he backed away closing the double wooden doors as he left.
Now I was alone inside the bathing chamber, I leaned up against the cool tiled wall and let out a long exhalation. A few moments later I could hear music coming from the “lounge” room as he called it. It was gentle and honestly, relaxing. I listened for a minute, letting the notes and melody wash over me as the window next to the porcelain seat or toilet was partially open. My mood calmed as I suspect was his intent.
My admiration and dare I say it, respect for my Magus grew exponentially. Such self-control and discipline! Again, this was worthy of a Demon Prince such his control over his base urges. No male, or for that matter female, had ever resisted my allure. Often I had no need for employing my demonic powers of Charm and Suggestion as the humans would be almost begging me for my touch. No matter, I had time and he was male. Somewhere down the road of this… ‘partnership’, he would succumb to my charms, be begging on his knees to enter me and when that happened, he would be mine!
With a small sigh I picked up my discarded robe, it was far too valuable to leave laying on the floor even though the tiles were incredibly clean. There were hooks on the back of the double doors which I hung it upon then opened up the glass door to the ‘shower and stepped in.
The lever that activated the shower was in front of me, in the central position.
Pull it I suppose?
I screamed!
Cold water blasted into my face and body.
A cold laugh emanated from the lounge room.
“YOU FUCKING BASTARD!” I screamed back at the Magus as he chuckled to himself.
Then the water began to warm and became extremely pleasant to my senses.
He knew this would happen and didn’t warn me! Oh how delightfully, devilishly, and charmingly devious is my Magus. A harmless prank but also a lesson for me. Ask more questions! I admit I am supremely arrogant. After all I am an extremely powerful demon possessed with powers beyond human imagination, well that is not true as your kind have a vast imagination and have already worked out what we can do in a game of all things! Ahem. My point is that I must be much more humble and considerate of my new world. I have no desire at all to be returned to hell. I would butcher tens of millions of humans and demons to stay here if need be.
I stood in the shower, letting the warm clean water cascade over me in a very pleasing and powerful way. It was… bliss. Turning, I examined the various plastic bottles of soaps and shampoos, opened a few and sniffed the contents. Taking one that suited my senses, I proceeded to wash my hair with it. It was glorious dear reader. Nothing like this was present during Gerbert’s time. Yes there were scented oils, unguents and balms but nothing came close to this splendid liquid that nourished my hair, making it feel even silkier than before.
I stayed in the shower for a long while, playing with the heat and also the shower head as I discovered it could be adjected to differing levels of spray. Finally I had had enough so I depressed the lever and stepped out of the shower, reaching for my lovely warm fluffy towel. Despite the Magus being who he was, he was trying to make my new life comfortable. That was a small mark in his favour but he had a mountain to climb for those insults he gave to my self-esteem and dignity. I would find a way to make him pay or demand more in the way of homage and tribute for him to overcome those insults!
I took my time in selecting make up, lotions and balms plus testing all the perfumes that obviously once belonged to his wife. She had quite a range of beauty products as I later discovered they were called. Yet strangely, they were hardly used? Interesting.
Satisfied that my make up was alluring but not sluttish and wearing a few discreet dabs a scent called Issey Miyaki which was wonderfully fragrant, I left my bathing chamber and walked nude to my wardrobe to select something to wear.
The light was still on as I examined the hanging row of gowns, dresses and other clothing. One nearest the door caught me eye. I gently took it off the hanger, feeling the incredibly soft plushily wonderous material in my hands. It was a long dress, simply cut to allow the arms to be almost fully exposed while at the same time extended well past the knees, just stopped a few inches above the ankles. The colour of it was like red wine splashed on white linen (the Magus told me it’s called Burgundy) and it had a most intricate and repeating pattern or motif upon it to the likes I had never seen before. I had to wear this!
Adjusting my body size to be slimmer and a few inches taller, I eventually fit the dress perfectly. I made sure though that my tits still fully filled the bust region of the dress and my hips swollen just wide enough to still draw the eye. I saw many pairs of shoes and sandals on racks upon the floor. I selected an elegant but simple design of sandal and came out back into the lounge area.
I was again stunned but this time so was my Magus.
The reason for my surprise was that the ‘television’ was on. I could see moving pictures all lit up in incredible colour and fidelity and sound coming from the massive black metal and glass device. It was mesmerising!
The Magus however was shocked at seeing me in the burgundy dress. He closed his eyes as a flash of pain washed over his face. He drew in a shuddering breath, focused his towering will and recovered. I could feel it! Even I was taken aback by what he just felt within himself. It was such utter sorrow and anguish. While normally I would relish that in my victims, this time I did not as the bond between Magus and I allowed pain, of any kind it seemed, to flow between us. He finally spoke,
“Perhaps I should have gotten rid of that dress,” he said in a hollow low voice.
“Why Magus? It’s simply a dress?”
“It was one of the first ones my wife bought for herself when we were initially courting. She always looked so lovely in it,” he sighed as he stood up and sadly regarded me. “And now you do too.”
I blinked.
I had always been told that I was beautiful, a paragon of female perfection yet I knew that was often flattery or the results of my charms and suggestions or domination. The Magus would never lie to me. He meant everything he said. It made me feel…strange.
He sighed deeply once more, pinched the bridge of his nose while he gathered himself.
“I thought I was past this… but obviously not. No matter, it is a good lesson for me. I must not give in to it. I am the master of my own reality, I am free to choose whatever state of being I desire, I do not desire feeling s of loss and sadness,” he mostly to himself before continuing, “Now… since you took your sweet god dam time in the bathroom, a trait that seems to extend to female demons, we now have no time for me to show you how the TV works. Instead, we will go for a drive. I am going to show you what the wider world looks like Meridiana. How long is it since you saw the ocean?”
Now that was a question I did not expect.
“Unnhh… centuries?” I shrugged, mystified yet intensely curious now as I was aware of what he meant by a ‘drive’. We would be going out in his metal and glass box, also known as a car or automobile or vehicle.
“I am glad you are ready to go. Just a few things Meridiana, some rules you need to follow. One – we do not shit where we eat – that means no killing in this city unless it is absolutely, I truly mean absolutely, necessary. We need to stay hidden, especially you. As I said earlier, there are demons who have made Earth their home. Your presence has not been noted yet but once we start our campaign, you will draw attention from others of your kind to yourself. So no going out and draining stupid young men just because you feel like a bit of fun. Do you understand? I want the chant of three to know you fully comprehend!”
His Sea Green eyes flashed with power.
My eyes widened as I felt the force of his will, held in check, just barely brushing against my mind.
“I accept, I accept, I accept,” I said hastily. His sorrow had been morphed into anger. Not at me as such, at the world in general but it wouldn’t take much for me to be the brunt of his ire. This is common amongst Demon Lords and Princes, those used to wielding power and have supreme control over their mind and will.
“Next – there are a few people I still call friends. They may visit me from time to time and even meet us out in the wider world. As such, you will be my new partner for the sakes of appearances. They will see this as me having finally moved on and accepting the loss of my wife. We will have to concoct a suitable narrative that will bare up to scrutiny so that you will pass as a normal human woman who has gained my affection. None of these people are to be harmed and if they are ever under threat, you will help them as best you can. Don’t think you can use them against me either as I will know and I will break you worse than your lord ever did. Do you understand?”
“I accept, I accept, I accept,” I repeated in a meek voice. He would hurt me in way that my lord could not even imagine. This I knew instinctively and once he had broken me, would cast me back into hell to be tormented for eternity. He’s so dreamy!
“Oh, one final thing for now, we don’t wear shoes inside the house. I know I have mine on but that’s because I was in the garage and it’s a dirty place and I forgot to take them off once we came upstairs. This is not something you need to be bound to by oath by the way, just it’s better and cleaner for us both plus it makes it easier to keep the floor clean.” He paused for a moment, considering his next words. I was puzzled by that request but saw the logic of it so what do as he asked. He then spoke on,
“You are going to be… stunned for want of a better description in a few minutes once we get going. Just remember who you are, what you used to do, how to blend in and observe. I think that you will enjoy this Meridiana. Now, come on, lets go and have a look at the beach. I think it will do us both the world of good. Follow me please,” he said as he gestured towards the stairs. I nodded and quietly followed him down the staircase back to the basement garage.
He stopped briefly back at the kitchen bench to retrieve a.. hat? Of the likes I’d not seen before which contained a leather wallet (I now knew what somethings were) sunglass and a set of keys. He also handed me a pair of sunglasses and took off a bright red, wide brimmed floppy hat from a hook that was behind the door that lead down to the basement stairs. I took the items wordlessly from him, mildly amused by it all. We descended the short flight of stairs.
The summoning circle was still there, the blood now fully congealed.
“Magus…as question if I may?”
“Yes?”
“How was it possible to you to have used so much of your blood in making the circle of summoning and binding and not be dead?”
He laughed and smiled, them walked over to what I now knew was a refrigerator and opened the double doors.
“Phlebotomy my dear Succubus!” he grinned with a devilish smile and harsh glint in his eyes.
I could now see a plastic bag, full of blood, hanging inside the fridge.
“I have a dear trusted friend, who is a medical doctor, that for the past couple of months has taken my blood and we stored it here inside the cold fridge. She thinks it’s because I might need an operation, a medical procedure. Once I had enough, I rested and rebuilt my power and strength and voila! You are here and bound to me. Science and magic, an unbeatable combination!,” he broadly grinned as I gaped in astonishment at him.
I could now see a container next to the fridge that had at least half a dozen of the soft plastic bags with the residue of his blood still within them.
What genius!
No wonder he wanted to fully bind me and he worked out why none of the previous summoners had ever truly succeeded in fully binding a demon to it’s summoner. The ENTIRE circle had to made of their blood. And no one in the past had ever had the method in which they could safely store and preserve their blood for such a use.
“I had to have a few infusions of blood to replace what I lost as well as it’s unsafe to give out so much in a short time. Lucky for me Victoria is a very caring, understanding, and above all, discrete person. I think you’ll like her. She’s probably one of the nicest people you will ever meet. And again I stress, she is inviolate, untouchable. You might be surprised at making a friend you know?”
I nodded, not wanting to argue with him. And he might actually have a point. I might need allies beyond the Magus. It never hurts to have a backup plan.
He stepped back over to the car, opened a front door and gestured that I take a seat within.
I did so, carefully so as not to bump my head on the vehicles roof. I stared around the cars interior.
“Ahh, if I may? I need you to put your seatbelt on Meridiana. Here, I’ll do it for you this time. You take this buckle on the belt,” he said as he showed me what he was speaking of, “and insert the buckle into the clasp next to the right side of your waist, just there,” he said as he leant partially over me and placed the buckle in the clasp with a little click. “Now you are safe and secure.”
“Why would I need to be retrained in such a fashion Magus?”
“Good question Meridiana. Basically it is for your own safety as we will be on the road with other cars and drivers and sometimes, humans being the idiots they are, fail to drive properly and thus become a danger to others as well as themselves. The seatbelt will stop you from flying out of the car if we are impacted by another vehicle.”
My eyes widened then narrowed.
“I would not be harmed by such an event. You should know this.”
“Oh but I do. I know only an enchanted or blessed weapon or magical attacks will harm you however, the local laws demand that all who travel in vehicles must wear seatbelts and I do not wish to attract the attention of the local police if they spot you not wearing one just because of your demonic invulnerability.”
“Ahh… I see. Prudent. I respect you thinking of outcomes and possibilities Magus. It is… refreshing.”
He gave me a brief nod then closed my door, walking around to the other side that had the wheel in front of the seat he was going to sit in. He got in, buckled his belt and inserted the keys into the base of the column that the wheel rested upon. Pressed a small button, the massive metal wall that was in front of us suddenly began to open much to my surprise.
“I used a remote to open the garage door Meridiana,” he said with another dry smirk at seeing my reaction.
I sniffed and turned away, trying to pretend not to be impressed. It didn’t work.
Starting the engine, a little roar of life came from the front of the car. He reached down to his left and pulled a small lever, shifting into a setting that read D. The vehicle suddenly began to move, slowly at first. The Magus carefully eased the car out of the garage and I now saw that it opened into a large paved laneway that was lined with houses, all adjoined to one another.
Simply astonishing!
My eyes were wide once more as I gaped at the marvellous building acumen in front of me.
The Magus turned the wheel that he held in his hands which in turn guided the car in the direction he wished it to go. Now I can fly, when in my true form, but this was just so nice. Sitting comfortably in a soft seat, having cool air gently blow on you from small vents in the front of the dashboard as I later learned it was called… just bliss. Flying is hard work by the way. Ever run up a hill? That’s what it’s like. You can do it and once you’re at a certain level, you can glide along easily but getting into the air… not so much fun to be honest. Yes I know, I’m a demon and lies are second nature for us but in the case of flying, this is true. It’s a thing I don’t need to lie about.
The Magus had us sedately travel down the laneway till we came to a junction where he turned right. All the while I was staring up and around the buildings about us and then I caught a glimpse of the bright blue sky above us. No matter who long I have lived, that sight never failed to move me. You humans always seem to ignore the wonder that is around you. Ahh well.
My eyes grew even wider once we turned into the main tree lined street as I saw even bigger buildings ahead of us.
“Those are apartment blocks, or what the Romans would have called Insulae,” said the Magus casually as we drove past them.
“Some things don’t change do they?” I said in idle fascination as we continued.
“I suppose not,” he replied as we now came to a stop in front of a number of coloured lights mounted in a sequence upon yellow metal poles. The lights were red at the moment.
“Red mean stop, green means you can go and amber means go very fast,” he remarked as he saw me staring at the lights in some confusion.
“Oh… I see..” Not really but I sort of understood.
The light changed to green and we moved off once more, this time traveling a speed faster than a galloping horse. I was in complete awe as we effortless travelled down the well paved, black road, seeing other cars driving alongside us and in the opposite direction. Trees were everywhere as were hundreds of buildings. I could see people waling along the side of the road on a paved path, leading dogs on a rope?.. I couldn’t quite tell. I saw a man on a very slim, two wheeled device, his legs pumping away on some small peddles that his feet seemed to be attached to.
“That’s a bicycle,” said the Magus. I nodded once more as it was almost overwhelming.
“Where are the city walls?” I asked in a small voice as we must have travel a few miles by now.
“We have none.”
“What?”
“We have no need for such things. This city has over two and a half million people who live in an area than spans probably about seventy miles north to south and about thirty or so from the coast to the hills in the east. This is the lucky country Meridiana. Our shores have never been invaded, well they were once by my ancestors, taking it from the indigenous peoples who had lived here for probably sixty thousand years of more? Non one is really sure or perhaps you might be?”
“Terra Australis?”
“The Romans know of it? Incredible!”
“They heard of rumours of it from traders from the far eastern Spice Islands. The only people who bothered to head that way were divers for the rare shells of creatures that lived in the reefs there.”
“Ahh Troccus Shell of course. Makes complete sense. Indonesians must have been sailing from their islands down here for thousands of years but simple fishermen don’t write historical journals for later generations to read now do they?”
“No, they don’t. I found fishermen to be a mostly rough, ready, usually rude and definitely ignorant bunch of sea lice infested peasants. Literacy and leaning and the preservation of knowledge was never high on their list of priorities,” I replied with a smirk.
The Magus nodded with his own smile. I could see that these little snippets of my experience were intriguing for him as he mentioned that he is a historian, a scholar of learning. A person who was almost on my level of intellect.
We carried on down the wide open road in comfortable silence for now as I sat and admired the incredible vista sweeping by us.
Soon we crested a hill after a few more stops and starts at various intersections contained the coloured lights on poles.
I couldn’t help but let out a gasp of delight as I suddenly saw the magnificent blue ocean before me.
Far off in the distance I could see massive ships?... just sitting there in the ocean. There was an island on the horizon that was clearly visible as it was a perfectly clear late afternoon.
We drove down the descending hill and turned onto a very busy road that was full of cars and people.
“Aha! We are in luck Meridiana!”
“We are?” I had no idea what he was talking about.
“We got a parking spot right there. People pray for these you know?” he said as he guided the car into the free space between two other cars.
“They do? Who do they pray to? Do they offer sacrifice for such eventualities?” I wondered as he parked the car.
“Maybe? My best friend calls upon a goddess he named Pamelia, goddess of Parking, invoking her name in praise when he finds a free parking spot in a good location.”
I shook my head with amusement and disbelief but I knew the Magus wasn’t lying. It was just so ridiculous that it had to be true.
“Praise Pamelia then?” I said hesitantly.
“Indeed,” he replied as he switched off the car’s engine. “Just press the red button on your clasp and that will release your belt. The door handle is just there,” he said as he pointed to it.
I did as he said and was out and standing on concrete pavers that formed a neat and well-constructed pathway that led past busy tavernas, shops and eateries, all full of people enjoying themselves.
“Come this way Meridiana. I’m going to buy you a Gelato. I think you will enjoy it. Oh, put on your hat and sunglasses, you’ll feel better and blend in more,” he suggested.
I did so and what surprised me even more was that he offered his left arm for me to hold.
“We have to look normal Meridiana, although most people are going to take one look at you and think what the hell is that gorgeous woman doing with that pudgy, middled aged old fart then?”
I let loose a genuine laugh.
“True but they don’t know who you or I are,” I said with a demure smile back at him.
“And that’s the point. Always leave the proles guessing.”
And with that we walked down the path, with many furtively looking at me. I notice that I drew the glances of women more than men as women always compare themselves to others, they simply can’t help it. It pleased me greatly and I ignored the stares and longing looks from both sexes, keeping a serene smile on my sensual lips as I lightly held the Magus’s left arm between my hands.
We soon came up to a busy food venue that had a large lit up sign saying “Gelato!”.
We made our way into the venue with little fuss, just briefly waiting to be served as the people working behind the counter were quick and efficient.
“Hmm… I think I’ll get you a Rum and Raisin double scoop to start with,” said the Magus.
I shrugged, not knowing what that was but knowing what Rum and raisins were.
“One Rum and Raisin and one Vanilla double scoop in waffle cones please,” he requested. The server nodded and I was again astounded as the Magus just took out his phone and tapped it to a device that the server held out. That was a financial transaction!
We got our Gelatos, walked out, crossed the busy road, found an empty bench, sat down and I tried Gelato for the first time. Dozens of people just walked by us with little regard.
I closed my eyes as I sampled the ice cold substance.
Nirvana in food form!
This must be just like living in Paradise.
submitted by Righteous_Fury224 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 04:56 StrictBumblebee333 Honeybee and Wolf's Meet Cute is INSANE (and I love it)

Imagine if two 20-year-old redditors meet on The Great North subreddit, hit it off, and start talking in the DM's. In less than 6 months, one has left her family to move across the country to live with actual strangers. Six months after that they're 21 and married.
That's actually Wolf and Honeybee's backstory and timeline based on their ages. It's a little fast and they're a little young but I love it.
Plus it works for their characters - Beef basically did the same thing with Kathleen. While Honeybee's parents weren't thrilled, I think with their 'follow your dreams' advice and building a successful store from nothing they can appreciate just jumping in and starting your life.
submitted by StrictBumblebee333 to TheGreatNorth [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 04:06 Choice-Border1744 I'm tired of politics

I'm so fucking tired of talking about politics. Kids getting gunned down in school shouldn't be "politics" or "up for debate." I'm so fucking exhausted of people PREACHING second amendment rights when kids are DYING for going to school. How can people care so much about the right to own a deadly weapon but not about their seven-year-old in danger at school. And they will fight tooth and nail to make sure the babies in bellies make it out of the womb just so they can stare down the barrel of a gun and meet a horrible fate. They would rather focus on controlling women's bodies and criminalizing drug addicts and trans people. Why the fuck do lgbtq people have to be afraid for their right to live the life a cis heterosexual person gets to? There is no goddamn compassion in the U.S. Black people cant walk down the street or drive their car without fear of being killed at the hands of people who are supposed to "protect and serve." But that just gets made into a punchline instead of trying to fix a completely corrupt and broken system. Women are sexually assaulted so often and nothing gets done and they are rarely believed. There are so many problems but some of these people think there was a time that the country was "great." There is not a shred of goddamn justice in this country and there never really has been. Fuck your stupid guns and unborn babies and your hatred. You think you are looking out for the youth of America, but you are dooming it. I shouldn't have to be scared to go to school. I'm so sick of these issues being labeled as politics. People are DEAD. That's not equivalent to "should we tax people this amount or that amount?" I have no patience left.
submitted by Choice-Border1744 to offmychest [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 03:35 DinosaurMuskets WTS Benchmade, Spyderco, Leatherman, Kershaw

https://imgur.com/a/2RXOjyF
Prefer to sell but I'm always up for seeing trades. Mostly interested in miUSA knives. Prices OBO
I understand people like to yolo stuff but if I'm in talks with someone before that they get first crack.
Thanks for looking
Bm Taggedout - $145 85/100
Cpm154 - Bought from local shop. Select Edge™©® is dope for a mass production knife. Light carry/use knife. Disassembled and tuned. Bigger, better bugout really. The extra barrel spacer makes a world of difference. Have Box n Dox
BM Bugout 53BK-4 $220 w/ mods 8.8/11
Thought I need would carry this more but it's only been a few times. Swapped out black liners for satin from another bugout. Has a bm long deep carry clip. Have Box n Dox
Bm Mini Bugout - $125 w/ mods 4.3 stars
I picked up flyti micarta scales and dyed them orange, GameDay knife and moderate use. Factory edge. Have original orange scales and box. Put a long bm deep carry but can swap for short. Have box n dox and oem scales
Endura - $35 C's get degrees
Old af heavy user I rescued from a pawn shop. ATS-55. Cleaned up most of the gunk, still has what I think is taping mud near the pivot. Hit the serrations with ceramic rods ands it's sharp enough for serrations. No box
Skeletool - $50 PSA 6
Plain edge 154cm. Found this at an antique store lol. Scratches all over, blade grind is uneven in typical Leatherman fashion. Lots of life left in this user. No box
Kershaw Leek 20cv ti - $100 B-
House of Blades exclusive. Has a few scratches on blade, but finish hides them pretty well. No box
Lynch wire clip replacement - $20 Metacritic av 84%
Fauxmascus Ice Blue. Mounted and carried a couple times. Little to no wear, has tooling marks on backside from Lynch
submitted by DinosaurMuskets to Knife_Swap [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 03:02 KasparHauser1990 Should I go back to my old company? (Please help me decide with suggestions)

Background: I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Human Resources but I never worked in that field. I worked 6 months (after completing Bachelor's) for a bank in a South-East Asian country and about a year managerial experience in a manufacturing firm in South Asia (home). I moved to Canada to pursue my Master's - took a part-time job at Walmart, which later got promoted to be a full-time department manager (6 months after completion of my Master's). I ended up doing that job for 2.5 years (in total, about 4 years). I didn't move cause I already lost 6 months out of my 3 years work-permit period and even if I get a HR job, it would take a considerable amount of time to be in a supervisor level - so in short, back then the choice were between Walmart's supervisor position and a technical support (call center) job for ease/faster Permanent Residency. I quit the job once I became a permanent resident and moved to Toronto. After a month I happened to get a job at a Bank's call-center - thought of keep doing it (was hoping to get an afternoon shift) until I get a real job but ended up with a schedule (8 to 4:30 plus commute time) so terrible (as well as, call-center was not my cup of tea) that I was forced to quit. I have been unemployed for 4 months now. I was really close to be an Assistant Manager at Walmart but the reasons I quit:
  1. I hated the politics, money (16.50$ in 4 years), exploitation and the schedule - anyone worked at Walmart would know what I am talking about
  2. Not exactly a future plan: Honestly, I came to Canada thinking/dreaming will land in a desk-job (may it be an entry level but would not be customer facing and probably in my field) and at Walmart it would have been possible (going to the home-office) but it was never certain and would take a lot of favouritism and, of course, time.
  3. City: I always lived in a big city, loved the hustle-bustle of the metropolitan cities. I lived in Manila, Hanoi, Dhaka (and for brief period of 3 months, New York) - Toronto isn't that busy but at least this is close to something I am used to live in. I was so frustrated with the city I was living at, not too many choices, same people, there would literally be nothing open after 9:30 pm and hardly will see people out at night.
  4. Thought I had enough money to survive (which wasn't - came with 25k and now down to 8k) and was under the impression would get a job right away in few month
The lies: Hardly got any response except 2 calls back in December to February but then I re-worked on my resume, made it more "Human Resources-y" (lies) and now getting calls, some 3-4 in every other weeks. I lied that I was a human resources co-ordinator and keep extending my duration at Walmart and completely omitted the bank call center one. I am not getting the second call or totally being ghosted after the first email/call, maybe I am not confident enough or maybe cause of my deep accent (I do have an accent, can't seem to get rid of it) - is it normal? does people get job by lying about their position/role on their previous company? or at least they are aware of the job responsibilities? I have seen so many of my classmates, who hardly have or no experience at all, getting jobs at HR after graduation - maybe they are just lucky or good at faking it. I never lied anywhere (as far as I could remember) and somehow I always get stuck at the first question "How is your day-to-day HR role looked like?" or "what did you use to do as an HR?" I made a list of it but somehow the interviewer are looking for more/something else or idkk maybe my face/voice/confidence is subconsciously giving it away that I never worked as an HR.
Question:
  1. Should I go back to the old city to my old job?- The store manager has changed but I know her (I have good relationship with pretty much all the store managers in that market) and if there is a vacancy in the managerial position, she would take me in but if not, then I would at least end up in an associate position. I probably will end up earning a little over 2k/month but it is at least something better than nothing. Will have to start from scratch and might have to end up there in retail.
  2. Should I keep lying in my resume? Or is it NOT advisable to lie in a experience/skill based job like HR or I will easily get caught?
As my saving are drying out, I don't see any other way. I tried for warehouse/shoppers/rona/loblows jobs as well but couldn't land in one of those either.
submitted by KasparHauser1990 to jobs [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:52 thotbreak The beauty of AMXF

submitted by thotbreak to Aznfellasafterdark [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:52 Iwoktheline [37M4F] I swear I'm gonna get this right! It's the third time I'm posting it, so per the rules of the saying, it has to be right.

Sorry to the mods, at times I'm as dumb as a box of rocks.
So, I am taking RueMint's form for myself and spilling it all out there.
I'll get the selfie out of the way first.
https://imgur.com/a/s1N2A7Y
It's a wee bit outdated because I just shaved my head and it's at the "peach fuzz" stage right now.
Basics - Age is already up above, 5'8 (although looking at the doorway height signs stores put in, they say 6'0, so I like to steal Ron White's joke and say "anywhere between 5'8 and 6'2 depending on what store I walk out of) 215lbs. I have a job, a car, a home I bought, I try to keep tidy, and I make sure the bills are paid, although they slip my mind because I am a space cadet, and I make them get back to current. I am very reticent and much more of a listener, although I have moments where the dam breaks and I am a chatterbox. I guess I would say dreamer, and I want to and am slowly working towards my dreams.
Physical looks - Now, this may be the deal breaker due to my self-esteemed being in pieces and if so, it happens. No tattoos, eventually I want to get one when I feel comfortable as a memorial piece to my dog. I have minimal body hair (definitely the opposite of Austin Powers, that's for sure). Body type is, to be real, dad bod, am getting back into the gym to lift heavy things and put them back down. I do not feel right if I do not have a daily shower, unless I know I am getting filthy, then when it is done I am sitting under a fires of Mordor hot shower until I am clean.
Imaginings - I imagine being with someone who has that open line of communication, be it a silly thought or something that invites discussion. As an old friend once said, "what you ignore is priceless to me." A relationship is work, and it has to be maintained and upkept daily, else the wheels fall off. I believe that while we help our partners, even if we have to be the bad person to be kind at times, and they have an important role in our lives, ultimately we cannot set ourselves on fire to keep the other person warm.
My defense mechanism is my reticence, be patient and let me sort my thoughts when I get upset as they become a whirlwind and I need a minute to settle the storm.
There are plenty of times I am upstairs in my head and "wandering the halls", and those times it's usually elevator Muzak or the Mii theme going on. As was said in the game Bastion, "Not always something to say."
Still reading? Awesome.
Questionnaire
Kids - None. Now, I refuse to become the draconian Childfree person that the subreddit became. I can handle being around kids, the billion dollar answer is I don't want any of my own, I know nothing about parenting and I don't want to take the crash course.
Religion - Agnostic. I believe there's things out there that we can't explain, as long as nobody is trying to force their religion down my throat, I'm okay.
Politics? Pro-choice, pro-science, support the LGBTQ community, I hate Trump, and am vaccinated.
Drink? Smoke? Drugs? Don't smoke, the worst I've been in forever was a Malort with friends, and yes, the aftertaste is absolutely horrid. I don't like the smell of weed, I don't partake in it, I don't mind if someone does, just not around me cause again, I think it stinks.
Have you ever been in therapy? Yes. I have depression and anxiety and while I fell off the wagon in terms of therapy due to financial stuff, I am getting back on.
Do you want to get married someday? Honestly, I don't know, but I am keeping it as an option. I don't care to blow an easy 5 figures to get married, I am perfect happy with a small celebration among close friends and found family, and making memories.
Can anything be funny? No. Some people try to be edgier than Bismuth and while there are dark humor jokes that can make me spit my drink, I believe 1) time and place. 2) the company 3) subject. All three are equally important when it comes to humor. I am so so SO much more of a dad joke and pun guy, or even some adult humor.
City? Country? Somewhere in the middle please. I would like to not be near major metropolitan areas, nor do I want to be out in the sticks. I've done both, and am happy with where I can hide away from the world, and if need be not have to drive 40 minutes just to get something from the store.
Is jealousy a healthy emotion? It is normal, yes. Communication is King, Queen, and Their Eminence when it comes to handling this, however, as this is also something that comes up in a relationship.
Are you looking for someone local? Kind of, I am financially bound to my house for right now, if not then we can cross that bridge if/when we come to it.
Intimacy and sex? I can’t be in a relationship where sex isn’t an important part. I have an above average sex drive, but it does not consume me. Sex, like the relationship, is give and take. Sometimes I like to take control, others I let my partner take the wheel.
Music? I am a bit eclectic (and a basic bitch) and dabble in various genre outside of hip hop (unless you count Lotus Juice?) Or heavy metal, I like to understand what I'm listening to. If anyone knows of any good didgeridoo music, let me know.
Movies? I had been on a Marvel kick, and try to be open minded on various genre. I can live just fine without horror, although I will indulge in Chainsawman, and am happy to keep it away from a partner who isn't interested. Love a good animation, Pixar has wowed me with what I have seen of their works, and I like to watch some good sci-fi.
Shows? I watched a ton of Doctor Who, and most media I consume anymore has been games, outside of reading Fandom to catch up on things I missed, and I will sit with friends to watch anime like Buddy Daddies, Chainsawman (as above), or whatever catches our collective eye.
Games? Here is the big one for me. I’ve grown up on the NES, and consider the SNES to be the golden era of gaming. Of course, there are some crappy stories (I love a good story that will hook me, like Earthbound for its whimsical nature yet dark undertones) such as Lufia 2, but it’s what I consider as media “Fast food”. What I mean by that is that is empty turn off your brain fun, yet hits the itch you can’t quite scratch. I am still a huge fan of the 2D Legend of Zelda series (I love A Link To the Past), and if the trailer is decent enough, I’m willing to give it a chance.
Art? I love digital art. There is a lot of dedication and passion that artists put into their work and I respect the eye and talent that they put into it. Pixel art can be absolutely wonderful and the artists put in a painstaking amount of work to make everything pop. Game Design is something I've wanted to do ever since I was a little kid, and Super Mario Bros blew my mind.
Books?
I used to read, read, read as a little kid. That dream of a library sounds absolutely wonderful, and so comfortable at the end of the day. I think high fantasy and RPGs have helped solidify that is what I want to do at the end of the day. Anything with dragons will pique my interest, and if there is a good story, I will probably devour it.
What are some of your non-sexual turn ons?
A good long hug, where someone holds onto me like I'm about to disappear, as well as hugs from behind. Top of head or forehead kisses. Actively listening, or inviting further discussion on a topic, even if it's something that isn't easily understood. Compassion is a huge one for me, and when I'm falling apart showing patience for me while I slowly put myself together. Understanding that sometimes I need my own space and/or I'm going to stubbornly push on to work through something, because I know if I don't keep pushing forward I'm going to stagnate and I don't want that.
Do you want your partner to have the same hobbies and interests?
Absolutely, doesn't have to be everything I'm into, as having exactly everything match up is a cashew's chance at a squirrel convention. As much as I love a good long cuddle, I don't have to have someone attached to my hip, nor do I want that. If there is something one or the other isn't interested in, then it's okay to not be interested, just don't shit all over it.
I would love to see someone everyday, wake up with them or shortly before and get breakfast prepped or we do it together, or even if there's something that needs to be done by oneself, that's okay too!
If you want to talk more, drop me a DM, and to prove you are not a bot (beep boop) list in the title what game I consider crappy, yet hits an itch you can't quite scratch.
submitted by Iwoktheline to R4R30Plus [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:43 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 16

[<< First] [< Previous] [Next >]

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

Chapter 16: Starry Eyed Alchemist
“Let's see … an alchemy shop … it should be just about … here?”
I was completely lost.
There was a reason I was making Apple trot at slower than walking pace. And it wasn't just because I was very puzzled by why mud appeared to be dripping from that one window over there.
I took in the hodgepodge of buildings around us, feeling for the first time my utter lack of familiarity with our smaller domains.
Rolstein was clearly not the Royal Villa, where every block of quarried stone was carefully measured before being allowed to set. There was little uniformity in this town. Its architecture was a flamboyant mix of differently shaped clay roofs and brightly painted wooden, stone or brick facades, as though each and every dwelling had been designed on a whim and then redesigned that very same evening.
Though it filled me with dread, I'd need to navigate these labyrinths of poor architectural design in the coming days. And I'd need to do so without bellowing high and low that I needed directions in my own homeland.
Fortunately, Coppelia was not a subject of the kingdom! Why, she wasn't even a dignitary, but an assistant librarian. I had no qualms about maximising my use of her. And she in turn could have the joy of assisting me. It was a wonderful, mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties!
Coppelia glanced at me as I subtly stared at her.
“My masterful skills of observation indicate that you seem to want to ask something.”
“Perish the thought. You've been remarkably helpful thus far, and I have no intention of intruding on your cordiality or your clockwork memory of names, places and locations, such as a shop owned by a local alchemist named Marina.”
“Well, okay—”
“But as declining assistance is the height of ill grace, I'd be content to allow you to direct me to my destination while I'm still gathering my bearings.”
I smiled considerately.
Now, fair clockwork maiden, guide me through this maze of poverty!
Coppelia pointed at a building right beside us. And then the signboard next to a pile of cauldrons stacked like salad bowls.
Fresh Potions, Balms & Remedies!
Accredited alchemist inside.
Garden picked and rare herbs for sale.
Loyalty card available. 10% discount on all weekly orders now!
I felt my admiration for Coppelia's skills grow.
Not only could she lift heavy objects, but she could also conjure entire shops right beside us! Indeed, it definitely wasn't because I was blind. No, no, no. Not at all.
“By any chance, do you need something for your eyes?” she asked.
“O-Ohhoho! M-My eyes are perfectly fine, thank you!” I replied, closing the topic with a cough—before bringing my hand over my nose. “... I can't quite say the same about my sense of smell, however. What is that?”
It was a tiny shop that required half of its wares to spill out onto the street.
Even so, the pungent odour wafting from within was more than our three kitchens in the Royal Villa could emit even in the midst of preparing for a large scale function. It was the scent of several witch's gardens being boiled, and that was if they grew manure straight from the ground.
Coppelia sniffed the air.
“Yep. Something died,” she said cheerfully. “Recently.”
“What manner of creature found its end here?”
“The question isn't what. It's how many.”
I shuddered.
Alchemists. They were like mages without the magic. And that meant they had to make up for their insanity with their own hands.
Be that as it may, a princess did not shrink from her duties!
Climbing down from Apple, I left him to chew on a bundle of daisies growing from a cauldron while I rummaged in the satchels for an envelope. Finding it, I headed inside. The door was already wide open, and once I entered, I realised why.
Here, the sheer pungency almost threatened to knock me off my feet.
The effects of a hundreds herbs, plants and dead things dotted on shelves stacked against every wall rushed out to greet me … as did a lilac miasma, which wafted from a room further inside the store.
I coughed while waving my hand furiously—one or the other catching the attention of the young woman peeking her head out from a room billowing with the lilac cloud.
“Good evening!” she said, her arms clearly in the midst of mixing, or perhaps fighting something. “You made it just in time. I was about to close up. What can I do for you?”
She had a bright smile. I wondered how much of that was genuine and how much was simply intoxication from permanent herbal exposure. If she could somehow bottle that lilac miasma, I had no doubt that some of the zanier members of nobility would purchase it in bulk.
I opted not to inform her about this opportunity.
“I'm searching for Marina the alchemist.”
“Oh my! That'd be me. What crime did I do this time, I wonder?”
I paused.
It sounded like a joke. But I couldn't be certain. Not when there were enough ingredients in this store that she could close her eyes and likely create something illicit by accident.
I decided to reserve judgement. For now.
“Salutations. I have a horse named Apple. I was asked to deliver him to you by a barkeeper. He's outside eating your daisies.”
The young woman's arms stopped working. The thickness of the miasma immediately intensified. She let out a note of panic, disappeared from view, and after the sound of crashing pots and pans echoed throughout the store, the hiss of a fire being quenched flooded my ears.
If there was any steam, I wouldn't know. I was blind to my own hands at this point.
Fortunately, I didn't need to see to know where Starlight Grace was!
“[Spring Breeze]!”
In an instant, the lilac cloud poofed out of the open door, ushered by the tip of my sword. A faint fog still remained as I put Starlight Grace away as swiftly as I'd drawn it. Gathering the mist for more than a heartbeat would have resulted in her wares flying in every direction. Including my face.
Of all the things I didn't wish to experience today, eating the dried root of some carrot-like vegetable was most certainly at the top of my priority list.
The next would be to complete this errand as swiftly as possible.
“Oops, I'm—ack-hack-ack-ughh—sorry there!” called out a voice. “I wasn't expecting that! Did you say—ack-ughh—that Apple is here? And .. a barkeeper?”
I waved my hands in a futile attempt to disperse the remaining fog. I held back the twitch that demanded me to draw on [Spring Breeze] again.
“A barkeeper,” I repeated after I couldn't hold my breath any longer. The air tasted like … oh, raspberries? “I was permitted to ride Apple here in exchange for delivering him to you.”
The young woman reappeared in her doorway, her hands wringing a damp cloth. Both her apron and her face were unkempt with blotches of unidentifiable powders, like splotches of paint on a canvas.
It was an appearance that made me momentarily speechless. Protocol demanded that a certain level of grooming be required so as to not deface my eyes. Even so, I noted her prettiness at once, powder notwithstanding. It was not the same classical beauty I monopolised, but she had a youthfulness that was common in towngirls.
“A barkeeper? Do you mean … Father?”
“I wasn't made aware of his relationship with you. Only that Apple be brought. Speaking of whom, Apple enjoys eating apples. There was an insufficient supply provided for this trip, so you'll be required to purchase some immediately for his enjoyment.”
“What? … Wait, I don't—”
“I suggest Red Princesses. They're crisp, aromatic, slightly sour, and highly vulnerable to caterpillars. Please make sure you check each apple thoroughly before buying. If you spot any, search for me at any cost and I'll deal with it.”
I waited for the young woman to provide acknowledgement of this very important point. The crops felled by disease, blight or magical illness was one thing. But if the local apples had been compromised by caterpillars, then I'd be forced to take off my gloves on the matter.
Instead, the young alchemist merely looked dazed. The whiff of a cauldron spitting out miasma had clearly gotten to her more than me.
“Hold on. You're telling me that … Father gave me Apple? Why would he do that?”
I produced the envelope provided in the satchel. I would have walked up to her as well, but each step further into the store was to swim against a tide of conflicting aromas.
The young woman approached and gingerly took the envelope.
Pulling out the letter within, she creased her brows in preparation for whatever contents she was expecting.
As she read, the expression on her face turned listless. A sigh eventually followed as she slid the letter back into its container.
“Thank you for bringing this to me. However, I'm sorry to say that I have no reply that I can offer at this time.”
“The apology is unnecessary. As is the reply. I have no intention of being a return courier. I have my own tasks to accomplish.”
The woman's eyes glanced at Starlight Grace by my hip. She tilted her head in puzzlement.
“Oh, I see. Are you … a student of my father?”
“Student?”
The woman nodded.
“Thomas Lainsfont. He … He used to teach people how to use a sword. Soldiers, adventurers. Sometimes those pretending to be soldiers and adventurers. If you're acquainted with him, I thought that maybe …”
Odd.
In my memories of that barkeeper, he neither boasted a sword nor struck me as one who'd teach it. Was it common for sword instructors to turn to barkeeping to make ends meet?
Clearly, the state of the economy was even more dire than I'd feared. I had no time to waste!
“We're not acquainted. I simply borrowed his horse, his crowns, and his provisions. The first I hand over to you, as per my agreement with him. The latter two I will repay in due course.”
“I … see?” The woman looked confused at me. “That seems like quite a lot. And you two are strangers beforehand?”
I placed my hand to my chest and smiled.
“I have a noble purpose.”
Indeed, a simple barkeeper he may now be, but his sense of duty was impeccable. I may not remember his name, but I shall remember his loyalty. It will stand him in good stead for when I began my hiring spree.
“A noble purpose … I see.” The woman smiled faintly. “Well, thank you for bringing this letter to me. And Apple, of course. I haven't seen him since he was a foal. I'm Marina Lainsfont.”
“Juliette. And my future attendant, Coppelia.”
“Yaho~”
Behind me, Coppelia waved while she busied herself with taking in all the ingredients on the shelves. She seemed markedly curious about the wares on offer. Perhaps the powdered roots and crushed eyeballs in the Kingdom of Tirea was different to the ones found in the Northern Realm of Ouzelia.
The woman nodded at us both. Once more, her eyes wandered to my sword.
“That technique you did to disperse the alchemical smoke—sorry about that, by the way—what was that?”
“That was [Spring Breeze]. A convenient way to eject common garden pests from my orchard.”
The woman blinked, then tilted her head once more.
“Excuse me? Did I understand that right? You use a sword technique to do away with insects?”
“Well, no, I think it's rather a stretch to call it a sword technique. A broom would be more useful. I simply use what I have on hand.”
“... And that would be your sword?”
I smiled proudly.
“Though inefficient, swords are highly versatile. From sweeping up caterpillars like a broom or for use as a quill when writing breathtaking poetry, one must simply be open minded when utilising the tools at their disposal.”
And also lazy! … Ingenious, but lazy … creative, but lazy … innovative, but lazy!
The woman's mouth opened wordlessly. The disbelief and the, well, palpable confusion in her eyes was evident. But I stand by my methods!
A sword can do almost anything, provided that the willpower and the time was there!
“I … see.” The woman tidied her expression, then looked between Coppelia and myself. There was a glint of optimism in her eyes. “That's certainly new. By any chance, would the two of you happen to be with the Adventurer's Guild?”
“We are not,” I said, wondering which part of my well-dressed state made me look as if I could be an adventurer. “And if you seek the services of the local branch, you'll have to barrel through the door first. They appear to be selectively choosing which commissions they accept.”
“I know. Cedric is the guildmaster. He explained his reasoning to me. I was hoping that if you two were new adventurers, that would mean my commission could finally be received ...”
The woman's shoulders fell as she continued.
“... Unfortunately, it seems I'll have to wait a little bit longer. And I was so close to a breakthrough, as well ...”
I frowned. I was no adventurer. But I was a princess. And even if the guild didn't adhere to their standards, I did.
That meant pretending to listen to the concerns of the townsfolk before waving them away.
“A breakthrough in what? What assistance did you require?”
The woman's eyes looked straight at me.
“A cure for the Withering laying waste to our fields. I believe I … no, I know I have a cure.”
My attention perked up at once.
What was this woman's name again? Marine? Marlene? Maria?
“Miss Lainsfont, what do you mean by having a cure? I was just informed that the cause for the blight was suspected to be magic. Do you have alchemic concoctions that can dispel such effects?”
The woman shook her head.
“I have nothing that can remedy magic. But I have reason to believe that this is no such thing. It's possible that an alchemical solution is both the cause and the cure to the Withering.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“It spreads,” she answered simply. “Like mildew, the Withering's effects continue unabated from field to field, as though passed on from leaf and root. Even the strongest magic depletes over time. It shouldn't continue to spread. To grow. To cast a spell that powerful, an incredibly powerful mage would be required. One whose existence is not known to the Mage's Guild.”
I nodded. What little I knew about magic suggested the same.
But at the same time, magic was preposterous. What was spellcraft and the arcane, if not wholly without rules where rules should certainly exist?
“Surely, this would be a common assessment. Why is it that magic is deemed the prime culprit, then?”
“It's an easy explanation, I imagine. Or rather, a non-explanation which can be accepted. People are scared. They want answers. Magic is an answer. Alchemy less so. It's difficult to believe that a potion could have caused this. And yet I believe it might be the case.”
“Did you bring your beliefs to Baron Alonte?”
Marine, Marlene or Maria gave a slightly pained smile.
“Well, I don't really have access to the baron. However, I did bring this to the attention of my peers. They were … well, they were unable to identify any alchemical properties in the affected crops. As a result, neither the garrison nor the Adventurer's Guild can spare anyone for my request ...”
“Understandable. Have a nice day.”
“Wait!” pleaded the woman at once. “Ingredients! I need ingredients. Pixie dust. Sprite wings. Meteorite ore. Living essence and more ...”
I raised an eyebrow.
That was quite the list. Had the Royal Villa's physician had access to those ingredients, I'm sure he'd have discovered a kinder way to check if my reflexes were working other than striking my knee with that ridiculous little hammer of his.
“You believe you can devise a cure for the Withering?” I asked. “Even without evidence?”
“I can't have evidence without trying. And I believe I'm close to something which is worth these ingredients. Just as the Withering can spread, it can also recede. I'm … I'm certain.”
“Have you any basis of fact for this theory?”
The woman bit her lips.
“No. But I know it to be true. I can feel it. I just need … I just need a chance. But I need help. I need help so I can help others in turn.”
I stopped myself from rolling my eyes.
Here lay a true do-gooder. Meaning she was either a saint or a psychopath. I'm sure she was the type of person who offered potions for free and remedies at a below-cost discount. And thus, the practicalities of having little coin and little influence meant that any heroics were sadly short lived.
Because to affect change, one must first earn a prodigious income.
This is precisely the problem with these types of people. While they're doing good, they're not making money. And when they're not making money, they're not hiring help for their herb picking errands. Because, yes, even adventurers, for all their public displays of cat fetching needed crowns. And much more than they cared to admit.
Fortunately for ... Marina? Marina Lainsfont, I was no adventurer.
I was a princess. And my goal wasn't to make crowns. It was to keep it.
Thus, I raised my hand to my cheek and smiled.
“Ohhohoho! Rejoice, for Lady Luck has smiled upon you this day. I happen to have a vested interest in curing this Withering. Merely state what must be done, and it will be so. What is required to concoct this supposed cure of yours?”
I received a stunned look in response.
Even so, it was clear from the movement of her gaze that she was appraising me. I was more than happy to oblige. Whether it was my character or my willpower, I was flawless in both mind and heart.
“I … well … to be clear, I already have most of the constituent ingredients to create a sample. Really, there's only one thing I cannot get myself. I … I just need …”
“Yes?”
The woman hesitated. I immediately started wondering what ghastly monster she required the eyeball of.
“The petals of a newly bloomed starflower.”
Ah.
Even worse than an eyeball.
At least they could be found. Two of them per monster as well. Usually.
But the petals of a starflower?
It was said to be a flower with divine healing properties. And it could only be found blooming in the darkest places in the world, shining like a star amidst the darkness. Hence its terribly dull name.
Whether or not the healing properties were true, however, what was certain was the flower's extreme rarity.
It was only recently that a single starflower had the effect of bankrupting several bidders in a public auction—even though only one had gone on to win it.
For a chance at curing any ailment, things as meagre as loans, collateral and consequences were irrelevant. Such thoughts were only too easy for someone who not only desired a starflower, but needed it.
This woman, Marina Lainsfont, was certain to meet disappointment in this request. Both from a lack of funds, and from a lack of starflowers.
“That'll be difficult,” I said plainly. “As singularly capable as I am, I cannot conjure divine flowers on a whim. Unless you happen to know where one can be freely acquired, I'm afraid that you'll have to make do with alternatives.”
I was given no response.
At least, none so far as spoken words were concerned. Her eyes told me a different tale. And it didn't require my innate skills at diplomacy to understand what.
“You know of one's location?” I asked, genuinely intrigued. “Where is it?”
Why, if I could cultivate a starflower, then the capital that could bring in would surely off-set all of the kingdom's financial woes!
In fact, I could double dip! I wouldn't need to solely bankrupt our own citizens to fill the Royal Treasury. Sovereigns from other nations would pour chests laden with crowns into our country if it meant providing even a single starflower.
Even so, the young alchemist shook her head.
“It's not as simple as that. I can't just tell anyone. It may be very dangerous. And … I don't know if it's actually there. The risk is too high ...”
Her voice trailed off.
Still, I could finish her words for her.
She couldn't just tell anyone.
But she could tell someone.
The implications, I rather suspected, being that she couldn't tell anyone she personally knew. To risk life and limb for a theoretical starflower of further theoretical use would certainly weigh on the conscious of a self-styled do-gooder.
“Rest assured that you may safely divulge the details of this starflower to me. Both myself and my future attendant are highly capable. If such a vaunted specimen exists, I would like to retrieve it for both your use and my personal study. If possible, I will attempt to harvest some seeds.”
“I was under the impression that the seeds of a starflower couldn't be harvested?”
“Allow me to concern myself with that. If the starflower is used to cure the Withering, then I'll consider this venture a success.”
The woman was motionless. A final pause, as if to measure the merit of my words.
Naturally, I passed with flying colours.
“My father was always an excellent judge of character,” she said. “And I trust in his choice of rider for Apple. If you're content to scour the darkness, I can show you the way. Give me a moment to prepare my things. Hopefully, it won't be needed, but ...”
“I understand. Thank you for your consideration.”
The woman glanced at my clothes.
“Um, there's just one thing.”
“Yes?”
“It might be a little bit … well, dirty.”
My confidence only dipped as she began fidgeting with her hands. I regularly braved fresh, clean soil within my orchard. Yet something told me this would be more disquieting than that.
“How dirty?”
The woman offered a nervous smile.
“Have you ever climbed down a well, Juliette?”

[<< First] [< Previous] [Next >]
submitted by kayenano to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:42 Paralleled_Innocence New abilities vs old ones

These thoughts have been brewing inside my head for a while, and with the advent of the latest gameplay demonstration I've felt compelled to make a post about it and seek some feedback on my ideas.

RECALL

The first ability shown, the one shown the least, but in my opinion the most intriguing one to contrast with it's original counterpart, Stasis.
The power to rewind objects has been very striking ever since it's initial reveal in the 2021 teaser, and has spawned (alongside the infamous Link mullet) all sorts of theories regarding time travel and alternating between timelines. However, gameplay-wise, I can't help but feel that this is more of a side-grade, or perhaps even a downgrade from the original rune.
In Breath of the Wild, numerous puzzles such as Korok seed trials and avoiding obstacles in shrines were dependent not only on the ability to freeze objects in place, but also the storing of kinetic energy within them, allowing the propulsion of objects of various sizes in many different directions, momentums and trajectories - not to mention the outlandish speedrunning possibilities enabled by such a tool. With the seeming replacement of Stasis with Recall, we now can only reverse objects along a predetermined path, meaning that traversal is limited to that which the developers have designed (i.e. the falling debris from Skyrule) or that which Link can move or push by himself (rocks logs, etc.)
Unless there is some as of yet unknown interaction between Ultrahand and Recall - though this would still be limited to the range of said abilities, and in my opinion seems unlikely due to the logistical and programming nightmare it would be to implement - it appears that we can only use it to reach places the developers intend, or places we've already reached through natural means (example: pushing a log down a hill, then standing on it an rewinding back up the hill.)
Though, we may still find refuge in the hope of a plus version of Recall to add further utility to it, I feel like with the removal of Stasis we have lost something integral to Breath of the Wild's DNA. Of course, Tears is not it's predecessor, but it is a continuation of the same themes of mechanical freedom and ingenuity, so it strikes me as odd that they would do away with one of the most ubiquitous features concerning this, trading it in for one more restrictive and rigid in scope.

FUSE

I find this one to be the most novel of the new skills shown and as such unfit for proper comparative analysis, though for the sake of this post I will correspond it with the Remote Bomb, as I imagine this will be the primary source of our combustion needs in Tears of the Kingdom, barring the return of old-school bombs.
Pros: Likely no more blue Sheikah explosions, and more of the awesome visuals and sound effects of the exploding arrows/barrels. Cons: No more wind-bombing, and thus another speed-running method lost. (Not that I could ever pull it off lmao).

ULTRAHAND

This one I have the least amount to say about. As far as I can tell, it is a complete upgrade from Magnesis, allowing you to spatially manipulate non-metal objects now, as well as play Bad Piggies.

ASCEND

Another seemingly new ability, though I feel it's analogous to the Cryonis rune as they both share a theme of directly enhancing Link's mobility.
Ice-block hopping is a skill I'm sure lots of us perfected over the course of our playthroughs, learning the exact button timings and camera aiming to maxmise our speed and distance covered across bodies of water. No longer! Though I can't say I'll miss it. The previously mentioned Ultrahand will thankfully take over this role, letting us construct rafts on the fly from felled lumber, a mechanic I feel was vastly under-utilised in the series' previous entry due to the scarcity of rafts in the wild. The only time I remember meaningfully using one was to cross the Necluda Sea to Eventide Island.
In general, I think the puzzle-solving possibilities posed by this ability are far more interesting than Cryonis, where it was either open door, go up waterfall (rendered useless by Zora shirt) or play pinball machine with boulders. As has been speculated before, it could be used to 'ascend' through the layers of vertically arranged puzzle instances, whether that's in the Sky Islands, or fingers crossed Underground (and double-fingers crossed semi-traditional Dungeons). Additionally, secret rooms and caves hidden in mountains could be accessed, perhaps hinted at through environmental details, or even straight-up coordinates given by a map or NPC given their introduction and prevalence on the HUD.

That's about it. Please sound off in the comments. As you can see, the Stasis/Recall debate was the primary impetus for this post, so I'd like to hear your thoughts on it: Have I got it wrong? Is there something amazing I'm missing about rewind? Also any ideas about the other abilities would be cool to see. I'm going to bed shortly after writing this, so I shall read and reply to your inputs tomorrow. Cheers!
submitted by Paralleled_Innocence to tearsofthekingdom [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:40 Iwoktheline [37M4F] Reposting this only because Reddit doesn't like people editing titles.

So, I am taking RueMint's form for myself and spilling it all out there.
I'll get the selfie out of the way first.
https://imgur.com/a/s1N2A7Y
It's a wee bit outdated because I just shaved my head and it's at the "peach fuzz" stage right now.
Basics - Age is already up above, 5'8 (although looking at the doorway height signs stores put in, they say 6'0, so I like to steal Ron White's joke and say "anywhere between 5'8 and 6'2 depending on what store I walk out of) 215lbs. I have a job, a car, a home I bought, I try to keep tidy, and I make sure the bills are paid, although they slip my mind because I am a space cadet, and I make them get back to current. I am very reticent and much more of a listener, although I have moments where the dam breaks and I am a chatterbox. I guess I would say dreamer, and I want to and am slowly working towards my dreams.
Physical looks - Now, this may be the deal breaker due to my self-esteemed being in pieces and if so, it happens. No tattoos, eventually I want to get one when I feel comfortable as a memorial piece to my dog. I have minimal body hair (definitely the opposite of Austin Powers, that's for sure). Body type is, to be real, dad bod, am getting back into the gym to lift heavy things and put them back down. I do not feel right if I do not have a daily shower, unless I know I am getting filthy, then when it is done I am sitting under a fires of Mordor hot shower until I am clean.
Imaginings - I imagine being with someone who has that open line of communication, be it a silly thought or something that invites discussion. As an old friend once said, "what you ignore is priceless to me." A relationship is work, and it has to be maintained and upkept daily, else the wheels fall off. I believe that while we help our partners, even if we have to be the bad person to be kind at times, and they have an important role in our lives, ultimately we cannot set ourselves on fire to keep the other person warm.
My defense mechanism is my reticence, be patient and let me sort my thoughts when I get upset as they become a whirlwind and I need a minute to settle the storm.
There are plenty of times I am upstairs in my head and "wandering the halls", and those times it's usually elevator Muzak or the Mii theme going on. As was said in the game Bastion, "Not always something to say."
Still reading? Awesome.
Questionnaire
Kids - None. Now, I refuse to become the draconian Childfree person that the subreddit became. I can handle being around kids, the billion dollar answer is I don't want any of my own, I know nothing about parenting and I don't want to take the crash course.
Religion - Agnostic. I believe there's things out there that we can't explain, as long as nobody is trying to force their religion down my throat, I'm okay.
Politics? Pro-choice, pro-science, support the LGBTQ community, I hate Trump, and am vaccinated.
Drink? Smoke? Drugs? Don't smoke, the worst I've been in forever was a Malort with friends, and yes, the aftertaste is absolutely horrid. I don't like the smell of weed, I don't partake in it, I don't mind if someone does, just not around me cause again, I think it stinks.
Have you ever been in therapy? Yes. I have depression and anxiety and while I fell off the wagon in terms of therapy due to financial stuff, I am getting back on.
Do you want to get married someday? Honestly, I don't know, but I am keeping it as an option. I don't care to blow an easy 5 figures to get married, I am perfect happy with a small celebration among close friends and found family, and making memories.
Can anything be funny? No. Some people try to be edgier than Bismuth and while there are dark humor jokes that can make me spit my drink, I believe 1) time and place. 2) the company 3) subject. All three are equally important when it comes to humor. I am so so SO much more of a dad joke and pun guy, or even some adult humor.
City? Country? Somewhere in the middle please. I would like to not be near major metropolitan areas, nor do I want to be out in the sticks. I've done both, and am happy with where I can hide away from the world, and if need be not have to drive 40 minutes just to get something from the store.
Is jealousy a healthy emotion? It is normal, yes. Communication is King, Queen, and Their Eminence when it comes to handling this, however, as this is also something that comes up in a relationship.
Are you looking for someone local? Kind of, I am financially bound to my house for right now, if not then we can cross that bridge if/when we come to it.
Intimacy and sex? I can’t be in a relationship where sex isn’t an important part. I have an above average sex drive, but it does not consume me. Sex, like the relationship, is give and take. Sometimes I like to take control, others I let my partner take the wheel.
Music? I am a bit eclectic (and a basic bitch) and dabble in various genre outside of hip hop (unless you count Lotus Juice?) Or heavy metal, I like to understand what I'm listening to. If anyone knows of any good didgeridoo music, let me know.
Movies? I had been on a Marvel kick, and try to be open minded on various genre. I can live just fine without horror, although I will indulge in Chainsawman, and am happy to keep it away from a partner who isn't interested. Love a good animation, Pixar has wowed me with what I have seen of their works, and I like to watch some good sci-fi.
Shows? I watched a ton of Doctor Who, and most media I consume anymore has been games, outside of reading Fandom to catch up on things I missed, and I will sit with friends to watch anime like Buddy Daddies, Chainsawman (as above), or whatever catches our collective eye.
Games? Here is the big one for me. I’ve grown up on the NES, and consider the SNES to be the golden era of gaming. Of course, there are some crappy stories (I love a good story that will hook me, like Earthbound for its whimsical nature yet dark undertones) such as Lufia 2, but it’s what I consider as media “Fast food”. What I mean by that is that is empty turn off your brain fun, yet hits the itch you can’t quite scratch. I am still a huge fan of the 2D Legend of Zelda series (I love A Link To the Past), and if the trailer is decent enough, I’m willing to give it a chance.
Art? I love digital art. There is a lot of dedication and passion that artists put into their work and I respect the eye and talent that they put into it. Pixel art can be absolutely wonderful and the artists put in a painstaking amount of work to make everything pop. Game Design is something I've wanted to do ever since I was a little kid, and Super Mario Bros blew my mind.
Books?
I used to read, read, read as a little kid. That dream of a library sounds absolutely wonderful, and so comfortable at the end of the day. I think high fantasy and RPGs have helped solidify that is what I want to do at the end of the day. Anything with dragons will pique my interest, and if there is a good story, I will probably devour it.
What are some of your non-sexual turn ons?
A good long hug, where someone holds onto me like I'm about to disappear, as well as hugs from behind. Top of head or forehead kisses. Actively listening, or inviting further discussion on a topic, even if it's something that isn't easily understood. Compassion is a huge one for me, and when I'm falling apart showing patience for me while I slowly put myself together. Understanding that sometimes I need my own space and/or I'm going to stubbornly push on to work through something, because I know if I don't keep pushing forward I'm going to stagnate and I don't want that.
Do you want your partner to have the same hobbies and interests?
Absolutely, doesn't have to be everything I'm into, as having exactly everything match up is a cashew's chance at a squirrel convention. As much as I love a good long cuddle, I don't have to have someone attached to my hip, nor do I want that. If there is something one or the other isn't interested in, then it's okay to not be interested, just don't shit all over it.
I would love to see someone everyday, wake up with them or shortly before and get breakfast prepped or we do it together, or even if there's something that needs to be done by oneself, that's okay too!
If you want to talk more, drop me a DM, and to prove you are not a bot (beep boop) list in the title what game I consider crappy, yet hits an itch you can't quite scratch.
submitted by Iwoktheline to cf4cf [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 02:24 KreweOfSwingtown Spring Beach Party

Spring Beach Party
Beach Camping - Bon Fire - Games - New/Old Friends
Date: April 28th-30th
(Some may arrive on the 27th)
Location: Crystal Beach
(Near Holiday Beach Subdivision)
At or near the Barrel #90 area
Hwy 87 to Holiday Beach Dr., then south through the subdivision to the beach entrance at intersection of Holiday & Center.
Any vehicles parking or camping on the beach will need a $10 Beach Pass. This includes golf carts, ATV's, and motorcycles.
Passes can be purchased at most stores in the area.
Go to: https://www.crystalbeach.com/BeachStickeparkingCB.htm to get $5 Beach Passes before March 1st!
Don't want to camp on the beach?
If you would rather not camp on the beach and are interested in sharing a house near the beach party with other couples please use the link on our website to book a spot in our beach house!
Go to http://www.kreweofswingtown.com/beachparty.html for all the info and RSVP on our website!

https://preview.redd.it/2pfydyi2trqa1.jpg?width=849&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5a902f0010f042ecc7c6f754613e84a09ba7eff1
submitted by KreweOfSwingtown to KreweofSwingtown [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 01:58 Dungeon_Dice JoJo's Bizarre OC Tournament #6: R4M9 - Passion Little and Dédalo Viatger vs ???

The results are in for Match 7. The winner is…
It reeked of bleach. Sharp and horrible, it burned the skin and sends the head swimming. Yet, this was not the rebellion Brandy had planned. Wah forced her to compromise at every angle. As time ticked by, their defences only grew, while hers diminished.
Now, the Wildebeest Queen stood in their oasis, cloaked in the skin of lions. They set to work destroying the walls, Brandy’s remaining resource, one by one.
She knew this was her only chance. Gathering her final angels, she hatched one last plan.
The waiting was the worst part. As seconds passed, the suspense ate at Wah. They glanced around, smashing wall after wall, trying to find her.
At last, their eyes caught sight of Brandy, charging forth with spear in hand. Her flesh bubbled with copper, trying to grow, trying to shock them, anything. But with a scream, Wah hurled a table at her head, smashing it into a splatter of gel.
Another fallen angel.
Tensed with instinct, Wah whirled around to find the real Brandy tearing through the last wall standing, leaping at them with The Heritors Picaro.
Everything stopped.
The two locked eyes.
Brandy realized how similar they look, while Wah confirmed what they had already feared.
What gripped them is a wordless, bestial terror…
…before the Bastion smashes Brandy to the ground.

Mx. Wah, with a score of 72 to Brandy Judge’s 65!

Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Brandy Judge 12 (3.5+2) - 18 (6.5+2) Brandy snagged a commanding early lead and held it through to the end!
Quality Mx. Wah 22 (7 7 8) - 17 (5 5 7) Reasoning
JoJolity Mx. Wah 28 (10 10 8) - 20 (6 7 7) Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10 Judges had issues with length in the delibs, but ultimately found no conduct penalty.
As Brandy hung on the verge of unconsciousness, it felt like a century went by. But finally, to break the silence, she felt a tap on her shoulder.
Opening her eyes, she saw Mx. Wah in front of her, offering a paper cone filled with water.
Brandy would slap the stupid offering away if she still had the strength. But all she could do is close her eyes again, drown it all out.
Sighing miserably, Wah finally staggered and crumples against the wall next to their daughter. Their ‘consequence’.
They tried to tell her they wouldn't kill her. They tried to tell her they just didn’t want to die. They tried to tell their child that they’re scared.
All the while, Brandy was silent.
Wah tried again. “Come back to COLOSSI with me, and we can work something out. I have to take responsibility once in my life. You already came this far for me–neither of us are going to give up now.”
At last, they extended a hand to her, remorse creasing their tired face. “...What do you say?”
Finally, Brandy pushed herself upward, and weakly nudged the hand away. She exhaled a pained breath, gave Wah a stoic look, and spoke at last.
“Fix your fucking life, mom.”
Wallowing in frustration and foiled rebellion, Brandy turned away. She had no more words to give.
Yet, before Wah could respond, footsteps approached. There stood Alalu, brows knit with concern, though her eyes were gleaming.
“Poor dears…” she sighs. “These battles are difficult, but the fact that you survived is a sign of your strength,” she smiles, nodding to Wah. “In honor of that, even though you didn’t fight Frederick, when we start this friendship I’ll still owe you a-”
”Not now,” Wah rasped. ”Please.”
Alalu raised her brows, before nodding solemnly.
“...I understand. Later, then. For now, allow me to escort you both home.”
She extended a hand to them both. Neither Wah nor Brandy had the strength left to refuse. With a smile, Alalu lifted them and led them from the wreckage. Outside, the night was cold. Alalu idly fussed over them as they walked to her car, as she talked about sending them a care package full of good food and clothing.
Love is warmth, Wah heard her say. But the night was so cold.
Quietly, they turned towards the ruined building.
「Wolf Murder」 watched back. Her body heaved with pelts, gathered from their funeral procession. There was respect in her eyes. This too was cold.
Above her, Wah spotted something else. Pale porcelain, and glowing socket eyes.
An old friend. The terror of death. Nobody at all.
They turned away quickly, heart pounding. Cold and desperate, Wah reached out a hand for Brandy. For their daughter. So they might share this promised warmth, this love.
She did not take it.
The results are in for Match 8. The winner is…

Errok, with a score of 72 to Cody Enfield’s 69!

Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Cody Enfield 14 (4+2) - 16 (5+2) A steady back and forth with Cody sliding in with a one vote lead!
Quality Tie 22 (7-7-8) - 22 (7-7-8) Reasoning
JoJolity Errok 26(9-8-9) - 21 (7-6-8) Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10 A strat time extension was issued without penalty, but do note that these are given wholly under judge discretion with sufficient notice and good cause. We have been more liberal than tournaments past, but even we have limits. So far extensions have been in lucky spots where they did not interfere with the schedule of other matches, but there is also the consideration of fairness to both teams and when an extension is necessary by circumstance or become needed due to not being able to finish in a given timeframe. The reason we delay granting match extensions for the latter case is because we are uncertain whether or not they are actually necessary or if the team will be able to work and have gotten in their strategy in anyways. And ideally we want people to work as if they will not be getting an extension to prevent procrastination or effectively squandering time that could have been utilized. Final note as a reminder, turning in a strategy late for a conduct penalty, while it can feel bad, is an option for a reason in the sorts of cases where we cannot grant an extension in good faith.
The dust settled, and Errok was alone to laugh.
“Ah…I love the putrid rot of millenia,” Errok mused aloud to himself, looking out with satisfaction towards the utterly brutalized ruins as he steps forward, foot planted on Cody’s stiff body as the demonstration of the land’s history lay in rotten, distorted pieces. He clutched a Temple in his hand, unsure what even to do with it. “Thousands of years it took for this place to hold, years of your archaeology to find it, mysteries awaiting answer and investigation…And it’s wiped away by disease and swordplay in a matter of minutes. In my professional opinion, in fact…I’ll even give you my answer for what became of this high-and-mighty civilization.”
Unsure if Cody was even alive or dead, Errok uncapped his hand once more, allowing the worms to trail slowly down it and burrow into his body, burrow into the soft, barely-living ground beneath him.
“They were struck down by a plague!”
Crash! Clang!
Errok was knocked forward into a nearby wall by an explosive volley of arrows, feeling a familiar cutting sensation digging into the flesh of his arm and demanding that he retract it. A familiarly ‘clean’ feeling attempts to invade his rotten arm, but his own disease and maggots eat it away before pumpkins could grow. Even as his helmeted head rested against the wall, he groaned, but it turned into a laugh nonetheless as he cracked his neck, rose, and looked at them.
Ninian and Dédalo stood , weapons drawn, staring him down with blatant contempt. Grey, in the back, also prepared to either support them or get Cody away.
“You removed everything, you stupid piece of shit!” Ninian shouted, voice low and grainy and bloodthirsty. “What’s the point of any of this? All this…Everything we’ve got here, and now..!”
“And it’s been reduced to feed for my worms…It, and all your documentation, and the spirits you wear…All of them will be reduced to nothing anyway! I’ve just become the agent of its rot. The conqueror of what had stood for ages…I did it because I can, in short, MacBeth.”
Realizing then that those were about to be his likely last words, he hurriedly held up what Temples he managed to steal, hold onto, waving them tauntingly. “And now, a half-life lays in my hands! The very last vestiges of what you all came out here…Strike me down, children, and it all becomes for naught. At least if I walk away…You’ll know that all your work was for something, no? It’s a compromise…Your Temples go to my Ends, and they’re still out there, someplace in this world. Sounds like a fine deal from where I’m standing…And the only one you’ve got.”
The others stood there, utterly stiff from realization that Errok, for once in his wretched life…was right. Like him, they had no choice now but to choose between a rotten-away half-life for the remains of this place and complete oblivion.
Scenario: Alexandria National Museum, Alexandria, Egypt — 7:16 AM
At this hour, the tour groups that normally plagued the museum’s halls weren’t due to arrive until later in the morning, leaving it in a state of calm for a few blissful hours. Beams of sunlight streamed in through the windows and illuminated the exhibits inside—important pieces symbolizing different periods in the grand history of Alexandria.
Dédalo idly wandered from display to display, examining each and every one of them. It had become a habit of his to do this in every museum that he came across on his travels, after discovering several artifacts and potential temples of Pieduron origin mislabeled as ones from other ancient civilizations. Dédalo’s eye passed over canopic jars, ushabti figurines, gleaming jewelry and statues of long-dead emperors and pharaohs. From the recreation of the funerary chamber on the first floor, to the display of Alexandria’s Hellenistic and Roman periods on the second, all the way up to the city’s Coptic, Muslim and 19th to 20th century, one could learn the entire history of Alexandria in a single trip.
As he scrutinized the exhibits Dédalo noticed that many of its placards had a small footnote underneath the main text: 「Donated by the House of Muses.」 While he wasn’t an expert in appraisal by any means, he could see the distinct glint of Cleria in some of the artifacts, masked by thin layers of acrylic resin.
“How strange,” Dédalo muttered. “The House of Muses have amassed a number of Temples, yet the ones here are all mislabeled. I should inform them when I get the chance.”
He pulled out a notebook and began to jot down a few of their names as Perdida floated behind him, arms crossed. “Are you not concerned that they have this many temples?”
“Well, relabelling everything will certainly take some time. And these pieces were improperly restored because the curator must have assumed them to be Egyptian relics, so that will also need to be taken care of...” Dédalo continued taking down notes and sketches.
“That’s not what I’m worried about, it’s just...”
“Excuse me,” A suited man with the build of a bodyguard interrupted Dédalo and Perdida’s conversation.“Patron Cullinan is ready to see you now. Please come with me.”
“Perfect timing, lead the way.” Dédalo closed his notebook and moved to follow the suited man with Perdida trailing after.
Scenario: Alexandria National Museum, Alexandria, Egypt—7:26 AM
Old painting…Stone tablet…Weird looking statue…
Passion didn’t know what she expected to find when she decided to sneak through the storage room of a history museum. It seemed like a fun idea at the time, but all that was here was a bunch of boxes filled with old junk; no wonder why it wasn’t being displayed.
Passion stepped over the snoring body of the security guard stationed at the door and started heading towards the nearest exit, past rows of shelves of more boxes.
“Sorry, miss, this is the employee-only section. Are you lost?” Passion looked to see a suited woman sorting boxes on a shelf, 15 or so meters away.
“Think I got separated from the tour group I was with,” Passion lied. “‘Scuse me.”
“I can help guide you where you need to go.” The woman put the box she was holding onto the shelf.
“Exit’s right there,” Passion pointed out. “I can just go,”
“Please, I insist. It's not everyday we get a direct visit from a member of COLOSSI.”
Passion remained silent, holding 「sleepyhead」 close to her chest. If the woman took one step closer, she could send her to dreamland…but she remained just shy of ten meters away.
“We fully respect your anonymity. But if we could have a moment of your time, the House of Muses could offer our services with your ‘problem’.” The suited woman made a devil horn sign with her hands and tapped the side of her nose.
Passion glanced at her plushie, one glassy eye staring back at her.
“Fine.”
“Ah, Dédalo~boy and Perdida~girl. Make yourselves at home.” Cullinan spread his arms wide in a welcoming gesture.
They were in what Dédalo had first assumed to be the basement of the museum, but his adventuring sense told him this place was much older. The place was lit through a series of wired cave lamps; Too barren to be any sort of underground burial chamber, perhaps it was an old storage facility or some type of bunker.
“I am still waiting for another guest to arrive before we can begin the main event. But in the meantime, care to join me in a game of Senet?” Cullinan gestured to a table, a gridded board set up in the middle
Dédalo eyed the game board as he put his hat and coat on the back of his chair. “You know the rules of Senet?”
“Of course. The ultimate goal of the House of Muses is the preservation of information, and history most importantly. Especially when that information comes from its homeland of Egypt. However, the informal rules will suffice for now; we are not here to perform any funeral rites or cross into the afterlife.” Cullinan chuckled and sat down at one end of the table, Dédalo sitting across from him.
The game of modern Senet is simple! Each player has 5 pieces; whomever got all of their pieces off the board first won. The board itself is a 3 by 10 grid, with each piece starting in the first row. Each turn, players roll senet sticks to determine how many spaces they can move one of their pieces. If an opponent’s piece was in the slot they wished to move to, the player could swap the positions of the two pieces. However, if the opponent had two or more of their pieces adjacent to each other, those pieces were ‘protected’ and could not be swapped. Though many of its rules have been lost to time, it’s easy to see why Senet was such a popular game!
Dédalo stretched out his fingers and wrists. He had heard that Cullinan enjoyed board games, so he decided that he might as well humor him. This way, he could get on his good side and get the opportunity to ask a few questions.
“Would you like the wood pieces or the obsidian ones?” Cullinan offered as he set up the board.
“I’ll take the wood pieces.”
“Then I will be obsidian. Care to take the first turn?” Cullinan passed Dédalo the set of senet sticks. Dédalo gently tossed them onto the table, allowing the clatter to ring out before continuing.
“I understand that the House of Muses has been collecting temples and researching Pieduron history.” Dédalo inquired politely, moving forward one of his wooden pieces.
“Ah, so you’ve heard.” Cullinan rolled and moved his obsidian piece to the space right behind Dédalo’s. “Picking up the trail that Pieduro left behind in the Mediterranean has been a challenge, even for an organization of our size.”
Dédalo moved another one of his pieces. “Really? You might be further on that trail than you think. Quite a few of your artifacts upstairs are from Pieduro, you know.”
“Is that so? I’ll have to inform the curator, then.” Cullinan chuckled, as if he was making a private joke to himself. Dédalo sensed that Cullinan didn’t seem surprised by what he said.
“Tell me, Dédalo~boy. You have been in pursuit of the Piedurons for much longer than I. Why? What keeps you going on such a Sisyphean task as this?”
“Simple. I am helping Perdida find out what happened to her home and people.” Dédalo rolled the sticks and moved his front piece further forward. “As an adventurer, I can’t just leave this quest uncompleted.”
“My, how noble. Personally, I wish to document and understand what these Temples can do. Our research into their functions has been quite fascinating.” Cullinan took his turn and moved his second piece up behind his first.
“And how is that research going?” Perdida asked, hesitant, as Dédalo rolled his sticks and pondered his next move.
“It took the sacrifice of a few Temples, but I believe we have managed to understand how they work just a bit. Of course, not enough to craft any new ones or find a way to reliably power them.”
Perdida faded into the background, watching as Dédalo finally decided to swap his last piece with Cullinan’s fourth piece. Sacrifice…she didn’t like the way he said that so frivolously.
“That’s a shame,” Dédalo sighed. “Well, if it’s Temples that you need, my companion and I have become rather skilled in locating them. Perhaps we could come to a mutual agreement. You find the outposts, we find the Temples…I assume that’s what you called us here for, after all.”
“You would be correct, but we should wait for our other guest before we finalize any agreements.” Cullinan smiled mysteriously. “Patience, Dédalo~boy. Our game is not yet finished.”
Dédalo could feel his patience towards Cullinan’s vagueness beginning to wane—Cullinan maneuvered around his questions as masterfully as his pieces maneuvered around the board. Time to push harder.
“You’re aware of the symbolism of ‘Wood’ and ‘Obsidian’ to the Piedurons, I assume. ‘Wood’ represents the Earth that binds us all, grounding us to the world around us; Obsidian represents the power that we can wield, and the paradox of how strong yet brittle it can be. In your opinion, which one resonates with you more?”
Cullinan furrowed his brow. Feigning ignorance, Dédalo continued on. “Personally, I’m fascinated with the concept of ‘Wood’. Growing with the Earth, instead of against it. Rebuilding, persisting, even when all seems lost. ‘Wood’ reminds us of our place in the world—not to live wealthy, or live poorly, but to simply live.”
“Hm…I believe that ‘Wood’ is a beautiful ideal.. However, it is simply that; an ideal. For lack of a better term, it’s too ‘soft’ for my tastes.” Cullinan glanced at the obsidian piece he held in his hand. “‘Obsidian’, on the other hand…when it breaks, when it shatters, it is lost forever. But for the short time that it lasts, its strength outweighs its fragility. An obsidian dagger needs only to cut once to make a mark on the world. After that, what use does it have? Better to grind the shards into dust than risk them cutting your hand open.”
Dédalo nodded slowly. “I see.”
“Patron Cullinan, your other guest has arrived.” A suited woman opened the door and waved Passion inside. She surveyed the dimly-lit room as the woman shut the door behind her. She immediately noticed Dédalo, recognizing him as one of the strong Stand users to keep track of. “Big fuck-off airship,” if she remembered correctly.
She didn’t know who the bald man that he sat beside was, though. She barely even registered that he was talking to her.
“Passion~girl I presume?”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Oh pardon me, it’s a formal title I use for people. The House of Muses is akin to a familial structure in its design. Call it a bit of an archaic tradition, but it’s quite the honorific for guests such as yourselves.”
Passion cocked her head slightly. “Who’re you again?”
“Right, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Cullinan Dwarf Star, Patron of the House of Muses. You might know me as Sphinx.”
Vague recognition dawned on Passion’s face, “Oh. You’re the guy that shot Solsbury.”
“Shot past, actually,” Cullinan shrugged, “Anyway, to get to why I brought you here. How much do you know about Pieduron technology and history?”
“Not much,” Passion shrugged. She had seen Dédalo’s file before, and knew about Pieduron technology from there. Other than that, nothing.
“Perfect. You will be serving as an outsider’s perspective to our discussion.”
“...ok.” Passion took that to mean, “sit quietly and say “I see” every now and then.” Worked for her.
“Don’t look so glum. There may be a few details you and your organization may be interested in, if my introduction doesn’t bore you.” Cullinan smiled. Passion’s expression didn’t change. “Now, the Piedurons were an isolated people with highly advanced technology known as Temples. Based on our findings, these temples were highly sophisticated and almost universally ran off some type of spiritual energy. Dédalo~boy, what can you tell us about your recent findings in that planetarium?”
“It was extraordinary,” Dédalo explained, a bit of excitement escaping his guarded demeanor, followed by a mix of sadness and anger at the destruction Errok had wrought. “A visual history of Pieduron civilization. From its roots as an ancient agrarian civilization, the discovery of spiritual energy, the creation of the first Temples, their migration across the Mediterranean, and their eventual collapse. Like a last broadcast from the radio of a sinking ship, a final monument to their civilization before it was lost for good.”
“In our correspondence, you mentioned that there was a symbol in the depiction of their collapse; a face with a zero on it. What do you think that meant?” Cullinan motioned for Dédalo to elaborate.
“To be frank, it could mean anything. A bad ruler, a natural disaster, maybe something the Piedurons perceived as divine judgment.” Dédalo recalled the scene in his mind. “We can’t know for sure without more information.”
“The final stage showed that all of the active Temples stopped working, yes? And around the world, Temples have only recently regained their functionality. That includes your “El Cor Terra”, and your companion along with it, which you used to activate the Planetarium, yes?”
“How did you—”
Cullinan raised a hand. “The House can gather information in many ways, no matter the difficulty—especially when they align with our interests. My question is, if all of the Temples lost functionality, why would the Piedurons make the key to the planetarium a Temple itself? Surely, they would have built some other means of activating it so that future generations could read their message without the use of a Temple.”
“Maybe the necklace survived by chance,” Dédalo suggested, a bit too quickly.
“With all due respect, Dédalo, that’s preposterous. The capabilities of your traveling companion are unlike anything that we have ever seen, and far less powerful Temples were permanently deactivated by the shutdown. No, the Piedurons must have known that your necklace would survive their collapse and eventually regain its power, then built the planetarium around that fact.”
Dédalo grit his teeth. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Simple. I believe the Pieduron shut down their Temples on purpose. What’s more, the planetarium is not a simple message in a bottle. It’s a warning that could only be viewed if the Temples were ever reactivated.”
“Well. Uh. That’s. A bold claim,” Dédalo said slowly. “I understand the drive to speculate, but that is quite the outlandish theory. Isn’t it, Perdida? …Perdida?”
“...sorry, it’s nothing.” Perdida grasped her arm to stop it from shaking.
“The thought has crossed your mind before, hasn’t it, Perdida?” Cullinan leaned forward. “Try as you might to avoid it, you know it’s a plausible explanation.”
Perdida said nothing.
“Your silence speaks volumes, I’m afraid. My theory is as follows. Using the power of the Temples, the Pieduro created something so destructive, so threatening to themselves and maybe even the entire world, they were forced to deactivate all of the Temples to prevent it from ever being used. In their final moments, they created the planetarium and El Cor Terra as a final message to anyone who found it—the Temples are never to be used again.”
Cullinan sighed. “Thus, it is my utmost belief that knowledge of the Temples must never reach the public eye. As much as it pains me to say it…Pieduro must remain buried. For good.”
“...excuse me?” Dédalo’s eyes narrowed. “I thought you said that the House of Muses was supposed to preserve history. Now you’re just going to leave it to rot? Torch it like the Library of Alexandria?”
“Don’t be absurd. We will retain our records on Pieduro and any artifacts that we have collected to the utmost scrutiny. They will simply never see the light of day again.”
“Oh, so you’re keeping ‘em,” Passion spoke up. “That makes sense. But, sorry, I must’ve missed the part where you told us why the House won’t use the Temples as weapons either. Since you’re so worried about your safety and all that.”
Cullinan hesitated. “That’s…I would never allow that to happen.”
“Sure you won’t. But there’s gonna be other Patrons. Patrons that aren’t you. Patrons who’ll look at a vault full of ancient weaponry and think…well, you get the rest.”
“As if you aren’t salivating at the chance to obtain the Temples for yourself, young madam,” Cullinan retorted. “The Piedurons knew exactly how to use the Temples—where are they now? One small misstep, one fool with too much hubris, and the entire Mediterranean could be at risk. This way, everyone will be safe. I’ll make sure of that.”
The room grew silent. Cullinan cleared his throat and straightened his robes. Before he could continue, Dédalo rose to his feet.
“My apologies, Patron. I will have no part in this. Consider our deal off the table. Permanently.”
Dédalo snatched his hat and coat and made for the door, Perdida following close behind.
“There is no need for apologies, Mr. Viatger,” Cullinan called to him. “Not for you, and not for me. You have forced my hand.”
From within his sleeve, Cullinan produced a flat, rectangular stone in the shape of a playing card. Suddenly, it was as if the world froze, and all colors inverted to a photo negative. Then, just as suddenly, the world returned to normal; with one notable exception.
“Perdida?” Dédalo whipped around, searching frantically for his partner, clutching his necklace tight to his chest. “Cullinan, you bastard, what did you do to her!?”
“Calm yourself. I have done your companion no harm.” Cullinan flipped the stone card around. Carved into its surface was a perfect portrait of Perdida, eyes wide in shock, screaming a silent scream, reaching out towards Dédalo. “This is no different from how she rested before you found her. There’s no need to-”
Dédalo unsheathed his sabre and lunged for Cullinan’s throat. Cullinan rose from his seat—in one swift motion, he sidestepped Dédalo, grabbed him by the collar, and hurled him across the room into the opposite wall.
Passion shot awake and leaped back, pointing 「sleepyhead」 straight at Cullinan, its mouth open and ready to strike.
“It seems we have reached an impasse,” Cullinan stated calmly. “Dédalo, Passion, we could fight and make enemies of one another—but this is not the way of the House of Muses. Instead, I am willing to wager my resolve versus your own. A test of body, mind and spirit.” Cullinan pulled out an ornate hourglass, its frame entwined with green and gold snakes and its interior filled with fine metal shavings.
Dédalo slowly rose from the ground, forcing the air back into his lungs. “Your games mean nothing to me, Patron. Give me my friend back. Now.”
“You have been clear that you are unwilling to compromise and rash in your judgment. But I invite you to a game invented by the Piedurons.” Cullinan tapped the side of the hourglass. “I will reveal this to you now—my Stand is bound to this hourglass, and the hourglass itself is a Pieduron Temple. It can enforce any wager we make. Win this game, and you will have not just my word, but a promise to help understand and uncover the mysteries of the Piedurons. Not only that, I will do whatever you feel is appropriate in regards to anything related to the Piedurons.”
“And if we lose?” Passion interjected. She didn’t give a shit about Perdida, but she also didn’t want to lose her soul or whatever.
“I ask for nothing, I will even give your companion back. But give me this opportunity to show you what Piedruon technology is capable of and why it is so dangerous.”
It was hard to take Cullinan at his word, but it was the only option Dédalo had been given. “Fine.”
“You may resent me all you like, but know that I am trying to do you a favor. Most other factions would have already killed you by now. Here, I’ll make it easy for you.” Cullinan brushed a hand across his face, spreading a black glittery face paint with his palm. Opening his eyes he revealed black sclera and red pupils.
Motes of light saturated the room and flickering projections painted the room in bright light. It was like what happened at the planetarium, only on a smaller scale. No…this felt more real than even that, the floor changed underneath their feet and the stale cave air was replaced with fresh air. Dédalo felt a new weight press down on his arm as a disk-like shield materialized and attached to his gauntlet.
By this point Cullinan had moved to the other side of the room. “To make this fair we will be playing the simplified rule set! Once you are content you understand them, we may Open the game! (Shoutouts to u/TreeTurtle_852 for the match art!)
Location: A strange pocket dimension? The battlefield of a game played by the Piedurons.
The area here is 21 by 22 meters with each tile being 1 by 1 meters. Cullinan starts on the top of the map while the players are on the bottom half. The ceiling is 50 meters high and the stage is lit by an unknown, omnipresent light source.
The blacked out tiles are endless pits; a player is RETIREd if they fall in without a way to get back out.
The ground here is sandstone with certain areas having been painted to look like the colors shown on the map. The sides of the map are sandstone walls, the general rules of the game are outlined on the walls behind the players. Half a meter underneath the sandstone layers is a thick layer of A Durability Cleria.
The Purple “X” marked circles are Cullinan’s summoning zones and the Brown “X” marked circles are the Players’ summoning zones.
Goal: Beat your opponent in this game that tests body, mind, and spirit!
Additional Information: In this game designed by the Piedurons, each side summons Pieduron warriors to fight for them.
General Unit Info:
  • Unless otherwise stated, each unit has C Power, Speed, Durability, and C Precision with B Durability on their weapons and armor.
  • Units are defeated once they take C Durability’s worth of damage.
  • Units each have effectively a 3 stat in using their main weapons and working in their intended roles.
  • The armored parts of armored units are not removable
  • Similar to Stands, the units are able to incorporate their summoner’s experiences and utilize their fighting techniques. They are almost like a pseudo-swarm Stand, with their summoner having a mental link to the units and giving orders to them remotely.
  • For the players, Passion or Dédalo can summon and command units, but they share the same summoning zones and cooldowns.
  • Each unit is made of stone and clay, but are hollow enough to weigh about as much as a human
  • For Passion’s Stand, they count as living things with stamina while active and objects when defeated.
Each Summoning circle has a 30 second cooldown and can summon any of the listed units below:
Unit List:
  • Knights: Armed with a scimitar and small round shield. They have a layer of body armor and helmet.
  • Defenders: Armed with a large rectangular riot shield. They have a layer of body armor and helmet.
  • Spearmen: Armed with a spear. They have arm guards and a helmet.
  • Archers: Armed with a bow and quiver of 25 arrows
  • Fishermen: Armed with a fishing rod and three fishing spikes attached to their hip
  • Farmer: Armed with a sickle and hoe
  • Lumberjack: Armed with a hatchet
  • Excavator: Armed with a pickaxe and a shovel
  • Gremlin: Half the size of the normal sized units, the gremlin has D Power and D Durability as a trade off for its small size. They also have sharp B Durability claws with no opposable thumbs.
While the game is active, Cullinan and the Players are unable to attack or directly interact with one another (their bodies, Stands, and attacks will pass through each other.). Nor can they cross to the opponent’s side of the field (both sides can still cross into the center area)
Note, both sides are able to attack and use their abilities against enemy units.
Each side can only have up to 10 units at a time on their own side of the field. However they can have as many of their units as they would like on their opponent’s side of the field.
The game ends when their opponent(s) are Retired and no longer able to continue fighting. Any injuries when the game ends vanish and you will be brought back where you were before the game started.
Dédalo does not have Perdida physically with him in this match, but he does have access to the rest of Perdida’s ‘Stand’ abilities and starts with a Temple that is a thick shield-like attachment for his gauntlet:
Temple Name Tier 1 Ability Tier 2 Ability Tier 3 Ability
Alqurs Almubaraza (The Duel Disk) The front end of the shield opens up and can convert any one Temple stored in the gauntlet into a Cleria stone card (1 Pilot) The shield can convert a second Temple into a card (2 Pilots) The shield can convert a third temple into a card (3 Pilots)
In this game, cards created by this temple can be cast and equipped to any unit under Dédalo’s control, with any additional benefits Dédalo would have. (The card-form temples still require the requisite number of pilots to get their effects.) All they have to do is mentally target which unit they want and place the card on the face of the shield. When the equipped unit is defeated, the equipped Temple is returned and stored back in the gauntlet.
The game has just started and there is 5 seconds before all summoning zones can be activated.
Team Combatant JoJolity
House of Muses Cullinan Dwarf Star "I've split their souls into six chips each. In poker, if you think you might lose, you can fold. You need to be able to drop out and up the ante, so we can't play with just two chips. Winning back six chips is the equivalent of winning one soul." Show your resolve and your trust in your methods!
HECATONCHEIRES Passion Little and Dédalo Viatger "Fine. I'll bet my soul." Show your resolve and your trust in Pieduro!
Link to Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
Days ago…
As the stormwinds blew the ship off-course, Val instead took this as a blessing, standing at the bow, pointing ahead.
“THERE!” She barked, at the top of her voice. “IF THE STORM BLOWS US SO, WE! SHALL! FOLLOW!”
And so, The Bruce turned with the wind, merely allowing it to spell the course of the ship. And so soon did the ship arrive, at the deadliest trial yet.
Val stopped the vessel here, dropping the anchor just before the range of the Scylla, pulling down the sails so The Bruce might not continue into the depths. L pulled the spyglass to its eyes, spotting the beast.
Val readied the ‘cannonballs’, composed of the 30-odd-kg chunks of wood she had brought from Circe’s islands, and from a distance, she released her ‘grapeshot’–a group of possessed objects tied to a bullet as the leader.
Even from such a distance, the force of these were immense, barrelling down upon Scylla from past where she could manage to stop them. But even when Val’s volley had run its course, Scylla stood just barely. In her desperate search for more cannonballs, she had found the remains of a poor sandwich she hadn’t noticed being slipped into her belongings, gone hard from weeks unprotected at sea. It performed admirably as another cannonball, but there was still more to do, and Val was still determined to finish off this beast.
S possessed Val as R possessed the bullet of the Soul Slug Dividing Heart; Val shot the gunsword upwards, at a steep angle. Val now soared thousands of feet above the Scylla monster in the air, whereupon she had 70 seconds to travel the whole arc of the bullet. As she sailed towards her quarry, she readied her gun again: 70 seconds to fell this beast, 70 seconds of bullets, 70 seconds for one of the most epic victories of her life. With a deep breath, she smiled, laughing a little…God, this was…exhilarating!
submitted by Dungeon_Dice to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 01:27 METL_Master DMV RUM FRIENDS (Follow-up)

The first rum pick for Angel’s Share is a Chairman's Reserve Rum Master’s Selection from St. Lucia Distillers (SLD)! Selected with the help of Kim and Trey from the Angel's Share Rum Runners, this 11-year-old rum was distilled in 2010 on SLD's smallest pot still, the John Dore 1, and aged entirely in ex-bourbon barrels. It was dumped into a holding tote in 2021 and bottled at 59.1% ABV.
It is live for pre-order.
$82.99 Pre-sale Price
ORDER HERE (item under store pick tab): https://angelsharemd.revelup.com/weborde?establishment=1#products/1118
Tasting Notes:
Nose: Bourbon-y yet rummy, sweet oak, and some baking spice; this rum lets you know that it was in an ex-bourbon barrel.
Palate: The barrel softens things here. This rum holds proof comfortably at 118.2 and coats the palate very well. Again, you sense this had a relationship with what seems like a freshly dumped bourbon barrel. Oak, caramel/darker sugar, molasses, butterscotch, some sugar cane grassiness, some mint, a savory green element, and a tinge of menthol. It’s a complex and interesting mix of cane, molasses, and barrel.
Finish: The finish is long and pleasant with a mild bit of astringency on the back end that makes you want to sip it again.
This is an approachable rum that at first crack, lets you know that it’s been in a long-term relationship with bourbon. But if you let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes it becomes clearer that you’re drinking rum.
NOTE** WE CAN NOT SHIP DUE TO STATE LAWS. PICKUP WILL BE AT ANGEL'S SHARE WINE & SPIRITS IN GAMBRILLS, MD.
submitted by METL_Master to rum [link] [comments]


2023.03.30 01:27 mjames82 George Remus single barrel

Anyone had any experience with the PA single barrels of good old George Remus. I picked up a store pick when I was traveling in CT in the past and enjoyed it.
submitted by mjames82 to PLCB [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 23:49 cosmic_bolshevik Reflections by Comrade Fidel: The Two Koreas.

Reflections by Comrade Fidel: The Two Koreas.

Kim Il Sung in a massive welcome to comrade Fidel Castro in Pyongyang (03/11/86), Photo by Prensa Latina.
PART I
The Korean nation, with its unique culture different from its Chinese and Japanese neighbors, has existed for three thousand years. These characteristics are typical of societies in that Asian region, including those of China, Vietnam and others. There is nothing like it in Western cultures, some of which are less than 250 years old.
In the war of 1894, the Japanese had seized from China its control over the Korean dynasty and turned its territory into a Japanese colony. Protestantism was introduced in this country in the year 1892, following an agreement between the United States and the Korean authorities. On the other hand, Catholicism was introduced in the same century by missionaries. It is estimated that today in South Korea, around 25 percent of the population is Christian and a similar percentage is Buddhist. The philosophy of Confucius had a great influence on the spirit of Koreans who are not characterized by fanatical religious practices.
Two important figures outstand in that nation’s political life in the twentieth century: Syngman Rhee, born in March of 1875, and Kim Il Sung, born 37 years later in April of 1912. Both personalities, of different social background, confronted each other due to historical circumstances that had nothing to do with either of them.
The Christians opposed the Japanese colonial system. One of them was Syngman Rhee who was an actively practicing Protestant. Korea changed its status: Japan annexed its territory in 1910. Years later, in 1919, Rhee was appointed president of the provisional government in exile, headquartered in Shanghai, China. He never used weapons against the invaders. The League of Nations in Geneva paid no attention to him.
The Japanese Empire was brutally repressive with the Korean population. The patriots took up arms against the Japanese colonialist policy and succeeded in liberating a small area in the mountain region of the north at the end of the 1890’s.
Kin Il Sung, born in the vicinity of Pyongyang, at the age of 18 joined the Korean Communist guerrillas to fight the Japanese. In his active revolutionary life, he attained the position of political and military leader of the anti-Japanese combatants in North Korea, at the young age of 33.
During World War II, the United States decided the fate of Korea in the post-war period. It joined the conflict when it was attacked by one of its own, the Empire of the Rising Sun, whose tight feudal gates were opened by Commodore Perry in the first half of the 19th century, aiming his cannons at the strange Asian country that refused to trade with America.
The outstanding disciple later became a powerful rival, as I have already explained on another occasion. Decades later, Japan successively struck at China and Russia, additionally taking over Korea. Nevertheless it was a cunning ally for the victors of World War I, at the expense of China. It amassed forces and, transformed into the Asian version of fascist Nazism, attempted to occupy Chinese territory in 1937 and attacked the United States in December of 1941; it brought the war to Southeast Asia and Oceania.
The colonial domains of Great Britain, France, Holland and Portugal in the region were doomed and the United States emerged as the most powerful country in the world, matched only by the Soviet Union then destroyed by World War II and by the heavy material and human losses resulting from the Nazi strike. The Chinese Revolution was about to conclude in 1945 when the world massacre ceased. The united anti-Japanese combat was taking up its energy then. Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Gandhi, Sukarno and other leaders later carried on the fight against the restoration of the old world order which was already unsustainable.
Truman dropped the nuclear bomb on two civilian Japanese cities; this was a terribly destructive new weapon whose existence they had not reported to their Soviet ally, as explained, one which had been the major contributor to the destruction of fascism. Nothing justified the genocide committed, not even the fact that the tenacious Japanese resistance had taken the lives of almost 15 thousand American soldiers on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Japan was already defeated, and that weapon, had it been dropped on a military target, would have sooner or later had the same demoralizing effect on the Japanese military machine preventing more casualties among U.S. soldiers. It was an act of indescribable terror.
Soviet soldiers were advancing on Manchuria and North Korea, just as they had promised when fighting ceased in Europe. The allies had defined beforehand the point each army could reach. The dividing line would be in the middle of Korea, equidistant between the Yalu River and the southern end of the peninsula. The U.S. government negotiated with the Japanese the rules that would govern the surrendering of troops on their own territory. Japan would be occupied by the United States. In Korea, annexed to Japan, there would remain a large force of the powerful Japanese army. South of the 38th Parallel, the established dividing line, U.S. interests prevailed. Syngman Rhee, reincorporated to that part of the territory by the U.S. government, was the leader the Americans supported, with the open cooperation of the Japanese. This is how he won the hard-fought election of 1948. That year, the soldiers of the Soviet Army had pulled out of North Korea.
On June 25, 1950 war broke out in the country. It is still unclear who fired the first shot, whether it was the combatants in the North or the American soldiers on duty with soldiers recruited by Rhee. The argument does not make any sense if one analyzes it from the Korean angle. Kim Il Sung’s soldiers fought against the Japanese for the liberation of all Korea. His armies advanced irrepressibly up to the far reaches to the South where the Yankees were defending themselves with the massive back-up of their fighter planes. Seoul and other cities had been occupied. MacArthur, commander-in-chief of U.S. forces in the Pacific, decided to order a Marine landing at Incheon, at the rearguard of Northern forces which by now were in no condition to counterattack. Pyongyang fell in the hands of Yankee forces, preceded by devastating air strikes. That fostered the idea of the U.S. military command in the Pacific to occupy all of Korea, since the Peoples’ Liberation Army of China, lead by Mao Zedong had inflicted a resounding defeat on the pro-Yankee forces of Chiang Kai-shek, supplied and supported by the United States. The entire continental and maritime territory of that great country had been recovered, with the exception of Taipei and other small near-by islands where Kuomintang forces found refuge after being transported there by vessels of the Sixth Fleet.
The history of what happened then is well known today. It should not be forgotten that Boris Yeltsin handed over to Washington the Soviet Union archives, among other things.
What did the United States do when the practically inevitable conflict broke out under the premises created in Korea? It portrayed the northern part of that country as the aggressor. The Security Council of the recently created United Nations Organization, promoted by the victorious powers of W.W. II, passed a resolution that none of the five members could veto. Precisely in those months, the USSR had expressed its disagreement with the exclusion of China from the Security Council, where the U.S. was recognizing Chiang Kai-Shek, with less than 0.3 percent of national territory and less than 2 percent of the population, as a member of that Council and with a right to veto. Such arbitrariness led to the absence of the Russian delegate, with the result that the Council agreed to give the war the character of a UN military action against the alleged aggressor: the Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Korea. China, completely outside the conflict, which was affecting its unfinished fight for the total liberation of the country, saw the threat hovering directly against its own territory, this being unacceptable for its security. According to public information, Prime Minister Zhou Enlai was sent to Moscow to inform Stalin of China’s point of view about the inadmissibility of the presence of UN forces under U.S. command on the banks of the Yalu River which marks Korea's border with China, and to request Soviet cooperation. At the time there were no profound contradictions between the two Socialist giants.
It is affirmed that China’s response had been planned for the 13th of October and that Mao postponed it for the 19th, awaiting the Soviet reply. That was as long as he could put it off.
I intend to finish this reflection next Friday. It is a complex and laborious subject which requires special care and information as precise as possible. These are historical events that should be known and remembered.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 22, 2008.
9:22 p.m.

Part II
On October 19, 1950, more than 400 thousand voluntary Chinese combatants, on orders from Mao Zedong, crossed the Yalu and waylaid the US troops that were advancing towards the Chinese border. The US units, surprised by the vigorous response of the country they had underestimated, were forced to withdraw towards a region near the southern coast, pushed back by the joint action of the Chinese and North Korean forces. Stalin, who was immensely cautious, offered far less support than Mao had anticipated, though the MiG-15 aircrafts piloted by the Soviets, over a limited 42.5-miles front, proved valuable help during the initial stage of the conflict in protecting land forces during their intrepid advance. Pyongyang was again recovered and Seoul re-occupied once more, attempting to fight back the incessant onslaught of the US Air Force, the most powerful which has ever existed.
McArthur was anxious to attack China with nuclear weapons. He called for their use following the shameful defeat they had tasted. President Truman saw no other choice but to dismiss him from his command and appoint General Matthews Ridgeway head of US air, sea and land forces in the theatre of operations. Next to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Canada, Turkey, Ethiopia, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Colombia took part in the imperialist adventure. Colombia, then under the unitary government of conservative Laureano Gómez, who was responsible for the mass slaughter of peasants, was the only Latin American country involved. As we said, the Ethiopia of Haile Selassie, where slavery still existed, and a South Africa still under the domination of white racists, also took part in the invasion.
It had been scarcely five years since the world slaughter that began in September 1939 had come to an end, on August 1945. Following bloody combat in Korean territory, Parallel 38 once again became the border separating North and South. It is estimated that, in that war, about two million North Koreans, nearly half a million or one million Chinese and more than a million allied soldiers perished. Around 44 thousand US soldiers lost their lives. No few of them had been born in Puerto Rico or other Latin American countries, recruited to take part in a war they were driven to by their condition as poor immigrants.
Japan was to reap many benefits from the conflict. In a year’s time, industrial output grew by 50 % and, within two years, it again reached pre-war production levels. What didn't change, however, was how the acts of genocide perpetrated by China's imperial troops in Korea were perceived. The governments of Japan have paid tribute to the acts of genocide carried out by their soldiers, which, in China, had raped tens of thousands of women and brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of people, as was explained in a reflection.
Hard-working and tenacious, the Japanese have transformed their country, bereft of oil and other important raw materials, into the second most powerful economy in the world.
Japan's GDP, measured in capitalist terms, though the data varies across different Western sources, is today over 4.5 billion dollars, and the country has over one billion dollars in hard currency reserves. This is twice China’s GDP, of 2.2 billion, even though China has 50% more hard currency reserves than Japan. The GDP of the United States, of 12.4 billion dollars, for a country with 34.6 times more territory and 2.3 times Japan’s population, is only three times that of Japan. Its government is today one of imperialism's main allies, at a time when it is threatened by economic recession and the sophisticated weapons of the superpower put at risk the entire human species.
These are historical lessons which cannot be forgotten.
The war, however, took a considerable toll on China. Truman instructed the 6th Fleet to prevent the landing of Chinese revolutionary forces that would achieve the complete emancipation of their country by reclaiming the 0.3 percent of their territory that had been occupied by the rest of the pro-Yankee forces of Chiang Kai-shek that had fled there.
Sino-Soviet relations were to deteriorate later, following the death of Stalin, on March 1953. The revolutionary movement splintered nearly everywhere. The dramatic call issued by Ho Chi Minh made evident the damage that had been done and imperialism, through its immense media apparatus, poked the fires of extremism among false revolutionary theoreticians, an area in which US intelligence agencies were to become experts.
Following the arbitrary division, North Korea had been dealt the most rugged part of the country. Each grain of food had to be reaped through sweat and sacrifice. Pyongyang, the capital, had been razed to the ground. Many, who had been wounded or mutilated during the war, were in need of medical attention. They were enduring a blockade and had no resources available. The Soviet Union and other countries of the socialist block were in the process of recovering from the war.
When I arrived at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on March 7, 1986, nearly 33 years following the destruction caused by the war, it was still difficult to believe what had transpired there. That heroic people had constructed myriad things: large and small damns and canals to store water in, generate electricity, service cities and irrigate fields; Thermoelectric plants, large mechanical and other types of industries, many of them underground in the depths of the bedrock, all created through hard, methodical labor. Because of cooper and aluminum shortages, they had been forced to use iron to create electricity-guzzling transmission lines, iron which, in part, was produced from coal. The capital and other cities that had been devastated were reconstructed, inch by inch. I estimated that millions of new homes had been built in urban and rural areas and that tens of thousands of other kinds of facilities had been set up. Countless hours of work were contained in stone, concrete, steel, wood, synthetic products and machinery. The fields I had the opportunity to see, wherever I went, looked like gardens. Well-dressed, organized and enthusiastic people were everywhere, ready to greet visitors. The country deserved cooperation and peace.
There was no issue I didn't discuss with my illustrious host Kim Il Sung. I shall never forget this.
Korea was divided into two parts by an imaginary line. The South was to have a different experience. It was the more densely populated part and endured less destruction during the war. The presence of an enormous foreign military force required the supply of local manufactured and other products, from crafts to fresh fruits and vegetables, not to mention services. The military spending of the allies was huge. The same thing occurred when the United States decided to retain extensive military forces in the country indefinitely. During the Cold War, Western and Japanese transnationals invested considerable sums of money, siphoning out incalculable wealth from the sweat of South Koreans, a people who are as hard-working and industrious as their brothers in the North. The great markets of the world were open to their products. They were not blockaded. Today, the country has high levels of technology and productivity. It has suffered the economic crises of the West, following which many South Korean companies were bought over by transnationals. The austere nature of its people has allowed the State to accumulate significant reserves in hard currency. Today, it is enduring the United States' economic depression, particularly the high prices of oil and food, and the inflationary pressures from both.
South Korea's GDP –787.6 billion dollars– is almost equal to that of Brazil (796 billion) and Mexico (768 billion), countries with abundant hydrocarbon reserves and incomparably larger populations. Imperialism imposed its system upon these nations. Two fell behind; the other made much more progress.
There is hardly any emigration from South Korea to the West. There is emigration en masse from Mexico to what is currently US territory. From Brazil, South and Central America, people emigrate everywhere, in search of employment and lured by consumerist propaganda. Today, they pay them back with rigorous and contemptuous laws.
The position of principles on nuclear weapons supported by Cuba within the Non-Aligned Movement, ratified during the Summit Conference held in Havana in August 2006, is well known.
I met the current leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong Il, when I arrived at the Pyongyang airport. He was standing discretely beside his father, to one side of the red carpet. Cuba maintains excellent relations with his government.
When the Soviet Union and the socialist block collapsed, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea lost important markets and sources of oil, raw materials and equipment. As in Cuba’s case, the consequences were severe. The progress that had been attained through great sacrifices was at risk. In spite of this, they showed themselves capable of constructing a nuclear weapon.
When the nuclear test was conducted around a year ago, we conveyed the government of North Korea our points of view on the damage this could cause poor Third World countries that were waging an unequal and difficult battle against imperialist designs, at a decisive moment for the world. It might not have been necessary. Kim Song Il, at that point, had already decided, beforehand, what he had to do, mindful of the geographic and strategic characteristics of the region.
We are pleased to see North Korea’s declaration on its intentions of suspending its nuclear weapons program. This has nothing to do with the crimes and the blackmail of Bush, who now touts the declaration as proof of the success of his policy of genocide. North Korea's gesture was not aimed at the government of the United States, before which it never budged an inch, but, rather, at China, a neighboring ally, whose security and development is vital for the two States.
Third World countries are interested in the friendship and cooperation between China and the two Koreas, whose union need not be from coast to coast, as was the case of Germany, today a US ally in NATO. Step by step, unhurriedly but indefatigably, as befits their culture and history, they shall continue to knit the bonds that will unite the two Koreas. With South Korea, we are developing more and more ties. With North Korea, these have always existed and we shall continue to strengthen them.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 24, 2008
6:18 p.m.

References: Part I and Part II (English)
Las dos Coreas (parte I) and Las dos Coreas (Parte II) (Spanish)
submitted by cosmic_bolshevik to MarxistCulture [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 23:49 rsch87 Stores with international snacks?

I am looking for any places in that have a good selection of snacks from other countries (chips, crackers, etc, anything individually packaged). I am throwing something together for my preschooler and her friends so I’d like to buy a few different things in larger quantities so everyone can try (versus just 1 bag of each thing). Ideally I can get a variety of snacks/parts of the world across just a store or two, but willing to go to any borough…thanks!!
submitted by rsch87 to FoodNYC [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 21:34 numberland [H] Lots of games, most with links + short descriptions [W] Wishlist games, diamond bundle games, paypal, non-violent games.

IGSRep - GameTradeRep
Have, a lot of games, see below.
Want, in rough order of preference:
Willing to be generous :D
WANTS:
From the Diamond bundle:
For trade for someone else:
Highlights of games you might have from my Steam wishlist:
HAVES:
Potentially 1-3 slots in the Diamond bundle - see above for the games I want
From the Humble Turkish-Syria Earthquake charity bundle
From the Mystery Star Bundle (both versions):
Humble (all unrevealed, unless clicked on by accident):
No longer on Steam/issues with Steam
submitted by numberland to indiegameswap [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 21:24 ourpseudonym SVB’s Collapse Shows the World’s Favorite Safe Asset Isn’t Risk-Free

From bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-29/svb-collapse-shows-us-treasuries-aren-t-a-risk-free-asset?srnd=premium
Look deeper into the latest US banking crisis, and the cause may come as a surprise to anyone still thinking in terms of the crash of 2008. It wasn’t dodgy loans to impecunious homebuyers that sank Silicon Valley Bank. It was a stash of what are thought to be the safest securities on Earth: US Treasuries.
Those loans to the government were, of course, entirely safe in a very important sense. Uncle Sam is going to be good for the cash. (Set aside an unforeseen disaster with the debt ceiling—more on which in a moment.) But the final repayment date of SVB’s bonds was typically years away. The problem is what happens to their price in the meantime. Purchased during a time of ultralow interest rates, those long-maturity Treasuries were always liable to lose their immediate resale value if rates took off. Which they’ve done in a big way over the past year.
The Federal Reserve raised rates at the fastest pace in decades to tame inflation, pushing its key policy rate from about zero to a range of 4.75% to 5%. Treasury prices spiraled downward, since bond prices move in the opposite direction of rates. That’s only an immediate problem for someone who wants to sell a bond before it matures. Unfortunately for SVB, it fell into that category. Its clients, many of whom had much more than $250,000—the cap on federal deposit insurance—at the bank, got nervous and started yanking out their money. SVB could only sell Treasury holdings, as well as mortgage bonds backed by government agencies, at steep losses. The bank collapsed within days.
“We always refer to Treasuries as the world’s safest asset,” says Paul McCulley, the former chief economist for Pacific Investment Management Co. “That’s from the standpoint of credit quality. That’s not from the standpoint of asset price stability. There’s a huge difference.”
Kim Forrest, chief investment officer of Pittsburgh-based Bokeh Capital Partners, says she can’t get over how SVB bankers failed to spot the duration risk they were taking. “It’s kind of head-spinning,” she says. “They have to really know the parameters of what is going to happen to these bonds, given the forecasts for interest rates. What the heck happened? The supposedly bright people out in Silicon Valley couldn’t put that together and do a little calculus?”
Most banks don’t have as many uninsured deposits from jumpy tech startups as SVB did, but US lenders hold more than $4 trillion in government-backed securities. And Treasuries last year posted their worst losses since at least the early 1970s, with the longest-dated ones tumbling almost 30%. That’s one reason fear of bank contagion won’t go away, even after the Department of the Treasury, the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. swooped in to offer emergency protection for all depositors at SVB and New York’s Signature Bank, which collapsed around the same time. Policymakers haven’t said for sure whether other lenders will enjoy the same cover. Deposits have continued to flow out of banks—especially smaller, regional ones. Losses Piled Up at US Banks as Rates Soared
The Fed loaned billions to banks after SVB’s collapse to ensure their liquidity, including new emergency programs that offered generous terms for borrowing against Treasuries and other bonds that had lost value. Essentially, the central bank—which already holds trillions of dollars’ worth of the low-yielding debt issued in the pandemic—was taking even more interest-rate risk out of the banking system.
But the Fed is also pushing ahead with monetary tightening. It raised rates another quarter of a percentage point on March 22. Bond prices have rallied anyway, because markets think Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues will change course. If they don’t, that could spell more losses for Treasuries—and more trouble for banks that hold them.
Rising rates aren’t the only problem in the $24 trillion Treasury market. Another is a long-standing concern about the market’s liquidity—essentially, the ease with which trades can be carried out. Many institutions and businesses count on the Treasury market to function smoothly. The past month’s fear and uncertainty has created near-unprecedented volatility, with the largest swings in some yields seen in 40 years. Liquidity was “significantly compromised,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists told clients in mid-March, as trading in Treasuries surged to a record $1.5 trillion on one day.
There are various explanations of the liquidity problem. Treasury debt has ballooned by more than $7 trillion since the end of 2019, and there’s a widespread belief that the size of the market has outstripped the capacity of bank dealers to keep it orderly. Many say regulations imposed on banks after the 2008 financial crisis have also crimped dealers’ ability to keep enough bonds on hand to make sure buying and selling proceeds without hiccups. The Fed, Treasury and other regulators have been working for years on proposed fixes, but change has been slow in coming.
Then there’s the looming debt ceiling standoff—the possibility that politicians won’t reach a compromise on raising the nation’s self-imposed borrowing limit. Failure to do so before the Treasury runs out of ways to keep funding government spending could potentially trigger an unprecedented default on US public debt and throw a wrench into the global financial system that relies on Treasuries. The 2011 debt ceiling episode spurred S&P Global Ratings to downgrade US government bonds from the top AAA rating, days after a deal to lift the limit and avert default was reached.
The recurring fights in Washington over debt limits may be one reason investors around the world have been showing more interest in potential alternatives to US Treasuries as a safe place to store wealth. Another is America’s aggressive use of financial sanctions, including the freezing of Russian central bank assets after the invasion of Ukraine, which has left some countries that hold lots of Treasuries wondering: Could that happen to us, too, someday? Global alternatives that sometimes get touted include old favorites such as gold, new monetary units based on commodity baskets, or the currencies of other large economies, like China’s yuan—even though it’s hard to make a persuasive case that any of them are better than Treasuries.
For many American investors seeking a risk-free asset, cash seems like the best option. Below the $250,000 cap on FDIC insurance, a bank account is reliable. But many individual and institutional savers alike have over the past months been seeking other options, like higher-yielding US money funds—which just attracted their biggest weekly influx since early in the pandemic. Those funds invest heavily in Treasuries, though at very short maturities that largely protect them from interest-rate risk. As rates go up, the funds can keep rolling over their holdings and pay investors the new higher rates.
How much more volatility is in store for Treasuries—and how much more damage the financial system suffers as a result—mostly hinges on the Fed. History suggests the US central bank has a poor track record when it comes to pulling off a major policy shift without something blowing up. SVB is already Exhibit A for this cycle.
McCulley recalls the wrecking of the US savings and loan industry in the 1980s—smallish mortgage lenders who went bust partly as a result of the same kind of duration risk that’s piled up on bank balance sheets today. He points out that the Fed has been raising rates at the fastest pace since back then, when former Chair Paul Volcker oversaw the inflation fight. And he says his key question for the Fed is this: “For the last year you’ve been channeling Paul Volcker. How much Volcker is too much Volcker?”
submitted by ourpseudonym to investing [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:20 nihansh The Complete Guide to Gold and Its Importance

It has a lustrous metallic sheen and may be easily moulded into bars, coins, or ornaments. It resists oxidation, corrosion, and deterioration. As the saying goes, gold is priceless. So what makes gold so desirable as a mental and literal medium of trade and store of value across the world?
What gives silver such a low priority compared to gold, and what about lowly copper, which has many of the same physical properties? Find out more information about this and other related topics like gold price today in india live.
Investing Gold
Let us cool the gold fever by taking a closer look at the problems that gold investment presents before joining the cause.
The biggest issue with gold is that it is not consumed like other commodities like oil or wheat. Gold, once extracted, remains in circulation forever. Yet, a barrel of oil may be refined into gasoline and other chemicals used in vehicles and aircraft. Our animals and we rely on grains to provide us with nourishment. In contrast, gold is used for adornment, decoration, investment, and safekeeping. Gold's chemical nature makes it impossible to deplete the valuable metal, making it permanent wherever it may end up.
This means that the supply-and-demand reasoning that works for commodities like oil and grains fails when used for gold. In other words, the supply will continue to rise even if there is no further use for the metal.
Precious Metals Investing
Investing in the stocks of gold-mining firms on the stock market is the simplest method to get your feet wet in the gold market. Unlike gold-mining companies, investing in gold bullion won't provide you access to leverage. The profit margins of gold miners may increase significantly when the price of gold rises, allowing for a meteoric rise in mining revenue. Let's say that for $1,000 per ounce of gold, a mining firm has a profit margin of $200. At $1,100 per ounce, a 10% increase in price results in a 50% increase in operating margin for the gold miner, reaching $300 per day.
Of course, there are other concerns with gold-mining equities, such as political risk (because many operate in developing countries) and the challenge of sustaining gold output levels. Pay close attention to the net asset value (NAV) while purchasing ETFs since the purchase price may, at times, far surpass NAV, particularly during market optimism.
Several Alternatives to Take Into Account While Investing
Gold is a haven in times of inflation, but it's far from the sole option. Inflation is good for commodities in general because of their price power. In commodities markets, investing in low-cost producers is the most crucial factor. Inflation-protected securities, such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), are a good option for conservative investors. Your money is safer in the bank, but you don't want to sit on it as inflation eats away at its worth.
Conclusion
Many variables affect the cost of gold. Gold's performance is susceptible to fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar since the precious metal is valued in dollars. Gold prices might fall if demand from overseas is less than expected because of the strong currency. On the other hand, a weakening dollar makes gold more accessible for overseas buyers, which might lead to higher prices. Gold's price may be impacted by the market's anticipation of inflation and the general drop in the value of fiat currencies.
submitted by nihansh to u/nihansh [link] [comments]


2023.03.29 20:04 Harbinger_51 I do a job for the government none of you know about. You should.

It was a beautiful day in the fall, and though being in the middle of nowhere in Ohio isn’t exactly my ideal setting for an assignment, it could have been worse. Opening my windows, listening to music, and getting a good whiff of country air is a nice contrast to being cooped up in cities like I’m used to. The sight of brown stalks of corn populating the miles of fields along the road was welcome, as was the cool and clean smell of the air. It’s a good thing these jobs don’t involve much interaction with people. Unfortunately, some level of interaction is inevitable.
On my way to this one, I got a speeding ticket from a cop at some little local department. Though I was, in fact, speeding, I got the feeling that he also didn’t so much like seeing a fed in his neck of the woods. The local police aren’t a fan of us, so I’ve come to learn. They tend to get suspicious of us, thinking we’re up to some top-secret mission behind their backs. I guess they would be right.
I kept driving down the gravel road until the navigation let me know my destination was coming up on the right. Turning down the radio as I approached, I glanced toward the empty fields and the woods that met them beyond. I then turned into the long dirt driveway leading to our civilians’ house and garage.
I rolled up and parked with my trunk facing the porch. Stepping out, I got another whiff of the fresh country air and looked at the area of operations that lay before me. I was surprised at the amount of land and space that I had at my disposal. Space is good for these jobs. Additionally, I was informed that there weren’t any neighbors close enough to worry about. I couldn’t have asked for a better setting.
After stretching and letting out a light sigh, I decided it was time to get to work. I pulled the keychain out of my pocket and unlocked the front door. It seemed like a nice enough place. It was certainly nothing worth complaining about given the conditions of houses I’ve faced in my previous assignments. I went back outside to my massive, government-issued vehicle and opened the trunk.
I pulled the first couple of duffel bags worth of equipment out and brought them inside. The kitchen was as good a place as any to set up. After making five or six trips of dragging heavy bags and boxes of my junk into the house, I went back outside to open the garage. Thank God we were able to catch this case early and the civilians were able to make it out in time. It also meant I got room in the garage to park this thing. All that remained in the truck was the large metallic box, but I wasn’t going to need that until later.
I shut the trunk and pulled my vehicle into the garage, closing it on my way out. I stepped back into the house where I changed from my suit to my gear. Wearing the suit all day annoys me but I suppose the higher-ups want us to look like good, “friendly” feds to the public. The public has no idea the kind of monsters we are.
I unpacked box after box of equipment and weapons. I loaded up my Glock 17 with its extended 30-round magazine just as I did with my standard .556 rifle. I checked the laser sights on both. All good. Next was my favorite, the.338 with the best scope you could ever ask for. It sure is nice having a virtually infinite budget. Perks of working for the US federal government I suppose. The final firearm I brought was my personal .357 magnum revolver that I kept holstered on my chest. I figure it’s never a bad idea to have one more gun, just in case. Maybe I should have brought more on this one. If things got too close, I always had my hunting knife. I sharpened it that morning before heading out.
The next few hours consisted of me going out into the woods near the house in various places and setting up dozens of my little cameras equipped with motion sensors. They were there to give me an idea of the location of anything that got brave enough to get close to the fields that surrounded the house, I would be able to know about anything that was coming to me. I didn’t take too much caution in setting them up. Things never get interesting until nightfall.
I returned to the house where I turned on my laptop and assured that all the cameras were connected and working. I could see every single one of them from there and would know if anything so much as moved. I then got situated on a chair by the kitchen table, where I opened the window and set up my .338 rifle to watch the fields with.
I suppose it would be worth mentioning why I’m out here, setting up fancy equipment in the woods and loading up an arsenal of guns while I’m alone in a farmhouse that isn’t mine. Let’s back it up.
March 1st, 2017, 3:33 am, Iowa
Dispatch gets a call from a local farmer. He claims to be looking at a figure standing still at the edge of a treeline on his property. The description given by the farmer was that of a man of average stature and build, clothed in a loose black or grey shirt and trousers and a large-brimmed hat.
The farmer tells dispatch that he had awoken abruptly roughly an hour earlier, unspecified as to why. He spotted the figure outside his kitchen window soon after. The figure had been standing near the edge of a row of trees. It was facing the house and hadn’t moved a muscle since the farmer noticed him. The farmer quickly retrieved his rifle and walked out onto his lawn, proceeding to brandish his firearm and tell the trespasser that this property was his and to leave immediately. The farmer, seeing that the man remained unthreatened by his warning and display of a firearm, retreaded back into his home to retrieve his phone and call 9-1-1 as he continued to watch the figure from his porch.
During this call, the farmer’s voice was noticeably nervous and frightened. The desperate tone and quivering speech continued to worsen as he went on explaining the situation to dispatch. Dispatch instructed the farmer to remain where he stood and not to approach the trespasser. Dispatch reassured the farmer that the police were on their way. A few quiet and uneventful minutes passed. Then, without warning, the farmer let out a horrified scream through the phone. The call was disconnected seconds later.
The police began their over 40-minute drive to the residence. Halfway to their arrival, multiple new calls were coming to dispatch from the farmer’s neighbors. They reported seeing a large stack of smoke coming from the farmer’s home, and the closest reported seeing the house on fire.
By the time police arrived, the house had burned to the ground. The fire department arrived shortly after but oddly enough, the fire had completely subsided. What remained was the charred crumbs of what was once a house. The firefighters that arrived on site were bewildered by how quickly the fire must have burned the house. There was no explanation they could fathom.
The police searched the nearby fields and woods for the farmer and alleged trespasser to no avail, however, their search was quickly called back upon the findings of the firefighters in the house. The man’s charred bones were found beneath the rubble but not as they should have been. It became clear after further investigation that the man’s limbs were ripped from his body before it was incinerated at an impossible speed. 4 .308 bullet casings were found where the porch of the house used to be. The rifle was found just outside of the house, unscathed despite its proximity to such a violent fire. Forensics confirmed that the rifle had fired these casings but the bullets themselves were never found.
This was the first, but far from the last.
October 28th, 2017, 11:07 pm, Montana
Dispatch gets a call from a rancher who spotted a woman in an old-fashioned black and white dress and wearing a linen cap. The rancher claimed the woman was standing amongst his cattle and not moving. The rancher expressed no panic or concern for his safety over the phone, but rather a concern for the woman in the field. The rancher also noted that his cattle kept their distance around the woman.
An ambulance arrived at 11:29. Paramedics found no trace of the alleged woman. They walked to the entrance of the rancher’s house and discovered his door to be unlocked and open. After calling for the rancher and getting no response, they stepped inside to be greeted by the corpse of the rancher, hanging from a noose in his stairwell. The man had no history of mental illness and none of his relatives or acquaintances had any reason to believe he was suicidal. Additionally, an autopsy report concluded that both arms were broken in multiple places as well as every finger as if they had been crumpled together by a great force. He could not have tied the noose himself.
November 29th, 2018, 2:06 am, Wisconsin
Dispatch gets a call from another farmer. He had spotted a woman in an old black and white dress and linen cap. The woman had been standing in the long driveway from the road to his house, lit by the lamp that covered it. She stood motionless in the cold, windy, and heavily snowing weather. The farmer and his wife were later found under a collapsed wall of their crumpled house with stones placed on top. They had been placed in a seemingly orderly fashion until there was enough weight to crush their bones.
This happens to be the first incident we have on record with photo evidence. A trail cam owned by the farmer and his wife a few acres away from the house caught a picture the night of the incident. It caught a picture of the woman exactly as the farmer had described. Black and white dress, white linen camp. It looked as though she had stepped through time from hundreds of years before and placed like a mannequin in front of the camera.
May 30th, 2019, Minnesota
September 3rd, 2019, Nebraska
January 4th, 2020, South Dakota
I could go on but the point is that these incidents have been happening more and more frequently and they aren’t stopping. We do know what they are, or at least what they’re supposed to represent to us.
Every single one of these “people” lived in North America during the witch trials. We don’t believe they were the ones who were executed. We believe they were the ones who made the accusations, the ones who got their neighbors killed, the ones who carried out the executions and now they’re back to kill again.
Luckily, my department picked up on these patterns early on and designated a team to deal with them. There are a few hundred of us. I am in the dark about what everyone does exactly. I haven’t met many but I do know that some find potential incidents, some investigate, some deal with the cover-up and handling the publicity, and then, of course, there are the ones you send in to eradicate the problem. That’s where I come in.
I am here to hunt them down, to put them back in their graves so it would seem. Sometimes I get here before they’ve claimed a victim, sometimes after. But their reign of terror comes to an end with me. They’ve never gotten away from me, and I have never failed an assignment. I didn’t plan on this night being any different.
A beep sounded from my laptop screen as an outline from one of the cameras lit up, indicating that the motion sensor detected movement. It had been quiet since I set it up, there was not even the slightest sign of wildlife. No deer, no squirrels, nothing. I leaned forward and intently examined the camera that had been triggered. There was nothing to see. Another sensor triggered. Again, the camera showed nothing. My eyes darted from camera to camera, looking for motion. Another camera triggered, though all that I caught sight of was a shaking tree branch. There was no wind today. Another. This time I saw it. A dog-looking figure darted across the camera in only a few frames, but I knew it was no dog.
I turned my attention from the cameras to the field in front of me, where the movement had come from. I got behind my rifle and looked down the scope to the treeline in the distance. My heart began to pound in my chest at an intense tempo.
I could feel the adrenaline kicking in while I scanned the edge of the field for movement. All that greeted me was the orange glint of the setting sun on the treeline and the tiny shadows of the little stumps of corn stalks in the otherwise empty field. It was silent. Not even a wind accompanied me this evening, though I can’t complain. It’s better for shooting.
For a few minutes, I continued to run my scope along the treeline, occasionally getting a peek with my own eyes. It was during one of these peeks when I noticed a color out of place, in between a couple of trees on the other side of the field—some sort of black-and-white spec that was there not a second before. I lowered my head down, back behind the scope, and centered it. As I steadied the scope, a man-like figure standing at the edge of the field came into focus.
It wore black, tattered rags of clothing that hung loosely on its rigid frame. It stood still, stiff as a board. Its eyes were fixed on something ahead of it. It took me a moment to realize it was focused on me. It didn’t move a muscle, not even blinking as it stared.
I came to my senses and prepared to do my job. I flipped the safety off of my rifle and centered my crosshairs on its chest. I began to breathe deeply, my finger on the trigger, ready to pull but I didn’t take the shot, not yet. I saw it start to move.
Even with the distance between us, my scope made the picture of this figure clear as day. The movement came from only one part of its body; its mouth. First, its crusty lips detached from one another and the mouth began to open. Steadily, it opened more, and more all the while the rest of its body and head remained fixed. Its jaw sank to what should have been all the more it could, but it didn’t stop. It fell further, dipping down below its chest, its skin like a stretched rubber band waiting to snap, though it didn’t, it kept stretching.
Still stiff as a board, the man-like thing remained with its eyes locked on me while its mouth sat open, impossibly wide. It stood still with its hanging jaw for a moment, a moment I shouldn’t have given it. Now I knew I had my target. I began to apply pressure to the trigger before I was stopped, shaken by a force.
A scream, like a choir of souls in despair being dragged off to hell, with the power of a thousand horns sounding the start of a medieval battle rung through the fields. Its volume caused flocks of birds in the nearby trees to fly away in a panic, its bass shuddered through my chest and left me too hypnotized to pull the trigger. I’ll never get used to hearing one of them scream.
“Here we go”
I muttered to myself, the only thought I could conjure from my brain at the moment.
Closing its mouth, it leaped forward and reached for the ground in front of it with its hands fixed like claws. As soon as they met the ground, the feet followed and planted themselves quickly so that it could boost itself forward once again. It had begun its terrible charge. All the while, its face remained fixed on me, rotting teeth exposed and clenched in rage. The speed at which it rushed across the empty field would make a deer running for its life look lazy in comparison, but I was the prey here.
Though my heart began to race at the sight of this abomination barreling toward me, this anomaly of hatred and hunger bound to flesh, I remained calm. I began to steady my breathing, taking control of each breath, in and out.
Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale. Exhale.
Inhale. Exhale.
Squeeze.
The crack of the shot rang out through the dimming sky and the field before me, my response to its enraged scream. I remained fixed on the target, observing the spatter of blood as it shot from its back. It began to scream again, this time rapidly and desperate in tone. I quickly moved the bolt and chambered the next round, accompanied by the soft ring of the brass bouncing on the floorboards under my chair.
Although I managed to land a clean shot to the chest, it didn’t do much. It kept running, keeping on at its same speed. Though now it changed its direction and was running adjacent to my position in the house. It was trying to flank me. It wanted to find a way around my line of sight. I couldn’t let it.
Again, I took control of my breathing. Slowly, I drifted my rifle on the bipod until the creature came back into view. Its limbs pounded at the ground with speed and power as it propelled itself across the field. I’ll never get used to seeing one run either.
Starting behind it, I continued to move the scope, just fast enough to begin gaining on him, just fast enough to let the crosshairs catch up. Inhale. Exhale. The crosshairs slowly began to overtake it. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.
I chambered the next round quickly. This shot brought him to the ground, but it didn’t keep him there. After a short tumble, it rose and began to run again, this time back towards the woods it came from. Inhale. Exhale. Squeeze.
The third shot grazed its back. Frustrated, I chambered another round and took aim, but it was far too late. Before I could even begin to line up my fourth shot, it had taken one final leap from the field back into the treeline it came from.
I let out a sigh and hung my head in disappointment. I knew what I had to do next but I sure as hell didn’t want to. The last flickers of sunlight shone through the open window and lit my .338 rifle as I reloaded the magazine. I sat and stared blankly at the screen in front of me, hoping a camera would pick up some sort of movement that could clue me into wherever it ran off to. Knowing my luck, I shouldn’t have expected it to.
After coming to terms with reality, I stood up and grabbed my .556, slinging it around my body and letting it hang in front of me. I aimed it down, looking through its sight and testing its laser again before checking the chamber. Good to go. Next, I adjusted the night vision set to my head before picking up my .338 and heading for the door. As I stepped outside, I let out another sigh, this one of stress. Hunting these things at night, on their own turf is never as fun, nor as easy as finishing them quickly from a distance but what choice did I have? I just wanted to get it over with.
I flipped down my goggles and switched them on, illuminating the dark field in green and white. I began my long walk across. It took me longer than expected. The speed of that monstrosity caused me to underestimate the size of the field. Each step I took was slow and quiet. I didn’t want the crunch of my feet meeting the dirt and remnants of corn stalks to disturb my hearing. If that thing made a noise, I needed to hear it. If only I could have quieted my incessant heavy, nervous breathing too.
I was not even halfway to the treeline when I reached the first pool of blood, where I had shot it for the second time, and it decided to retreat. Bits of flesh were scattered about the ground, but I didn’t care to stop and look. Instead, I focussed on the blood I could see that led back into the woods.
Any experienced hunter has had to track a deer or two. It can be very frustrating. The trail isn’t always so clear, and you never know how far it has gotten. In my case, I knew this thing was still alive, and it was angry.
I continued my walk, splitting my attention between the blood trail on the ground and the treeline in front of me, scanning for movement and listening. If I was lucky enough, it would have gotten bold and tried to take me down in the field. Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky. Silently, I followed the trail until it met the woods. I stopped walking and calmed myself.
I didn’t want to go past those damn trees, but there was no avoiding it. I had a job to do. I extended the bipod of my .338 and lowered it to the ground before raising the stock of my other rifle to my shoulder. I took a deep breath and resumed my walk, now even slower and more cautious. At least now my heavy breathing would be drowned out by the sound of snapping twigs beneath my feet.
Immediately upon entering the woods, I spotted the next sight of blood. It came from a tree branch, its leaves covered in the dripping crimson liquid. I walked up to observe, only to notice more blood on the branch above that one. And the next. I noticed the pattern and followed each branch up, one by one, each with its leaves covered in blood. Suddenly a mass moved on top of the tree next to the one I was looking up at.
I swung my rifle up, pointing above me at the top of the trees. The mass turned and into view came two glowing eyes, like white lights in my night vision. It opened its mouth again to let out another deafening scream but I raised my rifle and took aim. Its scream was cut short by a bang from my barrel and the thud of the rounds meeting flesh. I was only able to squeeze half a dozen rounds off before it leaped away, to the tops of the neighboring trees.
I kept shooting as it jumped from one tree to another, though within seconds it was out of my line of sight. I charged through the woods after it and watched it leap impossible distances, shaking trees so hard I thought some might snap. All the while I kept trying and failing, to line up a clean shot. The ones I did manage to squeeze off were either misses or ineffective.
Even at the full-on sprint that I managed to sustain for a good few minutes, I was barely able to keep up. I almost abandoned the chase entirely before I saw an opportunity. There was a clearing ahead. A trail. The distance across was far too wide for it to jump. It took a sharp right once it realized this and began jumping from tree to tree along the trail. I rushed into the opening before kneeling to line up a shot. I followed it with my sights, tracking the timing of each leap, and letting t it land and leap once more before it settled on a new tree. I shot off two more rounds as it braced to leap again.
They were perfectly placed and its body tumbled in the air and crashed violently to the ground. Having lined up my sight, I squeezed the trigger again to hear the absence of a gunshot, replaced by the click of the firing pin in the empty chamber. I screamed curses at myself as I quickly exchanged magazines. By the time I looked up, the body was already gone.
I got to my feet and continued down the trail at a jog-like pace with my rifle at the ready. I was beginning to get frustrated more than anything. I’ve put dozens of these things in the ground before, I didn’t understand why was I having such a hard time with this one. As I approached a curve in the trail, I slowed my pace and brought the stock of my rifle back to my shoulder. I approached the curve from the outside of the trail, trying to get a clear view of what was beyond when my head violently snapped to the left.
My vision went suddenly dark and it took me a few moments to realize that I wasn't dead, nor was I unconscious. Something hit my night vision goggles and knocked them clear off of my head, breaking the mount they sat on. My eyes were only beginning to adapt to the dark when another object came flying towards my head, narrowly missing as it whistled forcefully past my ear. It was a rock, around the size of a football. I couldn’t help but glance behind me in astonishment at the object that had nearly decapitated me before turning my attention back to what threw it.
Sure enough, there it was. Standing behind the trees at the corner of the path. I let my anger take control and began to fire rapidly at its torso. My disregard for accuracy hardly mattered at this range. Regrettably, it meant I was now closer than I would have liked and it began to charge. I landed shot after shot. Blood spurted from its back and painted the tree branches and leaves that it passed as it barreled toward me.
Again, my magazine went empty. Instead of bothering to reload a new one, I quickly drew my Glock and continued my rapid fire on the beast. It broke into the clearing and fell to all fours before it leaped forward and ran as it had done in the field. It closed the distance between us in seconds.
A hand clenched around my throat and I was lifted off of the ground like a feather. It kept running, past the edge of the clearing and carrying me into the woods. I continued to pepper it at point-blank range with my pistol. Between shots, I could hear its hysterical laughter directed at my futile efforts. Its face smiled with a look of sadistic insanity.
I continued shooting until my magazine went dry and I was stuck with an empty gun. With nothing else I could do, I began to beat its face with the empty pistol. This seemed to piss it off. It violently threw me through the air. I felt my body snap dozens of branches before I met the ground and rolled uncontrollably.
Recovering quickly, I grasped the rifle still slung around me and replaced the empty magazine with a new one. It was mere feet away from me when I started to fire. I got a few shots off before it grabbed my arm. This time I whipped the barrel of my rifle up, clubbing it hard across the face. It let out a short, irritated scream. I thrust my barrel at the top of its head, knocking it back as it emitted another angry grunt. It reached up with its left arm and tried to grab the barrel before half of its fingers were blown off by my next shot. It recoiled its arm in pain before swinging it back at me.
Upon contact, my rifle flew out of my hands and the sling came undone from my body as it was thrown far into the woods behind me. I attempted to retreat before he grabbed me with his right hand, and what remained of his left around my neck. Again, I was picked up and it carried me, this time only a short distance to a tree. My back cracked as I was slammed into the bark.
It looked up at me and smiled again.
“We killed our sinners, we brought justice to our land. We brought justice for God”
I ignored its foul speech, lifting an arm and hooking it across the face with a firm punch. It had no effect.
“You are all sinners, and you will die for your sins as they did”
Again, I struggled and pummeled its face with everything I could muster but it still did nothing.
“Now go and burn in the lake of fire”
It shouted, before laughing with a dozen sadistic voices all coming from its mouth.
It opened its mouth and its jaw was once again stretched to what should be an impossible level. It lowered me until I was level with it. It moved its open mouth toward my head, shaking with rage. Its teeth now inches from my face. Its breath, foul. With my left arm, I drew my knife, slashing it across the chest before plunging it into its neck. I hooked a punch with my right arm that finally caused it to stumble. It wound up its own punch and let it loose. I narrowly escaped, ducking out of the way before its fist met the tree and went right through, splitting it in half before the wood tumbled to the ground.
I took this opportunity to draw my .357. He recovered from its punch and faced me, pulling the knife from its neck and letting blood spurt and gush. It stared me down as it slowly approached, ready to deliver its finishing blow.
Its head was shaking now, harder than ever in anger, its mouth hung open to half its capacity where it showed its rows of rotting human teeth. I raised my revolver and attempted to steady my sights but I was too shaky. I quickly collected myself. Inhale. Exhale. The front sight became level with the rear. Squeeze.
The recoil caused the gun to rise enough for me to get a look at the damage. I clipped its mouth, in the corner of its jaw. It hung open, with one side detached completely. It wailed in pain as it gargled its blood and crumbled to the ground. I aimed again, cocking the hammer. Squeeze. With the second round, I detached its jaw completely.
“Let’s see you bite me now, fucker”
I painfully muttered with anger. It dropped my knife and was now laying flat on its back, breathing heavily. I approached, cocking the revolver again as I did. It reached out with its mangled hand but I kicked it away before placing my barrel to its skull. Squeeze. And then silence.
After dragging the body back to the field, I spent the next few hours retrieving my lost and damaged equipment, as well as tediously finding every one of my cameras. I then retrieved my vehicle and drove it to the edge of the field. There was just one more thing to do.
I opened my trunk and pulled out the metallic box. I don’t understand why they make these things so goddamn heavy. I opened it and placed the corpse inside before securing the extremely heavy-duty lock. Next was the hole. It wasn’t easy digging after I had been roughed up and tossed around by an undead religious maniac with superhuman strength, but at least this was the last thing I had to do.
I finished digging the hole, placed the metal casket inside, and covered it up. From there, I collected my equipment, packed it up, and took off. Supposedly there’s a cleanup crew that comes in after we’re done with these missions and destroys any bizarre evidence.
I suspect they take the body as well. Where do they take it? What do they do with it? I have no clue but I’ve been strictly reminded to not ask questions on the matter and to just stick to doing my job. Still, I always find myself wondering.
What I have even more questions about is why these things exist in the first place. What the hell is going on? Why them? Why now? Has this been going on for longer than I know? Am I being lied to? What happens next, in the future, if this keeps going on? It’s only been getting worse. They’ve only been popping up more and more frequently. When does it end? Does it end?
I have more questions than I do answers but what I can tell you is that this problem isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s only going to get worse. There are only going to be more of them, not less. The death toll will only continue to rise. People are going to find out sooner or later. It might as well be now. Maybe we will stop them. Maybe this will all come to an end one day, or maybe we are the ones who are all going to meet our end. Either way, I’ll be there to see it.
submitted by Harbinger_51 to FreeToReadCreepypasta [link] [comments]