Wight partner

Todd W. Wight Partner, Rutan & Tucker LLP Orange County, California Area Law Practice 1 person has recommended Todd W. Your weight loss partner will be there to congratulate you for your achievements, as you can do in return. That goes a long way to keeping you motivated and on track. Buddying Up When picking your partner, you may have the most success if you opt for someone who has similar habits and interests. For instance, if you like exercising outdoors in ... Who We Are. Founded in 2009, Wight Partners LLC is a management consulting firm with clients across the country. Originally a general management consulting practice, we now focus exclusively on quality management with an emphasis on ISO implementations and internal auditing. “This collaboration with Wight Ocean is the perfect example of why the NOC’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre was established. “We have worked in partnership with Graham at Wight Ocean to develop a successful funding application and are now contributing NOC expertise into a project with an industry partner to satisfy end-user requirements. Ted Wight joined Brian Martin in the 1990s to form Martin/Wight & Company, LLC. He has earned the designations of Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) Professional, a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), a Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL®) and is an Investment Advisor Representative of MML Investors Services, LLC. Or your partner sabotaging you by suggesting dinner out at your favorite Italian restaurant… Partners Provide Accountability Perhaps one of the best advantages of losing weight as a team is the accountability factor. Partner with the most trusted name in weight loss Earn money the easy way - join the WW.com Affiliate program! Our program is FREE to join and easy to set up. Increase your revenue by connecting your visitors to WW, a brand with over 50 years experience developing safe, easy-to-follow weight loss plan. Join the Affiliate Program

A possible scene?

2020.07.27 04:17 BellumGladii A possible scene?

A scene I would love to see, but you know better written and by Will:
Lindon had just settled down to cycle when Eithan strolls into the room with the standard grin on his face. Lindon groans internally and stops cycling. “I think the depth of your core is sufficient now that can possible give you a thousand eyes and ears” Eithan whispers conspiratorially once he had closed the door and with a grimace adds “and tongues…sadly”. [The sounds interesting, I wonder if that will let me taste things] Dross mused as Lindon started to voice a question his curiosity peaked. “But first you need to empty your pure core completely” Eithan said before Lindon could get a word out “So go find a sparring partner but don’t strain your channels they will need to be fresh” Lindon’s thoughts immediately went to thinking about Yerin’s preparing to leave for sage training. “Apologies but most people have left” Lindon started before being cut off. “Hey!” Lindon quickly turned to see who had cut him off, an startled as he saw Fury radiating the power of an Underlord “I can help with that, I know a training arena we can use” Fury continued placing a hand on Lindon shoulder and gently guided him to the door. “Apologies” Lindon started before Fury cut him off “Don’t worry about it, this will be fun” Reluctantly Lindon let himself being guided knowing that he would learn something. *** Awesome Will Wight fight scene *** Battered Lindon staggered back to his room, his body inefficiently healing burses and bones with his black flame core. [Not many people get to walk away from a fight with a Herald] Dross consoled him. Opening the door, he saw Eithan lounging shipping a cup of tea, the table in front holding a box with scales that he must have made himself from the presence they were radiating. “Perfect” Eithan exclaimed after probing his spirit “now we can begin!” Eithan rolled up his sleeve and held out his arm “Fill your core and that should be sufficient for you to get a little of my bloodline power yourself”
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2020.07.25 15:21 boredoftryy Elf Nazis must die, part one of three

This story isn't mine, but from an old acquaintance that wrote it first in his blog, and after reading it I knew I had to share it with everyone here. I'm going to write it as he wrote it when he first told me about it in his page. I'm just translating to English. (PS: Internet minipoint for anyone who gets the reference of this title).

"Rolemaster sesion. The Master, who we'll call Master Mammon, prepares our character sheets as we told him we wanted them.
-Charles, you have an elf witch, beautiful marvelous maiden with long hair that blah, blah, blah, and a beauty that shrinks hearts that blah, blah, blah...
-Adolf and Txus, you have your elven explorer and bard, with long hairs and powerful muscles that blah, blah, blah...
And with obvious disgust and disappointment in his voice the Master tells me:
-Henry, you have your human rascal, bad-tempered, haired and ugly.
The session begins, and we're traveling through a desert and I am the porter, or so it seems, probably because my character was too idiot to do anything else. The thing is, we are ambushed because of the elf witch and her elvish maiden ideas: this means, idiotic.
While she escapes crying (??) the rest have to fight against some bandits, and after finishing the combat the two elves lie poisoned, and I, after registering the bandits, go in search for the witch, who right now is crying near a bush.
-Do not worry m'lady, the battle has ended, it is not your fault...
-¡SHUT UP, SCUM! -*slap sound*
After that I don’t talk anymore with the deranged elf, and after making a pair of stretchers I drag during two days through the desert the two fallen elves that I care and help because the witch is too deranged and sad to do anything. Finally we reach an isolated temple where the monks receive us and heal the two wounded (despite being humans, they were elfish-c*** sucking monks, because while the two injured and the crazy bitch have a room, I sleep at the door).
After some days, the recovered elves come to see me and I was happy because I thought that they were going to thank me for saving their lives but they say:
-Human, do not ever speak like that again to the witch, you are a miserable…
-But, but… I saved you, and I didn’t tell her anything!!
-SHUT UP, scum!!- *slap sound*
And I told myself “This is my limit!” so I take off my shortsword and I begin combat… despite that, the Master doesn’t give me the opportunity for a surprise attack, and lets them act before. But because they fail and the rolls were on everyone’s sight (if they were to be hidden, goodbye me), their attacks fail and I pierce the explorer’s neck, who falls dead. The bard then tries to cast something but I cut his throat in less time that it takes to say “Jesus” and that’s the end. But NOOOOOOOOO, the Master, crying, tells me:
-Wait, wait, don’t kill them, let’s change that because the adventure is already very advanced and I don’t want to introduce new PCs, come one, please…
And I, silly me, say:
-Fine, let’s rewrite this a bit- (dunno, I kick them or something)
And the Master suddenly says:
-The two elves take the miserable human and give him a death beating leaving him in the middle of the sand bleeding…
We leave behind the temple where the elves were healed and where they gave me that terrible beating. They kept treating me like pure sh*t, despite I saved their lives once, forgave them another time, and because they had spent all their resources in social abilities and appearance they didn’t know how to do anything, I had to be in charge of hunting, exploring and even cooking while they boasted in front of the elf witch what a good explorers they were.
One day we camp between some ruins, and by things of fate one of them found a tomb where there was inscribed something that I can’t remember but can be translated as “If you steal from me, I beat the sh*t out of you”. I found the inscription revealing, so I decided not to touch anything from that treasure that they could find; and what’s more: go to sleep at 30 meters from the ruins in case the elves’ greed doomed us all. They of course opened the tomb and sacked the treasure from a king, who anyone would say that he was three elves when he was alive because casually there were inside the most desired objects for each one of them (and for the human, not even pocket change). So, they loot the tomb and begin to mock me saying that I’m a sh*itty human, a coward, a good-for-nothing, etc… And I was ignoring them, looking at the master like saying “Do you want me to throw you to the fountain?” (a story I’ll tell in other occasion).
The thing is that then the wight appeared and attacked the elves ferociously while I was laughing my ass off, and here is where the surrealist moment begins. The wight throws its lethal cold attack against one of the elves, whose blood literally freezes in his veins, typical direct death crit. But then the wight suffers a strange mental change, and turning around it begins to throw its ice rays against me, despite I’m not in the ruins, I haven’t touched its treasure, nor done anything. And not one, neither two, but ray after ray without stop, freezing me one leg first, then part of the torso, and at last killing me after twelve rounds of intense agony. I don’t understand the strange behavior of the wight, which is ignoring the thieves that have stolen its things, and I’m ready to leave completely offended, but before I say: “Well, now that it has killed me what’s going to do?” But then, while the fight has been happening, the elf that is not frozen has been hitting it without worries, flanking it during many rounds until he kills it, since the wight doesn’t mind anyone in its blind obsession to destroy me.
Obviously I was shocked with such a cheap fight, but at least I’m a bit calmed down thinking that one of the elves is dead too, but now is when the witch, who has been the whole fight doing nothing, stupidly sniveling says:
-Master, can’t I do anything?
And the master happily tells her:
-Throw a ray to your elf partner, because that magic charge shall reactivate his heart and unfreeze his blood, returning him to life.
And of course, since they’ve watched many chapters of Emergency Room and decide to ignore like 12 physical reasons that disable that idea, the witch throws the ray and magically the other elf recovers just in time to share the XP from the wight among the three of them.
And what about the poor human? I suppose that my corpse was used as a popsicle by some thirsty desert camel.”
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2020.07.16 22:08 zombie_wonderland A list of some surprising good fantasy books involving pirates.

Perhaps nowhere does storytelling so totally reverse reality as when it deals with pirates. It’s difficult not to like swashbuckling rogues tweaking the noses of the uptight British ninnies as they ply their brave way across the wild, lusty seas.
Of course, actual pirates were about as romantic as the tortures they would inflict on prisoners, including holding lighted matches to the victim’s eyes or keel-hauling, where a sailor had a rope tied to each arm and thrown off the bow of a ship. The unfortunate was then dragged along the length of ship, scraping against the sharp barnacles and probably drowning.
Fun fact: “Avast!” means “Stop!” or “Stand still!” not “Hello, fellow pirate!”

21. Corsair by Chris Bunch – 2001

Swashbuckling captain Gareth Radnor has taken command of the Steadfast. But the young captain intends more than seeking his fortune. He wants vengeance against the Linyati slavers who murdered his family. Crewed by a motley band of adventurers, his carrack plunges through the salty waves, striking at the Linyati wherever it can.
And then he discovers something more compelling even than revenge: The Linyati aren’t human…
“Hard edged, salty… a fantasy adventure that will keep you up at night reading.”
—Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara series

20. The Mark of Ran by Paul Kearne – 2004

Book 1 of 2 in The Sea Beggars Series
In a world abandoned by its Creator, an ancient race once existed, with powers so extensive that they were seen as both angles and demons. Rol Cortishane was raised in a remote fishing village, ignorant that the blood of this long-forgotten race runs in his veins. Driven from home, Rol is trained in the assassin’s craft and tutored by the beautiful but troubled Rowen. Now they’ve set their sights across the sea in search of the Hidden City and an adventure that will make them legends, if it doesn’t kill them first.
In the non-fantasy world, the Sea Beggars (the name of this series) really existed. They were a confederacy of Dutch nobles, who, from 1566, opposed Spanish rule in the Netherlands. They arrived in large numbers to complain to the king, but some wit told the ruling Spanish regent not to worry, for the large group was “only beggars.” The angry group of nobles did not forget the appellation and henceforth called themselves the Beggars. The most successful Beggars operated at sea (i.e., were pirates) and were known as the Sea Beggars.

19. Of Shadow and Sea by Will Wight – 2015

Book 1 of 2 in The Elder Empire Series
The Guild of Navigators (i.e., swindlers and pirates) has been paid a fortune to secure the Heart, a cursed artifact that will give wild power to its bearer. The Guild’s only lord is greed, their only loyalty to gold, and they would sell the Empire’s freedom for the promise of a quick coin.
Author Will Wight is well regarded for his likable characters and irreverent tone. Most epic fantasies tend to be high-minded and serious, but Wight has a decidedly more down-to-earth approach.

18. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton – 2009

I’m not a giant Michael Crichton fan. Generally, I think his ideas and research are more interesting than the actual books he creates. This one’s fun, though.
This book was unknown until after Crichton’s death—his assistant found it on a computer. However, there’s evidence Crichton was working on it, on and off, since the 1970s.
Pirate Latitudes is a caper novel set in the high seas with a strong regard to the reality of the times. Because of this, it probably doesn’t belong in a fantasy list like this one. However, it’s a damn fine pirate tale, and that’s good enough for me.
The Historical Novel Society notes: “Crichton’s portrayal of Port Royal and its inhabitants is far more grounded in reality than Disney’s portrayal. Crichton does not gloss over the slavery, addiction and brutality of colonial Jamaica, nor does he endow his characters with abilities beyond their training or station in life.”
So don’t expect Jack Sparrow.

17. The Fox by Sherwood Smith – 2007

Book 2 of 4 in the Inda Series
You might want to read the first book in the series, Inda, before diving into this one.
Young prince and military genius Inda, forced to turn mercenary after conspirators engineered his exile from Choraed Elgaer, is gathering allies for a sea campaign against the piratical Brotherhood. But Inda’s attention soon shifts toward the ambitious Venn Empire, which wants to use him as a political pawn.
The hardcover version of this book is significantly cheaper than the paperback. Go figure.
“[L]ively… spare yet complex characterizations and a narrative that balances sweeping action and uneasy intimacy.”
—Publishers Weekly

16. Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding – 2011

Book 1 of 3 in the Tales of the Ketty Jay Series
This is magical steampunk, so it’s a little nuts. I mean that as a compliment.
Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. They are all running from something. Crake is a daemonist in hiding, traveling with an armored golem and burdened by guilt. Jez is the new navigator, desperate to keep her secret from the rest of the crew. Malvery is a disgraced doctor, drinking himself to death. So when an opportunity arises to steal a chest of gems from a vulnerable airship, Frey can’t pass it up. It’s an easy take—and the payoff will finally make him a rich man.
But when the attack goes horribly wrong, Frey suddenly finds himself the most wanted man in Vardia, trailed by bounty hunters, the elite Century Knights, and the dread queen of the skies, Trinica Dracken. Frey realizes that they’ve been set up to take a fall but doesn’t know the endgame. And the ultimate answer for captain and crew may lie in the legendary hidden pirate town of Retribution Falls. That’s if they can get there without getting blown out of the sky.
“Beautifully crafted prose and some remarkably imaginative scenes…and Wooding’s sprawling, multifaceted world and rough-and-tumble action will delight steampunk fans.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

15. The King’s Buccaneer by Raymond E. Feist – 1992

Book 5 of the Riftwar Cycle
Long recovered from the ravages of the Riftwar, the land and people of the kingdom of the Isles thrive. Nicholas, the youngest son of Prince Arutha, is intelligent and gifted but vastly inexperienced. In hopes of hardening him, his father sends him and his irreverent squire, Harry, to live at rustic Castle Crydee to learn of life beyond the halls of privilege. But within weeks of Nicholas and Harry’s arrival, Crydee is viciously attacked by unknown assailants, resulting in murder, massive destruction, and the abduction of two young noblewomen. The raiders have come from a pirate haven and are no ordinary foe, while an enemy connected to dark magical forces threaten the lands Nicholas will someday rule—if he survives.
“Feist once again delivers a superior, rousing adventure.”
—Publishers Weekly

14. The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser – 1983

The Pyrates is satire, send-up, and love-letter to what swashbucklers have become. It’s a Naked Gun take on Errol Flynn pirates. If you don’t know what “Naked Gun” or “Errol Flynn” is then I envy you because you’re about to discover some great stuff.

13. Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson – 2008

Book 1 of 3 in the Isle Chronicles
Captain Declan Ross searched for riches that will free him and his headstrong daughter, Anne, from the piracy business forever. Bartholomew Thorne, an infamously ruthless pirate, seeks to destroy Ross and any who stand in his way of the legendary treasure hidden by a mysterious order of monks.
Despite featuring a scene where a monk gets skinned alive, this book won a “Mom’s Choice Award” for family-friendly entertainment. Depends on the family, I guess.

12. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch – 2007

Book 2 of 3 in the Gentlemen Bastards Series
Initially poised to rob the Sinspire, the notoriously thief-proof casino where the penalty for cheating is death, Locke and his partner, Jean, are unwillingly sidetracked into joining and then leading a pirate crew, swindling their way across the sea as they had previously done on land.
“[C]harming, unpredictable and fast on its feet and stands surprisingly well on its own given its convoluted plot.”
—Publishers Weekly

11. Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe – 2007

Fresh from the monastery, the former novice finds himself inexplicably transported back to the Golden Age of Piracy, where an unexpected new life awaits him. At first, he resists joining the notorious Brethren of the Coast, but he soon embraces the life of a buccaneer, even as he succumbs to the seductive charms of a beautiful and enigmatic señorita. As the captain of his own possibly cursed ship, he plunders the West Indies in search of Spanish gold. From the stormy waters of the Caribbean to steamy tropical jungles, Captain Chris finds danger, passion, adventure, and treachery as he hoists the black flag and sets sail for the Spanish mainland.
Where he will finally come to port only God knows…
“Wolfe…[fills] his story with duels, treachery, ship-to-ship combat and an abundance of accurate period detail.”
—Publishers Weekly

10. The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick – 2008

Book 1 of 4 in the Cathrand Voyage Series
Six hundred years old, the Imperial merchant ship Chathrand is a massive floating outpost of the Empire of Arqual. And it is on its most vital mission yet: to deliver a young woman whose marriage will seal the peace between Arqual and its mortal enemy, the Mzithrin Empire. But Thasha, the young noblewoman in question, may be bringing her swords to the altar.
For the ship’s true mission is not peace but war—a war that threatens to rekindle an ancient power long thought lost. As the Chathrand navigates treacherous waters, Thasha must seek unlikely allies—including a magic-cursed deckhand, a stowaway tribe of foot-high warriors, and a singularly heroic rat—and enter a treacherous web of intrigue to uncover the secret of the legendary Red Wolf.
“Insane god-kings, miniature warriors and sentient animals fight over a powerful ancient artifact in Redick’s dramatic, complex debut… Both adult and young adult readers will find much to enjoy in this tale of sea-faring and bloody diplomacy.”
—Publishers Weekly

9. Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini – 1922

Book 1 of 3 in the Captain Blood Series
This book is a little more subtle than its title would suggest.
Dr. Peter Blood, is an Irish physician who was once a sailor and a soldier. In the aftermath of the Monmouth rebellion, Dr. Blood is arrested for treason. While he did not actually participate in the rebellion, rather he aided a wounded rebel, he is tried and convicted nonetheless. The sentence for treason is death, but King James II has the sentence commuted and instead sells Captain Blood and his fellow rebels into slavery.
“Glorious… I never enjoyed a novel more than Captain Blood.”
—Norman Mailer

8. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark – 2012

Book 1 of 2 in The Assassin’s Curse Series
Ananna abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiancé. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.
And when the assassin Naji finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse—with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.
“Clarke’s debut harkens back to the best in fantasy/adventure, offering rock-solid worldbuilding, satisfyingly perilous obstacles and a protagonist whose charismatic ’tude goes way beyond spunk. Ananna’s voice grabs readers from the beginning…and doesn’t let go.”
—Kirkus (starred review)

7. Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb – 1998

Book 1 of 3 in The Liveship Traders Series
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships—rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. Now the fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship, Vivacia.
For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy. But the fate of Althea and the ship may ultimately lie in the hands of a ruthless buccaneer who plans to seize power over the Pirate Isles by capturing a liveship and bending it to his will.

6. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne – 1870

While his description of this new thing called a “submarine” is fun even for modern readers, it’s the brilliant but tortured Captain Nemo who steals the show as one of, if not the, best pirate in English literature.

5. The Walrus & the Warwolf by Hugh Cook – 1988

Book 4 of 6 in the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness Series
On his 16th birthday, churlish Drake Douay finds himself exiled from his homeland amid a treacherous crew of pirates on the open sea. Through battles with sea monsters, mysterious cults, weird technology of a bygone age, and the warring gangs of two pirate lords, Drake explores a world of dark fantasy and betrayal with his keen wit and a sharp sword—his only protection from an early death.
Readers are usually divided: this is either one of their favorite books, or the long litany of adventures becomes boring after a while.

4. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed – 2012

Book 1 in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms Series
A finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Crawford, Gemmell, and British Fantasy Awards, and the winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel.
The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion, a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. But these killings are only the earliest signs of a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn the great city of Dhamsawwaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.
“Ahmed’s debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

3. Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey – 2008

In a world where infants with magical powers are torn from their parents to be raised by the mysterious and powerful Danisoba, who have a monopoly on magic, Kestrel has managed to keep her abilities concealed—and herself free. First hiding in back alleys as a street urchin, she hid when they killed her parents, and then served as a young tavern maid before escaping to sea, where magic is cancelled by water.
Now an adult, and the quartermaster of a pirate ship, Kestrel loves the freedom of living on the seas. But her way of life could end if anyone on board learns her closely guarded secret—that she has magical control over the wind.
One day a black ship appears, and her life changes. Its captain is a handsome rogue of whom Kestrel is strangely, constantly aware. When Kestrel’s captain is led into a trap and is arrested, she gathers her crew and sets sail in relentless pursuit…
“This rollicking debut combines swashbuckling sea adventure, fantasy and romance with great success.”
—Publishers Weekly

2. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie – 1904

Sure, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are great, but it’s the enmity of the pirate Captain Hook that makes this story exciting.

1. On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers – 1987

This is the inspiration of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but it’s different in many ways and stands well on its own.
Puppeteer John Chandagnac, bound for Jamaica to recover stolen money from his uncle, becomes Jack Shandy after pirates attack his ship and force him to join their crew. Shandy’s struggle to accept his new life grounds the story for readers, even as Blackbeard and vodun magicians whisk everyone away to dreamlike lands where the Fountain of Youth itself awaits.
“Powers writes action and adventure that Indiana Jones could only dream of.”
—Washington Post
Blog link.
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2020.06.21 22:07 DenMan_PH Oaths: A tale of two brothers. 1.15

The tunnel was not dug with Drakon in mind, made painfully evident as the brothers found themselves shrinking ever more inward to keep moving through it.
The tunnel and its design were foreign to both the Drakon and Sol. Had either of their homes been in the industry of mining, they might have drawn a connection to the packed dirt and stone walls, clearly dug purposefully. As well as the wooden support beams that kept the roof from collapsing that the brothers had to continuously duck under.
They were on edge, not afraid, thanks to the work of the Oath. But none of them had been beneath the earth before, and the experience left them uneasy, compounded by the sense they were walking into a trap. What else could it be? But there was nowhere else to go but forward. Going back was not an option.
They squinted in the darkness, only able to find their way due the linear nature of the tunnel, stumbling forward as they did so.
Then the screams began.
It was as if someone had suddenly turned on the sound for them to hear, or if they'd crossed some threshold sound could not pass.
They were pleas, shouts of pain, and if one listened, weeping.
The three increased their pace, but as they moved forward, it was as if suddenly the sound was coming from behind them.
Argus spoke before they could get themselves turned around, "Keep going forward, it must be a trick." he grimaced, hoping he was right.
Eventually, the tunnel brought them to a door, a flimsy wooden thing, shoddily made.
The tunnel continued past it, but before they could decide on whether to keep going or to investigate the door, a voice spoke out from behind it.
"Do come in." its guttural and gravelly voice seeped from the spaces in between the door’s boards.
A shout of pain echoed down the tunnel.
Argus reared up and kicked down the door, pointing his sword forward. "Where are they?" he steeled himself, preparing for some assault on his mind or charming effect.
None came, an undead sat at a rickety desk behind the door.
A Zombie, for it, did not have the unique blue-glowing eyes of a wight. It appeared to be in the middle of paperwork of all things, writing information down in a massive ledger with a leather cover.
"Well." The corpse, that of a middle aged woman with jade skin, smiled. "That was rude, but I suppose nothing particularly valuable was lost."
Argus hesitated, but then gave her a hard look. "Where are they?"
"Who? The prisoners?" She shrugged. "I'll tell you for a price."
Argus hesitated again, he wasn't sure what he'd been expecting. But an attempt to barter hadn't been it.
Another cry of pain, but now a different voice than the last one. This one was masculine and vaguely familiar.
"What is the price?"
"Tell me where your tribe is located." She met his eyes as she spoke the words, but dipped her quill in ink well as she did so and went back to writing.
Argus blinked, his anger spiked in addition to his confusion. "Why would I… No."
The woman looked at him and shrugged, looking not at all disappointed. "Okay."
Argus blinked, his anger petered out. Leaving hardly anything but confusion. Before his eyes narrowed and he demanded. "Tell us where they are!"
"Tell me where your tribe is."
"No!"
And she shrugged again, continuing to work. Before looking up and asking. "You're about seven feet tall, yes?"
Argus was unbalanced, looking to his brother and Sol for clarification on what was happening but receiving none from his equally confused partners.
"I'll mark that as a yes, twins? The two of you?" She gestured between the two Drakon. "Hmm. Shame about the Oaths, hard to salvage those. But you're big, so Wights for you."
She turned her head to Sol, somehow looking down her nose at him despite being situation lower than him in her seat.
"Hate clerics," She murmured. "So much lost potential. Zombie for you then." She wrote a handful of notes down.
Argus began to shift back into ire and stabbed his sword forward. "Tell us where they are!"
She eyed him with annoyance, "Tell me where your tribe is."
His sword began to glow, a red heat from his Oath's Sun chased into the blade. The desk she was working on beginning to smoke as he pressed the weapon's point into it.
"I can make you tell me," he spoke with eyes that burned with fury.
She looked up at him, then laughed. In that same guttural, damaged voice. "What are you going to do? Kill me?"
She turned her eye to the sword, and her desk, and made a noise of vague approval as Argus sputtered, underlining a word he now had the angle to see as 'wight.'
Argus's eyes narrowed, "Yes."
She mimed an exaggerated look of fear, "Oh no, whatever will I do!" before rolling her rotting eyes with a snort.
He scowled if he couldn't threaten her..."Why?"
She looked at him, a raised brow. "Why?"
"Why do you wish to know where my tribe is?"
"So you do have a tribe? And it's close?"
He set his jaw and asked again. "Why?"
She hummed, resting her chin in her hand. "Drakon makes excellent undead, naturally armed and armored. After we kill you two, we'll have an ample supply of ideal wight bodies, or perhaps even some ghouls."
Again Argus was shocked, blinking at the woman, then suddenly preparing to strike her down for even thinking of the thing she described.
Another shout echoed down the hall, thankfully the same voice. But it was growing weaker.
Argus eyed the woman, then lifted his sword and held it above the book she was writing in.
"I'll burn the book."
She didn't freeze, but she looked up at him with more annoyance now, before sighing. "We'll find out after you're dead then. Just keep going down the tunnel you fools."
He scowled at her and then drove the now red blade into the book.
"Hey!" she shouted, standing. But the book quickly caught flame.
He turned and left the room, as the undead woman tried to put the book out as they left, continuing through the tunnel.
The unease of the two Drakon grew as they moved forward, the realization that their kind and specifically their tribe and family may be pursued for function as necromancer’s preferred foot soldiers haunted them.
Argus felt an urge to turn back and slay the undead woman, whatever the odd creature was. As she was clearly no normal zombie.
But his training and presumptions of how undead worked had been handily shattered between both this new woman and the other who called herself Dore and so chose not to act rashly.
They continued to push down the hallway and eventually came to a junction.
"So much for 'keep going down the tunnel.'" Argus grumbled, but frankly, he was somewhat relieved. It meant he could neatly categorize the undead woman as an enemy, which he had assumed, but not known.
"Let me try." Sol offered. Before raising his hands up, channeling his goddess's favor in the darkness. "My lady, please, quicken our stride. Give us now your light to guide."
Sol tensed, then grimaced, a frown that seemed to grow with small drops of sweat forming on his head. "Something is trying to stop me..." despite this claim, hardly a moment later an orb of pale yellow light appeared hovering above his head, it slowly grew from snowflake size to about the size of Sol's hand.
The orb traveled somewhat down the left path of the intersection before vanishing once more.
"I'll summon it once more if we need it." Sol began answering the unasked question of why it had vanished. "But it's too taxing to keep up while fighting through whatever they're using to try to stop it." He wiped his forehead. "Where we are is also making it difficult, below the earth is not the domain of stars, suns or moons."
Asgar and Argus nodded, only vaguely understanding what he meant, but they followed where the light had traveled. The sounds of the pained man still echoing out in impossible directions.
They traveled quickly and soon found a pair of undead guards barring their entry to a door.
For once, the craftsmanship of the door was not lackluster, though neither was it anything special. It did look like a poor fit to the entryway surrounding It. As if it and its frame had been lifted from where it was intended to be and placed here. In fact, Sol, who had a passing knowledge of carpentry, suspected this was precisely the case.
Asgar found himself in front of the zombies before either Sol or Argus could fire off a spell or cover the distance. And struck outward at the first one with his ax.
The zombie was bisected with ease that surprised him, and almost threw him off-balance.
As the second shambled forward, he bashed outward with the shield. Smashing the zombie into the wall, pulverizing flesh and bone as it slid down in a heap.
Argus blinked at his brother, who looked back at him with surprise.
It wasn't just a mental effect. The strength of his Oath felt real.
Asgar turned and kicked at the door, blasting a hole through it and hopping on one foot so as not to fall as he disentangled himself from the door.
Argus strode forward and opened the door. Stepping in as his brother- somewhat who was now slightly embarrassed over his fumble, followed him in.
Any childish embarrassment vanished as they looked into the room, for they were looking at a sacrificial chamber.
Where the underground complex they had been searching through had packed dirt and naturally occurring stone, the room they entered deviated from this, as the walls of the circular room were made with stone brick.
Inbedded in these stone walls were prison cells, guarded by heavy oaken doors and wooden frames.
In the center of the doors were square windows, bared by iron bars.
Looking through these, they could see the interior of the cells, from which both red-skinned and pale bark-covered faces looked outward.
In the center of the room sat a wooden pillar, from which manacles had been nailed into.
Manacles presently filled by a beaten and bloody human the brothers recognized, Singard, the thief who had stolen their money from them. And he was covered in dozens- maybe hundreds of small cuts across his body.
And surrounding him were a half dozen other humans.
If they were to type to be involved in fantastical stories, or even true ones, they'd have imagined the half dozen humans armed with daggers to be dressed in robes, with masks fashioned like those of skulls.
Instead, they looked normal. Albeit bloody from their work, wearing work aprons more appropriate for a butcher, rather than people sacrificing something to a deity.
The six humans turned to the brothers, looking at them with uncertainty.
"Who are you?" An overweight, balding man called.
Argus's eyes locked on a small mound of corpses off to the side, then the surrounding circle, flooded in a layer of blood.
Asgar looked at his brother and the raging inferno that was beginning to emanate off of him. He leaned into his own Oath. The weight of his mantle grounding him, so as to not be carried off by his brother's rage as he called out. "Drop your weapons and surrender now!"
The man sneered, walking forward. "Are you more criminals then? We’ll sacrifice you like the rest!”
His companions seemed more hesitant than the man before the trio, shooting glances at the invading half-naked, mud-covered Paladins and Cleric.
“Criminals?” Argus snarled. “What crime did they commit?”
“They rejected the love of our master! Virion is the only god that truly cares! The new god of justice! To reject him is to reject all that makes us more than animals!”
Asgar looked at his two companions, both were visibly simmering with rage. But whether Sol's wrath was his own, or if he was just being carried along with the wave of anger coming from his brother, Asgar was unsure.
The paladin reached out and put a hand on his brother's shoulder. "Argus, they could be charmed."
The aura from Argus sputtered, the wave of anger relenting somewhat as Argus ground out.
"As my brother said, surrender. Knives will not pierce our scales. You cannot stop us."
"Can't they?" a guttural voice spoke out from behind him.
The undead woman stepped out from the tunnel behind him, she smiled and spoke. "A shame you didn't go down the right tunnel, I had a party red for you."
As she spoke, more figures came out from the darkness behind them, a trio of scorched undead, a corpse missing its head, and a dozen others following behind her.
Argus eyed the suddenly far more confident humans on the other side of the room, then turned and appraised her. "I should have slain you," he spoke almost glumly.
She shrugged. "If it makes you feel any better, it wouldn't have made much of a difference. One less undead to fight you."
Argus sighed in relief. "You aren't the leader then."
She smiled back at him. "I didn't say that."
The balding man called out. "Snake! Call more of the risen and crush these intruders!"
The trio's concerns spiked at the name of 'snake.' But the woman replied to the balding man. "Why? You're here."
The man's eyes bulged. "You expect us to fight these monsters with only a dozen of the risen?"
She blinked at him, then looked to the cohort of undead following her. "Well, I suppose I could let these..." she turned and counted, with agonizing slowness in the standstill.
"...fifteen, help you." She scratched her rotting chin in thought, taking a small chunk of flesh away as she did, which she flicked away with an afterthought.
A woman from the human group squeaked out. "You didn't intend to help us from the start?"
"no, why would I?"
"But... you're on our side!"
The woman shrugged. "I don't need you to be alive to be on my side, and Father Elliot isn't here to reprimand me if I let you die."
The humans looked at each other, slightly anxious once more after seeing the blatant indifference by their supposed protector.
Argus turned his gaze back to them. "You can still surrender, These..." He pointed to the band of undead guarding the entryway but hesitated as he saw the two his brother had slain at the door rising once more.
The undead woman waved him off "No, go ahead. I just totally forgot about these ones."
Argus squinted, and he ground his teeth as he pushed his aura into the blade, causing it to glow visibly red with heat. "...These will not be able to stop us. and neither will you."
Humans looked at each other, and the balding man shouted at the Drakon. "We'll see!" then began with a rhythmic incantation."With this power, you've granted me to wield, by your will, my faith-"
Sol called out, "He's a cleric!"
As Sol spoke, the five other humans began their own chants.
Argus charged them, calling out to his brother. "Stop the undead!" as he danced forward and slashed down at the balding man.
Just as the strike was about to connect, a shield of ethereal light formed, repelling his glowing blade, before it suddenly rushed forward, floating in the air smashed into him, causing him to stumble back.
The female cleric who had spoken earlier finished her chant. "-a divine weapon!" suddenly a sword and ethereal match to the shield launched out from her palm as if she'd thrown it.
Argus ducked under the flying blade and smashed into the floating shield with his own, and with a grunt, began pushing it back.
Sol called out his own chant, ducking under another summoned spectral sword as he did. "Oh, My Goddess of Illumination! Bring these wretched souls a holy cremation!"
Three blasts towards the enemy clerics, two of which were absorbed by summoned shields, splattering against them like water.
But the third lanced through the throat of the young, pale-faced man. Who fell to the earth with a gurgle, causing the spectral sword he'd only just created to vanish with a vague popping sound.
A young woman beside him cried out in a grief-filled voice, "Adrian!" before turning at Sol and calling her shield to rush at him.
It smashed into his chest, throwing him to the ground.
He rolled to the side as the shield slammed down, pulling in air and beginning his chant again, throwing out another blast of three rays of heat and light at the defending clerics as he stumbled back to his feet.
"Duck!"
He dropped again as he heard Argus call to him, a sword slashing where he had been.
The blade pivoted mid-air and began to fly downwards on him before a shield blocked its passage towards its target, and Argus hefted the human to his feet, placing the man behind him.
"Asgar?" The Drakon protecting Sol called.
"I'm fine." was the answer, paired with a zombie being hurled through the air at one of the enemy clerics.
The zombies had slammed into Asgar like a tide and had been broken by him.
By using his Oath to avoid being dragged into the raging certainty of his brother's, he had found the ability to ground himself in a way both literal and mental.
What's more, unlike before, he allowed the full heat of his brother's sun to sear him. And now his ax glowed with a terrible warmth, aided by his now increased strength.
He was scything through the undead.
The undead woman audibly mused as he bodily flung another undead at the clerics. "I really hope I'm able to have the wight keep the Oath," she shouted over the din of combat to the rampaging drake.
"Hey! What's your Oath?" By way of reply, yet another undead was hurled, this time at her.
She deftly weaved out of the way, with an ease that should have been impossible for the shambling undead she appeared to be.
Asgar noted with keen interest that none of the undead grappling and grabbing at him were armed, and although he clearly recognized some of the bodies he was now fighting, when he struck them or threw them, they stayed down.
He called out, "Don't trust the undead to stay down!" before ducking under a flying spectral sword, which quickly turned mid-air and shot at his brother as he called out a warning.
It clashed into Argus's shield, as he parried another sword with his own.
He and Sol had been pushed back by the two spectral swords now harassing them, but the shields we're too busy defending the enemy clerics. The clerics of Virion were under a constant barrage by the cleric of Soltris.
Sol was pouring out furious storms of heat and rage out at them, as soon as a chant was finished, a new one would begin. And despite their numbers, the clerics found themselves tiring under the assault and the power allocated to them quickly running out.
While older than him, these clerics were new to their faith. Had he taken the time to think of it, he would have been impressed with the skill and power they wielded.
He didn't have time to think of it, however, just quickly chanting to and pulling from his much deeper well of divine favor and throwing out rays of flame to hold them down.
He knew that they would likely not be able to outlast them, as the constructs they were using had to be demanding a ridiculous amount of power.
Between chants, he spoke at a whisper so that only the paladin shielding him could hear.
"I think I can outlast them."
Argus nodded, knocked another spectral blade away as he dueled the other.
The zombies surrounding Asgar retreated, forming a circle around him as he surveyed them.
Despite the swarm attack, he surveyed himself and found no major wounds, some bent scales perhaps.
But no blood was drawn.
He looked at the still prone and unmoving form of the undead.
There were seven all together, three thrown like weapons as they tried to grapple and drag him down, and another four laid low by his ax.
He could not help but note that not a single one of them had been armed.
He looked at the zombified woman, who hummed softly and only vaguely paying attention to him. More focused and the continuing fight between sis brother and Sol as well as the clerics supposedly on her side.
A fight his companions we're winning if the way Sol and Argus were slowly closing the distance and pushing the clerics into a wall was anything to go by.
Asgar turned to the woman, "You're going to let them die." it wasn't a question.
She turned, before nodding her head with a smile. "If there's anyone who'll let me make undead clerics, it'll be Virion. And from what little I know of him, he may even thank me for it." She shrugged. "Being undead has many benefits."
Asgar looked down at the woman, with mounting disgust, but also fear, despite the Oaths.
She did not act as if she was in any danger, and he dearly hoped she was wrong.
He threw himself at her, ax cleaving forward, and almost stopped himself when he saw her reaction.
Which was to do nothing. She looked at him with idle interest and a smirk, then jutted her chin forward, as if inviting him.
He took the invitation, despite the unease and sense he was walking into a trap.
Easily as anything else, her head toppled off her shoulders, before rolling to a stop beside his feet.
Yet her body did not fall with it, and before he could react, another voice spoke, different yet the same.
"A shame, I kind of liked that one."
The undead beside the headless corpse began to speak, the body of an elven-kin man straightening upward, going from a hunched, shambling thing, to a relaxed but commanding stance.
"Oh, this one is nice and tall, I should use these ones more often."
Asgar looked at her, now equals in height. Off-balanced as his brother had been by the woman...or creature, he now dubbed in his mind.
She turned to him, "Alright, you can help with Elliot’s toys now, I've seen what I wanted too."
The circle of the undead around him opened, funneling him towards the clerics, who had not yet noticed.
He bolted through it. He could not handle whatever this dread creature was.
And despite it being what she wanted, he needed the support of his sibling and friend if he had any chance of taking her on.
He smashed into the first cleric, a young woman, who only barely noticed him before the impact crushed her into the wall.
An ethereal shield vanished, and as it did, a ray of flame burnt a hole through the balding man's head, causing yet another to fall.
"Surrender! You are betrayed!" Asgar called before any more slaughter could continue.
his brother and Sol stopped their assault. The clerics froze just as the voice called out from behind him. "That's cheating!"
He ignored it. "That thing will not help you! It wishes to make undead servants of you! Drop your weapons and cease your spells!"
The group of three remaining humans cowered before the far too close Drakon.
"But I wanted to see more!" an annoyed voice called from behind him.
If anything, this is what stirred the humans to surrender, dropping their daggers and dispelling the two swords and shields to vanish like mist in the air.
The two drakon and Sol turned towards the group of undead, weapons, and spells at the ready.
"What is going on, Asgar?" his brother called.
"It wanted us to kill the clerics, so it could claim control over them!"
Argus twirled his sword, looking at the three remaining cowering clerics that he had to fight down a seething disgust for, before turning to look at the undead thing. Now wearing an elven body.
"Why?"
She sighed. "I suppose I'll have to kill them now." She glared at three clerics, who, like everyone else in the room at this point besides herself, were incredibly confused about what was going on.
She looked to Sol, then Argus and Asgar, before finally settling her sight on the barely conscious form of Singard of all things, who seemed to be fighting to both pay attention, and stay awake.
"What, are you asking me to monologue?" she asked no one in particular.
Asgar and Argus shared a look, quite sure that this entity was far past sane, while Sol eyed the bodies he'd scorched, and mentally chastised himself for not making ash of them, as he was sure they wouldn't be able to be used as undead if made so.
Singard, seemingly invited to speak by making eye contact with the corpse, was the one to speak, with a voice hoarse and quiet. "...I wouldn't mind it."

—-
Heya folks. I'm writing a high fantasy tale of brothers, action, adventure, duty, and honor over on royalroad. https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/31104/oaths-a-tale-of-two-brothers there's an extra seven chapters over there so go one and take a look if you liked what you read.
Ps. Even if you find you are uninterested in my story, I cannot recommend royal road highly enough as a collection of web novels and fanfiction if you have any interest in stories about fantasy, sci-fi, or other fantastical elements.
submitted by DenMan_PH to stories [link] [comments]


2020.06.19 17:00 SkettiFamine Fall of Cleveland 2 - Uni the Unicorn 2/3 by Neckbeard

Link to Part 1
Be a Feral Fluffy
Your Herd is watching the Magic Picture Boxes
Well, the Stallions and Colts are, at least
Mares like to watch Uni the Unicorn too, but they have to watch the Magic Picture Boxes at the other window.
Can't risk them getting too close right now
Could give them Special Hugs!
Mares, Fluffy Mummas, Fillies, Old Mares; none of them would be safe here.
All the Stallions sit just out of hoof-reach, humping the empty air frantically, watching the Magic Picture Boxes.
"Auunnngh! Naugthy Pwace so huwty!" Your Smarty Friend growls in a mixture of pain, lust and frustration. "Why nu can haf Uni? Smawty Fwiend is Best Fwuffy! Haf guud Hewd, biggest pokey thing!"
Lying asshole! Yours is bigger!
Every Stallion thinks that, sometimes out loud.
"Den aww Fwuffies pway!" Uni says, smiling so softly at the Fluffies.
At you, most of all, you're sure.
"Auuuuungh!" The Stallions groan, thrusting and thrusting without any relief or way of release.
"Fw-fwiends?" a voice asks, meekly.
It's another Stallion....and his face is wet with tears.
"Fwiends, haf favo, OH! Uni! Duce miss yuu!" He says, running forwards and tapping on the window with his hooves frantically, sobbing and crying. "Uni! UNI! Fowgive Duce! Duce sowwy!"
You growl unhappily. Nobody is allowed to be that close to the Window! Smarty Friend gets the front row, then Toughie Friends like you, then the other stallions.
Also hurts Fluffy Pony Necks to look up that high like that
Smarty Friend looks at this 'Duce' with a curious expression, however
"Why yuu wan Uni fowgive yuu?" Smarty Friend asks, still dry-humping the air. "Uni is best Fwuffy, awways wuv Fwuffies."
"Duce was Bad Fwuffie!" Duce sobs, still tapping on the window, his eyes fixed on Uni's shaking fluff. "Duce an' Fwiends twy to gif Special Hugs to Uni, but she haffin' sleepy-times."
Stallions gasp and whisper. Smarty Friend looks stunned.
This Fluffy touched Uni! HAD SPECIAL HUGS WITH YOUR UNI?
"Den we twy haf moar Special Hugs when she pwayin', but she say we baaad Fwuffies." Duce whimpers, shuffling back to sit next to your Smarty Friend, big fat tears in his eyes. "Uni's Hoomin's throw us out, teww Fwuffies we nevah come back. Duce nevah get chance to teww Uni he sowwy fo' being a Naughty Fwuffy."
"Yuu... haf Special Hugs wit' Uni?" Your Smarty Friend gasps, his hips pumping and thrusting wildly.
Everyone is at once excited, angry, and hopeful.
If a weak little Fluffy like this could have Special Hugs with Uni, you could have them too!
Have Special Hugs with Uni! Nnnnn! NNNN! NNNNNNNN!
Ooops. Sticky belly fluff....at least you don't have huwties anymore....
"Nuu, nu could find her Naughty Pwace." Duce sighs, closing his eyes and whimpering, but a slow smile spreads across his face. "Buh Uni's Fwuff... so soft. Softah den anyting."
"Softah den Mare Fwuff?" Your Smarty Friend asks hoarsely, inching towards the New Friend.
Everybody is, eager to hear his story. It's dangerous if Fluffies get too close to each other in this state, everyone could start having Special Hugs with Stallions, get stuck together till the sky makes Wa-Was again or their Fluff pulls out!
Nobody is watching Uni anymore. Everyone wants to hear about how this Fluffy Special Hugged her! To have actually touched the Great Uni, and had Special Hugs even, he is such a Lucky Fluffy!
"How Duce say, gwound hawd and cowd, and fwuff soft and wamm?" He says, looking at the Herd's Stallions with that same slow smile. "Weww, Uni's fwuff makes Mare fwuff feww wike hawd cowd gwound."
"Feww soooo guud on Naughty Pwace, Duce nu mind nu finding Uni's Naughty Pwace." Duce sighs happily.
"Auungh! AUUUUUNNNNNGH! Smawty Fwiend wan haf wots of SPECIAL HUGS WIGHT NOW!" Your Smarty Friend groans loudly.
You want them now too. Just imagining Uni squealing and grunting as you give her Special Hugs and make her your Mare makes your head spin.
You can't even grasp the concept of Fluff that could be softer than Mare Fluff. It must be like... like...
"Uni wuv to pway wit her fwieeeeeegh!" Uni squeals as her legs get tangled, and she falls onto her face, and her hind-quarters lift into the air.
There's a tearing noise, and then... NAUGHTY PLACE! A strip of hot, vibrant pink appears between her so-soft White Fluff!
Everyone turned to watch as they heard their precious Idol squeal, babbling "Wha huwt Uni!"... and then everyone's eyes grew so very, very wide.
For a brief second, the whole world goes silent and still for the Stallions...
"UNI!" The Stallions cried out as one, slipping and scrambling to slap against the window, thrusting wildly against the glass, and in the case of those in the back rows, against the rapidly pumping and bumping backsides of the Smarty Friend and Toughie Friends.
"Eeeenf! EEEEENF! Whu pokin' Smawty Fwiend? Eeeenf! Nu do daa-AAAAAAGH! Bad Huggi-EEEEENF, BAD HUGGIES-EEEEEEENF!" Your Smarty Friend howls, but he doesn't stop trying to give Special Hugs through the window.
You don't either.
Nobody does. Nobody can stop themselves.
Uni is lying there, her back legs wiggling, but her front legs and head lying down on the ground.
She's exposed, waiting for you!
Waiting for YOU specifically, you're sure!
Her Friends are all gathering around, crying out her name, asking if she's alright.
Magic Picture Boxes flash, and the Angry Man is in the window, shouting at you.
Shouting about getting his windows dirty.
Fluffies squeal and stumble away.
Dirty Sticky Water and Fluff all over the window now.
Mares and Fillies and Foals all squeal and run away to the Safe Place, like they were told if the Angry Man shows his face.
Stallions stagger after them, exhausted and heart-broken.
Just a little more, surely you would have found a way to get to Uni.
Wait, Duce is with your Herd, talking to Smarty Friend as everyone waddles towards the broken-down van a few blocks away.
Smarty Friend calls all of the Herd together to say something.
"Fwiends, dis Fwuffy says he know Uni, the Magical Bestest Fwuffy." Smarty Friend says, waiting for the excited whispering to die off before continuing. "New Fwiend Duce say, he know way into Uni's Safe Place. Show Hewd the way, buh he need owr hewp to get dere."
"Fwuffies gu, an' hewp Duce say Sowwy to Uni." Smarty Friend shouts loudly, and the whole Herd cheers. "Mares gif Hugs to Duce, make him pwetty. Den make Stallions pwetty, den yuu, den Foals. Nu wan Uni tink we Diwty Fwuffies!"
"Aww Stallions fowwow Smarty Fwiend, haf tawk outside Safe Box."
All the Stallions shuffle out as the Mares and Fillies pounce on Duce, eagerly grooming him, perhaps a little too well judging by all his yelping, mumbling about why they should help a Stupid New Fluffy apologize, when they could be the ones making Uni love them instead.
"Dat why I Smawty Fwiend, an' Yuu nuu Smawty Fwiend." The Smarty Friend scoffs. "We get Duce show Hewd how to Uni's Safe Pwace, teww her we be Guud Fwuffies, live wit' Uni."
Everyone is humping the air again. Leering at each other, giggling excitedly.
You think you will be a Smarty Friend too, and wait till Herd finds Uni, then you race ahead and give her Special Hugs, make her your Mare first, make her love your Pokey Thing most of all.
All the Stallions think that
None of them even conceive the notion that any other Fluffy could possibly come up with such a brilliant plan.
***
Be 'Tasha' Googaluv, Animatronics Expert and Pilot of the Uni the Fluffy Unicorn Suit. Having a Tylenol to try and get rid of your throbbing headache and the pain of a busted nose.
Everyone is having coffee after a 'successful' show, although you've decided to pass on the coffee yourself.
Busting your nose on the control panel of the Uni Suit was decidedly painful, and now, everything tastes like blood.
Just bruised, the First Aid Technician said, but fuck him, you feel like you just got king-hit by King Kong.
Sammy keeps apologizing. Wasn't her fault, the set is old and needs repairs, that panel of astro-turf has been loose for weeks now.
Director is talking animatedly on the phone, looks excited.
Don't know why. Studio was overwhelmed with complaints from viewers about Uni 'flashing' their beloved Pets, and then having to clean all the spooge off their Televisions.
Apparently today, you, Sammy, and a loose section of astro-turf are responsible for two hundred and eighty three Fluffy Pony Stallion deaths.
Breaking their necks slamming into television cabinets or against the screens themselves, being crushed under televisions as they desperately clung to the screens, apparently several dozen different households had their Fluffy Stallions fighting each other to the death for the right to have 'Special Hugs' with Uni.
Apparently the Ferals were worse. Every Electronics store in the nation that had TVs playing your show in their front windows are apparently scraping Fluffy Ponies off the windows.
In some cases, literally, because the little bastards had their fun, and then wouldn't stop trying to 'hug' Uni, and were then cemented to the glass windows.
It would be hilarious if it had happened to somebody else
That said, sales of 'Uni Dolls', especially the Chinese 'Special Edition', have reached a new height today.
500,000 units have been ordered
Jesus Enfing Christ
Oh hell, here comes the Director, probably with another story of another Fluffy Pony owner trying to sue your ass for showing off Sarah's ass today.
"Ladies and Gents, Uni the Unicorn just got bought for 11. Million. Dollars." He bursts into laughter, clutching his notebook like it's the Holy Grail.
For a blessed handful of seconds, stunned silence, and then everyone starts talking all at once.
"Holy shit! How much is our cut?"
"Who the fuck can throw that kind of money around in this economy?"
"Wait, does that mean we just sold out to Fox News?"
"Wooo-Hooo!"
"Wait wait wait ... what do you mean, 'sold'?" You shout over the hubub, glaring at the Director. "Our contracts state there's no sale of proprietary rights without consultation of Sammy and myself first!" Your shouting echoes down the corridors of the filming studio as everyone goes quiet. "Do you Fucktards realize this means we are all now UNEMPLOYED? We were hired by Edu-Max Studios! If the Show has been bought out by another Studio, we've just lost our jobs!"
"Calling our Lawyer now." Sammy snaps, tapping furiously at her iPhone. "If the Board thinks they can fuck us over and walk away shit-free, they're in for the legal sodomizing of their lifetime!"
"No, no, you 2 don't understand!" The Director shouts back, his good humor gone. "That's 11 Million dollars for you 2!"
"And, what, we're chopping fucking liver?" One of the other 'Fluffy' Actors shouts angrily.
"We were supposed to be fucking consulted about this first!" You swear angrily as your partner finally gets through to the lawyer. "What was the Board thinking? There's no way in hell this can go through without our permission! It's a legally binding contract! Uni makes enough money to keep Edu-Max in the black, and they think they can buy us off with a few million shoved in our faces?"
"LISTEN TO ME!" The Director bellows, white-faced. "The Board has sold Uni the Unicorn, no ifs ands or buts about it. Sammy and Natasha get 11 Million Dollars, as an incentive to push them to agree to the sale, and everyone else gets their full severance pay and a guaranteed position on the new Uni the Unicorn Show! Same contracts as before, with the new company."
Everyone mutters and whispers, and Sammy is angrily whispering to your lawyer on her iPhone.
"It's not widely known to the public, but Edu-Max has been facing a mounting series of legal challenges from a collection of small Asian Movie Studios about the 7 Fluffy Samurai spoof-series being filmed here, and we're still fighting a hostile take-over by the Fuwafuwa Ponīfechigurūpu Consortium. The Board is likely going to succeed in over-turning the challenges and keep the Consortium off their backs, but the cost to hire a decent legal defense has eaten up the Studio's cash reserves because the litigation just won't die off. It's like these bastards have a bottomless pit of money to throw at us, and the shareholders are getting antsy about the Fuwafuwa Ponīfechigurūpu's continuous attempts to buy the studio outright." The Director continues, manages to get most of the crew's, if not everyone's, attention focused on him. "Do you understand, Natasha? The Board has no other choice but to sell off their biggest cash-cow, or the entire Studio has to close. I get you're pissed, but it's sell Uni's copyrights or everyone loses their jobs."
Silence but for Sammy's angry whispering. Everyone has turned to stare at you, tight-lipped and pale-faced.
You rub at your bruised nose and groan. Of course. Of fucking course.
"And this ties in to the hostile take-over bid by that Japanese Consortium, the Fuwafuwa Ponīfechigurūpu? The legal challenge against that Fluffy-themed comedy as a Slander against Asian Film History?" You grunt, snorting a half-clotted blockage out of your nose. "Bleed us dry through legal action by a group of their tertiary businesses, then snap us up when we're on the rocks for a song?"
"As best as the Board can understand, yes, but you have to understand, this buyout does not come from overseas. We've been bought by a private individual up north to feature Uni the Unicorn as a mascot for a theme park." The Director replies, looking markedly less panicked now. Probably thought you were going to storm the Office and punch out the Board.
You might just do that, but first, you'll hear the terms of the buy-out.
"As per your contracts, you are not permitted to use Social Networking or any other form of mass-media information dissemination devices to forward this information, but the show is such a hit with the Fluffy Ponies and their owners that some group has decided to build a theme-park to cash in on the craze, and Uni is apparently going to be the big draw-card while their theme park is in the teething phase." The Director hands over his notepad to the nearest actor, who begins reading the pad eagerly, his neighbors leaning over his shoulder. "The Park itself won't be ready for another 3 months, and they're keeping the actual name and 'theme' very close to their chest, but the Show is being rewritten as Uni and Friends walking north to this 'Theme Park' and every week, Fluffy Ponies and their Owners can write in and ask Uni questions and the chance to win free tickets to the opening day of the theme park."
"Nice" the actor grunts, handing the pad over to the next worker. "But seriously, a Multi-Species Theme Park?"
"Hey, Uni the Unicorn makes a annual turn over of close to 3 million a year just in advertising." Somebody else points out.
"Our role as such will be to film Uni the Unicorn as she visits various places on her trip up North. We are not allowed to give away any information except what's on the script we are to be emailed every day. Hell, I don't even know where the damn thing is being built." The Director replies with a shaky laugh.
"MOTHER FUCKING ASS SHIT BALLS! You completely useless turd-packer!!" Sammy explodes, almost throwing her iPhone at the wall. "Dammit! Nat, our lawyer says he can't help. He's been brought in under contract by our Mystery Buyer. Says he can't help us due to a 'conflict of interest', and he's legally bound to be unable to provide the Buyer's details... except for a phone number we can ring."
Everyone stares at Sammy, then you.
Rub at your busted nose and swear.
Today is not going to be a good day.
***
It's so easy when you're evil
Dammit, there goes the phone.
Brand new this day, no way to trace it to you.
Hit the button on your desk that will 'modulate' your voice and make it sound like the standard creepy 'Mysterious Caller' Hollywood loves to use.
"Hello?" You say, grinning as you hear the deep, heavy 'Hello' echo back at you.
"Alright, who are you, and what the fuck do you want with us?" A woman angrily demands.
Heh. Right to the point, eh?
"Well, Miss Natasha Googaluv is it? I represent a certain... group, that wishes to utilize the appeal of your character to bring wealth and prosperity to my city." You sigh, leaning back in your chair and indulging yourself with an audible chuckle. "Uni the Unicorn is the biggest hit in live-action Television since Monkey Magic; oh, forgive me, you're too young to have seen that. Well, needless to say, she has quite the pull for our, ahem, Target Audience?"
"Fine, whatever. But the contracts remain as what we had with Edu-Max media, word for word? Nobody is getting fired?" The fiery woman snaps. You can hear her anger in every word. "And what's the deal with all of this Cloak-and-Dagger bullshit?"
Good, good, let the Hatred flow through you
"Of course not. We'd hardly be so foolish as to meddle with what seems to be a fantastic television formula. However, I must ask, when will you be bringing the other 2 Fluffies into the show? We feel they would be an excellent addition to Uni, and appeal to an even broader Market-Share."
Silence on the phone.
Yes, choke on that, you bitch. I know all about your little backup plans.
"Also, given the current... financial straights our fair state is in, announcing our Goal now would prove... problematic. In short, we have no intention to let the Fluffy out of the Bag, not until we are certain that our theme park will truly be the first, and greatest, multi-species theme park on Earth."
"How did you, no, never mind. Alright, fine. You want the other 2 suits up and running, fine, but it'll take at least 2 days to get them to a workable state, let alone repair the damage done to the Uni costume after today's fubar." Resignation in her voice. Excellent. She gave up far faster than you had anticipated.
Good. That means you can keep the other dirty little secrets you dug up about her ready for any future 'rebellions'.
"Oh, don't be concerned. We have already taken the liberty of forwarding the specifications to a professional animatronics studio" Twist that Knife, just for the fun of it. "and we are informed that all 3 suits will have been built by tomorrow morning to our exact specifications."
Is that the sound of teeth grinding against each other you hear?
"Please, Miss Googaluv, feel free to contact us at any time you need any further assistance. This is a partnership, after all"
Hang up before she can respond.
And no-one loves you when you're evil. I'm lying through my teeth! Your tears are all the company I need!
It's a fantastic day to be an Abuser.
***
Be Natasha Googaluv.
Be Pissed Off to the point you could choke somebody to death, right here, right now, if you get pushed one inch further.
The 3 Fluffy Pony suits are ready, as the asshole promised. They're perfect; makes you so pissed off. If you'd had the money to get your home-based animatronics work-shop geared up to modern standards, you could have built these... FUCK!
Fucking perfect designs, how in the hell did he get hold of the schematics? They were on a hard-drive in a safety deposit box, completely unconnected to the outside world.
All the other Actors are pissing themselves laughing, well, except Sammy, who is having hysterics in the corner.
Exact Specifications? Fucking asshole! The suits are 'anatomically correct'.
Uni the Unicorn now has 2 teats located just under her back legs, and a fully 'working' vagoo. The other 2 have the sheath-like 'equipment' of a Stallion, plus 2 large fluffy nuts each. All 3 suits are visibly 'Gendered' now. Every time the 'Uni' suit moves, her tail will 'swish' from side to side and give a tantalizing glimpse of her 'equipment', and the mechanisms that have hooked up her back legs to her tail will ensure that there's no way to disable this 'feature' in the time you have until the Show starts.
Latex Horse Vagoo. A God-Damned working latex horse vagoo. The Hell? Do these bastards shop at BadDragon.com?
Checks on 'Eddy' and 'Pip' also confirm their 'additional extra's' also work. Two-Foot Long horse-cock dildos in the under-slung 'sheaths' on the bellies of their suits.....
FUCKING JESUS ENFING CHRIST! What kind of sick fucks hold your baby's future in their hands? The Media is going to have a goddamn field-day with this!
The 2 other suits, the ones you were sitting on in case the Uni the Unicorn show started to 'slow down' in the ratings are Eddy the Earth Fluffy and Pip the Pegasus.
Eddy is a massive suit, easily twice as 'thick' in the body as Uni, and possessing dark green fluff with lighter green mane and tail.
Pip is slightly smaller than Uni, with a piebald brown-and-white pattern and darker brown mane and tail.
Controls are roughly the same as your original suit, but digital now, rather than your old level and pulley system.
Also, whoever made the suits also seems to have come up with a 'counter' to the Heat Issue, by running small tubes of water over and around the pilots, it keeps the suits' internal temperatures at 'uncomfortably hot' rather than 'cooking you alive'.
Sammy is still in the corner, having hysterics. She's the one at the 'business' end, after all, and given how Fluffy Pony Stallions reacted to yesterday's fubar, she's imagining the horrors that will be inflicted on her when they see the 'new additions'.
Knows enough about Fluffy pony 'Psychology' to understand that large, firm teats are a massive turn-on to Stallions. The whole point of the Uni suit was to make her attractive, but you both underestimated the sex-drive of the Fluffy Pony Stallions
Add Uni's normal sex appeal, plus her newly installed and working 'equipment', you'll need a fire-truck on permanent stand-by to keep the Stallions from attacking now. That or fucking marines with belt-fed M-60s firing a continuous stream of rubber bullets!
"Well fuck. It could have been worse. At least we all still have jobs." one of the other actors grumbles as he's hooking into the back half of 'Eddy'. "Oh jesus, there's a button in here labeled 'swag'. What's happening on the outside?"
"You just grew a Fluffy Pony boner, that's what. PUSH IT AGAIN!" You holler back, facepalming.
Dear Enfing Christ, they even made the 'equipment' self lubricating ...
Finally, everyone is suited up. Nervous tittering from everyone. Show is in 2 hours, and you've only just received the script, and it's from a 'Ghost' Address, meaning no way to back-track who your Mystery Boss is.
Fuck!
Act 1 of the script is having to 'break the news' to the Fans that Uni is going on a Road Trip. In front of a Live Audience outside the front of Edu-Max's studio.
Then you have a 'dance' to do. Something to show off the new suits.
'Pip' and 'Eddy' will be hold giant 'kazoos' in their mouths, while 'Uni' will be singing.
It's all pre-recorded, you just have to dance in time to the music. Songs will 'play' out of your suit's 'mouth', and the music out of Pip and Eddy's 'Kazoos'.
Quick choreography lesson, takes about an hour and a half to get everyone performing at acceptable levels. It's easy enough for you and Sarah, but the other two suits and pilots haven't had months of practice working together.
It's clumsy and awkward 'dancing' at it's kindest description, but it's for Fluffy Ponies, they'll eat it up like spaghetti.
Swallow your rage and frustration, and channel 'The Uni'.
Half an hour to practice your lines with each other before the show starts.
Sammy is clinging to your backside, giggling hysterically.
"My ass, my ass, Fluffy ponies are going to poke me in the ass!" She titters nervously. "Oh God, I'm never going to be able to get married!"
Not in this State, at least. You think bitterly before starting practice off.
***
Continued in part 3
submitted by SkettiFamine to fluffycommunity [link] [comments]


2020.06.11 07:42 DenMan_PH Oaths: A tale of two brothers. 1.14

Tracking down the caravan and its captors was a far simpler affair than tracking the caravan to the town of Dale had been.
The group, under the leadership of Father Elliot had not, or was not, taking the road. The scarcity of the populous did not leave opposition. Tracking the most recent series of footprints from the town guided the brothers to what was clearly a new trail. One that diverged into the forest from the road that cut through Dale.
Their attention was held fully by their hunt, so they hadn’t seen what Sol had. A pillar of black smoke stained the sky. It was growing ever smaller as they moved farther away from the town. Eventually, the smoke vanished entirely, hidden by the treeline.
But they kept their eyes to the front. Father Elliot was expected to be returning with the bulk of his, supposedly enthralled servants- supposedly. Even now, they were not entirely sure that the undead woman had spoken truthfully.
Even if they felt sure of it, being charmed once and discovering it tended to make one prone to doubt even the most certain of facts.
But running into him halfway to their destination could spell disaster.
Sol was quieter than not at first, but the brothers had assigned his behavior to anxiety. An anxiousness they felt they should be feeling themselves, as they were unsure of where exactly these tracks would lead them. And this should obviously worry them, and indeed, it did concern them.
They were worried not just for the destination, but the state of the caravan. If Dore had spoken truthfully, then the guards of the caravan and its caravaneers could be under the sacrificial blade at this very moment. This should also have left them anxious.
And yet they weren't, yes they were worried, but the anxiety didn't seem to find any purchase upon their psyches.
Instead, they were filled with incredible energy and motivation.
If they had every now and then felt a thrum from their oaths. A feeling they had felt when battling the orcs they suspected would cause havoc.
And again, much quieter when they had been in Riverstead helping people with casual duties and chores.
In fact, a soft thrum had been going through them, like a small vibration since they took their oaths and left home, though they could hardly have noticed it at times.
But the feeling they now experienced was different.
This was a song, or perhaps, a psalm. The experience was almost spiritual to the brothers.
Argus had a feeling of warmth that grew into an almost searing heat. It wasn’t painful but the intensity of it would have been uncomfortable for most. Instead, he found a strange sense of focus through it, pushing back thoughts of dread as the light pushes back the darkness.
For Asgar, he felt a weight so great it was nearly crushing, his Mantle growing ever heavier with each step. And yet, with each step, he felt stronger.
And yet, another discovery of their Oaths was made, for the feeling reached outward into an aura.
Asgar felt the clarity of Argus's Sun, and so too were his doubts banished.
And Argus felt the weight of Asgar's Mantle, and so he too felt stronger with every step.
But the effect of these twin auras was most potent on their human companion. As they walked, his back straightened, his mind cleared, the issues that had been plaguing him were not dealt with, no. But they were put aside for a time.
"What is this?" Sol called to the brothers. "What's happening?"
"Our Oaths," Argus spoke as a way of reply.
"I don't understand."
"Neither do I," Argus answered, but shrugged. "But they are what's doing this."
"Why?"
"I think because we needed it. Or will need it."
A walk turned into a march, they were not overjoyed, or even happy. But there was work to do, something more substantial than them, and so they moved forward.
They traveled not on the trail itself, but beside it. It made for rougher travel but helped ensure they would not be noticed by Father Elliot and his men if and when they approached from the other side.
Once they were comfortably far away from the town itself, and sure they were not followed. The smoke had long since vanished from any of the trio's sights.
Then the brothers pulled at the wet earth, smearing themselves with mud.
Their scales might shine even in the light of the moons that had by now replaced the skies suns. They had to be covered.
Sol hesitated, but not for long. His white robes would stand out as much as the Drakon pair’s silver scales. However, it was still far from subtle in the mostly brown woods now that winter's snow had melted. Thus he stripped the robes off, putting it aside into his pack so as not to ruin it with mud and followed the brother's example.
Smearing himself with the cold mud, following the brother's instructions on how to do so as he did.
He shivered, but Argus's Sun warmed him.
These precautions turned out to be wisely made, for not an hour later, noise pollution soon began to spread through the forest.
The noise of steps, and talking, the clink of mail and weapons.
The trio ducked deeper into the woods, dropping to the ground behind oaken trees surrounded by the bushes, brambles and ferns which covered their bases.
Then they held still, holding their breaths and waited.
Even covered in mud, the brothers dared not risk taking a peek. But Sol, either not knowing better or trusting in his camouflage, did so.
He saw the figure leading the group, a tall man, with long hair, who appeared both beautiful and yet humble. He spoke in a voice both loud and somehow soft and endearing, it echoed through the forest. With it followed the feeling of warmth and the smell of morning dew.
"And so, my friends, my brothers! My children, we swear ourselves forever to Virion! For are we not but mere, mortal things? Does any man here claim to be Immortal? All-powerful? All-wise? We are flawed, we were made to be so! For we were made to worship, not be worshipped!"
Sol felt a sudden reminder of a dreadful experience no more than a handful of hours ago, fear surged. But the Sun of Argus's Oath burned it away, and the Mantle of Asgar's gave him strength. So instead of fear, came anger.
An ugly thing, which reared its head and cried for vengeance against this thing, who dared attempt to claim dominion of his mind.
He resisted the voice, indeed what was more difficult was resisting the urge to draw on Soltris's favor and lash out.
Instead, he dropped down, gritting his teeth so he would not rise and reveal himself and destroy their chances of a successful mission.
"What?" suddenly confused, the man's voice suddenly lost its power.
"Who resisted?" he spoke again?
"Who resisted the words of a spokesman, Virion? Show yourself!"
Sol's fury railed against his will. For still, the words pulled at him at his mind and begged him to rise and obey the command.
He looked over at the Drakon, who themselves seemed to be straining against the urge to rise.
A temptation crept into Sol's mind, a small whisper saying 'look again.' but he bit down and crushed the thought, not sure if it was his own or some insidious magic.
Instead, he covered his ears, a movement the brothers mimicked.
—-
"I command you to reveal yourself!" Father Elliot demanded again, he looked at the men following him, but now he felt no one resisting.
"Line up and show me your ears." He urged his honor guard to line up. Who had resisted? And why were they not revealing themselves now that he felt none?
He checked the ears of each man, for none had resisted him this time. And yet, he remained unanswered.
He was searching for wax plugs, or corks, or anything anyone of them might have used not to hear his words. And gave a commandment to each man to make sure his effect still stood.
Every single one complied, as he gave more and more increasingly ridiculous commands to be sure, having them hop on one foot, or strike themselves. Risking an actual break of the enchantment to draw out whoever had managed to resist his sermon.
He found nothing, and so he turned his eyes to the forest, now growing uneasy.
He felt something out there as if he were being watched or stalked.
Some creature was out there, and it had both heard his words, understood them, and rejected them.
A cold sweat formed on the back of his false form, as he imagined what it could have been.
It was dark, and he could not see in the darkness while wearing this form.
And while the orcs in his group of guards could see in moonlight, often better than a human could see in the day, there was no moonlight!
He touched at the magical stones sitting in a pouch hanging from his belt.
If a person or creature powerful enough to resist his voice had shown up in his town. Then his companion disguised as an Innkeeper should have alerted him using the twin to one of the stones he had that the barman kept behind his bar.
He tentatively wondered if he had been betrayed by his two apprentices. But, they would certainly not be foolish enough to do so. The whole ‘project’ would fall apart without him.
The same was true of the snake's sacrificial chamber that he had come from.
If anyone had attacked the ritual room as he'd been leaving, she would have contacted him through the other stone he carried, which connected to hers.
And yet neither stone had vibrated with warning as they had agreed to do when such things happened.
'Elliot' looked into the forest, he saw nothing. But he was sure something was there. Just close enough so that he could barely make out its emotions with the empathic abilities his race naturally had.
It was like a fire; determined, strong, heavy, and angry, furious even.
He shivered. It felt furious with him. And the rest of its emotions didn't make sense, what sort of emotion was a fire? Or heavy? Or even strong?
He heard shifting in the darkness, of something moving in the pitch blackness. Then looked at his guards, their armor, a mishmash, competent they may be. He had selected them from the best and most malleable of the town's militia, caravan guards, and the once orc raiders.
But they were not trained soldiers, nor were they adventurers. No, the snake had claimed all of their ilk that had come through the town.
What's more, the effect of his voice often put them into a trance-like state where they slowed if he didn't give them specific instructions. And he was no monster hunter to provide them with appropriate commands in a battle, particularly against something that felt so alien and bizarre to him.
Worse still, the feeling coming from the creature hidden in the forest almost felt good. Despite the poorly suppressed anger of the beast, the strength and clarity of it felt good and seemed to be trying to drive away his fear.
The logical part of his mind screamed trap. It was luring him, which only caused him to begin sweating more intensely. As most doppelgangers knew, and him more than most, anything that beckoned to someone like that was dangerous.
After a moment, Elliot called out.
"We-We’re in danger. Move quickly, back to Dale. We're closer to it than the temple, and it has walls to protect us. Go!"
He took off at a jog through the path, quickly commanding his honor guard to encircle him.
He felt the effect beginning to leave him, the anger growing further away, and with a pang, so to did the surge of strength and clarity.
He ran harder, doubting any hunter would give up its prey so quickly. Tapping the stones in his pouch as he ran and alerting his comrades that something was afoot.
—-
The drakon brothers and the cleric were unaware of the involuntary trick they had played upon the doppelganger.
They stayed low, laying on their backs and looking above while ambient tension raised, waiting for a head to peek down at them.
They were unable to listen for any of his men to approach, as they had to cover their ears for fear of being brought under the doppelganger's control.
They waited for what felt like an eternity, though thankfully, the clarity and weight of the auras allowed them to resist the urge to sit up and look.
An action they suspected might reveal themselves to anyone searching for them.
But as time passed, they began to suspect and then become sure, no one was looking for them.
The brothers communicated silently.
Asgar pulled his hands away, no longer covering his ears and listened. Hearing nothing, he nodded to his brother then held up a hand of wiggling fingers, which he then closed into a fist while cocking his head to the side. Communicating 'they're gone?'
They'd always been able to communicate like this, for as long as they could remember. Gestures that would make another drakon’s head tilt in confusion was clear as day to each other.
Argus looked at him, then shrugged. Before pointing upward with two fingers.
Asgar nodded, then slowly counted down from three, gesturing with his fingers as he did.
When he hit one, the two brothers raised themselves into a crouch, looking over the plant life that had been hiding them.
The forest around them was empty. Or at least appeared to be. So far as the paladins could tell beneath the pitch-black moonless sky.
They moved cautiously and lightly, unsure if some ambush was perhaps still yet waiting to be sprung upon them.
Argus moved carefully, gesturing for Sol to rise now that they were close enough to see each other, but shushing him with a finger.
He gestured for the human to follow him, then joined up with his brother. They began moving through the forest once more, scanning the surrounding terrain for any form of trap.
They found none, and eventually, their investigation took them to the road. Where they were surprised to find that the newest tracks leading towards the town of Dale, causing them to sigh in relief. For they had feared he would have returned to wherever the prisoners were kept to secure them.
However, in the relief, they also found dread. What if the doppelganger had not gone to secure the prisoners because there was nothing left to secure? His dark deeds of sacrifice already committed?
They continued traveling the trail with growing urgency, following backward footprints in the hopes they would lead them to the lost caravan.
Unassailed, they traveled for nearly an hour before Sol felt confident enough to speak. His voice hoarse, "What was that?"
Argus turned and raised a scaled brow. "What?"
"That... feeling back there, that anger, was that your Oaths?"
"Anger? I- no, none that I felt." Argus turned to his brother, puzzled.
"Not from me." Asgar spoke, "I do not know why my Oath would give me anger to work with."
Uncertainty ran through Sol's mind. His Drakon companions had not provided the anger that had surged through him. Anger that had both helped him through the effect of the doppelganger's charming words and yet had also nearly caused him to rise and strike out.
If it had not come from his two stalwart traveling partners, then it had come from himself.
As his thoughts began to focus on the problem, he felt might be there, suddenly, it was washed away in a wave of heat from Argus's Sun.
Later the Oath seemed to demand, he'd deal with it later. The people he needed to save were more important than his emotional hang ups, and thus the problem- if there was one, it would be dealt with later.
They moved quickly, sticking low to the ground. But eventually moved to the path itself to save time. Night had fallen, and if they were lucky. They might reach their destination- whatever it was, with whatever sentries it had- if it had any at all, still asleep.
However, despite their efforts, it was for naught as the suns began to rise long before they found anything.
Argus felt an urge to double back and check for any other paths reaching off the one they now walked that they may have missed in the darkness. But bit back his tongue from suggesting it, they could not risk that their destination was just a few more steps forward. Nor could they risk running into anyone that might now be following them.
Despite the effects of the auras, a sense of unease began to grow in the three.
This unease reached a crescendo as while they jogged down the path, they spotted a quartet of figures, tall and lanky things with long spears. Standing further down the trail, looking as if they were waiting for them.
Undead figures, rotting husks. Not Wights, thankfully. But a far weaker variant of the undead: Zombies.
Where a wight usually was just as dangerous if not more so as the person they had once been, keeping all non-divine magic and skill at arms they'd once held in life.
A zombie held no such memories and were often stupid things reliant on numbers. Or else the strategic talent of their commanders, whether their commanders be the necromancers or other more intelligent types of undead.
The brothers grimaced as they recognized vaguely familiar forms, the long, lanky elf-kin that had been the caravans guards. Not all of them, of course, as they had been anywhere from thirty to twenty of the guards. But some of them.
What's more, these bodies were fresh, and their kind had been naturally keen-eyed in life, and they were so still in death.
Despite the group's attempts to stay low and hidden, doing so effectively in the rising suns was impossible for the paladins. And Argus kicked himself for the decision to move onto the road, as it left them quickly spotted.
Three of the Zombies echoed out a guttural cry and charged, with the fourth turning and running back down the path at a quickening sprint.
"Go!" Argus shouted, charging forward. Any chance of assaulting stealthily now gone.
Sol cried out in a voice now full of fervor and not a small part still lingering anger from the night. "Oh, My Goddess of Illumination! Bring these wretched souls a holy cremation!" He placed one hand in front of the other, and from the palm of the front-most hand shot three blasts of orange flaming rays. Which seemed to weave around the charging brothers to strike their targets.
The flaming rays tore through the three zombies, igniting them. Yet despite the holes that the blazing beams had neatly burned through the undead. Or the now spreading flames that were erupting from said wounds, the zombies ran on still.
The Paladins met them with a crash. Argus swung his sword, taking the head off of the leading undead. The two monsters following behind it, smashing their flaming bodies into the twin's shields.
Asgar made his attempt to strike at the undead but was forced back by the flames now licking up its body, turning it into a walking pyre.
The brothers moved forward, pushing the undead back with their shields and attempting to hack at the scorched undead from behind them.
They made a handful of ineffective slashes at the burning, reanimated corpses. Unable to get an angle without leaving themselves open to be speared or grappled by the husks. They quickly found that the flames that burned at the bodies were far more effective than any fire they had interacted with before. And soon after the impact of the zombies on their shields, the two undead collapsed, the flame breaking whatever magic gave them their bizarre half-life.
Even the undead that Argus had swiftly beheaded grew into an unrecognizable curl of charcoal in all put moments.
Sol caught up to them. And responded to their surprised and impressed looks with, "I asked for cremation, not mild burns. Keep going!"
The battle at the inn had been a poor representation of the power Sol could wield, a cleric worked in chants and prayers. Not in blind pushes of energy at their enemies, and while they could blindly throw their power around, as he had shown. Prayer always served better.
The Sun of Argus's Oath helped all the more with this. while it did not actually belong to Soltris, as the real suns did. It felt akin to hers and helped the fledgling holy warrior focus.
The three sprinted after the undead, catching sight of it as the trail ended at A shoddily made structure of stacked logs built into a hill, which the now fleeing zombie quickly ducked into.
The Paladins did not waste too much time, quickly charging into the building itself.
—-
Natsza, A naga. Raised her head, breathing a sigh of relief.
Finally, something to break up the mediocrity of this wretched position. And likely a chance to test her toys as well.
She was a Naga and had you seen her from any angle but the front, you would have thought of her as a snake.
A Giant one. Large enough to hunt a horse as a regular snake might consume a rat.
But when one looks from the front, one would see the human-like face sitting where an equally giant snake's head should be.
She, despite her excitement over the change of events, she still groaned.
She had hoped to use the most recent adventuring group that had come in. The synergy they had would have made them excellent defense, and the piece they were missing could be filled by her.
Instead, she had been told to send them out like common Wights.
Which had only resulted in her losing the best of her new wave of soldiers. She clicked her tongue, damnable Drakon.
She was almost disappointed to find the invaders in her abode were more of the damned things. As, they would not offer her all the variety she'd been hoping for. But still, she had been excited when the doppelganger's warning had come through. And she was still excited.
She would have thought this pair had been the same two that had been hunting down her wights. Had it not been for the fact that those two had only just now put down her winged specimen, and Drakon could not cover the distance between here and it even if they somehow knew where she was.
She was looking through the eyes of one of her undead now, watching as they slaughtered the zombie patrol quickly enough. And soon, they were charging into the building itself.
Excellent, she'd have three new wights to replace the three she had just recently lost.
And Drakon made for such excellent undead too! With all the silver ones running around and fighting her troops lately, there must be a tribe close by. She'd have to claim it before the shifting fools tried to control them with their 'charms.'
She smiled, her fangs bared. These fools may be able to destroy her wights out in the forests, but here? In her lair?
The Ego of Drakon.
—-
The undead elf-kin clumsily leaped out as Argus rushed into the building, smashing into his side.
It did not have the weight needed to knock him off his footing, however. And though the impact did cause him to stumble, it resulted in the undead falling to the ground. Only for Asgar, who was rapidly following in behind his brother, to bring his ax down into the back of its skull as it scrambled to get up.
He felt a pang of guilt for failing to get here in time for the elf-kin the undead had been, but the blame for such failings could be indulged in later. Not when there may still be some or most of the caravan living.
They looked around the building and quickly discovered a tunnel leading into the hill.
The Drakon would have to hunch over to fit, as it was built more inline for the size of an average-sized human.
They quickly moved forward, their sense of urgency ever-growing.
—-
Unknown to them, from the ashes of their first battle, three new undead rose. Skeletal and coated in scorched flesh.
—-
Heya folks. I'm writing a high fantasy tale of brothers, action, adventure, duty, and honor over on royalroad. https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/31104/oaths-a-tale-of-two-brothers there's an extra seven chapters over there so go one and take a look if you liked what you read.
Ps. Even if you find you are uninterested in my story, I cannot recommend royal road highly enough as a collection of web novels and fanfiction if you have any interest in stories about fantasy, sci-fi, or other fantastical elements.
submitted by DenMan_PH to u/DenMan_PH [link] [comments]


2020.05.27 05:50 ZZerome Restaurant outdoor dining areas and patios will reopen on May 27th.

May 26, 2020

State announces soft reopening for dine-in restaurants
Restaurants may provide outdoor or patio services
where available beginning Wednesday

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit limited outdoor dine-in services for most of the state beginning Wednesday, May 27.

Dine-in services inside restaurants and bars remain temporarily prohibited. New Mexico is on target for a June 1 reopening of those services under a limited capacity per fire code occupancy restrictions – however, New Mexico health officials continue to monitor the rate of transmission in the state’s southwestern public health region, which if unchecked could preclude further reopenings in that region. The amended public health order does not apply to the northwestern public health region.

Under the amended public health order, which is attached and will be effective Wednesday, May 27, restaurants may offer dine-in service in outdoor seating areas at up to 50 percent of their outdoor area fire code occupancy. The following stipulations apply:
No dine-in service may be provided in indoor seating areas.
Outdoor dine-in service may only be provided to patrons who are seated.
Tables must be placed with at least six feet of distance between one another.
No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table.
No bar or counter seating is permitted.
Bars – defined as food and beverage service establishments that derived more than 50 percent of their revenue in the prior calendar year from the sale of alcoholic beverages – are not included in this provision and may not operate outdoor or patio services at present. Bars may continue to operate for take-out and delivery if permitted under their applicable licenses.

“Our priority throughout this public health crisis has been the safety and health and well-being of New Mexicans, and this modification of the emergency public health order aligns with that mandate while providing an opportunity for restaurants to begin preparing for a wider reopening next week,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We continue to see sustained, consistent progress in our fight against this virus, which is a credit to the New Mexicans who have amended their behavior to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. I greatly look forward to being able to continue to ease the restrictions imposed on us by this heinous virus – provided that we continue on the right track and New Mexicans take every necessary precaution, whether in an individual capacity or as a business-owner or employee.”

“The New Mexico Restaurant Association is happy with the Governor's decision to allow a soft opening, of outdoor dining, for restaurants on May 27,” said Carol Wight, the association’s chief executive. “We believe this will provide restaurants the opportunity to ease back into the swing of things while taking the time to properly train staff and implement COVID-19 safe procedures effectively, before fully opening to the public on June 1.

“At this time we ask our industry partners in Doña Ana County to seriously consider refraining from participation in this soft opening,” Wight added. “The rate of transmission is considerably higher in this area and in order for everyone to be able to safely reopen soon, the NMRA would like restaurants in this area to forgo the May 27 date and work hard to slow the spread for the June 1 reopening of our industry.”

COVID-safe practices for restaurants are available here and will be adhered to under any broader reopening that could take place early next week upon the expiration of the current emergency public health order.

The emergency public health order mandates compliance with COVID-Safe Practices for Restaurants, which have been updated with an adjustment related to contact tracing. The requirement is as follows:

“To support contract tracing, offer all customers who visit the establishment with the opportunity to record their name and phone number or email address, along with the date and time of their visit, and retain such records for no less than four weeks from the date of collection.”

All COVID-Safe Practices can be found in “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”, which can be accessed and downloaded at newmexico.gov and cv.nmhelath.org at the link provided here. (The document includes COVID-Safe Practices for salons, spas, and tattoo parlors, although those are not yet permissible, in order to allow these establishments to prepare for what practices will be required upon a later limited re-opening.)

The amended public health order – which otherwise remains the same, meaning other close-contact facilities and outdoor recreation facilities must remain closed – will not apply to the northwestern public health region, encompassing the counties of Cibola, McKinley and San Juan. That public health region remains under the May 5, 2020, public health order but is on track to move ahead into broader reopenings beginning June 1.

The public health order dated May 15, 2020, can be found here.

The amended public health order is attached. It will be executed Wednesday, May 27.
submitted by ZZerome to SantaFe [link] [comments]


2020.05.27 05:45 ZZerome Outdoor patios and seating areas for restaurants will reopen on Wednesday May 27th

State announces soft reopening for dine-in restaurants
Restaurants may provide outdoor or patio services
where available beginning Wednesday

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit limited outdoor dine-in services for most of the state beginning Wednesday, May 27.

Dine-in services inside restaurants and bars remain temporarily prohibited. New Mexico is on target for a June 1 reopening of those services under a limited capacity per fire code occupancy restrictions – however, New Mexico health officials continue to monitor the rate of transmission in the state’s southwestern public health region, which if unchecked could preclude further reopenings in that region. The amended public health order does not apply to the northwestern public health region.

Under the amended public health order, which is attached and will be effective Wednesday, May 27, restaurants may offer dine-in service in outdoor seating areas at up to 50 percent of their outdoor area fire code occupancy. The following stipulations apply:
No dine-in service may be provided in indoor seating areas.
Outdoor dine-in service may only be provided to patrons who are seated.
Tables must be placed with at least six feet of distance between one another.
No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table.
No bar or counter seating is permitted.
Bars – defined as food and beverage service establishments that derived more than 50 percent of their revenue in the prior calendar year from the sale of alcoholic beverages – are not included in this provision and may not operate outdoor or patio services at present. Bars may continue to operate for take-out and delivery if permitted under their applicable licenses.

“Our priority throughout this public health crisis has been the safety and health and well-being of New Mexicans, and this modification of the emergency public health order aligns with that mandate while providing an opportunity for restaurants to begin preparing for a wider reopening next week,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We continue to see sustained, consistent progress in our fight against this virus, which is a credit to the New Mexicans who have amended their behavior to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. I greatly look forward to being able to continue to ease the restrictions imposed on us by this heinous virus – provided that we continue on the right track and New Mexicans take every necessary precaution, whether in an individual capacity or as a business-owner or employee.”

“The New Mexico Restaurant Association is happy with the Governor's decision to allow a soft opening, of outdoor dining, for restaurants on May 27,” said Carol Wight, the association’s chief executive. “We believe this will provide restaurants the opportunity to ease back into the swing of things while taking the time to properly train staff and implement COVID-19 safe procedures effectively, before fully opening to the public on June 1.

“At this time we ask our industry partners in Doña Ana County to seriously consider refraining from participation in this soft opening,” Wight added. “The rate of transmission is considerably higher in this area and in order for everyone to be able to safely reopen soon, the NMRA would like restaurants in this area to forgo the May 27 date and work hard to slow the spread for the June 1 reopening of our industry.”

COVID-safe practices for restaurants are available here and will be adhered to under any broader reopening that could take place early next week upon the expiration of the current emergency public health order.

The emergency public health order mandates compliance with COVID-Safe Practices for Restaurants, which have been updated with an adjustment related to contact tracing. The requirement is as follows:

“To support contract tracing, offer all customers who visit the establishment with the opportunity to record their name and phone number or email address, along with the date and time of their visit, and retain such records for no less than four weeks from the date of collection.”

All COVID-Safe Practices can be found in “All Together New Mexico: COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers”, which can be accessed and downloaded at newmexico.gov and cv.nmhelath.org at the link provided here. (The document includes COVID-Safe Practices for salons, spas, and tattoo parlors, although those are not yet permissible, in order to allow these establishments to prepare for what practices will be required upon a later limited re-opening.)
submitted by ZZerome to NewMexico [link] [comments]


2020.05.24 18:09 Void_Menagerie [M4F/Futa] LF > Monster Girl RP

(18+ only)
So this is my first time doing a post on Reddit so bear with me. I love the MGE setting in concept, but not as it is in the sense of being purely sexually focused. I'd like to play a sort of modified world that's a bit more civilized, the monster girls rather than being focused on assaulting a human male for their spirit energy would more likely be more focused on trying to seduce them to become a mate, where some are probably more aggressive than others.
But as to why I'm making a post, I'm looking for someone to play as a monster girl. Though I rather it be something along the lines of 60/40 or 70/30 story to smut ratio. Sex in RP isn't something I'm aversed to, but I'd rather there be context around it because it makes it that much more enjoyable to me. A part of this RP is also going to be me playing a human male that gets turned into a monster girl over time. At first, he'll most likely be horrified of it and also have to deal with some of the new abilities he might have as well as adjust to the new physiology (I don't have a static choice at the moment, and I know that this doesn't happen to males in MGE generally, but this is a modified setting.) I'm not someone who is too out there, so my tastes are kind of tame. Some of my favorite monster girls include fox girls, Tsurara-Onna, Mind flayers, Banshee, Manticore, Hellhound, Kraken, and Wight. Generally what I like still has human anatomy (in the case of a Kraken it could be something like you can turn your tentacles into legs). Though don't be afraid to bring up to me whatever kind of monster girl you want to play. Also I generally don't play a dominant persona.
The genre of this will be fantasy, somewhat high fantasy possibly, some modern elements but will be what you expect out of an isekai anime (maybe they'll have Magitech but that's something I'm still pondering)
As for the story, I could probably formulate it on the spot but I'm thinking something along the lines of meeting a monster girl due to being saved by one in some way. Humans are generally taught to stay away from monster girls due to them being dangerous. As children they aren't informed of the sexual nature of them but they are taught that they do have a corrupting influence. Places, where monster girls and humans coexist, do exist, but those are generally in towns or independent cities since the general opinion of nobles in kingdoms is that monster girls are not to be trusted. As a result, monster girls and humans are generally hunted by humans who in return are further antagonized by them. There are individuals on both sides who will want to progress relations between the two towards peace but traditions and history are in the way of truly moving forward. This is why settlements that are under the management of a kingdom won't have monster girls in them, if they do then they're treated like second class citizens.

My character would be someone who isn't necessarily special. if anything they might be an apprentice that just recently inherited a business, or maybe a knight of a garrison. Though one thing that would be constant is that he struggles with whatever position he has due to the pressure put on him by his peers or fellow citizens. Because of this stress he's currently struggling to be successful. He himself is uneasy around monster girls but isn't vehemently hateful of them. As an idea maybe the event occurs when he's out on a break.
If you want to know my preference for what I'd want in terms of a species or partner personality (again not required) I'll drop it here.
I'd like to try having a Tsurara-Onna, Mind flayer or Wight as a partner. Personality I do like the characters that seem like they're only seductresses but in reality are actually genuinely loving. I also like characters that are sophisticated or high class but not stuck up.
Sorry if this is a lot to read, I generally RP on discord but doesn't have to be on it, just not something like email, since I don't check that reliably.
If there are any questions or concerns you have, feel free to send me a DM.
Hope to hear from you soon!
submitted by Void_Menagerie to MonsterGirlRP [link] [comments]


2020.05.05 15:16 BeBraveEnt IEPFB and CFP

Ok so I am going to discuss these two Pasta comics. I Eat Pasta for Breakfast is a fan comic by Tobi (Chibi-Works) it made it’s debut on DA. The story is centered on Lazari Swann who’s mother committed suicide by hanging herself on a tree. Lazari was taken in by Slender who originally planned to eat her until she took a chunk out of Eyeless Jack. Lazari is what is known as a Zalgoid and well she is the daughter of Zalgo. Zalgo is kinda like Zeus cause he couldn’t stop sticking his dick in everything. The tone starts off after Jack’s bite to well pretty light hearted and cute. Later down the road becomes much darker. Tobi’s art will evolve with time making characters look more creepy especially in certain shots. This comic was sadly dropped due to Tobi wanting to do more original projects, but hasn’t been officially canceled because her gallery says it will have slow updates. She reboots IEPFB into a comic called The Demon Within. I don’t think it is specified if Lazari is still considered a pasta anymore but she in my opinion did make a huge impact. Tobi from my current knowledge didn’t drop IEPFB because of a toxic fandom. It was a project she was pretty passionate about. She simply wanted to move on and is currently working on well what I can describe as a gay vampire story called Withdraw. (It’s more than just that trust me).
So Tobi left positively. We don’t know when she will come back to the story of Lazari but she wasn’t negative about it. The story of IEPFB can be wrapped us as these monsters have mutual relations only for the fact their monsters. Some do get along with each other while others don’t. I want to bring up Jeff in the story as an example of some of the character development in the story. Jeff has grown attached to a character by Tobi named Lulu who can cause a fog around her and she has this compelling urge to take people’s eyes. Jeff at one point goes out against Slender’s orders to save Lulu who is attacked by Zalgo. Jeff has gone through before all this killing his family. His brother probably gave him the biggest impact and when he lost that he ultimately became a miserable person wearing his fake smile on his face despite hiding so much pain. When Lulu enters his life and they start forming a connection Jeff starts seeing her differently as either a sibling or possibly romantic partner. He wants to hold onto this special second chance and it’s due to her he can genuinely be happy again. He still is a killer at heart, but he has made room in his heart for someone he deems special. (Possibility of reading to into things but it gives interesting discussion). Anyway continuing on Jeff hears Lulu being called Lucille which triggers him to freeze up probably wondering why Lulu hasn’t been open to him about her past life especially for all the time they spent. Zalgo does give Lulu over to Jeff and Lulu tells Slender and Jeff what had happened to her. Least the parts she can remember. Going back just a bit Jeff after Zalgo leaves remarks to himself that he is a bad teacher. He didn’t use his own advice that he taught Lulu. Jeff may have felt a sense of failure and even fear because he was going to lose something he cherished but it wouldn’t be by his hands.
Now let’s go into Creepy Frozen Pasta by Wight. The comic about Ani the Wight and Eyeless Jack’s story as they grow closer. This story has many lighthearted moments around Ani and Jack. Everyone else is more used for comedy purposes since well they aren’t the main focus. Ani and Jack work well as a pair due to having similar deals about their origins. Jack was forced as a sacrifice and betrayed by someone he trusted leading him not to partner up with anyone even if that meant he would die from his hunger or another monster. Ani was left to die by a cruel prank by her past boyfriend and wanted revenge for being abandoned by those she cared for. She turns into a wight through some creature. Whether she got her revenge in this comic isn’t specified. Ani before the comic had her own story. She wasn’t connected to anything like Lazari and thus wasn’t stuck by rules of Zalgo. Ani had little restriction due to her being her own character first. Compared to IEPFB. CFP didn’t make it very far. The creator Wight did a similar thing to Tobi and wanted to move on but did say she would update the comic just not as fast. Wight currently had CFP (a few canceled comics) and her project Candilanderz (which came out sometime later). Later on after dropping CFP all together would create another series Night City. (I think there is a Webtoon somewhere but she hasn’t done anything with it). So let me bring my problem with all this. Wight dropped CFP for what I consider a bad reason. Toxic fandom she had such passion for this comic and it was ruined by a fandom. To me this tells me there may have been nothing in the first place and it’s disappointing. You gotta be willing to fight for a creation fanmade or not. The only times you should get rid of something is if the law gets involved like with Nintendo and good fan games. I feel in bad taste Ani was later revealed to be rebooted into yet another series. Now this presents problems in itself. She currently has multiple projects which if managed right can be do able. Though in my opinion early on Wight has record of dropping things outright just to move onto the next thing. Candilanderz and Night City and even the new series with Ani could eventually get dropped due to self disinterest, not enough people following it, or like before toxicity.
The stuff I say about Wight is merely opinion based despite doing my best for an argument.
To conclude, I just want a great Creepypasta comic that has an ending and isn’t canceled due to dumb reasons.
submitted by BeBraveEnt to creepypasta [link] [comments]


2020.04.10 17:06 afty Titanic Daily: April 10th 1912.

In partnership with and with the permission of the incredible organization White Stars, Black Sea i'll be sharing daily updates here as a part of their Titanic Live event leading up to it's tragic loss.
So take a trip back to April 10th, 1912!
Previous Day's Thread

April 10th, 1912

7:30 AM
Sailing day is finally here after a week of ceaseless efforts to prepare Titanic at Southampton. Most of the crew boards at this time, followed directly by an 8.00 AM crew muster, with employee health inspections carried out and several no-shows being replaced by those eagerly awaiting the opportunity at dockside. EJ Smith is photographed here (on the 11th of April) outside the officers' quarters on the liner’s starboard Boat Deck alongside Chief Purser Hugh McElroy, a fellow long time White Star veteran and recent transferee from Olympic.
Photo published in The Sphere, April 1912
8:30 AM
A short boat drill is conducted, overseen by Board of Trade Immigration Officer Maurice Clarke. Starboard side boats 11 and 13 are lowered, commanded by officers Lowe and Moody respectively, and rowed by eight crewmen around the White Star Dock. Sails are intended to be raised aboard the two lifeboats, but a slight breeze and lack of time for these tests causes this part of the drill to be cancelled. Additionally, Clarke and White Star Marine Superintendent Benjamin Steele test and oversee a number of Titanic life vests. The drill takes about a half hour all in all, and the boats are re-stowed by 9.00.
Photo of a test of Olympic lifeboat #11, late April 1912, published in the Daily Mirror in May of that year
9:30 AM
Titanic's second and third class passengers begin boarding the liner, many arriving from London on a special LSWR boat train that has left Waterloo at 7.30 AM. It is a varying array of order and confusion, with luggage marked and hauled aboard which is pulled from baggage cars by horse drawn carts, and with confused stewards leading large groups into deep areas of the vessel that they themselves are not yet completely familiar with. In Second Class, a bit more order is seen. Pictured here is the Goodwin family of Wiltshire, traveling Third Class on Titanic on their way to Niagara Falls, New York. They, including infant son Sidney (not photographed here) will be among those boarding the liner at this time.
Photo from the collection of the National Archives (UK)
9:45 AM
The LSWR First Class Boat Train leaves Waterloo Station carrying a number of Titanic’s passengers. It will arrive at the White Star Dock in Southampton just before 11.30, her wealthy contingent boarding the liner soon thereafter. Among those making the trip from London are the Strauses, Archibald Gracie, Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Harris, and Father Francis Browne, who will document some of the journey with his famous camera.
Postcard credit Patrick Mylan
11:30 AM
Father Francis Browne photographs second class passengers embarking further down the hull as he himself boards through the first class gangway into B-Deck. In the coming minutes he will have some trouble locating his cabin one deck above, as even stewards familiar with the new liner's layout by way of sister Olympic are not sure where his tucked away nook is, adjacent to Titanic's Aft Grand Staircase. He is in good company - Thomas Andrews is himself quartered directly across the landing.
Titanic sails in just over half an hour.
Photo by Fr. Francis Browne
12.15 PM
Two blasts sound from Titanic's massive tri-tone whistles, hawser lines are cast off from her towering side, and Southampton tugs do the rest, pulling her into the River Test to begin the first stage of her maiden voyage under her own power. Officers Wilde and Lightoller are stationed all the way forward at the vessel's forecastle, Murdoch and Pitman are at the stern, Boxhall and Lowe are on her bridge with harbor pilot George Bowyer and EJ Smith, and 6th Officer Moody is stationed at an open E-Deck gangway door. Hundreds line the docks to see her off - including six of the ship’s stokers, late returning from a quick drink ashore before sailing time and denied access to the vessel by Moody. It is a mistake that will likely spare them their lives. The maiden voyage has officially begun.
To hear a real recording of Titanic's recovered whistles, listen here
Photo from the collection of the National Archives (UK)
12:20 PM
Several minutes immediately after departure, as Titanic moves alongside White Star’s RMS Oceanic and the American Line’s SS New York, ropes laid across both ships snap with the tension created by Titanic’s wake, pulling New York toward the giant ship. Only very quick action on the part of the crews of both Titanic and the harbor tugs escorting her prevents a collision, with just a short distance between the vessels. She will be delayed for an hour before leaving again for Cherbourg - partially as well to disembark several workers who have missed the last call for “all ashore”. Harbor tug Vulcan will collect them soon after the near miss with New York and Titanic will be on her way into the Solent.
Photo from the collection of the National Archives (UK)
Afternoon
A majority of surviving Titanic letters after this point are written this afternoon or tomorrow morning, posted later in either Cherbourg or Queenstown, though a few survivors will be dated later - in most cases carried in pockets by those aboard lifeboats. This example was penned this afternoon by bandleader Wallace Hartley and sent to his parents in Colne, Lancashire:
"On board R.M.S. Titanic Wednesday (April 10th) 191(2)
My dear parents -
Just a line to say we have got away all right. It's been a bit of a rush but I am just getting a little settled.
This is a fine ship & there ought to be plenty of money on her. I've missed coming home very much & it would have been nice to have seen you all if only for an hour or two, but I couldn't manage it.
We have a fine band & the boys seem very nice. I have had to buy some linen & I sent my washing home today by post. I shall probably arrive home on the Sunday morning.
We are due here on the Saturday
With love to all,
Wallace"
Letter courtesy of Henry Aldridge & Son
2:15 PM
Several gorgeous photos are taken from the Isle of Wight as Titanic steams down the Solent, still under the guidance of harbor pilot George Bowyer (affectionately called Uncle George by crews familiar to him). It is his job to safely navigate the liner out of Southampton, through the river shallows and out to the edge of the English Channel. Aboard, newly embarked passengers find their staterooms, explore the ship, and have finished lingering over their first lunch, served just minutes after sailing.
Photo via Michael Pocock/Maritimequest
2:35 PM
After seeing the liner out of Southampton and through the Solent by Cowes and the Isle of Wight, George Bowyer is dropped off at the Nab Light Vessel by Titanic. Deeply familiar with both vessel class and crew after years in his position (Bowyer was in fact aboard the bridge of RMS Olympic under EJ Smith when she collided with HMS Hawke last fall), the kindly fifty-two year old pilot signs off with a friendly goodbye and a wish for a successful crossing - and notes that he'll see them all again in a little more than two weeks.
Portrait of G.W. Bowyer courtesy of Bevois Mount History, Southampton
6:30 PM
After a largely uneventful channel crossing of just under eighty miles, Titanic enters Cherbourg harbor, dropping anchor under a gorgeous setting sun, though the harbor is rough, and with a cold prevailing wind. Tenders Nomadic and Traffic will ferry passengers, small cargo, and mail to the vessel from their dock at Gare Maritime, where passengers have been patiently awaiting the delayed liner. Among those boarding this evening will be the newlywed Astors, Margaret Brown, the Duff Gordons, and nearly 280 others. At 8.10 PM, Titanic will depart for Ireland after her only visit to mainland Europe.
7:00 PM
The first dinner of the voyage is served aboard Titanic, with the strains of her orchestra mixing with the muffled sounds of those embarking from the Cherbourg tenders in the background. Fr. Francis Browne noted this ambiance during his only dinner aboard, later recalling hearing "Tales of Hoffman" and “Cavalleria Rusticana" in particular. The air is of a near reunion, with old friends and business partners from both sides of the Atlantic meeting in the yearly spring ritual of transatlantic travel in April. Gradually, her passengers and a majority of her crew settle into their first evening at sea.
Hear Vov Dylan w/Glenn Amer and the Palace Orchestra perform Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman", here
Only known photo of Titanic's First Class Dining Saloon taken by Fr. Francis Browne
submitted by afty to RMS_Titanic [link] [comments]


2020.02.25 02:42 markrainsun15 [ PDF, Solutions Manual Wankat ] Separation Process Engineering Includes Mass Transfer Analysis 4th Edition


If you are interested in the instructor solution manual and / or PDF ebook
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2020.02.05 16:48 XSaraXPoeX The Murder of Rebecca Wight, May 13, 1988

Photo; Rebecca Wight and Claudia Brenner
Rebecca Wight was a student, of Iranian-Puerto Rican heritage, who was working on her Master's Degree in business administration, and Claudia Brenner was a Jewish, Manhattan-born architecture student. They had been partners for two years after having met over breakfast while both were students at Virginia Tech.
In May 1988, Wight and Brenner were hiking the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. They parked their car at Dead Woman Hollow, and hiked into Michaux State Forest where they set up camp.
Wight first encountered Stephen Roy Carr in a public restroom near their campground. Carr, 22, sometimes lived in a cave and carried a .22 caliber rifle. He asked Wight for a cigarette. She said she didn't have one, and hurried back to the campsite, where she told Brenner that someone else was there. The couple dressed, and decided to find a more private campsite.
Newspaper clipping
The couple encountered Carr again later that day, when they stopped to look at their map. Brenner and Wight eventually set up camp in a new location. They ate dinner, and began to have sex. Unseen by the couple, Carr watched them from 82 feet away. He fired eight bullets at the women: Brenner was hit five times in the arm, face, head and neck; Wight was shot twice in the head and back. The last shot shattered Wight's liver. The eighth bullet missed.
Wight was unable to stand, so Brenner hiked three miles to the road, where she was able to get a ride to the Shippensburg police station. At the station, Brenner gave the police all the details of their ordeal except one - she did not tell police that they were lesbians. When the police returned to the scene, they found that Wight had died from her wounds. Brenner received word of Wight's death while in the hospital.
Podcast; Misconduct, A True Crime Podcast Ep46 - Claudia Brenner & Rebecca Wight
Carr thought both women were dead. He left 25 rounds of ammunition at the scene, along with the knit cap he'd worn; police found them at the scene. For ten days after the shooting, Carr hid in a Mennonite community. Since members of the community did not read the news or watch television, they did not know Carr was a suspect in a shooting until one member, who had secretly watched television, recognized Carr from the composite drawing on the news and called police.
Police arrested Carr on a warrant from Florida for grand larceny. Carr waived his right to a jury trial in exchange for an agreement by the prosecution not to seek the death penalty. At trial, Carr claimed he had been enraged by the sight of the two women having sex, that the two women had taunted him by having sex in front of him. His public defender said he'd been raped in a Florida prison, and sexually abused as a child. The attorney claimed that the couple's lesbianism was provocation that caused her client "inexplicable rage."
Documentary; In the Hollow
The judge refused to allow evidence of Carr's psychosexual history, ruling it irrelevant. He also disallowed the introduction of Brenner's and Wight's relationship in court, thus forcing the defense to cut a deal and accept a sentence of life without parole. On March 8, 1991, Carr's appeal, based on the court's decision to disallow introduction of his psychosexual history in court, was denied by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Claudia Brenner moved to Ithaca, New York and went on to write a book about the shooting, Wight's death, and her ordeal, "Eight Bullets: One Woman's Story of Surviving Anti-Gay Violence," and to become an active speaker against anti-gay violence. In 1999, H. L. Pohlman also wrote a book about the murder, titled, "The Whole Truth."
In 2015 a short documentary about the ordeal, called, "In the Hollow," was released. Brenner appeared in the documentary, and she also told her story on the British radio program, BBC Outlook. Wiki
Article; The Target That Shot Back 1995
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2020.01.14 21:05 ASongofNoOne [Spoilers Extended] Bran as Azor Ahai Reborn -or- Lightbringer

Over the years characters in the books, as well as we the fandom, have speculated as to the question of who will be Azor Ahai reborn, with Dany, Stannis and Jon being the primary suspects, and even Euron emerging with very interesting readings of the text.
As we know, Mel has a pretty bad track record on interpreting her visions, but that said she does still see what she sees. We finally get a POV chapter from her near the end of ADWD, where it’s told to us that her powers are greatly enhanced / heightened at the Wall :
She was stronger at the Wall, stronger even than in Asshai. Her every word and gesture was more potent, and she could do things that she had never done before
In the very same chapter, Mel again seeks her visions in the flames and asks for a glimpse of Azor Ahai reborn :
A face took shape within the hearth. Stannis? she thought, for just a moment … but no, these were not his features. A wooden face, corpse white. Was this the enemy? A thousand red eyes floated in the rising flames. He sees me. Beside him, a boy with a wolf’s face threw back his head and howled.
Think most of us have concluded that she’s seeing Bloodraven and / or the weirwood net full of CotF with the thousand red eyes, and of course Bran as the boy with a wolf’s face.
Here’s where GRRM’s proclivity to give his characters meaningful names comes into play, and as LmL has pointed out :
to the phonetic connection of Bran’s name to the Norse word “brandr,” which means both “burning brand” and “flaming sword”
Bran also means “raven” in Welsh, which works obviously well for his character, but what if his name has a double meaning? What if there is no one AAR reborn, what if Azor Ahai has a number of symbolic analogues in our tale here?
Bran is “reborn” amidst salt and smoke at Winterfell while he’s down in the crypts, hiding from the Ironborn, and his third eye fully opens - the smoke would be from the sacking and burning of the castle, and the salt can again be tears of those being slain or captured by Ramsey, or the Ironborn themselves as they are associated with salt heavily. While warging into Summer to scout the situation before emerging from the crypts, he also sees a vision of a “winged snake” amidst the smoke of the smoldering ruins - our dragon awaking from stone.
Jon, Dany and Bran... all three seemed destined to fight alongside one another in some form or another against the Others - what if they’re doing so in differing manners or even theaters of war?
Jon and Dany could be doing so from the backs of dragons for instance, or maybe that’s just Dany and Jon is leading men on the ground with a Valaryian steel sword... and while they take on those approaches, Bran does so in the weirwood net itself.
Must there be only one Azor Ahai reborn? I propose that there can be a few, as the moniker may well be much more a symbolic analogue than one literal savior figure.
Or! Bran is Lightbringer - the flaming sword - as his name in Norse seems to suggest. Jon could be AAR, somehow partnered with Bran as Lightbringer.
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2020.01.10 18:51 dagdha [US-CA][H]GMK Metropolis Midnight, Drop Red Samurai kits, RAMA PBT Heavy Industry, Artisans (BRO, KF, SUK, TXD), Prime Shipping* [W] Paypal, Trades

Timestamp Artisans
Item Description Want
GMK Metropolis Midnight kit BNIB (never opened) $95 / Trades
GMK Red Samurai 1800 Kit BNIB $90 / Trades
GMK Red Samurai 65% Kit BNIB $80 / Trades
RAMA PBT Heavy Industry SEQ2; BNIB (never opened) $135 SOLD for $125 local
YOK Mint Pandas x70 BNIB $50 SOLD for asking
Drop Halo Clears x70 BNIB $50 SOLD for asking
KF Volcanic Orochi MX stem $80 / Trades
SUK Night Wight Legion II MX stem; (GID) $65 / Trades
TXD Neon Dreams Care Bear v2 MX stem $50 / Trades
BRO Hellfire Esc+Fn Topre $75 / Trades
BRO C6-63 MX FPS Gamer Set MX stem $150 SOLD for asking
GTB Crux Cap Blanks MX Stem $25/ea
Jelly Key 6.25u Boreal Koi Pond MX Stem Trade for 7u
First person to buy 2 or more items will receive a free 250GB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 drive.
Regarding trades, I'm interested in GMK sets (especially Carbon Boneyard and Minimal), SA Vilebloom, Shishis, Fugthulhus, and BBv2s (but I'm open to offers). Willing to n:1, 1:n, or +/- PP to even out trades.
Terms & Conditions * Not FCFS. * Bundles given priority. * Like guacamole, shipping is extra, unless you sign up for Dagdha’s MechMarket PrimeTM Service†. CONUS shipping is $8 for artisans; $15 GMK keysets in tray (willing to ship for $8 in bags).
All purchases go out next business day. Please comment prior to PM (no reddit chat please). Anyone who has not clearly read and understood the content of this post is subject to sarcasm, irony, and ridicule (though, in all likelihood, I’ll probably just ignore your message).
† For a nominal yearly subscription of $95, I will ship anything you buy from me for the next twelve months absolutely FREE. Dagdha’s MechMarket Prime also comes with complimentary access to regularly updated keyboard content, including popular streams like TopClick, Taehastips, and Mechsonboard, among others (we’ve partnered with involuntaryspasm.xyz to bring you all the best streaming content)
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2020.01.07 06:33 KittenCustode My ill-fated attempts at DMing in middle school

I haven't seen too many posts on this subreddit about the author, so I, a teenager with low self-esteem and a need to remember how much I have improved since middle school, thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to embarrass myself on the Internet. It wouldn't be the first time!
Let's all travel back in time to the summer of 2018.
I don't know what it was like for people outside of my area, but as a gremlin that preferred to never expose his skin to the sun, I can safely say that I longed for apple cider and the comfort of hoodies.I'll be frank: I was a total weirdo in middle school. I didn't talk to a lot of my classmates, despite their best attempts to include me in stuff, and I hung around a bunch of other nerds that were probably awful influences on me. Not because of their nerdiness, but because of their spitefulness to people that enjoyed things that they didn't. Also, all of them were extremely mean.
I decided that I wouldn't have any of this in my first D&D session. After months of watching Critical Role clips and hyping myself up to be the next Matt Mercer, I designed a one-shot campaign that was about the Chroma Conclave, but also not. Frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. I was convinced that everything had to be scripted or follow some sort of railroad. In short, I was the worst railroad DM that I have ever met to this day. When we came, the characters that I had helped my players to make were put in front of them for the first time. I decided to start with a prison break. The party was made of a bard, a monk, and a rogue. Not that it mattered; my DMPC decided he'd save the day on the second turn. He was one of the main villains (le gasp!), a black dragonborn that was a crafty little shit. Being a gremlin, I had no idea how people talked, so the roleplaying was pretty dull. This was mostly because I didn't know any of the other players very well; I'd opted to not invite my aforementioned friends since, to be perfectly honest, I didn't want to talk to them outside of school.
Honestly, the rest of that session ought to have its post. The long and short of it was that my uber-cool edgelord villain DMPC saved the players while I criticized them for killing the guards, which the DMPC had been doing throughout the entire jailbreak. Then, panicking about a lever I'd forgotten to allocate a function to, I somehow managed to trap my villainous mastermind behind a boulder in an isolated keep.
Epilogue: The summer of 2019 was way better.
I've never been good with scheduling. I've always tended to blow off planning until the last moment, so I'm not entirely sure what I thought I was doing scheduling a session for a party of about six. These people were closer, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were my friends. Except for one person: my eventual first partner. We'll call them Cat.
I was better about character creation and getting people hyped for the game. I let the players have a bit more agency. So, we had a top hat-wearing half-orc barbarian (Barnum), a sorcerer that could talk to the god of lightning (Zaps), a gnomish bard that wanted to see the world (Cat), a golden dragonborn fighter that basically wanted to be Batman (Brucey), and a copper dragonborn sorcerer that kind of just...existed (Lee)? Her player didn't feel too comfy with roleplaying, and I tried to be respectful of her wishes. I'm not entirely sure how well it went with her; we haven't gotten in touch much since that year.
We started with bandits attacking Cat in the town square and Barnum coming to her rescue(Sidenote: Cat decided to play a female character since they hadn't told any of us about their identity). The bandits ran down an alleyway, prompting a number of the party members to give chase. Brucey, the clear edgelord, tripped on multiple cracks before alerting the bandits with a sneeze; he rolled fairly low on his stealth check. Combat ensued, fully engaging about two of the five players (Cat and Barnum) until a wight dressed in dapper clothes dispatched the few remaining bandits. He hired them for an archaeological expedition to ancient ruins of a demonic temple. Before leaving, the crew talked with Cat's dad, a tavernkeeper. It got a few laughs, but I could tell a number of the other 8th graders in the party were uncomfortable with putting themselves out there. Disappointing, but I remembered it could have been worse.
They had to all cross a fifty-foot chasm. This simple puzzle could have been solved with the five ropes of the same length that the party had amongst themselves, and I was genuinely proud of myself for getting these guys to look at their goddamn inventories. It sort of worked? Let's go down the list.
Sadly, the game ended there, at the door to the dungeon. Everyone had fun that day, but we all just kind of went our separate ways. But the moral of the story is that you shouldn't be discouraged by how bad your first attempt at DMing went. It can help you see how you're meant to improve. I'm going to be running a campaign in a month set in the Persona universe with my very close friends that have all played D&D before. I hope it's good. Leave any questions in the comments. I'm sorry this was so incoherent; it's half past midnight and I had a rough Monday.
Godspeed, y'all :)
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2019.12.05 20:40 eriophora Basilisk Reviews: The Hanged Man by KD Edwards - Urban fantasy based on the magic of Tarot with a humorous and loveable cast. Loved it!

Basilisk Reviews: The Hanged Man by KD Edwards - Urban fantasy based on the magic of Tarot with a humorous and loveable cast. Loved it!

https://preview.redd.it/9x8px5r0bv241.png?width=680&format=png&auto=webp&s=ad108d688a5115a031e679bba53833d56ddd3e38
This review and others can be found on my book review blog, Black Forest Basilisks. The original post's content has been reformatted here for reddit in full.
Thank you to Pyr for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mythic Fantasy Series: The Tarot Sequence #2 Publisher: Pyr Release date: December 17th, 2019 /Fantasy Bingo Squares: Disability (HM), Published 2019
Goodreads Book Depository Amazon
Execution: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Enjoyment: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My name is Rune Saint John. I am, before anything else, a survivor: of a fallen house, of a brutal assault, of violent allies and complacent enemies, of life among a people who turned their back on me decades ago.
You know what’s a great feeling? When you love a book, start up the sequel, and discover that the sequel takes everything you loved in the first book and makes it even better. KD Edwards has nailed his voice in The Hanged Man, and has given us even more and even better character interactions. Brand and Rune are still the ultimate bromance, and Addam is still the kind and caring partner Rune needs and deserves. Max, Quinn, Ciaran… everything you wanted and more. Absolute cinnamon rolls, all of them – and the new characters are similarly great.
If you’re not already familiar with the Tarot Sequence, my review of the first book in this series can be found here: The Last Sun by KD Edwards. This review will contain very mild spoilers for book one.
After taking care of the immediate problem of the lich, the Scooby Gang must now tackle the problem they’ve all been determined not to think about: The Hanged Man’s claim on Max. Although morally grey antagonists seem to be all the rage right now, that’s not the case at all in this book. The Hanged Man is horrific in every way. His emissary is covered in scars, he takes underage children on as his consorts, and really… that’s all you need to know about him. He’s not a good person, not at all, and keeping Max our of his hands is paramount.
Rune also comes to several key realizations. Specifically, it begins to hit him that he was not the only one who was hurt by the sacking of Sun Court; his people, the retainers and houses under his father’s protection, have also suffered. As the heir Scion of the Sun Throne, the responsibility to care for them now falls to him. He steps up to the plate, growing into his new place in the world. He ceases to act as a spectator and becomes an agent. He recognizes that he is one of the powers that be now, and that he has a duty to embrace and use his special abilities.
Flames burst from me. They raced from my eyes, down my face; swept along my arms; fanned across the jade floor in a plume of solar yellow. The world became my silhouette.
Naturally, he does this with Addam’s support. Addam is just such a damn good match for Rune, and I really can’t get over how wonderful he is. I want an Addam for myself and a few spares for everyone I love. Everyone deserves an Addam in their life, frankly. Rune, having been raped and traumatized by the Sun Throne attackers, obviously has a few challenges where intimacy is concerned. This is not frustratingly hand-waved away as I’ve seen in other books (cough cough Liveship Trilogy), but is something they work on together with gentleness and understanding. Every single scene between these two melted my heart with happiness and warmth.
“Brand did that to me,” Addam said. “In the Westlands, at my family compound. When I tried to blame myself for what Ashton caused. Brand poked me and said that I didn’t do this. That this was done to me. Rune, what happened to you . . . It was done to you. You did not cause it. I think the world of you for how you’ve handled it. I truly do.”
Addam is still incredibly protective of his little brother, Quinn. Quinn’s powers of prophesy continue to take a toll, but he’s found a friend in Max who helps and supports him. They’re inseparable; a true dynamic duo… for better or for worse. It’s a fact that they tend to get themselves into more than a little trouble.
We get a closer look into what makes Arcana and principalities different from your run of the mill scions, including some explanations for the more mysterious uses of magic in The Last Sun. No magic is without cost, however, and while it may be flashy… it’s not without limitations. The magic that runs through their veins, including that which binds them to their Companions, becomes a much more important thing for Rune to understand.
Rune’s own Companion, Brand, naturally still has the same exact tough love bond we know and love from the first book. There’s not much to say other than that if you liked Brand in The Last Sun, you’ll continue to adore him in The Hanged Man.
Brand pulled his gun out of his holster, removed a cartridge from his belt, and slapped it into place. He aimed the gun at my leg and shot me. “What the hell, Brand!” I shouted. I looked down at the blue, feathered end of a dart. “You did that really quickly. It’s like you’ve been waiting for the chance.” Brand smiled . . . “You act like wanting to shoot you is a secret. I’ve practically painted murals of it on my wall. It’s the closest I can think of to an off switch when you’re about to do something fucking stupid.”
Although the writing style is loose and modern on the surface, a closer examination will reveal a tight, highly polished narrative. If there’s a Chekhov’s gun present, rest assured that it will be fired at some point. Every strand of narrative and plot is relevant, word choice is deliberate, and that which isn’t explained fully will be in the future. There are hints peppered liberally throughout regarding Rune’s dark past and quite a few fan theories floating around to explain them. KD Edwards plays to his audience in the best possible ways, crafting a fun, engaging narrative that will tug on your heartstrings.
Recommended for fans of:
submitted by eriophora to Fantasy [link] [comments]


2019.12.03 20:26 charminOne help/ suggestion for Iot based project

Hi. Me and My partner is doing a Iot based project where on a 30m+ road with multiple sensors plus will include one type of speed bumper which will be activated if vehicle is going over speed limit (link below).. It will also include wight sensor to trigger the bumper if its a bike or heavy vehicle ( different speed level for different type of vehicle and bumpers are kinda dangerous for bikes). plus if any sensor is triggered streets light will turn on and light will turn off after the end of the road sensors sends signal that the vehicle has left the road.
now the condition our professor put is :
  1. we cant use camera for this project,
  2. it must include raspberry pi
  3. must gather data and take / change course of action own its own based on data received from sensors and database..
prblm we are facing is
  1. raspberry pi
  2. Arduino board
  3. wires (duh)
  4. bumpers( does it need to be custom made? )
  5. pl app + software
  6. online db/ domain
  7. Arduino software..
this is the first time we are doing project like this, and its really important to pass our semester and final project.. any suggestion will help up a lot.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAm9f_m8O7A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ2ZbPkrzCk)
submitted by charminOne to techsupport [link] [comments]


2019.12.01 18:58 charminOne help/ suggestion for Iot based project

Hi. Me and My partner is doing a Iot based project where on a 30m+ road with multiple sensors plus will include one type of speed bumper which will be activated if vehicle is going over speed limit (link below).. It will also include wight sensor to trigger the bumper if its a bike or heavy vehicle ( different speed level for different type of vehicle and bumper are kinda dangerous for bikes). plus if any sensor is triggered streets light will turn on and light will turn off after the end of the road sensors sends signal that the vehicle has left the road.
now the condition our professor put is :
  1. we cant use camera for this project,
  2. it must include raspberry pi
  3. must gather data and take / change course of action own its own based on data received from sensors and database..
prblm we are facing is
  1. raspberry pi
  2. Arduino board
  3. wires (duh)
  4. bumpers( does it need to be custom made? )
  5. pl app + software
  6. online db/ domain
  7. Arduino software..
  8. lights/ leds
this is the first time we are doing project like this, and its really important to pass our semester and final project.. any suggestion will help up a lot//
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAm9f_m8O7A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ2ZbPkrzCk)
submitted by charminOne to buildapc [link] [comments]


2019.12.01 18:43 removalbot 12-01 17:43 - 'Just moved to the UK and i need financial advice.' (self.unitedkingdom) by /u/LoyalOrange503 removed from /r/unitedkingdom within 34-44min

'''
Hi, I'm Sven (21M), Dutch, moved to the isle of wight on the 11th of october to live with my long-distance relationship partner. I've been looking for work for 2 months now without success sadly. Recently I've also started looking for apprenticeships and accepted a work experience training. My money is starting to run low and I've gotten to a point where I can't help my partner with paying rent. He's earning just enough money to support himself but sadly not the both of us. I've signed up (and am in the progress with others) with various job agencies but time will tell how useful that'll be.
I've just done a bit of research on job seeker allowance and one of the requirements is to have payed for national insurance in the last 2 years and seeing as I've arrived 2 months ago I can safely say that I haven't done that yet.
I also read that you can help with paying for rent but i think you need to be a UK citizen and the contract of the place i rent together with my boyfriend refreshes in about 4,5 months, and than i'll become a co-owner.

What can i do?
'''
Just moved to the UK and i need financial advice.
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: LoyalOrange503
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]


2019.11.22 18:11 Mejiro84 [Goldthirst Company] - Chapter 6

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Stathis ran, barely avoiding a heavy javelin that flew past her, embedding itself into a tree and vibrating from the impact. A fighter, lightly armoured and heavily tattooed, charged at her, forcing her to sidestep to avoid the attack, bashing back with her shield to knock him back. She glanced up to see Semari jumping between the trees, having scampered upwards as soon as the ambush started, plucking an arrow from the air and tossing it back at the attacker. Parth and Janaxia had both been lost in the initial chaos, but were hopefully managing, or at least had managed to make their own escape.
The fighter attacked again, checking her momentum and forcing her to back off, giving time for her pursuers to catch up, an arrow ricocheting off her armour. A net fell from above, distracting her further as she had to slice upwards through it, blade not sharp enough as the ropes snagged her blade and pulled it downwards, forcing her to discard it. One of the warriors charged, earning a gauntleted fist to the face for his troubles, blood streaming down his face. Without time to grab her weapon, Stathis had to fight with just fists and shield, finding herself quickly overwhelmed, backed up against a tree. The one she’d punched in the face stepped forward, although not close enough to be attacked again.
‘You have entered the lands of the Okramila. Surrender, and submit to judgement, or you will be killed where you stand.’ The others shook their spears and clubs, a few at the back readying arrows and javelins. She looked around, hoping for a way out, even as Semari jumped down next to her, bleeding from several wounds. They stood back to back, ready to fight.
‘Any sign of the others?’
‘Nope. Parth might be hiding, but Janaxia’s probably gotten grabbed. She’s pretty crap when people get close.’
One of the attackers lunged, Stathis blocking as Semari shattered the shaft, the warrior themselves unfortunately not within range. She whispered to Semari. ‘Keep an eye out for Parth, she might be out there.’ She raised her hands. ‘We surrender.’
All things considered, they were fairly well treated – their hands bound with rope (Semari immediately twisting free, and having to be told by Stathis to at least pretend to be tied up), they were led through the dense forest, managing to keep up on the paths, Stathis having to avoid stumbling over tree roots and other impediments.
Eventually, they came to a village in the forest, protected by wooden fortifications, studded with giant thorns, a few decorated with the skulls of dead monsters. The inhabitants looked at them warily, although offered no harm. In the centre of the place was a dilapidated hulk of a building, ancient, stone piled atop stone into something that was basically an artificial cave, the outside covered with a thin layer of weeds and growth. Against the old, worn stone, an array of statues stood out, each one finely carved, an array of humanoids of different species, most with expressions of fear or surprise, a few looking angry or even frozen in mid-swing. So, some kind of petrifying monster, most likely. A basilisk, maybe, or some kind of earth spirit? She glanced around, hoping that Parth had managed to escape.
They were bought to the entrance of the heap of stone, where (of course) the statues were clustered most thickly. A few of the statues had fallen over, seeming to have petrified mid-movement, turning to try and run away from whatever creature they kept here. Could dragons petrify people? Although most dragons were vain enough to want a bigger audience than some ramshackle village out in the sticks, and the exit didn’t look large enough. Inevitably, there was a prison, a small, stone chamber with a sturdy door. After being disarmed of their side weapons, they were politely, but firmly, escorted inside, and the door slammed shut behind them.
The chamber was bare stone, and sturdy enough that escape would be problematic. Janaxia was waiting for them, looking only a little ruffled, looking quite at ease, despite the circumstances.
‘Well, looks like we’re relying on Parth then. Janaxia, you find anything out?’
‘They spoke of a sacrifice being needed, and of being glad of outsiders passing through. I would suspect whatever creature lives in the ruins needs sustenance and has some ability to turn people to stone.’
‘OK. It needs sacrifice, so some demon or something maybe? Anything you recognise?’
‘Why would I know about such things? Demons are scarcely the sort of people with whom I associate! They are rather unpleasant company, what with the inherent evil and so forth. Rather tiresome, if nothing else. And they tend to be rather clingy and hard to get rid of as well.’
It didn’t seem worth the trouble to point out that Janaxia was inextricably entwined with an entity of ancient, unknowable evil herself, and would probably start to burn if she entered holy ground. Would a demon even bother trying to corrupt her, or think she was kin?
‘OK, so there’s too many to fight, so we have to wait for Parth, or try to negotiate. Or hope that whatever they’ve got in there is something we can fight. Hopefully it’s just a stone-snake or something, weak enough that we can deal with it. Without a weapon, there’s not much I can do, so I’ll have to leave the fighting to you two.’
Semari, despite looking battered and bruised, punched the air a few times, eager for a rematch. Janaxia looked less enthusiastic, but at least went through the motions, raising a hand and making it glow with mystical energy, an ominous throbbing immediately starting in the back of Stathis’ head.
‘Right, so we don’t start anything until we have to. If we’re lucky, they’ll drop us into the thing’s pit or whatever, and we can fight our way out. If not, this is going to get messy, but we’ll do what we can. Janaxia, if you’ve got anything that can target an area, this would be a good time to use it. Just don’t catch us in it this time!’
‘I make no promises. If you’re going to get close to enemies, I can scarcely avoid some level of collateral damage, can I?’
Stathis wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about being referred to as ‘collateral damage’, but at least they had some semblance of a plan, vague though it was.
Later, as the sun was dropping from view and the shadows lengthening, sounds came from outside, a steady, rhythmic drumming. Outside, a group was gathering, an eerie gathering with half those attending living, standing amongst the statues. A figure emerged from the darkness, their form swathed in soft white robes, with no visible skin. Gods, not more undead, maybe a wight or wraith? They looked too weighty to be a skeleton, and were moving with obvious control and purpose, so not a zombie. Their movement disturbed the dirt they walked over, so not a wraith or something else awkward to fight due to not having a damn body that could actually be hit. Just outside the entrance, a screen was being erected of thin fabric, everything behind it visible only as vague shadows and outlines.
As twilight was falling, the sun dropping beneath the trees, the set-up seemed to be complete. A large group of warriors came to escort them from their prison, keeping them under close watch, even as they were marched to the very front, within close view of whatever was going to come out.
With only firelight, the surrounding woods became im penetrable darkness, something that would make escape even harder. Stood next to them at the front of the crowd were the leaders – Stathis was next to some sort of tribal leader or priest, at least to judge by his age and fancier clothing, heavily ornamented with gold and silver. He nodded and smiled at them, without open hostility.
‘Normally, we’d be more friendly, but the time of sacrifice is upon us, and better that someone from outside the tribe is taken. Unpleasant, but I’m sure you understand?’
‘I don’t suppose you could reconsider?’
He shook his head. ‘Sorry. It’s easier this way. And it’s probably painless – see, none of the statues look pained.’
That didn’t look to be true, but it had been worth a try, at least. ‘Are you sure we can’t work out a ransom or something?’
‘Quite impossible. A sacrifice is needed. Don’t worry, there’s a good chance one of your allies will be chosen instead. And whoever isn’t chosen, is free to go. Well, in the morning, of course - it would be unhospitable of us to throw you out into the night, there are monsters about.’
It was hard to raise protest in the face of such indefatigable friendliness, and one in three odds of death were not the worst she’d faced. Although hopefully the creature had a taste for dark hair – Janaxia was useful, but there were other wizards willing to hire on, and they were actually proper wizards, and not whatever-in-the-hells Janaxia was. The drumming intensified, joined by a low, ominous, hissing chant from the crowd, the warriors joining in. A fire flared into life behind the sheet, stark black shadows of two figures appearing, next to a stone altar. One had a loose and shapeless silhouette, the other was clearly feminine, with a well-defined and curvaceous figure, long hair obscuring the shape of their shoulders.
The shapeless figure stepped through a slit, revealing itself to be the individual from earlier, still wrapped in their long twists of fabric. They raised a hand, the drumming coming to a brief climax, before slicing it down, the drumming come to a sudden stop.
‘The moon is full, the pact is complete for another year. As the Serpent Queen guards your tribe, so must you provide for her.’
On cue, the figure behind the curtain moved, their hair twitching and moving, separating into dozens of strands, each moving independently, a hiss that could be heard across the clearing. A murmur of piety went through the crowd, as some fell to their knees in prayer. Next to her, Janaxia went stiff, eyes widening. Now what, did she have some past trauma with a medusa? This was hard enough as is, without someone becoming useless.
‘While she has guarded your people, she has needs that must be attended to. Is there anyone that volunteers as tribute?’
Stathis tried to make herself look as inconspicuous as possible. Next to her, Janaxia thrust her hand into the air. This went unnoticed by the announcer, who carried on speaking, apparently working through a well-worn script.
‘As no tribute has volunteered themselves from the tribe, then a sacrifice must come from outsiders. Three such have come into the sacred lands. Unless one volunteers, then the others must…’
Janaxia was now vigorously waving her hand in the air, cheeks slightly flushed, eyes wide. ‘I volunteer as tribute! Please?’
The announcer paused, apparently unsure how to proceed in the light of such enthusiasm. Stathis took a step to the side, just in case of any misidentification, even as Janaxia strode forward.
‘You would volunteer? To surrender yourself to the embrace of the Serpent Queen, knowing the fate that awaits you? Such nobility and sacrifice! Then approach your final passion.’
As Janaxia stepped forward again, Stathis grabbed her shoulder. ‘You sure about this? I mean, thanks for sacrificing yourself, but we could dice for it or something.’
Janaxia looked slightly dazed, biting her lip and glancing away. ‘I, um, I think this is something that I need to do.’
Gods, the woman was crazy. But, at least this time, in a useful way. ‘I have no idea what the hell is going through your mind, but you do you, and whatever creepy, weird things you apparently enjoy. If you could, try not to die? It’ll be useful to have you around for whatever other weird crap we have to get through after this.’
Janaxia reached into a pouch and pulled out some herb, quickly crushing it beneath her fingers and rubbing it into her eyes, before pushing past Stathis and walking towards the shadowy figure of the medusa, hair still hissing away. Stathis turned to the chief, seeking clarification. ‘We get through now, right? Even if she gets turned into a statue?’
He nodded. ‘By the pact, the Queen needs but one partner a year, in exchange for protecting us.’
‘Right. That’s good.’
Janaxia had reached the curtain, pausing for a moment, before the announcer took her hand and guided her through, taking a moment to pull a fold of fabric over their own eyes. The medusa approached Janaxia, embracing her, hair-tendrils lunging forward, as Janaxia gave a low cry, before their heads brushed together in a kiss. The crowd went silent, Janaxia’s throaty moans stroking the night air, changing from what might potentially be sounds of distress to something rather more obviously passionate, between rather noisy kissing and gasping, Janaxia disrobing.
As everyone looked on in, Stathis tapped the chieftain on the shoulder again. ‘Uh, I don’t suppose we could get some food or something? Those two are likely to be at it for a while, and I’ve not eaten all day. And I’d quite like my gear back as well.’
The crowd was starting to look awkward as the noises continued, the silhouettes now merging into one, limbs occasionally emerging from the dark, shifting blob. The attendant reappeared, shouting even louder to be heard over the noise from behind them.
‘The sacrifice is complete! Now the feasting may commence!’
Everyone cheered, trying to drown out the competing noises, as food was bought out from the nearby huts. Their guards relaxed, allowing them to mingle, Stathis quickly finding a seat, facing away from the increasingly enthusiastic coupling happening behind her, as the attendant went and extinguished the fire, so at least it couldn’t be seen, even as the sounds continued.
The revelry continued, everyone speaking loudly, trying to ignore the increasingly loud and passionate cries coming from Janaxia, along with the weirdly hissing cries of presumably ecstasy from the Serpent Queen. In the pale moonlight, it could be seen that Janaxia was sat atop the altar, a writhing mass between her legs, Janaxia arcing her back in pleasure. Presumably the serpent queen didn’t normally get much chance to indulge herself, at least before her partners turned to stone.
Stathis slowly awoke the next morning, head ringing from too much indulgence. Gods, did the sun have to be so bright? Sitting up, she peeled a leaf off her face, having just slept on the floor. The rest of the village were in similar positions, the night of the sacrifice apparently being a festival night for everyone. She stumbled over to the well, drawing herself some water, pulling some bread off a load left over from last night.
Some whistling drew her attention – Janaxia was sat atop the steps leading to the ancient building, a sheet wrapped around her body, combing her hair, looking like something from the more risqué classical paintings. Her body was covered with bite-marks, countless tiny pricks against her skin, a few lines of dried blood still present, and an expression of dazed bliss on her face. On her lap was another figure, head wrapped in a sheet, although a few stray hair-snakes poked out, apparently dozing. Every so often, between brushes, Janaxia leant down to softly kiss the sleeping medusa’s cheek or forehead.
Stathis left them to it, not wanting to risk turning to stone. Medusas were intelligent, and sometimes even showed up in cities, heavily veiled so as not to accidentally kill everyone in sight, but seemed a decidedly odd choice of paramour, even for one of Janaxia’s apparent predilections. Snakes? That had to be uncomfortable, never mind the biting!
As the villagers roused themselves, the chieftain approached Stathis, returning her weapons. He even arranged for a pair of horses, to speed them on their way, apparently in thanks for Janaxia’s services. No gold, but the extra speed would be appreciated. After some time, Janaxia even deigned to join them, her robes in an artful state of disarray, that would do honour to a princess in her boudoir. Her bites and scratches were still unhealed, a few even breaking open as she moved, fresh trickles of blood curving down her body.
She looked at the horses with a look of distaste. ‘Must we ride? It seems likely to be uncomfortable. I am rather, ah, tender at this precise moment.’
Stathis looked at her, trying to think of appropriate words, as Janaxia continued. ‘Kalmaris was very friendly, and I must admit to a certain curiosity, about all those mouths. While it was pleasurable, it does mean that I am a touch, shall we say, sensitive, in certain parts.’
‘Janaxia, that is not something I ever wanted, or needed, to even remotely think about. Gods, how in heaven did you even think of that? Why would you even think of that? Actually, never mind. I’ll go find the others, and then we can move on.’
Now to find wherever the hell Parth had managed to hide, and desperately try to keep the image of a medusa and Janaxia indulging in their pleasure out of her head. When they were ready, and started to ride away, a cloth-wrapped figure waved them goodbye from atop the temple, Janaxia waving back, the villagers all looking away in religious awe.
submitted by Mejiro84 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2019.11.22 01:50 thescaryroom I`m a police detective, and I cover every mirror in my house at night.

I became a detective a little over one year ago after spending five years on the beat. Any case I’ve worked on has always been clear cut, no questions left unanswered, concrete evidence, confessions. But there was one case, is still one case, that leaves a lot of unanswered questions; questions of which, I suspect, may not have an answer grounded in scientific rationale. (As disclaimer before I begin, I’m not superstitious, nor do I believe in ghosts or anything that can be termed “the paranormal”.) Having said that, here’s what happened.
I didn’t choose this case, but rather it was thrust upon me with the death of a colleague who was in charge of its investigation. He was a senior detective, twenty-eight years experience. On the morning after the first night of the investigation he was found dead in his home, his body was huddled into the back of the walk-in closet of his bedroom. The Coroner cited sudden cardiac arrest as the cause of death. The bedroom door and the door to the closet were both shut at the time. And the photographs… I`ll have more to say about them later.
I was given a case file on a family of three who were living in a small flat in the Isle of Wight, U.K. The family were Korean immigrants, there was a father, mother and an infant girl. The case involved the sudden death of the 38-year-old mother, she was found collapsed on the floor of her bedroom. As the crime scene reports indicated she seemed to have died while in the middle of applying her makeup. More to follow. The husband, who was initially suspected to be the perpetrator, committed suicide a few days after. He was questioned for 48 hours then released, due to return 24 hours later. He was found in his van in the garage of the block of flats, a hose was attached to the exhaust with the other end stuck in his window. The air vents were duct taped shut. The infant girl was never found and was passed on to the missing persons case officers. Although now I think she will never ever be found.
When I visited the crime scene myself, things in the flat and some further evidence that I had collected, just didn’t seem… right. I would even say unnatural. Together with a junior detective, I visited the scene roughly seventy hours after the incident took place. It was still classified as a warm crime scene, that is to say things were mostly left untouched and as they were at the time of discovery. Some evidence was removed, however. Ill start with the kitchen. On the counter next to the sink were diced pumpkins, dried and crusty, and in a bowl next to it some pieces had been mashed into a fine paste. This was presumably for the baby girl. The living room was otherwise normal. It was clean and well maintained. There was a large bookshelf on the southern wall of the room which housed around 50 books. All of the books were in Korean so naturally I couldn’t understand the titles, but when I opened some of them, they all appeared to deal with subjects relating to the occult or traditional Korean pagan beliefs I gathered this from the photographs and drawings. On the arm of the sofa a book was open at a page which showed a zodiac calendar, it looked like a traditional Chinese one with all the animals around it. Next to this was a diary, the mothers, open at the yearly calendar page. A large red circle was around one of the dates. Incidentally, this was the date her body was found and the day the daughter went missing. At this time my partner mentioned he had a Korean friend growing up in London. He added that whenever he went to their house at night, all of the mirrors in the house were covered with sheets. He asked his friend about this who embarrassingly said that it was a silly Korean superstition. At night, he was told, witches can enter this world through mirrors. They come to our world to steal babies and bring them back to Hell with them. I shrugged this information off when I heard it, a silly superstition. Id still like to believe that now. On the table in the middle of the room was a small bowl of half eaten pumpkin mash. There had been something which the initial crime scene investigators had marked on the floor beside the table. There was a long line of something on the floor from just next to the table which ran across the room, through the kitchen and into the parent’s bedroom, incidentally the site of the mother’s body. Taking a close look, I could see it was a long thin streak of saliva which contained traces of pumpkin. Every few feet or so between the living room table and the bedroom could be found small puddles of saliva with the pumpkin mixed with it. This suggests, as per the initial police report, that the baby had crawled from the table to the bedroom and came to a stop at the dresser. My partner asked for me permission to go and ask further questions of the residents living on the same floor, and I was left in the flat alone to continue my investigations into the other rooms.
It was in the bedroom where I experienced something that that to this day I cannot explain. I looked at the spot on the floor where the mother’s body was found. The cause of death was ruled as a severe heart attack, and death was instant. This is in spite of her having no history of cardiac illness, nor any such instances in her immediate family. The photos of the body show her face up, her face suggesting she died in a state of shock. Or fear. Her eyes were wide open, and bulging from their sockets; her mouth jarred agape as far as it could. She was frozen like this, as if someone had shown her a scary image and pressed pause on her reaction. That’s the best way I can describe her state in the photograph. She was clutching a hair brush, too. Now I`ll tell you about the mirror that was sitting atop the dresser. It was a normal looking vanity mirror, pearl inlay border, and propped up by a small stand at the back. It looked like an antique. Perhaps it’s something I have acquired in my years on the job, call it an intuitive sense, but I could sense something coming from the mirror. It had a presence, one that was not existent in the other rooms. It was as if the mirror was the focal point of the entire room; it occupied the whole space, as if it were alive. What is more, anytime I turned away from it, I felt a sense of being watched. I know it sounds corny and cliched, but I know when I’m being watched. Not only watched, but menaced. It comes with the job and is a necessary survival tool for any law enforcement person. As I was standing in front of the mirror with my back to it looking at another part of the room, I felt an overwhelming sense of danger from behind. It felt like an impending blow to the head, there was definitely an intent to harm. Startled, I spun around. I immediately noticed my reflection in the mirror. The reflection was of me, of course. But it was me from behind. I was looking at myself from a position behind my body, as if through someone else’s eyes. Then the image in the mirror started to slowly lurch toward me. In a flash I pulled my firearm out of my hip holster and spun around. There was just an empty room, the same as it had been when I entered. I spun back around to face the mirror, gun still held at eye level, and the reflection was of me again, from the front. I stood like this for quite some time, half expecting the image in the mirror to change again. Once my heart stopped beating in my throat, I holstered my weapon and checked around the mirror for anything like a pinhole camera or other device that might make it possible to project an image on its surface from a remote source. A check of the bedroom also revealed no such devices. I decided to take the mirror as more evidence of the crime scene. Perhaps forensics can find something with it and, more to the point, find something that would give me peace of mind about what I had just seen. I put the mirror in a sealed plastic evidence bag and placed it on the back seat, then called my partners radio to tell him we were leaving. The whole time driving back to the station I had the sensation that someone was sitting in the back seat. So strong was the sensation and still feeling rattled from what I experienced in the flat, I grew fearsome of looking in the rear-view mirror.
After handing in the mirror to the forensics team I decided to look over the case photos again, and as I did so, I became aware of a terrifying similarity. All of the deceased, including my senior who passed several days before, all had the same expression on their face. The only words to describe it would be pure horror. The ways their eyes had distended in terror, their mouths distorted in their final scream or plea for mercy, and the way they all seemed to be trying to escape from whatever they were seeing: the mothers body was turned in one direction, her head twisted in the other, the father had his head buried into the cushions of the back seat of the car, and the senior detective was cowering in fear at the back of his closet – which contained a full length mirror. All three had died in front of a mirror of some sort. Had they seen what I saw?
That day as I was leaving, I happened to bump into the forensics officer whom I handed the mirror to. “Evening, sir”. He said. “We had a spot of trouble with your mirror.” “Oh?” I said, “Yeah. We couldn’t get to the handprint that was left on it.” I hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. There may indeed have been a handprint on it, but in my haste to leave I failed to notice it. “Handprint?” I asked. “Yeah. Tiny little thing. Like this.” He spread his thumb and index finger apart to indicate the size of the hand. “I’d say they were around 8 or 9 months old. Definitely an infant.” He shook his head in disbelief. This sent an ice-cold wave of recognition through me. It must belong to the daughter. “What do you mean you couldn’t get to it?” I asked. He waited for two other staff to walk past and out of earshot before he answered. “Well, the hand print sir.” He looked around again. “It had been put on the glass from the other side.” “Other side of what?” I asked. “The mirror.” He said. My stomach sank and I instantly thought of the things my partner had told me about the superstitions involving mirrors. “Are you sure?” I pressed him. “Were fairly sure, sir. We’ve taken thousands of prints from glass surfaces and other reflective materials, but we’ve never seen something like this.” He held up his hands. “It’s a mystery!” I started to feel lightheaded. He patted me on the shoulder. “But that’s for you guys to solve, right!” With that cheerful jibe he left me standing confused and exhausted in the corridor. I remained that way until his footsteps receded out of earshot.
The mirror was never used as evidence and it was consigned to a file cabinet somewhere in storage, never to be taken out or spoken of again. The handprint was just passed off as a manufacturing defect. The whole case is now cold, unsolved. Two sudden deaths of natural causes, a missing child, and a suicide from being unable to cope with the grief. That’s how it ended. For me, however, I cover every mirror in the house when the sun goes down.
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