Rose bowl touchdown village

[A Lord of Death] - Chapter 50 (Aya)

2023.05.31 17:41 The_Alloquist [A Lord of Death] - Chapter 50 (Aya)

[←Chapter 49] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 51→]
The weather was almost cold enough to imagine that Aya was back home, minus the creeping terror of the fog. She tried to push that last fact out of her mind, but it was ever present, along with its smothering sister from beneath the church. Still, despite the unpleasant edge, it was likely the last time she would get a proper rest before the battle.
The twins were obviously in their own world, Frare picking at the grasses around the tree, Sorore with eyes half-closed. The only people to offer any conversation were the paladins.
“Where… where do you come from, Lillian?” she said, after watching another bank of the fog wander overhead.
Lillian turned to her and gave her a strange look, not angry exactly, more wondering why she’d asked the question. Aya hoped that it wasn’t too much of a rude question back in Angorrah. At least she could always fall back on the excuse of being ignorant if it was.
“I come from Angorrah,” said the paladin.
“No, I mean where does your family come from?” she said.
Lillian’s expression deepened as if she was trying to figure out whether the question had some deeper meaning to it.
“Well, my father’s side of the family reaches back into antiquity. They’ve been on the same land for centuries. My mother is from Nieth, if that is what you mean, lady Aya.”
Aya nodded in encouragement, trying to get the Paladin to expand on the details. She didn’t, looking expectantly for a followup to the question.
“I was… just trying to make conversation,” Aya admitted, her gaze falling to the trodden dirt.
“Oh,” said Lillian, leaning back further as she looked elsewhere trying to abate the awkward realisation, “well, like I said, most of my family comes from my father’s side, and thus Angorrah. My mother is the only one that’s lived outside of it. Supposedly I have some uncles and aunts in Nieth, and some cousins too, but…”
“You’ve never met them?”
Lillian shook her head as she looked out to what was probably south - in the shifting fog it was difficult to tell.
“Never. I was inducted into the church at fifteen, I’ve never been outside of the continent. In fact, your village was the farthest I’ve ever been.”
“Oh. So you live in the actual city, then? Angorrah proper?”
“I might as well,” she laughed, although Aya thought it had a bitter edge to it, “I’ve spent over a decade of my life there.”
Aya sat and digested that for a few moments, before risking a further question.
“But it wasn’t always like that, was it? You lived somewhere else?”
“Yes, I did,” Lillian sighed, but said no more.
“I’ve lived in the city all my life,” Niche offered instead, “with my family. We’ve never known anything but the silver city for our entire lives. Both of my grandfather’s lines, as far as I could trace them, stay within its walls.”
“Would you mind… telling me about it?” Aya said, “I mean, we’re going there. But no one’s bothered to explain what it’s really like. Neither Sorore or Frare talk about it much either.”
“It’s the most beautiful city in the world,” said Niche instantly with absolute conviction.
“Anything else?” Aya said, looking rather unimpressed.
“It’s a- it’s difficult to explain,” said Niche, “the city is split in half.”
She vigorously nodded, hoping that this wouldn’t be the end of the details.
“It’s a city which…” he said, grasping at the words he was failing to find, “you really can’t- it’s something you have to actually see before it can be described.”
“Neither of us are poets, and besides, you’ll be in Angorrah soon enough,” said Lillian, “I can try though, however dry it might be. The city is split into two, like Niche said. On the upper half, the edges of the tributaries of the rivers form a bank where the old buildings sit. You’ll find the ecclesial courts, the palace of purity, and the chief garrison of the path of strength.”
She hovered her hands at different levels to illustrate the relative heights of the city districts.
“There’s a great sandstone cliff, with many small waterfalls coursing down. There’s a path that winds a way up under them - we used to walk them everyday as part of our training, then as part of our patrols. The names of all the founders of Angorrah, and many of the heroes that fought against the crown are etched into the cliff face. Of course, most travellers use the iron elevators that were built nearly a century ago.”
Aya already felt the numbing terror beginning to be forgotten almost, and she encouraged Lillian to continue.
“The lower half represents the majority of the city, both in terms of population and size,” she said, her fingers circling out to represent the relative immensity of this area, “layers upon layers of districts criss-crossed by roads and studded with alleys. It’s quite a lot to figure out.”
“They throw you off the deep end when they’re teaching you to patrol,” Niche said, “I remember just how lost you were the first couple times. Remember when you couldn’t figure out which dock you were at, and the sign was right next to you?”
“It was half-fallen off!” Lillian protested, her ears beginning to flush, “and the paint was practically gone, how was I supposed to realise-”
Aya was just about to ask the question of where she would be staying, when she saw a sharp motion in her periphery. Sorore sat bolt upright, staying at the remains of a leaf brought up to a narrow sliver of sunlight. There was a curious interplay within her expression, fear, excitement, and triumph merging together in the green of her eyes.
By the time that the paladins had turned, she was gesticulating wildly, saying that she had found something. Aya had barely any time to wonder before she’d taken off, leading them around the corner of the church. Apparently what she sought was not there, for she took them into the church and down through the door into the earth.
At the end, before a wall of black stone, they found Efrain with his cat companion. He was holding a black knife, glittering in the gloomy light he’d cast. He turned as Sorore approached him, telling him that she understood what to do. Aya watched as, after a few further questions, he handed her the knife, which dissolved into a liquid in the girl’s palm.
With bated breath, Aya stared as the fluid metal branched out to form a new shape. She realised, with no small amount of envy, that the girl was using magic just as she had. The construction would’ve been a beautiful thing to watch if not for the deathly cold that permeated the catacombs. Aya felt like she could lay down and simply die here if she wasn’t careful.
When it was done, Sorore handed the knife back to Efrain, now solid, which he placed against the stones. They were promptly steered away as he told the Paladins to remove them from whatever lurked behind the door. The party was up the steps and walking past the beds, Frare whispering some consultations to the obviously upset Sorore when they heard the sound.
A long, distant wail, half-lost among the tombs.
Sorore took off running, managing to rend herself free of the paladin’s grip. By the time they managed to catch up, she was at the stairs, taking them two at a time, going deeper and deeper into the earth. The paladins were ahead of Aya with their longer strides, pounding down on the sands as she saw that the passage had changed.
In the distance, past where the black stone wall had been, there was a far distance light, barely visible in the dark. The cold had deepened even further, becoming something hateful to life itself. They were almost to the edge of the hallway, and within moments, they’d passed out through the door and into this new hidden place.
More stones, more elegantly laid and carved, more beds, these ones with carved reliefs of ancient men. Intricate pillars and vaulted ceilings rushed past as they pushed deeper and deeper into the tomb. Aya nearly fell over more than once in the gloom, even as the light grew closer and closer to them.
The paladins finally caught up to Sorore just before the opening to that little light, catching her by the arms and lifting her off her feet. As she struggled, Aya made it past her, finding Frare to her side and a great expanse before her. She caught a brief glance of the gaunt form of the mage, and something large and misshapen beyond him.
Then the scene exploded into light and heat as fire leapt from up and around them.
Her last sight, other than the inferno that rose like a flaming curtain was that of the mage, his black clothes now glittering a dark crimson. In silence, he regarded them, and Aya realised for the first time how empty his eyes were. The twin pits of blackness betrayed nothing about the man behind the mask, no sardonic warmth or cultivated intelligence.
She was carted away from the frightful sight, and back up the hall at a prodigious pace. The paladins had simply slung them over their shoulders and fled. Harder the gauntlets dug to her back, as the catacombs behind them went from darkness to a dull red. The children were not given rest or respite, only carried onwards, through the tombs, up the stairs, to burst out onto the church landing and through the door.
Several of the peasants in the church started and turned at their sudden reemergence. Aya staggered over to the wall, heaving as she tried to sooth her aching chest. The twins were much the same, Sorore fully bent over and wheezing with effort. However, before any of them could settle, they were steered roughly towards the small alcove of the medical bay.
The sights of the swords in hand sent the watching group into alarmed chatter. This was only compounded as Lillian and Niche took up positions from within the door they’d just come through. Moments later, there came the sound of the groaning of wood and stone as they began to shift and strain.
Worse still was the sight of red light from beneath the door and seeping through the joints of the stones. The air began to haze and billow, a hot breeze rushing past them. The door bursting into flame was enough to send some of the frightened defenders running for the church-front. Knights were beginning to gather, pointing and exclaiming their confusion at this new, mysterious threat.
“What is it? What have you done?” called Damafelce, starring in horror at the burning door.
Lillian didn’t even bother to answer, just squared her shoulders and gripped her sword tighter.
Whatever animosity between the two women vanished as Damafelce drew and stood beside Lillian. Sweat began to pool and drip despite the unnatural chill of the fog.
Doubt began to creep into Aya’s heart - perhaps she had indeed been wrong, and perhaps the wisdom and experience of the Paladins had steered them right. The brilliant flames and empty eyes had left their impression upon her. All her interactions with Efrain seemed to be cast in a new light, each comment taking on a sinister cast.
The stones were beginning to glow in their own right, cracking and popping as the mortar disintegrated. A child couldn’t take it anymore and began to scream. It brought to mind the previous evening, the impaling claw lifting the boy into the air. Fear mixed with what must’ve been resolution within Aya ,and she managed to bring herself to lay a hand on a child’s sleeve.
They all looked at her, eyes wide, many brimmed with tears, having already seen far too much.
“It’ll be alright,” she said, squeezing the arm of a girl, “we’ll make it. They’ll protect us.”
There were some sparse nods and hopeful murmurs, but Aya could tell that some of the older ones didn’t believe it.
The stones were now a yellowish orange, and Aya was concerned that they might begin to melt and run like candle wax. The charm of the stones, their strength that almost seemed more akin to a confidence, was now utterly forgotten. The air within grew almost uncomfortably hot, villagers and knights alike holding their breath as they waited for whatever horror was going to emerge.
They waited, and waited, and waited.
The stones were still glowing, but it seemed whatever had come up from the deep had moved on and up. Slowly they faded from yellow, to orange, to red, and by the time they were brown, the peasants were turning to the paladins for guidance. Last to relax was Lillian, though it was only enough to see her sword tip faltered slightly.
“It’s moved to the roof,” she barely managed, such was the tension she held in her jaw.
Damafelce turned to remark, or perhaps to ask a question of the paladin about what she had just witnessed. She didn’t even open her mouth before a long chime echoed through the cooling air. She, along with the rest of her knights turned and rushed for the front doors.
Out from the pan and into the fire - another attack had begun.
Lillian and Niche looked at each other and then at the children, all three watching the stones resume their usual black.
“Mage or monsters?” said Niche, “which first?”
“Stay near the children until I get a better idea of what’s happening,” Lillian said, following the group of knights past the barricade.
Not long after she’d vanished into the night, a group of men burst through the charred door, partially taking what was left off its hinges. Doused in sweat, but otherwise unburnt, they stumbled into the mainstay of the church, and gesticulated wildly all around. When their glances fell on Niche, they began to beseech him, telling him of the living fire that had emerged onto the roof.
Niche picked up one of them that had fallen to the ground in haste or shock, shaking him, trying to get him to elaborate. Stories tumbled out of them of a great inferno, perhaps in the shape of a beast, perhaps not, that emerged, nay erupted, nay crawled from the tower stairs. At the heart of it was a black figure, one of the creatures, no, something horrible, no, the mage!
Niche’s eyes narrowed as he tried to parse some coherent meaning from the disparate stories. In the midst of the confusion, Aya took a half step toward the tower, terror, resolution, and a faint curiosity fighting with each other. Her foot pressed to the floor, and everything around her fell into a crystal clarity.
Bellows of command, clashes of claw and sword, the screams of men and beast, the whimpers of the frightened children. Every line on the stone, every bead of sweat and glance of eye, the smell of sweat and blood, the icy chill and the still-warm air. Everything, everywhere, at all once, clarion and present.
And beyond that, above them, something overshadowing them all, gathering, building itself. A wall of something, fulgent and hot, frothing and bearing down like a river breaking a log dam. Instinct drove her down to the cool stones, flattening her body and covering her head.
Behind her closed eyes, the darkness flipped to bright red, accompanied by a roar so great it became her. The entire building was shaking so violently she was sure she would be thrown out the front doors and to the slavering monsters. Heat rolled over her, smothering her like a quilt, driving away even the terrible chill. When she opened her eyes, she found soldiers, peasants and paladins on the ground, rolling and struggling to stand back up amid a floor of barricade splinters and glass shards.
The heat was reaching unbearable levels, driving Aya up and out, past the barricades in a mad scramble. Stumbling out into the comparatively cooler night, she looked up past the door and roof edge. Above the church extended a halo of fire, blooming outward like the bows of a mighty tree.
The branches fell to the earth, streaming sparks and embers into the evening as they furled across the remaining gardens, destroying all it touched. Most of the men had noticed the source of the heat and light, and were scrambling away desperately. The monsters, apparently having no such presence of mind, drove themselves further, and into the incinerating light.
The darkness came alive with the final screams of the things as they were burnt to ash. The human defenders were left mostly untouched, and the tide spilling over the outer wall were subsumed in the inferno. Aya slumped to the ground, witnessing this miraculous occurrence, not minding the cuts on her hands or knees.
“What…?” she said, watching the fires begin to wink out.
With that, she turned back, leaving the battle and its remnants all behind her. Through the barricades, through the aisle, through the clumsy grab by a still dazed Niche, through the door, up the melted stairs and out onto the roof.
There, across from the exit, lay a pair of slumped figures against the far wall. The mage was crumpled, motionless, saggy robes no longer cutting his trim figure. In his lap laid Innialysia, fur now merely coal black, no longer aglow as it had been.
On the railing of the roof, above the two, stood something faint in the light from the fire below. A shimmering, hazy outline, of a girl, looking down at them. As Aya drew to look at her, she could’ve sworn that the spirit was smiling as it began to fragment and dissipate. With a final gust of the warm breeze, the shimmering remnants were carried out to fade into the now clear stars.
[←Chapter 49] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 51→]
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2023.05.31 17:26 CindoSider018 Resident Evil 9 (All I Know) - "leak"

Resident Evil 9 (All I Know) -
Leaving just a warning, believe it if you want
At the time that I brought information about SHADOWS OF ROSE and RE4 REMAKE, I ended up having some information about RE9 and its development, and I also brought some for you in that time. I can say that some of them were just ideas thought and then discarded, but one in particular I can also say was decided by Capcom, which I won't talk about in this post for now. Let's go.
  • Capcom made a lot of mistakes when developing the DLC called Shadows of Rose in RE Village, it ended up leaving many plot holes and creating confusion in Resident Evil lore (specifically about the Winters family)
One is: How are they going to get a new story going without naming a member of the Winters family? Because Rose will be cared for and instructed by Chris, Mia will possibly be arrested. Anyway, Capcom is struggling and getting worried.
Because yes, it looks like they are going to make RE9 a direct continuation of RE Village (with plans on paper to be that way by then).
Shadows of Rose takes place in 2037 and RE9 does not have a specific year, but it can roll in the same way as the launch of RE Village in 2021, that is, it takes place in the same year as the launch. "2025/2026" etc.
  • Yes, the title so far is called APOCALYPSE, but that's because they have very big and ambitious ideas about the new game, and by the way they're going to bring a post-apocalyptic world (at least intending to), but that's just a beginning idea already that they're having another idea of ​​ending RE9 with the world devastated by bioweapons and everything destroyed. Thus making a point for RE10 to be Apocalypse and not RE9 to have this title, which is being provisional at the moment. (This happened with RE OUTRAGE which had its title change to RE:VERSE.
  • As development is still in its infancy, I believe that only in 2024 will we have something related, but without an obvious scheduled date.
  • Finally, apparently, the way development is going (also considering the new Resident Evil Death Island movie) we can say that they will start to consider the Remakes as canonical, leaving the original stories as alternatives. We can see this by the character Jill and the justification of her having the same appearance, or, as in the past capcom regretted having killed Albert Wesker, they can bring him back after a possible RE5 REMAKE leaving him alive (This is already speculation mine and from what seems to be happening, I'm watching Capcom, apart from insider information from friends).
Well, the information I have is just that, including some of my speculations about what happens at the company.
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2023.05.31 17:03 sirlupash Background stories and roleplay

Are you gonna roleplay a character with a specific background story or are you just gonna jump in and go with the flow?
Since the d&d experience BG3 will offer us seems mechanically unprecedented for, I hope it'll be also on a mere level of character interpretation and roleplay.
I'm curious to know your Tav's stories, if any.
Here's a couple of concepts I'm considering for my first run (I'll go into details a bit):

(Fun fact: I tried this concept in BG1 once. As per Bhaal's dogma you should murder someone at least every 10 day, so I started murdering NPCs in the wilderness of the first areas. The game then became totally unplayable as Flaming Fist officers would spawn every city transition, slaying my party. I'm actually excited to try this on BG3, as in roleplaying a Bhaal cultist and see where the game will bring her. It's a rather simple character with a banal story, I hypocritically put some don't hurt animals in a murderous sociopath for I just liked the dissonance, and it adds a bit of depth/possibilities also for future in-game interactions. Or even redemption, who knows. I actually wanted to roleplay a cleric of Cyric I used in many roleplay settings, but sadly we can't pick Cyric as divinity, and I like to follow what the game offers.)

(I'll probably go for this as a first run. I've always liked unusual choices, and a female drow monk surely is. I should probably go for warrior instead, but we'll see.)
I'm curious to read your stories and your characters!
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2023.05.31 16:56 Mikaelavior Ah yes, blue eyes

Ah yes, blue eyes submitted by Mikaelavior to MoonPissing [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 16:54 ukaelezerk Where to watch 14 Apples Drama subbed online, no pop-ads, for free!

Where to watch 14 Apples Drama subbed online, no pop-ads, for free!
Looking for place to watch 14 Apples for free? We just updated it to Drama Full, follow the below link to watch/download it: 14 Apples
Wang Shin-hong is suffering from insomnia. A fortune teller advises the Mandalay businessman, whose car and bulging wallet suggest that business is going pretty well, to spend 14 days in a monastery, living life as a monk and eating an apple a day. Such a thing is possible in Burma today. Wang Shin-hong arrives at the rural monastery, has his head shaved and dons a red robe, in which he instantly becomes an authority. During the welcome procession, the village women, their poverty clear from their clothing and the huts in the background, put more than they have in his alms bowl. During his fleeting role as their advisor, Wang Shin-hong soon learns of the villagers’ attempts to survive and make a living as legal or illegal migrants in China, Thailand or Malaysia. He also finds out how the other monks try to generate profit and additional income.
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2023.05.31 15:35 lodin93 Short Story (In Play) Total eclipse of the Heart

Total Eclipse of the Heart
The Nothing feasted upon the Lair of the Dragon kind. No one cared. No one saved it. Lost in darkness, and void, the sun guttered and died. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
From the Nothing emerged a short bald man in red robes. The wisps of darkness and smoke nipped at his feet, but he kicked it away impatiently. With a snap of his fingers and a twirl of his hand he seized time and rolled it back. Back. Back…
From out of the darkness emerged first Dragonia and then her twin Lairona. The moon came into view and shot across the horizon. Finally the Sun shone again in the blackness of space.
All was well again.
Deep within the bowls of the Lair the ancient Vampire Dengali, Of the House of Style sat bolt upright in his coffin. He let out a devilish scream of pain. Time has rewound itself again! His Torpor disturbed by the destruction of the worlds. He was one of the few beings that could perceive this effect.
An insanity griped Dengali for this was now a regular torture that he could not escape. In a delirium he shouted “Ground Hog Day”! And fell sideways out of his coffin on to the dirt floor. He was parched. He was dry. Looking at his hand he gasped that it was zombie like and boney.
Dry popping and scrapping sounds could be heard as he crawled along the floor. He settled into a feral mind state, as he was a horror to see. His magical strength carried him along effortlessly.
A rat, a dog, then a human. A human! The blood surged through him! It pounded in his brain! His heart soked it up like the driest sponge. Then another human! Soon sense and understanding returned. The beating stopped, and Dengali tore his victim in half in frustration. He was struck from behind, but the blow bounced off of him like a child's toy.
Turning he effortlessly grabbed the huge man attacking him and bit down. He was dimly aware that this was a Barbarian caught up in a fit of rage. His fists striking him, and doing literally nothing to him. Slowly the attacks stopped. The barbarian grew pale, and died.
This was what he needed. A vessel with a strong connection to the positive material plane. A feast of life force. His body healed. His age fell away like dust in the wind. His golden hair regained it’s luster. He breathed a deep breath, enjoying the sensation of the long lost action.
Was this the thirtieth or thirty second time this has happened? He was not sure. What he was sure of was that the Red Guardian was near and still singing that annoying song…
“Turn around, every now and then I feel little bit lonely.”
Dengali spun around, and dashed towards him. Blurring at incredible speeds. He ran right up to the little midget, and tried to grab him with a force that could pulverize stone. He only found empty air. From behind him he heard the singing again.
“Turn around, every now and then I feel a little bit terrified, then I see the look in your eyes”!
The ancient Vampire turned around and ran forward, turning into a green glowing mist and surrounding the Dungeon Master. A moment latter he converged and reformed, standing in the same place that his intended victim was, but was now gone…
Growling in frustration he yelled “What the fuck do you want? What am I to do? Why do you torture me so? The night is mine! Forever is mine! What does it all mean?” He only heard the singing a short distance behind him.
“Forever is going to start tonight, Forever is going to start tonight! One upon a time I was falling in love, now I am only falling apart…”
Dengali fell to his knees in despair, and the Nothing ate him whole. The Nothing ate the worlds. The Nothing ate the Sun and the moon. In that Void. Dengali, somehow, heard the song still. A single tear rolled down the cheek of the Red Guardian, the Dungeon Master.
“Nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart…”
Time rewound itself again, but this time when Dengali finished feeding, he was alone in the darkness of the sewers. He tried something different. Climbing up to street level the Ancient One found that the small village he torpored in so long ago has grown into a metropolis. Looking up he beheld a magnificent Black Tower of High Sorcery.
Magic flowed through the streets in invisible streams like water upon the ground. His hearing detected thousands of heart beats. Never before had he sensed so much in one place. So much magic! So much power! So much blood!
Centering himself, he had to shut the sensory information out. It was too much. After a time, he became aware of a presence, watching him. Perhaps scrying him would be a better term. “I am the darkness, you will not hide in it from me.” Waving his hand Dengali spoke an ancient word of power, and from the shadows the magic opened to reveal a blue illusion of a cursed mage. This hologram of a Black Robed Wizard with the face of a horses ass and tail, emerged.
The ass twitched it’s tail in annoyance and spoke the ancient challenge. “Greetings Darkest one of the Blood! How may I assist the darkness of your soul?”
This gave the Ancient One pause. He had not been greeted so, in so long, that the honer slightly overwhelmed him. “Direct me to a market where I may find a seamstress to make me new clothes.”
The illusion bowed, and waived it’s hands in a grand gesture. For just down the street, where he indicated, the bricks moved and it was revealed that the city is in constant motion. Each city block drifting on a tide of invisible magic. However, that magic sang to him, in it’s inevitable way, revealing that the movements of the city were at his command and convenience. Even night and day are at his command allowing him to move in total darkness of night wherever he went, here.
Effortlessly the market presented itself to him and a seamstress store moved with up to his toes. Within, Dengali found the most drab and peasant looking clothing store he had ever seen. He glided over to the bolts of fabric openly revealing his Vampiric nature. This caused the two workers to drop to their knees and beg him to allow them to serve him.
The Ancient one disliked their accents as they reminded him of the people of the Northern Desert, a disgusting people that live in perpetual sunlight and tase like coal and ass mixed together. As if the very sand had infected their blood. The old memory stirred him and some time passed before he spoke.
The servants wisely stayed quite. “This is a peasants clothing store, I am in the wrong place.” With that he turned and glided out. Across the street the city moved to reveal a much nicer clothing store. The sign outside the location read “Brooks Brothers, Dark Town”. Dengali glided forward and stopped. Another Vampire had appeared before him and bowed in an old fashioned way quite deeply. Flashing his eyes bright red, the ancient one hissed and showed his fangs. Immediately the Vampire in front of him fell on his face and made himself as flat as he could, burying his face in the mud.
Several minuets past and Dengali finally snapped his fingers and allowed the junior Vampire to stand again. The mud fell from his face, and clothes like dust. clearly a minor magical effect. “Forgive me, most Ancient Sire, of my Sires, Sire. How may I assist the darkness of your soul”?
Dengali spoke slowly. “Do you not see the rags that rot upon my perfect form? Does it not shock you? Do you think that this is acceptable? That this is excusable? The younger Vampire replied “I do not think, I am an empty vessel for your will. I await your command.” He then froze in place and was unnaturally still.
The ancient one simply said. “Impress me”.
the younger Vampire pulled out a sealed pouch from within a hidden pocket. This bag of pure mana is priceless. He opened it and tossed a hand full of sparking dust all around the location. He cried out, arcane words of power followed by, “My shop.” The entire scene folded like an origami bird until they were standing in a completely different place. More handfuls of mana and more ancient words, and the cloth around them began to bend in spaceually unnatural ways until it formed itself into a fine suit of clothing. Black sequence fabric rippled and spun until the ancient one was immaculately clothed in custom clothing of the finest kind.
This made the ancient one happy. The magic began to dissipate, but not before it formed a very high, rigid collar denoting his station and age. Gliding over to the youth he suddenly grabbed him by his neck and hauled him up into the air. In one motion he bit his wrist and feed the younger one for just a moment. Then he put him down and blurred away.
The potent blood fell straight into the pit of his stomach. It was overwhelming. He lost control of his form and Vamped out devilishly. The Ancient Blood merged with him. He uncontrollably roared in ecstasy, and fell to the floor convulsing violently. His heart beat four times and then stopped. Quivering with power he appeared miserable, but the truth was that he felt so much pleasure that it hurt.
Feeling like himself for the first time in centuries, Dengali assumed a bat form and began hunting for more blood. Several victims later he heard a familiar voice raised in song behind him.
“And I need you now tonight,
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
Well’ be holding on forever
And we will only be making it right
‘Cause we‘ll never be wrong.”
The Nothing feasted on the world around him, and he found himself and the Dungeon Master alone in a void of nothing that was somehow spinning like a top. Mana sparks flew off the Red Guardian, and he continued to sing very loudly now over the howling wind of the Nothing. Surrounded by blackness…
“I don’t know what to do,
And I am always in the dark
We’re living in a powder keg
And giving off sparks!”
Suddenly the air caught fire and the worlds were reborn in a massive mana explosion that blew Dengali’s golden hair back. He beheld the sheer magnitude of the rebirth of two supermassive worlds from a macro perspective. His eyes so wide, and his mind in shock trying to comprehend it all. “Such power”! He cried over the din of it all. “Who”? Stammering “What”? Reeling “How”?
The short little bald man just smiled and held out his hands parallel to each other. All of creation shrank, and then shrank again. The worlds revealed that they are really a part of a larger quasar, and then just one amongst many. It shrunk again, this revealed thousands quasars, then he slapped his hands together and it all flew outward until they were standing over the twin worlds in a God like perspective again.
The ancient One fell to his knees in wonder and blood tears ran down his face. He sobbed “You are more powerful than the Gods!” A look of fear invaded his face. “What am I to do?” He was only answered with more song.
“Once upon a time there was light in my life.”
The Dungeon Master’s Hands fell to his sides. He regarded the Vampire and sang.
“Now there is only love in the dark.”
The little bald man in red robes began to fade away…
“Nothing I can do,
Total eclipse of the heart…
Darkness and Nothing flooded in, drowning the ancient Vampire that doesn’t need to breathe. He rolled over and over in Nothing, eternal. In desperation and madness he tried to turn around…
Suddenly he found himself back in Darktown. He barfed some blood and kissed the ground. Standing, he was stunned to find not a mark upon himself. His new clothes were in tact, and he found himself standing in a cobble stone ally.
A flash of insight struck him. The Red Guardian is Neutral, but he always has a love for a group of do gooders, that are always fated to save the world! What a fool I am! He laughed out loud!
“I have to find the Hero’s and get them to stop this madness”!
Turning off the page, breaking the forth wall.
This NPC looks right at you.
His fangs come out, and his eyes glow red.
“Save Us”!
“All you have to do is show up and play”!
Then he fades away. Singing
“Turn around”
submitted by lodin93 to atlantagaming [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 15:20 Kangarooz4Lyfe [Wildcat's Revenge] - A Great Ride, a Dull Atmosphere, and a Park in an Identity Crisis.

[Wildcat's Revenge] - A Great Ride, a Dull Atmosphere, and a Park in an Identity Crisis.
I was lucky enough to be part of the passholder previews for Wildcat's Revenge yesterday. I selected my time slot to be at 6:30 to allow the ride to warm up a bit more, and to get a decent sunset ride. I also was able to snag a row 11 ride, which made the ride a lot better than the row 6 ride I was expecting.
I'm not going to get too into the ride itself, there's already plenty of reviews out there of the ride. My advice is to just go into this ride with an open mind, and not assume it will be the best RMC, because it isn't.
As someone who's now ridden 5 RMC coasters (Lightning Rod, Twisted Timbers, Steel Vengeance, Storm Chaser, Wildcat), I think its in the top half, maybe even top 2. The only things I would change about the ride is the height of the first wave turn (It didn't have as strong of air as I was expecting), and the bowl section outside of the station. I'm not a huge fan of the barrel-roll-to-barrel-roll element separated by an overbank. I really wish the first zero-g roll was an airtime pop. That whole section to me felt like a big dead spot on the ride.
That being said, I really enjoyed a lot of the other elements. I loved the first big camelback, the finale off-axis hill, and especially the flat turn next to the lockers. The spike of laterals and ejector at the same time makes it my personal favorite element on the ride.

However, while waiting in line, and walking the entire park for a couple hours before my time slot, I realized something very sad about my home park; They just stopped trying in so many departments.
Don't get me wrong. I love this park. I love the coaster collection and I love the last remaining charm that is still around. But recently there have been a lot of decisions made by Hersheypark that just make me scratch my head. Chocolatetown was a great investment, and was really needed to streamline the front gate process instead of the former bottleneck. Chocolatetown isn't exactly my favorite aesthetic, but its the new wave of "unique and modern" architecture, which boils down to fresh concrete/pavers, brick, wood, and black steel. It isn't bad, but isn't amazing, and loses the charm that the old Dutch village had before the refurbishment.
Fast forward 3 years to Wildcat's Revenge, and it just feels like all of the budget and effort for the ride went into those damn custom trains instead of improving the station and lighting fixtures all around the area. For a ride as good as Wildcat's Revenge, the surrounding area and plaza make it feel like the former GCI never left. There was so much potential to have been done to the ride's plaza and none of it even saw the light of day. Besides the trees that line the midway between the entrance and Wild Mouse, there is zero shade in the entire queue. Even the old wooden structure from the former Wildcat queue was refurbished with LED lights, but Hersheypark couldn't be bothered to even add the Cedar Fair shade triangles for some sort of relief. Yesterday was a very mild day in the high 70s - low 80s, and I cannot imagine having to wait in that line come July/August when temperatures reach the high 90s with 80% humidity.
While I really dislike the lack of shade, I think the worst offender is the lack of a ride plaza and the ability to actually see the ride from the park. Unless you're walking right next to the ride past the boardwalk entrance or are in line, you cannot see this ride from anywhere in the park while walking on pathways. Obviously, I'm not a designer nor in charge of the budget for Hersheypark, but a little plaza on the current queue line would have gone a long way in my book. It would've given families a spot to wait while others are riding, better vantage points of the ride, and a great photo op. There's even an entire gravel patch between Laff Track's building and Wildcat's underflip that would've been a great spot for a shaded queue line, while the plaza would go in the current queue line.
Maybe I'm nitpicking, maybe I'm spoiled. I'm not sure. I'm extremely thankful to have such a well-rounded coaster collection less than 2 hours from where I currently live in Maryland, and I'm thankful that Hersheypark was kind enough to allow for passholder previews. But this park that I've been visiting since 2000 has just made so many odd decisions lately it makes me question a lot of their decisions. Hersheypark gives me the feeling that they want to become a destination park like Cedar Point, Magic Mountain, or KBF, but are only adding great coasters while forgetting the rest of the park.
Anyways if you made it this far into my rant, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read it. I genuinely really enjoy Wildcat's Revenge. IMO, it gives Hersheypark the 3rd best lineup in the country (Only behind Cedar Point and Magic Mountain). Its just sad for me to see the park I love giving zero effort in so many other departments.
submitted by Kangarooz4Lyfe to rollercoasters [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 13:31 Lord_Natimus08 Started my first short story. It involves a song based magic system. Would love to hear some feedback and constructive criticism.

“Can you listen to the music?” Master said expectedly.
Sylphie, perplexed at the question replied, “I don’t hear anything Master”.
They stood in a small forest clearing, bathed in the light of sun. It hung on its zenith, glorious rays pouring down. Sunshine filtering through the tree leaves, casting shadows down on the forest floor below.
A small breeze whistled by, and birds chirped away. Another typical, yet picturesque day.
Yet Sylphie heard no music.
“It’s all around us, never ceasing in its magnificent performance. Try to listen” Master said.
She closed her eyes, straining to hear any music. Perhaps he meant music that came from their village tavern? Someone was always playing lute at all times of the day. But they were two miles away from their settlement and she could not hear anything.
“Do you mean you hear music from the village Master?”
“Oh no, not at all my pupil. Their performance, though passionate in their own way, is nothing compared the song that is heard all around us”.
“Can you not hear the rhythm of the ground beneath your feet? The steadiness and stability. The constant booming percussions. Drumming of the very mountains in perfect timing. The foundation of a beautiful bass.”
Sylphie craned her ears towards the ground, but all she heard was the rustling of the grass on her shoes.
“No Master”
“Or how about the wind?”
“I hear the breeze of the wind?”
“Yes, the breeze is the underlying tone. But do you not listen to the high-pitched notes of the wind? A large array of wind instruments hitting its perfect notes. The sound of hurricanes all in perfect harmony from all the four corners of the world. Not ever needing to take a breath for the next note, because they are Breath.”
“And what of the trees and the leaves around us? The leaves like perfect chimes, ringing away. Or the branches swaying”
“And of course, the Sun and stars above. The Sun prefers to believe it is the main vocalist of the performance, yet all its cousins sing in perfect harmony. A magnificent choir, blazing on their tones.
“All around us, constantly is the music of the world. The most magnificent, dazzling, and beautiful orchestra. The music started at the beginning of the universe itself and it will continue to play until the end of it.”
Sylphie exasperated by Master’s hyperbole, cried out in frustration, “What are you trying to teach me with all these expressions?”
“What I said was not expressions. I meant them. You were merely hearing with your ears, but you must begin to listen with your mind, body, spirit, and soul.”
“If you manage to listen to the music and can play it yourself, you can manipulate everything around you. The trees, ground and even animals will heed your notes. Your song, literally bending the world around you. Few can listen to the music and even fewer can sing its song.
“I sense your frustration Sylphie, perhaps a demonstration can alleviate that”.
Master then began to sing.
It started as hums and sounds, typical tones anyone would make out of boredom. Yet it slowly grew, both in volume and notes. There were no lyrics to his song, yet its meaning was clear. Notes, rhythms and tones began uttering out from him. It was impossible for him to create more than one note with just his voice, yet an entire orchestra was being sung by him. The percussions and wind instruments. Strings and chimes and bells played on. He was vocalising and harmonising with himself. It was magnificent, powerful, and beautiful.
As he sung, a rumbling began at Slyphie’s feet. The rumbling had a rhythm as a large boulder with a flat top, rose from the ground where it settled. Then two smaller rocks also rose from the ground opposite from each other with the boulder in between. A table and two stone stools.
The tress started swaying in the melody that Master sung, following him. Almost as it they were accompanying him in his music. A branch bowed down above the centre of the stone table and fruit began growing instantly before Sylphie’s eyes. The branch budded, flowered and produce ripe fruit in a matter of seconds.
At that Master slowed down his song. His notes soften and the forest around him slowed their swaying as well. And with a final note, he ended his song.
“Can you listen to the music now?” as he took a seat on one of the stone stools.
Slyphie gasped at her realisation. Though her Master’s singing ended, the music did continue. It was faint, but she could hear it for a brief moment longer as it faded away.
“I heard it! It was beautiful and it still continuing. You were just singing the same song that is all around us! I heard it, Master!”
“No, you did not hear it. You listened to it.”
submitted by Lord_Natimus08 to fantasywriters [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 13:05 warp-factor Match Thread: T20 Blast & Charlotte Edwards Cup - 31st May

2023 T20 Blast & Charlotte Edwards Cup
ECB Match Centre - T20 Blast - Charlotte Edwards Cup - Central Repository of Scorecards and clips of every boundary and wicket.
Full coverage of every ball of County Cricket and selected Women's Regional Matches on BBC Local Radio - T20 Blast - Charlotte Edwards Cup
T20 Matches in the Blast and Charlotte Edwards Cup start at different times which are listed against them below.
Where available, YouTube live streams are linked against each match below. These can also be found on the county and ECB websites. No free stream of Northamptonshire vs Warwickshire as it's on Sky.
BBC Local Radio coverage and YouTube streams should be accessible worldwide.
Double Headers
AT WANTAGE ROAD - Weather Forecast
14:30 - Sunrisers vs Western Storm - YouTube - Scorecard
18:30 - Northamptonshire vs Warwickshire - On Sky - Scorecard
AT THE ROSE BOWL - Weather Forecast
15:00 - Southern Vipers vs Thunder - YouTube - Scorecard
19:00 - Hampshire vs Surrey - YouTube - Scorecard
Other T20 Blast Matches
16:30 - Middlesex vs Glamorgan at Merchant Taylors' School - YouTube - Weather Forecast - Scorecard
T20 Blast Standings before today:
North Group
Pos Team Played Won Lost Tied N/R Net RR Points
1 Warwickshire 3 3 0 0 0 +0.000 6
2 Worcestershire 3 3 0 0 0 +0.000 6
3 Lancashire 4 3 1 0 0 +0.000 6
4 Durham 3 2 1 0 0 +0.000 4
5 Nottinghamshire 4 2 2 0 0 +0.000 4
6 Yorkshire 4 1 3 0 0 +0.000 2
7 Northamptonshire 3 1 2 0 0 +0.000 2
8 Derbyshire 3 0 3 0 0 +0.000 0
9 Leicestershire 3 0 3 0 0 +0.000 0
South Group
Pos Team Played Won Lost Tied N/R Net RR Points
1 Somerset 4 4 0 0 0 +0.000 8
2 Surrey 3 2 1 0 0 +0.000 4
3 Essex 1 1 0 0 0 +0.000 2
4 Kent 3 1 2 0 0 +0.000 2
5 Sussex 2 1 1 0 0 +0.000 2
6 Gloucestershire 4 1 3 0 0 +0.000 2
7 Glamorgan 2 1 1 0 0 +0.000 2
8 Hampshire 2 1 1 0 0 +0.000 2
9 Middlesex 3 0 3 0 0 +0.000 0
NOTE: Presumably not all the net run rates are actually +0.000 - the ECB website where I copy these tables from must be having an issue. Please disregard this column today.
Points: Teams receive 2 points for a win. 1 point for a Tie or No Result. Each team plays 7 of the 8 other teams in their group and 7 away. Top 4 in each group qualify for the Quarter Finals. Quarter Final winners qualify for Finals Day.
Charlotte Edwards Cup Standings before today:
Pos Team Played Won Lost Tied N/R Net RR Points
1 The Blaze 4 4 0 0 0 +1.346 18
2 Northern Diamonds 4 4 0 0 0 +0.900 17
3 Southern Vipers 3 2 1 0 0 +0.885 9
4 Thunder 4 2 2 0 0 -0.294 9
5 South East Stars 5 2 3 0 0 -0.032 8
6 Central Sparks 4 1 3 0 0 -0.900 4
7 Western Storm 4 1 3 0 0 -1.010 4
8 Sunrisers 4 0 4 0 0 -1.219 0
Points: Teams receive 4 points for a win. A bonus point for a win with a run rate of 1.25x that of the opposition. 2 points for a Tie or No Result. Teams play each other team once, home or away. The top three teams advance to Finals Day. The top team advances straight to the Final, whilst the other two teams play off in a semi-final.
If you've got a team in The Cricket Draft T20 Blast fantasy game, you can join the cricket league here
submitted by warp-factor to Cricket [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 12:14 nagisa45 5 star island open for visitors

Come have a look around, I have fruit trees and flowers that can be picked the only thing I ask is to not pick gold roses that are next to mine and my villages houses and I have bells and some items I will bring out for people to take
submitted by nagisa45 to Dodocodes [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 08:19 Chef-Andy-B Need Help.

We live in a manufactured home:
Our standing shower drain was draining slow, I plunged it and it worked. Plunged it once a month, thought it was hair.
Sunday I heard the toilet gurgle as the shower drained and later that evening I went to flush the toilet and the water rose and didn’t go down like it should. It eventually drained but didn’t refill in the bowl right. Tank is fine. Our other bathroom at the opposite end of the trailer did something similar, however we didn’t use the shower in that one.
All the drains are draining but slow in the house and gurgling can be heard everywhere. Kitchen sink, wash machine, bathroom sink, etc.
We’ve snaked the toilet and the shower multiple times, no help. We’ve done vinegar and baking soda down the shower drain. No help. We called and had our tank pumped today and when we flushed the toilet, it worked fine. Then we flushed it again, and the water rose.
My question: if the main sewer line is clogged somewhere like the plumber I called told me (didn’t work on the Memorial Day weekend), would I be able to flush the toilet and have it drain; as well as the shower? My thought would be if it’s clogged nothing is going to drain.
If the sewer isn’t an issue, would it be the vent on top of the trailer? We couldn’t find an outdoor main drain clean out anywhere so the plumber couldn’t help us anyway according to him.
We haven’t been able to use our bathrooms, wash dishes or flush toilets since Sunday and I’m out of ideas of what could be wrong.
submitted by Chef-Andy-B to Plumbing [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 07:47 Excellent-Agent2034 Am I wrong for giving a symbolic gift from a traditional feast to my fiancees grandfather?

I (34M) and my fiancée(33F) share a cultural background. I am an immigrant from our county of origin, and came to the states with my family as a toddler. My GF, whom we’ll call Rose, is 2nd generation. In our culture, during special events, we’ll have a feast with the main dish being a stew made from a young goat. My father raises goats and taught me the best, most respectful way to slaughter, process, and cook them. It’s a great dish that’s very flavorful and not at all gamey.
Rose and her family invited me to their property to celebrate the long weekend, which I capped off with a dinner of this goat stew. Rose and her family all live on a tract of land that is owned by her grandfather. As English is my second language, I converse with him quite a lot and I’d like to think he likes me, as we always crack jokes with each other and have a pretty good time.
Rose’s father isn’t a big fan of me, as he doesn’t really speak our language, and Rose and her siblings don’t speak the language at all, but no one has said anything to me about this being rude, but anyway.
In our culture, it is customary to give the head of the goat to the head of the family, so after I was done slaving away over a propane burner and a large pot, I began to serve the goat stew. I fished the head out with my spoon and brought the styrofoam bowl to the table and set it in front of Rose’s grandfather, who clasped my hand in both of his hands with a firm shake. There was some hushed whispers at the table and murmuring which I ignored because I was fucking starving.
After we ate, I put away the leftovers, cleaned up, and loaded my cookware into my car. I thought everything was fine as we said our goodbyes to Rose’s family. It was in the darkness of the car that the feeling of tension hit me like a ton of bricks.
I reached over to hold Rose’s hand and asked if everything was ok.
“That was real fucked up, what you did.”
Uh, I’m sorry? What did I do?”
“You gave the head to my grandpa and not my dad, he’s the head of my family, and that was very disrespectful. You need to stop sucking up to my grandpa just because you two speak the same language.”
I was flabbergasted, and replied, “Idk, your grandpa is still alive, and we were on HIS property, so he is the patriarch of your family. It’s custom!”
She snapped back with, “but my dad was right there and you walked past him! Besides we’re in America, not our country of origin, and here, my dad is the head of my household!”
“Well, maybe when your dad has his own home on his own property, or he inherits your grandfathers property…”
“Are you trying to say we’re a bunch of freeloaders??! My grandfather bought a property big enough for his children to build their homes on, and it’s even big enough for us to build a home on!”
I then told her that I have no intention of having my in-laws as neighbors, and that I have my own land that I plan on building our own home on so that we can have privacy.
She gave me the silent treatment from then on, and this morning when I awoke, she had gone to work and texted me that she expects an apology before she comes back home. I’ve tried calling and texting her, but she sends me to voicemail and leaves me on read.
I really feel like I should apologize just to keep the peace, but I’m not sure if that would entail apologizing to her whole family for following traditions that they claim to honor as “proud descendants”
Am I wrong, Reddit?
submitted by Excellent-Agent2034 to amiwrong [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 06:57 iamgroot_789 selling tickets

selling two Re:SET tickets for this friday, june 2nd!! (@the rose bowl in pasadena) pricing negotiable DM me!!
submitted by iamgroot_789 to stevelacy [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 06:39 acebae AU: What if there was a season 6?

ASP has said they had a completely different plan for season 5 before Amazon said it'd be their last. What if in an alternante universe they were told they'd have 2 more seasons, how do you think they would have panned out?
I'm assuming most if not all of the plot in season 5 would have still made the show but spread between 2 seasons so here are my thoughts below:
Season 5 fantasy predictions:
Ep1 to Ep4 - No flashbacks, atleast not until the final episode - Still would have opened up with after blizzard - Susie saying "I have one year" instead of 6 months - The "Gordan Ford season" - slower ramp up to Midge getting the job. Susie and Mike scenes the same. George getting fired plays out in real time vs flashbacks. - More scenes of Midge playing club gigs. Lenny and Midge running into eachother. Lenny is with another girl - Midge is "with" Gordan (not together but he just happens to be there too) awkwardness - Eventually give in to some semblance of a romance mid-season (go on a "normal" date but end up doing an impromptu stand up performance when patrons recognize Lenny) but Midge becomes more privy to his struggles - Mei and Joel breakup would have still happened but the deteoriation of the relationship would happen over the first half of the series - Funny scenes with Joel's parents (who are seperated) meeting Mei's parents / cultural differences - Increased presence of the mob and Susie's growing concerns - Matchmaker storyline - Rose gets a famous client (old money hieress) and turf wars get more intense - Abe's playwriter friend returns and him/Abe become writing partners - Zelda is increasingly distracted at work. Abe and Rose become concerned she's "cheating" on them with another family. Keeps offering her more money and fancy gifts. Zelda is confused but accepts
Ep5 to Ep8 - After Mei leaves Joel gets hyperfixated on opening another club and Midge's career to distract himself - Joel notices mobs involvement and becomes concern. Conflict with Susie builds and explodes in Ep7 - Gordon Ford storyline the same - Midge's increasing impatience - Abe and Rose run into Lenny when they're downtown having dinner in village with Abe's playwrite friend. Abe invites him to Seder. Awkward but hilarious exchange where Lenny keeps trying to decline but Abe and Rose keep insisting until finally Rose initimidates Lenny into saying yes. Midge is mortified. - Tension between Midge and Lenny builds until Ep.7. Lenny is a no show to seder. Astrid: "Who's Lenny? Was he at the service earlier? Is he a visiting rabbi?" - Midge is called to lobby. Lenny is there - with an empty bottle of wine and flowers. Big fight. "Comics don't need healthy relationships! They need fodder for their next set!" - Midge rejected by Jack Parr next day. Midge hits an emotional wall. - Abe's and playwrite's play can't find financing. Struggles with feelings of inadequancy since Rose's businesss is doing so well - Rose frustrated with Abe's lack of support during Matchmaker turf wars because of his insecurity not being the breadwinner - Hedy and Susie storyline the same. Hedy makes more appearances bc she's amazing. Midge still asks Susie to ask Hedy. - Finale opens up with 60 Minutes Flash Forward. First flashfoward - introducing the concept that will be used in the final season. - Lenny and Midge goodbye airport scene happens in the finale. Haven't spoken since Passover - Midge didn't know he was leaving - Abe apologies to Rose and accepts that he was being a butt. - Zelda's fiancee revealed to the relief of Abe and Rose - The family supports Midge's first talk show appearance at Gorden Ford. Lenny has an umbrella delivered to Midge's dressing room "It's sunny in California. Thought you might need this. Thanks for letting me borrow it"
Season 6: Haven't thought of it as much but I see it revolving around the sexism Midge faces despite her growing success. Ending with her first night at the Copa as the series finale
Thoughts? Contribute your AU Season 5/6 ideas!
submitted by acebae to TheMarvelousMrsMaisel [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 06:20 stayclassypeople The 1978-79 Bowl Season

This is the 5th post in a series going over the bowl seasons from 1974-1997. Each year I'm examining the bowls with national title implications and the teams competing for the #1 ranking. If you want to catch up on prior seasons, check out the link to the master post as well! Setting the Stage

Bowls with National Title Implications Sugar, Rose, Orange?
Teams with National Title Hopes Penn St, Alabama, USC
Dark horse contenders Oklahoma, Michigan

Pre-Bowl Rankings

Teams Record AP Coaches
Penn St 11-0 1 1 (31)
Alabama 10-1 2 2
USC 11-1 3 3 (3)
Oklahoma 10-1 4 4
Michigan 10-1 5 5 (1)
After being mostly ignored by the voters last season, burgeoning blue blood, Penn State, was a unanimous #1 in both polls and a bowl win away from their first natty. Joe Paterno initially wanted to accept an invite to the Orange Bowl until Bear Bryant literally called him and sweet talked him into accepting the Sugar Bowl invite to create a #1 vs #2 de facto national title. In his mind, this would ensure that the Tide controlled their own championship fate. However, if you've read prior posts, you know voters can be fickle.

The Bowls
Sugar #1 Penn St vs #2 Alabama (January 1st, 2pm EST)
The stage was set for a titanic #1 vs #2 battle as established blue blood Alabama took on the new kid on the block, Penn St for all the marbles. Alabama drew first blood with a 2nd quarter TD and led 7-0 at the half. In the 3rd, Penn St scored the equalizer after getting a short field due to a turnover. Alabama returned the ensuing kickoff inside the Nittany Lions 10 and later punched it in to go up 14-7. In the 4th, Penn St had the ball 4th and goal inside the Tide's 1 yard line but the Tide's D held on an epic goal line stand to preserve the win. A national title was in their grasp.

Rose Bowl: #3 USC vs #5 Michigan (January 1st, 5pm EST)
Michigan's chances of a title were extremely slim, if not non existent, but USC had a shot if Penn St lost to Alabama. USC beat the Tide head to head after all, but would the voters recognize that when they made their final ballots? Either way, USC controlled what they could and took care of the Wolverines. They led 17-3 at half. A 3rd quarter TD got Michigan within a score, but that was all they could manage. USC prevailed 17-10.

Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma vs #6 Nebraska (January 1st, 8pm EST)
In a weird turn of events, Big 8 rivals Nebraska and Oklahoma were paired up in a rematch. The Huskers received the Big 8's bid as conference champ, but after Penn St turned down the Orange Bowl invite for the Sugar, the Sooners surprisingly got the at large bid instead. I doubt the 1 loss Sooners had a real chance at #1, but a win here, would mean they avenged their only loss and weirder things have happened in the final polls. They dominated the rematch for 3 quarters, leading 31-10. The Huskers 4th quarter rally cut the lead to 31-24, but couldn't finish the comeback.

Final Results
Team Record AP Coaches
Alabama 11-1 1 (38) 2 (15)
USC 12-1 2 (19) 1 (15)
Oklahoma 11-1 3 (1) 3 (5)
By the narrowest of margins, we have a split National Championship. The AP held true and elevated Alabama to #1, but the coaches went to USC, but the Coaches poll honored USC's head to head win over the Tide. The Sooners siphoned off 5 votes in the Coaches poll as well, which very much could've denied Alabama a consensus National title. I'm sure Bear Bryant was less than thrilled to settle for a split title, but then again, I'm sure USC was also less than thrilled to split the title with a team the beat that season.
Other notes: Legendary Ohio St coach Woody Hayes also retired this season after a Clemson players neck ran into his fist.

Sources and recommended reading:
submitted by stayclassypeople to CFB [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 05:31 sariaru_qet-shavaq a tree with deep roots

Naari sighed deeply, closing her eyes for a moment in the cool shade of her working area under the hot, summertime sun. She heard and felt the relaxation in the muscles of those who came to visit her, as well. Felt it in their hearts, their bellies, the sound of their laboured breathing. Her patient today was Rina, her younger sister, though neither were their mother’s hara. Perhaps that was what drove Naari to become a rādejut, living and helping women who were with child. It was nearly Rina’s time for birth, and Naari could smell in the sweat beading on her sister’s brow that they were both in for a long afternoon and night. Rina swayed and hummed a low, tuneless music, the vibrations deep in her ripened belly. Those were good sounds, sounds of the earth. Naari dipped a cloth in a bowl of cool water and wiped Rina’s forehead and naked back while she moved, careful to always move with her, and to never impede her movement. Movement was good, even the earth moved, and women needed to ground themselves to give birth properly. Women were the mediators of the earth, after all.
Naari was grateful that she lived on the outskirts of the village for many reasons. Firstly, so that sounds like the ones Rina would soon be making would not trouble the others. Two, it meant that no one was quite sure how much food she had stocked up at any given time. Naari knew, though. She knew exactly how much she had, down to the last urn of sorghum. Everyone who wanted her care at any point had to bring an urn or two of sorghum, or an equivalent amount of dried bison meat, or some other gift of their land that could be stored and saved. Naari had been keeping track of who had given on a piece of parchment, drawing out symbols for each family with ink made from bone char and a raven’s quill. The extra food went to the sick, or the pregnant. Chewing on dried bison is very healthful for women in labour, but of course Naari had no way to get bison meat on her own. However, men who were about to go on raids could bring her raw bison strips as a sort of future payment against the medical care she might need to provide them afterwards. Then she would mark a symbol on her parchments, and give the man a small piece of parchment with her own symbol. She didn’t need to give the man the bison that he provided, no, quite the opposite. After all, it could be months before he would need her medical care. No, the food went to the one who needed it then. And if the village was healthy? Well, Naari prospered anyways, for a healthy village always had children, and most everyone was willing to give something, because everyone wanted there to be extra food when it was their turn to be sick.
That was how Naari was able to provide Rina with dried bison to gnaw on while she laboured. Now walking, now squatting, now on hands and knees. Naari did not watch her every second, that would not be required for many hours yet. She was busy making a strong tea for Rina, made of sagebrush and sunwort, grinding the leaves and stems down with water from the firepit.
“How are you feeling? You must let yourself breathe, slowly, your music is good.”
“There is pain,” Rina replied, a low groan escaping at the end, belying the true level of pain she was in.
“You do not need to speak to me as if I were a man, sister.”
“It is awful, then. How do women do this four, five, times?”
“Drink this. It will help,” Naari replied. “It is cooled, and I have added mint and berry to make it sweet.”
Rina took the cup and nodded gratefully, drinking it in slow but steady sips. Already her breathing grew more laboured, and her moving became less moving and more swaying and rocking. Progress. Hours passed.
In the night, under a coyote moon, Rina held her baby boy to her breast, relieved and thankful. Naari waited to deliver the blood-tree, and only when its roots were empty and white did she thank it for its service and sever it from the new child. The blood-tree itself would be planted somewhere on Rina’s land, along with a walnut tree.
“Thank you, sister. You are a talented rādejut,” Rina murmured in the cool dark.
“You have given freely of your bounty when others were in need, and now it was your turn to receive the bounty of others. While your son eats, tell me more about this watering hole you’ve dug. I think it could be very helpful. Clean water is good for the health, and if I had one here, it would make things much easier. Do you think some of the young herdless boys and the women would be willing to help…?”
submitted by sariaru_qet-shavaq to DawnPowers [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 04:34 Sullengar The Magi's Society - By Sullengar - Chapter 19: The Rust

Mevi was mostly conscious when Kalesi had saved her. The writhing pain was like hot irons under her skin that tried to infect and travel within her blood vessels. Yet as Mevi closed her eyes, in the safety of her mentor’s arms, she felt the light around her disappear and with it a dull cold air enter. The cold was almost soothing against her burning skin. She tried to open her eyes, only to be met with a dark expanse and rushing air as the two traveled at a marvelous speed downwards. After an agonizing amount of time, the fast movements stopped, and the cold chill permeated around her.
The worst of the pain dissipated quickly, morphing from an agonizing fire into a sharp throbbing. Mevi could feel her skin shifting under her clothes, and she ripped at the fabric. Invisible hands seemed to sense her discomfort and helped remove the robes. Those invisible hands, presumed to be Kalesi, attempted to pull free the gloves to no avail. Mevi settled against a cold metal, noticing only now that she was laying down. It was flat and chilled beneath her. Grime and dust seemed to cover it, but the stimulation of the filth was a preferable distraction.
Soon the pain disappeared fully, or at least comparably so. A dull ache throbbed under Mevi’s skin if she moved too suddenly. As her senses became fully her own again, she realized the darkness around her was thick and real. She didn’t like the dark, and wished it away so she could find Kalesi. She wanted the one stable figure in her life so far, the one person that seemed to try to protect her in this short span of time. She wished for light, but remembered the resulting pain from her previous explosion. Her mind almost naturally attuned a dim glow that slowly started to fill the darkness with a warm orange hue.
Mevi and Kalesi were revealed as the slow light crept around corners and up walls. Mevi felt a quiet complaint from her body, but it dissipated as she lowered the strength of the light slightly. Kalesi looked concerned, but only spared a few glances at her pupil. As the light fully illuminated the two, Kalesi moved to the only entrance to their lopsided hideout. She began pulling at weak metal and loose frame, closing a decrepit door to block the outside. Mevi noticed a shrill wind blowing outside that echoed against the metal husk they had made camp in.
Kalesi confirmed the security of the door, and moved to Mevi’s side. Mevi took the chance to glance at her arms. There were dark veins sprawling from her wrists and chest, where her Maige conduits rested against her skin. Before their eyes the dark veins were retreating to their beginning, and most of the bubbling welts had completely disappeared. Mevi was recovering surprisingly quickly, but she didn’t know why that was surprising. Kalesi bent down to inspect her young ward’s skin, “What happened? Do you know?”
Mevi was unsure, “I activated the Maige… I summoned a light in my panic and excitement. It was too strong. I should have tempered it like I am doing now, but I was almost… consumed, by the moment. It was strange.”
“You are at least healing. We escaped the bandits, and both of us are safe. So that is all that matters right now.”
Mevi was curious about her new surroundings, “Where are we Kalesi? It is almost impossibly dark here.”
Kalesi sighed, “We are in ‘The Depths’, or at least that is what I have heard it called. It is an accurate description, if anything.” Mevi’s confused look was an adequate response, Kalesi unconsciously sighed thinking about the situation they were in. “There is a strange, and incredibly dense, layer of… well everything. The Rust, it is an ancient infection of the body, metal, stone, and anything else it touches. It can be dealt with using thorough, and civilized, cleaning methods. But here, they haven’t the tools or means. The Rust eats away at material, then begins to spore like a fungus. Those spores make up the dust, rust, and debris that billow like wind. I have heard it begins to become as thick as water far enough down.”
Mevi was fascinated, and waited for Kalesi to continue explaining. Yet Kalesi stopped and entered a pained contemplation. Turning around, to keep her face towards the door, Kalesi grimly said “This Rust can turn any and all into simple air. It infects a host like a parasite and makes them deranged. Before they are completely eaten away. Then they become one with the infection that claimed them.” Kalesi sat down on a slanted pillar that once stood by the door. The two sat in silence, save for the shrieking wind battering the metal hull of the fallen tower.
After a while of waiting, and silent thoughts, Mevi’s affliction subsided into almost nothing. The black veins receded into nothing, and few hints were shown that they were ever there. Mevi’s skin was as perfect as it is after a fresh wash, save for the growing layer of grime and dust. Kalesi helped Mevi back into her robes, as the chill was beginning to set in. Mevi was wondering what their next step was, and if Kalesi’s expressions were translated correctly she was planning that very thing. Kalesi eventually turned to Mevi, “I think I will let you make our next decision. Despite my initial concern, the ambush left us mostly unscathed. Your ability to recover was faster than I could ever have assumed, or maybe it looked worse than it was.”
Mevi chuckled grimly, “It was quite painful in the moment, but I am fine now I think.”
“Then… Our choices are to continue this Barge-cursed mission, or begin our escape. Both are dangerous, for various reasons…”
A thought plaguing Mevi finally won its way out, “Would we be helping people with our mission?”
Kalesi smiled at her pupil’s undaunted innocence, “Yes, I think. From what I was provided, we need to head towards known population centers. We would gather who we can find, and attempt to evacuate them outside of the Rust’s influence. We shouldn’t have run into any bandits or scavengers, but that is something to report later.”
Mevi thought for a moment, but her mind was mostly recalling the strange exteriors of those ‘bandits’, “I think I would like to continue. This is my first mission, and if we are sent to help people I don’t want to abandon them.”
Kalesi’s smile widened a bit, she tousled her pupil’s hair playfully, “Good choice. If we weren’t sent to help people we would already be returning to the nearest uninfected edge.”
The two were in agreement, as much good as that did in the situation. After resting for a few more minutes, Kalesi scooped up her pupil once again, and they escaped their metallic cover into a sharp breeze. Kalesi looked down to her pupil, and then at the light emanating from her gemstones. Picking up on her mentor’s thought, Mevi silenced her light, and in the shroud of darkness Kalesi traversed the abyss.
From Mevi’s perspective, within Kalesi’s arms, she could see very little. As they suddenly soared then quickly landed, Mevi could see only the briefest impression of ground beneath them. Then they would soar back into the air again, apparently jumping from ledge to ledge. Kalesi’s vision seemed to pierce the darkness in a way Mevi’s couldn’t. Yet as they rose, small pins of light shone above their head like stars. The small stars grew steadily in size after every new leap into the abyssal space. As the light grew, their sources began to move and shift. The most potent light from above stabbed through the shroud laid out by the ambient material created by this strange ‘Rust’. As they grew higher and higher in altitude the shifting storm of debris overhead eventually softened to allow some small amount of light.
Almost suddenly, from the perspective of Kalesi’s powerful leaps, the light flooded back into full view. One ledge there was darkness, with thousands of small pricks of light peeking through the blanket of fugitive dust. Then suddenly, after they landed on the newest ledge, their full view was coated with grimy light again. The swirling clouds allowed the shining ambient light to enter the world once again. Kalesi stopped for a moment, and motioned for Mevi to look down. Below them, only one or two meters, was the thick darkness that created an impassable shield to block light. The winds below were slow and sluggish compared to the virulent storm above. Yet even the above storm held no sway or influence over Kalesi’s strong movements.
The two had evaded the darkness that seemed so permanent just moments before. With their newfound vision the pair began soaring from one ledge to another again. Mevi could now properly see the outline and description of their targets. The massive pipework twisted and spiraled in impossible directions. In every facet of her vision, Mevi saw nothing but rusted metal or twisting pipework. The amalgamation of construction around them made it difficult to discern how far any given target could be, and the swirling gusts of material shadowed any further investigation. Yet while Mevi marveled at the strangeness, and density, of their surroundings Kalesi seemed to know exactly where and how to travel. Despite the intercorse of metal and stone that persisted its confusion, the travel across and up continued after the brief rest for awe.
After several leaps upward, traveling at least one hundred meters after exiting the darkness, the density of construction lapsed. Loosened, and suddenly extremely large, the platforms Kalesi traveled were easier to discern between near and far. The time they spent climbing upwards was twice, if not more, as long as their adventure downward. When Kalesi eventually found a large pipe-road she was satisfied with, and put Mevi on her own feet again, the winds settled to a slow breeze.
Around them was, once again, the vast expanse of metal and stone that descended to unknown depths. The platform chosen to be their path was much wider than the one they were dropped off at. Many meters across, it was more similar to the large winding roads within the city than any type of plumbing. The material transported within such a large construct could only be imagined.
After Mevi had recovered her barings, and was finished exploring the vastness around them, Kalesi readied herself to move. Mevi hadn’t initially noticed, but Kalesi had stopped as if to rest briefly once Mevi was released to the ground. Mevi was concerned, but was waved off quietly. “Don’t worry. I am fine.” replied Kalesi, as if anticipating her questioning pupil.
Mevi was still concerned, she hadn’t ever seen Kalesi winded or truely tired, “We can take a longer rest if you would like. You are the only one who knows where we are going after all.”
Kalesi sucked in air, only to release it in a deep breath followed by coughing, “I can rest while we walk. My wargear is similar to your Maige, I think. Even its more robotic enhancements can tire someone’s muscles. Turns out, ‘normal’ people aren’t meant to soar several hundred meters as fast as we did.”
Mevi couldn’t hold back a small laugh, and Kalesi chuckled herself. The clarity of oddness of the situation seemed to return in lapses to the both of them. She seemed to have fully recovered herself, and the two began walking their path once again. As they walked, Kalesi was noticeably on edge, but smiled when she caught Mevi’s glances. As if to reassure or calm her pupil, while she redoubled her own perception of potential dangers.
The duo walked for a while, and nothing seemed to change. Yet as they continued along the chosen path, the air seemed to become thicker. Subtly, and almost unnoticeable to Mevi, the air made itself denser and slower. Less wind was blowing, as if the materials in the air were actively resisting the billowing currents. What light that shined through was dimmed, where before its ambience was like a clouded day it was now like an evening shroud.
The terrain around them was still perceivable, and Kalesi hung on every motion or noise, but the dark tint continued to thicken. It eventually became stuffy, almost hard to breathe, even with their masked mouths and noses. They continued and as they did Mevi couldn’t help thinking to herself that she missed the open air in the city, despite its claustrophobic towers. Then Mevi realized something, and looked down to her gloved hands. The clear gemstone was dull and dead, deactivated by her own command. She had been trying to maintain a consistent command of suppression on it, just in case her mind wandered and it activated again. Yet now she saw a potential use.
Quietly grabbing at Kalesi’s sleeve, who turned to see what was wrong, Mevi realized she wasn’t sure if they should be talking or not. Pointing at her glove’s gemstone, and gesturing around her, only caused Kalesi to look confused. Mevi’s attempts at charades continued until Kalesi whispered softly, “Mevi, just speak softly. We should be safe for now.”
Mevi summoned her breath, and realized her charades were almost required with the lack of good oxygen, and she managed to squeak a reply, “Should I try to make an air bubble?” Her voice was scratchy and like a prolonged gasp, she didn’t realize how in need of good air she actually was.
Kalesi thought for a moment, “You can try, do not strain yourself. If you revert to your previous condition again I will carry you out regardless of your opinion. Our safety comes before this mission.”
Mevi nodded eagerly, deciding further speech might be too difficult. She focused on the idea of her gemstone, and it pulsed slightly as if to respond. Unsure how to proceed, she tried to summon the idea of pushing air away, or creating wind of some kind. After several moments of nothing happening, Mevi attempted to summon wind around her again but with less conflicted feelings. This time short gusts emanated from her palms, blowing the ground below her. Both Kalesi and Mevi were surprised by the reaction, and Mevi was invigorated to attempt an additional experiment.
Focusing on a single, solid, mental image Mevi held her arms out, palms pointed forward. She imagined a gusting wind to blow away the particles that clustered around them. As she did, the child of wind billowed from her hands, a stream of low current air pushed outward and into the heavy fog. Mevi jumped up in excitement and looked to Kalesi, who was surprised and seemed confused but impressed at the short outcome. Kalesi gave a nod as if to encourage a repeated attempt, and Mevi focused once more. Imagining a current, a bubble of wind, to blow around them and dispel the thick fog. Mevi’s instincts moved her body, she held her hands at her center as if holding some delicate orb. As she focused, air began to swirl in a small concentration around her hands. The effect began to expand as she tempered her desire to explode the effect, she maintained her precise control over her excitement and eagerness.
The bubble of wind expanded beyond her hands, to her elbows, up to her shoulders, and eventually past her knees. Then her entire body was engulfed in a whirling wind that pushed away the heavy fog around them allowing clear crisp air, Mevi began to expand the bubble further when Kalesi placed a hand on her shoulder. Mevi looked up, Kalesi had ducked into the bubble of clean air, “I think this is enough. This is amazing, Mevi!”
Mevi blushed, she was impressed with herself as well, “I think I can make it bigger, so we can both fit!”
Kalesi gripped her shoulder with a warm smile, “I think this is wonderful, and incredibly impressive I might add. If I need a breather I will duck into your little bubble, my lungs are more durable than yours so don’t strain yourself.”
Mevi was still maintaining her hands at her center, and half of her focus was on maintaining the wind bubble’s form, “I think I can do this for a while. I got a headache before I hurt myself with the light.”
Kalesi looked serious when she said, “If you feel that sense coming over you, dispel this air bubble. Or whatever you are doing, unless vitally important.”
Mevi nodded with an excited grin. The strange novelty of this tool was amazing to her, to be able to summon wind without any fan or propeller. No real device beyond her own hands and a strange gem. It defied what she thought possible. Regardless of her prior beliefs, she continued to maintain the bubble of pure air. Maintaining its form eventually became easier, and she could soon walk normally while maintaining its shape. As the two walked, Kalesi occasionally ducked her head in to breathe. The further they traveled into the heavy fog, the less often Kalesi stopped for breath, instead preferring to keep a constant vigil around them.
While the fog was dark, Mevi could still somehow see through the thick material. If this was in part due to her Maige, or the natural feature of the fog, she couldn't tell. As they progressed, it almost seemed like Mevi could see and hear better than Kalesi. Mevi could notice a falling rock, or hear a crumbling strut, before Kalesi’s head darted in its direction. While on a smaller level than before, Mevi’s natural senses seemed heightened again. It was because of this that Mevi could soon see writhing bodies below on a distant pipe-road. Dense with old structure and fallen architecture, it looked like a strange hanging city kept up by old struts and strong wire. Few structures were built directly into the pipes, instead being attached by wire that wrapped around the thick pipe or attached via ancient hanging struts that looked older than the reliant buildings. Mevi could see stumbling bodies on the rusted pathways, shambling forms of various sizes. All slowly moving forward along the suspended walkways and eventually onto the main pipe-road above the hanging ‘city’. The stumbling figures then continued along the pipe, into the darkness of beyond. But as Mevi stared in the direction they traveled, she realized it wasn’t darkness.
The forms of creatures, of people, below were traveling along the metal roads to a great wall of dark. As Mevi quickly realized, it was exactly that; a great wall or cliff stretching impossibly high up. The upper lengths were lost on her, its cliff’s edge was out of sight and well beyond the dark fog’s length. The shambling forms seemed to crawl against, and up, the great cliff. Unnaturally motivated to climb such an intimidating structure.
Mevi pointed down to the movement below them. Kalesi looked hard, and after several moments seemed to spot what Mevi saw. Her eyes strained against the dark fog. Mevi, despite being told otherwise, subtly expanded her air bubble’s reach. The upper edge was now high enough to reach Kalesi’s head at her full height. Now encompassed in the less-corrupted air, Kalesi seemed to spot the bodies gathering below them. Her face fell grim as she seemed to notice something beyond Mevi’s initial survey. Kalesi’s eyes darted back and forth, then beyond to the imposing cliff. Kalesi turned to Mevi, with some amount of sorrow in her eyes, “Mevi I think we should leave. I doubt there are many left to save.”
Mevi was confused, she could see many people down there, and several different clusters of buildings, “Aren’t we supposed to go down there?”
Kalesi seemed to debate with herself, as she sometimes does when determining what to say, “Those people, they are already lost Mevi. Those people are what we call ‘Rusted’, they are infected. Their minds are scrambled, and can only move towards the newest movement or sound. They are herding themselves up the cliff, following each other because the one in front moves and so the one behind follows.”
Mevi looked down with a sadness gleaned from Kalesi. As she peered out towards the several clusters of homes, buildings, and small villages, almost every single one was filled with dark figures. Each stumbling forward with a slow, but unstoppable, progress. What even was this ‘Rust’, it infected people like a fungus? How could so many, who are native to the Pipes, fall victim in such a vast quantity? Mevi searched below, peering into the abyss. As she followed the trails of marching figures, she found an oddity. Far off, further past the largest cluster of population, the figures were marching the wrong way. In much smaller quantities, one or two noticing from the main horde every minute or two, a short line of figures progressed away from the cliff. Mevi was curious, and began to walk carefully up the pipe road. Kalesi followed, sighing out the depression felt in her chest.
The two traveled further along the pipe road, Mevi leading them this time. Kalesi content to allow her pupil to explore this grim reality at her own pace. Yet as Mevi continued along the winding path before her, following the trickle of shambling forms, she noticed something hopeful.
Far detached from the main cluster of population, there was a partially detached pipe coming out of the cliff that was thinner than the rest of the strange colonies. Few bridges led in its direction, and those that did had to wrap and curve around various connected pipes and cliff structure. Yet there was a small collection of buildings, built into the side of the cliff itself rather than hanging against their thin pipe. The cluster of buildings were attached near the base of the pipe that exited the cliff, bent and twisted, yet serving as a main road out and into the Pipes regardless. In the small settlement there was some kind of mounted effort for survival. Mevi could see fast moving figures, many people that were rushing in more directions than forward. At the edge of their settlement there was an attached metal strut that stretched farther than normal. Its wide frame produced a natural road, and on said road were the detached groups of Rusted. Only a few here and there, spaced out by several meters. Accumulating at the metal road’s end, and the entrance of the small settlement. There was a large wall built up, and many shambling bodies tried to rip and climb at the metal protecting the small village.
Mevi pointed out the rebellious natives as they fought desperately against the march of Rusted. Kalesi was in disbelief, she hadn’t noticed the individual Rusted nearly as clearly as her pupil apparently had. Kalesi’s hope was rekindled, and she smiled at her pupil’s discovery. Before Kalesi could congratulate Mevi, Mevi’s head began to throb. Mevi instinctively grabbed at her head and closed her eyes, the sudden wave of nausea and ache washing over her. Kalesi caught Mevi as she wobbled, “Mevi, if your senses are telling you to stop, do it. Do not strain yourself, I can guide us to our goal now. You’ve done well.”
Mevi was glad, she helped in some small way. She allowed her Maige to deactivate, and the clean air was absorbed back into the dark fog. Suddenly very little could be seen other than vague shapes and the dark towering cliff before them. But Mevi had done her part, and will focus on her own recovery so as to help her mentor again. But now they had a clear goal. Their reconnaissance finished, experiments with the Maige underway, and now to move onto evacuation. To finally help people, and to do so with her strange powers however they might manifest. Mevi dedicates herself to master these abilities, and vows no harm would come to Kalesi if her will prevails.
submitted by Sullengar to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 02:35 Poorly-Drawn-Beagle Sentience

And a twofer! Why not. This has to be one of the first short stories I ever wrote that wasn't fanfiction for another IP. And, as might be inferred, it's not meant to be taken entirely seriously; but I still think uplifted animals are an underused sci fi concept. Anyway, enjoy, if you want.
Gordon’s eyes half-opened in the half-gloom of his quarters. A cold, snuffling nose was poking at his back impatiently. Just twenty more minutes? The snuffling went on unrelenting.
“’m up. ‘m up. Enough.” Gordon untangled himself from the sheets and gently pushed the nose away. “Morning, Nannygoat.”
Nanny chuffed and turned away indignantly. She shook her head around, letting long floppy ears flap about. She did not like to be kept waiting at breakfast time. Gordon stroked her fur a bit to mollify her, and Nanny pretended to ignore him. Eventually he rolled out of bed and she scampered after him to the kitchen. Major- whom Gordon jokingly thought of as the ship’s security chief- was sprawled out on the floor there, moping, but immediately perked up, tail wagging. Both dogs started yapping urgently as he filled their dishes, then started snarfing intently.
While they were about that, Gordon opened one of the portholes and stared out into open space. Empty as usual. There was some kind of augmented option that would color nebulae to make it more interesting but he didn’t usually bother. Augies felt oddly like cheats. It was starting to get dull out here, manning the tendership and patching up junkhaulers. Gordon was a vigorous young man in 60s, and still prone to impatience.
Major popped over. The vox on his collar chirped on: “B’ekfast?”
“You just had it.”
Major conceded and padded off to find his leash. Creatures of routine, he and Nanny preferred a trip to the greenhouse after meals. While they searched, Gordon flicked on the newsfeed.
More uprisings on good old Terra Firma. Simian-Socialist raids on Red Cross trucks in the Congo. A kangaroo caught smuggling bomb components into the Parliament House in New Canberra. Some black panthers protesting in DC had come to blows with local police. Two panthers were dead, and a police officer had taken a few bullets to the chest; he was expected to be ready for work in a few hours. Sheesh.
Mankind had grown beyond the aftereffects of disease, and starvation, and violence and so much else; the average human lifespan had more than tripled, and even that was a low estimate when so many lifespans simply didn’t have an ending in sight. Advances in biotechnology and medicine had alleviated so many of the problems endemic to the human race. And yet relations with the Uplifted seemed to get worse by the day. Gordon’s sympathies were wholly with the insurgents- not like those Transhumanics, ugh- but he understood, a little. The Uplifted had some rough shakes, and it was probably hard not to feel you’d got the short end of a stick, living a few decades on a world of nearly-immortals.
Major scampered back with his leash clamped in his mouth, Nannygoat following at a more dignified plod. Gordon flicked the holo off and got their harnesses applied. No time to worry about that today. Life had to go on.
*** Time, as it typically did, passed…***
Meyjerr gestured to the statue remains. He was nervous; he didn’t like being this far into the other tribe’s territory and he wasn’t used to talking to the elders in the first place.
“As I said. Some sort of brass carving, like an Ape but totally bald.”
“Not an ape,” the Eldest sighed. “A remnant from the time of the gods.”
Meyjerr blinked and shook his head a bit, letting his ears flap. “Gods?”
“Just so. You will not have heard the tale; we reserve it for manhood ceremonies. In ancient times they ruled over us, providing us with endless food, gave us our sacred names- Fye-do, Recks, even yours. But our ancestors grew jealous, for the gods did not share with them the secret of immortality. They rose up, and so the gods struck them down, bringing sin and toil into the world.”
Meyjerr was in awe. “What happened to the gods?”
Eldest shrugged. “They left this world, possibly, or they still observe us from beyond the veil of death. Some even say they are no more. None can say for sure.”
“Should we- I mean, take it with us?” Meyjerr gestured at the head again.
“No. I think not. Best leave the past in the past. Come, back to the village.”
Meyjerr obeyed.
submitted by Poorly-Drawn-Beagle to scifiwriting [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 01:20 Major_Sockum Seeking a Bowling League in Syracuse: In Search of Strike-tastic Shenanigans!

Hey, fellow enthusiasts of the elusive 7-10 split! I find myself in need of some serious bowling camaraderie here in Syracuse, and I'm hoping you fine folks can help a poor soul navigate the treacherous lanes of league selection. So, without further ado, I present to you my plea for ball-rolling guidance!
You see, I'm on a quest to find a bowling league that combines the perfect balance of competition and social merriment. I'm not looking for a place where skill and technique are paramount. No, no, that's far too serious for my taste. I want a league that embraces the chaotic beauty of gutter balls, the graceful art of pin dancing, and the rarest of talents—bouncing the ball off the ceiling and still getting a strike!
Ideally, I'd like to join a league where everyone has an endearing bowling nickname, like "Spare Meister" or "Pin Punisher." Extra points if there's a secret initiation ritual involving goofy hats and a ceremonial strike dance. You know, something to truly separate the bowling amateurs from the pin-hunting professionals.
Of course, it wouldn't be a true bowling league experience without the essential post-game rituals. I'm talking about the mandatory group pizza scarfing, where the pepperoni grease becomes an unofficial part of your bowling ball's grip. And let's not forget the obligatory round of high-fives and fist bumps, followed by animated debates about who had the most spectacular pin wipeout of the night.
So, dear fellow bowlers, I beseech you to enlighten me with your Syracuse bowling league recommendations. Is there a league out there that can fulfill my wildest dreams of bowling glory and whimsical shenanigans? A league where even the most delicate of spares is celebrated like a winning touchdown?
Feel free to share your tales of bowling escapades, the legendary alley lore, and any insider tips on where I can find a league that will embrace my dry humor and undying passion for the sport. And who knows, maybe we'll end up sharing some triumphant strikes, comical gutter balls, and unforgettable moments of camaraderie.
Remember, my fellow bowlers, let your pins fly high and your spirits soar even higher!
Keep on rollin' and cheers to finding the Syracuse bowling league of legends!
P.S. Extra bonus points if the league allows me to use a pink, glittery ball named "Bowl-dacious Bling." Don't judge; it's my lucky charm.
submitted by Major_Sockum to Syracuse [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 23:58 JoshAsdvgi The Cruel Stepmother

The Cruel Stepmother

The Cruel Stepmother

Once, long ago, when the Blackfeet Indians dwelt on the Canadian prairies, a poor Indian and his two children, a boy and a girl, were living near the bank of a great river.
The children’s mother had long been dead and they had long been left to the care of their father.
Their father did not think it was right that they should grow up without a woman’s kindness, and he decided at last to take another wife.
So he went far away to a distant village and there he married a queer woman of another tribe.
Soon times grew hard in the North Country, and it was very difficult to get food.
The family lived for many days on roots and berries, and often they were very hungry because there was no meat.
Now it happened that the woman the man had married was a very wicked witch-woman, who was capable of doing many evil deeds.
She had no love for her stepchildren, and she treated them very cruelly.
She blamed them for the lack of food in the house, and beating them soundly, she said, “You greedy brats; you always eat too much.
It is little wonder that we cannot keep the house supplied with food.”
The man saw his wife’s cruelty to the children, but although it made him sad, and at times angry, he did not interfere, for he thought the woman should rule her home.
One night in the early spring, as the man slept, his first wife appeared to him in a dream, and said, “Hang a large spider web across the trail in the forest where the animals pass and you will get plenty of food.
But be good to my children.
Their cruel stepmother is planning to kill them.”
And she told him where to look for the magical spider web.
The next day the man found the large spider web, and he went far away into the forest and hung it from the trees over the trail where the animals passed.
That evening when he went back to the web, he found many animals entangled in its meshes, for it had magical power.
He killed the animals and brought them home, and that night they had a good fat supper of roast deer meat.
Day after day, the magical spider web gave him great numbers of rabbits and deer, as the vision of his dead wife had told him in the night, and from that time on the family did not want for food.
But the man’s success in hunting only angered his witch-wife.
She had now no cause for complaint against the little children, and she could no longer scold them and say that because of them there was no food in the house.
Her hatred for them grew stronger each day, and at last she decided to kill them and to kill their father as soon as she could.
Their father was going away the next day to search of wood to make arrows for his bows, and she thought she would have a good chance to kill them while he was gone.
Then she would kill their father when he returned.
So she laid her plans.
But that night the vision of his first wife came again to the man as he slept, and it said, “Your present wife is a witch-woman.
She plans to kill the children tomorrow when you are away, and when you come home, she will kill you, too.
You must kill her while there is yet time.
Remember my little children.”
When the man awoke in the morning, he was much alarmed because of the story told him by the vision of the night.
He no longer trusted his witch-wife and he decided to get rid of her.
But he feared she would attack the children before he could prevent it.
So when the witch-wife went out to get water from the stream to make breakfast, he gave each of the children a stick, a white stone, and a bunch of soft moss, and he said, “You must run away from here and stay away until I can find you, for you are in great danger.
You will find these three things I give you of great use.
Throw them behind you if any evil thing pursues you, and they will keep you from harm.”
The children in great fear at once ran away into the forest.
Then the man hung his magical spider web over the door of the house, and sat quietly inside waiting for his wife to come back.
In a little while she came home, carrying a pail of water, but she did not see the web with its fine strands hanging across the door, and when she walked into it she was at once entangled in its meshes.
She struggled hard to get free, but her head was inside the door while her body was outside, and the web held her fast around the neck.
Then the man said, “I know now that you are a cruel witch-woman.
You will beat my children no more.”
With his stone-axe he struck her a mighty blow which completely severed her head from her body.
Then he ran from the house as fast as he could and went towards his children, who were watching him not far away.
But the man was not yet done with the cruel witch-woman.
As he ran from the house her headless body, freed from the spider web, ran after him, while her severed head, with eyes staring and hair flying, followed the children, sometimes bumping along the ground and sometimes rising through the air.
The father thought it would be well to go in a different direction from the children, and he went west, while they went east.
The children were very frightened when they saw the horrible head behind them, slowly gaining upon them.
Then they remembered their father’s magic gifts.
When the head was close upon them, they threw their sticks on the ground at their backs and at once a dense forest sprang up between them and their pursuer.
The children said, “Now we will rest here for a while, for we are nearly out of breath.
The wicked head cannot get through that dense forest.”
And they sat on the grass and rested.
Soon, however, the head emerged from the thick trees.
The children got up and ran as hard as they could, but close behind them came the severed head, rolling its eyes and gnashing its teeth in a great frenzy, and uttering terrible yells.
It was very near to them, when the children again remembered their father’s gifts.
They threw the white stones behind them, and at once a high mountain of white rock rose between them and their enemy.
They sat on the ground and rested, and said, “Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do?
We have only one means of safety left, these little bits of moss.”
The wicked head hurled itself against the mountain, but it could not get through.
A big buffalo bull was feeding on the grass near it, and the head called to him to break a road through the mountain.
The bull rushed at the mountain with all his force, but the mountain was so hard that it broke his head and he fell down dead.
Some moles were playing in the soft earth near by, and the head called to them to make a passage through the hill.
So the moles searched and found a soft earthy place in the midst of the rock and soon they tunnelled a hole to the other side of the mountain, through which the head was able to pass.
When the children saw their pursuer coming out of the moles’ tunnel they cried loudly and ran away as fast as they could.
At last, after a very long chase, the head was almost upon them, and they decided to use their last means of protection.
They threw the wet moss behind them, and at once a long black swamp appeared where the moss had fallen, between them and their wicked follower.
The head was going at such a great speed, bumping over the ground, that it could not stop. It rolled into the swamp and disappeared into the soft mud and was never seen again.
The children then went home to wait for their father.
It was a long journey, for they had run far.
But their father never came.
Months and months they waited, but he did not come, and they grew up to be great magicians and very powerful among their tribe.
At last, by their magic power, they learned what had happened to their father.
Their stepmother’s body continued to follow him as he ran towards the west.
It followed him for many days.
Then by his magic power, which the vision of his dead wife had brought to him, he changed himself into the Sun, and went to live with his wife in the sky-country.
But the old witch-woman also had magic power, and she changed herself into the Moon and followed him to the land of the stars.
And there she still pursues him.
And while he keeps ahead of her and she cannot catch him, night follows day in all the world.
But if she overtakes him she will kill him, and day will disappear and night shall reign for evermore upon the earth.
And the Blackfeet of the plains pray that he will always keep in front in the race with his former witch-wife,
so that there may be always Night and Day in succession in all the land.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 21:08 firefly2191 Chicken dinner

i mentioned that lamp once
honey, isn’t it so cute
now it sits on our countertop
beside a bowl of fresh fruit

i root for people, always
it’s just what i do.
they’ve cut me from teams
for helping the other guys win too

so maybe i’m leaping?
are my glasses rose too?
or did i hit the jackpot
when i found you?

the girls all complain,
see what my husband didn’t do?
men are trash, they say
isn’t that so true?

i sit and nod,
but i can’t relate.
you’d bend the highway
if it was making me late.

if my legs fall asleep,
you carry me to bed,
if my mind won’t wake up,
you pluck the words from my head

and when the sirens blare
to the beat of my heart
when the room fills with smoke,
and when i’m all apart,

there’s that little thing you wrote me,
on my coffee cup,
there’s that sweet thing you saved me,
that joke we made up.

turns out, all i want
in our numbered days,
are these infinite moments
of miracles mundane
submitted by firefly2191 to Poem [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 20:25 omansafaritours Jebel Akhdar Tour Package

Jebel Akhdar, meaning "Green Mountain" in Arabic, is a captivating destination located in the Sultanate of Oman. Offering a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, Jebel Akhdar is a must-visit for travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience. A Jebel Akhdar tour package provides an unforgettable journey through rugged mountainous terrain, lush green valleys, and picturesque villages. Adventurers can explore ancient forts, terraced gardens, and traditional rose water distilleries. The package often includes guided hikes, visits to local markets, and opportunities to witness breathtaking sunsets over the vast Omani landscape. Immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of Jebel Akhdar with a carefully crafted tour package.
submitted by omansafaritours to u/omansafaritours [link] [comments]