Corrupted blood poe

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2013.06.02 01:29 ESierra The home of the #Dongsquad

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2023.06.01 13:19 Nokaion Can you decouple aspects from the Chaos Gods?

So in Darktide the Zealot sometimes screams "Blood for the Emperor, skulls for his Golden Throne!" which is an unsubtle variation of Khorns signature call. I've read that sometimes people worship the Chaos Gods indirectly, even though they believe they worship the Emperor. But I've also read that you can decouple aspects from the Chaos Gods and do things that would strengthen them, if you do it in the name of the Emperor hard enough, which is why Sisters of Battle don't get corrupted by Khorne or Slaneesh that easily.
How does this exactly work?
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2023.06.01 13:13 Closeted_fascist_08 Narratively, I Think It Would Have Been Better To Put Umbridge As Minister During Deathly Hallows.

Pius Thickneese wasn't really a character, Rowling making Umbridge minister wouldn't be an ass-pull or out of the question. I don't know why Voldemort would risk putting someone who isn't even loyal to his cause and, presumably, not a blood supremacist in charge (I take it that's why he mind-controlled him in the first place). Why not put someone who's already high up in the ministry, influential and holds the same anti-muggle sentiment. Now, why Umbridge? Why not any other death eater like Yaxley. Well to that I think umbridge narratively would be the better minister, her disregard and cruelty to others was already known throughout the ministry even by someone who isn't working in it and has been in a cell like Sirius Black and those who questioned her past and parentage having "nasty things" happen to them. She seemingly represents authoritarianism, corruption and unchecked power that plagued the ministry in OOTP. She was already essentially minister under Thickneese as she made decisions, propaganda and sentenced muggle-borns and the scene where she's interrogating Mary Cattermole would have been in complete contrast to her first scene at Harry's trial as before she was a mere lackey even in the trial she helped an planned but now she's in her element and is the true leader of the ministry being represented by both her roles in both trials contrasting.
Would have been more powerful to see her have her trial on-screen or better yet have her be kicked out of the ministry and refuse to be able to work leaving her homeless as she doesn't even have a muggle GCSE just wandering the streets of england for the rest of her life instead her just going to essentially a much more humane and comfortable place that she sent countless muggle-borns.
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2023.06.01 11:04 Lord_Curtis I have two versions of a story and I'm curious as to what you'd like better. An experiment.

Maggots (under the skin), implied medical abuse, implied childhood trauma, possible delusions from the point of the mc, the concept of 'rot', the body falling apart, self degradation, and some weird motherly stuff going in relation to the rot

I'm sick. I've been sick for years, I've been sick my whole life. There's been nothing to fix it, to treat it, it's completely taken over and ruined my life.
My pleas for help have been met with nothing but a deafening silence. I don’t get it, no one believes me even though they can see how sick I am.
They can see the sickening reds and yellows signaling rot mottled all around my hands and body, my hair coming out in sickening clumps, the stretched and weak limbs I've been cursed with, and the brown sludge called my 'blood' coursing through my veins. And god, my skin has become so pale it's become nearly translucent! But despite all that, no one seems to care! I've tried desperately to find what's wrong, but all I'm left with is pain and agony.
And the most unbearable part? The thing I despise the absolute most? The bugs. Putrid, disgusting bugs. The kinds that exist only to serve as a contribution to the never ending consumption that is 'rot'. In fact, right now, I can feel them! The blowflies' maggots squirming beneath my skin.
The maggots, currently gorged on my rotted body. Their slimy figures grow thicker, and fatter, continuing their revolting cycle. Eating, growing, growing, infesting, impregnating, laying, eating, growing, growing, growing... Growing.
I've started to come to terms with accepting it though, the rot. Or, at least I've tried. I think what many people don't realize is that rot really is just another form of life.
Rot has chosen me to carry it, spread it, and to bring new life into the world! And that should be a good thing, it really should. I'm creating life, I'm a mother. Motherhood is a beautiful and happy thing, something meant to be joyous, and with how much life I have brought to the world it's something I know I should cherish.
But I... Can't.
My body is an ecosystem. Bacteria, maggots, fungi, all of them are using me to continue their life. They need me to continue their life. Without me they'd be nothing, they wouldn't exist or they would have died far sooner if they did.
And I think the doctors realize this. That if they don't help me get better, then my body will continue to rot and birth life. My body was deemed as utterly useless for anything but this, having been already ruined in my childhood. This body is so useless that the only possible purpose left for it is to rot.
When it's so blatantly obvious that I'm sick, that's the only plausible explanation.
But I don't want this. I don't want them. I want to live a life, one that's normal where I'm not left infected and sick. I've tried so hard to fix this body and kick them out of it so it's mine again. My children are parasites and I want them gone.
Yet here I am, left a carrier of rot with no better purpose than to host a, honestly, grotesque purpose.

I'm riddled with corruption, I've been sick for so long that it's all but taken over my life. My attempts to get help have been met with a void of indifference; no one believes me, even though they can witness the misery and rot that has consumed me.
My skin is pallid and nearly translucent; yellows, reds, and oranges swirl amidst the mottled landscape of my body, while clumps of hair fall off my scalp in a sickening display. My limbs are stretched and weak, unable to keep up with the endless cycle of pain and agony I'm forced into. The brown sludge coursing through my veins serving as its own reminder.
But the worst part, the thing that keeps me awake through the night in terror? The bugs. Putrid, disgusting creatures created solely to add to the never ending consumption of decay. Even now, I can feel them! Maggots squirming beneath my skin, eating away at me until their bloated forms are ready to burst, continuing their revolting cycle--eating, growing, infesting, impregnating, laying eggs--all while I watch in horror.
The rot has chosen me, claimed me to be its vessel and spreader. I'm no longer my own, not when I'm birthing such life-sustaining things from within this cursed body. The doctors know what I truly am, that without their help my body will continue to fester and churn out more of these parasites who thrive on the death and destruction inside me.
No matter how hard I fight against it, the truth remains: This body was meant to rot - ruined in my childhood, deemed useless for anything else. My only purpose is to watch and feel as the fetid decay slowly takes over me - riddling each limb with infection, forcing maggots and fungi into existence, widening existing wounds so they can breed and create even more life.
I'd give anything for a normal life, one free of the plague that has overtaken me. I want to expel these creatures from my form, but all efforts have been futile; they cling onto me like a second skin, feeding off the death and destruction within me. I feel violated beyond measure, like a host made solely for this grotesque purpose.
There's something to this, and I'll explain at the end because I don't want the results to be skewed.
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2023.06.01 10:27 Drakolf Dragon Rising- 10. Adjudicate:

The Paladins were not particularly happy carting us out of my tower.
They didn't carry us, we just kind of walked in between them all of the way to the Temple. Kurtulmak maintained a neutral expression, even as we entered.
Galax was waiting for us, with Tallyn at his side. He took one look at me, then sighed. "So, it is true."
"Before we make any judgment calls, there is context." I said before any verdict could be reached.
"I am aware." He said. "Bahamut made himself known to both of you, you abandoned him in a foolish attempt at redeeming an evil God- and you somehow succeeded."
"It wasn't that hard, it might be because I didn't immediately damn him for simply existing." I glanced at Tallyn, who averted his gaze. "Did my brother tell you how he tried to kill me before Bahamut stopped him?"
"I was not aware." Galax remarked. "What I am more concerned about is the change in alignment."
"The what now?" I asked.
"Before, you registered as Lawful, that is, aligned with order. Now, you are neutral in that regard."
"Is that specifically bad..?" I asked.
"It's a clear indication that you have fallen out of Bahamut's favor specifically, as you have broken his tenets. However, your disobedience was not out of malice, which indicates your actions were intended for the betterment of all." He looked at Kurtulmak. "He, however, is very much Law aligned, and radiates Evil, which matches expectations."
Kurtulmak gave off a smug grin.
"Due to the circumstances, I must require he at least show some manner of allegiance to Bahamut, vestments, perhaps?"
"Try it and die." Kurtulmak threatened. "The entire town, aside from this quaint little temple, is in my domain, that I do not force them to bear my symbol proudly is magnanimity on my part."
I stepped between them. "Just a minute." I said. "We can't waste time on bickering. Kurtulmak has helped us in the past, events I believed to be Bahamut's work were his."
"Oh, how can you be certain?" Galax asked.
"Bahamut bluntly said it." I said. "And if Tallyn is hiding that from you, that is a lie of omission."
"I have not had an opportunity to give my report. My intention is to verify the truth." Tallyn replied. "The night we were transformed, Kurtulmak did specifically force us to sleep. The alternative was losing all of our memories, being blindly beholden to either Kurtulmak or Tiamat."
"I am the God of Kobolds." Kurtulmak stated. "I will not lead my people into bondage, even if they were Human to begin with."
"He also provided aid during the mine collapse." I said.
"Why help us?" Galax asked. "Why go out of your way when letting things happen may have benefited you in the long run?"
"Do you honestly expect me to trust Tiamat after everything he and her kind have done to ours?" Kurtulmak asked. "The ancient winds stir, hatred and spite toward the surface world extends toward all. When we are but vermin in the eyes of those who never knew the pain of subjugation, who would never understand the suffering that the destruction of a warren brings- When those who profess to be good slaughter mindlessly and are rewarded, do you honestly believe I could trust anyone?"
The Paladins tensed, their hands on their swords.
"You are no fool, neither is Bahamut. I know compromise will do nothing for our kind, yet my newest servant believes otherwise. I will prove him wrong, I will show him that doing things the 'right' way only ever leads to suffering. The only way to survive is to dismantle the system that oppresses us, and I refuse to let my people be harmed again."
"Is it your intention to play by the rules?" Tallyn asked.
"I always play by the rules." Kurtulmak replied. "You should be asking, are the rules fair to begin with?" He looked at Galax. "Now, as I understand it, your Warren is woefully unprepared for a war. Alone, I could not fight the foe you face, but alone I will ensure you have a chance. Together, perhaps, we will carve out a place in this world."
Galax met his gaze with a cold one of his own. "As long as Bahamut wills our cooperation, you shall have it." He said. "By Bahamut's will, we will not allow the corruption of our people to evil. If this is impossible for you-"
"I will play by the rules." Kurtulmak stated. "I will do with my servants as I see fit. After all, they are not yours." He turned around and started walking. "Ruuk Stingtail, you will follow. You have your duties to your Warren, after all."
I nodded and followed after.
As we walked, Kurtulmak addressed me. "You have been a very willing servant thus far. You have not complained, nor have you made any efforts to specifically negotiate a better situation for yourself." He looked at me from the corner of his eye. "Why?"
"You haven't given me a reason yet, Master." I replied. "Until you do, I will continue to do what I can."
He smiled. "Is that so?" He asked, before stopping and turning around. "Kneel." He said. I stopped and knelt. "Why do you kneel when I command you to?" He asked. "Do you feel nothing, submitting before me? No shame?"
I shook my head. "I've done it for Bahamut, why wouldn't I do if for you?" I asked. "I swore a vow to serve you, and to give my undying devotion to you, I keep my promises."
He smiled. "Good." He said. "I have plans for this town, and will see to their fruition. First and foremost is getting you something befitting of your service to me."
I nodded. "How will we announce your presence to the Warren, Master?" I asked.
"My plan is thus. Once you are outfitted, you will call for the Warren to gather, and you will publicly announce your service and fealty to me, your God and Master, and I will make the Barbarians' blood boil, I will awaken the bloodlust of the Fighters, for my domain is War, and they must recognize that to seek the path of either is to walk the path of blood."
We entered the town, Kurtulmak gestured for me to lead him through, to the craftsmen.
Everyone who was up at this hour greeted me warmly, then wondered as to the new face. I greeted them back, but didn't elaborate yet. There was only one person I knew at this hour who was doing any work, an Artificer named Tikkatik.
"Oh, Tallyn." He said as I entered her workshop. "Do you need something?"
I looked at Kurtulmak, who cast a spell, creating a still image. "This design is needed." He stated. "Make twenty-one to start, as quickly as you are able and willing. There will be Awakenings today."
Tikkatik looked at me, confused.
"Do it." I said. "And send the first one to me, I will need it."
"Very well. I thought Sorcerers did not do well with armor."
"This design will not hinder somatic components to the spell." Kurtulmak replied. "Your workings aid the Warren, be proud."
Her eyes widened, then with a determined expression, she nodded and started working.
We returned to the tower. He looked at me and said, "It will be some time before it is finished. Rest, finish your sleep. When I wake you, then it will be time."
"Thank you, Master." Following his command, I laid back down in my bed and fell asleep. As I slept, I dreamed of standing before an army of Kobolds, calling out to them, hearing their collective roar in response. I was powerful, they followed my command without hesitation.
"This is a vision of the past." Kurtulmak's voice echoed in my mind. "What you are feeling is my pride, what you see my nascent empire. This was the day that was taken from us."
There was a brilliant flash of light, followed by darkness as mountain descended upon us, crashing into the city. I could hear the screams of thousands before I was crushed. I opened my eyes to a brighter morning, Kurtulmak was sat on the floor, holding pieces of leather armor. I watched as he sliced his palm and spread the blood across it, but rather than be covered, the blood seeped into the leather, giving it a bright red coloration.
"Approach." He commanded, and I got up and approached. His movements were quick, strapping on the pieces of armor. It comprised of a breast plate and faulds, arm bands that went from my wrists to my elbows, and a pair of pauldrons, the right one bearing the symbol of a skull.
"This doesn't look very protective, Master." I pointed out.
"It is magical." He said. To demonstrate, he held his hand out, manifesting his spear, and stabbed me with it. Though he hit bare scale, it didn't puncture."This armor is your symbol of fealty to me, modeled after my own. I call it the Armor of the Kobold King, wearing this marks you as the leader of our kind, You will never remove it unless it is necessary, you will wear this with pride. Is this understood?"
"Yes, Master." I replied.
"We will abstain from declaring such, for the time being. Yet understand, this armor means you speak with my authority. Do whatever it takes to ensure our prosperity." He stepped away, looking me over, then nodded. "Yes, you wear it well. You look as strong as you are, your power shall be unmatched. In time, this lowly town will become the heart of a new empire."
"I don't know if the people would agree to that, Master." I replied. "We established the government we have because we didn't want the people's voices to be ignored."
"If you rule correctly, then they won't be ignored." He replied. "We will not need to take it by force, our Empire will come into being by their will. Now, stand tall, walk with pride, and speak with authority. It is time we address our subjects-to-be."
There were some proper channels I needed to go through, letters sent and received, permission granted, the news spread out for the people to gather in the town square. When I walked up to the stage where the Council addressed the people, the other Councilors were present, including Galax and Tallyn.
There was some murmuring at my appearance, some unease in the crowd. There were even more words when Kurtulmak stood beside me.
"Citizens of the Warren!" I called out. "Yesterday, we found something." All eyes were on me, most probably assumed it was the armor, or perhaps an armory. "An underground fortress known as Darastrixthurhi."
I could see several Kobolds' eyes widen, they understood what I was talking about. "And in those halls, I met a God." I proceeded to describe the situation as it had been, leaving nothing out. Several eyes flitted to Kurtulmak, connecting the dots even as I spoke of the agreement he had with me, and how Bahamut was willing to honor this.
"The Kobold who stands beside me is Kurtulmak." I spoke. "I have sworn myself into his service, yet this will not influence how I lead. He will make no claims over us, no demands. As with Bahamut, it is your choice whether or not to serve him as I do. Thus this gift he is about to give is done freely."
Kurtulmak simply raised his hand to the sky, his divine power pulsed through the air, and he spoke a single command. "I am War, embrace the power within you to fight."
All at once, thousands of Kobolds were overwhelmed by their Awakenings, the Barbarians straining to keep their sudden rage in check, the Fighters touching their hearts as bloodlust filled the. Kurtulmak leapt from the stage, his spear in hand. "Come to me and fight, direct your rage upon me, that you do not harm your fellow Kobold, turn your bloodlust upon me, that you do not slaughter your own. I shall temper you."
The fight that broke out as every new Berserker and Fighter charged at him was quick and brutal. No tricks, no magic, just Kurtulmak showing superior skill with just his spear. The newly Awakened were exhausted.
It made me realize that my stepping between him and Tallyn probably did more to save my brother's life than it protected him.
Kurtulmak held his spear out, pointing at them. "You are all who are capable of fighting. Understand when I say, if you wish for a life of peace, you will never touch a weapon again. But if you will fight to protect your Warren, then you will come to me to learn. You will not win this war by playing by the rules, but through the blood of your enemies."
With this said, he turned his back to them and leapt back onto the stage. I looked at the rest of the Councilors, their reactions were mixed, with the Clerics and Paladins still very much not a fan of the situation. "Galax." I said, holding my hand out to him. "For as long as our Gods act in peaceful alliance, so too do I promise myself and any who choose to follow Kurtulmak will only do what is necessary for our survival, and not a step more."
He stood up and approached me.
"That your master be redeemed." He said, taking my hand and shaking it.
"That the justice that was denied be delivered." I answered back.
I was certain Galax knew why I offered my hand to him. It was one thing to say there was peace between our Gods, it was another to show it. Bahamut spoke in actions, not mere words, and him refusing to do this much would be trouble.
The Council meeting after the fact was mostly just the others asking if I was insane and if I really thought this was going to end well.
I simply looked at them and said, "We have an army now that we didn't have a day ago." I left it at that.
When I returned to the Tower, Kurtulmak carving Draconic runes into them and muttering under his breath, I felt a rush of power flow through me, one I hadn't felt in a long time.
"So, you have achieved greater power." Kurtulmak stated.
"Yes, Master." I said. I had gained knowledge of a cantrip and a new spell. The cantrip was the creation of a handful of acid, while the spell granted me knowledge of how to enhance a weapon, albeit only for an hour- two if I used metamagic.
Not only this, but I was now aware of how I could use magic even with a weapon in hand.
"Nak." He said, standing up. "You are presently the most powerful Kobold in this town, myself excluded. Your insatiable desire to improve your craft is the reason for this. Be honored that you are superior to the rest."
While I felt a flash of pride in his praise, I shook my head. "I'm not superior." I said. "If I was, I would be leagues above them. No, my strength is the same as theirs, I've just been the one who doesn't waste an opportunity to practice."
He smirked in a way that indicated he found this amusing, maybe even quaint.
There was a knock at my door. He nodded, letting me know I could go. I walked downstairs and answered.
It was the other Sorcerers. "Come in." I said, and then entered. "Is something wrong?"
"We wanted to meet Kurtulmak." Goss said.
I blinked. "Uh, why?" I asked.
"He was- is- the first Kobold Sorcerer." Urak stated. "We have theory to guide us. Theory and experimentation. Our comparing notes is not enough, we need guidance, and there is no 'Bold with more experience than him."
Kashak nodded. "Not to mention, ever since they became Paladins, our friends have not wanted anything to do with us since we won't convert to their religion."
I sighed. "You don't make faithful by forced conversion." I muttered. "Alright, but bear in mind I am devoted to him, as per my vow, you cannot trust me to have your best interests in mind if it comes to doing what he needs me to do." I gestured for them to follow me, and they did. Once we were at the top floor, I held my hand out for them to stop.
"Master." I said. "The Sorcerers of our Warren wish to meet you."
Kurtulmak stood up and looked our way.
"They are fools seeking power, toss them aside." He said.
"We want nothing like that, great Kurtulmak." Garu spoke, bowing.
"He did not even waste any time brown-nosing." Kurtulmak remarked. "Your flattery needs work, and your theatrics make your insincerity more obvious. I have no place for sycophants, aspirants, usurpers, the avaricious, and traitors. Leave."
"But, your holiness-!"
Kurtulmak raised his spear at them. "Leave."
They quickly fled down the stairs, at least one of them outright fell. I winced.
"If even one of them was honest, only seeking truth, I might have entertained them. I have grown tired of tyrants driving our people to death." He returned to carving symbols into the armor. "I will give them two more chances. If they can learn to set aside their ambitions for the good of the Warren, I will grant them such a small boon. If they cannot, I will kill them, for they will endlessly seek to dominate, and we do not have the time or patience for that."
There was another knock. I heard him sigh, but he waved his hand. I went back down, opened the door, and saw a Human. "Uh, hi." He said. "I, uh... I wanted to speak with your God." He said.
I led him upstairs.
"Leave." Kurtulmak stated. "I will not meet with a Human, I do not care about your kind."
"I understand." The Human said. "Nonetheless, I still want to speak with you."
Kurtulmak stood up, pointing his spear. "Leave."
"I'm sorry, but I won't. Either let me speak with you, or kill me." The Human said. "I'm not afraid of dying."
Kurtulmak snorted, then pointed at the floor. The Human walked over to that spot and sat down. "What is your purpose here, Human?" He asked, "Not power, you would have cast aside your Humanity for such. You are not aligned with Bahamut or his faithful, so why are you here, and what makes you so bold as to even consider approaching me?"
"I wanted to know why we are immune." The Human said. "And why we can't use the powers that everyone else can."
"Why do you want to know?"
"So we have an answer."
Kurtulmak sighed, resting the butt of his spear on the ground and curling his arm around it so that he could lean against it. "The reason is twofold." Kurtulmak replied. "Tiamat wanted to ensure there would be no chance of the transformed ever remembering their Human lives. Driven mad with pain, they would lash out, killing their former friends and family, the horror driving them to repress their past identities, making it easier for Tiamat to wipe their memories entirely. Naturally, this precludes any Humans obtaining power."
The Human nodded. "I had a suspicion, thank you for the answer. I don't have anything to give in appreciation-"
"You could give me your Humanity." Kurtulmak stated. "As far as I am concerned, you only exist to aid us, to do the drudgery while we take care of the important things. I would make you all slaves, if it wasn't for the unfortunate reality that you might become Kobolds while in bondage."
The Human nodded. "I thought so." He said. I watched in surprise as he became a Kobold. "There."
Kurtulmak looked just as surprised as I was, impressed, even. "You are very brave." He remarked. "I hereby name you Kalith, in honor of such." He sat down across from Kalith, and held his hand out. "I am also aware of what you can be. My offer is thus- Serve me, pledge your fealty to me, work to ensure our ascension to a mighty empire, and I shall grant you power only you could wield."
"I'm a Warlock?" Kalith asked.
"You are nothing." Kurtulmak stated. "I can may you more."
Kalith nodded and took Kurtulmak's hand. He grew tense, his eyes wide, his mouth opening in a soundless scream. One of his eyes, the one I could see, turned from a light green to a pale yellow. When Kurtulmak let go of him, he slumped over, arms shaking as they held him up, his breathing heavy.
"Who am I, Kalith?" Kurtulmak asked.
"Master." Kalith breathed.
"Good. You will go forth and display your power before the Warren, and you will make known the Pact you have forged, and the price that is paid for power. You are mine now, you can either despair or rejoice, it does not matter to me."
Kalith looked at his hands, clenching and unclenching his fingers. "Huh, I should've done this a long time ago." He said. "Thank you, Master."
"Rejoicing it is." Kurtulmak remarked.
Kalith stumbled a little as he got up, I helped him get used to his legs before helping him down the stairs.
"Will you be okay?" I asked.
"Of course." He said. "There are other potential Warlocks out there, and for better or worse, we need them to awaken."
He left the Tower, and I waited for a few minutes, just in case someone else came by. The knock came just as I was about to head upstairs. "For fuck's sake..." I muttered as I opened the door. I didn't expect to see Tallyn.
"May I enter?" He asked.
I stepped aside and he walked in. Dressed in shining armor, proudly wearing the vestments of Bahamut, he looked at me coldly.
"Is your... master here?" He asked.
"Yes." I said. "Why?"
"I wish to speak with him." He stated, looking at the stairs. I sighed and gestured for him to follow me. "Is my being here an inconvenience?" He asked.
"The Sorcerers came by looking for power, Kurtulmak chased them off. We got our first Warlock not long after, you're the third person who's come by to see him."
"He chased the Sorcerers away?" He asked, he seemed surprised.
"He's not looking for minions. If they try again twice and they haven't figured out Kurtulmak actually does care about the Warren by then, he will kill them, because their ambition will endanger us at the worst possible time."
"Ruuk..." I looked at him. "Do you regret what you have done at all?"
"Do you?" I asked. I led him up the stairs, Kurtulmak was already waiting for us, spear in hand, pale yellow eyes glaring at Tallyn.
"Do you think you stand a chance, Paladin?" He asked. "I have not forgotten your actions."
Tallyn drew his sword, then handed it to me. "I did not come to antagonize." He said. "I have come to offer my limited service, as recompense for my actions."
"Don't even bother." Kurtulmak stated. "Accepting this would only lead you to resenting me more. You see me as one who has taken your brother away from you, who has lied to your God, who will lead your people astray." He walked toward Tallyn until he was face to face. "I would never accept the service of one who hates me. If you are truly sorrowful for your actions, you will renounce your God and accept me as your own."
"I would never." Tallyn hissed through gritted teeth.
"Then save your apologies for the ones you have wronged." Kurtulmak replied. "Starting with your brother."
Tallyn turned around, took his sword from me, and walked away. I heard the door to the Tower slam behind him.
"Did you have to antagonize him like that, Master?" I asked.
"Yes." He replied. "He is foolishly trying to reconcile his actions with his faith. He believes he was correct in punishing a traitor, his offer to me was nothing more than a means to quell his guilty conscience." Kurtulmak returned to his work on the armor. "Under less polite circumstances, I would have accepted and slowly corrupted him until he willingly consigned his soul to me. I told him exactly what he needed to hear."
"Given the opportunity to convert him, would you?" I asked.
"No." He replied. "Not only would it sour the deal I have with Bahamut, but it would also turn his followers against me even more. They are barely holding themselves back, even the mere notion that two of the miracles they experienced- indeed, the entire reason they were capable of revering him- was because I was feeling contrary that day." He looked at me. "Given the chance, would you?"
I shook my head. "No. But I would make him question his faith, force him to understand what it is he is looking for, and whether he is genuinely faithful, or simply struggling to reconcile with the pointless suffering we are dealing with."
"A good answer." He raised his hands up and began to chant an incantation. His eyes glowed with unfathomable power, the symbols on the armor began to glow, and then he lowered his hands. He picked up the armor, looked it over, then nodded before setting it aside and grabbing an unmarked one.
"Master, may I ask what you are doing?"
"Enchanting." He said. "I am creating a relatively rare magic armor that provides greater protection to the wearer. There is no way we will avoid combat, at some point, our enemies will grow impatient, and they will seek to kill us before long."
"So, it's like my armor?" I asked.
"No. The armor I gave you is a legend unto itself, a copy of the artifact that is mine. This will be less protective, but will still save lives."
"Is there any way I can help?" I asked.
"Not at present." He said. "You need to maintain your good image among the Warren, tomorrow, you will approach the Temple of Bahamut and request atonement. Say that, while you cannot forsake your vow to me, you wish to make amends. This will reduce tensions, will make you appear more reasonable and amenable to their desires, and will ensure that- when the time comes- they will leap to your defense, rather than risk their lives for a traitor."
"I will do as you command, Master." I replied.
He smiled. "I like you, Ruuk. You don't ask unnecessary questions. Now, you should go out there and lend your power to those who need it, you have a duty to your people, which is important for when you become their king."
"As you command, Master." I headed downstairs and stepped out into the town.

[Navigation for 'Dragon Rising'- [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]]
submitted by Drakolf to DrakolfsWritings [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 09:52 SvenHudson [TotK] [SPOILERS] Taking things in this game at face value.

Everybody's knee-jerk reaction to this game on here seems to be trying to fix it by saying a bunch of stuff isn't what it says it is so that the stories they're familiar with are set in stone.
Instead, I want to try saying the things in this game are what it says they are: Rauru is Rauru, Ganondorf is Ganondorf, the Imprisoning War is the Imprisoning War.
There is frankly a lot of material in this game that lines up with a straightforward interpretation. Landmarks of the past have a conspicuous resemblance to Ocarina of Time's landmarks. Events have a conspicuous resemblance to its events.
There are differences, too, but I think analyzing those differences is far more compelling than simply pointing at them and announcing that they are different. Retellings of stories often change details, add or remove things at the teller's whim. So instead of the conventional fandom idea of canon where each new story is truer than the last if they ever contradict, we could treat this series of self-proclaimed legends like there's possibly an underlying truer version of events that we can identify through parallels; our understanding of the "truth" (or at least "original story") is then fuzzier where things contradict between stories and clear where they align and there's a lot of room for personal interpretation in between.
That feels, to me, like what this newest game is asking us to do when it so deliberately invokes past game's stories in altered forms.
For example: In the first telling of the Imprisoning War, the seven sages were seven human men, one of them oddly short. In the second telling, they were a diverse group of fantasy races of varying ages and genders. And now in this third telling, the composition of the group is different once again. So the particulars of who was in this group are fuzzy, the particulars that there were some humans and a goron and a zora feel more solid than whether there were zonai or kokiri mixed in, but the number seven is very solid, as is their imprisoning of Ganon.
So let's ask some questions that this game raises.
Let's look at a big difference between the first and third tellings to start with: the location of Ganon's imprisonment. (The second is also different but doesn't matter in the context of this conversation because it's explicitly an alternate resolution rather than a different interpretation of the same resolution.)
In the first telling, Ganon was sealed in the Sacred Realm, the alternate dimension which is the home of the Triforce, which he had corrupted into the Dark World by the time the game begins. The Dark World as seen in the game is an darker version of the regular world the hero comes from, geographically largely identical (right down to the location of the only known populated village in each world) but all-around less friendly to traverse and populated with stronger monsters. Ganon has human followers that live there. Though Ganon isn't yet able to escape the Dark World, he is entirely able to send a out a puppet being called Agahnim to the home world to further his goals and, generally speaking, his evil is said to be seeping into the home world from the Dark World. Many portals in the home world exist that can transport one to the Dark World but they only work one way and it can only be re-exited by the hero due to a magic mirror he luckily happens to own.
In this third telling, Ganondorf is trapped in the Depths, a giant cave system underneath Hyrule. The depths are almost entirely pitch black, geographically near identical to the surface (but with verticality of surfaces inverted so mountains become canyons and vice versa), there are ruins of ancient settlements in the same relative location as contemporary above-ground settlements, the terrain is much more hostile than above, and the monsters that live there are empowered by Ganondorf's magical bad vibes. The humans you find down there are a roguish cult dedicated to supporting Ganondorf. Though Ganondorf does not yet seem able to escape the depths, he is entirely able to send out a puppet version of Zelda (and clones of himself) to the surface world to further his goals, all the while his potent gloom is seeping into the surface more and more. The Depths are entered by jumping into a chasm you can never climb back out of, and the only way to exit the Depths is the hero's unique ability to teleport out or use a magical ability to tunnel up through columns to the ceiling.
It's entirely possible that these two settings are two interpretations of the same place. Is it actually an alternate dimension? Is it actually a cave? Are they both kinda right? Both kinda wrong?
Perhaps the story told before had conflated the Sacred Realm and the Dark World into a singular location when they're actually two separate but related locations. What world is darker than the Depths? What land is more golden than the islands in the sky with their yellow grass and tree leaves? According to Skyward Sword, the Triforce's home was found in the sky, so the sky being what LttP's backstory called the Sacred Realm could track.
So perhaps the Dark World never was the Sacred Realm exactly but it was, instead, the other half of the same overall territory, historically populated by the same god-like beings but having always been dark, though still corrupted by Ganon's presence.
And could the Depths be more places, yet? Could they be Termina, accessed by falling into a horrifically deep chasm, Link rushing past floating lights in a black void on his way down? Could they be Lorule, a dark and hostile parallel world accessed through cracks in the earth?
On that subject, Lorule had its own separate Triforce set from Hyrule meaning Link Between Worlds's two titular worlds have six Triforces between them. I didn't mention this before but another difference between this telling and prior ones is the relic Ganon is fighting for: in prior tellings it was the Triforce and in this new story it's the Secret Stones. Are the Secret Stones a new interpretation of Triforces, then? There are six Secret Stones in Tears of the Kingdom (technically seven but one is a time-travel duplicate of another so it doesn't count), just as there are six Triforces in Link Between Worlds.
Zonai fashion shows an interest in similarly aligned triangles in their clothes that Link can wear; each ceremonial dragon-themed outfit as well as the archaic tunic has nine triangles arranged in two rows. Why nine when I've been talking about the number six, you ask? Those who consume a Zonai Secret Stone become an immortal dragon. Despite that all six of the Secret Stones are accounted for in Tears of the Kingdom's present day, there are also three immortal dragons. Seemingly, then, there were nine original Secret Stones, neatly matching the recurring motif of nine triangles to represent them.
Perhaps the Enneaforce is real, or perhaps these two stories just disagree about which of multiple separate types of magical relic Ganondorf was after and we're meant to interpret the world as having both Triforces and Secret Stones. Because, like, they're not not Sage Medallions, either: there's also known to be six of those and they're even linked directly to the Sages.
If Rauru is indeed a Zonai as this game portrays him, making the royal family in all post-Rauru stories part Zonai, this makes the subject of ears worth examining in some other games.
According to Link to the Past, the Hylian people are said to have magic-infused blood and abnormally long and pointed ears, said to make them better able to communicate with the gods. In the game itself, some human characters have long, pointed ears and some have more rounded ears like real people do. Also in the game itself, some long-eared characters are shown to be capable of telepathy.
And the series continues for a long time in this vein, games consistently have a mix of characters with pointy elf ears and roundy human ears that are presumably Hylian and non-Hylian, respectively.
The only time after Link to the Past it's called to attention, though, is Wind Waker: Ganondorf, searching for Hyrule's princess, has instructed his giant bird to abduct girls with long, pointed ears.
As of Breath of the Wild, suddenly all non-Gerudo humans are called Hylians and all humans, including Gerudo, have elf ears. Also as of Breath of the Wild, there's an indication that Hylians these days are no longer capable of telepathy: if offering to use your "brain powers" to signal Yunobo during the Death Mountain ascent, he'll comment that he heard that used to be a thing but didn't think Hylians could do that anymore. If we look in terms of difference from the general population rather than just the visual, this indicates that Hylians have lost the trait of having bigger and pointier ears and also lost the ears' associated magic.
But now in Tears, the first thing Zelda says when she sees a depiction of a Zonai is "holy fuck, look at their giant ears".
I think the clear takeaway of this is that what earlier games called Hylian is different from what Breath and Tears call Hylian: in older stories the "Hylians" were human/zonai hybrids but in these newer ones the name is basically synonymous with Hyrulean and there's just not enough zonai DNA left in their hybrid descendants to have any observable effect anymore.
That Ancient Hero you can morph into after completing all the shrines who "saved Hyrule in the past" and doesn't appear to be any known character? Maybe people who looked like him are what "Hylian" used to mean. Maybe he's this game's interpretation of another game's Link, when he's being displayed in a story where zonai are depicted as dragon-people instead of how Rauru looked in Ocarina of Time.
I have more thoughts I could ramble about but eventually I have to sleep so I'll shut up for now.
Interrogate my shit, share your own shit, whatever you're into. I'm just desperate to see any actual discussion of this game's lore instead of reflexive attempts to dismiss it.
submitted by SvenHudson to truezelda [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 07:57 SlyZeke1O1 DBD OC Killers Season 1

DBD OC Killers Season 1
Trigger Warning: Backstories includes mention of Torture, Child Abuse, Murder, et, if anyone got any idea for their perks please share in the comments down below
The Cyberpunk Name: Natalia Bailey Gender: Female Ethnicity: Russian-American Realm: Lockwood Institute, An abandoned college building with strobe lights everywhere and random Glow-in-the-Dark messages written in Russian everywhere on the walls Weapon: Whip Sword Special Power: Night Watcher: She has the ability to construct 3 types of traps with her techno-magic but can only use 1 type at a time:
  1. Doom Sentry = Little robots with a mini-sized turret that shoots electrical bolts which functions similarly to the Laceration Meter from Trickster’s Showstopper Once the meter is filled (7 Sentry Hits), they lose a Health State, putting them either into the Injured or Dying State.
  2. Hidden Lasers = Laser beams that are visible to the survivors unless they have perk that allows them to see traps or use any Flashlight to see it, if they cross into an Hidden Laser, the survivor gets shocked and screams, revealing their location to The Hacker
  3. Smoke Mine = Blinds the survivors with smoke temporarily
Memento Mori: Pushes the survivor down and steps on their groin/chest maliciously before lashing at them with her whip sword then mockingly blows a kiss at them. She sometimes says “Feels good dont it?” Or “Screams for me, little rat” In Russian midway through her mori
Lore: Nothing known about Natalia Bailey's past but from her childhood, Natalia has a history of violence and vindictive behavior. Most of the incidents are triggered in response to attacks directed at her or at the few people she cares for. In elementary school, she was harassed and hurt by a school bully, but she refused to back down even though she was no match for him. After licking her wounds, Natalia returned with a baseball bat and slugged the bully around the ear. At the age of twelve, Natalia poured gasoline on her father and set him on fire after he administered a vicious beating to her mother, causing her permanent brain damage. As a result, her father almost died but managed to survive with severe scarring. She was declared a danger to herself and others by the court at age thirteen and was sent for treatment at a psychiatric clinic for young children diagnosed with psychological diseases. Bizarrely enough this clinic was a front for the Black Vale who wanted to use mentally ill children and raise them as psychotic killers and their would later be served to the Entity to please it's sadistic cravings, Natalia was one of those unlucky few. Before becoming an killer Natalia would become notorious in the dark web as she lead an group of hackers who are very sadistic and enjoy committing torture and murder and systematically incriminating innocent people for their crimes, which includes breaking into their homes. They are also extremely efficient hackers, who can easily invade systems, phone calls, social media accounts and pretty much anything on a computer, including even hospital life support systems, which they can turn off at will. This is all done for the sadistic entertainment of the whole group in the "game nights". this group had at least 26,000 people from all around the world, of both genders and several races. Eventually, Natalie got bored of the chaos she helped bring into so many victims and offered herself to the Entity, becoming one of its most hedonistic Killers up to date
The Dullahan Name: Brenden Heller Gender: Male Ethnicity: Irish-American Nationality: Ireland Realm: Graelohan Empire, a medieval-like town that has been torn apart, skeletons of knights and peasants are seen around houses Weapon: Rapier
Special Power: Headless Prowl, The Dullahad’s head separates from his body to track down survivors, as you control his head and once he sees the survivors, The head will roar towards the Survivors’ direction, making them scream in fear and revealing the auras of the survivor he spotted to his body
Memento Mori: The survivor tries to crawl away but Dullahan gashes the tendons of their legs and flips them then forces the survivor to look at him in his glowing eyes which makes them scream in terror as Dullahan makes them watch their worst fears eyes then dies of pure shock.
Lore: Brenden Heller was a hero in the Graelohan Empire, saving the weak from corrupt officials, bankruptcy and helping to end many wars that cost many lives, he eventually married the princess/later queen, Mariah of the Graelohan Empire made enemies of Rome's elites through the populist and authoritarian reforms he made as king. He was eventually betrayed and murdered by the commander of his army, Gaius. Who wanted to have Mariah all to himself and rule Graelohan to feed his own ego. Gaius degraded Brendan out of spite and beheads the unfortunate king. However, the Entity bought Brenden to life to seek revenge and assure that Mariah will live as long he pleads allegiance to its sadistic will. Brenden hesitates until the Enity shows him glimpses of his beloved being tortured by Gaius, physically, and emotionally, and he was making civilians kill each other in a colosseum for his own twisted amusement, so Breneden took the Enity's deal and Brenden became the Dullahan, he murdered Gaius and whoever else took part in his betrayal, saving Mariah and the kingdom from the egoist's wrath. Before Brenden was forced to go to the Enity's realm, he apologizes to his wife for not being there to protect her in time and urges her to move on, and realizes she was pregnant with Brendan's child and wishes a bright future for the both of them as he vanishes into the abyss of madness and bloodshed that awaits him..
The Gentleman Name: Markus Leblanc Gender: Male Ethnicity: French-British Weapon: Cane Sword Realm: Ilmoor Middlechester, An British neighborhood where the Gentleman started his vigilante career, surrounded by snow Special Power: Elusive Haze, Gentleman can steal items from chests and set gas traps in them that would inflict Survivors with either Hindered or Blindness, making them scream in the process Memento Mori: Gentlemen stabs the survivor in the stomach and chest at least 5 times before stabbing into the heart and slashing their throat then proceeds to dance with his opponent's corpse as they bleed to death and gently laid them down on the ground and places a rose on top of their chest before bowing elegantly as he shed a tear in regret of what he has done
Lore: Markus Leblanc was born in the slums of London to his French mother, Ségolène,who works at a chef master and his British father, Cayden who is a famous book writer. Markus was always fond of the mystery novels his father made and learn how to cook at the age of 13 thanks to memorizing his mother's recipes. However Markus attends a private school which is mostly fill with kids from noble families and he have trouble making friends due to how his father views rich folks as self-righteous egotists who looks down on others so harshly and being the target of rich kids who are jealous of him being the son of Cayden but the only one who backed him up was his older twin brothers Silvain and Emeric. However as Markus, his father died from an heart diease and his mother died of a broken heart and to make matters worse is that Silvain and Emeric were framed of various crimes like robbery, assault on women, and battery. So Markus took the vigilante route to figure out who framed his brothers as he dressed up as the Gentleman Thief from his father's most top-selling mystery novel and eventually found out it was Gérard Boissieu, the ringleader who lead the group of bullies who kicked Markus whenever he was down. He scared Gérard into confessing for framing Markus's brothers for his crimes and Gérard decided to turn himself in out of fear of Markus who he didn't know he was the Gentleman Theif at the time, Silvain and Emeric were later freed and things are doing well for Markus until a mobster who was a member of the Black Vale try to recruit Markus into becoming one of their assassins after digging some dirt on Markus's Gentleman Theif identity and Markus refused, getting his brothers and their families to a safe place but was killed and later his soul offered to the Entity, Markus is one of the rarest killers that actually is unwilling to hurt survivors and actually tries to fight the Enity's control but eventually succumbs sadly but part of his humanity weeps as he is forced to kill innocent people who didn't do him wrong..
The Enchantress Name:Iliana Marroquín Gender: Female Ethnicity: Hispanic Weapon: Glaive Realm: Quiauhxochitl, An ancient Aztec-like temple Special Power: Two-Faced Beauty, She can take a disguise of a random survivor to catch the other ones by surprise with a successful attack with the use of her sacrifice dagger, however, it takes a 35-second cooldown, and if Lich messes up or gets blinded/stunned, it takes an extra 5 seconds to recharge Memento Mori: Enchantress would get on top of the survivors and stabs their hands onto the floor then grabs their face and kisses them on the lip, sucking the life force out of them in the process. Enchantress chuckles and grabs her glaive, leaving the soulless survivor on the ground
Lore: Iliana Marroquin is a descendant of a cult family who wears Aztec-themed outfits and worships the Entity and kidnaps random people off the streets to give them off to the sadistic being’s realm, however, she was very conflicted about how the cult operates she eventually cut paths with Keith Singleton, the British Investigator and his partner who was killed in the process, Iliana helped Keith escape her family but was apprehended by the cultist followers and sacrificed to the Entity and was forced to become one of its most seductive and dangerous Killers
The Statue Name: Vander Carpinelli Gender: Male Ethnicity: Italian-Candaian Realm: Lunaris Gallery An Renaissance-themed museum surrounded by creepy statues Weapon: Halberd Special Power: Night Fright, Statue would be able to freeze in place, and sort of teleport by the use of other statues of himself scattered all around the map. He would be able to select any statue to teleport to, but as a counterbalance, he wouldn't be able to see survivors until he arrives in the area where they are at. So basically, his power would be all about reading and playing tricks on the minds of survivors. Before he moves around his body doubles, any survivors can blind him before he can try to attack them
Memento Mori: He slices at the survivor's legs before they could run away and proceeds to grab the survivors up by the neck and forces them to look at his face as they desperately try to get out of his grasp and he charges up a beam of light from his eyes which would slowly turn them into stone and chuckles at his finest artwork as he leaves the petrified survivor alone
Lore: Vander Carpinelli was a sculptor in Italy and had supporting parents who are extremely wealthy however he would be degraded for his British descent by Holden and Killian, the children of his family rival, Bruno Lombardi and would harass Vander every time they get the chance while they was in art college, but eventually Vander had enough and managed to get his bullies expelled after submitting pictures of him being harassed. Vander would graduate and he become one of the greatest sculptors of his time. But as he was making one of his best artwork, he got assaulted by a group of thugs hired by the Lombardis and they buried him alive. As Vander loses his life, the Entity appeared and saved him, promising him sweet revenge on his enemies. Weeks after Vander's disappearance, no one couldn't find him but the entire Lombardi family and their associates were slaughtered and their bodies were placed inside statues that resemble them identical, Vander Carpinelli's whereabouts would be a mystery as he become of the most disturbing killers that Enity took great pleasure into creating
The Hellhound Name: Vivian Chandler Gender: Female Ethnicity: American Realm: Firebrick Road, An burned down apartment complex Weapon: Fire Ax Special Power: Play With Fire, Hellhound breath hellfire that inflicts Scorched, a debuff that burns survivors which will disable their uses of items and they have to get extinguish the flames via Holy Water around the map. She can also breathe hellfire over windows and pallets Memento Mori: Hellhound will impale the survivor in the stomach with her claws, lift them up, and set them on fire as they scream in agony. She then slam her axe onto their head to shut them up
Lord: Vivian did get along with her cousin Hestia since she was the only one who actually cared about her well-being but deep down Vivian was envious to Hestia’s loving parents because Vivian’s parents weren’t really caring, they just came forcing their expectations onto her and disapprove of her being bisexual, causing her to become bitter and self-loathing and eventually started becoming an pyromaniac after being shamed online by her parents for trying to talk with an young boy who they didn’t like, Vivian was enraged and hateful so she later burned her mother and father alive and burnt her back to avoid suspicion but she ended up slitting her mouth out of guilt because part of her felt ashamed for what she did… 2 months later, She was gonna burned herself but Hestia (who was still in her firefighter job at the time) walked into the act and tried to stop her but it was too late, Hestia ended up having burn marks around her neck, and some spots around her upper body and left shoulder but Vivian was nowhere be found after being taken by the Entity, now Vivian has brainwashed into hating Hestia despite her struggle to fight back the Entity’s control. Hestia and everyone else thought Vivian died in the fire but her body was never found so Hestia who quit being a firefighter and became an car racer made an charity campaign to find Vivian unknowingly setting herself as a target for the canon cult who worships the Entity. They kidnapped her and offer her as a sacrifice to the sadistic eldritch’s game of cat and mouse so that’s how Hestia is stuck in the Campfire realm along with her fellow survivors
The Toymaker Name: Kai Davenport Gender: Male Ethnicity: Taiwanese-American Realm: Steam World, An toy factory with tons of bloodstains around the walls and floor along with some corpses placed into animatronics and toy animals with blood stains seen laying around Weapon: Toy Hanmer Special Power: Joys of Destruction, Toymaker can make his Dreadful Toys to hunt survivors for him however he can only make 3 toys at an time and he can’t make more unless they’re destroyed by Survivors
Airplane: Shoots bullets that need 10 hits to injure a survivors
Creepy Doll: Latch onto an survivor's leg to inflict Exhaustion
Teddy Bear: Latch onto survivor’s arm to inflict Incapacitated
Squeaky Mouse: Alerts Toymaker of the survivor's location if they vault over a window or rush into a locker
Memento Mori: The Survivor tries to get up but Toymaker cackles maliciously and whacks the survivor with his Toy Hammer before he sic his Dreadful Toy to attack the survivor at once while he records the whole thing on a camera
Lore: Kai Davenport is the son of a notorious serial killer who murdered 25 prostitutes and 15 police officers who tried to arrest him, Kai was an weird kid but he was actually kindful and supportive to others but he was bullied for what his father did and they’ve gotten lots of trouble for their shenanigans, he was also being emotionally abused by his uncle for not having much of an backbone until Kai snapped and pushed him down the stairs and nobody suspected the wiser because he was just an teenager at the time and figured his uncle tripped because he was drunk. Kai eventually graduated college and became an Toymaker, He would specialize making action figures, plushies and other accessories. Everything was going well until he ran into his old bullies who became an an whole gang who robs banks,They have coerced Kai into making weaponized toys for heist otherwise they would harm his cripple mother and younger siblings who just started high school. Eventually Kai did the honorable thing and reported himself to the police in order to get the gang arrested too but they attacked Kai’s younger sister and attempted to SA her but the cops intervened.
This drove Kai into taking things into his own hands and kill his former bullies one by one and managed to convince the authorities that it was self defense and they bought it. But Kai developed an bloodthirsty habit to slaughter criminals who prey on the week so he became an vigilante to ease his bloodlust tendencies but this would make the Entity take interest in Kai and made the mentally ill man one of its newest killers making him believe the survivors he would be trying to slaughter would be criminals
The Lich Name: Liliana O'Brien Gender: Female Ethnicity: Scottish Realm: Iageadell Tombs, An massive crypt full of tombs which is a resting ground for the deceased criminals and noble people who support the rich Weapon: Glaive
Special Power: Life Harvest, So basically her power is similar to Oni’s except she needs soul energy to fuel her charge attacks, depending on how much blood her scythe is absorbed, she can dash forward a certain amount of times instead of just going into a full-blown sprint. She also has her own debuff called Hollowed, which makes survivors unable to sense auras temporarily and their healing speed would be slowed down horrendously. They would need to drink some altar water to deactivate the Hollowed effect faster, to tell if a survivor is inflicted with Hollowed, they would be shaking uncontrollably as if they’re cold and their icon would have a mist-like Sprial around it. Also for a short duration, the water is corrupted, and the Lich is able to absorb the corruption in the water and give her a bit of a boost with her power and her dash attacks would go a bit farther than normal
Memento Mori: She slashes at the survivor a couple of times before she has them on their knees, she grabs them by the hair and slits their throat, as they die on the floor she lifts the survivor and absorbs their remaining life force into her glaive saying “Your life force is mine” an call back to Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat
Lore: As a child, Liliana O'Brien was often drawn to the natural world, spending a lot of after-school time in a local ravine. Upon the encouragement of her parents, Liliana was able to fast-track through high school and receive acceptance into Metro High University at the young age of 16. After completing her B.A., Moone entered another university as part of her master's degree and later returned to Metropolis three years after in order to complete her Ph.D. Lilian later becomes an archeologist and later meets up with his old friend Edward Sho, who been researching bizarre events that includes people that the Entity has abducted like Dwight Fairfield, Meg Thomas, Tracey Dumas, and Keith Singleton. However Liliana didn't think much and figured Edward on some fanatical nonsense and didnt believe that the Enity was actually but she would later find out how right he was as she went on an expedition to the Scottish Highlands, discovering Iageadell Tombs, where she discovered an outfit of a woman named Orissa Moone, an femme fatale who was described as a lich, an undead being that feed of the souls of people they killed, as Lillian carelessly inspects the outfits, she would seen glimpses of Orissa's memories like her demented crimes of murdering men and women she seduced before her spirit decides to possessed Lilliana's body and seduces her research teammates before she kills them all and the Enity was impressed at Orissa's ruthlessness and sadism so it proceeds to welcome her into its realm as she forces Lianna's soul and body under her full control....
submitted by SlyZeke1O1 to deadbydaylight [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 07:42 AzelfWillpower Who's your favorite villain (that isn't Ganon)?

Sorry Ganonbros, I love him too but EVERYONE loves Ganon lol

For me, it's Demise. In terms of objective writing, there's a number of issues with him -- like his true form coming out of nowhere, his rather unpopular design, his identity being unknown for half the game, the irritating Imprisoned boss fights, etc. But the thing that makes me like him so much is one thing; I think he's so fucking cool. Firstly, he's essentially the progenitor demon of the Zelda universe, spawned from a crack in the earth and waged a war so bloody that the Goddess herself was nigh-mortally wounded. And, while we aren't told much in-game directly about him, we learn from Fi that he's a barely-comprehensible ancient evil who appears differently to everyone who sees him. He poses so many unique questions (where did he come from, exactly? How powerful is he? What was his battle with Hylia like?) that (while they'll probably never be answered) are still fun to think about.

And, for the more superficial aspects of his character, I love him and the Imprisoned's designs. They're a bit edgy, but they do fit the "Pure Evil" bill quite well. It makes me wonder what exactly his form looked like in the ancient age, the form he would have taken had Link not stopped him? The corrupted, evil Master Sword/Ghirahim he holds is such a stereotypical "opposite" blade but I actually love it (and wish we got to use it in BotW!). It truly does seem like the opposite of everything the Master Sword stands for. The Master Sword, while powerful, is cleanly edged, bright, and designed for deft movements, swings, and the occasional beam of sacred light. Demise's Sword is a veritable spiked battering ram, thrusted upon enemies only with the intent to splinter every bone in their body with every swing. And this isn't to mention his boss fight -- I actually had a solid bit of trouble with it and I actually had to exercise patience, something scarcely necessary in many Zelda fights. You battle him in another realm of his creation, catching thunderbolts into the Master Sword as he rolls out of each and every attempt at a mortal blow. When the electric sword beams clashed and nullified one another as I was on my last heart on my final attempt, I realized just how much I liked this edgy, monstrous guy.

But what might be my favorite thing about Demise is the way he treats his opposition. During the era of Demise, humans resembled Link in only appearance, fleeing from him and hiding at every turn. But when Link comes around, Demise isn't just surprised. He's actually fascinated. I'm sure many of you are thinking that respecting a foe's power isn't new to Zelda -- Ganondorf does it in OoT, right? But with Ganondorf, his 'praise' is superficial. When he voices to himself the mere suggestion that he underestimated Link's power, he instead places that blame on the power of the Triforce of Courage. Demise actually finds it funny that a species of people he finds to be little more than cowardly vermin could possibly produce someone with so much valor. This doesn't just extend to Link, either. When Demise is released from his slumber that lasted for thousands upon thousands of years, the first thing he remarks on isn't how excited he is to be back to the mortal world, or what plans he has for the mortal beings of Hylia's land -- instead, he draws his attention to Zelda, commenting that her mortal "bag of flesh" pales in comparison to the "magnificence" of Hylia's previous form. He then proceeds to actually praise Link for arriving to fight him, even saying Link's "misplaced valor" pleases him. He carries himself with a sort of politeness one would never really see from any Ganondorf (except maybe WW), and his desire to battle Link extends beyond "I'm a bad guy and I like showing off my power". It's both his desire to inflict pain and crush opposition combined with a profound admiration for this one human who ever stood up to him.

Of course, Demise is ultimately still pure evil. His respect for Link's courage and his seeming appreciation for Hylia's previous form are nothing compared to his overwhelming desire to claim the Triforce (and his apparent "hate" for the Gods. I wish this was expanded upon!), so when push comes to shove, he only cares about slaughtering the hero, draining the essence of the Goddess, and claiming the world for himself. And, inevitably, the Demon King falls to the Hero, the first thing he says is not a scream of anger, or a refusal to lose. Instead...
"Extraordinary. You stand as a paragon of your kind, human. You fight like no man or demon I have ever known."
Let me put the situation into perspective here. Demise, a Demon King who has never known even the concept of death and has only been resisted once in his lifetime, someone who has "conquered time itself", has been mortally wounded. And with one of the last breaths he will ever utter, he chooses to commend the skill of his slayer with words of such high praise I'm surprised Link isn't blushing hearing them. The next lines are (aside from being badass) what kickstarts the events of the franchise, stating the doomed cycle those who carry the Blood of the Goddess and the Spirit of the Hero are bound to. Demise has elements that no other villain in the franchise possesses -- the honor of being the first, and a sense of corrupted respect for his enemies that I can't help but find endearing.

But mainly, I just think he's really cool. Anyways, with that monologue out of the way, who are your guys' favorite non-Ganon Zelda villains? I know there aren't too many options, but I think there are some really underrated guys in Zelda who aren't Ganondorf.
submitted by AzelfWillpower to truezelda [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 07:30 Unlucky-Chicken378 Kinks and limits. Not in any particular order.


Incest, non-con/dub-con, name calling, degrading, futanari, feet, foot worship, footjobs, anal, ass worship, rimmjobs, cbt, sph, cock and ball worship, blowjobs, sloppy blowjobs, drool, face fucking, deepthroating, throat fucking, gagging, choking, swallowing, facials, lots of cum, cumplay, cum diet, kissing, kissing with tongue, biting, hickeys, saliva/spit, toys, pegging, foreplay, fingering, finger sucking, cunnilingus, squirting, piss, pissplay, sounding, object insertion, multiple object insertion, unusual object insertion, light/heavy bdsm, ball gag, leather, latex, orgasm control, orgasm denial, dom/sub, powertops, powerbuttoms, rough sex, creampie, breeding, impregnation, pregnancy, lactation, breastfeeding, nipple sucking, praise, aftercare, cuddling, handjobs, rewards, punishments, abuse, painplay, hair pulling, slapping, punching, spanking, whipping, kicking, ball blasting, fisting, pussy torture, torture, knifeplay, cutting, blood, gore, screaming, crying, fearplay, kidnapping, gunplay, alcohol, drugs, ageplay, agegap, groping, squeezing, nipple squeezing, teasing, humiliation, cuckold, gangbang, double penetration, stomach bugle, throat bugle, clothed sex, leggings, heels, stockings, lingerie, public sex, almost caught, caught, cheating, blackmail, corruption, mind break, raceplay, slaveplay, petplay, collar and leash, thigh worship, thighjobs, body worship, breast worship, breastplay, titjobs, nippleplay, nipple biting, nipple penetration, forced orgasm, orgasming, sleepplay, freeuse, forced bi, hypnosis, mind control, aliens, parasites, tentacles, fully through, unrealistic sizes, centaurs, minotaurs, beastiality, furries, nekos, elves, succubus, angels, spirits, monsters, vampires, werewolves, mummies, goblins, reptiles, sirens, mermaids, slimes, and dragons.


Feminization, crossdressing, gender bending, sissification, chasity, breathplay, vomit, musk, smell, diapers, scat, bimbo, bimbofication, body modification, needles, severed limbs, close to death, vore, and death.
submitted by Unlucky-Chicken378 to u/Unlucky-Chicken378 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 04:00 Outside_Bake7542 Made a brief passage. Was hoping for tips on genuine descriptive words, do I provide good interest, will this keep my readers hooked with curosity?

The Vac Suit kept warning me -82% mental corruption- I didn't listen. I kept fighting. I kept slashing with my sawblade and shooting with my double barrel shotgun. I looked to the left and right. Met by the assurance of my two battle brothers. Fighting the horrific aliens, with gnashing jaws, empty eyes, and bloody wounds. Yet no matter the injury… no matter the blood they would leak.. They wouldn't give in until it was over. I found myself, fighting with rage, fighting with all I could to have a hope of seeing my daughter and wife. Oh I hope I make it through. I looked with despair as my vac suit warned me -87% mental corruption- I fought with all I could muster, with all the rage, despair, and love I had for my family. It wasn't enough, I was stabbed through my vac suit. The bug-like creature with cold eyes didn’t care for me, it left one puncture wound, then created another, and another and another. I was gurgling in my own blood, drowning in my VAC suit. I was left suffering as my battle brothers moved forward, soon to meet the same fate.
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2023.06.01 03:11 British_Tea_Company Respect: Marneus Calgar (Warhammer 40k)

Chapter Master Marneus Augustus Calgar

Chapter Master Calgar is the Current chapter Master of the Ultramarines. Considered to be the most successful Ultramarine period short of Guilliman himself, Calgar had relatively humble origins as a servant-boy named "Tacitan". Tacitan's best friend was the noble scion of House Calgar, the original Marneus Calgar whom he idolized. When the original Calgar was killed by a chaos corrupted trainer, Tacitan took the name of "Marneus Calgar" in his honor and eventually went to become a full fledged Space Marine.
Calgar has a long and storied history as the Ultramarine Chapter Master with notable deeds of marshalling the defense of Ultramar against Hive Fleet Behemoth, being the last man standing defying the Ork Hordes of Zalathras and facing down Abaddon the Despoiler upon Vigilus. Calgar's career and repitoire continues to grow, especially after crossing the Rubicon Primaris now nicknamed the "Calgar Procedure" due to him being the first volunteer to become Primaris as a firstborn Space Marine.
Feats are labelled "Primaris" are done post Rubicon Primaris. Any feat not labeled as such is prior.










The Gauntlets of Ultramar have underslung bolters. Fists versus Bolter will be delineated as such.


submitted by British_Tea_Company to respectthreads [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:33 Elthaco Did your players fight Fangafa?

Despite all the warnings from Xanathâ my players decided to take the underworld path to the tomb.
Any suggestions on how should I handle Fangafa? I think combat is inevitable. But from the lore she seems to be a pretty old and powerful enemy. I don't want them to just beat her, or get killed.

My ideas: Fangafa has been madly clawing the stone to get into the Tomb. Her blood has spread corruption in the area, so there will be some effect on the players. R1 - Summons thorn beasts to aid. R2 - probably knocks a player with full tentacle attacks.
R3 - Xanathâ shows up and engage. Both fight tearing walls apart, and falling into a whole in the ground, letting the players to fight off the thorn beasts before climbing up to the tomb.
submitted by Elthaco to Symbaroum [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:23 deadislandman1 Cyborg #30 - End.exe

DC Next presents:


Issue Thirty: End.exe
Written by Deadislandman1
Edited by ClaraEclair and AdamantAce
Arc: Catharsis
“Are you ready, Victor?”
“More ready than I’ve ever been in my life.”
This high up in the sky, there would normally be wind, its howling loud enough to drown out all other sounds. Had there been clouds, they would have impeded his sight, forcing him to weather the condensed water within. The vast blue of the sky would overwhelm his eyes at every turn. But Victor and V were in the Metal, and no such things existed within the Metal. There was no resistance as they glided towards Thinker’s strange, corrupting compound, no wind to fly against. They moved this way purely because this was how some of the highest beings in the Metal’s hierarchy moved, above the other programs and signals on the ground.
The denizens of the Metal had declared him their hero, their champion, and it was his job to remove Thinker’s influence from the realm.
Gradually, the two began to slow down as they descended to one of the shimmering black walls of Thinker’s compound, whose presence was a tumor within the Metal, threatening to upset the fragile balance of a newborn power. This was enough cause to stop Thinker, but Victor had more reasons to confront his co-creator. He was holding his inventor — no, his father — hostage, a petty act of torture for the gall of standing up to one of the smartest supervillains on the planet.
Victor could not let Silas Stone suffer any longer. He would not let this final remaining door within himself to remain ajar, forever taunting him like a tapestry that could not be finished. Today, this horror would end. Today, Victor would find real peace within himself.
Victor touched down, the true size of the spire dawning on him. V landed next to him, walking up to the fortress and placing a hand on the wall, “My protocols will work their ways through Thinker’s firewalls, but once we are inside, we will be on our own.”
“No use waiting around then,” said Victor, “Just know that whatever happens, we stick together. That’s the only way we’ll be able to get out of this.”
V paused for a moment, clearly appreciating Victor’s faith in their partnership. Turning back to the wall, V closed her eyes and, within moments, a hole formed nearby.
“Woah, that was fast,” said Victor.
“Yes I…” V blinked. “There were only a few firewalls. This seems incredibly illogical. One would think one of the smartest men alive would keep a high level of security.”
“Maybe it’s a trap?” Victor peered inside the fortress, “A way to catch us….”
Victor paused, his eye widening at the sight before him, “ guard.”
Before the two was not some horrifying death maze, nor was it a vast lair of villainy, or a lab made for suffering. Before them… was a neighborhood, the kind with straight roads, white picket fences, freshly cut grass, and vibrantly painted houses. As Victor stepped across the threshold of the walls, he was immediately hit by a wave of nostalgia. This place was so familiar.
“This… I grew up here!” said Victor, “Or… the real Victor did.”
V stepped through behind Vic and, like clockwork, the wall sealed up behind her. “I do not understand. What is the purpose of manufacturing such a recreation?”
“I don’t… I just…” Victor clenched his fists. How dare he do this. He wasn’t the real Victor Stone, yet there was such anger in the fact that Thinker was defiling the memories of the Stone family. Victor Stone grew up happy here, and this place was nothing but some sham… some charade meant to taunt whoever was inside.
His father.
Like a runaway train, Victor erupted into a sprint down the street, V following after him. She tried to ask him where he was going, but Victor knew she would understand once they arrived. He remembered the place well; his namesake had lived there, after all.
Halfway down the road, they arrived at the Stone family home, which had been reconstructed perfectly. Racing across the front yard that he had played catch in since childhood, Victor kicked down the door, running inside through familiar halls. “Dad? Dad?!”
“Victor!” V barreled in after him. “Perhaps this is a rash action.”
“This place… He had to make it to screw with my dad. He had to!” Victor shouted. “Dad?! Dad, where are you?”
“Who the hell is screaming? What is--?”
Victor whirled around, a voice that felt both familiar and foreign entering his ears. Balling up his fists, he expected a fight, only for his heart to drop.
It was Victor Stone. No cybernetic enhancements, no powers, justVictor Stone, sitting in a chair across the hall, in the dining room, with a laptop in front of him. He stood up in shock, slamming the laptop shut as he stared at Victor in horror, “What the fuck?!”
“Wha– Why–” Cyborg stared in amazement at his eerily accurate counterpart. He didn’t understand what was going on.
“Victor? I heard screaming! Is everything alright?”
An older man stepped into the hall, clearly distressed by all the shouting, and as Cyborg turned to face him, he immediately felt every muscle in his body loosen.
Silas Stone stood before him, as old as Victor had expected him to be. What he didn’t expect was to find the man to be full of vigor, of life. He seemed almost… energized, like he’d lived the last few years in absolute happiness.
Then Silas spoke, and it was then that Cyborg felt his soul truly sink into the abyss, “Who in God’s name are you?! What are you doing in my house?!”
“You…” Cyborg looked to V, “Is he..?.”
V stepped in front of Cyborg, taking a rudimentary scan of both Silas and the other Victor, “He is indeed Silas Stone, he does not have the same signature as the other denizens of the Metal. This Victor however… does.”
“So he’s a fake?” said Cyborg.
“What the fuck are you talking about?!” said Victor, “Who are you?”
“Please, leave my house!” said Silas, “This is private property!”
“You… you don’t understand,” said Cyborg, who turned to AI Victor, “And… I’m sorry. You’re not a… I shouldn’t call you a fake.”
“What do you mean?! What’s going on?!” asked AI Victor.
“Get out!” shouted Silas, “Get out right now or I’m calling the police.”
Cyborg didn’t know why Silas couldn’t remember him, remember anything, but looking between him and the other Victor, a haunting theory moved to the forefront of his mind; this place was an elaborate illusion, a way to keep Silas placated, and if Victor wanted to save him, he would need to wake his father from the dream. The T-Beacons Elinore had repurposed would need to charge, and he didn’t know if he’d be able to keep Silas restrained for that. Besides… it would be easier if Silas knew what was really happening before he left… and he would get a chance to speak to his father in earnest.
Cyborg moved forward, placing his hands on Silas’s shoulders, “Silas, I know this seems crazy, but I need you to hear me out.”
“Stop! Let go of me!” said Silas.
“Please, Dad, just…hear me out!” said Cyborg.
Silas froze…one word completely taking him off balance, “Did… did you just call me Dad?”
Cyborg swallowed, “Yeah… and it’s a long story… but you need to hear it. I promise.”
Silas shook his head. “I don’t… I don’t understand. What are you?”
Cyborg grimaced, “I’m… your creation.”
“But… I don’t remember creating you…” said Silas, “Why would I need to make you.”
“Because…” Cyborg glanced back at AI Victor, who was clearly completely confused by the situation. “Because the real Victor Stone died. He died during a disaster in Coast City and… I was the replacement.”
Silas grew white as a sheet, “What? What do you…? No… no, my son isn’t dead. He’s right here!”
Silas looked to the AI Victor, and Cyborg shook his head, “He’s just code… and in a way, so am I. I’m sorry but… the real Victor Stone is gone, has been for years.”
“No, it’s not true.” Silas glared at Cyborg, “Why should I believe you?! How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
“Just… look at me,” said Cyborg. “Look at me, Dad.”
Slowly, Silas felt his breath steady, his eyes locked onto Cyborg. He scanned the metal man in front of him, from the soles of his steel feet to the fusion of flesh and armor on his head. He reached out in trepidation, running his fingers up and down the armor, then running them over Cyborg’s face. The AI Victor watched in confusion, still utterly lost at what was going on.
Cyborg flinched at the touch of his father’s hand, it felt so… alien knowing the context of his own creation, and yet where he was falling into unfamiliar territory, Silas was being brought back into his own past, to memories he had lost.
Then, in a blink, something changed in Silas. He stumbled back, eyes wide, and Cyborg knew that he had awakened what was buried. Silas shuddered, falling to his knees, “No! No I… I did lose him… I did lose my boy…”
“Dad?” AI Victor trudged towards Silas, “Dad, I’m right here, I–”
“No! My boy has been gone for years,” said Silas, looking at both Cyborg and AI Victor. “And try as I might, I know that, in the end, neither of you are really him… really a replacement.”
Cyborg looked between his father and the AI replication of himself, feeling immense pity for both. The AI looked so confused, like a newborn who’d just gotten lost at the supermarket. Cyborg nodded to V, who quickly ushered the AI into another room to explain what was going on. Then, he turned back to Silas and took a knee, “Are you… God, there’s no point in asking the question. Do you remember what happened, after Thinker…”
Silas sniffled, attempting to piece himself back together, “H-He locked me in this place, but it was so… different. There was an army being built, preparations for war. He… interfaced with me, forced himself into the deepest crevices of my own mind! My god, Victor… he knows everything about me, about you! He knows every detail about every single thing I’ve ever built.”
Cyborg grimaced. If he knew every detail, then that meant that he knew what every single one of Cyborg’s tricks were. There would be no surprises, “God, I… I should’ve woken earlier, come here earlier. I’m so sorry.” said Cyborg.
“No, no… don’t blame yourself for any of this, it wasn’t your fault,” said Silas. “What happened here is Thinker’s fault, and his alone.”
Silas began to calm down, his rate of breath slowing down as he stood up. “But… it does confuse me that he would place me in this… illusion.”
“More torture?” asked Cyborg.
“No, I felt… at peace here,” said Silas. “Thinker was always so mechanical, so hyper focused on producing the results he wanted. Building me a… dream land? It just… doesn’t make any sense.”
“Well… whatever his reasons, it doesn’t matter. I’m getting you out of here, then I’m stopping him once and for all,” said Cyborg.
“What?!” Silas whirled around to face Cyborg. “You can’t! In this place, he’s more powerful than he was in the real world.”
“And I’ve been a superhero for three years,” said Cyborg. “I know my way around threats, and whatever his plans are now, that doesn’t change that he has to face justice for what he did to both of us.”
Pulling out one of the T-Beacons, he placed it in Silas’s hands. “Press the ‘T,’ and after five minutes, you’ll be able to head back to reality. Since you came here from the real world, you’ll rematerialize in your own body.”
“But what about you?” asked Silas. “I can’t just leave you alone to–”
“Dad!” Cyborg placed a hand on his father’s shoulders, “Listen to me… over the last three years, I’ve done so much. I’ve made friends, I’ve made enemies, I’ve made a hell of a life out there. Hell, I even made it into the Justice Legion!”
“The Justice… Legion?” asked Silas.
“Yeah, its… it’s like the new Justice League, but nevermind that,” said Cyborg. “The point is, a lot has happened, a lot has changed, but Thinker… he’s the ghost that’s been haunting me. I came here because I needed to finish things, and to save you.”
Silas frowned. “I still don’t–”
“I know you feel guilty about… my creation,” said Cyborg. “And yeah, you threw me into one hell of a world, but trust me when I say that I’ve made my mark… and I wanna keep making my mark with you beside me.”
Silas turned away. “You… want me to be with you… in your life… after everything?”
“Yeah… I do,” said Cyborg. “Because despite everything, I’m a living thing because of you… and the real Victor Stone loved you a lot. I’ve got his memories, his feelings… and trust me when I say that what he would’ve wanted, is what I want.”
Silas stared at Cyborg, at a loss for words. Looking down at the T-Beacon and then back at his own creation, he sighed, “You… you’ll come back to me… right?”
“I’ll always come back to you, Dad,” said Cyborg. “Always.”
Sniffling, Silas tackled his son with an embrace, and Cyborg returned it with a bear hug of his own. For a singular moment, the two stood in silence, tears streaming from both of their eyes. After four long years, they were finally seeing each other, meeting for the first time, yet with memories that spanned decades of connection. Letting go of Cyborg, Silas wiped his eyes, “I… I need to sit down.”
“Take your time,” said Cyborg. “V can keep you safe until we go.”
“My…” Cyborg paused, then tapped his head. “My friend in my head.”
“Ah,” Silas nodded, then turned away, but couldn’t help but chuckle. “Heh… he named her. Typical Victor.”
Silas walked down the hall, and as Cyborg followed, V emerged from the dining room, “I have explained the situation. He is… depressed.”
“Yeah… I guess I should’ve expected that. I know what he’s going through,” said Cyborg.
“Shall we go?” asked V. “Thinker must be somewhere within this place.”
Cyborg took a peek into the dining room, noting AI Victor’s downtrodden expression. He sat in front of his laptop, the mundanity of what was likely some kind of school assignment washed away by the revelation that he was not a human being. Cyborg turned back to V, “Can you watch my dad for a sec. I wanna talk to… the other me.”
“I understand,” said V, nodding. “Silas and I have things to speak about in any case.”
Managing a smile, Cyborg then walked into the dining room, pulling out a seat next to the AI, “So… now you know.”
“That I’m fake?”
“That you weren’t born the same way another person was born,” said Cyborg. “That doesn’t make you fake.”
“I was made to… placate someone,” said the AI, “I’m some fucking sham. I’m just part of a circus act.”
“Yeah… I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been there, trust me,” said Cyborg, “Only difference was, I was made to host someone else. I was never meant to have a personality, a real mind.”
The AI shook his head, a brokenness overtaking him, “How… How are you supposed to go on? You know what you were made for, you know what was meant to happen. How do you… deal with that? How are you supposed to even think about anything else?”
“Truth is,” Cyborg took a deep breath. “When I learned how I came to be, I moped, I sat around and did nothing, because I couldn’t think about anything else. What saved me was… the friends I had made in the years before I learned what my original purpose was. I had connections with them, a life with them. They saved me.”
“Huh,” the AI let out a bleak chuckle. “That’s good for you, but I don’t have any of those here. After what your friend told me I… I tried to remember specifics of a life outside this house, friends, hobbies, and I just… I couldn’t remember anything. I’m nothing outside of this house, outside of what I was made to do.”
“Maybe that’s how you were envisioned, but that’s not all you are,” said Cyborg. “Or all you have to be. You can choose to be more, choose to have a life outside your built purpose.”
The AI got out of his seat, “But I don’t have one! Don’t you understand?! I don’t have friends to fall back on, people who really love me.”
“But you can! You can choose to start that life, choose to walk the same path I did,” said Cyborg. “All you’ve gotta do… is come with me. I’ll be with you every step of the way.”
Cyborg held out his hand, earnestly waiting on the AI. The AI stared at the hand, and it was clear that despite the arguments, he was still unsure. This was all so new, so daunting, yet what the hand represented was nothing short of a miracle. He would have a guide in the real world.
Reaching out, the AI took Cyborg’s hand, “So… how do I come back to the real world with you?”
“We have these beacons, but since we’re not inherently organic consciousnesses, the beacons won’t reconstruct a body like it would for our father. I’ve got my own body that V and I share, so we’ll probably all end up in it together. From there, I can see if we can make you a body.”
“Sounds a little crowded,” joked the AI.
“Yeah… but it’ll be temporary,” said Cyborg. “And then there’s the matter of names. We can’t both be Victor.” Cyborg scratched his chin. “I don’t have a permanent solution, but for now… why don’t we use shorthand. You’re Vic and I’m Cy.”
“Short for Cyborg,” he said, gleaming. “It’s… a moniker… and a hero name.”
“Jeez, are you famous or something out there?” asked Vic.
“A little,” said Cyborg. “But that’s a story for later. I need you to stick with Dad while V and I go after Thinker. I can’t close the door on this whole thing until I find him.”
“Then you will not have to look far.”
Cyborg whirled around when he heard the digitized voice, only for both him and Vic to be ensnared in a web of electrical vines that sprouted from the floor, locking them both down. Before them stood the Thinker, a man whose body was composed almost entirely of binary code, 1s and 0s blended together into a strange, green body. Despite the humanoid shape of his figure, he had no features on his face, only the numbers, “I can hazard a guess as to why you are here, creation of mine, but why must you disrupt Silas Stone’s paradise? Surely, you could’ve at least guessed that I would be a master of my own domain, appearing wherever I wish.”
“It’s not paradise,” growled Cyborg. “It’s a fucking prison.”
“To you, it may seem that way,” said Thinker. “But understand that I was simply attempting to ease the pain I had inflicted on him.”
“You’re lying!”
“You are free to think that, and why would I expect anything different from you. I created you out of a selfish desire for power,” Thinker stared down at Cyborg, and the hero could feel the villain’s sheer pity. “But that is no longer my goal. I have learned, and now I wish to help people…help the world.”
Thinker then knelt down, reaching out for Cyborg, “I will erase the pain, erase--”
A blast of energy hit Thinker from behind, sending him barreling across the dining room table. V rushed in, crossing the distance before hitting Thinker with a second, physical kick, keeping him down. The electrical vines withered, allowing the two Victor Stones to break free. Vic ran for the hallway, while Cyborg began to form his arm into a blaster, “Keep him down, V!”
“I am doing my--”
A green shockwave interrupted V, throwing Cyborg onto his back as Thinker surged to his feet. As V landed in front of the villain, Thinker waved his hand, and a green beam the width of a soda can fired from his head, burning a hole through V’s chest. V let out a singular gasp before she herself dissolved into Binary code, like sand spilling out of an hourglass. Cyborg let out a blood curdling scream, “V!”
“Worry not, she is not deceased,” said Thinker. “She is simply-”
Cyborg surged forward, his fist crashing against Thinker’s form. The villain went flying, immediately crashing through the house’s wall before tumbling through the air. He hit the ground a few times, colliding with a mailbox all the while before landing in the middle of the street. Stepping back, Cyborg heard footsteps and Silas and the other Vic reappeared.
“What’s going on?!” asked Silas.
“Thinker’s here,” said Cyborg. “Is the beacon powered?”
“Yes, but--”
“Press it, now! I’ll see you on the other side.”
“I don’t want to leave you!” said Silas.
“You’ve been here long enough,” said Cyborg, looking back to where V just was. “And I can’t lose another person I care about!”
For a moment, Silas was hesitant, prepared to refuse his son’s wishes, when the beacon in his hands beeped. He looked down, finding that Vic had pressed the button for him. He looked up at Vic, “You-”
“See you on the other side, pops.”
And then, Silas disappeared in a beam of light, and it was just the two Victor Stones left. Cyborg glanced back towards Thinker, “Vic, hide wherever you can until this is done.”
“No, if you’re fighting him, then so am I.”
“He’ll…” Cyborg paused, trying desperately to avoid feeling the grief of losing his friend. “He’ll do to you what he did to V.”
“Not if I play it smart. You can’t always bulldoze your way to the touchdown,” said Vic. “You’ve gotta play it smart.”
Cyborg sighed, “Then let’s do it.”
Vic nodded, running further into the house to prepare as Cyborg stepped through the hole in the wall, marching towards Thinker. The villain had finally managed to get back on his feet, “Why do you refuse to listen?! My plans are for the good of the--”
“Plans plans plans, I don’t give a fuck about any of your plans,” growled Cyborg. “I don’t care about your plans in the past, your plans in the future, or your plans in the present. None of it matters, except that you’ve hurt people, and you refuse to take accountability for any of it. You hurt so many people for so many years, and I’m going to make sure that never happens again.”
Thinker sighed, “Then words are of no more use to me, if you are this stubborn, then I will have to save you the only way you have left me.”
Thinker rose into the sky, but Cyborg immediately raised his arm, morphing it into a blaster and knocking him out of the sky with a radiant beam of white energy. The concrete cracked as Thinker hit the street, allowing Cyborg to advance with his fists. Leaping into the air, he attempted to dropkick the villain, only for Thinker to roll out of the way of the attack. Raising his hand, Thinker summoned more electrical vines, but Cyborg dove out of the way, avoiding a second ensnarement. Rolling across some grass, Cyborg raised his arm to fire another blast at Thinker, only for the villain to disappear right before his eyes. A hand grabbed the back of his neck, squeezing tight before lifting him off the ground. Thinker’s voice whispered in his ear, “You cannot defeat me. I have existed in this place for years, and I have understood its own rules.”
“Then how come every time I’ve hit you, you’ve felt it,” said Cyborg. “You react to me, because like it or not, your handprints are all over me.”
Thinker let out a growl before raising his other hand, ready to send Cyborg to V, only for a splash of water to hit him in the back. He whirled around, spotting Vic with a garden hose. He was grinning, just as determined to rebel as his counterpart. Thinker leveled his hand at Vic, only for Cyborg to twist himself out of the villain’s grip, grabbing his arm and forcing it downward before another, larger beam of energy erupted from Thinker’s hand. The ground exploded, fracturing as if it was being hit by an earthquake, and as Thinker and Cyborg stumbled away from each other, the fractures became larger, and the spaces underneath the idyllic town were revealed.
Thousands of deactivated GRID robots and assembly equipment laid in the dark recesses of the underground, trashed and broken like discarded toys. Cyborg glanced up at Thinker, who was shrugging off the damage he had taken from the explosion. His binary code was beginning to splinter, numbers dripping from his body like water spilling over the top of a glass, “Ah…I see. Our code is…similar. We are of parallel wavelengths, owing to my code being imbued into your avatar.”
“Surprised it took you that long to figure it out,” said Cyborg.
Thinker hung his head, “No matter, I will still prevail. I know every weakness you have, every opening.”
“Let’s see if you last long enough to use them then.”.
Cyborg’s body shifted, glowing with pure white light as he powered himself up, preparing for a blow that he knew had enough power to finish Thinker off. Thinker meanwhile, clenched his fists, causing the numbers across his body to scroll faster and faster until they were a blur of characters. Then, the two charged one another, letting out war cries before leaping into the air, their fists raised.
He had waited all his life for this, to attain justice for himself, and for everyone else, and he wouldn’t let Thinker escape, not after all he had done to get to this moment. He thought of his friends, Michael, Exxy, and Cindy. His mother, Elinore, and his father, Silas. Finally, his mind went to Vic, a new being that needed to be made free. He fought for them all, and he would not lose.
His fist met Thinker’s, and with a catastrophic BOOM, the entire Metal was engulfed in white light.
Silas gasped for air as he sat up abruptly, vertigo invading his head. It was so bright, he could barely see. As he rubbed his eyes, he could hear the sound of footsteps as someone ran to his side, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Silas! Silas are you alright?!”
Silas groaned, his vision finally clearing. He was in some kind of bunker, adorned with all manner of technology. Scanning the room, he spotted a couple of younger people, one was a man in an afro and glasses, while the other was a younger teenage girl with a satchel. The two were at the side of Cyborg’s body, but their attention was clearly stuck on Silas.
Then he looked to the person at his side, and his world, which had already been turned upside down that day, flipped one more time. It was his wife! She was… alive?
“E-Elinore?” Silas adjusted his glasses. “Is… is that--?”
“I am… Though I’m not your Elinore,” She grabbed him by the arm, pulling him to his feet. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, I… No!” Silas’ eyes widened. “Our son, he-he went to fight Thinker! I left him! I--”
“Relax Dad, I… I made it out.”
The entire room turned to Cyborg, who had abruptly risen from his chair. He was sweating, the battle clearly taking a toll on him. Exxy and Cindy immediately tackled him with a hug.
“Aw man, you had us so worried!” said Cindy.
“Had you worried maybe, I knew he’d pull through fine!” said Exxy.
Silas felt a small giggle leave his body, “Goodness… how… how did you beat him?”
“Our coding was similar enough that I could harm him in ways the other AI couldn’t, I weakened him before trapping him in a firewall modeled after his own fortress. He won’t hurt anyone ever again,” said Cyborg. “I… I couldn’t save the other Victor AI… and V… she’s gone too.”
“Ah damn,” said Exxy. “I liked V. She was really mean to me most of the time, but dammit I liked her anyway.”
Cindy placed a hand on Cyborg’s shoulder, “We’ll be sure to remember her… always.”
Cyborg nodded, looking to the rest of the team, “So… what… what do we do now?”
“I…” Silas swallowed, “I want to start rebuilding my life… rebuilding who I was before…”
“You’ll have all the help we can spare, Dad,” said Cyborg, “I promise.”
“Yes,” said Elinore. “While I’m still here, I’ll do what I can to get you up to speed on past events.”
“I… thank you,” said Silas. “Though to tell you all the truth… my preferred start to my new life would be… to have some food.”
“Food?” said Cindy.
“Shit man, yeah you’re right. Guy hasn’t eaten in like three years,” said Exxy. “But don’t worry, I’ve got you. I know an amazing Thai place.”
Slowly but surely, the team began to make plans for the dinner, to welcome Silas back into the world again. However, as they began to pour out, Cyborg placed a hand on the machine that had taken him into the Metal, “You guys go ahead. I just… I need to be alone for a sec.”
“Hey, no prob!” said Exxy. “We’ll catch you later!”
The team poured out the door, with Silas taking one last cursory look back at his son before smiling and giving him a thumbs up. Cyborg waved goodbye to his friends and family, keeping his smile until they all left. Then, with a somber face, he turned back to the machine, sighing.
“You almost got me, I will admit… but the creation does not often best the creator,” Thinker grimaced. “For what it’s worth, I am proud to have called you my creation, you lived up to a higher potential than you could ever know, but your plan still had a flaw.”
Thinker looked at Cyborg’s hands, which now belonged to him, “I could take your beacon, inhabit the body built for me. All I had to do was prod your weaknesses and disable you before I did it. It was naive to think one powerful strike could destroy me. Brave… but naive.”
Thinker looked back to the machine, “But worry not, I have put you at peace, like your father was… and now I am free to extend that peace to the rest of the world.”
Thinker turned away from the machine, walking towards the exit to the bunker, “My plan is now in effect. It’s time to save the world.”
To be continued later in 2023!!!
submitted by deadislandman1 to DCNext [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:58 AslandusTheLaster Eel-Rise

Original prompt: [WP] The love interest became the villain, the villain became the sidekick, the sidekick became the hero and the hero became the love interest. (link)
Redmond stepped forward, crashing through the door to the inner sanctum without hesitation. He had come too far to let the villain win now. Count Elris sat smugly in his throne, practically staring into the hero's soul. The Count took a sip from a goblet of thick red fluid before setting it on the table sitting beside him and standing to face his foe, smiling at him with long, dagger-like canines.
"Elris! Your tyranny ends now!" Redmond shouted, drawing his sword and charging at the vampire lord.
The vampire easily dodged out of the way of the hero's attack before slashing a clawed hand through the joint in his elbow, lopping off Redmond's sword-arm in a single blow. He vaguely regretted not buying better armor, but his rational mind told him that it, at best, it would've made the fight last two or three blows instead of one.
"I think not, Hero. This is where your quest ends," Count Elris said, kicking Redmond to the ground. Redmond slid along the smooth tile floor toward the entryway, where his assistant Eliza had just caught up.
"Wait! Everyone stop!" she shouted.
It wasn't until she had practically stepped on Redmond that she noticed his injuries.
"Redmond? Oh no... Brother, you didn't have to do that!" Eliza shouted. Redmond's head was swimming in pain, so it took him a moment to realize who she was talking to.
"Apologies, dear sister. He came charging in like a reckless fool, so I assumed he was just one of the idiot heroes that keep trying to kill me," Count Elris said.
"But now he's dying! You have to save him!" Eliza shouted.
Redmond's vision was blurring and he could feel his consciousness slipping away from blood loss.
"Ah, so this is the lad you wrote of in your letters, then?" Count Elris asked, still not making any move to help Redmond.
"Yes! I love him! You can't let him die!" Eliza shouted.
"I can do what I like, Elizabeth. Never let others have this kind of power over you. You know what you have to do to save him," Count Elris said. "You need to stop running from your duties."
"Uh..." Eliza said, looking down at Redmond. He was pale, barely breathing, and didn't respond at all to the conversation happening around him. "Fine!"
Eliza pulled off her pendant, flipping a small switch on it to reveal a tube. She quickly put the tube to her lips and leaned back, pouring the contents of the pendant into her mouth. A small drop of the liquid dripped down her lip as she drank the fluid, which glowed like sunlight.
As she closed up the pendant again, her eyes shone with golden light and her skin gained their own iridescent glow. She could feel her mind expanding with knowledge and power from the gods of light, and with the touch of her hand, Redmond's skin immediately regained its color. As she pressed her lips against his, his wound closed up and he regained consciousness.
"Ah, Eliza," Redmond said. Eliza immediately jumped back, gold tears running down her face and her cheeks flushed. She didn't even know if he reciprocated her feelings, so his quick awakening had her mortified.
"Sorry, Red, but I just..." she stammered. "I know you have that thing going with the priestess, and I don't... I wouldn't..."
"No, no, it's fine. I'm sure she'd forgive, I'm just... surprised. Here I was, assuming that trick only worked in storybooks," Redmond said.
"Well, uh, it depends on having the right person, you know..." Eliza said.
Count Elris stepped in, interrupting their banter.
"Not that this isn't adorable, but I believe we need to have words. Who sent you?" Elris said, glaring at Redmond.
"What? Count Elris? What is going on here?" Redmond asked.
"That's what I want to know! And it's not 'Eel-Rise', it's 'Ell-Riss'. Wait... Damnation, that woman," Count Elris said.
"Brother?" Eliza said, reaching out toward the count. She quickly withdrew her hand when she noticed the smoke wafting off his cloak as she got near.
"Priestess Amelia, it's got to be, she's the only one that calls me Eel Rise," Count Elris said. "That harpy had been after my seat on the council of magic for years."
"Oh... Ooh... Redmond, I thought we were going after Count Ilrai, you're not strong enough to beat my brother," Eliza said.
"Yes, thank you Eliza, I know that now," Redmond said. "Also, why am I only now learning that your brother is a count?"
"I know I don't dress the part, but my dad is a marquis and I'm a countess! I thought it was obvious!" Eliza said, somewhat defensively.
"Bah, this fucking figures. If they can get me out of the way, they can put one of their puppets in my place and turn the split council into one favoring the shining gods," Elris said, grabbing a walking stick and pacing as he pondered the situation.
Redmond sat up and turned toward the vampire.
"You say that like it's a bad thing, the gods of good should be in control!" he said.
"Spoken like a true peasant who doesn't understand the gods. They aren't 'good' or 'evil', they just are. They don't understand how the world really works outside of their specific avenue, and they know that they don't understand, so they rely on us to make judgement on how things should be. Last time the council got unbalanced, corruption and chaos ruled the land," Count Elris said. "And I say that despite the fact that I'm a vampire, it should've been great for me when the shaded gods were in control."
"I don't believe your lies!" Redmond said.
"I don't much care what you BELIEVE, your heroing days are over," Elris said, tapping the stump where the young man's arm used to be.
"Red, I hope you remember that the god of life is also the god of rage and conquest, and that the god of wisdom does include military strategy among their dominion," Eliza said.
"What? Since when did you become an expert on the gods?" Redmond asked.
"I can hear them right now. The god of life is telling me to do things to you that I'm not even going to repeat with Ris standing right there," Eliza said. "Speaking of... Bro, I don't think Red's going to be the last hero to come after you..."
"I concur, dear sister," Elris said, reaching out to pat her on the shoulder. As the smoke rose off his hand, he pulled it back. "Ah, unfortunate... But even ignoring the rules against council members fighting each other, as a denizen of darkness I can't exactly do anything to a priestess of the god of the light and knowledge... But you could."
"Me? But I'm not- I couldn't do anything like that!" Eliza said.
"You might just have to, Elizabeth," Elris said, stepping toward the door. "Anyway, I will be preparing a circle to send you two home. Do what preparations you like."
Count Elris stepped out of the room, walking off down the hall while Redmond and Eliza sat in his throne room.
"I'll be honest, he doesn't seem that bad," Redmond said.
"Well, he's not. I grew up with him, and the worst he's ever done is throw me in a lake as a prank one time," Eliza said.
"Okay... you can keep a secret, right?" Redmond asked.
"Of course," Eliza said.
"Then here's hoping this works..." Redmond said. He pulled out a piece of chalk and drew a circle on the ground, etching a few symbols around the outside and pouring water into the center from his canteen. The water became clear and reflective before displaying the image of the priestess Amelia.
"Ah! Reddy-poo, I was hoping to hear from you! I assume you're here to deliver the news of your victory... though when I said it might cost an arm and a leg, that wasn't meant to be literal," the priestess said.
"Um... Yes, we got him," Redmond said.
The priestess initially looked happy, but then one of her rings flashed blue, and her face curled into something... else. "Reddy-boy, why are you lying to me? I've offered you so many goodies and now you're lying to me."
"What? Amelie, I'm just trying to tell you-"
"Don't fucking LIE to me, Redmond! I'm a priestess of the god of knowledge and wisdom! I know when you fucking lie to me!" she said, cutting him off.
"We didn't get him! And he doesn't seem that bad! Can you just call off the hitmen, Amelie?" Redmond said, now stammering himself.
"This hardly seems heroic, Amelia!" Redmond shouted.
Eliza quickly scrambled the circle, and the image of Amelia disappeared. Redmond hunched over, leaning into his friend's shoulder for support. Redmond's eyes watered a bit, which he would no doubt insist was from the dust kicked up off the circle and not any sort of emotional reaction. Eliza still reached an arm over his shoulders and pulled him into a hug.
"Well, the circle is ready- What in the blazes happened here?" Count Elris said, walking in on the scene of his throne room with a bunch of mussed chalk drawings on the floor while two young adults held each other in the center.
"I... I think we're going to end up going after Amelia after all..." Eliza said.
"Ah, excellent! I'll get a pitch ready so we can convince the electors to replace her with you," her brother said.
"What?" Eliza said.
"Well, a seat's going to open soon, and you'll be a shoo-in now that you're an acting avatar," Elris said.
"Oh..." Eliza said. She wasn't entirely averse to the idea, her now greater awareness of the world made it quite clear just how different the magnitude of her power would be if she was a council member instead of merely an adventurer. Still, it was a lot of responsibility. "I... I don't know..."
Elris just chuckled and said, "Don't worry, dear sister. I'll have your back, for as long as you need it."
submitted by AslandusTheLaster to AslandusTheLaster [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:58 VishvaShivnu From Shadows to Equilibrium: The Redemption of Andr

Alone, in a cold, dark cave on the outskirts of the world's filthiest city, a mysterious cloaked figure sat with his legs crossed, facing a brightly lit fire. The cave was shrouded in an eerie silence, broken only by the monotonous chants in an ancient language that echoed throughout the chamber, creating the illusion of multiple voices chanting in unison. The figure, lost in a trance, paid tribute to the God of Death, his voice blending with the flickering flames.
However, amidst the ethereal atmosphere, a faint sound of approaching footsteps reached the cloaked figure's ears. The rhythmic beat of at least four pairs of feet grew louder and faster, signalling the imminent arrival of intruders. The figure's keen senses alerted him to the impending danger, and he instinctively reached for the concealed dagger hidden within his sleeve. Though he continued his chant, he prepared himself for the impending confrontation.
As the mysterious figure's eyes remained focused on the flickering fire, two soldiers burst into the cave, their battle cries filling the air. The first attacker, wielding his sword with a clumsy grip, proved no match for the cloaked man's swift and precise movements. In one fluid motion, the figure swiftly drew his blade and sliced the throat of his assailant, silencing him forever.
Caught off guard by the cloaked man's speed and accuracy, the second attacker hesitated for a split second. Sensing an opportunity, he lunged forward, attempting to strike the figure with his sword. However, it was to no avail. The cloaked man swiftly retaliated, delivering a powerful kick to the attacker's stomach, sending him sprawling to the ground. Without mercy, the figure threw his dagger, piercing the heart of his fallen enemy.
As the lifeless body of the first attacker lay sprawled across the shrine, his arms outstretched, a chilling curse escaped his dying lips. "Curse thee, Andr!" he gargled, his blood mixing with his final breaths. Ignoring his first victim's futile curse, Andr, the cloaked barbarian monk, turned his attention to the wounded second attacker.
With a twisted blend of anger and determination, Andr demanded answers. "Who hired you? Speak, or I shall make your death slow and agonizing," he snarled. Gripping the handle of his dagger, he twisted the blade within the man's chest, eliciting screams of agony. Blood trickled down the dying man's chin as he begged for mercy. "I don't know his name," he gasped. "He was an old man with dark eyes. He paid us 50 pieces of gold for your death and another 50 for your head, delivered in a sack."
A mumble escaped the dying man's lips, but Andr could not decipher his final words. The man's eyes rolled back, and he succumbed to death's embrace. Overwhelmed with rage, Andr dragged the lifeless body to the altar, kicking the first attacker's corpse out of his path. "God of Death, accept this offering as a sign of my dedication," he bellowed, his voice reverberating through the cave. "In light of this betrayal, I shall become the envy of your followers. I vow to claim the head of every man who dares stand in my path."
Placing the fallen attacker upon the altar, Andr reached for one of their swords. With a swift motion, he severed the head from the lifeless body. Holding it triumphantly, he placed the severed head alongside the first attacker's on the shrine. The pungent smell of blood and incense filled the cave, an offering to The God of Death himself. Surely, the deity would be pleased with Andr's unwavering devotion.
Finally, Andr settled himself upon the cold cave floor, crossing his legs, and resumed chanting the solemn song of death. The cave seemed to tremble with his words as he vowed to carry out his grisly mission. In the darkness, bathed in the flickering glow of the fire, Andr embraced the path he had chosen, prepared to strike fear into the hearts of those who would dare cross his path. The God of Death had found a worthy disciple in the mysterious cloaked figure known as Andr, the harbinger of doom.
As the echoes of Andr's chants reverberated through the cavern, an otherworldly presence seemed to fill the air. The flickering flames cast dancing shadows upon the shrine, as if the God of Death himself was awakening to the devoted offerings. Andr's mind was consumed by a mixture of bloodlust and zeal, a dangerous cocktail that fueled his every action.
In the depths of his trance, visions flashed before Andr's closed eyes. He saw the faces of those who had wronged him, those who had dared to mark him for death. Their images intertwined with the swirling darkness, intertwining with the flickering fire. The whispered promises of power and vengeance echoed within his mind, urging him onward.
Andr rose from his seated position, his cloak billowing around him like a shroud of darkness. With the severed heads of his attackers still resting upon the shrine, he felt an insatiable hunger for more. His steps were swift and purposeful as he exited the cave, leaving the chilling stillness behind.
His journey took him through the grimy streets of the filthiest city, where the stench of decay hung heavy in the air. The city's denizens, ignorant of the brewing storm, went about their wretched lives, oblivious to the impending darkness that followed Andr's footsteps. He moved with the grace of a predator, his every movement exuding an aura of danger.
Word of Andr's merciless acts began to spread like wildfire through the city's underbelly. Whispers and rumours carried tales of a cloaked figure, an agent of death, who sought retribution against those who had sought to end his life. Fear grew in the hearts of those who heard these tales, their guilty consciences turning their own shadows into menacing spectres.
In the depths of the night, Andr's path led him to the doorstep of an old tavern, a haven for corruption and vice. Its patrons, a motley crew of thieves, cutthroats, and informants, were caught off guard by the cloaked figure's sudden arrival. Eyes widened and conversations ceased as they caught sight of Andr, his eyes gleaming with a glint of madness.
Without uttering a word, Andr lunged forward with his blade, striking down one adversary after another. The room erupted into chaos as screams of agony pierced the air. The tavern became a battlefield, a frenzy of violence and desperation. Andr moved with a deadly precision, his strikes finding their mark with unerring accuracy.
The night wore on as Andr left behind a trail of bloodshed and terror. Each life he claimed added fuel to the flames of his vengeful purpose. He became a ghostly legend, a boogeyman haunting the nightmares of those who heard his name whispered in the dark.
But amidst the chaos, a shadowy figure watched from the sidelines, his dark eyes burning with a mix of fascination and admiration. The old man who had orchestrated Andr's demise had been following his every move, a spectator to the symphony of death. The old man knew that he had created a monster, but he reveled in the chaos it unleashed.
As Andr's rampage continued, he became increasingly consumed by his bloodlust. The line between avenger and executioner blurred, until he became nothing more than a force of destruction, leaving devastation in his wake. The old man's plan had worked beyond his wildest expectations.
However, unbeknownst to Andr, his actions had not gone unnoticed by a clandestine group known as the Order of Balance. This organization believed in maintaining equilibrium in the world, ensuring that the forces of life and death remained in harmonious balance. They recognized the threat Andr posed, and they set their sights on ending his reign of terror.
And so, as Andr reveled in his gruesome dance of death, the Order of Balance prepared to confront him. Their agents, skilled in the arts of both combat and mysticism, gathered their forces, knowing that they would face a formidable opponent. For they understood that to restore balance, they would have to confront the embodiment of unbridled darkness that was Andr, the harbinger of doom.
And so, the stage was set for a confrontation that would shake the foundations of the filthiest city and test the very fabric of existence. A battle between light and shadow, life and death, that would determine the fate of all who dwelt within the city's decaying walls. In the midst of it all stood Andr, a figure of merciless fury, his destiny entwined with the God of Death himself.
As the forces of the Order of Balance prepared for the inevitable clash, whispers of their impending arrival reached Andr's ears. Rumours of powerful warriors, skilled in both martial and arcane arts, sent shivers down the spines of those who dared to speak Andr's name. The stage was set for a cataclysmic confrontation, and Andr could not help but feel a flicker of anticipation amidst his insatiable hunger for vengeance.
The fateful day arrived, and the city's grimy streets became the battleground for the ultimate struggle. The cloaked figure known as Andr, surrounded by an aura of darkness, stood at the heart of it all, ready to face the consequences of his blood-soaked path.
The agents of the Order of Balance, clad in garments of purity and wielding weapons forged from light itself, advanced towards Andr with a solemn determination. They moved in perfect harmony, their steps synchronizing with the beating of their collective heart, a testament to their unwavering unity.
Andr's eyes narrowed as he beheld his adversaries. There was no fear within him, only a smouldering fire fueled by the lives he had taken. He welcomed the challenge, for in his twisted perception, it validated his purpose, his devotion to the God of Death.
With a thunderous clash, the forces collided, the clash of steel and the crackle of arcane energies echoing through the streets. Andr moved with a savage grace, his movements like a deadly dance, as he unleashed his wrath upon the agents of balance. He fought with a ferocity born from his own personal demons, every strike fuelled by his insatiable desire to avenge the betrayal he had suffered.
But the agents of the Order were not easily swayed. They fought with unwavering discipline, their resolve unwavering. They channelled the forces of light and life, their blades emitting a radiant glow that clashed against Andr's shadowy aura. Blow after blow, spell after spell, the battle raged on, an epic struggle between two opposing forces.
As the clash continued, Andr's cloak was torn, his body marked by the scars of the encounter. But he pressed on, his determination unyielding, for he believed that the God of Death would reward his unwavering devotion with victory.
Yet, unbeknownst to Andr, a truth had been concealed from him. The God of Death was not merely a patron of destruction and chaos. The God of Death also symbolized the cyclical nature of life, the inevitability of transformation and rebirth. And it was this truth that the Order of Balance sought to restore in their battle against Andr.
The tides of the conflict began to turn, as the agents of balance tapped into their inner reservoirs of strength and harmony. Their attacks became more precise, their spells infused with an ethereal brilliance that pushed back the encroaching darkness.
Sensing the shifting balance, Andr's eyes widened with a mixture of rage and disbelief. The embodiment of death itself had forsaken him, turning its gaze upon the forces that sought to restore equilibrium. In a final act of defiance, Andr unleashed all his remaining fury, his strikes growing more desperate, fueled by a madness that threatened to consume him entirely.
But the agents of the Order held fast, their unity unbroken. They channelled the very essence of the world, the delicate balance between life and death. And with a final surge of collective strength, they incapacitated Andr, binding him in chains of mystic energy.
As the cloaked figure stood restrained before them, a mixture of rage, defeat, and realization flashed across Andr's eyes. In that moment, he understood that his quest for vengeance had led him astray, that his devotion to the God of Death had been a twisted obsession that had consumed his very being.
The agents of the Order of Balance, now surrounded by an air of solemnity, approached Andr with a mixture of compassion and resolve. They knew that his journey did not end with his capture, for there was still a chance for redemption, a chance for Andr to rediscover his place within the delicate tapestry of existence.
And so, they brought Andr to a place of reflection, a sanctuary of serenity where he could confront the darkness within himself. Guided by the agents of balance, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, seeking to reconcile the chaos that had driven him with the harmony that was his birthright.
It was a path fraught with challenges and internal battles, but Andr, once the harbinger of doom, embraced the opportunity for redemption. In the depths of his soul, he yearned to break free from the chains that bound him, to find a new purpose that transcended the boundaries of life and death.
And thus, the cloaked figure known as Andr, who had once spilled blood in the name of vengeance, began a new chapter. With the guidance of the Order of Balance, he embarked on a journey of self-redemption, seeking to restore the equilibrium he had so fervently disrupted.
The filthiest city, once plagued by darkness and despair, witnessed a glimmer of hope as Andr's story spread. It became a tale of transformation, a testament to the human capacity for growth and change. And as the city began to heal, the God of Death, observing from the shadows, silently acknowledged the lessons learned and the balance restored.
Andr, once a harbinger of doom, now stood as a guardian of equilibrium, a beacon of light within the depths of darkness. His journey was far from over, but he walked it with newfound purpose, his steps echoing with the resounding harmony of life and death entwined.
In the wake of his transformation, Andr emerged as a symbol of redemption and balance in the filthiest city. His actions inspired others to seek harmony within themselves and strive for a better existence. He became a mentor, guiding those who were lost, helping them find their own paths of redemption and self-discovery.
Together with the Order of Balance, Andr worked tirelessly to cleanse the city of its darkest elements. They dismantled criminal networks, bringing justice to those who had once thrived in the shadows. Under Andr's guidance, the city began to shed its reputation as a den of filth, gradually transforming into a place of hope and renewal.
But Andr's newfound purpose extended beyond the boundaries of the city. News of his redemption spread far and wide, reaching distant lands where despair and imbalance reigned. Travelling to these troubled regions, Andr became a beacon of light, challenging the forces of darkness and inspiring others to seek their own paths of equilibrium.
Through his teachings and actions, Andr instilled in others the understanding that life and death were intertwined, two sides of the same cosmic cycle. He emphasized the importance of embracing both aspects, for only by recognizing the beauty and inevitability of death could one fully appreciate the preciousness of life.
Years passed, and Andr's name became synonymous with balance and redemption. His tale transcended time and space, echoing through generations as a testament to the power of change and the resilience of the human spirit. Legends and songs were woven around his deeds, celebrating his journey from harbinger of doom to a champion of equilibrium.
Andr himself grew older, his hair touched by grey and his steps marked by the weight of his experiences. As he approached the twilight of his own life, he knew that his time in this mortal realm was drawing to a close. Yet, he was at peace, for he had fulfilled his purpose, leaving behind a legacy that would continue to shape the world long after he was gone.
On the eve of his final journey, Andr gathered those who had been touched by his teachings. He spoke to them of the importance of embracing balance, of cherishing every moment, and of the infinite possibilities that awaited beyond the veil of death. With his last breath, Andr imparted his final words of wisdom, his voice carrying the wisdom of a life well-lived.
And then, Andr closed his eyes, his body returning to the embrace of the earth. But his spirit lived on, woven into the fabric of existence, forever a reminder that even in the darkest of times, redemption and balance could be found.
And so, the legacy of Andr, the cloaked figure who had journeyed from the depths of darkness to the pinnacle of enlightenment, lived on. His story continued to inspire countless souls, guiding them toward their own paths of redemption and harmony. And as long as his tale was remembered, the world would carry within it the seeds of equilibrium, forever striving for the delicate balance between life and death.
submitted by VishvaShivnu to fiction [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:50 MazzaGazza13 Here is my dnd bloodborne inspired campaign I’ve made

So I have had a urge to make a bloodborne like dnd campaign for ages now but only recently found the time to write it up and I would appreciate any changes or feedback you guys have for it.
So we start at the beginning of time where only the old ones exist there are 4 old ones, The Conscious, The Finality, The Spirit and The Beginning they are beings that represent the whole universe and all dimensions. The beginning creates the material plane which is basically the earth but it’s currently just a big rock with some oceans. The Conscious gets greedy for power as they want to control everything so he kills The Finality and absorbs their power. The other old ones obviously don’t like this so they lock him in a slumber as he is too strong for them to kill and that could cause massive issues with the universe (we will get back to his slumber in a bit). The body of The Finality has this golden like ichor in it and it falls on the material plane, which creates life and the first set of mortals called the precursors.
So back to the slumber of The Conscious. Because they are so powerful their dreams make a new plane called the dreamlands which currently are an earth like place where mini old ones or Elder Children reside and they currently terrorise The Conscious’s own set of mortals by killing them and feeding of their essence. These first mortals find a way to slay the Elder Children and kill all of them they can find. They call themselves the first hunters or The Deos Timont (can’t remember the Latin for it but it’s something like that) after they believe they have killed all the elder children they lock all their knowledge in a vault deep underground to prevent any of it getting into the wrong hands but to be used if the elder children ever return. Turns out though the children never were extinct but just hidden as in the material plane, the precursors had begun to believe in gods and when a large sum of mortals believe in a deity that deity is created and these precursors are like “ your god is fake ours is real” and so they have this massive war over who has the real god or not and some of these gods see the pure emotion used in this war and manipulate the mortals to their will corrupting their power making them Daemons and creating a new plane called the deep. The spirit and the beginning see this happen and realise the harm of seeing these powerful beings so they make all mortals close their minds eye (the capability to see gods and other deities) so the hunters believe they have eliminated all the children when they just can’t see them. The children then go into slumber for a while due to their losses.
Then life in the dreamlands go on similar to normal life they develop their technology till a point that mimics early Victorian era of our world and there is this scientist called John huston who is dying, he wants to find a way to cure his illness in any way possible as he believes his mind to be valuable to the progression of mortal life. He first tries to find a way to move one’s mind into a inorganic one like a humanoid doll. He finds a few “willing” interns and tried to make them part of the doll but all the methods he tries are fruitless and all the subject die. So plan two, he finds some old texts about the old hunters and reads about a golden fluid that is in all life which they used to cure illnesses and wounds in battle but the book is ripped up so he struggles to find out much more about it except how it’s extracted, using special bone needles to extract it from other people. These special bone needles are from the corpses of the elder children so he gets an archaeological team and eventually they find the fossils of one of these children. He fashions it’s bones into the needles and again gets some “willing” subjects and extracts what he calls life blood from the body. The then consumes the lifeblood and his illness is cured shortly after. He sees the monetary value of selling this cure to the public and devises a way to get mass quantities of it. He would grab homeless if the street and criminals serving a life sentence from prisons with a few good bribes no one would question it and he then extracted and sold all the life blood to anyone with the money to buy it and all who consumed it also was cured of all illness and physical wounds like scars and deep wounds. Everything was great until a few weeks after the life blood was rolled out to the public and people started turning into beasts. People who had consumed large amounts of life blood would turning into even worse monsters that represented there darkest acts like a cop that turned a blind eye on a few missing homeless people became a large gluttonous beast with no eyes.
At a similar point in time in the material plane, daemons from the deep had found a way to enter the material plane and Caused the event called hells rage where they killed millions of mortals. Eventual they were pushed back and mortals recovered but they left many corpses of daemons which people started to use and one things they used were the bones and they found out how to extract life blood though those who had their life blood extracted didn’t die but had their mind moved to another body in the dream lands specially to a body that had unalived itself during the day the monsters came. These people are called hollow and are undead with the lack of blood they are stronger and more durable to mortals but have no memories of their bodies past life till they learn them through echos, places significant to the body can awaken these echos and tell the possessor who they were and how they died.
We begin with our party who are captured but a cult who extract their life blood and and make them hollow and they party has to traverse the dreamlands and find a way to return to their normal bodies.
Sorry for it being so long but this is a shortened version with lots missed out so if you want a part two I can cover more I have written. This is also still a work in progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated
submitted by MazzaGazza13 to bloodborne [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:48 MazzaGazza13 Here is my dnd bloodborne inspired campaign I’ve made

So I have had a urge to make a bloodborne like dnd campaign for ages now but only recently found the time to write it up and I would appreciate any changes or feedback you guys have for it.
So we start at the beginning of time where only the old ones exist there are 4 old ones, The Conscious, The Finality, The Spirit and The Beginning they are beings that represent the whole universe and all dimensions. The beginning creates the material plane which is basically the earth but it’s currently just a big rock with some oceans. The Conscious gets greedy for power as they want to control everything so he kills The Finality and absorbs their power. The other old ones obviously don’t like this so they lock him in a slumber as he is too strong for them to kill and that could cause massive issues with the universe (we will get back to his slumber in a bit). The body of The Finality has this golden like ichor in it and it falls on the material plane, which creates life and the first set of mortals called the precursors.
So back to the slumber of The Conscious. Because they are so powerful their dreams make a new plane called the dreamlands which currently are an earth like place where mini old ones or Elder Children reside and they currently terrorise The Conscious’s own set of mortals by killing them and feeding of their essence. These first mortals find a way to slay the Elder Children and kill all of them they can find. They call themselves the first hunters or The Deos Timont (can’t remember the Latin for it but it’s something like that) after they believe they have killed all the elder children they lock all their knowledge in a vault deep underground to prevent any of it getting into the wrong hands but to be used if the elder children ever return. Turns out though the children never were extinct but just hidden as in the material plane, the precursors had begun to believe in gods and when a large sum of mortals believe in a deity that deity is created and these precursors are like “ your god is fake ours is real” and so they have this massive war over who has the real god or not and some of these gods see the pure emotion used in this war and manipulate the mortals to their will corrupting their power making them Daemons and creating a new plane called the deep. The spirit and the beginning see this happen and realise the harm of seeing these powerful beings so they make all mortals close their minds eye (the capability to see gods and other deities) so the hunters believe they have eliminated all the children when they just can’t see them. The children then go into slumber for a while due to their losses.
Then life in the dreamlands go on similar to normal life they develop their technology till a point that mimics early Victorian era of our world and there is this scientist called John huston who is dying, he wants to find a way to cure his illness in any way possible as he believes his mind to be valuable to the progression of mortal life. He first tries to find a way to move one’s mind into a inorganic one like a humanoid doll. He finds a few “willing” interns and tried to make them part of the doll but all the methods he tries are fruitless and all the subject die. So plan two, he finds some old texts about the old hunters and reads about a golden fluid that is in all life which they used to cure illnesses and wounds in battle but the book is ripped up so he struggles to find out much more about it except how it’s extracted, using special bone needles to extract it from other people. These special bone needles are from the corpses of the elder children so he gets an archaeological team and eventually they find the fossils of one of these children. He fashions it’s bones into the needles and again gets some “willing” subjects and extracts what he calls life blood from the body. The then consumes the lifeblood and his illness is cured shortly after. He sees the monetary value of selling this cure to the public and devises a way to get mass quantities of it. He would grab homeless if the street and criminals serving a life sentence from prisons with a few good bribes no one would question it and he then extracted and sold all the life blood to anyone with the money to buy it and all who consumed it also was cured of all illness and physical wounds like scars and deep wounds. Everything was great until a few weeks after the life blood was rolled out to the public and people started turning into beasts. People who had consumed large amounts of life blood would turning into even worse monsters that represented there darkest acts like a cop that turned a blind eye on a few missing homeless people became a large gluttonous beast with no eyes.
At a similar point in time in the material plane, daemons from the deep had found a way to enter the material plane and Caused the event called hells rage where they killed millions of mortals. Eventual they were pushed back and mortals recovered but they left many corpses of daemons which people started to use and one things they used were the bones and they found out how to extract life blood though those who had their life blood extracted didn’t die but had their mind moved to another body in the dream lands specially to a body that had unalived itself during the day the monsters came. These people are called hollow and are undead with the lack of blood they are stronger and more durable to mortals but have no memories of their bodies past life till they learn them through echos, places significant to the body can awaken these echos and tell the possessor who they were and how they died.
We begin with our party who are captured but a cult who extract their life blood and and make them hollow and they party has to traverse the dreamlands and find a way to return to their normal bodies.
Sorry for it being so long but this is a shortened version with lots missed out so if you want a part two I can cover more I have written. This is also still a work in progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated
submitted by MazzaGazza13 to DarkWorldbuilding [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:46 MazzaGazza13 Here is my dnd bloodborne inspired campaign I’ve made

So I have had a urge to make a bloodborne like dnd campaign for ages now but only recently found the time to write it up and I would appreciate any changes or feedback you guys have for it.
So we start at the beginning of time where only the old ones exist there are 4 old ones, The Conscious, The Finality, The Spirit and The Beginning they are beings that represent the whole universe and all dimensions. The beginning creates the material plane which is basically the earth but it’s currently just a big rock with some oceans. The Conscious gets greedy for power as they want to control everything so he kills The Finality and absorbs their power. The other old ones obviously don’t like this so they lock him in a slumber as he is too strong for them to kill and that could cause massive issues with the universe (we will get back to his slumber in a bit). The body of The Finality has this golden like ichor in it and it falls on the material plane, which creates life and the first set of mortals called the precursors.
So back to the slumber of The Conscious. Because they are so powerful their dreams make a new plane called the dreamlands which currently are an earth like place where mini old ones or Elder Children reside and they currently terrorise The Conscious’s own set of mortals by killing them and feeding of their essence. These first mortals find a way to slay the Elder Children and kill all of them they can find. They call themselves the first hunters or The Deos Timont (can’t remember the Latin for it but it’s something like that) after they believe they have killed all the elder children they lock all their knowledge in a vault deep underground to prevent any of it getting into the wrong hands but to be used if the elder children ever return. Turns out though the children never were extinct but just hidden as in the material plane, the precursors had begun to believe in gods and when a large sum of mortals believe in a deity that deity is created and these precursors are like “ your god is fake ours is real” and so they have this massive war over who has the real god or not and some of these gods see the pure emotion used in this war and manipulate the mortals to their will corrupting their power making them Daemons and creating a new plane called the deep. The spirit and the beginning see this happen and realise the harm of seeing these powerful beings so they make all mortals close their minds eye (the capability to see gods and other deities) so the hunters believe they have eliminated all the children when they just can’t see them. The children then go into slumber for a while due to their losses.
Then life in the dreamlands go on similar to normal life they develop their technology till a point that mimics early Victorian era of our world and there is this scientist called John huston who is dying, he wants to find a way to cure his illness in any way possible as he believes his mind to be valuable to the progression of mortal life. He first tries to find a way to move one’s mind into a inorganic one like a humanoid doll. He finds a few “willing” interns and tried to make them part of the doll but all the methods he tries are fruitless and all the subject die. So plan two, he finds some old texts about the old hunters and reads about a golden fluid that is in all life which they used to cure illnesses and wounds in battle but the book is ripped up so he struggles to find out much more about it except how it’s extracted, using special bone needles to extract it from other people. These special bone needles are from the corpses of the elder children so he gets an archaeological team and eventually they find the fossils of one of these children. He fashions it’s bones into the needles and again gets some “willing” subjects and extracts what he calls life blood from the body. The then consumes the lifeblood and his illness is cured shortly after. He sees the monetary value of selling this cure to the public and devises a way to get mass quantities of it. He would grab homeless if the street and criminals serving a life sentence from prisons with a few good bribes no one would question it and he then extracted and sold all the life blood to anyone with the money to buy it and all who consumed it also was cured of all illness and physical wounds like scars and deep wounds. Everything was great until a few weeks after the life blood was rolled out to the public and people started turning into beasts. People who had consumed large amounts of life blood would turning into even worse monsters that represented there darkest acts like a cop that turned a blind eye on a few missing homeless people became a large gluttonous beast with no eyes.
At a similar point in time in the material plane, daemons from the deep had found a way to enter the material plane and Caused the event called hells rage where they killed millions of mortals. Eventual they were pushed back and mortals recovered but they left many corpses of daemons which people started to use and one things they used were the bones and they found out how to extract life blood though those who had their life blood extracted didn’t die but had their mind moved to another body in the dream lands specially to a body that had unalived itself during the day the monsters came. These people are called hollow and are undead with the lack of blood they are stronger and more durable to mortals but have no memories of their bodies past life till they learn them through echos, places significant to the body can awaken these echos and tell the possessor who they were and how they died.
We begin with our party who are captured but a cult who extract their life blood and and make them hollow and they party has to traverse the dreamlands and find a way to return to their normal bodies.
Sorry for it being so long but this is a shortened version with lots missed out so if you want a part two I can cover more I have written. This is also still a work in progress so any constructive criticism would be appreciated
submitted by MazzaGazza13 to worldbuilding [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:03 Ameabo Murderer x Onceler

Murderer x Onceler
Also the murderer’s anti-capitalism apparently
submitted by Ameabo to CharacterAI [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:24 Reptani Pray the Conquistadores, Ch. 13: Broken Puppet

First Previous Next
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
— Langston Hughes
Catalogue Description:
Self-Monitoring Behavioural Management Report: Casimir Szymański, Scazim Institute of Science and Technology - English Translation
15 Summer-2 3429 (Standard Parimthian Calendar)
November 23rd, 2162 (Gregorian Calendar)
Held by:
The UK National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record(s)
My father worshipped a fabricated, pagan prophet.
The Senghavi of the Parimthian Empire are principally joined under the ditheistic religion called Siedi, which I do not subscribe to. Of course, the Senghavi's literature, art, and faith flooded the whole of Earth upon their arrival a century ago. From this ocean of civilised culture, my degenerate species drew a sample, claimed it as our own, and polluted it with a distorted, appropriated, dumbed-down doctrine.
The central figure in this corrupt sample of Siedi was a man whom my father called Jesus Christ. He was said to have offered himself as a sacrifice that could be made to a single God. It was a final sacrifice, one beyond lambs or cattle or people. One that would atone for humanity's sins, so that we could have the free choice between the eternal presence of God and the eternal absence of "Him."
My father dressed himself in black, with a standing collar whose white fabric was exposed at the centre. That much, I could recall. He preached to hopeful humans in what was called a church, though I did not know what he was preaching. At the very least, my childhood is fuzzy in that regard.
The pain that throbbed through my skull, after the blonde savage had slammed my head against the ridges of the airlock, faded into the background. I could not focus; perhaps, I thought, one of their improvised explosives had gone off by accident. There was blue Senghavi blood staining my dress shirt. The rush of air escaping into vacuum pierced my ears.
Perhaps it was thirst of water, which binds most sapient beings—the Sons of Liberty had reached an agreement with the Colonial Defence Force to allow spacecraft delivering food, water, and medical aid, only to unleash the anti-collision lasers of this cursed spaceliner upon those very ships.
Or perhaps it was the explosion, as I initially thought, an inadvertent complication which had wrought injury and death over my countrymen, and which had forced the terrorist savages to attempt to patch up the many hull breaches left by debris.
Or perhaps it was simply the stress of betraying, in my desperate efforts to save everyone from this senseless violence, the greatest secret of the Senghavi Terrans: our antimatter research. Word of it had likely been forwarded already, hundreds of light-years away, to that pink-hued marble which was Parimth itself.
Or perhaps it was all three; thirst, explosion, and stress. In any case, my mind shut it all out, and something lost from my childhood flashed before me:
We're standing on the cracked street of the Vennec Human Reservation. In the distance, the Senghavi's white, glassy spires reach above the clouds, their accents of luminescence dim in the broad daylight.
I hold a ball in my palm. It's wrapped in white leather held together with red stitching. I toss it to Dad.
Instead of his clerical uniform, he wears the normal "T-shirt" and "cargo shorts." Along with the clerical getup, they are just two of the many sorts of clothing which the Senghavi have invented for humanity. I toss the ball to Dad, and he swings a primitive wooden bat.
The ball goes soaring, further than he meant to. He jogs down the road to retrieve it, then gives me the wooden bat. The breeze ruffles his hair just as he ruffles mine with his hand.
"Now, you try," he says. "It's just practice, that's all."
For some reason, he lifts one leg in the air, then pitches the ball to me. I swing. The impact of the ball shakes through the wood, and it goes careening off to the left.
"I did it!" I yell. "But it went out of bounds."
"Heyyyy, that's not bad," Dad says with a reassuring voice. "Good job, just try to go a little more right next time."
Mom comes out onto the front porch, the breeze ruffling her dress as she waves to Dad. "Dinner's ready, and Mom's pie is... almost ready."
I stare blankly at her until I realise that she is talking about her Mom, Grandma, who is the best at making pumpkin pie.
"The pie!" I shout, running and jumping to the front door. "I totally forgot about that!"
I am ready to speed my way through dinner just so I can get to dessert, but Dad stops me before my first bite.
Of course, I think. We need to say grace. Me, Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa all hold hands, thanking God for our food, and then dig in. But Mom and Dad just talk about work, and I am too focused on finishing my food quickly to pitch in.
Finally—Grandma's pie!
When you bite into the soft, smooth filling, you can instantly tell it's been made with fresh pumpkins, not the boring canned ones. The taste of cinnamon and spice is balanced out perfectly with the coolness of the whipped cream.
The flavour spreads through my tongue and nostrils, filling my entire brain with a feeling of amazing-ness. If I wrote the Simple-Speak Dictionary for Senghavi Terrans, I'd put Grandma's pie next to the translation of "perfection."
I should save a slice, I think, for the Senghavi kid.
Even though it's only been a week since I met him through the playground fence, we already told each other where we live, and I want to get to know him more. He doesn't live on the Vennec Human Reservation, but his house is just a bike-ride away in Fellye Neighborhood.
I wonder if anyone's ever given pumpkin pie to an alien before. Even though humans only invented it fifty years ago, it makes me feel proud of my species!
When Mom tucks me into bed, kissing my forehead, I tell her what I'm going to do.
"Oh, you wild thing," she coos. "You're so much like your father. And you have his eyes, you know? Just stay safe."
"Don't worry, I'll do my best."
>! "Good night. I love you." !<
>! "I love you, too, Mom," I say. I hug her tightly from my bed, and a warm, fuzzy feeling blossoms within me. I can hardly fall asleep in my excitement. !<
Luckily, Fellye Neighborhood doesn't take apartheid that seriously, and I don't think anybody cares about an eight year-old human riding his bicycle around the gates.
Next evening, I do just that, peddling out of the Reservation's entrance into the violet dusk. When I get to Mensim's address, I ring the hi-tech front doorbell, and a really tall Senghavi shows up.
"Oh, dear," she says in Parimthian. "A barbarian hatchling—by what name do you go?"
"I'm Casimir," I say nervously. I don't pay that much attention in school, but I know just enough Parimthian to talk to the Senghavi woman. "Are you Mrs. Munghazi? Is Mensim fe Munghazi here? I got two slices of pie. You can have one, too!"
She looks at me suspiciously, antennae twitching. "That would be Teacher Munghazi to you; I know not why you natives invented these odd 'Mister' and 'Missis' honorifics. Hold on—Ghanvati! A native hatchling stands at our doorstep!"
Ghanvati must be Mensim's dad. I wonder where his other moms are; only one has shown up to the door. Ghanvati shows up with two of them—they are both shorter and daintier than Teacher Munghazi, their raptorial forelimbs folded shyly against their bodies. In front of the group of three is Mensim, and I involuntarily gasped with excitement.
"This is your new companion?" Ghanvati asks Mensim.
Mensim's papery forewings flicker with affirmation. "I met him at school."
"What, pray tell, is the point of apartheid if it does not actually keep natives away from Senghavi?" whines one of Ghanvati's wives.
Ghanvati's antennae droop as if to say "I don't know," while Mensim lifts my arms, inspecting me like I am a test animal in a mad scientist's laboratory.
"How do you guys not get cut all the time?" he asks, tracing his tarsal hairs over my bare skin. "You're so fleshy!"
"I do get cut all the time," I giggled. "We just use band-aids. Oh, do you wanna eat a pumpkin pie?"
It turned out that pumpkin pie is bad for alien stomachs. Mensim had to go to the bathroom for a long time, and three of his moms got mad at me.
When I got back, Dad and Mom were arguing. I snuck close to the back porch, making sure they couldn't hear me.
"Yes, they leave some people alone," Dad said. "Obviously, they can't spy on every single human who believes in human religions. But Katarzyna, they still need people to make an example out of, and I don't want to be that person!"
"Casimir is a responsible kid," Mom retorts. "I told him he can't tell anyone what you do, and he listens to me."
"He's eight years old. You can't just let him wander around aliens with a secret that could have me killed! Or have you killed!"
Mom cups Dad's cheek and looks him in the eye. She's a lot shorter than him. "Look, love. You're a great father, and I think it's amazing that you spend time with him. But you're the only person he talks to. You know just as well as I do that he needs to talk to other kids! It's not healthy; even Teacher Perevvoxath agreed. And now he finally has a friend."
Dad sighs, running his hands through his black hair. My hair. "You really think aliens are a substitute for human interaction?"
>! "I think every human needs a person they can talk to, and Casimir found one. If you really care about him, stop preaching for a while! Your church isn't gonna die without you. It'll be okay." !<
The next day, I visit Mensim's house after school again. And the next day after that, and the next after that. His dad Ghanvati is formally named Engineer Munghazi. I am to call his moms Teacher Munghazi, Teacher Munghazi, Teacher Munghazi, Accountant Munghazi, Priestess Munghazi, Doctor Munghazi, and Maidservant Munghazi.
A couple weeks later, Mensim and I are lounging together on his couch, watching a Parimthian war movie. The main characters are fighting against the evil forces of the Imperium of Orion. Under his head capsule, Mensim is munching something called Synth-Fruit, which is imported from a faraway planet called Mryi. I eat Pop-Tarts, which I'm pretty sure are toxic to him.
"Come on, just give me one," Mensim exclaims, reaching over to steal the sweet snacks from me. "It can't be that bad!"
I lift the Pop-Tarts away from him, laughing. "Stoppit, you're attacking me! Pay attention to the movie, or I'm gonna shoot you!"
"But I just want one..."
"It's gonna poison you, and you're gonna get your weird alien throw-up all over me!"
Priestess Munghazi, the oldest of his moms, bursts into the living room, her jewellery clinking over her clerical cape.
"Your sister conveyed to me quite the disturbing piece of news, Mensim," Priestess Munghazi cries. "The father of Casimir is a priest of a most barbarous and evil perversion of the Siedi faith. Ghanvati and I spoke, and we agreed that you are not to consort with this primitive, pagan savage any longer."
I drop my crumbly Pop-Tart on the couch, confused at the sudden order.
"But Priestess Munghazi, I'm not dangerous or evil. I'm just a kid."
"Nonsense! You are dangerous; your father is a barbarian worshipper of this evil, primate paganism that is called Christianity, and a most woeful effect is begot that even self-respecting Senghavi have 'gone native,' as they say. Mensim, if you continue to consort with this native spawn, I will be impelled to inform the Siedi Court, and they may by chance see to it that he is executed!"
"W-Wait!" Mensim says, holding up the remote to pause our movie. He gets off of me, suddenly losing interest in my Pop-Tart, his vestigial forewings rising with concern. "Please, Mother. I promise he won't be any trouble."
My blood runs cold. Dad, executed? Just because what he believes in isn't "civilised" enough? Actually, I thought that Mom told him to stop preaching for a while.
Mensim scrambles to *his father's sleeping quarters, and I trail frantically after him.*
"Father," Mensim says. "Is Casimir's father's job so ghastly that he should be executed by the Siedi Court?"
"We can't just let the natives spread the same barbarous religions that they used to kill each other," Ghanvati replies, his secondary arms clasped together. "It's a threat to safe, moral society. Priestess Munghazi told me his father spreads evil and paganism. I have no reason not to trust the oldest of your mothers."
"But Casimir's my best friend! If you tell the Siedi Court about his father, I'll... I'll run away! I'll hate you!"
Distressed vibrations emanate through the floor beneath my feet; Mensim's antennae and papery forewings and hindwings go limp. Something like lilies and the earthy scent of rain fills the air.
"My dearest Mensim," Ghanvati says softly, dipping his head capsule with compassion. "I will hold off, just this once. It would be apt of you not to cause me to reconsider."
"T-thank you, Engineer Munghazi," I say, wiping my own tears. "My dad's not a bad person, I promise."
After confronting his dad, Mensim and I keep on watching movies and playing digital games. He always wins when we wrestle, but I still haven't given up (even though Priestess Munghazi always tells us to stop roughhousing).
I even bring my Lego pieces to his house. He doesn't know what Legos are, but later, in his sleeping quarters, we build together. He makes a cool-looking spaceship that he calls a "negative energy generator."
"Hey, you took all the cool black and grey pieces," I complain. "Now I can't finish my army base!"
"This is cooler than your army base," Mensim says proudly. "Father used to work in one. It uses the superposition of squeezed vacuum states to produce a field of negative energy density."
"I have no idea what that means, but that sounds really smart."
"No kidding! It's how people make wormholes and fly all the way to other stars."
"Well, my army guys could beat your negative energy-thingy. They have machine guns."
"My guys could just fly a [~million billion trillion kilometres] away, and yours can't do anything about it!"
"Then your guys are wimps. But my guys aren't. Because they're the Army!"
>! We also explore the pine forest in his backyard. Within just two more weeks, we have uncovered all sorts of interesting things, like a piece of a real human skull. One time, we found a human foot sculpted and smoothed out of stone—who would make such a thing?—and a dead metal device with the icon of a bitten-out-of apple printed on it. !<
There were also other human body parts made out of ancient stone, too: the cracked half of a man's face buried a foot deep, a muscly arm sticking out of the soil. Even a private part, which I snickered at, though Mensim seemed unfazed.
There is something else we start to do. My parents have given me "the talk," and Mensim told me that his parents gave him the Senghavi version of it. And so even as we talk and play in the woods, we experiment—because we are curious, and why should we not be?
A fragment of a memory in the forest; Mensim's raptorial forelimbs are set on my shoulders as his compound eyes look into my primate eyes, and he says, "You cannot tell anyone about this. Anyone. Absolutely no one."
I don't know how, but Priestess Munghazi learned of what we were doing, and now she expresses anger and disgust alike, her wings and antennae wild and rigid. Ghanvati is the same. Mensim and I... We're actually making them reconsider their decision not to tell the Siedi Court about my dad.
A fragment of a memory... I feel like I am in space, stranded aboard a spaceliner that has been hijacked by terrorists, its atmosphere venting amid a backdrop of violence... But I am not, I am in the forest that Mensim and I talked and played in; I am in Mensim's home, terrified as I am yelled at by Ghanvati, whose compassion no longer shines through, accompanied by Priestess Munghazi.
"By the names of the Gods, it's those false, pagan corruptions which humans have named as their religions, that are spouted by your father," Priestess Munghazi spits. I am teary-eyed and snot-nosed from guilt and embarrassment. "How horrid is the link between the state of barbarism and a most revolting and shameful propensity for bizarre and perverted behaviour!"
Then I am in my own family's living room, and the mom I love so dearly yells at me, too, but my father is quieter and only seems disappointed. This must be the first time in my life that I have felt true shame, I think; the kind that leaves you with an emptiness inside. Like the whole point of existing just vanished inside of me.
The worst part is that I cannot even lean on Mom's shoulder, because she is distressed—because she knows what will happen—
"This is all on you, Casimir!" she screeches, tears in her eyes. "All on you!"
I remember telling Priestess Munghazi that 'I'm not dangerous or evil; I'm just a kid,' but now I can't be sure anymore. I can tell I am different in the eyes of my family. They are disgusted by me.
It is my fault, after all, that Priestess Munghazi tells the Siedi Court of my father's evil, barbaric Christian teachings.
The Parimthian soldiers bring my father to the gallows. Their snow-white exoskeletons gleam under a burning sun. They have dressed him in his clerical uniform, and the camera is close enough that I can see his cross necklace.
I have been grounded in my room; still, I have a television to see the live broadcast.
Hanging works for primates and mantids alike. It happens in the Forum of Movvaeti, the venue for public events in our area, where my father is a lesser criminal compared to the native leaders and Senghavi malcontents who have dissented from Colonial Governor Nieve fe Skellth.
He is joined with seven other convicts, three humans and four Senghavi, and their crimes are read to the crowd—blasphemy, paganism, monogamy, witchcraft, seditious libel, insulting the Parimthian Crown, treason against the Parimthian Crown, and refusal to quarter Parimthian soldiers.
Why? None of this feels right. Why should my father be killed because of what he says and believes? Why can't these people be judged with fairness, rather than at the whim of some distant space emperor?
Not only have I been grounded, but I grow cold without my mother's touch. I want to hold someone's hand while watching Dad lose his life, but nobody is there. Mom brings me food, but she doesn't even look at me. Why can't she look at me? Why can't she speak to me? I just want things to be the way they used to be, when Dad would help me practise hitting a ball with a bat on the street.
I watch him turn down a caped, bejewelled priestess of the Siedi faith, who thought she could make my dad accept their Gods before his death. Before a modest crowd of humans and Senghavi alike, all eight of the convicts have their arms and legs bound with rope.
I am begging myself to turn the TV off, but I can't bring myself to. The Senghavi executioner uses some kind of hi-tech display to remove the supports from beneath the convicts' feet. My stomach flips over inside of me, a nausea of shame filling my body.
I can't deny it any longer. This is my fault—this is why my family avoids me—this is why they are disgusted by me—and Dad falls and his head jerks when the noose goes taut.
As he hangs there, I cannot tell for how long he remains alive. My insides are cold. After the broadcast ends, after night falls and I sit in the moonlight spilling faintly through my windows, that is when it all comes out. I sob alone. I scream for Mom to help me and be there for me, but she does not come. Her harsh voice resonates through my memory; this is all on me. I am a disgrace to everyone I love, and that is why they have left me here. Why they avoid me as if I am a disease.
The only thing I want is to see Dad again, but he is gone forever. I curl up on my room floor. What is this? What is this loneliness? This stinging hatred I feel against myself?
No one, human or mantid, will be there for me. I cry until my throat cannot ache any more harshly, until my eyes cannot sting any more painfully, and then I go cold inside, my body shivering in the moonlight. I retreat into my happy memories with Dad until it is too painful to bear.
I wish so dearly I could end it all, to take my own life and join Dad in the heaven that he believed in. There is a belt in my closet that I can use on myself in the way the Siedi Court killed Dad.
But beneath the sickly well of shame, the nausea and crushing humiliation at the stupid antics of Mensim and I, with which Mom's brief gaze pierces me—beneath the weight of knowing that I will never fill the torturous vacuum Dad left, knowing that I am a foul and disgusting son to the mother I so desperately need, that I see no end to the infinite river of anxiety and guilt pouring through the hole left in my heart—beneath my isolation and my longing for human touch—something breaks inside of me.
An emptiness of purpose. There is no point in going on, and I feel nothing, not even the desire to stop living. There is one exception: A hatred of myself, and of the humans I loved as family.
One day, Mom appears in my doorway, and she just stands there. Before, I would've welcomed being offered interaction with her beyond just receiving food, but now I am numb, my eyes all out of tears to cry.
"Pack your things," she says, her voice flat. She still doesn't look at me; the eyes she once said I inherited from Dad, she now shuns. "You're going to a residential school."
Indigenous Residential Schools; that is what Colonial Governor Nieve fe Skellth calls them, I think. They're for human kids who have trouble letting go of their "savage" roots; kids that the normal schools aren't enough to civilise. Schools that show you how to act Senghavi, to think Senghavi, to... be Senghavi.
There was a human kid in normal school whose sister went there, but they said that something had happened to her there; something in that residential school had changed her before she finally returned.
But I feel no fear as I pack my clothes into my bags. Every time I look in my bedroom mirror, a violent feeling rushes to my chest, only to dissipate into the hatred-tinged numbness I have grown so used to.
Finally, the time comes to depart. In the early morning, I am already aboard the autonomous public transport. It pulls out of the cracked street I once played with Dad in, passing by the entrance of Fellye Neighborhood, driving off into the fiery, violet Terran dawn. I see my faded reflection in the window, and my chest jumps with revulsion.
So I look down, fidgeting with my touchpad—then the numbness abruptly leaves, and my tears fall once again.
Forgive me for all the redaction, Doctor Morgthax. While I will not disclose what I wrote, you are correct, as always, about the act of writing. There is some semblance of psychological relief in typing one's sullen inner thoughts onto a touchpad. As if one can be heard without being heard.
By the time I drifted back to reality, my mouth and lips dry from dehydration, the hijackers had patched up the holes punched through the hull by the accidental explosion. Plenty of Senghavi passengers were spilling cerulean blood from beneath their exoskeletal coverings; though they were all alive, they needed medical attention.
Two hundred-something Senghavi civilians aboard this luxury spaceliner, and none had yet died. That stroke of luck offered me a glimmer of hope.
Pavok, the child, was emitting vibrations through the floor in his despair, the smell of rain and lilies becoming evident to me. It is starkly fascinating, the evolutionary dissimilarity between how native Terrans and Senghavi Terrans cry.
Those ships were delivering medical aid and critical provisions to the passengers, Commander Lokprel barked, the neutrino signals that encoded his gruff voice coming out from the intercom. Why did you laser them?
"Stop playing games," Jake snapped wearily into his radio. I recalled that his full name was Jacob Weaver, as Commander Lokprel had mentioned. A drop of blood streaked down his face. "We know what you're up to."
Paranoia will get you nowhere, Jacob. If we don't work with each other, you won't survive. We have detected an explosion aboard the spaceliner. Is anyone dead?
"Not yet," Jake growled. "But Fenni Svim will be if your forces keep approaching!"
Fenni Svim—the Senghavi from the Vellir Veneti Physics Lab, against whose skull Jake had pressed his pistol to halt the CDF's initial approach, hours ago—stiffened in her seat. I had never known the nuclear researcher very well before this barbarous event, but I prayed to the Gods of Siedi (whom I do not really believe in) that she would be okay.
Many of the passengers were still being kept by the windows to deter snipers. They included Pavok, behind whom Khadija stood guard.
"Sorry for attacking you," Jake suddenly said to me, his voice worn-out. "It's like Khadija said. The bugs know that humans are strong when they're united. It's why they try to play us against ourselves, to ally with just some of us, to try to make us hate each other; to hate ourselves. It's how they tore the United States apart. Everything they do... It's to make us ashamed of our species, our own culture, to lose hope in the future. If we were united, Casimir... they'd be terrified of us. And make no mistake—we're uniting again."
"E-even if what you say about mankind is true," I croaked, "Our species would not have settled anywhere but Earth. Our culture and history would still have been negligible and primitive, the richness and complexity of the Senghavi, still greater by many orders of magnitude."
"Casimir, did you go to one of the Indigenous Residential Schools?" Khadija asked.
"Y-yes," I managed, dusting off my formal wear and cleaning my glasses. "I was sent to one as a child. They are for those of us savage natives which conventional education could not sufficiently civilise."
Khadija's eyes softened with compassion, and she gestured to my wrist. "I asked because of that code on your wrist. I've heard about some of the things that happen in those places. The cruelty; the abuse."
I glanced at the abstract identification code tattooed onto my skin, faded with time. I hadn't thought about it in ages; it was but a remnant of my childhood, and I never paid it any attention.
"Residential schooling is necessary and proper," I tell her. "It is similar to human-mantid apartheid in its purpose; it keeps the public safe from savagery. "
"If we get out of this alive, I'm gonna take you with me to Russia," she said, wiping sweat from her brow. "Specifically, Moscow. It's where I lived after the fall of Türkiye. Man controls it, not the Senghavi."
I was already aware that a vast, untamed region named Zvorriu-Sai, located in Earth's northeastern quarter-sphere, is called Russia in simple-speak. A decade ago, Nieve fe Skellth had tried to civilise the hunter-gatherers who lived there, but his troops starved and froze in the snow.
It was with the multitude of planetary habitat fabricators that his army had been using that the native primates of Zvorriu-Sai constructed such cities as Moscow or Saint Petersburg.
"Russian civilization goes back over a millennium," Khadija explained. "I don't give a fuck about what the Senghavi have built on this planet; Russian architecture is my favourite, hands down. Anyway, it's the most stable and self-sufficient of the ten countries we've got left. Hard to invade, you know? It's seen better days, but the cities are nice, the economy is good. I think you'll find it's a hell of a lot less 'savage' than whatever the fuck the Parimthian Empire is doing."
To corroborate her claims, she showed me a photo from the gallery of her cracked, dusty touchpad. Before a busy canal, the waters tinted orange by a rising sun, a more relaxed version of her smiled into the camera alongside some human of the phenotype I had seen in the video of Tokyo. Looming over them was an intricate, palatial structure topped with colourful, onion-shaped domes.
"How... quaint," I replied, unsure of what to say, though it ignited dry laughter in Khadija.
"Looks like we got a communiqué from the UN," another hijacker announced, his mask still covering his face. I couldn't place his accent at all. He held up his own touchpad, displaying photos of the Colonial Governor herself—Perellanth fe Sumur—flanked by armed UN military personnel. They were clad in urban camouflage that was marred with blood. The black, plant-like extraterrestrial gazed defeatedly in the sterile lighting.
The UN had captured her! The Crown's decision to appoint a Vire as the leader of a Senghavi colony had been no small event. I was certain that after all the talk of Senghavi Terran independence, then followed by the Colonial Governor's capture, His Imperial Majesty regretted his progressivist decision.
"We... We did it!" Jake exclaimed, his voice disbelieving. "We took down Perellanth!"
You achieved nothing, Commander Lokprel retorted over the intercom. Not beyond the promotion of Benghoviu fe Prim to Acting Colonial Governor. If you kill Governor Sumur, Governor Benghoviu will become the permanent Colonial Governor as per the chain of command, and he will carry on the fine work of his predecessor.
Jake seemed to consider that situation a fair one, and he nodded to himself subtly. "Okay, sure. But if you do nothing, we'll still kill our first hostage."
What I can promise you is that Delegate Essintsya fe Baryn will submit an Act to the Forum of Delegates to recognize the sovereignty of the UN. It will be deliberated over for months, but it is your only realistic option. In return, we demand that you allow the passengers injured by one of your explosives to board CDF medical ships.
I recalled that the Forum of Delegates had voted Benghoviu fe Prim as Vice Colonial Governor just a year ago. And before even that, the Senghavi who lived on Vennec—my home continent on Earth—had popularly elected the ever-prudent Essintsya fe Baryn to the Forum. She was quite the economic liberal, as her sort was called.
Delegate Baryn's statements on the social contract between a people and their government, as well as her rejection that the Parimthian Crown ruled by divine right, had resonated deeply with me.
Jake's eyes hardened, and he turned his radio back on. "I said no games!"
There are no games here, Jacob! We only aim to preserve as much sapient life as possible. And you are out of options.
The hijacker who had shown Colonial Governor Sumur's prison photo gave Jake a withering look. "We're dragging this on, man. I don't want anyone to die."
"Don't talk to me about death, Ramiro. Not after what happened in the US."
The so-called United States of America... called Gholo Vieda in Parimthian. That region was Nieve fe Skellth's last successful conquest before he attempted to take on the vast, snowy expanses of Zvorriu-Sai. I wondered if, like Khadija's experience in Türkiye in the Niethvahi region, Jake had witnessed firsthand the cultural assimilation and political integration of Gholo Vieda into the rest of Parimthian Earth.
The conquest of Gholo Vieda and Niethvahi were the great accomplishments of Perellanth's predecessor, of course; but, in my opinion, the devotion of the (now captured) Perellanth to the causes of liberty, reason, equality, and sapientism far outshadowed anything that Nieve had done. I am certain, however, that the Parimthian Crown disagrees.
In any case, my faith in CDF Commander Lokprel loth Fonvie had not risen. Perhaps that was a good thing; otherwise, I might have regretted betraying the knowledge of antimatter research in order to elicit a more competent Parimthian intervention.
More security forces took up positions around the spaceliner, each ship split sharply into sunlight and shadow amid the black of space. The hijacker called Ramiro pointed to a series of smaller craft, which seemed to be pulling away from the luxury spaceliner. Escape pods!
"Hostages are falling through our fingers," Ramiro said. "We need to do something."
"Go to the rear," Khadija ordered. "Stop anyone else from sneaking out!"
Jake's radio crackled with the voice of someone in the cockpit. We've intercepted a neutrino transmission from the new guy, Benghoviu fe Prim. He's calling for some kind of emergency council at the highest levels in the Parimthian Empire.
I scoffed internally. The Crown would intervene for the sake of investigating all this talk of antimatter, whose alluring utility had hitherto been confined to theory and fiction. But it was doubtful that His Imperial Majesty would agree to an emergency council for the sake of his colonists' security and well-being. As (relatively) progressivist as he was in policy, he was still very much a punitive emperor, not a rewarding one.
"I told the commander to stop advancing—dammit!" Jake spat. "We're only letting medical craft get any closer. Fire at the corvettes!"
Affirmative, his radio crackled. Targets in sight.
The spaceliner's anti-collision lasers flashed against several faraway spacecraft. A succession of oxygen-fueled fires, each lasting for a [~split-second] against the vacuum of space, flared in the distance. Even so, the growing array of naval craft began to close in upon us again, surrounding the spaceliner in every dimension.
Switching again to the neutrino-connected channel, Jake gave a disgusted scowl. "Are you deaf, Commander? If your people keep getting closer, the deal is off!"
The more you fire, the closer we will get, Lokprel said. We are just making sure it is safe for the medical craft. As long as you refrain from harming them, we will not hurt you.
The hijacker in the cockpit radioed to Jake again, her voice sounding more alarmed.
We're picking up a massive object on our scanners. It's headed our way.
"How massive are we talking?" Jake asked.
It's... some kind of warship, I think. Over a hundred times our size.
"You're joking, right?"
"A Parimthian spacecraft carrier," murmured a soft, whimpery voice.
It was Fenni Svim again, her praying raptorial forelimbs tucked close in fear.
"The Imperial Parimthian Navy?" I asked. "They're really here?"
"Y-you shouldn't act surprised," Fenni said. "I know you were speaking to someone on the P-Parimthian side. You leaked our greatest secret, Casimir."
"What's she talking about, dude?" Khadija asked. Suspicion of betrayal lingered in her dark eyes. She had believed the lie that I was only calling a loved one when I contacted Mensim, >! who is at present an agent of Parimth!<; she had trusted me, and defended me against Jake's wrath.
I didn't answer. The very reason we needed antimatter was that the colonists' outerspace spanned but a meagre few millionths of the Parimthian Empire's total volume. I did not know what exactly a spacecraft carrier one hundred times the size of our spaceliner could do for the hostages, but it would be far more competent than the comparatively flimsy Colonial Defence Force.
Finally, after so many years of strategic modesty in the administration of the Crown's distant colony, of his Earth, as His Imperial Majesty suffered expense upon expense in countering the Imperium of Orion... Parimth had sent a warship of the Imperial Parimthian Navy, here in full force!
There was no need to inquire as to its distance; I could see it through my window. It was far enough that I could view the whole of its great form. Senghavi architecture, of course, is usually round, white, and glassy, traced with glowing accents; however, the imperial warship was boxy and shadowy black, visible only by the silhouette that it carved into the beaming sun.
Already, dozens of smaller craft—operated by some of the finest Senghavi pilots in the Milky Way—began spilling out from the spacecraft carrier, moving in the shadow of their gargantuan mothership. As even the hostage passengers became aware of its presence, the muted chatter and whimpering, which had been ambient across the aisles of the spaceliner, finally ceased.
Because of me, all of us—colonists and savages alike—were, for the first time in a decade, going to face a military intervention by Parimth itself.
submitted by Reptani to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 00:05 wolfinwaiting1067 To Look Back

To Look Back
As I kneel before the statue of the Miracle, I am consumed by regret. Regret for all the lives I have taken in the name of my faith. Regret for all the pain and suffering I have caused in my blind devotion to the miracle.
I remember each face, each scream, each drop of blood shed by my hand. I can feel their accusing stares even now as I pray for forgiveness. But can forgiveness truly be granted for such unspeakable acts?
I had believed that what I was doing was right, that it was necessary to cleanse our land of sin and corruption. But now, as I reflect upon my actions, I realize how misguided and foolish I was.
My heart is heavy with sorrow and shame as I offer up my prayers to the Miracle. Will it hear me? Will it forgive me? Or am I forever bound to carry the weight of my sins upon my soul?
I vow to make amends, to seek out those whom I have wronged and try to make things right. But will it be enough? Can anything truly erase the stain of guilt from my conscience?
As I rise from my knees and continue on my journey, a sense of hopelessness settles over me. Can redemption truly be attained when one has committed such unspeakable acts? Only time will tell...
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2023.05.31 23:47 Avaoln Hades vs Post R3 Kojiro: The Case for Hades(!)

There was a post about Hades vs post R3 Kojiro and I wanted to present the case for why Hades could/ would win or at the very least why it would be a tough match.
To start I think people are seriously underestimating Hades.
Speed: It is probably the most misunderstood. Hades has the same, if not more, thrust speed as Poesidon (Poe), but less thrust per second. However, his trust are so powerful that the air pressure was enough to damage a defensive fighter like Qin, who was clad in armor (unlike Kojiro).
Think of a bullet fired from one gun (high caliber) vs a bullet fired from 10 (low caliber). No significant difference between their firing speed but one will turn you into Swiss chess and the other will bisect you.
And this makes sense logically because what makes a thrust fast? The amount of energy (aka muscle contraction) you put into it. There is no reason for Hades to have a slower thrust. What makes Poe so dangerous is he can shart out 1,000s of thrusts at the same time it takes Hades to fire out 10s (that is he has a lot more movement speed).
According to Zeus, Hades is stronger, faster, and has more combat Iq than Qin. This makes sense given the post R7 chapter was "How did Qin even win? - The peanut gallery" and the number of direct counters/ Hax Qin has.
If Kojiro gets his post R3 power-up, I think it is fair to give Hades a few things that would just be logical in this scenario:

  1. He has some idea of what happened in round 3. I think it is very likely he would ask "How did Poe die". He may not know exactly how Kojiro won (eg: his scanning ability) but has about the same knowledge an audience member would be able to give him. IF he asks Zeus (most likely option) he may know more (eg: scanning).

  1. Given Hades would be in the netherworld up till now, Kojiro would not know about him or his fighting abilities.

  1. Hades would not screw around, he would go for the kill ASAP much like he did with Qin. Even more so because he is fighting the dude who actually killed Poe and not a representative.
Mindset/ Tactics/ Battle IQ:
I think this is what will decide the fight actually.
Hades is the complete opposite to Poseidon and his fighting style is tactical, direct, and very tough to counter if you don’t have certain answers to his offense.
In his fight with Qin, he essentially executes a combo that pushes Qin to the back of the area (compensating for his movement speed) and forces him into a combo-kill (Basic volley to P. Hammer into P. Roa) that would otherwise end the fight there (he didn't know about Qin's redirection). He then, in the very next bout finds a way to overcome Qin's redirect (P. Titan).
Qin then pulls out another super duper hidden ninja technique (Air Bullet) and Hades figures it out pretty fast as well (both with the windmill and covering himself in the blood). The point is, much like Kojiro, Hades is a genius of adaptability (aka: Yoichi Isagi).
Hades is also, again-much like Kojiro, a weapons master and has "complete mastery" over his Bident/ Spear. This is important for my next point, and what I think will decide the match.
He also has a very unique aptitude to adjust weapon strikes **and technique** mid-combat/ strike (idk if anyone here trains with weapons but that is very very very hard to do and pretty much unseen in RoR universe save, ironically, Kojiro - though his is more or less part of a technique). He did this to counter Qin’s air bullet once he could detect it.
This is why I think Hades could very well win in the first exchange. Kojiro would need to go through the scanning processes with Hades.
Given Hades is so adept at picking things up (especially if he has preround knowledge) I think it is very likely he would be able to adjust his technique mid-combat to counter being scanned. After all, he gave Bez (another very intelligent fighter) a hard time.
The biggest reason Poe lost is he was way too arrogant and gave Kojiro time. He held the belief that Humans are unworthy of his full attention and power. Imagine if he started the fight with a 40 day flood?
If Kojiro does not have enough time to scan Hades and he does not have the same room for error as with Poe, it is unlikely that he would be able to win.
Other Advantages:
Hades has objectively more experience. We know he is older than Zeus who was alive before the big bang (~14 BILLION years). 14 B is so large that even if he only spent 1/1000 of that time fighting/ training he would have a **tremendous\** amount of experience more than Kojiro (~1500s to the modern era as the trains post mortem).
Why didn't it help vs Qin? It actually did. If he couldn't figure out the Air Bullet he would have not done as well as he did, even with Demos. If he didn't have P. Titan or Desmos he couldn't have beat the redirect. He lost because Qin is arguably the perfect counter to him. Kojrio's main weapon is his experience and scanning (which comes from said experience).
Power. If Poe could break Kojiro's Volund sword then Hades, who is much stronger (power-wise) and uses actual combat techniques (eg: Cornucopia) outside of "stab more" could very well in base. Effectively if Kojiro tried and blocks a strike he will likely have his swords broken. He needs to DOGE (TFS reference).
Desmos. A power-up is better than none at all. Would likely make the air pressure of his attacks (you know, the kind that would make Qin with a defensive volund bleed) much more dangerous. It is also unexpected and would likely make Kojiro have to reassess and scan him.
Hypothetical Round:
The fight starts the same way as in R7 with Hades on offense. Kojiro's scanning is able to detect Hades' power just in time, and he is smart enough to doge the Bident rather than block it with his sword. He notes that Hades, despite looking and wielding almost the same weapon, is very different from his brother.
However, the initial wind of the first strike caught him off guard and he is damaged. Thankfully he was able to avoid most of it by the same mechanism as above.
His scanning then notices Hades is pushing him into a corner in a combo-like sequence of events. Quickly he takes notes of his attack patterns, predicts the final attack (P. Roa) and devises a plan.
On the big thrust of P. Roa, he combat roles (Elden Ring style) and attempts to end the fight by turning the God of the Dead into sushi.
As he rushes in to deliver the fatal strike he notices something. The strike is not a vertical pricing blow but a crashing smash (P. Titan). How did he make such a miscalculation?
Wait, no! Hades changed his attack. He must have noticed the scanning and adjusted the blow. Of course, it is too late at this point. P. Titan connects and Kojiro's spine is shattered.
He avoided the blade because he was rushing in but the shaft of the bident, through Hades' might, was enough to end the fight.
Hades makes a quip about his beloved brother and ends it shortly after.
In the above scenario, I gave Kojrio the benefit of the doubt on most of his scanning but he had a lot more to scan. Hades is clever and fights like it. Kojiro had to play carefully because he couldn't afford to take a hit and he did not have enough time to completely predict everything (even if he could).
I didn't even give Hades Desmos which would be more trouble as described above.

Anyways that is just my $0.02. Hope it was a good read at the very least!
submitted by Avaoln to ShuumatsuNoValkyrie [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 23:30 InternetTraumatized Hieromartyr Philósophos of St. Petersburg (May 31)

The Hieromartyr Archpriest Philósophos N. Ornatsky was born on May 21, 1860 in the churchyard of Novaya Yerga, Cherepovets County, Novgorod Governorate, into the family of a village priest. One of his brothers was married to the niece of Saint John of Kronstadt. Philósophos studied first in Kirillov Theological School, and then in the Novgorod Theological Seminary. In 1885 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Theological Academy with the degree of Candidate. In the summer of 1885, Philósophos married Elena Zaozerskaya, the daughter of the former subdeacon of Metropolitan Isidore, and soon he was ordained to the priesthood.
Initially, the young priest served as rector in the church of the orphanage of the Prince of Oldenburg, where he had once taught the Law of God (catechism). From 1892 to 1912, he served as the rector of the church at the Expedition for the Procurement of State Papers. For twenty-six years he was the chairman of the Society for the Dissemination of Religious and Moral Education in the Spirit of the Orthodox Church, successfully counteracting anti-church movements.
In 1893, Father Ornatsky was elected as a member of the St. Petersburg City Duma from the clergy and held this office until 1917. He took part in the establishment of shelters in the city: orphanages and almshouses. Through his efforts in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area, twelve churches were built, the largest of which was the church of the Resurrection of Christ at the Varshavsky railway station. In addition, we should also mention the churches of Saints Peter and Paul in Lesnoy, Saint Sergius of Radonezh on Novosivkovskaya Street, Saint Seraphim of Sarov behind the Narva outpost, the church of the Forerunner on the Vyborg side, Saint Gerasimos church, and Saint Isidore of Yuriev church.
The Saint lived quite modestly, though his was a large family (he had ten children). The whole array of public titles and offices which he held for the glory of God, did not bring in any means of subsistence. As Chairman of the Temple Building Committees, large sums of money passed through his hands, yet he was obliged to give private lessons in order to feed his family.
Father Ornatsky was also the editor and censor of such metropolitan spiritual magazines as "St. Petersburg Spiritual Herald" (published from 1894), "The Christian's Rest" (1901), and "Orthodox-Russian Word" (1902).
Father Philósophos was one of the closest companions of the Hieromartyr Metropolitan Benjamin (Kazansky), of Petrograd and Gdovsk, who, when he was a student of the Theological Academy, was actively engaged in preaching activities in the working neighborhoods of St. Petersburg. Bonds of spiritual friendship also sprang up between him and His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon.
For almost twenty years, Father Philósophos was the spiritual son of Saint John of Kronstadt, who often visited him at home and blessed all his undertakings for the good of the Church. The holy pastor entrusted Father Philósophos with being an intermediary in his correspondence with Saint Theophánēs, the Recluse of Vysha.
In 1913, the Archpriest was appointed to the post of rector of the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. During the First World War, Father Philósophos gave up his apartment to be used as an infirmary for wounded soldiers, and he and his family moved to a small state-owned room. Repeatedly, he went to the areas of hostilities, accompanying the transports with needed supplies for the soldiers, and trying with all his might to inspire and support the defenders of Russia.
His son Nicholas (born in 1886) was a military doctor who was part of the Ninth Russian Army; another son, Boris (born in 1887), was a staff captain of the 23rd Artillery Brigade, who graduated from the Konstantinov Artillery School, and fought heroically on the Austro-Hungarian front. Father Ornatsky's gift of preaching attracted those who were seeking the words of life, and he repeatedly urged his flock not to accept the corrupting ideas of Bolshevism. Knowing that Orthodoxy is at the heart of Russian life, Batiushka urged the intelligentsia to realize this. He never tired of repeating: "Our intellectuals have to become Russian."
During the Revolution, he saw his wife's sister's husband, Peter Skipetrov (+ January 20) shot before his eyes. At the funeral service, Father Philósophos gave a sermon, fearlessly denouncing the Bolsheviks. He repeatedly called upon his flock to surround the churches and to protect the shrines of their land. In January 1918, when Father Peter Skipetrov was killed at the Lavra, Father Philósophos organized a defense of the shrines of Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra, organizing Cross Processions to it from all the churches of the capital.
On August 9, 1918, he was arrested, along with his two eldest sons, Nicholas and Boris. At the time of his arrest he was absolutely impassive and calm. Parishioners gathered by the thousands and walked along Nevsky Prospekt, demanding the release of their shepherd. The Chekists received the delegation of believers, promising to do what they asked. But on the same night (July 20, 1918), Father Philósophos was transported to prison in the city of Kronstadt. Around October 30, 1918, thirty-two men were brought from different prisons, all officers of the Imperial Army, who were being taken to be shot. Some were young, and others were older. One said he was a Colonel of the Guards. He told their escorts, "You will all perish, perhaps in twenty years, but you will perish like dogs. Russia will be Russia again, but you will perish." Their escorts said nothing. As they were being led to the place of execution, Father Philósophos read aloud the prayer for the departure of the soul over his two sons and the rest of the convicts.
Some say the place of execution was in Kronstadt, while others say it was not far from the Gulf of Finland, between Ligovo and Oranienbaum. The bodies of those who were shot were dumped into the bay. Father Ornatsky's body did not sink, but was tossed onto the shore by the waves near Oranienbaum. There it was buried secretly by the inhabitants.
These Saints were canonized as New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia at the Jubilee Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in August 2000 for general Church veneration.
Saint Philósophos is also commemorated on July 20, and on the Third Sunday after Pentecost (Movable Feast: Synaxis of the Saints of St. Petersburg.
Troparion — Tone 4
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles, you became a successor to their throne. Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God; vy teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood. Hieromartyr Philosophus, entreat Christ God to save our souls.
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