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Isekai of the Ultimate Ritualist - Chapter 44

2023.03.20 23:23 lucader881 Isekai of the Ultimate Ritualist - Chapter 44

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There, beyond the mighty door, another world opened before their eyes. It was a world of cog and wheels, of halogen lights and of steam, where pistons and brass pipes were a part of the architecture just as much as stone or brick, if not more. The floors were uneven plates of rusted, corrugated metal worn down by the centuries and corroded by humidity, and the lights embedded in the walls were faint and strained to keep shining, their light also a hum that filled the spaces with noise. There was a gash in the ceiling, a wide aperture from where a ray of white moonlight shone in an inner garden that was overgrown and overrun by nature, reclaiming that space and other spaces with its green growths. For in fact, moss and lichen spread from there like an advancing tide, following the trail of humidity and feeding off the light and heat of the incandescent lights.
“It doesn’t lead to the surface.” Ishrin observed, looking at the ceiling and through the hole.
“Perhaps there is a hidden passage.” Lisette offered her explanation.
“Or maybe it’s just weird and strange like the rest of this place. Am I the only one?” Melina asked.
“You are not.” Lisette stated.
At times the lights flickered, the power that kept them running surging and then stabilizing again, and their hum was a scream, and the scream was agony of a place that was dying a slow death through the centuries. The door far behind them, ajar one second ago, slammed itself shut and the sound echoed.
“This place gives me the creeps,” Melina said. “It feels like everything is moving, beneath the surface.”
“I do have the same sensation.” Lisette said. “But we need to press on.”
Ishrin cocked his head. “Her bracers are on the line. Come on!”
Melina groaned. “Fine. Still creepy tho.”
Indeed, little sounds, groans and hisses of the pipes, strains of metal and mechanism seemed to come from all around. While what they could see was all perfectly still, the noises betrayed that somewhere below the apparent peaceful façade, things were alive and moving, and perhaps watching them with unknown means. Sir Westys’ and his team were walking cautiously now, their pride long forgotten, squeezed between Melina at the front and Lisette at the rear for more protection. They listened to the stronger adventurers’ conversations with a mixture of irritation – this was the case for Sir Westys – and envy at the much more relaxed attitude that only being a seasoned veteran could ever give them. This wasn’t to say that Ishrin and his team were being careless.
There were many things that could hurt them in the world. In fact, even though his coming to Noctis was relatively smooth, Ishrin learned very quickly on his adventures that the world was much more dangerous than it seemed. The mountain realm, for instance. That completely erased his sense of power he gained when he slew the Sycoraptor in the forest where he also met Lisette. And while encounters like that of Lucius in Obscuria still told the tale of a world where the true powerful people were rare in cities and whatnot, places like this revealed the other side of the coin: that dangers and powers beyond reckoning still dwelled beneath the surface, and one needed only look for them in the right places. Very much like his old world of Eternia. Except that here, he theorized, there was the guild. And what the guild did was maintain order and the apparent status quo in the cities and in the countryside around them, or more in general it kept order where order was needed for business to flourish, while confining danger to be only outside its sphere of protection.
Melina too was suddenly thrust in what seemed like a whole different world than what she was used to live in, where danger was everywhere and even her Tier 15 – that once she thought as being powerful with a power unobtainable by any but the luckiest – was just average.
The rooms were many. Ishrin led the way, at times stopping to check with his teammates, at other times to take in his surroundings. He had made another water compass and was holding it himself, letting it float next to him with a bit of effort using his telekinetic powers.
There was no magic here. The air was not devoid of it, but its presence in the air was no more than the usual suffused glow of ambient magic, and none of the walls or things that cluttered the corridor and rooms had any magic inside of them. This made Ishrin feel blind, in a different way than he did in the mountain realm where he was blinded by too much magic, more like he was in the absolute dark, with only a faint glow that was light, yes, but didn’t reveal anything, not even shapes. Of course, he still had his normal vision, but used as he was to having both senses at the same time, he felt extremely uncomfortable.
Not all was bad. The reactive armor, surrounding him but invisible, was charging and this made him feel like he was finally investing his overflowing mana into something for a later use. Beside him Liù was having a great time exploring the place, touching the little brass chandeliers with small halogen candles, examining the many copper and iron cogs on the floor, fallen from damaged pipes on the ceiling, and sometimes she even snuck into said pipes where they were large enough, only to then have to be cut free when she got stuck.
Everything was covered in grime. The greasy, dark fatty substance used to lubricate mechanisms and that was now mixed with dust, and plant matter. Footsteps echoed wetly.
From the distance, faint at the beginning but ever more present in the consciousness of the seven adventurers, a rhythmic clang of metal against metal reverberated through the corridors. Nobody could pinpoint where it was coming from, beyond the feeling that it was coming from deeper in the underground complex, for the sound traveled through the pipes and the hidden hatches in the walls, the service tunnels and the air vents, coming to them as a cloud of slightly delayed sounds from all directions.
An open space. The ceiling rose immediately after they crossed the threshold of a great gate that stood ajar, as if blasted out of its hinges, until it reached so high up that vapor and cooled down steam began to hide some of its features. Inside the fog were, like little searchlights, points of brightness that spread and diffused through the thick air until an orange hue was ever present up there. Below, the floor was uneven stone, cracked and wet, with moss and small ferns poking out of the cracks. Sometimes metal plates that were bolted to the stone were still visible under the vegetation, reflecting the cyan light that came from the far end of the room. There, three circular openings were faintly visible through the mists, and there was a strong light coming from behind them, and in that light the silhouette of three great machines could be seen. Great automata they were, with circular bodies and long, prehensile arms, and their heads were large squares that were dull and dark.
Until, suddenly, they weren’t. Deep, red and foreboding lights came to life like sinister eyes as a screech of grinding metal and awakening old mechanical pieces pierced the air and deafened the adventurers. Everyone almost jumped to their feet, not even having had enough time to take three steps into the room before they were shaken out of their contemplation by the sudden sound. Not everyone reacted the same. Ishrin took in the room he was in, immediately spotting the three now moving figures who were dragging themselves free from the alcoves they were in. The shadows they projected through the misty air were deep chasms of darkness, and the three circles where they once stood immobile revealed a path beyond, that was unreachable.
Melina and Lisette both panicked. In the commotion they lost sight of Sir Westys and his party, the four boys having seemingly vanished into the fog. There were shapes and shadows moving in the distance, but they were faint, and far, and it was impossible to tell if it was them or just the many reflections of the shiny and wet, greasy metal that played with their senses, with their perception. Their panic didn’t last long however, and they both showed their competence and experience, their focus homing in laser-like on the enemies ahead.
The central automaton was closest. Its size was the smallest of the three, but even then it stood at more than four times as tall as Ishrin, and with only the sound of the metal groaning and the hiss of pneumatics, it raised one of its many limbs of welded plates up in the air and slammed down. Immediately the limb hit a field of invisible telekinetic force and was pushed to the side, but it didn’t happen with the ease that everyone was expecting it to happen. In fact, Ishrin had to kneel on the ground and his knee had dug deep into the rock, cracking it and leaving a deep dent when he, slowly, pushed himself back to his feet. He strained.
“Battle formation!” Ishrin yelled, immediately jumping to the side to dodge another incoming arm. The other two automata were each converging towards one of the two girls, and they were bigger, although slower and with less appendages.
Two grunts of strain and effort told him all that he needed to know. In a matter of milliseconds, the battle was on. Sparks raged from his right side, where Lisette dashed towards the metal construct with her blades unsheathed, and was slashing at it while dancing around its body, climbing on it, dodging the prehensile limbs that uselessly slammed into the ground and broke unseen pipes that began to spew gases in the air. She searched for gaps, weak spots where she could plunge her blades and sever vital parts of the grand machine of animated metal.
On his right, the bright flashes of magical green, tinted with a little hint of white and slight blue he had never seen before, were the sign that Melina too was engaging with her enemy.
This made him relax enough to allow him to focus on his own opponent. Liù was also orbiting him like a small sentry, deploying small faint lasers that mapped the structure of the automaton, until they focused on a particular point at the end of one of its limbs.
Danger :o
Ishrin jumped to the side, slightly diverting the giant arm, and firing a Magic Pebble with his sword at it. The projectile hit the metal and dug into it, melting it and leaving behind a circular hole roughly the size of a fist, red with heat and hissing. But the damage was minimal, for it only hit plate and not vital moving parts. As he dodged, he tried to see what Liù was highlighting for him, and he noticed the multicolored scattering of the light, the hue of a crystal he recognized. He had seen it last in Obscuria, tipping an arrowhead that was capable of penetrating Tier 13 defenses with ease.
“Careful—” he tried to warn his teammates but had to dash again and ended his sentence with a grunt.
From the other side of the room, through the clang of metal, he saw a glimpse of Lisette weaving around a similar crystal, coating a long flexible sword at the end of one of her automaton’s limb. From behind instead came the wild rush of wind of Melina’s magic, and a strained yell.
“Noticed! They have crystal blades!” she yelled when she had a small window of rest, before disappearing again in a flash of verdant energy to dash at her opponent.
Ishrin’s automaton was different than theirs. It shifted, and its limbs reorganized and changed until they morphed into different weapons: hammers, flexible swords, whips. And all these weapons were coated with the same crystal, the same dangerous substance that could hurt him somehow.
Suddenly a bright red light was in front of his eyes. He had gotten distracted, but Liù was ever watchful and had highlighted the vector of impact of the automaton’s flexible sword as it descended upon him with a red hologram, and there were ghostly images of him dodging and reposting to the attack, simulating what he could do to counter it. He grinned, taking a stance and exploding out with the full strength of his Tier 11 power, and he used telekinesis to push himself against the ground and change course mid-air until he landed right where one of the thing’s limbs were attached to its body. Before the automaton could react, he blasted the joint with Pebble after Pebble and then jumped away. With the joint weakened, he pulled at it from afar and yanked it free, and it came loose in a shower of black ooze that sizzled and smoked where it hit the ground.
The recoil sent him sprawling on his back. Even though Liù was there to catch him, he still ended up on the ground, feeling the wet of the stone and the odd warmth of a gas leak on his back. His pupils widened, and his mind raced. A giant crystal-coated hammer was descending upon him. His heart sped up. This was a slip-up. And almost fatal one. He could not get out in time.
The hammer hit, and for a moment there was silence. It was like even the other fights were momentarily suspended, as if both the automata and the girls were watching with their breath stuck in their throat was had happened to Ishrin. There was a small cloud of dust that had risen where the hammer had pulverized the stone, and sent Ishrin’s body several layers of pipes and service tunnels below the surface.
The hammer slowly came loose. The crystal on its surface was cracked.
A blue light. The small holographic body of Liù, surrounding her real indestructible body that was the SPAWN AI cube, flew out and up to the ceiling as if running away from something.
The dust slowly settled around the crater. There was only the sound of hissing vapor and dripping water.
Everything was still.
Lisette and Melina held their breath. Time ticked and ticked. Nothing was coming out of the hole.
The girls could see that Ishrin’s opponent was now turning against them, to team up with the other automata and finally tip the scales of the battle.
A single thought on their mind.
“We will fight until the end. Even if we die.”
Resolve in their eyes, they prepared for their last battle.
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Royal Road is where you can help me the most! Luca DR's Fictions Royal Road
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2023.03.20 23:12 Loud-Supermarket1707 My mom abused me and I want to forgive her so badly, but I don’t think she’s sorry

I never know how to start this stuff, I haven’t told a single person everything that my mom has done to me because I’ll mention something that didn’t even bother me that much and people are floored for a few minutes and it derails the conversation and makes me think the heavy stuff is just too heavy to tell people. So TW. All the kinds of abuse.
I don’t know when the physical abuse started, but some of my earliest memories are of me being told by my mom that she hated being a mother, that we were the worst kids to be stuck with, how she wished she could drop me off on the side of the road but unfortunately I look too much like her. My sister (3 years older, same month) got some of it, but WAY less. My mom would tell us to call her by her name, not mom. She would have us load our belongings into garbage bags and ‘throw it away’ until we cried and begged at her feet and she decided we deserved it.
We were various levels of homeless my whole life. Borrowed tent by a river in the winter, stolen 5th wheel trailer caked in mold, couch hopping at relatives’ homes.
She ignored obvious signed of SA by her stepdad when I was two, despite telling me a story that made everyone suspicious. The same year of the story, it came out that he assaulted a slightly older relative. Their story was believed, no problem.
In second grade, my mom was in the shower and her friend/dude we were living in the yard of came into our trailer and tied the vacuum cord in a slip knot. They had their smoke session (homelessness and starvation couldn’t stop her, she owed a thousand dollars to her WEED dealer) and he left, then she saw the knot. She proceeded to hit me and my sister every time she asked us and we said we didn’t do it. My sister, at the end of the two hours, was pink where she was getting hit. I was black and blue. I told my teacher that I couldn’t sit because “I tripped on a rock and fell on a boulder” (I still remember thinking that was the PERFECT cover story and saying it in a mirror over and over to make sure my face was emoting correctly as I said it.
She would tell me that she only kept the pregnancy with me because when she was pregnant with my sister, my dad stopped abusing her. He didn’t stop when she was pregnant with me. Once when she was really angry with me (I think because I, at 10, burned dinner cause I had to teach myself) she told me that I was supposed to save her and that’s why she hates me. I couldn’t do my job when she was pregnant, and I can’t meet her expectations now.
She kept me grounded for months and months on end, years even, so I wasn’t allowed friends, or a job. My grandparents tried to get me a car, it was a stick shift and I didn’t drive perfectly on the first try so she took the car for herself.
She hit me until the day she kicked me out, almost daily. She kicked me out because we moved f back to an old trailer park and my friend asked her if I could spend the night. I didn’t even want to, I’m just bad at saying no and wanted my mom to. My friends boyfriend was 30 years older than her, 40 years older than me, and my mom warned me about him. And then kicked me out with not even a penny, no license, no clothes, into his home, where I was victimized by him and his friends.
My little brother was born when I was 10, my sister had moved out with family just prior and didn’t move back until she was in her 20s. My brother has never been hit to my knowledge. I raised him until I was kicked out, and basically immediately after I was gone, she decided to go for a better job and get an apartment. The first thing that someone couldn’t steal while we were at the store in almost two decades. After I left. She is calm now, raises her voice maybe a quarter of what she used to. She seems better.
But she has never tried to fix things with me. Not even in the pretend ways you hear about other abusive parents doing. I haven’t seen her face to face in a couple years. She sees my kids but I stay in the car and drop them off.
There’s more but what a sad essay this already is.
I don’t get why I still care enough to want to do it myself. It grossed me out a little, if I’m honest. Like when am I gonna care about me enough to be done?
I imagine I’m screaming into a void, I can’t even get therapists to care enough about all this, but if you made it thanks and I’m sorry lol
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2023.03.20 23:07 commonEraPractices A Collection of Short Stories (1)

This is a collection of short stories that have something to do with current events. Enjoy.

The Uneven Divide - Part 3

(Part 1 and 2 in first post of Collection)
“I see a city on a disk. Though all the powers of the world would like to watch it fall, it won’t. I look at it floating above it all. Above There’s political turmoil. Beyond the grip of local markets, this city spins around the globe. You make your business everyone’s, and in turn, everyone profits from your presence.”
I see a land so cold,” I continued. “That it smokes as if it’s on fire. Like the Mother Sphere pulls you up, the frost brings your people together. This inseparable unity warms each building by your people’s sheer attraction for the Lands of Over-There. What us foreigners see as a frigid barren disk of ill fortuity, where people live barred up inside out of necessity, it’s instead a fortress from anything cold, which hosts every fervent hearted opportunity.”
The lock beeped. The door crept open. She kicked her feet off. A skinny man with both our ages walked in. He was wearing a three-piece suit. This wasn’t uncommon, as each layer made the heating bill less hard to look at. His name and the chain on his matte black visitor’s badge were contrasted with gold.
They spoke in their language.
He said something like hi, how are you, what are you doing here?
She answered something along the lines of hi, I’m doing great, in a meeting, you?
He went on saying precisely “I’m doing twice well”—which is an interesting expression meaning; I was already doing well, but from the moment you asked about me, I started doing twice as well—then I think he said he was also here for a meeting, and “who is he?”
She told him my name, then his name to me. Whom I will refer to as Gotnaym of Over-There.
He greeted me, I presented myself with a customary nod. Which could’ve been considered curt in our culture.
Then it got too wordy for me to understand. They switched languages as he walked over to extend his hand.
Mid-shake, he said in perfect speech, “She tells me your consultancy in There is no circus. I might have some questions later, my son is investing abroad.”
Then he laughed. I tried my hardest to make my confusion pass off as surprise, all while making sure not to loosen my grip nor lose the tempo of the motion, as I smiled in what I hoped to have looked like an agreeing pose.
“He’s not interested in any clown ventures I hope, Mr. Gotnaym,” I said. “I’d be out of my league if he were.”
“That’s exactly why I’d hire you,” he explained. “Thankfully, we’re a line of miners, Mr. Consultant. Hard-working people, who bring along like-minded experts. There are no full-time artists on these disks, I’m afraid.”
I was ready to let go but he wasn’t as willing.
“It’s always a fine moment to meet someone glad to buy into their family,” I concluded. “But I might not be the right hire for advice on how you ought to spend your own money. I don’t know if she's told you my line of work?”
This made him laugh some more. He was still shaking my hand.
“She has, yes!” He looked at her after placing his free hand on my shoulder side. She was completely motionless. “Funny man,” he said in his mother tongue.
“Don’t let me interrupt you, Mr. Consultant. Please continue while we wait,” he said, finally releasing his grip to grab a seat by the backrest.
“While we wait?” I asked him.
“I just is inform,” she said. “Next meeting is push to soon. Temporary lockdown here. Please continuing, Mr. Consultant. You no leaving now.”
“Emergency?” I read in their eyes the impending dread they covered up with an interest in listening only, so they wouldn’t have to think.
“Gladly,” I said. “I guess I’ll find out soon. Thank you for giving me this time out of your day.” She had some relief mixed in with her emotions. The rest of her micro-expressions were of a combination I’ve never noticed twice. It was too particular to recreate in writing or in a film.
“Mr. Consultant talking how city infrastructure be one with immigration,” she explained. “I asking what he see in city.”
“Where was I?” I asked me.
“You were reporting how the cold brings us people together,” he told me.
Wondering if their door wasn’t soundproofed had flooded my head with blood, which drew along this fresh thought frenzy and the terrible idea that anyone could’ve heard us earlier.
“Right,” I said to start hushing my blushing. “The problem. Your city is nothing more than a cold flatland sprinkled with tall boxes where folks come and freeze to death. That’s what they see from below, down in There. When I booked my ticket, my friends argued about who would get what if I didn’t make it back.”
The suitedman sat down.
“To outsiders, to the frigid ones, these lands get people to ratify off on an early will. I mean—I signed a waiver just for the elevator ride… Too many who travel to your disks don’t come back home. Most get working visas. The deal is: you spend four months a year here, and that pays for six of vacation. The smart ones, like I’m sure your son is, do five years to invest in There’s Venus coin traps. Then they sit back and never visit again. They risk their days for the money. Not for your city, not for the people here. They say they come to live out the rest of their lives at the mines. Then if they’re lucky enough not to get shipped home as a popsicle, they go to their folk waving their phat wads of cash in the hands with the least fingers lost to the frostbite.”
“I asked the locals last night. Why would you sell everything for this? Leave your families, abandon your lifestyles—What pulled you in? They all gave me the same answer. The same one I have. The first time I came here, it only took me two days. Two days to fall in love.”
“You maybe fall in loving after no long enough, Mr. Consultant,” she said.
“Are you telling me you don’t feel the same?”
“I think,” Gotnaym interjected. Then he paused. Sort of like cutting someone off on the freeway only to slow down right after.
“I think what my colleague is trying to express here … is that all of this sounds a bit too poetic.”
He looked at her to see if she’d agree. Which, she did.
“I also think we’re both happy you really are loving the experience here, Mr. Consultant. But it takes more than feelings to move to a place like this. The ones who do immigrate are steadily emigrating in larger numbers. The workforce won’t meet the upcoming demand. We start terraforming the east perimeter straight after the election next quarter. That’s a projected two years to find enough workers, build and house multiple villages. Provided the right candidate wins.”
At that moment, I was glad to have mistakenly not skipped our philosophy professor’s class on The Ethics of Language. I got my dates mixed up and thought it was a mandatory attendance lab. She explained how Over-There’s main export was subject to ethical scrutiny. They extracted such a lucrative resource, that they could afford to import all else. From food to people. Two entirely different things, that they’d fail to source locally in any useful quantity. Therein laid the dilemma. Their dialect had evolved so as to not differentiate between workers or wheat in regard to imports. As for commodities in business, they began treating both as such on paper. Written words have real-world applications. That same export was also what their disk was made of. One giant mother-cluster of concentrated minerals.
“How long is a mine active on these disks?” I asked.
“About a half lifetime depending on the weather. You’re looking at the investment of the century, my Frozen-Nozen. Literally.”
This suddenly explained why I so easily passed off as a consultant. At least, that’s what I was thinking then. They were probably ready to pay everyone and their kids to get as many opinions on this as possible. I can’t believe I used to give mine out for free.
“Frozen-Nozen?” I asked.
“It’s a term for those who aren’t afraid of a bit of outdoor labour,” he said.
“I see. Couldn’t you just advertise that fact in There?” I pitched.
“I don’t get it.” He mimed a billboard with his hands. “Come up to Over-There, and freeze your nose off for a living wage.”
“That’s not what I meant, but really, why not? People are nomadic opportunists. They’ll move and let the frost nip at their nose if you promise them a round fiddy years of job stability. If they become permanent residents.”
“No one plans on spending fiddy years in a work village, Mr. Consultant. They’re built as temporary housing. They share a shower per unit.”
“Isn’t that an issue? People need a good quality of entertainment to stay someplace so dull when they can glance at other options. They’ll want something they can’t get anywhere else. Couple that with the appeal of privacy. Your child population levels are dropping? Intimacy widely increases from zero to one shower per household. I’d start hiring full-time artists to get some inspiration flowing. Let couples make their own entertainment. Get some comfier architecture. They'll make babies. Or get your engineers to make leisure versions of your military rovers. With enough room for two. Watch them hit wild speeds in the east bumpy lands around their camps.”
“How much would that cost?” He asked. To my relief, he then immediately reconsidered. “No, these plans are staying under permafrost. We want to attract workers, not activists.”
I must’ve looked confused.
“Much leaving people, because activist come Over-There and saying mine is kill nature. Much tourism satire is Come visit before disk is all holes,” she quoted.
“If it’s really destroying the ecosystems then I’m afraid there isn’t much—”
“What ecosystem?” He interrupted. “Nothing but people live here, Mr. Consultant. And we only cover 15% of our whole island. Most of us are all in this city. The claims are false.”
“Then why do enough of both your people and mine believe these activists?” I insisted. “Who I’ve never heard of, so they must all be online. Is complaining just something to do? How does that affect where people live?”
“Emotion of being … more purposeful than normal people,” she said. “Important maybe to many action people. But also, wireless community There having very addictivity.”
“Adictivity?” I asked. “I mean—or, what do you mean by addiction?”
She explained how our wireless communications in There were designed to get individuals to react before thinking.
Anyone reading this today won’t understand the complexity of the issue, so I’ll try to translate the way people like your great-great-grandparents used to communicate. I suggest you ask them about it if they’ve opted for resurrection therapy.
We had these sorts of primitive portable screens that were usually carried around in pockets. Pockets were these holes in our clothes that would hold stuff. When we mostly owned material items, we needed a method of having those things at our disposition. And because we only have two biological hands, most would prefer to walk about with lighter objects in all kinds of pouches. From books to babies, bags of fabrics were significant to us.
The most important pouch was the pocket. That’s the place where people put stuff they wanted to hold closest to their person. That’s because not having them nearby caused an immediate sense of emergency. Their money, their analog keys, their smokables (non digital drug consumable), the time of one day divided into 86,400 different times… Most would also keep their touch screens in their pockets.
We’d communicate through a revolutionary medium termed, “social media.” If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s because presently, that’s our only form of expression left. So we just call it talking.
Fun fact: in 1402, both words were banned if put together. For all generations coming after the criminalization of social media, to try and curb the addiction, so we could gain control over the technocratic overlords of the virtual space. Clearly, that didn’t work, but I won’t bore you with the details in this format for much longer.
To quickly finish this history lesson then, we nicknamed those screens “phones.” They were these physical things that you’d feel right on your skin. And you had to push around to type words or record either your organic image or sounds, or disproportionately more often, those of a cat. A real cat. They aren’t a digital invention! Then you’d post those representations in places called “the Internet.” The Internet would be referred to as the world today.
Humans had to mind-travel via their phones to access the world before. And they’d navigate through it by utilizing their biological hands like a bunch of Neanderthals. On Social Media in the Internet realm, other people would have to move their fingers around their screen to come look at what you posted. Can you imagine? It’s like if today, someone had to do something to hear you.
They would then react to what they saw. Kind of how people used to communicate what they thought through their body language. The only difference was that in the Old World, a public would react to a speaker on stage, and everyone went on their way afterwards. No longer under the influential energy of a cheering or booing crowd, they could think about the message. On the Internet, it would stay up, and we could keep reacting to it. Even years after something was said. The public reaction would get louder and louder and it was like it never stopped to calm down and reflect. Excitement is not a friend of thought.
As people posted more and more, they did less and less of anything else. The goal of the communication was only to react. Always as fast as possible. People started doing activities only so they could post. They lost the enjoyment of doing for the sake of doing. Everything became a reason to get a reaction out of others. Everyone became amateur stage performers. Professionals had to be trained in that regard. They had to learn how to handle themselves when their work would become a series of reactions to trigger a chain of reactions. The users of primitive Social Media never stood a chance.
It’s what she explained during our impromptu board meeting that afternoon. It’s what changed the way I saw the world as well. I watched as her theory turned out to be sufficiently accurate, and I caught myself wondering for a moment if she hadn’t had something to do with the unravelling of the events.
If you’re Neanderthal enough to remember the sound of genuine vocal chords, I invite you to imagine how she expressed it all to me in her riveting broken accent. It’s why I wrote it how she said it.
The year is 1282 again. It’s cold, the exit doors are locked down, I have an actual phone in my physical pocket…
She asked me to see mine. A ritual at the time. So I showed her. She didn’t look impressed, so I asked her to show me hers. It was nice. Real nice. So nice in fact, that I started feeling a bit shy and ended up subtly putting mine away as she explained.
“People addicted to making posting. More posting, more liking, more emotion of purposeful existing. But so many content, so much other people also looking for … valid of purposeful life, because now, day no with phone is like food no with taste. Is boring. Why eat? Why do anything? But problem happen when truth is people wanting. Because goal of social media is react, react, react. Chain reaction like nuclear. Have be fast. Social media not receive, think, maybe react if wise. Social media no survive this way, very boring if not in-person meeting for exchange serious ideas. No win Internet point for taking time, finding truth, telling people wrong too. No good feeling also, if thinking, no posting, no outside influence saying yes you living and you be valid person. So no react, no valid existence.”
She paused. We both glanced at one another to confirm what we had already decided. Neither of us were going to interrupt her train of ideas. I was impressed. Not by what she was saying, though. It wasn’t anything we didn’t know. It was more that she could almost speak our language when she carried herself in her flow.
“People define value by number of attention they getting. They getting attention by posting posting posting, reacting reacting reacting, and no thinking thinking then maybe posting after long. Thinking bad for business if business is price of reacting. Business need people pushing button not after long. Social media Model is job of push button. Worker build city, push button too you thinking. But building infrastructure, opportunity, thinking involved more than even writer, Mr. Consultant. Bad thinking kill in building city.”
It took me a second to break character. Then I remembered who I really was. Eventually I realized she had just insulted me. I gave a warm chuckle. This disrupted Gotnaym’s attention. She went on.
“Influencer is job of push button to getting more people pushing button before thinking. Influencer is good if follower push button with no thinking. Even in war business, reacting not always best strategy. Pushing … gun button?”
“Trigger,” he helped.
“Pushing trigger no thinking is not same like pushing trigger because quick thinking. Influencer like is … study with school only to becoming teacher after. But only attaining knowledge in reacting more. Not attaining quick thinking. Not same. This worrying functionary like Mr. Fore Gotnaym, because how control crowd online that only goal is react react react, no thinking? On Internet, better no thinking. More reacting, more people see their reacting first and reacting to it so more people also get reacting, more people only agree for attention, and more message get famous. More message famous, no worry if true, more people believe. More people believe, less people believe when truth happen. Look at phone, Mr. Consultant.”
I took it out of my pocket.
“Make posting,” she said. “I showing you.”
The suitedman visibly refrained himself from stopping me. I was two days behind on checking in with my Internet experiment, so I did what she asked. When I connected to Social Media, my feed was filled with alerts on posts. Something about disinformation and people fighting over the truth of the universe and if it was really the end for us. The media application wasn’t this agitated two days ago. Warnings on misinformation were mostly centred around past events, never regarding upcoming ones from what I had seen before.
“Is this why we’re in a lockdown?” I asked.
“Yes…” she reacted.
“So why does it say that it’s all a fabrication?”
The room fell dead quiet. Her bottom lip quivered and she turned around to burst in muffled sobs. She just broke down. It was surreal. The man stood up to whisper something. She nodded with her head down, so he walked towards me. Then past me and to the windows, making sure I followed him by spinning in my chair. My back ended up facing her.
“Under different circumstances, you wouldn’t be locked down with us, Mr. Tourist,” he said.
Uh-oh, I thought. This culture seemed to have developed a taste for cleverly employing names.
“But there’s no use in locking you up for espionage either, it looks like your people are willing to let you rot anyway.”
“What’s going on?” I asked. She sniffled and told us I could turn around now.
“Don’t worry kid. You’re either the best spy I’ve met and you can die with dignity, or you’re the worst ever, and you’re worth more to us as living propaganda if we make it out of this,” he said, patting my shoulder as he walked by.
“I didn’t get your answer,” I mumbled as I turned around. Then I understood that he was trying to make her laugh.
“Either you’re the best,” he repeated. “Because I haven’t heard even a single high-school rumour about you. Or you’re the worst, because you were really a shit consultant just then.”
She drew in a chopped breath, which she released in a soft chuckle of relief. I thought maybe this was a prank. But then why was she crying?
I asked her what was going on. She nodded at him and he told me he wasn’t joking. They really considered that I was a spy from There. This theory didn’t hold any water in the end. The umbrella company under which the most popular international platforms operated, had somehow been convinced to place a warning on the forecast of a natural disaster headed for the disks. The corporation happened to have all their servers in There’s jurisdiction. All the privately owned media companies followed suit just to try and survive.
Gotnaym explained how anyone with any scientific authority who had attempted to voice their doubts had immediately been shadowbanned. They injected their profiles with a fake number of views and likes, and used bots to make it look like there were people engaging with their content. As far as the whole globe was convinced, as far as the citizens of Over-There were concerned, this admonition had been discredited a month before the announcement of the disaster. The United OV Body sent out an emergency text message, an even more primitive form of communication, confirming the threat to their civilians, but it was in vain. The videos debunking the warning had timestamps dating too far back. And the Internet had already decided that it was all a hoax. Eighteen world leading scientists, all saying it was propaganda. The people in this city didn’t believe they were about to die.
How could I have missed this? Especially if I had checked everything everywhere online before buying my ticket?
Like a kid again, it slipped out.
He rubbed his thumb and two fingers together. Money.
“Environmental warfare is not a crime, Mr. Tourist. And you seem to be collateral damage to them.”
They showed me a video of myself reassuring the world that I was okay, and that no one on this disk believed any of the disinformation propagated by the unhinged astronomers. That Over-There’s authorities were perfectly aware that it was all a hoax. It was dated two hours before I set foot on the disk. On the plus side, I never did get over a hundred million views before. To most of the world, I was a hero, here to bring down the anti-science disinformation machine. They were looking at an AI-generated video of me. They even got my voice right. My family had liked my video. My dad had sent me a message saying he was proud.
I looked up and plunged my eyes in her frightened face. It stripped me forever of any good feelings. In one hour, I felt the lifelong dissatisfaction of a hard drug addict. That day, I lost my faith in reality. To this day, I cannot enjoy anything. Not after what happened. I feel too guilty.
“Shouldn’t technological warfare be a crime, though?” I said.
“You could call a stick with a pointy rock on its end a technological advancement.”
It was becoming trickier to think straight. How can you? When you’re about to take a final blow, and there’s nowhere to run, no strength to block. It was like getting pre-concussed.
“How long until it happens?”
“It might not. We’re waiting on people to show up here and determine if it can be avoided. So try to think of something else in the meantime,” he said.
We said nothing.
“There is one thing neither of you can avoid, though… So you might as well make your peace with it now,” he added.
“What it is?” She asked.
“Mr. Tourist is about to meet your father.” He said. Then he looked at me. “Or is it Mr. Consultant to him?”
submitted by commonEraPractices to u/commonEraPractices [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:59 theclumsyfish What does “a left aortic arch with aberrant right subclavian artery” mean ?

26F, dealing with debilitating chronic fatigue, exercise intolerance.
I had an endoscopic surgery in the past to diagnose some acid reflux and stomach problems and in the process of it the doctor noticed my heart has “a left aortic arch with aberrant right subclavian artery”. This was many years ago, the doctor didn’t seem concerned. They also said the cardiomediastinal silhouette appears normal. PA and lateral chest views were normal.
However I currently struggle with debilitating chronic fatigue and exercise intolerance. To the point where I struggle to have a normal life and full time job. I occasionally get a racing, pounding heart for a few seconds when I’m lying in bed at night and also sometimes my chest muscles by my heart hurt when applying pressure.
To try to help solve why I deal with this fatigue I’m trying to rule out potential causes and factors. I wonder if a heart issue could be contributing to my symptoms possibly? What does this mean about my heart? Could there be complications? I don’t want to be one of those people that drops dead of heart attack in a few years because I didn’t know I had a heart abnormality.
I have a history of EBV/Mono, Lyme disease, Babesia and concussions. High cholesterol on my dads side of the family but I don’t think anything else. I eat well, don’t drink or smoke, i try to stay active as much as my condition allows me to be.
Thank you so much for any information you can provide!!
submitted by theclumsyfish to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:54 ghet2dachoppa America is showing sings it is headed towards a fascist/authoritarian government.

WHAT??? Our founding fathers put forth a structure of checks and balances that ensure nothing Authoritarianism ever happens. While Authoritarianism has never happened, we have seen constitutional failure that resulted in a Civil War. If a Civil War can happen, why is it not possible for the rise of Fascism, or an Authoritarian leader to rise to power. We have already seen an attempt to overthrow the system and keep a leader who clearly lost an election. Since then, we have seen others try to follow that framework. Things like January 6th don’t just happen.
Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the most troubling and signs that our Democracy is fractured and could be in trouble.
A Growing Distrust in Science
I start with this one very purposely due to recency bias with COVID. There has always been an anti-vax movement. In the 1860’s Britain found its first anti-vax movement after the smallpox vaccine was made mandatory with penalties for refusal. In the 1870s, a British anti-vaxer came to America and started the movement. That fizzled out. There have been movements here and there since. The modern movement however can be traced back to 1998 and a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield recommended and falsified data for the MMR vaccine suggestion that the vaccine caused autism. With the newly popular internet, the growing media, and the growth of rapidly growing access to information we end up with a massive conspiracy with legitimacy due to false information. There have always been circles that distrust science, but this one was different. It was mainstream, celebrities got on board, we still live with the fall out and here this one. Wakefield admitted that he did not do a full study, falsified information, and served prison time. He set the cornerstone for a lot of the distrust in science we see today however. His study has helped turn the world into an anti-intellectual society.
There is a lot more we could dig into between Wakefield and COVID but I feel this is enough background at this point. We could get into the science of mRNA, and false perceptions. We could get into the fact that it was identified in the 1960’s and has been in use for medical applications, including vaccines and cancer treatments since the 1990’s and the science has been proven safe for decades. We could get into the fact that 90+% of the ingredients are more or less inert and in use for other vaccines and medicine and has been for decades, but that’s enough of that. Let’s get into COVID and the crippling blow for science that was dealt during COVID.
Rudy Gobert and the NBA shuts the country down. In the US, we watched as Italians sang off balconies during the lockdown. Venice canals turned pure blue due to lack of boat traffic. China was sealed into their houses, sometimes by bolting their doors. We all knew it was coming, then Rudy tests positive for COVID. The NBA cancels games and the rest of the country follows suit. We were in lock down. We know we had a new Coronavirus that was different, easily transferable, and had the potential to be very serious.
Quickly we picked sides. We used the same data points to prove the other side wrong. We used scientists and a shifting understanding of the virus to prove/disprove our feelings about how COVID works. I use the term feeling deliberately. This is the key here. True science does not pick sides, but we pick the sides that best fit our political beliefs. This in turn created a massive influx in false data and further eroded the trust in our scientific community. We had our President as one of the main anti-vax influencers (link: while pumping billions to accelerate a vaccine. A president who was fueling the anti-mask movement while wearing one himself (link: The face of the scientific community for this issue was not much better. Dr. Faucci starts comes out and says masks don’t work, only to back track and say it was because the masks were needed for health-care workers (link: I use CNN on purpose here as it’s the left calling out the left. This statement had a big effect on the movement as well and further eroded our trust in science. Even more troubling, 36% of Republicans distrust science. If you look at these survey links from 2/15/2022, you can see the results (pew link: and Another troubling shift, is the declining trust in education, you can see where that is going. You can also point to this study and overlay it with how Trump planed the steal the election claim. I feel this is a good stopping point and time to move on to the media. If you want me to detail the timeline of how Trump set up his ability to claim election fraud, I would be happy to spend some hours putting it all together.
The Media
We live in a time where the media is as much of the news as the news is. We have massive cooperation with a 24-hour news cycle which needs constant content to stay afloat. They have their sides and vision for what this country should be. We have less reporters and journalists than people who push propaganda and agendas down our throats. We do not have state or party funded media, but we have media that is attached so much to the parties, there is barely a difference. We have very few fact reporting centered news organizations (link: It is our fault though, very few if any media outlets are not for profit. They are feeding us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. That’s what sells, and with the race for content and the growing competition, what else can we expect? Then we have the internet which has become media by meme, YouTube, and TickTok (link: With that we have bot farms, hackers, and other foreign agents sponsored by other governments and companies hired by politicians (see Cambridge Analytica) working fairly successfully to undermine our Democracy. We have made a shift to alternative news sources, unreliable news sources, or news sources that are created to mislead the rest of the world. We are fed a stream of propaganda, we eat up, and repeat the misinformation until it becomes true. Fascist and Authoritarian leaders have known for decades, if you can create a big enough echo chamber, anything can become true.
Fringe Groups/People in Places of Power
There are a couple categories here. There are the fringe politicians who take mainstream ideas to the extreme and there are the fringe politicians who are just conspiracy theorists. A.O.C., MTG, Lauren Bobert, Ilham Omar, Trump, and many more. If everything is good, we do not elect fringe politicians. It is a sure sign a shift has happened and it's not good. We are unhappy, we are believing the conspiracies. The propaganda is working. Something is rotten in Denmark. There are many things this can be attributed to including Rapid technological changes, groups feeling marginalized, the two-party system that has been stagnant for decades and has been engaged in tit-for-tat politics since for most of the last century. The A.O.C. group who push the boundaries of mainstream ideas is not necessarily unhealthy. It can be healthy if in the right conditions. Testing the boundaries helps you grow and evolve. You get new ideas, new perspectives. The MTG conspiracy theory group is dangerous. Two things happen with this group, it gives further legitimacy to the conspiracy, and they use the conspiracy to expand their power base. You can trace the great Jewish conspiracy through Europe for centuries and see this. Look at all the “Devine” monarchs. It is all over in history. Typically, there is a group that is pointed at including Jews, LGBTQ+, women, Africans, and Islam to name a few. If there is a them, it's easy to create a us.
Targeting groups
We are seeing this in many areas. It is rapidly becoming more and more prevalent. We have politicians in South Carolina who are trying to pass legislation for women who get abortions. We have politicians in Florida trying to pass legislation so women cannot talk about their periods. We have all kinds of legislation passed against the LGTBQ+ community. We have laws on the book that disproportionately affect various races, and when they bring it up, they are snowflakes. We are building laws and banning citizens from numerous countries. Give us your poor, your week, your huddled masses, as long as they fit the bill. Books are being banned, including some that are formative and important for people to learn how to understand the world, all under the guise to protect our children. We would not want our children learning our true history, we would not want our children learning to accept THEM. We don’t want equality. If THEY have more, WE have less. In a country with 3.5% unemployment, high paying tech jobs that can only be filled by H1V1, we have a good part of the country that would be capable of filling these jobs if we just thought differently. There is enough to go around, but instead of upskilling and getting our citizens into these high paying professional jobs, we are making America great again. America has always been anti-immigrant to a degree but when you start seeing laws passed, the gap between us and them accelerates. As the divide becomes greater, the easier it is to rule based on fear. Historically, this is the gateway to genocide.
This one is often overlooked but it is an important one. A sure sign that your country is becoming nationalized is when your military is beyond reproach. Now I am not saying we should not be grateful and kind to those who served. I am saying we should examine our military and hold them accountable when they do something wrong. As we fail to do this, the nation starts to come before all. If someone speaks out against injustice, disrespects the flag, the office of the president, they are ostracized. It starts with militarization. Once the military becomes beyond reproach, civil servants are next. You can see this throughout history. Look at Vietnam, look at Nazi and the Kaiser's Germany, really almost any authoritarian regime.
I am not saying we are at the tipping point. I am saying the signs are there. Unless we can start to find a way to come back to the middle, the divide will continue and we may end up in an authoritarian state.
submitted by ghet2dachoppa to centrist [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:52 Pale_Ad5899 HACKING SERVICES

Contact Us On [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
About the research
Many businesses actively and productively use corporate sites, online stores, and web services to accomplish tasks. Customers register on these websites by leaving their personal data, make purchases by entering credit card information, and use cloud services to store information or use the resources provided to send their sensitive information. It is obvious that not only competitors, but also cybercriminals, would like to have access to such precious data, so it is no surprise when clients' personal data is leaked from yet another big company into the hands of criminals. Often, these events are associated with a successful attack on a company's web applications, as a result of which attackers gain access to the user database or steal other information. For example, in September 2020, hackers broke into more than 2,800 Magento-based online stores where they injected a malicious script that to scrape customers' personal information and payment card data.
As a result of hacking, both users and companies themselves may be affected. The web application security analysis conducted by Positive Technologies shows that criminals can conduct attacks on clients in 92% of web applications; in 68% of cases, there is a danger of a data leak; and in 16% of cases, attackers can gain control over the application and the server OS.
In this article, we will talk about why criminals hack websites, and what consequences there may be for the owners and users of hacked resources.
We have selected the ten most active forums on the dark web, which offer services for hacking websites, buying and selling databases, and accessing web resources. In total, more than 8 million users are registered on these forums, more than 7 million topics have been created, and more than 80 million messages have been published.
Note that this article does not consider ads that are posted in messages on such forums and related to services for organizing DDoS attacks on web resources, since in this case, the motives, goals, and tools of the attackers and those who hire them differ radically and go beyond the scope of this research.
Why criminals hack websites
In 90% of cases, users of darknet hacking forums search for a hacker who can provide them with access to a particular resource or who can download a user database. Seven percent of the messages include offers to hack websites. The rest of the messages are aimed at promoting hacking tools and programs and finding like-minded people to share hacking experience.
By offers, we mean ads published by service owners and hacker groups. They cannot act as indicators of supply and demand, as they are often posted only once. The demand for the services mentioned above can be estimated approximately only by individual inquiries from users who, for various reasons, did not make use of the information about the offers.
Figure 1. Categories of inquiries related to hacking websites
Since March 2020, we have noticed a surge of interest in website hacking. This might have been caused by an increase in the number of companies available via the Internet, which was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that previously worked offline were forced to go online in order to maintain their customers and profits, and cybercriminals, naturally, took advantage of this situation.
The following graph shows the number of new ads on dark web forums. Ads are posted not only by new members, but also by hackers with an established reputation. The latter do this as a form of self-promotion. It is difficult to determine which ads are duplicates and which have lost relevance, so we do not give the number of hackers or groups that actively provided hacking services at the beginning of 2019 or who are doing it today.
Figure 2. Number of new ads related to hacking web resources on forums in 2019–2020
In about seven out of ten inquiries related to website hacking, the main goal is to gain access to a web resource. Not only can attackers steal sensitive information, but also sell access to web applications to so-called fences.
Figure 3. Distribution of inquiries by topic
Inquiries aimed at obtaining user or client databases from a targeted resource account for 21% of all ads. Competitors and spammers who collect lists of addresses for targeted phishing attacks aimed at a specific audience are primarily interested in acquiring this type of information.
Contact Us On [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
submitted by Pale_Ad5899 to u/Pale_Ad5899 [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:49 JustRollWithThis Interdimentional Villain Exchange Program -1- A Very Bad Day

Interdimentional Villain Exchange Program -1- A Very Bad Day

Today… a BAD day.
I knew that from the moment I woke up and found out that I overslept so much that I didn't have any hope of making it in time for combat training.
But if being late was the only bad thing that happened today I would be singing praises to all the gods above and below. But of course, it was not. Not even close. The next thing that went completely sideways was the aforementioned combat practice that I was late for. Normally it's intense, but not an unpleasant experience. If I can say so humbly, that's mostly because combat is actually one of my strong suits.
The flow of blades, the rhythm of spellcraft and swift movements of ached flesh always seemed very harmonious to me. It all accumulated in a beautiful symphony of combat that I could play better then almost any of my peers.
However, the keyword this time is “almost”.
Being second best is however a small comfort if The Best is still so much stronger than you that the only thing you can do is to struggle to at least mitigate the beating you receive. And since I annoyed the instructors by being late in the morning, of course I got assigned to be the sparring partner of Serena after the instructor she usually spared with had “something better to do”. Serena was not a particularly malicious person. At least not too much. One cannot become a top student of Mordath Villain Academy without being at least decently malicious and sadistic after all. However for some reason she seemed to respect me of all people.
OK I'll admit it. “Respect” might be a bad word to describe it. It would be more accurate to call it a “begrudging acceptance”. I'm not sure why but it's probably because, despite my relatively poor academic achievements compared to the rest of the group, I could not be crushed under her heel like an “annoying bug” during battle practice.
I was bestowed the honor of being an “average rodent” by her instead. That might not have seemed much different to me… or the rest of the students… or the instructors… or anyone else for that matter, but to her it apparently made a difference.
Enough of a difference to fight me seriously during the sparring sessions at least. And the result was all but pleasant for me. Especially considering the fact that we are at the Mordath Villain Academy, and not some third rate training facility. Here a spar ends only when the time ends. The founder of the academy was Mordath, the Onyx Lich himself after all, and for that man, no half measures were acceptable. And since he founded the academy, he would not stop halfway and do everything in his power to guarantee results. Unfortunately for me, there isn’t really that much that's beyond his power. And as a result, the next four hours of combat practice I had experienced were hell incarnate.
I fought desperately with everything I had, and after a couple of seconds, or maybe a minute if I was lucky I made a mistake, and got stabbed, beheaded, gutted, frozen, burned, or one of a thousand other ways miss prodigy chose to torture me with that round.
After suffering such fate the magical wards on the arena would activate, heal me, rejuvenate my muscles, refill my mana reserves and in a few seconds announce the beginning of the next round.
I “died” about a hundred times today already, and all I had to show for it was a cut off finger and a frostbite on her eyebrow. Some would call even that result impressive, but I preferred to call it humiliating.
How can I be satisfied with dying a hundred times for a finger and some dead skin? Give me a break. Who would be ok with that? I'm not that pathetic.
But even still, if that was all of it I would call it a particularly unpleasant monday, and that would be it. But today was indeed, a BAD day.
Before I could even finish washing the literal buckets of my own blood from my hair, I was jumped by a bunch of guys under the showers and gotten beaten senseless for “daring to lay a hand on their love”.
Honestly… how pathetic can you be to be so obsessed with a person that doesn’t even know you exist.
I could not even protect myself properly. The guys that jumped me were a bunch of comically muscular brutes that probably eat rocks and shit out sand, while I was just a naked human mage without any magical armor, spell focus, and my head half submerged in water.
I'm only above average at fighting… I'm no Serena. I can’t do miracles.
So there I was, lying naked, half of me covered in blood, the other half beaten blue and black, with my hair still covered in shampoo and my brain spinning on its highest gears to figure out how to even get up.
And then, as if nothing happened a secretary walked into the showers and started to speak to me as if nothing was wrong.
“Oh. Here you are, boy! I was just looking for you! Come with me quickly. The Headmaster is looking for you.”
Now imagine my shock. A headmaster was looking for me. Dark Lord Mordath, the Ruler of the Underworld, the Runic Monarch, the FUCKING GODSLAYER, was looking for me.
Not just for anyone closest, not just for anyone of specific species or gender for some of his deranged experiments, but for me specifically.
What the fuck?
And you know what the worst part is? It wasn’t even time for lunch yet. And that means this day is only just beginning.
Secretary of course didn’t bother inquiring about my present condition. The academy only had four rules and none of them were broken by simply beating a student up. It was a villain academy after all. They are going to teach us, but how we live is the last of their concerns. And since no rules were broken, the secretary naturally didn’t care either.
He did at least give me enough time to get dressed before quite literally dragging me to the headmasters office, but that was a small comfort if you take into account that he most certainly did not give me an opportunity to go find a healer, or at least drink a healing potion, so my whole body was still colorful like some sort of abstract art piece with bloodstains and bruises covering most of it.
Well, at least it didn’t look like I got any of my bones broken so there is that…
And after a short, at least objectively, journey to the headmasters office we were greeted by a set of huge doors. They were enormous, made of gold and so absolutely covered in precious stones that one might think they were there to compensate for something, although none would dare to say that considering who the creator of the doors was.
As we closed in, the unimaginably heavy doors started to open on their own letting us into the spacious chamber behind.
And in there sat two people, to whom I can attribute my current missfortune. One of those people was someone that I did expect to see here, after all the onyx skeleton dressed in vibrant purple robe was none other than the headmaster himself, the other one however, left me confused.
He looked like a tall and muscular, yet slender man with ashen skin, three pairs of leathery bat-like wings on his back and two antler-like horns that extended from his forehead and regularly sparked with magical lightning. Yet despite his intimidating appearance it was not his looks that caught my attention, it was his aura.
That man was powerful.
Very powerful.
As a mage I am naturally very adept at sensing manaflow, and magical fluctuations, which allowed me to instantly recognise how strong the person in front of me was. The magical energy danced around and flawed into him as if he was a maw of some incomprehensible eldritch horror slowly devouring the very universe around him. It was almost enough to match the cyclone of mana generated by The Headmaster which up to this point remained by far the strongest magical phenomenon I had ever seen.
“Here you are! We were starting to get worried that You are not going to show up at all!” said The Lich, his voice seemingly happy yet carrying a barely perceivable tinge of annoyance. “We don't have much time so i will tell you why you were called and what you are to do, and you will do it, are we clear?”
“Yes sir!” I could only answer this way. Even though I wanted to curse at the undead bastard in front of me. Even though I had a feeling I would not be happy with what I'm supposed to do, who could disobey the will of Mordath The Godslayer? Certainly not me.
“All right then. I was having a chat with my friend here, and he was bitching about how difficult it is to conquer his world for a demon…”
“Demon Lord.” Interrupted the stranger “I did not kill the entire gods damned demon realm monarchy to be called just a demon”
“Yeah. Yeah. Whatever you say Sparky” Agreed the Lich and waved his hand before continuing, seemingly oblivious to a overbearing magical pressure his guest started to emit as a result of his remark “Well the point is, he thinks us undead have it easy, and i think he is full of shit, and simply cannot admit that i'm better than him.”
The Lich finished, and seemed content to remain silent as if everything has already been explained.
“I… understand my master. But how does this connect to me?” I said. More than a little confused.
However instead of the lich, it was the demon in the room that answered with a sneering tone.
“Isn’t it obvious boy? The old sack of bones over here said i'm over exaggerating the difficulty of my goals, and to prove it he offered to send one of his students to complete three tasks I attempted, and failed to achieve”
Hearing that my mind went blank. How in hell am I supposed to achieve something that even this monster of a person failed to accomplish? Is this some sort of devilish joke I'm too human to understand?
“Well then what will you do?” Asked the headmaster, apparently unconcerned by my shocked expression. “Do you accept this task, keep in mind that I would be very disappointed in you if you choose to refuse…”
And that was it. Ever since we were kidnapped by that old fuck, and forced to “learn proper villainy” under him we were made to understand that disappointing Him meant death, and not a quick one at that. So since he said what he did I did not really have a choice in the matter.
“Ok i'll do it” I said, my tone expressing exactly how willing i truly was to undertake this task “When do i start? I had to take my things and…”
“No. I don't think that will be necessary.” Said the demon handing me a piece of crumpled up parchment “And you will be starting immediatly”.
Just as he finished his sentence a phantom hand suddenly gripped me by the shoulder and started dragging me towards a portal that suddenly opened on a nearby wall. I yelped in surprise and only had a time to glance hatefully at the two figures still standing in the room before I fell through the runic circle comprising the portal.
I did not have time to ask any questions, but when I was still traveling through the dimensional corridor of the portal spell I got some time to reorganize my thoughts and realized something unusual about what was said in the office.
There is no Demon Lord.
The demon realm monarchy is a bunch of subjects that serve under Mordath for milenia now. And most importantly why would the thrice cursed lich make fun of the demon for his inability to conquer a world that was already conquered by him instead of killing him for disobedience?
It just didn’t make any sense. Unless…
But just as I was about to finish this train of thought I was thrown out by the rapidly shrinking portal door and was stunned by what I saw. In front of me, in the great expanse of the beautifully azure sky there were tens, maybe even hundreds of floating islands of different shapes and sizes, each one floating on its own, or in some kind of bizarre archipelago of floating stones.
At that point I knew my inference was true. I was no longer in my world. I was in fact so stunned by the realization, that I failed to notice an even more important fact of significantly more pressing nature. It was only when I finally noticed that the wind was only getting faster, and all the floating islands around me seemed to be rapidly moving upwards did I finally catch on to the fact that this damn demon didn’t even bother to open the portal on the ground.
So there i was.
Mentally exhausted, brutally beaten up, and now rapidly falling into oblivion in a universe that I don't even belong to, with a set of three impossible tasks to complete…
I believe that taking all of it into consideration I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, Today…
…Is a BAD day.
submitted by JustRollWithThis to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:48 rimaru_ Is it wrong to manifest certain things?

I’ll try to keep it short with you guys. So I’m currently in the process of manifesting my ex back (won’t go into detail but we still talk a bit and we go to the gym together).
She recently started hanging out with a new group of friends and especially getting really close and liking someone from that certain group. It really bothers me because they’re a pretty bad influence, they drink almost daily and she started smoking again cause of them (after I got her to stop the first few times). She does basically everything with them and she’s always chatting with that certain guy.
So I was wondering if it would be wrong to manifest her not hanging out with them anymore and completely breaking it off between them. (especially that one guy)
I have mixed feelings about the situation and really not sure if it’s wrong or not. I don’t wanna seem selfish but I really think it would be best for both of us and help us heal and get back together.
What do you guys think?
submitted by rimaru_ to manifestationvalley [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:46 KenAdamsMD How can we rule out Vascular Dementia in this?

An 87-year-old man is admitted to the hospital for treatment of a right femoral neck fracture sustained when he fell down a staircase. He has osteoarthritis of the knees treated with ibuprofen (400 mg three times daily). He takes no other medications. He also reports memory loss, particularly in remembering the names of people he has met recently. He first noted the problem 4 years ago, and he states that it is slowly becoming worse. There is no family history of dementia. He lives alone, drives a car, does his own shopping and cooking, and manages his own finances. He does not smoke cigarettes. He drinks one beer daily. His blood pressure is 138/88 mm Hg. Examination shows shortening and external rotation of the right lower extremity. Neurologic examination shows no focal findings. His Mini-Mental State Examination score is 27/30. Which of the following is the most likely cause of this patient's memory loss?
Correct answer is C (Mild Cognitive impairment)
submitted by KenAdamsMD to Step2 [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:42 LiseEclaire [Leveling up the World] - Academy Arc - Chapter 716

Out there - Patreon (for all those curious or wanting to support :))
At the Beginning
Adventure Arc - Arc 2
Wilderness Arc - Arc 3
Academy Arc - Arc 4
Previously on Leveling up the World…
Book 2 (start of the Adventure/City Arc) is available for pre-order!
A thin shimmering layer covered the sword once Dallion returned to the real wasn’t the standard shimmering of an otherworlder, at least not entirely. There was a slight nuance to it, making it appear both to be part of this world, but also not.
“This what you wanted?” Dallion stood up.
Based on the intense emotions resonating from both Phoil and Raven, the answer was obvious. Even so, the black-haired noble had no desire to surrender a compliment.
“How many tries did it take you?” he asked.
“Two. Does it matter?”
“Not particularly.”
Internally, Dallion frowned. He’d learned to accept that nobles respected items, least of all.
“Alright, then. Now about your part of the deal? I need to be out before dark.”
“I’ll keep my word.” Raven pointed at the sword in a slow, dismissive fashion. That was more than enough for Phoil to pick up the weapon. Instead of heading outside, though, he went up the stairs to the private area of the building. “It’ll take me a bit to get my seal adjusted. Meet you at the door in half an hour?”
“Half an hour.” Dallion nodded. “See you there.”
This was the best deal he’d get, so there was no point in shaking the boat. He himself had something to pick up from his room.
Onda, did you get all that? Dallion asked as he went back into the corridor.
Well done, old man. One could almost near the nymph clapping. Lamer than me, but still cool.
What did I do wrong?
Nothing. Everything was perfect. The set up, the way you convinced the guardian, the selection of the material… It’s your logic that’s messed up. No, not exactly messed up, just too dependent on other things.
Keeping himself from running along the corridor, Dallion made his way to his room. The new feat he’d achieved filled him with more energy than was healthy. He tried getting rid of some of it by extending magic threads out of his hand—weaving them into a rope, as Katka had instructed—but that made him even more restless. Magic had a way to make its owner feel invincible, almost as if he’d drunk a bucket of energy drinks.
“Ruby, we’re heading outside.” Dallion pulled back the cluster of threads back into him, then took the aetherizer he kept hidden in a drawer with an invisibility symbol on it. “How do you feel about that?”
The shardfly stoically flew off the spot on the ceiling, taking its place on Dallion’s shoulder. For some reason, that reminded Dallion of Gleam.
Within seconds, the euphoria he had accumulated vanished without a trace. Was he capable of bringing the shardfly back? It had to be more complicated than opening a portal to the banished world. And even if it wasn’t, Dallion had no way of reaching that realm again.
“Tell me when you sense nearby illusions, okay?” Dallion said.
Okay. Ruby flocked his wings.
“And don’t get into any fights, even if I’m attacked. Got it?”
Dallion looked at his heavy gear. Considering what he would be facing, having his armadil shield and harpsisword would help. Unfortunately, he’d have to make do with his Nox dagger.
Less than a minute was necessary for Dallion to reach the main door of the building. Judging by the occasional look of disapproval he received from passing apprentices, it was safe to say that the glamor from the challenge was starting to wear off. And then there was the waiting. Every second dragged on. Unlike Dallion, Raven didn’t seem to be remotely in a hurry to get there.
Now you know what it feels like for guardians, Nil commented.
Precisely thirty minutes after he’d promised, Raven appeared, walking calmly down the corridor. Surprisingly, he wasn’t alone.
“Mage Tisaku?” Dallion asked.
The man didn’t seem at all pleased to be there. The fact that he was showed the pull Raven’s family had.
“Dallion,” the man acknowledged the other’s presence as he walked by, stopping right in front of the door. “Two hours,” he said, fingers drawing an intricate pattern faster than the human eye could see. A top level awakened would have trouble following the design. Unlike the standard spell, this was composed of a single pattern.
Purple light blended with the threads and symbols covering the door’s surface, melting them away.
“Try not to get in trouble. I don’t want to owe the White Eye favors.” The door opened.
“Yes, mage.” Dallion was the only one to answer.
Meanwhile, Raves passed by as if both of them were beneath him. The sad truth was that thanks to his father, they probably were.
From such an angle, the surroundings seemed a lot better than what Dallion had seen from the rooftop. That was to be expected; the mages had taken great care to cover all undesirable sights with illusions. If one didn’t know better, they would swear that the cluster of buildings surrounding the Learning Hall was pretty much the same as it always had been. Occasionally, there would be small signs that something was wrong—some magic symbols wouldn’t glow as bright, some streets would have a quarter of the people they were supposed to—but the illusion was close to perfect.
“Well, we’re out.” Raven looked at Dallion. “How what?”
“Now, I need to see a dwarf.”
After ten steps, Ruby mentioned that they were near an illusion. The spell was quite subtle, creating the impression that Dallion was walking along the same path. In a matter of minutes, he had reached his destination—the shop he had frequented so many times while outside.
That wasn’t remotely true. Discretely casting the spell that let him see through illusions, Dallion found that he’d reached an entirely new area. The level of the spell was beyond impressive; it had successfully created a false memory of the area and maintained it as reality, while in truth shardflies were destroying more and more of the surroundings.
A few steps from the shop, Dallion stopped. A small, quickly constructed building was in front of him. It was impossible to tell whether he’d find the same people on the inside, or the whole thing was nothing but a fake façade.
“Aren’t you going in there?” Raven asked.
“No.” Some things were better left uncertain. “I changed my mind. There’s somewhere else I need to be.”
Ignoring the noble’s comments, Dallion went back through illusion to the first place—the potion lab. The trip took slightly longer than Dallion remembered. To his surprise, the actual building was still there, mostly intact.
“You’re here to buy potions?” Raven crossed his arms. “I could have gotten you everything this third-rate place could make.”
“It’s not potions I’ve come for. Wait for me here, okay?”
The black-haired shrugged, then summoned a chair for him to sit in.
Reciting the names of the seven Moons, Dallion opened the door and stepped right in. The lab was in relatively good shape, if abandoned. Gone were the apprentices slaving away, as were most of their tools and material components.
Splitting into a dozen instances, Dallion went on. Every few seconds, he’d pause and split again, in case a flutter of shardflies came flying at him from somewhere. Thankfully, no such thing happened.
“Mage,” he said, as he approached the office of the lab’s owner. “Mage?” He entered.
The room was a lot smaller than he remembered. Seated on a rickety chair, slumped over a small old desk, was the mage. A strong stench of alcohol came filled the room, mixed in with tobacco smoke.
“Mage no more,” the man said. His appearance was in worse shape than the room itself. One could only speculate how long it had taken him to reach such a wretched state, but it was more than a few weeks.
“The Academy rogued you?”
“Ha.” The man let out a sad laugh. “If they had rogued me, at least I’d have something. Now, I’m just a nobody that’s sentenced to remain here. I lost my reputation with this. All the conniving schemers that wanted to take me down had their chance. Everyone important wouldn’t speak to me, and anyone less important doesn’t want to have anything to do with me.” He pushed an empty glass across the desk.
Dallion couldn’t be sure whether he was being offered a drink or expected to fill the glass. Ultimately, he did neither.
“My apprentices left, as did all my customers.” The mage cast a spell, pulling the glass back. As he did, it filled up with murky liquid. “The archmage generously offered me temporary quarters in the apprentice wing. Me!” he tapped his chest with a finger. “To live with common apprentices.”
Would have been better than here, Dallion thought.
“Why not leave the Academy?” Dallion asked. “Temporarily.”
“No one’s leaving the Academy. Not with the war going on. The web of lies is in full effect. One province has fallen, two more are all losing ground. And the idiots in the south are still engaged in their petty squabbles.” He grabbed the glass and downed it in one go. For a moment, the stench in the room got worse. “Mages are too precious to be out in the open. Emperor’s orders. The way things are going, we’ll be ordered to fight.”
So, it’s that bad, Dallion thought.
He’d long suspected it, but this was the first time he’d gotten actual confirmation… if the words of a drunk could be believed. Looking at him, it was clear that the mage was a potion maker and an academic. He was not fit for combat. He’d probably forgotten all his combat spells decades ago, relying on the impenetrable strength of the Academy. His reputation was the most valuable thing he had, and now that was gone as well.
“They’ll be a need of potions again,” Dallion said, using his music skills to add as much joy to his words as possible.
“If the war doesn’t finish us, the blasted shardflies would!” The man tried to take another gulp from his glass, only then noticing it was empty. “You’re the hunter, aren’t you?” he asked. “Your level’s too high to be anything else.”
Here we go, Dallion prepared mentally.
“I guess I must thank you. I wanted to get you kicked out after you sealed off my room in the basement. Truth is you did me a favor. I don’t know what spell you cast on the shardflies, but they didn’t attack anyone here or try to destroy the place. They destroyed lots of buildings around me, but never mine.”
“The swarms came from here?”
“Who knows? Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. All of them appeared from the ground. The idiots thought they could stop them, and they did. The shardflies have been contained, but no one has any idea why they became active in the first place.”
“This whole place might be built on a shardfly nest…” Dallion whispered, more to himself than the mage.
Worst of all, it was all but confirmed that he had caused a stir with his arrival. An empath with nightmares of void was enough to stir any creature. No doubt it had happened subconsciously. Neither Dallion nor the creatures suspected. Even so, something had kept disturbing the shardflies, causing them to drill above ground and lash out at anything in sight.
“And the Academy has no overseer,” he added.
“Overseer.” The mage laughed. “We have enough battle constructs to destroy armies. That’s the problem, though. Everyone is too good at destroying. Those that aren’t affected don’t take the shardflies seriously, and those that are, are already considering how to use that to their political advantage. I did. I even snatched a few buildings from a few people. All of them are now holes in the ground.”
That sounded like something a mage would do. Yet, why hadn’t the Archmage intervened? Even with everyone busy covering up the situation, there was no way he wouldn’t notice by now. Unless, he too was covering up for the emperor. Such a dramatic failure could well be grounds for him to be replaced. Isolating the Learning Hall could well have been the best option from his point of view.
Dallion took out the aetherizer. He still had second thoughts about using it. Nonetheless, he linked the item to the realm and then activated it. The artifact turned purple.
Holy crap!
There had to be hundreds, if not thousands, or vortexes in the twenty miles area surrounding him; so many that he could tell when one started, and another ended, not what level they were. Suddenly, all this seemed more than a natural phenomenon.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this story, consider joining my patreon or check out my other stories on redditserials:
The Scuu Paradox (a Space Opera Sci Fi)
The Cassandrian Theory (a Space Opera Sci Fi)
The Impeccable Adventure of the Reluctant Dungeon (Dungeon Core Adventure Comedy)
submitted by LiseEclaire to redditserials [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:33 obl1v1on_SHINNN Diablo IV Beta General Feedback - Early Access Weekend

Diablo IV Beta General Feedback - Early Access Weekend
Disclaimer: This is obviously just my opinion. I do not expected everyone to agree or disagree with me, but I am curious as to how many people have similar feelings towards certain aspects.
It is entirely possible that some of the things that I mention are merely bugs in the Beta version of the game and not necessarily in the release.
I've spent the majority of the time that the Early Access Beta has been available, playing it and have an extremely large amount of playtime across multiple ARPGs (Incuding All Diablo games and of course, PoE), so any negative points are with the intention of improving the logevity of the game, not just to trash on the game.
I have a large collection of data from the Beta, some of which will be included in this post, this isn't complete and will be finalised in the next Beta weekend. I simply didn't have the time to play that much and also complete this data set.
My Beta progression

Positive Points

Rather than immediately going into the negative aspects and/or concerns that I have from the Beta, I'll start with the more positive aspects.
In-Game Visuals (Highest settings almost all round)
The game looks visually stunning. It's easily one of, if not the best looking ARPG that I have played to date. The environments in Fractured Peaks are well detailed with a fairly wide colour palette, whilst still maintaining that darker feel without feeling like the colours are washed out.
  • This was further emphasized whilst going through all the side content and entering all the different Aspect Dungeons, where there were clear themes and differences in certain environments.
Overall, skills generally feel nice to use, especially on the Barbarian and Rogue. There are a lot of visually cool skills (Several Rogue skills, a few Sorceress skills and Ultimate Skills) and a lot of skills that feel impactful in play such as Upheaval (Barbarian).
Open World
Considering that we only have access to the Fractured Peaks region, the world already feels quite big. There's a lot of exploration within Fractured Peaks itself that kept me busy for quite a decent amount of time exploring everything (It appears that there are some quests and one dungeon unvailable in the beta? At least there were areas that I know quests exist in but simply couldn't do).
If the remaining Regions match the size and level of exploration as Fractured Peaks, then I'll be extremely happy with the amount of side content available (I don't feel there should be much more than this, as like any ARPG the game should be based around Endgame, not side content and too much side content takes away from other aspects if they continue to be as rewarding as Renown is - Paragon and Skill points).
Overall completion of Fractured Peaks in the Beta
Questing and Event details for the Beta (Incomplete and subject to change)
Enemy Variety
From some of the posts I have seen, I'm not sure that everyone will necessarily agree with this one, however, I felt like for simply being a single Region, there was a very large amount of different enemy types.
  • So far I have 99 enemy types (Of course some models and monster types are repeated and simply given a slight variation). Some are my best guess as to their types, these are not confirmed damage types.
Current Data Set for enemies in the Fractured Peaks (Incomplete and subject to change)
This part is specifically referring to the Act bosses and World boss, not the dungeon bosses that will be covered in a more negative light, unfortunately.
The Act bosses felt great. All the bosses felt like there was a little bit of mechanical thought required, rather than just mindlessly attacking away without any risk associated with them at all. Yes, they are simple mechanics, but still had the need for some thought as to what is happening during a phase. Lilith's Lament feeling the best for me personally from the Act Bosses, followed by Tchorch and X'Fal.
Ashava was a fun world boss, which rewards you for learning the attacks and being able to avoid them. The scaling on the poison damage specifically felt a bit off compared to everything else in the Beta, but that's easily overcome by avoiding the attack.
Class Identity
This is referring to the Combo System, Arsenal System and Enchanting system. Honestly all of these felt quite good in their own way. I think it's too early in the game to be making judgements about how strong they are or how one plays over another in the endgame, but all systems felt enjoyable to engage with in different ways.
I do think that, whilst Barbarian and Rogue's systems were enjoyable, Sorceress feels like it's the best of the three systems, simply because it opens up more build variety that the others somewhat lack. This might make build variation later feel a little bit lacking in other classes, or it might not make any difference, remains to be seen on release.
This is pretty much where I will end the positive notes. There are other smaller things that don't necessarily fit into a category and just take up a lot of space for relatively little impact.

Negative Points

Unfortunately, we reach the point where things weren't so great and simply due to the nature of them being more negative, they will be more detailed in certain areas.
Skills / Skill Usage
On the flip side of the above comments about Skills, the main negative I have is that none of the skills felt particularly impactful. There was no "oomph" or impact behing a large majority of the skills.
  • Barbarian didn't have much weight behind its skills, neither didn't Sorceress.
  • Surprisingly, Rogue felt like it had the most behind its skills as at least the movement that it provided felt like you could make some good combinations with the skills (Dashing into Evading into Caltrops etc).
In regards to Skill Usage itself, it felt a bit clunky with certain attacks and I could really feel the console aspect of the game behind the way that targetting on skill usage and general flow of skill usage feels.
  • This is very much a point that I think PoE does so much better than almost any ARPG in existence and that is having the ability to set individual skills to use without moving.
    • Yes, Diablo IV has Force Stand... yes, this is a very good thing. However, why is there no option to tie this and a skill usage together like PoE?! Surely at this point, this should be almost a standard if anything. It simply makes the flow of skill usage feel better, rather than having to push a Force Stand binding and a skill
  • This is further emphasised when the mob density increases, as the game seems to struggle to determine which target you want to go for with several targets moving in quick succession. This feels like it's going to be an even bigger problem later on.
I honestly expected a bit more from the feel of the combat/skills considering how good the engine feels in general. I'm not sure whether it's trying to feel more/too realistic and deliberate in its movements or not, but it somewhat takes away from my exprience at times.
Tooltips / Calculations
At first, I thought this was a really good addition... however, it appears that the Multiplicative and Addictive indicators on items are not as clear and concise as they may appear.

The Barrier source is supposed to be Additive from the UI display
Before and After activating Barrier
The above example, shows two Sources. The Barrier activation is supposed to be an additive source of Lucky Hit Chance, however, it is Multiplicative.
  • Legendary Power Barrier = 1.26
  • 3.5% Lucky Chance item prefix = 0.315
  • Total Lucky Chance = 1.575 (The game is round this to 2 on the tooltip display for Spark).
I never expected it to be Additive in the first place, otherwise you're going to be allowing for potentially 100% Lucky Hit Chance builds, which I'm sure they want to avoid or limit to some capacity.
To put it simply, if this tooltip display is incorrect though, what else is?
  • I have been listing everything related to Legendary Powers, but at this point, I don't know what's correct or not with the Multipliers.
We're going to have to go through every interaction in order to make sure now... which makes the [+] and [x] additions somewhat irrelevant.
Legendary Powers listings and values
User Interface
Probably the point that is going to have the most contention
In my opinion, the User Interface is FAR too Console influenced...
I understand that consoles are the largest market... and that it's inevitable that Blizzard are going to enter it, given the Activision-Blizzard relationship, but it's honestly too much.
  • Why are all the interfaces such as Map, Collections, Social, Clan etc taking me OUT OF THE GAME?!
    • When I click on my collections, achievements, social and clan... I want them to be a pop-up and still be able to move freely in the background if something happens in the game or I want to continue running as I view a particular menu.
    • Even Diablo 3 did this better in some aspects, it simply feels like a step back, not a step forward.
    • Pushing Tab should display a minimap overlay, like almost every ARPG in existence. I should not be taken out of the game just to view where I am going better whilst I'm moving and/or in combat and the minimap in the top right takes away from your view of the game more often than not, including being too zoomed in anyway.
    • Once again, Diablo 3 did this better, why is it going backwards rather than forwards?
Achievements Page
Achievements Page UI
I like the left hand of this, no issue there. However, the right hand side is not fitting for PC players at all... or even really Console players with a large TV/Screen.
Why exactly are we limited to 3 achievements show before scrolling?
  • I would love the UI to be scaled smaller and display significantly more per achievement page, why can't we view 5, 6 or 7 achievements before scrolling? Or have multiple achievements displayed side by side.
  • If they want to keep the same view as now, then Lost Ark is a great reference for this as the Achievements page is laid out in a similar way, with the tabs on the left and achievements right, except it's scaled so you can view significantly more per achievement page before having to scroll.
It all simply feels too large and in your face for what is a base 100% UI scaling.
The Character Profile
Character Profile
It's simplistic, yes. It's straight to the point in some aspects... however the main things I dislike with this:
  • Why are Gems a part of the Equipment inventory?
    • This is a very outdated concept, imo... and especially with all items taking up the same amount of inventory space, I feel like this should either go in its own tab at this point or be a currency that isn't even displayed as an item (I would prefer just a separate tab though since it would take away the feel of socketing a gem if it were a currency).
  • Why does the "Profile" part exist under my Character and Title... it's pointless.
    • If I want to go to my Profile, I can do this elsewhere. It's something that people are rarely ever going to use in the first place and it's just taking up useful real-estate on the character profile, imo.
  • Why does the "Materials & Stats" default to Materials?
    • I can see the majority of materials at the vendor anyway, but surely this should default to the option that is more useful to players, which I would argue is very obviously the Stats page. I don't click that button to see what materials I have, I primarily click that button to see how certain item affixes will influence my stats.
Storage Space
I can already see storage space being an issue... with only 50 slots at 5x10, it's not going to be long before you run out of space. This was very easy to do just in one Beta weekend by storing Legendary Power Aspects, Gems and some Rare item drops ready to be imprinted on.
Circling back around to bosses, more specifically the Aspect Dungeon bosses. They all just feel... the same. I understand that bosses are going to be repeated often, that's just natural with an ARPG and game like this, but none of them feel particularly unique or feel like you have to think about anything that they do.
  • There are certain bosses in games such as PoE for example, where whilst you enter the boss area and destroy the boss in a matter of seconds, there are certain attacks they can do or mechanics they have that are more dangerous if you don't eliminate it quickly. On top of the fact that the bosses just have more variety to them.
This could very much be just the limitation of Fractured Peaks and therefore significantly improve with all regions and the Nightmare Dungeons / Endgame in general.
A lot of the movement just doesn't feel very natural. After teleporting with the Sorceress, or evading on all characters or dashing on Rogue etc, the recovery animations seem... off. It feels like the recovery to perform actions following a movement skill is slightly too delayed and therefore makes the action feel clunkier rather than a fluid motion into the next skill.
This may just be a Beta issue though and unrelated to the launch version of the game.
I'm not going to go into this into too much detail, this horse has been beaten to death far too many times at this point... instead, what I want to mention here is how none of the items feel unique.
The ONLY item that I can recall and tell you exists is the Dark Sword, because it stands out and has a unique glow. I cannot name a single Legendary item that I had drop, because they don't really mean anything.
  • There's no Stone of Jordan, or Mempo of Twilight, or Echoing Fury... or Tabula Rasa etc so far.
Sure, this may once again be an early game / Beta content issue and not a full release issue, but it's concerning that I don't feel like anything that I dropped really stood out to me, only their powers.
On a slightly separate note, can it be decided what it happening with items on the ground? Either you want them to be unidentified and we go and identify them with scrolls or a tome as usual and then vendor them, or you just let us see the item so we know what to pick up. Right now there's no real distinction between what drops.


Overall, I did enjoy my experience so far with the Beta and I'm sure that Necromancer and Druid will be fun next weekend as well.
Whilst there are a number of positive aspects to the game, there are many factors that are overly concerning to me this close to release and that I feel won't change between now and release if they ever change at all as some of them are clearly design choices.
It very much feels like in a lot of areas, we're taking a step back, not a step forward and considering some of the competition in this space, yes PoE especially (As much as you don't want to compare the two, they are in the same genre and space), is that really the direction that is best?
I'm sure that I'll get a good couple hundred hours total out of the game in its current state and come back and check on things season to season, there's enough to do in each region to occupy a good amount of time... but that's not what's going to keep me playing long term, the endgame, the QoL and the systems in the game are.
I do not think it's fair to make comments on Endgame and comparisons of things like builds at this moment in time, the Beta simply doesn't provide enough for us to make appropriate judgements.
I don't know how much longevity it's going to hold based on some of the things available to view in the Beta that we can compare now.
submitted by obl1v1on_SHINNN to diablo4 [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:31 versace-cowboy- Tips and tricks?

For the last 20 years I have had anxiety. Growing up in a very religious and somewhat sheltered home I was always told that these feeling were actually guilt for something I had done wrong. So from the time I was 8 until around my late 20s I spent an incredible amount of time wondering “what I had done wrong to feel this way” each time I had anxiety. Around that same time a couple years ago is when I started having panic attacks. Chest pains, numb fingers, tunnel vision, kaleidoscope vision, and feeling like I am high even though I don’t get high. Almost like a dream state where it becomes impossible to function, think, or focus. I have terrible paranoia and get stuck in intrusive thought loops and spiral. It’s like the worst parts of being too high on weed except again. I don’t smoke. It’s cause me to lose multiple jobs because employers don’t understand needing an hour break almost daily to bring myself back to zero. Im a single father and I find myself spending time I should be giving to my son locked away in my own mind trying to overcome a panic attack. And I have spent every day for the last 9 months either on the verge of a panic attack or in the midst of one. My question is. Is there any tips or tricks I can use to bring myself back once im in the thick of it? Or something I can do to bring my anxiety from a 7/10 to at least a 3/10? Im trying very hard to learn how to walk around and function during these so that I can go back to work and give my son more
submitted by versace-cowboy- to MentalHealthSupport [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:24 Previous_Metal_7943 Stove top coils

Ok so I wanted to clean the old stove top coils in my apartment because they were black with grime and starting to smoke anytime I used the stove. I read online that you can clean them by rubbing balled up aluminum on them, so I did. They are now grey and clean.
I'm now reading online saying that this is dangerous because it removes the ceramic coating and can cause a fire. Does anyone know if this is true?
Please tell me it isn't, I don't want to have to buy new ones...
submitted by Previous_Metal_7943 to appliancerepair [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:23 maximusaemilius Fear and humanity. Man does not fear life or death, he fears his own mind and what might hide in the dark.

I think it would be safe to say that it is the one universal emotion across the galaxy. For most of us, fear is a means to an end: a simple mode of survival, but for humans... Well fear is something more. For us fear comes in situations where we might die, and that's it. The only thing we fear is the loss of life before our time is up.
Humanity... Humanity fears implication.
Sure humans experience fear in life or death situations, but sometimes they don't. Humans will jump from planes, play with fire, and swim deep under the crushing weight of water well over three to four times the pressure of their own gravity. They will tie ropes to their ankles and then jump off of high places.
I don't think I have ever seen a human that was truly afraid, or at least not overtly... Not until today anyway.
Sure, humans fear death, but they fear implications more. Life or death situations are hardly an issue when you have your own imagination to fear.
Humans are a strange species that can leap from the sky for a thrill, but alone in the darkness and safety of their own homes, they conjure up things to fear in the dark.
They see shadows out of the corners of their eyes and reflections in mirrors at their backs.
They fear the implication of things that are unseen.
Believe me, the human mind is a horror house of personal torture.
Just watch their movies, and I promise you that some of the scariest ones to humans, do not involve natural disaster, life or death, or even dangerous killers, but they do involve the unexplainable, the uncontrollable. Those things that hide unseen in the dark and infect the mind like an insidious disease.
Man does not fear life or death, he fears his own mind and what might hide in it's dark recesses.
"Get everything locked up, we do not want to be out here after dark."
The commander ordered, pushing through a thick strand of deep purple foliage, and out into a large-circular clearing where three of their shuttles stood, surrounded by that day's camping supplies, and a group of waiting marines.
They stood as the second team of marines trudged their way from the bushes covered in dirt, slime, and sweat from their day's work.
"Break it all down and get it back inside."
The commander ordered.
Krill, who had been waiting in camp with the marines, floated over to absently eye the marines as if for scratches scrapes and bruises.
Sunny, having problems to navigate the dense foliage with her height and her carapace, was the last to break through the trees, hauling her bulk over a mossy stone and onto the strange purple moss of the clearing.
She opened her four-pronged mouth and snorted a leaf from her face,
"Why in such a hurry, commander? Afraid of the dark?"
Her voice was playful, but the expression he shot her was serious.
She stopped,
"No, not the dark, but what might be hiding in it."
He began, locking their food away into the climate-controlled lock boxes,
"Plus, the last group of colonizers that tried to settle on this place ran screaming after just one night. According to the Galactic Assembly science teams, there was nothing particularly dangerous about this planet. On the first scans they found no big animals, be it herbivore or carnivore, just some smaller species. So, they have no clue what could have scared the settlers off. The UNSC wants to know what's up. The report had something to do with a “mimic”… Now I'm not sure what that means, the civilians were to shaken up to talk, but they seemed adamant that it was important NOT to go outside after dark, and I am not in the habit of ignoring warnings."
Sunny nodded a tiny bit apprehensive.
Whatever could have made a human run screaming was not something she particularly wanted to deal with.
Krill was as skeptical as ever,
"Probably just some strange planetary creature, no big deal. They probably saw it, assumed it was some sort of folk monster and worked themselves up enough to run away."
Commander Vir didn't say anything, but didn't look like he agreed.
Then again, he was known heavily as the kind of man that liked to give people the benefit of the doubt.
They got the camp packed up, just as the star was beginning to set in the north (the planet had a strange rotation, relative to its magnetic field), and Commander Vir made sure his marines had entered the shuttles and closed the door, remaining the last one before coming into the third shuttle and closing the door behind him.
Two other marines were watching the monitors in the cockpit, so he took a seat on his bedroll next to where Sunny sat by the wall, idly tracing one of her four claws through the striations on the floor.
Krill floated not too distantly, listening to the sound of idle conversation.
Sunset came and went, and nothing on the camera peaked the marine's interest.
They left one person on watch for that night while the other came back to select a bedroll and get some sleep.
Commander Vir and Sunny were out like lights, back-to-back with each other in the tropical warmth of the planet's midnight atmosphere.
It hardly seemed like a bad place to settle down.
Even Krill had dropped into his half-meditative trance, still partially aware of what was going on around him.
”I’m all alone. Lost in the dark…”
”Mommy, I hear crows!”
”Is someone there?”
”There is something in the bushes…”
Commander Vir jolted away in a cold sweat, looking around for where the voice had originated.
Everyone else was still asleep.
He shook himself a little.
No, it can’t be… That was strange, for a second he thought that maybe the infected starborn, the mindreading aliens he had to deal with some months before had returned to take over his mind, but... starborn couldn't survive on the face of a planet...
And he would have sworn that voice was the voice of a child.
He rubbed his eyes, stood and moved into the cockpit where one of the marines was still watching the cameras,
He muttered, but the marine shook his head.
He was just opening his mouth to say something when…
”Something is out there… it knows what we are afraid of…”
Adam and the Marine looked at each other, both keenly aware that none of them had said something.
But they both knew they heard someone talk…
The voice they had heard came from the outside.
And then another sound came, this time not stopping, but going on, able to be heard through the walls of the shuttle…
A baby began to cry just outside the shuttle door.
The marine leaped to his feet eyes wide,
"What the hell!?
His startled voice caused everyone else in the compartment to wake up.
Commander Vir turned in a wild circle to face the wall behind him.
Of course, he couldn't see anything, because the voice had been just on the other side, like a small child pressing their mouth to the metal, whispering.
A few more of the marines had stood up, eyes turned to the hatch with the sound of the crying baby still echoing through the metal, slightly muffled by the door.
One of the marines got to his feet and reached for the handle, but commander Vir caught him,
"NO... that's not a baby marine. We are the only people on this planet."
The marine turned to look at him eyes wide with concern,
"But, sir maybe it's one of the settlers?”
"They may not have been coherent, but they would have told us if they were missing a baby."
"Adam, Adam, Adam..."
As the voice repeated it plunged from the high chirp of a child deeper and deeper into a demonic growl.
”I’ll help you. Follow my voice!”
Something slammed against the side of the shuttle.
”I’m coming to help, where are you? I can’t see you. I…can’t… see… YOU!”
The marines yelled out in alarm.
Commander Vir jumped back.
Something skittered and clawed at the metal outside.
More voices joined in whispering pleading.
Voices rose and fell, more often than not, mimicking the sound of children.
Sunny was up now and found herself at the center of a group of humans, who had backed themselves into a circle in the middle of the shuttle eyes wide.
The sounds died away for a few moments, leaving them in the deep silence of the forest.
Then there was a knock on the door…
"Daddy... Daddy, let me in, I'm scared... Help me."
One of the marines turned his wide-eyed face to the commander and then back to the door,
A hand clamped around his shoulder,
"No, marine, that isn't who you think it is."
"Daddy... Daddy please help me."
The knocking turned to a frantic banging then a thudding,
"Daddy please, something is coming!"
The sound of a small body throwing itself against the door repeated over and over and over again.
The marine's face was streaked with tears, but he held his ground.
However, as they listened, the sound of thudding grew louder and louder.
The shuttle rocked violently.
A child could not have had the strength to do that.
The marines cowered back against each other, weapons pointed towards the hatch.
The voices faded, turning themselves back into gibbering whispers.
Whispering died away, replaced by the sound of something rushing through the trees.
*Thud thud thud*
On the pad of feet.
It's movements were unholy.
It's feet or hands, whatever they were, were soft, and something dragged behind it.
Pad, pad scrape, pad pad, scrape.
"Let me in."
The voice was loud and sudden, emanating from about knee height and right behind them.
A girl's voice, throat torn and ragged, from fire...

Or from screaming.
The marines yelped and turned to the corner, where something now scratched against the metal.
Commander Vir was the first to voice what all the humans were thinking,
"Fuck this, let's get out of here."
With that, he rushed into the cockpit, giving a cursory glance to the cameras, but seeing nothing.
Engaging the coms system he opened a line to the other shuttles,
"Bravo, Charlie, this is Alpha leader ordering an immediate launch, do you copy?”
For a horrifying moment, it seemed as if they wouldn't answer, but then two voices crackled over the line, breathless and hopeful, filled with their agreement.
Commander Vir engaged the launch sequence as the other marines strapped themselves in.
Krill and Sunny looked around the cockpit in confusion, hardly understanding what was going on.
Sure, there was something creepy outside, but it was outside and obviously couldn’t get in…
They had never seen the human's cut and run so fast before.
And they Cut and run as fast as they possibly could, making it out of atmosphere in record time.
Back aboard the ship, only the graveyard skeleton crew was there to meet them, surprised and worried to find three teams of frightened, bedraggled marines, and their more than paranoid commander eyeing the shadows in newfound paranoia.
Krill watched from the side confused.
Sunny looked on in worry.
What was wrong with their humans?
The skeleton crew got to work, packing up the gear, allowing the marines to return to the crew quarters for a rest. Commander Vir followed, but paused in the long hallway up to the captain's quarters, glancing back at Sunny.
She was about ready to head down the hall to her room when he spoke,
"You know... Um maybe it is best if... If maybe, we set up a watch for-for tonight. I mean just to make sure nothing ended up hitching a ride or... Or something."
Sunny looked at him in surprise,
"But captain, space..."
"Yeah yeah... I know, I mean... Just in case, but like in the rec room... Where we have light, and space to fight... If we have to."
She tilted her head at him, but finally nodded in agreement.
She had never seen such a look of relief on anyone's face before, and together they made their way to the rec room, set up one of the couches and began their "watch.".
A watch that simply turned into Adam leaning against her arm and promptly falling asleep.
She rolled her eyes a little, and was about to do the same when…
A thud echoed to her from down the hallway.
She opened her eyes, suddenly awake and alert, ready for some creature to come around the corner, but instead one of the marines poked his head in,
"Er... do you guys, you know... need help?”
Sunny looked down at the sleeping commander and sighed,
"The more the merrier I suppose."
"Oh... ok... I guess I can help."
He walked over, selected a beanbag, pulled it up to her feet, and immediately followed his commander's lead.
Sunny sighed and closed her eyes, not even bothering to open them when the next set of footsteps moved up the hall,
"Yes... we are on watch, and yes, obviously we need your help."
This marine took the other side of the couch.
By the end of a half hour span Sunny sat lording over a room full of uneasily sleeping humans, and she idly wondered if this is what it would have been like to have a brood of her own.
However, since she wasn't likely to ever experience that, she would happily protect these ones from the dark.
Other species don't mind the mimics so much. However, for some reason they have a profound impact on humans. My theory is that, like the starborn they have some ability in telepathy, and because of this, they have complete access to the one thing that humans fear most: Their own imagination
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Intro post by me
OC-whole collection
Patreon of the author
submitted by maximusaemilius to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:22 thrwaway1622 Early in recovery, how did you deal with the PA’s emotional fluctuation?

I want to preface by kindly asking that anyone who replies refrains from “just leave” and “it’ll never get better” kind of comments. I understand if you feel that’s true and are trying to look out for others by saying so, but I’m not ready to leave my partner and these kinds of comments have caused me to go down really hopeless, dark rabbit holes in recent weeks. I’m working with my own betrayal trauma therapist so I have support that is very aware of the realities of this addiction. Thank you.
This turned into a semi vent, but I’m looking for support and advice from those who can relate. My partner has one month sober in SAA this Thursday. He’s been going to 1-2 meetings daily. This coming after 6 months of unsuccessfully white knuckling it, and about 2 years since initially disclosing his addiction to me. We were engaged the year prior and have been together 8 years total. I believe he has been sober this time; he no longer uses a smartphone, he has no access to any device that can get online without me unlocking it, we still have tracking apps, he isn’t home alone, doesn’t close the bathroom door, etc. These are things we mutually agreed on. He’s spent a lot of time at home journaling and reading books related to trauma recovery, sex and porn addiction, and other self help topics. He’s been working through the Help Her Heal workbook. He’s been working on his first step and 3 circles (I feel like these should both be done already). He got a sponsor. He’s scheduled to start working with a specialized therapist who also does EMDR next week. That I’m really hopeful about.
The thing I’m immensely struggling with though is his emotional fluctuation and inconsistency. I almost feel like I’m dealing with someone with split personalities. There’s a side of my partner who is wholly on board with recovery. He’s aware of the damage he’s caused and how his addiction and hiding it has impacted me. He feels genuine remorse. He’s kind, respectful and helpful. He’s committed and doing his best to wade through the discomfort of learning to be vulnerable and honest. He’s trying to be present with my emotions. But then there’s a side of him that is essentially the polar opposite. He’s still slipping into denial about the reality of his addiction. Still seeking external validation from me that everything’s fine when it isn’t. Still picking out anything about day to day life that looks “normal” and justifying to himself that the presence of it means there’s no problem anymore. He feels entitled to unconditional support and sees my emotions as taking away space for his. He’s flippant, self deprecating and detached. I feel like this side falls into objectification of women easily, whether that’s through porn or using me for emotional support.
When he’s been in a grounded headspace we’ve talked about this thoroughly and he calls this his addict brain. He says it feels like his angry inner child comes out, and that child feels entitled to anything that will make him feel better and resents anything and anyone that threatens that or meets him with anything other than unconditional positive regard. He was first exposed to porn at 8 years old, when his parents were divorcing and made no effort to explain anything that was going on to the kids. I understand the trauma, the misplaced anger and feelings of not receiving the care he needed. I experienced childhood emotional neglect too, so I empathize to a point…but I’ve grown to fucking hate his inner child. I can tell which headspace he’s in because his voice, facial expression, posture, everything is different between the two. I absolutely hate the way his shoulders slink down like an angsty teen and his eyebrows raise like he’s pouting. I hate the way his pitch goes up and he gets quieter, sometimes bordering on baby talk. This side of him is a professional pity party planner. It is so so unattractive to me. The self deprecation . The “I’m just a piece of shit”. I don’t care. I’m tired of hearing it. It feels like manipulation, and I call him on that. Like he’s trying to pull on my heartstrings to feel bad for him and cut him some slack. Sometimes he looks at me with total disdain when I tell him I’m not engaging with his victim mentality. I feel like he’s looking at me and seeing his Mom, projecting the shitty parent she was onto me because in that moment I’m not cleaning up the mess she made.
He’s been good about telling me about his meetings, sharing his reflections and what he’s learning. He hasn’t been as good about expressing active empathy and engaging with my experience, because I feel like that massively triggers the addict brain and he hasn’t found successful ways of regulating when he feels triggered.
I have it in me to support him through recovery, to do the hard work of rebuilding trust in our relationship. I want to save our relationship. But none of that is possible when he’s in the triggered headspace. When he’s grounded he sees me as his teammate, but addict brain sees me as his enemy. Every time the triggered mindset comes out I feel myself getting angrier and angrier. Being treated like the enemy feels like the most intense form of invalidation possible. Then we just circle the drain.
For the last month we’ve had 4-5 day stretches of him staying 90% in the grounded headspace. We’ve had fumbles and defensiveness that we’ve been able to work through without it escalating. But we haven’t been able to make it longer than 5 days without something happening that triggers the addict brain and he’s unable to regulate for at least 24 hours. Sometimes what triggers it will seem so minuscule to me that I don’t even catch it. In that instance what frequently happens is we’ll be having a conversation and then he starts saying things that are totally contradictory to things he said just a minute ago. I get confused and ask for clarity, and he either continues to contradict, gets defensive or starts trying to justify. Then I see that he’s no longer communicating from a grounded place. I do my best to disengage as soon as I catch it. Twice he’s caught it and gone into another room to try to regulate, which is progress, but I still feel like the frequency of him being unable to do that is unreasonable and not creating a safe environment for me.
This vacillation is making me feel like it’s impossible for me to support him in his recovery, because I feel like the lack of consistency triggers my feeling of being deceived. I grew up in a home where I had to walk on eggshells around an emotionally unstable parent, and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t triggering in that regard too.
I’m just curious to know if anyone who experienced something like this felt like it got better as your partner progressed in therapy and/or active recovery? Did anything specific help? Is disengaging the best way for me to handle this in terms of protecting myself? What else did you do to support yourself?
submitted by thrwaway1622 to loveafterporn [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:19 rainierirainieri Voters Guide For Real People (Taken from Nextdoor)

Surprisingly good content on Nextdoor. The post:
Let's laugh at local politics.
"Unpolitically Correct Voters Guide for Real People"

*Much like Tucker Carlson's TV show, this post is for entertainment purposes only. (Side note: my lawyer is also Tucker Carlson's lawyer and he told me to say that so I can't be held accountable for being legally braindead)*
Wayne Williams - Do you love water restrictions? Do you love traffic? Do you love the establishment? Do you love puppet politicians? Then you'll love Wayne Williams. Directly in the pockets of developers, Williams is the choice for anyone who wants unregulated growth that will force those in charge of our water infrastructure to make difficult decisions when our supply reaches a critical point. In his defense, he may actually be a good guy but a ventriloquist dummy is only as good as the person with their hand up his ass.

John "Tigger" Tiegen - You know that family member that ruins every thanksgiving dinner with endless schizophrenic rants about the deep state? This is who they would vote for if they weren't so woke to know that the voting machines are being controlled by the spectre of Mao Zedong. But they know a workaround to ensure their candidate gets into office: drive around with flags flying from their truck. And obviously if that doesn't work then the back up is just claiming election fraud.

Kallan Rodebaugh - The only good candidate. Not tainted by any Facebook narratives. Doesn't attack his opponents. All campaign donations go to Springs Mission. He has way better hair than any other choices. Can lift more than any other choices.

Daryll Glenn - This is the only candidate who will end the COVID lockdowns that Obama has inflicted on this country. Okay, sure, they have ended, but he'll travel back in time and end them. And sure, Obama isn't in office, but anyone who likes Glenn knows that Obama is teamed up with George Soros and Bill Gates to implant 5g chips in the populace and control them. Glenn will also fight back against the controllers of the Jewish space lasers that have been the cause of wildfires. Voting for him gets you a coupon code for MyPillow, so that's awesome.

Yemi - You know that warm fuzzy feeling you got when you voted for Obama because of all the hope and change and what not, then under Obama we drone struck a Yemeni wedding and it and we all were just like, "yeah, I definitely believe that I'm a leftist by voting for that" and then you were all like "orange man put kids in cage, I'm voting against him" and then the new guy just got nicer kids for the cage and you were all like "yeah, that's awesome I definitely think I'm a leftist for that"? Remember? Pepperidge farm remembers. Well, you can revive that feeling of neoliberal fetishistic disavowal by voting for a guy whose business was involved in wage theft and ignored sexual harassment allegations. Thank God (who he has personally spoken with, so there might be some collusion there) his supporters are telling people he wasn't to blame for those incidents because I haven't seen any evidence of him addressing the issue and clearing the air.

Christopher Mitchell - Finally, a candidate who has briefly skimmed the cliff's notes of the Constitution and is running a campaign based on a 4th graders understanding of said Constitution. He claims he'll handle things objectively, which, one can very well infer from reading about him that his version of objectivity will hew so close to subjective that you'll question the definition of either term. Also, wtf is the cowboy revolution? Does that mean this guy owns a Ford f-150 that's never left concrete?

Andrew Dalby - The dude took out a $400,000 loan for his campaign and his largest expenditure, the largest single expenditure among any of the candidates, is a $275,000 transaction to Dark Money Advertising LLC. The joke writes itself folks. A true caricature of politics. And listen, as a straight white male, I'm just as excited as the next straight white male for the possibility of the ideals in Handmaids Tale being the law of the land, but dude, chill. Side note: When Yemi claims he talked to God he was actually talking to Dalby.

Lawrence Martinez - I feel like if I try to add any coherent thoughts to this guy's platform, people will accuse me of being involved with his campaign. Considering that incoherence has been the preference for the executive branch of our federal government since 2016, he should be the frontrunner. But it's very likely that reading this is the first time you've heard of him.

Sallie Clark - The "i WoN't vOtE fOr cArEeR PoLiTiCiAnS" crowd aren't voting for her, so that is one out of two good things going for her. Of the viable candidates, she's probably the best choice when it comes to the real issues Colorado Springs faces (the ones Wayne Williams will make worse). But, as evidenced by her attack ad on Williams (which, by principle I don't vote for candidates who run attack ads) which juxtaposed Williams as someone who would dare reach across the aisle in bipartisan fashion, she is representative of the plague that is American entertainment politics. In a race that is supposed to be non-partisan, she has assured us that she is a conservative republican who is fine with alienating an entire voting demographic. I also heard a rumor that she talks to Margaret Thatcher with a Ouija board but I can't prove that.

Jim Miller - Jim Miller will increase the distance that sex offenders can live from schools. Jim Miller will increase the distance that sex offenders can live from playgrounds. Jim Miller will increase the distance that sex offenders can live from Chuck E Cheese. That's pretty much the platform. Oh, he doesn't like potholes either. We can all get on board with that, right? Just deport the pedos to Teller county and fix the potholes? We should probably just vote for this guy.

Longinos - You know that joke, "How do you know if someone's vegan? Don't worry, they'll tell you." Well, that's how Longinos is with his military career. And just like any panhandler that makes a dubious claim about being a veteran on their cardboard sign, he knows it's a strategy that works in this setting. He also makes the noble claim that he is the candidate for "the people" while being adamantly against everything half of "the people" want. He'll get up to 3% of the vote, which will at least beat Tiegen so that's fun.

Strand - Again, this is probably the first time you've heard of him. I think at this point it's probably a waste of time to waste my breath on someone all of us just heard of today because of this post. (The joke is that you all should have heard of him but he's been pushed far aside in this election)
submitted by rainierirainieri to ColoradoSprings [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:17 sowhatstheplanhere Experiences with short contact therapy with tretinoin for anti-aging

Hi all!
Looking for experiences from people who use short contact therapy with tretinoin for anti-aging specifically. If you do, hoping you can share answers to the following questions: 1) what strength do you use? 2) how long do you keep tret on your skin? 3) what have you noticed with regards to skin texture improvement, reduction in fine lines / wrinkles, etc 4) do you use it around your eyes?
I would like to do short contact therapy (rather than overnight usage) to avoid dry eye symptoms. I’d like to also improve my dark circles and ideally would like to use tret around my eyes (and hope that by doing short contact therapy, I will avoid dry eyes / getting tretinoin in my eyes since I’m not sleeping with it and causing it to be rubbed around my face and eyes with my pillow.)
Any insights would be great! Thank you so much!
submitted by sowhatstheplanhere to tretinoin [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:16 Wayback2k [OC] Multiversal Manuscript - Volume 1 - Organizations (FREE)

Presenting a chapter from what will eventually be the full 1st Volume of the Multiversal Manuscript, a catalog of all sorts of new characters, places, and things drawn from all piles of notes and random writing I've done for my D&D games and setting work. While generally written for a Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder style setting, its contents can be setting agnostic and made to fit any world.
This chapter contains entries for 19 Organizations as well as sample NPCs for each. It also includes the 20 page Appendix of minor entries that are referenced by both the Organizations in this text and what will eventually be the full product. Consider them a sneak preview.
They are intended to serve varied roles in many settings, from allies to enemies and anything in between. These organizations and their members are meant to be both inspiration and foundation for more, providing hooks and conflicts that can be tailored to your own worlds.

It is Free on DriveThruRPG -
Slowly working my way through editing everything and in refining the Organizations the size of the overall project has gone gone up about 25 pages. Looking at working on either my Monsters or Gods chapters next.
There is also my more general Preview version I posted here about 4 months ago if it is of interest; it gives an idea of the full scope of the project and what the final think is headed towards, content wise.
Any comments or suggestions to edits on either doc is welcome!
Below are 3 examples from the set -

Aggrieved, The

Covert - Grudge Bearing Dwarves
A clandestine organization of dwarves spread across the world. For a fee, they take on the grudges and hatreds of any dwarf or clan, storing them in massive iron tomes. They dispatch specialists to ensure that the targets of the grudges suffer or repay what is owed, be it in blood or gold. The group actively recruits dwarves who have nothing left to lose, such as exiles, criminals, lone survivors, or those who cannot fit into normal dwarven society. The Aggrieved provides them with purpose and an outlet for pent-up frustrations, especially against surface dwellers or their eternal foes in the depths of the world. While the group is something of an open secret in most dwarven communities, they are keen to keep their existence from outsiders. Chief among the grievances they are sought to satisfy is the reacquisition of ancient dwarven treasures that have been stolen and the punishment of those who currently possess them, even if they are many owners removed from the original thieves. Rumors persist of a Grudgebearer who has spent over a hundred years systematically tracking down every subsequent owner of a long-dead dwarven mountain lord’s treasure, leaving hundreds of dead in their wake. The Aggrieved also fulfills more indirect grievances, such as ensuring that a particular human noble family will forever see their fortunes ruined for cheating a clan elder in a trade deal in a prior generation, or that the elves will never expand past the mountains that once belonged to a now-fallen dwarven city for failing to come to their aid when needed. Additionally, a few of their members, more unstable and violent than the rest, are sent on Bitter Hunts to forever seek out and slay the sworn enemies of the dwarves until they wipe them all out or die in the process.
Kerganosk the Brazen: An Aggrieved hunter who has made it his mission to seek revenge against fire giants. He has become a legend among the giants, who fear him greatly. The dwarf is known for his scorched and pitted brass armor, which he refuses to take off until he has seen to the utter decimation of his enemies. Despite the fact that the greater dwarven kingdoms have publicly disavowed Kerganosk's crusade, they do nothing to stop him. In fact, many younger dwarves who are eager to earn a name for themselves or reject the withdrawn nature of their forebearers have joined his cause. These dwarves are cult-like in their devotion to Kerganosk and have expanded their hatred to include all giants, no matter where they may be. Although Kerganosk remains focused on his mission, he is more than willing to share his martial tactics and specialized weaponry with anyone who wishes to see the giants destroyed, even non-dwarves who show some talent. Together with his allies, he has been able to vex his enemies for years, often laying low for extended periods as they plan simultaneous strikes against multiple targets, or emerging suddenly for an overwhelming attack on a valuable target before quickly disappearing once again. Through bounty hunters and smaller allies. the giants have attempted to track down Kerganosk and his hidden lairs throughout the Underdelve. Thus far they have only found fleeting traces of his passing and no small number of cleverly hidden traps in the broken halls of dead dwarven fortresses that the Brazen and his followers rotate through.
Gallkag Brimrift: A grim dwarf who has claimed a stretch of mountains that were once settled as part of a collaborative effort between dwarves and humans to establish a long-lasting trade city. However, the short-lived humans and their tumultuous politicking soured the venture, leading to tensions that eventually flared into skirmishes, then war. In the end, the dwarves were forced to cut their losses and retreat back into the depths of the earth to their homeland. Gallkag, left for dead in the last days of the conflict, was "rescued" by the Aggrieved. After he recovered, he eagerly took it upon himself to make the humans of the region pay for their transgressions. He now ceaselessly stalks the mountain passes of his former home, waylaying any human travelers that have the misfortune of crossing paths with him and his pack of beasts. Operating out of the half-built trade city, Gallkag's territory is honeycombed with tunnels that only he knows about. Many have tried to ferret the vicious dwarf out, but his mastery of the landscape allows him to evade interlopers with ease, picking them off one by one or tricking them into the many hazards present.
Urist Dastordruk: An undercover liaison for agents of the Aggrieved in one of the largest aboveground cities of the realm. He owes an extensive debt of both coin and honor to the organization for avenging his extended family's death many years prior. Though few are sure what exactly he does as an occupation beyond being a perennial socialite, the dwarf has earned a reputation throughout the city and beyond for his uncanny knack for making friends across all strata of society and getting them connected. If he doesn't know someone or something, he certainly knows who does and can get in touch for a nominal fee, of course. However, Urist hates every second of it. Every handshake, every fake smile, and every cheering toast. He wants nothing more than to be back in the mountainhome of his kin and away from the petty, meaningless lives of all the small-minded people on the surface. To maintain his composure, Urist's handler in the Aggrieved has supplied him with a steady stream of alchemical concoctions that serve to both suppress his incredible hatred of those peoples tangentially responsible for the downfall of his family and enhance the charming facade of his public personality. Over time, the doses have had to become more and more potent to maintain their effect, and the dwarf has begun experiencing strange fugue states. When he emerges, Urist is often standing at the edge of a roof looking out over the city below or back in his home covered in blood that is not his. He is both terrified of what has been happening and hopeful that it might lead to an end of his torment, honor be damned. The Grudgebearer that owns his debt cares little for Urist's plight. While the dwarf has been exceedingly useful in feeding the organization information and the whereabouts of targets, the cost of maintaining his persona has begun to outweigh the benefits, especially if it possibly draws attention to the existence of the Aggrieved.


Dustbringers' Market

Guild - Ghostly Wandering Merchants
Hailing from an abandoned marketplace in a long-dead city where the Veil between the realm of the living and the dead is nearly non-existent, several lingering dead have managed to leave the city and establish wandering markets in derelict sections of distant cities. They have achieved this through the use of mortal ‘handlers’, ragged humanoids who have forged a sort of pact with the dead of the city to serve as anchors for the ghostly merchants. Visitors to one of these markets, whether in its original city or one of its wandering offshoots, can trade their knowledge of the living world or more ephemeral wares such as memories and emotions in exchange for the long-forgotten knowledge of the dead city's people or whatever other secrets they've garnered from beyond the Land of the Dead. The Dustbringers have somehow managed to craft or acquire ghostly goods that provide boons to the living when it comes to dealing with or fighting the undead. Some are even willing to cut long-term deals and pacts with the living to acquire resources for their strange deathly economy.
Morof and Echessar: This pair is the most widely known members of the Dustbringers, accompanied by their ever-cloaked and silent human servant. They have come to reside in a city of the living, but the authorities take exception to their very existence, forcing them to stay on the move within the city walls. They set up their ghostly shop in different abandoned buildings or dark alleyways each night and simply wait. They are content to let the rumor mills bring customers to them, as they always seem to have something that entices prospective buyers, even with the strange prices they demand. The most common items they sell, if anything of theirs could be considered common, are lead coins stamped with a closed eye. Swallowing one of these coins renders the imbiber undetectable to the undead until it passes. Their usual fee for most purchases is measured in minutes of life per day, in perpetuity, from what remains of a customer’s natural lifespan. The portly Morof eagerly assures prospective customers that they won’t miss such a paltry sum of time. However, each night when the toll comes due and the disturbingly gaunt Echessar appears to collect, many feel they have chosen poorly as the shade’s icy hand reaches into them and pulls away threads of their soul. Such is the power of the Dustbringers’ deals that they are able to reach their customers wherever they may be on any plane. Should a client attempt to hide out elsewhere, the ghostly merchants are not above hiring others to retrieve them, so that they may collect what they are due, plus interest.
The Urn: One of the most powerful members of the Dustbringers, it has a cadre of lesser member shades of the guild bound to it by contracts etched upon large scrolls of thin lead sealed within ivory cases. These pacts seemingly predate the deaths of the Dustbringers’ mortal forms in centuries past and raise questions as to just how the demise of their city came about. The Urn itself is a massive vessel of cloudy black marble, weighing hundreds of pounds, with patterns traced in gold that subtly shift and flow. It has a brass cover at its top, with several fluted pipes emerging from it, curving upwards. Although it rarely moves, when it emerges from its vault-lair, it is carried on a great palanquin by a dozen mortal handlers. Through the deals it has struck with entities from the Land of the Dead, The Urn has extensive power over souls that have passed into that realm, summoning them forth for interrogation, torment, or to bind them back onto the mortal realm. It is even able to shape these recalled shades into physical objects with particular potency and protection against both the living and the dead. While The Urn allows its servant Dustbringers to conduct their deals in their own way, what it desires above all is vast quantities of physical wealth, such as gold and other valuable metals, along with gems of all kinds. Why The Urn would seek such extensive and mundane riches instead of the more ephemeral things like emotions or life force, which its kin typically traffic in, is a mystery. Some speculate that it aims to perform a ritual on behalf of a Power that it has contracted with, utilizing the symbolic connection and meaning of wealth to enact some drastic change to the mortal plane. Others believe that it is working towards building a powerful construct body through which it can personally enact its will. However, The Urn freely allows such conjecture, confident in its power to control other souls with minimal effort. The Urn does not manifest its ghostly form directly to interact with its servants or prospective clients. Instead, it emerges from the brass pipes at its apex as a sickly mist before occupying the body of one of its ragged mortal attendants. Even then, it rarely does so, instead relying on the fanatical devotion of its Dustbringer seneschals to negotiate on its behalf. It stirs to action only when it needs to call forth and shape a soul from beyond.
Zaunfe: Once a respected member of the Dustbringers, renowned for her ability to craft and transmute strong metaphysical sympathetic energy into physical objects and vice versa. However, fleeting traces of mortality constantly slipping through her spectral fingers began to torment her with fragmented memories of the life she once lived. Now, Zaunfe desires nothing less than to become mortal again. Despite not being formally expelled from the guild, it has been declared that none are to interact with her or allow her back into the city of their origin. If it became known just how many of their secrets she has been sharing in her pursuit of a new life, and the crimes she has committed against other shades, it is likely that they would actively hunt Zaunfe down and return her to the Land of the Dead by force if necessary. Unlike others in the guild, Zaunfe forms symbiotic pacts with the suffering mortals she comes across, giving them a longer lease on life than they might have had without her help. Unfortunately, she constantly leeches away her pact bonded associate's emotions and personality, mingling with hers until they are difficult to distinguish from one another. More than just keeping her partner alive, she is able to extend her spectral transmutation power through them, turning emotional connections into physical boons and weapons. With such objects, she reverts back to the mercantile nature at her core, wheeling and dealing with them to gain the allies and resources she requires. Given her knowledge of how the Land of the Dead and the mortal realm interact, she feverishly pursues leads on how to contact the Powers of that plane to forge whatever deal is necessary to be reborn. This pursuit for knowledge and those who possess it has proven exceedingly dangerous, and over the years she has led a number of her mortal partners to their own deaths. When untethered, Zaunfe is forced to rekindle and perpetuate her own essence through the consumption of powerful emotions, either elicited from nearby mortals or through the destruction of physical mementos that bear a great deal of sentimental value. In desperation, she has even consumed lost ghosts that she has encountered. These shades, often confused and trapped in the Veil of the mortal realm, are easy prey for one of their kind that possess full awareness and sentience. All of this consumption of emotion and personality has not come without a cost. Zaunfe now resembles little of the unique entity that she once was and is now an amalgamation of all the different beings she has fed upon in one way or another. While these conflicting impulses can sometimes drive her into fits of mania, what has remained a constant tethering influence to her soul is the overwhelming drive to attain life once again.

Ruinous Dawn, The

Divine - Seekers of Deific Rebirth
A group of former heroes and remnants of a forgotten age of the multiverse. Their all-consuming desire for the rebirth of their divine patron has driven them to transcend mortality and resort to abhorrent methods to carry out their 'sacred' task, one that fervently believe will ultimately redeem the multiverse. Uzarial was one of the earliest celestial deities of the sun, life, and purification of evil, and their death in a catastrophic final conflict with an unknown Elder Entity is something the founders of the Ruinous Dawn have never truly accepted. Their goal is to resurrect Uzarial, seeing its return as the catalyst required to cleanse the wretched planes of what they consider to be pervading and all-consuming evil. Each member has vowed to use whatever means necessary in pursuit of the knowledge and power they need to breach the Vale of Dead Gods and usher forth Uzarial's return. Despite this, they believe that their actions constitute the ultimate good, a concept that exceeds the grasp of most mortal minds and is superior to the 'morality' of ordinary individuals. The current Gods of Light are viewed by the Dawn as either ineffective pretenders at best or complicit in the multiverse's defiled state through their inaction at worst. They aim to subsume all such false gods into the reborn Uzarial when the time comes, reclaiming their deific essence and putting it to proper use. The six elders of the Ruinous Dawn are scattered throughout the planes, each pursuing the 'Endeavor' in their own way. They meet every fifty years to pool their knowledge and make arrangements for the future. These summits often result in an ambitious act against perceived foes, as well as the setting in motion of complex plots towards their ultimate goal. Their schemes can range from the acquisition of required relics and artifacts to the realignment of several planes towards a configuration more suitable to their cosmic aims. Most founders of the Ruinous Dawn have long since ceased feeling remorse for their actions, no matter how questionable or amoral they may become. Those that do bear regret for all the lives they have spent seeking the God's return fully intend to suffer the judgement of their patron or scour themselves from existence as unworthy to reside in the paradise that will result. Several have attracted followers that share their cynical view of the planes and desire to resurrect Uzarial, or founded obscure faiths across the planes with the same intent. However, such allies are often seen as fleeting or expendable and are tested regularly, for the Ruinous Dawn is ever paranoid of infiltrators and those that would despoil their sacred Endeavor.
Alithrienne: Uzarial’s most devout mortal agent and an Exalted of demi-god like power, she took the celestial deity’s fall most severely and was a driving force towards the formation of the Dawn. Bearing a large portion of the fallen God’s power after their passing, she set about holding together what was left of their divine realm. Alithrienne fought to stave off planar usurpers and scavengers that sought to pick over its remains. If that was not enough, she was also forced to stave off other celestial entities and divine servitors that balked at a mortal claiming such a role. Despite considerable effort, even she and her allies were not able to prevent the gradual dissolution of Uzarial’s realm; infusions of celestial essence and sundered relics only delaying the inevitable. In a moment of despair and anguish, she plunged the God’s final relic, a great spear of pearlescent stone and golden light, through her own heart. She intended to give the last shreds of power in both herself and the weapon to the divine realm in a bid to halt its decay and ensconce it as a memorial within the Astral.
The inherent desperation of her act mixed with the unstable divine energies of the plane, the relics, and the Astral instead merged her soul with the last of Uzarial’s divine power. Alithrienne, the realm, and the great spear became one, an untethered demi-plane out of phase with the rest of the multiverse. Other members of the Dawn, still holding on to a semblance of their connection to the dead God, were able to locate it in this state and commune with the transcended Exalted. In her new form, she quite literally became the foundation of the Ruinous Dawn. While the further deterioration of Alithrienne’s realm has halted, it remains in a shattered state. It is composed of several dozen floating islands of broken marble-like rock covered in golden grass. Spires and temples of an opaque white glass are scattered across the islands, cracked, and crumbling but still held aloft even in pieces. The only structure that has remained whole is a grand temple of the same shimmering glass in the realm’s center, the seat of Alithrienne’s power and the meeting place for the rest of the Ruinous Dawn during their infrequent conclaves.
Nearly a true God herself, Alithrienne has been able to create minor servitors to watch over the realm, though they are little more than bird-like beings of light. The spear that was integral to her transcendence was once held in a reliquary of stained glass at the apex of the central cathedral. Still a greater relic in its own right, Alithrienne discovered that her consciousness and will reside in it as well. When wielded by a mortal, she would be able to freely traverse between the rest of the multiverse and her realm and assist the rest of the Dawn in its plot to resurrect Uzarial. Over the ages, Alithrienne, in her spear form, has been wielded by countless mortals; many willingly chose to bear her power and enact her will, but not all. When an accord could not be made with a bearer to serve, she would bring the full force of her semi-divine might down upon them. Such recusants are left as little more than puppets hollowed out by her terrible light; even if they were to be freed from Alithrienne spear, it would take a greater divine power to make them whole again. Through these wielders, legend and infamy has been carved across the multiverse by her actions, each a small part of the greater Endeavor. As the Ruinous Dawn’s plans grow ever closer to fruition, Alithrienne hopes deeply to serve as the cradle from which Uzarial may be reborn, even if she may be utterly consumed in the process.
talshir: A zealot in the service of Uzarial, he had spent his entire life operating in the shadows cast by the celestials’ divine light. Brought up from birth to eradicate enemies of the faith, Talshir remained steadfast in his crusade, even after the fall of his God. In fact, he saw the death of his deity as validation of his actions, as it demonstrated that anything was killable. However, Talshir's methods went beyond merely ending the lives of his adversaries, he went so far as to master the tools of his enemies, including forbidden mystical arts that would have marked him a heretic under normal circumstances. When he eventually joined the core founders of the Ruinous Dawn, Talshir discovered a newfound sense of purpose as part of the Endeavor. It was his destiny to be the left hand of the reborn God and usher in the demise of the hopelessly corrupt planes.
To achieve the longevity required for such a destiny, Talshir delved into the darkest secrets of soul magic and combined them with the knowledge of life provided to him by other members of the Dawn. Rather than consuming the souls of others, he chose to shatter his own soul into hundreds of fragments and scatter them throughout the multiverse. Although the results were unpredictable, the vast majority of his soul fragments were able to take root in mortal hosts. After Talshir's original body was placed in stasis in a hidden tomb, his will was able to manifest within those who bore his soul fragments, even across generations of their descendants. Spread across various planes, the Talshirs form a unified cult with a common purpose, and dozens of them are active on different mortal realms at any given time. While the personality of each Talshir may vary due to their diverse experiences, they are essentially simulacrum of the original, sharing his mind if not his physical body. The Prime Talshir is the singular host in which the full consciousness of the original Talshir is able to manifest, representing the Talshirs at the Ruinous Dawn's conclaves and issuing orders to the others. During the years between conclaves, the Prime Talshir takes it upon himself to visit each of the other Talshirs individually, in order to ensure their continued adherence to their mission. Any Talshir who has strayed too far from their task is dealt with in a manner that Talshir himself refers to as being 'returned to the source'. In such cases, a new incarnation is sent to take their place, even if it takes years for one to manifest.
Shephard of Eternity: Once a grand paladin of an inter-planar order, sworn to Uzarial, their name has been deliberately purged from history. They made a glorious sacrifice in order to obtain the power necessary to bolster the martial forces of the Ruinous Dawn. By rending open their own soul, they established a direct conduit to the Plane of Life, a realm of positive energy from which all nascent souls originate. Using this raw creative energy, they have created a legion of homunculi to serve the Endeavor. Over the centuries, in order to sustain the portal within their body, this individual, having come to be known as the Shephard, replaced most of their body with sanctified metals and sacred stones, effectively becoming a construct save for their heart and a few other organs.
Embracing their role as the forgemaster of the Dawn, the Shephard is driven to perfect their creations to better serve the cause of their allies. While they often lament the necessity of forcing pure and untainted souls into new forms, the Shephard sees it as a necessary act to preserve the planes in the long run, confident that Uzarial will purge them of any suffering they might experience once the rebirth of reality comes. Although most of their creations are humanoid in appearance, with stone-like opaline flesh and silver armaments, the Shephard aspires to create artificial angels to serve as the ultimate shock troops in the eventual siege of the Vale of Dead Gods. However, they have thus far met with limited success, as their pseudo-angels of condensed soul-stuff prove to be highly volatile and prone to mutation, resulting in horrific forms with too many limbs and eyes. Nevertheless, even in their malformed state, these creations have proven useful against the enemies of the Dawn and those who have stumbled across their secret existence. Despite the accolades of their comrades, the Shephard has grown increasingly despondent over their failure to create a true angel. They have begun to engage their private homunculi forces to delve into the primeval ruins of the First War between the Gods and Primordials in search of the secrets that led to the first angels' creation.

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2023.03.20 22:09 After_Manner3015 Hope this doesn't make me sound like a douche

So obviously there's been this weird cultural rift thats become a huge issue, actually dividing alot of people and convincing thousands of them that people of H3 are actually evil or something. Which is hilarious to some degree- but also really sad.
To me it seems like the divide is between people who are hyper-competitive individualists and others who are more enjoy the ride, coexisting personality types. The extremes being like Tate vs Hasan, just off the top of my head.
I admit I go to different streamers that the podcast has/had beef w because I am a lazy ass who needs constant reinforcement if I am going to have anything accomplished before I die without knowing what health insurance feels like. Just sayin.
Sure I'd like to see the podcast include some "self help" stuff now and then but Ethan has explicitly said he's against it and I respect that. But if anyone actually sees this I'd like to point out something crucial that may be trivial to some, but important as a whole.
If you like to smoke a little weed, play video games, watch porn or all 10+ hours of the H3 podcast a week- whatever it is these weirdos don't want you doing cause it's gay or whatever- prove them wrong. It all comes down to a few things that allow you to do whatever you want with your life:
-Have a goal unless you are 100% satisfied w life.
-Plan your time at least by the hour, if you can.
-Understand your cash flow the best you can.
I promise you that everyone on the crew is doing these things and want you to do them too, ha. Don't push. If you're already doing them consistently you know that it comes with its own challenges and everyone deals with those differently. How you choose to do so is up to you, but no matter your position in life you can be sure you are moving in the right direction.
Its a satisfying thing having the ability to indulge yourself now and then, but be proud of your achievements on your own right. One day I'd like to retire to goof and gaff full time, but for now there's a lot of things I have to do I really don't like doing and that's just the way it is. I'm sure many of you understand that.
Again- I know trivial to some but I notice a huge difference in my "above and beyond" self improvement mentality when I don't get outside the h3h3 humor world (in terms of entertainment) for a week or two.
I know with the scary state of the economy, hustle culture can be appealing. Get your bag so you don't have to worry about eating. But your opportunity isnt gonna fly out the window while you're watching the podcast. Unless you were supposed to be working, which then yeah- it might.
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2023.03.20 22:09 throwRA_Abby7919 I abused my daughter and she hates my guts. The guilt is destroying me.

Please do not remove this or think I’m a troll. I have tried to vent and confess on Reddit but am accused of being a troll. I cannot confess anywhere else because I don’t want to go to jail even though I’m pretty sure I can’t at this point….. but the guilt that’s eating at me is worse than jail.
I abused my daughter for 15 years. I had her young and her father left us and wanted nothing to do with the situation whatsoever. I ended up resenting her for it. I was young. I shouldn’t have been a mother. And I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation. I have tried to apologize to her but she doesn’t think it’s genuine since I never mentioned the details of the things but I’m going to detail them here to let it off my chest.
From the ages of 1-3
As she got older (7-14) and I got married to an unstable man, I took out my frustrations on her whenever he left. I made her take on a parental role when he left and came back. I had her change diapers, wake up sometimes in the middle of the night to give bottles, ect.
I exposed her to things I shouldn’t have because of my nymphomania. Told her explicit details of my sex life with my ex husband and my past history. Didn’t remove very disgusting emails and pornography on the computer. And when she was younger, I would shake my boobs and dance naked in front of the mirror and sing because I thought it was funny.
I’ve said very hurtful things to her. Told her I wish I never fucked her father. A loser. Told her she had a balloon face. More stretch marks than me. Cellulite. Would zoom in on pictures I took of her and point out her belly and thighs. She was bullied at school constantly and I would agree with what they said and tell her that’s why she had no friends. I was secretly jealous of her I guess.
She’s always had substance abuse issues and undiagnosed ADHD and was a difficult kid. I shouldn’t have acted like that. I should have done better parenting tools. I knew she was cutting herself but I didn’t care to get her help.
When she was 14, she told me her and her 24 year old coach were kissing and I recently found out that it was way more than that. My heart broke. I didn’t think all of that happened.
I have no idea where to start to make this right. She hates me. She is a kind person despite it all and has made a good life for herself. I kicked her out when she was 17 because she could not follow my rules, and smoked weed in front of my other children. She didn’t have a car or a bank account or a job. I was expecting her to fail so she’d come back and finally listen. But she didn’t. And the guilt is destroying me. What do I even do.
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2023.03.20 22:08 throwRA_Abby7919 I (43f) abused my daughter (22f) and she hates me now. The guilt is killing me

Please do not remove this or think I’m a troll. I have tried to vent and confess on Reddit but am accused of being a troll. I cannot confess anywhere else because I don’t want to go to jail even though I’m pretty sure I can’t at this point….. but the guilt that’s eating at me is worse than jail.
I abused my daughter for 15 years. I had her young and her father left us and wanted nothing to do with the situation whatsoever. I ended up resenting her for it. I was young. I shouldn’t have been a mother. And I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation. I have tried to apologize to her but she doesn’t think it’s genuine since I never mentioned the details of the things but I’m going to detail them here to let it off my chest.
From the ages of 1-3
As she got older (7-14) and I got married to an unstable man, I took out my frustrations on her whenever he left. I made her take on a parental role when he left and came back. I had her change diapers, wake up sometimes in the middle of the night to give bottles, ect.
I exposed her to things I shouldn’t have because of my nymphomania. Told her explicit details of my sex life with my ex husband and my past history. Didn’t remove very disgusting emails and pornography on the computer. And when she was younger, I would shake my boobs and dance naked in front of the mirror and sing because I thought it was funny.
I’ve said very hurtful things to her. Told her I wish I never fucked her father. A loser. Told her she had a balloon face. More stretch marks than me. Cellulite. Would zoom in on pictures I took of her and point out her belly and thighs. She was bullied at school constantly and I would agree with what they said and tell her that’s why she had no friends. I was secretly jealous of her I guess.
She’s always had substance abuse issues and undiagnosed ADHD and was a difficult kid. I shouldn’t have acted like that. I should have done better parenting tools. I knew she was cutting herself but I didn’t care to get her help.
When she was 14, she told me her and her 24 year old coach were kissing and I recently found out that it was way more than that. My heart broke. I didn’t think all of that happened.
I have no idea where to start to make this right. She hates me. She is a kind person despite it all and has made a good life for herself. I kicked her out when she was 17 because she could not follow my rules, and smoked weed in front of my other children. She didn’t have a car or a bank account or a job. I was expecting her to fail so she’d come back and finally listen. But she didn’t. And the guilt is destroying me. What do I even do.
submitted by throwRA_Abby7919 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 22:06 knightfluttershy Opinion: “Toxic Masculinity” is a heavily exaggerated issue, but feminists are starting to enforce it

There’s this belief in most feminist circles that culture has been portraying masculinity in a toxic way, encouraging men to be overly aggressive, sexual and repress their emotion. While I do not believe that this has been the case, I do think feminists are starting to bring it into reality.

The problem with the “toxic masculinity” theory is that there’s simply no evidence that it’s been heavily encouraged by recent media. For instance, the most prominent male heroes in media would probably be Frodo Baggins and Luke Skywalker, considering Star Wars and LOTR are both incredibly culturally influential and widely acclaimed (LOTR is the most read novel of all time, and Star Wars became an absolute juggernaught of post 1970’s media.) Luke solves his conflicts by refusing to cut down a defenceless man and his emotional connection to his father, Frodo is literally defined by his anti-violence. Both are celibate during their respective trilogies. This is as far as you can be from “toxic masculinity”, and yet this canard has only increased in its intensity. This has lead to a belief that we need to “challenge toxic masculinity in stories”, but in doing this, we over-correct for a problem that wasn’t actually there to begin with. If anything I’m starting to think we need more well thought out and good examples of masculinity in fiction; not less!
Now ask yourself, what are the three most common feminist insults? “Nice guy” (men who are not aggressive enough), “incel“ (men who have no sexual experiences) and “fragile” (men who display emotions). You see what’s happening? “If I can’t find a toxic masculinity problem, I’ll MAKE a toxic masculinity problem!” They need toxic masculinity to exist to further their goals, so to prove themselves right they’ve generated a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is what is known as a “positive feedback loop”: feminism generates ”toxic masculinity”, which in turn generates more feminism, and the loop reinforced itself.
One thing about positive feedback loops: they‘ll always collapse eventually, depending on how stable they are. This can’t continue indefinitely, but while it does continue it will only cause more harm for men AND women alike.
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