----- *"For fans, watching in bars fulfills their desire to share the love of a game that many watched at home alone before. Fans organize so-called Barcraft events, taking over pubs and bistros from Honolulu to Florida and switching big-screen TV sets to Internet broadcasts of professional game matches happening often thousands of miles away."* - [The Wall Street Journal](http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904070604576516462736084234.html) ----
A place for players of Battlezone on the PSVR to meet, find co-op companions, discuss strategy, hints and tips, and more.
Learn how false domestic allegations and corrupt government officials conspired to destroy one man’s life.
2 wristbands for the Friday opening day at GovBall June 9,2023. Shaded lounge, nicer bathrooms, private Bar. We paid 550 for these with fees. This is worth the upgrade in experience and won’t last long on market. PM me
Hi. 32F, 135lbs, 5’5. I take Adderall most weekdays, 20mg. A couple years ago I had my postauricular lymph node biopsied on the right side as well as some moles around my scalp. The node was hard and fixed and didn’t go down with antibiotics. Moles were dysplastic, benign. What I understood about the node was whatever they saw under the microscope might have indicated “in situ follicular neoplasia” but my ENT did not seem to concerned about it and there was no evidence of lymphoma present.
About three days ago I had pain in my neck on the right side, thought I slept weird. And then two days ago in the late afternoon I suddenly got a really weird headache. It hurt(s) pretty bad and is different than any headache I’ve ever had. It was near the top on the right side above my ear but like in the middle. And then yesterday the pain continued, it was hard for me to move and especially hard for me to turn my head to the right. If I press on the right side of my neck in a certain spot at the base of my skull it creates kind of a shooting pain. But the pain in general is fairly constant.
Anyone know what this might be/if I need to go see a doc soon? I’m moving tomorrow and I’m really annoyed lol.
Hey guys ! So this isn't really a question or something but I just wanted to talk about my experience with a tuba so far. I switched to tuba around veterans day bc our other tuba can't celebrate anything due to his religion. I played euphonium before , so I caught on quickly.
I thought I was gonna quit after the Christmas concert but something about the tuba just made me wanna stay. I continued and I made 3rd chair in honor band ! There were 8 tubas , so i was really happy with the outcome.
Then came our spring concert and now I'm using a newer tuba gifted to our school by the state instead of our old , broken down rotary. I had to use the rotary during our LGPE performance but that's okay. I just couldn't play any notes that were above high C. I played in our spring concert and even got a soli (2 tubas and 1 Bari sax part. It was in Cantina Band from Star Wars).
For those of you who aren't sure about switching to tuba , I suggest doing it. Its really fun and you'll find a talent you didn't even know you had. Take it from me , someone who's only been playing for nearly 9 months or more. Have fun with it !
This seems to be their tagline but what I really want to know is that is it even true?
I really adore this podcast but this little tidbit has always bothered me.
I mean I do feel like that most people know that diets in by themselves don't lead to permanent weight loss/change. Hence the increasingly used term "lifestyle change" vs diet. This phase implies that the weight that one loses is sustainable and barring circumstances outside of our control ie, injury, disease (physical or menta), pregnancy, socioeconomical, etc, you can keep the weight off as long as you maintain these changes.
Can someone explain to me the way carbon tax benefits me financially? so every business that relies on gas will inevitably need to raise prices on goods and services making it more expensive for me, the money I receive back in 3 quarterly payments comes out of my tax dollars. I need my car to get to work, I can't afford an electric vehicle, none of my coworkers live near me to carpool. Apparently this puts money back in my pocket instead of costing me? can someone break down in what way? lol. I'm just genuinely curious.
Thought I could make some extra weekend money. Shopper app shows stores near me that are busy, I post up in Costco parking lot which says 1-5 minutes to get batches. 30 minutes go by and I'm left only with the decision to leave because it's hot af outside and I can't leave my car running a whole hour. Yesterday I managed to make an ok amount but was dealing with the same crap. Hour wait for a mediocre batch! So glad I'm not relying on it full time anymore, but damn has this app gotten more and more trash the longer I have it.
Anyone having a good Saturday or is this same crap across the board right now?
(rant, feel free to skip) So I am a cunt who nearly wasted his 11th and 12th and took 1st drop, and my ex class mate from class 7-10th , let's say him A, who is also in his first drop year, live together, now the thing is he studied in his 11th and 12th from Allen kotha and he is currently in better state than mine.
No it's not that I don't study, I try to push my limits, but today He gave me a "easy" nomenclature question and I couldn't solve it.
I feel useless cause my all work doesn't seems to have any effect on my level.
Hye everyone I am a student from India planning to apply for masters/phd chemistry programs abroad for fall '24.
Many top US colleges do not offer a direct masters in chemistry, instead offering a PHD. I know PHD is much more about my fit with my potential advisor and the lab I will work in, but I have also seen that prestige and other stuff matter too.
I wish to know if my profile is competitive enough to apply to the top universities for masters/phd in chemistry, I will be applying with a focus on theoretical chemistry and ML/AI.
Here is my profile:
BTech Chemical Science and Technology from IIT Guwahati. CGPA - 9.01/10
Department Rank 1
Have taken around 15-20 Chem courses with 10/10 grades in all except 2.
Have taken electives like optimization, biotech electives, and CS courses.
Awards: Institute Merit Scholarship where the fee gets refunded to the department rank 1 of that branch.
2 months in National Chemical Laboratory - Could not get very fruitful work there much as I was still at the end of my 2nd year and had no experience.
6 months under a prof at UNSW. Got 1 ML paper (pending approval at a mid tier journal)
6 Months at Central Food Tech Institute, worked in Computational Biology/Chemistry - Will get 2 papers out in the next 2 months
Project in DFT/Molecular Mechanics - (Yet to start, will be my final year)
A collaborative project with a huge herbal product manufacturing company near my college. We proposed insights and testing for how to dispose their waste effectively.
2 projects in Optimization - 1 in scheduling algorithms, did not publish a paper, but did enough work for one, other one was in optimization for route delivery systems.
1 project in ML for text summarisation applications
1 project in Game Development where we made a 3D model of the entire campus for players to roam around in and play.
GRE: Havent given yet, but am confident that I will get 320+ (plan to give once before the pattern change)
LORs: 1 from prof at UNSW with whom I had 1 paper, 1 from University (Close professor, has helped me connect with professors too), 1 from intern.
I have some strong extracurriculars but they are not related to chem at all.
My main issue is that my profile does not look very chem focused. Please help me and let me know what schools I can aim for, and whether its worth applying to the ivies/any top schools.
--- Table of Contents
--- Autumn 4986, 16 Aoimoth
Shon and Nangran hobbled their horses at the base of a steep hill deep in the woods north of Hamerfoss. They'd left at fourth bell, before any of the other Squires had woken for their morning run, and it had still taken them hours of riding through narrow trails to reach this place. At least they hadn't run into any monsters. The snow that had dusted the landscape during the night lay thick here, crunching underfoot and occasionally flopping noisily to either side as it fell from the tall evergreen branches.
Shon adjusted the strap of his sword across his chest and reached his left hand back to brush shaking fingers over its hilt. He'd been glad when the Paladins insisted he take it with him. To them, it marked Shon as a representative of Hengist and the Temple. To Shon, it was a sign of his hard work and resolve. Having it was a comfort.
Nangran started up the hill, and Shon hurried to follow. The smith hadn’t spoken a word since they set out, not even to try and ease Shon’s anxiety, for which Shon was grateful. Master Daunas had tried to sound confident as Shon saddled his borrowed horse, and The Major General had offered him encouragement as they mounted. Neither realized how much that just drove home the desperation of the situation in Shon’s mind.
The smith pulled his heavy cloak tighter, and Shon looked away. He hadn’t bothered to wear his cloak. He'd never really felt chilled in the winter like others seemed to. Now that he knew why, he wished he had. Cold continued to swirl around him, enhanced by his worries. If he could just block those emotions, the power would never have been a problem to begin with.
The trees thinned the higher they climbed, disappearing almost entirely as they crested the top of the hill. The clearing looked over the treetops, offering an unimpeded view of the horizon. Forest all around, with flatland to the south and rocky mountain peaks to the north. Only a handful of small trees grew in the clearing, and in the middle stood a little ramshackle hut only slightly larger than an outhouse.
Nangran threw his arm out, stopping Shon from walking past him, "Don't touch anything. And don't be surprised if he says no right off."
Shon nodded, trying to swallow down his fear so it wouldn't be seen in his eyes. Dropping his hand, Nangran started forward again, finishing, "Be honest, but not insulting." The instructions, -or perhaps advice?- seemed like common courtesy, which made Shon wonder why quiet Nangran had bothered to say anything.
As they drew closer to the little shack, Shon could make out a sign on the door. He squinted to read it and had just made out 'No Soliciting
' when the door swung open, banging against the wall and sending birds into flight. An old man, so thin he looked like a skeleton with yellow skin pulled tight across its bones, stormed out. Wearing nothing but a loincloth, he was shaking a thick stick at them that glinted with red rubies in the low autumn light.
"I already paid my dues for this decade! So you can take your request and shove it-" Shon’s hand instinctively reached for his sword, but Nangran just crossed his arms over his barrel chest. The old -virtually naked- man stopped yelling mid-rant and lifted one shriveled arm to shade his eyes as he squinted at them, "Eh? Flintchest, what’re you doing way out here with a blasted mage in tow?"
Rather than answer, Nangran started forward again, he didn't much care for talking, let alone shouting. Looking from Nangran to the loincloth man, Shon slowly lowered his arm, but still took position to the left and just behind the Smith as they approached the crazy man with the glittering club.
"No mage." Nangran said as he came right up to the strange old man, "Squire." he glanced over his shoulder at Shon and finished, "Sorcerer."
The old man spat on the ground and moved his squint to Shon. Running his eyes from the top of his black head to the tip of his polished boots and back, exaggerating the movement before he stopped at the Squire’s cold blue eyes.
He spat again, then barked "Where's your familiar?" scanning first the ground at Shon's feet then the sky above his head.
Shon blinked at him, furrowing his brow in confusion at the question. The mage snapped his fingers impatiently, "Your familiar! All Sorcerers have a familiar."
Nangran came to his rescue, "Just woke last night," he said shortly.
The mage spat again but didn't argue, "Well, come in then." Shon looked sideways at Nangran, but the Smith had already begun following the skinny old man into the shack. Shon hurried to catch up.
Inside, Shon's eyes were assaulted with a sparkling rainbow of colors. The room they'd entered was considerably larger than the outside would suggest, with plush carpet and a stuffed high-back armchair in front of a blazing fire in the opposite wall. Shelves full of exotic plants, glowing glass jars, and glittering stones filled every available space, reflecting off one another and setting streaks of light to dance on the floor and walls like sun rays through crystal.
There was too much to take in, so Shon focused on their host. The old man was slipping into a thick robe of deep purple velvet. He'd hung the club on the wall beside the door, which looked just as decrepit on this side as it had on the outside.
"Make a habit of greeting visitors half-naked and swinging an old fireball wand?" Nangran asked as he slipped out of his cloak.
"Keeps the conversations short." the old man replied tersely, tying his belt and turning to his guests. With boney knuckles on boney hips and glare firmly planted on his wrinkled face, he snapped, "Don't bother getting comfortable, Flintchest; you'll be leaving soon enough."
The Smith ignored him, hanging his cloak on the hook that had presumably held the mage's robe. "Got a favor to ask," he said, but the old man was already shaking his head,
"More like a favor to cash in. That's the only reason you're in here and not smoking in a hole outside."
Nangran ignored the threat and motioned from Shon to the old man and back. "Archmage Ivelm." The mage looked Shon up and down again as Nangran made the introductions, “Squire Shon.”
"Not much longer, I'd say." Ivelm said to Nangran as he finished his second examination, "It's to the Guild with this one. Too much magic." he turned his head and spat in a brass can by the door. It rang out with a loud ‘ting!' and Ivelm sniffed, looking down at Nangran again, "What do you want, Flintchest?"
"Need a seal. So the boy doesn't freeze Hamerfoss more than it already is." the smith crossed his arms, watching the mage and somehow still seeming completely at ease.
"Eh?!" Ivelm exclaimed, leaning far forward. Shon had to try hard not to crinkle his nose as the old man brought his face close enough that Shon could smell Ivelm's breath. Garlic, the mage ate a lot
"So… you don't want to be a mage, do you?" he demanded, glaring down his nose at him. Shon shook his head and would have answered with a 'no ser.' except the mage continued, "Rather swing around some hunk of metal like a brute?"
Shon blinked stupidly, and Nangran cleared his throat, "Watch what you say about my swords, old man."
Ivelm ignored the smith as soundly as Nangran had ignored the Archmage, and continued to Shon, "The powers of the universe are at your fingertips. Blood blessed with the strength of the elements, and you wanna throw it all away," he threw his arms into the air, still uncomfortably close, "And for what? Some illusion of an honorable death by the sword?"
Shon didn't know what to say. He looked past the affronted mage's face, only an inch from his own, to Nangran. But the smith gave no sign he was going to help. Shon’s future depended on convincing this strange old man, this Archmage, to help…
Shon wasn't the type to try and convince anyone of anything, but the least he could do was explain himself. Shon stepped back from the mage to address him from a more comfortable distance. "I chose to dedicate my life to perfecting my art, and my art is martial combat," he said. Ivelm wrinkled his nose, his mouth twisting as if he were going to spit again, but Shon continued, "magic would be better served in the hands of someone who wants it badly enough to work for it. Like I've worked for my martial skills."
Ivelm leaned away from Shon, his eyebrows lifted into his frizzled gray hair. Shon looked to Nangran, hoping for some sign that this was a good response. The smith smiled from behind the mage.
"Soooo…" Ivelm drew the word out, "You think only those who dedicate themselves to strict study and practice should wield the power of the universe?" he leaned forward again, turning his head and fixing one eye on Shon like a bird. As if trying to catch him in a lie.
Shon nodded, confused, then asked, "Isn't that what it takes to effectively wield magic? Focused study?"
Ivelm didn't answer the question, instead turning his face to examine Shon with the other eye, scanning him up and down yet again. The old man had looked him up and down so much Shon wouldn't be surprised if the next question were about his hair or boots.
But Ivelm didn't ask another question. Instead, he stood straight and spat into the brass can with another ringing 'ting!' "I like this one," he said, turning his back on Shon and facing Nangran, "But it's too much." he shook his head, lifting his hands in helpless surrender, "Too much power, and ice at that. Stubborn element that one. And it's so finicky to block just
Ivelm continued talking but Shon heard very little of it. A hole had opened in his gut, and it felt like his heart was racing his stomach to fall into it. But Nangran just rolled his eyes at the mage, interrupting, "Used to be the
name in new magic items... made shackles to hold Archmages." he squinted at Ivelm, who had frozen mid-head shake, "Must've gotten rusty out…"
Ivelm snapped his fingers under the Smith's nose to stop him talking, "The mind does not rust, Flintchest!" he huffed, one bare foot tapping under his robe, "Not like your swords and shriveling muscles." Nangran just stared stubbornly, his thick, muscled arms still crossed over his broad chest.
The mage continued to tap his foot, his nose in the air. But as the silence stretched, Ivelm looked down at the smith, who continued to say nothing. The silent battle of wills ended when Ivelm threw his arms up in disgust and shook a finger under Nangran's nose, nearly hitting it, declaring, "I'll show you. I'll make a gem especially for this lad, and you'll see the mind only continues to grow sharper!"
He spun on his heel back to Shon, who had just made out the smith's returned smile from behind the mage when the old man snapped his fingers in Shon's face, making him jump. "Well, what are you waiting for? Come here so I can take some measurements!" Ivelm swung around again and marched across the room to a large workbench with plants and gems scattered across it. Shon scrambled after him, praying his thanks to Hengist and suddenly feeling light enough to float. His anxieties dropping away and melting like snow in summer.
It was already noon, and no one had come to see Her. She jumped up to grab the bars of Her window, pulling Herself up to peak out but seeing nothing but new snow and tree trunks. She was full to bursting with nervous energy, amplifying every sound and sensation. Footsteps sounded outside Her door, and She dropped from the window, sprinting across the room and resting Her ear on the wood.
“Ran, recheck the lab. Brom, with me.
” Archmage Morndancer spoke with his strange alternation between draconic and common as he passed Her door without stopping. She could easily make out the swish of their robes on the stone hall leading away. Three people, Brom, Ran, and Archmage Morndancer. And yet the scurrying of too many feet to be only the two apprentices and Archmage Shaloon, sounded from the floor above. There were strangers in her tower again. Many strangers. Something was happening, something big…
She ran to Her window again, just for something to do, seeking some way to burn off some of the anxiety of not knowing what was going on around her.
A roar from down the hall, a roar of pain, sent ice washing through her veins. She slammed into the door at full speed. Pounding on the wood, She called out, “Brom?! Ran?!” Nothing. Then a yip cut short, followed by barking and yowling.
She shook the handle with both hands, rattling the door on its hinges, “BROM! RAN!” Something was happening to Her treasures, something terrible… The door handle began to glow, the metal warping and sagging as it melted. The knowledge that She would be in more trouble than She had ever been in before was nothing compared to Her terror. She wrenched the handle back with all Her might, splashing molten metal across Her bed, lighting fires that flared in her panic, and sending smoke to curl up to the ceiling.
She didn’t care. She shouldered the door open and ran.
“Red?!” She passed the first open door but couldn’t stop as Ran called out to Her. Reaching Her treasures' room, She tried to stop but slipped, slamming into the ground with a sticky splash. A final whining bark started a buzzing in Her ears as She stared, transfixed, at Her hands. They were painted red. Warm and sticky. The overpowering stench of iron nearly made Her gag as She looked up to see Morndancer toss aside a glittering golden wolf pup, the body flopping limply over the corpse of its mother and siblings.
Her world went red.
The last sample was taken care of, but something roared with enough ferocity to shatter glass.
Morndancer's head snapped around in time for him to fall back, shielding his face with his hands as the Firewyrm exploded. White-hot fire engulfed Her and spread out to the stone floor and walls. His robes began to smoke, the new fire protection spells woven into them being overpowered by the sheer ferocity of the blaze.
Brom had no such spells, and he had only managed a single step towards the girl before he fell to the ground, writhing for only a moment before lying still. The Archmage heard Ran scream from the hall before the journeyman stumbled past the door, flailing wildly. Barely discernible as human inside the flames.
The Firewyrm moved towards him, stepping through Brom’s head, turned to ash, and blown up to dance in the air on the same heatwaves causing the girl's hair to wave wildly about Her. She didn't seem to notice, Her face was expressionless and her eyes glowed as red as the scales across Her cheek. Morndancer tried to snap his fingers, but the golden collar around Her neck melted, Her clothes burning off and leaving Her naked and terrible in the flames.
His robe was burning now, and only the pain of that could pull his eyes from the Firewyrm as he pointlessly tried to beat the fires off. He fell back, hitting the wall, which drooped, sagging and dripping molten stone onto his head and face. Then he fell further back, into a gate that opened behind him.
Shaloon pulled him through the portal and into the library three stories up. The Firewyrm roared again and the tower walls shook with the force of it. The gate closed, but Morndancer continued to burn. He could hear screaming. Was it him? Was he screaming? Fire burst up the spiral stairs in the middle of the room, and apprentices, both their own and many sent from the central and western Talon, scrambled about in a panic, some even leaping from the windows.
Shaloon cursed, holding out her hand and summoning her sword again. She had to draw the circle five times before a second gate finally formed, and she dove through it, pulling Morndancer along with her as it quickly closed. An apprentice reached through, and his arm fell at Morndancer’s feet, miles away in the sitting room of his manor back in Smildna.
He laughed. Shaloon slapped him, and he laughed. Ronni, his daughter, burst through the door, her own daughter, only a year old, perched on her hip, and still, he laughed. “What’s wrong?! What happened to him?!” he barely registered his daughter's words and continued to laugh, rolling around on the ground in mirthful madness.
“The Firewyrm She…” Shaloon started, but Morndancer yelled over her in draconic,
“She is true! She is pure! She is rage! The children will come and raise the grandchildren! We have only to await the coming of those Chosen!
” the room faded around him, becoming washed out and gray then finally black as he continued to laugh and shout, “They take those who slew them and use them to raise themselves anew…
He couldn’t feel his burns or the hands trying to settle him. He saw only darkness and stars. And the eyes of his Master boring into his soul from the outer planes.
Shon couldn't remember ever feeling so drained in his life. He'd been tired before, exhausted even, but it had never felt quite like this. The eccentric Archmage Ivelm had ordered him to 'empty his energy' into stone after stone. Measuring the weight, color, and temperature of each. Making notes in chalk directly on his table and talking to himself. Shon was shocked the first time he saw the smooth rock handed to him change from a translucent white to an onyx as black as his hair, but by the time they'd gone through the twentieth stone, Shon had decided to stop counting.
Ivelm, however, seemed to get more and more excited with each one. Giving Shon reason to suspect the mage may be taking the energy for himself. After what felt like hours, Ivelm finally stoppered the potion he'd mixed with the most recent jewel, glowing a soft pale blue, and stepped back from the workbench, bony hands on bony hips.
"It can be done." Ivelm swiveled to face Nangran, "He's strong, I don’t know how he managed not to manifest until now, but it's all focused in one elemental direction." he rubbed his chin and looked at the ceiling, completely ignoring Shon's arched eyebrow. "It has a bit of divine flavor as well. But I suppose that shouldn't be surprising for a training Paladin." The mage stopped musing and glared down his nose at Nangran, who had made himself comfortable in the oversized wingback chair by the fire, "It will have to be a lot bigger than a piece of jewelry would allow."
The smith just hummed and sipped at his mug. When had he gotten a mug?
Shon looked from one old man to the other. It was apparent Ivelm wanted Nangran to ask him for details, but the ever stoic smith said nothing.
Shon was tired. His limbs felt heavy, and the weight of his simple uniform felt more like platemail. He was just about to ask what the Archmage meant, to hurry them along, when Ivelm threw his hands in the air and said, "You'll need to find somewhere to put it. I would recommend that." he pointed at the hilt of Shon's sword over his shoulder, continuing, "If the lad is insisting on swinging a metal stick around instead of harnessing the ultimate powers of the universe then that same stick might as well sap the power literally as well as figuratively." Shon arched an incredulous eyebrow but Ivelm wasn't paying attention, finishing, "I can get it down to about an inch and a half orb. At the smallest. If you want something different, say so now."
Nangran set his mug on the ground and stood with a grunt and a groan. Shon just wanted to go home and sleep for a week, so when the smith reached for the hilt of his sword for a closer look Shon hardly noticed, until the squat smith jerked it down to eye level. Shon swung his arms like a drowning man and stepped wide to prevent himself from falling over.
"Quit wigglin'," Nangran grumbled, studying the sword's pommel with a professional eye. "One and a half'll do, preferably in a tear…"
The mage snorted and continued to ignore the struggling half crouched Shon, his voice dripping sarcasm as he addressed the smith, "Shall I wrap it in silk for you as well?"
"Na." Nangran let go of the sword, and Shon stood straight, lifting his leg to shake out the knee. "Drop it off when you’re done." the Mage snorted again but didn't counter.
None of them were interested in extending the visit, so Nangran grabbed his heavy cloak and shrugged it on while Shon waited by the door. "It will be at least a fortnight," Ivelm called from his position by the workbench, not about to walk them out.
Nangran grunted his confirmation and opened the battered and decrepit door, letting the wind and early autumn snow blow in on their way out. Shon followed numbly, his eyes unfocused as he walked, and ran right into the much shorter man. Nangran hardly moved as Shon bounced off of him. He was squinting into the distance, one large hand shading his eyes. Shon stared at Nangran for a moment before following the direction of his gaze over the tree line.
Smoke. A LOT of smoke. The black clouds billowed violently into the sky, occasionally lit from below by sparks shot high into the air.
"Elm!" Nangran shouted. Shon had never heard the man call so loudly. The Archmage must have also been shocked because the door to his hut swung open and he stuck his head out to look to either side, eyes wide.
"Flintchest, what?" but he soon saw what, "But, that's the old chemist's tower… What?" he stood in shocked confusion for a heartbeat before turning back into the hut. Shon looked from the shack to Nangran, but before he could say anything, the mage was back, struggling with two long rods, one blue with what looked like waves painted all around, the other black and studded with diamonds.
"Don't just stand there!" Ivelm snapped at the two as he finally managed to slip the blue rod into a sheath at his side. He then pointed the diamond rod at the space between two close-growing trees. Shon heard him say something unintelligible, and one of the diamonds shot out of the tip of the rod to hover between the trees before expanding into a portal.
Beyond the magical gate, Shon could hear the fire roar. It sounded how he imagined the burning hells might sound, but as he followed the two men through, he realized his imagination was tame by comparison.
The smell of burning flesh and hair choked him as they stepped clear of the gate's magic. The heat smashed into them like a wall, and all three brought their arms up to shield their faces. Around them were the charred remains of what looked like humans, their faces buried in the mud as if they'd been trying to run from the blaze. Shon had to swallow the bile that rose in his throat and focused instead on the fire Ivelm had said was a tower.
It was completely engulfed in bright flames of all colors. Squinting through the light, he could see the stone walls melting like wax. The arch of the doorway sagged in the middle, and Shon's eyes went wide. Someone was in there.
He would've had to shout over the roar of the flames, but it didn’t matter; Ivelm was already raising the blue wand, jerking his fingers in strange ways and mouthing words impossible to hear. Water shot out the tip of the wand with the force of a ballista and hissed against the glowing stones.
It wasn't possible. It must be a trick of the flickering flames. But the figure turned its face to them, long hair whipping about as it took steps in their direction.
"Don't just stand there, boy!" Ivelm screamed. "They must have a fire-resist spell; those things don't last forever!"
Nangran grabbed Shon’s upper arm, pulling him a step closer to the fire and down so he could shout in his ear, "Freeze a path."
Shon swallowed. He was so tired, literally drained. He didn't know what to do or how to do it. But the figure in the fire reached out to them only to pull away from a drop of molten rock. Shon fell to his knees, placing his hands on the ground and pleading silently to Hengist. He didn’t know what to do, didn’t know how to control the power. He tried picturing a path of snow between himself and the tower base, concentrating on it until the mental image overlaid the real world, as he did when imagining phantom fighters during practice.
Ice snaked its way from Shon's fingers towards the burning tower along his mental path, powered by the fear that he wouldn't be fast enough to save the person inside. The water from Ivelm's wand helped carve the way, and Shon grunted physically as he struggled to push mentally. His breathing came heavy and ragged. He could feel the fire melting the edges of the ice as if it were a part of him. Still, he fought back and forced it to continue to form into solid sheets moving closer and closer to the figure still trapped in the tower.
Wherever the ice formed solid, it stayed. The fire drawing back from it until, finally, it reached the doorway. He urged the ice to climb up the doorframe, to hold it in place and keep it from falling, from moving at all.
Shon was seeing double. He struggled to focus on the figure and flinched as they stepped onto the frozen path. The ice hissed and melted under their bare unsteady feet, he could feel it... feel them,
their heat, on his ice.
It was a young woman. Or an older girl. She was naked; her clothes burned away by the fire. Her long hair was being blown forward by the heat of the burning tower, obscuring her face. As she moved closer, Shon could make out strange red stripes snaking around her body, standing in stark relief against her pale skin.
Ivelm stepped in front of him then, throwing Nangran's cloak around her shoulders as she crumpled to the ground. Nangran himself knelt beside Shon, resting one massive hand on the Squire's back. "You can stop, lad…" his voice trailed off, and Shon felt an emptiness open in his chest. No one could have survived that, not if they hadn't already made it to the entrance like the girl
. As if to punctuate the thought, Shon managed to focus his eyes only to see the tower's entrance wall fold and collapse in on itself, the stones flowing like soft wax.
--- Table of Contents
Sorry for the double post today. I wanted to keep Ch 14 & 15 together.
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
Just a few hours I ago, I was getting no issues with sound or anything. Then I went to the store, came back and got this weird sounding staticy, modulated, garbled mess from any videos I tried to play. Could get some words but could barely hear anything people were saying and whatnot.
- Tried another set of headphones, same deal.
***Note, that both headphones use different types of jacks on the same volume knob module thesoundcard comes from.
- Tried restarting my PC and it caused me to lose audio altogether from the soundcard.
- I unplugged the volume knob from the sound card inputs and directly plugged into the soundcard, still no sound.
- Looked to see if the PC was still reading my card, it is. I can find it in Sound options and Device Manager.
- Looked over my connections, nothing is disconnected. All has been untouched in the nearly 2 years since i've owned the card.
Thanks for any help0
EDIT: My soundcard driver had a stroke. Reset everything and caused it to funnel audio out speaker ports with nothing plugged into them.
Sounds good now... Thank god lol.
So in September of 2021 I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend of around 8 months. Here is the backstory of why I broke up with him. He and I went into a public space (we lived in the city so it was a very busy space in the summer with lots of people) for me to meet one of his friends and to get to know her. Her and I started joking around and teasing him about something to do with that women need to take longer showers than men because of all the things we have to do in the shower? Something to that nature that was not harsh at all. Eventually, he just sat at the table silent on his phone not interacting with either of us. I even tried to put my hand on his and he snatched it away. It was super awkward anyways but also just super awkward because this was my first time meeting his friend and he just had us all sitting there in silence. After ab 15 minutes of sitting in silence and us playing on our phones, I motioned to him with my face like “what is wrong”. He immediately got up and starting yelling at us in public and making a scene. After he stopped yelling, he ran off around the corner and I couldn’t see him anymore. I began crying and profusely apologizing to his friend, taking the blame for the situation. He eventually came back around the corner and I just left because I didn’t want to deal with him in that moment. My best friend was on campus in a building near by so I immediately went to her in tears bawling and explaining the situation to her. Clearly, she knew how this affected me and exactly what happened.
This friend is a photographer. Towards the end of the school year, I noticed on her photography instagram that she did a photo shoot with him. I was kind of turned off by it, especially the fact that she told me she did it free of charge for him. Ever since then, I’ve just been avoiding doing phone calls with her or hanging out because I’m just so uncomfortable spending to with her. I feel like she betrayed me because she knew how much he humiliated me. I was so afraid he’d flip on me and hit me or something when I broke up with him that I did it in a public space with a friend nearby on lookout. I know I am definitely in the wrong for not communicating with her and letting her know how I felt. Initially I just thought I’d eventually “get over it” but as time has gone on I’ve felt the same way ab it. Now I feel like it’s been so long it’d be insane to bring it up lol. I also want to mention that this is not about me “not being over him”. After he yelled at me like that I was totally turned off, I’m in an over year long relationship now and extremely happy. I guess I’m asking, AITAH for not feeling comfortable with her anymore?
Where do you find the best poly meet ups or people that have the same vibe as you? I’ve been on Feeld for quite some time, but I’m finding a lot of men who are not experienced sexually and don’t have the quiet gentle assertiveness that I desire. I think I need to exit the apps and find men in person to see if the right chemistry is there (rather than just swiping), but I’m struggling to find where to go. I’m very quiet, so even going to one of these meet ups would be a big deal for me. I’m near San Diego, if anyone knows of anything nearby. Thank you!
I recently started my first internship at an ID design firm, (just finished my third year of college) and can't tell if I'm being hard on myself, or if I just suck lol (probably both). I know I am an intern and therefore am not going to be nearly as proficient in tools and processes as the other people at my work are, but I've been feeling super slow and incompetent. CAD/Solidworks has always been difficult for me, and a model takes me way longer to get finished than the other people working here. I've been having a lot of negative self-talk towards myself because of it, and am feeling stupid because of how inefficient I feel at doing things. I've been staying late after work, not because anyone told me to, but because I physically can't leave work when I feel like I "should" have gotten more done. I feel like I am in a constant state of worry when I am working because I feel like an imposter, and don't want the others around me to realize I am a slow fuck lol. The best way I can describe how I am feeling is like a nightmare when you are trying to run from something but you aren't moving... that's what I feel here except instead of running from something, I am trying to catch up and stay at a good pace, but I am not getting anywhere. I feel like I should be able to perform at a certain level, but I am not able to, and I genuinely get frustrated with myself because of it.
Currently early/mid 30s with an older sibling. I’m doing pretty well and am set to achieve a pretty high net worth when it comes to retirement time, or an early retirement if I choose to take that route.
One of the big things I’m currently thinking about is my sibling. When I graduated high school, he was a year ahead of me and decided to go into the trades. He’s had a couple of kids he didn’t plan well for, with a woman who he now has little relationship with though they live in the same house. He smokes cigarettes and marijuana regularly, drinks excessively, doesn’t exercise, saves nothing for the future, doesn’t make enough to support his family and bills, has gotten multiple injuries from stupid things like motorcycle accidents and other accidents, has had multiple duis, and chooses to not work nearly as much as he could. I don’t know how much he makes but I’m guessing $30-$40k. He’s a licensed electrician and in his area could probably go well over $100k if he wanted, but he’s just lazy. I’ve probably given him about $20-$25k over the past couple of years. Parents probably gave him low 6 figures.
Has anyone dealt with something like this? If so, how’d you do so and what was true outcome?
My current hope is he’ll work harder and stick it out until the kids are 18 and hopefully in college, and he’ll hopefully start saving for his future. That said I suspect there will be a good chance I’ll have to use some of my investment income to help him retire if I choose to do that. I don’t suspect he’ll have another way. That definitely wouldn’t be a problem but I also don’t feel that he is deserving of it. Like, I’m making all the right moves, have worked very hard for a long time, and he did the opposite, so why should he get my help when he hasn’t lived a good life or been a good person.