Hair salon forest hills ny
Forest Hills, NY : News From Around our Queens Community
2014.01.09 20:44 tmiale Forest Hills, NY : News From Around our Queens Community
A place to post news, views, and other little tidbits about Forest Hills, NY.
2023.06.05 00:54 ThePhlyingPhish What Happened on June 3rd?
Honestly? I have no idea how to start this one. In fact, I don't even know if I should post this, period. My parents brought me my phone a couple hours ago, and scrolling through YouTube and Reddit doesn't do much to take my mind off of things. I might as well write my heart out, right? Maybe somebody out there can find my story helpful, insightful, thoughtful... I dunno. Anyways, I might as well get writing before another couple officers walk in, looking for some details that they missed the last time I told them about what happened on June 3rd.
This part isn't exactly central to the story per se, but I'd like to just honor my buds, say what I thought about them before I forget. These guys, to me, were like a second family. The type of guys you'd call to help get rid off a body, the type of guys who would follow you anywhere. I've known them since I transferred in 4th grade. Only pair of dudes that would give me the time of day in the entire school, Andy and Gabriel. Andy was a sort of short and skinny guy, but he'd talk so much you'd swear he was six inches taller than he was. He'd always go on like he was God's greatest gift on Earth, especially when it came to sports. He'd yell Kobe and miss a rebound, or tell us to call him Messi and miss every goal. Your typical jokester. We didn't start off as friends either. It was around the fourth time
in the Office for fighting that I got wise, looked over at him, glanced at his bruised eye, then felt my own jaw. "Hey, we good? I got my licks-" I paused to scratch my cheek for effect- "and you definitely got yours..." Andy just looked me up and down once, checked himself, grinned like a Hyena and that was that. I met Gabriel through Andy. He was the only one of us you could call a popular kid. He's good at Baseball, really friggin' athletic, tall, built like a milk truck, and kind. Super kind. Like you could just ask him for a french fry, or a slice of bacon off his burger or something and he'd just do it. Didn't expect anything back. Didn't say anything. He'd glance up and just give you whatever you needed, no BS. We were walking back to Gabe's house after a party at a Junior's house, some slacker that wears a bunch of fake bling to school and takes "bathroom breaks" to vape in the stall. Some dude destined to be handing you a Big Mac in a couple years, you know? Not exactly the shining example of morality, not that I would know. Anyways, I really only showed up to shoot the shit with my buds and for some "apple juice" in those plastic red cups. I was going to bounce when I figured out this dude who was hosting the party, Mr. "I'm too cool for school", didn't have anything that could get me plastered. As it turns out, Gabriel wasn't feeling the party either, and Andy was "having no luck with the ladies", (Giggity,) so we all decided to nab a couple of waters and cookies for the road and stepped out into a warm summer evening. (Seriously, Andy gives me pedo vibes sometimes)
It wasn't exactly dark when we left the house. It was that perfect time of night where there was red, orange and purple reflecting off of the clouds in the sky. I snapped a photo 'cause I'm that kinda guy, and we started walking. This neighborhood was one of those aging 60's neighborhoods with all of the one story buildings, rusty chain-link fences, crack houses, senior citizens, that sort of stuff. Perfectly square blocks and blocks of houses with the peeling paint, broken sidewalks, barking dogs, you get the picture. If you were to think of the neighborhood from the top down, it would be like a big square with about three streets of depth inwards, with a big forest in the middle. Inconveniently, the party was in the western corner, while Gabe's house was down a slope, on the exact opposite side, the east side of the neighborhood. Basically a big pain in the posterior. Now just to be clear, we couldn't call Gabriel's mom for a pickup because of the nature of the party, and we weren't really feeling like taking the shortcut path through the woods at night, so we took the long way around. about a quarter of the way down, like 10-15 minutes into the walk, the lights lining the street flicked on. Now, that didn't bother us too much, because Gabe's casa was su casa, or whatever. In short, we had spent a lot of time walking around here before. Anyways, when the lights turned on they sort of dazzled my eyes, and a whole thing happened with me and the sidewalk called tripping. I went down and cut up my hands real nice and both of the guys turned around to help me up. It took them a second to spot me, because the lights lining the street were spaced in such a way that they would have a sort of staggered area of effect when they turned on. I had happened to trip right in one of the dark spots, so like I said, it took them a second to get me off of the ground. I got up, and did that thing you do when your hands hurt after a fall and you smack them together and rub them against your pants.
"You good?" asked Andy.
"Yeah yeah, I'm fine," I said, still slapping my thighs.
I looked up and saw somebody standing underneath the closest streetlamp. They were positioned in such a way that they faced the road from the lip of the sidewalk they stood on, with their head cocked slightly way from us and down, like they were staring intently at a bug or something in the road.
they guys must have seen me gazing off into the distance and they turned around to stare with me. the figure was around 20 feet away, right underneath the halo of light that the streetlamp made. they were wearing an old ice cream coat and uniform, like something out of the 60's. The folded cap on their head at a jaunty angle, a shock of slicked back golden hair just underneath it.
"Whaaaaat theeeee fuuuuuuck..?" I whisper to no one in particular.
When did he get there?
We had started walking towards the man, transfixed, and stopped just outside of the light's reach. He looked gaunt, sickly, almost. His mouth was pulled into a thin customer service sort of smile. the uniform he wore was a bit dirty, with a twig or two hanging from his pants like he had been running through the forest or something. that something on the ground seemed to be pretty interesting to him, so we all turned to try to sot what was capturing his attention. Looking back, I should have known right there. Have you ever seen someone doing or wearing or saying something that had compelled you to stare at them? Like a junkie downtown or some dude wearing a sign saying the end is nigh? And do you remember how you tried not to stare but kept that person in your peripheral vision, because they were interesting or suspicious or whatever? That's exactly what this guy was doing. He was looking at us. We never even noticed. Anyways, we hadn't seen anything on the ground so we looked back at this dude. BOOM! Instant time-out. Somewhere in that quick glance when we weren't paying attention, his head snaps up and locks us with this piercing stare. Now my heart's going a mile a minute. Fight or flight's kicked in and I tense up. my hands come up and I'm making fists. Meanwhile, the rational, thinking part of me is analyzing this guy. He hasn't broken that unnerving, artificial customer service smile. in fact, it looks almost wider, almost hungry. that's not the worst part. there's blood on his left thigh, black now after so much time. His eyes. I'm going to remember those eyes 'till the day I die. Even at night, his pupils were a darker black than anything in the world had any right to be. All consuming, omnipotent, soul-seeing eyes. The killing intent radiating from this thing was overpowering. Time-in.
"Jesus Christ!" Gabe barks.
It's the first time I've heard him swear. Andy's transfixed.
"What's the game plan?" I say, surprising myself with the icy calm in my own voice.
Andy's practically talking to himself. "I-I think we should-" he swallows audibly- "go around?"
The light creates an invisible barrier between us and the man-thing. we shuffle along the edges of each streetlight's effect. The neighborhood goes silent, save for a slight breeze along my back. every time i glance towards the ground to make sure I stay out of the light, he seems to get closer. of course he doesn't in actuality, because every time I look up in fear, he's still standing there, right there on the curb. We finally make it around that first light and turn around to face the second one. He's right there. Right on the border. that invisible line that separated the living from the dead.
Andy falls backwards. His arm falls into the light and instantly it's upon him. it's nails have turned into long, wicked claws. They rip into his upper arm and shoulder. It managed to nick his artery before we pull him out of the light. Andy is screaming bloody murder and I take off my shirt and tie it around the worst around the worst of his wounds. An uncaring, cold part of me surveys the damage and notes that Andy is unlikely to live more than an hour without emergency care. I hate that part of me. I hate how in that time of crisis, I could come to terms with one of my best friends dying to a freak on the street. Did it even matter? those years of friendship, now that I look back? That's one of the reasons I'm writing this story I guess. This story is me caring, right? The fact that I'm writing this shows I care, right? Anyways, in that instant I know we're screwed. there's no way we can get Andy back to Gabriel's house in time if we have to deal with this thing. The Ice-Cream Man surveyed his work as Gabe tried calling his mom for the fourth time. Andy had stopped screaming and passed out. I ended up holding his hand, staring up at this monster. It seemed to enjoy hurting us, enjoy it's handiwork. I grimaced and turned to Gabriel.
"Time to go, dude." Gabe looked up at me, still holding his buzzing cellphone to his ear. there was desperation and shock in his eyes, and I guess it was the same for me too. "We've got to go."
I made it clear this wasn't a conversation to be having.
It's sort of an open secret that I'm the thug of the school. At least, that's what everyone else thinks. It's not like I'll try to rob you or anything, but everyone knows that time I bent a kid's knee backwards. I didn't get into major trouble because of it, due to the fact there was a recording showing three guys ganging up on me, hurting me. I didn't have to make that kid a cripple, but I did. I got beaten for a year and a half, by those same three guys, and it all came out at once. I wanted to hurt him, and I did. but when you do that to someone, no matter how justified, people treat you different. especially when they're the same people who watched me get punched, and kicked, and hit, and put down. In a heartbeat, I was an untouchable. No more social life. No girlfriend, or anything like that. So, my only friends on this earth were Andy and Gabe. Blah blah blah, I'm sure you don't care about the sob story screw-up called my life. Anyways, the important part is that Gabe knew my business voice when I spoke.
"Okay, here's the idea." I glanced over to Mr. Freak. "We're going to take the forest path. It doesn't have any lights, so we'll be fine. if we move fast on the downhills, we can make it to your Mom's house and go to the hospital before..." I spared a glance to looked at Andy's face. he looked like he was sleeping. I felt around for his pulse.
He was still alive, thank God.
Gabe looked like he wanted to say something, and I knew exactly what he wanted to say. We were going to cross that bridge when we came to it.
We had, like I said, been around the block before. we made it to the trailhead, with that thing following us all of the way. jumping from streetlight to streetlight. The streetlight that would normally light the signpost and path into the forest was out, and it had been for years. That wasn't the issue. The issue was that the exit, the exit that was a short jog away from Gabe's house, had been replaced just last summer. we both knew that it was very likely that someone wouldn't make it. Gabe hoisted Andy into a fireman's carry, and we started our descent down the hill in silence. I made a sparing glance backwards, and there the Ice-Cream Man stood waiting.
It was hard keeping track of which trail we were on and where to turn in the pitch dark. It was around 10:00 now, and Andy seemed to get worse as time went on. We almost got lost a couple times, and we had to double back every now and again too. Gabriel and I said nothing as we went downhill. We said nothing when we saw the trail outlet at the bottom of the hill. We said nothing when the Ice-Cream Man appeared right underneath the lamppost. The sign read; "Rubicon Valley River Loop: 1.1 mi". We came right up to that invisible border again.
"I'll go first."
"Will you? We both know-"
"Shut the hell up and listen to me."
Gabriel. He was good at Baseball, really friggin' athletic, tall, built like a milk truck, and kind. Super kind. Like you could just ask him for a french fry, or a slice of bacon off his burger or something and he'd just do it. Even if there was a deadly monster chasing you, with his Mom's house just a short jog away. Even if you were willing to fight it instead, even if it didn't make sense for him to stay behind. Even if he knew you wouldn't want to keep living without him and Andy. Didn't expect anything back. Didn't say anything. Even though I'm writing this story just 6 hours later, I can't remember for the life of me how I got across that halo of light without him right behind me. Gabe's Mom flew down the porch when I rounded the corner of the cul-de-sac. I bet she was wondering why we were home so late, why Gabriel wasn't with us, why I was staying clear of the streetlights.
I remember her asking me where her niño was.
When I woke up in the hospital, the police asked me where the wolves attacked us. I didn't correct them. What was the point? I assume they knew what was actually out there. After all, wolves bite and tear. It was just a line for the news stations. Turns out I was raked across the back by a wolf too. The doctors told me I was very lucky. They said if Gabe's Mom was a second slower getting us to the ER, I would have ended up like Andy. I feel cold. I haven't been crying. Do I even care? I feel like I'm a horrible person. I hope that I'm allowed to go to their funerals, pay my respects. My Dad has a Machete hidden under the bed. That Ice-Cream Man better be counting every second he has left, because I'm going to do more than bend his knee backwards next June 3rd.
submitted by ThePhlyingPhish
to scarystories [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:25 christian2pt0 Invisibility at Pride
Hi! It's been a while since I've posted.
I've been on T for a long while (Nov. 2017) and I'm running into a new issue that I'm not sure how to navigate. Over the last few years, I've felt OK at Pride (US-- specifically NY, very queer-friendly). This is the first Pride I've had a girlfriend. It's also the first Pride that I've actually felt completely invisible. I'm not jealous of the attention she's been getting; I don't mind fading into the background. However, it feels REALLY bad being COMPLETELY overlooked. I'm not kidding, we passed HUNDREDS of people, and the only compliment specifically for me was about my hair. I feel kind of embarrassed... she had LOTS of compliments and people looked right though me. Has anyone else had this issue?? She keeps trying to assure me, but it was weirdly triggering not even being seen :-(
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to ftm [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:20 ICONICDL Kevin hart forest hills ticket
1 VIP ticket is available
submitted by ICONICDL
to ForestHills [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:16 luisa2018156 Damaged brown spot on blonde hair
Three days ago I went to the salon, all of the other hair is fine, I was touching my hair and I touched some damaged hair, like really damaged so I took a picture and it’s around the spot, I’m supposed to go to the salon to see if I want to reapply the color or want some treatment. Why did this happen? I’ve never had a problem like this, I’ve been ‘blonde’ for almost two years now
submitted by luisa2018156
to HaircareScience [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 00:05 megamiwawa More hair combos!!!!!!! (might edit and add more later)
hiiiiiiiiiii, so last time i did both feminine and masculine representing hairstyles but now i only made a couple of feminine presenting hairstyles so here you go
Blossom princess + Festival bangs
Daydream pigtails + Festival bangs
Ms. Ponytail + 80s messy bangs
Elenor + 80s mesy bangs
Ruby + 80s messy bangs
Ms. Ponytail + Emma bangs
Punkstar Pigtails + Emma bangs
Chemtrails + Emma bangs
Late night studier + Riven bangs
Late night studier + Xo bangs
Ruby + Swoopy bangs
Valley of the dolls + Swoopy bangs
Valley of the dolls + Good girl bangs
Popstar ponytail + Good girl bangs
Dragon heiress + Good girl bangs
Chanel + Good girl bangs
Positions + Kagura bangs
Straight A student (short) + Kagura bangs
Meeting time + Kagura bangs
Sunbun + Kagura bangs
Festival day + Perfectly fluffy bangs
Lina + Cutie cupid bangs
Rainbow eclipse + Cutie cupid bangs
Monster girl ponytail + Cutie cupid bangs
Chemtrails + Cutie cupid bangs
Batilda + Young and passionate bangs
Kokona + Sweetie bangs
Candy braid BB + Study girl bangs
Stormfly + Becky bangs
Popstar ponytail + Elegant waterfall bangs
Popstar ponytail + Cloudy braids bangs
Punk branding + Lead guitarist and Buns
Bora + Lead guitarist and Buns
Bun's for days + Nova's hair extensions
Rosalie + Nova's hair extensions
Preppy pony + Nova's hair extensions
Scarlett + Salon-fresh curls bangs
Lovely rose + Lollipop bangs
Party of I + Lollipop bangs
Split school braids + Morrigan bangs
Cottage maid + Morrigan bangs
Batilda + Morrigan bangs
Rosalie + Morrigan bangs
Valley of the dolls + Morrigan bangs
Preppy pony + Morrigan bangs
Teddy + Morrigan bangs
Candy braid BB + Morrigan bangs
Teddy + Nova's buns bangs
Akari + Princess of heart bangs
Cottage maid + Princess of hearts bangs
Chemtrails + Princess of heart bangs
Rapunzel + Noa's bangs
Positions + Noa's bangs
Aphrodite's pony + Cloudy braids bangs
French braid beauty ponies + Cosplay queen bangs
submitted by megamiwawa
to RoyaleHigh_Roblox [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:59 gxrbitch i've never had my hair coloured in a salon and i want red chunky highlights (i'm naturally ginger, rarely get cut and never dyed) and have no idea how to book. these are the options for booking. thanks!
2023.06.04 23:58 MatchThreadder Match Thread: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs San Diego Wave FC National Women's Soccer League
HT: NJ/NY Gotham FC 0-0 San Diego Wave FC Venue: Red Bull Arena
Auto-refreshing reddit comments link
NJ/NY Gotham FC
Abby Smith, Ellie Jean, Ali Krieger, Allie Long, Jenna Nighswonger, Bruninha, Kristie Mewis, Sinead Farrelly, Lynn Williams, Yazmeen Ryan, Delanie Sheehan.
Subs: Nealy Martin, Mandy Freeman, McCall Zerboni, Michelle Betos, Ifeoma Onumonu, Svava Gudmundsdóttir, Kristen Edmonds, Nahomi Kawasumi, Mandy Haught.
San Diego Wave FC
Kailen Sheridan, Naomi Girma, Kaleigh Riehl, Kristen McNabb, Christen Westphal, Taylor Kornieck, Danielle Colaprico, Sierra Enge, Alex Morgan, Sofia Jakobsson, Rachel Hill.
Subs: Madison Pogarch, Mia Gyau, Melanie Barcenas, Makenzy Doniak, Amirah Ali, Jaedyn Shaw, Isabella Briede, Shae Yanez, Meggie Dougherty Howard.
MATCH EVENTS via ESPN
Don't see a thread for a match you're watching? Click here to learn how to request a match thread from this bot.
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2023.06.04 23:35 Real_Sweet9190 WIBTA if I refused to cut my husband's haor
I (31 F) have been a barber for about 12 years. When my husband (38M) and I first got together 6 years ago I was working at an hourly place and we were long distance so I had no issues cutting his hair when I went over to his place.
Since I've been independent and renting my own booth I've set a boundary with everyone in my family and friend group that I will not cut hair at home unless it's an absolute emergency. I have a key to the shop I'm at now so it's no issue to come in after hours and cut hair if it's really necessary. The last time I cut my husband's hair at home was 2 years ago the night before our maternity pictures because we didn't have time to get to the shop and I paid a lot for the pictures so I wanted him to look good.
Over the last year he's started complaining about me no longer cutting his hair at home. I explain that it's easier for me to do it at the shop vs at home because it's less clean up and it's just a better result if I can do it in my chair at the salon. I also said I don't do home haircuts anymore in general unless it's someone in hospice or if they can't physically leave their house which is very rare.
Last time I cut his hair was 2 months ago so he's due. He doesn't look bad but it's time. So I told him last week that if he reminded me when I got home I'd do it before he left town to go to work. He didn't remind me and I got busy with our son so it didn't happen. Yesterday when I called him during my lunch I asked him to drop something off at the shop for me that I forgot. During the call he said he needed a haircut so I said no problem you can drive me to work tomorrow and I can do it before or after my shift. He started going off about how he didn't want to take our 16 mo old into the shop and have him run around while he got his haircut. He went onto say he'd just wait until my mom could watch him and he'd go somewhere else to get his haircut because he was tired of looking homeless and he was tired of jumping through my hoops everytime he wanted a haircut. His hair doesn't look bad just scruffy it's only an inch long on the side right now and his beard would still look fine if he didn't take his trimmers and start chopping at it. I told him to forget the favor I asked for and said I wasn't going to get into that conversation when I was working before hanging up. We haven't talked about it since.
The problem is we leave for a trip Tuesday morning and most of the Barbershops in my town are closed Mondays and the walk-in places usually have a 2+ hour wait all day. So I know he's going to end up having to ask me on my day off if I will cut his hair. After his temper tantrum I don't want to cut his hair. So WIBTA if I told him I'm no longer going to cut his hair after what he said.
submitted by Real_Sweet9190
to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:24 Training-Weird-6195 Help me choose a hair dryer!!! With good cool setting pls
| || |
Thoughts on these hair dryers? I'm looking for one that's good for diffusing, and has a good true cool setting as my hair doesn't do well with heat. Will just start to incorporate diffusing into my routine so I'm hoping for something that's easy to use. Preferably $60 and under as well, but willing to pay more if it's worth it. submitted by Training-Weird-6195 to Ulta [link] [comments]
Hair type: Fine, low porosity, 2B curly/wavy
Open to other recommendations!! Please drop suggestions if you have any. Thank you friends 💖🙏
2023.06.04 23:23 gracienyx 39
submitted by gracienyx
to OCPoetry [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:22 afrocyborg 30[M4F] US/Anywhere - Gamer boy looking for his player 2
Hello, fellow redditor. How are you doing on this fine day? Has anything interesting happened to you this week?
Are you still looking for a new best friend/significant other? Someone that you can gush about your passions in life? One who you can message at ungodly hours of the night? Somebody who can help to alleviate the daily stress of feeling like you are alone in the world? Someone who you can message when you are feeling down? Or maybe even someone who gives you butterflies every time you get a message from them?
Well, do I have an offer for you!!!!
For the ridiculously low price of a direct message, you can meet your new best friend!!!
All you have to do is pick up the phone (or get on your computer) and send me a direct message. And, in the next (whenever I'm able to get a chance to check reddit), you can meet your brand new best friend!!!
Don't wait!!! This offer is only available for the next (whenever I decide to take this post down).
In all seriousness, I appreciate you taking the time to check out my post. I'm sure that you're here in the same spot as I am. Just wanting to try and form a connection with new people. So I figured I'd reach out to the internet and try and see if I can vibe with some new people. Maybe hopefully it grows to something more.
I'm a 30-year-old guy looking for a relationship (or friendship) through reddit. I know it's probably not the best idea, but I haven't had a lot of success with dating apps in my area. Plus, dating in your 30's is hard when you're an introvert. I will say though, I have made some great friends through reddit in the past, so I figured I'd try again and see what happens.
A little bit about me. I'm a typical redditor. Gamer, anime watcher, music enthusiast, and occasional movie watcher. I'm also a giant sports fan as well. Right now, I'm playing Zelda Tears of the Kingdom. It's pretty much taken over my life at the moment. There are a lot of games coming out this year, and I can't wait to get my hands on them. Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy XVI, and so many more I can't think of right now. It's gonna be a great year for gaming. I can honestly talk about gaming for hours. It's the best. Let's talk about our favorite games, or possibly play some together.
In terms of anime, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is my favorite show. Yes, it's ridiculous and over the top, but that's what makes it great. I haven't caught up with My Hero Academia Season 6 yet, but only because I want to stack them up and power through them all at once. Outside of that, I've been watching some Spy X Hunter. What a charming little show this is. Anyway, I'm always looking for new recommendations. What are you watching now?
Sports-wise, I'm a Los Angeles Lakers fan and a Las Vegas Raiders fan. I know. This has been a very disappointing season. Hopefully, the Lakers pull something wild off, and players are able to stay healthy. Otherwise, I just can only hope for a better season next year. I need something to be excited about. I have a lot of random useless sports information in my head. I've loved basketball and football my entire life, so I'd much rather stay at home and watch a game than go out and drink or party or whatever.
My favorite genres of music are Hip-hop and R&B. I would have to say a few of my favorite albums of all time would be Channel Orange by Frank Ocean, Because the Internet by Childish Gambino, 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole, Malibu by Anderson .Paak, and To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. I also listen to a bunch of different genres. What are some of your favorite songs or albums? Let's exchange music playlists with each other.
Anyway. I feel like I'm rambling at this point, so I'll stop here. That way we can get to know each other and see if we vibe together. So, if you're interested in getting to know a nerdy introvert over the internet, by all means, shoot me a message. Hit me with your a/s/l so I know it's real. I'm totally down to exchange discords and have a little discord date to get to know each other. If not, thank you for checking out my post, and I hope that you find whatever you are looking for.
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to r4r [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 23:18 borkmaster0 Concert at Forest Hills Stadium - City Terminal Zone
Many trains will make added stops at Forest Hills for concert attendees on Jun 4, Sunday, 5:00 PM to 11:59 PM
You must be in one of the first six cars to exit. Take your ticket with you as you leave the train, it will be checked at the station before you can exit. See more details on getting to Forest Hills Stadium
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to nyctransitalerts [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:51 pweeble Twin flame
I hate that I can’t see you whenever we want. I hate that life gets in the way of our plans, for all the decisions I’ve made up until now have been calculated, focused on ticking off all the boxes I thought I should have completed by my age. I hate that I’ve always wanted you and life separated us for such a long time, and when we were younger I pushed you away again and again. But I’m glad I did because I’d never appreciate who you are today in the same way.
I hate that for a long time I’ve looked in the mirror and questioned who I am, but I love that you returned to my life and helped me find it.
I love every thing about you, your beautiful eyes, your salt and pepper hair, the way you blush slightly when you smile, and the little lines around your eyes and the crinkle of your nose when you laugh. I love your body, the way it feels, the way it looks, your tattoos, your piercings, your arms. I love the stupid inside jokes that we share, and the way you make me laugh so much I snort, or can’t breathe, and how you don’t ridicule my stupid laugh. I love your outlook on life, how carefree you can be, and how you ease my anxieties as much as I try to ease yours. I love that you push me to be the best version of myself I can be, and I hope I do the same for you. I love how wise you are, how intelligent you are, and how getting older suits you; you’ve grown up, you’ve grown into yourself, and in my life, I’ve never seen someone so incredibly beautiful.
I do hate that I want you more than anything, because I can’t think about anything else and I haven’t been able to for a while, even before this started. You’ve entirely taken over my mind, and I’m terrified that will overwhelm you, or make you run for the hills, and sometimes I worry I love you too much. It terrifies me that one day you’ll wake up and realise this isn’t what you want.
Just know that whatever happens, I will always love you, I’ll always want you, and I never want a day where you’re not in my life.
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to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:51 icehashira PSA: If you have deep black but thin hair, volume 6 developer may actually lift your hair color to brown.
For context, i have a creative bleach/color style where I keep some of my hair black and some light blonde and use those light parts to do anything other color of the rainbow. When I initially bleached at the salon, my stylist noticed how fast it lifts, the first time with 30 volume developer. I got clean chunky blonde parts in one VERY FAST session.
Well, I just used 6 volume developer with pulp riot blank canvas, thinking that it wouldn’t lift black parts at all, to remove blue out of my hair. I had some new brown strands as a result, only having processed for 20 minutes. Fortunately, I can just dye it darker. It’s crazy!
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to HairDye [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 22:46 Danny_Won You Need More "Masculine Edge" in Your Dating App Pics (for Hooking Up)
| || | submitted by Danny_Won to AsianMasculinity [link] [comments]
Making this post because almost every “give me advice on my dating profile/pics” post could use this advice.
But basically, a lot of you lack what I would call a “masculine edge” to your appearance, or at least that’s how it comes across via pics.
And when I mentioned “masculine edge” (from here I’ll just call it “edge”), a few of you asked what I meant, so I’m making this post to answer everybody who asked. But basically – you want to look like a guy that actually gets p*ssy. Believe it or not, if you’re trying to f*ck a lot, you have to look like… somebody that actually f*cks.
But as it stands, a lot of you look way too “smiley” or “nice” for online dating like Tinder, etc.
Like your pics look like what you would make your Linkedin picture or something, as opposed to pics used to meet chicks.
If Linkedin and/or boyfriend pics are what you’re going for, so be it. But I doubt that strategy is leading to many matches or dates. (Hence why you’re posting on here for advice)
Also, let’s be real – whatever the dating app is, it’s basically all Tinder (hooking up).
I never go on a dating app and think, “oh yeah, I’m definitely gonna meet *the one* here”. Girls on dating apps have been around the block, or are about to go around it.
Even a girl who’s a “5” or a “6” is FLOODED with messages on dating apps, IG, etc. compared to the average guy who’s not getting shit. Don’t believe me? If you ever get the chance, ask to see a girl’s inbox. Any girl can have new d*ck THAT DAY on one of these apps, probably even within the hour.
Relevant to the above – a skill that every man needs is the ability to differentiate between:
- Girls you f*ck
- Girls you want to get serious with
Most girls on apps (but also everywhere in today’s world) are gonna fall in category 1. Just the way the world works.
I guess if anything, meeting a lot of chicks (from apps or otherwise) is good experience to increase your ability to find the rare girl from category 2.
So now that we have established that dating apps are mostly for hooking up, and that in order to hook up, you need to have some edge about you, let’s talk about how to actually get some edge in your pics.
Take a look at this picture:
Shit haircut, whatever clothes, just a normal, if not nerdy looking “random Asian dude”.
But that’s Jay Park when he was younger.
Of course you all know Jay Park now:
Forget the fact that he’s a world famous celebrity for a second.
Imagine you saw the first guy – what would you think?
Or imagine that first guy was on Tinder, Hinge, etc. Do you think he would get matches?
Of course not.
The second guy though – it’s CLEAR that he has “edge”, or that he f*cks. He’s clearly not the kind of guy that swipes Tinder all day so that he can take 5/10s on 10 dates just to get friend-zoned.
The look in his eyes, the hair, the piercings, the standout shirt, the tattoos, other accessories like necklace and bracelets.
^ These are all things that the average, boring guy does NOT have.
Or even this guy I found after searching “fuccboi before after”:
Credit: Jimmy Zhang
The guy on the left is exactly what I mean when I say “too smiley” – he just looks like a boring, nice guy geek.
While the guy on the right could use a better pose in terms of his face, just the piercings, necklace, tattoos, and abs give him a TOTALLY different vibe/image.
If you want to rack up the numbers, you need to lean more towards BAD BOY than you do “Another Asian guy with a decent job but nothing interesting about him” Here are some things you can implement:
- Get ripped –
obvious one. Preferably show off your body in a cool way. Like doing MMA or something. Example: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cs8h2issy5s/
- Cool haircut
– see the before/after of Jay Park above. No offense but a lot of you look like the before. Not gonna go into too much detail here, since there’s a post about hair every day.
– good for chicks but also, depending on the tattoo, could lead to less people trying to fuck with you (racism). I’m not even heavily tatted and girls will pretty much always ask what the tattoos mean and shit. Girls are into hippie shit like that – tattoos, horoscopes, palm reading, MBTI, etc. So for tats ideally 1) they make you look sexy 2) have some “deep” meaning 3) make you look more intimidating and less like a hate crime target. But for the purposes of this post, at least #1
- Edgy style
e.g. leather jackets, ripped jeans, etc. - I don’t know if stuff like leather jackets, ripped jeans, etc. are still “in” where you guys live. But back in the day, I would wear shit like that and it was comical how girls would automatically say stuff like “ooh, I like your style”, “ooh, I like your pants”, and shit like that. Like it was a cheat code and they were conditioned to like it (probably thanks to media influence). Little did they know that shit was some cheap shit from Zara.
Even if the kinds of clothes I listed aren’t cool anymore, the point is – wear stuff that makes it looks like you actually get it in with chicks.
– rings, necklaces/chains, bracelets/watches, piercings – boring nice guys don’t accessorize. As a bonus, depending on the accessory, they can be a conversation startekeep the convo flowing like tats.
- Facial hair
– if you can grow it, especially if you have a weak jawline (and have already done stuff like lose bodyfat to maximize your jawline).
Note the difference that facial hair can make:
(Though I would advise against facial hair depending on your target audience. Like most Asian girls from Asia seem to like clean cut)
- Pics with girls
- don't overdo it, and I'd say for certain kinds of girls (e.g. Asian girls from Asia) this can work against you. But for e.g. girls in the US, it can be good. Get like 1-2 pics with preferably hot chicks, even if you guys are just friends
Maybe controversial but great example pic by Andrew Tate:
This list doesn’t cover everything but the overarching principle is: Will this make me look like someone that actually gets girls?
For more inspiration, look at IG, Tiktok, or any site or app that’s mainly visuals focused with a lot of chicks using it. Find profiles of guys that you could emulate (preferably without feeling too fake or try-hard) with chicks thirsting in the comments
Also just try and pick up on things from guys IRL who you know get lots of girls. For example, how they look, talk, carry themselves, present themselves online, etc.
You'll probably notice they lean towards "bad boy" or edgy. These kinds of guys are the ones getting all the girls.
You probably already know this from growing up, going to school, being at work, and noticing things about guys who actually get lots of chicks.
But if you don’t, here are some reasons why the edgy-looking guys are getting the girls on apps (or otherwise), and you aren’t:
- They look confident and probably aren’t afraid of:
- standing out
- saying what’s on their mind
- comfortable in their masculinity/sexuality
- are likely to show the girl a good time
- fuck her good
2) They actually look like they get chicks like I’ve mentioned. Believe it or not – girls want a guy who KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING, especially if they’re just looking to have fun. If you’re just some boring guy taking Linkedin smiley pictures and posting them on dating apps, girls will just think you’re boring and probably have no experience with girls.
^ girls would rather be with the cool guy that has multiple chicks, then settle for some nice guy loser who is boring and doesn’t bring much to the table. Harsh but true.
In a way, giving women the freedom to choose their own partner was the worst thing to happen to your average guy in terms of dating and relationships.
Because if a girl can be with whatever guy she wants, why would she choose some average/below average guy, if she can get the above average/elite guy?
3) Edgy-looking guys are probably cooler, actually have friends, actually have a life.
And the thing is – when you look kind of “bad” or edgy – you can actually get away with being nice more, while not looking like a total simp. That is, your “nice” actions have more impact because it can be unexpected or seem out of character.
I call this kind of thing “contrast game”, and for whatever reason, it drives a lot of girls crazy.
I’ve had multiple girls say stuff like “you look like a party boy [or fuccboi], but you’re also really nice and actually thoughtful/intellectual”
When an edgy guy opens up and shows his “nice” side, this makes a girl feel special because the girl assumes that he doesn’t do that for anyone.
And being Asian, you can really ramp up the “edge” without it being a huge negative. People already assume that you’re a good guy, probably got a good job, potential boyfriend material, etc.
As a counter-example, Black guys kind of have the opposite stereotype working against them. Like girls might think they’re dangerous and shit because of media influence. Therefore, they can actually benefit by looking “more nice”.
I actually used to go out in NY with a Black guy during my wannabe pickup artist days. My approach then (and somewhat now) was very direct and “in your face”.
When I did it, it was kind of a novelty for the chicks. (This was like 10 years ago, before Korean shit got really big, so basically the main image people had of Asian dudes was that we were dorks).
Whereas when my Black buddy tried going up to girls the way that I was (super direct), a lot were actually freaking out and screaming.
(In reality, he was a totally good guy with a much better job than me. But unfortunately prejudice and racism – mostly thanks to negative media influence – affects all POC, but in different ways). Anyway, in summary: If your girl is to hook up with a ton of chicks from dating apps, you need to present yourself as a guy that actually hooks up with a ton of chicks from dating apps. And not boring Asian guy programmer #9999
Another thing to keep in mind:
Online stuff is ALL ABOUT THE PICS and looks.
If you don’t look like THE MAN online, do not expect to get crazy results.
As mentioned, girls are getting bombarded with messages on these apps, which are complete sausage fests. For example, Tinder is 75% dudes
I recommend not relying on solely dating apps to meet girls.
Offline stuff like social circle, nightlife, etc. give you more of an opportunity to show what you’re about via body language, tonality, all that stuff.
And if you do end up getting good pics, you should focus more on IG than dating apps anyway.
Lastly, I know a lot of you guys are probably naturally on the nicer side, have professional jobs, etc.
While trying to “up your edge”, try to be as congruent to your natural personality as possible. You don’t want to come across as try hard or fake. People, especially girls, can sense that shit from a mile away
Like I consider myself a nice guy, but I definitely have a bit of a degenerate streak. So some of the fuccboi stuff makes more sense for me.
Anyway, hope this post helps somebody.
2023.06.04 22:37 UmutYersel I Succeeded
2023.06.04 22:35 No_Class2481 What's the funniest thing you've ever seen on the internet?
What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen in a beauty or hair salon?
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2023.06.04 22:32 Mother_Tell998 A very long joke
(Apologies to anyone who reads this in full. But this joke is hideously long on purpose. It's effects are best if you actually sit someone down and tell it to them. I took up my workmates entire lunch break with this and he hasn't spoken to me all evening.)
There are one hundred priests of an unspecified religion. They have arrived dressed in the symbols of their faith in a new land to spread the word of their 'Superbook'. This could be any land, France, Egypt, Feudal Japan, the Toronto Film Festival, any land. Absolutely any land you can imagine, Gondor, Pangaea, 1992 or your own home and surrounding lands which are unique to you.
Upon arriving in this strange new land they learn that the people here have no knowledge of Superbook. They decide that the best way to spread the word is to construct a building as a symbol of the new faith. So they purchased some basic tools and set to work gathering wood for their shrine. As there were one hundred priests in their prime the shrine was constructed in under a week.
It was a basic thing. The sort of shrine you would look at and say "that's pretty shit. Did children build this? You didn't tell me there were feral children around.". A central trunk with a roughly carved deity symbol nailed to the top stood in a forest clearing. A few rows of log seats encircled it and around the edges stood a few tall torches burning incense.
The priests stood back and looked proud over their creation, happy that they could begin spreading the words and illustrations of Superbook. It was suggested by one of the priests that "Hey we should go for a drink to celebrate our success!" to which exactly half of the priests thought would be a good idea. So fifty of the priests headed down to the local pub where they spent the night drinking whatever beverages Superbook allowed.
Upon returning from their celebrations the priests were greeted by a horrifying sight. "Have I got beverage in my eyes!?" one of the priests was heard to say "or has something destroyed our shrine!?". The priest was correct, before them lay the ruins of their primitive shrine, a tangle of wood and limbs all set ablaze by the incense torches.
How exactly all fifty priests who remained at the shrine managed to perish as the single tall, thin structure collapsed remains a mystery to this day. As the priests stood in shock staring and mourning over their lost friends, one of them turned to notice something that looked out of place. As he squinted he could make out on the horizon a figure all in black, speeding away on an unspecified vehicle. It could be a motorbike, a sports car, a horse and carriage, a horse without a carriage, absolutely any vehicle you can think of, a bicycle, a unicycle, a pangolin, or a petrol powered pangolin.
But it was too late, the man disappeared over the horizon. As the remaining priests gathered their thoughts, one of them suggested that they should not be discouraged, and that their fallen friends would want them to rebuild the shrine in memory of them.
The priests agreed and set about building a new shrine! bigger and better than the first to remember this tragic day. They quarried stones, they cut down trees and they sewed curtains, nice curtains, I mean REALLY nice curtains, with tassels and everything. It took the fifty priests a few weeks to complete but eventually they were able to stand back and admire their new creation.
It was a quaint chapel on the hill. The sort of chapel you would look at and say "hey look at that quaint little chapel, and oh damn check out those nice curtains!". A trodden dirt path led to the entrance of a small stone structure, inside was the picture of simplicity and modesty. A few rows of pews on a polished wooden floor, and an altar stood in front of a patchwork deity symbol.
As the priests admired their new chapel, they remarked that yes, their fallen friends would be happy with this. One of the priests suggested that they visit a local theme park to celebrate this day. Exactly half of the priests agreed, they spent the day riding deity approved rides, gambling deity approved amounts of money and not riding deity condemned rides.
Upon returning from their celebrations the priests were greeted by a horrifying sight. "Have I got deity approved theme park snacks in my eyes!?" one of the priests was heard to say "or has something destroyed our chapel!?". The priest was correct, on the hill lay a pill of stone rubble, limbs and silky smooth curtain tassels.... which was all on fire for some reason.
As the priests stood staring in horror over their lost friends, one of them turned to notice something that, yes, upon the horizon he could just make out the man in black speeding into the distance. But it was too late, he was gone. As the remaining priests took care of the dead in the way decreed by Superbook, one of them suggested that this should not be the end, and that their fallen friends would want them to rebuild the chapel in memory of them.
The priests agreed and set about pillaging neighbouring villages for building supplies. They gathered glass, mixed cement, smelted iron, mined for gold and expanded their quarry. They didn't just rebuild the chapel, they built a fully fledged church! The sort of church that when you refer to it like "Oh it's up by the church", people would know what you are talking about and benefit from your informative directions. It had taken the twenty five priests six months of labour but there it stood. A paved path led through an iron fence, protection against and would-be-church-destroyers and towards an imposing stone structure. Stain glass windows adorned the front complete with deity symbols, the pews could seat a thousand and a golden forged Superbook sat upon the altar.
The twenty five priests patted themselves on the back and said a prayer for the lost friends. One priest suggested that after six months they deserved a celebratory meal to mark the occasion. Twelve priests agreed whilst the rest stayed to rest, content in the safety of their shiny new iron fence. The twelve priests spent the evening at a nearby Italian restaurant, because everyone is allowed to eat Italian food.
After an evening of scoffing increasingly abstract pasta shapes the twelve priests returned to their church. One of the priests was heard to say "Have I got tagliatelle in my eye!? Or has someone knocked down our church!? AGAIN!" The scene that greeted them was one of sorrow and anger. Sorrow for their dead friends, crushed under heaps of stone and glass. Anger at their dead friends, for placing so much faith in an iron fence. Yet more anger at the figure they could see vanishing over the horizon.
At this point you are probably thinking that these priests are idiots, that surely they can understand the pattern by now that building a church plus staying in the church equals death. You would also think that after the previous events they would not believe that the solution would be to build a bigger church.... as this in no way addresses the problem at hand. You may think that surely he can't just keep rambling on like this and that he will wrap this up soon, after all we have figured out the pattern of the joke and we know where it is going anyway.
So one of the priests, suffering from long term memory loss, suggested that to honour their friends they should build a new monument to their faith. The others, after giving him concerned looks, figured they had come this far and, resigned to their fate, they agreed. The priests then spent the next five years ravaging the lands for resources. They felled forests, flattened hills and drove the critically endangered Pentapus to extinction to use their tears for cement (its like an octopus but it only has five arms... and only has five eyes.)
After a further five years of construction, they were finally able to stand back, crane their necks high, and admire their creation. This was a truly great achievement. This was now a cathedral, the sort of cathedral that architecture student congregate around. The sort of structure that everyone for miles around would refer to as "That massive f***ing monstrosity made of tears" and there would be weird rumors like "at night I've heard that you can hear the pentapusses crying from inside the walls". Whether these rumors were true or not, it was an impressive building. The size of an aeroplane hangar. It had an attached aeroplane hangar. It was the first cathedral built with a solid steel support structure and, for added protection, a moat and barbwire fence surrounded it.
The priests had been at the whole 'building monuments for the Superbook' for many years now and were getting old and tired. One of them suggested that they should take a trip to a local spa for a day of relaxation after this great achievement, "after all..." he said "page 69 of Superbook does proclaim in giant text, 'Thou shalt spa'". Five other priests, who probably had better survival instincts, agreed and the six of them took off. Six remained content in their reinforced structure, even taking shifts to keep watch for added security.
The six who left spent the day wallowing in mud, having cucumbers placed on various body parts and being generally as un-energetic as possible. They were also pleasantly surprised to find that their local infamy granted them free access to all the spas facilities. After they had left in their own time and the spa owner barred the doors shut behind them they headed back to their church.
"Have I still got cucumber in my eye!?" one of the six said as their home loomed on the horizon, "or has someone destroyed our church!?"
The priest was correct. As they approached and crossed the moat they found a towering pile of rubble. There was an eerie silence as they glared at the destruction, picturing their dead friends somewhere inside. The silence was only broken by the sound of the man in black speeding off over the horizon and the joyous cries of Pentapus souls being freed.
The sight of the man in black filled one of the priests with rage. He turned to the others and said "Hey I know what we need to do!" ... The others agreed before he had chance to say what it was.
The priests set about gathering more resources. After the ten years it took them to gather this, they were surrounded by a scorched barren earth. They had felled all the trees for twenty miles, flattened the earth, hunted all life to extinction (I mean all life, even worms... they took all the worms and used them to lure down all the birds. Then they trained the birds to help lift heavy objects for them. Then they ate the birds. Then they made a monument to remember the birds. Then they... didn't really put much effort into maintaining it and it ran into disrepair... the end), drained lakes and sucked clouds from the sky somehow.
It took a further ten years for the small group of ageing priests to complete their construction. For the sake of this story four of the priests died during a slave bird rebellion that was later crushed. Mainly because I can't think of many more advancing stages of church besides going into ghost churches or space churches, though those would be awesome.
Their creation could barely be called a church.Yes it was built in the shape of their deity symbol and inside were super mahogany (like regular mahogany only more awesome) pews and a diamond pulpit, but to all other purposes this was a fortress. The entire structure was titanium, standing thirty stories high. It was surrounded with laser fences, laser moats full of lasers, and atop the building were placed a cluster of guns which shot bullets which were also made of lasers. There were immense speaker systems built into the walls which issued threats as well as religious good will messages to all who approached. It was the sort of church that you wouldn't say anything about... because the church would know what you said and rain lasers upon you.
The doom of the man in black was built. But they needed bait. The two old priests drew straws to decide who would stay. The priest who left made it known that he would be leaving for a day on the beach.
He spent his day pretending to sunbathe, pretending to build sandcastles and pretending to dip his toes in the water. Until he heard a commotion in the distance. He raced back towards his fortress with a smile on his face, the sort of smile you would have if the person who has killed ninety eight of your closest ninety nine friends had been killed. When he could peer over the next horizon however, his smile vanished. All he could see in front of him was a smoking heap of titanium and misfiring lasers. As he peered through the smoke he could make out the man in black making his escape.
Something inside him had told him that this would happen and this time he was prepared. He knew there was no sand in his eyes... he had only been pretending to touch the sand. He ran behind a nearby bush and hopped aboard his Super Priesty Priest Scooter and gave chase.
Through the desolate lands he chased the man, gaining ever so slowly until after hours, to the priests surprise, the man had pulled over. The priest pulled up and approached the man, his face red with rage.
"HAVE YOU BEEN KNOCKING DOWN OUR CHURCHES!?" The priest roared.
And the man replied
"...... no....... "
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2023.06.04 21:58 DrBlackJack21 Of Men and Dragons, Book 3, Chapter 45
Other stories of mine can be found in my wiki
For those who want to go back to the beginning, here's a link to book 1 chapter 1.
An image of Lon'thul
Of Men and Dragons, Book 3, Chapter 45
The order had finally been given. A bellow arose from thousands of argu'n before everyone surged forward. Dak'ton felt his blood thirst rise as he launched himself ahead, albeit a little more slowly encombered as he was by the new tool Lord B'arthon had insisted they bring with them. Then there was a shout from the enemy lines that preceded the first volley of small spears launched toward them.
Dak'ton hadn't believed they could be thrown this far, but judging by the path they were arching in his general direction, the warrior was suddenly grateful for the large thick wooden planks Lord B'arthon had insisted they carry with them. Raising it over his head, he could hear impacts all around him and a few screams as the wooden planks proved insufficient for some in the face of such a barrage. Dak'ton himself felt a jarring impact as one small spear hit his shield and a second impact as it pierced through the wood and hit his chest plate.
The warrior froze momentarily, wondering if he was dead, before realizing the combination of wood and his bone plates must have saved his life. However, Dak'ton was further delayed by trying to wrench the spear from his chest and planks as more warriors ran past. Finally, there was a sharp jolt of pain as he pulled the spear free. He was dismayed to see a trail of blood leaking out of a wound in his chest, but it wasn't deep enough to be a serious concern, so with a grunt, he threw the spear to the ground and resumed his charge.
Looking around, it was clear others weren't as lucky as him. Several were down when the spears impaled their legs where the wood hadn't protected them. Others had spears piercing through their wood like Dak'ton had, but the spear had gone on to hit them in more lightly armored areas like their arms or sides. One unlucky warrior had his wood now pinned to his arm as he screamed and grasped the small spear in an attempt to pull it out.
As Dak'ton gained more ground, another shout went out, and he raised his wood planks again, this time bracing in place, feeling his blood rush in fear as he waited again for impact. However, he didn't have to wait as long this time and again felt a jarring impact. This time the spear pierced through his planks higher up, punching all the way through and continuing to the ground beside him, narrowly missing his head. Around him, others fared worse a second time. A few had dropped their planks after the first barrage, having been unable to wrench the spears free, and were now paying the price.
Dak'ton blinked stupidly a few times before dropping his planks as instructed and running toward the enemy lines again. Lord B'arthon had told them the enemy would only have time for two barrages before they closed the distance, and rushing there after the second would eliminate the risk of a third, and all Dak'ton wanted was to never experience something like that again. Those small spears traveled so much further and faster than normally thrown spears, and they hit much harder despite their small size.
That was when he looked at the enemy and realized Lord B'arthon had made a mistake. Only half the enemy had fired the second round. The other half was still waiting with those odd spear throwers ready to unleash their second round. Dak'ton had a moment of grudging respect for those workers' discipline before a third shout was followed by more spears launched in their direction. Without the protection of his wooden planks, a spear hit Dak'ton clean in the shoulder, and he felt himself being pulled back as if some large creature had ahold of him and was pulling him bodily to the ground. That was when the searing pain came, as though his shoulder was on fire, and Dak'ton's screams joined the chorus of those screaming around him.
Lack'nul had no idea how Jack had foreseen the enemy would have those wooden planks, shields he'd called them, but the guard captain was glad he had. Perhaps the human had even more magic than he let on? He'd even been right about the enemy dropping the shields before engaging in melee, saying they would likely be too crude to wield while fighting due to rushed production. Because of that, the second half of the second volley devastated the enemy's front line in the section in front of his workers.
Further down the line, the warriors of the hill people were hurling more traditional throwing spears to lesser effect, but thankfully the enemy didn't seem to have enough shields to arm their entire front line with, so the spears were still effective.
The spears and belly bows had thinned the enemy front lines, but they were still drastically outnumbered. Lack'nul shouted for the workers to discard their belly bows and take up their spears. The workers threw the bows to the ground a few feet in front of them, hoping to trip up the enemy, then raised their spears and braced for impact.
A'ngles frowned from his position overseeing the battlefield. The second half-and-half volley had been unexpected. Not that it had cost them too much in the way of manpower, he estimated in total they'd lost maybe a hundred warriors between all three volleys and perhaps a hundred more across the rest of the front lines to the more traditional spears, only a fraction of the two thousand warriors charging in at the moment. Still, it definitely had an impact on the morale of that all-important center formation. Moreover, they'd slowed enough that the front line had bowed back slightly in the middle. Between that, the enemy's armor, and the obstacle the bulky weapons presented on the ground, the eventual charge had much less impact than he'd expected, with more of his own men going down in the initial exchange than the enemy.
Even all this wasn't nearly enough to change the battle's outcome, but it was just a few reminders that this wasn't their usual opponent, and only the gods knew how many more surprises they had in store.
The fighting was starting to get desperate. Lack'nul parried blow after blow with his sword, trying to create openings for the workers next to him to take advantage of with their spears. Occasionally an enemy would go down, taking the spear with him, but then the hill people behind them would hand the worker a new spear, and the fighting continued. Then there were the longer spears being thrust from further behind by the hill people. They didn't account for much in the way of killing blows, but they were one more complication the attackers had to beware of, preventing them from striking with total confidence.
It was strange for the guard captain to be fighting on the side of the hill people against what were likely guards from other villages, but he shoved that thought out of his mind as he parried another couple of spear thrusts around him. He wondered if any of the workers he was now familiar with had already died, but again shoved the thought from his mind as he took advantage of an opening and shoved his sword through an enemy warrior's midsection.
His victim grabbed hold of the blade as he fell, and rather than fight for the weapon and leave himself open for others to take advantage of, Lack'nul let go of the weapon and shouted behind him. "Spear!" Soon enough, the shaft of a spear was pressed into his waiting hands, and the guard captain resumed the fight, spinning the end of his spear in a way meant to shake loose his opponent's grip on their own weapon before thrusting forward and scoring a grazing attack his across the warrior's throat. It wasn't deep enough to kill but more than enough to spook his opponent, who drew back for a moment in shock.
That created enough of an opening that Lack'nul should have been able to get another kill, but then he noticed a spearhead flying toward him from the side, forcing the guard captain to step back and bring up his own spear, spinning the shaft in a way to deflect the strike and allow him to bring his own spearhead around to strike, driving his second foe back before turning his attention to the first, swiping with the butt of his spear before bringing the head around for another strike more designed to buy a moment than land a killing blow.
The guard captain was breathing heavily, wondering how much longer he should try to hold this spot.
A'ngles watched intently as the fighting continued, focusing most of his attention on that all-important center line. He could see individual fighters moving back and forth on both sides. Occasionally some fell and were replaced, but the armor on the workers kept them alive longer. But, of course, that also meant they were constantly fighting for extended periods, unable or unwilling to switch out with the less well-armed and armored allies behind them. In a massive battle like this, endurance was the key to victory, and it was just a matter of time before his greater numbers took their toll. Perhaps it was simply his imagination, but it seemed like the enemy line was starting to bow just the slightest amount in the middle. He just had to keep the pressure on...
Turning to two of his aide, the Village Lord issued his orders. "Send a runner to either flank and order fifty warriors from each to peel off and reinforce the center."
The aide nodded and repeated his orders to two runners as the old Lord continued to observe the battle.
Lon'thul traveled through the forest with an arrow knocked but not drawn as he crept ahead of the rest. Aside from Jack, Angela, Em'brel, and the wolgen all at the rear, the rest in their group were all hunters, used to moving quickly and silently through the underbrush, but even compared with the proud hunters of the hill people, Lon'thul was the undisputed master of his trade. So he walked ahead of the rest to look for ambushes.
It could have been just another day on the hunt if it weren't for the sounds of battle a little to his right. The hunter was glad non of his friends could see him at the moment, or else they'd notice his characteristic grin was absent in favor of a more stern expression. Something felt off about the forest, and he couldn't quite place a talon on what it was. He felt as if a presence had passed through not long ago, but the only person who could move this subtly was...
That was when the hunter noticed another scout ahead of his position. By Lon'thul's standard, he was moving loudly and clumsily. Looking around to ensure there wasn't anyone else present, Lon'thul took aim while inhaling silently. Once he had his target, he began exhaling while drawing back on the string, letting loose the arrow when he was about halfway out of air. After long hours of practice and countless hunts, he knew the arrow would fly true. However, he couldn't help but momentarily hold his remaining breath as he waited anxiously for a fraction of a second it took the arrow to clear the distance to its target.
As expected, the arrow embedded itself into his target's throat, pinning him to the tree behind him as the scout struggled briefly before falling limp. After ensuring there was no other movement to indicate another watcher, Lon'thul crept up and silently removed the arrow. Jack had once again been proven correct. It looked like B'arthon had sent an ambush to cut off their flanking maneuver. However, if the hunter could get enough of their scouts quickly enough, they might be able to ambush their ambushers. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he mimicked a kovaack's grunt to signal a halt. To his ears, it sounded nothing like an actual kovaack, but other hunters had told him it had an uncanny similarity from a small distance away.
Assuming one to two hundred warriors, they probably had ten to fifteen scouts. As the hunter snuck through the brush, he kept his ears open for any minor disturbances. A shadow out of place, or the sound of a twig cracking where he knew no animal would be. After an agonizingly long minute during which he tried to not think about what was happening in the main battle, he found another hunter, but this one was dangerously close to a second.
Lon'thul frowned, sliding sideways to get a shot from their flank with his back to the position of the one he'd already taken out so he could sneak closer to take his shot. Finally, after a few more agonizingly long seconds, he was in position, and the hunter knocked another arrow.
Standing and drawing in one smooth motion, Lon'thul took quick aim at the further of the two hunters before either knew what happened and loosed his arrow. However, rather than wait for his arrow to hit the target this time, Lon'thul dropped his bow while drawing a knife in one smooth action and flung the blade at the second scout, who was already starting to move at the appearance of the enemy from his supposedly protected flank.
Once again, rather than wait, Lon'thul leaped at his target, who was starting to fall, opening his mouth to shout out, but the hunter wrapped his arm around his victim's throat, slamming his mouth shut on his tongue, turning the scout's shout into a loud whimper as the hunter finished the job.
Lon'thul grabbed his knife and slunk back into the shadows, waiting for more scouts to come to check on the sounds of the scuffle. It was only after none appeared for over a minute that the hunter retrieved his arrow and returned to his bow with a frown. He was confident he'd been quiet enough to avoid detection by the main force, but the next scout over should have heard the twigs snapping as the two combatants struggled. Had he simply run back to report the disturbance without checking on the source of it? Given Lon'thul's reputation, it might have been a good move, but then the whole group would be "ambushing" every medium-sized animal in the forest, giving away their position! It didn't make sense...
The hunter calmed himself. Rather than jumping to conclusions, the only thing for him to do was precisely what he thought they should have done, go and check it out. He'd simply have to trust Angela to inform the rest if he walked into some ambush since she was silently watching everything from his headset.
As he rounded another tree, he found some disturbed underbrush roughly where he expected the next scout to be. As he crept closer, he realized there was a body there. The scout was already dead!
Lon'thul froze, holding his bow and ready to draw in the blink of an eye if any threat presented itself and thought rapidly. He knew he was the only one of his people's scouts out this far, so it couldn't have been any of his men. But what purpose could they have for placing this body here? He'd suspect a trap, but it made no sense. Still, it wouldn't help anyone if he stayed here any longer than he had to, so Lon'thul resumed movement, redoubling his efforts to remain silent and hidden as he moved.
After another moment, he came to another likely location and, after a moment of observation, found another dead scout. This time the hunter crept closer, inspecting the body. The sout's throat had been slit, likely from behind. He could even imagine someone's hand wrapping around the poor scout's mouth to silence any shout before the knife had done its work. That meant someone had walked right up behind the scout as he'd been searching for his own prey. Lon'thul might have been able to pull that off on a good day, but he'd never have risked it with so much on the line. Remembering the presence he'd felt earlier, he realized only one other hunter could pull something this brazen off...
Now Lon'thul was fully alert, scanning every shadow and listening for even the slightest disturbances while waiting with an arrow ready. This time he didn't have the luxury of waiting for his opponent to act first. He had to take the initiative and do it now! But beating his father in a duel wasn't his objective. Outmaneuvering the enemy force was. Putting a hand on the headset, the hunter activated the com and broke silence for the first time. "My position may be compromised, but if you move fast, you can still take the enemy unaware. Tell Jack to charge now!"
Putting his hand down, Lon'thul settled into position and readied another arrow. He knew his father wouldn't kill him like the other scouts, but that didn't mean the old hunter wouldn't try to pull him out of the battle now that he'd given away his location. The younger hunter would just have to be even faster this time...
In case you missed it and are interested, book 1 is available to purchase in digital or physical form.
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2023.06.04 21:51 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 16 - Aftermath Part 2/2
--- Table of Contents
--- Part 1/2
When Shon woke again, it was to be told he'd slept, not only the rest of the day and night of the incident, but the entire day after as well. Despite the Cleric assuring Shon that this was normal, he still had Shon eat breakfast in the infirmary while the Squires attended their morning lessons. He'd slept through drills, breakfast, and prayer.
The Cleric kept the curtains drawn over the window, though Shon's head wasn't pounding anymore, and had added a second set of standing curtains around the girl's bed. Shon's eyes flicked in her direction with every alternate bite he managed to force down, but there was no movement beyond the white cloth.
Master Daunas came in shortly before tenth bell and armor practice to inform Shon that he was to take the day off to rest but could rejoin the others in training the following day. He was at least allowed to leave the infirmary, though he waited until he could hear sparring outside before he did. He didn't want to run into any of the Squires.
As he opened the door to leave something flew by the window, catching Shon's attention enough to make him stop and look over. But it was already long gone. Just a bird... Assuming he hadn't imagined it.
He shook his head, still aching all over. His mind swam with worries and memories, made worse by the fact that the Cleric was trying to hide shivers now that Shon was fully rested. He'd probably just imagined it...
Back in his room Shon huddled over his journal. He could still smell the smoke in his hair and had decided it would be best to shower soon, but finally alone, his thoughts and memories could no longer be ignored.
So he drew. He tried to start safe. Nangran atop his borrowed horse; Ivelm mostly naked and shaking a club in his doorway; the Archmage's workroom lined in shelves filled with magical components. That one had taken a while. But as he released these images onto the page, others forced themselves forward. Smoke billowing over treetops; a burning tower; charred bodies; and a girl reaching out through the flames. A girl lying asleep in the bed next to his. The stillness of the picture made her look dead.
He dropped his pencil, letting it roll right off the desk. Crossing his arms over the book, he rested his head on his desk. The wood felt warm compared to his skin, comforting. What more could he have done? What could a Paladin have done? Or Master Veon-Zih? Shon saw again the bodies and shivered.
No one could save everyone. To think otherwise was pure arrogance. But knowing the facts and feeling them were two very different things. The tower wasn’t that far from Hamerfoss. Shouldn’t they have known something was going on? Shouldn’t they have been able to do something sooner? Years sooner? Long before the fire killed those people?
A loud tapping startled him awake. When had he fallen asleep? Shon searched his room in confusion, trying to piece together his dream and what had awoken him. He'd been in the Temple chapel, but as he'd walked down the middle aisle, the pews had started to decay, the stone walls crumbling. Small plants, then trees began to sprout from the ground, overgrowing the once-holy place now in ruin. Shon pressed the heels of his hands hard into his eyes, trying to remember what had come next... A man with white hair pulled back in a ponytail had been standing at the head altar... something with leathery wings on his shoulder...
The painful screech of something sharp on glass had Shon jumping up, his chair falling to clatter on the ground behind him. He looked to his window but saw only orange sky beyond. Was the sun already setting? He knelt on the mattress and looked out the window, unsure what he expected to see. He was on the third floor, but that was definitely where the sound had come from, and the window was the only glass in the room.
Nothing but open sky.
He opened the tiny window, the pane swinging up and letting in cold and refreshing air that helped clear his mind. Master Daunas's voice bellowed orders from the courtyard below, and Shon stuck his head out to look down and see his fellows working through their dagger forms. He'd slept through lunch and afternoon lessons. And he still needed a shower.
If he hurried, he would be able to shower before the others finished their lesson. Shon left the window open and even opened his door before he remembered to grab a fresh uniform. Obviously, he still wasn't thinking clearly.
The halls were blissfully empty, and Shon could almost pretend that even if he did pass someone, their breath wouldn't show in the air. It was a short-lived fantasy, however. He managed to make it all the way to the showers, but when he opened the door a voice called, "Squire! Why aren't you... Oh..." Shon performed a sharp about face to stand at attention before the Major General.
"At ease, Squire Shon," Selibra sighed, waving him down, "Did you get enough rest?"
"Yes, Sir," Shon answered but then caught movement out of the corner of his eye, again
. He hadn't managed to turn his head far enough to see before the Major General started speaking. Shon snapped his head back to give the officer his undivided attention.
"You did well, Squire. Smith Nangran told us what happened at the tower." Sir Selibra managed a strained smile that faded quickly, "If you want to talk about what you saw there... any one of us will be more than willing to listen. You shouldn't have had to experience death so soon." an image of an arm pulling away from a charred corpse flashed in Shon's vision.
Shon swallowed down the accompanying nausea at the memory and managed a nod, adding a quiet "Thank you, Sir." for good measure.
Feeling the need to scrub even more than before, Shon was grateful when the Major General left, allowing him to enter the still-open room. The shower was only mildly comforting, however. What should have been scalding water felt merely lukewarm now, the mist billowing off his truly icy skin thick enough that he could barely see the spigots. Closing his eyes, he scrubbed and tried to imagine the images flowing off of him with the filth...
Something chirped, and Shon slammed the water off. Just the pipes creaking...
How much longer would he have to rest before his mind stopped playing tricks on him? But as he moved for his towel, Shon stopped in shock, his new uniform had been scattered around the benches and floor.
He hadn't heard the door open, but had heard the pipes creaking? But who here would even do something like this? Shon started to search the showers, but as he did, he heard something else—voices in the hall. The Squires were done with their practice. He still didn't want to see them and dressed quickly, rushing from the shower and slamming the door behind him.
Something thumped into the door from the other side. Shon held his breath and turned slowly. It was his imagination. It had to be. He reached for the handle again and, standing behind the swing, opened the shower slowly.
"He's been gone three days... Do you think they sent him away?" Thom's voice sounded from around a corner, and Shon jumped in surprise, pulling the door open fully as if he could hide behind it.
"No way. he's the best Squire we have, so what if he's a Sorcerer." They were talking about him... Shon definitely didn't want to see them yet. He dashed down the opposite way, taking a long way around through the Paladin's barracks and back to his room. Or that's what he'd planned before he remembered the Squires hall would be full of people now taking their break and trying to get into the shower before everyone else. His feet faltered, and he turned away again, to one of the hardly used stairs that would take him down to the rest of the fortress.
Barred from his room, Shon made his way to the place he associated the most with comfort, the chapel. It wasn't empty, three Paladins knelt in prayer near the front, but it didn't matter anymore. He felt a wash of calm as he entered the incense-filled room, the sweet-smelling smoke finally banishing the stench of burning hair from his memory.
Shon took a spot near the back, kneeling to pray as he stared up at the statue of Hengist behind the altar. He was dressed in full plate mail, his arm raised in triumph, holding his mighty sword, Darkspliter.
Shon sighed and felt himself smile for what felt like the first time in a very long time. He could tell Hengist anything and everything, and none of it out loud... But then his smile faded. What would he say...? I'm sorry. I feel like I've been lying to everyone, to you. I've known there was something different about me, something wrong with me. That's why no one likes to touch me, why everyone pulls away at the feel of my skin, like it's somehow dirty or painful. I should've realized... Should have known... But I worked so hard... You know that, don't you? And I'm not ready to give up. I'll do whatever it takes, atone anyway I can if you just tell me how. The Major General said something about it being a sign. I want to believe he meant the unlikely convenience of Smith Nangran knowing an Archmage who could make an item so I won't have to get the tattoo. Thank you. I just hope I don't disappoint after getting a second chance...
The bell for dinner sounded. Feeling better, Shon considered going with the Paladins as they left the chapel. Until one of them shivered as they passed. "Winters right around the corner," another muttered.
"We'll need to install the heating orbs soon." the last answered before the door closed... He wasn't hungry anyway. Please, Hengist. Don't let me hurt anyone else. Kefir was trying to help me, and I answered that kindness with pain. What if the healers hadn't gotten to him in time? Would I have smothered him in ice? Please, I'll give up everything if it means that will never happen again...
But he didn't want to give up anything. He wanted to fight, to reach his highest potential, and lead a life of meaning. He thought of Master Veon-Zih. The Monk had told him that he didn't need to be a Paladin to fight for justice, and he was living proof of that. But... I don't want to be alone... At first, I thought I just wanted you, a god, as a guiding light in my life. But now I realize that being a Paladin gives me even more than that. It gives me brothers and friends, and I don't want to lose them either. But I especially don't want to hurt them.
Shon clenched his hands tighter, as tight as he could, digging his fingers into the spaces between his knuckles; as if external pain might dull internal strife... They say I'm scary... And I know they aren't really joking. I can see it in their eyes and hear it in their nervous laughs when they try and make it a joke. But they only mean when they fight me... don't they? And I'll never try to hurt them. It's only sparring... they know that... don't they?
He squeezed his eyes tighter shut, But what about now? Will they be even more afraid? Even when we aren't sparring? Can I blame them if they are?
He actually found himself waiting for an answer... Of course, none came. He wasn't a Paladin yet, and wouldn't be able to feel the god until he swore his Oath and took a piece of Hengist into himself. For now, Shon took in a deep breath, as deep as he could, then let it out slowly, relaxing his hands and face as he attempted to release his anxieties unto his god. I won't give up. I'll fight this danger within me as hard as I will fight any threat without. I ask for your help with this. Please don't give up on me yet. I'll prove I'm worthy, I swear.
The bell ending dinner and starting study time sounded. Shon stayed in the chapel until a handful of Squires came in to pray themselves. They hesitated by the door, but Shon didn't look at them. He knew he couldn't hide forever. But he also wasn't sure what he should say to any of them. Or if he should say anything at all. Shon waited until they moved away from the door to finally stand. If he had to face any of them, he wanted it to be the ones he considered friends first.
Shon left the chapel and made his way to the library, fighting the urge to just go back to his room. Heads swiveled in his direction the moment he opened the library door. Shon flinched, sucking in a sharp breath and holding it, pulling his energy in as best he could.
He stepped in, and the Squires exchanged looks, but then the Paladin on library duty coughed, and they quickly went back to reading.
His typical spot was available as usual, so Shon made his way there. The others would want to talk after... and if not, he would just go back to his room. Distracted by his continued worries -and the silent effort to hold his energy in- Shon still heard when something behind him hissed along the stone.
He spun quickly, scanning the floor. This time he definitely wasn't imagining it...
"Squire Shon... Shouldn't you be resting?" He turned back to find the Squires trying to make it seem like they weren't staring at him, while the Paladin who called looked openly concerned.
Shon's cheeks flushed, now feeling cool rather than warm. Another change..
. He cleared his throat, "No, Sir..." and when the Paladin's worried expression didn't let up, Shon added, "I've been resting all day."
"Three days..." Zihler muttered.
Shon met his eyes and the Squire smiled, but Shon couldn't tell if the expression seemed strained or not. He nodded anyway, taking his seat alone at the table by the window.
Books on their current subject of study were already laid out, and he pulled one forward, opening it without checking the title. As he read, he could hear the others occasionally whisper and even caught snippets of what they were saying,
"I found another one. Do you think this will be enough?" Thom asked.
"We have the rest of the hour; we should find all we can," Rerves answered. It didn't sound like they were studying, but Shon had missed three days of lessons; maybe they were working on an assignment... He went back to his reading. He would get any missed work tomorrow.
When the bell rang that would finally begin their last hour of free time, Shon closed his book. It would be best to just go to bed early; everyone seemed to think he should be resting anyway; they could talk after he got the sealing item... But he hadn't stood yet when his six closest friends jumped up, books in hand, and crowded around him, preventing him from leaving. From running away.
"We're glad you're okay." Rehlien blurted out.
"The Major General told us what happened," Baradin added.
Shon looked from him to Kefir and took in a sharp breath, "I'm..." he started to apologize, but Kefir interrupted with a broad smile,
"I'm fine. I even got a day off for it. I didn't need it though, they healed me up right away."
Rerves placed his book down on Shon's table, "It was just really surprising, you know? But hey! Now we know why you're so cold all the time."
Shon looked down at the massive tome on the table, not wanting to meet their eyes. He didn't know what to make of what they were saying. There was no way it was okay. How could they be alright with a dangerous magic user that could kill them all on accident...
"We found these. We thought they might make you feel a little better," Thom whispered, stacking his book on top of Rerves' and opening it to a page he'd marked with a ripped piece of scrap paper. It wasn't a textbook, it was a record book. Shon furrowed his brows down at the page, reading 'Sir Patrich, served 4876-4929, died 4955. Paladin of Hengist, General. Air Sorcerer...
Shon looked up to find them all smiling down at him. Zihler set his book down over Thom's, opened to another personal record, "This one was a fire Sorcerer, and they're supposed to be the most destructive."
Rehlien took Baradin and Kefir's books and stacked them with his own beside the open records. He ran his fingers over the slew of bookmarks sticking out of the closed pages, "All Sorcerers and
Paladins." Rehlien said.
"Master Daunas said you would be back in a few days, but just in case we wanted to find these for you," Thom explained in a rush, "You know... in case the officers or Mages needed to be convinced..."
Baradin cleared his throat before he spoke, clasping his hands behind his back, "We haven't found any ice Sorcerers yet, but they're also the rarest, so that really shouldn't be surprising."
"Yeah, and there are plenty of fire who are crazy dangerous even when they're trained," Kefir added quickly.
Shon could feel a burning in his eyes and blinked furiously, looking away from his friends. He wouldn't cry.. he wouldn't. "Thank you..." he managed to croak out, finally giving in and rubbing his eyes. None of them commented on his show of emotion, or the frost clouding his window.
Rerves took the seat across from him with a smile, "So, what type of familiar do you think you'll get?"
Shon managed to stop blinking enough to arch an eyebrow. Hadn't Ivelm said something about a familiar too?
"I bet you it'll be something really lame." Zihler laughed, "To balance Shon's badassness."
"Squire!" the Paladin librarian barked, "Pushups! Now!"
Zihler groaned, mumbling as he stepped back to perform the punishment, "How do they always do that?"
"Divine hearing," Rehlien snickered as Zihler started the pushups, "Probably only works for curses, though."
"You can join him," the Paladin called without looking up from his book, and Rehlien groaned, dropping down next to Zihler.
"Seriously though," Rerves said, ignoring the boys huffing and puffing through their punishment, "Familiars are animals, they're supposed to be even closer to their Sorcerer than a Paladin and their mount! Like an extension of yourself. You can see through their eyes and talk to them with your mind. It's awesome!"
Thom actually blushed, confessing, "We read up on it a bit over the last two days..."
They knew more about what he was than he did. Shon actually smiled, starting, "I don't..." but chittering, like a particularly loud squirrel, interrupted him. The Squires all swiveled their heads to look around, Rehlien and Zihler jumping to their feet with the Paladin, who stood so quickly his chair fell over. The chittering turned to chirping, and then to a purr, as Shon finally found what was making the noise.
On top of the bookshelf closest to the door, sat a tiny dragon.
The size of a large barn cat, its scales were mostly brown but had streaks and blotches of red and orange, like the few deciduous trees that still held their leaves in autumn. Its leathery wings were folded against its back and its front claws grasped the edge of the bookshelf. Its long tail, complete with a scorpion-like stinger, flicked back and forth, its sinuous neck held high as it surveyed the library.
Some of the Squires let slip breaths of wonder, and the little dragon seemed to preen at the attention, holding its head a little higher and purring even louder. The Paladin, however, stepped around his desk and commanded, "Stay back, Squires," before he started chanting. The little dragon tilted its head at the Paladin, as curious as the rest of them. A moment later, the knight's spell washed over them to fill the room, sending a shiver down Shon's spine and making more than one of the other Squires shudder.
The little dragon let out another string of chittering and hissed down at the Paladin, whose eyes went wide as he announced in a breath, "It's real."
"How did it get in?" a senior Squire asked. Shon started to stand but then fell back again as images flooded into his mind. He watched a window opening from outside the fortress, and saw himself lean out. Then the image shifted, and he saw himself digging under his bed for a new uniform and towel as the him that was watching slipped out the door. It shifted again, and he saw himself in the shower, mist billowing off his shoulders before he dug through the piles of clothes left on the bench. It shifted again, and he darted into the library and behind the bookshelf, watching as he, Shon, walked in and sat down at the little table.
Shon blinked and shook his head furiously to try and clear it. All the pictures had flooded in so fast that no one even had time to answer the question or pose their own, "I let it in..." Shon whispered, then looked at the Paladin, explaining quickly, "I didn't mean to. I left my window open to air out my room and..."
"It's okay, Squire," the Paladin was actually smiling, and the little dragon whistled, "They're goodly creatures, though elusive. I've never seen a live one." the dragon leaned forward on the bookshelf, crouching down on its front claws and wiggling its hindquarters before it leaped into the air, opening its wings to spread as wide as it was long. It glided a lap around the library then hovered in front of the Paladin, chittering again and flapping hard enough to blow the man's short hair back before flying right towards the group of Squires around Shon.
It brushed Baradin's head with its claws, the boy ducking as it swooped down to land on Shon's table. The dragon looked from the open books to Shon, then, before Shon could pull back, climbed up his arm and to his shoulder, purring hard enough to vibrate Shon too. It weighed considerably less than it looked like it should, though its claws were sharp enough to pierce through his clothes as it climbed. It brought its face right up to Shon's eye, and though he tried to pull away, it followed him with its long neck, rubbing its cheek along his face. The scales were smooth and lacked temperature, like being touched by a gloved hand. It nuzzled his cheek again, then down his neck and into his shirt.
Surprised, Shon tried to throw the dragon off, but it just dug its claws into his sleeves, chittering angrily then clawing its way around to his back before lifting itself up to drape over his head. "What..." Shon started, but the Paladin cut him off with a laugh.
"I think that answers your friends' questions, Squire."
Shon was too confused to even arch an eyebrow at the man, but Rerves apparently understood what he'd meant because he said, "But I thought only animals could be familiars, like cats and crows and stuff..."
The Paladin nodded but then shrugged, "That's usually the case, but sometimes, rarely, there will be a Sorcerer who gets something a bit more special, like a winged serpent, fairy dragon, or in this case," he nodded at Shon, "A pseudodragon."
The pseudodragon purred, vibrating Shon's head. The Squires all gaped slack-jawed in awe at it, and Shon reached up slowly. He wasn't even sure what he was going to do, pet it? Push it off? But before he'd even touched it, it lifted its head, stretching its long neck out and nuzzling into his hand, obviously not caring that his skin was colder now than it had ever been.
"Damn..." Zihler muttered in obvious disappointment, "I was really hoping it would be a toad so I would have something to make fun of..."
The little dragon's answering twitter almost sounded like a laugh.
She groaned, rolling over and nuzzling deeper into Her pillow. Except it didn’t smell like Her pillow. Her eyes flew open, and She sat up. Then fell back down. That was stupid. Ran and Brom had probably taken more blood than usual again… except She couldn’t remember them taking Her for samples. Not for weeks and weeks…
“It’s alright, you’re safe here,” the kindly voice of a man spoke from Her right, and She sat up again, more slowly this time. A stranger in white robes with a sword embroidered on the chest reached out to help Her up, but after touching Her back he pulled sharply away.
She was too confused to apologize for burning him. “Where?” She asked, looking around the room. Like the stranger, it was covered in white. White blankets, white rug, and white curtains hanging to either side of an open window. A window that looked out onto a blue sky. She gasped, scrambling from the bed and nearly tripping over Her white gown. Of course it was white. How in all the hells did they keep it all clean?
She shook Her head and rushed for the window. The man behind Her gasped, his chair scraping loudly as he stood to follow. She pressed Her hands on the cold glass, staring up into the sky, “I’m on an upper floor!?” She grinned excitedly over Her shoulder as the stranger stared at Her, mouth hanging open.
Turning back to the window, She used Her arm to wipe the fog from Her heat off the glass, letting Her gaze trail down. She didn’t see the treetops She expected. Not close anyway. Instead, the forest was beyond a wide clear field, which in turn was beyond a tall stone wall with people dressed in silver walking along its top. She stood on Her toes to look down through the window. Between the wall and Her was a courtyard full of more people swinging things that glinted in the sun.
This wasn’t the tower. None of those people wore robes except the nice stranger. She spun to him, “My treasures, where are they? Brom? Ran? Where…” She saw a flash of red, heard a pained bark, and smelled iron. She fell to Her knees, grasping Her chest and breathing hard, remembering bits and pieces. He killed them. He killed all of them. Then what? She couldn’t remember...
“You are in a training facility of the Temple of Hengist, Hamerfoss, in Clearhelm.” a new voice, deeper, less kind though not cruel, spoke from the doorway. Lifting Her head, She saw the new man wearing a crisp, white, uniform, with a sword hanging comfortably from his belt. Hengist… so that explained all the white.
The kind man in robes had rushed to Her but dared not touch Her. Wise. With Her head spinning so fast, there was no way She was controlling Her heat properly. “How long has she been awake?” the new man asked the kind one.
“She just woke up, Major General,”
“He killed them…” She whispered, squeezing Her eyes shut, pushing back the rage and sorrow, trying to fill in Her memory. What happened next?
“It will be alright. You're safe here,” the kind man said again.
She pulled Her own hair, lacing Her fingers into the golden strands and squeezing. What had happened? She had run down the hall, but how had She gotten out of Her room? There were strangers in Her tower. These men? She glared up at the brown-haired man who looked down at Her, his hands behind his back.
“Who are you? What did you do to the Mages?” She could feel the hair rise on the back of Her neck and a familiar tingling where the collar should be.
The Major General remained calm before Her building fury, saying only, “Calm down.” It was a command backed by magic. She felt the power flow over Her and try to settle on Her mind. She could almost sense the peace it promised but shook Her head, clearing it of the spell.
He could've used his magic to hurt Her. Perhaps not with the collar as the Archmages did, but in other ways. And yet, he hadn’t moved from his spot, his hands still behind his back. She looked again at the sword of Hengist at his side. She'd read all about the gods. Hengist was good and noble, all about self-sacrifice and protecting the weak… A fool, the Mages had said. And yet his Temple ruled this province. The Mages of Her tower would never work with the Temple of Hengist. Or any kingdom order…
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She didn’t need his help to calm down, not when She had something to focus on. She shoved Her grief to the back of Her mind. “How did I get here?” another image flashed in Her mind, fire all around, a white path, blue eyes.
The Paladin didn’t answer right away; instead, he motioned for the robed man - a Cleric? - to bring him a chair. She tilted Her head curiously at him, but he only sat down with a weary sigh, then gestured towards the bed, “Please, have a seat.”
She stood, returning to the bed and eyeing the door over his shoulder. He hadn’t locked it. “We saw smoke from the woods and found you in a burning tower.” the blood drained from Her face, “We have recovered several bodies from around the structure, but there were no other survivors.” he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and fixing Her with a piercing stare, “What happened? What was going on in that tower?”
She brought Her feet onto the bed and hugged Her legs tight, “I don’t… I can’t remember…” a fire, the tower burning… But it was made of stone. Her fire couldn’t burn that hot… Could it?
“Sir Selibra,” the kindly Cleric sounded stern, crossing his arms and glaring down at the Paladin, “She has just woken up from what was obviously a terrible ordeal. Show some compassion.”
The Paladin, Selibra, actually looked ashamed, leaning back in his chair and clearing his throat, “I apologize, miss…” he drew out the last word, looking at Her expectantly. She tilted Her head. “What is your name?” he asked more clearly. She tilted Her head the other way. Were they going to play that game here too?
The Cleric hummed then said, “Please forgive him, miss, we are all very troubled by the events and deaths at the tower. The Major General merely got ahead of himself. If you could tell us your name, then we can let you rest and…”
“I don’t have a name.”
The two men blinked dumbly at Her, and She rolled Her eyes, “I knnnooowww,” She let Her legs fall back down, so She was sitting properly again, “But I don’t know it yet. As soon as I do, I'll tell you.” She assured them. The men exchanged looks as She glanced again out the window. Maybe She should've just told them what Brom and Ran called Her… But those weren’t names. They were descriptors. No better than ‘Firewyrm.’
If these Temple men were to be believed, everything was gone. She had no room, no books, no clothes, no treasures, and no name. What did
She have? She pulled Her hair over Her shoulder and stared out the window as She stroked it. She had Her hair. They hadn’t cut it in months. She had Her body. She straightened Her posture, holding Her head high. And She had Her power—the fire crackling deep inside Her soul. The Mages had taken the first two. The third had destroyed them.
“You should rest,” Selibra stood, and Her eyes snapped back to him, “You can send for me when you feel ready to talk. Until then, focus on recovering your strength and your memories.”
He made it all the way to the door, even swung it open before She called out, “What are you going to do to me?”
Selibra turned back, his eyebrows raised in surprise. The Cleric placed a hand on Her shoulder, slowly and carefully, gauging how much of Her heat he could handle. She turned to him, and he let Her go. He'd held on longer than expected. “We will keep you safe, child.” the Cleric assured Her.
The Paladin grew stiff for a moment, then brought his right fist up to his chest, “By the sword of Hengist’s honor, we will safeguard your life and freedom,” Freedom?
“Whatever injustices you endured there, you will find justice in the laws of Clearhelm.” She didn’t know what to say, and so, after an awkward moment of silence, Selibra turned for the door again and left.
She didn’t lay down. Instead, She walked back to the window. The view seemed to stretch on forever from so high up, higher than She'd ever remembered being before. Even when She used to climb the trees around Her tower.
Selibra hadn’t locked the door, but the Cleric bustled around behind Her, and the wall below Her clanked with armored knights. What was
--- Table of Contents
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
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2023.06.04 21:51 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 16 - Aftermath Part 1/2
--- Table of Contents
--- Autumn 4986, 16 Aoimoth
Shon slid down the side of a tree to the ground and watched the tower burn. Ivelm did a circle of it, dousing the surrounding trees with his water wand, while Nangran inspected the few bodies he could reach without burning himself. At one point, he tried to pull a corpse further from the fire only to have its arms snap off at the shoulder, meat pulling away from the bone like a well-cooked turkey.
Somewhere in the back of Shon’s mind, he knew he should be sickened by the sights and smells. When they first stepped through the portal, he‘d had to hold back retching from the scent of smoking hair and cooking flesh. Now he could hardly muster the energy to keep breathing. He took long and slow, but shallow breaths. As if he were about to fall asleep despite the horror before him.
So much death. Shon had never seen a dead person before. Though he wasn’t sure if these still counted, so blackened they could almost be mistaken for macabre statues... if it wasn’t for the smell.
“What was going on here ‘Elm?” Nangran demanded of Ivelm as the mage rounded the other side of the tower and rejoined them.
Ivelm sheathed his water wand, pulling forth the diamond-studded wand again. He didn’t answer.
Nangran growled, grabbing Ivelm's arm as it rose to point the wand toward the forest. The Archmage shook him off and spun, his robes fluttering around him as he gestured angrily at the fire, “I don’t know, Flintchest. This tower was supposed to be empty, abandoned. I’m the only Mage with authorization to set up in this area.” he pointed his wand over Shon’s shoulder and spat something indistinct. A rush of cool air flowed from behind accompanied by shouting and armor clanking. Knights running.
Shon rolled limply to the side, planning to stand but finding his arms shaking as he tried to push himself up. Boots stomped around him as Paladins flooded from the magical gate into the clearing. Shon managed to lift his head, though even his neck seemed to be rebelling against his attempts at holding himself up. His vision swimming, he saw Major General Selibra and Master Daunas step through the portal, their mouths agape.
Shon’s arms gave out from under him, and he fell to the side, hearing as if from a great distance, “Squire! Shon… Shon… Nangran, what happened?” From the ground he could see the girl, now wrapped in Nangran’s cloak, leaning against the side of his tree. When had they brought her there? Why hadn’t he noticed?
“He’s fine.” Ivelm’s voice, Shon couldn’t see anymore, so he closed his eyes, “He’ll wake up in a few days. Hell of a Sorcerer that one…” No… no, no, no... he wasn’t a Sorcerer. He was a Squire. He would be a Paladin…
For a brief moment, a flicker of an image played in Shon's mind. He saw himself lying on the muddy ground, Master Daunas knelt by his head, and Ivelm spit off to the side. Then, only the sweet relief of darkness as he passed out.
“Any other survivors?” Sir Selibra’s soft voice drifted through the darkness.
“Only the girl,” Daunas whispered from nearby.
“I doubt she’s human,” Ivelm spoke loudly, and Shon flinched, his head pounding as the mage didn’t bother to keep his voice low, “No fire-resist spell should have lasted in that heat. Even fire Sorcerers can't survive melting stone.”
“She looks human.” a fourth voice, the Hamerfoss Cleric. Shon couldn’t move. The light filtering through his eyelids sent stabs of pain into his head, making it hard for him to concentrate. He tried to lift a hand to cover his eyes, but the limb wouldn’t obey his call.
“And a table looks like it’s made of wood but does that mean it’s still a tree?” Ivelm snorted, and something wet splattered on stone.
“Archmage, please, this is an infirmary…” the Cleric said, shocked.
The mage didn’t apologize and continued to speak at full volume, “Whatever was going on out there it wasn’t sanctioned by the Guild, and that girl has most certainly been subject to experimentation. Those scales? That hair?” he spat again.
“Let’s take this outside, shall we?” Sir Selibra said, and three pairs of boots thumped away, a door swinging open. Sir Selibra’s voice retreated as they left the infirmary still in conversation, “We have sent for the Temple and Guild. They should be here shortly.” The boots left, and the door closed again.
Only one pair of feet remained, shuffling around the room before the rustling of curtains being pulled closed accompanied the sweet relief of darkness. Shon steeled himself and forced his eyes to open just a crack. More pain. He closed them again, his ears ringing. With a slow breath, he tried again, blinking in the weak light filtered through the cloth covering infirmary window.
A groan slipped from his lips, and the Cleric rushed to his bedside, “Don’t try to sit up, Squire. You’re drained, but unhurt,” which seemed a direct contradiction to Shon’s pounding head. The Cleric continued, “After a bit of sleep, you should be fine…” Shon let his head fall to the side, wanting to look away from the window, and saw a second bed, where a girl with golden hair slept.
“It happens to Paladins too, you know. You have to be careful not to expend too much of your own energy when casting magic…” the Cleric continued to talk, busying himself by checking Shon's vitals, “It’s inevitable, but with practice, you can mitigate some of the effects…” She was the only survivor, and she had been experimented on… “After you take your Oath, you'll receive training in divine magic…” even if she was okay physically, would she be alright mentally?... “For now, just rest. You did well. It’s thanks to you the girl got out alive…”
Shon closed his eyes. Thanks to him? Nangran had seen the smoke, Ivelm had taken them there. He… he hadn’t known what to do, had frozen at the sights and smells. He'd formed a path of ice, but the girl hadn’t been burning… Her feet had melted his ice... Shon let himself drift back to sleep. He wasn’t a hero. Not yet.
The tower was supposed to be empty. General Rasnah and the Mages Guild had combed through their records finding that the building had been abandoned over fifty years ago; when the old alchemist living there passed away. Archmage Ivelm reported that he'd surveyed the tower twenty years previous, before setting up his lab miles further south.
“Having a tower like that is practically begging for wanna-be-apprentices to come interrupt you. Looking for a teacher and free room.” he'd explained, with obvious disgust at the idea, even spitting on the floor of Sir Selibra’s office.
Sir Rasnah personally led the Temple Paladins and Guild Mages through a gate from Smilnda to Hamerfoss and from there to the ruins of the mysterious tower. Mages and Paladins crawled together over the still-smoking remains, now a mear hill. Trying to break apart the stones that had melted together and find anything that could explain what had happened here. Bodies covered in white cloth lay in lines along the edge of the forest, ten in total, though how many had been trapped in the tower was still unknown.
The Clerics of Lune would identify the bodies, though she wished they could do more than just give names. It would take months, possibly years, to scour the records to determine who these poor souls had been in life. And more years besides to track their movements through the meticulous paperwork kept by the kingdom.
She could practically hear Veon-Zih snickering at her, ‘Silly Ras, you gave up the battlefield of blood and stone for one of words and paper…
’ she shook her head, banishing thoughts of the Monk. This work would be just as important. How else would those fighting the physical battles find their enemies without information and resources? And yet… She rested her hand on her sword with a sigh, “Some retirement…”
“Sir Rasnah,” a female Mage with dark hair and tan skin approached from the tower, “We found the basement…” she looked over her slumped shoulders back at the pile of melted rock.
“Not as promising a find as we'd hoped?” Rasnah asked, arching her steely eyebrow at the Mage. What had her name been? Vevi…
To her credit, the woman straightened her shoulders and answered clearly, “Oftentimes, we learn as much from a rejected hypothesis as a failed-to-be-rejected hypothesis.” As Rasnah tried to wrap her mind around what in the hells that meant, the Mage continued, “We had hoped that the basement level would be relatively unscathed as heat should rise to destroy the upper levels and possibly spare the lower…”
Those were words the Paladin understood at least, but they implied bad news, “And that wasn’t the case?”
The Mage sighed, “It was. The fire behaved as fire always does, barring external influence,”
“Mage Vevi, I admire your Guild's desire for specificity, but please, get to the point.”
Vevi blinked then shook herself, saying, “Evidence suggests that the fire started in the basement and that the heat there was far greater than we assumed.” Rasnah arched an eyebrow at the woman again and the Mage threw her hands into the air, “It looks more like a cavern carved by pure magma. Nothing but melted stones remain in the form of caves we can only guess were originally rooms.”
“Damn,” Rasnah gripped her sword and glared past the Mage toward the tower, “So we have no way of knowing what they were doing.” The girl still hadn’t woken up. What were the chances that she had any information of value? Archmage Ivelm was convinced that she'd been the subject of magical experimentation. Would those who had abused her also give her information?
“We have one way,” Vevi interrupted Rasnah’s worries, and the Paladin focused on her again. The Mage turned away, motioning to some of her fellows standing near the bodies. An old man with a bent back and shuffling gait split from the group and approached slowly. Rasnah had to resist the urge to walk to him just to speed up the process.
“Sir Rasnah, this is Archmage Meshed, our divination master.” Vevi introduced the old man while he was still a few steps away, “There is a chance we will be able to obtain some information from the tower remains. Though I’m afraid it might not be as clear and concise as you wish. Divination often creates more questions than answers.”
“I am well acquainted with the frustrations of interpreting symbols and signs…” Rasnah led, unsure of the value in this new idea. Arcane magic didn't get its power from a higher intelligence or any god, it utilized the natural magic and energies running through the world and every object in it, manipulating them with precise words and symbols directed by human will. It was all well over her head.
Meshed’s laugh turned into a dry cough. He cleared his throat, “I think you will find, Mage Vevi, Sir Paladin, that the information I will glean from this place to be far more clear and concise than you are accustomed to. It simply won’t be as complete as you wish.”
With a groan and many popping joints, he sat down on the ground, fishing through his robes and pulling out a small bag. From it, he withdrew a massive tome and a silk cloth that Vevi quickly helped spread on the ground before him. Next came a censor and many jars of herbs and incense, which, after checking his book, he carefully measured before pouring into the censor.
He waved a hand towards the tower without looking up from his work, “Stones, please, Vevi. Choose wisely, I don’t want to do this all day…” Despite being a senior Mage, well on her way to Archmage, Vevi rushed off towards the tower herself and eventually returned with two fist-sized stones.
“One from the upper floors and one from the basement, Meshed,” she explained, handing them to the Divination Master. Meshed pulled a set of brass scales from his small pouch, measuring the stones and muttering to himself as he adjusted the volume of herbs in the censor.
He placed the first stone with the herbs, and his eyes glazed over, “A light if you will.” Vevi performed some complicated motion with her hands, flicking her fingers forward at the end with a muttered word. A spark of flame appeared over the censor, lowering onto the herbs and setting them alight. Smoke billowed in a gray noxious cloud, and Rasnah covered her nose as Meshed began to chant.
He ran his hand through the smoke, which wrapped around his fingers, and continued skyward. “No divine magic was cast here…” he mumbled, moving his hand again. The smoke shifted above his fingers as they passed, creating images of people in robes leaning over books, “Arcane magic…” Obviously.
Still, for some reason, his brow furrowed. He passed his hand through again, and the smoke turned nearly black. Before Rasnah could make out any shapes Meshed pulled his hand away and shook it violently before rubbing it on his robe, “Warlocks, Sir Paladin.”
“Damn.” Rasnah smothered more colorful curses and managed a half step closer, “What were they doing, Archmage?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, he chanted a new spell, and his hand glowed with a soft red light. Reaching into the censor, he plucked out the stone and replaced it with the second. The smoke again turned gray and rose lazily into the air. Once again, he passed his hand through the flowing tendrils, and once again, they turned black. He shook his head, “Obviously… damnation… what to ask… what to ask…” He seemed to settle on something, muttering, “The fire, tell me about the fire…” he ran his fingers through the smoke. Flames leaped from the censor, the smoke turning red and billowing out before them.
Rasnah stepped back as great smoke wings spread wide, illuminated from below by flames. A horned head atop a sinuous neck stretched for the heavens and Meshed scrambled to his feet. Vevi kicked the censor over, spreading burning debris across the silk to smolder, releasing tiny lines of, blessedly, normal smoke.
“What was that? A wyvern?” Rasnah asked, her heart in her throat.
Meshed coughed his dry cough and shook his head. Vevi stared at the upturned censor with wide eyes. “Much worse, Sir Rasnah,” the Mage whispered, “A dragon.”
“It was dragon fire that destroyed this tower,” Meshed confirmed.
--- Part 2/2
--- Table of Contents
Thanks for making it this far, you are the real MVP
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2023.06.04 21:42 ReputationIll8937 [PC] [90s] Dragon / wyvern riding game with a jousting tournament
I have a vague memory of a PC game from the 90s where you start in a forest and then fly a dragon to a jousting tournament in a medieval looking town. The main character had a ginger mullet hair cut and you eventually went into an underground labyrinth and got lost. It's really bugging me, please help!
I can't recall much else other than a character you meet in the forest, maybe a talking tree or some kind of goblin creature saying "be careful of your great clogs" before you flew away on the dragon.
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